Aug 30, 2015

Water Your Garden for Free

Rain is free. We are not charged for the amount of rainfall that lands on the barn rooftop. I have heard of states trying to charge people for collecting and using that FREE water but at least here in Alabama, rain is still free!
Our barn sits on a hill right near our garden area. My clever husband got tired of running several garden hoses hooked together up that hill and over to our garden all summer long. So what does a clever husband do? He decides to collect the free water that runs off the barn's roof and redirect it back into the barn where he has two very large 300+ gallon tanks set up to collect, hold and redistribute the free water when needed.

When choosing the rain barrels or tanks, be sure the tanks are free of any chemicals that might harm your garden. You will, after all, be consuming the produce so you don't want anything but the rainwater so keep this in mind if you re-purpose a used container. We found these at a local hardware/feed store. We used PVC pipes at the bottom of the tanks and valves to control which tank we use and how fast we want the flow to be. The pipes exit the back of the barn where we can hook up hoses and use the water.

We not only use this for our garden, we wash cars and ATVs with this water. During cold winter months, my husband will keep the tanks flushed ever so often and we don't keep stagnant water too long. During the drought summer months we sometimes run low in the tanks from pumping water into our soaker hoses but just when we think we're empty, that beautiful free rain will fall once again and fill our tanks. You might be surprised how much water you can collect from a good shower. So the next time you complain about the rain, remember that it is free. Collect it and use it! As a prepper, we are thankful for this water. It never hurts to be prepared!

Aug 29, 2015

Getting the Most From Bacon

A few of tricks I've learned from living miles away from the nearest store, is how to make our groceries items s-t-r-e-t-c-h out until the next trip to town. One easy way is cutting bacon.

We don't eat a lot of the fatty meat item but one way I make it last longer is to cut it in half right off the bat. If you eat two pieces your mind believes you are eating two portions when technically, it's just one piece. I have reduced my intake to just one cooked piece which is healthier since technically it's a half size portion.

Also, I make one more cut to the bacon before putting it back in the refrigerator. I cut the fatty tip ends off and set them aside. I place them in a zipper bag and use those smaller pieces to flavor my weekly crock pot beans.

These two minor cuts to the bacon will stretch out your one pack purchase over a couple of weeks rather than a couple of days. So go ahead, bring home the bacon.

Aug 23, 2015

Coca~Cola Life-free sample

The excitement of opening the mailbox and finding a box stuffed inside sealed with shipping tape with bees on it, makes any day better. I gently opened the box knowing what was inside, a free sample of Coca~Cola Life. This was my first real campaign as a BzzAgent.

So how was it? The Alabama evening had heated up so I took my chilled drink out of the cooler and sat in the old creaking rocking chair. With my feet kicked up on the old cabin porch, I found the Coca~Cola Life sweet, but not like a diet drink. I'm not a huge fan of diet sodas but this drink contained Stevia leaf extract and cane sugar. Even though it only had 60 calories, it had full flavor without the excessive sweet aftertaste.

I do have one confession, I enjoyed holding the little glass bottle. It brought back memories of being at my grandmother's house as a child. She always had the wooden case of Coca~Colas and we always had to put our bottles back when we finished so she could return them to the store when she wanted more.

I will be buying this drink for my family in the near future, in bottle form of course! If you are interested in becoming a BzzAgent and receiving free products for review, please visit the BzzAgent website today! 

Aug 22, 2015

If I Only Had a Dollar-Prepping Edition

There are plenty of ways to save money from coupons to sales to bulk items but let's talk about the dollar and how powerful that can be. A dollar CAN feed a family and often that's all people have. I began thinking about my family of four and what I would spend that one dollar on if I had my entire family had to survive on it.

In the last "If I Only Had a Dollar" we talked about family meals and how far the dollar can be stretched. Today, we talk prepping. Prepping for what? You don't have to believe in zombies to be a prepper. My family preps for more realistic events such as natural disasters and man-made catastrophes like economic crash. What if I told you your dollar right now could hold the power to prep for such events.

Think about a seed packet. If you bought a few seed packets on a whim and next week, all the grocery stores close indefinitely. A seed packet planted today, could feed your family when your supplies run out. 

Think about a candle or glow sticks. If the world goes dark, no power, no gas, this could be a survivalist's best friend. We have lighters, matches, homemade fire starters created from empty toilet paper rolls stuffed with dryer lint. You need to consider all of your resources if you want to survive.

Coffee filters can be used as a mask if needed to filter the air you breathe as well as filtering water and other uses. Get creative when you look at common household items.

Setting aside a bar of soap or a small hand sanitizer can be a luxury item should you find yourself without. My local grocery store has extra large bottles of water for around $0.30! I stock up all the time on these. We know that access to water will mean life or death in dire situations.

Here's your challenge. The next time you go to a dollar store, look around at the items and think outside the box. Ask yourself how you could use the item to help your family if circumstances change for the worse. Come back and visit and comment below what you discover and how you would use it! 

Aug 20, 2015

Pinch Me for free

That's right, Pinch Me sent me this whole box of goodies, for free! With my first sampler box I received the following:
Kellogg's Sour Cream and Onion Cracker Chips-They were thicker than chips, same great sour cream & onion flavor as chips have and even at 100 calories, I still only had half the bag. They were good and I will likely purchase these in the future as I'm watching my calorie count!

Gold Bond Ultimate-strength & resilience and the healing lotions-The strength & resilience had practically no scent so that's perfect for my friends who hate smelly/overpowering lotions! The lotions felt nice on my hands and did the job. The healing one had aloe and there was a soft pleasant scent to this thicker lotion. If I had to choose either for myself, I'd go with the aloe just because of the thickness and scent. Both were good lotions though.

Dentek flossers-These work. You use your own desired strength to apply the floss between the teeth and no doubt about, they work.

Naked Wine coupon card-We don't drink wine so I didn't use this one. However, looking at it, you must purchase $160 or more to use the $100 off. This would deter many of my friends but I'm sure if you are a great consumer of wine, this is a fantastic deal.

Scotch Brite Extreme Scrub sponge-I'm too tired to clean anything right now but I felt of this and I have no doubt this will work wonders. The soft sponge side combined with the stiff scrubbing side would pull any grime out of hiding without surface damage!

If you want to know more about Pinch Me or to sign up to receive products for reviews from this site, visit Pinch Me now by clicking here!

Aug 15, 2015

If I Only Had a Dollar-Beans

In my first If I Only Had a Dollar series post, let's talk beans. Sure you can catch great deals on canned food items and I am always a sucker for good deals and I do take advantage of these items whenever I can. However, times are tough for a lot of people. Working in a rural elementary school I see it everyday and we too feel the crunch of living paycheck to paycheck often!

There are plenty of ways to save money from coupons to sales to bulk items but let's talk about the dollar and how powerful that can be. A dollar CAN feed a family and often that's all people have. I began thinking about my family of four and what I would spend that one dollar on if I had to feed my entire family on it.

 One of the first items to cross my mind was beans. I could take my dollar and buy a can of beans OR I could take that dollar and buy package of dry beans. Sure they vary in flavor, size and cost but believe me, you can find a whole package for a dollar.

Dry beans are a staple in my house. I stockpile these because of the lengthy shelf life and I know that if I put some in my crock pot before I leave for work, when I return home, I'll have a meal. You can certainly eat a bowl of beans flavored with your favorite spices and/or meats all by themselves. Often times I add whatever meat I have in the fridge (bacon, ham, pork, browned hamburger meat, etc) and when they are done, I place the beans atop rice or mashed potatoes and call it complete! Add a slice tomato and cucumber on the side or a slice of bread, my guys are satisfied. Most often we have left overs after a crock pot full of beans so that dollar is stretched to feed us more that once!

I usually put a handful of dry beans or peas in any soup we cook. I utilize my crock pot at least three to four times a week and my family loves soups and stews. You can search out bean recipes on your own but here are some that Food Network has to offer. From salads to soups, main dishes to sides, beans are very versatile and if I only had a dollar, beans would top the list.

Aug 13, 2015

Free from Walgreens

How in the world did I get all this for free at Walgreens today?  Remember my post about winning a $100 gift card a couple of weeks ago from participating in a Twitter event, well today we received the card in the mail and we got all this and more! There were a couple of items opened and/or consumed before I could get a picture but we got everything from canned drinks, to milk and bread, medicines, makeup, food and more! I still had $4 left to spend at the register when he hit total and we started grabbing candy! Yes, free candy! It was fun and free and we got some incidentals that really rack up a grocery bill so that was the best part...getting essentials mixed with fluff...and why not? It was all free to me!

I signed up for the company's Balance Rewards program as soon as I won and before I went shopping, I loaded up digital coupons into my card account and all I had to do was type in my phone number. Successful couponing coupled with the in-store sales coupled with the gift card. Amazing!