Saturday, May 15, 2010

8 Quick Ways To Save Money Around The House

With the state of today's economy, we are all looking for ways to save a little money. In our household, we like to save money and also help the environment by being more earth friendly. The following tips will help you to accomplish both.

1. Unplug any appliances that you are not currently using. This includes: radios, stereos, DVD players, night lights, electronic game systems, etc.

2. When you do laundry, make sure they are full loads. If possible, hang your clothing outside to dry or purchase an indoor drying rack.

3. We all love the convenience of a dishwasher, however, running a dishwasher can run up your electric and water bills. If possible, hand wash your dishes, especially on the weekends when you have more time.

4. When it comes to grocery shopping, always leave home with a grocery list and stick to your list. When it comes to meats and staple items, purchase them in bulk to save money.

5. Quit using disposable products such as paper towels, napkins and plates. Yes, these products are convenient but they are not cost efficient. I choose to use cotton microfiber towels as they are absorbent and fast drying. For napkins, invest in some traditional cotton napkins that can be washed hundreds of times. Instead of paper plates, invest in some good quality plastic dinner plates.

6. If you have an outdoor lawn or garden that needs to be watered, you need to water it early in the morning or very late in the evening. Your best bet is to plant outdoor plants and shrubs that don't require a lot of watering.

7. Cancel your daily newspaper subscription. I find that I can keep up to date by reading my favorite newspapers online for free.

8. Cancel your video rental store membership. In our household, we prefer to buy our DVD's when they are on sale for $10 or less at local stores, or we can pick them up at yard sales and flea markets for around a dollar. If you have family or friends who seem to purchase a lot of DVD movies, ask them to borrow them.

These 8 tips will help to get you started, but there are many more things you can do around your house to help put more money...back into your pocket. With a little research and some time, you can start making changes today.

Shelly Hill is a mother, grandmother and wife living in Central Pennsylvania with her family. Shelly enjoys saving money and being debt free. You can visit Shelly online at or her recipe blog at for free family-friendly recipes.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Delicious Fudgy Pudding Cake Recipe

If you have been following several of my blogs, you have probably guessed by now that I just love to cook and bake...especially baking! One of the things I like to make for my family is this delicious fudgy pudding cake recipe. It is always a big hit...especially with the kids.

Here is what you will need:

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. powdered cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup cold milk
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup powdered cocoa
1 3/4 cups of hot water

You will want to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine together the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, powdered cocoa, baking powder and table salt. Pour into a 9" square baking dish. Stir in the cold milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extra until mixture is smooth. Next, sprinkle the remaining powdered cocoa and brown sugar on top. Pour the hot tap water over the mixture. (do not stir).

Bake in your oven for 35-40 minutes or until done. I like to serve it with some vanilla low-fat ice cream or with big dollups of whipped cream.

You can find free cooking tips and recipes over on my official foodie blog at Shakin 'N Bakin, In The Kitchen With Shelly.