If your in the market for an efficient condensing boiler and instant hot water than Baxi Luna could be the best boiler around. It is a great boiler that can save you space in your basement and wallet.

The HT-380 model is a very efficient (98%) gas/propane boiler which qualifies for the tax rebate up to 30%. It produces 32,804 to 112,601 btu’s for both domestic hot water and hot water for heating and can be mounted right to your wall. It's even approved to be mounted in a closet. This is a direct vent boiler that uses one PVC type pipe to exhaust and intake cold air. For more specs please see the link list below

The Baxi Luna HT-380 was installed this past spring and has preformed as expected. It has taken place of our older 40 gallon water tank which has saved money monthly on electricity and is conveniently mounted to the wall. Plastic Pex pipe 3/4inch was used to run pipes through the house for 1st and 2nd floor zones. 4 zones are being run by the Baxi. 2 zones are 1/2inch pex pipe run between floor joists in the basement to radiant heat the floors in the bathroom and kitchen. Please make sure your HVAC installer is Baxi certified. The baxi system is very technical to set and adjust and must be done correctly. 

1) If you end up with a brown sugar brick. Place the brown sugar on aluminum foil, fold over and cover. heat in oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes and your brown sugar will be fresh and like new, no more hard brick.

2) Out of fabric softener? Use foil rolled into a ball and dry as normal. Foil attracts all the static that normally would be on your clothes in the dryer.  You can use this same ball over and over.

3)  Refinish you furniture with a Vintage Patina Look. - Link to Life Hacker

4)To improve your ironing board remove the iron cloth. Layer aluminum foil over the top half and then replace the iron cloth a sit normally would be.  The foil will help retain heat and help iron the bottom of your clothes.

5) Dull scissors? Cut through multiple layers of aluminum foil 4-6 times. It will sharpen any pair of scissors. 

6) In need of a grilled cheese and only have an iron and foil handy? Wrap up your grilled cheese and heat it up with a iron by placing the iron on top while keeping pressure on the sandwich. Iron both sides and you have a ready to eat and hot grilled cheese. 

7) Keep in mind if cooking with foil you can wash and reuse it. Gently lay the foil on your counter and with warm water and soap wash the foil. Let dry and re-use

8) Deter your pets. Placing tin foil on counter tops and tables will keep you cat away. The sound will alarm the cat. With one jump on the slippery foil they will not want to try it again.  

9) Apply hair highlights using tin foil. - Link to Essortment.com

10) Make a tin foil hat!

Tips To Cut The Fat and Save
When budgets are tight the focus on cost effective savings is important. Living lean is an expression I use when trying to cut costs. The more lean the better. Visualize paying per pound for a steak that's primarily fat vs. paying for a nice lean cut that has more actual steak on it. The lean steak you will be getting more meat for your money. "Trim the fat and save the money". It's kind of amusing when you start to create money saving expressions for ways to cut costs, they become a code to live by and really help you out. Once you can visualize this fatty steak and ways to trim the fat you will end up finding savings on everything you do on a daily basis.
Incorporating this perspective into your daily life style will no doubt start saving you money. There is a less expensive way to do anything and everything. For example if you buy any type of drink; be it water, soda, coffee or juice each day your spending too much! Make your own coffee, drink a juice for breakfast and never pay for water! Bring a bottle to work, refill it at work. If you don't have access to water (maybe you live in the dessert) take enough for the day. You see, "cut the fat". The list can go on and on so if you want to have more money you need to find ways to cut back. You can still live, but live smarter!

Irving has introduced a fuel discount for their customers living in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. Those who qualify will receive a reduced bill of 10 cents off per gallon of oil or propane if you pay your bill with in 10 days of your filling. The projected savings discount will be noted on your bill if you plan to take advantage.

To qualify you cannot be receiving any other discounts on fuel and will not qualify if you're currently on a budget payment plan. As well, at the time the bill is received you must have a zero balance on you account. You can still have the option of automatic delivery or call for fill service. I would recommend automatic fill as it will than be Irving's responsibility to keep you filled up.  This is an on going program that is not just for first time customers.

Make sure you are getting the best price for fuel and keep in mind, the more fuel you consume and are projected to use the less you pay per gallon. This year we are using propane for heating and hot water vs our "removed" pellet stove so our consumption will be much greater. When our tanks were filled this year for the first time since last we were billed $3.08 per gallon. Knowing that was a high price I called Irving to question. They had based our fuel consumption from the prior year which was very low. Now since our projected consumption is 800 to1,000 gallons our rate dropped to $2.65. On top of that the new discount of .10 cents per gallon we will pay $2.55.

So if you are a NH, ME or VT resident and use fuel from Irving, call to qualify. 1-888-310-1924

     Not having a credit card is out of the question these days. It's safe, secure and easier to use than cash. Now couple that with a cash return on your spending and these cards can put some cash back in your savings.  Lets go over the top 5 Best cash back credit cards and what they can do for you. APR% is not going to matter, it could be 2% or 20% who cares when your going to pay it off each month.

CHASE Freedom®

  • Earn $100 Bonus Cash Back after you make $500 in purchases in your first 3 months
  • 0% Intro APR
  • 5% cash back in quarterly bonus categories like gas, home improvement and department stores, subject to quarterly enrollment and maximum
  • Unlimited 1% Cash Back on all other purchases with no spending tiers
  • Up to an additional 10% cash back when you shop online at select merchants through Chase
  • No Annual Fee

American Express® Cards

  •  Earn a $25 statement credit with $500 in eligible spending
  • No annual fee, 0% intro APR on purchases for up to 12 months, flexibility to pay over time
  • Earn up to 5% cash back on eligible purchases at supermarkets, gas stations, drugstores, and more
  • No limit on the cash back you can earn
  • Choose your cash back reward: Enjoy the flexibility of redeeming your cash back rewards for statement credits, gift cards and a wide array of merchandise anytime.

Discover Open Road Card

  • 2% Cash-back Bonus automatically at any gas station and any restaurant
  • 5% to 20% Cash-back Bonus at top retailers through our online shopping site
  • Up to 1% unlimited Cash-back Bonus on all other purchases
  • Get double Cash-back Bonus on up to $1000 in holiday purchases on any online shopping through December 31st.
  • This holiday season get 5% Cash-back Bonus in restaurants, department stores and clothing store purchases.
  • 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 12 full months, then the Regular APR
  • 0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 full months, then the Regular APR

Discover More 5% Cashback

  • Earn $100 Cash-back Bonus when you make $500 in purchases in your first three months
  • 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 12 full months, then the Regular APR
  • 0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 full months, then the Regular APR
  • This holiday season get 5% Cash-back Bonus in restaurants, department stores and clothing store purchases.
  • Up to 1% unlimited Cash-back Bonus on all other purchases
  • Get double Cash-back Bonus on up to $1000 in holiday purchases on any online shopping through December 31st.
  • No Annual Fee

Bank of America® Accelerated Cash Rewards™

  • Get a $50 statement credit after making at least $100 in retail purchases within the first 60 days of the account opening date
  • No cap on dollar redemption - no limit to how much you can earn
  • No annual fee* and the flexibility to pay over time
  • Redeem your cash rewards for cash back payable in a check, statement credit, or direct deposit
  • Earn 1.25% cash back on all purchases
  • 0% Intro APR for your first 7 billing cycles only for purchases and your first 12 billing cycles only for balance transfers made within 60 days of opening your account, then regular APR

Here are some tips and tricks to making both a frugal and smart purchase.

Let's base this shopping technique on larger items , TV's and garden equipment for example. First and for most asses your needs and wants of the item you are buying. What fits you the best?

-Do your homework on the item you want. Research, review and ask questions.
  • Where is it sold?
  • Will you buy online and from whom?Visit Better Business Bureau for smaller sites online you haven't heard of as some smaller sites can be a hassle to buy from. 
  • Is there a better product that's not much more money?
  • What is the resale of this product if you were to sell it?
  • READ REVIEWS than read..... MORE REVIEWS. See what other consumers are saying about the product.
  • Purchase if you have the cash on hand and only take advantage of no interest financing if you already have the cash. Keep the money in your bank not the business you are buying from.
  • Look for coupons or special offers/sales.

- Buying in a store? Here is where you can save big.
  • Always shop competitively.
  • If one store has it less expensive than go to the competitor and give them a shot to beat the low price. Best Buy, Sears and others will price match plus give 10% of the difference back to you.
  • Making a larger purchase? Speak to the manager direct, I have done it over and over again. They need to hit numbers and will not want to lose a sale. 
  • Stores will match their online price and online prices change quite quick sometimes. So print it out!
  • Most larger retailers will math their lowest price 30 days prior and 30 days after the purchase has been made. I saved $120.00 after the purchase of my HD TV just for looking for price changes.

This list should be compiled and made a routine when you make most all purchases. Keep you items clean and in good condition. Never throw away the boxes and manuals if you intent to resell the item in the future, this will get you top dollar when you may be looking to upgrade.

Creating traffic to your site is time consuming and hard work. Interesting topics and expertise on subjects is very helpful but what if you have no readers? No traffic equals no readers. If you found a super niche in blogging just think about how many of those readers are specifically looking for your topic? Traffic is king so lets generate MORE!

Use your free resources first.

WOW Marketing - Word Of Mouth
Linking to other blogs with Back Links
Facebook Fan Page How to

Take 30 minutes, save hundreds!

Each and every year that dreadful thought of renewing your car insurance comes along. Weather we like it or not it has been a part of our budgeting for years. Pay per month or for a full term, that is up to you, usually discounts are given for a full payment though (more frugal). When the time comes to renew, take a step back and think of your potential savings.

  Shop around, with all of the free quotes you can get online take 30 minutes to complete a couple and see where you can save. Don't just flop your policy over for another year. Take the time and save. Amica, Allstate and Geico are just a few of the big players to receive a free online quote.

Good luck and save big!


Being apart of one of the largest Social Media websites the internet has ever seen has opened doors to thousands of opportunities. One of those opportunities for Bloggers FREE advertisement. You can drive huge traffic to your site with some basic linking of your blog to Facebook. 

1) First and foremost you must create a Fan Page - This is going to be your landing page to advertise your blog on Facebook.(Tip) When setting up your fan page name it the same name as your website ex. LetsBeFrugal.com. This will automatically be registered to your viewers as a website to visit.
2) Follow the above steps and create some content on your page. Once you are happy with your Fan page invite all of your friends. Try and capture your audience and get them to post on your page. Than reach out to a couple close friends and ask them to invite their friends to the page. Look at this as multi level marketing, the more you reach out and get invites to join the more of their friends will notice they are fans of your page and may visit. It keeps growing and growing. 

3) Now link you blog to Facebook. Many widgets have been created for you to do so. The most useful is the Like Button.

- Like Buttons (Blogger Stop) The like button is for visitors reading your blog. With the like button on your blog posts your readers can like your post. When your posts are liked that reader will have noted on their Facebook page saying they "liked" you blog post. This will open your opportunities for all of their fiends to visit you blog. 

- Many other Facebook Widgets can be found on Widgets Lab

Generating back links for Bloggers can be challenging however they expand our popularity on the web so they are very important. A back link is a simple web address such as www.letsbefrugal.com that is placed in an easy to follow code. Once your code is placed in others blogs that is a back link to your website. The more blogs and sites that have your link in them the more traffic can flow to your website.   These 3 simple steps will create yourself a back link code and Lets be Frugal will Link with you.

1) Generate. This generated code is the actual back link for Let's be Frugal. The Red will be replaced with your own information 

<a href="http://www.letsbefrugal.com" title="Lets Be Frugal is daily frugal Blog
with quality content. Find out easy ways to save money daily, for any visitor a savings can be found">LetsBeFrugal</a>
<br>Lets Be Frugal is daily Frugal idea Blog with quality content. Find out easy ways to save money daily. For any visitor a savings can be found.

 2) Create a new page or use an existing Link page and enter the HTML the code above. It will convert to a link and the description of the blog. You have now linked to my site once published. Now in return I will create a link to your page in step 3.

3) Complete the following code with entering your site info and e-mail it to LetsBeFrugal@gmail.com I will create a bank link to your site and it will allow my visitors to visit your page, a great SEO optimization.

Thanks for linking!

Protecting your computer will no longer cost a dime. For free you can keep it running as fast as the day you took it home. Thousands of programs are available to download at your expense that will assist with maintaining computer performance but there is no need to afford it. I have had my share of computer issue's and intrusions like anyone else but for the past 5 years I have been issue free.
The gimmick of the free computer scan is notorious, don't use and and never click on it. Any time you click these gimmicks you are shown your computer has Trojans, worms and security breeches which are false accusations than pushing you to buy the program. Don't even bother trying these. After all, I have come across some free legit programs you can download to keep your computer running smooth. Read the reviews and try them out. I run each of the programs below once a week to maintain performance and clear the "junk".

Spy Bot Search and Destroy is a free Spy ware and Ad-ware removal program with many other blockers included. A user friendly program that is a must have for any computer owner. Capable with any OS from Windows 95 to Windows 7. Further review here at Wikipedia.

                                                     Download Here (donations are welcome but not necessary)

CCleaner - is a computer optimizer, from registry cleaning to history deleting. Don't waste your time or money with other costly computer enhancers. Maintain your computers performance with this easy to use tool that is free. Rated a 5 of 5 from CNET reviews !

Read reviews and download right from CNET.

Video Tutorial 

Registry Mechanic - Your registry, for those not aware is the storage of your systems database hierarchy. A main component to the "back system" which stores configuration settings for your computer. Another high scoring CNET review of 4.5 and voted by over 10,000 users.

Read reviews and download right from CNET.

How to use 

These 3 cleaning and maintenance programs are all you need  to keep you free from harm Paired with a good anti virus program you will have no worries. I use Zone Alarm, ditched Norton years ago!

Buy dried beans, peas,lentils etc. soak them overnight and make them into a soup or chili. I soak a cup of dried beans for the next day's soup, a few times a week. Pasta is nice with sauteed veggies of any sort over them. Chicken is cheap, hold down the meat, you can go vegetarian. Oatmeal for any meal is good and quick. Bake your own bread, it's therapeutic, I bake 2 loaves of sourdough bread twice a week.
Rice is cheap and like pasta blends well with a layer of veggies on it. Buy the vegetables either in season or frozen. Fruit is my dessert, if i have some. it's easy to feed yourself cheaply and better for you.

How low will Mortgage rates drop

Home loan rates are at historic lows and word on the finance street is expect lower in the next 6 months. November 3rd the feds proclaimed to buy 600million in treasury bonds. With another fed backed stimulus the reaction in the market can cause rates to dip under 4% for a 30yr fixed note, a historic low! A general rule of thumb is if you can lower your rate by 1.5 basis points and recover the cost of refinancing in 30 months you should refinance. If you have a mortgage with TD Bank and signed during the Mortgage Rate Security offer (still current) than you are in better luck. The cost of this refinance will only be .05% of your current loan balance. If you had purchased your house over 2 years ago than the 1.5 basis point drop should be in effect anytime now. Personally, I'm waiting for 4%. Bankrate.com shows an average of  4.250% now. 

let's go over an example.

Loan price: 200k
Financed: 30 years fixed
Rate: 5.5%

Payment = $1,135.58

Now let's refinance to 4% and for easy math keep the rest of the loan the same.

New Payment = $954.83 which is a savings of $180.75 each month!

Now a savings is a savings but how you apply your savings is another choice you have. If the monthly savings was not needed to survive or change your life style than apply the savings back into your mortgage. Paying an additional $180 a month to your loan able will lower your loan term by 8 years and save thousands of dollars in interest.

Go pull your loan documents and see if refinancing is right for you! 

You most likely have heard about Credit Unions from a friend or family member but understanding how they can benefit you differently from your local bank is important to know. When it comes to where you deposit your check, their is a difference.  Credit union's are owned by their members and insured by National Credit Union Administration. Members actually hold power on decision making at Credit Unions. Unlike a bank who hires directors, Credit Unions will elect the Board of directors.

Find a Credit Union near you: Local Credit Union Search 

Banks intend on charging maintenance and service fees since they are in the business of making money. Reversely you wont see high fees and service charges at Credit Unions as they are not intent on doing so.

Search through the Top 100 Credit Unions by asset and state.

If you like to be close with your money than a Credit Union is the best way to do so. Become a member today and feel more empowered to care where your money is sleeping at night.

Forget your local bank, Credit Unions are a non profit organization where its overhead goes back toward the Credit union and its members (that's you). This will give (you) the member extra benefits that are allocated toward lower interest rates and interest via shares at some Credit unions unions.

  Here are 7 ways to join a Credit Union

Medical bills can be the hardest of bills to contend with. Your income may not be suitable to make needed payments and once you become delinquent month after month it is reflected on your credit report. These are challenging but there are a few ways that you can regain structure by some simple budgeting steps.

Accumulate the total amount of medical bills you have. Take the total amount and divide it by the number of times a year you are paid. 26 if your paid bi-weekly and 52 if paid each week. This will give you the amount you must pay each pay check to clear your debts in a year. If you would like to spread it further than a year than take your per check payment you calculated and divide by the number of years you wish. Understanding what you owe and how to pay if off is very important. Knowing how will give you more confidence to do this.

Negotiate your bill. If you are having hard times paying these debts you must try to do so. Call your debtor and plead your case. You may be very happy you did so.

Having a Payment Plan will structure your medical debt. It's your responsibility to pay them off and sticking to a plan will get you through it.

Call your State, local assistance programs may be available to you. Another call that could be very beneficial.

Cut back on your living expenses and go bare bones if you need. If you are having hard times paying your debt than having cable TV, fast internet and eating out need to stop. 90% of families could cut back $200-500 a month by simply re-evaluating their accustomed living.

Lemons have many uses that are healthy and curing. Pair up a lemon with another household item and you have some great cleaning power. Generations have gone by of passed down remedies recipes curing the common cold to lightening your hair color . You can buy books for many lemon uses but here are some good free ones.

 Add these pages to your favorites for savings!
  • Bankrate.com - An abundance for anything finance related. Track interest rates on car loans to mortgages and guidance on debt management and college finance can all be found here. A primary favorite of mine!
  • Slickdeals.net  - Looking for a great deal? Find them here both locally and on the web. A conglomerate of frugal price hunters sharing their special price finds and possible price mistakes. 
  •  Gasbuddy.com - A daily check in the morning can save you a couple bucks at the pump today. Type in your zip code and find the lowest price gas cost in your area. 
  • DIYnetwork.com - Part of being frugal is being handy and learning how to do things on your own. DIY (Do It Yourself Network) has many videos and articles to show you how to do just about anything.   
  • Health.com - Being healthy saves money and should not cost you much more than less than 30 minutes a day. A great site for the easy ins and outs of ways to be more healthy. Less doctor visits, feeling better and more confident can go a long way to your budget.

Blue Cash® American Express
  •  Get up to 5% cash back at supermarkets, gas stations, and drugstores, plus up to 1.25% cash back for all your other purchases
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No Annual fee and no limit to cash back.
The offers look generous and can be if you’re a big spender. One American express card that doesn't charge an annual fee and looks flashy out of the wallet is this Blue Cash card. The 5% cash back caught my eye as it does yours. Being a frugal credit card user I like to charge everything to earn cash back, free money when you pay it off each month so the 5% sounds great. Well don’t forget that it says “up to 5%”. To earn the 5% cash back you MUST spend $6,500 that very same day. I had a chat (below) with the customer service Rep “Mo”.  Any sort of free cash back is frugal and this may still be a top rated cash back card but don’t let the 5% fool you. 

  I will be in search for the best cash back credit card available to you and explore the fine print.

Please wait while we contact the next available agent...
You are now speaking with Mo!
Mo: Thank you for contacting American Express. My name is Mo, how may I help you?
you : Hi Mo,
Mo: Hello, thank you for contacting American Express application department. Which personal card were you interested in today?
you : I have a question concerning the 5% cash back on the blue express
Mo: Yes, what questions can I assist you with today?
you : It says boost your cash back up to 5%, is this 5% obtained when you have put 6,500 dollars on your card in one month or the annual yearly amount?
Mo: If you spend between $0 - $6,500 you will receive 1% back for everyday spend locations 0.5 % back for everything else If you spend between $6,500.01 or more you will receive 5 % back for everyday spend locations 1.25 % back for everything else.
you : So be it one (1) purchase that needs to exceed $6,500?
Mo: Yes, it must be an Every day spend purchase.
you : Understood Mo, thank you for your time

Looking for a cash back Credit card? You certainly have your hands full with many options. Here is a break down of the top2 rated cash back credit cards and what lies unseen in the fine print for cash back.

Blue Cash® American Express

  • Get up to 5% cash back at supermarkets, gas stations, and drugstores, plus up to 1.25% cash back for all your other purchases
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No Annual fee and no limit to cash back.
The unseen. <--  click for the details.

  •     5% cash back in *popular categories
  •     Up to 1.25% on all other purchases
  •     0% APR and 0% transfer rate for 12 mo.

The unseen. <--  click for the details.

Are your regular routines costing you more than you think? Sometimes we over look our daily expenses that cost our budget.

Lets begin waking up to the dreaded alarm clock, you roll out of bed and pick out your clothes for the day and probably head to the shower (From here lets focus on each routine as if you were paying out of pocket for it).

Here is the first place you can start to save yourself money $$. Of course the time you spend in the shower will have a direct impact on your heating and water bills.
  • Take a 10min or less shower.
Do you have a hot water tank? Dial down the temperature to 120 degrees.

So after your 10 min shower (or less) lets move onto your day:

Before you are ready to head to work lets think about breakfast. Expecting to pick up breakfast on the way to work? Ouch, either you have to much money or this just could be another great place to save BIG each day.
  • You could spend $3-5 dollars a day for breakfast out and spend $100/month or
  • Spend $6 a week for cereal and milk, even toss in a few bagels =$30/month and save $70.00 a month. Now that's frugal!
  • Make your coffee or tea at home and save more 2-$4 dollars a day saved is another 40-$80 dollars a month!
  • More ways to save on Eating and Food
On the drive to work:
  • Try and maintain a speed of 55 or under to and from work, you will consume less gas.
  • Take it easy on the breaks and speeding up to fast, another big gas guzzler!

Now that your work day is over it's time for chores at home.

  • Dishes - If you have a double sink, load one side with the dirty dishes, as you clean them put them on the opposite side. Don't let the water constantly run, turn it on and off as needed. Rinse all the washed dishes and put them on the rack to dry.
  • Laundry, use cold or cold/hot feature to consume less hot water that again uses gas or electricity to run. Than air dry your clothes. 
This consists of a frugal day! Many ways to save money throughout a very regular day. Following this frugal day outline will save you as much as $400 a month!!!

Introducing a baby into the family is the best feeling in the world but it comes with many responsibilities and your personal needs must be put aside. 

My worries of financially affording a child was a constant thought. Food, diapers and clothes, I heard many times no one is financially ready for a child. The not knowing of expenses gets to people who are truly frugal, it makes you wonder.

Before my daughter was born the topic of diapers were mentioned by many. " Have fun affording diapers" and "potty train her quick" were comments on a regular biases. It made me think, gezz... really how many diapers are we going to need and how many will she go through? Our plan of attack on the diaper situation was creative, we didn't look into cloth diapers and we knew potty training was not instant. The baby shower invitations included for all to bring one package of diapers size new born to 3. The collection of diapers from this was outstanding, we had been given enough diapers to last nearly a year. Thought that time we would also buy diapers along the way because we never wanted to run low, diapers on sale or coupons we had received from going to the different diaper websites. If you can afford to buy bulk do so, we bought many diapers from Amazon, saved us on gas and traveling with a baby! We literally saved hundreds of dollars.

Over this time we were able to try many brands for day and night time diapers. Our best luck and priced diapers for day time are generic Wal Mart brand. Of course you need to change them after ever "pip" and "poop" so why spend more? As our daughter got older and drank more fluids night time diapers were important, as we only use one night time diaper a night generally Pampers is used or maybe Huggies depending on coupons. Remember to check the amount of diapers in the package, you don't always get the same about from each brand.

If you are planning a child and are worrying about diapers, start at the baby shower and the rest is up to you. You can do it and you can afford it, just be smart about it.

Planning to shop at your favorite electronic store? Use the frugal gift card savings method.

How many gift cards have you bought for others or have been given to yourself as a gift? A gift card ties you down to spend at the one location and some of us rather the cash. What happens to all those gift cards that those of us don't want and rather the cash for? The answer is E-bay and Craig s List. An easy frugal tip for any buying occasion, no matter how big or small is this. 

Gift cards are for sale less than face value on our favorite web sites. On E-bay, expect a 10% savings off the face value of the card. If you are accustomed to Craig s List than get ready for a 30 to 50% savings off face value. Now you can afford your LCD or Plasma TV purchase with a couple simple steps. Pair this savings up with a coupon and your savings could be much greater.

Always verify your gift cards balance at the time of purchase and for Craig s List purchase, meet at a store to verify the balance.

Oxygenics Low Flow  60120 SkinCare Shower-head

The purchase was made due to the over usage of water during showers and low water pressure. The installation was very easy, twist off your old shower-head, clean the threads on the pipe, wrap new Teflon tape over the threads and then twist on the Oxygenics.

First impressions of this shower-head (in use) were impressive for the cost. The water pressure was noticeably more, the same experience you get while in more fancy hotels. Enough pressure for rinsing longer hair, quickly as well.
Oxygenics 60120 SkinCare Showerhead, Chrome

Priced at $16.41 on amazon the cost of this would be saved in the first months usage, cutting the water usage by 30% or more. Old shower heads don't have the ability to change the pressure and run above average Gallons per minute (GPM).  Now with the ability to lower the water pressure while soaping up you can turn down the GPM all the way down to a .5 drizzle. Ready to rinse?  Turn the pressure all the way up to only 2.5 GPM and blast the soap away. Big savings, both with money and water conservation make this a true frugal buy.

In my early sales career in retail I was lucky enough to work with a motivated sales team. My sales lessons started in my first retail job at Best Buy (BBY). Being new to the team and my first sales job I needed to learn and learn fast. My first task after the basic "how to approach customers" was to get three "no's" from the customer before walking away. As I was selling TV’s my main questions were "How would you be paying for this today?", "Can I check the stock for you to see if it is available?" and "can I show you the accessories needed for your TV?" I would try get customers to say YES any possible way. “The weather is beautiful isn't it?” “You have nice taste in TV’s, do you watch a lot of sports?” getting them to say yes pushed my way into a sale as they were now comfortable with saying yes.

I believe in the technique not only for sales but for many situations on the other side of the sales side. For instance, say you call your local cable company and ask for any promotions, they quickly reply no. Your follow up to that should be similar to "well I have been receiving lower offers from competitors, are you able to provide me some sort of discount?" If another "no" is received than your last resort is to threaten to cancel service, of course you don't need to cancel even though you threaten but it will show them you mean business. Hopefully you don't need to get the third "no" but don't' stop until you get there. Use this for buying vehicles or larger purchases as well.

All too often people will accept the first no when making deals. Train yourself for 3 and you will land more deals and save more money then ever before.

If you’re buying you hold the power, if you’re selling than you need to find the YES behind the NO. There is always a YES. Just dig deep and find it.

Helpful sales Books you can use to change your sales mentality. 

The 25 Sales Habits of Highly Successful Salespeople
Selling 101: What Every Successful Sales Professional Needs to Know
Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness

Turning $100 into $1400.00
First Flip

Part of being frugal is being able to see value in items. Being conscious to see potential future value in everything you buy will help you make a smart flip opportunity. When I was younger and received a birthday gift I would always consider returning it and paying out of pocket a few dollars to get the "better one". Sometimes this got in my way of actually appreciating my gifts but that did not overcome having the "better" gift for a couple more dollars. Anyhow this mind frame is still with me to this day and helped with my flips for 2010. I kicked off my flip purchase while searching on  craigslist for a:

Nintendo Wii - Snagged this for $60 and sold for $200
 $140 Profit

Mountain Bike - 2008 Specialized Rock Hopper with Disc Brakes. I talked the seller to $200 and sold for $400 putting no money into it but maybe an hour tuning and cleaning.
$200 Profit

My summer intentions were to get a boat and do some fishing. This lead to buying:

A older Flat bottom Jon boat for $100 (pictured above) with seats and PFD's. I pressure washed it down and sold for $250 a week later.
 $150 Profit

Than I had flipped a older Johnson motor for a profit of

I took these profits and bought a like new Jon Boat for 400 - flipped for 600. 
$200 Profit.

Rolling these profits I bought a 12ft boat on a trailer with a motor for $775 and sold for $1400.
Profit = $625  

Final Flip
I have profited $1365 total. This will be rolled into a larger boat when I find the right buy.

** Up date - The profit from the last sale was rolled into a bass Boat. The boat I have just purchased can be flipped for $2,500 easy however this boat I will be keeping this year to fish in.  My goal was a nice boat and now it's here! Maybe next year a Nitro boat will be in plans. Again this boat has cost me nothing but time flipping, FREE!

Flipping can be costly if you do not know and understand the value of the items you are trying to flip. You need to understand how much these are selling for and also be patient. More Importantly when flipping never spend more than your profits. This will save you from losing money.

Use my Craigs List buying techniques to find special deals and barter with the sellers.

Deeper thoughts on saving Electricity 

It seems to be an up hill battle to lower the cost of living now days. Fighting back will not only save you money but the victory of saving money is priceless.

Go beyond the thoughts of consciously keeping track of turning off lights when leaving a room or turning the TV off when not watching it. How many of your electrical devices are plugged in all day? Coffee pot? Cell phone charger? stereo system? Digital photo frame?

The list can seem endless when you start to think about it. How many of these devices have a light glowing or standby light on right now? Even though you are not using them electricity is running from the outlet, through the cord and all the way to your device. This is using unnecessary electricity every second plugged in. Why pay for electricity you are not using?My entire entertainment room is plugged into a surge protector, in the morning I just unplug the surge protector from the wall and I know everything is unplugged.

Go around the house now and unplug "it". Start watching your bill drop in price and save money every day.

Good luck!

Here are the most handy DIY cleaners to make

Lets have some frugal fun with a couple rainy day projects that can save you money. We buy endless amounts of cleaning supplies for our homes that cost much more than if we made them ourselves . Here are some Do It Yourself cleaners that show great end results with little effort and lots of savings.

Window Cleaner
  1. Take 1/2 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup isopropyl rubbing alcohol and 1/2 cup water.
  2. Mix.
  3. Pour into spray bottle.
  4. Spray on glass, tile floors/counters, stainless steel or linoleum floors.
  5. Use your lint free wipe cloth.
All-Purpose Cleaner
  1. 2 Tbls vinegar
  2. 1 Tsp Borax
  3. Hot water
  4. A Couple drops of a mild dish detergent
  5. 10 drop of essential oils can be added at you preference.
  6. Mix all in a 16oz spray bottle until borax dissolves, than apply.

Homemade Floor Cleaner

  1. 1 cup white vinegar
  2. 1 gallon warm water
  3. Mix together and use this to clean vinyl  flooring.

 Carpet Freshener
  1. Mix 3/4 cup baking soda, 2 tbsp corn starch, and 1/4 cup perfumed talcum powder.
  2. Sprinkle on dry carpet.
  3. Let stand 5 to 15 minutes.
  4. Then vacuum.

Mildew Remover/ Disinfectant
  1. Dilute 3/4 cup chlorine bleach in 1 gal of water.
  2. Apply to tile and grout and scrub.
  3. Wipe shower stall and curtain.
  4. Rinse thoroughly.

Drain Cleaner
  1. 1/2 cup salt
  2. 1/8 cup cream of tartar
  3. 1/2 cup baking soda
  4. 6 cups boiling water

  • Removing Soap Scum - Apply baking soda dry or as a thick paste, rub vigorously with a wet sponge, then rinse.

    Round up your old bottles and spray nozzles and start saving some money!

    Being frugal doesn't mean you can't eat out once and a while. Enjoy a night out and still get your frugal kicks.

    1)  Use those coupons or gift certificate you have laying around.

    2)  Restaurant.com offers up to 90% off gift certificates.

    3)  With a date? Order an entree and one appetizer and split the meal. Portions feed 2 easy.

    4)  Pass on soda. Order a water with lemon, add some sugar packets and you have a free lemon-aid.

    5)  Lunch menus are less expensive.

    6)  Start the night during Happy Hour!

    7)  Complete the birthday card so you receive a free meal on your birthday.

    8)  Enjoy the left overs for next days lunch.

    9)  All you can eat items offered before the main entree? Take advantage and fill up.

    10) Complete the survey on your receipt and receive an offer on your next meal.

    Add to the list your frugal way to save eating out.

      If you have a phone that can browse the web and receive photo messages you may be at risk for unexpected cell phone bills. Verizon wireless charges $1.99 per mb a data you use on the phone. Using data can range from a visit to download a "free" trial game or download a ring tone. A megabyte of data is very small so a few trips to the application store and you are going to have a hefty unexpected addition to your bill.

      Text/Pix messaging is also a way to have a higher than expected monthly. As you have no control of receiving a Pix message that uses data to download you will be charged $.25/pix  and .20/text you receive and send.

      Avoid these charges by

      • Paying extra a month for a data plan (3G phones require a data pack).
      • Have Verizon block the internet on your phone so you cannot incur any data usage. All my phones are blocked from the web to keep the charges non existent.

      The phone's that now require a data pack are:                                          

      • LG Env3, Touch, Chocolate, VX8360
      • Motorola Rival, Entice
      • Samsung Rouge, Alias2 
      • Nokia Twist

       Dial *611 from your Verizon phone or (800) 922-0204 and request your phone be block from using data and received Pix messages.

      Living within your means. In todays society it is very common to incure debt at a young age. You may have hasseled your parents to borrow money and promised to pay them back or you spent all your birthday money in one trip to the toy store. "Debt" is not a good word in no shape or form. Debt still lingers around

      You don't Need to complete your contract 100%

      What if your cell phone is over warranty and breaks, must you spend full retail price on a cell phone? Most cell phones come with a standard 1 year warranty from the manufacturer, after that one year you are on your own unless you pay 5.99 a month for Verizon protection. A one year contract is fulfilled 10 months into term and 20 months with a two year term. Once this contract month is reached you are eligible to upgrade and receive your New Ever two discount which maybe $50 or $100.

      Most 2 year contract holders may not know this. After 1 year of your contract is fulfilled you are able to upgrade and renew your new contract and pay the regular phone price. This is not an extension to your contract but a brand new contract. The only downfall is you are not able to use your New Every Two discount. This is a fine option for those who need to upgrade due to a broken phone or to those who would like a new phone early.

      Check out Verizon's daily deals. They offer a cell phone for a discounted price lower than the every day 2 year contract price. Also keep on the look out at "The Last Chance" offers where phones are discounted where they are being replaced by newer models.

      When changing phones Verizon's back up assistant is a very important app to have on any phone.

      Download the app by Menu -> Get it now -> Tools on the go ->Back up assistant.

      It will back up all contacts you have listed on your phone. This is free when you have an online account with Verizon, otherwise it is $1.99 a month. Even if you phone is lost, stolen or completely does not work your contacts are all safely stored. They can be managed on your Verizon online account. When activating a new phone, you download the back up assistant and your contacts will be copied to your new phone.

      I love to barter and deal. If you enjoy trading selling and buying this is an easy way to fulfill some self needs of your own. Buying things makes anyone feel better and why not make a buying experience a time to recoup some extra cash?

      To do this you may need some extra money lying around. Maybe a small amount lets start with $50 dollars. Go to Craig's list, select your state and begin the search. I use keywords to locate sellers in need of cash.

      Key words:

      Need to sell, Need money, Today only, Desperate, Pay bills

      These keywords will usually bring you to those who are in need of money. Scroll through the listings and look for items that usually sell fast. Gaming systems, cell phone , I-pods are big sellers, electronics are a good place to start if you know what to look for. You want an item to quickly sell and to be of value to many people. I have great sense of what things are worth and you can become familiar with this also by seeing what others are selling the same item for. Go to Ebay, look at completed listing of the same item. Do a Google search and see what they sell for new using the shopping tab.

      The next step is bartering. Read further on my blog post on How to Barter. Also see Craigs List Scams and Craigs List Vs. Ebay

      Once you strike that deal and make the buy the next step is crucial. It's time to make money for your purchase. You may be thinking that this is not possible to make money from something you just bought, why wouldn't everyone else do it right? Most people don't barter and know how to talk there way into deals. Being in sales I have learned there is always a "Yes" behind the "No".

      For example: seller is looking for 80 dollars for the item.

      Me- " I have come across your craigs list post for a "_____" I will be in you area today and have cash. Is this still for sale?

      Seller - "yes" This is still for sale.

      Me- "Great, I can afford to pay 40. I know you state the item is in great condition however 40 is just about what I was looking to pay.

      Seller- " I'm sorry, I cannot accept 40.

      Me- " I Understand. Since I can meet today and am very interested would you accept 50? I believe that price is fair to both of us.

      At this point you may receive a "yes" or "no". If the answer is no than move along and barter else where. Never go over your limit. Let's say the seller said yes and it was a local convenient place to meet not out of your way. Now it's time to resell, your internet savvy so you know what this item is worth. Remember that craigs list is local so your market is not as wide spread. If you luck reselling is not as you expected revert to E-bay and make more money back that way.

      If this is not your cup of tea than look around and sell some of the stuff lying around your house. I see easily see $50 dollars worth of items on my desk I could unload.