Six Tips for Buying Appliances

Six Tips for Buying Appliances

Rhonda Grice No Comments
  Budget and Savings General Shopping Uncategorized

Six Tips for Buying Appliances
That Will Save You Money

Tips for buying appliances

Saving money is extremely important to those of us who are trying out best to live frugally and get out of debt, however, there are times when household appliances do crash and we have to buy new ones. Below are six tips for buying appliances that will keep you from overspending.

The important things to remember when buying a new appliance is that you should shop for your needs, not your wants. A regular washing machine will get your clothes clean just as well as one that has a digital screen with all the bells and whistles.

Tip #1 – Buy Last Years Model

You can save over a hundred dollars by purchasing last years model, especially on appliances like stoves, washers, dryers, etc.

The store wants to make room for the newer, more expensive models and is ready to deal.  It’s still brand new and will last a long time!

Tip #2 – Shop for Scratches and Dents.

The salesperson won’t point these out but when you look for appliances already on the showroom floor you can sometimes find dents or scratches. My husband bought a stove once that had a scratch on the side (which won’t show anyway one the stove is installed), and they gave us a pretty good discount on it.

Be sure and point things out to the salesperson and get them to go higher up for the decision if they can’t make it.

Tip #3 – Trade-Ins

See if the store will take trade-ins. Some stores will and some won’t, but it sure doesn’t hurt to ask. If the store won’t take a trade in, stop in at some second-hand appliance stores and see if they will purchase your broken appliance for $50.

Tip # 4 –  Clearance Appliances

As soon as you enter a store look for, or ask if they have any appliances on clearance. These could be new items that they just aren’t going to carry the name brand anymore. They will usually give a discount on these to get rid of them.

Tip #5  – The Floor Model

If they only have one of a particular model of appliance left, and it happens to be the floor model, you may be able to work a deal as well. It could even have a scratch or dent too, so that would be double discounts!

Tip#6 – Used appliances

Don’t overlook buying a used appliance, especially if your budget can’t afford a new one right now. My husband and I bought a used chest freezer over 15 years ago for $50. We are still using that freezer today!

There are used appliance stores around and some of them will even give you a 90-day guarantee on the appliances. Most of these appliances have been refurbished and all of them should be guaranteed to work.

There you have the six tips for buying appliances, so be sure and used these tips when you go shopping. Saving money is the goal, so be on the alert and don’t let your want of a new shiny object take over your common sense!

My Motto is “Get What You Need – And Get Out”.

If you live in a small apartment you may want to save money by buying a washer/dryer combination that does not require a dryer vent hose.

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Cash Envelope Method Budgeting

Rhonda Grice No Comments


Cash Envelope Method Budgeting

You want to stay on budget and out get out of debt, but you just can’t seem to stick with it. You may have been diligently budgeting, using Excel or other apps to supposedly count every cent you spend. Yet, even after putting in all your income and expenses, the fact does not change that you still overspend.  You create and strive to maintain a budget and that is certainly commendable, but just writing it on paper isn’t working!  You need the cash envelope method of budgeting!

You’re doing what you can to stay on a budget but the result is the same and you are wondering why. It is probably because there is nothing to actually hold you accountable to that budget. That is, if ever you do not follow your budget, there are no consequences. There is no reward, no repercussions, whether you succeed or not.

The Cash Envelope Method 

The cash envelope method budgeting system is one of the best and most effective budgeting systems you can use.  If you commit yourself to this type of budget control, you will succeed. This tangible method allows you full control over your hard cash but also limits the amount of cash you can spend. You control your spending in such a way that if you run out of cash, then you stop. Here’s how the cash envelope method actually works.

The cash envelope budgeting system is extremely easy and requires just a bit of your time. To start, you need to know your available budget first. You have to find out how much money you have with you after you paid your bills and put some aside for investments and savings. This will be your discretionary budget, the money you can spend until your next paycheck.

Dividing Your Spending into Categories    

List all your expenses into categories on a piece of paper.  List your income and subtract all the expenses.  Don’t forget to have a miscellaneous one for incidentals.  Once you figure out how much money you have left for spending, the next step is to divide it into those categories. Some of the spending areas you can use to categorize your budget include rent, food, gas, clothing, gifts, fun money, etc. To allocate the right amount of money, you can look at your bank statements and past spending to see where you need to cut back and what needs to stay the same.

Create Envelopes and Stuff With Cash 

Once you divide your spending money according to the categories for the entire month it’s time to get the envelopes.  Depending on when you get your paychecks you may have to put some of the budget money for each category in each time you get a paycheck.  Get an envelope for every spending category and write the amount of money you allocated for each on the front of the envelope. Write the name of the category on the front of each envelope as well.  If you can afford to put the entire month’s allotment inside at one time, that is the easiest way.

Be Thrifty 

Use the money inside the envelopes for your spending the whole month. Once you run out of cash, that’s the end of your budget for that period. You will not be able to have any more spending money until the next month. In other words, if you spend all your food budget and there is still a week left in the month, you’d better figure out how to eat on what you have in the house and in the freezer because you aren’t allowed to spend anything more.  When this happens, you will feel compelled to be thrifty in the future and make sure that your cash lasts until the next paycheck, thus preventing you from overspending.

The fact that you have not been accountable to anything for your budget is the biggest flaw of your former budgeting system. Without reward or repercussion for your actions, you will not feel motivated to cut back on your expenses. In addition, those budgeting methods probably just do not work for you. In that case, the cash envelope system might just be the perfect budgeting technique for you.

The reward is having more money and getting out of debt quicker!  You can do this!  Try the cash envelope method as soon as possible.  You will be glad you did!




Homemade Dishwasher Detergent and Toilet Bowl Cleaner Recipes

Rhonda Grice No Comments

Homemade Dishwashing Detergent and Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Homemade Dish Washing Detergent

Making your own cleaners, pet foods, and toiletries can save you a ton of money and there are many recipes for these things online.   The problem with some of them is you have to purchase so many ingredients to make them. Sometimes the expense is well worth it because it makes your cleaner or lotion many times over.

I’ve found that some of the recipes online are not cheaper to make however people love them simply because they are more organic and not full of chemicals. My blog is about saving money so I’m in the process of trying different recipes for money-saving products around-the-house right now.  So far I’ve made dishwashing detergent, toilet bowl bombs, and cat food.

For the cat food recipe, I’ve already written an article about how much it cost and the ingredients needed to make it. For my cat, I made a 40 days supply for around $40.00. You can read it here.

Toilet Bowl Bombs and Regular Dishwashing Pods

The toilet bombs were only a few ingredients and cost me about 90 cents for about 24 of them.  I love them because they fizz and make suds as you brush the bowl. They are also made of ingredients you have at home or can get at any grocery store. Here is the recipe and a video to watch.

The dishwasher detergent, in the beginning, was the same as the toilet bowl bombs because in the video said they could be used for both. I found they were not strong enough to get my dishes as clean as I wanted, so I have made an adjustment to the recipe.  See first recipe and video below.

1 Cup Baking Soda

1/4/Cup Citric Acid (found by canning supplies in grocery store)

1 Tablespoon Liquid Dish Soap

Dry overnight before flipping out of the mold for best results.  I tried doing it sooner and they fell apart.

I was going to make laundry detergent next but decided against it because I only pay $1 for my detergent and it works well for me. I get a bottle at the Dollar General (on their dollar row) that will give me 32 loads and only cost $1. My husband wears uniforms to work and they wash the uniforms.  I work at home on the computer so our clothes aren’t that dirty. If you have children that play out in the dirt you may need to make one.  I can usually get shampoo for $1 and toothpaste as well so I will not be making those products.

$1 soap

32 Loads for $1

The recipe for toilet bowl bombs may work great for your dishwasher as well, however, I have extremely hard water and needed something different.  Here is a recipe for hard water dishwasher detergent.

Dishwashing Detergent (not pods) For Hard Water

2 Cups of Borax

2 Cups Arm and Hammer Washing Powder (not baking soda)

2 Cups Lemi Shine

1 Cup Kosher Sale

All the instructions can be found on a site I love called Simply Designing.  She explains how to mix and store this detergent for best results.  This recipe should last for a long time as you only use 1 tbs per a load of dishes.  Also, I put vinegar in my rinse container instead of Jet Dry and it works great.  Head over there and take a look!



How To Clean Your House and Keep It Clean

Rhonda Grice No Comments
  Cleaning Tips and Supplies General Work From Home

How To Clean Your House and

Keep It Clean

I’m by far NOT the best housekeeper in the world, and frankly, I don’t even like it that much.  However, I love the feeling I get when the house is all picked up and looking good. I learned quickly how to get it all done so that’s why I’ve written about how to clean your house and keep it clean.

Have you ever had company drop by unexpectedly and your house is so messy you feel like hiding in the corner?  Well, I have and I never want to experience that feeling again.  It’s humiliating, frustrating, and embarrassing!  Just having the floors picked up, the bed made, and the kitchen clean makes you feel so much better.

One of the problems some people have is that by the time they “decide” to do something about their mess, it’s in such a state that cleaning it just overwhelms them.  Well, be overwhelmed no more!  I have an easy way to eat that elephant (house cleaning) one bite at a time.

clean your house


Here is the Easiest Way To Clean a Room That’s

Really Messy

Messy Room

How to clean your house and keep it clean may seem like a tall order, but it’s easy if you know an organized way to do it.  Once you get all the rooms like you want them there is a simple solution for keeping them that way, which we will go into later.  First, you must learn how to clean those rooms.

As soon as you are in the room that needs to be cleaned you turn to the left and work your way around the room clockwise.  Pick up and clean from floor to the ceiling all the way around the room.  After that, clean the middle of the room.  In order to do a proper job the first time, take a few boxes or plastic storage tubs into the room.  One box is for things found in the room that actually belongs in another room.  Don’t go put them away as you go.  It’s too many steps and distracts you from cleaning in order.  Another box is for things to pare down and donate to charity. The last box is for anything that is broken or so ruined it just needs to be thrown away.

These boxes won’t be needed for future cleaning because you are going to be picking up each room each day, which takes only a tiny bit of time.  Once I got all my rooms cleaned it was just a matter of straightening every day, with some days dusting and vacuuming.

My System for Cleaning the House and Keeping it Clean

This system is done after I’ve gone through each room clockwise.  Each morning the first thing I do when I wake up make the bed.  This takes about 20 seconds.  Then I head to the kitchen to get some caffeine in my system.  (diet coke for me).  While having my coke I check my emails and get completely woken up.  I work from home, blogging, and writing, so there is no rushing off to commute to another job.

Within 30 minutes I’m ready to get dressed and start picking up the house.  I go through each room and wipe down, dust, or whatever needs to be done.  Since I do this same routine every morning it takes me about 30 – 40 minutes to go through the entire house (2100 sq feet).

I pick one day a week that I do a deeper cleaning.  For me, this is usually Saturday.  Saturday is when I  mop, vacuum, dust, etc.   Laundry is done as needed, not on any particular day.

Just remember there are times when you need to clean out drawers, cabinets, or closets.  If you don’t have time for the whole project, just work on the problem area 20 or 30 minutes at a time.  It will eventually get cleaned.  Many times you will find once you get started you don’t want to quit until it’s completely done.

System For Those Who Need More Structure

Days of the week

If you need more instruction and things written down there is another system I have used in the past.  Take an index card and small index box and write down one chore on each card.  For example, you will have cards similar to those listed below.

  • mop kitchen floor
  • clean microwave
  • clean living room
  • clean toilet
  • dust every room in the house
  • clean out the refrigerator
  • make beds
  • clean off the bedroom dresser

Make tabs for your index box that are for each day of the week.  Divide your workload (cards you made) by 6 and that is how many cards go behind each day’s tabs.  I used 6 days to you would have at least one day a week off from chores. There will be some days your chores can be done in 20 minutes!

Each Monday you do the chores behind that tab, Tuesday the cards behind that tab, and so on.  Many people love this system and have great success with it.  Either system works great, it’s just a matter of being consistent with whichever system you choose.  Even if you choose the index card system you will need to go through each room first using the clockwise system in order to make each room ready to be cleaned.

If you are consistent with either of these systems you will never be overwhelmed by housework again.  Plus, you won’t mind when that unannounced company stops by for a visit.

For Those Who Work Outside the Home

These systems will also work for you, but you have to be a little more creative.  For example, when I worked, I would clean parts of the kitchen while cooking dinner each night.  I would also throw at least one leftover out of the refrigerator each day if there was one.  That way the refrigerator stayed cleaned out.

The bed can be made before heading out to work and the deep cleaning can be reserved for your day off.  If you don’t want to get up 30 minutes early to clean, divide it into two 15 minutes of cleaning.  One before work and one segment after work.  I promise that in time it will all come together beautifully!

If you are tired of working for someone else you may want to think about working from home like I do.   There are many ways to make money at home and I’ve done several.   Right now my income is from blogging and writing.  I not only write books that I sell on Amazon, I write content for clients for their websites.  I’ve been doing this for years.  My favorite writing is for this blog because I can write about what I love and write about things I believe will truly help people have a fuller and richer life.

Blogging is a fun and lucrative endeavor if you have a passion for a subject.  There is always something you know that others don’t that you could share with them.  But, blogging is not something you make money in overnight.  It’s a side business for most in the beginning while they build their social media following and subscribers to their site.

I started this blog for around $60 and that paid for hosting for a full year and my domain!  In some cases it can be done for less, I chose to pay for a year at one time so I would not have to worry about any bills the first year.  Bluehost is the company I use for my hosting service and when I paid for the entire year they gave me my domain name (name of my website) for a full year for free!

Here are some of the inexpensive plans that they have for starting a blog.  I used to use another service and it cost me more than twice this amount!

Hostgator price plans

As you can see the price of starting your own blogging business at home is not expensive at all!  I don’t remember which Bluehost Plan I started with, but they are all priced really well.  Even if you start with just the basic plan you can upgrade at any time so there are no worries on that.

WordPress is the user-friendly blog management service I use on my Hostgator website and it’s completely free!  There are instructions on Hostgator on how to install it, but if you are still unsure, feel free to ask me and I”ll walk you through it.  It only takes a couple of minutes.  If I can learn how to blog, you can learn too!

With your house clean all the time you have plenty of time left for making money with your brand new blog!


I will be publishing a guide I’m working on soon about how to get your blog on the fast track.  Be looking for it.   Sign up to the Family Dollar Newsletter and be alerted with all the upcoming news and blog post.  That way you won’t miss anything!  Sign up here and get your free copy of “Get Out of The Kitchen”, an e-book on saving time and money in the kitchen.












How to Make Homemade Cat Food

Rhonda Grice No Comments
  Budget and Savings Food Uncategorized

Learn How To Make Your Own Cat Food

In Less Than 15 Minutes



Making your own cat food only takes about 15 to 20 minutes and it’s enough to last 3 to 6 weeks, depending on how much you feed your cat.  I saw the video below on how to make cat food but instead of using salmon, I substituted Mackerel because it’s half the price.  In the end, my batch of cat food cost me around $8.00 to make and it was enough for 40 days for my cat.

Here are the ingredients I used to make the cat food.

1 can of mackerel

2 cans of sardines (in water or oil)

1 large can of chicken (can use fresh if want to)

1 package of frozen mixed vegetables (pets need veggies)

2 cups of cooked oatmeal (pets need this grain)

Carrots (some people like to grate carrots and cook with the mixed veggies)(optional)

I threw the frozen veggies in the microwave right in the bag and cooked them.  Once they are done you can mix them in a food processor or just mash them up real good. (make sure they are soft for the cat)  Add all the canned meats (with some liquid), the oatmeal, and veggies all together in one large bowl.  The oatmeal only takes three minutes to cook and can be cooking while you are opening cans, etc.  This really doesn’t take long at all!

That’s how easy it is to make homemade cat food.  For storage of the food, there are two options.  Keep a couple of weeks in the refrigerator in a container with a lid, or freeze.  Since my cat eats dry and wet foods I decided to freeze mine.  I made patties out of the mixture and then put the patties between wax paper.  After I had the patties all on their own wax paper I lay them on a cookie sheet and froze them.  Once the patties were frozen I was able to put all the patties (each wrapped in wax paper) into a gallon bag for easy retrieval.

I take about two patties out of the freezer at a time because I only feed my cat 1/2 a patty per day, so two patties will last her four days.  This way the rest of the mix stays frozen and fresh for her.

Here is the video I based my recipe off of.  Enjoy!  Find other ways to save money by saving on groceries.

17 Famous Quotes From Entrepreneurs

Rhonda Grice No Comments
  Encouragement General positive thinking

  Put That Fire Back In Your Life

With These 17 Inspirational Quotes

All PostsEntr


It doesn’t matter if you want a successful home business, a franchise, or just be the best mom you can be, because your outcome is all in the attitude and belief you have in yourself, and what you are trying to accomplish.  We all have ideas.  Heck, I have tons of them every day, but acting on them is something totally different.  Believing you can accomplish them and putting those beliefs into action is the hard part.  Using famous quotes to help keep you going will help you succeed just like the originator of the quotes.  They believe them for a reason.

Even those of us who start out with a bang sometimes lose our pep and fire after a few problems come our way.  The important thing to remember is that in order to keep on going on you must have a daily dose of encouragement.  This encouragement can come through positive thinking books,  videos, or even quotes like the ones below.  Copy some of these quotes and pin them up in the house where you can see them everywhere you go.

Living frugally isn’t always easy, nor is making a living from a home business, but it’s out there if you believe in yourself!  Whatever it is you want to accomplish you can start today.  Don’t worry about past mistakes or what family and friends may say.  Just follow your dreams!

17 Quotes To Take To Heart

“People don’t care about your business. They care about their problems.  Be the solution that they are looking for.  Quote from Melonie Dodara who is from Top Dog Social Media.

“Life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams than you are to your comfort zone.” Quote from People at

The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” By Vince Lombardi

It always seems impossible Until it is done.”  By Nelson Mandela

Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”  By Les Brown and the Self-employed single mum.

“Action is the foundational key to all success.”  By Pablo Picasso

“No dream is too big: no dreamer is too small.  Be Inspired. By Jeromy Shingongo at The marketing academy for small business.

“Make your passion your paycheck.” By Women Businesses.

“Ideas are easy.  Implementation is hard.”  By Guy Kawasaki

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”  By Henry Ford

“Always deliver more than expected. By Larry Page, co-founder of Google.

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.

“Don’t worry about funding if you don’t need it. Today it’s cheaper to start a business than ever.” Noah Everett, founder Twitpic.

“Entrepreneurship is neither a science nor an art. It is a practice.” Peter Drucker, management consultant, educator, and author.

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” Dr.Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich.

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” Napoleon Hill

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune” Jim Rohn

Scripture of Encouragement

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Start Your Own Gift Basket Business From Your Home

Rhonda Grice No Comments

You Can Have A Gift Basket Business and Get Started On a Shoestring!

gift basket business


Many people today are looking for ways to work from home and have a business that they can grow at their own pace.  A gift basket business is one of these exciting ways to change your life for the better!  The good news is that it doesn’t take much money to get started and it’s a fun way to make money.

Gift baskets are easy to make and there are many different ways to make them look beautiful.  If you just want to make gift baskets for your friends and family you can read about it in this article.

gift basket

There are so many types of gift baskets you can offer, including the nut basket above.  And don’t forget all the holidays that come up each and every year.  Everyone is a possible customer. My sister has taken her homemade gift baskets and simply walked into a firehouse right before Valentines or Mother’s day and made a killing.  However, that was just a simple part-time venture and to set up a true gift basket business has a lot more to it.

There is only one person I know of that has a very successful gift basket business, and that is Rita Wilhelm.  Rita had sales of $6300 in her first four months.  Her business is now set up to do a quarter of a million dollars per year!  That’s some real money! Rita has admitted she started her business in one of her spare bedrooms in her home.

Rita has a course that teaches you everything you need to know about selling gift baskets for a business.  She explains how she got started on a shoestring and which types of baskets sell the best.  There is even a video to help you get started.

Rita shows you how to sell to big corporations and what you should charge.  And she also gives you a list of great wholesale suppliers.  Last, but not least, Rita gives you a crash course in marketing, which is the crux of any business.

If you want to know more about this great opportunity with Rita then please click here.  


Scripture of Encouragement

Romans 8:28

All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.



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