Issue 1, Number 5, May 2009
It’s not yet officially summer until next month but it sure feels like it. The days are getting longer, new produce is arriving in stores and garden and yard products are already on sale. Sounds like the perfect time to save some money. And I hope this newsletter also gives you more ideas about how you can stretch your budget.
Health and Beauty
I made a return visit to the local Fantastic Sams hair salon last week and got another great hair cut for $9.99, plus more coupons for future visits. Getting and keeping your hair in great shape sometimes costs money so I asked top hair artist Kenneth Darrell of Studio 627 in Murfreesboro, TN, to give us some tips on how to look great without breaking the bank.
Budget Smart Girl (BSG)-What are some bargain priced hair care products that you’d recommend?
Kenneth Darrell (KD)-When you’re shopping for hair care products on a tight budget, I like the Pantene brand. They are effective and price point friendly.
BSG-Are there any products, for example, pre-conditioners that you can skip and save yourself some money?
KD-One of the best places to save money, time, and to actually help the condition of your hair is to examine the condition of the water that you are washing your hair in. Many times people will waste time and money on deep conditioning treatments when the problem is not with their hair but rather with the water they wash it in. Hard water minerals and metal deposits can make hair feel damaged. Solution….. buy a gallon of distilled water to wash your hair in or use a water softener for your water system.
BSG-Any tips on trimming your own hair? I know I put off trips to the salon by cutting my own hair and end up with one side longer than the other.
KD-The best way to cut your hair at home is to concentrate on “trimming the dead ends only” rather than removing real length. Removing length should be left to a pro. However, you can extend the time between professional cuts by removing just the last 1/8 inch of the “dead ends” of the hair. This will keep the hair looking healthy until your professional cut.
BSG-Any tips for making your hair color last longer?
KD-The best way to extend the life of your color service is simple… treat your hair just like a delicate fabric… wash it in cold water and avoid excess sun exposure. Hot water will fade your color and UV light from the sun will oxidize it.
BSG-Any tips for styling or products that can cover up roots if you don’t want to go to the salon so frequently?
KD-Simple retouches can be done at home between professional services. The trick is… keep the retouch on the roots only! And remember the golden rule of hair color…. you can always go darker, so let that fact guide you in your color selection.
BSG-How about children’s hair, some people say it’s easy to cut and you don’t need the expense of a salon but is that good advice?
KD-Children’s hair is perhaps the most difficult type of hair to cut. Kids have a hard time sitting still for very long, so that presents a moving target for the stylist. Also, in very young children the hair has not matured yet and can be quite fine making it difficult to cut without revealing flaws. All that being said; the time to begin to take your kids to a pro is when it becomes important to them as to how their hair looks. For some they couldn’t care less… cut them yourself. For others it is critical to their self image… take them to a pro!
BSG-Any new fashion, hair cuts that are going to be the hot new thing this summer or fall?
KD-This year identifying the hot new look in hair couldn’t be more simple!! Just add bangs! If you don’t already have them, consider adding to them for a more dramatic look. Add this to any hair style and you’re instantly “trendy!”
Check Out A Product
I love trying new beauty products but sometimes I’m nervous about spending money on something I might not like. I found this site that seems to have the answer. It has product reviews, all the latest news and yes, free samples too. www.totalbeauty.com
And speaking of free samples, next time you’re in a department store and thinking about buying a new lipstick, cleanser etc, ask if they have a free sample you can try first.
Memorial Day kicked off grilling season and heading outside for a party or two. One of the biggest budget busters is having all the food and decorations and then getting caught in a downpour. So here, Penny Warner with Balloon Time Helium Balloon Kits www.balloontime.com offers suggestions for the perfect outdoor summer party-
Choose a theme
No matter what the weather, choose a theme for your outdoor party and decorate accordingly. Popular summer themes include a Garden Party, Pool Party, Beach Party, Neighborhood Block Party, Barbeque, Tailgate Party, or Fourth of July celebration.
Next, gather the decorations, but don’t actually decorate until day of the party. Because the weather could change overnight, prepare portable decorating items that can be moved indoors quickly. Helium-inflated balloons make the best decorations, as they add color, cheer and atmosphere to any party theme. If you use a Balloon Time Helium Balloon Kit, you can decorate quickly and easily at the last minute – indoors or out. Then add other touches related to your theme, such as potted flowers for a Garden Party, beach balls for a Pool or Beach Party, or American flags for a Fourth of July Party.
Here are some additional solutions for weather concerns:
- Set an alternate “Rain Location” on the invitation to alert guests to a possible change of venue.
- Reserve an indoor location as a backup, in case you need to move your party inside. Ask if you can pay a deposit so you don’t have to lose the entire amount for the reservation.
- Invite only as many guests as you can comfortably entertain inside your house in case you need to move inside at the last minute.
- Rent a tent or canopy – it adds fun, elegance and drama to your party, even in good weather. And it makes great protection if the temperatures soar.
- Rent heaters or fans to keep the guests warm if the weather is cool – and keep them cool if it gets too hot.
- Rent individual umbrellas or parasols for fun and protection.
- Go back in time and check the calendar, to see what your odds are for a good weather day. Then play the odds!
- Be sure to weigh or tie down decorations if the day turns windy.
In The Garden
On a recent trip to Home Depot, I noticed they have a newsletter you can sign up for. I’m not sure if it just contains tips and ideas, but I’m guessing they might offer news about upcoming sales and free DIY classes too.
Seems like it’s been weeks since we’ve had a good rainfall and that means using water to keep the grass happy. One way round a water ban and yes, spending money on water is to remove the grass and replace it with something more drought tolerant. I found this site www.stepables.com. Type in the features you want, like low growing, drought tolerant and it gives you a list of suggestions.
What’s Up with the Lawn?
Seems like my lawn always has some problem and most of the time I just don’t know what to do. Check out www.thelawninstitute.org for some answers.
Growing Your Own Food
It’s the big thing this year and if you think you don’t have enough space or time to grow your own veggies, here are two suggestions. Just the other day I dusted off the cobwebs from the hanging baskets and pots I keep from year to year. Normally I fill them with annuals but this year I’m thinking about planting things like tomato and pepper plants. And if the idea of growing food year round appeals to you, check out the Aero Garden outlet www.aerogardenoutlet.com. They offer overstock products and daily specials.
Manage My Home
And yes, if you’re a homeowner you know all too well that there’s always something that needs fixing. Yes, it can cost you a fortune every time a professional has to visit your home to fix it. However, check out www.managemyhome.com I’m not suggesting you do every repair job yourself, but the site has lots of great information on where to start and when to call in outside help.
I Don’t Do Windows
Just the other day, the sun was shining and I realized the outside of the windows are in need of a good clean. Not one of my favorite chores but Windex has a new way to make the task just that more enjoyable. Check out www.windexoffer.com to get a $2.50 coupon off a starter kit.
Worth Checking Out
A couple of months ago I was standing in the checkout at the supermarket and noticed a new publication called Dollar Savvy. Seems they not only have a book but a Web site too, check it out at www.getdollarsavvy.com
In the Kitchen
One thing I love about summer is all the wonderful produce. Yesterday I got a great deal on some cherries and last week I bought a large bag of green beans. Yes, I was intending to blanch and freeze the beans, but let’s just say we’ve been eating green beans almost every day. If you do have the time and the extra cash to buy more produce, now’s a great time to do some canning or even putting items in the freezer for future meals. Who knows when prices will go up again.
Looking for A Budget Recipe
Check out this government site http://recipefinder.nal.usda.gov The best thing is you can find a recipe by menu items, cooking equipment and also by cost.
Check Out This Book
I found this book at the library and thought I’d check it out-
The Everything Budgeting Book by Tere Stouffer
ISBN: 159869-631-9 $14.95
It has lots of worksheets you can use to help plan your budget. Some of the chapters include- saving money on groceries, reducing your biggest expenses, moving to a smaller house. And there are some special chapters on topics like surviving unemployment, changing your budget after you turn 50, saving for retirement, and a great one about staying motivated while you’re on a budget.
Years ago I had trouble finding articles about saving money, but I’m happy to say that’s no longer a problem. Here are some of the topics I found this month-
If you’re thinking about a warehouse membership, not only will this article help you decide if it’s worth it, but it gives a chart showing price comparisons for the major warehouses.
Yes, even Budget Smart Girls waste money from time to time. Check out this list-
Swap and Save
I found this on YahooUK about how swapping certain items can save you money-
A Brand New World
The global recession has definitely changed the way we shop and this article gives you tips on buying items in the new economy
Next Month-Ways to save money on travel, some summer recipes and sites that help you save money. Have a great month and be sure to send me your money saving tips to share with other readers.