I love cold cereal and I go through quite a few boxes in a month but they take up a lot of room, it is nice to have ideas on hand for ways to use them.

Instead of buying waxed paper, there is an alternative out there and it sits in your kitchen cupboard just waiting to be used and abused. Besides the fact you can't recycle the interior liners.

From one cereal manufacturer:

Cereal Liner bags are predominantly made of HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) which unfortunately is not a recyclable material. For this reason, Kellogg's® is continually working towards reducing the amount of material that is used to manufacture the liners, whilst still maintaining our high level of product integrity, which meets each of the requirements listed above.
Most of these are one time uses, but cereal liners are handy so you don't have to buy waxed paper:

x Store bread ends for bread crumbs
x Cut to the size of your cake and then put the frosted letters on the liner and freeze, then peel off the letters and place on your cake
x Roll into a funnel and pour your spices into the little jars
x Crush nuts and graham crackers in them
x Use as a cover for nuking items in the microwave
x Line the top of cabinets that don't go to the ceiling for easier cleanup
x Cover your cutting board with a liner or two to cut down on meat juice soaking into the cutting board
x Wrap a piece of liner around the cork to cooking wine for easier removal
x Use in freezer to protect food products from moisture and preserve freshness
x Easy to wash and reuse due to their sturdiness
x Freeze meat in them
x Place food on to cool, such as cookies
x Use for your lunch to place your sandwich in
x Roll out your pie or cookie dough on an opened bag
x Use to separate meat, cheese and other food products
x Cover your hand and push down rice krispy bars

Now as for the cereal boxes here are a few items to try:

☼ The standard use as a magazine holder. Just cut diagonally in half.
☼ Cut them up into hundreds of bookmarks, punch a hole in the top and add a ribbon
☼ Open them up, tape the creases open and you have a temporary placemat or something to color on.
☼ A mystery gift box for clothing
☼ Fill with shredded paper and use as a lightweight box filler when shipping
☼ Give them to kids for playing house and shopping
☼ Great for the block builder in your family, and cheaper too.
☼ Cut off the back and flaps and use as a temporary tray
Store your plastic bags, printer paper and other desktop items
☼ Use them as backing in frames for posters and pictures
☼ A quick file folder or mouse pad

I hope these have been of help - what other ideas do you have I haven't mentioned?

I was reading through a post over at Modern Mechanix: Fun with Balloons and it reminded me of some of the ways my mom would keep us kids from being bored during the summer. Playing basketball with a wastebasket and volleyball with a line stretched across the livingroom, this seemed to keep us out of mom's hair for a while, or until someone cheated.

The other idea from Modern Mechanix - Spike the potato however, looks to be more of an adult game. But it got me thinking about some other unique ways to entertain children and adults that are free.

Beanbag game - use different colored socks tied up with rice for teams and cut out holes in different cardboard boxes and stack them up, marking them for points

Playing Charades - With at least 4 people you can decide on a topic and act out the words to everyone's enjoyment.

Bottle Bowling - Now with plastic containers it isn't as breakable. Set up soda bottle, in the hallway or garage, in bowling pin order (4-3-2-1) and a small ball, have a box or blanket hanging down in the back to catch the ball.

3 legged races - Working in unison to run from one end of the driveway, or a soft landing area, to the other plus turning around and going back.

Bat Spin race - Splitting in two teams, run to each teams own bat, put your head on the top and spin around it a number of times and run back to the next team member.

Any kind of boardgames can be pulled out to play and card games are always easy to start. At my Grandparents gatherings there would always be an someone willing to play speed solitaire - just remember to cut your nails.

One game that was played at college gatherings didn't have a name - but I called it the 9 magazine game - online they have the rules and call it "simulated psychic"- But you need two people who are in on game. A "sender" and a "receiver" - The "sender" and "receiver" imagine that the cover of each magazine is divided into 9 regions, each region corresponding to one of the 9 magazines. The "sender" taps on the region corresponding to the designated magazine.
Picture Memory - Show a picture for 30 seconds and have everyone study it. Then turn it over and everyone writes down as much of the picture as they remember - the one with the most wins.

Picture Memory 2 - Paste matching pictures on juice can lids and turn them over, shuffle and find the matching pair in the fastest time.

Building Playing Card Towers - It is amazing what people can do and they have competitions to determine a champion card stacker [video]

What other games have you played, as adult or child, that you enjoyed?

Initially when I finally felt comfortable selling my junk online I went with the big name at the time which was eBay and back in the 90's and early 00's it all worked out well. Then craigslist came on the scene and a new way of selling items opened up. Both have their good points and both have some bad points.

eBay Pros and Cons
+ People fight over your stuff, making the price go up
+ There is a time limit to the sale
+ Quick payments possible and easy shipping
+ Sell nationwide or worldwide
+ You set the price you are willing to pay

- Fees on the listing and the sold item
- Feedback (only buyers can leave negative feedback)
- Some people are not as they appear online (fraud)
- Hard to sell large items

Craigslist Pros and Cons
+ You set the timetable for the sale
+ You can sell large items for pickup
+ You usually take cash only
+ Face to Face transactions
+ No fees to Craigslist
+ Find bargains and be able to barter down in price

- Sell only locally in most cases
- People email but don't show - pushing the timetable to later
- Going to some unknown persons home
- People are looking for a bargain/bartering
- Many people don't cancel their ad once sold
- May need a truck to transport

Through both websites you will get a better response by taking a picture of your item, so having access to a camera is best. Also I put bartering in the pro and con for craigslist since it can be great if you are comfortable with it or be scary to deal with and you sell it for lower than you wanted.

Overall I have had both good and bad experiences as a seller and a buyer via Craigslist and eBay.

Ebay Experiences -
- As a seller I have had a bad check sent to me; now I call the bank to see if funds are in the account before mailing off the item. I have also had buyers say they didn't receive what they bought. Sometimes I call their bluff and they don't fight me, other times I file insurance claims and give them a portion refund.
- The best part is finding a hard to find item (older, out of stock) that isn't available at any garage sale.

Craigslist Experiences -
- As a buyer it has been frustrating to contact people who sold an item and didn't remove their listing or who list an item but don't give a picture or price unless you email them, it's an extra step that I don't care to make.
- As a seller the most common issue are people not showing or calling at the last minute and wanting me to hold and item for another day when I have 12 other contacts.
- I have met some wonderful people in the process of selling and buying, none have made me feel uneasy and the transaction went smoothly.

Ultimately, I find eBay is useful for small items, name brand clothes, new in package items and collectibles and Craigslist is useful for furniture, housewares, exercise equipment and other used items. What doesn't work after a few weeks on this sites is given away free via freecycle or ReUseIt.

What are your experiences with eBay and Craigslist - both Good and Bad?

I know many people have kids and like to find ideas for saving money, and since I don’t have children I have turned to one person I know who has some history with raising 3 kids...I would like to introduce Linda (my mother) and her ideas and tips she learned raising us kids.


When we were first married and expecting our first child, I bought a portable sewing machine, which I used to make simple things like cafe' curtains (with straight lines) and maternity clothes (didn't need to be perfectly fitted). If a person is good at sewing (I wasn't), this would be a good way to save money on clothes, curtains, upholstery, gifts, or household decorations, depending on the level of competency; or if you can take sewing, tailoring or upholstering classes. Some expectant mom's make receiving blankets, quilts, changing pads and burp pads, and even cloth diapers, as well as baby clothes.

Although my grandmother purchased the first crib we had, I acquired most other baby equipment (bedding, strollers, car seat, infant seat, buggy, diapers) from garage sales or classified ads. It was more my style to go to garage sales, not only for bargains, but for an outing. As well as baby and kids' clothes, I would look for good quality household goods and appliances, toys and furniture. I would clean up and sterilize anything that I felt needed it. I would also shop at Goodwill, Salvation Army and consignment stores for things, including clothes for myself.

One time I bought some exceptionally good quality baby clothes from a woman who had only one son who was about a year older than our son. After making an initial purchase from her, I would contact her whenever I needed a certain size or type of clothing. Because they were both a little "chunky", I was able to have a good resource for clothing for my son, until we moved away from that town. So, if you find a garage sale or someone selling clothing that has kids a little older than yours, it's a possible resource for ongoing purchases.

Except for one car that we bought new in 1970, which we paid off in less than the allotted time, we have bought only good, used, pre-owned cars....usually from individual owners who kept good maintenance records, rather than from dealers. When we bought from a dealer, it was usually one we knew and trusted to give us a fair deal.

For a few years, we didn't have a TV in the house (and have never had cable). Besides allowing us to use our imaginations for entertainment, it cut down on many of the things we thought we "had to have", from constant exposure to commercials.

For entertainment, the kids and I would make frequent trips to the library & participate in reading programs and bring home books and videos. I watched the newspaper and listened to the radio for announcements of free activities for kids to participate in at the mall or elsewhere. The kids took part in the local Parks & Recreation Dept. sports, Red Cross swimming lessons and drama programs, rather than participating in more expensive leagues or belonging to country clubs. My husband doesn't golf, so we haven't had THAT expense, either.

Vacations were usually to the grandparents' or aunts' & uncles' homes. Sometimes we took our tent on a camping trip, but that wasn't a big favorite of ours. Some families love to go camping and fishing, though, which can provide some less expensive quality time together. A nearby Sears store would sometimes have refrigerator or washer boxes that we could take home for the kids to play with. We would pick up "grownup clothes" or "fancy" clothes, from garage sales, which the kids used for putting on plays or playing "pretend".

We didn't have pets very often, as they can be expensive to maintain, with medical concerns as well as food and grooming supplies, and any damage the pet might do to a neighbor's property. However, they can serve a good purpose in teaching responsibility to kids, as well as providing companionship.

I exchanged babysitting with a friend, so each of us could get out to do some volunteer work, shopping, going to appointments or working a few part-time hours. This gave the kids some social time together, and we moms would sometimes combine our leftovers for impromptu lunches or make lunches for each other that we both enjoyed but the husbands didn't care for. It kept us from always taking the kids to McDonald's.

I clipped coupons for food, health & beauty products, cleaning products, restaurants or 2 for 1 admission to entertainment places. I would stock up on things that we used frequently, when there was a good sale; especially if I also had a coupon for it! We had hair cuts done at the local school of cosmetology, although hubby preferred the barber.

We only bought a small amount of soda pop, which we saved to have when we fixed homemade pizza on Friday or Saturday nights, instead of ordering delivery pizza. We would eat out once every couple weeks, but usually only at places where I had coupons.

Because we lived in a college town, many people would move out of apartments, Greek houses and dormitories at the end of semesters, discarding assorted items at the curbside. Sometimes we would find decent-looking furniture or a mattress that we would take home for a tumbling mat. Departing international students would also advertise household furnishings and cars for sale, so some good "deals" could often be found that way.

I don't do gardening, but some people like to grow their own food to freeze or can. I've read that it's sometimes a wash, as far as saving any money by having a garden, and sometimes commercially frozen vegetables are fresher than home-grown, if the home-grown ones aren't tended to immediately after picking, but if you've made an initial outlay for canning equipment or already have a freezer, you can try it and see what you think.

Flowers planted in the yard can be used as gifts for friends' birthdays or for people in the hospital. Since I don't have a flower garden, I take my own vases, that I've received flowers in or have bought inexpensively at garage sales or Salvation Army stores, and have flowers arranged in them by the florist. I don't know if all florists will do that, but it's a lot less expensive, since you aren't purchasing a vase at retail price, too.

I still look for programs at libraries, community colleges and medical centers that have free talks and discussions on finances, investing, travel or health topics of interest to me.

I read through the money section of yahoo answers and there are people asking for ideas to make money. Usually the best way to make money is to turn something you enjoy doing and find a way to make money off of it.

For instance, if you enjoy reading books see if you can be paid to read books to seniors or children (sometimes volunteering gets you in the door for a paid job), find places online that will pay you for book reviews or contact publishers directly to read, review and publish your own blog with book reviews.

Some people find joy is filling out surveys and making some extra cash for the month to put away for gifts, entertainment and bills. I tried my hand at making money with comic books but that didn't work out so well. However, if you have an eye for it and the knowledge you could turn any collectible into money by shopping smart at thrift stores and garage sales.

However, when I see questions like the above I like to toss out a site I ran across a few years ago (no affiliation): Unusual Ways To Make Money- I just find the site a way to get my own brain to stir up ideas that might work for me. But sometimes I just like to read through some of the unusual ways people make money, true stories or not.

Hunting Diamonds In Parking Lots
The temperature changes your jewelry experiences getting in and out of cars and buildings cause diamonds to come loose from their settings. This makes parking lots one of the most common places that diamonds are lost. One older couple I read about become so good at telling the difference (from a distance!) between the sparkle of a diamond and bits of glass that they regularly take early morning walks in mall parking lots for a second income.

Selling Stuffed Animals
At a campfire in the desert last winter, my wife and I met a man who sells stuffed animals on the side of the highway. When we saw him again, in his van full of stuffed animals, I pressed him for details. He buys used stuffed animals at thrift stores in bulk and then sells them alongside the highway.

A former co-worker had a part-time job selling home-made walking sticks and canes made from wood. He would take long walks in the woods and find the best, thickest sticks and turn them into one of a kind canes and walking sticks that he sold for a hundred dollars each. To him it was fun and a nice side business.

Overall, quick money is hard to make unless it is illegal or you already have the product on hand, such as selling your personal goods at a yard sale or online. But making money can be possible, with a desire for what you want to work on and a good dash of patience.

The following is a guest post by Kathryn Vercillo.


A quick scan through the recent headlines for news about coupons will reveal that there have been a number of problems related to printable coupon fraud recently. In addition to these problems, there have been problems with excessive printing of downloaded coupons which have caused havoc at various stores (the KFC coupon situation being the most notable case). These issues have created financial losses for many businesses. Perhaps what we’re going to find is that printable coupons will soon be a thing of the past as they get replaced with more modern coupons that are less likely to inspire these problems. The manufacturing and use of both online promotional codes and mobile coupons are growing rapidly which may be a way to help combat Internet coupon fraud.

General Problems with Internet Coupon Fraud

There are many different types of Internet coupon fraud that exist. The most common types of coupon fraud that exist are:

  • Coupon fraudster use computer technology to manipulate the barcodes on their coupons. They change the barcode so that they get more money back than they are supposed to get.
  • Websites create fake coupons and post them. Innocent customers then download the coupons and try to use them at the stores that they belong to. Cashiers may be confused by the coupons and go ahead and redeem them even though they are not legitimate coupons.
  • Photocopying of legal coupons. Downloadable coupons intended only for members of certain clubs or people who have purchased certain items may be printed out and then photocopied.

This fraud costs manufacturers and store owners millions of dollars each year. As a result of this, a number of stores have decided to no longer honor coupons printed from the Internet. Many other stores seem to be leaning in that direction.

Coupon Codes and Mobile Coupons Could be the Solution

One solution to the problem of coupon fraud could be to get away from the use of printable coupons. There are two core technologies that are making this possible today. The first, and currently the more popular of the two, is the use of online promotional codes for getting discounts when shopping online. The second, and perhaps the one likely to see more growth, is the developing use of mobile coupons. Both types of technologies may offer a way for consumers to get discounts on their purchases without putting companies at so much risk of coupon fraud.

The general problems of Internet coupon fraud simply don’t exist with coupon codes and mobile coupons. That’s because those problems are all related to the manipulation of a printed coupon. With promo codes and mobile coupons, there simply isn’t anything to print out. It is a lot more difficult to manipulate the barcode on a mobile coupon (which is a coupon scanned directly on your mobile phone) or to make any functional changes to the promo code of a website.

There is also considerably less room for human error when it comes to redeeming coupon codes and mobile coupons. With discount codes, either the code works when it’s entered into the computer or it doesn’t. With mobile coupons, the coupon is entered through the mobile phone so it isn’t redeemed directly by a cashier. This means that a lot of the coupon fraud that currently relies on benefiting from the confusion of cashiers is simply not going to exist when redeeming promo codes and mobile coupons.

Will This End Coupon Fraud?

Switching over from printable coupons to these new forms of non-printable coupons is likely to reduce or eliminate coupon fraud as we know it. However, there are always going to be criminals that find new ways of committing fraud so it’s unlikely that coupon fraud will be terminated completely even if we all make a total switch to using non-printable coupons. Despite this, there are some reasons why non-printable coupons are going to be safer in terms of fraud risk than are their printable counterparts:

  • Initially it will be more difficult for coupon fraudsters to manipulate these types of non-printable coupons. It’s fairly easy to learn to photocopy and manipulate a printable coupon or to create a fake coupon but it’s going to be more difficult for criminals to figure out how to manipulate or create usable coupon codes.
  • Moreover, it is likely that coupons based on modern technology will change more rapidly than general Internet coupons which will cause fraudsters to have to continually stay on top of their game in adapting their scams to the new types of coupons that are being created.
  • It will be easier to catch people that are using fraudulent coupons. There is going to be a considerably stronger link to these people because of the fact that the coupons are used online or through phones which can both be tracked. Additionally, the purchased items will be paid for with a credit card, online banking system or mobile payment method which will be easy to track. This is not the case with a printed coupon that is taken to a store where the item purchased is paid for in cash.

This should all mean that there will be an overall reduction in losses due to coupon fraud even though some level of coupon fraud will continue to exist.

Kathryn is a writer for Promotionalcodes.org.uk which gives away free discount deals (like this Debenhams promotional code) and also publishes money saving tips.

TIP- If you want to shop without a crowd, Tuesdays are the least crowded day of the week, according to a study by Progressive Grocer


Flowers- They enhance the image of a store, consumers walk in to something that is pretty, smells great and builds the notion of fresh.

Produce- To create a tempting sensory experience. "Stores need to communicate to shoppers that produce is fresh or people won't buy anything."
- Reach to the back or top to buy the freshest. Buy produce during the week, since most deliveries are Monday through Friday.

Bakery- "The bakery gets your salivary glands going, this makes you feel hungry, and the hungrier you are the more you buy."
-Shop after a meal or have a snack before you go.

Grab-n-Go Items- To get back business lost to convenience stores.
Bank- To get more money in the hands of the shopper, so they will spend it.
- Set a budget before you shop or bring a calculator(I do this) to keep a running tally.


Endcap displays- Product manufacturers pay for prominent "endcap" placement- on the ends of the aisles- to advertise a new or popular product.
- These displays don't always mean a discount, a lot of times, these displays are only new items or in season item.

"Retail-tainment"-Free sample stations, demonstrations and displays, slow you down while also exposing your to new products.
- To avoid unnecessary hunger-driven purchases, head right the the free samples if you arrive at the store on an empty stomach.

Deli/Coffee Bar- If you're hungry for lunch, you will shop in a hurry, but if you have lunch in the store you will stay and relax, thus going back to buy a little more.

Pharmacy- If you are filling a prescription, you need to wait, spend more time, and pickup another item to purchase.
- Drop off prescriptions before you start shopping to minimize idle waiting. If possible, call ahead with the pill order, so you can run in and buy it right away.


General merchandise/canned goods- They draw the shopper deeper into the store and expose them to nonessential items along the way.
- Stay focused by making a list.


Dairy products/eggs/meat- Stores typically put these items in the farthest reaches of the store to expose shoppers to the maximum amount of product on their "quick trip" so they will buy impulsively.
- Take eggs and milk from the back of the case for the freshest, older merchandise tends to be pushed forward.

Registers/exits- To turn waiting time into buying time. this is the most profitable area of the store.
TIP- Express doesn't always mean faster. Studies have shown that the wait in the "express" lane is almost identical to the regular check wait- 3minutes 11seconds.

Shelf Layout

Top-- Smaller brands, regional brands and gourmet brands. The top shelf is usually chosen by the store management.
- If you'd like your store to stock a particular item on this shelf, talk to the manager

Shelf 2/3 (going down)- Best sellers and other leading brands. This is the "bulls-eye" zone and the manufacturer's may have paid for this space. There's no advantage for the supermarket to show your the lowest-priced item in the most effective spot.
TIP- Look below the target zone for similar products for a lot less.

Kid's eye level- Products with kid appeal are here.
TIP- Leave the kids home if possible.

Bottom- Store and private label brands, oversize and bulk items. People who buy store brands will always hunt for them, so the supermarkets can place them out of the line of sight.
- Many times the same manufacturer that makes the branded product often make the store brand as well. And when buying bulk items, don't go overboard and end up wasting the food and money.

This last week brought about a lot of change, but not just for myself but for a little girl who was removed from a Puppy mill.
Hope has come into our home to bring love, smiles and much needed exercise. Hope is 8 years old and tooth-less with her first major grooming coming up in a week. We believe she is a Maltese who is the best lap dog, yet when you set her down she takes off like a coiled spring.

We look forward to the distraction, love and are prepared for the regular medical and grooming needs. Planning ahead definitely eases the burden a bit.


Q:If you refuse to show your ID at the store when giving a credit card, can the store refuse to the sale?

A: According to MasterCard and according to card issuer rules, if it's signed, the retailer must accept the card on its face. Report them to your card issuer immediately if the store owner doesn't agree.

▓ If you go to thrift stores, garage sales or buy online postal stamps of older denominations you may save yourself some money and if you pick up some stamps that don't have a denomination of them you can check all of the non-denominated (unmarked) U.S. stamps at Alphabetilately

▓ Did you miss the special on tv called Unbroke: What You Need To Know About Money?
I missed it and was glad to find that two PF bloggers who give different perspectives on the show. Free from Broke talks about Unbroke, with videos and Lazy Man and Money broke down the show minute by minute

▓ Think taking a lunch to work every day isn't saving you much money? One man saved up his lunch money for 10 years and got this. (@getoutofdebtguy)

In order for us to live a more frugal life and live below our means it requires that we re-use items instead of going out to buy something new. However, does that mean that our frugality causes us to live in a cluttered house?

There are many uses for bread bags, shower curtains, plastic containers, glass jars and so on. But does that mean that we have to keep it all. Will the guilt be to much to bear if we throw away an item? What are a good number of items to keep for re-use? Is it three, five or one?

It is true that before you toss something you want to pause and ask yourself…

* Can this item be fixed?
* Can this item be re-used in a new way?
* Can this item be donated to someone else?

But still the question arises, how long do we need to hold onto things? Do we apply the 6-12 month rule of non-use to determine that we throw it or give it away?

I believe there is a very fine line between frugal living or even green living and living a VERY cluttered life. There are people who don’t know where to draw that line, because they live in it and it builds ever so slowly around them. There are others who seem to be able to keep only what they need and get rid of the rest without trouble.

How would you answer these questions? To start, at what point do you draw the line when things move into the clutter area? Can you lead a cluttered life and still be frugal?

Perhaps you haven’t even considered it… let us know what you do to separate frugal living and cluttered living.

I have read a few sites that show the benefits of having a gym membership and I have my own personal experience on the benefits of exercising for free.

I think there are a few questions to ask before deciding:

What do you like to do?
If you like to be outdoors and the thought of being cooped up in a building is un-appealing then free exercise would probably work better for you. If you prefer tennis or swimming then a gym membership would make it a better value unless you have a city park with courts or lap lanes.

What do you have access to now?
Perhaps you live in an apartment complex that provides a weight-room and swimming pool or you live near an area that allows you to get out and walk. Find out what you can do around your neighborhood that you like for free first.

What is more convenient?
If you are more apt to work out on your way to or from work, find a gym that would be around your route to work to stop off at. Many people have been able to acquire exercise equipment from craigslist, freecycle or a ReUsIt groups for almost free and set up a work out area in a room in their house instead.
Do you prefer a group or to be alone?
To some people, being with other like-minded people inspires them to keep going. If you are someone who gets along with being with others who would be able to help you become better. Check for with parks and recreation classes, YMCA courses, Churches and schools who may offer classes for adults and kids.

What time do you plan to work out?
This is not high on the question list, but if you are a jogger at 3am, depending on your area, the safety of an all-night gym may be worth the money instead of the ‘quiet’ streets. Also, if your walls are paper thin in an apartment, may I suggest a gym instead of working out at 11pm when others in the area are trying to get to sleep and don’t want to hear you pushing out the 100th push-up.

What’s your goal?
If it is to get more physical activity then you can probably do that for free around your home. But if you are going for the state bodybuilding championships or the local marathon then a facility that has more equipment and mentors may be what you need.

Can you try it out for free?
If you are still unsure at this point, perhaps you can try out the local gym for a couple of days for free or by paying a small daily amount. If you do go for a free trial, make sure you stick to the trial only and don’t get talked into a ‘free offer’ that only comes with a year’s contract (two months free, IF you sign…)

This morning I was grabbing a bowl out of the cupboard and knocked over a batch of plastic containers that we had stored in the cupboard for left-overs. It appears that we have reached that fine line that is saving for a need and hoarding.

One of the things that I noticed growing up when my mother would save containers is that she would save a few of various sizes but anything beyond that got pitched. Even though she tried to keep a limit on what she kept for plastic containers they still seemed to breed like bunnies, and had to be sorted every few months.

It appears that we have reached that stage as well and it is time to decide what is needed and used and what is not.

First, I have my limits on how much to keep. The stacks can’t be too tall that I have to pull out the whole stack to get to a container.
Second, I have to be able to see to the back of the cupboard and view all the containers that I do have.
Once one or both of these limits has been reached then it is time to cut down on what I’ve got. At this point I start my separation on what is to go.

First to go are the cracked or severely stained containers. True I could sun-bleach the stains out or even tape up the cracks, but at this stage, I have enough that I don’t NEED to keep them.

Second to go are the ones that have not been used in a while (odd shapes), ones without lids or containers that I have in triplicate already or containers with warped lids that don’t fit any longer.

Finally, I look over what is left and decide if what I have left is enough to live with. Barring left-overs from a major holiday dinner, it usually is.

Now, in my earnestness to save on waste, I have simply delayed it. Though I have used and reused the containers, I eventually still have to get them out of the cupboard use them or get of them somehow.

Here are some ways I have tried to get rid of them:

* Put them up on Freecycle
* Put them up in ‘Free’ area of craigslist
* Use them to organize items in under the sink
* Use them to take treats to work and not worry about getting the container back
* Use extra lids to put parts on if something needs to be fixed (items don’t roll with a rim)
* They are good for a piggy bank
* Use the lidless ones as scoops
* Slide a lid under a plant to catch water run-off
* Handy as a portable dog dish

What would you do with the plastic containers?

First off I would like to thank those sites that have pointed links here:

The Make it from Scratch Carnival 118 for linking to my post on making Funnel cake at home

► Thanks to Consumerist who liked an inspirational quote I added in my post on Making a Thrifty Investment in Yourself

► And as always I thank the readers who suggest my site as one to read when people are looking for frugal sites, like the recent question over at Metafilter: Froogal Livin'


Over at twitter I like to keep track of a few ways I have tried to be frugal or found links or people that were inspirational - here are those thoughts:

▲ I'm not a big fan of Purell cleaners, I prefer soap+water. However, if you buy a lot of Purell, you may want to try making a gallon of your own Purell.

▲ Walgreens EasySaver Program was discontinued - here is the why and what's new now

I saw that my credit union offers free financial counseling, money management help. I may look into that since at least the first contact is free if not more.

Don't get Fox Business News but want to watch the Dave Ramsey show still? You can at the great and powerful HULU

On May 7th I was on a complaint mission - Cell phone retrieval company (cell for cash) isn't paying on their promises to affliates or people turning in their phones. You can't stop me, I'm on a roll and pissed!

Stamps went up 2¢ early in May - that's an increase of 4.8% - Not even my CD rates get something that good right now!

Tuna cans have been downsized from 6 to 5 oz! "New & Improved" = "smaller and more expensive!"

▲ A
very cool website for appliance manufacturers and repair - Appliance 411

▲ Want to make your own SHAG bathroom rug - Eco Bath Rug How-to

Watched the Atlantis land on nasa.tv
Atlantis going through checklist- a ground crew size comparison

Frugal Tips:
-Freeze wet washcloths in sandwich bags to use as an ice pack

-Is a ketchup bottle the the perfect pancake holder? Pancake mix dispenser

-Go to the pay-per-view movie section cable and make a list of the movies that u want to rent from the library for free

-Reuse oatmeal, cracker and formula canisters to store art supplies

Alternative gift wrap- try Sunday comics, National Geographic maps, wallpaper or cloth

Reuse biz card magnets by gluing your own family pictures over the biz cards - a magnet that will be valued longer

Apple cider vinegar (or regular) is an incredible first-aid remedy for dealing with a sunburn

Two days ago was my birthday and I noticed that my attitude has changed recently towards my gifts. I do appreciate receiving them, however I don't place as much importance on them as I used to.

This last birthday I found that taking a day off from work was a better gift than letting everyone at work know it was my birthday. I learned that if a family member forgets to get me something, it isn't a big deal any longer and them remembering with a happy birthday is a gift as well. Ultimately, I have found that the quantity of birthday wishes and gifts are inferior to the quality of time and the few heartfelt birthday wishes. I like this change and it only took 36 years to understand.
I've written a couple of posts on gift giving : 7 Ways to Give Gifts for Less Money and My Cheap Minor League Baseball Tickets but the best gifts are those that have been submitted for this weeks Festival of frugality 180; there are 50 chosen from the over 70 submitted.

You can submit yours for next week (hosted by Personal Finance Analyst)

Hosts Choice:
{These are the posts that pulled me in with interest}

Darren wrote about My Chest Fridge Conversion - "A little bit of wiring is required to set up the digital temperature controller. It’s basically a temperature sensor that can switch a 240v power supply on or off"

Katheryn submitted Buying a Car for $500 (Not a Typo) - "To prove that you can find a reliable ride for just hundreds of dollars, Hedgecock bought a 1974 Pontiac LeMans via his site for just $899 and then drove it cross-country from his hometown of San Diego all the way to Miami"

J. Money wrote on The Price of Faith: Muslim & Jewish Financial Challenges - "I am thoroughly impressed after reading some of these stories. While the Christian portion of the article was pretty interesting, I'm going to stick to the Muslim & Jewish differences here as they stood out the most to me."

Kelly submitted her post I’m Not Always Frugal - "I feel like I should feel guilty, for spending money on myself when we don’t have a lot of extra money to spare. I don’t though. I wonder what that means."

How to Compare Mortgage Refinance Offers

Help a Reader: Keep the House or Save for Retirement?

Get those estimates!

Refinancing Answers

Urban Homesteading- Raising Backyard Chickens on the Rise

The Budgets are the Basics:
Budgeting – The Key to Finding Extra Money You Didn’t Realize You Have

Working Out A Family Budget Will Help You Save Money

Squeezing More Savings Out of Your Budget

Monthly Expenses: April 2009

Making Money:
How to Get a Job with the Federal Government

23 ways for teens to make money and maybe adults too!

Easy Ways to Generate Cash

Best High Interest Savings Accounts In Online Banking

Finding the Free:
Free Summer Activities for our Four Year Old

I am the Queen of Free

Creating a Cookbook for a Wedding Present

Be A Survivor: How To: FREE Or Almost FREE Entertainment

Looking Forward:
How to Save Money on Your Wedding

My Kid Starts College In September & My Savings Are Gone. Now What?

Saving Money is at the Heart:
How achieving an ideal BMI will save us money

Save Money on TV

5 Ways to Make Saving Money a Lifestyle

Why Saving is Like Shredding

Do It Yourself and Save – Boat Ownership

Our 50% Savings Success

How I Saved $85 Dollars On $110 in Gift Certificates

Help A Shopaholic Manage A Shopping Addiction

5 Money Rules from Liz Weston

Want A Lower Bill? Ask For It

Looking for Deals:
Frugal shopping

Vintage Fine China

Pathetic Propane Portions

Time Banking: The Next Generation of Bartering

Netbook Computers: The Frugal Laptop Alternative That Won’t Break The Bank

Late Night Energy Examination

Groceries and Coupons:
Saving on Groceries by Doubling Up Coupons

Going Once, Twice, Sold! Save BIG Money at Grocery Auctions

The Truth about Online Dillard’s Coupons

The Other Things We Miss:
In Defense of Frugality

Memories From A Frugal European Upbringing

397 Ways To Save Money - Squawkfox Book Review

How an Inflation Threat Could Make the 1970s Look Like Happy Days

How to Find Affordable Health Insurance Online

He Said She Said Finances

UNBROKE: What You Need to Know about Money

When Is It Okay to Give?