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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Learning the Pawn Shop Culture

About 2 weeks before Christmas we become homeowners for the very first time! It was so exciting and we were looking forward to the downsizing and shedding some excess "weight".

Let me just say, in the process of going from 2800sqft down to a little more than 1000sqft we got rid of (sold in various places) almost an entire house worth of goods.

It was shear insanity!!!

Nevertheless, one of the places we used was a local pawn shop.

Before you say anything, just hear me out...

There are several pawn stores here in our area (like in most places) and what we did was take our electronic items and played shops against one another to make sure we got the best deal.

In the end we were able to get within an hour or so the price we were asking on Craigslist for the items.

My husband had never realized the culture which existed within the Pawn Shop world. It was eye opening for him.

If you are wanting to beef-up on your negotiating skills this is definitely an avenue to do it.

When you are needing to sell something quickly but you don't have the time to fuss with CL, this is definitely an option.

Keep in mind what your item is worth brand new and/or used in whatever condition the item is in so-as not to be bamboozled by the more "knowledgeable" pawn store employees.

This is just another frugal option and easy way to quickly get rid of something you no longer need and get cash for it all in one transaction!

Happy Pawning :)

-the centsable mom

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Must Have DIY Household Cleaners!

We are all looking for a way to save time and money, right?

As a SAHM it's easy to get overwhelmed by everything and feel like you are literally going to pull every strand of hair out of your head! Right?

Well, one little area where you can take a lesson from me (if you want) is dumbing-down your cleaning products to this simple little list. You will find yourself saving time, money but most importantly your sanity!

These have been tested and proven to work by your's truly!

*since these aren't my recipes I will be putting links to the owners here with a brief summery of what I use the product for and how well it worked

1. All-Purpose Citrus Cleaner 
$1.64 per bottle (with a double recipe for large spray bottle)

This stuff is fantastic! I LOVE the way it smells too! Also, with it containing Tea Tree Essential Oil you've got yourself an action packed, germ/bacteria fighting companion. I typically use this on my counter-tops, sinks, tables etc.

It's not harsh or damaging to furniture (like all those other YUCKY products) and you can hand a bottle to a kiddo and say, "Spray to your heart's content!"

2. Tile Scrub & Mold Killer
$3.12 per mixture (you must mix this together right before using)

I hate cleaning bathrooms! They're gross and when it comes to little boys and toilets....ugh, forget about it!

When I first tried this recipe I was a bit skeptical I'll admit. However, once I mixed it up and used it I was pleasantly surprised! The tub had NEVER looked cleaner and the area all around the base of the toilet looked superb! You will not be disappointed with this one!

3. General Floor Cleaner
$1.87 per bottle (without doubled recipe)

1 Cup Warm Water
1 Cup Vinegar
3 TBs Dish Soap (homemade, castile etc)
20 drops Tea Tree Oil

I love using this on our floors. It smells so clean and I feel comfortable with our growing toddler and other children crawling, playing etc on the kitchen floor.

When you have as much traffic coming in and out as we do with a family of 6 (almost 7!) it was vitally important I found something I not only liked but that actually worked!

4. Toilet Bowl Cleaner
$2.79 per bottle (without doubled recipe)

Here's a tip, if you put 1 TBsp of citric acid in the toilet and let sit for 5 minutes, you will be more able to scrub off lime and rust build up.

This is a great recipe for cleaning those awful toilets I was telling you about! Not too shabby of a price either!

5. Dish Soap
$1.03 per soap dispenser

1.5 Cup Hot Water
1 TBsp shredded bar soap (castile scented)
1 TBsp Vinegar
1 TBsp Super Washing Soda
1/8 sp Tea Tree Oil

Mix together ingredients 2-4 then pour in water & stir until well blended and soap is melted. Cool for 8 hrs and then place in soap dispenser. (I re-used my Myers dispenser)

I have long since wanted to make my own dish soap. I had always purchased the Myers brand (which I Love!) but I knew I needed to save the money and by using products I was purchasing for all the other products I am making I knew this was the way to go.

I love this soap recipe and am glad to have finally made the change to homemade.

These are my go-to recipes. Sometimes I might come upon something super stubborn like my OVEN! (I'll post on that soon) and I will go back to pinterest and see if I can't find something else that might work.

Keep in mind, not ALL recipes work for EVERYONE...I learned this the hard way.

When it comes to natural you have to find what works for you and your situation. Remember, one size does NOT fit all! I don't care how many times they try to say it does.

Be patient and remember you're on a journey. With a little effort and tenacity I'm certain you'll find what will work best for you and your family!

-the centsable mom

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Journey Begins...

If you had told me 6 months ago we would be downsizing from 3,000 sqft to a little more than 1,000 sqft, I might have thought you were a little nuts.

The truth is, this has been a journey getting our family to a place of realizing what our priorities were and what was really most important to us.

There was a little kicking and screaming (not from the kids!) but in the end we knew the decision was one of the best ones we had made. To others I know it doesn't seem like it was the "right" thing to do.

Sometimes though we have to realize the "one size fits all" philosophy is just not reality. We are all on a journey and we are all looking for the answers to life's problems and questions.

This is my journey and I invite you to come and learn along with me. You might not always agree but that's okay! What a boring world it would be if all of us were exactly the same.

I'm here to add a little color to the pool :)

-the Centsable Mom