Sunday, December 27, 2009

I hope everybody had a marvelous holiday. Is everyone looking forward to the new year? I certainly am. I really think it will be one of my best years yet.

I need to get more query packages together to send out to agents numbers 11-20. Life has been coming at me full force for a few weeks and I am holding on until it slows down. Hopefully that will be soon!

Tip #20

I've compiled a list of delicious, low cost finger foods or appetizers for a New Year's Eve party. Most of them are self-explanatory, but if anyone wants a recipe let me know and I'll be glad to provide one.

-French onion soup gratinee
-Deviled eggs topped with chopped red onions or simply sprinkle paprika
-Baby carrots, green peppers and broccoli with the dip inside of an empty green pepper
-Blue cheese pinwheels
-Olives, baked pita bread triangles, hummus
-Bacon-banded olives
-Rolled canapes
-A wedge of melted brie or Camembert cheese (either of these from Walmart is very affordable) with slices of crusty Italian bread and grapes on the side

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tip #19

One of my friends suggested this quick and easy recipe. It's similar to those Warm Delights that you can find in the grocery store. I will try it this week with my boy since he loves making sweet things.

Hot Chocolate Cake in a Mug

3 packets of hot chocolate
3 Tablespoons of oil
3 Tablespoons of water
4 Tablespoons of flour
1 egg
pinch of salt

Spray inside of mug with cooking spray.

Put all ingredients into mug and mix well to make the cake batter.

Microwave for three minutes.

Top cake with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sorry for the long delay. To make it up I'll give some extra tips for the weeks I missed.

Continuing with the food freshness and extending groceries theme...

Tip #16
It is perfectly acceptable to freeze lemons and limes. Slice them into wedges, de-seed the lemons and wrap them up in plastic wrap so that the pieces aren't touching each other. When you need one for seafood or a drink you'll always have one handy.

Tip #17
Stick a couple of dry sponges in your vegetable and fruit drawers to soak up extra moisture.

Tip #18
If you're making ham this Thanksgiving here's a an idea for you. Leftover ham can be used in pasta dishes, omelets and croquettes.

Okay, now I'm getting hungry.

Have a great Thanksgiving and don't overdo your shopping on black Friday, haha!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tip #15

First and foremost: Happy Birthday Caleb! My little boy turns 5 today.

This tip is going to be the first of a series that will continue for a few weeks. The topic is how to keep food fresher for longer. And in some cases what to do with food that's gotten a little stale. Some, obviously, you'll have to dump. But for others there are alternatives to the trash can. Like with the following...

Stale bread can be turned into tasty bread crumbs. I bake them at 250 F until crunchy. Then grind them in a food processor and voila. Homemade breadcrumbs! You can also add seasonings (such as oregano, dried onion, etc.) if you'd like. Rye breadcrumbs are especially yummy to coat pork chops with.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tip #14

For some reason I can't find the color button anymore to change the color of the font. Hmm.

Here is an update on the manuscript stuff. I've heard back from over half the 10 agents that I queried. They all said no, but I'm not disheartened at all. I actually expected that all 10 would say no. And that the next 10 would say no. I have a feeling that agent #33 would show interest.

From my research, agents take on 1 client out of 1000 queries per year. That means my chances are very slim. But I have a good feeling and I'm determined to keep trying.

Now for today's tip. Be very vigilant for prices at stores. In the last couple weeks I've caught mistakes. One cashier didn't give me enough change back. And at another store the cashier charged me twice for the same product. They are only human and I'm hoping that they aren't doing it on purpose. But it can get costly if you don't double check the math.

Another mistake that stores sometimes make are that they don't always give you the sale price from the flyer when it's rung up at the register.

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tip #13

Okay this is going to sound super cheap (and not even in the good way, if that's possible).

I've decided to send out Christmas cards every other year. If I send them out every year it gets awfully pricey since almost half my mailing list is out of the country. If I send them out every 2+ years the gap is too wide and some folks will get a little miffed and delete us from their mailing lists.

Every other year is smack dab in the middle of the perfect amount. I'll save money but still stay in everyone's good graces.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Tip #12

On rainy days, when you and your kids are housebound, fun recipes can really liven things up.

Put some music on and try this one. I found it on

Kool-Aid Playdough

What you'll need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 TBSP oil (this prevents it from hardening)
  • 1 package of unsweetened Kool-Aid
  • 2 TBSP cream of tartar
  • Medium sized mixing bowl
  • Spoon
How to make it:

Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar and Kool-Aid in a medium pot. Add water and oil. Stir over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes. When mixture forms a ball in pot, remove. Knead until smooth. Put in plastic bag and refrigerate.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tip #11

Libraries tend to weed out books and movies pretty often. They have a special section where they sell these at a very fair price. At mine you can get a movie for a dollar, hard cover books for 50 cents and paperback books for a quarter. I've found some real gems that way. And all the proceeds go towards improving the library.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sorry Folks, no tip this week. But I'll definitely have a new one next Sunday.

I'm in the process of sending queries out to agents (yay).

My polished, squeaky clean manuscript is finally finished (double yay).

I hope that there's an agent out there who will want to represent me. Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Tip #10

A quick way to tell if your eggs are still fresh:

The shells are rough and chalky looking = Fresh
The shells are smooth and shiny = Old

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Tip #9

You can use dishwashing soap to prep your nails for a home manicure.

-Moderately dilute the soap in a bowl with water
-Stick your nails in there for a few minutes
-Remove them, rinse and dry thoroughly
-Your cuticles are now soft and easier to work with. And the soap removes the natural oils, thus making the nail polish stick to your nails easier.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tip #8

Whenever you buy a new piece of clothing with buttons on it, dab some clear nail polish in the middle on the front and back of the button. This will prevent the thread on the button from coming loose.

Note: I also want to thank you guys for being members of my blog!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tip #7

The location of your fridge makes a difference. If it's near your stove or if it gets direct sunlight from a window it would have to work harder to keep the food inside cold. And the harder it works, the higher your electric bill will be...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tip #6

Did you know that baking soda is also great for putting out fires? If you're prone to bad luck, keep a box nearby.

An off topic note: I will probably start updating this only every Sunday to make it a weekly thing. Things have gotten a little extra busy at home lately.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tip #5

Baking soda is a favorite among misers like myself. One use (out of roughly 12 456) for the stuff is that you can get pesticides out of fruits and vegetables better by using it rather than just water alone. Sprinkle it in the water. Then soak and rise your fruits and vegetables.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tip #4

There are many tips for deodorizing running shoes. I think it's easier to just keep them fresh by getting to the root of the problem: your feet. So, before putting shoes on, sprinkle baby powder (with cornstarch) on your feet, but especially the soles. They'll stay dry and pleasant-smelling. And so will your shoes!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tip #3

Your washing machine serves you well, load after load. Several times per year you should trade places with it and give it a thorough cleaning; otherwise your machine won't work as efficiently. And the grime deposits will wear out your clothes as well as your washer. Double yuck!

For a quick wash: run a cycle with hot water and 1/2-2 cups of bleach.

For a more thorough wash: do what I just mentioned and once the cycle is finished, take out all the removable parts (lint filter, bleach dispenser) and put them in a bucket with some detergent and hot water. Once they have soaked for 30 minutes it's time to scrub them with a rag. For the inside of the washer, use a soft rag and any all-purpose, non-scratching cleanser. Also, use an old toothbrush to scrub hard to read spots.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tip #2

After you put gas in your car, make sure to tighten the gas cap as much as you can. Otherwise, small amounts of gas will actually evaporate.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tip #1

When your little ones get a new box of crayons, tape around the middle with clear tape. They will be less likely to break and therefore will last much longer.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

First Post (Introduction)

Hello, hello. My name is Darcy and I'm brand-spankin' new at this (so please bear with me).

A little info on me:

I'm 32. Happily married. I have the sweetest little boy ever. I love reading, movies, the outdoors, food, pets, organizing, free stuff, the beach and spending time with friends.

Why I started this blog:

I thought that I could use this forum to share tips and advice on finding good deals and saving money. However, my intention is not only for me to do it, but for anyone reading to add ideas if they wish to. It's very helpful now that we're in an economic crunch. However, even when the economy does turn around I will continue to penny-pinch and I hope you all do too.


My brain is always thinking up new ideas for saving money. I decided to sit down and write them out in a book entitled 50 Painless Ways to Stretch Your Dollar Further. I plan to update this blog every Wednesday and Sunday with a new, short tip from my book. I hope to see you again soon.