Fur Everywhere!

I hate this time of year!  Chloe starts shedding her winter coat and all the fur just drives me nuts!  She really doesn’t shed that much through most of the year.  I am thankfull for that!  About a week ago my allergies just started going crazy.  I was sleeping with a roll of toilet paper in the bed so that I wouldn’t have to get up and blow my nose.  I started noticing that fur was just flying off of Chloe when I would touch her.  Today I finally decided that I was done with the piles of fur all over the floor and flying around my nose.

For those of you wondering I did not shave her!  I was tempted to do so when we had Marley, he shed really bad.  It was the Lab in him!  I did however put Chloe in the shower and give her a good scrub.  Then I used the FurBuster on her.   After seeing the FURminator on t.v. I really wanted one for Marley.  They are very expensive, 50.00 at Petsmart to be exact!  I just couldn’t bring myself to pay that much.  I didn’t give up the search for something similar though.  I found the FurBuster at Walmart for only 20.00!  It is the same thing.  For those who don’t know, it is a de-shedding brush that has a razor built in it.  It removes all the loose fur and undercoat that the dog is depositing all over your house.  You can really see it work.  Chloe’s undercoat is a different color than her normal silvery coat.  It is darker and thicker.  You can see that it removes that part of her coat and leaves her looking all shinny.  It works just as well as what you see on the infomercials!

When we bought this over the summer Chloe was not shedding.  I tried it on her anyway but I didn’t get anything off of her.  It did work great on Marley though.  Today I think I removed enough loose fur on her to make another dog.  She seemed like she felt really good afterwards.  She ran all over the house like a crazy!  After she dried I was petting her and noticed still a bit of loose fur on her.  I couldn’t find the hard bristle brush I usually use to groom her but did find a good replacement.  You know the attachment on your vacuum that has hard bristles on it.  Well if you are like me you never use it.  Chloe actually let me use it on her with the hose attached to suck up the hair that was loose!  I was amazed because she is terrified of the vacuum!  I guess it felt good to her!

Now my house is a bit less fur covered!  I will probably have to wash and brush her again before the shedding season is over.  Hopefully this will help keep the house cleaner and my nose and eyes feeling better!  I am sure with the season that I am not the only one who has had enough of the shedding dogs.  Check out Walmart to save some money on a FurBuster!  You will be glad you did!

Birthing Class

I learned a good lesson last night.  I started searching for a birthing class to take and was amazed at how much they cost.  Being that we would have to go Lexington I thought a weekend intensive would be the best option.  Having to go on a week night for 5 or so weeks in a row would just be too much.  Not to mention we could save on gas.  Saving money on these things is really important because we do not ave any insurance.

The first class I looked at was a 2 day weekend at 155 dollars.  I decided that was far more than I really wanted to pay.  Even though that class was geared more towards natural child birth, it just wasn’t in our budget.  I tried looking at the website of a hospital in the area that is known for a great maternity program.  I had a hard time finding much on their site so I went on to another hospital.  They offered a class that was a Saturday only and it was 50 dollars.  I was beginning to think that sounded better.

I really almost stopped there.  I figured all the hospitals would have similar prices.  The first place was just so expensive because they were a private company.  Luckily I was bored so I kept looking.  I found one website that provided links to all the hospitals and other places in Lexington that offer birthing classes.  This was very helpful.  I started going down the list and the prices decreased with each hospital.  The lowest was about 20 dollars when I looked at the final hospital.  It was the one I was interested in to start but I couldn’t find anything on their site.  They offer all birthing classes for free.  Many wee already full but I don’t need them until March.  All I have to do is register to let them know we are coming and that is it!

I learned many lessons here.  Don’t give up because you found something you can afford.  If you spend just a few more minutes comparing prices you will save even more money!  We could afford 50 but free is so much better!  Do your homework early before you need to take the classes because they fill up very quickly.  Especially when they are offered for free.  There were many classes full all they way past my due date.

For more frugal tips and ideas check out Frugal Fridays.

Stocking the Pantry

Now that we are moving into our first house I am trying to stock the pantry as cheaply as I can.  It gets expensive to have to buy everything you need for a kitchen all at once!  So we took a trip to Aldi’s.  This place is great!  The just built one in Lexington and I am so glad to have one close now.  We had them in Ohio and my Mom saved lots of money getting things there.  If you have never been and have one go!  The Aldi brand items are pretty good!  They also carry fresh produce but I can still get that cheaper at the farmers market.

Here is what we got the other day.

There are 23 items and we paid 27 dollars!

Getting Greener

This year I would like to not only save money but I would like to save energy.  I decided the best place to start was to just start making a list of things I can do.  So I thought I would share it with everyone!  I would love if anyone has any other useful tips to help have a greener year!

Things We Already Do

-Installed a tankless water heater!  Our plumber wasn’t familiar with them so we do have some tweaking to do but other than that we love them!
-Wash clothes in cold water.  This also keeps colors bright, keeps clothes looking newer, and prevents shrinking.  
-We bought good windows and are insulating our house really good.  (We are in the process of building right now.)  

Things We Want to Do:

-Either build or buy a compost bin.  I really like the stationary tumbler that has the days of the week on it to help remember to turn it over!  We have lots of clay in our soil so we really can use some nice compost to help loosen it.
-Put up a clothes line inside and out to dry most of our clothes.
-We will probably go ahead and install compact fluorescents in all of our fixtures when we get them up since we will have to use them in a few years anyway.  I was just glad that I found at Wal Mart all the odd sizes to fit the fixtures we had picked out to buy and not just the twisty looking ones.
-We will buy all Energy Star appliances when we start buying them.
-We want to get solar lights to use in various places outside the house.

I am sure I will come up with many more things I would like to do as well but for now I think I have a good list and a good start!  What are you doing this year to be greener?

Check out more money saving ideas at:

Furniture Polish

I just ran across this recipe to make your own furniture polish.  I thought it was a great idea!  It came from an antique dealer so I am sure it works beautifully.  To me natural elements always work so much better that any of the stuff that comes in a bottle.

1/4 Cup white distilled vinegar or lemon juice
A few drops jojoba or olive oil
3 to 5 drops fragrant essential oil (optional)

When considering the right fragrance, choose an antiseptic essential oil.  Try sweet eucalyptus for a clean summer scent. And if you want to give your cleaner an unlimited shelf life, opt for vinegar (lemon can turn rancid).

So open those curtains, let the sun in and get polishing!

Cookie Baking

Every year my the girls in our family get together for what we call Sugar Day.  It is a great cheap way to get lots of baking done for Christmas!  We organize our recipes and buy all the ingredients.  We buy in bulk and use almost all of what we buy.  We split the cost so that way it is lots cheaper than if you were buying everything yourself and only using some of it.  The best part though is the time we get to spend together.  My mother-in-law and I drove up to my aunt’s in Cincinnati last Saturday for the event.  There we met with my mom, sister, grandmother, 2 aunts, and some of the kids.  Not as many people made it this year compared to past years but we still had a blast!  Here are some photo’s from Sugar Day ’07.

baking.jpg  (left to right) My aunts; MariAnn, Kay, and my Mom.

daph.jpg  my cousin

mawmaw.jpg  my grandmother making gingerbread men

kay.jpg  Kay making cinnamon poinsettia cookies 

What does your family do for Christmas that is frugal? 

Let’s Say Thanks

If you click on the image above you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq. You can’t pick out who gets it, but it will go to some member of the armed services.  As it is free, I thought it was a great frugal way to let them know how much we appreciate them!