Category Archives: Money saving tips

8 places to get free books

Last week I wrote an article entitled 4 realistic ways to find time to read.  https://wordpress.com/post/lifehackquicktips.wordpress.com/2817

8 places to get free books

Today I’ll be talking about where to get free books.  I love books and many books I would like to own so I can reread them.  But that gets expensive and where would I put them all?  So I’ve become pretty resourceful with ways to get free books.  There are many resources out there.  A few ways to get discounted books include thrift stores, garage sales, Kindle, Amazon and bargain stores, to name a few.  But for some key places to get free books, read on.

Library

This is the obvious one, right?  For physical books I go to the library.  But this is not my favorite option.  Something always happens to the books.  My dog eats them (literally, no joke).  My kid tears them (why????).  I can’t find one to return it on time (seriously why haven’t they revoked my card?).  I can’t tell you (or rather don’t want to know) how much I’ve paid in late fees in the last few years.  So I do try to avoid this option.  But loans are for 3 weeks so if you think you can return the books on-time and in the same shape they left the library, go for it.

Overdrive App

Overdrive is actually the public library app.  You enter your library card number and it let you check out 25 books for 21 days.  They automatically return the books for you too.  So no late fees. EVER.  I love this.  Free, plus no late fees, what could be better?

iBooks App

Obviously this option will not be available to everyone.  You have to have an Apple product.  But there are lots of free books in this app. They have all genres too.  I’ve downloaded fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, classics.

Books App

This is an app that has books from before 1935.  So classics primarily.  They are all free.

Kindle App

Again, this is an already popular one that I’m sure many of you know about.  There are tons of free books on this app too.

Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime members also get some free books or borrows, electronically.

Sweet Free Books

At Sweetfreebooks.com you can tell them what type of books you like and they will notify you of deals.  Just pick your genres and they will let you know.  For example: In the last 5 hours, they notified me of 5 – $0.99 books and 3 free ones in my favorite genres.  I follow them on Twitter so I get notifications easily that way.

Book Bub

At Bookbub.com you can also get free or cheap books to purchase.  I also follow them on Twitter so that I have an easy time seeing their deals.

I’m sure there are many other ways to get books, but that should get you started.  If you have places you love to get free books, let me know.  I’d love to add them to my list!

 

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Life hack: How to make everyone happy for Easter – happy wallet, happy child, happy Earth

One of the issues I have with holidays is not just the impact on my wallet, but the waste they create.  At Easter, one of the worst things you can buy is that fake grass.  It gets everywhere, you just throw it away after the one use and it goes right into the landfill.  So today’s post will help you avoid the “need” to buy that, as well as a few other items.

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Save money, save Earth and make the kids happy!

Easter Baskets

Easter Baskets are a waste of money.  They usually get damaged and thrown out.  Years ago I purchased plastic bins that we still use.  Buy a sturdy, reusable container.  A bucket, pail, whatever.  Something that can be reused.  This will save you money by avoiding repurchasing wicker baskets every year and is better for Earth.

Plastic Grass

So everyone seems to think they need this stuff to have a proper Easter basket.  But what you really need is some type of filler.  I buy my girls a new outfit instead.  That fills up the bottom of the bin I use and creates a colorful background for what is on top of the outfit.  This also helps the budget as I’m buying them something they need.  You could also opt for new sheets or whatever else can fill the bottom of a bin with some fluff.

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Easter baskets that save the earth

Candy

Most Easter candy is unnecessary.  Do they really need that much?  I’ve opted for one signature item, like a chocolate bunny.  Keep it simple.

Plastic Eggs

If you fill these and hide them, fill them with coins.  Kids love money and it’s useful for them.  Unlike more candy or more tiny toys.  Again, this helps with the wallet and landfill space.  Kids really just love the thrill of finding the eggs and second to that, finding a surprise inside.  Beyond that, it doesn’t matter what is inside.

Gifts

So far I’ve given my kids an outfit and a bunny.  So where are the gifts?  I do buy them usually a small toy and/or something else they may need, like summer shoes (flip flops, Crocs) or books.  Basically, my bunny is practical.  He always has been, so my kids are trained.  But even if your kids are used to more, you can downgrade.  Step by step.  And gifts of things they “need” and what they want often overlap.  If they love Frozen, buy them Frozen flip flops.  It fits both categories.

This year, I’m buying my girls a hollow, chocolate bunny, one clothing item they each requested, one necessity (undergarments for one and an alarm clock for the other) and a book they each wanted (and yes, my 7-year-old wanted a book with vegetarian recipes – there will be a whole other post on that development).

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Easter baskets that save the earth and save money. Budget friendly Easter baskets

By avoiding all the disposable parts of Easter and by limiting the gifting, you can keep the cost of Easter to a minimum while still making your kid happy.  And you can do all this while being more conscientious of our planet.

 

 

 

 

Life Hack: Free Vacations by Flipping Land

We live in a beautiful country.  We have everything – forests, deserts, mountains, and swamps.  And like many people, I want to see it all.  Not only do I want to see all of it, I also want to see all my family and friends who live all over this nation.  But it’s expensive.  Or is it?

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Here is a trip I made up for purposes of this post – from L.A., CA to Houston, TX.  I made it for mid-June, when many people travel.  This pricing includes flights for 2 adults, 2 children and a hotel for the 4 of them for 1 week.  As you can see, the cost is $1680.  That’s $420 per night for 6 nights, for 4 people.

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Now if I get just a flight for my family of four, it’s about $1000.

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I’m saving about $750 by not getting a hotel.  But $1000 is still a chunk a change.

So what if your trip was free?  What if it was not only free, but what if every single trip you take to every single part of our fine nation, was also free?  Sounds too good to be true, right?  But it’s not.  It’s actually quite simple.

I recently started following The Land Geek.  The Land Geek has a podcast, blog, class, you name it.  He also has a Facebook support group (actually, a few of them).  http://www.thelandgeek.com/

The Land Geek teaches you how to flip raw land.  Undeveloped land.  You can purchase this land at land auctions, from delinquent tax lists or from wholesalers.  Depending on which of these options you choose, you can get a .25 acre for a few hundred dollars.  And you can sell it for 300% or even 1000% profit.  This is not a gimmick.  I know it sounds crazy but it’s really quite simple.  And I’ll walk through it with you.

By using raw land flipping, you can buy land wherever you want to travel, whether it’s one destination or several.  You can then stay on your land and sell it after your stay.  This gives you a free place to stay (again, it’s raw land so you would be providing your own tent/trailer/something-or-other).  After you stay on the land and, once you sell it, it pays for your trip!  Let’s get into an example using a property I recently purchased.

I purchased a property in Arizona.  I bought this from a wholesaler.  This means that he probably got a huge group of lots for very cheap, perhaps an average of $500 (maybe less) per lot and then sold them off for about $1100.  He just made 120% profit.  I purchased my lot from him for $1100.  However, the tax assessment shows a value of $2600.  And the lots are selling for about $2500.  I am not making this profit because I held on to the land or did anything to improve it.  I am making this profit because I bought it at below market value.  And the wholesaler is making his profit that way too.

So when I sell, I should make a profit of about $1100, after costs.  That’s a 100% profit.  And that’s if I sell it straight out.  If I finance the buyer, I can add interest.  But if I was visiting Arizona, I would be able to use my lot to stay there.  Or if I was traveling to Texas, as in my example above, I could stay in Arizona and then go on to stay with family in Texas.  The sale of the Arizona land will pay for my vacation (or at least a good chunk of it).

Now if I had purchased the land from a person who was behind on the taxes and was no longer interested in the land, I probably could have obtained the land for a few hundred dollars and then the entire profit would be mine (about 350%) or about $2000.

So if I know I’m going to/through Arizona later this year for vacation, I can buy a lot and then stay on that lot.  I can either drive there and camp or I can fly there and likewise rent a camper.  But I have a place to stay as my own home base.  When I’m home from my trip, I can sell the plot.  In looking at the travel costs listed above, I can pay for some or all of my trip with the purchase and selling of this land.

Alternatively, I can flip the land and never use it; never visit it.  I can just use the profits to pay for my vacation, bills or whatever.

This business really takes little start up costs as the land is so cheap.  The regulations that apply to tenants, do not apply here so flipping raw land is much easier than renting or selling a home.

Just imagine that you own a plot in each state and take a year or so to travel to each  of them.  Always a free place to stay.  And you don’t need a reservation.  Just go when you want and if you don’t plan to return, just sell it.  Make back a part of your vacation cost.

Just keep in mind that raw land flipping does not involve tenants or structures to fix up.  Raw land flipping does not require “holding” or improving.  It does not require a class to learn about it, but if you take the class The Land Geek offers (I am not an affiliate), he does provide preferred counties to purchase land and preferred sites to sell the land.  So he makes it even easier to get started.

So instead of spending a few hundred dollars on vacation (which my above example shows is not enough money anyway), spend it on land.  Save money on that vacation by staying on the land and then, flip it.  Make a few hundred percent in profit and pay for your entire vacation.

If you have any questions about this, please let me know.

 

 

 

 

Quick tip: Why you SHOULDN’T go to law school

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A lot of students have just graduated from college. They don’t know what to do with themselves.  Some are done with school and some want more.  Some end up in graduate, law or medical school simply because they don’t know what else to do.  They don’t want to have just any job.  They want something amazing.  And so they pick something they think will be amazing.  The problem is, no one will question it.

Graduate school administrators are there to recruit students.  They aren’t going to tell you that spending another $100,000+ on your education is a bad idea.  Family members are so excited that you’re going to be so successful that they aren’t going to tell you no.  And friends are just there to support you.  So they all sit by while you potentially make the worst mistake of your life.  The most expensive mistake ever.

I am a lawyer.  So I cannot speak in any depth on grad school or med school.  Although some of my thoughts (but not all) can be reapplied to those other schools.

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So what is so wrong with law school?  Technically, nothing.  But there are many issues with respect to becoming a lawyer and becoming a happy lawyer, and no one is ever warned.  I often speak to pre-law students about some of these pitfalls so that they can really think about their life and what they want to do with it.  If they want to spend over $100,00o to go to law school, that’s fine.  But they need to look at what is actually important to them.  They then need to research how law school and being a lawyer can change those things.   They should make their decision after being informed of some of the less positive repercussions of going to law school.  Unfortunately, there are many issues they should consider and only a few of these tend to be discussed.  I’ve listed only a few here.  When I talk on-one-one with prospective law students, I cover many other nuances with them.  Often times, their answers to questions they would never think are related, end up influencing them in ways they never thought they would be influenced.

First, lawyers are limited to work for the rest of their lives in the state in which they passed the bar.  When I entered law school, I never, ever thought of living anywhere else.  I love L.A.  But housing prices are ridiculous.  Even ones I can afford, I just don’t want to spend my money that way.  Not when I see that for a fraction of the cost I could buy a mansion in Ohio or Kansas or something.  Sure, I’d make less there, but the cost of living is less.  But that’s not even an option.  I’m stuck in California.  I’m not sure I will ever move.  I know I’m never taking the Bar Exam again.  But that is a major consideration.  You never know what your future will hold.  You don’t know where your future in-laws will be from.  Maybe you’ll want to move there some day.  But you’ll have to retake the Bar Exam or change professions.  If you’re really lucky, you will want to move to a state with reciprocity.  But you have to research that.  And while it’s not difficult, it’s also not automatic that you can just work in a state that honors reciprocity with your Bar-passed state.  Of course, if you had just gone to grad school or worked a regular job, this would not even be an issue.  This is something no one tells you to think about before you spend money on law school.

Second, I wanted to do nonprofit law.  So did a lot of people I know.  But those loans make it really hard.  Those loan forgiveness programs are not so great either.  Mostly they say that you have to first work in the nonprofit field, then apply.  And then you have to compete against others.  So what I’m hearing is – take a big gamble by taking a low paying job, work (probably) below the poverty line, once you subtract out your loan payments, and then hope that you get some forgiveness.  And from what I could tell, they preferred to give that money to people who went to Stanford and Harvard.  Not your ordinary, middle of the road student from the ordinary, middle of the road school.  While I have found joy in other areas of law, the information I’ve obtained from non-profit law job fairs is depressing.

Third, $100,000+ is a lot of money to pay back.  And if you marry someone who also went to an expensive school, good luck.  At one point my husband and I were paying the same amount each month in loans as we were in mortgage – for a house in L.A.!  If you don’t accelerate the payments, you will basically be paying back loans until potentially, your kids are in high school.  Just in time to start saving to help them in college.  So when were you going to save for retirement?  There are lots of jobs out there that pay the same or close to what lawyers make, without the student loans.  It’s no fun throwing out so much money every month.  Just something to think about.

Fourth, with that much debt, your career options are limited.  Sure, there’s lots of options for lawyers.  You can become a real estate broker, politics and lots of other things.  But basically, you will need to guarantee a good income if you’re going to pay off all that debt.  You can’t just decide to be a pre-school teacher.  You can’t just take a job because it sounds nice.  So unlike someone with an undergrad degree, you really do have limited career options, until the debt is paid off.

Fifth, no one ever said you would ever become a lawyer after spending $100,000+ in schooling.  Isn’t that nice?  All that work and money and if you don’t pass the Bar Exam, you don’t get to be a lawyer.  And then how are you supposed to pay back those loans?  The Bar passage rate in California is around 50%.  I know people who took it 5 times before they passed.  That’s 2.5 years of taking the Bar, after you graduate, just so you can be a lawyer.  But in those years, you still have household bills and student loans to pay.

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Now don’t get me wrong!  There are lots of happy lawyers out there. I actually love my job. I’m not saying you will be miserable if you go to law school. What I am saying is that life is full of possibilities; why spend so much money without exploring your options first?

So is law school right for you?  That’s a tough question.  One that many people don’t truly ask themselves.  And definitely not one posed to the prospective student.  These are just some of the things that should be considered before going to law school.  Unfortunately, many law students find themselves questioning these things after their first year; after they feel trapped by the debt they’ve already incurred.

If you are interested in a one-on-one counseling session, please let me know.  I offer a personalized consultation in which we discuss all the factors that really go into determining whether attending law school is the correct decision for you, whether the timing is right for you and whether you’ve chosen  (are looking at) the right school. I’ve helped students completely change their choice of law school based on my advice and report that it was the best decision they ever made.  I’ve mentored many students to help them feel secure in their decisions. To sign up, visit legal-learning-center.teachable.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Hack: How to be Awesome at your job

So recently, I was a guest on the How to be Awesome at your job podcast!  This podcast helps workers be the best that they can be, whether it’s a job they already have, they want to get or, they want to create.

I highly recommend checking the podcast out in iTunes.  The host, Pete Mockaitis interviews many different types of people in many different aspects of the labor market.

So, what is the life hack I’m offering to you this week?  To give you a brief sum up of my tip for how to be awesome at your job: Make everyone else look awesome.  Make their job easier and make it easier for them to shine.

How can you do this?  Well what is your job?  First, you have to know how to do it.  So make sure you take care of that first.  The best way to ensure you know this, is to ask around.  Don’t just assume because you’ve done this before, that you are doing it how this company wants you to do it.  So know your job.

Next, you have to take care of those who “support” you.  If you have an assistant of any sort or anyone that has to help in in any way, you need to treat them well.  You can accomplish this by understanding their job and helping them do it.  Wait a minute!  They are supposed to help you, right?  Right.  But if you throw them a bunch of sloppy instructions that forces them to come to you with lots of questions and delays the whole project, that doesn’t help anyone and really frustrates everyone.  That goes against “treating them well”.  So give clear instructions, take the time to show them how you want things done, and ask them what they want from you.  By doing this, you help them meet deadlines, meet quotas or whatever else they have to do in their position.  When you help the “support” staff to look good, they in turn will help you and make you look good.

Third, you need to figure out what your boss’s job requires.  Do they have quotas?  Statistics they have to meet?  Monetary goals?  Do they report to someone else or are they the end of the line?  If your boss has a boss then you need to ask, “What would make my boss look good to their boss?”  Then you should cater the way you do your job, toward your boss’s goals.  You do this by not only meeting your own goals as determined by your boss, but helping others reach theirs.  This makes the office look good and thereby makes your boss look good.

Finally, don’t forget the importance of praise!  If someone helps you out, praise them to management.  Copy the worker on that email so they know that you told management.  The more you praise others, the more likely they are to praise you; the more likely the office and management will think highly of you.  And save all praise that comes your way.  Keep a folder (electronic or paper) of all praise to use come raise time.

So if you are ready to hear the full podcast, visit:

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https://awesomeatyourjob.com/084-navigating-your-career-climb-with-jolene-blackbourn-esq/

I mention a few other loves of mine, essential oils and giving advice regarding whether law school is right for a person.  If you are interested in either, leave a comment below.

 

 

Life hacks: 5 ways to reduce your landfill impact: Party time

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Our society is so wasteful.  And our parties are at the height of this.  We buy disposable products for every aspect of the event.  Decorations.  Plates.  Cups.  Gift bags.  Pinatas.  Invitations.

There are many ways to reduce the impact a party normally places upon our landfill space.

Decorations

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For my daughter’s Frozen themed birthday party a few years ago, I used a Frozen shower screen as a backdrop, instead of purchasing a bunch of disposable decorations.  The screen could be reused and it created a great backdrop for pictures.

Flowers or using outside space can be a great way to decorate naturally.  A friend of mine used potted succulents as her wedding centerpieces to avoid the waste involved in killing so many flowers.  They were beautiful.

I also use the food as my decorations.  The cake, a watermelon in the shape of a ladybug, cake pops or sugar sticks or any other candy (which could also double as a part of the ultimate gift bag gift).  They can all make a setting really cute and fun.  Without a lot of waste product.

There are many natural ways to decorate, without creating so much waste.

Pinatas

OK so you don’t want to give that up?  How about making your own?  At least you would be using recycled materials, for the most part.  And a homemade one probably will not have quite so many ribbons and so forth that further pollute our world.

Here’s a short Youtube video on how to make one.

Reusable Serving Ware

If you are having a party at home, is it at all possible to use your plates?  Sometimes this simply isn’t possible.  But the more items you can use from your home, the better.  Even if it’s just the serving spoons, every little bit helps.  I’ve noticed that depending on the party, I can sometimes use a lot of my personal supplies.  If that’s not possible, perhaps purchasing cups as part of the party gift is one way to cut down on landfill space.

Party Activities & Gifts

girl-358294.jpgIn the past I’ve been able to find activities for the kids which also double for their party gift.  I try to give them something that can be used for a while, rather than stickers or things that will be thrown out soon.  For example, I supplied paints for a jar and soil and succulents for the jar, once dry.  So they had an in-party activity and a party gift to go.  Something that was easy to care for and may last for a while.  A mason jar could serve a similar purpose.  Drink holder and perhaps could be decorated as well.

Invitations & Thank You’s

This is essentially addressed in one of my prior blogs, which can be viewed at: https://lifehackquicktips.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/life-hack-super-easy-ways-to-reduce-your-landfill-impact-paper/

If you have additional ways to reduce our impact on our landfills, please let me know!  I’d love to hear them.

Quick tip: Cheap & Easy Pre-made Lunches

I often forget my leftovers at home.  So I end up at work without food.  And then I purchase overpriced food.  I’ve managed to come up with a handful of ideas to prevent this.  And 90% of the time, this does work!  This also saves me so much time at work.  I don’t need to spend a lot of time figuring out what to eat and/or prepping it.  It’s pre-made so I can get right back to work (or for those who have a set lunch time, you can enjoy more of it).  This also will work for those at home.

Lunch Option 1 – A week of salad

img_6758So for some people, they just can’t do this.  But you should.  You need to eat your greens.  I keep it simple, but you can make it more complex, if you like.  For me, the point of lunch is to taste “decent” but take little or no time.  If I have to work for it, it won’t happen.

So I stop at the store on my way to work on Monday morning.  I purchase cheese, a leafy green and either specifically cook up some chicken the weekend before, or purchase a packet of grilled chicken.  I keep in my desk chia seeds, olive oil and vinegar.  Why that?  Chia seeds for the extra health benefits.  But I choose olive oil and vinegar as my dressing because it’s light and it doesn’t go bad.  It also doesn’t have to be refrigerated.  How many times has your salad dressing gone bad in the company fridge?  Never again for me.

I leave everything in the containers and just mix it up each day.  Takes less than 1 minute!

Lunch Option 2 – Pasta back up

pasta-214867_1920.jpgSo I learned this from this awesome blog: http://frugalitygal.com/2014/03/freezer-cooking-024-microwavable-pasta.html#_a5y_p=1430589

Basically, freeze pasta into daily portion sizes, freeze smaller sized pasta sauces and pick a different sauce every day!  For me, I usually just take a jar of sauce to work and use it all week with my frozen pasta.  What I like about this is that I can completely forget a lunch and this can be my back up.  And then, as Frugality Gal describes, it’s super cheap too!

Lunch Option 3 – Frozen Burritos

So from the same awesome blog:  http://frugalitygal.com/?s=burritos

Here, I usually use these for breakfast.  I might snack or have a coffee on my way to work, but I usually eat more at work, before lunch.  These little burritos help keep me filled up till lunch.  But, if I forget my lunch, and I don’t want to spend money on food, it’s so nice to have these in the freezer as a back up.  And these are soooo much healthier than the kind you buy in the frozen section at the store.  Don’t buy those!  They are so bad for you!  These are cheaper, better tasting and better for you.

Lunch Option 4 – Truly Pre-made Salads

salad-jar-1244573_1920.jpgThere are millions of blogs on how to make a pre-made salad in a mason jar.  The idea is simple, make the salad the night before and take to work.  This is a cool option because you probably have a lot more options for your salad and can mix it up a lot more this way.  But, you have to remember it in the morning.  And when I’m getting ready, getting my kids ready, taking them to school and trying to remember all my stuff, it just doesn’t happen half the time.  So just keep this in mind.  I prefer Option 1 because I pick up the ingredients on the way to work on Monday so there is no way to forget my lunch.  But again, this allows for more options without bringing a whole store to work.  Whatever works for you!

If you have more cheap & easy lunch options you use, let me know!  I’m always looking for more ideas!

Life hack: Super easy ways to reduce your landfill impact: paper

There are so many ways to reduce your impact on the environment.  This is a list of a few ways to reduce paper usage.  Paper usage has a huge impact on our environment and our landfill space.

Electronic Invitations

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You’ve probably already used a company such as Evite at some point.  These types of invitations were once considered informal or cheap.  Well they are free!  But they are no longer considered rude or inappropriate for even formal events.  And by paying a fee, you can get “upgraded” invite options.  Evite has even been used for weddings.  So use a company such as Evite.com and save some trees!

Electronic Thank You’s

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While you can use a company such as Evite to also send out Thank You “cards”, I prefer Red Stamp.  With Red Stamp, you can take a photo, write words on top of it and text or email it to whomever you intend the “thank you”.  So, for example, you can take a picture of you and your new gift, write “Thank you so much.  I love it!” on the photo and text it to your friend.  Or take a picture of you and your guest and later send it to that guest with a message such as, “So glad you could come”.

There are other companies out there as well and other ways to do this.  But Red Stamp is very easy to use.  The best part about this type of “Thank you card” is that you’ll actually do it!

Electronic Lists

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I keep a running grocery list in the Notes section of my phone.  While a grocery list does not use a lot of paper, perhaps an idea like this will lead to using “Notes” more often for you.  I know it has for me.  If I hear something on the radio, or if someone recommends a book to me, I put it into the Notes.  I also never lose my “notes” anymore.

Another way to avoid a paper grocery list (let’s face it, you leave it at home every time anyway), is to keep a running list on on a dry erase board in the kitchen.  Take a photo of it before you go to the store (again, if you can remember).  Delete it when done.

Electronic Calendar

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This is a hard one for people to adjust to.  They fight this a lot.  But once you get used to it, it really is convenient.  First, you won’t forget your book at home.  Your phone is always with you.  Second, depending on how involved your life is, you can sync your calendar with work, other people of your family, etc.  So you can use the calendar on your phone.  If you want something else, there are sooo many options out there that I will leave that research to you.  But I will mention just a few, both of which require a Google account and have good reviews: Google calendar and Sunrise calendar.

The key is to give this a try.  You will get used to it and most likely, will eventually prefer the electronic options.  And, of course, you’ll be saving the environment as well.

Life Hack: Learn how to do ANYTHING!

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People are always trying to save money, save time, save energy but they don’t know how.  They hire professionals for every aspect of their lives.  So how can this be avoided?  The internet is one of the most obvious ways.  That will be the focus for today – a few websites that are the most helpful for learning how to do anything.

There are so many other helpful sites out there.  But if you don’t know where to find them or what they may be called, I find that a quick search on one of the following 3 sites usually will lead me to what I need, whether it’s a website for a life event, saving money or fixing things.

Youtube.com

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As most people know, You Tube is a site with videos.  But before you ever hire another professional, type in what you need into You Tube.  You may be able to handle it yourself.  The search can be a full sentence of just a few keywords.  Just a few random searches to help you get the idea:

How to harvest rainwater

How to live off the grid

How to add more hair to a wig

How to fix rattling sound in car (insert your car info)

How to knit

Pinterest.com

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So Pinterest is like reading a magazine.  Just type in your topic that you want to learn about/see.  For this search you just type in the keywords.  So for example:

Repair doll hair

Kid camp ideas (this will pull up ideas, places, games, etc)

Ab exercises

Cheap travel (for tips on where to go, what to do, how to do it, etc)

Car maintenance (for how to change every fluid, replace tires, anything!)

For any of these searches on Pinterest, if you find an article that you like, it usually comes from a blog and you can then dig through that blog.  Depending on the focus of that blog, you may want to follow that blog and really get more thorough information on your topic.

Google.com

Yahoo.com 

or any search engine

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An internet search engine can assist with any search.  What can be helpful with a more general search like this is that it can lead you to several blogs or websites that discuss your topic.  You can then look further into each blog/website to see if one focuses on the type of information you really want.  For example, you may be looking for an article on how to make a vegan friendly meal.  But in general, you want a blog that posts all kinds of food, not just vegan.  If you type in vegan meals you will find the article you need.  But you will then find sites completely dedicated to vegan meals, and other sites related to health issues while others may be all food.  So a general search engine can give you a broader result.  And again, you can type in keywords or a full sentence.  For example:

Vegan meals

How to increase lung capacity

Pros and cons to homeschooling

How do I take a screenshot

How to fix a leaky faucet

If you can’t find what you need on one of these 3 sites, I’m not sure it’s out there!  If you have a preferred way to find/learn things on the internet, leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear it!

 

 

 

Quick tips: Super easy ways to reduce your impact on landfills – baby products

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Reduce your impact on landfills – baby products

Babies can be extremely detrimental to the environment.  Hence the super cute photo.  These days there are so many products that are good quality and better for the environment than the standard baby products.  The following is a list of items that now come in recyclable or reusable form.  I’ve also listed a few of the companies for your convenience.  This list is certainly not exhaustive but meant to be an introductory guide.

Baby wipes

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Reducing your impact on landfills – baby products

http://www.Naty.com – biodegradable

http://www.honest.com – biodegradable

There are many other brands that are not biodegradable but are made with recycled materials and produce less waste.

Diapers

 

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Reducing your impact on landfills – baby products

 

 

http://www.Naty.com – as close to biodegradable as possible

http://www.dy-dee.com is one company that offers doorstep drop off and pick up for cloth diapers.

http://www.gdiapers.com – reusable cloth diapers with disposable inserts

Shampoo/soap

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Reducing your impact on landfills – baby products

http://www.Naty.com – biodegradable

http://www.honest.com – biodegradable

This is one of the easiest products to find.  There is no need to use a baby shampoo on a baby.  Use a biodegradable one.  If it can’t harm the earth, how will hurt your baby ?  Shampoo/conditioner/body washes like often have much healthier ingredients than the typical baby products.

Laundry detergent

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Reducing your impact on landfills – baby products

http://www.seventhgeneration.com/ – biodegradable.  Although here is an article comparing several brands: http://grist.org/article/its-a-wash/

http://www.ecos.com – biodegradable

There are lots of brands that are biodegradable.  Again, no need to buy a “baby detergent”.  All they are claiming is to be gentle.  What could be more gentle than a biodegradable product?

Baby products

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Reduce your impact on landfills – baby products

Keep in mind that car seats, strollers, swings, etc. can all be reused.  If your friend already had a kid, use their old gear.  There is no need to buy everything new.  If the items have not been damaged, it’s just wasteful for everyone to buy them.  And, of course, don’t forget to recycle your baby gear when you are done with it.  Left over diapers (unused of course), clothes, etc.  Give it to a friend or Goodwill.