“Jamming” in the Summer Can Reduce Holiday Spending

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holding-fresh-strawberries

You’ve heard that saying, Christmas in July, right? Well we’re talking Christmas presents in June over on my latest eHow article, How Your Summer Jam Session Can Cut Your Holiday Spending.

Although canning jam is pretty straight forward, canning was not something I grew up around so to say I was intimidated by the whole canning process would be a major understatement. But as that first summer wore on I slowly got the hang of home canning and before I knew it we had about 60 jars of jam sitting in our cupboards.

Go HERE to read the full article…

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



Friday Night at the Movies – BBC Future of Food – Part 3: Cuba

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This is the last part of the three part series on The Future of Food I’ve been sharing with you over the past few weeks.  This one explores how we can continue to sustain the world’s population with our current food growing and importing standards.  As always, the BBC puts on a good show, and it’s free, so click play and let me know what you learned from watching the series in the comments below.

Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself a great weekend,

~Mavis

PicMonkey Collage

Looking for more movies?

Check out the full list of my Friday Night at the Movies Selections or click on over & look at all the movies on Amazon Instant Video. There are a ton of videos to choose from that will cost you absolutely nothing {nada, zilch, free-o} with Amazon Prime; like thousands of regular movies & TV shows & hundreds of documentaries {Wahoo!}. Get all the details HERE!

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Do the Colors Around Us Affect Our Spending?

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Do the Colors Around Us Affect Our Spending

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that retailers spend a lot of time {and money} strategically and meticulously planning every aspect of their stores to elicit one response:  you spending more.  Grocery stores put milk at the back of the store so that you have to walk through the store to get to it, in hopes that you will pick up a couple of other items along the way.  It totally works too, which is why I am actually saving money having my milk delivered instead.

Some stores rearrange constantly so that you have to look for the items on your list by perusing every aisle.  Did you know retailers use colors to influence your willingness to part with your cash too?  Yes, indeed, turns out shopping is all one big mind game.

tide-detergent

Companies use color for brand recognition all of the time.  Everyone knows that Tide comes in a blue and orange box, but the knock-off companies love to copy that color pattern, just so that you think that their brand is as good as the name brand–and it might be, but the point is, you are more willing to buy it if it reminds you of a popular brand.

Stores use the same general principals by capitalizing on the emotional response colors cause buyers.  One article I read quoted consumer psychologist, Kit Yarrow:

It could be the color of the product, or if they’re displayed in groups of colors that tends to have a big emotional impact. Colors have different associations and those things tend to get people going. So, for example, red is almost always the color associated with sales because it inspires people to take action and it’s a stimulating sort of color.

If  Target’s logo was blue, it wouldn’t be perceived as a place where things are reasonably priced. I think value-oriented stores tend to have logos with red, but it could also be orange. Black is almost always associated with higher prices and luxury.

target christmas clearance sale

It’s totally true!  A red sticker screams clearance and always grabs my attention.  Retailers win this round, but I’m totally going to be aware of the psychological games retailers play from here on out.  {Read:  probably not, but it feels good to take a momentary stand.}

Want to know what colors are used for what?  So did I.  I found a super cool chart on Kissmetrics–which I totally recommend you check out, but here’s the basics:

Yellow - Optimistic, used to grab attention of window shoppers
Red – Increases heart rate, used for clearance items
Blue – Establishes trust and security, used by banks
Green – Associated with wealth {color of money, anyone?}
Orange – Aggressive color, creates an urgency to buy
Pink – Romantic and feminine, used to market to women and girls
Black – Powerful color, used to market luxury items
Purple – Calming and soothing, used in beauty and anti-aging products

What do you think, looking back, can you see how the use of these colors have influenced a purchase you have made?  I’ll admit that they’ve affected me.

~Mavis

Want to find out more about colors?   Amazon has a book called Color – Messages & Meanings with great reviews that will give you the low down on our emotional response to colors–and on the flip side, it might really be worth it if you are trying to sell something!

color messages and meaning

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mavis Mail – Reader Dale Deals with Flooding

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dale 1
A big THANK YOU to everyone who has sent in their photographs and stories. I hope by sharing other peoples pictures and stories here on One Hundred Dollars a Month we can all have a rock star garden this summer. Keep them coming!

Check out this story and photos from Dale who’s had a drainage issue in his garden:

After doing a lot of research on how to improve my garden, I decided to install raised beds. With lots of inspiration from your site and many others, I got the project under way this last February.
dale 4

As you can see from the first of these photos, drainage has been an issue in the past. This year’s record rain fall had me wading through 6 to 8 inches of mud while I set up the raised beds and got them filled.

Dale flood
At the same time I constructed a seed starting station in my rec-room.

Dale2DaleAt this time I have {8} 4’ x 16’ beds, {2} 4’ x 14’ beds and a 2’ border bed around half of the garden.

Dale3
I installed irrigation to all the beds and can finally start enjoying the veggies coming out of the garden.

Dale5
Dale got busy planting over NINETY different varieties of seeds. To say he’s going to have a plethora to harvest is an understatement!

If you would like to have your garden, chicken coop or something you’ve made featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.
  • Cool Arts & Crafts - Made from your very own hands with detailed {and well photographed} pictures and instructions.
  • Your pictures and stories about your pets. The more pictures and details the better.
  • Garage Sale, Thrift Store and Dumpster Diving pictures and the stories behind the treasures you found including how much you paid for them.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Free Kindle Books, Coupons, Vibram FiveFingers, Saveur Magazine, Tuna Pouches, and More

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luray museum virginia

Happy Friday!

I hope you all are doing well… especially those of you walking around with temperatures in the mid 90′s. It’s enough to make you want to take off your jeans and longsleeved t-shirt and put on a pair of shorts and a tank top like a normal person. ;) Hardy har har.

This morning The Girl and I are in Hershey, Pennsylvania and we are planning on eating LOT’s and LOT’s of chocolate {and maybe squeeze in a few roller coasters as well}.

What are your plans for this weekend? Doing anything exciting?

Mavis

rosetta stone

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - 50% Off Rosetta Stone Level 1-3 Set  If you kids will be taking a foreign language in high school or college, I highly recommend this for over the summer. My daughter used Rosetta Stone and aced her classes because of the extra help she received with this program.

canon copier

Amazon is also offering an awesome bonus deal today - Canon Laser Monochrome Printer with Scanner, Copier and Fax

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can.

bumble bee tuna packets

Great for camping and protein on the go!

Learn About Amazon Subscribe and Save

How-to-Recycle-Old-Crayons-A perfect summer project the next time your kids mutter, “I’m bored!!” Find out how to Recycle Old Crayons HERE or find more cool projects for kids on my Kids Pinterest Board.

secret deodorant

Get a Twin Pack of Secret Deodorant Shower Fresh for only $2.75 shipped when you “clip” the $1.00 off coupon and use the subscribe and save option at checkout. Thats only $1.37 each!

rei deals

REI Outlet Deal of the Day - Save up to 40% on all Paddling Gear and Clothing.

Vibram FiveFingers

6pm has Vibram FiveFingers on sale for as low as $28 shipped. My daughter has two pairs of these shoes and LOVES them. {I think they’re kinda creepy} ;)

saveur magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Saveur Magazine for only $4.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 6/20/14 at midnight EST.

nesco food dehydratorNow is the time to dehydrate all that yummy summer fruit!  Here are a few deals:

Homemade Granola Bars

Are your kids eating you out of house and home yet? Try this Homemade Granola Bars recipe and it should fill them up in a hurry. Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for Later.

noodle sprinkler

If you are looking for a sprinkler for your garden, this Noodlehead Flexible Lawn & Garden Sprinkler rocks!  Amazon currently has it on sale for only $12.00, and I love it!  Plus, if you have kids, they can run and jump over it too.

dyson

Get a Dyson DC24 Upright Vacuum with Technology for Multifloor or Animal Cleaning {Refurbished} for $219.99 shipped. New to Groupon? Join Groupon Here. Then go HERE to get this deal.

barilla plus pasta coupon

Check out these New Printable Coupons:

Find More Printable Coupons

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How to Make a Barbie Cake

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how to make a barbie cake

The Girl’s BFF turned 18 last week, and so we decided to make her a Barbie cake for the big day. {Can you believe it was her first one?} It was our way of helping her say goodbye to “childhood”–though, I have to admit, The Girl and her friends have been gracefully mature for so long, we should have made her the cake when she was 15.

directions for making a barbie cake

Ingredients

2 boxes Cake Mix {if you want to make your cake from scratch, that’s cool too}
Oven Safe Bowl {I used my 5 cup Pampered Chef Batter Bowl}
2 9″ round cake pans
Frosting {enough to send a small child into a diabetic coma}
1 Barbie Doll
Straws

barbie cake directions

Directions

Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box.  Split the mixture between your greased oven safe bowl and cake pans.  Bake.  Allow your cakes to cool a bit before you flip them out of their pans, it will lessen the likelihood of them breaking.

When cakes have completely cooled, slice the rounded part of the cakes from the 9″ cake pan off carefully to create a flat surface.  Next, slice the rounded part of the cake from the bowl.  Then, cut the remainder in half.

SAVE ALL OF THE PIECES YOU ARE CUTTING.

barbie cake

Now it’s time to stack those bad boys.  Lay the 9″ trimmed flat cake on the bottom of a serving platter. Frost the top, repeat and then carefully stack the bottom half of the bowl cake next.  Frost to hold the next layer, and stack the domed part of the bowl cake on top.

Frost the entire cake with a “base layer” of frosting. The cake can be a bit crumbly at this stage so I always frost a base layer first.

You may also want to stabilize the whole thing in order to prevent it from sliding off { I don’t but my neighbor Girly Girl always does}. So, take 4 straws and push them down into the cake, making sure they go through all of the layers.

If the doll is too tall for the cake, just build up the frosting {or chop off her legs}.  You can also buy cake dolls without legs for this exact purpose.

making a barbie cake

Finally, using a piping tip, frost the doll to give her a top to her dress and decorate the “skirt.”

~Mavis

how to make a barbie cake

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Top 10 Things to Do in Portland, Oregon

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Top 10 Things to Do in  Portland, Oregon

When The Girl and I decided to go on an impromptu road trip to Portland, OR awhile back, we got the chance to cover a pretty wide range of sites/activities.  By the end of the weekend, we decided that it was actually a pretty cool city.  It gets compared to Seattle a lot, but I got a totally different vibe from it.  It has its own unique kind of flavor–worth experiencing for yourself.

Bobs Red Mill Whole Grain Store and CafeIt really is one of those cities with a million different things to do, so this top 10 is really just a jumping off point:

  1. Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Store and Cafe.  You can check out what all the hub-bub over stone-ground grains is about, eat a little fresh baked bread, and do some shopping.  It’s an afternoon well-spent, I promise.Powells used Bookstore
  2. Powell’s Bookstore.  Powell’s is an iconic, privately owned massive bookstore.  The best part?  They carry new and used books–so you can score some pretty good deals.
  3. Pendleton Woolen Mill Store.  If you sew, hook rugs, or are crafty in any way, this is your chance to grab up some very unique fabrics and/or ends.Voodoo Doughnuts - Portland, OR
  4. Voodoo Doughnuts.  I’ll keep it simple:  world famous doughnuts.  Enough said.
  5. Portland Japanese Gardens.  The gardens are split up into 5 different separate garden, each with their own themes.  If you can’t find your inner-calm in one of them, you probably don’t have any inner-calm.Tillamook Cheese Factory Tour and Farmhouse Cafe
  6. Tillamook Cheese Factory and Farmhouse Cafe.  Okay, so this one isn’t really IN Portland, but it’s FRESH cheese and ice cream–like 24 hours from the cow fresh.  If you have any respect for the grilled cheese sandwich, you will make the trek.The Goonies House - Astoria, OR
  7. The Goonies House.  Calling all children of the 80′s, this is your chance to relive your youth.  Climb up the driveway and checkout the house {you can’t go in}.  ”Boobie twapped, that’s what I said.”
  8. Portland Saturday Market.  This Saturday {and Sunday} market puts other markets to shame.  You can stroll through 100′s of vendors handmade items, eat your way through the best of what Portland has to offer, and listen to live music.
  9. Hike through Forest Park.  With 70 miles of trails, it is one of the largest naturally forested parks in the U.S.  Portland is a super outdoorsy city for a reason–it is beautiful, and Forest Park is no exception. salt and straw ice cream portland
  10. Have some ice cream at Salt & Straw.  It’s all handmade, local, organic ice cream.  It. Is. Delicious.  Your mouth will thank you.  {Plus, I bet you there is no beaver butt, whatsoever, in the ingredients.}

Have you been to Portland?  What’s your favorite thing to do?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Organization Tips – How to Organize Your Mail

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How to Organize Your Mail

Even though I did a thorough cleaning at the beginning of the new year, mail is daily, and despite best efforts, it piles up.  I decided that I need some sort of system {it’s tempting for that system to just be the garbage can} to keep it all under control.

If you’re looking to keep your mail in check, here are a couple of organization tips to try:

  1. Pick one spot for all mail.  It’s the worst when you have stacks on the kitchen counter, the office, and the entry way table–and none of the piles have the power bill you are looking for.  Get in the habit of putting EVERYTHING in one place, instead of scattering it all over the house.  At the very least, you will only have to search through one pile to find what you need.
  2. Pick a time to open the mail.  Don’t let it pile up day after day–you may end up missing something important.  Plan to open it daily.  Deal with it daily.
  3. Keep a “needs to be shredded” basket that you can toss junk mail right away.  Then, shred it when the basket fills up.  Don’t chance all of those credit card offers just getting tossed into the garbage without shredding it.
  4. Limit the junk mail.  Call 888-5-OPT-OUT to stop the flood of offers that waste your time and paper.  You can also go to junkmasters.com to deal with the problem.
  5. Create a file system close to the place you sort your mail.  That way, you can easily drop each piece into its designated spot, and grab it when you need it.

Really, I think the key is just keeping on top of it, but isn’t that the way it is with everything?  How do you keep your mail in check?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Help! I Have Scaredy Chickens!

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chicken chickens
One Hundred Dollars a Month reader, Justine, recently sent me a question asking about her chickens.  She wrote,
We have backyard chickens and they’re very wary of us…the don’t like us to pet them or even get very close and it makes me saaaaad cause I want to hug them! will this get better with time or is there a trick to making them less scared of humans?

Blue Laced Red Wyandotte chicken chicks

My first question is whether or not you have raised the chickens from chicks.  I think chickens that you have raised from chicks are much, much more likely to let you hold them in adulthood, especially if you held and pet them quite a bit as chicks.  If you got them when they were older, you may be out of luck.

You can try sitting in the grass and offering them tasty treats to gain their trust, but it will be a crap shoot as to whether it sticks or not.  If they do seem to get close when you give them treats, try to work up to them eating out of your hand.  Talk the entire time–just to ensure they get familiar with your voice.

broody-chicken

Some people swear that their chickens get friendlier once they start laying.  It mellows them out or something, but I wouldn’t hang your hat on that {if it is even the case that your chickens haven’t started laying yet}.   Still, it might be a last-ditch hope if getting them to warm up to you isn’t working.

grey chicken

If you did get them as chicks and still they won’t allow you to hold them, you may just have gotten unlucky as far as their personalities go.  Some chickens flat out don’t want to be touched/held.  I have a couple myself.  It’s just their temperament.  Chickens aren’t really like cats and dogs, they don’t always bond with humans in the pet-like way that we want them to.  And, as far as I am concerned, they have a right to be suspicious, word on the block is that humans eat chickens from time to time. :)

How about YOU, any tips for Justine on getting her chickens to warm up to her a bit more?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Free Kindle Books, Water Balloon Flip Flops, Recipes, Coupons and More

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kitty kat

Is it possible to be a cat person AND a dog person? I always thought you had to be one or the other but my friend’s sweet little kitty has changed my mind.

I’ve picked her up several times since we’ve been here and each and every time she walks back and lays down on the old braided rug on the porch.  It’s so cute I can hardly stand it.

Virginia is AWESOME!!! {Well, except the heat}. ;) HH, we need to move here someday. PRETTY PLEASE?

Mavis

Drinkwell Big-Dog Pet Fountain

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - Up to 50% Off Select Drinkwell Pet Fountains plus save 30% on Nestle Purina Treats for Cats & Dogs

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can.

how-to-make-water-balloon-flip-flops1Let me tell you Bob, I’d much rather make these cute Water Balloon Flip Flops then fill these suckers up with a hose! Get the directions HERE or Pin it for Later!

freezer pop molds

Make your own freezer pops with these 6 High Quality BPA Free Silicone Ice Pop Popsicle Molds. They are great for little hands. Simply fill with juice and pop then in the freezer.

brooks workout clothing

6pm has Fila, Brooks, and Puma athletic wear on sale with savings up to 70% off. Plus you receive FREE SHIPPING too!

Earn some extra money with the Nielsen Home Scan Consumer PanelYou report on what you buy, they reward you with all sorts of points you can exchange for electronics, household goods, etc.

urban farm magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Urban Farm Magazine for only $8.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 6/19/14 at midnight EST.

easy-summer-recipes-grilled-corn-roasted-pepper-and-black-bean-salad

Looking for something simple to make tonight? How about a Grilled Corn, Roasted Pepper, and Black Bean Salad? Make sure you Pin it for Later too, so you can find it the next time you’re craving it!

Yonanas 901 Deluxe Ice Cream Treat Maker

Amazon has the Yonanas Deluxe Ice Cream Treat Maker on sale for $50.98 shipped.  The Yonanas machine turns frozen fruit and other flavorings into a delicious and healthy soft-serve treat. Yumm-o!

dole banana dippers coupon

Check out these New Printable Coupons:

Find More Printable Coupons

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel