Maggies Mentions


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How Not To Be A Victim of Vacation Rental Scams

ID-100262368Renting a home, condo or apartment for a large family get away or just for two is a nice way to spend a vacation this summer. Love a home on the water, or hiking from a cabin in the woods, beware of scammers who want to build up your hopes and take your money. They can use fake photo’s and descriptions they have stolen from real estate websites to promote their fake listings on places like Craigslist. They put up a lovely photo, bring you in with a winning description and a low price you may not be able to resist.  Remember the saying ” If it sounds to good to be true it probably isn’t true at all”.

Scammers can ask you to send a deposit and in return they will send you the keys or tell you where they are to get access to the property. Either you will receive a set of fake keys, or the place where they said the keys would be will not be there.  Research any deal you come across on Craigslist or a site like it. There may be some that are  legitimate, but better to be safe and check with a real estate office in the area you are looking to rent a vacation spot from.

Photo Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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Money Savers – How to Make Your Own Party Cakes

ID-10026106Special occasions like a birthday, wedding and anniversaries, to a fun backyard barbeque need great desserts. Ordering elegant to party fun cakes can get costly but you can make a cake to fit your occasion with the help at DesignMeACake.com. You will get step by step instructions to baking, frosting and even making flowers.

Also check out Pastrywiz.com for themed desserts like Wedding Cakes, Easter Cakes, Mothers Day, Gifts in a Jar, Cookies and more. They also show you great how to’s and tips from pastry chefs along with step by step instructions.

 

 

Photo Courtesy Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot of FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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5 Habits That Will Make Grocery Shopping So Easy

The Family Dining Room

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Of the many household chores you’re expected to do, do you love or hate grocery shopping. The people who love to grocery shop usually do because they have learned to do it in an organized manner.  If you’re still pushing a cart down the aisle and stuffing it with your favorite foods without a plan for how these foods will be used or how much you’re spending, then you need to begin by shopping with a plan.

Planning

1)  Begin with a general game plan for the week.  What meals will you be eating at home? Devise a menu for the week and check your cupboards for ingredients you may already have. This will help you decide what needs to be purchased and when.  You may not want to buy all you salad fixings for the week as fresh produce doesn’t always keep for seven days.  Maybe instead, you will…

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How To Get More Miles Out Of Your Gas Tank

ID-100126260For the first time in years fuel prices have dropped! To save even more money on fuel, there are some things you can do to get even more millage for your dollar.

Smooth Driving
With the GPS system and places online like Google Maps and Map Quest you can pretty much pick a route of where you are going and it will show you where the traffic is heavy or if there is any traffic at all. Planning to go across town or further, check out your GPS or maps online with the address your going to from the place your at and see if the traffic is heavy. This will help you pick out a detour that may be shorter or even if its a bit longer you can still save money on the road. Better to be along your way then sitting in traffic using up fuel.

What lane do you drive in?
If your on a road with say three lanes, then you know that probably the right lane will be a stop and go for people turning off to the right, the braking and acceleration of slow down and speed up uses up more fuel. Passing someone even uses up more fuel. Try the middle lane and cruise until you have to be either the left or right lane.

No Phone Calls
Anything distracting you while driving is not good. Cell phones are just that, a distraction whether you have a head set or speaker phone. Many states ban cell phones and texting while driving and with good reason to safety. While they are a safely issue, the distraction while on the phone can also cause you to make a wrong turn, brake suddenly for not noticing traffic or the person in front of you stopping and driving faster then you should. This all adds up to more fuel being used.

Turn of The Air Conditioner
Air Conditioners eat up your fuel try not to use the air conditioner if you don’t have to. If you are starting out in the morning and the heat is not up to par yet, ride with the windows down.
When you reach your destination try to park in a place that provides shade so you can keep your car reasonably cool and your air conditioner wont have to cool off your hot car.
Once your car is cool, turn the AC down a notch or two.

Gas Prices can be more on the Weekends
Check gas prices on the news, online and especially during a holiday weekend coming up. Usually during a holiday weekend like gas prices can go up. Try to fill your tank a few days before to get the cheapest price. Your local news should give you updates on gas prices during the week for what is to come for the weekend.

Carpooling
If you know of a neighbor or co worker nearby you, offer to carpool. Going to the store, gym or to work, this is a good way to save on fuel.

Photo Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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Coupon Tips for Pubix, Target and More

ID-100282025 Taking a little time from your busy day to save at the grocery store or other stores with coupons puts that bit of extra cash in our pocket.  If you have a smartphone or one like it, you can use the coupon code from your phone.

Publix has a No-Clip coupon program that automatically takes off your savings at checkout. Here is how it works:

Go to Publix.com coupon section and sign up. Add in your phone number and start clicking on their coupon deals. When you go to check out, add in the phone number you signed up with before you pay.  You will see the savings when your total purchase price shows up. I  was surprised the other day when I bought an item I had not planned on, that was not on sale and when I checked out,  I saved $2.00 from previously clicking that coupon.

Just like any coupon, there will be expiration dates. Once your account is open, you will be able to see what you clipped, what has been redeemed and what has expired. You can even print out your coupon list, send it to your email or download it in a PDF.

If you shop at Target then you know they offer a Red Card that you can use as a debit or credit card with a 5% savings at check out. If you do not have one, ask the cashier.

Target has now come out with a coupon incentive program that offers you up to 25% savings on groceries household products and more. Their new program is called Cartwheel and you simply sign up with your Facebook select browse and choose what you want to save on (up to ten items) then add them to your cartwheel. Once you have chosen your items, click on My Cartwheel at the top and choose redeem in store. You have the choice to print out the coupons or scan with a smartphone.

Look for more savings at grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurant with loyalty programs. These programs usually offer a free incentive to keep you coming back. Some manufactures offer extra’s for loyalty customers, with bonus savings. While your shopping for a good deal, see if the place your looking to shop at has a loyalty program.

Photo Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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Money Savers – Free Sewing Patterns

ID-10047770Personally I am not gifted with the art of sewing but I love fashion. I admire people that can sit down at a sewing machine and make a beautiful garment. I have taken patterns of a tops, dresses, suits and more to dressmakers and had them look just like the outfit I wanted, and even had a few dressmakers add their own creativity and make it better.

If you love to sew then you are going to love these three sites that offer free and paid for patterns that you can download for clothes, decor for your home and more.

M-Sewing.com has hundreds sewing patterns and they are all FREE in standard sizes (S, M, L, XL)
Free-Sewing.com from clothes to apparel some patterns are FREE and you can buy there 20 top downloads for a small price!
BurdaStyle.com have copyright free downloadable patterns for a small price.

Photo Courtesy of Surachai FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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Free Printable Thank you Cards

ID-100259627If you sell on Etsy, Amazon or your preference online you know customer care is crucial. Online sales are most busy for the holidays and one of the things you do not want to overlook at anytime is a “Thank you for shopping with us” note when your customer receives their package.

That simple thank you card can have your contact information, a link to your store, blog, email address, phone number and/or website so your customer can contact you and shop again.

I found this great site that offers you free printable cards for many occasions but the one I have recently used it for is a “Thank you” to my customers for their purchases. The cards are already made up templates ready to print out, or you could make one of your own. I include my thank you for shopping with me, my email address and a link back to my store on Etsy. It is easy to do and in just minutes you can print out on paper or cards its up to you.

Get Your Free Thank you or other occasion cards Right Here

Photo Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net