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Money Saving Tips $100 Bills

Money saving Tips.

Save money bag

The subject of money has been a big deal since the beginning of human history. Even in Bible times money became a problem for many people. There has always been a need for money or trading of goods to survive in all societies. Lately it seems like simply paying the bills is getting harder, especially with the ever rising prices in daily essentials. So, saving money really gets put on the back burner. For the average American, the cost of living has gone up by almost 4% since 2008! Our dollar just doesn’t stretch like it used to. Did you know inflation is a normal process of life? However, there are steps you can take to help get out of debt and save money in the process.

Money saving tip one: Have a Plan.

save money clip board with plans

My family lives by the motto “you don’t work, you don’t eat. There are no free lunches.” To achieve goals, whatever they may be, you need a plan. Set realistic expectations for yourself and work hard to achieve your goals. “Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” -Anthony Robbins-

Nothing in life goes exactly to plan and you can’t predict every outcome. Sometimes you will stumble and fall. Sometimes you seem to have it all figured out. Having a solid goal and knowing your “why” will help keep you on track to reach your goals. Maybe that looks like owning a home, having a family, your dream career, or financial freedom. Maybe it is all of the above. Mars is the limit when you have a goal and work toward it everyday. I want to encourage you and provide a positive solution to help you navigate your way through these troubling times financially. I don’t have everything figured out either I’m just like you. Trying to be better than I was yesterday. Be positive and have a plan!

Money saving tip two: Eat simple meals at home.

simple save money food items

Eat at home. Eating out can be very expensive. Even with the price of groceries it is still more expensive to eat out. Especially with a bigger family. Eating simple meals at home can save you hundreds of dollars a month. There was a time we ate beans and cheese for dinner every night for a month. We did what we had to do to survive. Sometimes life isn’t about thriving its about surviving. Just keeping it real.

Additionally, shop the sales when ever possible and buy in bulk.

Tips for saving money at the grocery store. Found on The Humbled Homemaker.com

Simple breakfasts:

1. Oatmeal and fruit

2. Yogurt with fruit or granola

3. Home made French toast

4. Breakfast burritos

5. Smoothies

6. Cereal

Simple lunch/dinners:

  1. Peanut butter and jelly

2. Tuna salad sandwiches

3. Rice and beans

4. Broccoli cheese rice

5. Baked potatoes loaded or w/butter

6. Tortilla pizzas

7. Homemade pizza

8. Zucchini boats

9.Grilled cheese with tomato soup

10. Potato soup

11. Beans and corn bread

12. Home made Mac N cheese.

13. Beef/fish/turkey Tacos

Simple snacks:

  1. Apples and peanut butter

2. Oranges

3. Carrots and hummus

4. Fruit of any kind

5. Yogurt and berries

6. Fruit smoothies

7. Cheese sticks

8. Roasted Cheerios.

Simple deserts:

  1. Peanut butter cookies

2. Cereal treat bars

3. Homemade rice crispy treats

4. Muddy buddies

5. Rice pudding,

6. Peanut butter yogurt

Saving money tip three: Get creative with date nights/family activities.

 Couple on a date save money

To save money, you should be creative. There are great things to do for free or cheap everywhere, just think outside the box.

Date night idea one: You can grab a couple of coffees and a pastry from a gas station and go to a park for a late night walk and snack.

Date idea Two: Set up a nice table at home and have homemade pasta by candle light then watch a good movie on your comfortable couch.

Family fun: Pack a sack lunch and go to a park with your kiddos. They will have a great time and it won’t cost you a thing! Go for a bike ride around your neighborhood. Play basketball at the park. Game night at home, video or board games. Your kids will have fun either way. Plus, it’s a great way to have fun and connect with your family without needing to spend money on entertainment.

Money saving tip four: Save for Christmas/ birthday’s year around.

Christmas tree and gifts. save money this season

Holidays have turned into a money sucking machine. It is fun to give and receive gifts. However, you shouldn’t need to take out a loan to do it. Saving a little from every pay check year around can do two things. It can keep you in a budget and get you in the habit of saving. We live in a culture that wants things now! However, good things come to those who wait. Waiting and saving for the gifts you want to give makes the gifts that much more special.

Shop for sales and at the outlet stores or thrift stores. You never know what gems you can find! Also, if you go to thrift stores in the wealthier parts of town, they are likely to have nicer things.

Last minute gift ideas for when your not sure. Found on The Humbled Homemaker’s website. She has great tips for saving money!

Save money Girl with shopping bags

Simple peanut butter cookies

money saving cookies

One cup peanut butter

One cup granulated sugar

One large egg

Mix all three ingredients together. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 mins. Enjoy!


Taco Tuesday! It is not only delicious it is easy and inexpensive to make.

Click here for a recipe.

Bonus tip: 3 gift rule.

For Christmas, consider having a three gift limit rule in your family.

1. Something they need/educational

2. Something they want

3. Something to wear. (Sometimes the something they need and wear can be combined into one gift.)

In conclusion:

Cutting back and thinking outside the box will help you save money. When you are buying a new home, saving money is important. Every dollar counts and a dollar saved is a dollar earned. Make a plan, know your finances. Be creative with entertainment. Save for holidays year round. Learn to cook from scratch, and shop sales. Saving money isn’t easy and it takes a lot of self control.

Restricting yourself may cause you to over spend later on something you do not really need. Consider having a set amount set aside to spend each month as “fun money” or “mad money” to help you stay on track.

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficient Home: Ten Tips (1-5)

Energy efficiency is a big topic these days. It seems like everyone and their dog has an opinion on what is trendy or the correct way to be energy efficient. I am not going to get into all that today or any day for that matter. I just want to give you tips that are reasonable and affordable. You may even SAVE some money in the process. Having an energy efficient home may seem like a daunting task. Where should you even start? I am so glad you asked.

1. Energy Efficient Attic Door

Insulating and weatherstripping your attic trap door is a great energy efficient step you can take. It doesn’t cost much and will eliminate a large heat loss or intake and potential attic moisture problems. The weatherstripping will prevent the hot air from the attic from escaping through the cracks. A few layers of insulation on the trap door will prevent heat transfer through the door.

Energy Efficient Attic Trap Door-Insulate, Seal

2. Water Heater Temperature

Reducing your water heater to lower settings or to a temperature that is best for you. This makes the unit work less, keeping the water hot in the tank, thus using less energy. It will also reduce the chances of someone being scalded by the hot water. A good temperature to set your water heater to is 120 degrees. Water feels hot at 105 degrees, at 115 degrees it can cause first-degree burns.

Some water heaters do not have a dial to show the temperature of the water. So, moving the dial to the “warm” setting should do it. Once reset you can test it to see if that will be warm enough for your liking. Note: it will take a few hours for the heat in the tank to change to the new temperature set. Be careful when opening the box to change the thermostat on your water heater some wires may be hot.

Use Electric Water Heater Temperature Dial to Be more energy efficient
Use Gas Water heater Temperature Dial to Be more energy efficient

3. Energy Efficient Thermostat Settings

We all want to be comfortable, lowering the thermostat setting for your heating system in the winter and rising it in the summer doesn’t exactly seem like comfort. However, by dialing the thermostat back just one degree it could save you up to 3% on your energy bills.

In the winter trying to have the thermostat set at 68 degrees may require you to put on a sweater or use a blanket but who doesn’t love a comfy sweater or snuggling up on the couch to read a good book with a blanket? In the summer try setting the thermostat to 78 degrees.

During a particularly hot spell leave your cooler on but at a higher temperature like 78 degrees. Don’t turn your cooler on and off day to day. Switching it on and off uses more energy then just letting it get to the set temperature. Setting it lower helps your system not to work so hard also saving some energy.

Consider getting a programmable thermostat. That will allow you to set back the heating or cooling during the evening while your sleeping or during the day when no one is home.

Use Digital Thermostat to Be more energy efficient

4. Energy Efficient Doors and Windows

To eliminate heating and cooling losses throughout your home you should seal the doors and windows on the exterior walls. This will also make sure no unwanted moisture or pests enter your home. In Florida we have snakes, lizards, frogs, opossums you name it, I think we can agree they should stay outside where they belong. Every year you should check the calking and weatherstripping on all exterior walls and windows to make sure the sealant hasn’t broken down.

Weatherstripping is inexpensive and easy to install. If you can see light through your doors when they are closed air is definitely seeping in. Making your systems work harder to heat or cool your home. Sealing the doors is very energy efficient!

Use V-strip weather strip to Be more energy efficient

5. Stop Water leaks

This may seem like a no brainier to stop all water leaks in your home, but how often do you look under the sinks or at the fixtures on the exterior of your home to check for leaks? Probably only if you start to smell mold. At that point it’s too late, the damage is done and your water bill is already higher than normal. You should do a routine bi-yearly check of all your plumbing for leaks. This also includes the crawlspace if you have one. Our home inspectors have never been in a crawlspace where there wasn’t something leaking.

A small drip can waste a huge amount of water and energy over time. Energy is required to replenish wasted water. A small drip that fills a cup in 10 minutes can waste up to 3,200 gallons a year if not corrected. Repairing leaks at faucets or fixtures will save energy and protect your precious resources.

Unattached plumbing under the sink and mold
Mold under the sink
Leaking pipe in the crawlspace
Leaking shower head


  • Insulate and weatherstrip
  • Lower water heater temperature
  • Lower thermostat settings
  • Seal doors and windows on the exterior
  • Stop all water leaks

There is a lot of advice on energy saving out there, hopefully these practical and affordable tips help keep you happy, healthy and comfortable.

Polybuylene Piping

What Is Polybutylene Piping?

Polybutylene is a type of supply plumbing piping that was installed in homes all across the United States roughly between 1978 and almost to the 2000s. It is estimated that up to 10 million homes were fitted with polybutylene during construction. The reason this material was so widely used was because it was a lower cost material and is much easier and quicker to install than it’s typical copper counterpart because it is flexible, is made of a plastic-resin and doesn’t require extensive soldering or bracing.

Can You Identify Polybutylene Piping?

There are a few fairly simple and typically easy ways to identify this piping material. Here are a few ways to tell if you have polybutylene in your home.

Identification Tips

  • They are usually a grayish-blue color. This is the most common type. But it is important to note that they can also be a cream color, white or black.
  • Pipes are only used for water supply. They are not used for drains or vents. This means that it will be connected to the water supplies and not the underside of sinks, tubs or showers.
  • They are typically about 1/2″ to 1″ in diameter. That’s about the size of a dime or a quarter.
  • They are very flexible, can curve and feel like smooth plastic.
  • The only way to know 100% is to find the tag stamped on the pipe that says “PB-2110”
Polybutylene piping

Where Do You Look To Find Polybutylene?

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine what type of piping is in your home. However, there are a few places to check that may help you find out.

Places To Check

  • The piping runs through the walls and then comes out at specific locations called “stub-outs”. This would be at laundry connections, toilet connections and connections under the sinks.
  • Many times you can find the plumbing material at the water heater where the pipes connect to the top.
  • Sometimes you can see piping material in unfinished areas such as garages or under stairs.
  • Usually there is some sign of the plumbing material in the attic or crawlspace, or both!
  • On the exterior of the home at the main water shutoff.
  • At the water meter in the meter base. These are often near the street or sidewalk.

Be careful! Because there are certain cases where the stub-outs are a different material then the plumbing inside the walls. Many times the stub-outs are copper and it is very difficult to see the piping inside the actual wall.

If you think you have polybutylene in your home, you should consider having a home inspection performed or contacting a plumbing specialist.

Polybutylene piping
Polybutylene piping stub-out
Polybutylene piping
Polybutylene piping stub-out

What Is Wrong With Polybutylene?

Polybutylene has been known to fail due to the chemicals and minerals put into the municipal water. As a result, these additives can cause damage over time to the piping on the inside. Which in turn can cause cracking leading to leaks.

There is no guarantee that polybutylene will leak. It is just like any other system in your home and will wear out over time. It is just more likely than other materials.

There are a large number of claims, lawsuits and many more allegations involving polybutylene piping. A class action lawsuit was even in effect at one point. Learn more here.

Should You Replace Polybutylene?

This really depends on the situation, if the home is in the middle of a sale. You may have to. Again, there is no guarantee the piping will fail, there is just a high likelihood.

Should I Buy A Home With Polybutylene?

This again depends on the situation. Because due to the uncertain nature of this material, many buyers will ask for the piping to be replaced or for a credit to replace it themselves after they have bought the home. You should ask your Realtor and Home Inspector about their advice on the material itself and about what is in your current contract. Ultimately it is your decision.

Home Owners Insurance & Polybutylene

In many places insurance companies actually require the polybutylene to be replaced before they will approve your policy. This is especially true in Florida. On occasion the insurance will offer a very high rate if it is not replaced. Buyers and homeowners should always be completely honest with the insurance company about the presence of polybutylene. Especially because many will require a 4-Point Inspection before they will even write the policy which will most the time reveal the presence of polybutylene anyway.

In Conclusion

When this piping was in use it had many benefits including cost and ease of installation. Unfortunately however, there are still many issues tied to its use.

Top Inspectors encounters polybutylene quite often in the Orlando area when performing home inspections and 4-point inspections.

What is a Pre-Listing Inspection?

There are different types of inspections depending on your needs at the time.

  • Buyer’s inspection
  • Pre-listing inspection
  • Warranty inspections
  • Insurance inspections

We are here to help you where you are at. A pre-listing inspection is just a home inspection performed before you list your home.

Should I get a pre-listing inspection?

Thinking of selling your home and want to do a little work on it before putting it on the market? Where should you start? We can help you with that! Most home inspectors can and will perform a pre-listing inspection. It goes over all the same stuff as the buyers inspection with just a few differences. You get to see the report and are able to fix the things you feel are important. In some cases the buyer will still get their own inspection. However, you usually won’t get to see that report.

Should I hire a listing agent to sell my home?

Yes, your realtor has a keen insight into what would help sell your home the fastest and knows exactly where to list your home to get the best exposure. They also help you with any questions you may have. Also, in the negotiation phase they are invaluable!

How much does a Pre-listing inspection cost?

The cost of your inspection will depend on the age and size of the home. Some other things to consider is if you choose to add on other inspection types. Such as irrigation system inspection, pool/spa, sewer scope, etc. You can check out our website for more information on inspection types and what they include. Prices can range from $360-$600+ just depending on many different factors. Most home inspection companies are happy to give you a free quote over the phone. Don’t hesitate if you have questions to call and get a quote to get you started!

Will it help my home sell faster?

It may be able to help your home sell faster. However, make sure to lean on your real estate professional’s experience and expertise on the current market and ask for their advice.

Can I get a pre-listing inspection even if I’m not selling my home?

Yes, if you want to get an inspection on your home for maintenance purposes or peace of mind, home inspectors are happy to help. Helping you keep your home safe and efficient is our priority. Some even get a home inspection on their 1 year old home to give to their home warranty company.

In Conclusion.

  • Hire a realtor (ask for their expert advice) when selling is recommended.
  • You get to read the whole report.
  • It may speed up the selling process.
  • A home inspection is to inform you of the condition the major systems are in.

Left over Chicken Green Chile Risotto.

There are so many different meals you can create with a left over rotisserie chicken. This past week I’ve been watching the food channel. We all know we usually gain weight by just watching it. Well, I do because I love to try the new recipes I see and give them a twist of my own. With the left over chicken it was the perfect time to try a risotto.

What is a risotto? Risotto is an Italian dish made with a high starch short grain rice. Such as Italian Arborio, Carnaroli, or Vialone Nano rice. This kinda rice can absorb a lot of liquid without becoming mushy. It should come out as a creamy dish. I don’t have these types of rice on hand so I used Jazmine rice. It wasn’t as creamy but still delicious!

Chicken stock, green chili sauce, and left over chicken.

You will need.

One quart of stock (beef, chicken, or veggie)

1/2 cup green chile sauce

1/2 cup diced onion

3 tablespoons butter divided

1 1/2 cups rice

Left over rotisserie chicken

1/2 cup cheese

Start by cooking the onions with 1 tablespoon of butter in your sauce pan. In a smaller pan heat up the broth and green chili sauce. Keep it on low so that the broth will stay hot but not boil over. Once the onions are soft add in the rice and toast it for a couple minutes in the butter. Then start adding the broth to the rice.

Looking good.

This dish requires a lot of your attention. Stir the broth and rice every couple of mins while adding in more broth as needed then add the chopped up chicken and spices of your choice.

1/4 teaspoon paprika and chili powder, salt pepper to taste, 1/2 teaspoon parsley and oregano. Fresh would be amazing!

It may not have been exactly a risotto in the traditional sense. However, it was fun and easy to make. Pair it with some yummy cheesy bread sticks and you have a nice chicken and rice dinner for 6.

Feeding a family of 5 on a budget has its challenges. However, getting creative and having fun with the ingredients you have on hand makes it less stressful. Plus creating is so much fun! Have a great week! Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think.

Easiest Homemade Cheesecake

In our family cheesecake is the celebration dessert! My husband and I even had a cheese cake made as our wedding cake. I make a cheese cake for thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays, any holiday really! I’ve come to love making it and I have the easiest never fail recipe for it! This time I made it without the crust however, I will put the crust recipe on here as well!

Everything you need!

Crust! You can use your favorite cookies or gram crackers or cereal! All you do is put desired amount into a food processor and crush them until they are fine crumbs. Then add 2 tablespoons of melted butter and stir it in. Form it at the bottom of your spring form pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10 mins. Then let cool while you whip up the yummy filling!


Two 8 ounce packages of cream cheese.

Chef note: I like the name brand cream cheeses. However, this time I used the store brand and it tasted good!

1 egg (room temperature)

1 cup granulated sugar ( I used half a cup so it wasn’t so sweet)

Teaspoon vanilla

Add sugar and cream cheese into the mixer and mix until combined. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix until combined. Then simply pour in your crust. With the oven set to 350 degrees bake for 35-40 mins. Or until the center is set. (Doesn’t move around).

Placing the spring form pan in a cookie sheet with water will help the cake to bake evenly!

Bake at 350 for 35-40 mins.

For this cake I made a fresh cherry topping. Cheese cake is always best served cold! 😁

Let me know how you like this recipe in the comments below.

How to “pass” a Home Inspection?!

It is an exciting time in your life! You just put an offer on the home of your dreams and the offer is accepted! Now you need to choose a home inspector to inspect your new home and make sure the home of your dreams is in tip top shape! However, what if your inspection fails and you must continue your search? We wouldn’t want that. So, we have a little secret for you!

Your home cannot fail an inspection or pass one. There is no pass or fail in home inspections. A home inspection is simply to let you as a new homeowner know what condition the home is in before you sign those contracts. A home inspection is preformed by a highly trained professional, who will offer his/her opinion in a report on the major systems of your home. These major systems include but are not limited to roof, foundation, HVAC systems, and electrical. Your home inspector’s main concern is to make sure the home is safe for you and your family and that all the systems in the home are functioning correctly and safely!

There is no pass or fail!

Your home inspection is not a guarantee that all those systems will work forever. It is a picture, a moment in time that lets you know it is working today or it is not. The home inspection report gives you the knowledge you need moving forward so you aren’t walking into your new home blind.

The home inspection is also a great tool for your real estate agent in the negotiations that allows them to help you decide what things are the most important to fix before signing the contracts and moving into your home.

Getting a home inspection isn’t scary and you shouldn’t worry. You are taking that step to understand your home better and walking into your dream home with understanding and the tools you need to move forward! We are here and happy to help. If you have any questions contact a home inspector they will be happy to answer your questions regarding the home inspection process. You can also comment below with questions and I am happy to answer them!

Thank you for reading!