Saving Money + DIY Not Enough? Let's Make Money-- for real.

I know, I know-- I made this to help people save money, do it yourself (diy), and to make money, yet I haven't done much to help you make any real money. Now; there are plenty of ways that you hear about online to make money. They all claim to be easy, they'll tell you that you've got a limited time offer and price for either an e-book or a piece of software that will do your homework for you. Sorry, it doesn't work that easy. Money isn't made easily online-- I know a few tricks, but I still don't know enough about how to do so and be successful enough to discuss about it like other things that I've experimented. Instead, for now, I'm going to talk to you about practical ways to make money. Things you don't need to rely on the internet for. This seems almost dillusional to people today; making money on the internet is supposed to be the easiest way! I can already hear them crying this out and getting ready to burn me. Well, sorry; it's not. There is a lot of work involved in creating a successful business online; and even so, the results are modest. The people that make thousands have done a lot of homework and tested out a lot of software and know things that won't ever leak out to the average people like you and I. I know this because I've spoken with a few over the years. But alas, you do not want to hear me ramble about such things. You've come to get to the point and find out how to make money. Well, the ideas listed below will most certainly fetch some extra money for your pocket if you are willing to hustle a little and know what you're getting into. Ready?

Before I jump in, i want to clear up some other things. All the time I see articles about ways to make extra money (hey, I'm in the same boat-- I want to make some extra money too) and the articles are absurd. It's clear that these people have NO idea what they're talking about. What comes to mind is people that just say, "Hey, become a freelance writer." Of course, that sounds easy. To be a freelance writer is a lot of hard work. Just because you can write strongly and use correct punctuation and grammar does not even come close-- this market is cut-throat (trust me, I do it everyday) and no amatuer is just going to waltz in and make some easy money. I'll possibly write an article on ways that people say make money but don't. Don't hold me to it, but it's a very real possibility.

Substitute Teach-
This is actually a pretty easy game. Contact the school, they'll put you on a list. If your name comes up, you get a call early in the morning saying they need you for the day. Babysit the nice little boys and girls and collect your paycheck. If you get good reviews, you'll get called back more often. In bigger school systems, this could become a full-time job. However, this doesn't really work if you already have a 9-5. If you work a second or third shift, it might work out pretty well. Either way, it's something to look into.

Pet Sitter-
This is one of the few "odd" jobs that I really like. This is completely possible once you have references; but getting those references could take some time. This is pretty much perfect for people that work short shifts, becuase it gives you plenty of time to work around a dog's bathroom hours. The money from what I hear is pretty good. And who doesn't like to get a little extra pay at the end of the day?

Pet Walker-
This is a field of work that I've seen spring up in the cities; people like to have pets but don't like to have to walk them all the time. It's funny because I'll often be walking down the street and throughout the course of the day see the same girl walking 4-6 dogs; and it's not like I just hang out on the street corner watching the world go by! That's easy money and good exercise; and it's great if you love animals and especially if you can't have a pet-- it's almost like it but without the mess. The pay is pretty good from what I hear (I sometimes get to talk to these girls, usually while the dog is jumping on top of me), and it seems that if you look in any classified section or Craigslist it's a job out there for the taking.

Sell Stuff for People-
This is a bit of a small window business. By this I mean that it will work to sell stuff for your family-- I'm really good with computers and technology and was asked by my uncle to sell and old stove in his house from the early 1900's. He was hoping to get $300 for it; I made $900-- he gave me $450 and we were both happy. Talk to people. Especially people that are moving.

Re-Sell Items from Yardsales-
This is a great way to make money, but you need to be well-rounded in item values and be aware of whether there is a market for the item. Buying a bunch of vintage Metallica pins won't be worth much if you're trying to re-sell them in Mexic0- and unless it's absolutely necessary; stay away from using Ebay. The fees are brutal. Stick to website like Craigslist and Freecycle. Go to yardsales early, find stuff that you know is way underpriced; lowball them on the item, do what you can to bring down the price and then take it. Clean it up, take some pictures, estimate the value and throw it on some free website like state above. If you can get 10% or more, the effort is worth it.

In fact, yard sales are a great way for anyone trying to save or make money. They offer people an open market of used goods, often underpriced and only seen my a small amount of the public. I've got my own system of working yardsales to save money (and occasionally making money), and I'll save it for another day. These are literal gold mines for people that are intelligent about what the value of items are; and if you have too much stuff, it's a great way to find out what your stuff is worth and if you want you can hold your own-- maybe I'll see you there.

Bartending-
Bartending is an underrated gig. A person with no experience can get in for afternoon shifts at a golf club or something of the sort to build some experience and make minimum wage + tips; but if you stick to it, even a few nights a week can me an extra $400 a week. The classes they offer for $200-300 are pretty much useless, most bars want to train you themselves. They all have their own view of how things are supposed to be done, and will want to have you "customized" to their specifics. You also make great friends doing this work and the stories you have to share afterwards are invaluable. Easy money and a fun environment makes this one an awesome choice.

Blogging-
Is there money in blogging? Yes and no. To make money blogging requires you to understand a lot of things. To make a lot of money blogging requires that you spend money yourself. Not only this, but you need to spend it in the right places. This blog that you see right now is free. I pay nothing for this to run, and Adsense pays me (barely) for the few ads you see up here. The money is almost nothing, but I'm more concerned with seeing what type of traffic I can generate. I would like to make this blog make money blogging but at the moment it seems to be an uphill battle. There are things involve Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques and keyword use as well as backlinks and on-page optimization and off-page optimization which may or may not include things such as RSS Subscribers, affiliate links, black-hatting, white-hatting, etc. The amount of knowledge you'll need to take this on to make any money is absurd-- be ready before you try it. Otherwise, you'll wear yourself out after you've made fifty cents and claim that there is no money blogging.


The things I have described above haven't given you any easy ways to make money, but they are all ways that do work, if you are the right person to take on the job. There are plenty of other ways, some will work for you, some won't, but many seem to be just unrealistic. I can't help but imagine these are the same people that write the articles about the items I described earlier this month about items that don't work to save money. It seems people write articles they aren't educated enough to tackle. On the bright side, I'm trying to make money too-- so I experiment right along with you in trying to make these things work; when I save money, you save money-- when I try a diy project that works, I pass it on to you!



What College kids REALLY need for their freshman year-- cheap and save money, as always.

I can't help but feel like I keep seeing lists made by people out of touch with college defining what college kids need and where they can get the items cheap to save money. What I'm giving to you is a list of things that REAL college kids need and will make them happier that they have it. I also post a list of things that most people EXPECT to need but never end up using.

Remember, before you go out buying all of this stuff (if you feel you'll need it), remember to check prices. Check sales, check outlet stores, check thrift stores, etc. Craigslist is great, Freecycle.org is incredible (I've just found out about it- it's kind of like the free section of Craigslist), and check your local newspapers for kids that just graduated college selling all their stuff that they don't want anymore (this is great for right around May-- so plan ahead).

What you'll really need-

A Cell Phone-
Whether it's a pay-as-you-go or a monthly cell phone; you'll need one of the two. During my junior and senior years, one of my independent study professors would text me about meetings. You can also double your phone as an alarm clock, calculator, place to store small notes, and depending on the type of phone, numerous others. It seems a pretty easy way for a college kid to condense his stuff.

Flip-flops-
Yep. These little suckers you will need. Get them cheap from some bargain shop for $1-2; they're going to look gross by the end of the first month, so don't waste money on style. This is especially true if you're living with mostly guys; the shower will look like Hell by the end of the year, regardless of whether or not the school has someone clean the bathroom daily. It's inevitable.

A Shower Cart-
Unless you go to a private school and you've SEEN the bathrooms, don't expect cubicles to put your soaps in. Most schools don't have them, and the schools that do usually end up not using them because people "borrow" soap and don't return them. I guess desperate times call for desperate measures. So unless you want to walk to the shower with a pile of your personals in your hand, I recommend a shower cart. Try to get a small one with a few different little areas for soaps, conditioners, razors, etc.

Linens-
Don't really worry about these like most websites say; you need to buy them, but cheap ones will do. Most colleges crank the heat so ridiculously that during the winter you'll be keeping the windows open because it just gets too incredibly hot. Why do colleges do this? I have no idea. But with this in mind, you don't really need a $100 comforter, okay-- save some money?

Windex-
Windex or a brand that does the same will be your lifeline come the end of the semester when all the gunk has built up; especially before you leave in the spring (or spring cleaning). It's pretty much the clean-all for your room; it can handle any disgusting thing you can think of. The cheap stuff actually often works better, or you can try to save some money and make your own cleaners or make your own mold killers.

Laundry detergent-
Don't buy the huge jug; you won't use it all (unless you're compulsively cleaning). Because quarters are a rarity in college, everyone pushes off laundry day as long as possible. Then you'll see kids doing the shameful walk down 6 flights of stairs with trash bags and laundry bins full of dirty socks, underwear, shirts, and god knows what else. Usually, one of the ones for 20 washes is going to be more than enough. Otherwise, it's just extra weight you've got to drag with you for that long, painful walk.

A Lamp-
You'll need a lamp in college. Badly. Why? Because, the overhead lights at the school will cause you to hate your life. It will make you feel permanently like you're in a hospital ward-- and if you keep it up, you'll end up there. Although it doesn't save money, it will keep you out of the insane asylum, so I think it gains a few points for that. You can also get a cloth flag or extremely large bandanna and stick it to the ceiling around the overhead to give it a dimming feeling, which is pretty cool, but most schools won't allow it because they'll claim it's a fire hazard; check your school, or do it anyway. I can't condone the action if it's illegal, but I can't tell you what to do. So do what you've got to do, right?

A Fridge-
Yeah; there's no way you're lasting without one. A community fridge doesn't really work for the community-- once something is in there, it's free game. Save yourself the pain of looking for grandma's carrot cake in the community fridge, and buy yourself a mini-fridge.

A Laptop-
I see a lot of articles saying depending on your situation a desktop might be more suited for you. This is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. In college, you'll find out that sometimes you need to do your work outside-- and most times you'll have free wireless outside (WiFi); can't do that with a desktop, can you? You'll also discover in college you'll have numerous presentations that include using software like PowerPoint-- using your own computer makes much more sense and is much easier to keep from having serious problems when presenting (which could be costly to your grade). Save yourself the aggrivation and buy a cheap laptop-- it seems in my experiences the cheap ones last longer therefore do, in fact, save money.


Ok, now I've given you a list of stuff a college student will need, now here's the common misconceptions about what students need. I don't know why people seem to keep printing out these lists, some of the stuff is completely absurd.

What you really won't need-


An Alarm Clock-
We are in the age of cell phones and computers; download a program for your computer for your alarm clock so you can make it any song you'd like to wake up to. The same goes for you phone. They offer software that allows you to set your weekly schedule; what alarm clock can do that for you? Save some money and don't waste your time.

A landline phone line-
No college kid would even tell his friend that he's got one of these. It's absurd to even think about. It's not feasible to use in college; no one is sitting around enough in their room doing nothing to even give a phone like this any real use. Ditch the landline and break for a cheap cell phone. If you don't really need it; get a pay-as-you-go phone plan through Trackfone or a company similar to it. Use it as your alarm clock and phone book, and bum phones from other people if you've got to.

CD/DVD Writer-
Most computers are built with one of these, but I don't see why it is necessary for a college student to need one of these. It seems to be a waste of money; but I guess some people might need it. Don't worry; if you think your computer might eat your paper, e-mail it to yourself, and make sure it opens. As long as it does, you'll be fine and won't have to tank $100 for a cd/dvd writer.

Bathrobe-
You don't need a bathrobe. Most people put their underwear on in the bathroom before they go into the hallway anyway, and you can cover yourself with a towel. Everyone in college does it; so don't expect people to look at you funny. It's a part of life in this world, so don't worry about a bathrobe. In my college days, I think I only saw two kids total actually wearing bathrobes. Girls might be different; but for guys, it was a no-go.

Bookcase-
I know; why would you need a book case? Have you ever SEEN the inside of a dorm room? There are more shelves than you can count. This is chalked up to inexperience and possibly having lost touch with what it was like to be in college. You don't need a bookcase, save the money and just use the crappy shelves that come with the room.

Cable-
You don't need cable; your lounge will have cable and it's right down the hall. It's a complete waste of money; and in private schools often times they provide cable for their students anyway. It's not like there's ever anything good on TV anyway.

Area Rugs-
No, you don't need an area rug either. The first week someone will spill beer or wine on it and it's ruined; save yourself the money and just skip this step all together. It's a part of college, being messy, and there's no point in being the college student that dresses up their room ridiculously and it gets trashed in the first week (because it ALWAYS will).

Furniture-
You won't have room for anything. Especially if you're in freshman dorms. Trust me; nothing. The minifridge and maybe a microwave are all you'll get. You don't really need a microwave cause there should be one in the community kitchen, and as long as you hang around it while your food is being nuked no one will touch it.

An Air Conditioner-
Most windows won't allow you to bring one of these, and you really don't need one. Newer dorms have thermostats, and older ones are made of concrete so they stay relatively cool in the summer. Granted, I'm from the north, so I don't know how it works down south-- but I know we don't really need it, we just want it.

This list was constructed from prior knowledge and flipping around through websites that suggested what you would need. Hopefully, my list here will help you college students from wasting money on unnecessary items and will also help prepare you to buy items you will need early to save money. Good luck!


Does it work to save money? These, in fact, do!

In a recent article I discussed some popular items that are raved to save money for their consumers; but when I tested them and critically analyzed what they had to offer, they provided almost no savings or, in fact, cost more! However, there was a silver outline to the impending doom the article may have given, I did find some products that do provide great savings for their owners. These items will be listed below, along with more info for you to do more research if you'd like to buy any of these items.

A New Blender-

A quality blender can save you tons of money if you are able to use it regularly. Newer ones that are on the higher end of the scale (think $45 and up) are great for grinding your own herbs, spices, coffee beans, pretty much anything you can throw into it. A regular user of this machine can make their money back on simply buying fresh herbs (or growing your own) and grinding them for storage. It's also great for making drinks, which I will be discussing in another article soon, and a good one won't wake the neighbors like the one you grew up with. Just remember that this will only really work out as long as you buy a decent one, not a junk.

Efficient Power Supply-

These will run you around $80-100, but these are great to not only protect you from electrical faults, but these also force your electronic devices that are plugged in to drain electricity at the minimum rate possible, forcing your electricity usage down. If you live in an older home or a home that seems like the power distribution is in any way questionable, this device is absolutely essential. Regardless of whether or not your power is normal, it should still save you money every month and pay for itself within a year.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL Bulbs)-

These are probably the most well-known energy saving devices on the market. I've been doing a LOT of reading about these regarding their environmental impact as well as the other issues people have been having with them, and I'll probably be putting out an article on this soon as well. These bulbs will pay for themselves in four months. Easy, right? Even the guys that complain about them burning out early can't argue with that. It seems like there are many factors in why they burn out quickly and unexpectedly as some people experience. A) Try not to touch the glass with your fingers; it puts weak spots in the glass and it is more likely that they will burn out in those places first and possibly prematurely. B) Make sure you get the right bulb; I've seen a lot of articles where people complained about their bulbs burning out and it turned out they were trying to draw a completely absurd amount of power from the source. Regardless, the savings factor is astronomical for such a cheap purchase. You will probably save about $1 every two months PER bulb. Plus, they look cool.

Efficient Shower Heads-

Most new shower heads that are energy efficient are between $15-30, although some extremely expensive ones run a bit more expensive. For the average guy trying to save money instead of getting 50 different massaging jets, the cheap model is good enough, right? These save money in two ways; you use less water, and you use less electricity (or oil) to heat the water. It's estimated that the average American home saves up to 15,000 gallons of water by using a high-efficiency shower head. Why not join them? I've heard people complain about water pressure, but from my experiences, if you've got decent water pressure before, you're going to after. It's nothing to be worried about.

Outdoor Solar Lighting-

These are those little lights you see lining people's driveways, patios, walkways, pools, etc. They light up pretty well and don't leave a mess of cords running through the grass and best of all-- they save you money! They light up things without being too bright, giving a nice feel to the outdoors and their designs are usually pretty cool. They've got dozens of styles now to fit any back yard setting. Within a season these will have paid for themselves.

Bulb Savers-

These are devices that regulate electrical current and fluctuation to make light bulbs last longer. These are tiny little devices that can't even be seen once they're installed, and they're mercury-free. They also help get rid of the shutter feeling that some cheaper CFL bulbs give, which is great to most people that get annoyed by the shutter of these bulbs. I've heard these make bulbs last up to 25,000 hours longer-- but I have data to support that length. But for 12 bucks for a 12-pack, who can complain if they last only 10,000 and get rid of the shutter?

Programmable Thermostat-
A programmable thermostat is practically essential in any home trying to save money. This is particularly true if you have central air conditioning. These little devices run from $20-40, but are great to give precise temperature control. These can be programmed to lower air conditioning and heat when you are not home; which is great so you can set it to crank back up 20 minutes before you get home. It automatically adjusts for you so you don't have to and you don't forget and waste electricity and money.

Efficient Space Heater-
I've talked about saving money on your heating bill before, but at $20, what's a better way to heat up your spare room or office for those rare times you need to use it? Not only this, but you can save some money! Keeping the heat off for 90% of the time completely and then just turning on the space heater 10 minutes before you need to use a room is a great idea; it works for the bathroom as well-- which eats up a huge portion of your heating bill because of the lack of insulation. You can even use it near your bed (but not too close-- don't start a fire!) and turn your heat down low in the house to cut back on your heat but keep yourself warm.

Disposable Razor Sharpener-
Save money by getting up to 45 shaves with your cheap disposable razor. These little guys work just like a knife sharpener; they get rid of the microscopic burrs that accumulate on a razor's edge that cause what seems to be dullness. There is not really any upkeep for these, and they're a one-time cost of $20.

Dance Dance Revolution-- but not really-
For $26-ish, you can buy a USB Dance Dance Revolution pad. Now if you go onto stepmania.com, you can download a program the exact same as Dance Dance Revolution, but free. You can also add your own songs, which makes it actually enjoyable to listen to the music. Beats the gym, and it's the cost of one month of a membership. Not bad, eh?

Well, hopefully this list does some good for you; it did for me. These items can be found or bought at many places, but the easiest seems to be online. I'm recommending that you do more research into the ones you feel would be best for you, because I don't know your lifestyle and I don't know what holds the best value to you. Hopefully in the end what I've produced here as a list of products that works to help you save money will, in fact, help you!

Home Made Christmas Holiday Spiced Wine Drinks. Save Money and Do it Yourself!

What I'm going to present to you today involves the continuation of my project to provide you with home made (diy-- do it yourself) Christmas holiday drinks to save money; today's being Christmas holiday spiced wine. What I've got here is a collection of recipes to make some awesome drinks that will make both you and your company happy, while saving you money because you're not paying some company for overpriced goods! I have tested them all and I can tell you that they do taste refreshing and they are great for the holiday season. These recipes are a mix of my own creations and ones that I have found on-line, brought together for you to help you save money. Here you go!


Old-Fashioned Mulled Wine

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 orange, thinly sliced
2 cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves
12 whole allspice berries
two 750 ml bottles dry red wine
1 lemon, thinly sliced


Combine all of the ingredients above except the dry red wine in a saucepan that is not aluminum. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat of the concoction and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add wine and simmer 10 minutes. Strain mulled wine into heatproof glasses or mugs. Garnish with additional cinnamon sticks and serve. Makes roughly 8 cups.


Spiced Red Wine with Brandy and Citrus

(from Bon Appetit-- December 1996)

"The French often serve flavored wine as an aperitif. This one has a base of red wine infused with orange, lemon, vanilla and cloves; it is later mixed with raspberry brandy and sugar. The drink is best at cool room temperature, accompanied by nibbles such as olives, almonds and crudités. It also makes an excellent Christmas present — just double or triple the recipe, and pour the drink into pretty bottles. Be sure to begin the "winemaking" process at least three weeks before you plan to have the wine or give it as a gift."

1 orange, sliced
/2 lemon, sliced
1 vanilla bean
Peel from 1 orange (orange part only,
removed with vegetable peeler)
6 whole cloves
1 750-ml bottle dry red wine
(such as Côtes du Rhône or Merlot-- my personal preference is the Merlot)
1/2 cup Framboise, eau de vie, or brandy
6 tablespoons sugar

Combine sliced orange and lemon, vanilla bean, orange peel and cloves in large glass jar. Pour wine over. Cover and place in cool dark area for 2 weeks. Strain wine through several layers of cheesecloth into 4-cup measuring cup. Discard solids in cheesecloth. Add Framboise and sugar to wine; stir until sugar dissolves. Pour mixture into wine bottle or decorative bottle. Cork bottle and place in cool dark area for at least 1 week. (Can be made 6 weeks ahead. Store in cool dark area.) Serve in small wineglasses. Makes 3 cups.


Spiced Rum and Tea Punch

(again, Bon Appetit-- December 1996)

"This German drink, called Grossmutters Punsch (Grandmother's Punch), is usually enjoyed warm at midnight on Christmas Eve. It can also be served as a refreshing chilled drink. For a festive touch, add a cinnamon stick to each glass."

2 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
16 whole cloves
16 whole allspice
1 vanilla bean, chopped
1 tea bag (preferably Earl Grey)
1 750-ml bottle dry red wine
1/4 cup dark rum
Crushed ice (if serving punch chilled)

Combine water, honey, sugar, ginger, cloves, allspice and vanilla bean in heavy large saucepan. Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until honey and sugar dissolve. Boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add tea bag; let steep 5 minutes.
Strain syrup into bowl. Add wine and rum. If serving cold, refrigerate until chilled. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) If serving cold, fill 6 glasses with crushed ice. Ladle punch into glasses. If serving hot, bring to simmer in medium saucepan. Pour punch into cups. Makes 6 servings.


Krambambuli (Spiced Wine with Dried Fruit)

(Bon Appetit-- December 1995)

2 chamomile tea bags
2 cups boiling water
A 750-ml bottle Chenin Blanc or other semidry white wine
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup light rum
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon raisins
1 tablespoon chopped mixed dried fruit
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Place tea bags in large glass measuring cup. Pour 2 cups boiling water over. Let stand 4 minutes. Discard tea bags. Combine tea, wine and all remaining ingredients in medium saucepan. Stir wine mixture over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring mixture just to simmer. Remove from heat. Cover and let steep 20 minutes. Rewarm wine over low heat (do not boil.) Discard bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Ladle wine, raisins and dried fruit into mugs and serve.


Hot Spiced Apple Wine

(Bon Appetit-- December 1992)

6 cups fruity red wine(such as Beaujolais)
6 cups apple cider
1/2 cup sugar
1 orange, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 lime, thinly sliced
One 2-inch cinnamon stick
8 whole cloves
8 allspice berries
8 whole black peppercorns

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally; do not boil. Strain. Ladle punch into mugs and serve.


Wassail Bowl

4 cups apple cider
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup dark rum
1/4 cup brandy
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Salt to taste
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 orange, thinly sliced
Whipped cream
Freshly grated nutmeg

In a saucepan bring the apple cider to a boil over medium heat, add the brown sugar and cook mixture, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add the rum, brandy, orange liqueur, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, salt, and fruit slices. Heat mixture over moderate heat, stirring, 2 minutes. Pour the wassail into wine glasses and top it with whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg. (yum!)


These holiday drinks should be enough to keep you going for a while more-- and so I continue on with my project of providing you with spiced wine drinks for your christmas holiday party that are home made (diy-- do it yourself) that save you money!

Home Made Fruit Drinks- Great for Christmas to Save Money!

Today I want to bring to light with you all is the simplicity of making Christmas drinks yourself (diy)-- specifically home made fruit drinks-- which can help you save money! Many times we get so caught up with making our own drinks and making our own decorations for the holidays that we forget how simple it can be to do this. I've got a simple recips for a general fruit liqueur and some information to help you prepare for the holiday season coming up. Well, I know that I'm hoping to take advantage of smart planning with my money to make some fun drinks without spending lots of money, and I hope you do too. Here is my recipe, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I will!

General fruit liqueur recipe:

1 lb. berries or fruit
3 cups 80-proof vodka (or 1.5 cup pure grain alcohol + 1.5 cup water)
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Rinse the fruit or berries. Cut the fruit into small pieces. Place berries or fruit in a container, and add vodka. Cap and store in a cool, dark place, stir once a week for 2 - 4 weeks. Strain through metal colander. Transfer the unsweetened liqueur to an aging container (glass bottle or container with tight cap). To 3 cups unsweetened liqueur add 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Let age for at least three months. Pour carefully the clear liqueur to a new bottle. Add more sugar if necessary.
The fruit used for liqueur making can be used as deserts: mix with sugar and use with ice-cream. This is absolutely delicious and you'll have your friends asking where you got the syrup.

Storage of liqueurs

The flavor of almost all liqueurs improves during storage. Fruit and berry liqueurs should be stored for at least 6 months for maximum taste. Some lemon liqueurs (e.g. Limoncello) should not be stored for a long time.

Sugar content

Liqueurs should contain approximately 1 cup sugar per 3 cups finished liqueur. If your liqueur is too sweet, add a mixture of vodka and water (1:1).

Sweetness change during storage

Sugar is converted to glucose and fructose which are simple sugar types with less sweet flavor. Therefore sugar must sometimes be added to homemade liqueurs after storage for some months.

Alcohol content


The alcohol content should normally be 20-30% for fruit and berry liqueurs, except for citrus liqueurs which might have higher alcohol content. If your liqueur has too strong alcohol taste, add some water (or fruit juice) and sugar. If your liqueur has too low alcohol content, add vodka and sugar.

Liqueurs of fruit mixtures:

Don't mix more than two types of fruits or berries in liqueurs. You can make successful mixtures of bitter berries with mild ones, like blueberries and cranberries. If you mix more types you might end up with a sweet-sour drink with no interesting flavor.

If you're looking for a fruit drink that strays away from alcohol, I consider this as a base:  replace the strawberry in this Strawberry lime Soda with the fruit you'd like and it holds up as a healthy delicious, cheap drink!  I hope this helps you in your holiday season so that you'll save money and do it yourself again to create a great drink for you and your friends to enjoy!

Home Made DIY Christmas Coffee Drinks! Do it yourself and save money.

Hello, and today I will be sharing with you how to make some home made DIY (do-it-yourself) Christmas Coffee Drinks cheap and easy to save money! It's become tradition for most people to drink coffee at the end of the night or during a party, especially on Christmas. Eggnog, wine, and cream liquors are all big hits-- it just fits the scenery and scent of pine cones and winter. Anyways, these recipes below are quite easy and inexpensive, so you'll be able to save money without even having to think about it. The ingredients between these recipes don't change too much, but it helps you get an idea of what you can do to make your own! Don't bother buying an expensive book to help you put together your drinks and dishes for Christmas, come here, save money, and find everything you need! These have been tested and enjoyed by myself to let you know if they are any good, and pulled from various places that I have seen them (including in some books). Clearly, I worked hard (or at least that's what I tell myself) to put this list together, and I've altered the recipes a little from their original states. Here you go!


Cafe Maria

Ingredients:

1/4 ounce Bailey's Irish Cream liqueur
1/4 ounce Kahlúa
1/4 ounce Amaretto
5 ounces freshly brewed coffee
2 tablespoons heavy cream, whipped
Ground cinnamon to taste
Grated chocolate to taste
2 cinnamon sticks

Combine Irish Cream liqueur, Kahlúa, Amaretto and coffee. Divide between 2 coffee mugs. Top with whipped cream. Sprinkle with cinnamon and chocolate. Serve with a cinnamon stick stirrer in each mug.


Cappucino Mix

Ingredients:

10 ounces crème de cacao
5 ounces light rum
5 ounce gin
5 ounces brandy
2 1/2 ounces Galliano
12 cloves
Four 3-inch cinnamon sticks

2 2/3 cups scalded half-and-half
2 cups hot espresso
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Whipped cream
Ground cinnamon

In a jar with a screw-top lid combine well the crème de cacao, rum, gin, brandy, Galliano, cloves, and cinnamon sticks. Seal the jar with lid and let mixture stand 48 hours. Strain the mixture and return it to the jar. (This mixture is enough to make 18 drinks.) In a heatproof pitcher combine and mix well the scalded half-and-half, espresso, sugar and cocoa powder. Pour 1 jigger (1 1/2 ounces) of the liqueur mixture into each of the heatproof wineglasses that you hopefully have, and divide the espresso mixture among the glasses, garnishing each serving with a dollop of whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon. Makes around 6 drinks.


Emergency Cappuccino

Ingredients:

1 quart (4 cups) half-and-half
2 cups freshly brewed espresso
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 ounces Cognac or brandy
5 ounces (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) Kahlúa
4 ounces rum
1 ounce Galliano
Whipped cream
Shaved chocolate
Ground cinnamon

In a large saucepan combine the half-and-half, espresso, honey, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract. Place the mixture over medium-high heat and stir until almost scalded. Remove from heat and add the Cognac or brandy, Kahlúa, rum, and Galliano. Pour into heated cups or mugs
and garnish with whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Makes 18 servings.


White Chocolate Cappuccino

Ingredients:

4 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
10 ounces good-quality white chocolate
(such as Lindt or Baker's), chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons brandy
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups hot strong fresh-brewed coffee
Unsweetened cocoa powder

Pour milk into heavy medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Add white chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Whisk in brandy and vanilla extract. Using tongs, remove vanilla bean. Return white chocolate mixture to
low heat; whisk until frothy, about 1 minute. Pour hot coffee into mugs. Ladle white chocolate mixture over. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and serve. Serves 8.


Spiced Rum Coffee

Ingredients:

8 cloves
Four 2-inch strips of orange rind, removed with a vegetable peeler
2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
3/4 cup (4 jiggers) dark rum
3 cups freshly brewed strong coffee
Lightly sweetened whipped cream to taste
Garnish: freshly grated nutmeg

In each of four 8-ounce mugs combine 2 of the cloves, 1 strip of the rind, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the sugar, and 3 tablespoons (1 jigger) of the rum and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes. Divide the coffee, heated if necessary, among the mugs and stir the drinks until the sugar is dissolved. Top each drink with a dollop of the whipped cream and sprinkle the whipped cream with the nutmeg. Makes 4 servings.


Vienese Brandied Coffee

Ingredients:

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped, plus additional,
grated, for topping
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 cups freshly brewed strong coffee
1/2 cup brandy
Lightly sweetened whipped cream to taste

In the top of a double boiler set over simmering water, melt the chopped chocolate with the cream, stirring, and stir the mixture until it is smooth. Add the coffee, heated if necessary, and the brandy in a stream, stirring, and stir the mixture until it is combined well. Divide the coffee among four 8-ounce mugs, top each drink with a dollop of the whipped cream, and sprinkle the whipped cream with the grated chocolate. Makes 4 servings.


C0ffee Rum Punch

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups light rum
1 1/4 cups dark rum
2/3 cup brandy
Sugar
Thinly pared peel of 1 lemon
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg (optional)
1 1/2 quarts hot coffee

Mix the light rum, dark rum and brandy together in a non-reactive container. Stir in sugar to taste, the lemon peel, cinnamon and the nutmeg, if your are using it. Heat the mixture, set it alight, and let it flame for a few minutes; then add the coffee a little at a time, making sure that the liquid goes on flaming by stirring it with a spoon or a ladle. When the flame dies, serve the coffee rum punch immediately in heavy earthenware cups.


And that's all I've got for you now! Try some out, and plan for Christmas so you can break out your home made DIY (do-it-yourself) Coffee drinks and impress all your friends while you're saving money!

Home Made Coffee Liquors DIY For Christmas!

Coffee liquors are drank all around the world every day, whether or not for a holiday party; however, people have seen the expense tied to this hobby or drink and have begun to do it the DIY way by creating it (home made) and being able to save money and customize the drink isn't a bad side effect either. It has become tradition in many homes around the world that coffee liquors come like dessert at the end of a Christmas party. Because of this, many various brands and ideas for what can be done with this have grown and led to incredible different liquors to taste and experiment with. However, this can be a very expensive hobby or possibly an expensive treat for the annual Christmas party you're holding. Kahlua and Tia Maria are delicious coffee liqueur brands. Below you will find recipes for liqueurs similar to Kahlua and Tia Maria. You will, however, not be able to exactly copy the flavor of these commercial brands.
Always; always always always, remember what information I've provided is for those of age when in regards to liquor. I am not here to provide underage alcohol or ways that you can make alcohol when you're under age. These drinks are meant to be made for responsible people and responsible people only. Now I continue.
Coffee liquors are simple-- they're liquors that are blended with coffee. So this means they're pretty simple to make. And for the most part, doing things simple can save money. Now, these can be made using either instant coffee or freshly brewed coffee. You can use decaffeinated if you prefer. Please note that you should never add vodka to dry, ground coffee because the extract you then will get will be extremely bitter!
The best flavor is obtained if you use freshly brewed, strong coffee of South American or Italian type (espresso) and vanilla beans instead of vanilla powder or extract. My belief is that the alcohol becomes imbibed into the coffee flavor, especially when it is stronger. This is still cheaper than the store brand, but if you STILL want to save a little bit of money, go with the cheaper coffee (although if it's for a special occasion, saving some money is better than none at all, especially when you can make a liquor that tastes better than the store brand-- which I have been known to do).
You may be wondering why I'm posting this now, in November. Well, frankly, most of these recipes take about a month to make (this is dedication to Christmas, I tell ya) and it doesn't help to try and put together drinks at the last minute and have them taste horrible. So I'm posting them now, and hopefully these will help some people out.
Lastly, homemade coffee liqueurs should be served with ice, and may also be used for making cocktails. Not my cup of tea, but I've heard it does work. Ready for recipes? I've provided a few slightly different ones that claim to be Bailey's (or at least imitation); you be the judge. I'm only here to provide the information. Here you go:

Coffee Liquor (based on espresso coffee):

Ingredients:

1 cup (2.4 dl) espresso coffee (or strong South American coffee)
1 cup sugar
2 cups vodka (40-50% or 80-100 proof)
1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise
Make a fresh brew of espresso coffee or strong coffee of a similar type. Add the sugar. After cooling, add the vanilla bean and vodka. Transfer to a bottle. After 2-4 weeks strain, remove the vanilla bean and transfer to a new bottle. You may substitute half a cup of vodka with brandy to obtain a slightly different flavor.
Coffee Liquor (based on ordinary run-of-the-mill coffee):

Ingredients:

2 cups (4.8 dl) coffee of British type
1 1/4 cup (3 dl) sugar
2 cups vodka (50-60% or 100-120 proof)
1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise
Make a fresh brew of strong coffee (ordinary American coffee is too diluted!) Add the sugar. After cooling, add the vanilla bean and vodka. Transfer to a bottle. After 2-4 weeks strain, remove the vanilla bean and transfer to a new bottle. This coffee liqueur will have a lower alcohol content than the first one.

Coffee Liquor (based on Instant coffee):

Ingredients:

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup instant coffee
2 cups vodka
1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise or 1 tbs vanilla powder or 1 tbs vanilla extract
Dissolve the instant coffee in 1 cup of hot water. Dissolve the sugar, and add vodka. Also add the vanilla. If you are using a vanilla bean, remove it after 2-4 weeks.
Home Made Bailey's Irish Creme:

Ingredients:

1 cup light cream
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk (or you can make your own soy or rice milk)
1 2/3 cup Irish Whiskey
1 teaspoon instant coffee
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend at high speed for 30 seconds. Place in a tightly sealed bottle and refrigerate.
Serving Ideas : Shake well before serving.
NOTES : Liqueur will keep for 2 months if refrigerated.
However, you can play with different variations. Try using your favorite whiskey or add a flavored instant coffee.
This recipe for Bailey's Irish Cream serves/makes 4.

Home Made Coffee Liquor:


Ingredients:

4 cups water
4 cups sugar
2 cups alcohol (vodka for Kahlua, rum for Tia Maria)
1 cup dry instant coffee, or 1/2 cup fresh ground coffee (dark brew provides stronger coffee flavor)
1 whole vanilla bean, or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp caramel coloring, if desired
Boil the water and sugar in large pot, until sugar is completely dissolved. Stir. Remove from heat, cool for half an hour. Slowly add in the dry instant or fresh ground coffee, stirring continuously. Add vanilla to the alcohol (vodka or rum), pour into gallon jug. Combine cooled sugar syrup and coffee mixture with the vodka or rum in gallon jug. Cover tightly, and shake every day for three weeks. Store in cool, dark place. After three weeks, remove vanilla bean (if used) and strain coffee grounds (if fresh ground coffee was used). Discard vanilla bean and coffee grounds.


Vanilla Coffee Liquor:

Makes five cups*

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups water
1/2 cup instant coffee powder
3 cups vodka
1/2 vanilla bean, split (or substitute 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)

Combine sugars and water, boil for 5 minutes. gradually stir in coffee. Cool, and add vodka and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Cover and let ripen for 1 month.


Irish Creme:
Ingredients:
1 can (15 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (such as Eagle Brand)
1 milk can of half-and-half
2 cups Irish whiskey
1 egg
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup (such as Hershey's)
3 teaspoons almond extract
In blender combine condensed milk, half-and-half, Irish whiskey, egg, chocolate syrup and almond extract. Blend, chill and drink. Improves with age (1 month recommended).


Egg Creme:
 
Ingredients:
8 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups brandy
1 can (15 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (such as Eagle Brand)
1/2 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
Beat egg yolks in large mixer bowl until light; beat in sugar and vanilla extract until the mixture is pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in condensed milk until the mixture is blended well. Stir in brandy and water until thoroughly combined. Pour mixture through fine-meshed strainer into a clean container; repeat one or more times until no sediment remains. Pour liqueur into 2-quart glass or ceramic container; add cinnamon stick. Cap tightly. Let age in cool, dark place for at least 3 months - up to 1 year. Shake the container weekly for the first month, or until there is no separation. Remove cinnamon stick; pour aged liqueur through funnel into clean gift decanters of desired size. Cap tightly. Liqueur will keep up to 5 months
after opening - longer if refrigerated.

That's it!
I hope these recipes help you; I would love to get some feedback! These drinks work great with a dessert such as Sweet Coconut Chocolate Cake, which is also a cheap dessert that can be made at home!  And that's about it for now, hope I've helped you save money and create a great home made coffee liquor for Christmas through a DIY project!

18 Ways to improve your Gas Mileage and Save Money

Everyone nowadays seems to be looking for a way to save money when the get gas at the pump and the best way to do that is simple; improve your gas mileage. Of course, it's never so simple. Or is it? Here's a list of things that should help save you some cash at the pump. Some of them cost nothing, some cost a little bit, but all of them will save you money in the long-term.

Check Your Air Filter-
A clean air filter can improve your gas mileage by nearly 10% and almost 25% of cars need an air filter replacement. Easy to do, and a filter will run you around $10.

Tire Alignment-
Tires that aren't aligned properly will wear away in strange and odd ways, which will lead to premature balding and will cause you to need to buy new tires, which are not exactly cheap. Not only this, but driving on tires that are not aligned correctly forces your engine to work harder to go the same speed, since the tires are fighting against each other while you are driving. Although it may range from $50-100, if you need it-- it is very much worth the cost.

Tire Pressure-
Most people don't realize how much fuel can be eaten up by poorly inflated tires. For a few quarters at the gas station, you can improve your gas mileage by 2.8% on average. In fact, nearly a quarter of Americans on the road have improperly inflated tires. Think about how much less gas we'd use as a nation if everyone did this!

Tune-up-
A tune-up is great for engines; your car will love you for the treatment. You can improve your gas mileage by 4% by spending this money to have it done, or if you're good with car engines, it's around $10-15 in parts. Otherwise, it might run you $75-100. Your car will thank you.

Check your Gas Cap-
It is estimated that nearly 17% of cars on the road have either a missing or damaged gas cap. This can eat up your fuel (okay, think about how quickly gas evaporates when you spill some after you fill up your tank) and can pose a health and environmental risk. Is it worth the $10 for a new gas cap to keep this going? And if you're not sure, check it. You'll be able to tell if it closes correctly by if you feel some sort of suction when you try to loosen it at the pump. This is because of the gas used up creates a pull on it because of less molecules filling up the space in the tank, which will only happen if the gas cap isn't leaking air into your tank.

Slow Down on the Highway-
For every 5 mph on the highway, you can reduce your gas consumption by almost 7%. The optimal speed for most cars is between 40 and 60. Since those aren't really options on today's highway system, 65 instead of 70 or faster is a great way to save fuel. You'll notice on a long road trip if you've been going slow that you'll get at least 30-40 miles more out of a tank of gas than usual.

Acceleration/Deceleration-
This is probably where the most amount of fuel is taken up. Your engine uses more gas to get to a speed than maintain the speed. The quicker you want to get there, the more fuel your engine will eat up. It's simple, really. Just accelerate slower and plan for slowing down when you know there's a red light up ahead. Don't step on the brakes right away; if you can, throw your car into neutral and try to ride it out to the light, or just don't step on the gas or brakes far before the lights so your car naturally slows down. This adds up much more quickly than you'd expect.

Riding the brakes-
This is another simple one. Don't ride the brakes. It burns out your brake pads and is just a huge waste of fuel. If you see a drop coming, downshift or throw the car in neutral and let it slow down before hitting the drop; you'll gain speed and you won't have to apply the brakes as quickly. Try to apply them in chunks instead of over the entire drop.

Pure gas over ethanol-
As much as people love the thought of an alternative fuel, it has very bed long term affects. Ethanol burns at a lower heat, so less of the gunk in the engine is likely to not burn away, cause eventual engine seizing-- then it's time to get a new car. Not only this, it is not as efficient in running cars (if you've been keeping track, your gas mileage dropped suddenly once they added ethanol to the gas pumps). If you live on a state line with a state that doesn't require pumps to use ethanol, go to the states not requiring it, your engine will love you for it.

Clean your car-
For every extra 100 pounds in your car, you lose 1-2% of your gas efficiency. Time to get rid of the tools you carry around; or maybe the extra fold-out chairs and books that you carry around because you just have no where better to put them. It's pretty easy to remove about 40 pounds of waste that's sitting in your car (primarily your trunk), so there's no reason not to when it could be saving you money.

Don't leave your engine idle-
Simple, turn off your car if you're stuck in traffic that's not moving or waiting for your a friend grabbing something inside. Any time you're waiting more than 30 seconds, the amount of gas used is more than the amount of gas spent to start your car. In fact, in newer cars-- it's very possible that even 5-10 seconds of idleness would cost more than turning off and then turning on your engine; however, I don't know how good that would be for your car engine. Along with this, in the winter you don't need to warm up your engine. Cars today do not have many of the problems we grew up knowing about.

Park in the shade-

There's more to just making your car more comfortable for when you get in when you put your car in the shade. "If you let your car bake in the sun there's going to be a greater amount of evaporative emissions that take place than if you park in the shade," says Jim Kliesch, research associate at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and vehicle analyst for greenercars.com.

Fil up with lower octane gas-

Unless your car absolutely requires it, use the lower octane gas; the quality and performance of your engine won't be affected. The only time you should use it is when you want to clean your engine from gunk, because higher octane gas will burn hotter and clean away all the stuff that has built up.

Use the Right Oil-

If you use the factory recommended grade oil, your mileage should improve 1-2% from where it is using another type. Chances are the oil costs no more to you, so it makes sense to just keep track of what type of oil your car requires.

Cut back on the A/C-

I know it seems painful, but try rolling down the window when you're driving around town instead of cranking up the A/C, This is just an unnecessary strain on your car engine and lessens your gas mileage. However, if you're on the highway, your AC on low may give you more gas efficiency than having the windows down.

Compare prices-

Shop around for your gas using either your friends or Gasbuddy.com to see which stations seem to have the lowest prices.

Trade-in your SUV-

Trade in your car or truck for a smaller car; or possibly consider buying a motorcycle or Vespa (if it is worth it, of course).

And last but not least: Carpool. As much as people hate it, it's probably the easiest way to save money on trips.

Hopefully this list has helped you spot some ways to save yourself some money when driving every day!

Does it work to Save Money? These don't--

Ok, well-- I've given a few tips on ways to be energy efficient; now I've got a few items that are often claimed to be energy efficient, but are not. What I've done is taken a few new pieces of technology, done some research and critical analysis, and figured out if there is a profit for you to use it in the long term. The ones below are often hailed to be so, but are not. You may be surprised at what shows on this list-- and I hope my reasoning makes sense to you, because it does to me. Ready for some surprises?

Water Bottles with Built-in Filters-
The argument for this is that they allow you to filter tap water instead of buying bottles of water everywhere you go. However, what's often forgetten in the arguments for these little devices is the filter needs to be replaced every 150+/- uses; and the filter is $33! Most of these water bottles are $40, so that's a lot of money tied up for bottled water. If you ONLY bought bottled water at vending machines it would be worth it, but for most people that buy cases like Aquafina, it doesn't even come close to regaining its value. I would recommend a Nalgene bottle; just don't use it for anything but water or it will smell like it forever.

"Smart" Power Strips-
For those who aren't familiar with these, they power everything that is plugged into the power strip on when your computer is turned on. This sounds great, but many people don't really ever turn off their computer. It would really depend on your situation to give a value to this.

Memory sticks-
The often termed "geek stick" is supposed to save you money because it's a portable memory device that is reusable. Reusable cds work fine, and a 50 pack is about $10. Of course, not everyone wants to carry around cds. If it's possible, you can e-mail attachments with free e-mail accounts (such as GMail). If you're someone who doesn't need it for work, it really isn't worth the $20 for a cheap one.

Vespas-
Vespas that cost around $2,000 get around 65-70 miles a gallon, which is great, but at $2.50 a gallon, it would pay itself off in 800 gallons. In conclusion, it would take 37,500 miles of travelling only on a Vespa to break even. Driving a Vespa 15,000 miles a year would take 2 1/2 YEARS to break even. This doesn't include mechanical issues, tire replacements, insurance (check your local DMV if you would need so in your state if you're still interested). This is good if you ONLY want to have a Vespa, but with a car as well, I doubt you'd see any savings.

Coin Rollers-
These things cost $100, and many banks won't even accept already rolled change anymore. In fact, a lot of banks have machines like a coinstar that you can use for free if you have an account with them that does it for you automatically. Also, Coinstar allows you to use their machines free if you get a gift certificate through them for Amazon.

Energy Star Washing Machines-
These will cost you $300 more than the normal washing machines being sold, but new washing machines are very energy efficient as it is. Yes, the website for Energy Star claims it will save you $110 a year, but it is against a 1994 washing machine. Compared to a non-energy star machine, the savings are minimal and would take eight to ten years to just break even. Also, if you have kids and they love playing outside-- those clothes are not going to get as clean as witha non-energy star machine. If you're a pretty clean person, then it's not really noticable.

Hybrid Cars-
These cars run around $20,000,-25,000 (MSRP). Yes, they get great gas mileage, but when the batteries go on them every 10 or so years, it's another $7,000. The gas mileage for the Prius, for example, is 60 Mpg; a Toyota Corrolla (around $15,000 MSRP) is around 30 Mpg. Let's do a little math. That means it would need to save around $12,000 every 5 years to break even. Assume gas is $2.50. At 300 miles a week (the average in the US) for 52 weeks, fuel for the Prius would be $650 and the Corrolla $130o, giving a savings of $650 a year. Now, for 10 years that's $6,500, just about the cost of a battery. There's no savings with a hybrid from where I see it; plus, no one knows how these cars will last in the long-term. I'm not saying that a hybrid is a bad idea-- it does help the environment; but from an economic standpoint, it still fails to provide the service it claims on saving money long-term.

Electric Razors-
Okay, any guy that's used them can tell you after the first few times, they suck. Cleaning solution every 6 months is an extra $50 at the minimum every year. I don't think I spend that on disposable razors a year, nevermind the overhead. There are better ways to save money, and I've got plenty of articles around and in a couple days should have an article on the better alternative to this one.

Hopefully, my article here has helped you from falling into the pitfalls of money saving technology that is spoken about all over the news and internet. In a few days I'll have another article about what DOES, in fact, work. Until then, continue searching for new ways to save money!