Archives for category: budget

Guest Post from Cathy

It pays to be a wise and proactive consumer. I have been an advocate for years now. Even if I don’t hear back from companies after I have filed a complaint or a dissatisfaction of their product, I still feel better by voicing my opinions. I don’t think enough people speak up.
Anyway, I have gotten good results over the years because of my customer/consumer actions.

Recently I purchased a Revlon Colorstay lipstick and it had a defective brush on the lipgloss side.
So, I still had the box and I e-mailed the company about it. We talked on the phone as she wanted the code off of the tube.
I told her that if they wanted it back, I would send it to them in a self address’d stamped envelope from them.
She said that wasn’t necessary and they sent me a $10.00 gift certificate!

I never used to be as strong as I am now, I think it comes with age and maturity and wisdom.
I love my life and I love where I am in it also! I am a more confident woman ~ hear me roar! lol!

    Have you had good results contacting companies about their products or customer service? I’d love to hear about it. Post below.



Sweet tea: A refreshing and sweet beverage to enjoy on a hot summer day. It can also be an extra expense at the mini mart checkout before you head out to the lake. A cheap can will cost you at a minimum $1 and for a higher end black tea in a glass bottle about $3. Judging from the taste of the cheap stuff, the only reason we buy it is because it’s convenient (and $1).
With just a little bit of pre-planning, you can get a better quality sweet tea for .19 a bottle.
Buy a pack of 12 pint size glass jars with lids, a pack of 100 Lipton tea bags, and a 5 lb. bag of sugar. Fill jars with water, add one tea bag, lid it and sit in sun just till heated. Bring in, remove lid, wring tea bag out into the jar it came from, add one TBSP of sugar, put lid on, shake and put in fridge. You’ll have 12 bottles of sweet tea waiting for you to grab and go to your destination, which might just be on your back porch.
For you nerds who want to see the math:

Have a relaxing summer everyone!

I’m a big fan of flor brand carpet tiles. I love the prints, colors, everything. Everything except for the price! For one 18″ x 18″ carpet tile, you’re going to pay about $14. I had saved up some money and paid for some great bright squares for the girls’ room but couldn’t afford the living room, except for two measly squares (for motivation). So anyways, I found myself at a dollar store killing time while my husband was shopping next door and happened upon a pleasant surprise.
A stack of some 18″ x 18″ carpet tiles! I’m not saying I found the holy grail of carpet tiles, I did say this was a DOLLAR store, right? But I am so excited that I got ten carpet squares for less than the price of one from Flor. Wow. Should I be embarrassed? Ha.

If you’re curious which two tiles were the expensive ones… One is the far right top and the other is the far left bottom.


And just for comparisons sake, the left tile is dollar store and the right is Flor.


Rated: Easy Schmeeshy Materials: Hydrogen Peroxide, Plastic stick or end of a spoon, and Sodium Bicarbonate

    I definitely don’t baby my drains as I probably should. If it drops in the sink, it goes down the drain. I actually had a sixteen penny nail go down last year. However, I don’t condone shoving nails down the drain on a regular basis.

    Needless to say, my bathroom drain clogged up today and not the type of clog that you can ignore. There was once a day when I’d go run to the store to buy a jug of Drain-O, but not today my friends. Not today.

    My weapon of choice? Hydrogen Peroxide. I poured about 1/3 cup in the sink, then took a plastic stick and stuck it down the drain, moved it around to get the peroxide moving. The standing water went away… A small victory. Next, I added another 1/3 cup of peroxide and let sit, used the plastic stick again. Repeat till draining on it’s own accord, even if slowly. Last but not least, bring on the sodium bicarbonate, aka Baking Soda. Pour about 1 TBSP down the drain and follow up with 1/3 cup peroxide. Ah, glorious scrubbing bubbles. Reminiscent of my 5th grade science experiment.

    After all that, the true test is to turn on the running water. Wha-La!! The clog has been defeated!! The winner is the abusive sink owner!


Rated: Easy, embarrassingly easy.

Materials: Any scrap fabric that suits you

    I don’t purchase wrapping paper at any retail store, ever. I find wrapping paper at yard sales or just use last weeks sale ads and dress it up with a pretty ribbon. It works for me, but my mother in law, Melody has come up with a winning idea. She didn’t use paper at all this Christmas. She found heaps of different sized, unique fabric laying around her house and wrapped all gifts in them. She secured each package with yarn that she had. The result was a soft, warm gift wrap that can be reused. Simple, yet very unique. For those who don’t have fabric and yarn in their household, swing by your Grandmas. She has a closet full.

    Merry Christmas!!


Rated: Simple and Difficult
Materials Needed: None

    In our family is 4 people. Stewart, me, and our two girls. I was doing about 3 loads of laundry every other day without question. My husband pointed out that I was doing a ton of laundry and besides that, most of what I was washing was not dirty. I was in shock that he would question my thoroughness (and a little mad). The next morning, getting ready to do a load of laundry, I took the time to do a smell and look test of every item in the bucket (Well, not every item, I’m not going to get that personal with yesterdays socks). I put away the clothes that passed the test and the results were interesting. I cut the pile down by 50%.
    It was difficult for me to fold and put away clothes that I knew had been worn and not washed. Why is that though? I guess you have to change your thinking. I know I’m not the only one in America who gets accustomed to the availability of clean water and a functioning washer machine. So what would happen if you and I didn’t have that? If we had to wash all our families clothes by hand with a limited amount of clean water? The answer would be wash the stinky and dirty. On the flip side, I felt like my family needed to have CLEAN, freshly washed clothes. It was definitely a struggle to choose clothes to wash.
    The bottom line though is this: I just cut my laundry bill by 50%. I’m consuming 50% less water, I’m making my detergent last twice as long and my family is still clean and nice smelling. Stewart, you were right. Just this once!



Creating Carie is about pulling out the gifts in us. Where ideas are tried and shared, using the objects around us to create solutions for life’s opportunities.

On this site, you’ll find fresh ideas and old ideas with new life breathed into it. Remember that guy who said “there’s nothing new under the sun.”? I totally can relate to what he’s talking about. However, just because the fall season comes every year at around the same time, is it ever boring? Heck no. There’s always creativity to be sought out even in the most repetitive looking projects and ideas.