Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Traveling for cheap

I just recently travel to Chicago, Illinois for the graduation of a friend. It was a great trip. I got to see and learn so many new things. For example, I learned the tallest building is the US is in Chicago and called the Sears Tower. Many movies were filmed in Chicago such as the Dark Knight and Fred Claus. If you want to see what other movies were film in Chicago look at the Illinois State movie website. (Image from BoRev.net website)

After a great weekend in Chicago, I came back home to Maryland wondered how you could travel for cheap.

After looking at 30+ Tools for Finding Cheap Travel Accommodation article, here are some ideas:


CheapTickets.com - Best known for cheap airfare, Cheaptickets also offers deals on hotel rooms and vacation packages.

ConcertHotels.com - Find hotels near concert venues in the United Kingdom, USA and Spain. Look them up by venue or by specific event.

Expedia.com - A full service booking site that lets you book hotels as well as flights, rental cars, vacation packages and more.

Hotels.com - Search for hotels, condos, bed & breakfasts, vacation rentals and more.

HotelClub.net - Part of the Orbitz system, HotelClub offers last minute deals, group bookings, worldwide listings as well as over 1.4 million customer reviews


ClearStay focuses on vacation rentals in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Allows you to search not only by location, but also what dates you are looking at.

Domegos.com - Search worldwide listings by location, dates and number of occupants to find a rental to fit your needs.

VacationHomeRentals.com - Listings for vacation rental properties all over the world with ratings and reviews by customers.

VacationRentals.com - Directory of vacation rentals all over the world with quicklinks to the most popular destinations.

WeGoRound.com - Search engine for nearly a quarter million vacation rentals all over the world.

If you would like some more ideas check out the 30+ Tools for Finding Cheap Travel Accommodation article. See you next time my thrifty travelers.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Renting Movies!

Movies rentals have gotten so expensive. I love watching movies, curling up on my comfortable sofa with soft warm blanket with some popcorn; nothing can beat that for me. (Image from Portuguese blog website)

Since our country has entered this recession, it’s been hard for companies to stay in business. For example, the Blockbuster right off of Putty Hill and Taylor disappear without even warning.

To make things even worse, I purchase a blockbuster card a moth earlier because I was watching a lot of movies for my Mass Communications class 385 also known as Mass Media and Society.

When Blockbuster went out of business, I had no where to rent movies so searched for new movie rental place. I came upon two choices: Redbox and Hollywood Video. Now for my 385 class, I needed to watch specific older movies, like Natural Born Killers by Oliver Stone. I knew for fact that Redbox doesn’t really keep older movies, so I went to Hollywood Video and rented Natural Born Killers for about 3 dollars.

If you’re trying to rent new release movies, Redbox is the place to go. Redbox is easy to use. You can either make online reservation from any computer to pick up later or just go to any Redbox to select a movie. Redbox rentals only cost 1 dollar each night and you have to pay with credit card.

Redbox does have few down sides. Rentals have to be return to a Redbox and if you keep your rental for more then a day to have to pay 1 dollar extra for everyday you keep the movie.

So next time you time about renting a movie, choose either Redbox or Hollywood Video. This is just another thrifty idea for all my movie goers out there. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rainy day’s blues!

After enjoying a dry weekend in VA, I come home to rain, rain and more rain. It reminds me of the saying “rain, rain, go away, come again another day”.

I have the rainy days blues. I am stuck sitting inside my apartment on damp, dark and ugly day. I was curious what people could inside their homes on rainy day.

Here are some ideas for your next (or tomorrow’s) rainy day:

•Do some homework until your blue in the face, jk lol

•Color in new coloring books or Google coloring pages; no matter how old you are, it’s still fun to color

•Put together a puzzle

•Play a board or card game

•Watch your favorite or new release movie

•Tell stories

•Make a home video; it could be fun

•Have a picnic or camp out on the living room floor

•Have a scavenger or clue hunt

•Look through old photo albums and remember all the good times shared

•Make something, whether it is baking a delicious treat or creating a arts and craft project

•Build an inside fort by arranging some chairs so you can cover them with a blanket or sheet to make the fort

•Go for walk outside in the rain if’s not thundering or lighting outside
So the next time rainy weather has you blue, just remember some of these fun ideas and have fun on rainy day. If you want more ideas please check out the following “Rainy day idea’s” article.

Reusable shopping bags!

After doing some grocery store shopping, I realized that more and more grocery stores are passing out reusable shopping bags. (Image from Keetsa website)

This post relates to one of my previous posts on the three R’s: Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle.

So what’s benefit of using reusable grocery bags? Well according to this article called “Why use reusable grocery bags” it says:

•Reusable bags save trees
•Reusable bags save water
•Reusable bags save gas and oil
•Reusable bags help air pollution
•Reusable bags help our oceans
•Reusable bags help our sea creatures
•Reusable bags save 700+ bags over the span of their lifetime!
•Reusable bags help our families!

Now I bet some of you are wondering why I should switch from using plastic grocery bags? Well the article called “Why use reusable grocery bags” answers that question as follows:

•A Plastic bag takes 450 years to biodegrade. Imagine 10 billion of them!

•The production of Paper bags causes 70% more pollution than Plastic.

•When Plastic “photo degrades” it ends up in our oceans and like plankton, which is then consumed by fish. Fish eat it, and it winds up on your dinner table. YUCK!!!

•The recipe for making paper bags starts with 1 part pulp, 400 parts WATER. What a waste of water!

•The recycling of plastic emits heavy metals into the air causing extreme air pollution

•An average person will use over 350 bags in a single year!

•In New York City, one less grocery bag per person would reduce waste by five million pounds and save $250,000 in disposal costs!

•In 1999 more than 14 million trees were cut down to produce 10 billion paper bags that were used by Americans that year!

I just got my first reusable wine bag this weekend from Kroger, a grocery store in Blacksburg, VA. It was free with any purchase of wine. So be on the look out for great deals and help save the planet; we only have one.

Green Gardening

I like to think that everyone can have a green thumb; although some people are more into “Thinking Green” than others. (Image from Vegetable Garden 81 website)

Anyways with spring coming right around the corner, it’s time to start planting. If you plant and grow your own fruit and vegetables, you can save a lot of money and feel good knowing you planted the seeds that grew into a beautiful plant which you can eat!

So here are some easier tips for growing your own from Vegetable Gardening Basic article:

1. Plan where to put your garden
A spot near the house in full sunlight is normally the most convenient spot, however, drainage, soil quality, and shade from buildings or trees may mean the garden must be located in an area farther from the house.

2. Prepare the soil
Fertile, well drained soil is necessary for a successful garden. The exact type of soil is not as important as that it be well drained, well supplied with organic matter, reasonably free of stones, and moisture retentive.

3. Planting Vegetables
Using a garden layout map (which you created in the planning stages) plant stakes to mark out where different rows will be planted. Build trellises or tall stakes for climbing plants such as peas and beans. Create mounds to put in the vining plants such as cucumbers, pumpkins and melons. Don't forget to establish your pathways early so that you won't be walking across planted areas.

4. Sowing your seed
Stretch a string between the two stakes you set to mark the row or use a straight piece of lumber as a guide to open a 'V' shaped furrow with the corner of your hoe. Set the depth to the recommended requirements on the seed packet. Tear the corner of the seed package off and use your finger to tap the package lightly as you move down the row, carefully distributing the seeds evenly. Larger type seeds may be placed individually in the row. You will want to plant extra seeds in each row to allow for failed germination and for thinning.

5. Watch them grow and don’t forget to water your plants