Thursday, January 31, 2013

74 Cutting the Cable Cord

Goodbye Cable - Hello FREE HD Channels!


Well, we did it....Gone....No more cable TV. Which means no more cable BILL!   One of my goals for 2013 is to save more money and here is another way we are cutting corners!



My Inspiration

My neighbors cut the cord quite a while ago, well I should say my neighbor's husband decided to take the plunge while my dear friend, his wife, was out of town.

Imagine her surprise when she returned home...

I figured I'd observe for a while.  I knew if she could live without cable, so could I! (She's MY inspiration!)

Since they adjusted so nicely and have been enjoying the extra money each month with no cable bill....I hopped on line and did some research.


Best Antenna For Us

I am a researcher....I always want to make sure I buy something that other people have had success with.  I found a great site with lots of information about the top 10 HD Antennas.


I wanted to find the best HD Antenna for our area and decided on the RCA ANT751.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0024R4B5C?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B0024R4B5C&linkCode=xm2&tag=lifaftempnes-20

I decided to purchase from Amazon (since I am a Prime member and get free shipping) for $56.50
The link is here.

Installation 

The installation was QUICK and EASY!  (This according to my husband who is very handy)  He did say I could have done it...which means it was SIMPLE!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0024R4B5C?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B0024R4B5C&linkCode=xm2&tag=lifaftempnes-20

The RCA ANT751 is an outdoor antenna but my husband installed it in the attic. To be honest - It is not the prettiest thing, but since it is working well in the attic - no one will EVER see it!

Channel Search

After we had it all hooked up, I was disappointed because we were not getting ANY channels!  Then I realized we had to do a channel search on the TV!!
It may have been in the directions... but we aren't big fans of those...unless there is TROUBLE!

Channels For FREE!

When the channel search was finished I was pleasantly surprised!





28 Digital channels for FREE!

The HD picture on the network channels (ABC, CBS, NBC) is impressive!

I feel like it was a little better than the HD cable picture....but the FREE aspect may have gotten the BEST of me!!

Reading to Shop and Cut the Cable Bill?

Here are some antennas you might want to check out!
 This is the one we bought (click below)

 Live in an apartment or want the antenna inside? (Click below)

Going to Miss My DVR!

Honestly, my husband and I rarely  watch "live" TV except for sporting events. When we sit down to watch, we loved being in charge... stop, fast-forward, rewind.

We use Netflix pretty regularly (through our blu-ray player) - that we watch past TV series and movies on.($7.99 a month)



I just signed up for Hulu Plus (through the Wii) to watch current television shows but I noticed that some of my favorites aren't on there! ($7.99 a month)



I'll keep you posted on how I'm coping....I can always get a pep talk from my neighbor!


 Help/Suggestions

Have you cut the cord? 

Thinking I may need a DVR.  I searched around there aren't many choices!  The cheapest TiVo is around $100 but it has a $14.99 a month charge.

Seems with all these little charges I won't be saving that much.

Leave me a comment if you know some secrets you can share!

Like this idea? Sign up below for MANY more to come!

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Update

Thanks to HomeTalk I have lots of new interested cable cutters! Here are some resources to help you out! 
See what channels you may get and what type of antenna to buy visit antennaweb.

Want to steam Netflix, Hulu and others? Try a Roku
 
I also learned how to stream my iPad/iPhone to an HD TV! 
Click here to read how!

Thanks for reading!
Sharon
xoxo








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Saturday, January 26, 2013

1 Explore Your City While Supporting the Locals

Supporting the Locals

I try to support the Local/Small business community whenever I can! 

Partly because my husband, (in his spare time when he isn't a firefighter) owns a small business.  I know how hard it is for him to compete with "The Big" Guys.

 Also, I believe, the best stores and restaurants in Northeast Florida are local businesses! 

Finding the Locals

Since I live in a big city it can be hard to find the locals.  That's why I love the idea behind LeanLocal.

LeanLocal can help you find and support local businesses in your area! LeanLocal is a grassroots movement to support local businesses.

Imagine how ecstatic I was when my daughter, Brianne, was cast in their commercial!

Click on the picture to see what LeanLocal is all about!




Find the Locals Using Your Smartphone


 

Or Your Home Computer

 

 

Ever try a Groupon?

 

 

Another way I find out about local places and am willing to try them out (because there is a DISCOUNT) is through Groupon. 

 

What's a Groupon?


I'll let the people at Groupon explain that to you...
"We came up with the idea for Groupon as an antidote to a common ailment for us city-dwellers: there's so much cool stuff to do, but the choice can be overwhelming. With so many options, sometimes the easiest thing is to go to a familiar restaurant, or just stay at home and watch a movie. As a result, we miss out on trying all the cool things our cities have to offer. Groupon makes it simple by offering only the best businesses in your area. And by leveraging The Point's framework for collective buying, Groupon is able to offer deals that make it very difficult to say no."

 I LOVE Groupon!  

Save Money and Have FUN!

 

Here are just a few of the things I've tried with a Groupon!
  • nail salons
  • bowling 
  • restaurants
  • car washes
  • car detailing 
  • ghost tours
  • snorkeling with manatees
  • pub crawls
  • massages/facials

They have TONS of other stuff too!

Another cool thing is... I've looked at places we plan on visiting and purchased Groupons for cheap sightseeing while on vacation!

Ready to Get Started?


You can sign up for a daily e-mail by clicking the picture below.



Or Use Your Smartphone



Click to download to iPhone

Click to download to Android

Did you like this idea? Sign up below so you don't miss a thing!
Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner

 

Have Some FUN!

Grab a Groupon or try out LeanLocal!!

Let me know what you find!! I'm always ready to try out something new!

Thanks for Reading!
Sharon 
xoxo

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

6 Glazed Cinnamon Ginger Popcorn

Glazed Popcorn - Yummy!

Yesterday after I amazed myself by making my OWN MICROWAVE POPCORN, I felt a little domestic. You can read how to make that here.

My husband has been working really hard, long hours so I figured I'd surprise him with some of this "new home-made microwave" popcorn. The plain stuff wouldn't be enough... so I decided to try a new recipe I discovered on Pinterest.

Glazed Cinnamon Ginger Popcorn 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Grab the ingredients: 


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon dried cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

In a small pot over low heat melt the butter and honey together. Mix in the cinnamon, ginger, and salt.




  •  ¾ cup raw cashews

  • Put the cashews in an extra large mixing bowl. 
  • Coat them with about a tablespoon of the butter/honey mixture.


  •  Spread the coated nuts onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the same large bowl evenly coat the plain popcorn – minus any unpopped kernels – with the remaining butter/honey mixture.


 

After the cashews have been in the oven for 6 minutes, take out the tray, add the popcorn to it, and mix it all up together. Stick the tray back in the oven and set the timer for 4 minutes.



After 4 minutes open the oven and stir or shake the mixture around on the baking sheet. 
Set the timer for 2 more minutes.

Repeat the process of checking/stirring the popcorn mixture every minute then take it out of the oven once it turns a dark brown (it can burn easily toward the end!). My total bake time was 6 minutes for the nuts then an additional 8 minutes once I added the popcorn.

The popcorn and nuts will seem wet right out of the oven, but don't worry they will
harden as they cool.

Show-Time


I grabbed some of the popcorn containers I purchased 
at "Target's Dollar Spot"



Lined with some parchment paper and  - PRESTO

CUTE and DELICIOUS!!


 My husband LOVES cashews, but you could substitute other nuts like almonds or peanuts... or leave them out altogether!

Considering he ate ALL of it...I'd say this recipe is a KEEPER!

What other yummy stuff do you put on your popcorn? Please leave a comment, so I can try your idea!

This recipe was discovered from a wonderful blog I have added to my favorites; 100 Days of Real Food.   Click on the ink to print out the recipe card!

Now go get cooking!

Thanks for reading!
Sharon
xoxo








~Linking to~
Classy Clutter

Monday, January 21, 2013

8 Microwave Popcorn D.I.Y.!

Popcorn Love

I have to admit, I'm quite a snacker! When I reach for the snack, I try to eat something low in calories so my snack love doesn't go to my hips!

I keep boxes of microwave popcorn at work for a low cal snack.  I try to get them on a BOGO (buy one get one) with a coupon since they can be pretty pricey and...I love to save money!  (You can read more about how I save money here)

Did You Know You Can Make Your Own??

I thought there was some huge secret hidden within those microwave bags of popcorn...NO!

You can make it yourself for a fraction of the cost!

You won't believe how SIMPLE it is!!

DIY Microwave Popcorn!

Buy a bag of popcorn (I didn't know they still sold it like this)

 
This bag cost $2.99 at Publix

Buy some paper lunch bags.

These bags cost .89 cents at Publix

I measured out 1/4 cup of popcorn and poured it into the bag.

That's right ONLY the popcorn! No oil, nothing else!


 I folded the bag over three times and placed it in the microwave.

No tape or staples! Just fold the bag over


 I set my microwave to cook on high for 2 minutes.
  
I stood right there since this was my first time trying this! 

I ended up stopping my microwave after 1:30 because 
the popcorn stopped popping.


 Wow! It really worked and made over 4 cups!

Then you can add butter and salt if you choose! 

I grabbed my Pampered Chef Kitchen Spritzer and used
a little olive oil and salt.

Click the picture for purchase information

 If you like salt you will have to use some type of oil or it won't stick!

Pretty Cool huh?

Makes me brainstorm.... sleep overs, movie night, school parties... Everyone gets their OWN bag!

I like that idea!

If you decide to try this leave me a comment and let me know!

Change it up a bit...put something fantastic on it....??? Share with me!!

Did you already know this trick and think I'm CRAZY? Do you have another simple budget friendly trick to share?

Leave me a comment! I'd LOVE to hear from you!

Thanks for reading!
Sharon
xoxo









~Linking To~
Sunny Simple Life




Saturday, January 19, 2013

0 Magnetic Bookmarks DIY

Hold My Page!

 A few years ago a friend gave me the coolest bookmark! I never have to worry about it falling out of my book when I pick it up because it is magnetic!!





D.I.Y. Time! 

I knew my students would LOVE these bookmarks, so to celebrate Literacy Week, we created our own!

  • First I went to Hobby Lobby and bought business card magnets. 

  • They were $2.99 for 10 business cards. 


  • I gathered some card stock in assorted colors.

  •   Found an old bookmark to use as a template

  •  My wonderful friend/volunteer, Melissa,  got busy cutting!
(She is AMAZING)





  • I asked that when she scored them she did it unevenly, so the bookmark could be opened with ease. Mine can be difficult to open... and these are for children's hands!

  • Next she cut each business card into thirds, and then each third in half.  This way you can make 3 bookmarks from each magnet.  The pack I bought makes 30 bookmarks!
  • Now my students started to decorate! 
  • They took the adhesive off one piece of magnet and placed it on the inside of the bookmark. (We decided the lower the magnet was placed the better it works!)
  • Then they placed the other magnet right on top of the already placed magnet, removed the adhesive and then closed it.  Doing it this way ensures the magnets line up!


Take a look and see how adorable they turned out!!

My students said, "These are so cool!"

So they MUST be!!

 

BRAINSTORM - These would make GREAT Valentines!

 I started thinking about our class Valentine's Day Exchange...
that will be here before you know it! 

Those boxes of store Valentines can cost more than the pack of magnets I bought! 
(Remember each pack of magnets makes 30!)

Plus those Valentines just get thrown out.  

These Valentines would be "A Keeper!"

Visit your local scrapbooking store, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, JoAnns, and grab some heavy weight scrapbook paper in a Valentine pattern! 
(Don;t forget to use the 40% - 50% off coupons in Sunday's paper!)



Write your Valentine's Day message on the inside!  

Adorable!!  

I'll be making some of these this weekend!!

Hope this gave you some ideas!!
Happy Crafting!

Thanks for reading!
Sharon
xoxo









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