Tag Archives: How-To

Pet Care Tips: How to help your dogs get along

This blog was written by PennySaverUSA.com staffer Helen, a dog fanatic and owner of two dogs

Meet Nelly and Handsome, my two Australian Cattle Dog mixes. They look like they get along right? Not!

Nelly with Handsome at 3 months.

We adopted Handsome a little over a year ago when he was a puppy. He weighed about 6 pounds and Nelly wanted nothing to do with him. Since then, I’ve learned from my mistakes and at last there is some peace in my life.

Introduce the dogs in a neutral territory

When I first brought home the puppy, he was so cute that I couldn’t wait to show Nelly. I brought him up in a blanket and let him lay on her. That was a bad idea. Nelly was not into it and Handsome became extremely attached. After taking the dogs out of the house more, I found that the puppy became more tolerable in neutral territory, when he wasn’t invading Nelly’s space. When we moved to a new home, I made it a point to introduce my dogs to the neighbor’s dogs in the neighborhood park, rather than a driveway or in someone’s yard. This definitely let the dogs get to know each other in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Walk your dogs together

For some reason, I used to think it was a good idea to walk my two dogs separately. First the puppy, then the big one. It was a terrible idea. When I would take the puppy and leave Nelly, Nelly would start wailing. And even worse when I took Nelly and left the puppy. Let’s just say, that’s how we found out he was a howler. When I finally decided to walk them together, it was pretty bad. They would be pulling me in different directions. But, as every trainer will tell you, practice makes perfect. We went on longer walks so the dogs would get used to each other and it became a ritual for us. The great thing is, after a long walk, they get so tired that they won’t have any energy to fight!

Don’t favor one over the other

Sibling rivalry exists, even with dogs! Be sure not to fuel it by favoring one dog over the other. Whenever I feed the dogs, I always make sure that they’re getting equal portions. And when it comes to treat time, both dogs have to sit before they are rewarded with a treat.

Letting them play

Whenever I take the dogs to the dog park, they play. They will wrestle until they’re bored with each other. The great thing about having more than one dog is, they will keep themselves occupied. So throw a ball, or a chew toy at them and let them go at it!

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Beauty on a Budget: How to Make Homemade Beauty Products

In this edition of Beauty on a Budget, PennySaverUSA.com teaches you how to concoct your own beauty products to avoid the expensive price tags found at the drugstore. And don’t worry; it’s nothing like Mrs. Doubtfire’s melting cake mask. So, my dear, let’s get started:

Make your own beauty products and you'll never have to worry about potentially harmful mystery ingredients.

Natural Facial Steamer

Good for: Acne-prone skin, since procedure opens up pores and sweats out toxins

What you’ll need: stock pot, ½ cup of salt, 5 cups of water, 1 hand towel

What you do: 1) Add water and salt to stock pot, 2) Place stock pot on flaming stove, 3) Once the water starts boiling, turn off the stove and let the pot sit for 5 minutes, 4) Grab the hand towel and inch your face close to the water, keeping a comfortable distance (*do not burn your face), 5) Throw the towel on top of your head to create a mini-sauna room where the mist can barely escape. 6) Stay under fumes for 10 minutes

Natural Exfoliating Body Scrub from Spa Playground

Good for: Oily skin and to rid dead skin cells

What you’ll need: 1 cup of brown sugar, ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp Vitamin E (cut open a few liquid gel caps), 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp of honey, large bowl

What you do: 1) Thoroughly mix all ingredients in a large bowl with a spatula, 2) Apply to skin while showering or bathing by massaging the scrub in gentle circular motions from your shoulders to your feet, 3) Rinse off

Natural Facial Mask from mhei on HubPages

Good for: Dry skin and adds moisture

What you’ll need: 2 tablespoon of fresh milk, 2 teaspoons of honey,and 1 large bowl

What you do: 1) Blend fresh milk and honey in a large bowl, 2) Dab mixture gently on your face and neck, 3) Allow the mixture to sit on your face for 10-15 minutes, 4) Rinse away with warm water

Natural Hair Treatment from thedailygreen.com

Good for: Revitalizing tresses and adding shine to your hair

What you’ll need: 1 medium avocado, 2 tablespoons of honey

What you do: 1) Peel and stone avocado, 2) Mash avocado and honey together in a small bowl, 3) Massage into dry hair, 4) Allow to soak in hair for 20-30 minutes, 5) Rinse hair treatment out

Natural Nail Treatment from Going-Well

Good for: Nourishing and strengthening nails

What you’ll need: ¼ cups of apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup of olive oil, and ½ cup of beer, 1 small bowl

What you do: 1) Heat olive oil in microwave or stove until it’s warm to touch, 2) Mix warm olive oil, beer, and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl, 3) Soak your nails in mixture for 10 to 15 minutes, 4) Rinse mixture away by washing hands

Each of these products should save you between $6 to $30 per product, and they’re are much nicer to your body than many chemical-laden store-bought products

Like all beauty products, be sure and taste out your homemade product on a small portion of your wrist or in a hidden area in the rare case that you might be allergic to the product.

Enjoy your homemade product and the money you saved with today’s helpful Beauty on a Budget post.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Garage Sale Tips: How to Organize your Garage Sale Successfully

Ever been to a garage sale where it was a complete mess – breakable items on the floor, no visible price tags, and items stacked sky-high that you didn’t want to rummage through? Add a crowd of people and this garage sale sounds like the thing Friday the 13th nightmares are made of.

garage-sale-tips-organization

Use our garage sale tips to avoid a disaster like this one.

Keep it nice and simple with PennySaverUSA’s garage sale tips for organizing your garage sale and everything will run smoothly. Organize your sale:

  • By size: Keep smaller items in containers on top of table tops and larger, bulkier items on the ground (out of foot traffic space, of course). That way nothing gets lost in the shuffle or broken. And for smaller items, the key is to group them together (example: teapot with teacups) to create bundles that sell faster.
  • By quality: Items that are fragile deserve a space on a table. And use items that you have a feeling will be hot commodities for two things: 1) Place the larger items in the front of your sale to get the attention of people driving by (example: furniture and televisions), 2) Place the medium-to-smaller in the back of your sale, so people will be forced to walk through your sale to get to the valuable stuff (example: jewelry, antiques, and watches).

  • By price: Instead of grouping each item by category, group by price. Label each table with a price tag for all items on that specific table (ex. “All items on this table are $10”). This helps with not having to answer the question, “How much?” over and over again. Plus, it leaves more room for serious shoppers to stay, and Looky Loos to get a move on. Need help pricing? Use our pricing guide to determine each item’s value.

  • Away from “Not for Sale” items: Be sure the area you are using for the garage sale is far away from any items that are not for sale. If your sale is in the garage, be sure to park your vehicle off the driveway and move valuables inside to not confuse buyers. It should be clear what is for sale, and what you’re hanging onto.
  • Presentation is important: Cleanliness is next to garage-godliness! So sweep up dirt, pack things away that aren’t for sale, and make everything that’s for sale visible (avoid stacking when possible). If you need some inspiration, Vintage Revivals did such a fantastic job in spreading out her items during her “Hoarder’s Sale” that everything was gone in less than 4 hours! Impressive.

Looking for more tips to hosting a garage sale? We’ve got garage sale tips that will knock your socks off.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Save Money Monday: Spoil your pampered pup without breaking the bank!

Dog lovers like myself are known to spoil our four-legged children. From doggy spas to luxurious beds, we tend to justify these extra costs even though the dog might not even be aware of any of it! Isn’t it right that at the end of the day, your pup is just happy you’re home? Here are some ways you can still spoil your dog without spending a lot!

Pet care doesn't have to be expensive.

1) Skip the store-bought treats! If you take away the cute puppy on the packaging and those touching commercials, packaged treats are just dried jerky for $20 a pound! In my house, we buy lean cuts of steak for our dogs so we have a generous supply of treats for a fraction of the cost of store-bought treats. Preparation is easy and you can do this every two weeks. Just sear your steak plain without any seasoning, cut up into bite-sized pieces (get rid of the fatty parts), and store in the fridge. Please check with your vet and make yourself aware of harmful people foods that you should NEVER feed your dog.

2) Brush your dog’s teeth daily! Our family vet actually recommended this instead of buying expensive dental chews. Just put a dab of doggy toothpaste on your preferred doggy toothbrush or finger brush and a quick 1-2 minute massaging of the teeth and gums every day can help keep those canine teeth in great shape. Get your dog in the routine of this so it’s not as daunting of a task and you can avoid expensive trips to the doggy dentist!

3) Rotate and wash toys! Instead of buying new toys, keep toys on a rotation so there’s always something new and exciting for your pup to play with! It’s amazing what a wash cycle will do. It’s like a brand new toy!

4) DIY Doggy Bed! When you think of it, those doggy beds are just really expensive pillows, sometimes costing up to $50 a piece! You can recycle old pillows and make your own doggy bed! Check out the instructions for a No Sew Pet Bed! (It’s great for cats, too!)

5) Keep your dog happy and active! Dogs are social creatures and require lots of care and attention. The best activities for your dog are often free! Whether it’s a stroll at the park or some extra belly rubs, spending time with your dog is all you need to ensure your dog’s happiness! Pawdicures and collar bling are all optional.

Rating 4.00 out of 5

How-to throw a killer Super Bowl party on a budget

PennySaverUSA’s garage sale mobile app MOGASA will provide a guest blog post each Tuesday. Enjoy …

The biggest television event of the year is coming up this Sunday and you want to throw a party, but you just don’t know how to fit it in under your miniscule budget. Fear not! MOGASA (download now on iPhone or Android) is here with a few tips to help you host a killer Super Bowl party without breaking the bank to do so.

Simply follow these four steps and your Super Bowl party is bound to be a success.

  1. The TV is the star — The real key to any Super Bowl party is making sure all guests have clear visibility of the television. The main attraction of the evening is the TV, after all. You don’t need to buy a fancy new TV or stand, though. As long as you set up your current TV in a place that can be seen by all guests without obstruction, everyone will be happy. Just remember not to make the rookie mistake of putting the food or drinks in front of the television. That’s an automatic 15-yard personal foul penalty and might result in your guests ejecting you as host.

    mogasa-blog-chips

    Chips are a must at any good Super Bowl party.

  2. Stick to cheap comfort food – Exotic foods certainly have their place (who doesn’t love watching Iron Chef America), but a Super Bowl party isn’t one of them. Chips, burgers, hot dogs, French fries, pizza … those are the types of food you want at your party. And you don’t have to spend much to get them. Check out our Extreme Couponing blogger all-stars and read your local PennySaver. Then go to the grocery store with a strategy. If you use coupons and shop smart, you should be able to get all the food you need at a very low cost.
  3. Homemade decorations – It’s really not necessary to go out and buy party supplies for your Super Bowl party. You probably have everything you need right in your closet. Dig through your old stuff for anything blue (Giants) or red (Patriots) and use that stuff to decorate. To add a little flair, you can use MOGASA to find and visit some local garage sales on Saturday, and buy used football paraphernalia to accent the blue and red.
  4. Prizes – One of the easiest ways to keep people interested during your Super Bowl party (even if the game is a dud) is to have prize giveaways. For example, let everyone draw players names out of a hat and whichever player scores first, the person who picked his name wins a prize. The prizes don’t need to be fancy – think nerf footballs, koozies, playing cards, or other fun items you might have lying around the house you never use – but the point is having these types of fun little games throughout the party help build and maintain a festive atmosphere.

Now for the most important step of all that is completely free:

5. Have a good time – If you are enjoying yourself, everyone else will, too!

Rating 2.00 out of 5

Save Money Monday: Online Coupons 101

It can be a daunting experience to get started using online coupons. Between finding the online coupons, organizing them and planning how to use them; the entire endeavor is a bit overwhelming.

The Save Money Monday key for anyone interested in online coupons is simplicity. Begin with the basics.

The top reason people give up trying to use online coupons seems to be that they try to do too much, too fast.

Think about it. You wouldn’t succeed in a 12th grade calculus class if you had never even taken basic math.

Our suggestion is to focus on one category of goods or services and stick to couponing for that one category for the first few weeks.

For example, if you eat cereal every morning, concentrate on online coupons for cereal. Check sources like the PennySaver, the local newspaper and the Facebook page of the major cereal manufacturers like Kellogg’s to find online coupons. Place them in your wallet or purse as soon as you find them. Then when you refill your cereal on your next trip to the supermarket, you’ll have your online coupons with you.

After a month, try adding another category to your online coupons list and little by little, you’ll be in a position to do couponing on a grander scale.

This week’s highlighted Save Money Monday resource for helping you in your online coupons journey is Money Saving Mom. She’s got a fantastic personal finance blog that alerts you to the best coupons and provides sage advice on how to use them to help your pocketbook.

Rating 2.00 out of 5

New and improved PennySaverUSA.com makes it easier to place a free ad

A lot has happened over the past few months for PennySaverUSA.com users, including a new form to place a free ad for sellers.

Not only is the place a free ad form much cleaner and easier on the eyes, it’s also more user friendly.

place-an-ad

Go to the top right corner of PennySaverUSA.com and place a free ad!

You select a category, write a title and description, select a zip code and set a price all on the first page, which is labeled “Ad Details”. On that page is an option to add a photo or video to your ad. This is highly advisable to prospective sellers, because people will be much more likely to view your ad and subsequently purchase your item, if it has a photo and/or video.

You can also designate whether you are an individual “Private Party” sell or are selling on behalf of a business, and register or sign-in to PennySaverUSA.com all on the first page (you must register and sign-in to place an ad). All of these fields are now clearly delineated and easier to navigate.

The category, title and description fields are required, as well as picking an end date for the ad to expire. A really cool feature is that you can now make a coupon available with your ad by checking off the “coupon available” box.

Once you get to the second page, you have the ability to make your ad stand out with one of our paid enhancements. This function was always available, but was harder to find. Now you can clearly see which icons are available for purchase (typically at a $1 price) and you can check-box to get a premium listing that places your ad at the top of categories for $20. You can also now see exactly what your ad will look like in the ad preview to the right of the enhancements page.

The third and final page in new ad placement is called the “summary” page. Once again it is a much simpler page to look at and allows you one more chance to spruce up your ad by purchasing an ad enhancement. It also has the number for our customer support team and gives you all the details on your ad. Once you click the “Finish” button, your ad is done and in the process of being published to PennySaverUSA.com online classifieds!

Please let us know if you have any questions in the comment area and good luck selling!

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Make Money Monday: How-to get a job in a tough market

This week’s Make Money Monday intended to help you get a job comes at a frustrating time for employment seekers. The jobs report for the month of May showed a significant slowdown in hiring and the unemployment rate went up a tick.

It wasn’t all bad news, however. In this Make Money Monday edition, PennySaverUSA.com focuses on a few industries that are currently experiencing job growth. Your best bet to get a job lies within these sectors, and if you lack education or experience, there are plenty of schools where you can acquire the training you need.

get a job in healthcare

Get a job in health care today.

One of your best bets to get a job right now is by looking in the health-care sector. That industry continues to add jobs on a monthly basis, and qualified individuals are a hot commodity. There are 100s of health care jobs available on PennySaverUSA.com and job resource sites like NowHired.com have great health-care listings as well. You can also check PennySaverUSA.com to find a number of affordable career education schools, so you can obtain the skills required to get a job in health care.

Another growth industry to target when you want to get a job is mining and logging. While these jobs are not for everyone, they pay reasonably well and if you like working with your hands, they might be more enjoyable for you than typical office work.

Another sector that is rebounding is manufacturing. The industry shed jobs at an alarming rate at the dawn of the recession, but despite a recent slowdown, has shown a steady increase in openings over the past few months. It’s not a bad time to try to get a job in manufacturing. Check the PennySaverUSA.com listings.

The services sector, which includes home repair, auto repair and things of that nature, has also done reasonably well in recent months. It is close to having fully recovered from the recession in terms of jobs. Search through our listings of home repair jobs, auto repair jobs and service jobs to try and get a job.

Best of luck to all those who want to get a job and please leave in the comments if you are hiring anyone, so we can spread the news via the Make Money Monday feature.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Make Money Monday: Helping recent grads get a job

In this week’s Make Money Monday feature for job seekers, PennySaverUSA.com focuses on helping recent and soon-to-be graduates get a job.

While the job market is improving, this is still a tough time for anyone to get a job, especially those just beginning their careers. That said, there are some things you can do to improve your chances and here are some how-to tips on what it takes to get a job as a new graduate.

Perhaps the most important step new grads can take to get a job is starting their search early. Sites like nowhired.com have some good job listings, and if you haven’t yet, make sure to check out the PennySaverUSA.com job listings.

job listings

New grads should start scanning job listings right away.

Also, don’t give up if you don’t find exactly the position you are seeking. PennySaverUSA.com employee Helen Chiu graduated in 2010 and was able to get a job with us shortly thereafter. She said, “You may notice that there aren’t too many entry-level jobs posted or advertised. You can still research the companies that are hiring and visit their own jobs board, like the one for PennySaverUSA.com.”

Once you have found a few places and positions in which you would like to get a job, you have to work on your resume and prepare yourself for the application process.

“I consulted my mentors (career & academic) for resume help and general interview advice. It helped me gain confidence and not come off as completely inexperienced,” Chiu said.

“Take advantage of office time with teaching assistants, college counselors, and even your professors so you can get comfortable talking about yourself in an interview situation.”

If you are worried about your lack of professional experience, just play up your internship and club experience (and get an internship or join a club, if you’ve never done either). Employers will be impressed by your contributions and commitment, regardless if the position you were in was paid.

Another vital tip to remember when trying to get a job as a recent grad is to stay focused on all the details. Potential employers want to know you are ready to be a professional and understand the proper etiquette. By mastering the subtleties, like researching a company’s history and structure prior to an interview and following up with a thank you note following an interview, you will separate you from the pack and signal to an employer that you are ready to join their team.

Finally, don’t be afraid to apply for positions that are not directly related to your major. Chiu admitted her current job with PennySaverUSA.com didn’t match up exactly to her area of study, but it didn’t prevent her from being able to get a job here.

Enjoy your memorable graduation moment and good luck when it comes time to get a job!

Rating 2.00 out of 5

Make Money Monday: Finding a job requires a good résumé

Finding a job you want is hard enough, but that’s only the beginning. Once you’ve targeted an opening, you must create a good resume that will help you get an interview.

Well, not only can you use PennySaverUSA.com to help you in finding a job, we are also here to help you with your résumé.

finding a job

In order to get to this point when finding a job, you must have a good résumé.

No matter how experienced or qualified you are, a lousy résumé can eliminate you from consideration before you get a chance to prove yourself. That said, having an outstanding resume still does not guarantee you will receive a call back, but it certainly gives you an advantage.

By following these simple steps, you can craft a resume worthy of a response:

1.  Keep your contact information current.

PennySaverUSA Human Resources Manager Nancy Haupenthal says providing an incorrect phone number or email address is the quickest way to get eliminated from consideration. Employers receive so many resumes these days and have so many applicants for each job; the odds of them tracking you down if your resume has the wrong contact information are low.

2.  Use spell-checker and have someone you trust proofread your résumé.

Haupenthal admitted she is “amazed and shocked” by the misspelled words she sees in resumes. She says it indicates a lack of care and attention and will promptly move on to the next résumé if she notices multiple misspellings. And she isn’t alone. According to the book Top Notch Executive Resumes, misspellings annoy hiring managers more than just about anything else. Not something you want to do when finding a job.

3.  Make your resume easy to read and creative.

It is extremely important to make sure your résumé is formatted in such a way that is easy to read. Using thin margins a tiny font or pretty much anything that makes a résumé hard on the eyes is often cause for immediate rejection. Haupenthal also recommends being unique with your objective statement and bio. Avoid overly bland and formulaic messaging.

4.  Be honest and accurate.

While it might seem to be beneficial to lie or mislead on your résumé in order to make yourself look better, it typically comes back to bite you. Haupenthal says one of the most frustrating issues she encounters is when she brings in an applicant for an interview, and finds the resume was inaccurate. Not only will this prevent you from getting the job, it can also harm your reputation. The last thing you need when finding a job is to tarnish your name among hiring managers.

5.  Pick the right experiences to highlight.

Ideally, résumés would be one page long, but with job-hopping so common these days, two pages is fine. You do not want to go beyond two, however. In order to keep it the right length, you will want to be discerning in which experiences you highlight. If you had a job 15 years ago that has no bearing on your current career goals, it might not be necessary to include. Also don’t be afraid to include non-traditional employment such as volunteering jobs, if relevant.

Do your best to follow those steps, and you should be on your way to having a great resume and finding a job. If you have any more questions, please leave them in our comments and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Rating 3.00 out of 5