Homemade Foaming Hand Soap

I don’t like to refer to myself as cheap so I will say I am frugal. I hate spending big bucks on things we use every day.  I love to have foaming hand soap in the bathroom, but I hate to pay refill prices. In the kitchen I have the Lysol No-Touch Hand Soap System which I refill myself also. I decided to find a way to refill my foaming hand soap dispenser that I purchased at Target. I paid around $2.50 for the initial foaming soap dispenser and of course it came filled, but I wasn’t going to pay the money they wanted to refill it. After 2 minutes of research I found a “recipe” and instructions on how to make my own. I walked to the bathroom with a measuring spoon, cup, and dish soap and 1 minute later I had foaming soap! Simple Simple Simple! Cheap! If you want something that smells better than dish soup you can use Bath and Body Works Shower Gel or even the Body Shop Shower Gel. Whatever makes you happy! I made pumpkin spice soap today using the Body Shop Shower Gel. 

You will need:
  • 1 empty foaming hand spa dispenser
  • 3 TBS Clear (very important) liquid soap (body wash, hand soap, dish washing soap, shampoo)
  • 2/3 Cup water
1.      Add the 3 TBS of clear liquid soap to your foaming hand soap dispenser
2.     Add the 2/3 Cup of water
3.     Close up your your foaming hand soap dispenser and gently move the soap and water around so that they will mix well. Do not shake! Gently combine the water and the soap.
4.     Test your foaming hand soap dispenser to insure it works
5.     Enjoy!

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    The 15 Worst Health & Diet Myths

    I am pretty sure I spend my life on a diet. I have had four kids, I am fat, and  I don’t know why I don’t just get over it and move on, but I don’t! I want to lose weight, and be healthy. I want to get back in those pre-pregnancy size 8 jeans, but I am not there or even close. Anyone who is on that constant dieting loop looks for anything that might be the next quick and easy way to lose weight, but let’s be honest with ourselves there is no quick and easy solution to losing weight. You didn’t get fat fast and you are not going to lose it fast and keep it off at the same time. Here are a few tips that I found helpful about those lose weight fast dieting myths. Elizabeth Prachaska Guest Blogger for Colie’s Kitchen

    Myth #1: Too much protein hurts your kidneys
    Reality: Protein helps burn fat, build muscle, and won’t harm your kidneys at all
    Way back in 1983, researchers discovered that eating more protein increases the amount of blood your kidneys filter per minute. Many scientists immediately made the leap that a high-protein diet places your kidneys under greater stress. They were proven wrong. Over the past two decades, several studies have found that while protein-rich meals do increase blood flow to the kidneys, this doesn’t have an adverse effect on overall kidney function.

    Put the Truth to Work for You: Eat your target body weight in grams of protein daily. For example, if you’re a chubby 180-pound woman and want to be a lean 160, have 160 grams of protein a day. If you’re a 160-pound guy hoping to pack on 20 pounds of muscle, aim for 180 grams each day.

    Myth #2: Sweet potatoes are healthier than white potatoes
    Reality: They’re both healthy!
    Sweet potatoes have more fiber and vitamin A, but white potatoes are higher in essentialminerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium. As for the glycemic index, sweet potatoes are lower on the scale, but baked white potatoes typically aren’t eaten without cheese, sour cream, or butter—all toppings that contain fat, which lowers the glycemic index of a meal.
    Put the Truth to Work for You: The form in which you consume a potato—for instance, a whole baked potato versus a processed potato that’s used to make chips—is more important than the type of spud.

    Myth #3: Red meat causes cancer
    Reality: Research says enjoy the steak!

    In a 1986 study, Japanese researchers discovered cancer developing in rats that were fed “heterocyclic amines,” compounds that are generated from overcooking meat under high heat. Since then, some studies of large populations have suggested a potential link between meat and cancer. Yet no study has ever found a direct cause-and-effect relationship between red-meat consumption and cancer. The population studies are far from conclusive. They relied on broad surveys of people’s eating habits and health afflictions—numbers that illuminate trends, not causes.

    Put the Truth to Work for You: Don’t stop grilling. Meat lovers who are worried about the supposed risks of grilled meat don’t need to avoid burgers and steak—just trim off the burned or overcooked sections of the meat before eating.

    Myth #4: High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is more fattening than regular sugar
    Reality: They’re equally fattening. Beware!

    Recent research has show that fructose may cause an increase in weight by interfering with leptin, the hormone that tells us when we’re full. But both HFCS and sucrose—better known as table sugar—contain similar amounts of fructose. There’s no evidence to show any differences in these two types of sugar. Both will cause weight gain when consumed in excess. The only particular evil regarding HFCS is that it’s cheaper, and commonly shows up everywhere from bread to ketchup to soda.

    Put the Truth to Work for You: HFCS and regular sugar are empty-calorie carbohydrates that should be consumed in limited amounts. How? By keeping soft drinks, sweetened fruit juices, and prepackaged desserts to a minimum.

    Myth #5: Too much salt causes high blood pressure
    Reality: Perhaps, but too little potassium causes high blood pressure too

    Large-scale scientific reviews have determined there’s no reason for people with normal blood pressure to restrict their sodium intake. Now, if you already have high blood pressure, you may be “salt sensitive.” As a result, reducing the amount of salt you eat could be helpful. However, people with high blood pressure who don’t want to lower their salt intake can simply consume more potassium-containing foods—it’s really the balance of the two minerals that matters. In fact, Dutch researchers determined that a low potassium intake has the same impact on your blood pressure as high salt consumption does. And it turns out, the average person consumes 3,100 milligrams (mg) of potassium a day—1,600 mg less than recommended.

    Put the Truth to Work for You: Strive for a potassium-rich diet—which you can achieve by eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and legumes—and your salt intake won’t matter as much. For instance, spinach, broccoli, bananas, white potatoes, and most types of beans each contain more than 400 mg potassium per serving.

    Myth #6: Chocolate bars are empty calories
    Reality: Dark chocolate is a health food

    Cocoa is rich in flavonoids—the same heart-healthy compounds found in red wine and green tea. Its most potent form is dark chocolate. In a recent study, Greek researchers found that consuming dark chocolate containing 100 milligrams (mg) of flavonoids relaxes your blood vessels, improving bloodflow to your heart. And remember: Milk chocolate isn’t as rich in flavonoids as dark, so develop a taste for the latter.

    Put the Truth to Work for You: Now that you know which “bad” foods aren’t actually so awful, you need to know which deceptively dangerous diet-destroying foods to avoid. Check out our must-see slideshow of 25 “Healthy” Foods that Aren’t.

    Myth #7: Gas station snacks are nutritional nightmares
    Reality: Even at filling stations, you’ll find food that isn’t filling

    Beef jerky is high in protein and doesn’t raise your level of insulin—a hormone that signals your body to store fat. That makes it an ideal between-meals snack, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. And while some beef-jerky brands are packed with high-sodium ingredients such as MSG and sodium nitrate, chemical-free products are available.

    Put the Truth to Work for You: Sometimes, the service station is a healthier rest stop than a fast food joint. Heck, even pork rinds are better than you’d think: A 1-ounce serving contains zero carbohydrates, 17 grams (g) of protein, and 9 g fat. That’s nine times the protein and less fat than you’ll find in a serving of carb-packed potato chips.

    Myth #8: Restaurants comply with nutrition disclosure regulations
    Reality: Most restaurants would rather load you up with additional cheap calories

    Even though many restaurants offer healthy alternatives, you could still be at the whim of the kitchen’s cook. A recent E.W. Scripps lab investigation found that “responsible” menu items at chains ranging from Chili’s to Taco Bell may have up to twice the calories and eight times the fat published in the restaurants’ nutritional information.

    Put the Truth to Work for YouRestaurants run from us, but they can’t hide. Discover their secrets every day by signing up for our free Eat This, Not That! newsletter or byfollowing me right here on Twitter, and you’ll make 2011 the year of your flatter, toner belly! 
    Myth #9: Sports drinks are ideal after-workout refreshment
    Reality: You need more than that to keep your muscles growing

    Carb-loaded drinks like Vitaminwater and Gatorade are a great way to rehydrate and reenergize; they help replenish glycogen, your body’s stored energy. But they don’t always supply the amino acids needed for muscle repair. To maximize post-workout recovery, a protein-carb combination—which those drinks may not offer—can help.

    Put the Truth to Work for YouAfter you suck down that sports drink, eat a bowl of 100 percent whole-grain cereal with nonfat milk, suggests a 2009 study in theJournal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. A glass of low-fat chocolate milk is a good choice as well.

    Myth #10: You need 38 grams of fiber a day
    Reality: More fiber is better, but 38 is nearly impossible

    That’s the recommendation from the Institute of Medicine. And it’s a lot, equaling nine apples or more than a half dozen bowls of instant oatmeal. (Most people eat about 15 grams of fiber daily.) The studies found a correlation between high fiber intake and lower incidence of heart disease. But none of the high-fiber-eating groups in those studies averaged as high as 38 grams, and, in fact, people saw maximum benefits with a daily gram intake averaging from the high 20s to the low 30s.

    Put the Truth to Work for You: Just eat sensibilty. Favor whole, unprocessed foods. Make sure the carbs you eat are fiber-rich—that means produce, legumes, and whole grains—because they’ll help slow the aborption of sugar into your bloodstream.

    Myth #11: Saturated fat will clog your heart
    Reality: Fat has gotten a bum rap

    Most people consider turkey, chicken, and fish healthy, yet think they should avoid red meat—or only choose very lean cuts—since they’ve always been told that it’s high in saturated fat. But a closer look at beef reveals the truth: Almost half of its fat is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid—the same heart-healthy fat that’s found in olive oil. Second, most of the saturated fat in beef actually decreases your heart-disease risk—either by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, or by reducing your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL (good) cholesterol.

    Put the Truth to Work for You: We’re not giving you permission to gorge on butter, bacon, and cheese. No, our point is this: Don’t freak out about saturated fat. There’s no scientific reason that natural foods containing saturated fat can’t, or shouldn’t, be part of a healthy diet.

    Myth #12: Reduced-fat foods are healthier alternatives
    Reality: Less fat often means more sugar

    Peanut butter is a representative example for busting this myth. A tub of reduced-fat peanut butter indeed comes with a fraction less fat than the full-fat variety—they’re not lying about that. But what the food companies don’t tell you is that they’ve replaced that healthy fat with maltodextrin, a carbohydrate used as a filler in many processed foods. This means you’re trading the healthy fat from peanuts for empty carbs, double the sugar, and a savings of a meager 10 calories.

    Put the Truth to Work for You: When you’re shopping, don’t just read the nutritional data. Look at the ingredients list as well. Here’s a guideline that never fails: The fewer ingredients, the healthier the food.

    Myth #13: Diet soda is better for you
    Reality: It may lead to even greater weight gain

    Just because diet soda is low in calories doesn’t mean it can’t lead to weight gain. It may have only 5 or fewer calories per serving, but emerging research suggests that consuming sugary-tasting beverages—even if they’re artificially sweetened—may lead to a high preference for sweetness overall. That means sweeter (and more caloric) cereal, bread, dessert—everything. In fact, new research found that people who drink diet soda on a daily basis have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

    Put the Truth to Work for YouThese days, the world of food is full of nasty surprises like this one, and knowledge is power. Check out Eat This, Not That! 2011 andCook This, Not That! for the best food, nutrition and health secrets, and avoidshocking waistline expanders with our slideshow of 20 Salads Worse Than a Whopper.

    Myth #14: Skipping meals helps you lose weight
    Reality: Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can make you fat

    Not eating can mess with your body’s ability to control your appetite. And it also destroys willpower, which is just as damaging. If you skip breakfast or a healthy snack, your brain doesn’t have the energy to say no to the inevitable chowfest. The consequences can be heavy: In a 2005 study, breakfast eaters were 30 percent less likely to be overweight or obese.

    Put the Truth to Work for You: The perfect breakfast? Eggs, bacon, and toast. It’s a nice balance of all the nutritional building blocks—protein, fiber, carbs—that will jumpstart your day. The worst? Waffles or pancakes with syrup. All those carbs and sugars are likely to put you into a food coma by 10 a.m.

    Myth #15: You should eat three times a day
    Reality: Three meals and two or three snacks is ideal

    Most diet plans portray snacking as a failure. But by snacking on the right foods at strategic times, you’ll keep your energy levels stoked all day. Spreading six smaller meals across your day operates on the simple principle of satisfaction: Frequent meals tame the slavering beast of hunger.

    Put the Truth to Work for YouMake sure each mini meal blends protein and fiber-rich complex carbohydrates, which will sustain the feeling of fullness. Check out our super-handy list of the best snacks for weight loss.

    LOSE 15 POUNDS IN 6 WEEKS: Check out the Men’s Health Diet!
    EAT RIGHT RULE: If your food can go bad, it’s good for you. If it can’t go bad, it’s bad for you. FOLLOW DAVE ZINCZENKO RIGHT HERE ON TWITTER and get FREE health, nutrition and weight-loss secrets like this one every day! You’ll lose weight and get healthy faster than ever!
    Check out these cutting-edge guides to fast and easy weight loss, the brand-new Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises and Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises.
    Get more nutrition, health, and fitness secrets from Men’s Health:Subscribe today with this special offer and save 50% off the cover price.

    Dryer Sheets Who Knew??

    I have to admit I love this article because I am always looking for things I can use for multiple purposes. I have dryer sheets coming out of my ears thanks to a really great Snuggle coupon sale last summer. So what else can you use those dryer sheets for… hum who knew?  Elizabeth Prachaska Guest Blogger for Colie’s Kitchen

    Dryer Sheet as Iron Cleaner
    Remove gunk from the soleplate of an iron. With the setting on low, rub the iron over the dryer sheet until the residue disappears, and you’re left with a pristine press.

    Dryer Sheet as Shoe Freshener
    Roll up one sheet per slipper, sneaker, or loafer, insert, and forget about stinky shoes. (Bonus uses: Toss them in hampers, on closet shelves, in diaper bags.)

    Dryer Sheet as Static Stopper
    Stop static cling on clothes—or tame flyaway hair—by rubbing a sheet over the problem area.

    Dryer Sheet as Sawdust Clearer
    An easy way to keep the work area clean. Saw dust at a work station sweeps up so fast with one pass of a used fabric softener sheet.

    Dryer Sheet as Thread Detangler
    To prevent tangles, run a threaded needle through a sheet before you begin stitching.

    Dryer Sheet as a Scum Buster
    Remove obstinate soap buildup from glass shower doors by sprinkling a few drops of water onto a used fabric-softener sheet and scrubbing. 

    Dryer Sheet as a Drawer Sachet 
    If fabric-softener sheets make your clothes smell nice in the dryer, just think about what they could do in your dresser. Slip a few fresh ones between folded clothes.


    22 Ways to Fight Rising Food Prices

    I have four kids so I am always looking for ways to cut down on my food budget. I coupon like a mad woman, and try my best to leave my kids at home because they always find something they have to have at the store. I know there just has to be more I can do. The household income has not increased, but the food prices have. Here are a few tips I found on Yahoo Finance that I think might help you out as well.  Elizabeth Prachaska Guest Blogger for Colie’s Kitchen

    1. Eat at Home
    Dining out is an expensive proposition. Just about any nutritious meal that you buy in a formal restaurant can be made at home for a fraction of the price. Even good coffee is cheaper to make if you do it yourself. Fast food is excluded from the category, as high-calorie, low-quality food can be had a bargain price, but the impact on your long-term health overrides the benefit of short-term savings.
    2. Shop With a Plan
    If you stumble around the grocery store and fill your cart with everything that catches your eye, chances are you will spend a lot more money that you needed to spend. To minimize your cash outlay, prepare a shopping list before you leave home. Plan your meals for the week ahead, and make careful note of what you need to buy in order to prepare those meals. Once the list is made, purchase only the items on the list, and avoid impulse buys.
    3. Put on Blinders
    Grocery stores are designed to make you go through a maze to get to the most basic items you need in the hope that you will make a few impulse buys along the way. If you keep to your planned list of needed foods, you won’t be tempted when you get forced down the junk food aisle to get at the milk. Because most necessities and basic cooking items are found along the outside perimeter of the store, start there and work your way around the edge of the store, only stepping into the maze to grab any leftover items on your list.
    4. Eat Before You Shop
    When you are hungry and you walk into a building full of food, there’s a high likelihood that you are going to fill you cart with unnecessary and expensive purchases that appeal to your taste buds. To keep your costs down, eat first and shop on a full stomach.
    5. Avoid Prepared Foods
    Our fast-paced society encourages convenience, and the grocery store has capitalized on this trend. Ready-made meals are easy to buy, but come with a premium price tag. Instead of putting that rotisserie chicken and macaroni salad in you cart, buy the ingredients and prepare the meal yourself. The same concept applies to frozen entrées, baked goods and any other food that has been prepared in some way for added convenience.
    6. Skip the Bottled Water
    If you don’t like the water that comes out of the tap, buy a water filter. The per-gallon cost is significantly less than the cost of bottled water – and without all the plastic bottles to discard, it’s a lot easier on the environment.
    7. Shop Without the Kids
    Hungry, tired, cranky kids increase the amount of time it takes to get your shopping done. Every extra minute that you spend in the grocery store increases the likelihood of extra items finding their way into your cart, including toys and snacks designed to keep the kids quiet while you try to focus on finding a few bargains.
    8. Buy in Bulk
    Bulk buying can save you a significant amount of money. Pay attention to the prices and pick up the family size package if the per-unit cost is lower and you have a place to store it. Shopping at big-box bulk retailers like Sam’s Club and Costco (NasdaqGS: COST – News) can also save on your bill if you shop there frequently enough to cover the cost of membership, but pay careful attention to your spending habits. The big boxes are often no bargain at all when compared to sales prices and coupon savings at other stores. In addition, they may encourage you to buy more than you need, driving up your grocery bill.
    9. Use Store Reward Cards
    If the store that you visit most frequently has a reward card, be sure to sign up. In some cases, stores raise their prices when they offer reward cards, and without the card your bill will certainly be higher. If the reward card offers other benefits, such as a ham for the holidays or a discount on gasoline, be sure to maximize your benefits by paying attention to the cutoff dates and cashing in your points before they expire.
    10. Use Coupons
    Coupons provide an easy way to save money. Clip them and cash them in, paying particular attention to stores that double the value of manufacturers’ coupons. A number of websites also offer coupons exclusively, and they are a great place to search for discounts on the items you have on your list. If you frequent a website of your favorite brands, they will often offer discounts to their faithful public. A few minutes of surfing online can make a difference at the till.
    11. Buy Locally
    Locally grown or produced food is often available at a cheaper price because you don’t pay for long transportation costs. Farmer’s markets, fairs, and the local aisle at your grocery store are all game for deals on tasty and fresh food.
    12. Look Down
    Stores often place the most expensive items at eye-level. To find less expensive items, look down. Also, looking around your brand-name food can find you a cheaper generic alternative. Generic label products are often nearly identical to name-brand goods (in fact, they’re often produced in the same factory), so don’t pay for packaging when what you really want is the food inside.
    13. Avoid the End Caps and Checkout Temptations
    Those displays placed at the end of each aisle often feature premium brands. Rather than grabbing those high-priced batteries or that extra box of cereal, walk down the aisle. Chances are good that walking a few extra feet will reward you with a less expensive option.
    Many grocery stores now offer checkout lines that don’t feature candy. Using these lanes not only helps you avoid the temptation to spend your money on sweets, but it also encourages a healthier lifestyle.
    14. Compare Prices and Stores
    Some consumers have trouble calculating the cost per unit in their heads, but it’s something that gets a lot easier with practice. You can even carry a calculator. Looking at the brands and comparing prices is an easy way to shave a few cents off most purchases.
    The store that features the lowest average prices in your area is often the best place for routine shopping, but the higher-priced competitor may run sales on specific items that undercut the cost at your most frequented venue. Watch for these sales and take advantage of them when possible.
    15. Shop for Sales
    As mentioned above, sales can be a great incentive to switch stores — but only if you need the items on sale. Pay attention to sales on necessity items and stock up on non-perishables and freezer goods. Keep an eye on the prices so that you know when a sale price is merely a small savings or when it is a significant discount to the normal price.
    16. Watch ‘Best Before’ or ‘Sell By’ Dates
    As the “sell by” or “best before” date approaches, you are virtually guaranteed a discount. For example, grocery stores lower prices as meat ages. Ask the butcher when the meats get marked down. Most stores have a fairly regular schedule that you can learn and follow. When you get a good deal, stock your freezer so you can avoid buying when the price is high. And if you plan on freezing the food, “best before” dates shouldn’t worry you; the product will stay fresh until you thaw and cook it.
    17. Substitute Recipe Items
    If you have a higher-priced item that reoccurs in your favorite recipes, it may be time to shake up your taste buds. Often a lower-priced alternative can be found. For instance, if you consistently bake with olive oil and you see that the price has skyrocketed, a simple switch to applesauce (something that you might even be able to make if you have an apple tree) is a great cheap and low-fat substitution for many recipes.
    18. Keep Your Kitchen Stocked
    A well-stocked kitchen means that you won’t run out of staple items and need to buy them on the spur or the moment. Knowing what you have in the cabinet means that you can wait to make your purchases until items are on sale.
    19. Shop Infrequently
    Reducing the number of trips that you make to the store each week or month reduces the odds of unnecessary purchases, and minimizes the amount of gasoline spent getting there.
    20. Pay Attention to Time
    Weekly sales often run from mid-week to mid-week. Hold off on your shopping until after you’ve had a chance to clip coupons from the Sunday paper and you’ll not only enjoy the sales prices but you might also get a coupon. Shopping during the evening or early morning also helps you avoid the crowds and spend less time in the store.
    21. Pay In Cash
    When you put groceries on your credit card and don’t pay off the card in full each month, you pay interest on the purchase. To avoid this extra cost, pay in cash when you shop and keep necessities off your credit cards.
    22. Check Your Bill
    Electronic scanners make the shopping experience faster and more convenient, but scanners aren’t perfect. Be sure to take a look at the receipt to make sure your coupons and discounts were taken into account.
    Shop Smart
    Food is one of those purchases that you just can’t avoid, but careful shoppers can minimize the amount spent on this necessary purchase. All it takes is a little time, patience and effort.

    Original Article 


    7 Ways to Save More Money in 2011

    I came across this article on yesterday, and found the tips to be pretty handy. I wanted to pass them on, because I think just about anyone would find them useful. Who couldn’t stand to save a little extra money?
    January is a period of self review, filled with promises and new financial goals. But the post-holiday cocktail of disorganization and unrealistic expectations can sabotage self-improvement plans, including efforts to save money.
    Fortunately, January has been tagged Get Organized Month by the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). It makes sense. Lack of organization costs time and money, according to a recent NAPO survey of consumer behavior. Cutting through clutter is important to my money-saving goals for 2011.

    Coupon System
    Too often, my newspaper pile becomes a graveyard for coupons. Potential savings die an early death because of clutter. For instance, I have squandered store coupons sporting savings of $1 to $10 due to missed deadlines or misplaced coupons. For 2011, I’ve begun to store coupons in a side pocket of my purse, which is always with me. Wallets and glove-compartments in cars are also a great place to store coupons.

    Green Savings
    The trendy push to live a greener life can be overwhelming, especially with the wide assortment of eco-friendly products, services and strategies on the market. Organization, however, can simplify green living goals. My strategy involves a disciplined room-by-room plan to reduce my family’s carbon footprint. For the first three months of 2011, I plan to focus on the kitchen, with green steps that will save the environment and my cash. For example, during the January discount sales on linens, I plan to purchase additional dish clothes and towels for the kitchen, which will save money in the long-run, because I will spend far less on short-lived paper products. Every three months, I’ll target a different area of my home.

    Register Alert
    In the checkout line, it’s easy to meditate or daydream. But being alert can pay off. On a regular basis, I have spotted errors in cash register receipts, including incorrect prices for sale items. Sometimes, the errors are my fault. For instance, I recently took advantage of a buy-one-get-one (BOGO) free promotion for toys. Unfortunately, one of the games I had selected did not qualify for the BOGO discount. I spotted the error, when I studied the receipt and noticed the double charge for the toys. And now with every purchase, I scan the sales receipt before leaving the store.

    Unplug Chargers
    Even when not used, cell phone chargers, coffee makers, micro-wave ovens and other appliances drain energy when plugged into wall sockets. Conserving cash and energy is my January goal, and I’ve been teaching my kids to unplug idle appliances. But this step requires organization and constant awareness. When we are running late, we leave the house in a whirlwind of anxiety and fail to take energy-saving steps. An earlier wake-up call will preserve energy and create less stress.

    Late fees and other financial penalties are the byproduct of disorganization. To avoid missed deadlines, I plan to raise my financial IQ with my smartphone and laptop. Both devices provide digital calendars that can be programmed with bill reminders and deadline alerts. There are also a variety of online services that offer e-mail notices about approaching deadlines. Online bill-paying programs also add organization and efficiency.

    With better organization some household chores and personal tasks can become money-saving, do-it-yourself projects. For example, if you have the talent and the right tools, you can save money with DIY haircuts, manicures, pedicures and other personal grooming chores. Car-washing, lawn mowing and house-painting duties can also represent frugal home projects. But calculate the cost of your time, and honestly evaluate your skills. Home projects can become money pits if you have to hire a professional to fix DIY errors

    During January, NAPO chapters in different regions of the country are hosting public events, including “Organize to Economize in the New Year” workshops, “Shred-and-Organize” gatherings and “Ask-the-Organizer” panels. To find a local event, go to