How to Make Your Own Salt Scrub

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

Homemade Bath Salts Recipe

I love using a salt scrub to make my hands and feet feel smooth.  I bought a Salt Scrub from Bath and Body Works a while back and it was wonderful.  It was about $12 for a small jar. I just can't afford the price all the time.

I came up with a recipe that works just as well as the high priced Salts that I bought.  I also know what went into it.  There is nothing harmful and the best thing is that I can pronounce everything that I used!

How to Make Bath Salts

Lemon Salt Scrub Ingredients

  • 1 cup, Body Oil
  • 2 cups, Epsom Salts or Sea Salt (I mixed them)
  • Zest of (1) Lemon or 5-7 drops of your favorite Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil
  • Mason Jar or (1) 3-Cup Container



Lemon Salt Scrub Instructions

  1. Place 1 cup body oil and 2 cups Epsom/Sea Salt in bowl.
  2. Place the zest of the lemon into the bowl and stir.  You can add essential oil here instead of the lemon if you want.
  3. Pour the ingredients into the jar and close tightly.

Make any kind of label and place onto the jar along with some ribbon if you are giving it as a gift!

DIY vs BUY Comparison

That is an 83 % savings if you make it on your own costing just $2.15 versus buying at $13 a container. It feels just like the high priced scrub.  You can also cut the ingredients in half to make a smaller jar and save more!

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How to Make Your Own Salt Scrub

Homemade bath salts are so easy to make! This epsom bath salt recipe can take on any scent that you prefer! Make the scrub with your natural essential oils.

  • Author: Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

Ingredients

  • 1 cup, Body Oil (I used baby oil here)
  • 2 cups, Epsom Salts or Sea Salt (I mixed them)
  • Zest of (1) Lemon or 5-7 drops of your favorite Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil
  • Mason Jar or (1) 3-Cup Container

Instructions

  1. Place 1 cup body oil and 2 cups Epsom/Sea Salt in bowl.
  2. Place the zest of the lemon into the bowl and stir.  You can add essential oil here instead of the lemon if you want.
  3. Pour the ingredients into the jar and close tightly.

Lear how to make Bath bomb powder like a lush bath bomb in this easy DIY!

Bath Bomb Fizzy Bath Powder Recipe

Learn how to make bath bombs in this easy DIY.

How to Make Bath Bombs

Disclosure: This post contains a link to an affiliate and support this site. See my Disclaimer Policy for additional information.

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Crafts to Make and Sell for Profit: 200+ Craft Ideas!

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

If you are looking for creative ways to make money, this huge list of crafts to make and sell is one full of inspirational and easy crafts to make! With over 200 items – and growing as we find new cool tutorials for you to add – this is the best list of crafts to make and sell for profit!

As I was curating this list, I started to remember past farmer's markets and craft shows that I've attended. So many of the items on this list are items that those vendors were selling! I even did the math in my head as I looked at each item (as I always do) calculating the raw materials and manpower required and they are making a very generous profit!

Every crafter started somewhere for different reasons. Whether it was from a true passion in creating treats and toys for their pets, or the love to make their own friends and family members non-toxic personal care items. They each took the opportunity to take their own DIY's and sell the crafts to make a profit!

Crafts to Sell

There are truly so many great craft ideas to consider making. You will surely find something on this list to see what you are most interested in and what would fit within your startup budget.

Arm Crochet Blanket
Binky Clips
Button Crocheted Boot Cuffs
Chapstick Key Chain Holder
DIY Plant Markers
DIY Twist and Scrub Polish Remover
Easy Elastic Headband
Easy Sucker Bouquet
Fabric Chapstick Holder
Hand Sanitizer Jacket
How to Print Shirts at Home with an Iron and Printer
Monogram Clay Keychain
Rainbow Cup Cozy
Stenciled Tote Bag
Triangle Pouch
Upcycled Jewelry Holder
Wristlet Key Fob

Crafts That Make Money

Before you even begin, give lots of thought to what you want your margins and profit to be. If you are spending $10 for materials, consider how much your time is worth and price your items accordingly. Also, think back to when you saw something similar at a craft sale so you have an idea what you can price the item(s). You deserve to be paid a decent wage for these DIY crafts to make money!

American Flag Wall Decor
Clay Leaf Bowls
Concrete Vase
Distressed Painted Signs
DIY Sign
Family Math Sign
Farmhouse Tray
Faux Metal Farmhouse Sign
Flannel Blankets
Growth Chart Ruler
Hanging Mason Jar Vase
Home Sweet Home Wall Art
Letter Art
Lost Sock Plaque
Metal and Wood Anniversary Sign
Metal Letter Signs
Pallet Clock
Pallet Plaque
Palo Santo Bundles
Personalized Photo Clock
Pressed Lavender Art and French Wall Art
Rustic American Flag Sign
Rustic Blessed Sign
Rustic Wooden Arrow
Song Lyric Plate
String Art
Succulent Frame
Thankful List Decor
USA Pallet Sign
Welcome Sign
Wine Rack
Winter Woodland Sign
Wood Letter Decor
Wood Pallet Sign
Wood Sign
Wooden Journal

Things to Make and Sell from Home

One of the benefits to making crafts from home is that you get to be *at home* working! If the margins aren't exactly what you were hoping for you also have to consider that you getting to make your own hours to run a business. That is one of those priceless benefits.

You can also get your process streamlined well while being at home and start to make items in bulk. This is an area that my husband is a HUGE support since his day job is to optimize operational output. I've had to ask him to settle down with all of his suggestions a few times as he's watched me work less than efficient, apparently. :)

Bath Bomb Fizzy Bath Powder
Body Wash
Coconut Bubble Bath Salts
Coffee Sugar Scrub
DIY Lip Scrub
Gemstone Soap
Grapefruit and Lime Lip Balm
Homemade Bath Bombs
Homemade Bath Bombs
Homemade Gardener's Soap
Homemade Shower Melts
Homemade Toilet Cleansing Discs
Lavender Shower Melts
Lemon Poppy Seed Soap
Lemon Sugar Scrub
Lemongrass Bath Salts
Lotion Bars
Makeup Bags
Mica Powder Lip Stain
Orange Bath Salts
Orange Flaxseed Soap
Orange Vanilla Bath Salts
Peppermint Sugar Scrub
Rainbow Soap
Scarlet Mica Powder Soap
Shower Melts
Spray Deodorant
Sugar Scrub Bars
Unicorn Bath Bombs
Vanilla Orange Bath Salts
Whipped Body Butter
Yellow Sun Bursts Bath Bombs

Hot Craft Ideas to Sell

Different seasons create higher trends or “hot” crafts that will sell well. There is a different season for Christmas crafts to sell, since those most likely won't sell well with any Halloween crafts. Craft ideas to use during the Summer months will most likely sell better during that timeframe. Don't spend your time and money creating crafts that may not be in season for whatever craft sale you may be attending.

Citronella Candle
DIY Wax Warmer Cubes
Happy Camper Pot Holder
Headband

Homemade Fabric Softener
Homemade Laundry Detergent
Homemade Toilet Bowl Cleaning Discs
Homemade Vanilla Extract
Hot Handle Holder
Hot Handle Pot Holder
Lemon Beeswax Candle
Pour and Melt LEGO Soaps
Stamped Wooden Utensils
Autumn Wreath
Baseball Wreath
Carpenter Bee Trap
Come Back with Tacos Welcome Mat
DIY Mailbox
Easy DIY Planters
Easy Faux DIY Boxwood Wreath
Farmhouse Wall Planter
Garden Art
Garden Hose Hiding Outdoor Planter
Garden Hose Holder
Hanging Fence Garden Boxes
HELLO Welcome Mat
HOME Welcome Mat
Modern Minimal Wreath
Monogram Planter
Succulent Turtle
Table Top Fire Bowls
Tall Garden Planter
Tapered Cedar Planters
Versailles Planter
Wood Flag Wreath

Crafts to Make and Sell from Home

The sky is truly the limit with crafts you can make and sell from home. Find a need out there that you yourself have had in the past. That's where some of my best ideas have come from through the years! I guarantee you someone will buy it! If you have a need, most likely someone else does also.

Backyard Four-in-a-Row (Connect 4) Game
Backyard Plinko Party Game
Backyard Scrabble
Cornhole Bean Bags
Cornhole Boards
Giant Jenga
Giant Kerplunk Outdoor Game
Giant Lawn Dominos
Ladder Golf Game
Oversized Tic Tac Toe
Scrabble Tiles
Wooden Yard Dice

DIY Crafts

Truly all of these ideas are a DIY, which makes them that much better! You are creating something for yourself and by doubling or quintupling the supplies and materials, you can have some to sell! Your time will most likely be around the same to create multiples or additional batches. When you work more efficiently, you really begin to realize even more profit!

3-Ingredient Salmon Cat Treats
Adjustable Dog Collar
Anti-Flea Dog Shampoo
Blueberry, Banana and Flax Frosty Paws Dog Treats
Breath Freshening Dog Treats
Burrow Dog Bed
Carrot And Banana Natural Dog Treat
Cat Bow Tie
Chicken Sweet Potato Dog Treats Recipe
Crunchy Tuna Cat Treats
DIY Dog Bandana
DIY Doggie Breath Mints
Dog Collar
Dog Leash
Dog Treat Holder
Dog Waste Bag Holder
Doggie Peanut Butter and Tummy Soothing Pumpkin Balls
Drawer Dog Bed
Easy Homemade Cat Treats
Elevated Dog Bed
Felt Bow
Flea Prevention Dog Treats
Grain Free Sweet Potato Dog Treats
Healthy Homemade Dehydrated Dog Treats
Homemade Dog Shampoo
Homemade Flea Prevention Dog Treats
Homemade Salmon Oat Cat Treats
Mud Puppy Cleaning Mitten
No Flea Dog Biscuits
No-Sew Dog Bow Tie Collar Slide
No-Sew Pet Bed
No-Sew Wedding Bow Tie
Paracord Dog Leash
Paw Balm for Dogs and Cats
Pet Bed
Pet Bowl Stand
Pet Coat
Rope Ball Surprise DIY Dog Toy
Snuffle Activity Mat
Spinach, Carrot And Zucchini Dog Treats
Tug-of-War Dog Toy

Sell Things Online

Some of these items would do very well if you wanted to sell them online. Especially the items that are smaller as it makes shipping cheaper and much easier to send. In my other post, Best Ways to Make Money with Crafts, I touched on the different ways you can market and sell your crafts. Definitely check out that post as there are lots of tried and true ways to sell your things online!

Bridesmaid Gift Box
Chunky Chocolate Cookie Mix
Country Six Bean Soup Mix
Cranberry Pecan Muffin Mix
Deluxe Oatmeal Cookies
Easy Gift: Not Your Average Wine Basket
Fruited Rice Mix
Italian Tomato + Pasta Soup Mix
Oatmeal Raisin Spice Cookie Mix
Peppermint Hot Chocolate Mix
Pork Rub Mix
Raisin Oat Scone Mix
Rosemary Infused Olive Oil
Salted Caramel
Tea Bouquet
Hand Stamped Necklace
Stamped Brass Keychain
Stamped Jewelry
Stamped Keychain
Stamped Leather Bracelet
Stamped Washer Necklace
Activity Bags
Baby Blanket
Coloring Book Crayong Bag
DIY Car Seat Cover
DIY Farmhouse Doll Bed
Homemade Moon Dough
Homemade Play Dough
Homemade Slime Recipe
Liquid Chalk Paint
Rol-Up Organizer

How to Make Money

Don't forget that you can also make great money from home by offering services and goods. Check out the many comprehensive posts we have done through the years on How to Make Money. There are so many legitimate opportunities you can start with very little to no money required up front!

As for Crafts to Make and Sell for Profit, as I find other cool DIY crafts that I think would do well as a home-based business, I will update this list. Helping my friends – and you – find ways to add income to their family is truly a passion of mine. I always go the extra mile to support these businesses myself because I know it can literally mean a family can have a movie-night out once in a while. This type of income has also been a blessing for our family as well!

Check out other Ways to Make Money from Home!

Disclosure: This post contains a link to an affiliate and support this site. See my Disclaimer Policy for additional information.

Crafts to make and sell includes over 200 DIY crafts with easy things to make and sell! These craft ideas are creative things that are current hot sellers at craft sales and fairs, Etsy and online shops.

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Shipt vs Instacart: Which Grocery Delivery Service is Right for You

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

Grocery delivery is super convenient with the jam-packed schedules we all have nowadays. For busy moms that would otherwise have to drag the kids to the grocery, sports moms who have practices, games, {fill in the blank} other sport commitments to shuffle the kids to and from, or for those that can not go to the store for health reasons, grocery delivery makes life so much easier. Even vacations go smoother when someone else can do the shopping for you!

Shipt or Instacart

If shopping from your phone or computer appeals to you, Shipt or Instacart may be just what you need. We gave both of these popular grocery delivery services a try and are sharing our unbiased review of both.

Both services will give you a 2-week trial and a small discount for giving them a try. Both offer an annual and a monthly subscription, and both offer a variety of stores to choose from depending on your area. Let's compare the two in more detail.

How Does Shipt Work?

Ship through Shipt Meijer, Shipt Target grocery pickup, HEB grocery delivery, and other more regional retailers. You can check if you are in their coverage area and see what stores they offer by visiting shipt.com. Right now, you can get an annual Shipt membership for just $49!

Shipt Markup

Shipt does not markup prices! Prices are close to in-store prices, and they offer a lot of non-food options due to working with superstores. This is great for those that need to have a variety available. You can get all of your items at one-store and make the delivery fees really work for you!

Shipt Shopper

Shipt shoppers stay in communication through the entire process of shopping. They have a uniform t-shirt so everyone knows who they are coming to the house and you know who is at your door. After you get your order you will be prompted to rate your shopping experience. You even have the opportunity to give feedback just like lyft offers.

You will never see your actual receipt from Shipt which limits your coupon rebate app options. However, you can use the digital coupons attached to membership cards where available.

How Does Instacart Work?

Instacart offers a different variety of stores from your local CVS pharmacy, Petco, Kroger and even Aldi in select lucky locations. Many more of your favorite grocery stores are also included, as well as Costco Instacart.

Instacart Prices

Instacart flat out tells you that prices are expected to be a bit higher. This can be a turn off until you take a look as see that the prices are not marked up a large percentage. Many items are no marked up at all. If you often need items from different stores Instacart is a great option.

Instacart Fees

Instacart offers annual and monthly memberships also, but for those of you that need a quick order and not a regular delivery can opt to pay a one-time delivery fee. Your first delivery is free and you can even get $10 off your first order making it a great way to save on shopping with Instant cart. Most Instacart shoppers will toss the receipt in the bag allowing you to use it with all of your coupon rebate apps.

Instacart Personal Grocery Shopper

Instacart has no uniform which is good if you have nosey neighbors and would rather them not know your business. You can chat with your shopper but unlike Shipt they do not contact you when they start shopping.

A huge advantage to Instacart is you can see where your order is and get a notice right before they pull up from the apps GPS. After your order arrives you can rate your delivery but not leave comments on why you picked your rating.

For more information on Instacart, check out our Instacart Review on the Instacart Shopper app.

Grocery Delivery Services on Vacation

Also think about shopping outside of your general area for things like family visits or vacations. When we vacationed in Hawaii a few years ago, we had a villa with a kitchen. To save on meals, we visited the nearby Costco so we could prepare a few meals in the villa. It would have been worth having either service to delivery our groceries, and paying all delivery fees or membership cost, versus having a rental car for a grocery tip.

Luckily we had a rental car and could drive to the warehouse, but if we didn't it would have made getting groceries delivered more challenging! The same could have been done to help us save money on our Disney World vacation! All of those little things can add up and consequently can also be big savings if you can avoid the expense, like a rental car or more unnecessary dining out.

It's also another great benefit for same day grocery delivery! Place your order as soon as you arrive on vacation! You can have your cart already loaded and place the order when you arrive at your destination!

Shipt vs Instacart

Our overall review? They are very similar. Both also offer same day grocery delivery. Really, to decide on which service is right for you may mean checking to see what is available in your area. Decide on whether or not you need the service more than once to compare the delivery fees and membership cost options.

With all of that information, compare the options from each services availability to find the store that provides you with everything you need. You may find that one service is better than the other simply because they offer products that your family uses more frequently.

Do you use Shipt or Instacart?
Share your review on one or the other in the comments!

Instacart Shopper App Review

Disclosure: This post contains a link to an affiliate and support this site. See my Disclaimer Policy for additional information.

Shipt and Instacart shopper tips for both grocery delivery services, including prices, membership fees, locations, delivery options and more! These hacks will come in handy as you compare both services!

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Instacart Shopper App: Save Money with Grocery Delivery Service

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

Grocery Delivery is not something I would have envisioned 10 years ago when I started the site. However, here we are. I gotta say that the new technology is definitely something I am loving more including the ability to utilize digital coupons. Savings at my fingertips is something I truly love!

Grocery Delivery Service

Having groceries delivered to your home is something that I scoffed at because of the perception that the cost may be higher than normal. That's not always the case and this post will show you how Instacart grocery delivery service can help you actually save money!

There are definite advantages including getting great deals at the grocery. Yes, it's possible! Read on to learn all of the ways to save money on groceries and my personal Instacart review!

How Does Instacart Work

Using a grocery delivery service can cost more than if you ran to the store yourself but it has its advantages. While it may be hard to imagine deal shopping on grocery delivery it is entirely possible. With Instacart you can find great deals for your family while enjoying the convenience of grocery delivery.

How Much Does Instacart Cost?

You pay a delivery fee, which varies depending on the size of the order and delivery time chosen in the app. They always offer your first two weeks free with $10 off your first order so be sure to take advantage and give the service a try. If you fall in love take advantage of the discounted 1-year Instacart Express memberships that pop up around the holidays.

Instacart Fees

If you find that you will use the service frequently, definitely sign up for an Instacart Express membership to receive free delivery on all orders over $35. You can get a FREE 14-day trial to test out the service.

To take full advantage of Instacart Express membership fees, shop for items that cost less at your Instacart store of choice than those that are near you to meet the Instacart Express $35 minimum for free delivery. If the stores offered by Instacart are further from your home, keep that in mind as you compare prices while doing your regular shopping.

For us, this includes basics like, milk, eggs, and butter that can be very expensive at the local grocery store but less on Instacart. It makes sense to include them on my grocery delivery since I'm saving by getting free delivery.

Instacart Promos

Take advantage of the buy $20 get $5 off deals. These are often everyday staples like breakfast foods, snacks, baby care, and pet care items. These deals help offset the slightly higher prices you find on Instacart.

Check the Instacart coupon section in the app. Occasionally you will find great coupons dropping your price of items to just a few cents. These also make great fillers to hit the Instacart Express $35 minimum and can be stored for future use.

The coupons available in Instacart are the same digital coupons available at the stores you are shopping. Use money saving apps like Ibotta to save even more. Most Instacart drivers will put your receipt in your bag without you having to ask but send a quick message in the chat while they are shopping to ensure you get the receipt. The same receipt can be used in other coupon apps.

Instacart Prices

Check the meats. Occasionally you will find a better deal on meets in the Instacart app then in-store at the same store making it a great deal to snatch up. This is another great idea to meet that Instacart Express minimum delivery requirement.

Some stores allow you to connect your store rewards card. Take advantage of this combination to get the most from your Instacart shopping. They continue to roll out more store loyalty programs so keep an eye in the app to see if your store's rewards program is connected.

Gather Instacart promo codes with a quick google search so you don't miss a deal before ordering. While this can be hit or miss it never hurts to take a look. Most you will find are for new customers but sometimes you will find random coupon promo codes.

Instacart Costco

I was the most excited about using Instacart with Costco. Costco is a 20+ minute drive depending on which location I visit, so it's not as easy as running to the nearest Kroger when we need something. However, I noticed that prices are higher in the Instacart app versus shopping yourself at Costco. This is mainly so Instacart can have one set price in the app for all Instacart location.

I understand this to a degree but it wasn't beneficial for me to use Instacart for my Costco shopping. I may do it in a pinch. Now that I think about it, I may actually save *more* by using Instacart for Costco since I always seem to buy so many other things that weren't on my list. I need to think on that one more!

Instacart Referral Benefits

The best way to save money on groceries with Instacart is to refer your friends. Once you have fallen in love with grocery delivery be sure to share the news with your friends so they can enjoy the convenience of grocery delivery and you get a $10 Instacart referral bonus on your next order for referring them.

While you are at it, send them the link to this post so they can learn some simple tricks to save money on Instant Cart as well! Sharing is caring, especially when it comes to saving time and money! :-)

Instacart Review

So, overall, would I recommend Instacart? Yes! But, I still like to shop in-store. I may be one of the weird people left that does actually enjoy going to the grocery. However, with the season of our life being crazy busy and being a sports mom, this definitely helps me have more quality time with my family. At the end of the day you cannot put a price on that so the nominal fees are worth it.

Have you used Instacart?
Share your review in the comments!

Disclosure: This post contains a link to an affiliate and support this site. See my Disclaimer Policy for additional information.

This Instacart Shopper App review talks about cost, fees, promos and more to understand how Instacart works best to save money on groceries!

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Affordable Pet Insurance: Best Pet Insurance Plans and Coverage

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

Affordable pet insurance. This is a topic that I never thought I would be writing about since we have never been a “pet family.” Boy have things changed!

Earlier this year, the cutie above, Ollie, joined our family. As any good pet mom, I looked into all the various options to ensure we could keep our new family member healthy. Lucky for us, our vet's office gives all new patients a free trial to a pet insurance plan at their first visit. I immediately signed up for the trial, and opted into a monthly plan.

After having Ollie and utilizing pet insurance, I am a huge advocate for pet health insurance. There are pros and cons to each company and each plan. I want this post to answer many of the questions you may be having on which pet insurance company is the best. I know I had a ton!

How Does Pet Insurance Work

If you have ever had a pet ingest something they should not have, or get ill and needed a trip to the vet, you know how expensive those visits can get. An overnight visit due to dehydration or after-surgery care can be several hundred dollars.

Just like with humans, the unexpected can happen to our furry pals as well, and be just as costly. Knowing what we have gone through, I tell people that pet insurance gives you options. Not all plans or pet insurance companies are as easy to work with. Some plans pay you once you've paid your vet. Other plans will pay the vet directly.

Best Pet Insurance

I found through doing my own research that there are some great benefits to many pet insurance plans because you don't have to worry about networks. Most veterinarians are able to work with all types of pet insurance.

Our vet's office had a pre-approval process with our pet insurance company so the vet would be paid directly by the pet insurance company and we would simply pay the remainder (deductible and other amounts not covered by the plan limits). This was SO NICE since we didn't have to have the money up front and wait for a reimbursement.

The other benefit of no networks for pet insurance plans is that your furry family member can be seen by your favorite vet, without having to worry about out of network charges. This comes in handy if you’re traveling or trying to get your pet into the vet quick. Sometimes your pet just can’t wait for care.

Pet Insurance Pre Existing Conditions

Does your fluffy pal have any pre-existing conditions? If so, you will have a hard time getting coverage. I really appreciated getting the free trial for our pet insurance plan at one of Ollie's first visits. We knew we had coverage and had at least 30 days to make a decision.

Having a plan right as soon as we got Ollie was also beneficial because there weren't any “major” pre-existing conditions that could be discovered (normally, not in pups from where you know the history anyway). For example, if you find out that your new puppy has cancer at his initial vet check, unfortunately you likely will not be able to get affordable insurance to cover any upcoming charges.

You may not even know that your pet has a pre-existing condition. Some pet insurance companies may require that your pet get checked out before they approve them for pet insurance.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover

There are plans all over the place, covering examinations and medications to only covering emergency treatments. The latter is actually what we chose (check out the Healthy Paws pet insurance plans). I had budgeted for regular exam fees, so I wasn't concerned about having a plan cover those or medications.

I also heard from a few people in various pet Facebook groups that said the plans that covered medication had a max. So the monthly fees for those plans are higher and it didn't benefit them in the end.

Pet Insurance Cheap

There may come a time when your pet’s emergency treatment may cost more than you can afford. When this happens, often times people resort to euthanizing their pets, or taking them home and letting them suffer. I can't even imagine making this type of decision.

By having pet insurance, this can help with the costs of treatment, even if money is tight at the time. Let’s be honest, pet care is needed when you least expect it or when you don’t have the funds to take care of the medical issues at hand. Pet insurance is a responsible financial way to care for your pet.

Our vet was very laid back about pet insurance, meaning he didn't “push” it on families. He said he always encourages families to set money aside each month so if there were an emergency they would have it to fund treatment. I would agree with that approach, but I am thankful that we had a pet insurance policy to utilize during Ollie's treatments.

Pet Health Insurance Cost

There are a variety of plans that you can choose for your pet. Ranging from about $10-$100 a month, the most affordable plans generally will not cover all types of pet care, such as routine visits and vaccinations.

There are also price differences depending on your deductible. We opted into a plan with a higher deductible ($750) that paid 90% of all expenses after the deductible was paid. The trial was actually at a lower deductible of $250. Lucky for us, we were still on the trial when we needed to get treatment for Ollie. Be sure to search different plans to make sure the services you think your pet will need will be included in your coverage.

Pet Insurance Reviews

You will find tons of reviews all over the internet about this company or that company. As I've mentioned, some are easier to work with than others, and the cost of taking your pet to the vet has skyrocketed. I will admit that having our pet insurance company pay the vet directly was nice since we didn't have to have the money up front. Regardless of the company, pet insurance is a good thing to get for your pet!

As I mentioned above, Ollie was our family's first pet. She passed away last month from a genetic liver shunt. She was the most precious and perfect little Goldendoodle (a petite size so she was teeny tiny, around 3 pounds in these photos). It goes without saying, but we miss her terribly. I am thankful we had a pet insurance plan so we can honestly say we did everything to try to save her life. We will be getting another pet but none will ever replace this girl.

Disclosure: This post contains a link to an affiliate and support this site. See my Disclaimer Policy for additional information.

Pet insurance options are so important for furry family members! Plans and coverage can vary greatly by company. Tips we learned as we navigated the nationwide pet insurance plans to care for our precious puppy.

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DIY Herb Garden: Container Ideas for Beginners

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

make your own herb garden

Here is a simple planter that you can make yourself and keep or gift to a friend. You can get the kids involved with this one too!

Herb Garden Necessary Materials

  • Container
  • Herbs, variety
  • Flowers
  • Ribbon
  • Potting Soil
  • Moss

I used an oblong container that had drainage holes. Baskets can be used too just make sure to line them with plastic and to place something under them to catch the water.

To customize this, add herbs that you or the gift recipient cook with.  I used Basil, Rosemary and Parsley. These can be purchased at garden stores or nurseries.  They come in a variety of sizes and prices.

Herb Garden DIY Steps

  1. Make sure you start with a clean container that has drainage holes in the bottom.  If yours does not, then depending on the container, you can drill a few holes in the bottom.  If you are using a good container that you would like to keep, then line it with plastic to help protect it.
  2. Fill the container 3/4 full with potting soil.
  3. Take your herbs out of their original container and break the bottom of the plants a little to allow for growth and place them into the soil burying them up to the crown of the plant. This is how deep they were in the original container.  Do this with the flowers as well.
    Make sure that after all the plants are in the container that you cover all the plants up to their crowns with soil.
  4. Water the plants well (it's a given).
  5. Tuck moss in and around the plants covering the soil.  This helps in maintaining moisture for the plants and it is also eye pleasing.
  6. Tie a ribbon around the container.

This can be kept in the kitchen for easy access or on the patio for the cook to grab.  Remember, the beauty about herbs is the more you use the bigger they grow.

DIY or PAY Comparison

$12 Plants
$0.50 Potting Soil
$0 Container, Ribbon and Moss (already had on hand)

The total was just $12.50 since I had other materials on hand. That's a 50% savings since this would easily cost $25 or more at the store.

growing your own indoor herb garden

Have you made your own live herb garden?

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Make Your Own Live Herb Garden

  • Author: Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

Ingredients

  • Container
  • Herbs, variety
  • Flowers
  • Ribbon
  • Potting Soil
  • Moss

Instructions

  1. Make sure you start with a clean container that has drainage holes in the bottom.  If yours does not, then depending on the container, you can drill a few holes in the bottom.  If you are using a good container that you would like to keep, then line it with plastic to help protect it.
  2. Fill the container 3/4 full with potting soil.
  3. Take your herbs out of their original container and break the bottom of the plants a little to allow for growth and place them into the soil burying them up to the crown of the plant. This is how deep they were in the original container.  Do this with the flowers as well.
    Make sure that after all the plants are in the container that you cover all the plants up to their crowns with soil.
  4. Water the plants well (it's a given).
  5. Tuck moss in and around the plants covering the soil.  This helps in maintaining moisture for the plants and it is also eye pleasing.
  6. Tie a ribbon around the container.

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Copycat Recipe: Olive Garden’s Chicken Alfredo

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

Olive Garden Chicken Alfredo Ingredients

This is another great recipe from Aunt Mary!

I have always loved Olive Garden and everything they have on their menu.  Although I think they are very reasonably priced, I don't have the opportunity to dine out very often because of the economy.  So I came up with my own.

I fixed dinner one night for my sister Ruth, and my niece, Andrea and her family.  Andrea wanted Chicken Alfredo, so I thought I would try this recipe out on them – yes, I used them for my own personal gain  :)

To my surprise, Andrea said she thought it was better than the real thing!!

Chicken Alfredo Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast (cut up into 2″ pieces)
  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil (divided in half)
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 cup Onion (chopped and divided)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (chopped and divided)
  • 1 tsp Oregano (dried)
  • 1 cup White Wine
  • 1/2 cup Whipping Cream (or Half and Half)
  • 1/2 cup +1 tsp Parmesan Cheese (grated)
  • 1 lb Fettuccine or Linguine
  • 1 tsp Pepper (ground)
  • 2 tsp Parsley flakes (dried)

Cooking Directions

  1. Place 6 quarts of water in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Add salt and pasta and cook until done.
  2. While water is coming to a boil, heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add 2 tsp olive oil, 1/4 cup onion, 1/2 garlic and red pepper flakes.
  3. Add chicken pieces to skillet  and saute until done (about 4 minutes)  Remove chicken.
  4. Add remaining oil, onion and garlic to skillet and saute about 1 minute.  Add white wine (take skillet off stove while adding the wine to prevent fire) and continue to cook over medium heat until reduced in half (about 5 minutes).
  5. Lower heat to simmer and add cream(milk) and parmesan cheese.  Stir until thickened (about 2 minutes) Add parsley flakes and stir.
  6. Drain pasta and reserve 1 cup of pasta water in case you need it.  Add pasta to sauce and mix. (If pasta is too thick at this point add the reserved pasta water) Place all but a few pieces of chicken in the pasta.
  7. Pour pasta into a serving bowl, place remaining chicken on top.
  8. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and some parsley.

Olive Garden Chicken Alfredo Copycat Recipe

Restaurant At Home Comparison

At Home: $9.22 total (family of 4)
Olive Garden: $10.75 each person = $43.00 (family of 4)

Thats about a  76% savings over eating out.  And I didn't even count the tip!!

This Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo recipe tastes just like the dish at Olive Garden, possibly better! This will be one of your family's faves soon!

Find MORE Recipes HERE

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Copycat Recipe: Olive Garden's Chicken Alfredo

Copycat Recipe: Olive Garden's Chicken Alfredo

  • Author: Savings Lifestyle: Andrea

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast (cut up into 2″ pieces)
  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil (divided in half)
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 cup Onion (chopped and divided)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (chopped and divided)
  • 1 tsp Oregano (dried)
  • 1 cup White Wine
  • 1/2 cup Whipping Cream (or Half and Half)
  • 1/2 cup +1 tsp Parmesan Cheese (grated)
  • 1 lb Fettuccine or Linguine
  • 1 tsp Pepper (ground)
  • 2 tsp Parsley flakes (dried)

Instructions

  1. Place 6 quarts of water in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Add salt and pasta and cook until done.
  2. While water is coming to a boil, heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add 2 tsp olive oil, 1/4 cup onion, 1/2 garlic and red pepper flakes.
  3. Add chicken pieces to skillet  and saute until done (about 4 minutes)  Remove chicken.
  4. Add remaining oil, onion and garlic to skillet and saute about 1 minute.  Add white wine (take skillet off stove while adding the wine to prevent fire) and continue to cook over medium heat until reduced in half (about 5 minutes).
  5. Lower heat to simmer and add cream(milk) and parmesan cheese.  Stir until thickened (about 2 minutes) Add parsley flakes and stir.
  6. Drain pasta and reserve 1 cup of pasta water in case you need it.  Add pasta to sauce and mix. (If pasta is too thick at this point add the reserved pasta water) Place all but a few pieces of chicken in the pasta.
  7. Pour pasta into a serving bowl, place remaining chicken on top.
  8. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and some parsley.

Olive Garden Copycat Recipes

Copycat Olive Garden Breadsticks Recipe

Olive Garden Zuppa Tuscano Soup Copycat Recipe

Copycat Olive Garden Minestrone Soup Recipe

Olive Garden Smoked Mozzarella Chicken and Penne Pasta

This Olive Garden Grilled Chicken Fettucine and Alfredo Sauce recipe is one of our family favorites! Make the easy meal at home yourself, along with a homemade version of the Olive Garden salad dressing and famous breadsticks!

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