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Printer ink can cost a fortune!

This image shows an opened Canon S520 ink jet ...Our printer recently died and HP told us that it could not be fixed. They offered us an upgrade at a lower price. I checked out Amazon and it was a lower price than they could offer. Our new printer came very fast and I was excited that I can scan, copy, and print from one device. But who knew that the ink would run out so quickly. I have been buying ink every few weeks! Here are my tips for saving as much as you can on printer ink.

1) Print in draft mode as much as possible. This will limit the amount of ink used on each printout. Print your coupons in black ink instead of color to limit your color usage, too.

2) Buy ink online whenever you can and be sure to compare prices with your local stores so you know when you have found a good deal. I often can find my ink for $5 – $10 cheaper than in stores. I mostly purchase through Amazon, so that if I need to return the ink, I have a reputable company to make sure the return goes well.

3) Buy remanufactured ink when you can, but be sure to check the reviews for that company and product. Some remanufactured inks are not as good as others. I have read many reviews of products that did not last long or didn’t even work when they were first opened.

4) Check reviews online for your printer ink. I almost bought a set of three colors and black ink together. By reading the reviews I found out that the four-packs for that ink number are only available as the setup packs that the printer comes with.

5) Buy XL inks when you can. These have more ink for the cost. However, be sure to read the specifications for these. You printer may take that number model of ink, but not the XL version, as mine does not.

6) Get your ink refilled at an office supply store when possible. Many inks can be refilled for a minimal cost instead of being replaced. See what your local store provides.

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Kids’ Mitzvah Checklist for Sukkos

My Kids’ Mitzvah Checklist for Rosh Hashanah was such a hit with my children that I thought I would make another for Sukkos. Again, I used Chinuch.org for clip art. They have tons of great art to choose from. I tried to include a variety of mitzvot for kids young and old. 

Kids’ Mitzvah Checklist for Sukkos

Your children can earn stickers for each mitzvah they do. Small round stickers worked best so that you can still see the words after your kids put their sticker on. Your kids can earn more than one sticker for each square if they do the mitzvah multiple times, but I thought it was best just to put the item on the chart only once.

I hope your kids enjoy this and that it helps make your holiday meaningful!

Please let me know any feedback you have and how your kids like it.

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Posted by on September 30, 2012 in Family ideas, Forms for everything, Holidays

 

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Time to get ready for the 2012 High Holidays!

Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year) is just 17 days away and I am realizing it is time to start our preparations. As I have mentioned before in my posts on getting ready for Pesach (Passover), I have a checklist to help me get ready for each holiday. It really helps me not forget anything that needs to be done and it gives me a timeline to do them. It also reminds me of things that have worked and not worked from past years.

Here is my High Holiday prep checklist, which includes Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. You may want to adapt it to your needs and to include the following things which we do not do:

  • Holiday cards (we send ours our around Chanukah/Christmas)
  • Babysitting arrangements (either at shul (temple) or at home, for whatever days you want to go to shul to daven (pray))

I store this file on my computer, but also have a copy in my Holiday Prep binder, which has preparations lists for all the Jewish holidays. I have separate binders for Chanukah/Christmas and Pesach, since those two involve a lot more preparations!

When planning our menus, I like to type them, too, so that I can print them out and put them on our refrigerator. Then my husband highlights items as he cooks them! I can’t wait to try some new recipes and hope the New Year brings us some better mazel!

Related posts (sorry – there are a lot!):

If you have any tips about how you successfully get ready for the holidays, please share them below!

 

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Clever trick: Color-coded backpack tags

My triplet boys started carrying a backpack last school year, to carry extra clothes and their swim stuff (once a week) to daycare. For that first year, they really didn’t care whose backpack they carried. Now they definitely want to make sure they have theirs. Most of the time they refuse to help each other!

The backpacks are all navy, a third birthday gift from their teachers from two years ago. It can be very hard to figure out whose backpack I have picked up and to give them to each boy to carry out of the house or into school. I do have their names on the front, but you have to pick them up, turn them around, look closely… It adds too much time to our morning routine.

I was desperate to find a solution. I know it sounds like a silly problem, but it was driving me crazy!

I thought about nametags/luggage tags, but I remember our older son’s falling off quickly and breaking. Plus, to find luggage tags in three different colors was proving difficult, after searching several stores and online. I even looked online for patches or reflective tape. Again not enough choices of colors.

Then it hit me. I had a perfect cheap solution. I had bought Veclro cord organizers/wrappers from OfficeMax for just $3 a few weeks back. There were 10 in a pack (red, yellow, blue, purple, and black). I attached one to each of the top handles of the boys’ backpacks and VOILA!

The colors go along with how we marked their bottles, sippy cups, etc. when they were babies and toddlers. Except instead of one of the boys getting white, he got yellow.

Now it is so much easier for me and the boys to know whose bag is whose! This trick will also work in the future if I am unable to find four different colored backpacks!

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Posted by on June 11, 2012 in Family ideas, Other savings tips

 

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What are you doing for Earth Day?

The Earth flag is not an official flag, since ...

Earth Day is April 22 and cities around the world are sponsoring volunteer efforts, fairs, festivals, and speakers. To find out what is going on in your town, here are a few resources. If you cannot find a listing for your town, you may need to do a Google search for your city and “Earth Day.”

Earth Day Network:

This organization “works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement.” You can search for events in your area, find actions you can take, and more.

Environmental Protection Agency’s Earth Day website:

Includes search tool to find EPA events in your area, a video, pledges and actions to take, a Greenquest game, and a daily email list with tips.

St. Louis Earth Day:

If you live here in St. Louis, check out all the events and resources on the St. Louis Earth Day website. Note that at the Recycling Extravaganza you can recycle medicines, as I mentioned in my post “Recycle your unused medicines.”

* If you haven’t already begun to take small actions to protect our Earth, see my post “Countdown to Earth Day.”

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Countdown to Earth Day

Crystal earth recycle icon

Earth Day is on April 22. However, I truly believe that every day should be Earth Day. I have already written about it in many of my previous posts.

To guide you in undertaking simple things for our Earth, check out the ideas and links below. Fortunately, protecting the environment often results in money savings, too. See “How much your green habits really save” from Earth 911.

REDUCE …

∞ packaging by buying in bulk.

See my post on “Bulk discounts.”

∞ waste by bringing your own bags to the grocery store.

See my post on “Reusable shopping bags = savings.”

∞ waste by finding new uses for old things or repairing things when you can.

See my posts “Don’t throw it out,” “Revamp and wear again!” and “Quick fixes without a repair call.”

∞ trash by making homemade whenever you can instead of buying store-bought items.

See my post on “(More) Make your own…”

∞ electricity usage by installing compact fluorescents in your home.

See my post on “Brighter savings.”

∞ water usage by making some small changes in your home.

See my post on “Not just a drop in the bucket!”

∞ energy usage by purchasing energy-efficient appliances.

See my post “Cash back for protecting Mother Earth.”

∞ energy usage through ways you prepare for Shabbos.

See my post on “Saving money and energy on Shabbos.”

REUSE …

∞ books by swapping books you no longer want with others.

See my post on “My favorite find – swapping books.”

∞ a plastic or stainless steel water bottle every day for work, day trips, your kids’ lunches.

∞ cloth napkins for meals.

See my post on “Switch over your disposables.”

∞ your coffee filters and use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.

See my post on “Filter and fluff without waste.”

RECYCLE …

∞ find ways to recycle everything you can!

See my post on “Recycle, recycle, recycle” for how to get started or for resources on where to recycle various items.

∞ items in your home that you are done with by giving them away to others in need.

See my posts “Declutter responsibly,” “Finding a home for used stuffed animals,” “Give your old shoes a new life,” and “Spring cleaning for a good cause.”

∞ old medications by disposing of them properly or taking them to places that can recycle them.

See my post on “Recycle your unused medicines.”

 

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Shaloch Manos Gallery 2012

Sorry to post this so late, but I wanted to share with you the great ideas that some of our friends and family came up with for shaloch manos this year.

Themes:

Breakfast or lunch foods: This year several of our friends did breakfast shaloch manos with things like cereal, juice boxes, muffins, instant coffee, creamer, etc.

Outdoor/fitness: My friends Lori and Larry used a frisbee and covered it with a sports drink, a Clif bar, squeezable applesauce, and hamantashen. They even painted the outside of the frisbee with chalkboard paint and included chalk so you could draw on it! What a clever idea!

Movie night: My friend Wendy used a popcorn box and then included microwave popcorn, a can of soda and a Hershey’s chocolate bar.

Poem: My friend Shari included a Purim poem and then included certain foods that matched words from the poem. Another set of friends, Sara and Hyim, did a similar thing with a different poem. Our friends Michelle and Ephraim used the Red Solo cup song and included hamantashen, a small Rum bottle, Coke, and one other item in a red Solo cup.

Food person: My friend Vicki adhered her food items together to form a man. The head was a single serve applesauce, the arms – Laffy Taffy, the body – a juicebox, and the feet – boxes of raisins. The result was very cute!

Other themes I have seen in past years:
- items of only a certain color
– a rainbow poem and then items of each color of the rainbow
– foods all from a particular country (like Chinese food, all Italian, or all Israeli products)
– foods all including a certain ingredient (my friend Gilat made homemade chocolate sauce and included other chocolate items last year) 

Decorations:

Our friends Bella and Yosef and Stacy and Michael always include a family picture on their labels. It makes a nice touch and I love to save them for my scrapbook.

Great containers:

As you know, I am very conscientious about recycling and reusing. I always try to find a container or bag that can be reused. Some examples of containers I have used in the past have included: cloth drawstring bags, plastic containers (like Gladware), and soft plastic square boxes (from Garden Ridge). This year we used plastic cups from the dollar store.

Mid-way through filling the cups.

My cousin Sharone used a bandana for her shaloch manos this year. It looked great and can be reused easily!

Our neighbors Charlotte and Joseph used a pretty Spring basket. I think it will look great on the table with napkins or benchers!

My friend Wendy used a white paper bag. With ribbon tied at the top and a pretty label, she turned this simple container into something beautiful!

Other ideas that I have seen in past years include:
- handmade bags made of fabric
– dollar store baskets of all kinds
– wire baskets

I love anything I can reuse for decoration, serving food, or giving with a gift later!

Please keep in mind that using any of these ideas will depend on your budget, how many shaloch manos you are making, and what items you want to include.

Please share any ideas you have seen or created in the Comments section.

 

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