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Archive for the ‘Frugal Kids’ Category

Quick and Easy Tie-Dye

Brought to you by: The Frugal Buzz On July 27, 2011 No Comments

 Love tie-dye but hate the mess?  Here’s a quick and easy way to create the same gorgeous retro effect without all the buckets and mess.

To get started you’ll need to grab a few things:

o Package of colored sharpie markers.  These are sold at your local office supply store or in the office supply section of your grocer.  They come in a wide variety of colors ranging from red, blue, yellow, purple and so on.

o Rubber bands.  These are used in the same manner that they’d be used in a traditional tie-dye project.  They’ll be used to make bulls-eyes. 

o Something to tie-dye.  This can be a t-shirt, bag, table cloth, pillow case, anything that you feel inspired to add a colorful retro feel to.

o Rubbing alcohol.  This is the key to the whole project!

o Spray bottle.  This will be used to spray the alcohol. 

Taking your shirt or socks or whatever you’re going to be dying, grab a bit of fabric and wrap a rubber band around it leaving a bit of fabric poking out.  Do this as many times as you’d like.  Varying the size of the fabric inside the rubber band will create different sized color swatches on your finished project.  To create the bulls-eye pattern layer the rubber bands on the same piece of fabric, so one handful of fabric will have a rubber band an inch down, two inches down and so on depending on how many rings you want in your bulls-eye. 

Now take your markers and start coloring in the gathered material.  Color it however you choose.  If you’re making a multicolored bulls-eye you’ll want to color each banded section a different color. 

Once you’ve finished coloring the sections, grab the fabric and take it to a well ventilated area.  An old plastic chair, bench or even a bucket outside is ideal.  Using your spray bottle full of alcohol, start spraying the rubber banded sections.  Continue spraying until the entire shirt has been tended to. 

Now you can sit back and watch.  The alcohol will start to react with the colors causing them to bleed into one another.  It’s a great and dramatic effect and it is fun to watch.  Let your fabric dry.  Once it’s dry, you can remove the rubber bands.  Launder it in cold water to set the colors.  Dry and wear.

Tie-dying with sharpie markers is a much easier, faster, and less stressful way of creating the same fabulous projects the buckets and dye powders offer and without the mess.

Frugally yours, Mary

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Ways to Teach Kids about Money

Brought to you by: The Frugal Buzz On May 18, 2011 No Comments

Easy Ways to Teach Your Kindergartener about Good Money Habits

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It is never too early to start teaching your children about good money habits. By instilling good spending and budgeting habits in your children at a young age, you are preparing them for the future.

Helping them to develop good money habits can be fairly simple, so avoid complex lessons until they are older and can understand the significance of money and budgeting.

One great way to teach your children good money habits is to give them an allowance. Do not give them an allowance for doing nothing – this can defeat the purpose.

Children benefit from learning that money is earned by working. A kindergartner is able to help with small chores around the house, so put them to work and let them earn their allowance this way.

Another way to earn money would be to hold a lemonade stand in front of the house, with adult supervision. Your child will learn how to make the product, market it and sell it. While the idea is to teach good money habits, they are also learning valuable life lessons – nothing sells itself.

Have your children save up their allowance for something that they really want. Whether it is a comic book or the hottest new toy on the market, having your child save up for the item will teach them that nothing comes for free. In return, children also learn that the items you buy them have real value and should be treated as such.

If your child really wants an item, it is also good to help them meet the value of the toy. For example, they can earn the toy by doing certain chores for a month: keeping their rooms clean, feeding the animals or doing other small chores.

Another good educational opportunity is to expose your child to money. A lot of children nowadays are so used to seeing parents pay with debit and credit cards that they may not know what actual money looks like. Show your kids the different types of money – coins, bills, etc. and tell them the monetary amount for each.

When you go shopping, let your child have a try at paying certain items. This will help them feel quite grown up and give them a good lesson in money matters.

Teaching your children good money habits early on in life helps to stress the importance of preparing for a financial future. Oftentimes parents do not instill the proper money management skills into their children, unaware that this is an important life lesson. It is never too early or too late to start teaching your children how to establish good money habits.

Frugally yours, Mary

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Cheap Birthday Gifts

Brought to you by: The Frugal Buzz On May 16, 2011 No Comments

Cheap Birthday Gifts for Every Budget

Today people in almost every home are looking for ways to save money on gifts. Gone are the days of the over-the-top, spend until you drop, birthday gift. You can still surprise and wow that loved one, but you now need to be a little more creative in an effort to keep your wallet intact.

When it comes to giving a child a birthday gift there are many alternatives that will not break the bank. Many of the craft stores have large selections of do-it-yourself items. For the younger children aged two to five, buy some coloring supplies as they love to color and create. A large coloring book and stickers are a great way to occupy their time and they will love them.

Cheap Birthday Gifts PostOlder children, six to eleven, can enjoy clay and markers, and for the children from twelve to fourteen a kit with latch hook, painting, or building a car will satisfy them. Your young adults ages fifteen to seventeen will also have fun learning to knit or crochet and perhaps for the boys consider a kit for a bird house or model car.

Adults are easy too, and you have the added bonus that they truly understand the economic times. Giving a handmade gift such as a scarf will show that you put thought into the gift, rather than making a last-minute dash to the department store. If you are handy with knitting or crocheting, make a scarf or knit some beautiful kitchen potholders. Create a frame for showcasing photos of children or grandchildren.

If you are not crafty with your hands, you can still offer a nice, thoughtful gift that does not require a trip to the department store. Consider making dinner for your loved one or offering a coupon book with redeemable coupons excusing your loved one from chores.

Bake a special, favorite cake instead of purchasing a store-bought one. Putting the effort into making a special dinner and cake will show how important your loved ones are to you.

Birthday gifts do not have to cost an arm and a leg to be special. Thoughtful items such as handmade crafts or supplies mean more and cost less. Putting an effort into the gift is the important part, as these gifts will remain valuable many years from now.

Frugally yours, Mary

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