About Ashley

Ashley is very happily married and the mother to a beautiful little girl and handsome little boy. She is the main voice behind Embracing Homemaking.

Why Legos are Great for Kids

This is NOT a sponsored post but it contains affiliate links.  I just love LEGOs and wanted to talk about them. 🙂

Why Legos are Great for Kids

Legos were created in Demark in 1932.  These stackable interlocking colorful pieces of plastic quickly won over parent’s hearts across the globe. Fun fact: the name Lego is derived from the Danish phrase “leg godt”, which means “play well.”  These simple little plastic pieces have since expanded to become the brand most parents know, love, and hate to step on!  Lego bricks have grown from a random package of colorful interlocking bricks (which were great on their own) to fabulous model kits where you can create extensive models for collecting. No matter what type of Lego bricks your child loves most, there’s one thing for sure: Legos are fantastic for child development. Here are the top five reasons why I feel Lego’s are great for kids.

Wash Legos

– Legos Grow With Your Child

I hate buying a toy that I know my child will discard by next year or will find babyish in a few years.  Legos aren’t like that.  They will be something kids will play with for years and years and years.  Legos have dominated the toy industry for creative kids and parents everywhere. Allowing your kids to own their own Legos from toddler years and beyond will inspire loads of family fun time.  Plus, it’s a toy that won’t get broken or too dirty!  All you have to do is grab a laundry bag and toss them in the dishwasher.  (You can buy the laundry bag set shown above here)

Lego Figures

– Teaches Color, Shapes, & Letters

Legos are a great tool for parents of younger kids as a means to teach color recognition. These fun stackable bricks that can be interconnected in so many ways arrive in a wide range of colors which can easily help any parent teach their kids about colors.  The simple sets of Legos even come with kits (plan books? I’m not sure the right term) for building objects of different colors!  (The set above can be purchased here)  With the bright colored blocks, kids’ attention will be easily attracted to learn colors and shapes using Legos as the tool.  My kids know their colors, shapes, and alphabet now but they still enjoy writing messages out in Legos.

Lego Star Wars Set

– Improve Fine Motor Skills

Whether you’re raising a toddler or a child with special needs, there comes a time when you need to figure out a fun way to improve the fine motor skills of your kids. Legos are the perfect option for a child on the spectrum, a toddler, or anyone who has a learning disability that keeps them from developing fine motor skills naturally. Legos help improve those skills in a fun and low stress way.  Also, a quick search on Pinterest for “Lego fine motor skills” will pull up approximately a bazillion ideas for using Legos in other ways for strengthening fine motor skills (writing letters in Play Doh using Legos, etc).  For older kids who want to practice fine motor skills or just want a really cool Lego set I highly recommend the Star Wars set pictured above.  You can buy it on Amazon here.  My friend’s son had it and I was amazed at all the compartments that opened up and the detail included.  It was impressive!  The sets are a great way to get older kids to sit down and focus on something for more than a few minutes.

– Encourages Creativity

Kids are known to have a creative mind from day one. With each new experience, that creativity can be expanded to grow or diluted. Legos are a great way to encourage that creativity within kids without much effort. You can use Legos to help encourage your kids’ creative side as they work to build Lego models or a creative masterpieces from scratch.  My kids aren’t into the super fancy structures (yet) but they love to create an imaginary world for their other playthings to venture into.  They don’t have any little Lego people yet and I’m quite happy with that because this way they feel free to incorporate many of their other toys into their imaginative play.

Twister Game

There you have it!  There is my short list of reasons why Legos are great for kids.  Regardless of your age, Legos are a great way to encourage sharing, connecting, and bonding, which is truly the biggest reasons why I love having Legos in our home.  Family time can’t be beat.  I remember when my son was too young to play with Legos he loved sorting the pieces in the kit for his daddy to put together.  We happened to get a Twister game for Christmas that year so that’s what he used to sort them on.  Each circle had a different color of blocks.  It wasn’t meant to be a permanent idea but it worked so well that we get the Twister mat out each time we sort through a Lego kit.  It helps keep the Legos contained too so I’m all for it.  Happy Lego building!!


You may also be interested in:

5 Tips for Storing Legos

How to Save Money Buying Legos

Gift Guide for Book Lovers

This post contains affiliate links.

Book Lovers

I adore books!  I love the feel of one in my hands, how they can transport me to a new place or a new way of thinking, enjoying different writing styles, and I last but not least I love how they pique my interest and make me desire to learn new things.  I’ve always enjoyed reading but since having my daughter learn to read I’ve found a new love for it.  Together my daughter and I have enjoyed scouring old book sales to look for the classics (e.g. Heidi, The Secret Garden), old children’s encyclopedias (e.g. Childcraft and Little Golden Encyclopedia), and old series’ that we can delve into together (Betsy Tracy, The Bobbsey Twins).  We’re building our home library of living books one book at a time and I couldn’t enjoy it more.

Because books are always on my mind lately, I thought a gift guide for book lovers would be fitting.  Do you love books as much as I do or know someone who is?  If so, I hope this gift guide will help you in your search for the perfect gift!

Library Embosser

1. Want to leave your mark on your books in a classy way?  Look no further than this personalized library embosser on Amazon ($32.99).


Book Darts

Book Darts Bookmark

2. Book Darts are where it’s at!  If you want to mark your place or several passages you liked in a book without worrying about creasing the pages or hurting the binding you’ll want to grab a tin or two of these.  They’re metal, fit snuggly, and make retrieving past material a breeze.  I’ve tried a few and the Book Darts brand is worth the few extra pennies.  For under $11 on Amazon you get 125 darts.


Book Thong

3. Book Thongs.  Oh, how I dislike the name but it is descriptive and I love these too much not to include them.  The thin string fits well in between the pages without much bulk and the pretty beads on the end make me feel fancy. 🙂  You can make this gift yourself or buy the handmade one pictured above from a crafter on Amazon for under $9 shipped.

Page Anchors

4. Page Anchors are a great way to read hands free.  They’re great for cook books too!  You can buy the one above on Amazon for $150.


Weighted Bookmark

5. A less snazzy but more economical way to hold a page open is with these leather weighted book marks.  They retail on Amazon for $25 shipped.


Page Holder

6.  This is one that is on my personal wish list.  I would love to have this Page Holder to help me hold the pages open so I can read one handed.  This is $26.95 on Amazon.



7. Oooh, I also love this one!  It’s called the PagePal and has a cute little saying engraved on it.  “A book is a dream that you hold in your hands.”  Maybe I need both, one for upstairs reading and one for downstairs. 🙂  This one retails on Amazon for $14 shipped.


Book Seat

8.  The Book Seat is a flexible book holder and travel pillow in one!  Note: not intended to be used for both purposes at the same time. 🙂  The Book Seat is filled with Polystyrene beads enabling it to sit into any position.  This should help make reading even more relaxing.  There is a clear perspex page holder that enables you to read Hands-Free!  The Book Seat retails on Amazon for under $40 shipped.  I just love that it also doubles as a travel pillow.

Personal Library Set

9.  This Personal Library Kit is great for those who lend books out to friends a lot.  I’m thinking it would be great for my kids who love to make believe and would love to use this to pretend to be a librarian.  For only $16 shipped (through Amazon) I think it’s a great deal!

Card Catalog

Card Catalog Cards

10. Card catalogs may be a thing of the past but with this Card Catalog Reproduction Set you can relive the good old days…or at least feel a little nostalgic while explaining card catalogs to your kids.  “Enclosed in a keepsake replica card catalog box with tabbed dividers, each card features a different beloved work of literature straight from the storied collection of the Library of Congress.”  This set is currently $15.72 on Amazon.


Book Sleeve

11. A Book Sleeve is a must have to those who like to go about their day and bring their books along.  No more accidental pen marks or crushed pages as your book bounces along inside the bottom of your purse or bookbag.  I would have loved to have had this for my Bible in college and my daughter will love this for her books now.  They come in different sizes and a wide variety of different patterns on Amazon.  The one pictured above is 8×10 inches and is $11 shipped.


Book Journal for Kids

12.  A Book Reading Log for Kids is a great way to keep track of the books they read.  I would love to get one of these for my daughter now that she’s devouring chapter books.  When both of my kids were reading picture books this would have been too much of a hassle to keep up with because we read so many books a day but now this will be a nice way to look back and remember what we’ve read.  It’s $11 shipped from Amazon.


The Book Lover's Journal

Book Lover's Journal

13.  A Book Lover’s Journal is a reading log and journal for adults.  I love the thought provoking questions it asks and the room for notes.  I often forget things from past books (and TV shows for that matter) so it would be nice to have a record of my thoughts on a book that I can refer back to before I recommend a certain book to a person.  This hardcover spiral book retails for less than $13 shipped from Amazon.


Book Scented Candle

14.  It could be argued that any candle would make a great companion for a reader but this one that is scented to remind you of a library has to be a great gift! “The main theme is an older leather bound book accord mixed with a woody desk character of cedar and sandalwood. Hints of balsamic and vanilla finish the complex scent.”  This Book candle will burn from 60-80 hours and will only set you back $30 shipped from Amazon.


Amazon Gift Card

15.  Last but certainly not least….gift cards to buy more books!  I love old books so Amazon, ebay, and ThriftBooks are my favorite gift cards to receive.

I hope this list was helpful!  If you’re a book lover and know of anything I left off the list please let me know in the comments below.

30 Days of Giving Challenge 2018

30 Days of Giving Challenge

For just about every year since I started blogging I’ve participated in or led a 30 days of giving each November.  I’ve been blogging since 2009 so that’s quite a long time!  I love to give to others and can always do more and give more.  I want to teach my children about giving.  I want them to have a heart of gratitude and a giving spirit.  Together my family and I are making November a month of giving and I hope you’ll join us!

Here’s how this challenge is going to go this year:

The challenge is to give something to someone everyday in November.  I know what you’re thinking, “Are you off your rocker, we’re already a week into November!”  It’s true!  I had this challenge planned before our close friend and pastor’s wife passed away.  I apologize for posting this late but I haven’t felt like being on the computer much.  I hope you’ll start today but whenever you stumble upon the challenge I hope you’ll join in.

The gifts can be anything given to anyone…money, food, old clothes, crafts, your time, or even kind words.  I would love to have every single one of my readers join me in this challenge.  The way I see it, even if I don’t give something every single day it will probably would still be more than I normally would have given any other month…and that’s worth it, right?

Here are some of the gift ideas I’ve came up with so far:

  • –  donate can goods to a local food pantry
  • –  donate new toys in your gift drawer or closet to Toys for Tots
  • –  make and deliver a meal to a grieving family or a family with a sick loved one
  • –  donate a couple of hours of free babysitting for new parents
  • –  rake up the leaves in an elderly friend’s house
  • –  clean out your closets to donate to GoodWill or the Salvation Army or a family you know in need
  • –  give few more dollars in the plate at church
  • –  prepare a gift for those new to the neighborhood
  • –  send a letter and a box of non-perishable goodies to a soldier
  • –  have the kids make and mail cards to missionaries (or to vets)

30 Days of Giving

The New Addition!

I want to combine this old challenge with a Live With Less twist!  I want to suggest finding things in our homes that we no longer need or LOVE and give them to someone else.  We can still make meals and cards but it’s my desire for us to also find usable things we have just laying around and donate them to those who can make good use of them.  This could be giving an old piece of china to a relative who would enjoy it, passing along a favorite book to a friend, or it could be donating a bag full of items to a charity.  The choice is yours!

By the way, if you’re local to me I know of several families and charities that would love gently used toys and household items.

Giving Challenge Prize?

If there’s enough participation I’ll throw in an Amazon gift card to a random participant!  I love to give money to those who participate in challenges but I’d like to see a lot of people participating before I throw out a large gift card.  I’ve been known to give every participant a $5 gift card before.  You just never know! 🙂  Think of it as a bonus to the good feeling you’ll get blessing others!

How do I know who participated?  Here’s how!

Giving Challenge Rules:

  • – You must submit your daily entry by posting photos of your items to be given (or write what you said, paid for, etc) on the wall of our Facebook group under the daily photo I post.  Today’s post will say Giving Challenge #8 (because it’s November 8th, even though it’s the first day of the challenge), tomorrow’s will say Giving Challenge #9, and so on and so forth.
  • – If you don’t have Facebook you can also email me the pictures at MrsAshleyWalkup@gmail.com with the subject 30 Days of Giving Challenge #8.
  • – If you know you’re going to have a busy week you can work ahead in the challenge up to five days ahead of time (this is a change from the previous challenge, you can now work further ahead!) and you can be two days late and still be eligible for the prize.
  • We’re going to start the challenge today, Thursday, Nov. 8th.  Because we’re starting late you don’t have to give away 30 things, just 1 per day till the end of the challenge.  If you want to do more, by all means please do.
  • – This is a question I would ask if I was participating so I’ll ask and answer it in case you’re wondering to.  Do you actually have to donate the item to, say Goodwill, or can you just set it aside in a box in your garage until the end of the month?  The garage is fine!  There’s no need to make a trip daily to take one item some place.
  • – What if you have so much extra stuff and you want to go above and beyond?  By all means do!
  • – Share this with a friend!  It’s easier to stick with it if you have a friend or family member who are joining in too.
  • – Last but not least, have fun!!!

In the words of my wise friend Dawn, “This challenge is about being grateful for what you have and blessing others who are less fortunate!”  I couldn’t agree more!

I’m excited to have you join me.   Feel free to start snapping pics, donating, and posting your pics in our group today!  Join our group by clicking here!

Tips for Organizing Kitchen Cabinets

Are you looking for a way to free up a considerable amount of space in your kitchen? If you are like me and constantly trying to figure out the proper way to organize your kitchen cabinets to save space or create more space, then continue reading for some tips to organize your kitchen cabinets.

Tips to Organize Kitchen Cabinets

Organizing Your Kitchen Cabinets is as Easy as 123…

Empty Everything

The first step to organizing kitchen cabinets is to empty everything out. You can’t organize things without first knowing what you’re working with. Take the time to set out everything from every cabinet onto the counter. Check expiration dates and toss away any items that are expired or unusable, this includes pantry items that perhaps have little left within their container.

Group Your Stuff

Now that you have everything out on the counter in a wide open space, group your stuff. You will create mini-groups of similar items as a means to ensure you place baking goods with baking goods, seasonings with seasonings and so forth to ensure your kitchen cabinets are organized and easily accessible. If you’re uncertain of where to group an item, create a miscellaneous pile for now.

Determine a Home

Now that everything has been grouped together, take a look at the placement of your kitchen cabinets. Plan to have baking goods near the stove, for example, to ensure each item is not only organized but in an easily accessible location for their purpose. Keep canned goods in one place, pasta in another and be sure to have everything located in a place that suits the kitchen setup.

Try New Containers

Most of the items you found in your kitchen cabinets may have been in there a long time. Think about all of that waste, you perhaps spend extra money replacing items that didn’t need replacement. Try to use new containers such as clear ones so that you can label them and see how much is left in each container easily. This will help reduce spending on unnecessary supplies and ensure you can easily access what you need in the kitchen.

Use Hooks or Extra Shelves

If you find that there is a lot of empty space in your kitchen cabinets against the wall area, use hooks to help maximize usage of those areas. You can easily use an extra shelf install or hooks to keep various items. Consider maximizing the best organizational skills ever by utilizing the space that tends to be empty space once the kitchen cabinets are organized.

There you have it an easy to follow guide on how to organize your kitchen cabinets. Although tedious, this process is relatively easy and as long as you communicate with the household on putting everything where it belongs, things should stay organized for quite some time.

Live With Less Challenge for October 2018

Live With Less Challenge

It’s October and it’s time for another Live With Less Challenge!

We’re getting a late start but I hope you can jump in with us now and start living with less.  This challenge will be unlike any other that we’ve had thus far.  This challenge will largely be up to you.  The ball is in your court so to speak.

How To Enter To Win

  • – Join our Facebook group here.
  • – Find the Live With Less Challenge post set up for that day.
  • – Click the link on that post to read my blog post of the day for decluttering inspiration.
  • – Come back to the Facebook group to add one photo (or more if you really can’t fit it all in one) of the things you’re getting rid of to the comment thread of that post.  It can be an area related to my post of the day (for example, a kitchen junk drawer) or whatever you want it to be.  You know your house and your hot spots for clutter, attack your weak spots.
  • – Repeat this every day to the end of the month.
  • – If you miss a day you can make it up any time but try and not get behind.  The goal of this challenge is to help make decluttering a daily habit.
  • – Watch in our Facebook group for a randomly chosen winner to be announced (from those who completed the challenge from days 5-31)


When we get rid of things, we all win but I’ll be awarding one random winner a $50 Paypal cash prize.  Free money for getting rid of things.  Yay!

Things to Throw Away

You can choose what area to work on and how much you’re going to let go of each day.  There isn’t a set amount.  Many of us are at different stages of the decluttering race and I thought this would be a way for you to stay motivated while working on the areas that plague your household the most.  Need inspiration on areas to tackle?  Check out our list of 200 Things to Throw Away or check out what others are tossing in the Live With Less Facebook group.

You Don’t Have to Throw It Away

Remember, you can donate, gift, recycle, repurpose, or throw away.  Try to let throwing away be your last option if possible.  Be careful not to get stuck on wanting to repurpose or repair things though.  It’s easy to save things for “one day” and that day never comes.

If you have any questions feel free to ask!  Invite your friends, it’s always more fun to do these challenges with friends who can hold us accountable and cheer each other on.  I’m excited to start this new Live With Less Challenge with you guys!  I hope you’ll join us!

Tips for Organizing a Small Bathroom

This post contains affiliate links.

Owning a small bathroom when you’re raising a family can seem like a never-ending battle of trying to stay organized. You want to maintain enough space so you don’t feel crowded while getting ready for your day. Owning a smaller bathroom may have its downsides, there are some perks to your small bathroom. You have less floor space to mop and less room to let unnecessary clutter build up.  When you own a small bathroom, it’s best to learn how to maximize the little space you do have.

Tips to Organize Your Small Bathroom

Use Hidden All Hidden Spaces for Storage

The bathroom sinks that storage under them have their own hidden wall space that can easily be utilized to organize smaller items. This never dawned on me till I was at a friend’s house helping her pack and saw her awesome under the sink organization system.  Use the inside of your bathroom cabinets to place small containers by adhering them to the inside of the cabinet with a semi-permanent adhesives, strong glue, or tiny screws. Then use these mini storage bins to hold hair things, toothbrushes, and other small items. These can be found at the dollar store.  You can even use more substantial ones for storing such things as a hair dryer or curling wand.  Those can be found here on Amazon.  These keep those items easy to access and out of your eyesight.

Organizing a Small Bathroom

Plastic Tubs for Supplies

Purchase plastic tubs or beautiful baskets to hold your hair supplies in. This could include hair gel, extra shampoo, conditioner, curling irons, flat irons, and hair dryers. This tub can be easily placed on the floor underneath the bathroom counter for ease of daily access. This plastic tub for your everyday hair care supplies will help minimize clutter on the top of your bathroom counter.  I use one to store all my extra make up products in and another one to store all of my skin care products in.  I leave the lids off of mine but this picture on Amazon shows them stacked with the lids on.  It’s a good way to make use of all that space.  These totes are inexpensive and can be found here on Amazon.

Bathroom Organization

Add Hooks to the Wall

Purchase wall hanging hooks. These hooks can be used to hang the family’s bathroom towels on. This will free up storage space in your bathroom closet. Having a place for your family to hang their towel after each shower will encourage a clean looking small bathroom at all times. You’ll feel so much better walking into your bathroom when you use hooks to hang family towels.  I can’t find one exactly like ours but we bought a coat rack instead of a traditional bathroom towel bar.  It takes up less space for all the towels to hang together and they still air dry just fine.  The one pictured below can be found on Amazon here for around $20.

Towel Organization

Baskets for Storage

You can get clever with baskets in your small bathroom by organizing the extra towels and other items by putting square baskets on their side and hanging them from the wall. This may take a few screws to ensure the baskets are hung tightly, but once completed you will have a more rustic look to your bathroom with more space to store towels and other extra supplies without making it look cluttered. There are many online tutorials on how to use baskets for wall storage in a small bathroom.  Click here for the tutorial pictured below.

Wall Baskets for Bathroom Storage

If you’re not into DIY this store bought option might be a good fit for you.  You can find it here on Amazon.

Bathroom Wall Basket

Owning a small bathroom doesn’t have to be the end of the world, there are many tips and tricks to ensure your small bathroom can hold as much as a larger bathroom would. It’s simply a matter of being creative and using your imagination for ideas to store your everyday essentials and bathroom supplies. I hope these tips will help inspire you to organize your small bathroom in a creative way.  Don’t forget though, that sometimes what you need is less stuff and not more organization.  As you organize think about each item you’re organizing and if you really need it or not.  Happy organizing!

Tips on Financing a Car

This sponsored post on financing a car is written by me and brought to you by Mr.Ed Auto Approved Loans.

Financing a Car

The aroma of a new car smell, the soft seats, the clean nooks and crannies are only a few of the benefits of a new car.  What? Clean crevices aren’t what excite you about a new car?  lol  Be it the engine, or the fresh start on keeping crumbs at bay it’s important to be well armed with knowledge before buying a car.  Here are some tips to keep in mind when financing a car…

Car Shopping

Research Your Auto Loan Financing Options


While I can guarantee that you’ve probably spent hours online researching potential car options and polling friends on Facebook about which van to buy (What? Just me again?), did you do the same thing on getting your loan?  Dealers are allowed to make money on a loan so it’s important to do your homework.  Everyone should do this but especially if you’re young or you have bad credit you need to check online lenders to get the best rate possible.  Dealers, credit unions, and even your auto insurer may offer a competitive rate.

Check all around and choose the best option for you.  Once you’re prequalified elsewhere it’s a different scenario at the dealership.  You can go in and tell them the rate you’re prequalified at and see if they can meet or beat your rate.

Car Financing

Know the Worth of The Car


I’m not good at negotiations, I’m not. If I want it and can afford it, I’ll pay what they’re asking. If I don’t, I won’t.  I can’t be this way when it comes to cars so I always take someone else with me who can handle the negotiation process.

I’ve heard it said though that the worst time to negotiate the price of a car is after you’ve test-driven the vehicle and given it a good inspection.  Rumor has it that the salesperson will leave and pretend to haggle for a better price for you and come back saying that the manager couldn’t budge on the price.  The salesmen hope you’ll agree to paying more than it’s worth.  When it comes to buying a car, they have the home field advantage.  They sell cars for a living while you may have only bought a handful of cars in your whole life.  They know what “fees” are baloney.  They’ve mastered the best sales techniques.  They can read you.

It may appear that you’re hopeless but here’s what you can do…know the worth of the car you’re looking at.  Get an honest, direct, no hassle, no strings attached price online at websites such as TrueCar.comOverstock.com,CarsDirect.com, and USAA.

Once you have that price quote in hand make a promise to yourself to not pay a higher price at a dealership.  Tell the dealer your price and see if they can offer a competitive price.  Make them play in your field and not in theirs.

Car Downpayment

Don’t Finance More Than 42 Months


Money guru’s say that you shouldn’t take out a car loan longer than 42 months.  If you can’t afford the payment on a 42 month car loan then you should probably buy a cheaper car.  That’s what the financial genius’ say so who am I to argue.

I prefer to pay cash for a used car by saving but sometimes cars may break down suddenly and paying for a brand new car in cash would probably be challenging for most people (I think I remember reading somewhere that only 1% of Americans are able to do so).  However, even if you’re buying a new car, saving for a down payment can shorten your loan length and will save you on interest in the long haul.

There you have it, my three tops on financing a car.  I hope it will help save you money as you spend your hard earned money on a new ride.

Fall Car Maintenance

These fall car maintenance tips are brought to you by Phil Smith Kia.

Car Maintenance

Car Maintenance Checklist



Remove Car Odors

(See our 7 Ways to Remove Car Odors)




Pin this on Pinterest so you’ll always have it close by.

Fall Car Maintenance

7 Ways to Save Money in the Fall

This post is brought to you by Central Avenue Chrysler Jeep.

Before the holiday season picks up and cold weather hits, you have the fall season. This somewhat cooler season brings about the temptation to turn your furnace on at night and start baking to warm up the home. While you may be tempted to spend more to keep warm this fall season, you may want to think twice. Today, I am sharing a few tips on how to save money in the fall season so that you can stay within budget.

7 Ways to Save Money in the Fall

How to Save Money in the Fall

Car Pool with Friends


The sports and recreational season is just heating up.  Kids are being toted to and from 5 or 6 locations a week.  Team up with some fellow parents and take turns ushering kids to their practices.  Be there for the games but save gas money on the practices.

Hold off on A/C and Heat Use


Keeping the A/C off during this somewhat cooler season is a great win. While the evenings get cooler, turning the heater on this early in the season will cost you quite a hefty price. Leaving the A/C and heater off for the fall season will ultimately save you a bundle of money.

Unsubscribe from Email Lists


As we all know, the holiday season is just around the corner. During the fall time, you will see that those marketing email lists you are on start pushing holiday promotions. Unsubscribe from any email lists that you are on to avoid the temptation of unnecessary spending.

Reevaluate Monthly Spending


Fall is a great time to rejuvenate your spending habits. Reevaluate your monthly electric, cable, internet, and car insurance rates. See if there are any current bundle deals or discounted rates that you can take advantage of. Doing this helps offset the budget so that you are prepared for heating fuel season costs.

Cook at Home


Cooking from scratch during the fall season is an easy way to warm up the house as well as save costs on groceries. You may have started to dine out more often or cook less during the warmth of the summer season but use the fall time to start cooking hearty meals for the family.

Open the Curtains


Take advantage of the natural heat source of sunshine. The sun usually shines pretty brightly during the fall season. Open the curtains and blinds during daytime hours to take advantage of this natural heating source. This is an easy way to save money in the fall so that you keep that heater off just a little longer.

Furnace Maintenance


Last, but not least, fall is the time to make sure that furnace has been tended to. Call to get your furnace maintenance done so that you save cash during the heating season. A furnace that gets an annual maintenance done will save a lot of money off your heating bill.

There you have it a few simple tips on how to save money in the fall. This time of year is a joyful one with cooler days that still have that sunshine beaming brightly. Take advantage of my tips shared today so that you can maintain a proper household budget and prepare for the extra costs that will arrive in the winter season.

Why You Shouldn’t Top Off Your Gas Tank

This post on why you shouldn’t top off your gas tank is brought to you by Fred Martin Superstore.

Top Off Your Gas

I just heard that you shouldn’t top off your gas tank.  Did you know that?  I’ve never heard of that before so I did some digging on the internet and it turns out they were right!  To think that I was the one who converted my husband into my topping off the gas tank ways.  Oops!  I just love seeing $40.00 even or $23.45.  It always gave me a little high to hit the number right on the mark.  Well, it turns our that it’s not only bad for your wallet and your vehicle but also for the environment!  Oh boy!

It’s Bad for Your Wallet


BP’s website says, “Gas nozzles automatically click off when your gas tank is full, so topping off the gas tank can cause you to pay for gasoline that’s fed back into the station’s tanks. In some areas, gas station pumps are required to recover gas vapors to prevent them from contributing to air pollution. In these cases, any additional gas you try to pump after the first click may be drawn into the vapor recovery line. Source: www.epa.gov.”

It’s Bad for Your Vehicle


Freep.com says, “Joel Carruso, owner of Caruso’s Auto Repair in Schenectady, N.Y., adds that these systems manage fuel vapor.

Overfilling the gas tank can cause liquid gas to enter the charcoal canister, or carbon filter, which is designed only for vapor. Gas in the system can affect your car’s performance by causing it to run poorly, and damage the engine, he says.

“When we overfill the tank, it sends all of the excessive fuel to the evaporation/charcoal canister and kills the life of that canister,” Carruso says.

Huddleston adds replacing a charcoal canister can cost anywhere from $200 up to $1,500.”

It’s Bad for the Environment


EPA.Ohio.gov says, “Gasoline that spills, as well as fumes that escape, react with nitrogen oxides and sunlight and create smog.”

DriveCleanTexas.org says, “This will help keep fumes from escaping and absorbing into the air. Tighten your vehicle’s gas cap all the way to prevent gasoline and pollutants from evaporating and damaging the air.”

Yosimite.epa.gov has an article (you can find it by clicking here) that was written by Catherine Magliocchetti, who at the time the article was published, was a chemical engineer of the federal agency.  She says, “Topping off is a loser three ways.

First, you lose money when you top off because you pay for gasoline that you don’t get. When the gas pump automatically shuts off, a vapor lock blocks more gas from entering your car. After the tank is full, the gas you pump gets sucked back through an outer “vapor-return” hose into the station’s underground storage tank. The meter may be running, but your not getting the gas.

Secondly, you personally pollute the air because topping off clogs the vapor-return hose with liquid gasoline, so it can no longer return excess vapors. It works on the same principle as the water-filled trap on your kitchen sink, except at the pump, you want gasoline vapors to float back down the hose, not get stopped by a liquid-filled trap that you created by topping off.

Even worse, once you plug up the vapor-return hose, it stays plugged up until someone clears it by lifting it overhead to drain all the liquid back into the underground storage tank.

And thirdly, a gasoline-filled vapor-return pretty much guarantees that you and everyone after you will be breathing in a cloud of volatile gasoline molecules — invisible but harmful — while you pump gas. Excess molecules under pressure can’t float back down the return hose, so they get forced out around the nozzle and into the air. That’s when you smell gas.”

Yikes!  Know better, do better, right?  It looks like some good reasons not to top off your gas but even if it’s wrong, I’d rather err on the side of caution.  I guess from now on I’ll try and resist the urge to get an even dollar amount!  In the past, did you top off your gas tank?