Find A Festival Near You

carnivalFall is a great time for weekend festivals! The weather has cooled down and your kids need something on the weekend to get them out of the house and moving about your community. So do some research and find a fun and entertaining festival nearby where you live and go check it out! Festivals are usually cheap and usually even free, family outings that are active, enjoyable and educational for your whole family.

If you live in the Portland, OR area, here is a list of some great festivals going on this weekend.

-Green Sprouts Organic Baby & Family Fest-Saturday, September 26 (10am-5pm)

Green Sprouts Festival is a fun, festive and educational one-day event for the whole family that celebrates and promotes the nurturing of life through nature. From pregnancy to childhood, parents can learn about and explore eco-friendly, community-involved, natural, and healthy options to raising their families.

-17th Annual Portland Juggling Festival, September 25-27

The Portland Jugglers is a rich community of people from around the globe that use the Portland, Oregon area as a place to nurture juggling as a hobby and a lifestyle.
Once a year, we focus our collective energies to put on the biggest regional juggling festival in North America, which draws jugglers from around the world to come and see what is happening this year.

-27th Annual Grape Stomping Festival at St. Josef’s Winery, September 26 (12pm-6pm)

The Original NW Harvest Festival- complete with fun music, homemade food, casual & lively crowd- and of course stomping.  Owners Josef & Lilli started the festival to honor the ones they grew up with in Europe. Wine tasting of the reserve wines and new releases,  plus the ‘famous’ tours by the winemaker.

-2009 Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, September 26-27

Activities for the whole family
The 2009 Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival is scheduled for Sept. 26-27th with workshops on the 25th. Next year’s featured breed will be Primitive sheep, including Icelandic, Jacob and Navjo Churro. Naturally, primitive sheep produce the perfect fiber for the featured handcraft — rug making.

10 Helpful Ways to Save Money


  1. Cancel the Newspaper – If you get the newspaper for the coupons, consider getting the Sunday paper only and save about $10 each month.
  2. Turn off the AC or Heat (depending on the season) – This can actually save you upwards of $70 each month in the peak of the season.
  3. Stop buying Lottery Tickets – Lottery tickets if bought on a weekly basis can really cause damage to your checking account.
  4. Start renting movies – Movie theater tickets are around $10 per person making a night out at the movies a big expense. Renting a movie is around $4 and only $1 if you use Redbox.
  5. Try Camping – Instead of staying at hotels, try camping, its great for bringing families closer together in both sense of the word.
  6. Learn to Bake – If you commonly buy cookies, cakes or pies, try making your own and save on the high prices of baked goodies at the grocery store. You will find homemade tastes better too!
  7. Make your own coffee – Stop those daily trips to Starbucks or coffee shop of choice and start making your coffee at home. The savings will astound you – $70 a month for latte, $30 for drip.
  8. Disconnect your land line – If you already use a cell phone and your land line usage is pretty low, try disconnecting your land line and using only your cell phone.
  9. Ride your bike or carpool whenever possible – Its not always the most convenient way to get around but it will save on gas and long term expenses for your car.
  10. Cook at home – Not only does this save money but it is much better for helping you maintain a healthy weight too.

How to Save Money at the Bar – Drinking your way Through the Recession

860700_56793699Some days its nice to just get out with friends and enjoy conversation over a few drinks. And there is nothing wrong with going out to your local bar for a drink or two with your buddies, but if your not careful you can find yourself blowing your whole budget on one single night on the town. We all could use some help on saving money at the bar.

Here’s some helpful tips on how to drink like a king on a pauper’s budget:

  • Ask the Price – Bars do not show prices because they know if you realize how much you’re paying, you are much more likely to order less expensive drinks and order fewer drinks. Before ordering a drink, ask how much it’s going to be, and see if they have a price list available so you can get something that you can afford.
  • Don’t Buy a Round – In some social circles, it’s a custom for everyone to buy one round for the group. Just keep silent and don’t offer to buy a round.
  • Know Your Drinks – Get the most bang for your buck by ordering the drinks with the most alcohol. Long Island Ice Teas are your best bet.
  • Attend Happy Hour – Usually at happy hour you can get some beers and wines at cheaper prices than normal.
  • Avoid Cover Charges – Make sure you hit bars that do not have a cover charge.
  • Skip the Food – Unless they have a happy hour menu, otherwise the food at a bar is expensive for the small portions you get.

5 Tips to Help You Save on School Supplies

854122_618421301. Do some home shopping. Before heading to the store to buy whats on the school list, check what you already have at home. Don’t be afraid to reuse last years supplies if they are still in good condition.

2. Take advantage of Tax-Free weekends. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia offer this shopping perk: During one weekend in August, back-to-school items, like backpacks and footwear, are tax-free.

3. Comparison shop. Check out the sales at different stores to see who is offering the best deals. If you can find a store that price matches, you wont have to burn up extra gas to get the good deals that each store offers.

4. Buy a backpack with a warranty. Book bags take a beating, so buy your child’s backpack from a reputable company, such as LL Bean, REI or the North Face, that guarantees its merchandise. If a zipper breaks, the company will replace the backpack at no charge or it may give you your money back.

5. Only buy what you need. Once you’re in the store, all those fun extras can be tempting, especially for the younger ones, stick to your list and leave the store with only the items you need.

Keeping Your Summer Water Bill Low

watering-lawn-or-gardenAs the heat of summer turns up, trying to keep the grass green and the plants growing can consume tons of water and send your monthly bill through the roof. Here are some tips to help you keep the summer water bill at a reasonable level.

1. Try to take showers instead of baths.

2. Turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth.

3.Collect rain water and recycle it to water the plants.

4.Make sure your faucets aren’t dripping.

5.Use a bowl full of water when doing the dishes instead of leaving the tap running.

In general, turf grasses need about 3/4″ — 1″ of water per week to maintain green color and active growth. However, during certain times during the summer when high temperatures are the norm, you should allow lawns to naturally slow down in growth during those extreme conditions. You may let the lawn go almost completely dormant in hot weather. Many factors such as the soil and weather all have a role in the lawn’s water needs.

Check out American Lawns for more info on how to water your grass efficiently.

Save money while pregnant with WIC

wic_logoRecently my wife and I found out we are having twins! We are very excited but have, no more than ever, been thinking about ways that we can save money. We both work part-time and so we have to be very efficient with our finances. A friend of ours told us about an Oregon program called WIC which provides nutrition and free groceries to mothers who are expected or have newborns. The process was easy and we qualified! We went shopping yesterday and received $25 of groceries for free! Things like milk, cheese, beans, cereal, some fruits and vegetables and other essentials are available for those that qualify.

Food, nutrition counseling, and access to health services are provided to low-income women, infants, and children under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, popularly known as WIC.

WIC provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children who are found to be at nutritional risk.   State Contacts

Established as a pilot program in 1972 and made permanent in 1974, WIC is administered at the Federal level by the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Formerly known as the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children, WIC’s name was changed under the Healthy Meals for Healthy Americans Act of 1994, in order to emphasize its role as a nutrition program.

Most State WIC programs provide vouchers that participants use at authorized food stores. A wide variety of State and local organizations cooperate in providing the food and health care benefits, and 46,000 merchants nationwide accept WIC vouchers.

The WIC target population are low-income, nutritionally at risk:

  • Pregnant women (through pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after birth or after pregnancy ends).
  • Breastfeeding women (up to infant’s 1st birthday)
  • Nonbreastfeeding postpartum women (up to 6 months after the birth of an infant or after pregnancy ends)
  • Infants (up to 1st birthday). WIC serves 45 percent of all infants born in the United States.
  • Children up to their 5th birthday.


The following benefits are provided to WIC participants:

  • Supplemental nutritious foods
  • Nutrition education and counseling at WIC clinics
  • Screening and referrals to other health, welfare and social services

You can check out the eligibility requirements at more here.

5 Online Sites to Watch TV Without Cable

1187553_18694232I have had a few friends tell me that they have decided to go without cable TV, due to the high cost and hard economic times. At first I thought that would be hard but as different ones have told me, there are many options on the internet. And most all of us has a computer or two in our house, making watching tv on the computer not so hard to do.

1. Splash Cast Media SplashCast allows you to watch your favorite TV shows where you already spend your time online: in Facebook and MySpace. This is a fundamentally new way to watch TV.

2. Hulu Finally, TV on your terms. Watch your favorite videos right from your browser, anytime, for free. With full episodes of TV shows both current and classic, full-length movies, web originals, and clips of just about everything, Hulu is the place to watch and enjoy premium videos from the biggest names in entertainment.

3. ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX – All offer free full length episodes from shows that air on their stations.

4. FreeTube A service that lets you watch live Internet TV channels online for free without the need for any special hardware, software or subscription service. We are a completely free alternative to cable or satellite television that lets you watch tv channels and tv shows online using just your browser.

5. Jump TV Offers complete end-to-end solutions for delivering premium sports, international and variety programming worldwide through the internet to consumers’ televisions or computers.

Hotel Deals

1175645_51196225Shopping hotels is no fun when you are trying to get a good deal. Well its just no fun, but when you need a hotel, you have to face your fears and get that dirty work done. Below is some helpful sites to help you find the best deals. is a great place to start. You can sort them by price, guest rating, hotel rating, or hotel name. The guest reviews are sometimes disappointing but very helpful none-the-less.

Orbitz – They divide the hotels by sections in the city, which is very convenient when you are looking for a specific area to stay in. The problem I have been coming up with is that the price for the hotels at Orbitz has been considerably more expensive than if you just go to the hotels site.

IgoUgo – They will compare up to 11 sites with one click to help you find the best deal. They give you helpful reviews from guests who have been there, making the choice easier. They also have travel forums, a community blog and a way to create a trip journal that you can share with others.

Cheap Tickets – A great user-friendly site, easy to navigate and helpful. The prices weren’t the best but reasonable.

Overall had the best site for navigating around and definitely had the best deals.

If you know of a hotel in the area you want, with a great reputation, just go to their site and see what deals you can get there. They usually have special deals for people with AAA, AARP or for Government/Military personel. And often times the deals you get directly from the site are better than the hotel sites.

4 Beauty Problems Solved on the Cheap

630548_81374301Women and even some men seem to always be looking for cheaper ways to take care of those beauty issues we face everyday. And especially these days with the hard economic times pushing in from every side. Here are some helpful ways to solve those beauty issues on the cheap.

1. How to shrink pores: You cant reduce them for good, but one inexpensive way to make yours less visible is a clay mask. You can buy a clay mask from the store for about $4 but using what you already have at home works just as well. Leave egg whites on your skin for 10 minutes, or swipe on witch hazel after you clean your skin.

2. How to fight the frizz: Dark beer poured on just-washed hair, rinsed after two minutes and followed by a conditioner works wonders. Weekly coconut-oil scalp massage keeps hair silky-smooth too. And for a midday touch up, dab on a drop of hand cream onto frizzy spots.

3. How to soften up all over: For elbows, rest your elbows in grapefruit halves for five minutes; the citric acid exfoliates. For your heels, dry and rub in extra-virgin olive oil.

4. How to stop breakouts: Dermatoligists recommend after washing your face to put on a 2% salicylic acid lotion from the drugstore. Or dissolve an asprin (salicylic acid in solid form) tablet in a bit of water to form a paste, apply to the breakout and rinse after 3 minutes. Another tip: always dry your face with a seperate towel than the one you bath with, which may have bacteria or oily hair conditioner residue on it.

Gas Prices

110167_2080Last year, in June, I wrote an article; 6 Tested Gas Saving Tips, which was about how to save money on gas by helping educate you on cars.

With gas prices well over $4.00 everyone is looking for gas saving tips that really work. website has a great article on what really saves gas. They have tested the tips and give you the Results, Cold Hard Facts, Recommendations and an explanation on how these tips were tested. They claim “If you listen to us, you can see hybrid-type savings without having to buy a new car”. Go try these tips for yourself and start saving money today. Do you have any gas saving tips? Please share them.

Its hard to believe that the gas prices were over $4 last year. Right now the average gas per gallon is $2.30, making driving long distances a bit easier on the pocket book. So if you are planning on taking a road trip this summer, check out for all the information you need on Gas Prices throughout the US, so that you can make a gas budget for your trip. AAA has a Fuel Cost Calculator that can help you calculate the estimated fuel cost of your trip.