Sheet Sets ~ How to Save Money

We’re stocking up on necessitates for the move into our stick-n-brick home.  One of our necessities is sheet sets.

So I set out to figure out how to save money on them…

Sheet Sets - How to Save Money When Buying Them

Black Friday

I’m not a fan of Black Friday (and I know this should have been posted before Thanksgiving) but I was able to score some afternoon deals at Macy’s for some sheet sets for the kids for $12.00.  They aren’t 100% cotton but they are soft and they were a bargain!

January White Sales

Most stores offer large sales on sheet sets (and towel) in January.

February Clearance

Target is my favorite place to scrounge for clearance and their linens will be clearanced in February.  Oh yeah inside end caps…come to mama!

IKEA – Everyday

Sheet sets here start out at $19.99.  This is the normal everyday price and the price doesn’t beat my Black Friday sale, still they’re pretty economical.  You could even save more if catch a sale or join IKEA Family.

Get Crafty – Sew a Fitted Sheet

My kids refuse to use a top flat sheet and previously I showed you how to sew a fitted sheet from a flat.  It’s come in handy.  Instead of cutting the corners out, I left them completely intact.  At some point, they may learn to use a flat sheet and all I will need to do is take out the elastic with a seam ripper and I have a complete set again.

Figure Out What’s Important

Thread count.  Fibers.  Weave-type.  It get’s confusing fast!  Figure out what matters to you.  If you’re a little more particular about your sheets the best value for you is to spend more money for the right quality set.  This post from Get Rich Slowly is very helpful for deciphering the different quality of sheets.

 

So that’s how we save money on this necessity.

I hate jersey cotton sheets, like really hate them.  They are WAY too clingy.  If you have a particular brand/type you’re loyal to or love, I wanna know.  And if you love jersey cotton sheets…sorry to rain on your parade.

 

Travel Trailer, Motorhome, or 5th Wheel ~ Which is Best for Families

When we set out on our full-time RV, we explored all the options for what would be best for our family of 6.  Each particular RV type has pros and cons.

Today I’m sharing what I see as important factors when deciding which of these 3 types of RVs suit a family.

RV Types Best for Families

Travel Trailers

Pros –

  • Economical
  • Lighter-Weight

Cons –

  • Ceilings are Lower
  • Not Well Insulated
  • Smaller Master Bedrooms
  • Minimal Storage

We considered getting a Travel Trailer which is also called a bumper-pull.  The fact that they are less expensive was a draw for us but we decided the loss in space was not worth it.  Looking back, I think we would have been just fine with a travel trailer had we not wintered up North.  (You can order them more insulated but that will drive your cost up.)

Motorhome

Pros –

  • All-in-One Ease of Moving
  • Generator is Usually Included for Boondocking
  • Decent Storage
  • More Seating

Cons –

  • Mechanical Breakdown – Out of Your Home
  • Rarely Come With Bunks
  • More Expensive

When we decided to buy an older RV and undertake a camper remodel, we went with a motorhome.  We love our Winnebago Adventurer and it suits us well.  Since we are a family of 6, we had to get creative with our sleeping arrangements.  I wrote all about our renovations and converting the master bedroom into a bunk room.

5th Wheel

We actually bought a 5th Wheel

Pros –

  • Higher Ceilings
  • Larger Master Bedrooms
  • Much More Storage Throughout

Cons –

  • Winter Energy Costs High
  • More Expensive
  • Less Seating

We actually bought a 5th Wheel and we loved it.  There were so many positives to our 5th Wheel.  In the end, the cost is why we decided to sell it and remodel our motorhome.

So that’s our run-down on RV types.  Hopefully our insight helps you decide what is right for you and your family.

 

RV Toilet Paper Alternative – How to Save Money

Today’s post is getting into the nitty gritty of RVing.

Toilet paper.

Special RV toilet paper is quite pricey, so we set out to find an RV toilet paper alternative.

I’m sharing with you a quick and easy test you can do to find out which regular store-bought toilet paper will work for your RV.  This test also works to determine if toilet paper is septic safe.

Toilet Paper Test Save Money on RV or Septic Safe

For the test, I used Member’s Mark 2-ply toilet paper (this is available at Sam’s Club) and Scott Super Soft 1-ply, (I buy ours from Amazon and have NOT seen it in a regular store).

I did a comparative test just to show the difference.

Here is what you need to do.

Toilet Paper Test

  1. Tear away a decent amount of toilet paper, I used 10 squares for each sample.
  2. Place toilet paper inside a quart-sized baggie. Test for Septic RV Safe Toilet Paper
  3. Add 2 cups of water, seal baggie.
  4. Let sit for a couple minutes. In my picture you can see that the Scott toilet paper already breaking up, the Member’s Mark did not.Scott Extra Soft Toilet Paper Qualitymembers mark toilet paper and septic safe test
  5. Shake baggies slightly.
  6. Check for clumping.  Alternative for Septic Safe and RV Toilet Paper Test

If the toilet paper clumps at all, it is not good for a septic system or RV tank.  Can you get away with it for a couple years?  Maybe.  But in the realm of toilet matters, I prefer to play it safe.

As a general rule, 2 ply toilet paper is just not good for either a septic system or an RV toilet.

For months we used the regular Scott single-ply that was rough and felt like tissue paper, it was not comfortable at all.  Then I found Scott Extra Soft Bath Tissue Rolls, 36 Count and it is just a nice as 2 ply. (affiliate link there)

What a difference!!  Hopefully this helps you figure out an RV toilet paper alternative.

Where to Buy a Used Class A Motorhome

When we searched for a camper to remodel, we wanted to buy used.  We scoured the internet and looked at all sorts of sites to narrow down our options.

I’m here to tell you, if you’re in the market for a used class A motorhome or popup camper (and everything in between) there is a gamut of websites!

Today I’m sharing with you some of the best online options I’ve found to search for used Class A Motorhomes or RVs.  These sites have used RVs for sale by private owner and many have RV dealer ads.  These sites are in no particular order and are sure to keep you busy as you hunt for the perfect Used Class A Motorhomes.

Best Website to Find Used Rvs

Best Websites to Find Used Class A Motorhomes (and RVs)

  1. Facebook Groups.  One of them we’re a member of still is RV Classifieds.  There are other groups out there of course but the ease of Facebook makes this such a quick and simple place to look.  You can post what you’re looking for on this group as well and instantaneous updates make it an easy way to look.  Obviously inventory is small but feedback on particular models is an added bonus.
  2. RV Trader.  Holy cow!  This site is full of RVs for sale.  Fair warning ~ you may get lost in this site for days.
  3. Craigslist.  Of course there is always good ole’ Craigslist.  If you want to search multiple cities, you can use a site such as Tempest.  I really like Tempest, but I wish I could JUST see craigslist ads.  There are other classified ads that show up but Tempest is the mother-load of craigslist search engines.
  4. RVt. This site is similar to RV Trader but not quite as large of an inventory.  That may be a good thing as the vast amount of listings on RV Trader can be overwhelming.
  5. National Multi List Service.  Inventory on here is great too.  One thing I don’t like about this site, is the fact that you only see 4 photos per ad.  The nice thing is, sometimes the ads have video tours.
  6. Classy RV.  Another good site, but the picture navigation is tedious.
  7. RV Registry.  This site also has a decent inventory.  Their search options really allow you to customize and narrow down your results better than others I’ve searched on.
  8. Cranky Ape. This site is actually a bid site.  Risky, but there are deals on there.

 

So what do you think?  Did I miss any great online sources?

 

Homemade Makeup Remover Wipes

When I wrote about my homemade baby wipes, a reader tipped me off to the possibility of using the homemade wipes as makeup remover wipes.  I love her!  I don’t know her but I love her!

Since she mentioned it to me, I’d been using the homemade baby wipes for removing my makeup.  Now I’ve reworked the recipe and have my very own homemade makeup remover wipes that is perfect for removing stubborn waterproof makeup.
First I added more coconut oil because my skin is dry and the oil is helpful in removing waterproof mascara.  I also make smaller batches because I don’t like my wipes to sit for several months wet.
Homemade Makeup Remover Wipes
Since we live in an RV and bathroom space is at a premium, I bought a smaller sealable container from Dollar Tree.  I replaced the half roll of Bounty paper towels with Bounty napkins, (I promise Bounty is not paying me).  I chose Bounty because that particular brand just works better and doesn’t fall apart after sitting in the solution for several weeks.
IMG_2012
And here is my recipe…

Homemade Makeup Remover Wipes

Sealable Container
Bounty Napkins
1/2 c. warm water
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 Tbsp baby wash (you can also use a mild facial cleanser)
Adjust your batch size as needed.
Place napkins in a resealable container.  In a separate bowl, mix the water, coconut oil, and baby wash.  Stir gently and pour over napkins.  Store in a the sealed container.
That’s it, easy peasy!

Dry Baby Wipes Recipe

There was such a great response to my post about how I make my Homemade Baby Wipes, today I decided to revisit the topic and share my dry baby wipes recipe.

First things first though, I’d like to address concerns over molding with the original homemade baby wipes.

From my experience in the 2 plus years of using my homemade baby wipes almost exclusively, I’ve never once had mold.  I do understand the concern though.

So for those of you that want a fail-safe, here are some solutions for you.

  • Add a few drops of Tea Tree Oil or Lavender Essential Oil to your wipe solution.
  • Use distilled water instead of tap water.
  • Use a homemade dry baby wipe.

Dry baby wipes?!

Some companies have started putting out baby wipes that are dry and you simply need to add water to them.  Since I’m going for chemical free and non-toxic, I have a method that is really quite simple and works nicely with either washable cloth wipes, napkins, or paper towels.  I like options!

Homemade Dry Baby Wipes ~ TheNewLighterLife.com

Homemade Dry Baby Wipes

  • Spray Bottle
  • 1 c. distilled water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 drops of Tea Tree Oil or Lavendar Essential Oil
  • 1 Tbsp witch hazel
  • 1 Tbsp baby wash

Pour all of the ingredients into a spray bottle and gently shake.

When you need to use a wipe, shake the spray bottle solution (since the oil will separate – see below) and spray the cloth or paper towel until saturated.

 

Dry Baby Wipes Spray Bottle

Ingredients

Now let’s talk about a couple of different ingredients.

Dry Baby Wipe Ingredients

Olive Oil. Since coconut oil solidifies, and this is a spray solution we have to replace it with olive oil.

Witch Hazel. The witch hazel is added to the solution because of it’s anti-microbial properties (and we no longer have coconut oil in our mix).  Witch hazel is also an anti-inflamatory and known to be soothing to the skin.  Translation – it’s good for diaper rashes – bonus.

Tea Tree Oil & Lavender Essential Oil. Because of this article, many parents are concerned about using either tea tree oil or lavender in a wipes solution for little boys.  You have to decide if you are comfortable with using either one. But I will say, I appreciate this post from TheSmartMama.  Basically, there were only a handful of boys affected and there could have been a multiple of factors that contributed to gynecomastia, (breast enlargement).  Given how many parents use tea tree oil and lavender essential oil on their children, you would expect to see much more gynecomastia.  But follow your gut instinct.

Paper Towels.  If you opt to use disposable wipes, you can use whatever brand of paper towels your heart desires.  The reason I had previously recommended Bounty was because it is very durable and can hold up to sitting in a wet solution without falling apart.  With your homemade dry baby wipes, you don’t need to be concerned about durability.

Conclusion

This wipe solution is a great option for traveling and it’s convenient.  I use little pump spray bottle and stores it easily in my purse.  This particular spray bottle has a little slider that locks it from spraying, I bought it at Dollar Tree.

For travel, I just tuck napkins and the spray in my purse.  If I run out of napkins, I just use a paper towel.

If you’ve tried them, I’d love to know what you think.  Not conventional, but they do the job and they do it well.

5 Ways to Save on Your Verizon Bill

Most everyone we know is trying to cut expenses, and we are no exception.  Today I’m sharing 5 ways you can save on your Verizon bill.  They’re all easy and painless to implement.

Below are the best ways we’ve found to save on our Verizon bill, whether you’re an RVer or not.

5-ways-to-save-on-your-verizon-bill


1.  Share Plans.
  This is probably the biggest savings we’ve found.  We joined a family members plan so we share the basic account access charge.  That charge is simply for having the service and it’s quite a chunk of the bill.  Now this option isn’t for everyone but we have a mutual trust and respect for the other family member.  We’re both paying our portion of the bill and we both save so it’s a win-win.

2.  Change Plans. Previously we were under a very limited plan and were consistently busting our minutes.  After Verizon started offering the Share Everything Plan, we upgraded and ended up paying less for more features.

For some the Share Everything Plans is above what is needed.  Talk to a Verizon Rep and they’ll help you figure out what is most cost-effective.

3.  Discounts.  Verizon offers discount rates for a humongous number of business or reasons.  Student discount. Military/Veteran discounts.  Specific bank member discounts.  Essentially if you’re breathing and live in America, you qualify for a discount.  There are of course instances when this doesn’t ring true but you get my point.  Just ask.  You never know.  More than likely you do qualify and the savings can be substantial.  We currently have a 21% discount and it is su-weeet.

4.  Monitor Usage.  With Verizon’s Share Everything Plan, you really only need to be concerned with your data usage.  Regardless of your plan, you need to make sure you don’t get charged overages which are always more than simply calling and upping your plan for the month.

For example, if you go over your data plan allowance at all, you are charged $15 for each GB.  But if you monitor your usage and see you are going to bust your data,call Verizon and raise your allowance.  If you do so you’ll only pay $10 for 2 GB.  No brainer.

You also can have Verizon automatically set your data back to the lower amount the following month if you think your overage was a freak occurrence.You can monitor your data through Verizon’s website, apps like DataMan, or through text notifications from Verizon.  We rely on the later because DataMan doesn’t pick up what we are using off of our MIFI.

5.  Cut Back.  As full-time RVers, data is a huge portion of our bill.  No matter who you are, you wan to make sure you disable automatic downloads over cellular data on all your devices.  We choose to download when we are near free WIFI.Many RVers connect to the internet off of free wifi hotspots.  We haven’t broken down and done this yet, but if you want more information there is a vast amount out there, like here and here and here are just a few.

With a little trimming to your Verizon bill and you really can save. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you’re not stuck and your plan can change with your changing needs.