Sunday, October 31, 2010

Free samples

Here are the latest samples I have been able to find from doing searches for freebies. Just click and then fill out the form and the samples will be on their way. Some of the samples may make great stocking stuffers.
It really is better to create a separate e-mail address for freebie requests so, your main e-mail doesn't get flooded with spam. Happy freebie hunting.
Free coffee sample :

Free Deigo/Dora potty training kit from pampers (includes coupon)

Free adult multi-vitamins:!

Free sun cyrstals sweetener sample:

Free foot/leg pain patch:

Free calcium sample:

Free Breathe right strips:

Free Atkins bars:

Free playtex sport tampon samples:

Free children's toothpaste/toothbrush

Free car air freshener:

Free sweetener samples:

I can see the children's toothpaste & toothbrush and the car air freshener making great stocking stuffers. I will post more samples as I run across stay tuned.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Free pumpkin carving templates

I found a wonderful resource for pumpkin templates I wanted to share. Here's the link:

Here's the jack-o-lantern my husband made with my son.

Home made Halloween Makeup

It's the day before Halloween and your children have no costumes and you don't know what to do. Well, this post is for you.
If you are still wondering how you are going to come up with costumes for your children or yourself, here is a reposting of the link to the no sew costumes.
Here are 2 links to recipes for home made Halloween makeup.
With a little creativity, you can salvage Halloween, give your children some fun and a way to get (hopefully) a lot of candy. Now, getting them to share the candy....that's another story.
Please be safe out there.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

How to find a food pantry

If you are in need of food and need a food pantry here are some links for you:
211 is the number to know. In most states, you can call that number and they will be able to refer you to almost any kind of help you need. If you are not sure if 211 works where you are, go to this link and it will tell you the number to call based on your location.

You can also do an Internet search for a food pantry by typing in your city, state + food pantry. Sometimes food pantries can be hard to find so, these links are a great start in your search. It doesn't matter if you receive food stamps, especially if the amount you receive doesn't even cover you for half the month.
Food pantries are nothing to be ashamed about. They are here to help and right now with the economy the way it is, there are people having to go for help that have never had to do so before.  It is a good idea to call the pantry before going to find out if you need to bring any information with you for verification. It is a shame that people are starving in America. When you are back on your feet, maybe you can give back to the pantries that helped you in your times of need.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Weatherization Assistance Programs & LIHEAP

If you are low income, you may qualify for weatherization asistance from your state. They will come and analyze the energy usage in your home and help lower the usage. This may involve insulating your home or maybe replacing your heating system. To find the contact information for your state, go to this website:

I would love to receive some comments on how this program has helped you.

Most states will be taking applications for LIHEAP in early November. They go on your income in October and money is usually sent out in February. This is a federally funded progam to help low income housholds with their energy bills.
To find out more information for your state LIHEAP program go here:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Make Shift Grill to Cook With Wood

I thought I'd share a great idea my husband had. He wanted to grill some chicken but, we had no gas in the grill and no charcoal either. He made a grill from concrete blocks to burn wood. He had 2 metal rods he put imbetween some of the blocks so, he could lay the rack from our grill on them. He then found some wood (read sticks, old branches...etc) and cooked our dinner. I thought this sure will come in handy if we have another hurricane or don't have any power.

The chicken was good and I was quite proud of my hubby.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Free Toy Story Christmas

Have a child that loves Toy Story? I know I do. We did a Toy Story birthday party and I wanted to share a great resource that can be used for Christmas. Go to this website:
You will be able to print and make a 3-D Buzz light year, a 3-D octopus, a whole Toy Story 3 character play set with the nursery background, and a marionette Woody puppet. There are many other items as well. You can also print out coloring pages and make a Toy Story coloring book, which would be great as a stocking stuffer. If you want more coloring pages, just do a search for printable Toy Story coloring pages, and you will be surprised by what's out there. This is the Disney website so, there are printables and games for other characters as well. My son loved playing with the character set at his birthday. I know your child will love it too.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Free toiletries, shampoo, lotion, toothpaste & stuff

If you are on food stamps, you know they don't pay for anything not food. Not having any money when unemployment runs out just stinks. There's still not enough jobs out there and what was that?  You are out of shampoo, lotion, and other toiletries. I hear you. One of my favorite sites:  has numerous wishes for toiletries. I will do an article on them soon but, for now what to do about getting the things you need... Getting the coupons from the Sunday newspaper is a must. If you can't afford the paper, see if a relative or neighbor will give you their coupons. Also, check your local libary as many of them have a place for people to put coupons, which are free for the taking. Coupons for $1.00 off any size Tide and $1.00 off pert plus shampoo 2 in 1 or 3 in 1 will get you a free sample at Walmart. The sample sizes are near the pharmacy. You may have to pay tax but, that won't be much. Coupons for $1.00 off any size All laundry detergent will get you a free sample at Target. $1.00 off of Reach floss coupon will get you free floss at Walmart. The recent $1.00 off Gain dishwashing detergent will get you free dishwashing detergent at Walmart. $1.00 off Marcal Smart Steps coupon will get you a free box of kleenex. I found the kleenex at Bi-lo but, you can check to find out where to find it near you. Sign up for their newsletter and you may score some free coupons.
Create an e-mail account just for signing up for freebies and coupons so, your regular e-mail isn't flooded with spam. Go to,,, and There are samples available right now for shampoos, lotion, & toothpaste. Keep checking these sites and soon your mailbox will be a treasure box you can't wait to check. These samples can fill a need now or they can make great stocking stuffers for Christmas. More to come soon.....

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Homemade Christmas

The economy is terrible. Many people are on unemployment or worse yet unemployment has stopped. Christmas is right around the corner and for many families, it is the first Christmas they have no idea how they will have a Christmas at all.
This would be the year to have a homemade Christmas. This is the year to do more as a family and to create precious memories. Make gifts for your family, children, and friends. Watch Christmas movies together. Make homemade ornaments and tree trimmings. Bake Christmas cookies as a family. Take a walk or drive around to look at Christmas lights. Attend a free Christmas parade. Get involved with Church. Many will have special services or Christmas plays. Attend a live nativity. The options are limitless if you put your mind to it and keep your eyes and ears open. Here are a few of my favorite websites to get homemade gift, recipes, and decoration ideas:                                                                       (scroll down for Christmas ideas) (plan to be at this site for a long time) (do a search for Christmas) This website has a wealth of money saving ideas. The recipe section has recipes for even convenience foods and of course there are recipes for gifts in a jar.
Also, check your local craigslist and free cycle groups daily. Many people are giving toys, Christmas trees, decorations, and other items you can use. The offers will be more plentiful the closer we get to Christmas. It helps you and keeps items out of the landfills. Think about your best Christmas memories, I bet it wasn't so much the gifts as it was the time together as a family and the activities done together. I hope you have the best memory making Christmas ever.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Dollar Tree Christmas

Many parents are extremely worried about how they are going to provide Christmas for their children. I understand the feeling all too well. Before my husband's unemployment ran out, I was able to get some used toys for my son but, it breaks my heart when he sees an advertisement on TV or sees something in the store and begs for it. Of course, I have to tell him no because we just don't have the money. His response is, "Well I guess I can ask Santa to bring it for Christmas" (insert knife in heart and twist).  I hope some of you that still have unemployment, or better yet a job will be able to get some presents for your children, while you still have some income. If you have a dollar tree near you, now is the time to go. They are stocking Christmas items now and they do take SNAP (food stamps) so, that should help with candy, cookies, or any other food items.
Here are some suggestions:
stocking stuffers: candy, cookies, Christmas pencils/pens, Coloring book & crayons, toothbrush & toothpaste

Children's presents: Disney (princess, Cars...etc):  jump ropes, yo yos, harmonica, maracas, stamp activity set, ribbon batons, jewelry sets with changeable gems, tea set, flying discs
(now for not Disney): children's aprons that are great for artwork, cowboy/cowgirl hat, fire fighter helmet, fire fighter action playset, toy dinosaurs, mini monster trucks, 12" newborn baby doll, outfits for doll, magic baby doll bottle, toy soldiers, policemen, firemen...etc, 6 count die-cast cars, hot wheel cars, light up plastic paddle balls, pack of 3 card games, Tigger & Pooh 25ct puzzle, mermaid playset, pirate playset, cheerleading playset, 3 count juggling balls, and Christmas stuffed animals, books

Older children & teens' presents: animal friends paint by number set, non skid slipper socks, wooden travel peg games, polyston figurines (snowmen, Santas, teddy bears), snow globes, velvet art posters, hair accessories, put together a makeup kit, put together a car kit, put together a bath/pampering kit, dream catcher

women's presents: Christmas kitchen towels, oven mitts, place mats, put together a makeup kit, put together a bathing kit (body wash, candle, inflatable pillow with suction cups, bath sponge, microfiber hair towel, exfoliating bath gloves), put together a nail kit, Christmas village mini house, candy dish, decorative nutcrackers, non slip slipper socks, & crafting supplies

men's presents: wooden travel peg games, screwdriver set, put together a tool kit (flashlight, safety goggles, plastic level, tape measure, screwdriver), work gloves, put together a car kit (tire shine, terry towels, shammy, car wash...etc), ceramic mug, Christmas tie

They also have ornaments, stockings, Santa hats, cards, gift wrap, gift bags, and decorations. Look for more of these items to be added each week along with other Christmas items.
As you can see, Dollar Tree has a lot of items to help make Christmas special for your family.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Free eye exams and possible eyeglasses for the needy

Here's a resource for free eye exams and possibly glasses for low income people. It is Vision USA and here is the link:

This organization will provide eye exams to people with no insurance or medicaid who need an eye exam.
Without your health, you can do nothing to change your situation. If you need an eye exam and you qualify for this, please look into it today.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Medication Patient Assistance Programs

If you do not qualify for medicaid, do not have insurance, and are having a hard time paying for your medicines, I have some good news for you. Chances are you qualify for the patient assistance programs that the major drug companies have. Here is a link:
You should be able to type in the medicine name and any programs available will come up. Many of them have application forms you can print right then. Your doctor will have to fill out part of the form and you fill out the rest and attach any information they need for proof of income. Most of the programs will qualify you for a year and give out medicines for 3 months at a time. There will be paper work every 3 months but you shouldn't have to qualify financially more than 1 time a year for most of the programs. If you do get insurance or later qualify for medicaid, you will need to notify the program as you will no longer be eligible.  If you do get insurance or on medicaid, you won't need the patient assistance program anymore anyway.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Free Cell phone with 250 minutes a month for people with low incomes

Safelink wireless is a government supported program that provides cell phone and up to 250 minutes per month to people with low incomes or people that are on food stamps, public housing, or mediciad.

Each state has different guidelines. In general, you probably will qualify if you meet these conditions:
  1. You receive Public Housing Assistance, Food Stamps or Medicaid.


  2. Your income is around poverty level
You can not be receiving this service through another carrier and you need a physical address in the US.
Here is the link:

House sold at foreclosure for more than owed, you may be owed money

If you have lost your home to foreclosure and the bank sold it for more than you owed on the loan, you are quite possibly owed money. Contact the clerk of superior court in the county that the home was sold in to find out if you are owed money. They will be holding the money for you and should  be able to instruct you on how to get a check issued to you.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Free Mammogram & Cervical Cancer Screening for the needy

Did you know, if you are uninsured and are not on medicaid, you can get a free mammogram and pap smear for cervical cancer? If you are in need of screening or know a woman who can benefit from this, here is the website link:
This program is in all states is the US.  If you go through this program and are diagnosed with cancer, you will automatically qualify for medicaid. Breast cancer has affected my mother and 2 of my aunts. Please don't hesitate to get this screening if you are in need.

Broke and need Halloween Costumes for the kids

I have just found a whole list of no sew costumes for Halloween. Here is the link:
If money is tight and you don't know what to do about costumes for your children or even yourself, check out the list of ideas. Some are very simple to do.
Since, time is short and I don't know how to sew... I may just try one of these costumes and adapt it for adult size. My son wants Mommy and Daddy to dress up this year too.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Free Samples for you to stretch your budget

Companies give free samples to get you to try their product and to hopefully buy their product. If money is tight or nonexistent, samples are a great way to stretch your budget and to try new products. To start you off, here are some free samples for you. Samples go fast so please let me know if any of these samples are not available anymore. - oxy samples - crest toothpaste sample - certificate for sample of prosobee baby formula redeemable at your doctor's office  - Shout Color Catcher sample

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cheap or Free Laundry Detergent

If you do not have the money for laundry detergent, here are some ideas for you to try. How about free All or Tide? If you have a coupon for $1.00 off any size, head over to Walmart and check out the sample sizes, usually near the pharmacy. Their 1 load Tide sample costs $1.00. Also, Target has a sample size of All for $1.00. The only thing you would pay would be the tax.
If you truly do not have any money, check out the trash can in a laundry mat. People think their detergent bottle is empty and throw them away. Chances are, if you turned the bottle upside down, enough would run into the cup to do 1 load of laundry.
If you are just sick of paying high prices for laundry detergent and want to learn to make your own, here is a link to the Duggars' recipe page on their website. They have several recipes for laundry detergent. They also have their favorite food recipes for those interested.

Food Stamps & Coupons

Did you know you can use coupons with food stamps? You really can. It is a great way to stretch your allotment. I must warn you that some grocery stores still charge tax on the coupons. Also, if you buy a non-food item in the same order and use coupons, sometimes a little more money is subtracted from your food stamp balance. I do not understand why this happens but, any time it has, I have been told it is because I used coupons. If you do not receive much in food stamps, you will want to buy your non-food items in a separate order. If you receive a good amount in food stamps, it's in your best interest to combine food and non-food items together. Any time I have combined them, a little more is taken from food stamps but, I pay less out of pocket for the non-food items. Sometimes, I have even received cash back. I guess they are giving me the extra that was charged to food stamps because I used coupons.  By combining coupons with sales, I have almost doubled the amount of food I can get using food stamps. It is well worth the time to clip and organize coupons and to plan your purchases based on sales.


We hear the recession is over but, I disagree. My husband's unemployment just ran out and we are struggling to survive. My husband is known as a 99er. 99ers are people who have used all their unemployment and extensions do not apply to them. The government is doing nothing to help and is basically ignoring this group who grows larger by the day. The news doesn't report on this group. The 99ers are being cast aside by their own government. You know the government that is supposed to be for the people. There are millions of 99ers out there who do not have money to pay their bills or buy necessities. They are losing their homes and living on the streets, or if lucky in their cars. The holidays are coming and businesses count on making profit then to be in the black. I am curious to see what happens when millions of 99ers aren't able to shop for the holidays. How will that effect the economy?  I believe it will be a very long time before the economy recovers, if it ever does. It is now a different world and I am terrified of what the future holds for my little boy.

What put my family in this position? My husband changed careers, he now drove a big rig. The economy started going downhill. The company he worked for worked their employees to death. I mean make them drive as many hours as the law allows and change their shifts constantly. Employees are afraid for their jobs so, they won't or can't stand up for themselves. It was July 2008, my husband had worked late the night before and now was working a day shift. They put him in a truck with no air conditioning. When I picked him up that night, he started acting he didn't understand things being said to him. We got home and he yelled at our son, which was unusual. Then he said he had a headache. I sent him to bed and about an hour later he had a Grand Mal seizure. In the ambulance on the way to the hospital, he had another one and quit breathing. He ended up being put into a coma and on life support. His kidneys shut down. He was there for a week being treated for dehydration and for his kidneys. The day he came home, he told his employer he had a seizure. They fired him and cancelled our health insurance. They back dated it to the day before his last day so, the insurance refused to pay the hospital bills. Every agency I called, said this was legal as long as they offered COBRA.
Unfortunately, this happened right before the time period where the government would help pay the COBRA premiums. It took a good year to get my husband on the right medicine that would control his seizures without him having a personality change (terrible rages). He received unemployment but, food stamps would only give us $79.00/month for a family of three. It was hard to pay the bills and feed and clothe our son. We did it. I used coupons religiously and shopped the sales. Clothing came from the thrift store or Goodwill. We went to food pantries and for a while used a free clinic. My parents helped us as much as they could. In fact, they are still trying to help but, they are now hurting too.
My husband is doing extremely well now. He became a client of vocational rehabilitation and trained for a career in phlebotomy. He still needs to become certified but, we are working on that. He has done his clinical hours. Everyone hears the medical field is where the jobs are. I did a search last night for phlebotomy jobs on 5 different job search sites. I only found 3 positions any where near us. Two want 2 years experience, and the other is part-time. I wonder if our situation will ever improve? He hasn't had a seizure since, but the discrimination is everywhere he goes. If he tells the interviewer he has been diagnosed with epilepsy, he doesn't get a call back. One interviewer told him he was perfect for one job ( not phlebotomy) but, my husband told him and that was the end of that. I hope the phlebotomy field has more positions soon and that someone will give him a chance.

This blog will be about survival. It will include tips and resources to help you. People need to help each other because the government doesn't care. It is wrong to not extend unemployment for the millions that have used all their benefits, when there has not been enough jobs created for even half of them. Welcome to the new face of poverty. It's not the lady on the street collecting cans in her shopping buggy. It is your neighbor, your friends, your family and possibly you. It is my hope that this blog will be a resource for anyone who needs help.