3yt at Reddit created a Google spreadsheet that produces a shopping list. This free tool includes a link to search for recipes.

If you want to try this tool, go to the “File” menu and choose “Make a copy…” for your own version.




IRS has a free online tool to help you in determining the simplest tax form(s) to file your taxes.



10 Simple, Frugal Tips to Save Energy in Summer

Depending on where you live, you may spend more money on energy to cool off in summer than to warm up in winter. Here are ten simple ways to save energy in summer.

1. The number one way to conserve energy in the summer is to raise your thermostat to 26 ºC or 78 ºF when you are away from your home for more than eight hours. By doing so, you could save up to three per cent on cooling costs for each Fahrenheit degree of increase. (1)

2. If you have central air conditioning, close off vents in and doors to unused rooms. For occupied rooms, use ceiling and other fans to provide additional cooling. (2)

3. Before you turn on the air conditioner, turn on the fan first to keep your house cool. A ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about four Fahrenheit degrees. (3)

4. Another strategy is to turn off heat-generated items, such as lights or a spare fridge. Replace any incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or LED lights. Incandescent light bulbs give off more heat than light, so you are heating the air in the warm summer. With respect to the extra fridge, by not using it, you could save 10 to 25 per cent on your electric bill. (4)

5. In the kitchen, there are two ways that reduce energy consumption and save you time. The first method is to use your microwave more, as it uses two-thirds less energy than your stove. The second method is to use your dishwasher to wash your dishes. Handwashing uses more water. Be sure to let the dishes air-dry to save even more energy. (5)

6. Plant deciduous trees and shrubs against the south and west sides of your house. In summer, the leafy foliage shades against the heat, and in winter, bare branches let sunlight stream into your house. Three big shade trees could save up to $250 off you annual energy bill. (6)

7. If you have a pool, consider reducing pool filtration time by 30 minute increments daily. Install a timer to control the length of time that the pool pump cycles. (7)

8. The simplest and most fun tip is just to spend more time outside of your home. From swimming in the community pools to exercising outdoors, spending less time in your house will help your energy bill. (8)

9. If you are renting, Apartment Therapy has ten tips to conserve energy for renters, even though you do not own the building or property. Some of the tips include caulking and sealing around windows and doors to combat air leaks, and using power strips to stop electronics from drawing phantom electricity.

10. Pinterest has many interesting ideas submitted by members on save energy in summer.

Photo credit: Gavin St. Ours


How to save money on Apple products

Apple products tend to sell at similar prices no matter where you shop. Aside from looking at weekly flyers, here are other ways to find deals on your next iPod, MacBook and other Apple products.

1. Begin by finding the regular price at the online Apple store.

2. Visit other sites, such as, BestBuy, and Staples, to compare if they offer better prices.

3. If you are a college student, parent buying for a college student, faculty member, teacher, homeschool teacher, educational administrator or staff, visit the online Apple education store to see if you qualify for education pricing.

4. If you work for the government, visit the online Apple store for government agencies and employees (including military personnel).

5. If you work in a major corporation, your employer may offer an employee purchase program (EPP) with Apple. The EPP offers reduced prices on some Apple products. Contact your human resources department for details.

6. If you not part of the any aforementioned groups, you may have to consider whether getting a refurbished Apple products will suit you. I recently bought a refurbished iPod Touch from, and when it arrived, the device looked as if it were new. I could not tell that it was refurbished.

7. When you are ready to shop, be sure to visit eBates or other cash back sites first to get rebates for your purchase.

If you know any other ways to save on Apple products, share them in the comments below.

Photo credit: Tatsuo Yamashita