Sriracha Bottles: Short-cut to Repurposing Used Objects

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Sriracha-Soy Sauce-Sesame Oil-Vinegar

Repurposing Sriracha Bottles

If you’re like me, you consume ungodly amount of hot sauce.  There’s at least 4-5 different types of hot sauce at our place at all times.  One of my favorite hot sauce is Sriracha.  It’s flavorful and garlicky, and I just can’t stop putting this on everything! Continue reading

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Save a TON of Money on Electricity by Optimizing Your Energy Use

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Conserve and Get Chipotle

Why Should We Care?

Being able to reduce your energy use has two benefits.  First, it could substantially reduce your monthly energy bill, and second, you can reduce your carbon footprint.  If you don’t believe in climate change, that’s ok.  You still get to save money!

How much money?

That depends on a number of factors.  But like with anything I say about savings, how much you can save in one month is not as important as how much you can save over a year, 2 years, or even 10 years.  For instance, if your monthly electricity bill hovers around $80/month, and you make a few changes and bring that down to about $40/month (that’s the average we pay in our 3 bedroom, 1,000 sqft house with 2 adults and 2 dogs), those $40 savings add up to $480 in just one year, and $2,400 in just 5 years.  I don’t know how much money you make in an hour, but if you’re like an average person in the US, you probably have to work a bunch of hours to make those $480 AFTER-TAX dollars.  If I don’t have your attention by now, that’s almost 70 chicken burritos at Chipotle…  Therefore, I think, saving money in your electricity bill is at least worth a little bit of your attention. Continue reading

Little Secret for Serious Cable Cutters: Amazon Prime Beats Netflix in Value

ImageI just realized that the last time I wrote anything on here was February 12.  In case anyone thought I had abandoned my blog, that’s not the case.  The bar examination started two days ago, and finished just yesterday.  It was probably around February 12 that I started feeling like I needed to spend every waking hour studying for the bar (nothing like time pressure for motivation).  Anyways, that’s all done, and now I’m back writing while I wait for the results to come out.

Recently, I ran into a deal on Amazon Prime.  If you are not familiar with Amazon Prime, it’s a subscription service through Amazon, where you pay an annual fee of $79 and you get: 1) free shipping on the stuff with “Prime” logo; 2) have access to Amazon instant video; and 3) the ability to borrow books from the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.  I had seen Amazon Prime ads before but it never caught my attention.  This time around, they offered a $39 for the first year, so I decided to try it out. Continue reading

George Foreman Grill: The Perfect Tool for a Budget-Minded Kor-exican-American Dinner

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Traditional Korean BBQ

If you know me, I grew up in a Korean household.  My parents cooked Korean food at home.  But I also grew up in Mexico and Guatemala, both countries well-known for their distinctive and flavorful cuisine.  Living in Northwest Arkansas, it’s hard to have access to Korean food.  This makes us get creative when we have cravings.  Many of you know that Korean food is heavily associated with Korean BBQ.  If you think about it, there’s nothing uniquely “Korean” about Korean BBQ other than the sauces, the side dishes, and the fact that Korean BBQ is grilled on the dining table.  Plus, even if we do go to the one and only Korean BBQ joint in this area, we have to spend at least $40 to get a satisfactory amount of food.  In this article, I want to share with you how we satisfy our cravings for Korean BBQ on the cheap. Continue reading

Republic Wireless: The Company that Hit the Cell Phone Sweet Spot

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Moto X

How could I claim to be truly frugal without Republic?  I know a lot of other frugality and early retirement blogs have written on this subject.  However, having used Republic’s service since the Moto X came out (mid November of 2013), I know exactly what it’s like to have a Republic phone, and frankly, none of the reviews I’ve read (including Mr. Money Mustache’s review) tells everything I wish I would’ve known before switching.  To give you a little background, I had a Samsung Galaxy SII and M had an iPhone 5, both with Virgin Mobile’s 300 mins/month + unlimited text & data, paying $35/month and $30/month, respectively.  There are no additional costs with Virgin, so we were actually paying $65/month straight up.

What’s Republic Wireless?

Simply put, it’s a cell phone service company.  I noticed that when people ask me the “what” or “why” questions about Republic, it’s easy to start by answering the “how”.  However, I’ve learned that such response only leads to confusion.  So, I’ll leave the “how” for later.  Like Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon or any other carrier, you buy a phone from them, transfer your number, and boom.  That’s it.  You’ll always be able to make unlimited phone calls and text messages no matter which plan you’re on (except for the cheapest $5/month plan), no questions asked. Continue reading

Shower Heads & Aerators: Easiest Way to Decimate your Water Bill

Water use

Water use

Some months ago, I came across Mr. Money Mustache’s blog on shower heads.  The title was so eye-catching, since he named it “An $800 Gift from Me to You”. It’s no secret that I’m an avid reader of MMM and that he has had a tremendous impact on our new mentality + goals.  I’m not gonna repeat what he so eloquently wrote, but to sum up his points, there’s an easy way to quickly rack up savings in water consumption.

My weird obsession with water conservation is twofold.  For one, I love exercising control over our expenses (especially the recurring expenses like utilities) and derive an immense sense of satisfaction from seeing a lower bill every month, and two, water really is a scarce resource.  I grew up in Guatemala.  While I personally never lacked access to clean water, I’ve seen first-hand, people who do have limited access to clean water.  Also, here’s a timely article on how water shortage is not exclusive to the developing world. Continue reading