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FrugalFriday

Suggestions for Contacting Companies:

In Writing. It’s always best to do it in writing. You are able to think about exactly what you want to say and how to word it. In my case, it comes out much more professional on paper than verbally.

Manners. The first part of being minding your manners when writing  is spelling and grammar. Run spell-check! Nothing says “I didn’t put a lot of effort into this” or “You’re not worth the time”  like poor spelling. The other obvious aspect of manners is language. Make sure that you address your letter politely.

Positive. Try to be upbeat and positive. If possible, start your letter in a positive manner. Is there something about the company/individual that you really like? Start with that. Once you have dealt with your grievance, then try to end on a positive note as well.

Be Non-Confrontational. Once you have said something nice, gently bring forth your grievance in a non-confrontational way. Unless you are just writing them to blow off steam and don’t actually want to work out a mutually agreeable solution, avoid saying things like “you’ve lost my business”. The only reason that a company would want to work with you to rectify any problems is to keep your current business and to maintain a good image in word-of-mouth advertising. Instead, try to phrase it in a way that encourages the company to work with you, such as “I’m unhappy with ___ . I am contacting you to give you the opportunity to rectify the situation.”

Make Suggestions. If you have some suggestions or ideas, politely include these in your letter as well. Many companies, anxious to please, will consider anything that you take the time to suggest, though do not be offended if you do not get the exact solution you proposed. (examples: The car seat cover is torn so perhaps you can send me a replacement? If the exact pattern is not available, a light brown would match as well.)

End in Expectation: Write as if you are sure that they too will be anxious to work with you. Closing with something such as “Thank you in advance for your willingness to work with me in this matter” will encourage agreement on their part.

Do you have a letter writing tip? Or a sure-fire way to get results? Please, Please Share!!

Related Posts: Success Stories: Free Repairs, Replacements and More

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Well earlier this month was a Spring Cleaning Party hosted by Simple Mom. I had every intention of joining in, however, life happened and I missed the boat so to speak. Thankfully she has an e-book entitled Spring Cleaning for Normal People and it’s affordable! I purchased it and am working through it now. Though I will not be posting pictures of everything (or at least I am not I am not planning to…) but these were taken on the one day (day 6) that I did join the party, I just hadn’t posted them.

Bathroom Cleaning! I have four bathrooms which can be a blessing and also, not so much 🙂

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This is Chloe & John’s bathroom. There are actually a couple cupboards and in addition to giving everything a good cleaning, i went through and sorted and organized everything in all the cupboards.

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This is our master bath. A lot of tile! I also moved all the additional supplies (toothpaste etc.) from the kids bathroom into ours. We had used their bathroom cupboards as storage before they came along. I had never cleaned it out before but now anything we would use is in ours and their stuff is in theirs. Imagine that!?! LOL.

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This is the bathroom off of Scott’s home office. It is also the ‘public’ bathroom upstairs. I have a rack and extra bar in there and generally use it for drying our clothes. I am really looking forward to a clothesline this year. Previously, there was a ban on them in our subdivision but it was lifted last year! Hurray! We also store our medicines in this bathroom. Everything is organized into baskets and labeled. Anything expired was thrown out.

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This is our powder room on the main floor. It doesn’t look like I’ve done much – except cleaned up Mr. John-John from the floor LOL. There isn’t much to this bathroom and I clean it on a regular basis anyway. It is also where our learning poster is because we spend a lot of time in here since we are still potty training. We also read our library books here. We generally visit the library every 3-4 weeks.

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Busy, Busy

beePhoto by Wolfpix 

Happy Monday Morning!

I’ve had a busy and productive weekend with lots planned for the week! I’m finally finishing up some projects and I am very excited about that! This weeks overly ambitious plans include:

  • Putting the last side of the last tape onto CD for Graceworks
  • Picking up my gift certificate from the Expositor (it cost me $25 for a $50 certificate but more on that on Wednesday!)
  • Picking up my plates from the company I prepared lunch for last week. I also have to pick up my check 🙂
  • Prepare new topics, pictures and verse for our learning poster and make a trip to the library for appropriate books.
  • Write out 4 thank you cards that have been on my to-do list for a while
  • Raking and seeding the back yard
  • Finishing up my daily schedule (more on that later too)
  • Finishing up my littles Chore Charts (more on that later too)
  • Writing up an outline for a meeting with a local business woman about a project I have been working on for her. The Meeting is on Thursday.
  • Preparing my Posts for Beautiful Calling (Which will include picking/announcing the soapnut giveaway winner so if you haven’t entered, you’d better hurry! It will also include writing my review/giveaway post for the See Kai Run shoes we’ve been testing)
  • Tuesday is bible study with Sandy and Friday is Track & Field at our Church’s school.
  • Despite my busyness I pray to have a Great Week!

Do you have a busy week? What are you up to?

 

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So my Frugal Friday contributions have to do with cleaning supplies. Often we fall prey to the popular misconception that we need to have a cleaner for each task. While some cleaners do work best in performing a specific task, you do not really need as many cleaners as you may think!

  • E-cloths really do work!
  • Less is best! Find a multi-purpose cleaner you are happy with it and use it for multiple purposes!
  • An organized space = easy to find items (frugal with your time).
  • An organized space = easy to see what you have so you do not spend money on what you do not need! (How did I end up with 3 bottles of Windex and a refill jug of it?)

vinegar

Read more at Downsizing: What’s in Your Cupboard?, Cleaning Out Cleaning Supplies and my Earth Day post, More Green = More Green!

FrugalFriday

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In Cleaning Out my Cleaning Supplies, I mentioned that I had downsized. Here is a breakdown!

This is what is currently in my laundry cupboard:

  • Spray n Wash Stick (diaper bag) and Spray (I have only had two things ruined by stains. Both times it was mustard…this takes everything else out!!)
  • Nature Clean box of liquid soap. I mentioned it in More Green = More Green. Love this stuff. Only 1 tbsp does the load. I have a tablespoon right on top!
  • I also have a container of Zero left over from when John was a newborn and allergic to everything. I’m saving it for any future babies that may come along!
  • Nature Clean All Natural Bleach (I do my diapers once a month+/-)
  • A bottle of fabric softener and a couple packages of sheet fabric softener. I rarely use it as I find that it is an unnecessary additive in most cases but there are a few things that I like that extra little scent in!
  • I have a box of oxy-clean powder as well that I am finishing up. I will not replenish this though as I find I don’t really need/use it.
  • I also have used a couple of old baby wipes containers to store things. One has soapnuts in it and the other has my mesh laundry bags for washing delicates.
  • This is what will be in my cleaning cupboard within the next few weeks:

  • Nature Clean Toilet Bowl Cleaner
  • Vinegar (lots of uses for this!!!)
  • Multi Purpose Cleaner
  • Cleaning E-Cloth (just use water)
  • Glass E-Cloth (just use water)
  • Orange Oil (we have some nice wood pieces that need this!)
  • Soapnutscheck out my post here to explore their uses and for an opportunity to win. I haven’t yet used them for anything other than laundry but I plan to as there are tons of cleaning uses for them!
  • What’s in your cupboards? Do you have favorite cleaning or laundry product? I’d love to hear about it

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    Do your cleaning supply cupboards look like mine? A disastrous mishmash of half used cleaning supplies for every imaginable occasion? I hope not. My cleaning supplies are all stuffed and unorganized into cupboards around the house – some under the kitchen sink, the bathrooms, the upstairs hall closet, the laundry room and a shelf in the garage. Well this month’s roundup was an overhaul on a cupboard and I decided to tackle my laundry room cupboards. (Eek!) I wanted to share with you the how-to’s of my project.

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    1. My Plan: in this season of life with littles, I wanted as many of my cleaning supplies as possible all in the laundry room cupboards away from little hands and mouths. I also want as few products as possible while still having the ability to clean properly!
    2. So I gathered up all the cleaning supplies in the house and brought them to the laundry room. The exceptions: dish soap, dishwasher liquid and jet dry all remain under the sink in the kitchen. Method flushable wipes are kept in the bathroom for quick cleanups when necessary.
    3. I then began to purge my cleaning stash. I have accumulated a lot of products, not all of which are necessary. I don’t think that a special cleaner for each individual task though my cupboards sure tell another story! I really do enjoy cleaning supplies – I know, sort of weird. I like to try new things and pretty smelling things etc. Anyway, my point? A multi-purpose cleaner is just fine in many cases. I am going to ensure that I indulge my love of cleaning supplies only with multi-purpose cleaners as I need them!
    4. I downsized to a fraction of what was in there! What’s in my Cupboard? I still have a few cleaning supplies in there that will be used up in the next week or so and then I’ll be all set!
    5. I used an old baby wipes container to house my Soapnutscheck out my post here to explore their uses and for an opportunity to win. I haven’t yet used them for anything other than laundry but I plan to because you can use them in a variety of household cleaning!!
    6. Once I had sorted out what I no longer used, I boxed the rest up for family members to take what they would use and properly disposed of the rest.
    7. I have a plastic stackable bin with drawers beside my dryer. I am going to use these for something. I was given about 10 of these (Hurray!) for free. I was thinking about a nicely labeled drawer for Repairs – a place to keep items that need to go out to be fixed (zippers, hems etc.) and one of the bigger drawers for a Donate drawer and another drawer for Socks Missing Mates…you get the point 🙂
    8. I then gave the cupboards a wipe and put things back into them in an orderly fashion.
    • With the laundry side, I found that it is easiest (and most natural for me) to open the left door so I put the Nature Clean soap that I use most frequently over there.
    • In the cleaning side, I got a caddy for the supplies that I need to carrying with me to clean in the house. I’ll simply pack my caddy and go work on the areas I need to and return the caddy to the cupboard when I am finished

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    Related Posts: Downsizing: What’s in Your Cupboard? and Cleaning Supplies Frugal Friday Post – You Don’t Need All That!

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    green Photo by Ben

    40 Ways to go Greener at Home by Simple Mom appeared in my blogger reading list earlier this week. Though I didn’t have time to read her post then, I began to think about what our family does. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that we do have a substantial list! Most of our earth friendly practices were born out of a need for frugality or for the benefit of our family but they’re green none the less!

    1. Cloth Diapers: We switched to BumGenius 3.0 cloth diapers (a one size, all in one read more here). A bit of an investment but better for baby, more economical and better for the earth! We also use cloth trainers for my toddler. I only have 8 BG diapers so I have to do a load of wash every night. I make the most of that load by adding any other whites or lights that we have in with the diapers. Helps me keep up a bit on laundry too 🙂

    2. Cloth Wipes: Recently I began using cloth wipes too. Since I am already using the diapers, why not use the wipes so then I can just put the wipes inside the soiled diaper and toss the whole think in the diaper pail rather than trying to figure out where to put the disposable wipes while I finish the job.

    3. Baby Food: While I still buy some baby food, I generally try to make my own. Less packaging! Less Cost! Better for Baby!

    4. Toys without Batteries: Too many toys these days require batteries and “entertain” the child. While some of these are fine, I believe that children should learn to entertain themselves and use their imaginations. Toys with batteries are also noisy and drive my dh crazy. Battery-eating toys are also not great for the environment either!
    5. HE Washer: We have a high efficiency front loading washer which uses less water and requires less soap.
    6. Cold Water: Unless I am washing some heavily soiled items (diaper etc.), I try to wash on cold. My clothes come out just fine!
    7. Soaps: We currently use Ecos, Nature Clean and soap nuts for washing our clothes. The soap nuts are compostable, and the nature clean comes in a box, lined with a bag and it has a little spout on the front. I only need 1 tablespoon of soap for a load (even heavily soiled diapers!). Recycle the box and spout and all you’re left with is the bag as garbage. It says it does 129 loads but I get more out of it that that.
    8. Less Laundry: Clothes worn once aren’t always dirty (by adults anyway). My husband and I shower everyday (I know, not environmentally friendly or frugal but we feel it is an essential) but we reuse our towels for the week before washing them. If you’ve done a good job in your shower then you should be clean!
    9. Clothesline: Coming soon. We live in a new subdivision that had a by-law against clotheslines (imagine that!!) Last year they lifted it so this summer I’ll have a clothes line. Hurray!
    10. Avoid Chemicals: Not good for you, your family or the earth. Avoid them when you can. We use e-cloths here and have been very happy with the results. Our lawn isn’t perfect and I pull weeds constantly (a lot of work) but I don’t have to worry about my little ones eating dirt & chemicals because our lawn is just dirt! (Fish Mama talked about Chemicals here and when it comes to spiders – I’m all for chemicals!!)

    11. Composting: We started last summer. Not hard but we don’t do it in the winter because I don’t want to shovel all the snow to get out to it.

    12. Recycle: Recycle what you can but keep in mind that recycling still uses energy etc. to do so it isn’t totally earth friendly. It’s best to try use products with as little packaging as possible, regardless of if it can be recycled.
    13. Packaging: Avoid individually packed items or convenience foods when you are able. We all take advantage of this convenience from time to time but try to avoid it on a regular basis.

    14. Energy Efficient Light Bulbs: This is my husband’s domain but I know we have them.

    15. Turn your Heat Down a few degrees and your a/c up a few degrees. Doing it gradually will help you adjust and you’ll save lots too!
    16. Plan Your Outings so that you can get all your errands done in as few trips as possible.
    17. BYOB: Bring your own bags to the store when shopping. Most stores here sell them for $0.95 but dh saw them on for $0.37/each at Fortino’s.
    18. Buy Second Hand: When we first had Chloe, I would have balked at this because we had the money, why buy used? Well, it makes better use of your money, there is nothing wrong with most used things (I have huge issues about having to be able to wash/disinfect things) and it is better for the environment. After all, if everyone bought new and discarded it when finished, our landfills would be overflowing and we would be creating a lot of pollution with excessive production.

    19. Cloth Napkins: We switched a couple years ago. Ours aren’t actually napkins; they are small cotton dish towels in very cool bright colors. We got them on sale and love them!

    20. No Paper Towel: Because we use the e-cloth for windows and we use cloth napkins, I was thinking we should eliminate paper towel all together. At first my husband balked (after all where would he de-grease his bacon?!) We started using cotton flour sacks and though we still have some paper towel in our stock-pile, we haven’t used it and we don’t miss it!

    So it is only 20 things I came up with but these are what Works for Me. After reading the article by Simple Mom, I could add to the list, but I won’t. You’ll have to go HERE for more ideas! Isn’t it amazing how going green can save you green $$?

    Happy Earth Day!

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