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Her Place for Eco Friendly Fashions

How to Spend Well Even If You Have Tight Budget

It seems everyone is on a tight budget lately. Consumers have found they have to find creative ways of cutting back without cutting everything out. There are ways to spend well even if you find yourself on a tight budget.

Coupons

Utilizing coupons can sometimes cut your bill in half.  Just watch the show Extreme Couponing. Now you don’t have to be an EXTREME couponer or have a hundred bottles of shampoo in a stash to save money. But if you watch sales and watch which stores double coupons, it can add up to significant savings.

Loyalty Programs

Many chains know consumers are watching their wallets and counting every penny they spend, as they want those even those small amounts to be spent in their stores. Loyalty programs entice consumers into the store for the specials they offer and hope they spend a certain amount there as well. Loyalty programs can save the consumer money on everything, from games to shampoo.

Loyalty programs may be in the form of a card that earns points, special coupons or instant rebates. Sometimes you can combine loyalty programs with coupon savings for even greater savings.

Financing

Sometimes couponing isn’t enough to help your family get by. When faced with a family emergency, such as a car accident, death in the family, or other trauma hospital bills can become overwhelming. In this situation there is little you can do to maintain these high payments. However, cash loans provided by Plain Green Loans can help you pay these bills, and still provide for your family.

Entertainment

Being on a tight budget doesn’t mean cutting out all forms of entertainment. Subscribe to a service such as Netflix or Amazon on Demand as a substitute for going to the movies. This not only cuts out the expensive pop and popcorn at the theatre but also, allows the subscriber to watch many movies or stream them at a low price.

Your family will probably enjoy more movies at a lower cost than they typically do during any given month.

Dining Out

There are plenty of ways to dine out even on a tight budget. Lots of restaurants offer special nights during the week when children eat free with a paying adult. These are usually offered on the restaurant’s slower evening so crowds are rarely a problem.

Discounts

Many retailers offer discounts such as senior citizen, military and student discounts. Take advantage of these discounts every time they are offered. If you don’t see them offered, do not hesitate to ask.

It can be challenging to stay within a tight budget, but it can be done while still enjoying some of the finer things in life!

Image via Wikipedia

Tips When Starting Your Own Fashion Line

Starting your own fashion and clothing line can be a fun and exciting venture; especially when you have total control over your business plan, business name, clothing designs, and all other decisions that must be made when starting a new business.

Continue reading the tips below to gain the best insight into starting your own fashion line.

Image from Flickr

Develop a Business Plan

  • Perform research to determine your target market and competition. For example, if you want to design sports clothing, visit major sports retailers and examine the types of materials and styles of sports clothing being sold in the market.
  • Determine the amount of funding you will need to begin your clothing line. You will need money for fabric, supplies, advertising and more. If you do not currently have the capital or financial means to start your business, you can work with lenders or banks in your area to secure a business loan.
  • Meet the business requirements for your region. Depending on where you reside, you may need to file specific legal paperwork or obtain a business license from your county clerk or court system.

Select a Business Name for Your Fashion Line

  • Choose a business name that reflects you and your style. The name you choose should be catchy and permanent, so your brand can be recognized for years to come.
  • Verify the availability of your business name. Your county clerk or appropriate governing bureau can verify whether a particular business name is available. You may also want to verify that a website or domain name similar to your business name is available before you settle on a specific name.
  • Register your business name as a trademark. This will help prevent other entities from using your business name.

Develop a Website for your Fashion Business

  • Hire a web developer. Get someone to help you design a professional website for your fashion line. The website should contain your logo and information about your clothing line.
  • Publish your contact information and business location on the website. If you are selling your clothing line over the Web, ensure that a shopping cart or checkout option is integrated into your website.

Meeting a Business’ Financial Needs

  • Schedule a meeting with a financial institution or lender. At the time of your meeting, present your business plan in its entirety to the lender that can provide you with the funding you need to start your fashion line.
  • Know your options when emergencies arise. Even if you run an airtight business, unforeseen events can arise, leaving you with little choice but to seek urgent financial assistance. Should you run into crises that require emergency funding, installment loans from Great Plains Lending will help you out. It is crucial to remember that installment loans are not like business loans, since they should only be used for emergency purposes, not as an alternative fund option to support your business needs.

Promote and Sell your Fashion Line

  • Market your clothing line. You can promote your new business online through your own website, social networking sites, classified ad websites, or in print publications such as magazines and newspapers.
  • Feature your fashion line at community events such as fairs, expo center events, or charity events.

After you have met the appropriate business requirements and acquired the proper amount of financial means, you will be well on your way to becoming the hottest new fashion line in the industry.

Have you tried or considered starting up your own fashion line? Tell us your story in the comments box.

5 Eco-friendly Travel Tips for the Holidays

Whether you will you be visiting family over the winter vacation or heading out during spring break, you can enjoy your trip without avoid harming the environment or your budget. Going green doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of green, especially with a little foresight and planning.

Image Courtesy of Flickr

1. Skip the Rental Car

Relying on public transportation such as the bus, subway or train will help reduce vehicle emissions and will also save you tons of cash. You won’t have to worry about taking the extra insurance, and you’ll save time on your commute to and from the airport. Keep in mind that taking a taxi is just as expensive, if not worse; don’t confuse cabs with public transportation.

2. Stay Local

Finding a locally owned hotel, inn, or bed and breakfast will usually save you some cash. Also, independent business owners tend to care more about the cities and towns in which they’re located than a corporate entity would. You may even have a better chance of dealing with friendly and helpful staff in a family operation, making your trip that much more pleasant.

3. Flying Direct

While it may cost a bit more to skip connections, cheap flights are fairly easy to find between most major cities. The less time spent in the air, the less fuel the plane will burn, leading to a healthier environment. Airlines are also becoming more environmentally conscious, so ask when booking your flight if there is an off-peak choice for your trip.

4. Pack Light

You probably don’t really need a different outfit for every day that you’re on vacay; instead, pack a few separates that you’ll mix and match for totally different looks. Lightening the load of your suitcase will keep you from paying extra to check it and will also save on the fuel burned by your airplane. You can skip packing the heavy, bulky hair styling tools; adopting a natural look will improve the health of your hair and save you from lugging around more stuff you really don’t need.

Image Courtesy of Geograph.org

5. Do the Research

When you’re in the planning stages of your trip, make sure to look into the environment-affecting habits of the businesses you’d like to use. Being informed is one of the best things you can do, both for your wallet and for the world, so it’s worth a little extra time spent on the Internet and shopping around. After all, you wouldn’t hire a person without looking into his or her background, so why are so many people willing to choose a business without the due diligence?

Four Costly Wedding Expenses You Weren’t Expecting

When you’re newly engaged, you’re most likely giddy with romance and excitement. Once you have the ring on your finger, it’s hard to think about anything besides flowers, favors and bridal fashion! In our culture of wedding mania, it’s easy to get carried away with every last detail of your Big Day – until you get the big bill.

Because talking about a wedding budget is so utterly unromantic, most brides-to-be blow through their available cash before they even get to their cake tasting appointment. Thankfully, cash-strapped brides don’t need to borrow from friends and family, or assume a high interest, high-risk bank loan to cover unforeseen wedding planning expenses. A budget-savvy bride can apply for plaingreenloans online for a quick and painless solution to affording these four major unexpected wedding expenses.

Invitation Postage

Sure, you were planning to drop a good chunk of change on high-end save-the-date cards, invitations and thank you notes – but most brides-to-be conveniently forget about the high cost of actually mailing these tiny works of art.

Today, the average wedding includes almost 200 guests, and most fancy invitations cost far more to mail than a typical greeting card. With total postage for each piece of stationary you’ll most likely mail per invitee, it’s important to budget at least $2-$3 per person – and that can add up quickly (and unexpectedly)!

Wedding Gown Alterations

You may have found the dress of your dreams, and plenty of lucky brides are gifted their gorgeous gowns by parents or loved ones. But it’s easy to forget that your dream dress won’t fit perfectly off the rack, and alteration costs normally hover around a hefty percentage of the gown’s original price tag!

Even if you found a wallet-friendly bridal gown, making it unique isn’t cheap. In fact, if you’re planning to add delicate lace sleeves or a stunning jeweled waistline detail, plan on dropping another few hundred dollars on that “affordable” dress. And that’s before size alterations like shortening a hemline or tightening a baggy bust.

Marriage License Fees

In a veritable flurry of champagne bubbles, it’s easy to forget the reason behind a costly wedding day – the marriage itself! And Uncle Sam won’t let you off the hook easily. The cost of applying for a legal marriage license varies depending on where you live, but could cost anywhere from $50 up to $250!

Feeding Your Vendors

All those professionals you booked for your big party – like your band, photographer and videographer – will expect a meal on your dime, and wedding etiquette dictates you need to feed them. With average per-head venue costs clocking in around $100, that’s a big chunk of money you never knew you needed to spend!

Planning the wedding of your dreams is exciting, exhilarating – and very expensive! Prepare for unforeseen costs before the Big Day, and save yourself lots of financial worry. We’re curious – what wedding expenses crept up on you while planning your own party? Do you agree or disagree with our list?

Top 8 Wedding Trends in 2011

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The single hottest trend for 2011 weddings is the do-it-yourself ceremony. You heard right. Don’t worry if you’re unsure of how to bring it all together by yourself — we’ve got seven additional great ideas that’ll make the DIY wedding (or any wedding) manageable and fun!  Check out these great trends:

1. Color where it has never been before: the wedding dress. If you are one of those brides-to-be who just can’t stand the boring and expected, add a splash of color. The focus factor really comes into play when the wedding dress itself has a metallic blue trim. Not ready for metallic? Just try a colored satin trim on the dress. A subtle embroidery design in color also works great without venturing too far from traditional. A red crinoline underskirt stirs excitement on the dance floor without affecting the formal pictures.

2. Sparkling veils are dramatic and draw the eye up. A hot trend is the diamond or rhinestone veil. DIY brides can find a dramatic and unique bridal veil on eBay. Getting the veil online keeps you from choosing the one your neighbor refused from the local bridal shop. And when the veil is the standout piece, you want one nobody else has.

3. A touch of whimsy gives the bride a chance to show her fun side. Bring in an old family recipe for the reception for a fun way to include the extended family in the DIY wedding. Maybe granny will cook it up and enjoy everyone’s compliments.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

4. Winter weddings are the best opportunity to bring in faux fur. Make sure it’s high-quality fur, even if you have to settle for less. Use fur cuffs or a fur neckline — just enough to think about your favorite season when you look at your wedding photos.

5. Use non-traditional colors. Tired of yellow, pink, and 1970s baby blue? Then we have good news: Warm, rich orange and chocolate browns are in. Don’t use them together, though. Bright orange is tacky, so stay away from that, but choose the bronzy, deep orange in conjunction with a cream color. You can also try getting bold with red as the accent.

6. All 2011 weddings must have video cameras. These are a big hit at any event but especially at weddings. You can save money and keep in your DIY style by cutting out a videographer. Put one camera on every table so the guests can record a special message to the bride and groom. Bring all of the footage together when you return from your honeymoon with easy-to-use video editing software.

7. Some brides in areas of recent tragedies ask guests to donate to local charities in lieu of wedding gifts. The guests are encouraged to bring a card indicating a donation has been made in the name of the couple.

Bringing personal touches into the wedding is what makes a DIY wedding trendy, practical and quaint. Do you think a DIY wedding should incorporate some of the groom’s personality?

Eco-Fashion: Style Choices

Vintage Clothes Shops Camden London

Image by iknow-uk via Flickr

It’s an assumption of burlap, the cling of hemp and thick cotton: environmentally friendly fashion is often deemed a mess of natural fibers, forcing would-be stylists to cloak themselves in dull designs. The truth is far more flattering, however. Threads aren’t always stripped of dyes and shiny plastics. Instead they can merely be exchanged.

Choosing an eco-worthy lifestyle requires no great sacrifice. Vintage pieces instead exist. These clothes are recycled, shared again and again between owners — and this allows them to be both earth conscious and worthy of fashion.

Finding them is no great struggle as well, with many options now available:

Consignment Shops

Secondhand stores are often dismissed, thought to provide no great value. Consignment shops, however, offer environmental awareness (without denying style). Items from previous decades can be found in these inexpensive boutiques: granting variety on a budget.

Swap Parties

Friends often mirror each other — sharing personalities and textile tastes. Choosing a swapping party is therefore recommended. Groups can exchange items, filling closets with new (yet old) designs. This keeps items from simply being tossed away.

Online Vendors

Variety defines fashion. Searching the Internet is then necessary — with online vendors offering diversity and recycled clothing. Speciality boutiques are common. These boast formerly owned pieces of good condition and undeniable style.

Saving the environment is a worthy quest. Forcing yourself to suffer through weak designs and unfortunate silhouettes is unnecessary, however. Eco-friendly clothing is instead a reflection of the past; and these items can be found with ease.

 

Recycling Old Clothes

Needle plate, foot and transporter of a sewing...

Image via Wikipedia

Whether your unwanted clothing is ripped, stained, unfashionable, or just too small, you don’t have to throw it away. If it’s not too beat up, you can donate it to Goodwill or Dress for Success or someplace. You can also recycle your old, unwanted clothing into something you’ll use. Here are some suggestions.

  • Does that bright yellow t-shirt not go with as many things as you expected? You can always dye clothing to more desired colors.
  • Old clothing, from socks to t-shirts, can be cut into cleaning cloths, shop rags, or dust rags. Why buy rags or cleaning cloths when you can make your own out of unwanted clothing?
  • Get creative with scissors and unwanted dresses or pants and cut them into skirts or shorts. Sew up the new hems and you’ve got something new.
  • Use old clothing as material for making crafts. Don’t have to go out and buy fabric when you may have some hanging unused in your closet. Use old clothing to make puppets, new clothing, purses, patchwork scarves, and even blue jean drink coasters. Use the buttons, zippers, and cloth – you can make anything.
  • You can cut the clothes up into squares to make a quilt. Maybe make a quilt of all the clothing your kids have grown out of.
  • With two old t-shirts, a sewing machine (or a needle and thread), an old belt, and scissors you can make a reusable grocery bag.

All you need is some creativity, tools, and time and you can turn your old, unwanted clothing into something new. It’s fun, easy, and the possibilities are limitless.

Entertainment on a Budget

Entertainment is expensive. Movies, plays, cable, concerts, and the awful price of books today can put quite a strain on the finances. Stage shows like “The Lion King” look very entertaining, but one look at the price and you may prefer rather to just watch the DVD. Entertainment does have to break the bank. Here are some things you can do.

  • Some movies are just better on the big screen. So when you have to go to the theater, go for the cheaper pre-5:00 matinees. And stay away from the concession stand. Snack before or after elsewhere (or at home).
  • Instead of buying or paying to rent movies or books, try your local library. Many libraries have a wide selection of movies. And naturally renting a book at the library is a lot cheaper than buying one. But when you’d prefer to own that certain book or movie…
  • Use sites like eBay or Amazon to get movies and books at prices far less than retail.
  • There are discounts available for theater shows the likes of the aforementioned “The Lion King.” Hunt around for discounts and you can enjoy stage shows for less. In fact, hunting around can produce discounts for most things.
  • Eating out is fun. It’s also pricey. Try preparing more of your own food. If you’d rather eat out, look for coupons in your junk mail or in the newspaper.

The price of entertainment doesn’t have to prevent you from doing all the things that entertain you. Try the things listed here. Be entertained and still be able to pay the bills.

Gardening Basics ? Growing Your Own Food

Image courtesy of flickr.com.

Yes, it’s easier to buy produce at the store. But what’s the fun in that? Why buy produce possibly grown across the country (or outside it) when you can grow your own? It takes time and can be labor intensive, but you will literally reap the benefits of what you sow. If you’re interested, here are some gardening basics:

  • You’ll need room to work with. If you don’t have a yard or land, some things can be grown on a patio. Anywhere with ample sunlight.
  • You can till the ground – aerate the soil – or, for small gardens or planters, you can buy dirt for cheap at garden supply stores, Wal-Mart, K-mart, even dollar stores.
  • You can get seeds anywhere. But what do you want to grow and what do you have room for? Pumpkins, squash and the like need a fair amount of room. Tomatoes, onions, herbs, and peppers can be grown on a patio. Potatoes, lettuce/cabbage, greens, and beans can be grown in large planters, but you’ll need more room if you want larger quantities.
  • Plant your seeds according to envelope directions and keep them watered. Shelter your garden somehow (wire fence or something) or animals might eat your developing plants. Fertilizer is helpful. If you don’t want chemicals, you can acquire manure at garden supply stores or use your own food waste (bad food, egg shells, etc) or compost. Some chemicals are good to keep bugs from eating everything.

Patiently maintain your garden and, in a couple months, you’ll have fresh produce. With the time and effort you put into it, you may like it more than store-bought.

4 Pregnancy Tips to Remember

Life doesn’t stop as you progress through your pregnancy week by week. Social occasions must go on and when you host parties for your friends and family, you want to make some adjustments. Here are four pregnancy tips to remember when planning and hosting a special occasion.

Keep Things Low Maintenance

Depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, you might have less energy than usual. As you monitor your pregnancy week by week, consider also peeling back on how elaborate you make your social gatherings. You still want to keep your guests fed and engaged, but also respect your own need for rest and relaxation.

Fill the Table With Nutritious Snacks

Since you have to watch your own diet during pregnancy, fill your snack and dinner table with delicious and nutritious snacks. This will reduce your temptation to consume too many empty calories. Cut carrots and celery and serve them with a yogurt-based dip. Buy a variety of colorful fruits in season. Cantaloupes, watermelon, bananas, grapes and mangos are delicious options. Plan a low maintenance food menu.

Watch Your Intake of Caffeine

Your guests will no doubt want coffee with dessert. Be sure to limit your own caffeine intake, which also includes chocolate and caffeinated sodas.

Dressing Fashionably During Pregnancy

While hosting your party, prioritize comfort without compromising your fashion sense. A beautiful sundress is a light and fashionable option that will keep you cool and allow you to feel in the party mood.

Keep things low maintenance and your guests will understand as you enjoy each other’s company while you stay true to your pregnancy needs.