Crystal Stemberger's Articles

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Most Profitable Backyard Garden Crops

by Crystal Stemberger on June 28, 2011

My husband and I started our first raised garden in April.  We already have a couple of flower beds in the front yard, but we wanted a garden that could produce something we would actually be able to eat.  The idea of getting an edible benefit from maintaining a small spot of soil sounded fun.  In short, we wanted to grow plants with some extra value to us.  Here are some ideas for plants you may want to add to your garden to get that extra benefit too.

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Five Tips to Save Money on Your Laundry

by Crystal Stemberger on June 23, 2011

Holiday Coin LaundromatMy husband and I don’t usually embrace ultra-frugality for the sake of saving a buck or two.  But we will change our habits if the changes are easy or we can save a significant amount of money over time.  When we realized we were doing more than 5 loads of laundry a week for two people, we decided to try out a few things (homemade laundry detergent did not make the cut).  Some suggestions worked very well but others were complete flops.  Here are a few tips we have come up with to save some money and time on laundry.

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How Perkstreet Checking Stacks Up

by Crystal Stemberger on June 22, 2011

I recently saw a Perkstreet ad that caught my attention, so I decided to look into it a little more.  I wanted to compare it to companies I work with now.  At first I thought it was too good to be true since it mentioned giving 2% cash back.  Then I realized it had some drawbacks too like the fact that it only gives any cash back for debit card purchases.  Based on what I could find at, here is how they stack up against the three companies I have experience with – ING Direct, Smarty Pig, and Chase.

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Starting a Family Budget

by Crystal Stemberger on June 21, 2011

budgetingIf you like to know where your money is going or are trying to cut back a bit to save for something special, a budget may be a fantastic idea for you.  I personally created our budget so we could avoid lifestyle inflation and throw the extra money towards our long-term goals.  Families may want to create a budget to cover all of the normal expenses and family extras while still saving for long-term goals like retirement.  Either way, a budget helps you stay on track.  Here is how to start creating a budget like mine.

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