Building a Home Library Inexpensively: Part 1

Building a home library inexpensively part 1

I grew up in a family where money was tight. My family was frugal, we drove our vehicles till they fell apart, we wore second hand clothing, we gardened, we canned, but I remember we were also a family with a closet full of books.

Sure it would have been more frugal to stick to library books only, but having those books available to me 24/7 instilled in me a love for them. I may not have read as much as others when I was little, but I remember many a summer day curled up under the shade of a tree reading a book off the shelf.

Now that I have children of my own, and we are a homeschooling family I feel the need to make sure I also make owning a collection of our own books a priority.We have two book cases, one filled with non fiction books and the other with works of fiction. We also have a shelf full of comic books, and stacks of magazines lying around here and there.

I build our library frugally. Having books does not have to be expensive. If you are absent minded like me, it may even be done for less than what you pay your library in over due fees every year (okay maybe not less but some days it sure feels like it).

I originally planned this as a one time segment but when I started typing about how many different ways to save money on books, magazines and audiobooks the post became too lengthy, so make sure to come back the next few Fridays, to read part 2part 3  and part 4.

1. Yard Sales

Yard sales are my number 1 source for inexpensive books. In fact when I walk up to a yard sale they are the first things I look for.

Most soft cover story books are between .25 to .50 cents in my area. A current bestseller  hardcover work of fiction might go for $2. I usually come home with a stack full of books every community sale I hit.

Thrifty tip: If you have a stack of titles you want in your hand, total their value in your head and then haggle with the seller for a discount. I usually say “I have $5 worth of books here would you take $4″ rarely do I get turned down.

2. Second Hand Book Stores

If I am looking for a particular title, I might head into a second hand book store. Prices are more than yard sales but still significantly cheaper than new.

Thrifty tip: Bring your own books you no longer read with you and trade them for store credit.

3. Thrift stores

Thrift stores vary from town to town as to how many books they might have. Prices will also vary from store to store as well as selection. The key is to drop in once or twice a month to see what is new on the shelves.

Thrifty tip: Often thrift stores will have a regular half price day. This is a great way to get your books for even less.

4. Kindle

Kindle edition books are often less expensive than their paper cousins but what I love about Kindle the most is the free titles.

I highly recommend getting yourself a free kindle app. account. You don’t need a Kindle to download the books (although my husband loves his kindle fire).

I love to read my free Kindle books on my netbook, through my kindle cloud reader account. I also download a few for on the go reading using the kindle app. on my iPod.

Thrifty Tip: 100′s of classic titles are free on Kindle. If you are not into classic titles, try punching in the words “best sellers” into the kindle store section of Amazon. What should pop up on your screen is a list of the “Top 100 Paid” as well as a list of the “Top 100 Free” titles right beside it.

The blog Money Saving Mom also lists great free kindle titles. I suggest checking out her free e-book page which can be found in the freebies and giveaway tab at the top of her site.

5. Second Hand Curriculum Sales

Even if you don’t homeschool you may want to check out the second hand curriculum sales in your area. They are a treasure trove of non fiction and fiction books. The prices will be comparable with what you will find in second hand book stores, but the selection for children will be better.

Thrifty tip: Often if you go during the last hour of the sale, you will find people slashing prices, since books are heavy and they don’t want to lug them all back out to the car. However, selection will be slimmer than if you go early, so it really depends on how badly you want particular titles before you consider doing this tip.

These are just a portion of my tips on how to build an home library in a frugal way. Please come back next Friday when I will list  more tips on building a home library for less.

Other Titles in this Series

Building a Home Library Inexpensively: Part 2

Building an Home Library Inexpensively: Part 3

Building a Home Library Inexpensively: Part 4

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This post is linked to The Weekly Round Up at It’s a Blog Party, Hip Homeschool Hop at Hip Homeschooling Moms, Tackle It Tuesday at 5 Minutes for Mom , WLWW at Women Living Well, WFMW at We Are That Family , Proverbs 31 Thursdays at Raising Mighty Arrows and Frugal Fridays at Life as Mom, The Mommy Club at Crystal and Co.

Three Places To Find Great Books For Little To No Cash

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4 Weeks to A More Organized Home: Day 14

Day 14 Assignment from Money Saving Mom

1.Get dressed in something that makes you feel great.

I got dressed today in a skirt and a tank top, unfortunately no one is around to snap a picture. But I did! honestly!

2.Make a list of no more than 5-7 specific things you want to accomplish today.

I made a list just for me today. I didn’t make the kids one since they are spending the day with their dad at one of our rental homes helping him cut down a tree.

3.Complete your morning routine.

Mine was a bit different this morning. Last night before I went to bed I decided I would get up and bake the children and my hubby some of my chocolate chip cookies, and pack them in the cooler with their lunch.

From the looks on their faces when they went to place their sandwiches in the cooler I would say the extra effort on my part was worth it.

4.Set the timer for 15 minutes and clean the mirrors and glass doors in your house.

I cleaned the back door first.

Then I did the windows of the front door.

5.Clean out your utensil drawer(s) (those with serving spoons, ladles, spatulas, etc.) in the kitchen and your junk drawer(s). Take everything out, throw out the trash, get rid of extra clutter, wipe out the drawers, and re-organize the contents as you put them back in.

I just cleaned out our utensil drawer not to long ago.

However, we have 4 junk drawers.

Two are my husbands.

Two are my daughters.

I did my best to bag up like things together and to contain all the small tools in one area.

I managed to free up one drawer to hold our portable speakers and charger cords.

I gave my daughter just one drawer for her art supplies as she really was not using two. She does most of her art work upstairs in her own room now.

6. Find 7 items to get rid of today.

I found these in the bottom of one of my china cabinets. There are 7 plates in all. I was intending to get them hung on my daughters wall back when she was 4 or 5 years old. She is now almost 10 and they are a bit young for her.

So I put them in the attic to sell on Craigslist with the huge mirror that matches (which also never got on the wall). Luckily both were yard sale purchases, so I won’t be out any money even though I never used them.

Lesson learned, go out the same day your purchase something to hang on the wall and buy the supplies you need to hang it and do it right then and there.

How about you? Do you have any good intention articles lurking in your home that have not been put to the use you intended?

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Day 13

I cannot believe how routine daily cleaning is becoming thanks to Money Saving Mom’s “4 Weeks to a More Organized Home” series.

Just this morning, I entered my master bedroom to sit down and work on my blog, when I noticed the bed was still unmade. Instead of my normal bad attitude, I found myself saying “it will only take a minute, might as well attack it” and I did, and it did only take a minute.

Day 13 Assignment

1.Get dressed in something that makes you feel great: Failed. Its 1:30  in the afternoon, and I am still in the t-shirt I wore to bed and a pair of comfy shorts that I pulled on this morning. My excuse is I am going out to run this afternoon with my son so I will shower and dress after that. Horrible I know.

2.Make a list of 5 to 7 things you want to get done today: I made one for myself and  a chore assignment list for the kids also.

3.Complete your morning routine. DONE (well except the get dressed part)

4.Set the timer for 15 minutes and do a quick-clean of your bathroom. DONE. I did the upstairs bathroom top to bottom in 12 minutes,thanks to spring cleaning it not to long ago, and now having cleaned it the past two weeks with Money Saving Mom.  I spent the last 3 minutes giving the downstairs bathroom a little love.

5.Clean the top of your kitchen cupboards (if there is space between them and the ceiling) and the top of your refrigerator. If you have clutter on the top of your refrigerator, go through it and see if you can get rid of it or find a new home for it. Wipe down the outside of your kitchen cupboard doors.

Back on Day 2 I decided to give our worst cabinet a good scrub (that’s chipped paint you see at the top of the cabinet, hoping to fix that soon).

However in general, just like floor cleaning, cabinet door cleaning is a job I assign to my children about once a month (except in cases where the dirt has become a stain, like above, then I attack it personally). So I divided up the kitchen into 3 sections and put that assignment on their afternoon chore chart.

One of the benefits of buying a just under $10,000 home is that when you are rebuilding it from the ground up you get to decide the layout.

I knew I wanted to make my house clean itself as much as possible. One way I figured to do that was to avoid space between the tops of the kitchen cabinets and the roof. I also had my husband build the fridge into the wall, so no clutter or dirt gets on the top of it either.

Yes I know white cabinets seem to go against the whole clean itself kitchen attitude. I was hoping that they would make me more aware of dirt and therefore clean them more often, instead they are becoming a thorn in my side, and since the paint is sadly chipping in areas anyways I am thinking of stripping them and staining them a more dirt friendly color.

Since I want to maintain the habit of one small project a day, I took it upon myself to clean my kitchen window inside and out, as well as giving the  trim and sill a good scrubbing.

6.Find 7 items to get rid of today. I found one more book to put in the secondhand curriculum sale, and then worked with my daughter again to reduce her games and puzzle collection.

I am thinking tomorrow I am going to have to move on to another area to find my 7 items to toss. I have done the shoes, the fiction book case, and my daughters puzzles and games, hmm….what area to hit next?

How about you? Are you doing any major spring cleaning this month?

Crafting With Courtney: Making a Drawstring Bag

Back in the baby, toddler and preschooler days, I use to carry along my knitting inside my diaper bag, or my large purse that was acting like a diaper bag, or the back pack I was carrying for the outing we were going on that day.

I found that with all that transferring  from  bag to bag, my knitting was getting tangled and often grabbed by the little ones I was towing along with me whom pulled it off the needles with big grins on their faces (lets face it unraveling is fun for a toddler).

In desperation I grabbed a cloth drawstring bag that had come free with some clothes I had ordered and  placed my knitting in it. I then placed the drawstring bag in whatever bag I was carrying for the day. I found it worked quite well. I soon had other knitting moms envying my bag.

Cruising the Walmart clearance aisle one day I found large printed bandannas marked down from $1 to .50 cents. With their finished edges and pretty prints my creative mind started whirling and my knitting on the go bags were born.

To prove to you how simple these are to make, I enlisted my 9 year old daughter Courtney to make one alongside with me.

You will need one $1 bandanna, a small amount of thread, a sewing machine, and a piece of ribbon or string.

1.First you need to iron the bandanna flat.

2. Fold over what will become the top edge of your bag just enough for your ribbon to go through easily. I used the blue edging design as my guide.

3. Fold your bag in half with the casing seam for the ribbon facing you.Iron it once more.

4.Thread your machine, unfold your bag and sew along the top edge that you ironed down to hold your ribbon.

5. Now refold your bag in half and sew along the bottom and side of the bag.

6. Make sure to stop your side seam right where the casing for the ribbon begins. Have the needle go back and forth a few times to reinforce the seam.

7. Turn your bag right side out. Now you are ready for the ribbon. Cut it approximately 3 times the width of your finished bag so you have plenty left to hang out the edges. I like to pin a safety pin on the edge of my ribbon to make it easier to thread through the casing.

Using the safety pin trick made it super easy for my 9 year old to get her own ribbon in.

8. Use your fingers to tie a knot in the ribbon about one inch away from the bag.

With you knot tied your bag is complete

Here is Courtney’s. She doesn’t knit (yet), so she decided to use her’s to carry her bible and notebook in for church.

These bags could also be used as a green alternative to gift bags. I am sure that one could think of many other uses for them as well.

How about you? Have you ever been creatively inspired by a clearance find?

This post is linked to Show Me How at It’s a Blog Party

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4 Weeks to A More Organized Home: Day 12

Day 12 Assignment

1.Get dressed in something that makes you feel great.

I did it! I got dressed in something that is not jeans and a t-shirt. The fact that I was going out Grocery shopping is what motivated me. Why is it that we care what others see us in more than our own family.

2.Make a list of no more than 5-7 specific things you want to accomplish today.

This did not happen today, nor did a list of chores for the kids happen today. But lets review did I do 7 things.

1. Grocery Shopping

2. Cleaned oven

3. Cleaned Microwave

4. Picked up bedroom.

5. Threw 7 things away.

6. Made up a new batch of dishwasher detergent using this pin.

7. Emptied out my e-mails and did all Recyclebank activities found in them.

3.Complete your morning routine: DONE. With the exception of laundry, I got that all done yesterday so there was none.

4.Set the timer for 15 minutes and vacuum the main living areas of your home

Confession time, remember how I said back on Day 7 that I believe that the success of the Proverb 31 woman was found in her ability to delegate, and how I believe we should assign children household chores as part of the delegation process.Well, for the last 2 years or so, my kids have mopped and swept and vacuumed all our floors, my husband and I rarely do them. They do get paid for these chores. My daughter actually asks for more (I am not lying) because she is the saver and always has something big on her savings goal list.

So I spent the 15 minutes on our master bedroom once again.

Remember this pile from yesterday.

Well it now looks like this. The small tote contains a bunch of paper stuff I have to sort through carefully. That is time consuming so I am guessing knowing me it will sit in this box a long while.I am thinking about moving it to a closet shelf (bad I know).

I also put those clothes away and made the bed, and got a few things off my husbands nightstand. I am thinking one more 15 minute session spent dusting and my master bedroom will be 100% spring cleaned. Well except the closet, but that is a whole separate room in my opinion.

5.Clean your microwave, stove top, and/or oven.

If you read Snail Pace Transformations regularly you will know that just a few weeks back I did clean my oven. Okay, I tried to clean my oven, naturally, and it sort of worked. I decided to try once again to use natural cleaners.

This is my oven before.

This is my stove top before.

Once again I used the method for the stove top found in this pin here (click words in blue to view) since I had such great success with it last time. I however, decided this time to try it on the inside of the oven door too.

I covered both surfaces in baking soda.

Then covered the whole thing in warm soapy towels.

While the solution sat and soaked a while on the stove, I turned my attention to cleaning the microwave. The mess you are seeing is from my daughter’s love of making her own Ovaltine.

In about 15 minutes I had the microwave shiny inside and out.

I then took one of my knitted by me soft nylon scrubies and gave the stove top a good scrubbing (after removing the towel of course). To get the baking soda working even harder, once I remove the towels I like to spray it with my homemade cleaner made of equal parts vinegar and water with a drop or two of dish soap.

When I removed the towel off the door and started scrubbing I was so relieved to see that some of that stubborn grime was actually lifting off with just a bit of elbow grease. Sure its not perfect yet, but I think if I did it one more time, it would be as close to perfect as it is going to get.

I also removed the racks out of the oven and wiped it all down with a bit of baking soda and my homemade cleaner.

6.Find 7 items to get rid of today. I finally finished going through the fiction bookcase and putting the books up in the attic for the second hand curriculum sale we will take part in later this year. I attacked our nonfiction bookcase not too long ago. So I started work on my daughters puzzle and game collection. I worked with her to decide which ones could go in the pile to sell.

Whew! It has been a long day. Grocery shopping day wears me out! I think I am going to put my feet up and sit and work on knitting a blanket while reading a book on my kindle cloud on my net book, thanks to Money Saving Mom, I have a lot of free reads on it.

How about you? What did you do today? And how to you unwind after a long day?

Beany Tomato

beany tomato

This is a simple dish that takes less than 5 minutes to throw together, and about 30 minutes to cook.

Our family likes it over brown rice. Its a great recipe to use up leftover pork chops, or meatballs.


Beany Tomato

Ingredients

  • Ingredients
  • 1 to 2 pork chops (cut into small bite size pieces)
  • 14 oz can of pork and beans
  • 1/2 cup onion (optional)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients into a casserole dish with a lid. Stir together well.
  2. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  3. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
  4. Serve over rice.
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4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Day 11

Day 11 Assignment

1.Get dressed in something that makes you feel great: Shorts and a tank top which isn’t all that much different from the usual jeans and a t-shirt.

2.Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and make a list of weekly goals: I have a master to do list that I refer to more than a weekly goals list, but every Monday I do map out my workouts, and link them up here at Money Saving Mom.

If struggling at inching forward in working out regularly I highly recommend you take just 5 to 10 minutes at the beginning of your week and sit down with your day planner and figure out where to best schedule your workouts and then write them down. You will automatically see a huge improvement in your workout regularity.

2.Complete your morning routine: DONE. I got out of bed later this morning, I am trying to rest up as much as possible for my marathon this Saturday. I wasn’t able to sleep longer but I did enjoy just lingering with my thoughts under the warm covers a while, still once I was up I went through my normal morning routine.

3. Set the timer for 15 minutes and quickly pick up your house and put things back into order after the weekend: When I did get out of those warm covers, I discovered my hubby had already done this for me, so I did him a favor and finally attacked the pile of growing clutter on his side of the bed.

This is what it looked like before I pressed start on the timer

this is what it looked liked after the 15 minutes was over.

I am thinking perhaps just 2 more 15 minute cleaning sessions in my master bedroom and it will be completely spring cleaned. This makes me so happy, as I have been struggling with getting it all done for months (no I got to be truthful) years.

I am loving this 15 minute session approach. It is having a major impact on my “I don’t have time for a clean home” attitude.

4.Clean out your silverware drawer.

Here is what mine looked once I emptied it. yuck!

I took it outside and emptied out the crumbs. Then I gave it a good scrub. I put the silverware holder in some hot soapy bleach water and let it soak a while. Then I dried it and put all the silverware back.

5.Find 7 items to get rid of today. I got rid of 7 more books from our fiction book shelf. I placed them in a large tote with the others for the next second hand  homeschooling curriculum sale we take part in.

Money Saving Mom is now over half way through her series “4 Weeks to a More Organized Home” and I am already thinking I am going to miss it. Having to be accountable to someone is really keeping me on track.

In my almost 17 years of marriage, I have tried many a cleaning system and I never stick to any of them long. But taking part in this series, is creating every day habits, that I might just be able to keep going beyond the 4 weeks, and that excites me.

How about you? Have you been following along with Money Saving Mom and her cleaning challenge? If so, are you finding it helpful?

Weekly Fitness Goals: Marathon Race Week

This is it! On Saturday I will be running my third Marathon. Once again I am going to attempt 26.2 miles of continuous running.

During my first marathon I hit the wall at mile 19 and felt like something was eating me from the inside. During my second marathon I hit the wall at mile 21 and texted my friend “we are in a nice park, its a pretty day, can I take a nap on the park bench under the tree?” she replied “no, keep running!” I did but it was more of a shuffle than a run.

This time, I am going to use Jeff Galloway’s run-walk-run ratio of 4 minutes running 1 minute walking and repeat over and over the whole 26.2 miles.Hopefully if all goes well I will complete all 26.2 miles strong.

Last Weeks Goals

Monday: Strength class 30 minutes / Run 3 with Son (but I am letting him go ahead this time)

Tuesday: Strength class 1 hr/ bike ride my 1 hr + loop (cold weather, did a spinners class instead)

Wednesday: Strength class 30 minutes/ Swim 80 lengths (took an extra rest day)

Thursday: Run 6 with friends

Friday: Early Spin class at the Y (swam the 80 lengths I was planning to do Wednesday)

Saturday: 5k race  with son.

I am so proud of my son! That is a second place medal around his neck. His Timex clocked him at 25 minutes and 1 second. Which I thought was great for his first race.He has been running since mid November 2011.

I tried my best to at least keep him in my sight and got my best 5k time ever. My Timex showed a 25 minute 6 second run (the official race clock showed a 25 minute 10 second run).

Sunday:Rest

This Weeks Goals

Monday: Run 3 with my son

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: Run 3 with my son

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Rest

Saturday: RUN 26.2 MILE RACE!!!!!

Sunday: Rest

The week up to a marathon always makes me very moody. One minute, I am nervous, the next excited, the following I am dreading the whole thing.

To top it off, I am not use to exercising so little, and by Wednesday my body is so desperate to go long, it takes all the strength I have not to head out for a long bike ride or swim (weird I know but trust me when you inch forward in fitness your body soon craves it). But this time I am going to obey the training schedule and rest up fully for the big day.

How about you? Do you have any races planed soon?

Shopping Saturdays: Shopping Yard Sales

10 Tips For Successful Yard Sale ShoppingI love yard sales. Every year I bring home incredible deals for my family on clothing, books for homeschooling, items to use in renovations, and much much more. Over the years I have discovered a few tips to make each yard sale outing a success.

 Top Ten Tips For Shopping Yard Sales

1. Map out a route:

If you are going to a community or neighborhood sale (which I highly recommend you do), you don’t have to do this but if those are not available in your area, you can do what I use to do when I lived in the land of no neighborhood wide sales.

Each Saturday morning early, I would get up and grab a paper and turn to the listing of yard sales for my area (now a days you can usually find such listings on-line at your local papers website or try Craigslist for local sales).

I would then write down all the sales I wanted to hit, and used mapquest.com to help me map out the most logical route. This saved me time, and gas money.

2. Shop with a list:

 Yard sales can be dangerous money pits, instead of money stretchers if you come home with dozens of items you didn’t really need.

To avoid this pit fall, I go through my house a week or two before the first community yard sale in my area, and see what my family needs. I take note of clothing needs, book needs (for homeschooling), small appliance needs, small tool needs, storage container needs, curtains and home accessories and even small furniture needs.

Write these all down in a small spiral notebook that would easily fit in the purse you plan to use when yard sale shopping.

I also measure out all areas that I wish to find a small piece of furniture for and write that down as well,which brings me to my next point.

3. Bring a tape measure:

A small pocket one will do. Leave it in the side of your vehicles door so it is there weekend after weekend.

Mine has saved me money, and effort in stopping me from buying several items of furniture that looked like they would fit, but once I got my measurements out and my measuring tape out I realized they wouldn’t.

4. Bring along a small cooler packed with snacks and drinks.

A community yard sale around my parts usually takes me several hours or more to go through. Honestly I usually run out of money before I do sales. I have found it a money saver to pack along my own drinks and snacks to help sustain my energy, and keep me from forking out cash at the local convenience store when hunger gets the better of me.

Of course if you find cute kids selling reasonably priced cold cans of pop and homemade cookies feel free to help grow their entrepreneur spirit.

5. Don’t be afraid to haggle.

Most yard sellers mark their prices with haggling in mind (at least I know I do). So if you purchase something don’t be afraid to say “would you take…?” .

However don’t low ball people, and ask if they would take $1 for something they have $10 on that is just rude, even if the going value of the item is $1. Instead of risking insulting someone just walk away without even bargaining chances are you will find the item at a more reasonable price at another  home.

My favorite way to haggle, is when I am buying multiple items from one seller, make sure you total the value of your finds before you approach the seller and then say “These total $15 would you take $12?” I rarely get turned down.

6. Bring along a tracing of your child’s foot and and their current waist and leg length measurements.

This is another time when that measuring tape will come in handy. Sizes in clothes vary so much from brand to brand that I have ended up wasting money on clothes that don’t fit when I stray away from this tip.

When you are writing out your list as I suggested in tip 2, take a few moments to measure the waist of each child and write it down in your notebook. Another good idea is to trace each child’s foot onto a piece of paper and fold it up and place it in a ziploc bag along with your notebook to bring along.

This will help you avoid ill fitting clothing ,that just has to be resold after you bought it because it did not end up fitting like you thought it would.

7. Always have small bills.

Nothing makes haggling more awkward than when you ask for the $10 item to be marked down to $8 and then pull out a $20 to pay for it.

This tip puts an end to those awkward moments. It is also good yard sale shopping courtesy.

8. Consider, making a bit of your gas money back.

Right now gas in our area is around $4 a gallon. Although, you probably won’t use too much gas if you stick to community sales, it is still nice when you can make some money as well as save some money.

Take a few hours before yard sale season begins to cruise Craigslist and eBay to see what things are selling for on line.

As I stated in my post on selling on eBay if I think I can make a $20 profit off of an item or a group of items, that I see out yard saling I will pick it up.

Pickings in my area are slim, but I have seen other bloggers who average $400 or more per month with finds from yard sales.

Smart phone users here is one area that gives me smart phone envy,you can do this searching right in your car as you are in the driveway of the sale with the item you are wondering about.

Those of us with dumb phones, have to do our research before and often have to make an on the spot decision. I only make the on the spot choice if I know for sure I can at least sell it for more at my own yard sale later.

9. Go Early (but not too early)

If you want the best selection go to the sale just as it opens. However, again do not be one of those “knock at the door 2 hours before the sale starts and catch the seller in their bathrobe types .”

If the sale says it starts at 9 do not show up before . You are only going to put the seller in the bad mood which will only decrease your chances of getting any type of price reduction.

10. Go Late

This point totally contradicts point 9. I don’t do this all that often since gas went up in price, but if you happen to need to be out and about in the afternoon, it might be worth your while to take a moment to check and see if you are going to be passing buy a yard sale or two and allow time to stop.

I have never planned this but when it has happened that I have stopped at one on a way home from an errand at say 2 or 3 in the afternoon, I have been amazed at how willing the sellers are to get me to take something home.

I have gotten clothes that use to be marked several dollars an item for .25 cents each simply because the sellers don’t want to put them away.

How about you? Do you have any yard sale shopping tips to share?

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This post is linked to The Weekly Round Up at It’s a Blog Party, WLWW at Women Living Well, Proverbs 31 Thursdays at Raising Mighty Arrows, and Frugal Fridays at Life As Mom,Thrifty Thursday at Feminine Adventures.

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4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Day 10

Friday! How I look forward to it all week, especially when its going to be my husbands weekend off. Being an ER nurse he rotates weekends, so I treasure the ones when he is with us.

Today’s assignments provide me with an opportunity to tell the kids about God’s protection, but first here is the list:

Day 10 Assignment

1. Get dressed in something that makes you feel great: T-shirt and jeans again, I know boring, and at this point I am wondering if it really matters that I have roughly 12 t-shirts and 6 pairs of jeans, really I look pretty much the same ever day regardless of the combination.

2.Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea, and make a list of no more than 5-7 specific things you want to accomplish today. DONE (and again made one for chores for the kids too)

3. Complete your morning routine: Mine was haywire this morning.But I did get a lot done in the morning hours, including some blogging, making a hot lunch for the hubby to bring to work, and got some bread in the bread machine. Laundry however did not get touched like it normally does.

4.Dust all ceiling fans and clean all light fixtures in your house. Check for burned out light bulbs and replace. This is the assignment that had my middle child’s heart racing and then his feet running as he went to find his brother and sister and tell him how God saved Mom.

The assignment started well. I had made it through all the rooms of the house and really had not found any disgustingly dusty fixtures.

I left the hardest light fixture to reach till last.

I grabbed the ladder from the basement and climbed up it. My middle child took the photo just as I was about to do something very silly. Can you guess what is about to happen?

Hot lights don’t like cold cleaning spray. On impact two of the 3 bulbs popped, glass went every where. My son’s eyes went big and round. He was fine, but worried about me (bless his little heart). My face was inches from the light when it exploded yet, I did not get even one small piece of glass in my eyes or in any other part of me.

Why I did it I don’t know, I remembered to turn the lights off on all the other fixtures. Seriously though there is no explanation as to why I do not have glass shards in my eyes except for God having angels watching over me, and my son too for that matter who really was not out of the spray of the exploding glass.

5. Set the timer for at least 15 minutes and do something you really enjoy and that relaxes and rejuvenates you.15 minutes once again was not enough for the me time I wanted today. I wanted to have a good swim. I was suppose to swim Wednesday but didn’t so I seized the opportunity today. I did 1.2 miles of lap swimming, my longest swim ever.

I made one of my year long goals this year to swim 2.4 miles in one go. That is the distance people swim in an Ironman. Judging by how my arms feel a few hours later, I think its going to take me till the end of the year to do it.

How about you? What did you get done today?