How To Prepare Items For Sale So That You Get Top Dollar

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Over the years I have sold a lot of our families items that we are no longer using and I have found the better the item looks the quicker it sells and the more I can get for it.

how to prepare items for sale so that you get top dollar

Here are my tips for preparing your items for sale

1. Clean them well

The cleaner the item the quicker it sells, and for more money too.

Plastic toys: Buy soft scrub or make your own and wash the whole toy down in it. For the really big toys like the plastic slides take them outdoors to do this and then let it dry in the sun. If you still have some marks left try magic eraser.

Wooden furniture: Give it a good wash with Murphy’s oil soap. Also take the time to tighten up legs and draw pulls.

Clothing: Make sure your clothing is freshly washed and then folded so that it has the least amount of wrinkles. Hanging your clothes for sale is always best, but I know it is not always possible. If clothes have even a small stain or rip, don’t mix them in with the clothes that don’t, it turns off buyers. If you truly feel they still have value, put them all together and in one area and let your customers know their flaws and price accordingly.

2. Know your items true worth

An item overpriced won’t sell, and an under priced item won’t sell either. I know the second one is hard to believe but trust me especially when I sell things on line, if I price an item too low no one bites. It is like they think something is wrong with it.

If you don’t have a clue what your item is worth spend sometime researching what the item goes for in the avenue you plan to sell it in. By this I mean if you plan to hold a yard sale, spend a Saturday before your yard sale visiting others in your area and noting how much similar items to what you have to sell are priced at. If you plan to sell your fridge on Craigslist, look at other listing of similar fridges first and see what they are selling for.

Always remember that selling secondhand items means that you won’t always get the price you put on it. People love to make deals in the second hand arena and so you will be expected to be willing to drop your price some. In other words price your item with wiggle room for bargaining.

3. Show Case Your Item

How to show case your item well depends on how you are selling it.

Yard Sale: Put like items together. Make sure your tables are neat and tidy. Make sure items are priced clearly. For larger items put them out front to draw in customers. Make sure furniture is sitting on a level surface so it doesn’t appear wobbly when it isn’t. (for more yard sale tips see my 10 Tips To A Successful Yard Sale)

Facebook Buy & Sell Groups: You usually only get one picture for these types of groups so make sure it is a good one, taken in great light and shows the best side of the item. You can also make a collage on picmonkey of all the sides of the item and then post that collage. (for more Facebook Buy & Sell group tips see my Tips For Selling In Facebook Buy & Sell Groups)

Craigslist: Craigslist allows you several photos. Make sure you use them to show the best parts of your item. I always like to be honest too so I not only list the flaws of my item but contain a picture of the biggest one (like a dent in the side of the washing machine). (for more Craigslist tips see my How To Sell On Craigslist)

eBay: Make sure the picture that will show up in the listing area is a great one. Good lighting, close up, no background distractions. (for more eBay tips see my 10 Tips For Successfully Selling On eBay)

4. Be knowledgeable about the item

I like to know a lot about the items I am selling. How old?How big?I Its features. The pluses. The drawbacks.

If I am listing an item on line I always take the measurements of it and list them as well as all of the above. This saves me a lot of time as I have few email questions to answer.

Knowing these things really does help make the sale. Not many people want to buy an item that contains no details and when they asked questions they got a big “I don’t know”.

5. Know the best platform to sell

Certain items sell better on different platforms than others. In general you can sell most anything at a yard sale, but just because something didn’t sell at a yard sale doesn’t mean it won’t sell. Your ideal customer may not have been out shopping that day.

Right now we live in an  area where yard sales don’t do well so here is my selling plan, which will work for you too.

1. I first try to sell it to friends through Facebook: In general I put the item at a lesser price then I would else where as these are friends and my list time and drop off time is minimal.

2. Facebook Buy & Sell Groups: If my Facebook friends don’t want it I then move the picture over to a Facebook Buy & Sell group and adjust the price to make up for the time I am going to spend waiting for the person to pick it up in a public area.

3. Craigslist: If I still have items left, big items worth $25 or more go to Craigslist. I find smaller items just are not worth my time listing on Craigslist.

4. eBay: Homeschooling books do really well on eBay, as do sets of books. For instance I will sell lots of books by one author, or in one reading level (teachers snatch those up all the time).  I have also had good luck selling popular children’s toy sets, like Duplo, or Lego.

5. Consignment Stores and Sales: I lump these two together as they are both great options for clothing and children’s toys. I talk about the benefits of each ones in these posts

6. Trade in programs: Gamestop might  give you store credit for those games that didn’t sell at your yard sale. Amazon might be interested in some of your books. You can also list your unused and still in great shape books on Paperbackswap and get new  to you titles to read in return.

By doing your prep work, selling an item can be done in a matter of minutes. I know because I have done it, just weeks ago I posted a simple picture of my daughter’s no longer needed barbie collection, with a description and a price I knew was good for our area on my Facebook homepage and it was sold in under 5 minutes.

Looking for selling tips? Follow my Selling & Earning Tips Board on Pinterest

 These Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponges work wonders on cleaning up plastic outdoor toys and furniture for sale, and more (don’t use on painted items though as they could remove paint) .

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How To Earn $30 A Month With Swagbucks In 5 Minutes A Day

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I have talked about how to make Swagbucks pay for Christmas, how to have Swagbucks pay for your Starbucks, how to have Swagbucks pay for your books, how to have Swagbucks pay for your date night, and how to have Swagbucks pay for your music collection, but I have never really given you a basic plan that always you to decide what you want to spend your Swagbucks on.

How to earn 30 dollars a month with Swagbucks

Yes I know you could use those plans mentioned above and apply them to whatever awards you want, but I know that some individuals prefer a more plain and simple approach, one they don’t have to change at all to suit their needs.

I have also included a downloadable daily check list, so that they can make sure they complete their Swagbucks tasks every day to earn their $30 in gift cards they want, on whatever they want, including  restaurants,  paypal, home improvement, airline flights, gasoline, office supplies, clothes, coffee, music, movies, and more (just check out the Swagbucks reward store page for all the rewards offered)

How to make $30 a month with Swagbucks in 5 minutes a day.

By 5 minutes I am referring to the time it takes to do the NOSO and the Daily poll, as well as start the video playing apps but am not including the time it takes to watch the videos because once they are on you can place your device anywhere and they will play with little need for you to actually spend time watching them (although they do get paused now and again so make sure to check on them from time to time) .

1. Download the toolbar

Once downloaded use the toolbar one time a day for one point.

1×3o=3o Swag Bucks

2. Join Bing Rewards

If you join Bing Rewards right now they are offering a 500 Swagbuck code for 475 points. On average you can earn 16 Bing Rewards per day.

16x 30= 480 which converts to 500 Swag Bucks

 

3. Do the daily poll

1×30=30 Swag Bucks

4. Do the NOSO daily

2×30=60 Swag Bucks

5. Searching through the homepage or toolbar

You need to download the Swagbucks toolbar or make the Swagbucks homepage your homepage or do both (I do both). Then  use these for entering all your online searches and  you can randomly win Swag Bucks. I earn anywhere from 100 to 200+ points a week this way.

 

100X4= 400 Swag Bucks (on average)

6. Get the Swagbucks TV App going on your smart phone or tablet each day

These short films run continuously and allow you to earn 40 points per day (my previous Swagbucks earning plans say 50 but it dropped recently to 40) . Warning they do sometimes pause so you will have to check on your device from time to time to make sure they are still streaming.

40x 30 = 1200 Swag Bucks

7. Get the EntertaiNow App

This app also runs continuously  and allows you to earn 30 points per day. I personally have not used it but have had readers who have and  like it. I am not a lover of celebrity news, TV show shorts or movie reviews but as with the Swagbucks TV app this can be run with the volume off and you don’t have to sit and watch it play. So it certainly is a simple way rack up points for little effort.

30×30 = 900 points

Total points = 3120 = $30 in gift cards

Daily Swagbucks Checklist (color2)On the  chart I included you may note the addition of buying Daily deals and shopping through Swagbucks, I have not included them in this plan as the amount of points people earn from them would vary widely. However  they are certainly easy no-brainer ways of earning more Swagbucks  and they would give you a bit more wiggle room in my $30 a month plan in case you don’t get as many search rewards as I do, or you forget to run your video Apps one day.

Here is your free downloadable $30 a month Swagbucks plan

There are other ways of earning Swagbucks that you can find out about by viewing their home page, but for this post I wanted to show you  simple plan that can be done in just a few minutes a day and yet still make an impact on a tight budget.

And that is what I love about Swagbucks , you decided how much time you want to spend on it, but either way you can still earn a reasonable amount of rewards each month for little time spent.

Looking for ways to save money? Follow my Saving Money Tips board on Pinterest.

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10 Of My Favorite Christian Workout Songs & 7 Ways To Save Money On Them

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I love to listen to music when I run. My favorite workout songs are Christian. Now I know some of you may be imagining me running to classic hymns from the 1800′s and thinking, how in the world do you run to that. Well, I don’t run to hymns, Christian music comes in as many different genres as there are people. Everything from hip hop to rap to heavy metal all using words that praise our creator.

10 of my favorite christian workout songs and 7 ways to save money on music for your workout

 

I prefer a mix of songs, some with a fast beat for short fast runs, and some with a slower beat for long runs, or runs where I just don’t care about the time. One thing all my songs must have though are words that I understand and love.

10 Of My Favorite Workout Songs

1.  Toby Mac: Eye on it (on the album Eye On It)

2. Skillet: It’s Not Me It’s You (on the album Awake)

3.Mandisa: Overcomer (on the album Overcomer)

4. Group 1 Crew: His Kind of Love (on the album Fearless)

5. Big Daddy Weave: Love Come To Life (on the album Love Come To Life)

6.Britt Nicole: Gold  (on the album Gold)

7. Third Day: Run To You (on the album Revelation)

8. Francesca Battistelli: So Long (on the album Hundred More Years)

9. Steven Curtis Chapman: Love Take Me Over (on the album The Glorious Unfolding)

10. Sidewalk Prophets:  Nothings Going To Stop Us (on the album Live Like That)

7 Ways to Save Money On Your Music Collection

1. Find Stores with Awesome sales

I love Family Christian stores for their amazing sales of CD’s. Yes our family still buys actual CD’s. My SUV has a 6 CD player and no hook up for an MP3 player. We also have several CD players in the house and my favorite way to listen to music while running  is a Sansa clip so I can easily rip CD’s to my computer and place them on my Sansa.

If you love CD’s too chances are their might be a store near you selling CD’s for less than you might think.

2. Wait until the CD is older

A favorite song for me doesn’t has to be the newest and latest. I like songs both new and old.Albums drop in price fairly quickly.

I get $5 CD’s from Family Christian all the time that are 2 or so years old but still very current.

3.  Almost always buy albums instead of singles

A whole album is usually less money than purchasing the same amount of  singles, however sometimes I do stray from this rule. Sometimes there is  just one song or two songs I like on an album, in that case it is cheaper to buy the singles.

4. Look for discounted gift cards to your favorite places to buy  them

Cardpool sells discounted iTunes cards, as well as discounted cards to other various stores that sell music CD’s.

5. Search Yard Sales

Every yard sale season I find at least a small handful of CD’s of music I can add to my MP3 player. Most are pretty old, but they still get my body and soul moving.

6. Keep your eyes peeled for free music download credits

Money Saving Mom lists free credit codes to Amazon whenever they pop up.

7. Join Point & Rebate Programs & Cash Them in For Gift Cards

These programs all have either Amazon or iTunes cards in their reward centers. Here is a tutorial I wrote on ibotta to help you use the app. You might also want to check out this plan for maximizing your Swagbucks so that you can make the most of your Swagbucks account for filling your music collection.

Looking for money saving tips? Follow my Saving Money Tips board on Pinterest.

Linked to All Things Thursday,

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101 Blogs Thrifty People Read

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Thrifty people love finding ways to become even thriftier. One of our favorite sources of thrift information is blogs. Blog reading is free. What can be thriftier than that?

101 blogs thrifty people read

101 blogs thrifty people read

Please note these blogs are in no particular ranking order. I just listed them as I thought of them, or found them on the internet . This list is also not a complete guide to thrifty blogs, just the tip of the iceberg. If you have a thrifty blog and it is not on the list make so to leave a comment below with a link to your blog so readers can check it out.

All the blogs on this list offer unique ideas on thrifty living. Some blogs focus on thrifty living tips, some focus on coupons and deals, some focus on freebies, some focus on inexpensive recipes, some focus on money management,  some of them talk about thrifty one day and other things another, but all of them can help a person who desires to live a thriftier lifestyle.

1. Money Saving Mom

2. Living Well Spending Less

3. Surviving The Stores

4. Free Homeschool Deals

5. The Frugal Girl

6. The Queen Of Free

7.  Northern Cheapskate

8. Earning And Saving With Sarah Fuller

9. Living Richly On A Budget

10. Adventures in Coupons

11. Pays 2 Save

12.  Little House Living

13. Savings Lifestyle

14. Stretching A Buck

15. Six Figures Under

16. Fun Cheap Or Free

17. Thrifty T’s Treasures

18. The Frugal Girls

19. Premeditated Leftovers

20. The Greenbacks Gal

21. Frugal Living Mom

22. Creative Savings

23. A Life In Balance

24. Don’t Waste The Crumbs

25. Simply Rebekah

26. The Peaceful Mom

27. My Frugal Adventures

28. Frugally Sustainable

29. The Prudent Patron

30. Frugal Coupon Living

31. Stockpiling Moms

32. Freebies 4 Mom

33. Squawk fox

34. And Then We Saved

35. The Simple Dollar

36. Wise Bread

37. Motherhood On A Dime

38. Living A Frugal Life

39.  All About The Mommies

40. Meet Penny

41. Frugal Family Home

42. Saving The Family Money

43. Cleverly Simple

44. I Am That Lady

45. The Non-Consumer Advocate

46. Frugal Mama

47. Penniless Parenting

48. Baby Savers

49. Frugality Gal

50. Thrifty Little Mom

51. Sarah Titus

52. Live Like You Are Rich

53. Family Balance Sheet (org)

54. Saving The Family Money

55. Frugal Homeschool Family

56. The Broke Mom

57. Tips & Treasure

58. Frugalful

59. Femme Frugality

60. The Lady Prefers To Save

61. From Foreclosure 2 Frugal

62. Mom Advice

63. Mission To Save

64. A Mitten Full Of Savings

65. Pays 2 Save

66. Living A Frugal Life

67. A Thriftier In Disguise

68. Natural and Thrifty

69. The Centsible Life

70. The Frugal Farmer

71. Moms Need To Know

72. Penny Pinching Mom

73. The Coupon High

74. Thrifty Jinx

75. Queen Bee Coupons

76. Get Rich Slowly

77. Go Gingham

78. The Frugalista

79. The Broke & Beautiful Life

80. Broke Girl Rich

81. Girl Meets Debt

82. L Bee And The Money Tree

83. 4 Hats And Frugal

84. Thrifty Dad

85. Money Bulldog

86. Frugal Rules

87. Christian Personal Finance

88. Passionate Penny Pincher

89. Faithful Provisions

90. $5 Dinners

91. Freebie Finding Mom

92. Freely Educate

93. Frugal Portland

94. Good Cheap Eats

95. Pocket Change Gourmet

96. Freebie Shark

97. The Freebie Blogger

98. Coupon Cravings

99. Moms by Heart

100. Cha-Ching on a Shoestring

101. Passion For Savings

I hope you enjoy exploring the blogs on this list and that you gather tips that will help you live thriftier as read them.

Looking for money saving tips? Follow my Saving Money Tips board on Pinterest.

Linked to List It Tuesday, Thrifty Thursdays,

If you prefer to gather your tips by reading books, The Tightwad Gazette is a wealth of Thrifty Living Knowledge. From saving money on groceries, to cooking frugally to finding time to work on thrifty projects The Tightwad Gazette has it!

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Step By Step ibotta Guide

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I have just recently started using the ibotta app and I must say I really like it. My only disappointment with it is that I downloaded it months ago and only got around to using it in the last month. I could have been saving so much more money…or really earning.. since ibotta is a coupon app that pays you using it.

At $2 of redeemed offers you can cash out for a Redbox movie rental. For $5 of redeemed  offers you can cash out for either a $5 Starbucks card, or have $5 transferred to your Paypal account or Venmo account. For $10 worth of redeemed offers you can cash out for either a $10 Regal Entertainment Group gift card or a $10 iTunes gift card.

a step by step guide on how to use ibotta

How To Use Your Ibotta Account

I want to make it clear first that you don’t need a smartphone to use ibotta. You just need a device that you can download the app to and that has a camera that the app can access. I use my iPod.

1. To start your account with $2 click through link and sign up online

Ibotta offers a great sign up bonus, you get $2 if you sign up through a referral link (those words in blue contain mine) . To get your  two dollars  you have to click through a referral link online and sign up for the app right there. After you sign up then you can download the app. Once you have the app downloaded you have 10 days to redeem an offer. You must redeem an offer within 10 days of signing up to receive the $2 bonus.

how to use the ibbota app

This is what your rebate screen should look like. It should show you all the areas you can pick your rebates from.

2. Pick what type of rebate you want

At the bottom of the app screen you will see a lock sign with the words rebates underneath there you can choose what sort of rebate you want to use.

What I love about the ibotta app is that the rebates are not just for food, they are also for movie tickets, restaurants and electronics. For this tutorial I pressed the “Movie Theaters” tab.

pick the store3. Pick the Store/ Restaurant/ Movie theater in your area

There are currently 12 different grocery stores, 1 electronics store, 3 restaurants, 1 health and beauty store, 1 pet store, 1 home improvement store, 2 children’s stores, and 3 different movie theater chains you can pick from.

For this tutorial I picked the “AMC Box Office” tab since that is the movie theater in our town.

pick the product4. Pick the item you want a rebate for

Some weeks there is nothing I want to do a rebate for but the selection changes often so I look before I do my weekly shopping. Just recently my son was going to the movie Captain America with his friends so I picked out that rebate.

complete all tasks

5. After you pick an item you want a rebate on complete the tasks

Once you are on the rebate screen for a particular item you will see circles underneath the item full of various tasks with pink boxes with a lock sign underneath and a price listed beside it. Press on these and do the tasks. This will unlock the rebate so that you can claim it after you purchase the item.

6. Go and purchase the item

Now you can head to the store you picked, or restaurant or movie theater, and purchase the item(s)  that you picked to receive a rebate on. Make sure to keep the receipt so that you can claim your rebate.

verify items7. Verify your rebate

This is a simple process. Click on the redeem circle with a check mark in it found at the bottom of the screen. Your rebate should be there waiting for you to verify. Press verify and once you have doubled checked that you did in fact buy a qualifying item click on the verify circle.

follow the instructions of how to take the photo8. Take photo of your receipt and submit

Once you verify your purchase the submit photo box will become available to use. Press on it and follow the instructions. For a movie stub it was easy, I just had to take one photo. For a grocery purchase you may have to take several photos of the receipt starting at the beginning and going until the end, making sure you get all lines of the receipt.

wait for your rebate

9. Wait up to 24 hours to receive your rebate

Sometimes I have waited hours for a rebate other  times I have just waited minutes, but the ibotta app clearly states it could take up to 24 hours to receive a rebate.

10. Repeat

Repeat the process again and again and watch your rewards pile up. Cash out begins at $2 for a redbox code, but considering a Redbox DVD is less than $2 I would suggest saving up until you have at least $5 in rebates.

cash out11. Cash Your Rebates in for cash

As I mentioned before ibotta offers a few options for payment, you can get a deposit straight into your Paypal or venmo account, or you could choose a gift card for Starbucks, Regal Entertainment Group, Redbox Movie rental or iTunes.

Sure you won’t be able to pay your bills with ibotta, but you will be able to use a device you already own to earn a bit more cash, and small streams can add up.

Looking for more money saving tips, or money earning ones? Follow my Saving Money Tips board and my Selling & Earning Tips board on Pinterest.

Linked to Fabulously Frugal Thursday, Follow Our Thrift,

a step by step guide on how to use ibotta (smallest)Not an ibotta member yet? Use this link to sign up (or any of the ones above)  and redeem at least one rebate within 10 days and you will receive a $2 bonus (offer may change at any time)

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Step by Step Grocery Shopping With A Thrifty Person

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Grocery shopping for a thrifty person begins before the grocery store and ends well beyond it. In fact the actually “in the store purchasing part” is the quickest part.

step by step grocery shopping with a thrifty person

 Step by Step Grocery Shopping With A Thrifty Person

Weekly

1.Grab a piece of paper and write down the words lunch and dinner and the numbers 1 to 7 under each one: I go into how I write my simple menu in more detail in this post, but essentially that is all it is 7 meal ideas for lunch and 7 for dinner.

2. Look in the cupboards and see what you have left and try to think of what meals you could make with it: For instance if you have tuna, mac and cheese, and half bag of frozen peas, you have the makings of a tuna casserole. Write tuna casserole down as a meal idea for dinner. Repeat this process until you run out of meals you can make with what you have on hand. Then start listing what you need to buy to fill out the menu. Perhaps you have spaghetti noodles and hamburger but need the sauce so that you can have a spaghetti dinner.

3. Now that you have the starting of a list and a menu go through the cupboards again: This time mark down what staples you are running low on like milk, butter, eggs and flour. You might be able to do this during step 2 but my brain can’t seem to think about meals and staples at the same time so I do it separately.

4. Find out what is on sale and add it to your list: With the list of what you need on hand it is time to see what is on sale. I visit websites of the stores I frequent and note if any items I need are on sale, I also note items that are on sale that we don’t need now but use all the time. This allows me to pick the items up at rock bottom prices.

5.  Fill up store cards with coupons: I do a lot of my shopping at Meijer and use their Mperks program to save more money than just shopping sales. I load my card before I leave for grocery shopping. The card is digital and accessed by punching in my number at the check out.

6. Check the coupon data base at Money Saving Mom for printable coupons: With my list of needs and sale items I plan to stock up on in hand I then cruise on over to the Money Saving Mom coupon data base and punch in my items to see if I can find any printable coupons for them.

7. Check to see if ibotta has any offers I can do: I just started recently using ibotta, and am still getting the hang of it but ibotta is already turning out to be a great way to earn cash back or gift cards for purchasing items already on my grocery list anyways. Just this week I saved .50 cents on milk.  (sign up through my link to the ibotta website and then download the app. and you will earn a $2 credit to kick start your cash back fun! The credit will appear after you redeem you first rebate. Please note you must redeem an offer within 10 days to receive your $2 credit )

8. Check to see if I have any coupons for what I am buying in my coupon collection. I have a very small coupon collection  made up of coupons I find in stores, emails, magazines, and other sources.   I gather  the ones I will be using that day with the ones  these with what I printed off that day from the coupon data base (point 4) and put the all in the front of my coupon organizer.

9. Break  list into 3 to 4 stores: I keep a price book and by doing this I know where it is cheapest to get items on my list. Shopping at 3 to 4 stores in my area works well because they are all on the same road and all within minutes of each other. Your town may not be set up like mine and you may prefer hitting a different store each week that has the best sales.

10. Scan the store for clearance items and unadvertised sales as you shop: This is the tip I use to shop for most of the meat my family eats. I look for mark down stickers and stock up and freeze it in meal friendly portions and then plan our future meals with what I bought this week.

11. Watch the screen as my items ring up: I estimate I save us at least a few dollars a month by watching the screen for errors as it scans and checking my receipt over quickly before I leave the store.  A few dollars might no seem like much to some but when added up over time it makes a significant difference.

12. Cut up fresh foods intended for snacks and place in area they will be seen an eaten: Once I get home and get the food away, I take the  time to cut up cheese blocks into bite size pieces, so it doesn’t get pushed into the back of the fridge to mold. I cut up fruits like cantalope, watermelon, and pineapple into bite size pieces so that the kids can help themselves to it before it perishes. By preparing our perishables right away for eating, I save money by reducing our food waste.

13. File away catalinas: Miejer prints out catilina coupons with most orders and I like to go through them and file those I will use and toss those I won’t once I am home.

Once every other month or so

14. Stock up on lower price items in other towns: Every other month or so I find myself in a larger center for some type of errand, while I am there I take the time to visit other sources of groceries not available to me in my small town. One place I visit is a bread discount store that saves my family close to $100 a year just in bread.

15. Hold an eat from the pantry week: Depending on what we have going on I might put off grocery shopping just one day but only plan 7 days worth of meals meaning I have to get creative the 8th day. If however, I have something happening once a week that has me going right by the grocery stores anyways, like I do currently, then I will try to have a basic food only week ever two months or so. Where all I buy is milk, and vegetables. This clears out our stock making sure nothing goes bad.

14. Make an online order: There are a few items I find cheaper on line than in store, so I stock up on these every few months. For instance I find that my endurance products for my marathon training is cheaper at Lucky Vitamin.

Once a year

11. Carry around price book for a month: at the beginning of each year I like to dig out my price book and spend some time noting if prices have changed since the last time I updated it and if those places that had the lowest prices on certain stables are still the ones with the lowest prices. I might find that peanut butter is now cheaper at an out of town store, or that butter is cheaper at the second store I shop at instead of the first. These things don’t change often so updating my book just once a year seems to work.

Random happenings

12. Look out for discounted gift cards and daily deals: There are a few items I buy at Trader Joes and Whole Foods So I routinely go to the Cardpool website to check for discounted gift cards once a week. These can save me as much as 10% off my purchase. I also find that daily deal sites like Groupon or Plum District will run various promotions for both online and real brick and mortar stores that I shop at from time to time.

Looking for money saving tips? Follow My Saving Money Tips board on Pinterest.

Linked to Follow Our Thrift,Good Tips Tuesday, Thrifty Thursday,

 On A  Super Tight Budget

swagbucks image (200wide)If you are on a super tight budget you could benefit from spending just a few minutes each day doing daily activities at Swagbucks and Bing. I know from working it out on paper that you can easily earn up to $900 a year in gift cards to help with your grocery bills using these two point programs together. Bing Rewards can be converted to Swag Bucks and then you can cash in your Swag Bucks for Walmart or Target e-cards that you can use at your superstore center to pay for your groceries.  You could also convert your points to Paypal cards and use the money where ever you find the best deals on groceries.

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5 Easter Basket Fillers For Women For $5 or Less

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My husband says I am hard to buy for. I don’t think it is true, so this post is as much for my readers as it is for my husband. Here are 5 things that I would love to see in my Easter basket that cost $5 or less that I am sure other women would love to see in their Easter basket too. You don’t have to purchase all 5 but even if you do the total will still be less than $25.

5 easter basket fillers for women for five dollars or less

 5 Easter Basket Fillers For Women For $5 or Less

1. Gift Cards For  Favorite Beverages

Starbucks specialty coffees. Sweet tea from Chick-fil-la or McCalisters. Or perhaps your woman is more of a fountain pop (or soda) type gal.  A $5 gift card to where ever sells her favorite sipping pleasure, is a much appreciated gift.

2. Chocolate

Most moms will  agree with me when I say don’t get me the cheap dollar store bunny. I am a mom, I put up with strange unusual  punishment, like being asked the same question 100s of times in a row.  I deserve good chocolate for my troubles.  I love Green and Black organics dark chocolate, or Dove milk chocolate, or Cadbury fruit and nut. I could go on but 3 choices seems like enough.

Don’t know what the favorite chocolate of the woman in your life is? chances are their is a bar of it hidden somewhere in the cupboards or the bedroom or both. Either that or wrapper evidence.

3.  Kindle Books

Sure you might not know what book I am waiting to read next but if you give me a $5 Amazon gift card, I am thrifty and will be able to snag 1 if not 2 kindle titles with it to keep me in an alternate world where housework does not exist for hours.

4. A framed picture of loved ones

I know I am not alone on this one, women love framed photographs of loved ones, and nothing is more of a gift than not having to pick out the print, send it to the printers and frame it all by ourselves. Dollar stores sell inexpensive great looking frames. If the woman in your life is a mom of little ones, you can have them embellish the frame with their own personal touch for an even more heart warming gift.

5.  Flowers

A bunch of fresh cut flowers from Aldi are under $5. Sure they won’t fit in a basket but they can be put beside it. A blooming potted plant is a close second (or first with green thumb women who can keep it alive unlike brown thumb women like me).

Bonus tip: Inside the basket place a handwritten note from yourself that lists a few reasons why you love the woman the basket is for, chances are years from now you will still be able to find it tucked inside that folder she keeps in her dresser of notes from loved ones.

Looking for Easter ideas? Follow my Spring Time Board on Pinterest

Linked to List It Tuesdays, Titus 2 Tuesday,

swagbucks image (200wide)Psst….you can pay for a lot of the things above using gift cards earned through Swagbucks . Here are 10 ways to maximize your Swagbucks earnings so that you can not only pay for and Easter gift, but one for Mother’s day, Her Birthday, Wedding Anniversary  and Christmas too!

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How To Organize A Tiny Coupon Collection

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I use to have a larger coupon collection, but over the last year or so I have been using both less coupons and more electronic based coupons like Target Cartwheel and Ibotta, and the Meijer Mperks program.

As a result my coupon collection has shrunk to the point that I don’t need the larger coupon organization system I once used.

how to organize a tiny coupon collection

Up until last week I was just throwing them in a small pouch in my purse, but it was frustrating, as I had to go through the whole pile just to find the one coupon I wanted.

When I was decluttering the other day I stumbled upon this Vera Bradley wristlet that I got at a yard sale and  a thought came to me. The wristlet is long enough to fit envelopes, and tall enough for most coupons. It was also wide enough to fit an organization system of some sort.

So a few days later I went to work in transforming my wristlet that I wasn’t using into a coupon organizer I would use.

small coupon organizer step oneI got out our supply of envelopes from the cupboard and then cut one down to size. I wanted it it fit comfortable within the wrislet so that I could still zip it up with ease.

fitting envelopes in small coupon organizerI used a pair of scissors to cut out the first one but once I had a template made I got out the …..

cutting envelopes for small coupon organizersmall paper cutter which made cutting the envelopes go quickly and accurately (I don’t cut straight without the aid of a  paper cutter :) )

completed tiny coupon organizerWhen I was done I had a dividers for my tiny coupon organizer.

wristlet to coupon organizerFinally I sorted my coupons into categories and then labeled my envelopes. I kept my labeling simple using pen directly on the top  corner of the envelope but you could get more fancy with sticky labels that could act like tabs.

My categories are, Great Clips, Family Christian, Jo-ann, non-food items, food items, kid food, date night, Bath & Body Works, Meijer , and Store coupons, but you of course can make whatever categories suit your couponing needs.

What I love about this particular Vera Bradley wristlet style is that is also has a pocket where I can stash store cards and discounted gift cards I snag off Cardpool.

You don’t have to use a wristlet  in fact  I would encourage you to use whatever you already own and are not using, like a cosmetic kit that came with a free sample, or ……. I am sure if you did a bit of searching you will find something in your house that will work.

Looking for money saving tips? Follow my Saving Money Tips board on Pinterest.

Linked to WHW, Thrifty Thursday, Pin Me Linky Party, One Project At A Time,

No time to make your own? This purse size coupon organizer is under $15 on Amazon and comes with free shipping (prices and details could change at any time). Although I have not seen it in real life it comes with a 4.4 out of 5 star rating and comes in many different prints . It wouldn’t take long to earn it using Swagbucks.

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7 Ways To Raise A Thrifty Child

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I wondered when my children were little if my thrifty ways would rub off on them or not. Now that they are 11,13, and 18 I am already seeing signs that they are. My daughter often looks at prices of toys in stores and states “I could get that for a quarter at a rummage and save the difference”. My son makes sure to check out prices at several sites before ordering the video game he wants so that he gets the best price.

7 ways to raise a thrifty child

How did I do it? Well it could be there is just a thrifty gene, but here are the ways I intentionally set out to raise children who would be wise stewards with their money.

7 Ways To Raise Up A Child To Be Thrifty

1. Model It

From day one my kids have seen me yard sale shop, thrifty store shop and clearance rack shop. They have also seen me use coupons, discounted gift cards, and Swagbucks earned gift cards.

2. Talk About It

Not only have my kids seen me doing thrifty practices, but I also talk about why I do them. From very early on I would say things like “because I saved money  by…….we can afford to do……”. Keeping my script as simple as their level of understanding.

Now that they are much older I help them think through their own purchases. “Could you save money on that video game by waiting a few months?” “Could you get a second hand copy of that book?” “Do you want to rent the game over night from Redbox first just to make sure their is enough play value in it before buying it?” “We are going yard sale shopping this weekend, want to see if we find something similar then for less?”

3. Take Them Along

I will admit when my kids were little I left them home if I could when going to community yard sales, or thrift store 1 day bag sales, just because it was easier and frankly some days it was safer. It does not take long for a child to run off while you are busy going through a pile of second hand clothes.

Once they got older though and I could trust them to not to run off when I turned my back, I began bringing one or all of them to various thrifty events like yard sales or thrifty store one day sales, with their own spending money in hand, so they could get a personal taste of just how far money can go when you shop frugally.

4. Show Them Their Savings

The first time I brought my daughter along to a community wide rummage, I did something afterwards that she still talks about today. When we came home I looked up all that she had bought with her own money on Amazon and other websites and showed her how much it cost new, and then had her calculate her savings. She saved about $70 that day, and since she is a saving queen that was an eye opening experience that had her thinking of all the things she could buy used.

5. Make Them Set Goals And Work For Their Items

Right now my one son is saving up to build his own computer. My other son is saving up for a laptop and my daughter is saving up for a new iPod. We pay them a monthly wage, for doing certain daily tasks around the house. They can earn more by doing additional one shot tasks like, shoveling the driveway when it snows, or mowing the lawn, or weeding the garden.

I also encourage my kids to sell what they no longer use and put that money towards their saving goals.

6. Help Them To Understand How To Prioritize Money

My daughter recently came to use complaining that all her friends went and saw all the latest movies at the movie theater as a family and we NEVER do. My husband and I first pointed out her error, we do see 1 to 3 new release movies a year and not all her friends see new release movies all the time. Secondly we  pointed out to her how much seeing a new release movie costs a family our size and then had her calculate what that cost would be over the course of a year if we saw one twice a month (about the frequency her friends are going to them).

Finally we pointed out to her the things we do partake in as a family that her friends don’t, which lead to a talk about prioritizing money. We are all only given so much money to work with and we each must choose what is the wisest way to spend it for our family.

7. Teaching Our Kids What The Bible Has To Say About Money

As Christians my husband and I go one step further than the above 6 points and make sure that with every talk about money we also talk about what the bible has to say about it. There are over 3000 verses in the bible on the topic of money so we never run out of verses to share with the kids. The ones that come up in our conversations the most though are those on being a wise steward and on giving.

My children know that the bible says that we are to be wise stewards with what God intrusts to us, and that we firmly believe that being a wise steward lines up with being thrifty. They also know that being thrifty has allowed our family to give to others in ways we would not be able to if we weren’t living a thrifty life style.

Looking for money saving tips? Follow my Saving Money Tips board on pinterest

Linked to WFMW, Thriving Thursdays, Fabulously Frugal Thursday,

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20 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Clothing

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Clothing a family does not have to be expensive. With a bit of planning you can put these thrifty tips into practice and save $100′s of dollars each year on your families clothing needs.

20 ways thrifty people save money on clothing

20 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Clothing

1. Yard Sales

Before yard sale season begins make sure to write down either on paper or in a note app. the measurements, sizes and clothing needs of each member of your family. Be sure to bring this list as well as a tape measure to each and every yard sale with you so you can make wise choices of what to buy and what to leave behind.

If you hit a really good sale where you are purchasing a large amount of  items don’t be afraid to ask for a bulk discount. For instance if you have $20 worth of clothing ask if they will take $15 chances they might say yes they might counter with something in the middle, or they might say no, but it is worth it to ask.

2. Clearance Rack

My number one tip for clearance racks is wait for the second round of discounts unless it is a “got to have it today because I will go naked” need.  All stores mark down their stuff at least twice before they hit their rock bottom price and some stores do it more. Policies vary from store to store so get to know those of the clothing stores you love.

3.  Daily Deal Sites

My favorite daily deal site for clothes is Zulily. Through Zulily I have gotten great deals on workout gear,  top quality name brand shoes, and casual wear. Shipping is $5.95 so make sure that even with it added on the price is still what you could beat else where.

4. Discount Gift Cards

I often purchase discounted gift cards to Aeropostle or Old Navy at 5 to 10 percent off their value and then combine them with email coupons and store clearance rack finds for a triple hit discount.

5. Thrift Stores

You can find great deals on like new clothing in thrifty stores. Here are some articles I wrote about finding the best deals in second hand stores.

Yes that is a 3 part series on Goodwill. There are a lot of Goodwills in our area, and I have learned to maximize my savings there over the years.

6. Join Store email lists

Over the years I have saved a significant amount of money printing coupons and using  that were sent to me via email.

7. Look in those FREE magazines

I sign up to receive free magazines every chance I get, not just because I love reading magazines as I am winding down for sleep but also because I find great coupons off clothing within their pages. I have found coupons for stores like, Lands End, Coldwater Creek, The Children’s Place, Gymboree and more in the pages of the free magazines I read.

8. Repurpose what you have

Little boys shorts can make excellent little girls skirts. Jeans with holes in the knees can make great shorts. If you have basic sewing skills you can alter and adjust clothes to give the longer use.

9. Accept Cast offs

No matter what people give to you accept it with a smile. Word will spread that you accept hand me downs and soon you will have enough to share with others, especially if you have little kids.

10.  Buy clothes in stores you wouldn’t think to shop for clothes in.

I buy my boys their summer shorts each year at Sams club.  I buy all our socks at Big Lots. These 2 stores are not places you would think to buy clothes but often their prices can’t be beat.

11. Buy Less

I limit my clothes to having to fit in one dresser without needing to shove, and to taking up no more than the current amount of wooden hangers I own.

Others take it further, like Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom, who blows me away with her 6 outfit closet. Believe me I have seen her in real life and she looks amazing. Her 6 outfits are well chosen pieces, that suit her figure and coloring while reducing time and money spent on clothing.

12. Buy Classic Pieces

I have had a simple black dress in my closet now for over ..I think 6 years now. It comes out of the closet for special events only and I dress it up with various accessories, and different shoes each time. I always get compliments on it.

13. Buy Quality

Quality sometimes means you have to pay more but not always. For instance I have two pairs of simple winter boots that I paid $10 each for at a thrift store. They are 100% leather and a very well know brand. They came with a $100 clearance price tag attached to them (yep previous own never wore them). I get compliments on them year after year. My $10 a pair price is going a long long way.

I also have owned several Land’s end swimsuits, which are super thick and long lasting (I get 3 years out of each suit and I swim a lot) . I buy them in September when they are marked down to as much as 90% off (although sometimes I have had to pay 75% off prices).

14. Set Cost Per Item Limits

I won’t pay more than $5 for a workout shirt.I don’t glisten I sweat and so it doesn’t take long for my workout shirts to get gross even after washing them after every wear.

I won’t pay more than $1 a pair for socks and I am picky about the quality.  I won’t buy my running shoes unless I can save at least $20 on them some how (whether it be store sale, store coupon, discounted gift card or all combined).

These price limits may be my best weapon for when it comes to keeping the cost of our clothing budget down, as it makes me stick to my thrifty practices and scout out sales like a lion looking for prey.

15. Clothes Swap

I got to attend my first clothes swap last year and loved it. For more information on how to host your own clothes swap enter “clothes swap” into the search area on Pinterest. When I did dozens of articles popped up.

16. Consignment Stores

I don’t shop at consignment stores all that often because honestly I find better deals for clothes at other sources, but I do like consignment stores for specialty items such as gymnastic outfits, or Easter dresses. There clearance racks are also often a treasure trove of good deals on barely worn clothes.

17. Consignment Sales

These are different than consignment stores due the fact that they are usually only 1 to 3 day events. Again prices are higher than some other sources listed but I do love them for harder to find items in the second hand market. For instance when my son was little he was a slim fit, and I knew for sure that if I went to a consignment sale I would find a few pairs of slim pants, but finding them at yard sales was well….slim pickings.

18. Shop Discount Online Stores

When I was looking for a new swimsuits to do laps in, I asked the ladies swimming in the lap lanes next to me where they got their suits. They told me about SwimOutlet.com and I couldn’t believe the amazing deals to be found. Make sure you deal is not lost in high shipping costs (search retailmenot.com for a free shipping code) and of course you need to really know you size well so that you don’t spend money shipping items back.  What are you favorite discount clothing shopping sites?  I would love to hear about them in the comment section

19. Stay Out Of The Stores

Window shopping almost always leads to buys that we did not need. That unbelievable sweater for 75% off is not a steal of  a deal if you already own enough sweaters. Try to not be in the stores unless you really have a genuine need to be.

20. Use Swagbucks

Swagbucks offers gift cards for clothing stores such as Old Navy, Aeropostle, Land’s End, Gap and more. By performing a few tasks each day you can earn as much as $75 a month with Swagbucks. Check out my 1o Steps To Maximizing Your Swagbucks for a plan you can follow to use Swagbucks to earn enough to help your families clothing budget.

 Bonus Tip: Have you hear of thredUP ? I would describe thredUP as an online  consignment superstore. They carry kid’s clothing, junior’s clothing, women’s clothing, handbags and shoes. They also sell maternity wear.  I have yet to use their service, but I spent sometime cruising their website the other day and liked what I saw, reasonable prices and a good selection. If you prefer certain name brands of clothing I would check the site out.  The great part is if you are not already signed up you can start your account with a $10 credit when you sign up through my referral link .

Looking for ways to save money? Follow my Saving Money Tips Board on Pinterest.

 Linked to List It Tuesdays, WFMW, WHW, Thrifty Thursdays, Follow Our Thrift, The Mommy Club, Fabulously Frugal Thursday, Epic Friday, Growing Homemakers, Titus 2 Tuesday, Good Tip Tuesday, Frugal Homeschool Friday,

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