Archives for April 2012

Building a Home Library Inexpensively: Part 2

building a home library inexpensively part 2 of 4

This is part 2 of my tips on how to build and home library inexpensively. Be sure to check out part 1 for more tips as well as part 3 and part 4.

7. Swagbucks

Swagbucks is search engine of sorts. You sign up for an account, download their tool bar and enter your internet searches through it. Randomly as you search you will earn swagbucks which you can then cash in for various free items.

Swagbucks has a section where you can cash in your point for e-books and magazines, however the selection isn’t that great and the point values are high.

What our family does is let our swagbucks add up until we have 450 points, then we cash them in for a $5 amazon gift card code. The gift card works for kindle purchases.

8., Amazon or eBay.

If you are looking for a particular title and you need it right now, try half. com or Amazon or even eBay and you will probably find it there and have several different sellers to choose from offering various prices.

I don’t use these sites for buying books all that often, but when I do, I prefer to go with the seller with the higher rating over the seller with the cheaper price.

9. Half Price Books Store

If you are lucky enough to have a Half Price Books,  in your neighborhood or city that you visit regularly, and you are a book lover, they are worth visiting.

Most of the titles are second hand, others are new but slightly damaged in some way,however, all will be available for much less than retail.

The prices are generally higher than most second hand book stores, but many books are about the same in price.

The selection in amazing.

Thrifty Tip: I know the half price book store in our neighboring city, has a small section in the back of clearance items where books are even further discounted. Also Half Price Books often has a summer reading program for kids, that could lead to almost free titles.

10. Barnes and Nobles Educator Program

The Barnes and Nobles Educator Program is available to both teachers and homeschoolers, and provides a 20% discount off all  elliagable titles.(click through the words in blue to read all the terms that apply)

This is not the cheapest way to buy books but it is great for buying titles you just cannot find through other inexpensive avenues, that you need for your child’s homeschooling.

Thrifty Tip: Make sure to sign up for special event e-mails such as weeks when you can get a 25% discount on any regular priced item in the store.

Every summer Barnes and Nobles holds a summer reading program for kids where they can earn a free book.

6. Paperback Swap

Paperback Swap is an online community of book lovers, who post their no longer needed books that they are willing to swap for books you have that they want.

After you sign up post 10 books and then you receive a credit for one book. When one of your books gets chosen by another member, you pay to ship it to them. When they receive it you receive a credit. Spend that credit on another members book and they pay to send it to you.

Shipping makes the cost of Paperback Swap books comparable to second hand book stores.

I hope you come back next week when I will discuss how to build your magazine library for free or close to free, also don’t forget to check out Part 1 of “Building A Home Library Inexpensively”

 note this post contains affiliate links see my support page for details

This post is linked to Tackle It Tuesday at 5 minutes for Mom, WFMW at We Are That Family, Proverbs 31 Thursdays At Raising Mighty Arrows, Frugal Fridays at Life As Mom, Hip Homeschool Hop at Hip Homeschooling Moms

Three Places To Find Great Books For Little To No Cash, 5 eBooks for $7.40! Trade Books for Free - PaperBack Swap.tyndale 125 button

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Day 19

Just one more day, and then “4 Weeks to a More Organized Home” will be completed. Thanks to all of you who have followed along and read my updates.

I am loving the new cleaning rhythm I have found with Money Saving Mom’s series, so this morning I took advantage of a few quiet moments and wrote myself out a weekly plan that has been inspired by the series.

The skeleton of my plan is much like the assignments Money Saving Mom has been giving us each day for the past 19 days (well okay 18 actually because we did skip a day)Money Saving Mom Inspired Cleaning Plan

1. Get Dressed

2. Follow Morning Routine

3. Write out a list of 5 to 7 things (include cleaning assignments). Write out chores for the children.

4. 15 minute tidy areas (Monday through Friday)

5. 15 minutes on the room of the week (Monday through Friday)

6. Each Saturday pick the area of the home in greatest need and attack for 30 minutes.

7. By Friday each week have 5 items tossed or given away or designated to sell.

8. Spend 1 hour once a week actively listing items to sell

For my 15 minute tidy areas I decided I really wanted to keep up the bathrooms and my bedroom. So each bathroom gets a day and my bedroom 2 days and the last day will be a wild card day in which I pick whatever hotspot area is on my mind.

The room of the week will be one of 5 areas on our main floor. I am hoping to get the room decluttered and dusted and windows cleaned each time it comes up in the rotation.

Now on to today’s assignment.

1.Get dressed.

No surprises here jeans and a t-shirt.

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

Here is a bit of what I had on my to do list today.

I noticed before I went to bed last night that the milk’s sell by date was April 25 so I used it up today by making a big batch of waffles for the freezer.

My daughter had been grumbling for days that we were out of homemade granola so I made a batch.

The bread container was empty and sandwiches were on the menu so I got both bread machines going.

The cookie container was almost empty so I made some brownie bites.

I was out of laundry soap so I could not put off making a new batch any longer.It has to sit over night so I didn’t do any washing today.

3.Complete your morning routine.

I got my routine done long before I started my cooking in the kitchen marathon.

4.Set the timer for 15 minutes and wipe down your windowsills and trim around your windows (if you didn’t wipe these when we wiped down the baseboards earlier this month).

I cleaned my windowsills as I cleaned the windows assigned in #5.

5.Clean your windows and blinds and/or window treatments. If you want to get really ambitious, you can take the screens off (if you have screens) and clean the outside of your windows. Or, you can just use window cleaner and clean your windows on the inside. Dust or wash your blinds. Remove any washable window treatments and launder them.

I was out of laundry soap and my curtains were just washed a while ago so I skipped that part. My husband and I when we remodeled spent the extra money on the type of windows that can easily be brought inwards for cleaning, so I was able to clean  both sides of 90% of our windows.

The other 10% are the old style that would require me to go outside with a ladder to clean the outside, so I just skipped the outside of those for now.

The project took me just shy of 2 hours to complete.

6.Find 7 items to get rid of today.I had a hard time finding 7 items to get rid of today. It might be because over the last 19 (18) assignments I have cleared out 112 things. I also cleared out a truck load when I spring cleaned the attic last month.

Tomorrow when I finish the final assignment I have decided to treat the children and I to a small celebration. I truly have inched forward for good in the area of housekeeping this month and I feel every inch deserves a celebration.

How about you? Do you celebrate your accomplishments both big and small?

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Day 18

I was thinking as I was cleaning my closet floors today, only 2 more days of assignments left and then I am going to be on my own again on the cleaning front.

As I was cleaning my mind was whirling with ideas of how to make this a permanent change. I think I have a plan, almost worked out, so perhaps 2 more days of cleaning will work out the kinks.

Day 18 Assignment

1.Get dressed:

Even though today was grocery shopping day, I still did not wear anything spectacular, same old jeans and a t-shirt.

The new line of Mother’s Day t-shirts were in at Walmart, and I was thinking if I got this one would that count as “spicing up” the wardrobe. NO! (darn)


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

I am done my list now (its 2:30 pm as I write) except for the most important one, and that is sitting down  late this afternoon to watch “Hop” with the kids with a big bowl of air popped popcorn and some homemade lemonade. I am so looking forward to some couch snuggles from my kiddo’s.


3.Complete your morning routine.

I did it, but no laundry today. Which I could have conquered those stairs to the laundry area just fine today. I am finally feeling normal after my painful marathon experience Saturday. However I promised the ER hubby no workouts till Monday.

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

I assigned floors to my children as part of their daily afternoon tasks and then spent my 15 minutes cleaning the Master Bedroom.

I decided on dusting the tops of the curtains instead of washing them.

I then finished cleaning the window I started on Monday and went on to do the second. I left the third uncleaned as it has the window air conditioning unit in it already and I was afraid that without assistance it might fall out while I tried to clean.

I am so happy to report that I made my number 1 goal for the “4 weeks to a More Organized Home”.

When I decided to join Money Saving Mom in her 4 week adventure I wanted to make spring cleaning the master bedroom form top to bottom a priority and now with only  2 days left in the series it is done.

5.Sweep or mop the floor in those closets without carpet. Remove all items from the closet floor and get rid of clutter, trash, and items that don’t belong in that closet.

I cleaned 3 of our 5 closets concentrating strictly on floor clutter and dirt. The other 2 are in our children’s rooms and since they are old enough to clean them on their own I assigned them to do so.

The master bedroom walk-in was the worst. The floor was very cluttered. Yes those are wooden swords on the floor (long story). Yes that is a Santa Hat, that one I can explain.

Back in December I convinced 2 running pals to do the “5k Santa Hustle” down in Indianapolis with me. What a perfect race, candy at the water stops, and chocolate at the finish line.

But I am getting off topic, back to closets. This was all that was on the floor of my very tiny walk-in closet.

I gave the floors a good wipe down and removed a lot of dust that I did not even know was there. I also threw out a garbage bag full of junk just as big as the one I threw out yesterday.

The linen closet took all of a few seconds to do as I had done it very recently during Simple Mom‘s ” project simplify” series. The plastic totes for our sheets are working wonderfully. The kids are able to place the clean sheets inside and put the lid on keeping the shelves neat and tidy.

I ended with cleaning the downstairs closet (sorry no photo, I forgot).

6.Find 7 items to get rid of today.Today I threw out a jacket with a broken zipper and a torn gift bag. I also put a few baby clothes  and one baby toy from my now 9 year old daughter in the give box (how they got missed for this long I do not know). I must say as I was folding the baby clothes and placing them in the to give box I enjoyed some fond memories of her baby hood. It goes so fast.

Now its almost movie time! So I best go and get the best seat in the house, right in the middle of the lumpy couch with a child on each side to snuggle.

How about you? Does your family regular movie nights? (or late afternoon matinee’s as we do in our family)