Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Big Ebay Sale is on NOW!

I just wanted to pop in here real quick and mention Ebay's big September sale. If you haven't heard the news, NOW is the time to sell what you can on Ebay to make an extra buck or two.

If you list an item with a starting price of $9.99 or less and use a gallery picture, they will waive the ENTIRE listing fee! If you start your price at higher than $9.99, I belived it is 25% off your listing fees. And this sale is good through the month of September.

It almost sounds too good to be true, huh? I'm a little bit nervous about what's to come after the sale is over, but I'm trying to get as much as I can listed in the mean time. I moved about 50 items from my store to auction today, and have also listed 8 new items so far. You can check out my listings here if you like at my Ebay store: Cupboard to Cupboard.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Back to school shopping

Have you been feeling the back to school blues in regards to your budget lately? It's that time of year, and if you haven't planned for it, it can wreak havoc on your finances.

We don't go overboard when it comes to back to school clothes shopping. Each of the girls is allowed to get one special outfit for the first day of school. Shoes and backpacks if they need it. We've been stockpiling on school supplies when we find really cheap deals.

A few weeks ago, Staples had a penny sale on school supplies, and we loaded up then on pencils, pencil boxes, folders, erasers and pencil sharpeners. They were each only a penny. They had limits on most items, but we did good an made a good dent in supplies we will need.

Friday we were in Fred Meyer and they had all their backpacks marked down 50% already. They also had filler packs of paper for 4/$1.00. The week before, they had 1-subject notebooks for 10/$1.00.

A few weeks back, Target had a great deal on the 24-pack of crayons, and I stocked up on those as well. I have way more than we need on some items, but I'm sure I'll still need some things as well. I don't mind buying extra if the deals are great, we can always use it later, or in this case, the kids will be participating in a community service project for 4-H at fair next week. We are collecting school supplies for needy kids, so we will donate whatever we have that we don't need there.

We've gotten shoes taken care of, and luckily we did ok there also. We looked at Fred Meyer, and the girls didn't see anything they were CRAZY about. My oldest saw a pair of VANS she had to have, but they didn't have them in her size, so we left without getting anything. Instead, we went over to Volume Shoe Source, and the kids all found things they were thrilled with, and each pair was about half the cost of the ones at Freddies, so momma was a happy camper!

I'll buy jeans at the thrift store as they need them. I go often enough there looking for things to sell on Ebay, and I always keep my eyes out for the girls. I'd much rather pay 1.99 for a pair of jeans, than full price at other stores.

All these little things add up, and I save quite a bit in the end. Doing it this way prevents that HUGE ding to our budget, and allows us to use that cash to pay off our debts.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Get paid for blogging!

In case you are in the dark, and did not know that you can get paid for blogging, let me fill you in. There are companies out there that will pay bloggers to post about a topic and include a link in your post, for advertising purposes. This is a great way to earn a little (or a lot!) extra money to put towards debt, put towards savings, or just help with the day to day bills.

The most popular site, is Payperpost. The minimum you will earn for a post is $5, and they can go up from there, depending on the advertising oppurtunity. I started posting with Payperpost right at the end of June, and so far I've earned over $150 with them this month just for posts I've written! That's with only one blog. I've just reached the point where I can add another blog to their system, so I can most likely double that income now that I can take opportunities for two blogs, so that could easily be $300 per month just with Payperpost!

Another site I have been using is PayU2blog. They pay $5 per post, and they give you assignments, there's no choices for you in which you take and which you don't. But I've made an additional $100 from them since June also.

Get Paid Money to Blog
Last is a site I've just signed up with and my blog is still pending approval with them, is From what I hear, this site pays more for your posts than any other, so I am anxious to give it a try.

If you are interested in other ways to earn money via blogging, be sure to check out my main blog A Problogger Mom.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Grocery Shopping the stockpile method with coupons

For those of you looking to save some money, I wanted to share this method of grocery shopping with you. You may have heard of The Grocery Game, and this is the method that they use. However, it's very easy to do yourself instead of paying someone to help you.

Basically, your shopping should revolve around the sales flyers at your favorite grocery store(s). I tend to shop at 3 different stores, depending on what is on sale. The best way to get started, if you are not familiar with how much you spend on items you buy repeatedly, is to make a notebook of sorts. Keep track of the regular items you buy, and how much you spend on them. Then keep track of those same items by watching the sales flyers. Write down the cheapest price you can buy the item for. It may take a couple of months to find the absolute cheapest price, as the grocery stores rotate what they put on sale. Your goal is to find the absolute lowest price for each item. You may find out through doing this, that one store usually has the lowest prices, or that you can find some items cheapest at one store, and others at another. Eventually, you will come to know a good deal when you spot it, because you will come to know what those rock bottom prices are for your regular grocery items.

The next step is, to "stockpile" items that are at their lowest price. Don't just buy one. Buy as many as you can store or use in a reasonable amount of time. By doing this, you will spend more in some months, and less in others, but overall, your grocery spending will go down.

To even sweeten the pot further, use bulk coupons or price matching. I hear all the time how people don't bother with coupons because they don't find coupons for items they use frequently, or what is the point of saving 10 cents here, 25 cents there. Well, when you shop the stockpile method, you use coupons in the stockpile method also. Don't use just one coupon when you are buying 10 bottles of ketchup because it's at that lowest price point. Use 10 coupons as well as getting the lowest price point. How, you ask? There are lots of place that sell coupons in bulk online. I prefer Ebay just because I am a seller there, and know how it works so it is most comfortable for me. Most coupon sellers on Ebay sell coupons in batches of 10 or 20 of identicle coupons. See my post on Electrasol coupons. If you find that prices are lowest at different places, see if your stores price match. I am pretty sure Walmart does. What this means, is that if you take in another stores sales flyer, they will give you the item at that price. This will minimize making multiple grocery trips to lots of stores and save you time and gas.

So for example, say the regular price of a large bottle of Ketchup is $2.49. Say you find the lowest price point near you, is $1.39. Say you have 10 coupons for -1.00 each. Normal shopping, you would have spent $2.49x10=$24.90 on 10 bottles of ketchup. The stockpile method, you will only spend (1.39-1.00=.39 each) .39x10=$3.90 for 10 bottles of ketchup. The difference is a LOT! $24.90-3.90=$21.00! Now, you will have to figure in the cost of the coupons, but still, this will most likely be less than a 1.00.

Some things to remember:
1. ALWAYS get a Sunday paper and scan the coupons or join a site like to find out what the Sunday coupons will be. If they have ones you will use, shop for them in bulk on Ebay or other coupon clipper type sites online. Take note of the expiration dates on the coupons and set up some type of coupon storage system (I use a three ring binder with clear trading card protector sheets).
2. Learn when your grocery sales flyers come out and get them as soon as possible and review them. If there is a good deal on something and you need coupons to make it even better, order them immediately. My sales flyers come out on Wednesdays and the sales are valid from Tuesday midnight to the following midnight. I try and review the sales flyers on Wed and I've been known to order coupons early Thursday morning and have them come in on Monday, leaving Tuesday to still shop the deals before they are over.
3. NEVER leave the house without your coupons! You never know what you will stumble upon stuck away on a clearance rack!

Updating this post to reference another similar post I just found on GetRichSlowly here:

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Money saving tip for shopping on Amazon

I just ordered my Twinings English Breakfast tea in bulk from Amazon's Grocery, and wanted to share with you all this awesome site. You know how you get free shipping if you spend $25 or more on Amazon? Well this handy dandy little tool, will search Amazon's items for you to find items that will get you right up to that $25 mark. The site is called Amazon Filler Item Finder, and I use it all the time. I drink a LOT of tea, and buy 6 boxes of 50 teabags via Amazon, but it only comes to around $22. This tool let me find a Rubbermaid bowl that brought my total just 3 cents more than $25, so I qualified for free shipping!

So go shopping and take full advantage of Amazon's free Super Saver Shipping!

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Free Electrasol Dishwasher Detergent coupons

If you are not a coupon user, you may still want to take advantage of this deal. Last week in the Sunday paper coupons, was a coupon for free Electrasol dishwasher detergent. These typically run about $4.00 a box. They offered the same deal last year around this time, and I stocked up big time. I bought 4 local papers, just for that coupon alone, and I also bought a lot of 10 of these coupons on Ebay. I still have 4 unused boxes under the sink! So say you buy 10 of these coupons on Ebay for $10, that's the cost of about 2 1/2 boxes, but you end up getting 7 1/2 boxes for free! One note of warning if looking for these coupons on Ebay, there are also lesser coupons out there for Electrasol, so be sure you read the auctions carefully to make sure you are getting coupons for the free detergent. I am using Auction Ads to the right and above to hopefully show you a few auctions you can check out right now! Hmmmmm....other things seem to be showing in the ads, hopefully it will pick up the Electrasol auctions soon!

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Monday, July 9, 2007

The heat is on, summer has arrived!

We are preparing tonight for the heat wave to hit us here tomorrow in the Pacific Northwest. I actually don't mind the heat myself, it's the humidity that gets old really fast. Temps are expected to get in the high 90's and low 100's. We usually only get one or two small blasts of heat like this each summer here in Western WA, so it's not too bad.

I have opened every window in the house for the night, and am in the process of pulling out all the fans. One way to keep your house cool during the high temps such as this, is to open all the windows at night and blow the cooler air in all night long. Then get up as early as possible before the air starts to warm for the day, and shut all the windows. If you have south or west facing windows, if you can cover them with white poster board or cardboard on the inside of the windows, this will help reflect some of the heat away.

We have been doing this for years, and often have friends ask if we have a/c because our house is so cool, and no we don't have a/c. Just doesn't get hot enough here to justify it as this is a relatively mild climate. Several of our friends have commented they don't feel safe with the windows open all night. That's where are dogs come into play. If anyone was lurking around at night, they'd be sure to let us know!

Stay cool everyone!

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