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Sunday, June 12, 2016

How to Know When It's Time to Buy



     The temptation to just pop in to Target and grab what we "need " is sometimes a tremendous pull.  We live in a fast paced, no extra time world where we often drop in to mega stores for one thing and come out with a cart load.  Then the next day we say " What did I spend $100 on ???".

  One of the best ways to avoid spending money is to just stay out of the stores.  But how do you do that ???  Over the years I have established a check list.  To be honest in our non lean years I didn't always use the checklist but my list is back.  The following is how I determine if we need to make a purchase.

STEPS:


1.  Establish weather this item is a real need or if its a want.  This is a big one.  9 out of 10 times I bet the item is a want.  If its a need move on to step 2.

2. Can I substitute this item with another? This is a huge one for saving on grocery trips but I also find it true with cleaners and other household items.  Often an item has more than one purpose and can be swapped out.  Example:  We ran out of dryer sheets reecenly.  Vinegar worked just fine and will until I find a super deal of nice smelling dryer sheets ( which I will cut in quearters) If it can not be substituted move on to step 3.

3. Can I make it or fix it myself?  Cleaners, curtains, play-doh, fertilizer they can all be made for a fraction of the cost to buy new.  You Tube has almost every video you could ever want on fixing something.  I have fixed my dishwasher and made a home pool heater just with You Tube instruction.  This step can save you a fortune and keep your creativity flowing but if you can't make it or fix it move on to step 4.

4.  Can you purchase it used, borrow it or get it for free?  I love all the Facebook yard sale pages that have popped up.  I have sold so many items that my family no longer needed and purchased many that other families were re homing.  Last week I purchased two like new life jackets for $10 and it saved me $29.98 over the best price I could find online.  Thrift stores are also a great source for deeply discounted items.

  We recently needed a shop vac for a day to clean out the garage.  Rather than purchasing one I posted on my FB page to see if I could borrow one.  Sure enough one of my neighbors had one and brought it right over.  

  Freecycle is a great place to check for items especially seasonal items.  Its amazing 
what you can get for free when you ask.  Sometimes you just need to put it out there that you are looking for something.  On the flip side be sure that you are generous when you are able to be as well and willing to give to others when they are in need.

 If the item can not be sourced for free or used move on to step 5.

5.  Hit the liquidation or salvage stores.  Many areas have a Big Lots or Job Lot.  They are a great source for householed items and seasonal goodies and you will pay substantially less than a typical retail purchase.  Marshalls and TJ Max are also great places to try especially for clothing and bedding.  If you can't find what you are looking for here than move on to step 6.

6.  Utilize the Internet to find the best possible deal. Technology is your friend.  Do a quick Google search for your item and you may be surprised by the variety of pricing and offers.  This also gives you the ability to check reviews.  Once you have found the store with the best price you can see if you can get it shipped for free to your door ( avoiding any temptations in the store) or go to the store to pick it up.  Before purchasing though you will want to got to Retail Me Not to check for coupons you can save to your phone or discount codes.  If purchasing online go through a great cash back site like this one.  I love getting my free money checks in the mail!

7.  Last but not least go to the store with a list of only what you need and just the cash to cover it.  Don't give yourself the option to buy or spend more than you should.  Its like adding blinders.

  If these steps seem like a lot to you I promise they really are not.  You can go through them in your head usually pretty quickly.  You will be amazed at not only how much money you save but also the time you save and the clutter you will avoid.

  I would love to know what steps you take to avoid over spending in the store.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Saving Green While Being Green - Cleaning

Spray nozzles for cleaning products


So if you are like me you are interested in saving money and getting healthier.  I'm personally on a mission to do both but it's one step at a time right ??? Right.

  Step one is targeting the areas where you can either go with out or subsist ute for something healthier and more cost effective.  As a mom of three messy ones cleaning products were really adding to my budget.  Yes I could coupon and get them for less but that would still mean two things.  One I would be bringing three kiddos into the store with me likely adding things to my cart and costing me a piece of my sanity.  Two when you really start to read cleaning labels you realize just how much toxic junk is in them.  I kid you not.  Go read the label of your tub cleaner and then see how you feel about popping junior in the tubby after 😳

  So that brings me to one of my favorite solutions so far.  Making my own household cleaner. This is my favorite multipurpose cleaner and it's so simple it's a combination of half a sink full of hot water, half a cup of white vinegar and a few drops of orange essential oils.  

  Vinegar is a great multipurpose cleaner but let's be real.  It does not smell good.  Adding a few drops  of your favorite essential oil takes away the vinegar small and makes your cleaning area smell amazing.  My house smells like oranges right now and my kids love that.  

  I've just cleaned my walls and tile floors and sinks using this combination and my house is clean and smells amazing.  It also costs me pennies on the dollar especially compared to the cost of standard cleaners.  My vinegar is the large bottle from Costco and I honestly do not remember the cost but at 1.32 gallons even if the cost of the container was $5 a half cup is let's say $.20 and the orange essential oil was part of a set I received as a gift from someone who knows how much I love my oils but did not have orange.  You can get a .4 ml bottle for just $5.99 on Amazon so a few drops of that might be another $.20.  Forty cents ( likely less) to clean my whole first floor very well and with no harmful chemicals....Yes I'll take that 😊

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Printer Paper for Just a Penny!!!!

  Woot woot!!!!  You will want to head over to Staples this wee to check out some of the sweet back to school deals even f you don't have kiddos heading back to school.  Why you ask???  Because tis week there are some great office supply stock up deals.  Like a ream of white printer paper for a penny after a super easy rebate!  Great for printing labels and coupons.  A big thanks to Hip2Save for sharing this.

  For more super deals, thrifty tis and recipes be sure to follow me on Facebook where most of those posts live.

Easy Rebate Deals


Staples 8.5″ x 11″ Multipurpose Paper 500 sheets/ream $7.79
Use the $3.98/1 in-ad coupon (if you don’t see this coupon in your ad, it will likely be available on the Staples coupon page starting Sunday)
Pay $3.81
Submit for the $3.80 Easy Rebate (limit 1 rebate)
Final Cost $0.01!
Staples Easy Rebates are just that, easy! Go on over here to read more about them. Basically you’ll be able to submit all your info online. You won’t even have to mail anything in– the best part in my opinion! You’ll receive your rebate/rebates within 4-6 weeks after submitting them.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Free E-Book for Those Selling on Amazon or Thinking of Taking The Plunge

  I just downloaded this book and can't wait to read it tonight.  Great FREE download for those taking the Amazon plunge.  Selling on Amazon:  10 Mistakes That Can Suck Your Business Dry and How to Avoid Them. 

It's only free today 7-5-14 so grab it while you can for free.