Archive for the ‘Eco-Green’ Category

Earth Day Every Day Saves You Money

Earth Day…

On the first Earth Day I “celebrated” with my kids a friend, her 5-year old son, my 5-year old son, 1-year old daughter in a stroller and I went into a little tiny strip of wilderness area that stretched along side a street we used to frequently walk along, and we picked up the trash.  I can’t recall how many bags full of garbage we collected, but we were astonished at how much there had been in such a small space, and the kids were really proud that the work they did would help keep the little forest they knew so well healthier and more beautiful. Unfortunately, the following year, the little forest was full of litter and trash again, which I found so discouraging I didn’t have the heart to show my little son how fruitless his previous year’s noble efforts had been, and I hit the wall of disillusionment in the Earth-day clean-up activity arena, so instead, I think we planted a tree that year for Earth Day.

Littering is a huge pet-peeve of mine.  I wish it was for more people out there.  Not only is it an immense eye-sore, but litter presents personal health and world wide environmental pollution hazards, and even though I hadn’t even considered this 20 years ago, now I know that it  filters through our whole economy, creating a tremendous impact on national budgets, taxes, fees, and real estate values… all of which are paid for by YOU… it all ends up coming right out of YOUR wallet.

Bag Monster Blog, a site devoted to eliminating plastic bag use, quotes Heal The Bay, an environmental group dedicated to cleaning and sustaining the Santa Monica Bay in Southern California, who sites the following statistics: The total cost of litter collection, disposal and enforcement in the U.S. is estimated to be at least $11.5 BILLION annually. Businesses bear the burden of this cost, spending $9.1 BILLION annually and representing 79.5% of the total cost of litter abatement. Just consider for a second the lower prices we might be appreciating if business didn’t have to foot such an enormous bill, and what amazing, wonderful, and productive things might be accomplished with that money!

Placing trash in trash bins instead of littering will reduce these costs, but recycling further reduces expenditures, and is even more ecologically sound — and re-using and re-purposing promotes all around further savings.  Check the fascinating recycling facts posted on A Recycling Revolution.

While my experience with cleaning up that little neighborhood woodlands was a bit discouraging, it did not hamper my caring about the the fragility of our planet, and along with cost-consciousness, an eco-consciousness has found its way into just about everything I do.  I still have a long way to go, and it may feel daunting at times but , unlike 20 years ago, now it is easy to find resources, like EarthDay.org, and Keep America Beautiful, that are devoted to making it easier for us keep the world healthier, cleaner, safer, and more beautiful, while keeping our our wallets happier too!

Jamie, SLTV

Catch these Money-Saving and Earth-Friendly Related Videos:

Being Frugal:  The Original sustainability? – Author of The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More, and Live Better, Chris Farrell

Cleaners, Make Your Own – Kimberly Danger, founder of Mommysavers

Clothes Swap – Melissa Massello of Shoestring Magazine & Amy Chase of Punkystyle Blog

Energy Efficiency Tips - Host of “House Smarts” TV show, Lou Manfredini

Freecycling: Household Items for Free - coordinator for Freecycle New York City, Christina Salvi

Gasoline Money: Inflate Tires & Save - Global energy products and eco blog, Eco 20-20

Grow an Organic Garden: Save Money - Research editor of Organic Gardening Magazine, Pam Ruch

House Cost Saving Tips, Eco-Friendly - Interior designer, Libby Langdon

Household Eco Products Save Money - Josh Dorfman, host of The Lazy Environmentalist TV show

Live Richly & Frugal Forever – Founder of the Tightwad Gazette, and Frugal For Life blog, Amy Dacyzyn

Refrigerator & Freezer Eco & Savings Tips – Home enviornmentalist expert, Danny Seo

Shop Organic Money Saving Tips - Author of Georgously Green and TV host, Sophie Uliano

Uncle Sam Sells Cheap, All About Gov’t. Auctions - Stacey Johnson host of Money Talks News

World Travel for Free While Helping to Grow the Organic Movement - World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farms,  WWOOF

Link to this article: http://is.gd/vYW4TG

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Seasonal Crafts From the Kitchen & Yard

Setting a festive mood or bringing excitement into your home to enjoy some seasonal cheer doesn’t require a big wallet or bank account.

Sometimes the mementos everyone appreciates the most are the ones that came right from home, handmade from the little things found right in your backyard or kitchen. Here are some fun, eco-friendly and budget-friendly do-it-yourself craft projects that use and re-use simple materials you may already have on hand so you can bring the outdoors in to appreciate all season long.

How to Make Shrunken-Head Apples - Perfect for Halloween! A festive and seasonal DIY decor idea, that’s fun and easy to create: shrunken heads from apples. Float them in a bowl of punch, mount on sticks or make a garland and display by the front door. The video instructions say to leave them in the sun for several days to dry, but you can also leave them in a 225 – 250-degree oven for 6 – 8 hours or till dried.

How to Make a Corn Husk Doll - Candace from NaturallyEducational.com shows how to make DIY dolls from corn husks in this clip. A charming activity for kids to do. Decorate a wreath with them or string together and drape across a holiday dinner table top or spruce up a doorway.

Squash & Gourd Luminaries, DIY - Candace Give the Season a warm glow with these unique DIY luminaries from nature. How-to in this video from the Holiday Crafts show in the DIY Network hosted by Michele Beschen.

Wax Leaves for Decoration, DIY - Amanda Warford presents a crafty idea to bring the outdoors in.  This clip shows how a simple dipping in wax will preserve leaves to enjoy all winter long. Use them to create mobiles, collages, garlands or wreaths.

More DIY projects and ideas to get the most from what you already have:

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Fresh Food Saving Ideas to Stretch Your Produce Dollars

This post was inspired by BargainBabe.com’s third annual Frugal Festival which was held in Los Angeles, CA. The festival’s theme was “Food” and also provided support to the L.A. Regional Food Bank.

In general do-it-yourself is always the more economical way to go. Sometimes, like in the case of plumbing, electrical work, or car mechanical tasks, attempting DIY may end up costing you big in trouble and bucks unless you’re a seasoned veteran. But once you learn a few simple rules about cleanliness, preparing your own food will rarely – if ever – get you into any real trouble (Just don’t forget to turn off the stove).  It’s an undisputed fact that even if you do not use coupons, and even if you pay no attention to sales and markdowns, preparing your own meals is  healthier and will end up being a real money-saver.

Our Food, Cooking, Drink, Recipe Channel and Coupons & Grocery Channel are loaded with amazing tips on how to get the most gourmet bang for your supermarket, couponing, dining-out, and cooking dollar, but in this post, we’re focusing on some unique “frugal” food preservation strategies.

I consider myself a “nothing cook.”  Just as an artist may need to see the paint colors or the collage pieces before getting inspired to put something on the blank canvas, I draw inspiration from what I see in the fridge and pantry to create dishes. Essentially, I take what is there and make something from nothing. When my children were toddlers, a friend mentioned to me that she saves every leftover, no matter how small. She said, “To them (the toddlers) this 1/8 cup of rice and peas is a whole meal.”  Ever since then, I save just about everything, no matter how small, even now with the kids long gone from my kitchen. There are some occasional times when I don’t end up using the leftovers, but most of the time, those little leftovers serve as inspiration to create a whole meal. A tiny bit of fresh basil leaves get slivered into an omelet. A few pieces of bell pepper edges, celery ends, and a raddish or two becomes a slaw. A little piece of ginger gets sliced and put in the freezer for a stir-fry at another time.  Tired cilantro stems get blended up and frozen in an ice-cube tray for future sauces. And, one of my all time favorites: air dried grape tomatoes, all shriveled up with concentrated sweet flavor, perfect to slice up and top off some cream cheese or goat cheese on crackers… you get the idea.

For me, it’s really more about creativity and respect for nature and it’s gifts that drives my focus on a “waste not” attitude in the kitchen… but no matter what the inspiration, nature or money-saving, the pay-off is: DIY in the kitchen is a far more budget-friendly and healthy way to go.

Here in these videos are some amazing tips on food preservation that are easy to do, and with summer and fall’s bounty soon to surface, it’s a perfect time to hone up on ways to preserve now, so you can take advantage of in-season lower prices and produce’s peak freshness, to enjoy abundant inspiration all year long.

Food In a Frugal Lifestyle – Writer W. Hodding Carter has written a series on frugality for Gourmet Magazine which stemmed from his facing the truth about his family’s living beyond their means. See how the family tackles the food budget.

Making Fruit Leathers – Stop wasting food; preserve the height-of-the-season bounty for later by making fruit leather for pennies compared to what the store-bought costs! Step-by-step guide to making fruit leather from the Alaska Cooperative Extension Service’s Julie Cascio, gives details.

Drying Vegetables – Drying your own Vegetables is a great way to stretch your grocery dollar & enjoy fresh seasonal flavor all year. Julie Cascio from the Alaska Cooperative Extension Service, shows step-by-step instructions.

How to Dry Herbs - Easy DIY to enjoy seasonal prices and preserve the flavors of summer by drying fresh herbs & spices to use through the rest of the year. Author & host of PBS’ “Garden to Table,” P. Allen Smith shows how.

Freeze Fruit, Save Money – Buy fruit when it’s on sale, freeze & enjoy all year! You can use the technique shown in this video for all types of fruit – we’ve even done it with grapes! Try it with veggies, too! Dani Spies from CleanandDelicious.com shows how simple it is.

How to Freeze Tomatoes - Save money or stretch your own garden crop while you enjoy garden-fresh tomatoes all year long by freezing them! Simple to do.

Ready to Use Frozen Pepper Patties – Freezing is a way to take advantage of in-season prices for fresh produce, but freezing partially prepared recipe ingredients in small ready-to-use batches not only is good to keep your savings going all year long, but shortens your food prep time, too! This example from rebuild-from-depression.com is a bright addition to any freezer pantry.

Stretch Your Groceries, Stop Tossing Tomatoes - Donna Miller from Miller’s Grain House shows how saving a little here and there will add up to a lot on your table and in your piggy bank! This simple kitchen tip is a perfect example of kitchen frugal!

More Food Money Saving Tips in our Posts:

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Make Every Day Arbor Day, Tips to Save Trees and Money

U.S. National Arbor Day:  The Last Friday in April 

The beauty of trees alone is enough reason for us to want to surround ourselves with as many trees as possible, but it’s not the only reason.

Here are a few more reasons why surrounding yourself with trees is a good idea. From The ColoradoTrees.org article, Benefits of Trees in Urban Areas:

  • Trees remove carbon dioxide from the air and give out oxygen. A healthy tree stores about 13 pounds of carbon annually. An acre of trees absorbs enough CO2 over one year to equal the amount produced by driving a car 26,000 miles.
  • Trees also filter other gaseous pollutants from the air. There is up to a 60% reduction in street level particulates when trees are present.
  • Trees prevent soil erosion and water run off.
  • They prevent harmful land pollutants contained in the soil from getting into our waterways.
  • They act as buffers to noise pollution.
  • They cool the earth with their shade. Studies have shown that parts of cities without cooling shade from trees can have temperatures as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit higher than surrounding areas.
  • They function as wind breaks for farms and our homes.
  • Trees enhance traffic safety; drivers tend to drive slower on tree-lined streets.
  • Trees increase property values.
  • They help reduce home energy use, which saves you money.

And, if all this isn’t enough to consider making tree preservation and planting a priority in our everyday lives, consider this: Trees reduce crime. In the April 1, 2011 edition of Bottomline Personal Newsletter we read:

  • Neighborhoods with large trees tend to have less crime than areas with smaller trees says Geoffrey H. Donovan, PhD, research forester, Portland Forestry Sciences Labratory, Oregon, and coauthor of a study of 431 crimes, published in Environment and Behavior.

You can easily help improve your town, neighborhood and home while also preventing the over harvesting of trees and destruction of forests. Here are some simple tips that you can use in your everyday life that will make a considerable difference. And… we happen to know that these tips will save you money, too!

 

Consider joining the The Arbor Day Foundation. The Arbor Day Foundation’s purpose is to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. Founded in 1972, the centennial of the first Arbor Day observance in the 19th century, the non-profit Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees. Their Web site features many helpful gardening and planting resources; one of our favorites pages is the one giving Free Landscape Design Plans. They also give more wonderful free material when you sign up for membership. Sign up starts at just $10. For that, you will receive discounts on purchases of trees and shrubs of up to 56%, a bi-monthly color newsletter, The Tree Book treasury on planting and caring for trees, AND IN ADDITION: Your choice of either - receiving TEN FREE TREES, or making a donation of ten trees in your name to a national forest in need.

Participate in or start a community tree planting program. Check with your local town or city government to find out if there is a tree planting program in your city and join in. Some towns will plant a tree for free at your curbside if you volunteer to water it. If there isn’t a program in your city, consider starting one. Find info. in this AmaricaForests.org aritcle: Create a Community Tree Planting Project.

About books: Go for used books or textbooks, check out books from your local library, or going digital with an e-book reader or program for your computer.

Go digital for subscriptions. Take online subscriptions for your news or magazines. Switch to online bill pay and banking.

Send a FAX directly from your computer.

Check for post-consumer recycled household paper goods like bath tissue, paper towels and printer paper.

Cut back on paper towels.Use rags instead of paper towels. You can use worn out sheets, t-shirts, sweatshirts and pants, pajamas, receiving and baby blankets, frayed bath towels can be cut down to make smaller towels.

Wrapping paper: Consider alternatives that can be reused: Fabric. Cloth drawstring bags. Dishtowels. Re-use existing wrapping paper, paper bags or newspaper. Look for post-consumer recycled wrapping paper.

Consider your wood furniture: You can save trees by refinishing furniture. When shopping for new furniture look for those made with recycled or reclaimed wood.  There are excellent tips in this article form PlanetGreen.com, Learn How to Find Eco-Friendly Wood Furniture.

Related videos:

  • Trees Cut Home Energy Costs - Home improvement expert Danny Lipford shows how trees cut 25% on your energy bill as well as beautify your home.
  • Reduce Home Heat & AC Bills - Tips to reduce your home heating and air conditioning bills, from planting trees to using eco friendly light bulbs and more from EnStar’s Bill Stack and Growing Wisdom’s Dave Epstein.
  • Eco Chic Gift Wrap & Packaging Ideas - Go creative & go eco when wrapping presents & getting packages ready for shipping. Creative, inexpensive, & practical green from eco expert, Rachel Avalon.

Related articles:

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8 Earth Saving and Money Saving Household Tips

Earth Day: April 22

We’ve been eco-conscious for decades (more decades than we care to mention.) We consider ourselves to be fairly eco-friendly, and are happy to do our bit in terms of recycling, reusing, repurposing, shopping eco-friendly whenever possible, planting trees over and above our carbon footprint; and we do know that being green also adds up to some real decent money savings, which makes us even happier… and even still, while grocery shopping recently, we came across one astonishing little fact that really took us back. Printed on the front of a plastic bag of brown rice was the following fact:

Removing the plastic re-sealable zipper on our packages saves over 30,000 tons of waste in landfills per month.

Woa! Thirty-thousand tons of garbage per month saved by eliminating one little zipper on a package of rice. This is astonishing proof positive that doing one little thing does really add up to make a big difference.

Here are some ultra-easy ideas that you can use inside and outside your home every day that will add up to a substantial benefit for the earth, the environment and your health, and in addition, will quickly add up to some solid savings in your wallet:

Ceiling Fans: You can use ceiling fans to help save on both cooling and heating.   According to Progress-Energy, an energy provider in the U.S. Carolinas and Florida, a 48″, 75-watt fan used 10 hours a day at half speed or less would cost $.50 to $.90 a month to operate. For a 1,500-square-foot house with air conditioning using two ceiling fans and raising the thermostat setting could save about $140 to $400 a year, and possibly even more in areas where energy rates are higher.

  • More keeping cool tips in this video: Beat the Heat Green Tips - Tips to beat the heat with fans and AC while saving money and the planet from green advocate, Umbra.

Cutting back on eating meat from every day to every other day would save you approximately $37 a month. Going completely vegetarian could add up to about $600 a year according to the Frugally Green blog.  And this figure does not include the added money savings you could receive from eating a healthier diet, by saving on possible reduced hospital, surgery, and medication expenses.

  • This clip gives a simple, budget-friendly vegetarian recipe: Spice Crusted Tofu Sandwiches - A money saving, healthy sandwich idea from Mollie Katzen, author ofGet Cooking cookbook.

Simple household changes can make our homes more eco-efficient, even older homes. We’ve all heard this thousands of times. But sometimes it comes down to real dollar savings to make us finally take action.  One example:  according to the host of Renovation Nation TV show, Steve Thomas, sealing and insulating your home could save you 30% of your heating and cooling bills.  If everyone did this, it would be equal to shutting down 90 power plants!

  • In this video, Easy Green Money Saving, Steve Thomas shows more easy everyday eco-ideas, and how much money savings they add up to.

Not everyone can line-dry their laundry. Energy Miser 101 blog figures that using a gas clothes dryer for 40 min. a day equals close to $100 a year. Using dryer balls can save 25 to 40% on your clothes dryer energy use and they are a great alternative to chemical fabric softeners. Dryer balls are easy to use; you simply place them right along with your wet clothes into the clothes dryer.

  • There are many types of dryer balls available, but here in this video, Save Energy & Money on Clothes Drying, Steffany Boldrini of ecobold.com shows these made of wool, the only natural ones we’ve found.

Choosing to plant native perennials and evergreens can be a real money-saver. Not only are they more pest-resistant, but they also have adapted to the local climate range and conditions, which could lead to a savings in your water bill alone of up to 50%.

  • Enjoy a healthier enviornment right in your own backyard with the tips in this video: Backyard Eco Tips – Here are simple tips you can use to make your yard more user & eco-friendly.

Petroleum and synthetic chemical based pesticides can be quite costly.  And hiring a service to come spray and treat your yard and garden can also be expensive. Try using your own simple, more natural spray first, you could save thousands of dollars. Well worth a try.

  • Easy inexpensive  DIY natural insecticide for garden pests in this video: Homemade Natural Insecticide from Tips.net’s Kaylee Thurman.

Reuse what you already have on hand as pet care items. Pet toys and cleaning products can be expensive. You can save some money while keeping some of your trash out of the landfill for a little longer by reusing worn items like cotton towels and rubber gloves to make toys and cleaning products for your pets.

  • Reuse some common household items to create easy pet toys and cleaning products. Jane Monzures gives tips in this video: DIY Recycled Pet Care Products.

Your Entertainment can take its toll on the environment and your wallet. Consumer advocate, Stacy Johnson, reports that over 100,000 DVDs are thrown away each month at an average cost of $16 each! That’s a lot for a landfill and for your wallet. There are alternatives to keep you entertained and cost you less.

  • Save money on entertainment and also be eco-friendly.  This clip, Green Saving: Entertainment gives tips from Stacy Johnson of Money Talks News.

More Eco and Money Saving Tips in our Previous Posts:

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Garden, Home & Fun In The Sun DIY Wallet-Friendly Ideas

If you’ve got the heat… and the rain… you might as well make them work for you - they’re both free energy resources! And, while were outside taking advantage of the warm, why not start a vegetable or herb garden? And… have some fun in the sun while we’re at it!  Here are videos with tips to build a cool DIY garden greenhouse, make an easy composter, make and use rain barrels to collect rain water for your garden, design a solar oven to cook using solar heat, play in the yard with a DIY sprinkler, and more… all while keeping yourself and your wallet cool and happy!

  • Make a Garden Greenhouse for Cheap - Growing herbs and vegetables saves you money, gives you healthier foods, is a fun activity to share with the kids. Here’s how to make a quick, easy and inexpensive “greenhouse hoop” to get started and get a longer growing season.
  • DIY Herb Gardening - Think you have no space or can’t afford an herb garden? Not so! The Working Class Foodies share some simple, easy tips for how to build your own window box garden for only $10.
  • Build a Rolling Composter for Your Garden - Growing vegetables is fun, healthy, and eco-friendly. Here’s how to take your kitchen scraps, lawn clippings and leaves and make an quick and easy to use inexpensive rolling composter for your garden.
  • DIY Rain Barrel for Cheap - Collecting rain water to use in your garden saves you money and is eco-friendly. Here’s an easy DIY on how to make your own rain barrel.
  • All About Rain Barrels - Take advantage of rain – a free natural resource, by using rain barrels to collect run off form your roof gutters for later use watering your garden. Here’s how to set up a rain barrel system.
  • Easy Soda Pop Bottle Sprinkler - Keep your cool and have fun in the sun, for practically nothing! How to take an old soda pop bottle and turn it into a quick and easy DIY sprinkler.
  • Cook for Free DIY Solar Oven - Save money, save electricity, & keep your kitchen cooler while you cook outdoors with this simple ecological solar oven you can make for pennies! Chris Buyers from The Valley Permaculture Alliance shows how.

Link to this article: http://is.gd/tsnOX3

More related natural garden and outdoor topics in these posts:



 

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Make Money With a Yard, Garage or Tag Sale

The good ol’ garage sale. While we don’t think it’s quite a relic yet, there is no doubt the internet has changed the way we think about reselling our household goods. Now, reselling just about anything can take place 24/7/365 through websites like Ebay and Amazon.com.  But there is nothing like a “real” (as opposed to a “virtual”) yard, garage or tag sale to free up some much needed closet space and bring in some quick cash. But even though it’s a tried-and true method for easy money-making, there are some pitfalls. Here are some pointers to make your good ol’ garage, yard or tag sale an easy success.

Find out from your town or city if you need to get a permit in advance.

Ask if neighbors might be interested in having a sale on the same days.  This will draw more people.

Best Days are Thursday through Saturday on a non-holiday weekend.

Advertise in the local paper, online, around the neighborhood, on local bulletin boards. Be clear if you are allowing ‘EARLY BIRD” visits or not. Mention any big ticket items or special collections you may be offering.

Make sure your location is clearly visible from the street  and/or marked with something like streamers, a flag or a sign. If you use balloons, please make sure they are environmentally friendly.

Consider safety:

  • Try to not be alone, have someone else visibly on site. Never leave your items or money unattended.
  • Avoid having people come inside your home, and if anyone does need to do that, make sure they are accompanied.
  • Keep your home locked.
  • Provide as little personal information about yourself as possible.
  • Make sure all personal papers and personal records have been removed from anything you intend on selling: drawers, suitcases, boxes, file cabinets, folders, computer & mobile devices,  check inside books, magazines,etc.  You’d be surprised what may have been forgotten.
  • Make sure all bundles of clothing, all pockets, all shoes have been searched and are clear of anything that might have been stored there or have fallen in.
  • Keep the smaller more expensive items close by so you can keep a watch on them.

Don’t be a pesky seller. People like to know they have been acknowledged, but also like to feel free to consider their purchase without having to explain, be pestered by questions, or pressured to buy. A simple “Hello, let me know if I can help you.” should suffice.

Set up:

  • Arrange similar types of objects together ie: picture frames and art objects together; entertainment items like video games, VCR’s, DVD’s together; furniture together. And/or you can organize  by room, ie: kitchen items together; bedroom items together; living room furniture together.
  • Display items at table top height; this makes it easier for people to view and connect with pieces. It may be worth it to borrow or rent tables.
  • If items need to go on the ground, place them on a blanket, or sheet.
  • Have bags or boxes available for packing up and carrying out purchases.
  • Place anything children may be interested in far away from the street, and away from fragile items you may have on display.
  • Pleasant and non-intrusive music playing never hurts!
  • To avoid any hassles later on, post a clearly visible sign that says, “All Sales Final.”

Allow testing for products:

  • Have light bulbs on hand.
  • Have batteries available.
  • Have an extension cord running from the house to outside, so items can be tried out without having to bring people inside.

Does it work? You should indicate if an item is in working condition or not. Anything damaged or not in working order should be marked “as is”.

Appliances such as used kitchen equipment should be as clean as possible. If you have the product packaging, manual, directions, warranties or accessories, include them.

Clothing should be in decent shape, and CLEAN. The more accessible and identifiable, the quicker they will sell. Arrange by men’s, women’s, and children’s. Consider using the “bulk” pricing method: Have shopping bags available and mark one area of clothing, “One price for all you can fit in the bag.” You can do the same for accessories. A mirror is great to provide if you’re selling clothes, jewelry and/or accessories.

When pricing… There are opposing theories about what brings in a higher yield. One school of thought is to have everything, and we mean everything, priced with a sticker or a very clear sign. The other is to have nothing priced.  No matter which method you select, you still can negotiate, and offer to sweeten the deal by including an “extra” something they may be interested in.  Either way, make things easier by pricing in whole-dollar amounts or increments of 25-cents for easy change-making. Have plenty of small bills and coins on hand to make change.  Only accept cash, bad checks are not worth the risk.

Price Tagging Everything:

  • Having everything priced, may make it easier for you to be more firm about the listed price, but being too inflexible could cost you sales.
  • You can still take an offer or reduce the price on the spur of the moment if you feel inclined.
  • It frees up your buyers, especially those who may not be comfortable negotiating a price or making an offer.
  • It frees up your time because you don’t need to be involved with negotiations on every single transaction.

Price Tagging Nothing:

  • You have complete and total flexibility.
  • Let the buyer make the initial offer. More often than not, it will come in higher than what you probably would have marked it.

Bundle the bulk. This is an effective way of clearing out the smaller items or clutter quickly, and it works with either pricing technique:  group similar objects together and sell as a bundle for one flat rate. If you are not specifying prices put a sign up that says “Entire contents of this box all sold together as one. Name your price”

A spin on that is to have a big box or blanket or table full of little items. Hand people a bag or a box and say “Fill your bag from anything on this table for $5.00″

Another option is to price the items on the table at the same price, “All items on this table, $2. each”

Designate anything that is special, unique, unusual, historic, or has a noteworthy story attached to it. Even if you are not price marking, you need to make sure people are aware of your knowledge on the items and what makes them of value.

Sentimental or emotional attachment to an object? Some questions to ask yourself: How long has it been since I’ve even thought about this? If I took a picture of it would having the photo allow me to still retain the memory and feel the connection? While you are organizing before the sale, try placing those items onto a “maybe” table, and keep re-visiting it over a few days prior to the sale. Eventually several items may end up migrating to the “sale” table over those few days.

What you don’t sell, donate; remember to ask for a receipt so you may claim your donation as a deduction at tax time.  Find out ahead of time BEFORE the day of your sale: where you will donate, if you will need to pack up the items to send or to drop off, or if they will come to pick up your items. If you are expecting pick up, you will have to make an appointment for that ahead of time.  You won’t want to end up with a pile of giveaway items sitting in your driveway for two weeks in the rain while you wait for pick up or try to locate a place to donate (Trust us, we learned that the hard way). If you are looking for donation options, please consider our suggestions:

  • Clothing: Men’s clothing: CareerGear.org Women’s clothing: DressForSuccess.org. All types of clothing: Good Will Industries
  • Prescription eyeglasses can be reused. There are many local retail shops and organizations that will accept them; you can find a good list of resources in this article from VolunteerGuide.org.
  • Books: If a local school or library is out of the question: BetterWorldBooks.com accepts all types of books.  For children’s books only: BridgeOfBooksFoundation.org
  • Musical Instruments: If you cannot locate a local school or music program willing to accept your used musical instruments, consider CharityMusic.org which accepts musical instruments, sheet music and music books.
  • For just about any and everything: Vietnam Veterans of America will pick up your donation in several states across the continental US.

More yard and garage sale pointers in these videos:

And more the Garage/Yard Sale  Tips in our Channel : House & Home.

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Vintage Vinyl Records: Tips to Reuse, Repurpose and Resell

The Grammy Awards always gets us thinking about our favorite tunes and the memories that are sparked by music. Music is a powerful force. And as an art form it changes with the advent of new technologies, just as the vehicles by which we listen to music also changes with new technologies. In just a few short decades the way music is delivered has gone from requiring a huge apparatus like the victrola to wireless devices that are barely visible if at all. Some people still prefer to listen to music from vinyl record albums; some people love actively collecting both new and vintage vinyl albums, while still others have collections that they don’t know what to do with. Many people are creative and see the crafty potential hidden within those records and they enjoy a little DIY time creating unique items to enhance their homes and give as fun gifts. No matter where you fall in those categories, we have helpful info. about how to get the most out of your vinyl records.

How to Sell Your Old Records - It’s not always easy to find the true value of your vinyl records. You would need to know this before reselling or seeking insurance protection for your collection. Here are tips on how to assess the value and on reselling

Does Insurance Protect Your Record Collection? - If you have an in depth vinyl record and/or CD collection, you won’t want to miss these pointers on how to make sure your collection is covered by insurance and protected from mishaps.

Make a Bowl From a Vinyl Record - How to repurpose your old vinyl records by making a cool bowl. This creative DIY craft project is SUPER easy, quick and makes a unique, impressive gift idea!

Make Bracelets from Vinyl Records - Crafter extraordinaire Jennifer Perkins shows how to make bracelets from vinyl records? Easy DIY how-to instructions for making a cool, fashion-forward cuffs. This also is a great gift idea!

Make a Clock from Vinyl Records - How to make a clock from vinyl records? This easy DIY project makes a fun gift, adds creative and personal flavor to any room… it’s simple to do, inexpensive, and fun to make!  Marie suggests getting a used clock, but you can also find clock mechanisms at your local crafts store. You could also glue clock numbers that you cut out from decorative paper onto the record if you like.

More you’ll like:

Link to this article: http://is.gd/fXqsqs

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Quick Cash! 4 Quick Tips from Stacey Ross

In one of the first blog posts I wrote for SpendLessTV.com I mentioned the frustration I experienced in trying to find the “big NEW” money-saving tip, and finding none. I mentioned that I kept seeing the same ideas over and over. And then, something happened.  I finally realized that I wasn’t actually following through on those ideas, and taking action of course, is the key to getting results!

There are many reasons why most of us would love to come by some quick cash.  It probably would not be too far of a stretch to assume there are many others out there who like me,  are familiar with tried-and-true ideas about how to get some quick cash but even though we KNOW of these easy ways to bring in some extra money, we don’t actually DO it. Why? Because we think we don’t have the time, or we think we won’t know how to do it, or we think it won’t bring in enough money to make a difference.

Well, just like in my earlier post when I realized that not doing means not succeeding, the same holds true in the quest for some fast cash. Our friend, Stacey Ross, founder of SanDiegeBargainMama.com, has proved that simply taking a little time to clean out your closets and drawers can lead to some substantial quick cash in your pocket. When she suggested the closet clearing idea to Ch 8 News anchor Marcella Lee in San Diego, she had no idea that it would lead to a multi-part series! That’s how much profit there was to be found in just one day of clearing drawers and closets around the house.

So if you’re looking for extra quick cash, there’s no better time TO TAKE ACTION than now!

What to do with the items you clear out? It’s all in the video series, “Ways to Make Quick Cash” From Stacy Ross, founder of SanDiegoBargainMama.com and Marcella Lee Channel 8 TV San Diego, CA:

Link to this article: http://www.spendlesstv.com/blog/?p=9616

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We’re Thinking Spring to Save Money & Make Money

We were inspired by a recent post we came across by Gayle Lynn Falkenthal on SanDiegoBargainMama.com - and it’s got us thinking about Spring Shopping and Spring Cleaning!

The article in SanDiegoBargainMama.com’s post is all about San Diego’s biggest garage sale, the annual Thursday Club Rummage Sale, which has been going on for over 85 consecutive years. You know if this has been going on for that long, they must be on to something big!  In fact, it’s so big, that the folks at SanDigeoBargainmama have provided a cool post giving insider pointers to save you time shopping and receive the best deals. These tips are great for shopping any tag sale

No matter what the season, shopping previously-owned is a sure way to find quality items, do the environment a favor, and also save some money – an all around win, win, win. And here’s another win: Spring Cleaning!  Really, is there ever a wrong time to clean up, clear out, and cash in?

There’s money in your closets, drawers, garage, attic, and storage units! Take what you aren’t using and recycle it; have a yard or tag sale, list it on freecycle.org, sell it on line, put it on consignment in a boutique selling previously-owned, or donate it — all easy ways to turn something you’re not using into something wonderful for someone else, and your wallet… definitely a win!

More money-saving and money-making ideas in our posts:

Link to this article: http://is.gd/nyiHSq

 

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