Archive for the ‘Giving’ 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, 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

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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 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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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 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 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, 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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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  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: Women’s clothing: 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
  • Books: If a local school or library is out of the question: accepts all types of books.  For children’s books only:
  • Musical Instruments: If you cannot locate a local school or music program willing to accept your used musical instruments, consider 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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Shop to Give: 7 Resources you can easily use to give back as you’re gift shopping

7 Resources you can easily use to give back as you’re gift shopping:

If you’re considering a charitable donation, the best way to be certain where  your money is going is to make a donation directly to the organization of your choice. But, if you’re going to be gift shopping anyway, it why not make your purchases count for more by shopping in a way that actually generates funds for charitable organizations? Couldn’t hurt, right?

Charity Choice

Charity Gift Cards and Certificates  – Great to include in gift-baskets!

A beautiful giving concept: Give a charity gift certificate that the recipient designates where they would like the charitable donation to go.

Charity Gift Cards was born when Mark Finkel, a board member of the nonprofit organization, Special Kids Fund, wanted to make a charity donation in memory of the recently-deceased father of a business associate. Not knowing what cause was important to the family, he wished to give a charitable gift that allowed the recipient to designate the charity of his/her choice. You purchase gift “vouchers” from Charity Choice, then the recipient determines which organization they want to apply the credit to. There are several similar charity gift card organizations out there, so a word of caution to be aware of extra fees and expiration dates.

Fairwinds Trading

Since 2005, Fairwinds Trading has opened U.S. markets to thousands of artisans and entrepreneurs in Africa and Indonesia while introducing high-value, culturally expressive beautiful craft products to millions of Americans. Fairwinds Trading is an American business built on enduring partnerships that bring together people and products across global divides. You can  visit the Fairwinds Trading site or visit Macy’s Shop for A Better World department for these beautiful handmade gift items.

Give Back America

Serves hundreds of charities, you choose where contributions from your purchases should go. GBA is an online shopping mall where retailers, such as &, pay GBA a commission to refer customers to their site. GBA takes the commission from the retailer and shares it with the charity of your choice.  Use links when you do your internet shopping and 100% of listed commission proceeds go to your designated charities.

Greater Good

Shop to benefit: Ending hunger, breast cancer care & research, literacy support, child health issues, women’s rights worldwide, rainforest preservation, wildlife habitat protection and restoration, animal rescue.  Each person’s daily click on the Click To Give™ sites displays sponsor advertising. 100% of sponsor advertising is paid as a royalty to charity through the non-profit, tax-exempt Supporters can also contribute directly to charity by purchasing Gifts that Give More™, where 100% of their donation is given to charity, or by purchasing one of the 4500+ products that we carry, including jewelry, apparel, and gifts. There is a charity royalty of from 5-30% paid on every item purchased from any of the GreaterGood Network’s online stores.

iGive and iSearchiGive

Raise money for your favorite cause, every time you search the web. is a search engine powered by, the internet’s first online shopping mall where a portion of each purchase is donated to your favorite cause. When you use iSearchiGive to search the web, your favorite cause receives exactly $0.02 per qualified search. The money comes from advertisers, so it costs you nothing, and it’s completely free for you and the cause you support.  If you shop, you can help even more. iSearchiGive is brought to you by the pioneers in online shopping and charitable giving:, where up to 26% of each purchase at over 680 participating online stores is donated to your favorite cause.


(RED)™ is a simple idea that transforms our collective power as shoppers into a financial force that helps those affected by HIV in Africa. To date, $140 million has been generated and 4 million people have been helped through global fund programs that (RED)™ supports.  When you choose to buy products from (RED)™ partner companies up to 50% of the profit goes towards eliminating AIDS in Africa.  In addition to finding (RED) at all of our great partner retailers this holiday season, this December you can find an array of (PRODUCT) (RED) branded products under one roof at the (RED) pop up shops in London, Tokyo, San Francisco and New York.  (RED) partners including Apple, Bugaboo, Converse, Dell, Emporio Armani, Gap, Hallmark, Starbucks and special editions Solange Azagury-Partridge, Girl Skateboard, Channel Islands Surfboards, and Timbuk2. (Selection will vary by location).

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, is one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases. Children from all 50 states and around the world have come through the doors of St. Jude for treatment, and thousands more have benefited from the research conducted at St. Jude—research that is shared freely with the global medical community. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay. St. Jude covers the cost of everything—food, travel and lodging for patients and a family member.

Shop from a wide selection of gift choices in St. Jude’s gift shop and 100% of the profits after all related expense go to benefit the hospital.  In addition, you can shop from partner companies who participate in a St. Jude’s donation program.

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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.

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Quick Cash! 4 Quick Tips from Stacey Ross

In one of the first blog posts I wrote for 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, 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 and Marcella Lee Channel 8 TV San Diego, CA:

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The Top Ten Money Saving Videos of 2011 on

The Top Ten Money Saving Videos of 2011 on

Another year has passed, and we’re once again pleased that we were able to bring you helpful content from so many clever and wise money-savers from around the world who are committed to helping others achieve personal financial success, and we appreciate their willingness to share their knowledge and videos.

We also give a very special shout of appreciation to all the contributors in our Originals Channel, who generously gave their skill, time, and their professional wisdom in creating videos exclusively for viewers. It just so happens that, with the exception of only one, the remarkable Steve Martin, the Originals contributors comprise the top ten most viewed videos this year, they are: Daniel DelaneyThe DolansMarie ForleoGarrett B. GundersonRyan LeeAlexis NeelyJoe Polish, Ramit SethiSean Stephenson, and Gary Vaynerchuk.

Here is the List of  The Top Ten Money Saving Videos of 2011:

10. Street Food Smart – Daniel Delaney (an SLTV Original)

Vendor street food: to taste or not to taste? Curbside cuisine expert Daniel Delaney shares his wisdom on how to get the most for your vendor buck.

9. How to Avoid Money Panic – Sean Stephenson & Garrett B. Gunderson (an SLTV Original)

Therapist Sean Stephenson and personal finance advisor Garrett B. Gunderson discuss an approach that helps to reduce feelings of money panic, and increase your ability to actually grow your wealth and savings, and be more productive even during stressful times.

8. Cost Effective Marketing for Small Business – Joe Polish (an SLTV Original)

President of Piranha Marketing, Joe Polish, reveals three invaluable top techniques to market your business more effectively, efficiently, and do it without spending a fortune.

7. Avoid These 8 Retirement Mistakes! – The Dolans, Ken and Daria (an SLTV Original)

Trusted personal finance advisors Ken and Daria Dolan give straight talk – great for all age groups – about saving money, planning for retirement, 401-k’s, and how to avoid costly retirement investment mistakes.

6. Money Myth: Cut Back on Everything! – Ramit Sethi (an SLTV Original)

Part of an SLTV Original series of three money myth-busting tips from personal finance author Ramit Sethi. Ramit chimes in on the idea that to save money, you should just cut back on everything… well maybe not…

5. Money Myth: Spend Less Than You Earn – Ramit Sethi (an SLTV Original)

Another in the SLTV Original series of three money myth-busting tips from author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Ramit Sethi. Here Ramit gives his take on the idea that to grow your savings, just spend less than you earn… or…

4. Maintain a Mindset of Abundance – Marie Forleo  (an SLTV Original)

Best-selling author, speaker and one of the most diversely successful entrepreneurs today, Marie Forleo, shares 3 easy things you can do to feel abundant, attract success, avoid money stress and feel great about your potential.

3. Steve Martin, SNL – Don’t Buy Stuff You Can’t Afford – Steve Martin on SNL

A comedy classic: Saturday Night Live features Steve Martin and Amy Poehler, a couple needing personal finance budgeting help, which they find with Chris Parnell’s unique approach to debt and money-management.

2. Money Myth: Willpower – Ramit Sethi (an SLTV Original)

A part of the three-part series on growing your wealth from personal finance author and blogger Ramit Sethi. In this clip, Ramit claims that the idea of personal finance success being about more and more willpower may not necessarily be so.

1. Be a Customer Who Gets What You Want! – Gary Vaynerchuk (an SLTV Original)

Entrepreneur, speaker, author, and co-founder of Vayner Media, Gary Vaynerchuk, discusses the Thank You Economy: how customers have more power than ever and how being an engaged consumer gets you more of what you want from brands: better service, prices and experiences.

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12 (Awesome) Gifts Under $10

Gifts that are thoughtful, clever, fun and beautiful for under $10? YES! Here are 12 ideas that are perfect for the “Grab Bag” event, stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, thank you gifts, and even THE gift for THE friend or THE family member… you’ll find ideas here that will make a great impression for anyone on your gift list – and won’t put a dent in your wallet, either.


Bright Porcelain bowls. Serve dips, hold fruit, nuts, chips, or brighten  your morning cereal with these welcoming porcelain colorful vessels created in collaboration with Potter’s Workshop, a collective of South African artists known for their signature bead-like patterns. Microwave and dishwasher safe. 3.75 ” diam. x 2.5″h.  From West Elm. $5 each.

Colorful bracelets made from real guitar strings! Designed by Hannah Garrision & Steve Bernstein. The guitar strings are made in China; the bracelet is handmade in the U.S. with lead-free nickel and brass. Available at UncommonGoods. $10 each.

The healing power of comedy is now available in an over-the-counter form. Apply this Emergency Clown Nose liberally as needed. A necessary accessory for removing splinters or applying band-aids. Side effects may include chuckling, chortling and guffawing. Nose made of polyester. From UncommonGoods, created by professional clowns Rosie Cole and Lloyd Brant to promote their philosophy of healing through laughter.  $5.

Key Tool Keyring Multi-tool – This tiny tool packs the power of 8 different tools: 3 screwdrivers, tweezers, wire stripper, and more. It fits on your keychain and it comes with a fake key to “park” in. Made of stainless steel for strength and durability. From think geek. $7.99

Glass Candlesticks. Handmade from handblown and heat-tempered clear borosilicate (“beaker”) lab glass these candle holders are graceful glass sculptures in three light-as-a-feather yet durable styles. From CB2, $4.95. each.

Bud vases. Showcase your fresh flowers in this sleek, iron, teardrop-shapped bud vase. Handcrafted in India.  From CB2 $9.95 – $10.95.

Bright green cable with eight magnets displays photos, memos, cards and notes without the need for overwhelming your walls with excessive pins, nails or tape. Weighted end keeps the 59.5″ cable straight.  At CB2. $6.95


Bamu Cork Coffee Cuff reusable mug holder is an eco-friendly alternative to paper protectors. Fits various sized cups, glasses, cans and thermoses.  At $9.75.


A fresh idea for wall display or a bulletin board alternative; Darice Cork Sticky Shapes are great for one-handed posting of messages, lists, notes, photos. Items stick securely and remove easily with or without tacks or pins. These cork shapes will stick to most surfaces. Ideal for interior rooms, offices, dorm rooms, bedrooms and/or where sound dampening is needed. Available in a variety of shapes (hearts, crowns, flowers, skulls, etc.). Includes 8 cork sticky shapes per pack, $4.70.

Quench your dog’s thirst while on the road with the Pet Water Bottle Top. The plastic top fits most standard water bottles and the flow can be adjusted for any size pet. Made of plastic with an adjustable flow for any size pet. The bright orange color ensures you won’t mistake your pet’s bottle for yours.  Includes an adapter to fit different bottle types. From $7.95.

You don’t always need staples! This handy (and environmentally friendly) staple-less stapler device cuts a tiny flap in the corner of your paper, and folds it in on itself, tucked in a tiny paper pocket. Sleek and small, the Staple Free Stapler can clip together up to five sheets with ease. We personally use this and love it! Amazon.  $7.02.

The Credit Card Lightbulb means no more struggling to find your keys, or squinting while trying to read the menu when the restaurant is too dark. Handy when traveling, too. This unusual card looks like a flat incandescent bulb, but push the bulb vertical and it unexpectedly lights up. The rest of the card serves as a stand. The same size, though slightly thicker than a credit card you can easily store one in your wallet or purse. From Batteries included, $3.99 – $5.99

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9 DIY Gift Ideas – Home Accessories from Recycled Items

Spruce up your space, (or create a great gift) with a little do-it-yourself. Here are easy-to-do eco-friendly projects that will turn those tired household objects you’re thinking of tossing out into beautiful and useful home accessories. They make great gift ideas, too!

Make a Vase from Magazine Pages – Recycle your old magazines by creating a vase, bowl or vessel using nothing more than glue and pages from a magazine. This video gives an easy DIY tutorial.

Home Decor Recycle DIY – Easily repurpose thrift store purchases or items from around your home… sometimes all you need is a little spray paint! Decorator Susan Phillips shows DIY home decor transformation ideas in this clip.

Repurpose Home Decor Items – This video from designer Soshana Gosselin gives easy ways to freshen up your home decor by repurposing, recycling and re-inventing items you already have.

DIY Cans to Votive Holders – This segment shows a simple DIY craft recycling project to transform an empty aluminum can into a votive holder. All you need is an empty can and scissors!

A Basket from Magazine Paper – Recycle your old magazines with this easy DIY craft project to create a cool and stylish multi-use basket out of nothing more than magazine pages and glue! Easy how-to directions in this clip.

Chinese Takeout Lantern DIY – Crafter Shiho Masuda transforms Chinese takeout containers into mini tabletop lanterns. Beautiful video shows DIY recycling craft directions to brighten your dining or coffee table.

Make a Book Safe – Take an old book and recycle it into a secret place to store precious or favorite items. A clever gift idea, or double a gift’s goodness by using this as an eco-friendly gift box! Video shows how you can do it.

Make a Vase from A Plastic Soda Bottle – Eco-friendly DIY: Create a vase from a plastic soda bottle. Simple DIY in this clip provides instructions. All you need is a bottle, scissors and rocks. Consider displaying several together in various sizes and colors. Add flowers and it’s complete! Makes nice gift!

Soda Can Lantern DIY – This clip shows how to make a recycled DIY lantern/candle holder out of a soda can. Extremely simple to do. (Be careful of sharp edges when pulling out the strips).

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