10 ways to save money at home

Have you been to a White Elephant Party?

10 EASY ways to save money at home!

The trick with saving money is just like it is for dieting...it can not be about deprivation....it's about making a lifestyle change that you can live with. Going cold turkey is why most diets fail and why we seem to save money for a week and then go back to spending. We all know that we can coupon, give our kids their haircuts, make our own coffee, etc... but we need more savings!

Here are 10 things that you can do to save money....good news...they are easy so START NOW!

1. Quit Buying Paper Towels - I know they are handy but coming from a restaurant management background...they are so unnecessary. If I ever would have seen an employee using paper towel on a mess, I would have screamed and asked for my $1 in paper waste and tossed him a towel..so why was I doing it at home?! Use your kitchen towels to clean up messes...it doens't seem like a lot but if you go through 2 rolls a week...that is over 100 rolls a year!

IMAG0490.jpg2. Make your own cleaning supplies! - You only need 5 ingredients to make your whole cleaning arsenal. Buy Arm and Hammer Washing soda, vinegar, borax, a bar of  fels naptha, and baking soda and you are set for everything INCLUDING LAUNDRY DETERGENT!

Homemade Ravioli!

3. Cook something from Scratch! - Packaging and Production costs a lot of money so of course the food companies pass it along to you in your food purchase! A can of biscuits can cost over $1 for 8 biscuits - make them from scratch and your cost is less than a dollar for a dozen! I started small with pancakes and tortillas and now buy almost NOTHING pre-packaged! I save about $50 a week on my grocery bill!

4. Water filter vs bottled - I know the cute bottles are the trend but buy yourself a fancy water cup with a filter and you get the best of both worlds. You have a stylish cup, great tasting water, and you save a TON of money! Check out the cute purple rubbermaid filter bottle- only $9.24 at target!

5. Make a list before shopping - I can count the number of times, on one hand, that I have went into a store and bought only what I needed. There is always an extra goodie for the kids, something I saw at the impulse aisle, or an extra good deal. Go shopping once a week for your big trip and on "whoops" trips...only buy what is on your list.  Think about it...if you grab a 20 ounce soda or water in the checkout, some candy for the kids, and $5 in extras...that is $10 more than what you were supposed to spend....it adds up quickl!

6. Split the juice! - My house goes through a lot of juice. Even with coupons, its $1 a jug and we are going through 2-3 a day. So....split it and add water. I simply keep an extra jug around and stretch the juice. The kids never know it! Not only does this save money BUT it reduces the amount of sugar the kids get. 

7. Shop online and get rewarded! - There are many of these out there but they pay you a percentage back on all of our purchases. I buy all of my diapers on Ebates through drugstore.com - I buy a case for $30 and get 15% back. It saves me the extras I would have bout on the grocery and I get a few bucks back in my checking account...I say that's a huge deal. There are hundreds of stores at Ebates so you can really add up money FAST! Click here to check out Ebates! - Swagbucks is super cool too! Check them out HERE you can get rewarded for surfing online and shopping!

8. Stack your coupons! So many grocery stores are eliminating the ability to stack clipped and digital coupons so...Add these apps to your couponing! These will reimburse you for your purchase INSTEAD of coming off your total at the register.  You earn cash and can get paid through paypal or your checking account.These are ON TOP of your coupons at the register!

  • Endorse -  CLICK HERE! They don't always dictate the brand and you can get extra earnings by sharing with friends. I get a 50% back on diapers every other week!! AND you can use this when you shop online and you can share offers with others (everyone gets different ones based on what you tell them you might buy!! Purchase and then upload your receipt!
  • Ibotta - Another great one! You earn rewards by answering a question, watching a commercial, or learning a 2 second fact ! CLICK HERE!  Simply complete our tasks,  purchase and upload the receipt.
  • Savingstar - CLICK HERE! You can actually add these to your shoppers card! The store has no clue you have it and it doesn't come off your total so it won't affect your paper coupons at all!
9. Quit buying trash bags! You already toss out tons of plastic and paper bags from the grocery each week...use them to line your trash bags! Even if you just use a few a week...over the course of a year, it adds up!

10. Go to the library!  Not only can you borrow books but they have movies too! Check out your local library and take your kids with you. Its a great free resource and there are always fun FREE activities for kids during the day!

**BONUS TIP** have a WHITE ELEPHANT PARTY with your friends! I know that some people are leery of thrift stores and second hand stores so make an event out of sharing with your friends!! Each friend brings at least 10 items that they no longer need. Find fun ways to select items and have snacks and cake. Its a great "mommy date" and a super fun way to get items for FREE!

Hope these Tips have been helpful in saving money at home! To really maximize your savings account...Keep a tally of what you save each time you use a tip above...add that amount to a money jar. Use your special savings for something fun that way it wasn't a sacrifice...it was a challenge!

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Make Money with your phone!

Do you have The Coupon App?

If you don't have the Coupon App...Hurry up and download it today! It is an amazing feature and will save you TONS of money. This app is something that I use everyday and I know that it saved us at least $100 on vacation and even more during The Christmas Season!

What is the Coupon App? Is is an app that you can download to any smart phone that offers codes and savings for tons of retailers, restaurants, and services.

What can I expect? You can expect about 30 plus deals! These are always from great companies like the Coach outlet, Lowes, Bob Evans, Stein Mart, and many others.

How do I use the app? Simply go to the app, open up the deal, and present it to the cashier. I have not found one company who as asked that I print them. From the app, you can share the deals wit friends or yourself for later via text or email.

It really is a huge tool in saving money so if you don't have it...hurry up to the App Store and get it! Let me know if you download it and what you think!

5 Easy Ways to Earn Money Online!

Are you Looking to Make Some Extra Money Online?

It seems that everyone these days has a need for extra money….I know that I do! Everywhere you look, you are bombarded by stories and websites boasting to make you quick money and the next “instant internet millionaire” if you purchase their simple system! Are these legit? My gut tells me no and that if it promises quick money, there may be a scam involved. So what should you do if you want to be an online entrepreneur and make extra money while in your pajamas? Do not fear! If you are looking to add extra money to your bank account, it can be done online and from the convenience of your kitchen table at little to no cost. It will involve work and dedication but there is online money to be made. Please know that it will take some time to earn money through these methods…or for you- it may happen overnight!

 Here are 5 simple ways to make money online that cost you nothing but your time and patience!
1. Sell on Ebay! Seems simple enough, right. Its like holding an online garage sale and you truly can make some quick money overnight. My best advice is to start only by selling the items in your garage or closet. If you try to start your own “Ebay empire” right away, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment. No need to open a store when you are getting started because Ebay will let you sell up to 50 items a month with NO INSERTION CHARGES! You will only pay based on the final selling amount. So no sell, no charge! Be sure to check out what similar items are selling for. Offer a competitive price but don’t start the auction so low that you can’t make money. Be accurate with your shipping! Nothing is more frustrating than being wrong on shipping and losing your profit! Only offer free shipping when it makes sense. Don’t go into debt to start selling. Don’t worry about getting a large inventory right away. Start small and learn the game first!

2. BLOG FOR MONEY! You can get started for free on sites like Blogger and Hubpages. They both will allow you to participate in the Google Adsense programs where you are paid for the ads that they post to your blog. HubPages will allow you to add capsules for Ebay and Amazon promoting items that correspond to your “Hub”. You will get extra money when these items are clicked on and/or purchased. Blogger will let you advertise products as well and earn when they are sold. It isn’t an overnight million BUT it is a great way to get a few extra bucks a month. Click HERE to sign up!

3. Online Surveys/Shopping – I am not a real fan of most of these survey sites. Many will tell you to spend 1 hour or so on a $.25 survey and will send tons of junk mail. There are a few however that I do like!


 4. Start a website! Check out the prices for GoDaddy and Host Gator where you can instantly set up your website in minutes for as low as $2 per month. You can monetize your site through Affiliate ads and even earn money by writing product reviews. You will need a lot of traffic to your site for some affiliate programs to approve you so be sure to check out my blog on 10 free ways to get more traffic to your website!

5. Answer questions! Yep. This is as easy as it sounds! Check out WebAnswers. Web Answers is a site where users can ask questions and answer them. Once you have answered 50 questions and been selected as “best answers” you can earn money through Google AdSense impressions on your threads. Not a bad way to earn a few extra bucks! These are just 5 easy ways to make some extra money. You will not get rich overnight with them and they will involve a bit of work but they are worth it after you get them going.

Good luck in making money online and please share anything you have done to create a little extra money online!!

Make Money Grocery Shopping!

How to MAKE money Grocery Shopping with Digital Coupons!

Extreme Couponing at its Best!

Making Money While Shopping at the Grocery is easier than you think!

I am an avid couponer (I prefer avid to CRAZY) and someone who jumped on the Coupon train too late. Due to the recent changes in coupon policies, I have been unable to score the "FREE HOARD" like those I have seen in papers, online, and on TV. In the new coupon age, I have had to get inventive and be resourceful to get my scores....here's the story.

Extreme couponing has been around for a while now and was recently made popular by a string of successful shows highlighting the madness and intensity of the lives of those who dare to call themselves "Extreme Couponers". The shows depicted crazy housewives digging through dumpsters, scamming coupons from neighbor's newspapers, and even men lifting coupon sections from their places of employment. These shows also boasted the successful "hoards" kept by the devoted couponers. Many of these reality tv couponers had garages full of items that cost them less than $100 IN TOTAL. Stores were even special ordering pallets of items for these couponers and at the register once the coupons were tallied- the total cost would be FREE . I am ashamed to say that I was influenced by the "boob tube" but I was. These TV Shows fueled my couponing habit and left me wanting more. I WANTED TO BRAG ON THAT SHOW TOO! I guess that I jumped on board a little too late. While I enjoyed the show and tried my best to score these deals...I was finding it impossible. The successes of these "reality tv stars" have made it impossible for me to duplicate the results because the Grocery Stored have struck back!

Now, at my local grocery stores, I can use only 6 coupons per manufacturer-even if its a different product, only so many total coupons, a low number of printable coupons, no stacking online coupons with printable coupons, and NOTHING is allowed to be FREE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH REALITY TV. Was I duped by the production teams? Was this truly backlash?

This cheapskate decided not to accept defeat. I stuck to my guns and instead of just finding ways to save money I actually found ways to MAKE money at the Grocery. I have found several programs that I will share that do not save you money--they put CASH into your bank account when you purchase specific items. They work in very much the same way as digital coupons AND you can certainly use all 3 in combination with your checkout coupons! The grocery store has nothing to do with these "coupons" and they don't have to worry about being reimbursed. These are all offered and redeemed through their respective apps...extreme couponing is easy again!

ENDORSE - Sign up - here
Endorse in one of the newer apps that I have become aware of. You simply download the Endorse App to your smart phone. Earn from 10% up to 100% cash back on your everyday purchases wherever you shop including Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Kroger, Safeway, CVS, Whole Foods, Costco and Trader Joe's....EVEN ONLINE SHOPPING. Here is why Endorse is AWESOME--There are certain offers that you can "Upgrade" say for instance this week it is diapers....No matter what brand you buy, you can earn 10% back- There is a maximum of $5 so as long as they are all on one check, you can get your 10% back on multiples. Well--click the "upgrade" and simply by sharing the offer with your facebook friends, you instantly get 50% back instead!!
1) Download the Endorse App to your smart phone
2) Check out the offers- Upgrade those that you can by sharing the offer on facebook.
3) After you purchase eligible items, you must upload your receipt to the good people at Endorse.
Endorse will deposit your earnings into an account and once you reach a payout of $25, you can have the money deposited into your PayPal account....EASY MONEY!

IBOTTA - Sign up here -
Here's how it works....

1) Sign up for ibotta then download the app to your smart phone.
2) From there you can scroll through different items that you may select and earn from the purchase of. There are usually three different money earning tasks under each item...you can watch the commercial for 25 cents, take a 1 answer quiz for 50 cents, etc. They offer approximately $20 a week in offers. These also typically match up with the printable coupons and sales out that week.
3)After you purchase the item...Go to your Ibotta app and select the store you purchased the items from and upload a copy of the receipt. You will also need to scan the item for verification with your phone. You will then receive the amount you "earned" through the tasks deposited in your Ibotta account.

I.e. a few of the coupons this week were from Kelloggs. I received $1 for certain cereal brands that I purchased simply by watching the commercial, answering a question,and learning a fun fact for each. EASY!

They have a very low threshold for payout...$5! I sent my receipt and was credited the money that night which is really fast compared to other similar sites. You can then ask that they send the money to paypal which is transferred within minutes.

SAVINGSTAR - Sign up Here

1) after you have signed up for Savingstar ...
2) Add your shopper card to the account.
3) Select the coupons that you may use at the grocery and these will automatically "redeem" at the register there is no need to upload a receipt!!!!!

The face value of these coupons will not come off your grocery bill BUT they Savingstar will deposit the face value into your Savingstar account which you can roll over to your bank or paypal account when you hit $10. Easily done!

**If you REALLY want to BOOST your earnings....Sign up for Savingstar through EBATES!! Click HERE to sign up for Ebates! At Ebates, you will receive $1 to sign up and 10 cents for each redeemed Savingstar coupon!

I hope these tricks help you add extra money to your savings account! I know that m family works very hard for the money that we have and anything I can do to save a little at the grocery store is well worth the effort. I look forward to sharing more grocery tips and tricks!

Please share any extreme couponing tricks that you may have!

Quit Throwing Things Away...Sell Them on Ebay!

10 Things you THROW AWAY that you could sell on Ebay!

Is One Man's Trash

Really Another Man's Treasure?

Have you ever watched the television show "Hoarders" ? If you have then I know that you have seen someone refer to an item as trash and throw it in the dumpster only to have the homeowner sneak themselves into the dumpster and come out carrying their prized possession. To a true hoarder, nothing is trash and everything has value or a purpose even when others don't see it. For my husband, this battle is everyday life.

Am I true "Hoarder".. not really. I do, however, tend to see value in items that others do not. Each day, I find something that has been tossed in the trash that I KNOW I can do something with. This week alone, I have saved a broken picture frame, a glass canning jar, an old cell phone, and a coupon pack. My husband has begun sneaking items into the trash can and then proceeds to watch the cans like a hawk until the garbage truck comes. I always tell him what I think I can do with my salvaged items and 9 out of 10 times, I never do anything with them. They simply sit in my private hoard until I am forced to purge my stash.

Why am I this way? It certainly wasn't how I was raised. My mother is constantly tossing out items that are valuable and useable. The local dumpster divers watch my parent's curb with anticipation every week. Its like an odds and ends store- You just never know what will be there! Until recently, these treasures were brought to me until my husband began inspecting each box brought into our home by my mother. He has gone as far as to tell my mother that I am under a "no more stuff" policy. Lame!

No matter how I became this way, I am thankful for Ebay. Finally, someone - somewhere- sees value in my junk! I have officially shut my husband up by selling our "trash" online. The first time I purged my hoard on Ebay, he was shocked to see that I brought in over $400 in broken electronics! Now, even my previously hesitent hubby is now looking through the items he is tossing out to see if I can make a few bucks from them online. FINALLY!!! I have the last laugh. He didn't have to say it....I was RIGHT!

Here are 10 things you may be throwing away that you can make money on!

1. Coupons - Today, I sold $10 in formula coupons for $5 in just 3 minutes! These come to me at no cost from the formula companies and since my son is on an organic formula (for which I never get coupons) I can't use them. You can buy and sell almost any coupons online..not a huge profit but ships cheaply and you weren't using them anyway!

2. Broken Electronics- This is my personal favorite! There are tech savvy individuals who can repair your items and still make a great profit from them when they re-sell them. Great items for me have been smart phones (1 sold for over $100), xbox 360 controllers (yes broken!), and old laptops with broken screens.

3. Empty Jars - Low profit but again, they were trash! Folks will use these to make homemade candles, package goods, etc. I saw canning jars, baby food jars, and jelly jars.

4. Empty game/movie cases - I will let you know how these sell because I have TONS of them! My kids loose or break the game and I am left with the case. Looks like xbox 360 and blueray holders are the fastest movers!

5. Trophies and awards - Okay, for these to sell, they have to look cool but they are selling! I would assume that folks buy these for decoration or to have their local shop put a newly engraved plate on it.

6. scratched DVDs and video games - these typically go in BIG lots but they are selling! I would assume that people can repair them? Not sure, if you know...clue me in!

7.instruction manuals - There are instructional and owner's manuals for everything on Ebay....even for lego kits! Some of them are going for decent money...I never even open them when they come in the box but for others, they are worth money.

8. Recipes - people SELL recipes! These can be delivered via email or snail mail. I will say that I truly don't get this one since you can internet search any recipe you want BUT hey, I am not going to knock someone's entrepreneurial spirit!

9. fabric scraps - If you are a craft-y individual then you know that you always seem to have extra scraps lying around. Quit throwing them away and make some money on them!

10. Your Junk Drawer! - Really, what is next, the kitchen sink? Actually- you can buy a kitchen sink. The junk drawer lots seem to look like antique collectibles and miscellaneous items but it did come out of someone's junk drawer! If you plan to sell yours, I would take out the carry out condiments and silverware first!

So....The saying is true...."One man's trash, Is another man's treasure" ! Be sure to double check your trash bags and try to make a little profit off of something you would have tossed away. Almost EVERYTHING has value and thanks to Ebay....we know what that value is.

My husband would appreciate your prayers for my "sickness" as he calls it. After researching this article...I have found even more things I can salvage and sell! :)
If you find something on Ebay that you would have trashed...please share!


Make money with items in your pantry! 

Check out SCAN AND EARN!

This quick and easy activity will help you earn extra cash! 
Raid your fridge, freezer, pantry, and your friend's too! 

For all of my adult life, I have been a management professional. Each day, I was responsible for driving, sales, controlling costs, and delivering on profit. So..when I made the decision to be a "work from home" parent...I immediately started finding ways to do these things within my four walls! Much to the chagrin of my husband, I have looked into and even tried some pretty strange things to make a few extra dollars at home. In this case, I happened upon a site that actually did provide some "income" and was pretty easily done. There was no cost to get started, no strings attached, and required little time. The best part of the whole deal was that it was done using the items in my refrigerator and pantry.

If you are ready to make a few extra bucks this week, make your way over to the website for SCAN AND EARN www.scanandearn.com. Scan and Earn is a company based in the UK who collects nutritional data and I am assuming sells the information to companies. Honestly...I don't care what they do with it so long as I get my money:). They pay you about 30 Cents for each product that you scan and input the requested information for. It isn't a lot of money nor is it alot of information. A few basics like calories, serving size, carb content, and fat. Here is how you use SCAN AND EARN.

1) Visit the Website and create an account.
2) Download the Scan and Earn App and barcode scanner to your Cell Phone.
3) Start Scanning! You can simply go through the cupboards and fridge and scan barcodes! So long as the item isn't already in the database, it will have you input the necessary information. Don't be discouraged if the first few things are already in the database. Once you establish a successful brand or store brand, you will find that the earnings really do add up.
4) The site has a payout threshold and once you hit it, your money will be deposited into a paypal account.Note that it is an international funds transfer so there is a small fee from paypal. Usually a dollar or so.

I have a large family and was earning about $8-$16 per grocery trip. It isn't a whole lot of money BUT every little bit counts. If you put this money into a savings account...$300 bucks by the end of the year isn't too shabby for a few minutes of work a week! This site will also sometimes give you bonus earning opportunities. I received an email one week offering a $100 bonus if I scanned a certain number of added products.

Again, this isn't going to make you rich BUT can certainly add up for holiday spending. If you are eager or have a great idea of how to spend some extra money....you can always raid your friend's pantry for additional products! So do it for spending money, do it for a special item, or just to add to your savings account. It is just another way that this work at home mommy is bringing in some extra cash and I thought I would share it with you.
Happy scanning!