Sunday, April 27, 2008

Making a little extra cash

Well, I tried this a couple of nights ago, but the website was down for maintenance and I lost the whole page, so here I go again. What I wanted to talk about was way to make a little extra cash to get you through some hard times. None of my resources will make you rich, and I haven't been paid for promoting them. The are genuine resources I have used, and they have put groceries on my table more than once.

The first one, of course, is eBay. First, make sure your PayPal account is set up properly so you can maximize your profit. Your PayPal account should be set up as a Business Premier account. If you are selling on eBay, this is perfectly legit. This will give you a cash back bonus when you use your PayPal debit card. You do have a debit card, right? If not, that is step two. It works just like your check card, but with a 1.5% cash back bonus when yo use it. Third, sign up for a PayPal mutual fund. Any balance in your account will then start drawing interest monthly. Now your ready to sell on eBay. Here's link that can help you decide what you need to charge for your items. It even calculates eBay fees for you. Make sure you research similar products on eBay to see what others are paying for them, and what shipping fees are being charged. It's better to start your initial price low. This will assure you of a lower insertion fee and attract more bidders.

Another way to pick up some decent cash is by selling your used books. If you have fairly recent college texts, Cash4Books, found at is a great resource. I recently sold four books and netted $59.00. If you accept their payment to you via your PayPal account, you get a bonus. The only drawback if you are in dire need of cash is that it takes about two weeks to get the money. They provide you with a prepaid shipping label bu it is Media Mail, which is very slow.

Another source of cash is This is a fairly new site where you can list items you have for sale. The beauty of it is that they not only don't charge a fee to list, they pay you .25 for each item you list. All they ask is that you upload an original (not stock) photo so they know it's really your item.

Last but not least is Amazon's Mechanical Turk use the Google search box at the top left of this page to find it). This is an amazing site where people post little jobs they need done and pay you for them. For example, I just posted to a guys blog and he paid me a quarter. I know that doesn't sound like much, but there are hundreds of thousands of these little jobs. Do a few each night and they add up. I usually get in six to ten a night.

This little list should give you a start on your extra cash flow. My next blog will be a review of paid survey sites. I promise to only post legit sites, no $500 gift cards if you sign up for 7,000 offers! They will be sites that I personally belong to and have been a member long enough to get paid. I may even talk about being a mail decoy...yes, that job does exist, but it's top secret.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

How about those gas prices?

Today's hot topic everywhere: gas prices rising again, like they weren't high enough already. I've been reading articles about it all day. I am sick to death of hearing about how people need to sell their big vehicles if they are so concerned about gas prices. I'm sick of hearing about how people should move, get better jobs, etc., if they can't afford gas. People who are hard working, yet live on a tight budget, are in serious trouble here. Not only is gas going up, groceries are going up, clothing is going up, everything is going up because everything is affected by the price of gas. If you were on a budget that met your basic needs a year ago, you are going into the red this year. No one wants to buy the big SUV's and trucks, so selling them is not an option. Trade in value is zip for the same reason. Home values have gone down, so moving closer to work is not an option for many people. What's a person to do? The only thing I know to do is cut back anywhere we can and save as much as possible. Myself, I drive 30 miles each way to work, so I check the prices in my town and the town I work in, then get gas where it's cheaper. It's only a few cents, but it all adds up. You can check them here: and and one more . Pick the one you like best and track the prices for yourself.

You can also do small things that add up:
- keep your oil changed regularly
- check the air in your tires frequently and keep at recommended pressure
- don't carry unnecessary weight in your vehicle
- walk when you can, it's good for your health and good for your wallet
- plan your trips so you can take the shortest routes
- make a grocery list and limit trips to the store (don't run out for milk, for example)
- shop at WalMart? Buy a gift card at the checkout and then use it at their pumps for gas,
you'll save three cents a gallon.

Please feel free to post any other helpful hints you may have, we're all in this together!

Monday, April 21, 2008

I am soooooo waiting on you guys!

Okay, look, I can't be frugal every single minute of every single day. Well, maybe most days. What I really need is for you guys to start adding your own tips for being frugal here. How do you save money? What little tips do you have the corner market on? Let's even stretch this a bit. How about some tips on saving time, or saving energy? Organizing tips would be a great addition as well. I know there have to be some Dave Ramsey fans out there who can bring a whole new meaning to frugal living, so let's hear it!

I'm planning to continue building my website links on the left, and adding more ideas here. I would like to start an eBay discussion, but I'll need some input from you folks first. What ways other than eBay can a person make some extra money? With your help we can put together some great ideas!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Make your own cleaning products for pennies

I thought I would share with you some of the homemade cleaners you can make for pennies on the dollar. I am using them and most work as good, or better, than the expensive stuff from the store.

Laundry Detergent: 1 cup Fels Naptha or Ivory soap (grated finely)1/2 cup washing soda, 1/2 cup borax. Mix and stir in lidded container. For lightly soiled loads, use 1 T. For heavily soiled loads use 2 T. Estimated cost: $1 for 32 T

Homemade Shout: 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup baking soda, 2 T ammonia, 3 C water. Stir together and fill a labelled spray bottle. Spray soiled spots before washing.

Fabric Softener: 1/4 cup baking soda,1/2 cup vinegar. Fill washer with water, add baking soda, stir, then add clothes. Add vinegar to final rinse.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner: 1 cup borax, 1/2 cup white vinegar.Flush to wet sides. Sprinkle borax all along the sides and insides. Drizzle vinegar over borax and leave overnight. Next day, scrub and flush.

All-purpose Cleaner and Disinfectant: 1 tsp borax 1/2 tsp washing soda, 2 T lemon juice. In a pint spray bottle, combine ingredients. Add 1 cup very hot water and shake to dissolve. Store indefinitely.

Kitchen Disinfectant: Keep a spray bottle each of white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in the kitchen. Best results come from using one spray right after the other (the effect is in the mixing, but you can't mix ahead). Use to wash vegetables, sanitize counters and cutting boards. More effective than chlorine bleach at killing salmonella, shigella, and e. Coli.

Drain cleaner: For a great once-a-month drain cleaner, pour 1/2 cup baking soda into the drain, follow with 1/2 cup white vinegar (it will foam). Cover and let sit 30 minutes and then flush with cool water. For stubborn, slow-running drains, pour 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup salt down the drain. Follow this with 2 quarts boiling water. Let sit 30 minutes, then flush with cool water

Oven Cleaner: (No toxic fumes) 3/4 c Baking Soda, 1/4 c Salt. Add enough water to make into a paste, spread it around the oven. Leave overnight (at least 8 hours). Spray w/ water if it has dried. Wipe it up. Spray w/vinegar to get rid of any baking soda residue.

Dishwasher Soap: Equal parts borax and washing soda. I usually make up 2 C at a time and sore in a lidded container. Increase the washing soda if you have hard water.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wow! I've wanted to do this for a long time...

I am really excited to be able to start this blog, now I just hope others will come along and share. Today I shopped at Aldi's, which is something I haven't done much of, even in my most frugal moments. I have decided that they will become my primary grocery store. You know those Gorton's fish fillets that come in flavors like lemon pepper and garlic butter? At my local store they are priced at $5.45 and contain 2 pieces of fish about the size of a deck of cards. Now don't get me wrong, they are tasty, but expensive. I saw the same product at Aldi's for $1.99 today. I bought two packages of Aldi's brand for less than the cost of one package of the name brand. We had them for dinner tonight and they tasted great. So, here's a break down of my trip to Aldi's as compared to my local store prices:

Item ............................ Aldi's Price .............................................Local Store Price

Fish Fillets ..................1.99....................................................................5.45
Peanut Butter..............1.29...................................................................2.89
Sanitary Pads...............2.29..................................................................4.39
Frozen Gr Beans..........1.29..................................................................2.29

Get my point here? Would some of you please share some of the stores in your area that offer great deals ( such as Sam's, Save-a-lot, etc) and how much you are saving?