7 Yard Sale Tips (from a Pro)

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Jamie Here!  With the weather turning beautiful, I’m getting Yard Sale fever!  As a looong time yard sale pro, here are some ways to save on yard sales and tips to get you the best buys!

Yard Sale shopping is a fun weekend pastime for a frugal bargain hunter!  You never know what you’ll find in a morning’s worth of Yard Sailing… sometimes you’ll come home empty-handed – but your inner optimist will pull you out of bed time and time again for another coffee-fueled expedition.

I’ve been yard-sailing regularly since I was 11, heading out on my bike out early Saturday mornings with my backpack and $2 weekly allowance.  I was forced to stretch that $2 to the max – and so I did – charming old folks out of their vintage clothes & jewelry (I have a vintage problem…) and talking tight-fisted children out of Barbie collections.

In my adult life, I’ve clothed myself and my family with yard sale finds, furnished parts of my home, and even stocked my Gift-Closet with yard sale treasures.  If you’re a little green to yard-sailing, or maybe just rusty, here are some tips I’ve learned to help you make the most of a Saturday morning!

Before You Begin: Chart Your Course

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How to Save on Gas #MyFuelRewards

This is a sponsored post. All opinions and text are my own.
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Are you headed on a trip for Spring Break or already planning your Summer vacation? Gas can be a huge expense, not only in our daily life, but also on special trips as well. I am always looking for easy ways to save money that doesn’t take much effort on my part. When I heard about Fuel Rewards I knew I couldn’t wait to share with you after I had some time to use it myself and see how it worked for my family! It’s completely legit and so easy to use. You are going to LOVE IT!! From now until June 5, you can sign up for the Fuel Rewards Program and save 25 cents per gallon on your first fill up. An additional 3 cents per gallon will be taken off your fuel balance after each fill-up from there on out. One Fuel Rewards member paid a total of 19 cents for 20 gallons worth of fuel, and even if you just saved the guaranteed 3 cents per gallon, that’s still almost a dollar off per tank!

The Fuel Rewards Network™ program offers you real savings at participating Shell stations:

  • For a limited time, new members of the Fuels Rewards Network program can get a 25c/gal sign-up bonus when they join the program.
  • Signing up is simple! You can request your free Fuel Rewards Network Card online HERE.
  • Savings can be redeemed on any grade of Shell Nitrogen Enriched Gasoline including Shell V-Power Premium Gasoline as well as Shell Diesel, up to 20 gallons per purchase! Simply swipe your Fuel Rewards Network Card at the pump before you pay and watch your price drop instantly before your eyes.
  • To qualify, you must purchase at least 8 gallons of fuel on your first fill-up using your Fuel Rewards Network Card, while enjoying at least 3c/gal savings. Then, the 25c/gal will be credited to your account for your next fill up. 

You earn 25¢/gal when you refer a friend, and they’ll earn 25¢/gal too.

Here’s the BEST part! Of course you want to share this with your friends and family because they would love to save 25c/gal of gas, you can receive an additional 25c/gal every time you refer a friend or family member to join the Fuel Rewards Network program! Go here to get your first 25c/gal then share with your friends and family. They will thank you!

5 Ways to Save Money on School Lunches

5 Ways to Save on School Lunches on time2saveworkshops.com

Here are 5 great tips to help you load the lunchbox and save money at the same time.

1. Buy Ahead

When you are shopping, keep an eye out for items your kids LOVE to go on sale. Maybe it’s Teddy Grahams or Goldfish or fruit snacks or even raisins. Most foods follow a 10-12 week sale cycle.  The goal is to purchase items at their lowest cost, paired with a coupon.  Then, buy enough to last you until the next sale comes around (about 10 – 12 weeks worth).

Not only will you will save on the items your kids love, you’ll stay stocked up on lunchbox items.   [Read more...]

How to Make a Rug out of Carpet Remnants

Jamie here! We just finished having carpet installed in our basement, which left us with a nice large piece of leftover carpet.  When you spend the money for quality carpet, it’s not likely you’ll be willing to let a nearly room-sized piece be tossed out without trying to come up with a use for it. (Am I right?)

Our installer gave us some tips on how to use the scraps – and I immediately started calling around town and researching how to make a rug out of carpet remnants.  What I found was a great frugal way to make a large area for very little money!

You can also purchase carpet remnants at flooring centers near you.  We found some nice pieces of discounted carpet remnants while in the process of searching for ours.

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There are three ways to make a rug out of carpet remnants - Gluing, Stapling or Professional Binding.

Let’s look at each of these to see which is most cost-effective, with results you’ll be happy with.

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1. Bind it yourself with a DIY Carpet Binding Tape

This product is a VERY good DIY solution to make rugs out of carpet remnant.  You basically flip the carpet over and hot glue a binding onto the the back.  The reviews on this carpet binding tape are all good, in fact, many reviewers post photos of their finished project that are nice and professional.  The video tutorial here is extremely helpful and full of tips. You’ll want to consider that the $54 pricetag gets you about 50 ft of binding – so that comes out to about $1 per linear foot.

Other than a little patience and a big space to spread out the carpet, you’ll need a decent hot glue gun with a high wattage + long, pointed tip if you plan to take on this project.  Also, have several glue sticks at the ready.

To decide how many feet of tape you need, add together all the sides of the remnant to be used.  Final cost = About $60.

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2. Bind it yourself with a Carpet Edge Binding Stapler

This process involves stapling a binding tape to the edge and the gluing it to the bottom with hot glue.  It’s not as easy, and will set you back a good chunk for the stapler, staples and binding tape.  The first method is much easier and cost-effective, and looks better in my opinion.

Final Cost = Between $60 – $80

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3. Professional Binding

A local flooring center or carpet warehouse will offer professional machine-serged binding – for a price.  I called around 6 places near me and found prices between $1 (Sweet!) and $2.75 (Yikes!) per lineal foot.  It really pays to be thorough, the Carpets of Dalton warehouse I called first was who I really thought would be cheapest – but they weren’t.

Since I just want a 4 x 6 living room rug, having it bound at $1/ft will only cost me $20. (Remember – just add each side together for lineal footage).  If you were doing a big 10 x 10′ rug, your cost would still only be $40. A 12 x 12′ rug would be just $48.  Guys – I have never in my life heard of a 12 x 12′ area rug for $48.

If you live in an area where you can find an inexpensive carpet binder, then this is DEFINITELY the way to go.  (There are some things that just aren’t cheaper to DIY!)

Check out more posts on How to Save Money – on everything from electric bills, to television, curtains and coupon tips!

 

5 Ways to Tell if Amazon Reviews are Fake

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If you do a lot of shopping on Amazon, you may have started to notice an unsettling trend in the rising number of fake reviews.  In fact, last year Amazon actually sued over 1,000 people who were selling fake reviews.  Don’t be duped – before you buy check out these 5 ways to tell if Amazon reviews are fake!

 

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1. Weed out Paid Reviewers

Some “buyers” leave reviews in exchange for a free or discounted product.  While many of these reviews may be genuine – it’s good to take those reviews with a grain of salt.  Folks who are getting a free item are not the MOST reliable source for honest feedback.  They’ve essentially been paid with a product – so they’re more likely to leave a glowing review.

A trick for quickly weeding out all the “paid-for” reviews is to use the simple keyboard shortcut Ctrl + F.   This will bring up a mini search bar in the top right corner of the screen – and will search all the text on the page for a specific word/phrase.  I usually click to sort reviews from most-stars to least, and search the word “Honest” or “Unbiased” or “Discount”.  (All of these are common words you’ll find in “paid” reviews.)

2. Be Suspicious of Vague, Short Reviews

If a writer wants to add to the star-ranking on a product, they have to leave a review.  If that’s their only goal, the review may be very short, and won’t tell you much about the user’s experience with the product – such as “Looks great – I liked it!”.  This could apply to ANY product just about – and a false reviewer could be copy/pasting this review onto multiple products. We all know what it looks like to “pad” a paper in school with meaningless drivel. Look for that too.

 

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3. Too good AND bad to be true?

If an item is divided between awesome reviews and terrible reviews (5-star and 1-star) – it’s probably terrible.  While 5-Star Reviews that are full of glowy praise aren’t always fake – but they’re worth taking an harder look at when a number of others had an opposite experience.

4. Check the Reviewer’s Recent Activity

Some writers have left a trail of fake reviews that’s pretty easy to follow.  Click on the name of a reviewer who you believe may not be legit – and see if they’ve made a lot of other reviews in a short period of time.

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5. If in doubt – are they a Verified Purchaser?

Amazon keeps track of whether or not someone actually bought, and was sent, an Amazon product.  This is a good way to weed out reviewers who review things they’ve never even seen or tried.  It’s not foolproof however – as there are some extra-shady ways of getting around these, but it’s a good box to check off the list.

TIP: Of course – with Amazon Prime you will always be taking less of a risk in buying ANYTHING - because your Free 2-Day Shipping includes Free Returns as well :)

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Get a FREE 30-Day Trial of Amazon Prime and enjoy benefits like Free 2-Day Shipping, as well as instantly watching movies and TV episodes, and borrowing books from the Kindle Owners Lending library .

Even sweeter, get a FREE 3-Month Trial of Amazon Prime when you sign up with Amazon Mom! (For any caregiver, not just moms)

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If you liked this deal, check out more Online Deals!

Help Save Money with Coupons | 10 Best Tips for Beginners

If you’re looking for tips on how to help save money with coupons, you’re in the right place!  We’ve put together 10 of our best tips for anyone who wants to try couponing but doesn’t know where to start.  {Find more articles on how to save money.}

*Since we’re starting with the basics, you might also want to watch this brief video of Kasey explaining the basics of couponing.

1.  Get some coupons, pronto!

Coupons are EVERYWHERE.  You can print them out online from these main sites – as well as others:

The Sunday paper is the main source for coupons.  Each Sunday newspaper has a couple coupon inserts inside.  If you glance through these before you buy it, and like what you see ( are there several coupons for things you buy often?) go ahead and get 4 or 5 newspapers. (More on that later)

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