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Sick of clutter

December 13th, 2009 at 10:24 pm

I finally did it! I spent several hours yesterday and today attacking my "office". It used to be an office and now it's really just a storage/junk room. The desk is still in one corner, but that's the only part of it that resembles an office!

I came up with:
* One bag of trash
* One bag for Goodwill.
* One box for electronic recycling.
* A winter jacket with a broken snap, and DH was able to fix it.
* an air mattress bought not too long ago that I'd forgotten to return, and the receipt is taped to it!
* 3 nice pairs of gloves I'd forgotten all about
* a box of baseball caps we'd ordered with our logo on them and forgotten all about.
* 13 items that I listed on CL, some freebies
* A wide variety of candles, air fresheners, and health & beauty aids that I might use to make up gift baskets

There is still a lot to go thru, but I was able to organize many of my shipping supplies better so I can actually see what I have for a change...now if anything would actually SELL on Ebay that would be helpful! I shouldn't complain, since one of my CL items already is sold in theory. The woman that wants it will mail me a check and postage so I can ship it to her. It's a local check so no worries there.

All in all, I'm quite pleased with the progress made. The best part is that I FEEL great and not so out of control. With the holidays coming up I don't know how much more I can get done, but every little bit helps.

What to do, what to do....

November 27th, 2009 at 11:31 am

I have today off from work. Yippee! My husband made plans to take a local Amish to a sale also, so he was gone by 9:30 this morning. (Double yippee!! Sssshhhh. Love ya honey, but it's nice to be home alone sometimes). So that left me wondering what to do with my free time. The whole time I was doing chores after he left, I kept thinking what I would most like to do in the 2+ hours before I leave the house to go meet up with them. And you know what i came up with? Squat!

I checked on my ebay items, answered a question about shipping to Canada, and revised the listing to show that I would ship to Canada. I checked email. I opened an ING Electric Orange account with the Black Friday special (go to www.ingdirect.com/BlackFriday) to get the $121 credit in 50 days. I read a few blogs. I walked the dog. I ate lunch, fixed my hair to reduce the "windblown look", and played a computer game. In other words, I did NOTHING worthwhile with my free time. No wonder my to do list of things I keep putting off is so long! When I have the time, I waste it!!

I might venture to Walgreens on the way to meet the guys to see if I can snag a few of their 3-day sale items. It's a small town, so it shouldn't be too crazy there, but I still doubt they'll have any of the good deals left.

Oh, and today is DH's birthday too. I don't have anything for him, at least not yet. We're both slackers in that department. On my birthday, he told me to go get something from him. I picked out a pair of nice pants for work for $15, and was happy. I don't DARE tell him to pick out something. His taste would run closer to $100 on some tool or doodad that would sit in a corner and rarely get used. I'm sure Black Friday would have been just the day to get that $100 tool for $50, but I am definitely NOT a Black Friday shopper!

Enjoy the rest of the day. If you got up to go shopping (or to work) at 4am, you ought to be in bed soon, so enjoy your sleep.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26th, 2009 at 06:07 am

Enjoy your Thanksgiving feast, whatever it may be.

We're having steak! No traditional turkey this year. Steak, fried potatoes, gravy, green beans, deviled eggs, celery stuffed with cream cheese, and cranberry sauce for tradition. Dessert will be a 4 layer cream cheese, pudding, jello concoction that looks good in the recipe picture.

I made cranberry bread last night too that came out pretty tasty.

The baking and ebay were my main activities last night. 50% off listing fees for auctions was a nice incentive. I did fairly well last week, and sold 6 out of 13 items. I relisted 6 of the 7 items that didn't sell (skipped the one with only 1 view, since it was probably me!) and added a few more. I just hope the three people that still haven't paid me since the items sold on Sunday will get their butt in gear! I wish these were all high ticket items with nice profit margin but they aren't. My profit is only around $25-$30. I'll still take it!

Installing Christmas lights

November 21st, 2009 at 09:33 pm

As I was driving to my class this morning in a nearby city, I saw a sign hanging on one of the light poles. "Christmas lights installed, call xxx-xxx-xxxx".

I'm sure it's not a new service, but I don't recall seeing it offered before. It made me wonder if the person offering the service brainstormed different ways to earn income because they are out of work, or if it's something they do every year to make a little extra income for holiday spending. Would they get any calls? Is there really a need for this kind of service?

I often think things like that when I see services offered that I wouldn't ever consider hiring someone to do. And then I realize that the service exists because someone perceived a need for that service. If the service persists, there is a definite need. For this service, there are probably a lot of people that like the decorations, but HATE the actual decorating, so they probably will get some calls. I hope so. I like to see creative ideas succeed.

While I'm on the topic, another creative idea that I've heard a roofing company advertise is an annual maintenance contract. I don't recall the annual amount, but for their service they will come inspect your roof once a year and look for problems that need to be addressed. They'll also clean your gutters "for free", but I don't know if that's once a year or twice a year. Is it a gimmick or a legitimate need? I'm not sure, but I thought it was an ingenious service offering. Do you really need someone to inspect your roof every year? Probably not, but maybe it's not such a bad idea in an area that often has high winds and a sprinkling of tornadoes. And it's much cheaper to fix the source of a leak than it is to repair the inside damage after a leak starts, right? And then, the gutter cleaning is thrown in "for free". So, I thought it was a smart, creative idea, even if I would personally never purchase it.

Well, that's my deep, rambling thoughts for the day. Or, it might be all I come up with for the weekend.

oh, except for the good news that I sold one item on eBay (under $5, still waiting for payment...) and have bids on 4 more. With 14 items that I listed, that's less than 50%, so I hope a little more activity happens tomorrow!

Cheap eats

June 20th, 2009 at 06:21 am

I've been trying to catch up on all your blogs, but am not having much luck. It's been a very busy week!

Last night's dinner was soft tacos, made from a Taco Bell meal kit purchased at Walmart. As we were eating them, I realized it was a really cheap meal for us. The box kit was $2...minus a $1 coupon. The ground beef was given to us by one BIL a few weeks ago. They gave us about 10 pounds of ground beef and 10 pounds of ground sausage. The lettuce I got free with a coupon at the grocery store. The tomato & onion came from a different BIL. And, I'm sure the shredded cheese we used was purchased on sale or with a coupon or something. That came out of the freezer so I don't remember exactly what I paid for it. I think there is enough of almost everything left over for another taco or two apiece. I'm sure there would have been if we each didn't have three last night! They were delicious, and for $2 or less out of pocket, we might get 2 meals out of them. I know it was unusual circumstances, and it wouldn't be that cheap next time, but for today it was good.

In other news, I think I sold something on CL. The woman said she'll "definitely buy it" (we've all heard that before!), but I believe her. That will be an extra $10. Hubby said I priced it too cheap, but I just wanted a quick sale to get some cash in the coffers.

I also called in during the right song playing on the radio yesterday, and won $50! I've never done that before, so I was quite thrilled. It's all little dribbles, but it all helps too.

Weird coincidence

May 27th, 2009 at 09:32 pm

I picked up a few items at Walmart yesterday. Finances are running short, but I had to have the 3 things I bought since we were out. Two of the items were grocery, and the third was in a different category. I quickly added up the grocery and decided it would be somewhere between $3.66 and $3.70, so I could probably use a gift card with $3.68 left on it. I had a nickel in cash if needed to make it come out right so I could use up the gift card and toss it. Lo and behold, the total was exactly $3.68. What a weird coincidence!

I shipped out 3 things today that I sold on eBay. One was from an auction that ended Monday, and 2 were fixed price sales that I listed on Monday for 30 days. One sold within an hour!! Literally! I couldn't believe it. The other took just a day. They were odd items too, things that I thought might never sell at auction but would need the 30 day exposure just for enough different people to see them, so that one would actually buy. Imagine my surprise!

I got a free plant at work today too. I'm not sure where they came from but they were in the breakroom with a FREE sign on them. I grabbed a spike plant. It will go nice in the big pot on our front porch that has petunias in it now. There is room in the middle so I'll just stick it in there. I like free Smile

Wow!!

May 22nd, 2009 at 10:24 pm

One of my local grocery stores was having some pretty good deals this week, and there are a lot of good coupons out there in cyberspace these days, so I gathered my coupons and made my list using the sale flyer, and stocked up before the weekend. I sort of put the grocery spending goal to the side this week, because I didn't want to limit myself to a certain dollar amount and end up buying the stuff I passed up today in a few weeks for a lot more money.

Here is the haul, all for $35.79!!


Plus, I should be able to submit my receipts for a $6.99 rebate on the quesadillas, and possibly a free grocery tote bag from a Rachel Ray promotion, if I bought the right products. Even the cashier (a young man) was thoroughly impressed with my coupon savings of just under $28. So impressed, in fact, that he handed me a $1.50 off your next order coupon that a prior customer had left behind! What a sweetie!!

I just realized some of the stuff is hard to see. That's 10 ears of corn in the back. (We had some tonight, and it was delicious!) There are 2 Crystal Light boxes behind the tea, so that's 5 Crystal Lights total. One tea is missing, since I drank it on the way home. (gulp!) There are 4 packages of Kraft sliced cheese, 5 packages of hot dogs, 2 packages of Kraft shredded cheese, and 5 of the frozen boxed meals. Some of the coupons were for free things, or when doubled they wiped out the cost of the items. The ketchup, tea, 3 of the Crystal Lights, and the corn were all free with my coupons.

I have one other store to go to on Tuesday evening with equally as fantastic deals. I don't think I'll be spending as much, but I should end up with quite a few more free things from that trip.

I sold two things today on Craigslist, and turned around & spent the money on graveside decorations for Memorial Day. It was nice timing.

Enjoy the holiday weekend all! I have so many plans to catch up on things around here, but I'm not starting the weekend off right by staying up so late! I won't be ready to hop out of bed first thing in the morning.

Ebay & Craigslist

May 12th, 2009 at 06:02 pm

I listed 4 items on Ebay & 2 items on Craigslist that I've tried on Ebay multiple times and never get bids on. Both of the Craigslist items had some interest, but then neither sold. Two of the Ebay items did though! It's not a big profit, but it puts my Paypal account very close to $100. Once it gets to $100, I usually transfer it into my checking, and then my savings account.

I read in my email today from Ebay this news: Starting June 16:
Every 30 days, your first 5 Auction-style listings will have NO Insertion Fees when you list with eBay's Sell Your Item form or Simple listing form--regardless of your start price.
Sounds like good news to me!

I mailed off some rebates yesterday & today. If all are processed, it will be $13.49 back in my pocket, although $5 of that will be in the form of coupons.

I got a pair of work gloves today in the mail from a rebate I'd mailed back in February. Three months is a little long to take to process! Actually, I sent in enough for 2 rebates, so where is my other pair of gloves?!?!?

It's all about timing

March 28th, 2009 at 07:26 am

You just never know. I had an item listed on eBay for fixed price for 30 days. The price? $1.99. I had several lookers, some watchers, but nobody purchased. I finally got around to relisting it last weekend, but picked a 7-day auction instead. I started it at the same price, and whaddaya know? It doesn't end until tomorrow and it's currently bid over $5!

It's all about timing, I suppose, and buyer psychology. Maybe the $1.99 fixed price scared people away that it wasn't the "real" thing. It was a rock bottom price and I would have only earned half that in profit, since my shipping fee is always actual or maybe just 25 cents more for supplies. But I just was tired of hanging onto it and I'll never use it. So, maybe at a fixed price, they thought "no way, something is wrong with it". But, with an auction, people figure things that are worth hundreds or thousands sometimes start at 99 cents, so it's okay.

I'll never know, but I'm glad it will sell!

Lost checkbook saga

February 19th, 2009 at 09:46 pm

I only accomplished 4 things on my list again today. {*sigh*} I was on a roll, and thought I was making good progress until I realized that I had to go to the store to get bread. I forgot it yesterday and we were completely out.

So I went late afternoon and came back home, after stopping at the machinery dealer for parts too. Within 1/2 hour of getting home, I hopped back in the car and went with DH to pick up some paperwork from a truck he bought last year from a guy. I thought it would be a half hour there, a half hour of chit-chat and a half hour home. DH forgot to mention before we left the house that he really couldn't remember the directions exactly. Uh, oh. We went 5 miles too far past this guy's road because oncoming car headlights blinded us and we couldn't see the sign in the dark. We retraced our steps and found the road. After traveling on this road for 1/2 mile, I asked "how far?" DH thought it was a few miles, but he'd "recognize it". Ten miles later, and three cell phone calls to friends before finding one that was home and could look up the man's number, I called him. He was just 1/4 mile off the main road. We again retraced our steps until we found him. Mission accomplished!

Since we passed Walmart on the way home, I decided to run in and get dog food. At the register, I dug in my purse for my checkbook that has some debit cards in it. It wasn't there! Ok, maybe I took it out at the house, but I didn't remember. I had a credit card in my purse also, so I paid with that. (one that I pay off every month, so not a big deal). Just in case, we stopped by the grocery store I'd been at earlier. The manager was at the service desk but he was busy so I asked another employee if a checkbook had been turned in. He rummaged around a little and said Nope! Ok, I'm getting more stressed, but there is still the possibility that I just don't remember taking it out at home.

Well, we finally got home 3 hours after we left for this quick trip(!), and I don't find the checkbook. Stress turns to complete and utter panic. Debit cards are worse to lose than credit cards, and I'm dreading making the phone calls. So, I try one last ditch effort, and called the store back. I tell the manager my name, and sure enough, the checkbook is there!! I'm relieved, but p/o'd! We live 20 miles from this town and the store is closing in 1/2 hour. Back into the car I go to retrieve it. I told him when I got there that I had been in earlier to ask about it and the other kid told me it wasn't there. He just shrugged and said I should have asked for him. He might have mumbled sorry, but I was already headed for the door, happy to have it back.

So, that's today's excuse for not getting everything done on my list. Unplanned driving errands for 6 hours! Ugh!! Maybe tomorrow...

[x] List 2 more ebay items - actually did three, so that counts for a little bonus
[x] Send in rebates for free gloves for purchase of Rotella oil.
[x] send in Purina weight circles to get $70 in checks back to use on future purchases.
[x] update Microsoft Money for last few days

I might not have to call to cancel DH's insurance. I suppose I should just to cross it off the list, but today we got a "disregard if you sent payment" reminder saying they will cancel in 20 days if no payment is received.

I did get a start on some of the other doggie updates on the list, by taking a bunch of pictures to post. So that counts as maybe 1/2 of another item done.

Catching up here

December 20th, 2008 at 10:43 pm

Whew! It's been a busy few days and I'm just catching up here. Let's see, since some of my last entries, what have I accomplished?

1) tried to go on my trip but the weather was not cooperative. I might have a whole bunch more frequent flyer miles racked up since I flew to 4 different airports trying to get rerouted to where I was going, but it just didn't happen, so I flew back home.

2) wrote to customer relations to see if they would reimburse or issue a travel voucher for my uncompleted trip.

3) found 55 cents in the airport

4) charged things I needed to buy on 2 inactive credit cards so they wouldn't cancel them on me like another card did. http://lizajane.savingadvice.com/2008/12/12/they-cancelled-m...

5) paid a bunch of bills that were going to be due right after I got back from my trip, so now they are out of the way

6) emailed and sent out christmas cards (if only I would finish my shopping!)

7) gathered up a few items I need to return to Walmart and a farm supply store

8) sold a few more things on ebay

I need to give some serious thought to setting new goals for 2009 and make them more SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and I forgot what the T stands for). Mine are big and vague right now, so since I set them up when I started the blog a few months ago, I have nothing that I can check off as being done. There is progress, but nothing substantial enough that I can cross it off the list.



Ebay trickle

November 7th, 2008 at 02:30 pm

I've been selling several ebay items this past week, providing a slow trickle of money to stash away. I hope saying it out loud doesn't jinx it! It's all low-ticket items, but 10 items at $2 profit is still $20 that I didn't have before. It's a lot of work, and my dollars per hour spent would be below minimum wage, but I don't try to look at it that way. If I wasn't going to do anything else during that time anyway, I'm happy with the "found" money.

In other unrelated news, I saw in our local paper that our state board of education has mandated personal finance courses be part of the high school curriculum. Hurray!!! I think this is a great idea, but I don't know if this is a new thing, or if we're just catching up to the rest of the country. Do your schools do this?

am I thinking right?

November 3rd, 2008 at 09:07 am

I've started selling a few things on ebay lately, and have an extra $50 accumulated from that. Plus, I have an extra $30 from an "investment". (I bought a huge box of greeting cards at a yard sale for $1, took out about 50-60 of them for me & my MIL to use, and resold the rest to a local discount store for 10c apiece.

My original plan was to take this found money and add it to one of my credit card payments, but since my job situation for next year is unknown at this point, I'm thinking I'd better just add it to the emergency fund instead. I'm actually thinking that instead of paying my usual 10-15 bucks extra on top of my minimum card payments that I'd really better stash that to the side as well, just in case.

This is logical thinking, right? Not just panic setting in? I reason it out by saying I'd rather pay (at worst) the 7.2% interest on the card rather than having to skip the minimum payments later and have them jack the interest rate sky high.
~~~~~
Grrr. Now I have $79.80 instead of $80. I just burned 2 pieces of bacon beyond recognition while I was typing this!