August 18 2017

Trash to Treasure #1

Do you ever wonder how so many companies get your address so they can send you all those free labels you didn’t ask for and will never be able to use? I have, but I don’t let it take up too much brain time. Most of the time, with a name like mine, there is at least one word that isn’t quite spelled right. Even if everything is perfect, I could never use all the labels I get. Since we pay most of our bills online, I probably use less than a dozen address labels a year other than those I put on the annual holiday/winter newsletter. To be honest, I keep the nicest labels for those newsletters and the others I plan to throw away.

Before I toss them, I cut the free stickers off of them. What free stickers you ask? Those cute little designs to the left of the address. Sometimes they are puppies and kittens, sometimes birds, often times they are hearts as the ones you will see pictured here. So I cut carefully to disconnect the address from the cute design and sometimes I even save some of the address portions to use to label books before loaning them out, or keep a few in my purse to fill out the contest entry form in a hurry or share my contact info with a friend with minimal effort.

Recently I got the set pictured here in the mail. As you can see, it came with a few sheets of note/list paper, 2 large and at least 8 small stickers in each of four different heart designs. As a bonus, it also had a two-sided sheet to tell me the symptoms/signs of both a heart attack and a stroke. Hey! You never know when you will need those! None of us is getting any younger you know.

If you have been reading my blog for long and specifically the posts about bullet journaling, you might have already guessed how I use some of these stickers. Below are several examples of how I have used these free stickers to set the theme for my weekly bullet journal spreads.

I have also used them on my calendar in the past to track things like workouts. Kind of like gold stars we used to get on our papers in grade school, but much less expensive.

So, what have you been throwing away that could be repurposed into something usable? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

August 3 2017

Back To School $ Savers

When the month of July comes to an end, it can only mean one thing. It is time to take advantage of all those great back to school sales. Now, some of you may be saying to yourself that you don’t have school age children. That’s fine. There are some really great deals to be had if you watch the ads. We used to buy the limit when we found ten cent spiral notebooks or fifty cent filler paper and composition notebooks.

Glue is another one of those things they like to put on ridiculously low sales. I thought we would never use those four bottles of Elmer’s Glue All that I had gotten super cheap, but then a project would come up where paper mache was called for and then it was the glue to the rescue. You’ll be happy to shop from your personal stash of supplies that you got for pennies on the dollar instead of full price at the grocery or drug store in the middle of the night when your child comes to you in a panic because the project is due tomorrow and they forgot all about it until they were almost asleep.

So my friend, even if you really don’t see yourself using these supplies, consider getting the super cheap ones and donate them to the local elementary school. There will always be students who don’t have the proper supplies and these often end up being purchased by the underpaid teacher. Often times an organization will put together themed baskets for a fundraiser silent auction. There is almost always a basket of school supplies. You can also make a coloring basket with twenty-five cent sale boxes of crayons and dollar store coloring books. The same idea can work with colored pencils and adult coloring books. Perhaps some erasable ink pens and crossword puzzle books would make another nice basket. A nursing home might have some residents who would love to have coloring books and crayons in the activities room for the residents to use. A homeless shelter would most likely be happy to take those unused school supplies off your hands. You may have to think outside the crayon box, but I’m quite sure you will be able to either put the supplies to use in your home or office and if not, then there are countless numbers of places that would be happy to have your few dollars worth of supplies.

Once school is in full swing, maybe September or October, keep your eyes open for clearance sales. We have gotten some wire shelves meant for inside school lockers, notebooks, binders, label makers and all sorts of great stuff that rarely goes on those super low sales at unheard of prices. Many of the things you might use to decorate a dorm room or send your college student off with will be on sale then too. Think about things like twin sized sheet sets, blankets, organizing bins, cork and dry erase boards and that sort of thing. Not typical school supplies, but very useful in many places that are not college dorm rooms or student apartments.

So, have I gotten you motivated to at least look at the sales flyers with a more careful eye to savings even if you don’t have students at your house?

Feel free to tell us about the best deals you have found on “school supplies” in the comments below.

April 13 2017

Tips & Tricks to save you $

I have been told that I should be sharing some of the things I have learned during my thirty plus years of marriage and living in the world and dealing with life. Here are a few tips for saving money I came up with off the top of my head.

Email Sign Ups

One tip that comes to mind this month especially is that you should always sign up for the notifications from your favorite restaurants and retail shops. Why? Well, during the month of your birthday, your inbox might be flooded with offers of free things at some of these favorite places. In the past, this has happened as soon as the month of my birthday arrives. This year it seems to be a bit slower trickling in, but still, some offers have arrived. Sure, you will get emails through the year as well, but you know how to delete the ones that don’t interest you, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

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March 16 2017

Travel Tips for Parents and Everyone Else

Travel Tips

We have done a fair bit of traveling as a family and I have learned these travel tips along the way.

For Everyone:

Pack basic snacks, preferably healthy ones, for the road trip. I suggest baby carrots, celery sticks, bottled water, cheese sticks, and pretzels. This will help cut down on costs and the number of stops. Eating healthy can also help offset the extra calories we all tend to eat on vacations, just because it IS vacation and we know we deserve to treat ourselves.

When you are planning a trip, unless you already get some sort of member discount for booking hotels, you might want to consider getting a membership to your local AAA Auto Club. This can often save you at least 10% off the cost of hotel rooms or attraction tickets. The savings from one trip could well pay for the cost of the annual membership and you would still have the benefit of the roadside assistance and towing to use the whole year which can again save you to cost of the membership if you ever need to have your car towed. Continue reading