A Cheapskate Fall Vacation

As my regular readers are aware, I am a teacher so I get regular days off through the year.  We recently had a full week off for Fall Break.  Many of my friends and co-workers went to the beach or took trips to the zoo or aquarium.

Being a cheap skate, there is no way my family is spending a ton of many on something like that simply because we are off work.  Instead we spend our week doing things that made up money rather than lost money.

We went thrifting for items to resale online.   This is a great day out for us because my family enjoys treasure hunting.  We found lots of little treasures that we can sell and make a few dollars online.

Also early in the week, we had a bad storm.  Our neighbor had a few large trees fall in their yard so we broke out the chain saws and wood splitter and spent a few days sawing, splitting, and hauling wood.


Why did we do this?

Because we heat our home with wood so we just saved a ton on our electricity bill this Winter.  We didn’t really need this wood but we can sell any excess for cash.

We did have a bit of fun on our week off.  We went to a lovely National Park which costs a total of $4.00 for parking.  We spent the day hanging out together, enjoying nature, walking trails, and watching the river.

Did we enjoy our “vacation”?  Absolutely.  It’s a total different mindset than a family who spent the week blowing money at Disney but it works for us.

How do you spend your free time with your family?  Comment below with your family fun ideas.

Save your food budget with infused water

We all struggle with trying to get our food bills lower.  We clip coupons, buy generic, eat more beans and less meat but we often overlook one of the simplest ways to lower our food budget.

Are you ready for the secret?

Are you sure?

This is gonna blow your mind…..

Prepare yourself.



I realize that this sounds too simple.  Too easy.  But if you calculate the price of soda, coffee, tea, milk, etc.  Even if you make it yourself, add up the price of the ingredients.  It can get really expensive.  If you have a large family, you can be drinking a huge chunk of your food budget.

I know that your family and maybe you don’t like the taste of water.  I am in total agreement but I have found something that is a complete game changer in the water drinking area.

Infused water is a really hot right now for the folks who are into healthy eating and exercising.  That’s not me but I am into saving money and infused water is awesome for us cheap folks.  It makes water taste fantastic and cuts the costs of your drink budget.

I have been converted.  This is no easy feat because I am from Georgia and getting us country folk to give up our sweet tea is not for the faint of heart.  However, my fridge is currently stocked with water infused with orange, lemon, and cucumber.

I figure if a Georgia girl can give up sweet tea, this is an idea I should share with my readers.  I have found tons of recipes online claiming to cure all manners of ailments but I personally just choose the ones I like the taste of since I am into saving money.

I have found that tap water loses much of the chlorine taste after some time in the fridge so that alone helps the taste.  My favorite so far is cucumber and strawberry but I am simple and that is only the tip of the iceberg.  If you think you want to give this a try all you need is some water straight from the tap, a pitcher and whatever you want to put in it.  Use some of the recipes below or try out your own concoction.  Enjoy !



Small Haul for Amazon FBA (3-14-14)

This weekend we went out to do a bit of thrifting for eBay and Amazon.  I sell on Amazon primarily in FBA, which means Fulfilled by Amazon.  I will be making a series of posts about the process later but for this post I am just showing the items that I found that I will be sending in to Amazon FBA.

We went to several thrift stores and didn’t really find much except these 2 books.


Each of these books are the same.  They were priced at 0.99 cents but the lady let me have them both for 99 cents.  So I have 50 cents each invested in them.  Here is the Amazon Seller screenshot showing the profit on each book.


Yes, that does say $22.61 profit after fees.  Subtract the 50 cents investment and I will make $22.11 per book.  Certainly worth the few minutes they took me to scan.

Next, I went to one of my favorite liquidation stores.  Here I spent a little time scanning and not finding much.  I did end up with some puzzles.  I purchased 4 of the same puzzle.


 They were priced at $5.00 but this store has a sliding scale that decreases the price the longer an item stays on the shelf.  These  puzzles were priced at $5.00 but since they had been there since 12/1/14, I got them for 80% off, so I paid $1.00 for each puzzle.


These sell for ……


$8.17 ofter fees.  So I make $7.17 per puzzle or $28.68.

My last purchase was nothing big but since I was in the puzzle section anyway, I figured why not.



Puchased for $4.00.  Selling price is……


$8.98 after fees.  For a total of $4.98 profit.

So for this little shopping trip, I should profit $78.88.  Not too shabby.  Would like to have some better finds but those are just around the corner with yard sale season coming up.

What were your finds today?

eBay logo

How to Start Selling on eBay

eBay logo

If you want to make some extra money working from home, eBay can be an excellent resource.  I have been an eBay seller since 1998, long before smart phones and scanners made selling so much easier.

In this series, I am going to attempt to teach you step by step everything you need to know to make some extra money selling items on eBay.  Please keep in mind that it has been a long time since I did some of these activities, such as signing up for an account, so I may make mistakes.  If you attempt my tips and find that there is a problem along the way, please comment below and let me know so that I can correct it.

Please keep in mind that some of what I will write is my opinion based on my years of experience.  I am in no way an expert and do not claim to be.  However, I do have over 2800 positive feedbacks and am an eBay powerseller.  Please use my tips as such and make your own decisions based on your own research.  However, I am happy to assist if you have questions.  You can always send me a message via the comments or my Facebook page which can be found by clicking HERE

If you have never bought on eBay before, your first step will be to set up an account.  It is a simple process.  You simply go HERE and all you need is your name, email, and password. You will then have to confirm registration through an email that is sent to you.   That’s it.  You now have an eBay buying account.

Now, gather your items and we will start listing.  eBay walks you through the process in a series of videos.  Later in this series I will teach you to research items and how to find items to make money.  But for now, I suggest you look around your home and find things that you no longer need or want and start with those.  There is a bit of a learning curve to doing this right so now is not the time to be buying items for resell.  That will come later.

Start by clicking the SELL link in the top left corner.  It will bring a page to type your title.


1. List it

Describe your item and add photos

Start by simply telling us what you’re selling. Then add up to 12 free photos

This video teaches you to write effective, detailed listings.


This video teaches the importance of taking good pictures of your item.  You get up to 12 pictures in your listing for free through eBay.

Choose your price and shipping option

Most new sellers choose auction-style to attract the most buyers. Or choose a fixed price listing to get exactly what you want for your item. The quick listing tool suggests popular pricing and shipping options for similar items.

If you chose to sell your item on auction, set the starting price at the least you are willing to take for the item.  If you are using the “Fixed Price” format (which I recommend) set your price at a “happy price” and use the “best offer” option.

Offer the shipping option that works best for you

USPS Flat Rate boxes and envelopes are easy. Order them for free now and save time.  You can even schedule at-home pickups and skip a trip to the post office. Want another way to ship? You can offer multiple shipping options at checkout, too.

List your item for FREE.

As soon as you click “List it,” your item is visible to millions of buyers. It’s that simple.

2. Ship it

Confirm that you received payment

Once your item has sold, and you have been notified that the buyer has paid, pack your item safely and ship it.

Use My eBay to create and print shipping labels

Pay for postage and print shipping labels that are auto-filled with your buyer’s information from My eBay.

Leave positive feedback

Be sure to leave positive feedback for your buyer as soon as payment is confirmed. This makes buyers happy and keeps them coming back.

Send the item to your buyer

We work with all major carriers for simple shipping with guaranteed great rates.

3. Get paid

The fastest way to get paid

To ensure quick payment, use eBay shipping labels and collect payments with PayPal. Payment times vary and some new sellers experience slight delays, so be sure to do the following:

Print your shipping labels through My eBay

This will help you get paid in as few as three days.  Learn how to print shipping labels through My eBay.

Collect payments through PayPal

It’s the fastest, easiest, and most secure way to get paid. Create a PayPal account now.

That’s it!  I hope that you find this to be an easy to use walk through.  Once you get your first item listed, please post a link in the comments so that we can all check out your fabulous item.  You might even make a sale.  If you have any questions or you need help, please send me a message on my Facebook page, I’m always happy to help.

How to get out of debt


If you are in debt, you know that it is a heavy burden.  Worrying where every dime is going and whether you are going to be able to make your minimum payment this month can really weigh you down.  

Not only is it hard on your mind, it is also bad for your health.  The stress and worry can affect your sleep, your marriage, your blood pressure.

How wonderful would it feel to get that monkey off your back?  Well, it is time to buckle down and get to work ridding yourself of this headache.

Where do you start?

Step one is to pull all of your bills out and really get a full picture of what is owed and to whom.  Make a list of each debt and the amount owed to COMPLETELY pay them off.  That’s right.  We are not trying to pay the minimum anymore.  We are going to get our family out of debt.

Once you have the full picture of where you stand, now you can make a plan.  Sit down with your family who will benefit from this new lifestyle.  Make sure that you are all on the same page and understand that while it may be a struggle for a little while, it will be worth it in the long run and you will all benefit when you are free from debt.

Find the debt with the smallest balance.  Forget about interest rates, forget about what you have owed the longest, concentrate on putting the debts in order from smallest to largest.  Now, you are going to pay only the minimum on everything except the smallest debt.

This step is by far the hardest but the most important.  Find everything not nailed down that you don’t absolutely need to live and sell it.  Have a yard sale, put in on eBay, send it to Amazon, post on Craigslist, post on Facebook yard sale groups, sell it to your neighbor.  How ever you can find to make some money, make it.  Turn off everything you don’t need.  Forget cable, internet, satellite, Netflix, newspaper subscriptions.  Seriously, really think about where your money is going and stop spending it.  Stop going to Starbucks, no more dinners at Longhorns or even McDonald’s.  You are going to go to the grocery store and cook your own food.  Not only that but you are going to eat CHEAP.

Every extra penny that you save you are going to put on that smallest debt and you are going to keep doing that until the debt is paid off.  Now CELEBRATE, cheaply!  Now go to the next smallest bill and keep going.

Repeat this step until you are debt free!

debt free

How to make extra money on eBay

As many of you know, I used to be an active member on eBay.  Since I earned my degree and began teaching, that has fallen to the wayside somewhat.  I have recently gotten back into listing to help my husband make some money while he has been recovering from surgery.  My main goal was to clean out some of the clutter that has built up while I was going to school and working 2 jobs.  At any rate, this is a great way to make a few extra bucks so I thought I would share my store with those of you who may be interested.


In the coming weeks, I will be sharing ways that you can use the items that you no longer want to put a few extra dollars in your pocket.  Start funding your vacation, retirement, or children’s college fund.

Being Frugal Doesn’t Mean You are Broke or Cheap!

Quite a few fantastic ideas in this article. Hope you enjoy.

Gracefully Frugal

Being frugal as a lifestyle choice can provide you with peace of mind regarding finances, your future and your families’ future. Being frugal can increase your financial worth with very little effort. Being frugal simply means being thrifty and economy minded in spending money or utilizing any type of resource – not just financial ones. Frugality is not just for those who really need to stretch their dollars – it can be for everyone. As a nation we have limited resources, and we are all guilty of using those resources irresponsibly. Adopting frugality can benefit you, your family and our nation in so many wonderful ways!
With the on-going financial crisis, more people are looking for various methods to help stretch their dollars further. With high unemployment, tight credit and other poor economic issues, you may be wondering who is right these days to advise you in changing your spending…

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Back in the Saddle again


Been a bit crazy around here and I have gotten really out of touch with my blogging community.  However, I am back!!!  Scary though, huh?  Anyway, thanks to the glories of Summer break (yet another reason why I became a teacher), I have something I have been searching for, free time.  I am also back to listing on eBay.  Attempting to clear out the junk that has been accumulating around my house while making a few pennies.

Hubby has been out of work having not one, but two cataracts removed.  Guess you can imagine what a whine fest that has been. SO he and I are both home.  Somehow we are both still alive.  For now.

We are all grateful for our cheap ways at a time like this when the money stream has dropped to a veritable trickle.  The funny thing is that our life has barely changed.  I was thinking about this the other day when we were out shopping, at the Goodwill.  Anyway just wanted to let you all know that I haven’t forgotten you and I will be seeing much more of you in the months to come.



Beware – New way for stalkers to find you or your children

 Geo Tagging 2

This tech crazy world does have its benefits.  I love my laptop, Facebook, and Kindle.  To be honest, I am not overly savvy on cell phones just because I hate to talk on the phone but I certainly understand the handiness of it all.  I am a person who has tons of pictures posted on Facebook.  However, as a parent, I am extremely disturbed about the trend of geotagging on iphone and android phones.

We all do it.  We take a picture with our phone and upload it straight to Facebook.  But, did you know that cell phone pictures have built in geo tagging, you know the same technology that is in your GPS?  Well, unless you disable it, your phone automatically tracks the location of your pictures.

Who cares, right?  Well, we all should because stalkers and pedophiles can use this information to find out exactly where the picture was taken.  They can track it straight to your home, your child’s school, the local park, and many more places I haven’t even thought about yet.

Geo Tagging

There are several very helpful articles about how to disable geo tagging on your phone.  I urge you to research this and decide if you want your pictures geo tagged.  I’m not telling you which way to go, I just think we should be informed about the information we are sending out into cyberspace.

Creepy App

I Can Stalk U

Tracking Via Your Cell Phone

Take the time to educate yourselves, especially if you are a parent.

What do you think of the ability of others to track your location?  Have you ever considered the negative ramifications of the technology?  Post your comments below.

How to Teach a Child to Tie Their Own Shoes the Easy Way

As many of you know, I am a Pre-K teacher.  One skill that can be frustrating for children to learn is how to tie their own shoes.  I recently ran across a site that had used a technique I had never heard of before and it is unbelievable.  Who knew it could be so simple?

If you are interested, check out the site here. The point of view video at the bottom is the best!


Bored Out of My Mind and Feeling Old


For all those those who think that teachers have it made because they have the summers off, let me tell you that I am SO ready for school to start.  Yes, it is a lot of work and there are many days when I am ready to pull my hair out because I feel so ineffective.  But the lack of a definite schedule is driving me bonkers.

For example, as I type I am sitting at the skating rink in a corner booth with my laptop.  As always, I found a deal.  It is $2.00 Tuesday so my little one and her friend are having a blast out on the rink.  I brought my laptop and teacher bag with the intention of getting a jump on some lesson plans.  Instead, I am sitting here wishing I was anywhere else.  Let’s just be honest, a skating rink full of preteens is not a fun place to be unless you are a preteen.

In addition to being insanely bored, I am also feeling unbelievably old since today is my oldest daughter’s 19th birthday.  She came up and spent the night with us and now she is gone back home and back to her normal life.  Where did those years go?  When did I become my mother?  I don’t feel that old but the person looking back at me from the mirror each morning tells a different story.

HUD Good Neighbor Program Home Foreclosure Deal


If you are a frugal person you probably already know that buying a foreclosure property can be a great money saving plan.  But did you know that if you are a firefighter, teacher, EMT, or police officer, that you can save even more.  A lot more.  50% more!

HUD has a program called HUD”s Good Neighbor Next Door.  This program offers certain properties at a 50% discount when purchased by people in those professions.

You can find out more about this program and which properties are available by going to HUD’s website: here.  There are properties available nationwide and they are added almost daily to the site.  If you or someone you know is in one of these professions, you may find an awesome bargain on a home.

good neighborI would love to hear from anyone who has experience with this program.  Did you find a home using this program?  Was it a positive experience.  Please add your stories in the comment section.

CVS Deals 7/14-7/20

CVS is by far my favorite store for new couponers. Their coupon policy is easy to understand and ECB’s make for some serious deals.


If you are a newbie to CVS shopping, head on over here to check out the CVS Store Guide! And if you are new to all this coupon mumbo jumbo (huh?!), then check out our Coupon Newbie section.

Before starting your shopping trip this week, be sure to scan your CVS card at the Magic Coupon Machine this week to see what CVS store coupons print for out that you can also combine with manufacturer’s coupons for some great deals! It appears that select regions may be receiving a $3 off $15 purchase coupon, which will sweeten the deals below! (Thanks, Frugal for You!)

Want to create your own custom printable shopping list?!
Simply click on the printer icon to the right of the post title and then follow the instructions to easily remove portions of the weekly deals that do not interest you. Then print and take…

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7/14 Sunday Newspaper Coupon Insert Preview

Remember to keep up with when coupons are released. No reason to buy a paper with no coupons in it.


So, once again, it’s Saturday and time for another Sunday coupon insert preview! Below you will find a long list of coupons that reader, Carol, will be receiving in her Washington Post newspaper tomorrow, 7/14/2013. I would suggest checking the list below and also heading on over to Sunday Coupon Preview to get an idea of what coupons you may receive. Please keep in mind that NOT all areas will get the same coupons or coupon values.

There will be two coupon inserts in the 7/14/2013 Sunday newspaper. You should receive one SmartSource coupon insert and one Red Plum coupon insert. Also, make sure to check your Parade Magazine or USA Today (depending on where you live) for possible coupons as well. In fact, you may spot a $2/1 Kerasal product coupon in your Parade magazine this week!

Need a great deal on a Sunday Newspaper subscription so…

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The Many Negatives of a Bad Credit Score

credit scoreI must admit that I am a faithful follower of Dave Ramsey and fully believe in his teachings of not being in debt.  My husband and I have lived all of our married life this way.  We purchased our home foreclosed and with a loan from a family member, which we paid back with interest.  We have never financed a vehicle and have never purchased a new vehicle.  We are just people who choose to pay in cash and we don’t buy stuff that we can’t pay for outright.

As Dave Ramsey teaches, our credit score is a big fat zero.  Yes, I said 0, as in non-existent.  This has never bothered us because we don’t borrow money but recently we have had several instances in which our non-existent credit score has negatively affected our lives.


For starters, we now have a daughter that is 19 and as any parent would like to do, we would like to help her in her next stage of life.  She is currently renting a basement apartment and paying 400 per month.  With all of the foreclosures in the housing market, hubby and I decided that we could help her by buying a low cost foreclosure and allowing her to pay us back.  We felt that we could allow her to pay us a lower amount and help her get a better start in life.  She is working full time while going to college and is a very responsible young lady.  Anyway, we spent some time looking at HUD foreclosures on the HUD website here and found several places that we felt would work.  We assumed that we could borrow money against our home and have no problem.  WRONG!  When we called the realtor we were told that they wouldn’t even talk to us without being able to pull our credit history.  And or course, we don’t have one so she basically laughed at us.  Her answer was to go get a credit card to build our credit score so that we could build our score.

I also recently went to add insurance on a newly purchased used truck and found out that our insurance company now uses credit scores to determine insurance rates.  Guess what?  Ours went up because or our low score.

So I decided to do some research and found out that there are many negative impacts from a low credit score.  Many of which I did not know.  Did you?

  • Prospective employers can access your credit history to determine whether or not to offer you a job
  • Landlords can use your credit score to determine whether or not to rent to you or to determine how much of a deposit you must pay
  • Auto insurance rates may be higher
  • Home insurance rates may be higher
  • Deposits for utilities may be higher
  • It may be impossible for you to get a mortgage
  • It may be impossible for you to start a small business

credit card

With all of this taken into consideration, my husband and I have had a conversation I never expected to have.  We are considering getting a credit card!  GASP!  I know but we have to start somewhere so if you have other ideas, please help me out.  List them in the comments.  We are open to advice.