THRIFTY GIFT BUYING
Find more thoughtful gifts and buy when the item is on sale, shop for birthdays and holidays throughout the year not at the time of the events.
Especially Christmas, buy early, or if you can the week after Christmas when everything is on sale.
Better yet how about a thrifty homemade gift, it could even be cookies or candy, but because you took the time and made it, it’s extra special.
OR: save the expense of mailing those gifts and send a gift certificate along with a card. I’ve never heard of gift certificates being returned because they didn’t like the color, size, etc.
Use two-for-one coupons when dining out; search for these in local newspapers, flyers, and in your junk mail.
If you are a group of four or more people, consider buying certificates at Restaurant.com. After choosing your city and state on the Website, you will be presented with a listing of restaurants vying for your dining dollar! That’s being thrifty.
There are also groups selling the 2 for 1 dining books, they are fairly inexpensive and the money goes to charity. It is also tax deductible. That would be thrifty and money saving.
Talk about thrifty. You don’t know what you are missing if you don’t go to thrift shops. You can find all kinds of things books, electronics, clothing, household appliances, almost anything you can think of.
I read a lot, but I don’t pay retail for books not when I can get them for 25 to 75 cents each. Sure they aren’t the current best sellers but you’ll find many that were. If you are a hardback collector, you would be amazed at the variety; usually these don’t sell for more than a dollar or two.
Got things just hanging around the house you don’t or won’t use anymore, donate them to the thrift shops, provided they are still of some value. They will give you a receipt for the items and you can take the price of the donation off on your taxes.
MapMuse has recently introduced interactive mapping of thrift shops across the US. There are presently over 9,000 thrift stores located on the MapMuse map. The maps allow people to view all thrift stores on a single interactive map either at a local, metro, or regional level.
The idea is for thrift store enthusiasts to build upon what they have started by adding information about their local thrift shops to the maps. The following information can be provided for each shop; the name, descriptive text, a photo, contact information, and a link to a website. Through this kind of community effort, they hope to have the most comprehensive, and descriptive maps for the public to locate thrift stores at home, and on their travels. So they invite you to let others know what is available in your community. This service constitutes free advertising for the thrift shops.
You can view the thrift shop map by going to http://find.mapmuse.com/interest/thrift-shops
I know you’ve heard of Big Lots if you haven’t been there you should check it out. They also carry groceries; you can find items there not available anywhere else. But what you find there today might not be there two weeks later.
What I’m saying is, if you find something different, try it that night and if you like it go back the next day and buy more. A lot of things they seem to carry all of the time, but not everything.
If you buy a lot of chips, cookies or crackers, Big Lots is a great place to penny pinch. Salad dressings, salsas, olive oil, syrups, jams, and jellies etc. is much cheaper than in your big grocery stores.
Also, check out the dollar stores for these items. When I go grocery shopping, I go to both of these first and then go to the grocery store. If you don’t live close to either one or both of these, don’t bother to go out of your way. If you do, you are wasting gas, time, money and not being thrifty.
ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES
If you are looking for antiques and collectibles, check out the yard sales, thrift stores, and e-bay. I have found some marvelous pieces by doing just that. It takes time and patience.
Don’t jump at the first piece you see, unless it is exactly what you are looking for. At yard sales, you can negotiate the price. Some thrift stores will also negotiate, but don’t count on it. Remember, if you don’t ask the question, you will never know the answer.
At Antique Shops, you may also be able to negotiate the price, especially if the Dealer has had the item for longer than he or she wants. They want to get rid of it so they can bring in other items. Ask, always ask!!
If you have a desire to get more fit this year, buy some exercise equipment.
Don’t go to your high priced stores. Check out the yard sales, thrift stores and of course e-bay. You will pay a lot less. Chances are there is nothing wrong with what you are looking for, someone just got tired of them.
At yard sales and thrift stores, you can try it out.
On e-bay, you can’t, but if you are looking for a specific item, you will find it for a lot less.
Careful, because you are bidding, don’t get carried away. Decide what you want to pay for the item and stick to it.
Some sellers have a “Buy it now” feature and if it is the price you want, or close to it, do that.
For a homemade hair gel, try dissolving one package of unflavored gelatin into two cups of hot water. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator.
- Newspaper Bags: Reuse newspaper bags for doggie pick-up bags. You can also use them to carry fruit (apples, oranges, etc.) into work — very strong and thrifty to use than paper sacks.
- Nylon money saver: Soak your nylons and pantyhose in cold water and vinegar. This keeps the nylons from getting runs and also removes odor. You might prefer apple cider vinegar, but both work.
- Lasting Mascara: To refresh dry mascara, remove the cap with the brush; place upright in the microwave covered with a napkin, and heat for about 10 seconds.
- Extend the life of your hairdryer by cleaning the lint from the screen with an old toothbrush.
- Vacuum belt/ Old tires: If your vacuum cleaner belt breaks while you are in the middle of vacuuming you can substitute a piece of bicycle tire tube for the vacuum belt. This is a great tip if you have a useless tire sitting around.
- Shoe pots: Ever wondered what to do with old rain boots. The best way to reuse them without throwing them away is to grow small plants or herbs in them. I have different sizes. They save a lot of spending on new flowerpots.