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5 Best Ways to Earn Amazon Gift Cards

 

Tried, Tested and here are my favorites. There are many ways to earn Amazon gift cards here are the 5 best ways to earn Amazon gift cards.

1) Swagbucks– Swagbucks are points that you earn. For every 500 Swagbucks is a $5 Amazon gift card. You earn these points by doing simple tasks like filling out surveys, searching the internet, or watching trailers. Sign up through my referral link and get 150 Swagbucks to start.   Referral. If you sign up this February through my referral link you can get 300 Swgbucks bonus! That means you only need 200 more to get your first $5 gift card.

2) Amazon Trade in Program – Trade in your used books, electronics and all sorts of items in exchange for amazon gift cards.

3) Ibotta – Ibotta is a great app that helps you get rebates on groceries and turn them into gift cards.

4) Coinstar – Trade in your coins for Amazon gift cards instead of cashing out and paying the 9% Coinstar fee.

5) Bing Rewards – Earn credits for surfing the web, watching videos and answering trivia questions then redeem these credits for Amazon gift cards.

What are your favorite ways to earn Amazon gift cards?

 

 


Daniel and I

First Year of Marriage

Daniel and I

In a couple of days my husband And I will be married a for a year. As I look back on the year that we had, my husband and I had been together almost six years before we tied the knot. We truly have been through all sorts of ups and downs. Job losses, a house fire, and hospital stays, we have endured.

This past year has probably been the happiest time of my life. They say the first year of marriage is always the hardest, but for some reason God seemed to bless us with a beautiful year. This year seemed to go by so fast. My husband and I moved in together and made our little space, home. My amazing step-son stays with us a couple times a month and fills our home with love and laughter. My husband Daniel continues to be there for me through my ups and downs and is the best supporter of all my endeavors.

Our new year is full of many exciting opportunities. We are still working on eliminating our debt and my husband is working on becoming a deputy Sheriff. I continue to work on finding a new job and expanding my side hustles.

I can only hope that our years will continue to be filled with love and happiness.

 

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What to Bring to a Craft Fair – 16 Essentials Every Seller Should Bring. 

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Craft Fairs and Sellers Markets can be a great way to make a bit of extra side cash as well as get your business out there. Whether, you are selling at a craft fair because you want to bring some extra income from your hobby or you are a business. Check out these 16 essentials every seller should bring to their next craft fair.

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1) Bring All Inventory

There might be that one customer who comes along asking about an item and you have that item but you left it at home or you didn’t bring enough stock with you and ran out. Bring all your inventory so you have no regrets if someone asks you for something.

2) Displays

Table cloths, drapes, products stands. Make your display area different and stand out among the rest. Make your area apart of the craft.

3) Signage

Banners, signs for social media, info about your products, price tags, testimonials. Make sure your company name is in a place where people can see it. Promote yourself and remind people of places that they can follow you on social media sites.

4) Business Cards

Bring plenty of business cards with you because you will need them. Sometimes people will not have the money or the time to really purchase from you so giving them your business card is a great alternative.

5) Mailing List Sign Up Sheet

You will be meeting new customers and what a better way to keep in touch with them then to have them sign up for your newsletter!

6) Cash and Change

Bring change with you. Both cash and change just in case.

7) Credit Payment System

Not everyone will carry cash with them. Make sure you have some form of credit payment system. If you sell on Etsy they have a card reader that they give to sellers and you can easily connect it to your account.

8) Receipt Sales Book

Give customers receipts for cash payments and keep track of what was sold.

9) Fanny Pack or Apron

Having a fanny pack or apron is great. This makes your money easily accessible when you are engaging your customers. Half aprons tend to be my favorite because they can still look really cute with your outfit.

10) Bags or Wrapping Paper for Sales. 

This seems to be one of the main things that merchants forget. Make sure you have something that is just as pretty and presentable for your customers to take their items home in. One of the last craft fairs I went to I actually sold some of the bags I had brought to a merchant because she forgot to bring any.

11) Power Strips and Extension Cords

It’s great to have extra lighting, maybe even having an area to charge your phone. Bring these essential items with with you just in case.

12) Display Emergency Kit.

Murphy’s law, whatever can go bad will. Or whatever can fall apart at the most inconvenient time will. Bring emergency supplies just in case.

13) Pens.                                                              

Bring pens! And bring more than one because you know how they love to randomly disappear!

14) Craft Supplies

Give yourself something to do. Bring supplies to keep yourself busy when traffic is down. This can also open up the option for you to possibly make custom pieces for customers as well.

15) Water and Snacks

Keep yourself hydrated especially if you are outside on a summer day. Bring snacks to keep that upbeat energy going.

16) Extra Clothes

Sometimes you can’t predict the weather. If you are going to be outside, bring extra clothes. That way you can put on extra clothes if it’s too cold or you can change if you dressed too warm on a hot day. One of the last craft fairs I did was at night and one of the coldest nights of the year. Luckily I brought enough clothes to keep warm and even had a couple of blankets in my car which I loaned out to some fellow sellers.

What do you always bring to craft fairs or shows?

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Road Trip to Arizona

Our Road Trip to Arizona

So here is our recap on our wonderful road trip to Arizona

We had to fill my Prius before we left for Arizona. I filled up at the least inexpensive place around at 2.55 which filled my tank and only cost me $20. Which I used during my day of work as well. We left at around 5:30pm and got food on the way. We had McDonald’s which cost us a whopping $12. However, this meal lasted us the rest of the night. We decided to stop in Quartizte to get gas due to the great gas price of $1.89 and filled my tank with $10.

We didn’t get into Mesa till 12am. We spent our first night at my husbands friends house. We stayed up late and enjoyed catching up with friends.

The next day we got up early and headed over to Tempe. Once we got there my husband and I checked out Mill Street. This little area has great bars and restaurants. We didn’t get a chance to taste any of the amazing smelling food but we enjoyed walking up and down the strip and looking in the stores. One of my favorites was this little old book store called,  Old Town Books. This place had so many unique old books.

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While walking around we found this little art museum. The museum was small and admission was free. Most of the art was ceramics and sculptures. Some of the pottery was very unique. I especially loved the steampunk teapot.

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Another fun shop we went into on Mill Avenue was the Hippie Gypsy. This place had unique clothes and amazing rings.

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After Mill Avenue we headed over to Old Town Scottsdale. We walked around and looked at some of the stores. I have to say it felt over produced. Most of the stores were jewelry stores who seemed to all have the same designs, or tourist shops. I tend to enjoy looking at the unique little shops and boutiques.

I did however find this Henna Shoppe and got this beautiful temporary Henna for only $15. I had such a lovely time. The woman who did the Henna was so sweet and she did a wonderful job.

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As we were heading out of Old Town Scottsdale we happened upon this little Museum. There is nothing more perfect than a free museum.

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Afterwards, we joined up with my Husbands Aunt and Uncle. They were so wonderful and treated us to Pizza! We enjoyed the night staying up, talking and catching up. We spent the night at their place in Phoenix. The next morning we enjoyed Aunt Kara’s French Toast and eggs.

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Sunday, we drove around Phoenix and checked out some antique stores. We found this huge antique mall called the Brass Armadillo. The prices were really affordable and there were so many cool things from each vendor.

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We enjoyed the last couple of hours before we headed home at the Scottsdale Fashion Mall. We loved window shopping and checking out all the shops that we don’t usually see in our area. We ended up eating at the mall were I could use my coupons. We stopped to fill up in Scottsdale before we headed home, $1.68 a gallon! On the way home we enjoyed some wonderful rainstorms and great conversation. Our whole trip cost us $50 in gas, $27 in food, and $25 in entertainment (Henna tattoo and a little taxidermy specimen from the Brass Armadillo.) Our total came out to be $102! What a fantastic road trip for around $100 dollars.

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7 Things to Look for at Yard Sales

Things to Look for at Yard Sales


1) Sofas and Recliners

Sofas are a dime a dozen when going to Garage sales and Craigslist. It is very easy to find exactly what color, shape, and size you are looking for if you are just patient. Since everyone is trying to sell their sofa it is easy to find one for a great price.

2) Dvds and CDs

When shopping for new DVDs and CDs it seems like a steal when you walk into Walmart and you see a huge bin of popular DVDs for $5 to $7 a piece. However, coming from a person who has a DVD collection of nearly a 1000 DVDs, I do not pay more than $2 for DVDs including Blu-rays. The bulk of my collection has come from yard sales, used DVD stores, and I stocked up when all the Blockbusters and Hollywood Videos closed. Sometimes, I swear all I have to do is talk about a movie and say I don’t have it and the next day I’ll find it at a yard sale. My husband and I were just talking about how we don’t have Galaxy Quest and how we wanted to get it. Next day, we found it at a yard sale for a dollar. I will occasionally buy new DVDs Seasons on sale during Black Friday sales and Holiday sales. Again, only if they are under $10 because seasons are ridiculously expensive.

As for CD’s I don’t buy them unless they are .50 cents to $1. People tend to get rid of a lot of CD’s because they put them on their computer and then they sell them. I don’t trust my computer since it has crashed before and I happen to like my music.

3) Furniture
Bookcases, dressers, side tables, dining tables, furniture for your bedroom, living room, you can furnish your whole house for a lot less than buying your furniture brand new at Pottery Barn. Plus you can sometimes find some really cool antique gems that might end up being more than what you bought them for.

*Extra tip – Don’t be afraid to fix a piece up. Most times a bit of furniture polish or a fresh coat of paint can really make a piece of furniture beautiful again.

4)Kids Toys

I was raised on garage sales. My parents used to joke that they would take me to garage sales let me play with the toys while they looked around then if I really liked something and it was under a $1 then they would get it. Granted this was back in the 90’s and yes my parents are weird, but they had a method to their madness. Children have short attention spans and it isn’t always worth spending full price on a toy that your child is going to get bored of within a couple of weeks. I have a Step-son that I buy all sorts of odd and ends for him at yard sales. Action figures and nerf guns are very popular you just might have to buy a pack of darts. As for girls I’ve seen my fair share of doll houses, Monster High dolls in great condition and great dress up ideas.

5) Antiques

This might seem like a general one however, if you know what you are looking for or if you just have a good eye for antiques you can really find some unique things at yard sales. Not only can you furnish your house with these finds but you can sometimes turn them around into profit. My father has made a living from buying things from estate sales and garage sales that he thought just looked old or just like the way they looked. I’ve acquired many antique cameras, an old typewriter, and vintage costume jewelry this way as well.

6) Books

Reference books tend to be very expensive when you buy them new at the bookstore. For example buying your teenager a SAT prep reference book is about $10-$25. At a yard sale you can get these books for $1 and under. I just recently bought a whole bunch of resume and cover letter books at a garage sale. Five books for $4. I’ve also found many best seller books. From Dan Brown books to Twight series galore.

7) Clothes

I find clothes all the time at yard sales. I don’t like to pay more than $1 for clothes and most of the time I’m pretty picky. I always make sure to check for any stains, holes, and excessive fading. I find jeans in all sizes quite often. When the jeans I have become worn out I sell them at my yard sale and look for more at yard sales.

**Tip – Don’t be afraid to negotiate. I can’t count how many times I’ve negotiated prices at garage sales. It is expected. Just don’t negotiate too many times back and forth not only will it frustrate you, but it will also frustrate the seller. Take in the situation if the person seems like they won’t negotiate or most of their items are priced in a higher price point then you are comfortable paying then skip the sale.

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Frugal Guide to Valentine’s Day

 Valentine’s day can be expensive. Valentine’s Day retail spending this year is expected to reach $18.9 billion this year in the U.S. That a lot of people spending a lot of money on one day to show to their significant other that love them. Here is a frugal guide to Valentine’s day.

  1. Take a Trip – Taking a trip can be a romantic and doesn’t have to be expensive. Check out my guide to Road Trip on a Budget.
  2. Make your gift – Sometimes the best gifts are the ones that you make. Baked goods are great also check out Craftsy great site to learn how to make many things.
  3. Buy a potted plant – A bouquet of roses lasts only around a week and costs $40 to $60 dollars. Buy potted flowers that can be enjoyed in the house then transplanted outside.
  4. Write a Love Letter – Personal gifts always tend to be the best. Remind your significant other why you love them so much.
  5. Make a mix tape – Maybe it’s the 90’s kid in me but I love a good mix tape.
  6. Use Coupons at Restaurants – I can’t stress this enough, never go out to a restaurant without checking for coupons first.
  7. Go out for Lunch instead of Dinner – Lunch is often less crowded then dinner time and lunch prices cost less than dinner prices.
  8. Check Clearance Rack – Christmas just came and went, and spring is around the corner. Check clearance sections for great deals on items for your significant other.
  9. Buy Used Items – Check out sites like Amazon, Ebay, and Craigslist to find great items for less.
  10. Sex Coupons – My personal favorite. Make coupons for a back rub or a sexy night. Plus it’s gift that puts a smile on both of your faces.

*Disclaimer – This post has has affiliate links. I do make commission if you purchase if you’d prefer not to shop through my links feel free to visit the links directly. All opinions are my own and I only promote advertising from companies that I feel I can personally recommend. 

 

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Road Trip on a Budget

 

Road Trip on a Budget

My husband and I have been wanting to take a weekend trip from our home in Southern California to Arizona since we got married almost a year ago. So, at the beginning of this year we decided that at the last weekend of this month we were going to do it. We plan to travel to Prescott, Flagstaff, and Mesa, AZ. Our goal is to enjoy the site seeing, take photos, and my husband wants to show me where he used to live and hang out. How are we going to do this on a strict budget you ask? By careful planning, packing food and staying at family and friends houses, we are going to spend only gas money and about $40 on food.

 

Plan the best route possible

There is nothing like getting lost when you’re on a trip. Not only is it stressful but it’s a waste of gas and time. When planning any kind of road trip make sure you have all your destinations mapped out. If you decide at the last minute to go somewhere else make sure you map the alternate route so not to get lost. I can’t count how many times my Husband and I got lost on a road trip because we didn’t map the route out completely or one of us wasn’t paying attention.

 

Gas Buddy

If you don’t already use this app check it out. It’s perfect for daily use and trip planning. The app uses your location to find the nearest gas stations to you that have the cheapest gas. We will be using this app on our road trip to help us save money on our gas.

 

Pack Food and Snacks

Pack a cooler in your car and fill it up with ice. Use it to keep drinks, sandwich meat and snacks in it. We don’t really want to eat out while on the road and we want to continue to stick to our goals of not eating out. We will be using a cooler stashed with drinks and snacks to enjoy our site seeing road trip. We will enjoy one meal on the go which will be whatever coupons I bring with me.

 

Stay with Family and Friends

Staying at a hotel is expensive. When on a road trip if possible, stay at a family or friends house. Well at least stay with family only if you get along with them. Don’t scarfice your sanity to save a few bucks. Stay at home instead. While, we are in Arizona we will be staying with some family and friends. This will give us a chance to visit with them and catch up as well as have a place to stay.

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Our Old Town San Diego Trip


This past weekend we spent a Saturday in Old Town San Diego. We love Old Town San Diego and it is so much fun. It was fairly easy to find public parking and we were able to park till 4pm for free. We walked around the shops and enjoyed the unique displays.

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There are several unique museums and displays throughout the park. They are great for learning the history about the area and how old some of the buildings are.


During our walk we happened upon this Blacksmith area where they were making soap. I loved their period true costumes. (Except for the safety goggles for safety reasons)


We also went to the Whaley House. It cost $8 per person for a tour but it is well worth it. I can’t say I saw any ghosts, but there a small theater area in the upstairs part that just going near it made my chest feel so tight I could barely breathe. 



 Craft Fair

During our walk we happened upon this little craft fair. There were many unique vendors with different things to look at. There was one lady in particular who had made wind chimes out of silver teapots and silverware.

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All in all it was a fun day with little money spent. My hubby and I had an amazing day with friends and enjoyed the sites and entertainment.

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4 Easy Ways to Save When Eating Out 

 4 Easy ways to save money when eating out

Eating at restaurants is my guilty pleasure. I love sitting down and talking face to face with family or friends without the distractions of T.V. and technology. The atmosphere is great and the food just tastes better than me or my husbands cooking (don’t tell him I told you that.) However, when living on a budget you have to find ways to save money, and going out to eat is a luxury. So, how can you still enjoy an occasional meal out to eat while still staying in your budget? Here are 4 easy ways.

1) Check for coupons 

If you have a particular restaurant in mind that you want to go to check out their website for any coupons.com, restaurants.com and retailmenot.com have great coupons. Check your local paper as well. It depends on where you live on the restaurant coupons you will receive. We usually get Red Lobster, Souplantation, and Olive Garden for restaurants. For fast food we usually get Del Taco and Carl’s Jr. If I cannot find a coupon I don’t go.

2) Sign up for emails and rewards

Most restaurants have an email list where they send you updates and coupons this is another great way to get coupons and save money when going out to eat. Sign up for your favorite places to eat. We love Applebee’s and TGI Fridays. I get coupons weekly emailed to me from them. Some restaurants have rewards where if you spend so much you get a free meal or hamburger. Red Robin, TGI Fridays, and BJs have a rewards program.

3) Gift cards

Most restaurants have deals during the holidays that if you buy a certain gift card amount you get a bonus gift card. Or, if you buy gift cards at places like Von’s and Ralph’s they offer points that you can use towards gas incentives. Which means you save money at the gas pump.

4) Split meals or have the appetizer

How many times have you gone out to eat and ordered more than you could eat. I can’t count how many times my eyes were bigger than my stomach. I would be starving and order a three course meal and was after the appetizer I would be full. I would promise myself that I would eat the rest for lunch the next day, but then the next day would be a week later and I’d have to throw the food out. So much food and money wasted. if I would have just started out small and ordered more if I wanted to.

My husband and I don’t usually like the same kinds of foods. He is a hamburger man and I’m a pasta girl, but if you both can agree on something split a meal. A lot of restaurants have such large portions it’s hard for one person to eat one meal. Split it with your significant other.

 Do you like to eat out? How often do you go out to eat in a week?