frugal

Fast Money: Sell Your Clutter

We are big fans of Craigslist and eBay. We love the idea of purchasing gently used items without paying full price for the brand new versions. This way someone else pays for the depreciation on new purchases and we still get the same item we could have paid full price for in a store.

By Vectorink (for sale by owner sign) [Public domain], <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AFor_Sale_by_Owner_Sign.svg">via Wikimedia Commons</a>

It’s easy to forget, though, that the web goes both ways. For instance, just yesterday I spent about a half an hour total taking a few pictures, posting a few ads, and meeting up with a couple Craigslisters… I walked away with $16 from two of my items. eBay isn’t too shabby either. (Just remember to take into account shipping costs, listing fees, and paypal fees.)

Take a hard look around your home. I guarantee you have something worth selling. Do you have name brand jeans in decent condition that no longer fit? DVDs you’re no longer crazy about? Books you’re not going to read again? These types of items are prime targets for selling.

Furthermore, you might be surprised by the type of items you can turn into cash. I’ve sold things that I was sure no one would want, like my husband’s old scratched phone case, but it sold. (The best bet for these types of items would be Craigslist with its free listings.)

Moral of the story: Don’t let your clutter sit collecting dust. With just a bit of effort, you can turn it into money in your pocket!

Military Tip

Many of our military installations, like MCAS Miramar, host swap meets on post where you can sell items. Check with your FRG leadership or in-processing center for more information.

Also, don’t forget that online swap meets might be another option for your post, like the online yard sale site for Camp Pendleton. A simple Google search with “(your post name) online yard sales” should aim you in the right direction.

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Thrifty Thursday: Coupons, Simplified

Coupons are not as scary as you might think. I promise.

In a nut shell, coupons are best used when used strategically. Clip them then save them until you can find a sale on that item. Eat what’s on sale. It’s that simple.

By Julie & Heidi from West Linn & Gillette, USA [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

This is how I use coupons to slash our spending on groceries:

I subscribe to three Sunday-only newspapers for three sets of coupon inserts. This allows me to take better advantage of a good sale by being able to stock up at a discount.

I clip them all and file them in a 3″ binder so they’re easier to find when I need them.

Before I go to the store, I visit thekrazycouponlady.com and southerncalisaver.com to check the matchups where some wonderful bloggers spend the time and effort to match the available coupons to the store sales. (God bless those ladies!)

For more information, visit http://www.commissaries.com.

I pull the coupons I plan to use, then I head to the store with my list. Easy peasy.

Don’t let yourself be intimidated by coupons. Yes, you can save even more money by investing more time (and newspaper subscriptions) and joining the ranks of the as-seen-on-tv variety of extreme couponers. As for the rest of us, smaller-scale strategic couponing means minimal effort and maximum savings.

Déjà Vu

You might remember a post from last month wherein I SWORE I would write a post every day of November. It was a lofty goal that I absolutely tanked on. I blame it on equal parts the flu, a particularly notable case of writer’s block, and, let’s face it, rampant time mis-management. Thank you to the readers that have stuck with me with multiple stop-and-go spurts. I promise I won’t leave you hanging again!

Good Judgment Rita Mae Brown

Moving the blog forward, I’d like to put it out there into the universe that the mission of Our Camo Covered Life has officially evolved as our own Camo Covered Lives have changed.

As a military couple working our way back from financial catastrophe, we have become quite skilled at making the most of what we have so that we can live below our means and subsequently build a brighter financial tomorrow.

It is our sincere hope that others can benefit from our hard-learned lessons. Therefore, moving forward, Our Camo Covered Life will be geared toward frugal living, with cameo appearances of DIY and food in a frugal context.

If you happen to be further interested in money-wise writing, you may want to consider liking my Facebook page over at http://www.facebook.com/katyreiberwriter. Whenever I happen across a great frugal living/personal finance article, I tend to share it there.

I truly look forward to sharing this journey with you and I hope you’ll consider coming along for the ride. After all, carpooling is a great way to save money!

 

Homemade Laundry Detergent

The newest addition to the do-it-yourself craze, homemade laundry detergent is here to stay, and for good reason; it’s easier to make than you’d think, it works wonderfully, and at around $0.06 per load, your pocket book will be thanking you too.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Ingredients:

1 bar of Fels Naptha laundry soap
1 cup Arm & Hammer super washing soda
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax

Directions:

Using a cheese grater, grate the entire Fels Naptha bar of soap. Ideally, you should set the soap out for a day to dry, but this isn’t a must. Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until a fine powder forms. Transfer the laundry soap to an air tight container and use 1-2 tbsp per load.

Note:

I use cold water when I wash my clothes and this laundry detergent has worked perfectly for me for months. Also, no need to worry about your clothes smelling strongly of Fels Naptha; I couldn’t smell it on my clothes after using this detergent at all. Most importantly, though, remember to thoroughly clean your food processor afterwards! I can’t be responsible if the cheese you grate next week tastes suspiciously like laundry detergent. Consider yourself warned.