March 31, 2009

reader giveaway!

I promised you a giveaway! So let's jump right in:

The Contest: We're all looking for ways to save money (or make a little extra) in this economy. Aside from the basics (like sewing your own clothes, shopping second hand) what ways have you found to be thrifty? It could be as simple as switching from brand name to generic, or as creative as fashioning new furniture from toilette paper rolls (if anyone does this, please step forward!). For example, this is was one of our recent money-makers/savers:

We cleaned out my parents garage and found almost two years worth of cardboard wine carriers from the local grocery store. They reimburse $0.25 per crate that you bring in. We made sure there wasn't a limit, and took all 144 crates down to the store. We walked out with $36 in our hands and treated ourselves to a special lunch!

Try not to repeat each other, but I understand that there are only so many ways to save money these days! And if you're sharing a product you made (food, supplies) please share the "recipe" with us.

The Rules: The contest will run from Wednesday April 1, 2009 until Tuesday April 7, 2009. A whole week ought to give everyone enough time to figure out the small things and maybe even inspire you to find some new and creative ways to save money. You can enter as many times as you want; but you have to leave a separate comment for each "entry" to count. On April 8 I will tally up the entries and plug them into a random number generator. This is why multiple entries will help you out. You'll have more chances to be that random number!

The Loot: Personally, I don't think there's anything better (or more classic) than a movie night with your hunny or best friend. So I'll be shipping off a little movie box for two to the winner! Your goody box will contain a classic movie, popcorn (Jolly Time, which was founded in 1914), and some good old fashioned candy (sorry, it won't be chocolate--it melts too easily in transit). If I could send you two bottles of Coca Cola, I would, but Hubbs has told me it's not a good idea. :0( To help you customize your box, you get to choose from the following categories.

(click on the links to read their synopsis):
From film noir, "Double Indemnity." (1944)
From horror, "The Most Dangerous Game." (1932)
From musical comedies,"Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." (1953)
From romance, "Casablanca." (1943)
*Your choice of one. If by chance you happen to have all these movies, we'll talk. To my readers outside the U.S., if you need a DVD for a specific region, please let me know! I want to make sure you can watch your movie if you win!

Candy (sorted by decade):
-Circus Peanuts
-Cracker Jacks
-Good n' Plenty
-Red Vines
-Dum Dum Pops
-Orange Slices
-Spearmint Leaves
-Lifesavers (5 flavor roll)
-Red Hots
-Tootsie Pops
-Jolly Ranchers
-Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip
-Mike n' Ike
*Your choice of four (enough for you both to have two treats each; and you'll be getting bags and boxes, not pieces). Choose an entire decade, or one from each decade!

(For those wondering why I have dates next to everything and it all pre-dates 1960, you need to pop by Donna's blog.)

Best of ♣ LUCK ♣ to all and I can't wait to start seeing those ideas! Remember, the contest doesn't start until tomorrow, so if you're already bursting with ideas, grab a notebook and a pen and write them down!


  1. Have a garage sale. Early spring is one of the best times to have one.......

  2. Use internet coupons--although admittedly all stores don't take them. Have eaten at Arby's several times in the last few weeks using a free roastburger with purchase of a soft drink coupon.

  3. To get the last little bits out of the toothpaste tube, cut it in half. There is usually enough in there for several more brushings.

    I sometimes use a toothpick to get the last bit of deodorant out of the container--use my fingers to apply it.

  4. Buy a used washer and dryer. In fact, the washer and dryer I currently have came from an air force couple who were being sent overseas. They were only ONE year old and the total was $250.

    Just make sure you run through an entire cycle (just turn the knob to the next section after you see that the first one is working properly--eg filling quickly, agitating nicely, etc.).

  5. Roxanne used my idea.

    Seriously, used is the way to go. If you're uncomfortable buying from someone else, just go to the used section of an appliance store (most real appliance stores have a "previously owned" section and they offer a guarantee).

  6. Pay with cash when you shop. There's just too much research demonstrating that you spend more money using plastic than you do when paying with cash for people to stick with plastic. Plastic is "sucker money."

  7. Hi Gorgeous

    I know I can't win this great prize being located on the other side of the world, but I thought I'd still give you a couple of my money saving pointers:

    1. Plan your meals for the week and make a list before you go grocery shopping. That way you only buy what you need and don't end up putting impulse purchases in your cart.

    2. Buddy up with a girlfriend to give each other manicures. It's so much nicer when someone else applies the polish, you get to have some quality girl time and you'll save the cost of the professional mani.

    3. Use Skype for your long distance phone calls - it's free!

    4.Join the local library. You can usually get current magazines as well as books, audio tapes (to play while you do housework) and DVDs. All free!

    xx VV

  8. VV, you may absolutely win this contest! That's why I put a little note in about needing DVDs for different regions.

  9. Yay! In that case I'll have to come up with a couple more!

    ok. Being organised will save you money. Promise.

    1. Write a list of all your "big" bills that you get each year, car registration, insurance, memberships to associations,
    2.Add them up together and divide by 12.
    3.Put this ammount away each month, in a separate account and that way you ALWAYS have the money there when the big bills come in.

    You save on late fees and in some instances, you can get special discounts by paying on time or early.

    You can extend this further if you like to include things like taxes or rates, mortgage or rent, car servicing etc.

    Having a good budget will actually save you money and allow you to put away your savings somewhere concrete.

  10. Ok. Here's my next one:

    Lay-buy (I think you guys call it lay-away?).

    By putting deposits and periodic payments on things you want, you spread the cost over a period of time instead of deflating your cashflow in one hit.

    This works particularly well for birthday/anniversary/christmas gifts where you might spend a little more money on something special or when you have more than one gift to buy.

  11. Get a new wardrobe - for free.

    Go through your closet and take out anything that you haven't worn for at least a year or no longer fits you. don't forget jackets, scarves, hats and other accesories.

    Get together with a group of girlfriends - the more of you, the better and do some swaps. This also works very well with kids clothes too.

  12. Make your own home-made gifts.

    At Christmas time, one of my girlfriends makes the most beautiful hand-made note cards, that she then bundles and gives away.

    Fish around second hand stores for old buttons, ribbons and other scrapbooking/crafty things like stencils and go to town. You can get little stamps, like small hearts and use this as a border all the way around cards or notes to make your own stationery. Cut out things from old magazines or saved wraping paper to use as embelishments.

  13. Save money by having a fun night in.

    Dust off those forgotten board games and spend a cosy night in with your beloved and a nice bottle of red wine.

  14. Do you spend a fortune on cleaning products? Replace just about every single one with.....

    .... white vinegar, a damp cloth and a little elbow grease.

    Vinegar works as a disinfectant and deodorizer, can be found in any grocery store and best of all is dirt cheap!

  15. Here's an online resource explaining how to make your own natural cleaning products:

  16. Grow your own food. We have a big garden - we grow much of our own food for the summer and freeze quite a bit for the winter too - but even in an apartment you can grow some herbs and maybe a few vegetables. Also, everyone can grow their own sprouts for sandwiches and stir-fries.

  17. Wash your hair with baking soda and vinegar. There are plenty of recipes online, but I basically just wash my scalp with baking soda paste and then rinse my hair with diluted vinegar.

    This has saved me a lot of money, because I get migraines from fragrances so I used to have to buy more expensive hypoallergenic shampoo. I'm not sure how the cost would compare to cheap shampoo, but I'm guessing that this is still cheaper.

  18. Keep an eye out for fun free events (libraries, cafes, and art galleries are often good places to look) rather than spending money on concerts and shows.

  19. Most of the things I would suggest have already been suggested!

    However, that being said, I would also like to point out that while having a clothing swap with the neighbors is a really cool thing to do (especially if they're a fun-loving bunch, like my ladies), you can also do the wardrobe refashioning/refurbishing thing.

  20. Also, we've found that within budgeting, we've stuck to our guns with our eating out budget if all of us in the family look for coupons wherever they might find them -- the internet (my daughter, whilst surfing her favorite sites the other day, came across an Arby's coupon!), inserts in the paper, junk mail, etc. Looking for coupons in order to extend our eating out budget has become quite the game for our family.

  21. OOOhhh! I love the grow your own food idea from Ikkinlala!! Especially the bit about growing your own herbs if you don't have a garden.

    Fresh herbs in Australian supermarkets are very expensive - this would save me at least $500 a year!


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~ Author Unknown

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