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Tag Archives: swapping

Countdown to Earth Day

Crystal earth recycle icon

Earth Day is on April 22. However, I truly believe that every day should be Earth Day. I have already written about it in many of my previous posts.

To guide you in undertaking simple things for our Earth, check out the ideas and links below. Fortunately, protecting the environment often results in money savings, too. See “How much your green habits really save” from Earth 911.

REDUCE …

∞ packaging by buying in bulk.

See my post on “Bulk discounts.”

∞ waste by bringing your own bags to the grocery store.

See my post on “Reusable shopping bags = savings.”

∞ waste by finding new uses for old things or repairing things when you can.

See my posts “Don’t throw it out,” “Revamp and wear again!” and “Quick fixes without a repair call.”

∞ trash by making homemade whenever you can instead of buying store-bought items.

See my post on “(More) Make your own…”

∞ electricity usage by installing compact fluorescents in your home.

See my post on “Brighter savings.”

∞ water usage by making some small changes in your home.

See my post on “Not just a drop in the bucket!”

∞ energy usage by purchasing energy-efficient appliances.

See my post “Cash back for protecting Mother Earth.”

∞ energy usage through ways you prepare for Shabbos.

See my post on “Saving money and energy on Shabbos.”

REUSE …

∞ books by swapping books you no longer want with others.

See my post on “My favorite find – swapping books.”

∞ a plastic or stainless steel water bottle every day for work, day trips, your kids’ lunches.

∞ cloth napkins for meals.

See my post on “Switch over your disposables.”

∞ your coffee filters and use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets.

See my post on “Filter and fluff without waste.”

RECYCLE …

∞ find ways to recycle everything you can!

See my post on “Recycle, recycle, recycle” for how to get started or for resources on where to recycle various items.

∞ items in your home that you are done with by giving them away to others in need.

See my posts “Declutter responsibly,” “Finding a home for used stuffed animals,” “Give your old shoes a new life,” and “Spring cleaning for a good cause.”

∞ old medications by disposing of them properly or taking them to places that can recycle them.

See my post on “Recycle your unused medicines.”

 

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Spring cleaning for a good cause

Different types of stuffed toys

As much as I know it adds to my cleaning time, I cannot help but spring clean/declutter when I am cleaning for Pesach. It makes me feel good to get rid of things in our home that we no longer need or use. I just cannot throw things away if they might be able to be used or recycled, though! For those of you like me, I wanted to refer you to some older posts with information on putting your unwanted items to use for others (or repairing or recycling them if appropriate).

Happy decluttering and Pesach cleaning!

 

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Items you don’t always (and in some cases shouldn’t) have to pay for

There are some things that are downright silly to pay for and others that you try to get free as much as possible. Here are a few items to avoid paying for if you can! 

∞ Books: For books for myself I go to the library and use swap sites (see my post “My favorite find – swapping books”). For books for the kids, I try to get most from Paperbackswap.com and the Scholastic Book orders from school. (Of course, Amazon is always good for cheap books, especially if you buy from their other sellers.)

∞ Cable: If you don’t want to pay for cable, use streaming sites like Hulu or national television network websites.

∞ Credit report: Visit AnnualCreditReport to get one free report per year.

 Credit score: Visit CreditKarma for your credit score.

 Ebooks: Amazon offers many free ebooks for Kindles and other eReaders. You can also check out ebooks from your local library’s website. Also visit Amazon’s section on free collections. It contains links to many other free ebook resources.

 Free shipping: Visit Freeshipping to get promo codes for free shipping. You can also sign up for alerts for free shipping codes. Free shipping day was December 16 this year.  Some other stores that always offer free shipping are Amazon (for purchases over $25 or for any purchase with Amazon Prime and L.L. Bean. Others like Target and ToysRUs offer free shipping on certain items as part of various sales. You can also check www.retailmenot.com for free shipping codes.

 International phone calls: Use Skype on your computer, iPhone or Android phone.

 Museum tickets – Find out if your local museums have free days or hours. There may be some that are free all the time. Consider getting a membership to sites you visit often. See my post “Become a member!

 New cell phones: Look for incentives offered by cell phone companies for signing up for a contract.

∞ New York Times articles – You can get all their articles through Twitter or Facebook.

 Water: Rather than buying bottled water or jugs of water, buy a water purification system (available for your home, tap or refrigerator or as a filter pitcher).

For more free resources, check out my page “Freebies Links” above on the main menu bar.

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To find other free services and products, you can search on these freebie websites:

- Craigslist – Under the For Sale section of your local Craigslist, click on “Free.” These goods are up for grabs, but you probably will have to travel to collect them.

- Freebies4mom – A stay-at-home mom started this blog to share with other moms the giveaways and sweepstakes she finds.

- Freecycle – Before you take advantage of this virtual neighborhood curbside giveaway, remember that the site expects you to give things away as well as nab free stuff.

- FreeStuffTimes – This reliable roundup of no-cost items from across the Web provides user feedback, helping gauge an offer’s value.

- HeyItsFree – The group behind this site promises that no listed free sample will require the purchase of something else first.

MySavings – Sign up to receive information about samples, printable coupons, discounts and other deals.

Walmart – Click on Free Samples & Savings at the top for various offers. You may have to register on their site.

 

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Kosher Birthday Freebies D – H

Happy Birthday!This is a continuation of my previous post containing kosher birthday freebies. This post contains those beginning with letters D – H. More to come later.

Danny’s Family Car Wash (AZ) – By signing up to become a Loyalty Promotion Member in Danny’s Rewards Club, you will receive a free birthday car wash, every tenth wash free, and special members-only purchasing days.

Dave & Buster’s – Join Dave & Buster’s Rewards and get a $10 play card for signing up and a $5 credit on your birthday.

Dippin’ Dots – By joining the Dippin’ Dots Forty Below Zero Club, you will receive birthday discounts, information on new flavors and special creations, news, contest information, special offers, and coupons and freebies with any order on their website.

Discovery Cruise Line – You get a free one-day cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to the Bahamas. You do have to make the trip with another fare-paying adult and will have to pay $45 administration fee.

Disney Movie Rewards – When you join their rewards program you can get bonus points on your birthday. I could not confirm this on their website, though. However, we have been members for several years and on my last birthday, they sent me a free Blu-Ray disc.

DSW Rewards – By joining the DSW Rewards club, for your birthday you will receive a $5 off any purchase certificate. You must shop online or in the store during the year to get your reward, though.

Dunkin’ Donuts – Among other rewards for signing up and participating in their DD Perks Rewards, you will receive a free medium beverage for your birthday.

eBook Fling – This swapping service for Nook and Kindle ebooks gives you three free borrowing credits on your birthday. I could not confirm this deal. There is a FAQ on their website, but no answer to the question. Still a very cool service!

Famous Footwear – As a Rewards member you will receive a free birthday surprise.

Godiva Chocolatier – By joining the Godiva Rewards Club you will receive a free chocolate every month, a free gift when you spend $20, free shipping for one online order, and exclusive offers every month. Other sites state that you will receive an email birthday discount, but I could not confirm that yet.

Hallmark – As part of their Crown Rewards program, you will receive a coupon around the time of your birthday.

Harkins Movie Theaters – If you present your ID at the Harkins box office, you can get a free medium popcorn on your birthday.

Related posts:

 
 

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Declutter responsibly

I am in decluttering mode lately. I am trying to rid my home of things we don’t need, use, or want anymore. Some of this comes as a way to earn money, but it also makes me feel like I am doing something productive and good for my family and my home. What to do with those items can be very tricky, though. You almost need a flow chart to make a decision! So here is my primer on your options.

Donate:

∞ Other families: We have been so blessed to receive clothes, toys, outdoor toys, and diapers from families in our community and our local triplet group. I don’t know what we would have done without their generosity. When we can, we try to do the same and pass on items we don’t need anymore.

∞ Freecycle: Post your item on this site and someone who wants it will come pick it up. (http://www.freecycle.org/)

∞ Local library or school: Items that are appreciated by both include books, DVDs, and magazines. Libraries will also take CDs and tapes. Schools appreciate outdoor toys, children’s CDs and books on CD, school supplies, toys and games, art supplies, ink, and even sometimes furniture.

∞ Good Will, Salvation Army, or other local resale shops: These are great places to take any items that can be used again by someone else. The profits from these stores often go to other community service initiatives.

∞ Other local charities: You may have particular items that could best be used by specific charities. Examples of some that our school collected last year include: toys and games for a local holiday program, toiletries for a women’s shelter, school supplies for a low-income family program, food for the local food pantry, and pet food and supplies for families in need. Finding the right charity can be daunting, though. Here are some sites that might help you in the right direction:

Charity Navigator (http://www.charitynavigator.org) – This site rates and evaluates charities in the United States.

Charity Vault (http://charity-charities.org/) – This site allows you to search for charities by country, state, and city. You can also look for volunteer opportunities. This is not an all-inclusive site, however.

Sell:

∞ Online: There are many websites available these days for selling your used and new items. (I plan to do a post later about how to best take advantage of these sites.) Popular sites include:
http://www.ebay.com – can sell anything
http://www.craigslist.com – call sell anything, offer services, post and look for jobs, etc.; can narrow by your area
http://www.amazon.com – best for selling music, DVDs, and books
http://www.gazelle.com – can sell electronics

∞ Yard sale: Hold a garage sale and sell your unwanted items. I personally feel that yard sales can be tricky, because buyers are often looking for really cheap deals and you may not be able to get the money you want for your items.

∞ Resale or consignment shops: Take your items to a local resale shop and let them do the work to sell it for you. Policies vary on how much and when you will get paid depending on what type of store you choose. I love to bring items to my local “Once Upon a Child” store. I don’t often get a lot for my items, but sometimes it is worth it just to use the credit to buy other items I need from their store like clothes and books. 

Swap:

∞ Friends and family: Send an email, post on Facebook, or hold a swap party and share your clothes, toys, sporting equipment, etc. with friends and family. There are no costs involved and you know your items are going to someone who needs them and who you know.

∞ Online: I just joined http://www.zwaggle.com, a parenting swap site. The site allows you to swap with other families and specify a range of options for exchanging your items. You can even donate your Zoints to charities so they can “purchase” items on the site.

My other favorite swap site is http://www.paperbackswap.com (and its affiliate sites http://www.swapadvd.com and http://www.swapacd.com). I mentioned this website in my previous post “My favorite find: swapping books.”

 

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My favorite find – swapping books

Last year a classmate at UMSL told me about this great website where you can swap books with other people. I love it! It is called Paperbackswap.com. You can post any books that you want to trade and create your own wish list of books you want. When someone wants one of your books, you mail it to them and get a credit. You can mail it using postage printed from the site or go to the post office. Then you can use your credits to get other books you want. The site will automatically notify you when one of your wish list books is available. I have swapped a ton of books for home and for teaching! It is a great way to get something for books that you don’t want anymore. I used to sell my old books on Amazon, but now there are so many on there, that it is harder to do. I sometimes even buy books from the bargain tables at Borders or the .25 shelf at the library and then swap them on the site!

Day 186/365: Twilight in the MailThey also have a CD sister site and a DVD sister site. I have used the DVD site, too, and gotten lots of movies we wanted.

Put in my email address and I will get a referral credit. Thanks!

Other ways to get cheap books:
- secondhand book stores (you can sometimes swap books here, too, but you often only get half of what you paid there)
- Once Upon a Child resale shops (I have found tons of cheap kids’ chapter books at my local one in Creve Coeur)
- used book sales (like we have at our local JCC)
- Scholastic Book orders through your child’s teacher
- bargain books at bookstores like Borders or Barnes & Noble
- the .25 shelf at your local library (if they have one)
- garage sales

If you have any questions about swapping, let me know and I will be glad to help!

Related posts:

 

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