Monday, March 21, 2011

Getting Ready for Garage Sale Season!

Today it is 70 degrees out!!! I can't believe it.  Friday will be 40.  Again.  But let's not think about that.  We are 20 degrees above normal today (in Indiana) and it's got me thinking garage sale time.

Well not yet.

But soon.

And I.Can.Not.Wait.

Do you garage sale?  I love it.  The finding.  The bargaining (usually not...but this year I am going to break out of my shell and try).  The re purposing.  All on a budget.  My favorite part. {One day I'll find that gem that's worth like $5,000 and pay $1} :)

I found this list of garage sale buying tips.  Time to get ready!

  1. There are two types of garage sales: the ones where people want to make money and the ones where people want to get rid of stuff. The latter are best for finding deals.
  2. For maximum efficiency, map out your route. This is only for the truly hardcore.
  3. If at all possible, leave the kids at home. If you must bring children with you, make sure to bring plenty of snacks. Allow the older children an allowance to find bargains of their own.
  4. Be prepared. Wear cool, comfortable clothes. Bring lots of change and dollar bills. Keep your money in your pockets, not your purse. Bring a tote bag.
  5. When you find something you’re not sure you want, pick it up and carry it with you while you continue to look. This prevents somebody else from finding it while you’re trying to decide.
  6. Always ask politely if the seller will reduce the price. Beware: sometimes the prices are so low that it seems impolite to ask for less.
  7. If there is something you really want, but the seller is asking more than you want to pay, offer a lower price. If they say no, leave your name and number in case they change their mind.
  8. Check items for hard-to-see tears, stains, and breakage. Better safe than sorry.
  9. It is best to go early, but don’t panic if you can’t. The best stuff is available at the start of a sale, but the best deals can be had later in the day when the seller is tired and nonplused about carrying everything back into the house.
  10. If you don’t have success in one part of town, try somewhere else the next time. Sometimes the best garage sale neighborhoods are the ones you don’t expect.
All of the above tips are great. One other important tip is to search craigslist for garage sale information. Craigslist offers a list of garage sales in your city, often with a preview of the most desireable items. It’s easy to plan a morning of garage-saling with craigslist.

This was found here.

What was your best garage sale find?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blogging/Etsy Tax Tips

I know it is Monday and it's usually blanket day, but I thought that this was something you would all be interested in!  And if you already filed your taxes this year, keep records for next year!
If you make money blogging or on Etsy you have to (ok.  You really should) claim it on your taxes.  Congrats!  You are a business owner! :) There are lots of deductions you can write off.  I'm not an accountant, so you should talk these over with yours but here are some general things that can help you save some money.
1. Internet related expenses.  Without the internet - there would be no blog right?  Hosting fees, domain name registrations, internet access, blogging software, picture storing, linky party subscriptions are all things that fall into this category.  Don't forget selling fees - Etsy, pay pal, Ebay.  
2. Your equipment. You need a computer right?  Any upgrades (memory and so forth), software (including tax software, picture editing).  And don't forget those cameras, sewing machines, and silhouettes!!
3. Do you tweet from your cell phone?  You can use part of your cell bill as a write off.
4. Any new office furniture?  {My table from the trash would not count here lol}
5. Supplies/Stationary.  Supplies add up quickly.  Fabric, thread, needles, pins, rulers, cutting mats, pens, staples, paint brushes, Stamps.  Keep all of your receipts.  Your accountant can help you go through all of them.  I write notes on mine so I know exactly what project I bought each item for.  If it's something like Mod Podge I just write general.
6. Advertising, Promo and Design.  Do you advertise on other blogs.  Ask for a receipt or print off your pay pal receipt.  Advertising also include promos and giveaways! Did you have someone design your blog.  Print off a receipt! 
7. Travel and Entertainment.  Did you go to a blogging conference?  Conference fees, travel accommodations, and dining expenses can be written off. 
8. Office Space.  Do you blog from home?  Do you have an office?  You can deem that part of your home as your office and write off a small amount of your household bills for rent plus your utilities.
I know.  It's a lot!  Just remember to save your receipts!  Make small notes on them.  I put all of my receipts into a big folder and at the beginning of each new month I sort them and staple each category together.  I also try to keep Etsy/blog stuff away from my personal stuff when I check out somewhere.  For example I was buying tablecloths and towels for an order at Target but I also had milk and a movie.  Just have them ring it up as 2 transactions.  

I also keep a sales order book on my desk.  (You can get them anywhere).  Every time someone orders something or pays for advertising I write it down.  I keep all of the receipts in the book.  I also write how I got paid (pay pal, cash, check).  Keeping them in one place makes it easy to have them ready to go!    

Any tax tips you have?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pretzel Crusted Chicken -- YUM

My USB cable is MIA so hold tight for a minute! :)

I mad this pretzel crusted chicken the other night.  Josh wanted chicken fingers.  So I found this.  He declared them the best chicken fingers he’s ever had.  {Sorry again for no pictures….but seriously it’s yummy!}
Pretzel crusted chicken
Prep: 15 min
Bake 25 min
Serves 4
 Cost per serving: $1.79
2 c. pretzel twists (about 3 oz)
½ c parmesan
½ c all purpose flour
¼ tsp pepper
2 large eggs
1 lb boneless chicken cut into strips

1.       Preheat oven to 400.  Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.  Place pretzels and parmesan in a food processor and process until coarsely ground and well mixed (or do as I did and put in a Ziploc bag and use a rolling pin!)Transfer to a large bowl.
2.       Combine flour and pepper in another bowl.
3.       Beat eggs with 1 tsp water in a third bowl. 
4.       Roll a chicken piece in flour.  Dip in egg.  Roll in pretzels.  Place on baking sheet.  Repeat. Cook until browned about 20 – 25 minutes.
355 calories, 8 g fat, 182 mg chol, 1 g fiber, 37 g pro, 30 g carb

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tasty Tuesday

Want a quick and easy dinner recipe? And under $10?  Here it is

Italian Sausage and Potato Roast (From All You Magazine)
1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1/2 sweet onion sliced
3/4 lb red potatoes cut into quarters
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic salt
1 lb Italian sausage cut into chunks

1. Preheat oven to 450.  Line baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray.  In a large bowl toss peppers, onion, potatoes with olive oil, oregano, garlic salt and pepper.  Spread on baking sheet.

2. Distribute sausage chunks among veggies. 

3.Roast until sausages are cooked through.  About 30 minutes.  Stir once or twice during baking.

506 calories, 39 g fat, 86 mg chol, 3 g fiber, 18 g pro, 20 g carbs

My likes: Only 10 minutes prep time!  One bowl and one pan to clean (which the foil makes it super easy).  Lots of veggies.  Cheap.  Easily can swap out sausage with...turkey, chicken anything really {if your trying to watch your weight like me.  Well I'm really trying to watch it go down) The boys loved it

Monday, January 10, 2011


Did you know that some stores let you load coupons directly onto your rewards card?  I just found out.  We grocery shop at Kroger and if anyone else does --- they have TONS of coupons (and good ones!) on their site that you can load onto your card! 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

CSN Giveaway!

I'm hosting a CSN giveaway on my other blog We're The Joneses.  And you get an entry for following The Super Mom Club!  So go enter! :)

Things that work: Barilla Plus Pasta

I recently picked up a few boxes of Barilla Plus Pasta at the grocery store to try.  I've bought the spinach pasta (my son snubbed it - I love it but green pasta didn't really work out to well at our house).  I've bought the whole wheat pasta (again, I liked.  Boys not to much).  So this was the last time I was buying healthy pasta. 

And guess what?  They couldn't taste the difference. 

And guess what?  The healthy stuff is HUGE in that little box.  Seriously  The pasta is made  with golden semolina and wholesome flax seed, spelt, oats, barley, and legumes.  It's a great source of protein.  This pasta has 40% more protein than traditional pasta. It's fiber rich - giving you  1 cup (uncooked) gives you 28% of your daily fiber!  And it's rich in Omega -3's.

It's won awards.  It's had tons of endorsements.  It's basically the stuff.

And it's not expensive.  I know that right now Target has it on sale for $1.87 a box. 

Def. worth picking up a few boxes!