Selling on eBay- Flamingos Sweater – Unusual Thrift Finds

Flamingo Sweater

I found this really crazy but adorable but so not my style Flamingos Sweater for about $3 when I was thrifting the other day and I was super excited to find out that it sells on eBay for $45-$120! Who knew???? I currently have it listed here but I will let you know what it sells for but this is a great reminder that eBay is all about unusual and unique items so if it stands out to you some might be willing to pay a good amount for it.

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5-24-16 Thrift Finds

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I had so much luck when I went thrifting on Tues. The local thrift store is 50% regular items with a school ID. My total was $25 which would have been $50. I had just been in there but decided to go back because their jeans are usually $5 but I wanted to buy some to try to sell on eBay for $2.50. I got the jeans but I also got some stuff for our house. We have family coming to stay with us this weekend so finding extra sheets and a larger coffee pot was great timing.

For the longest time I have been looking for sheets for our queen sized bed. No lie, we have been stretching our old full sized sheets to fit it for about 4 years. I’m of course very, very picky when it comes to sheets but these were so spotless. I never find queen sheets but today I found two complete sets with pillow cases in green and black and they ended up being $3 and $5 each! I also found an additional IKEA sheet for about $1.

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I was also really excited to find two more pairs of 9 West heels (my fav to teach in)!

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I got the above old navy flowered sweater, converse jacket, black sweater (love those buttons) and J Crew sweater also. The J Crew sweater is to sell on eBay.

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This Black and Decker coffee pot was just $2 and in great condition. We had been using a small coffee pot for so long that this is a huge upgrade but I wasn’t going to upgrade until it was for $2!

Thrift Finds: Vintage Christian Louboutin Paris Heels found at a Thrift Shop for $6

Thrift Finds Louboutin

I couldn’t believe my luck when today I Found Vintage Christian Louboutin Paris Heels for $6 found at a Thrift Shop today. I just happened to quickly stop in after a doctor’s appointment and I’m so glad I did! These are selling like crazy on eBay for $100-$600 with lots of people watching them. I have always wanted a pair of these with their famous red bottoms but I think I would like $300 more!

They actually weren’t the only designer items I found today! I’ll post more on that soon!

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(The back of the shoes with the oh so classic red bottoms)

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I made my own produce bags out of an old shirt

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I have been thinking more lately about how to reduce waste (we already don’t use any paper products besides toilet paper) in our house hold and how to use less plastics. I really wanted some produce bags so that we wouldn’t have to use the ones from the store for smaller produce items like the ones sold on Amazon below.
 


I recently learned to use my sewing machine and when I found this old shirt in the back of a drawer I thought it would be perfect to make semi-transparent produce bags. I also used a small 3 pack of ribbons that I had gotten for free out of the free box at a yard sale for the draw strings. I think they turned out well and I even made one using the snaps already on the shirt. So for free I now have three little produce bags and I am practicing my sewing skills.

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Spring 2016 Curb Shopping

 

 

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We live in a townhome and our neighbors moved leaving a large pile of stuff at the curb in front of our houses. I couldn’t help taking a look. I got the above shirt and dress (which I will wear to teach as a college professor lol) and the below book series and textbooks and Indiana Jones movies which I will sell on eBay.

They were also throwing away a couch, more clothes, an end table and other household items. We didn’t need the rest but it seemed like a lot of people took stuff from the pile which makes me really happy because it’s less stuff in the landfill.

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5-18-16 A Few Frugal Things

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Yay! Summer is here and I have been getting a lot done and not spending much money, even with family visiting.

– We went to Disney Springs- Free!

– We have gone running at a beautiful local park around a lake

– We also went to the beach which only cost $10 and unfortunately we don’t qualify for a beach pass because we moved out of the county.

– Clearing out my closets and house and getting rid of junk! Mostly going through my clothes and I’m going to try to sell some of them to local consignment stores or on eBay.

– I will be relaunching my eBay business soon and I’m excited to get rid of more and more junk!

– We really have been enjoying staying home and our online steaming services are great for having the tv on in the background when I clean. Click the banner above for your free trial of Amazon Prime.

– I constantly use my iPad that was free from the college I teach at!

– We are trying to clean out the fridge and pantry after a busy school year which means we are eating what we have before going grocery shopping. This isn’t as bad as it seems as last night B cooked steaks that we had frozen a long time ago and they were amazing!

– I got out my sewing machine and some nice flannel shirts we bought at the Goodwill Outlet and I made rice heating pads for us and various family members. More sewing projects to come this summer!

– I returned some stuff to Publix and Goodwill that saved me almost $30 and I have more returns too. A lot of people don’t take advantage of the ability to return items that don’t work or you will never use and this ends up costing a lot of money!

– Pro: Finally getting rid of items I have been holding onto to give family members, Con: My mother gave me several more boxes to disperse by way of another family member so I couldn’t refuse them. UGH! I’m trying to clear out the house!

– Bought a beautiful and brand new Shabby Chic quilt from Goodwill for $3.99. We finally have enough bedding for having our whole families come stay with us at the same time but I’m also having to come up with more storage space in our 2/2 Townhome.

– I have been doing a lot of research on under the seat person item bags for flying our local discount airline. They have especially strict baggage guidelines and I want to get the absolutely biggest bag I can fit under a seat for free with my ticket.

– We went dumpster diving and I got a bag of clean clothes, a fold up suede chair (see the above picture), and a $30 shower rack all in great shape and all items that will be used again instead of going to the landfill.

– Instead of buying bedding for our snake I used a pillow case that I was getting rid of. Snakes like soft things too!

– I needed mascara and my sister just happened to give me some expensive mascara when she visited. I love when that happens.

– We had so much free fun when we gave some leftover food to the squirrels in the tree outside our sliding door and watched them grab pieces of it and sneak away

– I received my new muffin/cupcake pan  from Amazon. It’s chemical free silicon and supposedly doesn’t even require paper wrappers for the muffins which will eventually save money and reduce waste. My old cupcake pans were cheap metal and I donated them when I started ridding the house of nonchemical free cookware and just have made due without but now I’m starting to make a lot of blueberry breakfast muffins and I felt it was worth the small price for the amount of use.

– I haven’t had the time to go to the grocery store with spring semester ending so rapidly so we have been doing a good job of eating out of the fridge and pantry. I hard boiled a bunch of eggs in the oven and made egg salad and just plain boiled eggs for breakfast and snacks. Healthy and cheap. I’m also glad that I’m clearing out the fridge before I need to buy some food for company.

– I’m a member of our local buy nothing group and I was given a free printer! I’ll do an individual post on that soon.

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– I took advantage of a Swagbucks offer to post an infographic for which I will receive $5 worth of gift cards.

– I bought a few more things to sell on eBay and eBay is now my job for the summer.

– I relisted my eBay listings for free at the end of the month so I have 50 more free listings this month that I fully plan on using.

 

Recent Thrift Finds – Vera Wang, Lancome and Ray Ban

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I went thrifting with my sister and had a few good finds. I found the two above Vera Wang shirts to wear while teaching and the below Dexter shoes. We also found the sealed Lancome perfume for .75 cents that usually sells for around $45 and the below Ray Ban sunglasses case. I have actually found Ray Bans at a thrift shop before for .75 cents each so now I have a name brand case.

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4-28-16 – A Few Frugal Things

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– My students brought so much stuff to our end of the semester class parties I have ended up giving some away and bringing some of it home so it wouldn’t get thrown away. What is in the picture above is only a small portion of the leftovers I ended up with (and that’s after asking my students to take everything they wanted!). Unfortunately, almost none of it is healthy but I will try to distribute it so it doesn’t go to waste.

– I made it to a community garage sale and found some great summer clothes and a few pairs of jeans to sell on eBay

– We are making meals mostly out of food we already have in the house

– I returned 10 items to Dollar Tree that didn’t work or we weren’t using. They do exchanges so that saved me $10 off of the items I was buying for my end of the semester class parties with my students.

– I brought my own water and coffee with me to work, I love the free water fountain refill stations at some of the colleges I work at

– Instead of making an additional trip to put gas in my car I made the time during my trip today

– Our cat has fleas! This is not frugal, it’s expensive! We don’t normally flea treat our cat because she has never had them before and I don’t use chemicals unless I have to. This means that we have had to wash/put away all of the rugs and blankets in the house. Instead of washing and rewashing all of them and we are saving time, energy and money by living without rugs for a couple weeks.

– I just requested a new PayPal Debit card to use for my eBay business. Once you have used up our PayPal balance the money comes directly from your checking account and you get 1% cash back! I’m wondering if this could be a good alternative cash back debit card. My only concern is how long it will take the money to come out of my checking account.

– I found 2 quarters on the ground

– I got a free coffee from racetrack with a coupon we received in the mail

– I have run out of time to buy candy prizes from Dollar Tree for my students review games in my college classes. I still plan on buying candy in the future but I do realize I have saved money not buying it. Now I tell them we are playing for knowledge and we all laugh!

– I took advantage of my remaining free eBay listings on the last day of the month to relist any expired listings

Not so frugal

– Buying lunch on my 10 hour work days because I have been too exhausted to make it; however, if you look at the income vs. time vs. savings ratios then I still am better off buying lunch if I need to.

– Paying for flea treatments for the cat and washing everything!

 

Free $5 from Kohl’s in the Mail

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I received a free $5 Kohl’s coupon in the mail along with a 20% off coupon for the anniversary of opening a Kohl’s card. I know credit cards are frugal taboo but having a Kohl’s card did save us a fair amount of money when we weren’t only buying secondhand clothes. Now I don’t need it but I have never carried a balance on it and they still send me free stuff.

Preparing For a Summer of No Income

Preparing for a summer of no income

Having summers off represents one of the greatest advantages of some professions, but also one of the greatest stressors.

Many people in the education field, including college professors, work approximately 8-9 months out of the year and have 3-4 months off. Not all employers provide the option of extending paychecks over 12 months. Many other professions are also cyclical in nature and after months of intense work you might suddenly find yourself without an income and with nothing to do.

The more prepared you are for the summer, financially and otherwise, the more stress you can remove from your life and enjoy the time off as it is meant to be enjoyed.

  1. Calculate your monthly expenses and then calculate exactly how much money you will need to get through the summer– Calculate the absolute minimum amount of money you will need to get through the summer (We are talking beans and rice diet and not spending a penny) and also calculate a realistic amount you need to continue your current standard of living. Don’t forget that most people don’t get paid as soon as they go back to work. Some people will be back at work for 2 weeks to a month before they receive their first paycheck. Also, don’t forget that you may have additional ways to save money in the summer like less commuting costs, less convenience food, etc.
  2. Save, Save, Save– Every extra penny you have needs to go into savings to help you get through the summer. If you do not have the absolute minimum amount of money to get through the summer you need to start making some plans now. How can you currently save more money? How can you work over the summer?
  3. Set yourself up for extra income during the summer– I have been buying items to sell on eBay when I happen to make it to a thrift shop or yard sale but haven’t had the time to list them. I will be listing them this summer. I also plan on indulging my hobby of scouring thrift shops for more items to sell online. This usually provides extra income and I love doing it. I also picked up a few 6 week summer classes to teach that I wasn’t planning on but if the classes don’t fill up that income is not guaranteed. Let friends and family know they can pay you to babysit or pet sit if you are interested. I also plan on trying to earn more Swagbucks for extra spending money.
  4. Be realistic about your summer plans– We had been planning on going on a cruise to celebrate a milestone birthday but unfortunately we had unexpected expenses present themselves during the year that meant that we couldn’t afford the cruise. However, we ended up renting a couple of condos on the beach with the price split between family and friends. We are going to have just as much fun and save a lot of money! I also knew that I needed to buy a couple of plane tickets this summer so I ended up factoring that into the amount I would need to get through the summer. However, if you are wondering how you are going to pay your bills this summer knowing you haven’t saved enough money you might have to cut any activities that aren’t free from your summer plans.
  5. Plan Free/Frugal summer activities – We live in Florida so our main summer activity is hanging out at the beach which only costs us a little bit of gas. There is also the discount movie theatre which is .75 cents on Tuesday nights. I plan on renewing my library card this summer and catching up on some reading. Exercising at beautiful, local parks is also free. There are tons of fun, free summer activities that you can take advantage of.
  6. Spend time with family and friends- Priceless but free! I never feel like I have enough time to spend with family and friends during the work years so I make sure to have plenty of time for them during the summer.
  7. Plan on doing frugal things you didn’t have time for during the rest of the year– If you aren’t working then your job is to save even more money. For example cooking more meals at home, hanging your clothes to dry instead of using your dryer, planting a garden, etc.
  8. Adjust your mentality– Summer is a time to rest and recharge after working the rest of the year. Take time to be outside and enjoy the little things. Don’t think that spending money is a requirement for having fun. You know that novel you have always wanted to write? Now might be the time.
  9. Get Organized– Get rid of things you don’t want/need, clean and organize the entire house.
  10. Try to take care of things that you didn’t have time for during your work year– For me, this list includes getting new glasses (mine are currently so scratched after 6 years of use that I can barely see through them), going to the dermatologist (a must for Floridians), detailing my car (my labor not paying someone), finishing sewing projects (I have clothes that need mended and pants that need hemmed in addition to other projects I plan to tackle) , deep cleaning the house, any store returns I have been putting off, etc. This is also a good time to fix things that need to be fixed.
  11. Travel frugally– I happen to believe that travel is good for the soul and I sacrifice in a lot of other areas so that I have the money to do it. There are some inexpensive ways to travel including house sitting, camping, road trips, cheap plane tickets, visiting family, etc. If you believe in doing this enough you can figure it out.
  12. Stock up on bargain basement deals– If you have the extra money and storage space, stock up on items you will use throughout the year at bargain basement prices when you find them. Having a stockpile of basic food goods that won’t go bad quickly saves me tons of money throughout the year. Over the summer I have time to follow the grocery store loss leader sales more closely.
  13. Set yourself up for success before you go back to work– Put systems in place to make it easier to adjust to returning to work. I will fill my freezer with drop and go crock pot meals, stock my pantry with the basics, clean and organize the whole house, take care of appointments and car maintenance all so that the transition back to work goes much more smoothly.
  14. Put a plan into place for the next year for your next summer- Three months of summer always seem to fly by. However, planning ahead makes a huge difference. If you are transitioning to only working 8 months of the year it usually takes a little while to perfect your system of saving for summer. If what you did this year worked great then implement it again for next year. If you wished you had saved more during the year then adjust your system for next year.

Best tips from others who have had summers off:

Mandy- “Don’t mindlessly shop. Only go to the store with a list and stick with it. That’s what I did when I wasn’t working. Take advantage of free things like your apartment pool or gym.”

Leanne– “I would make sure that I had things lined up ahead of time. I would look toward industries that gear up in the summer, rather than slow down. For example, teachers and professors could always look to teach a specialized program at a summer camp.” She also suggests that before you make a purchase from a store, Macy’s for example, you check eBay. She recently bought a $60 Macy’s blouse on eBay for $8 including shipping!

Fate- “I did an auto deposit of 1/3 of my paycheck into a savings account during the work year at a different bank so I never see it. That’s what I’m living off in the summer.”

Karin– “I would probably get really creative with food and try to have fun with it. I know an adjunct who made it kind of a project to eat everything in her pantry and not buy groceries (aside from milk, bread and eggs) for a few months. And I’d pick up a fun, cheap hobby like painting and/or writing to make good use of my free time without spending money. So basically I would focus on saving money and having (almost) free fun instead of trying to figure out how to earn- that is, if you have some money set aside to get you through!”

Tiffany– “Play on your strengths with a part time job as a tutor, SAT prep, or nanny. Produce something of value in your free time like a blog or a self-published book.”

Maureen– “No dryer, hanging clothes. Using air conditioning units only until the room is cool. Buying only dry cat food. Staying away from stores because if I go to the store I buy something.”

 

Do you have any great tips for surviving a temporary period of no income? Share your story with us!

 

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