Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Earn Money or Save Money

With only one of us earning money, our choice is simple: either we learn how to make do with the money we have or we have to make extra money. There are some ways we have found to make money at home. But our primary focus has been on stretching it.

Stretching money is a multi-faceted endeavor. Today I want to share with you my favorite websites that help make our money go further:

If we need something, we could earn money and buy it or go to Freecycle and get it for free! Freecycle is a wonderful source of all manner of free items. Its goal is to keep perfectly good items out of the landfill. People will post an email listing perfectly good items they no longer want that are available for free. All you do is arrange to go pick up and follow through! You can even request specific items. It has hundreds of local chapters. We've gotten many, many items from freecycle - couches, dressers, clothes, food, books, fencing, paint, a swing set, bricks, even a car - all free. It's saved us thousands of dollars in just the two years since we joined!

Craigslist is similar to a free, online classifieds newspaper. It, too, has dozens of local chapters. Anyone can post things for sale. We've gotten quite a few cars through it. They have a free section as well. No sense in making money at home if you can get it for free, right?

If I can't find a particular book, movie or cd that we want for free, Addall is my first stop. Addall searches ebay, amazon, and lots of other online stores for you. You can sort the results by price, title, or author. We almost never buy new anymore because of this great service.

We use eBay for hundreds of items we can't find through freecycle, craigslist, or addall. Expert searching (learn how here and here) is crucial to getting the best deals on eBay. So is bidding in the last seconds. Auction Sniper has been of immense help for that task. If time is not an issue, we search the completed auctions to get an idea of what price constitutes a good deal and how many times that item is likely to come up for auction. Then we will place bids based on that information. Most of the time we have to bid on several auctions before getting it for our low price. Recently, I've been bidding on a National Geographic DVDs. So far I've been outbid on 12 auctions. But I know, because of my research, that others have gotten it for my price. So I just continue to bid on new auctions for that same price. Eventually, I will probably get it.

Dollar Stretcher
For frugal inspiration as well as nuts and bolts help, I go to the Dollar Stretcher. They have so much good information there I could get lost in this site. Be sure to check out the topical index at the top of the page.

Next post I'll discuss how we are making money on the internet.

Thanks for droppin' by! Come visit again soon!


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