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My Thrift Store Shopping Failure

Salvation Army thrift store

I absolutely love getting good deals. In fact, that’s one reason we ended up in so much credit card debt years ago. I bought lots of stuff I didn’t need because it was a “good deal.” Now I’ve learned to shop only for things I do need and value,  but I still love the rush of finding what you need on the cheap. One of the best ways to do that is to shop used. While we were in Las Vegas recently, I thought it would be a great opportunity to try big city thrift store shopping, but it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Thrift Store Wins in the Past I have had some major success at thrift stores and yard sales in the past. When I first moved out west, I brought my dog and whatever fit in my car. While it is somewhat liberating to own only enough stuff to fit into a vehicle, I do appreciate things like a bed, chairs, and dressers. so I furnished my first small house with finds from thrift stores. We still have some of that furniture in our extra bedroom. It’s really good quality if you can see ...

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9 Ways to Pinch Pennies Around the House

ways to save money around the house

I’m certainly not an extreme frugalist. I’ll never reuse plastic bags or ration toilet paper into a certain number of squares per use, but if I can save a few pennies here and there, we all know they add up to dollars. Every dollar counts, especially if you are trying to get out of debt, save for a goal, or plan for retirement. Here are nine simple ways to pinch pennies around the house. 1. Eliminate Food Waste According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans throw away 25% of the food they buy. While that’s wrong to think about on many levels, it also adds up to lots of wasted money. Some easy ways to prevent food waste are using leftovers for brown bag lunches, freezing fruit and veggies for later use in smoothies or stir fry, and taking a week each month to eat out of your pantry or fridge instead of grocery shopping. 2. Turn the Thermostat Up or Down We used to keep our thermostat on 70 degrees pretty much year round but have realized that if we turn it down to 66-68 degrees in the winter and 72-74 degrees in the winter, it saves about ...

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8 Ways to Save Money on Contact Lenses

ways to save on buying contact lenses

If you are one of the approximately 36 million people in the US who wear contact lenses, you probably know how these little pieces of water and polymer can improve vision and quality of life. You probably also know that they can be expensive, but there are many ways to save money on contact lenses. Compare Prices Many people assume ordering contacts online is cheaper, but this isn’t always the case. Just like with any product, there are various sales and promotions. Big box stores often carry lenses and offer good prices. Private offices will sometimes match online prices and might throw in extras like free solution or a discount on glasses. Private offices are also more likely to provide better service if you do have a problem with your contacts throughout the year. Continue reading at Vosa.com

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6 Things That Are Cheaper on Amazon Prime than at Wal Mart

Cheap products on Amazon Prime

I’ve shared many times before how living in a small town limits your shopping options, at least in brick and mortar stores. The only place in town to buy many household goods and non-grocery items is Wal Mart. I’ve had way too many bad shopping experiences there and found myself getting mad before I even walked in the door, so as a resolution to myself and my well being, I decided to boycott purchases at Wal Mart in 2014. Since we really don’t have other options without driving at least 50 miles, I turned to Amazon for help. Here are six things I’ve found that are surprisingly cheaper on Amazon than at Wal Mart. Amazon Versus Wal Mart I signed up for Amazon Prime early this year. At $79, I figured it was worth it. Regular shipping is very slow to our area, and if I am going to replace the need for last minute Wal Mart items, I need to be able to order in small quantities. 1) Dog Food Purina Beneful dog food is $15.99 for a 15.5 pound bag at Walmart. It’s $13.99 for the same bag on Amazon and shipped free with our Prime membership. I ...

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Does Renting a Car For Long Trips Save Money?

Broken town car

After playing revolving automobiles for most of our adult working lives, we finally realized that buying or trading cars every few years is not a wise use of money. Sure the new car smell is great, but there is really no smell that is worth sacrificing our goals of financial independence. With that in mind, Jim and I are determined to keep driving our current vehicles until it doesn’t make financial sense to do that or one of them dies a permanent death. Our cars are getting older, though, and my question today is whether or not it makes sense and/or saves money to rent a car for long road trips. Since we live in rural America, we drive a lot! There is absolutely no public transportation where we live unless you are a senior citizen who needs to go to the doctor. We don’t really live close to any major cities, with Denver, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City all being about 7 hours away. Albuquerque is the closest major airport, but it’s still a 4 hour drive to get there. Sure we could move if it was a huge issue, but the low cost of living, small town atmosphere, ...

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