Friday, May 13, 2016

Yard Sale

Most of the lists on how to increase your income contains the suggestion "yard sale". 

I love shopping at yard sales. However, I hate doing them. I never feel like I have enough stuff. I want to feel I am giving people a fair deal, but I also want to feel I recuperated back some of the cost that I put into the items I don't need anymore.
I literally have closets full of baby and toddler clothes. It was taking over the house. I had given way here and there and I had been saving them for future children. But the realization came that it was taking over our house.
The other motivator to actually going through it was lots of extra expenses this month and next. Some of those expenses are: My computer met an unfortunate accident. The desk the computer sits on is all wrong for my new computer (we are making do until we can find an affordable replacement). The lab work bill for my daughter.  There is the post yard sale day (where I get a lot of the clothes and needed items for our family for the next year). Our microwave is on its last leg and any day we expect to need to replace it. My son's birthday. My other son's birthday. Multiple end of the year school fundraisers, including the spring carnival-which we had decided was the one big fundraiser we were going to participate in. Extra doctor appointments and bills. These things all add up. While they weighed on my mind I decided maybe it was time. Also I had just done some "spring" cleaning and identified some items I no longer needed/ was ready to part with.
After all the work to get it together we made about $200. We did two days and closed up about 11am both days. We didn't have any big ticket items to sale. The last time we did a yard sale (about 5 years ago) we had a leather chair that we sold for $170. The most expensive item this time was $20.
So it is $200 more dollars than we did have and more stuff I do not need in our house gone. Afterwards, we took everything over to donate. Yes I could have made more through a local facebook  sales group. But I am so tired of the mess that brings. I post and post, people either never seem interested or they stand me up over and over again. I am done trying to sale things on it.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Gifts for teachers

I wanted to do something that was simple but also affordable.

I started on pinterest. Here are some I was considering

Then I started thinking about how they were all food. I started thinking about how teachers probably appreciate things that aren't going to go to their hips. But at the same time last year I did mason jars and we included Peach Herbal Tea with a note to enjoy their summers. They came out to about 3.20 per jar we put together. but something of this cost wasn't what I wanted to spend while we are trying to wise and conservative with our money.
But if teachers get multiple of these, it is a lot of keep around- clutter.
So I started looking for things that aren't food, but once they are used there is no reason to feel the need to keep it.
I decided to look and see what I could buy in sets and keep the cost down. If we did all of my childrens teachers I would need 12 gifts.
Here were some ideas I found on pinterest for non-food but possibly still affordable.
then I found this one and I knew I could buy a set of Sharpies at Costco.
I asked a teacher friend of mine which would you rather get, a Sharpie or a candy bar. She very quickly said "Sharpie" then asked her friend she was with (we were talking on the phone) and her friend said "Sharpie" without missing a beat. 
I bought a pack of Sharpies at Costco. It came with 25 Sharpies. It was $14. Maybe not the best deal but I needed them by tomorrow and it was a set of super fun colors.
I made these tags for the Sharpies
(full size image, ready to print, please "save as" and print)
I'm doing 2 each. I tied a ribbon around them. Each gift is costing us between $1.15 and $1.70.

Lastly I'd like to say, it is not a requirement to give teachers gifts. I am not someone who thinks that you have to. But I wanted to do something to let the awesome teachers have had this year know how much I am grateful for them.