buying used http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/14080/all en-US 3 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy a New Car http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-you-should-never-buy-a-new-car <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-reasons-why-you-should-never-buy-a-new-car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_new_car_000014380432.jpg" alt="Woman learning why she should never buy a new car" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don't know what it is, but there's something really exciting about being the first person to own a car. Maybe it's because brand new cars come with the latest technologies, extremely low mileage, and that new car smell you just can't duplicate. Plus, there are no animal crackers stuck between the seats from the previous owner's three-year-old.</p> <p>But these aren't the only perks of buying new.</p> <p>Unless you have the misfortune of getting stuck with a lemon, new cars typically have fewer maintenance problems, too. In most cases, you don't have to think about replacing the brakes, tires, or other minor repairs for at least a few years. If you run into some defect, most car manufacturers offer a three-year limited warranty, which provides added peace of mind. Additionally, if you're financing, banks usually offer lower interest rates on newer cars. For example, Toyota sometimes runs a 0% financing promotion (or financing as low as 1.9%) on new models for well-qualified buyers.</p> <p>But while there are benefits to buying a brand new car, it might not be the smartest financial choice. At the end of the day, you have to decide whether to buy brand new or used. However, before you think a car with only 10 miles is the better deal, here are three arguments for never buying a brand new car. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-new-car-costs-the-dealer-is-hiding-from-you?ref=seealso">10 New Car Costs the Dealer Is Hiding From You</a>)</p> <h2>1. The Obvious Reason &mdash; You'll Pay More</h2> <p>If money is the least of your worries, it probably doesn't matter whether you buy new or used. But if you identify with the rest of us and you're pinching your pennies, you need a monthly payment that doesn't stretch your budget or cause unnecessary financial strain.</p> <p>The good news is that buying a car doesn't have to complicate your financial life. If you have good credit and you're able to qualify for a new car loan with no hassles, banks may compete for your business and offer the best rate possible.</p> <p>But even with low-rate auto financing on a new purchase, a new car will be more expensive than an older version of the same car. Not only because of the higher sale price &mdash; you'll also pay more in other areas. Brand new cars can have higher insurance premiums than used cars. And if you live in a state with personal property taxes, the newer your car, the more you'll pay in taxes each year.</p> <h2>2. Faster Depreciation and Negative Equity</h2> <p>It's not fair or right, but <a href="https://www.trustedchoice.com/insurance-articles/wheels-wings-motors/car-depreciation/">new cars depreciate faster</a> than used vehicles. The sad reality is that the average new car can depreciate as much as 19% in its first year &mdash; and that's just an average. What does this mean for you? To put it simply, if you buy a brand new car without a down payment, or if your monthly loan payment isn't high enough to compensate for depreciation, you could end up owing more than the vehicle is worth.</p> <p>Let's say you pay $20,000 for a brand new car and $3,000 in finance charges over the length of a five-year term. This brings the total cost of your car to $23,000. We'll factor in a 19% rate of depreciation for the first year, which brings the value of the car down to $16,200. Your payments are $350 a month, or $4,200 a year, so by the end of year one, you'll owe the bank $18,800. Sure, you're making progress on the loan. But since the value of your car dropped nearly $4,000, you now have negative equity and you owe $2,600 more than the car is worth.</p> <p>Negative equity isn't the worst thing to happen if you plan on keeping the car until it's paid off. But if you're the type of person who trades in vehicles every two or three years, negative equity can increase the cost of your next vehicle. If the dealership gives you $19,000 for your trade-in, yet you owe $22,000, the $3,000 difference doesn't disappear. Instead, the dealer tacks the negative equity onto your next car loan. So instead of a sale price of $27,000 for your next vehicle, you end up financing $30,000.</p> <p>On the other hand, if you skip the brand new car and buy a vehicle that's one or two years old, you'll be able to get the car at a price that's more comparable to its actual value, and possibly avoid an upside-down loan.</p> <h2>3. You Get More for the Money Buying Used</h2> <p>Since cars depreciate rapidly within the first year, buying used is an opportunity to get more for less. I have a friend who purchased a one-year old Toyota Camry XLE back in 2010. It was a top-of-the-line Camry with wood grain, leather seats, sunroof, rims, heated seats, JBL sound system, dual temperature control, <em>fully loaded</em>. Just one year prior, the car sold for about $28,000 brand new. However, she was able to purchase the vehicle for a little more than $20,000. The car only had 13,000 miles and not a single scratch or stain. It was like buying a brand new car, without the brand new price tag.</p> <p><em>What do you think? Are you a new car loyalist, or have you found value in buying not-so-new? I'd love to hear you take on this discussion in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-you-should-never-buy-a-new-car">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car">7 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes When Buying Their First Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/speed-past-car-debt-with-this-simple-timing-trick">Speed Past Car Debt With This Simple Timing Trick</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-calculate-your-new-car-budget">7 Easy Ways to Calculate Your New Car Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cars-you-can-drive-almost-forever">6 Cars You Can Drive (Almost) Forever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-diy-car-repairs-to-save-big">8 Easy DIY Car Repairs to Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation buying used depreciation equity new cars used cars vehicles Mon, 01 Feb 2016 16:00:04 +0000 Mikey Rox 1646407 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Household Items That Are Better Second-Hand http://www.wisebread.com/7-household-items-that-are-better-second-hand <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-household-items-that-are-better-second-hand" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fancy_silver_spoons_000017376537.jpg" alt="Discovering which household items are better second-hand" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I admit it, I brake for estate sales. Nothing gets my Saturday morning juices flowing quicker than an old fashioned tag sale &mdash; the sort of event where the contents of an entire household are up for grabs.&nbsp;</p> <p>Beyond the antiques and random curiosities, I love the hunt for bargain-priced practical items that have been used, loved, and well taken care of. These things aren't just good in spite of their age; they're better <em>because</em> of their age. Here's my list of seven common household items that are simply better second-hand.&nbsp;(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-home-buys-you-should-never-skimp-on">8 Home Buys You Should Never Skimp On</a>)</p> <h2>1. Bath Towels</h2> <p>There's nothing worse than stepping out of a hot shower and trying to dry off with a towel that feels like a polyester pantsuit. Today, many manufacturers blend man-made fibers with cotton and chemically treat towels to make them appear fluffier on the shelf. Great for display, but terrible for absorbency.</p> <p>Older towels are more likely to be 100% cotton and were either left untreated or they've been around long enough to have any finishing gunk washed away. Cotton also gets more absorbent with use, making older towels super-suckers worth their weight in gold. Get over the &quot;ick&quot; factor of using second-hand towels by washing them in hot water and color-safe bleach. Keep them thirsty by strictly avoiding fabric softeners &mdash; they coat the cotton fibers and reduce absorbency.</p> <h2>2. Cast Iron Cookware</h2> <p>Cooks spend years seasoning their cast iron pots, pans, and skillets. Be the beneficiary of all their time and hard work. Buy a great used set at an estate or yard sale and save some serious cash while you're at it.</p> <h2>3. Household Sponges</h2> <p>Large household sponges get softer and looser with age and do the job much better than new. I wash my car by hand and my favorite tool for the task is a big old sponge that belonged to my dad. It doesn't look like much, but it's a little treasure that just gets better year after year.</p> <h2>4. Wall Clocks</h2> <p>I must have missed the memo. When did we all decide that it's acceptable for wall clocks to last only a couple of years? Why have consumers lowered their expectation of quality and why do we keep replacing junk with junk? Generally speaking, older wall clocks (made in the 1970s or earlier) have higher quality internal clockworks. Many of them will last a lifetime.</p> <h2>5. Toasters</h2> <p>After burning through a new $25 toaster every couple of years, I finally got smart and bought a used one at an estate sale for $2. It was probably made in the mid-70s and has an understated chrome finish. I've owned it for 10 years now and it's as faithful as my dog.</p> <h2>6. Flatware</h2> <p>Yesterday's mid-level set of flatware is likely better quality than today's high-end set. Heavier gauge metal and better craftsmanship makes second-hand flatware first-rate.</p> <h2>7. Manual Can Openers</h2> <p>Okay, you've probably guessed that I'm a bit of a nerd about product dependability. With that in mind, let me wrap things up by venting about modern can openers for a minute: Most of them are electric, which renders them useless during a power outage. If you can even find the manual variety, beware &mdash; newer versions typically turn cans into mangled concept art and have flimsy plastic handles that snap under the slightest pressure.</p> <p>The next time you're scouting for treasures at a yard sale, keep an eye out for vintage Swing-A-Way can openers. They're easy to find &mdash; people are dumping them like crazy in favor of sleeker looking options. Older models were made in America, crafted entirely of steel (seriously, they're built like tanks), and feature rubber-coated handles in a variety of colors. Snatch up a used one for $.50, keep it clean and dry, and never think about can openers again. You're welcome.</p> <p><em>What things do you own that have become more useful over the years? What quality older items could never be replaced with new?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-household-items-that-are-better-second-hand">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-kitchen-dish-towels">The 5 Best Kitchen Dish Towels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-detergents">The 5 Best Laundry Detergents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-hardwood-floor-cleaners">The 5 Best Hardwood Floor Cleaners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-look-for-every-time-you-visit-a-thrift-store">10 Things to Look for Every Time You Visit a Thrift Store</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping buying used good deals household items second-hand thrift shop Tue, 12 Jan 2016 18:00:03 +0000 Kentin Waits 1634858 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways Being Patient Saves You Money http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-being-patient-saves-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-being-patient-saves-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_meditating_at_work_000043979528_0.jpg" alt="Woman learning to be patient and saving money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know that patience is a powerful virtue. It helps us get ahead in our careers, be better parents and partners, and avoid unnecessary conflict in nearly every area of life. Patience can even save us money. Here are eight ways going zen before you spend can help your budget:</p> <h2>1. You Have Time to Check Consumer Reviews</h2> <p>Informed consumers are smart consumers. Patience gives buyers a chance to compare features and prices, read online consumer reviews, explore product ratings on non-profit sites like Consumer Reports, and get the very best deal possible. It may sound cynical, but some manufacturers have built their livelihoods on selling junk to uninformed &quot;gotta-have-it-now&quot; buyers. Don't be one of them.</p> <h2>2. You Have Time to Decide If You Really Need It</h2> <p>Impatient consumers are led by their hearts and have trouble <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-never-succumb-to-impulse-spending-again">avoiding impulse spending</a>. How many times have you purchased an item on impulse only to later ask yourself &quot;What was I thinking?&quot; Being patient gives you time to consider (and reconsider) if you truly need what you're tempted to buy.</p> <h2>3. You Can Wait for a Sale</h2> <p>Don't you relish that moment when the stars align and something you really want or need goes on sale? Sadly, impatient folks never get to experience that natural high. They simply can't wait and their impatience costs them cold hard cash.</p> <h2>4. You Might Find it Used</h2> <p>There are many reasons <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-why-used-is-better">why buying used is better</a>, and saving money is just one of them. A few years ago, I was dangerously close to forking over $3,000 for a new Tempurpedic mattress. Instead, I took a deep breath and gave myself a few months to find a better deal. Amazingly, I spotted one for sale on Craigslist. A newlywed couple had received the queen-sized mattress as a wedding gift (what an amazing gift, right?) and didn't like it. Though technically second-hand, it was still in the factory plastic wrap. It's the best $1,000 I've ever spent.</p> <h2>5. You Can Explore Alternatives</h2> <p>Several years ago, I was decorating my new condo and stumbled upon a limited edition lithograph that I loved in one of those big chain galleries at the mall. It was out of my price range by several hundred dollars, but I crafted all sorts of justifications for the splurge. Luckily, I hesitated just long enough to be invited to a local art fair where I found an original painting that I loved even more &mdash; for one-third the price. A bit of inadvertent patience saved me hundreds, helped me support a struggling independent artist, and allowed me to discover a wonderful original image that I'll treasure for years.</p> <h2>6. You Might Get it as a Gift</h2> <p>If there's an item you want or need, add it to your holiday wish list or drop a few subtle hints in advance of a birthday, housewarming party, or similar gift-giving occasion. Sure, it's not the most evolved money-saving strategy, but often our friends and family are looking for just the perfect gift and would welcome reasonable suggestions.</p> <h2>7. You Can Wait for the Release of a New Model</h2> <p>Our consumer machine is constantly churning out smaller, sleeker, and faster models of the same product you must have right now. If you're patient enough, wait for the new and improved model to be released and then buy the original version at a deep discount.</p> <h2>8. You Can Save up and Avoid Finance Charges</h2> <p>Putting your impulse purchases on pause gives you time to save up and pay cash. Avoiding interest charges, potential late fees, and overdraft dings makes a patient approach even smarter. In fact, there are loads of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-6-reasons-why-using-cash-only-rocks">reasons why using cash-only rocks</a>.</p> <p>In our act-fast, don't wait, while-supplies-last world, patience is a rare quality. Retailers encourage us to buy now and think later because they realized a long time ago that emotion moves products. Patient people spend less and when we do spend, we make better purchasing decisions. When it comes to my money and my budget, impulse has its place, but patience rules the day.</p> <p><em>Do you consider yourself a patient person? How has being patient helped you save money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-being-patient-saves-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-stop-impulse-buying">9 Simple Ways to Stop Impulse Buying</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/money-making-lessons-from-the-girl-scouts">Money-Making Lessons From the Girl Scouts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-one-year-to-an-organized-financial-life">Book Review: One Year to an Organized Financial Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-the-trap">Book Review: The Trap</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Buy It Now buying used impulse shopping patience reviews sales Fri, 11 Sep 2015 15:00:30 +0000 Kentin Waits 1554811 at http://www.wisebread.com New Isn't Always Better: 12 Used Things to Love http://www.wisebread.com/new-isnt-always-better-12-used-things-to-love <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/new-isnt-always-better-12-used-things-to-love" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_reading_000019797365.jpg" alt="Woman reading a book" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Although I admit that new can sometimes be very nice, old or used can be just as good! Here are some examples of used goodies that are even better than new:</p> <h2>1. Books and Magazines</h2> <p>Go to your neighborhood library, and take out a book or flip through the magazines. You can also buy used books that look practically brand-new from websites such as <a href="http://www.amazon.com/" target="_blank">Amazon</a>, or trade them on the web at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.swap.com/" target="_blank">Swap.com</a>.</p> <h2>2. Cars</h2> <p>The value of a new car drops dramatically right after you drive it off the dealership, so consider getting a used car to get more bang for your buck. Remember to do your research first, watch out for these <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Car-Salesmen-Tricks-28307430">car salesman tricks</a>, and ask the seller the <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Questions-Ask-Used-Car-Seller-31000145">right questions</a>.</p> <h2>3. Clothing</h2> <p>You can get great hand-me-downs from friends and family members instead of splurging for a new outfit at a boutique. You can score good buys at thrift store, too, if you use a little <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Consignment-Store-Shopping-Tips-13456315">know-how</a>.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Worth-Money-3508809#photo-3508809" target="_blank">11 Items That Are Worth the Big Expense</a></p> <h2>4. Wedding Gowns</h2> <p>There's no better steal than buying a dress that has only been used once &mdash; and paying less for a dress that you are only going to wear once as well. Check out <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Questions-Ask-Used-Wedding-Dress-Seller-15718982">these questions</a> to ask the used wedding gown seller before you buy a dress from her.&nbsp;</p> <h2>5. Tools</h2> <p>Get big discounts on used tools, but do your research before you end up buying a dud. Buy the tools from a legitimate seller or from people you know and trust.&nbsp;</p> <h2>6. Animals</h2> <p>There are plenty of cute pets waiting to be loved at your local shelter. Remember that adopting <a href="http://www.petsugar.com/Reasons-Adopt-Adult-Pet-11442625" target="_self">older dogs has its benefits</a> too. For example, you won't need to bother with potty training, and most dogs calm down after they pass the rapscallion puppy stage.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Why-Alone-Time-Healthy-37072341" target="_blank">9 Reasons Alone Time Is Good For Your Soul</a></p> <h2>7. Designer Bags</h2> <p>Vintage bags give the classic brand names a one-of-a-kind twist (after all, you don't see these golden oldies in stores anymore!). Find one from a thrift store or online at places like <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Poshmark-Tips-34541949">Poshmark</a>. You can also consider renting a handbag from Avelle's <a href="http://www.bagborroworsteal.com/" target="_blank">Bag Borrow or Steal</a>.</p> <h2>8. Furniture</h2> <p>There are plenty of great deals on Craigslist, and if your friends or neighbors are giving away their old furniture, that's even better. Don't be afraid to check out thrift stores, as well; you can find some unique pieces with great price tags. But keep in mind that staying away from used furniture with fabric will lower the risk of bringing bed bugs into your home.</p> <h2>9. Things for Baby</h2> <p>Baby clothes, toys, and other baby-related gear doesn't get much use once baby is all grown up. Just stay away from items like car seats and cribs, because the safety standards are updated all the time, so the used items may not meet the current safety requirements.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Save-Money-Travel-36092909" target="_blank">Need Quick Cash For a Trip? 11 Easy Ways to Save</a></p> <h2>10. Jewelry</h2> <p>Those pretty trinkets you keep admiring also depreciate quickly once they are in a buyer's hands. Check out estate sales, eBay, and pawnshops to see what old goodies you can score. But be sure to do your homework to avoid getting scammed.&nbsp;</p> <h2>11. Residences</h2> <p>Ah, the great rent vs. buy debate! It depends on whether buying a house is within your means and what state your finances are in. Renting is not always a bad thing; sometimes it's a more sensible choice for people who are living more transient lifestyles. Remember the seven-year rule: seriously consider renting if you're going to be in a place for less than seven years.&nbsp;</p> <h2>12. Information</h2> <p>Historical knowledge will never grow old. Reading current news is great, but learning more about history can sometimes be even better. You'll be able to make more solid arguments and form opinions that are well-rounded and supported by past examples. You'll also gain a deeper understanding of human nature.</p> <p>RELATED: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Get-Taxes-Done-22109519" target="_blank">4 Steps to Stop Procrastinating With Your Taxes</a></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Buying used usually costs less and that&#039;s always a plus. Even better -- some goods really do get better with age. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/POPSUGARrgb.jpg" style="height:95px; width:300px" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>POPSUGAR Smart Living</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Things-Worth-Money-3508809">11 Items That Are Worth the Big Expense</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Why-Alone-Time-Healthy-37072341">9 Reasons Alone Time Is Good For Your Soul</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Save-Money-Travel-36092909">Need Quick Cash For a Trip? 11 Easy Ways to Save</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Ways-Get-Taxes-Done-22109519">4 Steps to Stop Procrastinating With Your Taxes</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-isnt-always-better-12-used-things-to-love">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/double-coupons-they-could-cost-you">Double Coupons – They Could Cost You!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-books-diapers-and-much-more-with-an-amazon-membership-program">Save on Books, Diapers, and Much More With an Amazon Membership Program</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-tip-do-not-spend-when-you-are-sad">Frugal Tip: Do Not Spend When You Are Sad</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Entertainment Shopping buying used recycling shopping thrifting used Fri, 10 Apr 2015 21:00:10 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 1372907 at http://www.wisebread.com The 11 Best and Worst Things to Buy Used http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-used <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-11-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-used" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/secondhand-bookstore-86500119-small.jpg" alt="secondhand bookstore" title="secondhand bookstore" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We often get what we pay for, and when it comes to certain items, some people wouldn't dare buy used. But while there are risks to buying someone else's trash, not every used item is a terrible buy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-reasons-why-im-in-love-with-thrift-shopping-and-you-should-be-too?ref=seealso">31 Reasons to Love Thrift Shopping</a>)</p> <p>From a financial standpoint, some used items are just as good as (if not better than) new ones &mdash; it really depends on what you're looking for. So, before you conclude that new is better or worse, here are 11 of the best and worst things to buy used.</p> <h2>Best Things to Buy Used</h2> <p>Save money and get great stuff &mdash; these five things are always best bought used.</p> <h3>1. Books</h3> <p>Between eBay, thrift stores, and free e-book downloads, there's no reason to buy a new book. Unless you plan to re-read your favorite novel over-and-over again, it's pointless to pay full price for a book when you can go online and buy the print for pennies. Thanks to eBay, I've purchased two <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1599637324/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1599637324&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Writer's Markets</a> (both were less than a year old) for under $10, and I've scored other books that normally sell for $15 or $20 for under $5 including free shipping.</p> <h3>2. Houses</h3> <p>I definitely understand the appeal of buying a new construction home. You can design the home to your preference; new homes are typically more energy-efficient; and since everything's new, you don't have to worry about costly maintenance for at least a few years. However, there's a cost to buying new. According to real estate website Trulia, <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-the-higher-cost-of-a-new-house-may-be-worth-it-2014-05-06">new homes costs approximately 20% more than preowned homes</a>. If you're contemplating a new construction home with a price tag of $250,000, you can potentially save $50,000 by purchasing an older property with similar square footage and layout.</p> <h3>3. Cars</h3> <p>Sure, some cars hold their value better than others. But for the most part, new cars depreciate the moment they're driven off the lot. &quot;Drive a new car off the lot and it can lose 20% of its value,&quot; says Edmunds.com. And if this isn't bad enough, <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/finance/auto/5-smart-reasons-for-buying-a-used-car-2.aspx">most cars lose another 10% in value during the first year</a>. Since depreciation slows down after a car's second year, buying a car that's two or three years old is often a better buy than a brand new model.</p> <h3>4. Jewelry</h3> <p>Diamonds and other precious stones and metals are durable and can last for decades. Therefore, it doesn't make sense to spend thousands on brand new jewelry when you can buy used for less, especially since the <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/finance/personal-finance/bring-your-bling-to-a-gold-party-1.aspx">average retail markup for jewelry is 300%</a>. You're better off going to a pawn shop or another reputable secondhand jewelry retailer.</p> <h3>5. Timeshares</h3> <p>I've sat through a fair share of timeshare presentations, primarily to get free or discount tickets to Disney World and other attractions while vacationing. I've learned two things from these presentations. First, timeshares are crazy expensive. And secondly, you can save money with a resale.</p> <p>A company tried to sell us a timeshare for $20,000, and just as we were about to walk away, the salesperson said, &quot;What if we could get you a foreclosure for $12,000?&quot; It was an $8,000 break for buying a timeshare that was two years old. We didn't purchase, but if I'm ever in the market, resale is the way to go.</p> <h2>Worst Things to Buy Used</h2> <p>If you're ever tempted to buy any of this stuff used, just walk away.</p> <h3>1. Cribs and Car Seats</h3> <p>Baby supplies are expensive, and if you stumble upon a few finds at a yard sale or thrift store, you might jump at the chance to save money. But while baby clothes and toys are excellent items to buy used, you shouldn't buy car seats or cribs used. Car seats are only meant for one accident, and when you buy used, there's no way to know whether the car seat has been involved in an accident or damaged. You should also pass on used cribs. Between recalls and changing crib safety standards, you may unknowingly buy a crib that isn't safe for your precious one.</p> <p>For example, in June 2011, new standards set by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission <a href="http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/28/dangerous-drop-side-cribs-no-longer-for-sale/">no longer allowed the manufacturing or selling of drop side cribs</a> in retail stores, yet you might find these cribs at yard sales or second hand stores. The detaching rails have been &quot;associated with at least 32 infant deaths since 2000.&quot;</p> <h3>2. Mattresses</h3> <p>I'm always amazed by the number of people I see picking up used mattresses on the street corner. Between the risk of a bed bug infestation, dust mites, and bacteria, a mattress is something that you should always buy new.</p> <h3>3. Shoes</h3> <p>There are two reasons why you shouldn't buy used shoes. Putting your feet in someone else's shoes can expose you to fungus, which can cause athlete's foot and toenail infections. Since shoes quickly mold to the owner's feet, buying a used pair may not result in the best fit, and this can cause more pain than comfort. Also, wearing improper fitting footwear can trigger problems with the heels, toes, and joints of the feet, which may require costly medical attention.</p> <h3>4. Electronics</h3> <p>I know people who only buy used electronics, such as laptops, televisions, and tablets. To each his own. You might get a device at an incredible price, but there's a chance that the previous owner didn't take care of the item. Between drops and spills, you could end up replacing the item sooner than anticipated or spending money to fix the device. If you buy used, purchase refurbished items through the manufacturer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-secret-to-buying-electronics-for-cheap?ref=seealso">This Is the Secret to Buying Electronics for Cheap</a>)</p> <h3>5. Used Makeup</h3> <p>Yes, people do sell used make-up. I've witnessed this firsthand at yard sales and estate sales. But regardless of how new or clean makeup appears, or whether the seller &quot;only&quot; applied the item once, lipstick, foundation, eyeliner, eyeshadow, and other beauty products harbor bacteria. Don't put someone else's germs on your face.</p> <h3>6. Swimwear and Underwear</h3> <p>You'd think this was a no-brainer. But given that there's an entire section at Goodwill dedicated to used undergarments and swimwear, someone's buying these items. It doesn't matter whether you wash these garments in hot water, you don't want an item worn close to someone's personal areas to touch you. It's safer to buy new.</p> <p><em>Do you have other items to suggest that are better to buy new or used? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-used">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-why-used-is-better">6 Reasons Why Used Is Better</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-isnt-always-better-12-used-things-to-love">New Isn&#039;t Always Better: 12 Used Things to Love</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-stuff-i-try-never-to-buy-new">The stuff I try never to buy new</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-should-always-buy-used">8 Things You Should Always Buy Used</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-sample-sales">What You Need to Know About Sample Sales</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bargains buying used Thrift shopping used Wed, 13 Aug 2014 17:00:22 +0000 Mikey Rox 1183442 at http://www.wisebread.com How I Saved $30,000 and Helped the Earth at the Same Time http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/environmental-superhero-470863339-small.jpg" alt="environmental superhero" title="environmental superhero" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="194" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Over seven years ago, I joined <a href="http://sfcompact.blogspot.com/2006/01/new-years-resolution.html">The Compact</a>&nbsp;out of <a href="http://www.myromanapartment.com/march-madness-compact-free-stuff-edition/">green guilt</a> (and because everything I do in my life has to be a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-compact-mindfullness-and-frugality-through-buying-used">dare</a>).</p> <p>In brief, The Compact is an environmental movement that challenges members to step away from the consumer grid and take as few <em>new</em> resources out of the planet as possible for one calendar year. Compactors pledge to buy only used goods for twelve months, with obvious exceptions for things like food and health care products.</p> <p>I've stayed with The Compact for longer than one year because, in addition to allowing me to live closer to my environmental values, it's also a super fun challenge.</p> <p>As it turns out, The Compact is also a massive money saver.</p> <p>This week's horrible personal project is purging the filing cabinet. I have gone through all sorts of boring paperwork, fiddling with old receipts. Along the way, I've also been doing a little math (always a dangerous thing for me) and discovered that my effort to save the planet has saved me at least $30,000. $30,000! That savings is spread over 7.5 years, but still. $30,000! And that's a conservative estimate.</p> <p>Here are 22 ways I saved at least $30,000 while also saving the planet.</p> <h2>1. I Make Every Effort to Buy Only Used Goods</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/yard-sale-83590593-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Since I happen to like vintage clothes, old houses, and classic cars, only buying used goods is hardly deprivation &mdash; it's my aesthetic. That said, about once a year, I'll get dinged financially for buying used. For example, I could have bought a new, cheap pair of boots for less than the price I paid to resole my old ones. However, for most purchases, buying used is far cheaper than buying new.</p> <h2>2. I Spend Consciously</h2> <p>I can no longer shop without intention. When I buy something, I don't just think about how I will use that item, but how I will eventually dispose of it. This extra environmental awareness saves me a lot of money, because I can't unlearn my good shopping habits and go back to the days of mindless spending. The extra bit of inconvenience sourcing used versions of everything I want also gives me time to consider how badly I need something. Is it something I really need or can I get by with something I already own?</p> <h2>3. I Shrank My Living Space</h2> <p>One of the fastest ways I shrank my carbon footprint was to share my house with other people. When I lived alone in my 1000 square foot house, I took up all 1000 square feet. I also paid for the entire mortgage. While living alone was something I considered an adult achievement, having roommates, renting my house out as a B&amp;B, and ultimately moving in with my husband have all saved me money and helped lighten the load on the planet.</p> <h2>4. I Cut My Car Use to Under 5000 Miles a Year</h2> <p>To a lot of city folk I know, this doesn't sound impressive. But in Los Angeles, a gigantic metropolis, with iffy public transit, this is a huge challenge. My rule? If the destination is less than three miles from my house on surface streets, I have to walk or bike instead of getting in the car. In addition to cutting my gas costs by more than half, I also saved money on tire replacement, car servicing, and insurance. Also, because I now walk anywhere from three to 10 miles daily, I was able to cut my $40 a month gym membership.</p> <h2>5. I Bought a Used Car</h2> <p>As much as I'd love a gas-sipping Prius, the resource cost of creating a new car is much greater than the resources I will use to drive and keep up the 1989 Volvo station wagon my husband and I just bought from a friend for $3500. It's hard to see on the surface, but an old gas-guzzler, driven less often, can be lighter on the planet than the creation of a brand new car. Also, to quote my mechanic, &quot;You cannot buy a new car of this quality for $3500.&quot;</p> <p>I should note, too, that my parent's first generation Prius just died after 200,000 miles, and there is no way repair the hybrid engine. 200,000 miles on a Volvo 240 is nothing. Our other car is a Volvo 240 sedan that is still rolling strong after almost 400,000 miles of driving.</p> <h2>6. I Realized That Car Preservation Was Smarter Than Car Repair</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/car-polish-78751334-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>My husband's Polish relatives drive &quot;The Machine,&quot; the name they gave to their Iron Curtain-era compact automobile because it is so lacking in amenities. The Machine is in its 4th decade but still running smoothly because the family treats the car like it's the only car they will ever own. (And it is.) They do everything from driving the speed limit to regularly washing The Machine (to maintain its original 1970's paint job) to ensure that they put as little wear and tear on the car as possible. It's preventative medicine for automobiles.</p> <p>I used to drive, everywhere, like the cops where chasing me. Now I drive like an old lady. It's annoying to my speed-demon friends, but it saves wear and tear on my car and gives me superior gas mileage.</p> <h2>7. I Pay Attention to My Tire Pressure</h2> <p>The average driver who drives 12,000 miles a year on under-inflated tires uses an extra 144 gallons of gas and adds an additional 2880 pounds of green house gases to the environment annually!</p> <p>Properly inflating my tires saves me about $240 a year in gasoline costs, but it also extends the life of my tires. Under-inflation causes more rolling resistance, which adds substantially more wear and tear to the tires. This is also a safety hazard. A badly timed blow-out can kill.</p> <h2>8. I Became a Black Belt Composter</h2> <p>Dirty cardboard food containers cannot be recycled. However, the greasy pizza box, the butter wrappers, the take-out containers, and the wax paper from the cheese can all be put into the compost as the &quot;brown&quot; ingredient. In addition to dramatically cutting down on food related trash, the resulting light and fluffy compost is the perfect amendment for my clay garden soil, adding both nutrients and friability. Better soil equals a more productive garden. Beyond the food savings of a victory garden, using my homemade compost has saved me several hundred dollars in fertilizer and soil amendment costs.</p> <h2>9. I Mulched The Yard</h2> <p>California is in the middle of a severe drought. As a result, our water bill is sky high. To suppress weeds and keep our garden soil moist, I first laid down a layer of &quot;liquor store mulch,&quot; aka flattened cardboard boxes procured for free from my corner liquor store. For the delivery cost of $30, the stables at my local racetrack were more than happy to supply me with an entire truckload of wood chips and horse poop as a garden topcoat. Not only did this organic buffer cut the amount of water used in the garden by 50%, three years later we are still enjoying the results. The cardboard and topcoat have composted down to rich topsoil, and we have 90% fewer weeds.</p> <h2>10. I Got Hardcore About Wastewater</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/bucket-water-187371073-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Because fresh water is becoming scarcer and more expensive with each passing year, I am constantly on the hunt for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-save-water">more ways to save water</a>. One major component of this is recycling my waste water. Sadly, my home and yard is poorly configured to use the gray water from my washing machine. That said, I've gotten into the habit of cleaning my floors and my car with buckets of leftover bathwater, and watering my ornamental plants with leftover dishwater.</p> <h2>11. I Started Using Homemade Cleansers</h2> <p>Reusing my gray water got me thinking about how I clean my house. If a cleanser was too poisonous to pour into my garden, isn't it also too poisonous to pour down the drain leading to the ocean? Cleaning with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-awesomeness-of-sodium-bicarbonate-27-uses-for-baking-soda">baking soda</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-household-products-vinegar-can-replace">white vinegar</a>, or removing the soap scum out of my bathtub with table salt and a grapefruit rind, is not only less toxic than any of the commercial cleansers, it is also far cheaper. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners?ref=seealso">How to Clean Everything With Just 3 All-Natural Cleaners</a>)</p> <h2>12. I Bought a Small (Used) Refrigerator</h2> <p>Every new home now seems to feature double wide, French door refrigerators. Unless you have a gigantic family, it is impossible to eat through 20+ cubic feet of food before it goes bad. This leads to poor shopping and eating habits.</p> <p>When <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-refrigerators">shopping for a refrigerator</a>, read the fine print on the energy usage. There are many smaller refrigerators that don't get an Energy Star rating but use less energy than the bigger refrigerators that do.</p> <p>Also, refrigerators and freezers run more efficiently when they are full rather than empty. Why pay extra to cool unused space? Consider ignoring the signage inside the fridge and arrange your food in the most space-saving way (like using the crisper drawer for canned drinks instead of vegetables), using every nook and cranny. My small refrigerator enforces smart shopping habits and saves me money on my energy bill all year long. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-fridge-last-almost-forever-with-these-8-tips?ref=seealso">8 Ways to Make Your Fridge Last Forever</a>)</p> <h2>13. I Exorcised the Phantom Load and the Vampire Draw From My Home</h2> <p>Here's a terrible secret: Many modern appliances <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hands-in-your-pocket-the-cost-of-standby-power-environmental-and-otherwise">leak energy</a> even when they are turned off. The Dust Buster, the phone charger, the video game console&hellip;I love them, but they were sucking up $20 a month in electricity while I slept. Those little monsters. To combat phantom load, I plugged my entertainment system into a power strip and then I put the power strip on a timer. From 2 a.m. to 8 a.m., the TV, the DVD player, and the game consoles get switched off automatically at the plug. All other small electronics are unplugged manually and religiously when they are not in use.</p> <h2>14. I Became a Beekeeper</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/beekeeper-178850019-small.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Beekeeping, unlike gardening, takes up very little space. I know over a hundred yard-less, urban beekeepers who keep bees on their tiny balconies, on the rooftops of their office buildings, or at community gardens. Honeybees increase the yield of gardens by 30% to 60%. This dramatic increase in productivity is an obvious money saver for the home gardener. More produce for less work!</p> <p>Since bees are in decline all over the world, giving a safe home to pollinators is good for the planet. My new skill set also gave me two more revenue streams: selling honey and doing live bee removal from public buildings and peoples' private homes. Keeping bees is a fascinating hobby job, and I learn something new about beekeeping every day. That said, the youngest member of my local bee club is five years old and the oldest is 96. It's an activity that people of all ages can learn and enjoy.</p> <h2>15. I Learned How to Preserve Food</h2> <p>Canning is the new knitting. And, as with knitting, canning is a fake frugal activity if you are paying retail for your supplies. Canning really only saves money if you are preserving <em>surplus</em> produce. Even though I have my own garden, I have yet to grow enough food that I can't eat it all myself.</p> <p>When I learned to can, instead of buying fruit for jam at the store, I put a want ad on my local <a href="https://www.freecycle.org/">Freecycle</a> group for surplus fruit. I got an insane response from my neighbors. The first year, I collected over 2000 pounds of free fruit. In exchange for gleaning privileges, I give my fruit-donating neighbors a jar of every new batch of preserves. My neighbors love being members of my Jam of the Month Club, and I've met so many new friends this way.</p> <p>Because I have access to so much free produce, I've started canning the surplus to sell and barter. I trade my jam with my neighbor for eggs and fresh poultry. I also make several hundred dollars a year selling my preserves at local craft fairs.</p> <p>Beyond my own grocery savings, making homemade preserves has saved me hundreds of dollars on gift purchases. People make birthday jam requests now!</p> <p>After the ingredients, the next most expensive aspect of canning is the jars. New jelly jars cost $1 each. I accidentally fell into a free source of canning jars last year when my friends got married. Apparently, the new trend in frugal summer weddings is to use eight-ounce jelly jars instead of buying or renting glassware for the wedding. After the wedding party, my friends offered to give me the dirty jars for free. For the cost of elbow grease I got 340 jars with new, unused lids, my friends had one less thing to deal with after the wedding, and the reusable jars stayed out of the waste stream for that much longer.</p> <p>It's old-fashioned etiquette to return jars to the cook when you finish eating the jam. My customers actually love this green aspect of my business, and I get about a 30% return rate of jars every year.</p> <h2>16. I Decided to Take Bottle and Can Recycling Seriously</h2> <p>Los Angeles has the largest recycling program in the country. I used to just throw my bottles and cans into the recycling bin without another thought. It's so easy. But then I realized that my laziness was costing me about $300 a year in easy money!</p> <p>While recycling for money versus letting the city recycle for money had a net impact of zero on the environment, the time spent dropping off bottles and cans at the recycling center myself pays for one entire month of water and power. For me, this is a huge deal.</p> <h2>17. I Became a Hard Core Trash Picker</h2> <p>Last week I made $120 at a garage sale. Most of the merchandise I'd found on the curb while walking through the neighborhood on trash day. I kept fifty items out of the waste stream for a little longer by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-dumpster-diving-to-garage-sales-turning-trash-into-cash">literally selling garbage</a> back to my neighbors.</p> <h2>18. I Moved The Cats Indoors</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/kitten-482462371.jpg" alt="" /></p> <p>Our two cats used to be indoor/outdoor cats. Although the cats loved the freedom, the injuries that they sustained from running around outside were costing upwards of $800 a pop at the vet.</p> <p>The most obvious way to save on medical costs and medical waste is to stay in good health. Veterinary waste might be smaller than human medical waste, but just like at the people version of ER, very few medical supplies at an animal hospital can be recycled or reused legally. All the tubes, syringes, and medications are single use items, and even washable equipment uses a lot of resources to keep clean.</p> <p>Although the cats still lurk by the door, hoping they can sneak outside without me noticing, I am resolute in my decision to keep them indoors. The <a href="http://www.cat-world.com.au/indoor-vs-outdoor-cats">average lifespan</a> of an indoor cat is 12 years, while outside cats often live less than five.</p> <h2>19. I Split the Cost of Tools With My Friends</h2> <p>I share a china pattern with my brother-in-law. I share a weed whacker with my friend Laura. I share luggage with my sister. I share a Cuisinart with my neighbor Alexandra. Why do I need to buy and store an entire set of tools that aren't in constant, daily use when I can split the cost and the storage space with other people?</p> <h2>20. I Stopped Eating Meat During the Week</h2> <p>Eating a vegetarian diet is an easy way to live light on the planet and light on my body. My husband and I eat meat twice a week, usually when we are dining out with friends. Eating meat is now an event for us, which is how it was for humankind for most of history. Monday through Friday we eat vegetarian meals. Cutting out meat during the week has allowed us to spend more money on organic produce and dry goods. As part-time vegetarians, we actually eat better quality food, and still have money left over to eat dinner at a restaurant twice a week.</p> <h2>21. I Reuse Paper Before I Recycle</h2> <p>American businesses throw away 175 pounds of paper per worker per year. Even though I run my business from my home, it would take me over a decade to use that amount of paper as I make an effort to use both sides of every sheet of paper that crosses my desk.</p> <p>In addition to making double-sided printing the default setting on my printer, I save myself a lot of hassle and misprinted documents by carefully labeling my printer, so I know exactly how to insert paper, envelopes, and labels for perfect print outs every time.</p> <p>I never use virgin paper as scratch paper.</p> <p>I can get two extra uses out of used envelopes! First, I like to write grocery lists on the back of used envelopes. That way I can store my coupons inside for easy access while I'm shopping. Once both sides of an envelope are used, I carefully pull apart the envelope and refold it inside out for reuse a third, or even fourth time! A little glue stick is all that's needed to glue everything back together.</p> <h2>22. I Use Second Hand Packing Material</h2> <p>I sell a lot of vintage goods on Etsy and a lot of books on <a href="http://www.half.ebay.com/">half.com</a>. I get all of my padded envelopes for shipping books and records from my local college radio station. College radio stations, with their eclectic music programming, receive hundreds of CDs and records from musicians and record labels for play on air every month. If you don't have this type of radio station in your area, think of what local businesses might receive a lot of packing material they aren't reusing. It never hurts to ask.</p> <p>My go-to source for small, heavy-duty boxes is my local hardware store. Hardware stores have a huge variety of boxes of all shapes and sizes because their merchandise selection is so broad. Every day, the owner of my local mom-and-pop hardware store puts all the unwanted cardboard boxes next to the dumpster in their back parking lot. The hardware store pays less for trash pickup, and my neighbors and I get the pick of free storage and shipping containers.</p> <p>Has anyone else had this sticker shock, but in a good way?</p> <p><em>What do-gooder things for the environment did you do that ended up saving you a lot of money? Please share in comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-30000-and-helped-the-earth-at-the-same-time">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dumpster-diving-101-6-strategies-for-success">Dumpster-Diving 101: 6 Strategies for Success</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-recycling-is-my-lowest-priority">Why Recycling Is My Lowest Priority</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-cut-down-on-garbage-and-save-money-too">12 Ways to Cut Down on Garbage and Save Money Too!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Lifestyle buying used recycling reuse saving upcycling Tue, 03 Jun 2014 15:43:34 +0000 Max Wong 1141613 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Things to Look for Every Time You Visit a Thrift Store http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-look-for-every-time-you-visit-a-thrift-store <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-to-look-for-every-time-you-visit-a-thrift-store" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/1129111826_290b78e931_z.jpg" alt="woman in thrift store" title="woman in thrift store" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My friend Katie and I have lots of things in common, including our love of thrift stores.</p> <p>When we were in high school, we often drove to a shady part of town to get our fix of all things thrifty. My love for thrift stores run so deep, in fact, that when I was on vacation in Atlanta for my birthday recently, I went thrift shopping. My husband is definitely not into this pastime, so I left him at the hotel and enjoyed several incredible hours browsing through racks and racks of somebody else&rsquo;s old stuff. It really is the little things, y&rsquo;all.</p> <p>You never know what you&rsquo;ll find during your treasure hunt, but here are 10 things you should always be on the lookout for at a thrift store. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/to-buy-or-not-to-buy-criteria-for-thrift-store-clothes-shopping">To Buy or Not to Buy?&nbsp;Criteria for Thrift-Store Clothes Shopping</a>)</p> <h2>1. T-shirts</h2> <p>T-shirts are a dime a dozen &mdash; you can buy them almost anywhere you shop &mdash; but new tees are not in the same league as thrift-store T-shirts. For starters, a thrift-store T-shirt is well-worn and lived in (I understand that is off-putting to some people, but that&rsquo;s why detergent was invented), which is exactly how a tee should be. Second, the sizes are truer than today&rsquo;s sizes; I wear a small, and it&rsquo;s hard to find a new, small shirt that fits well both in length and width. Vintage tees, however, are always the right fit. Then, of course, there&rsquo;s the selection. When I buy a T-shirt from a thrift shop, I&rsquo;m almost guaranteed that I&rsquo;ll never run into anyone else who has the same tee. That can&rsquo;t be said for the tees I buy from the major retailers from which I buy new T-shirts &mdash; and I hate seeing someone else in MY clothes.</p> <h2>2. Pants</h2> <p>You can buy thrift-store pants to wear as pants, but I buy thrift-store pants to turn into shorts. The selection of pants at a thrift store is usually full of funky prints and styles, which work much better as fun summertime shorts. I often just cut them off, but sometimes I have them hemmed so they look good as new. It never fails that someone asks me where I got them because they like them so much. Total win.</p> <h2>3. Furniture</h2> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to tell me that the furniture at thrift shops isn&rsquo;t generally the kind of furniture you would put in your home. Because I wouldn&rsquo;t either &mdash; at least not in its original condition. But with a bit of creativity, the most mundane thrift-store furniture can be repurposed and turned into coveted conversation pieces. For a few ideas on what you can make out of everyday furniture that you might find at a thrift store, check out this <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/274800/repurposed-furniture-and-decor/@center/277003/home-smarts#/265469">article on repurposed furniture and décor from Martha Stewart</a>.</p> <h2>4. Books</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re an avid reader or a collector, a thrift store is an excellent place to find your next great adventure. These vintage books make great gifts or cheap alternatives to new novels when you&rsquo;re traveling or heading to the beach. You never know when you&rsquo;ll find that diamond in the rough, either; you could stumble upon a first edition that might be worth a pretty penny. Make a habit out of looking inside the cover to discover the print date.</p> <h2>5. Dishware</h2> <p>I like cool, quirky drinking glasses. I once bought an entire set of Archie comics juice glasses from a thrift shop that always seem to put a smile on people&rsquo;s faces when I serve breakfast at my house. And just the other day, I found a few Garfield glass mugs from a McDonald&rsquo;s promotion in the 90s that I just had to have. Sadly &mdash; and this is one of the downsides to thrift shops &mdash; the collection wasn&rsquo;t complete, so I had to leave empty handed. If I reeeally wanted the glasses, though, I could have scooped up the three that were there and then searched for the missing glass on eBay. Alas, that little angel on my shoulder that often whispers in my ear that I &ldquo;do not need this&rdquo; was working overtime that day.</p> <h2>6. Silver</h2> <p>Yes, silver &mdash; real silver. Not every sorter can tell the difference between stainless dinnerware and the genuine stuff, which means that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-silver-naturally">real silver</a> can sometimes land on thrift-store shelves. You may not have any use for a single spoon or fork, mind you, but don&rsquo;t discount that silver is worth the same price no matter what shape it takes.</p> <h2>7. Artwork</h2> <p>Artwork is another item where you can win big. Even if the piece doesn&rsquo;t have any true monetary value, it&rsquo;s worth something if you like it. So are frames, by the way. Look past that hideous velvet painting, and you might find just that awesome picture frame you&rsquo;ve been searching for.</p> <h2>8. Home Décor</h2> <p>I&rsquo;m in the process of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-remodel-your-bedroom-without-demolishing-a-thing">redesigning my bedroom</a>, and I was on the prowl for two cool lamps. I didn&rsquo;t find any that struck my fancy at a thrift shop (mostly because I couldn&rsquo;t find a pair), but it was still the first place I looked. Lamps are great finds at thrift shops because if you like the base, you can totally change the rest of it to create a whole new look. Vases are another great home décor item to look for at the thrift shop. Every one I own was previously owned by someone else.</p> <h2>9. Vinyl Records</h2> <p>Whether you&rsquo;re looking for nostalgia or that overlooked record that could be worth a decent amount in an online auction, you should take a few minutes to flip through the box of vinyls. And if you find an original copy of Michael Jackson&rsquo;s &quot;Thriller,&rdquo; I will gladly accept it as a gift.&nbsp;</p> <h2>10. Accessories</h2> <p>My favorite vintage belt came from a thrift shop &mdash; I&rsquo;ve had it for nearly 10 years, and I&rsquo;m going to cry when it breaks (which may be soon). But my search for accessories doesn&rsquo;t stop there. In particular, I like looking for old political buttons and random jewelry. Speaking of jewelry, the next time <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-ways-to-celebrate-mothers-day">Mother&rsquo;s Day</a> rolls around, instead of going to the expensive jeweler, stop by the thrift store first. Trust when I tell you that you never know what you&rsquo;ll find. If you stumble on a really great piece, not only will you save a lot of money, but you&rsquo;ll give your mama a gift with character and thought. In my opinion, that&rsquo;s better than any mass-produced, high-end item any day.</p> <p><em>What do you look for when you go thrift shopping? Any amazing finds you want to share? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-look-for-every-time-you-visit-a-thrift-store">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-save-on-a-wedding-dress">7 Smart Ways to Save on a Wedding Dress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-goodwill-the-different-types-of-thrift-stores">Beyond Goodwill: The Different Types of Thrift Stores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-household-items-that-are-better-second-hand">7 Household Items That Are Better Second-Hand</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-25-best-things-to-buy-on-craigslist">The 25 Best Things to Buy on Craigslist</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-used">10 Things You Should Never Buy Used</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying used cheap clothes thrift stores Fri, 08 Jun 2012 10:36:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 933910 at http://www.wisebread.com 18 Ways to Make Old Things Seem New http://www.wisebread.com/18-ways-to-make-old-things-seem-new <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/18-ways-to-make-old-things-seem-new" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3841316451_4f7780e92c_z.jpg" alt="woman on vintage sofa" title="woman on vintage sofa" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're pretty accustomed to an economy that encourages us to buy, use, and dispose of things. Furniture, clothing, electronics &mdash; nothing really seems to LAST anymore, does it?</p> <p>Well, let's say that you have something you really like &mdash; maybe an heirloom armoire or a pair of shoes or an old Datsun, and you WANT that thing to last. There's nothing wrong with that. You just need to be schooled in the art of repair. Here are 18 ways to make old stuff feel like new. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-disposable-products-you-can-reuse">21 Disposable Products You&nbsp;Can Reuse</a>)</p> <h2>1. Clean It</h2> <p>Well, this one seems perfectly obvious, doesn't it? From patios to cars to clothing, a good deep cleaning can make almost any old thing seem new again. Have you ever power-washed a driveway? There is nothing more Zen that that. Oh, sure, it's kind of a waste of water, but seeing that perfectly new, shiny concrete staring back at you? Bliss.</p> <p>I recently dropped my wedding ring into a little jar of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Connoisseurs-Jewelry-Cleaner-Revitalizing-oz/dp/B000QA2IHC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1333047527&amp;sr=8-2">jewelry cleaner</a>, waited the required 30 seconds, then cleaned it with a little brush and let it dry. I was absolutely amazed at how beautiful it looked. Before the cleaning, my ring was looking dull, and I was even struggling to remember why I wanted it in the first place. Now, it's brilliantly shiny and looks as good as new.</p> <p>A good deep-cleaning of your car can probably make it feel less junky, too &mdash; if you need the carpets cleaned, you can outsource that, but do the other detailing yourself. It's not hard to get those vents clean with some Q-Tips and a little Windex.</p> <h2>2. Polish It</h2> <p>Polishing is such a great way to make old things look new &mdash; probably the easiest, actually. Some Murphy's oil soap will make an old oak table gleam like new. Have a pair of lace-up Oxfords that have seen better days? Learn <a href="http://artofmanliness.com/2008/07/29/how-to-get-the-best-shoe-shine/">how to polish your shoes</a>, a long-lost art that even my dad finally stopped doing sometime in 2002.</p> <p>Waxing and polishing a car, even one whose paint job has seen better days, can make you feel better about driving that old Mazda to work every day. My mom seems to enjoy <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/dusting-polishing/polish-silver-00000000002298/index.html">polishing silver</a>, which I guess can be a form of meditation.</p> <p>Not everything that acquires a patina of age has to be polished &mdash; maybe you LIKE your silver to look tarnished, and that's perfectly fine.</p> <h2>3. Paint It</h2> <p>A fresh coat of paint can make almost anything seem new and exciting. Whether you're <a href="http://www.designsponge.com/2012/03/before-after-refinished-dresser-card-catalog.html">sprucing up old furniture</a>, <a href="http://theinspiredroom.net/2012/01/05/painting-stripes/">redecorating a room</a>, trying to <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_12030235_decorate-colors-brighten-hallway.html">brighten a hallway</a>, or improving the appearance of a <a href="http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/how-to-paint-a-concrete-floor/index.html">stained concrete floor</a>, paint is your friend. Although this isn't something I would recommend as a DIY, sometimes paying to have your car repainted can make an old clunker feel like something a bit more special.</p> <h2>4. Oil It</h2> <p>You know how the little annoyances in life can really add up and <a href="http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/05/sneaky-hate-spiral.html">make you hate stuff?</a> One of the things that drives me bonkers is a squeaky door. It's nothing a little WD-40 can't handle, but since everyone keeps their WD-40 in the garage, how often do we get around to oiling squeaky hinges, cleaning garden tools and bicycle parts, or removing rust from metal stuff like cars and gates? I've started keeping a can of WD-40 on every floor of my house (there are three stupid floors in my townhouse), so I never have an excuse not to oil things that need it.</p> <h2>5. Re-cover It</h2> <p>Sometimes you don't really need a new couch, you just need a new cover for the couch. While removable covers are easy to wash, they don't always fit well and tend to wrinkle. Maybe you have a love seat that you adore, but it's old and faded. If the bones are still good, why not just give it a facelift with some new fabric?</p> <p>Reupholstering performed by a professional isn't cheap, but if you have a piece of heirloom furniture that you don't want to part with, it's an excellent option. Or maybe you found some antique stools on Craigslist that have seen better days &mdash; you can probably do a little <a href="http://myeverydayexceptional.blogspot.com/2011/11/diy-recovering-stool.html">DIY reupholstering</a> and not only save money, but have also gain bragging rights.</p> <h2>6. Sand It</h2> <p>Sometimes, before you even get to the painting or the re-staining, old wooden stuff just needs a good sanding. Whether it's a door that you're turning into a table, or a wooden deck that puts splinters into bare feet, or an <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bk3jNLW6LCc">original wood floor</a> that you found under all your old carpets, a good power sander can take old wood from craggy to perfect.</p> <p>If you've never sanded anything before (and don't have a sander), you can rent all the tools that you will need from your local hardware store. Be sure to ask for lots of advice and be very specific about your project. Sanding is somewhere between art and science, but if you have the patience for it, it will make every wood-based project work out better in the end.</p> <h2>7. Mend It</h2> <p>How many of you even know how to sew a basting stitch? Raise your hand if you do. I don't. Well, OK, I have a general idea, because I used to know <a href="http://diyfashion.about.com/od/mendingandalterations/tp/Repair_and_Mend_Clothing.htm">how to sew</a>, but my technique has faltered over the years, and now I'm lucky if I don't end up stabbing myself in the cheek with a needle whenever I break out the ol' sewing kit. But mending small tears in fabric can keep your favorite t-shirt from hitting the rag pile. The sooner you attend to rips and snags, the better your chance of keeping a garment in wearable condition.</p> <h2>8. Repair It</h2> <p>When your favorite watch stops working, do you throw it away? Of course not. You change the battery and/or get it fixed. Most people aren't schooled in the art of watch repair, but there are other less-technical fixes that you can perform yourself. Whether you are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-household-fixes-you-should-stop-paying-others-for">repairing household items</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-car-maintenance-with-these-5-diy-tips">working on your car</a> or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-fix-a-bike-flat">your bike</a>, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/6-reasons-a-website-can-suck-and-how-to-fix-it">redesigning your website</a>, there are a plethora of ways to keep old stuff functioning.</p> <h2>9. Patch It</h2> <p>Sometimes it can be nearly impossible to part with a beloved item of clothing. &quot;But I've had this since college!&quot; you howl to your wife as she attempts to throw away your acid-washed, high-waisted, pleated, tapered jeans that don't fit you anymore anyway. &quot;There's a hole in the butt!&quot; counters your wife, who is a reasonable woman with good taste in clothes and just wants you to look like you didn't step out of a John Hughes film. &quot;I can patch that!&quot; you counter, delighted with your ability to <a href="http://www.ironpatches.co/">apply a stick-on denim patch</a>.</p> <h2>10. Hem It</h2> <p>Hemlines seem to go up and down at random, and while I would never advocate blindly following trends, hemming a pair of pants can be a good way to get more mileage out of clothing that might have seen better days. A few years ago, really long hems were in style, so that women walked around with no visible feet. After a while, such pants lose their bloom, because the long length means that the pant legs become scuffed and dirty from brushing against the ground so often. Such a pair of pants would benefit from a professional or <a href="http://diyfashion.about.com/od/diyfashion101/ss/HemPants.htm">DIY hemming</a> &mdash; have them taken up to a couple of inches above the ankle. It's a good summery look that will be fashionable for at least a few more years to come.</p> <h2>11. Bleach It/Dye It</h2> <p>Have a white shirt that really flatters your waist but is hopelessly marred by a tomato stain? If <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_2305232_bleach-clothes-white.html">bleaching a stained shirt</a> doesn't do the trick, <a href="http://shirt.woot.com/blog/viewentry.aspx?id=4944">try dying your shirt</a> the color of the stain. Tie-dying is a fun way to update old t-shirts, if you enjoy looking like a Grateful Dead fan (or ARE a Grateful Dead fan). You can also use <a href="http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Ombre-Dip-Dye-116422238">dip-dye methods</a> if you like today's ombre styles.</p> <h2>12. Embellish It</h2> <p>You can turn an old headband into a <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/90871710/great-gatsby-goes-green-feather-sequin?ref=sr_gallery_6&amp;ga_search_query=sequin+fascinator&amp;ga_view_type=gallery&amp;ga_ship_to=US&amp;ga_search_type=handmade">fancy-schmancy fascinator</a> using a sequin applique and some hot glue. And bedazzling isn't just for your ladybits anymore &mdash; you can create <a href="http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-miu-miu-jeweled-heels/">snazzy-looking heels</a> or <a href="http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-miu-miu-sneakers-vans-giveaway/">dazzling sneakers</a> with some powerful epoxy and fake jewels. If you have a pair of jeans that you want to take from dull to punk, let me introduce you to studs.</p> <p><iframe width="420" height="315" frameborder="0" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/iAP2LSEdQRY" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><a href="http://youtu.be/iAP2LSEdQRY">Watch video</a></p> <h2>13. Repurpose/Upcycle It</h2> <p>&quot;Upcycling&quot; is a term that gets a fair amount of mockery these days &mdash; it basically involves taking something old, like a sweater, and creating something new out of it, like a teddy bear or a pair of leg warmers. If you spend time on <a href="http://www.etsy.com/search/handmade?search_submit=&amp;q=upcycled&amp;order=most_relevant&amp;ship_to=US&amp;view_type=gallery">Etsy </a>(or <a href="http://www.regretsy.com/?s=upcycled">Regretsy</a>), you'll know that there is almost no stopping the &quot;upcyling&quot; trend, sometimes for the worse. However, <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/274800/repurposed-furniture-and-decor/@center/277003/home-smarts">repurposing old goods</a> can result in some stunning (and useful!) projects. Take this <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/storyteller-by-isabel-quiroga-93022">workspace created from old coffee tables</a>. If you do have a knack for sewing, then you might find your calling in <a href="http://www.treehugger.com/style/seven-smooches-repurposed-clothing-for-kids.html">repurposed kids' clothing</a> or <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/from-the-closet-to-the-couch-w-98922">accessories for the home</a>.</p> <p>The original repurposed project, the <a href="http://www.tshirtquilts.com/">homemade t-shirt quilt</a>, can be outsourced now, so even if you can't sew worth a darn (heh), you can still find a comfy use for your old alma mater sweatshirts.</p> <h2>14. Stain It</h2> <p>My dad is a bit obsessive when it comes to decks. He always builds them himself, and keeps them swept, washed, and perfectly stained. It's an annual event at our household &mdash; the 24 hours or so when we all have to use the front door instead of the back. I'll say this, though &mdash; our deck is well over 25 years old, but still looks great.</p> <p>In a similar spirit, my mom seems to have a gift for renewing old furniture. First, she strips the old varnish off using Jasco or something equally toxic. Next, she fixes any dings or dents with filler. Lastly, she carefully applies one to three new coats of stain, and then a final coat of varnish. <a href="http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/how-to-refinish-furniture.htm">Refinishing old furniture</a> is quite a bit of work, and you need a good, well-ventilated space to do it in, but it can really improve the overall look of your vintage pieces.</p> <h2>15. Accept It</h2> <p>Hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? Sometimes, it's easier to accept that you don't have the skills or the time to actually return your stuff to a minty-new condition, so you either accept that it's old, or you....</p> <h2>16. Sell It/Donate It</h2> <p>After all, someone, somewhere, will have the time and the energy to turn your old apple crates into an <a href="http://www.recyclart.org/2009/03/apple-crates-shelves/">awesome set of media shelves</a>. There's not always virtue in holding on to stuff you don't need or aren't using or are simply tired of. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jettison-the-junk-why-clutter-clouds-your-mind-and-saps-your-energy">Get rid of your junk</a>, and keep the things that really matter.</p> <h2>17. Put a Bird On It</h2> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/0XM3vWJmpfo" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><a href="http://youtu.be/0XM3vWJmpfo">Watch video</a></p> <h2>18. Stick a Plant In It</h2> <p>There are very few objects that you CAN'T use as a <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/15-repurposed-planters-just-ad-142393">planter</a>, it turns out. <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/46959088@N03/4776576877/">Old tea kettle</a>? <a href="http://greenscrafts.blogspot.com/2009/05/ah-that-tin.html">Old tin</a>? <a href="http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf34031043.tip.html">Pink toilet</a>? <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_10075912_wooden-homemade-cowboy-boot-flower-planter.html">Cowboy boots</a>? <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5888327/repurpose-a-wooden-wine-crate-into-a-planter">Wine crate</a>? You can plant anything in these and get away with it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-ways-to-make-old-things-seem-new">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-uses-for-old-ties">10 Great Uses for Old Ties</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-by-rekindling-the-art-of-reusing-your-stuff">Save Money by Rekindling the Art of Reusing your Stuff</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-cheap-and-awesome-reusable-replacements-for-disposable-products">17 Cheap and Awesome Reusable Replacements for Disposable Products</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-unique-ways-to-use-school-supplies">12 Unique Ways to Use School Supplies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home Style buying used recycle repairs reuse Tue, 10 Apr 2012 10:24:07 +0000 Andrea Karim 876943 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Quirky Ways to Spend Less and Kick-Start Saving http://www.wisebread.com/4-quirky-ways-to-spend-less-and-kick-start-saving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-quirky-ways-to-spend-less-and-kick-start-saving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6709439335_04bc5a04f8_z.jpg" alt="man in mid jump" title="man in mid jump" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Starting a savings plan can be fraught with stress and anxiety. People worry about not saving enough, not being consistent, giving in to spending temptations, and not knowing how to invest what they save. The whole enterprise is enough to leave some people stuck in a chronic state of analysis paralysis.</p> <p>For beginners, the best approach is to make saving less work and more experimental. Dip your toes in the water by trying some unorthodox methods of spending less and saving more money. Granted, these ideas might not fully fund that retirement plan or turn your job into just a 9-5 hobby, but they might make saving more fun and pave the way to more serious strategies. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-add-50-to-your-pocket">5&nbsp;Easy Ways to Add $50 to&nbsp;Your&nbsp;Pocket</a>)</p> <h3>1. Choose a Denomination</h3> <p>How many quarters pass through our fingers in a year? How many five dollar bills do we touch in a lifetime? What if we decided to eliminate one denomination of currency from our consumer lives and made a silent promise to never spend it? Experiment with how this would work for quarters (no more quarters for vending machines; no more quarters for parking meters; only the nickel slots in Vegas, etc). Save &lsquo;em all in a big Mason jar and count how much money you accumulate each month. Or, go big &mdash; make fives your target. Over time, those Lincolns would surely become synonymous with saving, and pocketing them would become second nature.</p> <h3>2. Impose a Spending Moratorium</h3> <p>I have enough shirts for two men. I have shirts for every season and nearly every occasion. I could, without a moment&rsquo;s discomfort, choose to not buy another shirt for two or three years. Try it yourself &mdash; choose a category of spending and take a month off (or a quarter&hellip;or a year). How much could you save if you abandoned an entire category of spending like footwear or movies at the theater?</p> <h3>3. Decide to Buy Used</h3> <p>Similarly, consider creating or expanding entire categories of things you buy used. Buying second-hand shoes, for example, can sometimes creep people out. But choosing lightly worn, well-cared-for, and clean used shoes can be a real money saver. Try it; you might like the fit. Or consider sourcing eBay, Amazon, your local <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/to-buy-or-not-to-buy-criteria-for-thrift-store-clothes-shopping">thrift store</a>, or garage sales for books (the old printed kind) and make the $14.99 new ones a thing of the past. As you score more great deals, expand your categories, and save more.</p> <h3>4. Create Spending Limits for Common Items</h3> <p>We all have certain financial boundaries or thresholds we typically don&rsquo;t cross. I&rsquo;m out of my comfort zone if I pay more than $6,000 for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/guide-to-buying-a-used-car-without-going-crazy">used car</a>, and I get a little shaky if my share of a dinner out exceeds the $15 mark. But how much could we save (and how relatively painless would it be?) if we created hard-and-fast spending limits for things we buy every day? Impose a Monday through Friday lunch limit of $3.50. Decide to never pay more than $20 for a pair of jeans. How much more could we sock away if we adjusted those limits downward every six months? Create a few spending limits and experiment with the lower end of your thresholds. Throttle back.</p> <p>Deciding to spend less and save more doesn&rsquo;t have to be stressful, and you don&rsquo;t have to do it perfectly. Success lies in dedication to the experiment &mdash; seeing what methods work for you, finding out what your spending triggers are, and deciding the best way to turn a few quirky ideas into a full-fledged savings strategy that fits your personality.</p> <p><em>What novel ideas have you had about ways to spend less? Have any of your friends ever responded with &ldquo;You do what?!&rdquo; when they hear about your latest savings strategy?&nbsp;</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-quirky-ways-to-spend-less-and-kick-start-saving">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-by-avoiding-multiple-bank-accounts">Save More by Avoiding Multiple Bank Accounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/score-240-a-year-doing-this-one-thing">Score $240 a Year Doing This One Thing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discover-bank-review-you-know-the-card-but-what-about-the-bank">Discover Bank Review: You Know the Card, but What About the Bank?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-signs-its-time-to-find-a-new-bank">5 Signs It&#039;s Time to Find a New Bank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-your-savings-account-may-be-costing-you">8 Ways Your Savings Account May Be Costing You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Budgeting buying used savings accounts ways to spend less Mon, 26 Mar 2012 09:48:30 +0000 Kentin Waits 913173 at http://www.wisebread.com The 25 Best Things to Buy on Craigslist http://www.wisebread.com/the-25-best-things-to-buy-on-craigslist <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-25-best-things-to-buy-on-craigslist" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/reading_books.jpg" alt="Man reading books" title="Man reading books" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="149" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Craigslist continues to be one of the go-to places for people to buy and sell used (and sometimes brand-new) goods. Not only is it simple and free to use (thanks, Craigslist, for staying true to your word) but it also has a vast reach, with sites across the United States and the rest of the world. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-deal-every-time-you-shop-with-these-tools">Get a Deal Every Time You Shop With These Tools</a>)</p> <p>There are plenty of articles out there about what to avoid on Craigslist. (The big ones are used infant seats, cell phones, and high-end electronic goods.) But there aren&rsquo;t nearly as many articles about what you <em>should</em> go to Craigslist for. Well, here (in no particular order) are the 25 best things to buy off Craigslist. You may agree, disagree, or want to add to the list. By all means, use the comments box as a way to inform our other Wise Bread readers.</p> <h2>1. Exercise Equipment</h2> <p>Why? Quite simply &mdash; human nature. Every year people make New Year&rsquo;s resolutions to lose weight, get fit, and stay in shape. And for a while, they make good on those resolutions, going out and buying some shiny new equipment to make it happen. However, most people soon realize that the infomercials and ads made this &ldquo;easy-peasy workout&rdquo; look a lot easier that it actually is. It takes effort. And soon the exercise bikes, elliptical trainers, and treadmills are gathering dust in the basement. When the time comes to sell the equipment, you can usually snap up an almost brand new piece of machinery for less than half the price. Sometimes they&rsquo;ll be almost giving it away to get it out of the house, because no one likes a reminder of a failed resolution.</p> <h2>2. Bed Frames</h2> <p>Not mattresses. Yikes. But the bed frame itself, that&rsquo;s a different story. You can pick up some terrific deals on bed frames, including four-poster beds, and all you have to do is arrange for pick up if you don&rsquo;t have a truck large enough to do the job. Craigslist actually has a section called &ldquo;services&rdquo; where you can quickly find people to help you move large items for a nominal fee. Some people <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-make-money-today">make good extra money</a> doing it.</p> <h2>3. Furniture</h2> <p>We just bought a new house, and it&rsquo;s twice the size of our old home. Ironically, with the market being the way it is, it cost almost the same price. But it has left us with some large, empty rooms that need to be filled. We&rsquo;re going straight to Craigslist for furniture, especially for some classic mid-century modern pieces. They are much cheaper than store-bought pieces, have more character, and were built to last the test of time.</p> <h2>4. DVDs and CDs</h2> <p>People buy DVDs and CDs. They watch them, listen to them, and get bored with them. Or they copy them to their iPods, computers, or other media devices, and then they sit and watch the original gather dust. So they sell them, and that&rsquo;s where you can come in and pick up some great bargains. I&rsquo;ve found recent movies and albums for sale on Craigslist for just a few bucks.</p> <h2>5. Video Games</h2> <p>Even more copious than movies and albums are video games. The reason is one of usefulness. Unlike DVDs and CDs, once a game has been completed, there is very little point in doing it all over again. So you will see tons of titles on Craigslist that are way cheaper than buying new. And once you&rsquo;ve bought and played the title, you can resell it or trade it in for a discount on a game (used is always cheaper and just as good&hellip;if you can wait).</p> <p><img width="605" height="402" alt="Typewriter" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/typewriter.jpg" /></p> <h2>6. Collectibles</h2> <p>Typewriters. Old cameras. Action figures. Clocks. Teapots. You name it &mdash; there is something to add your collection on Craigslist. Finding them isn&rsquo;t always easy, as sometimes people put them in rather confusing sections or don&rsquo;t know exactly how to list them. But put in the time, and you&rsquo;ll find your items way cheaper than on eBay. Plus there's no wait for shipping.</p> <h2>7. Tools</h2> <p>Have you noticed how expensive good tools are? Sure, you can buy the cheap and cheerful tools at Walmart and Target, but if you want good, solid, reliable tools that last decades, you need to pay. Craigslist is a great option for these kinds of tools, and you&rsquo;ll get them way cheaper.</p> <h2>8. Books</h2> <p>Personally, I love the library for books. But sometimes it&rsquo;s not an option, especially if you want to highlight sections and write notes in the margin. Or if you want books for the kids that you don&rsquo;t have to worry about them destroying. There is a whole category on Craigslist devoted to books, and the prices are rock-bottom as always.</p> <h2>9. Toys</h2> <p>Kids have this habit of wanting toys, playing with them for 20 minutes, and then throwing them in the corner. If they&rsquo;re not forgotten about, they played with so much and so hard that they&rsquo;re destroyed. So why pay full price? You can pick up some of the latest toys on Craigslist for pennies, and you won&rsquo;t have to contend with that annoying packaging that would challenge the patience of a saint.</p> <h2>10. Bicycles</h2> <p>You have to be careful on this one, but if you know what you want and what to look for, you can scoop up some major bargains. Kids bikes are a great option here, as are cruiser bikes. Just be wary of bikes that look too good to be true; they may have been rode hard and repaired often, or they could be stolen.</p> <h2>11. Framed Art</h2> <p>I was in Target yesterday and saw some nice art, albeit mass-produced, and it was $100. I saw the same piece on Craigslist for $20. Chances are you won&rsquo;t be as lucky finding the exact piece you want, but if you just want to browse and pick up something decorative for a few bucks, you&rsquo;ll do well. You may even find original art for a bargain, or a long lost masterpiece!</p> <h2>12. Office Supplies</h2> <p>I&rsquo;m not just talking about pens and pencils here, but chairs, cubicles, shredders, printers, whiteboards, and so much more. Sadly, the poor economy means that a lot of businesses have gone into liquidation, and when that happens, the supplies have to be sold off for pennies on the dollar. I bought a white board for $20 that retails for over $180.</p> <h2>13. Refrigerators and Other Appliances</h2> <p>When we decided to rent out our old home, we didn&rsquo;t want to leave the stainless steel appliances behind. We wanted them for the new home, but didn&rsquo;t want to pay another small fortune to get replacements. We searched Craigslist and found a one-year-old, black, side-by-side refrigerator for just $200. The cheapest we could find it used in an appliance store was $600. When people want their old appliances gone, they will take much less money. Take advantage of that.</p> <h2>14. Antiques</h2> <p>You really need to know your stuff, and I don&rsquo;t. I would love to browse the listings, see an old item for a few bucks, and sell it for thousands. But I know plenty of people who have made some big money buying antiques for profit.</p> <h2>15. Sports Equipment for Kids</h2> <p>When you have kids, you soon discover that they grow quickly. They outgrow their sports uniforms in no time, and the uniforms are often in amazing condition. Parents will sell these to make cash for the next size up, and you can pick up bargains for your kids. Adults can also find great deals on golf clubs, fishing gear, and lots of other sporty stuff.</p> <p><img width="605" height="402" alt="Guitar" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/guitar.jpg" /></p> <h2>16. Musical Instruments</h2> <p>So many guitars. So many pianos. So many drum kits. Take a look at the musical instruments section of your local Craigslist, and you&rsquo;ll soon see how many instruments, often barely used, are up for grabs. Again, it&rsquo;s a mix of unrealized dreams (wow, playing guitar isn&rsquo;t easy), kids who aren&rsquo;t interested, and people who are moving up to bigger and better equipment. Whatever the reason, you make out.</p> <h2>17. Barbeque Grills</h2> <p>Who doesn&rsquo;t love a brand new barbeque grill? Well, some people don&rsquo;t, because they&rsquo;re really expensive these days. But you can find bargains on Craigslist, if you don&rsquo;t mind a little grease and smoke from someone else&rsquo;s cookouts. Trust me, they all look that way after a few weeks anyway, and you can save hundreds of dollars going used.</p> <h2>18. Sinks, Tubs, Toilets, and Showers</h2> <p>One word for you &mdash; remodel. When people decide to upgrade their bathrooms, they want the old fixtures and fittings gone quickly. But quite often, these upgrades are about style and modernization, not function. One man&rsquo;s trash is another man&rsquo;s treasure, and you can find some wonderful old sinks, tubs, toilets, and showers units for almost nothing.</p> <h2>19. Lawn Mowers</h2> <p>I&rsquo;m in the market for a bigger mower now that I&rsquo;ve moved. I don&rsquo;t want to pay a bigger price though, so I&rsquo;m trawling the Craigslist ads for a self-propelled model. The stores sell these for upwards of $300, but one look at Craigslist and you&rsquo;ll see models, almost new, for half that price. Now is a great time to buy too, because winter is a tough time to sell a mower. Just test drive it first.</p> <h2>20. Pack &lsquo;n&rsquo; Plays, High Chairs, and Rockers</h2> <p>There&rsquo;s a lot of baby <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-home-and-family-items-to-avoid-buying-used">stuff I&rsquo;ll avoid on Craigslist</a>, purely because of safety concerns. No infant seats, no cribs, no strollers. I just don&rsquo;t know where they&rsquo;ve been, what they&rsquo;ve endured, and how well they were taken care of. But things like Pack &lsquo;n&rsquo; Plays, high chairs, and rockers, well, they&rsquo;re much less likely to have any problems. When baby grows up, the parents want to make room for new furniture, and you can pick up items for 75% less than retail.</p> <h2>21. Dog Kennels</h2> <p>Our 120-pound dog needed a big kennel. The price of Dogloo in her size, new, was about $300. We picked up a barely used one for $50. All it needed was a quick hose down to remove some grass and dirt, and it looked brand new. Now the bigger challenge is getting her to actually use it.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/swingset.jpg" alt="Swingset" /></p> <h2>22. Playsets</h2> <p>You will see lots of listings for these on Craigslist, and you need to use good judgment and inspect the items carefully. Some of them have been played with hard and left unattended, and could be too rickety for children of any age. But some are pristine, with parents selling them because the kids don&rsquo;t play on them, or they want to make room for one of those huge trampolines. If you do your due diligence, you can spend hundreds instead of thousands. But you will need to dismantle it and reassemble, so take plenty of pictures before you start!</p> <h2>23. Outdoor Furniture</h2> <p>Just like with lawn mowers, this is a good time of year to pick up outdoor furniture. Who wants to be sat outside in the cold when the warmth of the fireplace beckons? But summer will be back, and you can pick up some real steals. A lot of people buy outdoor furniture and realize they&rsquo;re not actually using it, so they&rsquo;ll sell it off really cheap.</p> <h2>24. Landscaping Supplies</h2> <p>When homeowners landscape their yards, they will invariably be left with overages. They may also have removed some things to make way for new shrubs, benches, pathways, and so on. You can find cheap or free landscaping rock, stones, concrete, and all sorts of other backyard goodies on Craigslist for a fraction of the price you&rsquo;ll pay at a hardware store. Just remember&hellip;you haul.</p> <h2>25. Crockery and Silverware</h2> <p>How are your plates and dishes looking? If it&rsquo;s time for replacements, Craigslist is a phenomenal resource. For a start, a lot of newlyweds will get crockery and silverware as gifts, and they can&rsquo;t use it all. So, they sell it. Also, people looking to clear out space in the kitchen will sell off their older sets for almost nothing. It&rsquo;s a good way to spruce up your kitchen on a budget.</p> <p>So, do you have any &ldquo;must buy on Craigslist&rdquo; tips to share? Please let us know.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-25-best-things-to-buy-on-craigslist">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-free-things-that-arent">8 &quot;Free&quot; Things That Aren&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-secrets-of-highly-successful-craigslist-sellers">The 9 Secrets of Highly Successful Craigslist Sellers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-look-for-every-time-you-visit-a-thrift-store">10 Things to Look for Every Time You Visit a Thrift Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-household-items-that-are-better-second-hand">7 Household Items That Are Better Second-Hand</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-buy-discounted-designer-clothing-online">Where to Buy Discounted Designer Clothing Online</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying used craigslist shopping online Mon, 14 Nov 2011 10:36:32 +0000 Paul Michael 780293 at http://www.wisebread.com Refurbished FAQ: Sound Strategies for Buying Refurbished Goods http://www.wisebread.com/refurbished-faq-sound-strategies-for-buying-refurbished-goods <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/refurbished-faq-sound-strategies-for-buying-refurbished-goods" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5415512522_fc72764d48_z.jpg" alt="woman listening to music" title="woman listening to music" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have vivid memories of buying a refurbished JVC boom box in the late 1980s, and that faithful stereo served me for a decade without a hitch. What's more, it sounded better than any boom box I've owned since.</p> <p>Make no mistake. Buying refurbished saves you cash &mdash; usually at least 15%, and often much more &mdash; while keeping tons of goods out of our nation's landfills. That said, you must know what you're doing before you venture into this bargain terrain.</p> <h3>What does &quot;refurbished&quot; mean anyway?</h3> <p>Refurbished implies that an item has been used in some fashion and reconditioned, and on dealnews, these are the only items that we call refurbished. However, sometimes a store might simply be offering a used item that's received questionable levels of repair. Whenever possible, dealnews will use the most explicit description possible; if the item was never used but isn't &quot;new&quot; because it's open box, scratch and dent, etc., we label it as such. Moreover, if it wasn't reconditioned in some way, we simply deem it &quot;used.&quot; (See also: <a title="5 Home and Family Items to Avoid Buying Used" href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-home-and-family-items-to-avoid-buying-used">5 Home and Family Items to Avoid Buying Used</a>)</p> <p><strong>Do:</strong> Stores will use the names they see fit. So when you can, get specific information. An item sold in a scratch and dent sale, for example, suggests cosmetic damage.</p> <p><strong>Don't:</strong> Dismiss a product just because you have no idea why it's refurbished. Many other pieces of information &mdash; including the available warranty &mdash; will tell you how to proceed.</p> <h3>How crucial is the warranty on a refurbished item?</h3> <p>It's <em>very</em> crucial. A refurbished item without a <a title="How to Take Advantage of Free Extended Warranty from Your Credit Card Issuer" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer">warranty</a> could work just as well as one without, but should something go amiss, you'll have no company backing the product to offer support. So if you're looking for something as &quot;good as new,&quot; you might want coverage that is too.</p> <p><strong>Do:</strong> Look for a full manufacturer's warranty. That means the maker of the product stands behind the item just as they would a new product. Third-party warranties are also beneficial, but keep in mind that if the warranty company severs its relationship with the product, or goes under, you'll have problems getting service or repairs. Also, third-party warranty services inspire a <a title="warranty scams" href="http://www.edmunds.com/auto-warranty/third-party-extended-warranty-scams.html">disproportionate number of consumer complaints</a>, according to Edmunds.com.</p> <p><strong>Don't:</strong> Assume all refurbished items come with a warranty. Sometimes a product listing will have no warranty information listed. Occasionally, a vendor is just bad at providing warranty information, but frequently, the item just doesn't come with one. Some stores, like <a title="dealnews Sony" href="http://dealnews.com/s716/Sony-Store/?matches=sony+style?erfe=wisebread">Sony Store</a>, have a blanket warranty policy for refurbished items, and it won't appear on every page. For sites that sell products from multiple manufacturers, it's best to call customer service to confirm.</p> <h3>What's the best way to reduce the odds of getting burned on a refurbished product?</h3> <p>Seek out companies with great reputations for products and customer service &mdash; or their items sold by retailers with equally sterling reps. Avoiding any equipment problems at all costs, and across all purchases, is a lofty goal at best. So aim to select a manufacturer that will help you get issues resolved without a hassle.</p> <p><strong>Do:</strong> Pick companies and products that rate high among users for quality and customer satisfaction. Pay special attention to those that excel at <a title="How to Get What You Want On Customer Service Calls" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-what-you-want-on-customer-service-calls">customer service</a>. A quick Google search will return useful customer reviews.</p> <p><strong>Don't:</strong> Buy products that rate sub-par even in new condition. And when you hear an overwhelming number of stories about bad customer service, especially from the retailer, just say no.</p> <h3>Are there some items to always/never buy refurbished?</h3> <p>Strictly speaking, no &mdash; although some are easier to inspect than others. It's easier for most people to assess the quality of a refurbished bicycle, for example, than the laser on a CD player. Also consider technological advantage versus the reduced price. When the iPhone 4 came out, the cost of the refurbished iPhone 3G became even more appealing. But would you be happy with the old model once you learn about all the fancy things the new one can do?</p> <p><strong>Do:</strong> Consider the &quot;classics.&quot; Products that capture the imagination and hearts of consumers are likely to make great bets as refurbished goods.</p> <p><strong>Don't:</strong> Pass up the opportunity to inspect a refurbished product, when possible. Also, ask lots of questions. The answers will give you more ammunition for making a smart decision.</p> <h3>What if I buy a refurbished product and there's a problem?</h3> <p>Here's where your skills as a cool-headed bargain hunter come in. It's easy to blame the problem on its refurbished state, but remember &mdash;&nbsp;the malfunction may be totally unrelated to the &quot;refurbished&quot; label. Don't rush to judgment, and exhaust the precautions you should have in place for an event like this. Use your warranty. Visit the store's retail operation and look into an exchange or a refund.</p> <p><strong>Do:</strong> Work calmly towards a solution &mdash; but if you find yourself at an impasse, remember your options as a consumer. You have rating websites such as Yelp and the Better Business Bureau as resources. No reputable retailer or manufacturer wants a blow to their whole reputation based on mistreating you.</p> <p><strong>Don't:</strong> Make threats or engage in name-calling. In the rare instance that you're treated unfairly, remember the old saying about two wrongs not making a right. There's a way to fight for your consumer rights, yet not pick a fight. The last thing a good company wants to hear is that you're taking your business elsewhere from now on. Use the power of your purse, and not your curse.</p> <p><em>This post is by <a title="dealnews" href="http://dealnews.com/">Dealnews</a>.</em></p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Buying refurbished can save you cash...as long as your purchase isn&#039;t a dud. Here&#039;s what you must know before you venture into this bargain terrain. </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealnews">Dealnews</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/refurbished-faq-sound-strategies-for-buying-refurbished-goods">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-look-for-every-time-you-visit-a-thrift-store">10 Things to Look for Every Time You Visit a Thrift Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-household-items-that-are-better-second-hand">7 Household Items That Are Better Second-Hand</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-25-best-things-to-buy-on-craigslist">The 25 Best Things to Buy on Craigslist</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-shopping-at-estate-sales">Tips for Shopping at Estate Sales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-secret-to-buying-electronics-for-cheap">This Is the Secret to Buying Electronics for Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying used refurbished shopping strategies Mon, 10 Oct 2011 10:36:15 +0000 Dealnews 730922 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Reasons Why Used Is Better http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-why-used-is-better <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-reasons-why-used-is-better" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/yard_sale.jpg" alt="Yard sale" title="Yard sale" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="173" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This isn&rsquo;t a case of sour grapes; I really do prefer to buy used whenever possible. Maybe it&rsquo;s the result of being raised by frugal parents, maybe it&rsquo;s a too-intimate understanding of arbitrary retail markup and the subsequent depreciation, or maybe it just makes the most sense in a world that produces too much new stuff and throws away too much old stuff. Whatever the reason, let&rsquo;s explore my top six reasons why buying used is better. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/to-buy-or-not-to-buy-criteria-for-thrift-store-clothes-shopping">To Buy or Not to Buy? Criteria for Thrift-Store Clothes Shopping</a>)</p> <h2>1. It's Less Expensive</h2> <p>First, and most obviously, buying second-hand is usually more budget friendly. From used cars to used jeans, the resale market can help you make ends meet. Garage sales, thrift stores, online classifieds, eBay, flea markets, and clothing swaps are all booming forums to source great used items for dimes on the dollar. You just have to know a bit about what to look for, be dedicated, plan ahead, and be willing to do a little digging.</p> <h2>2. There's Less Depreciation</h2> <p>Depreciation isn&rsquo;t just the value you lose on an item over time, it&rsquo;s also the value you lose on a new item the minute you remove the tags and toss out the receipt. I like to think of it as every consumer&rsquo;s &quot;thank you gift&quot; for paying retail mark-up and sales tax...thanks for nothing. Used items have already gone through that initial (and sharpest) drop in value. Items circulating in the used marketplace are priced closer to their real value and may even appreciate in value over time. Dodging that first step in depreciation is dodging a real bullet to your wallet. Don&rsquo;t underestimate it.</p> <h2>3. Items Are Tried and Tested</h2> <p>When I buy a shirt at a second-hand store, it may have been worn two or three months, a year, or maybe five years. It&rsquo;s been stress tested in a way that no new garment can be. If it still looks good and has worn well, then I know that trend is likely to continue. The same applies to nearly every category of item in the resale marketplace. By choosing items carefully and knowing the indicators of a quality product, buying used can sometimes be less of a risk that buying new.</p> <h2>4. It's Greener</h2> <p>I mentioned earlier that we live in a world with so much &ldquo;stuff&rdquo; floating around. Do I really need to help foster demand for new toasters, new lamps, and new flower pots? Isn&rsquo;t it wiser &mdash; and certainly greener &mdash; to use up what&rsquo;s already been manufactured? Now, before I get blasted for generalizing too much, there are a few <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-home-and-family-items-to-avoid-buying-used">things that should never be purchased used</a>: safety helmets, car seats for infants and children, and (with the bedbug epidemic) most bedding. But with those few exceptions, buying used may be the greenest thing we can do for the planet.</p> <h2>5. The Quality Is Better</h2> <p>Let&rsquo;s explore this line of logic &mdash; if used items tend to be older items and older items tend to be of a higher quality, then used items have a better chance of being well-made. Still with me? Maybe I&rsquo;m a cynic, but quality is slipping everywhere. Compare items made even just five or ten years ago with brand-new, and you&rsquo;ll see what I mean. With the exception of some electronics, buying used usually means opting for a more durable and longer-lasting product.</p> <h2>6. You're Providing Local&nbsp;Support</h2> <p>Typically, buying used is a more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choosing-local-businesses">local</a> activity than buying new. There just aren&rsquo;t many multinational corporations in the used-stuff market. Buying used is an activity more likely to take place face-to-face with friends and neighbors, and in a community setting. The result?<span> </span>When you buy used, you tend to support individuals, not companies. You toss just a little sand in the gears of the corporate marketing machine (and that&rsquo;s not always a bad thing).</p> <p>Don&rsquo;t be fooled &mdash; buying used takes more work, a more discriminating eye, a nearly clairvoyant knowledge of what you&rsquo;ll need down the road, and loads of patience. But the benefits are so significant that there are new converts every day. What better time to explore smarter spending strategies than in middle of a recession?</p> <p><em>Has buying second-hand become second nature for you? Inspire our readers by sharing some of your most amazing finds and biggest savings.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-why-used-is-better">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-used">The 11 Best and Worst Things to Buy Used</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-look-for-every-time-you-visit-a-thrift-store">10 Things to Look for Every Time You Visit a Thrift Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-household-items-that-are-better-second-hand">7 Household Items That Are Better Second-Hand</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-25-best-things-to-buy-on-craigslist">The 25 Best Things to Buy on Craigslist</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-holiday-gifts-from-the-thrift-store">10 Great Gifts From the Thrift Store</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying used quality Thrift shopping Fri, 23 Sep 2011 10:36:33 +0000 Kentin Waits 714056 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Home and Family Items to Avoid Buying Used http://www.wisebread.com/5-home-and-family-items-to-avoid-buying-used <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-home-and-family-items-to-avoid-buying-used" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car_seat_2.jpg" alt="Child in car seat" title="Child in car seat" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="163" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Gently used clothes at the local vintage shop or even a &ldquo;pre-owned&rdquo; car, as the dealers like to say, can prove a recipe for both savings and style.</p> <p>But there are scores of important family and household items that should probably remain first-run purchases, dismal economy or not. Here&rsquo;s a look at five in particular. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-stuff-i-try-never-to-buy-new">The Stuff I Try to Never Buy New</a>)</p> <h2>Car Seats</h2> <p>Buying a used car seat is like buying a used helmet &mdash; it&rsquo;s just not safe. Once a car seat has been involved in one accident, the integrity of the car seat is ruined, and it may no longer be an effective mechanism for protecting your child. Don&rsquo;t take a chance. Always buy a new car seat.</p> <h2>Tires</h2> <p>Cars are becoming more and more expensive to maintain. The rising price of gas is forcing car owners to come up with other creative ways to save money while driving, and some are choosing to do so by purchasing used tires. Tires that have been involved in a car accident suffer just like car seats do. But you can&rsquo;t always tell if a set of tires has been in one. Consider new tires an investment in your safety.</p> <h2>Computer Software</h2> <p>Computer software is expensive, and buying a used copy can often reduce your costs by hundreds of dollars. Unfortunately, most of today&rsquo;s computer software must be licensed in order to be used. Once the software is licensed it can&rsquo;t be used again, which means that buying a used piece of software is essentially like buying a blank CD.</p> <h2>Mattresses</h2> <p>Although buying a used mattress may save you a few hundred dollars, it isn&rsquo;t necessarily sanitary or the best for your body&rsquo;s physical health. When you purchase a used mattress, you aren&rsquo;t able to judge its overall cleanliness, as problems such as bed bugs are not always visible. Mattresses also generally only have a lifespan of 8 to 10 years, and you may not be able to get an honest age from the seller. Buying an older mattress can also lead to back problems or antagonize existing physical ailments.</p> <h2>Pet Supplies</h2> <p>Purchasing used <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-yank-the-leash-on-pet-expenses">pet</a> supplies may seem like a good idea. But buying used pet supplies such as dog beds or cloth-covered cat stations can be just as unsanitary as purchasing a used mattress. Plus, pet odors tend to ferment over time even if they have been cleaned, so that seemingly clean dog bed you bought at a garage sale could begin to stink the first day it lays out in the sun. The exception to purchasing used pet supplies is the kennel. A wire crate can be fully sterilized, and buying a used one can save a pet owner anywhere from $50 to $100.</p> <p>Buying used isn&rsquo;t always a bargain, and certain used items may actually cost you more in the long run in terms of maintenance or having to repurchase the same item only a few months later. If you choose to buy used, however, always make sure to properly review the items in person prior to purchase.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-birk">Chris Birk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-home-and-family-items-to-avoid-buying-used">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-should-always-buy-used">8 Things You Should Always Buy Used</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-free-things-that-arent">8 &quot;Free&quot; Things That Aren&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-look-for-every-time-you-visit-a-thrift-store">10 Things to Look for Every Time You Visit a Thrift Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-household-items-that-are-better-second-hand">7 Household Items That Are Better Second-Hand</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/homemade-dog-food-recipe-and-cost">Homemade Dog Food: Recipe and Cost</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying used children computer software mattress pets tires Thu, 21 Jul 2011 10:24:09 +0000 Chris Birk 628750 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Clean Silver Naturally http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-silver-naturally <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-clean-silver-naturally" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/silver_sale.jpg" alt="Silverware at a flea market" title="Silverware at a flea market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="138" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Part of the fun of shopping at thrift stores and estate sales is that I almost always find a beautiful piece of vintage silverware that is black with tarnish but just waiting for a little cleaning to reveal the diamond in the rough underneath! From vintage silver platters and bowls to candlesticks, coasters, and coffeepots, there are so many heirloom silver items out there waiting to be discovered. But how do you restore silver items to their former shining glory? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-shopping-at-estate-sales">Tips for Shopping at Estate Sales</a>)</p> <p>Commercial silver cleaners are cheap, but they tend to be filled with harsh chemicals that I prefer not to use around the house. Fortunately there is a way to safely clean silver using common household products that you have in your pantry right now.</p> <h3>Cleaning Silver With Aluminum Foil and Baking Soda</h3> <p>Hurray for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-%E2%80%9Cyuck%E2%80%9D-to-yes">baking soda</a>! It is such a heavyweight when it comes to uses around the home. This method of cleaning silver works wonders even for heavily tarnished pieces as long as they can stand up to a little heat.</p> <ol> <li>First, bring a large pot of water to the boil on the stovetop. Make sure that the pot is large enough to fit all of your tarnished silver items. Don&rsquo;t overfill the pot (leave at least two inches of space at the top).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>When the water boils, remove the pot from the heat. Place a piece of aluminum foil into the bottom of your pot, and place your silver items on top, immersed in the boiling water. Start shaking baking soda into the pot. It will foam and bubble, and you&rsquo;ll notice a sulfuric smell, like rotten eggs.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The chemical reaction will (almost magically) remove the tarnish from your silver, as the tarnish will become attracted to the aluminum foil instead of your silver piece. Keep sprinkling in more baking soda until your silver is shiny and clean or until the liquid no longer foams.</li> </ol> <p>The water has to be really hot for this to be effective, but if you do it correctly, it works like a charm on tarnished silver. I&rsquo;ve actually found this to be the best method for removing tarnish from vintage silver, as it is more effective than many silver polishes I have used. It even gets into the nooks and crannies where you wouldn&rsquo;t be able to hand-polish the tarnish away.</p> <p>Once the tarnish is gone, wash the silver with gentle soap and water to remove the rest of the baking soda. If there are a few spots of tarnish left, they should wash off when rubbed gently with a soft cloth.</p> <p>If you have silver jewelry set with gemstones, I would hesitate to use this method, as it may cause damage to some gemstones. You might want to take your jewelry to a professional jeweler to have it cleaned. However, this method works well for silver platters, flatware, bowls, chains, serveware, and many other silver or silver-plated items.</p> <h3>Be Wary of Abrasive Methods</h3> <p>Many articles on the Internet recommend scrubbing your silver pieces with toothpaste, table salt, or baking soda. The reason toothpaste, salt, and baking soda work is because they are abrasives, but while they may scrub away the tarnish, they are also rubbing scratches into your silver, and in the case of silver-plated items, they may start to wear away the silver finish entirely, exposing the base metal.</p> <p>Nevertheless, I have been guilty of using a baking soda/water paste to clean a few inexpensive pieces of silver <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-insure-jewelry-for-cheap-or-free">jewelry</a>. While professional silversmiths might be horrified, I find that it is worth it to me to have a clean piece of jewelry that I will actually wear rather than a tarnished-but-undamaged piece that sits in my drawer for years.</p> <p>Antique silver plate and good-quality silver jewelry may lose much of its value if cleaned improperly. If you have a valuable silver piece and you are in doubt as to how to clean it, it may be best to bring it to a professional.</p> <p><em>How do you usually clean your silver? Which method is the most effective?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-silver-naturally">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-reuse-detergent-bottles">15 Ways to Reuse Detergent Bottles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-wonderful-household-uses-for-essential-oils">13 Wonderful Household Uses for Essential Oils</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living buying used cleaners jewelry Tue, 28 Jun 2011 10:25:19 +0000 Camilla Cheung 599711 at http://www.wisebread.com Tips for Shopping at Estate Sales http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-shopping-at-estate-sales <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/tips-for-shopping-at-estate-sales" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/estate_sale.jpg" alt="Shopping at a house sale" title="Shopping at a house sale" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;m sure that as frugal shoppers, many of you enjoy thrifting and shopping at flea markets as much as I do. It is such a rush when you get a great deal on something that someone else doesn&rsquo;t want, but you recognize as the treasure that it is. In addition to shopping at thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales, I&rsquo;d like to draw attention to the estate sale as a great way to get your shopping fix for cheap. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-proven-ways-to-save-real-money-at-garage-sales">3 Proven Ways to Save Real Money at Garage Sales</a>)</p> <p>Estate sales differ from garage and yard sales in that when you go to a house for an estate sale, pretty much everything you see is for sale (unless set aside in a clearly marked area). Usually, the occupant of the house has passed away, or through other factors, is obliged to sell his/her belongings. The amount of sheer stuff at most estate sales can be overwhelming, but there are plenty of hidden treasures to be found.</p> <p>I was at first intimidated by shopping at estate sales because of the tales of antique dealers lining up at 6:00 in the morning in order to get first dibs on the goods. There was no way I was going to be aggressive enough to compete for the good stuff with the real pros. A few estate sales later, the intimidation factor was gone, and a new hobby was born. If you&rsquo;d like to try out this fun and rewarding activity, here are a few do's and don&rsquo;ts to get you started.</p> <h3>Do look for estate sales ahead of time.</h3> <p>Search on <a href="http://www.craigslist.org">Craigslist</a> and in community listings. Don&rsquo;t rely on driving around the neighborhood, as you&rsquo;ll probably arrive too late in the morning to get the good stuff.</p> <h3>Do get there early, but don&rsquo;t stress yourself out if you&rsquo;re not the first in line.</h3> <p>Most estate sales begin at 8:00 or 8:30 in the morning of a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, and the most hard-core shoppers are there at least half-an-hour before. But even if you get there at 8:30 or 9:00, there will still be plenty of stuff to look at. Most antique dealers and collectors, the most dedicated shoppers, are looking for something specific, so even if you get the second pickings, there will still be many items of interest. If you get there very early, you may have to take a number and wait your turn to go in.</p> <h3>Do bring cash.</h3> <p>This tip goes without saying, but there have been a few times when I&rsquo;ve arrived at an estate sale only to realize I have just $10 in my pocket. Sometimes, if you see something you really love, the organizers of the estate sale may hold it for you while you go to the ATM, but there&rsquo;s no guarantee this will be the case.</p> <h3>Do set a limit on your spending.</h3> <p>While you can get great deals for cheap, you don&rsquo;t want to blow your monthly grocery budget.</p> <h3>Do have a few items in mind, but be open to others.</h3> <p>At an estate sale, there is so much to look at that you may feel overwhelmed, and having a few items in mind can help you to focus your search. However, be open to that perfect item that you may find while browsing.</p> <h3>Do be prepared for sticker shock.</h3> <p>Not everything at an estate sale is a good bargain, and often the prices can be higher than at typical thrift stores and garage sales. Keep in mind that the family or the owner of the items is looking to make some needed cash on the sale. If the sale is run by a company that specializes in organizing estate sales, prices will be higher as they want to make a cut of the money too. If it&rsquo;s not a good deal, just don&rsquo;t go for it.</p> <h3>Do consider coming on Sunday.</h3> <p>Usually, most of the best stuff is gone by Sunday (the second or third day of the sale), so prices are typically marked down by 50%. You&rsquo;ll have to rummage, but you just might find that perfect, overlooked vintage dress in your size.</p> <h3>Don't buy for the sake of buying.</h3> <p>If you don&rsquo;t see something you really like, don&rsquo;t buy anything. There will always be another estate sale.</p> <h3>Don't overlook diamonds in the rough.</h3> <p>Just because it&rsquo;s covered in a layer of dust doesn&rsquo;t mean that colorful Pyrex bowl won&rsquo;t be gorgeous when it&rsquo;s cleaned up. Learn to look for the beauty underneath the dirt.</p> <h3>Don't buy something with flaws.</h3> <p>If something is broken, chipped, or otherwise flawed, it may not be reparable, or it may not be worth your while to repair it. Of course, there are exceptions, like the awesome Herman Miller lounge chair that just needs a few screws to be as good as new.</p> <h3>Don't be pushy.</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s always annoying when shoppers in search of a deal are brusque and cutthroat. Be courteous. If someone is looking at something, it&rsquo;s off-limits until they step away. It becomes especially important to be polite if the estate sale is crowded.</p> <h3>Don't be rude while haggling.</h3> <p>While there generally is a little room to discuss the price of an item, typically prices have been set at a level the organizers think is fair. If they&rsquo;re not budging, let it go, and come back on Sunday when prices are lower and there&rsquo;s more room for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-laws-of-negotiation">bargaining</a>.</p> <p>Estate sales are not just the domain of antique collectors and dealers anymore &mdash; lots of regular people are finding hidden gems. It&rsquo;s a great way to give new life to an unwanted item, to reduce the amount of new junk that gets manufactured, and to save yourself a penny or two as well.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-shopping-at-estate-sales">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-look-for-every-time-you-visit-a-thrift-store">10 Things to Look for Every Time You Visit a Thrift Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-household-items-that-are-better-second-hand">7 Household Items That Are Better Second-Hand</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-25-best-things-to-buy-on-craigslist">The 25 Best Things to Buy on Craigslist</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-used">10 Things You Should Never Buy Used</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-why-used-is-better">6 Reasons Why Used Is Better</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying used estate sales garage sales Mon, 13 Jun 2011 10:36:15 +0000 Camilla Cheung 573946 at http://www.wisebread.com