June 2012

How to buy tech products

Other ideas other than Black Friday, etc.

I know this is the cheapin’ out blog and you might even wonder why buy those annoying tech products that are not really assets anyway and fall out of favor almost as soon as you buy them. But the thing is that having the latest technology at your disposal can be very good for your productivity and keeps you ahead of the game.

But the question is when do you actually buy the tech products? I would say to wait a bit and never go for the latest one. I am already not too happy about spending $50 on a 32 GB flash drive because I know that there will soon be bigger flash drives in the market. But I really needed one as I am going to get myself a new laptop (finally!).

Free summer membership to Food on the Table

This summer, Foodonthetable.com is offering new users a great deal: a free membership for the entire season. The goal of this website is to help make your meal planning as painless as possible. You'll be able to stay organized, which saves you both time and money.

To get started you'll need to register by providing the usual information. The website also allows you to connect with Facebook, which is much quicker. You'll also notice that this website has been featured on programs like Oprah, ABC, CBS, FOX and Forbes.

Once you have logged in to the site, you can begin using it. Browse through recipes, including kid-friendly recipes, until you find some that your family will enjoy. You can even view recipes that correspond with sales at your local grocery store. I think that feature alone is amazing.

Small changes for living cheaply

Not everyone is ready to make drastic changes to begin living cheaply. Sure, selling your large home and purchasing a smaller one or downsizing to one car for the family will bring you big savings, but it just may feel a bit overwhelming to take such big steps. Instead, start off with smaller changes.

1. Cook restaurant favorites at home. It is much cheaper to create your favorite restaurant dishes at home than it is to purchase them. With the invention of the Internet, you can find out almost any recipe these days. For example, this weekend I created a version of the Olive Garden's Zuppa Tuscana soup. It was just as delicious and for the price of eating it for one meal at the Olive Garden, I had an entire pot of soup to enjoy with my family for the next several days.

2. Purchase used. I love the Duggars' saying, “Buy used and save the difference.” Many used items look almost brand new and have plenty of life left in them. I got a full sofa bed, matching full sofa and a recliner for $300. They hardly looked used because they sat in an elderly couple's home. The couple wanted to remodel and just wanted to get rid of the furniture. The only items I have in my home that are brand new are because I got them as a gift.

Don't be afraid to ask

The worst thing they can say is no.

As human beings, we are used to and in a lot of situations programmed to try and do everything on our own. This is the wrong approach and we do need people’s help to be able to achieve things and to ‘cheap out.’

When we need money for college, we assume that we will have to then try to make the money ourselves or keep sending our profiles to various scholarship programs in the hope that we win something. When in actual fact, this is like sending something down a black hole. Instead we could just approach people who we feel like us and would help us and try to see what they can do for us.

Earn free stuff on Listia

Listia is like eBay, but you earn credits instead of cash. These credits add up. You can then use those credits to get free stuff. It's works more like a trade site. What I like about the site is that no one is in it for the money. It feels more like people are just trying to have fun swapping their items.

When you sign up for Listia, the company automatically gives you 100 credits. There are no conditions, so you can go ahead and use those 100 credits to get a free item, even if you do nothing further on the site. I think you'll quickly see the value in the site, though, and begin posting items you  no longer want.

You can browse the auction listings, or use the search box if you have a specific item in mind. I've found more rare items on this website than auction websites where cash is involved. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough points at the time to snatch them up. All the more incentive for me to go through my stuff and find a few things to get rid of.

Take advantage of online yard sales

The Internet has brought about a whole new way of having a yard sale. Best of all, you don't need a permit to do it. You don't even have to lug all of your things out to the lawn. There is a group I discovered a few months ago, called Swip Swap, that allows you to post yard sale items.

First, you need to find the Swip Swap that is closest to you. I actually belong to two Swip Swap groups because they are so close to where I live. These groups are on Facebook, which makes it easy to get updates and load pictures of the things you want to sell.

Next, join the Swip Swap group. Make sure you read all the rules associated with the group. For example, one of the groups I belong to requires everyone to keep the photos of the items they are selling in an album. The pictures are also suppose to be deleted as soon as the items are no longer available for sale.