Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Why Bother?

A while back, I was talking to a friend of mine, whose hubby happens to own his own business and she said that 'incorporated businesses are a joke'....then.....Just the other day, I had another sweet friend drop by my office for a quick chat.  During the course of our chit-chat, she said "...since she's (meaning her niece) only worked for herself, she doesn't know what the real world is about....she doesn't know what real work is..."  I was completely dumbfounded!!!! 

Not 1 - but 2 people had something negative to say about the exact thing I'm striving for!  Now, to be fair - neither of these friends know that we're trying to start our own business, or that we're going to be an incorporated business at that.  I know, I know!  How can I call them friends if I don't let them in on what's happening - well, both J and I work at a place that gossip spreads faster and gets wilder than any bush fire ever!  Not that they would spread the news around, but no matter how close a friend is, sometimes things are said without thinking.  And we know that if word got around, our bosses would all of a sudden start looking for reasons to pick on us.  (yes, that's how petty people are around here)

To this day, I'm still not sure what to make of the 'incorporated businesses are a joke' statement - that just blew my mind.  What's to joke about it?  It offers asset protection, possible selling of shares for investment purposes, gives you the ability to run like a corporation, unlimited growth (you're only limited by yourself and your ideas/wants)....I just don't see how it's any more or less than a joke, than if you were to talk about an LLC, LLP, S Corp, Sole Proprietorship, etc.  I think that if you truly believe that type of business would work - then go for it.  But maybe, since that's not the type of business her husband is in, she thinks negatively of it.  What do you think of incorporated businesses? 

Now, as for the whole not knowing the real world or real work all because someone works for themselves.  I can honestly say that's a load of crock - at least for me and mine.  Like I said in a previous post, 3 out of our 4 parents have owned their own businesses.  Why?  Because they have worked for others, and geniunely liked being their own boss.  There's no assinine office politics, no breathing down your neck, any mistakes are yours and yours alone - there's no one blaming their crap on you.  You simply don't take anyone else's crap...the power is in your hands (so to speak).  But, most importantly - it can (if you truly want it) make you happy.  Some people are as happy as they can be to follow, while others - are happier when they lead. 

I think that any one that has ever worked for themselves, knows just how hard it truly is out there.  They know that if they don't want to put in 210%, work long and hard - they simply won't get a paycheck.  When you work for yourself - you are CEO, CFO, chairman, department administrator, office manager, sales rep, secretary - all in one.  You are it, the buck stops and starts with you.

*whew!*  Now, I shall step off of my soap box.  Have you ever had anyone say anything similar in regards to self employed people?  Or types of businesses?  Do you feel as protective of your job as I do about this?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Business Plan

We are attempting to write our first business plan.  And so far, we can see why people say it takes time - and boy can it be a pain if you're not entirely sure of what you're doing!  Neither of us majored in business (or even minored)...and boy, is it testing our brain power!  However, it is forcing us to think about all aspects of the business - from all points of view.  We are lucky in that out of our 4 parents, 3 of them have previously owned their own businesses, so we can get help.  But...we are head strong (perhaps hard headed is a better term) and want to do at least the rough (very rough) draft first, by ourselves, before we show it to anyone.  This way, it shows that we are indeed very serious about it, and that we have given a lot of thought to this.

We have contemplated several different types of business ideas, but this is the one that stuck.  The plan is, to start with an online store (currently we're set up with Ebay @ JnS's Coins and Collectibles, but want our own site soon), then move on to a true, brick-n-mortar shop.  Yes, we realize that we're probably going somewhat backwards on this - but we think it might actually work.  We think that if we can market and make a profit from the online store, we can use those profits to help start the physical shop, and then we can run both at the same time - using our online store as an extension of our physical shop.  Does this make sense to anyone else out there?  Or are we just totally wrong on our way of thinking?

The other reasons we're wanting to start out that way is because this is going to have to be a part time thing in the beginning for us.  We are hoping that it will go from being a part time gig to being full time for at least 1 of us, then being full time for the both of us.  Also, if we start out with an online store and work up from there, it will hopefully save us from having to exhaust our credit!  As naive as it may be, we want to be as debt free as possible, both in life and business.

So - have you ever written a business plan?  Do you have any tips or tricks?  Do you own your own business (physical or internet)?  What do you think about people that work for themselves?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Yes - We have made some changes!!

As I'm sure you've noticed - we've changed our names, our description, our picture - and we've also somewhat changed our mentality.  We've been getting more and more serious about working for ourselves - and we realized that we've left you completely out of the loop!  *our bad!*

We have decided to start with a online coin shop and from there, work up towards having the cahoona's to open a true n' blue, brick-n-mortar store.  We still have our Ebay store ** J n S's Coins and Collectibles**, but hope to use this blog, word of mouth and our Ebay store to help drive traffic to our own website. 

However, before we crank up our own website - we decided that we want to be totally legit about it.  Get the proper licenses, permits, etc. so when it is time to move into a real store - we'll already know the players and the game.

Do any of you have your own store or web-store?  Any suggestions or advice??  Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

Monday, March 7, 2011

FREE: Target Beauty Bag

Target is giving away free beauty bags for a limited time - hurry up and sign up for yours!!!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ahhh...Finally Friday!

It has been a while since I've posted - my bad!  I really and truly do think of you often, but I have no idea what to tell you about!  There are times that I think "Who on earth would be interested in that?  Even I'm not interested!".  What do you do when you think no one would be interested, or that you have nothing worth while to blog about?

There isn't much new going on this week.  The weather has been fairly lovely!  It's been in the high 60's, low 70's during the day, and 40's at night.  Spring is definitely in the air!  We're just hoping that we don't get a severe cold snap because that could greatly hurt some local crops.

JB is still plugging away at the business....one day at a time.  It's just going to take time, but patience has never been a virtue of mine.

So, out of all of our New Year goals - only 2 we've sort of stuck to this week - keeping up with the business end of things....and we saved more at the grocery store than we spent!!!  Yay!!!  Seriously, we spent $23.25, but saved $26.37.  How great is that?!?!  This is the 2nd time that's happened to me in 3 years (saving > 50%)....I can usually get anywhere between 40% - 49%. 

Although, I have to admit, I'm happy any time I save money.  No matter how big or small the percentage saved.  At least I'm trying - and that's what counts!

I hope that you've had a great week - and will have an even greater weekend!!!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Trying to Start...

-----> J n S Coins and Collectibles <------  That's us!!!

We're trying to get our business up and off of the ground, by trying out an Ebay store 1st.  That way we can better learn what we're doing, and try to get some of the kinks worked out.  It also provides us with a chance to earn a little bit so we can save towards getting a real brick-and-mortar store. 

So, we're reading the books, joining the necessary associations, trying to learn as much as we can whenever/however we can - but there are times where it feels like it's just......not.....going......anywhere.

I'm sure everyone feels this way (sort of down in the dumps) at some point in time during their lives, whether it be related to their professional or personal lives.  And while it's way easier to let our heads hang down - we're going to make a pledge to you.  We're going to work on it the shop/learning our trade, every single day.  You hold us to it now!

Do you have your own business of some sort?  Do you have any suggestions or comments that might help us along?  What do you think of our online store (keep in mind it's still a work in progress)?  What kind of collectibles would you be interested in us carrying?  We're always listening!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ideas for Valentine's Day

What to do for Valentine's Day?  What should you get for Valentine's Day?  While there is no one definite answer to either question, I thought that I would share with you some ideas:

What to Do?

-  Wear Red and Serve Red Food (jello, cookies, etc.)

-  Cut everything out with a heart shape

-  Buy an inexpensive box of valentines (like what children give out), fill each one out with a reason as to why you love your other half, and hide them around the house...it'll probably take a while for them to be all found, but it'll be a sweet surprise everytime!

-  The classic red lipstick hearts on the mirror (you could even think about his/her rearview mirror)

-  Send the person a sweet e-mail, text, tweet, e-card

-  You could even send him/her something sweet at work (yes, I think even guys would appreciate getting something at work)

-  Put a love letter in with their lunch

-  Have a picnic (weather permitting)

What to Buy/Get/Make?

-  Cook dinner

-  Do his/her chores

-  Take a jar (plain or fancy), and put their favorite snack in it (cookies, nuts, trail mix, candies, etc.)

-  Do something the other person enjoys, even if they know it's not exactly your cup of tea

-  Wrap up a box that has slips of paper, preferrably a lot of slips of papers - each one giving a reason as to why you love him/her

-  Make a homemade card (don't think it's tacky - I bet you that in 10 or 20 years time, that homemade card will still be around!)

-  Make a coupon book for personal things (think back rub, foot rub, running a bubble bath, cooking dinner, walking the dog, etc.)

-  Make a gift basket - you can buy a basket just about anywhere (Target, Walmart, Salvation Army, etc.) and fill it up with things they really like i.e., a bottle of their favorite wine, a book by their favorite author, they favorite magazine, etc.

-  Of course, the things you would put in a gift basket are great gifts individually!

-  Gift Cards - don't buy them something you're not more than 75% sure about...instead, give them a gift card to a store they love and pair it with a homemade card...it'll be a great gift!

The only thing you need is money, gobs of free time, creativity.

Give it a whirl, you might even surprise yourself!  Let us know what you have done or will do for your valentine!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ahhh...Valentine's Day...

Now that the Super Bowl is over (congrats to the Packers), it’s time to start thinking about Valentine’s Day. So, for starters – what is Valentine’s Day? Where did it originate? Is it really something that stores came up with to trick people into spending their money on cards, candy, flowers, etc.?

Well, the truth of the matter is - no one seems quite sure of where it all started. It has bits and pieces of Catholicism, ancient Roman traditions, possibly some paganism and agriculture. What we do know is that it’s almost always been linked to love (ohh la la) and it's been around since, well, forever! (not really, but since at least 270 A.D.) There is a lot behind the “what, where, when, why and how” of Valentine’s day, but here’s a pretty good synopsis at the History Channel. (don’t wanna write too much about it because this blog would be just bogged down!)

What is known, is that since the 1700’s, Americans have been trading Valentine’s Day cards – and so the tradition continues on! But, do you really have to buy into the whole candy, card and flowers hype? Absolutely not!

If the person you are with is girly and likes the traditional, then yes – do the norm and get her a box of chocolates, a card, nice flowers and maybe even a good dinner. However, before deciding what to get – really think about your significant other’s personality, their likes and dislikes, has she been hinting very strongly about something in particular? Just about anything can be (and usually is) a good gift – as long as it’s geniune. Just be true to who they are. Don’t get the girly girl a vacuum and don’t get the house keeper something that sheds. The same also goes for you girls! Don’t get your guy some tools when you know he’s mechanically retarded and don’t get him a cook book if he doesn’t even know where the light switch to the kitchen is.

I don’t see Valentine’s Day as a must. I see it is a convenient time to show the one I love how much he means to me - so I give him just a little something knowing that he’s always giving his all to me.

We’ll start sharing some recipes, ideas as to what to buy if you don’t want to get the traditional stuff, and so on (whatever we can think of!) Let us know if there is anything in particular you’d like us to write on…

As always – don’t forget to check out our store at J n S's Coins and Collectibles

Friday, February 4, 2011

Weekly Tips and Tidbits

We like knowing what going on in the lives of other bloggers that we follow, so we thought that maybe you would like to see what's going on in ours:

- We opened our Ebay store, J n S's Coins and Collectibles  <------- go ahead, click on it - you know you wanna!!!

- We saved 42% on our groceries!  (We shop every 2 weeks) It's probably not a lot to some, but to us, it's a great starting point!

- The weather has been really wonky this week: stormy one day, spring like and windy the next, cold and dreary the next.

- JB has lost 5 lbs in the past 3 weeks, I on the other hand, have not lost any weight, but have gained plenty of stress

- Daisy and Amadeus (she's a dalmation, he's a golden retriever mix) are as good/crazy as usual.  Kind of proud of Amadeus, he's finally figured out how to open doors with his snout (he always acted like "what?!  i'm not opening the door, you're opening the door - now snap too!" - but now he's finally figured out it's not all that hard :)

- Oh, and did I mention that we have an Ebay store?!?!  Oh yeah baby!!  J n S's Coins and Collectibles  <------- pssssstt, click me!  click me!

- I'm reading "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown and JB's reading something about coins (can't remember the title!!)

- The Super Bowl is this Sunday - and It's gonna be GREAT!  We'll be sure to do a post on anything that we cook special for Sunday.  (knowing us though, it'll probably not be anything exciting - just a bag of chips and drink, but we'll see!)

Make Up Review - Bronzer and Lipstick!

What:  N.Y.C. Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder, 720A 'Sunny'
Where:  most drugstores
Cost: $1-$3

What It Claims: It gives you a natural-looking, sun-kissed, just stepped off of the beach look

The Truth:  It does!  It's really good for being so cheap. 

Overall Impression:  I'm sure you've heard tons of raves about this from other blogs, youtube, etc. and let me just say, the hype is true.  Whether your a beginner, down on your luck broke, need something you can throw in your bag and don't care if it breaks, or whatever, this is a good bronzer to help contour your face or if you want - that glow.  It's definite must have for your collection.

Packaging:  5 out of 5
Product Quality: 5 out of 5
Price: 5 out of 5

What Else:  Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick, 025 'Premier Plum' and 040 'Brilliant Bordeaux'
Where:  most drugstores
Cost:  $10 - $13

What It Claims:  food-proof lipcolor that lasts up to 12 hours
The Truth:  It's a great lipcolor.  It goes on like a lipgloss, but dries like a lipstick.  It's very buildable, and will stay on through most anything.

Overall Impression:  I'm so very glad that I've got these in my collection, and I will probably repurchase them!  Unless I vigorously wipe my mouth, the color stays and stays, from 5:30 in the morning until 5:30 in the evening - it's great!!

Packaging:  4 out of 5
Product Quality:  5 out of 5
Price:  3 out of 5 (kind of pricey for a drugstore lipcolor)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Our Business

As you may have previously read, one of our new years resolutions is to work on getting our business up and off of the ground.  Well, so far (even though it's only month 2 out of 12) we've been true to our word! 

We started out by selling bits and pieces of our (primarily his) coin collection on Ebay, but now - we have moved up to having an Ebay store!  *woo hoo* - no really, say it with me - *woo hoo*.  That's right - we're excited about it.  It doesn't sound like much, but to us - it's a lot.  Both of us work full time jobs, which require us to get up at 4:30am, and we don't get back home until 5pm or later, so we don't have too much time in the evenings to getting much work done on the business.  However, this year, we've decided that we're going to make this a good year! 

Here's (part of) how we do it: JB and I split up the work.  If he's working on the store, I'll do the laundry, cooking, feeding the pups, etc.  If I'm working on it, then he'll do the household stuff.  So far, it's working out pretty well.  And, we're learning that we're pretty good at motivating (annoying) each other to get the work done!  

Now, when you go to our store - please keep in mind that we're not as technologically savvy as some (most) of you out there, but we're trying!  We plan on continually working on it make it look better, have a wider selection of inventory, etc.

So, without further ado, here's the link to our store:  J n S's Coins and Collectibles

We'll be sure to go more in depth about what started the love affair with coins, tidbits here and there on coins, what all we're experiencing in this adventure!  But here's something we want from you!!  Any tips, advice, suggestions, comments, etc. that you have to helps us - we would greatly appreciate!  So, if you have the time, please leave us your thoughts, we'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Groundhog Day!!

Today is Groundhog Day!!  Hmm...wonder if we'll have 6 more weeks of winter.  I know that some parts of our country are getting slammed by wintery weather, while we down here in the South are having very mild temps.  Kinda crazy how it all works!  However, I cannot honestly say that I would trade places very quickly with those who have tons of snow and ice.  So, let's look into what Groundhogs day is...

"What is a groundhog?" you might ask...well, it's also known as a woodchuck [can't help but to think of 'how much wood can a woodchuck chuck' - hehehe] (or a Marmota monax for all of you really smart folks).  It's a small (10-15lbs) critter that is a "vegan" (only fruits and veggies for these fellas/gals), whistles when it's scared or wants to mate, and hibernates for several months in the winter. 

"How did Groundhog day get started?" - another excellent question.  Well, some say (probably the most widely understood/believed) it stems from the Christian Candlemas Day - where priests blessed candles, gave them to their parishoners for the winter, and the candles represented how long winter would be.  Of course, it can also be possibly tied to a Pagan festival and the Celtic Calendar.  I'm sure that there are all sorts of ways this day can be explained.  However, it was most notably the Germans that made the idea of using a small, furry critter (a badger or hedgehog) coming out to see it's shadow a sign of a longer winter, versus it not seeing it's shadow, meaning a shorter winter.  Once the Germans came to America, they switched the critter to the groundhog - and continued their tradition.

"Is Punxsutawney Phil the only Groundhog used to forecast the weather on Groundhog day?" - Nope!!  There are all kinds of groundhogs used throughout America and Canada.  Some other famous groundhogs are:  Smith Lake Jack, Staten Island Chuck, General Beauregard Lee, and Gus.  There are tons of famous groundhogs out there, those were just a few!

Of course Groundhog day get's it due in sitcoms, video games and even has it's own movie!  I think that regardless of whether or not the groundhog(s) make a correct prediction or not, it's a cute tradition.  So here's to winter slowly melting into spring, and hoping everyone has a great groundhog day!

Oh, and I'm positive I didn't cover every aspect of groundhogs or groundhog day...this was just meant to be a short synopsis of what and why.  But feel free to leave us comments about what, where, why, etc.  Or you can tell us what you think about groundhog day!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Make Up Review - Essence Silky Touch Blush

What: Essence Silky Touch Blush, #20 'Babydoll'
Where: Ulta
Cost: $2.49

What It Claims:  It's a silky powder blush that provides sheer color for a natural look

The Truth:  It is exactly what it says.  With babydoll in particular, it's fairly pigmented.  So, start with a light hand, and add more as needed!  It is a corally-pinky color with a hint of gold in it.  It's also got a slight shimmer - the pictures don't do it justice!  (That's no doubt operator error - I'm still learning how to take a good pic with the right lighting!  Please bear with me!)

Overall Impression:  I'm not necessarily blown out of the water by this product.  I got what I paid for.  For $2.50 - it's a pretty good deal.  I personally prefer the coverage you get with a mineral blush, but this is good for that sheer, coral/pink kiss on your cheeks kind of color. 

Packaging:  3 out of 5
Product Quality:  5 out of 5 (it does what it says!)
Price:  5 out of 5

Monday, January 31, 2011

First Make Up Review!!

First Make Up Review!
As I buy make up, hair, body products, I'll do hauls (if I buy that much) and definitely reviews for you!

What: L'Oreal Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting Base
Where: Most drugstores
Cost: $13.00 - $15.00
What It Claims To Do: It will smooth lines, hide pores and banish imperfections. It is a silky smooth formula that will give you a matte finish and make you velvet smooth to the touch.

The Truth: I think it does everything is says it does, but it does NOT work miracles. Keep that in mind! I does help give you the appearance of smoother skin, a matte finish and smooth to the touch. But it doesn't really get rid of imperfections (when I think of imperfections, I'm thinking redness, large pores, blackheads, zits, etc.) Also, be careful of how much you use! If you use more than just a teensy tiny amount, it might make you even more oily as the day goes on!

Overall Impression: I think it does it's job, considering it's a drug store primer. It's a great base/primer, when used in moderation at an affordable price. It's very buildable, and it really does make you feel so very smooth! So here's how I think it racked up:

Packaging: 4 out of 5
Product Quality: 4 out of 5
Price: 5 out of 5

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Super Bowl XLV – coming soon to a TV near you!

Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – February 6, 2011 – kickoff 6:25pm

Are you planning on having a super bowl party? Whether the group is large or small – the name of the game is casual! Everyone’s wearing their favorite team jersey, watching TV, drinking, eating, cheering – so don’t let the idea of a super bowl party fluster you! Here are some easy tips and tricks for a successful party.

- Try to make food that is easy to eat in front of the television

- Set up the food as a buffet

- Don’t go all out on the decorations, most people are going to be focused on the game!

- Ask people to bring something with them, such as : ice, drinks, dips, dessert

- If you can’t afford alcoholic beverages for everyone – tell them in advance BYOB (bring your own beer) or whatever they drink. Most people understand in today’s times, not everyone can afford to support the drinking habits of their friends, family and neighbors. And this way, people are ensured that they will have something they like to drink on hand.

- Come up with some easy and fun games to entertain your guests during commercials/halftime

Some common super bowl foods are:
- Chili
- Chicken wings
- Dips
- Desserts
- Pizza
- Chips
- Fruit
- Nachos
- Meatballs
- Sandwiches

Now, don’t go thinking that you have to make everything! Our usual rule of thumb is, the host(ess) makes the more complicated to transport/can be quiet messy things, and guests make the more transportable items. For instance, we will make the chili, meatballs, pizza and nachos – while asking others to bring a dip, a dessert, a bag of chips, etc. with them.

Some easy and fun games to enjoy are:
- Football charades – try to guess common football words such as: cheerleader, touchdown, football, coach, etc.
- Football bean bag toss and/or a light game of touch football
- Don’t say “football” game – a game common at baby showers, everyone gets a football themed sticker…and they try not to say football, but when they do – the person who hears it has the right to take their football sticker. Whoever collects the most sticker’s wins!
- Beer Pong (suggested for adult parties)
- Team Match-Ups – type up a list of teams with blanks next to them, and tell people they have to fill in the city each team is from – the person with the most amount of right answers win!
- Football Trivia – you can make the cards yourself, or hand out a sheet with questions on them, or you can buy a football trivia game set

If you have children, or you’re crafty – make the decorations yourself. No need to go out and buy something fancy and expensive, when you can use cardboard, felt, glitter, scissors, construction paper, etc.

If you want to build a collection of football related dishes/ceramic decorations – cruise your local yard sales and flea markets. You’ll probably be able to find them all year long, and don’t pay too much for them! If you do it right, you’ll probably have a substantial collection that you only paid $5 - $10 for!

So let us know – who are hoping will win? What are your favorite tips/tricks/recipes?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tips for saving money

One of our news years resolutions - and one that most people make - is to save more money!  I thought that I would give some of my tips and tricks for saving money. 

1.  Eat at home!  Eating out versus eating at home.....eating at home usually wins.  Granted, eating out is easier, and faster, and much less of a hassle - it's also not nearly as gratifying.  When I think that I'm too tired to cook, or too lazy - whichever the case may be - I remind myself of these things:
   - cooking at home gives you a sense of accomplishment
   - it can be/will be cheaper than eating out
   - it's more of a workout than driving through the drive through (think about it:  your on your feet, stirring, chopping, washing, etc.)
   - you know what's in it, you know it's healthy
   - it let's you use your imagination and creativity

2.  Coupons!  I know, a total pain the *** sometimes, but hey - it can be worth it.  People ask me, is it worth buying a newspaper every Sunday?  I say yes, I spend $1.50 or so, and I usually end up saving wayyyy more!  Find a store that doubles your coupons - that helps.  I know that the Kroger that we go to will double coupons every day, up to $.50 (which means you could save up to $1.00).  Also, don't be afraid to use a coupon on something that's already marked down or on clearance.  For instance, there have been times that I've gone into a store (RiteAid) and got my conditioner on sale for $3.00, then I had a $1.50 off coupon from the paper, and an addition $1.00 off from the RiteAid Video Values, and then I got an UPS reward after paying for it.  Also, don't forget that you can print them off from the internet as well! 
(And, just to let you know - I am not one of those that can go and buy $200 worth of products and only spend $5...but I don't mind trying to save that kind of money!)

3.  Use the web to help you figure out couponing and saving solutions!  There are tons of websites out there to help you save money and time!  A couple of my favorites are:

4.  Use the library!  Seriously - borrow books, movies and cd's from the library.  That way, you can read, watch and listen to something all you want - and you don't have to pay for it, find a place to store it, or even dust it every once in a while!  Also, our library I know - but most others as well, sell their gently used books.  Out library has a 'store' on the first floor, where you can buy books any time the library is open.  However, other libraries in the area hold book sales 2-4 times a year.

5. Yard Sales and Flea Markets!  I know that some people say you can and should buy everything you can from places like this...but I cannot say that we do that.  However, we do buy things like:
- fresh fruit and veggies
- books
- avon products
- any sort of cute gift ideas that we can give for a present
But don't forget that they are great places for gently used clothing/shoes/school items, costume jewelry, unique one of kind hand made products, and sooo much more!

6.  Subscribe to restaurant and store websites!  Usually, most stores and restaurants these days have their own websites, where you can join an e-club (or something like that), and as a result of that - you will usually get alerted to sales, and get coupons!

There are many other tips and tricks out there - hopefully this is enough to help you start saving some dough!

Happy Bargain Hunting and Savings!
The Young Couple 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Better Late Than Never!

backgrounds,Happy New Year,holidays,NVTOfficeClips,seasons,signs,text,wallpapers,special occasions

My stars!  It's been a long time since we've posted anything - far too long!  We are finally sharing our resolutions for this year - and granted, others will be added, some will probably be deleted, and some are ever constant. 

Our resolutions (thus far):
- loose weight (ha, ha, ha - only 3 weeks into the new year, and we can't even get motivated to start, much less stick to it!)
- save money - much harder than it sounds at times!
- try at home remedies, primarily for cleaning/housekeeping
- being more resourceful, in all aspects
- read more
- sleep more
- start J's business
- get him in trade school

I know - that's a lot!  But we figure that saving money and loosing weight - those are every year, ever constant wants/needs/resolutions.  As for loosing weight, that's going to take some practice and time.  J is diabetic, so we have to be careful of what we eat - and we're both lazy, so it's a double whammy!  We've got to be motivated to eat the food equivalent of cardboard and actually make an effort to sweat (by choice)!  Hmmm...we'll see where this path leads us.

As for saving money, we already use coupons and try to catch things on sale.  But, we figure that we could also save money by trying at home cleaning remedies.  Here are a couple of recipes for all-purpose cleaners that I found:

1 gallon water
1 cup ammonia
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup baking soda
mix all the ingredients and then put it in a squirt bottle


2 cups water
1/4 cup vinegar
2 teaspoons dish soap
mix all the ingredients and then put it in a squirt bottle

We also found a recipe to be used as an everyday shower cleaner (kind of like tilex, etc.):
8 oz. concentrated cleaner (like Lysol)
16 oz. isopropyl alcohol
Put the cleaner and alcohol in a 1 gallon bucket, put in enough water to make it a gallon - put in a spray bottle

We'll see how these do-it-yourself cleaners work and let you know!  We also try to keep our AC/heat at set temps, don't show any brand loyalty (get whatever's on sale)...but for some reason - we just can't seem to sock away much moo-lah.  So, we're going to try to be more creative - sell our stuff on craigslist (after all, one man's junk is another man's treasure - right?), try not to buy anything unless necessary.  The diet, I'm sure will help cut costs - not so much eating out, sodas, chips, cookies, etc.  So that takes care of the first 4, more or less.

As for more reading - I love to read just about anything and everything, J likes read only a few specific things - and we're going to try to change that.  I rarely read the things he's interested in, and he definitely does not read the things that I'm interested in.  So, we've agreed to pick out a book for each other, read it and see what we think about it.  This might only last for 1 book, but it might last longer!

More sleep!  I am the self proclaimed queen of napping...however, when I say more sleep - I don't mean naps, I mean that we should get in a schedule.  Our regular schedule should be, go to bed at 8:30pm, get up at 4:30am.  However, we sometimes go to bed at 10 or 10:30, then can't get up until 5am, or we'll crash at 7pm and get up at 4pm.  Then there are the weekends!  Oh - we get all giddy thinking we can stay up late, so we do.  We'll go to bed at 11 or so, then get up at 6 or 7....and do the same on Saturday.  But, when Sunday rolls around, and it's 8:30 or so - we can't go to sleep for anything!  So, in order to make sure that we get 8 hours a night, so there'll be less hurt feelings and crabby mornings - we are going to try to maintain a schedule.

As for J's business - it goes hand in hand with the last one - getting J into trade school.  See, J's ultimate dream is to open his own gun/coin shop here in town.  However, he wants to be a certified gun smith - so he can not only sell you a gun, but he can also repair/modify it as well.  So - we are wanting him to get that ball rolling.  Also, he's been into coins for several years now, and it's a constantly evolving, very historically rich and fact oriented world.  I've never been one for collecting coins, but now that I'm watching him - I'm learning more and starting to realize what a wide, wonderful, in depth, world it is!  J currently is selling coins on e-bay, and we want to work towards opening a store on e-bay, and perhaps linking it to this blog or another website.  Then when that gets up and off of the ground - we'll work our way towards opening a real brick and mortar store! 

I'll be sure to keep you updated of progress on all of these things.  What are your resolutions?  Anything new, old, daunting or exciting?  I'd love to hear all about them!