Ways to Save on Baby and Top Baby Costs

Ways to Save on Baby and Top Baby Costs

Ways to Save on Baby and Top Baby Costs

~ This article may contain affiliate links. I only suggest product or services I believe will benefit my readers. All opinions are 100% mine! ~

How much does it cost to have a baby? Try $13,000 per year…

GULP!

You read that right! The average cost spent on a baby the first year is approximately $13,000 according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Are you shocked? Wondering how you can afford this precious baby?

Having a new baby is exciting and life changing. There is so much anticipation along with overwhelming anxiety about how you will be able to afford all the things your precious new baby will need.

But don’t stress! We’ve got you covered with ways to save on the top baby costs and creative ways to budget and plan for your new baby.

Looking for more ways to prepare for baby? Check out this: How to Prepare Financially for Baby

Top Baby Costs

Childcare:

Childcare is one of those things that you feel like you spend all your money on, and yet you know your childcare worker is worth more than you could ever pay. Childcare runs on average $150 -$200 per week depending on where you live. When I went back to work we had 2 in childcare. Our infant childcare cost $163 per week and our 2 year old cost $147 per week.

Ways to Save on Childcare:

Finding a childcare provider that you trust is very important. If you have family that can help out with childcare a couple of days or more, then that is a great way to save.

Look into local churches that offer childcare. We personally had a great experience with a local church that was reasonably priced with great caring childcare workers. I always left feeling that my kids were safe and the childcare workers would send me emails and text messages through out the day to let me know how my little guys were doing!

You can save on occasional childcare needs for date nights by trading babysitting with another family. Also look into Parents Night Out at your local community centers, YMCA, and churches. Parents Night Out in our area usually runs $20 for 3 kids for 3 hours of babysitting. It’s a great way for us to get away for a quiet dinner!

 

Baby Formula:

Baby formula can range in price from $30 – $50 per can. Your baby will most likely go through one can per week. The more expensive brands are typically used for babies with some kind of allergy or sensitivity.

Ways to Save on Baby Formula:

If breastfeeding is an option for you, then this is the best way to feed your baby because it’s free. There is no shame in not breastfeeding your baby. You will still be an awesome mama! I’ve had many friends who tried and couldn’t feed their baby. They felt like failures because of their nursing problems. Remember the goal is to have a healthy growing baby. If breastfeeding works for you then great…if not you can save money on formula by using coupons. Sign up for coupons from the formula company or even directly call the number on their package. Companies love to hear positive feedback and if you ask for coupons specific to your formula then you will probably be able to get some!

If breastfeeding works for you then great…if not you can save money on formula by using coupons. Sign up for coupons from the formula company or even directly call the number on their package. Companies love to hear positive feedback and if you ask for coupons specific to your formula then you will probably be able to get some!

Diapers:

Diapers run between $24.99 – $34.99 per box. You will go through more diapers in the very beginning from birth to about 3 months. Each month baby will go through 1 – 2 boxes of diapers. Cloth diapers run approximately $40 for one size of 6 diapers with inserts, you would need to buy a set for each size your child needs.

Ways to Save on Baby Diapers:

There are lots of ways you can save on diapers! My husband was not on board with cloth diapers, so we use disposable diapers. You can use coupons (in Sunday newspapers, online, and by contacting the manufacturer).

Buying in bulk is another way to get a good deal on diapers. Join Amazon Family 30-Day Free Trial to get deals on diapers up to 20% off! Target also has great deals on diapers like my favorite deal of $10 off when you buy 2 boxes of diapers, which means I basically get free wipes with my diapers!

Mama Pro Tip: If you are ordering online don’t forget to shop through Ebates to earn cash back on your purchases! You can earn between 2 – 10% cash back on purchases just by going to Ebates first before shopping at your favorite online store.

Always save money with Ebates even if you need something faster than it can be shipped or you want to avoid shipping costs. Order online and choose in-store pick-up so that you are able to get cash back! Sign up for Ebates here and get $10 just for signing up!

Needs versus Wants

So a need is something that is required to survive. You NEED food, water, shelter, love, and chocolate (sort of kidding… 🙂

You WANT the extras…

the things that make life easier, more colorful, fun, and stylish.

Here’s a tip: Make a list of all the things you can think of that you NEED for your new baby. Then ask some real mamas who are already doing the newborn baby thing to see what they are actually using.

At the same time know that something that works for your friends may not work for you and that’s ok. None of my babies have ever liked being in a swing. They all 3 loved a bouncy seat, but we never really could plan for that because we didn’t know until we tried it out.

Nothing wrong with buying wants…

There’s nothing wrong with buying those ADORABLE moccasins for your sweet baby (who won’t be walking for several months), but it’s not a need. It’s ok to splurge on the fun things as long as you’ve got your budget figured out!

Try this First-Year Baby Cost Calculator from Baby Center.  It is a detailed calculator that can help you breakdown all the things you need to consider for your baby’s first year.

Ways to Get the Things Your Baby Needs

Baby Showers

Baby showers are a great way to get things that you need. Co-workers, friends, family, church, groups will usually start asking to throw you a shower around 7 months into the pregnancy. People love to give clothes and bath stuff at baby showers.

If you have multiple baby showers planned make sure to register for diapers or even plan for one of the showers to just be a diaper shower. This will be especially helpful if you are planning to go with cloth diapering or disposable diapers.

Insurance

Check with your insurance to see if you are covered for a breast pump. If you decide to breastfeed having an electric breast pump can be very helpful. You will be able to leave your baby to take a break or even just give dad a chance to feed the baby so maybe you can sleep a little.

If you are going back to work, then you will definitely need a good quality breast pump. Medela is considered a top of the line breast pump and many major insurance companies cover the cost of breast pumps. Be sure to check the details with your insurance provider.

Consignment Shops / Thrift Stores

Baby gear can be bought for a fraction of the price through consignment shops, thrift stores, craigslist, or online yard sales groups (Check Facebook for local yard sale groups). We have personally bought our infant car seat, high chair, pack n’ play, clothes, shoes, toys, bedding, and toddler bed from a local consignment shop. Everything we bought was in excellent or very good condition. Kids grow out of baby gear and clothes so quickly that usually the products ar

Kids grow out of baby gear and clothes so quickly that the products usually have a lot of life left in them.

Check your local area for consignment shops or consignment pop-up events. We have had great experiences with pop-up consignment shops because there is a wider selection of baby gear, toys, clothes, and shoes.

Borrow

We have been apart of a very generous community through our church. The people in our group hear of a need and there is always someone willing to fill it.

I have been able to borrow maternity clothes, breast pump (I just bought my own breast pump hoses from Amazon), baby gear, and other things that I used for a short time and then returned. Some people even gave me some things that they just didn’t need anymore. When we finish with those things we will find another family to pay it forward.

Health Department

If you are really struggling to make ends meet, then check with your local health department for information on receiving a free car seat, formula, diapers, and wipes. Most states have programs that give away free car seats, but you need to check the program. The health department in my county only gives away 5 car seats a month.

You can also google other resource centers in your town or county to find more ways to help you get the essentials for your baby.

 

There is a way to get the things you need for your new baby!

Momma you got this! You are about to embark on a wild adventure learning more about what you are capable of accomplishing with what you have. Somehow it all works out. You will be able to figure out ways to make things work for you and your family. It takes time . . . so give yourself a little grace.

Set goals, make a plan, and say a prayer…things rarely happen the way they are planned, but it’s always for the best so learn to be flexible!


How do you save money on baby’s top costs?

Looking for more ways to earn financial freedom? Join our newsletter and get the FREE Mom Boss Toolkit e-course designed to help you start your journey making EXTRA INCOME over the next 7 days! Click the Pink Button >>> Sign Me UP!

Join the conversation…ask questions, find new job opportunities & ways to save, and encouragement! Click the pink button to join our Smart Cents Mom FB page!

Join!

 

5 Frugal Slow Cooker Dinners for a Busy Week

5 Frugal Slow Cooker Dinners for a Busy Week

5 Frugal Slow Cooker Dinners for a Busy Week

Nothing is better than walking in the house from a long day and dinner is ready!

I love using my slow cooker! We have a busy week ahead of us, so I have chosen 5 frugal slow cooker dinners that will save us on time and money.

~ This article may contain affiliate links. I only suggest product or services I believe will benefit my readers. All opinions are 100% mine! ~

One way I save on dinners is by buying our chicken from Zaycon Fresh. They have great meats at the best price. You can order online and pick-up your meats on a monthly basis. We just bought a deep freezer so we are able to buy in bulk.

Meal planning helps us save money by having a plan for the week. We aren’t tempted to eat out or grab dinner through a drive-thru.  Especially when I’m tired I don’t have to think about WHAT to cook for dinner. I can look up my meal plan and I know I have the ingredients to make what is on the calendar.

We also save money at the grocery store with a meal plan. When I go to the grocery store with a list and a meal plan, I actually buy less food and create less waste.

All of my recipes for the week are from Erin Chase’s $5 Dollar Dinners and the 31 Day Slow Cooker Challenge.

Looking for ways to save on groceries? Check out . . . How to Save Money on Groceries without Coupons

5 Frugal Slow Cooker Dinners

5 Ingredient Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken

5 Dollar Dinners

Simple recipes are the best…and that’s exactly what this is with only 5 ingredients. This recipe has a little tangy flavor thanks to the apricot. I plan on making a side of broccoli with this. Get the recipe here: Apricot Chicken

Chicken Tortilla Soup

5 Dollar Dinners

Chicken Tortilla soup is one of my favorite soups! The warmth of this soup is perfect for cool windy spring days. Not to mention it’s a sneaky way to get my kids to eat some vegetables like beans and corn. I will never understand the finicky palate of toddlers and preschoolers! Get the recipe here: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken

5 Dollar Dinners

This is a new recipe for us this week, but I thought I would try this recipe since my kids LOVE fruit. What better way to entice the kids to eat some protein than pineapple! Get the recipe here: Slow Cooker Hawaiian Chicken

Beef Roast with Apple, Carrots, Onions and Red Potatoes

5 Dollar Dinners

I found a roast from Aldi last week for $12, so I bought 2. It was delicious!  My husband LOVES a roast and took the leftovers for lunch 2 times, which saved us money on his lunch budget. So we are trying this recipe! Get the recipe here: Beef Roast with Apple, Carrots, Onion, and Red Potatoes

Mexican Carnitas

5 Dollar Dinners

Our week isn’t complete without tacos! I love tex-mex and could honestly eat it every night of the week 🙂 This is a great recipe and I just switch out the pork for chicken. So it’s not exactly carnitas, but it’s still good! Get the recipe here: Mexican Carnitas

If you are looking for an easy way to meal plan with tons of options, easy access, and all the work done for you…

check out $5 Dollar Dinners from Erin Chase. We love her meal plans and it saves me hours from planning and even shopping. You can try it free for 14 days!

What are your favorite slow cooker dinners?

More ways to save on dinner…

Ibotta

Ibotta is a cell phone app that is easy to use everywhere you go to buy groceries! You can easily earn cash back rebates and transfer the money into your Paypal account. This is seriously one of my favorite ways to save money at the grocery store!

I love this app because it is so easy to use and now it’s just part of my routine when I grocery shop. You can use this at your grocery store and even Target and Walmart!  You simply find the items you want to buy in your app and then scan your purchases and receipt when you get home and put everything away.

The best part is you get to earn cash back on items that usually don’t ever have coupons like fruits, vegetables, milk, and eggs! Also, they have many items each month that are NOT BRAND SPECIFIC. So you can choose any brand in that category and still save!

If you do this all year you will have a nice chunk of change saved up from doing what you already do! Join Ibotta and earn a $10 cash bonus!

Want more details? Read my Ibotta Review

Want to earn more?  

How to Earn $3100 with Cash Back Apps

How to $1000 per Month Like a Boss


Looking for creative ways to save money and earn extra money from side hustles to mompreneur opportunities? Join our newsletter and get the FREE Mom Boss Toolkit e-course designed to help you start your journey making EXTRA INCOME over the next 7 days! Click the Pink Button >>> Sign Me UP!

Join the conversation…ask questions, find new job opportunities & ways to save, and encouragement! Click the pink button to join our Smart Cents Mom FB page!

Join!

 

Make Extra Money with Focus Groups

Make Extra Money with Focus Groups

Make Extra Money with Focus Groups

~ This article may contain affiliate links. I only suggest product or services I believe will benefit my readers. All opinions are 100% mine! ~

How I Made $100 in 90 Minutes! (Make Extra Money with Focus Groups)

 

I have been participating in focus groups for several years. This week I was paid $100 for 90 minutes of my time!

 

I can’t give you details about the focus group I participated in due to non-disclosure agreements. I spent 90 minutes in a discussion panel where we (me and about 6 other people) were asked questions about a specific topic. We also had homework that we had to fill out and bring in related to the topic. (The homework only took about 10 minutes).

 

This specific focus group provided us with a pizza dinner (complete with snacks, cookies, and sodas), which was really nice because our group was at 6:00 right at dinner time.

 

I had to get a babysitter for my kids for 2 hours which costs me $10/hour, so I made $80.

 

If you are looking for a way to earn some extra cash, then focus groups should be on your list of side hustles to try.

Looking for more ways to earn extra income? How to Earn $1000 per Month Online

How to find a focus group

 

You can find a focus group in your city by doing a quick google search.

 

Start with these search terms . . .

 

  • Focus groups *Your City*

 

  • Market research *Your City*

 

  • Focus groups near me

 

Click on the options that are brought up in the search results. You will want to check out the websites of any locations that are presented and call the locations to get an idea if these places are legit.

 

You will want to get on the email list as focus group participant of your local focus group company. I receive emails each week about upcoming focus group opportunities that I qualify for.

 

Remember to always answer the pre-requisite questions accurately and honestly. If you lie about your answers it will be more difficult to find surveys and focus groups that you qualify for in the future.

Typically you can expect to earn between $50 – $150+ for 1-2 hours of work. Online surveys or phone surveys can pay between $5 – $20 for about 15 minutes – 20 minutes of work. There are some instances where you might earn gift cards for your participation in focus groups and occasionally you can get free products!

Find Focus Groups

Find Focus Groups lists focus groups that are available across the nation. You can click here to search for focus groups that are available.

**If you ever feel uncomfortable with a business or location then do not pursue working with them and do not give them your information.**

 

Online Focus Groups / Surveys

These online focus groups might look familiar to you if you use online surveys to make extra money from home. The key to each of these online focus groups/survey sites is to stay active with short surveys in order to better your chances to be invited to focus groups. Focus groups pay much better than taking surveys!

My advice is to create a seperate email account for signing up for surveys/focus groups. Then join all the focus group/survey sites below to better your chances of earning extra cash with a focus group!

Toluna

Toluna is a marketing research firm that offers paid surveys and focus group panels. Paid surveys earn between $10 to $30 (one of the best paying survey sites around!) and relevant surveys are the first step into focus group panels. You can be paid with direct cash rewards or sweepstakes entries. Your best chances for getting into focus group panels is by taking shorter surveys.

**Sign up for Toluna here!**

 

Ipsos I-Say

Ipsos I-Say is another survey site that offers focus group panels. Focus group panels can pay up to $120 per hour! The best way to get into focus groups with Ipsos I-Say is to stay active in their surveys. The surveys don’t pay as much as the focus groups, but you can still earn a little cash with the surveys.

Sign up for Ipsos I-Say here!

 

My Survey

My Survey has surveys, focus groups, and product testing opportunities. Active survey takers are most likely to be invited to focus group opportunities. Focus group panelists are paid via gift certificates and pre-paid gift credit cards.

Sign up for My Survey here!

 

Harris Poll Online

Harris Poll Online is a trusted online survey company with options for focus group panels. Paid focus group panels can be done in-person, over the phone, or online. You can expect to earn at least $50 per panel.

Sign up for Harris Poll Online here!

 

VIP Voice

You can take surveys and focus group panels with VIP Voice. You can earn from $25 to $100 in REWARDS.

Sign up for VIP Voice here!

 

Survey Junkie

Earn $2 – $75 for surveys through Survey Junkie. You can also earn up to $120 doing online focus groups! Survey Junkie matches survey takers with survey providers. This gives you more opportunities to be matched for qualifying surveys. Survey Junkie isn’t really a focus group company, but they do offer focus group opportunities. When you are offered a chance to join the focus panel, you should do it even if there aren’t currently many opportunities. As the company gets contracts for focus group panels you will be on the list!

Sign up for Survey Junkie here! 

Focus Group Websites

20|20 Panel

20|20 Panel offers in-person and online research studies. These studies generally pay $50 to $150. In-Person studies: Nashville, TN | Miami, FL | Charlotte, NC

Sign up for 20|20 Panel here!

 

 

Engage in Depth

Engage in Depth offers consumer and healthcare focus group panels. You can earn as much as $100 per pane. When you sign up you will answer several questionnaires. Make sure you are honest and answer completely. This will help you get into focus groups that you qualify.

Sign up for Engage in Depth here!

 

FocusGroup.com

FocusGroup.com offers focus groups, shop alongs, in-person focus groups, and many more opportunities. To get started, fill out the online application and complete surveys and focus group invitations. In-person focus groups can earn between $75 to $150.

Sign up for FocusGroup.com here!

 

Focus Forward

Focus Forward offers paid surveys at $5 per survey. The process to get into a focus group is to take an online survey, then you might be called for a phone screening, then you will be set up in a focus group. You can earn $50 to $200 for these focus groups.

Sign up for Focus Forward here!

 

MindSwarms

Mindswarms conducts studies online via webcam, smartphone, or tablet. To get started complete the online application and then answer questions through webcam online. You can earn $50 per study and are paid via Paypal.

Sign up for Mindswarms here!

 

Mintvine

Mintvine pays $10 to $50 per hour for focus group panels. They also have paid surveys lasting 5 to 10 minutes paying $2 to $3. You can get paid through Paypal or Amazon gift card. Referring friends is another way to earn and you can get paid 15% of what they make.

Sign up for Mintvine here!

 

 

Savitz Research

Savitz Research group offers online and telephone surveys. Focus group studies pay between $50 to $300 per study. Get started by filling out the online application.

Sign up for Savitz Research here!

 

*Be sure research each opportunity before applying to each group.*

Looking for more side hustles to earn extra money? How to Earn $1000 per Month without a Job


 

Looking for more ways to earn financial freedom? Join our newsletter and get the FREE Mom Boss Toolkit e-course designed to help you start your journey making EXTRA INCOME over the next 7 days! Click the Pink Button >>> Sign Me UP!

Join the conversation…ask questions, find new job opportunities & ways to save, and encouragement! Click the pink button to join our Smart Cents Mom FB page!

Join!

 

Get Paid to Blog as a Freelance Writer

Get Paid to Blog as a Freelance Writer

Get Paid to Blog as a Freelance Writer

~ This article may contain affiliate links. I only suggest product or services I believe will benefit my readers. All opinions are 100% mine! ~

I am so excited to introduce you to my blogging friend Elna Cain! She is a busy work at home mom of 4-year old twins. Elna has created a successful business as a freelance writer and now she is teaching others how to get paid to blog as a freelance writer. I invited Elna to give us the details on blogging as a freelance writer!


Do you have a blog?

Are you trying to monetize it? It can be crazy hard, right? There are so many ways to make money as a side hustle like affiliate marketing, using ads on your blog and doing sponsored posts.

But, did you know there’s a quicker and easier way to make money if you’re a blogger? It’s having a freelance-based business!

Yes, and specifically being a freelance writer!

My name is Elna Cain and I’m a professional writer. I write for popular blogs like Blogging Wizard and OptinMonster.

And, you know what? I get paid to write about things I absolutely LOVE! Like – blogging tips!

Yes, that’s right. You can get paid to blog about your passion like:

  • Being a parent
  • Natural health
  • Home décor
  • Knitting
  • Pets
  • WordPress
  • Marketing
  • Real Estate
  • Law
  • Gardening
  • Fashion
  • Entertainment
  • Travel
  • And more!

As a freelance writer online, you can write about anything and get PAID TO DO IT!

Looking for more ways to get paid? Check this out…7 Ways for Busy Moms to Make Extra Money Online

How I Broke Into Freelance Writing

I started freelance writing over two years ago after I had finished my maternity leave with my twins (where I live, you get a year off for maternity).

For the first year of being a first-time mom, I had my hands full.

Needless to say, I had no time to do anything except, feed, change, eat, wash up and repeat (oh I didn’t sleep that first year either!).

But, after that year was up and my twins started walking and I was able to take a bit of time to myself – seriously, like shower! – I knew I had to think about contributing to the household finances.

Before I had my twins, I was working in the school system, but I knew I couldn’t go back to what I was doing.

There was no way I could leave my twins to someone else (mama bear here). And, plus, daycare costs would’ve have eaten up my paycheck.

So, I made the decision to work from home. I looked into virtual assisting and freelance writing. I chose writing since I’m creative, love to write and it comes naturally to me.

I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning. Instead of starting a website to showcase my business, I decided to create a profile on Upwork.

Upwork is a freelance marketplace, but the work is low paying and ghostwritten (which means my name isn’t attached to my work). I didn’t get anywhere on that platform.

It wasn’t until I created my website that I was able to land a $400/month gig. And then the following month was making well over $1k/month.

Life as a Professional Writer

Now that my twins are four years old, my life as a paid writer is different than when I started.

My twins napped more and I had more time to write back then. Now, my twins no longer nap, so I do most of my client work in the morning and at night.

I’ve always worked part time; I just had to switch my hours around. Most of the day is filled with activities with my twins and life as a mom.

I can easily make a living as a writer only writing 4 hours a day.

I honed on a niche – digital marketing – and was able to increase my rate from $.04/word to now over $.30/word.

I primarily write blog posts that vary from 500 words to 2,000 words. In one week I can write up to 3 blog posts for my clients and still have time to write on my freelance writing blog and my Twins Mommy blog.

Helping New Writers

I’ve met so many great aspiring writers – from mom bloggers that want to make a side income to college students that want to live the freelance lifestyle to even corporate burn-outs that hate their job and want something different.

All of them were eager to learn how to freelance write and make a living from it. Because I wanted to help everyone not make the same mistakes I did, I decided to create a course for bloggers and aspiring writers.

It’s called Write Your Way to Your First $1k.

I created it for brand new freelance writers. I set you up to get your writer platform up and running so that you can attract clients.

But I also give you over 95+ ways to find profitable clients.

I also dive deep into the skills you need to make your first $1k like:

  • How to write and structure your blog post for your clients
  • How to properly submit your work
  • How to optimize and annotate your images
  • How to upload your project into a client’s CMS (content management system)
  • And more…

Finally, my course helps you when you do get clients – because you will get clients for sure – and how to get them onboard and wow them for recurring work.

Plus, I have a thriving private Facebook group full of my students that you can connect and network with as well as get job leads and get more training from me!

Interested in Becoming a Freelance Writer?

If you’re interested in getting your first freelance writing job, I have a free email course that will teach you the steps you need to land that first gig.

I also own FreelancerFAQs where you can find the best information to help you run your freelance business.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your side hustle running and become a freelance writer today!


Looking for more ways to earn financial freedom? Join our newsletter and get the FREE Mom Boss Toolkit e-course designed to help you start your journey making EXTRA INCOME over the next 7 days! Click the Pink Button >>> Sign Me UP!

Join the conversation…ask questions, find new job opportunities & ways to save, and encouragement! Click the pink button to join our Smart Cents Mom FB page!

Join!


5 Frugal Dinner Ideas Under 10 Dollars

5 Frugal Dinner Ideas Under 10 Dollars

5 Frugal Dinner Ideas Under 10 Dollars

~ This article may contain affiliate links. I only suggest product or services I believe will benefit my readers. All opinions are 100% mine! ~

What is dinner like at your house?

 

As much as I would love to create amazing dinners…

 

the reality is I have about 20 minutes to get dinner together in the evenings before my 9 month old is hanging on my leg and the big boys start fighting. Something about that 5 o’clock hour is magical 😉

 

Saving money in the kitchen is one line item in our budget that we have to stay vigilant about, especially with 3 growing boys.

 

I use apps like Ibotta and Shopkick to earn money back from grocery shopping.

 

And I just started using Zaycon Fresh to buy our meats! My husband is a meat-eater so we eat a lot of chicken because I can get the best price. But with Zaycon Fresh I will be able to save on ground beef and other cuts of meat.

 

So 2 things are a BIG DEAL for us in our family…

 

QUICK and FRUGAL meals.

**Looking for more ways to save? Check this post out! 20 Grocery Store Hacks to Save You Money Without Coupons 

While I was planning our menu this week, I decided to share the recipes we are using from my 2 favorite places to find frugal, quick, and tasty dinners that my family will actually eat!

5 Dollar Dinners is a very helpful site for getting frugal/quick meal plans and recipes. Erin Chase, the founder of 5 Dollar Dinners, is all about helping you get time back from your day and week. As a member of 5 Dollar Dinners, each week you will receive one freezer friendly, one slow cooker, and one 20 minute meals. Gluten FREE options are also available!

You can try the service for FREE for 14 days here.

Dashing Dish is an awesome site where Katie shares tons of healthy recipes. You can join her membership program (for a very reasonable fee) and create healthy meal plans online or with the new Dashing Dish app.

 

Here are some great ideas for Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes:

Peppered Pork Chops by 5 Dollar Dinners

The best part about this meal is that it is all about the flavor. There are no crazy seasonings or unusual ingredients, just simple staples to create a delicious dinner.

King Ranch Chicken Macaroni Cheese by 5 Dollar Dinners

My son LOVES mac’n cheese. My husband and I need a grown up version of Mac and Cheese. This recipe hits the spot! This meal can be frozen for later. So I plan on doubling this recipe and freezing one pan for later. Total cook time is 1 hour (but 30  minutes is baking in the oven)!

Baked BBQ Chicken Sandwiches by 5 Dollar Dinners

My kids love mini sandwiches. For some reason, it’s more fun to eat a something on a little bun…

whatever works 🙂

This is another great recipe with a total cook time of 20 -30  minutes!

Clean Eating Crockpot Chicken Tacos by Dashing Dish

Mexican food is my favorite. There will always be some sort of taco-ish dish on our meal plan each week. I love this recipe because you can be flexible with how you want to serve it…

either in a bowl as a salad or with soft taco shells.

Total cook time Slow Cooker recipe 4 – 8 hours.

10 Minute Black Bean Corn Quesadillas by Dashing Dish

This is another tex-mex dinner for our family. I’m using this to create savings on meat and a way to get more veggies in front of my boys. We will have this dinner when my husband works late (which is usually once per week).

Total cook time 10 – 15 minutes.

 

I know you are a busy momma! Flexibility and finding ways to create more time is ESSENTIAL to your daily life. Meal planning can help you create more time during your week for things that matter…

If you want more QUICK and FRUGAL dinner ideas…

 


Want an easy way to save money? Try Ibotta!

Ibotta is a cell phone app that is easy to use everywhere you go to buy groceries! You can easily earn cash back rebates and transfer the money into your Paypal account. This is seriously one of my favorite ways to save money at the grocery store!

I love this app because it is so easy to use and now it’s just part of my routine when I grocery shop. You can use this at your grocery store and even Target and Walmart!  You simply find the items you want to buy in your app and then scan your purchases and receipt when you get home and put everything away.

The best part is you get to earn cash back on items that usually don’t ever have coupons like fruits, vegetables, milk, and eggs! Also, they have many items each month that are NOT BRAND SPECIFIC. So you can choose any brand in that category and still save!

If you do this all year you will have a nice chunk of change saved up from doing what you already do! Join Ibotta and earn a $10 cash bonus!

Want more details? Read my Ibotta Review

Want to earn more?  

How to Earn $3100 with Cash Back Apps

How to $1000 per Month Like a Boss


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Frugal Easter Basket Ideas: Lego Sets Under $5

~ This article may contain affiliate links. I only suggest product or services I believe will benefit my readers. All opinions are 100% mine! ~

Easter is coming up soon! If your kids are like mine they LOVE their Legos! You can find great deals on Legos right now for under $5.

This is one frugal way to add a special surprise to an Easter basket this year 🙂

Check out the links below to snag a great deal.

Lego Classic Green Creativity Box

Lego Classic Orange Creativity Box

Lego Classic Red Creativity Box

Lego Duplo First Cakes Building

Lego Friends Puppy Pampering

Lego Friends Puppy Playground

*Don’t forget Amazon prices can change at any time! So don’t pass up these deals 🙂



Use Ebates to save even more! Earn Amazon gift cards with Swagbucks! Don’t have Swagbucks yet? Sign Up Here!

 

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How to Make Passive Income with Amazon

How to Make Passive Income with Amazon

 

~ This article may contain affiliate links. I only suggest product or services I believe will benefit my readers. All opinions are 100% mine! ~

Have you wanted to start a business online, but you don’t have much money to invest in the start-up process?

 

I totally get it! Starting a side hustle from scratch can be tough, especially if you are trying to get out of debt or simply live within a budget.

 

You maybe thinking there is too much risk to start your side business.

 

When I heard about this opportunity recently…

 

I knew I had to share this money-making side hustle for print on demand T-Shirts with Amazon!

So what is Print on Demand?

 

Print on Demand isn’t a new concept. Basically there are many different companies online who will let you upload an image for a t-shirt or other product to sell.

 

The best part,  there is no overhead other than creating your design, which you can do yourself or hire a designer to do for you.

 

When someone browses your site and decides to buy your shirt, the company you are with will print the shirt  ON DEMAND when the customer orders the shirt.

 

This is awesome for you as a business owner because you don’t have to pay for shirts in advance, no stress about selling all your product, and you make a profit if your shirt sales!

 

Here is a great article from Real Ways to Earn Online: 8 Sites that Pay You to Design T-Shirts

What makes Merch by Amazon Special?

 

Amazon is one of the largest online retailers in the world!

 

People love and trust Amazon…

 

everything from Amazon Prime , deal of the day, and that people can buy things that are hard to find or expensive in local stores.

 

Since Amazon is HUGE and has tons of traffic DAILY this makes Merch by Amazon THE place to sell your amazing T-shirt designs!

 

Merch by Amazon is a print on demand service by Amazon. The service started in 2015 and has grown over the past year and a half!

 

The process is pretty simple…

 

Create your design…     Upload a design…     Amazon prints the shirt when an order is placed.

how to make passive income with amazon

 

As a seller on Merch by Amazon you have access to their major traffic! Your t-shirts qualify for Prime shipping and are sold by Amazon (Amazon is the seller of record).

 

Amazon handles printing, shipping, distribution, sales tax, and returns.

 

There are no upfront costs to creating awesome t-shirts and selling on one of the biggest retail websites!

 

There is massive potential to earn extra income with very little time spent on working this side hustle!

How to get started with Merch by Amazon?

 

Merch by Amazon is currently enrolling on an invitation only basis. You have to *Request an Invitation* by going to the main Merch by Amazon page here.

 

The platform became popular so fast that Amazon had to limit the number of people selling t-shirts through Merch.

 

Currently, the wait time has been reported to be anywhere from 1 week to several months.

 

This is such an amazing opportunity that you should go ahead and sign up for the wait list now.

Suggestions for being Accepted to Merch by Amazon:

(These are just suggestions. You can still apply to Merch by Amazon without these suggestions, but you might be more likely to get in faster.)

 

*Show Amazon that you are serious about selling T-shirts by having designs on other sites (examples: TeeSpring or Zazzle): You can include your link in the “Request Information Form”

 

*Share ways that you will drive traffic to Amazon: While a benefit for you as a seller is that Amazon has tons of traffic. It could help you to show Amazon that you already have an audience. Your audience could be through a blog or social media. (Add this information to the “Additional Information” section of the “Request Information Form”

 

What should I do while I wait to be accepted to Merch by Amazon?

 

  1. T-Shirt Niche Research

 

Take time to learn how to research top selling t-shirts. There are 2 important criteria you should be researching in order to have a top selling t-shirt on Merch: Amazon’s Best Seller Rank and Copyright.

 

Amazon’s Best Seller Rank (BSR)  is a way to determine how well an item is selling on Amazon. If the BSR number is lower the more product is being sold.

 

BSR of 2,000 = 25 – 50 shirts per day

BSR of 100,000 = 1 shirt per day

BSR of 400,000 = 1 shirt per week

 

You can research best selling shirts on Merch by using the free option on Merch Research at www.merchresearch.com.

how to make passive income with amazon merch

 

Just type in keywords to find top selling shirts for your specific niche or leave it blank to see what the top sellers are on Merch overall. There are also options to do specific searches on social media, print on demand sites, etc.

 

Copyright

Copyright laws protect artistic work. Here is a clear definition…

 

Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture. Copyright does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, although it may protect the way these things are expressed. “ – Copyright.gov

 

It is against the TOS from Merch by Amazon to sell any t-shirt that infringes on copyright. So no Disney characters or even phrases.

 

Merch by Amazon will warn you if you create a t-shirt that violates copyright. If you do it enough, then they will close your account.

 

So it’s important that you choose your designs wisely. Here are two great resources for you to determine if a design has been copyrighted.

 

Trademarkia

 

USPTO

 

This article is also helpful: How to Check if Something has a Copyright on It

  1. Start Designing Shirts Now

 

The top selling shirts on Merch by Amazon are well designed shirts. Even shirts that are text only shirts have carefully chosen font and word placement. You can take note of designs that are popular as you do your research in step 1.

 

Have you never designed a T-shirt before? Popular programs for designing graphics are Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. If you don’t have access to those programs, then you can try Gimp which is a free program.

 

You may even want to invest in an online course that will teach you how to create profitable t-shirt graphics.

 

Merch by Amazon – Easy T-shirt Business Partner with Amazon

 

Merch by Amazon – Print on Demand T-Shirt Service with Skillshare

 

Youtube is a great place to find tutorials on just about anything!

 

  1. Upload to different Print on Demand Sites

 

You can make money while you wait on your invitation to Merch by selling your designs on other Print on Demand sites.

 

Print on Demand Sites:

 

*Redbubble

*TeePublic

*TeeSpring

*6 Dollar Shirts

*Zazzle

*Cafe Press

 

You can also gain experience using keywords, finding out what color combinations work, and learn how to improve your rankings. Getting your feet wet with print on demand t-shirt sells with other companies will help you when you are able to start selling on Merch.

 

How does Merch by Amazon work?

 

Amazon is the seller of record on Merch by Amazon. This means that you will be selling t-shirts anonymously. That means you can make shirts that are popular with competing trending topics, for example during the election Hillary Clinton shirts and Trump shirts.

 

When you begin selling shirts on Merch you are allotted 25 design spots that you can upload. You will be able to earn more design spots as you sell all 25 designs.

 

Here are the tiers according to Merch by Amazon’s FAQ:

 

10

25

50

100

500

Pro (by invitation only)

 

Getting Paid

 

You are paid royalties from your t-shirt designs as they are sold. If you sell a t-shirt for $20 you will earn $7.68. You can see the Royalties Calculator here.

 

From the Merch by Amazon FAQ:

 

“We make monthly payments for Amazon sales. For electronic payments, the currency of your payment is determined by your bank’s location. Provided your balance due exceeds the payment threshold, we will remit payment approximately 30 days after the end of the calendar month in which the product was shipped .  For example, we would remit payment for t-shirts that shipped in April at the end of May, which is approximately 30 days after the end of April.

 

In the U.S., we pay by using electronic funds transfer (EFT), and we make payment when your balance due is more than $0.00”

Final Thoughts

 

Merch by Amazon is a great opportunity if you are just starting out as an entrepreneur. There’s really no reason to not try the program at this point!

 

I think just like anything else that is worth your time, there is a bit of a learning curve. I plan on trying to learn as much as I can about how to select popular keywords in order to make the most sales.

 

Keywords and research seem to be the most important aspect of being profitable with Merch by Amazon.

 

I just signed up, and I’m excited to see if I can grow a side income selling t-shirts. I plan on designing shirts and selling on other platforms until I’m accepted into the Merch platform. I’ll keep you posted on how this side hustle experiment goes…

 

I’d love to know what you think!

Have you tried selling t-shirts online? Do you think Merch by Amazon is something you will try?


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How to Make Money with a Blog without Ads

How to Make Money with a Blog without Ads

How to Make Money with a Blog without Ads

~ This article may contain affiliate links. I only suggest product or services I believe will benefit my readers. All opinions are 100% mine! ~

Do you ever see your favorite websites or blogs and wonder how do they make money? How did the get started?

Today, I am excited to introduce to you Katie of Dashing Dish. She has been encouraging women body and soul for 6 years.

One of the things that stands out to me about Dashing Dish is Katie’s authenticity to address real struggles through her social media platforms and her blog. Not to mention the recipes that Katie prepares are really good!

Here is how Katie got started, how she makes money from blogging without ad revenue, and her plans to grow in the future!

What was your inspiration behind Dashing Dish?

Dashing Dish is a place where I share wholesome and simple recipes, as well as  encouragement, inspiration, and motivation to get fit for life. At Dashing Dish, it is truly my greatest heart’s desire to help others find encouragement and fulfillment through a balance of healthy living principals and God’s Word. I make it my goal to teach others how to prepare easy healthy meals, and provide practical encouragement to nourish both your body and soul.
What is your background (education/career)? How have you used that to create Dashing Dish? 
I am formerly a Registered Nurse. Specifically, I was a Labor & Delivery nurse for 2 years. I have used my knowledge of the human body, nutrition, and what I’ve learned working so closely with women to help me develop a website where women can be nourished body & soul!
How did you get started? How long have you been running Dashing Dish?
I started Dashing Dish about 6 years ago. I started it as a side hobby while working as a nurse full time. My husband suggested I share my recipes on a basic WordPress website, and it grew from there!
What has allowed you to grow from a small blog to a business that creates a profit?
My husband is a graphic designer, and he designed and developed the website as you currently see it over the course of about one year. He started developing the new website after the blog took off in popularity, and I quit my full-time nursing job.
How did you decide to earn money from your blog?
We knew we had to find a way to make money, but we didn’t want to run ads on our site. So, he created a membership feature which allows us to generate income without running advertisements on our site, (which is how almost all websites generate income). I also have a cookbook and devotional which brings in some money, although it probably isn’t as much as people might think since I worked with a publisher versus self-publishing.
How does the membership work? 
The Dashing Dish Membership includes all the tools you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle for just $7/month or $70/year. Dashing Dish Members receive access to over 1000+ premium clean eating recipes, a custom meal plan maker, and grocery list builder that all sync to your phone! The membership also comes with workouts, videos, and helpful tips for living a healthy lifestyle, as well as access to a community forum for support!
 
What strategy has caused the most growth for you in your business?
I think it is being consistent, producing quality content, and being real! 🙂
You are preparing to be a first-time mom! This is so exciting…how do you think this sweet baby will change your business? What are you most looking forward to as a mom? 
Thank you! 🙂 My husband and I are so excited! We expect that having a baby will change things for sure! 😉 I think as far as Dashing Dish goes, I will add a lot more articles on ways to navigate health with a family, and maybe I will even share baby/toddler approved recipes!
What are your plans for your business in the future? 
I am currently writing my third book! It will be released in December 2018, so with that will come more speaking and travel engagements. I am looking forward to this, because it is truly my favorite thing to get out and meet the beautiful faces that I interact with over the web in person! 🙂
What are your favorite resources for growing your blog/business? 
Social Media without a doubt! I use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
What is your most valuable piece of advice for Smart Cents Mom readers? 
Although I am still awaiting the arrival of my daughter, I know from watching my mom who raised three girls while running a full-time daycare in our home that being a mom is the most challenging job there is!
So, I want to take a moment and just encourage all the moms out there! I want to encourage you that your constant giving is making a lasting impact on your family and those around you.
You might feel some days like you have nothing left to give, but I can promise you that every ounce of love, encouragement, compassion, and comfort is never wasted. Whether you know it or not, every time that you give of yourself, you are shining love to your family in a tangible way, which I can guarantee stands out in this world today!

Authenticity is what really makes Dashing Dish stand out in a see of recipe sites! Her encouragement and support can be found on her social media sites as well as the blog:


What are you passionate about? Could you make money with a membership site?

If you are interested in starting a blog you can check out my Quick Guide to Starting a Blog here.

More information about ways to start a successful Membership Site can be found here:

Membership Site Basics by Copyblogger

Membership Site Case Studies by Ambition Ally


Related Posts You Might Find Interesting…

How Michelle Schroeder Makes over $50,000 per Month Blogging

How to Create Recurring Revenue with Blogging: Interview with Erin Chase

Secret Tips to Boost Your Blog

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Join the conversation…ask questions, find new job opportunities & ways to save, and encouragement! Click the pink button to join our Smart Cents Mom FB page!

Join!

 

 

How to Save Money on Groceries without Coupons

How to Save Money on Groceries without Coupons

Save on Groceries without Coupons

~ This article may contain affiliate links. I only suggest product or services I believe will benefit my readers. All opinions are 100% mine! ~

When my first baby was born, we made a plan for me to stay home for a year. We downsized our apartment, created a budget, and cut back on extra spending.

One of the easiest places for us to cutback and save extra money is in our grocery budget.

I focused on couponing and saving money in every area I possibly could! I followed sites like Southern Savers and the Krazy Coupon Lady. (They are great for teaching you how to coupon.)

6 years later and we’ve added 2 more babies. Our life is busy and I have left couponing behind BUT not the savings!

RELATED: How to Earn $1000 per Month Online

Here’s how we save money on groceries without coupons:

1. Create a Grocery List: Every time I go to the grocery store with a “mental” list of things we need, I always end up forgetting things or buying things that weren’t on the list! When I have taken the time to prepare for our meals for the week, I like to create a grocery list based on meal planning and sales that are happening at my favorite stores.

2. Meal Planning: There are many different ways to meal plan. You can scour Pinterest for ideas of budget friendly recipes, use the same recipes every week, or sign-up for a service that sends meal plans to your inbox like My Freez Easy or $5 Dollar Dinners. Another one of my favorite membership sites is Dashing Dish. Katie of Dashing Dish shares healthy nutritious recipes that you can use to set up your own meal plan.

I love cooking in batches and freezing meals to have something on hand when we are busy or I’m just too tired to even think about cooking. Having a meal plan will help you save not only time, but also you won’t be rushing through the drive thru for dinner.

Freezer meals will save your wallet when you're too busy or too tired to cook! Click To Tweet

3. Use Leftovers: When I cook dinner, I try to cook enough to have leftovers for lunch the next day. Thursday night is our leftover night for anything that hasn’t been eaten yet. It saves me from having to cook a full meal one night a week…and it saves us money. I also try to use up what we already have available in the pantry. Sometimes if we have leftover meat I’ll use it in a different recipe on another night.

4. DIY Your Own Food: There are so many quick and easy ways to prepare your own meals and snacks. Sometimes it seems easier to just buy a frozen lasagna, rather than making your own. (That’s why My Freeze Easy is such a great asset in the kitchen!) Preparing your own snacks, sweets, and meals will help you cut out preservatives and save you money!

Here are some great ideas for things to make at home:

granola, breakfast burritos, lasagna, soups, breadcrumbs, hummus, cookies, roasted chicken

DIY your food! Don't buy pre-packaged or frozen foods.Click To Tweet

5. Shop the Sales: Every product goes on sale approximately on a 6-week sale cycle. I try to stock up on items that I know we will use over the 6 weeks. For example, spaghetti sauce will go on sale for $1.49 which saves me $0.50. I buy 6 of those because spaghetti is usually in our weekly meal rotation. 6 spaghetti sauces will last us until the next sale and I won’t have to buy spaghetti sauce at regular price. I do this for several other items, but since we don’t have a freezer chest right now I don’t buy anything that needs to be frozen.

6. Clearance Section: Find ALL the clearance sections at your favorite stores. My favorite grocery store has 3 clearance sections. There is one clearance section in the bakery, another section in the produce department, and a clearance section of non-perishables. I always check the clearance sections to see what I can get a deal on each week.

7. Get to Know the Markdown Schedule: Take some time to talk to the employees! They will let you know when meat will be marked down. You can get a heads up for the best time to raid the clearance rack for produce! I know that at my local store Wednesdays at 5pm is when they mark down meat.

8. Compare the Unit Price: When you look at the price of an item that is on sale, make sure you compare the unit price to find the best deal. The unit price is in small print in the corner of the sales tag. It usually will say $0.32/ounce or something similar. Sometimes the sale price is cheaper than even the store brand when you compare the unit price.

9. Pay Attention to the Sales: My favorite grocery store often has specials that are Buy 6 items save $3. They have a variety of items to choose from that can be mix or matched, but you HAVE to buy 6 items or you don’t get the savings.

If you don’t pay attention to the number of items that you have then you could end up spending more money!

A couple of helpful hints… when shopping a sale like I described fill up a bag with all 6 sales items. Once the bag is filled I tie it together so I know I have 6 items from the list. Sometimes I need a filler item to get the discounted price. In that case, I will buy something like a bag of chips for $0.79.

Our store also offers 10 items for $10 on a regular basis. You don’t actually have to buy all 10 items to get the $1 per item deal. It’s the store’s sales pitch instead of saying items for $1.

It’s important you know your stores sales so that you can always take advantage of getting the best deals!

Don't be fooled by a sale at the grocery store! Play by the rules and compare unit prices.Click To Tweet

9. Try Different Brands: If you don’t mind using different brands then you will have more options available to save money. There are a few items that I personally just can’t give up like my deodorant and shampoo. I just try to buy those items when there is a good deal, but for the most part we are not brand loyal. I just try to focus on what is the best deal that I can get and still meet our grocery needs.

10. Ibotta App: This is one of my favorite ways to save money on groceries! All I do is check the Ibotta app to see if there are any cash back items that are on my grocery list before I head to the grocery store. Then when I get home I scan the items and the receipt as I’m putting my groceries away. You can read my full review of the Ibotta app here.

11. Shopkick App: This is another super easy app that I like to use to earn gift cards from grocery shopping. All you have to do is walk into the store! You earn points that can be traded for gift cards. There are also options to earn points by scanning products in the store or purchasing products and scanning the receipt.

12. Shop Around: In our local area I like to shop Kroger, Walmart, Fresh Market, CVS, Walgreens, and Trader Joe’s. I don’t go to every store, every week…because I don’t have time for that! But I know the best deals at each store so I check the sales cycle and make a plan based around the sales cycle.

13. Keep Track: Use a spreadsheet to keep track of the best prices you get for each item. Once you get out an idea of how much you need to spend then you will be able to tell if find a good deal. You can update this document over time.

14. Sign up for a Grocery Rewards Card: Make sure you sign up for your store’s grocery rewards card so that you get the best savings on your groceries. Some grocery stores also have discounts for gas if you use their rewards card.  

15. Download Coupons to Your Rewards Card: Most major stores have some kind of app or program to download digital coupons. I like using these because I don’t have to physically worry about cutting out coupons and taking them to the store. I just check the website before I leave the house and download them to my card. At checkout I just scan my card and the discounts are automatically taken.

16. Shop Online/Grocery Pick-up: I have found that if I order online, then I don’t end up over spending in the store. One thing I love about shopping online is that I can see the price as I put things in my basket. I’m totally aware if I am  staying in my budget, so I don’t go over. Most grocery pick-up services will let you use your store card or online coupons.  

17. Shop CVS for Toilet Paper & Paper Towels: CVS is my favorite place to shop for toilet paper and paper towels. They have a special sale $10 off $30 purchase of certain brands that include laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, etc. I always buy our toilet paper and paper towels at this sale. The last time I got this deal I bought 4 packages of toilet paper and 1 ALL laundry detergent for $30. I got back $10 to use in the store on my next trip! I essentially paid $6 each for toilet paper (18 rolls) and a 32 ounce laundry detergent.

18. Grocery Shop Fewer Times: I try to stick to a schedule of grocery shopping once a week. My boys are bad about grabbing an apple and taking 3 bites out of it and then leaving it somewhere random! By sticking to the “grocery shopping once a week” rule they are learning to not be wasteful with their fruit.

I was shopping twice a week just because we would run out of fruit or I would forget a couple of things for particular meals. I always ended up buying more than I had planned for during that second shopping trip. Now if I am out of something we just try to find a substitute for what we already have in the pantry.

19. Shop for Groceries Online at Amazon: Amazon is a great way to save on items that aren’t commonly sold in your grocery store or items that are specialty items. I buy almond flour, coconut flour, and a few other items through Amazon Prime Pantry. This is a super convenient way to get bulk orders! Check out Amazon Prime Pantry and Amazon Subscribe and Save for more savings!

20. Join Facebook Groups for Saving Money: Facebook groups are an amazing place to find like minded friends who have a passion for saving money on everything! You can type into the Facebook search bar *Any Store Name* Savings and Facebook groups dedicated to sharing the best deals at that store will pop up!

Here are a few of my favorites:

Couponing at Target

Couponing at Walmart

The Krazy Coupon Lady

Kroger Coupon Deals

Amazon Steals and Deals


How do you save money at the grocery store? Share your tips with us!

Looking for more ways to earn financial freedom? Join our newsletter and get the FREE Mom Boss Toolkit e-course designed to help you start your journey making EXTRA INCOME over the next 7 days! Click the Pink Button >>> Sign Me UP!

Join the conversation…ask questions, find new job opportunities & ways to save, and encouragement! Click the pink button to join our Smart Cents Mom FB page!

Join!

Make Money Flipping Thrift Store Items

Make Money Flipping Thrift Store Items

~ This article may contain affiliate links. I only suggest product or services I believe will benefit my readers. All opinions are 100% mine! ~

flea market flipping

Have you heard of those people who are reselling items on Ebay for profit?

Have you ever wondered how they do it…

Today I am excited to introduce to you Melissa from Flea Market Flipper.

Melissa and her husband make money flipping thrift store items and selling them on eBay, Facebook, Craigslist, and more. They started this as a side hustle and now have made this their full-time gig! They closed the year out earning $130,000 flipping thrift store items.

And they’ve created a course, Flipper University, to teach you exactly how they do it! They’ve combined their 20 years of “thrift store flipping”experience into a course that will teach you all about how to get started earning a side income or even a full-time income flipping thrift store items!

RELATED: How to Earn $1000 per Month Online

Melissa, tell us about yourself. 

Hi Ashleigh!

 

Thank you so much for taking the time and letting us interview with you! I love your site and how you provide great resources for moms to make money and save money. Money management is crucial to this world that we live in. And as a mom it can be so hard to figure out the balancing act we do for family, finances, and business every day.

 

I live with my husband Rob and three young kids in Orlando Florida. We have 2 girls (ages 4 and 2) and a baby boy (who is now 10 months) and a dog. It is really busy at our house at the moment! (I don’t think life ever slows down really). I have been a personal trainer for the past 10 years, but recently took some time off to take care of our crazy kiddos.

 

.We have a side hustle (now main hustle) of flipping used items to make a profit.

 

 

How did you start flea market flipping? How much time do you invest in your side hustle each week?

 

Rob has been flipping items for over 20 years now! He started back in the day when eBay had just begun. I guess you could say I married into it. So for the past 10 years I have gotten first hand training on how this business works.

 

We used to do this more as a side hustle, and in 2015 we made $42,000 for the year in about 10-15 hours per week. This past year we put in about 25-30 hours per week and should hit around $80,000 this year! (Our 2016 numbers aren’t finalized just yet).

Edit: They closed the year out earning $130,000 flea market flipping!

 

What is flea market flipping?

 

Flipping is the art of finding things that nobody else sees value in and reselling them for a higher profit. We buy new and used items from thrift stores, yard sales, and flea markets and sell them online for a profit. We help the people we are buying from make their money, and we help the people looking for our item get a better deal than they could find in the store.

 

What is a flea market…how is it different from thrift stores, consignment shops, yard sales?

 

Our name is flea market flipper because we buy a lot of items from our local flea market, but we also buy from thrift stores, yard sales and auctions. I like to go to yard sales on a Saturday morning, but Rob loves the flea market a little bit more. There are more vendors at the flea market, all lined up in rows, so it is like one large yard sale every week. He likes it because he can go through in an hour and look through items. I enjoy the hunt going from yard sale to yard sale a little more, but I also enjoy walking through the aisles of the flea market. Our kids enjoy going to the flea market too – mostly because they like searching for a new toy. (We usually let them pick out something for less than $1 if they are good).

 

A couple weeks before Christmas our girls found a box of Beanie Babies, I thought we would pick up a couple of them for Christmas and the next thing I know Rob had bought a whole tub of them for $20! 142 Beanie babies! Ha. We actually haven’t gone through them all, but we gave a couple to the girls for Christmas and posted a few of the ones worth anything on eBay. Even if we sold them all for $3 each (most of them sell for $3-$5 on eBay), we would end up making $400 on them! Not a bad find.

 

 

Do you ever shop at consignment shops, thrift stores, Craigslist, or yard sales?

 

We don’t really do consignment shops, but definitely yard sales, thrift stores, Craigslist and also Offer Up and auctions to buy used items. This past year we have probably bought the most items from the flea market, then Offer Up second, auctions third, and thrift stores fourth.

 

How do you find the best places to shop?

 

I can’t say that one place is a gold mine and others are not good for finding items. We consistently drop in at local thrift stores to see what they have, and we scroll through Facebook and Offer Up periodically to look for good deals on things. After visiting places a couple times, you get the understanding of which places have lower prices, and which store managers are willing to negotiate. Same thing at the flea market. We go so frequently that we have built a relationship with a lot of the regular vendors. We know which ones we can get a good deal from and which ones are more expensive. And now Robbie even has some of their phone numbers and they call him when they find something we may like. It pays to be nice to people and establish good relationships!

 

What are you looking for when you’re out shopping? Are you buying used stuff or new stuff or both?

 

Usually it is used, but sometimes it is new. We buy a lot of random things, so it is hard to say exactly what we look for. If Rob were to answer he would say we look for things that look like they could be expensive. I tend to gravitate toward baby and kid items because I am familiar with expensive brands so I know when it is a good deal. We also like exercise equipment, appliances, & some commercial equipment, as well as with unique items like prosthetic legs (yes we have sold several for good money!), Christmas Star Shower lights (we bought over 100 at a time to sell and made over $3,000 in 3 days), and even some things we have found in the trash! (We have an eBook on 5 different ways to find free items to sell for a profit).

 

What apps do you use to sell?

 

We use eBay, Facebook, Craigslist, and Offer Up to sell our items. We make the most using eBay because it reaches so many people around the country (and around the world if you ship internationally).

 

How do you sell on eBay? Do you use eBay auctions?

 

We use both auctions and fixed price listings. There are several strategies people use for listing, and more recently we do more of our items at a fixed price. We sometimes sit on items longer because of it, but we usually end up making a higher profit.

 

In your experience, what makes this a great side hustle for moms?

 

I became a mom 4.5 years ago when my first daughter was born, and from the time she was born (we weren’t supposed to be able to get pregnant naturally), I knew that I wanted to around for all the little moments. I still worked part time as a personal trainer, but because of our flipping business, we had the freedom to schedule our day how we wanted, and my husband and I could trade off watching her so we didn’t have to send her to (or pay for) daycare. I understand that daycare is the only or best option for many people and I am not opposing that at all, I am just saying daycare wasn’t the best fit for our family.  Shortly after our first daughter, baby #2 then #3 showed up, and I no longer could go off to train during the day. Because let’s face it – it was complete insanity at our house and Rob couldn’t handle me being gone for even a few hours at a time.

 

Now I am home full time, so flipping items works perfect for us to bring in some extra cash. I even have my own eBay account so I can compete and try to make more money than Rob! Ha.

This really is a perfect side hustle for moms because they can do it a few hours per week and make a couple hundred dollars per month.Click To Tweet  It’s not really hard to hit some yard sales, thrift stores or a flea market on the weekends, and work on listing items during the week to sell. If I sell them on eBay I just package them up and ship them, and if it is on Offer Up or Facebook, I plan to meet them at a park where I would go anyway with my kids so it doesn’t really take a big extra chunk out of my time.

 

 

Is there a niche that’s best for flea market beginners? Or should you stick to odd/unique items?

 

We recommend for people starting out to find items they enjoy or have some knowledge about. For example, one of our students is in the horse industry, so we had her start with discount equestrian items. Another student loves antiques so he typically sticks with looking for those. Moms tend to know baby items pretty well, so that is always a good one to start with too. As people get more experienced they can branch out to more unique items that might take more research on.

 

How do you define odd/unique items?

We found a prosthetic leg for $30 and sold it on eBay for $1000...the same day! Click To Tweet

I mentioned earlier that we had sold a prosthetic leg. I would define that as pretty unique! We found it at the flea market and bought it for $30. We came home, posted it on eBay and sold it that night for $1,000! Super fast and high profitable flip! Those are always awesome!! Another sort of unique item was a few sleep number beds we bought off of craigslist from a hotel that was redoing all their rooms. And when I say a few, I mean 60! We bought them for $60 each and have been selling them for the past year and a half for $400-$600 each! They fold up so are not hard to ship either. Another unique item we sold this year was an antique military parachute. We made $250 on it and it was bought by Disney (probably for a prop) out in California!

 

How much should beginners spend on products when starting?

 

This is a great question. We recommend people starting out spend about $20-$50 to find a few items to resell. For a $50 investment, we like to make a $100-$300 profit. Someone really doesn’t need a lot of capital to get started. It can be started small and grow from there.

 

You have a website, Flea Market Flipper. What all can we find there?

 

We have some of our recent flips, some student testimonials, our e-book The Art of Shipping: How to Package and Ship Items for Ebay, and also our Flipper University e-course.

 

Tell us about Flipper University.

 

We created Flipper University a little over a year ago to help others be successful in this side hustle. We take our 20 years of flipping experience and put it into one place, an e-course for people who are interested in learning the ropes of flipping items for profit. We have 6 modules and 28-course units, all dedicated to the ins and outs of buying and reselling items to make a profit. Our goal is to make people successful and making the extra money that they need for their family. Our family has greatly benefited from this business, and we want to help others do the same.

 

What’s your number one tip for Smart Cents Mom readers?

 

My biggest tip for people starting out with flipping items is to stay consistent. If you commit to a few hours each week for a couple months, you will be surprised at the extra income you can provide for your family.


Does flea market flipping sound like a side hustle you want to start?

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