Sunday, May 01, 2011

April Savings: Year of the Deal

I'm sick for the first time in a year. So naturally, I'm sitting at home plotting ways to make money. And while there really are no ways to make money quickly, here are a few of my favourite ways to find cash that you didn't even know you had:

1. Roll your change

I'm a fastidious change spender (as in, I count my pennies out at the till regardless of the size of the line behind me) but Jay throws his change haphazardly into every possible crevice in the house. Coins are in his laundry bin, in the back of the shelves of his closet, in his drawers, all over his dresser and in various tupperware containers. So I don't technically ever roll my change--I roll his change.

Don't make the mistake of using the automated machines at the grocery store. The last time I rolled a seemingly small amount of change, there was over $150. Had I just thrown it into the automated machine, I would have lost out on $15.

2. Sell your stuff

I'm going to be honest--we're running out of things to sell. I do, however, have a closet full of clothes, some of which I don't wear.

For years I've just shipped my clothes off to Goodwill, but this spring I'm determined to sell them. After reading SNP's eyeweekly article on consignment clothing stores, I figured Fashionably Yours was the best bet for my rejects. Er, not so much. After showing them my duds, I was told everything I brought in was "too conservative."

No worries, though. On Monday, I'm going to head down the street to Common Sort, where I suspect I'll have better luck. (Only problem is, will I take 25% for the clothes? Or a 50% store credit? Tough decisions.)

3. When all else fails, craigslist

If you have the time (which I do), a simple search for "research" under jobs or gigs will render tons of fast cash opportunities. I've been applying for brain imaging studies over the last couple of weeks--mainly because I just really want an image of my brain. Sadly, I haven't had any responses yet. However, I've just signed up for another study. I can't divulge details now due to confidentiality, but if all goes well it should make for an interesting story down the road.

Here's a picture of my dog. That way, even if you could care less about Year of the Deal, at least you got to see a cute puppy.

Year of the Deal: April Savings

Grocery Purchases: $191.41
Pharmacy Purchases: $57.75
Total Spent: $249.16

Coupons Used: $23.50
2011 Total Coupon Savings to Date: $134.95

We were gone for a week in the middle of April, which partially accounts for the lower expenses. But since February, our costs have been cut by more than 60%. Our expenses seem to be continuing to decrease as we continue to stockpile items, collect coupons and shop smart. (I'm excited to grocery shop this month because we have an Airmiles coupon for $20 off and a coupon for $20 at Sobey's. That's savings of $40 and the month hasn't even started yet!)

In May, I'm going to track my total spending and create a budget. This is going to be my biggest challenge yet.

Unemployment/Work Update

I'm happy to announce that I have work again! The rhetoric that it's either feast or famine seems to apply here: in addition to the research study, I have two new contracts AND a job interview on Wednesday. Now, I just need to shake off this fever, put some cover-up on the scab that's formed under my nose and get inspired.

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