Posts Tagged ‘budget’

Many of us in today’s society, no matter where we are in the world, are looking for that little extra cash, for a wide variety of reasons. Each and every one of us has deep personal reasons and needs to earn just a little more money. No matter our current income situation…blue collar job, unemployed, well paying career, stay-at-home parent, on welfare, disability payments, and many other ways…we want, need, desire just a touch more cash.

I am no different. Just like you, I am an average person needing more income, no matter how small, to supplement my current two income household. Despite actually having some what decent paying jobs, we still struggle from paycheck to paycheck.

I have thought on this often. Get a second job. Find a better paying job. Have a job that is guaranteed to be on-going and steady. All viable options, but not feasible at this point in my life. After joining a group on Facebook called The Busy Budgeters, I learned of another option, one that has many ways of going about (a few of which I’ve considered before), with a term or “name” of it’s own.

Introducing: Side Hustling. What is it, you ask? This is where you do small side money making, income producing options. There are many, many ways of doing side hustles. Below I list a few that people on the The Busy Budgeters have discussed, considered doing, or actually done.

  1. Donating plasma
  2. Online surveys
  3. Selling online (eBay, Amazon, Facebook)
  4. Selling on Etsy
  5. Blogging to make money
  6. Selling at local farmers markets (plants, vegetables, fruits, handmade items)
  7. Vendor shows
  8. Local fairs
  9. Garage sales
  10. Coupons and sales shopping

These are seem to be the basic 10 that people do or consider doing at some point when researching how to create a bit of extra cash.

I recently decided to do some of these myself and am currently in the process of working on them and getting things organized and set up. I’ve decided on the following for sure:

  1. Blogging to make money: The Happy Spin Gazette
  2. Create an Etsy store: Happy Spin Craftology
  3. Sell on Ebay: still learning about this one. I do have a store, but need to work on it a bit before posting a link.
  4. Online Surveys: the only one I have ever done that I liked was BzzAgent, which I will be getting back in to next week.
  5. Vendor/craft shows and local fair events
  6. Coupon and sales shopping: I have done this before with some success
  7. Farmer’s Market: this is tentative as I need to plan and create a garden, which takes time and money that I do not have right now.

(If you have any issues with the posted links, please let me know.)

Two things I have discovered in the last month researching and planning side hustle ideas are these: ORGANIZATION and TIME are important and need to utilize efficiently. If you don’t already, I suggest creating a basis for a plan to organize your projects and time. Set up an “office” area and find a planner that works for you, even something to just get you started until you find a work space and planner that will work better for you. One tip I learned in my research and that I already do when cleaning house…use a timer. Set it for a predetermined amount of time for each task on your list for the day. When it goes off, stop that task and move on to the next.

Side hustling can seem like a lot of work and it does require work. Even so, it does not have to take up all your time and energy. Start off small or test several to see what you like. I feel that this is a good way to earn an extra income without completely wearing yourself out. You can control how much time and work that is put into it.

I say good luck to us all in our adventures to achieve the financial goals we have set for ourselves. We can do this!


I wanted to make a quick post about me trying to plan a coupon shopping trip on a super tight budget.  I can’t type much right now as I have a stress headache forming on the left side of my head and neck. I will be okay, I know what to do. I only take medicine as a last resort.

A  couple weeks ago I decided to join a group of ladies (possibly a man or two) this Saturday, March 2nd, for a coupon exchange and tips/advice exchange.  We are all part of an online coupon group called “Northern Illinois Couponing Moms.  (Facebook page: (Website: I have to do a quick shout out to the lady who heads this group and got all started.  She spends part of busy schedule doing match ups for us to local major stores we all use regularly. Thank you so much for your time!

One of the deciding factors to go to this group was I looked over my pay schedule for the next month (child support only right now) and noticed that I HAD to spend the next payday on food. The one right after that will go to the car insurance (a must in IL and don’t want to get caught without it having no jobs right now). After those to paydays we should be okay…tax refund, hopefully unemployment will finally approve my husband, and I will have a job…got one in the works with the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), they help people with disabilities get jobs (hard of hearing, I am!)

Well, after taking care of a couple small thing this week, I ended up with a budget of about $55 for nearly 2 weeks. I’m okay with this budget, I’ve dealt with it before and bought home almost 2 weeks of food, along with some nonfood items like toilet paper and dish soap.  Only reason I’m edgy on it is because I know this is all I have if unemployment or the job doesn’t come through for us.  My plan with this budget is to pick up what we “must have” and few other meal staples, but no meats.  Later next week my monthly allowance for LINK ($55) comes in.  I will be using this to buy my meats…should be enough for a month if I find it on sale.

I have spent an hour or so everyday since Sunday sorting my coupons, reviewing what I have, making up lists, looking at online store ads, and checking online printable coupons.  I will have to go to my mom’s to print, because I am out of ink for my printer (tax refund “must have” to get).  Thanks to N. IL Couponing Moms match up for Schnucks/Highlander/Logli’s, some of my time was shortened and used more wisely. I have come across some good deals that are actually on NOT on my must have list, but I will be picking up because they are under a dollar, a few even under 50 cents.  (FYI: Schnuck’s stores double coupons 55 cents and under everyday…one reason I found some good deals…match coupons up to sales and WA-LA! Magic savings!)

As organized as I am with my coupons, I’m still some what overwhelmed with list making and budgeting. I know some people make specific budgets for like meat, nonfood items, etc. I haven’t gotten that far and I NEED to. Ugh…I will learn and figure it out.

I have spent the week begin jittery and worried about my budget. Going back and forth over what is most needed to get us through a couple of weeks. I even made of an inventory of food in the house (which I need to redo tomorrow night). Despite my jitters I had 2 blessings this week…no, wait…THREE.  One I already had in line…my mommy is giving me a bit of money for gas to go to Rockford, IL (45 minute drive for me) and do my shopping.  The 2nd is Shea came by with a little money from Jen and Chris who decided to help us out a bit on our food budget and nearly tripled it!  The 3rd is my County Market Penny Pincher coupons came in this week. (CM doesn’t double, but they do allow a manufacturer coupon stacked on to their store coupons! Many times I have gotten stuff there nearly free or under $2 because they do this).

So as a result of my increased food budget, I am now taking a new look at my lists and what I may print out for coupons when I go to my mom’s tomorrow.  I am even looking at a couple of freezer meal prep books I have to try a couple for the first time. I’m considering freezable breakfast foods, since I’m often to groggy when I get up to actually cook and I want to go with my hubby to the gym in the mornings.

Thanks for joining me on this little adventure of mine.  I will post about my shopping trip either Saturday or Sunday and if I do freezer meals for the first time.

I must warn you, this is not a very healthy recipe…so adjust if you want.

This was a poor person’s, extremely tight budget, make do with what’s in the house chili.  Every item in this meal I had in the house. I just tossed them together and hoped for the best.


  • 1 lb of ground veal (gotten from local food pantry…free)
  • 1 lb of ground hamburger (part of a 5 lb roll I split up into freezer bags a few weeks back…about $9)
  • 2 cans of Campbell’s Condensed Tomato Soup (part of my coupon stock pile…about $70 each)
  • 1 can of chili beans (about .90 cents)
  • 1 can of pinto beans (about .90 cents)
  • 1 small can of mushroom pieces (about .50 cents)
  • half of a large onion (about $1 for the whole onion)
  • 2 large stalks of celery (about $1.80 for whole celery bunch)
  • Seasonings for flavoring (stuff I had on hand…spent about $1 each for the 5-6 I sprinkled from).


First started to brown up meats from frozen. I just set to low heat in the skillet, flipping and scrapping meat off as it thaws. I usually cover with a lid or cookie sheet to contain the heat in and let cook faster.  While the meat was cooking I dumped into a large pot my 2 cans of beans (drained of the liquid first) and 2 cans of soup (as is, no water).

I drained the mushrooms and tossed into my manual food processor (from Pampered Chef) and chopped up fine, and tossed into the bean and soup mix.  Next I whacked of big chunks of onion and put in my food processor to chop up fine…did the same with the celery. Tossed both celery and onion into the bean and soup mix.  I turned the heat on for this pot on low-medium heat and tossed in seasoning (chili powder, curry, dry mustard, garlic salt, and onion powder). I don’t add salt to my dishes until I taste it. I often leave it out when cooking with canned foods since they often have a lot of salt in the first place. In my house we add salt to individual dishes for personal preference.

After the meat is fully cooked I drained off any grease.  I use a strainer/colander in a Glad plastic bowl (let the grease get solid then scrape into the garbage later). Toss the meat in to the pot and stir in.  Do a taste test and see if you want more seasonings.  I tend to let my chilis and soups simmer for about 10 minutes before eating to let the flavors infuse together.

You could adjust this recipe to fit with whatever you have on hand.  Sausage only…have it!  Tomato paste or sauce only…go for it.  Garlic cloves…toss a couple in.  No celery, but got corn…toss it in.

My concoction made enough for us for a few meals. I happen to have frozen chicken hot dogs in the freezer (from food pantry) and hot dog buns leftover from a few days ago…easily make chili dogs.  I got hash browns, I could cook those up and toss chili on top…same with the 2 boxes of scalloped potatoes I have.  I could flesh the chili out with some corn & carrots to make it more of a “stew”.

Never be afraid to experiment with whatever is your cupboard…trust your test buds.

I just started, seriously started, my adventure of living a healthy lifestyle only about 6 weeks ago.  I’m still learning and adjusting to what works for me.

My biggest issue is food.  I don’t eat a whole lot, but when I do eat, it’s BAD foods.  I’ve been looking for and learning alternatives to my favorite foods, like pizza. Mmmmm…pizzzaaaa!  I’ve learned how to make my own crust! Fresh made pizza is SO much tastier than frozen, store bought and WAY healthier…definitely tastier and healthier over take-out pizza.  Even if I choose not to make a crust I use multi-grain or wheat English muffins to make mini-pizzas…better portion control there, too!

I degress…rambling on pizza…no need to wander off in my head there.

Besides learning to wrestle my food into better options, I have been looking at workouts and exercises that I want to do.  I like having a variety so I don’t get bored.  I’m also working on moving my body more often, not just in the gym, but at home.

Motivation…MOTIVATION…one of the hugest obstacles that I and many others deal with daily to keep going on our healthier lifestyles. I have over the years come across several ways to keep one motivated and created a few of my own…photographs, charts, diaries, healthy lifestyle wall/centers, music, visual aids, etc.  In fact, I think in the category on my blog, “Healthy Lifestyle”, I may write a few articles on some different motivators.  Some have worked for me in the past, work for me currently, and some I haven’t tried.  Maybe one of them will work for my readers!

All I can say is trying to live a healthier life in today’s society acceptance and economy can be difficult…BUT…it is doable.  Heck, even with a budget, you can still do it with little or no money.  Any money you do put into it, remind yourself it’s a long-term investment…your combating future health problems that could send you to doctors, emergency room, surgeries, etc.  A little money spent now to eat healthier and move that body is MUCH cheaper than spending thousands of dollars later for health concerns that could have been prevented with living healthier.