Posts Tagged ‘savings’

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 am certain there are people out there who are public aid or state for help getting food, a.k.a. food stamps (Illinois calls it LINK)…who do NOT use coupons! They probably think since they are sort of (not really) getting “free” food with their food stamps there is no need to bother saving even further with coupons, rebates, and sales. This could NOT be further from being saving savvy smart!

You should STILL search for the best deals even if your using food stamps…ESPECIALLY if you have a small amount or large family to feed or both, even with a large food stamp amount or a small family, saving while on food stamps is still must!

No…it’s NOT wrong to do this…get that thought out of your mind right now! No store will tell you can not use food stamps on transaction you use coupons on. (There are some stores that do not take coupons like Aldi.) All you are doing is maximizing your food stamps…therefore better able to feed your family and save the cash for non-food items like toilet paper, dish soap, clothes, diapers, etc! You will also be creating a stockpile, slowly building it from month to month. If you have not couponed before ending up with food stamps, NOW is the best time to start! You can learn to budget and save without using cash needed for other stuff and the good habits will be in place when the time comes that you get off of food stamps, you can weave them into the cash budgets!

Think about taking say $300 of food stamps and being able to double with sales and coupons (and rebates…those are good too, even if you only get them for store credit)!

APRIL 10, 2013: Update edit:

This past Sunday my hubby and I did a spur of the moment shopping trip. I had no lists prepared and scrambling to clip and file away food coupons from that mornings papers as we drove 45 minutes to Rockford, IL.  Why? Our LINK was reloaded with April’s funds Sunday!

Even so, I was still able to save a tad over $112 at Schnuck’s Highlander in Cherry Valley with their sales and about 20 or so coupons I used. That’s $112 in food MORE then I had on my food assistance.  I won’t say how much I get specifically for food stamps but here is an example…

$300 on LINK (food stamps), I spend, say, $200 (budgeting about $100 for rest of month for fresh produce or forgotten items). I saved $112 with sales and coupons…I basically got $312 worth of food for $200…or 12 bucks over the food stamp limit, and I didn’t even use it all. (REMEMBER this is an example…my actual LINK benefit is a private thing).

We did spend about $20 out of pocket for non-food items like toilet paper, deodorant, and a couple other items. I did have coupons for a couple of those items.

It does pay to use coupons and sales when on public assistance from your state. It helps you expand the amount you actually get, helping you save that assistance for other stuff or save your cash for non-food items. I do NOT get state aid for cash assistance, but if you are one of those people…AGAIN…use coupons, rebates, and sales as much as possible to stretch those dollars!

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.