Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yard Sales

It is the dreaded thing we all enjoy but hate to do! The work that goes into doing a yard sale is miserable but we do have fun exploring them. Today i am going to give you some tips so hopefully your next sale will be a successful one. The biggest problem we have when it comes to doing our own sales is that it's risky. We want to get rid of some stuff that's lying around our house collecting dust, but at the same time, who would want to buy this stuff...right? Well....when you go to other people's yard sales, i bet they thought the same thing! And most of these people are doing really well with these sales! So here we go.....let's discuss some things that we can do to maybe have a successful sale next time! I'm gonna make this a semi-short list.....I found a really LONG list though of some AWESOME read it go to This lady on this site is truly the yard sale queen! She does her own, she shops them, she loves yard sales! I happened upon this site though because i am thinking of doing a sale of my own soon and I was looking for some tips to have a successful sale.

1. Advertise.....obviously! You need to put it in the paper! You can advertise in your local papers want ads section, craiglist, check local news websites for your area. Most, if not all, of these are free. Make signs! Check your area for rules and regulations on sign placement near streets. But you can place smaller signs on bulletin boards at the grocery store and pharmacy. Be consistent in your sign making. Make them legible. Make sure people know each sign is yours, make them all look the same.

2. Make things look neat and tidy. Cut the grass a couple days before. (not the day before....a couple days before) Wipe dirty things down. Put clothes on tables or on racks, not on blankets on the ground. Stack books and cds and movies neatly.

3. Set up a men's area. Men aren't as big on sales as women are. If they have something to look at they are more likely to stop. Make sure they can see it from the road as they drive by. Find something that will grab their attention and make them want to stop.

4. Make prices obvious. Don't put them on the bottom. People are looking at the tops of things. You don't have to price things individually. You can price by table. Or by box, or whatever. Larger items will need larger signs for prices. Don't make people ask you all day. If they do ask you....don't waffle....know what you want for a price and don't be afraid to tell them. But do expect people to ask you for a lower price. People always want a bargain! (The yard sale queen has some other advice on pricing....check out her tips on this area too)

5. Remember adult clothing doesn't usually sale as well. Consider thrift store donations or consignment shops for these things.

6. Play some music. Something general.....not heavy metal or anything that is grating on the general public's nerves! I wouldn't suggest opera, even if it is your music of choice. And not playing too loudly.....just enough that people can converse without having to whisper. They want to talk about your things without insulting you! LOL

7. Dont be insulting or intrusive. If they aren't asking your opinion, they probably don't want it. And if they are looking at clothes that won't fit's likely they realize the size of the clothes and they aren't for them! (as someone who has been told by another that they had nothing that would fit me, when i wasn't the one shopping, i was with a friend, i can tell you NOTHING makes a person wanna get out of there faster!)

8. Have plenty of change and bags to put things in! Save those plastic and paper bags from the grocery store! Generally....plenty of chang would be a couple of 10's, four 5's, twenty-five 1's, a roll of quarters, nickles, dimes, and pennies. actually, if you just have about a 10-15 pennies (you probably wont need them) and $5 in nickles and dimes total. you will mostly use quarters and bills.

9. Plan your dates! Holiday weekends aren't a good idea...people travel! Whereas, pay day....good idea! If you know most people in your area get paid the 1st or 15th, then the weekend just after pay day would be best!

10. Ask a friend to join you. Takes the pressure off of you to sit there all day. And you can share the responsibility and costs of ads with some one!

If you have any other tips that i don't have here....feel free to share by leaving a comment! I have read many many many more. These are some i have picked up here and there. Some i have implented in my previous sales. Some i will try for the first time this time. We will see how it goes!

Add A Scripture To Your To-Do List

by Jessica Gerald

I like to write down a "to do" list for the day. I guess it comes from years of teaching school and making lesson plans. The list keeps me focused and shows my progress. I can see that I've accomplished more than I realized.

I had an idea for something new to add to my list - a daily scripture. When I am doing my daily Bible reading in the morning, there is often a verse that really stands out. It may be something to praise God for, a comforting promise, or a quality I need to develop.

So now, after I write out my list for the day, I'm going to write a scripture in the top margin of the paper. That way, every time I look at my chores, I can read over the scripture, or even turn it inot a prayer. Maybe by the end of the day, I'll have it permanently memorized. By the end of even one month, there would be thirty verses etched into my heart, ready to be recalled when needed.

Hopefully, this idea will help you to cover your day with the power of scripture.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Too Tired to Cook? 5 Ways to Create Fast Healthy Dinner Plans

by Lisa Copen

So, your mother tells you that your family is eating out too much and your kids will never know a home-cooked meal. And you have to admit that the cost of eating out is starting to make you a bit sick to your stomach, but not enough to get rid of those few extra pounds you've been putting on. With your busy schedule, however, and limited energy, where exactly can you find the best meal planning strategy that will succeed for your family? If you're you are someone who checks with an online search engine about how to plan a spaghetti dinner, you may just need some tips.

Here are five suggestions to get you started:

1. Agree to try exchanging meals with one or two families a couple times a week and give it a trial run for a month or two. It's easy to double your batch of your signature lemon chicken dish one night, and know that you will receive back a prepared meal another evening. To simplify exchanging meals, split the cost in advance of inexpensive disposable containers and lids that can be swapped between homes.

2. If you have a craving from your favorite restaurant, look online for the recipe. You may have a good chance of finding it when you search for words like "copy cat recipes" or "top secret recipes." Before long your kitchen will start smelling like the Olive Garden. This is a great way to produce healthy meal plans for teens who think they are too busy for dinner at home.

3. Consider trying a meal preparation service like Dream Dinners. For a set price, you go in and choose meals based on your family's likes, dislikes, eating restrictions, and budget. Then you prepare the meals right there and package them up to bring them home to your freezer. The result? Fast healthy dinner plans and finished meals. The cost may be a bit more than if you did it in your own kitchen, but it's significantly less than eating out and much healthier. It's a good chance to learn how to cook better too.

4. Don't be tempted to buy entire meals of take-out, but rather mix up a large meal from your favorite restaurant with partially prepared meals at home. For example, it's inexpensive to prepare a huge Greek salad with dressing, olives and feta cheese. Then stop by your local Greek restaurant and order a large side order of Gyro meat. You'll get more for your money and also feel like you're treating yourself to something that is hard to prepare at home.

5. Get organized with meal planning by deciding what works best for your schedule. Can you make a double batch of meat loaf and freeze half for another evening? Online you can find various dinner menu planning software systems. Or find a blank print out of a weekly meal plan. Does it help to break down the dinners by style of foods? For example, plan six night's meals as: two - fish; one - poultry; one - beef; one - salad; one - sandwich.

So, flip through the magazines, dust off the cookbooks, ask your family members their favorite recipes and start planning. In no time you'll have at least twenty solid recipes that can easily get you through six weeks of meals. And don't hesitate to get everyone involved. Put the kids in charge of a meal a week, or have your spouse accompany you to a Dream Dinner style meal preparation outing. Soon your dinner blues will be gone and filled instead with a sense of accomplishment . . . and relief!

See for more information or for the sponsor of this event, Rest Ministries.