Posts from the ‘save money’ Category

Let Me Let You In On a Secret

All good things must be shared, so I am sharing this bit of information that is great for business owners and authors who work hard at marketing and promoting their business.  I have looked at several print services for some promotional items for my novels – rack cards, pens … and decided to use Vistaprint since they had a variety of items.  Well, I am glad that I chose them because I got so many great coupons and discount offers from them that I could not believe it at first.

To give you an example, on my last 2 orders for promotional items for my business all I had to pay for was the shipping, and I got 10 items free of charge.  I got a lawn sign, 10 sheets of stationery, 25 magnets, 50 rack cards, 140 address labels, 50 rack cards for my business, 50 rack cards for my novel, and another 50 rack cards for my other novel on a separate order.  All these items were free of charge, and all I had to pay for was the shipping.  For small business owners and entrepreneurs, it does not get better than that.  You might be thinking, was I overcharged for shipping? Not at all, shipping was what it usually is, and you can select to receive it sooner, the next day, or in 2 weeks, like I did.  Right now, I have more than 5 coupons between mail and emails with great deals, which I will probably use before they expire.  I am not promoting Vistaprint; I am just letting you know my experience so far, since I know many of you are authors and writers on a tight budget, and it is always good to know where to get the good deals.  I used to print all my promo items by myself – flyers, business cards … but the cost of ink and paper has proven to be more expensive than ordering out, and the printing quality is better.  Adding all these amazing coupons and offers, the cost is considerably less than doing it myself.  I still keep my designs in case one day I run out and need to print something quick.

So far, the quality of items has been great.  I am waiting for these last items to see their quality.  I think it will be great; so far I have been happy with the items .  This is all I wanted to share for today, and I will update you on this with a post and pics, once I get the stuff.

I hope that this post was of use to you.

 

Reminder:

I will be giving away three copies of Ramblings of the Spirit, the first book of the trilogy The Dinorah Chronicles.  To enter for a chance to win one of the three copies, just like my Facebook page (link at the right of the screen on this blog) and that is all you have to do.  I will announce the three winners on May 20, which is the birth date of the person to whom I have dedicated this book – my maternal grandmother.

Sustainability – Reduce – Reuse – Repurpose – Recycle

We are making a conscientious attempt to become greener and utilize the planet’s resources responsibly.  Each individual is responsible for doing his/her part as best he/she can to help save and preserve this beautiful planet.  Every little counts, from buying products in environmentally friendly packaging to growing some veggies in your backyard.  By reducing our daily waste we contribute a lot to being responsible Earth citizens and become an important part in sustainability efforts.  Reducing waste should be our primary goal, followed by reusing items as best as we can.  We can give a second life to objects, we can think twice before putting something in the trash in order to use it in a different way or alter it on another form and for another purpose.  This takes us to the issue of repurposing.  When we repurpose items we help the environment as well.  We reduce our waste and we give a second chance to items which would end up in a landfill somewhere.  when we want to dispose of items we should recycle them as well as we can, by following our city’s recycling programs and doing as best as we can to keep these things out of a landfill.

Many items such as plastic items, glass items will end up as new products, companies will save money in the manufacturing process, and the economy will benefit from it as well.  This is how we affect a cycle, we are an important part in every sense of our existence in this planet.

A great example to illustrate this method is buying eggs.  Depending on where you live, you can either:

  • get your own eggs by raising chickens,
  • buy your eggs from a farm, reducing packaging waste,
  • buy the eggs at a grocery store, but choosing eggs in a cardboard container instead of the Styrofoam containers,
  • reusing the cardboard container to grow seeds for your vegetables,
  • last, recycle the cardboard container in the garbage, as appropriate in your town.

By using our imagination, we can turn used items into something else.  We can be innovative in our everyday living by following this method – reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle.

Living the Simple Life

Learning to live the simple life is more than pairing down some of your stuff.  Although it starts at that point, it develops into a spiritual quest, and appreciation of what every day brings.  Most people think that living simple is living without; this is not the case.  You might start clearing out things that you don’t need or feel are necessary for your happiness and daily comforts of living, but soon you start realizing all the blessings you have, and all the money you wasted in so much extra stuff that was far from being needed.  That is not to say that you turn into an extreme cheap and frugal person; it is far from that.  You will learn to be frugal, but out of not being wasteful and out of gratitude for the blessings in your life; it is more like a natural state of frugality, and not imposed by the lack of something.  You learn to be frugal because you recognize the abundance in your life.  This is hardly being cheap.  At the same time you will want to give more to others, and this is not being cheap either.
Living the simple life is surrounding your environment with healthy and simple things that have a functionality, as well as a purpose.  You also like and love these few things.  It is returning to simple forms and appreciating the job that these objects do.

For decorating the farmhouse, we will use the necessary furniture that we already have, and we are getting rid of extras.  We will choose simple materials, basic in form and purpose.  Some of these we already have, some we will scout for at a bargain price or recycled.  It will depend on what we need and when – and availability.

We have decided to forgo the central air or air conditioning which we have grown so accustomed to and instead, learn to open the windows, and use ceiling fans in some rooms for when it gets too hot.  We have selected a basic white ceiling fan with one center light.  We also selected a simple design portch light made of aluminum, that will last for many years.  The total cost for these two portch lights and two ceiling fans was $80.00.  Before buying them, I scouted around for these items to see if I could get them for free, but most fans available were too big or required four or more bulbs.  Since these were 19.99 a piece it was worth it to get them brand new plus it served the purpose in form, design, and simplicity.  The lighting could not be more simple and durable too.

Here are some pics.

Simple Aluminum Portch light
Simple one bulb four-blade ceiling fan
My advice here is that you try to find what you need – free first or recycled – and give it a second life, but if you cannot find it, then go with something simple at a reasonable price.  There is no sense in getting something for free if it does not serve the purpose.  I could have gotten many ceiling fans for free but they were either too big or had too many light bulbs, a waste in my opinion.  If you can wait for it to materialize in the future that is fine too, we are doing things in stages, so we decided to fit them in now.
Living simple is about saving money, but also about less excess, and the right form and function for the purpose.  And of course, loving it too.