Tag Archives: Tips & Ideas

National Garage Sale Day is Almost Here!

Every year, on the second Saturday in August, there’s a buying and selling bonanza going on in people’s garages, yards, driveways, and even community club houses, all across these good ‘ole United States! It’s called National Garage Sale Day and it’s just a few days away. Don’t wait until the last minute to get organized – a fatal mistake if you want to have the most successful garage sale you can.
I talked about this in my previous blog, 3 Tips for a Successful Garage Sale.
National Garage Sale Day is August 9th!

  1. Be sure to advertise
  2. Organize well in advance
  3. Price every item

Garage sales are big business. According to the website StatisticBrain.com, U.S. garage sales generate nearly 4.3 million dollars each week. Start organizing now so you can get your share of that. It doesn’t take much to set-up and run a successful garage sale, but it does take planning and effort.

Garage Sales this weekend!First, commit to actually having the sale. National Garage Sale Day is a great day to host your garage sale because there will already be lots and lots of garage sale shoppers on the road going from sale to sale. (Note: this does not negate the need to advertise – in fact, you need the biggest, best ad you can afford because you want people to come to your sale first before hitting everyone else’s, so place your free Garage Sale Ad now). If you are at all wishy-washy about having the sale then stop before you even get started. If you’re not fully committed then chances are you will not dedicate the amount of time you should.

Now, the real work begins.

Here are a few tips to setup your garage sale for the best results:

garage-sale-talk-bubble

  • Decide what you are going to sell. Don’t leave any nook or cranny untouched. From your garage to your closets, from your basement to your barn, from your tool shed to your attic, don’t miss anything.
  • Bring it all together to one spot, a “staging area”, if you will.
  • Clean the items! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to a garage sale and it looked like someone just dug their treasures out of the ground. Ugh!
  • Determine if electrical or battery operated items work or not. This is important because you can ask more for a working item. Have access to an electrical plug so shoppers can test an item and feel confident they bought a working item.
  • Group like items together i.e. tools, toys, appliances, furniture (just like a department store does).
  • Bundle certain items together to sell as a set. For example, got a stapler and a box of staples? Put them together in a sandwich baggie and price them as a single item.
  • Plan out your “sales floor”. You want to be sure shoppers can maneuver through your treasures easily.
  • Get the necessary tables, shelves, racks, etc., to conveniently display your items in advance. Don’t wait until Saturday morning at the crack of down to pull them out. They may be in need of a cleaning, too.
  • Make a bank run by at least the day before and make sure to get lots of smaller bills and coins. The last thing you want is to lose a sale because you couldn’t make change for a $5!
  • Buy price stickers. A lot of people like blue painter’s tape which they tear into strips.
  • Do some research on average pricing for your area. Keep in mind, you want to price to sell! Garage sale shoppers are there for B-A-R-G-A-I-N-S so don’t expect to get what the item may actually be worth. A good idea is to shop some garage sales on the weekends prior to yours to see what the going rates are.
  • Fix your completed price stickers to your items well before the sale. You want everything done before you nod off the night before the sale so all you have to do the day of the sale is put your treasures out.
  • Wake up early on the day of the sale. A nice touch is to make a donut run and have free donuts for people who stop by your sale. If you do this, make a large “Free donuts” sign and put it in a very visible location. However, put the donuts in a spot where the shopper has to come through your merchandise to get to them. Set-up your sale and be ready for a hectic but fun-filled day meeting all kinds of people!

I hope you find these garage sale tips helpful. If you decide not to host a sale yourself, then be sure to be shopper instead and go Garage “Sailing”!

National Garage Sale Day is Saturday, August 9th!

Don’t forget to check out this week’s special Garage Sale-themed PennySaver for all of the local garage sales in your area. Also, download the free Actable™ App for iPhone or Android, and scan the special masthead for a surprise!


Jim Sampson, Private Party Advertising Manager at PennySaver USAJim Sampson is the Customer Support Manager at PennySaver USA, and is also PennySaver’s resident “Garage Sale Expert.” PennySaver USA is California’s leading resource in print, online, and mobile for hyperlocal advertising, local coupons, classifieds, and business listings.

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Save Money Monday: Start Using Coupons NOW!

It’s no secret that everyone wants to save money. It may seem like a difficult feat, but with these tips from PennySaver USA, saving money will no longer be just a dream, but will soon be reality, all it takes is 30 minutes.

Learn to coupon like a proJust set aside 30 minutes each week to prepare and plan ahead, and you’ll start to save some serious cash on products you use everyday. Coupons can be used not only on food, but things like shampoos, paper products, pet food, cleaning supplies and more. Once you start using coupons and see the savings, you will more than likely want to continue using coupons on a regular basis. For this installment of Save Money Monday, here are a few helpful ideas to help you become a couponing pro:

First you need coupons, and there are many ways to collect coupons:

If you plan on a serious coupon career, (which might take longer than 30 minutes a week), a good filing system will also help:

  • Coupon Files
  • Binders
  • Shoeboxes
  • Recipe Boxes
  • Storage Containers

Listed below are a few ways to keep your coupons in order, but you really want to use whatever works best for you:

  • Categories
  • Store
  • Store Aisle
  • Expiration Date

Helpful Hint: Remember to purge your coupons about once a month to get rid of all expired coupons, creating more space for new coupons.

Once you have clipped your coupons, check the local stores in your area. Not just grocery stores, but drug stores such as Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid also have weekly offers already in place to match the weekly coupons offered, and they offer extra store incentives for customers with a free store membership. It is like they have done most of the work for you. Some stores also offer BOGO. (Buy one get one), double coupon offers and rebates for even more savings.You will find that sometimes buying name brands using coupons and store incentives, are often less expensive than buying the generic brands offered.

There are a few downsides of coupon shopping, often the savings are so good the product sells out very quickly leaving the shelf empty, but most stores will offer a raincheck on the items sale price if you ask and will honor the coupon as well. You can even ask the store when they receive shipments and if possible, plan your shopping accordingly. Believe it or not, stores want you to use coupons, because they benefit as well by often earning a handling fee from the manufacturers. Stores have been accepting coupons for so long that the checkout process is not as time consuming as it once was. Many stores now even accept mobile coupons, and will scan the coupon right from your mobile device. If you are worried about the line behind you getting a little long and impatient, it could be because they have just realized they are going to pay full price for the same product you just bought for half price or less!

The first one cent–off coupon was issued in 1895 by C.W. Post to promote his new cereal. According to WomansDay.com,

“a coupon is still one of the single best ways to get people to buy a product. Even if you forget to bring it to the store, clipping the coupon jogs your memory and you’ll likely buy the product anyway.”


Dottie Hobbs, Customer Service RepresentativeDottie Hobbs is a Customer Service Representative at PennySaver USA, California’s leading resource in print, online, and mobile for hyperlocal advertising, local coupons, classifieds, and business listings.

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Cheap and Easy Spring Cleaning

It’s almost time for spring cleaning. It can be an exhausting and expensive activity that induces dread. But it doesn’t have to be. With a little planning and some clever tips from Pennysaver USA, you can breeze through spring cleaning and save money to go out and celebrate the new season.
Cheap and Easy Spring Cleaning Tips

Get Your Cleaning Supplies Together

Gather all of the cleaning supplies you’ll use and find a pail or basket to carry them from room to room. You’ll save having to run around the house looking for that glass cleaner or dust rag. Woman’s Day suggests using microfiber cloths for cleaning instead of paper towels. They can be used dry for dusting and wet for wiping down almost any surface. You can also reuse them after machine washing and hanging them up to dry. They come in inexpensive packs and you’ll save on paper towels that just get thrown away after a single use.

Top-Down Approach

Start at the top of the house at one end and work your way down. Finish one room completely before going to the next. This gives you a feeling of accomplishment even if you haven’t finished the whole house. Take your basket of cleaning supplies with you and leave the vacuum outside of the room for the final touch.

Use the top-down method when cleaning individual rooms. Start by dusting high places, including blinds and ceiling fan, to allow dirt to fall to the floor to be picked up by the vacuum. Work your way down the shelves and walls. As you clean, pick up everything off of the floor so you’ll be ready to do a quick vacuum of the room.

Organize Now or Later

Spring cleaning gives you a chance to do some major organization. Start by cleaning out closets, the garage and basement, recommends House Beautiful. If you have kept up with those spaces, you can work on other areas as you move through the house. If you’ve ignored those areas, you’ll want to set aside time to organize them separately.

If you find that the garage and basement have a lot of junk that should just be thrown out, save money by renting a dumpster instead of hauling away multiple loads to the landfill. Every city has services that offer quick to-your-door delivery of dumpsters. For example, if you live in or around the Denver area, Next Day Dumpsters can deliver a small unit that is the equivalent of six pickup loads. The company will take it away when you’re done so you don’t have to deal with the landfill.

While you have the dumpster in your driveway, take advantage of it to haul away that yard waste accumulating in the backyard. Pick up a cart at rental place in Denver so you don’t hurt your back as you collect the limbs and leaves, wood scraps and old flower pots from your yard.

Save Money on Supplies

You can also make your own cleaning solutions and save money, says HGTV. They are less harsh than commercial cleaners, and easier on the planet. Some of the DIY cleaners they recommend include:

  • White vinegar diluted in water — Cleans floor and wall scuffs, countertops, tubs and sinks
  • White vinegar undiluted — Cleans toilet bowls, sinks, tubs, and any surface stained by hard water deposits
  • Baking soda — Cleans tile, grout and porcelain when mix with a little water to use as a scouring powder
  • Rubbing alcohol — Cleans windows, mirrors and chrome surfaces
  • Ammonia — Cleans stubborn surfaces when rubbing alcohol isn’t enough

Carissa Rogers is the Marketing Specialist at PennySaver USA, California’s leading resource in print, online, and mobile for hyperlocal advertising, local coupons, classifieds, and business listings.

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Tips for Placing a Garage Sale Classified Ad

Tips for Placing a Garage Sale Classified AdThey say baseball is is America’s favorite past time, but everyone knows that’s not true. America’s favorite past time is garage sales! Every year as soon as the first breezes of Spring begin to blow, before the first blooms begin to show their faces, they begin popping up everywhere, bringing millions of people out to search for bargains and antiques, baby clothes and Tupperware, and millions of others setting up sales to rid their homes of all the unwanted stuff that they probably bought at a, well, a garage sale. Like the seasons of the year, it’s an endless cycle.

If you’re going to be on the selling end this year and setting up your own sale you should know that there may not be any wrong way to do it exactly, but there are better ways. One of the first things to think about is of course getting people to come to your sale. And one of the best ways to do that is to post a free garage sale ad on PennySaverUSA.com. Many bargain hunters use the classifieds to find garage sales in their area and devise a plan of attack. Written well, a garage sale classified ad can be a very effective method of getting eager buyers to your door step. Here are a few things to consider when taking out an ad.

  • Include good directions. Nothing is more frustrating to a garage sale hunter to see only an address listed in an ad. Unless you live on a major street most people probably won’t know where the little drive in your subdivision is. Directions should be clear and easy to understand but also concise. Start out with a major intersection or well known landmark close to your home and write as though you were telling a friend how to get there, but again keep it brief and uncomplicated.
  • Make sure the date of the sale is at the beginning and stands out, and include what hours you plan on being open for business. You’re going to have early birds showing up no matter what but that’s just a part of the garage sale reality. It’s also a good idea to include a rain date if you have one.
  • Include a brief description of what types of items you’ll be selling. This doesn’t have to be long, but it should be as diverse as possible and directed at the widest range of interests, and written in a general way. If all you have are clothes, say so and what kind, no sense having folks show up looking for tools if you don’t have any.
  • Pictures aren’t really necessary for a garage sale classified ad. Everyone knows what a garage sale looks like. For most people looking for sales in the classifieds, it’s a “just the facts please ma’am” mentality.

A garage sale classified ad, written clearly and concisely with all the important details included can be the best way to insure you’ll have a successful, and profitable, garage sale experience.

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Save Money Monday: Save on Back to School Purchases

Back to school shopping is an exciting time for children and a stressful time for parents. As the fall approaches, many parents’ thoughts are turning to how to save money on back-to-school items. The start of the school year can be tough on your household budget. School supplies seem to get more expensive each year and it’s amazing how quickly supplies lists can tally up into large expenses. Doing this for multiple children for years can put a strain on any family budget. Luckily, there are some easy ways to make the back-to-school purchase season less daunting.

If you are worried about your ability to pay for school supplies, this year, there are some surprisingly simple ways to help make the start of the school year easier.

Start at home

Begin by thoroughly investigating office supplies and school supplies you already have. We often have supplies tucked away that we may have forgotten about. Open drawers, and you’re likely to find a forgotten stash of #2 pencils, a random pack of erasers, or unused rolls of tape. Also, many school supplies such as pencil sharpeners used by older siblings, can easily be reused. Plain office supplies, such as white binders, can be redecorated with pictures and markers to be unique.

Think outside of the box

Parenting Magazine suggests doing basic school shopping at the grocery stores. You can easily browse circulars for bargains and coupons that might not be available in traditional school supply stores. In the same vein, hit the various end of summer sales for back to school clothes. Clothes for warm weather can be worn through most of the fall and can be used again come spring.

Buy Used or “Un-Used” Items

Search both the printed classified ads in the PennySaver, and back-to-school online listings at PennySaverUSA.com. Look online for common back-to-school items that someone may be trying to unload. Often, used items are simply products of which someone purchased too many. They may have never actually been used. Families that have children who have gone away to college, or who have completed their academic years, will often place items from their childrens’ room on sale in the fall. It’s the perfect opportunity to purchase reduce price books, toys and furniture that are in near perfect condition, for considerably less money than if you were to purchase new in store.

Shop Online

Everything seems to be online now, even back to school shopping. Look for online offers and savings. Many stores and companies email discounts or post coupons and deals to their blogs during this time of year.  Some companies and website even offer online freebies for back-to-school items. Sign up for our Free Friday Newsletter, to never miss out on another freebie again. Rather than heading straight for the nearest retail location, do some surfing online first. You will be surprised at how much you can save.

When you are ready to start looking for savings on back-to-school purchases for your student’s list, there are a number of ways to save money and keep your family budget in check for the coming year. These tips will definitely help you start on the right foot.

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Save Money Monday: Saving on Your Electricity Bill

It’s Summer, and as the temperature rises so do your electricity bills. It doesn’t have to be that way. In this Save Money Monday blog, we’re going to provide you with household tips to cut down costs on your electricity bills this Summer and through the rest of the year.

Turn off the Lights

Whenever you’re leaving a room, turn off the lights. Even if you may have the intention of returning within a few minutes, you can easily become distracted, and those few minutes can turn into an hour or more–resulting in a waste of electricity and your money.

Replace Light Bulbs

Replace any incandescent light bulbs in your home with compact fluorescent bulbs.

Use Compact Fluorescent Bulbs

If you know you’re the forgetful kind, and probably won’t heed the first tip very diligently, then replace any incandescent light bulbs in your home with compact fluorescent bulbs instead. These light bulbs not only use less electricity–saving about 50% when it comes to lighting, but they also emit less heat, reducing your air condition usage. These can be found at many home supplies/hardware stores.

Limit Electricity Usage at Peak Times

For most areas, peak electricity times are during the daytime. Utility companies capitalize on this, and charge you a higher rate during peak hours. If you’re at work during the day, make sure everything is turned off before you leave. If you’re at home during peak hours, open the windows and let the natural sunlight in. Save money and electricity by doing the laundry and washing the dishes late at night or early in the morning.

Turn Off/Unplug Appliances

You can easily save on your monthly electricity bill by turning off or unplugging appliances that are not in use. Some appliances will continue to use a small amount of electricity on a constant basis, even if it’s not in use. Over an extended period of time, the small but consistent usage adds up and leads to more money out of your pocket every month.

Buy Energy Star Appliances

When buying new appliances, look for those that have the Energy Star label. These appliances have been rated by the government and are energy efficient. They are usually slightly more expensive, but save you more during the lifetime usage of the appliance.

Use your Appliances Efficiently

Whether you have or don’t have Energy Star appliances, you can use the appliances that you do have in more energy-efficient ways. For example, when using the dishwasher or doing the laundry, make sure you have full loads and use energy and/or water saving modes.

While most of these tips seem to be just minor adjustments, when combined they can really add up. In today’s economy, every single penny counts, that’s why you’ve got PennySaverUSA to help you out.

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