Yard Sales: How To Make It Worth Your Time

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The thrill of the chase, the cups of early morning coffee, the haggling…there is nothing quite like hosting or visiting a local yard sale. Not only is this a favorite pastime of my own, but it’s also a great way to get some quick cash and free up some living space.

I used to want to have a yard sale every day when I was a little kid, before I understood the basic rule of the weekend. I would run through the house looking for knick knacks and anything my grandmother would let me put a price tag on. I would pull out these old, rickety tables from a shed in the backyard all by myself and put some sheets over them to look like a table cloth. I would get about $20 in change from my grandpa and sit out at those tables all day – probably only selling anything because I was a 12 year old girl that visitors took pity on.

But I had so much fun and still love to host yard sales! Every time I ask my husband about having one though, I can see him groan a little inside. It is a lot of work, and as we have grown older it has become even more important for us to make it worth the Saturday mornings we give up.

To help make it a little easier on ourselves we’ve developed some great strategies to maximize our time and try to make a little more money – and I am sharing this today! Be sure to check out the end of the post to download some free printables to use at your next sale.

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The Best, Easiest Summer Dessert

I love to entertain! A few Sundays ago we had some of our friends over, and I wanted to make sure our dinner was delicious (and not too expensive). Naturally, I turned to Pinterest to see what I could find..and I hit the jackpot.

Along with a scrumptious salmon recipe that will change the way I eat salmon, I found an amazing dessert that didn’t break the bank and left our friends wanting more. Really, I should have made 3 of these.

Introducing my new go-to dessert: Blueberry Peach Tart

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To read the original recipe please visit Baker By Nature.

I did one thing different than the recipe and that was not peeling the peaches. I didn’t read that part so it was an accident – but it turned out great! The glaze is also to-die-for (and I have never made a glaze before).

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My price for the tart is as follows (everything is rounded to the nearest dollar):

2 peaches – $4

1 contained of blueberries – $4

1 box of pastry sheets (2/box) – $4

Total: $16

This recipes calls for much more such as powdered sugar, vanilla, heavy cream, etc..however I already had the others items on hand so I do not include those in my pricing. Everything was about 3.25-3.75 respectively, with the peaches being the most expensive. If I had known, I would probably have planned that better by watching some store ads to get those cheaper.

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After the tart was made, we continued to nibble on the blueberries for a while making those well worth it. Packed them in our lunches and they were a great side item.

Enjoy, and make some summer memories for it’s time for Fall!

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A Big Way To Cut Costs At Disney

We’re back!

We are home from our Disney trip and I am so happy to be in our house! This was my 4th trip to Disney (Orlando) and it was Chris’s 1st trip. We both had our fun and our struggles with this vacation. We are pretty cute together sometimes too:

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Disney is a magical place, there is no doubt about it. Characters everywhere, amazing architecture and all of the childhood feels. However, all of that does come at a hefty price.

I want to give you a way that we could have saved money on our trip last week, had I known some of this ahead of time. I hope this helps you to plan your Disney trip and save some money!

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The number one expense that I noticed was our food. We used a dining plan offered by Disney. These dining plans are fantastic! We paid for the plan upfront, and then every time we got a meal or snack, we just scanned our MagicBands and went on our way. Essentially, you get credits when you use the dining plan – it allows you a certain amount of “Regular” meals, “Quick Service” meals and snacks.

When you pay you still get a receipt that shows how much the meal cost (as if you were paying out of pocket). The numbers on our receipts shocked me. We were paying about $50.00 for every quick service meal, which is essentially fast food. The meal that floored me consisted of burgers and fries and a cupcake…that cost $47.00! What?! 

The next meal that made me want to write this post was a sit-down character dinner. The characters come around and take pictures and sign things at your table. I am just not a fan of character meals. They interrupt and I do not care to take pictures at a meal. Just not my thing.  Anyway, this meal was a buffet that we stayed at for 15 minutes. Our meal cost over $100.00.  For 15 minutes of buffet food, we could have paid our electric bill again. Not to mention, tips are not included on dining plans.

Now that you have an idea of how crazy expensive our meals were, let’s talk about how to get around this.

We stayed 6 nights. It is essentially paying around $100.00 to $200.00 a day for meals on the dining plan (based off of our receipts). We even skipped lunch some days because it was just too hot to eat in the parks. We could have easily eaten for maybe 200.00 for the whole week! We had the luxury of having  kitchen in our resort room, but I will not include food that has to be cooked on this list. It’s not super healthy, and it’s very repetitive, but it’s about $800.00 more in the bank! Here is my sample of a frugal DIY Disney meal plan for two people (prices are based off of our local Wal-Mart and are approximate):

Breakfast:

Granola Bar (can buy a box of 8 bars for around $6 a box ) – $12

Yogurt (usually can get around 20 if on sale) – $10

Lunch:

Sandwich Bread – $2

Deli Meat (should get about 2 boxes) – $6

Cheese – $3

Mayo – $3

Lettuce – $3

Dinner:

(Can do sandwiches again for about $20)

Pizza (could order delivery to avoid having to heat)- $5

Salad (price includes cheese, croutons, dressing, salad mix, etc) – $20

Fast Food (for two people for $5 for 6 nights) – $60

Snacks:

Chips – $4

Fruit Snacks – $4

Apples – $5

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Lastly, bring your own BPA-Free water bottle. Bottled water at the parks can go as high as $6.00 per bottle, or one snack credit. Why waste money when you can fill up your bottle at your hotel? I say to fill it at the hotel because all of the parks had very metallic water in their water fountains…even when we were super thirsty, we did not want to drink it.

I hope this gives you some ideas around how to save money on your food bill for your Disney trip. Don’t focus on the food, focus on the memories! If I had done this, I would have enjoyed our trip much more, and I would have had more money to spend on some great souvenirs.

Any tips that you have for cutting costs on vacation? Let me know in the comments below!

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