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Want to Earn Money With a Side Hustle? Here’s How to Find Your Match

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A couple decades ago, locking down a 9-to-5, climbing the corporate ladder and hoping to be called “boss” one day may have seemed fairly standard. 

But with shifting job markets, the advent of social media and online marketing and a booming sharing economy, people are increasingly thinking outside the cubicle and warming up to the idea of becoming their own bosses. 

A 2018 Gallup poll indicated that 36% of all American workers are engaged in some form of gig work. . 

Of course, freelancing doesn’t need to mean quitting your day job today — or ever. There are plenty of low-risk, low-time-commitment freelance opportunities you can engage in to pad your paycheck or test a new professional track.

Now it’s time to determine the best one for you. It, which may not be as obvious as you think. But that’s why we’re here to help.

How to Find Your Side Hustle: Matching Your Skills to the Side Gig Economy

When you’re first thinking about how to find your side hustle, you should first, think about the skills you’ve developed throughout your career and might even use on a daily basis at your full-time job. Are any of them, like problem solving or personnel management, transferable to other industries? 

You can even pick up freelance work in the same field as your full-time job, given you’re not competing with your employer or violating a non-compete agreement.

On the other hand, you may be looking to pick up a new skill or take a break from your day-to-day duties after hours. A side hustle can be the perfect way to transition into a new line of work or simply blow off steam while making extra cash. 

Browsing online marketplaces, like UpWork and Fiverr, is a great way to find out what kind of services other people are offering to supplement their income. Once you’re properly inspired, let’s figure out which moneymaker is the best fit for your interests and abilities.

You’re Gifted With the Written Word

Whether you’re a writer by trade or your diary reads like Shakespeare, there are plenty of freelance writing opportunities that can help pay the bills.

If you’re itching to see your byline in print, try pitching to a website or publication that pays its contributors. If you already have some clips to your name and can track down the email address of an editor at your favorite magazine, go ahead and send them an idea. (I used to be an editor at a women’s glossy, and yes, they really do accept blind pitches!)

But just about every company needs to call upon a wordsmith at some point, and many companies will farm out their website copy, marketing work and blog content to freelancers via online marketplaces.

You Know Your Way Around Web Design

Tons of people have personal websites these days, but not all of them know how to build them. Even free content management systems like Squarespace and WordPress can be difficult and time-consuming for amateurs to navigate (guilty!). 

Whether you know Javascript, HTML or just drag-and-drop editing, you can offer your services as a web designer through a marketplace like Freelancer or 99designs.

You’re the Go-To Problem Solver

Whether you’re a professional educator or can crack any brain teaser, use your skills to help kids get into college. There’s a huge market for SAT and ACT tutors. List your services on a site like Craigslist, get the word out locally or sign up to become a part-time tutor with a nationwide company like Kaplan.

If you have a special area of expertise — biology, history or even chess — tutor in that subject area. You can become an English language tutor for those brushing up on their skills through an English as a Second Language program (you’ll often need certification for that one). 

People Take Your Opinion Seriously

A woman shops at a local botqiue.

Get paid for your opinion by becoming a mystery shopper. As a mystery shopper, you may be assigned to shop anywhere from Pizza Hut to IKEA. Some mystery shopping companies even assign shoppers to test spa services. After finishing your shop, you’ll rate the company’s service, timeliness, quality and more. 

Make sure to research mystery companies before signing up — many are legitimate, but there are scams out there, too. According to one frequent mystery shopper, the average pay is $8 to $25 per assignment, plus reimbursement of expenses, but some assignments can bring in up to $60.

Another way to share your opinion is through online surveys, which can pay up to $95 but are usually closer to $1 to $2 each and take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. One benefit of surveys is that you can complete them quickly from the comfort of your own home. MyPoints and Ipsos Panel are some of our favorite — and legitimate! — survey companies.  

You’re the Creative Type

We’re all aware of the meditative — and budget gift-giving — benefits of crafting. But you can get even more mileage out of your creations by selling them through marketplaces like Etsy, Artfire and Handmade by Amazon.

Creating goods is only half of the recipe for selling successfully online — you’ll need to also consider the effort needed for promotion, organization and working with customers. Here’s a guide to help you learn how to sell on Etsy.

Dollars Make Sense to You

There’s a profit to be made by helping startups and small businesses craft ironclad business plans. Lots of people are looking to hire financial experts via UpWork right now

At UpWork you can browse available gigs like financial planning, executive summaries and marketing strategies, or you can create a profile and advertise your own services.

You’re a Social Butterfly

A person deals cards at a casino.

Contact your local theater or concert venue to apply to be an usher. You’ll greet people at weekend and evening shows and walk them to their seats. Some ushers even get to watch the events they work. 

Want your own audience? Casino dealer or product demonstrator are great side gigs that will keep you talking.

Do you host the best dinner parties? Try freelance event planning. Do you ace every interview? Help others prep for theirs. You can meet new people every hour by becoming a driver with Lyft or Uber if you have access to a car that meets their requirements

You Always Have a Plan

Is your calendar the image of color-coded perfection? Help someone else organize theirs by becoming a virtual assistant. 

Depending on the employer, you’ll complete assistant duties like scheduling, answering phones, taking dictations and more while getting paid an hourly salary. Check virtual assistant job boards like this one for listings or visit your favorite freelance marketplace.

You’re the First One on the Dance Floor

If you’ve been killing it at the front of your Zumba class, get paid for showing off your moves as a hired dancer at bar mitzvahs, weddings and Sweet 16s. DJs often staff party dancers to fill the floor, so search for gigs through local party DJs. 

You don’t need any formal training to perform as a party motivator — just a lot of energy, unfettered exuberance and maybe even a mastery of the Electric Slide. 

You’re Always Behind the Camera

What can you do with the hundreds of photos on your hard drive? Sell your gorgeous snapshots online through stock photography sites. On Shutterbug, you can earn up to $120 per image download. Or check out this list of other great stock photo sites that pay you for your snapshots.

You Love Hanging With the Kiddos

If you are responsible and dependable, yet still love to fingerpaint, a part-time nanny gig may be just right for you. One of the best ways to land a babysitting gig is word-of-mouth through friends, family and social media. That way, you’ll have a built-in reference.

Parents also turn to apps like UrbanSitter, which helps vet nannies with background checks and references. Some of these babysitting gigs pay nearly $16 an hour, and your reviews on the site could lead to more potential gigs.

You Love Fresh Air and Exercise 

A professional dog sitter plays with three dogs.

Take the old-fashioned side gig route and work on someone’s lawn, whether mowing, leaf removal or snow plowing, through the app Plowz and Mowz.

Or, if you want some canine company outside, sign up to become a dog walker with Rover.

Still haven’t found your dream side job? Keep in mind that, just like choosing a profession, identifying your ideal side gig can require some soul-searching. But that’s a perk of the process: Meditating on your passions, skills and curiosities can help you figure out what might be missing in your primary career or spark a genius app idea. 

The stakes are fairly low because you’re holding on to your regular paycheck while testing the waters. And once you feel like you’ve mastered your new trade, it could lead to a full-time profession you might never have imagined possible.

Romy Oltuski is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.



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Azlo Review – Online Business Checking

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Azlo ReviewAzlo Review

Alzo is an online bank that focuses on simple business banking for entrepreneurs. With a huge focus on online entrepreneurs like freelancers and business, they are looking to change the way these businesses bank.

But what does that mean for you if you’re looking for a great business checking account?

Let’s dive in!

See how Azlo compares to the best business checking accounts and read more in our review below.


Azlo LogoAzlo LogoAzlo Logo

Quick Summary

  • Completely free business checking
  • Integrated invoicing and payment acceptance services
  • Does not offer checkbook services and cannot accept cash

Azlo Details

Product Name

Azlo Business Checking

Min Deposit

$0

Monthly Fee

$0

Account Type

Checking

Promotions

None

What Is Azlo?

Azlo is an online-only bank available in the U.S. and Mexico. The CEO & Co-founder is Cameron Peake. Azlo was founded in 2017 and is part of BBVA USA, Member FDIC.

“Within the banking industry, small business customers usually either aren’t served at all, or they’re served as an afterthought. At Azlo, from day one, we’ve built our product just for them. For example, we don’t have minimum balances or monthly fees. This is important because if you’re a new business owner ― particularly someone who hasn’t started earning revenue yet ― your money should be put towards your business rather than fees,” Peake said in an interview with fitsmallbusiness.com.

What Do They Offer?

Azlo offers free business checking suited for simple businesses such as small businesses, contractors, and freelancers who do all of their business online. 

It also has a no-fee model. Companies that need to write paper checks will want to use a different bank since Azlo doesn’t offer checkbook services. Businesses that need in-branch services and deal with cash will also not be a good fit for Azlo since none of those services are offered.

For most small businesses, Azlo can do virtually everything needed without any fees. It offers simple business checking, but for many small businesses, they don’t need anything more. Here’s what’s included with an Azlo checking account:

  • No-fee checking account
  • Free ATM access using Allpoint Network (55,000 ATMs)
  • Invoice clients for free
  • Debit card
  • Bill pay, which includes option for mailing paper checks
  • Connect your checking account to popular accounting software such as QuickBooks Online, Xero, and Wave.
  • Accept credit card payments through Stripe, Square, or PayPal.
  • Clients can send in paper checks for payment or use a bank transfer.
  • Receive incoming wire transfers fee-free. Outgoing wire transfers are not available.

As you can see from the list above, Azlo is very business-oriented.

Some customers have reported that transfers with Azlo are slower than with other banks. Azlo lists that outgoing transfers can take 1-3 business days, and incoming transfers can take 4-5 business days. Mobile check deposits can take 1-6 business days to process. These processing times can certainly be a factor if you need fast processing for transfers and check deposits.

Azlo cannot send international transfers. They are working on adding this option. Although you can pull from an Azlo account using an international debit service.

We also experienced trouble trying to use the invoicing and receiving payments with credit cards on invoices.

Azlo is available in all 50 states. Azlo is not able to offer services to businesses involved in gambling, money services, privately-owned ATMs, sales of marijuana or its derivatives, precious metals, pawnshops, or cryptocurrency exchanges. It also can’t support limited partnerships or limited liability partnerships.

Azlo does have some limits on certain transactions. From their webpage these include:

  • ATM withdrawals are limited to $1,000/day.
  • Card purchases and over-the-counter cash withdrawals have a cumulative limit of $8,000/day and 30 unique card transactions/day.
  • Transfers TO a linked account are limited to $300,000/day, and transfers FROM a linked account are limited to $100,000/day.
  • Payments through bill pay are limited to $10,000/payment. Bank-to-bank (ACH) payments are limited to $300,000/day.
  • Mobile check deposits are limited to $10,000/check and $20,000/month. Limit can be increased based on your Azlo account history.

Mobile App

Azlo has a mobile app for both the iPhone and Android. On the Apple App Store, it has a 4.3/5 rating from 258 people and 4.1/5 rating from 298 people on the Google Play Store.

Customer Service

Customer service is available by email and phone. You can email Azlo at support@azlo.com. They reply within 1 business day. Phone service is available at 844-295-6466 from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm Pacific time Monday through Friday.

Are There Any Fees?

Nope. Azlo is all-free business checking. That begs the question — how do they make money? Azlo says it makes money by earning interest on checking deposits and from customers using the Azlo debit card.

Payment serviced from Stripe, Square, and PayPal do charge processor fees, but these are separate from Azlo.

How Do I Open An Account?

Accounts are opened online at https://azlo.com.

Is My Money Safe?

Yes, Azlo uses bank-grade encryption on its website, and mobile and BBVA USA is a Member FDIC.

Is It Worth It?

It has potential, that’s for sure.

For small businesses that have simple checking needs and want to accept online payments from customers, Azlo will do everything you need. 

It has integrated invoicing and the ability to accept payment from credit cards and bank transfers, providing a great infrastructure for small businesses.

However, if you’re looking for more, check out our list of the best business checking accounts here.

The post Azlo Review – Online Business Checking appeared first on The College Investor.



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10 Slow Cooker Recipes That Will Make Dinner Time Easy

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Are you looking for some new and delicious slow cooker recipes so you can have tasty and stress-free dinners this week?

I love making meals in a slow cooker. Dinners are so much easier when you start everything in advance! I’m less stressed, can focus on things I’d rather do, all while knowing that I have a delicious meal cooking.

So, if you’re looking for some of the best slow cooker recipes, I have 10 new recipes for you to try – that’s almost two full weeks of meal ideas!

I think you’re going to like all of these slow cooker recipes, but here are my favorites:

  • Easy Slow Cooker Cauliflower Soup – Cauliflower, cashews, and a smoky chickpea topping. This soup is packed full of protein, and it’s vegan. This soup is creamy, rich, and the chickpea topping is roasted, which gives it a nice crunch.
  • Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Soup – Chicken, black beans, fire roasted corn, lime juice, and more. You can top this hearty soup with cheese, avocado, sour cream (I like to use plain Greek yogurt), and more.
  • Mozzarella Stuffed Crockpot Meatloaf – Garlic, onions, mozzarella cheese, Italian seasoning, and more. This meatloaf even has a delicious sweet and spicy glaze on top. I honestly had no idea that you could even make meatloaf in the slow cooker until I found this recipe.

Many of these slow cooker recipes take 15 minutes or less of prep time, which means you can easily make them before you go to work in the morning. They also make great leftovers for lunch the next day.

I like to put together slow cooker recipes before we go out hiking, biking, or exploring. We’re usually very hungry when we finish, and having a slow cooker meal ready to eat means we’re never too tired to eat dinner at home.

Being too tired or too hungry to cook is probably one of the top reasons for going out to eat, but dinner out can easily cost $30-$50. That can be a lot of extra spending that you didn’t budget.

So, these slow cooker recipes will give you some delicious new ideas, make dinner time easier, and they’ll keep your food budget in check. 

If you’re interested in more meal ideas, I recommend checking out the following articles for more of my favorite recipes:

Note: If you’re looking for easy weekly meal plans, full of budget recipes, I recommend $5 Meal Plan. $5 Meal Plan is a meal planning service that sends you a delicious meal plan and shopping list every week for just $5 a month.

Here are 10 slow cooker recipes.

 

1. Easy Slow Cooker Cauliflower Soup

Get the recipe here.

 

2. Slow Cooker Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

Get the recipe here.

 

3. Sweet Potato Apple Casserole

Get the recipe here.

 

4. French Beef Stew

Get the recipe here.

 

5. Teriyaki Chicken Quinoa And Veggies

Get the recipe here.

 

6. Salsa Verde Chicken Soup

Get the recipe here.

 

7. Slow Cooker Corned Beef Tacos

Get the recipe here.

 

8. BBQ Pulled Pork Tacos

Get the recipe here.

 

9. Slow Cooker Chicken Chili

Get the recipe here.

 

10. Mozzarella Stuffed Crockpot Meatloaf

Get the recipe here.

What are your favorite slow cooker recipes?

The post 10 Slow Cooker Recipes That Will Make Dinner Time Easy appeared first on Making Sense Of Cents.



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Eight Useful, Frugal Projects You Can Do to Save Money

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It’s been my experience that if you leave yourself too much idle time, you usually end up doing things you regret. Perhaps it’s just as simple as wasting away the hours watching random television programs and movies, or maybe it’s something destructive and wasteful that you’ll regret. Whatever the case may be, a sudden abundance of time can lead to some bad routines.

A much better approach is to find useful ways to fill that time, particularly in terms of making things, learning things, or optimizing things for later.

Here are eight projects to take on during moments in life when you have more time than you expect and are struggling to find worthwhile things for idle hands to do.

Maintain your appliances.

There’s really no better time than right now to go through each of the appliances in your home and give them some maintenance love.

The easiest way to do it is to look up the manual for each of your appliances online and see what they suggest doing for maintenance. Which appliances? Your refrigerator, dishwasher, stovetop/oven, microwave, washer, dryer and AC unit. There’s a nice checklist to get you started.

Almost every manual in the world will suggest maintenance and cleaning steps for those appliances. Follow those instructions as closely as you can. You’ll be doing things like leveling the washing machine, dusting behind the fridge, cleaning out little holes in your dishwasher, and so on.

Why do this? Whenever you do a maintenance run on your appliances, you’re extending their lifespan significantly. That means, during the time in which you live in this home, you’ll have fewer appliance replacements. Plus, you’re likely to get these appliances to run more efficiently as well, which could save you a little money along the way.

Make stock.

Stock is the liquid backbone of a ton of different soups and many casseroles and other dishes. There are countless uses for stock — whenever you would use water or bullion in a dish, stock will improve the flavor substantially. The best part? Making it yourself is free, but it requires some planning ahead.

What you need to do is save every vegetable scrap that you have, either raw or plainly cooked. If it’s a bit of extra vegetable that’s edible, but you skipped it for some reason, use it. If it’s a vegetable that’s on the verge of going bad, use it. If it’s some leftover steamed broccoli, use it. If it’s an outer layer of onion that you peeled away, use it.

All of that stuff can go in a large container in your freezer. A gallon-sized freezer bag is perfect for this.

Along with that, save the bones and cartilage and scrap bits of meat from any meat that you cook. Did you cook a whole chicken? Save the bones and cartilage and scraps. Did you cook a roast? Save the bone. Do you have leftover plain meat? Save it.

You’ll want to save individual kinds of meat — save the chicken bits in one-gallon freezer bag and beef bones in another.

When you have a gallon bag full of scraps, you’re ready to make stock. Pour all of those scraps into a pot. You can mix one type of meat scrap with vegetable scrap, or just do them alone if you want vegetarian scraps. Cover the scraps and bones with water, add a tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of ground black pepper (or some peppercorns), and then simply simmer it on low all day long in a pot with a lid. You can do it without a lid, but you’ll want to add some water during the day. Twelve hours of simmering should do it. You can do this in a large slow cooker on low, too, and that allows you to safely leave it overnight.

When you’re done, strain the liquid. It’s the liquid you want to save, not the mushy scraps. That liquid can be stored in a big jar in the fridge or frozen in a freezer-safe container. It’s the basis of amazing soups and amazing casseroles. It’s amazing when you use it to cook rice. It’s basically liquid flavor for almost anything where you want to impart that kind of flavor.

Make your own bread.

Homemade bread is a little denser, far more filling, more nutritious, and makes absurdly better toast than the bread you buy at the store. A humble homemade loaf is like $10 bakery bread rather than the $2 loaf you normally buy, but here’s the kicker: it doesn’t even cost $2 to make, and your grocery store has all of the stuff (even if you don’t have it on hand). Not only that, making it yourself is a great kitchen confidence builder.

It’s really easy to do, too. All you really need is flour, water, sugar, yeast and an oven. A loaf pan is nice to shape the final loaf — if you don’t have one, you can get an inexpensive one at the grocery store for a dollar or two.

All you need is a packet or a tablespoon of dry yeast, 2 1/4 cups of warm water (it should feel nice and warm but not hot to the touch), 3 tablespoons of sugar, a tablespoon of salt, a small bit of oil for greasing the pan and 6 1/2 cups of bread flour. This will make two loaf-sized dough balls. You can wrap one in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge a few days for when you’re ready to bake another loaf.

Mix the yeast and half a teaspoon of sugar into the water and let it sit for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the salt, the remaining sugar and half the flour in a really big bowl until it’s thoroughly mixed. Then, add the water and stir — it’ll be like a soup. Add the rest of the flour, half a cup at a time, until you have a big dough ball you can handle with your hands without sticking to them.

Clear a spot on a table, put a little flour down, and knead the ball until it’s smooth. This will take about 10 minutes. Add a little flour if it starts to get sticky again.

At this point, split the dough ball in half and wrap up half of it to stick in the fridge. Take a bowl, rub a bit of the oil all over the inside of it so nothing sticks, and put the other dough ball in there. Let it sit for a couple of hours in a warm spot, covered with a towel.

After that, just punch down the dough and form it into a loaf shape. Rub a bit of oil all over the inside of the loaf pan and fit the dough in there. Cover that loaf again and wait another 90 minutes or so for it to rise.

Then, heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, pop in the loaf and wait 30 minutes. It’s done when you tap the top of it and it sounds hollow inside. Remove it from the pan and let it sit on a wire rack (or anything you can find that will elevate it from the table and let air flow under it) for a while to cool to room temperature. It’s ready to eat and should be good for several days. The toast is to die for.

When you want to use the other ball, take it out of the fridge, put it in an oiled bowl, and cover it. Let it sit for 3-4 hours and it will start to rise, then jump into the procedure above where you’re punching down the dough.

Not only does this make amazing bread, but it’s also pretty inexpensive, it’ll make your house smell amazing as you cook it, and if you do it a few times it’ll seem really simple, which will encourage you to bake other things yourself. Most basic baked items are similarly easy. It’s mostly mixing together flour, water and yeast, kneading for different lengths of time, adding another ingredient or two, and shaping it differently.

Fix a damaged article of clothing.

Most of us have an item of clothing with some minor issue. Maybe a button is missing from a dress shirt, or maybe a pair of pants is a little too long and needs to be hemmed.

Most of us also have a small sewing kit at home, with a few needles and a few different colors of thread in there. It’s one of those things we pick up over the years as a housewarming gift or in an emergency and then stick in a drawer for later.

Now’s a great time to pull out that garment with an issue and that sewing kit and actually fix it.

Sewing on a button, for example, is a very simple project to get started with. Here’s a great Youtube video that will walk you right through the process.

Other projects will require more work, but they’re all doable with a little time and some needle and thread. You can repair a torn seam. You can sew a patch on a uniform or a jacket. You can hem up a pair of pants.

The first few times you do these things, it’s going to be really awkward and slow. The key is to work through that awkward and slow phase, and this is a perfect time to do it.

Check your windows for drafts and bad caulk spots.

Go to every window in your home and inspect the edges around the window slowly, along every line of caulk (it’s the rubbery stuff at the edges of windows). Look for any spots where caulk is missing or looks damaged and make a note of it.

If you do have access to equipment to seal them (caulk, a caulking gun, and a putty knife), then by all means, seal those windows. These are items that many people have in their tool chest, so you may be able to just tackle it right now. However, springtime is a time of the year when you’re least likely to need to run air conditioning, so this part of the project can wait.

If you make a thorough catalog of all of the places with inadequate caulking right now, actually fixing it later will be a pretty easy task. You just get a caulking gun and some caulk and a putty knife and head straight down the list, going from spot to spot to fix the issues.

Why is this useful? Those spots where the caulk is missing from your window are spots where warm air is leaking out of your home in the winter and hot air is getting into your home in the summer. Fixing those spots will save you quite a bit of money over the long haul.

Make some homemade laundry soap.

Homemade laundry soap costs about $0.03 per load and does a pretty good job. On almost all loads, I find it’s almost exactly the same as Tide or storebrand detergent at a tiny fraction of the cost. It’s also easy to make it — you can get the items the next time you need to visit the grocery store.

All you need is baking soda or washing soda, borax (likely found next to cleaning supplies or laundry supplies), and a couple of bars of non-glycerine soap (Ivory or a generic brand works just fine). You’ll also need a container of some kind to keep near your washer, as well as a measuring tablespoon, and you’ll need a box grater. You’ll likely have most of that stuff already at home.

First, take the bar of soap and the box grater and grate the soap into fine flakes. You essentially want to turn the bar of soap into powder. This will take a little while — maybe 10 or 15 minutes — but you can do it while listening to a podcast or watching a TV show as long as you pay attention to your knuckles so you don’t grate them.

If you have baking soda instead of washing soda, put one or two cups of baking soda onto a baking tray and bake it in the oven at 400 F for one hour. The heat will turn the baking soda into washing soda.

Then, pull out your storage container and put equal amounts of washing soda, borax, and soap flakes in there. If you have a big container, two cups of each is great; if it’s smaller, aim for a single cup or a half cup of each. Shake the container and mix the powders together for a few minutes, then pop the measuring spoon in there and you’re good to go.

All you need is a tablespoon of this mix for a normal-sized load of laundry. Just sprinkle it around evenly in the load — don’t just dump it in a clump. It does an impressive job of getting clothes nice and clean.

If you use a cup of each substance, you have three cups of homemade laundry soap, which, if you’re using a tablespoon at a time, adds up to 48 loads. If you add up the cost of the ingredients, your cost per load will end up somewhere in the $0.03 to $0.06 range. If you compare that to the cost of normal laundry detergent per load, you’ll be pretty impressed by the savings.

Consider this a nice “trial run” to see whether or not homemade laundry soap works for you. It works pretty well for me!

Make a “refill” list.

This is actually a project I’ve done myself in the last few days. I typed this up, printed it, and laminated it.

It’s simply a list of the 40 or 50 things around our house that we consistently use up and need to replenish. The items on that list are things that we’ll always stock up on if we notice them on sale, and if we see that we’re running low, they get added to the list. Rather than just writing “dishwashing detergent” every few months on the grocery list, now we can just put a star by “dishwashing detergent” on the “refill” list.

Just go around your home, looking in your various cupboards and pantries, and identify all of the household supplies and nonperishable food items that you always want to have on hand. You’re looking for things like toilet paper, dishwashing detergent, flour, bar soap, shampoo, pasta and so on. The exact list will be different for everyone, depending on age, family size and specific requirements, and you’ll find that your first draft is probably missing several items.

What’s the value? Like I said, having a list like this with a dry erase marker handy makes it a lot easier to take note of the regular stuff you need at the store, so that you don’t forget something essential and have to make an extra trip. Notice toilet paper missing? Just draw a quick star on this laminated sheet, then check it the next time you’re about to go to the store. It’s as easy as that! Sure, it’s a new routine to get used to, but it’s a super simple routine, and it can easily start saving you trips to the store.

Review your subscriptions.

Many of us have subscriptions to services and publications and other things that we completely forget about most of the time. We’re subscribed to a magazine or two that comes in the mail that we don’t read that gets automatically renewed. We’re subscribed to an annual service on our phones that we were really into a few years ago but now it just gets re-subscribed without a thought.

There’s no better time than right now to sit down and go through all of those subscriptions and evaluate which ones are worth retaining and which ones aren’t.

There are several ways to find the things you’re subscribed to.

One way is to go into your email program and search for “subscription” and “renewal” and see what comes up.

Another way is to use your phone to find your online subscriptions. Here’s how to do it on iPhone and how to do it on an Android device.

Another place to look is your Amazon account. Here’s where you should go to check your subscriptions through Amazon.

It’s also worthwhile to look through your credit card and bank statements for the last several months, identifying any automatic charges and renewal charges that appear there.

You might also want to examine your magazine rack and any other spots in your home where magazines accumulate.

This isn’t a call to cancel everything, but rather to review everything and cancel things that clearly aren’t giving you enough value.

This whole process will take a little while, which is why it’s a nice project to take on when you have the time for it.

Make tomorrow better.

The goal with each and every one of these projects is to use some time today to make tomorrow better – a little less expensive, a little easier to navigate, and so on.

Good luck!

The post Eight Useful, Frugal Projects You Can Do to Save Money appeared first on The Simple Dollar.



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