Archive for the ‘Eco Friendly Savings’ Category

The Best Websites to Sell Your Stuff

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

The Best Websites to Sell Your Stuff

Signing a new lease or closing on your home should be an exciting time, but it’s during this time you realize how much stuff you have.

You may realize a lot of it – like that corner bookshelf or your old bike – just won’t fit in the layout of your new place.

It’s time to sell.

You could host a yard sale, but you’re limited to a local audience. Your best bet is to sell the cyber way: the Internet. However, the best website to sell your couch is not necessarily the best site to sell those old Pyrex dishes.

Here’s a breakdown of the best sites for sellers, and what to sell on them.

Craigslist for Bulky, Hard-to-Move Items
Selling a bed, a dresser or a couch? Obviously, you’ll never be able to box it up and ship it if you sold it across the country. Craigslist is the best site for such large items. Local Craigslist posts are only really browsed by people who can visit your home and cart away the sold item.

Keep in mind: Take the posting down once your item is sold to avoid repeated calls.

Etsy for Antiques and Handmade Crafts
Etsy is a great site to set up a storefront and sell certain items. Antiques, especially jewelry, sell very easily on the site. If you have a craft – knitting, making magnets, small sculptures or anything else — you can also sell them through Etsy.

Keep in mind: You can keep your Etsy storefront once you’ve moved, and use it to start your own small business.

Half.com for Books and Textbooks
Half is known as a hub for cheap college textbooks. If you’re a recent graduate, you can easily unload those textbooks for two or three times what you would get selling them back to the university bookstore.

Keep in mind: You can also sell fiction, DVDs and video games if you want – but Half is specifically designed with books in mind.

Freecycle for Valueless Junk
Sometimes you have items that are usefu,l but essentially worthless. There’s no sense in setting up a website listing for an item that will only sell for $1. Yet the item still functions and still has value, so you don’t want to throw it away. While you could donate the item to Goodwill or the Salvation Army, you can also post on Freecycle. You might even see something you want.

Keep in mind: Freecycle is a community based around item trading and free recycling.

Threadflip for Clothing
While you can sell clothing just about anywhere, Threadflip is a site designed specifically for second-hand clothing. Browse the site to see the kind of items they sell, and post your old items. It beats trying to move a bunch of clothing you’ll never wear.

Keep in mind: Second-hand doesn’t mean old torn jeans or your faded tee shirts – they mean gently used dresses, jackets, shoes etc.

Gazelle and NextWorth for Electronics
When you’ve decided to bid adieu to your old Nokia cell phone, Playstation 1 console, or old laptop, check out Gazelle.com or NextWorth.com to cash in on old devices.

Keep in mind: Not only will you get money for electronics you’re not using, by not throwing them away you’re doing your part to keep e-waste out of the environment.

The Anything Alternative: Amazon
You can become an Amazon vendor and sell virtually anything. Amazon is a trusted retailer, and it doesn’t cost you a cent to list an item.

Keep in mind: You only pay fees when you actually sell the item, so remember that when setting your prices.

Alexander Caffrey is a guest contributor to Billy.com’s blog and freelance writer with a focus on technology and new media. Admittedly, the majority of his furnishings have come from Craigslist. He currently lives in Philadelphia, PA, but you can reach Alex via his email.

The opinions and views expressed at or through this website are the opinions of the designated authors and do not reflect the opinions or views of Billy.com, it’s employees, associates or the opinions or views of any other individual.

5 Ways Rain Can Save You Money

Monday, December 6th, 2010

The minute it starts raining, you can almost hear a collective groan rising up from the masses.  But actually, rain is a great friend of anyone who wants to save money.  I’d like to propose that if we recognize rain as a divine coercion to save money, we’ll be dancing in the rain instead of dragging our heels.  Below are five ways in which rain can save us all money.  Let’s take advantage of them next time the skies open up.

  • Reduced water bills. Few would argue that when it rains there’s no need to run your sprinkler system.  And while you may think that this expense is negligible, it can really ad up.  Providing your lawn with one inch of water takes slightly more than a half a gallon of water per square foot. In other words, every 10’x10’ area will require over 62 gallons of water. That doesn’t sound like much until you consider that a 100’ x 100’ lawn uses 6,230 gallons of water every time you turn on the sprinklers! In other words, the savings can really add up if you skip your sprinkler a few days per month.
  • Lower entertainment expenses.  In dry weather you may be tempted to get a babysitter and head out to a night on the town.  But in the rain, it’s often easier to rent a movie and snuggle up under the covers, which costs a fraction of the price of a night out.  Alternate indoor activities include a game night, video game tournament or pot-luck dinner with friends (at your house of course!), all of which cost less than a night out.
  • More fuel efficiency.  You can increase your fuel efficiency by nearly 15% if you drive at 55mph instead of 65mph.  When it rains, many drivers feel compelled to drive more slowly which can increase your fuel efficiency exponentially.
  • Reduced cooling bills.  Rain in the summertime is often cursed as a disruption of the season’s outdoor activities.  But in financial terms, summer rain can actually reduce outside temperatures which will enable you to use less power when running your cooling system.  Over the scope of a season, the savings stemming from summer rain can be considerable.
  • More affordable produce costs.  The prices of fruits and vegetables can increase three or fourfold during a drought due to a lack of produce from a limited crop.  Regular rain will ensure that crops can grow properly, and that supermarket shelves are always stocked with affordably-priced produce instead of meager, over-priced offerings.

So, next time you have the urge to complain about the rain, think about all the financial benefits that rain offers you.  Smile wide and enjoy as the savings pour down.

26 Ways to Save Money While Saving the Environment

Monday, October 25th, 2010

Many people think that being environmentally-conscious is expensive because you need to buy all sorts of organic items, costly energy-saving devices and the like.  But while it may be ridiculously expensive to install a windmill on your roof, there are actually dozens of ways in which you can save the environment while saving money.  Yup, it’s true.  Read on toGo green - save moneydiscover 25 ways of being environmentally-friendly while being friendly to your wallet as well.

  1. Did you know that 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is used when the appliances are off?  Save on your electric bill by unplugging appliances when they’re not in use.
  2. Cleaning the lint filter of your dryer helps the air circulate better, which increases the dryer’s energy efficiency.
  3. Many coffee shops will reduce the price of your drink if you bring your own reusable cup.
  4. Did you know that laptops use much less energy than desktop computers? Save money on your electric bills by switching to a laptop when you buy your next computer.
  5. Cleaning your car’s air filter regularly can improve your gas mileage by up to 7%, saving you more than $100 for every 10,000 miles you drive in an average vehicle.
  6. Paying your bills online will save you money on envelopes and stamps and will prevent these items from creating waste.
  7. Using compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) instead of incandescent light bulbs can save you up to 75% on your energy bill and can last up to 10 times longer.
  8. Some grocery stores and drug stores such as CVS and Stop & Shop offer money back to customers who bring their own bags.
  9. Most consumers spend several hundred dollars on bottled water.  You’ll save a lot of money by purchasing a reusable bottle and refilling it when necessary, and you’ll prevent the bottles from creating waste.
  10. You can eliminate the expense and waste of disposable razors by purchasing a self-cleaning electric shaver.  Your investment will pay off after only 8 months.
  11. Front loading washing machines are known to get clothing cleaner and to be more energy-efficient than top-loading models.  If you’re in the market for a new washing machine, try a front loading model.
  12. Whenever you’re not using the computer for a few hours, let it go to ’sleep’ to conserve energy. When done using it for the day, shut it down completely.
  13. Read magazines and newspapers online instead of subscribing to the print version.  Although some articles may be different or missing, online publications still have relevant, interesting information – without the waste of paper.
  14. Refilling your ink cartridges instead of purchasing new ones can save you a bundle and avoid the waste of plastic cartridges and wrappers.
  15. Buy in bulk.  Purchasing things like soap and food in larger packages will save you money on the product and reduce the packaging used.
  16. Recycle bottles to receive a cash refund.  If you must drink soft drinks and beer make sure to recycle the bottles to receive a cash refund.  Even five cents per bottle can really add up.
  17. Instead of mailing out invitations to your next party, use an Evite.  You’ll save money on postage and paper, and you’ll save time on folding and stuffing.
  18. Lower your thermostat by 1 degree – you’ll consume less energy and save 2% on your monthly energy bill.
  19. Hang your clothing to dry instead of putting it in the dryer and you’ll save significantly on your annual energy bill.
  20. Turn off the light when you leave the room.  It sounds simple, but so many people neglect this habit. Teach your children these habits as well and you’ll notice savings on your electricity bill- and use less energy which will protect the environment.
  21. Carpool your child to and from school.  Not only will this save you money on gas, but it will also save you time on busy workdays.
  22. Reheat food in the microwave instead of a conventional oven.  It’ll take a fraction of the time to heat up your food while using far less electricity.
  23. Drive over 15 mph and under 60 mph.  Studies show that a car emits more pollution into the air at speeds under 15mph and over 60mph. You’ll save money on speeding tickets while reducing your carbon footprint.
  24. Use cloth napkins.  Not only will your dinner table be classier, but you’ll save money on paper napkins which create waste.
  25. Clean your refrigerator coils periodically. Doing so can dramatically improve the efficiency of your refrigerator. If you don’t have a suitable vacuum cleaner attachment, you can buy a specialized brush that’s up to the task.
  26. Plant your own herb garden.  You’ll have tasty herbs at your fingertips and will avoid the pesticides sprayed on commercial greens.

Ziploc Bags Be Gone! Reusable “Zipper” Sandwich Bags

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

The school year is officially upon us!  In addition to hours of the hours of homework that you’ll need to supervise, you’re probably also dreading snacks spilled and mashed in your child’s school bag.  But have no fear – I’ve recently stumbled upon an ingenious way to create your own reusable sandwich bag seals so that you can save money, the environment and your sanity all at once.  Now, if only every part of life was so easy!

Step 1

Take an empty water or soda bottle and cut the spout off.

Cut the bottle

Step 2

Fill a sandwich bag with the desired snack (and say goodbye to spills and messes!)

Cheerios in a sandwich bag

Step 3

Insert the opening of the sandwich bag through the open spout of the water bottle.

Step 4

Screw on the cap.

No Ziploc bag

Step 5

Recycle the rest of the water bottle.

Remind your children that the spout can be reused on other sandwich bags in the future so they should put the spout back in their bags when they’re done eating.