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Money Saving Ideas
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This is the place to learn how to make your dollars streeeeetch!

College Books

The best that has worked for us is to sell it to students on the day the classes start - I just announce to the students that I have a book I would like to sell -- and it is a bargain for both

Note from Kate:  We did this!  We went to the bookstore and LCC and found out that they buy books back for 50% of the used book price.  So we offered 60% or more to students trying to sell their books. 

Best Book Buys
Don't forget I don't ever purchase a book without first checking this site. My son was a freshman in college last year and I purchased all but his Calculus and Physics books by going through this site. We saved a bundle.
Book Burro
I have to recommend Book Burro. This is a great tool for any book purchase. Book Burro is a Firefox extension, but it also works with Flock. If you use Internet Explorer, well . . . think about trying Firefox, instead.

Anyway, Book Burro is a little program that you can download for free. Then, when you're looking at a book online, Book Burro will appear on your screen. If you want it to check available prices for that book, click on the bar and a dropdown will give you prices from a number of different sites (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, booksamillion, Half, alibris, and abe, among others). If you want to buy, you can click through to the vendor you prefer, right from the dropdown menu.

Another cool feature of Book Burro is that it will also check the WorldCat listings for the title you want, in case you want to borrow instead of buy. You give Book Burro your Zip code, and it will show you the libraries that are closest to you that own the book. Click on the little crossed wrench and screwdriver icon to put in your Zip. You can also select which vendors you want to see from the list that's associated.

Check it out at It's really useful. I work in a university library, and I use it all the time.
Price Books
Amy Allen Clark

A price book will make you the smartest consumer in the store because you will actually know whether or not an item really is on sale or not.  Begin by setting your price book up in a way that makes it easy for you to use.  There are two common ways that price books are set up- alphabetically or categorically. I find my price
book is easier to use when it is set up by category because it is easier for me to locate milk under the category of dairy rather then the letter M. 

Each page in your price book should contain the date, name of your grocery store (use a code that is easy for you to remember), the brand of the item, the size of the item, the price of the item, and then the unit price of the item. The unit price can be discovered by dividing- size/price. The unit price can also usually be found on the actual grocery sticker below the item which can save you some time in the math department. 

The first couple of months of filling your price book is very tedious, but after you have logged this information in for awhile the best deals will emerge and you will also see a pattern in the store's timing of these sales. For example, you will know that John Doe's Supermarket runs their special on pasta at 25 cents a box every July and January.

Begin filling your price book by writing in all of the items that appear in your local fliers and the unit prices on them. After filling in these, you can then begin logging in all of the receipts that you have from your past visits to the grocery store. Doing this the first time was rather sickening when I wrote all of it in for our family because this is when I realized my steal of a deal was actually a dud. Don't kick yourself when discovering this; pat yourself on the back instead because you know you will be saving money from this moment on. Write in your price book items that you purchase on a regular basis: bread, milk, eggs, cheese, etc. Your job this month will be to fill this price book with this information on your next grocery trip.  

Please visit Amy's site at  to read more of her articles
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Food Co Op
Roni Johnston
Columbia County Food Co-op  Email Roni or 503-366-0672

To join the co-op you don't necessarily have to be from Columbia County - but the food will be delivered to Rainier. We order food from Azure Standard out of Dufur Oregon where they truck to us at a drop point in Rainier (no shipping fee).

You can view the products available at< or call and get
a hard copy catalog at: 541-467-2230 or through the above web-site.

Cell Phone Savings
I've had a cell through Consumer Cellular for three years now....I pay $15/mo for 15 free minutes......I used the phone last year while my oldest and I were on the east coast and my highest bill was less than $50. I don't see my bill laying around to see what they are charging me when I do go over my 15 min limit.  It's not much though.  I'm on my second phone (which they sent out to me for free).  I don't know about the reception in the Deer Island area, but I've never had a problem.

Online Discounts 
Kate Taylor
August 5, 2004
Today I was placing an internet order.  When I got to the payment page it asked if I had a coupon or promotion code.  I didn't.  So I did a search by the company name and "coupon code" and came up with about 10 sites that offered promotion codes on the very items I was purchasing.  It saved me 15% of my order! 

Whenever I order online I always look for discounts or promotions, it usually pays for the shipping and sometimes gives me additional discounts as well.
Karen Trass / Denise Brunswick / Tina Edwards
July 16, 2002
Karen:  Ebay is a great source for earning extra money! I was a little chicken to get started at first!  
Let's say you want to sell an antique yoyo.  I go to ebay search and type in "old yoyo" and see what comes up.  Sometimes you have to try different things like just yoyo, or antique yoyo, etc. to find ideas on how best to describe it.  Then I check what category it's listed under.  When you list something you need to be precise about where it will be listed.  It's easier for me to see where everyone else puts theirs.  Find a yoyo that is selling well, and follow their example. 
Another thing I've found is to list the title in a tricky way.  You might say "Old wooden yoyo, Disney 1934" or something with lots of descriptive words, so that when someone is searching for any of those words, your yoyo pops up more often. 
Check your email frequently and communicate quickly.  If someone get's mad at you they'll leave bad feedback and that hurts your reputation.  I had an item I sold for a really good profit (cost me .75 and I sold it for $26.) I packed it really well, but forgot to insure it.  Well, somehow it broke.  Since it was my fault not to have insured it, I just had her take pictures and send them to me and sent her money back.  I wasn't out much, but a good profit! I considered it a learning experience.  She left me really good feedback! :)
Listing things as creatively as you can, keeping people happy and communicating are probably the most important things.  Also, good record keeping.  I set up a spreadsheet with the item number, item, date listed, date auction ends, buyer id, buyer name, payment date, type of payment, date sent, feedback received, feedback sent, and starting and ending bids.  That helps a lot! 
You might want to get a separate email address so that you don't miss anything.
Also, when bidding on items, you will want to be at the page you're bidding on.  Keep refreshing every once in awhile so that you are at the current time.  Keep in mind that if someone put in a bid (I can't remember what you call this) for up to a certain amount, and at the last minute you put in yours, it may not be high enough.  Some people bid numbers like 4.51, so that if someone else bids 4.50, they'll win it by a cent!  Good luck! 

Denise:  Last minute bidding!  If you bid early, you will just run up the bids on the item.  Wait until the last couple minutes and slam it.

Tina:  Last minute or two bidding when the other interested parties might be at work, especially for those auctions closing in the  middle of the day. Keep in mind your own connection speed. Faster speeds can cut the time. Definitely don't bid on it days before the end. It will just alert other potential bidders that you're there and they'll keep a closer eye on the item. 
Fabric Bargains
Lisa - ORSIG
May 6, 2002
Here are the ones I use the most frequently, you can pick up the basics like cotton broadcloth (useful for chemises and tunics), wool on sale often for as low as $4 a yard, and even 100% linen for under $6 a yard.
This place has some patterns and some great clasps and closures to help with the finishing touchesSome neat trims and claspsOnline pattern for a KirtleOnline custom pattern generator for a smock, a kind of ChemiseInstructions for an Elizabethan ChemisePictures of patterns at Butterick.


Want to find a bargain?


The highest art is the art of living an ordinary life in an extraordinary manner.  ~Tibetan saying