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Tag Archive: Reader Tip

Reader Tip: Stretch Your Gift Budget with the Clearance Aisle

The following reader tip was submitted from Krystal of :

Sometimes the clearance aisle is a forgotten treasure trove — I always keep a small amount of the budget to use in this aisle!

It does take a bit more planning to shop clearance items, for instance, I think about stocking stuffers all year long and keep a box in the closet just for these items (which I then get out during the holidays). I buy things like Legos, puzzles, fun jewelry, jump ropes, and slime that can be put be put into a stocking or as part of a larger gift. The stockings end up being unique during the holidays and are always a big hit.

After Easter, our clearance aisle had baby animal board books for $0.10 each! I have 3 coworkers who are currently expecting and these board books will make great baby gifts. I will add a new blanket and probably check for a nice second-hand sleeper. The whole gift will cost less than $10 and I will be able to bless them more than if I went straight to the baby section.

Our clearance section often has really fun candy bouquets after holidays too — these make great party gifts (this year I got them for $0.09 each!!!) You can pair a candy bouquet with other clearance items like bath bombs or slime kits and have a perfect gift for a middle schooler.

You can’t always predict what will be on the clearance aisle but with a little creativity, you can put together some fantastic (and frugal) gifts!

Krystal Strickland is a wife, mother, and nurse who enjoys blogging at .

Generous Giving on a Tight Budget

Do you have a heart for generous giving but you’re on a really tight budget? These are some really creative ways to give generously — even when you’re barely squeaking by financially!

{Looking for more ways to give generously? Check out these Five Ways to Give on a Budget, How to Give Generously Through Couponing, and our 31 Days of Giving series!}

How to Give Generously on a Tight Budget

The following reader tip was submitted from Krystal of

Generous giving is a value my husband and I are intentional about making a priority — but sometimes our budget feels like the biggest road block to embracing this value.

We’ve had to get creative about giving within the restraints of our budget. If you can relate to this struggle, here are 3 tips that allow us to give generously without breaking the bank.

1. Take an extra dish to a potluck.

I learned this from an elderly lady in our church as a fun way to be anonymously generous.

It’s always nice when there are extra dishes to choose from at potluck dinners. And if you want to reach out and invite someone else to join your meal, you can easily show that you have them covered. It can be as easy as a small box of brownies.

2. Share a meal.

It always cost less to make a little more food than to go out to eat.

This has been a great option with my parents as they have helped us in many ways over the years but they would not consider excepting any payment.

3. Hand Me Down Clothes.

Having been a recipient of this gift, I can not tell you how grateful I was to receive these clothes for my kids. These freebie clothes helped us save money and time.

Hand-me-down clothing are a great way to give to others without spending anything extra.

There are so many ways to be generous. These are just a few of the ways we can give a little bit more without noticing any extra strain on our budget.

What are YOUR favorite ways to give more on a tight budget?

Krystal is a mother, wife, nurse and blogger at .

My Secret Hacks for Saving Money at Dollar General

This secret hack for saving money at Dollar General is amazing!!

The following reader tip is from Heidi of

I’ve found a way to save money with this Dollar General hack so we never have to pay full price again. We actually save 20% every time we buy toilet paper and other necessary items!

Extreme couponing used to be more popular, but even on my best couponing days I rarely saved much on paper products. Now I’ve found a way to not have to clip coupons or spend a lot of time planning my 20% off haul.

Here’s how we do it.

Dollar General Hack Step by Step:

1. Get the on your phone and click on “Digital Coupons” OR go to your local Dollar General store and spend at least $5.

This should print a $5 off $25 coupon on your receipt for you to use on the next Saturday. Our local store has been offering this every week for a couple of years, but I’m not sure what the policy is in your area. It’s worth checking out and using the system I am going to outline for you.

2. Go to the store on the designated date (with your printed or digital coupon) and choose whatever you need in the store.

I like to get this as close to $25 on the dot for the best savings.

3. Use any manufacturer or digital Dollar General coupons as well.

The app is very easy to navigate. You just click on “Digital Coupons” and click on the “+” sign next to any product coupons you might want to use. These coupons come off your purchase when you log in on the keypad at checkout.

If you don’t use the coupon it’s no big deal, so choose any and all coupons you think you might use so they are ready for you.

4. Remember that any coupons or sales come off first.

The $5 off $25 coupon won’t register if coupons take you below the $25 threshold. So make sure you figure out your total BEFORE you get to the checkout lane.

Or just have an extra item on hand to buy if you happen to figure wrong or don’t want to have to calculate your total.

This is such a great deal because you could actually buy an item on sale, use a manufacturer coupon, and still be able to qualify this product in the $5 off $25 deal. This works for clearance items too!

5. Choose any products in the store.

The best thing about this Dollar General hack is that it can be used for almost anything they sell. You can use this coupon for toilet paper, clearance items, produce, groceries, paper towels, tissues, laundry products, personal care products, towels, candy, gifts, and more.

All products in the store except gift cards, phone cards, pre-paid financial cards, prepaid wireless handsets, Rug Doctor rentals, propane, e-cigarettes, tobacco, and alcoholic beverages are eligible for these savings!

More Savings Tips

At our store, when I pay for these products, a new $5 off $25 store coupon prints on my receipt almost every time!!

So I technically don’t have to go back into the store again until the next Friday or Saturday when I can use my big coupon again.

Obviously, the key to the greatest savings is to stay as close to the $25 purchase as possible, but even if you spend $30, that’s still a 17% savings with this coupon.

I hope this post helps you see all the saving possibilities you can take advantage of at your local Dollar General store.

I love this store because it’s small and carries just about anything that the big box stores carry in less space. I know I can be in and out of there in just a few minutes with exactly what I need!

Heidi Johnson is an author, teacher, and reader of anything healthy or time-saving. She’s on a mission to help busy families make healthy choices in all aspects of life. Grab her free at .

Reader Tip: Top 10 Toys For The Minimalist Family

How to be a minimalist and still let your kids have toys. This is a great list of intentional toys that promote creativity and can be used over and over again!

emailed the following tip:

I used get so frustrated with my children’s toy mess… until I got very intentional about what toys we kept in our home. Then everything changed!

The reality is, when my kids have less toys, they play with what they have more, they make less messes, there’s less to clean up, they get more creative, they spend more time outside, they play with each other more, they’re more content, and they have more space to play with those toys you keep.

It’s seems counterintuitive but just try it and see for yourself.

My top 10 boy and girl toy recommendations are as follows.

1. A couple dolls with clothes for changing
2. A nice sturdy wooden dollhouse
3. Stuffed animals
4. Wooden blocks
5. Train tracks
6. Legos
7. Cars
8. Books
9. Art Supplies
10. Dressup clothes

I picked these toys based on quality, open-ended options for play, and the fact that both girls and boys can play with all of them.

Keep it simple, give them time to get outside and don’t clutter up their play space or room with too many toys.

Adopt a minimalist philosophy with toys (and really everything in your home) and your kids will flourish. Plus, it will be SO much easier to manage and tidy up — for you and your kids!

How Bad Etiquette Can Cost You

emailed in the following tip:

I have always believed that etiquette is for everyone… not just the elite. Etiquette, to me, is the culmination of advanced societal norms. It helps you feel comfortable in any situation, and, even more importantly, it helps you help others feel comfortable, as well.

Many people erroneously assume you must be wealthy to use etiquette — but this is completely wrong. Yes, etiquette does have strong ties to money, but probably not in the ways you might expect.

In my opinion, BAD etiquette can actually cost you money! Here’s how…

1. You may get into debt trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Etiquette helps you be a respectful, polite person — it doesn’t mean you need to pay to have all of your clothes monogrammed or that you need a full pattern of silverware in order to properly entertain guests. By thinking of etiquette as appearances instead of authenticity, many people assume they can’t “afford” etiquette.

2. You may not get the job.

I guarantee that if you and another candidate are equally qualified for a certain job but they show good business etiquette and you don’t, they’ll get the job every time. I’ve witnessed this many times. As an employee, we are the face of a company to the public and a business always wants to show the best.

3. You may lose repeat business.

Even if you get the job and “work your way up,” knowing proper etiquette and how to treat people will take you far in life.

One of the top complaints I get from business customers is when employees respond with “no problem” to a “thank you.” I know, I know, it sounds small. However, Chick-fil-a is well known for responding with “my pleasure.”

The little things really make a difference, and etiquette is something that can take you from good to great.

I hope you see that etiquette is truly for everyone and see how, aside from having a more polite society, there are plenty of benefits from utilizing etiquette in our everyday world.

Emily Glass is the wife of Garrett and mom to Katherine and Grant. She blogs at and is a compliance officer of a local bank and mayor for the town where she and her family live.

Reader Tip: Get Cash For Your Unclaimed Property!

Devon emailed the following tip:

Each state has requirements that all banks, insurance companies, and other businesses report “unclaimed property” to the state after a certain amount of time (in California it is 3 years).

You can search for your name in the database your state set-up and see if there is any money the state is holding for you.

For instance, I had submitted a refund for lotion I bought many years ago, the company sent it to the wrong address and the check was essentially lost. My name was on the California Unclaimed Property database and I was able to file for the $3.00.

I know of other people who searched and ended up finding hundreds of dollars — so it’s worth a couple minutes to check and see if your name is there.

I would suggest doing an online search for “________ Unclaimed Property Database” and put your state in the underlined blank. Generally, you just fill out an online form and hit ‘submit’ or print out and mail in the form to your state controller’s office. It’s fairly simple and the turn around time was quick for my claim!

if you want to see what it looks like. I’m guessing the forms for other states would be similar.