Amazon Sales Tax Starting In May For Florida Residents

Amazon box

If you haven’t already heard, Amazon will start charging sales tax on purchases from Florida residents beginning on May 1st.  We’ve never had to pay sales tax at checkout before because Amazon did not have a Florida physical presence.  Florida resident were supposed to pay taxes on those purchases on their own, but there was no way to enforce that.  If you have been contemplating any large Amazon purchases, do them before May 1.

While this is sad, there are some benefits.  Faster shipping to Florida residents, especially if you don’t have Amazon Prime.  It also means more jobs for Florida residents.  The new warehouse locations are in Ruskin and Lakeland, Florida. (near Tampa)

Dying Easter Eggs With Food Coloring ~ Fun Family Activity

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I love using stuff we already have to make some family fun.  Here we used food coloring to dye our Easter Eggs.   We used cups I had saved from previous years and off we went.  We used about 1 tsp vinegar per cup.  I tried tie dying a few, and they turned out great!  Here’s how you do it:

  • Moisten a paper towel and lay it on top of saran wrap.
  • Drop food coloring onto the paper towel in random order.
  • Place an egg in the center and wrap paper towel & saran wrap around it.
  • Tie off with a rubberband and let sit for a couple minutes. dsc05647

I love how they turned out.  The kids enjoyed coloring on them with crayons and then dying them.

I also wiped the eggs with some oil aftewards to give them a nice shine.  Mommy put gloves on them so they wouldn’t have purple fingers.

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Tips For Buying Things On Ebay

Tips For Buying Things On Ebay

Before I started this website almost 5 years ago, I was an eBay Powerseller.  I bought scrapbooks at wholesale and resold them for a profit.  I also sold items for a commission for friends and relatives that didn’t have the time nor desire to do it themselves.   I sold cameras, Lladro pieces, clothing and even 2 cars, one of which was shipped over seas!  I loved the bidding process and watching the price shoot up in the last 5 minutes of an auction.  After a while there were some changes to eBay where the buyer had more power than the seller.  In some aspects this was good.  As a seller, having a buyer request a refund for a perfectly good item you shipped or leaving feedback that simply wasn’t true, was frustrating.  I soon realized it was causing me more stress than profit and I slowly sold off my inventory and moved on.

Now I use eBay  as a buyer only and still enjoy that aspect.  I have been looking for a utility sink for my new laundry room project and my efforts on Craigslist, the Habitat Restore and local hardware stores have not worked out yet.  I could buy a sink online at the hardware stores but those were over $100 so I started looking at eBay.  I’ve been watching a particular seller that had a sink the perfect dimensions for me.  This particular seller had several of these sinks for sale.  A few where listed at a regular auction with free shipping.  The others were listed as buy it now with a hefty shipping fee.  I calculated the buy it now price with the shipping and new that I didn’t want to bid over that price for the auctioned sinks.  Over the course of the last 2 weeks I watched several auctions and bid my top bid on them.  My top bid was determined by how much I’d pay for the same item on buy it now.  Would you believe these auctions ended with the prices being almost $20 over the buy it now items?  I guess I just can’t understand why those people didn’t research the seller and see they could use buy it now and pay less than what they bid for it.  I think sometimes people get caught up in winning an item.  Last night after not winning another auction because the price went over what I was willing to pay, I purchased the buy it now sink.  The buy it now price is still a great price.

Here are a few Tips For Buying Things On Ebay:

1) Don’t get caught up in winning – Know what your ultimate price is and don’t pay over that.  If it’s a unique item you must add to your collection, determine what you are willing to pay.  Keep in mind there are some buyers who bid, just to increase the ending price.  It’s a good idea to input your maximum bid and let eBay bid for you. That way you don’t over pay.  You can run the risk of losing the item if you bid this way but you won’t break your budget.  When you click on place bid, you’ll have the option to enter your maximum bid. (see below image)

ebay maximum bid

2) Do your research on the item – Is the item selling for $10 at your local store or another store online?  If so, don’t bid over $10 for the auctioned item.  Is it real or a knockoff?

3) Check item details carefully – What are shipping fees?  Is the item used or brand new?  If you can’t find the details you need to make a smart purchase, email the seller for more info. Are there pictures of the item you are buying or are they stock images?   Request a picture of the actual item if you need to be sure. Know what you are buying.  Review the shipping terms, refund and return policy, and other terms and conditions.

4) View the sellers feedback information – Have they previously sold items like the one you want?  If they generally sell scrapbook supplies and then list an expensive piece of artwork, make sure the information from the seller, who may not be an expert is good information.

5) View past auctions – Do an advanced search for what similar products have sold for.  This will give you an idea of cost and if the item is within your budget

6) Check misspelled listings – Some sellers misspell their listings and therefore don’t get great exposure for that item.  You might be able to snag a great deal on an item because no one else can see it in their search feed.

7) Search for local items – You can do a search for pick up only and narrow down items to your local area. Click on Advanced (see below image).  You can norrow down your search to pick up only and find local deals.  You’ll save money on shipping and potentially get a deal!

Electronics, Cars, Fashion, Collectibles, Coupons and More Online Shopping | eBay

Do you have any tips, tricks or things you’ve learned?  Leave a comment and share with us.  Also, if you have any successful and exciting stories, we’d love to hear those!

 

Lowe’s $10 Off $50 Purchase Coupon Code

Lowe_s Home Improvement_ Appliances, Tools, Hardware, Paint, Flooring

I LOVE Home Improvement coupons and this on is a great one!  Get $10 off a $50 purchase online at Lowe’s when you use coupon code 470000RRRR2997R.

The set above is marked down to $99 and with the code it makes it an even better deal.  Check your local stores by entering your zip code to see if they have it in stock near you.  Buy online, pick up in store.

Check out what deals you can get Online at Lowe’s with this coupon code and then pick up in store.

7 Ways To Save The Family Money When Eating Out

Ways to save the family money when eating out jpg

We love to eat out, but it’s so expensive for a family of 4 that we’ve cut way back. But we’ve also learned how to save more money when we do eat out.

Here are 7 Ways To Save The Family Money When Eating Out

1) Plan ahead.  If you decide where you want to go before you leave the house, you can search for a coupon.  Better yet, look through your coupons and decide from there where you will go.

2) Check out Restaurants.com and buy a gift certificate.  They almost always have a code to get a $25 gift certificate for only $2. Look under my categories section to pull up the most recent code.  Each restaurant has limitations but you can still get a deal.  Here is a receipt from a trip to Ollie Koala’s.  If you aren’t familiar with them, they are a fun kids place like Chuck E. Cheese.  We bought a $10 certificate for $2.  As you can see we bought a large pizza, 2 kids drinks and hubby and I had water.  Ollie Koala’s receipts are a little confusing.  You can see where they took off $9.35 but I know you’re thinking it should have been $10.  The other $.65 is taken off of the tax.  We were only charged 7% tax on the discounted price.  Had we been charged on the full amount, the tax would have been $1.46.  I hope this makes sense.  You can see how we used these certificates on a vacation trip as well.   So we spent $14.43 OOP (Total + $2 certificate) on a meal that would have cost us $22.42.  Not bad for a family of 4.

3) Eat on a weeknight when kids eat free.  KidsMealDeals.com is a great website where you can find kids eat free nights in your area.

4) Order water!  I cannot tell you how much money this has saved us.  Sure you can get free refills on soda or tea at most restaurants but at over $2.oo each is it really worth it?  For a family of 4 it can add up quickly.  I carry a few crystal light packages in my purse and mix it in with my water, if I’m not in the mood for plain water.  You can order extra lemons to add flavor and I’ve never been charged for them.

5) Go on a lunch date.  Now that the kids are in school full time, my husband and I have taken advantage of lunch dates.  We don’t have to pay for a sitter and lunch menus are not only smaller portions, but they are cheaper. Recently my husband and I went to Mimi’s Cafe for lunch and I had a $5 off $15 breakfast order.  Did you know Mimi’s Cafe serves breakfast ALL day.  Just ask for the menu.  I think there are a couple of items not available all day but you still have a list to choose from.

6) Order curbside pick up.  I love that restaurants are doing this now.  Call ahead and place an order, pull into the “special parking spot” and they come out and deliver your order to you in your car.  You can go home and pour your own beverage and you don’t have to leave a tip!

7) Share a meal or eat all the freebies first.  You know those restaurants where they bring your free bread or a salad comes with your meal?  Take advantage of this and eat up.  Meal portions are so large at most places that you will be full before you finish it.  How wonderful is it to have leftovers for lunch the next day?  You can also share a meal with your significant other.  My husband and I do this all the time.  Or at least when we can agree on something!

Do you have any tips for saving money while eating out?  Please leave a comment and share with us.

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Easy Resurrection Rolls Recipe – Teach Kids About Easter (Recipe Link up)

Resurrection Rolls Recipe

This Resurrection Rolls Recipe is a great cooking activity to do with your kids while teaching them the true meaning of Easter.  We do these every year. You can also try Resurrection Cookies.  They are both great but the rolls really got the point across with the kids about the empty tomb.  And just let me tell you how yummy they are!


Resurrection Rolls
My kids wanted to try using 2, to see if it would make them bigger, but really it was too much dough and they didn’t rise correctly.  That’s why the one picture shows 2 pieces with the marshmallow.  I forgot to take a picture with the 1 triangle.