Like to read? Summer reading programs abound for children and school aged young people but once you leave the hallowed halls there are few incentives to read in the summer… or are there? Several cities are promoting adult summer reading programs.
The Brooklyn Public Library offers a prize to each person who enters and readers may also write book reviews. Those who do will be entered into a drawing for a prize.
The Chicago Public Library has Land of Lincoln Readers this summer with suggested titles. All you need to do is complete a form with your name, and the author and title of two books that you between June 15 and Aug 1and you can receive a tote bag.
The Seattle Public Library’s program allows readers to post reviews which will be shared with other readers.
The Manhattan (Kansas) Public Library offers a program where readers enter every book that they read in the summer for a chance at a weekly and grand prize.
Austin, Texas’ library system allows readers to complete an entry form for a prize for each every three books read.
People who are readers will read in the summer, winter, fall and spring too. Though incentives and prizes work for the reluctant reader in all of us. More libraries offer summer reading programs for kids and those programs offer prizes such as t-shirts, end of the summer parties and other goodies. Sometimes even as an adult it’s nice to have a little incentive to read too.
Thrift store and resale shop prices aren’t always great deals.
Here are some examples of prices:
- Yarn purchased new at craft store on sale for 16 ounces of acrylic yarn – $5. Recently seen at a thrift store a semi-tangled, used skein of similar yarn - $4. Not a bargain.
- A bargain is a bag of yarn with four 3 ounce skeins for just under two dollars. (On half price day, this was 95 cents so it was a real steal!)
- Stainless steel cream and sugar set with small tray – $5. Bargain. Plus being stainless steel this offers the added benefit of not needing polishing as with silver.
- When thrifting, books are a bargain if they are under a dollar for a paperback and two dollars for a hardcover.
- A ladies lined rain coat with removable lining in very good condition – $12. Good price.
Thrift store prices are often lower than resale shops or consignment stores because they are less selective about their merchandise and basically want things to go. Even if some of the items are new, religious or veteran affiliated stores receive many donations and need people to buy so that they can restock the shelves.
Knowing the true cost of an item is important also when going to garage and estate sales. Also when you are on the other end of a sale, as the seller. If you don’t want to have too many items left over at the end of a sale, then you should definitely price your items to sell.
Taking a trip to a regular store will give you an idea of the quality of items and what the prices are. This does not mean that you like the prices, but will give you an understanding of the quality. One drawback from thrift stores and garage sales is that larger items need to be moved from a place. I saw a large round marble table priced at $250 which would need to have professional movers come in and move it for you, but paying the movers plus the cost of the table would definitely be a great deal for the table.
Bargain hunting can be hit or miss. If you know prices, then you can avoid the misses.
Trolling the shelves.
This past weekend I spent a whopping $3.72 on things at a thrift store. I bought an Effanbee doll from 1967, two bags of yarn, and two books. I like buying books at thrift stores because you find books that are old and possibly out of print or you can get a hard cover copy of a recently popular book that people have cast off. I saw several copies of David Brown’s “The DaVinci Code” in hardcover available for 70 cents with dust cover. Softcover books from the Mary Poppins series in very good condition were a mere 35 cents. Romance novels abound as a well as other paperback books. Blank journals – they are there too. Considering that you may buy a book for yourself for about the cost of two or three day’s worth of fines owing your own book is more satisfying.
For the hobbyists who like records – more and more people have been getting rid of records. I haven’t looked at the condition of the albums themselves, but there are many that are in great shape. The thrill of the hunt at a thrift store is also interesting. Searching for nice dinnerware, a silver plated tray or a bag of wooden name key chains – you can find them in a thrift store – CHEAP!
Yesterday I went with my mother to a couple of thrift stores. I gave up on the book section because, this was a last stop after shopping at a few places and the books were shelved three deep, behind boxes of other books and records.
Even if you are just looking for one type of item, say fat quarters for quilting, or 11 inch fashion dolls for an art project you can get better quality and often cheaper ones than if you bought brand new ones from the dollar store.
There are clothes, bric-a-brac and other goodies that can be found, but you have to look. Actually, the amount of time spent looking for an item is in direct proportion to the price. You have to search but then make a decision what you want because there will be other people who may want the same thing that you do.
Thrift stores provide inexpensive entertainment and allow you to pursue a hobby for very little money. The cost of entry is free into a thrift store but you can definitely find some valuable treasures for very little money.
Luxury. Now the word has become synonymous in some circles with waste. Luxury does not have to be wasteful. Though since more people are spending more time with friends at home, they are also spending more money on their home. Money Magazine listed several household items that you might want. All of the items cost less than five hundred dollars. Depending on where you live, $500 is a good chunk of change – like almost a mortgage payment or monthly utilities.
The luxury items that are being showcased are ones that I could really do without – a heated towel rack or a counter wine chiller. The other suggestions such as a hammock for my yard would be too small for my balcony, ditto for an orchard.
Household improvements that could be made for low or no cost could be selling books or dvds (or other media) that you no longer read or watch. Either way you will have more space in you home.
Don’t scrimp or buy the cheapest gadgets or items that you know you will use. Any item that you like but will not use, start saving for it and revisit the idea of the purchase. You might just want to pass on by it. If you like cappuccino but drink it only occasionally, then walk on by that stove top cappuccino maker and just treat yourself to one when the mood arises. You will save space in your home and keep some extra cash.
What we consider necessities and luxuries has changed since the economic downturn, The Pew Research Center has indicated that from those surveyed there have been some changes in what people consider a necessity. Luxury and necessity are relative terms depending on who you are and your situation but thinking about a serious purchase before you make it would be a wise decision in any economy.
Recently I received a book and dvd as premiums that I selected from surveys that I completed online. It is interesting. None of the surveys that I complete would make it possible for me to do this as a full time job – despite what some spammer might have you believe. Though the premium that I earn for completing surveys does add up. I have renewed a specialty magazine subscription for $50 for free, have over $50 in cash that I can draw down from one place and have other points that I can use for a hotel stay or other goodies.
Completing surveys would make it possible to have a little extra leeway in your budget. A couple of years ago I used a coupon for a hotel that I redeemed from survey points.
Some of the best places for surveys and email reading are:
There are others, but these are the ones I have stuck with because of the ease of use and rewards offered. If you don’t want to complete a survey or read and email you don’t have to, but even if you don’t qualify or sign up for a promotion you will receive points. To me, that’s worth my time if I can cash in the points for a free restaurant or store gift card.