Do-it-Yourself Thrifty Mouthwash

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For my YouTube video on this topic, click here!

Buying toiletries can be expensive! I know when I first was living on my own it was always a rather annoying and often unaccounted for expense. There are many things, however, that you can make at home using simple ingredients. Follow these instructions to make one such thing- your very own homemade, natural mouthwash!

You’ll Need

A small container (I used a recycle glass milk jar)

1 cup of distilled or filtered water

4 tsps. of baking soda (get it on Amazon here)

4 drops tea tree essential oil (get it on Amazon here)

4 drops peppermint essential oil (get it on Amazon here)

Funnel (optional, but recommended)

To Make it

Pour the water into the container then add the baking soda. Finally add the essentials oils, cover and shake, and you’re good to go. Use it like any regular mouthwash to clean your mouth.

Additional Notes

Baking soda has antibacterial properties and is a great (and cheap!)  item to have at home for a variety of frugal needs- from cooking to cleaning to personal grooming. The essential oils can be a little pricey, so you may need to shop around. They can typically be found at stores that sell organic and natural foods. I found some well-reviewed oils on Amazon that are $6.99 for peppermint oil and $5.99 for tea tree oil.

The oils add a minty flavor to the mouthwash and have additional antibacterial properties. It isn’t recommended that you make any more than one batch at a time because the oils can settle and change flavor over time. To save even more money, skip the oils all together and just use baking soda and water! This form of mouthwash isn’t medicated like the store-bought variety, so if your dentist has recommended other types of wash for specific dental needs, follow their directions.

If you enjoyed this blog post, make sure to check out my YouTube Channel for additional thrifty living tips and follow The Thrifty Man on Pinterest and Twitter for updates!

Jobs Like Uber: 15 Alternatives for Freelance Work

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For my YouTube video on this topic, click here!

We’ve all heard of Uber and many have been attracted to the flexibility that it’s “work anytime” policy offers. It turns out, though, that this is FAR from the only option if you are looking to pick up some extra money with freelance work. Here are 15 Uber alternatives that you can find work from!

Make sure to check the websites for availability in your area. The companies may not operate services in your city. 

GrubHub Delivery

Think of the delivery service that GrubHub offers as kind of like “Uber for food.” Customers order food through the GrubHub app, a delivery driver is alerted from their own GrubHub Delivery app and the driver brings the food from the restaurant to the customer. This is something that I’ve had personal experience with and I would in general recommend it. It does differ from Uber in that you have to sign up for specific shifts and it doesn’t allow you to begin working at a whim’s notice (unless someone decides to suddenly drop a shift).

Apply here 

Check out my YouTube video on becoming a GrubHub driver

Wingz

Wingz is an app that is very much like Uber, except that it originally focused primarily on rides to and from airports. It has since expanded to offer pre-scheduled rides from anywhere, while still focusing on airports and special events (like sporting events or concerts).

Apply here

Turo

Turo is a service that lets you rent out your car for others to drive. So if you have an old roadster that’s collecting dust, this a good way to make some extra money off of it. According to their website, they offer a $1 million dollar insurance policy on vehicles that are used through the service that’s covered with the customer’s fees (although you can use your own insurance if you like and get more money from each transaction). Depending on the value of your car, you could literally make thousands of dollars a month from this-so it’s worth checking out!

List your car here

Wimdu

This services is a little like Airbnb, except that it focuses on city apartments. So if you have an urban dwelling you are willing to rent out to others while you’re away, this could be a good option for you!

List your apartment here

Roost

Roost is an app that lets you rent out storage space to others. This can include attics, basements, warehouses, sheds, or any other facility, whether indoors or outdoors. When you have extra storage space that isn’t being used this could be a helpful way to make some extra money.

List your space here

Instacart

This is a grocery delivery service that is currently operating in numerous metro areas throughout the United States. They partner with different grocery stores, such as Whole Foods, and some stores have dedicated Instacart check-out lanes. What’s nice about this service is that you can work either as a part-time employee or an independent contractor, with or without a car. If you have a car you can work as a driver, while if you don’t have a car or don’t wish to drive, you can work solely as a shopper who prepares orders for customers in a particular store. So overall it can be very flexible depending on your needs.

Apply here

Postmates

Postmates is similar to GrubHub in that it focuses on food delivery, but it is much more versatile in terms of the job responsibilities.  Whereas GrubHub only delivers from restaurants that partner with their company, Postmates allows delivery from ANYWHERE the customer requests. Additionally, they can also request errands where you might be picking up products from a store or even picking up a customer’s dry cleaning. Their website claims you can make up to $25/hr. so it could be a good way to pick up some extra money.

Become a Postmate

Amazon Flex

With Amazon Flex, you can turn your vehicle into a package delivery mobile by delivering for Amazon. It is currently operating in more than 30 cities, with more coming down the pipeline eventually. Delivery drivers for Amazon use their own vehicle, set their own hours, and will deliver both same day orders from Amazon Now as well as regular package deliveries in place of Fedex or UPS.

Apply here

Dolly 

Dolly operates as a moving service that is app-based. So if you are in the mood for some heavy lifting, this will be good for you! You can work as either a “Helper,” or someone with a truck or cargo van they’ll drive in addition to moving, or a “Hand,” which is someone who assists with moving but doesn’t provide their own vehicle. Both Helpers and Hands need to be able to lift up to 75 pounds, so if you aren’t keen on physical labor you might need to look elsewhere.

Apply here

HelloTech (merged with Geekatoo)

Are you a tech geek? Then this might be the job for you. HelloTech is an on-demand tech support service that provides technical assistance to both individuals and businesses. They offer a broad range of services for everything from computer support, TV mounting and installation, assistance with wireless networks, and helping people use their smartphones.

Apply here

Freelancer and UpWork

These services are very similar so I’ve included them together. They are websites that post a directory of companies seeking help with projects that freelance workers can apply to. If you have skills ranging from data entry, graphic design, digital marketing to accounting this could be a good place to look for some extra work. After setting up an account with them, you can apply for whichever jobs you like and the companies will make their own hiring decisions. If you are looking to make some extra money, it wouldn’t hurt to set up accounts on both websites!

Freelancer website

UpWork website

LawnLove

We all trimmed a neighbor’s lawn or two as teenagers to earn some extra money, so why not try it again? With this service you can offer lawn services from mowing, weed-eating, to snow removal. You MUST provide your own equipment and truck, so take note of this. Once you’ve applied and been approved you can pick whatever jobs you like and set your own hours.

Apply here

Thumbtack

Whether you are a cake decorator, personal trainer, housecleaner, or repairman (or woman!), Thumbtack offers a website and app that can connect you with people interested in hiring you for freelance work. Notable for its wide-ranging versatility, this service can be great for almost anyone.

Apply here

Eatwith

Cooking professionals can offer their own, unique dining experience right in their home with this service. The hiring process is a little more rigorous than other services- you must first offer up your own demo event for fellow Eatwithers as an audition (sounds a bit like Iron Chef!). If they decide to hire you, you will go through a chef training program before finally being able to host Eatwith events where you can make up to $700 per event (all on your own schedule!).

Apply here

If you liked this blog post, please make sure to check out my YouTube channel and follow The Thrifty Man on Twitter for more tips on frugal living!

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Tips for Selling on Craigslist

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For my YouTube video on the topic, click here!

We’ve all probably sold things on Craigslist at one point or another. At times, I had issues getting my products sold. Here are a few tips I’ve developed that have helped me improve my Craigslist selling skills. Hopefully you’ll find them just as helpful as I did!

Take Really Good Photographs

Nothing will be a bigger red flag than having cruddy photos (or none at all!). Without good pictures, no one knows if you’re being honest. Taking several clear, well-lit photos that highlight the relative size and features of the product you’re selling will help draw in potential buyers.

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Include a Good Description

Include as much detail as possible, but still be concise. You don’t want to have to go back and forth with a million emails from your buyers. You want to answer as many questions as possible in the ad itself. Including the dimensions of the product is very helpful. Remember proper grammar and spelling, too! Keep it professional sounding.

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Cluster Small Items Together

If you have smaller items, especially media like books, movies, and video games, this can be hard to sell individually. No one wants to set up a meeting with someone they met online to buy a DVD for $1. Clustering items that appeal to similar tastes (a box of sci-fi books, a bunch of comedy movies) and selling them as a unit can get your products sold easier and for higher prices than at a used bookstore.

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Set a Good Price

Prepare for the reality that most people will try to haggle the price down. For this reason, I recommend adding 10-20% more than you would prefer to sell the product for so when they ask for a lower price you can do so and still get what you originally wanted. Don’t feel guilty doing this- you are protecting yourself from getting ripped off. Remember your products are still used, though, so you can’t sell them for outlandish prices, either. And if anybody gives you a bad offer, don’t be afraid to tell them “no,” because someone else is likely to give you a better one in time.

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Beware of Scammers

Unfortunately, Craigslist is crawling with scammers! Sometimes when I’ve sold products, the MAJORITY of the responses I’ve gotten have been scams. There are “people” (probably just robotic programs) that respond to your ad with very generic messages and then ask if they can pay via wire transfer or cashier’s check. Don’t respond to these messages and take CASH ONLY. If they offering some other payment method it likely won’t go through. For higher priced items, require a bill of sale.

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Pick the Right Time of Day to Post

On Craigslist, the people who have posted most recently have a huge advantage over those who have posted in the past because the site will list everything from newest to oldest by default. Within 20 or 30 minutes your ad might get buried into the nether regions of Craigslist. Your prime time to get interested buyers is right when you post the ad, so pick a good time in the evening or on the weekend when it will reach the most eyeballs. If your ad has been up for a while, delete and repost it so it will get knocked back to the top.

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Happy Craigslist selling, everyone! Please make sure to follow my blog and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more updates 🙂

Welcome, all ye peasant folk

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It’s a tough world out there for a 20- or 30- something person today. Adulting, as it turns out, is much more difficult than we could have anticipated. This blog will help those looking to navigate the treacherous waters of adult life by showing you tips, tricks, and other life hacks so that you can live stress-free! (okay maybe there will still be SOME stress, but we can dream, right?!)

I hope that everyone finds this blog, as well as my YouTube videos*, helpful as we journey together towards our future financial awesomeness!

*Shameless plug: please visit my YouTube channel at this link where you can watch my latest videos as well as subscribe. Be sure to “like” my videos because liking stuff is cool/fun/sexy/all the cool kids are doing it.