Couponing with PaulaHi! My name is Paula, and this is my way of expressing money saving ideas to the World.  I coupon, up-cycle, and barter occasionally.  I am a retired Hairdresser, and I love to cook, so I can and have traded hair care and/or meals for services.  So, my first suggestion is to figure out what you are good at doing, and if others would benefit from your talents.

For instance, do you sew?  You would be amazed at how many people do not know how to even sew on a button! Trade hemming pants or making Halloween costumes or clothes for something you need: child care, car detailing, housecleaning, present wrapping, you get the idea!  I have a friend now that wants to trade her knitting for my sewing. Problem with that is, I knit also!  Speaking of, I have made and given numerous baby afghans and sweaters as presents that I could never have afforded to buy.

I traded a relaxer, conditioner, trim and style for 3 garbage bags full of very nice name brand clothing for my son when he was 2 1/2.  I had a “Bring your Tools, Put Together a Swing set, and Eat BBQ” party.  It worked out great!  The wonderful Husband got help, the wonderful kids got a swing set, and our wonderful friends got a great meal! Years later, when it needed hauled off, I gave the slide to a friend in exchange for him hauling it to the dump or recycling center.  His wife and I traded babysitting for years.  We simply kept track of the hours.  In fact, I still owe her four! lol

I have given hairstyles for Graduation presents, organized food for a wedding present, and made a wedding dress for another wedding present.  When my sewing machine was broken, I traded making two costumes for a church production for a sewing machine, and one of the costumes was for me!

I save cans, and when they need hauled off, I call someone who needs gas money. They pick up and take the cans to the recycling center. It’s a win/win situation. I get an empty shed, they get whatever money the cans bring, and it helps environmentally.

One year, we had an abundance of jeans without knees.  I cut off the legs and made pant-leg purses.  I embellished then a little and sold them for $15 each, up-cycling! It helped pay for Christmas presents.  Last Christmas, I saw a picture of one that had been embroidered with a wine bottle and a few grapes.  They used it to hold a bottle of wine for a gift. You could add one of the pockets to hold a corkscrew.

As you can probably tell by now, I have a great time saving money! It is almost a hobby.  I started couponing about 2010/2011. Every week, OK, every day, it becomes a game to see which coupons I can match with sales, and how much I can save.  I will show you what I bought, and explain how and what I did on my facebook page, pleasekeepyourmoney.  I will tell you that I won’t need to buy deodorant or razors for probably 2 years. One must exercise self-control occasionally!  Alright, I confess. I just bought 10 Speed Sticks because I got them for 9 cents each. : )