End of Summer Blues? Not to worry, here are some great last minute deals to “Fall Back” in style like the jet setter you are destined to be!

I was surfing the web tonight and came across some great deals for the Labor Day weekend and thought I’d share them with you. Some of them are only good if you book them on September 1st, others are good for other days in September, so check back often to see what’s available.  

Maybe you want to take a last minute trip to some place fun or exotic? If so, check out expedia.com for great travel deals starting on September 1st and going through the month of September…maybe you can take a last minute trip to Mexico over the Labor Day weekend then head up the West Coast in a convertible the next and hit Vegas on the flip side?  If the deal is right, of course you can!

Groupon does “Getaway” deals now.  You can sign up to get these great getaway deals sent directly to your inbox by subscribing at Groupon Getaways – they are offering great getaway deals for all over the United States, the Caribean and Costa Rica.  Definitely worth taking a look if you have a hankering for staying in a 4 or 5 Star Hotel but not paying for all of those stars.

Hotels.com is also offering 30% off for Labor Day hotel deals.  I have used hotels.com to book last minute hotel stays and have been very happy with the prices and the quality of hotels that they have on their site.  So check them out too.

Save $30 on Labor Day Hotel Deals! Get $15 Off by using coupon LABORDAY15 plus $15 instant discount on selected hotels. Book Now!

Another interesting place to think about displaying your Art or Photos…

I noticed at the new fitness studio where I attended a Zumba class last night that they had some great art hanging in the bathrooms and on the walls that weren’t covered by mirrors. Maybe ask your local gym, yoga studio or fitness studio if you can display best cpu for gaming your Art or Photographs in their location and then give them a percentage of the sale? You might find a great exercise class and sell a painting. Wouldn’t that be fantastic?!

A Quick note about places to display your Art or Photos

I was just at a great local Day Spa (Ciao Bella in Littleton, CO) earlier today where I noticed they display local artists and photographer’s photo’s in their relaxation area. I thought “that is a GREAT idea.!”..what a great place to get exposure for your art or photos, especially if they are nature themed, peaceful or tranquil.  It’s worth asking your local Day Spa to display and help you sell your art and what a great way to collaborate with other local businesses.

A special note about Ciao Bella Day Spa in Littleton, for my Colorado followers.  They have a great 50/50 deal on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  You can get a custom facial or massage for $50 or a fun questions to ask your boyfriend combination of both for $100.  The Spa is lovely and very relaxing and my services were superb.  I highly recommend trying them out, especially if you can get away on a Tuesday or Wednesday for such a great deal!

Instead of being all about “Who you know”, be all about “What you know” & share that knowledge!

We all know many times in life it’s not “what you know, but rather, who you know” that will help you land that great corporate job or meet the right contacts for a business opportunity you’ve been working on.  That still applies when you are thinking about ways to make extra money or change your career focus all together.  However, if you are in a position where you need to do something completely different to make additional income, replace income due to a lay off/downsizing or are just in a plain ole stuck-in-a-rut  frame of mind, why not do something that you love or are really good at instead of doing what is familiar for you?  Here are some ideas to think about if you love Art or have an artistic/crafty flair that you haven’t thought of sharing.

#86 – Art; if you are a seasoned artist or novice, share your art –

There are many forms of art and beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder, but if you happen to dabble in some form of artistic endeavor to relieve stress or just because you love it, why not share it with others?  See if any local Galleries, Coffee Houses, or Cafe’s would like to do a showing of your artistic medium?  You could host an “Opening Night”  event and serve wine or see if the Coffee House or Cafe might offer a special discount for anyone who comes in to see or purchase your art.  Offer the place that is “hosting” your art a percentage of your sales.  They will be more apt to want to display your art if they might be able to make a buck or two.

For “Openings” or events that showcase your art, I’d recommend advertising through word of mouth, Facebook, local newspapers, events pages or local TV station events pages.  Make sure you print up the name of your pieces, with pricing on the display cards and post them near the painting, drawing, etc. I’d recommend keeping an inventory with pricing in an excel spread sheet and check the location My Birthday Status for Whatsapp at least once a month to see if any art has sold.  Some places will collect the money and then cut you a check later, like consignment.  You’ll have to work out the terms for each place that you are working with, but it’s definitely a great way to showcase your art or craft and get your name out there.

#87 – Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn to showcase your art and announce any upcoming events –

Create a “Fanpage” on Facebook & ask your friends to”like” it.  Start tweeting about any new things you are working on and add “Artist” to your resume and your LinkedIn profile.  Make sure you get the word out about any upcoming events or shows you may be participating in.  Keep your events page up to date and archive old events or set the page up to do this automatically for you to save time.

#88 – Holiday Bazaar’s or Craft Fairs –

The holidays are coming up, how about finding some craft shows in your area that you can participate in. You just may be pleasantly surprised who may want to purchase your art as a gift for someone they love or maybe even for themselves.

#89 – Gift your art –

Art of any form is a great gift.  My Mom is a fantastic artist and I absolutely LOVE getting a painting from her as a gift during the holidays or for a special occasion.  So if you aren’t up for selling your art but it’s overtaking your home, think about making a list of those in your life who would love getting a piece of your art as a gift.  It will be cherished and your gift budget this year might just go down a bit!  Win-Win!

#90 – Teach your medium or craft –

If you are an artist or are just plain “crafty”, why not teach a “how-to” class at your local adult school or alternative education center?  These types of organizations are often looking for unique classes to offer their students.  You will need to actually have a curriculum or outline of what you propose to teach prepared and ready to present when you ask to teach your class.  Most organizations like this, keep a percentage of the total fee that is collected.  All are different, so check out a few in your area to see which one may work best for you.

If you live in a rural area and don’t have an alternative school like this near by, see if maybe your local church, recreation center, or fire hall may have a space that you could rent or use how ever many times a week or month you may need the space.  Sometimes in more rural areas, these types of places may just let you use the space out of the kindness of their hearts or let you use it for a small donation to the organization.  This is when “who you know” may actually come into play and be very helpful!

 

Extra money is nice…how about trying one or a couple of these ideas?

Idea #91 – Baby-sitting or Kid-sitting for friends or friends of friends

I baby-sit quite often for friends who have kids when they need a night out or a weekend away. If you don’t have kids and enjoy spending time with them, this is a great way to get your kid fix and make some money. I love kids, don’t have any of my own and enjoy spending time with kids but also enjoy “giving them back”.

I normally charge between $10 and $15 an hour for shorter time periods. If they need me to stay over for a night or two, I charge by the day. Normally $100 to $120 a day. Of course, the rates for babysitting vary across the country, so ask around to see what the going rate is.

If they have little kids and I’ll need to drive them anywhere while they are away, I usually ask to use one of their cars (the car seats are conveniently already in the back seat) and ask them to add me to their car insurance for the weekend, to be safe. I have my own car insurance too, but think it’s better to be safe than sorry. I try to keep the kids on the schedule they normally keep with their parents and I try to do fun things with them; play games, color, paint nails (if they are girls and like to play “spa night”), read stories and if staying over night or for Fix Windows Update errors longer periods of time, watch kid movies. I’m not a big television watcher myself and don’t like to put kids in front of the TV when I’m watching them, so we normally just do a little bit of TV and I try to be more interactive with them.

Word of mouth is the best way to find babysitting gigs. So ask your friends, post something on Facebook or check out a site like care.com and see if anyone needs your help. You don’t have to be a 14 year old girl to babysit these days, in fact, most parents are more comfortable leaving their children with a more mature, professional adult and will pay more for quality child care in their home while they are away.

Love Pets?

Idea #92 – Pet Sitting

Are you a dog, cat, bird or rodent lover? If so, why not pet sit, walk dogs, or clean cages and feed birds, hamsters or ferrets for people when they are away or work crazy hours? You can post flyer’s on local bulletin boards at Church’s, schools, grocery stores, and online bulletin boards like craigslist.org or care.com. People love their pets, spend a ton of money on them, treat them like they are their kids, especially if they don’t have kids and usually will pay well to make sure that they are well taken care of. Call some local doggy day care and over night kennels to see how much they charge for day care and boarding. Then decide what your rate will be. I suggest making it a little bit lower than what the doggy day care or boarding kennel charges, to stay competitive and get your calendar filled up. It may be a good idea to take a Pet CPR class and get some liability insurance just in case something happens to someone’s pet while in your care. Better to be safe than sorry. I have been pet sitting off and on for the past 15 years and have made anywhere from $20 to $35 a day depending on the level of care the pet needs and how many pets I care for and for how long.

Recent last minute hotel stay

I recently used hotels.com on a trip for two last minute hotel stays that I booked the same day that I needed to stay. The hotels were clean and affordable. I even had a problem with my reservation on the first night and not only did the hotel honor the hotels.com for last minute hotel deals but hotels.com refunded my original reservation.  My only word of caution is to make sure that you book your reservation well before midnight so that it arrives at the hotel for the same day. If you book it after midnight, the computer Tesla model3 specs thinks you are making a reservation for the next day at normal check in time and usually won’t recognize the reservation until they run their night audit.  Lesson learned!

5 Star “Staycation” on a budget

Even though the economy isn’t great, you can still take time off for some much-needed R & R.  If you are working but are having a hard time making ends meet, take your vacation time but instead of planning that expensive all-inclusive trip to the Caribbean, why not plan a “Staycation” instead?  There are great places to see and fantastic things to do in your own back yard that will make you feel like you are on vacation.

Idea # 93 – Luxury Hotels close to home

Many 5 Star luxury and convention hotels often offer deals to locals to use their pools, work out facilities (some even offer yoga or other types of classes you can take part in) or if they have a Spa on site, you can often use the other facilities for FREE when you book a service at the Spa.  Yes…  Spa services can be expensive, but if you check with the Spa in advance, they may be having a summer special or deal on a particular treatment.   When Spa’s are slow, they often offer great discounts.  If the Spa at the hotel isn’t offering discounts, check for deals at your local Day Spa at:

www.groupon.com

www.livingsocial.com

www.plumdistrict.com

These sites often post local deals daily. You can subscribe to them and get the specials sent directly to your inbox. The deals range from discounts for meals, drinks at local pubs, dinners out at local restaurants, Spa services, medical procedures (like chiropractic care to Botox treatments) and even movie tickets!  Check out www.fandango.com for movie ticket discounts or coupons too.  It’s definitely worth subscribing so you don’t miss out on any great deals in your area.

If it just doesn’t feel like a vacation when you are sleeping in your own bed, check with the same hotels that you are planning to enjoy the pool, Spa and workout facilities to see if they offer any mid-week or weekend specials to locals.  If they are a convention hotel, they may offer lower rates on the weekends.  When you call, make sure you ask what the occupancy rate is before you ask for a discount.  Hotel front desk and reservation agents are trained to try to get the most money for the rooms they are selling, however, they would rather have rooms filled with paying guests than sitting empty.  You can definitely negotiate lower rates when the occupancy rates are low, so make sure you ask.  Give it a try, you may be pleasantly surprised and get to enjoy a night away just a short stroll from home.

You can also try the following sites to find great hotel deals:

www.hotels.com

www.cheapostay.com

Idea # 94 – Museums & Zoos

Another great idea to make the best of your “Staycation” is to check out your local museums & zoo.  Many museums & zoos offer a free day for locals to enjoy.  So pack up the kids and enjoy a day with the monkeys or your favorite post modern artist at your local museum for FREE.

Idea # 95 – Local Parks

Some other ideas to make the most of your vacation at home this year include getting  outside.  I bet you have bicycles in your garage and if not, you can rent them at a local bike shop or use a bike share program like b-cycle; www.bcycle.com (make sure you read the “rates” & rules for these programs, they are designed to share bikes throughout the day in half hour increments, so you are often charged every half hour unless you ride from station to station) to ride around your city and explore your local parks.  Pack a frisbee in your back pack along with a cold drink and snacks.  Then enjoy being outside for the day doing things you wouldn’t normally do.

Idea # 96 – Amusement or Water Parks

Who doesn’t love roller coasters and water slides in the summer?  I sure do.  Check with your local grocery store to see if they sell discount tickets and get a four pack or more.  All that’s left is to pack your cooler, your sunscreen,  and your family in the car then enjoy a day at the park!

Idea # 97 – Movies

When it’s hot outside, going to the movies during the day is a great way to not only cool off, but to save money.  Matinee’s are always less expensive than prime time movies.  Check out www.fandango.com for deals on new releases, or you can plan a movie marathon at home…reserve a bunch of movies you’ve been wanting to see at redbox.com, blockbusterexpress.com or netflix.com then pick them up at your closest automated DVD Kiosk, download them “On Demand” or drive to your local rental store, if you still have an actual store near you.

Idea # 98 – Gourmet Dinner delivered to your door

If movies and popcorn isn’t 5 Star enough for you, call your favorite gourmet restaurant and order a fantastic dinner (that you didn’t plan or slave over a hot oven to prepare) and have it delivered hot and ready to eat right to your door.  See if your town/city has a restaurant delivery service like: www.delivery.com (use promo code Miss25 when using this service).  It’s easy, convenient and tipping the delivery guy will always be much less than the 20% that you would normally tip while “dining in” at the actual restaurant you didn’t have a reservation for anyway.  Hey…why not break out the China and your best bottle of wine (this will be cheaper than the drinks you would have ordered dining in too) that you’ve been saving for a special occasion?  You are on vacation after all!

Idea #99 – Camping Out

Camping in your back yard or a close by campground is always fun.  You can make it a simple camping trip in your back yard or do a full on car camping trip close by with Smores fixings and all of your best camping gear.  If you don’t have camping equipment, you es file explorer apk can ask friends to borrow some or Kmart & Wal-Mart are great places to get quality tents, sleeping bags, camp stoves, outdoor games and even portable showers that are inside of a small tent with a base and drain…I was amazed when I saw stumbled across this jewel of a find!  You can browse in your pj’s from the comfort of your own home to pick exactly what you need to make your camping trip to the back yard or the next town over the best ever.

Kmart has camping and outdoor gear for great prices.  Click below to order your camping or fitness gear:

Kmart.com

Also, receive FREE Shipping on all mailable Kmart.com orders of $59 with code BLUE!

walmart.com

If you aren’t able to travel for a vacation this year or any year for that matter, I hope you will take some of the ideas that I’ve shared and enjoy your well deserved time off either at home or close to home.  My hope is that you get plenty of R & R, feel refreshed and stress free after your fantastic “Staycation” at home.  Be sure to share your story with your friends, colleagues and loved ones.  Everyone loves to hear about great deals close to home that are fun cheap or FREE and easy to plan!

“Making it” when you’re not really quite “Making it” – 100 ideas to help make life a little easier & hopefully a bit more fun too!

I have decided to write 100 ideas in different categories that concentrate on saving money for normal purchases or ideas to help make extra money in ways maybe you haven’t thought of before. Starting from 100, I’m going to count backwards to 1 and expand on 100 ideas that I think will not only help you “Make it” but might inspire you to put some of these ideas to play in your life.

Idea # 100 – Coupons

I know, you’re thinking, really coupons?! I already know about those and use them occasionally already…but there are coupons for everything and with some research and organization you could be saving a ton of money every time you go to the grocery store. After watching a recent “Extreme Couponing” show on TLC, I started doing some research on coupons and how to use them to save more money at the grocery store.  Manufacturers send out millions of dollars worth of coupons every week and only a small percentage of them actually get used. Sure you can clip the coupons from the Sunday paper, but you can also go online to get coupons sent to your inbox regularly.

You can also email some of your favorite brand companies and tell them that you love their product and ask for coupons. Most of the time, they will send you coupons for FREE products and add you to their mailing list so that you can get future promotions/coupons. Diaper companies do this often. I don’t have children in diapers but I know friends who do and they spend a lot of money on diapers. Why not ask for at least a discount from the brand you use regularly?

Many grocery stores will double or triple the amount of your coupon, so ask your grocery store if they do that and what the maximum coupon amount can be doubled or tripled. You may also be able to get $25 (in a gift card) just for transferring a prescription to the pharmacy at a new grocery store. If you have a regular pharmacy that you love, you might not want to do this, but if you would prefer to pick up your prescriptions at the same place you shop for groceries, then why not transfer your prescriptions and get some money back. Some stores will give you $25 per transfer…if you have more than a few RX’s that could add up for sure.

No you are probably thinking I can’t get enough coupons to save enough money at the grocery store every time I shop. You can, but you have to do some research. You may want to find the local distributor of coupon circulars and call them to see if you can come pick up extra’s. Most distributors will have extras each week. You can also check in recycling bins, online coupon sites and coupon blogs for more tips on how to use coupons to save you A LOT of money.

If after looking at some coupon websites and blogs, you decide to start stocking up on extra stuff (why not if you can get it for free or next to free, right?!) make sure you have ample storage to store all of your newly acquired food items. You might want to designate some shelves in your basement or garage as your pantry. If you don’t have an extra fridge and freezer you may only want to stock up on non-perishable items. Many of those items will keep for many years.

Some sites to check out for coupons are:

coupons.com

couponnetwork.com

mycoupons.com

You can also google coupons at your favorite big box stores like Walmart, K-mart, Target, Costco, etc…you will have to print them at home, but they are out there if you are willing to look for them.

Some “couponing” blogs I like are:

http://thekrazycouponlady.com/retail-therapy/

About Us

http://www.jillcataldo.com/

These women have saved thousands by researching, being organized and stock piling items they need when the prices are low and they never shop without a coupon.  Their blogs are interesting and full of great tips/resources that you can start using right away to save money by using coupons.

Another idea to think about as you are stocking up on extra grocery store items is to help a local food bank or shelter with the extra items that you don’t think you will use or need. Food banks and shelters need food, toiletries, and cash donations all the time. Right now, I’m not able to donate cash, so I am donating extra food and toiletries to my local charities. I have a couple that are my favorites. The Denver Rescue Mission feeds and shelters homeless individuals and the Gathering Place is the only drop in day center for women and children experiencing poverty and homelessness in the city of Denver.  If you are able to donate to one of these charities or another that you passionate about, I highly recommend it.  It makes me feel good to know that even the very little I’m able to give now will allow someone to maybe shower and feel better about themselves or eat a healthy meal that will nourish them.  I also like the idea of helping those in need in our own country.  I’m not against helping other countries, I just think we have lots of need here and so I choose to help here, where I live.  In the United States and in the city I live and LOVE, Denver, Colorado.  I’ve added the websites of three charities below if you are interested in learning more about any of them.

http://www.thedenverrescuemission.org

http://www.tgpdenver.org/

http://feedingamerica.org/

How much money does your family spend on groceries a week?  If you could cut that cost in half or down to almost nothing, would that make your quality of life just a little bit better?  It has helped my quality of life for sure.  I am using coupons every time I shop and I’m no longer married to certain brands.  I’m trying new foods with my coupon savings, which in return is leaving more money in my pocket and also adding variety to my life.  After all…Variety is the Spice of Life, or so the saying goes!

Abundant ideas to foster creativity and prosperity!

Welcome to Little Miss Idea.  I am passionate about helping others create abundance and prosperity in their lives.  I want to help people develop their own ideas, see the potential, or think outside of the box on how they can take their idea to the next level in their lives and prosper from it either spiritually or financially.  Sometimes, I may just share ideas that I come up with on my own or from information I come across randomly.  I often think of ways to make extra money, especially now, as I was recently laid off from my full-time Marketing job.  There are lots of things you can do to make some quick cash or extra money in tough times.  I will share these ideas on future blogs.  Many of the ideas that I will share with you, I have myself tried at some point in my life.

My nick name has been “Little Miss Idea” for many years now.  When myself and most of my friends were younger and not very financially secure, I was very resourceful.  I did every odd job you can think of to make extra money or to make ends meet.  I always had ideas for how my friends could take something they really liked doing and turn it into income or if they liked their 9-5 gig, just make some extra money.  Over the years, I’ve helped many friends, family members, customers and colleagues come up with new ideas/opportunities just by listening to them talk about what they love!

I’m hoping to inspire many more with my blog.  I truly enjoy helping others and believe that you can do anything you put your mind to, no matter your financial situation.  I also believe that if you are good to others, share your knowledge and abundance with those around you that it will come back to you ten fold.   So cheers to sharing ideas and creating abundant & prosperous lives!