Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Found Money: 12 Ways to Fund Your Paleo Lifestyle

Paleo and Primal living can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be. Often, there are ways to either bring in more income or shift existing income from something that is no longer important into your new priorities and values. These techniques can be applied to anything, but I'm going to show you how I'm doing it to support and enhance a Paleo\Primal way of living and eating.

  1. Amazon- I have gone through my cookbooks and weeded out the ones that really don't apply. I don't plan on using Martha Stewart's baking bible or a book on artisan breads any longer. I didn't use them much to begin with. As I sell my stash of non-applicable or non-touched books, I'm putting that money into building a paleo-friendly library. I "audition" the books I'm interested in by checking them out from the library. If I really love them, I find them used on Amazon or and bookmark them. When I sell my old stuff, I buy my new stuff.
  2. Swagbucks- You can earn Swagbucks for searching, clicking on ads, filling out surveys, using coupons and making purchases online. They add up quickly, and can be used to redeem gifts cards to places like Amazon and Paypal. Since May, I've earned over $60, which I've used to buy diapers, Paleo cookbooks and Paleo foods. They have quite a selection, and it's an especially good deal if you combine with Subscribe and Save items. (Think coconut oil, real maple syrup, Enjoy Life chips and more.) To earn points, I mostly search, find bonus codes, and click on ads or tv spots. Check them out here.
  3. Ebay- A no brainer- your trash may be someone else's treasure. Perhaps you're simplifying and got some knicknacks that might bring in some $$$. I'm a kitchen gadget freak. I'm selling the ones I no longer need- such as my pasta machine. That money will go towards things that will enhance my paleo kitchen- perhaps a mandolin slicer, a new cast iron skillet or a bag of almond flour.
  4. Side jobs- Is there something you're really good at and can do for cash? I fix computers on the side. I often get a decent stream of side jobs, but pick and choose since I have a baby and my time is limited. I recently fixed someone's computer and was able to fund my reward for losing 10 pounds- a new pair of Vibram Five Fingers shoes. They retail at $100, don't go on sale (yet), and there are no coupons for them. But they are wonderful shoes, and I'm glad I was able to raise some extra $$$ for my pair.
  5. Cut something else-is there another area of your budget you can cut back or eliminate to fund the things you want? In the past, I've cancelled cable tv and bought an indoor HD antennae that gets most of the channels we'd ever want to watch. I've also been able to move over to a company cell phone due to the type of work I do. I've also cancelled my landline and gone with skype for my home phone. These savings were then put into other areas- groceries, Christmas, etc.
  6. Barter and Trade- Can you trade services for produce from a friend's garden? Or eggs or meat from a local farmer? No money changing hands also means no taxes to pay! That can save you 10% right there, depending on where you live. Swap kids' clothes with friends who have kids older or younger than yours to save $$$. Several of us are losing weight at work, so we swap business clothes!
  7. Get it cheaper- Shop Goodwill, yard sales, eBay and Craig's list to get non-food items cheaper. As I'm losing weight, I fill in the gaps of my clothing needs with clothes from Goodwill. I don't want to spend much until I'm at my goal weight! Last year, when I got married, I shopped there and found all of the suits my sons wore, a petticoat for my wedding dress and heart shaped dishes to put floating candles in. I purchased many of my wedding decorations from Craigslist. We spent very little and had a fabulous wedding!
  8. Share-I couldn't garden this year because I'm in a rental, so I shared one with a friend, helping weed and pitching in for seeds, plants, mulch, etc. As I'm researching grass-fed beef, I'm asking friends if they'd like to go in on a cow with me (they call it "cowpooling" lol). 
  9. Get it Free-Instead of buying, borrow books from the library, tools from friends, etc. Don't be shy about asking, just put the word out. Just make sure you're willing to return the favor by loaning things out as well. Just don't forget to write them down so you can remember where they went!
  10. Do it Yourself- Save money by fixing things yourself, mowing your own grass, shoveling your own driveway, cutting your hair, etc. 
  11. Renewable Resources- Invest in items that don't have to be replaced and/or renew themselves. Buy heirloom seeds for your garden and save them from year to year. Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones. Use cloth napkins and towels instead of paper ones (in fact, you can replace most paper items with fabric ones like our grandparents used). Any area where you can eliminate additional purchases frees up money that can be shifted into the things you want. Like grassfed beef! Or farm fresh eggs! Or a CSA subscription!
  12. Give- Call it Karma or whatever you like, I believe the Lord blesses those who share. What better way to make more room in your life for more of His blessings than to give to others? Right now, I've been "blessed" with way too many clothes and other assorted items. I am passing them on to those who need them more. I know that every act comes back to haunt me, good and bad. Though this strategy won't raise money, it will free you to enjoy your life more, make more room for the things that matter, and help you let go of what doesn't. The peace that comes from giving is priceless! And it also invites the same thing back into your life- gifts from others of things you need, when you need them.
What ways have you found to afford the things you love? Please share your ideas and tips with us below!

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