Ansel Adams negatives for $45? An authorized 1820 copy of the Declaration of Independence for $4 bucks? A $5 sketch made by Any Warhol when he was 10 years old? Click here to read more famous garage sale finds. And check out our Garage Sale page before you head out bargain hunting this weekend!
Classified Tips: How to Buy & Sell Smarter
Save money and shop smarter using online classifieds. Here are some of our favorite ideas for buying and selling in the classifieds.
Buying used auto parts will often save you 50 percent or more over buying new. When you buy used with an online retailer, you’ll have the benefit of selection and a possible warranty. Junkyards and scrap dealers may save you a bit more, but the best deals are often found in your local classifieds. But you’ll have to do your homework.
1. Know Your Part
Before buying from a private seller, be sure you know the part you need. Do a little online research and compare pricing. A quick search will give you a range of pricing and shipping options. Buying local will certainly save you the cost of shipping and you’ll have the advantage of seeing the item in person before you buy. Knowing the price range ahead of time will also increase your negotiating position. [Read more…]
Nothing compares to cooking on an open flame. Whether you’re roasting mouth-watering vegetables or grilling juicy steak kabobs, the barbecue is perfect for sealing in the natural flavor. If you are looking to join the millions who already enjoy the barbecue life, or want to replace or upgrade their equipment, a little homework may be in order before being met with the dozens of choices available. The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) offers a factsheet for grill buying to help narrow down the seemingly endless possibilities. Charcoal or Gas? Stainless Steel or Cast Aluminum? $150 or $500?
What’s Your BBQ Budget?
Setting a budget is a realistic place to begin, as some barbecue grills can cost $1,000+. A good way to establish a budget is to decide where you will be using your grill (backyard, patio, apartment balcony) and consider your space restrictions. This will help narrow down some of the choices and perhaps set a price range for you in the process.
The Big BBQ Question: Charcoal, Gas or Electric?
Before your shopping process begins, the looming question of Charcoal, Gas or Other must be answered. Charcoal grilling aficionados swear by the smoke flavor, despite the mess of dealing with the charcoal and required cleaning of these grills. Charcoal does require ample heating time before it can be used. Gas grills offer convenience in that with a push of a button the gas ignites and, with limited pre-heating, the grill is ready to use. For some, the other category includes electric grills. These grills are an eco-friendly, easy to use and often the best choice for apartment-dwellers. For more on cooking with gas and charcoal, check out this article on www.allrecipes.com.
Grilling Safety Tips
After choosing the perfect grill, check back in with HPBA and make sure anyone who plans to use the grill is familiar with how to do so safely. Only use barbecue grills outdoors in well-ventilated areas. Use long-handled utensils and be cautious of clothing with strings (aprons) or shirt tails. Be prepared to handle the fire and flare-ups with a water bottle, baking soda, fire extinguisher or garden hose. And always use common sense when grilling.
Fun Fact: Nearly 74 million U.S. households have barbecue grills with 45% of grill owners using their grill at least 1-2 times per week in the summer months.
Looking for bbq grills for sale in Ocala? Here are some great deals on grills for your backyard:
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Smart phones have taken over the mobile device market. These phones combine advanced computing, a digital camera, a media player, and wireless communication into a format small enough to fit in a pocket. A smart phone’s touch screen interface is considered accessible by people who consider themselves computer illiterate. It’s no wonder this mobile device is replacing desktop computing.
Many smart phones have become very inexpensive when combined with a wireless service contract. But what if you want to upgrade without a contract? Or what if you have to replace a broken phone before your current contract expires? The most affordable option is to get a used phone.
If you are thinking about buying a used smart phone, follow these simple tips for a successful purchase.
1. Make Sure the Phone Works with Your Service
As a general rule, cell phones will only work with a single carrier. A phone built for Sprint won’t work on AT&T, because their wireless signals are different. There are exceptions, so sometimes it’s best to check. Remove the SIM card from your phone and place it in the one you are considering for purchase. No error messages? Continue to the next step.
2. Check that the Phone is Fully Functional
Before you hand over the cash, turn the phone on. Connect to a local WiFi and browse the web. If your current phone has a data plan, you can try the data connection through the cell towers. However, some wireless carriers will automatically add a data plan ($30 per month) when they detect your SIM card using a smart phone.
Next, check the camera. Take a picture and view it. Now test the speakers and headphones by playing an MP3 or ringtone. Finally, make a test call to a friend. Using both the earpiece and the speakerphone, listen for the sound quality and ask your friend how you sound, too.
3. Check for Water Damage and Screen Cracks
Carefully inspect the device. Is there corrosion on the connectors? This may indicate exposure to water. Look for hairline fractures in the touch screen. Is there dust or fingerprints behind the glass? This means the screen has been replaced.
4. Check Reported Lost or Stolen Phones
After all this inspection, the biggest concern is that the phone is denied service because it was reported lost or stolen. Call your wireless service provider and confirm the that it has a clean ESN/IMEI/MEID. This number is located on under the battery or can be viewed in the phones settings.
If you are able to make a call using the phone, chances are pretty good the phone is ready for purchase.Photo: Shutterstock
Where to Buy Used Cell Phones:
Everyone feels the cash crunch at the end of the year. Just as in the lesson of the ant and the grasshopper, the winter months often need a little extra, especially for celebrating the holidays. Here are 4 ways to bring in the green.
1. Get a Job
Many retailers and shipping companies are looking for extra help during Christmas. Mall stores and big box retailers often hire temporary seasonal employees. Merry gentlemen can don the Santa suit, and elves that can get kids to smile for a photo are always in demand. Sometimes these seasonal jobs can lead to permanent employment, but usually the position is eliminated after ReGiftmas has ended.
2. Start a Business
If the weather cooperated, you could shovel snow. Many a seasonal business has started by doing similar work. Some seasonal business ideas include:
- Hanging Christmas lights
- Cleaning gutters and downspouts
- Making and selling gift baskets
- Sleigh rides or carriage rides
- Selling yule logs, mistletoe, or Christmas trees
3. Sell Your Stuff in the Classifieds
Take a look in the garage, check all the closets, and clean out the kid’s rooms. Sell old stuff and buy new gifts with it. Help someone stretch their holiday dollar by selling your used items in the classifieds.
Some people worry about when they can sell the item they are replacing. The answer is sell the old one as soon as possible. Let’s say you are getting a new washer and dryer. Selling your current set won’t “ruin the surprise” or leave unable to do laundry for more than a day or two. The best time to sell will be before the holidays.
4. Spend Time Not Money
Most people can remember a handful of gifts from their childhood. But we can remember all the people we shared those moments with. Make sure that all the extra time and effort you put into the holidays give your family what they really want — time spent with you.
Great Deals on Holiday Decorations:
Deep frying turkeys is becoming increasingly popular. The meat is moist and tender, not greasy. Once the materials are assembled, the method is fast – just 3 minutes per pound, instead of 20 minutes.
Prepackaged turkey frying kits are available or you can assemble your own. Here’s what you will need:
- 40 or 60 Quart pot (The turkey should fit easily with room on all sides.)
- A meat hanger to lower and remove the turkey
- Propane tank and gas burner
- Meat thermometer
- 5-6 Bottles of Cooking Oil (Approximately 1 1/2 gallons)
- Fully thawed turkey (Warning: Frozen turkeys explode!)
- Dry rub or marinade and syringe
Caution: Cooking oil is flammable, especially over an open flame.
Find a level, grassy or dirt area outside away from buildings and flammable items, like trees or wooden decks. Keep a kitchen rated fire extinguisher close by.
1. Measure and Heat the Oil
Lower your turkey into the pot. Fill with water to two inches over the turkey. Remove the turkey and measure the depth. Dump the water. Fill to the same measurement with oil. It will take about 30 minutes to heat to 325°F. Stay below 350°F.
2. Prepare the Turkey
Unwrap and clean out your turkey and fit the meat hanger through the bird. Rub your spices all over the turkey. Do not stuff. Lower the turkey slowly into the now boiling oil.
3. Cook the Turkey
The short wait (about 30 minutes for a 10 lbs bird) will soon be over. So keep a close eye on the time. Raise the turkey to take its temperature. When the internal temperature reaches 170° F in the breast and 180° F in the thigh, remove the turkey and let drip dry. Inject your marinade using a syringe. Always let oil cool before moving or disposal.