What Is a Charity Shop and Why Should You Donate and Shop At One?

Charity shops are found in just about every Western country, and can often be known by the name thrift shop or op shop or hospice shop. They are a social enterprise run on behalf of the charity seeking to raise funds.

charity-storeThe basic principle behind charity shops is that they are selling goods which are donated to them for free by members of the public. Community minded people donate anything of value to a charity shop for free and the charity shop can sell it to raise funds.

There’s no doubt the model works of that’s why charity shops are so popular in so many different countries and support so many charities.

In the US there are some major operators of thrift shops and these include the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, Goodwill industries and Arc thrift stores. Between these organisations they run a wide range of charity shops throughout the US.

As well as this there are a number of different charity stores run by some smaller and less known organisations such as the Bethesda Lutheran community in the upper midwest.

And local charities can also operate local thrift shops for their own needs.

The most common way for charities to run a charity shop is to own the shop but to contract someone to run the business as an independent business under contract. They are licensed by the charity which provides the merchandise to run the business and business sells the merchandise thereby making a profit. Some of this profit goes back to the charity. This avoids the necessity for the charity to own and run each of the individual shops which would be a much larger enterprise requiring much more hands-on.

Just like many other businesses many thrift stores have gone online. For instance Arc thrift stores now run a website where you can sign up and receive member discounts, special offers, coupons and contests, just like you can do with many other online businesses.

You can use the website for much information about recycling your second-hand goods through the stores. You can find stores, look at store promotions, get online discounts and even join a club.

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How to Be a Canny Shopper

How to Be a Canny Shopper

Of course all women love shopping however some take it a little bit beyond the point where they should. For this reason you need to take a few steps back, prior to a shopping trip, and do a few things to make sure that you don’t go overboard.mystery-shopper

1. Take a look at your budget

You should always set the shopping budget. You need to know how much you have available to spend and how much of that needs to go on necessities. Necessities are more important than discretionary purchases, and there’s nothing worse than running out of money when you’ve forgotten to buy the food for the family.

You must know how much you can spend, and on what.

2. Make a list

Once you’ve determined how much you have available to spend you then need to make a list. Start with all of the important necessities, and where you will buy them. List them all, preferably segmenting your list in some way so that you know exactly where they will be in the shop.

For instance in large supermarkets, once you know the layout of the supermarket, you can save a lot of time by having a list segmented so that you know exactly how to go through the supermarket and pick up each of your items one by one without having to go backwards and forwards.

Once you’ve got all the necessities covered then it’s time to take another look at your budget and go shopping for the discretionary items.

You might have spent more, or less, on your necessities than you expected. Take a look at your budget, subtract how much you’ve spent on all of those necessities and what is left over is for your discretionary spending.

3. Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry or in a bad mood

When you’re hungry just about everything on the shelves looks appealing, and you can often find you end up with much more than you bargained for. All those extra chips, chocolate bars and everything else are really pretty unnecessary, but when you’re hungry they just seem to fall into your trolley.

The same applies when you’re in a bad mood. It’s always tempting to think that you must will just go all out.

On top of this if you’re talking about new dresses with shop employees then the chances are that want to deal with anyone in a bad mood either.

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How To Buy a Quality Kitchen Knife

If you love cooking and one of the most important tools in your range of cooking implements is your kitchen knife. Chances are you’ll spend more time using your kitchen knife.SONY DSC

than just about any other tool in your kitchen. The kitchen knife is one of the most important tools that you will ever have in your kitchen.

For this reason it’s extremely important, if you’re a bit of an aficionado of kitchen equipment and a keen cook, to spend quite a bit of time investigating the different kitchen knives available before you spend money buying one.

Not only that but you also need to be prepared to lash out a little, because a quality kitchen knife is not something which will be cheap.

Of course you’ve got to remember, when buying an expensive kitchen knife, that it is something that will last you for 10 or 20 years, and will do thousands of hours of hard work. If you work out the cost divided by the number of hours that you’ll be using your kitchen knife it’s probably only a few cents an hour.

And the joy of using a high quality knife far outweighs the pain of the cost.

So how do you choose a quality kitchen knife?

1. Establish what type of knife you need

There is an enormous range of different types of kitchen knives, including ships knives, paring knives, vegetable knives, or utility knives, facility knives, bread knives and much more. All have their own specific uses, and some are much more useful any kitchen and others, depending on the type of work you do. You need to spend a little time investigating exactly what knife, or knives, you need before you buy one.

2. Don’t be tempted to buy online

Despite the fact that it’s a little cheaper buying online it’s much preferable to spend a little time in a store picking up a knife and holding it. By doing that you’ll get a feel for how it sits in your hand and how comfortably you feel you’ll be able to work with it. Different people will be comfortable with different types of knife, and there is no substitute for picking one up and holding it in your hand. You can’t do that on a website.

3. Don’t buy your knife from the supermarket

Despite the fact that the kitchen knives are enticingly cheap in a supermarket they are not good quality. Go to a quality store offering a range of quality knives, and spend some time talking to the shop assistant to find out more about the knives they offer and why and how they should be used.

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4 Ways to Save Money for Christmas Shopping

If there is any single season in a year when you will be spending a lot, it has to be Christmas. It is said that victory loves preparation. So, if you want to be successful in your Christmas shopping, you better start saving money as early as today. Here are some ways on how you can save money for your Christmas shopping:

  1. Savings bank account

Before setting aside any amount for savings, you need to open a savings bank account. This is the best place for you to put your money. That way, you will not be tempted to take it back or spend some of it.

  1. Savings first before anything else

Any financial management expert would advise you to set your savings aside as soon as you get your income. Discard of that misconception that you can save the money that’s left after you pay off all your utilities and other expenses.

Set an amount to save, deposit the same in your savings account as soon as you get your salary or income then budget what is left for all your expenses. This will ensure that a certain amount is stashed away.

  1. The piggy bank

Spare change can also grow to significant amount if managed properly. This is where the good old piggy bank can come in. Drop your coins and spare change in it as additional savings. Check the content at the end of the month and deposit in your savings account.

  1. Other sources

It can also help if you consider other sources of income like selling some old or used stuff like clothes. While it may not yield so much for you, it could go a long way if you add the proceeds to your savings.

Last recourse

A problem can arise however if the amount you were able to save is not enough to cover all the things you wanted to buy come Christmas. You need not worry because there are other means to get the money. You can apply for a personal loan to cover for the amount you needed. If you are unemployed, you can still get a loan through “loans for unemployed” programs offered by most lending institution. Visit a lending firm and talk to them about getting a personal loan. Find out more about cash loans and loans for unemployed by clicking here.

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I Found A Gun Safe In A Charity Shop

I love shopping in charity shops and I’ve used them all my life. If I think back over all the years that I’ve been shopping in charity shops the amount of money that I’ve saved from using them must be absolutely staggering.

One of the most common things I find in charity shops is clothes. In my view the retail price for new clothes is way too high. It doesn’t cost that much to make a shirt or a pair of pants and yet when you go into a regular store and see a shirt for $80 you do begin to wonder how much the markup is for that shirt. And some items which are considered to be fashion items are extraordinarily overpriced.

And yet if you go into a charity shop you’ll often find the same items, slightly used, at a tiny fraction of the price. Not only that but I’ve regularly found many clothes in charity shops which are available for a few dollars or less and which are brand-new. They even have the tags on them still. I believe that the clothes stores send them to the charity shops when they haven’t been able to sell them all.

But today I found an extraordinary find in a charity shop. I’m a gun owner and have become a little concerned lately about the number of firearms that have been stolen from people’s houses, and have even been reading a few gun safe reviews from http://www.gunsafeadviser.com/gun-safe-reviews/ with a view to buying one. And low and behold, today I found a gun safe in a charity shop. It’s a liberty gun safe, like this, and whilst it’s not the top-of-the-line liberty gun safe it certainly a very good one.

Of course it wasn’t just a couple of dollars. However it appeared to me to be almost brand-new and it was certainly less than a quarter of what I would expect to pay retail.

Liberty gun safes are well known in America and are one of the best names in gun safes and one of the best-known brands. I spent quite some time investigating the interior to find room for some handguns as well as looking at the storage to see if there was room to store some personal effects, and there was.

I’ve got a number of long guns and a couple of handguns and I expect that I will be able to store or all of them in this liberty gun safe.

So I bought it, despite the fact that I wasn’t anticipating spending quite that much money when I went into the charity shop this morning. But when I saw it there it was such an extraordinary bargain that I couldn’t resist.

It’s at home now and I have already been checking to see how many guns I can get in it. I can get all my firearms in and I have room to spare, and I’ve even got my two handguns stored away securely.

I know how important it is nowadays to store your firearms safely and securely. Friends of mine were broken into recently and had a beautiful Winchester rifle stolen from the bedroom. It was worth quite a lot of money and they were extremely disappointed to lose the weapon both because of the cost as well as because of the fact that it was a family heirloom.

So nobody is going to do that to me. Thanks to a very cheap charity shop I’ve been able to find a high quality gun safe at a quarter of the price I would pay anywhere else and now I can store my firearms safely.

I love charity shops.

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Top Tips for Buying Your Next Vehicle

Having a family, especially a growing one, means a lot of changes. Gone are the carefree and wild lifestyles. You are no longer living alone so you have to revamp your schedules and all other things to make room for your spouse and the baby. A growing family simply means an extra needed space. This encompasses everything; especially the car.

When as a bachelor you have enjoyed your coupe, not anymore. When you go for a ride, you will no longer be going out alone. Therefore, the sports cars have to go. It is now time to get a new car, one that will fit the need of your growing family.

If you are in need of a new car for the family but are at a loss for what to look for in a family car, consider the following advices:

Added space

Since a growing family basically means additional bodies, the first thing that you should look for when buying a car is the size. The new family car should be able to accommodate all of the family members. Moreover, it should have adequate space for luggage. This will allow the car to accommodate everyone including things like stroller for the baby.

With this consideration in mind some of the likely candidates you can check out are SUVs and minivans. These vehicles are large and can provide the much needed space for you and your family. Find out more about SUVs by clicking here.

Fuel Efficiency

The next thing you should also bear in mind in buying a family car is fuel consumption. Remember that as your family grows, the need to cut down on expenses is necessary to maximize income. Spending too much on fuel every time you travel is just not practical at all.

This is where family sedans and wagons fit in. These vehicles are a lot smaller than the two previously mentioned. Consequently, they consume far less than those two. They may not be as spacious as an SUV or Minivan but they have enough room too.

Safety Features

Among the most important aspect to consider is the ability of the car to provide safety for your family. Although travelling is primarily your obligation, being the driver, cars are also equipped with safety features that are designed to minimize damage to you and your passengers in the event of an accident.

Carefully look into each of these tips and weigh your options. Visit this website and find out more about car loan finance reviews.

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How to Get a Great Deal on Pet Insurance

Photo by Chris Potter

When the idea of pet insurance is mentioned, you might have lots of reservations. To begin with, this spells another expense on your part. If your pet is healthy and have no signs of illnesses, then you might not need this insurance at all. However, you also have to anticipate the possibility that the pet might be infected with diseases or meet injuries. Thus, in the event that this problem occurs, you can rely on the insurance to cover all medical costs.

If you are contemplating on getting this insurance but you don’t want to spend a lot, here are some of the tips on how you can get a great deal:

  1. Get a group pet insurance policy. This will help you save a lot of money. One insurance policy can cover more than one pet. If any of them needs help from your veterinarian, you need not pay for any of them.
  2. Make sure that you get a proof that your pet is healthy or that it was not born with any disease. It will be easier for you to get lower rates for insurance premiums. You also need to show a medical record from your veterinarian to prove that the pet has received vaccines.
  3. Compare and contrast pet insurance companies. You will be surprised to see that there are lots of insurance companies out there that have very low premiums, but have wide coverage. There are also some companies online that may cater to your needs. You just have to make sure that the company can be trusted and can cover your needs whenever needed without delays.
  4. Check for promotions offered by certain companies. This is true especially for pet insurance companies that have just started. This might not always happen, but when you get the chance to find one, you have to grab the opportunity.

Just keep on searching for the right company to give you a hand for pet insurance. If you have found the right partner, you can already seal the deal. Aside from the cost, you should also consider their ability to provide great customer service and speed in processing your needs.

If you are still in doubt about pet insurance, then you can start by asking questions to certain companies. They will walk you through the entire details and help you make a good decision on whether or not you should take their offer. Find out more about the best pet insurance companies by clicking here.

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