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Posts Tagged ‘budgeting’

Competing on a Budget: Unique Fundraising Ideas for Cheerleading Squads

Posted by Kimberly on November 6, 2007

It’s competition time again!  The season cheerleaders and cheer coaches wait and work for all year long. 

Having been a cheerleading coach in the past, I know just how time consuming fundraising for these events can be.   And it seems that with each year, the fundraising tasks become more tedious.  Parents, coaches and squad members alike get tired of selling the same items, having the same car washes, soliciting the same businesses for donations; the list can go on and on.

When I was coaching, I was always looking for unique ideas; fundraisers that appealed to parents and members alike.   During my never ending search, I developed several fundraising ideas that I’m sure can help some weary group of parents out there.

Since my competing squad (I was also coaching two little league and a middle school squad) was a group of all stars from various local school squads, these ideas were geared toward the individual costs of getting to competition.  However, these ideas can be easily adjusted to fit a group that fundraises as a whole.

Hotel Accommodations:  I found that our hotel accommodations for one or two days where we were competing was our largest expense.   Often, even with discounted package deals from the event hosts, the cost could easily run $250 to $300 for two days.

In an effort to cut these costs, I encouraged my squad members’ parents to work year long toward “saving” for this particular expense.  I began by providing information to them on how to open a HHonors account.   In addition, I also provided information on how to earn HHonors points by registering with and participating in programs such as MyPoints and eRewards.  These sites are free to register and you can actually earn points to redeem toward Hilton Honors pointswithout spending a dime!  (If you decide to register, please use my email address, kimberly.cantrell@gmail.com, as your referral.  Thank you!)

Parents and squad members alike can participate in these programs and save their points to apply toward their hotel accommodations.  Now, bear in mind, that using this method will require each squad member and their parent to be responsible for making their own reservations.  In addition, it is likely that not everyone will be in adjacent rooms; or even the same hallway.  But, those few minor inconveniences aside, it’s a great way for saving the costs of overnight stays.

Another way to this to establish an account for the squad.  Since HHonorsallows participants to transfer points, fundraising organizers can set a date for all members to transfer their points to the squad account.  Then it is possible for one person to book the hotel accommodations, rather than relying on parents to do this.

Many other Hotel chains such as Best Western and Days Inn offer programs similar to the Hilton Honors points program.  You may wish to check with their programs (be sure to read the fine print to ensure that everyone can qualify).

You may wish to include a list of other ways to earn these points which can be found by reading The Definitive “How To Earn Hilton HHonors Points” threadat Flyertalk forums.

Food:  After the entry fees are paid and the hotel accommodations are booked, the next biggest expense one will find is that associated with food. 

A great way to earn fast food (and even casual dining) gift cards is to participate in RewardTV.  After all, who doesn’t watch television, right?  Simply register then take quizzes on the television shows you watch the previous evening and earn points (hint:  watch the commercials to accumulate more points).  For as little as 150,000 points (most games can earn you at least 1000 points), you can purchase $5.00 gift cards for places such as McDonalds, Burger King, Subway and more.   Five bucks may not sound like much at face value, but add them together and you can easily eat for free the whole weekend!

And here is an interesting side note that’s worth remembering.  If you didn’t have time to watch television the night before, just visit the Rewards & Points Programs section of BigBigForums.com.  Many members share the correct answers to quizzes they’ve already taken! 

An additional way to save money on food expenses, while not a “do it for free” method, is to search for gift cards at places such as Certificate Swap or Gift Card Buy Back.   These places offer gift cards at a fraction of the face value of the card.  For example, a $10.00 McDonald’s Arch card may only cost you $6.00; meaning you basically get $4.00 worth of free food.  

Gas Expense:  If your squad will be traveling by car, you can use the methods listed for acquiring food cards to obtain gas cards as well.   

These ideas may seem a little “off the wall” to use as a means of fundraising, but they can and do work; thus, making them truly unique.    There’s so many ways to earn money online for your squad if you just put it to work for you.  In addition to trying the methods mention here, keep in mind other ways such as using a squad blog as an avenue to advertise and ask for donations (make sure your content is worthy of donations) or using your squad’s website as a means to earn money by way of Affiliate Marketing (visit Self Starters Weekly Tips for AWESOME information on affiliate marketing).

Once you try these methods, you’ll be spoiled!  And back-breaking car washes and bake sales will be a thing of the past!

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Ordinary to Extraordinary: Ten Trash to Treasure Crafts That Will Sell (Reprint)

Posted by Kimberly on October 31, 2007

By Keith Londrie II

When it comes to crafts, do you tend to gravitate toward the unique, the different, and the most eye-catching?

Making crafts is not only a fun and creative endeavor; it can also be quite lucrative. If you’re interested in making and selling crafts, but are worried about production costs, worry no more. Here are ten trash to treasure crafts that are not too costly to produce, and that are sure to sell.

Use old greeting cards to make charming keepsake boxes. Everyone has access to greeting cards, and even if you decide to buy new greeting cards for this project, the expense is minimal. Choose two greeting cards with designs that complement each other nicely. For instance, two greeting cards with flower designs would work well together. Cut one greeting card in half at the fold. Use the part of the card with the design on it to make the box. Use a ruler to make sure your folds are equal lengths. Fold up the sides of the card to form it into a box, and glue the walls into place. Use the second greeting card to form a lid for the greeting card box.

Make a “vignette lantern” using old glass jars. This craft works especially well if you design your lanterns around seasonal or holiday themes. Using old glass jelly or mason jars, create a “scene” inside the jar. For instance, if you want to sell your craft around the Christmas holiday season, create a holiday scene inside the jar with Christmas trees, lights, a Santa, etc.

Create a cool CD clock! This project is very eye-catching and easy to do. Most everyone has old CDs that they have no use for. Why not convert them into working clocks that you can sell? Find an old CD you no longer need and paint it. Use markers and paint to create an original design. Write the clock numbers around the sides of the CD. Use a regular clock as a guide for spacing your numbers. Use the clock works on an old clock and, using a large washer (available at hardware stores), attach the clock works to the back of the CD.

Create an eye-catching fork wind chime. Using a hammer, flatten down the prongs on three or four old forks. Bang the tips so they straighten all the way. Attach the forks to either a piece of wire or strong string. You can drill holes on the handles of the fork and attach them securely to the piece of wire. Attach the wire and forks to another structure. This can be whatever you want’you can fashion another piece of wire into an attractive design and attach the forks to it. The forks will create lovely music in the wind!

Make colorful ornaments out of old light bulbs. Using acrylic paints, design colorful designs on a burnt out light bulb. You can also use a hot glue gun to attach fabric or other accessories to the light bulb. Popular motifs you can try are Santa Claus, Reindeer, or Angel designs. After you’re done decorating your light bulb ornament, use your hot glue gun to attach a loop to the top of your ornament for hanging.

Sell handmade pine cone bird feeders. Not only is this project easy and inexpensive to do, but another perk is that it allows you to clean up your yard! Cut pieces of twine or yarn and wrap them around each pine cone so that you will be able to hang the pine cone securely. Mix part butter and part peanut butter in a bowl and smear it all over a pine cone. Then pour bird seed into a dish and roll the pine cone in the bird seed until it is covered. Place the pine cone in the freezer until it is set (usually takes about an hour). Now it is ready to hang.

Create fun yard art from thrift shop treasures. This project allows you to really stretch your imagination to create wonderful yard art creations. Search out thrift shops to find old chairs, tables, baker’s racks just about anythingto create planters and yard decorations. With a new coat of paint and a little imagination, you’ll be able to create one of a kind yard art.

Make fun rag dolls out of old jeans. You can fashion dolls out of old blue jeans. Use old soft sweaters to make clothes for the doll, yarn for the hair, and hot glue buttons for the eyes. You can make a whole series of these dolls and sell them at crafts fairs.

Create beautiful folk art aluminum flowers. Find unusual aluminum beer or soda bottles. With a pair of utility scissors, cut the soda cans open. Cut out a rectangular piece of aluminum and smoothen it down. Use a marker to draw a flower design on the piece of aluminum. Cut out your flower, using steel wool to soften out any rough, jagged spots. Use an awl to curl petal edges, and punch out holes if your design calls for it. Attach a metal rod to your aluminum flower to act as a stem. You can create a lovely bouquet, if you wish!

Make and sell truly unique art mailboxes. You can purchase used metal mailboxes very inexpensively at thrift stores, and then decorate them to make a profit. You can also personalize these mailboxes for your clients!

About the Author:  Keith Londrie II is the Webmaster of http://acraftfairgoldmine.coffee-info.info A website that specializes in providing information on a craft fair gold mine that you can research on the internet.(reprinted from http://www.article-outlet.com)

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No Tricks, Just Treats Halloween Sale on Korker Ribbon Theme Lots!

Posted by Kimberly on October 30, 2007

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!


Beginning Tuesday, October 30, 2007 through Wednesday, October 31, 2007, The Ribbon Shoppe is holding a “No Tricks, Just Treats” Halloween sale!!!  Save 25% on all korker ribbon theme lots including Collegiate, M2M Gymboree, Holiday, and Original theme lots!

And…..bloggers can save even more by receiving free shipping when using discount coupon code FREESHIP50 on orders totaling $50 or more!

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