The Coupon Mom’s secrets to finding hidden cash in your home

Indy Style

Stephanie Nelson, founder of the 7 million member CouponMom.com website, wants to share a few of her favorite secrets for finding cash while getting rid of unwanted items around the house

Kill two birds with one stone by clearing out the clutter in your home, and find ways to convert it into cash to use toward your summer vacation or other fun splurge. Most people are not aware of the many ways you can cash in on your unused household items. For example:

1. Find Money Stashed in your house:

The average U.S. household contains $90 in loose coinage. Check under couch cushions, in desk and junk drawers, under car seats, car glove compartment or armrest, pockets of coats and pants. Once you’ve collected your treasure, you can either spend it as is or convert it into cash. Many banks will still give you empty coin rolls that you can fill and redeem for free, or you can use those green Coinstar machines. Note that the machine charges a fee up to 10.9 percent. If you redeem your change at a Coinstar machine in exchange for a retailer gift certificate instead of cash, they do not charge the fee. One year we gathered up our family’s loose change and got a $200 Amazon Gift Certificate to use for holiday shopping.

2. Cash in clothes you don’t wear

What about going through your closet for all of those great buys that you have never worn? The holiday sweater from Aunt Sally, or the designer jeans that were on sale but never fit, that are taking up space. Go to Ebay and make some money on these unused or gently used items, take them to a consignment store or to www.thredup.com to sell your clothes.

3. Sell your CDs

The music industry has embraced digital, and now, so should you! Back up music on your computer and sell your old CDs. iPodMeister.com buys back your CDs and records for cash. On average, they buy your CDs for $0.25 to $2.50 per CD, depending on the titles in the collection. Jazz, Blues, Classical, Opera, Classic Rock from the late 1960′s to the late 1970′s and Reggae tend to command the highest prices.

4. Sell your Gift Cards

If you have gift cards you aren’t going to use, exchange sites will pay you a percentage of the value in cash. Be sure to check with your kids to see how many unused gift cards they have. Many of the most popular cards will net you more than 90% of what they’re worth. www.cardpool.com

5. Frequent Flyer Mile and Credit Card Rebate Points

Take inventory of credit card rebate points and frequent traveler miles–you may not have enough to earn a free airline ticket, but you can probably cash in lower values for merchandise like event tickets, restaurant and retailer gift cards, magazine subscriptions, sending flowers, online shopping, merchandise (I got a vacuum cleaner)

–Example: Use 3,600 miles to send a bouquet of flowers via FTD, or 1,000 miles to get an annual magazine subscription as compared to 50,000 miles to buy a round trip airline ticket

6. Sell Used Books

BookScouter.com is one of many sites dedicated to reselling used books. BookScouter helps you sell your books for the highest price. They compare prices from 60 book-buying websites so you can quickly and easily find who is paying the most for your books. You can also find a local used bookstore and exchange your books for credits to get free books.

7. Sell Used Electronics

If you have upgraded an electronic gadget, selling your gently used tech item is a great way to clear up some space in your house. Check out Gazelle.com, where you buy and sell used gadgets online. If your gadget qualifies for purchase, you can be paid in cash or get a 5% bonus by getting paid in the form of an Amazon gift certificate.

For more great tips, check out her website at CouponMom.com

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