B.O.S.S. (Beading on Social Security)

Introducing my new BOSS

Social Security!!

Who would have thought you could still get “reviews” and “raises” once you have retired.  Several months ago the Social Security office informed me they had REVIEWED my work record and I qualified for more money. They also gave me a cost of living RAISE the first of this year. Yippee!! Yay!!  Always nice to have a few extra pennies.  

Living on a fixed income means learning to make do with less, a LOT less.  I am in the sophomore year of this “learning” period and thus far have been quite happy with retirement life.  So happy, that if I had a paint-by-the-numbers canvas of life, most of my numbers would be cheery yellow and only a few would be down in the dumps blue. 

My goal each day is to “make” something.  That something could be as simple as … making the bed or making dinner.  The main thing is to remain active.  So I am up and about and doing some things I love. Like making pretty crafty things.



I have compiled some tips on recycling, sorting through junk mail, clipping coupons, making returns, locating craft resources and bargain hunting. 


  • Tic Tac containers are perfect for small items such as seed beads.
  • Crystal Light plastic containers will store and organize small items such as beads.
  • Prescription plastic containers also are perfect for storing seed beads. Ask for easy off lids.
  • Before tossing clothing, remove buttons and zippers. Will be handy for crafting.
  • Junk mail/magazines. Before tossing, look for craft design ideas such as pictures of jewelry you would like to make. Cut out pictures and put in an envelope. Next time you need an idea, pull them out.  
  • Paper towel tubing: Save and use as packing material.  Lightweight, won’t add to shipping cost. Perfect for cushioning.
  • Plastic containers from fast food restaurants make great storage containers. Those small 5″ clear round plastic ones used for potato salad, cole slaw are excellent. Some have lids. I use them a lot when beading to keep colors sorted and organized.  I have even asked the manager for them and received them free!!
  • Bead Soup: Don’t toss those imperfect, misshapen beads. Put them in a container and save for the next time you are making something that calls for “bead chips”.

Bargain Hunting

  • Clip coupons. Look for coupons from the stores you frequent most. Sign up for on-line flyers or get on their mailing list. Some stores make flyers/coupons available in the store. Check often.  Buy with a coupon when you can.
  • Dollar Stores are great places to find bargains. I buy white wrapping paper, 50 sheets for one dollar. I usually buy 20 packages at a time and they last all year.
  • When buying beads on-line, buy in the largest quantity you can afford. No sense paying for repeat shipping. 
  • Before going to your favorite craft stores, check their website for Sale of the Month deals. Depending on the savings, you may want to consider purchasing something sooner than later.
  • Take craft classes when your funds permit. Usually a discount coupon is given for future purchases. If you know you will need to buy a large quantity of supplies for a special project or the holidays, sometimes a $35-45 class fee will get you a 50% off coupon to be applied to most store items.  A huge savings!! 

Beading Resources

Buying craft books and magazines is great if you have spare money sitting around.  However, there are many resources available free.  I use Metacrawler, a search engine,  to search for just about anything and it amazes me how successful I have been at finding whatever I am looking for. 

Another source for adding to your craft resource library is your craft store. Ask for old, out of date magazines. Magazines have a “remove by” date and some stores may let you have them free. I have received a few just by asking.

You also can swap craft books with your buddies. And then there is your local library. 


I am a firm believer that if you haven’t used something within 3-6 months, then you probably won’t. I keep all of my receipts sorted by place of purchase.  My returns or exchanges are quick and easy. 

You can return items even if you have had them longer than the date mentioned on the receipt. The store will usually give you a store credit.

I have even returned opened items I have been unhappy with or didn’t like how it looked when made up. I simply put the pieces in a plastic bag and presented them with my receipt.  It is best to leave the item in the original packaging until you are ready to use it, but this is not always necessary when requesting a refund.


I would love to hear some of your favorite craft tips. Please add your comments. Thanks for stopping by.


2 comments on “B.O.S.S. (Beading on Social Security)

  1. Hi Don-Mae! You are the Boss indeed. It looks like you’re becoming a recycle queen. We need to all get together and go on a flea market/garage sale/estate sale/tag sale trip, preferably someplace warm right now.

  2. Belinda says:

    Donna, you have some great tips! 🙂

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