Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Today's installment: Couponing and such
Time to check your coupon file. Dec. 31 is one of those major cutoff dates. So if you still have some high-value coupons, or some freebies hanging around, be sure to use them on this week's shopping trip.
Have any rebates sitting on your desk? Do they expire on Dec. 31? There's still time to get them in the mail. If you have any rewards from an office supply store or a credit card that are about to expire, it's time to go shopping.
Monday, December 27, 2010
If you use H&R Block At Home tax software, and got a copy of it in the mail recently, be sure to open it. You'll likely find a form for a $10 rebate if you buy the product from one of several retailers. (Don't ask me why they do this ...)
Anyway, here's where the fun begins. It happens that Target is one of the retailers. If you peruse the coupons on Target.com, you'll find one for $10 off any H&R Block software. (Which means it's good on everything except the basic version.)
But wait! There's more! If you buy it in the store this week, you get a $10 Target gift card at the checkout.
The downside: The deluxe version sells for $44.99.
But here's how the deal goes:
Buy the software at $44.99
Get $10 off with the coupon
Get a $10 gift card
Send in for the $10 rebate.
Total cost -- $14.99
The coupon is good till 1/19; the gift card deal runs through 1/1 (as far as I can tell.) The rebate is good for purchases through 4/15.
If you don't have Target, the rebate is good at several other retailers.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Today's installment: Christmas aftermath
I'm sure you've reclaimed all the bows, tissue paper and gift bags that can be reused. But while you're putting things away, take inventory: Will you need more paper? Have you run out of small gift bags? Are your tree lights about shot? This week is your best chance to get next year's supplies at half-price or better. (BTW, I've found that supermarkets are good places to go bargain hunting.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
While researching a med I was prescribed, I hit the drugmaker's site. Lo and behold, they offered a coupon that would bring my co-pay down to $15 (or knock $60 off the cost for a purchase without insurance ... yeah, it's expensive stuff, gah!)
Wasn't sure it would work, but I took it to the pharmacy ... and they had to jump through a couple of hoops, but in the end, it knocked $20 bucks off my co-pay.
I did a bit of checking, and it looks like other popular name-brand meds also offer coupons or rebates, too.
Now, to be honest, I'd rather see lower prices across the board for all meds -- not just deals for the Internet-savvy. But I honestly don't see that happening any time soon. So in the meantime, I'll try to save as much as I can...
Saturday, December 18, 2010
I decided to send back the first set of books ... had the feeling that I might just create more problems if I tried to deal for them.
Perhaps the new book will show up this week .. if not, DH will get an IOU wrapped in a box ...
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I used some of of the points from MyPoints to order a gift card. Then I found a book he wanted on PaperbackSwap. Two gifts down and no $$ spent.
Well .... I still haven't received the gift card (though to be fair, we still have another week). Then, there was a big glitch with my transaction on PaperbackSwap. The sender says she notified them that she'd shipped the book. They say she didn't and canceled her order. And without my knowledge (and certainly not my permission) my request bounced to another member, who's already mailed the book.
To make matters more interesting, the first book arrived in the mail. I'm supposed to refuse it and send it back.
So ... will the gift card arrive in time? Will the other book arrive in time, or will I try to make some sort of deal with the first swapper? Stay tuned.
Monday, December 13, 2010
We're in full Christmas craziness here at the Casa de Chaos. The tree is up .. sorta. Need to get out the cards. The shopping is almost done though. And if this snow sticks around, we'll certainly have a white Christmas.
I live in a city where there's no shortage of Christmas entertainment. Unfortunately, a lot of it is priced out of my budget these days. (I know professional musicians have to earn a living, but it doesn't mean I can afford to help out.)
Fortunately, there's also a number of free events to visit. We caught the holiday concerts of some of the area's community bands. And you know, holiday music sounds just as lovely in a school auditorium or a church sanctuary.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Anyway, I made the appointment online, which was certainly convenient. But today, I got a thank-you e-mail with this little surprise: Your next appointment is on Dec. XX, 2011 at 12:40 p.m.
I don't think so. Thanks for the helpful reminder, but call me in 2 years ...
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
2 Garnier moisture relief
1/2 gal Smart Balance milk (FAC)
Gain dish detergent (FAC)
Hungry Man dinner (FAC)
Coffee-mate creamer (FAC)
mac & cheese dinner
2 Toms of Maine toothpaste
Wrigley's 5 gum
2 sweet potato fries
Sunday, December 5, 2010
(and no, we won't discuss calories, fat, etc .. it's Christmas, LOL!)
Thursday, December 2, 2010
So I had a chat with a customer service representative. She gave me a price that was $10 more than I usually paid. When I pointed this out, she suggested I call the sales department, and gave me the phone number.
OK. So, I called, and got quoted a price that was slightly below what I'd been paying. And wait, there's more! He offered to knock another $5 off the price.
So I agreed. And this year, I came out slightly ahead. Of course, now I wonder if I should have bargained a bit harder ;)
(And in case you're wondering, I do know there are plenty of free anti-virus and firewall and malware-blockers out there, and they have plenty of fans. I used to use some of them too, until my computer got hit with viruses - twice. At that point, I decided you get what you pay for ... and paying for software was cheaper than paying my computer geek.)
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
We performed the annual dispatching of the pumpkins the other night.
I've never dispatched a pie pumpkin, but I am always amazed at the amount of water that has to be drained out of our porch pumpkins. I think the draining took longer than the cooking, LOL!
We boiled 1 1/2 pumpkins and roasted the other half. The tally: 9 1/4 cups of puree, and 10 cups of roasted.
Now, to find room in the freezer!
Monday, November 22, 2010
The result: $45.79
Here's the lineup:
Turkey (16 lb.) $20.48
Stuffing (14 oz.) $2.48
Pumpkin pie filling mix (30 oz. can) $2.72
Pie shell, 9 in. (2 per pkg.) $2.45
Sweet potatoes (3 lb.) $2.97
Rolls (12 oz./12 per pkg.) $2.12
Peas (16 oz. pkg.) $1.51
Relish tray (1 lb. mixed carrots, celery) $0.88
Whole milk (gal.) $2.83
Cranberries (fresh, 12 oz. pkg.) $2.32
Whipping cream (½ pint) $1.82
Misc. ingredients (AFBF estimate) $ $3.22
I can't resist. Let's see what happens when I shop the sales:
Turkey (16 lbs @ 57 cents a pound at Kroger). $9.12
Stuffing (2 5-6 oz boxes at Meijer) $1.98
2 Frozen pumpkin pies at Kroger (all right, I'm cheating) $5
Sweet potatoes (3 lbs @25 cents a pound at Meijer). 75 cents
Rolls (Marsh) 99 cents
Peas (12 oz at Kroger). 88 cents
Relish tray (at Aldi, celery, 79 cents; carrots 69 cents). $1.48
1% milk (1 gal at Costco). $1.79
Whipping cream (16 oz at Kroger). $1.99
Cranberries (12 oz at Meijer). $1.50
Misc. ingredients (I'll go with the bureau on this one) $3.22
Grand total: 28.70
Not bad, and I suspect a few coupons could knock the total down even more.
Obviously, your mileage may vary depending on where you shop and what kinds of foods have to be on your holiday table. But hey, that extra $17 can go toward your Black Friday shopping!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I was recently invited to a baby shower. Found a gift, then decided that .. eh, I have plenty of things in my gift-wrap stash .. no need to buy any paper.
You can guess where this is going, right? A couple of hours before the shower, I poked through my gift-wrap collection, and realized that 98% of my stash was Christmas wrappings. Oops! Actually, I had some lovely blue paper ... but the little one happened to be a girl.
I did find some appropriate paper at the bottom of the stash, but it was a bit creased and beat up. I tried the ironing trick, which helped, but not enough. Fortunately, some strategic ribbon placement hid the worst of the creasing.
Next was the gift tag, which actually wasn't a problem. A quick Internet search found several cute, printable tags. (I realized later that I probably could have printed out some wrapping paper, too.)
So, after an extra hour and much angst, I had a presentable gift.
Technically, I pulled it off. But really, I'm annoyed with myself for not checking my wrapping stash ahead of time. So I will be stopping by the dollar store to pick up some paper (or gift bags) in a nice neutral, solid color ...
Friday, November 12, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
2 Nivea lotions
1 Nivea body wash
Life cereal bar
candy corn (FAC)
Green Giant steamer (FAC)
Gain dish detergent (FAC)
2 Jergens lotions
Pompeii olive oil (FAC)
Garnier moisture lotion
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Removing the estimated 17 billion toilet paper tubes used in the U.S. annually could save 160 million tons of trash a year, according to Kimberly-Clark. The consumer products company promises the rolls fit on standard spindles and no glue means every square is usable
Does this mean that a whole generation of craft projects will go, er, down the drain?
See the story here:
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
If I had any doubts about spending the $$, they were dispelled the first time we used the machine. I'm embarrassed to say that this thing pulled a ton of dirt and pet hair out of the carpet. And is still pulling gunk out of the carpet.
Gosh, wonder why I have allergies, eh? ;)
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Unfortunately ... no chicken breasts. The shipment hadn't come in, the fellow at the meat counter said. (This is also becoming a pattern at this store ... grr.)
So, now what? I was trying to decide when I saw it: A 3lb package of ground turkey marked down to $2.79. Bingo! I grabbed 2 packages.
Those turkeyburgers were mighty tasty!
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Don't know if it's our odd schedules or poor planning, but finding a 5 or 8-hour block of time to let something cook is tough. So, when I find a good slow-cooker recipe, I've been known to adapt it to stovetop use.
My latest try is:
6 chicken thighs, skins removed (drumsticks work, too)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups salsa
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 cups water
1 cup sour cream
In a dutch oven, sweat onion with salt and pepper in vegetable oil. Add chicken and brown on both sides
Add salsa, water, curry powder, garlic and more salt and pepper to chicken. Stir, then cover and cook for 2 hours.
Take chicken out, put on serving platter. Add sour cream to sauce; serve over chicken. Serve with rice.
Notes: I used medium salsa and the 2 tablespoons of curry powder, and it had a pretty good kick. If you like less spice, use mild salsa and less curry. If you like it really spicy, go with the hot salsa and add as much curry as you can stand.
2 cups of water with this makes a lot of sauce. If you want less sauce, try 1 cup.
I added frozen peas to this for some extra veggie servings.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Seems that starting Dec. 1, stores in some areas of the country will be selling red celery, the brainchild of a Florida farm. (Actually, from the photos I've seen, it doesn't look all that red. More like a blush.)
Apparently it tastes and crunches the same. It also carrried a premium price.
If anyone sees this in their stores, I'd love to know what they're asking for this. I'm not sure I want color-coordinated celery badly enough to pay a premium for it ...
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Well, he waited, and waited. Finally, he gave up and paid full price (which isn't that bad ...)
You know what's coming, don't you?
Yep ... he got his hair cut in the morning. That afternoon, guess what arrived in the mail ... that's right ... &&*(!! coupons.
I haven't mentioned this yet ....
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I was there over the weekend ... and holy moley ... there sat four self-checkout stations!
The two employees manning them were being kept busy ... the stations are a bit, er, touchy. On the other hand, it was nice not to have to stand in a long line just to buy a bottle of vanilla extract ....
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
- If you have a flexible spending account, or health savings account, be aware that next year, such things as over-the-counter cold medicines or pain relievers no longer will be covered. But such things as bandages will be, apparently.
- Some health insurance plans offer 100% coverage for preventative care (physicals, mammograms, colonoscopies). Something I almost found out the hard way ... if there's any chance that something may be, oh, removed or fixed during said screening procedure, it no longer is 100% covered. So you could be liable for deductibles and co-pays. (And if you haven't reached your deductible, that could end up being a very large bill.) So adjust your coverage accordingly... just saying ...
Monday, October 4, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Friday, October 1, 2010
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
So, they had to order it. The vet assured me elder cat would be OK if she didn't get a dose for a day or two (I'm nervous about that ... I personally think this med is part of the reason she's been doing well.)
So, what's a nervous cat momma to do when the tube of medicine runs dry? The old frugal trick of cutting it open and scraping it out. (With the challenge of not gashing my finger on the edge of the metal tube.)
I've managed to get two half-doses out 2/3 of the tube .. one to go. And hopefully that med will arrive quickly.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Time to fill the freezer with chopped onions!
(I couldn't resist the 5lbs of potatoes for 99 cents either ... even if I still am working on another bag of potatoes. Baked potatoes anyone?)
Monday, September 20, 2010
Surprise! 16 pills of this med costs the same as 4 pills! Now I don't know whether to be glad that I'm saving $5.50 per month, or annoyed that I've already spent $20-plus more than I had to ...
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Found a pair that a I liked on JCPenney. com, which is offering free shipping on shoes right now.
To pay for them, I cashed in some credit-card rewards (in the form of a JCP gift card).
The card didn't quite cover the purchase price and tax, so I put the leftover $3.49 on a credit card (which I shall earn a 1 percent reward on -- a whole 3 cents ;)
But I also placed the order through Ebates, which is giving me a $1.50 rebate on the purchase.
So, total out-of-pocket cost will be $1.97. Not too shabby. Now I hope the shoes fit ....
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I suppose it's a sign of the times: instead of waiting for a phone call, we got the news (plus photos) via Facebook. (and he'll likely grow up visiting his grandma and great-grandma via webcam).
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
1 fish oil supplement
Nutrish dog food
Glade scented candle
1 Smart Balance milk (FAC)
3 Campbell's soups (FAC)
1 DiGiourno pizza
Wheaties Fuel (FAC)
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
The tomatoes are ripening nicely. I have lost about a half-dozen, though. They develop bad spots and turn bad while they're on the vine. In a couple of cases, it was obviously bugs, but in others, nothing.
The bell peppers are sort of kicking back in. A couple of the plants have tiny peppers; hopefully they'll get to a good size and ripen before the weather turns.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
One of the salvage stores had a new service: It now takes coupons. So I happened to have an internet-based coupon for a cereal I wanted to try. When I got to the counter, I handed it to the clerk and asked if the store took such coupons.
Apparently, she'd never seen an internet coupon before. She looked at it, then at me. Then she picked it up gingerly, like it was going to explode, and looked it over. Guess she finally decided it was OK, and took off the amount.
Learn something everyday, I guess.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
DH came home from a baseball tournament with lots of sample packages of sunflower seeds. (apparently they weren't too popular ... the workers were handing them out in bunches. ) Now I'm not much on sunflower seeds in the shell ... they make a heck of a mess. But I thought, 'Hey, I'll just find a way to shell all these suckers at once, and use them to make trail mix.'
I tried tapping the package with a hammer. It broke the shells all right. It also pulverized the seeds.
So, I've been shelling seeds by hand (a small pair of pliers works nicely). I think this is going to be the most labor-intensive trail mix ever made!
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Turns out it was an interactive channel that advertised cereal. Hit one button to play a game, another to get recipes and another to get a $1 coupon sent to you.
So, what the heck ....
Oops ... didn't work. Seems you need a phone hookup (which we don't have because don't use 'on-demand' services).
I'm not sure what to think about this ... then again, an infomercial that actually gives you something ...
Monday, August 9, 2010
When I picked up the cartridges, the clerk had bad news. The couldn't fill the black cartridge because it didn't fit in their refilling machine. (I find this kind of odd, since it fits in my printer.)
The color ink was filled, but it didn't pass their print test, so they didn't charge me. It might work in my printer, or might not, he said.
I do appreciate the honesty ... I'd hate to be charged and then find out the darn thing didn't work.
So now I have to try an experiment. I'll pop the cartridge into the printer. If it works, guess I just got a color cartridge for free. If not, well, time to look for another ink deal ....
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Hold on to your wallet: A string of bad weather conditions means we'll see higher prices at the grocery store.
According to AOL's Daily Finance:
Russia predicts that its record-breaking heat wave will slash its wheat crop by half, and has suspended wheat exports. That's sent wheat prices up 45% on the commodities market, and experts are predicting a 2% to 4% jump in the price of flour, pasta and bread.
And if wheat supplies fall, that raises demand -- and prices -- for corn and soybeans, experts say. The result could be higher prices for meats, since both corn and soybeans are used for animal feed.
Heavy rains and bad harvests in Columbia have pushed up the price of coffee. Kraft has boosted Maxwell House prices by 10%. Smuckers, which distributes Folgers, Dunkin' Donuts and Millstone, has raised prices 9%. That follows a 4% price hike in May.
The full story http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/higher-food-prices-russian-heatwave-wallet/19581230/
Thursday, August 5, 2010
We were running low on tissues. I had some decent coupons, but the sales just weren't there.
The other day, I was at Costco when I happened to see the price for a case of their brand of tissues. True, it was 30 boxes, but each box had more tissues than some of the name brands, and the per-box cost was right on my target price.
I put it in the cart.
Done and dusted ...
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Another good month, helped along by some good sale/coupon matchups.
Nivea body lotion
2 Dove shampoo/conditioner
Dawn detergent (FAC)
Cottonelle TP and wipe
Turkey snack stick
Skinny Cow (FAC)
Kraft mac & cheese
Eos shaving cream
L'Oreal shampoo/conditioner/hair treatment
3 Dentyne gum (2 FAC)
Cinnamon Crunch cereal
Purina dog food
First aid kit
Yoplait yogurt (FAC)
Head & shoulders
Speed stick (FAC)
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Bought a few things at CVS, and took my reusable bag and the green tag the clerk is supposed to scan. About the time she totaled the order, she realized that she forgot to scan the tag. "I'll just give you a dollar," she says, then calls back to the manager to get instructions. I thought she'd print out an ECB, but nope, she hands me a $1 bill.
Then I stopped to get a burger. Took a look at the receipt when I got home and realized I'd been given the senior discount. Eh??? Either they have a really low age for this discount, or I need to invest in hair dye ....
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
In some areas, Meijer has Oscar Meyer Turkey Bacon on sale 2 for $4. If you have any of the $1.50 coupons from Kraft First Taste or any of the $1 printables that were out there, you can get a package of bacon for $1 to 50 cents.
- Elder cat is doing pretty well, though we have to deal with various side issues. I never thought I'd have to learn to set up an IV bag, but you gotta do what you gotta do ...
- Youth baseball season is nearly over, which means DH is busy with tournaments.
- I'm continuing to study for an IT certification, though that's going more slowly than I like. I'm doing better on the practice tests, but I still have lots of good old-fashioned memorization work to do.
- I'm working on setting up an Etsy shop. New job worries on the horizon, so anything that could bring in extra income now ... or income later ... is a good thing.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Interesting. I guess it's now cheaper to buy/pay fees to administer the card than it is to cut a check. Given though how electronic payments are taking over, I wonder how long it will be before the rebate companies start requiring a PayPal account that they can send the $$ to ...
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
I hit what used to be the $10 cash-out point on a survey site and was ready to get my $$. Not so fast. The cash-out point is now 150 points higher.
Then I won a prize -- 30 points on the Coke rewards site. Enough, it said, for a free bottle of soda.
Wait a minute, I thought. A free bottle was 24 points.
A look at the site, and oops ... not now.
Guess I'll have to wait a little longer, and work a little harder to cash in my rewards, eh?
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
2 Dove shampoo/conditioner
1 Secret clinical
1 ProGlide razor
1 Coffeemate (FAC)
2 Dawn (FAC)
Roll of TP
Kraft 100 cal cheese bites
Oscar Meyer deli meat
Olay body wash
Kraft flavored mayos
Crystal light mix
Caress body wash
Three-Dog Bakery cookies
Purina cat food
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Fortunately, it wasn't too disruptive -- it was cool enough that we didn't need the AC, and I can light the gas stove's burners manually, so I was able to make lunch.
Halfway through the meal, DH remarked that, "It's so quiet."
He was right. It was quiet, and not because the TV or radio wasn't on. We were missing all those "house" noises that run in the background: the refrigerator humming, the "whump" of the sump pump, the dehumidifier cycling on and off, the occasional "beep" from the clocks or the phone.
Just quiet ...
It was kind of refreshing.
But I'm still happy the power came back on ...
Monday, June 28, 2010
She's now bugging me for food, which is a good sign. Unfortunately, she seems to think that she should get fresh food every time she asks ... the stuff she took a few bites of 15 minutes ago is no longer good enough.
Sorry, darlin' ... but at $36 a case, this won't cut it. Usually, I point to the dish and remind her that she hadn't finished her last portion. But when that doesn't work, I've resorted to a little trick. I take the dish, add a drop of water to the old food, and stir it a bit before putting it back. Sometimes I pop it in the microwave for a couple of seconds. (A vet suggested that to me ... warm food smells more appetizing, especially to older and ill cats.)
Kitty eats. She's happy. I'm happy.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Actually, the two subjects are somewhat connected. Those 90-degree days here have been followed by storms ... which tend to knock down trees and branches, creating firewood.
(Not to be flip .. I know said storms have done a great deal of damage in some areas ... fortunately, in our area, the tree damage is of the nuisance variety.)
When we first put in the fireplace, I was a little concerned that we wouldn't be able to find a low-cost (oh, all right, free) source of wood. But I've learned that if you look around, there's a fair amount of wood to be found in an urban/suburban area.
Sometimes it's a branch on the side of the road. (Looking for fun? Just try wrestling a big branch into a 4-door sedan.)
Sometimes it's a pile of cut wood next to the trash awaiting pickup. (When I went to the door to ask if I could take that wood, the homeowner looked at me like I was nuts. But he was OK with it ... probably wanted to get rid of the crazy lady, LOL!)
DH has also helped a couple of folks chop up their storm-felled trees in exchange for some of the wood ... which is how we got our latest supply.
And our own trees are good for producing kindling ... much too good, IMHO!
Sunday, June 20, 2010
I admit, I was a bit frosted, and grumbled to myself that I'd just have to take the item back next trip.
When I got home, I took another look at the receipt. Turns out I did get both freebies; the coupon in question was just posted a bit father down.
In addition, I was given the full price off the other product (it was on sale), putting me $1 ahead.
Ahem. I stand corrected. If anyone's looking for me, I'm the one with the bright red face.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
My elder cat, my 16-year-old sweetie, has slipped into kidney disease. We've spent a good deal of time this past week at the vet's office, or on the phone with the vet, and educating ourselves about what we're facing.
I've said in the past that should this kitty become seriously ill, I would hesitate to subject her to drastic treatment. I still feel that way. But as we looked at the options, we saw that we could manage this without drastic measures. So, as long as we can keep her comfortable with a good quality of life -- be it 3 weeks or 3 months or 3 years -- we'll do it. Fortunately, she's responding well to treatment. Also fortunately, our vet is on the same page with us.
Admittedly, this is darned expensive. But this is one reason I live frugally, so I can spend the money on things that matter. And I'm grateful that we can afford to do this.
If nothing else, this will certainly offer a new challenge in finding the best deals ;)
It's also going to force some lifestyle changes: administering daily meds and fluids kind of keeps us in one place. But we will cope.
So, we begin ....
Friday, June 4, 2010
Dove candy bar
2 Kitten Chow
1 McCormicks herb grinder (FAC)
2 Eucerin lotions
1 Suave shampoo
2 John Freida shampoo & conditioner
3 tomato plants
2 Pantene shampoo & conditioner
1 Dove deodorant
3 Wheat Thins
3 carmel vanilla latte mixes
Taco Bell Limeade sparkler
1 Kraft Cheesy Explosion mac & cheese
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Anyway, it mentioned that according to the McCormick Co., maker of spices, American households now have an average of 40 spices and seasonings in the pantry, compared to 10 in the 40s and 50s. (I am a little confused by this ... I thought people were eating out or doing takeout food. ;)
So I decided to take a spice count in my pantry. The total: 56! (and I didn't count a couple of bottles ... red pepper is red pepper, whether it be crushed or ground.)
No wonder it takes so darn long to find anything when I'm cooking!
Monday, May 31, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
But I digress. I'd really hoped to get an idea of just how much water we did or didn't save by doing dishes the old-fashioned way. Unfortunately, the water company wouldn't cooperate.
For three months, all we got were bills based on estimated usage. (I now suspect the utility has laid off all but one meter reader.) And to add insult to injury, the bills tend to be estimated on the high side.
Finally, we get a bill with an actual reading. Guess what? The balance was zero! In fact, they still owe us money!
But I don't know ... and will likely never know ... if we actually used a lot less water, or if the estimates are just too blasted high.
Sigh. At least the new dishwasher is supposed to be energy efficient.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
2) The towel was folded into thirds and the grommet was punched through the top, holding all three layers together. Not very practical.
I discovered that the binding could be removed, so I decided to do a little surgery. I pulled out the grommet and opened up the towel, then cut the binding off both ends. After that, I trimmed off the top with the grommet holes, and trimmed off the bottom part with the logo. (see bottom photo).
After that it was pretty simple to sew the binding back on both ends. Poof! One finished towel. (top photo) I also got a small washcloth size rag out of the cut pieces, which I'll use in the kitchen.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Want homegrown veggies, but don't want to do the work? Just hire your own personal farmer.
From the LA Times ..
On average, the companies charge between $900 and $2,000 to have a section of land dug up — or to build a raised bed — that's big enough to grow enough edible plants to feed a family of four.
The companies also offer personalized planting and harvesting services. For an additional weekly fee of $20 or more, a staff member will put in the plants, pluck the weeds, amend the soil, quash the bugs and fill a basket with ripened produce.
Now the story does talk to people who physically can't do garden work, but still want the garden-fresh veggies, so I really can't argue with that. But otherwise ... seems to me that you'd come out ahead buying veggies at the farmers market..
The full story: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/may/02/business/la-fi-farmers-for-hire-20100502/2
Friday, May 7, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
1 Kashi Heart-to-Heart
1 Green Giant Steamers (FAC)
1 Smart Balance sour cream (FAC)
5 Ritz snacks
4 Planters flavored almonds snacks
Head & Shoulders
Rachel Ray dog food
1 Philadelphia cream cheese mini
1 can MightyDog dog food
1 Vitamin Water
2 dish towels
1 box paper
1 coffee mug
1 accordion folder
Thursday, April 29, 2010
I had a feeling this was going to happen when I saw material marked down 75% ....
I'm sorry to see it. Admittedly, I wasn't their best customer, but I did occasionally get some reasonably priced material. (At least they still have notions.)
So now, if I want material, I have to go a couple of miles down the road to the last remaining fabric store on my side of town. Unfortunately, it's a small store, so if I want a larger selection, I'll be heading off to the next county ...
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Today's tip: Join the club
Members of warehouse clubs, such as Sam's Club, Costco and BJ's enjoy lower prices at the pump. (In my area, it's usually 5 to 6 cents a gallon cheaper)
Also, some gasoline retailers have loyalty programs. Every time you buy something, you earn points. Earn enough points and you can get gift cards, or a few cents off a gallon.
Speaking of clubs, do you belong to a motor club, a union or any other organization? Check their benefits. The motor club in my area occasionally offers gas cards at a discount
Sunday, April 25, 2010
So, I, and a big crowd of my co-workers showed up in the pouring rain (fortunately, we were under cover) for what turned out to be a big, free flea market.
My haul included a coffee mug, a small briefcase, several 3-ring binders, an accordion file, some shelving and a desk chair.
It's funny, but the day before, I was thinking that I should buy an accordion file to hold some of my receipts ... and darned if it wasn't the first thing I saw at the giveaway. The shelves will definitely come in handy, too.
I need to clean up a few things, but this turned out to be a good, if soggy, day!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
It's been a good week for thrift-store finds, and for recycling...
Stopped at the Goodwill Outlet to look for some items to use in crafts. If you're not familiar with the concept, well, it's a trip. Items are piled into long bins, with more bins brought out during the day -- quite an anticipated event. Clothing, housewares, glassware and toys are sold by the pound.
Anyway, during my hunt, I came upon a very nice denim shirt, sort of an unusual find. And considering I paid $1.75 for the shirt and 3 other items, it was a steal.
DH and I hit the regular Goodwill to check out the $1.99 sunglasses for him. While we were there, we found a very nice sports jacket. (definitely needed). It fit him perfectly, and cost $7.99. Oh, he got sunglasses, too.
My company has had a clean-up this week, and urging all the departments to join in. One of the highlights was a giveaway table, at which I snagged 2 dish towels. I'm not quite sure why or how those towels ended up in the office giveaway, but hey, I'll take em.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
From the Peoria Journal-Star:
Just in time for the start of grilling season, the already rising prices of meat are expected to jump even higher because of a shortage of market-ready livestock, local meat suppliers said.
Low meat prices last year are to blame for the current rise, because farmers who lost money raising animals cut down their number of livestock, Barth said.
Beef for the most part, is out of my budget anyway. Unfortunately, the price hike is affecting pork, too. Unfortunately, I suspect chicken will go up due to demand, too. Maybe it's a good think that it's garden time ... those veggies may come in handy.
Link to the full story: www.pjstar.com/business/x1030871755/Meat-prices-rising-in-time-for-grilling-season
Friday, April 16, 2010
To be honest, I didn't pick up the scissors so much to save $$ as to save time. It's been a tad busy around the casa de chaos, and a haircut kept getting pushed to the bottom of the list.
Besides, I have a straightforward hairstyle. I've watched the process for years. And I usually end up doing a bit of snipping anyway -- hair stylists don't always follow directions. But that childhood memory of cutting my own bangs ... the night before school picture day ... has always haunted me.
So I decided be conservative. I wet my hair, then got a long piece of masking tape and taped the hair to my neck at the spot where I wanted to cut. Then, very carefully, I cut along the tape line (no easy feat when you're looking in a mirror.) Used a bit more tape where I wanted to trim along the sides.
To be honest, I didn't get it perfectly straight in back. But my hair tends to curl under, so it's not obvious. I haven't quite gotten the layering the way I want it, but I'm working on that.
Over all, it looks OK. At least no one points and laughs when I go out in public.
Will I forgo the professional haircut? Eh, likely not. Any hairstylist can probably cut a straighter line than I can. But it's nice to know that I can do it in a pinch! (or is that a snip?)
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I have a gasoline company credit card that offers rebates. Truth is, I seldom use it to buy gas at that retailer.
Many gasoline retailers offer credit cards with a rebate program. The rebate percentages vary -- usually from 1% to 5%, depending on what you buy. (The highest rebates usually are on gas purchases.) Many also will offer incentives for signing up -- like 5 cents off a gallon when you use the card.
The rewards differ, too. Some send a gift card you can use at the pump, others credit your bill. The downside, some charge annual fees, so check the fine print before signing up. And it probably goes without saying, but pay off that card every month. Interest rates will eat up any rebates you earn.
Don't want to be tied to a particular retailer? Other cards, such as Discover and American Express offer rebates on gas purchases, too. Rewards tend to range from 3% to 5% on a gasoline purchase.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
The new refrigerator is due to be delivered this weekend, (Finally!) so it's time to clean off the outside. (Bet you thought I was talking about the inside, LOL!)
I never realized just how many magnets we have ... baseball team schedules, ads for stores that closed; restaurants that have gone out of business; radio stations that have changed formats a half-dozen times; banks we no longer do business with.
And I'm not sure why we have three Costco pharmacy magnets, and two more from Kroger
... or why I kept the cute little animals that are missing ears and tails because they've fallen off the door (and the cats have used them as hockey pucks ...)
Then of course, there are the coupons that expired last October... and the take-out menu that's hopelessly out of date.
Ah well, time for a fresh start!
BTW: The old fridge won't be going to the junk pile. We're donating it to an organization that doesn't mind having an aged fridge with a leaking freezer ....
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
1 DiGiorno pizza
1 Kashi heart-to-heart cereal
2 thermal mugs
1 box Ziplock bags (contest win)
1 set Ziplock containers (contest win)
1 hair glossing cream
Olay body wash
Burt's Bees toothpaste
2 Land O'Lakes butter spreads (FAC)
1 Dove bar
1 bottle Dawn (FAC)
2 Chex Mix (FAC)
South Beach bar
2 cans MightyDog dogfood
Monday, April 5, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Next time you head to the grocery store, look for the gas pumps. Seems like every grocery chain and megastore has them. Most of them tend to have prices a bit below the usual stand-alone station -- especially during their grand openings ;)
And to encourage your one-stop shopping, some offer money off if you buy certain products, or spend a predetermined amount. In my city, one grocery chain offers 10 cents off per gallon if :
You spend $100 in groceries in a month;
Buy $50 in gift cards;
Fill 2 prescriptions at their pharmacy.
Monday, March 29, 2010
If you can't use the coupon (or don't know someone who can), please check with your local animal shelter. If it runs a pet-food pantry, it could likely use a donation of a can or two. Or a small shelter might be happy to get the coupon/s.
I stopped by my city's shelter yesterday to drop off my cans. The donation box was darn near empty ...
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
We do it with groceries, appliances and other items. Why shouldn't we do it with gas? Unless you live in a very small town, you'll usually find some variations. Recently, the station nearest my house was selling unleaded for $2.81. But six blocks to the east, it was going for $2.76 a gallon.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
A shortage of tomatoes from weather-battered Florida is forcing restaurants and supermarkets to ration supplies amid soaring prices for America's most popular fresh vegetable.
Fresh tomatoes are in short supply because of the unusual spell of freezing tempertures that hugged Florida in January. The cold tempertures that dented citrus production also destroyed roughly 70% of the tomato crop in Florida.
Well, that explains those jaw-dropping prices in the produce section lately. Don't plan on fresh tomatoes for your sandwiches for a bit.
Sounds like a good excuse to used canned (which tend to be produced in California and the Midwest) .. or to eat seasonally.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Anyway, my point: When we pulled out the hoses, I realized I'd been tripped up by false economy. I'd bought inexpensive hoses last year ... it's not like we fight fires with them.
Anyway, they've been nothing but a source of aggravation. They kink up, they've both sprung leaks. (Nothing like a bath while you're watering plants!) One of them leaks at the faucet, as well. Sigh.
So, out they go. I'll look for quality this time, even if it costs more.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
We have a new addition to the casa de chaos. Lucy .. our own concrete porch goose. (BTW, that's not our Lucy in the photo ... but it is a fine example of a concrete goose. )
In case you're wondering why I've done such a thing ... well, we in the Midwest are a bit strange. We enjoy putting concrete ornaments on our porches and dressing them up. Google "concrete goose" sometime and you'll see what I mean.
Actually, I seem to be a bit behind the curve on this. It was tough to find an affordable goose. Now if I had wanted to dress up a concrete gnome or a dog, I could have had my pick.
The downside of this is that it can cost a small fortune to buy the little outfits. So in the interests of frugality, I decided to sew Lucy's wardrobe.
One problem: Goose clothing patterns are hard to find. Especially free patterns.
So I punted. I'd purchased a goose dress last year, so I crafted a pattern from that. I used an old T-shirt, and some edging and buttons from my stash to create a retro-style coat for Lucy. (and hey, it's washable!)
A hat ... well, I'm still working on that one.
In the meantime, I'm scouting for patterns that might be adapted for goose clothing. And I will buy some yellow vinyl, because a rain slicker is a must-have for every respectable goose, you know.
But in the meantime ... Lucy needs a new dress for Easter.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Anyway, even after the meds became more widely available, I stayed with this company because they had the best prices.
Last time around, though, I realized that this was changing: prices were definitely going up. So, time for another price check.
Bingo! Seems a certain warehouse club offers its own brand: 365 pills for $16 -- about the price I was paying for a 90-day supply of generics.
Whoops! Time to change.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Sunday, February 28, 2010
- My mother's Revere Ware still gets daily use, 60 years after she received it as a wedding present.
- My paternal grandmother's heavy aluminum pot still cooks vegetables and small portions of pasta.
- I never knew my maternal grandmother, but I use some of her enamel pans and a few of her bowls.
- Then there's the glassware that belonged to one aunt, and the dessert dishes that another aunt casually handed to me after I'd admired them.
- I never met my mother-in-law or my grandmother-in-law, but some of their meals are served at my table, courtesy of the recipe box my DH kept.
Every once in a while, I think it would be nice to just give everything away and start all over with a nice set of kitchenware. But I never get around to it, and now I know why -- I can't give up my family!
Note: In case anyone's asking, this is my personal book. No one gave it to me to review. And no one is compensating me for mentioning it.