Thursday, April 29, 2010

All gone

Stopped in at Wally World today, and, as I feared, they've taken out their fabric section.
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

Saving on gas: Part 5

One in a series of saving money at the gas pump.

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)

The downside is a $40-$80 membership fee for individuals. But if you drive a lot, or have other reasons to shop at a warehouse club, it may be worth the cost.

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

Lots more stuff

The company that I work for decided to declutter this week, and decided to have a big giveaway for the employees.

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

A profitable week

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

Dinner's going to cost more

Looks like meat prices are taking a hike ...

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:

Friday, April 16, 2010

Clip job

I entered what for me was scary frugal territory: I cut my own hair.

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

Saving on gas: Part 4

One in a series on saving on gasoline costs.

Today's tip: Get the card

I have a gasoline company credit card that offers rebates. Truth is, I seldom use it to buy gas at that retailer.
What do I use it for? Household stuff ... everything from groceries to hardware store purchases. So two or three times a year, I pile up enough rebates to get a gift card ... good for gas at that retailer, of course.

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

Garden report: Beginnings

Our warmer-than-usual temperatures make it very tempting to start the garden work ... on the other hand, we had frost last week.

So, right now, it's a bit of container gardening. I planted a couple of onions that had sprouted before we could use them. I also hope to get some basil and lettuce planted this week.

I also put the onions, the mint plant and the geranium out on the porch. If we get another cold spell, I can pull them back inside.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Memories ...

I've been on an archaeological dig today ...

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

March freebies

Not a bad month at all ...
2 Pampers
Purex 3-in-1
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
Post-it tabs
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

Opening day

For all you baseball fans out there: Happy Opening Day!

And since we're not done with college basketball yet ....
Go Butler Bulldogs!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Go Bulldogs!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog to root on my favorite team in the NCAA Final Four!

Go Butler Bulldogs!