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Coke Rewards, Pepsi Points, Musselman's, and Stauffer's

September 4th, 2013 at 09:26 am

Today I signed up at both mycokerewards.com and points.pepsi.com. I keep seeing people talk about the Coke rewards over at Fatwallet.com. I've always found that site a good guide to what's worthwhile pursuing, so I thought I'd give it a try. The Pepsi one I'd never actually heard of, but I like Pepsi One and thought I'd see if they had some kind of rewards program.

What I think is odd, is that Coke actually rewards you for buying their products, and Pepsi only rewards you for looking at their websites and such. Frankly, we've been bigger Pepsi than Coke drinkers over the years, and I'm kind of annoyed at how their rewards are set up. They basically don't seem to care how much Pepsi I buy, they just want me to waste time on their website and Facebook page. I have to say, it really makes me inclined to buy Fresca more often!

We buy Musselman's applesauce anyway, and I recently stumbled upon an offer where you save UPCs for a $10 gift card. http://musselmans.com/news/optionsGiftCard.aspx

My mother loves Stauffer's gingersnaps, and I buy them sometimes, too, so I was glad to find their rewards program. http://www.stauffers.com/free-stuff You can get coupons, a t-shirt, gift cards, etc., for saving UPCs.

Today's money-saving activities

September 2nd, 2013 at 06:28 am

Downloaded songs from Freegal.
Downloaded the Amazon Local app, but then couldn't do Audible.com $10 deal I'd read about because it's only for new customers.
Loaded new Shoprite ecoupons onto my Price Plus card.
Printed out coupons from All You magazine's website, Kimberly-Clark (at pickupthevalues.com), and pillsbury.com.
Printed out a hair salon coupon from the Citi Easy Deals credit card reward program, and also bought a Restaurant.com gift card at 90% off there.
Made a big pot of mashed potatoes to use up some potatoes. Some are in the fridge for tomorrow, some are frozen for later.
Used up some eggs by hard-boiling a couple, and using one in corn muffins, which I froze.
We are using up a slightly-outdated can of La Choy chow mein for tonight's dinner. I always keep one on hand for emergencies, and then forget about it. I only thought of it today because of this recent news story:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3060032/posts

Happy May Day :)

May 1st, 2012 at 04:07 pm

I'd like to join in the 5-5-5 fitness thing. DH and I will be taking a walk right after I finish here. My fives are:

1) Walking
2) Gardening
3) Stretching (Angela Lansbury tape)
4) Leslie Sansone DVDs
5) Cleaning (I'm so out of shape that cleaning the bathroom feels like exercise!)

Some nice little money treats yesterday and today. Our latest natural gas bill is only $10 for some reason. Our normal balancing month for the equal payment plan is September, but I guess we used less over the winter than they expected, and/or natural gas prices must have come down. I also got the chance to do surveys on my latest receipts from Dunkin Donuts and Chick Fil A. We're now entitled to a free donut and a free chicken sandwich.



Buying books the Insiders Club way

September 5th, 2009 at 01:16 pm

I've had the urge to buy books lately--part of putting my life back together and feeling normal after several strange years, I think. I'm starting to buy books that have been on my Amazon wish list for years, books I used to own but sold to raise cash, books that my local libraries don't have that I don't want to inter-library loan.

It's easy enough to put together a $25 order of new books from Amazon or Barnes and Noble, which qualifies for free shipping. But what about out-of-print books, or ones that are just a lot cheaper used? With shipping about $4 a pop, even 1 cent books can start to add up. This is where I'm finding it's worthwhile to keep my membership in the Insiders Club, aka freeshipping.com. (About $9 a month.) I know people have mentioned them here before, but not specifically in reference to books, so I thought I'd report how it's working out.

There's a limit on how much shipping they will reimburse per order. I think it's $10. So I've been ordering in batches of two books, to get a reimbursement of about $8 each time. There are quite a few online bookstores participating, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ABE, Alibris, Half.com and more. There's also a limit on how many rebates per store you can do in a year, so I'm trying to spread my business around.

Sometimes, although I've ordered two books at once, a store will split it up into two orders. But so long as I add a note about what happened, there's been no problem getting my rebate. (Yes, they really do reliably send out the checks, as long as you remember to send in your paperwork after starting the submission online.)

If you find yourself shopping online a lot, it really is worthwhile if you can get in on an offer to join. (I got the offer at the end of a Woman Within order.)

Stockpiling to save time, not necessarily money

March 28th, 2009 at 06:53 pm

All of a sudden, I'm finding myself buying in bulk, in a big way. I'd love to have a year's supply of whatever is practical. Two things spurred me to do this--

1) My mother casually mentioned how her friend buys blueberries in season and freezes a whole year's supply. It reminded me of how I like to buy a big carton of red-skinned sweet potatoes in the fall, and eat them all year. It's nice to know they're there, and that I don't have to run up to the farm market every few weeks. And I don't have to think about them every time I make a shopping list.

2) I had another scare this past week with my mother--nothing serious, but something that's going to take extra time again, taking her to doctors and such. Something is always coming up. I just can't devote that much time to grocery shopping. Many weeks I only have a few hours to myself, and I'll be darned if I'm going to spend them all looking at circulars, sorting coupons and running to sales.

So I'm starting to think big. So far, I've ordered some stuff on Amazon and joined BJ's Warehouse (like Sam's or Costco, but a smaller chain). I'm going ahead and spending like crazy, but at least I'm using my price book. My goals is to get stocked up as much as possible while on a vacation week, and then try to relax and enjoy my spring and summer as much as possible. It's throwing any concept of a weekly grocery budget out the window, but I think it'll be worth it.


Loosening up the purse strings

December 7th, 2008 at 10:26 am

I might have loosened them a little less if I hadn't made a mistake in Quicken. (For awhile, I thought I had about $500 more available than I actually did!) Grand total was $615. It's a lot to spend the first month of working full-time, but I thought about each purchase and don't regret any of them. I shopped sales and used coupons. Some of the clothes were almost Goodwill-level prices.

New (to us) TV through Craigslist $200
New throws for living room chairs $20
2 prs winter pajamas $38
4 tubes Revlon lipstick $12
Sneakers, one pr black and one pr white, $62
Bra $24
Nylon knee-hi's for work $22
2 velour track suits $72
6 long sleeve tees $22.50
1 sparkly henley tee $7.50
Black stretch corduroy jeans $15
Navy polyester slacks $15
Route 66 DVD set $37
Black leather purse $34
6 cloth napkins $7
2 computer books for reference at work $10
2 battery lanterns for when power is out $17

My body is changing, due to lots of walking, and I'm now wearing a 16W on the bottom. A lot of my older pants are baggy 20W's. The vinyl purse I bought last year is crazing and not repairable. We gave our lantern to my mother when her power was out, and decided we actually needed two at our house. The napkins I really didn't need, although they may help us cut down on the use of paper napkins. It was either spend the $7 on the napkins and get free shipping, or pay for shipping and get nothing else.

I need more decent casual clothes for running errands, in order to reserve work outfits for work. If I take my mother to a doctor, lawyer or stockbroker or we go out to lunch, I don't want to look like too much of a schlub. My old jeans are not only baggy but getting faded at the knees. That's where the track suits, tees and sneakers came in.

The "new" tv is digital, so it gives us a whole new range of channels on cable that we couldn't get on the old one, for no extra monthly fee to Comcast. It's a larger screen. It's a model that we like, but it's been discontinued, so we wanted to grab it when we could find it. And the picture on the old one kept shrinking every so often.

The new throws replace old ones which have numerous holes, pulls, and stains. The extra PJs are to help stretch out how often I have to do laundry.

I know the spending has to slow down. Next year, my ceiling for discretionary spending like this is the $40 a week being direct deposited into Electric Orange checking. But for now, it feels really good to be catching up on things and ridding my life of some shabbiness. Next project--bathroom towels. Smile

Something I learned on Sears.com

November 29th, 2008 at 05:33 pm

Did you know they carry items like Keebler snack crackers, paper doilies and printer paper?

If you need some small filler items to make your order eligible for free shipping or to use a coupon, try Breakroom Supplies in their search box. You'll find all sorts of things like single boxes of tissues, air freshener, bags of mints or Nips candies, and so forth. They also carry small office supplies, like boxes of paper clips.

You'd be hard pressed to find this stuff using their category titles--it's all deep within the Electronics and Computers category.

McDonald's-my best investment this week

October 8th, 2008 at 05:11 am

No, not McDonald's stock--coupons.

DMom and I sometimes go to McD's for coffee because it's cheaper than some places and we like it just as well. Yesterday there was a sign on the door about Halloween coupons books, so I asked about them.

For $1, you get a coupon folder with 12 coupons for free items. In other words, for $1 you get coupons for about $10 worth of food. Can't beat that with a stick.

I suppose they're meant for kids--they have Ronald McDonald on them, and they're for small items--hamburgers, cones, juice, milk, and apple dippers. They expire 12/31.

I bought two. They are just the kind of things DMom and I might want to snack on with our coffee. Or that would hold off the hunger pangs if I'm out on errands a long time.

Somehow this lifts my spirits more than hearing that the Fed has lowered interest rates. Wink

Update on DH leaving job

September 14th, 2007 at 08:04 am

Thanks for all the support and the "fightin' words." I'm more relaxed about it at this point, but I do have to remember not to make things too easy for him.

Actually, we've both done this before (left jobs without having another one yet), and I completely understand why he feels the need to leave this one. At least he's given plenty of notice and is trying to stay on his immediate supervisor's good side, so he can use her as a reference.

I can even understand why he went ahead and did it without telling me first--he knew I'd probably freak and try to talk him out of it. (I've gotten this way with my mother, who seems to fear all change and decision-making, in my life as well as hers. I just don't tell her things anymore, til they're a done deal.)

What I really can't take is being yelled at like I'm the enemy!

DH is burning off some of his stress with physical activity now, like taking walks and doing yard projects so he's a bit less irritable. I've been bargain- and freebie-hunting like crazy the past week or so, like I used to do when we were in debt. I did go clothes shopping and got enough to keep me happy--but it was mostly at Goodwill and a huge sale at Sears where I got a bunch of tops for an average of about $4.

I just read that it's taking about 4 months for people to find a job at the moment, so I'm trying to stockpile 4 months worth of grocery and household stuff when I see a really good sale. So far, we have enough bath soap and Kotex for the duration. Wink

Still put-putting along

April 16th, 2007 at 11:37 am

Sorry about the new colors--I was going for Springy, but it's hard to tell what a color will look like from those little squares!

Last night and again this morning, I took the time to sign up for some freebies, and signed up for some good ones. Purina One (again!), Good Life Recipe pet food, a free book on Windows Vista, and a CD-ROM of computer games from AARP.

I've been trying to do advance food prep more often, like hard-boiling eggs and cutting up veggies. Hopefully it will help with eating healthier as well as cutting down on food waste. So far so good--I've put it into some task scheduling software I got recently, and it does seem to be helping.

Another task I put in was checking my Yahoo mail. It's where I get all my paid emails from MyPoints and Inbox Dollars. When I get busy with other things, I can go a whole month without dealing with those emails, and then the offers expire. I don't want to be checking all the time, but I do hate missing out on those points.

Second Successful Sunday

February 4th, 2007 at 05:31 pm

For the 2nd Sunday in a row, I managed to have noplace I needed to go, which means a full day to putter around the house getting ready for the week. Smile

I've done some cooking, which has made me feel a bit warmer, even if it's just psychological. Made beef stew, pumpkin bread, and then Yummy lured me into making some yellow split pea soup. None of this is exactly diet fare, but I'm trying to use up what I have around the house.

Also exercised, did a lot of laundry, and ran the dishwasher twice.

It's really helped to make my shopping list on Friday mornings, based on what we actually need. When Saturday morning comes, I just head out the door and start my errands. If I spent time going through the newest coupons and circulars first, I'd get out much later. And if I tried to take advantage of sales at too many stores, the errands would run over into Sunday. I like it this way much better!

Darned if I do, darned if I don't

February 1st, 2007 at 12:57 pm

Any tax preparers out there?

I'm working a split day today, and since a few more tax statements came in, I decided to start working on the taxes in earnest. I got so far as to go through the "review" feature in TaxAct, where they give you warnings about things you might have left out or done wrong.

"Please note that the IRS has implemented new review procedures for returns reporting more than $400 in other income. The review process may slow the processing of your return." They recommended making sure the income shouldn't fall under business income, and isn't subject to the Self Employment tax.

Naturally, my mind jumps ahead to "more likely to be audited" as well. So I moved my Election Board income onto Schedule C, figuring I could be called an Independent Contractor like DH was when he delivered newspapers some years back. (And doing it this way will be costing us an additional $79 in Self Employment tax.)

But that still leaves about $562 in other income from doing surveys, test drives and trial offers. I don't want to leave it off, because I wouldn't be able to sleep nights worrying that we'd get in trouble over it later. (My fear of the IRS is right up there with public speaking and death!) But if I report it, I'm liable to have trouble anyway because it's over $400. And I honestly don't see where else it could be reported but "other income."

It really reinforces the feeling I have right now, that I want to go to work, get my grocery shopping done with the least fuss, and live my life--instead of looking for deals all the time. The aggravation at tax time is one of the things that make it more trouble than it's worth.

Turned 50, have meal moths

January 5th, 2007 at 06:01 am

The good new is--I went straight over to Commerce to switch our account to the 50+ Club. Free checks, free or reduced fees on some misc. services, and interest checking that's currently paying 1/10 of 1%. (Not kidding!) Also, your safe deposit box is supposed to be free the first year and then 1/2 price thereafter. A nice little perk for getting old. Wink

The bad news is, we seem to have meal moths in our pantry closet. They must have come in with something new, because I've had a stockpile of grain products going for years with no problems til now.

If I didn't have such a big stockpile, the problem wouldn't seem so overwhelming. But from what I've read, the moths and larvae (meal worms, basically) can be in brand-new sealed packages. They can eat through plastic bags. You basically have to go through every package in your house, looking for the main infestation, and get rid of it asap. Cereal, cake mix, dry pet food, rice, etc. Even things that look ok could have eggs in them, that you can kill by freezing the food. But do I really want to eat a cake made from a mix with possible dead moth eggs in it?

The whole thing is creeping me out, OTOH it's really difficult to just throw all this stuff out. Even though I bought most of it very cheap.

Anybody else have experience with this?





2007 Goals

December 31st, 2006 at 01:55 pm

I've been thinking about this for awhile, and already have some things set up so I won't have to pay much attention to them.

1) Save up enough by the fall to pay our next car insurance bill in full. We're still paying the current installments, plus I have monthly transfers set up to an ING account.

2) Save toward replacing one of the cars. I have a $300 monthly transfer set up for that.

3) Get the maximum match on DH's 401K. We already turned in the form so his contribution will be 7%, plus a 3% match. (They only match 50%, and only up to 6%).

This is where it gets tricky. The Dave Ramseyites over on another site say that his Step 3 Fully Funded Emergency Fund isn't for things like car repairs. Once you get stabilized and debt-free, you are supposed to budget for those things, and only use the Emergency Fund for something really big like extended unemployment.

So, my original (baby) Emergency Fund account is now for car and house repairs, and based on last year, $4000 will be going in and back out of there in 2007.

I want to try and build up 3 to 6 months worth of expenses in paper I-bonds as the Step 3 FFEF. But there's no money left in the budget. So what I'll really have to work at this year is finding the money to fund it.

I also have one big Not To Do for the year: The only way I'm going to get involved in rebates, trial offers, test drives or surveys is if I'm completely caught up on the rest of my life. Since I always seem to be behind on housekeeping, exercising, food prep, paperwork and reading--I kind of think the "deals" just aren't going to be happening this year!

Feel like I just threw away a $50 bill

November 15th, 2006 at 07:31 am

Today was the last day to do a Hyundai test drive for $50. I've just faced the fact it's not going to happen, and put the mailer in my to-be-shredded bin.

I don't really like going to car dealerships, or facing car salesmen, or trying to explain that I'm not really interested in a new car yet. If I'm feeling pretty high-energy and confident, I can do it. But today I'm tired, and I can't stand the current household mess, and I don't feel desperate enough for the money. I'd rather stay home and get my life back in order.

Yes, I've had weeks to do it, but I'm still adjusting to those extra work hours, and I'm still recoving from Election Day last week.

I know I can't take advantage of every opportunity, and have to set priorities. But it still feels like I'm throwing away money!

Recent tweaks

November 11th, 2006 at 10:50 am

Like they say, the only constant is change. First the Citicard cash back rewards being cut back from 5%, now the discounted gas gift cards are being dropped from the Dealpass programs. (I was in Today's Escapes+.)

I guess one big reason I wasn't too upset about the Citi thing was, I was getting more than 2x the discount with the gift card thing than from Citi anyway. And since I've started shopping more at Aldi (where they don't take credit cards) the 5% cash back on groceries wasn't a big loss either.

But now that the gas gift card Deals have Passed Wink I felt like I had to do something. I mean, the cc rewards plus the gift card rebates have come to $400+ a year.

Tweak #1. Dropped Today's Escapes+. There just weren't enough gcs I'd want to buy in a month to justify the monthly fee. (They've also dropped Target and Amazon.)

Tweak #2. Instead of cancelling the Discover card like I'd planned, I called and asked if I could just switch it to their gas card (still 5% cash back). They said yes! It will only come to about $60 a year, but that's something.

Tweak #3. I was going to cancel Credit Protector now that I'd done the $50 in rebates they'd offered me to stay on the first time. But now they offered me (5) $10 Walmart gift cards for staying on, and lowered the rate. So that's an unexpected $50 that will help relieve the pain. Smile

BTW, there is another program at www.leisureplus.com where you can get gas cards at a discount. But you are forced to buy 3 different kinds to maximize your savings, and after you pay the monthly fee it only saves you about $80 a year. Seems like too much hassle to me.

Ladies only!!! A freebie side effect you don't want

September 19th, 2006 at 07:40 pm

I warned ya...

Over the past few months I've had a problem Down There that I never had happen before in my life. The irritation comes and goes without any treatment beyond switching to Dove soap and being patient. It's not really serious enough to run to the doctor with, but darned uncomfortable--so I started researching online. To my surprise, the probable culprit is Always brand feminine hygiene pads!

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=14...
and
http://www.drexelmed.edu/FindaPhysician/MedicalPractices/Vag...

Note that the journal article came out in the 90's, but the advice to avoid the Always brand is still being given today.

I don't know about you, but I only started using this brand recently, after a series of offers at different stores, a Catalina and a sample that came with a coupon. Let me tell you, if you're sensitive to whatever's in them.... well, they couldn't PAY me to use them again.

I'm emptying my stockpile into the trash even if I have to pay full price for another brand. No use donating them and causing someone else discomfort.

Why I just opened a store charge, and may do so again

July 13th, 2006 at 12:42 pm

Just what I need, another account to keep track of!

But it seems like the sale prices at some stores never get really interesting unless you can also take advantage of the extra discounts they only give to their charge customers. I've noticed this at Kohl's and Boscov's in particular.

I was getting the microwave at Kohl's anyway, and also had to pick up a birthday gift for my MIL to give my mother. And that was bringing it pretty close to th amount you needed to spend on your Kohl's charge in order to get $10 in Kohl's Cash. It seemed like a good time to go for it.

It ended up that the microwave, a summer purse and a bathing suit coverup cost me a total of $47. Without doing the deal, the microwave would have been $38 anyway, so basically the purse and coverup together came to $9. Not necessities, but things I've been looking for a long time, and I'm glad to find them for $9.

Anybody have further suggestions on store charges that are worthwhile to have because of special offers for charge customers?



Phone plus $40 in airtime minutes for $39.99

July 2nd, 2006 at 06:11 am

Virgin Mobile is running one of their web-only summer sales:

www.virginmobileusa.com/phones/phoneDetail.do?skuId=VM2125

Shipping is free.

If you're going to get one of them, would you consider using me as a referral? I would get a $20 in airtime "kickback." Let me know and I'll PM my phone number; instructions for activating the referral are here:

www.virginmobileusa.com/promos/kickbacks.do

Thanks!

Big sale at Catherine's tomorrow :)

June 24th, 2006 at 03:56 pm

Catherine's is a plus-size clothing chain.
It's a good idea to get on their email list, as well as their snail mail list, for occasions like this. I just got an email telling me that tomorrow only most full-price items are 40% off (in-store and online), and clearance items are an extra 50% off (online only).

And what I've discovered is, if something goes on sale just after you've bought it, they will give you back the difference. So I'll be heading over to see if I can get $6 back on some unmentionables I just bought, and try to get a dress on sale.

Financial plans for the week

June 19th, 2006 at 05:30 am

It's going to be a busy week. I want to get a lot of Life In General stuff done, so when I'm on vacation next week I can just relax and have fun. Figured I'd post my financial goals for the week so that I don't forget any, and as a record in case I get too busy with other stuff to post here.

--Copy and mail the Suzuki test drive and Laughing Cow rebate
--Contact Smucker's about their awful sugarfree jam (DONE)
--Contact the shrink-wrapped-microwave-ready-potato people about moldy potatoes (DONE)
--Make the extra-large cc payment to bring balance below $2000 (DONE)
--After money arrives in checking from ING, open money market account at NetBank for $75 bonus (don't know of a way to get it directly from ING to NetBank) (DONE)
--After bill-closing date on the Citi card, order my Passport to Fun gift cards for the month (DONE)
--Find out whether buying gift cards at my supermarket will go toward the amount I have to spend for a promotion they're running
--Cancel Buyer's Advantage (DONE)
--Letter to Upromise for withdrawal of $25 (have to get notarized)
--Finish weeding and organizing the coupon exchange box at work (IN PROCESS)

Added Goal: Order checks? Looks like I might be on the last pad for our main account. (DONE-Used Checkworks. One box of 150 should last about 2 years.)

Sick of allergy season

May 29th, 2006 at 05:56 am

The worst part isn't what you'd think. Generic claritin does a pretty good job of controlling the sneezing and runny nose. What it can't do is give me my energy back. I feel like I've been unplugged. Or like deflated balloon. I don't feel like I'm ever fully awake or rested, no matter how much I sleep.

If I hadn't been through this for years, I'd think I had mono or something. But I know from experience it's just a matter of waiting it out. When things in the environment change, I'll feel better.

What this has to do with money--I just don't have the energy to run around and take advantage of sales and things. I went to only one grocery store this weekend, and did the best I could there. I ordered socks and nylons online from Just My Size because I dont' have the energy to run out shopping. I'm not cooking much; we've had takeout two days in a row.

I figure it's more important to reserve my energy for higher-priority, higher-stakes things like getting out to do a $50 test drive tomorrow, and getting out to the election job training.

OTOH, it's a good time to do easy stuff like being online, and catching up on my reading. For example, I've gone through Flash's food company contacts and signed up for some newsletters I never knew about.

Everyone have a safe and happy holiday! And wish me a change in the weather.

An investment that pays 400%

May 23rd, 2006 at 06:29 am

Try paying for coupons. (Actually, the sellers all specify you are paying for the service of having the coupons clipped rather than for the coupons themselves. Legal issue, I guess.) I'm so pleased with how this has been going for me lately, I figured I'd post about it.

I set up a lot of saved searches on Ebay, and each morning I get an email with links to auctions that match the search. (I also have searches set up for gift cards and other products I'm looking for.)

This morning I saw a lot of (6) $1 coupons for cat food our cat likes. I snapped them up immediately for $1.19. If I'm figuring this right, I'll be saving $4.81 by spending the $1.19, which means I've increased my purchasing power by 404%.

I've learned to be careful about getting more than I can use before the expiration date. I've seen lots of 20 of this same coupon, but passed on them because I'd never use them in time. 6, I will use.

I also use a non-Ebay clipping service, where you can choose individual coupons in the specific quantities you need. I'm using www.cnfcentral.com (formerly Dab's Forms) because you don't have to get multiples of each coupon you choose. If I only get Worcestershire sauce once a year, I don't want to be forced into buying 5 coupons for it. But if you want multiples anyway, there are many other sources. A good discussion on them is here: www.dealagogo.com/showthread.php?t=31959

Since I'm getting so much at Aldi now, there are only a limited number of name brand items I can use coupons for. This targeted approach gives me a quick way to find the specific ones I can use.

Discretionary purchase today--MP3 player

May 20th, 2006 at 01:02 pm

I've been thinking about this for months, and finally took the plunge, for many reasons.

There was a good deal at Staples for the model I'd been thinking about, but with much more storage than I'd ever hoped for. It came to a little over $58. Creative MuVo TX FM with 1GB of storage.(Thank you Fatwallet!)

This model should work with the downloadable audio books they have at the library where I work. (Not all models do.) It has a voice recorder, which I'd thought about buying separately for a long time anyway. You can also store data on it, so it will take the place of a USB thumb drive, which I've thought about too.

It is also a lot cheaper than getting involved with a broadband bill every month, or satellite radio. My dialup is still ok for most things, but lately for downloading radio shows it's been awful. It's supposed to be 56K but often it's been in the 30's or even 20's. This way I'll be able to download podcasts and radio shows on my dinner hour at work, and have enough to listen to for days. It should be quite a time-saver over the way I've been trying to do it.

It also may give me some brownie points at work (which one can always use). Wink My boss is disappointed that not many people are using the audiobook service. But it's hard for us on the staff to talk it up and give people instructions, if we've never used it ourselves. So in a way, I could classify part of the cost as a work expense. Wink

I'm holding off on the leafblower for now, and will use part of the Ace gc for poison ivy killer, which is a necessity right now.

Whole Foods Market fans--an Ebay FYI

May 19th, 2006 at 06:03 am

I was just looking at the gift certificate section on Ebay, and this one jumped out at me.

Someone has a $100 Whole Foods Market gift card that ends in 17 hours, and right now it's only bid up to $32 including shipping. The item number is 9521702264 if you want to check it out.

Catching up on odds and ends

May 18th, 2006 at 12:48 pm

Cancelled YourMusic.com. I signed up through Inbox Dollars, and was glad to get a CD that DH wanted, for $5.99. But I don't need to be spending $5.99 every month on a CD right now.

Got $5.99 credited to the Citicard. I'd ordered stuff from Roaman's that turned out to be defective and dirty. Roaman's didn't charge me for the return shipment, but they refused to refund the shipping charge on the original order. I called Citi and said I didn't think I should be stuck with $5.99 when I'd gotten absolutely nothing. They were very nice about crediting my account.

Requested my Citi rewards check for $68.

Decided to lower the amount I'm paying to HSBC from $290 down to $250 a month. I thought I could afford the $290, but now that I figure in the lawn mowing, it's obvious I can't. The account won't quite be paid off by the end of the 0% period, but I don't mind paying $10 or $15 in interest for the final couple of months. Better than feeling strapped for the next 6 months.

Found out how getting a blood test works, under our new insurance.

Subscribed to the other Sunday paper on a half-price subscription sale. Their coupons are much better; it will be well worth it.

Went to Eckerd's last night for bargains; spent $11 after $9 in coupons were taken off.

Ordered another batch of Dealpass gc's. Only have a few more months to take advantage of these; don't want to lose the opportunity.

Almost finished putting our upcoming transactions in Quicken, through the end of the year. It really helps to see our cash flow ahead of time. If we're going to run short, better to see it coming and find a solution early on.

Yippee! Getting a free (or almost) leaf blower soon

May 13th, 2006 at 04:42 pm

I know I shouldn't count my chickens before they're hatched, but if all goes well...

I'd called Discover Card to either cancel the card, or keep it if they offered me a deal to stay. They offered $20 in rewards after my first purchase.

The $20 just showed up. I can take the cash, or get a gift card worth $25, so I requested a gc for Ace Hardware. I was there today, and saw several leaf blowers priced at less than $30. I also have a $5 off a $25 purchase coupon for Ace in my Entertainment Book. And I just joined the Helpful Hardware club thing, so when I "buy" the thing, I'll also earn points.

It won't be the blower/vac model I was drooling over awhile back, but it will be free, or nearly so.

As opportunities like this keep coming up, I keep thinking about the book, The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio. What a role model for matching your talents with the opportunities you have, to get what your family needs and wants. If you haven't read it, do! (Have some tissues handy.)

A bird in the hand...

April 30th, 2006 at 01:17 pm

is worth two in the bush, as they say.

This weekend I was able to take advantage of some quick freebies, a nice change from watching and waiting.

1) Got an unexpected $11 rewards check from Staples, apparently from the purchase of my mother's computer. Used it to replace printer paper that I'd given my mother, and bought 3 boxes of Nonni's chocolate biscotti. 1 box for us to keep, 2 for my mother (part of Mother's Day).

2) Saw an offer where you sign up for weekly emails from Office Depot, and they send you an email with a coupon for a $10 package of CD-R disks. Printed it out right away, and picked up the disks on the way to Pathmark.

3) At Pathmark, bought a ton of Kimberly-Clark products to generate $8 in coupons toward my next order. The stuff was on sale to begin with, and I had coupons. Nice to have the coupons in hand, rather than having to do a Walgreen's rebate and wait for the savings.

4) Found a new printable coupon on Entertainment.com, for a restaurant we've been wanting to try. Had a nice dinner Saturday night, for $6 off.

Good Vibrations

April 23rd, 2006 at 01:31 pm

It's been a really nice 3-day weekend for DH and I.

Friday night, we went to see the Beach Boys in concert. Well, there's only one Beach Boy left touring in the "official" band (Mike Love), but they put on a great show. John Cowsill (yes, of those Cowsills) was even part of the lineup. I never realized what a great voice he had. At the end of the concert, they put "Hit the Road, Jack" by Ray Charles on the sound system to start everyone moving out. Virtually everyone was smiling and singing along, as we all left the theater. A wonderful experience.

Saturday was rainy, good for a relaxing day at home. Picked up 3 new books at the library, and new Netflix arrived. I got an emailed voucher for a $50 Mercury Milan test drive, and the new Schwab Visa I applied for arrived in the mail. ($100 gift card after first purchase.) I didn't have to cook dinner as we got take-out bbq chicken dinners from my mother's church.

Today, I found out about the $20 Ford Fusion test drive, which was going on at a mall not too far away. So I took a couple of hours for myself, and had a pleasant little outing. The test drive was painless, and I got to treat myself to $20 worth of stuff from The Coffee Beanery with the gc. Samples of different flavored coffees, chocolate covered coffee beans, and a little caddy for used teabags. None of which I would have actually put money out for, but will enjoy for weeks to come.

It's going to be a long week, as I'm working some extra hours. But I'll be going back fully revived for once. Smile



It's all in the details

April 12th, 2006 at 08:22 am

And sometimes it's tedious and frustrating.

Last night I was happy to find some lipstick on Ebay that I can't always find in stores, and went through MyPoints Insider's Club just in case they refunded shipping on Ebay purchases. However, even if they do, I'll be out of luck. I forgot the purchase had to be done on a credit card that's registered with the Insider's Club...and paid for it out of my checking account. Duh!

I just got an offer from Citicard, where I get $10 extra dividend dollars when I make my first purchase through their Dividend Merchant Network. So I went to register for it, and it said I already had. It said I could have a new username and password emailed to me--but apparently I'd used an email address I haven't had in over a year. So I had to call and find out what to do. It took calling two different phone numbers and going through 3 CSRs to get it straightened out. (Although I'd signed up before, I'd never used the program, so it looks like I'm still eligible for the $10.)

I figured while I was setting things like this up, I might as well get Fatwallet Fat Cash up and running. I tried to use it before, but it didn't work for me. So today I got around to looking at their "Cash Back Solutions" where they walk you through computer settings that might be hindering things. There were 13 printed pages of things to go through!

So. I now have access to all these programs. Plus AAA deals, and AARP deals, and general Mastercard and Visa deals. How on earth to keep track of which program has which stores, what the % off is, which cc and email address I need to use with each one, who has free shipping anyway, and which stores I can easily get discounted gift cards for.

The only thing I can think of is to assemble a spreadsheet with stores down the left, and then columns for each discount program where I can enter the % discount and any other notes. If anyone's seen something like this online, already assembled, I'd sure like to use it and save myself some work!


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