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Archive for May, 2008

Grocery deals

May 25th, 2008 at 06:43 pm

One of the reasons I enjoy blogging here is I get to brag about my the great deals I find. This week I saved 51% on my groceries. I got the following items for free.

Fresh Express salad bag
Barrilla Whole Grain Pasta - 13 oz
Knorr's Rice Sides
Suave Deodorant
Tums Quick Pak - FAR + 1.00 overage with coupon
Dove Deodorant - sample
3 21 oz boxes Stouffer's Lasagna

I also got the following very cheap.

Wisk - .49 cents after coupons
Ragu Pasta Sauce - .29 cents after coupons

King Soopers has Stouffer's lasagna on sale at 5/$10 or $2.00 each. They have 10 oz and 21 oz boxes of lasagna, which is one of my favorites. The 10 and 20 oz boxes cost the same, so I bought 10 of the 20oz boxes and will get 2 meals each. $1.00 per meal. Add some salad and a roll and I have a fast, tasty and well balanced meal.

The reason I was able to get so many things free or almost free is I added ecoupons to my King Soopers card. There are 3 websites were you can add coupons to your card.

Shortcuts - www.shortcuts.com
Unilever - http://www.softcoin.com/Sites/Unilever_MakingLifeBetter/Page/HomePage/
PG esaver - http://www.softcoin.com/Sites/PG_eSAVER/Page/HomePage/

You can only use the coupons on the cards once, but you can combine them with paper coupons getting double savings. They don't double the e-coupons.

I also made a separate transaction where I purchased two $25 American Express Cards. The activation fee was $7.90 for the two. But AmEX has a promotion thru 6/30/08. Buy two AmEx cards and get a $25 GC to Best Buy, Fandango, Borders or SpaFinder. So spend $7.90 and get $25 - I come out ahead $17.10. You can do 2 per household, so I will do this again next week. The GCs expire 3 months after you get them. I had read about this deal on some website but couldn't find the rebate form in the store. It wasn't with the display where they sell the GCs/AmEx cards etc. It was in the greeting cards aisle. I would never have thought to look there.

I finished the library book Tough Times by Milton Meltzer. Fiction Great Depression. Ok

I finished the library book Greatest Secrets of the Coupon Mom by Stephanie Nelson. Excellent. I thought I was pretty savvy about using coupons since I've been doing it for 25 years, but she had a lot of information I had not heard of before or thought about. One of the few finance/consumer books I've read lately that actually taught me something I could use to save money.

Good rate on saving account 4.5%

May 22nd, 2008 at 07:58 pm

I've had my dad checking on an AARP saving account paying 4.5% Turns out you don't have to be over 50 to get this rate. He got the papers yesterday. It's FDIC insured. Minimum balance is $1. I've heard you have to have an AARP membership which costs around $13 a year. You can have an associate membership if under 50. Their CDs and MMA looks really good also. About 2% higher than I've found elsewhere. I plan to open an account next month when some money gets freed up. My dad is going to open one too.

The website is http://www.aarpsavings.com/

I got 4 free trial size bags of Target brand coffee to give to my brother for xmas on Sunday. Met a friend for lunch at Ruby Tuesday's. We shopped and went to see Narnia. I liked the movie. We wandered thru Costco looking at prices. They had really beautiful fruit. But I decided it wasn't worth the membership fee. For one thing it's too far away from me, plus I usually get better deals waiting for sales and using coupons.

I bought one of those Ped Egg things at Linens N' Things using a 20% off coupons. So about $8. I really like it. It smooths the cracks on the bottom of my feet. They feel great.

I finished listening to the library book on tape Blue Dahlia by Nora Roberts. Romance. Very good.

Finished reading my book Night Scents by Carla Neggers. Romance. OK

WalMart Free stuff

May 17th, 2008 at 11:44 pm

Got a free Icy Hot sample from WalMart in the mail this week.

Went to WalMart this morning and got the following for free

2 boxes Honey Bunches of Oats cereal - had $2/1 coupons. The cereal cost $1.97 so .06 overage. This will be given to brother for xmas

2 Wellness patches, (similar to Icy Hot) .97 cents each. I had 2 $1/1 coupons so again .06 cents overage.

1 Icy Hot patch. $1.00 I had $1/1 coupon so free.

I got Adidas deodorant which will be FAR and given to brother for xmas.

I got a 10 pack of Orville Redenbacher individual popcorn with will also be FAR.

I got another 4 cans of the Muir Glen tomatoes for .24 cents each. 4 coupons $1/1 and the original cost was $1.24 each.



$600 a year continued

May 16th, 2008 at 07:53 pm

Some more quotes from the $600 a year book.

"When we undertook to keep house on the small income of six hundred a year, i knew that it would require the strictest economy in order to make our expenses come within that sum, and so, from the beginning, I kept a close account of everything we bought. At starting we had this advantage,--and I mention it here for the benefit of the great family of young housekeepers who, like ourselves, must make the most of a little, Arthur had saved a hundred dollars before we were married, and with this little capital he laid in the following supplies to begin with: a barrel of light-brown sugar, five tons of coal, a pot of lard, ten bushels of winter potatoes, a box of brown soap, and a firkin of good butter. With these supplies we were able to start fairly, and, by my good management, I contrived to keep ahead. I soon ascertained that we were able to consume about two pounds of sugar a week, and in my weekly settlements I was careful to charge myself with that amount; also for the potatoes and other articles; these sums being laid aside, week by week, until, when the original supplies were exhausted, I had enough saved to buy more. By thus purchasing by wholesale I saved many dollars, in the year's expenses. But the accounts must be kept, and these amounts reserved, just as conscientiously as if the articles had
been purchased every week; else this plan of wholesale supply will prove a positive disadvantage to the housekeeper, by creating the impression that there is a surplus of money in the treasury. In the beginning I laid the following plans, which at once furnished me with the key to my future operations. The house-rent was reserved first, and that left me just $600, which, divided by fifty-two, gave me $ 11.54 for my weekly expenses.

Our coal for the year-- five tons,at $7 each - cost $ 35, or a fraction over sixty-seven cents a week; -and this also I deducted and laid aside, together with the other reserves, for sugar, potatoes, butter, lard, and soap. We had laid in ten bushels of potatoes at fifty cents per bushel, and as we used but one peck a week, they cost only twelve and a half cents. The lard, in these hard times, had cost eighteen cents a pound, and we used, on an average, a half-pound every week; this was nine cents more. Then the butter -three pounds at thirty cents -came to ninety cents; brown soap cost ten cents, and about three quarters of a pound sufficed for all the wants of the week, including washing. I know I saved at least a quarter pound of soap each week by my plan of always cutting up a large quantity of it into pieces of convenient size, and spreading them out in the attic to harden well. A piece of soap thus hardened will not melt away in hot water as rapidly as a freshly cut one is sure to do. Well, by the time I had prepared my list of weekly expenses it stood somewhat as follows: * At the date of which we are writing, when we really began our housekeeping, - -1860,- prices'of provisions were not quite so high as we have here stated; but by the time we came to lay in our second or third supplies they had risen much higher. Intending these rules to be some guide even in these times, we have therefore given prices to correspond more nearly with subsequent and present rates, taking a medium between the lowest former prices and the extremes which prevailed during the war.

Coal . . . . . . . $ 0.67 Potatoes . . . . . . .. O.12 Lard . . . . . . . . 0.09
Butter . . .. . 0.90
Soap . . .07
Two pounds Sugar, at $ 0.13 . . 0.26 Girl's Wages .. 1.50

Total, . $3.62

When this sum was deducted from the grand total of $ 11.54, it left me just $ 7.92 for the remaining household expenses. Of these my account book furnished me with the following list, for one week:-

Wheat Flour, twelve pounds . . . . $0.30 One dozen Eggs 0.25
Half-pound Coffee . . . . 25
Eighth pound Tea .0.15
Meat or a Substitute, $ 0.25 per day . . 1.75
Milk, one quart per day at $ 0.07 - 0.49 Salt, Rice, Indian Meal, Vinegar, Spice, Lights, &c. 1.00
Occasional Expenses, such as Brooms, Brushes, &c. 0.50

Total, . $ 4.69

I was thus in possession of $3.23, as a, reserve fund for clothing and other incidentals. Allowing seventy-three cents of this every week for extras that might be needed in the house, we had at least $125 per annum for our clothing; and with careful management we were able to dress ourselves very genteelly on that Amount. For myself, a few good dresses were better than many poor ones, and I have always found it the cheapest to buy good material, even if the first cost is rathergreater, than to get a coarse or thin article, which will last but a single season. I do not mean by this, however, that I bought expensive or extravagant dresses, or showy or costly shawls and cloaks. One dress of a season, of alpaca, cashmere, or all-wool delaine, cost about $ 12, including mak- ing and trimming; for I could sew it entirely myself, merely pta:ing a dressmaker to cut and fit it for me, at a cost of twenty-five cents. For summer, a nice barege, or some similar mate- rial, could be had for about $ 6, and a calico for $ 2 more"

Another old home ed book

May 15th, 2008 at 10:07 pm

I love reading old home economics book. They always seem almost current. The things they talk about are high prices, inflation and how to make the most of whatever they have.

I found this one many years ago in our library but wasn't able to check it out again. It may be in a special section now. It was written in 1865. It's called "Six Hundred Dollars a Year A Wife's Effort at Low Living Under High Prices" It doesn't say her name though. There's a website where this book is stored now and I'm re-reading it there.

http://www.letrs.indiana.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=wright2;idno=wright2-2235

Some highlights so far

The banks were paying 5% interest which was thought to be measly.

"My husband says that oil is to become a greater staple than cotton or coal. People are getting to use it for everything; he is half inclined to think they will take to drinking it some day."

The neighbor's wife started investing in oil stocks. "The furor of a female stock-speculator was an entire novelty. My husband and myself often talked over the unnatural interest which Mrs. Wilson manifested in such things, and he was not slow in predicting some kind of disappointment." Their servant girl also invested in stocks. Of course there was a downturn and they all lost thier money except for the author and her husband. Thus showing how prudent they are Smile

They had a nice house which they rented for $200 a year. Since rents were going up they called their landloard and took out a 5 year lease to lock in the price.

It had parlor and dining room, large kitches, a shed for wash-house and summer cooking, 3 good chambers upstairs with bath and 2 attics. They had a garden in the backyard.

She furnished the entire house at the time of their marriage with a $700 dollar inheritance.

PARLOR FURNITURE.
Forty yards Tapestry Carpet, @ 1.00 .40.00
Walnut Hair-Cloth Sofa . . .. . . 30.00 Four Walnut Chairs, at $ 3.00 12.00 Walnut Centre-Table 5.00
Cloth Cover . . .. . . . 2.00
Small Pier Table with Marble Top . . . .. 8.00
Piano and Stool 200.00
Two Window-Shades of White Linen . . . . 2.00

Total, $299.00

FURNITURE FOR THREE CHAMBERS.
Seventy yards Ingrain Carpet, at $ 0.75 . . . . 52.50
Three Cottage-Sets, at $40 each . 120.00
Beds and Bedding . . . . . . . 50.00 Crockery Ware . .6.00
Muslin Curtains . . 3.00

Total, $231.50

DINING-ROOiM.

Twenty yards Carpet, at $0.75 . $15 00
A Good Second-Hand Table . 5.00
Six Cane-Seat Chairs, at $1.50 . . 9.00 Cutlery . . . . . 10.00
Stone-China Dinner Set . . . . . . 10.00 Tea Set, white French China . . 5.00
Window-Shades . . . .. 1.00

Total, $ 55.00

Kitchen Furniture, and Cooking Utensils . . . $30.00
Hall Furniture, and Stair Carpet .. . . 30.00 $60.00

Total cost of House Furniture . $ 658.50

This left me just $ 41.50 for table-linen, sheets, pil- low-cases, and towels; which was little enough, it --is true, but as muslin was cheap ,then, it bought me a dozen sheets, a dozen pillow-cases, five table-cloths, a dozen napkins, a dozen fine huckaback towels, a dozen crash ones for kitchen use, and left me some twelve dollars for sundry knicknacks, such as brushes and combs, waiters, dust-brushes, and lamps.

More Later......................

I finished reading the library book Retire on Less Than You Think by Fred Brock. Finance. Very good

I finished reading my book White Hot by Carla Neggers. Romance. OK

The Margin of Happiness

May 13th, 2008 at 03:22 pm

I'm reading a book called The Margin of Happiness The Reward of Thrift by Thetta Quay Franks. It was written in 1917

"Time, money, and health add to living a margin of happiness. The more time and money on can reasonably save, and the more perfect the health, the wider the margin of happiness."

Good quote. After I retire I will have a lot of time to spend as I please. I hope to spend some of that time on improving my overall health. After my living expenses are paid I will have $400 a month as my margin of happiness. This is the money that I have set aside for all other expenses after basic living expenses.

This money will go towards items such as:

books
jigsaw puzzles
miniature supplies
garden supplies
oil changes
clothes
haircuts
household do-dads
movies
outings with nieces
car registrations
classes

This includes all the little things that make life more enjoyable and is the part of your money that gives you the most enjoyment. I don't get much enjoyment paying utility bills, but it has to be done or I would be miserable thru freezing etc. I do get enjoyment in going to a movie with friends or reading a good book and enjoy spending money on those things.

The difference between paying all your living expenses/bills and the amount of your income is you margin of happines. The margin can be small or large dependinig on your wants. $400 to me is a lot and should more than cover my monthly wants.

In the book the author gives some examples of a low cost balanced meal served at a restaurant.

Tomate Soup .05 cents for 1 cup
Macaroni baked with chees .05 cents for 3 heaping tablespoons
Ice Cream .05 cents for 2 heaping tablespoons
Whole Wheat Bread with butter 2 slices included in the meal.

.15 cents for the meal. I'm not sure how nutritious it is.

She then gives an example of a high cost meal

Tomate Soup .05 cents for 1 cup
Roasted Beef .20 cents 3.5 oz
Creamed Spinach with egg .05 cents for a heaping tablespoon
Ginger Bread .04 cents for 2 oz
Coffee .04 cents for 1 cup
Whole Wheat Bread with butter 2 slices included in the meal.

Cost for the meal is .38 cents

Finished reading the library book Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs. Supernatural. Excellent.

Finished reading my book The Hollow by Nora Roberts. Romance. Excellent. 2nd book in the series. Love the series but now I have to wait till December for the 3rd one to come out.

Walmart deals

May 8th, 2008 at 05:44 pm

Went to Walmart Tuesday and found some good bargains.

22 oz can Bush's grilling beans 1.25 - $1 coupon = .25 cents - got 2 cans
14.5 oz can Muir Glen diced tomatoes 1.25 - $1 coupon = .25 cents - got 3 cans
1 14.5 oz box Ronzoni pasta 1.50 - $1 coupon = .50 cents

2 Toby Keith 35 Greatest Hits CDs for 12.99 price match with Kmart ad. Saved $1 plus tax each

Got 2 geraniums for Mother's day.

Also got 2nd book in Nora Roberts trilogy. Smile

I picked up a copy of All You magazine. It had tons of really good coupons. It also had a survey in the front that if you fill in and mail to the company they will send you $10

If you buy a $50 GC at either Sears or Kmart before May 11 you get an extra $10.

Finished reading the library book Wife for Hire by Janet Evanovich. Romance. Good

Finished reading the library book Thrifting into a Debt-Free, Carefree Lifestyle by M.R. Hartt. Finance. Ok not a lot of information.

Finished reading my book Up Close and Dangerous by Linda Howard. Romance. Excellent. Love this author.

Finished re-reading my book Saving Money Any Way You Can by Mike Yorkey. Finance. This is pretty good.

Making 11%

May 4th, 2008 at 08:04 pm

King Soopers is allowing customers to buy Gift cards in increments of $300 (up to $1200) and get 10% more. So you buy a card for $300 and the store puts $330 on the card. There are no experation dates on the cards or fees.

I purchased $1200 worth and recieved 4 cards with $330 each for a total of $1320value and my cost was $1200. I used my credit card for this and will get 1% back from them in cash. So I made 11% on my $1200. This is about a years worth of groceries for me. But I can also use these King Sooper cards to purchase other gift cards that they sell in the store, such as book stores, restaurants, retail stores etc.

I don't think you can beat a safe 11% return on your money from anywhere else. I will pay the credit card off with my savings which were earning 3.05%. I did have a problem paying with the credit card, since it was such a large amount the fraud division kicked it out. I had to call the CC company and get it approved first and then I was able to make the purchase. So if you want to do this you might call your CC company first.

I bought my groceries using one of the cards. Groceries this week were less than $5. I got free 1 lb mini peeled carrots, free cherry tomatoes and free bagged coleslaw. If you are on their mailing list King Soopers sends you coupons about once a month. This month I got a $6 off a $60 purchase, which is very difficult for me to use, since you can't buy gift cards, a lot of times I give these kinds of coupons to my parents. But I also get coupons like .65 cents off carrots, or $1.50 off produce when you buy $5, or $1.50 off dairy when you buy $7. Very good coupons.

I got my stimulus rebate check deposited on Friday. It's just going to savings.

I got two free samples in the mail this week. A box of GM Fiber One cereal and a bottle of Gillete Body Wash.

Found a penny at the library yesterday and picked it up - baselle Smile

I went to two garage sales yesterday. I was late so slim pickings but I did get a brand new 3 roll package of xmas paper. Green foil designs - very pretty for .50 cents.

Finished reading the library book A Slice of Organic Life by Sheherazade Goldsmith. Good.

I also read my book Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts. Romance. Excellent. I love her books especially her dialog. It is so funny and real.

Indulging my curiosity

May 1st, 2008 at 06:37 pm

100 days till retirement Smile

I am a magazine junkie. I love to read magazines but don't do it as often as I would like because of lack of time. Once I retire I plan to do a lot more. Library magazines of course Smile I got a list from the library of all the ones I want to read each month/quarter etc.

ARCHAEOLOGY
BACKWOODS HOME MAGAZINE
CONSUMER REPORTS
COUNTRY
DISCOVER
DR ANDREW WEILS SELF HEALING NEWSLETTER
E /ENVIRONMENTAL MAGAZINE
FAMILY CIRCLE
GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
KIPLINGERS PERSONAL FINANCE
MONEY
MOTHER EARTH NEWS
REAL SIMPLE
SMART MONEY
SMITHSONIAN
UTNE READER
WOMANS DAY

Finished reading the library book Dead Time by Stephen White. Mystery. Very good.