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Archive for April, 2010

April Pantry totals

April 30th, 2010 at 01:15 pm

I didn't do as well this month as usual on the number of items I donate to the food pantry. This is because of the 2 12ct packages of TP I bought to donate. This was a huge chunk of my $20 budget and so not as many other things were bought. But it's ok since they desperately needed TP.

I spent $19.55 with a face value of $75.74 and donated 53 items. My goal is to donate 100 items per month.

I went to both King Soopers and Safeway today and bought a lot of produce, and some ham and cheese. I also got 2 free packages of Mission Tortillas and 3 bottles of Tobasco sauce for free. The Tobasco sauce will go the food pantry. I spent about $17

I bought a Staples giftcard from PlasticJungle where I saved 8%. $50 gift card for $46.

Last night I had the best scrambled eggs I've ever tasted. I used the method from the book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I couldn't believe how creamy and yummy they were. The difference from how I usually make them was:

1. Room temperature eggs
2. only 1/2 tsp of milk per egg
3. cooked on very low heat and stirring constantly
4. added small pats of butter to top when done.

So good. I made a list of menus for the week of other recipes I'm going to try from the book.

Finished reading my book Don't Look Down by Suzanne Enoch. Romance -pretty good.

plasticjungle

April 29th, 2010 at 02:21 pm

The other day I bought a $100 gift card to Walmart from PlasticJungle for $96. I used my credit card so will get another 1% back. This is just under a 5% savings before I buy anything at WalMart. I got the card in about 3 days. Mom and I went to WalMart to walk this morning because it was snowing. I used my gift card to buy 2 single servings of Edmonds lemon merigne pie and a jar of grape jelly. After coupons it was 1.93 which I paid for with my gift card. No problems, the card had $100 on it.

I have a prompt for WalMart and Staples cards on PlasticJungle so if they get WalMart cards with a discount of at least 4% and Staples with a discount of 6% I get notified and can decide to buy or not. Just another way of stretching my dollars a little farther. You can also sell or trade gift cards on the site.

[url]http://www.plasticjungle.com/pjweb/[/url]

I finished reading the library book Legacies by F. Paul Wilson. Adventure - pretty good.

land of the free

April 28th, 2010 at 01:24 pm

Sometimes I have a hard time believing all the free things you can get in this country, but I'm willing to take what companies are willing to offer Smile In the mail today I got a free sample of Dunkin Donuts coffee. Yesterday I got Kashi cereal for free in the mail.

Yesterday I also got a free movie rental from Redbox using a promotion code from the website I blogged about awhile ago. I got Sherlock Holmes. It was pretty good. I fixed popcorn for dinner last night to go with the movie. I made it with half butter and half olive oil. The calories aren't any less but olive oil is a better type of fat, but I like the taste of butter on my popcorn so this is a good compromise.

I also got 2 more Stayfree and made .80 cents on each one today at Walgreens. I only had $1 coupons left instead of the $2 I originally used. That's the last of my coupons. I've made over $10 at Walgreens this week and got 6 Stayfree, 2 Dental picks and 2 shaving gels.

Then I went to Subway and got a footlong meatball sandwich using a gift card I got for xmas - so free to me. I had half for lunch and will have the rest and a big salad for dinner.

And finally today I got another $5 gift card to Amazon free from using Swagbucks.

I'm reading the book Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. This ia a great cook book. It explains all the terms and shows you basic cooking techniques. It makes you want to cook. I've already seen several recipes I want to try. I may have to buy this one. I don't own very many cookbooks - about 3 - since I mostly get recipes from websites and mess with them to make them unique to me.

I finished reading my book Primal Heat. Paranormal short stories. I only liked the one by Lora Leigh, the rest were just ok.

cheap wallet

April 27th, 2010 at 01:56 pm

I went back to Walgreens this morning and got free Stayfree, dental floss and shaving gel again. The Stayfree and dental floss go to the food pantry and the shaving gel goes to the other niece.

About every 3 months I get a $10 gift card to Kohl's in the mail. I stopped by there and got a $32 leather wallet for $4.75 after the coupon. It was on sale for $14.40. I'm always looking for wallet's that will fit in my jeans pocket, have a zipper to hold extra keys, and have a lot of slots for gift cards since I always carry a lot. This one had 20 slots. The most I've seen in a small wallet. It will be perfect when the one I have wears out.

I went back to King Soopers and got 3 more butters for .20 cents each and 2 free Mentos gum. The gum goes to my nieces and the butter goes in the fridge. Colorado recently enacted a sales tax on candy and soda. I didn't realize it was on gum too. I had to pay .09 cents for $2.00 of gum - that stinks. I want government out of the business of telling me what to eat or drink or wear or drive or speak or read or watch or invest in, etc, etc.

They run the government so well they think they can do a better job of running all of our lives too.

I finished reading the library book Shadowsinger by L.E. Modesitt Jr. Sci/Fi - very good

shopping day - lots of freebies

April 26th, 2010 at 02:36 pm

I went shopping today at Walgreens and King Soopers and got lots of cheap and free things.

I went to both Walgreens by me and found out that the new one charges 1% less in taxes than the old one.

I did 4 transactions - 2 at each store.

Transaction 1, 2 and 3

2.99 - 1 24 Ct Stayfree maxi pads
.21 or .24 cents depending on which store
-----
3.20 or 3.23
-2.00 coupon
-----
1.20 or 1.23

I got a RR back for $3. I paid using a gift card purchased with RRs from previous transactions so no out of pocket expense. Made 1.77 - 1.80 on each transaction

Transaction 4

2.99 - Skintimate shaving cream
2.00 - Plackers Dental picks
.34 - taxes
-----
5.33
-3.00 - RR from Stayfree
- .50 - Plackers q
-----
1.49 - paid with gift card so no oop

I got back $3 RR for the shaving cream and $2 RR for the dental picks. I made .36 on the picks.

All the Stayfree and the dental picks go to the food pantry. The shaving cream goes to one of my nieces.

At King Soopers I got the following and saved 75%

13.00 - cans Chef Boyardee
6.00 - cups Velveeta shells and cheese
3.00 - 3 packages Hunts Snack Packs
1.00 - Betty Crocker potatoes
2.00 - 2 Colgate toothbrushes
3.00 - 3 Mentos Gum
3.00 - 3 Country Crock butter
2.00 - 2 Lady's Speed Stick deodorant
2.48 - 1 bag Sun Chips
.69 - 1 long john - splurge
.63 - 1 onion
.12 - 1 rib celery
.78 - 4 bananas
.33 - taxes
-----
38.03
- .15 - reusable bag credit
-4.00 - 3 Chef Boyardee coupons. 2 1.50/4 and 1 $1/5
-3.00 - 3 BOGO q's Velveeta shells and cheese
-3.00 - 3 free Hunt's snack pack wyb 4 chef boyardee
- .60 - .40 q on Betty Crocker potatoes - doubled
- .40 - shortcut ecoupon on potatoes
-2.00 - 2 .75 q's Colgate toothbrushes doubled
-3.00 - 3 .55 q's Mentos Gum doubled
-2.10 - 2 .40 q's Country Crock doubled 1 .50 q
-2.00 - 2 .50 q's Lady Speed Stick doubled
-2.48 - free sun chips q
-3.00 - OYNO q from last week
-----
12.30

The food pantry gets the following

13 cans chef boyardee
2 Lady Speed Sticks
1 betty crocker potatoes
6 Velveeta shells and cheese
1 bag Sun Chips

The gum goes to my nieces. The toothbrushes go to my brother.

I'll be able to send for the Con Agra rebate buy $10 and get $25 in coupons from the Chef Boyardee purchase.

I was really glad to see the butter on sale. I finished my last tub of butter from the last time I stocked up on Saturday. I need to go back and get some more to store in the freezer. I also need to go back to Walgreens for more Stayfree, Dental picks and shaving cream.

I finished reading my book Dinosaur Planet Survivors by Anne McCaffrey. Sci/Fi - pretty good

antique fair

April 25th, 2010 at 04:07 pm

went to an antique fair that they hold in the local high school every year. It's a nice one that has a lot of good antiques and not the collectibles that everyone passes off as antiques at most shows anymore. It was $6 to enter. I took some jewelry my grandmother gave me 30 years ago to see if they could tell me anything about it. They told me it's called goldstone and was popular in the early 1900's. That's more than I knew before. Mom got several pieces of colored glass. They had some beautiful furniture. I especially like the old kitchen baking cabinets where they had all the little drawers to store your supplies, they had several really nice one of those. However I just look I don't buy, no room and not really my style for decorating. I like arts and crafts style and have as much furniture as I need.

Finished reading Aiden's Charity by Lora Leigh. Paranormal - excellent

Also finished the library book Bride by Command by Linda Winstead Jones. Romance - ok

2 interesting articles

April 24th, 2010 at 03:18 pm

I was reading the Dollar Stretcher website today and ran across two very interesting articles. The first one explains when various portions of the health care bill go into effect

[url]http://www.bankrate.com/finance/insurance/timeline-for-...

The second one tells you how to speed up your PC for free. I spent much of the day putting these steps into effect on my computer.

[url]http://www.stretcher.com/stories/10/10apr19d.cfm?fp[/ur...

I finished reading my book The Perfect Princess by Elizabeth Thornton. Romance - pretty good

I also finished the library book Iorich by Steven Brust. Sci/Fi - very good.

I-bonds

April 22nd, 2010 at 01:41 pm

I bought $5,000 in I-bonds today. I should net 2.33% interest in one year. That's better than any 1 year cds that I've found. Here's a good website that explains I-Bonds

[url]http://www.ibonds.info/rates.html[/url]

and here's one that explains why I bought now.

[url]http://www.mymoneyblog.com/archives/2010/04/savings-i-b...

I finished reading my book Dinosaur Planet by Anne McCaffrey. Sci/Fi - pretty good. I'm slowly rereading all my old books, but since I have almost 2000 it is taking a lot of time inbetween library books and newly bought books. It's interesting to me to see how my tastes have changed over the years. Books that were very good the first time are just ok the second time thru.

ethical question

April 21st, 2010 at 02:22 pm

My dad has several rental houses. One of his renters called and wanted to know if he had anything bigger they could rent since they are having twins. He is a good renter and since dad can't get a decent interest on his cash he decided to look for a bigger house to buy. He found one that's a really good price $210K and large enough. The last time it sold it was for $250K. The owner died and his parents are selling it from out of state. They are even including all the furniture, a big screen tv and all appliances. The renters like the house so dad went ahead and bought it. He will get $1200/month rent. After he bought it the renter found out the owner had hung himself in the garage. He wasn't upset about that, but wasn't planning to tell his wife or kids. Mom says he needs to because the neighbors are bound to tell her.

Anyways my question is shouldn't the realtor have mentioned that someone died in the house before selling it? Some people might have serious reservations about that kind of thing. I think ethically she should have said something. Dad found out she knew it before selling the house.

I finished reading the library book Cast in Silence by Michelle Sagara. Paranormal - excellent series.

cashback comparison tool

April 20th, 2010 at 11:48 am

I lost my post 6 or 7 times yesterday and had saved it to a word doc. I finally figured out today that as long as I kept copying it to here I would lose it everytime. I had to manually type it in again before I could finally save it. So this is really yesterday's post.

There are a lot of cashback reward sites ont he web for purchasing stuff on the internet - ebates, mrrebates, bing, fatwallet etc. But how do you figure out which one is the best for which store? Here is a tool that tells what each one is paying

[url]http://www.cashbacktool.com/default.aspx[/url]

I typed in Borders and got the following

Cashback Site Cashback Percent
bigcrumbs UP TO 5.4%
mrrebates 4%
ebates 4.00%
fatwallet.com 4%

I typed in Target and got

Cashback Site Cashback Percent
bigcrumbs UP TO 6.3%
mrrebates 4%
ebates.com 3%
greenbackstreet.com 3.2%
bing (live.com) 3----7%

Pretty neat tool if you do a lot of internet shopping

I went to King Soopers this morning and got cheap eggs and free spices. Smart Balance eggs are on sale for $1.34 I had 2 .50 cent coupons so only .34/doz. I gave one dozen to mom and dad. Lawry's spices and McCormick grillmates are on sale for $1 each. I had 2 .50 cent coupons each and got 2 Lawry's garlic salt and 2 McCormick grillmates for free. One garlic salt and both grillmates went to mom and dad and the other garlic salt went to my brother.

I finished reading my book Jacob's Faith by Lora Leigh. Paranormal - excellent

health fair

April 18th, 2010 at 01:07 pm

I went to a health fair today and had blood drawn to check for cholesterol, triglycerides and blood glucose. It cost $30 and I was in and out in 15 minutes. That's the kind of health care I like Smile I hadn't done this before, always got my tests from the doctors office. Wait 30 minutes, get blood drawn and pay $20 co-pay and then pay a percentage of blood tests. This is much better.

Mom and Dad have been going for years so I went with them this time. Before they always went during the week and early so they had to stand in line for an hour, because it was 11:30 there weren't as many people. Most people don't like to fast that long. I'd only been up a couple hours and I'm not a morning eater anyways, so no big deal to me. It was hard on them though, but they said it was good they didn't have to stand in line forever.

I also went to Borders and got 2 books for free, using gift cards from my credit card rewards. I used 2 33% off coupons and saved even more. I also went to Home Depot and got basil and parsley seeds, which were BOGO, and picked up a $40 gift card for mother's day. My credit card has 5% rewards on Home Improvement stores this month. Mom always wants plants for mother's day, but it's too cold to plant here then so we either buy them and she stores them in her garage for a couple of weeks or we wait till she's ready to plant and then buy. This year she can go pick out what she wants when she's ready to plant.

She's been collecting strawberry dishes for about 30 years now. I happened to see some real pretty glasses at the thrift store. They only had 5 and they were pretty pricey for thrift store at $2 each, but I think she will like them.

After the Health Fair we went to Texas Roadhouse for lunch and I used up my last gift card that I bought before xmas. They had a deal buy $25 and get $5 extra and I bought 2 for me and 2 for presents.

I'm starting to look at the ads for a new laptop. I'd like to get one for less than $400. I hope there are some good deals soon for graduation. My computer is giving me fits lately and I think I need to have a replacement on hand before it completely dies.

I was watching some cooking shows yesterday and one of them was making chicken noodle soup. They added lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg to the soup. Unusual ingredients for chicken noodle soup. Last night I made a grilled ham and cheese sandwich and had a can of chicken noodle soup. I added a little lemon juice to the soup and I did like it. I didn't add the other two spices. I also did something different with the ham sandwich. Instead of slicing onions for the sandwich I sliced an apple and used that. It was pretty good.

I finished reading my book Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs. Paranormal - excellent.

blah's

April 17th, 2010 at 01:49 pm

I have the blah's. I don't get them very often, but I have them today. There doesn't seem to be as many bargains or good coupons lately and it a gray rainy day. Nothing seems very interesting today, not even my book. Good day to take a nap and wake up in a better mood later Smile

Yesterday my mom said they spent the day being me. They went to several stores and saved lots of money using coupons or deals I sent them. But she said it takes a lot of time to orgainize which coupons with which deals and which stores. I always hear these stories how clipping coupons doesn't take a lot of time. It does for me. I used them while working, but not nearly as much as I do now. I didn't have the time or energy before. I think going from store to store takes a lot of energy too. It's worth it now that I have more time than money and it's more of a hobby for me than a necessity. I feel sorry for someone who works and has kids and who needs to shop this way. It's like a part time job.

I finished reading the library book Must Love Hellhounds. Paranormal short stories - very good.

unusually good tax day

April 16th, 2010 at 01:55 pm

Yesterday was a fun day for me. I met a friend for lunch at Ruby Tuesdays and we talked for 2 hours. I haven't seen her for a couple months because she has been holed up in her house afraid to even spend gas money since they went a month without a salary due to some unforseen problems with their contracting firm. It was really good to catch up and I'm sure she was happy to be out and about again. I just had the loaded baked potato without sour cream so I only spent $4.43 with tip.

Yesterday was also my Dad's birthday - poor guy. He can never really like his birthday because of the day it is. Mom invited me over for dinner and to play games after. We had steaks, mashed potatoes, salad, and garlic bread with Swann's lemon pie for dessert. Yum! I only one 1 out of the 6 games we played but to me the playing is just as fun.

I also worked on their computer since mom could print emails but not word documents. Finally figured out it was because they were low on black ink. The emails had some color in them so she could print those while the word docs were completely black and white. They always have the weirdest problems that take me forever to figure out. The longer I'm retired the harder it is to retain my tech edge too. I'm not around people who talk about and deal with technical stuff all day and it seems like that is all such a long time ago and so fuzzy in my brain now Smile

I finished reading my book Restoree by Anne McCaffrey. Sci/Fi - very good.

spring has sprung

April 14th, 2010 at 11:42 am

On our walk today mom and I saw several signs of spring. We saw robins and we saw our first wildflower of the year - an anemone. The grass has tinges of green here and there. We even heard a few frogs sound off. That doesn't mean we still won't get several inches of snow, but spring is definitely here.

I got a free sample of Ritz pretzel munchables in the mail and mom got a free sample of Weight Watchers Rosemary and Olive Oil Pretzel Thins from Curves. She shared them with me and these are really good, we both liked them a lot.

I finished reading the library book The Shadow Sorceress by L.E. Modesitt jr. Sci/Fi - very good.