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Archive for May, 2010

aspirin and candy

May 30th, 2010 at 07:56 pm

I went to Walgreens this morning to get this weeks specials. I did 4 transactions and spent nothing out of pocket since I used gift cards that I rolled previous Register Rewards on to. I ended up with $9 in RRs to either put on a gift card or spend in the next 2 weeks.

Transactions 1 - 3

2.00 - 45 ct Ecotrin aspirin
.14 - taxes
-2.00 - coupon
.14 - got a $2 RR for each transaction

Transaction 4

10.00 - 2 bags each Reeses pieces + peppermint patties
.29 - taxes
-3.00 - 3 $1 coupons
-2.00 - Ecotrin RR
5.29 - got back a $5 RR

The candy will go to my nieces, the aspirin goes in my stash. I take one a day.

Is anyone else just getting one comment emailed to them from their blogs? I get the first one, but not anything after that. This just started yesterday.

I finished reading the library book Demon Forged by Meljean Brook. Paranormal - very good.

The New Frugality - book review

May 29th, 2010 at 07:46 pm

I finished reading the library book The New Frugality by Chris Farrell. What a waste of time. There was nothing new, just a general rehash of old principles - save more, spend less and do it in a green/environmental way. Plus there was the obligatory slap at Amy Dacyczyn for her 'extreme frugalism' of reusing vacuum cleaner bags. I don't know why so many financial savings authors think they have to do that. She's the most successful savings author ever, yet so many other financial savings authors feel they have to put her down. They need to prove that they are not asking you to do something 'extreme' - like not use credit cards Smile - everyone has saving ideas that other people would not use, that doesn't mean those people are weird or cheap or extremist. What difference does it make to them if someone uses an idea that they wouldn't use. It works for the user, it saves money and reusing vacuum cleaners, ziploc bags, aluminum foil etc is good for the environment, which this author is supposedly promoting. Most people know all the basic savings advice, you need to do something different to get people thinking about all aspects of their savings if you want to make a big difference.

There was one quote in the book that I liked about retirment. "Many retirees find that they can make significant cuts in expenses without slashing their standard of living. The retired have the time to shop for and take advantage of deals and discounts, to clip coupons and plan ahead. It's easy for them to substitue home cooking instead of a late-night dash after work to get takeout.... You can get by on a lot less when you're retired, without really depriving yourself of anything important." This fits in exactly with my philosophy.

I was telling my dad about the savings on the Elephant Bar gift cards and he asked me to buy him 2 $50 cards, so I went online last night and got those and a lot more cards had been added, so I got another $100 WalMart card at 4% off. Dad likes Elephant bar because he gets a 20% senior citizen discount - add that to an 11% gift card discount and the occassional coupon and he really saves.

I got gas at Safeway this morning for the first time in almost 2 months. I last got gas at King Soopers on April 6th when I had .60 cents off. I used the gas in my 2 5 gal cans thru this month. This time I only had .10 cents off. It cost $2.53/gal and I spent $25 just for my car. I'll wait to fill up the gas cans when it's cheaper. The credit card should be giving 5% back on gas in July.

Elephant Bar gift card

May 28th, 2010 at 06:36 pm

I have used up several of my gift cards in the last couple of weeks buying stuff for my niece's bday. So today I was looking at plasticjungle for discounted gift cards to replace what I've used. I saw an Elephant Bar gift card at 11% off. $50 card for 44.50. My parents eat there after church almost every Sunday, so I got it for father's day. Didn't see the other ones I was looking for, but I'll keep looking, probably in the next week or so they'll show up. I found a new site for discounted cards:

Text is and Link is

I finished reading my book Mackenzie's Legacy by Linda Howard. Romance - excellent.

clearance finds and groceries

May 27th, 2010 at 08:43 pm

I went to Walgreens today to stock up on Boost, which they have on sale buy 1 get 1 for 50% off and I have $1.50 coupons. But as usual Walgreens only had 1 so no deal. I may try the other Walgreens again tomorrow and if they don't have it, get a raincheck. I like to keep nutritional drinks around for mornings when I don't have time for breakfast or if I know I'm going to have a big lunch.

While at Walgreens I found a Blood Pressure monitor on clearance for 33.99. I've been looking for one of these and that was a decent price for the brand. I also found 2 self-check A1c tests for diabetes at $7.50 each. I'm supposed to get this test every 3 months. This is a lot cheaper than paying for a dr visit and lab work. I did some research and these are supposed to be very accurate.

I went to King Soopers after that. If people were to just look at my grocerie cart each week, they would wonder what the heck I ate based on what's in my cart. I usually have basics like milk and bread and some fruit or veggies, but the rest of the stuff is what's very cheap or free Smile So I might have no veggies and 3 bottles of salad dressing and 2 bottles of BBQ sauce and lifesavers candy. Hard to make meals out of that Smile

I spent $13.91

2.00 - 2 bottles Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce
-2.00 - 2 $1 q's
FREE - both bottles go to the food pantry

5.00 - 3 bottles Kraft salad dressing
-3.00 - 3 .55 q's doubled
2.00 - got back a $2.00 OYNO q. 1 goes to me, 1 goes to niece and 1 goes to pantry

2.00 - 2 bags lifesavers hard candy
-2.00 - 2 .50 q's doubled
FREE - 1 to each of my nieces

7.50 - 3 6 pcks Hansens natural soda
-3.00 - 3 .50 q's doubled
4.50 - I rarely drink soda but every once in a while I like one, especially with popcorn, plus I like to have something nieces can drink. I get the Black Cherry made with Splenda and it's very good.

3.96 - 2 dozen large Smart Balance eggs w/Omega 3
-2.00 - 2 .50 q's doubled
1.96 - after the coupons this was cheaper than store brand eggs at $1.29/doz

1.98 - 1 gal skim milk
1.99 - 1 loaf Sara Lee whole wheat bread
1.23 - 8 bananas
.23 - tax

Kraft has a rebate out buy $30 and get $10 back so the $5 in salad dressings will go towards completing that.

I finished reading the library book A Touch of Minx by Suzanne Enoch. Romance - very good.

tomatoes - tomatohs

May 26th, 2010 at 08:47 pm

Today's theme seems to run to tomatoes. After our walk today Dad came and got mom and me to go to Home Depot. We needed his truck for the dirt. Mom used the gift card I gave her for mother's day and picked out a bunch of flowers for their yard. I got a 40 lb sack of compost, some perlite and 2 tomato plants. The tomatoes I planted back in April in the windowsill died from lack of attention - oops. Home Depot had large tomato plants with tomotoes already growing for .99 cents. What a good price.

Then we stopped at WalMart which is accross the street so mom could pick up some Weight Watcher's ice cream that's on sale right now. So I bought some more tomato products. They have 40 oz Heinz ketchup on sale for $1. I had 2 .20 cents coupons so I got them for .80 each. 1 for me, 1 for niece. Walgreens has 8 oz Hunts tomato sauce on sale for .25 cents, but they are usually out if I want to buy any quantity, so I took the ad to Walmart and got a price match on 5 cans. I had a coupon for a $1/5 so I spent .25 for 5 cans. They all go to the food pantry.

I finished reading the library book A Game of Chance by Linda Howard. Romance - excellent.

I'm getting old

May 26th, 2010 at 04:35 am

My oldest niece has a birthday coming up in June. Mom and I took both nieces to Denver for birthday present shopping. OMG! It was a very good day, but we spent 2 hours in 2 stores. My niece had to look at everything in the store, she had to try on half the store and then settle for 2 things. The music was loud, and obnoxious to me. My mom and I both got so tired of standing waiting for her. We sat on one of the display ledges in one of the stores, it was extremely hard and we were both stiff after a while. Used to be we could shop all day in a mall, but I don't ever remember spending an hour in any one store. Signs that I'm getting old are I dislike most of the clothes, I hate the music, I also get stiff and sore standing around all day. But I love my niece so it was worth it - I guess Smile

We also went to Border's were I got 2 books for me using my reward gift cards from my credit card and 33% off coupons.

After the mall we went to the Container Store which is one of my favorite stores. For once, however, I didn't buy anything from them.

Then mom took us to the White Chocolate Grill for dinner. Which is a very expensive restaurant, but is one of my nieces favorites - mostly for the desserts. We had a late lunch so I wasn't that hungry. I got a Rustic Club sandwich with fries and ate about half the sandwich and a few of the fries. I brought the other half home. It was really good. The main reason for going though was the desserts. Their desserts are $7 each and are supposed to serve 2. My mom and I split a White Chocolate brownie. It was decadent. The brownie was about 4" x 4" and topped with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream, hot fudge sauce and huge peels of curled white chocolate. I had one bite of the brownie and half the ice cream and a couple of the chocolate curls. Mom ate all of her half and I took the rest home. My oldest niece had the White Chocolate souffle cake. She ate about 2/3 rds of it and brought the rest home and my youngest niece had the rasperry cheesecake. She also ate about 2/3 rds and brought the rest home. We were all totally stuffed when done, but it was very, very good.

We stopped at Target on the way home to get the rest of the birthday presents. My oldest niece is working at Target this summer and gets a 10% discount on everything so we used that. I spent $40 on her presents and $7.46 for lunch, and got 2 books and dinner and leftovers for tomorrow for free. We started at 1 pm and got home just before 9 pm - a very long day.

I finished reading the library book changes by Jim Butcher. Sci/Fi - very good.

scalloped tomatoes

May 23rd, 2010 at 07:32 pm

Last night I fixed a big pan of Stouffer's individual meatloaves, 6 of them. I ate one and refroze 3 and kept 2 for other meals this week. For sides I fixed scalloped tomatoes and mashed butternut squash. The mashed butternut squash is fixed the same way you fix mashed potatoes - boil in salted water, drain, mash with butter, milk, salt and pepper. They were pretty good - not as good as mashed potatoes, but good, and it was a vegetable :P

I love the scalloped tomatoes. This is a takeoff on one of Ina Garten's recipes only I changed it to just make 2 servings and use stuff from my pantry and freezer.

Scalloped Tomatoes


2 sliced frozen Texas Toast garlic bread
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes with Basil and garlic
2 cloves garlic
1 package Splenda
1 tsp basil
1 tsp salt
tsp pepper
1 tbls olive oil
2 tbls parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350
Add olive oil to large skillet and heat
Mince garlic
Grate parmesan
Drain tomatoes
Cut Texas Toast into 1 inch chunks while still frozen
Add toast to skillet and toast - approx 5 min
Add can of tomatoes, Splenda, garlic, salt, pepper and basil to skillet.
Heat tomatoes and other ingredients - approx 5 min
Put mixture in small ramekin and sprinkle parmesan over the top.
Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 35 min
Serves 2

I planted basil, parsley, radishes and green onions this weekend. It's finally time here - I hope. Now if I can just get thru the hail season.

I finished reading the library book The Endless Forest by Sara Donati. Historical - excellent. I love this series. I gave it to my niece a while back and she fell in love too and has been forcing all her friends to read it.

I also read my book Lyon's Pride by Anne McCaffrey. Sci/Fi - ok

gift stores

May 20th, 2010 at 09:31 pm

Mom and I went browsing today. She clips advertisements for gift stores she wants to visit and since she had to go way downtown she picked out a couple to see and asked me along. She loves to buy gifts. She gives gifts to everybody for everything. But most gift stores don't stay in business very long. Too much competition from the big chains. She likes to find things that no one else she knows has seen.

We went to a little store that had old fashioned victorian style stuff and she found a really pretty necklace and earring set for herself. Then we just walked around the block and there was a spice store. We wandered in to see what it was about and she got several spices. I guess there is going to be a new Cooking channel on TV that starts May 31 and one of their shows is called Spice It Up. It's based on this store. They were advertising it.

Next store was cooking store, which I love to look in, even though they are usually very expensive. I did get a new paring knife with a cover for the blade for $10. She got several things. We were at a parking meter and were late getting back to it, but fortunately no ticket.

We went to another little store in another area of town called Aunt Ruth's Attic. It had shabby chic type stuff. Neither one of us found anything interesting there.

Lunch was at Ruby Tuesday's. $9. I had the salad bar and a baked potato. Last stop on the way home was the dollar store. My kind of store Smile. Mom got bunches of plastic/silk flowers to put on the graves for memorial day plus some other things. I got a big bag of shelled sunflower seeds, some egg noodles, some 13 gal trash bags and a pair of sunglasses. $4.15 I sat on my sunglasses the other day and broke them. I found a dime on the way out of the store.

I bought a large pizza on Tuesday because a friend was supposed to come over yesterday with Avatar and we were going to watch it. But her car broke down and she canceled, so I'm taking the pizza over to parents tonight to have it. It's too big to put in my side-by-side freezer.

I finished reading my book Hunting Julian by Jacquelyn Frank. Paranormal - very good.


May 18th, 2010 at 07:14 pm

I ran several errands this morning. I went to Great Clips for a haircut - $8.99 with coupon, saved $3 - spent $11 with tip.

Goodwill - dropped off 3 boxes of household stuff

Staples - bought 1 black ink cartridge for my printer

.35 - tax
- 2.00 - 10% rewards check from staples for previous ink purchases
-15.00 - staples check for turning in 5 ink cartridges last month
-4.00 - used the Staples card I bought that was discounted by $4
.84 for ink

Walgreens - traded in last weeks RRs for a $10 walgreens gift card and got milk and bread and a .19 cent Royal gelatin package for a filler. The gelatin goes to the food pantry. It was .47 cents after the RRs, which I paid with another WAG gift card. No oop.

Papa Murphey's - bought a large pepperoni pizza for $8. I had a $3 coupon.

I got a $5 rebate check in the mail for the Quilted Northern I got a while back. I think it was buy $20 get $5.

I finished reading the library book Conspiracies by F. Paul Wilson. Adventure - ok

Parker, CO

May 18th, 2010 at 05:16 am

My mom, my niece and I went to Parker, CO today to do some looking around. We had driven thru, but never stopped. Mom had heard there were some good gift stores there and wanted to check them out. Unfortunately, we didn't find anything different, just the same stores as in every other town in the USA. Walmart, Target, Kohls etc.

We went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and I got my niece some things for her apartment as bday presents. A cover for her bed and a set of 7 baking pans. I spent $60 after using 2 20% off coupons.

We went back to mom's and talked for several hours. She is all grown up and I am impressed with her demeanor and attitude towards the world. So proud of who she has become.

I gave my niece the box of cleaning supplies and spices and stuff I've been collecting for her for her new apartment.

I got a few more boxes of cereal free today. 6 Captain Crunch which go to my brother and 3 Cheerios for me. I got a total of 51 free boxes of cereal last week. 34 for the pantry, 11 for me and 6 for brother.

I finished reading my book Moon Shadows. Paranormal short stories - ok

Save Big - book review

May 16th, 2010 at 08:20 pm

I just finished reading the library book Save Big by Elisabeth Leamy. The book focuses on saving money on what she describes as the 5 big items people spend money on - houses, cars, credit, groceries and health care. Her philosophy is "I've always preferred to save a lot of money on a few things rather than a little bit of money on a bunch of things. I like to SAVE BIG. Not small."

She has some good ideas in the various categories, but nothing new for me. I found her style off-putting because of her disdain for saving on little stuff. How often do people buy houses or cars? Yes you can save money in these areas, but usually only a few times a decade, in my opinion you can't just save money on these items and expect to be able to spend freely in the rest of your life.

She speaks in hyperbole claiming "This book contains $1,176,916 worth of savings in all. You would have to deny yourself $294,229 lattes to save that much money."

First of all not all saving ideas will pertain to all people, and second just because you don't spend money on something doesn't mean you've saved money. Most likely it means you never had that money in the first place and if you did, you spent it on something else. I'd be very surprised to find someone who had $1 million saved based on these saving ideas. I could save thousands every day buy not buying a big house or a newer car, doesn't mean I actually have any more money in the bank.

She shows a real disdain for saving money on small items that build up into major savings over time.

"the way to cut those costs is not to install low-flow shower heads, yet that's one fo the most common tips for saving money around the house. If you do it to save the environment, fine. But to save money? Please. That's Small Stuff savings; five dollars a month at most. Peanuts. Pennies. Pathetic."

"The clasic tip for saving money on getting money is to go to your own bank's ATM to avoid fees. I don't like the idea of having to pay a fee to access my own money either, but we're talking Small Stuff Savings with that: an average of $3 per transaction, according to Utterly underwhelming."

"The usual advice to save on food is to pack you own lunch. Yawn ... Yes, that will save you about $7 a day, but it's a pain. When I pack my lunch and take it to work, my body goes into some sort of freak starvation mode and I inevitably wolf down my sack lunch at 11 A.M. Then I'm famished again at 3 P.M. and end up going out and buying another lunch. I soon get tired of packing a limp lunch and buying a late lunch and I give up. Besides, that's Small Stuff Savings."

Obviously she is a person who makes a pretty good salary and after buying houses, cars, groceries, and health care has enough money left to do all the other things in life she wants to - good for her, (I mean that sincerely), but most people aren't that way. They can't afford unlimited hot showers, $4 lattes, $3 ATM charges and $7 lunches every day. That adds up into big money.

For most people even buying houses and cars they can afford, not having debt and watching health care costs there is not enough money left to do everything. That is where saving on the little stuff comes in play. It's about priorities, do I save on hot water so I can travel. Do I save on ATM charges so I can go out to eat once in a while, etc.

She reminds me of the government. Oh, $5 million is just a small amount in the scheme of things - it's not worth bothering about. We don't want to concern ourselves with such small amounts of money. We need to spend $1 trillion for this program, just because 10% of that is wasted ... it's Small Stuff Savings - why are you bothering us about that? PLBHHHHH.....

As I said her attitude irked me, but the book is worth reading especially if you've never bought a house. There are some good ideas on that and in other chapters.

I also finished reading the library book Silent Sea by Clive Cussler. Adventure - very good.

financial notebook

May 15th, 2010 at 08:18 pm

I've been thinking alot lately about needing to update my financial notebook. I moved a lot of money around in the last month, opened new cds with a new bank, bought some more I-bonds and got a new credit card. My notebook hasn't been updated in more than a year. With all the accounts that are totally online anymore, where you don't get printed statements in the mail, someone coming in after I'm dead would have a terrible time finding some of my assets without help. Several of my accounts don't even send you tax information anymore, you have to go to their site to print it. My parents can do some basic things on the computer, but they really need to be spelled out for them to be able to access many of the financial websites that ask you security questions and type in passwords etc. It would be very difficult for them. I do print out statements at least every quarter so that would be somewhere to start.

Anyways, while wandering around on Dollar Stretcher I came across this article that I thought was rather timely.

Text is and Link is

Now if I would just sit down and actually do the updates Smile

I finished reading my book Damia's Children by Anne McCaffrey. Sci/Fi - ok

lots of cheap cereal

May 14th, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Back to Safeway where I did 6 transactions and got 38 boxes of cereal. 30 for the food pantry.

1st transaction

2.00 - 2 boxes Kelloggs Corn flakes
4.50 - 3 boxes Frosted Flakes
6.99 - 1 Scrubbing Bubbles power spray
.48 - tax
-1.00 - $1/2 Kelloggs corn flakes
-1.00 - $1/3 Frosted flakes
-5.00 - Scrubbing Bubbles
-6.00 - 2 $3 OYNO coupons
.97 - I got $4 OYNO q from kelloggs and $3 OYNO from Scrubbing bubbles

2nd transaction

6.00 - 4 boxes cheerios
2.00 - 2 boxes Kelloggs Corn flakes
4.50 - 3 boxes Frosted Flakes
4.00 - 2 jars Classico spagetti sauce
.00 - 2 boxes Safeway pasta
10.00 - 4 boxes Nabisco 100 cal cookies
.99 - 1 trial size Tide
6.99 - 1 Scrubbing Bubbles power spray
.55 - tax
-4.00 - 4 .55 Cheerios q's doubled
-3.39 - Classico bogo q
-1.00 - $1/2 Nabisco cookies
-7.18 - 2 BOGO Nabisco q's - each took off 3.59
-5.00 - Scrubbing Bubbles
.99 - $1.00 Tide q price adjusted
-6.00 - 2 $3 OYNO coupons
-4.00 - 1 $4 OYNO q
3.47 - they cheated me out of $2 in coupons I had for the Kelloggs cereal, but I got 2 $3 OYNO and 1 $4 OYNO coupon back

3rd, 4th and 5th transactions

2.00 - 2 boxes Kelloggs Corn flakes
4.50 - 3 boxes Frosted Flakes
-1.00 - $1/2 Kelloggs corn flakes
-1.00 - $1/3 Frosted flakes
-4.00 - 1 $4 OYNO coupons
.50 and got back a $4 OYNO q for each transaction so I just rolled it onto the next one

6th transaction

6.00 - 4 boxes Cheerios
7.50 - 3 boxes Nabisco 100 cal cookies
2.00 - 2 boxes Kelloggs Corn flakes
4.50 - 3 boxes Corn Pops
-4.00 - 4 .55 cheerios q's doubled
-1.00 - $1/2 Nabisco cookies
-2.50 - BOGO Nabisco q
-1.00 - $1/2 Kelloggs
-1.00 - $1/3 Kelloggs
-10.00 - OYNO q's
.50 and got back $4 and $2 OYNO q

I spent a total of $6.43 and still have $9 in OYNO q's

I got the following for the food pantry

30 boxes cereal
2 packages pasta
1 jar Classico spagetti sauce
1 bottle Scrubbing bubbles

I got 1 Scrubbing bubbles for my mom and for me I got

8 boxes cheerios
7 boxes Nabisco cookies
1 jar alfredo sauce

They were out of the Wacky Mac and I still have 3 cheerios q's to use. There are supposed to be more cereal q's in Sunday's paper, so I will probably go back again on Monday.

I finished reading the library book Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs - paranormal - excellent

moneymaker day

May 13th, 2010 at 08:51 pm

I went to Safeway again today and got $54 worth of stuff for $1.34 and got $9 back in OYNO coupons - very good shopping day.

4.00 - 4 boxes Kelloggs corn flakes
-2.00 - 2 $1/2 coupons
2.00 - got back a $3 OYNO q - moneymaker - these go to the food pantry

6.99 - Scrubbing Bubbles power spray starter kit
.48 - taxes
-5.00 - coupon
2.47 - got back a $3 OYNO q - moneymaker - this goes to my mom

4.00 - 2 jars Classico sauce - 1 red, 1 white
.00 - 2 boxes Safeway Penne rigatoni
-3.39 - Classico BOGO q
1.39 - plus got 2 packages of Safeway brand penne rigatoni free. Buy 2 Classico get 2 pasta free. 1 jar of sauce goes to food pantry

2.00 - Nabisco Planter's Nut bars
-1.00 - .75 q doubled
1.00 - I wanted to try these and while they are ok, they are not a payday which is my favorite candy bar Smile

10.00 - 4 boxes Nabisco 100 calorie cookies
- 1.00 - $1/2 coupon
- 3.59 - bogo q
- 3.59 - bogo q
1.82 - got back a $3 OYNO q - moneymaker

1.69 - 2 packages Wacky Mac - on sale BOGO
-1.00 - .50 q doubled
- .50 - .50 q - cashier entered didn't double
.19 - the food pantry gets these

I also bought 1.25 of bananas and used the $8 OYNO coupons I got yesterday. Final cost 1.34

The food pantry gets

4 boxes corn flakes
1 jar spagetti sauce
2 packages Wacky Mac

I also went back to Walgreens and got 2 more of the Schick Hydro shavers - made $1.46 on each one.

7.99 - Schick razor
.55 - tax
-5.00 - Schick coupon
3.54 - got back a $5.00 RR so made $1.46 on both razors - these go to my brother.

I need to go back to Safeway again since I have more q's, plus I had to decide if I wanted to use my cheerios coupons there or at King Soopers. I stopped at King Soopers and decided Safeway had the better deal. Safeway was out of some of the things I wanted also, maybe they will be restocked tomorrow. I want to do the Classico, Nabisco and cereal deals again.

And to make the day better I got my All You magazine in the mail - more coupons Smile

I finished reading the library book The Dragon Master by Allyson James. Paranormal - ok

I also finished my book Mackenzie's Heroes by Linda Howard. Romance - excellent.