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Archive for December, 2010

2010 food pantry totals

December 31st, 2010 at 10:08 pm

In 2010 I spent 289.17 for 831 items that were donated to the food pantry in 2010. This included food, personal care, pharmacy, cleaning supplies, paper products and toys. The face value of the items was $1036.62 a 72% savings. The original goal was to spend $20/month and try to purchase 100 items. I did this pretty regularly in 2009, but was only able to meet the 100 item goal a couple times in 2010. The deals just weren't there. However, I am happy with what I was able to do. Next year I plan to increase the monthly amount to $25. I also usually spend another $75 for toys, I plan to spend $100 on toys in 2011.

It's a whopping 3 degrees here today. The roads are still really slick and lots of accidents. Dad came by and picked me up so we could walk at Walmart.

I finished reading my book Gravity Dreams by L.E. Modesitt Jr. Sci/Fi - pretty good.


December 30th, 2010 at 10:57 pm

We are having a blizzard here and the roads are a mess, so I had to cancel a dr's appt. That means I'll have to pay full price next month when I got since my health care deductions will start from 0. I went to Walmart to walk this morning and it was cloudy but no snow. By the time we got out it was just starting to flake. Walmart was a zoo with people shopping. It wasn't even that bad before xmas. I went to King Soopers to get my prescriptions and bananas, potatoes, onions, eggs and soap. It was even worse. By the time I got out the snow was sticking. I was almost out of gas so stopped to get that. Again, everyone and his brother was there. Finally got gas and by then the roads were icy. It took me an half hour to drive 3 miles to get home. That's when I decided to cancel the appt.

I watched the Extreme Couponing show on TLC last night. The only one who has thier priorities straight seems to be Joyce the retired nurse. She shops for several families and while she stockpiles, she doesn't hoard, like some of the others. No one needs 150 years of toilet paper. The first family, where the wife says she misses dates with her husband for good deals said she spends 6 hours a day couponing. i think she bought about $1000 of stuff for $50. That's great, but who needs 260 boxes of pasta? Even at 1 box/week that's more than 5 years worth. She spent $50 and bought $70 worth of coupons to do the deals. That's $120. More than enough for 2 people for one week. I would think she could do a lot better in a lot less time just buying enough and not buying more than you can possibly use.

I am a couponer and I like the good deals. It's hard to turn down free stuff. I agree with several of the people that it's a game. But I don't let it take over my life.

I just think the show gave normal couponers a bad name. It's getting a lot of buzz on the coupon web sites, most people don't seem to care for the portrayal.

I finished reading the library book Dark Peril by Christine Feehan. Paranormal - very good.

punished for being 50

December 29th, 2010 at 10:00 pm

No wonder people don't like to get older, not only does your body punish you by not working as well and aching more, but the insurance companies punish you too. I got my first health insurance bill for 2011. It increased just because, but adding insult to injury since I'm turning 50 there is another premium jump of a whopping $73/month. At least I can get insurance and this last year definitely taught me the value of having it, even paying more than $5000/year, it's worth it. My new monthly bill is 417.60.

I started watching a documentary from Netflix on my computer yesterday. I didn't have a lot of time so only got the first 20 minutes in. But I was really impressed with the speed and quality of the download. Plus I can go back and pick up right where I left off instead of having to start from the beginning like with a DVD. They sent my first DVD and I'm supposed to get it tomorrow.

My grandma went home today so last night was the last night of playing cards. We played Rook the whole 5 days. Me and mom vs grandma and dad. They won 22 games to our 21 so it was pretty close.

I finished reading my book Sebastian by Anne Bishop. Sci/Fi - very good.


December 28th, 2010 at 09:02 pm

I was in a very grumpy mood earlier this morning. Feeling good now. I woke up to another smoke detector chirping. This one upstairs. It actually blew out the bottom of the old battery that was in there. I need to get some more 9V batteries, I only have 1 new one left and 2 more smoke detectors.

I went to Walmart and even though the ringy-dingy guys are gone, they've got new people out in front asking (yelling) for donations. I just hate that, it's one of my pet peeves. Made me very grumpy Smile

I got some frozen popcorn shrimp and fries for dinner tonight at my mom's. She's fixed dinner for me everyday since xmas because I've gone over everyday to play games with my grandma. I also got 4 small xmas bags for .12 each and 2 18 ct boxes of 30 gal Hefty trash bags for .50/each. The trash bags in this size and price are only on the cigarette fast lane. They are $2.50 for 18 ct and I had $2 coupons. I only needed 2 so I left a bunch of coupons sitting on the bags for anyone else who needed some.

I paid both credit cards and cashed in my rewards. I will get $50 back from the MC and a $25 gift card to Borders from Discover.

I signed up for a free month trial at Netflix. If I decide to keep it, it will be $9.99/month for streaming video and DVDs by mail. I put several DVDs in my queue and I will see if it's worth it to me to do this. I have the first season of Glee and the first season of the Amazing Race waiting. I'll see what kind of quality I get streaming a movie to my computer. Not expecting great things there.

I finished reading my book The Brazen Bride by Stephanie Laurens. Romance - excellent.

dueling smoke alarms

December 27th, 2010 at 08:20 pm

In Colorado the building code says you have to have smoke alarms in every bedroom and hallway, you also have to have a carbon monixide alarm on each floor. This morning I woke up to the smoke alarm battery chirping. Since they are so close together (about 6 feet apart) it's often difficult to tell which one is the problem. I figured out it was coming from downstairs so elimanated 3 of them that way.

So I figured it was either my bedroom or the hallway. I thought it was the hallway so I changed the battery there. But I kept hearing chirping so I changed the one in the bedroom too. But both of them kept chirping. They were dueling. My dad had to come over to pick up a crock pot of beans mom wanted to make for dinner tonight, only she didn't have any beans or a crock pot. She loaned hers to my aunt. I always have tons of dried beans so I told her I would soak them last night. Anyways he had to pick those up and I asked him to bring his battery checker to see if maybe my batteries were bad. They were new, but have been in the closet for a year or two. Both batteries tested good. I was going to Walgreens so figured I would buy new ones and try them.

At Walgreens I did 2 transactions. The first one was:

12.00 - 2 Vicks Sinex
8.00 - 2 Vicks Vapo Rub
3.18 - 2 100 ct boxes Puffs tissue
1.50 - taxes
-8.00 - 2 $4 q's for Vicks Sinex
-2.00 - 2 $1 q's for any Vicks product
-3.18 - 2 buy 2 Vicks products get a free Puffs tissue
-1.40 - WAGS q on the Puffs discounted to .89/each
10.10 - got back a RR for $10 because I bought $20 in Vicks products. All the Vicks stuff will go to the food pantry and I'll keep the 2 boxes of tissue for 10 cents.

Second transaction

6.58 - 2 2 packs of Olay bar soap
11.98 - 2 2 packs Energizer 9V batteries
.89 - 1 Mars Simply Caramel candy bar
1.20 - taxes
-4.00 - 2 $2 Olay soap q's
-1.65 - WAG b1g1 50% off sale on Olay soap
-2.00 - 2 $1 Energizer q's
-10.00 - RR from previous transaction and why I bought the candy bar. Walgreen policy 1 q per/item
3.00 and I got back a $1 RR. I forgot Walgreens only gives 1 RR on an item. I should have done another transaction and got the batteries separately and I would have got another $1 RR.

When I got home I changed both smoke alarm batteries again and they finally guit chirping. I was putting the step ladder away and I hear another chirp sounding like it came from the furnace room so I checked that and the carbon monixide alarm was chirping. So I had to change those batteries too. It needed 3 AA's. Finally though there is peace and quite in the house Smile I can't understand why all the batteries quit working at the same time. I hadn't realized the 9V batteries had gotten so expensive, even with the RRs and the coupons about $2 each.

I finished reading the library book Sins of the Heart by Eve Silver. Paranormal - very good. This is a new author for me and I liked it a lot. I plan to put some of her other books on hold at the library.

very good christmas

December 26th, 2010 at 08:43 pm

Christmas turned out really well. The nieces had to leave earlier than we would have liked, but it was great while they were there. Opening presents took less than an hour. We knew it would go much faster this year. Everyone seemed to like what they got. My main gift was a DVR/VCR combo.

My oldest niece made everyone treats. Mine was kiflins - a type of almond cookie that are very good. Mom got caramels dipped in chocolate, they were excellent. She made brownies for her mom and sister and divinity for my dad.

We spent a lot of time talking about my brother, but it was good and not sad. After everyone else left I stayed and played cards. My grandma plans to stay till Wednesday, so I will probably go over every evening to play cards.

I hope everyone else had a wonderful Christmas day.

I finished reading the library book A Wild Light by Marjorie M. Liu. Paranormal - very good.

first christmas

December 24th, 2010 at 10:33 pm

This is going to be a very weird christmas. It's the first christmas after my brother's death and it's the first christmas without my brother-in-law in over 20 years and it might be the last christmas with my grandma. I hope not on the last one, unless that's what's best for her, since she's in a lot of pain and has been for many years. She's 92.

Christmas is usually an all day thing at my mom's. It starts out with grandma reading the christmas story from the bible and then we all take turns opening presents and it can take 3 - 4 hours. We have a huge lunch and usually watch a video together, mostly someone's present that year. This year, the nieces have to cram in two christmas's with their parents and another with us in the same day. So probably only 3 - 4 hours for lunch and presents total. They will start at their mom's christmas morning, then at my mom's for lunch and presents and then to their dad's in the evening.

The present opening should go much faster since two people won't be there and everyone got fairly large gifts this year instead of a lot of little ones.

Yesterday my parents found out my dad's half-sister died. She was somewhere in her 80's, he was close to her. Just another part of this crappy year. My dad just keeps saying he wishes this year was over.

They picked up the death certificates for my brother and instead of the heart-attack they originally told them he died from they wrote ethanol abuse as cause of death. That really hurt my dad. He's never admitted my brother had an alcohol problem.

My mom just called and they just got home with grandma, so I'm going over there to play cards tonight. That should be fun. We've always been a big game playing family at all our get togethers. I have all the presents ready to go, so will take them with me tonight and put them in the right spots in mom's living room.

I finished reading the library book Bad Blood by John Sandford. Mystery - excellent.

I love my bed

December 23rd, 2010 at 08:22 pm

Last night I was lying in bed ready to fall asleep and my mind was just drifting. I felt so comfortable and relaxed. I started thinking I love my bed. I was reminded of the hospital and how much trouble I had sleeping and the comparison just made me realize how much better it was to be home in my own bed. My bed is adjustable and is raised about 2 inches at the top. I have very soft, comfortable sheets. Next to me is my remote control for the ceiling fan/light so I can just reach over and adjust the temperature. My bed has a massage function when I want to use it. Just grateful for the little things like sleeping in my own bed, in my own house and enjoying every minute of it Smile

Mom and I were able to walk outside today so didn't need to endure Walmart. She finished her shopping yesterday and said that's it for the year. She ran out of time and will fill in with money where needed. I just wish both of my parents would slow down and realize that many, if not most, of the things they think are important for xmas are not what's important and mostly we all just want to be together that day. What the house looks like, what the presents are, how they are wrapped, what the menu is doesn't matter. But that's not likely to happen.

I finished reading my book Mountain Massacre by Jason Manning. Western - ok.

why do keyboards lose their letters so fast?

December 23rd, 2010 at 12:39 am

My parents had a problem getting on thier email the other day so I went over to fix their computer. I noticed their keyboard is missing a lot of the letters, they've rubbed off. I think they've only had this keyboard less than 2 years. I think my dad has something in his skin oils that's toxic. I've noticed most keyboards seem to lose their letters faster than they used to, but not that fast. I've had mine for 5 years and the N, M and E keys are starting to wear, but the rest are still great.

Anyways I suggested mom get dad a new keyboard for xmas. Unfortunately I didn't think about it till today, which doesn't leave a lot of time. We looked at Walmart during our walk and they only had one keyboard that was wired. The rest were all wireless. I think wireless is a pain in the butt. You'll be typing or mousing and all the sudden it quits working and it takes a while to remember to check the batteries. But I would have gotten a wireless if any of them had a sleep key. My parents really like that feature and use it all the time. I don't know why they are so hard to find though.

Walmart didn't have any so we went to Staples and they didn't have any either. I told her I would go in town with her that afternoon if she wanted me too and look at Best Buy or Office Max. I really didn't want to go shopping in town this close to xmas. She was going anyways. She had a few things to buy at Walmart and needed to make a list so I came home and checked Amazon.

They had a great one with larger letters for people who won't wear their glasses and wonder why they can't see Smile plus it was wired and had a sleep button. It was just under $40. They wanted $13 for next day shipping, but they had something that said Free 2 day shipping so I selected that. However when I got the invoice it changed it to 2 day shipping but still charged me $13. I sent an email and got a reply within a couple hours (from someone in India or from India living here) saying as a courtesy they would refund the shipping. So happy with that. I shipped it to mom's and really, really, really hope it gets there in time. Dad is so hard to buy for and this is something he can use.

I got another $4 footlong meatball sub at Subway for lunch and dinner, while we were at Walmart.

I finished reading the library book Nauti and Wild by Lora Leigh and Jaci Burton. Romance - ok.


December 21st, 2010 at 09:16 pm

It's a good thing the government says inflation is so low. I don't know what I'd do if it was 3 or 4% :P

My personal inflation rate seems much higher.

My HOA went up $15 or 9%
My health insurance went up $40+ or 14%
Gas has gone up .10/gal in the last month or 4%
Milk has gone up .30/gal or 15%
Eggs have gone up .50/doz or 50%
My house insurance went up $20+ or 14%
Two of my prescriptions went up 10% each
I expect my property taxes will go up too. I should be getting that bill soon.

The Borders $10 gift card deal was a bust for me. After spending an hour on the phone Sunday and being assured it would be mailed on Monday, I saw it was on backorder. I hate it when companies lie to you. It's time sensitive since the $10 bonus card is only good next week. It's an hour round trip to go to the Border's and I had planned to be in town next Monday. If it wasn't mailed yesterday it was doubtful I would get it in time. So I spent another 1/2 hour on the phone, being plauged by muzak, and canceled the order today. Extremely unimpressed by their service.

I finished reading the library book Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb. Mystery - excellent.


December 20th, 2010 at 09:53 pm

I was watching the news about a hugh snowstorm in California, they said they got 2 - 4" of snow. LOL that's what we call a light dusting here. Today we have gusty winds up to 36 mph. I expect somewhere that's a light breeze, but it's pretty fierce here. It's all in your perception of what's normal. It's 55 degrees here which is comfortable for us, but probably chilly for others.

We've been walking at Walmart most days because it's too cold or windy to walk outside. I don't think the Walmart is nearly as busy this year as it was the last 2 years. I don't know if that's because people are shopping somewhere else or if they are just not shopping.

I got another prescription today for $5.45. I ran out of coupons for prescriptions though so no free groceries. Maybe some more will come out after the first of the year.

I finished reading the library book Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich. Mystery - very good.

death by muzak

December 19th, 2010 at 10:15 pm

I don't know if this is actually possible but I've been on hold for more than 30 minutes with Borders and the muzak is killing me. I think if we want a new nethod of torture for Al Quada we just need to hook them up to musak and then every other minute interupt it to say "Your interrogation is very important to us, please hold on and we will get to you as soon as possible."

I ordered the $50 in Gift cards with the $10 bonus on Dec 8th. I didn't get notice it was shipped and last Thursday I checked the order. After recieving a confirmation email showing shipping was free the order status on line showed I owed $3.98 for shipping. I sent an email Thursday but no one replied so I called today. Bottom line is thier partner in this promotion added the premium shipping on after the order was placed since they didn't think they recieved enough money. I don't think that's legal. Anyways, they are supposed to ship it with no extra charge in the next day or so. Good thing I wasn't planning on giving the gift cards as gifts, since they won't get here in time to mail them anywhere. It took more than an hour to resolve, not very impressed with thier online ordering.

I walked around the neighborhood by myself today since mom is having a big party at her house for the relatives. 40 people in a house is more than I can handle. I've noticed there is a lot more outdoor decorating this year than last. Very pretty. I don't decorate my house, I just enjoy other's decorations.

I finished reading the library book Duainfey by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Sci/Fi - ok.

Portuguese Soup

December 18th, 2010 at 09:47 pm

I got the Mother Earth News magazine from the library a couple weeks ago and copied thier recipe for
Caldo Verde: Portuguese-Style Kale and Potato Soup. I thought it was pretty good and very easy. I made about half the recipe. I added a can of chicken broth for some of the water. Here's the link to the recipe if anyone is interested.

Text is and Link is

My parents, sister, niece and I went to look at some really nice townhomes this morning. Sister has had house for sale for two months now with no lookers even. She's looking to move once her house sales, but wants to stay in same school district. I told her about these and suggested she get a townhome for her next house, since she doesn't have the time, ability or money to manage a yard and the outside of the house. They had the master bedroom and office on the main floor and then two/three bedrooms downstairs. 3000 + sq feet and around $350K, which is a little high for her in my opinion. She should stay under $300K when it's just her paying all the bills. They have some smaller ones, but no models. They were super nice with lots of storage, big closets and 2 car garage, plus a great view of the mountains. It's a great price for what they are.

My mom is really interested in downsizing to something like that in about 5 years when hopefully housing prices are back up a bit.

I finished reading my book The Dolphins of Pern by Anne McCaffrey. Sci/Fi - very good.


December 17th, 2010 at 08:10 pm

I consider myself to be a fairly generous person. Especially with my family and friends. For charities I like to give tangible items such as food, toys etc. But I also give cash/checks occasionally for things like Katrina or Haiti or even some local charities. But I don't like to be asked to give. For some reason that strikes me the wrong way.

I don't like the ringy-dingy guys standing in front of the stores everywhere you go. I don't like girl or boy scounts or kiwana's or elks accosting you when you go into stores. I don't like phone calls asking for donations. Not sure why being asked makes such a difference, but it does. This time of year it seems like you are asked for donations everytime you turn around. Maybe it's the fact that you have to say no to someone when they ask and it makes you feel like you need to justify why you aren't giving. I don't know, I just know it makes me irritated when people ask me to donate.

One of my goals last year was to spend $20/month on buying food for the local food pantry. I hoped to purchase at least 100 items/month with that $20. Last year this was fairly easy to do. This year the deals weren't quite that good, plus I lost a lot of time due to illnesses/surgeries. I ended up spending the $20/month but didn't make the 100 items goal. So today I donated another $100 to the local food pantry.

Next year I think I will increase it to $25/month on food/personal care. I usually spend about $100/year on toys also. It's a lot of fun buying toys and now that I don't have young neices to buy for I can still buy but for someone else.

I'm having a lazy day today. I woke up with a headache from the weather and just haven't felt like doing anything. I think I'll spend the day working on my jigsaw puzzle and reading.

I finished reading the library book Deeper Than Dead by Tami Hoag. Mystery - very good.

xmas shopping is done

December 16th, 2010 at 07:55 pm

I got the Bugsy Malone DVD I ordered in the mail yesterday. Today I got a $25 gift card to Walmart for the cleaner and that's it. All my xmas shopping is done. Everything is wrapped and ready to be given.

Yesterday my mom called and wanted to know if I would go in town with her for lunch and xmas shopping. We met my dad at Red Robin for lunch. Mom had an email from Red Robin for a free burger for her bday. I had a $3 coupon for my meal, I spent around $6 w/tax and tip. I also got a $25 gift card w/a $5 bonus card, which I paid for using my Discover card, giving me another 5% reward.

We walked the whole mall to get our walk in, stopping at stores as we went. At Border's I got a book using a 50% off coupon and a Border's gift card I got as my reward from Discover. No out of pocket for me.

When we were done mom treated me to a small blizzard at Dairy Queen. She got several things she needed for her shopping.

My oldest niece called and talked to me for an hour and a half last night. She has such big dreams for her life. I hope she gets to fulfill at least some of them.

I finished reading my book Star of the Morning by Lynn Kurland. Sci/fi - romance. Very good.

The Socrates Club

December 15th, 2010 at 12:21 am

I did something new and unusual for me today. I went to the library and sat in on a 2 hour meeting called the Socrates Club. They discuss philosophy and religion. This is unusual because I am not a crowd person and am rather shy around a lot of people. I'm not at all outgoing. There was over 20 people there, all of them 10 or more years older then me. I expected older people, since most people don't have time to go to meetings between 1 and 3 unless they are retired. But I really enjoyed myself and even spoke up 2 - 3 times.

I read about the meeting in the local community paper. It's every week. I think I will probably go back. When I was in my 20's I read a lot of philosophy and religious books, trying to determine what I believed in. I've always enjoyed philosophy. Today we talked about pleasure and pain and I found it very interesting.

Nothing financial today. I finished reading the library book Crystal Soldier by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Sci/Fi - very good.


December 14th, 2010 at 02:53 am

I picked my youngest niece up after school and we went and saw Tangled. I like to go see movies on Monday nights, it's the least busy. Including us there was less than 10 people in the theater. It's in 3-D so the tickets were $9 each. It was a really cute movie, we both liked it, but I'll like it when they get off the 3-D kick. It doesn't really do anything for me. Another $3.85 was spent on candy for her.

We went to Taco Bell for dinner, her choice. Spent $8.65 for the both of us. Then took her home around 7, still plenty of time to study for tomorrow's finals, which she says are easy. Geometry and History. History would be easy for me and I would be able to do Geometry, but I wouldn't call it easy. She has a mathematical/scientific bent, which is great. She was very happy with how she did on today's two finals also, she thought they were easy so expects a good grade. I hope so, she's doing so much better this year. She's always been super smart, just wasn't ready to apply it before now.

I used a coupon to get a $7.99 haircut at Great Clips. $10 w/tip.

My dad got a gift card from Sear's over a year ago when he returned a lawn mower he bought. It had $239 on it. He's been trying to find something to spend it on ever since. But everything is cheaper somewhere else than at Sears. I told him to take it to Kmart and buy gift cards to restaurants, so yesterday they finally did that and got about 10 different gift cards. At least now they can use the money up. They eat out a lot

Since my brother died dad has been saying things that I've been telling him for years. Like they need to slow down and do the things they want to do. They need to spend their money on themselves and not try to accumulate more. They can't use all the money they have now so no point in trying to increase it. I hope next year they both can really relax and not be so busy. Dad is really tired and I wish he could take it easy for a while.

I finished reading the library book Midnight Crystal by Jayne Castle. Sci/Fi - Romance. Pretty good.

mom's bday - 71 years old

December 12th, 2010 at 09:36 pm

My sister, youngest niece and I met my parents at P. F. Chang's to celebrate mom's bday for lunch today. She turned 71. I'm not fond of asian food but tried the Moo Goo Gai Pan and it was pretty good. I really liked the steamed snow peas.

Prior to meeting everyone I went to Borders and got a book for 40% off and used my free Border's gift cards from Discover to pay. Next I stopped in at Albertson's which is about a half mile from the restaurant. I got 2 Marcal kleenex boxes and 1 paper towel for .25/each and a jar of Kraft Sandwich shop mayonaise for .99. I got the garlic and herb kind. If I don't like it I will pass it on to Dad. He eats everything Smile

Last stop Walgreens on the way home from the restaurant. I got 2 Bic 4 pack disposable razors. BOGO at 3.99. I used 2 $2 coupons so only paid taxes. Will donate to the food pantry. I also got 2 Milky Way Simply Caramel candy bars for 1.59. I had a coupon for .50 cents and there was an in-ad coupon that took another .81 cents of. Final price w/taxes = .30/2

I was watching Downsized last night and I really enjoyed the episode where the kids competed on making dinner. I thought that was a really good learning experience on shopping, using coupons, planning a meal and cooking the meal.

I got the following things free this week:

6 Bumblebee tuna pouches
2 Krusteaz cookie mixes
$10 Border's gift card
$10 Amazon gift card
18 Snickers santas
6 Butterfinger Snackerz
1 250 ct bottles of Magnesium supplements
Folgers coffee sample
Lawry's chicken seasoning sample
1 Aleve tablet sample
3 Pictureka card games
$10 pharmacy reward

I finished reading my book Traitor's Moom by Lynn Flewelling. Sci/Fi - pretty good.

$10 Amazon gift card

December 11th, 2010 at 09:21 pm

Coinstar started their promotion on Thursday. Go to a Coinstar machine and pour in $40 in coins. Select the merchant you want to get a gift card from, I chose Amazon, and when the reciept prints out you get a $10 bonus. You can also select Lowes, Borders, iTunes or Regal Cinemas. I got a jar that counts the money you put in a few xmas's ago and every week I drop in my coins. It's not as much as in the past because I pay for most things with discounted gift cards or my credit card. Anyways it showed I had $43+ so I took the coins to King Soopers to get counted. The took $43.52 in coins. So the receipt showed my Amazon Gift card code at the top and then at the bottom was another code for the $10 bonus. If I hadn't had enough in coins, I would have just gone to the bank and bought some rolls of coins. This is a pretty good deal give someone $40 and they give you $50 back. Of course you have to spend the $50 at thier store, but I can live with that Smile

This is much better than last year. Last year I had to take the receipt and mail it in to get the bonus, which came sometime in January. This year you just go to the Coinstar website and choose your parner, input the bonus code and they e-mail you the $10 bonus card code.

I went to Amazon and bought the last xmas present I need this year. I like musicals and often had my nieces over to watch when they were younger. I don't think the youngest one cares for them that much but the oldest really likes them too and has gradually been getting several for her own. She was borrowing them for awhile and showing them to all her friends. Most of them are so old it's hard to find them in stores. Plus my movies are all VHS so most people don't have player either anymore.

I got her Bugsy Malone DVD. It's an older movie and was expensive I thought - $21.49. I picked out a $7 book for me to make the cost over $25 and get free shipping and then applied the bonus code. It took off $10 like a charm. I got the book free, free shipping and $3 off the DVD. Spent $18.49 total. And since I bought a DVD Amazon sent me a code for $5 off their video on demand service. I will spend the rest of the $40 (about $21) on groceries I think. Things that I can't get really cheap at the grocery store, like olive oil.

I went to Safeway because they had walnuts on sale, which are a favorite snack of mine. I like to put them in salads and on oatmeal too, but they are a little pricey most of the year. $8.99/lb. They had them for $4.99/lb and I had coupons for $1/lb. I got 4 pounds for $15.96. I keep one bag open and freeze the rest until needed. I also got 2 boxes of Lean Cusine pockets for .50/each. They were on sale for $1.50 and I had 2 .50 coupons that doubled.

I went to King Soopers to do one more Mega Deal. Buy 10 items get $5 off.

10.40 - 5 Marie Callendar frozen dinners
-2.50 - Mega Deal discount
-2.00 - KS customer q $2/$10 frozen foods
-3.00 - $3 catalina from buying Pepperidge farm bread
2.90 or .58/each

2.98 - 2 boxes Krusteaz snickerdoodle cookie mix
-1.00 - Mega deal discount
-2.00 - 2 $1 q's
.02 profit - these go to the food pantry

2.97 - 3 Bumbleebee tuna
-1.50 - Mega deal discount
-1.65 - 3 .55 q's
.18 profit - these go to the food pantry

1.69 - 1 bag shredded coleslaw
-.40 - King Soopers q on their brand of coleslaw

1.76 - 2 potatoes

The cost was $14.70 before coupons. After coupons it was $4.65 and I paid using my RX redemption coupon. I picked up a prescription before getting groceries and since I was out of the $25 King Soopers prescription coupons I used a Target $10 coupon. They match coupons from other stores so they added $10 to my rewards. I have $76 still in pharmacy rewards. I have 3 more prescriptions to fill this month, hope I find some more coupons Smile The prescription cost .80

I am always trying to find ways to stretch my dollars just a little bit more. Even if it's only by paying with discounted gift cards or a 1% cash back credit card. However, this week I got my car renewal notice from the state. $122.18. I actually had to spend money to pay the bill - .44 for a stamp and .05 for the check Frown

I finished reading my book The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall by Anne McCaffrey. Sci/Fi - pretty good.

some people are so rude - ranting ahead

December 11th, 2010 at 05:00 am

It makes it hard for polite people to know how to handle them. My dad's sister came to my brother's funeral from Florida. She plans to buy my brother's truck, so met my parents at his house today. My dad knows what she's like so he went out earlier this week and cleaned out everything left that he knew he wanted. She basically asked him to give her everything that was left.

She even wanted him to take out the built in dishwasher and swap it for her daughter's broken down dishwasher. He did tell her no on that one. But she wants the refrigerator, the washer and dryer and all the loose things that my parents had put aside to put in a garage sale sometime next year. She said she would buy the refrigerator and washer and dryer, but she didn't bring enough money to buy the truck, so who knows. The only reason she wants the other stuff is to put it in a garage sale and keep the proceeds. To me it's very rude, but my parents just can't say no. I don't know if she plans to have a garage sale here before she goes back or what. The truck and appliances are for her daughter's house. It would be pretty expensive to ship the rest of the stuff to Florida. It's pretty cold to be having a garage sale.

My niece may lose her license because of the wreck. My sister needs to get a lawyer to fight the amount of points because it's too many. The road was a side road - 30 mph. When my dad went to get her, he had her take the car back to his house and then took her to school. A cop went to her school and yanked her out of class to talk to her about the accident. I guess he was pretty rough. I'm not sure they are allowed to be alone with a minor to ask her questions, but he did it. I'm surprised the school didn't say anything. Anyways he's charging her with leaving the scene of the crime. She left a note on the post before leaving and dad and my sister went back later to talk to the people. The cop saw the note and took it as her trying to get out of reporting the accident, but she left it after they called the cops. Anyways it more money for my sister to shell out and she's hurting right now because the husband isn't paying any of the bills while they are waiting their court date. Which I think really stinks, since his kid still lives in the house and needs food/shelter/heat etc. And he plans to get half the equity in the house.

He cashed in his 401K to buy a motorcycle, what a jerk. That's a 10% penalty plus a 35% state/federal tax rate because it's on the margin and I'm not sure that since they are still married, she may be liable for part of those taxes. And of course a motorcycle is more important than paying some of your bills. Then he tells the girls he's poor making them feel sorry for him. I don't say anything to them about him, I hope they eventually see what is happening. My sister doesn't say anything bad either, she just gives her side of the story. She rants a lot to me and mom though and I don't blame her.

I finished reading the library book Chains of Ice by Christina Dodd. Paranormal - pretty good.

$10 Borders gift card

December 9th, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Border's has a deal right now if you buy $50 in gift cards they will give you a $10 bonus card that has to be used the week after xmas. I get Border's gift cards as my reward cards from Discover. $20 buys a $25 gift card. I had 2 of them sitting in the drawer so I used them to purchase the $50 gift card deal from Borders. I used free gift cards to buy gift cards and got $10 more in gift cards Smile I have to go in town for a dr's appt that week so should have no problem using the $10 bonus card. I did this online, so when I get my $50 gift cards in the mail, I might see if I can use them to do the deal again - getting another $10 gift card, but not spending any money.

This year just keeps on being a pill. Mom just called and my youngest niece got her first car about 2 weeks ago. When she left my parents to drive to school this morning she had a wreck. She ran into a brick post on the road next to my parents. No ice, daylight - so we expect she was probably texting - since she's doing that about 90% of her waking life. $3000 in damages to the car, plus the wrecked post. My sister didn't need that news.

I stopped off at Walgreens on the way to the food pantry today. They have a deal get $5 back in Jingle Cash for every $25 you spend - upto $100. I spent $100 before sales prices and coupons and got the $20 back.

Olay has a rebate out for $20 when you spend $50. When you spend $50 at Walgreens you get $10 back in Jingle cash.

56.97 - 3 Olay regenerist moisturizers @18.99/each
3.93 - taxes
-9.00 - 3 $3 coupons
51.90 - I got a $10 jingle cash from Walgreens and I will get $20 back from the rebate making them $7.30/each

15.98 - 2 250 ct Nature Made magnesium vitamins
-7.99 - BOGO sale at Walgreens
-2.00 - 2 $1 q's
5.99 - logged in the points at the Nature Made website and got 80 points each.

14.58 - 2 6 packs Boost
-3.65 - buy 1 get 1 50% off
-3.00 - 2 1.50 q's

15.00 - 6 bags Hershey's candy can kisses
-2.00 - 2 $1/2 manufacture q's
-3.00 - $1/2 Walgreens q from their Dec coupon book
10.00 - I messed this one up. I was supposed to use 2 buy 2 get 1 free q's also saving another $5

4.77 - 6 Butterfinger snackerz
-2.43 - Walgreen q from ad
-2.67 - 3 bogo q's
.33 moneymaker

4.00 - 12 Snickers santa bars
-4.00 - 2 $2/3 q's

I finished reading the library book Bonds of Justice by Nalini Singh. Paranormal - very good.

girl toys are expensive

December 8th, 2010 at 09:38 pm

Since I got several hot wheels to donate for xmas at the food pantry, I wanted to get some toys for girls to even it up so I went to Walmart this morning. I planned to spend $50 on toys and spent $50.84 with taxes. That's pretty close.

It was hard finding girl toys for about $5 though. Lots of them for $10 and up, but not very many under $10, or if they were I wasn't impressed by them. I saw lots more boys toys that I thought were neat and cheaper. I ended up with the following.

4 Polly Pockets - 5.88 each
4 boxes of crayons - 1.18 each
3 coloring books - 1.00 each
1 crayola special marker fairy coloring thingy - $5.00
2 lego kits to build a helicopter and a truck - $5.44 each
3 Pictureka card games - $5.00/each free after $5.00 coupons.

I also have 2 Monopoly card games, a Scrabble card game and a Connect 4 game that I got free or very cheap earlier this year to donate.

I got some food items to donate too:

12 cans Swansons chicken broth @ .50/each - 3 coupons $1/4 = $6.00 or .25/each

8 cans Green Giant corn @ .60/each - 2 coupons $1/4 = $2.80 or .35/each

I got 2 bags of popcorn kernals, a large check file organizer, and 80 Hefty garbage bags for me. I got a really cute set of 4 erasers in the shape of fries, a burger, a coke drink and an ice cream cone for my younger niece, they were only $1. She collects erasers.

Subway is having a deal on their 6" meatball subs this month - only $1.99. I got one and a bag of chips and used up the last of the Subway card that I got for xmas last year. I ended up paying .50 out of pocket. Total $3.25

Mom's having youngest niece spend the night with her for 3 nights while sister is out of town on business. So she invited me over to have dinner with them last night. Steak, baked potatoes, corn, garlic bread and brownies for dessert. Yum!

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

selling stock

December 6th, 2010 at 08:31 pm

I sold $10,000 of my small-cap stocks today. I needed to sell the stock for living expenses for the next few months. These stocks have gone up almost 19% in the last year and I need to rebalance my accounts so it was a good time to sell.

The stocks were from an IRA, but since I had over $9000 in medical expenses I won't have a very large 10% early withdrawl penalty, maybe a $100. And since I don't have enough income to pay taxes on I won't owe income taxes - or at least that's the plan right now. When I do my taxes I hope the numbers I've figured in my head are right Smile

So far I am over expected expenses for the year by 3 or 4 thousand due to unexpected medical expenses. But I'm fortunate that even so I have the money to cover those expenses.

I went to Walgreens this morning and got 6 small Snickers xmas trees. They were 3 for a $1. I had a coupon for $2/3 so they were free except for the .06 cents in taxes. 1 penny each. I have some more coupons so will have to do this again later this week.

I went to King Soopers and didn't do as well as I expected to on my grocery trip. Some of my coupons were for the wrong products than the sale products so not as good a deal as expected. I did get another $25 added to my card for refilling another prescription. I've gotten over $200 in free groceries now from those. The prescription cost $7.32 - the groceries were free after using my prescription coupons.

I got the following stuff as well as milk, bananas, and potatoes. I spent $21.20 after coupons and that was paid with the prescription coupon. I did one Mega deal - buy 10 items get $5 off.

2.38 - 2 doz eggs
-1.00 - .50 q doubled

1.46 - 1 can Pringles
-.50 - Mega deal discount

8.97 - 3 loaves Pepperidge Farm whole wheat bread
-2.40 - 3 .40 q's doubled
-1.50 - Mega Deal discount
5.07 - I got a coupon for $3 on your next order because I bought 3 of these

1.79 - no boil lasagna noodles
-.50 - mega deal discount
1.29 - I have a new recipe I want to try out

2.00 - 2 pouches Idaho potatoes
-1.60 - 2 .40 q's doubled
.40 - food pantry donations

2.97 - 3 Bumbleebee tuna pouches
-1.65 - 3 .55 q's
-1.50 - Mega deal discount
.18 profit

3.56 - 4 Milky Way simply caramel candy bars
-2.00 - 2 .50/2 q's doubled
1.56 (.39/each)

2.00 - 4 Butterfinger snackers
-1.00 - 2 BOGO q's
1.00 (.25 each)

1.00 - 1 Hamburger Helper
-.70 - 1 .35 q doubled
.30 - food pantry donation

1.49 - 1 Krusteaz chocolate chip cookie mix
-.50 - coupon
-.50 - Mega deal discount
.49 - food pantry donation

1.00 - 1 chapstick
-.50 - Mega deal discount
.50 - if I had known I had the wrong coupon I would have got another tuna to make up my 10 items for the Mega deal instead of this. I alway get chapstick for free and wouldn't have paid for it. But once you are in line and checking out it's a little late to figure things out Smile

I got several samples in the mail today. Folgers coffee, 1 Aleve tablet, and a package of Lawry's chicken seasoning mix.

I finished reading the library book Ghost of a Chance by Simon R. Green. Sci/Fi - ok I like his other series much better.


December 6th, 2010 at 12:18 am

My brother's memorial service was yesterday. My parents were pleasantly surprised by how many people showed up - 106. Mostly people who knew my parents and not my brother, or only knew him thru them. Some of my brother's high school friends showed. I find most of the things about funerals to be extremely strange, but having so called friends come to your memorial service when you haven't talked to them in over 10 years is one of the strangest to me. If you were such good friends, why not do things with someone while they are still alive? He really needed to be doing stuff with friends in the last few years, it was part of his problem, not having friends. He would get depressed and then drink.

Anyways, they said it went really well. My oldest neice went to their house afterwards and mom invited me over. We spent several hours just talking about everything under the sun. I enjoyed it alot.

My best friend came over today and we talked for several hours also. I got a pizza from Papa Murpheys and we started to watch Casino Royale, which she brought with her. She's getting over a bad cold and after awhile she felt ill and decided to go home. She left the movie with me to finish watching.

I finished reading the library book Infamous by Suzanne Brockmann. Romance - ok

shopping deals

December 2nd, 2010 at 08:26 pm

My dad and I went to my brother's house for another 3 hours yesterday to clean out cabinets and stuff. They found out he died on Thanksgiving day, which is very sad for my dad, since now every year that holiday will be tainted.

I dropped a bunch of food and toys off at the food pantry today. They were very busy.

Yesterday I went to Walgreens to use their 15% off coupon. I wanted a new coupon holder since that's what I use to hold my food pantry donation receipts. They didn't have any, but they had restocked on the mushrooms that were on sale last week for .39/each. I got 3 cans and with my 15% off it came to .99. I used a .99 cent RR from Thanksgiving day, so they were free.

I ran several errands this morning. First stop Staples. They have their battery deal on again this year. Buy 20 ct AA or AAA Duracell batteries and get the entire price refunded. 2 per week. I got 1 of each size. Each package also came with a free small Tide to Go pen.

12.99/each = 25.98 + 2.05 taxes = 28.03
I had 2 $1.50 coupons which lowered the price to 25.03. I will get back a check for 25.98 making a profit of .95 cents. I will use the check to buy ink, which I buy at Staples anyways. I donated the batteries to the food pantry xmas drive for toys.

I also had a coupon for $10 off a purchase of $25 from Office Depot which I used at Staples to buy a cartridge of red ink. The batteries made my cost over $25 so the ink only cost 4.99. I used the discounted gift card I got at Plastic Jungle. I need another one of those since I used mine up now.

Kohl's sends me a $10 gift card several times a year and I got one this week. I don't like to shop at Kohl's because their 'sale' prices are what everyone else's normal price is, so it feels like they are trying to trick you. For example, the Hasbro card games are about $5.50 at Target or Walmart. Kohl's had them on 'sale' for $5.99, regular price $9.99. What a ripoff. But using the $10 gift card I can usually find something for free or almost free. Today I found 2 sets of 5 Hot Wheels. $5.59 each on 'sale'. So after the gift card I paid $1.27 and donated them to the food pantry xmas drive. 2 kids will get at least 5 Hot Wheels each even if they divide the others I gave into one a piece.

King Soopers has a deal if you buy gift cards you get quadruple gas points. I used my credit card that is giving me 5% back and bought $205 in gift cards - earning $10 and 820 gas points or .80/gal gas or $16 on 20 gallons. I got $100 in Target gift cards for older niece and $15 in ITunes for younger niece. I also got a $50 Target card and $40 in McDonald's cards for me to use in the next year.

Only one more thing to get and my xmas shopping is done. Waiting to see if Coinstar has thier promotion where if you cash in $40 in coins you get a $10 Amazon gift card since I want to purchase the gift from Amazon.

King Soopers is also having another Mega Sale. It's not as good as the last one, but I did get a few deals.

3.00 - 3 Hamburger Helper
-2.10 - 3 .35 q's doubled
.90 - food pantry item

2.97 - 3 Bumbleebee Tuna
-1.50 - mega deal discount
-1.65 - 3 .55 q's
.18 profit

2.19 - Barilla pasta plus
-.50 - Mega deal discount
-2.19 - free item coupon
.50 profit

I finished reading the library book Lake in the Clouds by Sara Donati. Historical fiction - excellent. Her books always suck me in.


December 2nd, 2010 at 05:37 am

I am a huge fan of quantity when it comes to kids gifts. One of my most memorable gifts as a child was in 6th grade. I got the entire series of Nancy Drew books for my birthday - 51 books. For a reader that was a gift beyond my wildest imagination. I read those books over and over and over. It made a huge impression on me. I absolutely loved that gift.

When my nieces were younger I would practice the qift of quantity to great success. One year I gave both of them a huge box of dress-up supplies. Clothes, shoes, jewelry, makeup, wigs, sunglasses, boas, gloves and all kinds of accessories. Big impact. They still talk about it and have numerous pictures of them dressed up in the outfits they put together.

I gave my oldest niece 15 CDs one year using one of those Columbia House membership deals. I gave the youngest one over 100 Polly Pocket items one year - she said she wanted one of everything - I didn't even come close to that goal Smile Then there was the year I gave them a dollhouse kit and accessories for the rooms. We spent several weekends together the next six months building the doll house. They still have it - although many of the accessories have been vacuumed up or eaten by pets.

When they are little it is easy to buy a lot of stuff for a small amount of money. It's impressive to them to get a huge bag full of things. They both talk about my never ending bags of gifts at xmas and bdays.

Now that they are bigger it is much harder to impress with quantity. Just one item on their list is $50 and worse of all they want cash or gift cards. Ah well. To assauge my need to gift quantity I bought 15 Hot Wheels yesterday and will donate them to Toys for Tots. They were .89/each. I would like to see them all go to one child, but I'm sure they won't.

I had to go in town for a dr's appt and stopped at the Elephant Bar to get 4 $25 gift cards for my dad's xmas gift. I got a $20 bonus card for buying the 4 cards, so he will get $120 worth of gift cards for $100. Plus I used my credit card that gives me 5% back on restaurants this month making me $5.

The kidney that was removed did have cancer - so in a way that's good news. I'd have been very upset to find out they took out my kidney and the mass was not cancer. Healing as expected. No signs that the cancer spread anywhere else. I have to get CT scans every 6 months for the next 2 years before they say you are cancer free.

I finishes reading my book Black Hills by Nora Roberts. Mystery/Romance - very good.