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Please make it stop

February 6th, 2012 at 12:12 pm

The Colorado primary is tomorrow. I'm so sick of political phone calls. They are all babies, they sound like tattle-tailing kindergardeners in the calls. Newt said this, Romney said that, did you know... ARGHH! Make it stop! Smile I'm getting 4 - 6 calls a day. I really hope it ends until the election this fall after tomorrow.

So I decided to challenge myself to find cheaper versions of 2 items I use frequently each month. These are items I buy often because I use them alot. Things that either don't go on sale enough or at all or that I need too often to keep up with the sales. Things that I may have looked at before and decided this was the best/cheapest way, but now plan to look at again since prices have changed so much. Items that I have no intention of doing without.

This month I will be looking at lemon juice and sunflower seeds in the shell. I use both items daily. I flavor my water with lemon juice and also use it in salad dressing, coleslaw and while cooking some veggies. Sunflower seeds are one of my favorite snacks and I usually eat about 1 oz/day.

When I figure out the best deal for each item, I will report back.

I finished reading the library book Cadmian's Choice by L.E. Modesitt Jr. Sci/fi - very good.

Hub Pages

February 5th, 2012 at 09:26 am

I read about this site in the latest Kiplingers. It's a website where members can write blarticals, (blogs + articals) and get paid 60% of the revenues generated by ads placed on the blog pages. The woman in the article was making $1300/month writing about southern cooking, animals and salt water fishing. Some of you writers out there might be interested in it.

Most of the blogs I scanned seemed fairly simple and straightforward. I thought about doing it, but don't want to spend the time.

I finished reading the library book Seduce Me In Dreams by Jacquelyn Frank. Paranormal - very good.

low carb peanut butter cookies

February 4th, 2012 at 10:20 am

We got a ton of snow yesterday - about 20 inches. So I spent some time trying new recipes. I made really easy low-carb peanut butter cookies. These were very good.

1 cup crunchy peanut butter - I used natural PB
1/2 cup granular Splenda
1 egg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Mix all ingredients in a bowl
Roll dough into 24 balls. Place balls on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper and flatten with fork.
Bake for 12 minutes. Cool before removing from pan.

Makes 24 cookies
Carb 2.54g/cookie

I made 12 larger cookies instead of 24. I don't know where I got the recipe, looks like I copied it out of a book.

For supper I made a dish called Joe from Hold the Toast blog.

1 lb ground beef - I used grass fed
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
a couple handfuls chopped spinach
1 4 oz can mushrooms
5 eggs
salt and pepper

In a big skillet, over medium heat, start browning the meat. Add onions, garlic and mushrooms and continue until meat is fully cooked. Throw in the spinach and let wilt. Now scramble the eggs together and pour over the whole thing and stir until they're set. Salt and pepper and serve.

I liked this for a good low-carb one-dish meal. I think next time I might add a can of tomato sauce and see how that tastes.

I ordered some more gift cards from Card Pool yesterday. For dad I got a $200.93 Home Depot card at a 9.2% discount for $182.44, and a $161.05 JC Penney gift card at a 17% discount for $133.67. He'll pay me back when they get here.

For me I got 3 Walmart gift cards at a 2% discount. I made another 1% back using my credit card to make the purchase. It's not a big discount on the Walmart cards, but I'm going to shop their anyways, might as well save a couple bucks.

I finished reading my book The Eye of Horus by Carol Thurston. Mystery - very good.

January free stuff

January 31st, 2012 at 11:01 am

One of my goals for this year is to track how much free stuff I get. In January I got 105 free things at a value of $300.10

Here's the list

1 1 month Showtime 12.99
1 luna bar 1.00
2 Smart protein bars 3.96
1 $5 Target gift card 5.00
1 16 ct Charmin toilet paper 5.99
1 2 oz Simply organic vanilla extract 4.85
1 26.2 oz Idahoan potatoes 2.98
2 Reach Floss 1.94
4 .17 oz Nivea lip balm 4.00
3 12 ct Schick disposable razors 5.91
1 35 ct Scotch Brite wipes 2.50
1 Skittles candy 0.25
2 Synthe 6 protein bars 3.78
2 Studio 35 nail polish 2.00
1 Russell Stover toffee 2.19
1 Red Robin burger 9.60
1 Sephora lipstick and chapstick 10.00
1 .85 oz Rise Foods breakfast bar sample 0.99
1 .17 oz Audrey Organics moisturizer 0.99
2 6 oz cans Muir Glen pasta sauce 2.00
3 Cortaid anti-itch cream 7.50
2 Sunbird seasoning mixes 1.56
1 Bic pens - 10 ct 0.97
1 Dole bagged salad 2.99
3 6.4 oz Colgate toothpaste 2.94
1 Spaghetti and Meatballs meal 8.31
1 Brita Water filter 8.97
3 Oral-B floss 2.91
1 Palmer's Cocoa butter 0.99
1 $20 Albertson's gift card 20.00
1 Mega Red sample - 3 pills 0.99
2 Kikkoman seasoning packets 1.98
2 Brawny paper towel roll 2.00
2 Eucerin calming lotion trial size 1.98
1 1 year subscription Money magazine 19.98
1 Benefiber sample 0.99
6 bags Nice! sunflower seeds 11.19
1 ENT bonus 25.67
5 Think Thin bars 5.00
2 Zone Perfect bars 2.00
2 Pure Protein bars 1.98
1 sucker 0.25
8 magazines 8.00
2 $5 Amazon gift cards 10.00
1 Health magazine subscription - 1 year 9.00
1 twizzler 0.25
1 Ubiquinol CoQ10 30 ct 22.99
6 Snicker's valentines candy 3.00
2 36 ct St Joseph's aspirin 4.00
2 .34 oz Blinks eye drops 16.00
2 2ct Breath right 1.94
3 12 ct Schick razors 5.91
2 3 oz Vaseline lotion 1.94
1 lens cleaner cloth 1.00
1 lens cleaner solution 2.00

Another goal was to only spend $250/month on food. I spent $364. However, $114 was for newspaper subscription renewals and I had a large stockup trip from Costco in there. I hope to average it out over the year to $200/month. I did only spend $12 on eating out, and I budgeted $50 for that, so that made up for some of the other overage.

I finished reading Never After. Parnormal short stories - very good. Some good authors, Laurel K. Hamilton, Marjorie Liu and Sharon Shinn.

freebie monday

January 30th, 2012 at 01:41 pm

ytd = April 1 2011 - March 31, 2012
Coupon total ytd = 1,799.63
RX total = 416.71
Discounted Gift Cards = 211.05
Total = 2,427.39

I got lots of freebies today while running my errands at Walgreens and Walmart. I used $41 in coupons and got back $25 in RRs to use next trip.

MM = money maker
FP = food pantry


2 bottles Blink eye drops - MM used a $1 coupon + RR
2 bottles St Joseph aspirin
1 bottle Ubiquinol CoQ10 - BOGO
6 Snickers valentine candy - nieces


3 12 ct Schick razors - MM + FP
2 2 ct Breath Right - MM + FP
2 3 oz Vaseline lotion - FP
1 lens cloth cleaner
1 bottle lens cleaner solution

1 twizzler - niece - was handed out by the bank as I walked out of the store

I was finally able to complete my I-bond purchase this morning. I took the money from an account that was paying .08% and now will make 3.06% for at least the next 6 months.

I finished reading the library book The Wild Ways by Tanya Huff. Sci/Fi - pretty good.


January 29th, 2012 at 11:53 am

I have been trying to purchase I-bonds from Treasury Direct all morning, but the sight is messed up. I can get in, but when try to make the purchase get a maintenance page. Sigh Frown

I want to buy $5000 worth. They are paying 3.06% interest right now, which is better than I can get on my other cash. I was hoping to get them purchased before the end of the month so I get the whole months interest. I'll try again later.

I renewed my second subscription to the Denver Post and got a free year of Health Magazine included in the subscription.

I finished reading the library book Down These Strang Streets. Paranormal/Mystery short stories. Very good, some of my favorite authors like Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Simon R. Green and Jim Butcher.

surprising news from credit union

January 25th, 2012 at 01:47 pm

The local credit union made so much money last year they decided to give $10 million back to it's customers and I'm one of those customers. They plan to give $25 - $1000/customer depending on how much interest they recieved or paid out last year. I got $25.67. I have my main checking account with this credit union and about 2 months of living expense money in a savings account. I've been a member for 25 years, but this is the first time they've ever done this.

My sister got $152 back, but she has over $40,000 with them and her mortgage.

I finally gave in and got a haircut at Great Clips today. I've been hoping for a coupon. So when I got there, the lady says, you're overdue for a haircut and I said yeah I was waiting for a coupon. She told me there will be one next Tuesday for $4.99. Would have saved me $7 - :P Spent $14 including the $2 tip.

I stopped at Walgreens and got 6 bags of Nice! brand sunflower seeds for $11.91 and got a $2 RR and since I used my AARP card I got another $3 RR too. I guess you get the $3 when you buy $10 of stuff and use your AARP card. So now my AARP is making me money since I got the subscription price back in RRs last year.

At Walmart I had a coupon for $1.50 off 2 cans of Planter's peanuts. They have their 6 oz jars on sale for $1/each. I spent .50 on 2 jars of peanuts. They also had the big jars of mixed nuts, macadamias, almonds and cashews from xmas marked down to $4 can. The same size nuts in the nut aisle are $8.98. I got 2 cans.

Went to Village Inn with parents for late breakfast. Used the $5 bonus card I got for buying a $25 gift card before xmas. Spent $3.49. Today was free pie day so I got a piece of pumpkin pie and gave it to my parents.

I finished reading the library book Seduce Me in Flames by Jacquelyn Frank. Paranormal - pretty good.

renewed newspaper subscription

January 24th, 2012 at 12:04 pm

ytd = April 1 2011 - March 31, 2012
Coupon total ytd = 1,738.81
RX total = 416.71
Discounted Gift Cards = 211.05
Total = 2,366.57

I recieved an offer to renew my Sunday only subscription to the Denver Post. The Post has much better coupons than the local paper, so I usually order 2 subscriptions every year. One to my house and one to my parents house. I renewed the one to my house for $56.70 for one year. As a bonus they threw in a free magazine subscription for a year. I selected Money magazine worth $20/year. I didn't see another magazine that I really wanted so I'll see what other deal I can come up with before the second subsription expires in a couple of months.

This will put me over budget on my food bill this month, since I account for it in that column since I only order it for the coupons. But I will earn the money back fairly quickly. So far this year I've saved over $1700 in coupons and have a couple months left in the tracking year.

My mom has pink eye and has been told it's very contagious. My eyes feel funny today and I really hope I'm not catching it. I've never had it before so not sure of the symptoms.

I finished reading my book Savage Nature by Christine Feehan. Paranormal - very good.

sore winner

January 21st, 2012 at 02:07 pm

I like to watch reality shows that are based on talent - cooking, designing, singing etc. Lately it seems like the contests don't want to win because they are the best, they want to win because someone else screwed up. This is not the way I would want to win. Now I won't be a hypocrit and say I wouldn't take that kind of win, especially when it comes with bunches of money, but I would prefer to win because my best effort beat the best efforts of several other contestants.

Many of these contestants don't care how they win and they play games to give themselves advantages or if they have a chance they vote out the better competitors so they won't have to compete with them. That's a poor win in my opinion.

It reminds me of the time my youngest niece wanted to teach me how to cheat at Solitaire. What's the point of cheating in a game you're playing against yourself?

I'm getting several comments on posts that seem like they are coming from other countries and several days after the post is made. They are making me suspicious, like someone is trying to get my email address or get access to my computer thru the posts. I don't know if that's possible, but they just don't seem like the normal comments I usually get. Anyone else getting these?

I finished reading the library book Steamlust - short stories. very good.

senior discounts

January 19th, 2012 at 02:48 pm

Mom sent me the following huge list of senior discounts that someone sent her. Most of them I still can't qualify for, but I plan to keep it till I do.


Applebee’s: 15% off with Golden Apple Card (60+)
Arby’s: 10% off (55+)
Ben & Jerry’s: 10% off (60+)
Bennigan’s: discount varies by location
Bob’s Big Boy: discount varies by location (60+)
Boston Market: 10% off (65+)
Burger King: 10% off (60+)
Captain D’s Seafood: discount varies on location (62+)
Chick-Fil-A: 10% off or free small drink or coffee (55+)
Chili’s: 10% off (55+)
CiCi’s Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Culver’s: 10% off (60+)
Denny’s: 10% off, 20% off for AARP members (55+)
Dunkin’ Donuts: 10% off or free coffee (55+)
Einstein’s Bagels: 10% off baker’s dozen of bagels (60+)
Fuddrucker’s: 10% off any senior platter (55+)
Gatti’s Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Golden Corral: 10% off (60+)
Hardee’s: $0.33 beverages everyday (65+)
IHOP: 10% off (55+)
Jack in the Box: up to 20% off (55+)
KFC: free small drink with any meal (55+)
Krispy Kreme: 10% off (50+)
Long John Silver’s: various discounts at participating locations (55+)
McDonald’s: discounts on coffee everyday (55+)
Mrs. Fields: 10% off at participating locations (60+)
Shoney’s: 10% off
Sonic: 10% off or free beverage (60+)
Steak ‘n Shake: 10% off every Monday & Tuesday (50+)
Subway: 10% off (60+)
Sweet Tomatoes: 10% off (62+)
Taco Bell : 5% off; free beverages for seniors (65+)
TCBY: 10% off (55+)
Tea Room Cafe: 10% off (50+)
Village Inn: 10% off (60+)
Waffle House: 10% off every Monday (60+)
Wendy’s: 10% off (55+)
White Castle : 10% off (62+)

Retail And Apparel
Banana Republic: 10% off (50+)
Bealls: 20% off first Tuesday of each month (50+)
Belk’s: 15% off first Tuesday of every month (55+)
Big Lots: 10% off
Bon-Ton Department Stores: 15% off on senior discount days (55+)
C.J. Banks: 10% off every Wednesday (60+)
Clarks : 10% off (62+)
Dress Barn: 10% off (55+)
Goodwill: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Hallmark: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kmart: 20% off (50+)
Kohl’s: 15% off (60+)
Modell’s Sporting Goods: 10% off
Rite Aid: 10% off on Tuesdays & 10% off prescriptions
Ross Stores: 10% off every Tuesday (55+)
The Salvation Army Thrift Stores: up to 50% off (55+)
Stein Mart: 20% off red dot/clearance items first Monday of every month (55+)

Albertson’s: 10% off first Wednesday of each month (55+)
American Discount Stores: 10% off every Monday (50+)
Compare Foods Supermarket: 10% off every Wednesday (60+)
DeCicco Family Markets: 5% off every Wednesday (60+)
Food Lion: 6% off every Monday (60+)
Fry’s Supermarket: free Fry’s VIP Club Membership & 10% off every Monday (55+)
Great Valu Food Store: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
Gristedes Supermarket: 10% off every Tuesday (60+)
Harris Teeter: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
Hy-Vee: 5% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kroger: 10% off (date varies by location)
Morton Williams Supermarket: 5% off every Tuesday (60+)
The Plant Shed: 10% off every Tuesday (50+)
Publix: 5% off every Wednesday (55+)
Rogers Marketplace: 5% off every Thursday (60+)
Uncle Guiseppe’s Marketplace: 5% off (62+)

Alaska Airlines: 10% off (65+)
Alamo : up to 25% off for AARP members
American Airlines: various discounts for 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
Amtrak: 15% off (62+)
Avis: up to 25% off for AARP members
Best Western: 10% off (55+)
Budget Rental Cars: 10% off; up to 20% off for AARP members (50+)
Cambria Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
Clarion: 20%-30% off (60+)
Comfort Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Comfort Suites: 20%-30% off (60+)
Continental Airlines: no initiation fee for Continental Presidents Club & special fares for select destinations
Dollar Rent-A-Car: 10% off (50+)
Econo Lodge: 20%-30% off (60+)
Enterprise Rent-A-Car: 5% off for AARP members
Greyhound: 5% off (62+)
Hampton Inns & Suites: 10% off when booked 72 hours in advance
Hertz: up to 25% off for AARP members
Holiday Inn: 10%-30% off depending on location (62+)
Hyatt Hotels: 25%-50% off (62+)
InterContinental Hotels Group: various discounts at all hotels (65+)
Mainstay Suites: 10% off with Mature Traveler’s Discount (50+); 20%-30% off (60+)
Marriott Hotels: 15% off (62+)
Motel 6: 10% off (60+)
Myrtle Beach Resort: 10% off (55+)
National Rent-A-Car: up to 30% off for AARP members
Quality Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Rodeway Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Sleep Inn: 20%-30% off (60+)
Southwest Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
Trailways Transportation System: various discounts for ages 50 and up
United Airlines: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
U.S. Airways: various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)

Activities And Entertainment
AMC Theaters: up to 30% off (55+)
Bally Total Fitness: up to $100 off memberships (62+)
Busch Gardens Tampa : $3 off one-day tickets (50+)
Carmike Cinemas: 35% off (65+)
Cinemark/Century Theaters: up to 35% off
U.S. National Parks: $10 lifetime pass; 50% off additional services including camping (62+)
Regal Cinemas: 30% off
Ripley’s Believe it or Not: @ off one-day ticket (55+)
SeaWorld Orlando: $3 off one-day tickets (50+)

Cell Phone Discounts
AT&T: Special Senior Nation 200 Plan $29.99/month (65+)
Jitterbug: $10/month cell phone service (50+)
Verizon Wireless: Verizon Nationwide 65 Plus Plan $29.99/month (65+).

Great Clips: $3 off hair cuts (60+)
Super Cuts: $2 off haircuts (60+)

I went in town to Albertson's today to transfer a prescription. It's about 13 miles away. They had a deal where they give you $20 gift card to transfer. Unfortunately they charge 3 x's as much as my local pharmacy, but I still came out ahead. I normally pay .80c for this prescription and they charged $4.31 so I made around $16.50 with the $20 gift card. I used just over $10 of the card buying produce. I also got 2 packets of Kikkoman seasoning for free with coupons.

I finished reading the library book Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell. Mystery - very good.

creepy toys

January 18th, 2012 at 02:14 pm

Because it's so cold mom and I walk at Walmart most days in the winter time. When we walk in the toy aisle we both get creeped out because the toys start making noises when you walk past them. There's this one elmo doll that gives out a really creepy laugh when you walk by. I would think it would scare the kids. A couple of times it's made both of us jump. There are other toys that make noises as you walk by too and I think if I had to live with all that noise going off randomly I would go nuts. I like my house very quite. Nothing is playing unless I'm listening to it right then. I don't play TV or the radio in the background while doing other things.

At Walmart yesterday I picked up 3 free Oral-B flosses that will be donated to the food pantry. I also used a $4 coupon to get a Brita water filter pitcher. Regulary $8.97 and there is a $10 rebate so I will make money on this.

I finished reading a friends book Dark Futures The new John Connor Chronicles by Russell Blachford. Sci/Fi - ok.

last of the bday freebies

January 14th, 2012 at 01:43 pm

I went to several places yesterday to do some shopping. I needed new walking shoes because mine have a whole in the top after 2 years of daily use. I also wanted to use some coupons that are expiring this weekend and the last of my bday coupons.

I started at Safeway where I got 3 tubes of Colgate toothpaste for free. I got 12 boxes of sugar-free jello for .56/each and 10 cans of Chef Boyardee for .69/each. All the Chef Boyardee and toothpaste will be donated to the food pantry.

After walking at Walmart with mom, I went to King Soopers to pick up a prescription and also get a free bag of Dole salad using a coupon. Spent $2.44 on the prescription.

At the Goodwill I got 5 books for $2.10.

I went to Sears to get my walking shoes. I have worn size 8 1/2 since my 20's, but yesterday I had to go to 9 1/2 to find a shoe that fit. Now I really doubt my foot got an inch longer, but I had to get a 9 1/2 in every style including the one I was wearing - weird Smile I ended up getting a different brand for $20 off, original price was $54.99 and I paid $34.99. I used a discounted gift card to pay. I'm going to continue using the old shoes for another month or two.

I went to Noodles and Company next to get my free birthday bowl of noodles. I picked up spaghetti and meatballs. On my way home I stopped at my sister's house and left it for my nieces dinner. She's a big spaghetti and meatball fan. I can't have the carbs.

I returned some items to Bed, Bath and Beyond and then my last stop was Jason's Deli. I had a birthday coupon for $5 off any item so I got their big chef salad. I spent $3.37 after the coupon and it was really good. I had it for dinner last night.

So that's the end of my birthday freebies this year, I didn't get as many offers as last year, but happy with what I did get.

I finished reading my book The Invitation by Jude Devereaux. Romance - pretty good.