Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm so tired of trying to save money

A few weeks ago, our grocery store was having mix and match buy 10 and get an extra $5 off your grocery bill. Some of the items were already on sale for a good price, then add in my coupons and the $5 and some of the stuff was free or practically free. Although you were supposedly limited to three deals, I went back on a different day to try again. And it worked! The bad thing is, both times, a couple items did not ring up as part of the deal even though they were so I had to go back and ask the cashier to adjust the price. Grrrrr.

This week, Kmart is doubling coupons so off we went to pick up some things. Since their shelves are not well stocked and all mixed up, it took a while to match my coupons to the item. Then there was the fun at the checkout. I purchased multiple items of the same brand and since they had different SKUs, the cashier had to match each coupon to each item so I had to keep fishing things out of my bag so she could match them. In the mean time, there were five people in line who wised up and moved to different lines. Then, one coupon still didn't match an item according to the computer so we had to wait for an overide from a supervisor. All that to save $28. Never again.

I'm not ready to join the CVS crowd since I have enough trouble tracking the coupons for stuff I want, much less stuff I'd buy just to get a deal. But I may have to resort to that if it is the best way to get stuff cheap.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

No good deed goes unpunished

Per the previous post, I decided to walk(!) to the grocery store to buy some food to donate. I bought 10 one pound bags of rice and a case of canned corn. I was planning on dropping the food directly in the donation barrel, but I didn't see it. I thought I had seen a donation barrel there, but perhaps it was at the grocery store across the street (we had been to both this morning). In any case, no donation barrel and I didn't want to walk across the (very busy) street in case it wasn't there either. So I walked home with over 20 pounds of food, sigh. I'll try to find a place to drop it off later today.

Guilty and grateful

I've been feeling down in the dumps for the past day or so; I'm not sure why. The ebates thing was bothering me. All the crazy Black Friday shoppers were bothering me (did you hear about the poor Walmart employee that was trampled to death?). I was trying to fill a box to donate to the food bank and I felt guilty that I didn't want to give up the food in my cupboards. How selfish is that??? So to make up for that, I'm going to go to the grocery store and buy some stuff to give. Also, I took two minutes and wrote down some things I'm grateful for. Some of the items surprised me. Here they are, in no particular order of importance:

Hot water, especially for showers, whenever I want
Able to get network broadcasts clearly (thus no need for cable)
Fresh vegetables and meat year round
The internet
Free long distance on my cell phone
Debt-free (except for our mortgage)
My dependable 14 year old car
My health
My family
Mr. Fix-it
Safe roads
Public transportation

Interesting mix, isn't it? What are you grateful for?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Kicking myself

I ordered my nephew's wedding present online. Found an online coupon which saved 20%, but forgot to go through ebates which would have gotten me $20 in my account. Argghhhhh!

What down economy?

I can't believe we braved the Black Friday crowds. Mr. Fix-it never shops on Black Friday and for the past few years, I've been lukewarm about it. After perusing the ads yesterday, we decided to go for it. I guess it would have been better if we had gotten up early, but I slept in...til 6:15, lol. Mr. Fix-it was already at Lowes picking up some tool thingie (that's the technical term) and then made a stop at Target (if I had known he was going to Target, I might have gotten up earlier). Then he came home to enjoy some coffee and pick me up for the next round: Walmart, the mall, and the grocery store. Yes, Walmart, please don't judge me. We can discuss the merits and problems of Walmart some other time.

Walmart had a full parking lot and was a zoo. I picked up some jeans for $8 and a crockpot for $15. Note to shoppers: If you fold the clothing up and put it back approximately where you got it, it would make shopping so much easier for the next person. I'm not asking for perfection. I just think it is rude for you to grab a pair of jeans, look at them, toss them randomly back on the shelf and then repeat the process several times. Walmart had one girl there just refolding jeans. She did that the entire time we were there (the jeans were the first thing I looked for and we passed her on the way to the checkstand).

The mall wasn't any better. We were shocked at how full the parking lot was. On top of that, everyone had several shopping bags, though most were from toy stores and major retailers rather than independent or high-end stores. There were huge lines in all the stores we visited. All we ended up with was two pairs of shoes for me. $46 for two pairs, not bad. It was crazy trying to get out of the parking lot. We went out the "back" and drove several blocks to a different freeway onramp that was farther away, but ultimately, I think it probably saved us at least 15 minutes.

Our best deals were at the grocery store. As I suspected, there were lots of foods marked down half price (this particular store is famous for doing that and I figured it would be even better the day after a holiday) so we ended up with three bags of groceries. We'll still need to get some fresh stuff at the regular grocery store, but I'm happy with our haul.

The retail stores were just crazy! The grocery store was empty. I didn't attempt to go to Michaels, even though there's stuff I want. There's limits to Mr. Fix-it's patience, lol. Maybe I'll go tomorrow.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The down economy hasn't hit everyone

Mr. Fix-it has a side job as an agent for an auto appraisal group. They appraise old, new, vintage, any car really, for sales or insurance purposes (if you watch Antiques Roadshow, you know the sale value is different from insurance value). Last week, he did a pre-sales appraisal on a car worth over $100,000. Nope, I didn't make a mistake in the number of zeros. In some parts of the country, you could buy a house for $100K. Or pay for a couple years of college at a private school. Isn't it amazing that a car can sell for that much? I guess if you can afford to spend $100,000 on a collector car that needs extra insurance and special housing, you aren't really worried about your finances.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Toot! Toot!

I'm so excited! I just received my first request for publication so I had to take remove my card from my online gallery and put this up instead.

Note that I have no idea why scrapbookers use the term "toot" to announce they're being published. Maybe it comes from "tooting your own horn."

I won't be making any $ from this, but you never know what will happen in the future. Did I mention that I'm excited, lol?


Less than $20 to fill my (not quite empty) tank. Now that's exciting!


Head on over to Steamy Kitchen for your chance to win an awesome kitchen knife. Jaden has posted some great knife sharpening tips, plus a giveaway. Then, if you like Asian cooking, check out the rest of her blog for some quick and easy recipes.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Queen of leftovers

Good thing Mr. Fix-it likes leftovers since I like to cook in large quantities and then eat the leftovers throughout the week. My maximum tolerance used to be eight meals (lunch and dinner) in row, but now it's about four meals. Last week, I made a huge pot of chicken stew. Had that for dinner and then lunch for the rest of the week. Of course, I didn't want to have chicken stew for dinner every night so I had to start getting creative. I turned some into matzo ball soup one night and I used some of the chicken to make a casserole another night. In between, we had some other things so we wouldn't get burnt out on chicken. (Obviously, I don't have any issues with keeping food in the fridge for several days.)

Yesterday, I made a small roast and I was surprised at how little was left. Enough for a couple more meals, but still, not as much as I thought. I took the bones and made soup tonight. Then it's back to the roast for a couple days.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Saving pennies - books

I took advantage of having the day off and took a pile of books to the used book store. I thought about selling them on, but would have gotten even less than what the book store offered (if they even sold). And I thought about, but that meant keeping the books around and also taking the time to send them out. So I've got $16 in credit to use (I did end up finding one book I liked). If J comes to visit, she can use it (hint, hint).

Actually, I'm happiest that the books are gone, gone, gone! We've got waaaay too many books and magazines around here and it is so difficult to part with them.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Not feeling the blogging mojo

A week without posting, ack! Not a good way to keep my readers engaged. Sorry.

I could have posted about the election, our politic process, the hypocrites out there, but this isn't a political blog and I'm no expert on the subject. I don't even have very strong opinions on the subject, if you can believe that. Hopefully, I'll be posting more soon.

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Yep, you can blame me for the rain. I watered one of the vegetable beds yesterday, forgot and left the water on all night (but it was set to a trickle so I really didn't waste too much water), and then watered the rest of the yard this morning. Now it's pouring. Surprise! Ahh, the first rain of the season and it smells wonderful!