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Archive for June, 2006

A flat day

June 29th, 2006 at 06:13 pm

Started the day with a flat tire. Had to call for Roadside Assistance. They very nicely (NOT) gave me a window of 2 hours for someone to come and put on the doughnut. Yikes.

Luckily I only had a 45 minute wait. The Tow Truck Guy for $25 under the table actually plugged the leak - caused by an errant screw. I don't know if this was a good price but worth it to me cause it saved me time. I missed most of the morning at work though.

We had lunch for a departing coworker. I gave $20 to the person doing the bill cause I left early. I didn't see any change. Expensive for a BLT and a diet coke.

Running around packing tonight to go see my parents this weekend. Didn't help I stayed late to make up for not being at work this morning.

Great Grocery Shopping

June 28th, 2006 at 08:23 pm

This is one of the best shops I have managed to do! I know I have a ways to go to really maximize my savings but I'm not displeased with how I did.

Total Before Sales and Coupons 49.35
Coupon Savings 15.75
in Store Sales 11.88
Total Paid 20.72

Took ages to get through the register. But the girl was nice.

I'm really happy at how I combined in store sales with using coupons to maximimize my savings!

Bagged Salad

June 28th, 2006 at 08:30 am

Bought some bagged salad last week (late last week)with an expiry date of June 30. Opened it last night. Its already going liquid. It has that special "rotting lettuce" smell. YUCK

Called the company today. I learnt something. When you buy salad always look for the bags with the least moisture and that aren't too poofy. Poofy bags are good for potato chips but bad for salad.

They will be sending me a coupon, which will be nice as I've had to throw out the salad I had from them.

Less Spendy Day today!

June 27th, 2006 at 05:55 pm

I am starting to get myself together. Today I actually managed to bring my lunch to work. After I write this I'm going to put my lunch together for tomorrow!

I spent less than I planned to today. I thought something was on sale at a grocery store but when I got there it wasn't. So I didn't buy it! Save, don't spend! Works for me! I bought a big bag of perogies. The small one was 1.69 and the at least double size large "club pack" was 1.99. I got the club pack. That was easy math. Though the perogies I had before were better - I had some of each for supper when I got home.

Doing some decluttering tonight. Nothing exciting. Got my coupon folder back from my BF so I'm updating that!

Oh isn't my life oh so exciting?

Tossed them out!

June 26th, 2006 at 07:30 pm

I got fed up when I found a stash of coupons today. Not my trading stash or my personal use stash. But some I'd stashed in a drawer probably when I was doing a quick "stash and dash" before having company. It was painful to toss them but I grabbed them all and heaved them into the garbage.

Okay so I did pull out three but I didn't go thorugh them properly at all.

I'm tired of coupons all over the place.

Throwing out Food

June 25th, 2006 at 04:18 pm

GT was visiting and he is always up for helping get my place nicer. He's "born organized" and incredibly neat. I'm not quite that structured in how I do things.

He had noticed a smell from the fridge. In 15 minutes we went through the fridge and I disposed of all foodstuffs that were ick.

I have a chest freezer I'm trying to clear out. I'd like to get a small upright. I've had this freezer for nearly 20 years and I got it used then. It could be well over 35 years old. So time to get my freezer cleaned out.

We threw out of a ton of stuff including two roasts that had best before dates from 2002. I didn't need to check a book to figure that was too old for me to want to eat.

My fridge and freezer look great. I through out the equivalent of 2 packed garbage bags. We actually spread it out over 4 bags cause it is all so heavy.

I feel bad about throwing out food. Waste not want not etc. I feel good now though cause in a sense I am starting over. I can't influence what I did in the past but I can make sure that this is the last time this happens.

I don't know if this is a good thing or not but I put an empty rubbermaid container in the bottom of the freezer. This means I can actually reach all the food. Before I'd go into the freezer and not be able to get anything on the bottom.

Grocery store won't take coupons

June 25th, 2006 at 12:11 pm

Okay so it is the cheap chinese grocery store. It is part of a small chain. Fruit and veggies there are cheap cheap cheap. They have meat, fish and lots of "dry goods" too. Most stuff is not stuff I'm familiar with. This is an honest to goodness ethnic supermarket. I'm a nice white WASP girl. I am adventurous to a point...

I go there for cheap produce and tofu products. Today I ran in there for some yogurt. I have chicken thighs that have been in the freezer a bit long and I'm thinking marinade in yogurt for a few hours and then shake and bake. I'd love to hear other ideas though. This is the huge "club" pack. I could do a couple of things with them really now I think about it...

Anyways I go into the store and grab the yogurt. It has a peel and stick coupon on it for 50c off and the cashier refused to take it. Annoying but somehow not surprising. It has neve occured to me to take my coupons in to this store. But come on people. Don't have coupons hanging around on products in the store if you ain't going to accept them.

Thift Store Musing

June 24th, 2006 at 01:32 pm

We went to the Sally Ann (aka Salvation army to look for some curtains for GT's second bedroom. Found a nice set of blue curtains for 7.99 each (each panel was $7.99 so the total was $15.98).

We weren't sold on the them and there was no exchange or money back if you wanted to bring them back. So we left them. Headed to a Goodwill that was closing. Their stock was well picked over. Nothing.

Then to Value Village. Which of all of these is actually a for profit organization.

Got a pair of panels for $3.99 total - includes both panels and 2 tie backs.

What a difference in pricing eh? Doing the searching saved us $12.00. Took an extra hour or so but still worth it I think.

I guess even for thift stores one has to be careful. Things can be overpriced there too.

Luring an Innocent onto the Train

June 23rd, 2006 at 07:53 pm

I brought a coupon train to work today to mail out. One of my coworkers and I were talking earlier in the day about products we use. She happened to mention one that was in the train - $3 off of her hair colour. I dropped it on her desk when I had an opportunity and it wasn't long before she was at my desk going through the train!

She was like a kid in a candy store. I have another train here that I'll bring in Monday for her to go through.

I told her about the basic rule - add more than you take and she's going to look this weekend for any high value coupons she has to add. She mentioned she had some good ones from surveys that she'd not likely use and would like to contribute

*beams proudly* Does she have serious couponing potential or what? She already brings me in flyers she gets at her house that I don't get at mine!

I think I may lure her into the deep dark dangerous world of serious couponing!

Musings about coupon savings!

June 22nd, 2006 at 08:07 pm

I did a quick shop tonight as the BF (aka GT) is coming for the weekend. He's vegan so I always need to get in a provision or two different than my normal stuff.

The store was full of staff. Friendly, no attitude, and attentive if you asked for assistance. Got to joking with the produce guy and another offered help when I was muttering to myself about something having to do with me being a twit. The cashier was great. I did the check out yourself thing but she was awesome.

So the trip was good that way. But my coupon holder is still with the BF. I'm working from my "B" coupon stash. The one for trading. Lots of good coupons it yes. But the ones I want are in my holder.

Total before coupons 23.13. I tendered $2.75 in coupons. The bill shows coupon savings of $8.29, but that is due to a B1G1 and some sales that show the amount off due to the sale as a coupons I guess I didn't to too badly if you look at the $8.29 in savings (but to do that you need to add 5.54 to the bill to add back in the store sale savings).

The joys of being a bit of a math geek

I don't know if I like how this store shows coupons savings. I guess in my mind I don't think of sales as coupon savings but as "smart shopping".

I will have to nose around other people's blogs or the sites to see how they figure all of this out. Do you save from the regular prices or the sale price?

Blew my fuse today

June 20th, 2006 at 09:17 pm

I've lived here a long time - probably 10 years or more. Today I blew a fuse for the first time.

Seeing the hour, and not wanting to head out I played with my fuses. I thought I had an extra fuse. I'm sure I do. But it is no where to be found. I'm sure it will show up when it is no longer needed.

I played with my fuses. The kitchen, including fridge and freezer now has a working fuse. The bathroom is dark.

Note to self: Buy extra fuses tomorrow and make sure they go with the tools.

Out of control coupons - and it gets worse!

June 20th, 2006 at 06:24 pm

I am drowning in coupons!

I try to put them all in one spot. But like pens they escape from said spot and end up in all kinds of unlikely spots. And they tend not to be where I want them to be when I need one.

I have coupons I'll use, I have coupons for trading. I have expired coupons that seem to refuse to end up in the garbage. I have coupons that are organized and I have an unending (it seems) number of coupons that seem to be scattered thoughout the house.

I'm almost ready to dump them all and start afresh. Almost but not quite.

Can you tell I'm going through paper stuff and seeming to find coupons all over the place.

Oh, and while going through my coupons I realised I left my 'bring to the store' stash of coupons with my boyfriend and I'm not going to see him until friday. Then again with all the mess around here I should find at least a couple for the sales I wanted to catch this week!

Quilty Low Spend Weekend!

June 19th, 2006 at 05:43 am

I had a good weekend!

Saturday we visited a small local museum that as holding a quilt exhibit. Very nice work. I took a ton of pictures. I'll find some place to host them on the web and post a link for any quilt fans. They also had a lady there showing off old fashioned rug hooking. For the sake of my wallet (and the clutter factor) I refused to pay too much attention. New crafty hobbies are not a good idea when I already have so many!

After the quilt show we went to a quilt store. I have wanted to make a bag for quite some time. I found a great pattern and some material. They had a store sample made in the nicest material that I'd have bought but they didn't have it in stock. They told me the name of the fabric but to be honest I don't think they told me the right name. I googled it a few times to no success (I did find material named that by that designer but it looked significantly different). Very annoying. I did buy the pattern and some of another material. Kept my spending under $20. I was proud of me!

That was it for me for the weekend! 2 Quilt related actities and less than $20 spent WOO HOO.

Thruway - HUGE Rip Off

June 16th, 2006 at 06:24 am

I was driving on the NY Thruway yesterday.

Stopped at the service centre. Gas was 2.99 a gallon. Pretty bad considering everywhere else I saw it is was around 2.75-2.80. I will check when I do the return trip if they took down the signs indicating "competative pricing". They better have.

Worse than that though was in the service centre itself. Last time I had a scone and a regular coffee at the coffee shop there they wanted almost $5. Totally outrageous. This time I took a peak at the prices at McD's. They wanted for a combo either $6.50 plus. This isn't some grandiose combo. That's for a freaking Big Mac. A Quarter Pounder combo was over $7. Excuse me. This is crap food and you want how much for it?????

I filled up with gas which was stupid enough given the prices. I passed on a combo or snack from the coffee shop. I'm going to take the extra few minutes and not go to that service centre anymore to buy anything.

I know service centre prices are a bit higher than regular prices. But its getting just a bit out of hand in the case of the NY thruway, at least in my opinion.

More good mail and a stupid debit purchase

June 14th, 2006 at 05:43 pm

More good mail today. An envie of coupons again! Someone was more than generous with me. Cheered me up after a busy stress filled day.

Went to buy GT tea on the way home. He likes Typhoo Tea (decaf). I brought in my debit card cause that stuff is pricey. Dang store didn't have it. Not many stores do. I'll bring him the rest of what I have and make a note to buy some next week. As I was walking through the store I saw they had raspberries on sale for $2.00 for wee little container. I splurged. But had only grabbed my debit card and keys when I went into the store. The cashier was a young fellow who was incredibly sweet. He said not to worry about it he's done debit on a 25cent can of pop!

Got to love a good mail day

June 13th, 2006 at 07:45 pm

I got two things in the mail today. Both coupons.

The first was from someone who I did a private trade with. She was oh so generous and sent me more than we'd agreed upon. All coupons i can use.

The second was indirectly from the same person. A "Healthy" train. Some good coupons for products I buy from time to time. Coupons that I so far haven't found. I will get that one back into the mail on Thursday.

I sent out 2 trades today too.

One of them will be sending me some other coupons that I've not been able to find.

Focussing more on what I buy and searching for coupons more agressively I think is starting to make a difference.

Cute cops.. no progress starting the $20 Challenge Yet

June 13th, 2006 at 07:35 pm

The World cup means rowdy soccer fans. Rowdy fans means lots of cops. Lot of cops on bicycles. In cute shorts with really nice legs. Driving home was oh so scenic. *fans herself* I had to remember to focus on the road, cause getting into an at fault accident with cops as witnesses isn't a great idea.

On the savings front I dropped by the HSBC offices to see if i could open a high interest savings account with the bonus offer they currently have. Found out that wasn't possible becuase rather than go to an office of their bank the office I went to was actually their finance company. They want to give me money with me paying them high interest rates. I want them to pay me high interest rates for me to let them use my money.

Oh well. I am so looking forward to getting an account open and starting to work on the $20 Challenge

Soon. I really don't want to start it until I have an account open


Ever worry about a lynch mob?

June 11th, 2006 at 06:09 pm

I had one of those cashiers today. You know the type. Carefully reads every coupon to make sure its good. Slowly checks the cash register receipt. Gives you heck for not giving her the coupons at the proper time.

When I started in the line there was no one behind me. By the time I was finished there were two huge lines.

One day I'm sure we are going to hear about someone going postal cause some lady had one too many coupons and they broke under the strain of waiting.

Its gonna happen, I know its gonna happen. I just hope its not me they get. No one said anything to me but I could feel the tension.

And to think I thought this was a safe hobby with no real dangers other than a papercut or lost coupon

My savings today

June 11th, 2006 at 06:05 pm

Did two stops today.

Dropped into one grocery store to pick up a huge container of field greens. This normally sells for $4.99 and was on for $2.99 on a two day only sale. Only picked up one because it is perishable and not sure I'll go through two.

Then hit the drug store. Total of my shopping was $181. Used coupons totalling $18.75 and cashed in points - they had a deal on today where if you cashed in enough points for $75 off your bill you actually got $100. I spent in cash about $61 for a lot of stuff. A couple of splurges but in all I kept it to stuff I need.

What comes around...

June 10th, 2006 at 09:48 pm

I did another RAOK today.

In the last few days three coupon trains returned home after journeying across the country. Of course there were some great baby coupons in them - as well as some coupons that I actually can use. Baby coupons aren't something high on my need list.

I pulled out all the baby coupons ncluding some B1G1 coupons and a $5 off diapers one expiring at the end of June). Went into the wishlists on my coupon groups and found someone who had baby stuff listed as a want. I popped the coupons in an envelope, put in a post-it and said "have fun savings" The envelope actually did get mailed out today!. No name, no return address, just the coupons. I wish I could see her face when she gets some unexpected good mail!

The what goes around part of this post is that two people contacte me today - one telling me she's sending me coupons on my wishlist and other saying she has the a coupon insert I don't get and asking me if I want any coupons from them (I have to find out what was in that insert before I can answer her).

I'm just feeling blessed all around. Its nice having people think of you and its nice doing things for other people.

Buying lipstick - just when was this stuff made?

June 10th, 2006 at 09:29 pm

Lipstick needs to come with an expiry date on it.

I bought some lipstick the other week. My colour, my preferred brand, on sale, and it was indicaed that there was a coupon in it.

Open it up and bonanza .. not one coupon but two.

Read the coupons. OMG. This was bad. The coupon copyright date was 2004. The coupon expiry date was 2/28/05.

Just how old is this "new" lipstick?

I wrote to the manufacturer today to ask. Also asked for new coupons. And asked if the lipstick was safe to use.

These people, a large firm, that sells internationally have this wonderful form that you fill out to contact them. You get 255 letters to make your comment. WTF? Their servers can't handle a longer email? Their customer service people have short attention spans?

I am totally annoyed now

Did you RAOK anyone today?

June 9th, 2006 at 10:47 pm

I found some great coupon booklets and picked up a healthy stash (is it possible to not be greedy when you find good coupons?). I picked up enough for my own use and to add to trains etc.

But today I brought in a bunch of the books for 2 of my coworkers. There is a coupon in them to save $5 off one of those pricey vitamin products. It feels nice to pass the savings along to people

I also sent out to RAOK envelopes to two people on the coupon groups I'm on. One was expected - I had corresponded with her about what she was looking for. The other one was based on a posted wishlist.

It feels good passing on RAOK's that people have sent to me. I have to love getting the warm fuzzies. I think too, that by doing I help make my own luck. What comes around goes around.

So did you RAOk anyone today? Do you make a practise of RAOK'ing

Procrastination is the Enemy

June 8th, 2006 at 08:34 pm

Goals for this weekend.

Actually do the paperwork to open an ING account for savings

Call the bank and find out why my internet banking doesn't work.

complete registration for airmiles and either send in or complete online.

30% a month to retire with my current income

June 8th, 2006 at 05:07 pm

Yikes, to retire at about age 62 with savings that will allow me to retire on my current income I'll need to save about 30% of my gross salary. OUCH

That doesn't factor into account savings, pension plans or government benefits. Still. Its going to be a scary number. A number I really need to calculate.

First task though, set up a savings account so I can start squirrelling extra money away.

Off to research banks.