Home > Archive: August, 2006

Archive for August, 2006

Some Goals for September

August 31st, 2006 at 12:08 am

While I live in Canada I travel to the US at least once a month as my boyfriend lives in PA. While I'm great with coupons on my home turf I'm trying to become a better consumer when I'm in the states and maximize my savings. These are a couple of my goals for september for some of the "odd things" I want to do to enhance my savings.

- to follow up on at least on of the razor offers I've completed. I keep filling out pages that say they are going to send me a free razor. Intuition, Venus. Schick. I'll be amazed if one every turns up in my mail.

- to complete at least one rebate offer, preferably one in the US and one in Canada for a product I use. Maybe razors even!

-to make a large ALDI shopping list for when i'm next in the states for basics, - cream cheese, milk, pam, sweeetner, etc and to buy said items there. Items where I don't care about brand names.

-To join the Rite Aid savings program for monthly rebates and stuff (there is one on my route home that I found last time that is easy to get to.

Exciting eh?

Bad Mail Day - now in debt (visa bill came)

August 30th, 2006 at 02:29 am

My visa bill came today. Ouchies. I pay for the subscription a friend and I have to dinner theatre - its a good deal but at $40 each for 5 shows each it adds up - and that's the half price mid week deal
She'll pay me back on an "as we go basis" But ouchies. That was a chunk of change.

Then came the rest of the expenses from my vacation. All are from the States where it is hard for me to use my debit card due to the different systems and where to get cash out each bank along the way is charging a pretty penny. Not that visa doesn't. Just easier to do it tht way. But not easier when the bill comes.

Note to self: Carry more cash when travelling to the US.

The bill isn't due until the end of September but I want to get this paid off. It is the only debt I have. Balance was paid off last month. I don't want to get back into the land of owing.

Mealy Bugs 1 Yummy 0

August 29th, 2006 at 05:38 am

After a 3 year battle I tossed out most of my plants this past Sunday. I've been battling mealybugs. Dabbing them with alcohol did nothing. Soap did nothing. Other sprays did nothing, dada zilch. Malathion - which should kill man, beast and any living thing was merely a mealybug treat.

I wasn't very frugal. I tossed most of them out containers and all. To be totally correct I selected the ones to be tossed and my boyfriend did the dirty deed and dumped them down the garbage chute.

While I had a small financial investment in the plants most of it was a time and energy investment.

I kept about 8 plants - two spider plants that seem immune to everything, and some ivy's. I'm going to spray them all in the next few days and then give them a month. Any bugs and I'll have to get rid of all the remaining plants.

A few containers I did keep (some of the smaller ones for my plants at work). I'll need to sterilize them. I don't have a dishwasher and most are plastic. Maybe a nice bleach bath with a couple of cups of bleach and a prewash in insecticide. I have just as large a collection of plants at the office as I have at home. Errr. As I had at home and no way I want those infected.

My thoughts about

August 29th, 2006 at 02:32 am

Heard about this on the radio today. I work hard for my money. I work hard to save my money. I am pretty sure investing via the web to people I don't know doesn't fit with my risk tolerance.

Finance 101 says as the risk goes up the rate of turn must increase. My "sleep comfortably at night" meter has gone wild and predicts much insomnia if I go this route. I rate myself with a high risk tolerance. But no thanks!

For the record I'm not interested in borrowing money this way either. I've finally become debt free. I'm hoping to stay that way. And if i do get into debt it will be for a specific reason and I'll do so with an established lender with a good reputation and decent service.

Spendless Sunday and Precooking

August 28th, 2006 at 02:28 am

Woo Hoo! A no spend day.

Made a Hot Bean Pot dish - had one serving of it and there are 5 more. One if the fridge for this week and the others in the freezer for the next few weeks. I'm going to try to do this every week so I have a store of dishes.

Right now I rely on Lean Cuisine for my lunches. I know they aren't the cheapest even though I do buy them on sale. However still cheaper than eating out. If I make a dish each week that makes 6 servings it won't be long until I have a nice variety of dishes in the freezer and won't need many lean cuisines in the freezer.

It is the right time of year to make a great big batch of stuffed peppers or tomatoes. I might make that next week's project - making some of them vegan so the boyfriend can enjoy some too.

Pondering - Walmart Free Samples

August 27th, 2006 at 06:42 pm

I love the walmart free samples. They must cost walmart and or the manufacturer some good money. You'd think they'd enclose a coupon so they could track how many people, through the free sample actually decide to purchase the product. Most of the samples don't seem to include a product coupon

I'd think this would be a marketing 101 sort of thing to do. How else do you know if sending out samples is useful in creating new sales.

Or do they figure all of us who get the samples are people who want free stuff and are likely too cheap to buy their product?

One cheap purchase (and a few others too)

August 27th, 2006 at 12:59 am

Shopping at bulk barn was fun. We bought dried lima beans for a bean pot, 5 pieces of chocolate for a treat, faux bacon bits, and basil. The total was $1.88. Big spender time! Proof that bulk store shopping can be economical even when you buy a treat!

I did splurge today though. Bought a new phone and a headset to replace the phone I have at home that gets crappy reception and that never seems to work quite right. Also got a small fishing lure box for chainmail supplies.

*blush* Yes, I've started a new hobby

annoying plastic containers - gone

August 26th, 2006 at 01:41 am

Went to the new supercentre near me. Big store. Brand new and shiny. Staff, staff and oh did I mention it was well staffed? No line ups at all. Lots of people floating around to help you.

Prices - okay. Size of store - wear your runners, never go in there in heels - never ever.. way too much walking. Crappy selection of coupons. I was hoping for better. My hopes were dashed with this trip.

Bought a new set of plastic "tupperwear" to replace the set I "won" in our Killer Kringle at Xmas. That stackable/takes no room/lids are all the same size set is now in the garbage. The lids didn't stay on. I have salad dressing from the cole slaw I had today EVERYWHERE. I didn't goodwill it cause I don't hate the people who buy at goodwill enough to inflict this crappy set on them.

The new set was $10, has 30 containers in it and I have other containers in this set - uses only three sizes of lids and the quality has always been good. At 35 cents a container its not an outrageous investment. So I pitched pretty much everything that didn't work with this set. Life is too short to deal with lunch containers that aren't properly functional either.

Part of me feels horribly wasteful. Tossing stuff out goes against the principals of being careful with one's money. But gees, will I be actually using containers to bring lunch to work if the containers leak?

Wow Actually accomplished stuff today

August 25th, 2006 at 03:11 am

Today was one hell of a day at work. Tomorrow should be just as fun. *Sigh* It might even be more fun as I now have computer issues thanks to needing files that are too large for the programs I use to handle. Being an underwriter is no glamorous - yeah right!.

Oh well, the highlights of today:

-limited spending to breakfast $2.62
-a coworker brought me a coffee so I didn't have to pay for that
- another coworker picked up some nayonaise (vegan mayonaisse) for me at Whole Foods saving me a trip there
-got two antiprocrastition tasks done - no not all of them, but two of them are off of the list
-filed my 10 items
-threw out well over 20 items
-got my american coupons organized (Woo hoo) and can send them on to pastures where they may be used and appreciated
-found a bag of clutter in the kitchen from a car clean out. Got rid of it - tossed, filed, going to goodwill etc
-got a bag of stuff ready for goodwill
-dishes done, counters and stove wiped down.
-lunch is ready for tomorrow. Not sure if i'll make breakfast or buy it out. I'm going to try to make it to save the $2.62

I'm finally unwinding too. A stressful day works me up and makes it hard for me to sleep

Decluttering pays :)

August 24th, 2006 at 03:24 am

The paper challenge is moving along. Got rid of way more than 20 pieces of paper again today and filed my obligatory 10 things.

In the mess I found two more cheques to cash in the pile, and a gift card for a book store. Decluttering pays :

Coupon Organization (what's working for me and what's not)

August 23rd, 2006 at 02:52 pm

I was asked how I organize coupons.

While I have a method, its not working very well for me right now, hence feeling out of control and having too many coupons.

Coupons for trading are kept in envelopes (business sized) in a plasic "shoe box". The envelopes are in categories that work for me; sweets and baking stuff (think dessert), protien, dairy, cheese (i separate out cheese), soy (for veggie/vegan stuff), bathroom stuff, cleaners, pasta/rice/bread(the starches).

The envelopes don't work very well because they are paper. They tear and rip and are hard to handle. I haven't figured out something of about the same size to replace them. Wondering about file folders cut down to size but haven't got that far, and not sure if this is the right way to go.

Coupons I might use are kept in a smaller check register that fits into my way to big purse. I use the same categories here. This container too needs a good clean out. I've been away so much this summer that coupons are just piling up all over the place.

My problem is I keep too many coupons for trading and for trains I am on. I need to curtail that. Less is more. My current step is to weed out my collection and get rid of expired and soon to be expiring. While doing that I'm limiting duplciates to a maximum of 12.

Someone commmented on my blog about how they organize coupons in a photo album I think it is. I am going to ask more information about that. Maybe my method could use a change. I'm not sure. I think the weeding out and pruning still needs to be done though.

Oh and add to this my US coupon stash. Though I'm planning on getting that to someone who can use them (I haven't forgotten, life has just got me), other than the few that I might be able to use.

Shouldn't have tried to bake tuesday

August 23rd, 2006 at 03:12 am

First for the good stuff today.

-Limited spending out to one cup of coffee.
-Worked on my paper challenge (more than 20 pieces of paper tossed and 10 filed
-Came to a decision to keep no more than about 12 identical coupons. My coupon collection is overflowing and giving me fits. I can't find coupons I'm looking for, so weeding it down is the only sensible way to go. Coupons are part of my paper problem. This needs to be solved going forward.
-Am set up for another no unplanned spending day tomorrow with the proviso that if i buy a coffee it is not cheating - some days I just need a second cup.

The not so good stuff

- too ditzy to bake today. The cold must be affecting some of my brain cells. Made something that would have been bran muffins had I followed the recipe. Too bad I didn't do that.
-Had a short temper today and let things get to me. Low blood sugar didn't help - I was really hungry by supper time - likely too hungry.

Oh reading this, the good definitely outweighted the bad.

Monday Blues

August 22nd, 2006 at 02:44 am

I am coming down with a cold.. actually it has been coming for a few days and has moved solidly into my sinus cavities. Blech.

I am proud of me for doing a number of things today:

- putting away the laundry
- decluttering 5 tops - 4 for garbage and 1 to go to the boyfriend (stains etc.. the garbage ones are garbage)
-putting the celery seed I bought into a spice jar rather than leaving it in a baggy (I've tossed many a random bag of bulk spices in the past as life is too short to deal with old mystery spices)
- setting up the coffee maker for the morning as well as thawing a breakfast pita
-getting my lunch ready for tomorrow so I have it for work
-filing about 10 items
-tossing out about 30 random pieces of paper

My goal for this week is to, every day throw out at least 20 pieces of paper and file at least 10 pieces of paper.

For some reason the more clutter i get rid of the less I need. I love how this works. It is counter intuitive that is for sure.

I'm hoping to limit my "food out" spending tomorrow to the cost of an additional cup of coffee or a coke if for some reason I want one. I can't do a no spend day as I need sweetener.

Added one more to my collection

August 21st, 2006 at 02:43 am

Got me one more of those dangly store cards that get me money off at a grocery store. This one for Quality Foods. There is one I pass just off of the NY Thruway.

Got me some decent savings, so I didn't feel too badly about adding it to my collection of key chain danglies. Used my boyfriend's addy and included a phone number fairly similar to his. Frankly I just want the savings. I can live without the profiling.

Have to pull the actual card out of my wallet, too many store cards in it make it too heavy.

51st state?

August 21st, 2006 at 01:46 am

The store had such a nice display of Kleenex boxes. And a nice coupon. Buy 3 get 1 free or something similar. Good for a while.

*grab a couple*

Look at them later and see they are good only in the US. That's fine I'm there frequently and if I don't use them not hard to find someone who might like them. The question has to be asked of Kleenex though - did you fail geography? Why have pads of these coupons sent to stores in Canada?

I feel a letter to Kleenex coming, asking them if they can send me an equivalent coupon that I can actually use in the country I found it in.

Border Complaint

August 21st, 2006 at 01:40 am

$2.50 US to cross at the peace bridge or $3.50 Canadian

At today's exchange rate $2.50US is equal to about $2.81 Canadian.

Needless to say I always make sure to have US funds when I cross. At some point I want to figure out who sets the pricing and complain. It should cost the same regardless of the currency you use.

That likely makes too much sense. *sigh*

Getting across the border in both directions was fine. These days I'm not usually bothered by homeland security or Canada Customs. Buying 7 gallons of arizona iced tea just makes you weird, it doesn't make you libel for duty or overly noteworthy.

Contacting Pays Off

August 19th, 2006 at 05:09 am

I had bought some lipstick a while back only to find in it a coupon that expired in Feb 2005.. which makes the product a wee bit old. I contacted Revlon and they said they'd replace it and send me a gift certificate.

Two weeks after contacting them I have 2 - $1 coupons (aka the gift certificates) off any product they make NED, and a brand new lipstick!

A good mail day. That and a pile of walmart samples. I haven't checked out the samples yet.. Its 1am.. I think I'll wait until I've had a good sleep.

Arizona Iced Tea - where to buy?

August 18th, 2006 at 01:58 am

I bought gallon jugs of the Arizona Diet Iced tea at Aldi for $2.57 each a few weeks ago. I have no idea if that's a good price or not and no time to go out comparison shopping.

I guess I'll just trust Aldi. I'm trying to bring about a quart of this to work every day so I don't go out and buy coffee or worse, pop.

Missed a Sale (major grumble)

August 17th, 2006 at 10:36 pm

Was at the grocery store without my coupons.

YES I KNOW BETTER *hangs head in shame*

Saw tetrapaks of soymilk on for $1 on Tues. Saw sign on and said either 15th or 16 of Aug as the last day (guess is said 15th). I was busy yesterday so got there with my coupons today.

Sale over.

Oh, and yeah, the coupons I had were for $1 off, and I have about 20 of them.


High End Grocery Store Slogan

August 16th, 2006 at 12:40 am

Loblaws is an upper end Grocery store. The prices are okay if you shop sales and coupons. Quality is good though.

Anyway some marketing dude who must shop at the hoity toity grocery stores for gourmets came up with the slogan "Amazingly low prices".

As compared to what?

I mean really. Prices on basic groceries are about 20% higher for the same product as the lower end stores.

I don't mind marketing slogans but must you insult our intelligence with them?

Coupon Restrictions.

August 15th, 2006 at 01:44 am

The coupon is good on the 1.89L size of SoGood Soy Milk, Its good on the 1L size of their milk and on the smaller tetrapaks. It isn't good on the 946ml size.

Oops. I hate stupid size restrictions.

Extra paid over planned 40 cents.

For some reason I don't mind coupons that are for one size only. But come on. Don't be fussy. 1L okay but 946L not okay.. really silly.

Survey and two free meals

August 15th, 2006 at 01:41 am

I got paid for a survey last week. One of those that pays a few $ by cheque each time you do one. They asked if they could send me a free sample.

So today I got two free meals delivered to try sometime this week! And I'll get paid for another survey after I eat them.

A nice bonus and when I get it another $5 for the challenge

A small amount to add

August 15th, 2006 at 12:56 am

I have a $5 cheque from an internet survey and a really silly 19cent cheque to add to my $20 challenge when I get into the account tomorrow

$20 Challenge - $118.19

No phoning tonight

August 15th, 2006 at 12:54 am

Thanks to a dental visit where the freezing didn't work, I'm not going to be calling ING tonight or Air Miles.

The freezing did finally take after they did a Gow-Gates block. I'm actually still frozen and the freezing is bothering me (I guess it is starting to come out). Good news - after that I felt nothing.

Calling is on hold until tomorrow!

Today's Saving To Do List

August 14th, 2006 at 05:18 pm

I want to ensure I do this tonight.

1. Read info from ING and set up link with my online banking service so I can easily transfer funds.

2. Call Air Miles people and ensure they have correct information on file for me.

Up North

August 13th, 2006 at 02:17 am

Travelling up to my parents is a killer gas wise. Gas is 1.145 per litre here. Ouch. At home it was a mere 96cents when I left. Seeing that price differnce during the course of a day really hurts.

The visit is going well. Mom is frail but isn't as frail as I was worried she might be. Got a fright when they called earlier in the week and told me they found her sleeping on the floor. From what everyone can figure that is what she was doing. No signs of injury from a fall.

Dad is thinking of renting an apt rather than buying a place when he sells this house. Might make sense. He's 74 and doesn't need the fuss of maitenance and upkeep.

Didn't spend much today. Tomorrow I'll need to fill the tank for the ride home. OUCH.

Today's Raok

August 11th, 2006 at 02:49 am

Today was a frustrating enough day at work that I went and bought a coke at the convenience store. People in the couponing group I'm in are collecting coke points. For what I'm not really sure but I know I don't drink enough coke to collect them myself - hence my not bothering to check

There are frequent posts for people wanting to trade for coke PIN's. I just picked one person who has traded with me in the past and emailed her the code. I hope I helped make her evening. I know doing so perked me up.

Savings Increased

August 11th, 2006 at 02:45 am

Went in to see the financial advisor and his assistant. I so like her. She's so sweet! Always so happy to see me.

Increased my retirement savings by $200 a month. I'm feeling good. This means I'm now doing 10% of gross into retirement savings plus what I'm contributing to my work Pension Plan plus what I contribute to government retirement plan.

Note to self: Add up total contributions. This should bring me to my 15% goal if not over.

Easy Savings Update

August 10th, 2006 at 12:39 am

Looked at my current pay stub and one from a few months ago. I can be putting a significant amount aside and still be bringing home what I brought home a month ago.

I'm going to put some of it in my ING savings (for the $20 challenge) and the rest in my retirement savings account.

I ran into the girl from my investment advisors office in the lobby of the building (not a stretch seeing his office is in the lobby of the building where I work) and she's going to draw up the papers for me to add to my retirement savings tomorrow! Thank goodness I ran into her. This way I can't put it off. I like putting things off - I figure I must enjoy it or I'd stop doing it right?

Spendy Day

August 10th, 2006 at 12:16 am

Didn't plan for it to be a spendy day. Rejoined weight watchers. I have lot of weight to watch. I bought a 12 week membership. I need to get serious about losing. A 12 week membership is 3 months. I am hoping to lose 20lbs. It would be great to lose 20lbs in the next three months.

Bought the cat his condo. I ended up getting $5 off the price! Woo hoo! I'm not sure what she did but it worked for me regardless. Being a regular and bringing your cat in occassionly is a good way to make friends at the pet store.

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