it’s starting to pay off

I don’t wanna work, it’s raining, my house is trashed, my husband is 2800 miles away, he took my camera with him, I stayed up too late reading, my roots are showing, I broke my glasses, and twitter has killed comments.

And yet, I’m in a pretty good mood. Something must be wrong with me.

Oh, wait!

It might be that I tried on every pair of pants, capris, shorts as well as every skirt in my entire closet and most of them went in the ‘get rid of’ pile. Cause they’re all too big!

I guess all that running and counting calories might just be worth the effort eh?

All I have 2 pairs pairs of capris, one skirt, and a couple ratty shorts that actually fit. Nothing else.

So now I get to go shopping!! (Especially with BlogHer coming up quickly – it’s time to start thinking about what to wear!)

Only drawback? Who is going to pay for my BlogHer wardrobe???

the post that turned into an ad for Trader Joe’s by accident

I think it’s a good day for random bullets!

holiday gift plans

Did you know Christmas shopping in an unexpected sleet storm bites? If I didn’t know before I sure do now! Gah! Add in that special circle of hell also known as Wal*Mart and my day today was pretty horrid! I did get a couple of gifts at the local used book store though – yay! That almost redeemed the rest of the day.

I actually have very little shopping to do since I’ve made quite a few presents already. I wish I could tell you more about them but I don’t want to ruin any surprises for my anyone in my family who might be reading this. I thought I could do a post about possible handmade gifts, but I’m making so many of them it would give too much away! Sorry!

I can tell you though, that one of the best things we’re doing to save money this year is a “hand me down” Christmas exchange with the little ones in my family. All the kids have way more toys and books than they can use so they’re picking out some their own stuff to give away to their cousins. I think it’s going to work out really well, and the kids love anything that’s “new” to them, they don’t care if it’s not new in a box! I’m so psyched the rest of my family was as excited to do it as I was! (We haven’t done gift exchanges between the adults in my family for years. There are waaaayyyy too many of us!)

Next up is holiday cards. I think I’m going to have to give up on the idea of making all my own cards. I’ve done it before, but not during a year when I was making all the gifts too! A girl has only so much time for this stuff! At this point I’ll be doing good just to get the cards in the mail on time.

All in all I’m coming along really well with my plans and I shouldn’t have to do any unexpected last minute shopping. I’m soooo glad of that!

ps. This is the final day of NaBloPoMo! Wooohoooo! I think I’ll let you all catch up on your feed readers before I post again! 😉

wish list

One of the reasons why I waffled about participating in NaBloPoMo was that I was afraid the pressure of posting every day would make me despise my own blog. Well, if you could see my stats, you’d know, as I now realize, that my real fear should have been that I would make you all despise my blog. ~bwahahahaha!~ Have mercy, this was the dumbest of my dumb ideas evah, but I vow to see it through! Just don’t expect a freaking post on December 1st. Sheesh.

So the boy finally made his Christmas wish list yesterday – we haven’t written our usual ‘Dear Santa’ email yet but at least I know what he wants now. (You read that right, no old fashioned letter in this house, we send an email to the North Pole!)

Here’s the list:

It’s funny, it seemed like such a normal list at first. Then it went off the deep end! Clearly, it’s a very bad thing that my husband is a techno-geek and we have so many electronic things around the house. Now the boy wants them too, and thinks they are basic necessities. He is just like his father. Well, maybe his mother too. But his father is much, much, much worse. His father might actually give him a digital camera. (A used one, but still (!) a camera for a 5 year old.)

And what do I want for Christmas? I just want a new a kitchen faucet, and maybe a decent soup pot. Really high tech eh?

ps. dear family members, that is not supposed to be a hint! (at least, it’s only a hint to my husband!) 😉

pps. what do you want for the holidays?

ppps. if you really want to give me something, you can click on my ads! hee hee…

grocery savings

It’s been awhile since we talked about the current high cost of living, but I think about it every time I go to the store. Sure, gas prices have gone down a bit, but groceries haven’t at all. I’ve come up with a few strategies to help me cut my grocery bill, including, gasp, the dreaded coupons.

Yes, coupons. I hate them, but they do help. I follow the rule of “only buy what you normally would anyway.” There are lots of coupons out there for things I don’t use and won’t try just because I have the coupon. I also make sure the coupon isn’t giving me a false sense of bargain shopping – if another brand is a better price even without a coupon of course I’m going with that one.

I’ve noticed more lately that my local grocery store not only gives me really good coupons at check out for items I actually buy, but they have quite a lot of printable coupons on their website. There are, in fact, lots of printable coupons across the web.

The best coupons of all though are the ones in the meat department. I don’t know if it’s just my store, or if others do it too, but when they need to get the meat and poultry sold quickly they put on “manager’s special” coupons on them. Certainly nothing has gone bad, it’s just getting too close for the sell by date for their comfort. Every time I go to the store now, I check the entire meat department to see what the best deal is, not only by sale price, but by how good the coupons are too.

My best deal so far was this week when they had an overabundance of ground turkey. It was already on sale 2 packs (1.25lb each) for $5.00, normally a package is $4.99 a piece so they were already half price. Then they each had a $1.00 off coupon. So I got name brand ground turkey for $1.20 per pound! That’s the best price I’ve ever seen for it, and we use a ton of ground turkey here (we don’t use any ground beef) so I bought 20 packages. Yes, I know that makes me a dork but I had plenty of room in my chest freezer and I now have enough meat to last through much of the winter.

So this is how I shop now. I plan my meals by what’s on sale and I how I can combine it with what I have in my pantry. I stock up on things I know I’m going to use. I also make a lot more soups and stews than I used to. It’s a great way to use up leftovers, and frankly, onions, carrots, rice and other soup makings are still relatively cheap.

So am I missing anything? What have you changed about your shopping habits lately? Do you have any other money saving tips? Can you tell I’m obsessed with this??

holiday $pending

I’m curious.

I know it seems early to ask this, but I’m really curious how everyone is planning to handle their holiday shopping this year. Especially compared to years past.

I made a decision that we’re cutting way back this year. We’ve never done really extravagant presents for anyone, even the boy, but all the little things really really add up. Part of the problem is that I end up getting a bunch of last minute things that I shouldn’t have. This year I’m planning better, budgeting better, shopping smarter, and frankly, shopping less. There will be no new camera, no new iphone, no Wii in sight. (We don’t really have video games around here, and I don’t mind keeping it that way.)

This is embarrassing to admit, but last year, I thought I did really well with my planning for presents for the boy. I found some Lego sets and action figures on clearance in September/October, hid them from him, and apparently from myself too, since I promptly forgot about them. No really, I forgot I bought them, and went and bought completely different things for him in November/December. When I found everything the week before Christmas I was pretty mad at myself. I had enough freaking toys for both Christmas and his birthday in March. Ridiculous.

That won’t be happening this year, that’s for sure.

So here’s what I want to know, how is the current economy affecting your plans for the holidays? Are you cutting back a little, a lot, not at all? Did you already cut back in recent years? If you are planning to spend less, what are your strategies, or tips for doing so?

Have you even thought about any of this yet? Am I too early to even ask the question?

I’m really very curious.

life’s little irritations #9

Latest irritation: the current prices of groceries. Frankly, it’s more than just a little irritation, it’s a huge aggravation for me.

I understand the whole concept about gas prices going up so shipping is more expensive blah blah blah. I call bullshit. You can’t tell me that every single item in the store needs to go up by 20-40 cents per item for them to make up for the extra shipping costs. Three cents, five cents? Maybe. But a can of black beans that used to be $0.69 is now $1.09? Eff that. Milk from a company in the same state I live in is up from $3.99 last winter to 4.29 now? Did their trucks really use 30 cents more in for every single gallon to be shipped? I have a really hard time believing that.

I think we’re being screwed – just because the product manufacturers and the grocery stores know they can get away with it. They have a great excuse and they know we have to buy food right? Well guess what? I’m just buying fewer extras, buying the no-brand items more often, buying in bulk, and waiting for good sales. (And don’t freaking tell me that taking 10 measly cents off a 2.99 item is a sale – it’s NOT.) I have a set amount I can spend and that’s not going to change.

Seriously, when was the last time you saw this make headlines in the news? When the economics of oil is discussed all I hear is about are the prices at the pump. When are we going to really talk about how gas prices are affecting EVERYTHING we buy, and far more than it should. This affects me every single day and I don’t want it buried on page 23 anymore.

As I see it it’s price gouging at its finest, it’s barely been perceptible as it’s crept up on us for the last few months and no one seems to notice. But I see it clearly now at the bottom of my register receipt.

Have you noticed this where you are? Has it affected your bottom line? Are you shopping differently now to lower your grocery bills? I’m really curious if I’m the only one that’s going crazy about this.

moisturizer advice?

I need the internetz help! I want your recommendations on moisturizers. I’m in the market for a new one, and frankly I’m tired of buying them, using them for a month, hating them, and having to try another one, and another one…you get it.

I just don’t have the time or the money to experiment right now! I don’t know if I should stay with Loreal Future E, which is the one I’ve used for the last few months. I didn’t hate it and I didn’t love it, but it’s better than anything else I’ve ever used. I was also thinking about trying Cetaphil’s facial moisturizer since I like the cleanser but I really want to know if there’s something better out there I’m missing.

Here’s my criteria:

So can you help me? At least tell me what you use, and why you like it? Help a sister out!

the siphoning gas update

Okay, so many of you commented or otherwise questioned me on what happened next I thought it needed a quick new post!

Let me just clarify one thing. I didn’t specifically ask for them to fill up the tank as I apparently should have, however, I knew there was plenty of gas in it so I wasn’t concerned about the extra couple of gallons. Let that be a lesson to us all!

So yes, I called the salesperson this morning. I had to call anyway. The dumba$$ also forgot to give me my $100 gas card that was part of their current sales promotion. I should have made sure I had it but we wanted to get out of there so fast (we’d been there at least four hours, ugh) and I wrongly assumed it was in the packet with rest of our stuff. I probably wouldn’t have called just about the gas tank, only because the whole thing was SO ridiculous and I was SO done!

When I reached him I told him about the gas card – of course he wanted me to drive back there to get it. Only if you want me to smack you buddy. “No dude. Mail it. Today. And oh by the way….you might want to tell your service department they should leave enough gas in the car to get to the closest gas station.”

“Huh? Wha?”

Don’t huh me. “I know there was over 1/2 tank of gas when I test drove it.”

Here’s where it gets good. He actually told me it was his fault. That he wanted them to clean it up for me really good so they took out all the gas and he was supposed to put in fresh (!) and he forgot. HA HA HA!!!

Fresh gas. *snort*

Let’s just see how long it takes to get the gas card in the mail.

if you thought I was crazy before…

You should have seen me around 4:30 this afternoon. I was a complete psycho negotiating with a car salesman while DH sat back and let me. Oh my.

Let’s step back a moment and start from the beginning.

Yesterday I dropped off my car at my mechanic’s for my annual inspection. I knew that one of my tie rods was loose so I expected to spend a few bucks, but I hoped nothing else major was wrong. Kinda wishful thinking really, considering I drive a 1996 Taurus with 126,000 miles on it. Apparently I sucked every ounce of life outta that car, cause the the news this morning wasn’t good. Not good at all.

The worst of it:

Holy cannoli Batman. I was looking at repair bill of about $2000.00. Frankly, the car isn’t worth anywhere near that much.

DH and I agree it’s time to bite the bullet and car shop. Crap. So I say let’s just go tonight and get it over with. DH smartly gets out of work at 1:00pm giving us almost the entire day to deal with it. I didn’t really think we needed that long. Heh. I’m an idiot.

I pretty much knew I wanted another Taurus. I just like them. I’m used to them, they’re pretty reliable, and they last for quite a few miles. We head out to a local, but large, car dealership that we’ve dealt with before, in search of a slightly used one. Saw a few, blah, blah, test drove, blah blah, got financing set, etc. Before you say “Why did you get financing at a dealership? They always screw you over!” Not if you’re armed with other bank quotes at really good rates they don’t! Been there, done that!

Anyway. We get to the final negotiations. Bad trade in offer, and hmmm, the other numbers seem a little funny. Oops, we forgot to tell you about the $399 processing fee. I grabbed my purse and stood up to leave. Dealer panics. I’m livid. DH is good cop. You know what I am – psycho crayzee cop. I’m pretty sure I stood up at one point turned toward the manager’s desk and yelled that I wanted my keys back. Oh, yes I did. Manager panics. Runs over. Fixes deal. I get what I want. DH is happy. Boy is confused (and so very tired of waiting!) We get awesome 4.59 % interest rate!

Wanna see it? Here it is, but make sure you keep reading, you don’t want to miss the best part:

So, at the very end, we’re waiting next to our poor old clunker for the salesman to pull up with our shiny new (to me) 2006 Taurus. It was taking forever. I joke to DH “What are they doing, replacing the new tires with bald ones, or siphoning all the gas?!” Ha Ha.

The mofos siphoned the gas. I’m not kidding. It was over half a tank when I test drove it. Take a guess which warning light came on as soon as we drove off the lot?

Next Page →

Bad Behavior has blocked 379 access attempts in the last 7 days.