I have never joined a monthly club before. BUT, DH and I need some new music we both like for our home gym. Working out together two or three hours at a time, it gets unpleasant if it's "his" music or "my" music, and having to alternate takes away from our workouts. ANYWAY...
BMG has a sign-up for 7 free CDs, purchase one, and get 4 more free. The hitch is the S&H, around $3 or more each. By signing up through My Points, you receive the 7 CDs and points towards a gift card. Also BMG points towards more free CDs. But, My Points Insiders Club (still on my $1 trial month) reimburses you for all S&H by going through their site. So, 7 CDs for $11 total.
After the sign up and first purchase, you earn another 4 free CDs. Still, S&H. But what I didn't know but confirmed today, you can go to BMG through MyPoints not just for the initial sign up, but for future purchases. As long as you go through MyPoints, they reimburse you for all S&H. So, another 4 CDs for $0.
That's 12 CD's for $11.
I referred a friend, received 5 more free CDs. I will go through MyPoints again to get the S&H paid for, which makes
17 CDs for $11. Brand new, just released albums, as well as some classics. Same CDs at the local store are $20 - $25.
Which makes...$300 of CDs for $11.
I won't add that to my "annual savings", as I would not have paid out that much, at least not in one month.
Archive for February, 2006
I have never joined a monthly club before. BUT, DH and I need some new music we both like for our home gym. Working out together two or three hours at a time, it gets unpleasant if it's "his" music or "my" music, and having to alternate takes away from our workouts. ANYWAY...
Goodness, I wish I had stocked up on DIFFERENT things before I started this challenge. Of course, that would defeat the point of the challenge. The piles in the pantry and freezer are things that have accumulated, as opposed to things that I buy and purchase regularly. It was so much easier last summer, when we had giant salad suppers!
So, I asked DH to take out the "biggest thing in the freezer" hoping to make room and a dent in this challenge! We have four whole bird chickens, bought at 69 cents a pound and BOGO last fall when the dog was sick and we had to feed her plain chicken every night. Makes me miss her. The new pup SHOULD not learn about chicken, but he has already learned to put himself right under my left arm, the direction I toss to the can as I prepare. Sigh. Smart little thing.
I wanted to do chicken tandoori, but no yogurt. I will have to wait until next week to shop and buy some. So, took out two boxes of "fixings" from Campbells, but the supper bake (? - okay, it was free after coupon, wasn't sure what it actually was) is rice, and I have rice in the frig that needs to be used.
So, the plan: DH cuts up chicken. He always ends up with BIG pieces and these little bits. Impossible to cook at the same time. So, tonight I will pan roast the large pieces with herbs, serve with leftover brown rice and a sauce, maybe a gravy. Fresh asparagus.
Tomorrow, the bits will go into one of the Betty Crocker alfredo dishes with broccoli and some additional sauce, or at least home improvements.
Only a dent in the pantry and freezer, but it's a dent.
I didn't really need to shop on Saturday, but I needed to get out of the house. I had received my coupon for free Purina from last month's challenge, and some other coupons, and thought I'd shop at one store only. But of course, not having much of a list, DH started remembering things we wanted, like more Soy Milk and Coffeemate and other things that really added up. Only saved 43%. HORRIBLE for us. On the other hand, we really limited what we went after on sales and coupons, so not bad.
We did get 5 Smart Ones tv dinners for $1 each, plus a rebate for $1 will come, and when you bought four you received a free Smart One dessert. Never tried, but I'm getting better at trying new things, especially when I can save money doing it.
Giant and Superfresh each had Rx coupons in the Sunday paper (we receive on Saturday), one for $25 g/c for a transferred Rx, and another for $10 g/c for a pet Rx.
Spending, ah, DH spontaneously decided on the ride home yesterday that he wanted to buy mulch, early, and do it himself this year. 30 cubic yards is alot of mulch to spread. But he pulled over at a nursery on the side of the road, ordered it up to be delivered that afternoon. He liked the price, but I would have preferred more research!!!
Received a %10 rebate check from a $1 trial to a health savings club, and a $10 rebate check from a $1 trial to an auto club. Neither turned out to be clubs I could use, and I did cancel early since things in the family back home are getting iffy, and I don't want to leave commitments hanging, and wasting money, if I won't have time to deal with them.
$10 g/c from Old Navy is going to a friend in need. So, no credit for that.
I still want to look more into half.com and other sites for all the DVDs we were buying during our spending phase last year. YIKES. Plus some for the holidays. I've never used the service, but have seen great results from others challenges and blogs. Not sure about the packaging and shipping costs. But I'm thinking about it.
The Play it Again Sports I was hoping to use to sell the older equipment has gone out of business. So I need to find another way. The weight bench is like new, lots of attachments that haven't been used. Usually we would just donate to charity and take the tax break, and we may still go that route.
So, add another $20 to the totals.
Yesterday was a GREAT day for coupons.
The Healthy Choice Try It Free guarantee continues. While they will only accept one REBATE per household, if you request the $6 coupons instead of the $2 refund, you can receive a coupon set for each flavor you try. DH figured this one out. He is getting better at the coupon game.
Purina is running a NEW PURINA ONE 30 day challenge, new link, offering both a free 3.5 lb bag of cat food and a free 4.5 lb bag of dog food. I signed up Friday, and received the free coupons and booklet yesterday. WOW. It's a very limited time offer, and they RARELY run cat and dog challenges, cats least of all.
Two Del Monte coupons, including a free product, and another pile of SCJohnson coupons. Not for things I want, really, but still, coupons.
Also, a pile of coupons from Turtle Mountain, including a note that if I tell friends to write a phrase in their "heard about from" form, they will receive extra $1 on anything coupons.
Received my Mambo coupon booklet, a health care product booklet (Motrin, etc., about 10 coupons), and a pile of coupons from the organic moms group.
There were more, but at that point I just piled everything into a stack to sort it out later. Still trying to keep the focus on using what I have instead of buying more, so will send most of the coupons off to the coupon trains (and limit my temptation!!!)
Saturday wasn't bad. Had two large flour tortillas and some cheese, salsa, sour cream in the frig, so made to quesadillas to go with some frozen veggies and two spicy chicken frozen dinners.
I did give in and flip the chicken deal, adding 5 bags of pre-cooked chicken to the stockpile. BUT, it was half-price, at $3 a 2.5 pound bag of pre-cooked breast, and the store doubled the $1 coupons, so for $5 we have 12.5 pounds of chicken, ready to eat, at a "value" of $40 at regularly price. I put value in quotes, because I haven't tried this and rarely buy pre-cooked foods like this.
So, Sunday night I used the last of the carrots, peppers, some fresh broccoli, and a bag of stir fry frozen vegs, with a bottle of Husein sauce and a can of pineapple chunks and juice from the overrun pantry. Bit of cornstarch to thicken the sauce, added a bag of the chicken nuggets, and served over brown rice, also buried in the stockpile. A few grape tomatoes, also.
I did toss a small amount of unused cooked brocolli that had seriously TURNED in the frig. WOW. So, tossed maybe 1/4 pound of food.
Coffee remains our largest expense. Gourmet coffee, be it Gloria Jean's or Trader Joe's or Boca Java or Starbuck's.
I did just get a GOOD deal on Boca Java, $39 for $105 of their product. $25 g/c from Entertainment.com, and $45 for $9 through a my points trial.
Probably drop by Gloria Jean's today to take advantage of our frequent buyer's club. It is DH's favorite.
DH also likes Paul Newman's, but it's impossible to find.
Anyone have any great coffee deals?
Continuing with the stockpile, crab and shrimp frozen from the holidays, with a jar of alfredo sauce from I don't know when, along with fresh parmesan and some other "additives" to make a nice dish.
Going with a side of frozen veggies, probably the Birds Eye herb blends, which we recently got for 50 cents for two (regularly $2 each). Sale/coupon/free coupon/rebate.
Fettucini, again, going with whatever pasta is buried in the pantry stockpile.
No waste so far.
The deals may be available in your area. They aren't always obvious.
I received 3 g/c for Rx, new or transferred, from the check out coupons that get spit out with the bonus card. They were mixed in with the Wall Street Journal and Disney coupons, and I almost missed them.
One of the warehouse clubs had a $25 offer last month, but it was in one of the coupon books they sent out. Another pharmacy, I think Rite-Aid, had one awhile ago through it's online rewards system (memory here, I'm not a member).
Our Sunday paper has also had 5 - 6 coupons. You do have to take the coupon in to the store. One store even offered $10 g/c if you filled your PET's prescription there. That one was in their weekly ad.
I'm not sure what is available in your specific region, if any. But there is definitely a trend to be alert for.
With the change in medicare, and many companies changing insurance with the new year, many of the grocery pharmacies, as well as some of the pharmacy chains, are offering gift cards for new or transferred prescriptions.
$10 to $50 locally.
Now, I have been through the mill getting costs down switching to cheaper pharmacies. I'm not recommending any one switch pharmacies just to get the deal. BUT, if you want to do a "free trial" Rx, such as the 7 day Ambien or Lunesta, 15 day Crestor, etc., or even if you currently use these and your doctor will give you the short term Rx, you can fill them and get the gift cards. Insurance, etc., is not required for freebies, and if you decided to fill a full Rx later, you need a fresh Rx written anyway, which can be taken to whatever pharmacy you and your insurance use.
Most of the free trials are about $50 - $100 worth of pills, plus with the card, and since it doesn't take insurance, it also doesn't count against a deductible or other limitation.
We actually have leftovers from last night's stroganoff (DH works out 3 -5 hours a day and EATS), so we will have that with either a bag or can of veggies. Keeping it simple.
Tomorrow night, seafood fettucini, using up crab and shrimp that was frozen from the holidays. Slowly chipping away at the stockpile.
Dog is having moistened dry dog food; mixing it with some free Eukanuba pouches the company sent me. Straight, he doesn't digest it well, but they suggested we mix it until his teeth come in, and he likes it. He has to eat crushed ice first (okay, and play with it on the tile floor). Gagged on the baby Orajel, but the ice he LOVES. Go figure.
Today's savings are simple, just a $2 rebate on Meaty Bone (the only thing the Corgi WON'T eat, even when he has teeth!).
The temptation...they finally have Fast Fixin's here. At $7 a bag, I gave away my coupons to the coupon train, and wrote to the company that they were overpriced. They responded that they weren't and sent 5 $1 coupons.
But...the breaded chicken is on sale this week at $3.50 a bag, and the double coupon would make it $1.50 a bag. They would be good for stir fry's and things that have a sauce. General Tso's chicken...
AND, for February and March, Fast Fixin's has a offer, send in 10 UPCs and receive TWO coupons for free products of the highest value. No receipts required. That's a pretty good deal. BUT... no room in the freezer for 10 bags of chicken, even at the price, and I trying to use up what I have. So, we'll ponder this one overnight...
Okay, tonight, ground turkey (BOGO) from our frozen stockpile. Hamburger helper mix (30 cents after sale/coupon) with sour cream and a few touches to make the stroganoff. Sides of left over steamed carrots and steamed broccoli. A few biscuits left.
Roasts are 50% off, and sound delicious, but I'm trying to stick to the use it or lose it rule and get through some of what I've already purchased.
The dog, free Iams sauce to soften the dog food, and a bag of soft treats with the Petco g/c.
My "deal" of the day:
My points insider-club, trial membership is $1 for a month. Through them:
Entertainment book, Save $10 and get a $25 g/c (I chose an online coffee site, not a restaurant!). Get a $10 rebate for joining insider-club. They will rebate the S&H ($4). Refer a friend, and receive two free movie tickets.
So, my book came out FREE, I received $25 in free coffee beans, two movie tickets, and the book which surprised me.
It's not really an ENTERTAINMENT book any more! I haven't used one before, and I was surprised. A page of coupons for Safeway. A page of coupons for Weis groceries. Six coupons for our local teacher's store. $10 off Radio Shack. Coupons for Dick's Sporting Goods. Etc. So, it's really a SAVINGS book for stores I would shop at anyway. $5 off of groceries, 8 times a year? I'll take it!
now a question for others
It occured to me that through my points, you can sign up for one of their book clubs, get the 4 free books, purchase one more, use the $10 rebate, and have the shipping rebated, and complete your membership requirements in one deal. 5 books. Could you then sell them on half.com or ebookdrop for a profit? I've never sold on these sites, but it might be a way to make a profit, especially since you could select hot off the press books.
Yes? Anyone try this?
Received another $50 in g/c. $20 BBB, $20 circuit city, $10 from the Petco contest months ago.
I will be happy to email the info to you, Jen and mjrube94. You actually inspired me to start this, mj, as you posted about my points, and I started to look into it more.
Unfortunately with the email of the last 10 weeks wiped out, it will take me a day or so to track down the trials I've done that paid off (g/c within 10 days!) and those that didn't.
2006 extra income challenge: $2819
I haven't been counting all the new things I've been doing that are saving money. For one, I've done my first trial memberships, EVER. This month, for $1 each, I've done 10 trial memberships, received $240 in gift cards and rebate in return.
I've also joined two book clubs for "points" in my points. DH and I buy quite a few books each year. Through My Points, which I had actually opted out of until this month, I get 1000 points for each membership, which is about $15. Also several free books, with obligation to only buy one more. Through the insiders club of My Points, for only $1 a month trial (and $6 a mont if I keep it), they reimburse ALL shipping and return costs.
So, today I received 4 cookbooks. One is an update of a favorite, one is a crock pot cook book that I've been meaning to buy, and one is a diabetic cookbook for my sister's b-day. Total pub price is $114, I paid $4. $13 for S&H, but that will be rebated. So, a savings of $110, which I haven't counted in my total savings. The points and S&H rebate I will count in my $20 challenge, since it's money I earned by doing things I normally wouldn't (like requesting S&H back - it's so much easier to ignore those things!).
I also received a "sample pack" of something I would normally purchase for $30, and it was FREE, no S&H, etc. Not included in my "savings", because it's hard to track and figure in the freebies. But still, money not spent!
You know, I haven't really set specific saving or challenge goals for the year. I'm one of those people who, if I say I'm going to lose 10 pounds and lose 2, I think "hey, my body has adjusted" and stop counting calories. Oops!
In general, my plan is just to FIND and ELIMINATE all the ways I lose money, or waste it. I grew up very frugal, but stopped noticing all the little things that money was pouring into. The "free" subscription with autorenewal that was $150 the next year, and the next...I keep finding those little forgotten things. Now I'm challenging myself, and my DH, to find and destroy. It's a team effort, and it's a great bonding thing with us.
I'm not counting everything as "saving", even when I normally would have spent. Guess I should...
Okay, back to tracking savings. My journal is so far behind on this!
Groceries, this weekend was $181 down to $74 with sales/coupons and a 5% club discount. Weis is running a special rebate, $169 in rebates ($1 - 4 here and there) over the next 6 weeks. One item, Boost, was on sale for $5, had 4 $1.25 coupons, and will get a $2 rebate back on each (limit $20). When I receive the coupons from Boost in the mail, I will finish up on that. DH doesn't like it as much as the Ensure, but he appreciates the savings. Seriously overstocked on TP, tissue, paper towels, etc., between the KC rebate and the sales/coupons, and more Weis rebates. So those will wait towards the end of the rebate period, when we've downsized a bit, and hopefully they've gone on sale and we have coupons
I've never had the one-check rebates from a store before, and I am loving it. I have $16 coming from last months, and with all the coupons it really adds up.
Of course, the dog is spending money, well, puppy things like doggie gates and constantly growing collar/leash/crate/ etc. Our previous pup was 12 pounds, and after 14 years, we have poor planning for the new pup. If we had bothered to look on the internet, we'd have realized Corgi's get to be 30 pounds, not 20. But he was an impulse, and no regrets. We have done well with food and treats coupons and savings, but have BLOWN it on other things. Pet fences for the grand piano room and the dining room probably ran $500! But, the furniture was MUCH more than that, and the Corgi is chewing all wood in sight. Trying to break him of that. SIGH. Feeling guilty about the expense, but grateful for the other savings.
Haven't added in medical, etc., but just the latest grocery savings brings our 2006 total to:
Well, I still wonder how the typical family throws out 400 pounds of FOOD each year. It's not hard to do, though, when you lose track of what you have, or get a bit over enthusiastic about sales and coupons! DH says STOP BUYING STUFF, but he loves seeing the savings as much as I do. In fact, he was SO cute this weekend, saw his favorite soy milk on sale, and saw the BLINKING LIGHT for the coupon above it, and did both! Progress!
But, I did just throw out some cottage cheese that had turned, and I realize I need to get back on the wagon for using what I have or losing it! So, here's where I am:
Sunday night: chicken breasts, 99 cents a pound, with two free packages of Simply Potatoes mashed potatoes, a free package of country gravy mix I've had for a year with some left over sour cream and other additions, some Pillsbury biscuits (on sale, coupon, and did the rebate), with a side of steamed carrots from a veggie tray from Valentine's.
Monday night, left over chicken cut up with carrots/broccoli/sweet peas/peppers from the veggie tray, a can of mushrooms, and some Trader Joe's teriyaki dressing/marinade thickened with cornstarch to make a stir fry. Lipton side of rice (free after coupon). Usually would have added extra plain rice and adjusted seasonings, but no room in frig for leftovers.
Bit of chicken went into the dogs kibble; he's teething and needs soft food. free sample of Iams sauce from registering him with Iams and asking their vet a question (free bag, free bottle, lots of coupons).
Tonight, kielbalsa from the freezer, sliced up, will fry it and add the remaining country gravy. Serve with remaining mashed potatoes, biscuits, and some fresh broccoli.
So far, so good.
It's been a roller coaster month, but finally have a minute to get to my own blog!
This is a good month in terms of rebates and rewards. In the last week, I've received another $60 in gift cards, $10 for a free lance bit, $45 for surveys, $186 from eBates (holiday shopping!), $35 in amazon g-c's for rewards, $10 from Pfizer, $12 from Aquafresh. $25 g/c from restaurant.com. Still waiting for most of my rebates. Weis markets has one-check rebates, have more coming from them and all the mail-ins, but so far we can add an extra $383.
2006 extra income challenge: $2769
Okay, I'm trying to get used to all these categories. Seems like with meds and Rx's, I need a separate category to track costs and compare to what it was without insurance versus premiums, etc.
This week was horrible medical wise, on top of everything I have a deep sinus infection or something, lots of CTs and meds.
Good news, the script I filled in December for $400 for 30 days was $36 for 30 days under the new plan. Add to that the "voucher" from the web site, $10, and costs continue to go down. I need to add it all up, though, and see how else I can improve. Keep ya "posted!"
Despite all the craziness, the snail mail has been raining coupons. It's really been great!
Ziploc sent free products and a booklet of coupons, Purina sent free products and multiple coupons, Johnson and Johnson sent LOTS of free item coupons, Crows sent free item coupons, Pfizer sent free coupons, I received a FREE 2006 Entertainment booklet with coupons, etc. I sent many of the grocery coupons on to the coupon train, as DH reminds me we are fully stocked on everything and STOP buying stuff. Panicked a bit when I didn't hear from the coupon train, but sounds like it's been running fine without me
Kashi and Arrowhead are sending coupons for free products, and quite a few manufacturer direct surveys are sending coupons. I'll admit, I prefer the coupons to a 1:1000000 chance of a prize.
Surveys have been paying off too. Just too much going on right now to catch up on everything.
I've calmed down quite a bit, and I think we've finally got most of the problems cleared up.
Last week we started having Active-x and registry key errors. Started with a coupon site, which McAfee later reported as a malicious script from the printer download!!!
Ran some basic registry programs, did some fixes, still had problems.
Googled on McAfee, which we have, and found what was purported at their recommended software for registry errors. I didn't catch that it was NOT www.us.mcafee..... but was www.mcafee.... Anyway, they had free software, downloaded, ran, came back telling me I had hundreds of errors, but to FIX them, I needed to purchase the Error Dr. software. $50. But it had tied my machine up, so I purchased it. It sort of ate my computer. Slowly.
Saturday I started getting email from myself (?) with malicious scripts, so decided to scrub the computer and download AOL again. Scrubbed off Mozilla and firefox and all, downloaded and reinstalled AOL, and ended up in an infinite loop. Somehow AOL was triggered to reset the firewall before it finished installed McAfee, so it could not install the antivirus, and so it kept crashing, infinite loop. AOL was NO help, 30 minutes in auto answer HELL, then their service rep hung up on me and I ended up on hold with Walgreen pharmacy! We don't even HAVE a Walgreen. Ended up with 20 copies of AOL9.0 on the machine, and working one on one with MCAfee, charged by the minute.
Working with AOL, DH removed all the software we had PREVIOUSLY purchased from McAfee, and for some reason it had to be repurchased.
Total software and computer service time ended up being around $300! And, all of my receipts, purchases pending, emails from 12/3 to 2/14 were lost. So, no records, nothing to claim, no membership numbers, no problem log numbers, etc. Still trying to total up what the costs of that will be.
This is a BIG dent in my budget, and unnecessary. I feel SO foolish for paying for software that screwed up my computer, and paying to have it fixed, and being DOWN and out of a computer for two days.
A big lesson for me, though to remember to take the time to print out everything, and back things up. I hate wasting paper and killing trees for electronic paperwork, but some records really do need to be made. Sometimes I get so caught up in what I'm doing I forget the common sense things. Now I'm paying for it.
I guess the bright side is, I learned that some other ISPs charge $2 a MINUTE for technical assistance. The extra investment in AOL and McAfee instead of the less expensive choices did pay off in the long run.
We finally finished up our $100 Home depot card from DH birthday. We had saved it for the insulation, but since that was 10% of what we budgeted, we had $29 left on the card. Bought SALT for this wonderful storm, leaving 43 cents on the card. I do hate leaving money behind, but I couldn't think of anything to buy for that, and I do NOT want to spend more than the card is worth.
Dropped by Costco to pick up a Rx. Had a $10 rebate, so $8 total. Yeah! Would have been $150 last October. I want to start a separate category to track how the insurance premiums/Costco/cash back compares to the savings. Hopefully it will work well.
I have NEVER been one to contact companies, but Saturday I picked up a flyer from Bayer, and the coupon was expired. There was a huge pile, and they were ALL expired. I went to the cited website, and IT was expired. So I sent them an email, just thought they would want to know. I just received a thank you email with a note that they are sending a pile of coupons, including FREE product coupons!
I asked Little Crow why they didn't have coupon in the paper, and they sent 6 FREE coupons, with survey requests to try them and respond, plus a stack of other coupons. So I checked all three local grocery stores, and no one carries them! Anyone have a store they can use them at?
I did find the Ralston hot cereal at Weis. Surprised.
Also, Boost is in sale, but DH doesn't like it. Too sweet, not enough protein. Ensure high pro is up to $10 a six pack. So I wrote to Boost to ask if they were going to release their new high protein shake soon. They also responded sending a pile of coupons, and gave me a number to call EVERY MONTH to receive coupons. I didn't ASK for coupons, and it is really nice! Now if DH will just drink it. But, they are introducing a new high pro shake!
I received email from Weis that I have several rebates coming (they combine into one check each month) and Fritos is replacing 30 coupons they mailed out after they expiration date with free product coupons. Several surveys paid last month, and I requested checks. Got one today. Can't wait until they all come in and I can total them up and LOG them in my challenge.
I'm still trying to get in touch with several people who posted that they wanted to join coupon trains, but they have not responded to PMs. I'm a bit frustrated, I offered to organize these, but not pull my hair out.
Oh, on a final note...I'm still learning to use freebies. I posted the Johnny Walker free movie ticket offer, and there were responses that the link was bad, so I checked it. Just got an email that I am now signed up as a striding man :-0 and have a code for one free movie ticket from Fandango. There is no way I will have time to use it, so if anyone wants it, or didn't receive there's:
go to www.fandango.com
PROMO CODE: AGFE-457HHE-C4A9
Offer only redeemable for R rated movies. Codes must be redeemed before 03/10/06
No offense to ANYONE, but I am LOL thinking about this question in the forums.
My MIL is wealthy. An heiress. Yet I did not know until after I was married and she told me who her grandfather was. YIKES. I actually wouldn't have married the love of my life if I'd known, it was too overwhelming.
Yet they live in a comfortable house. They buy cars used, one year or so out, so the depreciation has already hit. They wear comfortable clothes, save when they go out on the town, social or charity "events", and the holidays.
The only real clues I had to their money, other than their private banker, were their wedding rings, which they only wore to go out. $30K stones, each, purchased as stones and then set stunningly.
Christmas, dinner is cooked in sweats, with a last minute change into glamour, as I think many families do. The good china and crystal come out, and I remember commenting on how beautiful the crystal stemware was. When MIL said it was $250 a stem (20 years ago), I didn't even understand. DH explained in a whisper, and I was afraid to breathe.
People who truly have money are comfortable with it. They don't like to spend it foolishly but they do buy what they like. They don't tend to flaunt it, because it's just that, money, and end to a mean. They aren't really worried about what others think, or "looking" like they have money. Just the opposite, in fact, MIL has cautioned me many times on the dangers of "looking" wealthy. Theft, kidnapping, identity theft, mugging.
It's not to say they aren't neat, clean, appropriate, but they aren't ABOUT money, it's just something they have. You can have clothes, or jewelry, or money. Money is just another thing, it doesn't define them.
I love that about my MIL. She is kind, warm, loving, gentle, a great cook. And no one needs to know what is in her closet or her bank account. Only what's in HER.
It is definitely coupon day here!
$2 for Indian River juices
$6 Healthy Choice
Also, my dentist asked me to report to Aquafresh that their Extreme Clean was too harsh. They sent me packaging to return it to them, and returned a CHECK for $12 and an coupon booklet of $11 in GSK products.
I emailed Swheat Scoop that their "specially marked packages" were not available here, and they sent 2 - $1 each coupons, good all year. Coupon Train!
I emailed Little Crow that I was not receiving their coupons, and they sent coupons for SIX FREE products, a sheet of coupons, and surveys on each product to complete to receive MORE coupons. They said in their response email they have a low use rate on their coupons, so they have stopped putting them in newspapers, but they are HAPPY to send them. Glad to help!
I'm also trying to learn more about the MyPoints insider club that I signed up for. They cover all S&H for trials from their sites, as well as returns. But they also have LOADS of $25 off $50, etc., for online purchases. So...will have to see. I am fairly sure they are trying to dump data miners on me, but I scrub fairly regularly.
Well, three months after I signed up for the frito-lay MARK offer, today I received TWO packages of coupons. No beauty kit, but I'll take the coupons. FREE product. I look a bit closer, they all expired 01/31/06. BOO.
I rarely do this, but their web site has no info and no email contact, and so I called. Got the NICEST customer rep, and she is sending a SASE for me to send back the coupons, and they will replace ALL of them with current coupons. YES.
Received some great coupons by mail, $12 from Dryel/Febreze/Downy, 4 FREE Olivio coupons, others. Nice. Expirations are end of year, so I have a chance to breathe.
Finally received the products from Purina for shipping their puppy chow back. A bit disappointed, they sent a baggie and a SAPP label. This dog food is BAD, I mean it came out of the bag in giant clumps. They said they were sending shipping materials, somehow I "assumed" it would include packaging?
Other news, received another $40 in free gift cards. Quite a pile, need to shop, but don't need anything right now, so just trying to a}not forget them and b}not let the dog eat them. I need to check on other offers, now that MyPoints covers all S&H and return shipping costs.
I also received a nice surprise from ThePeanutShop. A great store, we are addicted to their peanuts, and it's DHs one luxury. But, the last batch was horrible, and they replaced the can. But today we received a free can of chocolate covered peanuts, just because we are good customers. Very nice.
So, a pretty good day. Specific savings will be in the future, but sometimes to GET the savings, you need to plan ahead. So, this is my plan ahead day
I did get one nice offer in the mail today on my credit cards.
To explain, four months ago I converted all of our cards to dividend cash back cards. DH saw an add for a 5% cash back card from a bank we don't use, but I ended up checking out different cards online, and found our current card holders had a much better card out there, for "select" customers. I can be select. So, did my research, called up the cardholder and said I wanted to cancel my cards. Flat out.
Credit card banks have become a bit jaded over people calling up complaining about better deals, and since few are willing to actually cancel their card if they aren't given a better deal, the banks are more hesitant to negotiate against an "offer in hand". But, if you call the number of the back of your card and ask to cancel, they will ask why. Then you can tell them about another offer, or in my case, simply say that what I really wanted to do was convert my existing cards into the other card they offered, but it seemed too complicated...within 3 minutes both cards were converted. Immediately activated at 5% back on grocery, gas, and drugstores.
But that is just the beginning. Most cash back cards (I think AMEX is the exception) have caps on dividends you can earn, and other limitations. I had asked my personal banker if her bank offered a cash card, and while they didn't, she pointed out that DH and I should each have a card, and double our allowed cash back.
Now, when you take out a credit card on a new special super deal, and then don't use it, the owners of the credit get concerned. My personal banker automatically upgraded my bank card to yet another level of rewards, and send reminders of other features.
The new cards however...we use one, pushing for the 5%, and use a completely different card for everything else. So, the card people noticed we weren't use this super deal card...a new card...seen as a new account...and today we got the incentive package.
We want you to enjoy your card. For the next 6 months you will earn 5% cash back on ALL purchases made with this card.
I finally feel caught up. Well, almost. I still need to get a bit more organized in tracking everything going in and out.
I completed a $50 survey, so look forward to receiving that check. Requested two other checks. Received three emails from Weis that my January rebates were confirmed and would be mailed later this month, and eBates is also sending a check. Still waiting for the Pepsi and Colgate and K-C and DeSanti and Del Monte and all those crazy Janaury rebates to arrive. I am looking forward to the one post where I get to add them all together and claim towards my $20 challenge as FOUND money.
I'm staying on top of the "rewards" clubs to make sure things are credited. Found a $15 survey that hadn't been, and three others are pending.
DH wanted me to repost that yes, we saved 92% at one store this week using coupons and sales and deals. I do love it when he's proud of these little things. Here I am, a former SVP, and I melt at these little things.
Received four more g/c's, for $40. I'm now having to remind DH that they are there. They are piled on one clip on the frig.
I've lost track of a few things that have come in. But, so far I can account for:
2006 savings: $3600 plus meds ($1500), minus the insurance, for a total of $5055.
Not bad for the first month, but so much more I want to try! When savings becomes a challenge, or a game, it's much more enjoyable than feeling deprived and spending.
2006 extra income challenge: $2386
It has been a busy day. Despite having not having a meeting this morning (it was canceled at the last minute), I didn't end up with any free time. Well, maybe I did, it was quite enjoyable. I took some product testing results to FedEx, reorganized one coupon train and dropped the coupons in the mail (ack, getting expensive). A bit complicated as I can't reach some people and I don't want to send everyones coupons into a black hole. THAT would be irresponsible. A few new people would love to join and are in such close proximity, but I've already rearranged one train, and will have to look at the next.
DH had to pick up a few things, so we cruised through a new supermarket and of course received another pile of coupons. Interesting. Did buy another giant stainless mixing bowl. Always need another it seems, baking in bulk, especially for bread rising.
Incoming mail was nice, received $20 for circuit city and $20 for Lowe's, a pile of coupons for free product from Olivio, another pile from Iams. They sent the nicest puppy kit, just because I asked how to stop the new pup from laying in his water bowl. Also followed up with a company and they did finally send my $10 rebate. So that's $50 extra in today for the challenge.
I'll have to total another day, dog needs tending, as does DH.
Thanks to all for the wonderful comments. They are SO appreciated.
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