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Archive for March, 2006

new gift card offer

March 11th, 2006 at 12:39 pm

Actually, I received three different offers for the same trial membership:

$20 Barnes and Noble g/c, Netmarket

$10 Barnes and Noble g/c, Netmarket

free MP3 player, Netmarket

They are all through mypoints, another site may have other offers. I haven't done this one, either.


March 9th, 2006 at 01:59 pm

I received this invitation from Crayola with an invitation to pass it on to other teachers:


Teachers can help Crayola spread the word about exciting new products or programs by joining our team of Crayola Teacher Consultants.

Teachers can share their expertise by participating in various events, ranging from in-store demos and events to hands-on activities at conventions or workshops.

Compensation varies by event and is often a gift card or free product.

If interested, please send an email with "Teacher Consultant" in the subject line, by March 15th, indicating your name, address (including city, state and zip code), day time phone, and a statement about why you are interested in joining this Consultant team.

Also, please indicate your contact preference (phone or email.) Send this to the Crayola Business Development Manager who covers your geographic area (see list below.) You will be contacted when opportunities arise in your area.

Thank you in advance for your interest in joining our Consultant Team!

If you live in:
AK, CT, ME, NH, RI, VT, NY (except NYC & Long Island)
Please contact Robert Kenyon at rkenyon@Binney-Smith.com

If you live in:
NJ, Eastern PA, NYC & Long Island
Please contact Michael Pecci at mpecci@Binney-Smith.com

If you live in:
Please contact Wanda Gray at wgray@Binney-Smith.com

If you live in:
Please contact Lisa Davis at ldavis@Binney-Smith.com

If you live in:
Please contact Maura Weins at mweins@Binney-Smith.com

If you live in:
OH, MI, KY, WV, Western PA
Please contact Mark English at menglish@Binney-Smith.com

If you live in:
Please contact Jason Folbrick at jfolbrick@Binney-Smith.com

If you live in:
Please contact Barb Reinke at breinke@Binney-Smith.com

If you live in:
Please contact Elizabeth Willett at ewillett@Binney-Smith.com

If you live in:
Please contact Linda Parzych at lparzych@Binney-Smith.com

Colorfully yours,
The Crayola.com Team

Finally some income on the challenge!

March 9th, 2006 at 01:54 pm

Finally, today I received

$50 for paid survey
$15 for paid survey
$10 signup rebate for My Points Insiders-Club
$16 rebate Weis
$4.50 rebate Weis

No coupons or manufacturer rebates, but still, good day.

So far for the challenge, I used the $20 to invest in the initial DSL line, signed up for surveys, contacted manufacturers, played some instant win games, took the income and invested in trial memberships, supplies, gas to drive to lunch and a signup bonus/retainer.

2006 extra income challenge: $3437
2006 grocery savings: $5351

Gift Cards with memberships and other offers

March 9th, 2006 at 01:49 pm

These are the basic links for current offers. Haven't tried them all yet.

Someone posted that the site, www.inboxdollars.com, pays $8 per trial membership in addition to the g/c's if you go through their site. DOES ANYONE HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH THIS WEBSITE? Sounds too good to be true.

$20 Exxon cards, Travelers Advantage
You may cancel this Agreement by calling 1-800-548-1116

$25 cash back, Shoppers Advantage

$20 circuit city, PC Safety Plus

$20 cash back, Bargain Network

$20 Exxon gas cards, Great Fun
You may cancel this Agreement by calling 1-877-488-9480

$20 Lowe’s g/c, complete home
You may cancel this Agreement by calling 1-800-232-HOME (4663)

$20 circuit city, Buyers Advantage
To cancel, You must call the Administrator at 1-800-553-4948

$20 Bed, Bath and Beyond, Everyday values
You may cancel this Agreement by calling (1-866-363-8258)

Receive 4 $10 rebate certificates, Auto Advantage
You may cancel this Agreement by calling 1-877-259-2696 (9am – 9pm EST, Mon. – Fri.)

Receive 4 $10 rebate certificates, Health Saver
You may cancel this Agreement by calling 1-800-743-2584

The cauliflower, round 2

March 7th, 2006 at 04:00 pm

Thanks for all the great ideas! YUM!

There are, of course, leftovers...a 5 pound cauliflower that would not even fit into my 2 quart casserole after chopping it up...but really not much.

Tonight, not feeling like challening myself. Cooked up a bag of Green Giant broccoli, tossed it in with the remaining cauliflower, some french bread from the freezer that really needed to be used, some egg whites, etc. and am baking a strata. Probably cheating since we just purchased the broccoli for the rebate, but hey, once DH puts it in the freezer, it's part of the glacier I'm chipping away at.

Oh, also found pillsbury crescent rolls hiding in the door (rebate). DH needed something to cut the spice, so I rolled up the crescents with small slices of provolone and sealed the edges. WOW, YUM. I rarely buy these things, but the provolone really improved them.

We did pick up another Pillsbury product, a free can of breadsticks. Haven't used them before, something new for the challenge.

Today's savings and challenges

March 7th, 2006 at 03:51 pm


Received a $35 check for a paid survey. More than I expected.

Received a $2.50 check from an organization.

Received a voucher for $1600 on a cruise, after I took a survey on why I will never take a cruise. Not counting that one. And, it's not transferrable.

Shopping, I used the $25 Target g/c from an instant win to purchase the new Harry Potter, some mailing envelopes for the coupon trains, and some coupon organizers. I've outgrown my check box! Things I would have purchased anyway, so a great savings.

Shopping, $33 down to $20, or $13 savings. Green Giant bags were 10 for $10, and the new rebate is 10 UPCs for $5 rebate. DH actually transferred all the veggies to plastic bags, cut the UPCS, and did the rebate. A first, and I LOVE IT!

Our mouse blew out in the latest computer glitch, and I get carpal from the touch pad, so we purchased a new wireless mouse, $10 off at Costco, and a $5 rebate to mail in from Microsoft. I'll count those when they come in.

Todays challenge up $37.50
Todays savings up $38

REI would be my deal of the day - if only I could choose!

March 7th, 2006 at 03:45 pm

I just discovered REI last fall, after a friend recommended them. DH and I run, hike, work out, and this is one area we are seriously cutting spending this year. Previously, I've purchased running shoes and socks at Road Runner Sports, hiking boots from LLBean, etc.

After REI sent me a notice about a sale last year, I did check them out. Didn't buy, but when the $80 Teva sandals went down to $10 (fantastically comfortable) I did give them a try. And of course I had to log back in to pick up a similar pair for DH!

The holidays, as I have previously blogged, we overhauled our home gym - $10K upgrades for around $500. At the time, I also picked up Acorn slippers, sandals, running socks, and a few other work out items for DH on a great clearance, plus with 8% cash back through eBates.

I also took a risk. REI has a lifetime membership into their coop for $10. With it, you receive an annual dividend, at least $10 and usually 10% or more of your total purchases. It is a LIFETIME membership, and REI has made the list of top companies to work for 9 years in a row, they give quite a bit to state and federal parks, environmentally conscious, etc. The membership also allows you to attend seminars, workshops, sports training, slide shows, etc.

So, I just received a dividend of $27, and a coupon code for 20%, good on any purchase. I logged in, looked all over, and I couldn't choose! I love running socks, we wear through them like mad; DH wears them 24/7. Some great sales. But nothing I truly need right now.

I'm going to wait until the next clearance, and think about it. But I have already gotten much more than the $10 out of the program, and I've only been a member two months!

Del Monte rebate finally came!!!

March 6th, 2006 at 02:23 pm

Today I FINALLY received a rebate. $10 from Del Monte for their January rebate. Hopefully the others are in the mail.

They also sent two $2 coupons for free products. I just mentioned that the "dill flavored green beans" should be marked as pickled, since it was quite a surprise to heat them. Great for salads, but not as a veggie.

So, $10 goes into my $20 challenge, and the $4 coupons go into my coupon box to be claimed as savings in another day.

Shopping, well, not as good this week IMHO. Febreze allergen reducer was $3, usually $5, and I had 5 $2 coupons, so I stocked up. Dawn direct foam, $3 (regularly $5) and I had $1 coupons. A few more rebates, a few more sales and deals.

Superfresh came out to $8 for $45.
Weis came out to $75 for $190.

The Weis earns some rebates to be credited later. But, trying not to spend much as I decrease my stockpile, I'm irritated that I still spent so much! Stuff I need and will use, but I'm still struggling with myself to find the balance. This month finances are a bit tighter than usual.

2006 extra income challenge: $3299
2006 grocery savings: $5317

Tyson coupons - what a great company!

March 6th, 2006 at 02:14 pm

Someone on a coupon train is looking for Tyson coupons. So, as I was searching around online at all the coupon sites (SmartSource has several this week), I ran across their ongoing promotion. A booklet for the family about giving thanks before the meal.

I had received this booklet, and thought it was really nice. A surprising offer in this day and age. And even though I've had a bad experience with Tyson, the booklet did improve my opinion of them. So, I thought I'd drop them a comment to let them know that it was a very nice offer.

They responded back with questions about what products I had purchased and how could they refund my money.

I responded back that I had not purchased their products in quite awhile, didn't have UPCs or even remember what the products were. I specifically told them that I was NOT asking for them to replace a product, or even complain. Just wanted them to know that I was impressed by their values. Specifically SAID I WOULD purchase their product again sometime, and please not to send a refund.

Today I received a beautiful letter from them a two coupons for FREE chickens.

And, I had to laugh. If you've read my blogs before, you know the issues I have with my mother's perpetual free chicken. I have always prayed I would never become so obsessed with saving that I took advantage of a company the way that she did. No judgement on her, we were SO poor. But here I am so many years later, and I just send a short note and the free chickens start Smile

The Monster Cauliflower meets Flash;s challenge

March 6th, 2006 at 02:06 pm

We did pick up some fresh produce on sale, including a giant, beautiful, white, 5 pound cauliflower for $1.99. Very cheap, they usually run $4 for a tiny head.

So, as I was wiping down the frig and making room for the new groceries, I found it. Still there. Still white and new, even after a week. Didn't smell yet. And there is no way I am taking a *FIVE* pound hit on my "no waste" challenge.

This week's PLAN was DH would heat up the frozen dinners that have collected with various rebate offers. Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine, etc. Add a side of broccoli, etc., and be good to go. We are going to get through that freezer yet!

So, cauliflower. HMMM...steamed with a nice lemon dill sauce.

Out of lemon dill sauce or anything that would make a lemon dill sauce.

Okay, yogurt/mustard sauce, fabulous.

No yogurt.

Maybe the famous lemon/carrot/ dish with bacon on top. Haven't made it since we entertained last.

No carrots.

The no waste, and don't buy anything unless we are OUT of it, is getting a bit harder.

Last chance. In the frig, the remaining salsa/fiesta cheese dip sauce. A freebie, not that healthy, just a touch on quesadillas...but add that, some shredded cheddar that needs to be used, maybe some tomatoes and onion, or maybe just spicy cheddar.

But then the question: what spicy Mexican dish goes with MEXICAN CAULIFLOWER? Not enough air freshener in the house for that one!

As I was pondering this one and preparing the cauliflower, the pup got one of the leaves and drug it off. Puppy on cauliflower. WHOA.

DH has volunteered to select the entree. We have plenty of Tums in the stockpile.

Please, no left overs on this one!!!

Frito Lay, Avon, and the Social Beauty Kit offer

March 5th, 2006 at 12:47 pm

For everyone who has been frustrated waiting to receive the Avon/Mark social beauty kit, free lays coupon and 11 55 cent coupons...chin up!

The offer was for a brief period, and the promotion closed, and the home page for the offer was updated to reflect that the promotion was over. However, they did not delete or update the sign up page. Freebies sites kept posting it, without checking the offer page, so people kept signing up. And, everyone who signed up was directed to a page indicating that their info had been received, and look for theit kit in a few weeks.

When the fulfillment house realized this, for some reason they first mailed out a single coupon. Then they mailed out the 11 coupon booklets. However, all the coupons were long expired.

Sometimes it's good to have connections. I've been working with Frito Lay tracking this down. Although technically it's an Avon Mark website mistake, and the fulfillment house mistake, Frito Lay is making it right on their end:

"Anyone who registered online for the coupons will be receiving replacement coupons by separate mail...expect to receive the replacements in a few weeks."

Guess that's my good deed for couponers everywhere this month. Smile

WRT the Social Beauty Kit, I have not contacted Avon to see if they will also honor their end of the bargain.

Finally tackling the medical costs again

March 4th, 2006 at 02:47 pm

Finally getting round to adding up last years medical costs and taking a fresh look at how we can decrease them.


2005 insurance me: $3600
2005 insurance DH: $6000
2005 out of pocket medical: $25,000
(2005 Rx out of pocket: $20,000)
Total medical 2005: $34,600.

We made a huge dent last October, when we cut Rx costs from $2K to $1K a month without changing any meds.

This year, I've changed insurance to add some Rx coverage without a giant leap in insurance costs. DH will stay the same. So,

2006 insurance me: $4000
2006 insurance DH: $6000

Now, I will start tracking and attacking the medical costs as they come in. First, I will look at how the insurance is reducing the Rx costs, and whether or not it is going to pay for itself in the end. Tommorow...

Food waste - two pillsbury biscuits

March 4th, 2006 at 02:09 pm

Cleaned out the frig to finish up whatever was left for the week and prepare to shop this weekend. Found two Pillsbury Grand biscuits, hard and really light, in the back. I suppose I could have shredded them for bread crumbs, but, I did indeed decide to give them to the wildlife.

So, last night, used the baby greens (on sale last weekend) to make two giant salads. Added half a block of non-fat feta crumbled up (high protein) from the freezer, grated carrots (frig), a can of mandarin oranges (pantry), grated Emmenthaler (frig), grated fresh parmesan (frig), orange flavored cranberries (freezer), roasted slivered almonds (freezer), and raspberry non-fat dressing (pantry). YUM. Took out a loaf of Trader Joe 6 grain bread (freezer), which was a bit hard. Drizzled it with butter and honey, just a touch, and broiled it.

Tonight, remaining grated carrots will be added with chicken broth (pantry and from earlier in the week), brown rice from earlier in the week, tarragon, etc. to make a delicious soup. Finish off the loaf of bread. And, we're ready to tackle the upcoming week. Still a stockpile to go.

More gift cards and a rebate from Zyrtec

March 4th, 2006 at 01:59 pm

I am still waiting for those those January rebates to come in. BEtween collecting the items, cutting out all the UPCs, and tracking all the new requirements, I'm overrun with stuff and I want the money!

Today was pretty good, received a $10 rebate from Zyrtec, and another $140 in gift cards from trial memberships. Think I'm pretty much through with doing this. The pay off was great, and I kept a list with phone numbers to cancel if needed, as well as keeping my computer reminders set for three weeks into the four to make sure I canceled on time.

Now, though, I have to figure out how to best use the $ at circuit city, Exxon, Shell, Lowes, Home Depot, Bed and Bath, etc. $120 at circuit city is just lost money unless I need something.

I am thinking they will make great gifts, though, for family members. I always spend way to much on Birthdays and holidays, for the gifts and also for shipping. G/Cs are light, don't expire, and would get used and appreciated. It would save quite a bit!

2006 extra income challenge: $3289

secret coupons for Dawn and others

March 2nd, 2006 at 01:55 pm

I hate posting again, but I want to remember the info I received.

Ever notice while you are watching a tv show, there is an ad that ends with "go to www.xxxx.com for a free coupon". They are usually coupons I've already received by mail, so I don't bother. But I did ask a friend about them, and was told that in fact, if you enter the correct channel/time etc. info, they will send you ANOTHER coupon by mail. It's considered a separate offer.

I was also told, if they don't have the channel that you saw listed, you can check off any channel and as long as you get the time right, you still get the coupon (the channel doesn't get their credit, though). If you enter the wrong time, the offer boots you out.

So, a few of the sites:


The dawn site actually gives Dawn AND Cascade coupons.

Put in date 2/26 (Sunday), channel SoapNet, and time slot 9-12 am (or whatever covers the 9 am slot).

Still no waste! And still more chicken!

March 2nd, 2006 at 01:48 pm

Last night, if you couldn't tell, I was in a bit of a mood, so DH made tv dinners. How we ended up with these particular ones, I'm not sure (well, obviously sale and coupon and rebate...) but I couldn't eat anything but the veggies. DH ate the rest, though. Also a can of veggies. A bit of progress against the vast mountain of stuff that is supposed to be a pantry. I can almost see past the first rows of food now.

Tonight, I'm using the pan roasted chicken to add to pasta and a white sauce, with steamed broccoli (fresh on sale), to make a nice chicken alfredo. No fat, lots of protein.

Still have two whole chickens in the freezer, but I love chicken left overs. Next time, chicken manicotti, with non-fat riccotta, high in protein. Make my own pasta wraps, not those horrid noodles from the store. Or chicken oriental salad. Or a nice stir-fry. Or a curry, or tandoori...

A bit of progress on my challenge

March 2nd, 2006 at 01:41 pm

Finally a bit of "extra income" for my challenge. Savings, too, but I will work that out later.

Received 2 $5 g/c to Target from insider pages reviews. Easy work, nice little pay off. I usually don't shop there, but they do have cleansers and stuff. Put that with the $25 g/c to target from a previous post, and there's enough for something I'm sure I "need".

Still waiting for the rebates of January. WOW, they are taking a long time.

Received the years supply of Breathe Right strips. Again, easy work for a nice pay off. They sent 18 boxes of 30 strips, plus 3 large throat sprays, a large Fibercon bottle, and a t-shirt. The boxes run $13 at drugstore.com, and $30 at our local grocery, so a conservative estimate is $300. And it is something we cannot live without, literally, so it's a savings, too.

Which brings the extra income up to

2006 extra income challenge: $3139

Savings this year, I still need to total, and really want to sum up the medical savings. So much to do!


March 2nd, 2006 at 07:27 am

I must go shopping.

I am completely out of generosity and want to get some. I also want to exchange the self-satisfaction that I picked up the other day for some real humility; they say it wears better.

I want to look for tolerance, which is worn as a wrap this season. I saw some samples of kindness, and I'm a little low on that right now; one can't get too much of it.

I must try to match some patience. I saw it on a friend and it was so becoming. I must remember to get my sense of humor mended, and keep my eyes open for inexpensive goodness.

Yes, I must go shopping today.


Published in one of my mother's first cookbooks, I found this while looking up the graham cracker recipes.

Very grounding, and the perfect reality check for me. The best things in life are not free, but they don't require money.

My Savings of the Day is a free Ziploc! and other depressing stuff

March 1st, 2006 at 03:32 pm

Okay, actually it was funny. I went through the giant stack of mail, mostly catalogs, looking for my freebies and rebates and coupons. There was only one envelope. I opened it --- and it was indeed one sandwich size ziploc sample and a coupon. DH walked in and said "that's their big marketing promotion, ONE bag? Are they crazy?"

And that was it.

DH did give me the "big news", that he reviewed our expeditures for the last two months, and our grocery bills had been reduced by 75%. Wow. Has he NOT paid attention at the check out counter?

I guess I'm just in a mood. I'm frustrated with organizing the coupon trains, which I usually enjoy, but today I'm wondering why I ever offered to coordinate these. Trying to balance my time, wanting to help, not knowing if it's better if I post freebies or coupons or hunt more down or clean out the expired and redundant posts, or just hang out in the forums handing out opinions that don't help anyone.

The truth is, I just want to help where I can because things seem so helpless here. Waiting for my father to die, trying to time our visit out there to see him one last time, but not having an answer as to if he has a week or a month or six months. Getting my DS through another round of chemo, caring for the little one, and not feeling like anything makes any difference.

I do feel SO much more like SPENDING than SAVING. And, I LIKE getting great deals, even if we don't NEED them, I WANT them. Getting $50 of gourmet coffee for $10 delivered free to my home is great. I am tired of driving 45 minutes each way into town to get DHs coffee. Then, I feel guilty, who am I to care about the price of coffee when he is living on borrowed time too. 1% chance of living 5 years, and we are on year #4.

But, this is when saving is the most important. If you give in and blow your money it won't be there when the real crisis hits. I've known that all my life. So, time to dig in and dig out. Saving is not about FEELINGS. It's about LIVING.

BTW, the BocaJava.com coffee is fabulous. Entertainment.com has a $25 g/c for them with the book, which I used on a separate order. Charged the shipping back to My Points. Great Deal.

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