Wow, time flies even when you aren't having that much fun!
Finances have remained fairly stable, and I've only been to the grocery store once in two months. Instead it seems like it's been a month of doctors, and everything that comes with them.
Mom, well, she refused help from the senior care, and is driving my sister a bit nuts. Mom wants what she wants. So, I'm letting the fight go for now. If she can manage and my sister is willing to be there full time for the summer, it's between them. Cost is still a huge issue, but it's not MY issue right now.
The organic garden is going really well, the tomato plants are getting large already, and tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, zucchini, squash, onions, blueberries, fruit are all set on and starting to fill out. It always takes much more time than I anticipate, but it's good. Well, it would be better, and faster, if my body was back to where it was before the accident.
Spending hasn't been much, although my stockpile is running low on a few things now, so I'll need to check the ads and pull a few deals together.
That's about it.
Hope everyone else is doing great!
Viewing the 'Uncategorized' Category
Wow, time flies even when you aren't having that much fun!
and all she could say was that she was a burden and wished she would die. Argh! My sister was sitting right there with her on the cell phone, on speakerphone, and didn't do anything to help.
I tried the "free services" logic, the "get help for these things and then there will be more time/money, etc., for other things", etc. Wow.
I couldn't sleep last night, woke up angry this morning, which rarely happens, and irritates me. I'm not typically an agry person. But I did feel like if my sister wanted the help, she should own up to it with Mom and not act like she is fine with the way things are and I'm somehow just causing problems. Sister asked for help, after all.
And it just made for a horrible morning. Plugged the toaster in, which promptly sparked, flamed, and burnt out in glory. We've had it 26 years, and we JUST gave our spare in it's unopened box, also 26 years old (wedding gifts), to a friend in need. The power had gone out overnight, and the timer for the coffee maker had reset and didn't come on, so no coffee. We missed an important phone call while walking the dog. Somewhere along the way I burst into tears, had a good cry, threw up, put my back out, and fell asleep on the couch.
Which gave DH some time to look at some financial improvements, and start on our taxes.
Some days just start out wrong! I'm digging in, remembering that I'm doing the right things for the right reasons. Stretching finances for everyone requires creative thinking, and doesn't always mean everyone gets everything they want. That's a struggle for me, I like to keep everyone happy, and sometimes ignore the financial costs that result. I can't do that right now. So, deep breath, a bit of tylenol, and charging on.
Thanks again everyone!
General Mills has a promotion, play the fiber one fiber friend face off (try saying that fast!), and get a $1 /1 coupon for Fiber One Chewy Bars. You also get entered to win $50 every day. But...I can print the coupon, no problem, but I'm clueless on how to get to the game!
Anyone else get it to work?
The bars are very tasty, so the coupon will be used, but I'd love to win the $50!
My Mom has steadfastly refused to accept in home care, a paid roommate, or (gasp) stay in a retirement home or facility. But since Dad past, she's really had a difficult time.
She fell two weeks ago, and laid outside on the grass, in the rain, for over an hour. She canceled the beeper system I ordered, and the one she replaced it with would not pick up outside the home.
I've begged my sister to sell my Mom's house (it's in my sister's name now) and get care for Mom. But my sister is banking on the house for her own retirement.
Mom fell twice today, and I have an upset email from my sister. Because the housing market is down, she is refusing to sell, or even do a reverse mortage of some sort, and expects me to cover the costs of care. The quotes she gave me are over $2000 - $10,000 a month! I can't do that.
I can't go out there, I'm still recovering from my own accident and can't really even travel, let alone care for another person. DH is furious, and I'm feeling overwhelmed. I just don't have the money to cover that kind of expense. We are just redoing our budgets and trying to work out our expenses after a very long year of medical issues.
My heart is breaking.
One of the problems we've had in sorting out last years expenses is sorting out my parents expenses, and estimating my mother's costs for the future,
Mom is 87. Her SSI is minimal, my Dad was a janitor, and she works hard to keep her costs down. She decided to find a cheaper health insurance plan last Spring. And, after almost 30 years being insured by Blue Cross, she changed to AARP.
Unfortunately, she didn't understand the fine print on the new insurance. My Dad died just over one month after she "made the switch". But, under the terms of the new policy, she had no major medical coverage for the first three months of the policy.
No coverage for the ambulance, or the ER, or the ICU where he stayed for almost one week. The hospital simply billed AARP. It was over a month before the bills trickled back to Mom as "denied". Then the trickle became a flood. And she didn't understand any of her paperwork, simply hid it away for the children to figure out later.
Sigh. Later was painful. Very painful.
AARP was of little help, as the terms of the policy were quite clear, at least to them.
Blue Cross terms were a bit fuzzier, and we weren't sure exactly when the "end date" of the policy was signed off on. When we called and explained the situation, very openly, they agreed that to extend the policy for the additional six weeks if the premium for that period was paid. We did, and we just received notice that they have paid the final bills.
Wow! My parents were with Blue Cross for over 30 years, and their premiums were fairly high. Still, a company that was will to extend a hand to a widow in a difficult situation gets a big thanks from me.
One of the first things I gave up along with the corporate income was shopping for skin and beauty products at department stores. Sigh. I really liked the products, well some of them, and the cute little freebies in cute little packages. Some not so much. But the price, well, I didn't really notice how high they were until I had to work out a detailed budget.
So, drug store products it is. But how do you choose? Seriously? Do any of them work for semi-aging skin
The thing that is confusing me the most right now is the multitude of products that a single brand puts out. Olay Total Effects, Touch of Olay, regular Olay, Olay Regenerist, and now the Professional. The Olay website for receiving a "personal recommendation" doesn't include the new professional line. The commercials, well...there is the Olay Regenerist beats the $700 department store cream...and then there is the Olay Professional quality guaranteed results...but nothing about Regenerist beating the Olay Professional, or vice versa. Great marketing hype, but HUH?
Both have LOADS of coupons and offers. $5 off ProX, $10 off ProX, $25 rebate on $50 ProX purchase, and $5 off Olay Regenerist, $25 rebate on $50, the drugstore rebates...Regenerist is much cheaper and better than the others, but Olay still recommends the Professional line. Because it's more expensive, or is it better?
Has anyone tried anything that is great on 40-ish skin that's starting to sag, with a few wrinkles from squinting too much? Glasses are the next item for the budget
I woke up with a fever, 100F. Blech. Everything hurts.
Three things happen when I get sick:
1. I get emotional
2. I crave Taco Bell
3. I make bad decisions (see above).
All this great self-awareness, you think I would know better than to shop online. Any money matters are best made when I'm feeling, well, my best.
Those free business cards and stationery, well, they weren't free after they tacked on all the extras, like not putting their own advertisement on the back. That great deal on chocolate sounded SO good, but of course I shouldn't eat it, and I have plenty left from the December holidays! But something about spending seems right up there with cold medicine when I want to feel better.
Feeling blue, bad, under the weather, just not quite in a place to manage money?
Take a note of our pup, Max...and crawl under the covers!
Today's mail had my two MyPoints rewards gift cards, $50 each for Home Depot.
I'm actually surprised, I received them in less than a week after requesting them. More surprising, I accumulated all those points!
Almost everything I did was a sign up or trial offer. I mentioned before, I hadn't bought new makeup for years and sister had pink eye while she was here. So, rather than driving all the way to Nordstroms for MAC or some other expensive products, I did the "try" Lancome (3000 points), Avon, a few others. Mostly I purchased the packages of trial size items and super sales so I could try lots of things, test the smells (allergies), and generally see what I liked. I found some things I really liked, some not so well, but cheaper than what I used to buy, the benefit of trying lots on less, and the gift cards.
Quite a few bath gels, too, for a bit of pampering, which I seriously need after the events of the last few months. I'm not one to treat myself, but several BOGO with special prices of $1 or so.
If you want to know me, know my Mom:
She is recovering from surgery, clipping coupons to send, and negotiating for better everything (especially food and room!).
Maybe it's not Medicare's fault. But Mom broke her hip Sunday 11 am PDT, and they were still waiting to do surgery Monday at 5 pm PDT. No food, still NPO waiting for "the doctor they want to do it", i.e., who takes Medicare, to arrive to do the surgery. She's a diabetic, and they weren't even running a line.
Surgeon finally got there, and she was out around midnight. Unbelieveable. Who ever heard of surgery at midnight?
Excuses, waiting for an EKG, no, didn't need it, no waiting for more x-rays, no, but always came back to WAITING FOR THE RIGHT SURGEON.
My father found a ride to the hospital, but they couldn't stay FOREVER, so he finally went home in the evening, and waited for them to call.
I am LOL, though, Dad said she had NO TROUBLE telling them how she was feeling and how she felt! This is a woman even I wouldn't go up against on a bad day. So, I'm sure karma had it's revenge!
I do have many friends and the church looking out for Dad.
My ex-SIL, whom I treasure, is dropping by every night to check on Dad. An extra hour driving for her, but she really is that nice a person.
DH says we are ABSOLUTELY not going out right now.
1. He hasn't recovered from the last trip
2. We are on standby, so to speak, for when my Dad takes a turn for the worse.
3. The stress from the last trip has aggravated his radiation areas, and if he doesn't care for the ulcers, they will turn into cancer again (been through that once before).
4. He is still pretty angry at my entire family.
Me, I love them. I'm not responsible for their actions, only mine. And I choose to be loving, kind, and hopefully someone *I* can respect at the end of the day.
So, we keep the faith and hold down the fort here.
And save for the next trip! We have said we will be out there in June, so lots to do.
Life takes funny twists and turns somedays.
I've spent most of today waiting for word on Mom's surgery.
Since she refused the ambulance to the ER, they assumed she was ambulatory, and said they could take care of her at the local hospital (rural). They actually expected her to walk to a wheelchair! As soon as they had they x-rays back, they realized she had shattered her hip socket. So they transferred her to a larger hospital where they were going to do emergency surgery.
As of this morning, they still hadn't operated, and since she's diabetic and she was NPO awaiting surgery, well, not good. My DS left for her own home after she took Mom to the ER, so Mom is on her own. And for someone with such a high pain tolerance, it's hard to get medical attention!
DH and I are at odds; I want to go out there immediately and take care of my Dad. He is so close to passing himself, and if anything happens I don't believe he will be able to get help.
For today, I've been answering calls and contacting friends who all want to provide support out there. Waiting for news. And trying to stay busy!
You asked for the blog page on gift card offers. It's on my 3/9 page:
gift card with trial
I'm having one of those days. Truly. No time to even read through the forums.
First, checked email, and I have an UNKNOWNDOMAIN UNKNOWN SENDER email from my blog! I didn't open it, but checked the subject line, checked my blog, and someone had anonomously (sp) posted marketing garbage as a comment on my blog! I deleted the comment. Not going to open the email.
Also, got an offer to blog for another site. Geez. Not sure how they got my email through the site, but how inappropriately rude!
I sat in a meeting this morning, where I made "brilliant" recommendations, which were dismissed, then I mentioned that another person NOT responsible for anything in the project had requested I bring it up, and BINGO, the man in charge totally jumped on the idea. Now, I've been an SVP for a very long time, I know how to be assertive without being offensive, and I usually don't get this garbage or bother with it. But it came back around to me, and it just came out that I am NOT going to be treated deferentially to a man, and if my bringing up the idea was not good enough, I would happily step aside. ACK. This isn't me, but something in me said I'm retired, they asked for me to be here, and I'm not going to play this game.
Probably anxiety about my sister coming out tomorrow, and our getting ready to fly out to visit my dying father for the last time. Totally stressed.
So, savings. Let's see. While I was zooming around deep cleaning for my sisters allergies and immune system, and Lysoling and Febrezing (anti-allergen) and spraying Oust for the puppy smells (they bother her), I wondered if someone didn't have a single product that would do all this. Neutra-Air, the fragrance free smells like aerosol chemicals. Oust fragrance free doesn't, and doesn't get DH's asthma going, etc. So I wrote to SCJohnson to ask if they had, or were going to have, an Oust that was also anti-allergen. Complimented their product, all that.
Received back a NASTY email. I've been involved in patent and corporate law for twenty years, I understand the issues involved in receiving someone else's ideas, and corporate politics and privacy and competitive games, and non-disclosure agreements. But seriously, they sent me an email that if I had a patent they would send me a preliminary legal form, and if not, bug off; that they probably had the idea in the works already but it took years, and they had a marketing team, and they did not want to hear any ideas from consumers. I know customer service and support requirements well, and my DH and I were both taken aback.
I emailed back a "fine, not what I intended, I will use something else" type of note, and they responded with my two emails and their original response nowhere to be seen in the correspondence log.
So, I am done checking email for today.
Shopping for sister's foods and needs and requests:
$100 at Trader Joe's
$140 at Costco
$200 combined from 3 grocery stores
still not everything she needs. We called to get flight info (she never told us, but we are supposed to pick her up, she doesn't want to rent a car), and she has a major cold, and PINK EYE.
I love her so much, I'm happy to take care of her and help her, but I'm a bit stressed at this point.
I still need to buy the coffee she can drink (LOTS) and LOTS of Coffeemate (doesn't that have soy?).
Savings on the shopping was $120, not great. Not even going to count it as savings, since it was such an expensive day.
Time to destress before I post any more, or read anyone else's blogs. Hot bath.
Ah, and I splurged $5 for a large tray of sushi at Costco. Dinner is served. NOT on my challenge, but sometimes ya just need a treat.
DH and I eat stir frys, and asian cuisine, fairly frequently. I used to work in Pac Rim, and I love the food. Healthy, tasty, lots of veggies, fish, sashimi, so healthy. Love Australian pumpkin soup, although I never got used to the fried egg on my hamburgers.
Anyway, sister is very allergic to soy, and so soy sauce, and most asian dishes, are out. Trying to figure out what to cook that she CAN have (everything seems to have some soy product in it!).
Anyone know how to substitute soy sauce?
I thought of Vegamite, but I'm out and not heading to New Zealand any time soon. Any other ideas?
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...
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.
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.
Did a "quick shop" to all three stores in the next town, had my lists, coupons, deals replanned. Not bad.
I did a few "super deals", $5 IAMS puppy food coupon on a $5 4 pound bag, purchased requirements for two rebates. Had a $2 Lysol wipe coupon good on two, which were on sale for $2 each, but I have a rebate for $2.99 back. Did that. Had to buy 5 chicken for a $10 rebate, but had a $25 g/c from Club Mom accumulated points, so good to go.
Giant was the best, with the above g/c, the $74 bill went down to $12, and I will have the $10 rebate coming. I picked up one item not on my list, Coffeemate creamer in a new flavor, which added the $2. Oh well. Pretty close!
Total price was $120, total spent was $42 for the day, and I have the two mail in rebates. Also the "auto" rebates from Weis, should have $13 coming back from there.
So, not bad.
Stocked up on coupons. LOADS of them.
So, pretty good day. I'll have to do totals later, I have some "links" in the freebies to check. These things expire so fast!
Okay, I registered to receive cigarette coupons months ago. Nothing. Months. Nothing.
January I signed up with the quit smoking site, support, coupons off on gum and patches. For the last two weeks I have received a set of cigarette coupons EVERY day, different brand every day.
Somehow I don't think this was the purpose in requiring Phillip Morris to put a quit assist program on their web site. But there ya go...
Yesterday was great, put two g/c claims into the mail, received another g/c from Club Mom for $25. Had a break through moment when DH agreed to drop by PetSmart to return a dog toy, even without a receipt, that fell apart after five minutes. They only gave us $1.50 for it, but hey, that's $1.50.
While I was online, DH brought a Weis ad we received in the mail to me. DH NEVER EVER looks at the "newspaper" mail. I'm chasing after him to make sure he doesn't throw out rewards like g/cs as junk mail. But he proudly brought this ad to me while I was online to show me they had 6 coupons for TRIPLE coupons, and he was putting aside in the coupon box. SHOCK AND AWE.
So during the commercial breaks last night, we sat down and chatted about the savings we have seen. We've never been careless with money, but while we were working 20 hour days for the corporation, we didn't coupon or shop sales or worry about all the details. We made good money, we didn't blow everything on toys. But we weren't careful.
After we retired, well, we were 40 and there was cancer and assault and so much else to deal with that we just kept on that routine. Then last September, DH admitted he had not created a budget before he invested most of our cash assets, and we were in a bind until March. So I dug out my resources and started making cuts. And I found this site, SavingAdvice, which offered good advice, good people, and excellent reminders on things I needed to be doing to get through.
In the 4 months since then, DH figured we have SAVED over $10K just by doing things we should have been doing anyway. We shopped around and cut Rx costs from $2K a month to $1K; with our new insurance plan (and SO much research) those costs have dropped to $500 or so. $4K+ in four months right there.
We started shopping sales, using coupons, working deals and rebates, stopped most impulse buying, and started using what we purchased (esp. fresh produce) and our WEEKLY bills from grocery and Costco (food, cleaners, entertainment, light bulbs, etc.) went from $500 a WEEK (embarrassed!) to $150 a week. That's $1400 a month, or $5K+ in four months.
I canceled all those "auto renewal" magazines that were "free", and renewed at exhorbant prices that were hidden on my cc bills ("free" People was $150 a year!!!), and memberships that we didn't need, totaling over $3K all together. That savings will flow over the year, but it's a huge impact.
There are also all the little things. We had budgeted $1K for reinsulating the garage, but research revealed a way to upgrade to the same level for under $100, and we had a gift card, so it was FREE.
I've also started speaking up a bit more. The $20 can of burned peanuts would have simply been tossed last year. This year, a letter to the company, a free can. Also compliments for products I am impressed by; coupons and freebies.
The best thing is that I've been reminded to THINK about what I'm doing. Do I need this, is this the best deal, what can I change to lower costs even more?
As March approaches and our investments become cash again, I don't plan to stop the process. Saving is a way of life, and it feels GOOD to be back in control.
Thanks to ALL.
Wow. I have never been one to use freebies, or do free trials. But I have taken advantage of some of the $1 trials that give rewards, and I'll admit, it's very exciting to get those gas cards, gift cards. They keep emailing me more! I received two Lowe's cards today, should get two more tomorrow, already received $40 in Exxon and $80 in gas coupons. I also have g/c's coming in as rebates from several sites. Keeping up with cracking the best deal can be exhausting, who gives how many points; how many points does each site need for a $10 g/c; how does the value compare to cash back. ACK.
Freebies, I never understood them. I was so embarrassed by my mother grabbing up all she could in stores, doctors offices, whatever. But, truthfully, I am finding it's not a matter of being poor, but wise. DH pointed out that I had 20 bottles of shampoo and conditioners from last year, all that I purchased big for the lower price, and all that my stylist has warned me not to use after a few weeks. The little trials of Dove, Garnier, whatever they send, actually allow me to try the product (duh) and determine if I want to purchase it, let alone get the larger value size that has no value to me.
So, we continue to try these new ways, and incorporate the old ways.
Trying to get DH to look at auto insurance, which was actually a goal he gave himself two weeks ago. Jeffrey's challenges are excellent, even when they are reminders (so, DH's inbox is pelted with copies of the daily challenge...). I need to create a list of all the ways we have saved since October (signed up at this site).
Spent a fair amount of time cleaning out the freebie area. Too many redundant and expired posts. But it is always rewarding to find things there, and add to them. Haven't gotten below House/Garden (i.e. the dreaded HEALTH section), which is totally overrun.
Sent out a welcome letter to the members of the bullet train, with all the info they will need, and a few coupons to boot. I should receive the train in the next day or two, and I can't wait to restock and get it back onto the tracks!
I had a great plan to finally take advantage of the SuperFresh sales. Since they are always out of stock by Monday, I decided to go first thing Saturday, when the ads came out. They had a great rebate, the Pepsi rebate for $10 was doubled to $20 for their store. So...
Made it there. They had Pepsi packs 4 for $9 if you had the paper coupon and purchased $25 additional. Hmm...had the $25 g/c from the free prescription...and they actually had great sale prices with things I had coupons for...
Unfortunately, the sales prices hadn't been put into the computer yet, the girl was new and wouldn't go off of the paper I carried in to the store (they don't have them available ANYWHERE inside). The free with purchase didn't ring up free. And DH was SO sick of the store he didn't want to argue about it. Using the $25 g/c, we spent $18 for $88 in groceries, but it should have come out even. Rats. Granted, I will get the $20 rebate, unless they mess that one up too. Seriously, I can't win at that store.
Made it to Weis, picked up TP for the Kimberly Clark rebate, got that one off.
Finally, the frig is cleared of rebate slips and receipts and UPCs taped on to them. I won't count the rebates as income/savings until they are in hand.
I did get $120 in gas and gift cards. Not bad for a $5 investment. I did actually try and use all the memberships. Haven't canceled any yet.
Now, putting the coupon train together, organizing things a bit. I've got too many things going at once. It just seems like all the rebates and special offers and trials come in January. Which wouldn't be bad, but keeping track of everything, even the MyPoints that weren't credited, and choosing which rebate site gives the best deal on that day, well, it does make the head swim.
Having a cold makes it swim a bit, too.
The pup, however, remains lively and chewing up everything in sight! I have stitched up every seam in every toy with binder's thread, but he still finds ways to chew more holes. Can't wait for those baby teeth to be replaced by something not quite so sharp.
So, totals so far:
Savings for 2006 - $3600
$20 challenge - $2320
Another day, another dollar? I've spent most of the afternoon tracking down all the points/rewards/credits that I have earned on various sites and surveys. I'm quite surprised at how many credits had not been credited to my accounts, even though I had the emails confirming them. It has paid off though. I tracked down at least $200 of credits and gift cards never received, and they are now on their way!
I'm also pleasantly surprised with Weis market. Between their free "clubs" that reward purchases, their automatic online rebates, and their cash back, besides their sales and double coupons, I earned $38 back in addition to the savings. And it's set up so I am automatically credited for all these deals, without even being aware of it!
Yikes, power is getting flaky, storm coming through. More later...
I checked over some bonus points I was waiting for to claim a gift card at MyPoints, and realized that MOST of my offers had not been credited. I checked with them, and several older than 90 days were credited. Others, still waiting on. So I checked Club Mom, survey sites, etc., and found several things not yet credited.
So, my challenge this week is to go through all of my rewards, rebates, payments, credits, and track them. If they haven't been recorded, follow up, and follow through. Surveys alone are over $100 this month. Besides all the little fake surveys that lead you to a site to buy something. I want my points!
Also, trying to organize the coupon trains, get everyone's info in order and prioritize coupons and wish lists. I'm swamped with coupons, but not all may be useable. I also need to track down a few wishes and see what I can come up with. It's amazing how they bury the coupon sites!
Did pretty well. Tried out the new grocery store and checked out their prices, their rewards, their rules, etc. Tried a few deals and am waiting to see them show up online. Neat! Still saved more than half plus $20 rebate will come automatically.
Also, did the deal at SF. They filled my free trial prescription for $0 and issued the $25 g/c for their store.
Today, received two $10 gas g/cs, a target $25 g/c, and turned another rebate.
Savings for 2006 - $3500
$20 challenge - $2130
Whooh! Yesterday I found a local store that actually takes internet-printed coupons. They have some interesting deals, too. We drove in to register for a store card, sign up for one-check rebates and rewards programs, and checked out the store. Nice. The savings are a bit difficult to figure out, since there are in-store savings, sales, "club" special savings, and automatic rebates all to figure out.
So, picked up two of the items I needed for the Brand New Me Rebate, used a coupon, that they doubled.
SF had the Pillsbury Grands for $1.29, instead of the usual $2, and had a coupon $1 on 2 which they doubled, so I got my last item for the rebate at 58 cents for two.
SF also had Aquafina half price, $5 for a 24 pack, with a mail in rebate for $5 back on two, so did that. Home before the mail came :-) so had them in the mail same day. DONE.
Still have the Kimberly-Clark and others to work on, and not much is on sale this week.
I did receive a $10 incentive for a product testing, and qualified on two more surveys that each paid cash. It's adding up to a nice sum for the month. Just need to request the check, but seems like they are always adding too it, and you can't get paid if it's less than a certain total, so I keep waiting. Not complaining, keep adding to it!
Am getting $50 for another survey. I've also got a nice rewards tally at e-Rewards. They are just starting up, so send lots of "paid" surveys, and even though they don't have a great reward catalog, it is getting better every few weeks, so I am hoping that by the time they have some great rewards, I'll have earned enough to get them. Always nice to get in early on things ;-)
So, won't count the income until it's in my hand. $10.
Savings for 2006 - $3353
Extra income challenge - $2095
I have been using the same mismatched set of hand-me-down pots and pans since before grad school...23 years...pretty sad for the daughter of a formerly famous cook! Now that I'm retired (well, trying to be), I cook almost every day, and we are trying to stick to a commitment to use EVERYTHING we purchase. No more wasted produce or meat DH forgot to tell me was thawing in the frig. AND trying to eat healthy.
So, DH gave me a new Celephon (?) chicken fryer for Christmas. True love! It came with a promise that if I liked it, he would buy a set. For me, of course. He microwaves, no cooking.
Today Bed Bath and Beyond had a sale on their 10 piece cookware set, and I had a 20% off coupon. So, we got them. And, they gave us a $50 g/c for their store in the deal.
DH has already committed the g/c to my sister's b-day. Nice gift!
Club Mom also gives points for purchases at BBB. HOPEFULLY I will soon reach a reward level.
But, it was a TERRIFIC Christmas gift, and I would rather save the $150 than to have it wrapped under the tree a few weeks ago!
Also, let's see...new insurance has kicked in, and I met the deductible, so my scripts were $18 each, instead of $300 each (just two). Ah...hopefully the premiums will be covered by the savings eventually.
Superfresh is also having a deal, $25 g/c with any new prescription. Since I was seeing the Dr. today anyway, had her write a script for a free trial. SF is a bit irritated, and is waiting until Monday to give me the g/c...I wouldn't normally be quite so, um, frugal, but I have gotten taken every week on their ads, and frankly I don't trust them to come through with this offer either. No way would I pay for a script from them only to find out that once again they won't honor their own coupon.
I finally email Kimberly Clark about their Scott tissue and paper towel coupons. They email them to me every month, and I can't print them, and they don't have a request-by-mail link. They were very nice, and sent 4 coupons to boot. Nice timing for the K-C rebate.
So, nothing special. Using up the last of the carrots in a quiche for dinner. Tonight our Sunday coupons will come, and I'll skim over them and a cup of coffee tomorrow morning. I've already got a full load for the next coupon train, so it had better make it back to this station soon!
Savings for 2006 - $3353
Extra income challenge - $2085
Geez Louise! I tried to log in to all the sites I have "reward" memberships in, like Club Mom and MyPoints and eRewards, etc today. Wrote down all the totals, looked through all the rewards, tried to determine what hadn't been credited and what I still needed and if there were any easy points, etc. AGH. It's pretty crazy. I've never done these memberships before, but free money sounded interesting. There really is a draw to sign up for a deal to get those few extra points, though, even if you normally wouldn't be interested.
Kimberly-Clark responded to my query: We apologize for any disappointment, however, the order form for the Kimberly-Clark $10 Rebate Offer is only available in the coupon insert section of the Sunday, January 15, 2006 newspaper. Of course, it is available online, just not their site. So, I posted it from the other site.
Got some VERY nice feedback from a survey site, and a technology forum that pays.
Had a short work out, dinner is Healthy Choice and Birds Eye. Got to clean out that freezer.
Haven't decided what the saving challenge will be for next week. DH and I really need to start that again. Somehow the Corgi has wiped out all our time! And budget...
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