Thursday, December 31, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
With the end of 2009 fast approaching, now is the time to start getting your tax documents in order. I like to do some year end cleaning and get everything I don't need to Goodwill. This way I'm not as likely to lose my receipts.
The program that I like to use to keep track of my donations is http://www.itsdeductible.com/. This website is done by the makers of Turbo Tax. If you use Turbo Tax, you can even have it import the information straight into the program. Even if you don't use Turbo Tax, it's still a very valuable program.
Most people have a hard time valuing the items that we are donating. Since they are no longer of any use to us, it's tough to imagine that they are worth anything. Most people end up using a garage sale value. The price you would stick to it if you were having a garage sale. Nope. That is waaaaaaaaay low. It's Deductible will let you search for an item, and it has the accepted IRS value automatically assigned to it.
For example, I bundled up all of my magazines. Most of them are even still in the wrapper because I just didn't have time to read them. If I took them to the half price book store to sell them, I would be lucky to get a penny a piece. It's Deductible tells me that if I donate them, the value is 50 cents a piece for new condition, and 25 cents a piece for decent condition. With 120 magazines, that amounts to quite a bit! And it's paper that won't be sitting in the landfill, or even needing to go through the recycling process yet. Clothing has much higher values than you would expect too.
Sign up at http://www.itsdeductible.com/ and start entering your information. It's a free account, and you can track monetary donations too. It's a quick and easy way to keep track of things, and you'll be very happy when you sit down to prepare your taxes because this will be a piece that is already done!
The other news I have is that from an ultrasound we had on Christmas Eve, IT'S A GIRL!!! The pictures weren't 100% conclusive, but from what we seen, and what I know, we're pretty confident that pink is the color to buy.
That's really about all that's going on in my life. I'm working hard making a baby, and trying to keep up with the other one. Dawson is such a good boy. He had a great Christmas. I tell you, the holidays are so much more fun with a little one. I couldn't sleep on Christmas Eve because I was so excited about Dawson waking up and getting his presents.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
It is relatively safe to leave your things just about anywhere you will be selling at. I just put a tablecloth over the top of my things to keep it hidden. There's always a chance that some things will walk off, but when you are in the situation where you are taking your things somewhere else to sell them, it's just a risk you have to take. I've found that other vendors tend to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior and so do the people that are in charge of the show or festival. This is pretty standard in my experience for all shows I've done.
On the morning of the show I try to get there at least fifteen minutes before it opens to settle myself in. There are almost always a couple things I forget that I have to set up when I get there in the morning. I also bring my cash box with money to make change. This is the one item that you do not leave alone no matter what. Guard it with your life. Also, I don't leave my cash in it when I'm walking back to my car. I have never ever had a problem. But at a really good show, you just don't want to be an easy target. I put the cash in my purse, or send it home with my mom while I'm packing up, or something. Then the cash box is just a piece of furniture like anything else so I don't have to worry about it.
At the show, it's v-e-r-y b-o-r-i-n-g. When you're busy dealing with customers, it's great. But even at some of my best shows, there are times when I'm just sitting around doing nothing. I try to bring a book, or clip my coupons, or something to pass the time.
The other big problem is finding time for potty breaks. Ask another vendor to keep an eye on your booth while you're away, then hurry. Be sure to take your cash box with you.
Once you've done a few shows, you'll have your own routine established, and won't think twice of any of the things I've listed. But having an idea of how the process works can really diminish the stress of getting started.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Another thing contributing to my increased energy I think, is that I'm back on my anti-depressants! Yay! Happy pills are good! Most people probably aren't quite so open about this, but I've suffered with mild depression since I was a teenager. A few years ago I finally got treatment for it, and I want the whole world to know that if you have a problem, you should get help. It doesn't made you weird or crazy, or unable to handle life. It just means that you have a problem and take a medicine for it. No different than blood pressure medicine or anything else. If you need it to be and feel healthy, then get it. Life is hard enough without suffering needlessly. Without the medicine, I feel pathetic. With it, I feel like me.
Let's see, what else? Dawson is doing great. Some of the new things he's been doing . . . he can use utensils pretty well to eat. He likes spinning around in circles until he falls over dizzy. And he loves watching Sunday football with Daddy. Dave gets so loud and excited (obnoxious) when the Bengals score, and Dawson just loves it. So I've joined in on getting loud and excited over touchdowns too, just so I don't get left out. LOL. He's also got a little football. He throws it at Dave, and then runs to him to get tackled. Adorable. I don't like watching sports on tv, but with Dawson's excitement, I find that I look forward to the games every week now too. Weird, huh? King of bummed that this week is the bi-week. Kind of weirded out that I know what the heck a bi-week is.
So that's my life right now. I will post ultra sound pictures when I have them! And I probably won't get a chance to post again until after the holiday, so I want to remind everyone to go candy shopping on Sunday. Clearanced Halloween Candy can be great for munching on, sticking in lunches, or using to make candy or cookies. Hershey Kisses wrapped in orange foil taste the same on top of a Christmas cookie as what the ones wrapped in red or green do. And if you have a sweet tooth and like to eat candy in general, it's better to have it in a small serving size than to buy a full sized candy bar. Economical and healthier.
Monday, October 26, 2009
We got the appetizer I wanted, along with potato skins which are always yummy.
We were able to feed Dawson the bulk of his meal while we were at the "just snacking" stage of our meal. He didn't get fussy waiting on food. And he was done and happily playing with his fork when our entrees came out. We were able to enjoy our meals like normal people instead of letting it get cold while figuring out how to feed a toddler and ourselves at the same time.
It was a lot more food than would have been included in a regular kids meal. So we had enough leftovers for an additional meal for him the next day.
And does it annoy anyone else that kids meals are the simplest, most basic foods, tiny portions, and they want to charge you like 4 or 5 bucks for them? I'm sorry, but a grilled cheese sandwich is not worth $4 when you can get a regular sized and quality entree for $8. The standard chicken tender kid meal was $5 and included two tenders. And I'm sure if we had ordered that, it would have been a whole different quality. For just the $3 extra on an appetizer we would have already bought, we got 4 delicious tenders that Dawson just LOVED, and like I said, the four potato skins. He enjoyed one of those too.
I have to say, after doing it this way once, I will ALWAYS do it this way. As he gets bigger, and with another baby on the way that will eventually eat kids meals too, we might need two appetizers. But I found it very enjoyable to have the extra options to munch on. And forget the cost savings. LOL. Having the food there so early and fast to get Dawson fed was spectacular!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
This is actually a really good time of year to go through your cupboards and closets and clear out unwanted items. Many charities are in need of things for the holidays and winter season coming up. Another thing I like to do is put together gift baskets. I may not use the full size St. Ives face wash that I got for 49 cents, but it goes great in a gift basket for a teenager paired with some lotions and makeup. If you've been a super couponer for any time at all, you probably have some things to get rid of. Be creative, and remember, it can do someone else a lot more good than it will ever do you if you have no intention of ever using it.
I actually read earlier today that some person had stockpiled 120 cans of Campbell's Tomato Soup. Wow! Evidently this person got the soup for just pennies after coupons, and took it around to her neighbors. What a great idea! How nice would that be to just grab a package of lunchbags, stick a couple cans of soup in it and maybe a pack of crackers or something, and pass them out to your neighbors, just to be nice? Or stick the can inside a large mug with some decorative packaging filler, then create your own little blend of spices to add to it. Put it in a little bag with a cute little label and one of those cheesy poems about how to make a happy home by adding a cup of love and a dash of kisses, etc. That would be a nice little Christmas gift for teachers, people at church, neighbors, coworkers, whoever. And all you would really have to pay for is the mug. Find a good deal at Oriental Trading Company and buy them by the dozen, and there you go.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
If you're wondering how I know exactly what coupons are going to be in the paper . . . they are listed at Taylortown and Coupon Clippers.
Another good site for sneak peek deals is www.iheartwags.com. You can see the Walgreens ads several weeks in advance! This can be very helpful. I knew not to buy soda one week it was on sale because it was going to be priced even better the following week.
Now after puzzling over the fine print, you might be wondering how this is a good deal. After all, you would have to spend $1000 in groceries to equal a dollar off per gallon of gas. There are a couple couponer tricks though. First off, the points are calculated BEFORE COUPONS. So if you have $100 worth of groceries, then your big stack of coupons takes you down to only $20, you still get credit for the full $100. This is awesome! More reason than ever to take advantage of those free after coupon deals. I got a few things at my trip yesterday that I don't need, but they were free, so I got them anyway. They go straight to my donation pile, but counted towards my fuel rewards. So worth the effort, and it helps someone else who will receive the items I donate.
Another tricky way to get more points is to buy gift cards. Let's say you're going out to dinner to Olive Garden with your honey. Instead of just paying at Olive Garden, stop by Kroger and grab a couple gift cards first to cover the cost of your meal. $50 in gift cards is the same as $100 in groceries. This is great for Christmas shopping in the near future too. Give gift cards as gifts, or, if you're shopping at a particular store, buy the card at Kroger and use it yourself. So long as it's stuff you already intend to do, and so long as it doesn't make you feel like a crazy freak, go for it! I admit, sometimes I feel a little weird with the couponing! But it's worth it to me to feel weird for a few minutes at the store so that I have a few more bucks at the end of the day. And saving money on gas is one of the things that's hard to do.
(I'm still trying to figure out the fuel rewards for Biggs. I've heard of people only paying pennies per gallon on their gas by shopping at Biggs, but I'm not a Biggs shopper, and I haven't had any luck finding any good information that makes it easy. If you know of any, please post.)
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Here's the method I'm trying now. On Sunday when I get my coupons, I clip them, then put all coupons from that date in one envelope. Most coupon sites list coupons by the date they were in the paper, so when I'm looking for one in particular, I can just grab the envelope for the date, and just sort through that small stack. It seems to be working so far. I've also been stapling together like coupons so I only need to find one to have all of them. It makes them easier to clip that way too. I stack the like coupons, staple, then cut them all at once instead of each one separately.
If you have any other methods that you find quick and easy, please post a comment.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Another thing that I do is keep the heat turned down at about 60 or 65 degrees. Then I use space heaters to warm the room that I'm in. I always like to be snuggled under a blanket anyway, so it works. At night an electric blanket on the bed helps to warm just the area that I need. I usually set the programmable thermostat at the low level overnight, then have it start warming up a bit more when it's time to get out of bed.
Of course, how you manage your heating is up to your personal comfort goals. For some reason, I really hate having to pay for heat. I don't know. It just seems like one of those things that shouldn't cost an arm and a leg and my first born. Never underestimate some of the old fashioned heat conserving methods too. Light some candles, get a couple big dogs, and snuggle up with your loved ones!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
But I do have some news. My candles are now available for sale at a new age store in Hamilton!!! Maiden, Mother, Crone on B Street is carrying some of my fragrance oils, candles, tarts and incense on consignment. This is a first for me and I have been very excited and have been working very hard on getting things together for it. I've also gotten back to doing my festivals and craft shows. It's been tough with the sickness and the tiredness. But it also feels really good to be out and working again.
Dawson was also sick for a few days. Just a little bug. No big deal. Enough to freak me out about flu/swine flu. But he's fine. He also had his yearly checkup for his heart. He has a tiny murmur, it's still there, but everything is fine. The doctor expects that it will heal itself, it just has to be checked every year.
If anyone knows of any good craft fairs going on in the Cincinnati/Dayton areas, please leave a comment or email me. I'm still working on my schedule. I will post it here once I've got things lined up. If anyone has any good contacts with the Lakota East High School craft fair that you can set me up with, I would appreciate it. I've heard there's a waiting list to get into that one, but I'm not above bribery. wink wink.
So, I'm trying to get back to normal, so I will be posting more regularly again.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Another point I want to talk about here is how you can be original with the different products. This picture shows a tag that I made for my incense bottles. It includes instructions about how to use it, along with the ever important disclaimer that says not to leave incense burning unattended. I'm having this printed on note cards. It is normally something I would print myself, but this way I will have a nicer tag, professionally printed, and almost the most important thing . . . it coordinates with my logo and the design that I have on my other marketing materials. Since I consider my incense bottles to be works of art, I also included spaces on the back of the card to write in the title of the bottle and the artist. The artist is usually going to be me or my mom, but it adds to the idea of the hand painted bottle being thought of as art.
Monday, September 7, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Second of all, I will be on vacation until Wednesday, so I probably won't be posting anything until then. There's a chance I might find myself in front of a computer and something to say. I'm just not planning on it. So everyone have a happy weekend and be safe!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
So, get this: I've been here for 16 months. I work, ahem, worked for a presidential appointee. When January 21st rolled around, she was unemployed. So, three months later two new appointees come in. The Big Giant Head and his third in charge. The Big Giant Head (heretofore called BGH) brought in his own assistant, so the assistant that had been at that desk for 16 years comes to my desk. I was assisting the third in charge (heretofore called Sneaky Bitch or SB). They moved me to assist the second in charge, who is not here and won't be here until the winter time. I hope you can follow this better than I can....So, for the last eight fucking months, your taxpayer dollars have been hard at work paying me big $$$ to sit at a desk, write a blog, facebook, email, do online courses and basically spin my blonde ass around in a chair until I got dizzy. SB moved me to assist the BGH's assistant Queen Bee (are you following this?) so she could get to know the Who's Who of The Agency. While I sat at a NEW desk, listening to her make phone calls to the wrong people, calling people by the wrong name, telling people the wrong name of the person in the meeting with the BGH I would try to tell her Who's Who during our moments alone. The last time I tried, she put her hand up (think, "talk to the hand") and told me she didn't care. So, I basically told her to fuck herself (but much more politely). I lasted a whole week with her. They moved me back to my old desk from April to July, EXTENDING my working hours to do nothing all day. Well, not nothing. I put the newspapers on our cute table and made copies from 7-8 in the morning. So from 8-4:30, I did nada. Zilch. Nothing. At $30 an hour. Taxpayers' expense.
So, I took a day of leave in July. The next day, I come to work and they tell me in no uncertain terms to "pack your shit, you're moving. You probably shouldn't count on coming back to the Office of the BGH." OK, cool! I've got a new job! One that will keep me busy!! Alright!! So, I moved across the hall to work for, let's see, we'll call her Face with Two-Sides. Seems everything was going great! I was busy, I was keeping her happy, I was planning The Agency stuff, everything. Now, here's where the politics step in. In this particular office, there is a 25 year old boy. Sorry--man. He works here because he was little fetch and tote in the big Capitol building up the street. He's a favor. First job out of college. He's been here two months. He's a fucking little pussy, ass-kissing, brown nosing, power-tripping piece of guano. He is actually junior to me. He wasn't my boss. He isn't ANYBODY'S boss, but he really thinks he is. He and I were working on a couple of projects together. Needless to say, if you can't tell by my description, we didn't get along so well. So, I walk into his office to let him know of a conference call. You know, "Hey Guano, there's a conference call on the mating habits of squirrels in 15 minutes." He gets in my face about "withholding" information from him because I didn't tell him the subject??? WTF???? So, in my best retired Navy drill instructor, Marine Corps wife, aircraft carrier flight deck-running jet mechanic bitch voice, I tell him not to use that tone. Period. Don't EVER talk to me like that again. End of conversation.
But, it wasn't. If only it were that easy. I send him a very detailed email about the project. Now, think "Office Space"...."Ummmm, yeah. I don't get your email" he says as he walks into my cube. "What don't you get, Guano? It's very easy. It has all the required information. Don't you read English?"
His response? "Baby, you need to calm down." That didn't calm me down. I freaked. I flipped the fuck out. Could have probably handled it better, yes. But I freaked. I was completely in his face. It wasn't pretty. "Did you just call me 'baby'? 'Baby???' Are you fucking serious??? I'm a forty something woman, you don't call me 'baby'. Not in the office, not in the hallway, nowhere." Again, I thought that was the end of the conversation. As you guessed, it wasn't.
He went to Mouth with Two-Sides who went to Sneaky Bitch who went to the Big Giant Head. FIVE DAYS LATER, I get called in to THE office (put in soap opera suspense music here). "Do you get along with Guano?" "No sir, I don't." "Have you had a bad week?" "No sir, I haven't." A few questions later, this one is my fave, "Do we need to get you some help?" They didn't even ask my side. What they did was tell me pack my shit and they were transferring me to another division. OH, and if I can find a new job outside The Agency in three weeks? I won't get a letter of reprimand in my personnel file.
So, what's the lesson here? NEVER, EVER, EVER work in a political office. Not office politics, political office. Because if you're just a permanent person with a career here, you don't even match up to the people that are here on a term basis and you certainly won't win against their friends.
How did I handle it??? I got drunk. ALL WEEKEND LONG. A bottle of tequila and a case of beer, all weekend. I was doing shots at some BBQ we were at and I have no idea what they were....it helped. I came back to work with a whole new fuck you attitude...But, I'm keeping it to myself.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I'm SOOO excited! I'm going to try very hard to eat right this time. My doctor had wanted me to lose weight last time, so I'm going to try really hard to do that this time. Ideally I'll lose five pounds throughout the pregnancy, then have the baby and lose another thirty automagically. But this time I also know what to expect. If I don't follow my doctor's advice and eat properly to lose some weight, then everything aches much more than it needs to once I start getting big. Plus my blood pressure was high last time and I'm hoping that won't be as big of a problem.
So then. It's the first day of the month and there is a little housekeeping to do:
Be sure to go to coupons.com to print your coupons. If you're new to it . . . when you sign up, there will be a small coupon printer application that wants to install on your computer. Then you can go through a list and select coupons to print and use just like any other coupon.
PG esaver, be sure to go through their list and select the coupons you want to add to your Kroger card. These automatically come off your order if you buy the product and can be combined with a paper coupon.
UPromise, login and select the coupons to be added to your card. These are different, instead of giving you money off, they put money into your UPromise account.
Lastly, I suggest going through your coupon stash and get rid of your expireds. Don't forget, these can be sent to military families overseas. They can use them for up to three months past the expired date. If you know someone overseas, share the love and send them your useless coupons.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
So, Vocal Point. This has been the number one freebie site that I have signed up with. You just set up a free account, and they randomly send you free things!!! Today I had a sample size box of Kashi cereal waiting for me, which came with a coupon for a free full size box, along with several other coupons for $1.50 off. I have also received coupons for the new Bounce bar, free Rice Krispies, free Frosted Mini Wheats, and those are just the things I can remember offhand while other things are on my mind.
Set up your account at Vocal Point and just wait for the freebies to start rolling in. You never know when or what you'll get. But it sure is a nice surprise when something arrives.
My husband has three kids from another marriage. In the internet world, they are skids. Short for step kids. And their birth mother, although referred to in a multitude of nicknames in my household is abbreviated as BM. I like the double entendre implications there, although I tell you, I would have never named my blog Business Mommy if I had realized that the initials were the same. That is why you will NEVER see it abbreviated!
Anyway. My husband is a wonderful father. Definitely to our little boy, but I seen him in action first hand with his other kids once we were in a serious relationship. We all got along great too. To make a long story short, the same second we announced our engagement was the same second BM started keeping the kids from my husband. And after three years of trying to stop her from her manipulations, and a guardian ad litem (lawyer for the kids appointed in extreme cases) named MARTY HAAS doing what was easy rather than what was right, we've been through family therapy, court orders and everything trying to make her give my husband his kid time, and she has fought it in such extreme ways that my personal therapist (which I needed to help me get through all of this specific craziness) can't even believe what the legal system has let BM do to keep his kids from him. My therapist doesn't humor us either. He tells us how it is. And the court ordered family therapist specifically told us that we needed to play nice because BM was playing dirty and the easiest way through it all was to make her feel ok with things. Well, since I don't curse on this blog, my answer to that is BS. (I originally started the couponing when I was going to be regularly feeding three extra kids a couple times a week.)
So again. I know that I said I would try to make the long story short. Believe me, I am. The point we are at is that it was determined that BM has brain washed the kids so much that it is impossible for the kids to have a real relationship with their dad at this point. So he's allowing the step father to adopt them and stepping back so they don't have to be a part of this battle their entire childhood.
So this woman is crazy. I know. Everyone says that about their spouses ex. I was actually fine with her for the most part in the beginning. My hubby always told me she was crazy. But everyone thinks that about their ex too. So I was operating under the impression that anyone gets away with what they can if you let them. So for the sake of brevity, let's just assume that I'm right when I say that she's crazy. And not in the fun and harmless way that I am. :-) In a way that she is willing to put her children in extreme situations just to keep them from their father.
So here we are. Part of allowing the stepfather to adopt them and my hubby to stand back until they are adults and can make their own decisions, is cutting off child support. The one good thing in all of this. All of this stuff had been decided back in February. And the child support was supposed to stop on August 1st. And guess what, it hasn't. Her lawyer has even sent us mocked up documents (yes, we are filing an ethics violation charge) saying that child support cessation documents had been filed and were in process. Today is when we are finding out about this. Our lawyers were finally able to get ahold of her lawyers who have been putting us off for three weeks now. And now they are "sending a letter." Which means there is some other issue going on. I don't know what the letter entails yet. But odds are that it isn't good. So I'm freaking out in a major way. I'm feeling like an animal backed into a corner. Someone is about to get hurt. But because I'm a nice person, it's most likely going to be me imploding on myself.
I'm sorry to write such a long post about this. Oh, and Marty Haas is in Northern Kentucky. Do not give him your business if you have need of him. He is supposed to be an advocate of the children, but he realized early on that my husband and I are easy to get along with, and BM isn't, so we've been the ones that he argues with because we listen. All therapists have told us that it is in the best interest of the children for the father to be in their lives, even if the father is a loser, which my husband definitely is not. But Marty, although he pretends to be sympathetic and even angry when she does things she isn't supposed to, has never done anything to try to make her stop. He wouldn't even make her take them to the court ordered therapy.
So this is my personal issue of the day. Strike that, week. No wait, FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS. So I'm getting a little cranky. But, even though it doesn't help me at the moment, what it will turn out to do once things are over and I've settled down . . . the lesson here, for life, for business, for whatever, taking the easy way isn't always the easiest way. If my husband and I had been harder to get along with earlier on and had been squeakier wheels, then BM most likely would not have gotten away with the things that she did. Her brain washing of the children would not have been able to go so far, and we would have a normal blended family. Which isn't easy. Even when things were good, it was never easy. But it was still fun, and everyone got along and had a good time. Other than normal kid stuff, along with my own personal problems of having not been around children much, then being in a mother type role to pre teens. Certainly less of a mother role and more just assisting my husband in his parenting role. But before you've had kids, it feels like a mothering role.
So please pray for my family. We've had one disaster after another for three years. Not just in the step kid department. I keep saying, we don't need things to be easy. We just need for everything little thing to not have to be such a struggle. This adoption thing was supposed to be easy once it was decided. Ceritainly not easy emotionally, but everybody has signed their stuff, so it was just to be a waiting for stuff to be finished thing. I'm hoping that our three years of bad luck will be canceled out by winning the 250 million dollar lottery tonight! LOL. If you don't play the lotto, wish us luck. If you do play the lotto, then I understand your conflict of interest!
Sunday, August 23, 2009
While I'm on my shopping hiatus, I'm going to focus on organizing what I've got, doing some intense yard and house work, and working on my candle business like crazy. I just got a huge order for my Birthday Cake candles!!! So that has renewed my enthusiasm. . . . and a word from our sponsors . . .
Birthday Cake candles are great for a gift, or for yourself. The scent of freshly baked white cake topped with buttercream icing. The candle is white with confetti colors inside of it. Get them fresh out of the oven at www.lmfcandles.com.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming. Seriously though, I put a lot of love into my candles, and the birthday cake ones are something special. I'm pretty impressed with myself on those. LOL. This is my most popular scent in candle form.
Ok, ok. So this coming week I'm going to be working very hard on my business. I will be researching marketing options and getting the shop in my garage back into shape. I had a minor setback with it due to some leeching. Someone sees your good idea and wants to do it too. Which is fine in some circumstances, but in this one it's just too close for comfort. Took the wind out of my sails a bit. But I'm back, and I'm not going to let it bring me down. All it's going to do is change the way I market.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
The way that I'm going to manage my stockpile is to go through and take an inventory of different items. Then I'll figure an approximate date on when I expect that I'll start running low. Let's say that I have six bottles of body wash. That should last me about four months. So I'm going to put a note on the calendar towards the end of the year that I need to look at body wash and see how my supply is. Maybe I've found more super deals and bought more so I'll just change the date. Or maybe I'm running low and need to start keeping an eye out for good deals. At this point in the year though, I don't want to have to worry about running low during the holiday season. So I want to try to have a six month supply of essentials. My mind will be busy with my business. I won't want to have to think about shopping for normal stuff as much.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
So. What has been going on with me outside the world of small business running and deal shooping? Not a whole bunch. I had been in a bit of a mopey, feeling sorry for myself state for a while. I feel like I've been working so hard with zero results. And with only one working car right now and that one being used by the hubby for work, I've felt trapped inside. True, I rarely went out when I had the car here to use, but just knowing that I was able to if I wanted to made a huge difference.
After spending a few days in the doldrums, I decided that it isn't pretty, so I need to pull myself together and get back into my groove. So I leaped out of bed this morning at the crack of noon and got busy. Even put on a touch of makeup. So I'm feeling pretty good today. I was awake until 4:30 am last night. Thinking about all of the things I wanted to get done today. I should have just gotten up and done a couple of them and I might have fallen asleep earlier. But that would have gone against the procrastinators mantra. Why do it today if you can put it off until tomorrow? Stay up all night worrying about it instead.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
It's fun to go shopping and run into people that share your hobby. We shared some tips with each other, things that were new to each of us, and we complained about how we couldn't get our friends and family members to join in as much as we would like. (Come on guys. I do the hard part, all you have to do is take the coupons I hand you and go to the store and pay your 15 cents for your toothpaste.)
It was also helpful because she had already scoped out some of the coupon matchups, and so had I. So we were able to save each other time by pointing out if something was already gone, or if we had seen something that was a great deal. We couponers are our own little club. It's easy to become a member. Just start clipping your coupons and reading some blogs. Especially if you can find local ones. Then you may even be able to meet with the writer and get one on one info!
Friday, August 14, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Mr. Rebates is my favorite. There are other sites out there too that work the same way. Cashbaq and Ebates are the other ones I'm familiar with. If you have an account at all three sites, just compare the percentage rates at each one to determine which site to use. For example, if I was making a purchase at Brylane Homes, Mr Rebates gives me 5% back, Cashbaq pays 2.5% back, and Ebates pays 3% back. So I would use Mr. Rebates to make the purchase.
Don't forget to do a separate search at Retail Me Not to find a coupon code!
This is especially great for the Vista Print products and services. Mr. Rebates gives you 10% back on Vista Print products.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Anyone who has looked into advertising at all knows that $30 a month to make that many contacts is a reasonable price. As a comparison, think about how much 2500 stamps would cost. And think about how much time and effort it would take to deliver 2500 flyers door to door. Print advertising is more expensive too. This way you are reaching an audience that wants to hear from you. And if they don't, they can unsubscribe and you can stop messing with them.
Another point I want to make with this . . . I have attempted to send a mass email before. I have a huge list that I got from doing a bridal show. (Very expensive, boring, and a lot of follow up work required to get orders, I don't recommend it.) I had attempted to use that list to send a mass email a couple months ago. A lot of them were invalid email addresses, and a lot of people unsubscribed. With me doing it manually, that means I need to go through my list and delete those people. It's a lot of work. Plus, just sending the emails bogged down the system. I must have reached some sort of limit on outgoing emails because after about 100, they stopped sending. Frustrating and time consuming. And of the people that didn't bounce back or unsubscribe, I have no idea if it's hitting their junk folders and never being seen, or if they're ignoring it, or reading it or what. With Vista Print, if I see that a person isn't opening the emails I send, I can delete them from my list.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
And remember, that's the short list. LOL. It's feeling like things are never going to get to a normal level. I certainly don't expect life to be perfect. I'm just ready for it to not be so freaking hard. I feel like I'm in a leaking boat and throwing out bucket after bucket of water to keep from sinking. Most of the time I'm able to just barely stay afloat, then as soon as I start to make some progress, another wave comes along. At least I have my family. And all of these hardships have pointed me in the direction of learning about the saving money websites out there. And my own challenges of finding money leftover to still be able to work on my business when it feels like every penny goes out the door has inspired me to write this blog and hopefully help others in similar situations.
All of this hardship in my life should be ending in the near future. And when it does I'm going to be fortunate to have gone through all of this. I'll already know how to live frugally so that I'll be able to get the most for my money.
Monday, August 10, 2009
The muffin pan has turned out to be a spectacular way to feed my son his lunch. I did it three times last week. He loves it! It's easy for me because it allows me to have a better idea of the kinds of serving sizes and variety that I want to be giving him. And he loves sticking his fingers in the holes to find his snacks. I try to pick things that aren't too messy so he doesn't have to get in the high chair for them. His favorite is peanut butter sandwiches made out of eggo waffles. The peanut butter melts into the waffle squares a bit when they're still warm, so it makes it less messy for him to eat. So there's two holes with sandwich sections, then two holes with fruit, then I usually put a dessert in one, and a snack in one. The snack has been Quaker rice cakes. He loves them. And the dessert has been M&Ms. He usually starts with dessert. He takes after his momma. I don't include veggies because he won't eat veggies when he has options. If they are the only thing in front of him, he likes them. Next to anything else, forget it.
I've found that the muffin tin is also good for his memory. I put it on a tv tray and try to get him to sit on the couch with me to eat. Nope. He's too busy for that. But he pays attention to where everything is, and he sticks his hand up to grab and gets exactly what he wants. I realized this when I turned it around once to try to convince him to eat something other than M&Ms first. He got so frustrated and kept looking under his rice cakes trying to figure out why the candy wasn't there when it should have been. So I don't trick him anymore. So long as he's eating other things too, let him start with the candy.