Friday, March 27, 2009

Caregivers Marketplace

Get cash back on things you already buy like diapers, diabetic supplies, etc. See the details at Caregivers Marketplace. And share the knowledge! Many people can benefit from it, but no one seems to know about it. I am putting the link on my sidebar too.

http://www.caregiversmarketplace.com/FrameSetup.asp

Be sure to look

I hope everyone enjoyed the seminar last night. I thought it was fun! Here are a few pointers/reminders to steer you in the right direction if you're just getting started.

The "It's Hip 2 Save" blog link in my side bar has some really good information out there today. With that particular blog, when you get to the bottom of the page make sure you click the link to view older posts. She has tons of information that is current so you can click back several pages and still get good information.

"Money Saving Methods" is the one with the detailed information on how to do internet offers for free gift cards. If anyone wants information about my methods, or deals I have done in the past, contact me directly. I'm not an expert at it yet, but I have a few under my belt and know some useful things. That is something that I consider "advanced" though. I suggest getting used to the other things first before tackling an internet offer.

Sunday is fast approaching. Try to start planning ahead now for your coupon needs. You should be able to look at "Mommy Snacks" to see what's going to be out there on sale, and what coupons you need to round up. (If you know me personally and see things you want that you don't have coupons for, let me know. I might have extras.)

Don't forget to see my older posts on Spam.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Grocery List Organizer

This is an awesome product, and it's even cheaper now than when I bought mine! I'm not sure why. I love it. Especially with the stockpile grocery shopping. I have tons of groceries, so I don't always realize I'm out of something until I need it. Then if I don't have a coupon for it, I don't remember it. This way I just tell it to the machine, print out my list when I need it, and I'm good to go. It's speech recognition is very good. I was shocked yesterday when I added Worcestshire Sauce to my list and it knew exactly what I said. The magnets in it are very strong too so it sticks to the fridge without slipping. I personally recommend it very highly.

http://www.amazon.com/SmartShopper-Grocery-Organizer-Embedded-Thermal/dp/B000NTFW4C/ref=sr_1_120?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1238118870&sr=1-120

Free Movie Rentals!

Have you noticed all of the Red Box movie rental machines that are popping up everywhere now?  Every Monday a code is released so you can rent a free movie for the night.  All you do is take the code, push the button on the screen that says use a code, then pick out your free movie rental.  It will ask you to scan your credit/debit card.  That is in case you don't return it in time (9:00pm the next day.)  

I will start posting the codes each week, or directing you to where you can easily find the code.

More energy saving

Now is the time to look for deals on your space heaters for next year.  You can probably find some good mark downs.  In particular, look for radiant heaters.  They are supposed to be much more effective and less expensive to run.  You won't get to use it much until next year, but getting a good end of season price on one now will help in the long run.

Duke Energy Credit

With warmer weather approaching, there is a nice program that Duke Energy offers to help save you some money on your a/c.  See this link to sign up:  

This basically works the same way as a programmable thermostat.  Except that since Duke is controlling it, they're giving you a bonus to do it.  So you're saving a bit of money AND making a little bit.  They were just at my house today to install whatever little mechanism they put on the air conditioner.

Another good thing, if you have the day off from work, or anything, you just have to a call a number and let them know that you don't want them messing with your a/c on those particular days.  No problem.  

Monday, March 23, 2009

Telephone Service

Several years ago my household switched our telephone service to Vonage.  It's a great service.  I highly recommend it.  However, I've been noticing that my family pretty much only uses their cell phones.  We rarely touch the regular phone.

I just called Cincinnati Bell and found out that they have a "low usage" plan.  It costs $9 a month, and 3 cents a minute for outgoing calls.  All incoming calls are free.  I will be switching over and the difference will save my family more than $100 a year.  It won't change our habits at all, but we'll still have the benefit of a standard land line.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Organization

Well, it's still rough, but I'm getting closer.  Following all of the deal stuff, organization is absolutely key to success.  There are some things that are easier to follow than others.  There are certainly programs you can pick and choose to get the best benefit with the time you have available.  But I'm currently doing as much as I can and boy is it hectic!!!  But I get a little closer each day.  

Also, my mom has given me a challenge to help me get organized.  She knows that I have organization problems, and also knows that once I'm set, it's easier to stay organized.  So that's why my blog posting has been sparse recently.  If I get organized, she has motivated me with getting me new carpeting in my stairway.  I just got it done in the living room.  So getting it matched up in the stairway would be wonderful.  Especially since the dogs kind of decided the carpet on the bottom step had to go.  They're over their chewing on everything in site stage now.

But my point is, if organization is an issue for you, either set up small goals and reward yourself for reaching them.  Or maybe just focus on the money saving things that are less time consuming.

Friday, March 20, 2009

More FREE Groceries

I've found that something that's kind of hush, hush and not advertised much is that there are often beer and alcohol rebates available.  Since I've not come across this information on a regular basis, I will begin posting about what's available when I do see things.  One thing in particular to keep your eye out for (I will post if this is an issue) some rebates require an original rebate form and won't allow print outs.  

This one in particular that I just came across, you can print it here: http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/grocery-coupons/907435/  I did call and verify that print outs of the form are valid.

When you purchase one 18 pack or larger of Budweiser, cans or bottles (kind of funny, they call it a "family pack" lol)  then you must also purchase at least 10.01 worth of salty snacks, ice, charcoal, propane, condiments, dips, buns, meat snacks, bottled water, or pizza, and you'll get a $10 rebate.  Make sure the entire purchase is on one receipt.  

If you're someone who buys beer anyway, this is a great way to get some free money back on items you need to buy anyway.  I'll be buying charcoal with mine.  This is great because my family is going to buy the beer anyway, so it's the same as getting free food on items you may not have coupons for.  

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Walgreens Buckling Down

Well, I've heard rumors that the Easy Saver booklet with coupons and rebates is going away.  Today I had a prescription transferred for the free $25 gift card.  I usually go back and forth between Walgreens and Meijer for the best free money on prescriptions.  Usually I have no problems.  Today at Walgreens I was told that I could only do the transfer for the gift card on each prescription once for every six month period.  I don't believe it says that anywhere on the coupon itself.  I'm going to call corporate tomorrow and find out.  I'll let everyone know what the outcome is.  Walgreens is also starting to stick more closely to their limit rules.  Most of the time when it says limit 1, they don't care, you can buy as many as you want.  I've still been able to get away with going over the limits, and I'm completely prepared to put items back if I need to.  But I just wanted to let you guys know.  Maybe it's just the store I go to.  But I'll get to the bottom of it!  And if it turns out that the rules have changed on prescriptions, I will have list of six different places to transfer them to so I'll get my free money every month!  I know CVS matches coupons, and Rite Aid does some sort of deal too.  I usually take my new prescriptions to Target, then transfer to Walgreens, then transfer to Meijer, then back and forth from Walgreens to Meijer.  But like I said, Rite Aid, CVS, and I think Kmart has a deal too.  So I'll figure out a way to get all of the free money I can!  It takes organization, but free money is always worth it to me.

American Express Gift Card/Rebate (continued)

There is a limit of two of these per household.  So you can do it twice!  Fifty dollars in free gift cards for buying $100 worth of cards you can use for normal stuff you usually buy anyway!  Great deal!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Awesome Deal at Kroger !!!!!!!

I'm not sure if this is all over, or just at Kroger. When I was there earlier today, they had a deal on their American Express gift cards. If you buy two of them, there is a rebate for $25. And $25 in the lowest amount they had, so $50 gets you $25 back. They should be accepted anywhere that American Express is accepted. You can use them yourself, or you can give them as a gift. I'm going to use them myself for my internet shopping.

The one catch is that the $25 rebate that you'll get will only be valid at certain stores. But one of the stores is Best Buy, so that takes care of me!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dieting

Ok, I don't usually do this, but I found a good product that is working very well for me. It's not so much a diet pill as it is an herbal supplement. There are like a dozen things good for weight loss in it like wheat grass and lemon balm, and just all sorts of herbs that are supposed to be a good combination for weight loss. It has been working great for me. It's called Orovo. It's expensive, so it doesn't fall under the money saving category. But I think a lot of us spend a lot of money on weight loss methods anyway. So finding something that works can actually be a money saver if you don't have to experiment anymore with other costly methods.

Of course, everyone is different, and it may not work for everyone. But I'm losing weight without changing any of my other habits, and it's giving me more energy too. But not the normal caffeine high kind of energy that feels weird.

So I just wanted to give my two cents. I'm not actively working hard on dieting or exercising. Just doing my normal thing and losing weight very gradually. Since I started this supplement, it's been coming off much, much faster. So I just wanted to give others the benefit of my experiment. I'm taking a gazillion of them. Like six in the morning and six at lunch time for the detox stage, but it's totally working without any odd side effects whatsoever!

www.orovo.com

Monday, March 16, 2009

Question . . . please comment

Ok. Purple hair. Juvenile, or cool? It would be temporary. I'm slightly goth, but in a socially acceptable way. I work for myself with this blog and a candle business that I'm trying to make super stylish. I think purple hair would be cool for a short period of time. I'm sure there would be an in between pink stage as it fades out. But I've been told that it's a teenager thing, and the last thing I want to do is distract from my professionalism in my businesses with a teeny bopper trend. I think there's a possibility that it could be one of those things that shows I'm willing to take risks, and that I have my own style. But again, I don't want to come across as immature or silly. So please, comment away. I'm thirty and possibly trying to hang onto my youth. But that's why I'm asking for comments.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Signing up for Freebies

This can get really tedious.  Filling out all of the information again and again.  Especially for something that you know will be too small that you probably won't even use it.  I recommend continuing to sign up for as many freebies as possible though.  For me, it makes the trip to the mailbox more fun.  I don't just get bills and junk mail.  It's something that I look forward to now because it's always a surprise.  So keep those freebies coming in by continuing to sign up for things.  See the links in my side bar for sites that specialize in those types of things.  Hip 2 Save has a really good list.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Stockpiling Batteries

This seems like a good idea.  Especially for emergency preparedness.  But batteries expire just like food.  If you go through a lot of batteries in a relatively short period of time (kid toys) by all means, create a stock pile.  But remember to cycle them by using the oldest ones first.  Even sitting in the package they lose energy over time.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Advanced Shopping

This isn't for newbies unless you're brave! But I want to put the scenario out here so you can see how much savings can add up. First, see Carrie's blog www.moneysavingmethods.com and search for her Brylane Homes post. Something about signing up for a free trial offer. I would search it out and give you the link, but I'm not going to because this is an advanced scenario. You really do need to put a little bit of work into it to be comfortable with how it would work.

When you sign up for the free trial offer, you get all the good bonuses of signing up. Then the club will usually cost $12 or $15 a month. You can cancel and just be happy with the sign up bonuses. But one benefit in particular that they usually offer is rebates on gift cards. Some as much as 20%. So, once you're a member of the club, buy some gift cards for where you want to shop.

Let's use Best Buy as an example. You want to buy a Wii system. So order your Best Buy cards through the club, $250 in gift cards actually cost $200. Then you go to Mr. Rebates, search for Best Buy, click the link and go to the Best Buy website. Order your Wii, and check out using your gift cards. (Don't forget to use your Best Buy Reward Zone card too.) Best Buy pays 1% on purchases at Mr. Rebates. So 2.50 will be added into your Mr. Rebates account. And you'll also get the Reward Zone points. Then you can opt to pick it up at the store and not even have to pay shipping. You just bought a Wii for 197.50.

Most sites will pay more than just 1%. Best Buy isn't a great example because it is such a low percentage. But restaurant.com is 20%. Brylane Homes is 5%. Ebay is 1%. It just depends on how much the company wants to spend to have Mr. Rebates advertise for them. And if you see Carrie's post that I mentioned on Brylane Homes, you will learn to love that store! I have so many things on my wish list!

Mr. Rebates

You've probably noticed the ad for Mr. Rebates that I put up on my blog a couple weeks ago. I guess I should get around to explaining it. FYI, the description probably sounds more complicated than it really is. So here's the step by step.

Click on the link and create an account.

Whenever you need to shop online, go to your Mr. Rebates account, search for the store you want to shop at, and just click the link to the store from Mr. Rebates. You'll get a little box pop up that you can close. Just shop and check out as normal.

When you do this, you get FREE CASH. Seriously. Free. For something you already do. I've used it for normal places I do internet shopping at . . . Brylane Homes, Ebay, Collections Etc, Oriental Trading Company, etc. But I just realized that 1-800 Contacts is on there too. I'll be able to buy my contacts for a cheaper price, and get free money out of it too! It will amount to about $20 back. The amount is based on a percentage of the purchase. It's one of my favorite money saving things to do because I love shopping online! But most of the major stores, and some interesting smaller ones are on there. Walmart, Best Buy, Pet Meds, lots of stuff.

The only downside, which isn't really a downside since it's free money anyway . . . you have to wait a long time for your free money to be available. They have to allow time to adjust your account in case you return anything.

Scholastic Sale!!!

These are wonderful. The last one I went to was a lot of fun. Good books at great prices. Plus the coupon for $10 off of $50 at already super cheap prices, you can't lose. The Scholastic warehouse in West Chester is across from the Frontgate Outlet. Look carefully because it really is just a warehouse. They don't have a store front. You go in a little side door and shop in the warehouse.

You do have to sign up on the website and print a pass of some type to get in. But it's free. I signed up as a volunteer. If they decide to call me to ask me to volunteer, we'll see. If it fits my schedule, I probably will. But there are some seriously good deals to be had. They're mostly kid books, but there is a small selection of adult books too.

http://www.scholastic.com/bookfairs/events/warehouse/states.asp?st_abbrev=OH

Spam A Lot (part 2) Dreaded Telemarketers

Alrighty then. I just now, at this moment, found a website that gives you a free telephone number to use online. You can only access it on the internet, but anyone can call it. The company has upgraded calling plans and stuff, but the important thing is, FREE, and you can use it when you fill in the countless forms so that telemarketers aren't calling your regular number. Unfortunately, I'm probably going to need to change my current regular number now because I've been giving it out all over the place. Which means that my mom will be complaining about having to reprogram her phone. Let's see, which is worse? Nagging mother, or nagging telemarketers? (just kidding Mom!) But there's no need to put any payment information in or anything. Just sign up, pick your new fake number, and you're set to fill out all the freebie forms that you want to.

Here's your link for Ring Central.

https://service.ringcentral.com/

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spam A Lot

Signing up for freebies and free offers and all of the different things that gets you all of the cool stuff probably has your mailbox full of the dreaded spam.  There are two things you can do to manage the spam.  

1.)  Sign up for a free email account with gmail, yahoo, or whatever.  Use that email address when filling out forms, and don't worry about checking it.  Or check it rarely.  Whatever floats your boat.  You can sometimes get other good offers from filling out the forms, so you may want to check it on a regular basis.  At least it won't be getting mixed up with your regular mail.

2.)  This is a wonderful tool.  www.mailinator.com  You don't even need to go to the website to make use of it.  When filling in the email address, just make something up.  whatever@mailinator.com.  businessmommy@mailinator.com.  abc@mailinator.com.  It truly doesn't matter.  Anything you use with the mailinator address will be caught on the mailinator server.  You can go out and check it if you want.  It's public, anyone can check whatever address you use.  But anything that goes to the address is only out there for a limited time, then it gets deleted.  Automatically.  You don't even have to see it.  So neener to the spammers!

Free Tote Bags

I have noticed that a lot of the freebies in the recent past have been reusable tote bags.  Meant to use as shopping bags instead of wasting plastic bags.  If you already have plenty of these, keep on filling out the forms to continue to get free ones.  These make great gift bags.  Dress them up as you would an ordinary gift bag.  No, they aren't as cute and decorative, but they are very useful and part of the gift.  And can easily be regifted.  I will be specifically pointing out to recipients that if they don't have a use for the bag, to feel free to regift it so they know I won't be offended.  The important part is that it is a good "green" way to package gifts and make use of freebies.  

For lists of freebies, please see other blogs I have listed in my side bar.  Many blogs have TONS of freebie information.  Hip 2 Save, and Mommy Snacks especially.  

And don't forget another green gift wrap idea that I posted about in the past.  Wrap gifts with the comic pages.  We already buy extra newspapers.  Pull out the colorful comic pages to use as wrapping paper.  Add pizzazz with ribbons or bows or glitter if you feel the need.

Saving Energy


I have verified with a computer expert that this is safe for your products, so don't worry about blowing up something important.

One major energy drain that costs money is entertainment equipment.  Tvs, DVD players, etc.  Even when they are turned off, they still drain a large amount of power.  Can we all say not fair!  

Here's a solution to this.  You probably already have your equipment plugged into a surge protector.  Very important:  When you are done watching tv and turn it off, verify that absolutely everything connected to your surge protector is turned off.  Then turn off the switch on the surge protector so that there is no longer any power going to any of the products.  

I'm also going to try this for less important things.  When I'm settling down for the evening in my living room, I turn on certain lights, I like to have the fountain on, etc.  However, I rarely use those items because I don't go around the room turning everything on, then off later when I go to bed.  But if it's all plugged into a single power strip so I can push one button, then yay!

I personally do not recommend doing this on your major system.  I don't want anybody coming back to me to complain about their equipment breaking and blaming it on the surge protector tip.  However, since almost everyone still uses their old tvs when they they get new ones, at least use it on your less valuable equipment.  There is no sense in letting a tv that you don't use as often drain energy and increase your bill.  I also won't use it on my computers since I rarely turn them off.  (bad Business Mommy)  However, I'm on them so often for so many different things, powering them up and down several times a day would be too much of a hassle and make me less likely to keep on top of the deals.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My Favorite Walgreens Deal This Week

Buy $10 worth of M&Ms, get a free plush M&M toy with bunny ears.  M&M's on sale 2 bags for $5.  Easy Saver coupon for $1 off 2, stack with manufacturer's coupon for a dollar off 2.  You end up getting your 4 bags of M&M's for $6 which should qualify to get the free toy since you spend $10 before coupons.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Calendar Conundrum

I don't know about everyone else, but I have trouble with calendars. I thought the software on my apple computer would solve it, but I think I'm more hard copy oriented, except I tend to lose the hard copies. So. What's a girl to do? I have four different calendars, then one to sum up the four others. Not very efficient. But putting it on the computer somehow just doesn't work for me.

How do others do it? Any input is appreciated. A big part of it is just that each person thinks of a schedule in different ways. So I don't know that anyone can solve anyone else's planning problems. But advice can always help point out ideas that someone else might not of thought of. Feel free to comment on calendar organizing methods, or other ways that you keep track of your life.

Learning From Experience

Some things that I have stocked up on, I've learned to not keep well enough to continue to stock up on. Sometimes, if they're free, or almost free, I may buy them anyway and share with family, or on the chance that I might use it. However, it costs more than I'm willing to throw out if need be, then I'll pass.

Refrigerated creamers, fresh mushrooms, sour cream, and dips. I love mushrooms. They're my favorite food, but I don't eat a lot of fresh produce, so I usually forget that I have stuff before I'm able to eat it. And this time, I think my mushrooms were growing mushrooms. Today was a bit of a fridge clean out day. But generally, my stockpile is working well. I need a better supply of pasta sauce. And different meats. But there are several things I use pasta sauce for. Number one being pasta of course. But also chicken parmesan with the breaded chicken patties. Another really good treat that my mom taught me to make, (it works especially well in one of those sandwich maker thingys), you take the two pieces of bread, put pasta sauce and mozzerella cheese between them, then grill them in the sandwich maker. Pizza sandwiches! Grilled cheese with a twist. It's really good. But from now on, mushrooms in the can.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Newbie Information

I don't usually put a lot into coupon matchups because there are so many other sites out there that do it. See my side bar for links to Mommy Snacks for normal grocery store matchups and Hip 2 Save has some awesome Target matchups right now. And of course, I always recommend Grocery Game with every fiber of my being. I love that site.

I had planned on only buying 3 papers this week. (Heading out in a few minutes.) But after previewing what's there at the Taylortown site in my sidebar, I've decided to go ahead and still buy 5. Let me specifically tell you why so you can get an idea of how to judge what's best for you. (If you're just getting started and planning to stockpile, I recommend one paper per family member.)

Ok, here's the reason I'm buying 5 papers.

Franks Red Hot Sauce - 50 cent coupon - will double to $1 - regular price at Kroger is 1.19. I already have plenty, but I'm planning to use some when I put together gift packs for people who like to grill out or make wings a lot. (This one alone cancels out the cost of the paper.)

Over the Moon Milk half gallon - $1 off - I really only need one of these, but depending on other factors, I might get more - specifically due to the offer here http://hip2save.blogspot.com/2009/02/free-real-simple-receipt-organizer.html

Rold Gold Pretzels - 55 cents off, will double to a dollar - my favorite snack, I know I'll use it

On-Cor Entrees - 30 cents off, doubles to 60 cents - my family eats these on a regular basis so it makes sense to get the extra coupons

Crest Paste or Gel - 75 cents off - do I even need to say it?

Downy - 25 cents off, doubles to 50 cents - this is about as good as it gets on fabric softener unfortunately. But it's a necessity and I have to use name brands or I have allergic reactions. Downy and Snuggle are about the only ones I trust for my skin.

Secret - 50 cents - with deoderant there are usually sales that come along that make them free or close to it, especially with this brand

Tampax - 50 cents

So with so many coupons that will definitely come in handy for me, getting 5 papers makes sense. And when I start clipping, I stack the pages together and cut out all five coupons at a time and paperclip them together so that sorting them is easier, and clipping takes less time.