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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Welcoming the New Year!

I feel like I have so many things that I want to do yet so little time to complete all of them! I’ve been in a funk for the past few weeks. The holidays always do that to me. I totally dislike Thanksgiving. Only because as a kid, that was the ONE day a year where everyone from both sides of my parent’s family got together & it was just a huge get together. Nowadays, it’s me, dh, ds, dd and a friend or two. Well, actually, it’s always our 2 friends from Colorado who make it a point to be here for Thanksgiving every year. I just get so dang homesick. Emotional. Moody. Weepy. Snappy. Crabby. Yeah, you get the picture. Then you have Christmas. Whoa. That gets real bad. Especially this year. It was very very bad. Very. Oh well. It’s mostly me, I know that. I just get depressed/homesick/crabby/emotional/moody/weepy/snappy/crabby. Well, again, you get the picture. I always always look forward to the NEW YEAR. January 1st is probably my most anticipated day (well, aside from Halloween. Nah. That’s 2nd). I think there are a few reasons: it’s a holiday without any fuss involved and it’s a chance to start anew (hey, I’ll take anything thing I can!). I used to make resolutions. I used to SHARE those resolutions. What a dummy. That obviously sets you up for failure, right?? So this year, I am not really making resolutions. However, here are some of the things I’d like to do this year: 1. Learn to keep my dresser clear of clutter. For some reason it is like the dumping ground for stuff. Clean clothes that need iron. Paperwork that needs action (uh, if it gets buried by ironing stuff, it isn't ever gonna get taken care of). Receipts that need put in the envelope (I’m concerned. This is not a huge thing to deal with. Put receipt in envelope, not loose on dresser. Whats up with that??). And a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff. 2. Clean the kitchen every night before bed. Ok, again, this is not a big deal. 8 out of 10 times it’s done. However, those 2 times it’s not, it’s ugly. Which in turn makes me very crabby in the morning. 3. Spend more time for ME. Ok. This is an issue. I feel like I never ever get my own quiet time. Do I sound whiny now?? I just want to be alone. Quiet. Nothing more. 4. Balance the checkbook at least weekly. Duh. 5. Sign all bills up for autopay. This would require me to balance the checkbook! 6. Stick to my new ‘budget’. I really need to come up with a better word. 7. Commit to saving more money. 8. Be kinder to my kids and hubby. See above about the holidays. Enough said. 9. Focus more on my work at hand. I have a tendency to get sidetracked. I have a list. I start doing something. Something else gets in the way so I tackle that. Well, there’s a trend here. (just read some of my other rambling posts). 10. Do I have a number ten? Hmmm. Ummm. Uhhhh. Oh. Eat healthier. Cook & bake more things instead of buying ready made (bad) stuff. So how about it. Anyone else out there want to contribute what they would like to do for 2009??

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Friday Night Movie

The kids & I headed over to Blockbuster on Christmas afternoon to exchange the 2 we had & get another game for them to play. I told them that for once, I was selecting the movies. I ended up getting the new Batman movie and Tropic Thunder. We watched Batman Friday night. Me, dh and ds. Dd decided that she was taking the bus downtown to meet friends at 8:30pm. Oh well. I'm having a hard time with this but will let her fly for a while to see where she lands. In the meantime, we have to keep turning the volume up & down during the movie. Real loud stuff makes the speakers rattle and make a funky sound (I'm hard of hearing and still heard this). So this morning (Sunday), dh says that we need to run to best buy. Oh yeah, I'm all excited. BUT I tell him, I've only got cash, no debit card, no american express, no best buy card. Cash, cash, cash is my new motto. Off we go. We stop in the tv room Ohhh. Ahhhh. Still out of our price range. Off we go to the speakers. Find 3 way indoor outdoor ones, $31. Find the LAST box and pick it up. Browse the smaller flat screens. Dh ask if I would like one for the kitchen instead of the 13" that sits on the counter. Sure, but not now. Then we make our way to the computers just to look at the desktops & towers. On the way, we pass the kitchen appliances. OMG!!! They have this gorgeous teal matching washer & dryer. To die for! I could so do that. DH asked if the price was for both. Uh no, honey, thats $1500 each. Then we started laughing cuz back when we remodeled the house 10 years ago we got the then NEW Neptunes by Maytag & thought we were all that!! Not anymore!!! Ha. The new fridges are soo cool too ... the french door ones that have a massive amount of shelving along with the freezers (2 drawers) in the bottom, stainless steel....oh I could have so easily gave in that department!! Off we went to the computers. Mobbed with people. But you know what? Not a good deal on anything. I'm not talking about almost free, but a decent sale price. Nope. Dh & said maybe after the first of the year things will be cheaper. I somehow doubt it.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Good morning and Merry Christmas It’s a hazy, drizzling rainy morning here in South Florida. Breezy too. I’m sitting in the office and can look out the big bank of windows and also see the Christmas tree and smell it too. It smells so yummy. It’s about the only thing that seems Christmasy this morning. There are a few small gifts in the teens stockings. Also a 1 lb bag of cashews for dh in a gift bag. But that’s it for the gifts. I don’t think the kids are too happy about that but it is what it is. I made the dough for these last night and took it out of the fridge at 7 to warm up before rolling out and baking. I hope it makes a lot so I can send some over to my neighbor. DH goes to the airport to pick up a friend at 2pm. John has a home here & in Colorado. I believe he is bringing his 18 year old son with him too. Not quite sure where that was at the last time I spoke to him. We ordered pizza from Papa Johns. 2 large pizzas completely chowed down by 2 adults and 1 teen boy. I only had 2 pieces, just for the record! I don’t know why we keep insisting on trying Papa Johns as the pizzas are never that good. Probably because they have the cheapest pizzas going. Normally we do McDonalds on Christmas Eve but not this year. Although, it was the 49 cent burger night, we should have. DH and I pulled the sleeper sofa out in the Florida room last night to watch a Christmas Story and enjoy the Christmas tree. Ds was in the main living room playing his Xbox (I think he missed it while in TN for the week!). Dd left at 3pm to go to ‘lunch’ with her exboyfriend. Finally at 12:20am I called to see if she had any intention on coming home. She said yeah. Ahhh. I should start a new blog just for the eventful happenings with her. It’s sad, it breaks my heart, it makes me angry, it makes me cry, it’s frustrating. It’s all those emotion at one time caused by an 18 year old who suddenly thinks that life is so much better in the outside world away from her parents. And it infuriates me that she QUIT her job that was paying her good money. Infuriates me even more that she spends all her money on fast food, clothes & friends, yet can not pay any money towards the car insurance, or the repairs that were made last month, or the repair bill from her accident. So now, MOM is driving that car again. Maybe I will start that blog after all. For dinner, we will make bacon blue cheese burgers on the grill. We will also get out the turkey fryer & fry up some onions. Dh wants to do cheese sticks too but I’m not so sure I want to venture to the store again, especially on Christmas day! So if I can just keep my focus on happy things and not all the drama going on with my daughter, it should be a Merry Christmas. Otherwise, I will be swinging wildly through emotions. Not a good thing.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Review & Goals (financial)

It’s getting to be that time of year. The time of year where I look back on my finances and say, geesh, where did all the money go? I saved my receipts this year and put them into an envelope for each month. For kicks, I should go through them & just see what I’ve spent 40K on but then again, that would make me sad and depressed. We do not want a sad & depressed Jan. Trust me. I’m borderline already, no need to push me over the edge. Anyway. Last week, during some downtime at work (yeah, it’s slow), I did a little spreadsheet on Excel with my monthly expenses. I carried this around in my purse all weekend, and looked at it a few times. I’ve even made a few changes. I now have it attached to my Publix sale paper. Here’s how it reads (if I was a little more geeky like, I could post the spreadsheet RIGHT here, but I don’t know how to do that): 2009 Projection Income: $1043 x2 Income: $140.38 x 4 Bonus (average): $150 (certainly hope this improves in 2009 – the market MUST turn around) Total income: $2797.52 Fpl $350 Tmobile $125 At&t $20 (more likely $25?) Comcast $110 Food $600 (could be $280) Bugman $25 Car gas $100 Car ins $300 Water $125 Cap1 $100 (could be $420) Ae/gym $90 Blockbuser online $19 Best buy $50 Kids lunch $80 Total out: $2094.00 $703.52 remaining for savings. So, notice, I was very generous on my food ($600!) and I am going to try & bring that down to $280. Also, the FPL (electric) is probably way low on average. My bill in July, August & September is $500 and for November it was $310. So I don’t know. AT&T is more like $25. Cap1 & Best Buy are debt payments so I’m thinking if I can bring the grocery down to $280, that would give me $320 which I would be happy to add to the Cap1 payment, making that $420 a month. (Best buy is a no interest for 12 months, $500 and figured $50 a month will pay off in 10 months). Kids lunches. They both get $20 a week for either lunches, or what ever they choose to do. In return they (are suppose to) clean the house & help out where needed. Of course, if my princess continues on the path she’s on, well, that will be knocked in half. Another story for another day. And last but certainly not least, those bonuses. That $150 would be if we only did 2 closings a month (which has been the norm November & December). I would like to see that get up to 10 closing a month which would be $750. ALL of the bonus money is suppose to go into savings. My next step is to make my savings account difficult to withdraw from. As it is now, I can transfer money back & forth with a click of the mouse. Good, but no so good.

Can I do it?

Can I feed my family of 4 on $70.00? That really does not sound hard, does it? I mean, really. It’s me, dh (a big guy), an 18 year old girl & and 16 year old boy. Oh. And a cat. An expensive, exotic cat so they say. He comes in & out all day and night long. Annoying little creature but we love him to death! So back to what I was saying. Does NOT sound difficult or even much of a challenge, really. BUT when I look back on my past totals for monthly receipts, I spend anywhere from $700 to $1500 a month at the grocery store. A few months back (probably around October), I started getting back to the coupon mode, and if it wasn’t at least $1 off then I didn’t use the coupon. BUT then I got myself in the silly mode of over buying stuff. Geesh. Can’t win for losing it seems. If it was a good deal, I just could not pass it up. So thankfully, all my really really good coupons expire on 12/31/08 so that gives me 10 or so more days to really get geared up and stock up … . So just how do I plan to approach this? 1. Do a thorough inventory of both the freezers and pantries. I know I have plenty of stuff, just need to start using it up and not worry about keeping a year’s supply of stuff. 2. Menu plan. All 3 meals. As most of dh & I lunches are leftovers, that are planned, not a big deal. 3. Gather up my recipes when I do the menu plan. I used to be so very big on the menu plan, then kinda fell off the wayside (when I started going to the gym after work). 4. Make a list, check it twice and stick to it. Not on the list, don’t buy it! 5. Dedicate ONE day for shopping. That’s it. No more stopping in between. 6. Get creative. Start making things from scratch again. 7. Give away coupons that you know are going to cause you to spend more than budgeted. Don’t feel obligate to USE a coupon just because it’s a good value coupon. Share. Spread the wealth around as someone once said (still waiting on my bail out by the way!!) 8. Do not stock up UNLESS you are under budget. 9. Cash. Cash. Cash. Remove debit and A&E from wallet. Keep ALL change and bills in wallet til end of week. Anything leftover at end of trip, then you can stock up on meat or some other sale item. But only then. 10. Post weekly post on grocery trip & menu plan for week. Do I want to post a pic? No, just totals from receipts along with the items purchased. 11. Start to use up what I have in house … maybe build up a little extra grocery spending for Costco? NO. That kind of defeated everything I just typed above!! 12. Realize that the weekly spending may fluctuate and try to come up with a below $70 average. 13. Let the family know what’s going on & what it may mean for them. I know that somewhere I forgot a crucial step but I’m sure it will come up soon! So January 2nd, which falls on a Friday (next Friday!!) will be the beginning of this new, exciting adventure!! Does anyone else want to join me on this crazy ride? If so, send me an email & maybe we can set up a weekly review?

Weekend Shopping

*and as a note: I do not have a single Christmas present yet! Was going to try & get away with none, but now ds is like "mom, there isn't any presents under the tree yet??!!" ... hmmm. Did he forget what I told both him & his sister on their birthdays?? Walmart Neighborhood Market (Friday night) $54.xx. Honestly, was going for a few things & to compare prices on a few things. The 18 pk of beer was $10 (geesh, thought I was going to stop buying beer??!!), got 3 lbs of ground beef for $12, and a few other stellar deals, but still spent $54.xx!! Walmart Neighborhood Market (Saturday morning) $13.xx. Went back to get more ground beef as dh reminded me that we were doing blue cheese bacon burgers & the meat I purchased last night was for tacos (Sunday dinner & freezer stash). So bought 4 1/2 more lbs there ($3 lb), onions were 10 cents a lb (??!!) ... should have bought more but I only bought a few lbs. Publix (Saturday morning) $31.xx ... now this was the deal maker. Of course, I am over my self imposed budget for the week (what, I think I said $20???) not to mention my proposed new weekly budget of $70 (more on that later). BUT - My savings was $57.xx and I only paid $31.xx Woohoo!! So now, I really need to start making a plan on HOW I am going to make my $70 budget and stick to it ... keep an eye out for this one!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

So, let’s see, where was I at on the $ for the week again? Oh yeah, $2.xx left. Thankfully I found 2 gift cards. One had $1.30 left and the other had $5.80. Stopped at Publix on way home. 2 transactions. 1st – 6 cans of Progresso soup. Used $1.10 off coupons (again) .90 cents. I swear, I’m never going to be able to get these cards to $0. Still have 40 cents left on that one. 2nd – 3 cans Progresso soup, and 4 whack a can bread sticks. Used 3 $1.10 off on soup and 4 $1.00 off on bread (these were found on the soups!). Total $3.27. Crumb. $2.53 left on the card. I should have used the larger card for the whole thing. Was trying to zero out as much as I could. Oh well. Then this morning, stopped at the Publix downtown (off 6th & Andrews) to get the 2 bags of Fresh Express salads to toss in fridge for lunches here … B1G1F and I also have Publix coupons for $1 off each … I was THINKING $1.09 total. BUT the freakin bags are now $3.79 EACH. So, $3.79 minus $2 in coupons equals $1.79. Should have seen me digging for change. Have NOT done that in quite a while … a little embarrassing. Oh well. So, the bags of salad are not that great of a deal after all unless you buy the ones with the most weight (not the 5 ounce baby lettuce!). Crumb. So where am I for $$? I have no idea. Change. Small change, I might add. Pennies. Humiliating. I may have to bump up the grocery bill for the next week as there are some great sales and I have great coupons that expire at the end of the month! YIKES. Here I go again. Really need to get focused on what’s needed vs what’s wanted, huh?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It’s only Wednesday and I already have myself on a tight rope with cash for groceries! Monday - $2.45 spent @ Publix, 3 cans soup & 3 cans of whack a loaf of bread Tuesday - $1.10 spent @ bread store, one loaf. Even my bread outlet isn’t cheap anymore! Also - $13.98 spent @ GFS for 2 trays of mac & cheese. They were $6.99 each. Only needed the one for dd’s ROTC cookout today BUT they were on sale, $2 off. And they are so good. And I didn’t get any from Saturday nights party. So. I need to work a little more on whether or not I need to be buying something. I have $2.56 to last til Sunday which is when my new week starts. DH will be laughing himself silly by then. I am going to have to buy a half gallon of milk, or worse yet, get it from CVS using my ECB’s (dh hates the milk from there, don’t know why). I don’t know if I can do this!!! Yes I can. I can! I can!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Feds have lowered interest rates and PRIME is now 3 1/4% ... that means my current line of credit is 2 1/2%!!! Holy smoke!!!! My first mortgage is 5.75% fixed, my line of credit ($500K with a balance of $90K) is Prime minus 3/4. Woohoo!! Ok folks. IF you are in a higher interest mortgage, you MAY want to start looking at the possibility of refinancing. Some of you may have to pay money at closing but if it will lower your interest rate (or even lock in your interest rate) it may be well worth it for the rough financial ride we have ahead. It does not hurt to inquire. Start making your phone calls. If your current lender will not refinance, start looking around to other banks. JPMorgan, Chase, Countrywide, ING Bank, PFG, and so on (these are just ones that come off the top of my head). My theory in life has been if those you are loyal to are not loyal to you, find a new person who will be. I work in real estate law and deal with mortgages & all every day. I hear the sad sad stories of those who are losing their homes. I hear the sad stories from the lender that if you are currently making your mortgage payments, they can NOT rework your loan (after all, you are showing the ability to currently repay under the current terms). The housing bubble is not quite over yet. Not to mention all the other things on the downward spiral. Things will be tough, I bet until mid 2010 if not later. Anyways, this was not to be a doom & gloom post ... but rather a moment of rejoicing on my side!!

DS exciting adventure

So ds (the rockstar) flew out of here on Sunday morning (stayed with band member Saturday as he knew the party would go on late & no sleep) to Nashville, Tenneessee. I keep hoping maybe that will change their tune to country, but I know it won't. They are going for a week and going to www.darkhorserecording.com. You really should check this place out. It is soooo cool looking & the boys were so excited to be going. What an opportunity! So I haven't spoken to him yet, but we are texting back and forth (recording is intensive and time consuming). Said it was cold with lots of exclamation marks. Said it was rainy and muddy. Said the place is huge & so much stuff to do there. Then he text me and says its snowing!!! Woohoo for a south florida boy. We are totally jealous now. And now he's sending me text messages about who their fill in drummer is...it's so cool for him to expereince this! We are very very jealous, but much more proud of him & the others for working this hard. Ok, I really need to run & get ready for work. Everyone have a great day!

A self imposed spending limit a week before Christmas?

Yes, you read that right! Actually, because the kids got such big presents for the birthdays earlier this month, we had decided that we were NOT going to do a big Christmas, and I’ve warned them of such. Whether they believe me or not, well, that remains to be seen. Because we are paying our property taxes this month instead of last, we have really been focusing on saving this month. Would have/should have paid them in November, but the car needed $700 worth of repairs & the cat (the expensive, exotic one) needed $600 worth of doctor care. Grrr. So that’s that, over & done. I’ve decided that I will give myself $20 a week for the rest of this month (3 weeks) for groceries. Should NOT be too difficult so long as I don’t run out of the essential things, such as laundry soap, dish soap, coffee, cat food, etc. You know, the things that make my life so much easier . And yes, those 4 items appear to be low. I’ve told the cat he may have to hunt a little more for his meals. I have about $40 in ECBs from CVS that expire the end of this month. I also have a $10 gift card from Target. Sooooo….if it gets too close to my $20 … well, it’s nice to know I have about $50 in back up plans. This week, I’ve already spent $2.45 (much to the disbelief of cashier) for 3 cans of soup & 3 whack a can of bread sticks. I love steal deals. Progresso is $1.25 a can. Have a $1.10 off each (used 3). Then on the cans of soup, there was a $1.00 off any Pillsbury bread meal. Those were on sale for 3 for $5 so, $1.67 each. Total for each can of soup was 15 cents and total for whack a can was 67 cents. Woohoo. So $17.55 left in my hands to spend. Know I need bread, may go to the bread store around the corner from gym BEFORE class (they close at 6) and see if a loaf is cheaper than $1.19 …

Boat Parade Party

Was a huge success. I think the highlight of the evening for hubby was when my best friend called her marine copy and he docked and brought 4 other marine guys with him. They chowed down & enjoyed the company and then said it was time to go when they saw all the flashing blue lights go by (end of the parade). They said the fun officially started then, being sarcastic! But it was fun and different to see them. I can just imagine what they must have thought about all the trashed adults at 10pm. Yes, there was quite a bit of drinking involved that night. So much so that I think I may swear off ever ever doing another shot of anything. We had patron. We had Kettle One Citron. We had beer. I did not have any Jack or rum, thank you very much. Pulled sleeper sofa out for best friend. Other friend & her friend crashed in guest room. This was all around 3:30 or so am. The tv was on & dh said Sopranos was on. Really? Didn’t see that. Sunday was a totally wasted day. Friends left & didn’t even know it! Such a waste. Literally. In bed til 4:30pm. Then to couch til 7pm. Then back to bed. Managed to eat ½ cup soup & a little water. Finally around 6:30 ate some ice cream. That was good. Never. Ever. Again. Food was pretty much wiped out. No meatballs. No mac & cheese. Still have half ham (which I divided up & froze ¾ last night). No lasagna. Some chicken wings, bean dip, spinach dip, pica di gallo (whatever the heck it’s called), and a few other odds & ends. Oh. Baked beans. Lots of them (hubby thinks he feeds an army). But plenty of leftover mish mash to make it through the week, I’d say. See my next post on self imposed spending limit. So, all in all, I would say another boat parade success. I just think I was a horribly hostess in the end. Keep wondering if there is anyone I need to make apologies to. I’m sure not, but still, not a good feeling.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My morning Target Experience

The Boat Parade Party is in 3 days and I am NO WHERE near ready!! 2 boxes Wheat Thins & 1 box of Triscuits ($2 each and $1 off coupon, $3 total for all 3) 5 packages of elf keebler cookies. Buy 5 get $5 gift card. Had $1.00 off 1 pkg, used 5 coupons. $8.29 spent (hmmm, some of them were $2.99?) 4 6pks propel. $2.99 each. Used 75 cents manuf. coupon & 40 cent Target coupon, $7.36 total 2 Hidden Valley dressings, $2.59 each. Used 1.00 off 2 and Target 50 cents each $3.18 total 3 2ltr bottles of Sprite/coke. $1.25 each. Used the $3 off purchase (when you buy 3 Nabisco or Planter products), paid 75 cents for all 3 2 pkgs dixie plates. $2.85 & $2.79. Used a $1 off 2. Pd $4.64 for both (not a good deal at all) Total spent: $28.39. Total saved $27.70 Not to mention the $5 g/c that I will use on the next purchase of sodas, cookies & crackers. This time, I should only spend $10.40 or so. Minus the $5 and it will be $5.40. Now we are talking! The best deal above I would say is the crackers & soda. I saved $6 total on that ... 3 bottles of soda & 3 boxes of crackers. Paid $3.75 total. Not too shabby and all goes towards the party. I’m very bummed as I wanted the dixie penguin plates but they didn’t have any.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Coca-cola coupons

which are rare! Found these back in the soda aisle last night when I stopped to get dh some diet coke (he hasn't had any in quite a while) Across top (8x11 paper, landscape) in red back ground says "Enjoy $6 in savings!" Coca cola product (3 12 pks or multi pack bottles) save $1.00 Nestea 12 pck .5 ltr, save $1.00 Betty Cocker 2 pouch potatoes , save $1.00 Tyson Cornish Game hens, save $1.00 Tyson Appetizers, 1 bag or 2 boxes, save $1.00 Betty Crocker 2 Cookie Mixes, save $1.00 Now if we could just get soda below $4 a 12 pk. The bottles go on sale much cheaper as do the mini size cans and bottles. AND if the potatoes would go on sale B1G1F I'd be happy too!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Coupon Booklet

I’ve only seen this at ONE Publix in town: Cover has “Over $7 in valuable coupons inside” and then says same in Spanish. Shows husband & wife with young son & daughter and grandmother. “Celebrate Noche Buena” Right there I see its geared towards Latino demographics. Then says you can enter for a chance to wind a Caja China BBQ/Roasting Box (this is what you put the piggy in) Coupons: Fresh Express, save $1.00 on one bag (NOTE: this is a PUBLIX coupon) Clamato 32 oz or larger, save $1.00 (PUBLIC coupon) Kern’s Nectar B1G1F coupon, manufacturer Kozy Shack Flan Product, 50 cents off, manufacturer Kingsford 13.5 bag or larger, $1.00 off, manufacturer Morton Salt, 35 cents off 2, manufacturer Dixie Ultra Plates, save $1.00 off 2, manufacturer Splenda, save $1.00 off, manufacturer (does not state minimum size!) Glad OdorShield, save $1.00 off, manufacturer (does not state minimum size!) Not a ‘great’ booklet, but if I can get the Dixie plates to go B1G1F I’ll be sittin pretty! Not to mention the Splenda & garbage bags … the rest is just so so (although, I did use the salad coupons combined with the Publix $2 off produce, which expired Friday).

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Have you ever done something that is just out of your usual routine for some unknown reason? And then find out that there must have been some higher power that surely made you make that decision? This morning, I stopped at Target to get the 360 Arcade for ds birthday … dh was stopping there too and was pulling in as I was leaving. We chatted a few minutes before I drove off & he went to park. I left Target, and instead of turning right to go to the major intersection one block away, I chose to go straight and go another ½ mile before I get to the major road (Federal Highway). Within seconds of going through the intersection, dh is calling me. There was a major, major accident at that intersection. He was getting out of the car and heard the boom, boom, boom, boom, 5 or 6 times. That’s how many cars were involved. His first thought was ME being that I had just left. One car (teen girl he said, probably on way to school) was broadside, spun her around & hit several other cars. All because someone was running late & pushed a light that turned red (not the teen, she had the green light). I was like, wow, I would have been right in the middle of ALL of that in BIG truck. Wow. My day could have been so much different. Wow. It actually brings tears to my eyes when I think about this. I’ve already said a prayer of thanks to God and believe me, I acknowledge the fact that I do NOT do this often enough. This is the 4th accident this week that one of us has seen. We’ve been trying to tell dd that she needs to just park the car unless absolutely necessary as people are not paying attention lately & traffic is just out of control!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I managed to confuse a Publix cashier this morning I am actually still shaking my head about this, 8 hours later! I went into store #1 to return my stainless steel cleaner. Pointed out to the gal that I had a coupon for $2 off. She said it didn’t matter and gave me back $3.12. Hmmm. I only paid 99 cents for it. I really felt bad but she didn’t seem to care. On way out, noticed that they had new coupon booklets out! Woohoo! Grabbed one, opened it up & the first coupon was $1 off Fresh Express Salads. Grabbed about 8 and left. Store #2 is down the street from work. Thought about it on the way to work and decided to stop in for a quick check of coupons as this store has a great display. Grabbed one of the soon to expire (12/5) Thanksgiving Savings booklet since I saw the $2 off any produce when you buy 2 Fresh Express. $2 plus $2 equals $4!! Sure enough, Fresh Express on sale for $2.50 a bag (not a ‘great’ deal), comes to $1.50 each. Grab 2 bags. Grab some bananas. $2.50 plus $2.50 plus $2.17 equals $7.17. Had the cashier my 3 coupons. She ask “which one did you want to use?” I just looked at her and said all 3. Then she reads the Publix coupon very very carefully: “Save $2.00 on any produce item of your choice when you buy 2 Fresh Express Bagged Salads.” Looks at me with a blank look. Finally, took the coupons, laid one each on each item. $1 on salad. $1 on other salad and the $2 on the bananas. Told her that if they didn’t ring through, not to worry. Still got the blank look. Finally told her I could take it up to Customer Service desk since it was still early & not busy. Finally, she rang the coupons through. $3.17. She looks at me again, and said “I don’t think this is right”. Poor thing was so confused. So I took my receipt & tried to explain it to her. “But you almost got it for free. How is that?” I guess maybe she is still too young to get the concept??

Monday, December 1, 2008

Lazy Sunday ...

well, not totally a waste, but you know how it is for a winding down of a 4 day holiday weekend. Dh & dd got the Christmas lights up on the patio, long fence and the house. Amazing that there were no problems since we didn't get them up last year (dh had just had the major hand surgery). Looked at the blue rope lights and see that half of them don't work. Oh yeah, now we remembered the problem . So I said, hey, Publix has them on sale for $7.99 and I have a coupon for $1 off any 2 strands. So when we took ds to his band practice, we swung by Target first to check them out. Same price, and not a lot of selection. Walked over to Publix and decided to go with multicolor. Check out and they rang up as $6.74 EACH. Woohoo! Buy 4 strands, use 2 coupons for $1 off each. Get home, plug them in & they are so pretty. Dh likes the housing, connectors, etc. Wants to get more. How many coupons do I have? hmmm. ummm. 20? Yikes. I have that many booklets!!!!??? Whoa. so...that's what I was cutting out during the 60 minutes, and also cut out the $1 off any holiday candle as those are on sale too right now. We also watched (earlier in the day) Santa Clause 2. Didn't get the beginning but watched 75% of it. Need to get the movie from blockbuster. Speaking of blockbuster ... we've had the same 2 movies for a month now. Ds & dd keep bothering me about changing them out. I wanted to watch the movies though. Finally made dh sit & watch: What Happens In Vegas. Cute. Funny. Actually, I really enjoyed it. Needed something like that :)

Andy Rooney - 60 Minutes

I don't normally watch 60 Minutes but hubby was flipping through the channels and I was sitting on the floor cutting my Publix coupons ... Michael Phelps was on with Anderson Cooper so I was watching ... and then Andy Rooney came on with his commentary. First I watched cuz damn, he's older than dirt! Then I watched cuz what he was saying actually had my attention! Andy Knows How To Save Andy Rooney Shares His Favorite Ways To Save Money CBS) The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney. Everyone's talking about how bad our economy is. It's in the headlines every day, so I guess it is true. I don't know though. CBS is paying me the same as they paid me last year and I don't really understand anything as big and vague as what they call "the economy". I do know I have to be careful though, so I'm trying to save in little ways. For instance, I make my own coffee in the office every morning. I do it because downstairs, in the CBS cafeteria, one cup of coffee costs $1.50. This morning on my way to work I bought gas. I got eight gallons of regular 87 octane and eight gallons of premium 91 octane and it cost me a total of $36.80. If I'd bought 16 gallons of 89 octane it would have cost me $38.40, so by mixing the regular with the premium, I saved $1.60 and got 89 octane gas. My car doesn't seem to know the difference. I go to every New York Giants home game, which are, ironically, played in New Jersey. I take the bus from New York because if I drive it costs me $8 to go through the Lincoln Tunnel and $20 to park my car at the stadium. The bus tickets cost $2.20 each way. The game ticket costs $80 including tax. Don't ask me why I don't just watch the game home on television. At home I don't even have to pay $4 for a Coke. I take my shirts to the laundry. I used to wear them once, then I started wearing my shirts for two days. Now sometimes I wear them three times before I have them washed. You may have noticed. There's a shoeshine parlor downstairs at CBS but I don't have my shoes shined there because it costs $3.00. I bought a brush and some polish and I do my own. And it's very satisfying. When I go to a good restaurant here in New York for dinner I often slip a roll in my pocket for breakfast the next morning. Taking a roll at a restaurant, that's not stealing, is it? There's no doubt about it though. We're using up all the good things on Earth and if we don't start saving more, we're going to run out of everything.