Friday, September 28, 2012

The Quest for the Perfect Shoes

So, my baby brother is getting married next weekend. I'm a bridesmaid in the wedding and I'm super excited about it. My sister-in-law-to-be is completely fabulous and let us pick out our own dresses (she picked the designer and the colors, we could pick any style we wanted). So, that part is terrific.
One hitch though -- the color is hard to work with when it comes to shoes. Really hard to work with. Not quite gold, not quite bronze. Kind of in between.

Last Sunday I set out on a mission, to find the perfect shoes. Eight stores later, no luck whatsoever. Today, after work I went to the mall --- and hit up every place there that sells shoes (well, except the ones that sell athletic shoes because I'm not walking down that aisle in Nikes!). And again... no luck at all.

So tomorrow I shall set out on an all day quest! I AM GOING TO FIND THE PERFECT SHOES. And they are not going to cost $175. That, I can promise!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Party Pass

Last night I went to a Thirty One party. Tons of Uh-Dor-Able bags at quite the pricey amount! I went there with the full intention of not buying a darn thing. I let my hostess know that up front. I was going to see a few friends I hadn't seen in months and the fabulous hostess and that was pretty much it. (And to snarf up some really good eats because the hostess is an incredible cook --- I told her that up front too, because certain friends, you can just do that with!)

Anyway, I must say I was tempted! Very tempted. I did almost fill a slot on my Christmas List, but once the monogramming, tax and shipping was added, the item would have been almost double the cost and totally out of the budget I had planned for that particular gift! So, I passed on that one. Then there were a couple of cute things I was very interested in personally, but those were "hostess only" items. Featured in about 3 places in the catalog, but since I wasn't a hostess, I couldn't purchase those. That kind of made me go "eh" about the rest of the stuff.

I was completely happy to go to the party, completely happy to see my friends and catch up some with my hostess with the mostess, and in the end, completely happy to have not bought a darn thing!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Saving with an OOPS!

This was a good week at Publix --- at least for some stockup stuff. I don't normally buy a lot of frozen dinners, however, I'm having surgery in a few weeks, and though I'm told I'll be good to go within a week, I'm still not sure how much of that good to go will actually involve wanting to cook, so I stocked some backups! My "oops" was that I forgot to give the cashier my coupon for the Aussie hairspray ---- I had $3 off 2 and manage to leave it in the envelope. I will take the coupon receipt and hairspray back to the store when I'm over there sometime this weekend to get it worked out.

Anyway..... this is how I did....

5 Progresso Recipe Starter
4 Chef Boyardee Canned Pastas (this goes in the Princess stockpile)
2 International Delight Coffee Creamer
3 Boxes Kleenex
2 Quaker Oatmeal
6 Stouffer's Indvidual Entrees
2 Herbal Essences Shampoos
1 Mrs. Pauls Fish
2 Aussie Hairspray
1 Boston Butt Roast
1 Gallon Publix Milk (completely free!!!)

Spent: $ 46.03
Saved: $40.89 or 47%

If I hadn't had the OOPS! I would have spent $43.03, saved $43.89 for an almost even 50% savings!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I Love Free Stuff

A few years ago, I used to hit up every free sample I saw on the internet. If it said FREE I was all about it! And what did I end up with? A bunch of sample size stuff I'd never really use. There really wasn't a point in it. I mean I did use some of the stuff --- the sample size cold medicines and pain relievers went in my "travel bag" as a justincase when I was traveling a lot for work. But for the most part, I ended up with little packets of products I wasn't going to use. And no place to put them.

So, I quit signing up for samples. Who needed the extra crap, right? And I went along like that for a while...... but then I realized something. Getting the mail each day was pretty depressing. Most everything that came in the mail was either total junk mail.... or it was mail that said I owed money! Yuck. So, while browsing a few blogs, I came upon a "freebie roundup" -- wherein the blog owner had posted links to the week's best freebies (and JEEZ I wish I could remember whose blog it was cause I'd sure like to give credit!). The one for Finish diswashing detergent caught my eye. I don't really NEED dishwasher detergent as I'm really well stocked because a bogo with coupons quite a while back had me picking up boxes for .50 each so I bought a bunch. However, I had a place to put the sample, it was something that would get used for sure... AND it doesn't go bad (unless your pup decides to try and open a box, but that's a whole different story....). So I signed up for it.

And lo, and behold, after a less than stellar day today, I got the mail from the box. And in with the bills and other junk, was my sample for Finish dishwasher detergent (the fancier kind!). I know it sounds silly as hell, but it just made me kind of happy.

So, I think I'm back on the freebie bandwagon --- except that I'm going to be more selective and make sure the freebies are for the products I want to try or know i will actually use!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Putting the Pedal to the Metal

So, I'm driving home from work yesterday and I get a phone call from the Princess that starts off with, "Okay, Mom, you are going to scream and yell at me, and I totally deserve it."  Oh, hell, conversations that start like that are NEVER good. So, she goes on to say that she just got her first speeding ticket. WTH!?!?!?!!? My first question was, "HOW FAST WERE YOU GOING?". I could tell she didn't want to answer that one.... but she squeaked out "Um, 83 in a 70." WHAT? (insert deep breaths here).

So, she goes on to say that she thinks the cost for it needs to come out of her savings. I'm in total agreement with that because I am NOT paying for her lead foot. I also go on to tell her that any spike in insurance costs are coming out of her savings because it is NOT in my budget to pay for her being irresponsible. She griped a bit, not at me, but more like, "crap, I didn't think about that" and agrees.

I have to say that I was really surprised about the ticket, as the Princess has been a VERY responsible driver for the past 2+ years. She's made countless road trips because her Dad lives four hours away and this is the first ticket or anything else she's gotten.

I do think that after spending a month driving with a faulty catalytic converter, she'd gotten used to hitting the gas pretty heavy to get up any speed and probably just didn't realize how fast she was going. However, she HAS to pay attention to all aspects of being on the road. This is going to be a hard and expensive lesson, but hopefully one she will pay attention to.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Amazon Update

Back in August, I told y'all about my Amazon Gift Cards being stolen. I was beside myself with upset because not only was I "out" my $50 gift card, I felt the very real obligation to replace the Princess's card to since it was my stupidity that got the cards stolen in the first place.

The friend who had gifted them, Singer Girl, had talked to Amazon until she was positively blue in the face. I'd talked to them, I'd emailed them. But basically, other than that first person I talked to who seemed sympathetic, the answer was basically too bad, so sad. We had pretty much given up. I was chalking it up to a VERY expensive lesson learned.

And then something happened.... I was posting a Swagbucks redemption to my account on Sunday and lo, and behold, there was a $50 gift card applied gift card to my account. OMG! They'd given me back $50 of it. I absolutely could NOT believe it. Granted, it wasn't the full $100, but hey, it was better than the big fat goose egg I'd thought I was getting back. A Happy Day, indeed.

Then, a couple of days later, I noticed a missed call and voice mail on my cell phone. I listened to the message and lo and behold, it was the first person I'd talked to at Amazon (the one who was sympathetic to the issue).... she was telling me that the gift cards had been credited back. I immediately checked my account --- and WOW! Now there were TWO $50 credits! Another HAPPY DAY!

I'm not sure how it all came to be, I'm just thankful. Thankful that even in big corporations there are people who listen, understand and will go the extra mile to right a wrong. And thankful that I finally "caught a break" as this has been one month with one financial hit after another. So, I'm going to enjoy it (and be really glad I don't owe the Princess $50!)!!!!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

No Grocery Shopping for Me This Week

I generally love Publix shopping on Wednesdays. I ADORE the penny item, and when I saw that yesterday's penny item was Publix coffee, I was like "woo hoo!"!!!! A penny for one of my FAVORITE things on the planet? I'll take that! The catch is that you have to purchase $10 worth of other stuff, which is generally no problem, I just do a stock up on the rock bottom deals of the week and go on my merry way.

But then I started looking at the ad...... and it was a terrible ad week for anything I might possibly need to purchase. The deals were "meh" at best. I looked through that ad at least 4 times trying to find something that I felt was a good enough deal to make the trip and actually purchase. Even for almost free coffee.

I guess I could have just paid full price for some items I might need, but that seemed silly and wasteful. A deal isn't a deal if you wouldn't be buying it anyway!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Shopping In My Own House

I have a confession to make..... for a brief, but fun, time last year, I was a Pampered Chef Independent Consultant. I enjoyed doing it at first, but then it became too much work for too little profit and I was in serioud danger of becoming my own best customer! One thing I did do was make sure that some of the stuff I bought with my discounts and free items would translate well to gifts in the future.

So, I have some gift giving events coming up: my niece's birthday, my brother's wedding and Christmas. Sunday afternoon, I decided to reorganize and inventory the closet where I keep my show samples and the other stuff I'd purchased. Out of that stuff, I came up with both birthday and Christmas presents for my niece and a truly fabulous gift for my brother's wedding.

That takes a pretty good weight off of my shoulders --- several gifts that don't have to come out of my current strained-to-the-point-of-breaking-budget! And it has motivated me! I sincerely need to get my act together and see if I can put together some other fabulous gifts AND see if I can maybe actually put my inner crafty girl to work and make some stuff this year. I always SAY I will, but it never seems to happen! We will see!!!!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Avoiding the Towing (Phew!)

This past weekend, the Princess and her Roomie went to Tuscaloosa to visit friends there. I knew it in advance and was perfectly fine with it. Around 9 a.m., Saturday morning I got a frantic phone call from the Princess. It seems she had gotten a phone call from the police department at her school telling her that her car was going to be towed if she didn't move it right away because it was in a "Game Day" lot. The Princess was very upset because she'd parked her car in one of the "assigned" lots LAST Monday and hadn't moved it. The PD said they'd put up signs about game day parking during the week in that lot. Well, great, but she hadn't been back to her car since then. They also said it was in the pamphlet we were given when we registered the car on campus. And that an email had been sent out. Sheesh. We had a big problem because the Princess was 3 hours away from campus and I was 2 1/2!!!!

So, I had the Princess check her email while I dug out the pamphlet. I read the entire pamphlet and had made the Princess read it too when we had resigistered the card because "I'm not paying for parking tickets for you to be lazy!". So, I re-read the pamphlet. Not a single WORD about Game Day Parking in it or about students having to move their cars from their regularly assigned parking. I had the Princess forward me the email and I called down to the school PD to speak to the Chief.

I argued the point with him (very nicely, I might add) that the requirement to move the cars for Game Day is NOWHERE in the Parking Regulations. Nor was it in the email that was sent out. And if signs were posted in the lot AFTER Labor Day, well they were useless if the student didn't go back to her car the entire week. Finally, he relented and said he would NOT tow her car unless that lot completely filled because alumni had paid for that parking on game day. It was the best I could hope for I guess. He warned that next weekend would be a huge game and there would be no compromise. I assured him that this would NOT be an issue again.

The Princess returned to campus yesterday and her car was where she left it. She has instructions from me to go by the PD and speak to the Chief and thank him for not towing her car, assure him that it won't be an issue again and to make sure she is crystal clear about where her car can be on future Game Days.

Phew! Saved ourselves $50 in towing fees from the University and no telling how much in impound fees just for arguing the point that students (especially freshman students) can't know something if they aren't properly informed. Dodged a big financial bullet on that one!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Still Saving At Publix

Grocery Shopping for one is an odd thing. I can "make do" with less than is usually necessary when the Princess is home (for one thing, I'm not nearly as picky of an eater!). Anyway, when the Princess was home last weekend, I had to make a grocery run for stuff for her to take back. I'm paying for a meal plan that is actually 7 times my monthly grocery budget (for 2 people) and it only covers 4 months! However, we learned through when Isaac came through --- she's not going to walk all the way across campus to the dining hall when its raining cats and dogs!  Not to mention, she's the breakfast bar type at the most important meal of the day. Anyway, at last night's Publix trip, I picked up a few things for me and some stuff to put in the Princess's car next time she's home.

Here's what I got:

3 Yakisoba Noodles (these were a money maker, BOGO for .50, then I had 3 .50 coupons that doubled!)
2 Mrs. T's Pierogies
3 Hamburger Helpers
1 Smart Balance Milk
1 Helluva Good French Onion Dip
1 Kraft Frest Taste
2 Special K Pastry Crisps
1 Special K Bar
1 Bailey's Coffee Creamer
1 Publix Bread (Penny Item!)

Spent: $20.52
Saved: $23.31 or 53%

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Running On Empty

One of these days, my sleep schedule has GOT to get back on track. This waking up at 4 a.m. and not being able to go back to sleep is just hideous. I know that my financial worries are contributing to a lot of the problems.

The Princess had a wonderful weekend home. It was so good to have her here, even though she spent a lot of time out and about with her friends, we still managed two home cooked meals together. It was nice getting up in the mornings and knowing she was safe and sound in her own bed. So much so that I didn't even mind the huge pile of laundry she brought home for me to do (well, I didn't mind it MUCH - ha!).

But with the Princess coming home, the expenses for the weekend definitely went up.... there was the $1300+ car repair, the gas for her to get home and back. Extra food expenses, plus sending her off again well stocked with snacks and drinks for the dorm room.

Then yesterday, I had to go for a fitting/alterations for the bridesmaid dress I will wear in my brother's wedding. The good news is that the dress had to be taken IN not out... which I would have been happy had that not had to be changed at all. I also had to have the dress hemmed about 8 inches! It sucks being super short! AND I still have to get shoes and the oh, so necessary Spanx. I'm just thrilled.

The lack of sleep and some other "trying to figure out what it is" medical issues have my energy levels currently as low as my bank account. I wish there was a magic recharge for both!