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FYI-Amy's Pizza @ ALDI

January 26th, 2010 at 03:48 am

Imagine my surprise when I came across Amy's Pizzas at ALDI's.......for $4.49 each!

Don't know what they cost in your neck of the woods but around here they're $7-$9. So I bought 10.

Aldi's is also carrying Amy's vegetarian lasagna and enchiladas for $2.99 a box. Again, far cheaper than the larger chains in the area.

The Story of Stuff dot com

December 27th, 2008 at 02:25 am

Just came across this fabulous piece and wanted to share with you all. Merry Christmas.

Text is www.thestoryofstuff.com/ and Link is
www.thestoryofstuff.com/

I'd Like to Thank You all..........

September 17th, 2008 at 01:54 pm

A friend, who has been in financial straits for the last 3 years, called to borrow some money. While he's borrowed money from other mutual friends he's never asked me until now. Said he needed it to take the dog to the vet and that he'll pay me back, blah, blah.....

My initial reaction was, "yeah right". Luckily I kept this to myself. What quickly followed (and to my own surprise) was: "Let me mail you a check and consider this a gift".

Did you all get that? A GIFT! Not until I became a member of this site had I ever considered gifting money to someone who needed it! Not that I don't donate to various charities but you never actually get to see your dollars accomplish anything. By gifting this money I don't have to stew over when and how I'll be paid back because it doesn't matter anymore! Plus it's helping the pooch.

So, thank you ALL for helping to change a mindset and enlightening me. I gotta tell you I feel great about this!


"Where do you keep YOUR money?"

August 31st, 2007 at 09:03 pm

It was a question asked in the regular forum that got me thinking. The question was "where do you keep your money?"

My answer was 2 checking accounts and 2 MM accounts. One of those MM accounts had $25k and change. It wasn't until I saw the numbers in print that it hit me how much that really was. Not that the yield was bad but come on! I was dipping into that account to pay off bigger credit card balances. Funny how one's mind can trick oneself into thinking you've got piles of the stuff and can therefore spend willy nilly. (And I'm a REAL tightwad!)

As fate would have it, a day or so after I posted my answer some dear on fatwallet dot com posted an unbelievable 90 day CD deal (10%) offered by a local bank chain. It was just the thing to get me off my duff (and into the city) to open the account. Luckily, I called the first bank to see if they would match the rate (they couldn't) but was told I'd be losing $90 in interest if I closed out the MM account before the 25th of the month. Problem was the CD offer could be taken off the table any day. Why lose money, right? So on the advice of a wonderfully helpful gal I transferred over the $25k last week and left just a little in the account to get that $90 before closing it out today and not incurring a fee for falling below the average daily balance.

Now what I'm going to do about paying off the upcoming credit card bill is going to be a different matter.



Cheap paper towels

June 6th, 2007 at 08:59 pm

I hate (detest, really) having to pay high prices for anything but especially for paper products. Luckily this week CVS is having a Proctor & Gamble promotion where you get $5 in extra care bucks if you spend $20. Bounty 8 count bundles are included in the promo so this is what I did to get the cost down:

Bought:

(5) Bounty bundles - $5.99 ea.
(1) Dawn dish detergent - $0.88

Total...................$30.83


Coupons used:

(5) 25 cents off any Bounty
(1) 25 cents off Dawn
$4 off $20 CVS internet coupon (expired)
$5 off $30 CVS internet coupon
$3 off $15 CVS coupon from May07 Ladies Home Journal magazine
$5 Extra Care Bucks from a prior CVS promo

Total after all coupons was $12.33 and I received another $5 extra care bucks to use at a future date at CVS.

It's my understanding that my CVS will accept their own expired Q's if they are less than 2 weeks beyond the expiry date. However YMMV.







Got my money, but......

May 29th, 2007 at 06:55 pm

as I feared, it was a short pay.

To those just tuning in, this is a continuation of the previous blog entry where I loaned money and was now in the uncomfortable position of having to shake down the borrower.

Here's what happened: friend showed up and handed me a check written from her own checkbook that was short. When I brought this up, she said her daughter had given her the full amount in cash but she (the friend) needed to pay something so that's why I got a short paid check. My next comment was, "what am I, a piece of garbage?" She said no, but she needed the money to pay for something. I guess I was supposed to be understanding.

Unbelievable! The freakin' nerve.

Later that night I notice she paid for her portion of the restaurant tab in cash. This is highly unusual since she ALWAYS pays with her debit card. So it was pin money she needed and it was mine!

Still worried that the check may bounce, this morning I went to one of the branches of bank it would be drawn from and made sure it was fine. Thank God it was. Then I high-tailed it to my bank and deposited it right away.

I was going to be really generous about letting her take her time to pay me back her portion seeing she has a greater burden to bear than either of her daughters, but I know she's got a tax refund coming along with working as many OT hours as possible. She's planning on buying windows for her home with the tax refund so it's fairly sizable. Given her devil may care attitude towards my generosity it's time I lean on her for what's mine, wouldn't you say?



Yes, yes, yes, I know better than to...........

May 24th, 2007 at 09:45 pm

.......lend money to what is apparently a loser!

For some backround: Took a trip to FL last month with friend and her 2 daughters (19 and 18). Had to put the airfare on my credit card since none of them have one. The friends brother has a home down there so lodging was free for all of us. The deal was that friend would pay me for her ticket while one of the daughters would pay for both girls tickets. Mind you this daughter (19)works full time, lives at home, has no mortgage, rent, utilities, car insurance, or car payments! I never heard from her and finally asked my friend what is the deal with S? Am I ever going to see a check, cash, anything? After still not hearing from her I decide to call her up and get her story. She says the usual - I have it, not to worry, I'll be busy working all week. So I say great, drop it off on your way to work this week.

All week I never received a call. So I call her up today (using a different phone so she doesn't recognize the number). This time I hear fear in her voice, like she was caught. So she gives me the usual I'm running off to work, I'm late. Great! I say. Just drop it off on your way. Can't, she says. Running late, taking the expressway, yada, yada. She goes on to say that she'll give it to her mom since a bunch of us meet every Friday night for dinner and drinks. So I ask her if her mother is working Friday night(tomorrow). She says she doesn't know so I say ask her (I could hear my friend talking in the backround so I knew she was around). I hear friend confirm that no, she is not on the schedule Friday night. Great! I say. Give it to your mom to give to me. Then, just for good measure, I ask to speak to her mom. She gets on the phone and we chat for a bit. Before I let her go I CONFIRM that her daughter will give her the money and I will get it from her tomorrow night. Friend was pleasant but changed the subject much, much, too quickly.

Now, I've been patient, diplomatic, generous in every way possible. But, once my chain is yanked I have a REAL SHORT fuse. Right now I'm running all kinds of scenarios in my head as to what can happen: short pay, no pay, friend doesn't show up cause she had to work after all or decided to go elsewhere for dinner (which she kind of slipped in as a possibility).

I've got to keep my cool so how would any of you handle this? Really, I can't imagine having to ask for my own money back! Don't people have any self-respect?

More about Menards

September 30th, 2006 at 07:21 pm

My previous blog entry had me raving about the terrific free after rebate deals at Menards. This entry is about how easy it is to get even more out of these deals.

First off you will need to get the Menards credit card. It's called the BIG CARD. Why get their card? Two reasons - first, they send you a scratch off certificate (usually worth $2 but it can be more) and second, you will get a certificate worth 2% of your purchases somewhere down the road. I just got my certificate enclosed in my cc statement for $10! Oh, I forgot - with each credit card statement are 2 pages of Menards coupons just for their Big Card customers! There is usually a FREE item amoungst those as well!

The FAR items are free BUT the rebate checks that are sent out are to be used against additional purchases at Menards. In other words, you can't cash these checks at your local bank. Menards wants your business and your money and they've come up with an ingenious way to get both. Doesn't matter. I'll show you why in a bit.

Menards has even made tracking rebates easy. They've set up a site www.rebateinternational.com where you can see if your rebate is pending or whether the check was issued. This site lists all your rebates for the past year. Wonderful.

If you're thinking this is too good to be true, well, you're right. Menards does have quantity limits and if you're doing the FAR deals they want you to buy an additional $10 worth of non-rebateable items. So, what do I buy for $10 of non-rebateable items? A Menards $10 gift card! Takes care of everything.

Let's say that you're hooked and on board for all these deals and are swimming in rebate checks, Menards gift cards and Menards reward certificates. Too many to juggle and keep straight. What do you do then? Since I'm somewhat ADD here's what I did - added all the dollar values up, which came to just under $100, went to Menards and grabbed (2) $50 gift cards and bought those cards using the rebate checks, reward certificate and smaller value gift cards plus a couple of bucks out of my pocket!

What am I going to do with my $50 GCs? The most obvious thing would be to keep rolling this sum into FAR deals but then I'd be missing out on the 2% from charging the purchases on the store card. So I'm thinking of offering them as a trade for other store GC's. I understand there is a website for doing just this. Gotta find it.

Menards is the hardware store equivalent to Walgreens health and beauty rebates. Love it!

Menards beats Yardsaling!

September 18th, 2006 at 11:41 pm

A friend and I went yardsaling yesterday. It seems that her town sponsers a town-wide yardsale weekend. Any resident who wants can just set up out on their lawns and folks can walk around buying stuff. Great idea.

She reaches into a box of used socks and says, "oooh, I need socks", and is ready to pay 25 cents each for these skimpy tattered things when I practically jumped all over her and barked "Don't buy those! I can get you new socks for free!" Well then she wanted to know how. (Menards rebates) Of course, she put the used socks back.

As we continue yardsaling she mentions how this year she wants to be prepared for the cold and is looking for window film for her windows and how she hopes someone is selling the kits. Knowing my rebate items like the back of my hand I let her know those are free as well at Menards.

I'm no snob. I don't look down on anyone who goes yardsaling, flea marketing, tag saling, etc. But when there's a retailer like Menards that gives the stuff away I hate to see people spend their money needlessly. Luckily, she and I think alike so she wasn't upset with me.

Other things Menards has for free after rebate are:

Tarps
Sparkle Window Cleaner
Paint brushes
Socks
Window film


Past FAR items:

Gumout cleaners
Set of knives
Plastic step stool
14 ct Tulip bulbs (can't wait till Spring!)

Menards has me hooked!



Procrastinated For Too Long

September 18th, 2006 at 11:11 pm

I'm pretty savvy when it comes to hunting down great certificate of deposit deals. Really, I'm tough to beat. It's just that when they end I can be lazy about closing accounts and moving the money again and again. Of course, in the end, this winds up costing me by not maximizing what I have.

For the longest time now I have had a good chunk of money sitting in a bank at 1% interest! Orginally, the promo was 5% for 5 months. Looks like I fell into the trap that most banks hope depositors like me might fall into. PROCRASTINATION.

Well, funny how people can think alike. In yesterday's paper I spy a bank ad touting a 5% money market account and save the page as a reminder for me to do something about this situation. Then this morning my brother calls me and says, "Hey, don't you have some $$$$ sitting in a account for next to nothing? My bank has a 5% money market. It's in the neighborhood so why don't you go over there?"

So now I really have NO EXCUSE when there are 2 banks to choose from.

It's like the forces of the universe are prodding me along a financial path!

Too Many Rebates!!!!

September 7th, 2006 at 09:34 pm

I am overwhelmed by all the rebates lately. Post cereal rebate, Kellogs products rebate, Ace Labor day rebates, the Menards merry go round of rebates! Linens n Things rebates, Resolve and Spray n Wash try me free rebates!

Heck, I've got so many out there I can't keep them straight! I don't know what's coming or going anymore. To make matters worse, I've been doing multiple rebates! That's what happens when you can use more than one address.

How do you keep your rebates from overwhelming you?

Organic Valley Powdered Milk

August 15th, 2006 at 06:47 pm

One of my goals for 2006 was to incorporate as many organic products in my diet as I could without going broke. I've got the organic coffee down and I'm doing OK on the produce, but the milk and eggs looked like they were going to be the killers.

Then I had a bright idea! Why not call OV and ask if they have powdered milk? After all, they are based in Wisconsin, the dairy state. So that's what I did and here's what I found out:

1) They sell 12 oz. packets. Each packet makes 1 gallon of milk. The packets are sold at Whole Foods and maybe other health food stores or you can buy them from OV for a case of (12) 12 oz. packets @ $60. Final cost=$5/gallon. Can't remember if shipping was included in the case price. Sorry.

2) They sell 25 lb bags for $118 + $40 shipping (to the lower 48 and Hawaii). According to my calculations you will get 33.33 gallons from this bag. Final cost=$4.74/gallon. I included the shipping to come up with the final cost of the milk.

3) They sell 50 lb bags for $165 + $40 shipping. According to my calculations you will get 66.66 gallons from this. Final cost=$3.07/gallon. Again, I included the shipping charge to come up with the final cost.

You can only buy the 25 lb and 50 lb bags from OV directly. I already tried to go through 2 rather large health food stores in my area and both told me their distributors can't get these items. I wasn't going to try Whole Foods so today I called and ordered the 50 lb bag.

Given the increasing cost of gas and my not wanting to run around to the grocery stores any more than I absolutely have to this seems like it's going to work out better. And it's organic!

If anyone else is interested in buying bulk like this you can call Organic Valley @ 888-444-6455 9am-4pm CST.

PS: Don't forget to ask for their coupons while you're at it.

Long Distance - Revisited

August 7th, 2006 at 05:05 pm

I had to look over when I last posted about my long distance plan beef. March. So, since March this has been on my mind.

I'll save you all the the trouble of looking over my previous blog - used to pay about $15/mnth for LD plans. Got it down to $7.40/mnth. Basically, this is what it was costing to NOT make any LD calls!

OK, I have a AT&T credit card for a little over 10 years now. Would you believe that one of the perks for this card was 30 minutes of LD FREE per month! Not only that, 2 FREE directory assistance calls per month! I had completely forgotten that it also served as a calling card. What a fool I've been to have literally thrown away money for nothing! Kudos to AT&T credit for putting this little tidbit on their credit card statement.

Today I called and cancelled all LD service. YAY!