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Friday, February 26, 2010

Birthday Treat!


Check out this web address to get a coupon for a free birthday dessert from Jack in the Box! (Yes, you have to have proof that it is your real birthday!)

http://www.jackinthebox.com/coupon/happy-birthday-2-U.php

Happy Birthday to you...Happy Birthday to you...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Vote for Baxter!

"Baxter"
Vote

Reminder to love yourself!


I saw another article in the February issue of "Redbook" (yes, I am expanding my periodical reading list for your benefit!) that provides a simple way to make sure y ou take time for yourself! Using "post-its" in your favorite color(s), jot down things you want to do (vs. need or have to do!) or affirmations such as:

"Listen to my favorite song on iPod"

"Read a chapter (or more) from that novel I keep putting down"

"Eat a scoop of my favorite ice cream"

"Take a bubble bath"

"Schedule a massage or spa treatment"

Place them around your home (or office space) and treat them as you would a regular task...make yourself be good to yourself!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Just a reminder ...free IHOP pancakes tomorrow!


Don't forget to visit your local IHOP (International House of Pancakes) restaurant on Tuesday, Feb.23rd (that's tomorrow folks!). They are celebrating National Pancake Day and everyone gets a short stack of pancakes for FREE!!!! In exchange, they are asking customers to donate to Children's Miracle Nework or other local charities. What a tasteful way to give to others!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

All is Fair! (yes, pun is intended)


Here in Phoenix, we have the good fortune to have an amazing Rennaissance Festival move into town every February/March. This is, however, far from an inexpensive outing especially if you are taking several people along. I check out our local Fry's Marketplace for ticket discounts. We take our own water and snacks (buried in my purse naturally) and then relax and enjoy the entertainment!

Don't forget to check your local supermarkets for similar deals on events, fairs, etc...Safeway even offers Disneyland discounts!

Eat, drink and be merry...Huzzah!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Designing women?


Aha! I posted too soon about those coffee stencils (see yesterday's post!)...While the selection is nice on coffeestencil.com, EACH stencil design costs $10. That didn't strike me as unreasonable, but then it later occurred to me that I hadn't followed my own "penny pincher" rules and done cost comparisons!

Sure enough, if you go Google "coffee stencils" you will find a huge selection (especially for sale on Amazon) and prices range from $1.95 for a single stencil to $19.65 for a set of four that are stainless steel and offer a little variety! The concept is cute, but shop around! Ironically, I bet we could even make these cheaper (watch out Martha Stewart!)...

Cheers!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Love is in the air (and is just your cup of tea...)!


Alas, I let Valentine's Day slip by without any appropriate (ok, without any) post! So happy belated Valentine's Day and here's my sweetheart of a deal for you and yours courtesy of "Redbook" magazine (Feb 2010 issue): Check out coffeestencil.com to select from over 200 handmade stencils or create your own to use to leave a message in coffee, tea or hot chocolate by using it to "write" a message in cinnamon or cocoa powder...what a sweet surprise!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spring into Action (for decor, not spring cleaning)


A few ideas from a number of resources (yeah, ok, women's magazines, but they always have some cool ideas even if you loathe admitting it!):

* Use a modern lamp to add a "kick" to an otherwise very traditional room.

* Place candles of various sizes in a non-working/non-used fireplace to create a focal point (hmmm...maybe more appropriate in winter?)

* Make a low ceiling seem higher by painting it a "cooler" color (i.e. dove grey?)

* Save money on drapes and buy stylish shower curtains - there are lots of pretty and inexpensive options (ok...not clear with fish and seashells on them...!)

Other ideas, please?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Energy Price-Busters!


The Arizona Republic's 2/3/10 issue provided SRP's (Salt River Project)energy analysis to show average kilowatt hours home appliances use and how to save money with some simple "fixes":

Appliance/Cost to Operate*/"Fix:

Refrigerator/$35/Vacuum coils behind the refrigerator

TV/DVD player/cable box/$51/Connect to power strip and shut off when not using

Computer/router/modem/printer/$49/Shut down computer and monitor when not using

Coffeemaker/$7.23/Unplug when not in use

* Estimate for 1 year based on home test...

Hey, every little bit helps!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The greater good...


Check out CreateTheGood.org (or www.iparticipate.org)...The Entertainment Industry Foundation is helping us find ways to help others!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dare to Compare


It won't be long until we start thinking about summer and potential vacation getaways!
OK...so with the economy (and yours truly still job-hunting!) it won't be Europe or the Bahamas this year (isn't usually anyway!) but it could potentially involve flights to somewhere less exciting.

I don't know about you, but I have always tried diligently to sort through all possible flights, airlines, costs, dates, etc. until I whittle it down to the best possible deal. I have tended to check the airlines directly, but do also look at the usual suspects: Priceline, Travelocity, Expedia, HotWire (and probably several others whose names escape me at this moment).

No more though! I found a website that actually does all of the comparisons for me and gives me all of my options at one time! Check out www.FareCompare.com and save yourself some time and money...They also will send you updated current prices as they change for whatever location you are interested in going to.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Oldies but still goodies!


So I read something the other day that you might be interested in. Apparently Target has a trade-in program for new and used electronic devices (i.e. iPods, iPhones, cameras, etc.) If I read it correctly you can also trade-in DVDs. The program, run through NextWorth, asks you some questions online about your device (such as its condition, functionality, etc.) and then gives you a net value. If you agree to accept their price, they send you a pre-paid shipping box, you turn in the device and once they evaluate it, they mail you a Target gift card in the agreed upon amount.

Bear in mind, given the rapid changes in technology and gadgets, the price cited may not be nearly what you are hoping for. It's sort of a "take it or leave it" deal!

But if you are interested, check out www.target.nextworth.com and see what your "oldies" are worth! Some other cites to try for iPod trade-ins:

www.BuyMyTronics.com

www.TuneCycle.com

Let us know if you have other recommendations!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Drum roll please...!


Yes, it is that time again (and, no I haven't done this recently so bear with me!)... I know there are at least 5 of you that read my blog and hopefully others that check it out occasionally! So let me hear from you! I would love to hear how you save money, what deals you've found or simply what you'd like to hear about! Let's have some chatter people!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

...and some more about that swimsuit season!


And while we are still on the topic (see yesterday's post!)of losing weight, one of my favorite freebies I believe I have sadly neglected to mention is www.slimfast.com.

You don't necessarily have to be using Slimfast diet products to use the site, but it provides you with a free online weight tracking, food journal, exercise log and much more! It provides me with most of what I used to pay for Weight Watchers online for free! Check it out...it really is a great resource!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Swimsuit season approaches (slowly, but it still approaches!)


Given that my biggest (no pun intended!) resolution for 2010 is to lose weight, I suppose it would be only appropriate to devote at least one post to weight loss and exercise on a budget...bear with me, I don't think I'm repeating any prior information, but sorry if I do (can't hurt anyway!).

One of my ever-favorite sites, walletpop.com, sums it up nicely: "The bottom line is that lack of money is never an excuse for not getting in shape."

Simply walking is your best and least expensive option...outside is perfect since you get exercise and fresh air. I'm trying to do longer and more regular walks with our dogs (we have a big yard so I've been able to weasel out of that a lot!)...once around our full circle of the subdivision is 2.5 miles. Granted, I live in Phoenix, but even short winter walks when it's not frigid can help (if such a day hits this winter where you are!). And if all else fails, go for an indoor walk at a mall...just don't stop for munchies!

I do have exercise DVDs and old videos along with a few light weights around the house, but to be honest, I just can't get moving with those...I actually got a great deal at LA Fitness and am back at the gym working out. But for those of you that are determined to exercise at home, walletpop.com also notes that Jack Lalanne (oldie but goodie at 95!) has put some of his vintage exercise programs on his website so you can watch them on your laptop and work out! (Admittedly, he's in good shape, but not sure I could do that with a straight face regardless!).

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A calculated risk...or not!


Here is some information that may be of practical use for you or, at the very least, interesting to check out!

Visit www.walletpop.com and try out their various financial calculators - they have ones that will help you answer lots of questions from the serious (Should I buy or rent? How much life insurance do I need? What is my personal net worth?) to the more ambiguous (When will I be a millionaire? How much does it cost to raise a child? What is the value of higher education?).

It provides food for thought!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Savings Angel???? I don't think so...


OK...I am a sucker for all things cheap, easy, DIY, etc...but this one can't be serious!!! On a page of one of our "Clipper Magazines" was an ad that led off with "Cut your grocery bill. Guaranteed!" Intriguing, hmmm? So I checked it out and here's the "deal"!

The site is www.SavingsAngel.com and its claims to "fame" are as follows:

1) It covers any area in the US - which means your local stores.
2) You can conduct unlimited searches on their database
3) They assign a shopping mentor ("angel") to personally assist you in cutting your grocery bill.
4) Referral program - refer your friends and when they join you get paid...

Wait a minute...back up there...yes the next line on point four in the ad reads: "Very easy to earn a free membership." HA!!!

For a mere (?) $19.95/month they promise to save you money! So, instead of clipping coupons and checking my flyers for my local deals (wow, that takes all of 30 minutes or so per week), I could pay $20 per month and then STILL HAVE TO LOOK THEM UP ON THE COMPUTER! Thanks, Angel, but I'll pass!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Earn frequent flyer miles or hotel points without leaving home!


I know I've mentioned a number of ways to earn frequent flyer miles or hotel points without leaving your neighborhood or even your living room, but here is one that I'd forgotten about! (Fortunately, they sent me a reminder so I am back in the "game" again!).

Check out www.e-miles.com

They describe their service as "earning miles for your time" and while you may not be interested in many of the offers their advertisers put on the site, there are many that don't involve any cost to you and some, like the DirecTV deal that is a particularly good deal! To date I've earned 590 Hilton Honors points...not enough for a free night of course, but on top of my other Hilton earnings with stays, etc. it's a nice addition!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Pancakes on IHOP! Come and get 'em!


Here is a freebie that is too good to miss! Make sure to visit your local IHOP (International House of Pancakes) restaurant on Tuesday, Feb.23rd. They are celebrating National Pancake Day and everyone gets a short stack of pancakes for FREE!!!! In exchange, they are asking customers to donate to Children's Miracle Nework or other local charities. What a tasteful way to give to others!