Thursday, January 31, 2008

Money lessons from rock star Bret Michaels

I am a teen of the 1980s and of course a fan of Bret Michaels the lead singer of Poison!! When his reality show. Rock of Love came out last year I was instantly addicted.

Bret was in Bankrate's Fame and Fortune column. He shared some of his philosophy on how he deals with the business of money in the music industry.

Get the best deal you can. If you're getting a deal from a promoter and they're trying to underpay you, look at the size of the venue, what they're selling tickets for, the gross income, the net income ... all of that matters. Because you're also taking care of your fans. I'm playing a place that holds 3,000 people. I don't want him selling $70 tickets but offering me $50,000. I'd rather he do a $30 ticket, and then I'll do it for $60,000.


It's simple business common sense. My biggest strength is using common sense financially. I excelled at consumer math in high school, when they sent you out with a fake $50 to go grocery shopping. I was the A-plus student in my class. It helped when we lived in L.A. without two nickels to rub together. They would send me to the store to get the food, and Bobby was a fry cook, so he'd cook the food up. Now we laugh about it, but in the game of rock 'n' roll, it's about survival at the very beginning, literally -- it's about not starving and having to say, "I have to go back to mom and dad in Pittsburgh."

Bret sounds like he knows how to live within his means even though he has millions of dollars to his name. He keeps reinventing himself from rock star to reality star to what can keep his business afloat.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I am tired of being frugal

Yes I said it!

I am tired of clipping coupons, making meal plans and doing a budget! I feel sort of like my frugal mojo is gone. Frugality is not a necessity for us but more of a choice!!

It doesn't help that my husband is out there interviewing for another job and a few of them would be doubling our income if he got one and took them.

I have been dreaming what we could do with all the extra money each month!! Everything from annual
 Disney World  vacation  to adding a second level on and even paying off our mortgage.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Frugal Five Meet Martia

Martia a homeschooling stay at home mom to two boys (7 & 9) and two girls (2 and 5), living in Northern rural New York.

What is your financial life?

We would like to move out of New York closer to family in the Carolinas. We need to fix our house up to eventually sell, and need to come up with the money for the small house projects that need doing. If I can squeeze $100/month for this it would help. I also want to get more adept at crunching our budget with the way prices are going up. I want to conserve now and get to where it feels normal not to spend before we hit a crisis. We also have some credit card debt to pay down. Despite my best effort, a chunk of it was from Christmas shopping, I am embarassed to say.

What is your budget buster?

I am lazy when it comes to planning. I end up running around to buy things last minutes rather than shop for bargains. Also I am a homeschooling addict.

What is your favorite money saving tip?

Find free things to do at home or in our neighborhood so we don't feel the need to spend money "doing" something. We use our local library-it is a wonderful resource. It has a ton of DVDs-documentaties

If you had an extra $1000 what would you do with it?

Credit card debt!!

What is your best resource for frugal living?

I love reading frugal blogs. I try to pick up a ton of ideas. Also has some good frugal forums.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Frugal Dinner Planning Jan 27th

This is a crazy week!!

Sunday Dinner at Mother in Law's I am bringing a dessert

Monday Layered Ground beef crockpot

Tuesday Pesto chicken with tomatos

Wednesday Cheesey burger and spinach

Thurs Soup and sandwich

Fri Whole wheat pasta and meatballs

Sat My oldest family birthday party!!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

CVS weekly extra care bucks deals 1/27-2/2

Here are the CVS deals for starting tomorrow. I just posted a ton of coupons from $2.00 off 10 to $15 off $75 CVS printable coupons

ECB Specials (All limit 1 unless noted)

$5 ECB WYB $10 of Hellmann's,Lipton tea bags,Skippy or Ragu - Hellmann's 30oz,Lipton Tea Bags 100ct, decaf 48 ct, green 40 ct 2/$5, Skippy or Ragu 26oz 2/$3

$1 ECB WYB Two (2) Twizzlers $1.99
$6 ECB WYB $16 of any Energizer listed $8 hearing aid 16 pack, AA and AAA 12 pack, E2 AA and AAA 4 pack, rechargeable AA and AAA 4 pk or value charger
$3.29 ECB WYB Stayfree clean ultra thin 10 or 12ct $3.29 - limit 1

$5 ECB WYB KY intrigue lubricant 2.75 oz
$10 ECB WYB $20 of these products - Advil pain relief liquid gels, migraine 40 ct, tablets or caplets 50ct, Advil PM caplet 20 ct or liquid gel 16 ct $4 each,
Advil Cold Multi Symptom cold 10 ct or cold & sinus 20 ct $5 each, Robitussin cough gels 20 ct or liquid 8oz, asst types $6 each, and Children's Dimetapp DM cold & cough or cold & allergy 8oz $6 each - limit 1

$5 ECB WYB Benefiber or Exedrin fiber supplement chewables 90-100 ct, caplets 60-72 ct, powder 48 or 62 doses, pain reliever assorted types, 250 ct for $11.99 - limit 5

$3 ECB WYB Tylenol Arthritis or St. Joseph's arthritis caplets 150 ct or enteric aspirin 300ct for $12.99- limit 1

$4 ECB WYB Centrum Cardio 120ct - limit 1
$2 ECB WYB bengay pain relief patches 2-5 ct or cream 4 ct limit 1
$10 ECB WYB Alli starter kit 60 mg 90 ct $59.99 limit 5
$7 ECB WYB Two (2) Garnier Nutritioniste limit 2
$5 ECB WYB $20 of Preventin products limit 1
$3 ECB WYB any Skin Effects product limit 3
$2 ECB WYB Jergens lotion 7.5 - 21 oz assorted types ( excludes natural glow ) limit 1
$10 ECB WYB $20 of Nexxus haircare - shampoo, conditioner or styler psa $3.99 - limit 1
$5 ECB WYB $10 of Fructis hair care shampoo or conditioner 25.4 oz - limit 2
$2 ECB WYB Perfect 10 haircolor $11.99 limit 1
$3 ECB WYB $9 Dark & Lovely limit 5
$2 ECB WYB $10 of Smooth ‘N Shine hair care limit 5
$5 ECB WYB $10 of Soft & Beautiful, Just For Me or Motions limit 5
$2 ECB WYB Colgate Total Whitening or Advanced Clean twin pack limit 5
$1 ECB WYB Arm & Hammer toothpaste $1.99 limit 1
$10 ECB WYB Three (3) Breath RX limit 1
$5 ECB WYB $25 of Huggies products limit 1
$6 ECB WYB Gillette Fusion Phenom razor for $9.99 or Gillette Fusion Phenom manual razor for $8.99 limit 1
$5 ECB WYB Three (3) Boost 6 or 12 packs, limit 1
$10 ECB WYB $20 of participating PepsiCo products, limit 1

All CVS vitamins,minerals or herbals BOGO free
All Revlon Lip,Foundation,Powder,Blush or Concealer BOGO
Hershey's candy BOGO ( kisses,kissables assorted types )
Bounty Basic 8 pack or CVS 12 pack toilet paper $4.99
Purex laundry detergent $2.99 24-32 oz
Hershey;s Pot of Gold $9.95 heart shaped box $8.95 regular box
Veryfine Juice or Fruit 2O

Buy ONE Get ONE 50% off
Household Cleaners – SOS pads, Tilex mold & mildew, Fresh Shower
Life Fitness Reparagen
Natures Bounty Red Yeast Rice, Garlic, Niacin, or Cinnamon
All Ocuvite or PreserVision Vitamin & Mineral Supplements
Reading Glass by Magnivision
ALL Revlon Eye, Nail, or Beauty Tools
ALL Artificial Nails
ALL Palmers Skin Care
Essence of Beauty Comb, Brush, Mirro, or Hair Accessories
VO5 Extreme Styling Hair Care
ALL Marc Anthony Hair Care
Ellin LaVar Hair Care
ALL Schick Disposable Razors

CVS online printable coupons good thru 2/3

Here are some great coupons to use CVS this week!

$3.00 off $15 coupon

$4.00 off $20 coupon

$5.00 off $30 coupon

$10.00 off $50.00 coupon

$15.00 off $50.00 coupon

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Will it burn a hole in your pocket?

There used to be an old saying that "money burns a hole in your pocket."

I think it true! I want to save and I like to save but I know when our income went up so did our lifestyle. (aka lifestyle inflation)

The House passed a new government consumer rebate that will be given in June. The last time in 2001 they did this-MONEY WAS BURNING HOLES IN LOT OF POCKETS. Will it happen again-economy is not as strong as it was in 2001. George Bush is hoping it will happen again-he wants people in the malls buying large screen TV and new cars. I think George will like me here-we are planning a new used car purchase and this will probably go towards that.

So will this money burn a hole in your pocket as well, or will you pay off debt or save?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

80% behavior 20% knowledge

For a lot of us getting of debt is like going on a diet. You know what to do but don't necessarily do it!! That is where it is 80% behavior 20% knowledge comes into play. If you are looking to get out out debt check out this great video by Dave Ramsey where he talks about how to be financially successful.

Some highlights!!

Stop the bleeding

Only buy what you can afford!!
Use cash only (or use a debit card instead of a credit card)

Get on a Zero based budget
-Give every dollar a name whether it is going towards debt reduction, food or electricity

Dave's Baby steps

1) Save $1,000 baby emergency fund
2) Debt snowball
3) Save 3 to 6 months of expenses
4) Save 15% retirement
5) Save for college
6) Pay off the house
7) Build wealth

Monday, January 21, 2008

Frugal Five Meet Crystal

Crystal is a frugal mom with 3 kids ranging from from Pennslyvania

What is your financial life?

I am stay at home mom who also homeschools my 7 yr daugter and 6 year old twin sons. My husband works full time and makes a decent income, but in taking a new job this past summer he took a pay cut and we are struggling. We have a big mortgage that we took on before his job change, and we also have credit card debt, and some other debts that we are working on paying off. Six more months of disciplined payments and we will be OUT of credit card debt.
And we don't have any savings--at all. We need to start up dh's 401k, now that he qualifies again, and start setting aside a portion of each paycheck into our savings account.

What is your budget buster?

Those credit card payments!!

What is your favorite money saving tip?

Stock up on necessities only when shopping--no spending off the shopping list

If you had an extra $1000 what would you do with it?

Since I do not have a saving account, I am would put it towards that.

What is your best resource for frugal living?

"Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping" by Judith Levine. I found her book inspirational...she doesn't give practical tips, but rather points out some of the hardships that are involved in deciding what is necessary and what are not.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Anticipate, Address and Adjust

I think many people go through life without a financial plan. If you look at all of the foreclosures happening, a lot of these people jumped into home ownership without thinking if they could afford being a homeowner. Or becoming a stay at home mom when living on two incomes is already difficult.

Suze Orman shares How to plan for tomorrow in Oprah's magazine.

Anticipate- If you do an adjustable rate mortgage make sure you can afford the highest rate. Or consider saving for a larger down payment so you can actually afford the house.

Address - If you do get yourself in a financial mess, own up to it. Make a plan on how you are going to get out of it. Money problems are a leading cause of marriage problems. Address them together as a couple and don't stick your head in the sand.

Adjust- What steps can do you do to get out of this financial mess? Can you starting working part time if you are a stay at home mom.

Be smart about your money and doing some planning can really help you avoid the squeeze.

Frugal Dinner Planning Jan 20th

We have moved into Phase 2 of the South Beach diet this week! You won't see much of a change in our dinner menus but we will be adding an apples and berries to our breakfast lunches. Next week we will start adding in some grains.

Sun Steak, steam veggies

Mon Beef and brocolli

Tues Chili

Wed Chicken drumsticks, steam veggies

Thurs leftover chili

Fri Pork chops

Sat Pizza Hubby and I will probably use from low carb tortillas four base!! I can't wait!!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

IRS direct deposit schedule

If you are expecting a refund this year here is the direct deposit schedule for the IRS.

CVS weekly extra care bucks deals 1/20-26

Here are the CVS sale starting tomororw . Of course check your coupons to see if you can match any up

ECB Specials (All limit 1 unless noted)

$1 ECB WYB Claritin $8.99 (limit 1)
$1 ECB WYB Two (2) CVS/pharmacy Cotton (balls,pads,squares & prem round or oval (limit 1)
$2 ECB WYB Secret or Gillette Clinical Strength $9.99 (limit 1)
$6 ECB WYB Gillette Fusion Power $9.99 (limit 1)
$5 ECB WYB Gillette Fusion Manual $8.99 (limit 1)
$10 ECB WYB ACCU-CHEK Compact Diabetes Monitor $29.99 (limit 1)
$5 ECB WYB $15 of EOB Bath Products (limit 1)
$10 ECB WYB $20 Pepsi Co. products –Pepsi 3/10, Doritos or Lay's 2/$6, Gatorade 32oz or Propel 1 liter 3/$4, 2 liters 4/$5, Stacy's Pita Chips 2/$5 - this is a monthly so if you did it already you are at the limit! (limit 1)
$5 ECB WYB $20 P&G items (limit 1)
$5 ECB WYB $20 Olay Skin Care(limit 1)

$2 ECB WYB Crest Pro Health VP $7.49(limit 2)
$3 ECB WYB Listerine Whitening Strips $23.99 (limit 2)

$2 ECB WYB CVS Storage or Trash Bags Twin VP (limit 3)
$5 ECB WYB Skin Effects Skincare Product (limit 3)

$1 ECB WYB Mars Six Packs - Snickers, MilkyWay or 3 Musk - $2.99 (limit 5)
$1 ECB WYB 5 Gum- $3.99 (limit 5)
$1 ECB WYB Neutrogena VP (limit 5)
$1 ECB WYB CVS Baby Wipes 240 ct. - $5.29 (limit 5)
$2 ECB WYB Lysol Spray Bonus $6.99(limit 5)
$2 ECB WYB Irish Spring VP $4.99 (limit 5)
$2 ECB WYB Softsoap Cashmere or Nutra Oil Body Wash VP $6.99 (limit 5)
$2 ECB WYB Softsoap Liquid Hand Soap VP $4.99 (limit 5)
$2 ECB WYB Cottonelle Bonus Pack $9.99 (limit 5)
$3 ECB WYB PlugIns Scented Oil Plugins Fan or Refill VP $7.99 (limit 5)
$3 ECB WYB Cottonelle Moist Wipes Combo VP $5.98(limit 5)
$3 ECB WYB Dove Adv Therapy VP $9.98 (limit 5)
$3.99 ECB WYB Mennen Speed Stick for men 24/7 - $3.99 (limit 5)
$4 ECB WYB Four (4) SoyJoy Bars (limit 5)
$5 ECB WYB Any Rogaine Single Pack (limit 5)
$5 ECB WYB Dexatrim Max2O $19.99 (limit 5)
$5 ECB WYB Excedrin 250 ct or Benefiber 48-100 ct (limit 5)
$5 ECB WYB $15 of CoverGirl Lashblast, VolumeExact, LashExact , or LineExact Mascara (limit 5)

M&M's Chocolate Candy 12.6-14 oz
Post Cereal - Honey Bunches, Shredded Wheat, Grape-Nuts Trail Mix Crunch, Cocoa or Fruity Pebbles
Russell Stover Chocolates 24 oz. assorted types
All Watches
CVS Cleaning Pads or Cloths or duster with handle with 6 refills
CoverGirl TruShine or Incredifull Lipcolor
All Maybelline Lip Color, Eye Shadow, Liner or Mascera
All L'Oreal HIP
All Natrol Supplements
All CVS Glucosamine Chondroitin and Calcium Supplements
Life Fitness Vitamins or Supplements

Buy ONE Get ONE 50% off
Altoids Tin
Photo Frame or Album (excludes digital photo frame)
Adult & Child Sunglasses
All Befine Skin Care
Physicians Formula - Foundation, powder, bronzer, blush or concealer
CoverGirl Lipcolor - Continuous color, continuous shimmer or wetslicks lip gloss
CoverGirl Shadows, Liners or Mascara
John Frieda Frizz-Ease, Sheer Blonde, Brilliant Brunette or Radiant Red - shampoo, conditioner, styler, or serum
Neutrogena Men's - Face wash, scrub, shave cream or razor defense lotion (excludes gel)
All L'eggs Sheer Hosiery
Bic Disposable Razors - Comfort 3 Advance or Soleil 4 ct

ECB = Extra Care Buck
PSA = Prices starting at
CRT = Cash Register Tape
WYB = When You Buy

Helpful websites!!!,f533

Friday, January 18, 2008

Freebie Friday and coupons

Coach's Oats - FREE SAMPLE! oatmeal

Purple drink sample

Free chocolate sample

Dove skin sample

3M Post-it® Super Sticky Notes FREE Sample Offer

Bible Bookmarks - a tool to help children read the Bible daily.

Free moon calendar

Free sugar free gum sample

Free wooden puzzle for kids

Honey Nut of 0 cereal printable coupon

Glad steaming bags

Netwinner Have you check out this yet? Simply spin the wheel and earn points. Rack up the points and get Mastercard gift cards Working on paying for some of my Christmas shopping this way! I will probably earn several hundred dollars of gift cards this year!!

I-say -Say would like to offer you the opportunity to win valuable cash prizes or cool merchandise, while making your opinion known. Everyone who completes the Membership survey will automatically be entered into our draw for $5,000. For each survey you complete, you get a chance to win cash and/or prizes! Tell us what you think – win cash. It’s that easy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Price and tastebuds

Do you like certain things simply because they are more expensive?

Consider this study that came out this week....

Scientists working with the California Institute of Technology have discovered using brain scanning technology that the greater the price of a unit of wine, the greater the pleasure that many people receive from it. The only variable in several of the tests was price, and the higher priced wine was perceived as being of high quality, while the same wine tasted as being lower priced was deemed lower quality. This was true in several tests where the exact same Cabernet Sauvignon was used. The only difference was one wine was said to be very expensive, and the other was said to be low cost supermarket variety.

I would if the same thing could be true for Store Brand generic vs brand. A lot of people claim they know the difference between generic and brand names when in actuality they are made by the same company.

Coffee... might be interesting to try as well. Homemade cup of Joe vs Dunkin Donuts vs Starbucks!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Frugal Five Meet Shelley

Shelley is a frugal mom with 5 kids ranging from 16 to 2 years old from PA.

What is your financial life?

I am a stay at home mom to 5 kids and have a great husband that I have been married for 17 years. Living on one income has been a challenge and we've struggled a lot along the way. We do have a mortgage and believe in paying cash. Things are ok now and I'd like to keep them that way and "save for a rainy day" While I don't believe in using credit cards, I have never really saved money.

What is your budget buster?

Feeding 3 teenage boys! They eat eat and eat! I am always looking for healthy and filling recipes.

What is your favorite money saving tip?

If you are ca not afford it, don't buy it.

If you had an extra $1000 what would you do with it?

I would put it towards my rainy day fund.

What is your best resource for frugal living?

I am always searching for recipes online is very helpful in helping me do my dinner planning. I also belong to a budgeting yahoo group that helps me keep things in check.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Frugal Dinner Planning Jan 13th

We are still doing the South Beach diet-yeah us! I am down 6lbs and hubby is down 4lbs. He isn't liking it so much. He misses his "treats" but he needs to get healthy and lose the weight. We finish up phase 1 on Wednesday but I will probably keep us on it through this week. Hubby is taking any leftovers to work for lunch since most of these meals don't really give many leftovers. I am making a batch of chili for lunch this week.

Sun Steak, steam veggies and salad

Mon Chicken parm over spaghetti squash

Tues Pork chops in the crockpot

Wed Ground turkey, spinach, mushroom, peppers, onions, mixed in with light cream cheese

Thurs Cheesy Beef and Broccoli

Fri Clean out the fridge night or turkey sasauges

Sat Pizza Kids willl have frozen (yes pizza check out this crust made with cream cheese ) This is a tried and true we have done it twice now and it is very yummy. If you like a thin crust pizza this is perfect.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

CVS weekly extra care bucks deals 1/13-1/19

Here are the CVS sale starting tomororw . Of course check your coupons to see if you can match any up

CVS printable coupons
$4.00 off $20
expires Jan 13th

ECB Specials (All limit 1 unless noted)
$5 ECB WYB RTH Manager Chair $29.99 – 2 day sale Sun/Mon then $34.99 – Limit 1
$5 ECB WYB Wood Jewelry Box $24.99 – 2 day sale Sun/Mon then $29.99 – Limit 1
$5 ECB WYB $15 Duracell Alkaline Batteries Shown $8.99 – Limit 1
$3 ECB WYB Old Spice Twin Pack $7.99 – Limit 1
$3 ECB Schick Quattro or Intuition Razor for Women $9.99 – Limit 1
$9.99 ECB WYB Ascensia Contour Blood Glucose Monitor $9.99 – Limit 1
$10 ECB WYB $20 Pepsi products – 12 packs 3/$10, Lays/Doritos 2/$6, Stacy’s Chips 2/$5.00 – Limit 1
$2 ECB WYB Two (2) Mars Mini’s 2/$5.00 – Limit 1
$5 ECB WYB $10 of Crest Oral Rinse, Crest toothpaste, oral-B toothbrush, or Fixadent products – Limit 1
$10 ECB WYB Crest Whitestrips $24.99 – Limit 2
$4 ECB WYB Crest Whitening Rinse Twin Pack $8.99 – Limit 2
$1 ECB WYB GUM Toothbrush Four Pack or Flosser $4.97 – Limit 3
$5 ECB WYB $15 Maybelline Mascara or Lip products shown – limit 3
$2 ECB WYB Tylenol Sinus, Benadryl Allergy, Sudafed – Limit 3
$2 ECB WYB Clairol Perfect10 $11.99
$3 ECB WYB Olay Total Effects $16.99
$5 ECB WYB Acnefree – Limit 5
$5 ECB WYB Three (3) Boost Nutritional Energy Drink – Limit 5
$5 ECB WYB $15 Covergirl mascara or eyeliner shown - Limit 5
$2 ECB WYB Mennen or Lady Speed Stick twin pack $4.99 – Limit 5
$3 ECB WYB Nature’s Bounty COQ10 or Fish Oil Value Pack PSA $9.49 – Limit 5
$5 ECB WYB John Frieda Shampoo & Conditioner 2 pack $12.00 – Limit 5
$2 ECB WYB Axe Vice or Clix Kit – body spray, deodorant, shower gel $9.49 – Limit 5
$3 ECB WYB Dove Advanced Therapy Twin pack $9.98 - Limit 5
$2 ECB WYB Kotex Lightdays Pantiliners 3 pack $3.99 – Limit 5
$2 ECB WYB Kotex Ultra Thin Compact $5.99 – Limit 5
$1 ECB WYB Aleve 150ct +50ct bonus $11.99 – Limit 5
$2 ECB WYB Tylenol Extra Strength 100ct +50ct Bonus – Limit 5
$3 ECB WYB Excedrin Back & Body or Extra Strength 100ct +24ct bonus $8.99 – Limit 5
$2 ECB WYB Kraft Macaroni & Cheese 4-pack 2/$6.00 – Limit 5
$1.50 ECB WYB Colgate Total Advanced Clean or Whitening Toothpaste 3 pack $5.98 – Limit 5

$1 ECB WYB Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup 4-pack $4.00 – Limit 5
$2 ECB WYB Orville Redenbacher Movie Theater Popcorn 3-pack $5.99 – Limit 5
$3 ECB WYB Nature Valley Twin Pack 2-pack $6.99 – Limit 5
$5 ECB WYB Claritin Bonus Size $30.99 – Limit 5
$3 ECB WYB Glade Scented Oil PlugIns Fan value pack or 3pk Refill $7.99 – Limit 5
$2 ECB WYB Vaseline Intensive Care Bonus Size $6.19 – Limit 5
$2 ECB WYB Dial Complete Foaming Hand Soap 3 pack $6.99 – Limit 5
$4 ECB WYB St. Ives Twin Pack $8.99 – Limit 5
$1 ECB WYB Aveeno Lotion plus 2.5oz sample size $7.97 – Limit 5
$1 ECB WYB Neutrogena Value Pack PSA $7.99 – Limit 5
$1 ECB WYB Bounce Lint & Freshness Roller bonus pack $5.99 – Limit 5
$1 ECB WYB Three (3) Trident Bonus Size $1.19 – Limit 5
$3 ECB WYB Two (2) M&M’s Holiday Candies $3.49 – Limit 5
$3 ECB WYB Osteo Bi-Flex Triple Strength 120ct ON SALE B1G1 free – Limit 5

All Revlon Foundation, Powder, Blush, or Concealer $7.49-$14.99
CVS Pharmacy Alkaline Batteries
Nature Made, Nature’s Resource, Olay Vitamins PSA $3.99
Progresso Soups $2.79
Life Fitness Energy Supplement

Buy ONE Get ONE 50% off
All Revlon Eye, Lip, or Beauty Tools
Sterilite Plastic Storage Containers
CVS Hearing Aid Batteries
All Mead Clasp or CVS Envelopes
All Blistex
CVS Photo Frames or Albums (excludes digital)
All Milani Cosmetics
All Almay Cosmetics
CVS Cotton Swabs
Gerber Baby Food or Cereal (excludes juice)
Got 2B Styling Products
CVS Hair Dryer, Straightener, Curling Iron
Scunci No-Slip Hair Accessories
L’eggs Socks, Trouser Socks, Tights

Other deals
Glade Spray $0.99
Glade Scented Oil Refills 2/$5.00
Ajax Dish Soap $0.96
Nabisco Crackers 2/$4.00
Kelloggs Cereal 2/$5.00
Canadra Dry, A&W, or Sunkist 3/$10.00
Planters Nuts 3/$10.00
Johnson & Johnson Reach Dental Floss $1
Reach Advanced Design Toothbrush $2
Listerine Antiseptic $3
Kleenex Facial Tissues
All Tresemme Hair Care $2.99
All Sunsilk Hair Care 3/$9.99

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Financial Benefits of quitting smoking

My husband has been smoke free for 1 month today! I am so proud of him. He had quit before but he is really gung-ho this time around. His smoking money came out of his "fun money" and was often a source of tension about it. (Yes I nagged him about it)

In addition to th obvious health benefits there is a great benefit to the pocketbook!

The costs add up: Cigarettes, dry cleaning, insurance -- you can even lose your job. A 40-year-old who quits and puts the savings into a 401(k) could save almost $250,000 by age 70.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

So you want to be a stay at home mom-money tips

This week marks 6 years that I have been a stay at home mom. It was a huge adjustment to me both personally and financially. I was not prepared at all even though I was almost 6 months pregnant with my baby. My head was stuck in the sand big time. I knew I wasn't going back to work but had my head totally in the sand on how we going to survive financially. I had anxiety over our money situation.

If you are looking to do the transition to be a one income household or stay at home mom, be smart and start preparing. 6 months in advance. 
1) Do both partners want this
2) Make 2 budgets one with both Mom and Dad working and a second with Mom staying home. Use the Mom's True income to see if staying home is really an option.
3) Pay off any outstanding debt- you should be going into the one income family with no new debt. No credit card debt or car debt.
4) Save up a big emergency fund at least 9 months of expenses-12 might be better
5) Do a practice run (live on 1 income before taking the plunge)

Common mistakes
Don't depend on getting a work at home job Good paying ones are hard to find unless you are very skilled.

If you are not a frugal person and need your Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks coffee each day, you may not be able to cut back. Take a realistic at yourself-that is why the trial  is so important.

Need to be out every day with the kids spending money going to the indoor playgrounds .

That the mom comes home even though she is making more income than Dad.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Frugal Five Meet Wendy

Wendy is a frugal mom from Wisconsin who is working hard to pay off her debt- Dave Ramsey style! She shares her journey at Debt Freedom fighters

What is your financial life?
  • 16 years of marriage and debt. Coincidence??
  • Double Income that varies month to month.
  • Still owe over $70K as of 1/1/08 including 1 car (which will be paid for in half the time of the original loan) 4 credit cards with balances ranging from $900 to $16K & our "creative financing" HELOC.
  • One teenage son who is working to help support his own spending habits.
  • Entering 6th month of our Total Money Makeover (book by Dave Ramsey) and free of NEW credit card debt.

What is your budget buster?

Right now, it's getting my real estate taxes back into my budget. I had a surplus of funds in an account for taxes when we made the decision to get out of debt in gazelle mode. I stopped auto transferring money into that account and started my first zero based budget without it so there was more money to start the snowball rolling. Now, with the new year, I have to figure a way to get $300 back onto the budget and still maintain our CASH ONLY standing.

What is your favorite money saving tip?

I have two:
1. If your bank has an auto transfer to savings program -- DO IT. If you have to purposely take money and deposit into savings you won't. If it comes out automatically it becomes a BILL and you will have savings.

2. Get to know your grocery store's coupon policy & reward card policies and take full advantage of both of them. You'd be surprised how many shoppers are clueless on the basic rules of couponing. I've saved 1000's at the store combining sales and coupons this past year.

If you had an extra $1000 what would you do with it?

I'd put 3/4 of it towards my lowest debt and the other 1/4 I would use to stockpile my pantry and freezer of our basic use items.

NOTE: I would LOVE to take a weekend vacation, but right now - the money is best served into my current pickle.

What is your best resource for frugal living?
LLNOE, other blogs in my blog roll, and my LLNOE mentor, Pam

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Frugal Dinner Planning Jan 6th

Here are our dinner plans for this upcoming week. My husband and I are still doing South Beach diet phase 1 -he is actually enjoying it so far! We will be making another batch of Easy Bean Soup

Sun Steak, summer squash and green beans

Mon Salmon (this is the Groton fisherman one-I don't like cook fish) asparagus

Tues Chili big batch to throw some in the freezer for lunch servings

Wed Crockpot chicken salsa-chicken, salsa, tomatos and pepppers

Thurs Leftover chili

Fri Clean out the fridge night

Sat Pizza Kids willl have frozen (yes pizza check out this crust made with cream cheese )

Those scary debit cards

While waiting in the long line at the grocery store, a Reader's Digest cover article catch my attention!

Avoid These Debit Card Traps New scams, fees, and traps to avoid.
Since I use a debit card for the majority of my purchases I needed to check it out. I don't want to be scammed and don't want to be trapped either.

When Brad Lipman took his family out for dinner in July 2006, he had no idea it would end up costing him $1,800. Lipman paid for the $60 meal with his debit card. After the waiter took the card, someone swiped it through a portable "skimmer." This handheld electronic device allowed the thief to copy Lipman's account information and security codes, and clone his card.

Scary thoughts-quite an introduction. This could happen with a credit card as well.

Many people wrongly assume that debit cards offer the same protection against fraud as credit cards. But when a debit card is stolen or copied, there's no grace period while you contest the charges. Your cash has already been electronically zapped from your checking account
Visa and MasterCard branded debit cards both have Zero Liability policies when no PIN number has been entered. Banks are allowed up to 10 days to research disputed debit card transactions before making any credits. So you maybe a jam if they emptied out your entire checking account.

We rarely use a debit card except for when we are traveling for business or pleasure. Hotels often put a huge hold on your money.

Check out the article at Reader's Digest a little the sky is falling. Being a smart and informed consumer is your best bet!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

CVS weekly extra care bucks deals 1/6-1/12

Here are the CVS sale starting tomororw . Of course check your coupons to see if you can match any up

CVS printable coupons
$4.00 off $20
expires Jan 13th

ECB Specials (All limit 5 unless noted)

$2 ECB Hershey's valentine kisses, hugs, minis 2/$5 - limit 1
$2 ECB Garnier Fructis Hair Care $2.99 - limit 1
$2 ECB Poland Springs 6 pk or Aquapod 8 pk 2/$5 - limit 1
$1 ECB WYB 4 Hershey's singles 4/$2 - limit 1
$2 ECB Playtex Sport or Gentle Glide tampons $7.99 - limit 1
$3 ECB WYB $8 Irish Spring or Softsoap - limit 1
$5 ECB WYB $20 Neutrogena Acne Care PSA $2.49 - limit 1
$1 ECB Excedrin 24 ct. $1.99 - limit 1
$1 ECB Visine product - limit 1
$5 ECB WYB $15 Futuro products - limit 1
$10 ECB contour glucose meter $14.99 limit 1
$10 ECB WYB $20 - Tylenol, Motrin, Sudafed, Sudacare, Pepcid, Mylanta, Viactiv, Efferdent, Monistat, KY, EPT, Neosporin, Band-Aid - limit 1

$3 ECB Oral-B value pack $10.99 - limit 2
$4 ECB Crest Whitening rinse 32 oz $8.99 - limit 2

$2 ECB Garnier haircolor $5.99 - limit 3
$4 ECB WYB two (2) L'oreal Vive pro shampoo or conditioner 2/$8 – limit 3

$2 ECB Cottonelle 20 double roll $9.99
$5 ECB John Freida Frizz-Ease Shampoo/conditioner combo pack $11
$1 ECB Neutrogena value pack PSA $7.99
$2 ECB Johnson’s combo pack softlotion $5.97
$2 ECB Palmer's cocoa butter twin pack $9.99
$1 ECB Lubriderm bonus pack $7.77
$3 ECB Jergens lotion twin pack $7.99
$2 ECB Axe kit $9.49
$3 ECB Dove Advanced therapy twin pack $9.98
$1 ECB Slim Fast bonus pack $5.99
$1 ECB Advil bonus pack $5.59
$5 ECB Claritin bonus size $30.99
$2 ECB Keri Shea butter lotion bonus pack $8.27
$2 ECB Colgate 360 TB 3-pk $6.99
$3 ECB Cottonelle wipes combo pack $5.98
$1 ECB Chase and Sandborn coffee twin pack $4.00
$2 ECB Johnson’s swabs twin pack $4.99
$1 ECB Listerine w/free reach flosser pack $4.97
$2 ECB Lysol spray/wipes bonus pack $6.99
$2 ECB Johnson’s baby care lotion or wash bonus pack $5.99
$4 ECB Cheerios honey nut twin pack $7.99
$2 ECB WYB two (2) Kraft Mac-n-cheese 4 pack 2/$6
$1 ECB Hershey's large bar 5 oz 2/$3
$1 ECB WYB two (2) Twizzlers 17.6 oz $1.99 ea
$2 ECB twin pack CVS trash bags PSA $6.59
$2 ECB CVS storage bags twin pack $4.99
$2 ECB Colgate Total or Maxfresh TP or TB $2.99

$3 ECB Similisan product $6.99
$10 ECB Alli weight loss starter kit $59.99
$1 ECB Palmolive dish liquid $1.49$

Robitussin Cough and Cold relief
CVS vitamins, minerals, and herbals
Hershey's Pot of Gold ($8.95)
Rubbermaid Take Alongs $1.99
All L'oreal Lipcolor or mascara
Dietary Supplement – Hoodia, Green tea, Natural Fat Burner
Instant Energy drink

Buy ONE Get ONE 50% off
Handi Cart or Redi Shelves
Merrick Hangers, Sterilite Storage, or 3 drawer wide cart
Playskool Mega Pack Diapers
Playskool Baby or Toddler Accessories
Playskool Cottony Cloths
Life Fitness Monitors
Life Fitness Heart Health Supplements
Life Fitness Insoles
FX or Salon Graphix Styler
CVS Hosiery by L’eggs or Trouser Socks
Africa’s Best Hair Care
CVS Minoxidil
All L’Oreal Eye Shadow, Eye Liner or Nail Enamel
Christophe Beverly Hills Hair Care
Alka Seltzer Plus
All Essence of Beauty bath
Sally Hansen
Kelloggs Protein Bars & Waters
All One-A-Day, Citracal, or Flinstones
Gold Emblem Nuts

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Easy bean soup

Since we started South Beach diet and I don't like salads every day during the cold weather, I turn to soup!! Here is a super easy bean soup recipe that is perfect for lunch because it is so filling!!

1 can reduced fat chicken broth
1 can ff refried beans
1 can diced tomatos
1 can kidney or pinto beans (drained and rinse)
1 can black beans (drained and rinse )
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast, cooked and cubed-this is optional
1 diced onion

Mix all ingredients in a large pot, heat and eat!!