Wednesday, February 29, 2012

You can get slammed with interest on those no interest store credit card deals

I am no fan of same as cash offers.  You need to read the fine print on these here is another story on someone getting hit with a ton of interest on  12 months no interest deals from a home improvement store.   

Home Depot 5

A year ago, we made the decision to renovate our kitchen..
We ordered cabinets, counter tops, and a new fridge from the national home improvement store 

They were running a special where you could get 12 months, zero interest.
I was expecting a large bonus at work later in the year, that would cover the rest of the costs (over $10,000), 
.. which would insure that we didn't get caught paying interest.  (mistake number 1 don't count your eggs before they hatch) 

Of course, things happen.. and my company cancelled their bonus program last year (blaming the economy).
Without the bonus, we were able to pay down only about $2,000 of the $10,000 due.
I sorta hoped and prayed that something would happen that would enable us to come up with the rest, but we just didn't even get close. (Don't ever count on work bonuses in advance to pay down something your already bought) 

A few weeks ago, I got a bill from the creditor letting me know that a $2500 interest charge had just been applied to my account.
$2500!!.. Just a painful blow.. And after calling the company and seeing if there is anything they could do to help me.. They pretty much laughed me off the phone.(They are doing the happy dance when this happens they are not giving me the 0% interest loans from the goodness of your heart) 

In retrospect, if there was ever a time to play the balance transfer game, this should have been it. 
I should have transferred the remaining $8000 to a credit card, where I would at least avoid the back interest.. (this is an option but usually credit card balance transfers have fees of 3-5% to do the transfer) 

Bottom line unless you know for sure (ie have the money in the bank or can make a monthly payment that will pay if off in time) do not do these deals they will come back to hurt you. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Join Nielsen Home Scan & Earn Free Prizes

Join Today 
If you have not heard of the Nielsen Home Scan Consumer Panel, you are missing out. With this program, you sign up to receive a scanner to scan your purchases. When you scan your purchases, you are going to earn points for the items that you scan. This program is FREE to join! Nielsen Home Scan has a catalog full of prizes that you can redeem your points for. Some of the prizes include electronics, household items, jewelry, toys and  more! They also offer various surveys that you can fill out to earn even more points. You will also be entered into their sweepstakes when you submit your purchases that you have scanned.

The National Consumer Panel is a "mini-USA" that represents all types of Americans. Manufacturers and retailers will look at the information you send us to decide what products to make and sell to consumers all across the country. Your consumer voice will make a difference.  Click here to sign up today for free 

Monday, February 27, 2012

5 things every frugal kitchen needs

My tiny kitchen.My mother was a daughter of the depression but she never went hungry.  She said they always  seemed to have food on the table even when times were tough? And yet, it seems that we can blow hundreds of dollars every week at the grocery store. Wouldn't you like to know their secret to create frugal meals? Well it's not really a secret; it was just good planning that allowed their dollar to stretch further. 

It's what ingredients you have in your pantry that determines how far your food supplies will go. Stocking your pantry with few kitchen staples will make the difference between heading to the grocery store every few days instead of every week. Stocking these key items will allow you to create simple low cost  meals.

Rice –

You can buy rice in bulk for a little money and with some creative cooking, really make it do some heavy duty work in the kitchen. First off, think beyond the side dish. Add in frozen vegetables for a substantial dinner accompaniment. Add in some sliced meat, vegetables and fry it up in a large pan and you have homemade fried rice. Mix up rice with spices or a can of soup and some meat and use it in one dish casserole that can even be frozen.  Frozen veggies can often be purchased atless than fresh and they are just as healthy. 

Flour -

Flour is a starter for many frugal cooking recipes. It helps make gravy, biscuits, rolls and bread. And you don't need a bread maker to make bread.  Flour is a must for any baking recipes like cake or cookies. Making your own desserts is a low cost  baking  tip. Stop buying cookies in a package or brownies prepared from a box.

Spices - 

Have a selection of spices on hand is a great frugal meals tip. Spices will literally "spice" up a boring meal, or help you re-use leftovers and turn them into a new meal. When stocking your spice cabinet, look beyond salt and pepper and experiment with the spices of different cuisines like Italian, Chinese and Indian.


-Dried pasta can be used in many different meals. A big bowl of pasta is very filling and is easy to make. Add a great sauce or throw in vegetables and some meat and the pasta is the basis for a substantial dish. Stuffed pasta also makes a great meal and you can make a large tray of it and have leftovers for several days.

Beans -

 Beans are a great kitchen staple, since they are inexpensive and an excellent source of protein and other nutrients.  Instead of having meat, you can substitute beans.  And for some great frugal meals, think beyond chili and baked beans. Add beans as salad toppers, make a black bean dip or soup, our add to rice, another staple and you have a complete dish.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Frugal menu planning week of February 26th

Steak & Sweet Potato FritesHere is the menu plan for this week

Sunday Steak, green beans and sweet potato fries

 Monday Chicken parmigiana with whole wheat pasta (leftover from the cub scout banquet)
Tuesday Homemade beef and broccoli stir fry
 Wednesday Chili over baked potato

 Thursday Meat crust pizza with a cottage cheese top-Very good!

 Friday Clean out the fridge night plus fish sticks for the kids

 Saturday Homemade pizza

Are you looking for even more menu ideas check out  Monday meal plans at organizing junky

Free Gallon of Milk Coupon

If you are you on facebook then you head to  Milk Mustache page. They are  giving away 10,000 coupons every day for free milk through March 3, 2012. So be sure to head over to get your coupon redeemable for a free gallon of milk with the purchase of three (3) breakfast items. 
Ice cold milk!

Here are their top 10 to pair milk with in the morning

10. Waffles
Nothing quite compares to waffles fresh-off-the-iron, but we love the ease of throwing the frozen variety into your microwave or toaster for a quick breakfast as well. Don’t forget to wash all of that sticky syrup down with a glass of milk!
9. Bagel
Bagels are easy. Slap on a topping and you’re good to go. Also just as easy – a glass of milk on the side. Pour one, and you’ll be enjoying your speedy breakfast with a nutritional boost.
8. Yogurt
Many Americans double dip on dairy by starting the day with a glass of milk and a cup of yogurt for a powerful nutrient one-two punch.
7. Hot Cereal
Heat up your mornings with a bowl of warm cereal. Whether you prefer oatmeal, farina, or any other kind of porridge, make your instant version a bit creamier by preparing it with warm milk instead of water.
6. Pancakes
Nothing says family breakfast like fresh pancakes in the morning. Considered a real treat when there is time to grill a stack, this weekend breakfast staple is a favorite to adults and kids alike.
5. Breakfast Meats
Mmmm… bacon. Breakfast meats might be voted the No. 1 wake-you-up smell in the morning. Enjoy alongside a glass of milk to add in 9 essential nutrients and give yourself a nutritional boost.
4. Toast
Toast is one of the most versatile breakfast foods. Topped with jelly, jam, peanut or other nut butters, cinnamon … the possibilities are endless! Try using whole grain bread alongside your glass of milk.
3. Fruit
Apples and bananas! Most fruits require little to no prep time and pack in lots of fiber to fill you up at breakfast. Add milk and cereal and you’ve got a head start on three important food groups…all before lunch.
2. Eggs
Eggs are probably one of the first foods that come to mind when thinking of breakfast. While most people have their milk on the side, Milk Mustache celebrity Salma Hayek says she likes to put milk in her scrambled eggs because it makes them taste even better.
1. Cold Cereal
It’s no surprise that cold cereal took the top spot on this list. While cereal is okay on its own, it’s at its best when paired with milk. In fact, pairing milk with a fiber-rich cereal gives you all four “nutrients of concern” (calcium, vitamin D, potassium and fiber) – the nutrients most likely to be lacking in Americans’ diets – according to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreen deals week of 2/26

If you want to maximize your   drug store shopping for the week of February 26th 

CVS coupons and deals


$10 CVSCash Card when you spend $30 on these products: (Limit 5 )
* The coupon for your free CVSCash Card will print at a minium of $29.40.
* Limit of 5 free $10 CVSCash cards per cardholder per week, while supplies last. No Rainchecks.
* $30 is before coupons. You don't have to buy $30 at once, you can purchase small amounts during the week until you reach $30.
* If you don't reach $30 by the end of the sales ad week, it will reset to $0 on Sunday. The balance will not roll-over.

Diaper clearance deal at CVS on Pampers in the box when you combine with a coupon it is a really good deal. 

Rite Aid Deals 
they have a good pantene deal match it with a coupon

Walgreen deals of the week


OnTheGo Multi-Vitamin Orange Rush Drink Mix 30 ct., $8.00

Buy 1, Earn a $8.00 Register Reward
Total OOP $8.00 + tax (Final Price FREE after Register Rewards)

Natrol Melatonin 100 ct., $4.00

Buy 1, Earn a $4.00 Register Reward

Total OOP $4.00 + tax (Final Price FREE after RR)

Renew Life Ultimate Flora Daily Care Probiotic 30 ct., $10.00

Buy 1, Earn a $10.00 Register Reward

Total OOP $10.00 + tax (Final Price FREE after RR)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

How much money to have in an emergency fund

Dear Dave Ramsey 

 In your Total Money Makeover book, you talk about Baby Step 3 as saving enough to have three to six months of expenses in your emergency fund. My husband and I were wondering how you can determine whether you need to be on the low end or high end of that range?

Answer from Dave Ramsey 
Lots of times in a marriage you'll have a situation where one person wants to save more, while the other is excited to move on toward investing. Technically, neither is wrong. So, the emergency fund really deals with someone's own personal level of peace. Remember Murphy's Law, and how it says that says if something can go wrong it will go wrong? Your emergency fund is “Murphy Repellent.” Some people just want to make sure he doesn't knock on the door, while others make sure he stays in the next county.
There are always practical considerations you can use to determine the amount of your emergency fund. If you both have very stable jobs, you'll probably be OK saving up three or four months of expenses. But if just one of you works outside the home, or if one is self-employed or on commission, leaning toward the six-month side is probably a good idea.
Of course, you can always compromise. Start out with three months but add a little every once in a while until you reach a point where you're both comfortable.

Read more:

Personally  we err on the side of 6 months and I have even saved up 1 year of expenses now since my husband went started his own business a few years back.  I need a larger security blanket but I have paid off debt and need to know if (and when)  Murphy hits I don't need to pull out the credit card I can just look at my bank and say ok go take it.  

How one family paid off $89,000 of debt in an extreme way

Angela Coffman, of Kansas City, Missouri, one of the four subjects on the recent TLC special Extreme Cheapskates, was a stay-at-home mom of six, and in debt to the tune of $89,000.  

Through extraordinary dedication, effort and big-time penny-pinching, she managed to pull her family up by its bootstraps and erase all that debt … in just six months!

What were you doing to acquire so much debt?
My husband and I were living the American dream. We had several

Disappointed in Suze Orman

I have been a huge supporter of Suze Orman over the years. I have watched her Saturday night tv show on CNBC and cheered when she said denied to folks on her Can I afford it segment. I have read most of her books from the library over the years.

She recently came out with a new prepaid credit card called the approved card and it has a ton of fees. Suze claims that she is worth $25 million dollars and I know I feel that she is scamming the folks that most would get denied on her show. I don't think she should be getting into "bed" with a credit card or debit card company.

 There is a $3.00 set up charge plus a $3.00 monthly fee. There is also a $2.00 transaction fee at the ATMs. Bottom Line just because Suze Orman is endorsing the card doesn't make it a good card.