Friday, January 30, 2009

Just saved us $1800

DH and I went to the Bank to open a new joint savings account for our 2011 Disney Vacation. While we were there, they reminded us we were pre-approved for a CC. Well, we told her thanks but no thanks. And then she just casually mentioned it would be 0% interest for the first 12 months on a transfered balance and continued on about our Disney Account. I guess DH and I both got to thinking. We are currently paying an outrageous 14.25%. So we asked her what the interest rate would be after 12 months and she said 7.9%. So we took our one CC bill that we are paying off, the CC I am working on not using, and transfered it over to this new one. It will save us at least $1800 this year. Woohoo!! We also plan to use our tax return to make a big payment, so maybe we will get it paid off this year if not early next year. So while my DH was frustrated with having to go into the bank with the kids today, he came out very happy with the results. LOL

Update on my week!
No Starbucks!!! That is my third week in a row.
I bought lunch one day while we were up at the school working on PTA stuff, but I have taken to buying just one meal for Keira and I to share, so it was only $7.00 and some change. I have learned if I use my one lunch out per week on a day when Sevi is in school, I save even more money then if I choose a day she is home. D'uh!
I made a payment on the CC a week ago.
I did spend some money at the Book Fair on some books for the girls and one for Julia's teacher. It supports the school and Julia needed some easy readers now that she has learned to read. So not too bad.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cash for Gold and Silver


I hosted a "Cash for Gold and Silver" party yesterday. When I had originally signed up to do this, I had no idea I would be making any money off it. My intention was to set it up and host so all of my lovely Mommy friends could come and make some quick and easy cash. Two weeks before the party I was talking with the organizer and she mentioned my share. I was confused. So she explained to me how it works.

Well, to make a long story short, I earned a total of $349 yesterday. $131 of it was just for hosting. Plus I get $50 for every person who hosts a party off my party. I already know of 4 actual parties set up and a few more thinking about it. So that is another $200.

I used my $349 to pay for a camera seminar I really wanted to go to. I have been dying to learn how to take digital photos better. I use to rock with the film stuff, but everything is digital now. Plus it is a weekend out. I have never been away from my 3 girls for a weekend. Oh my, what is my mind going to think.

I am not planning what I will do with the rest of the money because I don't actually get it until after the parties have taken place. So that would be like counting yur chickens before the eggs have even hatched. But it is exciting to think about.

One Mom got $2500 at my party for 3 gold coins she brought. WOW! Sadly, I did not get a % of it. But it really didn't bother me. I did this so the Moms could make money. I was very happy for her.

No Starbuck's this week and I have only gone out to lunch once. Not too bad.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Week In Review

Last week was pretty good. I had a ew medical expenses we were not expecting, but I did not have to use my CC for them.

I had a doc appt. on Monday - $20
Took lunch to Juls and her BFF - $11
MRI Wednesday - $50
Friday - Friday was a weird day. $11.00

Friday I took the two younger girls to a jump town playdate ($11.00). Then we went to lunch with our friends and I left my purse at the jump place. So my girlfriend spotted us or lunch. Ordered and sat down. Everyone's food came and then our order came...minus mine and DD#2's. So we waited and waited. A waiter came by and asked what we ordered and then we waited some more. Finally I got up and found a manager and he got our food right up. He took our meals off the ticket and gave us a $5.00 GC to come back. I gave that to my girlfriend to cover DD#3's meal. So in the end, I got lunch free. Good karma I tell you. My girlfriend was kind enough to pay and then in the end we got it for free

I did not get a Starbuck's this week. Yay me! Although, I call it a make up for having two the previous week.

I don't have much on my schedule this week. I did take the girls to downtown or lunch with Daddy. Ended up spending $6.00 on DART fees because the DART would not print Julia's ticket. Grrr.

And then I am hosting a "Cash or Gold and Silver" party on Wednesday, so I hope to make $$$$ and not spend it. I bought snacks and drinks for this and it was included in my great grocery shopping yesterday.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Grocery Day

So today was grocery day. I can't believe it has been two weeks already. So I worked on keeping it at or below $250 again. Steve worked on the coupons and then I grabbed what we needed to match the list I made or add to our list the coupons we had.

Total Bill - $254.04
Store Savings - $17.17
MFG Coupons - $11.45
Store Coupons - $4.80
Final Bill - $237.66

So YAY me!!! We did it again. I am so proud of myself. And that final bill even included diapers this week which is not a part of our grocery budget. So you can even take $11.79 off that for a total of $225.87. Almost $25 under budget. Woohoo!! I still have a couple of items to buy from Schwans, so it was really important to keep it under budget.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Apparently I do care about what people think of me more then I thought. LOL

It is a very cold morning. A stay in bed and curl up with the blankets kind of morning. But instead, I had to get up and get two kids off to school. I did not eel like making breakfast but I did for them. Get them off to school and am heading home when I realize how hungry I am. Hmm, I am really thirsty also. I could run through McyDs and grab an Sausage McMuffin w/ Cheese and an Iced Hazelnut Coffee. better yet, I can run across the street and go through the Starbucks drive thru after McyD's and get a nice hot Mocha or Carmel Apple Spice.

But then I thought of this challenge and my weight loss goals. I thought of all the ladies who are participating and have been so supporting. I came home instead and had a bowl of chex and am about to make some hot cocoa or something. Ho hum! Guess the accountability thing works.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

4 Phone Calls To Save $700

Dialing For Dollars

Phone in a more favorable interest rate. Do you carry a balance on your credit card from month to month (even just occasionally)? Call the customer service number and ask for a lower interest rate. Shoot for a rate reduction of one-third (for example, a new APR of 12% as opposed to the current 19%). On a $6,000 balance that you want to pay off in one year, you'll save $198 in interest and about $200 on payments over a single year. This tactic works best for customers with an on-time payment history, knowledge of competitors‘ offers (see the going rates at and a sink full of dishes (to keep you occupied if you're put on hold).

Sweet-talk your way out of late fees. Even the most punctual bill payer can forget to put the check in the mail. Call, apologize profusely (bonus points for particularly creative excuses) and tell your card company that the check really, truly is in the mail (make sure that it is). Then ask to have the late-payment fee waived just this once, pretty, pretty, pretty please. A little groveling will save you an average of $35. Now mark your calendar with next month's due date, because the late-fee forgiveness will only fly once, maybe twice a year.

Dial down your car insurance premiums. If your current deductible is less than four figures, call your car insurer and raise your deductible to $1,000 (at least). Upping it to that level from $250, for example, could slash your premiums by 15% or more. (That's $135 in savings if your current annual cost of car insurance is $900.)

Hang up on high cell-phone cancellation fees. Don't get stuck with a dud cell-phone plan just to avoid a steep early cancellation fee. You can dump the plan and skip the penalty termination fee ($170 on average). Start with your provider: If it has changed the terms of your contract in the past 30 days, you may have the right to terminate the deal without getting financially slapped on the wrist. If you missed the deadline or no changes were made, your next step is to hook up with a cellular exchange service (for example, which will help you transfer your carrier (and remaining contract) to a cell-service shopper for just a small fee (typically $20).

Monday, January 12, 2009

Not much to report

S had gymnastics this morning. I usually drop her off and go get a Starbuck's, but today we stayed and watched. No more runs to Starbuck's during gym class. Then I had a doctor's appt. that cost $15. S kept asking i we could go to lunch. She does not understand money yet. I keep telling her that Mommy is trying to save money so we are going to eat at home. She doesn't get it. I ended up having left over ziti from the night before as did K. She decided her ham was not as yummy as my left overs. LOL And then I made meatballs for dinner. So other then the necessary doctor's appt., I did not spend any money today. Although I did send a link to a bathrobe to my husband to buy me. He owes it to me rom Christmas and my Birthday. Long story. And yet, he was still not able to order it because his work computer blocks it. Ugh. I am just destined not to have a new bathrobe. My 15 year old VS robe is just going to have to do.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Gifts, Lunch and More

I had to get a birthday gift for DD#2's classmate for a party this afternoon. I gave her a spending limit and she did great. We also had to go to the post office to mail a gift to my SIL. I was beat after all that so we used our one lunch out ticket. But I am very proud of myself. Instead of going just anywhere, we hit Taco Bueno for their "party burritos". They are only $.79. I bought lunch for DD#2, DD#3 and myself for less then $5.00. And we were all full. Not bad.

I did learn something about myself today. I am a "bored" shopper. I am early for everything. I can not stand being late. Sometimes I am too early. So then I have to figure out what to do. Hit a Target or a Starbuck's. For example, DD#2 and I were early for the party today. She doesn't understand that the party can't start yet and why we need to wait. So we have to do something to keep her occupied. So we walked down the a Starbuck's a few doors down. Bought her a Milk Chocolate and myself an Iced Mocha. Shame on me. I broke my first rule of the year. So when we are bored and waiting around, I shop. I spend money I don't need to. How do I fix this? Not be early? It's a habit. And not a horrible habit to have. Maybe I need to be prepared with things in the car for the kids to do in case we are early so they can sit and wait in the car? Something to think about.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Quick update

I used my one Starbucks a week already. And it wasn't worth. Talk about teaching me a lesson. It was good. Especially on the cold wet day that it was, but it ended up giving me a horrible headache. I guess I have decreased my coffee intake so much that the one (well, I only drank half) drink gave me a headache. So it may be time to give it up 100%. I still have other non-coffee drinks I know I will get pulled into the drive-thru for. But it will be easier to say no to the coffee.

I have not gone out to lunch yet this week. I don't plan to today either. Baby K was throwing up all night and running a fever. She seems much much better this morning, but we are going to take it easy at the house. So that only leaves tomorrow but S will be home and I am not sure I will want to take both the girls out. Especially since S has a birthday party in the afternoon. So I may just skip my one alloted lunch out this week. Not bad.

I have also made dinner every night this week. My husband travels. A lot! So it is easy for me to just order pizza or grab something and bring it home. I am too tired to make dinner when he is gone. But so far I have made dinner every night this week. I did not set a rule on this one because I knew that it will be a hard one for me to keep. So I didn't want to set myself up for failure. But knowing all the work I am doing in this challenge, I know that I will try to cut back on our dinners out. I am taking the girls out for dinner next Tuesday with friends, so I am trying to be really good about it this week.

I used a couple gift cards and I sold a couple of items that have been sitting in my house. So I would say a pretty good week thus far.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Yay Verizon!

So today I sort of spent money and saved money.

I had some Gift Cards from my birthday I needed to use for some new jeans. I know, NEW. Shame on me. But I am just not as dedicated as some of the other ladies in the group. I am cutting WAY back on my clothes spending by trying to get only things that are needed. And since I only had one pair of jeans that fit, I needed more. LOL And I was not spending any money on them.

Then I had to call Verizon. A call I was dreading since it always takes forever, but I had to do it. We got our new TV (purchased with Christmas money) that replaced the one that got broken when trying to make it safe for the kids. LOL Well the new TV is HD. So I needed to call Verizon and get our box upgraded for HDTV. And while we were at it, we needed the DVD Player. This wonderful lady was very patient and willing to help me SAVE money. She realized we had all of their services, phone, internet and cable, but we did not have a bundle and were spending way too much. So we were able to drop our $200 a month bill down to $132 a month with a discount of $98 a month for the next three months. So while I bought more products, we will be spending about $68 less a month. Yay Me! and Yay the wonderful lady at Verizon. Plus it will upgrade my internet (WOOHOO!!!!) and give Steve the Sports Package for free (YAHOO!!!).

So, now might be a good time for you ladies to check in with your cable service for new plans. Worked for us.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I did it!!! - $243.86

I did it! Well, WE did it. Gotta give DH some credit for all his work on the coupons. He is really good with helping me out with stuff. Coupons will sort of be his half of the shopping adventure.

Anyway, we spent $243.86 on 2 weeks of groceries. Just under the $250 budget I put us on.
We used 15 mfg. coupons for a savings of $13.30.
Store "coupons" for $2.70 of savings.
Promotional savings of $21.36
And Great Deal Savings of $39.69

They were having amazing deals on BOGO Free Sales. So we even bought some items that were not on the list because it was BOGO free and we just couldn't pass it up. Like the meats. How could we pass up a BOGO free Roast or Beef Tips (which the beef tips were already on our grocery list). We also got some BOGO free steaks for some chicken fried steaks.

Lots of other great BOGO on snacks for the girls and for their lunches.

Anyway, I am so proud of Steve and myself. We are taking this seriously and trying to make it work. This is a good start.

And just to add a little humor, this is what 10 inserts of coupons looks like (we bought an extra paper to get a few more coupons).

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Tomorrow is grocery day

This is going to be hard. How do I shop with less money but buy healthier foods? My husband and my girls have no problem eating all the frozen crap and such. I, personally love fresh veggies and fruits. They like the fresh fruits, too. But all the fresh stuff can get expensive. But if I am going to cut out the extra calories, I have to buy better foods. It's a sad, vicious cycle. Luckily, there is something like 5 inserts of coupons in Sunday's newspaper tomorrow. So hopefully I can find some good coupons to help keep me under budget. My goal is to not spend any more then $250. That is going to be tough. I am usually pretty good about what we buy. I make a two week meal menu and then make list based on the ingredients for those meals. So we don't usually just randomly buy things. So I am not sure where I am going to cut back. Hopefully the coupons is all I will need. We use to buy between $250 and $300 (closer to $300 a trip the past few months). So wish me luck.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Bye Bye E-Mail Ads

Chrystyna had a great idea. So simple, but very helpful in this adventure. Unsubscribing from all the e-mail advertisements I get. And I get a bunch. I decided to start today and I have already unsubscribed from Hanna Andersen, Disney Store, Bath and Body Works and Banana Republic. And I have only been up for 30 minutes. Ha! So every time one of those e-mails come in, I plan to unsubscribe. Steve says I am a girl who knows what I want anyway and I don't need all that useless junk in my e-mails. It takes away from the important ones anyway. He is just trying to help me feel better about all of this. Gotta love him.