Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Kitchenaid Mixer Deal

Miss MoneyPenny was browsing Queen Bee Coupons and noticed that she was saying that Amazon.com has KitchenAid Artisan stand mixers on sale for $225.99, with free shipping.  Now, that is a good sale!!!  And that is not all - go to KitchenAid.com and print out the $30 rebate form.  I don't know how long the sale is, so if you are jonesing for one of those beauties, now is the time.  My favorite, and only son, got me one for my birthday a few years ago, in red.  If the house was on fire, I would grab it on the way out the door....along with my dogs, of course.

Miss MoneyPenny has been keeping house since 1967.  That is a long time and I have collected just tons of kitchen stuff and I bet you have, too.  I'm starting to realize that I always use the same cup and the same few pots and pans and bowls, etc.  I think that it is getting time for a purge.  Does that say something about my age?  I understand that you want to simplify when you get older.  Well, I must be getting close.

There are a few ways to do this.  I could have a big garage sale and hope that it sells.  Or I could donate it to ARC - they come and pick up, which is a nice idea.  ARC is a charity for developmentally challenged kids and I believe in that kind of thing.  I also have friends who own a thrift shop.  They are always happy to take things, too.

The point that I'm trying to drive home is that we all have STUFF that we no longer need or even want.  Why not make a few bucks for the old budget and clean out the house?  Or help somebody out.  Or do both.  Sell things that are more valuable and sellable, and donate the rest to charity.  Someone who is down on their luck and needing to set up their house would really appreciate some nice, gently used items.  And you would actually be able to see your new Kitcheaid mixer now that you have cleared all the excess stuff off your countertops.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Car Talk

Miss MoneyPenny is a little uneasy talking about car care when things went bad after posting about critter care.  Since Suzette did come back from the edge, I think it might be safe to carry on.

I took my car to Costco to get my tires rotated today.  I bought new Michelin All Weather tires from them last year, using a $70 coupon, of course, and got free tire rotation for the life of the tires.  I know this is important because my dad was in the tire business.  I drive a 2003 Honda CR-V, nothing sexy, but with these tires and all-wheel drive, I can drive through most anything that Mother Nature throws at us.  Tires are very important and they also need their pressures checked regularly, along with the rotation.  Tires are cool and Miss MoneyPenny is thinking of replacing the plain wheels that came on the CR-V with something that will make it more sexy to other cars.

Miss MoneyPenny always buys new cars.  I know, I know - they loose value after you drive them out of the lot, but I drive my cars forever and take real good care of them.  Money maven, Suze Orman says, you have to drive your car for at least 10 years to get your value.  I believe in this.  In 1971, I bought a new VW bug for $2100 and sold it in 1986 for $5000.  I think that I got my money out of that car.  I buy new because I really need a dependable car.  I go crazy when my car breaks down, so I practice maintenance, instead of repair.

The most important thing that you can do for your car is to develop a close and loving relationship with a good mechanic.  It is public record that I actually married one.  Anyway, take your car in for regular oil changes and scheduled maintenance.  One of my "occasional expense" categories in my budget is for my car, so  I always have the money on hand.  If you aren't married to your mechanic, he will expect cash on the barrel head, at the time of service.  I pay close attention to what he has to say and I always ask lots of questions.  Hey, I'm paying him for his expertise.

Once a year, I get my car waxed and detailed.  This year, my sweet grandson did it for me.  Thank you Eli!!!!  The rest of the year, I take it up to the car wash and they give it a quick going over.  I always, always, always put Chevron gas in my car.  Three mechanics have told me to use this.  No cheap Safeway gas for me.  Miss Maggie May told me that a friend of hers learned the hard way when she had to take her late model car in from using that stuff.  Just a suggestion.

As soon as I get home from buying a new car, I start a folder and put everything regarding the care of that car into it.  I keep everything, including the stickers that came off of it.  Today, I put my receipt, with a zero balance, into the file.  When I sell the car, I hand over the file.  The last car I sold was to Miss Maggie May.  Now her grandson is driving it and it still looks like brand new. 

If you are wondering what happened to the file?  It seems that it got recycled.  So much for that, but usually a new owner is happy to have the history of the car.  Miss Maggie May will ask me if I had had some work or other done on the car when I had it.  I tell her to check the file.

Friday, August 26, 2011

QFC Parking Lot Mums

Miss MoneyPenny thinks she may be onto something with parking lot plants.  All my pots have done really well this year, which is a first, let me tell you.  I get full hot sun all day on my deck and it has taken me 16 years to get it.  My plants have to be tough, hence, parking lot girls.

 I mentioned in my last post that I was going to check out the 3/$10 gallons of mums in this week's sale.  There were several colors, including the ever important white, and they looked healthy.  I chose white, lemon and a rusty colored one - we are talking fall colors here.  Some of them were already flowering and were gorgeous.  It was hard not to choose them for instant gratification, but I went with the buds.  Check them out:

I also took some quick pictures of my begonias.  I bought the last three sickly begonia starts that they had.  They were in pretty bad shape, but they were cheap.  I picked off all the dead stuff and potted them in my begonia pot in a mixture of compost and Miracle Grow potting soil.  They did pretty good considering what a cool summer we have had up until now:

I picked a nice mess of green beans this afternoon and a few cherry tomatoes.  This is a strange picture of my garden.  I don't water the grass, as you can tell.  My sun gold tomato is really taking over the garden as you also can tell, or maybe not, what with my photography:

This is the least amount of money that I have spent on my summer gardening, ever, and I have been quite happy with the results.  I realize that I don't have exotic beauties, but I haven't had disappointment either. 

I have no idea why my sentences are centering themselves, but it is kind of cool, don't you think?  Gives the place some class.  Oh, I fixed it.   

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Coupons & Flyers 8/23

There was only one insert this Sunday in the paper.  I didn't get to see it until Monday, as someone stole my paper again!!!  As it was, there were only three coupons of interest:

Brita Pitcher - $4
Wisk - $2
Claritan - $6 off 42 count, expires 8/28

I will still mark the front of the insert (S/8/21) and file it because you can never tell when you might need it.  If not for me, maybe for the food bank.  Couponmom.com is a great resource for matching coupons to sales and she also lists the deals at Safeway, especially for people with kids, like herself.

Miss MoneyPenny is beginning to think that the grocery stores are in the dog days of summer, or on vacation.  The good sales have just not been there for awhile and prices are pretty high.  You would think that in August produce would at least be reasonable.  These are trying times for the grocery budget if you want to eat clean.  This is my preview of the sales starting 8/24:


Peaches/Nectarines - .99/lb
12 pack Coke products - buy 2, get 2 free, plus 2 bags of chips - good deal for parties or teenagers
Flu shot - get 10% off grocery bill


Country Style Pork Ribs - 1.99/lb
Dover Sole - 5.99/lb
Walla Walla Sweets - .88/lb
Pears - 10 lbs/$10 or $1 a pound
Cucumbers - 2/$1
S&W, Del Monte Canned Tomatoes - buy 10/save $5, making them .75 each.  This is when I stock up.
Washington Wines - 30% off, take additional 15% for six or more.  Good price.
Mums - 3/$10 in gallon sizes.  I thought I would take a look.  You know how Miss MoneyPenny loves QFC parking lot plants.

My garden is producing green beans and zucchini so I am only looking at the Walla Wallas and the cucumbers.  I can only eat so much produce.  I'll stock up on canned tomatoes since I make lots of soups in the fall and winter.  I should probably lay in some wine as my sister, Miss SmartyPants, is coming in September for the hot springs trip.  We tend to go through a lot of it when we are together, that we are winos, or anything.

I'll head over to World Peace Produce for summertime fruit since QFC thinks it is pear time.  I eat pears and apples in the fall and winter, not in the summer.  I don't even know where they got those pears.  Are they picking pears east of the mountains yet?  Seems early.

Don't forget the food bank.  QFC had tuna and pasta 10/$10, so I bought five of each and had them bag it separately from my stuff and then put it in the food bank container.  They are always piling junk on top of it, so it is hard to find.  The first time you will probably have to ask where it is.  I talked to one of the food bank ladies and she assures me that they pick up regularly.  I think that the average age of their volunteers is 80, so some of us who are getting close to retirement might think about helping out there.  We are a community and we help each other out.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book Shelf

Now, you really are not surprised that Miss MoneyPenny is going to do a few book reviews, are you?  I have been a life long reader and I have the perfect job at the library.  My mother took me to the library for the first time when I was two, according to her, and I remember it.  She was surprised by that, but when I described it, she agreed. 

Actually, one of my favorite memories of my mom was her sitting up on the bank at the swimming hole, reading while us kids were splashing away.  She would be reading some book that she got at the library and she would be snickering.  I would ask her what was so funny.  Sometimes she would read me the passage.  Anyway, it was really hot in the summer where we lived and every week day at 1:00 my mother would load up the pickup with all the neighborhood kids and take us to the swimming hole.  I wonder if any of the other mothers knew that mom could not swim a stroke when they let their kids go with her.

The first book that I want to talk about is Kathy Spencer's How to Shop for Free.  This is a great book about getting the deal when you are shopping.  Kathy is a stay-at-home mom with four kids (one in college), critters and a husband who works for the city.  His annual income is $45,000 and they live in the Boston area where costs are really high.  Because of Kathy's expertise, they have a beautiful home and no debt.  They drive SUVs, wear name brand clothes and give a lot to charity. 

Kathy is a lovely, chic lady who really knows how to get the deal and is willing to teach us through her website of the same name and her book.  She covers it all - from groceries, clothing, prescriptions, you name it.  She has it figured out.  She takes her shopping very seriously.  Even though I am not an extreme shopper, I found her book to be very informative and it gave me a lot to think about.  I also enjoyed her quirky style of writing and she was very clear in explaining her methods.  I bought this book for my ereader and look forward to anything else that she writes.

The next book is Michele Owens' Grow the Good Life: why a vegetable garden will make you happy, healthy, wealthy, and wise.  This is not your typical gardening book.  There are no pretty pictures or charts and diagrams.  Michele is one of the Garden Rant ladies, so you know she has an attitude.  She has an opinion on everything to do with vegetable gardening, from growing it to eating it.  Her writing is beautiful.  Dare I say it is a literary gardening book?  This is another book that I put on my ereader.  I just couldn't stand the idea of not having it.

The last book for today is a novel.  Doc by Mary Doria Russell gets my vote for the best novel of the year.  This book is a fictionalized story of Doc Holliday based on fact.  I know - who wants to read a western where the hero dies?  Trust me on this, you will thank me.  This is a lovely book and I didn't want it to end - what Nancy Pearl calls "a gooood book."  I fell madly in love with Doc.  He's just the kind of guy I always go for.  Heads up - the author is coming to our library for the Huntingford Lecture on October 11th at 6:30.  Come early.

Correction:  Hall and Oats are going to be at Bumpershoot, not the Puyallup.  Get your facts straight, MoneyPenny.

Update:  Suzette is back to her happy, barking self.  Thank you Dr. Ginny!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Critter Care Part 2

Remember when I told you that critter care is the wild card in your budget?  Boy, was Miss MoneyPenny right about that.  Yesterday, I took all my critters, including the cat, to the vet for their annual vaccines.  The vet told me that I should be brushing the kitty's teeth!!!  I told him that brushing Poppy's teeth was like brushing the teeth of the Tasmanian Devil so I was drawing the line with the cat.  He gave everybody their checkups and vaccines.  When I got the bill, they gave me the group rate, saving me $40, making my bill $163.  I was very smug and proud for putting myself through taking everybody to the vet at once.  I really needed a cold beverage after that, so my friend, Miss Maggie May, came by and picked me up and we went to lunch.

I got home about 5:00 and let the girls out.  I noticed right away that somebody had been sick.  When I looked at Suzette, my nine year old schnauzer, I saw that her eyes were swollen shut and she was acting like she had rabies.  Of course, when I called the vet, they were gone for the weekend.  Luckily for me and Suzette, on the way out of town, I noticed that another vet was still in even though they were closed, saving me a trip across the bridge to the emergency vet.  Suzette was having a terrible reaction to the vaccines and probably would not have made it for much longer.  After saving Suzette's life I only had to pay $173.  I would have maxed out my credit cards to save her, since I was in that zone of terror for her life.

Suzette has never reacted to vaccines like this, so there was not much I could have done to avoid the reaction.  What I am going to do is stay with this vet who saved her.  I have been trying to save money on pet care so had been going to the least expensive vet.  This worked pretty well as long as we didn't have a problem, but this vet is just not available after hours.  The vet who saved Suzette is just up the street and someone is always available.  They even call you to make sure everything is okay.  The downside is, this place is expensive, but I sure didn't save anything on vaccines this year, did I?

I'm not putting up a grocery basket this week because the sales are lame.  I bought Special K, blueberries, grape tomatoes, salad mix and bananas at Costco today.  On Monday, I will drop by QFC and pick up some wild, fresh salmon ($8.99/lb), cottage cheese and purple cabbage for the salads.  I'm also going to pick up tuna and pasta (10 for $10) for the food bank.  I try to put a bag together for them a couple of times a month.  These are some pretty tough times that we are living in now and a lot more folks are using the food bank.  Remember - we are all in this together.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Critter Care

You know that Miss MoneyPenny is one of those bleeding heart, tree hugging animal lovers and so are my family and friends.  I pretty much structure my life around them and they give me so much back.  The deal with my babies is that they are the wild card in my budget.  When you are in the middle of an animal emergency, all sense goes out the window.  I pretty much have to be told that there is absolutely no hope before I give up and that can really be expensive.  Since you never know when something is going to happen, you can't plan for it.  I have a category in my budget for pet care which covers their shots, teeth cleanings, grooming and moderate emergencies.  That is the best I can do.  Anything worse than that has to come out of savings.

I believe in maintenance instead of repair with all things, including the girls.  They have regular vet visits and get their annual vaccines.  I buy their food from PetSmart and pay a real premium for it, and I measure it out.  They gain weight easily just like me.  This is going to get you, but I brush their teeth after paying some really expensive vet bills for removal of teeth.  I feel bad when I think of how awful a toothache is and what a big baby I am when I get one.  I also buy those expensive chewy things from the vet to help keep their teeth clean.

Probably the most important thing that I do is to provide a fenced in yard for their safety.  I go crazy when pet owners think that it is okay to either tie up their dog or let it run free.  I'm talking about my neighbors here.  I just know that if I'm not the one who runs over it, I'll have to see it get run over.  What are these people thinking?  I feel so sorry for their dogs.

On a lighter note, Miss Isadora the Bohemian, who is the proud owner of two pugs, tells me that you can go to the Seattle Pug Rescue site and take advantage of their Seniors for Seniors program.  The deal is you have to be over 60 to adopt a rescue pug over the age of eight.  There is a reduced adoption fee, and here is the best part, all vet fees are paid for the life of your new baby.  I think that this is a great deal...for the dog and you.  It would be worth checking to see if other breed rescue organizations have a similar deal if you aren't interested in a pug, but they are so cute and very sweet.  How could you resist?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Good Coupons 8/16

Miss MoneyPenny promised you that she would tell you about the interesting coupons this week.  I bet you thought that I had forgotten because my memory went on vacation there for awhile.  I'm going to blame it on the lack of summer this year, although today was pretty wonderful.

If you need to restore your hair back to its natural color, there is a coupon in the RedPlum insert this week for $5 off two L'Oreal Haircolors.  Also, a $2 Advil coupon and a $5/2 Covergirl Naturaluxe products, which I plan to use at Rite Aid this week.  I'm almost out of my gloss/balm and it is on sale for Buy One, Get Second One 50% off.  That will be a good deal when I plunk that $5 coupon down.

The SmartSource insert has a $1 coupon for Nature Made vitamins.  The way I work this one is, to wait until it goes on BOGO (Buy one, get one free) and use two coupons for each bottle.  Both Safeway and Rite Aid are running BOGO this week if you are getting low on your vitamins.  Now, this really shocks me but there is a coupon for $30 off a Philips Norelco Sensotouch Electric Razor and it is good until the end of January 2012.  I had no idea that those things were so expensive when I lifted my favorite ex-husband's on the way out the door.  He never mentioned that it was missing...probably thought he had left it at one of his girlfriend's house.  Anyway, it works really well when you need to buff up your legs but don't have time for a shower to really give them a good scraping.  If this thing goes on sale, which it probably will around Christmas, jump on it for a nice present.

I've taken a quick look at the flyers for this week.  I will post next time on the deals, but in case my sister is listening,  Safeway is offering 10% off your groceries if you get your flu shot there.  I'm sure she is looking at flu shots in a whole new way after her flu turned into pneumonia last year.  I got a flu shot last year for the first time.  The last time I got the flu was so bad I never want to do that again.  Miss Know-it-All took me to the doctor and when the receptionist saw me, she quarantined us off in a room by ourselves and made us wear MASKS!!!  So, I get the shot.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Shopping Trip 8/13

Now, you know how Miss MoneyPenny is obsessive about making lists.  Apparently, I need to now start making a list when I go to the coffee stand.  When I went outside this morning to start the watering, I noticed right off that I did not receive my Sunday paper!!!  Again!!!  After complaining to the paper people, getting my laundry started, and cleaning my house, I decided to go up to the coffee stand and get a paper because I was planning on posting the interesting coupons today.  I thought that since I was there, I would get one of their yummy coffee drinks.  I carefully looked over their cookies and they gave Pici a doggie biscuit.  Then, I drove off, enjoying my coffee.  You guessed it!  I got home without the paper.

Anyway, yesterday, Miss Know-it-All (MKIA) and I, headed out for the big city.  MKIA had a $10 off $25 coupon for JC Penney that she wanted to use.  First, I dropped her off at Target and headed to my Weight Watcher meeting.  After the meeting, I went back to Target and used that $6 coupon for Zyrtec and a $5 Target gift card, getting my Zyrtec for $12.19.  I see that Costco has a coupon for $6 off for use starting 8/18 which I will also be using.  I hate this allergy thing.  It has become a pretty expensive habit.

We had a nice lunch at The Yacht Club, using a $10 coupon.  Our waitress gave us two more $10 coupons for next time.  We never tip on the discounted price - always on the full price, and a little more.  Both of us have done a lot of waitress work in our pasts and take good care of our waitresses and waiters.  Not only is that hard work, you also have to be charming - and have a really good memory.  I seems I have used mine all up.

After lunch, we headed to Macy's for the swimming suit sale.  We won't talk about how much fun trying on swimming suits is.  It looks like I will be wearing my old blue flowered number again this year when we go to the hot springs resort in September.  One year, when I was up there with my daughter-in-law and a friend, I hung my wet suit over the railing before going to bed.  Those two decided to go back to the lodge.  They told me in the morning that it was so dark trying to make their way back to our cabin that night, that they had to use the glow from my bathing suit as a guide.  You can understand why I've been looking for a new one.  But, I did get this little, slinky, long number:

It started out at $34.99.  By the time I got done with it, using my coupons and the sale, it was $15.99.  I think this will work after the wet bathing suit comes off.  The last two years it has been quite hot up there.  We will see how it goes this year.  It is the Olympic National Forest, after all.

At Penney's they let me use MKIA's $10 coupon and I got this top for $16.35:

Back at Macy's, we stopped at the Clarin's counter because my friend Debbie works there.  She is a very good salesperson because I walked away with some of their hand cream which she thinks is better than Origins.  Same price per ounce, but bigger size.  Don't you just hate it when you can't get any more hand cream out of the tube, but just know there is more in there?  I've been cutting off the bottom of the tube, and guess what?  There is almost another week or two left in there!!  When you pay that much for good hand cream, it has to be good to the last drop.

My sweet 16 year old grandson has been helping me to get pictures on.  I'm sorry that they are a little blurry, but this is like rocket science to me.  I think he was born with a computer attached.  So, for practice, I'm showing you some pictures of my babies.  The schnauzer with the ears is Pici, who is 11.  The other schnauzer is Suzette.  She is known for her set of lungs.  Then, there is Poppy, the Boston Terrier.  My son, the plumber, rescued her from a job site and thought she would be happy at Mom's house.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Grocery Basket 8/12

Now, you know Miss MoneyPenny tries to be nice, but somebody needs to tell Safeway in Port Townsend that they have the most disgusting, filthy restroom that I have ever seen.  There is never any Texas T-Shirts (toilet seat covers) or paper towels, and the place is just dirty.  What gives?  Even WalMart has sparkling, clean restrooms.  Whew!  Glad I got that off my chest. 

Anyway, I worked the Buy $15 get $5 off freezer deal that Miss SmartyPants referred to in her comment.  She bought pizzas.  I bought Weight Watcher ice cream bars.  They were on sale for $3.99, so I bought 4 boxes, and got $5 off.  My bill came to $23 with a savings of 43%.  Items that were of interest to me were:

Organic carrots - .99/lb
Radishes - 2/$1
Romaine - .99
Kiwis - 2/$1

I also used the coupon in the flyer and got two International Delights for $2.49 each.  They are still running the 30% off Washington wines, buy 6 or more, and get 10% more off.  QFC is running the same deal but they are offering 15% off.  You can also go to the customer service desk, if you can find it, and they have tickets for $10 off the Puyallup Fair concert series.  I hear Hall & Oats are going to be there this year.

At QFC, I used two $1 coupons on my almond milks and forgot to buy the peaches.  I hate it when I do that.  Those peaches were the first thing on my list!  Of interest to me were:

PEACHES - $1.48/lb
Green beans - $1.28/lb
Broccoli - .88/lb
Cherries - $1.98/lb

My total bill came to $15.04 including the deli chicken breast and three slider burgers I picked up, for a savings of 43%.  Weird, both stores were 43%.  I have enough produce, so won't be stopping by World Peace this week.  I'm going to roast chicken from my freezer, hard boil eggs and broil slider burgers for protein.  I've got a lot of chicken in that freezer.  I stock up when the prize goes down.  When I get it home, I carefully divide it up into freezer bags, dating the bags when I remember.  I did have list on my freezer door of what was in there, but got really embarrassed when somebody thought I might be getting too Martha Stewarty.  It is a good idea, though.

Reminder!!!!  Gold is going for almost $2000 an ounce.  If you haven't dug around in your jewelery box for old stuff you never wear, now is the time.  I mentioned before that I had a few ratted up chains that were in this big mess.  I took them down to my local jeweller and got $221 for them.  But that is not the good part.  In that big mess was a pair of tiny, beautiful, fiery opal earrings that I had completely forgotten about.  I kept those.  Anyway, this is a great way to start funding your "occasional expenses" account, so you do not have to use your credit card when the plumber comes to your house.  He came to my house this morning.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Puget Sound Energy, My New BFF

I'm sure that you are wondering where Miss MoneyPenny is going with this one, but stick with me.  Keep in mind that my goal is to maintain my chosen lifestyle on limited funds.

So, several weeks ago, I was listening to my favorite DJ, Marty Reimer on The Mountain (103.7 FM) and there was an ad saying that you could get a free water saving shower head for free from PSE by just going to their website and answering a couple of questions.  I had no idea that they had a website but I really needed a new shower head for the guest bathroom.  The old one was a real piece of crap.  In fact, the first time it was used, by Miss SmartyPants, no less, the whole thing flew out of the wall at her.  That was 16 years ago, so it was just awful.  I believe that my sister actually threatened me the last time she was up here.  Anyway, I went to their site and did the quick survey and 10 days later, a really nice shower head showed up in my mailbox.

While I was visiting their website, I noticed that they had some pretty cool deals on there and lots of information about your energy use.  I bet you didn't know that you could get a $100 rebate just for buying an appliance that is on their very long list.  Get this - if you buy your new fridge from their list, they will rebate you back $75 and pay you $30 to haul away and recycle your old one!  I find this all really exciting because my fridge is over 20 years old.  I keep the coils vacuumed like they say, but she is out there in the kitchen just sucking up energy like mad.  Never quits running.  I'm on my third ice maker with this old girl and I know she can't last forever, so I've been keeping my eyes open.

This is the best part.  PSE is running a promotion right now that I am going to win because I'm sure nobody else hangs out at their website.  The first prize is a front loading Whirlpool washer and dryer that sells for $2200.  The second prize is a Whirlpool refrigerator worth $2200.  The third prize is a top loading Whirlpool washer and dryer worth $2000.  I'm not interested in the first prize, but will definitely take the second or third one.  I believe the contest is over in October.  They have my phone number.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Good Coupons 8/8

There are so many good couponing sites out there, so Miss MoneyPenny will not be doing that.  I don't know how they keep track of all that without going insane, but I'm glad they do, because I use them.  Granted, they are geared toward families with children and I'm all done with that.  But, I still follow them because I do find things and I have learned a lot from them about this part of saving money. 

I really hate it when I have to pay full price.  Remember my mantra: buy at rock bottom, with coupons if you have them, and stock up until the next sale.  I mentioned in a previous post that I was going to buy four tubes of Colgate at 78 cents each, with four 50 cent coupons, making them 28 cents each.  I won't have to buy toothpaste until the next deal comes along, never paying full price.  My grocery basket usually looks a little weird because I'm probably stocking up on at least one item.  I always shop the loss leaders, but only if I need them, not just because it is a screaming deal.

What I'm trying to get around to is that there are a couple of coupons of note this week.  The first one is for Zyrtec and is $6 off the 24 count or larger.  The problem is that it expires on the 14th, so I am hoping that either Safeway or QFC will step up on this one and put it on sale this week.  Otherwise, I will use it anyway.  I was just sure I had bought enough this spring when it was on sale, but it has been a bad allergy year for me and I'm almost out.  The other one is for PetCareRx - $10 off and free shipping over $35.  This one doesn't expire until 9/30, so I am holding onto it, hoping for the daily double on Ebates.  Might help if I tell you where you can find these coupons.  The Zyrtec coupon is in the 8/7 RedPlum insert and PetCareRx is in the SmartSource insert.

I don't feel the least bit guilty or embarrassed using my coupons.  As far as I'm concerned, it is free money.  What's not to love?  But if you are worried that you are doing something dodgy, remember that coupons come out of the advertising budget of these companies that want your money.  So, have at it and save some money for things that you really enjoy - like a pedicure.  I have never enjoyed my groceries.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Boomer Beauty

Miss MoneyPenny is going to rant and rave, so if you don't want to hear it, stop now.

I was reading an article in a magazine the other day that really irritated me.  It was about how to be beautiful in your 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.  What?  What about me?  I don't remember waking up on my 60th birthday and looking into the mirror and seeing somebody different than the day before, when I was in my 50s.  What are those idiot ad guys thinking?  Who do they think has all the money, anyway?

I'm sure I'm not the only woman who was washing her face every night with Noxzema when I was 10.  In my neighborhood, all the girls were at least two years older, except Little Miss SmartyPants, who was four years younger and working on her attitude.  Sometimes, the older girls, who I worshipped, would let me hang around with them if I could keep myself under control.  I learned how to rat my hair and apply eyeliner.  I remember feeling so cool once when they let me walk up to the service station with them for a Tab. 

Anyway, I was really hooked on cosmetics at an early age.  I never left the house without my face and still don't.  But as I have gotten older, I've become sensitive to almost everything.  No more hair dye, no perms, no eye makeup and most body lotions and washes.  Maybe these ad guys are onto something, because most of my friends have the same problem.  So, what ends up happening is, cosmetics become more expensive. You have to buy them at department stores and they are never on sale and you can't use coupons.  Bummer.  What to do?

I remember reading an article in a magazine that said as you age, use less makeup.  I was in my 20s and didn't get it at the time, but it stayed in my head.  I'm down to Cetaphil for washing my face and body, Origins Precipitation body lotion, Lancome Absolute moisturizer, Revlon foundation and lipstick, eyebrow pencil, Mac blusher, Youth Dew Perfume, Origins Make a Difference hand cream and Pantene.  That's it.  Everything else makes me break out into itchy bumps or makes my eyes swell shut.  I guess that article was right because I sure am using less products.

The Origins and Lancome are pretty expensive.  The way I work the Origins is wait until it hits the Ebates daily double and go for it.  The body lotion is $58 for 33.8 ounces, so I need two a year.  The hand cream is $19.50 and I go through about six of those a year.  I get free shipping and 8% back on my Ebates account.  That's about $19 straight into my Ebates account.  The Lancome is about $150 for two ounces at Macy's.  I get it on Ebay for about $25 with free shipping.  Revlon and Pantene go on sale regularly and there is always coupons for them.  I get Cetaphil at Target, on sale, or at Costco.  The rest, I just suck it up and pay for it.

Those ad guys can't really make a lot of money on us Boomer Babes because we are too smart to waste our money on their ridiculous claims, so they aren't going to include us in their articles on beauty.  We know we can't turn back the clock and who wants to?  It would be nice to read articles that address our beauty issues, though.  Until then, we just make it up as it comes, and I think we are doing a pretty good job of it.  Sixty is the new sixty and we are lookin' good.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Market Basket 8/5

Miss MoneyPenny had to take a little nap after her grandson went home today.  We sure had fun.  That guy can really eat.  He was working so hard detailing cars (5 cars!!) this week, that I was wore out, too.  I had to go out there last night at 10 PM and tell him it was dark and to come in and go to bed.  The upside is, it was so fun to have him here.  The downside is my dieting, so after downing four pieces of beautiful artisan chocolate that I was going to send to my sister Miss SmartyPants, I called a halt to crazy eating. 

The weekly flyers had some interesting things this week:

Safeway - Spend $75, get $10 off your next trip.  That is pretty easy for most families to do.  In fact, if Miss SmartyPants was here, she would take advantage of the 30% off Washington wines and easily spend $75.  And if you buy six bottles, take another 10% off. That is a good deal and a good example of stacking the deals.  They also had a Safeway coupon for Almond Breeze Milk for $2.49.  I will stack my two .55 coupons on top of that, getting them for $1.94 each.  Special K is part of the Buy 4 cereals for $10, so I will take advantage of that one, also.

QFC - Tide!!! Buy 2, Save $2.  The 50 oz liquid and 56 oz powder are on sale for $5.99.  If you buy 2, they will be $4.99 each.  I have 3 $1 coupons (7/31/P&G) and a $1 ecoupon loaded onto my card.  I'm buying 4 at $3.99 each.  Colgate toothpaste is on sale for .78.  I have four 50 cent coupons (7/24/SmartSource), so that makes each tube 28 cents!!!  I am also buying the Schwartz slider buns for $2.99.  I'm trying not to each so much bread, so these little, seedy buns make a great right-sized sandwich.

I need to use up the proteins in my freezer, so don't need any meat for awhile - unless I succumb to salmon.  World Peace Produce is where it is at for all my fruits and veggies this week.  My zucchinis are coming on in my garden and one of my blueberry bushes is ready to pick.  I'm going to barbecue up a couple of steaks and use them for salads and sandwiches and make up a batch of my "dull and tasteless" pasta (so named by my dear mother) and a big bowl of salad.  No more crazy eating.

After this last week, I tip my tiara to all the moms out there who are working and coming home and actually cooking dinner.  I have no idea how I did it when I worked two jobs and had a little boy.  We never ate out.  It was always home food.  I must have been a lot younger then.