Sunday, August 31, 2008

Had a yardsale yesterday, went to the National Zoo today

and now getting ready to watch Big Brother on DVR. So pics and details will have to wait.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Headline News: I bought water today

Yes, it's true, I bought water today. No, it's not for me to drink though - I don't need store bought water when I have perfectly fine free water that comes out of the faucet (we have well water - that tastes good, so we don't pay for water). But I did get a good deal, a 24 pack of Deer Park water for $2. A little independent grocery store sent me a flyer with a $2 water coupon in it. So the other day I went and bought one. Then when I was leaving, I saw a stack of the flyers at the register, so I took another flyer. I went back today for another 24 pack and in the cart I grabbed, someone left another flyer (and all the flyers from the register were gone). So now I can go back and get another 24 pack for $2.

I figure I can sell them for .50 or $1 a bottle during my next yardsale.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Two weeks of jury duty down, two more to go

I am on my second week of jury duty and so far both trials that I was supposed to go to this week have been cancelled. Yeah! And with next week having a Labor Day holiday, maybe they won't have any trials scheduled next week. Then I'll just have one week to go. I do need to call the jury hotline tomorrow though to hear next week's schedule.

Did a little bit of thrift shopping today. I bought this game for Jacob for $3 at one of my thrifts. $3 is a little on the high side for a game (since my other thrift normally prices games at .50 - $1) but this isn't a game I'm likely to find again soon. And I bought the game at a thrift where all the money goes to helping spay and neuter animals, so it's easy to justify making a purchase. Jacob has a game called Rush Hour also made by ThinkFun and this is just a different version with animals. His teacher last year had the Rush Hour game and told us he really liked it, so we went to Target and paid $20 for it. (Well actually we paid for it using a gift card he had received for his birthday).

I am too lazy to take a pic of it, but it's the same one that Amazon sells:

What is with the sudden onslaught of door to door solicitors? Twice in the past week. One was some teen guy selling magazine subscriptions - I got the idea he wasn't someone local, I think it's like a summer job or something. Then within a day or two later I had a pair of Jehovah's Witness women come to the door and offer me help with "all the stress that people are dealing with nowadays". I told her I didn't have any stress. Well that's totally not true, my only stress is not having enough storage space for my buys. Maybe I totally screwed up and they were going to tell me about a Patron Saint of Storage that I don't know about?? Now that I think about it, I should have said "yes, come in, I have a messy kitchen and it's stressing me out. It would help greatly if you would do my dishes."

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Whiskey gets around....

I am starting to get an inferiority complex. I think my dog is more popular than me in my neighborhood. These two incidents happened within the past week.

On Saturday I am leaving a yardsale (of course am wearing a fanny pack so I often get mistaken by other buyers as being the seller) and I pass another shopper in the driveway and she says " this where Whiskey lives?" I don't know how she knows Whiskey - but she is a woman who routinely walks in the neighborhood.

Then today I was opening up an account at a different bank and when talking to the bank employee we realized we only live one street apart. And she says "Is your dog named Whiskey?" Her street is on the route that Whiskey takes when he happens to get out and goes visiting his other family. Lately he has been good and hasn't escaped.

You would think with all that grocery shopping I did last week, I would be set for a while. No. Somehow I've managed to go to my other grocery stores both yesterday and today.

I did get a good deal on a haircut yesterday. A new hair place opened up (a franchise - Great Clips) and they are advertising $2.99 haircuts (for the first two weeks they are open). So my curiousity and thriftiness led me to see how good a $2.99 haircut would be. And actually I am pretty impressed and will go back to the woman who cut my hair. Don't worry, I did leave a nice tip. 15% of 2.99 is .45 so I'm thinking a .50 tip is pretty darn generous. Right??? Just kidding.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Double and Triple Coupons (again!)

Last night I was going through my coupons and going through the ones that came in today's newspaper (our newspaper carrier delivers Sunday's coupons and ads on Saturday). Then I realized that I wanted to go back to Shoppers Food Warehouse to take advantage of their last day of doing double and triple coupons.

So this morning I went back. They were out of a lot of things I had coupons for - but still managed to find a thing or 2 (well actually I bought 62 items; I know cuz the cash register tape said so).

My total before coupons 113.56 and after $33.58 for a savings of $79.92. Since my trip there on Friday, I saw that they adjusted their cash registers. For instance on Friday when I bought those small Starfish Tuna things ($1.66 each) - and I had $1 coupons, they doubled the coupon to $2. But today, with the adjusted cash registers, it just doubled it to the proper amount $1.66.

And I succumbed to my inner voice and bought the Eskimo treats ($1.33) that I definitely do not need. And I "splurged" and bought the heavy duty Scrubbing Bubbles ($2.29 - normally $4.29).

Friday, August 22, 2008

Yesterday's Cheap Meat and Toes

I had to go to the Giant grocery store yesterday (to use the coupon for the free mayonnaise before it expires today) and came across a great deal on stew meat. So I took a pic of it when it was in the grocery cart. The cashier rips off the $2 coupon when she rings it up, so I figured I'd take a pic of it before I bought it. So one package cost me .33 and the other .63 AND I still had a 5% off my total order coupon so it was even a few cents cheaper.

Using Double and Triple Coupons at Grocery Store

Today was my big grocery shopping trip that I had been planning for. Here is everything I bought - and the total was $177.23 (If you click on the pic above, you can see a larger picture of my stuff.) I am not the kind of grocery shopper that gets a full cart load every week. So it was a little strange to push a full cart around and see my total go over $50. Really....I go grocery shopping a lot but since I am always stocking up on things, my total is rarely over $30 or $40. I normally just see what the best sales are for the week and make sure I don't run out of diet pepsi.

So I did buy some things I normally wouldn't have bought if I didn't have coupons, but I did show some restraint and didn't buy some goodies that were tempting to buy even though with coupons I would have gotten it cheap (example: small packages of Dove ice cream was $3.33 and I had some $1 coupons for it which would have been doubled so it would have been $1.33 each.) But I know I bought regular gallon sized containers of Breyer's ice cream for $1.99 (on sale) yesterday - so I skipped the Dove ice cream.

And I could have bought more stuff, but the grocery store didn't have some brands that I had coupons for. I could have gotten containers of sour cream but the store doesn't sell Friendship brand sour cream. Also had $1 coupons for Hot Pocket Panini's but that is a new product and they didn't have them either.

But what really irks me is that I made a rookie mistake. When I was setting up the picture above, I saw that I bought 5 packages of dog treats. Ugh. So that means for that 5th package I paid full price (gasp!) of $2.69 for it. You were limited to 4 of the same coupon. So I know I gave the cashier four $1.00 dog treat coupons (so after doubling, they were only .69 each). But I mis-counted when I was throwing them in the cart and bought that @#$%%^! fifth package. Oh well.

I bought so many Poptarts because Kelloggs has a $10 rebate when you buy 10 packages of Kelloggs products at one time. Plus I had coupons for the 'tarts.

As I said, the total was $177.23 and after coupons it was....drum roll please.... $63.58 plus I'll send in that $10 rebate from Kelloggs. But it would have been $60.89 if I knew how to count dog treat packages. Below is a pic of the receipt. I didn't mark on it since I have to mail it to Kelloggs for the rebate. Only thing that I didn't have a coupon for was the Wonder Kids bread ($2.49) and the Milk Duds - that were on clearance for .25 cuz of the squished box. And now that I think about it, my total would have been even less had I remembered to buy the Wonder Bread when I was at Walmart earlier in the day (they sell it for $2.17).

p.s. Yes, I know that is a sh*tload of Ballpark Franks but after coupons they were only .64 a package. I figure I can always give them to the Whiskey dog as a treat if I get tired of them.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dodged a bullet today

Tomorrow was supposed to be my first day of actual jury duty. Last week I started to freak out a little about it since I am supposed to be at the courthouse at 8:30am. Yikes. No way could I put Jacob on the bus and make it to the courthouse at 8:30 which is a good 15 miles away, park, go thru Security etc. So when I called and told them that, they said 9 am would be fine. But that would still be some rushing around on my part and maybe exceeding the 55 MPH speed limit to get there. Because of some activity at the nuke plant tomorrow, DH wouldn't be able to use his flex schedule to go late and get Jacob on the bus. So I knew I would have to.

I know this is way too boring, so I will try to cut it short. I called today to make sure my jury # was still needed for tomorrow - and yippee - it's not! Other potential jurors have to go in, but I have a lucky number that is not needed for tomorrow. You know what that means, don't you? That means I'll have more time tomorrow to shop. Errrr...I mean I'll have more time to declutter and clean my house and get organized. Afterall, it is the beginning of a new school year, sorta like a fresh start to make this the school year that I declutter and clean my house while Jacob is at school.

Well it will have to wait. Today I went to Smile, Walgreens, CVS, Food Lion and to the cheap $30 Mani/Pedi nail place to splurge a little on me.

At Smile, I didn't buy anything too interesting. Did buy this Martha Stewart book, Good Things from Tag Sales and Flea Markets in hardcover for $1

I am looking foward to a big couponing extravaganza later this week (yes, I know it's weird to get excited about grocery shopping). Remember how I said one of the local grocery stores is going to triple coupons this week up to .50? Well it gets their ad today I see that they are still doing the triple coupons BUT added that coupons with a face value of .51 - $1.00 will be doubled. I got a zillion coupons for $1 off stuff. Well not a zillion, but a lot.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Update: Socks the (former White House) Cat

I know many of you are waiting anxiously to hear about my experience with meeting Socks the cat since I briefly mentioned it a while ago. Well unfortunately, it ain't gonna happen. No, Socks didn't go to the big litterbox in the sky, it's that the animal event he (or she) was to attend got cancelled. So I won't be meeting the feline or the World's Ugliest Dog. But the cat does only live in the next county over so maybe our paths will cross some other time (hey, it could happen. Maybe Betty Currie - former presidential secretary and current owner of Socks - will have a yardsale someday).

Monday, August 18, 2008

Went to Baltimore today with Jacob

And the Inner Harbor and the Aquarium were mobbed with Red Sox people in town to attend tonight's game at Camden Yards. So....the aquarium was crowded and I had to look at all those stupid Red Sox shirts. I mean really, why would a team have clothes as a mascot? What's next - the Beige Girdles? Well at least maybe those Red Sox people ate and drank and spent a lot of money when they were here. But I just think how nice it would have been without all of them clogging up my Aquarium. (I don't need to hear from any Red Sox people - I have family members who are fans, so I will just complain and debate further with them personally - haha).

Today was my final trip to the Aquarium for a long time. One last little trip for Jacob before school starts. In June of 2007, we bought a family membership (it was a special deal - so it was good for 15 months, not just 12) for about $100. You just needed to use it twice in that timeframe to make it worthwhile. If Jacob and I paid today - we would have had to spend $40.95 just for today ($25.95 for me and $14.95 for Jacob) and wait in a long line with the masses. There is a special entrance just for members. I know I took him there twice by myself, and we went at least 2 or 3 times as a family (both Jacob and DH too). And I went there with my sister and her family in April. So we definitely got our money's worth. The pass expires at the end of the month.

Each time, we've gone to the dolphin show - which is basically the same every time. But today was different. One of the dolphins had a baby last month so before the show started they asked everyone to remain quiet for the entire show so the mother and baby could bond back in the back pool. No clapping. It definitely made for a different experience.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Yardsale buys, back to school, jury duty etc

So yesterday I got up early and decided to check out a yardsale that was advertised in a touristy area. I got there and realized it was gonna be a bust (haha). The "yardsale" was going to be at a souvenir shop that recently decided to open up a thrift store portion of the store. Not worth my time to wait around since I knew *real* yardsales were going on. But in leaving, I saw that a restaurant/bar is having some sort of new promotion.

My favorite buy of the day was a disco ball for $3 with a little motor thing to rotate it.

School starts later this week. Pretty early this year. Usually it's around the 23 or 25th. So anyway, I got a notice for jury duty and returned it like a good patiotic citizen that I am. Oh yeah, of course I believe serving on jury duty is a service to the community and I'd be playing a crucial role in America's great justice system and all that. But all I'm saying is that I better be excused. The people in a jury are a jury of "your peers". So what are the chances that there are other yardsale queens being accused of crimes that they need me for? I doubt it.

In the local news I read how some 18 year olds were drinking beer in the woods of a high school and they, not being the smartest people in the world, decide to break into the school and steal Fruit Rollups out of a vending machine. Idiots. They are not my peers, but I would say lock 'em up just on the general principle of being stupid.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Happiness is.....triple coupons!

I'm a day behind in reading newspapers and ads. But today I saw that a nearby grocery store Shoppers Food Warehouse (probably 15 miles away) was having their first ever triple coupon event - just 4 days long (Thurs, Fri, Sat & Sun). So since DH was home early from work today - I set off with my coupon holder to do bargain hunting. Afterwards I also stopped at Walgreens and got a good deal too.

At the grocery store they only tripled coupons that were .50 or lower. And you could only do a maximum of 4 identical coupons. For instance, I have all those .40 off of French's Potato sticks. But I would only be allowed to use 4 coupons max, not 20. (Bad thing was was that they only had 2 cans of the potato sticks anyway). But the good thing is that say if the item only cost $1.25 and you had a .50 coupon for it - you would get the entire $1.50 off.

I stopped by the customer service desk and asked if they had planned on doing it again and they came right out and said that yes, they would be doing the same promotion next week. But after that, who knows. So now I have a week to get my coupons really organized.

My total before coupons was $66.88 and after coupons it was $28.68. I would take a pic of the receipt but the ink was very faint and it won't take a good pic. As you see, we don't eat the heathiest diet, but hey, if we get sick at least we'll have lots of tissue.

Then at Walgreens I had a coupon to save up to $20 on a OneTouch Glucose Monitor. I saw in their ad they are on sale for $14.99. I bought some other stuff with coupons and clearance items and my total came to $7.92 The bagel crisps were on clearance for .74 each. My receipt says my total savings were $31.09. The cashier got confused at the $20 coupon and called over a manager, who looked at the receipt and looked at the coupon and took the full $20 off, not just $14.99. Who am I to tell them how to do their job. Thankfully I do not need a glucose monitor but will probably sell at my next yardsale.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

JC Penneys deal (and where to find coupons)

Over there in the talkbox to the left someone asked where to find coupons. Well a lot of coupons come right in your mailbox - and they just get thrown out.

While I was in NY, in the mail I got two JC Penney ads/flyers. One had a coupon to save $10 off a $10 purchase and the other had a coupon to save $10 off a $25 purchase.

On our JC Penney receipts, there is a blurb to save 15% off your next purchase by filling out the survey at - so I always do that when I get a receipt. So at Penneys yesterday, I had my 15% off coupon AND my two coupons from the mail.

With my $10 coupon I bought a pair of PJ's for myself (normally $30, clearance $7.49) and for Jacob I got a package of 10 pairs of socks (original price $10.99, clearance $4.99) for a grand total of $2.63

My DH found a pair of pants he wanted for work - originally $60 - on sale for $30. So he used the $10 off $25 coupon PLUS the 15% off coupon for a total (with tax) of $16.42

As far as food coupons, I subscribe to several newspapers (I actually like to read the newspaper). Then if I see a coupon in Sunday's paper that I know I can use more of, I see how much they are going for on ebay. Every week there are ebay sellers who have the coupons listed. There was a recent coupon for .40 off a French's potato sticks (which Jacob likes). They are .99 for a small can at my grocery store (which doubles coupons). So for $1.94 (including shipping) - I got twenty .40 coupons. So instead of paying .99 a can at the grocery store, after the store doubles the coupons, they will only be .19 a can. And my grocery store (Giant) just sent me out a flyer which is good for the next 4 weeks. Each week I have a coupon to save 5% off my total purchase along with a coupon for a "free" item of the week. Yesterday I got a free half gallon of Edy's ice cream. Next week I'll get a free Hellman's mayonnaise or something.

I know I'm not saving a ton of money doing that, but I do save. That was just one example. There are also websites full of couponers who are always looking to sell or trade their excess coupons. One that comes to mind is Refund Sweepers

For coupons for dining out etc, I always sign up for email newsletters at the chain restaurants we eat at. Red Robin sends out a email coupon for a free hamburger on your birthday and so on.

Some Upstate New York Vacation Pics

Just another glorious day in New York:

Downtown Albany:

Up in the observatory again (went there back in March). I think I've mentioned that back when I worked a real job I worked downtown and my office was affiliated with that big gothic building.

When we were walking around Saratoga, my sister had to stop into this old-timey drugstore for a prescription. I paid a penny to see how much Jacob weighed.

I told you we went swimming, right?

Stopped at the Polish deli with my mom. I am regretting not buying some Polish ketchup. I like to think of myself as a ketchup connoisseur. Maybe I will go back and get some....anyone know where to find coupons for Polish ketchup????

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Garage Sale Buys from last week

I had two mornings of garage sales while in NY. They have a lot of Friday sales, which I'm not used to here in Maryland. And of course, I tend to come across stuff that I don't normally see. Like skis. And 20' long tobaggans. I should have taken a picture of it, it was the longest tobaggan I had ever seen and it was $20. No, I didn't buy it, but in the right house, it would have made for an awesome shelf or something.

Above pic if of my Friday's stash. Came across one sale where a woman was selling all kinds of lotions and stuff for $1 each. The brand new reed difuser thing was also $1 at the same sale. Hats were $1 each so was the Mickey Mouse ear Salt & Pepper shakers. A lot of the lotions/perfumes weren't cheap to buy new - Daisy Fuentes, Banana Republic, Vera Wang, Calvin Klein etc. Car radio was free. Will see if anyone wants it on eBay. Also bought a plastic thing that goes on the floor under your computer chair (whatever it's called). It was $1. So was Dora Video (its one that we don't have). Vintage Christmas Salt & Pepper shakers were $.50

I didn't take a pic of my buys on Saturday. Some of the more intersting items were a Texas Instruments Speak & Say for $1. Several Super Nintendo Games for .25 each and two bottles of champagne for $2 each. I am a sucker for yardsale liquor. If I see it, I gotta have it. Oh, I also bought 9 kid's backpacks for $1 each (each backpack contains a beach towel, water bottle, frisbee. Will probably resell at my next yardsale. Also bought a nice big fish windsock for .50

I usually find more "vintage" stuff when I garage sale in NY. Only vintagy thing I got was 4 depression glasses for .25 each (2 green, 2 pink). Also bought a Arkansas Gothic puzzle (spoof of Grant Wood's American Gothic painting) - it features Bill & Hilary Clinton. It was .25

New York Vacation Re-cap

In case you didn't get the clue I left, I've been away in New York. Not NYC though, just upstate where I am originally from. I always manage to hear the Billy Joel's New York State of Mind song whenever I am in New York. I usually spend a week every summer there with Jacob and leave the husband at home.

Here's a short version of my itinerary:

Last Wednesday - drove 500 miles to my mom's house. Visited a cousin and her family in the evening.

Thursday - spent the morning at Chuck E. Cheese. We spent the afternoon at my sister's and walking around Saratoga Springs (afterall, it is "The August Place to Be")

Friday - yardsales in the morning (of course), then Jeepers in the afternoon. Then hit a big Kohl's sale at 10pm at night (they were open til midnight so I was able to put Jacob to bed at my mom's and run to Kohls.) I spent $34 and bought myself 3 pairs of capris, 2 shirts and 2 pairs of shorts for Jacob.

Saturday - yardsales in the morning (of course), then visited my brother and wife and went swimming. Then quickly shopped at a Christmas Tree shop afterwards. Jacob is not a shopper so I had to be quick.

Sunday - took Jacob to New York State museum (free) and then went to the observatory the tallest building in Albany (also free admission). In the afternoon we went to my sister's house with the intention of going swimming, but the weather wasn't cooperating. Matter of fact, Saturday was the only day I saw the sun I think! But did get to see all 3 of my nieces and hear wedding plans for my oldest niece.

Monday - in the morning just did some shopping and errands (like getting my mom's car washed etc). In the afternoon went back to Jeepers. Of course I had printed off the $10 for one hour coupons ahead of time. Then afterwards visited one of my high school friends (the one who makes me the extremely embellished Christmas cards every year). She gave me a bunch of Stampin Up supplies to sell for her on eBay. Then rushed back to my mom's house at 7:15pm and just in time to have my friend Beverly come over for a visit at 7:30.

Tuesday - packed up the car and drove home.

It's a 500 mile drive (one way) to my mom's house. When I got there, I re-set the odometer to see how many miles I would put on during the week. It's pretty amazing but I put on a whopping 600+ miles doing all the running around for the week. And the furthest I drove to any one place was 25 miles away.

Also in my itinerary, I left off stops at a few thrifts, linens n things (for their going out of business sale. I bought a new comforter set for $71 - originally $199. It's nearly impossible to FIND a California King comforter in a regular store so I bought it. Also made a stop at the Wine and Liquor Warehouse and may have bought a little something something.

Pics to follow.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Another update: Rowlesburg WV IS A BIG LOTS WINNER!

A BIG thank you to all who helped Rowlesburg School win First Prize in the Big Lots Lots 2 Give contest. They won one of the First Prize awards of $5,000. Yippee!!!! My friend Jenn is thrilled that her local school won $5,000 courtesy of Big Lots. $5,000 is a nice chunk of change, but the school still needs lots of help. One thing she said the school does to help is they collect the Boxtops For Education points I've been sending them to Jacob's school for several years now but I think this year, I'm going to send a big bundle to Rowlesburg. If you collect the Boxtops for Education points and don't know of a school that takes them, you can send them to:

Rowlesburg School
RR1 Box 255
Rowlesburg WV 26425

And of course if you aren't a Boxtops for Education cutter-outer but still want to help somehow, I'm sure they'd appreciate a cash donation.

If you've been around the site for a while, you may remember that years ago I asked for Boxtops for Jacob's school (his school had a contest on who can turn in the most - and he ended up winning!) So I know there are tons of people out there who collect the Boxtops but don't know of a school who wants them. Rowlesburg wants them. Keep in mind, the boxtops do have an expiration date printed on them in small print, so expired ones are no good.

On the Big Lots website you can see the videos of all the winners.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Update on Kenny Loggins Edwin McCain Concert

Finally here are some pics and a few Youtube videos:

Me and my new boyfriend Edwin McCain. I was trying to blend in with the crowd (and not call attention to myself) so I dressed like a commoner and left the crown at home. And to top it off, I wore glasses as a disguise.

My little digital camera doesn't take the best videos but whattdaya want with a digital camera held together with masking tape. At first I noticed the guitarist on the right did a kick at the end of the song and then when I watched it again, noticed that Kenny did a little kick too.

Friday, August 01, 2008

I feel so Martha Stewarty

I now own a Kitchenaid mixer. I've always sorta regretted passing one up at a yardsale a few years back - it was practically brand new and it was red. The owner changed her mind and wanted a black one instead and was selling it for $125. Anyhow, now I have a vintage avocado green one and it was only $8. It needs some detailing, but I think it will clean up nicely.

Here's a pic of some of my buys from last Saturday's yardsales. The pink Mary Kay phone ($3) will go up on ebay eventually. So will the vintage Yamaha amplifier ($5) in a wooden case. Also bought this Motley Crue picture album for $3

Tonight I took Jacob to a new local art gallery. It just opened in May but we haven't been to it - since they charge admission. But tonight they were having a "free Friday" event, so there was no charge.

He finished up summer camp so there goes my almost daily shopping trips to Giant (grocery store) and Walgreens. After dropping him off at the school, I got in the habit of stopping at both places to check out what was *new* on clearance. My Walgreens seems to clearance a lot of stuff which I think is pretty strange for a store that's only been opened a short while. I plan on visiting family and friends in New York during August. So I will check out the Walgreens near my sister's house to see if her's is like mine as far as clearance goes.