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Archive for April, 2010

Deals and Rebates...

April 26th, 2010 at 09:33 pm

Other people knit, show dogs, garden, watch tv/movies, gossip, and the list goes on for a hobby. Me, I love to find sales, coupons, rebates that allow me to walk out making money or paying pennies to the dollar.

I love to read, spend time with family, go walking, but I admit to being addicted to free/almost free shopping. If I go to long without, I get irritable and shaky (LOL).

There was a time I was restricted in what I could buy. No dog, why get free dog food. No cat, why get free cat food. No baby, why get diapers. Don't eat Coco Puff, why get it even for free. This is no longer an issue. Well I still refuse Coco Puffs due to it being a dessert not a meal, while people treat it as breakfast.

I now have a list of groups who want my free items. Thank you all for allowing me to feed my habit/ addiction. Local middle school, food pantry, homeless shelter, animal rescue, coo-workers, family and friends. Even my expired excess coupons now have a home overseas in Japan on a Marine Corps Base (Yea!).

Riteaid will pay me $4.71 to take ownership of (3) 2.5 oz aveeno lotions, milky way miniatures, (2) dove haircare, (2) stayfree pads. (Riteaid rebate checks)

CVS will pay me up to a $1 to recieve (2) 2oz of Suncare.

Safeway paid me $6.46 to purchase (4) bottles of Extend a Clean Scrubbing Bubbles. I had to do that deal 4 times for $25.84 in catalinas plus more cleaning products than I can use(on your next order).
I had coupons for 2 more deals ($13 more for me)but I don't take the last of a product off the shelves (unless I am buying 1 or 2 only), so I gave the coupons to an interested cashier.

There were other deals this last week at Foodlion, Safeway, and Target.

I got a $15 (3x$5) from SC Johnson today. Yeah. I paid $2 to get $5 (x3), so a profit of $9 plus lots of ziploc containers. P.S. Quick turn around on the rebates.

Too much fun.

Carefirst Insurance Woes...

April 22nd, 2010 at 02:21 am

Carefirst paid the consult fee for the dentist who pulled my tooth. Now they are refusing to pay the same dentist that pulled my tooth (not the practice) saying she is not a participator in Carefirst. They confirmed she was 24hrs earlier. According to the practice they have written confirmation that she has been during the whole time period (24hrs).

I've heard of the racket of insurance companies saying stuff like that to hold onto the money longer and make the dr. wait and wait and wait, just so they can collect interest on the money a few months longer. This is my first experience with Carefirst doing this. Perhaps it is just a clerical error. Seems a little fishy when one day they are okay and the next (literally) all of the sudden they aren't. Luckily the dr office has said their insurance specialist will contact the insurance co and straighten it out.

Who needs this stress? It just confirms what I was saying about insurance customers costing the dr. more money than cash paying customers.



Thinking Outside the Box

April 18th, 2010 at 08:09 pm

I was in CVS and they had run out of skin wipes. I had been using the kids section to pick up travel size wipes a few at a time. I refuse to clear out a shelf (especially when using coupons)as I think it is rude. A few at a time gives the store time to restock if they want.

So, I was wandering around the store waiting for a prescription to be filled. What did I see in the adult section? Next to the Poise and Depends were adult wipes. Not only that, but they were 75% off making them $.49 each. After reading the package I decided they are the same as childrens in adult packaging. Plus, they are half the price.

Slowly over the past 3/4 days I have been buying 4 at a time. They are perfect for the Soldier Project and because I use a CVS coupon, I don't even pay tax.

Getting excited about not having to pay sales tax probably sounds really cheap. Hey, its just .06 per dollar spent. But look at the numbers.

38 soldiers X 10 products each X $3 avg price X 6% sales tax = $68.40

That's right I can save $68.40 by not being required to pay tax or getting a rebate to cover the tax. A rebate covers tax if I pay the tax but get back more than I paid for the product plus tax. Ex. store A sell product b for $5+tax= $5.30 - $1MQ = $4.30 and the store is giving a rebate of $5. Not only a MM but the sales tax is paid by the store. Anyway, I suppose not technically but thats how I look at it.

I tend to get more for the dollar in value than any government I've seen. But then I get line item veto in my budget and the President doesn't.

Insured/Uninsured Dental Care Costs

April 15th, 2010 at 12:37 am

To take care of my tooth/nerve infection, I saw 3 Dentists. First was my general practitioner who referred me to an endodontist. The endodontist ended as a consult referring me back to my general Dr for referral to an oral surgeon. Twenty years ago your general was general and did it all. Not so now. Now I run all over to see Specialists racking up fee after fee and putting mileage on my car and losing time from work.

Everyone gets a consult fee. The part that is grossly unfair is how it increases the costs for people without insurance. If my insurance pays for the consult the Dr get $35 and if insurance says they won't pay then I pay $75. I had to pay the $75 up front so it will be returned to me. But, I think of the uninsured. They should pay $35 up front. They actually cost the Dr less because there are no forms to fill out, no waiting even a day for the money, no extra storage for the forms in paper or computer space, no extra employee to deal with insurance companies. If anyone should pay more it is the insured. We are the expensive ones. This is just common sense.

I really like my Dr. I've been with him for almost 20yrs. However, I may consider looking for a dentist or group of dentists where I won't have to travel so much and take off work. Consult fees of $225 when one dentist should be able to numb the area and pull it out in one visit is too much for my frugal soul. Oh, and that $225 doesn't touch the actual tooth being pulled. That is an additional cost.

Free Free Free

April 14th, 2010 at 02:58 am

I took Mom to the Doctors so I drove her in her car. We stopped a few places for me and a few for her.

CVS
Scanned my ExtraCare Card and got coupons for $1 off CVS brand paper product and $1 off CVS brand skin care item.

Travel pack of Cotton Swabs .99
Travel pack of Skin Wipes .99
Both CVS Brand
Total after CVS coupons FREE, not even tax

Riteaid
Schick Razor 8.99
Crest 3D Toothpaste 2.99
(4) Compleats Meals
Hormel @1.99 ea 7.96

Minus (4)MQ Compleats 4.00
MQ 3D TP 1.00
MQ Schick 3.00
$5/20 5.00

= $7.36 (inc.tax)
Riteaid Rebates are $8 (2TP+6Razor)
Or .64 moneymaker Free Free

CVS has toilet paper 2/$1 this week or 2 for Free.
I am still working on the Soldier Project so I chose not to purchase the toilet paper. For free I would try a roll and donate the other. Some other time I guess.

Walmart has travel packs of Huggie Wipes 16ct for .97 and I have a $1 MQ they can adjust down to .97. I have enough MQs to finish the wipes for the project.

To Date the Project Has:
38 Body Washes
38 Pkg of Razors
38 Dental Floss
38 Toothpaste
38 Toothbrushes

Will Have:
38 Wipes

Still Need:
16 Deodorants
18+/- Cotton Swabs

There are also assorted female products for 2 females.

Recipe for Dishwasher Machine Detergent

April 11th, 2010 at 08:09 pm

Credit goes to momisbroke.com. I wanted a place to keep this that I won't lose it. I tend to put things in a safe easy to find place and then its lost. LOL. I also like that she tells you where to find the ingredients. So many recipes like this don't.


Dishwasher Detergent

This is the easiest one, which is why I started here. My 9 year old son is now in charge of making our dishwasher detergent when we run out.


What you need:

box of borax (laundry soap isle)

big box of baking soda (Wal-mart laundry isle)

container of table salt

Rubbermaid 32oz or larger drinking bottle

funnel


Here is all you have to do to make it:


Pour 1 1/2 cup Borax into bottle using the funnel,

add 1 1/2 cup baking soda,

add 1 cup of salt.

Cap the bottle and shake well.


That's it. I just fill the regular wash and the extra clean wash bins on the dishwasher door, and turn it on. It washes just as good as the expensive stuff, plus it even scrubs off the gunk that the kids don't scrap off. I have a well and septic system at my home, and it is totally safe for septic systems too.

I have not done the math on how much it costs per batch to make, but I know it has to be tons cheaper than the store bought stuff. We have been using ours for three months now. I would not tell you how to make something if I have not been using it myself. So be assured, it is safe and works great. I would however keep it out of reach of little ones due to the borax!

Cheap Natural Easy Mosquito Repellent

April 10th, 2010 at 04:20 am

I hate mosquito repellents that are sprayed or rubbed on. And, citronella just doesn't work for me. I decided to find a natural way to repel bugs, including the mosquito. I am the mosquitos favorite blood draw. They pass up perfectly good meals to attack me en masse.

Sprays give me headaches and I don't like the sticky feeling they leave on me. I don't care what the manufacturers say its poison and your skin absorbs it into your body.

So after a long night of search I found something that has been 100% effective when used correctly. Vitamin B1 is a natural bug repellent. Oh, one might still land on you though I find even that rare, but they fly off in a huff, noses turned up. That is perfectly okay with me. I don't want to donate anyway.

So here is what you do. Take your normal daily vitamin in the morning. Then, 20 mins minimum before you want to go out, take a B vitamin complex. I suggest the B complex because people get to the store and see lots of different B vitamins and can't remember which. Just get the B complex, it works fine. After 20 min. although I like 30 mins. personally go out and have fun.

The only down side is that your urine will be a bright yellow (your body excreting the excess). But, that is a small price to pay to no longer be the feast of the party.

$1 = 4 boxes cereal + milk

April 7th, 2010 at 10:57 pm

Food Lion has a special this week on Special K (haha). Buy 4 boxes at $2.50 ea = $10. I have 4 ($1) manf. coupons $10-4=6. Buy 4 and FL will take $5 of your order. $6-5=$1.

That was the deal I went in to get. I did not realize that the buy 4 Kellogg cereals get 1 gallon of milk free would overlap (until 4/10).

So, to my surprise and pleasure, for $1 I got 4 boxes of Special K and a certificate for a gallon of milk. Milk to go with my cereal, what will they think of next?

Cutting the Cost of Laundry Detergent

April 7th, 2010 at 01:35 am

A web site recently asked readers what they pay for laundry detergent. Some make their own. Some buy on sale. I don't make it but I keep the recipes in case I ever have to.

Me, I combine 2 strategies.

Rarely do I pay more than tax for laundry detergent. I prefer Tide or Wisk but I am flexible. I combine sales, coupons, and rebates. This week K-Mart has coupon doubles to $2 and I got (5) 32oz bottles of All for the cost of tax. Sale price $4 - 2MQ doubled or $4 - $4 = $0+tax. Since I am stocked up on Tide and Wisk right now, the All Detergent was donated to the food pantry.

Even thought I pay little to nothing out of pocket, I buy the regular type of detergent for my HE front loader. Ten years ago, when I got my front loader it was hard to find HE detergent. I called Proctor and Gamble and told them that I had a front loader and still wanted to use Tide but there wasn't any HE Tide available at that time. They told me to just use half the recommended amount of regular Tide and it should be fine. So that is what I did and they were right. So my 32 load bottle is a 64 load bottle and I get the same cleaning action and results.

So my 2 main strategies are to:

1. Combine sales, coupons and rebates (goal is
$0+Tax or even less)
2. Use regular detergent for my front loader and
just cut the amount in half. (If the clothes are
especially dirty, add a little more, but not
much.)

Such a Good Day!

April 2nd, 2010 at 12:11 am

I not only don't owe taxes, I'm getting $2,283 back Federal and State. In years past, I would get so close that I would owe or get back $50. Since my separation/divorce and this is my first year without DS I had no idea how it would work out. I will definitely have to change my tax forms at work. Alot of states are not sending owed money on returns. Maryland is okay this year but who knows with next years returns.

I found out that I have a cousin I didn't know about. Seems my aunt and uncle decided to give her up for adoption. I am so excited for my cousin who is an only child and unmarried (no children, either). She seems to be a lovely person. She has 5 children (1 adopted). When she adopted her child she did not know she herself was adopted. Now my cousin will have a sister, a BIL, and 5 nieces and nephews. Wow! I love family. Although, I must say we certainly have our share of eccentrics!

And, my brother walked in and said "here I brought you a bunch of Sunday inserts." Yahoo! There must be 15. Lots more free dog food and Snuggle!