Sunday, June 22, 2008

6/22 Expressions

We made it back from our trip. We had a great time. Money saving tips: We did use our gift certificates from and had a few nice dinners out - with the certificate, including a tip, splitting a dessert and everyone ordering water, and a nice entree, we spent about $12 per person. The other learning drill for my daughter and her friend, we were approached by time share folks outside of the grocery store. I have nothing against time shares. Anyway, the offer was $100 in cash and a $25 gift card. We told the girls, if they came along, it would be at least an hour and a half of not much interesting to them, but, they each get $25. Of course they were game. So, we also went to a nice place for lunch that day, and my husband and I spent our "cash" on the meal. The girls pretty much saved theirs. I was very pleased, no whining for junk the entire trip, and since they had to spend their "own" money for things outside of park tickets, food, lodging and travel, they were very conservative. Take the coupons along if you plan to cook/eat meals in. I took a box of cereal (freebie) and had a coupon for another free box. With that coupon, I let the girls pick the flavor - so, breakfast for the entire trip was either free, or the cost of milk. I saved a few dollars on other items using coupons too. I also used the washing machine and dryer - so, minimal dirty clothes came home.

On the rental front. Well, my carpet savings weren't as much as I thought they were going to be. As it turns out, the savings were around $100 from the next low. The low one only gives estimates over the phone, the agent under estimated the square footage. But, when she called to get authorization for the higher carpeting bill, she asked if we would accept the new tenant - moved in this weekend. They are paying 50% more in rent than our last tenant. So, that makes the sting for the extra carpet, slightly less painful.

I am getting my coupons and list ready to go grocery shopping. I am going to renew my efforts to save as much as I can and waste as little as possible - and still make tasty, healthy meals. So, I am thinking Kroger's 10% extra on giftcards is ending soon. Even though I have $ left on the last one we bought, I may buy another one. I sure would like that 10% and I am hoping to use my Chase Freedom card - I am hoping to hit the $200 cash back mark soon on the Chase card, to qualify for the additional $50 cash bonus. The deals I am excited about at Kroger - the buy 10 items from their list, and get $3 off automatically. I have coupons for some of the products. With the sale, coupons and the additional $3 off, I am hoping for a good combination of "stuff". I also plan to visit CVS. They have Colgate Total for $2.99 - with $2 back in ecbs - I have a $1.50 coupon off on the toothpaste. They have 4 Soy Joys for $4, with $4 back in ecbs and I have a coupon for $1 off 3 Soy Joys. I plan to recycle those ecbs in a second transaction - my daughter ran out of contact cleaning solution. I have a $1 coupon for the product she uses, and will also apply the $6 ecbs. Too bad I already reached my limit on the health savers account with vision products we purchased earlier this year. Next year, I guess I will need to up it a bit.

It must have rained around here. My dwarf trees are doing great - however, my herbs are on their last leg. I should have drilled holes in the bottom of that .50 decorative pot I got from good will - looks to me like they may be suffering from root rot. Oh well, can't wish the rain away as it sure beats having to water the stuff myself - although I did pour some cooled "pasta" water on the flowers today.

Sadly, I did watch some TV while on vacation - Friday's stock market closing sure stunk. But we did notice gas prices were a bit lower on our trip home. And just for the heck of it, at the cheapest gas station, I noticed a mid sized SUV in front of us. Don't know if they were on empty or not - but their total ended up in the high $60's - yikes. That was a nice reference point for me. While the Civic felt a bit cramped with the four of us and the luggage (trunk packed tightly), I was sure glad we didn't pay that kind of price for a tank (at least not yet).

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