Friday, September 30, 2011

Don't Ya Just Love "Finding" Cash & Weight Update.....

I do!!

I really do!!!

Sometimes in my hectic schedule, I put things in places where I cant find them.

My husband will enthusiastically back me up on this............. :-)

I am even at a point where I put things away in places, just so I'd remember where they are; then up and forget. Crazy, right?? Dont ya just hate that? LOL

Well today, I was putting away the new Transformers Blu-Ray (rented from Redbox) in the glove compartment in the car because I was on my way to the car wash. Little did I know, in the back......I see a $30 Gift Card to a local supermarket and a $25 Bath & Body Works Gift Card!!!!

I felt so happy, I could scream!!!

It was certainly a nice "surprise ending" to a rather stressful week.

An update on the sinuses and weight:

I gained a pound!! Yay!! 119lbs.... Goal: 128-130lbs.

Also, my meds say "take 4x daily breakfast for 5 days, then 2x daily for 5 days, then 1 a day for 5 days". So of coarse I think, start taking one at breakfast, the the remaining 3 during the rest of the day, and so on and so on.....

Apparently, I was supposed to take all 4 at once! What? Those instructions were so confusing.

I called the pharmacist and he told me either way was fine, either all at once or throughout the day as long as its the full dose each day.

Whew!! I was getting nervous I was taking it wrong so far.

Although I still am feeling some pain, I'm hopeful it'll go away. I still have over half of the prescription left. I realize I may have sinuses issues for the rest of my life, but the nasal pain should cease.....

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Drugged and Tired......

Not too much to post today.....

I am on a powerful steroid to clear my sinus inflammation and it's starting to work.

Good News: Its clearing the inflammation.

Bad News: This stuff makes me feel drunk, drugged and high.....and I never have been none of the latter.

I am being weened off of it now and pray the inflammation doesn't return....dont want nasal surgery. I was at 4 pills a day, now to 2 pills and eventually 1 pill then I'm done. I can drive and feel better when I shower and go outside, so I'm going to do more of that.

All my blood work was normal, so the fatigue I'm feeling is due to nursing a 1 year old on demand; although I am weening him too.

I currently weigh 118lb and dont like it. I keep losing weight and it could be from nursing, not drinking water and/or getting enough rest; although those will change. I will be taking time for myself at least 3 times a week.

I told my doc I want to be in the late 120s. He says women would kill to be where I am but I told him I'm not a teen anymore; I dont have a desire to be skinny, just healthy. I want to feel comfy in my skin.

He says all my stats are fine, so Thank God for Jesus. I'll get through this. And I am so grateful for good doctors who are prompt, non-rushing, and efficient.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

10 Crazy Things About Me.....Don't Freak Out.........

As I'm sitting here thinking about myself, I've come to realize that I was/am quirky, crazy, and interesting all wrapped up in one.

I did some crazy things growing up and thought I'd share them here.

Without further a-do:

1. I swallowed a whole peppermint ball once. Its amazing I'm still alive and well. God sure was watching over me that day.

2. I could spend HOURS in the library. I love reading and learning about history. Before we had kids, my DH and I would go and spend hours in our local bookstore just looking through books and sipping a warm drink.

3. I used to eat the white tips off of matches. I seriously don't have a clue how this started, LOL.

4. I do not like tomatoes by themselves. I'll eat them in a sauce, ketchup, or salsa, but not alone. Its so yucky!

5. I could watch the ENTIRE Lord of the Rings Trilogy, 9 hours straight. Its my favorite movie EVER!

6. When learning to cook for the 1st time, I attempted to make my DH sweet potatoes. It didn't come out well, especially with the half a cup of VANILLA EXTRACT I added. Boy, was his palate on fire, LOL.....

7. I do not like Indiana Jones, Star Wars, or Back to the Future. My DH is the opposite.

8. I wish my feet were a size 7. I'm an 8 1/2 and for some reason a size 7 would be perfect for me.

9. I truly believe if I open my eyes under water, I'll go blind. No one can convince me to do this. Nope, no way, no how.

10. My dream job would be to fly an airplane. But I'm currently a chicken, so I guess that wont ever happen. :-)

There ya go......told ya I was crazy.... :-)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What's Goin On? Bad Filet Mignon!!! Come On.......

(This is what I was hoping the meat I spent a lot of money on would look like after opening the package)

But Nope!!

I went to the supermarket to purchase some Filet Mignon to prepare in honor of my birthday (I make filet Mignon for me and my DH birthdays, as well as special occasions).

I had it all planned out....Filet Mignon, Roasted Garlic Mash Potatoes, and Sauteed Spinach!! I couldn't wait to eat dinner and was waiting until the time came where I could start cooking.

I gather everything on the counter, turn on the pan and proceeded to open the expensive package of meat I just bought earlier that day.

Upon opening the package, it smells TERRIBLE! I mean T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E!

I inspect the meat and its mold on the other side of it. MOLD!!! M-O-L-D, for crying out loud!

At this point I was upset and went to locate my receipt. I called the store, asked to speak to a manager and told them I will be coming in a few minutes with the bad meat in hand.

I get there and the Assistant Store Director meets me. I tell her what the problem was and then had her smell the meat. She then too said it smelled terrible and we both walked to the meat department.

We locate one of the butchers and I told him my problem. We open another pack of Filet Mignon and the same problem!! We open another and although no mold, it still smelled. The butcher said everything looked fine to him and I'm standing there thinking, "why is he lying to himself".

The Store director was telling me I could open as many packages as I wanted until I found a "good pack", but after a while I figure all this meat was going to turn out the same.

Finally, I picked out an even more expensive package of Filet Mignon, got a refund on the meat I had bought originally, was offered many apologies and left.

I get home, inform my DH, and proceed to start cooking again. I open the package and the same problem; smelled bad and was rotten.

We threw it away.


It was no point............

I will not purchase that kind of meat from that market again.

It was kind of bizarre because this is an Upscale kinda place and I NEVER, EVER had a problem with buying meat from them before.

I always could trust their quality and never second guessed my purchase.

Well, that has forever changed.

It sucks because no store is spared from these types of practices nowadays. No store.....ugh

Monday, September 26, 2011

Why is Milk, Gas, Cheese, & Bread are all more than $4.00??

Please someone, tell me.

I went to the market; on the way, gas is $4.

Milk is $4.39 for 1% (we don't buy the whole milk)

Then head over to the cheese section, oh its 7.99 a POUND for provolone cheese; ugh

Finally bread. We eat whole wheat and was $3.69 for 1. Just 1 loaf.......

Its either more expensive to eat healthier or prices is just going up on everything.

I have to find more ways to stretch the money my husband makes. We try not to get too comfortable with his salary because anything could happen.

On another note; my total was $295 and after coupons/store savings/store gift cards (used from this post), I managed to only pay $55 out of pocket!!! I had 2 carts full of food and it felt great! I even had my 2 kids with me and it took almost 2 hours; which is pretty good.

BTW: When I got home with the food and started to put away the items, I noticed my son had put a loaf of Potato bread in the cart. Of coarse, I didn't realize it until I got home. I paid $3.69 for potato bread and we dont eat it. It will be going back to the store when my husband gets home. He had a can of chilli as well under his leg, but I found that in time and put it on the shelf.

Check out Extreme Couponing: Season 2!! Premiers this week on TLC...
Until next time.........

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pre-K is expensive....when did school get this way?

I don't remember school being this expensive when I was younger. I guess that could be because I wasn't really focused on the money part, even though I was in public school.

Now that my 5 year old daughter is in Pre-K (her birthday was 10 days after the cut-off date, and as a result, they are making her wait an ENTIRE year to start Kindergarten) in a private school, I've come to realize that private school alone costs money, but we factored this into our budget; which could most certainly handle it.

What I didn't factor in was: a school lunch fee just to have lunch at school, the cost of lunch it's self, pictures, book fairs, school fundraising efforts, journal fee (yes, $4 for a book the school requires for each preschooler), and finally school clothes.

Is this what my husband and I have to look forward to in the future?

.......I have been told, school gets expensive the older a child gets.

I guess that's true. Soon it'll be uniforms, school activity fees, trips and other stuff. And I am not even thinking about high school or college yet........

There is one good thing though. Claiming these expenses on our tax return, since this is Pre-k. That'll help us a lot in that area.

But is like another bill. Now I see why my mother didn't pay for every trip, fee or activity I bought home; it simply was too much money.

So.......its almost the end of September and my wallet feels violated already :-)

I guess I should start to get used to that, I hear kids are the best at violating their parents wallets!

Here's to the future........

Friday, September 23, 2011

A PIC of the FREE Gift cards.......

Not all are here yet. Will redeem a few more and wait for those to come in the mail. Frugal can be fun!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sinuses and headache were terrible last night........

I took 2 Excedrin's this morning and it took the pain and pressure away; but now I feel like I can run 100 miles a minute. Too much caffeine in this drug.........

Going to the doctor tomorrow; hopefully he can give me some insight into managing this better.

I was given a oral steroid and another drug to flush out the inflammation, but cant take it cause I'm still nursing my son.

Now what do I do? Go cold turkey with nursing or wean my son and take Excedrin until he's fully weaned?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Got $567 in Cash and Gift Cards for FREE & You can too!!

$567 from just spending some time reading the sales ad, signing up with rewards programs and making my husband’s money pay for its self. Here’s what I did in detail;

$100-American Express- Rewards Points. Every time we use our card, we get 1 point per dollar. After earning enough points, we could redeem them for Gift cards, electronics, etc. We choose a $50 Maggio’s Italy GC, $25 Old navy GC, and $25 California Kitchen GC.

$25-MyPoints- My husband has been signed up with this website since 2000; that’s 11 years! They send surveys for us to complete and you can even purchase items online via this website. It usually takes 3 months to earn and redeem a gift card. This $25 GC will be for a restaurant or a clothing store.

$25-Our Credit Union-Again, sign up for your card’s rewards points program! This takes us about every 3-4 months to earn a gift card. This one will be a Best Buy GC for my husband.

$5-Swagbucks-We used our points for an GC. You use this site as a search engine.

$10-Babies R US-I was sent a coupon. If I made a registry at either Babies R US or Toys R US, I would get a $10 Gift Card. I did the registry and got the gift card.

$200-Acme – This supermarket had a fantastic promotion going on last week. Basically, for every $100 you spend on a gift card; get a $10 store gift card. I took some of the Christmas money we had been saving, along with money we spend on gas, and got a $500 VISA Gift card, therefore earning a FREE $50 Acme Gift Card. Used that $500 VISA Gift Card to buy another $500 VISA card to get another FREE $50 Acme gift card. I did this scenario until I reach $200 in Acme Gift Cards.

$5-Acme coupon-sign-up e-mail- Acme Supermarket has an e-mail signup program. Sign-up and get a $5 coupon.

$20-Kohls Cash-Used part of the $500 VISA Gift card from Acme to buy a Kolhs gift card; as I wanted to buy a vacuum. Kohl's is having their Kohl's cash special; every $50, get $10 Kohl's cash-basically a store GC. I bought a vacuum, 2 Yankee Candles and a Leaf table mat for $110-got back $20 to use on a future purchase.

Free Outback Steak Dinner GC-They were having a promotion via Facebook! If you were one of the 1st 1,000,000 to sign-up you get a FREE steak dinner. Our GC came last week!!!!!

$5 DSW-DSW gives a $5 GC to your birthday! Sign-up!!

Free Milky way Candy bar (value-.99-) Again, promotion via Face book! They gave 10,000 coupons for a FREE candy bar!

Free Starbucks drink (value $7.00) Birthday gift from Starbucks! Sign-up for your birthday!!!!

$100-Selling baby items- Since no one in my family needed any baby items and since I don't want or like clutter, I posted an ad on Craig’s List selling a Stroller, Car seat, Bassinet, Bumbo, bouncer, and swing for $100. I didn’t want to price too high but I didn’t want to give it away either. Sold in 1 day for $100 cash.

$25-Hertz Car Rental-Husband earned $25 GC from renting a car through Hertz. Will use this next year for a family outing!

So there you have it. $567!!! It generally takes 3 months on average to earn enough points to redeem for rewards, but it’s so worth it, in the end! It’s a nice way to make extra money to do some of the things you like. I LOVE going out to eat at restaurants, but it can and is EXPENSIVE. I use the rewards points for GC to eat so we don’t have to spend our personal money!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

If I had $1,000 to spend on whatever.........

and couldn't save it, pay a bill or invest; but just buy something (thinking of doing this is real life)'s what I would do:

1. A new, bigger bed. We currently have a full size and sometimes our small son crashes with us. It can and does get tight sometimes. Bjs sells Queen Serta Pillow Top Mattress for $350 (w/coupon).

2. An awesome vacuum cleaner. Something powerful, quiet and cute! We have ALOT of carpet. $200

3. A bookcase for the living room. We sold our baby items so we now have the space for this. $100

4. A Pots and Pans set. Stainless steel, well made and will last for years. $300

5. Silk floor plant. I love, LOVE silk plants/flowers........whatever, you name it, I love it. They have some awesome ones in Michaels, Jo-Anns and HomeGoods!! $50

There it is; $1,000 for 5 things I would purchase now. I am pretty happy with this list and probably wouldnt change a thing. If, by chance, I came under budget, I would use the rest to go out for a nice dinner with my husband!!

What would you buy???

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

How Young Is Too Young to Be a Successful Housewife?

Part 1....

When my husband and I got married over 6 years ago, I was 20 years old. I had met him when I just turned 19. Right away I fell in love with him; but it wasn’t your standard “boyfriend & girlfriend” type love, but something much more. When we announced our engagement 1 month after we met, we ran into a lot of ‘are you ready for marriage”, or “you’re too young”, or “live life first, then in a few years, if your ready”.

I started to think if getting and staying marriage was even a good thing anymore. Yes, I was young and still am (I’m 27 now), but yet GOD had something else in store for us. Its funny how almost every single person in the bible that was used by GOD had a situation/appearance/background/etc, that wasn’t accepted by “society” standards. I mean, can you imagine the looks and “talking behind the back” remarks Moses must’ve received when he told his family; GOD spoke to him through a burning bush. People’s first thoughts were probably, “Moses is nuts!”

I have to admit, my perception of Housewives was quite different growing up and entering college. As a young child, I can specifically remember being told to study hard so I can go to college and get a good job. I wasn’t taught to keep a house, cook, how to dress like a lady, or even prepare myself for a husband. Many of the women in my family had terrible relationships with men and I was taught that I didn’t need a man in my life. All a man did was become a weight, that I had no job, dozens of children, no education, etc. I didn’t even want to get married because of what I experienced growing up; and if I did get married, it would be when I was older, much older…like 40! LOL

And kids, don’t even get me started on kids. I didn’t want any children. Nope, none whatsoever! Many girls my age had kids and it was ALWAYS out of wedlock, with some guy they knew for a few months. Here they are stuck with a baby, still in high school, no job, or stable future. I did not want that to be me. That was something else that I was taught growing up……..STAY AWAY FROM BOYS! BOYS ARE BAD!!! BOYS ONLY WANT ONE THING FROM YOU!!

Well, when I met my husband he was 23, gone to college, VERY smart, had a career, active in his church, dressed VERY professional (even on our first date), and extremely handsome. His background was MUCH different than mine. His mom stayed home with him and his brother when they were younger. She taught them how to care for a home, cook, manage money, dress, and behave. I had to learn ALL this, especially when we started talking about marriage. I realized that I would feel VERY bad, even awful, if I didn’t know how to cook my husband a meal, and he’d have to go to someone else or stop off at a fast food place.

When we both decided I would stay home and be a housewife, it was a lot to take in at first. Here I am 22, a college graduate…… at home doing nothing. Well GOD sure did change my perception. I soon realized that my job in the home is so important. It’s like running a company. There’s cooking, cleaning, budgeting, organizing, planning, and so much more. My cousin said that even though the man is the head of the family, the wife is the neck! LOL. That means the head needs the neck to get everything in the body function properly. It guides the head in each direction...LOL

Today, I can say that I LOVE taking care of my family. Yes, there are times when I get into a “rut” and yearn for something a little different. But all in all, I’m happy and blessed. Since I began to stay home, the Lord gave my husband a new job, 2 raises, and got a promotion…in THIS economy! When we let go of my wants and desires, GOD will step in and pour his blessings on you!

Stay tuned for Part 2.......

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Eating a cupcake at 10:48pm....... Elephant-circus cupcake from the kids birthday party yesterday!

We had family from as far as 500 miles away come to attend and we all had a blast!!

The weekend was BUSY and we had my grandparents staying with us; which meant no time for blogging, but cleaning, decorating, cooking and trying not to get stressed out, LOL....

But now, everyone have returned home, the festivities are over, my daughter is set for her 1st day of school tomorrow and I am having a much deserved bed.......with my trusty laptop!

Be back tomorrow, lord's will, with a new post and details about the party!

Nite Nite!

Friday, September 9, 2011

My Son is 1!!!!!!11 Yeah!!!!!!!

My baby is a Big Boy now! 1 year old....

Please excuse my short post today!

Having a Circus Party tomorrow for both of my husband and I are busy, busy, busy cooking, decorating, running to different stores, and hosting out of town guests.....

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Practical Money Saving Tips

Saving money can be difficult but NOT impossible. Sometimes having somewhere to start is a great way to saving money in all areas of our lives.

Here are some tips I thought may help my readers out:

The Best tip I can offer anyone is to sit and chat with an older person, age 60 and older. They lived against great odds and came from their situation unscathed. They truly know what it takes to not only save money but to SURVIVE. Write down their suggestions and put them to practice.

#2: Lower Expectations! Can't be a Champagne lover on a Beer budget! Buy beef instead of steak, 1 or 2% milk rather than whole, and even plain oatmeal instead of the instant kind; just buy a pack of raisins or dry fruit to add. Avoid the salon and do your own hair and nails.

#3: Wash clothing in cold water at night. Its cheaper, both the water and the electric used to run the washer. Many folks dont know that the water rates are cheaper at night than during the day. Look at your water bill to see the difference!

#4: Learn to make your own clothes or at least learn to sew. Start off by taking a beginners class at Jo-Anns or Micheals. Yes, it may cost $60 up front, but that money will pay for its self quickly. Just learning to make dresses, night gowns, curtains and sheets will save you money or even just earning to mend clothes. Why buy a brand new pair of jeans for $40 when you can just fix them with a $1.00 needle/tread and some invested time. It also can be a great stress reliever; which also saves money in medical bills and prescription costs.

#5: Find an inexpensive but relaxing hobby. It can be reading books, crocheting, scraping booking, or puzzles; all of which are found at the dollar store. Overspending sometimes occur because some people are bored, stressed, and unstable in their lives. Having one of these hobbies eliminates the need to shop all the time, can help us become better prepared in all areas of our lives and gives us an outlet to release stress rather than at the Coach or GAP OutletS.

#6: Sign-up with your credit or debit card Rewards Program. Many cards, nowadays, have these types of options in place that will reward you with a point or 2 for every dollar you spend. Since most of us mainly purchase the same things every month, you can accumulate points very quickly! My husband and I will receive $125 in gift cards (this month) from one card's rewards program alone!

#7: Don't be afraid of "Sell-by" or "Use-by" dates on products. Milk, meat, eggs, cheese,and bread stored in a well cooled refrigerator or freezer can last, minimum, a week after the date stamped on the product. Stores sometimes sell these products at a discount to unload it from the store; go ahead and take advantage of those clearance sales and save yourself some money.

#8: Change up your routine. Often time, doing the same things, day in and out, causes some folks to head out to the store, mall, outlet or any other retailer just because they want "something different". Create some spark at home by having Movie, Game, Dessert or even Video Game Night. You can involve the kids too! Everyone will have fun and your wallet can keep the money it has, inside it.

#9: Try different recipes! Buy a good cook book and try the meal ideas inside it. Create your favorite restaurant meals at home for a fraction of the cost. Start at thrift or consignment stores first, to get the cookbook at a deeply discounted price.

#10: Compare prices and dont claim any store loyalty. After all, they are out to make money! Dont forget, they are a business. With that in mind, use your hard earned money in places it will stretch the farthest; where you can get the best deal. It may take going to 3 or 4 stores, but if done all at one time (take a snack in case you get hungry), it'll save you money, time, and GAS!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me!!!!

I'm a big girl now!!

A whole 27 years old!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Weekly Spending Projection: 9/5-9/11

I have a few exciting things going on this week, some of which costs money.

I am aiming to save more during the 2nd half of this year, so spending extra money will come to a halt!

Since planning is a positive counter offense against over spending, I am listing my Weekly Spending Projections.

Monday-9/5: Labor Day-BBQ at park-No Spend

Tuesday-9/6: Grabbed 2 breakfast sandwiches - $6.33; tolls to get to bible study-$5.00

Wednesday-9/7: My Birthday (will celebrate next weekend) Back to school night-7pm-No Spend

Thursday-9/8: Nothing Planned-No Spend

Friday-9/9: My son's 1st Birthday (party Saturday); pick up Free cake, items for party; daughter school's event-Plan to spend $20.00

Saturday-9/10-Kid's Birthday Celebration! Pick up balloons-Plan to spend $13 max!

Sunday-9/11 Daughter's official birthday. Church-No Spend

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day and Yummy BBQ

Happy Labor Day!!!

Enjoyed a nice day at the park with family and friends, enjoying yummy BBQ!

The last of this kind of 'goodness" is complete until Memorial Day; until then, I'll have Thanksgiving & Christmas dinners to look forward too!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Days When Desert Outings Used to be Cheap.....

Ahhh, the good old days......

The inexpensive, good old days.....

This was when a family could avoid the high cost of resturant dining, and pick up some desert for a fraction of the cost.

Not anymore!

My husband and I; along with our 11 month old and 4 year old, went out to grab some ice cream to celebrate my birthday after dinner. I thought, "This will cost 6 or 7 bucks, max; and I even had a BOGO free coupon to go with our order!

I thought I was set......but nope!

We ordered 1 small cup of ice cream with 2 mix-ins for me (mine was free) and 3 for my husband (the mix-ins are $.69 extra for each), plus 1 kid size cup of ice cream with sprinkles and a kid vanilla ice cream cone for our son.

Imagine my surprise when it came up to be $12.99! Yes, $12.99 for ice cream and 1 was free.

Geez, not to complain or anything, but even the simplest outings are starting to get pricey.

What's gonna happen when the kids get bigger and a "kid-size" anything is going to be enough?

I would suggest the Frosty Ice-cream truck but they aren't what they used to be.

Price & cleanliness wise......they have gone down hill.

All the way down hill.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Horrible Service = $1.39 Tip!!!!!!!!

Yep; went out to celebrate my kids birthday at a local restaurant! The only good thing I can say is that the food was outstanding! Very tasty and yummy!

I wish I could say the same about the service.

There has been 1 prior instance (in my years of dining out in the US and Europe) where the service was so terrible, when my food came, I asked for a box, paid and left; didn't even stay to finish my Pepsi!

Well this time it was worse.

First, the waitress wrote down our order for drinks and took, to be exact, 15min to bring 3 sodas and 1 apple juice! 15 whole minutes! You know how long that it when you have 2 small kids?? Then she brought 3 straws instead of four and had to wait another 10 min for the additional straw. The group at the table next to us noticed the same thing. Their drinks took 20 min to arrive! Crazy, right?!

So our drinks are set and we order the food. Here's where it gets terrible.

We were seated near the drop off/pick up station where the staff goes to handle food orders. Can you believe she forgot to put our order in! Yes, FORGOT! The cook was telling her, that they never received our order and the waitress swore she gave it to them; when all along, the waitress had left our order slip in the back near the ice cream! Boy, was the cook upset and I was getting heated!

How long did it take until my husband and I got our food, 50 min!!! It actually burns me up to just think back on it and type up our experience. All the while, I am sitting there, trying to calm an hungry, overacted toddler and 4 year old because of the long wait.

Our food come and I ask for napkins as we received none. She forgot. The grilled chicken was pink on the inside. I asked for a 2nd drink, she forgot; both times I reminded her and she replied, "oh, yeah....sorry".

I also noticed she was going the back way behind our table to avoid us because she knew I was looking for her. Seriously, who does that?

The service was terrible. Just awful. Her other tables felt the same way.

We order an ice cream sundae for the kids; took 15 min for just that! Isn't it just scooping ice cream, spraying some whipped cream and adding a cherry? No cooking or prepping; takes what, 2-3 min to make?.....yes, it does.

Finally, we get the check and noticed she completely forgot to give us the discount on the kids meals. She never came back to the table after that point, I just dealt with the manager on duty.

I told my husband, after 2-1/2 hours in a place I was hoping to be at no more than 1-1/2 hours max, that the tip was going to be VERY small, if any.

My husband and I certainly tip well, especially for great service, but I was tired, ready to go, and upset with this experience.

When I saw the bill was totaled $38.61; I told my husband to make it an even $40 and leave a $1.39 tip. Yes, I did and yes, I would do it again!!!!

For the future, we would most certainly go to the restaurant again, but I will NOT accept having her as a waitress and will make my preference known to the manager present.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Good, Bad, and the Ugly-September Finance Edition

I realized I'm a day late with this but I wanted to post it before the end of the week.

For us, financially, September starts a new era of expenses and we are budgeting in the necessary places to avoid overspending and to much stress at the end of the month.

Since my husband gets paid twice a month; we budget as a whole month, broken into 2 pieces.

Here's how September is looking:

The Good-
*Budget is complete
*Resume Christmas shopping
*Will be turning off the central air-save on electric bill
*Its me, my daughter, and son's birthdays
*Daughter starts 1st day of school for the 1st time ever!!! Yeah Issy!!!
* Earned $245 in FREE Gift Cards/Certificates/Codes-will explain in a later post.

The Bad:
* Made the budget for Christmas and although its under $1,000; at $950; its still pretty close. But we buy gifts for a lot of people, so that's where we are at without comprising on a nice gift.
* Continuing to pay for tuition for our daughter's schooling; I don't like having an extra bill so I will pay the balance off.
* Our older car, a 98 Honda Accord, is on its last leg. Its making noise and is getting louder and louder. To fix it will cost $800-$900 and that's for just one problem. Seriously thinking of buying another car, outright; no payment.

The Ugly:
* The devil! That's what he is!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A FREE Happy Birthday Makes The Day Better!!

Next week is my daughter, son, and I birthdays! To be more specific, its 9/7 (ME), 9/9 (son), and 9/11 (daughter).......yeah, I know; crazy right! LOL!

Back when I first started blogging, I found out that there were many places that gave some nice freebies to those celebrating birthdays. After some research (long before Extreme Couponing on TLC), I found there were tons of places willing to give nicely discounted coupons, free desserts, and even meals to folks celebrating birthdays.

This brings me to the present moment. A few weeks ago I started signing myself and the kids up for FREE birthday stuff. Here's what I have already and coming soon, via email and US mail:

1. RITA'S!!!!! Not only do they have the BEST water ice on the planet, but an Awesome birthday club. Sign up and they'll give you a FREE regular size ice of your choice!! So me, my daughter and son will get FREE ices, just have to buy 1 for daddy!! Better than buying 4!

Next up is California Kitchen Pizza. This place has yummy food for not just adults but for kids with a healthy vibe. Its not just your average cheese or pepperoni pizza, but more exotic like BBQ Chicken, Martguerita, and Hawaiian Pizza! Well this fantastic place too has a birthday club, but for children! Sign up your kids and they'll each get a FREE Pizza, Chicken, Pasta or Salad with a drink and dessert! This will make a nice Lunch outing because we'll have to free meals (I'll sample my son's; he'll be 1 and doesn't eat too much, works for me!)
After that is Toys R US! They too have a Birthday Club! Sign up the kids and you'll get a card, $3.00 off gift card, a balloon, crown, and your name annoucement over the store's system!

This is one of my favorite Free Birthday Treats; Cold Stone Creamery! They have my favorite Ice Cream, Cake Batter, Yummy! They have a birthday club where they'll give you a coupon for Buy One Get One Free, so both kids will get there's free and my husband and I will have to pay for ours; still better than buying 4!

Boston Market! Boston Market! Sign up the kids and I hear they are giving FREE kid's meals, drinks, and dessert to each child for their birthday!! Another FREE lunch day, because I can sample Ethan, again since he's just 1 isn't the best eater, LOL.

This is another great one! My local supermarket will give a FREE 1/4 sheet birthday cake to any child turning 1! A Free CAKE, awesome! And since I am having their birthday party together, in a circus theme, I will have them decorate the cake just like that, but without the names. I have stuff at home to do that with!

I also received freebies and nicely discounted coupons from Burger king, Holihans Restaurant, Ruby Tuesdays, Friendly's, Children's Place, and many more places and you can too!! Go sign up and enjoy the perks of turning a year older!!!!!