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Archive for July, 2008

The Power Bill

July 27th, 2008 at 09:47 pm

Today has been a no spend day. Actually it's been a very lazy day. Friday was my birthday so we got a sitter to watch DS and went out with some friends on Saturday. We stayed out kind of late so today was catch up on sleep day lol. I'm making shepard's pie for dinner tonight. Not really a summer meal, but it's cheap, easy, and makes for good leftovers for the week's lunches.

I got my power bill. I've actually been excited to receive it just to see how much we were going to save since cutting back. We have been limiting out power usage during peak times. We have been turning off the water heater while not using it. We run the dryer during non peak times and we use the dry towel in with it (it does speed the drying up) We installed a programmable thermostat keeping the AC turned off from 3am-4pm and then when it is on it's set to 76.

Our house is almost 1600 sq ft. Last month's power bill (not using methods listed above) was $185 and that was using 1774 kw over 29 days. This months power bill (using methods above) was $163 and that was using 1559 kw over 33 days. I was still upset that it was so high. I guess it's just because it's summer. I know they increase their prices then because we had a comparable month of usage back in February and the bill was only $123. Any other ideas where I can cut back??

Interesting Thought. What's Your Take?

July 21st, 2008 at 01:25 pm

DH just sent me this email. Not that I am endorsing this or believe every forward I receive, but I thought it was interesting therefore bringing up. I am curious to know what your take on it would be:

Apparently, quite a few somebodies voted for 'change'?

The current president is to blame for our present circumstances. True, or not? After all, he has been in office for almost 8 years! Why is it that, only recently, so many economic woes have begun to surface? If we look back, could we find some related causes?

Do you think it might have something to do with what happened in the election of 2006?



Just before that election took place:
1) Consumer confidence stood at a 2 1/2 year high;
3) The unemployment rate was 4.5%.

4) The housing industry was booming

5) Home equity was at an all-time high

6) Stocks, mutual funds, and other investments were showing consistent gains.



In the election of 2006, Americans were unhappy with the president and the Republican controlled Congress . It was clear that they wanted a CHANGE, and they GOT IT! As a result, a Democratic Congress was voted in and has been in control of the government for almost two years.



Since then:

1) Consumer confidence has plummeted.
2) The cost of regular gasoline has risen to over $4.00 a gallon.

3) Unemployment is up to 5% (a 10% increase);
4) American households watched $2.3 trillion in equity value evaporate.

5) Stocks, mutual funds and other investments have seen record losses;
5) Home equity has dropped by over $1.2 trillion dollars;
6) 1% of American homes are now in foreclosure.

At whom should we be pointing the finger of blame? The average American doesn't realize that Congress makes the laws, and has ultimate control over the conditions that are present in this country----not the President. He gets to work with whomever "we the people" elect. Was voting for Change a good move? You decide.

Yeah, It Could've Been Done Sooner

July 20th, 2008 at 05:41 pm

It's been a busy Sunday today. I am the biggest procrastinator! It's nothing new, I've always been that way....but somehow I always find the time to get it done.

I have already done my couponing through the paper today. I wasn't very impressed with anything that was in there, but there were a couple that I clipped. I also checked the grocery inserts. Turns out Ingles has white loaf bread on sale for 68 cents this week. I will be making a run probably tomorrow to pick up some to freeze. They are also having store brand ketchup on sale for 92 cents. That's great in comparison to the $2 we pay for Heniz. I told DH I was going to buy that this week and he got mad and demanded I not buy it...that he won't eat anything but Heniz. I can't taste the difference....it's just ketchup. I'm thinking I may just buy it and put it in the Heniz container we have. I doubt he'll notice.

My sister has lived in Japan for the past 3 years on an english teaching contract. Her contract is finally up and she will be coming home on the 28th. I know it will be weird for her to come back to the US after that long as essentially she has to totally start over. She will be living with me until she gets her bearings straight. So....I'm having to really clean the house, wash clothes, ect. Our new dog has a real bad shedding problem and she's allergic, so I'm trying to do something about that. We have the Bissel pet vac (best vac I've ever had) that grabs the hair so I'm using that too.

I am also baking some bread in the new bread maker. I made cinnamon rolls last night that ended up pretty good. DH loves them and always asks for me to buy them when I grocery shop. I'm glad I'm able to make these now to save some money. I'm going to keep making the bread even though I said I was going to buy some at Ingles this week. I'm not exactly sure what the cost is to bake a 1 lb loaf, but you can't pass up 68 cent bread. Heck, that's even cheaper than Aldi's.

On top of just standard stuff, I've got some homework and a test I need to do tonight for my online classes. I'm gonna have to wait for DS to go to bed for me to be able to do that.

On a lighter note, in my last post I stated I was disappointed I wasn't able to find some Express Editor Pants at Goodwill. Well, I was able to win an auction on Ebay today. I got 6 pairs of pants (Abercrombie, The Limited, Express) all for $14.82....AND this included the pair of editor pants I wanted. That breaks down to $2.47 a pair which is less than Goodwill.

Successful Trip To Goodwill

July 19th, 2008 at 05:08 pm

I've been wanting to check out the Goodwill store we have in town for a while. Since DS was having a restless morning we decided to go. I would say it was a pretty successful trip. Well....they were kind of skimpy on DS' size (24mths-2T) so I was only able to find a pair of overalls for him to wear now, but I did find a pair of brand new shorts (retail tags still attached). They were 4T but they were a solid color so they won't go out of style and he'll grow into them.

I then went to look for clothes for DH. That man won't throw anything away not to mention he has no shame. He'll go to work in SUPER faded shirts. I can't stand it! He's a professional, he should look like one. So, when I buy him clothes, I throw out how ever many faded shirts to match. I was able to find him 2 Izod polo shirts and an Old Navy polo shirt all in great condition.
Since I have been losing weight, my pants I've got don't fit. I've slowly been putting them on Ebay. I was able to find two pairs of Tommy Hilfiger jeans, and 2 pairs of black pants for work (The Limited and Old Navy.) All were in great condition! I was hoping I'd be able to find a pair of Express Editor pants, but sadly I wasn't able to.

Everything I bought I felt was a great deal. Especially since I was able to get name brands, but I saved the best deal for last. I was able to find a 1lb bread maker for $6! Granted, it is a smaller one I was still stoked to find it. With only 2 adults and a toddler I think it should work. I brought it home, cleaned it, and then went online to find the manual. I was excited that I was able to find the manual and the recipes! Right now I'm making some cheesy bread to go with dinner!

All in all our trip was good. I was just kind of disappointed there wasn't a lot there for DS. I'm thinking I may go check out the Goodwill close to work and see if they have stuff for him.

Kind Of Slow

July 18th, 2008 at 04:39 pm

It's been kind of slow here lately. Well, I wouldn't say slow, but slow on stuff to report. I am still just as busy with school and work.

While on a break at work today, I checked my email and was surprised to see a survey request from Pinecone. It's been a while since I've had one. I jumped on that as soon as I saw it. I recently just changed my payment method with them to Paypal instead of a check, so hopefully I'll have $3-$5 soon. That will go to the c.c's. I also hope they will send me the product to try.

We haven't gotten the power bill yet. I'm so anxious to get it so I can see how much we've saved. It's riduculious how much I'm excited to get a freakin' bill.

We've sold a couple of things on Ebay here lately but alas, no one has put an offer in on the dress yet. I do have 1 watching it, so here's hoping.

Sellin' On Ebay And Other Things

July 14th, 2008 at 04:48 pm

I posted some of DS' clothes on Ebay last week. I only made a couple of bucks but it was either that or take them to Goodwill. Last night I posted a wedding dress I had purchased, only to realize at the last minute it would not fit. Talk about a scramble at David's Bridal when I found that out! I had to buy a totally new dress!! Anyways, I posted it with all the accessories I had with it. Sad it's brand new and never was worn, but I'm hoping someone will like it enough to get it. I felt a buy it now of $225 w/ free shipping was decent. We'll see.


Moving on, we finally made the switch over to DSL. Turns out the DSL company that was local to us offers a plan where you don't have to pay for a phone line. You're given one anyways, but you only get free inbound calls, 911, 800 #s. Other outgoing calls are .10 a min. Which was fine with me because we normally just use our cells anyways. The plan is $44.99 a month which is about $12 cheaper than the cable we had. The new dsl modem was $62.00 but you get a $50 rebate, so really only $12. Also, after much searching, I found the company offers a $5 discount a month for the first year when you switch from cable. So I submitted my cable bill for that. We'll see on the first bill. So for the same speed service, I think it was a smart idea.

DH and I have been doing well on turning off the hot water heater when not in use. We have also started using a dry towel in the dryer. I did notice less drying time with it. We have also been doing better about not running the AC so hard. (Turning it off at 3am until 4:30pm and then it's only between 78-76) this is probably the only month that I've really wanted the power bill to hurry up a come. I just want to see how much we've saved.

Aldi Reflecting Increased Costs

July 13th, 2008 at 03:55 pm

I did my grocery shopping yesterday. DH and I went to Aldi. We like going there because for one it's cheaper and two, it's just so much quicker. You don't have all those choices to pick over and comparison shop.

While shopping, I started noticing price changes. The milk was up from $2.50 to $2.99. The pizzas were up from $1.99 to $2.50. Bread was up from $.75 to $.79....just to name a few. I was kind of disappointed, but I knew it was only a matter of time before it would happen.

So now, some things are the same price as you'd find at out local Ingles but then again, most things, especially their special sale items are cheaper. We're gonna continue to shop there because milk is currently $3.68 and bread is $1.28 at Ingles. I was just sad to see the increases knowing it's just going to continue to go up.

A Resolution In My Favor

July 12th, 2008 at 02:25 pm

DH needed a new jacket for the winter so since it's the off season, I figured I'd look on Ebay to see what I could find. I found a North Face Denali jacket that I ended up winning for $58.99 (included sh). I was stoked because those jackets are $150+ in the store.
If you don't know about the Denali jackets and why they're so expensive, it's because North Face makes outdoor wear with water proof fleece. Also, they are thinner jackets which is less weight, but they provide the same amount of warmth....it's a very good brand.

ANYWAYS, I got an email from the seller after buying that it would be shipped from China when the auction stated they lived in NY. So I did some Googling and found out that they make counterfeit North Face. This blew my mind. I mean, I know they knock off Tiffany and Coach....but I never would've thought they'd knock off coats. I emailed then back and told them don't send it to me if it was fake and if they did I would report them. They emailed me back and said it wasn't.

Well DH went and picked up the jacket from the post office and when I got home, he kind of had a pout on with my North Face jacket in one hand and his in the other. Sadly he said "They don't look the same". Sure enough, I noticed his jacket had some flaws especially with the stitching. If no one saw the inside of the jacket, you'd never know it was fake....it had all the North Face logos on it....it was just the inside. I asked him if it fit and if it was warm, he confirmed this and said it was useable, he was just disappointed in the quality of the inside.

I went back to my computer and emailed them and said "I warned you in my last email now I am going to report you". I then filed a claim with Paypal asking for a full refund. Of course you know those things take a full month to decide on a side. So maybe 3 days later (yesterday) the seller emailed me back begging me not to report that they were sorry they didn't know and they thought that the company they bought them from was trying to take advantage of them...yada yada yada and would I reconsider. I said I would if they issued me the total back. Sure enough they did within an hour and told me to keep the jacket. I canceled my Paypal dispute. DH was then extremely happy with the jacket when he found out it was free.

Slammed

July 9th, 2008 at 03:02 pm

Yeah it's been a couple of days since my last post. I swear I haven't been slacking though. I started back school last week. I am taking 1 online class and 1 hybrid class. I really hate the concept of the hybrid class (1 day in class the rest of the week online) because it makes me drive about 45 mins away from work. School is only about 15 mins from my house but I work 30 mins away from home in the other direction so it causes me to have to leave work early. Not a big deal, I just take a shorter lunch...but the gas usage just sucks. That reminds me, I have class tonight....great.

We went to DH's parents for the holiday weekend. They live on the lake up in SC. We took DS fishing in the back yard. That was fun. He's only been fishing one other time and that was when he was a week old. LOL. We caught a whole mess of brim fish and had it for dinner Monday night. Quite good and only for the cost of bait...about $1.50 and we fed a family of 3. Too bad we don't live up there to take advantage of that....but then again I'd be concerned about mercury levels in the fish. Anyways, looking forward to DH's hunting season so we can get all that relatively free meat.

We're still turning off the hot water heater and keeping the AC from running all the time...I'm just waiting to see the power bill to see how much lower it is due to our efforts.

Pictures comparing DS from first fishing trip to last fishing trip: