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I am addicted. I am not shame and I will shout from the rafters that I am hooked. I watched an episode of Extreme Couponing and once I saw how much money they were saving, I said, “I can do that!” I started clipping and I also started saving money. I am far from extreme, but I am, unequivocally a coupon clipper.
Ironically, I can remember a time when whipping out a coupon was considered low class and made the bearer appear to be a cheapskate. People who clipped coupons were rumored to live in a house full of cats, made quilts and homemade jams. In essence, they were regarded as a step above being a hippie. Not anymore, welcome to the new breed of savvy shoppers and coupon clippers. Let me help you get started. It is easier than you think.
First we must determine what kind of shopper you are. If you are not organized enough to have to deal with a little purse of coupons, or have hours to spend price comparing in the grocery store, then we can start here. The easiest way to save is with your frequent shopper cards and make them work for you versus just having them dangling on your key chain. Kroger and Bi-Lo offers you Fuel Perks. The money you spend in the store earns you a few cents off your gas purchase at each visit. You can also download coupons to your rewards card and when you check out, they automatically take the savings off your final purchase! BiLo even offers you double coupons so you can save twice the money. I know right! No clipping, no coupons and you don’t have to seem like a crazy cat lady who makes quilts and jam.
Saving at the grocery store isn’t your only option. Crafters have long been saving at Michael’s, Joann’s and Hobby Lobby. The great thing about craft stores, if you have a coupon from another store, they will honor the discount. We can take it one further. If you are a teacher, you can also get teacher discounts at Joann’s and save an addition 15%. These programs are also available at Staples and Office Max. No matter what you are into, if you look, there is a coupon, a Groupon, and Living Social break. If you have a smart phone, you can download coupon apps and have discounts and bargains at your fingertips.
Now, I can understand if all of this couponing is far too much of a commitment, then here is the perfect solution, just price compare. Use that smartphone to help you make some smart decisions. There are several bar code scanners that will scan the price, and give you the best deals in a 50 mile radius, including online.
There are all types of coupons to help you save money when you want to dine in or dine out. Find out if your favorite location has a frequent shopper program or a loyalty program. I am one who believes in getting my money’s worth and each day I am out looking for ways to save money, cut lost and reduce my back end, literally and figuratively. You can find the savings approach that works best for you or you can search on Twitter and search under coupons. You can get real time updates on savings.
I have looked into Coupon Suzy and a few other sites, but those are more regional. The economy isn’t going to turn around on its own and in the meantime and in between time, I am working on some Christmas quilts for my great nieces and some jam from some pears my friend send over from her tree. Happy savings!
I want to believe, I really do, but after listening to non-satellite radio, I am convinced that romance is dead.
“I want your ugly, I want your disease, I want your everything as long as it’s free.” – Lady Gaga
What the bleep? This is not romantic music.
I don’t blame the music industry.
I don’t blame lame TV shows that require you to get a rose in order to feel relevant.
I don’t blame movies for forgetting how to get it right.
I blame women.
Yes, you, Ms. Bring a movie and pick up some Chinese food for our date night. That is not a date; that is a booty call. When did we as women stop feeling as if our feelings mattered? Why is it that we no longer want him to be able to ignite our fires, but we are okay if he can just buy a match. However, this cannot just be one sided, my ladies, when was the last time you even got close to the oven to get him heated? He needs as much romance as we do. Enough of the puppy love and unadventurous dates, time to add some spark to your repertoire and some spark to your weekend. Date night is about to get grown up. According to Men’s Health Magazine online, there are lists, and lists and more lists on how to get it right. There is a list of what women believe makes the perfect date. If you can’t get it right, you can at least get close.
- 5 Sensual Touching Tricks to Turn Her On
- Ace 5 Crucial Relationship Moments
- 50 Things Women Wish Men Knew
- 5 Ways to Please Her Every Time
- 10 New Places to Have Sex
Now this is a good start.
Granted, not every date can be expensive or extensive; sometimes the best dates in the world can be at home. I have inserted a nice link here for you to find ways to get your romance on in your own home. What I am suggesting here is to use your imagination to exercise your romantic elbow. Flex that sucker and give the person in your life a chance to remember why you are together. We are not talking about putting on a pair of your best Victoria’s Secret gear, or showing your pole dance moves, this is about getting into your partner’s head and saying I appreciate having you in my life. I want you to take a minute to re-evaluate why you wake up next to this person, how you got here and remind them that your heart is still beating and romance in your mind is still alive.
I will leave you with this link that gives you 100 great date night ideas. While you are on your date, I challenge you to learn one new thing about your partner, date or mate. You cannot honestly know how to romance your partner if you do not fully understand with whom you are sharing your life. I want to believe that romance is alive. Come back and share with me why you also think that romance is not dead but alive in your life. I can’t wait to read your comments and just in case, here is your red rose to let you know you are a keeper.
Today I sat down. I grabbed a cup of ice tea, picked up the magazine I purchased last week, and I sat down. I took the pillows from the couch and made a makeshift ottoman on top of the pillows and put my feet up. I moved the magazine to my lap, turned my computer on just to hear some soft music in the background, and I began to read about flowers and using a marker to decorate.
Before I knew it, my eyes had inadvertently closed and I soon realized that this phenomenon that was taking place was called resting. I think I like this trend because what happened next was even more amazing. I took a nap. In the middle of the afternoon, I sat down, read a magazine and took a nap. When I woke up two hours later, I discovered something else astounding; the world did not end.
I was now rested and even felt relaxed. I did not feel the tension that had piled up between my shoulder blades and had been pressing down on my spine. I did not feel the pins that were usually boring into my temples trying to push my eyeballs out of their sockets. I was not overcome by the violent urge to sock someone in the face to end the incessant prattle. I felt calm and almost rejuvenated. I think I like this rest thing.
For the first time in several months, I had a clear thought that started in my mind and went all the way through the thought process without my Alter Ego’s interruptions. You know when Alter Ego butts in and tells you to get up off your duff and go do this. Yelling at you with reminders of all the things you should be doing but are not. The irony of Alter Ego’s rudeness is for naught because when you get to the kitchen, and open the fridge to get your car keys, you are now thinking that you are hungry. Your car keys are not in the fridge, but in the bathroom because you ran out of toilet paper and were heading to the store anyway. Since you were going to the store you needed to know if there was any milk left and if you needed more OJ. This is was really the reason you went into the kitchen and opened the fridge. After you opened the fridge and saw the ice-tea you decided to pour a glass and instead of drinking it over the sink, you decided to sit down.
I am glad you decided to sit down and spend some time with me because here, in this spot, in this moment, the voices in my head are quiet. You are laughing at me and at the many times that has also happened to you. The magazine just happened to be there taunting you to pick it up and use it like a dirty rag. No matter, my chores are not going anywhere. I still need toilet paper, and those dishes should not be in the freezer, but the kitchen sink……but when I actually find where I left my keys, maybe I will go and do something constructive. In the meantime, I am just going to sit here because today I realized that sometimes, I am just doing too much.
I am not an economist or even a financial guru, but I am a mom. I have survived the 70’s, the 80’s and Reaganomics, and even the boom of the Internet in the 90s while managing to never go hungry. However, after the aftermath of natural disasters, bailouts, a 10 year war along with more bad weather to come, I am wise enough to realize I have to make some smart changes.
The first thing I did was update my resume.
The second thing I did was started looking for ways to cut back on my spending.
Third, I started looking for items around the house that were taking up space and not making me any money.
Fourth, I purchased canning jars and pectin.
Last, I evaluated my assets.
Why you ask? Things are about to get really tough.
If you are watching the news very carefully, you will notice that each day, there is another company starting a round of layoffs. This means a saturation of more unemployed and a shrinkage in the number of jobs available to the “unspecialized.” Further, pay attention to the amount of damage that was done by Hurricane Irene up and down the East Coast. FEMA is out of money. Insurance is only going to cover as much, which is probably going to mean an increase in your insurance rates. But wait, there is more. The Northeast corridor is our beds for Blueberries, cranberries and other items we use to make non orange juice. Around the corner Hurricane Katina is off the shore of Africa. We are only half way through the alphabet, there is still L- Z.
In all honesty, I am scared. I am scared for our children who are about to experience and economic downturn they just will not understand. There will be many who will not understand. I am writing out my thoughts so that I may help you understand what I am thinking. I am going to take you step by step. My first step was to update my resume. My updated resume is necessary so that I can start acquiring from freelance work. I can freelance as a ghost blogger for higher education and many other sites. I started with the Chronicle of Higher Education, since that is my area. I obtained a free membership. I also looked at other organizations where I have memberships and updated my profile. I even updated my profile on Linked In. If there is someone out there looking for what I can do, I can easily score some part time work or projects to make a few bucks.
Please keep in mind that just because companies have to lay off employees, they still have a company to run. They contract out the work. The company must go on if it can. I am willing to do my part to help American companies keep going, even if it is a project at a time. If companies are looking for ways to cut back on spending, then so should I.
I started with my stupid cell phone. I am either going to go prepaid or back to a standard dumb phone. I have a tablet with apps. Apps are over rated and I have other things to do that to sit around diddling with my phone. I started practicing on my buttercream frostings and baked goods at home. A few eggs, some butter, sugar, add flour and I have a dessert. Add some flavorings and it is whatever I want it to be. Adding Cocoa makes it chocolate, adding lemon extract makes it lemon flavored. Payday, I am headed to Big Lots and the Dollar Store to purchase whatever fillers, extras and additives I need to have on hand for whatever I can possibly think I would want to go out and eat. I am eating at home.
Of course, with this much new stuff coming in, I have to make some room. I started with the shed. We scored a cool $400 bucks for some truck tires that I listed on Craig’s list. I think you can buy a mother on Craig’s list. Hubby started to look at me suspiciously, yes, he is right; I was looking at more of HIS stuff to sell. Of course I’m not selling any of my stuff, what is wrong with you? Anyhoo, moving on….. I went to Wally World and purchased more canning jars. This weekend I am headed to the market to buy more fruit. I don’t know how to preserve anything other than my shoes. The formula is basic. Simmer, add sugar and pectin, bottle, drop bottle in hot water, remove bottles; wait to tops to suck in. Then you cool and store. If not, I am headed to 2nd and Charles to find a book on preserving. Hey, while I’m going that way, I am going to take some books to sell. See, Hubby, I can be fair.
Now, I am looking at my 401K, my stocks, the bonds, and even some stocks that I have certificates, I may cash in just to hold on the actual dollars. I am evaluating my net worth. I kind of feel like Carrie on Sex and City when she realized she spent $40k on shoes. I ain’t worth Jack Schitt. I think I may add some rims to my Ford to increase its value.
I am not an alarmist but a realist, but I am buying a 20lb bag of rice.
It is time to stock up the freezer and the pantry because it is going to be a bumpy hurricane season, a bad winter and poor Spring harvest.
I am telling you early. You will thank me later.