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Archive for July, 2008

Mystery Shop

July 29th, 2008 at 04:51 am

Last night, DD and I went to Texas Roadhouse for a mystery shop. Once I enter the shop details online I will be reimbursed $35 for the meal. On this particular assignment, there is a bonus rate paid of $4. Both of our meals totaled $35.58 including the tip, so I will make $3.42 on this mystery shop.

It was a tasty meal and best of all it was a free outing!!

July Electric Bill-$55.95!!

July 27th, 2008 at 08:33 am

I just got July's electric bill and was pleasantly surprised. It was less than $56!! For June as posted previously in my blog, my bill was $53.96. I pay 6.3 cents/kilowatt hour. In addition, I have time of day usage pricing (off-peak 9 pm to 9 am + weekends, and on peak from 9 am to 9 pm)

Anyway, comparing June and July...here are the numbers:

June: 29 days in billing cycle, 81.5% off
peak and 18.5% on peak usage

July: 30 days in billing cycle, 77.8% off
peak and 22.2% on peak usage

I don't think that is too bad. I try to do laundry in the evenings or on the weekends. In addition, I periodically turn off the hot water heater upon ImaSaver's recommendation which definitely helps conserve energy. I still could improve on that, but it isn't always the easiest with children in the house. But anyway I feel that every little bit helps. I will attempt to decrease how much the hot water heater is running throughout the day. Also, I rarely run the A/C during on peak times of the day, so that saves too.

I hope everyone has a great day!

NSD and Yard Work

July 21st, 2008 at 04:56 am

Yesterday, I had another NSD. Actually, I haven't had many of those this month.

I got the yard mowed and did some weeding along my fence. It was extremely hot/humid, but it needed to be done. DS helps me with the yard work frequently, but he was spending the day with a friend.

Started New Saturday Job

July 19th, 2008 at 06:38 pm

Today I started my new Saturday job. The hours are 8-2 so the worst part was getting up at 5:30 AM when the alarm went off. The commute is 65 miles one way, but it pays very well since it is located in a large city in a nearby state.

The other staff members were really nice and the day went very well. The time went by quickly also, which was a plus.

At my current Saturday job which I will alternate for now with this job, my boss is very arrogant and frankly I am getting tired of his demeanor. Since we are professionals, I would think that even though he has a higher degree than myself, he would treat me as a colleague and respect my opinions more than he does. Anyway, this and the fact that I always need to initiate the topic of pay increases may make it easier for me to make a decision between the two Saturday jobs. I am extremely reliable and feel I am good at what I practice. Sometimes I feel like I'm taken for granted since I am so readily available for my boss with picking up extra Saturdays. In this profession I should be making more money on Saturdays than I do at my M-F full-time job; however, I do not.

Anyway, sorry about rambling. I guess I should be satisfied and thankful that I have a great profession that so far hasn't been greatly affected by the economy.

Found a Penny

July 17th, 2008 at 04:27 am

I found a penny yesterday at Wal-mart at the checkout area.

I also got a Rite Aid rebate check in the mail for $30.93.

Both of these I will add to my savings account.

I haven't participated recently in the Walgreen's rebate program, but almost always get FAR items with Rite Aid's program.

Have a great day!

2 NSD and Temp Pay

July 14th, 2008 at 06:06 pm

Yesterday and today were NSDs for me.

I finally got the temp pay from working in an office a couple of weeks ago. I will add that $503 to my savings account. Normally I get it that same day, but the office manager who writes the checks was on vacation when I worked those days.

Starting Saturday, I will work an additional 2 Saturdays a month. So for a month or two I'm thinking about working every Saturday alternating with the job which I've had for a year now. Since I think that will be too tiresome to do for a long period of time, I will save up some extra money and decide which job to keep and cut back to only 2 Saturdays a month. I don't know, I just don't want to get burnt out. Maybe I can use the extra money to save towards my Home Depot CC that has 0% interest until Jan 2009. I put replacement windows on that CC last year and definitely want to pay it in full before the offer expires.

Coupon Inserts Very Disappointing Recently

July 13th, 2008 at 09:18 am

I've been noticing that for about the last month or so, the coupon inserts in the Sunday newspaper are very thin. The main reason I have home delivery is for the coupons. I had originally thought that the savings in coupons would outweigh the cost of the newspaper. Even though I am not brand loyal, there are barely any coupons in the inserts. Instead it is loaded with advertisements/catalog order items.

I may have to rethink my Sunday newspaper subscription.

Has anyone else noticed the lack of "good" manufacturer coupons?

Vanilla Iced Coffee and Survey Check

July 12th, 2008 at 04:53 pm

DD and I really enjoy McDonald's Vanilla Iced Coffee, but it is just getting to be too much of a habit and more importantly too expensive. With the smallest size cup costing $1.99, I've decided I need to come up with a made-from-scratch alternative. I found a recipe for vanilla syrup in a cookbook.

Vanilla Syrup

1 1/2 c water
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp vanilla extract

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring water, sugar, and salt to a boil. Stir frequently until sugar is dissolved. Boil until mixture is thick and syrupy, approximately 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract and cool.

I make fairly strong coffee, then add some half & half or light cream plus some of the vanilla syrup over ice. The problem is I don't know the proportions that McD's uses, but I just estimate and it turns out very yummy!! I know it will save me money in the long run!

I received a $50 check from Global Test Market from doing surveys. It took less than 4 weeks to receive the check once I requested it. I will add that to my savings account. I already accumulated another 240 points towards the next $50 once I reach 1000 points. I think I like this company better than Pinecone. I get at least 10 survey invites each week. I rarely get any from Pinecone.

Have a great evening everyone!!

More Suze Orman Viewing

July 8th, 2008 at 04:19 pm

On Saturday night, my daughter and I were watching Suze Orman at the usual time--9:00 PM ET. According to the announcement during the show, Suze will now air 6 nights/wk to include M-F at 8 PM ET.

We probably will not watch it every night, but my daughter (age 15) and I always look forward to watching it together. Since she has a part-time job now, I've been trying to give her some basic personal finance tips. The Suze Orman show either reiterates some things that I have already discussed with her, or brings up new ideas which prompt her to ask me some questions. I think that this show is a good supplement as a teaching tool to help her to understand finances, budgeting, importance of saving, etc. a bit better.

While I don't agree with everything that Suze suggests, I am happy that it will be airing more than once a week. Our favorite part is the "Can I Afford It?" segment.

Does anyone else watch this show as a family or with your children?







Found 2 Pennies!!

July 8th, 2008 at 10:30 am

Today while I was running some errands I found 2 cents!!

I went to Sears to get a bathtub mat. I had a $5 gift card to use there from doing a survey. The cost was $9.99-$5 GC, so I got it for $4.99 + tax.

I hope everyone has a great day!!

Fast Return on License Investment

July 7th, 2008 at 05:04 pm

I was initially concerned with spending hundreds of dollars to get another professional license in a nearby state. By working 2 temp jobs within the past week in that state, I have regained all the money plus some additional money.

I guess it was well worth it, but at the time I was hesitant in making that move within my career.

Back from Vacation with Some Bargains

July 6th, 2008 at 08:10 pm

We got back last night from our trip to my sister and BIL's cabin. We had a nice time together. It was good to get away for a few days.

I filled the gas tank before we left, then again when we returned. That cost $30 and I spent about $50 on food to take along. So we ended up spending less than $100, which I think was really good.

On the way home, we stopped at a discount grocery outlet store. This store has both brand and store name merchandise for very low prices. Some of the items are a few months outdated, but for the most part the food is good quality and in-date. Some of the items I got were: (2) 1 lb. baby carrots $0.99 ea., cucumbers 3/$1, yams $0.49/lb., bananas $0.44/lb, several boxes of cereal $1.29-$1.69 each, several bottles of salad dressing (Kraft and Ken's)3/$1, seedless, whole watermelon $3.99. I got quite a bit of food and only spent $53. I just wish there was a store like this closer to home. The prices were much better even than Aldi in this area.

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!!

Got a Job Offer

July 1st, 2008 at 08:42 pm

Last week I had an interview at an office for Saturday work only. Yesterday, I received a call from the office manager stating that I received the job. I will initially work every other Sat. there because I am already working the opposite Sat. in an office where I've been for over a year now. I just need to decide if I want to switch to working every Sat. at this new position because the pay is so much better. I will test it out for a few months, then make a decision.

Anyway, I start in two weeks. I have to decide what I will do with the extra money.

Well, only one more day of temping tomorrow then we leave for vacation for a few days.

Have a great holiday!!