Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Search of the New Hobby

I haven't posted in a while, but I am recently on the search for a new hobby. I have choose wax creations! I say wax creations cause I heard it can get addicting quick from just wax tarts (melties) and candles. I am going to dabble in dipped items too and maybe other stuff like lip gloss, but not going to get too ahead of myself.

I thought "well this is a cheap hobby" totally not. With the price of shipping nowadays, it adds up high quick. I use SWAGBUCKS to gather Amazon Gift Cards, but guess I will have to try to save up a little more for Paypal cash to help fund my hobby. With being poor, its hard to have a hobby nowadays I guess. Especially when you have babies to buy for.

I am getting most of what I need to dabble for a little bit that is coming in the mail. I splurged for my bday/christmas gift. I hardly splurge on myself alone, so hopefully I stick with this hobby. My husband stated I have to or he'll be mad.

I will post my creations from time to time and hopefully I can get to my goal within a year or less to start selling my creations and start a WAHM (work at home mom) business. Always dreamed of started my own business and I am a dreamer, so hopefully it will happen one day!

Search & Win

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Great Giveaway!

Hey guys, check out the Golden Ticket for a great giveaway!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Giant Eagle Paid Me....Sorta

I get WIC and did my shopping with my tickets. I saw they had a special on Gerber baby food, get 10 and get a $1 off coupon! I also wanted to make a cake for Easter and had a coupon for a free cake mix with the purchase of 2 icings. Well, I had a $4 off my next shopping trip from Giant Eagle as well from my last adventure.

1. My $1 off coupons did not print, but after a collective 20 mins I received them.
2. My total for the cake mix came up to $5.40, with the coupons I was -$0.10!!

With my adrenaline running and the happiness of my ten cent gain, the cashier was flabbergasted. Not to mention her cash register froze. She got the manager over and he stated they do not pay back customers!! WHAT! I took the time to figure out my coupons and on the coupon shows they pay the people! He said just to ring it out as free and he swiped his card so she could ring me out.

I wrote Giant Eagle. No where in their coupon policies does it state they will not pay the customers. Stay tuned for the response!

This is what I wrote:

To Whom It May Concern,

On April 23, 2011 I went to Giant Eagle and purchased a Dunkin Hines cake mix and two frosting's. I had a free coupon for the cake mix and a $4 off my next shopping trip from Giant Eagle. My total came up to -0.10 and the registered froze. As I seen on Extreme Couponing and heard from friends, I should of received my $0.10, but Robert Mitchell, Manager of the Bedford PA Giant Eagle stated they do not pay customers and to ring it as free.

What is your policy on paying customers back from what they purchased with coupons? I see nothing in your policy's stated this. If this is your policy than I refuse to shop at your store any longer. I will not give you another dime, if you do not give me the dime I earned. I know this seems silly over a dime, but what if it was a larger amount? I put my hard earned time clipping coupons and strategically using your paper to purchase my groceries. I could use my time in other places.


Thank you for your time

Tasha Bowers

Unfortunately, I wrote the wrong manager name, but will correct it when they call me.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

One step towards progress..

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I am cutting back financially to get to my goal. I accomplished two things this weekend
  1. Prepped the PT Cruiser to sell. I should spruce it up with some car seat covers and mats for the eye appeal.
  2. Did my first coupon adventure!
Since the prepping of the PT cruiser is not that exciting, I will fill you in on my coupon craze.

I have been prepping since my last blog gathering coupons from my mom, Shoppers Guide, online and bought two Sunday papers for the coupons. Every nap BabyC took I started clipping away and organizing my grocery list. I thought up two questions while prepping for my trip to the store today. What ARE the rules of couponing? How do they get their grocery bill to $6.00 from a large amount?

The first thought was that maybe they outsmarted the cashier and did the same coupons for the same item, but the coupons looked different. Answer - nope, the cashier checks and the scanner knows if you tried to scam them. My example is I had 4 coupons for French's mustard, but they all looked the same. It only took one.

What DID work - I had 4 coupons for cereal. 3 coupons for different cereals and a coupon for some amount off with the purchase of 2 General Mills cereals. I bought the 3 kinds of cereal I had coupons for (plus Giant Eagle had a sale on those) and it took all four coupons.

I guess you just have to learn how to do it properly and that is going to take time. So what was my savings my very first coupon trip?

Total before coupons $194 and change
Scanned the Giant Eagle Card $19.55 in savings
Scanned the coupons (plus it was double coupon week!) $27.30
Grand total: $144.34
Got Fuel perks too which I really don't use. I'm up to $0.90 off a gallon.

So not bad for 68 items. That included baby food, toiletries, diapers and food for the house. My homework now is to plan a better grocery list and figure out the coupon game. This will be my off week though - vacation here I come!

Until next time...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Time to Act

Wow, I haven't posted on this blog in forever! Well in the short and skinny I had my daughter on September 13, 2010 and time has flown! She will be 7 months next week and 5 months of her life I have missed out on a lot. I work a FT job because my bills are way too much and I have to provide my daughter food, shelter and clothing. Unfortunately, I can not raise her on love alone - that would not make her a happy baby. I have sacrificed my happiness to make sure she is happy and taken care of - but I'm over it.

Time to Change - My - Life! So I am going to blog my progress or not progress depending how life rolls with me. I am going to blog how I am cutting down on expenses and the struggles with that, taking up coupon-ing to save money on the necessities of life and making life a happier place for me. I am giving you a peek inside the life of "MommaT" so sit back and I hope you enjoy the ride with me.

I decided the end of March after a stressful week at work and the weight of being a FT working mom that something needs to change. I have lived in a fog for the past 5 months and my bills have gone haywire. They have gotten paid, but when I live in my "fog" I just do what I have to do and hell with a budget. I would play with my daughter and space out thinking about other things and blink back to reality to see her staring at me. (Smiling of course! Love her smile.) This is not fair to her or my family and after a breakdown, I decided to change things.

First Challenge - Bill Accessment

  • We bring roughly (without overtime or bonuses) $2400 per month.
  • My bills and necessities are about $2200 per month! How does this happen?

Two car payments (3 years on them yet)
Car insurance for the crazy drivers mean higher car insurance payment
Rent that does not include utilities (so worth it though)
Utilities - Water/Sewage, Electric, OIL HEAT (my God!)
Phone/Net (Cut out cable when I attempted this cutback and failed earlier this year)
Hulu/Netflix (to replace cable)
Pet stuff
Baby stuff (Formula is free - thank you WIC)
Other Bills and Odds and Ends

I also racked up a tasty bill with FAST FOOD!

Second Challenge - Cut Backs

My Thoughts to Remedy this situation and cut out $1200 worth of my budget
  1. Sell the PT Cruiser - bad on gas and the car that we still owe the most out of
  2. Cut out a non-needed bill
I still need to cut out over $500 monthly!

So I added this to my plan:
  1. When I sell the Cruiser I am going to take that payment, savings from car insurance, money spared from budget and dump it into the Neon. I owe about $5,000+ and I think I can pay it off by fall if I try
  2. Take bonuses and Overtime and put it in a savings acct. Just in case!
I will still need to cut some other things back - so I will once again monitor my electricity use and water use. I will also consider cloth diapers once again - but only if I can put a FT commitment to it.

Why am I doing this? To stay home with my daughter - but cutting back and budgeting is NOT ENOUGH! Why is life so expensive! Lets up the challenges.

Third Challenge - Income Changes

My husband has to be the breadwinner of this family so he is going to try to get a better position and go to school to get an even better position. What a rough year we have ahead!

I am a PT PartyLite Consultant - so I am going to work on making that more successful.

Fourth Challenge - Couponing!

Yes, I always forget I have them and I am going to buy my printer some ink to clip away! I got inspired by watching clips of Extreme Couponing. I am going to start small and going to start this weekend. Keep watching for those blogs!

Sounds nice and all right? Well I know what you are thinking - what if it does not work out? Well we will just have to wait and see. Wish me luck - I'm off to my adventure.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Money Saving Tips #4

I woke up inspired today to attempt a buisness in my town even if its a few years down the road. I have to get myself financially ready first before I take on a responsibility like that. Here are some things I do to pinch pennies and to help me attempt to keep my savings account and have my dream goal - a buisness.

Un-Paper Towels:

What is that? Well I spend alot of money on paper towels and go through them like crazy! I decided to buy a set of washclothes for $3-$4 at Walmart and put them in my drawer in the kitchen for easy access. I use them for napkins, spills, cleaning rags and really saves me money. "But that causes more laundry!" Really doesn't. I just grab the used ones (I have a hamper hanging on my basement door) before I go to my washer/drawer and throw them in with my clothes. They are small and really do not take much space and saves me spending $2-$5 a month on replacing the paper ones. That saves me roughly $60/year and possibly more because who knows how much more I'll go through with a baby on the way. It may not seem much - but really does help and helps on trash accumilation!

Water Conservation:

I now have a new bill I never had in my life and that is a water bill! To save money I put a spagetti jar full of water in my toilet tank to save that much water per flush. I tried two jars but did not have room. You can do the same with a 1/2 gallon jug (that you had for milk) and fill it with rocks or water and save that much per flush! I take shorter showers and I have two rubbermaid tubs for dishes (one for wash and one for rinsing) and fill them up halfway. I have deep sinks so that will save me water as well since I have to hand wash dishes. As for laundry I only do it when I have a full load. Currently I do it every 3rd day and have 1-2 full loads. I put it on cold/cold to save me electricity and really warm water gets them no more cleaner than a cold wash. Now when I wash diapers I will do a warmer wash to make sure they are sanitized and on nice days line dry.

How is this affecting my water bill? Not sure - I have yet to get it, but will keep you posted!

Savings Account:

Not really a money saving tip - but a money lesson. Really should start a nest egg if you do not have one already. I have one for my maternity leave and its a blessing in disguise. I need to keep it up, but hopefully next month I can start saving again. You should try to save up at least $5,000 - $10,000 in a savings account. $5, $10, or whatever you can muster a check or month will eventually add up. Previous to moving and getting my bills re-adjusted and unexpected expenses (gotta get a new boxspring!) I saved $200/month. Now my nest egg is about $2500, but really will have to resave it up cause when I go on maternity leave it will be my income. It can be done!! After you get the goal amount - you should start saving for retirement. That is another discussion in itself.

Hope you enjoyed my money saving tips for the week!

I apologize for not writing since April - just have not been inspired lately and been busy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Furry Baby

Tommorrow is my dachshund's 3rd birthday. I can not believe how time passes and things have changed. If your like me I treat my dog as one of the family and like any 'child' you have to get them ready for the new baby arrival.

I have researched this a bit and I can not say what works and what does not.

I want to tell you on how to get that furry baby ready for a human brother or sister.

Now my dogs have been very loved and I handled them a lot when they were puppies which I hope gets them ready for little kids. I have got in my dogs face, pretended to eat his food, pulled, tugged, nipped and just man-handled my dog to the point that those things do not affect him and I hope that helps the new transition. I do think squeaky toys and blankets will be hard to get his mindset to 'his' and 'babies'. If your dog has not been bombarded with such affection, here are some tips:

1. Have your partner give him extra attention and let him get used to them since you may be the one handling the baby more often.

2. Get a baby doll and rub baby oil on it. Get a blanket and swaddle the baby doll and then treat it like a baby. Get him used to the scents and smells of the new arrival.

3. Have your partner or friend come home from the hospital with a blanket or hat the baby has worn. Let the dog get the scent and give him a treat afterwards to show him the baby will bring good things.

4. Keep the baby in the car seat and lower it to the dog. Let him sniff the baby and praise him for good behaviour.

Try to keep the routine you have with the dog now when you have the baby. Ask your partner to help you and find what works best for you and your family. You do not want your dog feeling neglected and off his routine. That will only cause potty accidents and aggression towards the newcomer.

I have a gut feeling my dog will be fine and if your dog just is not taking to the baby and after training is showing aggression then give the dog to a trusting friend, family member, or person who will take good care of him/her and let them know the dog is not child friendly. If you have to a no-kill shelter would be a good option.

Never EVER trust your pet alone with the baby no matter how trusting you are of your pet. Accidents do happen and pets are animals and they can have erratic behaviour. (Dog Drags Baby to Woods)

Internet References:
Your New Pack Member
Introducing your pet to a new baby
Humane Society Reference
One more for good measure