Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
OK...so it's been awhile since I posted and too much has happened to list it all, but I'll hit the highlights...
Thursday was our "student" day. The kids and I have been getting our teeth cleaned at GTCC for years. There is a dental hygienist program there and they really do a wonderful job. Cleaning & fluoride treatment is $5.00. Add a buck for bite wing xrays and 5 bucks for a panoramic (Abby just had one of these at the oral surgeon's office and I paid $200 out of pocket-how's that for mark-up?), which they do every 18 months. They also give you the toothbrush, toothpaste and floss and when the kids were little, a toy. The kids have all had sealants done also. I know, your dental insurance gives you free cleanings, right? Good point. That's what Mike has. But to add the family to his plan is $50.00 a month. I just paid $33.00 for the kids and I- cleanings and the needed xrays. You do the math. I still come out way ahead. The down side is time. Plan to spend @3 hours in the chair. The student does a full mouth exam and then cleans. The instructor checks everything and then the dentist does his exam. On the other hand, all 5 of us start at the same time. If we were going to our regular dentist, that would be 5 appointments on different days, which would be more time spent overall. I wouldn't go anywhere else. I've never had a problem. On one trip last year, the kids had sealants and most needed x-rays. I spent $100.00 that trip. I figured up what that would have paid at the dentist...over $1200.00. GTCC rocks!!
Speaking of GTCC...they also have a culinary arts program. You can get a 4 course meal, including sweet tea, coffee and dessert for around $7.00...depending on the menu, which you typically have no choice in. Sometimes you can choose between two entrees. Again, I've had great experiences. You have to have a reservation...I believe the days are Weds and Thurs for lunch and Thurs for dinner. Well worth the trip.
On to the beauty school experience. High Point has a new school called Fila Academy (On Eastchester beside Hobby Lobby.) I decided to bite the bullet and go all out. I've never had my hair colored in a salon. Ever. I started going gray at age 14 and began with highlights around age 18. I always use whatever is free after rebate. But lately I've been a more "copperish, " so I decided to see what paying more would get me. As I expected, the instructor tells the student what to use, so that was not an issue. I think I look like Wilma Flinstone now, but my daughter and husband are quite pleased and tell me it is not orange at all, so I guess it's OK. I have a very difficult time covering the gray, and it disappeared also. So here's what I got:
haircut with shampoo, deep condition and styling: $10
all over color WITH high lights: $32
eyebrow wax: $5
I have never had a pedicure, and the girl did a great job, massage and all. Manicure and cut were a little off, but I've had the same experiences paying full price.
Again, I compared with a couple of high end salons, and I would have paid well over $275.00, depending on the stylist. I think GTCC has this also, but I have never been there for the beauty school.
Saturday was our 17th anniversary....since that is such a special number and all, Mike spent right around $200.00 on a dinner and hotel...the amount saved on my day at Fila. It was worth every penny. We've had a great many stay-at-home-dates that were just as meaningful though. He's a great guy!
And to close today....we needed to have our 5X8 bathroom ceiling drywalled. Mike does a respectable job, but ceilings are hard when you are doing it alone and I'm not much help in that dept. We priced two different guys. One wanted $325 and the other $150. ALWAYS get a second opinion. I recommend David Seawell. Great job!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
The song of the birds for mirth,
You are nearer God's heart in a garden,
Than anywhere else on earth!"
(While I don't see that as theologically correct...I do believe there's a little truth in there!
I do love to work in the dirt. Our little patch isn't very big, but it's still fun. Our lettuce is getting bitter and I will pull it soon and put in another few hills of cantaloupe. We should have broccoli next week. My green beans are an inch long...I'm hoping for some before we head up to Maine in 9 days
Today 2 of my kids took their report cards to Krispy Kreme because we heard they give free donuts for As on your report card. They were hoping for one donut...they got one for each A (up to 6) so they each came home with a half dozen. How sweet is that?!
Not much going on today. I did talk to the first hospital we went to about reimbursement because I found out our insurance company waived the copays on the kids ($150 a crack). Sure enough, the system showed they had payments from us AND the insurance company and they said they'd send a check out for $600.00. I won't hold my breath...but that would be SO sweet! Funny, I really doubt they would have done that on their own!!
Mike rented a crimper from Home Depot and bought some fittings for the bathroom. He has the water all shut off now. I'm really thankful to have a husband who can tackle projects!! Saves a bunch on labor costs.
Made out a menu for the next 9 days to use up every possible bit of food in the house. I should be able to make it with no grocery store run...it's like a game...
Breakfast: oatmeal (1.50)
Lunch: mac n cheese/hot dogs (2.00)
Dinner: burgers/salad/coleslaw (6.00)
Money out: $53.00 (HD)
Money In: 0
Monday, June 8, 2009
I digress... On to Walmart where my oldest son bought a brand new bike that he has been saving for for months. I admit, I was not thrilled with this purchase. I would rather he spend $25 at Carolina Thrift and pocket the other $100. But the look of pride on his face as he wheeled it out was pretty awesome. He really disciplined himself to save for it, so GO WILL!! I spent $11.00 on groceries. It's the time of year when I try very hard to not buy groceries and clean out what we have before we head to Maine. As Abby says, this leads to "interesting" meal combinations.
On to Barnes and Noble, where I bought 3 of the 4 summer reading books for Abby's AP English class...buy 2, get one free! One of them had pages that were stuck together on the bottom, so I also got 20% off that one. ALWAYS ask! $11.00 out, but on a gift card, so nothing out of pocket.Stopped at Starbucks for a free coffee...I still have money left on a gift card I got in Cleveland.
Let me tell you how I save on milk. I use to buy powdered milk at Aldi, but when the price of regular milk skyrocketed a few months back, powdered milk did also. Now that milk prices have bottomed out, powdered milk is actually more, as those prices haven't decreased. It is @ $3.00 a gallon. In NC, I can buy a gallon of milk at Aldi for $1.75. Not to be thwarted, I did some research last year. I purchased a powdered milk product called "morning moos" at the site morningmoos.com. A 50# bag is $116 shipped. The site says it makes at least 70 gallons, but I have had the same bag for a year now, still have some left, and have made well over 120 gallons. I use 1 cup of product per gallon. For simplicity's sake, we'll say it costs a buck a gallon. I'll be honest, you have to drink this really cold and it has a bit of an aftertaste. My kids, who have grown up on powdered milk, balked at little at this one. We also had a foreign student living with us who wouldn't drink it. So I mix it half/half with regular milk. That makes my total @$1.35 a gallon. We drink a gallon a day. Theoretically, that saves $140.00 a year. Enough gas to drive to Maine!! Woo Hoo!!!
I hope no one went to KMart for double coupons today, at least not in the triad. Even though the national ad said ALL stores would participate, apparently each store could still say no. That stinks, but that's life!
Breakfast: cereal, corn muffins ($2.00)
lunch: clean out fridge day ($0)
dinner: ham, potatoes, green beans ($4.00)
Freebies: Go to http://strawberrysusan.com/free_stuff2.php to get a bottle of Downy. You fill out a short survey. Go to http://www.rewardsgold.com/ and sign up for membership. I filled out a quick survey and got a free subscription to Forbes. Rewards change frequently.
Rite Aid has 2 freebies this week: AMO Complete Multipurpose Contact Cleaner and Orajel Kid's Plaque Revealing Rinse. This is with their Single Check program, find a copy of the booklet near the entrance.
Family Video offers free kid video rentals for every A on their report card. This is for the month of June only. My kids will rack up tonight. Family Video has the best chain prices...Redbox has great deals on new releases for $1 a night. The best part is, you can return them to ANY Redbox location. You can sign up online and reserve copies also. Of course, the very best deal is free rentals at the library, followed by 50 cent yard sale VHS tapes. Amass a gargantuan collection...
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, > > Cleveland , Ohio> >> > "To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written."> >> > My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more: 1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good. >>>>2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.> >> > 3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.> >> > 4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.> >> > 5. Pay off your credit cards every month.> >> > 6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.> >> > 7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone. 8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.> >> > 9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.> >> > 10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.> >> > 11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.> >> > 12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.> >> > 13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.> >> > 14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.> >> > 15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.> >> > 16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.> >> > 17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.> >> > 18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.> >> > 19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.> >> > 20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.> >> > 21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.> >> > 22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.> >> > 23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.> >> > 24. The most important sex organ is the brain.> >> > 25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.> >> > 26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'> >> > 27. Always choose life.> >> > 28. Forgive everyone for everything.> >> > 29. What other people think of you is none of your business.> >> > 30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.> >> > 31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.> >> > 32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.> >> > 33. Believe in miracles.> >> > 34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.> >> > 35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.> >> > 36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.> >> > 37. Your children get only one childhood.> >> > 38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.> >> > 39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.> >> > 40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's,we'd grab ours back.> >> > 41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.> >> > 42. The best is yet to come.> >> > 43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.> >> > 44. Yield.> >> > 45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."
Saturday, June 6, 2009
So, the loot from yard sales this am? Glad you asked! Kinda slim today, actually...my daughter was banging on my bedroom door at 7 wanting to know when we were leaving. Told you they love to go!
Men's Tuxedo $5.00 (this is for the future formals my boys will attend. why rent?)
Men's winter boots $3.00
Gallon name brand cleaner for my Bissell $3.00 (sells for $30ish)
11 gorgeous, like-new baby outfits for a friend and for my nephew $4.00
2 polo shirts for my son $3.00
A really cool silk tie with tree frogs for my son $1.00
Then I came home and listed several items on ebay. I haven't been working much (long story) and I need some cash...I'll let you know how it goes.
My husband has been landscaping all day. I bought him a Black and Decker hedge trimmer for his birthday last week. Speaking of which, whoever came up with the completely lame rule that gifts (at least for women) aren't supposed to have a cord attached? In other words, just give useless, brainless, fluff that will be sold at a yard sale the next year. What's up with that? Remember how excited Ma Ingalls was when Pa brought her a piece of glass for her window? When did it become a bad thing to give somebody something they need? When we became too rich as a culture to actually have needs anymore?
Coming up: 50% off at Carolina Thrift tomorrow, double coupons to a $2 at KMart this week.
Money In $0
Money out: $66.00 (yardsale and Home Depot-home stuff)