Friday, March 9, 2012

Freebie Friday & Saving over $500 a year on Car Insurance!

(photo courtesy of Liberty Mutual)

I found out a month ago that the auto insurance we have paid faithfully for over 15 years was going to drop our comprehensive coverage and greatly increase our liabilty, an inevitable result of 3 car accidents in 3 years (though none of them technically "our fault"). Over the course of my married life, I have been very diiligent when it comes to shopping around for insurance rates, checking every year or two to make sure we were still getting the best deal. However, when we had the big wreck 3 years ago, we had a large claim and every time I looked into online pricing, the question was always there: "Have you been in an accident resulting in a claim in the last 3 (or sometimes 5) years?" So, I decided to wait until the 3 years was up, and wouldn't you know, 2 months shy of the date, we hit a deer, nearly totaling our van. Then my daughter was a passenger in a wreck in Pennsylvania--not even her car--but some weird PA law bills OUR car insurance. Yikes. Anyhow, long story short, I was forced to shop around, and I can honestly say now that I am very glad I did. Here's a shout out to Liberty Mutual, who gave us the best rates by far with even BETTER coverage than we had before...and saved us over $500 a year! They could also save us about $60 on our hommeowners, but because we are going to try to sell soon and our current policy is paid until September, we decided to wait on that. I'm not getting any kick backs...but I am encouraging you to check them out!!

And here's some interesting and yet scary news: U.S. consumers incurred nearly $48 billion in new credit card debt during 2011 (424% more than 2010 & 577% more than 2009) -CardHub WOW!! Are you a part of this? If you are, I hope you are like us and pay off your card monthly. If this is what is growing our economy, we're in for some rough years ahead!!

On a lighter note, it's Friday, and here are a few freebies to brighten your day:

How about a free sample of Beneful Dog treats:

Here's a link for a coupon for a free quart of Clark and Kensington paint at Ace hardware:

Free sample of Stayfree with wings:

Free sample of Lipton Tea and honey:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Use it up, Wear it out....

Did you finish the rhyme when you read the title? I'm sure many of you did:

Use it up
Wear it out
Make do
Or do without!

I did a little google search to find out the origin, and while there was nothing concrete (Is there anything concrete on a google search?), the phrase has been called "the four threads of New England character," and it became the conservation motto during WWII. It's no wonder I grew up hearing it.

I try to apply these principals to our lives, and while I don't always succeed, I'm pretty much always thinking about ways to be more frugal in any given situation, perhaps to my own detriment. C'est la vie. It's truly just in me. Here are a few examples; I'll focus on a different stanza for the next few posts:


Black bananas and hard marshmellows. The stuff of trash bin dreams? Not at my house! I keep old bananas in the freezer until I feel like baking. I have several great banana based recipes, but the family favorite is Banana Muffins. Pure yum. And hard marshmellows might make lousy smores, but I picked up this bag in the clearance section at Sav-A-Lot for 50 cents; melted with butter and combined with the rice crispies, no one had a clue that they were past their prime:
What are some ways you "use it up" when others might throw it out?

On a side note, I have to say, I'm getting more and more excited about Hong Kong every day, particularly because everyone we talk to who has been there has nothing but great things to say about it. However, most of these wonderful comments are quickly terminated with "but it's expensive!" Yikes. I am determined to make it a frugal experience, so you'll have to stay tuned to hear all about it. Until then, we are busy preparing: doctor appointments, criminal back ground checks (we're clear, in case you were wondering), kitchen remodeling, mailing documents with Fed Ex to the tune of $117.00. Hmmm...when I see it written, I realize we not starting out on a very frugal footing...