Sunday, September 29, 2013

Rite Aid deals

Good stuff for free and cheap at Rite Aid that I like and use:

Lindt Chocolates - $2/6, get $2 UP Reward when you buy 2, less $2 Lindt coupon (found on their Facebook page and you can hit your back button to print a second one) = FREE!

Colgate Advanced Toothpaste - $2.99, get $2 UP Reward, less $1 manuf. internet coupon (don't remember where I got it but I printed it because I knew I'd use it) = FREE!

Reeses Snack Size Bagged candy - 2/$5  (buy 3), get $1 UP Reward why you buy 2, less $1.50 off 3 manuf. coupon, less $1/2 Rite Aid video values coupon = $1.33 per bag

Pantene - 2/$6, less $3/2 P&G coupon = $1.50 each

Nice n Easy Haircolor - 2/$15.98, less $5/2 P&G coupon, less $4/2 Rite Aid in ad coupon = $3.49 ea

This will be a good Rite Aid week for me :-)

Friday, September 27, 2013

It pays to pay attention

About 2 1/2 weeks ago we purchased our camera security system from Costco. I got their new coupon book in the mail today and now the system is $100 off! I did some research and it appears Costco will do a price adjustment if the price drops within 30 days. Woohoo! I get $100 back into my pocket! Too bad I have to make a trip there to do it - haha - but it will be worth it.

On another note, my price matching at the nearby(less than 5 minute drive) grocery store pharmacy with Costco prices is going well. The pharmacy staff are so nice and helpful and the longest I've had to wait is 20 minutes, and that's with them having to call Costco pharmacy and verify the price of the med. If I had just got this prescription filled at Costco I'd have at least 90 minutes into getting it. 15-20 minute drive there...drop it off...15-20 minute drive home because they have an hour wait to fill prescriptions...and then another trip least a 15 minute wait standing in line at the pharmacy...and back home.

Finally Friday

So glad it's finally Friday. Payday is Monday, but since we have direct deposit it will show up in my account tomorrow morning.  Good thing, as I am down to nothing (not counting my EF fund) and need to go grocery shopping for the week.  I did finally get my new tennis shoes....still on sale for $29.99 (reg. $39.99) and another 15% off with coupon.  They seem pretty comfortable and will work for what I need.

I was sitting here waiting for an email from DH's doctor's office about refilling one of his pain meds....I emailed the request for refill first thing on Wednesday morning...thinking I would be notified by now that I could pick up the prescription today (it's for a narcotic, so doc can't fax in the prescription to pharmacy), as DH runs out mid weekend and the docs office isn't open on weekends to pick up a prescription. So, first thing this morning I see an email from the docs office - oh good, it's the notice I can pick it's just a notice saying he needs to come in for a, no..he was just in to see the doc on July 1st and doc said he didn't need to come back for 6 months. So, I decide to give it until 9am before I call and at 8:55 another email from doc's office pops up. Ok, this must be's a notice that they sent a refill in to the pharmacy on the OTHER med he needed refilled....good grief! Finally I called and then the nurse wouldn't talk to me because we apparently had never filled out the form authorizing them to give out his info to me. So, I had to wake DH up and hand him the phone so the nurse could tell him, yes the prescription is ready. I was able to find the form on their website, so I've filled it out and had DH sign it and will take it in with me this afternoon when I pick up the prescription. Hopefully that will take care of that issue - the won't even talk to me about his insurance/billing. I told the lady he doesn't even know what insurance plan he has!

Yay, it's Friday and the weekend is almost here, but on the other hand, spending the weekend with DH is getting very draining. He's running out of projects, since he can't be outside in the cold/rain and driving DD and myself nuts. He's all over the place with his moods (nothing new) and when he can't find something to focus on and keep him busy he is just a big old annoyance. Sigh....He does projects that most people would take 2-3 days to finish up - but he has to do it all in one day, once he starts something, so then the next day we are back to trying to find him something else to do. He made a permanent "home" for the barn cats up in the rafters of the woodshed and since he actually didn't start the project until Tues evening, he at least had something to do Wednesday, too. Yesterday we had a day of sun and dry, so he did get the lawn mowed (new "used" mower is working great). Today is back to rain and no projects figured out, so.... crap!  Monday he rearranged half of our family room/office - so that was a 5 hour project (why it took that long I have no idea, but it kept him busy all evening). I like that he wants to keep busy when he feels well enough, but geez - some days just relax! He does not know the meaning of the word relax and with his condition, he really needs to learn it.

No news yet on DS and his work visa - it was supposed to take up to 4 weeks to process and as of today it's been 4 weeks. When I ask him if he's heard anything on it he just keeps telling me "not for 4 weeks". Knowing he couldn't do any work in the country for at least that long, I wished he would have at least stayed home another week or two and earned some side job money and helped DH with some things around here. Hopefully this will all be resolved in the next week or so and he can get started with his new job. I am getting so tired of always waiting for him to finally get started with a job/career! He's 22 soon and he's been out of school (2 year degree) now for 15 months and he just keeps delaying and delaying getting himself at least somewhat self-sufficient. First it was just trying to find a decent job...then it was the 6 week trip to Australia that ended up being 4 months long, then the 2 months at home interviewing with BIG computer company, that got nowhere, and then a 2 month stay in Canada, that has now turned permanent (if/when  he can get the work visa approved). It's just feels like this is never going to happen!  I want him on his work health insurance before I have to sign DH and DD up on the wonderful new Obamacare plan. I don't want to have to pay another $200/mo for him.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Just trying to get little things crossed off my list today......of course the one's involving me picking up the phone and actually talking to someone keep getting moved to the bottom of the list!

1 - emailed DH's doctor to refill 2 prescriptions. Since they say to allow up to 3 days to process, I made sure I counted his pills left and got this done on time...hopefully! 

2 - printed out my Target e-gift cards info so that DD can try to figure out how to put these on her smart phone so I can use them in-store. I ordered them from Swagbucks and didn't realize they would be e-gift cards and they either have to be used online or from a smartphone. DD has not had any luck getting Target mobile coupons to work on her phone, so I'm a little nervous the gift cards won't work, either....but I've had these 2 gift cards on my swagbucks account for about a month now and keep forgetting about them! I have these 2 $5 gift cards, a regular $5 gift card and a $5 off $50 coupon, so I'd like to get them all used on a shopping trip.

3 - clean bird cage.  I asked DD to do it yesterday, since she didn't have to work and didn't have a class until evening, but she didn't do it......

4 - call Progressive and find out why DD's snapshot device isn't working/recording anymore. I got an email about it and we tried to reset it twice, but it's still not working, so I need to call. And I need to do it when she is home, as they'll probably have me try something with her device while we are on the phone.  I keep putting it off......

5 - still need to go get my new tennis shoes! We got sidetracked on Sunday afternoon, because DD's "check engine" light came on and DH was trying to figure that out (it's apparently the gas cap not sealing all the way) and then Monday night we got sidetracked with DH deciding to move his desk from one side our the room to the other - it's a huge 3 piece executive desk and turned into a 4 hour project (only with DH!).  Last night I didn't feel well (dizzy and off-balance) so I didn't go anywhere....maybe this evening I'll finally get there.

6 - I need to call my mom and say hi...but she beat me to it, so that's done :-)

I know there are a few more things I need to do but my brain just can't remember them right now! 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Floors and shoes

It was a busy day yesterday. DD and I got up early and went out to breakfast and then ran a bunch of quick errands, the last being picking up a rented carpet steam cleaner. Long over due for cleaning the carpets! I had hoped to be able to rent the "wide" machine, but they only had one of the regular ones left. It got the carpet cleaner, but didn't really do that great of job on my tough traffic areas (I used a pre-treatment spray) or my bad spots. But, it does look better than it did before.  Lot's of dirty water poured out! Even with DD's help moving furniture and shampooing 2 of the rooms, I'm still pretty worn out as far as my back goes.  With 2 dogs, I should probably do that chore more often.....

I need a new pair of tennis shoes! I HATE shoe shopping. It probably goes back to since I can remember going shoe shopping with my mom. I have narrow feet and 40-ish years ago I think there was even less selection of narrow shoes than there are now. I never got to get shoes like all my friends had for new school shoes because they didn't have narrow. We always had to go to Nordstrom, which at the time was about the only place when I was little that carried narrow and even then it wasn't much choice. I always ended up crying because I got some ugly shoe I didn't want.

Tennis shoes, I'm ok with regular width and socks, but I still have a hard time finding something I actually like. I am so picky. I don't like all the new bright color combinations and I don't like the thick soles so many have now. I have an old pair of Reebok's that I use for doing stuff around the house and outside, but they are done for...they have this velcro strap that criss-crosses and the velcro is just worn out. I've probably had them 10 years now. They are really comfortable (and dirty!) but just won't stay strapped anymore and now I really need a pair I can wear for doing work around the house/yard. I don't have a "good" pair I can delegate to this job. I have one "good" pair and I can barely wear them - they are Sketchers and just not very comfortable at all, but I do wear them to work sometimes, since I don't really have to walk much. I notice if I wear them too much my feet start hurting again.

Plus, I don't want to spend $50-60 for a pair of tennis shoes that I am just going to get dirty and do yard work in, but the cheap pair I tried on at Walmart a couple of weeks ago were so uncomfortable.  I did some online searching this morning and think I found a pair that are reviewed as very comfortable and they also fit my "looks" category fairly well. I just looked on - since they have a huge selection and they were $40 with a 15% off coupon. Then I did a google search to see if I could find them cheaper somewhere else and found them at Famous Footwear for $30 with a coupon (including shipping)......then I saw on their website that you can check stock in-store and the store just a couple of miles away has them and I can print the coupon to take with me (and not pay for shipping).  This way I can at least try them out and see if they are comfortable. I'll have DD go with me this afternoon, when she gets off work. They will only be $25, since I won't have to pay for shipping. Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Our new additions

I think I might have mentioned awhile back we were looking into getting a couple of "barn cats". Well, we have them!  Meet Thelma and Louise..........

Louise is the top kitty - she is about 6 months old and Thelma is about 4 months old. We have had them about a week and a half now. We adopted them from a program that places outdoor feral cats so they can have a home and catch critters, rather than be put down at the humane society.  They come spayed and all the shots and one of them even has a microchip. They were even delivered to us and no fee for them. The lady that brought them out said since 2011 she has placed over 450 cats/ While we don't have a barn, we do have an open wood shed and over an acre and we've set up a nice (according to the lady that delivered them) little home area for them. We took our younger dogs big wire crate and put it up high in the shed - put in the hidey hole house above, and another little ledge they cat sit on and look outside.Just feed and water them every day. We have to keep them caged up for 3 weeks, so they can get used to their surroundings and know where their food source is. They can see between the slats of the woodshed and see all the back yard/property. After that we can let them out and most likely probably not even see them much around. They will have an area up high in the wood shed to sleep and get out of the weather, when they want to.

But, I have a feeling Miss Thelma will be around - she is a little lover! Loves to be petted and will come right to us when we open the cage. She'd probably make a great house pet, actually. Miss Louise is a cranky thing that just hisses at us!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Accounting for the spending

We've spent some more of the car sale money on 2 more things.  DH finally found a good used John Deere lawnmower.  We spent $1400 for it (better than $4500 new!). It even came with a neat little trailer that can pull behind it. It was advertised on craigslist for $1350, but was over an hour drive away and we don't have a way to pick it up and haul it here, so DH asked if they would deliver it. They said for an extra $50 they would, but they also brought with them the original blades (hardly used, as they had put on some other type of blades) and a 5 gallon gas can filled with gas.  DH mowed with it yesterday and said it works great and is happy with it. It just needs a bit of cleaning up, but he can do that easily enough.

Another thing that has been on DH's want list for some time is some kind of security system or camera system for our house. DS did some research for DH and we ended up purchasing a camera system from Costco for $500. Originally, the one DS recommended in our $500 price range was a 4-camera system. When DH showed it to me, I had remembered seeing camera systems at Costco and briefly looking at them in passing, when DH first mentioned he wanted a system. I got online with Costco to check out their systems and prices and they had an 8 camera system for the same price. I had DS take a look at the specs and he said get that one instead. It has 8 cameras and a dvr system and we can view it remotely from our computers here at home or the kids smart phones. I was really nervous with having DH figure out how to set it up, since tech geek DS isn't here to do it. It was a little tricky figure out the computer part of it, but thanks to me finding my inner computer geek (I sent her away when DS got so good at computers, LOL) it works. DH hooked up the cameras in their spots yesterday and it's all working. 5 cameras outside and 1 inside. With our open plan house it pretty much sees quite a bit of inside of the house. We'd need some longer cabling to put up the other 2 cameras on the other side of the garage towards the street, so eventually we'll probably do that, but for now the 5 cameras pretty much cover seeing if anyone was trying to break in. If nothing else, maybe the cameras all around will act as a deterrent to thieves. We've never had any problems with break-ins (knock on wood) in 24 years, but the past few years our neighborhood has really taken a dump in the quality of people who have moved in, so DH feels a bit safer now. And we got a good laugh when DH went out to adjust some of the camera angles with me on the phone next to him and DD on the phone at the computer screen so she could tell us if the angle was right. As he's trying to adjust she says "tell Dad I can see up his nose". LOL

So, we have about $800 left and still need to buy the trim for the flooring (I estimate $75-$100 on that). DH also ordered a set of plans to build a garden arbor. He went all in and got plans for one with a swing bench in the middle of it. He's never really built too much of anything in his life (other than our shed and a dog house) but it should keep him busy with a project this winter and maybe next spring/summer we'll have a neat arbor to add to our yard. I will totally love this!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A note of sincere appreciation (or I give up!)

Dear President Obama,
  Thanks so so much for your "Affordable Health Care Act", also known as "Obamacare". It's really going to be such a benefit to myself and my family, in terms of coverage and cost. I'll just love paying 258% more for my monthly health insurance premiums.  This is so helpful, as of course I would rather pay $700 a month for basically the same coverage as I had, compared to the $271 per month plan I have been paying for my husband and 2 children. That extra $429 per month is no problem - we'll just not eat anymore. Hubby and I need to diet anyway. Or let's see, I'm sure there are other things we could do without. Hey, I know - we can just shut off our electricity and stop our garbage and water service - that way we'd at least be able to eat mac & cheese while we freeze, sit in the dark and watch garbage pile up. Oh wait - without electricity I can't make mac & cheese. I suppose we could sell our house and find something cheaper than the fancy 20+ year old manufactured home we currently live in, but guess what? We are also underwater with our mortgage, so that plan won't work.  I suppose we could just let it foreclose and add even more problems to the country's financial situation. Maybe we could just borrow the money every month, like the government does. Do you have some to spare? I only have a black and white printer, so I don't think printing money is an option for me.

Sincerely yours
    One Family One Income

I can only hope and pray that when my state's insurance exchange website has all the info on it to purchase insurance through that (Oct 1st) it will be cheaper and hopefully qualify for some tax break.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Shaving off a few dollars

One thing I absolutely HATE purchasing are razor blades! Of course I always buy them, but I cringe and moan and groan every time I have to spend over $17 for 5 stinking blades for DH's razor. They usually have a 5 pack and a 10 pack and I can never get myself to fork over for a 10 pack - even though I know in the long run it's a bit cheaper and of course they will be used (he's been shaving for 30+ years now, LOL).  The past few shopping trips at Costco I noticed they have a 24 pack of the Gillette Mach3 razors for $49.99.  DH needs razors again and I finally did the math:  Costco's work out to $2.08 ea razor and Target works out to $3.47 ea razor.  So, I finally bit the bullet and shelled out $49.99 for the Costco pack.  If I had bought that many at Target (over my usual purchases of a 5-pack each time) I would have spent $83.28 -so a $33.36 over all savings........and I shouldn't have to buy razors for a really really long time.....

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A slow start yesterday

My day didn't start out very well yesterday. With DS moved out and a lot of his race car stuff gone with him, I actually get to park inside the garage! I'm not holding my breath it will last very long. Last time (it was probably the only time, haha) I got to park in there it lasted a week, before the guys filled it back up with their guy stuff.  I know when the weather gets bad I will really like having a nice warm dry car that I don't have to go out and unfreeze in the mornings.

We have a detached 3 car wide garage with 2 bay doors and a side door. The third car area is a work area type room. I can't access my car through the side door, because DH's big old pick up is in the spot closest to that side. It's the only way he could still get all the stuff to fit. He's very organized but it's all packed in there like sardines and not enough room to squeeze by to get to my car. So, I have to keep the garage door opener in my purse and access my car by opening the bay door, rather than hooked up on my visor. Well, as I'm walking out to go to work yesterday morning I suddenly wasn't feeling well in the stomach area. I got to my car and decided I'd better go back in the house for a bit and as I was juggling my keys, door opener, bag and purse I dropped the garage door opener onto the concrete floor.  Once I was well enough to get back in my car and finally leave for work I tried to shut the garage door after I pulled out. Nothing. Didn't work. I tried a bunch of times and crap - I must have broken it when I dropped it! GRRR!

I was already late by then, but I had to shut my car off to get my keys as the side garage door key is on my key ring and then go inside the garage that way and push the button to close the bay door. I was grumpy all day because DH would just throw a fit because it got broken, so as I'm pulling up to the garage when I got home (he already had the doors open) I stopped and didn't go all the way inside. He was there waiting to say hi/how was your day and I just handed him the door opener and said I dropped it and it doesn't work now.  He clicked on it and the door shut! LOL.  Guess I was all worried for nothing.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Before and After

Here's the before of my old kitchen floor

Here's the after!

I haven't put the island back in yet (it's on wheels), but it all looks SO much better. We still have to do the baseboard/trim work. I am so happy with how it turned out and the laundry room looks great too. Of course DH can barely move now, but he said it was worth it.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Our to-do list

We haven't purchased a riding lawn mower, new or used, yet. As soon as DH finds one on Craigslist it's either sold or they don't respond to his inquiry, so probably sold, too.  Which of course is giving him time to think of lots of other things to spend the $4500 from the sale of the car. At least it's all going to things we can use and improvements to our old home.

Here's what we have spent it on so far:
Some kind of man tools...impact driver and drill kit combo and misc drill bits, etc  $272
Soaker hoses  $37
Thuja trees (55 to be exact!) $300
Grass seed  $76
Laminate Flooring $344
More man tools...compound miter saw and table $602

Yes, we have planted 55 trees - again! Somewhere in my old posts is last Fall, when we bought the tiny little thuja trees from an Amazon seller and planted 75 trees along the front and side of our property. They were tiny little things, probably 8-10 inches, but supposed to grow 2-3 feet a year. That hasn't happened at all. In the meantime, spider mites took out most of the 21 front trees, but the side ones still were ok, just growing very slow. We tried to save the trees from the spider mites -at a cost of almost $200 in miticide and root treatment! Every little tree dug up, the roots treated, replanted and then the leaves treated (dumb!). The mites still took over.  I saw bigger, nice full trees for $5 at Home Depot, so we bought 21 to replace the dying front trees. So much bigger and hopefully grown enough already to withstand the spider mites. With the exception of one tree, so far so good.  Last weekend we purchased 55 more to put down the side of the property. These were also $5, but a little bit bigger (yay) than the original ones I bought at Home Depot. Pots were a bit bigger size and the trees were taller. Now we just wait and hope they grow nice and big.

DH needed the impact driver and drill because he let DS take a good portion of his tools with him (he needs them  in his race shop) and *wanted* the saw with the table to make the putting in the kitchen floor easier. When we did DD's bedroom floor we borrowed a saw, but DH has several inside the house projects in mind for the fall/winter and doesn't want to keep asking to borrow it.

So, we have $2850 left. Still enough for a used John Deere mower, if he can find one and he has use of the borrowed one (we've had for 6 years!) for the rest of this lawn mowing season, so we really have until next spring to get one.

We picked up the flooring Friday afternoon and will finally have a new kitchen and laundry room floor soon! Currently we have the original vinyl flooring put in the place 24 years ago. It's past time for a new floor, to say the least. I know DH will want to start on it today, even though the flooring hasn't had 48 hours to acclimate to our house temperature. He's too impatient. I'm so excited to soon  have a nice kitchen floor!

Other projects down the road - still our bathroom remodel - or at minimum the floor replaced - the WHOLE floor, sub floor needs to be replaced.It's been too scary of a project for us non DIY-ers, but DH is feeling more confident now that he has a little experience and the right tools. It will be a costly project to at minimum replace the floor, toilet and shower, but if we can at least do some of it ouselves, that should help bring down the cost.

And lastly (at least for what we have on the to-do list for now) is DH can use the saw to build me the garden arbor I want, rather than purchase one.  Hopefully all these projects will keep him busy and somewhat sane once the weather turns and he can't be outside working on landscaping projects.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Letting go

DS was home for a visit for almost a week.  He got here around dinner time last Wednesday. In his typical laid back "it'll all just work out" mentality, he apparently didn't check that closely into what is all required to obtain a work visa. So, while he's been telling his dad and me that it's pretty much all taken care of .... he just needed to come back to the States to apply for it, it's not that simple. I sat down with him last Thursday to do the online application. There was a checklist 2 pages long and documents he needs that he didn't know he needed (like letters of reference from any employers from the past 2 years). Most of the stuff he could have already got lined up and taken care of before he even got home.  For some reason, he thought it would be instant (like when he applied for a tourist visa to go to Australia). Sounds like it could take up to a month to be approved. He got it all finished Friday morning and submitted, so now it's just wait.

It was nice having him home, but I can tell he's growing up and ready to get started with his new life - away from home and away from an overbearing father. DH has been waiting for his visit, to help with a bit of the extra labor intensive yard projects he can't do due to his health - and we got most all of it done Thursday and Friday. It seems like a lot, but really, it was only 2 hours out of Thursday and we didn't start until noon Friday, so only about 4 more hours into getting it all done. We have the topsoil and grass seed spread where our big deck used to be. The project Thursday and the first hour of Friday was for those darn thuja trees that are supposed to grow to be our privacy screen between us and junk yard neighbor...I'll make another post about those darn trees later.

We gave DS early birthday presents, since he most likely won't be here. I picked him up some bath towels and hand towels (I have enough extra wash cloths, that he can take a big stack of those with him) and a new Wahl hair clippers set, since he cuts his own hair and DH will want to keep the one we have.  We went to Cabela's to see about getting him some cold weather clothing as another gift. I ended up buying his a nice North Face 3 in 1 jacket and some "high-tech" long underwear. He bought himself a heavy, warm lined work type jacket, kind of like a Carhartt, but cheaper and not so stiff feeling, like Carhartts are. Then we stopped at the mall and got him 4 pairs of jeans and a couple of t-shirts.  I also made him a little care package - shampoo, dental floss. qtips, ibuprofen, and peanut butter and jelly.  He took his weight bench stuff with him too - finally that unused monstrosity will be out of my family room! Yahoo!  Grandma came over to see him and gave him some cash for his birthday, so he used that for the jacket he bought.

Even though he doesn't have his work visa yet, he still drove back up there on Tuesday, as planned. He can still be a US visitor, no problem, he just won't be able to work until he has his work permit/visa.

He left super early Tuesday morning and I went back to bed after he left and cried myself back to sleep. It seems so real and permanent now. Feels like I am missing a part of myself and I just feel kind of blue and sad. I pray it all goes like he hopes and dreams for this job and his new life. I have no idea when we will get to see him next (I think that is the hardest part) - hopefully he'll be making lots of money by then and can fly home for a Christmas visit.  I was ready for him to get out on his own, but had hoped it would be a few miles away from home - not almost a thousand miles! - or should I say 1600 kilometers, eh?

Monday, September 2, 2013

I wanted to relax today

Hope everyone is having a nice relaxing Labor Day! Here? Not so much. We are trying to have a relaxing day, sitting out in our nicely landscaped yard, enjoying each other's company.  DS has a friend and his dog visiting. But kitty corner across the street from our neighbors is land clearing going on to put in a housing development. 3 excavators going on a holiday! It's noisy and not relaxing at all. I get that we have to listen to it 6 days a week, starting at 7am, but we don't want to listen to it on a holiday.

DH has a talked to a couple of people on the phone about it - just people taking messages for the companies involved.  When DH went over to the work site - even the guys working said they didn't want to be working on this holiday (LABOR day, for goodness sake!), but were told they had to.  Of course those in charge have the day off - probably at backyard bbq's, enjoying the day. Freaking greedy people.