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Archive for November, 2011

$20 Free Offer

November 30th, 2011 at 01:53 pm

If you shop online and use a Mastercard, you can receive a $20 Mastercard gift card after spending $200.

The details and enrollment information can be found here.

Who couldn't use free money? Isn't that line from a commercial?

I Cyber Shopped

November 29th, 2011 at 01:48 pm

I did some online shopping yesterday at Amazon and Shutterfly.

At Amazon, I bought a book for my daughter and a gift each for a niece and nephew. I also picked up cat food! Same price I would pay here, but I don't have to drive to go get it! I signed up for a trial Prime subscription to get free two day shipping. My items will arrive tomorrow. Smile

I had a Shutterfly coupon for $20 which I earned for buying school pictures. I bought a personalized notepad for my daughter with the unusal spelled name, and two 8x10 collage pictures to give as gifts. Spent about $7 out of pocket...primarily for shipping. I now have three collage prints to give as gifts, with the free one I picked up from Walgreens on Saturday.

I have quite a few coupons and free items to take advantage of. I hope these will all help keep my holiday costs to a minimum. It seems it all adds up pretty fast!

Did you cyber shop yesterday? How is your holiday shopping coming along? Any great deals?

Approved and Denied

November 28th, 2011 at 07:41 pm

I applied for two different Chase credit card offers about a week ago. The Freedom card was just approved after I returned a call to their fraud department and verified my identity.

Unfortunately, I was denied for the Chase Sapphire card first by mail and then on the phone. It seems I was denied due to lack of income. Yes, I'm a homemaker. I don't have my own income.

I can't say I blame them for turning me down, but yet they also approved me for nearly $10K in credit on another card. Where do they think I'll get the money for that if I'm denied based on my income alone?

I will play the game on this one card, but after this...I'm done. Why did I think I wanted to play in the first place? Oh yeah, free money! At least I have $300 coming our way with the Freedom card.

I Made A Gift

November 24th, 2011 at 02:51 pm

I made a gift today. No current out of pocket cost since I had all items on hand.

I made a fabric key chain! I plan to give this to my neighbor and good friend for Christmas. She also sews so I expect she will appreciate the gesture.



The tutorial I used is here.

I love that I came up with something from my stash! Do you have anything on hand that you could turn into a great gift for someone you know?

Would you do the same?

November 23rd, 2011 at 03:59 am

My sister works as a teacher. Her husband has been unemployed for four months. He made about 65% of their income. This holiday season she has made some excellent decisions.

No holiday cards are being mailed.
She is not participating in the secret santa at work.
She also opted out of the cookie exchange.

They are not giving gifts to adults. This leaves gifts to my girls and their one nephew.

I even told her she could cut back on the gifts to the girls.

Would you have the strength to do the same in a similar situation?

Redeemed Rewards

November 22nd, 2011 at 01:45 pm

I redeemed rewards on our debit card equal to $25 and it has now been deposited in our checking account. This money is going to Christmas, too!

Most likely to purchase a $25 gift card for a family member. Free gifts! Gotta love them.

If you are buying gifts for free this season, tell us about it. It can be inspiring to those who haven't thought outside the box of credit for Christmas!

Another $10 Coupon!!

November 21st, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I'm a member at World Market. I checked my account today and found I have a $10 coupon off a $10 purchase. It was a birthday gift. I'm glad I checked because it expires on December 1st!!

I'm not sure if this will be a gift for me or for someone else, but it will be useful either way. I think I'll be stopping in tomorrow to at least look around.

A Peek

November 21st, 2011 at 02:02 pm

I saw my good friend this weekend. I've mentioned her before back when they took out a 401K loan. Of course, I encouraged her then not to do so.

I found out they are paying cash for Christmas. They aren't using any credit. It seems she is finding some great deals. She found a very pretty dress for a niece on clearance. Regular price was $50, marked down to $14.99. She had a $10 coupon, so she paid only $4.99 plus tax for a very nice gift. She's a good shopper...thus the amount of debt!

They have paid $400 for an appraisal on their home. They are hoping for a minimum appraisal of $119K, but are hoping for closer to $130K. Similar houses in the area have sold for $114K to $140K. The refinancing could save them anywhere from $300 per month to $800 per month. In her words, $800 a month would be a game changer for them.

They already both work full time and part time. I just wish them the best. I think this has definitely taught them a lesson in frugalness.

Chasing $800

November 21st, 2011 at 12:05 am

I received two credit card offers from Chase this weekend. And I'm diving in. Yes. I'm applying for a credit card!! Yikes.

Both offers only require one purchase. Talk about being easy to keep track of!

And I did talk with DH about applying. He doesn't think we need it. And the truth is we don't. The offer of cash is just too hard to turn down right now though.

I applied tonight for the Chase Freedom card which will give me $300 cash back after just one purchase. One!! It also offers 0% until December 2012. I don't plan on taking advantage of this since we don't carry balances on credit cards. But it is a nice offer.

The second offer is for Chase Sapphire Preferred. At first I thought the card was only airline miles. Even though DH is flying a ton now, I hate dealing with airline miles. Hate. But after looking at the website, I can redeem the points for cash. The offer is for 50,000 points after one, yes ONE, purchase! Those 50,000 points can be redeemed for $500 cash.

I told DH I wasn't applying for the second one because of the airline miles, but he will be hearing from me about this one. It is a better offer.

I have not applied for a card in quite some time, but I expect to be approved. I know my credit must be good enough to receive the offers in the mail.

For those of you applying for these rewards cards lately, do you think I can apply for both Chase cards close together? Or should I deal with one, close it and then apply for the other?

So excited at the idea of an extra $800 in my pocket!!

Truck Loan Balance Drops Again!

November 18th, 2011 at 02:08 pm

The regular monthly payment on the truck loan hit the account yesterday. We paid $37.48 in interest and $291.65 towards principal.

Our new balance is $12,705.74. I love less debt!

In other news, I did get a $100.39 check from my parents. See how my dad added $0.39 for my age. He's been doing that for a few years now. Kind of clever don't you think?

I have no immediate plans for the money. I will deposit it and keep track of it as birthday money. I might need new jeans soon, if I keep losing weight!

Today's My Birthday

November 17th, 2011 at 01:17 pm

I find it funny that Laura had her birthday two days ago and now it is my turn! I'm 39. I feel much younger.

My parents are arriving to spend the day with me and my girls get out early from school, so it should be a fun day of celebrating.

My parents often give a $100 check....so that will be nice.

Used Target Gift Cards

November 15th, 2011 at 02:14 pm

I used the Target Gift cards to buy my daughter one her must have gifts. Regular price of the item was $49.99. I had $39.54 in gift cards. I used my Target Red card to pay the balance so I received the 5% off the balance of the purchase as well.

The gift cost me just under $11.00 out of pocket!!

The gift cards were some of those $5 ones you receive when you make certain purchases. I've been saving them up. I think I've accumulated at least $60 worth this year.

It's always fun to pay less out of pocket! Smile

Hallmark Deal

November 14th, 2011 at 01:03 am

Turns out I had another great coupon in my stash and I used it this weekend. It was $5.00 off a $10 minimum purchase at Hallmark Gold Crown stores.

I bought an ornament for $9.95 to give to a friend for Christmas. This, of course, still put me short of my $10 minimum purchase. Ugh! However, I decided to buy my parents an anniversary card which arrives just days after Christmas. I picked out a very nice $0.99 card to bring my total purchase above $10. My total after the coupon and tax was $6.60.

I'm very pleased that I could get a nice gift for my friend as well as a card for my parents. Glad for a great deal! Did you get any great deals this weekend?

Even More Christmas Money!

November 11th, 2011 at 01:48 am

I just keeping finding more free money that I could use towards gifts! Here's the latest deal:

I bought the girls school pictures and received a $20 coupon to spend at Shutterfly.com!! I will have to pay shipping for the items, but I think I can make use of this deal.

I wonder what other money I have lurking around in my house. Do you have any great coupons you are using for your holiday shopping?

Eating My Posts - More Christmas Money

November 11th, 2011 at 12:53 am

I've written a semi small post twice. It's been eaten. I will try again later if this test post works.

I'll try to keep this short since my previous attempts to post were unsuccessful.

I have the following to add to my Christmas money:

$10 coupon off $10 purchase - JC Penney
$10 Old Navy rewards certificate
$30 reuseit credit
$7.22 credit at iherb (plus $6.81 pending)

Now to see how I can use this to get gifts free or for less!!

Tires Scheduled

November 9th, 2011 at 10:35 pm

We are getting our new tires on Friday. We are going to apply for the Goodyear Credit Card to double our rebate. The rebate is $80 for four tires, but doubles on the credit card to $160! Plus no interest if paid in 6 months. I'll likely just pay it off and then close it.

Goodyear is also running a $10 rebate for each tire for military. Thus our entire rebate will total $200. That will more than cover one and part of another for the tires we are choosing.

And, get this, the shop we are getting tires from is having their "Turkey Sale", so we will get a voucher for a local grocery store to pick up a 12-14 pound turkey. I'm not having Thanksgiving, but I'm sure I can find ways to use up a free bird!

Snow Exercise and Tires

November 9th, 2011 at 02:24 pm

It snowed here last night after the temperature dropped and turned the rain to snow. At least two inches of very heavy wet snow. Ugh. That means labor intensive shoveling!

I looked up the 40 minutes of snow shoveling at My Fitness Pal to learn that I burned 306 calories. I'm calling that my exercise for today, since my neighbor did the same thing. (We ususally hit the gym together)We are going to the mall later for smoothies with a buy one get one free coupon. We will probably walk around while we drink...so more exercise there. I should remember to bring my pedometer.

We are need of tires for the van. I think we are going to get a set of Goodyear tires. They have a rebate offer right now, which will help bring the price down. I'm now looking at three different quotes for three different tires. Decisions. Decisions.

Christmas Fund Status

November 8th, 2011 at 05:53 pm

I'm adding to the Christmas Fund!!

I redeemed MyPoints yesterday for a $10 gift card to Bath & Bodyworks. If it arrives in time, I hope to use it as part of a Christmas gift.

I expect to be getting a $10 PayPal deposit from Pinecone for a recent survey. I also have $3 in the account from another survey. I expect to use this money towards Christmas as well.

With the addition of the above items here is the Christmas fund status:

Cash $186
Paypal $13
Target Gift Cards: $39.54
Old Navy Gift Card: $6.36
Home Depot Gift Card: $5.00
Bath & Bodyworks: $10
Total Christmas Funds: $259.90

I'm keeping my eye out for good ideas and deals. I will likely spend more than what I will accumulate in the fund. That additional money will come from current funds.

Is anyone done holiday shopping?

Funny Video About Debt!

November 7th, 2011 at 02:07 pm

This 2 minute SNL video clip is hilarious!! If only everyone could see truth in it.

Let me know what you think!

Low Spend Weekend!!!

November 7th, 2011 at 03:35 am

Ahh...very low spending this weekend. It makes me happy!

I spent about $10 on Friday for Pizza Hut. Not good for my diet (although I was in my calorie range) or the checkbook.

Saturday I mowed up leaves in the yard. We visited the library. We stuck close to home and relaxed.

Today my parents visited. They brought homemade mushroom soup (vegan variety), salad and bread. Yummy! We visited our art museum which always has free admission. We learned (relearned) how to play our backgammon game. Watched a short Netflix show. And my parents took us to a noodle restaurant for dinner. Their treat!

In three days time only $10 spent. Gotta love it! How was your weekend spending? Anyone spend less than I did?

Dinner For Tomorrow is Ready

November 4th, 2011 at 01:01 am

I made Apricot Chicken in the crockpot today. Unfortunately, I didn't start it until 2pm. And the chicken was frozen. So to be safe, I decided it was dinner for tomorrow instead of tonight. And that turns out to be a good thing!

Tonight we had soup and grilled cheese. Easy!

I love the crockpot. I really should find more things to make in it. What is your favorite crockpot dish?

Free Weight Loss Tool

November 2nd, 2011 at 01:21 pm

I began another weight loss journey over two weeks ago and I've already lost 6.6 pounds! It's crazy. It seems like the weight is just falling off. I'm not hungry often, so it seems pretty easy.

I'm using a free tool that can be accessed online or even on your smart phone (which I don't have). It is called My Fitness Pal. It is basically an online diary to track your calories and exercise. There is also a forum to share information, as well as blogs to read about the journey others are taking.

It is completely free to join. I don't get any points or compensation for mentioning the site. I'm just excited to find something that is helping me on my weight loss journey.

My goal is to lose 25 pounds. So I still have many weeks to go. I don't have a deadline, but I'm excited that I might actually be thinner during the holidays for once! I think counting calories now is a good way to keep pounds of during the holidays, too. It might be the first year that I don't have to make a weight loss resolution. I'll just keep doing what I have been doing. I'm so looking forward to that.

If you join, and want to be friends on the site, leave a message on this post with your user name on that site and I'll friend you and cheer you on. I do have a different name there, so don't expect to see creditcardfree.

What is your best tip for losing weight? I'd love to hear about preferred exercise, or a great filling low calorie snack.

Repair Reimbursement

November 1st, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Over four months ago we had the power steering pump replaced in our Honda Odyssey. The part was covered under our Honda Care warranty. However, labor and new power steering fluid was at our cost. We paid about $98 for those items.

Last week I received a notice from Honda indicating that the power steering pump warranty has been extended and they will repair the pump up to 100,000 or 7 years. Good news. If it happens again.

Included with the letter is instructions for requesting reimbursement if you already replaced your power steering pump out of pocket. Our pump was paid for, but I'm wondering about the labor and the replaced fluid. Do you think I have any recourse for those to be reimbursed? Should I send in the information and try?