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Archive for November, 2013

Earn An Easy $200

November 29th, 2013 at 05:09 pm

I know many of the regular bloggers already have Capital One 360 accounts, but if you are lurking AND want to earn $200, check out the Black Friday Sale at https://r.capitalone360.com/fn3XUjpexz.

You can earn $125 by opening a Checking account. You must use the debit card five times within the first 45 days. On day 50 the bonus is credited. There is no minimum and you do earn interest on Capital One 360 accounts.

To earn an additional $75 you can open a Savings account. The minimum deposit required is $500 and will start earning interest on day one, including the bonus. The bonus will be available for withdrawal on after 30 days. No additional requirements beyond the minimum deposit are required.

These are taxable bonuses, as they will be reported to the IRS as interest. The links is my personal referral codes. If I refer two people, I can earn $100. I expect to refer my husband, so just one of you can help me get a bonus! Thanks for your consideration.

After having family here for Thanksgiving we were left with an abundance of leftovers. I think we will be covered for most of the weekend!! Yummy. Smile

Mortgage Snowflake

November 27th, 2013 at 06:24 am

I sent in a $32.51 snowflake to the mortgage last night. This snowflake is made up of $6 from Pinecone surveys, a $1.51 Ebay profit, and the $25 credit from American Express for the Staples offer. That Staples offer credit was applied FAST! I wasn't expecting that. So cool.

I did pay off the purchase of our new dining table and chairs in full yesterday. I took the money from savings to make the $1121.36 payment. Not fun to see the balance go down, but we like the table and I'd rather have the savings go down than see a large credit card bill! Smile

I did sell four things on Ebay this past week. My profit was $1.51 for one auctions. Two auctions were my daughters things and she earned $18.86. She is saving her money to purchase a Photoshop program, so small amounts help. I sold an item for my mom, and she earned $5.50. The one item I had that didn't sell has been relisted and will end on Cyber Monday. If it doesn't sell then, it will be time to donate.

We bought quite a bit of wine and beer last night. We found a deal on a case (12 bottles) of wine. Each bottle was $3.98. The store offered 10% off with the purchase of 12. The manufacturer of the wine is offering an $18 rebate for the purchase of 12. This works out to $2.08 a bottle. And we drink and like this wine, so that is a bonus! I will get that rebate in the mail as soon as possible.

I will do a more complete November snowflake update in a couple days, but it looks like so far I have accumulated $146.78 this month. Not terrible, but not my best month by far. There are a lot of snowflakes forming in several areas, but those may not come to fruition until December or even January.

Time to start all that baking, I mentioned yesterday. What dish is your favorite to prepare and eat for Thanksgiving?


Prepping for Thankgiving

November 26th, 2013 at 11:11 am

Part of me wants to complain about the work I have to do to get ready for guests. I think this is because I feel I'm doing all the work alone. My husband came for lunch and asked if it was okay if he worked out after work today...well it is if you can also help me when you are done! I need a twin bed set up in another room, wine and beer purchased, a shower cleaned and couches rearranged. It seems he was on board with that. I know he is busy with work, but if it would be nice if he could see how much work I'm doing to prepare.

I will spend the rest of today cleaning, moving sheets and blankets to another room, vacuuming the carpets, doing at least one load of laundry, maybe two, and numerous other odds in ends. Like finding my gravy boat and getting it cleaned. I'm pretty sure I know where it is!

Tomorrow is baking day. We will be making scones, pumpkin pie, a focaccia bread, and a stuffed bread. I'm also putting together a pumpkin lentil soup for us to eat for dinner which is around the time our guests are arriving. And there is some cleaning on the list, too! The girls are helping with the baking, but it will be a long day.

I'm thankful really that I have family to spend Thanksgiving with, and family that wants to drive here to spend it with us. If something doesn't get done, or something doesn't work out right in the cooking they are all very forgiving and understanding. It won't matter to them one bit. I'm thankful my husband is home to be with us on Thanksgiving, as there have been a few years where he was not. I'm also thankful for our good health.

It's all good, isn't it? What are you most thankful for?

Earn Money On Black Friday: Capital One Offer

November 25th, 2013 at 05:04 pm

https://r.capitalone360.com/fn3XUjpexz is having a Black Friday sale starting Friday thru Monday, December 2nd. This means bonuses for opening a new checking or savings account. The amounts have not been announced yet. I already have a Capital One checking and savings account. If the bonuses are good enough, I think my husband will be opening some accounts! And I will be his referral, hoping I can earn a little more cash.

Here's what the current ad looks like:


Does this offer peak your interest? Do you already have a Capital One 360 account?

Used My Amex Card

November 25th, 2013 at 05:30 am

I used my American Express card this weekend. Twice. I feel good about both purchases.

One purchase was $75 at Staples. I bought three $25 gift cards. Two for Subway and one for Kohl's. Amex is offering $25 credit for a $75 purchase at Staples, which you have to claim before making the purchase. When I arrived home, I had an email thanking me for using my card at Staples. I used the Kohl's gift card to purchase a roasting pan for our turkey. Total was $25.67. I will get a $10 rebate on it that purchase as well. We stopped at Subway for dinner right after the gift card purchase. We only used $17 of our gift card there. We will use the other gift card for Subway on our travels for Christmas.

The other American Express card purchase was bigger. And not exactly planned. If it were planned, I would have waited for one of our new credit cards to arrive. We are having four guests for Thanksgiving, so with the four of us, we need 8 seats. We bought a dining set, which is actually our main kitchen table as we do not have a traditional dining room. Our other table would seat 8, but two people would have to sit on each ends. Very tight. I had thought we could add one of our craft tables, but after trying that in our kitchen we realized that people can't actually sit on the ends of our craft tables because the legs are in the way! Ugh.

The truth is we have been looking at kitchen tables for over a year. Just not motivated to spend the money until now. We wanted it before Thanksgiving, so our choices were limited, but one of the options was a table that caught our eye another time we were out looking. The set is solid oak, has two leaves, and eight chairs. It is counter height. It looks great in our home.

We did get a deal on it because it was the floor model. There are zero flaws, so no one would ever know. It was $1,121 with the sales tax. We basically got three of the chairs free and saved on delivery by hauling it ourselves. I plan to pay this purchase off in full after it posts to the account.

I will be spending more money today, purchasing food for the meals I am serving our guests. Luckily, my guests are helping out by bringing some of the food. Smile

Did you get your holiday shopping done yet? Did you have an unplanned purchase this weekend, big or small?

$1.71 Snowflake

November 22nd, 2013 at 11:13 am

I sold one of my listings on Ebay today. I don't like to disclose specific items since someone could go looking. But considering I probably could have thrown these out, but yet they clearly are useful to someone, I feel pretty good netting $1.71 for them. It does look like people are shopping on Ebay more than a couple weeks ago. My items are being looked at AND watched. Fingers crossed for bids.

Youngest daughter came home sick this morning. Nearly 100 degree fever and a sore throat. Pretty sure it isn't strep since the sore throat was starting the night before last. After some pain meds and a movie she is feeling better. And she is always good with the fluids when she is home sick! I think straws help. Smile

I made the second Swagbucks goal today. Usually I just do the first one. I received a Pinecone Survey in the mail today, so next week I should have more money in my PayPal account to add to November's snowflakes.

I'm going to make a store run. There are some good groceries sales right now. I also want to use the $10 grocery coupon at Target before it expires tomorrow.

Have a super weekend and stay warm and dry!

Decluttered, Selling, Planning, Considering

November 21st, 2013 at 06:18 pm

Yesterday, I went down to our basement storage room and found enough stuff to get rid of to fill three large storage bags. The good news is, I got it to Goodwill this morning. Smile

I listed five items on Ebay this evening. I made them three day auctions to end on Sunday. If they sell, I hope I can get them mailed out before the holiday. If they don't, I will relist on Monday as seven day auctions. This means they will end on Cyber Monday. Not sure if all of this is great planning or not. It's worth a try. If they don't sell by that time, I will give the items to Goodwill. Actually, I have a book series listed that would probably go to the used book store for a little cash.

I'm hosting Thanksgiving for my side of the family. We are unable to travel due to my husband's work commitments, so my family is traveling here. Such good family. Smile So now, I'm planning dinner and other meals for their visit. It feels like a lot of work!

After MonkeyMama's post about the new Chase Sapphire Preferred Bonus offer, I'm considering applying. My husband and I have both done this offer in the past. I'm pretty sure it has been more than a year since I applied. We can meet the minimum. I just wasn't planning to apply for two cards in such a short time. My husband applied for the Chase Freedom offer just yesterday. I know I sure would like an extra $550!

Do you serve and plan your Thanksgiving dinner? Or do you take a dish or dessert?

$200 Chase Freedom Bonus

November 20th, 2013 at 09:14 am

I read http://www.mymoneyblog.com/chase-freedom-promo.html this morning and found out about a new bonus offer for obtaining the Chase Freedom card. It is now $200 cash for spending $500 in three months! No annual fee. Wow. That is quite a return!!

I already have the Chase Freedom, but my husband does not. He did roll his eyes at me this morning when I said I was probably going get another credit card for him. He was approved. The real test is to see if the bonus is actually given, considering he has received bonuses from Chase Sapphire and Chase Southwest Rapids Rewards cards in the last 12 months. I decided it was worth the chance! I will let you know once it is applied.

Since we only need to spend $500, I will likely pay the electric, internet and cellular phone bills with it. I also expect to buy some gas as well. That is an easy $500 to spend without spending money on things we don't need.

I expect this will be likely be one of our first rewards in 2014. I think I should look to beat my 2013 snowflake total, don't you? Will you apply for this bonus offer, or do you already have the Chase Freedom card?

As a reminder, we are opening credit cards for bonus money and rewards as way to EARN income that we can't by earning interest on our savings. Savings rates are very low, so this is a way to boost our income. We have great credit. Pay our bills off ahead of schedule and without paying interest. We close cards after we have redeemed our rewards in most cases. I do NOT suggest this method to those who cannot pay off a balance in full.

Lower Bill & Vehicle Maintenance Avoided

November 19th, 2013 at 06:19 am

The budget billing amount for our natural gas has been lowered from $43 to $28. A nice surprise! We do have quite a bit of money on credit going into the high gas use season, so I'm sure it will work great.

I have a Pinecone $3 payment in my PayPal account this morning. Another snowflake for November!

The glasses we ordered online for my youngest daughter arrived this weekend. She is thrilled with her pick. Last night we went to Target to have them adjusted and soft nose pads added. So far so good. I believe she wore them to school today. I told her to let me know if she gets any headaches, as that could indicate a problem. I don't anticipate any however. We did pay $135 for the glasses, so not ultra cheap, but I know there is a savings there over other places we have purchased from in the past.

We thought a new timing belt was in our future for our Honda Odyssey. We remembered the dealership mentioning it last year, saying it should be replaced every five years. They also mentioned a mileage amount for replacement. We were at the year mark, but under the mileage. We decided to wait a year. Last night we pulled out the owner's manual, which states every 60,000 miles under extreme weather conditions (very hot and very cold). This does not apply to us. We are nearing 80,000 miles and don't drive in these extreme conditions mentioned. Turns out our Honda has a maintenance minder code that will tell us when to replace the timing belt. We will wait for our van to tell us when it is ready for a new belt. Glad to not have to spend that money now.

Do you participate in budget billing for utilities? Have you ordered glasses online? Does your vehicle tell you when to do maintenance?

$56.77 To Go And Handmade

November 18th, 2013 at 08:22 am

My snowflakes since January 1st are getting VERY close to the $3,000 mark. We have accumulated $2,943.23. Only $56.77 to go to make that milestone.

I sent in a recent accumulation of snowflakes to the mortgage. The amount was $42.85. That included Swagbucks, a couple Ebay sales, and a Pinecone survey.

That last Ebay sale had a non paying buyer. I received the fee credit back this morning. I have not decided whether to relist or not. I think I may need to be done until after the holidays.

I'm pretty sure I have some snowflakes in the pipeline. Just not sure what they are or when they will arrive, but I KNOW I can meet the goal by year end if not by the end of the month.

Over the weekend I bought two locally handmade soaps. They smell wonderful made with herbs. I may keep for myself or give in someone's stocking for Christmas. Our town has a rather new venue that is basically an indoor farmer's market. About half the space is supporting upstart businesses who are permanent. The other half is more traditional craft/farmer's market fare, which changes week to week. The facility also has a large culinary kitchen where you can take classes. It does feel good to support handmade and local items. Have you bought anything locally made recently? What did you buy and what type of event/venue was it?

Postage Due

November 14th, 2013 at 07:23 pm

Oops! One of my Ebay customers ended up with postage due. It was $0.54. The buyer chose to inform me so it wouldn't happen to another customer of mine, and didn't expect or want a refund. I did refund the money because I sure didn't want that to happen. And it is just the right thing to do!

My $25 from Swagbucks arrived in my PayPal account. I have requested the money to be transferred to our bank account. I will make another mortgage payment with my recent snowflakes soon!

I did go to Snapfish yesterday and made a 4x6 collage photo as our Christmas card. With shipping I paid $3.75, since they were having a 50% off sale. I purchased 25 cards. I will now need to find a good price on 4x6 envelopes!

The sewing project was slow today. Unfortunately, I had to take it apart. It was too small to fit the case of the piccolo. I will have to make the fabric a little bigger. It was a good experience and I expect as a result I will be able to go a little quicker tomorrow.

I talked to a friend on the phone today. She organized her daughter's closet and dresser and I found things in my basement to donate while we talked. A great use of time!! And the phone call was free because I called with the Ooma. Smile

That is the news from here. Do mail Christmas or Holiday cards? Anyone send New Year's cards?

Christmas Wish Question

November 13th, 2013 at 01:16 pm

I skipped blogging yesterday! I was here, reading other posts. I post on Sunday, and I am trying to reduce my posts to weekdays only, just to cut down on the time I am on the computer.

I went to Kohl's yesterday and used my $15 in coupons with 15% off on a purse. I paid $4.53 out of pocket. Only there is a problem. I wanted a smaller purse, and that is what I bought. It's too small for even the basics I need with me!! Ack. Now, I have to do a return and hope I can get my coupon values back. Not a big deal if I don't, but it would be nice.

I'm browsing online today for photo holiday cards. I don't always send out cards, or even cards with photos. However, several weeks ago we took lots of family pictures on my parents land prior to their recent move. There is a really nice one of our family that I think many people would be pleased to receive. I only need about 20. I did see a deal on http://hip2save.com/category/online-bargains/photo-deals/ for Snapfish collage prints, 5x7 size, 20 prints plus shipping. In the example they showed the shipping was less than $2! That link is for all the photo deals that site has listed, so some might be of benefit to you.

Tomorrow I have set aside the day to sew. My main goal is to make a fabric case for my daughter's piccolo case. The hard cases for piccolos don't have handles. They are small enough to put in a backpack or bag, but she wants a specific case. She is picked out fabric from my stash and I picked up a zipper today at the store. If I can get that project done, my other daughter wants me to turn her recent latch hook rug into a pillow. Also a new project, but I think one I can work with!

My side of the family, which is just my parents, sister and brother in law have decided to just give each other stocking stuffers for Christmas. We didn't define the amount to be spent, but my sister did say it will keep us from getting stuff we don't need. In my opinion, it means that we buy something that will be used up. I have been brain storming ideas. Here is what I have, but doesn't mean I will be giving them all:

Lotion, gum, mints, homemade vegan chocolate, homemade biscotti, an orange, beef jerky, tea, socks, perfume/cologne, nail polish, lip balm, candles, coffee, duct tape, honey, homemade vanilla, handmade napkins, coasters, nuts and seeds, popcorn, jellies, sausage, cheese, gift cards, cash, dish soap, scented hand soap, a nice pen, hot cocoa, flower bulbs or seeds, a calendar, note paper.

I can think of some that I don't know if even I would want to get: toothpaste, floss, shaving cream, razors, shampoo, batteries, saran wrap or foil.

If I was going to put a treat in your stocking that costs less than $20 and isn't going to be junk or take up space later, what would you want? Do you give stocking stuffers to anyone on your list?

Again, sorry about the Christmas topic prior to Thanksgiving. I seem to be starting to focus on making my lists and getting some tasks done!

Cancelled Land Line & Bought Glasses

November 11th, 2013 at 05:41 pm

I called and cancelled our home land line today. The cancellation is effective today. We will get a prorated credit for remainder of the month that we have been billed for. I was disappointed to find out that we will still be charged the Universal Service Fee for the broadband internet portion now. This means our savings will only be $19 per month rather than $30. However, we can get free long distance on the Ooma, so I still think this works out very well considering all of our family and some of our friend are long distance.

My daughter did pick out a pair of glasses online. I ordered them this evening. These weren't cheap, but cheaper than I paid last year. The final total with scratch free, UV and anti glare lenses shipped was $134.94. I know I paid over $225 last year at Target for her glasses. If they don't fit, or seem right visually we can return them for a refund. The company will pay the shipping from what I read online, if a return is requested.

My husband was able to get a free haircut at Great Clips today in honor of Veteran's Day. A nice benefit as he does get his haircut with more frequency than the girls and I who have long hair. I'm sure he still tipped generously!

I'm considering a Red Cross donation for those in affected by the typhoon. Those images of destruction are so sad. I just remembered we may have some airline miles we could donate. Not sure if that is the right help or not though. I will check our options.

Do you donate to disaster relief? Have you donated airline miles? Have you purchases glasses or contacts online? Was it a good experience?