Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Beware of Automotive Places like Sears!!!

I just wanted to talk about my recent experience with Sears Automotive. I needed new brakes for my truck. I knew this because you could hear some scrubbing and feel some shaking when you were stopping. It had just started, but I know all too well, the sooner you take care of something like this the better. Well, I have a credit card at Sears and they offer free break inspections at their shops. So I took it in and came out with an estimation of like $425. They said I needed new rotors and brake pads in the front and that the back drums needed resurfacing. So I was like Whoa...$425. I realize some of you people out there might not blink an eye at this or be like I used to be. I would rationalize ..well its gotta be done and they are the pros, they know what needs to be done. And sometimes we as people can just be plain lazy and say, well I have the car here now. So I might as well let them do it. Why should we have to worry about a big retailer like Sears trying to "take us for a ride" and to just squeeze money out of us? Well, now I have proof that we will just as quick as any other shop.

I decided to see if my cousin would help me change the brakes out. Its one of the easier jobs to do on a vehicle. So we pulled the front tires off and saw that the pads needed replacing--no problem those can run as low as $14.99! We took the rotors off and thought that we could just have them resurfaced rather than replaced like Sears had said.--by the way--I have the estimate printout listing everything that they said I needed.-- Well we went to O' Reilly's Auto parts and they determined that one could be turned(only $10) and one had to be replaced. So we did that and went home and replaced that the front brakes, rotors, and tires correctly. Then we went to the back tires to check things out. We took those tires off and the drum covers and determined that the pads and the drums were fine. They needed nothing done at this time. Unlike what Sears stated. Can you believe that?

Drum roll please........ I only spent $100.57 for parts and labor----I saved $325.00! And just as important I relearned a valuable lesson..be wary of places that can easily take your money. Dont be afraid to get a second estimate or find a friend or a relative that can either do the work or that you can help do the work and pay alot less and still not have to worry that things were fixed incorrectly!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Corn and Beans!




Today I decided to pick an ear of sweet corn and some of my snap beans. I have never grown and eaten anything from a garden, so I was a little apprehensive to say the least. Then I jumped online to see how you can tell if they actually ready and how the best way is to prepare them. The corn was the biggest available, but it may have still been just a wee bit small. I decided to give them both a try since everything seemed fine. I found online that you can just throw the corn, husk and all, in the microwave and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes. I put the beans in a bowl of water and heated them for about 8 minutes or so. Added a little salt and some butter to the final product, and guess what? It was delicious! The corn kernels were just a bit small--but everything tasted great. I added pictures and included a picture of my largest pumpkin to date. Two of them are about this size--about the size of a softball or a little bigger! Wow, if everything dies from here on out, today's bounty made having the garden worthwhile. Plus the satisfaction of watching it grow has been fun too!

Friday, June 26, 2009

RIP--Gone Too Soon!

I just wanted to say rest in peace to Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon, and David Carradine. The first three really played a part in my life. As a kid, I idolized Michael and at the age of 8 I would do my best MJ moves at the drop of a hat or when his songs played. Although we grow up with out much--and definitely never had the latest style or fad---my brother and especially I had to have a Michael Jackson t shirt and we eventually got the parachute pants. I dont think we ever got the jacket or glove! Things every kid had to have!

I remember Farrah from one of my favorite shows--Charlie's Angels. I remember naming her as a celebrity crush at a young age--prompted by a school project. I dont think I really had one--but I remember her being very pretty in her younger days.

Ed McMahon was Johnny Carson's sidekick for years. I loved The Tonight Show growing up and I know Ed and Johnny had me laughing many times. I watched Star Search -which he hosted. And I know I wished many times he would show up at my door with Publishers Clearing House!!

I dont remember David Carradine as much from his older stuff--although Im sure I watched him since I used to love to watch the Kung Fu shows as a kid. I know he was good in Kill Bill!

I know that you can find fault with all of these people. I know I can too! But this is to honor the good things they did in their lives! Every person has faults and none of them are exceptions to having faults or even bad things in their lives. I tend to hold on to the memories of positive aspects of a person!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Harris Teeter Doubles Coupons up to $1.98

I picked up a few things from Harris Teeter and saved a ton. Several items were free and some for next to nothing. If you are lucky enough to live by one, this week is a good one to save some money. Deal Seeking Mom can let you in on a few of the deals. Good luck!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Garden Update









Well these pictures are about a week old now, but look how much the garden has taken off. Some are actually starting to show some vegetables. Beans, corn, and pumpkins are showing. Also, the cantaloupe, potatoes, peppers, and others seem to be growing fine right now. I am kinda just growing the garden for fun. I mean it would be great to actually be able to eat and give away some of the things I have grown. I have my doubts if they will actually grow to maturity since I have never really done this before. So I will believe it when I see it! If anything, I can take a sense of success with the level the garden is at now. I mean, I don't know how square foot gardening makes it. Everything seems to be growing so well right now--the pumpkin vines are everywhere and everything seems to have grown so much "together". I wonder if they will allow each other to continue to grow.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I sold it on Craigslist !!

Has anybody noticed how resourceful and how many people seem to be using Craigslist? I sold my Jeep Grand Cherokee last week on there. This week I was able to find something for a very good deal. I downsized into a vehicle two years older than my Jeep. The two transactions went very smooth.There seems to be a ton of activity on there daily. I know because I have been surfing it quite a bit lately. Its not just limited to cars and trucks. Name it and you can probably find it or sell it in there. Check it out!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

NC Zoo

We are fortunate to live about 20 to 25 minutes away from our state zoo. A zoo is a great place to visit for the family and it doesnt cost that much money if you plan your meals accordingly.My son, who is 3 now, has been asking me about going since I mentioned it a few weeks ago. We have taken him a couple of times before and taken pictures from those visits. However, I guess now he is getting to the point were he can remember things first hand. This past Monday we decided to go. We also took my nephew, Blake, who is five. He had spent the night the night before. That was also a first--Ryan's first sleepover! You should have seen how happy and excited he was for the sleepover. Plus, the next day was probably better for him to have a friend to share it with.We made sure to take some snacks and bottled water and juice bags and the camera--gotta have that! The zoo has a North American side to visit and an African side to visit. There is alot of walking, but there are plenty of benches to take a break and places to stop along the way. This year the zoo features some new baby giraffes! They even built a new deck from which you can feed the giraffes. Right now it is free to feed them, so we ventured in for a look. I think due to poor planning --no one was able to actually feed them. The deck is just built into the natural habitat enclosure, which is probably 3 or 4 football fields long. Of course, all 4 or 5 giraffes were on the other end of the enclosure along with the ostriches and the zebras. Dont get me wrong, you can see the animals from several different points around the enclosure, but you can only feed them from that one spot. I just couldnt see paying to feed the animals if you can not actually do that and the kids couldnt get the thrill of them being so close.

All in all, it was a good day. It was a little hot but we managed that fine too. It was definitely a hit with the kids. I definitely recommend the NC Zoo and hitting your local zoo to save money and still have a nice day out. A Daycation!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Garden is Growing!




Well, being the novice gardener that I am, I am glad to say that my garden is still growing. We are at about a month and a half of growing. I started everything from seeds, so to me that they even sprouted was an accomplishment. My fear is that they will not continue to grow and produce or that they will die altogether.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Harris Teeter Triple Coupons


Well, I headed back to Harris Teeter several times to stock up. I could not resist the free deals. Above is a picture from my second trip. I also went back again, not pictured, and saved a ton of money. All together for these trips I spent $18.82! And I saved $37.19 in Vic store sales, and I saved $130.86 with coupons! That gives me a grand total of $168.05 in savings!
If you add these trips with my first trip I saved a total of $226.69 and only spent $19.44!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Walmart Sale on Pepsi Products


We like both Pepsi and Coke in our household. So whenever we can get a deal on any one of the two, we try to take advantage. Pepsi is on sale this week at Walmart for $2.48 a piece! There is a $1 off a Pepsi product 12 pack at Target on their website. Well, Walmart accepts competitor's coupons. So today I bought 10 packs of Pepsi, as you can see above for $1.48 a piece. Regular price usually runs $4.99 to $5.99 and sales rarely come down to $2.50 anymore---mostly hovering at $3.00. So anyway if you go by the $5.99 price__depending on what store you go to-- 10 would come to $59.90. I bought 10 at $1.48 a piece for a total 0f $14.80 plus tax! I saved $45.10 if you by this scenario!

Walmart Deal on Razors

Bic Soleil--used coupon for $3 off-- price was$4.64-- total $1.64 plus tax

Shick Quattro-coupon for $4 off-- price was $5.94($1 off sale)--total $1.94 plus tax

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wow, This Stuff Really Works!! Harris Teeter Triple Coupons

Last night I found that Tara at Deal Seeking Mom had posted about the grocery store, Harris Teeter's, upcoming triple coupon week. She referenced another new site to me who had an extensive list of match ups by Jenny at Southern Savers. So I gathered a list from her site and I grabbed my coupons to start finding and matching up the deals. As you can see in the picture above, I was able to buy alot of stuff for only 62 cents--that was sales tax! I saved $45.55 in coupons and $13.09 in Vic store savings for a grand total of $58.64 saved!!! Some of the products I would not normally buy because of the higher prices. Or some products,I would normally buy the store brand, but they are all things that we will use. I must say that I would have even bought more, but the store limits you to twenty coupons and I used all twenty! I plan on making another trip, maybe tomorrow. Also, I just tried to buy items that I could get for free. There are tons of items that you can get at significant discounts.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Biggest Loser

I just wanted to say congratulations to the winner of this year's show "The Biggest Loser". Helen from Sterling Heights, Michigan at 48 years of age became the winner by losing 140 pounds. Yes there were others to lose more weight, but she lost the biggest weight percentage of her body weight.The show is really inspirational! It makes me happy to see these people "want it" so bad, and its great to see them actually achieve their goals.
I have never weighed a huge amount of weight myself. But I did get up to 230 pounds a couple of years ago. That was alot for me, and it was really starting to show on me and my belly. I am currently hovering at 200 pounds! When I was in high school so many years ago, I was always super skinny.I think I was around 155 to 165 pounds and I was the same height I am today at 6 feet. I eventually had the mindset that I needed to get bigger, stronger, and more muscular. I hit the gym on a regular basis and lifted weights and played basketball and would do tons of cardio. Then a few years ago when our son came along, I found that I had almost completely cut the going to the gym out and had become huge on eating fast food. The job I had, delivering furniture out of state, entailed a fast pace. I basically didnt have time to eat healthy. We ate as cheap as possible too in order to save money. So lots of times we ate off the dollar menu at McDonalds and I would bring a cooler full of drinks to help save money again. You would think that carrying that furniture would help keep the weight off and it probably did some. But I never grew up wanting to be a truck driver and alot of it got old. Although I like to travel and see new places, I like to be at home too. I wanted to see my son grow up and help him along the way. Well, eventually I stopped doing the trucking thing.

I saw that all the years of trying to get "bigger" and then the time driving a truck and not eating healthy or exercising led to a chubby Jamey. I decided to cut out alot of the junk food and start to get back to the gym. I had almost sworn off eating out--to save money and to help watch my waistline. I think I look better thinner , and my years of trying to gain weight have reversed. Now I needed to lose some pounds! I did too, almost 30 pounds over a period of maybe a year and a half. I lost 20 pounds pretty quick, and that was really gratifying when people noticed. The other weight has been a little slower coming off. I think I want to lose another 10 pounds or so. That would put me at 190 pounds. I think I need to tighten back up on my diet. Diet is crucial to weight loss!

Congratulations again to Helen and all of the other participants in the show! Bob and Jillian, the personal trainers, do a great job motivating the participants to accomplish their goals. You can see it really is life changing!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Craigslist

Have you ever sold anything on Craigslist? How about gotten anything for free? I have found myself using the site quite a bit this year. Really before this year, I hadn't even been on the site. I had used Ebay tons in the past, and searched for items on it even more. I find that Craigslist has become very useful for a variety of reasons. You can buy and sell items, get or give away free items, and even find a job. The things you can do here goes on and on!

I decided to sell an item last week. It was a kitchen table that I had found! That's right, found! I didn't pay a dime for it. I know some people may turn their nose up at this. I live more in the country than in the city. Since we do not have city services, you would have to pay extra for someone to pick up your trash through an independent service. It's new to me! I lived in the city all my life. So rather than pay for the service, I just get rid of our trash when I go out somewhere. Any dumpster will do, and we really do not create that much trash. So one day I stopped at a dumpster to throw a bag away and I happened to see a kitchen table laying to the side. It was in two pieces-the base and the top. I took a look at it and decided to put it in my jeep. I just cleaned it up and I used my sander on the wooden top. The base was a black, faux iron and the top had a natural wood finish. I just lightly sanded over the top and it looked great! I didnt even put a clear coat of polyurethane or anything. I listed it on Craigslist for $35 just to get it to "move". It was definitely worth even more- even without chairs. A lady asked me if I would take $25 through an email response. I was like sure, why not, I didnt have any money in it. I must admit I was a little wary of how the actual transaction would go.I mean a stranger is coming to your house and you dont know them or if they will just hand the money over and go--lol. She said she would come on Saturday morning and pick it up. Her husband actually came at about 10 am and picked it up and paid with no problem. Well one glitch, I guess his wife didnt tell him there were no chairs. Once he confirmed with her on the phone, he paid and I helped him load it up. That was it! It was simple and great! $25 isn't a huge sum, but its nothing to complain about! One more side note, my brother actually bought a used car through the site. He is very happy with his Honda now! So you can see, Craigslist can be very useful and you just might make some extra cash by using the site. Can you sell some of your personal belongings around the house?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Kmart and Target Savings!



Today I ran across a deal on Deal Seeking Moms site and a new site to me, We Don't Pay Retail(a name I like--clever!). They had a coupon for a dollar off any 12 pack of any coke product. Soft drinks are definitely a vice around here at my house! I am sorry to say that the coupon has been taken down or has reached it's limit. There was some controversy whether the coupon was actually legit. I had to say that I was a little worried about if I could use them. But I decided that I am with one of the commenter's on the post--I believe Suzanne--Isn't it up to the manufacturer to limit how many coupons it is letting out on its products? She says it best, so check out her comment.

Well before we went to the gym today, Ryan and I went to Walmart to mainly check the current price of Coke's(not on sale--Pepsi is right now--we are not picky on those two brands) and to pick up trash bags. I still had the $10 off Aveeno Products coupon that I found out about through The Thrifty Mama from a couple of weeks ago. I previously posted that I tried to use them at Target and that I had no luck. Today at Walmart I decided to try to use them again. I found three small lotions for $2.97 each. I must say that ,of course,I could have bought what I really wanted in the Aveeno Brand and just saved $10. However, I am really more about getting things for free and saving as much money as I can. So along with some bottled water, trash bags, and some oatmeal for Ryan(that he at 3 so persistently reminded me that we needed once we pulled into the parking lot. And I never once told him that I was going to buy it or put the idea in his head. He just came up with it on his own--hilarious right?)So anyway along with these items we were able to get the 3 lotions for free. Alright!

After the gym we went to Kmart and then to Target. Kmart had a better deal on Pepsi again. However, I had one more $10 off coupon for Aveeno products that I decided to use. That's all we were going to buy, and the cashier rang them up and they took the coupon off for me. The same type of lotion that I bought at Walmart was priced at $3.19 each here. They took a whole $10 off and left me with part of the tax. 22 Cents! That is all I paid! Great right? Plus I tried to ask 2 different women when they thought they might have the double coupons again in Greensboro and they said they didn't know.

Then we went to Target. I was mainly browsing. I tried to find at the front kiosks one of the coupons mentioned one of the sites I look at--they said you could get like $5 off a $20 purchase. I couldnt find that. Anyways, I found that they had Coke products on sale for $3 each. Usually around here, the best deal you can find is $2.50 for a 12 pack. I must add that you dont see that very often anymore either--although Pepsi is $2.75 a 12 pack at Walmart right now or the other day when I bought some. So $3 isn't bad, just not the killer sale I was hoping to find! I decided to go ahead and buy 4 and I used 4 of the $1 off coupons that I had. So that brought them down to 4 for $8 or $2 each or about 17 cent a piece. Again great, especially compared to if you bought them at 5 to 6 dollars a piece(which I almost never do--will do without first)! I didnt have any problem with the coupons either!

Manny Ramirez-Los Angeles Dodger

One of baseballs so called stars, who recently signed a huge contract, has been found guilty of substance abuse through the league's drug testing. He was suspended for a total of 50 games! He will lose 7 million of his 25 million dollar contract. Of course, he said that he was prescribed something by his doctor called HCG that he didn't know was a banned substance in the MLB. I am not really trying to judge him. However, I didn't make the rules! If they ban steroids, then why can't these top players stay away from the juice? I really dont care if they legalize steroids. I am not saying it sets a good example for today's youth, because it doesn't. I mean all the top players and the highest paid players are taking them--also Alex Rodriguez. Don't make it a "hush, hush" issue behind closed doors that players are still secretly doping. Or do extensive testing ..say tomorrow.. to weed all the roid heads out. How is it fair to award the cheaters with millions and millions of dollars? Level the playing field once and for all!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Saturday Update

We wrapped up Furniture Market last week! Made a little money, but now I am technically unemployed again. I have been trying to make connections--and I have made a few- to start a small business. I will share more about that at a later time. I have been working with my container garden. I am really lost in knowing what to do! Am I under watering or over watering? Some of the plants are really starting to take off--which is really exciting. I designated one container as my son's and Ryan really likes that. Plus we water the plants and check on their progress together. I have been disappointed that some of the plants dont seem to be taking off at all-maybe its too early?? I dont know! Outside the pumpkins, corn, beans, and melons are sprouting like crazy in its raised bed. In containers outside the lettuce has taken off. The flowers and peppers inside and outside seem not to be doing much. But the beans inside seem to take off really well. Again exciting, but when and how do I transplant? I mean I have looked on the Net but I dont know what I am doing(lol). Also, I am happy to report that one of my crepe myrtles that I bought last year at a huge discount and planted has really blossomed this spring. I was worried that they might be dead. I planted one other one, but the jury is still out on whether that one will grow or not. Last year I also made a flower bed from landscaping stones I brought from our old house. The other day I started a new flower bed on the other side of the porch. I think landscaping is fun--I am not sure why-lol! Also I think every home looks better with some yard work and landscaping. Ryan had a soccer game this morning. He looks sharp in his all black, but being one of the youngest--just turned 3--maybe I should have waited a year or two. He talks a good game, but on the field he and alot of the other kids are easily distracted. I hate to say it but our coach doesnt seem very motivated to actually coach--except for his own girl of course. At least make it fun! I am just hoping that in a few years he will be ahead of the game.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Furniture Capital of the World

High Point, NC has long billed itself as the furniture capital of the world. In the past, the city and many surrounding cities built alot of furniture. Among the cities are Thomasville and Lexington--very popular names in the furniture business. Well, something that grew and maintains somewhat today is what we call Furniture Market. They have two markets a year, one in April and one in October. The market has been known to pull around 80,000 people to a city that only boasts about 95,000 to 100,000 residents. People come from all over the world and definitely from all over the U.S. There are buyers and sellers from many companies big and small. Also, twice a year they have premarkets that bring in people before the actual markets start. This of course brings a ton of money to our area. They are other furniture markets held around the country, but we are told that we are consistently the largest and best.

Well, it is that time of the year for the spring market. People have been gradually arriving in the area. The economy has been slowing the last few markets down and alot of the manufacturers and stores around here have either gone out of business or shipped themselves overseas. That's not to say that alot of companies are not left. Although the manufacturers are leaving, many businesses still house the furniture here and ship it out through the country. Of course, with that many people arriving in town the local restaurants and hotels see a huge increase in business.

I have been lucky enough to have a connection to a restaurant that I worked at for many years. I started there when I was 18! I have done every job imaginable there from waiting tables, cooking, bartending and even a stint as the manager.The place is called Austin's Steakhouse. Well, many times they ask me to come back and work the markets which ends being about 10 to 12 days of night shifts. The place is only a couple of miles away from the hustle and bustle of the downtown market activity. Lots of times I have made great money. I remember one market making about $200 to $250 a night-awesome!! Most years you can count on $100 a night. The last couple of markets have been much lower- $37, $27, $68, and last night I made $105 waiting tables. We still have about a week to go, so maybe things will be more consistent. Either way, I am just happy to be seeing some money come my way.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Container Garden











I bought a bunch of seeds, some fertilizer, and the container in the last picture all on sale at Kmart.I then recycled some older containers(some not shown here) to start the seeds off in, and I made a wooden frame to start some of the vegetables off. I hope to start a good mix of flowers and vegetables here. It looks like I am off to a decent start! As you can see, some of the seeds are already beginning to sprout. I have always enjoyed doing yard work and some landscaping. I have planted flowers many times and a couple of trees and bushes with pretty good success. I posted about trying cucumbers last year. They didn't do well at all. I have often thought about trying a garden, and I thought this would be an easy way to start one. By the way, the plant in the middle is one I have had for many years.I actually have three in my house right now. My mom used to have these in her house. I like them and they always remind me of her. She even planted a garden a couple of times and did pretty well. But about the plant, it is so easy to start a new plant from a clipping off of the original plant. You can just clip a piece off and pretty much stick it in some dirt and it will start growing. I decided to try and start two more! Maybe I will hang these on the front porch! If you guys have any tips on what I should be doing for my container garden, I will gladly listen. I will need all the advice I can get!




Friday, April 17, 2009

No Great Deals--but Still Got Some Free Items!!


I guess I got pumped up from the great Purex deal--by the way I heard that they stopped the promo(I got lucky on that one!!). So I was reading The Thrifty Mama , and saw all these great deals at Target and something to look into at Walgreens and CVS. So Ryan and I made a day of it, along with our trip to the gym. We then hit Hardees for a burger--only because I had a BOGO free Little Thickburger. That cost about $2.50! Then we drove across the street to see the Paul Blart-Mall Cop movie at the $1 movie theatre.By the way, it was a little corny, but great for only a dollar! It cost a $1!! Ryan was free! I am going to just post my comment on Thrifty Mama's site--some of it kinda shorthand, because it seemed to be a long post...Here that is:


Ok --my experience today in Target--I saw all these great deals, and thought, hey, I have to try. I most wanted to get the Aveeno products. Ok, so I signed up and I got the 3 coupons fine--I figured out that if you hit the back button on your browser, you could actually print them a second time. At Target--only found small tubes of lotion for $2.99 each---grabbed 3.Cashier tried to scan--computer wouldnt let her do something--she called supervisor over, and he said since they werent the "ageless" they couldnt do it. Ok, so I went to another Target--didnt even have anything for that cheap!
Axe trial size--grabbed 2. Got those for free.
Printed salad ones.No Super Targets here-some food--but no salad--
Printed one coupon for the mac bowls on the target coupons--coupon.com must have taken the coupon off for the mac.Didnt get that.
Dry Idea was on sale for $2--bought 2 for my girlfriend(free)--hope she will use it
Hersheys Bliss--nothing marked down--both stores were $3.56, so I didnt buy that
Wanted fruit snacks--looked by register--couldnt find them

Sorry for the long comment--just wanted to say alot of that must be regional-I only came away with 2 deoderants and two trial body washes. But I saved $9.68 there.

Then at CVS I bought the SOBE Lifewater --4 of them for only 6 cents. I combined the stores BOGO together with the manufacturer coupon of BOGO. I saved $5.96 there!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

CVS Savings--Free Again!!

Thanks to DealSeekingMom.com I ran across this deal. You can go on Coupons.com and see if the coupon is available in your area. On the site you should look for a coupon that has Purex for Buy One, Get One Free(BOGO) up to a $7 value. You can print two by pushing the back button on your browser after you print the first one. Then you can go to CVS, which is currently running its' own BOGO at its' stores. I technically got all four items, valued at $6.99 each for a total savings of $27.96, for FREE!! The only catch was that I had to pay the tax on the items. It came to a grand total of 94 cents!! That's what I call a great deal!

I want to note a couple of things. I didnt even know you could double up the BOGO store and manufacturer deals like this. And I must admit, that I was a little worried if it was actually going to work. Everything went smooth though, and I came out feeling great! Also, I am usually one of those people that have to stick to one name brand for washing powders. I have always used Gain . However, when items are free like this, how can you not try other products? One other thing I noticed is that to me the bottles seem small. But as you can see on the picture, two of them will do 32 loads and the other two will do 24 loads. Its all about saving money and when it comes free--trust me, I can't complain!!



Entrepreneur Corner--Bob Parsons- The Man Behind GoDaddy.com


Have you seen the commercials? GoDaddy's most known ones usually appear on Super Bowl Day. Sexual inuendo and appeal, celebrity, and sports are used to promote a site that mainly registers new domain names. We all have seen that! But do you know anything about the man behind the successful business/website?

The man seems to have been an over achiever all of his life.Here is some info about him from his own blog.Bob Parsons is the CEO and Founder of The Go Daddy Group, Inc. Parsons joined the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and received the Combat Action Ribbon, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and a Purple Heart Medal. Upon his return, Parsons enrolled in the University of Baltimore where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. He is a Certified Public Accountant.

A serial entrepreneur, Parsons’ first endeavor was Parsons Technology, a software company he started in his basement in 1984, after teaching himself how to write computer programs. After creating the company’s initial software, MoneyCounts and Personal Tax Edge, Parsons used direct mail marketing to sell these and subsequent products.

When Parsons Technology was sold to Intuit, Inc. in 1994 for $64 million dollars, the company had nearly 1,000 employees, $100 million in annual revenue and three million customers. At the time, Parsons Technology sold more than 100 products, was releasing a new product or significant product upgrade every six days, and was sending more than six million pieces of direct marketing mail each month.

In 1997, Parsons started Jomax Technologies, using funds from the sale of Parsons Technology. He renamed the company Go Daddy in 1999, and in 2000, Go Daddy became an ICANN-accredited domain name registrar.To read more click here.

Also, Bob has built his company through sponsoring celebrities and having commercial endorsements in racing like Danica Patrick. Also in Nascar, GoDaddy has been sponsoring Dale Earnhardt, Jr and his driver Brad Keselowski in cup races and in the Nationwide series.

Interestingly, Bob has 16 rules that he has followed since he was a humble youth through to his huge success today.Here are the first six. Click on this link to read the rest.




1. Get and stay out of your comfort zone.
I believe that not much happens of any significance when we're in our comfort zone. I hear people say, "But I'm concerned about security." My response to that is simple: "Security is for cadavers."

2. Never give up.
Almost nothing works the first time it's attempted. Just because what you're doing does not seem to be working, doesn't mean it won't work. It just means that it might not work the way you're doing it. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, and you wouldn't have an opportunity.

3. When you’re ready to quit, you’re closer than you think.
There's an old Chinese saying that I just love, and I believe it is so true. It goes like this: "The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed."

4. With regard to whatever worries you, not only accept the worst thing that could happen, but make it a point to quantify what the worst thing could be.
Very seldom will the worst consequence be anywhere near as bad as a cloud of "undefined consequences." My father would tell me early on, when I was struggling and losing my shirt trying to get Parsons Technology going, "Well, Robert, if it doesn't work, they can't eat you."

5. Focus on what you want to have happen.
Remember that old saying, "As you think, so shall you be."

6. Take things a day at a time.
No matter how difficult your situation is, you can get through it if you don't look too far into the future, and focus on the present moment. You can get through anything one day at a time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The New Tourney Town--Greensboro Coliseum Rakes in Millions

The city of Greensboro, centrally located in North Carolina, has something to be proud of. First of all, the Gate City is located about an hour and half each way from the state's two biggest cities. Charlotte is on one side and our state capital ,Raleigh,is located towards the eastern side. Greensboro still has a long way to go before it catches the likes of these two big cities in population and prestige. However, one way Greensboro is carving its' own identity is with its coliseum. The city is lucky to have had the foresight nearly 50 years ago to conceive this complex and actually implement the idea. Tim Rice, in our Greensboro News & Record, reported that the coliseum has drawn in hundreds of millions of dollars to our area.

The city hosted the Women's ACC Tournament recently and then hosted the first two rounds of the Men's NCAA Tournament. Those two events filled our town's hotel's and restaurant's and the total economic impact was estimated at $23 to $25 million. Attendance records were set for both events. The women's tourney mark was set at 73,187 and the men had the highest attendance of any 1st and 2nd round site at 62,711. Rice is hoping along with the rest of us that we earn the title of "Tourney Town".

Basketball has been great, but the coliseum has pulled in big numbers in the music area as well. Concerts like Bon Jovi,The Eagles, The Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, and an upcoming sold out Taylor Swift have come or are still coming and people are showing up in droves. Also, Greensboro landed the 2011 U.S. Figure Skating Championships that will bring in thousands from around the country and should yield an estimated $30 million impact. The coliseum has been hosting 750 to 850 events a year, and the city thinks we can still do better.

The city has an approved swim center through a bond referendum that should be started in the near future, and it will possibly be located on the coliseum property. Also, the proposed ACC Hall of Champions might be built on the site. $2 million has already been awarded by the state for this project.

As you can see, Greensboro, has done a good job in promoting itself through the help of the coliseum. But I ask, what will it take to be great? What will it take to have Greensboro mentioned in the same breath as other large cities across our nation? It takes leadership and planning! We have to build on what we have done but not stop there. When the economy rebounds, Greensboro might be able to position itself to make a charge. The coliseum can only help!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Gardening 101-Grow 100 lbs. of Potatoes in 4 Square Feet

I always have enjoyed working out in the yard. I like to landscape, mow, trim bushes, and to plant and grow flowers. The flowers have always turned out pretty well and with not a lot of effort. It's amazing what a little color and curb appeal can do for a home as well. Along this same line, I have often thought about growing a few vegetables. A small garden, nothing too big.Being raised in the city, gardens are not as common.However, my mom had done one before. Also, when I was a child my next door neighbors--considerably older(The Cannon's)-- They had a garden that I remember my brother and I taking an interest in. Anyway last year I decided to buy a few cucumber plants from the local Lowes. I planted them in a flower bed, in a corner kind of by themselves. They seemed to start out really well. The vines seemed to take off within a matter of weeks. I gave them some Miracle Grow and plenty of water. After a while, you could see little flowers emerge. My girlfriend's mom told me that when you see them that the cucumbers should be coming next. Shortly thereafter, I did see a couple of cucumbers growing. It was exciting! I mean you just put a few plants in the dirt and,voila, up comes something you grew and could eat. It never happened though because for some reason they started to wilt and to die off. I think we got a lot of rain at one point. Could that be why, too much water?? Either way, that was my first try at gardening and it didn't work out too well. Does anybody have any tips on what a novice could grow?

Well, I haven't given completely up on the idea of growing something. Now times are desperate and it would be great to save a few more dollars and to get more healthy choices in our kitchen. Anyway, that brings me to why I wrote about this topic. Yesterday, I was surfing the Internet and ran across LifeHacker's website. The site had a great post on how to grow potatoes. It seems easy for a novice like me, and something that I might try.


Excerpt:
Potatoes seem like the kind of plant you'd need a substantial garden for—the kind your grandparents had, right? Actually, tubers aren't all that picky, and you can harvest a whole lot from almost any yard. Check out the rest of the story here. This was submitted to the site by a Jason Fitzpatrick. However, he referenced the info from another source, The Seattle Times, here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

CVS--A Coupon Adventure;All Free!!



I am still watching our spending and trying to save money when possible. I look at other coupon blogs and see where the deals are at. They will tell you the store, the sale price, and where to look for the coupons. There just happens to be a CVS right by the gym I work out at, so it is convenient to stop in. You can see the five items I bought tonight. As the title says, all free! How about them apples!

Pringles--88 cents on sale a piece(reg $1.99) ---I had a buy 2, get a $1 off coupon=76 cents total

Colgate Toothpaste--$2.99--CVS gave $2 ECB's(like $2 coupon on next purchase)75 cents coupon= 24 cents total

Shick Int Razors(for girlfriend)--$9.99 a piece--BOGO also Buy One Get One Free--1 coupon for $4 off each one- $1.99 total price

I had some ECB's left from a previous visit- I used six dollars worth of ECB's to pay and I still have $5 worth ECB's left---using those CVS credits brought my total to zero! How about that, not too bad for a dad! If you haven't noticed, razors can cost you an arm and a leg these days so I am always looking for great deals on them(as you can see, this was one of them).

Lil Rascals-Future David Beckham!



Tonight after hitting the gym, Ryan and I headed out to his third soccer practice. He had his first game ever this past Saturday. Today was the first time we have practiced outside, because for the last two weeks it has rained on practice day. It was still cool tonight, but I bundled him up and practice went great.

13 Innovative Ways to Stimulate the Economy

Aol Story Here is some food for thought in new ways to stimulate the economy that I read on AOL.

Brainstorming for a Better Economy
Politicians and policy wonks have been working overtime to come up with ways to stimulate the economy. But many of their best ideas -- from investing in infrastructure, to cutting taxes, to bailing out banks -- seem pretty stale by now.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

T.Boone Pickens-- Part 2-- The Energy Plan

Mr. Pickens has an energy plan that he has been promoting since the last presidential election in the USA. This is a man who has made billions. He has also given away millions of dollars in his lifetime to various charities and his Alma mater. Indeed, he is a man that should be listened to. Lately he has been promoting alternative energy sources such as his favorite, natural gas. Its his choice for America's future as a fuel choice. He promotes starting with the countries transportation systems like buses and garbage trucks. He also likes electric/hybrid, ethanol, and solar power as options. He makes a valid point in asking about where the source of electricity comes from, noting that it is not cheap to produce. Other interesting points of note in the book is dealing with water. As with oil, water is also finite. An estimate is that roughly 75% of the Earth is water. Only 1% of that is deemed drinkable! Lots of countries have scarcity issues as well as clean water issues. We have even seen drought issues here in the United States recently. We all know that wars have been fought over oil, and he claims that wars of the next century could be fought over water. He states that water will get more valuable and that its prices will go up. As populations increase, so does the problem with water.Next up we need to think of energy sources such as wind power. Pickens built the largest wind farm in the Texas Panhandle. Wind is a clean energy source, its readily available, domestic, and a renewable natural resource. Wind power does not create any pollution! The one downside is the way they look. The turbines themselves can be 330 feet tall to the hub-the center of the blades from the ground. Then you can add another 150 feet or more from the hub to the tips of the blades. One can be the equivalent in size of a 48 story building. All of the above mentioned topics are a part of The Pickens Plan. As you can see, I will not be going into too much detail, but here are some of the main points of his plan.

Pickens thinks that the number one priority is to have leadership whose mandate is to make reducing America's reliance on foreign oil our number one national priority. The cost to do business with other countries when buying their oil could undermine the U.S.'s position as a superpower. Basically, we are at their mercy in situations like this. He also says that developing alternative fuels is not about cleaning up the environment. For him, alternative energy will help America achieve it's national energy security. He is pushing in his plan wind power as the solution for our current energy woes. Government needs to subsidize wind and solar power in his opinion. Wind can generate 20% of U.S. electricity in less than ten years. If we take much longer, like 2030, our country could be bankrupt. One 3- megawatt wind turbine can produce the same amount of energy in a year as 12,000 barrels of imported oil. Wind and solar corridors could generate 20 to 40% of the nation's electricity. He believes we should be pushing natural gas next and then clean coal. Natural gas, again, should be used for our transportation systems.Also, he recommends stepping up Nuclear Power to a new level. He says that our federal government has to push this plan. They can't just stand back or let the usual slow bureaucratic way of doing things stop us or slow us down from creating some alternatives. We all know that the federal government has a way of bringing great plans to a screeching halt. We have to remember that these new energies will produce new jobs and revitalize towns and the United States as a whole. Job growth , a larger tax base,then leading to housing construction--all will be results of pushing this plan.Do we need to wait until the situation is dire?Pickens has a plan ;at least we should give it or something like it a chance.Do people have to suffer through price gouging and inflation and death in wars before we will do something? Can America stand strong and lead the nation and the world again into a new era?

UNC rolls to title, rips Spartans 89-72

Congratulations to the Carolina Tarheels! They came out firing on all cylinders in the first half and put Michigan State away easily. UNC scored at will and used a variety of players to do so. Ty Lawson scored 21 points and had 8 steals to lead the Heels. He was awarded the player of the game award. Tyler Hansbrough and Wayne Ellington had great games as well. Coach Roy Williams lead a Carolina team to a national title game win two times in five years. Can you say, show me the money! Plus he will be hailed as one of the best college coaches ever in the game. Michigan's economy is in the pits and many had said if the Spartans won that it could help boost their economy. Seems a little too much to hope for! However, there was a record crowd of over 72,000 and that had to help the economy some in that area. Back to the Tarheels...I'm not sure what Carolina will look like next year with the graduation of Hansbrough. You have to think that Lawson, Ellington, Deon Thompson, and Danny Green might try to head off to the NBA with Tyler after winning all that college ball has to offer. We could hope that they all would return to try for a repeat!It's only a game but for the team it has been an incredible year!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Entrepreneur Corner--T. Boone Pickens




A couple of weeks ago I finished reading a book about a famous Texan named T. Boone Pickens. He is a self made billionaire and the title of the book is "The First Billion is the Hardest". Can you imagine? And I thought the first $50,000(or less) was the hardest! Anyway, if you like to learn and want to find some insight to a man that has made billions, you might want to read about this man and his story.He is after all the 117th richest person in America! I had never really heard of him until around the presidential election when he was running commercials in support of his new energy plan for America. I will post about that plan specifically in the next posting. Isn't it so great in this country to know that their is so much money to go around? I mean their are literally dozens of billionaires now that I and I imagine others that have never heard of them. That's on top of the multimillionaires and millionaires.

Pickens, in his 80's, is still at it. He's amassed a fortune over the years in many different ways. He started in oil founding an oil company that would later become Mesa Petroleum. He expanded by acquiring other oil companies. This led him into mergers and acquisitions. Later in life, he started BP Capital Management and he is currently the chair of a couple of hedge funds. He has also acquired rights to a lot of water in Texas, acknowledging that water is limited and that one day a premium price will be charged to get it. He also has interests in natural gas. He formed another company in 1997,Pickens Fuel Corp, and promotes natural gas as the best alternative fuel for vehicles. Right now he is concentrating on powering the country's transportation systems. He sees it as cleaner-burning and a major plus is that it reduces foreign oil consumption. The company was aptly renamed Clean Energy in 2001. The company now owns and runs natural gas fueling stations from British Columbia to the Mexican border.



Although it was great to see what a man can accomplish, I enjoyed reading about the man behind the companies. His grandma taught him the value of a dollar and he tries to be frugal in his life and in his businesses. He has even resoled the same pair of penny loafers since 1957. Also in the book, he tries to pass on some lessons. One is that you should always think like an owner. You have to remember that shareholders of a company are the real owners of a company. You must remember that management, and that includes CEO's, are just employees. He noted that he had found that top execs in oil companies had spent their entire working lives at one company. They avoided what in Pickens mind is the difference between success and failure. That is taking risks! He thinks that too many execs are more concerned with the 4 P's than with making profits for shareholders. The 4 P's are pay, perks, power, and prestige. He also makes the point that an owner or a CEO that doesn't own a significant amount of stock in his own company or the one he runs, does not represent their company well. How can others believe in a company if the owner or CEO doesn't?

Their are many lessons in this book for entrepreneurs. The first lesson he offers up is one I have heard before. A big deal takes just as much time as a little deal! Of course if you have never put together any "deals" before, it makes it harder to start big in my opinion. He says to do what you know best. If you have worked at a car lot all of your life, then try to start a small used car lot for example. Entrepreneurs put their money at risk. Only with risk will the greatest jobs and profits come! As a business owner you need to surround yourself with employees smarter than you in all areas of the company. Just like a sports team you need varied ages, backgrounds, and experience to make your biz well rounded. You need some rookies and some veterans! You need a mix of skills, each with their own strength. Pickens notes that a team comprised of only all- stars rarely shines. As an owner you need to lead but also listen! Developing a rapport with employees will be in your best interest.A leader encourages teamwork and keeps people focused on the future.

In life Mr. Pickens has something for us to think about too. He talks about depression and its four main triggers. They are losing a job, moving out of your home, divorce, and the death of a family member or a close friend. He also says many great things about maintaining health. He says, as we should all know, that no amount of money, success, or fame can raise a body from a bed or turn fat into muscle. He determined a number of years ago that he would recommit himself to physical fitness. He says that Arnold Schwarzenegger once said that weights in a gym never care about how rich or famous you are. Only constant and aggressive exercise can keep a human being young and fit. He says that exercise increases stamina and concentration. That means you will be able to get a lot more done and have more energy. In his 80's, I was surprised to find that it seems like his workouts are tougher than the ones I have been putting myself through lately. He has a personal trainer that really pushes him! Incredible right?--more fit than most half his age. He also that the way to live your life is with engagement,involvement, and constant action.He even gave Mesa employees , his first company,YMCA memberships. Later he would build a company gym. He believes in corporate wellness programs. He says that these programs have paid for themselves in health care savings in three years. He says that you should build team spirit by coaching your players to work together. He notes that everyone is a player and that no one is a superstar. He likens the workplace to football and he is the coach. He says that you don't manage, you should lead. People tend to follow your lead if you set a good example. You need to show loyalty and pay your employees well. Give them the best equipment and the best working environment. In the end, you will get rewarded with a low employee turnover rate.

As you can see their is a lot to learn from this man. As mentioned earlier, he is still working and earning money in his 80's. At this point, he shows no signs of slowing down either. He is now pushing another "big deal" potentially worth millions to his own bottom line, The Pickens Plan. I read in an interview, I believe in Fortune Magazine, that many say he just pushing his own agenda. What I like is that he didn't back away from it. He readily admitted that he would earn money if America could switch to alternative energy sources. However, he says, and I tend to agree, so what? The plan is ultimately in the best interest of our country. If he makes money, so what! Trust me someone is going to make money no matter if you use his plan or someone else's. At this point, don't we agree that something needs to be done to protect America and lessen its dependency on foreign oil and offer new alternative methods to creating energy?At least he is offering up a plan--I dont see our federal government stepping up yet now or when Mr. Bush was president!.... Mr. Boone's Energy Plan will be discussed in the next post!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

How Bout Them Heels??

UNC defeats Villanova 83 - 69! Next up in the finals, Carolina will take on Michigan State. This is it baby! Carolina Tarheels-- Monday night!

In other news, Ryan played in his first soccer game today! Although the weather climbed into the 70's about 4 or 5 today, the Lil Rascals played at 11am when it was about 60 degrees. The wind was blowing viciously and with a chill that probably made it feel like 45 degrees. These were 3 and 4 year olds--Ryan will be 3 Tuesday--, so the moments of brilliance were minimal. That's OK though, it was fun! If only we could keep distractions like the playground invisible!! The kids were cool in all black!! And I ,as the dad, got to break in the new samsung camcorder. Next we grabbed some lunch, and headed to his birthday party! It was a small family party themed with Batman. Man does this little boy always rack up! I can remember many birthdays not getting one gift!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Weekend Plans--Soccer & Birthdays

Saturday Heather and I will be taking Ryan to his first soccer game at 11 and at 2 we will be having his birthday party. He will actually be 3 on April 7th and coincidentally I will be 35 on April 11th(too old-lol). We are super excited about the game, although it will probably be chaotic at best!Its all about fun at this age! The weather here tomorrow is supposed to be in the 70's. That will be great since we have been getting alot of rain lately. His first two practices were held indoors because of the rain. Then tomorrow night Carolina takes on Villanova in the second game of the Final Four. You know I will be glued in front of a TV then! Go heels!!

Sunday we were thinking about taking him to an Easter Egg hunt. This will be his first time doing that. I know he would love it! I just think there might be too many kids there-yikes!

What Can we expect for our Kids?

Earlier this week J.D. over at Get Rich Slowly ran a guest post of Chett Daniel's regarding the world of personal finance through the eyes of a 4th grader. There was a lot of discussion on his site about the level of financial knowledge students currently have, and what should be done to change it. Check out the original post at Get Rich Slowly ,"What 4th Graders Know". Chett then left a followup post on his own site 5k5k , a site that I like because it combines two of my favorite subjects--Health and Wealth( By the way should that be the name of my next site--TriadHealthandWealth??--I want to combine fitness and wealth uniquely.)

Chett's follow up post can be found here! He also found two great videos on kids consumerism on YouTube. I am going to post the first one here on my site. It is all very interesting! Hope you find it interesting as well!


Scavenger nation: How to save money and skip a full-time job

This article was written by Vanessa Richardson on Walletpop. I thought it was interesting and showed a radical way to save money and to provide food for thought.


That's what Kristan Lawson and Anneli Rufus do -- they routinely burrow through dumpsters and piles of stuff left on sidewalks. The couple, married for 20 years and living in the Bay Area, write books to pay the bills (and put a roof over their heads for they do own a house), but their full-time job is scavenging. ...One Man's Trash

Ramit Sethi's "I Will Teach You to be Rich"

Mr. Sethi just wrote and released the book , I Will Teach You to be Rich. He is a recent Stanford graduate and lives in the San Franscisco area. I haven't read the book, but I have read good things about it on site's like J.Money's site, Budgets Are Sexy. Anyway, since I read about the book I decided to check out his website. He posted a funny video about being frugal. I don't see anything wrong with being frugal, but some people say that being frugal is not a good thing. Either way, you can get a good laugh from the video. Here's the link... Frugal Video. I couldn't figure out how to post it directly on my page, but maybe that's the way he wanted it!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Chinese Electric Cars Coming to Costco and Wal-Mart

Here's an interesting story via Digg.com. The CEO of GS Motors — Kathleen Ligocki — told the Hybrid Cars website that she thinks the US will follow in Mexico’s footsteps. GS Motors sold 4,000 China-made vehicles in Mexico last year at…Costco and Wal-Mart.

read more digg story

Fire Rips Through Homeless Camp Leaving Dozens The Same

Officials are investigating a fire that ripped through a homeless camp along the Feather River in Sutter County.

read more digg story

Daily Show: Auto Crisis Turns Obama into Car Salesman

Sure, he doesn't have a checkered suit. Sure, he doesn't have a "Crazy," a "Fast," or a "Bucks" appended to the front of his name. Sure, he's actually the president. But Barack Obama can have you behind the wheel of your very own certified pre-owned Sebring faster and cheaper than the best of them.

read more digg story

America's 10 Healthiest Fast-Food Restaurants

Here's an article I ran across on Digg.com! I try to avoid fast food, but sometimes it is nearly impossible. Plus, admittedly, some of it can taste pretty good! Well this story tries to give you some insight into the fast food places with healthier options.



Eating out invariably raises a number of tricky questions: sit down or drive through? Burgers or pizza? Thin or stuffed crust? Choosing one over the other could mean saving hundreds of calories in a single meal, up to 50 pounds of flab in the course of a year, and countless health woes over the course of a lifetime. Here are the top 10.

read more digg story

Bank of America Credit Card

Last week I received a letter stating that my credit limit would be reduced by $400 for going over one of my other cards limits.I know! I know! I have too many credit cards. I looked at my free credit report, courtesy of Experian for the negative action against me. My credit report was the same as always. All accounts were current and stated "never late, pays as agreed". With a closer look, I found that my Orchard Bank card had gone over the credit limit by less than a hundred dollars because of an issue with their accepting a payment on time(of course I was near the limit). I had called them as soon as I saw it and I called the company. The rep with customer service took the late charge off. I then made a payment with her and I promptly closed my account. I had that account for several years and they never increased my limit or cut my interest rate at all. But even in my credit report now it still shows as pays as agreed and never late because I didn't go no where close to 30 days late. A few days at most! But on my report it shows your highest balance and your credit limit. I guess this is where Bank of America got its grounds to decrease my limit.



Well I was a little mad at first. I have been working on my credit for a while now. I know that as long as you are not using the card, the more you have available credit, the better your credit score usually will be. I haven't used any of my B of America credit cards in a while. I cut them up over a year ago. Several months back they had sent me letters for my 3 cards stating that if I didn't respond back to them in a certain amount of time, they would raise my interest rates. My rates were already hovering around 15%. I thought enough is enough, and I sent three letters stating that I didn't agree with a rate hike--I have never done anything like this before! In fairness to B of A, I think it was the first time a letter was sent that was written large enough to know that a rate hike was coming.They said the rate would stay the same as long as I didn't use the cards again. So they are still open!



This brings me to a new issue that I had thought about posting about before. I am still unemployed, since the beginning of December . I need advice! I have worked so long and hard on building up my credit. However if you looked at my debt, you could see that I am pretty much to my limit on every card. I have a decent credit score, I just need income. Then I would be able to start paying them off again rather than using them to live on. My girlfriend's income is helping us to get by right now. Right now there is no debt snowball, we just pay the minimum! My girlfriend's credit is better than mine now. I helped establish her credit and we would continue to pay on her two cards. Well here is the question. Should I stop paying on my cards? I know the first step should be to call all of the credit card companies and see if they will work with me. I'm pretty sure they will laugh when I ask for 3 to 6 months of a deferment of payments. I have seen Dave Ramsey answer many questions telling the caller that they need to pay their rent or mortgage first and the utilities and worry about putting food on the table. Its still hard to "let go" of paying on the cards, because of ruining the infamous credit score. How will I ever buy a house? Dave says you don't need a score to buy a house. Basically he claims that cash is king! I do agree that it would be great to live only on cash. How many years will that take? I don't have a TV show, or have anyone to fall back on. Dave doesn't say not to ever pay them back, but to start when you can. I don't see us living on cash alone for a while. Plus about that credit score--they will ruin your credit for seven years. Usually seven years from your last activity--so if you pay them back in 3 years, you can still count on your credit being bad for seven years past that date. If you don't pay in full, you can guarantee that they will keep recycling your debt around way past that seven years to different creditors. All in an attempt to reclaim that original debt. It's all a mess I put myself in! What should I do??

Channel 8 -Deal or Dud?

The local news runs a segment called deal or dud. They take different products and try to test them to determine if they work. Have you ever had to throw out vegetables or fruit only after a few days because they have begun to rot? Well tonight they tested the green bags that claim to extend the shelf life of vegetables. There are many different brands of bags out now. They tested their bags over a month's time at a local farmer's market. They actually worked! Lettuce and tomatoes lasted the whole 30 days.

Next they tested the razor sharpener. I was interested in this one because the price of replacement blades have sky rocketed recently. I haven't been able to find a good electric razor that gives me a good , clean shave like a Gillette Mach 3(although I have only tried a few!) Any ideas or suggestions would be great. Anyway, three different people tried out this product. One girl and two guys determined that this one was a dud. One guy suggested that drying the razor would extend the blade's life more than the blade sharpener.

The Peticure was next. Its the product that claims that it is the humane way to cut your pet's nails. I was a curious about this one too because I do cut our dogs nails from time to time. My dogs are usually pretty good with the regular dog nail clippers. However, there is nothing worse than accidentally going too far and having them jump or yelp in pain. The news team went to a veterinarian for this test. He determined in his opinion that it worked great for cats and was a dud for dogs. Darn, I guess I'm out of luck on this one and the razor sharpener!

Harris Teeter Triple Coupons

Thanks to running across several coupon blogs, I had started to try using coupons. I blogged about my experience at a couple of grocery stores and a drugstore. This past week the grocery store Harris Teeter was running a triple coupon promo. I made sure I worked a stop into my routine to see if I could save some money. I have to say again that I don't know if all the stores in this chain are so expensive, but I know that some of the prices are a lot higher at this one than at Walmart. However, if you really look hard, you can still find some deals. I coupled a few of my tripled coupons with the store Vic card savings and a couple of buy one , get one free deals. I ended up spending $25.00. I saved altogether $23.00! Not too bad, almost half!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Fountain of Youth

Guess what? I found it! The answer to your youth! How can you add years to your life and gain a more youthful appearance? Of course, it doesn't come in the form of a pill or a glass of water from a spring far, far away. And I'm not selling snake oil or any other useless product. The answer is simple, yet it will never come easily. You have to change your lifestyle and your way of thinking. The answer.... exercise and diet. That's right, its not complicated or a product that will cost you thousands of dollars.

Think about it..Is their a person you haven't seen in a while, and when you do see them again they look great. They decided to lose some weight and voila, they shaved several years or more off of their face and body. I was watching the Biggest Loser the other week. I love the show and the transformations the people go through. It changes lives and its great to see them achieving their goals and dreams. On one of the last couple of shows, the trainer Bob comments on one the contestants dramatic weight loss since she had left the show. She comes in and he says, "Wow, look at you, you look at least ten years younger". Well he says something very similar to that anyway. Its amazing right? We all know that exercise and lifestyle changes can have dramatic effects on your waistline and add years to your life. Exercise, the fountain of youth, can actually shave years off of your life and give you a fresher look and a more youthful appearance.

Just decide to do it! Take small steps! Start slow... exercise a couple of times a week for 30 minutes to an hour. A combination of lifting weights and doing some kind of cardio are going to give you the best results. Remember, don't do diets! Make lifestyle changes. You don't have to change everything overnight with such huge changes that you could never stick to. Remember it took you probably years to get fat, and you can't expect to lose it overnight. Decide that you will stop eating at fast food places and that you will add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. These are just a couple of small changes. Several months down the road you can get stricter if you chose..cut out soft drinks and sweets, etc. Get a workout partner, and you guys can help each other out and keep each other focused and motivated. Until they make that pill or magical bottle of water(oh yeah, or plastic surgery)... exercise, and watching what you eat, not smoking, and limiting your drinking are the only proven ways of maintaining your youth. Thank God...the fountain of youth has been discovered..lol !


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Suze Orman- Are Weight and Your Wallet Connected?

I ran across an article by Jorge Cruise in the USA Weekend, an insert in the local newspaper. He covered the financial author and TV Host's opinion in the tips for everyday life section. She says, "Health is related to Wealth". I have to say that this is what two of my biggest goals are about, to get more physically fit (lower body fat percentage) and to get out of debt and increase my wealth ( get money-lol). She says that as your debt goes up, that the weight can too! She goes as far as to say that having self control, by avoiding McDonald's and Taco Bell and running up discretionary spending, is a key to happiness. Suze says you need to keep track of your spending and your eating. Then you can accurately assess where you need to cut back.

UNC Wins!!!


Just a short note--I know not everyone cares about sports and wants to continually here about the Tarheels. I just want to say great job to the team and Coach Roy Williams for returning to the Final Four. The games will be held in Detroit next week! I was surprised how easily they shut down Oklahoma today.Good luck next week Tarheels!!


$150 Million Dollar Home For Sale!!

Aaron Spelling ,Hollywood producer of hit shows such as "Charlie's Angels," ''Dynasty" and "Beverly Hills 90210", built a huge mansion in California. It is right down the street from the likes of Hugh Hefner. He passed away in 2006 and his widow, Candy Spelling, has put the mega estate up for sale. The price tag is a mere $150 million! She has decided to downsize to a $49 million dollar 2 story condo. Really? Imagine that! After close to three years, she finally decided that it was time for a change. I have to say that I would love to live in a million dollar home. Mostly I have found myself dreaming of living in a $400,000 to $700,000 home. Also, maybe I dreamt of a vacation home.Hell, right now I have been wishing to find a $30,000 to $50,000 house to start small in the real estate game. I don't think ever in my wildest dreams have I thought of living in a mansion of these proportions or that price tag. You can see the behemoth below! The picture is courtesy of the AP.