I had a really good friend in college.  We had some legal classes together (I hold a degree in Paralegal Studies / Legal Assisting) and usually we went to lunch together after class to eat and study.  We had a lot in common.  We both had kiddos and we were trying to find our way back into the corporate world.  Our kids played together.  We compared job search notes with each other.

She always ordered the same thing every time we went to lunch.  This is what she ate every day, for two years, at lunch:

A croissant that was split with butter on it and fried on the grill topped with fried eggs, lots of bacon and cheese.  Then she topped that with a ton of mayonnaise.  I always teased her that is was a “heart attack on a plate”.  She laughed and ate it anyhow.

After graduation, we both moved on, busy with our lives.  We kept in touch but were not as close as we once were.  Christmas Eve I was getting ready to go to a family celebration and was walking thru the living room.  The news was on.  My friend was killed in a head on collision the night before.  Her sons had also been in the car but they were unharmed.  My friend was dead.

Apparently those croissants did not matter after all.  I try hard everyday to keep that in mind.

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I wish I did that more often.  Seriously.  I am not one of those people who, in a moment of regret, says “That’s not what I meant.”  Pretty much if it came out of my mouth, I meant it.  I probably could phrase things better a lot of the time, but I always mean what I say.

Sometimes I say things that in retrospect could apply to myself as well.  A perfect example is that someone I know just found out that they have tongue cancer and need lazer surgery.  Of corse the first thing I said was that they should not be smoking, what did they expect?  Um yeah.  The same could be said about the fact that I have had several skin cancer surgeries and yet I still go out in the sun, in the middle of the day, without sunscreen.  Open mouth, insert foot.  The really bad part is that once you’ve said it, that’s it.  No takesies backsies.  It’s out there for good now.

Think before speaking….. it’s always recommended and totally underrated…….

 

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I do several things here at home to save money when I print things from the web.

I recycle paper.   If I have full sheets of paper with something printed on one side that I do not need, when I need to print I will just print on the other side.

I buy generic refill cartridges on ebay.  I only pay about $5 per cartridge and that INCLUDES shipping

I always always always print in “Fast Draft” mode.  Not only does it use WAYYYY less ink, it prints faster too!  You can learn how to set your printer to fast draft here:

http://printscan.about.com/od/howto/ht/Draft_Mode.htm

In our home there is NO computer that is hooked up to the printer all the time.  The kids computer is not even set up to print at all!  My laptop is the only computer we can print from here and it has to be physically walked to the printer and have the usb hooked up in order to print.  This saves us so much unneeded printing!

 

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I had my cell phone service thru a major carrier for over 10 years.  As my older girls have grown and gone out on their own, they have gotten their own plans and I was left all alone the plan I carried.  Since I was already “out of contract”, I started shopping around for my other options.  I ended up going with a “pre-paid” plan and I haven’t looked back or regretted it since.

I did this for several reasons.  I needed unlimited calling since we no longer have a home line and my younger children use my phone to call their friends and I use my phone to call my mom every day.  Not to mention the fact that I use the phone for everyday household stuff (dr appointments, etc).  I was tired of being signed to a contract.  I hated getting bills that varied every month, sometimes by a few dollars, sometimes by a few cents.  I wanted a nicer phone without the contract. 

I ended up with a Samsung phone that looks VERY similar to a Blackberry.  I paid $20 for that phone.  Free shipping.  My monthly rate for unlimited talk, text and web is $45.  No contract.  If I want a newer phone, I just watch the website for the one I want to go on sale (they have LOTS of sales at GREAT prices!).  There is no “asking for an upgrade” or seeing how much “credit towards a new phone” I have.  Oh, and I even got to transfer my same phone number over to my new phone!  It only took 30 minutes to become active!

I am so happy I looked waited and looked around before signing another contract!

 

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I LOVE lists!  They keep me on track, productive and organized.  They also make gift giving easier for me.  Whenever someone I am close to mentions items they would like to have I make a note of it.  That way when a birthday or holiday rolls around, I already have a list of gift ideas.  The great thing about doing this is that often times the recipient has long forgotten about the item they were admiring.  The gift becomes a wonderful surprise followed by “How did you know?”  because they often forget ever having mentioned that they liked the item!  I also keep a list like this for myself on the fridge so when someone asks me what I would like for my birthday, etc.  I don’t have to say “I don’t know”.  I just tell them a few ideas off my list.

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I have in my hand two of the FREE ADVIL codes that were in this past Sunday’s paper.  Each unique code entitles the holder to a coupon by mail for a FREE bottle of Advil (tablet 24 ct or liquigels 20 ct * the coupon expires 10/23/2011).  The codes must be registered online by 9/4/2011.

I am giving away one code to each of the next two people who subscribe to my blog!  The winners will be notified by email, within 24 hours.   Good Luck!

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Ever since I first heard of the website restaurant.com I have been trying to wrap my brain around why people think it is such a good deal?  Today I am actually going to attempt a few different scenarios here on the blog to see if it is ever a really good deal or not.

Scenario #1

Going with a midpriced restaurant you can buy a $25 gift certificate for $10 but the minimum purchase is $35 and an 18% gratuity is added BEFORE they take off the $25 gift certificate.  Hmmmm…… lets assume you go for dinner (which is also a requirement) and the bill comes to $50.  $50 PLUS the gratuity of 18% ($9) and tax of 6.5% (3.25) = 62.25 then you can take off the $25 gift certificate you bought which brings your out of pocket at the restaurant to a total of $37.25….. But remember, you spent $10 on the gift certificate to begin with so the meal really cost you $47.25.  This gives you a savings of $15 by using a $25 gift certificate

Scenario #2

Going with a higher priced steak-house type restaurant you can buy a $100 gift certificate for $45.  Again the minimum purchase is $35 (not an issue since it’s a $100 gift certificate) and the 18% gratuity is added before they take off the gift certificate.  So lets assume you come in at $125 on the bill PLUS the 18% gratuity of $22.50 and the tax $8.12 = $155.62 then take off the $100 gift certificate brings you an out of pocket at the restaurant total of $55.62 ……. then again, add on the cost of the gift certificate of $45 which means the meal really cost you $100.62.  This gives you a savings of $55 by using a $100 gift certificate.

So, apparently you can achieve some savings by using these types of certificates.  However, given the restrictions on them (dinner only, minimum purchases, mandatory 18% gratuity calculated before savings, you cannot use special offers or discounts, some are only valid Sun-Thurs, dine in only, excludes happy hour and holidays and special events, no split checks, only one per party/group/table/person per month, on and on and on) it sounds like a royal pain to try to even use the things.  I think I would prefer just to go to the restaurant of my choice, at the time of my choice, and be able to use any special offers and coupons that the restaurant offers.

I must be missing something since so many people rave on and on about them.  Anyone care to share their experience with this type of gift certificate?

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I have been wanting to get an Ipad ever since they came out.  Unfortunately they have always been out of my price range.  This past weekend I saw an ad for a large discount store that had a tablet computer, similar to the Ipad, on sale for $89.  I got excited because I figured that with all the “little bits” of money I had saved, I probably had enough.  Here is where those “little bits” came from:

$10 in my wallet left over from last week + $40 in birthday money + $10 in rebate checks that came in + $10 I won after on a scratch off ticket I got for my birthday + $27  for some items we sold on half.com = a PAID IN FULL  android tablet computer/reader !

I just wanted to post this to encourage people and let them know that all the little bits here and there can add up!  Oh, and I didn’t get the tablet computer from the store.  They were all sold out.  I ended up ordering a better one online for the same price!

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The holidays are a mere four months away, are you planning ahead yet?  I am in the process of getting all my online ducks in a row (swagbucks, e-rewards, and other incentives that I plan on using to purchase Christmas gifts).  I thought now would be a good time to share a personal, POSITIVE experience with regifting.

My best friend and I met through our sons.  Both are on the Autism “spectrum” and they attended the same school a while back and they became fast friends.  Soon playdates followed and she and I became close friends as well.  She is an avid purse collector.  She loves purses!  That is her “thing”.  Usually I notice her new finds when she uses them but there was one purse in particular that I really liked when I saw her using it.  Boy what a purse it was!  A bright pink, metallic, Ed Hardy purse!   It was not a “purse”…. it was a PURSE! LOL!

Anyhow, time went on and Christmas rolled around.  We arranged to go to lunch and she said she had a gift for me.  It was the purse!  She decided that she did not like it as much as she had thought she would and so she gave it to me!  The fact that she would give me this purse instead of returning it to get her money back just impresses me!  I love this purse and all it’s ”bling-y-ness”!

If someone has told you in the past that they really admire something that you have and you are no longer using it, consider “regifting” it.  I think that as long as the item is in good condition and the person would really appreciate and use the item, it is okay to purposefully regift.  Obviously use your best judgement in this situation…. only you know how the people you are regifting to will react.

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