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Archive for September, 2008

Restaurants: smaller portions higher prices

September 29th, 2008 at 11:13 am

There is a common pactice currently going on in the restaurant industry. In the last month or so I have noticed consistently that all their menus have changed. The prices have increased. Some much higher on average then others, but what they all consistently have in common is smaller portions.

I understand raising the prices. I mean, these are hard times. But, come on, smaller portions, too? I mean we do notice things, most of us.

I work hard for my money. I want to get what I pay for. High gas, food, energy, and everything else personally affects me too.

Eating out is a choice. I've decided to eat out one time a month. Our solution: we decided to increase our grocery spending to accomodate the things I like when I eat out. Also, we will get food to go, so we do not have to leave a tip, and use coupons (like buy-one-get-one-free).

I'm trying to hold on to as much money as I can. The world indeed wants to separate us from our money, but they will have a hard time getting mine.

Are your investments FDIC insured?

September 26th, 2008 at 08:46 am

I just called my investment company to inquire about our money market account being FDIC insured. It isn't. Then I asked if our IRA's were insured (I thought they were). I was told that only banks and credit union's money is FDIC insured. The Merrill Lynches, Lehman, Vanguard, and Fidelity types are not. So if something happens, all your money goes bye-bye. I'm not trying to cause panic, however I do want you to be informed.

I'm transfering our money over to our credit union today. Better safe than sorry.

Are your investments FDIC insured? You better find out quick!

You can get paid well to work at the voter booth

September 24th, 2008 at 11:38 am

Within the last 3-4 years, I've worked at the voter registration booth on election day. Actually, I've done it a total of three times. I did not work through the state office, but through a temporary service.

The first time I did it, they paid me $340 for the day. The last two times I worked, I got paid $400 for the day. I just called and left a message to see about doing it again this coming election. I just got signed up, and they will let me know the pay once it is approved.

Yes, that $400 was the easiest $400 I've ever made. The day is long. It starts at 6am and ends around 8pm. I got two breaks and a one-hour lunch away from the booth. The state workers can't leave the premises. I brought plenty of books, magazines, and newspapers to read.

My job? If a machine doesn't work; I unplug it from the outlet. If it still doesn't work, then I called technical support to come fix the machine. In the interim, I put a sign "out of order" on the machine. I was praying for machines to break I was so bored.

I hope they are paying $400 or more this election. $400 to sit and read, and make sure the state workers are doing their job, only in America.

Having to pay for parking really sucks

September 22nd, 2008 at 10:06 am

Yesterday my family went to the Tennessee Aquarium for a quick one-day get away. When we arrived we needed parking. Surprisingly enough, there was alot of spaces available in the paid lots and on the street.

I told my husband parking on the street was free because if was Sunday. Of course he didn't believe me, and decided to ask a local person. Well, the local person told him parking wasn't free on the street. So my husband spent 10-15 minutes driving around to see how much different lots were charging. One was charging $8 for the day, another $5 for the day, and another $4 every 1.5 hours.

I kept assuring my husband the meter actually said "parking was free on Sunday," but that wasn't good enough either. Then my husband went inside a restaurant to ask. Yeap, she said, "parking was free on Sundays."

Finally, we found a spot right in front of the Aquarium on the street for free.

The moral of the story. Husband's listen to the counsel of your wives, and don't always go with the first parking lot price. The price is always cheaper somewhere else.

You can get phone service for only $39.95 a year

September 19th, 2008 at 12:43 pm

I talked to a friend a few days ago, and she told me she had a new phone service called "Magic Jack." With Magic Jack for only $39.95 you get free local, long-distance, directory assistance, phone number, call waiting, voicemail, caller id, and you get a free trial for 30-days to try it.

She said, it's great, and their bill is only $39.95 a year. The only downfall, you have to change phones numbers. Their website is www.magicjack.com.

Have you heard of Magic Jack? What do you think?

Falls coming, open the windows and save

September 17th, 2008 at 02:08 pm

I'm happy. For the last 3-4 days the weather has been in the 70's and we haven't had to turn on the air. Our home is all electric, so our bills range in the amounts of $80-$140 depending on the time of year. However, when I see Spring or Fall coming, I'm so happy. Lower bills!

To save, we just open the windows and let the cool breeze come through. If it gets a little bit stuffy, we turn on the ceiling fans. At night, it's even cooler so we open the windows just a little. Uh, how nice. We are heading towards the time of year that we will not need to turn on the air or heat. Probably for around 2 months.

It's nice being able to appreciate the simple things in life, isn't it?

We got 10 magazines for free

September 15th, 2008 at 11:38 am

I stopped buying magazines years ago. However, whenever I would visit friends and family, instead of talking, I spent my time devouring their magazines. I absolutely love to read.

Then one day Delta Airlines sent me a letter saying 14,000 of my frequent flyer miles had expired. Huh? Because I had not accumulated new miles in three years. However, I still had 4,000 miles left. I was mad as I don't know what. Also, my husband and daughter had around 4,000 miles each, too.

I had an idea, we'll use up all the points and get something we want. Well, the only thing we had enough points for were magazines. Now, we get around 10 magazines a month. I love laying in bed just reading. The best part, it didn't cost me a dime. I now have enough reading material to last until I retire.

Do you know ways besides the library to get free magazines?

A breakfast dinner saves the day & money

September 10th, 2008 at 03:20 pm

Some days just before grocery shopping, when the food is getting low, and you're too tired to cook, a breakfast dinner is the solution. It beats going out to eat and spending money, right?

For "breakfast dinners" we may cook omelets, pancakes, grits, biscuits, cereal w/fruit, turkey bacon, and eggs.

Do you ever have breakfast dinners? If so, what do you cook?

Pie and snacks cost $1.81, I promise you!

September 8th, 2008 at 01:43 pm

Snacks have really gone up in price. Of course Iím always thinking of the best way to save money. So about a month ago we started making our own snacks each week. Well, as you know Saturday mornings are grocery shopping day for my husband (in 16 years of marriage I've never been grocery shopping). Now, that's another story.

Anyway, my husband picked up a pumpkin. I do not like store brought pumpkin pie. But I love homemade pumpkin pie, so I decided that would be our snack this week. Of course I couldn't leave out the seeds. The small pumpkin he purchased only cost $1.81. I made a wonderful pumpkin pie, and garlic flavored pumpkin seeds. They were a hit! The seeds were delicious by themselves, and we sprinkled some on salad. You really can't beat spending $1.81 on snacks. The one pumpkin probably saved us around $4.00-5.00 this week.

Do you like pumpkin? If so, what do you do to stretch your dollars with pumpkins?

$5.00 for ice cream? Thanks, but I'll pass.

September 5th, 2008 at 11:40 am

I grew up with ice cream. Two things my dad would get at least twice a week was more milk and ice cream. I mean with eight kids and my parents, he had no choice. Back then ice cream was really affordable. Also, Dairy Queen was my most favorite place to get ice cream.

Okay, so let's fast forward to 2008. I still love ice cream, even though I don't eat it as much (health reasons). However, a few weeks ago at a community event, my daughter wanted an ice cream cone and they were $5.00. She was outraged! I personally couldn't believe it either. Also, a major "ice cream" franchise that we once loved, their cones went up to $3.75 each. Yeah, it's homemade, but so what.

I use to have an ice cream maker that was absolutely wonderful, but it broke. Now, when I am in the mood for ice cream I go to Target and pick up 1/2 a gallon. Even at the store a 1/2 gallon can be close to $5.00. I always look for a sale on ice cream for $2.69 or close to it.

Do you make your own ice cream, buy it, or do without it because of the price or other reasons?

We shaved our heads to save money

September 2nd, 2008 at 10:22 am

My husband use to have hair. He would go to get his hair cut every two weeks. His haircut would cost around $12, and he would usually give a $2 tip. Well, one day he walked in and they announced the price had increased to $14. That day, my husband came home and stated he was going to shave his head. He just couldn't see paying $384 a year (including tip) for something he could do for free. He went from nice brown wavy hair to smooth skin on his head.

Then one day I had enough. I was paying $75 every six weeks to get my hair done. It would take hours out of my day, and it was probably costing me about $800 a year. I wanted low maintenance, too. My husband went to Wal-Mart purchased a kit with clippers and everything. So I cut my hair into a 1/2-inch afro. Now, it takes me two minutes to do my hair, literally. I love the freedom and the money it has saved us.

Best part, my husband still thinks I'm beautiful, and he looks very handsome, too.

So, how much are you spending on hair care? Would you be "crazy" enough to do something drastic like we did to save money?