Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm a Metro Pulse Winner!!

On page six of today's Metro Pulse there is note that I am the winner of last week's "Where is the MetroGnome?" I cannot pull it up, but the announcement goes:
"Marie Alcorn responded at lightning speed with her somewhat terse answer: 'Gnome is at Mabry Hazen House.' Her alacrity will be rewarded with a paperback copy of Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey." Yahoo! A free book!!

"Terse" I can take. At least they didn't call my response "twitter-like."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Voodoo Math

Just an update on make finding the $5K. Since I write the rules, I can make the math rules, too. Let's say I saved $58 of the stuff mentioned in the previous blog. So I'm up to $363.91. Eek. Not going up as fast as I had hoped.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Free Food!!

Last week was really great when it came to "free" food. First, I applied a $20 credit coupon at Kroger's for filling a new prescription, and then lucky for me it was Mega Week at the store. The deal with Mega items is that if you get ten of the identified items, you get $5 off. I got ten of the identified items, and for each one I had a coupon. It's always fuzzy math, but after everything was applied, I owed Kroger around $14 for $34 worth of food. But with my $20 credit, no money came out of my wallet!!

Then my husband came home from visiting his mother with a bunch of what should be frozen food and tomatoes. The frozen food came from her just-broken-down in the garage refrigerator, and the tomatoes came from a neighbor who had a bumper crop. I am very sorry that her refrigerator broke down. She is as thrifty as I am, so I know this hurts. However, she is a very good planner and is certain to have the cash stashed to buy a new fridge.

THEN it's close enough to my birthday (I will not share which day or how many years.) that a couple of free coupons came in. (I applied months ago.) I got a free HUGE burger and fries from Ruby Tuesday, which I ate the night my husband was at a meeting. I got a HUGE burrito at Moe's, of which I ate half for lunch and the rest for part of my supper.

I got a couple of other birthday gifts,but they weren't free; so they'll go unfulfilled.

I get a real high when I do not have to spend anything, which apparently is a scientifically proved experience. Thanks to a fellow Facebooker I read the following today from author Ellen Ruppel Shell: Brain studies show that the human brain "lights up" at the prospect of a bargain. Stanford neuroscientist Brian Knutson used fMRI to peer into the brains of subjects as they contemplated making a purchase and found distinct brain circuits anticipating gain and loss -- when subjects were presented with prices they considered excessive, the insula, the region associated with guilt, humiliation, and pride, lit up. Confronted with discounts, nucleus acumbus -- a brain region associated with pleasure -- lit up like a Christmas tree.

People don't like to spend money, they consider it a loss, but a discount "reframes" the spending as a gain. This might sound weird -- after all, even when you get a discount you are spending money, but your brain doesn't see it that way. This is why we so often overbuy in response to discounts, especially deep discounts.

When I don't have to get any money out, my nucleus acumbus is not just a Christmas Tree--it's the one in Rockefeller Center.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Facebook--what's it all about anyway?

I told a colleague at work today that I am not mean enough to be really funny in this blog. I am not mean enough to be effective about a lot of things. However, I am going to write something that might hurt a few feelings-- Facebookers of this world, please review and re-review what you are posting.

Do you really like your friends? If so, do you want them to spend some of their hard-earned time reading your streams-of-consciousness? Let me suggest this: type out your comment, edit it a few times,and then erase it. Yeah, it kind of is like the scene in Sex and the City when Cary was in California and an old friend consumed a whole steak right in front of her--bite by bite, one by one of which he deposited in his napkin. Had to watch his weight.

There--I have said it. Facebookers, please be thrifty with your postings. Thank you. Those who feel as I do--perhaps we can change the world one Facebooker at a time.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Update on Finding $5K

I saved $46 in coupons and savings this week. Additionally I participated in a focus group for $100.

$159.91 beginning
305.91 total savings to date.

I got a prescription for which I was totally ready to pay some money, but it turned out it was generic and I paid nothing. I was fortunate to get some coupons at home from Kroger's, so I got $20 gift certificate for my new prescription. Interestingly, I had gotten a $25 offer from CVS last visit, but I NEVER spend $25 in CVS at one time, so I figured that $20 at Kroger's was worth more to me.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Knox County Schools Coupon Book

LESS THAN THREE WEEKS before this year's coupon book expires. I am always sad during the time between the book expires and the new one comes out. I use some of the coupons, certainly much more than to recoup the $10 cost; but thumbing through the coupon book is my favorite past-time when I get held up at railroad crossings.

I got another book just a few weeks ago from a Freecycler, and she didn't use my favorites. I am happy. I'm probably going to use some in the next few weeks simply because they are about to expire (this is probably a big no-no for couponistas.) One I'm thinking about is for getting six Chick-fil-A minis for the price of three. I'll think I'll saunter down to the location in the First Tennessee Plaza building this week. I hope they don't remember me when I came in "dressed like a cow" on Cow Appreciation Day. I really didn't do a good job.

I ran into Mary K., who oversees the production of the book, a few weeks ago at the doctor's. (Don't worry, our appointments were check-ups for both of us.) She was in good spirits because she had just sent the book off to the printer that we'll get to buy this fall. She is certainly passionate about the coupon book, but she is even more passionate about providing these extra funds for the schools. I encourage you to buy a book or two even if your children don't go to public schools. Quality public schools are good for us all!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Living with One Who Is Not Like Me

I consider Ms. Cheap of the Nashville Tennessean to be a money-saving icon, but one comment she made about NOT saving money has helped me keep my sanity. She remarked that early on she sent her husband to the store with a list and a corresponding bundle of coupons. He came back with the right items, but sometime later she found the coupons on the floorboard of his car.

My husband is something of the same sort. While he certainly likes to save money and is always looking for ways to buy what we need at the best price, he does not share my passion for clipping coupons and planning my trips to pick up a few items here or there. Granted, I could not justify the money-"made" aspect of this avocation to replace my regular job, but it is keeping a little more money in my pocket and IT IS FUN! I LIKE IT! It wouldn't be fun for him, so therein lies the difference. Additionally, I have developed some on-line relationships with some really amazing money-savers.

When we first were considering moving downtown I had planned to learn how to play golf. I figured all that time that I used to apply to yard work could be spent on the golf course. I never got around to the golf thing. If I had, I probably wouldn't have any time left for couponing. Wow, saving money on not playing golf PLUS saving money on the coupons--I'm way ahead money-wise!

Update on the $5K:
Turns out eye drops are a medical flex fundable item, so I filed for a reimbursement on the drops that I had made $1.50 on at CVS last week (item earned full value coupon plus I used a $1.50 coupon). That means what I paid for the eye drops was with pre-income tax dollars. whoo-who!

previous saved amount:$134.16
found a penny on sidewalk at work, $.01
difference in my paying for the eyedrops with pre-tax dollars than with post-income tax dollars: $1.44 (I can't count the whole amount because I am funding my flex fund with pre-tax salary dollars every payday.)
According to my Walgreens receipt of August 6, I saved $24.30 on a trip for which I paid out $24.52 (and I got $10 RR, but I won't count the $10 until I actually use it. Yes, I have been known to lose some or let them expire.)
Total found of my $5K as of Day Nine: 159.91

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Label Post

Savings, Enjoying Life, Finding $5291

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Update on $5K found

Beginning $91.86
Bought Gas in Crossville $2.17/gal, $.06 less than in Knoxville $.72
Rebate on purchases 38.08
Coupon/CVS "bucks" $3.50

Total saved $134.16