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Archive for October, 2007

I'm done with my mid-terms

October 29th, 2007 at 09:48 am

I'm done with my mid-terms! Yay!!!

I took my last mid-term on Saturday morning. I felt like I used all my energy and I felt really exhausted after that. Fortunately, I've been doing pretty good on all the subjects I'm taking. So, I think I can relax a bit from now on.

Since I was focusing on my exams, I did a minimum deals last week, even though Walgreens had a super good deals last week.

On Saturday (the last day of sale cycle) I bought:
3 Crest tooth pastes $1.99 x 3 = $5.97
Less Walgreens store coupons $1 x 3 = $3
Less Manufacture's coupons $1 x 3 = $3
Final price Free

2 bags of M&M Dark chocolate
$2.5 x 2 = $5
Less Walgreens store coupon $2
Less manufacture's coupons $.75 x 2 = $1.50
Final price $1.50 for two bags

Tylenol Allergy $4.99
Less Tylenol printable coupon $5
Final price Free

I knew I could get 4 Excedrin for free, but didn't even bother getting them.....

Then, I recouped my energy yesterday afternoon. I went to Rite Aid. My Sunday paper didn't have a Rite Aid Weekly ad, but I knew there were some FAR this week. It turns out it was really worth a trip because they had many FAR items available. Also, L'Oreal Vive Pro shampoo & conditioners are BOGO sale this week. So, more free shampoo and conditioner!


Shopped at Target

October 23rd, 2007 at 09:11 pm

I had to go to our supplier meeting, then, I found Target on my way home. Perfect! I stopped by and bought:

4 bags of Kit Kat
$1.66 each. Used 2 $2 off Target cpn. and $1 cpn. (I only had one manu. coupon left...)
$1.64 for 4 bags of Kit Kat.

3 Purell
$1.52 each. Used 3 $1.50 off cpn. 6 cents for three 2 fl oz. Purell

1 Renu contact solution
Target gave me a $1 off cpn. last time I shopped. So, I got the travel size which is 99 cents. So, free.

I noticed that they are very careful about accepting coupons. The cashier examined my coupons carefully, then called her manager and the manager also examined my coupons and produts. She told me there are so many troubles with coupons. I hope people are not abusing coupons Frown

Another thing I noticed was prices are going up. Milkbone (Dog treats) used to be $1.98, but it was around $2.30 now. Sigh....

Higher gas price pushes other prices up, too.

Lazy weekend

October 22nd, 2007 at 08:44 am

It was kind of a quiet weekend. No too much was going on.

I decided to go to Rite Aid at the last minute on Saturday evening to see if they have any FAR items left in their shelf. To my pleasant surprise, they had most of them. It seems that they stocked up their shelves pretty well this time around. I got 11 FAR items worth $63.19 this week. Most of them are cold related items, so I guess I'm ready to catch cold LOL (I just don't have time to be sick, though.)

I spent most of my time reading the textbook for cost accounting yesterday. We have a test on Wednesday and I need to prepare for it. It is not a difficult class, but still have to study. Actually, it's an interesting subject and gives me some good ideas I can use at work. Went to Safeway for grocery shopping and used $10 off with $50 cpn, and $4 off catalina I got from buying cream cheese. Bought some necessary items, like milk, cheese, chicken, ground beef, pork, vegetables, etc. Also checked prices of some items. Paid $46 after using coupons, and my receipt said 48% savings.

There are some good deals going on this week. I didn't have time or energy to do it yesterday.

Some Tylenol products, Excedrin and crest toothpaste can be free at Walgreens. Target have some cheap candies (less than 20 cents per bag after coupons),free Excedrin, and cheap granola bars. Egg noodles are $10/10 at Safeway, and I have few .50 cents coupons make them 50 cents per bag. I need to plan my shopping trip.

Not happy about my tax teacher

October 20th, 2007 at 05:17 pm

I'm taking a tax class this semester, one of requirement for accounting mojor. My professor is an accountant, and he is also a lawyer. This guy cannot be more than 40 years old. Yes, he is pretty young to be an university professor.

Anyway, I don't like the way he teaches because his teaching style is not structured, and confuses me so much. But, I study quite a bit and prepared for the mid-term exam. I think I did all right. I know I missed some, but at least I understand the concept and could answer most of questions.

It turns out, the exam was exactly the same as the last semester and some student had an access to it. (All they had to do was to ask other students who took his class last semester if they kept the exam.) My friend told me the professor didn't even change the numbers in the test. It was exactly the same.

I'm really feeling bitter about this, because this teacher knows his test is hard so he will curve the grades. That means if some students knew the answers and scores high, that will set the bar and I don't think it is fair at all.

Well, the mid-term for this subject is already over and there's no way to find out who had an access to the previous exam at this point. (Other than the guy who told us about it.) I wonder if I should suggest the professor to change the numbers in problems for the final.

More free stuff

October 19th, 2007 at 08:38 am

This week has been great! I got a lot of free items from Rite Aid, free crackers from Safeway, free gum from Walgreens.

To conclude this week, I got Tylenol for free.
4 Tylenols $7.5 x 4 = $30
Less:
$5 x 4 = $20 printable cpn.
$10 catalina
Final price: FREE

I am sending a $5 rebate form for them, so it will cover the sales tax I paid ($2.34) and a stamp .40.

My husband only takes Tylenol, so I was always looking for the deal for it. This is the very first time I got Tylenol for free, and I am very happy that now we are stocked for a while.

Free crackers & more

October 18th, 2007 at 12:51 pm

I went to Walgreens to return some items that I forgot to send out the rebate for. I bought a couple of packages of bathroom tissues there since we are running low. (I'm soooo waiting for the wonderful Kimberly-Clark deal again....) Also bought some gum for my DD.

2 Scott bathroom tissue (4 rolls package) 3.99 x 2 = 7.98
4 Trident gum 1.25 each
Less:
Walgreen coupon for bathroom tissue $2.98
Walgreen coupon for gum $2.80
mnfc coupons for bathroom tissue .75 x 2 = $1.5
mnfc coupons for gum 1.25 x 2 = $2.5
Final price including tax $3.67

Then, I went to Safeway to buy my lunch and get some free crackers.
1 Eating right lemongrass chicken $2
1. Organics Green tea with honey $1.19 + .05 CRV
5 Nabisco crackers $2 x 5 = $10

Less:
Kraft promo $4
Progresso promo $5
mnfc coupons for Kraft crackers .55/2 x 2 = 1.1
Safeway Organics coupon $1
Safeway Eating right coupon $1
Final price $1.14

That was fun!

By the way, both Safeway and Walgreens are located in the corner I call "The golden intersection." LOL In one intersection, (YES, ONE!) there are Rite Aid, Walgreens, Longs Drug, Safeway, and Bel Air. (What were they thinking??) It's great for me because I can go to three drug stores in one drive and they are close to my office.

Financial seminar and random thoughts

October 18th, 2007 at 09:17 am

I went to PBWC (Professional Business Women's Conference) a couple of days ago. It's a great event for women, great key note speakers, multiple sessions, etc. My company hosted few tables for us, free seminar, free food : ) (Actually, I go to these events for free food LOL)

Anyway, one of sessions was about personal finance and the speaker was Sharon Kedar, the co-author of "On my own two feet."

Well, it was o.k. Yes, just ok. She didn't talk about anything I didn't know. Save for EF, retirement, save XX% of your income, blah, blah, blah. Also, she only referred the page number for her book to answer a couple of questions from audience. I know she wants to sell her book, but I thought she should have answered the question, not just telling us, "Oh, that's a great question. Actually, you can find your answer in the page 103 of my book!"

I would much prefer to go to a seminar about "How to find the greatest deal and coupons."

Sometimes I wonder about the life without couponing and how lucky I am to find the website about couponing a couple of years ago. It changed the way I shop completely. I used to think $1 store was a good deal, or getting a cleaner for $1.99 was a good deal. Now, I look around my house, and there are so many things I got for free or really cheap with coupons. Dish soap, dishwasher detergent, laundry soap, cake mix, flour, tooth paste, tooth brush, shampoo, conditioner, body soap, salad dressing, deodorant, razors, hair spray, hair color, make up, bathroom cleaner, furniture cleaner, cereals, oatmeal, crackers, butter, soup.... the list goes on and on and on and on. It sure made a huge difference in our grocery bill.

Funny thing is, many people are not willing to take advantage of it. I don't understand why. It takes less than 30 minutes to go through inserts and find the coupons I use and cut them up and put them in my coupon folder. I am not a hard core couponer, so I don't hunt deals like some ladies do. And I know I am missing out a lot of good deals, simply because I don't have time to do it. I still save a ton of money. I hope more people realize how much money they can save by using coupons and paying attention to deals.



Rite Aid this week

October 17th, 2007 at 10:25 am

It is an awesome week at Rite Aid. They have so many free stuff for cold related items. I already bought 8 of them, and will go back and see if they re-stocked items that were not in the shelf.

The beauty of Rite Aid rebate is, it's online. That means you can send the receipt for FSA reimbursement if you have a FSA money left over since most of them qualified as an over-the counter medicines. (It's too bad I spent all of my FSA fund between my dd's oral surgery and my crown....)

DD is now driving

October 15th, 2007 at 02:10 pm

DD took a driving test this morning, and passed! She is an official California driver now. No more driving her around. It feels strange....

KRAFT promo is still going on at Safeway, and it got better. Now, they're giving out a $4 catalina for cream cheese purchase.

I bought 6 tubs of cream cheese (8 oz)
$2 x 6 = $12
Less $4 from the Promo
and got $4 catalina.
Final price 67 cents per tub.

Time to make some cream cheese wonton!

How to make cream cheese wonton
You need: Square wrap, cream cheese, water, and some vegetable oil.

Scoop small cube of cream cheese and place it in the middle of a square wrap. Wet edge of wrap (water works as glue) and fold it in half. Deep fry till golden brown. Serve with Jalapeņo jelly while they're still warm.

Huuuuuge mistake

October 14th, 2007 at 09:18 pm

I didn't send rebate forms to Longs and Walgreens!!

This is the first time I missed the deadline, and I am kicking myself. I left these envelops in my car, and totally forgot about them. They were stamped and everything, and all I had to do was to drop them off the the mailbox.

Oh man.... I have been crazy busy but I need to calm down a little.

I returned some itesm to Longs, so I recovered the cost with them. I will have to go to Walgreens tomorrow, and return some items, too. Sigh....

Lessons learned. Don't be lazy and don't think "I will do it later."


The end of sale cycle this week

October 13th, 2007 at 10:03 pm

Today is the last day for this week's sale cycle.

I stopped by Longs Drug and got 4 more Vive Pro shampoo and conditiners. I also found a nice backpack with rollers for $6. This is exactly the kind I was looking for but didn't want to pay much for it. It was maked down 75% off, and of course I bought it. Finally, I have a decent backpack I can carry my textbooks.

Also stopped by Walgreens and bought 4 bags of candies for $1 each. (Snickers, Reese's, Milky way, and Kit Kat) I checked how much candies I have for Halloween, and looks like I accumulated enough.

I still may go and get a couple of more bags. $1 a bag won't hurt my wallet. And they don't expire any time soon.

They also had Thai Kitchen Pad Thai for $1. Used .50 coupon and bought them 50 cents each. They make nice quick lunch, and yummy.

I found four more Vive Pro coupons when I was looking for other coupons, but not really moticated to get more even they're free.....

Benefit enrollment season

October 12th, 2007 at 10:48 am

It's our benefit enrollment season and I'm thankful both my husband and I work for companies offer good benefit packages.

I set up a worksheet to see what is the best arrangement for us. Since both companies charge more to cover spouses who have the health insurance coverage from other source, my husband and I will use our own employer's benefits.

Yearly premium for my husband is $4,893 and he gets $3,939 credit from his employer. So, his out of pocket is $953 a year, about $40 per pay. ($80 per month because he gets paid twice a month.) We will only cover him with his plan because if he covers our daughter, our out of pocket will jump to $1,973 a year. That's $1,000 more a year.

My yearly premium covering my daughter and I is $7,239 and I get $6,582 credit from my employer. My yearly out of pocket is $656.5 for both of us. (DD & I)

All and all, medical insurance premium for three of us is $12,132. Less credit from our employers $10,522. Our out of pocket is $1,610 a year. ($134 per month) We can live with that, and I am very thankful for our employers for offering such great benefits.

I could not see my husband's other premiums (like dental and vision) because his enrollment doesn't start till next week. We need to sit down and figure out about other insurance and FSA as well.


One down, three more to go

October 11th, 2007 at 02:16 pm

I just came back from taking my philosophy mid-term. I like philosophy. It's so useless, and fun LOL All they do is saying this and that, and there's no right answers whatsoever. I wouldn't major it, but it's fun to take it as a general education subject.

Tax exam is next, then, cost accounting. The last one will be operations management. One down, three more to go.....

Lowest energy bill, ever!

October 11th, 2007 at 09:21 am

We just received our energy bill (both electricity & gas). My husband opened the envelop, and told me "You are not going to believe this." I was like, "What? What?"

The bill was $96 and this is the lowest as far as I can remember since we moved in this house!! I haven't seen two digits energy bill for a looong time. Thanks for nice weather (no A/C or heater needed) and we were careful about running a washier, dryer, dish washier, pool pump, etc.

This is a nice saving because I normally budget $250 for our energy bill. (Yes, that's our norm, and I talked to neighbors, and they're in the same range or even more.) Our DD is taking a driving test on Monday, so our insurance premium went up significantly. We also need to pay pro-rated premium for the remaining period, which is $557. We can use the savings from energy bill to pay a part of insurance premium.

KRAFT promo at Safeway

October 10th, 2007 at 04:28 pm

Safeway is running a KRAFT promo.

I bought:
Kraft American slice cheese $3 - 75 cpn
Cream cheese 8 oz - $2
Wheat thin $2 x 2 - .55 cpn
Total $9 - $1.3 cpn = $7.7
Less Kraft promo $4
Final price $3.7

I'm going back to get some more cream cheese. I will be using a lot of cream cheese as holiday season approaches, and $1 for 8 oz is a good price for me.

I checked the price at Super Walmart and their price was more than $1 for the same product.

Cream cheese $2 x 4 = $8
Less $4 from promo = $4
$1 each



401K return

October 9th, 2007 at 08:06 am

My 401K is doing pretty good. The return percentage normally picks up really good starting October. (The trend I noticed last few years.) My return so far is 11% this year, and I am happy about that. I'm not a risk taker, so I am diversifying my 401K balance to 10 different funds. Some good, some ok, but overall, 10% return is a good percentage for me.

It's amazing how money makes money. The return on my 401K has been better than my raise, so I really don't care about my meager raise anymore. Actually, a couple years ago, I didn't notice that I got a raise because the amount was so tiny LOL



Homecoming week

October 8th, 2007 at 11:46 am

This week is the homecoming week for our DD's high school. Students started constructing their float this Saturday, and pretty much finished on Sunday. That's pretty impressive because they have two more days (Tue & Thurs) for it, and the float looks really good.

Since our DD is in charge (she is the class president) of the event, it puts some burden on us as parents. We had to obtain some materials for the float. That means we had to pay for them first, then, get reimbursed. I know we will get a check from school in two weeks, but the amount is almost $400. Good thing we had some extra cash this month. Of course, we are not the only family who is supporting this activity. There are other families waiting to get reimbursement, too.

We are really proud of our DD putting all this together successfully, though. I just hope she will have nice memories from her high school days.





More free shampoo

October 8th, 2007 at 09:11 am

L'Oreal Vive pro shampoo & conditioner are buy one get one free this week at Longs Drug. I had a couple of coupons for them, so I went to get those. It is not like I need more shampoo.... I have enough to last next two or three years. But, holiday season is coming and I can use these to make a nice basket for "Adopt a family" program at work. (We adopt some underprivileged families, and donate goods necessary for their daily lives.)

I got two shampoos and two conditioners for free.

As usual, the cashier didn't know what to do with the coupon. He didn't even scan the coupon because he saw a store discount transaction. I explained to him the discount on the receipt is from store discount, and the coupon is for manufacture discount. I guess it was too difficult for him to understand. So, I called the manager, and she said "We will take it (the coupon) if it scans." The cashier scanned the coupon, and it beeped. So, I told him to enter the value of product. He did, and the coupon scanned just fine. Gee....

I have three more coupons for them, so six more free shampoos & conditioners.



Minor accident

October 6th, 2007 at 07:41 pm

Can I just say where did my time go?

We were supposed to get up before 7 today because DD had a marching band practice from 7. Well, we woke up at 7.... I drove her to school in my pajama, looking like, well, just woke up. When we got there, my friend looked at me, and said "I like your hair." LOL

Came home and my turn to leave for school. Guess what? I got in a minor car accident. I was waiting to make a right turn because the signal was red and waited cars to go by. Then, I felt "bump!" This woman behind me thought I left already and went forward, and hit my car. Fortunately, it was really minor and my car only got some scratches. Anyway, I asked her to show me her driver's license and got her name and address.

What bothered me a bit was when I asked her phone number, she gave her mom's phone number. (The lady is in her 40's!) I am really regret now that I didn't get her insurance information because I was in a hurry for my class, and, I was just not thinking through.

I will go to the auto body shop and get an estimate. One more thing to be added to my to do list Frown

Free water with Del Monte

October 5th, 2007 at 10:19 am

I went to Bel Air a couple of times to get some canned veggies. They are running "Buy 12 Del Monte and get a case of water free" promo. There are cans that have label with .45/2 cpn printed.

On my first trip, I found four cans that had a label with coupon printed.
Paid $7.20 (60 cents x 12) and received a catalina for a case of free water ($3.97 value) Thus, $3.23 is my final price for 12 cans of veggies, about 27 cents per can.

Then, I made a second trip with four coupons I cut out from label.
Paid $5.4 ($7.2 - $1.8 (4 x 45 cents coupons)) and received a catalina for a free case of water. This time, my out of pocket is $1.43 ($5.4 - $3.97), 12 cents per can.

Unfortunately, second store did not have many cans with labels with coupons. Well, they had some, but they were green beans and we don't eat them. So, I didn't get those.

I will probably stop by another store on my way home today to see if they have some.


Some deals etc.

October 3rd, 2007 at 09:23 am

Fiscal year end is over, and numbers are final. I can breath a little now.

I went to pay my tuition yesterday, and paid off the rest of installments. $693.

I came home, checked mail, and found a mailer from Safeway that had $10 off from $50 purchase coupon. I was going to go grocery shopping anyway. Whenever I get this type of store coupons, I buy things I cannot find coupons, such as vegetables and meat, etc. So, I bought chicken, ground beef, baby back ribs, some veggies, milk, and OJ.

For dinner, I cooked tilapia that I bought and prepared at the dinner prep place. I will not sign up this month because I could not find anything attracted me in this month's menu.

I also baked a loaf of cinnamon bread using muffin mix, some cookies, and pre-cooked spare ribs for today's dinner. I have a class tonight, so I had to prepare something last night. Otherwise, my DH will just order pizza or something.

Yesterday was also store flyer day. Not much in Save Mart nor Safeway. But, Raley's had some good deals. They are giving out a free case of water (24 bottles) with 12 Del Monte product purchase, and canned veggies (60 cents each) are included in their participating products. My daughter's school runs a can drive every year and I have to donate some canned food anyway. I was totally out of canned veggies, too. Time to stock these babies up!

Busy busy day

October 2nd, 2007 at 08:45 am

It was crazy busy yesterday. My company's fiscal year ended in September, and I had a lot of journal entries to do in order to expense many things. I started at 7:30 a.m. and couldn't take any break till 4 p.m. So, I ate my lunch at 4 p.m.... 25 cents Progresso soup comes handy in this type of occasion.

I also have school on Monday night, so I was at school from 6 to 9. I was exhausted by the time I got home.

It's time to make a to do list since I feel many things are slipping.

Things to do:
1. Send out rebate forms for Longs and Walgreens Due 10/6
2. Change an appointment for my daughter's driving practice
3. Obtain a passport application for my daughter
4. Order a birthday cake for my daughter
5. Pay tuition for my school Due 10/5
6. Order new contact lenses
7. Finish my tax project Due 10/8
8. Write about "supply chain mgmt" Due 10/5
9. Contact my partner about the debate for our philosophy class Debate on 10/25

Oh, I almost forgot, but Target have Gold Fish crackers for $1.25 this week. There's Target coupon for 50 cents off, and manufacture coupon to use with. Get some cheap Gold Fish.