Do you collect coupons, scour ads, print out online coupons, send in rebates, or avidly read your ValPack/Pennysaver circulars for ads? Do you buy and use entertainment books full of local coupons?
Do you find you actually use coupons, or forget about them until they expire? Is the time spend collecting and organizing worthwhile?
Each time I get an entertainment book I realize it’s been a waste of money for me. I never use anything in them, for some reason.
Coupon that show up in the mail I am pretty good at using. Right now I have one in front of me for getting a $5 item free at my thrift store for bringing in an unwanted Elephant Gift.
I also hand the fast food coupons to Dan, so he can grab food when he spends the day at cinemas getting PeeTimes for RunPee.com. He really appreciates those.
I have a stack of coupons for $2 pints of locally brewed beer at the Oak Creek Brewing Company in Sedona. I use those with my friend Chris regularly. I pulled them from the coupon pages in my phone book.
I have a $5 off pet food coupon from a Val-Pack, and a 10% additional payout for can recycling coupon, several car repair/oil change coupons and a pedicure coupon on my fridge.
I don’t really do grocery coupons (I always forget them), but these larger savings ones I do use.
I tape these things up where I can see them on my way through the house/by the door. I figure if I don’t actually use my coupons, they become a form of mind clutter. If I see them, there is a better chance I’ll use them. I try to only hold onto coupons I think will actually come in handy.
What are your favorite coupons to use? Do they save you actual money, or is coupon collecting a waste of time?Filed under Family Life, Frugal Living, Organization, mind clutter | Comments (9)
Today I went to my wonderful nearby thrift store, called, strangely, New Thrift Store (in Camp Verde, AZ, along Highway 260). This is honestly the coolest thrift shop I’ve ever been to outside of those Savers stores and this one HUGE Goodwill in Seattle. Nice people, funky wares, fun background music, interestingly personable displays. Tons of stuff packed into a few rooms. Definitely worth stopping by. Next time you are passing by, on your way home, to see friends or visit FoxyBingo , drop in.
You are bound to find something delightful!
I found myself some lovely, inexpensive goodies:
- Warm fuzzy jammies $2.50
- Fabric to make my meditation cushion $1.50
- Fabric to make into a bedroom curtain $1.50
- Warm microfiber sweats to wear around the house $2.50
- 3 comfortable long sleeved shirts that actually look good on (always a bonus) $2 each
- A tree branch lopper (these scrubby, thorny bushes around the house need work)$1
- Homeopathic Foot Massager/Heater (so I can keep my feet warm and enjoy a massage while at the computer in my cold kitchen) $4.50
- A nice REI sunhat $1.50
- AND a ’skiing’ workout machine thing I can use while on the computer or watching DVDs $12 (I’ve been looking for something like this)
- A large-slice ‘bagel’ toaster $2.50
I felt so happy while shopping. All the employees are friendly and helpful; they seem to like their jobs. I love that the thrift store has a “happy hour” from 3-6pm each day, where everything is half off. There are interesting specials going on all year, like an extra 15% off on your birthday, and a White Elephant Gift Exchange after the holidays (bring in something you got that you don’t like and exchange it for something from the store worth up to $5).
There is a large and comfortable dressing room for trying on clothes, a “Guy Stuff” section with electronics and sports, tons of inexpensive furniture, neat craft supplies in zip locks, and a large salvage type area outside where one can hunt around for all sorts of bizarre, possibly useful items (like my workout machine). Everything is extremely well labeled, often humorously so. Great store!
I like buying used, bottom line. I like knowing that these are things that won’t be in the trash stream and can continue to be enjoyed. I got good things for super cheap prices, and I can feel completely unguilty about my spending.
New Thrift Store, 1575 S. Roadrunner Lane, Camp Verde, AZ 928-567-5759. 9-6 daily, closed Saturday.Filed under Family Life, Frugal Living, green living | Comments (22)
I don’t do Christmas trees. It just seems like a lot of work each year, and I really don’t care about the holidays. I did hang up some white lights in the house, but not for xmas - just because I like it as indirect, romantic lighting. It stays up permanently.
What is different this year is that I was unpacking some things I had in storage here in AZ and came across a small handful of Xmassy things, like a Santa hat, a potholder with geese wearing Santa hats, some red fuzzy Christmas stockings, two little Elves that have been in my family since I was a tyke, and two green little jingle bells that someone gave me to wear from my ears (even though I do not have ears that are pierced). So I hung them along the kitchen railing that has some of my white lights.
And I also grabbed some mistletoe from a nearby tree and hung it in the doorway to kiss under.
So in spite of my complete lack of holiday spirit, I actually have a few things up this year after all.Filed under All About Me | Comment (0)
I know there are people who drink water from their tap, and I love living places where I can do that.
I had great water in Seattle, for example. In San Diego, tap water is virtually undrinkable. I have used Brita pitchers in the past, but at this point I live somewhere that the water is so mineralized that the Brita can’t handle it. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on gallons of bottled water (which also makes a lot of waste and isn’t eco-friendly), so Dan and I got 10 containers of a gallon each to fill with reverse osmosis water for 25 cents. We are pretty happy with this solution.
As a bonus, the water is so tasty we drink lots more of it than normally. Water is very very good for you.
One solution I have done in the past, which is my favorite, is to find a spring in the national forests to fill my water jugs for free. I don’t have one nearby right now, but I remember really enjoying doing that.
What do other people do? Do you drink tap water, visit springs, refill containers from machines, buy bottled water, use a Brita-like pitcher, or what? What would be your favorite solution? Do you care about the ecological impact of buying tons of water bottles?Filed under Frugal Living, green living | Comments (6)
I am trying to practice mindfulness in my life, but it’s tough when I constantly keep myself occupied with so many projects and interests. The days fly by and I only get any real alone time in the bathtub and on walks.
So I have been trying to meditate each day for five minutes. I know that is a short time, but it’s a good start for me. I don’t think I could really sit there still with empty thoughts for an hour or even half hour at this time. So for me, five minutes is a triumph.
I asked DH to do it with me each day. He figures he can take five minutes from his time to do something nice with me, so this was our third attempt today.
Each time I set up the timer for five minutes and sit quietly, I am surprised how quickly the time goes by. I always thought meditating would be soooo slooooooow and five minutes would seem like an hour.
So I am happy to report I am really enjoying this small time-out each day. I sit on a small pillow on my yoga mat, cross legged with my hands palm-up on my knees. Dan just sits near me and quietly stretches. I have a small Buddha set up nearby with some candles and incense, and also some smooth stones to hold if I want them.
I am thinking about making my own meditation pillow from some scrap fabrics at the thrift store, and also finding some meditation music to download.
Does anyone meditate? What do you do, set up, listen to, state at a candle, whatever? Eyes open, closed? Do you chant, think a mantra, try to empty your mind? Do you listen to music, have a sacred space set up, or combine meditation with yoga?
Or do people find the idea of meditating intimidating? I know I always did. That’s why I am am starting with small expectations. I want to set myself up for success.Filed under All About Me, yoga | Comment (1)