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Archive for June, 2012

Gotta love loyalty rewards!

June 27th, 2012 at 03:21 am

I am up to $92 in cash rebates on my loyalty visa. I put most of our purchases on that card now and pay it off before any finance charges are incurred. The card will pay 1% cash back up to $500 per year. If I hit the $500, I will switch over to the mileage card - which I earned enough points for my flight to Alaska in August. Big Grin In addition to the 1% cash back, I get about 10% off everywhere I shop because of the relationship the credit union has with the merchant.

The store I usually shop at offers $ off on gas for points. I usually save at least 10 cents off per gallon at each fill up. THEN, they send a rebate for purchases. Today I used two of the loyalty coupons...$2 off meat and $2 off veggies...plus $8.62 off any purchase as a loyalty rebate to my purchases last month.

My job gives me 10% of all interest earned/paid each year as a loyalty rebate...which was about $300 last year.

I love being paid for my loyalty to places.

Alaska airlines rewards the hub with free upgrades and flights because of his loyalty.

Kohls rewards me with 30% off occasionally coupled with Kohls cash.

Of course, I try to always balance loyalty with the best deal. Sometimes, being loyal doesnt make sense if there is a killer deal somewhere else. However, when all things are equal, I go with loyalty.

Loyalty pays...and I love reaping the rewards.


Fast weekend...

June 25th, 2012 at 01:59 am

Is it really Sunday night already? This weekend flew by...Im not so sure I am ready to go back to work tomorrow!

The hub and I are pooped, so we ordered a delivery pizza for dinner tonight. Not cheap, ($30) but certainly easy. He still is mixed up on days and nights, he has been up since 2am. I hope he catches up tonight now that we are home alone.

This is going to be a busy week at work. Lots of early meetings all week. The good thing is when the hub is home, dinner is taken care of and I can take leftovers for lunch.

I mentioned that we went to Kohls yesterday and used the Kohls cash...our portion was $4 after sales, etc...when we finished checking out the associate said, "You saved $76 dollars today"...for a pair of shorts and a shirt...Markup on clothes is ridiculous. Thank goodness for sales, coupons, and Kohls cash.

We almost have the meetup next month finalized. I am really looking forward to it. Smile I am eager to meet my cyber buddies...

Kohls Cash

June 24th, 2012 at 01:25 am

I had $30 in Kohls cash from last week. The hubs ears perked up when I mentioned it...so one of the errands we ran this afternoon was to Kohls since the cash was expiring today. He found sales on a nice shirt for work and a new pair of shorts. The total for both was $34 or $4 out of pocket. Besides carhart pants and cold weather gear, he rarely gets new clothes, so it was great to see him interested in getting something. (especially since it deviated from jeans and tshirts like he normally wears!!)



Wrapping up a busy, blessed week.

June 24th, 2012 at 01:01 am

The hub is safely home and the kids are wrapping up a fun week with us. I am so blessed.

The hub has his days and nights completely mixed up. He woke up at 3 this morning and went to the gym and then did some grocery shopping. Now he is asleep. The grandbabies are snacking on watermelon while I heat dinner (some chicken nuggets, mini-corn-dogs and veggies. I have loved having them here, but the hub is ready for a quiet house tomorrow. That is bittersweet to me. But I will see them again next month when we head down for the SA Meetup.

The hub and I did get out a little while this afternoon by ourselves. Dd3 came over to see the kids..so we went to grab a quiet bite to eat. We discussed finances. While he is working 3/3 (three weeks on/three weeks off) we need to cut his monthly allowance back a little. He is fine with that. The 4/2 allowance is $300 more...but 3/3 doesnt really allow that much extra. I was worried he wouldnt agree, but he is fine with it. He still gets money for gas, house repairs for the 2nd house, allowance and $100 towards his goal of saving $1000. Once he goes back on 4/2 we will bump him back up for added savings towards his toys (or whatever)

Once dinner is done, its bath time, book time, and then bed time. I will miss our routine and all the sweet smiles that go along with it.

Life is sweet.

Pinch me!

June 22nd, 2012 at 01:07 am

What working woman doesnt LOVE to come home to a house cleaned by someone else? Today, my daughters cleaned the house while I was at work. What a wonderful surprise to come home to!!! DD1 wanted the Sac babies to spend one more night at her house with the cousins tonight...and DD3 wants to pick her dad up at the airport at midnight. SO...I am home, no one to take care of, clean house and dont have to get up at midnight...and I have a three day weekend ahead. Uh, OH YEAH....This is one happy gramma.

The Sac babies will be here an extra day, so letting them go tonight was not too hard. :/

The hub asked to hang out at home this rotation and not plan any trips. Primarily because he has about 5 firewood orders he needs to fill, one of them is for 6 cords. So, we dont have any plans. The extra money from the wood business will be extra savings. He is partnering with a friend that owns a log truck, so the log loads are really inexpensive...alot of it just a barter for work on the log truck. He will probably earn an extra $2000 in the next 3 weeks. The hub is a hard worker..thats for sure.

Not much else happening tonight. Life is good!




The happenings...

June 21st, 2012 at 03:28 am

After a night with FIVE grandbabies last night, I am home alone tonight. Wowza. I am too old to work a long, stressful day, come home to 5 kiddos (8, 4,3,2,1) and then get up and go to work again the next morning...I totally get why we have our babies young. Big Grin

I had my mid year eval this week. This is the first by my new boss. The news was good - things are going above expectations in all areas..even exceptional in a few. They have really had to ponder my request to be moved to mid-point on the salary scale..but after 6 months of observation, she is willing to go to bat for me. If it is approved, this will be an awesome increase for me. I wont know for a few weeks, but I am more hopeful now than ever. It is always nice to hear you are doing a good job though.

I am focusing on paying for the Alaska trip without dipping into savings. I have shaved everywhere I can on the budget, and it looks like we will be successful on this goal. However, between now and August, we have to watch extra spending. The trip itself is paid for. Because of our mileage plan, my flight was only $10. I just want to make sure to save enough for fun and food.

I am really looking forward to planning the San Fran meetup next month. DD3 and I will head out...and spend the night with my son and DIL...then leave Friday morning, swing by and pick up Laura (FrugalTexan) and meetup with some SA friends in San Fran...have a blast...then maybe head over to San Jose to visit the Winchester House..heading back we will drop Laura back off... and then head home...This trip might require a little dip into savings..but it is something I really want to do. DD3 is looking forward to it too.

Tomorrow is my Friday. Tomorrow night the hub gets home (midnight)and on Friday, we are taking my Sacramento grandbabies and spending the day enjoying them. Sadly, they go back home on Sat. I have really enjoyed having them here. They are so precious.

I feel so blessed. Life, is very very good!

Grandbabies and SA Meetup

June 19th, 2012 at 02:53 am

We got back from Sac safely with my grandkids. They are so fun. Saturday night all the cousins were here to play. They have missed each other so much. Sunday, I dropped them off with their other grandparents to go camping and they are still there. They should be back tomorrow for a night...and then off to another gramma on Wed and Thur. Busy, busy babies.

Between the gas to and from, pizza for all the cousins, aunts and uncles, and food for the week...Ive busted the budget for the week. But it is money more than well spent.

The hub is home on Thursday for three weeks and then I leave for San Fran to meet up with some of our SA buddies! I am excited to know that our meetup is still happening.

While we are there, we hope to see some San Francisco sites and maybe? make it down to the Winchester House in San Jose. A little mini vaca for DD3 and me.

If we plan it right, we will only have to pay for a hotel one night. The other nights we can spend with my son and DIL.

This is turning out to be a fun, busy summer. Big Grin

Grandbabies coming for a visit!

June 15th, 2012 at 03:08 am

I am driving down to Sac to pick up my grandkids (4 and 2) tomorrow. Their parents, my son and dil are going to Vegas to celebrate their 7 year anniversary this weekend. I get to bring the babies back with me to spend a week here. I am not looking forward to 10 hours in the car, but I am really looking forward to the week ahead with the kids!!

DD3 and I will drive down tomorrow and home on Sat morning.

Work has been crazy the past two weeks because we have had the federal examiners on site doing the annual exam. Today we learned the preliminary results...we improved significantly from last year!! Yay. This was my first exam as a the risk manager over compliance, so it it a huge relief that it went as well as it did. I feel like I can breathe again!
Tomorrow is my mid year review...so the timing is good for this news. I am eager to see how my new boss thinks things are going.

Tomorrow is payday for both the hub and I. I actually have the budget figured out through December, so I know exactly where it is going. This month, we get extra pay...but next month we have too few payday Fridays.... Budgeting for three weeks on, three weeks off is tricky if youre not careful. Just to be sure I budget correctly, I budget at least 3-4 months in advance. I get paid every other Friday..which helps with budgeting. But it really is tricky with three on, three off.

I am reading a new book on the kindle - a book called On the Island. It got good reviews on Amazon. So far it is really good. I hope on the drive this weekend, I will have some time to read.

Not much else...life is good!!!


Kohls Deals!

June 10th, 2012 at 11:16 pm

I took advantage of my 30% off Kohls coupon today. I finally broke down and bought 3 new pair of slacks for work. (I have worn the same pair for years, just washed and wore day after day...they looked nice, and were black- went with everything...) But they were looking tired..so it was time. I also picked up two new camp shirts for the hub. Plus I got a new top. Everything was on sale already, but the bill came to over $200 (before sales it came to $325) and then I got the 30% off....ended up paying $142. AND I got $30 in Kohls cash to use next week. Big Grin Gotta love Kohls deals.

I am going to my daughters tonight for a belated birthday dinner. She and my SIL are making me chicken picatta!! I am such a lucky mom.

Aside from shopping, I have been home today catching up on laundry and housework. You would think there wouldnt be so much with just me..but with a lab, a cat and lots of grandkid visits...I had plenty to stay busy with. But, now the house looks pretty good to start the week off with!!

This has been a fun, relaxing weekend. Life is GOOD.

New Steamer...clean floors!!

June 10th, 2012 at 02:31 am

This weekend I am home alone. The hub is in Alaska..and the kids have been in and out to visit, but no one has stayed. So, I am taking advantage of the quiet.

Earlier, I cooked a batch of pasta and tossed it with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, capers and italian dressing. I made a big batch so there would be plenty of leftovers. I might pick up some salami to toss into it tomorrow...but it is actually very good as is. THis was lunch and dinner today...and I will have plenty for a few more meals.

I just finished scrubbing the kitchen floor. I got a floor steamer on sale ($79) and it cleans using only water/steam..which I like. It cleans quick and easy- so a good purchase for me. Normally, I mop with hot soapy water, rinse and dry....takes forever. This did a better job in a fraction of the time and not near the effort. The older I get, the more my back complained.....Why did I hold out so long on doing this???

I have a 30% off coupon at Kohls and they have the nice 'camp' shirts that the hub wears once in a while. Normally $49 on sale for $23 plus an extra 30% off...so I will go pick 2-3 up for him tomorrow. The last time we bought him any was before we went to Puerta Vallarta in 2009...so, its time. Smile

Next weekend I am heading down to Sacramento to pick up my grandbabies. They will spend a week up here with gramma Ray. Their mom and dad (my son and DIL), are going to Vegas for their wedding anniversary. This is is their 7 year anniversary and they havent done a trip since they got married, so I am happy to help so they can go.

DD1 and her hub are making me dinner tomorrow night (belated birthday)..chicken picatta. I am really looking forward to it. When the hub is gone, I tend to eat light and easy...so I appreciate an opportunity for a nice meal!! And Chicken picatta is my fav!! I think I will take my old ipod over and have my SIL load some music onto it for me. I used to have some on it, but it got erased over a year ago and has just sat since. He is a DJ, so he has a huge collection to pull from. Hopefully, he will be willing to do it. I would love to use the ipod again. The ipod was purchased by my job to listen to books on...and is no longer used at work...so it was free to me. Smile Might as well use it!!

Last week, we had fed examiners in at my job. Fairly stressful week...and they are back this next week. So far, everything has gone great...I hope next week is more of the same. I will be ready for the weekned next Friday!!

Life is good. Smile



A mini detour today-

June 4th, 2012 at 04:07 am

I had a wonderful birthday today. It didnt turn out as I had planned, but sometimes the detours are what life is all about.

DD2 is struggling financially, and had an opportunity to pick up some extra hours at work...but she needed a sitter for our little foster guy. So, he came and spent the morning with me. He is almost 17 months now and has been part of the family for over a year. He is such a happy toddler. He isnt walking well yet- he is scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday to determine whats up...the Dr suspects some brain damage...but he can toddle a little 5-6 steps at a time. He hardly ever fusses...he has these huge blue eyes and his smile melts my heart. He doesnt smile or laugh easily, but when he does...it is beautiful. So he and I played this morning. Im not sure how long we will have him..or whether or not he will remember Gramma Ray when he grows up....but I will certainly remember him.

I did clean my car and washed the seats, etc. It always feels so nice to have a nice clean car to start the week. (did it myself, so it was free!)

My friend and her family invited me over to dinner. They made a special dinner for me...bbq brisket, corn on the cob, watermelon, yummy bread..it was really good..it was so sweet of them.

All in all, an awesome day...and weekend!

Free is good

June 2nd, 2012 at 12:29 am

The mother of a girl I work with loves to garden. She starts LOTS of plants and then enjoys giving the extras away. She started over 10 varieties of tomato plants and gave away over 100 plants. I said I would like a variety, surprise me...and so she gave me one of each. So I have 10 tomato plants..I will share with my daughter and a friend and keep 3-4 myself. That is WAY more tomatoes than I can eat, so once fruit starts ripening, I will take to work and share. Ive never canned, but I might check into it to see if it is something I want to try. Canning has always looked intimidating to me.

A couple of years ago I got a mileage credit card and have used it to pay for the hubs airline tickets. After the trip to Boston, I have enough miles for a free ticket...so, I booked a flight to Alaska to meet up with hub and do some sight-seeing in August. The ticket was $10. We are going to go on a mini day cruise to see glaciers and take the train to see the country. Hopefully we can get lots in on a budget- he has had good luck getting discounts in AK because he is a slope worker, so I hope that works while we are there...if not, it will just wipe out the vacation budget for the rest of the year...but oh how fun.

A couple of my co-workers surprised me by whisking me out of the office this afternoon and going to a nail salon for a pedicure. My birthday is Sunday, so this was their gift to me. What a fun afternoon it was. I feel so pampered!!! I havent had a pedicure in over a year...so it was wonderful.

Now, I am enjoying a quiet night at home. Life is good!!