If you participated in last month’s Reorganization Challenge, Spring cleaning will be easy to tackle.
Like many east-coasters, we’ve prepared for the storm of a life-time… FRANKENSTORM!!! Today is the third day of rain, but the winds have now started. According to the weather channel we may even get up to a foot of rain. Living on a hill, the flooding isn’t our main concern (our local news said it shouldn’t be as bad as last year’s flooding).
Our main priority is being prepared for the power outages. The local company called all the customers and said that repairs may take a week! YIKES! For us, no electric means no water, no heat, nothing…
How did we prepared?
Use it before you lose it! I tried to get all the dishes, laundry and vacuuming done. Need to be prepared for a week w/out electric! Also, I took two HOT showers yesterday wondering if it would be my last chance.
H2O With so much rain, you’d think that water would be the least of our concerns, but we have plenty of drinking water available. Don’t forget to factor in your pets when thinking about how much water to reserve.
To flush or not to flush? Without electric we won’t be able to draw water. I filled both bathtubs with water, so we have a supply for flushing… and washing anything that we might need.
Eggs, Milk and Bread? I’ve always thought stocking up on these items before any storm was crazy. Seriously, do I want MORE items spoiling in my fridge? My pantry already has many canned items, all of which I could heat up on our gas grill burner or over a campfire. When I went to the store, I bought fruits and vegetables that don’t need to be refrigerated. I did relent to Hubster and bought the cup of noodles he misses from his single days. One more important item to have… toilet paper! Plus there’s a bowl of Halloween candy by the door!
Wet Wipes I think not being able to shower for a week would be terrible, so we have plenty of antibacterial wet wipes just incase!!!
Gassed Up! All three of our vehicles are filled up, just incase…
Disposable Items Sorry, but I don’t want dishes stacking up when there’s no electricity… And I’d prefer to use my water reserve for flushing.
Paper vs. Plastic In our plastic society, we often forget to carry cash. Struggling to remember my pin number, we withdrew some cash to have on hand.
Let there be light! We have candles, lighters, and matches all handy. Couldn’t find any of our flashlights though…
Charged and ready! We charged our essentials… cell phones, portable DVD player, iPods, etc… (don’t judge!)
Items Secured Our patio furniture is already away for the season, but we did need to move the trash cans into the garage. I placed a large rock on top of the compost bin, so the lid wouldn’t blow away.
Keeping warm! Our coal stove needs electric for the exhaust fan to run. So we have extra blankets on the beds and couch… and I’m sure Hubster and I can come up with some other ways to keep warm.
Books, Beer & Wine Enough said…
How we want to be prepared for future storms: Oil lamps (As a kid, I loved using my mother’s oil lamps during thunderstorm blackouts), kerosene heater or backup generator (we always had gas heat before and never had to worry when there was a power outage)…
Anyone in the storm’s path, please be safe!!!
Batten down the hatches!!! How do you get ready for major storms? Please share your tips/tricks!
PS – Hubster said that he got his crossbow ready incase it all turns into a zombie apocalypse!
2011, the year where Extreme Couponing had its own show. I don’t clip many coupons, since I don’t buy many prepackaged food items (except when pasta is on sale 10 for $10 and I have a lot of $1/1 coupons… yay, free pasta!) and I usually buy generic brands. My extreme couponing takes on a slightly different meaning.
This is my top 8 tips:
J.C. Penny had quite a year of deals for me!
In March their circulars had a one day sale with a $10 coupon off any purchase (including sale & clearance items) $10 or more… I grabbed a stack of circulars (the sale was ending in two hours) and went to town. I checked out merchandise 6 different times (I would’ve continued but I had an appointment to get to), making sure my purchases were no more than $12. I spent a total of $9 to purchase Hubster 3 new polo shirts, 3 sweaters for myself and a few candles for the home
In April they mailed a similar coupon, and I received two in the mail! I got Pumpkin two nice shirts, and only spent $1!
I got similar coupons throughout the year!!!
Victoria’s Secret loves to send out free panty coupons paired with a $10 off a bra purchase coupon. The trick is to get the free panty and not spend money on a new bra. The values for the free panties run $8.50 – $10.50. This year I scored more than one a month, totaling over… $150 of free undies! Once upon a time I used to spend too much money in this store, now they’re paying me back.
Fresh Step cat litter offers Paw Points for each purchase, which you save to earn items for your cat. Luckily, my grandmother saved her points for me (or it would’ve taken me 5 years) and I earned a pet drinking fountain, $25 value. Plus, I got a one-year free subscription to some of my fav’ magazines! Just for cutting out a piece of cardboard!
Bed Bath & Beyond has been my biggest source of free items this past year. I have a BB&B Mastercard when I earn gift cards (which don’t expire) to spend in their store. I used instead of my check card to pay for co-pays, groceries, gas, everyday items and paid it off every month (I firmly believe you shouldn’t carry a balance on a credit card or purchase items that you don’t already have the money to pay for). I earned on average $20-$30 or more a month to spend! When we moved into our apt, I received a 20% off entire purchase. When we moved into our house we received it again… They often send out coupons for 20% one item or a $5 off a $15 purchase and paired with my credit card rewards gift cards, you can’t go wrong!
I scored 6 parson dining chairs ($400 in-store price) for a grand total of $75, and that included shipping!
Oil rubbed bronze bathroom accessories: 2 waste baskets, 1 Q-tip holder, and 2 toothbrush holders I spend $4
2 free Copco mugs & 3 free lunch bags
Plus I have more rewards waiting to be spent!
CVS – Extra Bucks are fantastic and there are so many was to earn them… I was strolling through the store while waiting for a prescription to fill, and I saw a 20 oz. can of cashews of clearance for $6. I scan my card at the kiosk and saw that I have $6 Extra Bucks waiting for me. Over a pound of free cashews? You can’t beat that!
Pairing in-store sales with product coupons, I’ve scored many quality beauty items at almost no cost or even free!
Coupon Sites – There are tons of website advertising deals and coupon match ups for all different stores, Groupon, CouponMom, MamaCheaps, etc… Find a few sites that you like and like them on FB, then you don’t need to keep checking the site, they’ll pop up when you’re on FB. I really like Thrifty Wifey (yes, the name did it for me). The site helped me get Hubster a fantastic shop vac that we desperately needed for 50% off!
RedBox or Block Buster Express – We canceled our Netflix this summer. When Hubster wants a movie, he doesn’t want to wait two days for it, so we’re lucky that our town has two RedBox kiosks and a Block Buster Express. A simple google search will give us free rental codes. You can only use the code once per credit/check card. So we swipe Hubster’s check card, then mine, then his credit card, then mine and then we retire the code once we’re out of cards to swipe. Then we google a new code, afterall 3-4 movies per week can really add up…
Weis Gas Rewards – Many grocery stores have different gas incentive programs. At our local grocery store, you get 10¢ off per gallon for every $50 you spend. You rack up your gas points for three months and then get to redeem them at a Sheetz gas station. Pus you get an additional 3¢ off per gallon when you use your Sheetz Rewards card. You can fill up your vehicle, up to 20 gallons. If your car doesn’t hold 20 gallons, you can fill up your second vehicle with the remaining gallons on the same day. This summer I saw a man fill up his SUV completely free, and I knew it was time to make Weis my main grocery store. Even if you’re extreme couponing you’ll add up some gas rewards to use.
Now if only I could use all these deals to pay off my college loans!
Happy New Year! May the New Year bring you love, happiness, good health and a little extra cash in your pocket!
What is your favorite money-saving store, site or tip?
Naughty or Nice? I’m getting coal for Christmas!
I’ve been tying up some loose ends before Christmas. No new recipes or crafting… some repeats of my favorite though. I thought it would be appropriate to share Hubster’s weekend project, since it’s been way to long since I have.
When we purchased our house we got a really awesome coal stove with it. The previous owner kept the pile of coal on the basement floor. We wanted a coal bin… on wheels… One Hubster could slide over, add the chute to fill and the roll back in place. So we needed heavy-duty castors for the bottom. The bin is bigger than the size recommended for a ton, but Hubster just wanted to make it a little bigger.
I’m really excited about the coal, it means I have a good excuse to have it extra toasty warm this winter… now we just need to get the coal.
What project has your loved one completed recently?
Every thing is packed up and ready to go… the key is in our hands, but we have a few things to do first. I’m a planner; I like everything laid out & prepared and sometimes I over think things. I am flexible, but the Girl Scout in me is always prepared…
#1 ICE (In Case of Emergency) & Other Numbers
Have emergency contacts ready, you never know what might happen. Know where the closest hospital with emergency room is located. If you have pets, have a new veterinarian ready and an emergency center if separate. Do you know who your new family doctor and dentist will be? Get referrals from your current doctor/dentist before you move. Have a takeout menu for at least one good local restaurant.
#2 Flea Bomb
The previous owners are supposed to have had the carpets cleaned before they left (even though eventually we’ll be ripping them out). My Dad gave us this good tip: Since the previous owners had a dog and cat, flea bomb it (after all it is summer). Especially since we have our own dog and cat. So after closing yesterday, we set up a few flea bombs and headed for the hills.
#3 Clean, Clean, Clean
Hubster thinks I’m a little crazy and obsessive with this one, “Why do you want to wipe the walls, we’re just going to paint over them.” Sorry Hubster, but I just need to make sure every nook and cranny is cleaned first. Get the scrubbing done now and then cleaning will be easier to maintain… I’ve got a huge box of cleaning supplies ready to work wonders.
#4 Stock Freezer
Who has the time or money to keep eating out when you’re moving? Or the time to cook? I’ll have more on this tomorrow.
#5 Spackle, Sand & Paint
We have to agree on colors? Again? At least we know what our furniture and drapes look like, so we don’t clash.
#6 Update Important Information
With a plethora of paperwork and documentation, it’s hard to keep it all straight.
What else did you do before moving in to a new home?
We sold our home last autumn and have rented an apartment while continuing our search for our dream home. We ‘ve been living with the bulk of our possessions packed away in storage, I always needed another item that was hidden in the back. Meanwhile, we spent many, many hours with our patient realtor.
I’ve been reviewing my moving tips about packing boxes and suitcases, because it has come to that time where we are officially homeowners again! I wanted to wait until we closed to post anything, afraid that something would fall through last-minute.
Our house will need a lot touch ups, updating & landscaping, but it has a great layout and flow about it. Some of my favorites? The two-story entry, the master bath, and oh, did I mention the breath-taking view?
Over the next month, my posting may become sparse again. I’m not sure how long we’ll be without internet, but I’m hoping to avoid a hiatus by filling my queue each time I’m near a computer. We have our apartment until the end of the month when everything will need to be moved into our new home. We’d like to be able to clean and paint everything before we move the boxes and furniture. We’re hoping on being able to move everything in one trip; with a large moving truck, our car, SUV & trailer filled to the brim.
Did I mention that our next month is filled with birthdays, showers and weddings??? Hopefully we’ll get a lot done this summer, before school starts again in August.
What joys do you have this (almost) summer day?