Caregivers Marketplace rebate program
May 31, 2008, 12:23 pm
Filed under: Rebates

If you buy personal care products such as Huggies diapers, Nature Made vitamins, Ensure, Gold Bond, and Icy Hot, then you may be interested in the Caregivers Marketplace rebate program. You can buy the products mentioned above (plus many more listed at their website) at any store for any price and receive cash back for your purchases. While the program was originally set up for caregivers, anyone can utilize this money saving resource.

You must purchase five participating products before you can request your rebate check, so make sure you keep your receipts in a secure place. From time to time I purchase Nature Made vitamins and, from now on, I’ll be sure to keep track of how many bottles I’ve bought plus their corresponding receipts.


No deals this week
May 30, 2008, 7:54 pm
Filed under: Deals, Rebates

Sometimes, the best way to save money is to not spend any at all.

I didn’t go to any drug stores this week because none of the deals really wowed me. Plus, we have a good supply of all the essentials right now, so I really didn’t want to buy yet another tube of toothpaste, even if it was free.

Jake and I didn’t get much at Kroger this week either; we only picked up a few small things. I threw away a bag of lettuce and two packages of pita bread a few days ago because they went bad before we could eat them. Throwing away food is a very obvious sign that we have enough food and there’s no reason to buy more when it will only wind up in the trash. I really wanted to try out a farmer’s market this week, but tossing that food made me think that maybe next week will be a better time.

So, sorry to disappoint, but I don’t have any spectacular deals to report this week. I am planning on picking up my free after rebate bottle of Wishbone Bountifuls before the 1st though.

Milk upgrade
May 29, 2008, 10:57 pm
Filed under: Food

While Jake and I were at Kroger the other day, we stumbled across milk that was reduced for quick sale. The milk was in glass bottles and came from a local farm. We decided to purchase it since we needed milk and we figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it out.

The milk is amazing. It is so creamy it actually tastes like real milk, as opposed to the watery tasting Kroger brand milk. Did I mention it’s hormone free? I also love the fact that it comes from a local farm so we’re supporting the local farmers and local economy by purchasing it. Additionally, the glass bottles reduce waste since they can be reused over and over again. We do have to pay a $2 deposit for each bottle, but we get the money back when we return the bottles.

Perhaps the best part about the milk is that it only costs an extra $.40 a bottle (compared to Kroger brand milk) when it’s not on clearance. We’re gladly making the frugal choice and paying the few extra cents to take advantage of all the local milk’s benefits.

Check and see if your grocery store offers milk from local farms. Give it a try if it’s not too expensive. Chances are, you won’t go back!

Vehicle registration renewal
May 28, 2008, 7:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I got a notice from the Virginia DMV stating that my car is up for renewal at the end of July. At first glance, this wasn’t really interesting, but I read some more of the letter and I discovered that the DMV will charge you an extra $5 for going to one of their centers to renew your registration. Virginia is passing a law in July that makes this possible in the hopes of cutting down on the amount of people who visit the DMV centers, saving time and money for everyone. You can renew your registration online, by phone, or by mail in order to avoid this extra fee. If you renew online, you get an extra $1 off your registration ($2 if you renew for two years).

I was going to renew online anyway, but now I’m thinking about renewing my registration online for two years so I can just get it out of the way and not have to worry about it every year. Also, it looks like there was a proposal to increase the registration fee by $10, so if I pay for two years, I could possibly avoid paying an extra $10 for the second year.

So, if I renew my vehicle registration online for two years, I will save the following:
$10 ($5 per year for renewing at a DMV center)
+$2 (incentive for renewing online)
+$10 (if the proposed registration increase passes legislation)
For a total of $22. Not too bad for paying for something that’s required by law.

I think it’s very interesting that the tendency to do things online is so strong that they are willing to penalize people who choose to do things the “old fashioned” way, i.e., in person. It certainly is a sign of the times.

Please keep in mind that this information is only relevant to Virginia residents.

Free movies all summer long
May 27, 2008, 1:52 pm
Filed under: Frugality, Movies

Regal Cinemas is offering a Free Family Film Festival every Tuesday and Wednesday morning throughout the summer. See if any of your nearby movie theatres are participating by selecting your state at the website.

I still haven’t gotten around to seeing Shrek the Third or Wallace and Gromit, so maybe I’ll be able to catch them on the big screen for free this summer.

Toll booth trick
May 26, 2008, 11:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The next time you throw your change in the exact change bin on a toll road or bridge, be sure to check the return change tray for any change people may have forgotten to pick up. You won’t hit the jackpot, but you may get the amount you paid for the toll back.

30 Days
May 25, 2008, 11:08 pm
Filed under: Movies

Jake asked me to check out the first season of the television show 30 Days from the library. While I greatly enjoyed the documentary Super Size Me, for some reason, I just wasn’t overly excited to see 30 Days. I scanned the episode listing and two caught my eye: “Minimum Wage” and “Off the Grid.”

In “Minimum Wage,” Morgan and his fiancee, Alex, live on minimum wage for 30 days. They started off on one week’s minimum wage salary ($300) without any access to their credit cards or any of their previous money. By the end of the first day they found an affordable apartment in a bad neighborhood and by the end of day two, they both got minimum wage paying jobs. They quickly discovered, of course, that it was nearly impossible to survive on $5.15 an hour. A few stifling medical bills (they had no health insurance) and a visit from Morgan’s niece and nephew pushed them into the red. Yet another great demonstration of the challenges facing today’s working poor.

In “Off the Grid,” two coworkers live at Dancing Rabbit, an ecovillage in Missouri, for 30 days. They were off the grid in respect that they did not use any electricity or fossil fuels. They learned how to install solar panels, recycle their own feces, and live in a self-sustaining community. This episode really got me thinking about converting my car to run on vegetable oil and how possible it would be to get solar panels installed whenever we buy a home. Environmentally friendly and frugal? Yes, please. If a whole community can do it, then certainly a single couple can. 

While I did enjoy watching these episodes, the fact that these two concepts, living on minimum wage and living in an environmentally responsible way, are so outlandish that it made for good TV saddens me. Far too many people live on minimum wage while far too few devote their time to reducing their ecological footprint.