Monday, February 27, 2012

Coupon Pondering

Compared to other people who I follow on the internet, I am a weak couponer.  But I was pretty happy to save $16.97 today including a pillow I found on sale AND had a 20% off coupon for.  I could do tons better with my shopping and I do try to stay on top of the coupons but I haven't started the shopping 2-3 different stores to get the absolute best deals which is mainly because I normally shop on the way home from work on Mondays.

I am a tich ticked off at Target where I usually shop right now because they HAD Welches Fizz grape drink a couple of weeks ago and this is the second week in a row that they don't have any in stock and my coupon expires soon.  I think maybe because there was both a Target Coupon and a Manufacturer's Coupon and so people were able to get it for FREE, Target just decided to not restock it until after the coupons have expired. *sigh  And I am sure that the folks from Target would tell you that that simply isn't true but this has happened in the past with products that you could end up getting free/really, really low priced.  For a while, they had Ozarka Sparkling Water out of stock which was, coincidentally, at a time when there were coupons that were buy one, get one free AND a coupon for $1/1 so you got 2 bottles of Sparkling Water for free.  Now, I know some people probably only buy a product when they can get it free like that but the reality for me (since I don't have a SodaStream even though I DESPERATELY want one) is that I will buy the Sparkling water at it's normal price (albeit grudgingly).  I will buy more of it if I have ANY coupon for it (even the 50 cents off two that I used today is still SOMETHING).

I think one of the things that gets coupon users a bad reputation is the people who go in and only get what they can for free. And I'll be clear about this, there is NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT but I think it leaves the cashiers feeling like the store isn't making any money (because they don't understand how the store DOES get paid for those coupons) and so they get a little surly towards all coupon users.  The other people that become an issue are the folks who go through the store removing coupons from items they aren't even buying (I actually saw a woman one day at Target take ALL OF THE COUPONS OFF THE MEAT IN THE MEAT DEPARTMENT... meat she wasn't even buying....)  And you know what? I haven't seen a coupon on meat at Target since then (thankfully, I eat pretty much salads and smoothies these days, so I don't buy much/any meat).

There are things that I like that, without coupons, are cost prohibitive.  For example, Starbucks Double Shots (sold in small cans, in 4-packs).  The shelf price was something like $5.79.  That's something I will usually pass up no matter how much I like them because I just can't justify almost $6 for 4 small cans, but today I had a $2/1 coupon and I bought them because with the coupon, the cans were less than a dollar apiece. 

Many times I will try a new product that I might not have tried if I have a coupon.  Philadelphia Cooking Creme is one such product.  A while back I had a coupon for it AND I had a recipe that someone said it worked well with.  I might not have tried it but the coupon made the product a low enough risk that if I didn't like it I wouldn't feel I'd wasted a lot of money.  Turns out it DOES work very well in that recipe.

Unfortunately, there is no coupon for a good night's sleep.  I'd pay to get one of those! And it is way past bedtime so goodnight and happy bargain hunting!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate with Truffle Filling

The lovely people at SheSpeaks sent me some delicious Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate with Truffle Filling.

Ghirardelli makes some awesome chocolate and this product just continues to fuel my love for what they do.  They have several kinds of  Filled Squares in their product lineup and I have yet to try one that I didn't love. However, I am now a huge fan of the Milk Chocolate with Truffle Filling because they're good for my diet.

I can see you rolling your eyes in disbelief and thinking I am nuts for saying that CHOCOLATE is GOOD for my diet. Let me explain...

I can break one of these squares into four pieces.  And they are so deliciously chocolatey that I really only need to eat one to feel like I've had delicious chocolate and have satisfied my chocolate craving. Could I sit and eat the entire bag in one sitting? ABSOLUTELY.. but they are too good to wolf down without savoring and if you can enjoy a treat and not go crazy, so much the better. 

If you are not a Milk Chocolate lover, don't despair.  They make a Dark Chocolate with Truffle Filling Square, too.

I was thrilled, when I went to San Francisco a few years ago, to get to go to Ghirardelli's store there.  If you ever have the chance to go to one of their stores, take the opportunity.  I had actually been introduced to Ghirardelli chocolate back in the 80's by a young man I was dating.  Knowing good chocolate is an absolutely wonderful way to impress/woo a ladyfriend!

Thank you to SheSpeaks for the opportunity to enjoy something tasty.

You can find these tasty treats (at least where I live) in Target or at Walgreens.

Disclaimer:  I was sent this product free of charge and all opinions contained herein are my own

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Value of Networking....?

I had gotten tickets to go to a "convention" this coming weekend. The venue is about an hour drive (one way) for me and tonight I got an email informing me that parking at the venue is $10.  Well, that put me off the Friday portion of the conference because $10 for parking for 2 days is sadly right out of the budget right now.

Ok, then I got to thinking about Saturday and the conference starts at 8AM which means I should leave home no later than 6:30AM , which means I am going to have to get up about 5AM... And I am just SO not a morning person.

Yes, this event would be a good networking opportunity...but there is a similar event in a couple of months closer to home.  True, I am probably NOT going to score free tickets to that event and thus will probably not be able to attend but I am just less than enamoured with the idea of spending the gas money right now and then having to pay for parking and it's something geared towards Moms and perhaps not 100% appropriate for me.

Ugh... I hate having to make these decisions. I wish that I didn't have to decide things based on budget.

And completely unrelated... can someone PLEASE explain to me what preschool children are doing running around outside screaming at almost 1AM?  No, I didn't think so.  On that note, I'm going to bed.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Singin' the Blues

Work will be really busy this week since I have Monday off and then will have only 4 days to get work done.

Tomorrow I am having lunch with a friend who has to work (since she came up and had lunch with me on MLK Day when she didn't have to work and I did).

I am starting to get my annual pre-birthday blues.  I get to this point where I start looking back on the last year and then at my life and realize what a colossal waste of time everything has been and wish that I was doing something fabulous with my life.  I think if I can make it through this year, things will be better. I know that sounds stupid seeing as how it is only February, but if I can just keep things on track and have no MAJOR upheaval, a couple of things are set to happen later this year that will make my life significantly easier. And they aren't things I can rush, they are linked to specific calendar dates.

I also have to remember to run an errand in the early part of this week even though a significant issue has not resolved yet as I had hoped that it would.

Let's hope that there is not another power outage tonight.  It is very hard on the computers and the microwave.  Not to mention that it doesn't do fabulous things for the fridge.

I'm off to bed.  I do have to get up and be ready for my lunch tomorrow, which is more work than you'd think (hanging out with pretty girls is a lot of work y'all... but she's worth it!  *gag* I sound like a haircolour commercial)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

V-Day Wrap-Up

Today was Valentines Day...

There was no great romance, no boxes of fancy chocolates, no tiara.

There were no cards with hearts and gushy sentiment.  There was no fancy dinner. There will be no lingerie. There will be no sexy rumpus (Oh How I Love The Oatmeal!)...

I had cuddly kitties. I had a wonderful compliment on Facebook. I had a nice txt chat. There was a domestic dispute in my apartment complex that was very loud and public and involved gunshots (no injuries/fatalities).

But public domestic dispute aside (it wouldn't be Valentines Day without some woman screeching at her man about "that slut"... well, at least not in MY neighborhood), I am ok with how today went.  It's the first Valentine's Day in a long time that I felt neither sad nor angry.  It was just a day.  And honestly, that's ok.

I DID screw up my first giveaway (on my other blog)... and I am relatively certain that at least one person will conveniently lose my contact info if I ever want to participate in doing a giveaway again.  I know that the whole thing made me look like a bumbling idiot but it was new territory for me and I learned from it.  I learned how Rafflecopters work and how to find a decent prize when you don't have people chomping at the bit to be sponsors for you.

I think it shows how much of a crazy cat lady I am that I asked Miz Poo to be my Valentine.  (She said as long as I am ok with her sneezing in my face, we're good to go!  Robyn speaks fluent cat and is an excellent translator!)

So... although the day lacked romance, it was an ok day.  I think I'm making peace with a day that has always made me feel unlovable (V-Day and I have a LONG history).

And tomorrow... tomorrow is cheap chocolate day! BRING IT ON!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cheap Chocolate Day Is Coming!

It was cold this weekend, so I mostly stayed inside and worked on cleaning/organizing. I managed to finish up the home office and the kitchen is close to done. The bathroom is also close to done. Yes, I am aware that close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades but it's a process and I'm working through the process.

The week ahead will be semi-chaotic.  Monday and Tuesday are going to be quiet. Wednesday I have a class and then my writer's group in the evening (switched from Tuesday for the next couple of weeks) and Thursday is a Kitty Volunteer night (when I go and volunteer for the cat rescue) then Friday and the weekend things will be quiet again (at least, as far as I know...)  Since we haven't discussed it yet, I am thinking that this month we will not be going to the Friday Late Night at the Art Museum... but there is always the possibility it will come up on Wednesday night.

So, I am happy that I got some things done this weekend, disappointed that I didn't get more done and wishing I had another day or two to get things done without a five day interim period... But, wait... I THINK that NEXT Monday is President's Day and that's a holiday so I will have three days next weekend so...YAY! (Honestly, it's always really the little things with me).

Oh... and Tuesday this week is Valentine's Day which is nothing I am really excited about EXCEPT that it precedes CHEAP CHOCOLATE DAY (because Valentine's candy is usually marked down the day after).  So I will be keeping my eye out for good deals on apres~VD chocolate!

Now... when is it Free Tiara Day??