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Archive for December, 2009

Gift Cards

December 30th, 2009 at 03:00 pm

I got tons of them this year. At least 4 I think. I love gift cards. Free money. You can buy things you like, things you want, things you might possibly be able to use, things you actually could use, things you seriously NEED.

Or, alternatively, use them to buy gifts for other people who you couldn't afford gifts for in the first place. (Guilty).

But as I went out yesterday to spend my gift cards I found that...

I didn't want anything or need anything. I actually stood for a full 3 minutes in the middle of Walmart thinking to myself "Well...what should I use this for?".

I love doing mail art, but I have plenty of material. I love fishing but I don't really fish though. I like books but Walmart isn't exactly Walden Books. I like my garden but they only had Christmas Garden stuff anyways. I'd like to have a goldfish but I already have a cat and a bird and my life isn't organized enough to change the water everyday. I'd feel a lot more nice buying some feminine products like make-up or some cool new skin item. But I'm lazy and my life still isn't organized enough to fit it into my 5 minute bathroom time schedule. I refuse to buy food with it. I already have a nice flash drive. They didn't have any Crocs I could buy, which are good for wearing in the rain.

In the end I couldn't decide on anything. I simply used it to get two deodorants since I use those everyday.

That doesn't mean I won't use them. But this is what being Frugal does to you.

Coomunity Coupons Update

December 29th, 2009 at 10:00 pm

I found some galvanized tin envelopes to use as official coupon envelope holders. This will be good. I can just nail it to the wall. Mwah!

Also, they took away our postal mail box awhile ago, so anyone can buy these and use them to hold the outgoing mail which makes the mailman happy I think. Which was the whole point.



So, if you live in a community apartment area-like place you can use these tinvelopes to hold coupons, fliers, or outgoing mail. Smile

Tasteful Thinking

December 27th, 2009 at 11:41 pm

Looking at a Japanese fashion site, I am reminded of one time when I strolled into Nordstrom's which had recently opened at a new mall nearby. I had never heard of Nordstrom's before, and strolled in to get a look.

Seeing the price tag of the first clothing item I admired, my face dropped. It was a beautiful $250 chocolate and cream wooly sweater like shirt.

I didn't have the money to buy that of course. I could have saved up for it. But why? So I could get coffee or chocolate on it the first time I wear it? Would I impress anyone with it, as though I'd leave the price tag on it for others to come up and check out?

People often have a negative view on high fashion items. I have to admit that I rather do too, only because as I am, I view it as pointless to have an item so highly priced.

Instead, I'd truly like to understand what's involved in that price other than a name, and a possible faux glamor feel for some. What materials are used? How much of that material? Where are they ordered from? How much do they cost? The economics of the price are much more interesting to me, but only out of curiousity.

Furthermore, I'd like to ask the creators of these items how they feel, sincerely, about having such a lot of money and what it means to them as designers and artists. How do they feel about creating an article of clothing for a sometimes very limited market? How would they feel knowing that to a vast majority of us, it's meaningless? How do they feel about people paying for their name?

Use It or WASTE It

December 27th, 2009 at 11:50 am

I'm a sticker freak. When I write letters, I smother, splatter and strangle them with stickers. I'm a sticker connoseiur.

But I ran out of stickers. And I didn't have the money for more. Well, I decided NOT to spend the money on more.

Instead I decided to strictly use what I already have. I have markers, pencils, color pencils, stencils, glue, misc gluable things, scrapbook paper. I decided that instead of buying stickers I'm going to use what I already have. Sticker industry, I'm on strike! (Nothing personal).

Ok, so it won't save me a lot of money in the long run. Most stickers around here (FL) cost anywhere from $0.99 to $2.99 and up for the expensive fancy stuff.

It saves me from buying the unnecassry and afterwards it's fresh to start over once I really have used everything up. I've had these pencils and markers and pens for YEARS now. It's time to use them.

Also with my beloved stickers to provide the pretty prety colors and pretty pictures, I'm forced to be more creative. (Or, in more recent cases, just to deviantart.com for ideas.)

And I've decided to this with everything. My papers, food, body lotions (thanks to my friends over the years, I have a 4 year supply at least), and tons more.

Saved me from buying more crap and wasting money!

USE it or WASTE it.

Free Stuff

December 26th, 2009 at 01:48 am

That's what I find on airplanes all the time. Books, BA pencil cases with pens in them, free black socks, toothbrushes, packets of lotions more books...

It's really interesting to find and nice to know that if I ever run out of pens at home, I know where to go some at no cost but...

I still wonder if keeping the books is ok. Shouldn't we turn them in? People leave shawls and such. But there's always so many books.

What I do with them is take them home and post them online, trade them, and order more books for free. I still don't know if it's wrong. I hope it's not.


Who knew free stuff on airplanes could be so confusing?

Well, that might the only really "free" stuff considering they'll be charging us for air anytime soon to make up for our national deficit. >.>

Don't Throw Away My Chicken!

December 24th, 2009 at 11:57 pm

Because I am a fox. And I like chicken.
In the the grocery store where this fox used to work, the deli sadly throughout tons of chicken. It was sad. Fox could only shed tear after tear as all her beloved poultry was thrown into the trash night after night.

Fox still wonders why al lthat chicken had to go to waste, when it could have been in her tummy. She also wonders if something could be done so that the chickens and the money they represents don't go to waste.

She doesn't understand how that entire process works, buying the chicken, forecasting sales and such- she just wants the chickens to stop being thrown away!

Do any other animals of the wild know what happens to their deli chickens when they aren't eaten?

Wasted Training

December 24th, 2009 at 11:54 am

I've worked in a few jobs where bad training had it's financial consequences. In the second job I ever worked out, a nameless restuarant, a group of veteran employees was flown in to train us in groups for the specific positions. Most of them were just happy to take the test that would accompany this new project for them, because this meant they would get a raise, and that was the ONLY way to get a raise in the company. You had to train someones AND take a test, and pass the test. The training was not very one on one at all, or organized. They might as well had just thrown me in on the first day of opening and said Go for it. I don't support George Carlin, but as he would say, "You got a pencil? Well, get in there it's physics!".

I ran the salad and it went on for months for that no one told me you we're supposed to SAVE the the lettuce that was on top, still chilled and fresh throughout the day. My thinking was that lettuce had been out all day and should be thrown away. But I should have been saving this lettuce instead of throwing it out every night for the next month or so, which even went unnoticed. That was hundreds of dollars worth of lettuce being thrown away, by me. Granted I should have asked to make it clear perhaps but nonetheless it should have been stressed as well.

At my current job, no one stressed NOT to throw away head phone sets that we're still good. So I was mindlessly throwing those away until I recalled the above story, and did the sensible thing.

This was a good lesson and taught me that I shouldn't throw away office supplies because I dislike my boss. Because in saving his money, I'm saving my pay check and everyone elses too.

Christmas Budgeting

December 23rd, 2009 at 11:23 am

This year for Christmas, I wanted to go all out. I mean, ALL OUT. I wanted to buy practically EVERYONE I knew on the planet a gift this year. I still didn't have a lot of money but I thought "Well, if I make a plan, then maybe..."

The plan?

No more than $3 per person, gift wise. Factor in FL tax, and that means any gift wouldn't cost more than $3.21.

Which would mean the following as well:

5 persons: $16.05
10 persons: $32.10
15 persons: $48.15
20 persons: $64.20
25 persons: $80.25

Ok, so...it didn't work out. However, the three dollar plan does work in some cases, and it's reasonable since you won't be able to find anything for $2 where I at least live. But I did still decide that if I ever want to splurge on someone to my money's content I'm doing it on their birthday.

Donating Disaster

December 22nd, 2009 at 10:09 pm

When you book a flight on BA, each passenger gets a free packet which contains a toothbrush, a pair of thin black socks, headphones, and a small donation envelope for UNICEF.

Sadly, I don't find many donations at all. Only about 5 packets have been found since I've been there. This is still good, no matter how much the amount is. But there's two problems, which pretty much make these donations near pointless.

First, the donation needs to be given to the cabin crew, but during flight. This is a must, and it would seem that most of them or a portion of them aren't. It seems most people just put them in the seat pocket, which is fine, but the cabin crew are not the ones who actually see any of this, and they will not find the packets at all.

Now, all I have to do is take the packet and give it to someone for BA, and it gets stored and that should be simple enough.

The second problem is I can't trust my immediate supervisor with it, and there's no other designated person to give them to. These are donations, not free-for-finding coins, which are first find, first keep. But my boss won't turn them in, he'll pile them up and exchange them later. So I end up taking them home and storing them up until I have enough worth sending to unicef. It's rather tiring.

Please give your slips to the cabin crew to make sure they get to the organization!



December 22nd, 2009 at 11:27 am

Cleaning airplanes, you find a lot of coins. On BA, I always find British coins (of course), Carribean coins, Australian coins, Canadian coins and some English ones. I collect them when ever possible but recently I decided not to keep all the ones I have. There's no use hoarding them all, as though the 1.34 pounds I've managed to save so far will come in handy anytime soon. If He ever sends me to one of those places, I'm sure I'll have what I need. Instead, I take the extras and send them to my friends over seas with letters. 5cents outa help you get a soda at least =/

Furthermore, I really thought those coins, a saved up chunk would amount to a lot in American dollars. You can get them exchanged at the airport, but they won't give you much for it. Oh well.

Gettin' Gas

December 22nd, 2009 at 02:33 am

I don't know about all of us, but have you noticed that when you pay for gas in cash or with your card inside the store, you actually get less gas than when you pay as you go at the pump with your card? Try it next time.

Around the last dollar amount, it always slows down. It reduces to a trickle, so you're not really getting as much as you could.

Something to think about. It always annoys me.

Financial Observation-Look British Airways!

December 20th, 2009 at 07:06 pm

I work for a company that cleans airplanes for British Airways. Our job is to trash (meaning, to PICK UP the trash) the plane floor, overheads and especially the seat pockets. Oh, the seat pockets.

You know. The ones that hold the magazines, survey cards and waste bags. Yes, the waste bags.

British Airways, we have a problem, which is NOT over.You're wasting your money on those waste bags because...no one is using them. I clean your airplanes. I know this.

Those waste bags are there for those of us who have weak stomachs, are sick or have a little bit of stuff to throw away.

In all the 5 months I've been working there, I have only found 2 bags that were used.

BA, it seems your wasting your money because no one is using your waste bags...they simply stuff it into the pockets without looking. And sometimes, I end up throwing them away anyways when they become too crinkled or torn or mixed in with all the garbage in the seat pocket which wasn't put into it.

So, for all us frugalites and financially savvy people, if you'd like to put your airlines money to good use, please use the waste bags for your candy wrappers, napkins, utensils, miniature coke bottles and diapers please. Also, it'll help us cleaners to make your flights prettier, and more organized.

You are now free move about the seat pocket.

Community Coupons

December 20th, 2009 at 12:37 am

After spending some times on SA, I was suddenly struck by an idea which I thought might help people, and was something (novel) to my life. I live in an apartment complex and we have a laundry room. I'm constantly taking mindless trips down there for no apparent reason, and I figured I might as well make myself useful. Why not start a community coupon bin? It could be hung up on the wall and people could add and take coupons as they needed, and should someone find an expired one, we can put a note on it asking everyone to throw away the coupon. (You have time to kill at the laundry matt anyways).

The benefits I figured would be that people tend not to take advantage of things not easily accessible, and for those who don't have computers to visit Coupons.com, having some sort of option would still be nice.

But where was I going to enough coupons to kick this thing off? I went next door to my neighbor who regularly gets the paper. Our apartment complex has just started a recycling center and I knew he'd have some batches of newspaper, and their shiny glossy ads with them. I was right. Two whole batches and 3 hours later I had over 40 coupons and offers valid, cut, and ready to be used!

I grabbed on envelope, wrote a nice message on the front (including Do Not Throw Away Please!) snuck out (at 3.am) and posted it in the laundry.

I climbed out the next night, and discovered the papers ruffled, which meant someone has at least looked at them.

Mission accomplished.