Home > Archive: May, 2008

Archive for May, 2008

Free Skin Cancer Screenings

May 31st, 2008 at 02:23 am

Want to get a free skin cancer screening?

"Olay, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) and Marcia Cross have joined together to invite you and your girlfriends to get a free skin cancer screening"

Visit to see if there is a dermatologist in your area offering free screenings.

Although it says it is for "girlfriends," if you're a man who is intersted it certainly wouldn't hurt to ask if you are eligible.

Saving Advice Splitting into 2 Worlds?

May 29th, 2008 at 11:23 pm

As much as I love SA, I'm finding that I keep taking breaks from the forums more frequently and for longer periods of time.

It may just be my imagination, but the forums seem to be devolving in to a bunch of people fighting over who is right, and they are becoming downright uncivil.

Today was the last straw. I think for the sake of my stress levels, I should take a permanent break from the forums and just stick to the blogs (which of course I still LOVE).

This is what set me off. Someone wrote in a post "This board is retarded." Personally, I find that to be as offensive as any racial slur (and I live in multi-racial family so I've heard it all). Having a brother who is developmentally disabled no doubt makes me more sensitive to this than other people, and I have always been offended by that term even when it came from immature kids, but to hear it coming from an adult in what is supposed to be a civil discussion board ... Ugh!

It really seems like this site has split in to 2 worlds: The great folks who truly want to support each other and exchange ideas on the blogs, and the nasty bickering folks who are just trying to see who can scream louder than the others on the forums.

Am I the only one noticing this?

'Tis A Gift To Be Simple

May 18th, 2008 at 03:44 pm

It really is a gift to require so little to be blissfully happy, don't you think?

Yesterday my favorite guy treated me to brunch at IHOP with a BOGO coupon he found (no beverage purchases required ... just buy one entree, get one free). So glad I decided to teach DH about coupons!

After that, we visited 2 new home centers. At one we received a $10 Target gift card for visiting (we filled out a form and they will be mailing it)...We had seen an ad in the paper and knew we could get the gift card for visiting. At the 2nd place we got free drinks.

In the late afternoon I took my dog for a long walk.

After dinner at home, DH and I watched "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" with Steve Martin & John Candy on TV. (Our current apartment comes with cable included.) We laughed our heads off.

So little spent. Just the cost of one entree + tax & tip at IHOP. The $10 gift card will more than cover the cost of the gas we used.

Such a divine day. Just like a mini-vacation. 'Tis a gift to be simple ...

Costco Gas

May 16th, 2008 at 11:38 pm

If anyone knows how Costco sets their gas prices, please do share with the rest of us!

When we lived in Seattle, our Costco's gas prices were consistently a few cents less other nearby gas stations.

When we moved here to Austin, we initially found the Costco prices to be equal to the lowest-priced "regular" stations. So, I thought there was no difference and that it was a regional thing.

But just recently, since the latest spike in gas prices started, I have found Costco Austin's gas prices to be a bit lower than others.

Yesterday I paid $3.599/gallon at Costco, while other stations were charging $3.639 - $3.699.

The last time I filled up at Costco (about a month ago), the price was about 3-cents less than the stations.

This has me wondering if Costco uses a formula where they have a fixed profit they make, while maybe the "regular" stations are taking advantage and doing a teensy bit of "gouging"?

In any case, Costco is definitely shining right now as far as gas prices go.

What are you all experiencing where you live? Are you noticing a bigger price gap on Costco gas recently, or has the gap stayed the same as usual?

P.S. - As I was getting ready to leave Costco yesterday, a lady just about gave me a heart attack when she ran up right behind my car just as I started backing out and disappeared from view. Of course I hit the brakes ... She stood up and just stood there for a second staring at what I swear was a coin in her hand! For crying out loud, I'm all for picking up coins off the ground, but please don't put your life and my sanity in jeopardy like that! Wanna know my first thought? "That couldn't be baselle, could it? Naw - She doesn't live in Austin!"

Pet Food

May 13th, 2008 at 11:20 pm

When I was fresh out of college, I "inherited" 2 cats. Not knowing any better, I started out feeding them an el-cheapo brand of food from the grocery store. Then one of them developed a bladder stone and had to have surgery. The vet thought the stone developed because of her diet, and so the el-cheapo brand went in the trash, and I started paying much more attention to the kitties diet and making smarter choices. Thankfully, they never again had a diet-related condition. I learned the hard way (through pain & suffering for my poor cat and a big hit to the wallet for me) that when it comes to pets diets, prevention is indeed the best medicine.

Kitties crossed the rainbow bridge many years ago, and shortly thereafter destiny brought a dog into my husband & my life.

Now definitely older and hopefully wiser, when buying food for our dog, I put the emphasis on buying the healthiest possible food, but of course I also try to buy it at the lowest possible price. I shop for "value" rather than "cheap." He eats twice a day ... 12 meals each week are dry food, but twice a week he gets a can of wet food as a treat and as a way to provide variety (and hopefully improved nutrition) to his diet. He gets one treat in the evening (his reward for "doing his business" and then letting me brush his teeth), but even those are the healthy variety. His weight is perfect, and it is my sincere hope that he will never have a medical condition that is because of poor diet (because that would be my fault).

So I'm feeling like a good doggy mommy / minder of the family finances today ... I had a successful shopping trip to the pet supply store.

The Haul:
12 Large Cans of Homestyle
6 Large Cans of Wellness
4-lb bag of dry Science Diet Nature's Best

These were the deals:
Homestyle: case discount (10%) plus $5 off coupon
Wellness: buy 3, get 3 free rebate
Nature's Best: Rebate for full purchase price Smile
Total Order Discounts:
- $10 store certificate received in mail
- 10% store member discount (which was free)

Net Cost (once the rebates come in): $12.50 (plus tax) plus $0.84 to mail in 2 rebate coupons.

For those of you without dogs, the Homestyle and Wellness brands of canned food are premium brands that normally cost a bit over $2 a pop. The Nature's Best dry food retails for $11 a bag ... it's not my dog's usual brand ... I usually buy him Costco's Kirkland Signature brand which is MUCH less expensive but also very good quality IMHO ... but when it's free (well, actually 42-cents for a stamp to mail in the rebate), then why not?

The rebate coupons are in the mail already ... I learned years ago to mail them as soon as I get home from the store (otherwise I forget).