Home > Archive: October, 2008

Archive for October, 2008

Pet Food - $1.21 After Rebate

October 27th, 2008 at 04:33 am

Today I got a 5-lb bag of Nutro Max dog food. They were offering a rebate for the full purchase price; however, as usual with rebates, I had to pay sales tax, and I had to pay postage to mail off my rebate.

So, that bag of dog food wasn't free ... it actually cost me $1.21 (plus a couple cents for the envelope) ... no cost for gas to the store, because I walked over to PetSmart after DH & I were done looking at digital cameras at another store. Even tho' it wasn't free, for $1.23 (or so), I think it was a good deal, especially considering the look on my dog's face when I brought it home!

Frugal Weekend Plans

October 11th, 2008 at 12:56 pm

1. Doggy play date at the park (fun for the humans as well as the dogs)!

2. Free breakfast and coffee at Ikea. Available at most locations this weekend (Sat, Sun, and Mon) until 10:30am.

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While there, get some doggy clean-up bags. I reuse my newspaper bags, but it's never enough. Ikea's price is 3-cents per bag ($1.49 for a roll of 50), which is the best I've found anywhere.

3. Watch a Netflix movie on-line. That's a feature they added awhile ago, and I haven't done it yet, but should in order to take full advantage of my membership since there's no extra charge.

4. Renew my library books on-line (gotta avoid those fines). Read same books.

5. Introduce DH (who has been out of town again, coming back today) to the new chart on the refrigerator for tracking Food & Drink expenses (both consumed at home & eating out) ... I added a cute (free) clip art picture to it, hoping that would be the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down.

Will he get on board with the idea of squirrelling away $25 a month for 3 months from the alloted amount so that I can fulfill my wish of having a very expensive Sunday brunch ($29.95 per person plus tax & tip) at Fonda San Miguel before we leave Austin?

6. Wash my down comforter. I love having a front-loader machine. Used to take my comforter to the cleaners, but now I can do it myself. (Note to newbies to the world of frugality: A diehard frugalite would rather wash a comforter in the tub than take it to the cleaners. I'm more a "moderate frugalite".)

7. Make Soap Balls using the little slivers I save from the ends of soap bars. (I've been doing this since I married DH. I'm the type of person who will use a bar of soap to the very end, perhaps squishing the last little bit on to the new bar. But DH doesn't like that, so I go ahead and replace a bar when it gets low, but I save the slivers and make balls.) I may not have balls when it comes to investing, but I do when it comes to keeping clean!

Hope eveyone has a great weekend.

What John Bogle Has to Say

October 8th, 2008 at 01:16 pm

John Bogle (founder and former CEO of Vanguard) appeared on CNBC's Squawk Box this morning. The moderator described him as a "patient, long-term investor" which makes him my kind of guy and I'll admit to being a bit of a "Boglehead" (fan). Based on my notes (of which I do not guarantee the accuracy), this is a summary of what he had to say.

On the Economy: He said that he really does not know what will happen with the economy in general. (He mentioned that it is crucial the "toxic" assets get written off of banks books but said something like he does not know the best way to make that happen.)

On the Stock Market: He said that this is the most speculative market in the history of finance. He said that the speculators are betting that other speculators will bet the market is going to get worse, and that is driving the market down. He said that if the speculators want out of the market: "Let 'em out." Smile He said that the fundamentals of the market, what he referred to as "boring stuff" that the speculators don't care about, dividend yields & book value, are sound, and they are what will eventually turn the market around. And when will that happen? Again, Bogle said he does not know for sure (and no one does), but that he thinks it is probable that we are about 1/2-way through the current market decline.

On Individual Investors Who Are 5 or so Years Away From Retirement / Asset Allocation: He says that if there are individual investors who cannot afford to lose even one penny of their investments, then yes, they should get out of the market ... But he also mentioned that they never should have been in that position to begin with. He said that people should have had a percentage of their portfolio in bonds that is the rougly same as their age. (In other words, a 75-year-old would be holding about 75% of their portfolio bonds). He said that people who had set up their portfolios prior to this market downturn in a way that is consistent with what he recommends "are hardly being impacted" (they have lost a few percetage points but it is tolerable for them).