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Free $100!

February 27th, 2008 at 07:56 pm

Did you get your http://threebeansalad.savingadvice.com/2008/02/14/free-suze-... on Valentine's Day?

If not, there's another chance for a freebie advertised on page 85 of the book:

Get started on Suzeís Save Yourself Plan by opening a new account with TD AMERITRADE, featuring a special high-yield deposit account with a 2.78% Annual Percentage Yield (as of February 1, 2008). Your cash is held in an FDIC-insured Money Market Deposit Account (MMDA) at TD Bank USA, N.A.

There are no maintenance fees on the account, plus you receive the $100 offer for making 12 monthly automatic deposits of at least $50 each to help you build up your account balance. [Ö] Should you need to withdraw the money prior to the twelve-month commitment, you may withdraw all of your deposits, plus the interest earned. However, you will forfeit the $100 bonus.

I'm game! AMERITRADE's money-market interest rate isn't as good as others, but the $100 bonus makes up for it.

For more info, see http://www.tdameritrade.com/saveyourself/message4.html and http://www.mymoneyblog.com/archives/2008/02/100-from-suze-or... post on this offer.

Ripped Denim

February 20th, 2008 at 07:49 pm

Sidestream Income:
$1474.93 old total
$35.00 babysitting
TOTAL: $1509.93

I made $35 babysitting tonight and then fell on the sidewalk after leaving their house and ripped a hole in the knee of http://threebeansalad.savingadvice.com/2008/01/14/beauty-dil.... Uggh. Ripped designer denim IS NOT the look I'm going for!

Sidestream Income

February 18th, 2008 at 06:29 pm

Sidestream Income:
$1114.93 old total
$360.00 House / Dog sitting
TOTAL: $1474.93

I received payment for the house / dog sitting I did earlier this month. I've decided to deposit all house sitting money in my Roth IRA to help me reach this year's 5K maximum contribution.

Free Suze Orman "Women & Money"

February 14th, 2008 at 07:53 am

Download a free copy of Suze Orman's book "Women and Money" until 8pm tonight from http://www2.oprah.com/tows/pastshows/200802/tows_past_200802....

The related show looks very interesting. Unfortunately I'm traveling and won't be able to watch my Tivo'ed episode until next week!

Leftovers + Creativity

February 11th, 2008 at 06:19 pm

I love being able to make dinner using odds and ends in the kitchen.

Last night I threw the following into the Crockpot:

1/2 diced onion
1 diced green pepper
Tomato Sauce (leftover from a 28 oz can I opened last week for homemade pizza)
1- 8 oz package tempeh, crumbled (purchased for a recipe I intended to make weeks ago but never did)
Leftover black beans from http://threebeansalad.savingadvice.com/2008/02/04/dried-bean...
2 TBS soy sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

I turned it to low and let it work it's magic while I was at work all day.

Any guesses to what this made?


Vegetarian Sloppy Joes! I spooned the "meat" onto a roll with some lettuce... the result was super yummy, frugal, and easy.

Frugal Valentine's Day

February 10th, 2008 at 07:30 am

Even though we're currently living in different cities, I am going to be able to spend Valentine's Day with Mr. Bean this year. That's a special treat itself since Valentine's Day is on a Thursday and I usually can only visit on weekends.

Our Valentine's Day plans are pretty much the same as they are every year: a special home cooked meal and night in. We're both happy with this arrangement. We do have tickets to a performance on Friday night, so that's another something special to look forward to. I blogged about our http://threebeansalad.savingadvice.com/2007/02/18/entertaini...- it was fabulous, but again, it was the time together rather than any fancy event that made it so much fun.

Read Meredith from http://likemerchantships.blogspot.com/ post and comments on http://likemerchantships.blogspot.com/2008/02/st-valentines-... post for more ideas. I particularly liked the one idea in the comments to secretly spruce the guest room as a romantic Valentine's Day suite! What a fantastic idea! We don't have any spare rooms, but if someday we do, I'll definitely keep that idea in mind!

Pinecone Survey

February 6th, 2008 at 05:54 pm

Sidestream Income:
$1111.93 old total
$3 Pinecone Survey
TOTAL: $1114.93

I received my first PineCone check today! The money certainly is better than MySurvey.com-- the only other survey site I participate in. At this rate, I could stand to make $20 / year from surveys ;-)

I haven't babysat in a week, but I will housit starting on Friday for 6 days. That should bring in another $360.

Aldi Love, Aldi Hate

February 5th, 2008 at 06:06 pm

Remember my excitement over the http://threebeansalad.savingadvice.com/2007/12/11/sushi-at-...? Well, put your jealousy to rest, beacuse that was about all they were worth. The rice was hard, and the fish texture was off. All in all, I was disappointed and glad I hadn't paid the original price of (gasp) $5.99 / box. With that said, I ate all the boxes I purchased and was glad I had them on hand for days when I didn't have leftovers for lunch. I'd say I was as happy with the frozen sushi as I'd be with a microwave meal.

This got me thinking about what Aldi items I do love. Things that came to mind:

Mama Casita Canned tomatoes with chilies, at $0.49 / 14.5 oz can these are a great value, plus the chilies are nice and spicy- unlike my store brand. The plain diced tomatoes are also a great value at $0.44 / 14.5 oz.

Block Cheese, $1.79 / 8 oz

Just Juice (a Juicy juice knock off), $1.89 / 64 oz

Millville Cereal (most are $1.69 / 16 oz. box and taste just like the name brand)

Millville Rolled Oats ($1.49 for a huge canister)

Fresh baby spinach, $1.39 / 9 oz bag. although the last time I was there it was close to expiration and on sale for $0.50!

Butter, $1.89 / pound.

Chicken Broth ($0.39 / 14.5 oz can)

I am disappointed with the Aldi shredded cheese. It has a lot of extra preservatives and it doesn't melt terribly well. Similar issues with Aldi's 100% Whole Wheat. It is 100% whole wheat but also has a laundry list of other ingredients, including high fructose corn syrup.

What Aldi items do you love? What are you disappointed with?

Dried Beans

February 4th, 2008 at 03:59 pm

My blog's title is due in part to my fondness for the humble bean. Legumes are wholesome, tasty, versatile and cheap, what else could you want in food?

Despite my bean penchant, I admit always buying the canned rather than dried variety. Once, as a college student, I tried to cook dried beans and the result was less than appetizing. My local grocery stores sells a variety of canned 15.5 oz beans for $0.55 each, so dried beans hardly seem worth the hassle.

However, yesterday I threw caution to the wind and cooked up some dried beans in the Crockpot. The result was superb! I mixed 1 cup dried beans with 4 cups water and 1 bay leaf, turned the crock pot on high and ~5 hours later, I had a pot of tasty, fragrant beans.

I used about 3/4 in a chili recipe and will use the rest later this week.

I'm converted!

More babysitting cash

January 30th, 2008 at 09:09 am

Sidestream Income:
$1046.93 old total
$65 babysitting
TOTAL: $1111.93

I made $65 babysitting last night. I think that's most I've ever made in one bout of babysitting ($60 was my previous high).

This has been a big month for side stream income! I don't anticipate future months to be this good! The money is welcomed, since I was also on a bit of a spending binge this month.

Sidestream Income

January 28th, 2008 at 08:04 am

Sidestream Income:
$756.93 old total
$40 rideshare
$250 airline vouchers
TOTAL: $1046.93

I went to visit Mr. Bean this weekend. I took along a rider who gave me $40 for the round trip ride. I also sold the airline vouchers we received as http://threebeansalad.savingadvice.com/2007/09/24/i-heart-c... this past Fall. I wish we could have used the vouchers, but it didnít seem like we would have time before they expired. At the very least, we got some cash and the buyer got a great deal!

I feel a little guilty counting the $250 for the vouchers as income because we quickly spent the $250 (and then some) hosting a very big, very non-frugal party. Whoopsies!

It's my lucky day!

January 23rd, 2008 at 07:50 pm

I have a CD at Emigrant Direct maturing in early February. I planned to re-invest the money in a CD, but was worried that interest rates would drop again after the Fed meeting next week (note: this thought process was BEFORE Monday's emergency meeting and rate drop).

So, over the weekend I filled out the necessary forms online to open a new CD at Emigrant Direct with money from my Savings account close in value to the CD that will mature in February. I figured once the CD matures, I'd cash it out to replete my savings account. Over the weekend, Emigrant's CD rate was 4.55% APY.

My confirmation said the transaction would b e complete on 1/23. When I checked out Emigrant web page today (1/23), I saw they had dropped their CD rates to 3.5% APY. I fully expected this was the rate I would receive, but to my pleasure, I still got the 4.55% APY.

Yea! Every little bit helps!


January 21st, 2008 at 08:16 pm

It pays to review your receipts and purchases! I've had two overcharge incidents already this week.

Incident #1:
I recently bought 2 pairs of running shoes online. My e-receipt was for $119.15 but my credit card was charged $154.35. I emailed customer service and they said the problem would be fixed-- you better believe I'm going to watch my statement to make sure it is! That's a $35 difference!

Incident #2:
We pre-bought heating oil at $2.699 / gal, but the invoice following the latest delivery was at $2.711/ gal. When all is said and done, I was only overcharged a few dollars, but I'm going to call and get it corrected. It's not right, and if they're doing it to me, I wonder if they are making this "mistake" with all the pre-buy customers!

Interestingly, I shredded a bunch of old receipts from a few years ago earlier this evening, including our pre-buy oil receipt from August 2004 when we paid 1.499/ gal!

I most likely wouldn't have caught either of these mistakes prior to my financial conversion. Ahh, the lessons learned!

Babysitting $$

January 20th, 2008 at 10:05 am

Sidestream Income:
$726.93 old total
$30 babysitting
TOTAL: $756.93

I made $30 babysitting last night. At least my side stream income for 2008 is surpassing my the amount I've spent on the self-beatification splurge this month!!

More Splurging!

January 19th, 2008 at 08:59 pm

Well, the splurge was not complete! I went ot the Mall this afternoon to return some clothes my mother gave Mr. Bean for Xmas. He said I could use the refund money to get something for myself since I was doing the return. So, I spent the return money (~$20) and then some. Good golly the stuff was CHEAP-- the prices were what I would expect at the end of season, although we still have a good 2-3 months left of winter in my part of the country. I guess that's what happens when consumer spending declines. I couldn't resist a few more items to spice up my wardrobe.

Lest anyone worry I've fallen off my rocker, I can afford these little splurge. I've already contributed $900 to my 2008 Roth. But, I still feel a little uneasy about the spending. Even though I think I'm doing OK with saving, there's this little voice in the back of my head saying: "Save more! Don't rationalize your wastefulness!"

Since I've been using Quicken for over a year now to track all my expenditures, I think it would behoove me to go back and analyze it a little closer. By doing so, hopefully I'll come to ease with these occasional splurges or be able to somehow quantify how much of a splurge will still be responsible.