Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chase Update

So, I went into a branch and talked to an actual person (Matt), who helped fix the problem lickety-split. Whew!

This is why I want a bank with actual branches; to have the option of face-to-face contact.

Chase Nightmare

So, I used to bank with WaMu. Happy with them, no problems, friendly service. Now, though, with Chase, I expected some problems. There've been a few, but today's debacle tells me I need a new bank.

I've got a small business and have a business debit card. It stopped working (was rejected, despite there being plenty of money in the account). It's not expired, just doesn't work.

So, I called them up. Got bounced to EIGHT different people, including one who wanted to transfer me to a division I'd already talked to! I took down the phone number which is how I knew it was a repeat.

Throughout the call, the audio quality deteriorated until at the end, I was practically shouting to be heard.

This is simply not the way to do business. Each representative told either "oh, that's a WaMu account, I have to transfer you" or "Oh, that account has already been converted to Chase, I'll have to transfer you".

No one even came close to solving my problem.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

School Supply Time

It's that time of year, yes indeed. Back to school is in the air and all the big box stores are having sales on back-to-school supplies. We've had our lists for a month now and I've kept them handy for checking the sales.

Thanks to good deals at Staples, Target and Walgreens, I have all that my kids will need for back to school, with the exception of baby wipes. Still waiting on a good sale for those.

Keep an eye on Money Making Mom, A Full Cup and Chief Family Officer for deals and links.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Taking a Break from the Drugstore Game

I'm taking a summer break from the Drugstore Game. I used my last Walgreens Register Reward the other day (for Haagen Daaz--on sale 2/$5). I'm stocked up on pasta sauce, shampoo, conditioner, razors, shaving gel, hair gel, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and tuna fish.

The only item I see us running low on is sunscreen. That I'll get on sale or at Costco.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

How to save $80 in an hour

I just colored my hair this morning. I'm prematurely grey and unfortunately, it does not suit me. So, I color my hair. I used to go to a salon, pay $80+ (yes, around here, I'd pay close to that even if I went to a beauty school--go figure!), and do it all again in 6 weeks.

I hate going to the salon.

So, I started doing it myself. I use L'Oreal Excellence (the pink box). I tried Preference (the gold box) one time, but I guess it's not really meant to cover grey because a) it didn't and b) it left my hair dry as a slice of leftover pizza.

I color about every 5 weeks, let's say 10 times a year. If I went to the salon, that would be about $900, depending on how much I tipped, and which salon.

Since I watch the sales, and since I use the same color, I can stock up. Recently Walgreens had an in-store $2 off coupon which I used along with a $2 off manufacturer's coupon, making my final price only $5.99 + tax per box of color. Say $6.50 total. Times ten, that's $65. That's right, for less than the cost of ONE salon visit, I can color my hair for an entire YEAR.

It takes about an hour, start to finish. It would take at least that long at the salon, plus the waiting around ahead of time. And did I mention that I hate going to the salon?

Monday, May 4, 2009

It's a new month

Do you know where you money is going?

If you don't already do so, keep all your receipts for a month. Every single one. Gas, food, that quick stop at Krispy Kreme, oil changes, etc. etc. Keep them all.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's Earth Day!

My top tip for Earth Day? Don't buy anything you don't need!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Great deals at Safeway/Vons

Thanks to Chief Family Officer, I saved a bundle today at Safeway.

For every $30 (Before Coupons!) you spend on products designated Living Well, you will receive a $10 Catalina coupon at checkout. That's effectively getting $30 of groceries for only $20. Now, if you also use some coupons, you get even better savings.

I stocked up on Electrosol dishwasher soap and pasta sauces; the detailed list of participating brands is here. Note that not all varieties of each brand will count toward the $30 total so check the signs carefully.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Simple meals

Last night for dinner, we had roasted chicken with lemon and herbs, braised kale with garlic and asparagus, with apple crisp for dessert.

The kale came from some plants the kids had put in a raised bed in our back yard. It's sweet and delicious and everyone loved it. Asparagus and apples came from our bi-weekly produce bin delivery and the chicken was from a huge buy at Safeway ($.99/lb so I stocked up and packaged in freezer bags).

Home cooking saves money and is better for your health. Keep it simple and you can have a meal on the table each night with just a bit of kitchen work.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Quick Walgreens Trip

Today is Saturday, the last day of the weekly Walgreens ad. I stopped in briefly with my older DD for a quick trip.

Transaction 1
Edge shaving gel for $2.99+tax. Paid with my Walgreens gift card (which was loaded up from rebates) Received a $3 Register Reward coupon which I used for...

Transaction 2
2 Red Baron pizzas (2/$5) I had a $1 off 2 manufacturer's coupon
2 Arm & Hammer deodorant ($.99 each with Walgreens in-ad coupon)
2 Mentos gum (on sale for 2/$2) I had 2 $1 off coupons

I used the $RR and paid $3.16 out of pocket. Total cost of the two transactions was $6.42. Not bad for all that I got!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Stocks up

Stocks are up based on news of some economic recovery and a rising housing market. Still a good time to buy, if you are looking at the long-term.

CD rates have been super low recently. I've been keeping an eye on's chart of CD rates.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Doing the Deals

Thanks to the tips from Money Saving Mom and the forums at A Full Cup, I got some great deals today from Target and Walgreens.

Target has Quaker products on sale and if you buy 5, you get a $5 Target Gift Card. I used coupons from the Sunday paper inserts and got 5 bars of various types of granola bars. Total out of pocket? $8.25, less than $2/box. And I have the gift card for my next trip to Target. Those will go in my kids' lunch boxes.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Time to start tax preparation

This is a good time to gather your materials for 2008 tax year returns. For those of certain income levels and return complexity, there are free filing options available online.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Free Finance Book from Suze Orman and Oprah

Suze Orman's latest book, 2009 Action Plan is available for free download for a limited time. In English or Spanish.

Thanks to Suze Orman and Oprah for making this resource available free.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Saving with Coupons

In today's local paper (may not be in all markets) was a coupon for a free Tazo Starbucks tea drink. I had mine today and it was yummy, even tastier for being free!

Lately, I've made many Walgreens trips. Two sales this week are especially good. Garnier hair care products are on sale for $2.99 and there's a $2 off coupon in the Walgreens Easy Saver coupon book (available in their stores, usually near the front door). Also on special (with a coupon from the weekly flyer) is Quaker instant oatmeal 10 count package. Couple it with a manufacturer's coupon and your total price is $.99 per box.