Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bottled Water

I have purchased bottled water in the past (mostly for convenience and the bottles), but I may not be able to do so in the future after reading this website:

And I quote:

"“The price of bottled water is up to 10,000 times the cost of tap water.”

In Cary, NC, tap water costs about a penny per gallon. So that’s 1/8th of a cent per 16-ounce serving. The cheapest bottled water at BJ’s (a giant warehouse store with bulk pricing) is 15 cents per 16-ounce bottle. So bottled water costs 120 times more than tap water in the best case. If you pay $2 for a bottle of water at the airport, then bottled water is 1,600 times more expensive than tap water. And at the airport you drink from the drinking fountain for free.

Note that if you drink tap water at home, you also need to consider the cost of the cup or container, and the cost of cleaning the cup or container for reuse. So the 10,0000 estimate in infographic sounds high. But there can still be a pretty big difference in price between bottled water and tap water.

Penn & Teller (below) note that Americans spend $4 billion per year on bottled water."

Monday, June 21, 2010

The mathematical value of the compact fluorescent light bulb

I have long wondered if the value of the CFL in savings paid for it in initial cost. Since these bulbs can often run $1.36 a bulb (at your local Sam's Club), and a comparable incandescent is ~$0.35 each.

We are reasonably sure that the environmental savings is there, but the environment and my wallet need to be friends, so let's compare.

According to an article on “The Simple Dollar,” running a CFL for 30,000 hrs. costs approximately $144 less than running an incandescent for that same amount of time.

So CFL wins hands down when direct costs are considered. However, there may be some indirect costs to consider.

Let’s learn a little bit about the CFL bulb.

Not all CFL bulbs are created for the same use. There are certain instances where you would need to purchase specially rated bulbs (which probably cost more, although I am unsure at the moment), or change the way your light fixture works (also costly). Another thing to consider is that CFLs (even the dimming ones) do not dim “pretty”—the lighting can seem harsh, and flickering is also observed.

Regular CFL bulbs should not be used in fixtures containing:

  • Dimmers
  • Timers
  • Motion sensors
  • Wall sconces
  • Recessed lighting

Most of these will shorten the life of the bulb, and past experience included, that shortened life span is 3 months of use in a fixture with a dimmer vs. 5 years for a CFL in a regular light fixture. Also, CFLs do not like to be “right side up” in fixtures. It makes them run hotter for whatever reason.

Apparently, there are some other issues with CFLs, such as disposal of broken and worn out ones. You must take them somewhere that accepts these mercury filled lights. In addition, when a CFL dies, it can sometimes go out smoking. There is also a possibility of fire due to non-flame retardant plastic on the bottom casing of certain bulbs.

In short, CFLs are a great idea if you purchase the right ones for your current fixtures, and they are encased in flame retardant plastic on the bottom.

I cannot end this article properly without stating my personal usage/stance on this subject. I use CFLs (purchased in bulk from Sam's Club) in most of my fixtures. However, I use regular incandescent bulbs in my lights with dimmers.




Sorry It's taken me so long to post.

I'm back. I haven't had a lot of time lately, and I am re-assessing what I am blogging about/for.

So here's an update.

I have paid off the last credit card. I will pause while you clap and high five....

Anyway, we have 1 debt to go (guess who!). However, this could take a bit. We haven't been applying as much $$ to ol' Sallie due to lack of extra income.

And...I am going back to school. I should graduate in May. Wish me some more luck.

I hope, time permitting, to have some more posts quickly. I may be taking the blog in a different direction (not exactly sure how it will go).

Thanks for reading,


Monday, April 5, 2010


Are for food. We have purchased six chickens who will *hopefully* lay enough eggs that we don't have to buy them anymore by the end of summer. Also, if they get too annoying they might get eaten. Be good chickens =-p.

There are six in all: Pam, Tetrazini, Parmigiana, Nugget, Fried, and Alfredo.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Poop on the Weather/Strep throat

So we are not having a garage sale this weekend. There is supposed to be scattered thunderstorms and it will only be 60. I am not sure when the garage sale will take place, but it is eminent. Hopefully, once the garage sale is completed we'll have an extra bedroom and the house might be decent enough for guests to visit.

In other debt free news (lol), it feels as though we are sliding backwards. On Sunday I visited the ER. We just paid off medical debt a month ago. Here comes more. On a good note, I think the wisdom teeth payoff will happen as planned. Sallie Mae might take longer with medical debt edging her out of the number 1 spot. It feels like a vicious cycle. Pay off debt in one month and add more the next. I am looking for an end. It feels like it will never end, but we HAVE killed debt. We are NOT in the same place we were before. It just feels hopeless. But it isn't. And until it is over, I will have to keep reminding myself that it's not. We will win. Eventually...

Pray for us.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Garage Sale

Pending the weather reports (I won't hold a garage sale in under 70 degree weather that isn't sunny), I intend to have a garage sale next weekend. Wish me luck.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Car for Sale

I now have a car for sale on Craigslist. I don't know if it will sell or not, but if I do, then I plan on using the 50/50 plan. 50% of the money goes to another vehicle to replace it, and the other 50% goes towards debt. I don't know if/whether this will work out or not. I am completely unsure of myself right now.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Annoying redirections are over

I had a "debt countdown" that was causing the page to redirect to "deplayer.net" I have removed this widget, and that has fixed this error, so neither of my readers should experience this annoying problem anymore.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Car Selling

I am possibly thinking of selling the Prius to pay off all of the debt. We don't owe on the car, but it isn't in the best looking condition, and we are waiting on the claims department of another insurance company to repair damage done to it by one of their insurees (I have no idea what to call the guy who hit our car in the Walmart parking lot in November).

Selling it would pay off all of our debt instantly. But then we would need a reliable car and would have no money to purchase one. We could possibly use the upcoming tax return to purchase a car, but the amount of time that we would have in between purchasing a car and selling the Prius is sketchy.

This would benefit us in that the Hubby could quit his 2 extra jobs, and I wouldn't need to child sit.

And life would be PERFECT.


But it might be nicer and just a little bit easier.

I think this ease would be better than any car I could ever own.

More on this later.

New Job

Now the wifey has a job. I will be babysitting a 4 year old and a 1 and a half year old. This puts us about $200 away (a month) from paying off all of our debt this year! We are going crazy!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Don't get distracted from your goal. If you want to get free then DO IT. Don't let other goals sneak in and steal your thunder. If being debt free isn't your number 1 goal, then focus on your number one until it is time for you to get debt free.

However, if being debt free is numero uno, then by all means, GET TO IT.


Not later.


Remove distractions, and you will be more effective in your efforts.

Here is an example (because I love examples):

Say your number one goal is to be debt free, but you also want to finish your education one day. Unless the finishing of your education is DIRECTLY correlated to being debt free.

And I don't mean if your income MIGHT go up if you get a 2-4 year degree higher. I mean absolutely directly. Like the promotion is promised based on school completion, and you will be getting debt free faster because of it. Also, if you don't have the money for it (in cash), then you aren't ready to buy it. Period. NO exceptions. Side note: I cannot count how many times I have paid for something when I thought I absolutely needed it, and then it turned out that I didn't need to purchase it for whatever reason (like the government paid for it--thank you FAFSA).

Sometimes things that feel extremely urgent aren't really urgent at all. Sometimes it's a God issue. You need to let go and let God.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

and do not rely on your own understanding

Proverbs 3:5

*Translation is from the NET Bible, which can be found here.


I know that sometime my words do not flow as elegantly as I would like them to. It has been a long time since school, and even longer since I wrote a paper of any sort. I would like my words to read more like prose, and less like someone who hasn't ever written before (I used to be quite the writer), but they don't. Yet. I hope that someday my words will flow. Until then, this is how it is. Any comments or suggestions?


Never Buy Here Pay Here

I am owning my thoughts with this one, so bear with me.

Never use buy here pay here car lots. They rip you off. A couple of friends of mine purchased a car at one of these places today. They paid double the Blue Book value.

Also, if you are at all attempting to save money, do NOT visit a store/car lot. You will end up purchasing something one day. Maybe you don't do it the first time or even the third time. You will eventually buy something, whether or not you have the money.

Case in point: the pet store.

My husband and I (especially I) had a habit of visiting the local puppy store. We did not purchase anything for years.

Then... there was Tinker. We were "browsing" one day after a doctor's appointment when we picked up this adorable Chihuahua.

And then we dropped her.

Well, not we, HE dropped her. So now we own a sweet, beautiful chihuahua who doesn't like my husband.

At all.

Long story short, only go to stores when you intentionally plan on buying something. Because one day you will buy something, whether you planned on it or not.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I make $100 an hour

according to this article on clipping coupons from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

I guess we know who makes the big bucks around here. =-p


So the husband has successfully completed his first day of work at his 3RD JOB!!!!!!

I know he's crazy. WE are crazy. I want to kill this debt in 6 mos. I know the counter counts down for 18 mos *which is the worst case scenario, barring not getting debt free at all or incurring more debt, but "this is serious, this matters!!!"

Harps: Free Suave Deodorant

Suave Deodorant (1.4 oz.) for $0.99
Use the $0.50/1 Suave Deodorant Product, exp. 2-28-10 (RP 01/31/10)
FREE after coupon and doubles!

It is not completely free. You will have to pay the $0.07 in sales tax. Sorry =-D

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

If it sounds too good to be true...

So I went to IHOP for the "free" pancake day. I knew that there was a donation involved, but I figured it would be worth it. Long story short, we ended up at Village Inn and it was much more than free. Remember that nothing in life is truly free. Someone has to pay a price for it. Even if you aren't paying the price at this time, you may be paying for it without even knowing it. For example, our country. No, I'm not talking taxes.

I am talking troops. People have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Even our freedom to be taxed by our government (don't like it, don't elect it).

In short, always count the cost, and be thankful--even if you didn't pay for it directly. We will talk about indirect payment later. Maybe today, maybe not...

Monday, February 22, 2010


We dodged a bullet today. Sort of anyway. We went to several car dealerships with a friend, and the cars were very tempting. Especially when considering that when it snows, and you drive our second car, it "snows" in the car--and there's no heat or a/c. But we didn't buy. But we were SO tempted. This is scary to me because we really don't have the money. So I have decided to put a stop to visiting any car dealerships.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Couponing--Or How to Cut the Least to Save the Most

I know that a wealth of money can be saved couponing. According to Dave Ramsey, his wife saved their family over seven hundred dollars one year by couponing, so it is worth your time to get good at this.

And it has never been easier to coupon because there are certain websites out there that help.

One such website is Hot Coupon World, and another is A Full Cup. These websites are good for looking up a coupon for a particular brand.

Here is an example: Say you need to purchase cat food and you only use one brand (like 9 Lives). You would search the product name to see if there was a coupon available to use so that you could get a discount on a regularly purchased item.

Another bunch of websites show match-ups of deals with coupons. By doing this method, you can sometimes get things for free or very little cost, and you only clip the coupons you need. This also helps you stock up on items that are regularly needed throughout the year, by purchasing them at their rock bottom price, you can save a considerable amount of money. This month you can get a full tube of toothpaste for $0.04 from Walgreen's. Some websites to look at for this are: STL Mommy and Passion for Savings. These aren't the only websites out there that do this, so you might find one that is specific to your particular area because deals are different in different parts of the country.

Sometimes these websites will list "money-makers" or "overages" which means you get paid to take a product (or a group of products) home.

To learn more, these websites often have a separate page (as opposed to an entry) on couponing.

However, these websites often copy from the source. That source is Coupon Mom (which recently published a book on couponing).

Lastly, the key to couponing is to have a GREAT filing system. Without the filing system, you will not be able to find the coupon when you need it, have coupons scattered everywhere, or be so OVERWHELMED that you cannot even imagine couponing. I have been in all of these positions, and they aren't fun.

What works for me is an accordion file. I put the newest month's coupons in the first section, followed by a couple months back in the next couple of sections. I write the date of the coupons in Sharpie on the front of the insert from the newspaper (so it's easy to read), and I paper-clip the coupons that are from the same Sunday together (so loose pages don't go flying). I also have some ziploc bags with cut coupons in them (filed according to type [which is written on the outside of the bag with the sharpie] and arranged according to date) so they don't end up loose everywhere or bent, and I can throw away expired coupons once a month a lot faster. I keep the scissors and the sharpie in the filing system, so they are never away from me, and I keep this small file in the car so that I don't have to remember to bring it to the store. I know this sounds complicated, but once you get the hang of it, it is really quite simple. (P.S. I do have space in my file for unclipped and unfiled coupons).

WHEW, glad I got THAT off my chest.

Yay Free!

I am a big fan of free. I think that most things that come free save you enough money to make them worth your while (with the exception of contests). I am referring to free samples. I do not wish for this site to become a "free-for-all", but I will post some pretty good deals or freebies if I partake of them myself (and find them worthy of blogging about). There are some other sites out there that are better if you are looking for a list of these sort of things. I personally visit STL Mommy and Passion for Savings (formerly NWADeals.net). There is also Yo Free Samples which will send you an e-mail when they have a freebie list.


Instead of eating a free pretzel, my mother and I chose a free meal from Mimi's Cafe. It was incredible. To get your free meal for joining their website, click here. This is completely legit. My husband, my mother, and I have all used this coupon.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Auntie Anne's

Today is free pretzel day from 10-3. 'Nuff said.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Five Ways of Getting Money

1) Saving money on the essentials (and I do mean essentials). We're talking the cheapest gas, food, house, toilet paper, and utilities that you can manage. And no cable or internet--those aren't essential.

Because a penny saved is a penny earned.

2) Earing more money. Increase your income by any (legal) means necessary.

3) Winning Money. Completely unreliable. But it's nice when it happens.

4) Government money. This is almost as hit or miss as winning money, but the good tax return every now and then doesn't hurt (me. right now. **trying really hard not to think about the national future**)

5) Gifts. Christmas and birthday gifts of cash (or returnable items) should never be discounted.

Earning Your Stripes

So I was researching online for ways to up the income (and thereby up the outgo to Miss Mae), and I came across a few things that might work for our situation (yours may be different, so don't let the shortness of my list inhibit yours).

Drumroll please:

And they are:

1) Newspaper route

2) Garage Sale (although this will have to wait until Snowmageddon passes)

3) Telephone book delivery

4) Lawn cutting (see #2 for why this is not going to happen yet)

5) Sell things on Ebay. I all ready have things posted on Craigslist (C-List) for sale, but I haven't really used Ebay. I find the fees to be off-putting.

6) Put clothing on consignment. I haven't had much luck with this type of selling. Maybe I wasn't involved enough. Although it may be worth a try as every little bit helps.

7) Sell your services (i.e. time/effort/energy). Like housecleaning. Or organizing. Or proofreading. Or article writing. Or babysitting. Or car washing. Or errand running. Or dog walking. Or Pet/house sitting. Or you name it. My issue here has been finding a client base. I have posted ads on C-List that have received NO response. I figure I am not looking in the right place for customers, but I am unsure where the right place is. I also want to look out for whackos.

8) Sell items you have grown. See #2 and 4.

9) Sell items you have baked.

10) Splitting housing costs via looking for renters. Not exactly an ideal situation when you have a young child. And non-working friends.

11) Surveys/Rewards programs. These seem to rarely be worth the time they take to complete. The rewards programs are slightly valuable in that if you were all ready intending to purchase something, then getting your rewards back seems only right. It is not a good idea; however, to purchase something because it has a rewards program. Reward programs usually do not offer cash as an incentive, but if there is something they are offering that you would otherwise have to buy, then by all means...

I Miss My Husband...

because he is at work. For the 10th hour today. Days like this are never easy, but to do the things we want to do; we have to work. Hard. He misses being at home, and at times like this it can be hard to remember why we are doing this.

We are doing this to complete a journey we started on in May of 2008. We are doing this to be Debt Free. So that one day we can call up a particular radio show and shout "I'm Debt FREE" at the top of our lungs.

We are on schedule to do this sometime in July of 2011. I hope we make it there sooner than then.

We need to make it there sooner than then because I am not sure how many more months my husband is going to be willing to work 50-60 hr work weeks. (Not to mention the time I am home with the kiddo without the assistance of my wonderful partner).

Any suggestions can be left as comments. Shoot, leave any comment, as long as you read this.