01
Jul
09

Holy Shit, Sarah is back!

Yay!

Since the last post, a massive amount of stuff has changed in my life – mostly for the better. To sum it up:

- I started my own mineral makeup company, and I make everything by hand. It started out as a hobby, but quickly shot up to a full time job. Things are going really, really well with it!

- I went back to school for a month, during a summer session.

- I bought a car. That ended up stalling the next day. That was a 2 week ordeal from hell, lemmetellya.

- Justin (the boyfriend/fiancee) got laid off. He hated his job, so this can be seen as a good thing, but we are nervous right now.

- I have started an Insulin Resistance diet. This restricts the food that I can eat but it works really really well at controlling my PCOS symptoms, and I feel so much better on it. I fell off the wagon during classes, and I’m looking forward to restarting it next week (I need to restock my food supply).

And because of these changes, I am excited because:

- I HAVE A CAR. When I tried to coupon before I was carless, so I would have to wait until late evening or Saturdays to find good deals. Now I can go any time, including Sunday mornings (when the deals are most likely still there).

- Justin is helping me with the business and is saving me a ton of time – meaning I can work at coupons again.

I really miss finding the good deals, and we are down to our last bottle of toothpaste and conditioner from the stockpile – and fear glazes over my eyes when I consider actually paying for anything like that.

So I plan to make some small changes – different layout, etc. But the coupon organizer is being revamped (and with the help of my new LABELMAKER OMG). With being on the IR diet things will be a bit different, and I can’t just buy any food without contemplating on how it fits into my lifestyle. But, I’m learning how to find coupons and deals for the food I can eat and enjoy. I also plan to track my weight loss, because my metabolism is returning to normal through the PCOS treatment and I can actually lose weight for the first time in my life.

I am so excited to be back!

07
Apr
09

How to get free magazines

We get a lot of magazines at our house but we never pay for a subscription. The quality of magazines range – from ones I love like Harper’s Bazaar and Lucky to mediocre ones like Maxim and Blender (now defunct).  We probably get ten to fifteen different magazines a month.

Lots of people have asked me how I manage to get these subscriptions for free – and I admit, it used to take a bit of research. But since I have found the Free Magazines forum over at SlickDeals, finding free magazines has become a lot easier!

You mainly get free magazines through companies that sell trade magazines – specialised magazines for a specific line of work. To bump up the subscription numbers these companies add a consumer magazine to try to draw more people in. You don’t have to sign up for the trade magazine to get the consumer one.

RewardsGold and FreeBizMag are two popular websites to find free magazines. If you go through the forum and find one you want to subscribe to, click on that forum post. Find the link in the post to the offer, and click on that. Typically you enter in your first and last name and an email. I have a “freebies” email that I use for stuff like this – it’s a yahoo account that I never check. When it comes to picking a business and trade, find something that is similar to your line of work, or just pick “student” for everything. It will ask you to narrow down your line of work, and like I said, just pick something that is similar. (Honestly, I just go through and pick whatever my cursor lands on.) I then click “Submit”, and go to the next page, where you typically enter in your address. I make sure I do NOT put a check mark or choose any trade magazines.

When you are done, the magazines typically come pretty quickly. I have gotten subscriptions like this for a couple of years now, and it works great.

Another, although less “free” method of getting magazines is through a Points program. We are with National City, and we get 2 points for every dollar that we spend on our debit cards. Subscriptions are pretty low on the points scale but they tend to be a bit higher in quality compared to the completely free ones.

I hope this helps – we enjoy magazines, but they can get pricey! This is a good way to keep ourselvs entertained for very little effort.

10
Mar
09

Skirts!

In order to add some variety into my wardrobe, I decided to try to find a few skirts that I could wear for everyday occasions. I looked at a number of different stores, and the skirts were either expensive, the wrong length, didn’t look good on a plus sized person, or all of the above.

Since I studied clothing design in school for a few years, I decided to break through my sewing fear (from an expensive and botched project) and to try a simple skirt. There were a lot of patterns out there that I liked, but they all had techniques that complicated the pattern. I decided, in order to get my sewing mojo back, I would make the simplest skirt I could.
And, it worked. Granted – I haven’t sewn a stitch of it. But the pattern drafting was extremely easy, and cutting it was a cinch. Since clothing can get expensive – and some of us can be picky about the styles we wear – I decided to round up some information that others might be able to use.

Skirts are really, really simple. I would have been done with mine in less than 20 minutes had I decided to do an elastic band waist, but because I am a bit larger I decided to put a zipper in to eliminate bulk.

I mainly used this tutorial here. It went really quick – drafted a quick pattern, folded the fabric like it said, and laid it out and cut it out. With the way the fabric is folded you have a skirt that has no seams in it – in total, it’s one piece of fabric. Put on a waistband/zipper or make a channel for elastic, hem it, and voila – you are done!

I am partial to the circle skirt, but I plan to try other varieties, too. Some sites I have turned up:

Skirts – Free Patterns

Circle Skirt Directions (includes a calculator that you enter your measurements into)

Half Circle Skirt pattern

5 Minute Skirt

Wrap Skirt

The “Oh Wow That Was Totally Easy!” Skirt Making Tutorial

And since I haven’t sewn a zipper in years, I decided to see if there was any tutorials out there that might smooth out the process, since zippers can sometimes be nightmares. I found this absolutely awesome zipper tutorial over at Sew, Mama, Sew! It uses a glue stick in order to hold the zipper still – genius! It makes installing a zipper a lot less scary!

In regards to fabric, you will probably have to guesstimate how much you need for your size. I tend to get 2.5 yards of 60” fabric. And if I find the fabric on clearance, that can mean a really inexpensive skirt! Also, if your fabric contains natural fibers – cotton, etc. – then I would suggest pre-washing the fabric if it is washable, to prevent shrinkage.

Please let me know if you have stumbled on any other great skirt or sewing tutorials out there – I’m always looking for something new to try!

01
Mar
09

Free Quiznos Sub?

Has anyone else tried to redeem the coupons from Quiznos Million Subs Giveaway?

There seems to be a lot of hubbub over this one, which The Consumerist has covered pretty well. Since since issues with redeeming the coupons seem to be ironing out, I thought it would be safe to try to redeem the coupons both me and the boyfriend received. We got a reminder email from Quiznos last night to print the coupons. We did, and decided to find a location to visit today.

We found a location, although the nearest was 15 miles away. But it was a sort of lame adventure.. what else would we do on a random Saturday? We piled in the car and drove to it. Once inside though, it was a small nightmare. We were told our coupons were no good, they wouldn’t accept them, but then when I tried to find a corporate phone number to find they decided to “try to run the numbers through.” We stood there for a good half an hour while multiple employees told us different things and took info off of our IDs. In the end, though, the coupons were denied and we were told they were fake and no good. Surprising since we had printed the coupons directly from the Quiznos email the night before.

In the end all was not lost – we were so hungry by that point that we went to the Mexican place next door and had the best lobster chimichangas possible. Still, we were bummed, considering we thought we would try something new. And standing in that store for a half an hour smelling the food and then being denied was a whole ball of fun, lemme tell you.

I’m not totally ripping Qiznos a new one yet. I know that there has been a lot of miscommunication on this one between the store locations and corporate. I have emailed millionsubs@quiznos.com with the complaint. I’ll let you know how this turns out.

And as an update to this post concerning my trouble with enrolling in free prescription programs – the issue has seemed to resolve itself. One day GlaxoSmithKline just started randomly sending me bottles of my medication – granted, it’s what the prescription was for, so I won’t complain. AstraZeneca was actually a pretty good sport – after the 3rd phone call where they had “not received anything from my doctor” when I know the doctor faxed something in, in exasperation I said “What ARE you guys? Is this really a prescription program? Or an illegal drug front? What are you guys selling?!”

I really wouldn’t recommend that technique for someone trying to enroll, but the guy on the other end of the line was a great sport, laughed, and gave me his personal fax number. A week later I had the meds. So good for both of the companies.

There are some great blog posts coming up – one in which I ponder the price of $20 chicken breasts and decide to debone a whole chicken (it’s just chilling in the freezer now and I am scared shitless) and review awesome and inexpensive makeup. Good stuff!

25
Feb
09

I’m still here!

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I promise I’ll be back soon! I have been sidelined with a respiratory issue – don’t you just love cold and flu season?

17
Feb
09

Duh.

You’d think since I do so much couponing I would kinda know the ins-and-outs of it right now, eh?

Instead, I’m sitting here with four Sunday papers with no coupons because it’s a holiday weekend.

Oh, well, at least they had the Target $10 gift cards with a new prescription.

14
Feb
09

Angel Food Ministries

So, to put it bluntly, the price of food sucks. Even though the price of gas has gone down dramatically, the price of food is nicely staying perched atop the height it hit in 2008. I know at the beginning of 2008 I was a horrible cook – epically horrible. The cost of processed foods kept rising though, and I saw our grocery bill keep rising, and I knew I had to do something. One thing that I have been meaning to do, though, is join Angel Food Ministries.

Angel Food Ministries is a program where you place an order for a box of food at the beginning of the month, and the cost of a box is $30. It can feed a family of four for about a week, and the average retail price is around $60.

This isn’t a charity, though. The success of Angel Food Ministries depends on people buying boxes of food – the more money they have the more money they are able to buy more food at a cheaper price. There are no applications, requirements, income restrictions, or minimum limit. It’s the good quality stuff, too.. it’s not second hand food. Food stamps are accepted, though.

This month’s menu, for example:

1.5 lb. Sirloin Strip Steaks
2 lb. Tray Pack Chicken Breasts
1 lb. Boneless Pork Chops
2 lb. Breaded Chicken Nuggets
28 oz. Salisbury Steak Entrée
12 oz. Sliced Bacon
1 lb. All-Meat Hot Dog
1 lb. Stir Fry (Broccoli, Red Peppers & Onions)
1 lb. Carrots
8 oz. Breakfast Cereal
32 oz. 2% Shelf Stable Milk
35 oz. Crinkle-Cut Fries
7.25 oz. Mac ‘n Cheese
1 lb. Rice
1 lb. Bean Soup Mix
Dozen Eggs
Dessert

Plus, you can get add-on boxes, like a Assorted Meat Box, Fajita Kit, etc.

You can find your local host site here (they are located in local churches), and then you can contact your host site to order that month’s box. There are many sites located in Cincinnati, making it easy to find a host site.

It’s definitely worth trying, and you can save money in the process!

(And to avoid the inevitable – this story about Angel Food Ministries came out on the same exact day I started writing this blog post. I wasn’t sure how to handle this, but I decided to keep blogging about it because people can get good food at a great price. I hope that the investigation turns up nothing, but if it does I’m glad that the FBI is investigating. Reminds me of the Locks of Love controversy, no?)




About Me

An always interesting but sometimes random blog of a 20-something just trying to save money in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am also a wanna-be foodie on a budget.

Likes: cats, pink alcoholic drinks, my KitchenAid mixer, knitting.
Dislikes: Our health care system, celery.


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About Me

An always interesting but sometimes foul-mouthed blog of a 20-something just trying to save money in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Likes: cats, pink alcoholic drinks, my KitchenAid mixer, knitting.
Dislikes: Our health care system, celery.

Social Networking Thingies




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