Archive for the 'general' Category


Holy Shit, Sarah is back!


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!


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?


The Acer Laptop Returns

(To catch up on the Acer saga, please check the Acer Nightmare tag. First post is here, second is here, and third is here. The laptop in question is an Acer Aspire 5100 series, which had a loose screen hinge, faulty touch pad, chronic overheating, whining fan, and would occasionally freeze up with blue and white vertical stripes on the screen, which I was told that was the video card going out.)


So, Acer sent the laptop back to me, completely and utterly untouched and unfixed. Even the problems that would NOT even be close to being caused by this mysterious liquid – loose hinge for the screen, bad touchpad – they didn’t even bother fixing. Thanks, Acer.

They sent it back in a box that I had sent it in, and the box was wearing thin and breaking in spots.


A couple shots of the box.


Same packaging, everything, and no paperwork – so I have no idea if they even opened it, what they *might* have done to it, nothing. If something would have happened to the box since it was so flimsy anyways, there would be no identifiable info about the laptop itself.

Here are a couple of pics of the outside of the laptop – the touchpad, the lose hinge, etc.


This is the back hinge. The white residue you see is from duct tape.. I had to use duct tape to keep it from wobbling. I took it off before I sent it back.


This is the touchpad, and this is the wear from only a year and a half worth of use. The buttons want to fall out, the color is actually wearing down, you can see scratches on the laptop. The laptop has spent most of it’s time on my desk. The touchpad itself was faulty.


It’s just made from cheap plastic, as you can see. Hasn’t held up well.


This is the bottom of the laptop. I have no idea what this white powder is, but it is covering a lot – I just thought it was worth noting.

I have to admit, I am defeated. I think the main thing that broke me was the constant jerking and pulling from the customer service at Acer. Insisting they want to make me happy, paying for FedEx shipping back, offering to correct the wrongs that they made and then deciding against it. Telling me that they wouldn’t touch it, and if they did, it would be $449. Naming a mysterious liquid as the problem, making even outer fixes like the touchpad and hinge un-doable. Assuming that I accused the repair reps of spilling a drink in the laptop when it had never even crossed my mind.

But even though I am defeated when it comes to this laptop, I can honestly say I will do absolutely everything in my power to make sure everyone knows the lack of quality and horrible Acer customer support offers. I will make sure that everyone I know, speak to, pass on the street, run across on blogs, forums, social networks, anyone that is looking for anything computer related will know what hideous treatment they give their customers, and that they have no problems promising something then deciding differently. I would have taken them very little to make me happy, but instead they give excuses and false promises.

I don’t want anything from Acer anymore. But what I do want is for people to know how Acer treats the people that buys their products. I have filed a report at, I will be filing with the BBB, and I will be contacting the consumer media watchdogs. Yelp is probably a good idea, too.

If anyone needs the contact info for the top 5 executives at Acer, here you go:

These are the person business emails of some of the Acer Pan America Executive Team, President, General Manager, Acer America, Vice President, Customer Service, Senior Director, Sales Operations and Fulfillment, Director, U.S. Retail Sales


Boooo, Acer!

So here’s the story.

About 2 years ago, I bought a laptop. An Acer Aspire 5100 series laptop.

Af first the laptop was fine. It did great, oh, for about two months. The screen went out on it, and I had to send it back for repairs.

I was impressed. They got it, fixed it within 48 hours, and shipped it back. I thought it was a little odd that I had to pay to ship the laptop back in the first place, most companies cover shipping. But it was $25, and I got my laptop back quickly, so I didn’t complain.

But after a few months other stuff started going bad. The network card would drop out randomly, the screen would go to white and blue vertical stripes, the touchpad was wonky. I researched my problems and found out that Acer repair, more than not, is pretty touch and go. Most complaints I have read say that the laptop came back to the owner in worse shape than it was sent out.

So, I tried to deal with the problems. Never mind the fact I pair $800 for a laptop that was nothing short of a drama queen. I was able to check my email and use basic programs, so I was Ok.

One day I just got fed up. It’s an $800 product, and on top of that I paid an extra $100 for an extended guarantee. I went to the Consumerist to see if there were any other complaints, and my god, there were.

I was looking around on the Consumerist when I found instructions on how to create your own Executive Email Carpet Bomb. You find the PR reps address, and then the list of executives of the company. You look at the format of the email, and try to reconstruct the email addresses of the people you want to contact – namely, the higher ups.

So I did this. I sent out an email explaining how disappointed I was in Acer, etc.,etc. I honestly didn’t expect to hear anything from them. But none of the emails bounced, so I knew the emails had to go somewhere.

A week or so later I got a phone call. It was Acer, from their offices in Temple, TX. They offered to ship my laptop back, free of charge, and fix all the problems I had complained about.

I was ecstatic. Insanely happy. They had listened! The consumer would get good customer service! I packed up my laptop and sent it out as soon as I could. My sweet little laptop was going to go straight to a fancy senior tech and all my problems would be fixed!

But today I got a phone call. That they won’t be fixing my laptop, and they are shipping it back untouched.

Because of “water damage”. And the screen problem is caused by said liquid (which, let’s say, this problem has been going on for a year now. If it WAS liquid, I would think the problem would either escalate or go away, depending on what type of liquid it was)

Ok, I admit I clicked over into bitch mode. But I had my reasons.

I DON’T HAVE LIQUIDS AROUND MY LAPTOP. At all. And when I told her this she said (pretty snotty) that they “have pictures” and that “their employees don’t have liquids around the computer, so it wasn’t them.”

NO SHIT. She automatically assumes that I was blaming them, which I have huge troubles with, because at that point I was more than surprised, and blaming them wasn’t even in the realm of realistic. This actually offended me, and a lot.

Secondly, they NEVER SAID that this was work had to be covered by the warranty . I assumed that they were doing this out of the kindness of their hearts, because I had a horrible laptop and they had the resources and ability to right a situation that was wrong, so they were doing this. I guess I was really out of line there.

This pisses me off beyond all belief. Water? WTF? I have heard this excuse being used on a huge amount of people that send their laptops back into Acer. I almost choked on my drink (but don’t worry! I wasn’t around the computer) when she said “water damage”, because 1) there is no liquid in the computer and 2) this line from them is getting very, very old. I’ve heard it before, and I bet I’ll hear it again.

So now, I’m awaiting a call from “Travis”. I am seriously not going to be quiet on this one – if they right the situation, I will apologize and let people know that Acer actually listens to their customers. But if they try to send that laptop back to me with the line that it was “liquid” in the laptop, I swear to god I will be emailing and calling everyone within my power. I was promised that a senior tech would fix my laptop, and now I am being told that they aren’t going to touch it. I was told, in the original phone call, that they wanted to make me happy. And accusing me of doing something that I have no clue what actually happened is not scoring too high on the “happy” factor.

Do you know someone who has been treated badly by Acer?


More free stuff and “How do you do that?”


See that? Ohhhh, yes, of course you do. That, my friends and fellow frugalites, is more free haircare products.

I ran errands all day today. After I saved my boyfriend’s jeep from exploding (does he EVER check the fluids?), I went to Walgreens armed with 8 more Fructis coupons. This time around I got 2 shampoos, 2 conditioners, 2 “soothing milks” (I have no clue what these do, but I know I have frizz, and it says “frizz control” and it’s free, so I figured what the hell. You’ll probably see it in a “cheap critiques” post coming up), and 2 hairsprays. I also got 2 more rolls of free aluminum foil, but those aren’t pictured because the excitement level of free haircare products far exceeds free foil. I also got the boyfriend a 100 piece pack of Nicorette gum for $25, down from $60-ish. He typically pays $40 for the off-brand gum, so $25 is good either way. So 8 more haircare products and 2 more aluminum foils, free.

Also, Sasha at DebtFreeSaver asks:

Can you give more of a breakdown of how you managed to get all that for free?

Sure I can! Most free and steep discounts come from pairing a manufacturers coupon with a store coupon. This can include sales, too. Most stores (in fact, all that I shop at) allow this – but it has to be one of each, it can’t be two manufacturers coupons paired together. For example:

Walgreens had Garnier Fructis on sale for $2.99, down from $3.99.
They put out an Easy Saver coupon book each month, and it included a $2 coupon for Fructis products.
This takes it down to 99 cents. Fructis puts out a high number of coupons, typically for $1. Applied to your purchase, the item becomes free (or, you get a possible overage of 1 cent, depending on the store.)

It can take some time to develop the skills to spot all these pairings. I sit down with my binder and look through 3 store fliers – Target, Walgreens, and CVS. I note what is on sale, and then I see if I have any coupons for them. Free stuff doesn’t come around *all* the time, but it does – that’s when I stock up. Next time I get Fructis coupons I will probably pass them on to a friend to use, since I have plenty to last.

Is this clear enough? If not, feel free to let me know!


Some changes

I am going to be redoing the format of a few of my posts, so if you see something out of whack, or it doesn’t add up right, just hold tight! 🙂


Great Post

Over at Frugal In Virginia, there is a great post about living with someone who is a “couponaholic.” Very entertaining – check it out!

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.

Social Networking Thingies


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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