I have a lot to catch up on

So it has been forever since I posted any of my shopping deals. And it has not been because I have not gotten good deals or I stopped shopping with coupons. Sadly the sales had not been as good and I was making very small trips for only the best deals. Most of the things on sale we just would not use. So with so few things to take photos I just did not have the motivation to post them.
But that has changed this week!
Today I made stops at 2 stores, Winn Dixie and my favorite, Publix.
But before I get into that I want to tell you something really cool. I WON another Publix Gift card!!! This one was for $100.00 again! WAHOO!! What a blessing!

This one was from 7UP and Publix!
So here are my grocery trips that I made today. The first one is from Winn Dixie...

The total for all this before sales and coupons was $113.73. I paid $8.64! A savings of 92.5%. And I got back a $10.00 off coupon for my next purchase! So if you take that into account it was like I made $1.36 for all these things. I did 2 transactions so that I could take advantage of one $10.00 of coupon to get more items. Here is what I got...
14-Boxes of Kellogs cereal
6-Boxes of Fruit Kellogs snacks
3- loaves of Whole Wheat bread
3.5lbs. Grapes
4- Pack Klondike ice cream bars
6- Boxes ziplock bags.

And this is my Publix trip...
The total for all of this before sales and coupons $129.45. And the total after was only $7.93! A savings of 93%! I used my winning gift card to pay for it so really I had nothing out of pocket and it was all free! And this is what I got...
2- bags Sun Chips
4- bottles Sundown Vitamin D
1- 8oz package fresh Mushrooms (yum!)
8- cans Old Orchard frozen Juice
4- Schick razors
12- Glad Cling Wrap
24- packs Sprouts Organic Baby food (NO, I am not expecting! After coupons it was free and I thought it was a great thing to donate!)
2- bottles Rice Vinegar
1- bottle Sesame Oil
2- boxes Lucky Charms cereal
8- boxes Go-Gurt Yogurt
1- Kraft Olive oil Mayonnaise
1- bottle Suave Shampoo
1- pack Cream Cheese
And here is the really long receipt from Publix with Keeley to show just how big it is.


The Battle of the Buck

It has been terribly frustrating over the last year.   Saving money, spending as little as possible, cutting back in so many ways, using very little credit and diligently paying it off every month, and mucking through a bunch of b.s. hoping to get ahead. 

At times, it can feel like you are alone, fighting in a battle that no one else seems to be fighting.  I never understand how some people can keep spending, and doing the same things they've always done, when things seem so tough?

However, I read these articles today, and saw some connections that I thought were interesting.

#1 - How to get ahead in today's economy
The first point, in this article, was that YOU don't deserve a job.  I thought that was an interesting idea, considering how much of the world's economic progress has been based on America's stability.   Truly, Americans have been the backbone of the last 100 years of economic development.  So apparently, the mantle has moved from America to other, more industrious countries now?  In America's economy, today, employers are finding more ways to cut back and keep their costs lower.  And this author, throws out this quick jab pointing out how useless we workers really are:
"Employers these days have little tolerance for staffers who complain about doing more with less. But they reward workers who solve problems and make the company more productive. Once the recovery picks up, they'll be the ones in line for raises and promotions."
 OUCH!  That comment smarted a little bit ... especially when you think about how hard you work, how much you are asked to get done, how much time and energy you invest into your employer, and how little you get in return for it.  They'll reward workers ... ?   Really?   When?  How long will that take?  Do you mean ... after they've traded all the jobs they can to India, or Indonesia, or China?  They'll start rewarding those employees by paying them $.10 more per hour?  Is that really what employers will do?

In fact, here's an article that describes what I think employers are ACTUALLY doing with the massive productivity and stagnant pay they are dishing out right now:

The reality of frugality
To be sure, many shoppers, especially the wealthy, are buying into the recovery.

Some economists put their hopes for the economy in the rich, who are spending more freely than the rest of the population. They hold out hope that this will encourage more hiring and stimulate spending by the less wealthy. More spending could increase companies' revenue, which allow them to boost hiring and pay. And that would lead their employees to spend more.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. returned to a first-quarter profit as more travelers vacationed on its ships and spent more money on board. And makers of luxury goods are benefiting from a release of pent-up demand for jewelry, watches and high-end furnishings.

High-end retailers have reported blowout results. Nordstrom's revenue in stores open at least one year jumped 16.8 percent last month. Saks' surged 12.7 percent.

McClaren Automotive has announced it will debut a $200,000 sports car in the U.S. next year. And business is picking up faster at high-end hotels than at mid-priced and budget hotels.
 However, I don't see any benefit coming to lower and working classes right now.  I see no break from the day to day level of idiocy going on across corporate America.  Sure the wealthy may be spending, but that's because they have it to spend.  I don't know any lower or middle income person right now who has more to spend.  Do you? 

Sure, we may have more savings.  But, that's because we're tired of getting stripped and robbed by people who don't have our best interests at heart.

And ... as if to prove my point ...

Check out this op-ed column from the New York Times, Bob Herbert:
American workers forced out of jobs for what?

I am, and have been, wrong on SO MANY things about average American people.  They always tend to do the things that I would never expect.

But, it does give me some hope ... especially in the light of the thriving growth of the political tea party over the last year ... that even though the wealthy (above) continue unabated in their lifestyles, normal consumers may have the last word.

Why?  Because ...
"consumers fuel about 70 percent of the economy, their tightfisted habits means the rebound could stay unusually sluggish"
I'm not saying that sluggish spending will help consumers.  I am saying that ... if well positioned ... consumer spending could catapult honest, locally-based, ethical businesses, over-and-above the rampant slashing, burning, and destruction most huge, multi-national companies are trying to do right now.

As a consumer ... you have the right to choose the battle for your buck.  Aim your spending choices wisely, and you could actually fuel a recovery that lasts for all the right reasons.  Not just in rewarding some corporate suckety-muck who feels it's his obligation to splurge when and where he wants, in an effort to fuel the 'recovering' economy.



A Bit of Snorkeling on the Choppy Keys

One of our primary goals was to get to the Florida Keys again so we could enjoy the great underwater environment with the girls. They seemed to LOVE it last time. So we were decided to splurge a bit and go back out snorkeling with them. But Chris was able to score some great Buy one get one coupons so we got half off our Snorkel trips! Always looking out for a deal!

These pics are from our trip down from a couple of months ago. I'm just finally getting the chance to share them.

Now, we've gone out with 3 different snorkel boats - and we even made it out BEFORE all the oil that BP has released into the Gulf hits the entire coastline and screws up most of the ecosystem. Unfortunately, it turned out to be fairly poor weather, so we had to put up with some super choppy water. However I would prefer vacationing out on the water over almost anything else - even if I had to put up with a little bit of sea sickness.

Here were a few pics from our trip this time:
This is one of the boats that we went on.

One of the many Barracuda that we saw. And he is even one of the smaller ones.

And this is one of the rare Kaitlyn fish!


On the Road Again

This was an interesting sight that greeted us getting off the highway the other day.

The driver was SO anxious to get back on the road that, I guess, he forgot to hook his trailer back up to his truck.



Twitpic - Check out what climbed out from under my desk today

I was sitting down at my desk this morning, getting ready to start working, and this little monster slid out from under my desk.

It shocked me a little bit. I definitely wasn't expecting it.
I'm not too good with this species, but thankfully Tim was willing to take a hit for the team. Well, it tried to bite him, but I guess it's teeth weren't long enough to do much damage.

It's definitely not something we see everyday, even when there are thousands of strange creatures running around down here.

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Up To?

I apologize about the LONG delay in writing. Even though it's been quite a long time since you've heard from me, it's not because we haven't been doing anything ... although ... we haven't really been doing anything.

Truthfully, I have been working on a book in my spare time. It's taken me an extra month to get it to where I really wanted it. But, I didn't really want to rush the process. I want to be proud of what I've written.

Anyhow ...

Here's the reason I am writing today. I would like to ask for a minute of your time, and see if you will offer your opinion?

Over to the right, over there, is a survey.

I will probably update it with new questions over the next few weeks, but right now I truly need your help in giving me guidance on a title for my book. Please let me know what you think?

If you like one of my current ideas listed, please choose it.
Here are my current titles:
10 Minute Content
Supersonic Content
One Minute Content
Instant Content

If you don't, please submit a different idea in the comment section below. I'll make sure and look through all of the ideas.

As you can tell, the book is about writing. Specifically, it's about writing content quickly, in short bursts of activity.

Finally, I want to thank you for taking the time to help me out in completing this project. I will be having this book professionally edited over the next month or two, and then going into the self-publishing process. If you've read this far, I have one last request from about 5 people. I would like to have about 5 people read my book for me, specifically to offer me editing advice.

If you would like to help me, and read the book, and then you decide you don't think I should have written it ... I don't really want to know that. It doesn't really help me ... I still plan on publishing it whether or not you think it should be used as toilet paper.

However, I truly want you to ready through it and offer me corrective advice and suggestions so I can make it a helpful tool.

Thanks so much for you time!
If you're interested, shoot me a comment below, or send me a message on facebook, or send an email. If you don't know my email, and you want it, let me know in the comments below.

Talk soon!