Is $18 Worth Being Less Aggravated?

My biggest pet peeve at work has to do with coffee.

I drink the coffee at work.  It’s not the best stuff in the world, but the ‘free’ stuff that the company provides isn’t too bad.  I bring my own half-and-half because I can’t stand the powdered creamer, so all in all it’s not bad.

But, my pet peeve surrounds some of the other people that also drink coffee.  In fact, if I had to guess, it’s probably one of the biggest sources of ire in today’s workplace.

It’s the person / people that takes the last bit of coffee and doesn’t bother making a new pot.

In our office, they’re even better about it.  They leave a little bit, maybe a half cup worth, at the bottom of the pot.  Apparently, they think that absolves them of their duties to make a new pot, and probably clears what little conscience they have (can you tell this bugs me? *lol*)

Read moreIs $18 Worth Being Less Aggravated?

Check To Make Sure The Cheaper Option Is Still Cheapest

One of my cats has been on a special diet for a number of years due to a minor health issue that caused more than a few trips to the vet back in the day.  The special food contains higher fiber content which he needs to supplement his diet and keep his inner workings in tune.

The vet prescribed a food that fits the bill for what he needs.  At the time, I did some research and found that the price they wanted to charge me was significantly higher than what I could get it for online, through a web site called ‘Pet Food Direct’.

My vet (grudgingly) wrote a prescription for the food, and I commenced purchasing it through Pet Food Direct.  They were great, and even with shipping costs added in, the price was significantly cheaper.

For awhile.

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Budgeting For Basement Renovations

We have a partially finished basement that was in place when we moved into our house in 2007.  The previous owners finished off two rooms towards the back of the house.  They did it pretty barebones, putting up walls, drywall, basic paint, a drop ceiling, and a finished floor.

We haven’t put this space to use as it’s had some significant drawbacks.  My wife and I had originally talked about expanding the space, as the current design has you walking through unfinished area to get to the finished part.  That would involve taking down a wall, putting up a lot more framing, drywall, and drop ceiling.

The current space offers about 400 square feet of space, 330 of which is the ‘main area’ and 70 square feet is currently being used as an exercise room.  Expanding the space would have yielded an extra 300 square feet that would have been added to the main area.  It would have been nice and would have given us a lot more options, but after discussing it and living with things for a couple of years, we came to the realization that we didn’t really need to expand the space.

We do, however, want to use the main finished part as a play area and gathering spot (sort of a second family room) and this would require some work to be done to fulfill our wishes.

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An Awesome Change By Restaurant.Com

We’ve used Restaurant.com for years.  The way it works is that you buy a coupon that gives you a dollar amount off the meal, and the price you pay for the coupon is way less than the face value.  Typically, you can get a $25 certificate for $10 or a $10 certificate for $4.  Towards the end of the month, they’ll often run 70% or 80% off specials (all you have to do is enter the promo code that they distribute to their e-mail members) so you can get them much cheaper.

We’ve run into very few problems over the years.  One time we had a restaurant refuse to honor the certificate, saying that they had opted out of the program but that Restaurant.com had not removed them from the site, but they later sent us a gift card as an apology.

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Overseeding The Grass

We planted some grass in the backyard in spring 2008, not too long after we moved in.  Prior to that it was a densely wooded area.  While the woods were nice, they left us with barely any yard and had slowly started taking over the deck area.  Many of the trees had died, having been overcome by the bugs that killed most of the ash trees in Michigan.  We had the dead trees removed along with many of the scrub or smaller trees.  We left quite a few trees so that we still had most of the privacy yet we had more lawn and a nicer view to look out on.

mb-201009grassPredictably, though, the remaining wooded areas meant that the grass wouldn’t get the full sun exposure that it needs to thrive.  About 75% of my grass does well, but there were a few spots in the ‘new’ section that I could tell would need regular upkeep.

After three seasons, I knew that it was time to strengthen the grass, and was set to do so by overseeding the areas that were thinned out.

Overseeding is something I hadn’t heard of, but once I started reading about it, made complete sense.  You are basically adding more seed to the grass to thicken it back up.  Doing so will restore the lushness and the thicker grass will act as a barrier from weeds.

However, it’s not as simple as just dropping some seed down on the lawn.  Nothing is ever that simple is it?

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One Family Struggles With Unemployment…And I Don’t Feel Bad For Them!

My wife gets together with a group of new moms on a somewhat regular basis.  It’s always fun to hear the stories about what’s going on with the moms, the other kids, and the families.

As soon as I heard the latest story, I knew I had to share this with my readers!  It involves unemployment, bad judgment, questionable decisions, and financial impact….a personal finance bloggers dream!

One of the fellow mom’s, similar to Mrs. Beagle, had worked up until her son was born.  Also like Mrs. Beagle, she was planning to quit her job (she was an elementary school teacher) and stay at home to take care of the baby.  However, before she had a chance to quit, she got laid off.

This meant that she qualified for unemployment.

She’s collected unemployment for over a year, even making mention a couple of months ago how they would be continuing to collect since the government had extended the length of time one could collect.

Can you see why in the title I don’t feel bad for them?

Read moreOne Family Struggles With Unemployment…And I Don’t Feel Bad For Them!

Amazon Diapers Saving Some Big Bucks!

My wife recently laid a coupon on my desk that she found in Parents magazine for 20% off a diaper purchase at Amazon.

Upon doing some digging, I found that this was a really good deal.  It apparently was stackable with a promotion that they were running on a Subscribe-And-Save promotion.  Subscribe-And-Save allows you to sign up and typically receive 15% automatic shipments of staples like diapers, batteries, household cleaners, etc.  They were running an extra 15% off.

That means that we were looking at:
15% the original subscribe and save
15% for the bonus subscribe and save promo
20% off the coupon

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Watch How Much Fabric Softener You Use

One of the ways we’ve saved a little money is that my wife now cleans my work shirts.  I still work in one of the remaining few offices where you’re expected to wear a button down shirt and tie (Friday’s are more casual).  Before my wife left her job to be a stay-at-home-mom, we would take my dress shirts in to the dry cleaner to get laundered and pressed.

She’s started doing it, and for the most part it works out well.  It is time consuming, mainly the ironing, but she’ll usually reserve a couple of hours and combine it with other ironing to get it all done every few weeks.  And, the savings have been noticeable!

One thing we’ve noticed a couple of times is that there appear to be stains on the shirts. I generally don’t stain  my shirts at work and don’t come into contact with anything that would explain this, so it was puzzling.  In most cases, re-washing it with a little degreaser seemed to do the trick.  Still, it was annoying.

Read moreWatch How Much Fabric Softener You Use