weekend pickthrough- mail call showdown edition.

27 03 2011

this has been a good couple of weeks for free stuff in the mail. between the soy milk and the cleaning stuff, i also applied for some samples online, which showed up this week. i realized after i wrote that post last week about product testing sites, i had completely left out free sample sites! you may not get full sized products, but i am a sucker for tiny scale models of real products, and they almost always come with a pretty decent value coupon.

this week, i got two sample deliveries- one from target, and one from proctor & gamble (evil i know, but FREE STUFF!). when i originally saw the post for the target beauty bag on my favorite freebie website, i thought it might be a phishing scam. so much awesome stuff for free! my bag arrived a mere one week later.

though not packed with the same goods pictured (where’s my full sized sally hansen nail enamel?), still had some pretty hot shit inside (full sized neutrogena lip balm!). also, it came packaged in the most adorable tiny makeup bag known to man, and had $25 worth of target beauty coupons. and you know what that means… STACKING!! i was blown away.

then, i got my p&g brandsaver… and there was blowing alright, just not the good kind. one tiny sample and two tiny coupons? i hear these stories about people getting all sorts of crazy awesome shit from p&g, but i have never gotten anything good. this was better than the time they sent me a single metamucil packet in a huge box, but not much.

sadly, the target beauty bag is already sold out, but i would recommend finding yourself a freebie listing service so that you have a chance of getting in on the action next time around. i also follow deal seeking pros like hip2save on twitter, who usually have first knowledge of the good shit.

but since you’re probably still really jealous about not getting the beauty bag, here are some links to ease your pain: Read the rest of this entry »





the plastic files.

3 02 2011

first and foremost, i would like to apologize for not posting yesterday. i am still getting the hang of the daily posting gig, and also drank one too many bourbons after a particularly rough day and ended up face down on the couch at 8:30 instead of  writing my post. i repent. also, i am hungover as hell today- so my body is repenting too. but on to the promised content!

so i am very proud to say that a year has come and gone, and i have not used my credit cards even once. i did have to borrow money from the boyfriend on a couple of occasions, and i did certainly have more than a few months of barely scraping by (including and especially this one), but it still feels like progress to me. am i delusional? is learning to control my finances a gradual evolution, or should i have figured my shit out by now? i worry that it’s like being an alcoholic, where i either need to quit cold turkey or never get better…

as usual, i still have dreams and hopes of getting a tighter grip on my money and finally making a bigger dent in my debt this year. i’m still way behind from xmas and more other random unexpected shit (burst pipe!), but i’ve started a new habit to help defray at least a little of any future emergency money madness: i have become a gift card hoarder.

usually after xmas, i take any gift cards i might have and rush my little ass to the mall and spend spend spend…  but this year i promised myself that i would hold on to them for a bit and see what happened.  i have also amassed a few more from rebates and online surveys (i’ve had great luck with these guys), and my cache is looking quite tidy (see above). here’s my master plan: Read the rest of this entry »





parental advisory: explicit lyrics.

1 02 2011

right now, i’m exactly like a slowly rolling katamari of blogs. every few months or so, i pick up yet another so-and-so and the ball just keeps getting bigger and bigger. this is awesome in the way that i get to write about a variety of crazy shit (this week i get to make granola bars and test drive a puffy skirt), although less awesome in the way that nobody actually pays me. well, last month, i rolled up yet another opportunity. this time, posting my prime content on the wcsh6 portland blog.

now, reposting content should require very little work on my part. SHOULD, of course being the operative word. however, ease is an experience reserved for people who use proper capitalization and aren’t quite so liberal with the f-bombs. wcsh6 might want my content, but understandably, they want it a little less colorful and a little more family friendly. pg-13 at best.

anyway, if you ever wanted to recommend my blog to your gramma, grade school english teacher, or friends from church camp, but didn’t think they could hack the racy themes and rampant overuse of commas… this is your chance! i’ve been filing the corners off all my material so that it’s safe for children, and no longer a choking hazard for the elderly.  you can see the distilled result of my most recent effort right here. or if you think that’s balls, if nothing else you can look at both posts side by side and try to spot the differences.





shit, i forgot the coupons.

14 01 2011

for xmas, i gifted myself with a subscription to the sunday paper. it’s minimally cheaper than buying it at the store, and conveniently delivered to my front door before 7 am. thus, i can stay in my sweatpants and be lazy and not brave the cold cold walk down to the sketchy sketchy 7-11. or so i had hoped! first sunday, NO PAPER. i figured maybe it just took them a minute to get the party started. last sunday, NO PAPER AGAIN (later resolved with an agitated call to the circulation department- i hope)!  thanks to a 7 hour a chorus line rehearsal on sunday, i didn’t have the time or energy to go get one on my own. i hit the grocery store on tuesday, but sadly, there were none left. a couponless week! what’s a girl to do!?

when i first started my coupon clipping adventures over a year ago, a moment like this would have sent me into a panic spiral. to think of all the deals that i would miss, the freebies loaded into the carts of strangers that wouldn’t be available to me without those magic slips of paper… i don’t remember if i ever cried over such a situation, but i also don’t remember not crying. when i first started out, i would get a crazy high off my deal mongering and would hit multiple drugstores multiple times per week- often spending hours in the aisles trying to cobble the perfect deal (poor boyfriend left to languish in the car).

but then, i kind of got over it.

i don’t have any idea how extreme couponers keep the ball rolling… it’s so much pre-planning and work! after a while, my coupon energy ramped down and my desire to have every single deal faded away (my stockpiles grew too large… i ended up with items i couldn’t use or donate…i was fucking tired…). if i missed a newspaper, so what? if i forgot to bring my coupons to the grocery store, meh!

i still go through peaks and valleys of coupon focus/mania, but in terms of the emotional highs and lows that i used to hit, i have figured out a few things along the way that are guaranteed to always talk me off the ledge: Read the rest of this entry »





happy boxing day!

27 12 2010

today is boxing day in various nations around the world. today is also a different kind of boxing day right here in the USA. today is the day that people haul home their xmas loads, grab a big cardboard box, and start sorting out the shit that they’re going to drop off at the goodwill ASAP. (a friend of mine brings 2 bags to her in-law’s house- one for stuff to bring home, one to ditch at the goodwill on her way home).

for example, my boyfriend’s parents have a large extended family. and even though trying to celebrate everyone for xmas is expensive and extremely inconvenient, several family members refuse to give up the tradition. unfortunately, it’s not the family members with large disposable incomes or most intimate insights into their wants and interests doing the gift giving. mostly it’s distant and out of touch (often with reality) relatives without much to spare in the gift giving budget. now, as a person who writes a budget blog, i am certainly not one to poo poo an inexpensive gift. however, any gift not given with care is likely to end up discard bin, and the only thing you’ve really given your friends and relatives is the task of writing an awkward thank you note that won’t reveal the fact that your gift is already donation fodder.

so to you coworkers, extended family, in-laws, acquaintences… my gift to you this year is a cautionary tale of three ceramic polar bears: Read the rest of this entry »





weekend pickthrough- let’s get into physical edition.

18 10 2010

thursday was a big day for me. as you might have read in my last post, i went to the mat for round 2 of amateur burlesque booty shakin, and this time, i was getting physical. let’s just say that there was a shake weight involved. oh, and a thigh master. and if you can believe it, I WON! it was pretty kick ass. there were 7 other acts competing with everything from sexy circus, to sexy redneck, to SEXY ORGAN HARVEST (i shit you not)…and it’s still pretty hard to believe that my goofy ass aerobicizing actually took home the prize ($50 and a chance to do it all again on november 11th in the finals). my routine also involved me pouring a bunch of water on myself, and i walked around looking like i peed my pants for the rest of the evening. zexxxy.

anyway, i have a little less than a month to come up with the another routine, and the balls to do it all again. yipes. i was down for the count for 3 days afterward just recovering from the stress and lost sleep for this round, i’m not entirely sure i have it in me to do it again. the competition will be crazy stiff this time, and i don’t have a goddamn clue what i’m gonna do for a number (any ideas?).

oh, and my mom finally found out about my second life as candy sprinkles, and we had to have a little chat about it. she won’t come see me in the finals… but she’s glad i’m not stripping. mostly, i think she thinks that i’m crazy. she’s probably right.

now how about that weekend pickthrough…

my friend michelle calls my dog k.lo because he requires an umbrella holder when we go out in the rain or he refuses to poop. maybe i should just get him one of these. while i’m at it, i should upgrade my dog to the crazy one in the picture.

drawing stuff is overrated. i bet futurama would be just as awesome in just three pixels.

everything you need to know about personal finance can fit onto the back of 5 business cards.

home made twix bars FTW.

somebody needs to buy this dog so that it can play with my dog. right now. i said get on it.

if anyone out there happens to be writing a novel next month and wants to play with me, i’m hanging out over here.

it’s motherfucking halloween, and that means one thing- MOONLIGHT CORN MAZE!

apparently, this is maine’s hottest bachelor. meh. cute, but i think we can do better (sort of like miss maine always has a big nose or a fat ass and NEVER makes top 10).

um, dogbeards?





weekend pickthrough- noisy neighbors edition.

11 09 2010

so i know that last week i was all promising to squeeze the weekend pickthrough out by friday… but i assure you that i have a totally valid excuse for my failings this week. TOTALLY VALID!  (thought you might be more convinced of the validity if i used all caps). anyway, thursday night i went out with some friends, drank too many ciders, and then rambled home around midnight. at home, i tried shoveling some leftover mexi-mac into my craw for a few minutes, and then promptly passed out on the couch. easily, this could be the end of the story (although drunkenness wouldn’t exactly be as TOTALLY VALID as previously purported).

so i wake up around 2ish and decide that i should probably drag my drunk ass to bed if i’m going to make it to work in 5 hours. teeth brushed. sweatpants on. i hurl myself onto the space foam face down ready to lapse into an immediate coma…. and then i hear it: BOM-CHICKA-BOM-BOM BOM-CHICKA-BOM-BOM BOM-CHICKA-BOM-BOM. what’s that? the endless thumping bass line of my frat-boy cliche next door neighbors? i tried valiantly to let the booze wash over me and cancel out the thumping, but it was too late. i was sobering up, and unless they turned that shit down, i was never going to get to sleep.

so i go downstairs with the intention of gently knocking on their door and calmly letting them know that they are disrespectful assholes who should probably kiss my ass before i kick theirs… but they didn’t answer. i knocked louder. and louder. and eventually resorted to karate kicking the shit out of their door as loud as i possibly could for a good 5 minutes. still, no answer.

i finally went inside and devised the following master plan:

1. write sternly worded note that will effectively elicit guilt, shame, and compliance.

2. tape note to door.

2. emblazon door with the phrase “DOUCHE PALACE” in red lipstick.

4. write note to landlord regarding their inconsiderateness.

the note happened pretty swiftly, but looking for a lipstick that i was willing to ruin took slightly longer that i predicted. armed with tape, a wet & wild coral lipstick, and all the rage that my 5′ 7″ frame is capable of containing, i stomped across the porch to their door.

and then, the guy came out. FUCK. sadly, my plan would never make it past stage 1. also, i was so filled with fury (and booze), that i’m pretty sure i didn’t make much sense while i attempted to rip him a new one. i remember yelling DUDE a lot, and when he apologized, saying something like “GODDAMN RIGHT YOU’RE SORRY”, but the rest is an unfortunate blur.

i was shaking all over when i came inside around 3:15, which resulted in me not heading back to bed until around 4-4:30. seeing as i get up at around 6:45 to get ready for work…. that would equal exactly NOT ENOUGH SLEEP FOR BASIC HUMAN FUNCTION.

so last night after work (and a really big bowl of pasta), i did not pass go, i did not collect $200, i did not write my blog post… i went directly to bed (and slept for about 13 hours). so i’m sorry about the delay, but if you have any formal complaints, you can address them to the douche palace.

this hilarious sweet disorder post is just called “prostitute laundry”, and i think that’s all the introduction you need.

things organized neatly caters to my OCD-ness in the most attractive way possible.

i’m buying this book for everyone on my xmas list. and if you’re lucky, i’ll likely host an ill conceived giveaway so that you can have a chance to get one too.

let’s all leave little presents for strangers.

of all the mad-men spinoff websites that have emerged, this one is BY FAR my favorite.

the always amazing elisa doucette shares her dirty ex-stalking secrets, and helps us break the habit with EX BLOCKER.

i’m not sure whether designing speed bumps that look like small children is utter brilliance or a soon to be tragic mistake.

name brand foods are totally worth it if you coupon the shit out of them. too bad nobody told slashfood about that.

my child rescued the princess with no warp pipes (i don’t even have kids, and i demand that these stickers get made).

why are the really boring things on antiques roadshow always the most valuable? where are ben franklin’s anal beads or the left toe of hunter s. thompson?

new addition to the local blogroll! sort of webcomic meets fitness chronicle meets me almost peeing on myself with laughter.