Author: Cheryl
•6:57 PM
Enjoy the scenery. We sure did.

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Author: Cheryl
•9:51 AM

Philadelphia won a championship. The Phillies are the 2008 World Series Champs!!!

The 25 year drought is over!! My husband and I went over to the stadium in Philly around 10:30pm last night and hung out with the crowds and friends and took pictures. It was a big and awesome love fest where we were. Everyone was dancing, drinking, hugging and slapping hands I have had 2 hours sleep and way too much champagne, but it was so worth it!!!

Tomorrow is the victory parade, I will be taking pictures!









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Author: Cheryl
•12:18 PM

...For no new blog today or my lack of The Office update. Blame it on the Phillies. Since we are 5 minutes from Philly this is Phillies territory, and everyone and their mother right now is staying up late to watch the games, I have to drag myself out of bed every morning and my blog has suffered a little. Keep your fingers crossed something amazing happens tonight and we have a parade in a few days. I'm not a huge baseball fan, but I am just excited for my hometown, its been a long time since we rock n' rolled. And I have had a longtime crush on one green fuzzy little mascot of this baseball team.

Also I had to take a little time this weekend to do something away from the computer. I took the little 11lb fuzzy love of my life, my dog Zee, to the dog park. We have a yard, but its not fenced in. So every two weeks I like to take her the little dog park 10 minutes away and let her run around. Although she is completely anti-social and wants nothing to do with other dogs, she just wants to sniff everything.

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Author: Cheryl
•3:03 PM

The deals at CVS this week, in my opinion, are some really good ones. Paired with the right coupons there are some great moneymakers, and some good opportunities to stock up for the winter and that means cold/flu season.

10 Halls honey/menthol cough drops $1.50 each = $15.00
1 Theraflu Warming liquid = $6.00

Total $21.00

Coupons
(5) Buy one bag of Halls get one free
(1) $2.00 off Theraflu
(1) $3.00 off any purchase of $15.00 at CVS

ECB's used $7.98
Total oop .52
ECB's earned $10.00

Not too shabby. Earned an extra $2.02 in ECB's. Got a ton of cough/throat drops for this winter and probably next. And in the paper there is a mail in rebate for the Theraflu. So this may be quite a moneymaker.


I had to go back one more time so I wouldn't have to make another trip during the week

2 Halls honey cough drops $1.50 = $3.00
2 Bic Comfort Advance razors $5.99 each = $11.98
2 Cottonelle wipes $2.50 = $5.00
1 bottle of cinnamon spice .99

Total $19.98

Coupons
(1) Buy one bag of Halls get one free
(2) $3.00 off Bic Comfort Advance razors
(1) .50 off Cottonelle wipesCheck Spelling(1) $3.00 off any purchase of $15.00 at CVS

ECB's used $9.00
Total oop .97
ECB's earned $8.00

Lost a $1.00 here, I planned on getting 4 of the razors, but they only had 2 left. So I had to improvise the rest. We needed the wipes and I had a coupon for them and I got two more bags of the Halls. I had one more coupon for them I couldn't resist.

So there you. I have razors coming out our ears....ouch. And lots of cold products.

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Author: Cheryl
•2:46 PM

Just paid off another credit card today!!!!
That is two down and five...........yes I said five left to go. And that is five between me and my husband, they aren't all just mine.
Still a long ways, but I am two closer to being credit card debt free.

Can a girl get little love here?
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Author: Cheryl
•10:59 AM

Warning: Men should leave the room now

Okay, now that they are gone I can review a feminine product. I'm sure they will thank me for asking them to leave. I hesitated in reviewing such a product, cause really does anyone want to hear about it or how much graphic detail can I get into. But for the sake of my readers, or reader, I cannot keep a good product under wraps. So I will be delicate in my description.

With doing these CVS coupon deals, I am able to get a good storage of some products, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo for basically nothing. And thankfully for me, a good supply of .....well........tampons, which in my opinion can be ridiculously overpriced. But then most things made for women are. So I have had the chance to try a few brands and types. None stood out from the others and a few I try to avoid.

Playtex Sport tampons are the only ones, so far, that I actually had to rave about. The only downside to them is that they have a plastic applicator, so not as environmentally friendly as the cardboard ones. But the pros outweigh the cons on this one. The applicator and tampon are more oval shaped and shorter and fatter than your standard plastic ones. I think this is a more comfortable fit for a woman's body and there was no uncomfortableness at all in the insertion or removal of this product. Its absorbency was spot on (bad pun there). And another great feature to it, is the wrapping of each tampon is not made completely out of paper. It has a little stretch to it. So your item won't get torn apart if it bounces around your purse for a few days as most of the paper wrapped ones tend to get.

I like them. There I said it. We need them, they are there, nothing to be shy about. I'm kinda past that age to be that way anyway. So if you are looking, check them out.
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Author: Cheryl
•10:13 AM
I have combination hair. I thought you could only have combination skin, but apparently my body wasn't told of that. The roots of my hair get greasy fast, and the ends could use some moisture. And because my hair gets greasy fast I have to wash my hair every day. I can't even imagine what it is like to wash your hair every 2 or 3 days like most people. You must save on shampoo and your hairdryer must last longer. Thankfully I do the CVS deals, so I don't spend so much on the shampoo I do have to use every day.

So because of this hair type I have always been leery to buy moisture rich shampoos. Yes, my ends need some love, but I don't want to over saturate my roots. And for years I didn't even use a conditioner as my hair didn't need it and would just weigh it down. Once I got my hair highlighted I had to use a little conditioner just on the ends.

Finding a shampoo that works with this type of hair is tricky. Most shampoos have done an okay job, but the ones for oily hair can tend to leave your hair almost too dry. When I saw Aussie was a good deal at CVS I jumped right on it. I remember buying Aussie styling products when I was young and I really like them. When I got to the store I was very excited to see their product entitled Cleanse And Mend, "cleans grease at the roots and guards tips of combination hair". Holy crap, they should have just put my name on the bottle.

So with much hope I took them home. And it has been love ever since. It really is a nice shampoo, lathers up well, cleans well but doesn't dry it out and along with just a pinch of conditioner makes it soft enough without weighing it down. I'm so sad I only got 2 bottles when I did the CVS deal for this. So the minute this goes back on sale I am stocking up.

So if you have that crazy combination hair like mine, this may be the product for you. But they do have products for all types of hair, so I'm sure they work just as well.
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Author: Cheryl
•10:30 AM


Whats up with the changes I made and are making....

1.) Grocery budget - I set my budget now at $50 a week. And I actually beat myself up at being at around $60.00 this week. So I won't be too hard on myself, but I will try to do better. I did go to one more store this weekend than I usually do, so that is probably why. I am also going to limit my shopping to only Sunday morning. As my time needs to be as valuable as my money. I wore myself out running around too much this weekend.

2.) Recipes for what we have on stock - So far I have made an all day chicken in the crock pot which was pretty good, a killer chicken fried steak with broccoli casserole and stuffing. yesterday my husband assembled an awesome pasta with peas, bacon, chicken, lemon juice and olive oil. All ingredients I left out for him from our stockpile, good job baby. The rest of the week we are having Vodka Pasta, Teriyake Drumsticks and a turkey broccoli bake. I even made us breakfast this weekend. French toast with some challah bread on clearance at Walmart. The leftovers I froze for another weekend.

3.) Coffee - I started making it at home in the morning and filling up my mug. I have most of it done on my drive to work and it didn't cost me a thing. I only drink one cup a day, but would like to eventually cut it out for good. I need to start drinking more water instead.

4.) Christmas shopping - we haven't even started that yet. So that is to come.

5.) Pet Food - will need to buy it this weekend. So I am going to try to buy enough to get a through a whole month instead of going week by week. Still saving money, but as I said saving time too.

I also increased my emergency fund direct deposit amount. Every little bit helps and earning interest. I use ING, which I highly recommend.

Thanks to my raise and a bonus in this Friday's check, I hope to have a nice chunk of money to go to my debt after regular bills are paid.

What progress are you making?
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Author: Cheryl
•3:19 PM

Jim - "Jan is about to have a baby with a sperm donor. And Michael is preparing for the birth of a watermelon with Dwight. This baby will be related to Michael through........delusion."

This is the perfect summation of the beginning of this episode. Michael is going to act like this is his baby. After Dwight proclaims his cervix is ripening, he then simulates his water breaking by dumping a cup of water between his legs and then catching it in another cup and drinking it. Even I had to stop and say EWWWWWW. Dwight then simulates the birth of the watermelon, I mean baby, in Michael's office.

Dwight - "DO YOU HAVE THE SHARPIE? DO YOU HAVE THE SHARPIE? When the baby emerges mark it secretly in a kind of a mark that only you can recognize and that no baby snatcher could ever copy."

Brilliant Dwight, not only are you using the Sharpie trick that Michael used in the Christmas party episode with the Benihana waitress but you also now have saved hospitals tons of money in using those stupid bracelets.

Dwight then delivers the watermelon, which Michael drops due the fact that Dwight covered it in butter because "newborns are slippery".

Michael has the office throwing a baby shower for Jan. Michael has M&M's personalized with the baby's prospective names "Chevy" for a boy, and "Astird". Yes Astird. That will be explained later.

Pam is still at art school. Jim and her are trying to stay in touch over the phone, but Pam's stories about the various dorm residents issues are starting to bore and confuse Jim. And before he can catch on to the story Pam has to go to class.

Michael tells Holly that he has to ignore her and treat her badly in front of Jan so that Jan doesn't get jealous or mad, because Jan is in the "terminal" state of her pregnancy, and Jan is really big and fat and Holly is one of the more attractive people in the office, and so is Ryan.

Stanley gives one of my favorite lines about pregnant women, "I do not like pregnant women in my workplace. they are always complaining. I have varicose veins too. I have swollen ankles. I'm constantly hungry. You don't think my nipples don't get sore too? You don't think I don't need to know the fastest way to the hospital?" You know, he really does have a point.

Jan comes into the office......carrying the baby. Guess Michael wasn't invited to the delivery or told of her arrival. Michael meets Astird, or as Jan corrects "Astrid". That is much better, in an 80's semi-hippie kind of way. Jan lets Michael know that her birthing instructor thought it was a good idea if he wasn't at the birth. Poor Michael.

Michael begins his fake hatred of Holly as they all enter the baby shower. "I'm fine weirdo. Such an HR weirdo. Try not to suck out all of the air in there as you walk in." As a person in the HR field, I actually do find these comments quite funny. I tell my boss them all the time.

The shower doesn't go well as most of the games are designed around the baby not actually being here yet. The office chips in together to buy Jan a stroller. But the one Jan has costs $1200 and is supposed to be top line. Well leave it to Dwight "Consumer Report" Schrute to see if Jan's stroller is so great. He takes the stroller out of the office and puts it to the test, tying it to the back of his Trans Am, and throwing it up against a fence.

Jan sings "Son Of A Preacher Man" to her baby in front of everyone. And as Jim explains to Pam on the phone, the song is about someone losing their virginity next to a church. Very child appropriate.

While Jim is on the phone with Pam telling her the story, she can barely hear him due to the washing machines at the laundromat she is in. So she has to let him go. She comments on that they are just having a day where they are not in sync, and that everyone has days like this, oh and she washed her lipstick in her towels.

Jan description of the birth in a tub, makes many people lose their appetite for cake. Michael starts to feel quite badly that he wasn't there for the birth so he goes to the best place possible for sympathetic advise....the warehouse. There he asks Darryl, about being a Baby Daddy and having an instant connection with the "baby baby" (not a typo). Darryl tries to inform Michael that he is not the baby Daddy and he shouldn't feel a connection to her. We are still not sure if Michael is getting it.

Holly wakes up Jan, who decided to take a nap in reception. When Jan asks where Astrid is, Holly says she is on a sales call "Waaaaaa, more paper, waaaa". Jan is rude to her. Shocking, but I really thought it was funny.

Andy and Angela decide while Jan is sleeping to put Astrid in a Anne Geddes type picture in the kitchen in a cornucopia surrounded by produce. Andy "She is nature's bounty."

Michael helps Jan to her car with the baby. Jan tells Michael she does not want him to date Holly. Michael agrees, although he doesn't know why. When Michael walks back in the office he goes right over to Holly and gives her a very slow yet touching hug, and then asks "You wanna go out?" Holly says yes, and with tears in her eyes. Michael "I didn't feel much when I held Astrid, but I got a good feeling from Holly". YOU GO MICHAEL! I was never so proud of him.

The last scene we see that Jim and Pam are really quite in sync. They both reach each other's voice mail at the same time at the end of the day, and relay the same story about a scary man that they both had encountered on a trip together to Pam's laundromat and how Jim then helped Pam buy a washer and dryer. They both end the conversation with "I miss you".

I really liked this episode. It had great juxtaposition in the craziness of the baby, and Dwight's birth mixed along with little touching scenes with Holly and Michael, and Jim and Pam. Its one of the great talents of The Office writing staff, the mix of these two elements. Even though Michael does wacky things in every episode, we are really starting to see him grow as a person through the wonderfulness that is Holly. I only wish she were staying on the show forever. And I hope this is the end of Jan, but I think that is wishful thinking. I do love that they are making the relationship with Jim and Pam work, and not making it a soap opera, but I am hoping they bring her back to Scranton soon. We had enough of them being apart during the whole Stamford year.
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Author: Cheryl
•3:02 PM

After a dismal week of ECB deals at CVS, they came back this week a bunch that were great. They also had Degree deodorant on sale. And even though it didn't come with any ECB's, it is the only deodorant my husband will use, so I had to get at least 2. I had quite a healthy list and still was able to do them all in one shot and pay very little.

2 GUM 2 pack toothbrush set $3.99 each = $7.98
2 bags Brach candy (Autumn Mix and Candy Corn) $1.29 each = $2.58
1 box Excedrin Express Gels 20 ct $1.99
2 Powerades $1.69 each = $3.38
2 Degree deodorants $1.99 each = $3.98
1 Colgate MaxFresh $2.99

Total $22.90

Coupons
(2) $1.00 off any GUM toothbrushes
(1) $3.00 off any Excedrin Express Gels (CVS coupon) got $1.01 overage on this
(1) $1.00 off any 2 Powerades
(1) $1.00 off any 2 Degree deodorants
(1) $1.00 off any Colgate MaxFresh toothpaste
(1) $1.00 off any Colgate MaxFresh or Total toothpaste (CVS coupon)
(1) $3.00 off any purchase of $15.00 at CVS

ECB's Used $10.00
Total oop .90
ECB's Earned $14.25

I really hope there is a moratorium soon on toothpaste deals or I may have to decorate my Christmas tree this year with tubes of it. Think it might be time to donate a few.
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Author: Cheryl
•9:41 AM

I have posted about all the changes I have made recently to be more frugal and less wasteful in our lives. But what about the things I still need to improve upon?

1.) Grocery budget. Yes, I have been using the coupons and checking out the deals. But I still don't go with a budget to the store. I just list the sales I want to partake in, plus a few items I have to get and what the amount is, it is. So now I have made it my goal to only spend $50 a week on groceries. Before this frugalness I would spend, for two adults, $120-$150 a week. Yikes!! And we never got alot with it cause we just bought what we wanted, or we would just waste it, or go out to dinner. So at $50 a week and a fridge, freezer, and basement full of food, and planning out our meals based upon what we have on stock, it will save us over $4000 a year in food. I know I can do it for $50, as alot of my shopping excursions have been in between the $40 - $70 range.

2.) Recipes using what we have on stock. I just started this the other day. I see what meats we have in the freezer, and then I go online and try to find a recipe with that meat and other ingredients we have on stock. The other day we had taco salad, and then I had the leftovers for two days while the husband was working. Tonight it is a turkey meatloaf wrapped in bacon. I pre-made it last night and we will cook it tonight. It took a whopping 5-10 minutes to prepare and easy to cook tonight. Perfect for a 2 person working household.

3.) Coffee. I am not an excessive coffee drinker. I have a cup like 2 times a week. I also don't like fancy coffee, my favorite being diner coffee. Diner's make the best, most simple and great tasting coffee to me. Most days at work I don't drink it at all. I like to just drink ice water, better for you and keeps my pants fitting. But this week I was dragging. Guess getting up at 4:30am every morning is catching up with me. So I needed a pick me up and I absolutely hate the coffee here at work. I started bringing in my own instant coffee and making it myself, but that isn't too good. Time for me to start brewing my own at home, fill up an insulated mug and bring it to work. I spent $3.90 on coffee this week. I know, not alot but still I could have made it for free at home. I just have to find a brand that is cheap but taste as good as the diner stuff. Any suggestions?

4.) Christmas shopping. This one causing alot of stress this year, so I am doing my best to shave down the spending without getting crucified for my choices. My brothers, my parents and I have done the pollyanna thing for the last two years and set a price limit. So that saves quite a bit. I don't participate in the work pollyanna anymore either. My mother in law said she would be thrilled if I gave her some of my free CVS stuff as gifts. So be careful what you ask for, she and my sister in law are getting a huge basket of my free things. My husband and I are the problems. We used to spend $600 a piece on each other (yes, that much). We don't have kids, so we spoiled each other, and sometimes that was on credit cards (hence my debt I am paying off). Well the cards are shredded now and after much debate I have gotten him to agree on getting each other much less. We are even thinking about a couple gift for the two of us.

5.) Pet food. I think I have said on here before that the one thing I am having a hard time getting really cheap is pet food. The dog is no problem, she is little, she is my only dog, she doesn't eat alot and the food I do get her is not bad in price and lasts a long time. So I have a nice stock for her. As for the cats, I have 6 of them. So that 3.5lb bag of cat dry food I get for $1.50, while a bargain, lasts about 5 minutes in our house. I am going to do a little price comparison this weekend and try buying their food in larger sizes still using coupons so that I don't have to run every week to get them more. Remember time is just valuable if not more than money.

What aspects of your frugal life do you need to work on?
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Author: Cheryl
•12:16 PM

I'm not so sad from my bad experience with the Bic Soleil razors, as I have a new love in my life. He is smooth, smells wonderful, glides like silk across my skin and keeps me hydrated.

My husband? Johnny Depp? Oh no. This is Dove Cream Oil Body Lotion, another one of my free items with my coupons and ECB's at CVS. It had been sitting down in my CVS stockpile shelf for a little bit. For about 2 years I have been using lotions from Bath & Body Works and Victoria's Secret. I bought them back when I was not so thrifty and had a fetish for lotions and body sprays that smell like food. Actually I still do have that fetish.

I decided one day I just wanted something without a strong smell so I could wear regular perfume I had with it. I brought up the Dove Cream Oil and was instantly in love. It is seriously like putting liquid silk on your skin. It just glides on and doesn't leave you greasy at all. It has a very nice yet light smell to it, perfect to compliment the perfume I had. I call it my little bottle of silk.

I still rotate my lotions everyday, and wear the Dove about twice a week. But when all those food smelling lotions are used up and gone, the Dove will take their place. So if you ever get a chance to try this lotion please do, I don't think you will be disappointed.


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Author: Cheryl
•9:33 AM

Just to prove to you I don't like everything I review. I present to you Bic Soleil Citron disposable razors. I got a bunch of these free at my grocery store with coupons and was excited to use them. I actually really like the way the handle of the razor feels. Its solid and has a great shape. Fits great in your hand.

What it doesn't do for me is shave well. It did okay on my legs as far as getting the hair off. But I had quite a few nicks when done and even some red bumps. The skin didn't feel very conditioned either after shaving. Shaving under my arms (I know, TMI) didn't go well at all. It just didn't seem to get a close shave, and irritated my skin alot.

I stilll have alot of these at home, not sure what to do with them. Maybe I will donate them or give them away as gifts. Some people may like them. I know there are products others have reviewed as horrible that I absolutely love. Each to their own. But me and the Bic Soleil Citron are not a match.

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Author: Cheryl
•11:08 AM

As I become more and more into paying off my debt, I am making more changes to saving money in our household. And I hope they are changes that I keep doing long after my debt is gone.

1.) Using the dryer less. I have started washing all my clothes in cold water. I have hung clothesline all around my basement and now hang up all my clothes to dry. When they are about 98% dry I throw them in the dryer for only 5 minutes to make them soft. I used to put clothes in the dryer for at least an hour a load and this reduces the electricity used by dryer by a ton. Its not hard and actually the smell of the clean wash hanging makes my whole house smell good.

2.) Pack our lunches. I have been packing my lunch for years for work. But I started a few months ago doing it for my husband and I'm sure this has saved us at least $35 -$50 a week.

3.) Knocking the grocery bill down. Way before the couponing started our grocery bill a week was around $150.00. That is for two grown adults. Pretty insane huh? We wasted alot of food too. I can't remember how many meats I thawed out and then we didn't feel like making them and ended up throwing them out when going bad. I now have a goal to keep our weekly grocery bill at $50.00. So far I am sticking around that, every once in a while going over 5 or 10 dollars here or there. And we have even more food on stock and more options of things to cook, and I don't waste a bit of leftovers.

4.) Eating out less. We are huge on eating out and did it about 3-4 times a week. Now we only do it once a week, and I try to only go to places then that I have a coupon for and that is very reasonable. I am thinking this has saved us at least $100 a week, probably more.

5.) Buying meats on the cheap. A huge portion of our grocery bill was the meat section. Superfresh is now my best friend with meats. They have manager's specials where the meat's are marked down at insane prices. The key to getting these is going pretty early in the morning and being flexible at what you will find. I have said before I have gotten turkey legs, ground chicken, ground turkey and lamb for under $2.00 a package. Plus more. This has made for some cheap and creative dinners. Now when I see meat at full price I cringe at seeing people paying those prices. Thank you Superfresh. I'm sure some other stores probably do this too. Please keep an eye out for these specials and stock up when you can.
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Author: Cheryl
•1:34 PM

Still having no luck with some free coupons I am getting in the circulars. Still can't find the French's Worchestershire sauce. I have looked in four stores. This weekend coupons came out for free Pedigree dog treats. Shoprite didn't even have them, and Walmart was completely wiped out. So time to hold onto them for a little longer.

At Shoprite, here are some deals that I partook of this week:

Knorr Rice or Pasta Sides were .94 and there are q's for $1.00 off 2 = .44 each
Powerade was on sale for .69, I got coupon tags from Acme for $1.00 off 2 = .19 each
Rayovac batteries were only .99 if you purchase $15.00 or more and $1.00 q's were in the newspapers this weekend, so free batteries. Limit of 2 of each variety.

Not pictured were Ore Ida Steam N Mash for $1.94 and my Shoprite, has $1.00 q's taped to the door of the freezer! Score for only .94 cents

Mrs. T's Pierogies were $1.99. There is an internet printable for .75 making them .99.
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Author: Cheryl
•1:24 PM

Some weeks there are more great deals to get at CVS than I have time to do. And sometimes there are weeks where you have to work really hard just to get one or two good deals out of their circular. This was one of those bad weeks. Thankfully I had good coupons for Dove. I didn't have any coupons for the Gatorade, but my husband had been asking for it. I didn't make any extra ECB's, but I am hoping some good sales soon will build them back up soon.

3 Dove shampoos $3.99 each = $11.97
5 Gatorades $1.00 each = $5.00

Total $16.97

Coupons
(3) $2.00 off Dove hair care
(1) $3.00 off any purchase of $15.00 at CVS

ECB's used$6.50
Total oop $1.99
ECB's earned $6.00
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Author: Cheryl
•7:42 PM

Summary: In a time where some business ethics are sorely needed in some of the big businesses in this county, The Office decides to approach this subject of what is good and bad to do at the workplace (pay attention AIG, well, maybe not) with an ethics seminar.

The show starts with a cold open. For those of you that don't know what a cold open is, its the teaser scene as you would say, that kinda throws you right into the action before the opening credits begin. This is one of my favorite ones. Jim is speaking to Pam on the phone. Pam is still at art school. And be advised that this is Pam's only scene in this episode (and sorely missed). Jim decides to tell the office they are engaged with Pam on speakerphone. Let the love fest begin.

Oscar- "I thought you were already engaged?"
Angela - "That was Roy. She was engaged to Roy."
Kevin - "I got a gift for Pam and Roy, do I have to get another one?"
Andy "Little close to my engagement Tuna, what's your game here"
Dwight - "She's not a virgin you know?"

Michael is his undying love for the couple that is Jim and Pam, tackles Jim onto the ground. You hear Pam on the line go "Sorry".

Holly has to conduct an ethics seminar. Michael and Holly make their entrance in the seminar to Olivia Newton-John's "Physical", but its "Lets get ethical". With their 80's workout headbands and all. Again, Holly is Michael's perfect match. The reason the class is being held is because of Ryan actions at corporate, who sounds like he really doesn't regret what he did.

Michael thinks Holly is taking the seminar too seriously, reading from the binder. The group starts to take over the meeting by saying what they consider ethics or not. Holly asks the group to let her know if any of them have ever faced an ethical dilemma in the workplace.

Michael's example "When I discovered YouTube, I didn't work for 5 days. I did nothing. I viewed Cookie Monster sings Chocolate Rain about a 1000 times." I can't pick on Michael here, I probably would have watched that a ton of times too. Love me some Cookie Monster.

The employees give their examples of their time theft from Global. But Meredith's time theft takes on a whole new level.

Meredith "Have you guys ever met Bruce Meyers, the Scranton rep for Hammermill? For the past 6 years I have been sleeping with him in exchange for discounts on our supplies and Outback Steakhouse gift certificates."

Wow, that is some serious time theft and about 100 other company violations and gets her tips in steak and deep fried onions. Michael tries to blow off her statement and goes back to flattering Holly. Holly pulls Meredith into Michael's office.

Meredith "No, I wouldn't have done it if it wasn't for the discounted paper, not alot of fruit in those looms". I think that is a new slogan for that company. Holly is pushing for Meredith to be terminated.

Dwight says he never does anything personal at work. Jim decides to use a stopwatch and time every little personal thing Dwight does, including yawning, arguing and making fun of Jim. Jim even has a discussion with Andy about Battlestar Gallactica and gets parts of it wrong, just to see if Dwight will engage in an argument over it. Dwight struggles to stay out of it.

Michael asks Holly to lunch to go over this situation, by dumping her lunch in the trashcan. Every time Holly tries to go over the situation at lunch, Michael jokes or changes the subject. Seems like a new perfect team is not seeing eye to eye here. Instead of firing Meredith, Michael suggests they punish her by getting a chastity belt for her. Hey, why didn't I ever think of that in my job in HR.

Jim's report of Dwight's activities so far "He has not stopped working for a second. At 12:45 he sneezed while keeping his eyes open, I always though it was impossible. At 1:32 he peed and I know that because he did it in a open soda bottle under the desk while filling out expense reports". The visual of that is bad enough but they show Dwight putting the bottle on his desk. Yuck. Brings back memories of Dwight peeing in a soda can when Michael took them on the trip to Utica.

Jim does catch Dwight missing for 19 minutes and 42 seconds. Dwight won't tell him why. The camera pans over to Angela buttoning up her shirt. Oh snap, that is still going on? And 19 minutes, Dwight I am very impressed!

Michael gets mad in only the way that Michael can when Holly says that Dunder Mifflin is not a family but a workplace. He throws out her leftovers, takes the coffee pot away from her, and cuts in front of her at the Xerox machine. Holly "In middle school I was a hall monitor, and the kids used to stuff egg salad in my locker. Yeah, I was just hoping middle school was over"

Michael and Holly have a conference call with Kendall, the HR rep from Corporate. He decides that since the company is getting a discount at a tough time with the economy, that these circumstances don't warrant any actions. Now I try to suspend disbelief with my shows, but as I said, I work in HR and I have never seen anything like this swept under the carpet. Seems like corporate is the one that needs some business ethics.

Holly tries to argue with Kendall and he yells at her back, telling her that she should just get signatures that people attended the meeting and keep it at that. Michael feels bad for her for trying and yells at everyone to get back in the meeting. Michael watches her with admiration as she reads the rest of the seminar from the book.

The staff enjoys a nice lunch, courtesy of Meredith, from Outback Steakhouse.
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Author: Cheryl
•7:27 PM

I tried on Monday to get 4 of the Maalox, where you had to buy $20 worth to get $10 back. But I went to 2 CVS's and only found one bottle of the regular strength Maalox. So I decided my next trip back I would be more prepared for issues like this.

I planned either 4 of the Tylenol PM's or 4 of the Viactiv Flavor Glides. But when I got there I found both, so I got 2 of each. My husband uses the Tylenol PM's now and then and I was interested in trying the Viactiv.

2 Tylenol PM's $6.00 each = $12.00
2 Viactiv Flavor Glides $6.00 each = $12.00

Total $24.00

Coupons
(2) $2.00 off Tylenol PM
(2) $2.00 off Viactiv Flavor Glides
(1) $2.50 off any pain relieve purchase of $10.00 at CVS
(1) $3.00 off any purchase of $15.00 at CVS

ECB's used $10.00
Total oop .50
ECB's earned $10.00

So I broke even on the ECB's and spent a whopping .50 cents and got some cool product.
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Author: Cheryl
•3:14 PM


For those of you who have an Acme supermarket nearby, this is for you. On Acme's website you can site up for deals that instantly download onto your Acme Supercard.

Just go to this link.


Put in your preferred customer number that is on the back of your card and you will get savings that automatically download onto your card. There are savings just for the current day and savings for a few days. You can combine these savings with store sales and coupons to get items pretty cheap. Every once in a while these meet up for the perfect storm of a sale.

Starting today Acme, has Edy's ice cream on sale 3 for $10.00. That is $3.33 a piece. On my Avenue savings today came up buy Edy's get $2.00 off each one, limit of 2 per visit, good until Wednesday Oct. 15th. That would make the ice cream $1.33. Which is super cheap. Time to stock up. The picture above is from the last time I got one of these Avenu deals. Then the ice cream was $1.00 a piece. Embarassingly though, we ate all of that by now. Yes, I'm an ice cream addict.
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Author: Cheryl
•8:27 AM
I try to post regularly. Just been a bit busy. I'm updating my coupon system into a spreadsheet database to make finding deals so much easier. Its alot of work to do but once its done it will save me tons of time.


Thursdays are huge days in my house. As soon as I get home from work, and finish my dinner and household stuff, I have the new circulars from the stores to peruse, my husband was updating the program on my computer, I was inputting more information and The Office was on. So before I know it, its bedtime. But I will have my Office review up tomorrow and another deal that I finished up this week.
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Author: Cheryl
•2:06 PM


Pardon me while I let off some steam. I have been at my job for 12 years. I am in a department with only two people, my boss and me. And we have worked together the whole 12 years I have been here. I know every detail of her life, her family members names (from spouse to grandchildren to aunts and even her cat), I know the colors of the curtains in her house and what she likes to eat.

Saturday was my birthday. She has forgotten my birthday. This now makes 3 years in a row she has forgotten my birthday. Last year she finally remembered it the day before Christmas and gave me a birthday present to go with my Christmas present. And before these past 3 years she has probably forgotten it two more times in the 12 years. One year she even denied my request to take off my birthday, (it was on a Wednesday) so she could take off that day and two more days just to plant flowers in front of her house for the pictures for her daughters wedding that weekend.

And if you think people just sometimes forget things, her own son's birthday is the same as mine. One year her son reminded her it was my birthday too and she called me at work (she took off) to tell me her son told her.

I try to take comfort in the fact that I have an amazing husband who never forgets a special occasion and loves to spoil me rotten on my birthday. I'm one lucky gal.

But I don't expect gifts. But at least she could have gotten me a card, maybe even a little cake or lunch. Heck I would take just a happy birthday wish and ask me what I am doing for it. Am I crazy? I'm her only employee.

Okay I'm done now.
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Author: Cheryl
•2:25 PM
I found this great site today while perusing the Internet for more frugal advice. It has fantastic articles on personal finance and frugal living. I have been reading everything I can get my hands on, on the site. Please check it out.


WiseBread


A great article today by Julie listed the 10 things she wouldn't give up to save money and some other lists, that I just loved reading about. It made me want to list mine, and I would love to hear yours too. Now I don't think any one's lists are completely set in stone. If times got horrible, I'm sure we would all make concessions to things we wouldn't right now.

10 things I won’t give up to save money:


1.) Air conditioning. Yes, it is getting much cooler now, so we don't need it on most of the time and hopefully not anymore until next summer. But I hate heat in general and I hate the hot weather of summer with a passion. Of course we turn up the temp to make it warmer in the daytime, but at night I like it really cool when I sleep. And since I only get about 5 hours of sleep a night, I need every minute of it to be comfortable. In my opinion, air conditioning is the greatest invention man has ever made.


2.) Sugar. I exercise 6 days a week. I watch what I eat 99% of the time. I don't smoke, I barely drink. I follow all laws, both federal, state and local. But I have to have sugar, and I mean real sugar. No sugar substitutes. I can taste them a mile away. Sugar is my one big vice. I usually have a small bowl of ice cream every night and I do my best to get it as cheap as I can. But I'm going to buy it anyway if I am out of it. Take sugar from me and you will get the equivalent of someone trying to quit smoking.


3.) TV. Now it doesn't have to be a big fancy TV, unlike my husband has to have. I don't need all the wacky channels. But I do want at least standard cable. NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, E, Food Network, Home and Garden Channel.


4.) Anything My Pets Need. I have seven pets, in case you forgot. I take the adoption of animals seriously. They are my responsibility for the rest of their lives. They need their food, their medications and their vet trips. I don't skimp or scrape on that.


5.) Certain Foods. I get get lots of cheap food with coupons, but some of it is just not too healthy. And since I have to be a pretty healthy eater or my pants won't fit. Somethings I have to buy for my meals to keep me in trim shape. Veggie burgers, egg whites, fruits, skim milk and yogurt are staples in my diet. I do try my best to find them on sale or use coupons. But either way I have to get them to keep me on track.


6.) My Landscaper. I know this is a horrible one for me to have and someplace I could really save money. But hear me out. I am a redhead with freckles. I burn in the sun at the drop of a hat. I have to wear the equivalent of liquid steel to go outside in the summer for longer than 5 minutes. I also get eaten alive by bugs when going outside for anything in the warm weather (see another reason for me to hate warm weather). On top of all that, I really just hate being outside and have suffered many a cut and bruise from mowing my lawn, edging the grass and trimming bushes. I'm not lazy, not one bit. I would happily clean the inside of my house from head to toe with a toothbrush if I had to. But I despise yard work horribly. So much I sold my lawnmower and tools a year ago at a yard sale. My lawn guy is reliable, cheap and takes forever to cash my checks too. Its a happy relationship.

7.) My laptop. Another strange one. Although it was an expensive initial investment, it has saved me a ton of money. It has showed me to tons of frugal websites with great information on saving money. But its biggest benefit has been something to keep me entertained during my lunches at work. I used to go out on my lunch break and go shopping, or peruse the book stores and buy a cookbook or two, and also this burned up gas as my work area can get bad traffic. Now I go around the corner from work to a lake, a 10 second drive, park my car, turn it off, roll down the windows and pop a DVD I already had, into the laptop and just watch TV shows. Its so relaxing and entertaining and cheap.

8.) My Ipod. I use this every time I exercise and just go outside and run. And considering how much gym memberships costs, I have more than made up for the price of the Ipod by not joining a gym.

9.) My dishwasher. But actually if you look it up, washing dishes by hand wastes more water than a good energy efficient dishwasher. So really its a good thing to keep.

10.) My 401K. Even though I hate them and it feels like gambling your retirement savings. Everyone and their mother tells me to never stop putting money into it. I have lowered or raised the amount on occasion but not stopped it. I will be a good girl and always stay in it, and hopefully one day this thing will actually look like it is going somewhere substantial.
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Author: Cheryl
•9:42 AM

I actually am now getting a high when I send money to my credit card company. I just love any effort now to paying down this debt. Its a new drug.

I just sent a payment online this morning. Not a monstrous amount but still decent, and it just makes me feel so good. And that money was courtesy of my husband's hard work with "The Fruit" and a rebate check I got from Pert Plus. And supposedly I am getting back money owed to me from my older insurance company from when I switched. So guess where that will be going?

What nerdy things give you a little "high"?
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Author: Cheryl
•4:55 PM

We had some great coupons in the newspapers this week. More $1.00 off Marcal, which if you find it in the right place can get your free paper towels or tissues. And a great coupon for a free bottle of French's Worcestershire sauce. Now the Marcel ones work for me, but I went to two stores this weekend and cannot find the French's Worcestershire sauce to save my life. So those I will hold onto.

The deals this week:

Electrasol Gelpacs $2.49 - $2.25 q's that expire today, so this is a quick deal, if you can make it. But you get them for .24 cents.

GUM toothbrushes are .88 and there are $1.00q's still out there. Making them FREE and if some stores allow you will get .12 overage

Lysol disinfectant spray $1.88 each, and there are $2.00 q's for this. So this is again FREE with .12 overage

A while ago we got coupons in the paper for $1.00 off of milk when you buy 2 Welch's jelly. Well, SR had Welch's on sale for $1.69 each, and I needed milk.

Also LaChoy soy sauce was on sale for $1.19. No coupons, but I think it was a great price for it.

After Shoprite I headed over to Superfresh again to check out the manager's special meats and to get free pasta.


Ronzoni Smart Taste at Superfresh this week is 10 for $10.00, so $1.00 each. $1.00 q's came out in this week's paper. So I was able to get 5 boxes free. And I found some cheap chicken wings packages there for only $1.90.

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Author: Cheryl
•4:35 PM

I had been waiting for a chance to get what I thought would be some cheap Halloween candy. I don't need alot of it, as I don't get home from work that day until 5pm, so I miss at least 2 hours of trick or treaters. But I do need some. When I saw the buy one get one free candy sale at CVS and I knew I had coupons for it, I figured now is my time. But I also got more toothpaste. A ton of chocolate and toothpaste, my dentist would be so proud.

I have been trying lately to get more of what I need and less of just getting what the great ECB deal is. I still have to keep my ECB's up's but you have to find a good balance between getting the good deals and getting what you actually need and will use.

2 Colgate Maxfresh toothpastes $2.99 each = $5.98
6 Bags of Hershey's snack size candies $2.99 each = $17.94

Total $23.92

Coupons
(1) .75 off Colgate MaxFresh
(1) $1.00 off Colgate adult toothpaste
(1) $1.00 off Colgate toothpaste (CVS coupon)
(2) $1.00 off when you buy 3 bags Hershey brand snack size candies
(1) $3.00 off any purchase of $15.00 at CVS

Plus the candies were buy one get one free, so that is $8.97 off too.

ECB's used $5.79
Total oop $1.77
ECB's earned $5.00, plus.....

I got $1.79 in ECB's for my Summer Spending. When you shop at CVS, they issue you at the end of each season 2% of your total spending there in ECB's.
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Author: Cheryl
•7:54 PM
I can't believe I never finished posting the pictures and details from my trip to Chicago back in late July. The rest of my life got in the way and it completely slipped my mind.

So lets see if I can remember where we left off. The last thing I showed were the pictures of Wrigley Field and the awesome cracked egg in the front of the McDonald's across the street from the field.

Later that evening the four of us went into the city for dinner at Harry Caray's Steakhouse. It was pretty crowded but we managed to get a seat in the bar. The food was very good, but nothing over the top or too memorable. We then walked around the city and I just have to say this is the most beautiful city I have ever seen. So many amazing buildings. I really do have an appreciation for great architecture and there are some fantastic examples of that in Chicago. It was so clean and wonderful designed in my opinion. I really enjoyed walking around the city and wish I had had more time to do so.



My brother also informed us the The Dark Knight was shot in Chicago. So it was almost a creepy and surreal experience to walk around the city and see the places where particular scenes were shot. I could feel Batman in the air.


My husband's one request was that we hit the Apple store, since he is such a big fan of the company. The store was two levels and beautiful. They even had a glass walkway over the top floor that neither of us were brave enough to walk across.



We left the next morning. Our flight home wasn't too bad, a little turbulence, which my husband and dad said was very minor. However any turbulence for me is too much. I think I lost all the circulation in my hand from gripping the armrests. But all in all the stress of the flights were worth it for the great trip I had. My brother moved from Chicago about two weeks ago. He is now living in sunny Florida. I am sad he left, as his place was very cool and in such a great section of the town, but my husband and I promised ourselves that we would still go back to great city again one day even though our free room and board is gone.

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Author: Cheryl
•3:37 PM

Well its October, my favorite month of the year, and since it is the beginning of the month its time for the monthly financial checkup. An event hosted by Money Saving Mom.

I joined the event in September, so these were the goals I set for the 4 months left and my updates on them.


Short Term Financial Goals for 2008


1.) Pay off first credit card. Balance is $721.80. I have to start with the smallest one. Yes, scary that is my smallest one. But knocking off the smallest one gives me a boost to keep going. DONE!! I paid this card off and cancelled it, thank you very much, back in mid-September thanks to some extra from a paycheck and part of our NJ Saver Rebate. We are already on to the next card and have sent one payment to that.

So amended goal #1 will now be 1a) Pay off second credit card.

2.) Going with goal #1. To not use any more credit cards. As of today I take them all out of my wallet. DONE!!! I did take them all out, and cut them up, as you can see above. We haven't touched one since that day we started the plan.

3.) Christmas kept under control. My husband I used to spend a pretty penny on each other for Christmas. We have no kids, so we felt okay to spoil each other. Problem is that money could have went to our debt instead. I want to cut our Christmas budget by 75% (sorry honey, got to be done). Well my birthday is Saturday and I have found ways to cut down drastically on the budget on that, much to the dismay of my husband. I did approach the cutting down of Xmas presents this year to hubby. He was not happy at all with just one present each, so I think we finally decided on smaller monetary limit and how many you can get with that is up to each other.

4.) Drastically cut eating out. This is where me and hubby blow through the most money. $40 here, $60 there. When we have a fridge and freezer full of stuff I get very cheaply we are still prone to go out several times a week. All of that money needs to go to our debt. We have definitely cut down on eating out. We went from going out to dinner a few nights a week, to last week we only had a donut and latte on a Saturday, and called it our big date together. We also both pack our lunches for work, but I have been doing this for years.

Adding two new financial accomplishments I did since last month.

5.) Opening a savings account and start an emergency fund. DONE. I opened it about 3 weeks ago. Not that much in there yet. But having an amount from my paycheck directly deposited into this account. It is an account that is not easy to touch and doesn't have an ATM or debit card. So that is great for us.

6.) Switch auto insurance companies. DONE. I have always had a feeling that I was paying way too much but just didn't want to deal with the pain of switching. My boss actually told me about her recent switch and her savings. So I contacted her agent, who was awesome. And my new policy starts on 10/9 and I am going to save $400 a year on our new policy now with the same coverage. Yahoo!

7.) Get a part time job on top of my full time job for extra money for debt. I just had a horrible experience with a part time job I started two weeks ago. So that ended shortly after it began. I have been looking since and have applied a few places. I am going to try some more this weekend. Hopefully something pans out soon.


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Author: Cheryl
•10:33 AM


I have really been into the election this year. But this is one night I am not a big fan of it. Put all the stuff you want on tv about it, but do NOT interrupt my favorite show for this. The Office will not be on tonight due to the Vice Presidential Debate. So there will be no re-cap from me this week. While my husband is deeply engrossed in the debate, I will protest, and instead look through the grocery store circulars for some deals and watch The Office on DVD. There, take that politicians.
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