Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Keeping an Eye on Those Credit Cards (and Other Bills)!

We have a couple of credit cards that we use and pay off every month. All our credit cards are at 0% interest. However, we keep a close eye on them. Here is something that just happened this week:

I got an email about next month's balance for a certain credit card. This card is one I use primarily for business purchases. The balance was quite a lot higher than I expected, so I looked at it right away.

This card is paid off every month. It is used for convenience and to get airline miles for freebie trips. When I checked it, the balance had not been paid off even though the money was waiting in the bank account and the transaction was supposed to be complete. Because the transaction was not complete and was 4 days late, there was a whopping fee and interest charge of $61.21! Woah! This was not sitting well with me.

I called the credit card company and told them the issue. They looked at my account and saw that, indeed, the card is paid off in full every month. They took the money out of the bank account and took off the $61.21 with no problem at all.

It pays to have good credit and good standing. I am not sure if the error was theirs or ours, but regardless, one phone call took care of the problem.

This can also happen with bills for various reasons. If it does, we do not hesitate to make a phone call! This can save a lot of cash if you get socked like this! If you do not think it is your fault, do not hesitate to say so, nicely. Mistakes happen and companies want to keep good customers and treat them well.

Happy savings!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Saving Money on Ham/Lunch Meat. Make $34.82/Hour! Also See How I Made a Hearty Meal for .36 / Serving.

 I generally don't buy lunch meat. However, I will sometimes buy a fully cooked ham like this and cut it up. This was a half-ham on sale for $1.58/lb (I could have gotten a full ham for $1.48 lb.) This is 8.925 lbs of ham for $14.10. I did a comparison with some Great Value ham lunch meat and it is $3.42 lb. This is the generic brand and yet it is still $1.84 lb more than the cooked ham! Also, I think the cooked ham is a higher quality food.

It does take a little time to process but for me, it is worth the time. I got out some freezer bags that I stocked up on when they were marked down to .99 a box. I will use 8 of these for packaging up the ham out of a box of 20, so the bags will cost less than .50 plus I will reuse some of them.

I take the ham out of the packaging and cut it up into the sized that I want. These will be used for cutting up with fried potatoes, scalloped potatoes, split pea soup and slices for sandwiches.

I saved the ham bone to make split pea soup. 

If I would have bought all this ham in lunch meat form, it would have cost $30.52 vs the $14.10 I paid, plus a few cents for bags and freezer storage. It took about 1/2 hour to cut this up and put it into freezer bags for a payment of $16.42 or about $34.82 an hour. You can see if you do things like this on a regular basis, that, even though you are not doing it every hour, it can add up to some real savings!

You may remember the potatoes we gleaned last fall out of the potato fields. I made these scalloped potatoes with those and the ham I cut up. I used about a pound of ham $1.58. And a part of a stick of butter I got on sale .40 plus a can of cream of mushroom soup (on sale) .48. Add some milk (on sale) .40. and some salt and pepper. So this meal, which we will have leftovers of tonight cost $2.86 total. Cut that in half for two meals of $1.43 for four people. This means I paid about .36 a serving for a very hearty meal!

 Happy Savings!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Free Ice Cream Cones at DQ March 16th!

Take advantage of this free offer! You might want to call first to make sure they are participating!

Monday, March 16th is Free Cone Day at participating DQ® locations. In celebration of our 75th Fanniversary, we're giving out a free small vanilla cone to all our Fans. It's just one of the ways we're thanking you for 75 great years. So head to DQ® and get a delicious vanilla soft serve cone on us! Limit one small vanilla cone per customer. Donations accepted for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals®.

All day, limit one per person.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Don't Throw Out That Last Bit of Honey!

There is a little bit of honey in the bottom of this container that has been crystallized. In the picture below, I have heated some water in a cup.

Now, I am pouring the hot water into the jar.

I am letting it sit a bit.

Now it has dissolved into the water and easily pours out into the cup for a cup of tea. The bottle is also clean for recycling.

Happy savings!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Get Mucinex Allergy Free (Mail in Rebate)

 I got this today for the cost of a postage stamp. I found the below in the paper last weekend. It doesn't look like you need a form, just buy a box of 30 count or higher, follow the instructions and mail in!

Here is a link to a website about it as well.

Happy Saving!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Making Maple Syrup

A few years ago, I started making maple syrup from my own back acres. We have a very rudimentary system, but it works for simple home use. Here in the photo below, I am starting to trek out.

Inside this sled, I have what I need. Drill, containers, hoses and rubber mallet. I pull the sled along as I go.

Here's the trail.

Last fall, I looked for maple tress and put small orange flags by the maples so I knew where to find them.

7/16th's drill bit fit the hose ends I bought on ebay so I drill a hole low on the tree.

After the hole is drilled, I whack the hose end in with a rubber mallet.

Then I attach a container to the other end for sap collection.

The trial left by the sled is great for remembering where to go next time I come out!

 After all the collecting, we have to boil it down. Every year, we never know how much sap we are going to get but you have to collect 40 gallons of sap that boil down to 1 gallon of syrup. Yes, you read that right! We do the boiling outside on a barrel stove my husband made. I don't have a picture of that right now.

We had so much syrup a couple years ago, I didn't collect last year and we still have some left! I have more than what is below, but took this as a sample picture. I found a lot of prices for maple syrup online but it's safe to say $20.00-$25.00 for a quart.

I use maple syrup in smoothies and on pancakes and I make berry syrup with the berries on our property.
Happy savings!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Make Money with Copper Pennies

If you have a lot of spare time on your hands and want to make some extra money, here is a way to do it. Pre-1982 pennies are almost completely copper and are worth more than a penny! People separate them out and sell them in bulk on ebay.

Here is an article about hoarding them:

Here is a video on how to separate out copper pennies from the other ones:

If you go to ebay and look up cooper pennies bulk, you can see that bulk pennies are going for about twice their face value on ebay right now!

Here is an example of an ended listing:

If you decide to do this, the post office has boxes you can use for shipping that make shipping less expensive and allow you up to a certain amount of weight. You can order them for free here:
Click on the item for more details.

So, if you need an easy money maker and have time on your hands, you can go to a bank (probably one you have an account at) and ask for some pennies. This can also be a fun thing for kids to do. Have fun!