Friday, June 24, 2011

Preparing for the Unexpected--Minot, ND

I'm sure by now that a lot of you who had maybe never even heard of Minot, ND, know where it is now.  We're having MAJOR flooding right now, and it's expected to get much worse than it ever has in recorded history.  I actually live 30 miles north of Minot, so I'm not affected in the aspect of having to evacuate or anything like that, but that certainly doesn't mean we aren't affected by the flooding at all.

If any of you have ever visited my part of the world, you know that it's very rural.  North Dakota, as a whole, is a very low population state.  Minot is the fourth largest city in the state, and still has less than 50K in it.  But it serves a much larger area than most cities do in a higher populated state.  Just to paint a quick picture, the town I live in, is 30 miles north of Minot.  As far as businesses go, we don't have much.  To get groceries, we have the option to drive over 15 miles to a tiny locally owned grocery store, or to drive the 30 miles to Minot, assuming you don't have base privileges (the Air Force base is located 20 miles south of here).  The people that live 15 miles away from me in the town previously mentioned, live over 40 from Minot, and still have to go to Minot for anything not offered at their tiny grocery store, or to go to the mall, Target, Walmart, etc.  And that's pretty much the norm in every direction.  Also, people from Canada (I believe that it's a little more than 50 miles from Minot to the Canadian border) frequently drive into Minot to shop and for entertainment.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Stretching Money by Signing Up For Samples-Includes Links!

I used to spend a few hours every week looking for new samples to send for, and would usually end up getting a lot of great ones.  Nowhere near all of the ones I sent for came, but I still got enough to keep me happy.  Somewhere along the way, things got way too crazy, and I quit looking for them quite as much.  I do still order samples, but now mostly just stick to a few sites that I know will send them out, or occasionally manage to get one or two from facebook or something.

At first glance, it might not seem like looking for samples is worth the time, since they are usually pretty small.  But a lot of them come with coupons, too, and then they become more worth it.  Also, sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised and find a pretty big sample, or even full sized products (we've received full size deodorants, air freshener, and several nice razors over the years).  We've also found several products that we probably wouldn't have tried without samples, so it's working for them as well.  In fact, my son's newest favorite cereal was found through a sample box that came in the mail in April.

Monday, June 20, 2011

New Pampers Gifts to Grow Codes

I saw a post on Twitter today (follow me @carlaabt) with a new Pampers Gifts to Grow code only good for today.  After I saw it, I decided to look around and see what other codes I could find.  Even if you don't have children in diapers, signing up is worth it.  There are a lot of codes out there, and they are released fairly frequently.

Here's a list of current codes that I found today.  They were all current as of today, but please let me know if any of them are expired so I can remove them.

50 Prints for $5, Includes Shipping

Right now Snapfish has 50 prints for $5 in honor of Father's Day.  $.10 each is my price point that I'm willing to pay, and it's past time for me to order some Disney prints from our trip in March.  I've ordered some for my parents and in laws, but haven't ordered any for myself yet.  Now is the time!

Use the coupon code DADDYPICS to get your prints, through June 27!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Finding Extra Money to Put Toward Debt

Paying down debt now is really important to my husband and me.  We have a mortgage, two financed cars, two student loans, and 2 credit card balances, plus a store card balance (but we're only paying $40 a month on it, and it will be paid off in November, before the no interest period ends in December).  That's just way too much debt for me!  So we're working on getting rid of it.

One thing we've really struggled with is trying to find more money to put toward the debt.  Everyone suggests you cut out things you don't need, drop your cell phone minutes down, cancel cable, etc.  We already have the lowest number of cell minutes, and can't give it up totally because my husband's an EMT and on call a lot.  Our cable only costs $3 more than what our internet would be without it, and I need internet for my job.

Vacation Countdown Ticker