January 5 - Purging info from Do Not Call and Do Not Solicit
the amount of junk mail that ends in in our mailbox by selecting the
“Opt Out” feature when people--usually small business
entrepreneurs--automatically add me to their ListServs without
permission. Up until now, I have been calling the toll-free numbers on
FTC.gov and FCC.gov. Both re-direct to their National Do Not Call
Registry DoNotCall.gov; or you can call 1(888) 382-1222 TTY call
1-866-290-4236 from the number(s) you wish to block.
You can also register by mail and send $1 for each address to be blocked to DMA. Direct Marketing Association (DMA) https://www.dmachoice.org/dma/member/regist.action.
January 6, 2011
validated ticket to the parking attendant upon exiting the doctor’s
office parking lot. Peeked at the normal rates. For one hour, it would
have been $3.50.
January 7, 2011
Used $1 CVS coupon against the purchase of a couple of items. Spent $8.28, as opposed to $9.28.
January 8, 2011
Attended Brides out of Poverty all-day training, an anti-poverty organization. $75 value for free.
January 10, 2011
a fax from my local UPS Store. It should have cost me $30 ($3 per page
for 10 pages), but since I am a regular customer, it cost me one-third
of that price. Saved $20.
January 11, 2011
Received my AAA card in the mail, promising discounts. Plus, they sent me a $10 Wegmans gift card for signing up for membership. This made my day. . .I love saving money!
Bought a personal item at CVS; received another item for FREE, with a retail value of $3.69.
January 14, 2011
our SU meal cards. Asked administrative clerk her name, since I’m
always there re-filling the cards. She smiled and went the extra mile
to provide our card balances. Reminded me to be kind to persons in
administrative positions. They can either go the extra mile to help us
or purposely not go the extra mile to deter us (without us even knowing
January 17, 2011
at The UPS Store by using the AAA card for the first time. I’ll let
you know when the card has paid for itself (cost $54 for both James and
January 17, 2011
waste any time using the Wegmans gift card sent to me by AAA. Grocery
items should have cost $20.53, but cost $10.53. Savings already
calculated on January 11th entry.
January 23, 2011
by Staples for a specific item, yet left with a small/medium bagful of
office supplies priced from $1 to $5 on clearance. That’s always the
rule of thumb: check the clearance aisle first. My receipt doesn’t
really itemize the savings, but I know I saved money anyway; again, some
of these items were marked down to a mere dollar, so bought a few
household items as well (hand sanitizer, sandwich baggies, etc.).
January 23, 2011
have paid $25 to attend the Martin Luther King, Jr., dinner at the
Carrier Dome and would have been perfectly willing to do so, but a
colleague of mine received one of the four “Unsung Heroes” Awards, so
our department picked up the dinner tab for a whole table. Saved $25.
January 24, 2011
stamps as birthday gifts for family members’ use in 2011. Paid $0.44
instead of $0.45 for “Freedom” stamps with neat designs.
January 25, 2011
a coupon in the amount of $28 in my online account from Office Max as a
result of handing in ink cartridges for recycling and presenting my
frequency rewards card--in this case called MaxPerks--every time I make a
purchase. Savings: $28.
I am such an office supply buff!
January 25, 2011
Saved $25 on WISE conference. Regular fee was $75; I paid $50.
January 26, 2011
Pleasantly surprised that “the system” at the doctor’s office had a credit of $20
sitting in the computer. Therefore, my co-pay was only $5 versus $25.
No savings to record, just nice to encounter a credit, because it’s
usually the other way around.
January 28, 2011
Got new eyewear. Between frames and lenses, should have paid $605, but using health insurance, paid $254. Saved $351. Furthermore,
saved another $30 or so simply by calling around and comparing the cost
of contact lenses. When the vendor heard I was price-shopping, only
then did they offer to match the lowest price I found.
January 31, 2011
my registration for the WISE Conference for April 12th. WISE is the
acronym for Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship. WISE
regularly attracts 1,000 women at The OnCenter every April. . .
Registration: $75, but paid $50 early-bird, so saved $25 (as chronicled on 1/25)
- in 2008 I was an attendee
- in 2009 I was a presenter
- in 2010 I was an exhibitor
- this year, I will return to being an attendee
February 3, 2011
at Sheraton’s on-site Restaurant, Rachel’s, which was running a special
of 50 percent off the normal price of the buffet. The normal price is
$13.90 ($17 when you factor in taxes and tip); $8.64 all inclusive at
the discount rate. Still, I saved approximately $8. Might go again next week since they’re extending the special.
February 11, 2011
Saved $12 off of a comforter bed set at Family Dollar Store. Original price was $48. With the discount I paid $36.
February 20, 2011
a gorgeous 20-piece bed-in-a-bag from Ollie’s Discount Outlet for
$69.99. Had a coupon for an additional 15 percent off ($10.50). Paid $59.49 after discounts.
February 20, 2011
with GoDaddy.com: if I sync all of the accounts I have with them such
so that they’re all due one year from now, February 20, 2012, they can
give me a bundled discount. Everything should have cost $182.83, but I
paid 1$58.55, representing a discount of approximately 13 percent and a savings of $24.28.
February 24, 2011
a soda at CVS for $1.84 plus tax. Realized that I’m being charged an
extra nickel on bottles of juice and soda because the companies assume
consumers are going to deposit, yet I always leaving my plastics in the
recycling bin for pickup. I need to come up with a plan on this.
February 24, 2011
Purchased a candle votive at Michael’s Arts & Crafts; should have cost $4.49, but with 40 percent coupon, it cost $2.69. Saved $1.80.
Feb. 28-Mar. 4, 2011
a ride to and from the airport. Aunt JoAnn picked me up and dropped me
off. . .a $24 value, but I treated her to breakfast at Cracker
March 10, 2011
Purchased cashmere scarf at the tail-end of winter for 50 percent off. A $24.50 scarf cost me $12. Saved $12.50. Lesson
learned: purchase clothing and merchandise during off-seasons and
immediately after the holidays when merchants need to move seasonal
March 13, 2011
member gave James her two tickets to a play. Regular cost: $36 each.
Additionally, if we present our used ticket stub to the restaurant
across the street from the theatre, then we’ll get a complimentary
dessert with our meal. Presuming dessert is a minimum of $5, the total savings is $82.
March 16, 2011
business checks. Sherry at Alliance Bank saved me a discount because I
ordered ones that were not very fancy. Regular cost: $29; discounted
cost: $22. Sherry also gave me three cashier’s checks so I can pay
vendors immediately, thereby saving me the cost of three money orders at
the post office. Thanks, Sherry! When the wrong checks showed up
(same color but less distinctive than my personal checks), she took the
initiative to re-order yellow checks for me at no additional charge.
Thanks, again, Sherry!
March 25, 2011
Saved $89 delivery fee by picking up a piece of furniture that fit into our vehicle.
April 7, 2011
Saved $4 with coupon at Burger King: free sandwich for my hubby with my order from a coupon booklet.
April 14, 2011
Used two coupons at CVS: $1.69 + $0.50 off of $1.69 + $0.75 purchase. Paid $0.26 ($0.25 + $0.01 tax)!
April 17, 2011
Got a Target receipt for $5 off.
April 25, 2011
Saved $5.31 on Mother’s Day cards at Sacred Melody Bookstore.
May 4, 2011
Saved $0.40 using CVS coupon.
May 20, 2011
Saved $0.79 by using CVS card on juice beverage that originally cost $1.79.
May 21, 2011
letter from Intuit encouraging me to upgrade from QuickBooks for Mac
2007 to the 2011 version. Received two different opinions from two
different CPAs: the 2011 version is more user-friendly and features more
updates (updated versions almost always have more features). The other
C.P.A.: “Save your money, Me’Shae. You already have what you need.”
that since I’ve already had two tutorials with v. 2007 and still rely
on Quicken, I would go ahead and upgrade, but this will be the last
version I purchase.
Intuit: Regular price is $229.95 ($230), but call by May 31st and the price will be $183.95 including S&H.
Office Depot, and it’s on sale for $179.99 ($180), but I have a coupon
for $10 that expires today. Went out and purchased it for $170. Taxes
brought it back up to $183.59, same as it would have been had Intuit
mailed it to me, but at least in this case, Intuit won’t capture all of
my business info just to ship me the CD-ROM. Savings: $10 plus peace of mind since my info was not captured for Intuit’s solicitation e-mails.
June 4, 2011
that the UPS Store has completed the Christian Entrepreneurs Club Logo.
Cost $70 based on the amount of time the graphic designer spent on it.
Used coupon for 15 percent off, bringing the total to $60. Saved $10.
June 7, 2011
an E.D. of a non-profit to dinner, but bought take-out for James. Went
online prior to the dinner engagement, Googled restaurant name and
“coupon,” and viola! $10 off of the dinner check.
June 19, 2011
a weekend getaway in Baltimore, MD, before 4th of July weekend. We
simply didn’t want the “hoopla” of air travel. I’m staying home for the
better part of the vacation (hence, the grocery shopping above).
Called Marriott/Renaissance; Starwood/Sheraton; Hilton/Hampton; and
Holiday Inn Downtown & at the Inner Harbor area. Inquired about the
following, in order of importance to me:
- Room rate after AAA discount
fees (Just returned from Seattle on a business trip and was shocked to
learn that the hotel wanted to charge $40/night for Internet access, but
access in the lobby was free. However, the bartender hits up lobby
guests for drinks. I passed.)
- Parking rate
- Complimentary continental breakfast
- Complimentary hot beverages in the lobby
Inn won, with $140/night, Internet, lowest parking rate of $12 per
diem, complimentary breakfast and beverages. And of course, I gave them
my rewards number.
June 20, 2011
Called insurance agent today; read in Money
mag on the plane that if you have high credit scores, you can request a
lower automobile insurance premium, so I did, and found out that State
Farm already discounted us slightly for this, driving records, and
payment history. Savings for both vehicles: $19.42. Using Quicken, I compared last year’s premium to this year’s.
June 20, 2011
Bought $230 worth of groceries today, but saved a total of $19.29 using coupons. The clerk asked me if I had seen “Extreme Couponing” on TLC. I haven’t, but I’ll look for it.
June 21, 2011
patio lounge chair cushions at Ollie’s Bargain Direct Outlet. Regular
price: $35 - $40. Sale price: $29.99 ($30). Comparison shopped at
Target and found that Target’s brand and Ollie’s are the same quality.
June 22, 2011
office supplies @ Office Max before coupon for $10 off $50 purchase
expires. There were items that I truly needed; otherwise, I’d give the
coupon away: file caddy w/wheels, 3-ring binders, notebook, etc. Saved $17.29: $10 coupon plus the binders were buy 1, get 1 free. Having
a couple of summer gatherings; therefore, bought 24 bottles of spring
water for only $3.99 less $1 due to coupon @ Office Max. Saved $1. Total savings: $18.29.
an iPod docking station/stereo from Bed, Bath & Beyond. The $79.99
price tag was the same as WalMart; however, I had a coupon for $5 off.
I did not have the 20 percent off one, which would have yielded $16
off! I had already engaged in delayed gratification for this, so rather
than wait for new coupons to arrive in the mail, I went ahead and
purchased it knowing that I’d start using it while on vacation. Saved $5.
June 24, 2011
a wooden tea chest with red velvet lining from Amazon. The browser
assumed I was James and reminded me that because I am a Prime Customer,
S&H is free! So rather than order through my account, I asked James
to order it for me. Not sure what the savings is, but I know I saved.
When the receipt arrives with the order, I will have to mark it
accordingly because James orders so many academic books that we itemize
on our tax returns. I will have to make sure this doesn’t end up as
such since it is a personal Amazon order.
June 30, 2011
Bought an 8” x 10” frame at Michaels. Regular price was $20. Paid $5.99 ($6) on sale. Saved $14.
July 1, 2011
Saved $5 on hospital parking.
a red folding chair with a cup holder at Village Ace Hardware. Regular
price: approximately $10; sale price: $6.99 each. Saved $3.
July 3, 2011
Saved 15 percent, or $4.50 off of $30 total purchase from Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. After-discount cost: $25.50.
July 7, 2011
on portable patio tables and chaise lounge chairs at Target. We’re a
bit late. In Syracuse, you have to get summer furniture early; because
we endure such long, gray winters, everyone scrambles to clear out
inventory at the first sign of spring. After discount cost: $232.09.
July 21, 2011
Bought three Welch’s juices, regular price $1.79 apiece ($5.37 for three). Saved $0.13 apiece (paid $4.98), for a total savings of $0.39.
July 23, 2011
to renew domain names with GoDaddy.com. Should have cost close to
$59.95 ($60) for 1 year. Cost $54.50 ($55) with a 10 percent off coupon
code. I re-Googled afterwards and discovered that another site would
have given me 25 percent, or close to $15 off! Oh, well. I’ll search
more carefully next time. Saved $5.45.
July 28, 2011
Used $5 online coupon at Spaghetti Warehouse. Paid $24.29.
August 12, 2011
Saved $0.72 at the UPS store using AAA card; made copies.
August 23, 2011
Bought 2 NYS Fair tickets for $6 per at Wegman’s. Regular admission price: $10. Saved $8.
August 30, 2011
Ordered Amazon book through James’s free shipping account. Saved at least $4 on $21 purchase.
Verizon/ DirecTV took $5/month off of the service fee for 12 months because of billing mistakes that I repeatedly called in and was assured would be corrected but never were. Total savings: $120!
September 1, 2011
Saved $0.10 per gallon on gas at Shoprite/ Sunoco using the Advantage Card. Paid $3.5999/gal. instead of $3.6999/gal.
September 5, 2011
Using Syracuse University discount, I saved 10 percent at a mall store carrying SU hoodies and tees. Total savings was $12.20.
September 6, 2011
was asked to leave my large bag/purse at the check-out counter at The
Dollar Store. I called the store manager--as well as the corporate
office--and made some noise. I understand merchants’ need to protect
inventory, but there are metal detectors and surveillance cameras
present. Requesting that I surrender my purse containing my wallet--or
even suggesting that I take my wallet out of my purse so they can hang
onto it--is just downright insulting. The Dollar Store can keep their
discounts]. They have lost my business.
September 9, 2011
ink cartridges for the laser printer. Had a bad experience. First,
the checkout scanner at Office Max wanted to log $147.99, when in fact
the advertised price was $144.99. Next, I made sure the cashier had
both my rewards cards and the best coupons I could offer; they made me
do two separate transactions. Aye-i Yi Yi. Final tally: $440.97 minus $25 worth of coupons equals $415.97. Plus Tax.
are now notorious for not only asking you if you wish to open up a new
credit card for a mere 10 percent off of your purchase, but also
casually asking you for your e-mail address. I am so sick and tired of
the overtime these folks put into marketing. I decline everything; go
online for my coupons; and am now also opting
out/unsubscribing/blacklisting small business vendors who manage to grab
my e-mail address from a networking function without even trying to
establish and cultivate a RELATIONSHIP. I’ll browse, at my leisure, the
sites of the ones who I wish to support.
September 16, 2011
Supported small business (minority) entrepreneurs at the YCF Conference: cards-soap-bibs.
September 17, 2011
to shoe store at the mall to return a purchase (shoes for my visiting
niece that did not fit). No sooner than I walked into the store with my
bag, I was asked if I wanted to look around for an exchange item, to
which I declined. Thoughts going through my head: I want my money
back. No more consumerism. Received my $25 refund
and got out of there to enjoy the rest of my day in the peace, quiet,
and comfort of my home, being content with what I already have.
September 18, 2011
husband received an estimate/quotation for repairing our second vehicle
(again). We let Romano know up front that I would be comparing their
price with a local competitor -- Pep Boys -- and that we are in the
market for a new vehicle (no kidding--he can tell just by reviewing the
vehicle maintenance and repair history). It worked. Customer Service
Director approved $125.90, or 10 percent off of repair price.
Coupons arrived in the mail later that same day
for 18 percent off if repair bill totals up to $500. Romano even
honored a coupon for $29.92 on oil and filter change. Total saved on
vehicle repairs: $152.26.
When James and I picked-up the vehicle, Eric, or CSR commented that he
actually respects that fact that I negotiated instead of green-lighting
repair of the vehicle without asking questions.
September 20, 2011
Received $0.50 bottle deposit refund. I was actually surprised--I thought it was a nickel. Yep, I can use this for tolls change.
September 21, 2011
or 30 percent off of FedEx Office order using business discount card.
This is a standard discount since I have a card. I also receive a 30
percent discount at the UPS Store when I present my AAA card.
September 23, 2011
Alumni Brunch tickets valued at $50, or $25 each. Couldn’t afford
dinner gala @ $150, but did comp speaking engagement on “What Every
Young Professional of Color Should Know About Money & Finances
Before Graduating From College.” Since James couldn’t join me, found a
hungry student in the lounge to give the extra ticket to.
Saved $0.13 x 3 on 3 Welch’s juices, regularly priced at $1.79 each. Before discount: $5.37. After discount: $4.98. Saved .39 cents.
Bought a 16GB flash drive from Office Max. Regular price: $80. Sale price: $50. Saved $55.12 on total purchase by selecting items from the clearance rack.
Bought item at Ollie’s direct outlet . Regular price: 25 for $16.99 ($17). Saved $8.
September 27, 2011
9 photo albums at $4.97 per on sale, regularly $5.99 ($6) each. I used
a coupon in a separate purchase, eight at 40 percent, or $3.20 off of my order, totaling $46.20.
September 28, 2011
for SU today. Drove 3.5 hours SE of Syracuse. Although I usually book
hotel room in advance, I decided to Google my preferred hotels--Hampton
Inn, Holiday Inn, Marriott, and Sheraton-- before hitting the road.
Found a Hampton near the training site. Upon checking in, I received a
discount simply because the cashier at the front desk felt like giving
one. I Provided SU’s tax exempt certificate as well as AAA and received
complimentary breakfast, dinner, wi-fi, and 24-hour hot beverages..
What occurred to me is that I’ve stayed at fancier hotels that made me
pay for wi-fi and didn’t even have the aforementioned amenities. Going
forward, I will make more of a concerted effort to research hotels close
to the conference venue, even it may mean giving up the luxury of
attending the conference in-house.
at a diner in Hudson Valley. There were blatant mistakes on my check,
charging me for food items that I didn’t even order. Watch your bills,
people, watch your bills!
October 10, 2011
Saved $4.06 using CVS coupon to create digital photo albums.
October 18, 2011
Bought ink toner. Regular price: $149.99 ($150). Used $10 Office Max coupon.
October 20, 2011
Got ten Zumba classes for $40--one free.
October 26, 2011
Using CVS coupon, saved $3 off of--incidentally--a coupon book valued at $35, so cost me $32.
October 28, 2011
Renewed UPS mailbox and got 3 months free. I paid $132 until February 2012. Saved $33 ($11 x 3 months).
over 90% on 166 MB USB flash drive @ Office Max: $80 + on sale for $30.
Paid only $4.39 combining discounts and coupons. Wow, this is just
like Macy*s. Saved $75.
October 29, 2011
5000-sheet case of copy paper at an office supply store. Regular price
was $46 and change ($47); purchased at $39.99 ($40). Saved $7. I
am finding that it is more cost-effective for me to purchase this
particular commodity--just like certain consumables in our household--in
November 4, 2011
at Omni Hotel on Capitol Hill. The hotel waived the $11.99 per diem
Wi-Fi rate as compensation for a separate inconvenience. Saved $24.
November 10, 2011
Alliance Bank waived $23 fee for reordering my checks.
November 19, 2011
my precious commodity of time to call one of the SU shops on Marshall
Street about getting an itemized receipt for my three nieces’ tee
shirts. My credit card receipt shows that I spent $88.37, but did they
apply the discount, or did they take advantage of the fact that I was
caught up in treating my nieces? Maybe next time, I’ll go to the
competitor’s two doors down next time where I will receive my itemized
receipt without asking for it. Lesson learned: Pay attention even if you’re having fun! That’s the best time to take advantage of consumers.
November 22, 2011
Used a coupon good for $1.59 off of an order.
November 25, 2011
open late tonight, no sooner than the turkey is digested. Even though
this gesture is meant to help boost the economy, I am concerned that
Pandora’s box is opened and it won’t be shut back. I didn’t really have
the money to spend in PA, and working as hard as I/we do, have no time
to spend in CNY. Since I have both some time and some
money, I will venture out to see if Black Friday lives up to its
namesake and hoopla, although I admittedly need to get only a few needed
items for home and others. I’ll engage in real shopping later.
Here’re the results:
Bought six (6) 18-gallon totes on sale at Target. Regular price: $9 - $10 each. Sale price: $5.99 each. Saved $24 (the difference between $60 and $36).
November 25, 2011
an 8 GB flash drive for only 7.99! (plus tax, bringing it to 8.63)
Why? I had a coupon, of course. This flash drive normally costs $29.99
($30). Saved $22.
Bought two bluetooth devices for our cell phones. Regular price: $59.99 ($60) each. After-coupon price: $100 for both. Saved $20.
November 29, 2011
Saved $4.64 on copies w/AAA card at The UPS Store for a final total of $28.43.
November 30, 2011
Saved $4.04, or 30 percent off of total order using staff holiday discount at the SU Bookstore. After-discount price: $10.18.
December 4, 2011
upon an estate sale while walking in my neighborhood. Bought a tripod
with pad for teaching for $10 and a coffee pot for $5. The nearer it
gets to closing time, the prices will dip even further.
December 13, 2011
Purchased a Logo as a gift for a family member; saved 15 percent or $9.75 off of a $65 order using AAA card. After-discount price: $55.25.
December 29, 2011
Using FedExOffice’s discount card, saved $0.40 off of $2.67 scanning order. After discount price: $2.27 plus tax.
General 2011 observations:
a number of receipts are also used as marketing tools. What happened
to the day when receipts simply wished me a “good day” and invited me to
come again soon?
$$ making sure Wegmans swipes my frequent rewards card, because they
don’t always ask. Price Chopper and Tops ask. Grocery savings in 2011 by
doing so whether I am asked or not is significant.
$$ using AAA card, particularly at The USP Store and hotels, so the
annual fee is worth the investment--will renew in 2012.