The Post-Holiday Bargain Binge

Happy Day After Halloween everybody! I hope you all had a fun time dressing up your kids (or yourself).
We didn’t have as many kids at our door as we thought we would, so we have another year with extra candy around the house. Which reminds me that we’re not the only ones with bags of candy that have to go…

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A Free Shed

Another score for our family! We’ve had a very full garage all summer and into the fall – filled with supplies for remodeling, strollers, toys, a wagon and a bunch of lawn items: lawn mower, trimmer, spreader, cart. It’s been so full we haven’t been able to fit my wife’s car in there. That’s fine when the weather’s nice, but we’re quickly approaching Winter here. And I fully subscribe to the “happy wife, happy life” philosophy. Brushing snow off the car at 4 am does not make for a happy wife.

The solution to this is pretty obvious to us: get a shed. We just didn’t have to time to go get one and it wasn’t in our budget in the short term. But we got lucky and scored one for free! Whoo hoo, free shed!

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Free Plants: Part Two

Image © User:Famartin / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

At the beginning of this month I published an article about getting plants free by asking for cuttings/splits. A number of people liked the idea and recommended it, but of course plenty of reddit complainers said that was worthless advice, “sketchy” and suggested people should set up neighborhood plant exchanges instead. Well, let’s try and satisfy some of the complainers by suggesting even more ways to get free plants.

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Dieting and Financial Planning Are The Same Thing

I’ve been slightly overweight most of my life. Now, I was never “obese” by any numbers, but I was always a little chubby. In fact, I remember growing up my mother used to buy me “husky” jeans (She swears that never happened!). As a kid I didn’t really care or notice my weight too much, but started taking notice once I hit high school and I trimmed down when I played football for a few years. I stayed a healthy weight throughout college, but once I started working full-time in an office I ended up slowly gaining weight. I went from 172 lbs up to the 190’s and fluctuated over time. I briefly tried Atkins because my family is one of fad dieters, and that worked for a little while. I bought all these ridiculous Atkins ice creams and breads and things that replaced sugars with some weird form of alcohol. But over the long term it didn’t stick. I imagine that it’s not too unusual a circumstance.

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Save on Diapers: Wegmans Diaper Coupon

My wife and I have a very energetic little 9-month old son. One thing we were surprised by is the amount we spend on formula and diapers every month. For a long time we’d been buying diapers at BJ’s where you can get a large pack (180 count for size 4) for $29.99. But my wife learned from a Mom’s group on Facebook about a great deal at Wegmans. They’re introducing their own line of diapers and have a $5 off coupon for any size and count pack that they carry (it states minimum 20 count, but that’s the smallest count they offer). That means you can get $5 off their smallest packs which retail for $6.79 – meaning you can get a pack of diapers for just $1.79.

Update: This coupon has expired, as of October 26th, 2013.

102613diapers

(Here’s a link to the original $5 off Wegmans Diaper Coupon.)

 

Our son is in size 4 diapers right now, so we’ve gone from spending roughly 17 cents per diaper at BJ’s to around 7 cents. So we’re loading up on diapers for our son (and the next baby!) by using this coupon every chance we have. It’s limited to one per person per visit and expires on the 26th.

We’ve printed up a stack of these suckers and keep them in the car. Every time we go grocery shopping, or anywhere near a Wegmans we stop in and grab a pack. We even handed them out to our parents to get some any time they’re nearby!

 

An Old School Barter: Beer for Wood

Two years ago for Christmas my brother-in-law bought me a great gift: a homebrew beer brewing kit (he bought me a kit without the extra carboy, but I wasn’t able to find that). Since that time, it’s been a nice hobby, though I don’t know that I’d recommend it as a way of saving money on beer. You can’t beat the prices of cheap mass-market beer by brewing at home – though when you compare to craft brews it comes out in your favor, which is a more apt comparison for these more complex beers. At least until you start buying more equipment like a kegerator, cornelius kegs, wort chillers, more fermenters, bottles, or even a mash setup.

I’ve been sharing bottles of my homebrew with family members as I’ve brewed various recipes: Oktoberfest, Pumpkin Stout, American Ale, Wit, Hefeweizen. They’ve turned out pretty well and had spurred the interest of a cousin who has since brewed a couple batches. So it wasn’t unusual when he asked me two weeks ago whether I had brewed any new batches. I told him I’d been too busy with various projects.

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