Showing posts with label nofollow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nofollow. Show all posts

Frugal Printer Toner Tip

Last night I was printing a few coupons and my low toner pop up came up on my PC. Its the first time I've seen that since I purchased my new Brother MFC7840 wireless laser printer around Valentines day. So I guess I'm close to the 2600 page limit of a toner cartridge. But who plans on replacing toner cartridges? I guess I usually do and have a spare for my other printer, a Samsung ML2010 that works just fine too - but its not wireless. Anyway, I need to start shopping around for a good deal on the toner, and see if I can get a coupon for one. The cartridge on Amazon is about $23 to $45 so I'll keep that in mind. I do have gift certificates I've earned from Swagbucks to cover the cost, so unless I get a really good deal somewhere else, that's where I'll buy.
But here's the frugal tip, actually two tips to make my toner last a little while longer while I shop and wait for a deal.
First, just remove the cartridge from the printer and shake it gently back and forth, side to side to spread the remaining powder ink around the chamber and redistribute it to areas where it can be used. This should give me at least 50 more copies.
The other tip is to fool the toner into thinking its not empty yet. The Toner Life LED light flips on and then the computer gets a pop up too, requesting you to replace the cartridge, even when there's still toner left in the cartridge. The machine detects end of life by shining a light through from one side to the other.

To circumvent the detection mechanism, remove the cartridge and put a piece of masking tape over the clear opening/circle on the right side of the toner cartridge, and then pop the cartridge back in. Eventually, you'll start seeing streaks, and then you'll know that the cartridge is truly empty.

P.S. So I checked my printer page counter and it says I've only printed 540, and I also discovered the first toner cartridge is a starter kit so it is only intended to print 1000 sheets. So, its telling me I'm running low when it should only be 1/2 out. Watch for an update to see when it actually does run out and what my count is. BTW, I covered the sightglass with masking tape so it circumvents the detection - I'll be able to tell by light printing and streaks in the printing when it really is running out.

Ten Tips to Earn Swagbucks

I'm sure a lot of you have joined Swagbucks for free by now and are on your way to your rewards. But did you know there are lots of ways to earn points besides just searching on your swagbucks home page?
 
Did you know that every Friday is MEGA Swag Bucks Day? SwagBucks has increased your chances of scoring BIG Swagbucks on Fridays. Swagbucks is a fabulous program that rewards you with AWESOME prizes just for doing your everyday searches online.

Since I've joined Swagbucks I have earned tons of $5 Amazon gift codes. Don't have a Swag Bucks account? Why not sign up today and earn 30 SwagBucks to get you started. 
 
Here are some tips to get more swagbucks everyday.
 
 -Make http://www.swagbucks.com/ your homepage, or add it to your favorites. Doing this will help you remember to use the swagbucks search engine everyday. Did you know that you can win multiple swagbucks each day? I usually do searches throughout the day and try to use different computers. I have two words that I enter and ALWAYS win at least once on each computer with those words. So if you find a word that works for you, try it regularly. Keep in mind though, don't over search. The swagbucks search engine is designed to detect weird search patterns. If it feels you're searching too frequently you will be shown the rules screen. I've never seen the screen but have heard about it happening to others.
 
1. If you are using your personal computer, install the toolbar to make your searches easy to do.
2. Make it a point to do some Swagbucks searches on Fridays for sure. On Fridays, you can win as many as 100 Swag Bucks in one search.
3. Become a fan on Facebook and a follower on Twitter. Swagcodes are released daily through these sites.
4. Do the Daily Poll every day to earn 1 swagbuck.
5. Do the Special Offers (click RED square) every day but just select NO THANKS for each offer, click through a few until you are awarded from 1 to 3 SBs.
6. Earn Swagbucks by using the Swagbucks Shop and Earn site. By using this portal site to shop you will earn 1 swagbuck for every $5.00 spent.
7. Trade-in your old cell phone and electronics and exchange them for swagbucks!
8. Set up a Google Reader page, and install the widget on your feed page, or install it on your blog. Lots of codes are posted on the widget.
9. Check the Swagbucks Blog for clues and codes, usually there are codes a couple times a week posted there.
10. Check this forum discussion for codes that are currently active that other users have posted.
Give it a chance. It took me a while to develop routines of doing my searches through Swagbucks and figuring out how and where to find swagcodes.

Get Another Phone Number Free

Twice today, I've seen situations where people don't want to get involved with something because they have to give out their phone number. One is a friend of mine who is in training this week to be a census worker and they require a contact phone number from her. Another situation is an offer on the Internet for a freebie and requires a phone number.

These days people are a lot more protective against giving out their cell phone number because its a hassle to switch or deal with unwanted calls. Here's my frugal free solution - use Google Voice (formerly Grand Central). I personally have signed up for a couple of these phone numbers and have had them for years. The way it works is that Google Voice numbers must be linked to another phone number like your cell phone, home phone or work phone. When you give out the google voice number it forwards the call to your current phone and rings so you can actually answer the call if you want. It also can send a transcript of a message to your phone or email. I have mine set so that it displays Grand Central in my caller id so I know not to answer it unless I'm selling something on craigslist, or otherwise expecting a call.

You can also block callers on Google Voice so they get an out of service message when they keep bothering you.

Its great to be able to actually get the rare winning sweepstakes call on Google Voice, but usually its spam from all those freebies you sign up for. Do yourself a favor and sign up today HERE.

Submit Your Blog to Search

If you're a blogger, you want to get your wonderful work out to as many people as possible. Here's a simple way to ensure that your blog will be included in the bot crawl of the major search engines. Just click on the links and add your blogs URL address.
 

Lawn Mower Class Action Settlement

You can receive Cash:· Up to $35.00 for each walk-behind lawnmower
· Up to $75.00 for each riding lawnmower
You can receive an extended Warranty:

You can receive these benefits if:

1.       You purchased a lawnmower, for your own use, containing an engine with up to 30 horsepower in the United States or Puerto Rico and between January 1, 1994 and April 12, 2010.
2.      Either the lawnmower or the engine of the lawnmower was manufactured or sold by a Company listed below.
3.       You submit a claim, either by mail or online.
Get more information HERE

Your lawnmower is included if your engine was manufactured by:
Briggs & Stratton
Honda
Kawasaki
Kohler
Tecumseh
Toro
Or, your lawnmower is included if your lawnmower was manufactured by:
Deere
EHP
Honda
Husqvarna
MTD
Sears
Toro 
Brands manufactured by these companies include, but are not limited to:
Yard-Man, Cub Cadet, Honda, Bolens, Exmark, Deere, Sabre, Scotts, Toro, Yard Machines, Craftsman, Troy Bilt, Husqvarna, Poulan, Poulan PRO, Lawn-Boy, Weed Eater, White Outdoor, Snapper, Simplicity, Brute, Murray, and other brands.
The lawsuit does not concern the safety of these lawnmowers.
For a more detailed description of the Settlement see the links below for the Notice of Class Action and Proposed Settlement.  You can view or download a copy.
English Notice of Class Action and Proposed Settlement,
Spanish Notice of Class Action and Proposed Settlement
Important Settlement Dates: Last updated - Friday, April 02, 2010
June 4, 2010
EXCLUSION / OBJECTION DEADLINE.
June 22, 2010
FINAL APPROVAL HEARING.
August 31, 2010
DEADLINE FOR FILING A CLAIM FOR CASH BENEFITS.
1 Year After Final Approval
DEADLINE FOR FILING A CLAIM FOR WARRANTY BENEFITS AND REDEEMING WARRANTY BENEFITS.
 


Florida Legislature Starts Tuesday

Well, since DH and I are both FL state employees, I thought I'd share the reason for our dour mood for the next 2 months. The FL legislature starts hacking away at a budget plan, trying to take away what little money we make, and cut our free medical insurance benefit, and rid us of our pension plans. HERE'S an interesting article by Bill Cotterell, also pasted below if you don't want to go to the link.
 
Bill Cotterell: State workers face a rough 60 daysDo you ever feel like people are talking about you?
Not the paranoid who goes to a football game and thinks the players are whispering about him in the huddle or the prickly defensiveness of George Costanza on the old "Seinfeld" show. It's just that sometimes we have an entirely reasonable expectation that we, or whatever we're doing, might be drawing a little more attention than we'd like.
Well, if you're a state employee, your antennae should be abuzz in the next 60 days. Florida legislators are convening the 2010 Session Tuesday, and they have to close a gap, estimated as high as $3 billion, between state revenues and expenses.
Tax increases are out, this being an election year, so there's no realistic hope of new revenues. That leaves expenses to be cut and, this being an election year, there's no more politically popular place to start than with the government payroll.  Some Republican women in the House and Senate got things started last week. Rep. Marlene O'Toole of Lady Lake and Debbie Mayfield of Vero Beach proposed making all state employees pay for health insurance. They said taxpayers could save about $56 million if all employees, from the governor to the Selected Exempt workers, paid $50 a month for single coverage or $180 for family insurance.  There's a major fairness problem with that. About half of the estimated 35,000 employees now getting paid-up health insurance were moved out of Career Service by ex-Gov. Jeb Bush's "Service First" initiatives in 2001 and reclassified into the Selected Exempt Service. The deal was, they gave up Career Service job security and got "free" insurance in return — whether they wanted that deal or not. If they're going to pay premiums now, it would seem that fairness dictates they be moved back to Career Service. The trouble with that is, it's the positions that were reclassified, not the people, so you couldn't logically extend Career Service protection to some SES employees — the ones who were moved in 2001 — and not all of them.  And besides, nothing is forever. If an SES employee took the job in 2006, knowing paid-up insurance was a perk, there was no guarantee that it would be ever thus. Times change, and so do budgets. Also, if the $25,000-a-year administrative assistant in Career Service can pay for insurance, it's hard to say the six-figure judges and department heads shouldn't. Legislators and their staff would be included in the everybody-pays bill.  Politically, for legislators who go back home and run for re-election this summer, it's impossible to justify free insurance for any state employees when constituents are struggling to make ends meet. Across the Capitol, Sen. Ronda Storms of Valrico has proposed a 5-percent pay cut for all employees earning more than $65,000 a year. Her bill includes a provision that employees taking the whack can't get bonuses to make up the cut. That seems like a taunt — "Hey, we're onto that old trick; don't cut your pay 5 percent, then give yourself a $3,250 promotion to break even."  The Storms bill could be a starting point. They could amend it up to $75,000 or $80,000 or lower the cut to 3 percent or 2 percent — or, for that matter, make it 10 percent and drop the threshold to $35,000. Senate Bill 2282 just gets the discussion going. Last year's budget called for a 2-percent pay cut for employees earning more than $45,000 a year. Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed that, but, all things considered, state workers shouldn't count on the governor riding to the rescue again. He didn't propose any layoffs, pay cuts or furloughs in the budget he sent to the Legislature on Jan. 29. But House and Senate committees treated the governor's recommendations as just a starting point — more like a kid's wish list sent to Santa — and lawmakers will send him their own priorities by May Day.  Downstairs, meanwhile, the lady who would be governor has proposed thinning the herd in middle management. Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink figures her agency has about five frontline workers for every manager, and she wants to widen that ratio to about 7-to-1. Spread through all the state agencies, Sink figures, such a standard would save the government nearly $300 million. Her plan doesn't require legislative action and would be accomplished by not replacing SES and Senior Managers when they leave and reorganizing some functions under fewer bosses. But it shows the belt-tightening attitude prevalent in the Capitol in this recession-stricken election year. Speaking of which, that's another active idea down here in Florida — cutting from the budget any authorized positions that have been vacant six months. Never mind that the reason these jobs stay vacant so long is that you can't find qualified people at the salaries the state is willing to pay. State employment is not exactly the scapegoat of budget cuts. With revenue and politics being what they are, the cuts are inevitable and layoffs are looming. Don't take it personally, legislators seem to be saying. It's just a natural consequence of the times.

















Free Busch Gardens Preschooler 1 Year Pass

Busch Gardens Tampa is opening a new Seasame Street Safari of Fun March 27th! To celebrate this they are offering free kids Annual passes for children 5 and under that are FL residents.   You can register and sign up online. 
 
Free Rhymes with Wheeee!
If you have a child 5 and younger, a Free Commemorative Busch Gardens Preschool Pass is waiting! It's all they need to explore the wonders of Busch Gardens and our all-new Sesame Street Safari of Fun…for all of 2010. Elmo and Ernie, can't wait!

 
Just go here!
In order for the pass to be valid you need a copy of their birth certificate when you take them to the park.  Just to verify age.
Busch Gardens is a great family park now, since they got rid of the free beer. No more old folks like us hanging around taking up tables and benches, while we have a cold bud. But its a nice place for grandchildren.
 
They just created a new parking area in the preferred parking lot for "Families with Strollers" and put up pretty pink signs along the whole front row of preferred parking.
 
We go every week to see the free concerts and have a nice walk. Pat Benatar is playing this Sunday in Gwazi Park at 4pm.

Publix Weekly Totals

I've been doing good with the menu plans and shopping so far this year. Eating out of the Pantry is a challenge - the challenge is not gaining weight and making healthy meals. I'm pretty new to this couponing and stockpiling and its fairly obvious what items I don't need to stockpile so much, and the others like salad dressing, croutons, soda and snacks need to purchased whenever there is a deal. I certainly don't need to stockpile mayo and crackers. The supply we have will be past expiration date, but that won't stop me. You can check HERE to see if your food is still good.
 
Anyway, last night we went shopping and spent $6.78 and saved $54.94 (87%). There's not many good deals for us next week in the 1/21 Publix Coupon Matchups, so we went again at the end of this week's sale. Here's the breakout - mostly salad stuff and a couple pharmacy items to get overage, and some water and peanuts for dear. This chart below is how I calculate how much overage I need, how to make my order at least $50 so I can use the $5 off $50 coupons, and to make sure I have more items than coupons and what coupons I need to gather. Notice the first two items (phayzyme and bayer aspirin) give a nice overage, and they boost the total up. We usually give these items away since we don't use them.
 
Product
qty
price
subtotal
minus Q
TOTAL
Q#
Q details
phayzyme
4
$2.99
$11.96
$18.00
-$6.04
6
$2/1 1/10 MQ + $5/2 PQ
bayer
2
$2.47
$4.94
$7.00
-$2.06
3
$1/1 1/10 MQ + $5/2 PQ
lettuce
1
$1.49
$1.49
$0.00
$1.49
 
 
cucumber
1
$0.75
$0.75
$0.00
$0.75
 
 
red cabbage
1
$1.49
$1.49
$0.00
$1.49
 
 
banana
1
$0.63
$0.63
$0.00
$0.63
 
 
carrots
1
$1.89
$1.89
$0.00
$1.89
 
 
mushrooms
1
$1.49
$1.49
$0.00
$1.49
 
 
Zhills water 2.5 gal
1
$2.99
$2.99
$1.00
$1.99
1
$1/1 blinkie
24pk Publx water
1
$4.49
$4.49
$4.49
$0.00
1
free PQ peelie
$off coupon
1
$0.00
$0.00
$5.00
-$5.00
1
$5 off $50 PQ
tostitos chips
2
$3.00
$6.00
$3.10
$2.90
4
$0.55 MQ+0.50 TQ
tostitos salsa BOGO
2
$3.19
$3.19
$3.19
$0.00
1
2.50 tearpad
croutons texas toast
2
$1.49
$2.98
$1.00
$1.98
2
.50 MQ
GE light bulbs BOGO
2
$1.99
$1.99
$2.50
-$0.51
2
$1.50 MQ+1/1 MQ
peanuts
1
$3.29
$3.29
$1.00
$2.29
1
$1/2 MQ
onions, green
1
$0.60
$0.60
$0.00
$0.60
 
 
french hamb rolls
1
$1.65
$1.65
$0.00
$1.65
 
 
 
Last week we had a similar shop, and spent $7.11 and saved $62.68 (89%). We've been eating meat and meals from the freezer. So the total so far this year spent on groceries is $92.73 with a savings of $381, with YTD savings of 91%. In case you're wondering how I figured this out, I'm using the Grocery Savings Tracker created by Stephanie at Couponing 101.com. She has great instructions how to upload it to Google Docs and then I can access it from any computer or location. I also keep my weekly calculation on Google Docs so I can work on it from any location. I highly recommend this.

10 Lifestyle Changes

Here are 10 lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure and keep it down. For more detail see source HERE

1. Lose those extra pounds and watch your waistline

Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Losing just 10 pounds can help reduce your blood pressure significantly. In general, the more weight you lose, the lower your blood pressure. Losing weight also makes any blood pressure medications you're taking more effective.

2. Exercise regularly

Regular physical activity — at least 30 to 60 minutes most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). And it doesn't take long to see a difference. If you've been sedentary, increasing your activity can lower your blood pressure within just a few weeks.

3. Eat a healthy diet

Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 14 mm Hg.

4. Reduce sodium in your diet

Even a modest reduction in the sodium in your diet can reduce blood pressure by 2 to 8 mm Hg. And bigger cutbacks mean greater reductions in blood pressure.

5. Limit alcohol consumption

Alcohol can be both good and bad for your health. In small amounts, it can help prevent heart attacks and coronary artery disease and potentially lower your blood pressure by 2.5 to 4 mm Hg. But that protective effect is lost if you drink too much alcohol — generally more than one drink a day for women and more than two a day for men.

6. Avoid tobacco products and secondhand smoke

On top of all the other dangers of smoking, the nicotine in tobacco products can raise your blood pressure by 10 mm Hg or more for up to an hour after you smoke.

7. Cut back on caffeine

The role caffeine plays in blood pressure is still debatable. Drinking caffeinated beverages can temporarily cause a spike in your blood pressure. And some studies show that people who drink caffeine regularly have a higher average blood pressure, suggesting that caffeine might have a long-term impact. But other studies show you can develop a tolerance to caffeine so that it doesn't affect your blood pressure.
To see if caffeine raises your blood pressure, check your pressure within 30 minutes of drinking a cup of coffee or another caffeinated beverage you regularly drink. If your blood pressure increases by five to 10 points, you may be sensitive to the blood pressure raising effects of caffeine.

8. Reduce your stress

As with caffeine, the influence of stress on blood pressure isn't settled. Stress or anxiety can temporarily increase blood pressure.
You need to know what stresses you before you can try to reduce your stress. Take some time to think about what causes you to feel stressed, such as work, family, finances or illness. Once you know what's causing your stress, consider how you can eliminate or reduce stress.

9. Get regular health care

If you have high blood pressure, you may need to monitor your blood pressure at home, or use the monitor at Walgreens or Publix.

10. Get a support system

Supportive family and friends can help improve your health. They may encourage you to take care of yourself, drive you to the doctor's office or embark on an exercise program with you to keep your blood pressure low.

Still Tasty

Many of you are probably off work at home shopping for Turkey Day. But then there will be the inevitable questions about shelf life and how long are those Thanksgiving leftovers still good to eat. HERE is a website Still Tasty that lets you know how long food is really good for. As a former food scientist in the food industry, I know for a fact that expiration dates on products are mostly there to protect the company and help with inventory management. The majority of food and products are good for much much longer than the stated expiration dates. Also remember that when you heat up leftovers for the second time to 160F you begin your shelf life over again. However, leftovers should not be reheated more than once unless you are certain they were sanitarily prepared and stored.

Dannon Activia Class Action Lawsuit Settled

Dannon has just settled a large class action lawsuit concerning Activia Yogurt.
They have announced that a settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit involving Dannon's Activia® and DanActive® yogurt products. The lawsuit alleges that Dannon falsely advertised the health benefits of its "probiotic" yogurt and dairy products. Activia® was sold nationwide beginning in February 2006. DanActive® was sold nationwide beginning in January 2007.
 
Under the proposed settlement, Dannon will create a $35 million fund to provide cash refunds to Class Members who timely submit a valid CLAIM FORM
 
Dannon has agreed to amend its labeling and claims of Activia and DanActive, making the scientific names of the so-called probiotics more visible; Dannon will also remove the word "immunity" from DanActive, said the LA Times. Currently, labeling for DanActive states it has "a positive effect on your digestive tract's immune system," reported the LA Times. That statement will be changed to state that DanActive will "interact with your digestive tract's immune system."
According to the LA Times, the refund will apply to consumers who purchased Activia and DanActive yogurts up to $100 per customer, citing court papers. Consumers will be required to complete a claim form, said the LA Times that will be accessible once the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio has approved the settlement.

Web CEO is a SEO Champion - Free Software Download

This new version of Web CEO found here introduces many functions to improve SEO workflow and meets so many of the expectations of our users that they can call it 'User Choice'. In Web CEO 8.0, you can enjoy the new Advanced Position History report giving the most complete idea of your Search Engine Positioning history for all keywords in all search engines. The Keyword tool has been completely updated and now it provides the most reliable data for keyword research. The updated Partner Finder tool will notify you if your link partners' pages are dropped by a major search engine. Good news for those who are involved in the blogosphere – you can promote your blogs in Blog Search Engines and Directories and get registered with Blog Communities with the help of our Submission tool.
 

The Downfall of An Impressive CV

A stunning story in the Toronto Star has me thinking about my choice to commute by bicycle on a daily basis. Apparently, this well provided for gentleman got in a tussle with a cyclist and dragged him down the street like a gangster movie. Now his impressive background is all for naught as he is charged with some pretty serious crimes since the bicyclist died (see picture above of cyclist).
 
Reminds me to follow the motto on my new bumper sticker WAG MORE, bark less

September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, and this is to remind citizens that they can take steps to be prepared if there's a disaster. It's important to make a kit, make a plan, and stay informed. A survival kit includes basics like fresh water and food for up to three days, blankets, matches, battery-operated radios and lights. Checklists on what to include can be found on here
 
When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it's best to think first about the basics of survival:
fresh water, food, clean air and warmth.

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers

Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Cash or traveler's checks and change
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children