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

Thoughts On Employment

This article was published about a month ago, and I've also read various other sources about the same problem, finding a job when you're unemployed and older. The chances of finding another job in your field is slim to none, and you may be involuntarily unemployed the rest of your life. If this happens, are you ready for it? It's a long time until you qualify for social security, or your pension if you're lucky enough to have one, and there are penalties for withdrawing your retirement savings for many more years.
 
Its scary to think that perhaps the scoundrel Rick Scott actually has believers and may get voted in as new Governor of Florida. Life will suck if that happens, especially since I'm a civil servant of the State of Florida - the very group of employees that Rick Scott would love to minimize and eliminate from the world. If the wrong person gets in office and the legislature cuts government staffing, I may lose my job. And as an older worker approaching mid century vintage this is not cool. If I were one of the unemployed, would I get rehired? A growing trend is that companies only will consider employed people as candidates for their openings. I think I have a pretty good chance compared to other candidates even if my competition is younger. Here are a few ideas on how to keep yourself competitive in the job industry.
  • Stay Healthy - I mentioned how to stay healthy earlier and I believe that a healthy body and a healthy mind go hand in hand. If you keep yourself healthy and you "look" healthy, you'll be more attractive to employers. They may assume you are healthy if you look and act healthy. This means less medical expenses for insurance and less sick time and lack of productivity. If you smoke, don't let your employers know - don't waste time at work out by the smoking area.
  • Keep Up Technologically - one sure difference in our society with age groups is the use of technology. The younger crowd uses it. Most older people shy away from technology because they don't understand it. This is a key factor in your hiring potential - do you know how to operate a computer, can you figure out all the features on your cell phone, can you figure out how to scan and send a document on the copier at the office? Do you know how to use a lot of the features and programs on your computer - like all the Microsoft applications and email and the Internet? If you don't, you're not going to get the job because there are a ton of people who know that stuff.
  • Be Interesting - It seems to me a lot of younger people prefer to text or email rather than talk to friends. Social skills are lacking and this will hurt them in the workplace, this is where you can have the advantage. If you have manners, know etiquette, are polite and yet interesting to talk to, you will succeed in the interview. A person who "fits" and doesn't seem to have outward hangups or is opinionated and set in their ways will succeed at work and be easier to train. You can always be taught the job skills needed, but you can't expect to learn people skills on a job. Interviewers look for people skills.
  • Use Your Brain - I mean outside of work. Keep your critical thinking skills sharp by reading and writing, not just the newspaper either. Write a Blog. Do crossword puzzles or cryptoquips, or for me I calculate my coupon grocery shopping trips and organize my coupons. This is no easy feat as most of you know. Anyway, it helps to think on your feet, and do math in your head when you're shopping.
  • Face Reality and Change What's Wrong - If you are obese or ugly or stupid, you can change. You can lose weight, or use makeup and change your hairstyle, or start learning (or pretend you know what you don't) if you are stupid. No matter what your problem is, you can work on it. You may not want to face the fact that you're a bitch to get along with and that you hate minorities - but you need to. Reality is perception. If others perceive you to be offensive in some way they won't want you around. You may have no clue why you don't get any jobs after you've had interviews - and there is a reason. You need to find out what your problem is and deal with it.
  • Act Younger - if you do the things you liked to do when you were younger, you'll feel younger. One thing I do is ride my bicycle almost everyday. Its carefree and there's that sense of danger and riskiness being out on the road with all the crazy drivers. Its like being on a roller coaster ride at Busch Gardens - but its real life. Its fun and I love how it makes me feel high when I ride really hard and get all pumped up. You could also try wearing some clothing you liked when you were younger, some shoes or a new hairstyle. All these things will help you act younger and seem younger. It will make you smile.
So, that's my take on it. I hope any of you out there who are unemployed take all this thought with a grain of salt, I know every situation is different and we all have circumstances that are beyond our control. But, there is probably something you can do to improve your chances of getting a job. Just figure it out and do it.

Is Your Phone Number Posted on Facebook? Probably.

In an article by the guardian Uploads from iPhones using the Facebook app will push all your contacts onto Facebook's servers - where they'll be matched against any and everyone. Worried at all?
 
Facebook: contains more phone numbers than meet the eye
If you have a friend on Facebook who has used the iPhone app version to access the site, then it's very possible that your private phone numbers - and those of lots of your and their friends - are on the site.
The reason: Facebook's "Contact Sync" feature, which synchronises your friends' Facebook profile pictures with the contacts in your phone.
Except that it doesn't do that on your phone. Oh no. Because that would be wrong, to pull the photos down from Facebook and put them on your phone. That would breach Facebook's terms of service.
Instead, what Facebook's app does it that it imports all the names and phone numbers you have on your (smart)phone, uploads them to Facebook's Phonebook app (got a Facebook account? Here's your Phonebook).
Pause for a moment and go and look at it. Did you know those numbers? Did you collect them? Despite the reassuring phrase there - "Facebook Phonebook displays contacts you have imported from your phone, as well as your Facebook friends" - it's absolutely not true. I know because there are numbers there which I don't have. OK, perhaps the people who own them added them; but that's not clear either. So how did they get there? Because it only takes one person to upload another person's number, and the implication is that it's going to be shared around everywhere.
The implications are huge, and extremely worrying. All it takes is for someone's Facebook account to be hacked (perhaps via their phone being stolen) and lots of personal details are revealed.
Kurt von Moos, who first wrote about this earlier this year (since when Facebook has revised its privacy statement, but not altered what goes on in this way) says that there are a number of reasons to be concerned. As he puts it:
"1) Facebook doesn't warn users that they are uploading their phone's adress book to Facebook. In fact, because Facebook doesn't sync contact numbers or email addresses TO your phone, most users wrongly assume that Facebook Contact Sync only syncs user pictures. In reality though, they are pumping your address book, without your consent."
Facebook says you can remove your mobile contacts, but it's not clear that that will remove your mobile if someone else uploads it.
von Moos continues:
"2) Phone numbers are private and valuable. Most people who have entrusted you with their phone numbers assume you will keep them private and safe. If you were to ask your friends, family or co-workers if they are ok with you uploading their private phone numbers to be cross-referenced with other Facebook users, how many of them do you think would be ok with it?"
He also points to even more egregious problems: (a) can you be sure how Facebook, or its advertisers or partners or whatever it becomes down the line, will use that data? (b) why is it that Facebook takes all your mobile numbers, rather than matching names of contacts with names of friends? (c) sometimes, it gets the matches wrong - and incorrect (or faked) data that people have given to Facebook as their "contact" details (such as hotels or businesses) gets linked as being a "friend", or the lack of an international dialling prefix messes up the match, and means again that someone who you don't know is identified as a "friend" or contact.
von Moos concludes: "There are some contacts and phone numbers who's privacy I simply refuse to risk on the Web. Facebook has taken and continues to take liberties on behalf of their users. Their perception of privacy and their users perception of privacy is often very different. I don't think this is maliciousness on Facebook's part, but it does show me that Facebook is painfully out of touch with the needs and beliefs of their CORE users, who are still wary of the openness that a Web 2.0 lifestyle entails."
It's not clear whether the official Facebook for Android app does the same. We'd be interested to hear from you if you've noticed this with the app.
So - beware: Facebook quite probably has your details. More of them, in fact, than you might have thought.

An Icy Decision

Earlier this year we remodeled our kitchen by gutting it and getting new cabinets, counter tops and appliances. Except for the refrigerator. Being the frugal type, we decided to wait until the 2003 Kenmore side by side broke down before replacing it. Well, decision time is upon us, as the ice maker quit working this past weekend. We were being frugal in our decision to avoid replacing the water filter cartridge just because it was 6 months, so we usually wait until the water dispenser quits working or we notice less than fresh tasting water to replace the filter. Once it happened that the ice maker stopped working, and when we replaced the water filter it started working again. It was our hope that this was the case this time.
 
So we purchased a new filter from Amazon with some Swagbucks gift cards, and it arrived the next day. When we replaced it nothing happened. We waited 24 hours like it says in the owners manual, and still nothing happened. It looks like the ice maker problem is not due to the water filter - we've got bigger problems than that. As I was looking through the refrigerator documents, I found a receipt from 2004 where we had Sears come out and fix the ice maker under warranty. The labor and parts for the sensor module service visit were $235.
 
So now we have a few choices to get our ice now.
  • We can do nothing and just make ice using old fashioned ice trays. (NOT! I might do this for a temporary while but geez there is technology out there now!)
  • Attempt to research the problem using Google, buy the parts online and fix it ourselves. This is a fairly likely scenario from what little checking I've done and the cost of the parts should be about $60.
  • Call Sears to fix the problem with a service call. Not likely - means time off work and paying probably at least $300 toward an old fridge.
  • Get a new stainless steel fridge to match all the other new appliances. This may be a premature choice since refrigerators should last about 10 years. Ours is only 7 years old, there should be plenty of life left in it. However, the old one could become our stockpile and soda fridge, allowing us to get rid of the two other dorm size fridge and freezer we have.
  • Get a used stainless steel fridge from craigslist. I've seen used but practically new ss fridges for as little as $500 on craigslist. However, DH is still injured from the motorcycle collision, and can not possibly assist in moving an appliance. This choice would have to wait.
 Oh, the joys of living. If any of you have any ideas, I'd love to know how you'd handle this dilemma.
 

Mega Swag Bucks Day!

It's Friday which means Mega Swag Bucks Day! One of the easiest ways I get Amazon Gift Cards is by doing my searchs on the internet using Swagbucks search bar. There are other great gift cards and swag you can choose if Amazon doesn't float your boat. If you are using Swagbucks as your search and win engine today you have increased chances of winning the Mega Swag Bucks denominations (100, 200, 500, 1000).
 
Do it now. Just sign up HERE.

Disney Epcot Food & Wine Festival

For all you peeps out there who participated in the Disney Give A Day, Get A Day volunteer promotion, and you've been saving your free passes for a special occasion, now is the time. Celebrating its 15th year, the 2010 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will be held from October 1- November 14th.  Your Epcot admission is all that's needed to participate in this popular venue. Find the answers to all your questions HERE.
As with all Disney events, themed entertainment is part of the festivities. Visitors to the Food and Wine Festival can "Eat to the Beat!"
The following line-up of performers is scheduled for the 2010 "Eat to the Beat" Concert Series:
10/01 - 10/03 - Taylor Dayne
10/04 - 10/05 - Kool & The Gang
10/06 - 10/08 - Sugar Ray
10/09 - 10/10 - Taylor Hicks
10/11-  10/12 - Air Supply
10/13 - 10/15 - Sister Hazel
10/16 - 10/17 - Howard Jones
10/18 - 10/19 - Expose
10/20 - 10/21 - 38 Special

10/22 - 10/24 - Night Ranger
10/25 - 10/27 - Billy Ocean
10/28 - 10/31 - Starship starring Mickey Thomas
11/01 - 11/03 - Boyz II Men
11/04 - 11/05 - Roger Hodgson
11/06 - 11/07 - Jon Secada
11/08 - 11/09 - Hanson
11/10 - 11/11 - Rick Springfield
11/12 - 11/14 - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Performances are at 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 at the America Gardens Theater.

Time To Remodel Again

Once again as the summer winds down, its time in our house to consider another remodel project. If you remember, last fall we gutted our two bathrooms and kitchen, replumbed the water pipes and built entirely new bathrooms and new kitchen. Our next project is the bedroom and the dressing room. We're kind of non traditional folks and decided to use our rooms in the house as we see fit which isn't always what other people do.
 
We made our master bedroom into a dressing room since it had a larger closet and bathroom connected. When we first moved into the house we had different work schedules with one of us getting up earlier to get showered and changed for work. It was more convenient and considerate to do this in a different room than the one the sleeping person was in. Also, I happen to have asthma and try to keep the bedroom allergen free by minimizing surfaces to collect dust, clothing or materials that shed skin cells and attract dust mites. So our bedroom is pretty bare, all it has is a bed and a dresser for the TV.
 
Anyway, we sold our vintage waterbed (thru craigslist) the other night which was drama in itself, you can read about it here. So now the bedroom is empty. Since its empty we decided to replace the carpet and update the window sills with marble, rather than the mid century tile. We may also replace the ceiling fan and we'll definitely paint it a color (yeah another white room bites the dust!), and get new blinds or window coverings.
 
The first step is to schedule a measure for the carpet. Home Depot has a deal now for $37 install. plus I signed up for the HD movers club and they emailed me a 10% off coupon the same day. I also redeemed a bunch of AMEX points for HD gift cards that should arrive in a few days. So after the measure it will be another 7-10 days to get the carpet installed. By then the windowsills and painting would done.
 
Next its bed shopping for us and paint selection.

#Rays WIN & Get 10 Strikeouts Free Papa Johns Pizza

Well, last night Sunday, 8/29 the #Rays beat the Red Sox again, and they also got 10 strikeouts. For folks in the #Tampa Bay area, that means free Papa Johns Pizza! Just bring your ticket stub from the game or print your certificate HERE and bring it into the nearest Kanes Furniture store to exchange for your free 10" cheese pizza at Papa Johns. But hurry, you need to print your certificate TODAY, but you have three (3) days to redeem it at Kanes.
 
Also don't forget to enter my #giveaway for a Free $25 Target gift card and Boxtops gift pack (thanks to General Mills and Blogspark for providing the gift card and gift pack), you need to leave a comment on THIS BLOG POST and the deadline for entry is Tuesday, 8/31 at 11:59 pm.

Swag Bucks Swagstakes Tip

 
Even though I've been signed up with Swagbucks for over a year now, I didn't realize until just this week all the cool things you can get by entering swagstakes. As you know there are lots of ways to get swagbucks and sometimes the swag codes we get are for "sister sites" and can't be redeemed for all the usual stuff in the swag store. At first I didn't realize these sister swag codes couldn't be used for Amazon gift cards and I would gather them up, as they are quite plentiful. But, it was annoying to calculate how many "real" swagbucks I had and when I could redeem them for my favorite swag, the Amazon gift card.
 
But yesterday at the slickdeals.net swagbuck forum (where a lot of codes are posted) a discussion on these sister codes helped me learn that these sister swag codes can be redeemed for Swagstakes which are drawings where you can get entries using your sister swag points. So, the best thing to do if you've gathered these and want to redeem them is to use them for swagstakes right after you've redeemed your "real" swagbucks for some swag. This way, you won't use your real swagbucks for swagstakes entries. You don't really want to use real swagbucks for swagstakes because you can use them for more valuable exchanges at the swag store.

$15 Budweiser Beer Rebate Offer

You know I've been stockpiling beer in preparation for our racing road trip. As luck would have it, I found a tear pad in Publix today with a nice beer rebate. You too, can probably do this rebate because you can fill out the rebate form online HERE, print it off and mail in your receipts for qualifying items and your beer.
So here's the deal, get a $15 Prepaid card via mail in offer 28368 on the purchase of salty snacks, ice, charcoal, propane, coolers, dips, condiments, buns, meat snacks, deli sandwiches, bottled water and prepared foods from the deli, with the purchase of two (2) Budweiser 12 pks or larger (cans or bottles). Purchase price of qualifying items must exceed $20, and can be on multiple receipts. Purchases must occur between 08/01/10-09/06/10. Limit one per address. Postmark by 9/20/10. Valid in AK AZ CA CO DC DE FL GA IA ID IL KS MD MI MS MT ND NE NH NM NV OH OK PA SC TN VT WA WI WY.
You can presubmit your request online at http://www.abrebates.com/ and select offer 28368, print and sign the form and mail in with rebate certificate, your receipts (with items and beer prices circled) and beer UPCs. Offer Expires 09/06/2010.
Mail to: Bud Light Offer, Offer 28368, PO Box 752897, El Paso, TX 88575-5897.
I've been buying lots of SOBE water at Publix (its $1 ea) using the BOGO coupon from the instant win game HERE, stack it with the $0.50/1 Target coupon HERE and get it free. Just get 20 SOBE's and some beer and you're set. Since SOBE is bottled water, it meets the requirements of the rebate.

Prime Happenings

This week while trying to order a couple different items on #Amazon, I've noticed a change in Prime Shipping. I was trying to order an auto headlight restoration kit to make our lights nice and shiny for our upcoming 12 hour drive to Bristol, TN. But my online shopping cart wouldn't let me select 2 day shipping - which is free if you have prime, and the item is selected for prime (which this item was). The same thing happened yesterday when I tried to order a new tarp to cover our boat. It qualified for prime shipping, but it won't get here for 3 days. According to Amazon, from Tuesday to Friday is 2 day shipping. Go figure.
 
I think they probably are getting killed on shipping costs. I know that I use Amazon more since I get #SwagBucks pretty often, and cash them in for the maximum $25 a month for Amazon gift cards. I wonder if more people are using Amazon for that reason too.
 
Anyway, I think something is going on here and I don't like it.

You Still Haven't Signed Up??

I just cashed in 450 points for another $5 Amazon gift card.
 
Have you cashed in lately?
No?
What the! - you haven't signed up for Swagbucks yet?
What in the world are you waiting for?
A special offer?
Well, here it is!
 
Right now they are are offering an extra 40 Swag Bucks when you enter the code BackToSchool while signing up which means you get 70 bucks just for signing up! Valid all week until 8/15.
Bonus Features of the Week:
  • There will be five one-of-a-kind Back-To-School themed Swag Buck bills in varying amounts – collect them all throughout the week and you'll earn yourself a 50 Swag Buck bonus!
  • As part of their Back to School promo, you can win five different limited edition back-to-school themed Swag Bucks adding up to 50 more swagbucks! If you follow on Twitter and "Like" them on Facebook, you'll find even more rewarding opportunities.
  • On Thursday they are having a Swag Code Extravaganza, no less than 5 Swag Codes!
Click HERE and register for a new account. Then enter BackToSchool (case sensitive) and you will get 70 bucks.
 
If you want to know how to earn lots of points on a regular basis, check out a previous post HERE.

Free Museum Weekend Aug 7-8

If you are a Bank of America customer, you are invited to enjoy the Museums on Us program this coming weekend, and every first weekend of the Month. Check Museum Locations here to see where you can go for free. It also includes many botanical gardens, zoos, and science centers in 27 states.
 
In Tampa, the new Tampa Museum of Fine Arts is free with your Bank of America ATM, Debit or Credit card. Its that new building downtown by the new Curtis Hixon Park. We haven't been there yet, but probably will check it out this weekend.

Frugal Vacuum

I have this Hoover-U5180-900-Cyclonic-Bagless-Upright Vacuum Cleaner that I purchased over two years ago for forty bucks on Amazon. It has worked pretty good and I'm always amazed at how much dog hair it picks up from just one room. I empty the bagless canister a couple times whenever I vacuum because it just seems gross to have all that dust and hair whirling around. Anyway, its been a pretty good vacuum, but the front wheel carriage broke a short while ago, and its a hassle to have to push the thing around, instead of wheel it around.
 
So I was watching www.slickdeals.net for a deal on vacuum cleaners, but I missed out on a good deal a week ago. So, now I'm going to do the frugal thing. I'm going to just repair the thing by purchasing a wheel carriage part for $3.49 and fix it myself.
 
A lot of times it is really easy to fix things rather than replace them. Google is your friend. Just google your item and part needed and see what comes up. Usually, for a fraction of the cost of the item it can be repaired. 

Free Food But No Free Beer

For our daily exercise yesterday, we decided to take a lap around Busch Gardens. I happened to notice all sorts of people with the bright neon wristbands indicating they had purchased the Play All Day & Dine For Free offer. Since the takeover of Anheuser Busch last December by Merlin, there have not been many improvements and upgrades in the theme park. Granted they did have the spring concert series, but nothing special on July 4th this year - just fireworks.
 
Anyway, I find it ironic that they stopped serving free beer samples in January of 2009 and their attendance tanked. The former hospitality house has been empty most days, and no one dances to Dr. Dave or Andre as they play the piano by the bird gardens. But now they want to get more business since it has not been the same since. So if you're willing to shell out $74.99 for a full price ticket, they'll give you a $30 meal plan. The plan is actually pretty good, and if you can be frugal and "share" the food with your partner, its not a bad deal.
 
But Busch Gardens certainly doesn't act like they appreciate Florida residents at their park. Even people who don't spend hundreds of dollars when they visit, are good for making it seem like the place is crowded and a cool place to be. They take away the free beer, but now they give away free food. I've got to think the food deal costs them more than a few 10 oz beers.
 
By the way, if you haven't gone to the Summer Nights events, you're missing out on some good entertainment. Jeff Civilico the juggler, was there last year and now has shows on Fri, Sat & Sun only. Each of the three daily shows is different and funny. I like the 6:30 pm show where he gets male audience members to help him get up on his unicycle.
 
We haven't been to the Kinetix show yet, but were intrigued by the preview of three jugglers with glowing face paint and glow in the dark clubs. We're planning on seeing it this weekend.
 
Meanwhile, I'm waiting for the free beer.

Free Workout Music Download

Subway and The Biggest Loser have come up with a pretty good workout mix of songs for you. I just downloaded them and then you have to unzip the file. Then just import the folder into itunes, and you can put it on your ipod!. It may seem like a few steps but it only just took a couple minutes. And the workout mix is great!. I am so tired of my same 200 songs on my ipod while biking to work, this will be a nice change.

1. Telephone Lady Gaga

2. In My Head Jason Derulo
3. Revolver Madonna
4. Empire State of Mind Jay Z Feat. Alicia Keys
5. Hard Rihanna
6. Bulletproof La Roux
7. Hey Soul Sister Train
8. Blah Blah Blah Ke$ha
9. According To You Orianthi
10. Whataya Want From Me Adam Lambert
11. Russian Roulette Rihanna
12. Need You Now Lady Antebellum

So go ahead and download from HERE, you'll love it.

Frugal Flopping

I'm feeling troubled this week because I feel like I've spent too much money. I'm excited to report that the last payment has been made to completely pay off our Lowe's Project Card where we carried our interest free, counter top and cabinet purchase for the last six months. All year we've cut back on travel, clothes shopping, Amazon purchases and other supplies because we had a monster payment of $1500 each month to pay for the kitchen remodel we did in February and March.
 
So after paying off the kitchen this week, I wanted to get our automated savings level up again to "before remodel" levels. But somewhere between logging into the bank, I stopped at www.leejeans.com and bought some capris, visited www.sierratradingcompany.com and got 4 shirts and a pair of pants, also purchased a toner cartridge from Amazon, and a new camera battery, along with shopping at my local bicycle shop University Bicycle Center to use my $25 off $60 coupon and get a new bike tire, bike shorts and some repair supplies like tubes and patch kits.
 
I was totally sucked in by the email deals on the first two (free shipping and 1/2 price clothes), but I did need the toner for my printer, and its not very often the bike shop has deals. So I justified it. But I still feel like I fell off the frugal wagon. I've spent more in one week than I have all year on basically non-essential stuff. I was happier denying myself stuff and feeling proud of my restraint, and frugalness to get by with what I had.
 
So that's it. No more spending for a while. At least til July anyway.

How to Freeze Blueberries

If you haven't gotten your $1.50 off Berrys coupon at Publix, you better print some now because it expires Wednesday, June 23. As luck would have it, Publix has blueberries on sale for $1.50 so they are free. I picked up several pints this weekend and made some wonderful blueberry pancakes and blueberry cobbler. But I still have berries so I'll be freezing some. Here's how
  • Step 1: What You'll Need to Freeze Blueberries

    • Fresh blueberries
    • Strainer or Colander
    • Rimmed cookie sheet or jelly roll pan
    • Airtight containers or resealable freezer bags

  • Step 2: How to Freeze Blueberries

    1. Place the blueberries in the colander, and pick them over, discarding any leaves or stray stems. Make sure the blueberries remain intact. Squashed blueberries can help creates clumps.
    2. Rinse the blueberries in the colander.
    3. Let the blueberries dry.
    4. Spread the berries in a single layer on the cookie sheet.
    5. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer, and allow the blueberries to freeze over night.
    6. Remove the cookie sheet from the freezer, and quickly transfer the blueberries to resealable bags or airtight containers for long term storage.

  • Step 3: How to Use Frozen Blueberries

    1. If you're making a blueberry pie or blueberry cobbler, you can use the berries directly from their frozen state.
    2. If you're using blueberries in baked goods where the make up a small portion of the batter, you should also be fine with frozen berries.
    3. If you're making blueberry pancakes, how you use the frozen blueberries depends on whether you're using small wild blueberries or larger blueberries.
      1. If you're using the smaller wild blueberries, rinse them under warm water, pat dry, and use the same way you would use fresh.
      2. If using larger blueberries, rinse them, pat dry, and thaw in the microwave for 2 minutes at 30% power, then add to the pancake batter.

  • Publix Watching For Coupon Fraud

    I just saw this video on how Publix is training their cashiers on how to spot fraudulent coupons and to scrutinize all coupons more carefully. Just a heads up to Publix shoppers, its not you its them. Your trips are going to take a little longer as the cashier spreads your booty all over the scanner belt and looks for the UPC codes and fine print. And YIKES! Those internet printables! They will be looking at those with the eagle eye.
     
    I didn't like how they insinuated that all internet printables are fraudulent coupons, especially when the coupon value is high, or exceeds purchase prices. Goodbye, Schick razor overage! Hello manager override, which will become a much more regular thing. Oh well, its still worth it, but the pleasure is decreasing.

    Keep Searching

    Yippee! I just won 59 Swagbucks for searching! Over a hundred points today now. I just cashed in for a $5 Amazon card on Monday, and now I'll be able to get another one before the mid month cut off.
     
    If you haven't joined Swagbucks, yet I can't figure out what you might be waiting for, because this is MEGA BUCKS Friday and Summer Swag week.
     
    To celebrate the Summer of Swag there are the two BIG things going on this week that all of us Swagbucks people might be interested in knowing about:
    Each day next week Swagbucks will be highlighting a different high value Swag Buck bill, starting on Monday June 7th, with the 25. Every 7th searching win on Swagbucks will be awarded that big bill, meaning that more people will have big wins next week!
    Do you still need more convincing on why you should sign up for Swagbucks? I mean really…you haven't signed up yet?
    New users can use the code SUMMEROFSWAG when you sign up for an extra 20 Swag Bucks to start their account. The code is good until the midnight on Friday, June 11th.

    Does Couponing Make You Fat?

    As I pull on my pants each morning, lately the button seems a little harder to get closed. My tummy is a little more jiggly, and my boobs are bigger. I hate to step on the scale because I told DH and myself that I'm going to lose some weight as swimming season is here. But it hasn't been happening. I did step on the evil scale earlier this month and weighed about 12 pounds more than I want to be. According to my favorite weight log site www.fitday.com, I'm about 15 lbs over the desired weight. Either way, I don't like it.
     
    I usually have no trouble losing weight quickly and maintaining the loss, but this past year has been different. I'm a firm believer in the thought that you can't improve what you don't measure. So I log my weight into www.fitday.com  (its free BTW) and I know that I used to weigh my goal weight last year in April 2009. I gained about 20 lbs by Christmas and then lost 15 after New Years, but now its creeping up again. My bike riding has been pretty consistent with about 380 miles ridden each quarter (I ride about 15 of 20 weekdays to work each month.) It did drop off during the winter when we were remodeling the bathrooms and kitchen so I could meet with the contractor each morning, and have the car to pick up supplies. I rode about 150 miles the 4QTR, and 200 miles the 1QTR of 2010. This lack of exercise probably contributed to my weight gain, since my body is pretty responsive to exercise.
     
    However, now I am riding almost every day, and walking an hour a day, and still not losing weight. I eat the same breakfast and lunch I've had for years ( I know boring!) cereal with a banana, and a lettuce salad w/ chicken, plus a yogurt. So dinner is the change. And guess what we now eat for dinner? Yup, you guessed it - all that prepackaged, processed food that we get cheap with coupons. Frozen fish fillets, Curlys BBQ pulled pork, Zatarains Jambalaya with Premio sausage, Steamfresh meals, TGIF appetizers, Contessa frozen pasta meals, etc..
     
    Since I've been couponing over a year now, I have it down to a point where I don't really even have a grocery budget, I spend less on food for the month than we spend on our cheap SERO cell phone bill. But, its taking a toll on my health and beauty. I'm trying not to buy the junk food, but when its free with coupons I can't resist. I tell myself I'll give it away, or serve it when we have company so that we don't eat it. But its just so darn convenient to open a package and have a quick meal.
     
    So, the struggle continues. The evil scale vs the full freezer.