What A Glorious Day for The Fair

Post #1
Well, I wish I were in Minnesota today going to the Minnesota State Fair, but since I'm not I have a special treat for you today. I'm going to pretend I'm at the fair and share my day with you of all the great things I ate and fun things to do. You too will wish you were at the State Fair.

Pooped Pool Pump

So, its another rainy day - which actually is really great for our newly seeded front yard - it is a carpet of green grass now. But not so good for getting in a walk after work. Well, then its onto other chores like checking on the pool. All the rain filled it up pretty high and it could use a back flush to bring it back to normal levels for good skimming action. So, I go out to the power switch to discover it wouldn't go on. The breaker switch had tripped so I flipped it back to on. We must have had a power outage from all the storms. Anyway, I turned on the pump and in a couple seconds it started smoking and smelling like burnt up motor before it popped the breaker again. Uh Oh. Not good. The old cooter was toasted. So, I got DH and we checked it out some more and decided we needed to get a new one. We disconnected the wiring and brought it to pinch a penny and they switched it out in a few minutes. We brought it home and connected it back up to the power, with just a few minutes to spare before another rainy downpour.
So we are the proud owners of a new $220 pool pump. We kind of knew we needed to keep an eye on the old one and it needed some new cones or something, But we waited too long and then it was toast. The new one is smooth and quiet though. Definitely worth it.
The point is, if you have home equipment that needs attention or maintenance to prolong its life, don't put it off. Emergency repairs have a way of popping up at at the most inconvenient time. Like Monday on our day off after our trip, we had planned to mow and trim the lawn. The problem was the fuel line on the weed wacker had disintegrated and the new one we replaced it with leaked gas, and it wouldn't start. So we called a small engine repair shop and they wanted $35 bucks to "look at it", and it would take a week. Instead we just searched for "fuel line weed wacker" on www.youtube.com and found a couple home videos that outlined exactly how to replace the fuel line. We fixed ours like it said, and it works just great now. Free and instant.
If you don't know how to fix something, but you think you have the aptitude or parts and just need a little guidance, youtube.com is definitely a resource that you should check out. There a tons of tips on how to fix and repair stuff, which can save you from an expensive repair.

Get USF Bulls Football Tickets 53% off

Today's 8/25/10 Tampa Groupon is for single game or season tickets for the University of South Florida football team. Choose one of the following options:
  • For $80, you get a season pass, good for a lower-bowl end-zone seat in Section E (a $170 value).
  • For $12, you get a ticket to the September 25 game against Western Kentucky, with a seat in the upper bowl around the 25 yard line, section 333 (a $25 value).
  • For $12, you get a ticket to the October 2 game against Florida Atlantic, with a seat in the upper bowl around the 25 yard line, section 333 (a $25 value).
The USF Bulls play their home games in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' sleek Raymond James Stadium, home of the famous pirate ship harbored in Buccaneer Cove. Single-game tickets against Western Kentucky and Florida Atlantic provide a taste of the festive atmosphere present in collegiate ball. The season pass, which is good for all seven regular home games against teams such as Connecticut, Syracuse, and the Tuscaloosa Technical Institute of Poetry, lets fans fill the football-shaped void in their hearts over the course of the season.
The USF Bulls are beginning a new era under head coach Skip Holtz, who looks to transform the team into Big East conference champions. This year's roster is lead by wide receiver Dontavia Bogan, running back Moise Plancher, and quarterback B.J. Daniels, whose ability to pass, run, and levitate has put him on the short list for Big East Player of the Year.

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.

Twitter Hop Tuesday

1. Add your Twitter to the Linky below: when you add it, it will automatically appear on everyone’s page that posts this Linky so you do not need to add it more than once

2. Click on the top 5 Twitter Names and follow them: It would be a big plus if you adde the Twitter Hop Button to your Page.

3. Follow as many people on Twitter as you like: just make sure you at least do the Top 5. Also be sure to leave comments with your twitter name so they will know where to follow you!

4. If someone follows you from this Linky, PLEASE follow back.

5. You do not have to make a post to join: but it is always a plus if you do so everyone else can see and join in on the fun!

Below the Linky box, you will see see “What is a blog Hop? Get the Code Here" Click on it and just copy and paste that code into your post and the same Linky will appear. Your blog visitors can add their Twitter ID to your list and it will show up on all lists!

follow me @frugalapolis

Rays Get 10 Strikeouts Free Pizza

Its Tuesday night and the #Rays game isn't over, its only the 7th inning and they got 10 strikeouts already!. Yeah more free pizza. I went and picked up my certificate at Kanes today. Tomorrow (or maybe later tonight) you can print your certificate at www.kanesstrikeoutcontest.com. But hurry, you only have one day to print it, but you have 3 days to redeem it at a Kanes store near you. The certificates now are valid until 10/25/2010.

$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.

Frugal Travel

Travelling across the country is always an expense, but how you travel can save lots of money.  By planning wisely and saving where you can, this affords us the opportunity to travel more often. People who spend grandly and impulsively may need to travel less because they can't afford to travel as often.
We're planning to go to the NASCAR race this weekend in Bristol, TN, about 700 miles away. Here's how we're being frugal about our travel-
  • Hotel - Make hotel reservations a year ahead of time using the government rate ($70/night), even if we aren't sure at the time that we'll be going. A reservation is free and easy to cancel if we decided not to go. While we're there, we'll book a room for next year too at a low govt rate.
  • Drive or Fly - Investigate options for both modes of travel, surprisingly sometimes its cheaper to fly. We would have needed a car there to drive back and forth to the track and around town, so for us the cheapest method is to drive. Our 2004 Camry is reliable and has low miles so we don't need to do any maintenance prior to travelling.
  • Stockpile drinks - Since we're driving, we can bring almost anything we think we'll consume while we're out of town. That means bringing plenty of water, powerade, sobe water, and of course beer. All these beverages were free or very cheap at Publix using coupons while we shop. The wonderful thing about NASCAR events is that you can bring a cooler of food and drinks into the track, so you are not forced to spend any money inside the event.
  • Eating - we plan to bring and make snacks while we're on the road, also picking up a couple free Papa Johns pizzas from the Rays Strikeout contest. We have lots of Fusion Nut snacks and peanuts for the races. While we're in town, we may eat at some restaurants like Chili's, Outback and Olive Garden using our free gift cards that we earned on our credit card.
  • Gas - believe it or not, we still have BP gas cards left from the Publix deals back in March. We'll use about $100 in GC that is already a sunk cost, so gas won't seem like that big of an expense.
  • Tickets - we hope to score out tickets at the races, by paying someone on the road side cash. The event is not sold out and due to the tough economy, we expect to be able to get tickets easily for less than or equal to face value. The tickets are $57 for Friday night, and $142 for Saturday night. This is really our only big expense.
  • Souvenirs - we probably won't get any Tshirts, Hats or trinkets unless they are free. NASCAR fan fest events are notorious for product giveaways so we always end up with a bunch of junk. We also always go to the Sprint booth and play PLINKO to win passes to special events, like pre race concerts, driver introductions, driver meeting or victory lane celebrations. We've been lucky to always win special events from Sprint.
  • House sitting - our neighbor is nice enough to watch our house, come over and feed our dog, collect our mail and newspapers while we're gone so we give her a couple Publix gift cards in appreciation. These cards are free for us since we got them with our coupon overages while shopping.
So here are our expenses; $210 hotel, $100 gas (but use the BP GC), $400 tickets, and miscellaneous $100, for a grand total of $810 for the 4 day weekend.

#Rays Get 10 Strikeouts - Free Papa Johns Pizza Again

It wasn't too late a game tonight against the Texas Rangers and once again the Rays got 10 strikeouts - on the final play of the game. They won 6 to 4 and of course we get Free Pizza!

Go to http://www.kanesstrikeoutcontest.com/ and fill out the form and print on Tuesday. I'm hoping they'll get 10 strikeouts again Tuesday and/or Wednesday, so hold onto your certificate and turn in a couple at once at your nearest http://www.kanes.com/ within 3 days of the game for a Free 10" cheese pizza at Papa Johns.

These Tampa Bay #Rays are awesome! Only a 1/2 game back from NY Yankees!

Evil Scale Update 4 Weeks

Anyone who has ever dieted can tell you its not terribly hard to lose weight, but the real story is how to keep it off. Well, I've been really successful at losing weight in the last month, but unfortunately the yo-yo effect is more evil than the scale. Over the last 4 weeks, I have lost 11.4 lbs. That seems reasonable considering all the hunger I've endured and sweaty hot outdoor exercise I've done. Unfortunately, all the cool refreshing beers and chilled fruit snacks I've consumed have helped me gain 5.8 lbs, for a net weight loss of 5.6 lbs. Not exactly that rewarding.
However, I did make a change in my diet the last week by substituting vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and shredded cabbage in place of bread, rice and pasta. The decrease in carbohydrates from over 150 gms a day, down to about 75 gms has helped me minimize hunger and maintain weight. Its kind of a little like the Atkins diet modified. I try to keep protein and fat around 40 gms per day, carbs 75 gms for about 1400 calories. I burn 2400 calories with my lifestyle and exercise, so a 1000 calorie deficit should give me a 2 lb weight loss per week. Remember 3500 calories equals one pound, so a deficit of 7000 calories per week is the 2 lbs. If I don't bike or walk for an hour each day, I need to cut back calories on that day.
So, I'm going on a road trip to the Bristol, TN NASCAR race this weekend and that means restaurant and track food, plus lots of beer. My diet is taking a sabbatical for a week. My hope is that I can just maintain this next week.