Showing posts with label blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blog. Show all posts

Ten Years

It's been ten years since I created this place of mine on the internet. Unfortunately, I have not dedicated the effort it takes for a blog to be profitable and support my life style and quit my day job. I'm still toiling away at my government job, and still dreaming of being able to quit. So, I've decided to rearrange the leisure activities in my life, notably reading and replace it with writing and promoting my blog.

Having a blog is not simply writing 500 words and clicking send. There are lots of details to get it out there where people will read it. It means sharing on social media sites, responding to comments, and in general engaging with others on the internet. It's tedious, and not always productive. However, I want to give it a try. There are lots of tools to automate posting and sharing.

I'm thinking that my focus will be frugal living, and also adding the perspective from a senior (now that I'm over 55) and preparing for retirement. Not necessarily early retirement like all the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) people out there, but just regular old retirement for regular people.

The Missing Blog

A week ago I went to a blog conference and it was a great opportunity to meet other bloggers and learn how to grow my blog. I don't earn much from this blog, just enough to cover expenses - but I know it has potential. I need to focus on a goal and strive to meet it. One of the things that everyone at the conference encouraged me to do, is to transfer my blog to Wordpress. But without it generating income, I can't justify the expense of self hosting and then there's all the tech support and design needed to make it look really professional.
But, I'm determined to grow. I decided to sign up for a free blogging class online offered by Blogelina. Along with the class is a free year of hosting offered by Godaddy. So, I took the plunge and decided to move my other personal blog to Wordpress and hosted by Godaddy. That was last Sunday. I haven't seen my blog since. It's in lala land somewhere transferring. Despite several calls to Godaddy tech support, it's on its way, but still missing.
Granted, I don't really know what I'm doing but it sure seems to me these companies could make it a little easier. How am I supposed to know that you have to change the A Host IP address so it points to the new server? This option is buried in about 4 sub menus of  the domain control center. Which I didn't even know existed until yesterday. I also learned that I transferred from a host with 4 servers to a host plan on 1 server. So now, I need to figure out how to change my settings so there are more host name servers. Luckily these days, there is a ton of help online in forums and those friendly YouTube videos. I'm determined to teach myself how to do this. Then I might transfer this blog, but then again maybe I won't. Blogger has done me good, and now that I learned how to set up Google Analytics and Google Adsense, and use better keywords - it might make more sense to just stay put.
You might ask, why don't you just pay $79 and hire someone to move your blog to Wordpress? Is that the frugal thing to do? Maybe. But I'm capable of learning myself, and who knows, maybe I would learn enough to be able to offer those services myself someday, or at least do a video series on YouTube.
So the frugal side of me wants to learn all this. Others tell me it will be best in the long run. But the feeling of being overwhelmed is not exactly comforting. Wish me luck.

#CFLBlogCon - My First Blog Conference

This past weekend I attended #CFLBlogCon, The Central Florida Blog Conference that was hosted by the Orlando Science Center. It was a beautiful facility that had lots of classrooms and the Cinedome for the keynote speaker. It was well organized and the attendees were all very friendly - it was a high energy event and certainly motivated me to do more with my blog. I would certainly recommend attending next year, especially if you live in central Florida.
Even though I've had this blog for a couple years, I've struggled to figure out my goal. At first I wanted to share frugal living ideas and tips that I do to get the most out of living frugal. I have a hard time spending money. My DH complains all the time how I'm so cheap, but it does take me a lot of time and inward justification to spend even a few bucks.  That's when I began really couponing and becoming obsessed with not spending any money on groceries. We've pretty much had free groceries and household supplies for several years now because of couponing. But it's becoming harder and harder. My Publix receipt used to always be under a dollar, but now it may be two or three dollars. And, GASP! yesterday I spent over five dollars because we decided to get some beer with our overage.
So, back to the blog conference. There are definitely some technical things I need to improve my blog, and improve my facebook presence and increase my "Likes". These haven't really been my goals in the past, but they are what others measure to understand my "reach". The very first thing I need to focus on is my goal for the blog. I'm thinking I want it to be more of a frugal living blog with storytelling and problem solving, rather than a deals blog. People who have deals blogs work very hard to constantly put out the latest deal and it requires steady updating. If the updates slow down, there is a direct correlation to blog traffic and revenue drops.
The first thing I need to do is dedicate some time to this site. After my dull workday at the government job, I want to take some of my couponing time and start spending it on my blog instead. All of these social media sites are blocked at the office, so it will kind of become my part time job after work. I need to update facebook each day, and interact on twitter, and update the website with some ads and tools to help readers share my stories. Since. I'm not skilled in code and all that technical stuff, I think Youtube will become my friend as I attempt to watch tutorials and videos to figure out how to implement some of these changes.
So be ready for some changes, and please let me know if you have any ideas to help me along.

How To Make Your Blogger Blog Fast on Mobile Phones

As you know, millions of people use their mobile phones to access internet. The mobile internet speed is also very fast these days with 3G's , mobile apps,etc.

From this, we can say many of your readers are coming to your blog through mobile phones..But, if you don't make your blog mobile friendly, you may lose all your mobile readers because in a mobile phone, a normal blog takes lot of time to load and there are other issues that your site not fitting properly in the mobile screen.

So, here is how to make your Blogger (blogspot) blog mobile internet friendly..
Sign into your Blogger account; Design: Edit html

Find this line..

Now your mobile followers can access your blog with amazing speed.
If you can't get it from this blog, just click the source below and try it from there.
Thanks to Blogger tricks

The Versatile Blogger

A big THANK YOU to The Trials of Big J and Little J who awarded me with the "Versatile Blogger" Award! Visit her fun blog HERE.
Part of the responsibility of accepting an award is to share the love - 
The rules for " The Versatile Blogger" award are:
1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic!
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.
( Rules are flexible, in case you're not good with rules!)

So here are seven interesting things to know about me:
  1. My name is Marie.
  2. I grew up in the same house my whole life in a suburb of Minneapolis, MN. At the end of our street was a lot of property that had fields, trees, a fossil creek and later on, nice walking paths. We called this "General Mills" because it was owned by GM and was adjacent to one of their manufacturing plants and you could smell Trix and other cereals in the air when it was being manufactured. Many of the workers would walk on the paths during their breaks in their white lab coats. We played in the fields all the time and walked our dog there almost every day.
  3. I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science in Food Science. My first job was a temp job at Pillsbury's Research and Development Laboratories working for $4 an hour. Within a couple months one of the scientists hired me as a food technologist. It was the best job I ever had; making cookies, pizza, popcorn, salsa, meals, brownies, cookies, toaster strudels and biscuits. I had to buy a chest freezer to keep all the giveaway products from the pilot plant tests. Everyone there was a stockpiler and hoarder, trading cookie dough for pizza.
  4. I worked as a Food Technologist, and later as a Food Scientist for Pillsbury and then Sandoz Nutrition for many years. Then I met my DH and we moved to Florida, and I continued work in the food industry, but to work on the flip side of the fence for the ingredient suppliers.
  5. After 911, jobs in the manufacturing industry were getting less stable. Companies were failing and getting bought out and merging. I was laid off from several jobs in the ingredient and pharmaceutical industry and decided to get out and into something more stable. Thus the boring government job I have worked for many years, and will probably retire here. I work for Child Support Enforcement as a Government Analyst. I just analyze cases and make lists for staff to close or work cases, I also do some process improvement work as I am a certified quality analyst too. Dull.
  6. I've been with DH for twenty two years, and he's the life of my life. We both grew up in MN and moved to FL when we were young enough to enjoy all it has to offer. My parents and our families still live in MN and no one will probably ever move. That's just the way Minnesotans are. They love it there.
  7. I started this blog to share frugal stuff with people who may be interested. I have another personal blog but everyone up North doesn't really care how much I save at Publix because they don't have Publix up there.
Now for the drum roll and who I would like to share the love with. I follow many blogs that entertain or teach me things everyday. I'm going to list some great blogs that don't necessarily have to do with being frugal, but are worth the read. I would like to pass the Versatile Blogger Award to these blogs, check them out-
  1. The Thrifty Little Blog
  2. Maximum Chaos
  3. Moneyapolis
  4. Thrifty Florida Mamma
  5. Frugal For Life
  6. Four Hats and Frugal
  7. Frugal Racing Fan Mommy
  8. The Coupon Momma
  9. Frugal Dr. Mom
  10. Becoming Minimalist
  11. The Obnoxious SAHM
  12. Frugal Hacks
  13. Frugal Floridian
  14. Blogger Chix Designs
So Thanks again for visiting, and please take a minute to visit them too. 

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.

Combining Coupons for a Great Deal

I just have to share this great post by one of my favorite coupon blogs Even if you don't have a Publix in your area, she explains in detail how to "stack" coupons appropriately to get great deals. Its a confusing topic, but she has done a great job of clarifying for us.

My Publix Plan This Week 2/4/10

Well I thought I'd share my Publix spreadsheet before I shop, and then you can see how close the final shop is. I'm planning on asking the store manager of my Tampa Publix if they will accept Walgreens RR. I have a bunch from getting some Bayer Contour meters this week. I would much rather redeem at Publix rather than buy overpriced stuff from Wags. I plan to kindly offer:
  • That the RR are actually manufacturer coupons as stated at the top
  • They do have an address to redeem for full value plus the eight cents on the front of coupon
  • They have an expiration date
  • It says "redeemable at wags", it does not say "only redeem at wags"
  • The UPC code starts with a 5 as all manufacturer coupons do
  • It will scan on Publix cash registers like a normal manufacturer coupons so they do not need to enter it as a competitor coupon and "eat it" (not redeem from manufacturer).
Hopefully, they will give me all the right answers, like yes you can use it here.
I'm also going to start using my Upromise account to start saving for my granddaughter's college funds. I started the account in 2005 but haven't kept it up or activated coupons or anything. I'm going to ask for a Upromise card from the cashier and start using it now. For more information, go visit
Anyway here's the plan, hope it's readable this week, I wrapped the fonts and took out the $$ to narrow it down. I hope to spend about $2.13 for over $111 worth of product. Check back tomorrow for a report. If you want to try any of these deals and don't understand the coupon details, you can check the complete Publix ad at blog. Notice I'm using 47 coupons for 47 items.
4-Feb 47   111.45 32.88 76.44 2.13 47 -98.09%
Product qty price subtotal -BOGO -Q TOTAL Q# Q details
SOBE water 6 1.00 6.00   4.50 1.50 6 bogo+ $1/1 TQ print
lettuce 1 1.89 1.89     1.89    
cucumber 1 0.75 0.75     0.75    
romaine 1 1.89 1.89     1.89    
banana 1 0.60 0.60     0.60    
peanuts 1 3.29 3.29     3.29    
Marzetti dip BOGO 2 3.69 7.38 3.69 4.69 -1.00 2 free+$1/1 all you dec & feb
Brkstn sour cream 2 0.99 1.98   1.00 0.98 1 .55/1 1-24ss or $1/2 print
Zhills water 2.5 gal 1 2.99 2.99   1.00 1.99 1 $1/1 blinkie
24pk Publx water 1 4.99 4.99   4.99 0.00 1 free PQ peelie
spcl K BOGO 6 3.99 23.94 11.97 14.97 -3.00 6 bogo+ $1/1 granola
Velvta BOGO 2 3.85 7.70 3.85 2.00 1.85 2 $1/1 print
McCormick mix BOGO 4 1.15 4.60 2.30 1.10 1.20 2 .55/2 Party playbk
Knox Gelatin 1 1.39 1.39   4.00 -2.61 1 $4/1 MQ 1-17RP
milk gallon 1 3.19 3.19   3.19 0.00 1 free w/$100 print
pup perroni BOGO 6 3.69 22.14 11.07 11.00 0.07 11 $1/1 PQ+$1/1 MQ 12-13RP
hefty foil pans 3 1.50 4.50   1.50 3.00 3 0.50/1 MQ party playbk
kraft cream cheese 1 1.25 1.25   1.00 0.25 1 $1/1 pub grape mag
kraft shrd cheese 4 2.00 8.00   4.00 4.00 4 $1/2 PQ 1-3 + $1/2 print
chapstick 2 pk 2 1.49 2.98   2.50 0.48 3 $1/1 PQ+ $1/2 12-13
register rewards     0.00   10.00 -10.00 1 walgreens
$5 off $50     0.00   5.00 -5.00 1 mailer
      0.00     0.00    

I made the List!

How exciting, I made the Frugal Hacks Blogroll along with a bunch of other great bloggers. Check it out to find lots of deals!

New Years Resolutions

Well it's the last day of the year and I have to admit, I haven't accomplished what I would like with this blog. I've spent a decent amount of prep getting the site up, and getting affiliates and trying to create interesting posts. However, I just haven't made it my priority. With a full time very boring government job you would think I could sneak in a few posts each day. But the death of me has been google reader and all the RSS feeds that I browse each day. There are a lot of great blogs out there with meaningful posts that I read and think, geeze I could write that too - but I don't because it takes a lot of time to write a good blog post. So with said, here are my frugal new years resolutions
  • Create a clear focus for the blog and have every post be related to the focus
  • Post regularly, not too much like some do but hopefully at least once a day
  • Provide meaningful content with every post, not just ads or deals that everyone is posting
  • Link up to Facebook and Twitter (@frugalapolis) and use those networks
So my goals are to just grow the blog with increased readership, and to share frugal practices and deals so others can benefit from a frugal lifestyle.
Happy New Year to You!

Back on Track

Well its been a while since I've posted and I apologize to all those new readers who click and see that old post. I'm going to try to make it more of a priority to keep this place updated with lots of interesting frugal thoughts. The bathroom remodel took a lot of effort and we're still finishing touches like installing knobs on cabinets and towel racks, and hanging pictures. Still haven't figured out what to do with the toothaste and toothbrush, but that will come.
We did well on the budget with the bathrooms, remodeling both completely with new fixtures, walls, ceiling, tile floors, tile tub and shower walls for only $8300. We have a great handyman who did top quality work. Its funny now that we've experienced having tile installed in our home for the first time, we are both very alert to seeing grout lines and tile everywhere. Its amazing the spectrum of quality work you can see, and most of it is not quality.
Anyway, the kitchen remodel is next. I'll post more about that as we get to it.

Access Denied

It is so annoying when bloggers only send partial feeds of 2 sentences, and to continue reading their content you have to click again to go to their site to finish reading. I have all my reading set up through a RSS feed reader so I don't have to go to each site. Problem is the sites are blocked at the office, but the feeds aren't. I know I know. But anyway, I'm unsubscribing to all those annoying partial feeds. Then I leave a comment to let them know why I unsubscribed. There's enough stuff out there to keep me busy, I certainly don't need to be annoyed doing it.
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