The Today Show did a segment this morning on Wi-Fi security and protecting your personal information. Fortunately, we are password protected but there are many homes that have an open wi-fi --meaning it is not password protected. Anyone with just a little bit of computer smarts can access valuable information from unsuspecting homeowners.
War driving is when identity thieves drive around neighborhoods with their laptop and search for open wi-fi connections. Once they find a connection (which they can pretty much pin point down to the exact house), they are able to get in to the homeowner's personal files. If the homeowner happens to be on line at the time, they can see the website being browsed. There are even those folks that have no intention of stealing information but just get their kicks out of watching your on-line activity. How creepy!
Many people travel with their laptop and often look for open wi-fi connections. This also exposes personal information of unsuspecting tourists or business travelers innocently checking email. It is best not to check your bank accounts away from your secure wi-fi.
Lock down your computer now if you are not protected.
SWS is about savings. All kinds of savings - not just grocery. Save and protect your personal information now.
No big sales this week either. Last big sale was September 22nd and it was triples. Click here for list. We have had some issues with the final total calculating this morning. Most have been corrected but you may find that 7 or 8 still need to be corrected.
Alouette Feta is still on sale at HT this week for $2.99 - regular price is $4.99. Did you get your free Alouette and additional coupons to share with friends from Vocal Point. I talk about Vocal Point often. Give it a try if you enjoy trying new products and telling your friends about it.
Don't forget to visit BeCentsAble for other grocery store match ups around the country.
I was recently invited to participate in the Progresso High Fiber Soup promotion. There are four new Progresso soups that have 28% of the recommended Daily Value of fiber per serving (7 grams). The new varieties include Chicken Tuscany, Creamy Tomato Basil, Hearty Vegetable and Noodles and Homestyle Minestrone.
I am glad to report, according to the manufacturer, that this new product does not have MSG or artificial flavors. (Except that which occurs naturally in yeast extract - Who Knew?). This is great news for me since long ago I stopped eating products with MSG. When I worked outside my home, you could always find a desk drawer with cans of Progresso. If my supply had dwindled, there was always a co-worker with an extra can. It really came in handy on cold, rainy days when I did not want to venture out. I tried the Chicken Tuscany and while nothing beats my homemade soups, for a canned product, it was very tasty.
Not only did Progresso and My Blog Spark provide me with the soup for testing, they are offering a giveaway to one of SWS readers. (A sample of the soup to try along with a prize pack that includes two huge branded soup mugs and two branded spoons.)
Just leave a comment about your favorite high fiber food below. I will number the comments in the order they are received.
Also, leave your comment with a link to your email or blog so I can contact you if you win.
The deadline to enter is November 3. The winner will be chosen at random using Random.org.
SWS always gives honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers’ own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.
If you have a giveaway and want to share it with SWS readers, link up here...
Occasionally, you will see a post here (such as the current deal below) on SWS for deeply discounted restaurant gift certificates such as $25 dining certificate for $2 or $3. These are legitimate and I have used them several times along with several friends who have taken advantage of these deals.
You can buy $25 gift certificates for your local participating restaurants at $10 any time, but to take advantage of even more savings use the discount codes that SWS posts as they come around.
1. Go to Restaurant.com 2. Enter a zip code to shop. 3. Click Add to Cart for the certificates you'd like. 4. Click "Check Out" and enter DISCOUNT (which is currently PUMPKIN) code for 70% off. 5. Click "Recalculate Total" to apply your savings.
Offer expires 10/25/09 at 11:59PM PST.
I purchased two $25 gift certificates recently for $3 each. They also make great stocking stuffers for your children away at college.
Welcome to the 4th edition of the Carnival of Savings. This month the theme is all about holiday savings, cutting expenses and helping others along the way. I did try to write about holiday savings but it morphed in to something else. As I wrote, I kept thinking about those less fortunate than most of us in the carnival. After all, if you are reading this, you most likely have a computer which means you probably have a home and you are warm and cozy and will be looking forward to the holidays. Here is what I wrote. Maybe you will be inspired to help a family or two this holiday season.
Here are our posts for the 4th Edition -- there are some really great tips and you will certainly be inspired to change your way of thinking and spending ...
20s Money presents How To “Change In” Your Ways posted at 20s Money, saying, "A look at how impactful saving your extra change can be! Plus, a few tips on how to maximize the potential of your change."
TJ Smith presents The Beauty of the Thrift Store posted at Downturn Living, saying, "Downturn living is about the journey from living above my means, to solvency. This piece is about learning to shop at thrift stores, especially for home decor."
That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of savings using our carnival submission form. Past posts can be found on the blog carnival index page. Please remember to link up to the carnival if you made a post.
A recent girl's weekend took us to Atlantic Beach for a fun stay at The Palms Retro which I did a post on recently. We had so much fun and what a great place to rent for the entire family or a weekend getaway with friends.
We also visited Steinmart's 12 hour sale but the most important part of our weekend was a visit to S and B Salvage Store.
A few months back, I made a post here on salvage stores around the country when a friend told me about one she visits in Jacksonville. It has taken me this long to finally get to S and B but I don't think I will be so long before I make a return trip.
We were a little overwhelmed and surprised with all of the food choices. Click on photo to enlarge. Most of the foods are name brand and high-end brands that you very seldom find coupons for nor do they go on sale very often -- foods such as olive oil, capers, olives, sauces, Asian and Thai seasonings, lots of organic foods, high end salad dressings and gluten free foods. Dickinsen's Purely Fruit Preserves that we normally pay $4 and $5 for were .75 to a $1. Most everything is $1.00 or under, except some of the olive oils, walnut oil, and grape seed oil - these can run $2 - $3. Just visit your high-end foods sections and look around at some of the brands and mostly likely you will find it at C and B.
I purchase a lot of the Pacific, Imagine and Wolfgang Puck brands and usually pay $2.30 per soup and very seldom do you find coupons on these products. Some of these soups were .50 to $1.00. Key West Key Lime and Lemon Juice that I normally pay $4.50 for sells for $1. Expiration dates were 2010 and 2011.
As for the location, the store is located not far from Steinmart on University in a warehouse type facility. This is a no frills operation and it is a little dusty and not easily organized with a barrage of shipments arriving - don't expect it to be like your local supermarket. Erase that picture immediately or you will be disappointed. What they lack in aesthetics, they more than make up for with their staff. Joel one of the owner's helped us and was more than accommodating and was kind enough to load all our heavy boxes in the car.
Shipments arrive weekly. You could spend hours going through all the items and those that are lucky enough to live nearby can stop in and visit weekly and pick up some phenomenal deals. If you are planning to host parties and entertain family and friends during the holidays, now might be a good time to visit. They did have a few refrigerated items and dairy items but I am not sure how often these products come in and you definitely want to check the dates on any refrigerated products.
I checked expiration dates on all the foods I purchased. A couple items were due to expire by the end of the year but most of the items I purchased still had a shelf life until late 2010 and 2011. If the product is already expired and you are not comfortable with purchasing it, leave it and move on. There is so much to go through. There is a difference between: Best By, Use By and Expired and Joel will be happy to educate you on the products. For my own comfort level, I did not purchase any products with expired labels.
The product in the pic below sells for $5.99 at Pier One and we purchased for $1.00 and no, they were not expired. Matter of fact, they carried the same date of the one's we found a couple of hours later at Pier One.
Tip: Make a list of some of the items you need prior to visit and maybe this will keep you from being overwhelmed and help as you look for products.
No super doubles or triples this week at HT but SWS has the match ups. Click on the Grocery Tab above.
Something must be brewing for next week. Last big sale was September 22nd and it was triples. I saw a comment that inventory is November 5th so it seems appropriate that they would want to move a lot of product prior to all the counting. It is just a guess.
Alouette Feta is on sale at HT this week for $2.99 - regular price is $4.99. I have a few $1 off coupons mailed to me for promotion. You could snag for $1.99. If interested, contact me. Local only please - for this one. Don't forget to visit BeCentsAble for other grocery store match ups around the country.
Did you know that scientists don't actually know how long it takes for plastic bags to breakdown? Some reports say 10-20 years; others say hundreds of years. Whatever the answer, both are too long. We are all drowning in plastic!
I am just learning a bit about going green and my daughter is the one that has been teaching me. We started several years ago with a bin from the county for recycled products. This bin is picked up once a week. This was her project but now that she has left for college, I am continuing with the program. You know, I would not want to let her down and I feel I am at least contributing in some small way to help clean up our planet.
One thing I am now weaning myself on is the plastic bags. They sure do come in handy and I am going to miss them but now every time I use one, I feel guilty. They sure have been great for getting rid of the kitty litter (which I know is also bad) and bagging up onion peels and veggie skins. This one won't be easy for me but I know I need to give them up and eventually will over time. I just need to figure out what to do with the kitty litter. I clean my babies bin out every day and it makes for easy disposal. I will start by going half and half -- half paper, half plastic and hopefully will be plastic bag free by the end of the year. At least, it is something.
Some cities have already begun banning plastic bags and only allowing biodegradable plastic and paper bags. With everything else going in the toilet all around us, it seems "Going Green" is gaining popularity among industries across the country and is the "in thing." Discontinuing the use of plastic bags at Target and CVS could save you bucks and save our planet at the same time. Click here for more information on the Target and CVS program.
I am moving away from plastic in other areas too. Yesterday, I purchased some tempered glass storage containersgood for microwave use and freezer. My plan is to trash most all of the unorganized plastic-wear in our cabinets. Every time I open the cabinet, a flood of plastic falls out on the floor and I can never find the appropriate lid to fit the container I want to use.
With all the hype about plastics exposed to heat and the threat of cancer, I no longer heat foods in plastic containers in the microwave nor do I care to drink out of plastic water bottles that may have been left in the car too long and exposed to heat. I am happy to report that I don't have to worry about buying bottled water any longer. We are installing a water softener which will purify our drinking water.
So, I am changing a bit and change can be good -- I am looking for more environmentally friendly products and will now purchase non-plastic water bottles to bottle my own water. I am not going green extreme but definitely making myself more aware of improvements I can make in my own household.
Keeping our planet safe isn't something that our daughter became aware of over the last few years. She was born with this consciousness and awareness of the land around her and she always had a passion for making this planet a better place to live. Little did I know it at the time of naming our daughter, Alexandra, that the name meant "Defender of Mankind or Helper." Because of her and people like her, this planet will be a better place and we all should take note and start taking baby steps towards recycling so our grandchildren and their children have a safe environment to raise their kids.
Traditionally, children follow in their parents foot steps to do what is right -- which is a "good thing," but on this particular subject of helping and saving our planet, I am the follower. Now I ask myself "What would Alexandra do?" and I try to do the right thing.
My favorite time of year is the holidays from October through December. I enjoy everything about the season... from being with family and friends, good food and parties, decorating, the hustle and bustle of shopping, being in my warm home on cold winter nights and the smell of the wood burning fireplace mixed with scented candles.
However, with all the excitement and anticipation of the upcoming holidays, I can't help but think about the many families that won't celebrate Christmas in their home this year due to foreclosures and job loss. I think about these homeless families moving from shelter to shelter in need of support and trying to seek warmth and a nourishing meal for their children. I hope you will be thinking about them too!
This holiday season while you sit in the warmth of your home and are fortunate enough to be surrounded by your family and enjoy meals around your table -- be thankful and count your blessings. While you are counting your blessings and enjoying your family, remember these homeless families. Food shelters around the country are short on food and need your support. Just a few cans from your pantry would be a big help. Look in your closet and clean out unwanted clothes and household items and take them to your local shelter. Don't wait until November or December. Start now so that these shelters can plan ahead.
No donation is too small. If you would rather donate your time, there are many charities, such as the Salvation Army, that would love to have you as a volunteer.
If you see this post, I hope it will make a difference and get you motivated to help others. Not only will you make a difference in someone's life, but it will do your heart good!
One person can make a difference; two can make twice the difference and so on... Retweet this post if you want to make a difference. Let's keep it going all day, every day!
Again, no super doubles or triples this week at HT but Savings With Sadie has the match ups. We have had better match up weeks but there are still some deals to be found. As always, click on the grocery tab in nav bar.
Don't forget to visit BeCentsAble for other grocery store match ups around the country.
Relish! is an online recipe site that helps families build a healthy menu plan and then automatically generate a weekly grocery list. Plan ahead – saving time and money. A Relish! subscription is only $7 per month.
Click here to visit SC Johnson and then click on the link "Click Here For Special Offer" to print form to receive $5 rebate on the purchase of three SC Johnson products listed below. This should be an easy rebate considering that you can use coupons on items you buy. I matched up just a few.
I have been a little slack in posting recipes on Sunday. I keep thinking I will get organized and pre-post but it has not happened yet. I found this recipe in my Southern Living Magazine years ago, used it many times and it has always a hit...
2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
1 small purple onion, thinly sliced
1 (4-ounce) package crumbled feta cheese
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Cut green beans into thirds, and arrange in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam 15 minutes or until crisp-tender. Immediately plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process; drain and pat dry.
Toss together green beans, onion, cheese, and walnuts in a large bowl. Cover and chill 1 hour.
Whisk together olive oil and next 5 ingredients; cover and chill 1 hour.
Pour vinaigrette over green bean mixture, and chill 1 hour; toss just before serving.
If you want to share a recipe, enter your url. If you don't have a url, just put your recipe in the comment section and we will pick it up.
Many years ago, at the age of 24 and pre-marriage, a girlfriend and I embarked on a summer of travel in Europe on a tight budget and stayed at inexpensive hostels, pensions, and even got in some dormitory life at the University of Madrid while we attended two classes. My favorite time to travel in Europe is spring and fall but this adventure took place one long, hot summer ago.
We paid for hotel accommodations in Paris, Greece, the south of Spain and a few other places, but for the most part, our accommodations were quite cheap and unique throughout our journey. I can't say that we had much of a plan; we just went the way the wind blew or the way the train traveled and often got off the train with other folks that seemed to have a better idea.
My most memorable accommodation was in Zermatt, Switzerland at the Salzgeber Haus. A chalet that was built in 1607 provided huts that dotted rolling hills overlooking the Matterhorn. The huts were extremely rustic--resembling a sturdy wood paneled room on stilts and probably no bigger than 8' x 8'. The only thing in the hut was a cot like mattress and blankets. I believe we paid $2 each and yes, it was by far our cheapest accommodation and was very much like camping. Luckily, blankets were provided because we certainly were not prepared.
This place was a favorite with serious hikers and back packers and I expected to see Grizzly Adams coming out of the mountains with his kill at any moment.
As we settled into our hut, I remember with perfect clarity the look on my girlfriend's face when we asked the "hut keeper" of this fine establishment where the showers were located and he pointed about half mile from the hut towards a waterfall. It was glacier water -- it was white and was so cold our feet throbbed. I might add that we did bathe in our swimsuits and we were in and out in a flash. Fortunate for us, there were toilet facilities in the main out building along with a community kitchen where you prepared your own food bought at a local market in town.
The next evening, we were not so brave, so we hiked down to the village and found a very nice inn and politely asked, in our very southern drawl, if we could rent a room for an hour to bathe. From the look on the innkeepers face (who did not speak much English), we knew we were not on the same page on exactly why we needed the room.
Finally, after ten minutes of trying to explain our situation, he understood and laughed and sent us on our way to the laundry room and maids quarters. He was a very kind Swiss man who would not take our money and to this day, I remember that hot, steamy shower and how thankful we were that we did not have to go back to the waterfall.
Hut accommodations are still available today and there are some that are not as rustic as Salzgeber Haus and several offer breakfast and dinner. I am not even sure you will find Salzgeber Haus on the internet (at least not this one - I did not) but I bet it is still standing the test of time. I remember walking straight through the quaint town of Zermatt and up a very long path into the hills overlooking the Matterhorn and there it was in all its old glory.
Unbeknownst to us, August in Switzerland can be quite chilly. We ended up purchasing wool sweaters and socks. Even with our rustic accommodations and the fact that we did not have proper clothing, all was overshadowed and forgotten by our wonderful memories of going to the local village and buying wine, fruit, cheese and bread and picnicking in the grass with the most glorious view of the Matterhorn. You can sit for hours soaking up the beauty which is about all you want to do unless you are an avid skier -- then you must visit The Klein Matterhorn which is Europe's highest ski lift. This turned out to be quite an adventure which is another post entirely ...
If you are considering traveling abroad and are on a tight budget, another option to consider is staying in a hostel. We stayed at Balmer's Herberge one of the oldest private hostels in Switzerland. Balmer's is located in Interlaken. Today, dorm rooms run about 18-20 Euro ($25-$30) and double rooms 25-27 Euro ($36-$39). Even after all these years, Balmer's is still there and still getting the best reviews for hostel accommodations. Breakfast and dinner is provided at most hostels.
In Rome, Italy, we stayed at a pension called Werder near a train station. At the time, this particular pension did not have toilet facilities in room due to the fact that a lot of pensions are converted buildings and there is no plumbing available in the rooms. The rooms are nice but you may have to use community showers similar to dorm life. However, each pension is unique and different and today, some rooms may have a sink but the toilet/shower area down the hall and vice versa. If you are going this route, look for reviews on the internet.
Check out local universities around Europe for dorm room accommodations. Some universities will rent out rooms during their slower summer schedule. Even after our classes had ended at the University of Madrid, we kept our dorm room as a home base. It was also a good place to keep all of our treasures while we traveled around Europe.
It is important to know that In Europe, very little time is spent in your room and you can cut costs considerably by up to 50% if you can deal with these minor inconveniences. A typical day will have you up early and not returning to your room until bed time. A small dorm room might not be so bad if all you are doing is falling into bed each night.
We did treat ourselves to a hotel room in Greece but wasted one night camping on the Saronic Island of Aegina's (some spell Agenia) white sandy beach overlooking the Mediterranean because we missed the ferry back to Athens 17 miles away where our bed remained empty.
There was not a vacant room on the island but an elderly gentleman and owner of one of the local resorts took pity on these two southern girls and opened his kitchen and fed us a fabulous Greek meal on his terrace overlooking the sea. Later, he also provided us with warm blankets and then proceeded to show us the appropriate place for us to sleep on the beach. He woke us bright and early the next day so that we would not startle his guests as they went for their early morning stroll -- breakfast was provided and then he sent us on our way in search of the ferry
We learned a big lesson that day and from then on, we never missed checking any schedule -- whether it be train, plane, bus, or ferry. There were many more lessons learned that summer but it would take up all the memory I have available in blogger to tell those stories. The rest of the time in Athens was spent exploring the city, enjoying the comfy of our bed and eating the mouth watering Greek food.
We stayed at Hotel Platzl in Munich, Germany and wow has this place changed. It definitely wasn't as grand then as it is today. The location was great for us -- right across the street from the world famous Hofbrauhaus and a good central location to be based. There were only single rooms available, so we purchased two rooms. At the time, you could not get a toilet and a shower in the same room - it was one or the other.
Today, Hotel Platzl is considered by many travelers to be in the perfect location in Munich with friendly staff, great breakfasts often included in your stay, and the rooms today are rated a 4 Star superior rating so this may be a little pricey for those traveling on a strict budget. I do suggest leaving room in your budget to stay at one or two nice places so you can recharge and this would be a good place to splurge.
I also suggest a visit to Trip Advisor when you start planning a trip. This is a world wide forum of folks telling it all on their latest trip or adventure -- good or bad. You can pick up important information on accommodations, restaurants, guides, phone numbers and addresses. Post a question and you will get an answer.
Although our accommodations were not so grand in our early days of travel, we were still able to enjoy all that the beautiful, old world cities had to offer. We splurged on food and wine and took advantage of all the free museums and cathedrals just the same as any traveler staying at a pricier hotel.
We have covered huts, hostels, pensions, and hotels, so take your pick. If you are young or young at heart and energetic, why pay more for your accommodations. If you need a break to refresh for one or two days, there are plenty of places along the south of Spain as well as France and Italy to relax for a day or two by the sea.
Years have passed and I am traveling a little different these days. My husband's idea of camping is to visit the Holiday Inn. However, if I were younger, I would not hesitate to do it all again. I say go for it! This article is being featured in The Views Paper - Carnival of Travel Edition.
There are so many ways you can support Breast Cancer Awareness Month and here is just one...
Click here to visit Team Prvcy. Just fill out your name and address and share the link with at least one friend. Prvcy will send you a Free pair of sunglasses. Pick your color: black, pink or white. Takes only one minute to sign up and you are supporting a good cause -- no money out of pocket.
I have used these gift certificates for restaurants in Valdosta as well as Brunswick and St. Simons. I have several friends and family members who have jumped in and started saving money on dining out. For $2, you get a $25 gift certificate. Try one at Rodeo in Valdosta.
Enter your zip code to find participating restaraunts.
This $2 offer is for a limited time only. $25 gift certificates usually go for $10 which is still a good bit of savings.
I just received an email from CVS with a coupon for $5 off next purchase of $30 or more now through this Sunday, October 11. You may want to check your email to see if you received the coupon.
My credit at CVS is adding up. Remember I still have one $25 gift card from the new prescription, $5 back on the Halloween candy, $3 ECB's and now this new $5 coupon. This would be a good time to go back and get the rest of my Halloween candy.
I will have to buy $30 dollars worth of items to use the new $5 coupon and combine it with the other $5 and $3 ECB's which brings me down to $17. I have candy coupons too. I should be able to bring the total down to at least $14 or $15, pay with my gift card and have $10 to roll over. If I buy Nestle's products this time, I will get another $5 ECB.
There are two different candy promos this week.
Spend $20 on Halloween Candy and get back $5 ECB's and Spend $10 on Nestle's and get back I believe $5 ECB's. You can only use each promo once. Your loyalty card keeps track and won't issue you any ECB's that are not due.
If you are not registered at CVS, do so now to take advantage of their special offers and coupons.
Have you been Skyping? Well I have and it is great! Since our daughter left for college, we have been able to keep in touch with her via video chat. I love, love, love it. We are using our Mac laptops and the picture is as clear as any TV.
I have read about and talked about it in the past but now I really understand the value. It is so simple. Each user must download Skype (takes about 1 minute). Set up your user ID and this will be your contact ID. You may also add the user ID of those you would like to call often.
The user can actually click on Skype and see which friends and or family members are signed on. Click on the user you wish to call and select video chat. It is that easy and the best part is that IT IS FREE. We usually set up a time in the evening to chat so we are not interrupting each other.
The other night, I was finally able to meet our daughter's roommate on Skype as well as a couple other new friends she has made that were visiting her room. My daughter is even able to walk around with the laptop to show us her latest changes to her dorm room which has taken on a life of its own. We also Skype with the pets and she can see our fat cat and speak to her greyhound, Run Run.
We are having fun with Skype and I have a lot of friends that will be experiencing an empty nest very soon and I am sure they will be jumping on the Skype wagon. I also know a lot of grandparents that would love the see there grandchildren more often and what better way than to Skype.
Technology sure has made the empty nest blues easier. When you get really good, there is a way to have four or five folks on at a time which is great if you need to make a conference call. I have not gotten there yet but I have been with my daughter when five of her friends were all on Skype calling in from all over the state.
I looked all over the internet for instructions on creating a button for my blog. There were two or three sites that offered code and instructions but I had trouble following some of the lingo they referenced. I finally found Mommy's Idea and her instructions were a little more elementary and easier for me to understand. I had to make a few adjustments for my site and I finally figured it out.
Design your button. I designed mine in Paint Shop Pro.
Most buttons are 125 x 125 px.
Upload your photo to a hosting site such as http://www.google.com/docs. This is where you will get your link or html code.
I pasted my code (html) in my blogger gadget and came up with this...
Mommy's Idea also has the code for the button if you want others to pick up your button.