Wednesday, January 30, 2013

RMN Strikes Again!

Last weekend, for an unpleasant reason, J had to go to North Carolina. He flew into Charlotte (best price) and then was renting a car to drive near Raleigh.

I say Raleigh like everyone knows where it is.

So....being the fabulous wife that I am, I booked him a car from Before I checked out, I went to (of course) to see if there are any online coupons.


I was going to be paying $60/day for a regular car. What is regular you ask? Well, I myself had that same question. Turns out it's not quite full size but not quite economy. Yeah, I'm still confused myself. The coupon code, however, gave me a $20/day rate.

2 minutes saved me $80. Definitely worth it.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Aaaaaaaaand, We're Off!

Do you ever look at a time period and ask yourself what you did? Where did that hour go? What did I do for the last 7 days?

I feel like Meg Ryan in 'Who's Got Mail' when she's trying to think of what response she could have given Joe Fox.

Kathleen Kelly: [writing to "NY152"] No, I know what you mean, and I'm completely jealous! What happens to me when I'm provoked is that I get tongue-tied and my mind goes blank. Then I spend all night tossing and turning trying to figure out what I should have said. What should I have said, for example, to a bottom dweller who recently belittled my existence? [stops and thinks

Kathleen Kelly: [writing] Nothing. Even now, days later, I can't figure it out. (Thank you

Yes, I think in movie quotes. The good ones!

Then I remember I was introduced to Pinterest just over a year ago. That explains everything! Pinterest can be very addicting. The first few weeks are an insane amount of pins. And then life happens. You check in on your pins every so often but you're mostly busy trying to make everything you pinned!

I've had many Pinterest-ing things made. Some good, some bad. But I have never had so much fun with projects! Starting in February, I'll be posting the completed projects. And the ones that weren't finished because they were too horrid to finish!

Have a safe and happy weekend!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


It's hard to imagine that it is already 2013. This year, my oldest will enter double digits. Eek! How is that possible?

So it's been (to say the least) a very long time since I've posted. I know. For shame.

But since I began this site to help all my friends near and far that have asked 'How did you do it?', I kind of felt like it wouldn't be right to really include much on here about non-budget/food stuff.

Silly, right?

I realized that I love this. I enjoy sharing my life. Maybe through my dealings, people can take something. A little morsel of hope. Avoid a project that went south. All of those wonderful things that culminate to make life what it is.

So I will try to post more often.

Try being the key word!!!

Have a fantastic Tuesday.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ordering Pizza

Sometimes, life gets hectic. On those hectic days, I will (with open arms and a full heart) welcome when the hubbs wants to order pizza or pick up burgers.

Even if it isn't in the budget.

I know....shameful. To proclaim "Budgets are the BEST" from the mountain tops and then do something outside of the budget. I'm only human!!!

But when we do order or pick up take out, I still try to be smart.

Papa John's is just 3 minutes from our house. Annnnnnnd they're my favorite. So I went to order from them and had in the cart a large pizza for $11 and cheesebread for $5. I went to (of course) to see if they had a code to use and they did. 25% off.

But only on regular priced items. My large pizza was a special.

So I put the same pizza in my cart without the sale price, put the next size of cheesebread in my cart ($7) and used the coupon. Same price, bigger cheesebread.

I love it!!!

I always try and keep any coupons for restaurants in my car. If we're out and it gets too late to make it home and make dinner, I whip those bad boys out. I try and keep our eating out to less than $20 each time.

Until my kids become teenagers. Heaven help me!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bulk Cooking

The Hubby (J) is on an eating plan that is high protein and slow carbs.

*crickets chirping*

Yep. My reaction. That means beans, lean protein and vegetables. Egg whites, tuna, chicken, chicken, chicken...

To me that means lots of cooking for his special eating. He told me he wanted to keep it simple with the same meals during the day for the entire week. Chicken and beans. Well, I can do that! So on Sunday I cooked a whole chicken, a pot of pinto beans and put the leftovers in containers for him to take to work. Monday morning, I cooked enough eggs for the next 5 mornings of breakfast for him.

It has helped immensely! I'm no longer rushing to cook 2 batches of eggs. I'm not flustered looking for enough protein and beans for him to take to work. And he doesn't have to worry about it either.

A win win in my book.

Eating plans are not easy. Especially when they are specific. But in a family setting, you still can do it! Find a meal or two that work and eat that every day. Cook it all in one day for the week and then don't worry about it!  Eventually J will go back to more normal eating, but while he's on this program I'll do my best to help him.

Unlike he does for me when I'm training for a half marathon and wanting to drop a couple of pounds of fat and he brings me home 2 cookies that are probably 20 grams of fat each but they are my absolute favorite and he knows I can't resist them. But that's for another post.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My Faith Restored

If you read my last post, then you know how disappointed I was in New Balance's shopping site. Well, I tweeted my post (as I always do), tagging New Balance, and they noticed!!!

Here's the e-mail I received:

Dear Carmen, 

I apologize for the confusion and all the trouble you have encountered in receiving your shoes. I work in Boston at our Corporate Office and I have been in contact with ShopNewbalance and they did mail you out a new pair yesterday that should be arriving this afternoon. It looks like there has been an issue with the original shipment due to USPS and for that we sincerely apologize. Total customer satisfaction is very important to us and its clear in this case we have let you down as a customer. If there is anything additional we can do for you please let me know. Please contact me directly if you do not receive your shoes today. We thank you for your patience and dedication to our brand. 

Wow! Unexpected! That has completely restored my faith in my favorite brand of running shoes. Seriously. So a huge thanks for my pair of amazing running shoes that arrived last night. I am looking forward to taking them on a test run today.

In my experience, companies most often want to make you happy. I think companies are always started to fulfill a need. To serve. But somewhere along the line, through the chain to the employee that views it as just a job, that service is lost. Not always, but sometimes. So I think you just have to find the right person to help you.

Like Maureen who got me my shoes. 

Or the lady (whom I still regard as an angel) at Bank of America that 'forgave' 4 of my 6 overdraft fees at a time when we barely made ends meet.

God bless the people that still help other people.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


My last post (almost 2 weeks ago, eek!) was all about the beauty of getting my new running shoes on a budget. Super yay for the price!!!

Here's the ugly side of that. They are still not here.

When I used the code and it gave me free shipping, there was only a $2 difference between that and the next level up of shipping. However, I may not have gotten the value of the free basic shipping taken off the next option. So I opted to stay in budget.

My shoes were said to be delivering yesterday by USPS. They came, went and no shoes. So I emailed's customer service. They told me "it will arrive on the correct date with no delay". Which made me think they'd be delivered by a separate USPS truck. Nope.

Then this morning I let them know it didn't arrive yesterday and they told me "because you chose to go with our Basic option so our delivery times are estimates since there might be a day of overlap from the transfer. If you choose to go with the Standard Ground it will have a tracking number with it the entire way and it should not have any delays."

To which I replied:
"That would have been nice to know up front. I would have paid the $2 extra to have it 2 days or more earlier. USPS has already come today and still no shoes.

This has left me with an extremely poor opinion of the company. When I'm planning on it being here by a certain date and things are arranged around that, it's very frustrating to get a 'well you chose basic so it may be a few days late' answer."

To which they reply:
"I understand, Carmen and I apologize but again, since you chose the basic option (free) on our site and it clearly states that Basic shipping may take 2-7 Business days, the delivery date is an estimation since we cannot guarantee what the USPS does in terms of delivery. Thursday, January 12th will be the seventh business day and according to our estimations, they should be delivered before then.

Again, I apologize for the delay and if you need anything else, please let me know!"

Maybe they're in a different country, because it's the 11th here. USPS has come and gone with no shoes. So there's no way they can deliver them before tomorrow. Unless (again) they have a separate delivery truck. Which I doubt since USPS is nearly bankrupt.

So....lessons learned.

Lesson #1-'s estimations stink
Lesson #2- has very slow shipping
Lesson #3- does not value individual customers.