Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A week without cable.

What? We don't have cable?

That's about how we feel this week. There was one little glitch when MIL called Hubby to ask him to record something from ESPN, since she is off on a camping trip. He told her we ditched cable. I don't guess she was too upset or she would call someone else to get them to record it. She has other kids and they probably have cable or satellite.

We have not missed anything that we don't get. The only show I haven't seen is Mad Men and I never watched it on Sunday nights anyway. I always watched it the next weekend on Comcast's On Demand. Now I will just watch it on-line. No biggy.

So, we are fine with no cable.

Oh and for anyone that decides to buy a Roku and try Hulu Plus, don't sign up for Hulu Plus until you get your Roku. When you activate the Roku, you get an offer for a free MONTH trial of Hulu Plus. Wish we had known.

We are enjoying Hulu Plus. If you want to stream it through a device you already have, you can go here and use my referral link for a free 2 week trial.

And if you decide to buy a Roku, you can use this link to get $5 off. I will get an Amazon video credit. We bought the least expensive Roku...the "Purple Box"... and it is great.

Off to watch Dancing with the Stars on our FREE network tv channel.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Do you want to try out Hulu Plus?

Use my referral link and you can get a 2 week free trial instead of the usual 1 week.

I'm watching my favorite TV shows with Hulu Plus and thought you'd enjoy it. Sign up & get 2 weeks FREE! http://hulu.com/r/J7x7Sw

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Goodbye, Comcast!

Our "promo" on cable ended and the bill went up to $68.11/month! For an almost basic package. Ugh! I called Comcast asking for a better rate and was told "we can give you a lower price."

Hubby saw me paying the bill and was shocked at the rate. He said, "We need to cancel." So, I started researching alternatives. We can't do satellite or dish because of the direction our apartment faces.

We already have a Roku for streaming Netflix. Then I read about Hulu Plus for $7.99 a month and we tried the trial. It works for us. We won't get all the channels we had, but after much discussion, Hubby and I decided that for a $60/month savings, we could do without them.

So, we bought a couple of antennas from Big Lots for $17 each. And I ordered an additional Roku for our bedroom for $50. So, we spent $84 to get it all set up.

Hubby unhooked our cable boxes and returned them today. We will save $20 this month and starting next month, we will save $60/month. So our set up cost will be recouped in the 2nd month and we will be saving $$$$!!

We can easily afford the $60/month, but we just don't want to pay that to watch TV.

We are pretty happy with our decision!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Save Money on Meat.

I get a newsletter from Frugal Living at About.com and thought I would share a good article.

11 Ways to Cut Your Meat Bill without Going Vegetarian

By Erin Huffstetler, About.com Guide

Are the current meat prices butchering your grocery budget? If so, there's plenty you can do about it. Here are 11 simple ways to save money on meat:

1. Make it Stretch

Purchase smaller amounts of meat. Then, stretch it with oatmeal, breadcrumbs or another cheap and healthy filler.

2. Grind Your Own Meat

Instead of buying ground beef, purchase a chuck roast on sale and either grind it yourself or ask the butcher to do it for you. The end product will be the same, but you'll spend far less for it.

3. Buy Reduced Price

Snatch up packages of meat that have been marked down for quick sale. Then, use them by the date on the package or freeze them for later use:

4. Buy Cheaper Cuts

Choose more affordably priced choice cuts of beef instead of pricier prime cuts. Then, marinade or tenderize them to frugal perfection.

5. Buy Big

Family-sized packages of meat usually cost less per pound than smaller packages. So, buy one big package, and divide it into the portions that you need.

6. Enjoy More Meatless Meals

Aim for at least one meatless dinner a week. Then, increase from there as your family gets used to the idea:

7. Buy Lean Cuts

Sure those packages of 70% lean ground beef are cheaper than the 96% lean ground beef, but guess what? After the fat cooks away, that lean package will net you more meat for your money.

8. Buy Ends

Need lunchmeat? Many delis will sell you the lunchmeat ends for far less than the price of a pound of deli meat. Ask, and you may net yourself a real deli deal.

9. Do the Trim Work Yourself

Meats that have been sliced, butterflied, cut into tenderloins or made into patties cost more than meats that haven't; so, buy simple cuts, and do the trim work yourself:

10. Explore Other Sources for Meat

Do some research to find out if there are any butcher shops or farmers in your area that sell meat below the grocery store price:

11. Buy Bones

Did you know? Honeybaked Ham sells their ham bones for $5 a piece (the price may vary in your area). With a full two to three pounds of meat on each bone, that's a great deal.

Link to full article with additional information.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Thank you, Mr. President!


Yesterday, I left work at 5, in the pouring rain, and walked 5 blocks to my bus stop. I really didn't mind, since it WAS Friday and I was glad to be out of the office. My pulled hamstring is finally feeling better, so the walk was not as bad as it has been for a while.

Since it was raining, my bus was about 10 minutes late. Not unusual when the weather is bad and I am a pretty patient person, so didn't really mind. When it got there, I got on, got my seat and pulled out my Nook to read on the way to the park and ride lot.

I usually am buried in my book, so pay no attention to how long the drive is taking, but yesterday would look up once in a while and realize that we had not gotten very far. Oh, well, rain will do that. I called Hubby to tell him I would be late, so he wouldn't worry, then went back to reading.

Usually the ride to the lot takes about 20 minutes. When it is raining it can take 10 or 15 minutes more. I looked up about 15 minutes after I got on and we were barely out of town! What the heck was going on? Not being able to do anything about it, I went back to my book.

After a while, I looked up again and noticed that we had not gotten on to the HOV. The bus was actually on the ramp waiting to get on to the freeway. What? This would take forever!!! Then I realized that the HOV must be closed, since sometimes when it rains really hard and fast, it will flood in some places. I guess better to close it now than risk buses getting stuck. So back to my book.

A while later, I looked up and we were finally on the freeway. I happened to glance over and the northbound lanes were all closed....at rush hour. I thought to myself, that there must have been some flooding somewhere, since I had not seen a huge wreck. I became really curious and started watching. There were police cars all over the place. They were in the northbound lanes and one was at every entrance and exit ramp. BUT, I didn't see any flooding anywhere. It was the weirdest thing.

After a while I called Hubby and told him we were only halfway to the lot and about the other side of the freeway being closed and that I did not know we even had that many police cars in Houston. Seriously, I have NEVER seen that many. I told him I would be later than I thought and he told me to be careful in the rain.

Right when I hung up, I realized....President Obama was coming to town yesterday for a fundraiser. Military and government planes do not fly into the commercial airports. They fly into one south of town. I called Hubby back and told him I just figured out why the HOV and the entire north bound interstate were closed down for MILES. And just as I was telling him, I saw the presidential motorcade drive past.

I know Houston had to provide total security for the President's visit. But it was a mess!!! Shutting down the freeway on a Friday night, when it was pouring rain. Oh, and the rodeo is going on. So the northbound lanes would have been bumper to bumper for hours anyway.

It usually takes me an hour from the time I walk out of my office until the time I walk in my front door. Last night: one hour and 40 minutes. Ugh. And mine wasn't the worst. I heard on the news last night that some people were stuck in traffic for HOURS.

Thank you, President Obama, for having your fundraiser last night. I am sure tens of thousands of people appreciate it just as much as I do. I know that the planners could not have predicted rain last night, but they could have known it was Friday night. And they should have known the rodeo is going on right now.

On the positive side, I am finally getting over my cold and only have some remaining congestion and can deal pretty well with that. I am so glad it is the weekend!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I am still alive.

It has been a rough week. I had to take off work last Thursday and Friday with a cold so bad that I could not get out of bed. I slept on and off all day, both days. And I can only ever sleep in the daytime if I am really sick. My body doesn't normally like to sleep in the daylight, even when I am exhausted. So Hubby knew I was really sick.

Saturday and Sunday I was out of bed and did not sleep during the day, but still felt like mondo crap. I went to work on Monday, feeling like a limp rag, but better than I had been feeling.

This has been a long week. Thank God tomorrow is Friday. I have been feeling better, but I need some more rest.

I am missing you all and will try to catch up with all my bloggy friends this weekend.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Thank you, inconsiderate co-worker.

For thinking your job is so important that you have to come to work sick.

Thank you for coughing all day and not bothering to expel your germs into a tissue.

Thank you for making me waste a day of PTO on staying home sick.

Yes, Mr. Co-worker, my job is less important than yours. When I am sick, I do not feel the need to expose everyone in the office to my germs. I love to share, but not things that suck like colds and sore throats.

I hope you feel better today, because I sure don't.

(Rant over, my dear bloggy friends.)