Saturday, July 28, 2012

Drought-Proof Your Grocery Budget

I receive a newsletter from the Frugal Living site at and today it was on a timely topic that I thought I would share. I know that a lot of people are worried about what the nationwide drought will do to their food budget. I am not that worried, but thought that this information is interesting and can be helpful to anyone that is worried, or has a tight budget.

(Shared from Erin Huffstetler at Drought-Proof Your Grocery Budget)

You can't watch the news right now without hearing about the drought, and there's good reason for that. Check out these statistics from the USDA and the United States Drought Monitor:
  • 55% of the continental U.S. is now under drought conditions
  • 1,297 counties have been declared national disaster areas        
  • 88% of the corn crop is located in areas impacted by the drought        
  • 87% of the soybean crop is located in areas impacted by the drought
  • There hasn't been a worse drought in the U.S. since the 1950's
All of that adds up to bad news for farmers and consumers. Analysts say to expect higher prices at the grocery store in the coming months, and the list of impacted foods is staggering.
    Basics like flour and dried pasta will go up because of the failing wheat crop. Cheese, butter and milk will go up because of a decline in milk production. Meat prices will go up because of increasing feed costs, and fruit and vegetable prices will go up because of smaller than normal harvests (caused by both the drought and the extreme heat). In short, it seems there aren't many foods that won't be impacted.

    So, what can you do to keep all of these increases from taking a big bite out of your grocery budget? Start stockpiling now. While dairy and meat prices will start climbing within the next couple months, many of the other increases won't reach stores until next year (when we start relying on the 2012 harvest). That gives you plenty of time to stock up on food at this year's prices.

    Here are some places to start:
    • Load up on fresh produce when you find a good deal. Then, freeze or can the extra to enjoy later
    • Stock up on cheese and butter when it goes on sale. It freezes beautifully
    • Meat prices are experiencing a temporary dip. Fill your freezer before the prices start to go up
    • Build up your supply of flour. Wheat flour can be frozen to extend its shelf life
    • Stock up on canned and frozen fruits and veggies. The canned and frozen foods that are in stores now came from the 2011 harvest, so they're still cheap
    • Combine sales and coupons to build a reserve of cereal, oatmeal, dried pasta and other non-perishables
    For a complete list of foods that you should consider stockpiling now, check out: What To Stockpile Due To The Drought

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

    You are NOT sexy!

    This is just a message to all those women that think they are dressing sexy by wearing the smallest, tightest thing they can squeeze their fat bodies into.

    Hubby and I went out to lunch yesterday. Chinese buffet. Yummy! As I have mentioned in the past, Hubby can eat for a LONG time at a buffet. (And never gains weight, the rat.) So, I always have time to people watch after I am done and he continues to eat. LOL!

    Now, I am not the fashion police. But if I were, I would have been handing out tickets right and left yesterday. I do not understand why women, of every age mind you, think it is sexy to squeeze themselves into clothes that are too small. If you have a gigantic gut, I would think you would want to camoflage it. But no! I saw so many that had that gut emphasized with their tight shirts. Not tight enough to suck in it, just tight enough to show it off. And in some cases, to just let it hang out there.

    And let's not forget the ginormous asses emphasized in tight, low cut pants and sequins.

    Not a pretty sight, especially when you are eating.

    Oh, and if you have ginormous boobs, keep those babies in. I don't now want to have to worry that you are going to have a "wardrobe malfunction" any second.

    What made these people think this looks good???? I just don't get it.

    I even asked Hubby if he thought it was sexy. His response, "Ugh. No!"

    If you dress like this and read this and are offended, I apologize. But I am offended, too.

    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    My Purex Giveaway winners!

    I won! I won! LOL!

    I left one comment responding to Sluggy and picke my number first. But, I disqualified myself. LOL!

    The real winners are:

    Wendy Rozema
    Marilyn's Money

    Congrats to the winners! I will email tonight to get your mailing information. If you just can't wait, you can send your mailing address to me at fperkins2000 @

    Thanks to all who entered!

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    One more day to enter my Purex giveaway!

    Don't forget to go here and enter to win a coupon for a FREE bottle of Purex. Lots of ways to enter through midnight on 7/18.

    Low entries.

    Go enter!

    Thursday, July 12, 2012

    Purex Let's Be Honest Review and Giveaway.

    Whether it’s paying too much for “premium” detergent or uncovering the truth about skinny jeans, Purex is shedding some light on everyday absurdities. Check back often for new videos where comedian Molly Erdman talks about every day absurdities.  Check back often for new videos.

    Plus, enter for a chance to win free Purex for a year.

    I have to say that "Morning Person" is probably my favorite. I really hate mornings.

    I know you are all waiting to hear what I am giving away. Well, Purex, of course! As a Purex Insider, I received 3 coupons for a FREE bottle of Purex Triple Action detergent. And I am going to give them all 3 of my readers.

    "How do I enter?" you ask. Well, it is easy! Check out and tell me what your favorite video is. Come back and tell me which it is and you are entered to win.

    Here are some more ways you can enter:
    • You can "Like" any or all videos. You can leave a comment once for each video you Like.
    • You can Share any or all videos. You can leave a comment once for each video you Share.
    • You can Tweet any or all videos. You can leave a comment once for each video you Tweet about.
    ETA:  To clarify, you can Like, Share and/or Tweet as many videos as you want to. Each Like, Share and/or Tweet can get you another entry if you leave me a comment that you did it.
      I think that can give you a lot of entries. And because I know some readers like daily entries, you can also comment once a day leaving an hint to help make laundry easier.

      You can enter through midnight on Wednesday, July 18. I will pick 3 winners and announce them on July 19, as well as sending them an email for their mailing information.

      Thanks to Purex for providing the coupons for me to give away. Good luck, all! Start entering!

      AT&T Non-Tech Support, Sort of a Part 2.

      This is the continuation of my Sunday Night at Walmart adventure.

      On Monday, Hubby went to the AT&T store to get the modem I wanted. He said he went to Radio Shack first but it was really busy and the one clerk was on the phone, so he decided to hit AT&T instead. He figured they might have more clerks and he was right. He got the modem I wanted, ($75) with no router as we already have one, and went home.

      When I got home from work, I was so calm and upbeat. Installing a modem is a breeze.

      Or so I thought.

      I have installed modems before. Heck, I have even installed internal modems. I know how to do it and I know how to read instructions. But I could not get the darn thing to work. I even left my router out of the equation, wanting to just get an internet signal before reconnecting everything.

      After about an hour, I gave up and called tech support. Yep, it was like I had never called before. So I went through the whole thing and finally the guy, I don't even remember his fake name, decides the problem is now in the line. What? I thought my modem was bad? "It was last night. Now it's the line." Yes, that is what he told me. So he said they would send a tech out the next day to check the lines. Whew!

      Then an message was left 1/2 hour later, call AT&T or they would assume our issue was corrected. I called another tech.....who wanted me to do everything again. I was so mad. I told her I only called to make sure they didn't cancel the tech visit and I didn't need to discuss anything with her. Apparently, I was a little curt as Bob sat listening and laughing.

      The tech came the next day and managed to get an internet signal into the house, but called me at work as he could not get it to my computer. I told him as long as he got it TO the modem, I could take care of the rest and he could leave.

      To make a longer story short, after I got home, I figured out that the modem, router and ethernet card all apparently went out. I am thinking power surge or lightning. So, I went and got the AT&T modem with a router for $25 more and a wireless adapter for my pc. When I got home, in less than 30 minutes I had everything up and running.

      AT&T tech support sucks.

      I do not suck.

      The end.

      Monday, July 9, 2012

      Walmart on a Sunday Night.

      When we heard on the news about the virus that might block internet access at midnight last night, I immediately check both of our computers to ensure that we didn’t have it. God forbid we lose internet connection. Both machines were clean.

      I was watching a movie on Netflix in the afternoon and we were having some pretty odd weather. It was dark and thundering like crazy but not raining. Then there was a giant clap of thunder right overhead that scared the crap out of me. Yes, I jumped and screeched a little. Hubby just laughed. It did sprinkle a bit and a little while later, I lost my internet connection. No big deal. I figured it was from the weather.

      So, I went to the computer and reset the modem and the router and nothing. Then I started trying to get a network connection and no luck. After a while, I ended up calling tech support, and spoke to “Francis”. Yeah….I guarantee that was not his real name. I will just say I have never heard that accent come out of a Francis, and leave it at that.

      After going through all the steps they require, even though I had already done them before calling. Francis determined that there was an outage at the server and he would report it. He said it should be back on-line in 3 to 4 hours and if it wasn’t, I could call back for the status.

      I waited about 4 ½ hours and still had no internet, so called back. This time I got “Patrick”. Yeah, he had the same accent. And guess what? You would think that I had never called in the first time. He made me go through all the same steps I had on the first call. I got a little annoyed. He insisted there was no server outage reported. I told him that “Francis” was going to report it 4 ½ hours ago. Anyway, this guy was annoying, but I still went through all the steps. I asked, “Do you think my modem could have gone bad?” He assured me that it hadn’t. Then for some reason, he decided that I needed to change out my Ethernet cable. Huh??? I had another one, so switched it out. He assured me that would fix the problem. It didn’t.

      Then, guess what?! He decided that my modem must have gone out. And it was not under warranty. I said, “No shit, I got it about 10 years ago.” He, of course, offered to send me out a new one for the amazing price of $75. I told him we would find one locally, thanked him for his time and hung up. I am NEVER rude to tech support. I know they get all kinds of calls, but usually, once one realizes that I know a little about my computer, they stop treating me like an imbecile. This one did not and just pissed me off. Hubby thought it was hilarious.

      So, since the AT&T store was not open, we headed to WalMart to see if we could find a DSL modem there. I am not waiting to have one shipped. We need our internet! We got to WalMart a little before 7 and it was so NOT crowded. If it were not a Sunday night and I had to go to work the next day and I was not pissed about my encounter with Patrick, it would have been pretty nice. It was the perfect time to go to WalMart.

      As luck would have it, our store only carried one brand of DSL modem and it was out of stock. We picked up a few other things, then left. I gave Hubby specific details of what I want and told him to go to Radio Shack today and if they had a modem for $75 or less, to buy it there. If not, he could go to the AT&T store.

      I have not heard from him today. I hope he is okay. LOL!

      (Oh, and yes, for some reason, I can access Blogger from work. We will see how long that lasts.)

      The Winners of the Dry Idea Giveaway are....

      Drumroll please...

      Using, the winning entries chosen are 6, 1 & 2.



      I will be sending you and email to get your mailing informaiton and will be mailing your coupons for a FREE Dry Idea this week.

      Keep an eye out for my next giveaway!

      Saturday, July 7, 2012

      Low Entry Dry Idea Giveaway

      Go enter my giveaway through Sunday 7/8.

      Low entries....high chance of winning.

      You can't win if you don't enter!

      Thursday, July 5, 2012

      Some great energy saving tips.

      Just to show that I am more than just a sleezy movie watching gal, (though I do love doing that) I thought I would share some interesting energy saving tips that I found here.

      Please note: Hubby and I do not do all of these, though we should do more of them.

      Keeping comfortable doesn’t have to cost a bundle.

      Cut cooling costs. Set your thermostat no lower than 78 degrees in the summer. Consider ceiling fans and a whole-house fan instead of air-conditioning―they use a lot less electricity.

      Check your thermostat. Set it no higher than 68 degrees in the winter. For every degree lower, you’ll carve about 5 percent off your seasonal bill.

      Garden to insulate. Plant trees and bushes on your house’s north side to keep winter winds at bay and on the south side for summer shade.

      Harness the power of the sun. When it’s cold out, open the curtains to warm a room. (Keep them closed to cool rooms in the summer.)

      Replace your filters. Clean or replace furnace, air conditioner and heat-pump filters regularly to keep the units running efficiently.

      Seal drafts. Use caulk and weather-stripping to prevent air leaks around windows and doors. It’s a small investment that pays for itself many times over.

      Water heating accounts for up to 25 percent of your utility bill. Cut costs now with these simple tips.

      Stop the flow. Don’t let water run while you brush your teeth or wash dishes. You’ll save four gallons a minute.

      Lower the heat. Most people keep their water heater hotter than needed. Don’t set it higher than 120 degrees.

      Wash smart. Wash full loads of laundry in cold water, and opt for line-drying whenever possible. You’ll save on electricity and reduce the heat buildup in your home as well as the need for more air-conditioning.

      Let the dishes slide. Run your dishwasher only when it’s full―you’ll use a third less water than when hand washing. Select the no-heat air-dry feature to increase your savings. And there’s no need to pre-rinse for today’s machines, so save a little water there, too.

      Save a bundle on your home electronics with these energy-reducing tips.

      Unplug. Even when you’re not using your microwave, TV, computer or cell-phone charger, you’re paying for them. Unplug them! Better yet, plug clustered electronics into a power strip and turn them all off at once before you head to work, bed or vacation.

      Put your computer to sleep. Better yet, shut it down. Turn off monitors if they’re not in use for 20 minutes, and CPUs if they’re not being used for more than two hours. Lose the screen savers as they waste energy! Use your lapt op, if you have one. They consume less power than PCs.

      About 20 percent of electricity in the United States is spent on lightbulbs. Help trim that number.

      Let the sun shine in. Don’t use lights during the day. It sounds obvious, but it’s easy to forget.

      Turn it off. Switch off the lights in rooms nobody’s in. Make a house rule: If there’s one person in a room, there should only be one light on.

      Change bulbs. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) use almost 70 percent less energy, emit way less heat and last 10 times longer than traditional, incandescent bulbs―saving you $30 over the life of one bulb.

      Space lamps smartly. Keep them away from air-conditioner thermostats; their heat will cause AC units to run longer.

      Install dimmers. Lights that are dimmed cost less and extend the life of the bulb. A dimmer is easy to install, and it allows you to control the amount of light for any mood.

      Don’t throw money out the window! Contact a home energy auditor for a home assessment.

      Ask your utility company if it offers free or discounted energy audits. Many will send an expert to your home for free, and some offer rebate programs to help pay for energy-efficient upgrades.

      Hire a home energy expert. A certified Home Energy Rater can perform an energy-efficiency inspection. A good inspector should be at your home for at least two hours and give you a prioritized list of energy-saving tips. Search the Residential Energy Services Network at www .aspx to find a certified rater.

      Do it yourself. Audit guidelines and money-saving tips are available online at

      DID YOU KNOW? 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while they are not in use.

      Wednesday, July 4, 2012

      Happy 4th of July!

      Happy 4th of July from Houston, Texas!

      I don't actually live in Houston, but I work there and it has the best fireworks show every year.

      Hope everyone is having, or did have, a wonderful 4th. This is the last day of my mini vacation and it has been wonderful so far. On Sunday, we got to play with Theo and Wyatt. That is always fun! Of course, they wore us out. LOL! But we have recovered nicely.

      Monday, Hubby and I headed out a few towns over to a local farm we like to go to. It is far enough away that the cost of gas offsets any savings, but the produce is so good and fresh that it is okay. We got squash, brocolli, celery, green onions, yellow onions, green beans, green bell peppers, apples and sweet potatoes. I think that is it. We wanted to get some corn on the cob, but it didn't look really fresh and it was 2 for $1 and stores all around us have it on sale for less, so we didn't get that. We usually go on the weekends and it seems like the produce didn't look as wonderful as it does on weekends, but it is possible that Monday is not the best day to go. LOL!

      We also went to a little "country cooking" restaurant that has wonderful food. It has been there for years and my parents used to go to it a lot when they lived down here. We then came home, brought in our haul and relaxed the rest of the day and evening. Well, I relaxed while cutting, chopping, and prepping veggies for the freezer.

      Yesterday I went with my girlfriend to see Magic Mike. I really liked it. Did you expect any different?? LOL! Rhonda's comment after the movie, "It had a lot more plot than I expected." She is so funny. What was not funny was Matthew McConaughey's bod. Ooooo.....Baby!
      Yeah, the younger guys were hot. But what can I say, I love me a slightly sleezy cowboy. LOL! And of course he is a Texas boy. Gotta love it!

      I will add that it was not the male stripping that I remember from the late 70s early 80s, where, to me, it was not necessarily the stripping that was the draw, but the dancing. The stripping was sort of secondary to a hot guy doing a really great dance number. There was a lot of bumping grinding and lap dancing in Magic Mike and I have been told that some reports say it is true to life of the business. Oh well, it was still great fun. Lord knows I am not too prudish to enjoy a little man flesh on display.

      After the movie, I dropped my girlfriend off and ran to WalMart to pick up a few things. I really hate WalMart. It was SO crowded....on a Tuesday early in the afternoon. Don't these people have jobs???? I did run into another girlfriend while there. She did work yesterday, but her office got to leave at noon, so she was out running errands. We visited for a while, though we did move our carts out of the way and did not block any aisles. LOL!

      When I got home, Hubby and I ran to Kroger, since we had not on the weekend. We found a good price on some good looking corn on the cob, so got 18 ears, which is now in the freezer. We may get some more if the price is the same this weekend. We also found a few other good deals, one of which was on Osteo Biflex which is expensive even when it is B1G1 and using 2 coupons. So our totally was a gasp-worthy $96. Whew! But we are pretty stocked up on everything now.

      Today, will be a relaxing day until the early evening when we will head to MIL's to go see the little firework show her town puts on. It is pretty nice and not nearly as crowded as the one in downtown Houston, or even some of the other small towns around here.

      Tomorrow is back to work and I will probably be tired, but I think I can manage a 2 day work week. LOL!

      Happy 4th of July!

      Tuesday, July 3, 2012

      My apologies for my scheduling.

      I was checking comments and found one from "Unknown" about my Pillsbury Baquettes Chips giveaway ending on June 30 and not July 1. I thought someone was being a little picky about me taking until July 2 to announce the winner, but went back and saw that my winner, Ashley, left her winning comment on July 1.

      I'm sorry.

      But I won't un-win Ashley.

      I have learned my lesson. I didn't get a chance to pick a winner until Monday as I was busy on Sunday.  In the future, I will certainly pay closer attention to entry dates when picking the winner of my giveaways.

      And speaking of giveaways, don't forget to enter my Dry Idea Giveaway.

      Monday, July 2, 2012

      The winner of my Pillsbury® Baguette Chips Review and Giveaway is....


      Congrats, Ashley!

      I have sent an email for your mailing information.

      Thanks to all who entered!

      Dry Idea AdvancedDry Review and GIVEAWAY.

      As a Purex Insider, I recently received a full size bottle of Dry Idea’s new AdvancedDry Deodorant to try out and review. Since we have had record high temperatures the week before last, it was the perfect time to try out deodorant. Or was it?

      I was sent the roll on form of the AdvancedDry and have not used roll on in years. I didn’t remember if I liked it or not, so thankfully didn’t have a lot of preconceived notions. Especially since the literature and bottle said it was the Fast Drying Micro Cotton Formula. I decided to use it first on the weekend, since if it didn’t work I would be at home and could shower off.
      I shook the bottle as directed, then opened it. It is Powder Fresh scent, but really smelled more like an unscented deodorant to me which was fine. I rolled it on and it went on really nicely. I was expecting it to feel wetter. I mean, I knew it was going on wet, but it did not feel wet and sticky. I don't know how long it took to dry, but it did dry. So, clearly the wetness didn't bother me.

      Now I know you are waiting for the answer to the biggest question.....did it keep me smelling nice all day. Yes it did! I was very happy with how well it did that. As a matter of fact, it worked better than the deodorant I was using prior to receiving the Dry Idea. I didn't think that I would buy it in roll on formula, but after using it for a while, I don't see why I wouldn't. I am perfectly happy with it in roll on formula.

      The only problem I had and it was minor for me was that I was wearing a purple tank dress around the house one of the days I used the Dry Idea and it did leave while marks on the armpits. I didn't notice white marks on any other clothes, so I think I might have just not given it time to dry before putting on the tank dress.

      I give Dry Idea AdvancedDry a big thumbs up!
      Dry Idea AdvancedDry Deodorant comes in Unscented, Powder Fresh, and Cotton Dry
      • Has 24 Hour Protection 
      • Has Fast Drying Micro Cotton Formula 
      • Contains Vitamin E 
      • Is Available in 3.25oz size
      • Available in Roll On, Gel, or Stick.
      SWEEPSTAKES: Dry Idea is also having a sweepstakes where you can win: $500 1st Place and 10 $50 2nd Place Prizes. Enter Sweepstakes
      AND I am giving away 3 coupons for one FREE Dry Idea, any formula! I know you are all excited!! To enter, tell me about a stressful situation you have had when you wished your deodorant worked better.

      For additional entries:
      • Follow my blog and let me know you do.
      • Check out and let me know something you found interesting.
      • Like Dry Idea's Facebook page and let me know you did.
      • If you leave a comment on Dry Idea's Facebook page that I sent you, and let me know you did, you can get another entry.
      • And, of course, for the daily entry fans, you can leave any comment every day. :-)
      Entries will be taken through midnight on Sunday, July 8. I will pick 3 winners on Monday evening and post the winners and email you for mailing information.

      Good luck everyone!