Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Partial success

Well, I have achieved partial success in getting the new Comcast modem/router installed. My IT guy said to do it and he'll figure out the VPN issue. So, I opened the box to see all the parts, modem, cords, etc.  Then I looked at my current set up and everything that is plugged into my current modem and router. Geesh!  plug in for the wireless printer, plug in for the phone, plug in for the cable, plug in for the security system and plug in that was apparently from when DS hardwired DH's desktop direct to the router, instead of being wi-fi (why I have no idea).

I took pics of how and what was plugged in before I unplugged it all (just in case I had to go back to using the old set up).  Then I took a look at the back of the new modem/router to see where everything should plug in. I disconnected from the old, plugged into the new and all the lights came on :-).  Then I figured out how to find the new network and get logged into that so I could then get online with Comcast to activate the new modem/router. That took about 15 minutes and success. TV, phone and internet worked.  Of course VPN into work did not. Got all our other devices working - laptops, ipad minis and phones.

Got on the phone with our awesomesauce IT guy. He had a new VPN program to try and within minutes it was working! Happy Day. 

Printer and access into our security camera system still is not working. IT guy wasn't sure why it wasn't detecting my wireless printer and he needed to get to another project, so I told him I'd have DS remote in to my computer and see if he could figure it and our camera system out............still waiting to hear back from DS, so that's been the only frustrating part of this whole thing. Hopefully he can get back to me soon and figure this out easily.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Savings all over the place

I seem to have been finding savings here and there through different avenues. This month I started keeping track of how much I have saved with these various methods. So far it's added up to $106.05!

Here's the details:
Walmart Savings Catcher (2 receipts so far)   $14.32
Discounted Giftcards  $45.09
1% cashback earned from July purchases on PayPal debit card     $20.61
Coupons used   $16.03
$10 reward from Plink   $10.00 (forgot I even had this account! it's a slow earner for me, so I cashed it in for a $10 Walmart e-giftcard)

Plus I have earned points in Swagbucks (768) and MyPoints (115), but I have not cashed them in. I will most likely wait until it's closer to Christmas gift shopping time and build up as much as I can. I haven't cashed in the Walmart Savings either. I'll let that build up too, for Christmas gifts.

All of these savings avenues have been really easy to incorporate into my daily/weekly life.  I log into Giftcardzen.com on Friday mornings and purchase my Walmart (and any other shopping I know I might be doing in the coming week, which so far has been lots of Home Depot) discounted gift cards. I love this company because the giftcards are printable e-cards that I don't have to wait for in the mail. My 3 stores I typically buy discounted cards for are Walmart (3.5%), Home Depot (usually around 11%) and Petco (20%).  I'm sure I will buy even more during Christmas shopping season. I get my coupons together that go with my weekly grocery shopping list. I go grocery shopping either Friday afternoon or Saturday morning.  Get home and enter my receipt # in Walmart Savings Catcher (take a whole 30 seconds or so).

The 1% cashback from my PayPal debit card is pretty automatic. I just use it and pay whatever bills I can with it and it automatically gets credited to my account. I have been getting back $20-$25 per month.

I spend about 15 minutes a day earning Swagbucks. For whatever reason I seem to qualify for surveys quite often. I try to pick the ones that are less than 15 minutes. On weekend mornings, when I know I'll have more time, I'll try for the longer/higher paying surveys. Even if I don't quailify, you can earn up to 5 swagbucks a day just for trying each survey.

MyPoints I just log into my yahoo email that I have set up for that and open the emails that have offers and earn the 5pts for each email. Occasionally, if I buy something online I will go through MyPoints and earn extra points. Takes just a couple of minutes per day.

I'm sure there are lots of other ways to earn points. I would love to hear ways you have found to add to your savings!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

OMG!

A couple of weeks ago I'm on the phone with Comcast customer service because our internet wasn't working. The tech guy says "you have an old outdated modem, you should get a new one.  Do you have a separate router?"  I say yes I do. He says there is now an all-in-one modem available that is both a router and modem. Just stop by a Comcast store and trade your old one in.

Luckily I happened to mention this to our IT guy at work and he said no, don't get it. A couple of other work at home employees have already tried it and it won't work with VPN. He tried and tried and it just won't work.  Well, glad I mentioned it and saved me the headache of it not working, returning it, etc.

But, I also took the tech guy to mean that the all-in-one was an option, I could still get an upgraded modem only if I wanted.  So, today at lunch I head on over to the new Comcast store nearby. Wait in line about 10 minutes and explain what I want and what I DON'T want (an all-in-one modem).  The guy goes to the back and comes back and says their delivery guy is in back right then unloading all the equipment. Could I come back in 20-30 minutes and they'll have it ready? So, DD and I run over to Target and the post office and then back to Comcast. Wait in line again and end up with a different guy. I explain again what I want and DON'T want. He goes into the back and comes back with 2 modems....one is the all-in-one. NO, I can't use that one, and the other is just like the one I have. NO, why would I want the same one I already have that is outdated? So, then he tells me they aren't getting more in until tomorrow, but that isn't a guarantee I'd get one, if I come back, and so I needed to just call Comcast and order one. We walk out shaking our heads.

Gee - thanks for the hour of my time wasted!  Thankfully, I had not gone through the trouble to unhook our old modem. I wanted to make sure I'd get a new one before I did that.

I call Comcast when I get back home. The original tech guy (or someone) must have flagged my account because the first thing the recording says is "We see you are eligible for an upgraded modem. Press 1 for assistance".  So, I do....and of course get someone in India. I explain again what I want and DON'T want. He says "ok, I have it ordered and it will be shipped to you in a few days. Just ship back the old one". I say I want to clarify that this NOT the all in one modem? "Um...yes it is".  AGAIN, I can't use that one, it won't work with my employer's VPN.  Is there a modem upgrade available that is JUST a modem ONLY?

Finally, he says yes, and changed the order.  I said is it the same modem I already have or an upgrade? He says it's an upgrade. We'll see........I'm not holding my breath!!

It's already mid week

It's been a busy week. I got home Monday from work and DH's childhood friend and his wife had already arrived. We visited for about an hour and then went out to dinner (DD included) for Mexican food. I picked up the tab and while I had budgeted $100 it only came to $72 with tip.  They shared a meal and no one ordered alcoholic drinks, so it was a very reasonable bill.  We visited quite awhile at the restaurant and didn't get back home until almost 8:30.  I had met DH's friend about 8 years ago, but he wasn't married at the time. When I arrived home, said hello and got introduced to his wife and sat down at the table to visit with everyone, she didn't seem too thrilled to be there. Not sure if she's just distant, shy, maybe tired from traveling or what, but by the end of dinner, she had loosened up quite a bit.

Woke up yesterday to an email from my boss that her mom passed away (she just lost her dad recently) so she is out of the office for another week.  I ended up leaving work a 1/2 hour later than normal yesterday, as 15 minutes before I was to leave a "crisis" needed to get taken care of and while it was nothing I couldn't handle, it was just time consuming. Let me tell you, that extra half hour made a huge difference in the traffic going home. While it usually takes me 65-70 minutes to get home in the afternoon, it took me almost an hour and a half.  But we did get fed a yummy Panera Bread lunch at work.

The weekend was nothing exciting. Got a couple of small home maintenance items out of the way. Replaced the lockset and deadbolt on the back laundry room door. The deadbolt wasn't working anymore. Then we replaced the porch light by the front door.  Wow, exciting, huh?!  More of my money spent at Home Depot.  I have been there so much this summer they should give me my own parking spot!

I spent Saturday evening watching a couple of TV shows. I have been waiting FOREVER for the Outlander series books by Diana Gabaldon to come alive on a screen.  These are my absolute favorite books of all time. I'm so glad we get the Starz channel. It was an awesome first episode and did not disappoint. But, I don't think 8 episodes will be nearly enough!  Is anyone else a fan of these books? I watched the whole 3 seasons of Hell on Wheels on Netflix so I could start watching this new season with DH on Saturday nights......and what does he do? Sits out on his computer listening to a race instead!  Men........I ended up watching it by myself and he watched it when they replayed it at 11pm.

Today I think I'll take a break at lunch and run over to the Comcast store and see what they have for an updated modem. Last time I called in a problem the guy said my modem was pretty old and should be updated. He mentioned an all in one modem/router (ours are currently separate) and I mentioned it to my IT guy at work and he said don't get it, it won't work with our VPN set up, a couple others had gotten it and will not work.  So, I am going to see if they have a newer modem that is just the modem. Apparently with this older modem I have we are not getting the speed we are actually paying for!  There is a new Comcast store about 5 minutes from our house, so it shouldn't take me too long. I am not unhooking our current set up until I know we can get a new modem.

I've been trying to get more Swagbucks every day and it's working. Even though I rarely get points anymore for searching, I am getting to take surveys quite often.  Today I have earned 139 swagbucks so far.  Before, I would earn maybe 10 points a day by doing the daily poll and earning a search. I can't seem to get much of anything on searches anymore. I have the toolbar and sometimes even my first attempt searching of the day gets me an "error" message from Swagbucks that I am searching too fast. I can only seem to get one or two searches in a day and then it blocks me. Kind of stupid and annoying! I am searching for something I want to access and so then I have to open google and retype my search in again. GRRR!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Walmart Savings Catcher

Walmart has started a new program for price matching. I caught it on a commercial on TV last night. If you do your grocery shopping at Walmart y'all have GOT to try this! It couldn't be more simple.  Walmart will do all the price matching with local stores advertised prices on the items you purchase. If it is priced lower, in a competitors ad that is valid at the date of your purchase, you will be credited the difference in the form of a Walmart Rewards e-gift card.

I went and dug my receipt from last Saturday's grocery shopping trip out of my desk wastebasket.  I had spent $113. Signed in my Walmart account (I already had one from ordering things online). Entered the # off of my receipt and within several hours I had my total savings.  I was expecting maybe a couple of dollars. I checked my account right before I went to bed, to see if  it had been updated (even though it said you might have to wait 2-3 days, but I'm impatient like that!) and the total was $8.24!!! I was so happy and excited I couldn't fall asleep right away :-)

$8 bucks for having to do nothing but enter a receipt number. No more having to look at other stores ads and trying to get the cashiers to price match. You can enter up to 7 receipts a week and earn back up to $600 a year.  There is also an app to use with your smart phone.  What an awesome program.  Kudos to Walmart!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wednesday surprise and ramblings

DH surprised me this morning. He says: You know all that extra wood we bought, that I told you was for the back porch cover? Well, it's really for another arbor! I wanted to surprise you and put one in the front of the house at the start of the sidewalk to our house.  BUT, then I got nervous you wouldn't want one there, so I decided I'd better tell you first!

I said that I had actually just been thinking one would look great there (but hadn't said anything, because well...I figured I used up my requests on that arbor!). I was just at my hairdresser's house on Friday and she has one at the beginning of her walkway and  it looks so neat.  The back porch cover project will still happen, but I think he enjoyed building the arbor and was so happy with his work, that he wanted to build another one :-)  So far the anchor posts are in (what a job pounding those into soil with so many rocks in it) and he's getting the bolt holes drilled for the 4 corner posts.  This won't be near as "fancy" of an arbor.  Just 4 posts, so pretty basic. I'm just happy he's enjoying this and getting use out of his new tools.

DD got back yesterday afternoon from her 2 days orientation at the university. She got signed up for her classes and is really excited.  Psychology, Intro to Finance and Macro Economics. Two of the classes are Tues and Thurs for 2 hours each She starts at 8am and will be done with classes at noon and one class is Mon Wed Fri but doesn't start until 1pm. She was happy to realize that if she came home for a weekend every now and then, she could be home by late Friday afternoon and not have to head back until later Monday morning, so that will make for a nice long weekend time at home.

My mom is having some ongoing health issues that her doctor just did some blood work and a chest xray for. Whenever she gets a little active - like working out in her yard or vacuuming, she sweats like crazy.  I thought when I was with her at her last dr. visit that he had thought it was due to her anti-depressant med she is on. She tried to go off of it last December (because she didn't like all the sweating) but going off the medicine messed her up and she was very "off kilter" with her emotions (so much that she had to cancel our family Christmas party that she was to host), so she went back on it.  Her blood work was fine, but she hasn't heard back on her chest xray yet.  She also said for the past 6 months or more she has started snoring.  I have a feeling this all might be related to all the weight she has gained the past couple/few years?  I know when my DH puts on some weight he starts snoring all the time and when he looses the 10-15 pounds he stops snoring. I am terrible at guessing peoples weight...I just know that for most all her adult life she weighed in the 130-135 range and the past 4-5 years she has really put on the weight. When I went to her last dr appt I was there when they weighed her and she was 175, which is a lot for a small 5'4" petite boned woman.

DH has an old grade school/jr high school friend coming to town for business and it sounds like we will be taking him and his wife out to dinner either on Sunday or Monday. He's not sure which day yet.  Fortunately, my groceries have been coming in quite a bit under budget (DD's been gone quite a bit and I'm back to shopping at cheaper Walmart) so I don't need to juggle any money from any other areas of the budget to cover the dining out. 

I ordered on ebay the cutest tiny little 2.5" x 3.5" watercolor prints of hummingbirds and they came yesterday. I'm going to mat and frame them so they are either in 4x6 or 5x7 frames and hang them in my master bath on the wall next to the door.  I had originally found the artist on etsy, and wanted 3 different prints, but she didn't have that many of hummingbirds in her etsy store. Then I found her on ebay and she had quite a bit more prints to offer of hummingbirds. I ordered 3 and she sent 4! Totally adorable and I will take a picture of them once I get them matted and hung up. I wish I could afford the real watercolor paintings, but those just weren't in my budget.

Let's see......what else?......oh, I have become a Pinterest addict now that I have my ipad mini. I just sit with it in the evenings while I am watching TV and scroll though all the stuff.  Gardens and home decor are my favorites, but I have found some recipes I have pinned.  I also spent a week and a half watching every episode of Hell on Wheels on Netflix. DH was all excited that the new season was starting last Saturday, so I decided to watch it all, so we could start watching it together on Saturday nights. Good show! ........and Mr. Bohannon isn't hard on the eyes, either :-)  I didn't get done watching all the seasons before the new one was on Saturday, but I finished up Monday night and then we watched the first episode of the new season on demand.  Most of the shows he watches I can't stand (I mean how many years can you watch crab pots being thrown over and pulled back in?? or dumb ass street drag racers challenging each other??)  and vice versa. 




Monday, August 4, 2014

Done getting my panties in a bunch!

Is it just me or is anyone else sick and tired of paying $8 for a pair of panties?! I was due for some new ones and have been putting it off the past couple of months because it always irks me how much they cost. I get why bras are expensive, but panties? There is barely any material and not much design work needed to construct them. The other day I was flipping through the Walmart flyer that came in the mail. An 8 pack of Fruit of the Loom panties for $6.38.  I decided to give them a try. I mean how bad can they be? It is a brand name company, so I figured they had some quality in them. Even if they only last 1/2 as long as my $8 panties, I will still have only spent 1/4 of the expensive panties. So, I bought a pack and am giving them a chance........and I can't tell the difference of what I am wearing right now anyway! If I had dressed blindfolded and was asked which panties I have on right now I'd have no idea, LOL

$58 saved!!