Books I’ve Read Lately

*Aunt Dimity & the Village Witch by Nancy Atherton:  This was the latest in the Aunt Dimity series, and I loved it.  Every so often, I start a book by hearing my “reading voice” as I’m reading, and then the voice vanishes as I become immersed in the story.  To me, that’s a good book.  I always find a few faults with this series; mainly that her boys that Lori dotes on are usually on their own somewhere.  In this one, Lori becomes involved with a newcomer to Finch who is trying to solve a mystery created hundreds of years ago.  The whole village becomes part of the search for clues–which are found a little too easily, in my opinion.  But in a book that deals with a dead main character who communicates by journal, you have to put aside those suspicions.

*Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling:  One of my favorite blogs, Nice Girl Notes, is having a book study, and I thought it would be fun to join it.  Yeah, who am I kidding?  I can’t read 2 chapters at a time!  The author of this book is a writer and actress on the show, The Office.  I didn’t like the few episodes I saw, but I liked this book.  She’s self-depreciating, but in a gentle way, and funny.  She tells about her life through incidents and lists, and even includes pictures.

* One Book in the Grave by Kate Carlisle:  The latest in the bibliophile series (at least until Aug. 7th), Brooklyn finds a friend who died 3 years ago actually faked his death.  Murders take place all around her, and she focuses on keeping her friends and family safe while figuring out where her relationship with Derek is headed.  My aunt brought up a point that in every book in this series, Brooklyn has one incident where she gets a shot in at Christianity.  I noticed it in this book.

* Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes:  This is a young adult novel.  It actually took me until the middle of the book to figure out it was a vampire book!  Every other day, Kali is a typical teenage girl.  On the off days, she’s an immortal hunter of demons.  Not a social joiner, she makes some unlikely friends, and becomes involved in figuring out a conspiracy.  Humorous and fast-moving, it was a fun book.


A couple more freebies

Received:  Febreeze Air Freshener, coffee at Durango Joes today thanks to Vectra Bank

Requested:  Nescafe Momento sample, Huggies Pull-ups sample, Parents magazine 7-issue subscription, Pet Safety sticker

Saving Money on Groceries

Þ  Don’t be choosy!  It’s fine to stick to one or two brands that work much better than other brands for a few items.  Branching out for other items, though, will save you money.  When one of 5 brands goes on sale, has a high-value coupon, or offers a sample, you have a better chance to get it more cheaply than if you will only buy one brand.  An example?  Laundry detergent.  I buy All, Tide, Gain, or Purex.  When All goes on sale at Target for $3.99 for 24 loads, and I use a $1 off coupon, that’s a good deal.  When Tide goes on sale for $5.24 at Safeway, and I have a $2 off coupon, I get another good deal.  When I get samples of Purex, Gain, and Tide in the mail, I get free loads of laundry.  Combine them, and I save money.


Þ  Use coupons! The best way to get coupons is to ask for them.  Printed coupons are not accepted as often as other coupons.  Ask your friends and family to save coupons for you.  Email or write companies that make products you like.  Request them online.  At Target, you can use their printable coupons (|&intc=263580|null) with a manufacturer’s coupon at the same time.  You can use Safeway’s store coupons with manufacturer’s coupons, too.  Here are some websites that I like to check in with daily (click on the images to visit the sites):





Þ  Request samples!  Normally you get to try the product or get extra of something you already use…plus a coupon!  Some samples are even full-size products.  I request samples even if I won’t use the product to get on a mailing list for other samples.  Then I give away what I don’t use.  The websites for coupons also blog about samples.


Þ  When requesting coupons and samples, don’t give them your real:

  • Birthdate: choose a birthday similar to yours to use for all of your requests
  • Phone number: sign up at for a “junk” phone number
  • Email:  Sign up at for a “junk” email


Þ  Earn free gift cards!  When you read emails, search, make online purchases, or enter codes from products or online, you get points.  When you get enough points, you can redeem them for gift cards.  Sites I use are (click on images to visit the sites):







Þ  Once you’ve gotten started, you’ll see more ways you may want to try saving money—rebates, the drugstore game, using coupons at stores and restaurants, and more.  Some may be worth your time and effort, and some may not.  Anything you do, though, will help save money on your groceries!

Some new freebies

Received:  Free package of 8 Papermate pens from Target using coupon on their site, Cardstore greeting card, 2 liter bottle of Pepsi Next (coupon from paper inserts from a few weeks ago),

Requested:  Sebamed Face/body wash sample, Eucerin Lotion sample, Loreal EverPure shampoo sample, 3 tea bags from Tea Forte (dead already), sample of Honey Nut Cheerios (also dead), Downy Unstoppables sample (out for this week, but will be restocked next week)

Will get soon:  free Route 44 drink from Sonic–got a receipt with an online survey in exchange for a code for the drink :o)

Some free stuff

Received:  Shick razor, Popular Science magazine, $2 off POM coupon

Requested:  Sonic $2 gift card (from a survey card handed to me during an order), Martha Stewart Living magazine, Popular Science magazine (site is running slowly), free pair of socks, 9 country songs–sampler from People magazine,

Soon to request:  25 free photo prints from Walmart

Office Depot–cheap paper!

I stopped at Office Depot today to run some copies, and found Hammermill paper reams on sale.  Each ream has 625 sheets, and they are 2 for $5.  That’s the equivalent of $20 for a case, which is my buy price.  In Farmington, they also have a whole cart of cleaning supplies for $1 each.

School supply deals and Teacher Appreciation days

Had a great trip to Staples this morning!  I bought

two 1″ durable binders–$1 each

two legal pads–1 cent each

two packs of 5 tab insertables–1 cent each

4 packs of 6 Staples Remarx dry erase markers–$1 each

2 bottles of dry erase board cleaner–$1 each

4 packs of 2 Bic Velocity Retractable pens–.25 each

I’ll be hitting Target later for some  glitter crayons–8 pack for 99 cents.  They also have a 16 g flash drive for 9.99.  In the ad, there are some coupons for dorm stuff.  They make a small refrigerator with wipe off surface $89 and a 3 shelf bookcase $14.99.  Rose Art glue is 25 cents for a bottle or 2 sticks, but I’ll wait until Elmers goes on sale.

Office Depot didn’t have anything to write home about this week.  I did find out that both Staples and Office Depot have their teacher appreciation mornings in Farmington scheduled for 8/4 from 9-11.  Office Max usually has theirs on a Sunday, so it looks like theirs is scheduled for July 29th.  If you’re not in Farmington, try going to the store’s website and searching for Teacher Appreciation to find when yours is scheduled.