Open Mic 10/13/11

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Open Mic is a post every Thursday that is a mini-version of a discussion board. You can leave a comment with whatever coupon, money-saving or debt reduction tips or questions you have and other readers chime in and answer.

When you leave a comment on this post, you’ll be able to choose whether you’d like to be emailed follow-up comments or not. Getting comments via email is a great way to stay connected without having to visit the site time and again.

If you want to respond to someone’s comment or question, please use the “reply” link next to the date/time of their comment. That will put your response right underneath theirs, making it easy for us all of us to follow the conversation.

As always, I look forward to hearing the voice of the Pocket Your Dollars community. Read through the Open Mic archives here.

Your turn: Leave a comment with your money-saving, coupon or debt reduction question, thought or suggestion.

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About Carrie Rocha

I am passionate about helping people live within their means so they can get out and stay out of debt. I live in Minneapolis, MN with my husband and two little girls.


  1. In light of all the new bank debit card fees that some banks are charging, I was wondering if anyone has experience with PerkStreet Financial or Ally? If you bank with an online bank, do you still maintain accounts with regular banks?

    • Cheri – I am actually planning to write a blog post about PerkStreet. I don't use them personally, as I a with a no-fee credit union, but they are who I'd switch to if I was going to move. I love the idea of their rewards debit card. I met some folks from Ally (formerly GMAC) at a recent conference I was at and they seemed decent enough, but I lean toward Perk Street.

      • Carrie,

        Great! I'll be watching for that post. I really like what I have read on their Web site. My bank does not charge the debit card fee, but they recently told us that we had to have $250 per month in direct deposit and/or online bill pay and at least 10 transactions processed as credit in order to avoid the monthly fee. We just switched to this bank this year because of the fees that the previous bank was charging. The fee is minimal, but I don't like them telling me how to spend my money! I want to pay cash and use cash!

    • We have belonged to a credit union for the last 9 years. No checking fees, interest on the checking account and my debit card has the Visa affiliation so there is no need for a PIN to have it debited from our checking account.

    • Therese S. says:

      I love my credit union…even though I also have a bank account.

      Credit Unions are great for low-interest loans and great interest rates on savings accounts

  2. Has anyone seen awesome deals on halloween candy yet this year? the last two years I've gotten at least 9 bags for either free or $1. I'm getting nervous as I only have one bag so far this year.

  3. I'm wondering what a good price is for Halloween candy for trick-or-treaters. I usually buy the "fun-size" candy bars, but am open to other ideas. Thanks!

    • I bought 4 bags of the kiddie fun mix from Menards this week. Ends up being $1.99 per bag after $1.50 rebate for 2.5 lbs (200 pieces). We live in a popular trick or treating neighborhood, and there's no way I could afford the 'good' candy! :)

  4. I heard on the news this morning that Peanut Butter is going to jump up in price like 40% within the next couple of weeks to a month due to small crop growth this year down south from the drought. Our household isn't much into peanut butter, but if yours is and your supply is low maybe now would be a good time to stock up.

    • I heard that too. I was wondering if Rainbow was going to keep their price cap on their peanut butter (Skippy I think??) that they are currently advertising until the end of the year.

      • I was going to also post that info Laura :) A 40% increase is huge. In addition to the crop issue thay also mentioned pb consumption is up 10% (a normal increase would be 2%).

      • Hmm, good point. Maybe I'll buy a couple more jars within the next few days just in case. I love PB and Skippy is my favorite.

  5. Costco will be opening a new store in my area of WI and I was wondering is it worth the membership fee?

    There will be a gas station too, are the prices better than other stations?

    The membership fee is $50/yr, but they are offering a $20 cash card for the grand opening. I just want to know if I will be able to recoup the fee.

    Do they have one day trials so I could take a look at what they offer and check out the prices?

    The things I most likely would consider purchasing there are unbleached/unbromated white flour, olive oil, Banquet chicken wings, and 8th continent soymilk, since these are the items I typical travel to Woodmans for since they rarely go on sale for less at Pick N Save.

    Anyone know if they carry these brands and prices on them?

    • FYI – Costco membership prices are going up on November 1 so if you are going to do it, then do it before then.

      • Are you a member Carrie? I have never shopped at Sams or Costco, I really don't like the idea of having to pay to shop at a store.

    • I LOVE COSTCO!!!! You cannot beat their organic food prices (especially soy milk and produce)! Just like with every store, you need to be aware of what is a good price. Just because it may be in bulk, doesn't make it a good price. But I would pay DOUBLE the membership price if I had to. You can always go and ask them if you can take a look through their store before joining. Plus, the employees are SWEETHEARTS! I can't say enough good things about Costco!!!

      Oh, just an FYI, their weekend hours are kinda crummy – they close super early!

      • Oh, and I don't think they have 8th Continent Soy Milk, but they do have their own brand of organic soymilk. I buy their shelf stable cartons. You can get 12 for $11.99!!

        • Thanks for your feedback. This is the first time one of these warehouse clubs is opening close enough for me to consider purchasing a membership. I travel quite a distance to Woodmans (which doesn't have a membership fee), but offers products that I can't find easily elsewhere such as dairy free chocolate chips, so if I would be able to save the trip to Woodmans' the membership fee may be recouped right there. My kids are so picky with soymilk, they don't care for other brands that I have had them try they always want 8th Continent vanilla or they won't drink it. (We have milk allergies & nut allergies in the house)

        • Kathy- I have 4 8th Continent soymilk coupons i'd be happy to mail you. Just email me your address.

          thriftymom09 @ hotmail dot com

          (spaces removed)

        • I agree…I love Costco too..I love it for lots of reasons, but i like that i can buy Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches alot cheaper than the stores… and kitty litter,i always fill my car with gas there and save money, I really like their prices on rugs, sheets, blankets, pillows..i just joined in 2010 and i asked them if i could have a trial membership to see if i liked it and they said no but, i had 30 days to try it out and if i didn't like it, i could get my full membership money back.

    • I have a membership and am happy with it, you do have to watch/know your prices. I have a family of 4 in MN (includes 2 kids under 5) The grand opening is a good deal! I find that milk is around $0.40 cheaper per gallon (can flux though, but you are in WI so you enjoy cheaper dairy!), gas can be cheaper from $0.05 – $0.25/gallon (I guess they set the price in the morning only, so if gas goes up during the day, Costco *should* be cheaper). I do know baking supplies are a lot cheaper (I buy an Ultra grain flour in 2-10# bags for $7.69), the Olive oil everyday price should be cheaper and soy milk can be hit or miss. If they have a pharmacy, RX should be cheaper. I would recommend you go for it (especially if they are giving you a cash card). If you go there only once a month (which I do to prevent temptations) you would need to save at least $2.50 a month for pay for the membership. You could easily save that in gas. If you do go for the membership, make sure you get their monthly coupon book! I "opted out" of mailings and it took me a couple of months to get it going. Hope that helps!

      • Thanks for the feedback. I do not know much about Ultragrain flour. I just want a flour that isn't bleached or doesn't have bromate added (since this is banned in Europe for its toxicity, but not in the US). I pay 4.79 for a 10# bag of Dakota Mills White Bread Flour at Woodman, so the 7.69 sounds good for 2 bags of the Ultragrain. Do they have lots of varieties that I would likely find a unbleached, unbromated flour?

    • I am also a member and agree you need to be careful what you buy (just like anywhere). If you are in the market for electronics they have the best return policy (3 months, even if opened and they have no restock fee). They extend the warranty by a year on TVs and computers. If you buy a membership and are not satisfied they will refund the membership fee in full (not prorated, even after months of having the membership).

    • Kathy, I have two $2/1 8th Continent Soy Milk coupons you can have. They don't expire until 12/31. Email me your address and I will mail them to you! emmaline sweets @ yahoo . com (remove spaces)

    • I love Costco! I pay $100 for the executive membership. I get a kickback every year and it usually for about $100. Therefore my membership is free. If for some reason I don't make $50 back, I can take in my information and Costco will refund the extra cost of the executive membership. You also can't beat their return policy. Yesterday I returned a coat (the pocket tore right away), a container of plums (each one was mushy), and something I decided that I didn't need. I didn't even have my reciept and they gave me no hassles at all. I rarely need to return items, but it's always easy to do when I need to. You can even take something back months later, no questions asked.

      You do have to watch your prices. Soda, even with their coupons, is expensive. I have found that milk, eggs, cheese, soymilk, oatmeal, spices, vanilla, and othe baking supplies are always well priced. In season produce is also usually very good and is well priced. Batteries are okay too. Their bedding and some clothes and shoes can be good deals as well. Gas is cheaper but I usually get it at BP (I shop at Rainbow and get the gas rewards).

      • Looking closer at the promotion for the grand opening I see the $20 cash card comes with the executive membership $100 and a $10 cash card comes with the $50 membership. I don't think I would purchase enough in a year to make my membership free since you get 2% back (so you have to spend $5000 to get $100, but I suppose you could look at it if you spend $2500 the upgraded membership was free)

        Hmm…decisions decisions. I guess if the gas really costs less than other stations around here then the executive membership might be worth it.

  6. Coupon trading? Anyone want to trade the printable Liz Labge $3/1 apparel with me (you can print it twice). I have 4 free Crave cat treat coupons, 3-4 free dr pepper 3 liters and 2 Catalina for free pizza rolls (good at rainbow/ I got them yesterday for the granola bar deal). I also have any other coupns you may want :) I just listed the freebies! Email me if you want to trade: picantepina @ gmail . Com (remove spaces)

  7. Tea Help! Tetley Tea has been discontinued at Target, it is double the $ at Cub. Anyone know of a different place with a great $? Thanks!

    • I tried to e-mail you but it didn't recognize your e-mail address. Here is what I wrote and how to contact me:

      Hi! I wouldn't mind coupon trading with you. Do you have a link to the Liz Labge coupon? I've never traded coupons online before. Is it best and easiest to trade by mail? You listed some good coupons. My first choice would be for the pizza rolls Catalina's, and my second choice would be for the Dr. Pepper coupons. I'm not sure how to figure out a fair trade so any input on that would be great. If you'd like to trade for Dr. Pepper and the Pizza coupons (I can easily use all of them), would there be any other coupons that you would be interested in? I have a fairly good collection of coupons dating back to July's inserts. I also have some good coupons for Kraft dressing (buy 2 and get $1 off produce. These double and I was able to get 2 free bottles of dressing yesterday with them.They expire March, 2012.)


      Sarah (from Eden Prairie)

  8. As I was cutting coupons the other day, my husband asked me where coupons started. Not knowing the answer, and lovely random bits of trivia, I googled it. For those of you interested, here is your random bit of history for the day…

    Delicious! Refreshing! Exhilarating! Invigorating!” When John Pemberton invented Coca-Cola in 1886, not even that adrenalized ad slogan could persuade customers to try it over all the other carbonated wonder tonics on the market. His bookkeeper started giving away tickets for free tastes of Coke, but Pemberton chided him for “extravagance.” Then along came tycoon Asa Griggs Candler, who bought the company in 1888, picked up on the bookkeeper’s idea, and mailed out thousands of the ticket shown above. The coupon as we know it was born.

    Coca-Cola’s generosity was generously rewarded: In its first year, the company sold, on average, nine glasses a day. By 1913, Coca-Cola had redeemed 8.5 million “free drink” coupons. Today it’s one of the world’s most recognized brands, with a market cap over $1 billion.

    • Very interesting! Thanks for sharing, Korene.

    • Where are those coupons now?!! I'm finding it harder and harder to get Coke coupons. Might have to give up my addiction and start drinking flavored water. lol Thanks for the info!

      • I noticed several soda coupons in my Rainbow aisle yesterday. Many were "buy a pumpkin, get free soda" or "Save $X when you purchase three bags of candy and a coke 2 litre" and things like that. I was surprised to see soda coupons as I thought soda promotions were widely seasonal, but I only started couponing last spring so perhaps this is normal.

  9. Could someone do me a favor? I can't locate my October All You Magazine, but I would like to know the details for the Mars candy bars on page 17. I need the info because I am doing an ad match for one of my local stores. Thanks!!!!

    • Emily -

      That coupon is $1.50 off any TWO (2) Fun Size Packs (11 oz bags or larger).

      This is for Mars chocolate — The coupon does not specifically note what candybar varieties are included (shows Snickers & Twix on the coupon, and Snickers, Milky Way, Twix & 3 Musketeers on the magazine page).

  10. Does anyone know where the best place to buy Happening's books are? Of course, I want the best deal out there!! :)

    • If you go through Ebates they are offering 35% cash back today on them. I believe the price was $35 before the cash back.

  11. My girls are hooked on Little House on the Prairie. I am wondering if anyone knows where i can find the DVDs for a reasonable price? They would be thrilled if Santa could bring them! Thanks :)

    • Have you looked on ebay or Also, sometimes the Half Price book stores carry new or almost new items. We purchased an oldies music cd new in shrink wrap last year for a Christmas gift at a very reasonable price from Half Price books for the music lover in the family. If you need a book, dvd or cd, they will check up to 2 titles per phone call. That would save you some running around.

    • did you try Amazon? I buy a ton of dvds from there!

      • I just checked Amazon for the box set. It is $199.99.

        • OMG….. i guess that wasnt a good idea…. oops… that must be a collector set…Yikes!

        • I was shocked at the cost, too. Usually Amazonn is a great source. Hopefully 1/2 price books will have the set :)

      • Last year Amazon had really good prices on movies/tv seasons boxed sets as Christmas got closer. I found that it was cheaper to buy Little House on the Prairie (it was also on my Xmas list!) season by season rather to buy the whole set.

    • I know the library has them to rent.

    • I would try Pawn America or one of the pawn shops, I have bought a couple of different dvd series and have not paid more than $20 when all of the big box stores want double…good luck.

    • Jenna- Try Once Upon a child in Minnetonka. I know they had some the last time I was in and they were only like $4-6.

    • My kids love the show….which I love because it is way better than 90% of whats on tv nowdays…We picked up a whole season at Wal-Mart for $15 or $17, I don't remember which. It came with 5 dvds. We bought it for them last Christmas, but I'm sure they would still have it.

    • try EBay

  12. I've been considering buying a Roomba vacuum cleaner for years. Wondering if anyone has one and can provide a critique. Thanks!

    • We bought one for my mom-in-law a few yrs ago (spent about $125) and she loves it.

    • I researched buying one last Christmas and in the end, decided not too. They had lots of good black friday specials though if you do decide to get one (including at Kohls where you can buy it all online, get free shipping after a certain $ amount, and not step a foot out the door!).

      My friend has one and loves it for quick cleans. She usually uses a regular vacuum for deeper cleans (we both have little kids). She's had it for 1 1/2 years. The reason I didn't get one is that a lot of reivews say that they just stop working well after a couple years.

  13. Spend $15 and you have a chance at a $5 walmart gift card through All You. Great deal if you were going to buy the items anyway.

    Participating products include:Barber Foods® Stuffed Chicken Breasts

    Diet Coke

    KY Yours and Mine

    Michelina's Lean Gourmet® All Natural Bowls

    Rimmel Volume Accelerator Mascara

    *Limited time offer while supplies last

    • JoAnna – I saw this but hesitated to post it as it is one of those "limited time offers" that people never seem to get as there's no indication when supplies of the gift cards have run out. If someone tries this, I hope it works for you!

  14. Does anyone know where I can buy coarse white sugar (the kind that is on top of "bakery" muffins)? I've tried Cub, Rainbow and Econo Foods. Penzy's doesn't carry it either. Thanks!

  15. Anyone know where to get a good price on eggs? I see them for $1.55 at Aldi but was hoping for a better deal than that. They used to be pretty reasonable, but just like everything else they have really gone up in price. I am just stunned at the large increases in grocery prices on everything! It's getting ridiculous!!!

  16. Thanks for the sugar ideas! Also, what kind of printer do you ladies use for printing off coupons? I haven't ever printed a coupon (gasp!) and I'm not sure which kind would be best for that purpose.

  17. I have a cheap all-in-one kind of printer that I use for coupons. I suppose if you wanted to dedicate time I would look at ink consumption and cartridge prices because if you really start printing a lot, it can go through ink quickly. But pure printer capability and quality doesn't seem to be an issue with even the cheapest printers, like it would if you wanted to print your own photos or something.

  18. I just picked up a few certificates – paid $2 for $25. If you get one, be sure to read the details. The place I chose had a $35 minimum. The way I see it, I end up paying $12 for $35 worth of food. Cheap date night for me and my hubby!

    Promocode: Tochdown.….

  19. Kathy doesn't need the coupons for the 8th Continent soymilk. I have 4 I'm willing to send to someone. Email me at thriftymom09 at hotmail dot com

    • I still am interested in the $2off/1 8th continent coupons that were offered, but I believe I have enough of the $1 ones to last until the end of the year.

  20. My Son bought an HD Tv for my bedroom for xmas last year and all of a sudden I can only get 2 stations. I don't have cable in my BR. I recently bought a new antenna & it worked fine for a while. I keep scanning & only get 2 stations. 9 & 11.Any ideas?

    • Unplug the antenna and tv, do you have an amplifier on the antenna too? If so, unplug that too. Could the cord have gotten damaged?

    • I believe most of the antennas for the stations are near Arden Hills. Make sure your set top antenna is pointed in that direction. Sometimes it takes a few scans & adjustments to get all the channels. So, trial & error! :-)

    • Could the new antenna may have moved in all the wind we have been having. That happened to us and he retightened it and it was all good.

  21. I am turning my garage into a pantry/stock room, unfortunately it is unheated. Anyone know what things can absolutely not freeze, obviously soda but what about toothpaste and hair color and things like that??? Have been thinking about a space heater for winter but they scare me a bit, what do you think?

    • Is your garage attached to your house? If so, it might not get as cold in there as you think. I put a growler of beer on my cement garage floor a couple of winters ago and after about 90+ hours of below 0 (not just plain old below freezing), the glass cracked and broke. I'm thinking if you kept your stuff off of the floor and/or near an attached wall, they might not actually freeze, or not freeze completely… Curious to see what others have to say…

      • We have always had an attached garage (in Minnesota) and have been able to keep soda in the garage without it freezing. As long as it was on a shelf next to an interior wall, it's fine.

        • Interesting that your soda didn't freeze. I have kept milk in my garage during the winter off the floor and near the house wall and it always froze solid.

        • Our pop freezes in the garage, too (located off the floor and next to the wall). Wish it didn't though–more room in the garage than in the house.

    • I would also like to know what cannot be stored in extremely hot temperatures. I am buying a house and also plan to use my garage as stock pile storage, but plan on keeping only paper products, litter, and other things that are not effected by extreme temps. Is it even ok to store stuff like body wash, soap, shampoo, conditioner, and laundry soap in the garage?

  22. Still haven't received my snapple rebate called 1-866-309-6256 they said they would put it in the mail next week!

  23. I am also looking for a list of what products are on sale what months of the year, anyone have it or know a few items here and there, so I can make my own list.

    And for those who were asking about warehouse stores…I have shopped at Sams club for years and now that I have started couponing I have made a unit price list of the items I usually buy at Sams, this is how, since I'm a new couponer, I know if something is a good price with a coupon, if it beats Sams unit price.

  24. Has anyone gotten their gift card for signing up for the Star Trib state fair deal? I have not gotten mine yet and was just curious if others had?

  25. I have a membership and don't shop there that often, but it's totally worth the $50. Last fall, I got the kids winter coats (London Fog) for $20 each! Just that made it worth the membership fee. I have also bought large items from their website and saved a bunch of money. One example is a swing set/play system we bought that saved several hundred over the company's site for the exact same thing.

  26. Question. I hope I don't come off as a negative-nancy but I need advice. I ordered a gc on savemore and they kept pushing back when I could use it. Then when I could (about five days after the original date of use) I ordered my stuff. It has been a month and a week now. I emailed the company (not savemore, the actual company) and got some response, including an invoice stating my order was being readied to ship. That was about two weeks ago. Now I emailed on Monday and no response. What should I do? Give it up that I won't get my stuff? Can savemore do anything?

    • Sheri – I came on here to ask about that site too. I have used numerous other "deal" sites and have never had a problem – excpet with SaveMore. I ordered the Teeth Strips more than a month ago, placed my order and even received an invoice from SmileBright but no product yet! I can't get ahold of Savemore to help – I was just on hold for almost 5 minutes and then it prompted me to leave a message! I also tried to email SmileBright and my email was returned saying no such address! I think I would stay away from this site and stick with the good ones!

  27. Good call. Last time I did an All You promotion, it was not honored. I will never do one of their "limited time" offers again.

  28. I agree. Just a good deal if you planned to already purchase the items.

  29. Try they have Little house. They have great prices too.

  30. Kathy, I'll chime in and say I can't say enough good things about Costco. In our area, their gas is almost always at least 10 cents cheaper per gallon and often more like 20. We live close by, so we always fill up there. We use their American Express card (no annual fee), and the cash back for gas is especially good at the end of the year. Their Ultra-grain flour, which someone mentioned, is wonderful, and an amazing price for 20 lbs (in 2 easy to manage 10 lb bags bundled together). It can be used cup for cup the same as white flour. It is unbleached and probably in between white and whole wheat and health benefits. But you can use it anything and those that don't like the whole wheat flour taste, never seem to notice this.

    We got cash back at the end of our year for both our Costco Amex card and the Executive membership. I'm so grateful to have both Costco and Trader Joe's right in our suburb (St. Louis Park) for the organics that are so reasonable and such good quality, since I rarely purchase organics at Rainbow.

  31. I live 35 miles from Costco and only go about once a month and it is so worth it. My daughter's cell phone died and I went there to get her a new one (one withOUT a data pkg) and it cost me a whopping $3.54!!! That included all of the accessories! I have the Executive membership and and this year it only cost me $34 to renew because my rebate check was so big. Love Costco!

  32. I sometimes take friends with me who don't have a membership. It's amazing how much you can spend in Costco if you do that. My Costco will refund my money if I don't make back the cost of upgrading my membership. It's worth asking yours if they will do that too.

  33. My Catalina's didn't print out last night at Rainbow. I found a great website (listed below) with ontact information for atalina Marketing. I called them today at (877) 210-1917 . Be sure to have your receipt handy because they will require information from it. They are running through my information right now and will call me back to let me know if I should have reieved my cats. They will mail them to me if needed (by express to avoid experation dates!).

    The email address is, but do call and choose option number 1 to find out what information you'll need to provide in your e-mail. I didn't feel like going back to Rainbow today so this was a great option for me.

    Here's the website where I found the above info.:

  34. Where in WI are you referring to?

  35. Hi there – Does anyone know where to find reasonably-priced wrapping paper and cards? Thanks for your help!

    • I love the Dollar Tree Store for cards, wrap and gift bags.

    • The dollar store :) We also use newspaper (comics), construction paper, white wrapping paper (decorate it). For cards my daughter usually makes one (draws on construction paper).

      • I also try and find deals on reusable shopping bags in fun patterns and use those for gift bags. Quite often, I can find them around $1.

  36. I don't know kwik trip's regular price on eggs, but they have a coupon insert in the star tribune on the first wednesday of each month. They always have a coupon for 75 cents for a dozen eggs. With the other coupons you get I think it is worth it to buy a couple of the newspapers on the first Wednesday of each month. They give several cents off per gallon of gas coupons as well.


    Fill out a fairly short survey and Davanni’s will mail you a $5 gift card. I have done this in the past and it worked perfectly.

  38. I was wondering if there are any IT people out there? I have 2 computers that say the are connected to the internet but also say No Internet Access. I have tried a number of things but no luck. They are both running Windows 7.


    • I am by no means an IT person but that happens with our laptop and its wifi connection daily. We have to unplug the router and plug it back in. Then about 5 minutes later it works again. Very frustrating.

      • Buy a small UPS. It is an uninterruptible power supply. Your wireless connection is dropping because of a spike in power from the wall outlet. It's common. The UPS will act as a moderator. It will deliver a constant stream of power to your broadband modem and wireless router.

        A basic UPS should be no more than $50-75 at Best Buy or Microcenter.

        • We will look into that, thanks wtfci :) We have asked some of our computer savvy friends and family with no luck. Hope this works. $75 is well worth it to stop the problem.

    • Try rebooting (or in layman's terms turning off) both the computer and your router. Then make sure you turn the router on before you turn the computer on.

    • Windows 7 has a network troubleshooter. When connecting to a network for the first time Windows 7 will ask if the network is is home network, work network, or public network. Always choose home network.

    • I have a Belkin Router and it does the same thing. I went to their site and found nothing, so I went Amazon and read some of the reviewsand quite a few of said something about the Router re-booting itself alot. I also unplug it for a few seconds & that seems to work.

      Good Luck!

    • I would like to thank everyone for their support and ideas. I had scoured the internet for solutions all day. I found a site, GeekU, that had the solution I needed. It was a problem with my anti-virus software. All is good again. It is crazy how much we come to depend on our electronics!! Our Tivo died earlier this week and we laugh now as we scramble to do things during an actual commercial break instead of being able to pause the Tivo.

  39. I have the pet-hair model, got it last Christmas. I love it! I have 3 cats and 1 dog and hardwood floors on my whole lower level, and the Roomba really takes care of the floors for me. I run it maybe once or twice a week. I suggest researching specific models, because I found that the reviews varied a lot depending on which exact model you're looking at. amazon has some good customer reviews to check out.

  40. We will be taking a Disney trip soon. Will I need to take shampoo & conditioner and those type toiletries or do the Disney resorts provide items like that? I see airline regulations require all liquids to be under 3 oz so I may have to get some trial size items otherwise…

    • I believe those restrictions only pertain to your carry on. ( I may be wrong) So you could put full size bottles in your checked luggage.

      • Yes. That is for carry on only.

        • They do provide minimal toiletries, but they are not good quality. You can buy travel size empty bottles at Target and fill them with your own products (if you are carrying on), or just pack full size in your luggage.

          Whatever you do, don't intend to buy them at Disney, they will charge you an arm and a leg!

    • You could ship your products to your hotel.

      I just take trial sizes with me. If they're higher end products you could try the store where you bought them. They can give you samples.

    • I like to take all those one or two time samples from the mail on vacation. They take up almost no room, I throw them away when done so it frees up a little more room and my hair never seems to cooperate on vacation anyway so it's a good time to try out new brands b/c I'll probably never see those people again.

    • We got nice sized bottles of toiletries (with fun logos, of course) at the Disney resorts we stayed at both times, and liked the quality fine. But maybe they've changed since we've not been there for 3 1/2 years. You could call and then you'll just know whether to bother bringing them. I remember the soaps being nice French-milled ones even though we stayed at one of their "value" resorts rather than the "moderate" one last time.

  41. Alliant Credit Union. The best by far. It is formely the employee owned credit union for United Airlines employees. It expanded to grow its membership.

    I have a local bank account at Wells Fargo, but it's not really worth keeping if they nickel and dime me on fees. I'll keep a local bank account just as a backup, but it won't be with Wells Fargo.

  42. Costco with a gas station is worth the membership fee, but only the one that you earn rewards for all purchases. The electronics gaurantee is about the best in the business.

    Costco and Sam's Club sell the gas at a loss. That is why the price is so low. They use it as a loss leader to get you into the store. Just imagine if they had a valet with a car wash(ed. Costco declined my business proposal) too.

  43. about a month ago, i bought some at costco!

  44. hopkins walgreens had them for .99 on Wed. call to see if they are still that price before you go.

  45. If anyone is interested in a Chinook Book, we are selling them for our homeschool co-op. They are $20.

    You can email me at cekparker @ gmail . com (remove spaces)

  46. Carrie-

    In light of the new Whole Foods in Minnetonka and the scheduled one to be opened in Edina in the winter I think,.,,,would you consider adding a Whole Foods match up to you weekly coupon match ups? Thanks

  47. Thanks for all the replys. I finally figured it out. I had it set on cable, that was the problem.

  48. Kathy- may i ask where this Costco is opening up since you mentioned Woodmans and that caught my eye since im from that side of WI but im currently living in Minneapolis. i miss Woodmans. lol

  49. People have been talking a lot about Costco today. Do they offer discounts on their memberships?

  50. Has anyone ever cleaned their own upholstery furniture?

    • I have with my carpet shampooer. You could rent a rug doctor and the upholstery attachment. I don't know how "clean" you can actually get the furniture, but it looks better after the cleaning process.

  51. I think its called 'sanding sugar'. I have seen it at an Amish grocery store (near Fall Creek, WI)

  52. What is the best product to remove grease and grime from walls and cupboards?

  53. I just pulled out my flour…It's Eagle Mills All-purpose unbleached flour.

    Ingredients list: unbleached flour (wheat flour and ultragrain whole wheat flour).

    There is a Whole Grain logo that states it has 30 grams per serving. It acts just like regular white flour – I don't notice any difference.

    As someone already mentioned, it's easy to carry this package out of the store. they do have other flour, but it's in the 25# bag variety. I guess I haven't checked for other kinds…

    Other things to note: They always carry Carters clothing and Pj's for really great prices, you mentioned you have kids, but not sure of their ages. I also picked up Speedo swim suits for cheap for the family in the summer time.

  54. my mil has bought all of the seasons at Sam's Club. Love Little House, too!!

  55. For Little House, you can experience the real deal right here in Southern MN. Go to Walnut Grove, MN, there is a great muesum there and in July each year there is an outdoor play about Laura and her family. It is a good time for all.

  56. Can anyone tell me what stores do double couponing in the twin cities metro area or even western WI. I am looking for any alternatives to Rainbow since I have a hard time getting there on wednesdays.

  57. I have to add, that I too love Costco!

    A friend purchased an office chair for us in early 2010 since at the time we did not have a membership. We had since decided a membership was something we wanted, and over the course of 2010 and this year the chair did not wear well. We recently took it back — over 12 months later — NO questions asked. I did happen to have the receipt but they treated us as if we had just purchased the chair the day before and changed our mind. I know not many other stores would honor this return after such a long period of time, and it's one of the biggest reasons I will retain my membership.

    Other things about Costco: you do NOT need to have a membership to use their pharmacy, and they often have the best prices in town when it comes to prescriptions. Their fresh fruit prices are great and if you prefer to use a debit card for your purchases you will want to make sure you have either an AmEx or that your institution has the certain logo on the back of your card (the friendly customer service staff can tell you which it is, I know we don't have it).

  58. Linda, 15 years ago, we took our little girls to that outdoor Little House Pageant in Walnut Grove, and it was a highlight of their childhood! When we got to the Walnut Grove area, it was so small and we really wondered if we had come for some silly amateur type play. I can't tell you how impressed we were with the cast, the set and the professionalism! And it was so inexpensive at that time. They had so much fun wading in the real Plum Creek, buying & wearing the bonnets, etc. etc. It's a great family trip for those into the Little House books! We stayed at a hotel in New Ulm – which is a ways away, but we also had so much fun in that little town. It made a great weekend vacation.

    • I am a HUGE Little House fan and have been to Pepin, Walnut Grove and DeSmet several times. If you go to Walnut Grove, DeSmet (South Dakota) is only about 2 hours away. You can visit the graves of all of the Ingalls (except Laura), Surveyor's house, the Ingalls last house and the Ingalls Homestead. The Homestead has many fun activities and now is offering camping in a covered wagon. We did that this summer and it was the best night of our vacation!

  59. I've never heard of Costco discounting their memberships.

    • The only time I have heard of a discount is when they offer a Costco gift card when signing up (when a new store opens, sometimes they come to your office with treats and the offer if you sign up).

  60. I have used rolls of wallpaper as wrap before. It's very sturdy and it's cheap at the thrift stores. I try to find something neutral-for boys/girls.

  61. Thank you SOOOO much! That was super sweet of you to take time out of your day to help me!

  62. I just bought a b&w lazer printer on for about $50 (it was a daily deal). I guess you can get over 1200 coupons printed on one cartridge vs. an ink jet printer and the cartridges are about the same price. I can't wait to get it; inkjet printers are just too expensive.

  63. I do know that liquid soaps (shampoo, laundry detergent, body wash) should not be frozen. I accidentally left some shampoo in the car during the winter and it became like jelly. It wouldn't clean as well and it kind of slid off my hair.

    • The bottles may also burst in the cold and make a big mess (has happened in my trunk when I have not felt like putting away my deals in a timely manner).

  64. I do it often with my carpet cleaner that has an upholstery attachment. It has been a god send!

  65. Jubilee Foods of Mound and Becker double up to $0.50. I do ad matches for them. I just posted about my blog under this week's PYD Rainbow and Cub coupon match-ups if you are interested.

  66. We need to get our carpets cleaned and our ducts cleaned. Any suggestions on reliable companies that will do a good job?


    • My parents had Zerorez clean their carpets and they were very happy with the cost and results. We went through Centerpoint Energy for duct cleaning and it seemed to be a good choice.

  67. I'm looking for cheap carpet or carpet pieces to use on part of my garage floor along with more shelves…. any ideas?

    • Wendy, we just got new carpeting in our basement and looking to get rid of the carpet pieces that were down there. All sizes, some are bound on the edges. We are just south of the metro. You're welcome to take a look!

    • we found really cheap reminents at menards for our basement. they are great and have lots of deals. remember to keep your receipt, menards gaurentees if you find a better menards ad price within 30 days of your purchase they will refund you that extra money

  68. Laura-My friend did not get her gift card either.

  69. I have tried various online banks. Ally is the best. You can use any ATM for free. They rebate back all atm fees. There rates are good compared to other online banks. I feel they are the best online bank.

  70. Tarah Huston says:

    I'm biased cus I sell it, but I LOVE Norwex cloths for anything greasy…and it's a one time purchase so you dont have to keep buying cleaners every time you run out. It has saved me a ton of money.

  71. Hello,

    I am selling them for $30. The sale was suppose to end today but I could get my hands on one for you. I live in NE Mpls.

    My email is



  72. Just a tip for packing toiletries in bottles when flying – unscrew the cap, put a small piece of plastic wrap over the top opening of the bottle then screw the cap back on. It creates another barrier to help the bottle from leaking. I still pack the bottles in a zip lock plastic bag but it cab be additional security.

  73. I love Costco, but I don't have to pay for my membership so for me everything is a great deal.

    I have to take megadoses of Calcium, and the best deal I've found is on the Kirkland Calcium Citrate. I also buy my gas there pretty often, unless I'm cashing in my Roundy Rewards. And sometimes they have great unexpected deals, like when they had packs of AMC gold tickets (the ones with no restrictions) on sale for $11.99, which works out to $6 per ticket. With the full price at AMC at $10.50, that is an awesome deal.

  74. I did a lot of travel in a car without air conditioning, and all my hairspray, shampoo and conditioner bottles expanded so the bottles had round bottoms. The stuff still worked but wouldn't sit on the counter.

  75. Thanks Jae and Emily. Thanks for the info. I live near the Jubilee in Mound. I might give them a try. I cannot find any info on Coborns for doubling. I found the coupon policy on their website, but no mention of doubling. Is it maybe specific stores?

  76. I have a Roomba graveyard. They stop working, you send in if you have warranty… they stop again. Too much hassle keeping them alive

  77. Simple green works great for the majority of the marks and magic eraser will get the remaining. Wipe the wall afterwards

    On cupboards that are dirty especially from hands around handles, spray with some windex and use a toothbrush to gently scrub then wipe off with a soapy washcloth, works great.

  78. Does anyone know…..

    When did Cub in Stillwater stop accepting two manuf. coupons for a BOGO deal?

  79. My father recently received info from a friend about a super coupon deal.????…(I think it's a scam but not positive) you send $52 and get $1000 worth of coupons with this new company???????? anyone heard of this? I told him not to do it until we had some kind of proof it was not a scam.

  80. Wendy — If it looks like a scam, sounds like a scam, etc —- it very probably is. I have known way too many people that have gotten sucked into such things. It may sound like a rather small risk at first — if you're willing to lose $52. But if a person falls for it, then it keeps on getting bigger and bigger. These scammers know just how to work it, manipulate "the mark". They are especially focused on older people who tend to be more trusting and sometimes hungry for the attention they receive from the scammers. The scammer befriends the mark. If it is truly a legitimate company and a good deal, that should be easy enough to check out on the internet. I have tracked some of these down and found them to be using fake addresses, fake phone numbers, ;fake pictures of their "olffice", in just a matter of minutes. If it's legitimate, time is not of the essence. The scammers will try to convince the mark that they have to act right now. They don't want anyone taking the time to think about things. Believe me, this is not a harmless little con. These people have conned people, mostly seniors, out of their life savings in a matter of a few hours.

  81. The new Costco will be in Pewaukee, the Woodmans I shop at is in Menomonee Falls

  82. They have a new store in Pewaukee, WI opening Oct. 27th and they offer a $10 or $20 cashcard with new memberships:

    To receive your Costco Cash Card:

    When you join as an Executive Member,

    enter coupon code 1101EXEC at checkout.

    When you join as a Gold Star Member,

    enter coupon code 1101GOLDSTAR at checkout.

    You can join online, so I think you could take advantage of this offer even if you aren't near the Pewaukee store..just as long as you are a new member.

  83. Thanks for the ingredient list statement. I think it would be unbromated since it doesn't say enriched, and it looks like the patent is on the milling process.

  84. I'm new to your site but have been couponing for over a year. My question: is there a list of when items are at a low price? I've been able to figure out some items but I still don't know a lot of them. For instance, when is peanut butter a good price? or Windex? or dog food? I never buy pop over a dollar nor cereal over $2 . Can anyone help me out please?

  85. Karlyn–
    There is a rock bottom price list but it is out of date as many prices have gone up in hte last yr. I do not buy Windex or dog food but for pop the highest price I will pay is $2.00 for a 12 pk and I do not like to pay more than $1 for a box of cereal. Here is the link to the rock bottom price list from February 2010:

  86. Hi Carrie,

    I love going on pocket your dollar to get tips but when I actually am in the store to make a purchase I can seem to click on how to actually save on useing coupons. I really would love to know since I own a home at time are hard these days. I went to Target on sat thinking I was going to save on coupons. My bill was 67.49 and saved $16.86 . I bought 4 progresso soup w/.50 cent off ,Healthy Choice soup buy 2 w/

    ..75 cents off and dove hair products buy one and get one free with another coupon for $1.00. I dont think what I had and did was a good deal. What did I do wrong? When can u use coupons to save BIG and how do I gather by coupons and know what to get ? Most of my shopping is at Target. I try to go else where but no why I dont. Carrie can you tell me what I'm not doing or doing wrong. I need to know a website for new coupon users and exactually how to use because it can be confusing. Thank you so much for your help . Regrds, Geri

    • Emily Rinke says:

      Geri, this open mic post is two weeks old, so I doubt you will get much of a response. The only reason I am responding is because I get emails when someone writes somethiing new. Plus, I am having a difficult time understandig what you are asking. What do you mean "click on how to actually save on using coupons." What are you not understanding exactly so I can try to help. Are you saying while at the store you try to get on the website? Again, I am not understanding. But here is a few basics:

      -Read Carrie's post called "How To Read The Shopping Lists." You can search for that from PYD's homepage

      -collect inserts every week. Get at least one Star Tribune paper each week to get coupons. Label them according to what insert they are and the date, for example 10/30 SS (Smart Source)

      -Look at Pocket Your Dollars shopping lists every week to fine good deals

      -use the coupon database to find coupons for things you are intending to buy

      Hope this helps.

  87. I just got an e-mail that says that eggs at Kwik Trip are .99 until Dec. 9. Butter is also 1.99 a pound.

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