Open Mic 1/17/13

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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 a bazillion times (although I don’t mind if you come a bazillion times).

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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    • Marne says

      Thanks, JoAnna! We are going there tonight for a family get together. My Father-in-law always enjoys a senior discount, it's his 70th birthday today! We'll enjoy the 10% off coupon. :)

  1. Stefanie says

    We are planning on buying a new tv (60 inch). We have been waiting for a great sale, but have not seen any. Does anyone know if this is the best time to buy a new tv or is it better to wait until after the superbowl?

    • Rene S says

      It's too bad you weren't shopping around Black Friday. DH had priced for an entire year and found a great price the week of Thanksgiving. I read an article recently that said prices may be good in February.

    • JoAnna says

      If you have a Costco membership I highly suggest going there! They have great prices and extend the manufacturer's warranty an extra year for free (along with a 90 day return policy).

      • sara says

        May sound crazy but Amazon is the best place to buy a TV for quality/price. Have a good friend who is all about home theater, so they know there stuff. Shop around on there and check it out. Plus free shipping & returns. This is where we got our 60".

    • David says

      Prices on amazon can fluctuate wildly You can use to see the historical price of an item at amazon or best buy. You can even set a target price to get notified if the price reaches your desired price. Super Bowl sales are coming up.

      • Kristin says

        WHAT?!!! This is the coolest / most helpful little website I've heard about in a long time!!

        Thanks, David. Already signed up to track a vacuum that I've been watching for a long time. Hopefully will buy when it gets to my target price. :)

  2. says

    I love my Keurig coffeemaker. The single serve K-cups are expensive but I registered with Keurig when I bought my coffeemaker & they run specials on their K cups often. By ordering during the sale last time I paid $.47 per k-cup

    • Lisa Slater says

      Love our Keurig too! Costco came out with their own Kirkland brand for about .38 a cup. The coffee is great, we like it better than the Caribou we had been using. (Also, Sams sells some Keurig hot chocolate that is awesome-I think those were around .25 a cup.)

    • Therese S. says

      I too love my Keurig.

      When I can't find great deals on k-cups…I use the reusable filter and brew grownd coffee.

      Very easy!!

      • renlyn says

        If you live by a bigger Menards store which carries some grocery items, they also carry K-cups and they have been putting them on sale for @ $5.99 for a box of 18 & Cub is now carrying an offbrand that I found was also @ the $5.99 for a box of 18. All of the flavors are just as good as the name brand coffee.

    • Cris says

      Speaking of Keurigs…is anyone aware of a good deal on them? My brother-in-law would like one, but doesn't want to spend more than $50 out of pocket. I told him that if such a deal exists, someone on this forum would know about it!

      • Rene S says

        I've never heard of a deal that good, unless he's willing to search craigslist. Sometimes you can get a decent price at a sale at Kohl's plus a 30% off voucher.

  3. Marina says

    Looking for cheap bookcases ( 20 or less)to corral kids toys and books, wondering if there's an online source, or if I should just go to ikea or walmart?

    • Kristin says

      Check Craigslist or FreeCycle websites. Just type in "bookcase" in the search and lots will pop up! Also, as Val B. mentioned below, there are a ton of cute, creative ideas for storage on Pinterest if you're crafty. :)

    • Shannon says

      I've had good luck with Ikea also. We use their Trofast system for our toys and it doubles as a coffee table. I wouldn't recommend buying the real cheap shelves from Target/Walmart as they start to sag in the middle from the weight of the toys and books. Trofast has different size bins which is nice to keep things organized. We also have the Expedit book cases and they have been very sturdy and useful. Good luck!

    • Kelly says

      We have tons of Ikea shelving and love it. We have used both the Expidit and the Billy bookcases and have been really happy.

      • ella says

        I second Billy bookcases, in past sometimes I've bought certain colors on sale. They can be placed side by side, add extra shelves up top, etc. Make sure to secure them to wall for safety. Basic units used to cost ~50$. It's a good investment to buy sturdy- book shelves are needed even as kids go off to college and when they furnish their first place. You could also look at some of the more utilitarian shelving options at Ikea- we bought one of those cheaper (for garage or utility room) and cut it down for our college student that needed shelving to fit in an awkward space. You might even consider buying some inexpensive metal shelving units designed for garage or basement. They are sturdy, can be re-purposed later, are easy to move, adjust, etc. You could add baskets for toys and smaller items.

        • Jennifer says

          Try Menards. We have been buying everything from there. And if you get a bookshelf at a good price but do not like the color, you can always paint it. Its amazing what a little paint can do to an out dated piece of furniture.

  4. D says

    I need to buy an an additional wii remote(nintendo). Price at Best Buy and Target is about the same at 39 dollars. Has anyone seen these go on sale? Thanks.

  5. Penny says

    My daughters (ages 24 and 17) and I would like to take a weekend and make it a girly weekend, such as possibly staying in a hotel, going to a spa or maybe getting mani's or pedi's….. anyone have any ideas for some good prices or deals any where in Mpls or metro?

    • Shannon says

      The Aveda school in Minneapolis has cheaper prices on manis and pedis, otherwise Crowd Cut, Living Social, etc. usually has deals posted.

      • Betsy says

        Careful with the Aveda Institute, they can still get quite pricey. I paid $110 for two facials for mothers day (service not provided ON mother's day, mind you). Even though their service is great, it's by no means cheap. Regency has better prices but a bit less of a "spa" atmosphere. And no matter what school they go to, they will have to do a 48 hour color test on their arm if they want their hair dyed (so I wouldn't suggest that route) :) Hope that helps!

    • Cassie says

      My Mom and I do a girls weekend every year (we are actually leaving tomorrow!). We made it a goal this year to see how much money we could save, still enjoying the activities we love to do (spa and shopping). There are so many good deals for nails, massages, facials on Groupon. They have tons of deals for dining and hands on experiences too. HTH!

    • RHONDA says

      Check some of the resorts like Madden's up in the Brainerd area they have hotel and spa packages for low prices during the off seasons in February, March and April.

  6. Erin says

    I'm looking for the best deal on TurboTax Deluxe Federal + E-File + State. Amazon has it for just under $40. You'd think I'd remember from last year, but is this a good price?

    • jo says

      That I think is the best price you will find on it- I ordered from them yesterday – be sure to check free delivery as mine tried to default to 2-day delivery for some reason. In stock tomorrow with delivery sometime next week.

  7. Aga says

    Does anyone have a plumber they would recommend? We live near St. Paul in a house w 1930's plumbing and our upstairs shower began leaking into our downstairs :(

  8. Julie S says

    I'm in the market for a small secondary freezer. Have any of you bought the freezer from Cub (usually available in March)? If so, do you like it? Any pros/cons?

  9. Betsy says

    Has anyone dealt with coupon burnout before? I'm excited about all the money I'm saving but I'm growing weary of all the clipping and blog checking and running here and there to mulitple stores per week. Has anyone experienced this? How did you "snap out of it"? :)

  10. says

    Cris – I agree with Rene: less than $50 out-of-pocket on a Keurig is pretty unheard of.

    The best deals we've seen in the past have come from Kohl's with a % off coupon, Kohl's Cash, and rebate, but obviously those deals will require a higher out-of-pocket cost.

  11. Kelly says

    Been there. It's hard sometimes to get caught up on the clipping when you feel behind. What I ended up doing was only shopping at Aldi and the grocery store. I let the other deals go. If I saw a great deal at CVS or Walgreens I might go get it but certainly wasn't stressing about it.

  12. AS says

    Any ideas for grocery shopping for gluten, soy, dairy & peanut free? Whole Foods and the local Coops get very expensive. My grocery spending has doubled since we found out about food intolerences for my son. Coupons now seem to be a thing of the past…

    • Saff says

      I have started shopping Hispanic and Asian grocery stores for GF noodles, flours/starches, tortillas, etc. Much cheaper than products trying to mimic gluten / dairy foods. Rice or cellophane noodles have always been GF and my kids love them. Plus I recommend checking out books from the library or following blogs. I now make Chocolate chip cookies, meatballs and potstickers (GF!) and freeze a ton for quick last minute meals on the cheap. No special ingredients required. Amazon is a great resource and convenient, too.

    • kris t. says

      I go to Trader Joe's for coconut milk (green container on the shelf) as well as almond flour, almind butter or sunflower seed butter. I usually make my own macadamia nut butter and grind my own almond flour but sometimes it's nice to be lazy.

      Seconding the ethnic stores..Indian stores have a lot of alternative nut flours and coconut items. I cook a LOT but it's cool because it's cheaper and I control what goes in my food! I can't have wheat, most gluten, sugar and stay away from soy.

    • Crystal says

      I have gluten, dairy and egg allergies. The premade mixes and bread like meals/products (i.e., sausage & gravy over biscuits, pizza, etc.) are meals we don't make terribly often and are a treat. There are SO many meals you can make that are naturally gluten free with regular ingredients from the stores (i.e., tacos either with corn tortillas or tortilla chips, burgers and fries with no bun, pretty much any solid meat like pork, steak, or chicken with rice and/or vegetables, etc.). We eat a lot of those meals and then we do have some special but more expensive meals with my alternatives. I shop at the Co-op but I try to buy and stock up on my alternatives when they are on sale. The items I really like I will buy in bulk on Amazon, find on Vitacost, or other websites. My other big suggestion is to cook things from scratch and avoid the premade mixes. I probably have a dozen types of flour in my pantry. I do buy some premade mixes but only for some of my favorite items that I haven't been able to replicate and again it's only a treat!

  13. kris t. says

    The Chinook book has coupons for Aveda. Also, I think there's a beauty school on the Burnsville/Lakeville border..Regency, I think it's called?

    Have fun. :)

  14. heather says


    I am busy cleaning out our house and have about 7 bags of paper that needs to be shredded. Does anyone know of a place that has free shredding? Or a low cost place?? I know M&I used to…. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Mikey says

      Usually in the spring Cub foods sponsors free shredding events at various locations around the metro. Also check with the nearest Office Depot as they used to shred up to 5 #'s free with a coupon but I'd call them to see if they still do that. (5#'s is about a grocery bag full I thought I read somewhere.)

  15. AP says

    I have seen a few Keurig's for sale on Craigslist. Not sure what kind of condition they are in but it may be worth checking into?

  16. Vickie says

    We bought a 55 inch TV a couple of years ago in February. The sales person said February was a good time to buy as March is when the next year's TV's come in. Stores want to make room for those TV's so they put the previous year's TV's on sale. Also, check the website of the store you want to buy the TV from (if you buy from a store). We bought a TV in store, went home, check the online price at the same stores website and found it was cheaper. I printed the ad, took it into the store and they credited me for the difference. No questions asked. Good luck!

  17. Jen says

    We bought the freezer deal from Cub a few years back and it works great! The coupons that came with it (and a gift card) equaled the price we paid for the freezer so it was a win-win all around! It's not as large as we would like, but we get great use out of it. My only complaint is that it's a chest freezer instead of an upright, so we need to dig around in it a bit. Otherwise, we're very happy with it!

  18. Shelly says

    Totally agree, JoAnn, we wouldn't be a tv anywhere else but Costco. Happy with our Vizios (2), but especially can't say enough about their Concierge service and extra help. Also for laptops – so glad for that extra year of warranty at no charge! (of course, I can't imagine ever not having Costco in our lives!!! : )

  19. Marne says

    Kari – sorry I don't know what age qualifies for the Senior discout at Davanni's. We did use my coupon though, he forgot his!

  20. Sara says

    Question about setting up a second printer. How does this work? We have multiple computers that are networked to one printer right now. If I set -up another printer won't it still be reading the same IP address? Any tips??

  21. T says

    Are there free newspapers in twin cities with coupon inserts besides twin cities values with SS insert delivered on Saturdays? I keep reading about others getting coupons in free papers ahead of time. A lot of them seem to be in DC area.

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