Sunday, April 5, 2009

Change in Course

I have a million little ideas about how to make a difference in one's pocket book, relationships, environment.  I have chided myself too often for using this blog to talk about things other than crafts.  So, I have decided to set up a second blog for all things not craft related.  I really don't think I have enough interesting things to say to fill up one blog, much less two but the second one is called "Why It Makes a Difference" and can be found at

So, this blog area is now reserved for all things crafting and hawking my wares and the other one is going to be devoted to the wonderfully strange things I discover.

The first entry in the new blog is going to be a hoot in the finest sense.  It's going to be all about how I bought 6 bottles of wine for $7.97.



Friday, April 3, 2009

What Would You Do for a Klondike Bar

The average wage earner in the U.S. should start seeing an extra $13 per week in their paycheck in the next few weeks.  Why?  The stimulus plan, spearheaded by the Obama administration in February 2009, made a provision to give money to wage earners called "It Pays to Work".

So, I don't care about the politics of that, what I want to address is how are you going to spend $13?  You can breathe easy again, this isn't a test.  I'm on a crusade to figure out what people can do with their $13 and how spending this money in this manner benefits the overall economy and the greater good.

This week I'm going to dive deeply into some self promotion.  I make coffee cup sleeves and sell them on Etsy (  You know what a coffee cup sleeve is, right?  It's that cardboard thing they hand you at the coffee shop to go around your cup to keep you from burning your hands.  The barristas I've spoken with said they hand out about 200-300 on an average day.  Some website said that each coffee drinker is responsible for 6-10 pounds of wasted paper from the coffee cup sleeve!

Okay, so now we have a problem (the environment) and a solution (my coffee cup sleeves).  They are made out of cotton in high-end designer fabrics with flannel in between the layers to insulate the cup a bit.

How am I going to re-direct your $13?  I have a sale going right now.  Choose any three cup sleeves in the store and send me $13.  The sleeves, normally $4.75 each, will cost you a grand total of $13 for all three and that even includes shipping in the U.S.!  (Sorry to the rest of the world, President Obama only gave us $13 so you're going to have to pony up for your own shipping.)

You will be getting a coffee cup sleeve treat for you and possibly two great, environmentally friendly gifts for other people.  You will be easing pollution because less energy will go into making cardboard coffee cup sleeves if less people use them and there will be fewer items thrown into the landfill.  By carrying around a spiffy coffee cup sleeve, you will encourage the people who see you to adopt your new coffee cup sleeve custom so they don't miss out on looking as stylish as you.  Just think of the positive environmental impact you will have just by putting your coffee cup into a stylish sleeve without the coffee shop's logo all over it. 

They money you send to me, admittedly, will not go to orphans in Thailand.  However, I buy most of my gifts and supplies through local sellers or sellers on Etsy.  I promise to keep the money in the system helping other people out, maybe even by going out to dinner at a local restaurant and I promise to not save the money under my mattress for the better days ahead.

So this is how you can spend $13 this week.  I'm cooking up more ideas for this topic but if you have an Etsy shop and would like to have a $13 sale too, let me know and I'll plug it here.  If you are interested in offering a service for $13 I can also plug that here but hear me now, those services must all be above board: weeding, raking, laundry, grocery shopping, Mother's Helper (not mommy's LITTLE helper).  Get back to me with your ideas and I'll get it into the blog.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Power Of Niceness

Politeness mixed with genuine friendliness at the cash register is now saving me $70 a month.  Here's the deal, because I'm the family caregiver in all matters medical, I am a frequent flyer at the pharmacy.  They know me by name.  It's creepy to be known by name at the pharmacy as a regular.  When I brought up my shame at being a regular, the pharmacists laughed at me and told me that I'm well within the sane range still.  I'm not drooling on them or the register and I'm not high so they regard me as one of the regulars they can talk to.

I'm always incredibly polite to people in service oriented positions.  Whatever the job from waitress to doctor and all throughout the spectrum, dealing with the public is sometimes a miserable task.  It's also my experience that your politeness/niceness is directly proportional to how polite/nice the person on the other end treats you in return.

So here is how this is saving me big bucks this month.  The pharmacists noticed that my family has some regular prescriptions that are expensive, even after insurance kicks in.  (In fact, one member of the family's prescriptions are so expensive that without insurance they would cost about $1200 per month).  The pharmacists let me in on a little tip: any of your name brand drugs typically have a website associated with them where you can print off coupons.  They gave me this little tip because I never rush them, I'm always cordial and they feel as though they have a good relationship with me.  I'm not sure they would have shared this with me if I had been a jerk each time I had gone in.  

So now you know.  If you want to save money on your prescriptions, go out to their website and see if there is a coupon or a rebate.  Another tip is to take the coupon or rebate to the pharmacy WHEN YOU TAKE IN THE PRESCRIPTION or when you ASK FOR A REFILL.  These coupons typically require the pharmacy to call an outside provider on the spot like they do for your insurance so the routine is, they call your insurance and adjust how much you owe them based on your insurance.  THEN they have to call in the coupon and adjust how much you owe.  If you present the coupon when you go to pay for the prescription this might make the pharmacist cranky and it will definitely take an extra 5-10 minutes to get your prescription.

So, here's what we're all going to do from now on:

Check for coupons for our name brand prescriptions
Get that coupon to the pharmacy when you take in the prescription or when you request a refill.
Save money.

I hope this saves somebody else money too.

I promise, my next entry will be about crafting something.  I'll probably even solicit people to come out to 1st Thursday next month to visit my booth!