Do you know how Dunkin Donuts currently has iced tea and coffee available for $0.99 from 2-6 pm every day? Well, if you’re like me you don’t necessarily want to drink a large calorie-laden drink in one sitting. What I do is order a large and then when I get home pop the whole thing in the fridge. The ice doesn’t melt for days, true story! I once got the large Almond Joy iced coffee (which is delicious by the way) and nursed it for three days. Just a little tip for anyone who wants to treat themselves but is worried about being able to finish such a large drink. Now you can have your treat and drink it too. 😉

*the picture below shows 3-6pm, but DD has changed the times here in Chicago at least, to 2-6pm.



This is the weekend! After careful analysis of the garage sale market, updates from the Chicago weather teams, a scientific study from MIT…well, not really. More like Joe has finally stopped dragging his feet so the garage sale is finally happening! Thankfully, the forecast is looking good. We’re only doing the sale on Friday and Saturday as I wasn’t sure we would have enough product for Sunday. But who knows, once we’re set up, we’ll see what happens and maybe run Sunday as well.

We’ve been pricing all the items we have up for sale this past week and trying to get things set up in the garage so we can just pull them out on Friday morning.

We came to realize a few things:

  • Pre-printed price labels – must have
  • Plenty of tables – must have
  • Kicking the cars out of the garage so you can set up – must have
  • Hanging up clothes, looks better and doesn’t take up table space – must have
  • We really only had a couple of tables ourselves and wqickly realized we needed more. Thankfully a friend had a few she let us borrow. This will make our presentation look all that much better.

    And forget visiting the local Target/Walmart/Home Center for garage sale supplies. Instead hit the dollar store. Cheap and pretty nice. You don’t want to spend $30 on supplies and start the day having to make all that up first.

    I’ll put together a recap for next week after it’s all done and we’ve sold everything! A guy can hope we sell almost everything.



    I’m one of those people who really really hates wasting money. I’m not exactly thrilled with spending it either, but if I get some value from my money then I feel good. But if I buy something that I never end up using it really bothers me. To avoid this as much as possible, I seriously consider any purchases regardless of the cost. I won’t pay even $1 for something if I’m questioning it’s usefulness.

    Well, last summer I bought this day bag after carefully pouring over the reviews. I didn’t pay too much for it (I had a discount code), but after using it twice I realized the strap is extremely uncomfortable – it’s too think and cuts into my shoulder. What I thought was the perfect bag turned into something I didn’t even want to use anymore. This really irked me because otherwise I love all the different pockets and design of the bag. It’s been sitting in storage ever since because I couldn’t return it.

    The other morning I was trying to find something to carry my lunch and snacks into work and decided to dig through the box where I keep all my bags to see if I had anything that was more suitable than the larger than I need bag I had been using. Then I saw it. Perfect! And it really is. The inside is even that type of material that wipes off easily if I happen to spill something inside of it. And because I’m only carrying it from my car into work and vice versa there’s not enough time for the strap to hurt my shoulder. You have no idea how giddy it made me to find a new use for this previously wasteful purchase!

    It’s situations like these that make it hard for me to part with things I’ve haven’t used for years because often I will find a new purpose for them if enough time passes. There’s a delicate balance between hoarding and decluttering, that’s for sure.

    Do you have any re-purposing stories to share?


    Friday we called Comcast to cancel our cable service.

    With it now being re-run season, we felt it was the perfect time to cut the cord, so to speak, and try life without cable tv. I didn’t like the idea of parting with my DVR because I really do love having shows waiting for me to be watched, but I was willing to give it a try. In addition, we already have Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime so there’s no shortage of alternative sources of entertainment, nevermind the fact that it’s almost summer and we want to spend more time outdoors.

    An interesting thing happened when I called to cancel – I was offered a lower rate for cable plus internet (at the same speed) than it would cost to retain just internet service. That’s even when factoring in the ridiculous $10 HD technology fee. And of course I’m going to pay that fee because I don’t have a 55″ 4k TV for nothing, you know (it was a splurge/steal at Costco, don’t hate).

    Quick rant: Who is still watching standard definition cable, besides my parents, these days? Don’t you think that fee is just a way for Comcast to get even more money out of people? You can get HD channels on your TV over the air with a regular antenna for goodness sake. Anyway…

    I kept clarifying with the customer service agent to make sure I wasn’t mistaken, but sure enough, our new package would cost $20 less per month than internet alone and all we had to do was swap the DVR and move down to the cable package they call Digital Economy. Done and done!

    We packed up the box and headed to the Xfinity store to swap it. We had to wait a little over twenty minutes to do so, however, because it was a bit crowded on a Friday afternoon. They’ve closed many of their service centers and the ones remaining bear little resemblance to how they used to look when I worked for them well over a decade ago. They are trying for an Apple Store vibe and several days later I’m still not sure whether it works. But I guess if you have to wait around to do something as simple as swap equipment it might as well be while sitting on a cushy ottoman in a dimly lit modern-looking establishment, right?

    Overall our bill will be a full $50 less than what we were paying before while still giving us access to basic channels. I call that a win. It’s just funny how much they push their cable service, to the point where you’d be paying more without it.

    Now I just have to remember to call back in 12 months when that promotional rate expires and “cancel” my service again.


    Updating my original post for Shopkick. We’re both still using Shopkick whenever we’re shopping. Since originally posting this back in March we’ve accumulated around $25/each. I know it’s not life altering money, but it does pay for a weekly grocery trip for us to Target or Walmart. : )


    Have you heard of  Shopkick? We love it! It’s a smartphone app that gives you Kickbacks just for walking into stores, and also for scanning specific items. Then you redeem those points – called Kicks – for gift cards to your favorite places like Starbucks, Target, Walmart, and more. 

    250 Kicks is the equivalent of one dollar and can be redeemed as follows:

    500 Kicks = $2
    1250 Kicks = $5
    2500 Kicks = $10
    3750 Kicks = $15
    6250 Kicks = $25

    Try Shopkick, a super simple way to save some $$$. : )

    After you click the above link, just enter your phone number and you’ll receive a one-time text with a direct link to download the app. After signing up you’ll be ready to start collecting Kicks! 



    The weekend is here! It’s going to be a beautiful weekend here in Chicago. I’m hoping to get out and enjoy it with some early morning bike rides.


    If you’re located in the west ‘burbs of Chicago, one of the early suburban “summer” fests kicks off, Taste Of Glen Ellyn. We’ll be taking it in at some point this weekend.

    What are you up to this weekend??

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    What a first week of May it’s been. In typical Chicago fashion, the spring weather is going back and forth from cool and fall-like to the 80’s. Looking forward to some warm days to come.

    So far our experience with Ting Wireless couldn’t be better. It’s only been a month, but we’re really pleased. Read all about it and our savings in Nicole’s post about it here or below.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there!

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    We bought my vehicle, a 2008 Ford Escape, brand new. That’s her below, right before driving it off the lot.

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    It came with the first year of oil changes and like a dutiful new car owner, I took it into the dealership right on the mark. I would still get a receipt from the dealer, with the cost marked down to $0.00. But the $34.99 cost of the oil change they were charging got me wondering if I should be doing it myself.

    Let me back up a little (while). My dad used to own his own service station – that’s what we call a gas station today. Back then they would provide service for any needs your car had, including maintenance. My dad was a mechanic for many years. Growing up I can remember spending time with him in the garage or in the driveway watching and *helping* him when he was working cars. It didn’t seem like much at the time, but as I got older I realized that taught me quite a bit about how to work on a vehicle. I can thank him and those learning experiences for my knowledge and appreciation I have of cars today. There aren’t too many auto repairs where I feel intimidated and won’t at least try it myself.

    Back to the oil change. I stick to the same type of oil for each change, which is important. Switching back and forth between types (synthetic, semi-synthetic, and conventional) can damage your engine. Your car can use any of these types, but once you choose the type, it’s best to stick to it moving forward. Fortunately, the Valvoline oil I like has frequent coupons and is already a good deal from Walmart. My SUV takes 6 quarts of oil, so here’s the material cost breakdown.

      $ 15.00 – 5 quart Valvoline oil
      $ 3.00 – 1 quart of Valvoile oil
      $ 4.00 – Fram oil filter
      $22.00 – Total Cost

    That’s the regular cost, however, without any discounts. I typically only buy oil when I have a coupon. Valvoline regularly puts out $4/off coupons so I stock up when I get them. That reduces the cost to $18.00/oil change. Not a bad deal.

    To be fair, I priced out oil changes at a few places around town (including the extra quart of oil needed, which is an extra charge). The best price was $24.31. Basically, I am saving $6.31 on each oil change. Multiply that times the number of oil changes I’ve done over the 120k miles I’ve put on my Escape after that first year of free changes and that adds up to 24 oil changes, or a savings of $151.44. Not huge, but that does cover the cost of a couple of trips to Target for groceries!

    Considering the work takes me less than a half hour, is it worth the effort? Many people would say no, but I say yes, just not so much on the money side of things. Being able to say I can do the work myself and understand how a car operates and is maintained is, in my option, priceless.

    I’ve already had my son sit with me during a few oil changes so he can see the process. I’m looking forward to him getting his first car so I can show him on his own car how rewarding it can be to do the repairs yourself.