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Categories => BlogsMonroe.com => Topic started by: MonroeNews.com on July 15, 2009, 02:26:34 PM

Title: Monroe on a Budget
Post by: MonroeNews.com on July 15, 2009, 02:26:34 PM
Mortgage crisis call-in show July 16 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/mortgage-crisis-call-in-show-july-16/)
13 July 2009, 6:10 am

Michigan Radio and Detroit Public Television are hosting a call-in / live web chat show at 1 p.m. July 16 to take questions and comments relating to the Michigan mortgage crisis.

The event is part of the team’s Facing the Mortgage Crisis Project.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Homeless in Monroe: “It’s an existence”
Post by: MonroeNews.com on July 15, 2009, 02:26:34 PM
Homeless in Monroe: “It’s an existence” (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/homeless-in-monroe-its-an-existence/)
13 July 2009, 6:37 am

Following up on the incident a few days ago where a homeless man was beaten to death under the Winchester Street Bridge in Monroe, The Monroe Evening News had a report in Sunday’s edition about those who live under the bridge – and trying to find solutions for the homeless population in ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Photo essay: Unemployed, but undeterred
Post by: MonroeNews.com on July 15, 2009, 02:26:34 PM
Photo essay: Unemployed, but undeterred (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/photo-essay-unemployed-but-undeterred/)
13 July 2009, 6:56 am

The Monroe Evening News had a photo essay in Sunday’s edition about a Temperance man whose family is dealing with unemployment. The companion multimedia piece can be found here.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe grocery fliers July 14
Post by: MonroeNews.com on July 15, 2009, 03:00:32 PM
Monroe grocery fliers July 14 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/monroe-grocery-fliers-july-14/)
13 July 2009, 5:11 pm

The Food Town ad for Monroe and Rockwood, Mich., was in my mail today. This week’s specials include whole beef tenderloin at $3.99 a pound, Mueller’s pasta at 10 for $10, Spartan canned fruit at 99 cents. There will be an 88-cent sale week of July 20 on products such as Aunt Millie’...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Organized Home: Back to school without breaking the bank
Post by: MonroeNews.com on July 15, 2009, 03:00:32 PM
Organized Home: Back to school without breaking the bank (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/organized-home-back-to-school-without-breaking-the-bank/)
13 July 2009, 6:07 pm

Just so you know that my back-to-school tips in July are not completely crazy …

The Organized Home site has this article: Save money on school supples – back to school without breaking the budget.

A snippet:

Back-to-school loss leaders (products offered at prices below their actual co...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: A Cheap Chick will find you some freebies
Post by: MonroeNews.com on July 15, 2009, 03:00:32 PM
A Cheap Chick will find you some freebies (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/a-cheap-chick-will-find-you-some-freebies/)
13 July 2009, 7:21 pm

The newest addition to my blogroll is A Cheap Chick’s Ray of Sunshine. She’s in Arizona, so I have her on my “national blogs” list.

You’ll find a lot of unique and interesting content on her site – including freebies such as fonts and clip art, embroidery pattern...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: CNN: Back to school spending to drop this year
Post by: MonroeNews.com on July 15, 2009, 04:00:07 PM
CNN: Back to school spending to drop this year (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/cnn-back-to-school-spending-to-drop-this-year/)
14 July 2009, 6:51 am

CNNMoney has this report: Back-to-school spending to drop 7.7 % from 2008.

A snippet:

Thanks to pay cuts and job losses, cash-strapped consumers are planning to spend less on everything from pens and paper to fall clothing.

The average family with students in grades kindergarten through high sch...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Frugal Village: What did you get for free in July?
Post by: MonroeNews.com on July 15, 2009, 04:00:07 PM
Frugal Village: What did you get for free in July? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/frugal-village-what-did-you-get-for-free-in-july/)
14 July 2009, 9:54 am

You don’t have to search the Internet to find freebies.

The Frugal Village forum members get their freebies in a lot of ways: family hand-me-downs, picnic leftovers, bartering, coupon matches to sales, prize drawings, garden plant thinnings, trading in loyalty program points, free lunch progr...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Counseling for local families in financial crisis
Post by: MonroeNews.com on July 15, 2009, 04:00:07 PM
Counseling for local families in financial crisis (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/counseling-for-local-families-in-financial-crisis/)
14 July 2009, 3:52 pm

This post is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich.:

To help families who are dealing with a financial crisis, Caring Alternatives, 2092 S. Custer Rd., Monroe, Mich., is offering a limited number of counseling sessions on a sliding fee scale for parents and children ages 3 and older.

The agency re...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Children’s Appreciation Day Sunday at Huron-Clinton Metroparks
Post by: MonroeNews.com on July 15, 2009, 05:00:11 PM
Children’s Appreciation Day Sunday at Huron-Clinton Metroparks (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/childrens-appreciation-day-sunday-at-huron-clinton-metroparks/)
14 July 2009, 4:02 pm



This post is for my readers in southeast Michigan:

The Huron-Clinton Metroparks will host a Children’s Appreciation Day on Sunday July 19. Metroparks admission will be free, with special programs at various sites including.

Lake Erie Metropark in Brownstown Township

One free small bucket ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Michigan unemployment was 15.2% in June
Post by: MonroeNews.com on July 16, 2009, 09:00:23 AM
Michigan unemployment was 15.2% in June (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/michigan-unemployment-was-15-2-in-june/)
16 July 2009, 6:59 am

It’s the state’s highest unemployment rate since mid-1983.

Michigan unemployment rate has been posted at 15.2 percent in June, as compared to the 14.1 percent in May.

Headlines:

Detroit Free Press

Detroit News

MLive

Toledo Blade

I’ll link to The Monroe Evening News after tho...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Recession Chronicles at Detroit News
Post by: MonroeNews.com on July 16, 2009, 09:00:23 AM
Recession Chronicles at Detroit News (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/recession-chronicles-at-detroit-news/)
16 July 2009, 7:01 am

The Detroit News is starting a series called The Recession Chronicles – looking at southeast Michigan families and their struggles in a tough economy.

Here’s the introduction piece.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Hi-Lite Supermarket receipt: $7.82
Post by: MonroeNews.com on July 16, 2009, 12:00:22 PM
Hi-Lite Supermarket receipt: $7.82 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/hi-lite-supermarket-receipt-7-82/)
16 July 2009, 10:32 am

The popular method of bargain-shopping at the grocery and drugstores these days is this:

Save the coupon booklets intact from the Sunday papers, and file them in your drawer or box by date of publication. After all, you don’t want to bother clipping a coupon you don’t need.

Look up on ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: 2 trips to Kroger: $29.63 total receipts
Post by: MonroeNews.com on July 16, 2009, 12:00:22 PM
2 trips to Kroger: $29.63 total receipts (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/2-trips-to-kroger-29-63-total-receipts/)
16 July 2009, 10:44 am

What happens if you get to the grocery store and realize you forgot to bring your coupon box?

It happened to me yesterday afternoon when I made a trip to Kroger in Monroe, Mich. I’m sure it’s happened to some of you.

The solution: Don’t buy items that you know have coupons for. R...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe sales fliers July 16
Post by: MonroeNews.com on July 16, 2009, 06:00:10 PM
Monroe sales fliers July 16 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/monroe-sales-fliers-july-16/)
16 July 2009, 5:45 pm

Checking the sales fliers in my Monroe Evening News today …

Meijer has a two-day super sale Friday July 17 and Saturday July 18 that includes Pepsi 2-liters at 88 cents, two for $9 on boneless skinless frozen chicken breast 40-ounce package, and sales on selected Sterlite totes.

Sears has a ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: MCCC students warned of Michigan Promise Grant cuts
Post by: MonroeNews.com on July 16, 2009, 11:00:15 PM
MCCC students warned of Michigan Promise Grant cuts (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/mccc-students-warned-of-michigan-promise-grant-cuts/)
16 July 2009, 9:33 pm

The Monroe Evening News reported today that Monroe County Community College is planning to send letters to about 200 students that the Michigan Promise Scholarship program is in jeapardy.

A snippet from the story:

The state is facing a $1.7 billion deficit. The scholarship program costs $140 milli...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: When the kids want licensed character products
Post by: MonroeNews.com on July 17, 2009, 11:00:05 AM
When the kids want licensed character products (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/kids-want-licensed-character-products/)
17 July 2009, 9:07 am

When it comes to kid stuff, licensed character products are the “brand name” items that appeal for attention. Popular TV, movie, toy or cartoon characters appear on a huge array of products ranging from book bags to sleeping bags.

If you have the money, it’s easy to get what the k...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Detroit Lions all-you-can-eat seats
Post by: MonroeNews.com on July 17, 2009, 01:00:11 PM
Detroit Lions all-you-can-eat seats (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/detroit-lions-all-you-can-eat-seats/)
17 July 2009, 12:04 pm

The Detroit Lions have a new program for the 2009 season called All-you-can-Eat Seats at Ford Field.

Tickets are $73 and you can get all the hot dogs, bratwurst, nachos, chips, popcorn and soft drinks you want at the stadium. There’s a big ad in the Detroit Free Press today about the promotio...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: WaPo: Share and swap replaces buy and grab
Post by: MonroeNews.com on July 17, 2009, 01:00:11 PM
WaPo: Share and swap replaces buy and grab (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/wapo-share-and-swap-replaces-buy-and-grab/)
17 July 2009, 12:20 pm

The Washington Post has this report today: Share and swap replaces buy and grab.

A snippet:

The sharing mind-set is not new to the American culture, but many Americans abandoned it when the nation shifted from an agricultural society to an industrial one, said Rosemary Hornak, a psychology profess...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: American Sewing Expo Sept. 25-27 in Novi
Post by: Monroe on a Budget on July 17, 2009, 03:00:14 PM
American Sewing Expo Sept. 25-27 in Novi (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/american-sewing-expo-sept-25-27-in-novi/)
17 July 2009, 2:35 pm

The American Sewing Expo will be held Sept. 25-27 at Rock Financial Showplace in Novi, Mich.

I picked up a show flier today at Jo-Ann Fabric in Monroe, Mich. I’ve heard this is a really great show and it features a variety of classes and products aimed at beginner through expert sewing skills...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Military scholarship finder
Post by: Monroe on a Budget on July 17, 2009, 06:00:10 PM
Military scholarship finder (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/military-scholarship-finder/)
17 July 2009, 3:49 pm

If you are military personnel, or are the spouse, child or grandchild of someone who served in the military, and are seeking money for college, you’ll want to look up the scholarship finder service at the Military Officers Association of America.

This is one of the most comprehensive scholars...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Weight Watchers’ Credit Crunch tactics at grocery store
Post by: Monroe on a Budget on July 17, 2009, 06:00:10 PM
Weight Watchers’ Credit Crunch tactics at grocery store (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/weight-watchers-credit-crunch-tactics-at-grocery-store/)
17 July 2009, 5:27 pm

Weight Watchers has an article about healthy grocery shopping on a budget, dubbed “Credit Crunch Tactics.”



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Re: Monroe on a Budget
Post by: Paula Wethington on July 17, 2009, 10:06:33 PM
Yes, people, I really do have a busy blog. Come over to Monroe on a Budget and check it out.

You can find frugal living blogs all over the Internet - but this one is specifically intended for people who live in Monroe County.
Title: Monroe sales fliers July 18
Post by: Monroe on a Budget on July 18, 2009, 12:00:32 PM
Monroe sales fliers July 18 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/monroe-sales-fliers-july-18/)
18 July 2009, 8:27 am

Staples, Rite Aid and Busch’s all had sales fliers in my home-delivery edition of The Monroe Evening News today. (I live in the 48162 zip code).

Staples (sale starts Sunday) will have rebate officers on pens and graphing calculators. Several GPS devices are on sale. Several shredding machines...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Frugality can cost money up front. How can you deal with that?
Post by: Monroe on a Budget on July 18, 2009, 12:00:33 PM
Frugality can cost money up front. How can you deal with that? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/frugality-can-cost-money-up-front-how-can-you-deal-with-that/)
18 July 2009, 9:29 am

If you’re new to this “frugal living stuff” or are suddenly in a situation where you have to cut expenses fast, it can be really frustrating to realize that you usually have to invest time, money or both up front to find savings later.

I have a post that details how fast you can e...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: No longer frugal: powdered milk
Post by: Monroe on a Budget on July 18, 2009, 03:00:28 PM
No longer frugal: powdered milk (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/no-longer-frugal-powdered-milk/)
18 July 2009, 12:10 pm

There are some tricks and techniques that our parents and grandparents used in their efforts to be thrifty (”thrifty” is the “old school” word for “frugal”) that just don’t work today.

Sometimes, the products that were used a generation or two ago are no lo...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Coupon Commotion week at Jo-Ann
Post by: Monroe on a Budget on July 18, 2009, 03:00:28 PM
Coupon Commotion week at Jo-Ann (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/coupon-commotion-week-at-jo-ann/)
18 July 2009, 1:37 pm

Check your Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store flier. I’m on the mailing list and got my flier today. There is a Coupon Commotion promotion July 19-25 with multiple coupon possibilities on regular-priced items.

You will also want to note that most Butterick patterns will be 99 cents July 19-25.

Mo...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Freep: Credit market remains tight for car loans
Post by: Monroe on a Budget on July 19, 2009, 10:00:15 AM
Freep: Credit market remains tight for car loans (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/freep-credit-market-remains-tight-for-car-loans/)
19 July 2009, 7:15 am

The Detroit Free Press had this report today: Tight credit market a blow to hopes of auto recovery.

A snippet:

“It’s all about debt-to-income ratios,” said Steve Cervin, a credit counselor with Commerce Financial Services in West Bloomfield. “The borrower may pay nearly eve...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe coupon report July 19
Post by: Monroe on a Budget on July 19, 2009, 10:00:15 AM
Monroe coupon report July 19 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/monroe-coupon-report-july-19/)
19 July 2009, 7:23 am

There is one coupon packet in The Monroe Evening News today. Don’t panic, I also got only one coupon packet in my Detroit Free Press today too. (I live in the 48162 zip code).

Products featured in my Monroe coupon flier include Fiber One bars, Dannon yogurt and Huggies.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Meijer CFL light bulbs on sale
Post by: Monroe on a Budget on July 19, 2009, 10:00:15 AM
Meijer CFL light bulbs on sale (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/meijer-cfl-light-bulbs-on-sale/)
19 July 2009, 7:40 am

This is worth an entry by itself: the Meijer ad in today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News (July 19-25 ad) features store brand CFL light bulbs at greatly reduced prices:

Single bulbs: 99 cents each.

Four-pack: $3.96.

Six-pack: $5.94.

There’s been some buzz about energy-efficient ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe sales fliers July 19
Post by: Monroe on a Budget on July 19, 2009, 11:00:08 AM
Monroe sales fliers July 19 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/monroe-sales-fliers-july-19/)
19 July 2009, 8:00 am

Here are some of the promotions in the discount, drug store and grocery store fliers for the Monroe, Mich., area stores this week:

Meijer: Cucumbers at three for $1, cabbage at 29 cents a pound, Kraft macaroni and cheese 39 cents a box, milk for $1.75, buy one get two free Dynamo laundry soap. Earn...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Spend less or more for your money?
Post by: Monroe on a Budget on July 19, 2009, 11:00:08 AM
Spend less or more for your money? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/spend-less-or-more-for-your-money/)
19 July 2009, 8:14 am

When you start to take a serious look at how to cut back on routine household products and groceries, you’ll probably be frustrated at what it takes to really spend less.

Do you really want to buy three bottles of laundry soap because that’s the sale price? I know you’d rather jus...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Baseball stadium outing on a budget
Post by: Monroe on a Budget on July 19, 2009, 11:01:04 PM
Baseball stadium outing on a budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/baseball-stadium-outing-on-a-budget/)
19 July 2009, 10:42 pm

My husband and I went with several members of my family today to see the Cleveland Indians game in Cleveland, Ohio.

An aside to the Detroit Tigers fans – do pay close attention to the Seattle Mariners this week. Seattle beat Cleveland 5-3 today. Yes, I know the Cleveland stats for this season...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Back to school sale roundup July 20
Post by: Monroe on a Budget on July 20, 2009, 07:00:21 AM
Back to school sale roundup July 20 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/back-to-school-sale-roundup-july-20/)
20 July 2009, 6:45 am

During the past two years, I’ve been picking up a couple of items each week from the summer back-to-school sales for my college daughter.

It saves her time during the rush of other errands before school starts to have that detail already taken care of. And buying such items early really is mu...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Why do I bother with sales reports?
Post by: Monroe on a Budget on July 20, 2009, 07:00:21 AM
Why do I bother with sales reports? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/why-do-i-bother-with-sales-reports/)
20 July 2009, 6:59 am

The sales flier roundups such as the back-to-school sales post I just made were not originally part of the Monroe on a Budget content.

I assumed that people read the sales fliers that were in effect in their neighborhood, and planned their shopping trips accordingly. I realized after popular blogs ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Ottawa Lake food pantry open July 25
Post by: Monroe on a Budget on July 20, 2009, 03:00:12 PM
Ottawa Lake food pantry open July 25 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/ottawa-lake-food-pantry-open-july-25/)
20 July 2009, 2:41 pm

This post is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich.:

St. Michael Lutheran Church, 5790 W. Temperance Rd., Ottawa Lake, Mich., will open its food pantry to the public from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday July 25.

All residents of Monroe County, Mich., who stop by will receive food. Those who are eligible ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: New options for Angel Food orders
Post by: Monroe on a Budget on July 20, 2009, 03:00:12 PM
New options for Angel Food orders (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/new-options-for-angel-food-orders/)
20 July 2009, 2:55 pm

If you would like to order groceries from Angel Food Ministries, but didn’t care for the grocery mixes in the standard “signature boxes,” there is another option.

You can now order any of the special boxes as an individual purchase. There will no longer be a signature box or alter...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Free blueberry donut July 21 at Tim Hortons
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 20, 2009, 06:00:07 PM
Free blueberry donut July 21 at Tim Hortons (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/free-blueberry-donut-july-21-at-tim-hortons/)
20 July 2009, 3:15 pm

Tim Hortons has announced it will have free blueberry donuts from 6 to 10 a.m. Tuesday July 21, one per customer. This giveaway is to help launch the new donut flavor at the coffee and bakery restaurant chain.

Local readers: There are Tim Hortons at the following locations:

1448 N.Telegraph Rd., M...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Order back-to-school products online at Meijer.com
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 20, 2009, 06:00:07 PM
Order back-to-school products online at Meijer.com (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/order-back-to-school-products-online-at-meijer-com/)
20 July 2009, 3:41 pm

Ohh, I can just hear the cheers from some moms and dads and teachers on this one!

You can now order back-to-school supplies over the Internet – without dragging the kids to the store – without hearing the following whines: “But I WANT THIS!! … All the other kids will have on...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe Thrift Shop changing its hours
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 20, 2009, 06:00:07 PM
Monroe Thrift Shop changing its hours (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/monroe-thrift-shop-changing-its-hours/)
20 July 2009, 4:11 pm

This post is for my readers in Monroe, Mich.:

The Monroe Thrift Shop, 119 S. Monroe St., Monroe, Mich., will be closed from July 27 to Aug. 10 for a summer break.

When the shop re-opens on Aug. 11, the new hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondays through saturdays, except for Tuesdays when the sto...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Lowe’s back-to-campus deals
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 20, 2009, 07:00:17 PM
Lowe’s back-to-campus deals (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/lowes-back-to-campus-deals/)
20 July 2009, 5:32 pm

The Lowe’s sales flier that came in my mail today (I live in the 48162 zip code) has some “back to campus” deals for July 23-27.

You’ll find lots of plastic storage tubs to pick from including a lidded crate 12-gallon will be two for $10. The 18-gallon totes will be two for ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Hi-Lite and Danny’s fliers July 20
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 20, 2009, 07:00:17 PM
Hi-Lite and Danny’s fliers July 20 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/hi-lite-and-dannys-fliers-july-20/)
20 July 2009, 5:38 pm

Hi-Lite Supermarket and Danny’s Fine Foods run their grocery ads in the Monday edition of The Monroe Evening News.

Hi-Lite has sweet corn at 10 for $2, bananas at 29 cents a pound, Michigan potatoes $2.29 for a 12-pound bag. General Mills cereals at four for $9. Maxwell House coffee at $1.99 ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Financial headline roundup
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 20, 2009, 09:00:22 PM
Financial headline roundup (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/financial-headline-roundup/)
20 July 2009, 7:44 pm

Here are some of the headlines that caught my attention during the past couple of days:

USA Weekend: Feed a family for $800 a year. Even from this short article, one can tell it took time to ramp up that curve. Beginners can set a more reachable goal – such as cutting $800 a year from the gro...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Using Michigan Bridge Card to buy fresh produce
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 21, 2009, 08:00:11 AM
Using Michigan Bridge Card to buy fresh produce (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/using-michigan-bridge-card-to-buy-fresh-produce/)
21 July 2009, 6:58 am

The Detroit News has an article today about Michigan farmers markets that accept Michigan Bridge Card for purchases.

A snippet:

At least a dozen markets in the state were approved this year to accept food stamps, bringing the total to 29. That is the most of any state in the Midwest.

“We sa...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Mature Driver Workshop = possible insurance discount
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 21, 2009, 11:00:25 AM
Mature Driver Workshop = possible insurance discount (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/mature-driver-workshop-possible-insurance-discount/)
21 July 2009, 9:30 am

This post is for my readers in and near Monroe, Mich.:

A grant from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is allowing the Traffic Improvement Association to present the Mature Driver Workshop from Aug. 10 to 12 at the Monroe Center for Healthy Aging, 15275 S. Dixie Hwy., Monroe, Mich.

Th...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe County Preschool Health Fair is July 25
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 21, 2009, 11:00:25 AM
Monroe County Preschool Health Fair is July 25 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/monroe-county-preschool-health-fair-is-july-25/)
21 July 2009, 10:15 am

This post is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich.:

The Monroe County Preschool Health Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday July 25 in the Welch Health Education Building at Monroe County Community College, 1555 S. Raisinville Rd., Monroe, Mich.

This is a free event for all Monroe Co...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What to pack for college THIS year
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 21, 2009, 05:00:30 PM
What to pack for college THIS year (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/what-to-pack-for-college-this-year/)
21 July 2009, 3:50 pm

One of the mistakes college students frequently make in preparing to move into a college dorm or apartment is packing and bringing too much stuff.

During a typical year, that situation usually leads to funny stories about the move-in day chaos and stuff that got sent back home with the parents beca...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Michigan’s Primary Basic Telephone plan
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 21, 2009, 07:00:32 PM
Michigan’s Primary Basic Telephone plan (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/michigans-primary-basic-telephone-plan/)
21 July 2009, 5:47 pm

This post is for my readers in Michigan:

If money is tight, maybe you don’t need to cut that phone line. Perhaps a discounted service would help you out.

The Michigan Public Service Commission has information on the web about the Michigan Primary Basic Telephone plan. It is pretty reasonable...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: ACO Hardware’s CFL deals
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 21, 2009, 07:00:32 PM
ACO Hardware’s CFL deals (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/aco-hardwares-cfl-deals/)
21 July 2009, 6:02 pm

The ACO Hardware ad for July 20-26 for Monroe, Saline, Ypsilanti and several other locations in Michigan (the ad came in my mail today) has this deal on CFL light bulbs:

Out the door price $3.88 for a box of four 60-watt equivalent bulbs. That is after the $5.11 instant savings sponsored by the Mic...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Miss Bankrupt’s guides to the dollar store
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 21, 2009, 10:00:09 PM
Miss Bankrupt’s guides to the dollar store (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/miss-bankrupt-dollar-store/)
21 July 2009, 8:50 pm

The Miss Bankrupt blog has some interesting reports on the dollar store phenomenon.

Check out this report: What not to buy at the dollar store.

And this followup: Dollar store deals.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Top 100 personal finance bloggers on twitter
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 22, 2009, 12:00:22 PM
Top 100 personal finance bloggers on twitter (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/top-100-personal-finance-bloggers-on-twitter/)
22 July 2009, 9:47 am

Do you want to read financial tips and information from some really cool people?

Check out The Debt Hawk’s list of Top 100 Personal Finance Bloggers on Twitter.

Money Beagle, who made the list, is from Michigan.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Billeater’s Cheap College Living Tips
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 22, 2009, 12:00:22 PM
Billeater’s Cheap College Living Tips (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/billeaters-cheap-college-living-tips/)
22 July 2009, 10:10 am

Billeater has a big list of Cheap College Living Tips.

There are tricks on that list that apply to dorm life, apartment life and commuter students.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Susan Tompor warns about job-shop hustles
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 23, 2009, 09:00:32 AM
Susan Tompor warns about job-shop hustles (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/susan-tompor-warns-about-job-shop-hustles/)
23 July 2009, 6:49 am

Susan Tompor from the Detroit Free Press has a column today: Authorities warn about job-shop hustles.

Here’s a fun graphic that explains the concept.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What’s on the scholarship resumes for local students?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 23, 2009, 06:00:26 PM
What’s on the scholarship resumes for local students? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/whats-on-the-scholarship-resumes-for-local-students/)
23 July 2009, 4:52 pm

Today’s print and e-editions of The Monroe Evening News has a huge list of college scholarship announcements for the Monroe High School class of 2009.

While parents across the city are clipping out those articles for scrapbooks, I want those of you who are seeking out scholarship funds –...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Back to school department store sales
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 24, 2009, 12:00:14 AM
Back to school department store sales (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/back-to-school-department-store-sales/)
23 July 2009, 9:08 pm

When you are shopping for back-to-school items, you will want to look at the department store fliers even if you think the merchandise is normally out of your price range.

If you catch the sales, the department store purchases can be very reasonable – especially for items that college student...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Countrywide settlement letters to go to Michigan residents
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 24, 2009, 12:00:14 AM
Countrywide settlement letters to go to Michigan residents (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/countrywide-settlement-letters-to-go-to-michigan-residents/)
23 July 2009, 9:29 pm

The Grand Rapids Press is reporting the state of Michigan will be sending 3,700 letters to residents regarding a settlement in the Countrywide Financial case.

A snippet:

Eligible residents received Countrywide loans between January 2004 and December 2008, including sub-prime loans or adjustable ra...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Look for dorm supplies at the garage sales
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 24, 2009, 10:00:09 AM
Look for dorm supplies at the garage sales (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/look-for-dorm-supplies-at-the-garage-sales/)
24 July 2009, 9:56 am

If you like to check out the garage sales, now is a good time to look for dorm and apartment supplies for college students who will be in student housing this year.

A set of dishes, drinkware and flatware doesn’t have to be a full set of four or eight for the college student. Two complete pla...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Donation drive for New Beginnings
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 24, 2009, 12:00:16 PM
Donation drive for New Beginnings (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/donation-drive-for-new-beginnings/)
24 July 2009, 10:31 am

This post is for my readers in Monroe, Mich:

Christopher & Banks at Frenchtown Square mall, 2121 N. Monroe St., Monroe, Mich., will hold a donation drive during business hours, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday for New Beginnings Mercy House Ministries of Monroe.

Shoppers are asked to bring in donations...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe MI unemployment 17.1 percent in June
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 24, 2009, 02:55:59 PM
Monroe MI unemployment 17.1 percent in June (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/monroe-mi-unemployment-17-1-percent-in-june/)
24 July 2009, 1:35 pm

Don’t you just love being a statistic? (Not.)

The unemployment rate for Monroe County, Mich., was 17.1 percent in June.

Given the number of people unemployed, it’s a record for this area. The percentage, however, is slightly below the 17.9 percent peak seen in December 1982.

Details i...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Michigan jobless phones now available extended hours
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 24, 2009, 02:55:59 PM
Michigan jobless phones now available extended hours (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/michigan-jobless-phones-now-available-extended-hours/)
24 July 2009, 1:41 pm

This post is for my Michigan readers:

You’re seeing this announcement in many Michigan newspapers today.

The MARVIN automated phone system for applying for Michigan unemployment claims will be available 24 hours a day, Mondays through Saturdays now. The phone system allows you to handle many...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: A critique of debt settlement marketing material
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 24, 2009, 02:55:59 PM
A critique of debt settlement marketing material (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/debt-settlement-marketing-material/)
24 July 2009, 1:49 pm

Steve Rhode, Twitter’s GetOutofDebtGuy, has posted a critique on some actual debt settlement / debt consolidation marketing material on his main blog, How to Get Out of Debt.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: How to get free backpacks and school supplies in Monroe County
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 24, 2009, 05:00:11 PM
How to get free backpacks and school supplies in Monroe County (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/how-to-get-free-backpacks-and-school-supplies-in-monroe-county/)
24 July 2009, 3:05 pm

This post is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich.

If you are one of my local readers, you may have seen collection barrels at the libraries, stores, churches and businesses with signs asking for donations of school supplies.

An article in the July 20 edition of The Monroe Evening News explained ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: CSMonitor: Will the new frugality last?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 24, 2009, 07:00:12 PM
CSMonitor: Will the new frugality last? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/csmonitor-will-the-new-frugality-last/)
24 July 2009, 5:15 pm

Christian Science Monitor has this report today: America’s more frugal, but will it last?

A snippet:

About a quarter of US consumers are already “true frugals,” says Aaron Reid, chief behavioral scientist at Sentient Decision Science, which conducts the monthly survey of 1,000 Americans ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Hand-me-down school and Scout uniforms
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 24, 2009, 10:00:32 PM
Hand-me-down school and Scout uniforms (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/hand-me-down-school-and-scout-uniforms/)
24 July 2009, 7:06 pm

One of the things families on a budget can appreciate about school uniform attire is that it can be handed down from one student to the next – and nobody need know there was a hand-me-down because all the students are dressed the same.

Although my daughter didn’t wear uniforms to school...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: School uniforms on sale at Sears
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 24, 2009, 10:00:32 PM
School uniforms on sale at Sears (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/school-uniforms-on-sale-at-sears/)
24 July 2009, 7:30 pm

The Sears flier for Saturday July 25 through Thursday July 30 includes 40 percent off Dockers for girls and boys school uniform pieces.

There’s a nifty search engine on the school uniform page where you can find pieces that match your school’s dress code if it is registered with Sears. ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe sales fliers July 25
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 25, 2009, 09:00:35 AM
Monroe sales fliers July 25 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/monroe-sales-fliers-july-25/)
25 July 2009, 8:47 am

Here are the sales fliers that were in my home-delivery edition of The Monroe Evening News today (I live in the 48162 zip code):

Busch’s Fresh Food Market (sale starts Monday) will have meat and seafood specials that include whole boneless pork tenderloin at $2.99 a pound and family pack spec...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Cash for Clunkers creating clamor in Monroe MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 25, 2009, 09:00:35 AM
Cash for Clunkers creating clamor in Monroe MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/cash-for-clunkers-creating-clamor-in-monroe-mi/)
25 July 2009, 8:50 am

The Cash for Clunkers promotion is getting a lot of attention from customers, according to some of the auto dealers in Monroe, Mich.

My co-worker Charles Slat filed this story for today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News: Cash for Clunkers creating clamor.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Angel Food’s July boxes: what do I eat first?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 25, 2009, 03:00:20 PM
Angel Food’s July boxes: what do I eat first? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/angel-foods-july-boxes-what-do-i-eat-first/)
25 July 2009, 12:35 pm

Yummy. I think the July box is one of the best Angel Food Ministries grocery selections I’ve seen in a long time. I ordered both the Signature (basic) box and the produce box this month.

I paid $30 for the signature box. Here’s what was in that box. That boxed dessert is a pumpkin pie. ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Scholarship resumes for community college students
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 25, 2009, 03:00:20 PM
Scholarship resumes for community college students (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/scholarship-resumes-for-community-college-students/)
25 July 2009, 2:24 pm

I posted a couple of days ago about the scholarship resumes for some of the graduating seniors in the Monroe High School Class of 2009.

But you don’t have to follow the traditional academic path in order to be eligible for scholarship awards. Each sponsor, business or foundation that funds a ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Scholarship tips for community college students
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 25, 2009, 06:00:07 PM
Scholarship tips for community college students (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/scholarship-tips-for-community-college-students/)
25 July 2009, 2:24 pm

I posted a couple of days ago about the scholarship resumes for some of the graduating seniors in the Monroe High School Class of 2009.

But you don’t have to follow the traditional academic path in order to be eligible for scholarship awards. Each sponsor, business or foundation that funds a ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: No Internet? Maybe they don’t want it
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 26, 2009, 09:00:26 AM
No Internet? Maybe they don’t want it (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/no-internet-maybe-they-dont-want-it/)
26 July 2009, 9:00 am

From time to time, I’ll get questions from readers of The Monroe Evening News who like the Monroe on a Budget blog and wonder why I don’t have a regular column in the newspaper.

We’ve talked about the idea, although I admit it hasn’t gone very far.

The main reason is that a...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: July 26 coupon report
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 26, 2009, 11:00:39 AM
July 26 coupon report (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/july-26-coupon-report/)
26 July 2009, 9:09 am

There are two coupon packets each in my home-delivery editions of The Monroe Evening News and the Detroit Free Press. (I live in the 48162 zip code)

The Monroe coupon packets include Scotch packaging tape, Bayer aspirin, Snickers, Ball Park franks and Grape Nuts.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Freebies = empty store shelves
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 26, 2009, 12:00:12 PM
Freebies = empty store shelves (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/freebies-empty-store-shelves/)
26 July 2009, 11:41 am

I needed some sinus medicine this morning and decided to make a stop after church at CVS Pharmacy in Monroe, Mich. Although there are several stores I could have made that shopping trip at, I chose CVS in part to look for the free after rebate items that are in today’s sales flier.

Instead, I...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe sales fliers July 26
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 26, 2009, 03:00:22 PM
Monroe sales fliers July 26 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/monroe-sales-fliers-july-26/)
26 July 2009, 12:23 pm

Here are the grocery, drugstore and discount sales fliers for the Monroe, Mich., area, as found in my newspaper stacks this morning:

Walgreens has coupon in flier for Mountain Dew 12-pack when you buy three Pepsi 12-packs. Coupon in flier for Charmin 6 big rolls at $3.49. Jif Peanut Butter two for ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Back-to-school sales week of July 26
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 26, 2009, 03:00:22 PM
Back-to-school sales week of July 26 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/back-to-school-sales-week-of-july-26/)
26 July 2009, 1:09 pm

It’s getting really busy on the back-to-school sales.

Don’t try to get everything on your list at one store at one day — and hope you get the best deals on the stuff your kids need on that trip.

There really is no rhyme or reason to these things. The stores are trying to get you ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What are the food pantries looking for?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 26, 2009, 03:00:22 PM
What are the food pantries looking for? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/what-are-the-food-pantries-looking-for/)
26 July 2009, 1:16 pm

The St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Mary Catholic Church in Monroe, Mich., had this appeal in this week’s bulletin:

Our food requests have doubled in the last two months.

Because of the generosity of our parishoners, we have been able to continue our deliveries of food to the needy. We ag...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Salvaging last year’s school supplies
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 27, 2009, 12:00:07 AM
Salvaging last year’s school supplies (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/salvaging-last-years-school-supplies/)
26 July 2009, 9:17 pm

My sister, who has four children in grade school, doesn’t go shopping for back-to-school items until she takes inventory from what is salvagable / reusable / hand-me-down from the previous year.

Her tip on school supplies would work very well for other families who have more than one child in...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: MSNBC: A survival guide for unemployed
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 27, 2009, 08:00:23 AM
MSNBC: A survival guide for unemployed (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/msnbc-a-survival-guide-for-unemployed/)
27 July 2009, 6:47 am

Liz Pulliam Weston at MSNBC has this column that is worth a bookmark if you were recently laid off or will be soon: A survival guide for the unemployed.

The article was written more than a year ago, but is still getting referrals from Twitter and blogs because the information remains very applicabl...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Food Town grocery specials July 27-Aug. 9
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 27, 2009, 02:00:09 PM
Food Town grocery specials July 27-Aug. 9 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/food-town-grocery-specials-july-27-aug-9/)
27 July 2009, 12:10 pm

The Food Town supermarkets in Monroe and Rockwood, Mich., do a mail-out grocery flier that covers two weeks. Be sure to keep that flier in your coupon and grocery shopping binder for the full run.

Some of the deals are:

Week of July 27-Aug. 2: Milk at $1.69 a gallon, watermelons at $2.99 each, Dan...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Buy one, get one free: how this works for you
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 27, 2009, 02:00:09 PM
Buy one, get one free: how this works for you (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/buy-one-get-one-free-how-this-works-for-you/)
27 July 2009, 1:29 pm

The Not Made of Money blog explains how to Maximize savings by shopping at “buy one, get one free” sales.

Yes, I know. You want the savings now.

But if you spend the money now to get items you can use later, you are saving money later. And that’s a good thing, too.

Just pay atte...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Senior discount at Kohl’s today and Wednesday
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 28, 2009, 08:00:09 AM
Senior discount at Kohl’s today and Wednesday (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/senior-discount-at-kohls-today-and-wednesday/)
28 July 2009, 6:07 am

Kohl’s will honor senior discounts of 15 percent for those age 62 and older today July 28 and Wednesday July 29.

This discount is on top of most sale, regular and clearance-priced merchandise. Featured items in the sames flier include bookbags, pillows and kids’ sneakers.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Danny’s and Hi-Lite sales July 27
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 28, 2009, 08:00:09 AM
Danny’s and Hi-Lite sales July 27 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/dannys-and-hi-lite-sales-july-27/)
28 July 2009, 6:14 am

Danny’s Fine Foods and Hi-Lite Supermarket in Monroe run their grocery ads in the Monday edition of The Monroe Evening News.

Danny’s has a “Where’s the Beef?” sale with gourmet ground sirloin patties at $2.99 a pound, T-bone steaks at $6.99 a pound, and beef briskets a...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Ceiling fan CFL bulbs: hmm ….
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 28, 2009, 08:00:09 AM
Ceiling fan CFL bulbs: hmm …. (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/ceiling-fan-cfl-bulbs-hmm/)
28 July 2009, 6:57 am

We converted most of our light fixtures to the new CFL light bulbs about a year and a half ago.

The lights that we left on the old-fashioned technology were the applications where the standard CFL bulb just wasn’t going to be the right product: such as ceiling fans, stove fan and bathroom fix...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Amy’s Tips for saving money in a small town
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 28, 2009, 10:00:13 AM
Amy’s Tips for saving money in a small town (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/amys-tips-for-saving-money-in-a-small-town/)
28 July 2009, 8:50 am

Monroe County, Mich., includes a lot of small villages and township areas where families have a 15- to 20-minute drive, or more, to a decent selection of grocery, drugstore and discount stores. Or if the families are lucky to have a nearby store, it’s just one store.

If you are in that situat...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Is a $500 scholarship worth the effort?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 28, 2009, 10:00:13 AM
Is a $500 scholarship worth the effort? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/is-a-500-scholarship-worth-the-effort/)
28 July 2009, 9:26 am

One of my co-workers remarked the other day that a lot of the scholarship announcements that have been listed in recent editions of The Monroe Evening News were only in the $500 – $1,000 range.

She remembered my daughter was in college, so she asked me about that situation.

Yes, it’s t...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Living on a Dime’s book sale (limited time!)
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 28, 2009, 07:00:24 PM
Living on a Dime’s book sale (limited time!) (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/living-on-a-dimes-book-sale-limited-time/)
28 July 2009, 5:09 pm

Living on a Dime is celebrating 10th anniversary of its web site with a big sale on its “on a dime” frugal living / money saving books. This sale is until Aug. 3.

Here is the print book page and here is the e-book page.

If you buy a collection, you not only get the discount price ̵...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: College Finance Seminar for Parents
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 28, 2009, 10:00:08 PM
College Finance Seminar for Parents (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/college-finance-seminar-for-parents/)
28 July 2009, 7:52 pm

Kara McGuire, personal finance columnist and blogger for Star Tribune in Minneapolis-St. Paul, has a post about Homework for parents with college-bound kids.

She sends her readers to this site: Seminar for Parents – College Finance, which is hosted by University of Minnesota. Yes, the content...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: BlogHer: Let’s talk about lunch boxes
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 28, 2009, 10:00:08 PM
BlogHer: Let’s talk about lunch boxes (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/blogher-lets-talk-about-lunch-boxes/)
28 July 2009, 9:17 pm

Mir Kamin at BlogHer says Let’s talk about lunch boxes.

A snippet:

Every year I embark on a quest for the perfect Lunch Containment System (LCS). Every year I get a little bit closer to perfection. By the time the kids leave for college I’m pretty sure I’ll have mastered it. Ahem...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: LA Times: When a cozy home becomes a crowded home
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 29, 2009, 09:00:10 AM
LA Times: When a cozy home becomes a crowded home (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/la-times-when-a-cozy-home-becomes-a-crowded-home/)
29 July 2009, 6:34 am

The Los Angeles Times has this report, picked up by the Detroit News today, on When it feels like the house’s walls are closing in.

A snippet:

Several articles published recently have attempted to celebrate an upshot of the down economy: If a parent loses a job and kids have less money for m...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe County Fair ride deals
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 29, 2009, 05:00:07 PM
Monroe County Fair ride deals (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/monroe-county-fair-ride-deals/)
29 July 2009, 3:47 pm

This post is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich.:

The Monroe County Fair is from Aug. 2-8. Em at Mom Moments has posted a report on the Monroe County Fair ride deals so you can plan your day with the kids.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: BeCentsAble’s school clothes tips and giveaway
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 29, 2009, 05:00:07 PM
BeCentsAble’s school clothes tips and giveaway (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/becentsables-school-clothes-tips-and-giveaway/)
29 July 2009, 4:13 pm

BeCentsAble has a good list of budget-friendly tips on back-to-school clothes shopping.

A snippet:

As a child I thought this was the best part of going back to school. I loved showing off all the cute new clothes and my summer tan, and I looked forward to using my pristine, untouched school suppli...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Lunch containers that do the job
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 29, 2009, 09:00:23 PM
Lunch containers that do the job (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/lunch-containers-that-do-the-job/)
29 July 2009, 8:58 pm

Do you plan to pack the kids’ school lunches this year?

If they’re happy with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, that’s a fairly easy lunch to pack. But if you will be sending food that needs to served hot – or cold – while on the go, that’s an entirely differen...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Freep: Michigan struggles to help its jobless
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 30, 2009, 09:00:17 AM
Freep: Michigan struggles to help its jobless (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/freep-michigan-struggles-to-help-its-jobless/)
30 July 2009, 8:03 am

The Detroit Free Press has a front-page report today: Michigan struggles to help out jobless – overloaded system can’t keep up.

A snippet:

Patricia Woliver wished she didn’t have to drive 40 minutes from her home in Taylor to the state unemployment office in Livonia on Tuesday. B...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Metro Detroiters share frugal tips with Susan Tompor
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 30, 2009, 09:00:17 AM
Metro Detroiters share frugal tips with Susan Tompor (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/metro-detroiters-share-frugal-tips-with-susan-tompor/)
30 July 2009, 8:20 am

Susan Tompor, columnist for the Detroit Free Press, wrote today about money-saving tactics that metro Detroit families have taken to cut back on expenses.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Back to school deals at Crafts 2000
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 30, 2009, 07:00:21 PM
Back to school deals at Crafts 2000 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/back-to-school-deals-at-crafts-2000/)
30 July 2009, 5:26 pm

Crafts 2000 in Monroe, Mich., has a bunch of back-to-school specials listed in the flier you can pick up at the entrance to the store.

Teachers will get 10 percent off total purchase (must present school ID) from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays Aug. 4, 11, 18 and 25.

The school supplies for $1 include w...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Sears, Kohls, El-Bee fliers July 30
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 30, 2009, 07:00:21 PM
Sears, Kohls, El-Bee fliers July 30 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/sears-kohls-el-bee-fliers-july-30/)
30 July 2009, 5:44 pm

The department store back-to-school specials include these items I found in the newspaper sales fliers today:

Sears has all kids’ character shoes on sale and all jeans on sale Friday through Sunday. the week-long sales flier Friday through Aug. 6 includes 40 percent off all kids school unifor...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Garage and rummage sale roundup July 30
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 30, 2009, 07:00:21 PM
Garage and rummage sale roundup July 30 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/garage-and-rummage-sale-roundup-july-30/)
30 July 2009, 6:24 pm

Garage sale tip of the week: When you are shopping at the garage and estate sales, ask the hosts what other sales they know about that week or will taking place soon. I’ve been to more than one sale where the host had fliers on, or knew about, upcoming sales.

There are 60 garage sale ads curr...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Cash for Clunkers running out of gas?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 31, 2009, 11:00:19 AM
Cash for Clunkers running out of gas? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/cash-for-clunkers-running-out-of-gas/)
31 July 2009, 8:56 am

I first saw the headlines last night, and it’s all over the national news media this morning – the Cash for Clunkers program has turned out to be so popular that the available funding is running out.

What happens now? There’s a lot of chatter, but no answers yet.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Rochelle Riley: Break the cycle of no skills, no jobs
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 31, 2009, 11:00:19 AM
Rochelle Riley: Break the cycle of no skills, no jobs (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/rochelle-riley-break-the-cycle-of-no-skills-no-jobs/)
31 July 2009, 9:41 am

Rochelle Riley has a detailed and provocative report for today’s Detroit Free Press: Time to break cycle of no skills, no jobs.

A snippet:

One out of three working-age adults in Michigan — 1.7 million people — cannot read well enough to be hired for a job that will support a family. More...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Kmart’s Money Smart classroom handouts
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 31, 2009, 07:00:16 PM
Kmart’s Money Smart classroom handouts (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/kmarts-money-smart-classroom-handouts/)
31 July 2009, 6:27 pm

Are you a classroom teacher or homeschool parent?

On the Kmart Teacher page, you can find a free downloadable student handout and teacher guide on a Money Smart lesson. The teacher guide includes tips from Michigan teachers on how to stretch classroom supply budgets.

There also is a link on that p...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Big Lots Teacher Appreciation Day Aug. 1
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on July 31, 2009, 07:00:16 PM
Big Lots Teacher Appreciation Day Aug. 1 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/07/big-lots-teacher-appreciation-day-aug-1/)
31 July 2009, 6:31 pm

Big Lots is hosting its Teacher Appreciation Day Saturday Aug. 1.

Teachers who show a valid school ID will get 10 percent savings, and free coffee and donuts.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe sales fliers Aug. 1
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on August 01, 2009, 12:01:00 PM
Monroe sales fliers Aug. 1 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/08/monroe-sales-fliers-aug-1/)
1 August 2009, 10:13 am

Here are the sales fliers that were in my home-delivery edition of The Monroe Evening News today:

August Saving Sense flier: Download here for coupons to Monroe, Mich., businesses such as restaurants, home maintenance, bakeries and gifts.

Staples has a coupon in its flier for $10 gift card on futu...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Kelloggs has a $10 rebate available
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on August 01, 2009, 12:01:00 PM
Kelloggs has a $10 rebate available (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/08/kelloggs-has-a-10-rebate-available/)
1 August 2009, 10:21 am

There is a $10 rebate offer now being promoted by Kelloggs. I picked up the flier at a grocery store (I forget where) a couple of weeks ago, and the form is also in next week’s grocery flier for Busch’s Fresh Food Market in southeast Michigan.

Here is the fine print:

You have to buy 10...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: When is the best time to buy school supplies?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on August 01, 2009, 12:01:00 PM
When is the best time to buy school supplies? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/08/when-is-the-best-time-to-buy-school-supplies/)
1 August 2009, 10:36 am

When is the best time to buy school supplies?

The answer: any time you see a sale before the first day of school on merchandise that you expect to use during the academic year. The back-to-school specials have been running since July 5 and a different mix of stuff has been featured in each weekR...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Start thinking about Halloween expenses
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 14, 2009, 11:20:48 AM
Start thinking about Halloween expenses (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/start-thinking-about-halloween-expenses/)
12 September 2009, 12:05 pm

The sooner you start thinking about how you will handle Halloween expenses, the easier it will be to get through October with your wallet intact.

You’re probably used to thinking about Christmas as the only budget-eating holiday. But if you start adding up expenses for catered food, drinks, b...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Spend your baby gear money on sleepers, not blankets
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 14, 2009, 11:20:48 AM
Spend your baby gear money on sleepers, not blankets (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/spend-your-baby-gear-money-on-sleepers-not-blankets/)
12 September 2009, 12:24 pm

I was at the Tomorrow’s Child / Michigan SIDS BabyWalks fundraiser walk today in Monroe, Mich., to cover the event  for The Monroe Evening News’ Sunday edition.

Here is a tip for new parents on a budget that I will spin off from the campaign material: buy or ask for sleepers, instead o...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Detroit Moms: “Oops … I left it at school”
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 14, 2009, 11:20:48 AM
Detroit Moms: “Oops … I left it at school” (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/detroit-moms-oops-i-left-it-at-school/)
13 September 2009, 6:52 am

The Detroit Moms Like Me forum members are taking about this scenario with the kids: “Ooops … I left it at school.”

It’s an annoying situation for the parents who are caught by surprise on project deadlines, concert dates and bake sale requests.

It’s an annoying situa...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Coupon bonanza: 5 coupon books today
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 14, 2009, 11:25:47 AM
Coupon bonanza: 5 coupon books today (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/coupon-bonanza-5-coupon-books-today/)
13 September 2009, 8:59 am

There are five coupon books each in my home-delivery editions of The Monroe Evening News and the Detroit Free Press.

I don’t get the Toledo Blade delivered at home, but the Toledo paper usually has the same number of coupon booklets as the Monroe and Detroit papers even though individual coup...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe sales fliers Sept. 13
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 14, 2009, 11:25:47 AM
Monroe sales fliers Sept. 13 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/monroe-sales-fliers-sept-13/)
13 September 2009, 9:27 am

Don’t go shopping at the grocery, drugstore and discount stores this week until you clip that big stack of coupons that came in the Sunday papers.

Even if you don’t find matches to this week’s sales, you will want to be ready to pick up the deals when they show up. Go to my 8-week...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Catholic saints for a recession
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 14, 2009, 11:25:47 AM
Catholic saints for a recession (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/catholic-saints-for-a-recession/)
13 September 2009, 11:21 pm

Catholics have a long-standing custom of publicly declaring those who lived exemplary lives to be saints. Those who get a “saint” or “blessed” designation from the Catholic church have been named to an list that, if you want a secular comparison, is a “Hall of Fame.R...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Two frugal bloggers speaking in Toledo Sept. 22
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 14, 2009, 11:30:51 AM
Two frugal bloggers speaking in Toledo Sept. 22 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/two-frugal-bloggers-speaking-in-toledo-sept-22/)
14 September 2009, 6:39 am

This isn’t a speaking engagement announcement for me – but for two frugal bloggers whom I know in the Toledo area.

Candy Huner of Maumee, who blogs at Deal with it Simply!, and Marilyn Jaegly of Oregon, who blogs at Marilyn’s Money, will be the guest speakers at 7 p.m. Tuesday Sep...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Charles Slat: Worrying about a job loss is unhealthy, too
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 14, 2009, 11:30:51 AM
Charles Slat: Worrying about a job loss is unhealthy, too (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/charles-slat-worrying-about-a-job-loss-is-unhealthy-too/)
14 September 2009, 8:08 am

My co-worker Charles Slat has this thought for his column at The Monroe Evening News this week: Worry about future job loss can harm health more than losing job.

A snippet:

“Programs designed for displaced or unemployed workers are unlikely to solve the problems faced by workers who are still em...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Sara Noel: 8 things your baby doesn’t need
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 14, 2009, 11:30:51 AM
Sara Noel: 8 things your baby doesn’t need (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/sara-noel-8-things-your-baby-doesnt-need/)
14 September 2009, 8:14 am

Sara Noel from Frugal Village, took on this topic for her newspaper column Sunday: 8 things your baby doesn’t need.

A snippet:

One reader, Karen in Kansas, shares: “I recently went shopping for a baby gift, and I couldn’t believe all the stuff we did without. Mostly because it wasn’t a...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Crazy costume prices?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 14, 2009, 11:35:52 AM
Crazy costume prices? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/crazy-costume-prices/)
14 September 2009, 9:55 am

I know that a typical fabric Halloween costume and an accessory or two these days costs run about $20 to $30. I’ve seen the retail outfits on display in the Monroe-area stores for this season, and I know that the fabric to make the most common trick-or-treat costumes would cost about that much...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloween light strings?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 14, 2009, 05:16:05 PM
Halloween light strings? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/halloween-light-strings/)
14 September 2009, 4:37 pm

Do the Halloween light strings get your attention? I saw these on Sunday at CVS Pharmacy in Monroe, Mich.

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/halloweenlites.jpg)

But at a cost of $3.99 or $4.99 each for a set of orange lights that will have limited use during the rest of ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Sept. 14 grocery fliers
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 14, 2009, 07:15:33 PM
Sept. 14 grocery fliers (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/sept-14-grocery-fliers/)
14 September 2009, 5:54 pm

This post is for my Monroe, Mich., readers:

The Hi-Lite Supermarket and Danny’s Fine Foods grocery sales can be found in today’s Monroe Evening News; the Food Town grocery flier will be in the mail.

Food Town in Monroe and Rockwood announces a Saturday Super Sale for Sept. 19 that will...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Three things to do before Wal-Mart grand opening
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 15, 2009, 07:55:45 AM
Three things to do before Wal-Mart grand opening (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/three-things-to-do-before-wal-mart-grand-opening/)
15 September 2009, 6:45 am

A Wal-Mart Supercenter opens Wednesday morning in Frenchtown Township, just north of the city limits of Monroe, Mich., and directly across the street from its current location.

If you are one of my local readers, you know there’s been a lot of buzz both about having a bigger selection of prod...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Scholarship fair Sept. 23 in Detroit
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 15, 2009, 10:00:52 AM
Scholarship fair Sept. 23 in Detroit (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/scholarship-fair-sept-23-in-detroit/)
15 September 2009, 8:40 am

I picked up on the following notice when I was reading a Detroit-area newsletter. I sent an e-mail to the organizers, asking for a clarification on who is eligible and listed several cities in Monroe County and Downriver area that are in my local readership area.

The reply I got was “All Detr...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Bargaineering’s 10 Tips to a Kick *** Resume
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 15, 2009, 10:00:52 AM
Bargaineering’s 10 Tips to a Kick *** Resume (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/bargaineerings-10-tips-to-a-kick-***-resume/)
15 September 2009, 9:56 am

It’s no fun to be unemployed and living in Ohio or Michigan during this recession. I am hearing stories from people who have been out of work for longer than they expected, and running into way more competition on the application process than they expected.

You may have already seen some of t...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Free financial planning clinic Sept. 19 in Southfield
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 15, 2009, 02:10:58 PM
Free financial planning clinic Sept. 19 in Southfield (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/free-financial-planning-clinic-sept-19-in-southfield/)
15 September 2009, 12:22 pm

This post is for my southeast Michigan readers:

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards will host a free financial planning clinic from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday Sept. 19 at the Westin Southfield Detroit, 1500 Town Center, Southfield.

The presentations and topics include financial step...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: USA Today: Some mortgage modifications make things worse
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 15, 2009, 06:20:26 PM
USA Today: Some mortgage modifications make things worse (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/usa-today-some-mortgage-modifications-make-things-worse/)
15 September 2009, 4:22 pm

I haven’t jumped on the mortgage refinance bandwagon. Why? Laziness, I guess. It just sounded so complicated. Besides, my husband and I are not in a dire housing situation since we have a 30-year fixed rate mortgage and no plans to move again.

So we have been focusing my family’s money-...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Smart Style haircut deals Sept. 16 and 17
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 15, 2009, 08:20:34 PM
Smart Style haircut deals Sept. 16 and 17 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/smart-style-haircut-deals-sept-16-and-17/)
15 September 2009, 6:52 pm

Smart Style is the family hair salon that will be located in Monroe, Mich.’s new Wal-Mart, 2150 N. Telegraph Rd.

In celebration of the Wal-Mart grand opening, all adult haircuts will be $10 and all kids’ cuts will be $8 on Wednesday Sept. 16 and Thursday Sept. 17. There will also be a 2...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Elder-Beerman’s Goodwill sale
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 15, 2009, 08:20:34 PM
Elder-Beerman’s Goodwill sale (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/elder-beermans-goodwill-sale/)
15 September 2009, 7:12 pm

Elder-Beerman is holding a Goodwill Sale Wednesday Sept. 16 through Tuesday Sept. 29.

The deal is: bring in a piece of apparel or home textiles to El-Bee or one of its sister stores across the country, and get a 20 percent off coupon good for regular and sale-priced merchandise. Your stuff will the...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Hillbilly Housewife’s Homemade Halloween Costumes ebook
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 15, 2009, 10:20:43 PM
Hillbilly Housewife’s Homemade Halloween Costumes ebook (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/hillbilly-housewifes-homemade-halloween-costumes-ebook/)
15 September 2009, 9:16 pm

The Hillbilly Housewife has an ebook available for purchase on Homemade Halloween Costumes.

The bonus material includes face painting directions.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Budget-friendly Halloween costume ideas for twins
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 16, 2009, 06:30:38 AM
Budget-friendly Halloween costume ideas for twins (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/budget-friendly-halloween-costume-ideas-for-twins/)
16 September 2009, 6:21 am

Do you have children who are twins or close in age?

Danielle Crofford Fetters has some creative costume directions at Top Five Budget Friendly Halloween costume ideas for Twins.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: DetNews: Men hit harder by job losses
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 16, 2009, 08:35:21 AM
DetNews: Men hit harder by job losses (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/detnews-men-hit-harder-by-job-losses/)
16 September 2009, 7:00 am

It took me some time after moving to southeast Michigan for me to realize just how traditional / conservative this region is in the typical roles of men and women.

Even though I grew up in northwest Ohio, and the lifestyle there is a lot like what we see in southeast Michigan, my family always had ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: No store can have the lowest prices on everything all the time
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 16, 2009, 10:36:04 AM
No store can have the lowest prices on everything all the time (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/no-store-can-have-the-lowest-prices-on-everything-all-the-time/)
16 September 2009, 9:32 am

As my local readers in Monroe, Mich., start to check out the possibilities and new product lines at a bigger Wal-Mart that opened today in our area, here is a reminder:

No one store can have the lowest prices on everything, all the time.

It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about Wal-Mar...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Child booster seat giveaway Sept. 23 in Monroe
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 16, 2009, 04:45:24 PM
Child booster seat giveaway Sept. 23 in Monroe (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/child-booster-seat-giveaway-sept-23-in-monroe/)
16 September 2009, 4:19 pm

This post is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich.

A child booster seat distribution event will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday Sept. 23 at the Monroe Department of Public Services building, 222 Jones Ave., Monroe, Mich.

Booster seats will be given free of charge to residents of Monroe Coun...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: New God Works! dinner in Temperance
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 16, 2009, 06:45:47 PM
New God Works! dinner in Temperance (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/new-god-works-dinner-in-temperance/)
16 September 2009, 4:48 pm

This post is for my readers in Bedford Township, Mich.:

The God Works! community dinner series has expanded its Bedford Township service to three dinners a week. Bridgepoint Church, 9875 Lewis Ave., Temperance, now serves dinner at 6 p.m. Tuesdays.

God Works! Family Soup Kitchen and its volunteers...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What can you get at Monroe’s new Wal-Mart?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 17, 2009, 12:55:35 AM
What can you get at Monroe’s new Wal-Mart? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/what-can-you-get-at-monroes-new-wal-mart/)
16 September 2009, 11:17 pm

The new Wal-Mart Superstore opened today in Frenchtown Township, just north of the city limits of Monroe, Mich. You’ll find the report my co-worker, business reporter Charles Slat, filed in today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News. Photographer Kim Brent also has filed this photo galle...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Garage sale tip of the week and roundup Sept. 17
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 17, 2009, 03:25:13 PM
Garage sale tip of the week and roundup Sept. 17 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/garage-sale-tip-of-the-week-and-roundup-sept-17/)
17 September 2009, 2:10 pm

Make a list that you’ll keep in your purse or wallet – whatever tote you carry to the garage sales and second-hand stores – and write down the clothing sizes your children are wearing this fall.

Then when you see kids’ jeans, school uniforms or dressy clothes at the Mom 2 Mo...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: How to carry the Halloween loot
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 17, 2009, 03:25:13 PM
How to carry the Halloween loot (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/how-to-carry-the-halloween-loot/)
17 September 2009, 3:07 pm

When your kids go around the neighborhood for trick-or-treat, or to the church parking lots for the Trunk-or-Treat parties, … what will they carry their candy in?

Here are some possibilities I’ve seen, the price ranges, and a frugal or frivolous report card.

Licensed character bags. Th...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: When the electricity is shut off, other problems might result
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 17, 2009, 05:25:28 PM
When the electricity is shut off, other problems might result (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/when-the-electricity-is-shut-off-other-problems-might-result/)
17 September 2009, 4:04 pm

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/fire0917.jpg)

Detective Bryan Gee talks with resident Kelli Cook about the start of the fire that devastated her home at the River Raisin apartment complex in Monroe, Mich., Wednesday. The fire was most likely started by candles burning ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: BHG’s pumpkin bonfire display
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 17, 2009, 09:30:39 PM
BHG’s pumpkin bonfire display (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/bhgs-pumpkin-bonfire-display/)
17 September 2009, 8:43 pm

A pumpkin bonfire display would be way cool for Halloween and a great idea for city-dwellers who can’t light a real bonfire. The arrangement is pumpkins with flame cutout designs, lit from inside with votive candles, with the pumpkins piled as if they were a bonfire.

It won’t cost much ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Big Lots now has a shopper rewards program
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 17, 2009, 11:35:21 PM
Big Lots now has a shopper rewards program (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/big-lots-now-has-a-shopper-rewards-program/)
17 September 2009, 9:38 pm

Here’s another doo-dad for your key ring:

Big Lots has announced its Buzz Club Rewards Program. Sign up, get that key card on your key ring, and show it to the cashier.

The rules:

Make 10                 Qualifying Purchases of $20 or more                 within a 12-month period and earn ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Meijer Saturday Sale Sept. 19
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 18, 2009, 06:55:49 AM
Meijer Saturday Sale Sept. 19 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/meijer-saturday-sale-sept-19/)
18 September 2009, 6:16 am

Meijer’s one-day sale on Saturday Sept. 19 will include bananas at 29 cents a pound, All laundry soap at two for $6, General Mills cereal at three for $5 and boneless skinless chicken breast 40 ounces at $3.99.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What if you can’t afford Halloween candy?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 18, 2009, 11:00:19 AM
What if you can’t afford Halloween candy? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/what-if-you-cant-afford-halloween-candy/)
18 September 2009, 10:46 am

What if you are in a situation this year where you can’t afford to buy Halloween candy for the neighborhood visitors?

Don’t panic. There are a lot more people than you might think who don’t hand out candy, for one reason or another.

If you can’t afford to buy candy, or pref...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloween things at the thrift shops
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 18, 2009, 01:20:25 PM
Halloween things at the thrift shops (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/halloween-things-at-the-thrift-shops/)
18 September 2009, 12:39 pm

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/thriftshop.jpg)Before you buy costumes, candy buckets and Halloween decor at the retail stores, go through a resale shop or two and see what’s there.

The Monroe thrift shops are expecting your Halloween business – based on th...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Boost Mobile Job Fair Sept. 22 in Detroit
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 18, 2009, 03:36:07 PM
Boost Mobile Job Fair Sept. 22 in Detroit (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/boost-mobile-job-fair-sept-22-in-detroit/)
18 September 2009, 3:36 pm

This post is for my southeast Michigan readers:

Boost Mobile is hosting a “Get Back to Work With Boost” job fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday Sept. 22 at No  Limit Wireless, 20721 Wyoming (Off 8 Mile Rd & Wyoming), Ferndale,  Michigan. This is about an hour’s drive from Monroe. ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Boy Scout popcorn, Girl Scout cookies and other fundraisers
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 18, 2009, 04:31:06 PM
Boy Scout popcorn, Girl Scout cookies and other fundraisers (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/boy-scout-popcorn-girl-scout-cookies-and-other-fundraisers/)
18 September 2009, 4:28 pm

The Boy Scouts have started their fall popcorn sales. The Girl Scouts have started their fall nut and magazine sales, and will be selling cookies in the winter. And many of the candy bar, pizza dough and other product fundraiser sales and events also have begun for non-profit organizations, schools ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Rite and Busch’s fliers Sept. 19
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 19, 2009, 10:26:08 AM
Rite and Busch’s fliers Sept. 19 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/rite-and-buschs-fliers-sept-19/)
19 September 2009, 9:39 am

Rite Aid and Busch’s had their sales fliers in today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News:

Rite Aid (sale starts Sunday) will have Soy Joys at 10 for $5 (check your coupon box); V05 on a 10 for $10 sale; buy one get one free Reese’s single bars (check your coupon box).

Busch̵...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: GFS Marketplace Fun Funds program
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 19, 2009, 02:35:10 PM
GFS Marketplace Fun Funds program (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/gfs-marketplace-fun-funds-program/)
19 September 2009, 1:16 pm

If you don’t have a key ring of shopper cards that you swipe at checkout at your favorite retail stores, you are missing out on an opportunity to save money and / or have the store donate to your favorite school, church or non-profit groups.

There are several of those programs available in Mo...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What can you get at: Monroe Thrift Shop?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 19, 2009, 03:45:29 PM
What can you get at: Monroe Thrift Shop? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/what-can-you-get-at-monroe-thrift-shop/)
19 September 2009, 3:23 pm

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/thriftshop2.jpg)This piece is part of my “What can you get at …” series focusing on discount and second-hand stores in Monroe, Mich.:

The Monroe Thrift Shop has been part of the Monroe, Mich., civic and charitable socie...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What can you get at Monroe Thrift Shop?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 19, 2009, 04:35:15 PM
What can you get at Monroe Thrift Shop? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/what-can-you-get-at-monroe-thrift-shop/)
19 September 2009, 3:23 pm

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/thriftshop2.jpg)This piece is part of my “What can you get at …” series focusing on discount and second-hand stores in Monroe, Mich.:

The Monroe Thrift Shop has been part of the Monroe, Mich., civic and charitable socie...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What can you get at GFS Marketplace?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 19, 2009, 04:35:15 PM
What can you get at GFS Marketplace? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/what-can-you-get-at-gfs-marketplace/)
19 September 2009, 3:45 pm

This post is part of my What can you get at … series featuring discount and second-hand stores in Monroe, Mich.:

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/gfs2.jpg)If you live in Monroe, Mich., you’ve probably eaten food or snacks from Gordon Food Service Marketplace...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Cake decorating on a budget
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 19, 2009, 06:35:42 PM
Cake decorating on a budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/cake-decorating-on-a-budget/)
19 September 2009, 5:53 pm

Like most moms, I have made way too many cupcakes over the years.

I like making and eating cupcakes anyway. So when potluck appeals get sent out, about half of the time I report back to the planning committee “Paula will bring cupcakes.”

I have discovered that my co-workers would rathe...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloween ideas on the Wilton Cake blog
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 19, 2009, 06:35:42 PM
Halloween ideas on the Wilton Cake blog (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/halloween-ideas-on-the-wilton-cake-blog/)
19 September 2009, 6:17 pm

Wilton Cakes has started a blog called A Piece of Cake.

The posts so far include Kids Halloween Party ideas by Angie Thayer. A snippet:

This set-up for a kids Halloween party uses only a few products for several ideas. It sure stretches the dollar during these tough economic times.

Maybe you alre...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What do Consumer Product Safety rules mean for garage sales?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 19, 2009, 10:45:32 PM
What do Consumer Product Safety rules mean for garage sales? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/what-do-consumer-product-safety-rules-mean-for-garage-sales/)
19 September 2009, 9:28 pm

I did a post earlier this year about the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s new resale rules as to how they apply to second-hand stores.

Now the buzz is: What does this mean for garage sale sellers and buyers, especially when it comes to kids’ stuff?

While I don’t have the answ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: USA Today: Unemployed homeowners could get help
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 20, 2009, 02:50:30 AM
USA Today: Unemployed homeowners could get help (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/usa-today-unemployed-homeowners-could-get-help/)
20 September 2009, 2:04 am

I normally do not post about “what if” proposals. I prefer to write about programs, resources and services that really do exist, and that my readers really can follow up on.

However, this headline will certainly be of interest to my Michigan and Ohio readers. The unemployment rate in Mi...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: When personal finance advice is off the mark
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 20, 2009, 09:00:49 AM
When personal finance advice is off the mark (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/when-personal-finance-advice-is-off-the-mark/)
20 September 2009, 8:52 am

One of the reasons I started this blog is that I was tired of reading personal finance and frugal living writers who write for a national audience say do this or do that and — their tips were not going to work for those of us who live in Monroe, Mich.

That is why, when I launched this blog, I...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Sept. 20 coupon report
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 20, 2009, 09:20:12 AM
Sept. 20 coupon report (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/sept-20-coupon-report/)
20 September 2009, 9:02 am

There are two coupon packets each in my home-delivery editions of The Monroe Evening News and Detroit Free Press today.

The Monroe packets include coupons for Hershey’s Bliss, Campbell’s cream soups, Del Monte canned fruits and veggies and Folgers’ coffee.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe sales fliers Sept. 20
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 20, 2009, 05:10:57 PM
Monroe sales fliers Sept. 20 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/monroe-sales-fliers-sept-20/)
20 September 2009, 3:48 pm

Here are the discount, grocery and drugstore fliers for the Monroe, Mich., area stores from today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News:

Big Lots has a Dyson vacuum for $279.99. Three-pack fleece throws are $10. Adult fleece crews or pants two for $8 – kids’ sizes two for $6 (hint:...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Home safety deals at Aldi
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 20, 2009, 05:10:57 PM
Home safety deals at Aldi (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/home-safety-deals-at-aldi/)
20 September 2009, 4:50 pm

Fire prevention safety week is in October. Severe weather awareness week in Michigan and Ohio is in late March / early May depending on the state proclamations. Winter weather awareness promotions happen in November.

You could do your annual family disaster plan updates and supply inventory during ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloween sales roundup Sept. 20
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 20, 2009, 07:11:04 PM
Halloween sales roundup Sept. 20 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/halloween-sales-roundup-sept-20/)
20 September 2009, 5:25 pm

I’ll be doing weekly sales roundups for Halloween until the frightening date arrives. Be sure to follow my “holiday” archives for tips and tricks on how to keep your Halloween expenses down.

I’m also hosting a live chat on Halloween Fun on a Budget at 8 p.m. Wednesday Sept. ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Del Monte’s Meals under $10
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 20, 2009, 09:16:10 PM
Del Monte’s Meals under $10 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/del-montes-meals-under-10/)
20 September 2009, 7:38 pm

Del Monte has a recipe page with meals under $10 and budget-friendly grocery tips at www.delmonte.com/solutions.

My favorite tip:

It sounds simple, but bring a calculator. Juggling the kids, coupons and your shopping list can make it impractical to add everything up in your head.

You can also kee...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Scholarship database for Michigan students
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 20, 2009, 09:16:10 PM
Scholarship database for Michigan students (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/scholarship-database-for-michigan-students/)
20 September 2009, 8:35 pm

This post is for my Michigan readers:

The Michigan State University Library hosts a very extensive list of scholarships aimed at high school seniors and undergraduate students who live in Michigan, or plan to attend a Michigan college. You don’t have to fill out a profile form or read a bunch...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: MSNBC: How one family eliminated $106,000 in debt
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 21, 2009, 07:35:30 AM
MSNBC: How one family eliminated $106,000 in debt (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/msnbc-how-one-family-eliminated-debt/)
21 September 2009, 6:52 am

MSNBC has this report How one family eliminated $106,000 in debt.

A snippet:

Five years ago, the Hildebrandt family of New Richmond, Wis., was juggling more than $100,000 in credit card and personal debt. Through frugality, determination and hard work, they are now — other than a mortgage — de...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: I bought some Halloween lights (gasp!)
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 21, 2009, 01:45:10 PM
I bought some Halloween lights (gasp!) (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/i-bought-some-halloween-lights-gasp/)
21 September 2009, 12:35 pm

What?! Has the budget blogger gone crazy? She bought something so frivolous as Halloween lights?

Yes, she did buy Halloween lights. Here’s the proof:

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/purplelights.jpg)

Here’s the scenario:

My husband and I do decorate our ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Perennial exchange Sept. 26 in Carleton
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 21, 2009, 05:06:07 PM
Perennial exchange Sept. 26 in Carleton (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/perennial-exchange-sept-26-in-carleton/)
21 September 2009, 4:33 pm

This post is for my readers in and near Carleton, Mich.:

The Carleton Branch Library, 144 Kent St., Carleton, Mich., will host a perennial plant exchange from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Saturday Sept. 26.

Participation is free but registration is requested at (734) 654-2180.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Mom Moments show and tell: Homemade Sidewalk Chalk Paint
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 21, 2009, 07:55:26 PM
Mom Moments show and tell: Homemade Sidewalk Chalk Paint (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/mom-moments-show-and-tell-homemade-sidewalk-chalk-paint/)
21 September 2009, 5:50 pm

Em at Mom Moments, one of my Internet neighbors in the BlogsMonroe network, has a show and tell post about Homemade Sidewalk Chalk Paint.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Rite Aid Fall Gift of Savings
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 21, 2009, 07:55:26 PM
Rite Aid Fall Gift of Savings (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/rite-aid-fall-gift-of-savings/)
21 September 2009, 6:01 pm

Rite Aid has a Fall Gift of Savings promotion with its Single Check Rebate program.

If you haven’t signed up for Single Check Rebates, this is how it works: Save your Rite Aid receipts for things like toothpaste, lipstick and allergy medicine. When you get home, log into your Rite Aid account...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Hi-Lite and Danny’s sales Sept. 21
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 21, 2009, 07:55:26 PM
Hi-Lite and Danny’s sales Sept. 21 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/hi-lite-and-dannys-sales-sept-21/)
21 September 2009, 7:42 pm

Hi-Lite Supermarket and Danny’s Fine Foods run their grocery ads in the Monday edition of The Monroe Evening News.

Danny’s has buy one get one free on Thomas original English muffins. Honey crisp apples at $1.69 a pound. Betty’s salad dressing at $2.99 a bottle. Whole frying chick...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: T.Rochelle’s Monthly Grocery Sales Cycle list
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 22, 2009, 08:05:47 AM
T.Rochelle’s Monthly Grocery Sales Cycle list (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/t-rochelles-monthly-grocery-sales-cycle-list/)
22 September 2009, 6:52 am

It’s T. Rochelle has a post about Monthly Grocery Sales Cycles.

I haven’t compiled my own list. But I’ve been posting reports two or three times a week for more than two years about what’s on sale in Monroe, Mich., and her list is pretty much on target.

You do want to stock...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Active duty military admitted free at Toledo-area corn maze
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 22, 2009, 10:10:36 AM
Active duty military admitted free at Toledo-area corn maze (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/active-duty-military-admitted-free-at-corn-maze/)
22 September 2009, 8:50 am

This post is for my readers in the Toledo, Ohio area:

Country Lane Tree Farm, 3525 N. Bolander Rd., Genoa, Ohio, announces that active-duty military personnel are admitted free with ID shown at the admission gate during its corn maze season this year.

The farm features a Spongebob theme this year ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: October Angel Food order days
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 22, 2009, 12:11:00 PM
October Angel Food order days (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/october-angel-food-order-days/)
22 September 2009, 10:29 am

Angel Food Ministries is a discount grocery purchase program that is open to anyone of any income level.

For my local readers, There are distribution sites in Monroe, Bedford Township and Dundee, Mich. Grocery orders can be placed on line at www.angelfoodministries.com or bring cash, bank card or M...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Free leaf bags for Monroe MI residents
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 22, 2009, 04:12:38 PM
Free leaf bags for Monroe MI residents (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/free-leaf-bags-for-monroe-mi-residents/)
22 September 2009, 3:04 pm

This announcement is in today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News and is for my readers in Monroe, Mich:

Free leaf bags for City of Monroe residents will be available beginning Monday.

The hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays at the Department of Public Services, 222 Jones Ave.; a...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: How much Halloween candy do you need?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 22, 2009, 04:12:38 PM
How much Halloween candy do you need? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/how-much-halloween-candy-do-you-need/)
22 September 2009, 3:50 pm

My mother always bought Halloween candy on “per piece” system. She knew about how many children on average to expect at their home on Trick-or-Treat night and she bought enough candy to hit that mark.

I thought she was a little crazy to be counting out pieces, but I have since changed m...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: MLive launches Michigan Job Search Blog
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 22, 2009, 05:04:23 PM
MLive launches Michigan Job Search Blog (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/mlive-launches-michigan-job-search-blog/)
22 September 2009, 4:42 pm

The MLive.com team has launched the Michigan Job Search Blog, hosted by Sven Gustafson. I’ve put it on my “Michigan Blogs” list on my blogroll.

Posts so far include:

Michigan’s unemployment rate could be significantly higher.

Detroit’s economic problems call for home...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Tips from the frugal bloggers in Toledo
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 22, 2009, 10:18:54 PM
Tips from the frugal bloggers in Toledo (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/tips-from-the-frugal-bloggers-in-toledo/)
22 September 2009, 9:46 pm

Marilyn from Marilyn’s Money and Candy from Deal With It, Simply! gave a frugal living presentation tonight at the Oregon Branch Library in the Toledo area.

Marilyn, Candy and I have become good friends through our common frugal interests. The details of what we each do on behalf of our famil...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Tips from Festival of Frugality bloggers
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 23, 2009, 08:24:49 AM
Tips from Festival of Frugality bloggers (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/tips-from-festival-of-frugality-bloggers-2/)
23 September 2009, 7:08 am

The Sept. 22 edition of the Festival of Frugality was hosted by Green Panda Treehouse. This is one of the many blog carnivals on the web that feature submissions from dozens of bloggers on the designated topic.

This week’s entries include:

Dough Roller presents Money Saving Tips – 75 P...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Here we go again: Michigan state budget crisis 2009
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 23, 2009, 10:26:48 AM
Here we go again: Michigan state budget crisis 2009 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/here-we-go-again-michigan-state-budget-crisis-2009/)
23 September 2009, 9:52 am

This post is for my Michigan readers:

If you have any business or errands that would normally be taken handled in early October with a state of Michigan office of any kind, I suggest you arrange those appointments as soon as possible – as in before Wednesday Sept. 30.

Reason: there is no bud...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: How much money is spent on Halloween items?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 23, 2009, 01:47:01 PM
How much money is spent on Halloween items? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/how-much-money-is-spent-on-halloween-items/)
23 September 2009, 12:29 pm

Any expense that’s out of the routine can easily rattle a family that’s living paycheck to paycheck.

While most families know they should plan for Christmas and back-to-school expenses, other events and celebrations that come up during the year also can get very expensive, very fast ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Free Halloween fun at Monroe County Library System
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 23, 2009, 04:30:49 PM
Free Halloween fun at Monroe County Library System (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/free-halloween-fun-at-monroe-county-library-system/)
23 September 2009, 3:57 pm

This post is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich.

The Monroe County Library System has posted its special events and programs for October. All programs at the library system are free but sometimes you are asked to bring a supply for a project. Free is a very frugal word, you know.

You don’...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Save money with 99-cent greeting cards
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 23, 2009, 08:32:21 PM
Save money with 99-cent greeting cards (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/save-money-with-99-cent-greeting-cards/)
23 September 2009, 7:52 pm

I think it was just before Mother’s Day 2002 when I asked myself what the heck I was doing spending so much money on greeting cards.

I have a very large extended family, and some of them have been very insistent that they are remembered on special days. As a result, we’ve always sent gr...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Detroit’s Bargainista tells how to get cheap costumes
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 23, 2009, 09:12:52 PM
Detroit’s Bargainista tells how to get cheap costumes (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/detroits-bargainista-tells-how-to-get-cheap-costumes/)
23 September 2009, 9:09 pm

Kris, the Bargainista of Detroit’s Mom’s Like Me, reminds parents that it’s better to shop now for Halloween costumes and ideas than later, when the selections are picked over.

She’s got some good tips on how and where to find cheap costumes.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: MSNBC: New fall TV season reflects recession
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 24, 2009, 07:03:48 AM
MSNBC: New fall TV season reflects recession (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/msnbc-new-fall-tv-season-reflects-recession/)
24 September 2009, 6:54 am

The recession has affected enough people across the country that entertainers are acknowledging the financial fallout in a variety of ways on the fall TV season.

MSNBC is reporting New fall shows finally reflect the recession.

A snippet:

The recession has finally hit television and this fall prac...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Hunting gear second-hand store opens Sunday in Monroe
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 24, 2009, 08:40:40 AM
Hunting gear second-hand store opens Sunday in Monroe (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/hunting-gear-second-hand-store-opens-sunday-in-monroe/)
24 September 2009, 8:13 am

This notice was in Wednesday’s edition of The Monroe Evening News:

Hunter’s Den, a shop at 673 Cooper Ave., Monroe, Mich., that sells used hunting, fishing, camping and other outdoor gear, will have its grand opening from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday Sept. 27.

Owner Paul Goodnuff, who hosts th...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: A frugal blogging teen in NW Ohio
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 24, 2009, 09:40:57 AM
A frugal blogging teen in NW Ohio (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/a-frugal-blogging-teen-in-nw-ohio/)
24 September 2009, 9:26 am

It’s not just moms who blog about saving money.

Kristie Kay’s Frugal Way is hosted by a teenager in the metro Toledo area. Her mom blogs at Marilyn’s Money.

Go see what Kristie Kay did at the last Kmart super double coupon sale.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloween stuff at Big Lots
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 24, 2009, 02:42:47 PM
Halloween stuff at Big Lots (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/halloween-stuff-at-big-lots/)
24 September 2009, 1:13 pm

You may be used to thinking of Big Lots as a store that sells items off-season, and to a certain extent that does happen. For example, I bought some “summer blue” Oreo cookies today at Big Lots.

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/biglotscandy.jpg)But the store...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Ice Cream Social today at Cold Stone Creamery
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 24, 2009, 04:26:57 PM
Ice Cream Social today at Cold Stone Creamery (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/ice-cream-social-today-at-cold-stone-creamery/)
24 September 2009, 3:30 pm

Cold Stone Creamery is hosting its Eighth Annual Making Wishes Come True Ice Cream Social from 5 to 8 p.m.  today Thursday Sept. 24.

For a donation to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, customers will get a free 3-ounce Jack’s Creation ice cream treat.

Local readers: Cold Stone Creamery is at Tim ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Bridges out of Poverty program now running in Monroe MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 24, 2009, 04:26:57 PM
Bridges out of Poverty program now running in Monroe MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/bridges-out-of-poverty-program-now-running-in-monroe-mi/)
24 September 2009, 3:43 pm

This article is on page 1 of today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News:

A new program offered by Monroe County Opportunity Program will help southeast Michigan residents out of poverty.

“Bridges Out Of Poverty” program is a nationally recognized curriculum to help clients climb ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: College Preview Night Sept. 29 in Toledo
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 24, 2009, 04:26:57 PM
College Preview Night Sept. 29 in Toledo (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/college-preview-night-sept-29-in-toledo/)
24 September 2009, 4:20 pm

College Preview Night will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday Sept. 29 at Fifth Third Field, 406 Washington St., Toledo, Ohio.

This information expo is free and open to northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan high school students and their parents. There will be opportunities to learn about the admi...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Garage sale tip of the week for Sept. 24
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 24, 2009, 05:26:48 PM
Garage sale tip of the week for Sept. 24 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/garage-sale-tip-of-the-week-for-sept-24/)
24 September 2009, 4:46 pm

If you plan to sell any kind of electronic gadget at a garage sale – be it a coffee maker, vacuum cleaner, dough mixer, or video game – then you need to first go through your junk drawer or cabinet and find the instruction manual for that gadget. Then you want to visibly provide that man...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: How much would you pay for this costume?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 24, 2009, 08:41:08 PM
How much would you pay for this costume? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/how-much-would-you-pay-for-this-costume/)
24 September 2009, 6:56 pm

If you want this costume, it’s at Rite Aid in Monroe, Mich., for $14.99 and also happens to be on a 25 percent off sale this week.

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/riteaidcostume.jpg)

Yes, that’s cheaper than I saw that costume priced at another store acros...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: My wish list: Save the Michigan Promise Grant
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 25, 2009, 08:00:51 AM
My wish list: Save the Michigan Promise Grant (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/my-wish-list-save-the-michigan-promise-grant/)
25 September 2009, 7:03 am

My “day job” is that of a newspaper reporter, but I have absolutely no pull with the Michigan state legislature.

It’s been years since I covered government issues, and my experience with that at The Monroe Evening News was limited to the communities of Bedford Township, Whiteford ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: More ideas for cheap Halloween costumes
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 25, 2009, 12:56:36 PM
More ideas for cheap Halloween costumes (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/more-ideas-for-cheap-halloween-costumes/)
25 September 2009, 12:54 pm

Keeping with my Halloween Fun on a Budget theme (archives under “Holidays”), here are some sites I have found with cheap or low-budget Halloween costume ideas:

Family Education’s Cheap Halloween Costume ideas.

Dollar Stretcher’s Halloween costumes that won’t scare you...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Plant exchange Oct. 3 in Dundee
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 25, 2009, 02:58:15 PM
Plant exchange Oct. 3 in Dundee (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/plant-exchange-oct-3-in-dundee/)
25 September 2009, 2:50 pm

This post is for my readers in or near Dundee, Mich.

The Dundee Diggers Garden Club will host a plant exchange from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday Oct. 3 in the parking lot at the Old Mill Museum, 242 Toledo St., Dundee, Mich.

All gardeners are welcome to participate. The event will be held rain or shin...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Frugal party ideas for Halloween
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 25, 2009, 04:58:40 PM
Frugal party ideas for Halloween (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/frugal-party-ideas-for-halloween/)
25 September 2009, 4:13 pm

When I was 5 years old, my family moved to a town that did not host Trick-or-Treat.

Years later, as I looked through old newspaper clippings, I learned the lack of trick-or-treat was a common situation during the early and mid-1970s in the Mansfield, Ohio, area. Community leaders and parents in tha...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Easy Halloween cakes and cookies from LHJ
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 25, 2009, 08:29:02 PM
Easy Halloween cakes and cookies from LHJ (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/easy-halloween-cakes-and-cookies-from-lhj/)
25 September 2009, 8:18 pm

The October 2009 edition of Ladies Home Journal has some fun Halloween cakes and cookies you can make for a party.

There aren’t a lot of fancy ingredients and no specialty molds required – so that’s quite helpful for a hostess on a budget.

The only recipe I would consider tricky ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: An American Girl doll is homeless. Well, that’s reality these days.
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 26, 2009, 09:08:11 AM
An American Girl doll is homeless. Well, that’s reality these days. (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/american-girl-doll-homeless/)
26 September 2009, 8:19 am

There’s an uproar on the Internet about one of the newest dolls in the American Girls doll collection.

Why? The character is homeless.

The situation is feeding a commentary frenzy not only over the doll / toy / story line – but over the cost of the A.G. dolls, which have always been ex...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloween Fun on a Budget chat 8 p.m. Sept. 30
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 26, 2009, 11:08:54 AM
Halloween Fun on a Budget chat 8 p.m. Sept. 30 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/halloween-fun-on-a-budget-chat-8-p-m-sept-30/)
26 September 2009, 9:33 am

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/chatad0926.jpg)



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Frugal pumpkin carving and decorating tips
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 26, 2009, 01:02:19 PM
Frugal pumpkin carving and decorating tips (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/frugal-pumpkin-carving-and-decorating-tips/)
26 September 2009, 12:21 pm

Do you buy your Halloween pumpkins at the farmer’s market like this bunch at Parran’s Greenhouse on Front St. in Monroe, Mich.?

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/pumpkinparrans.jpg)

Or do you buy your pumpkins at the grocery store like these seen at the Wal-...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Crafts 2000 Halloween sale
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 26, 2009, 01:02:19 PM
Crafts 2000 Halloween sale (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/crafts-2000-halloween-sale/)
26 September 2009, 12:52 pm

If you shop at Crafts 2000 in Monroe, Mich., you’ll quickly get the idea that Black and White are the “in” colors for Halloween this year.

I didn’t get any pictures of that display of black and white decor items, but I did like it. It’s very sophisticated and a great l...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What’s in your Halloween box?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 26, 2009, 03:12:06 PM
What’s in your Halloween box? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/whats-in-your-halloween-box/)
26 September 2009, 1:59 pm

Before you spend a whole lot of money on Halloween decor and costumes this year, I want you to go find that Halloween box in your basement, attic or storage closet.

Maybe it’s an orange tub. Maybe it’s a clear tub with the lid marked like I have. Maybe it’s a cardboard box. Dig it...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Busch’s sales flier starting 9/28
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 26, 2009, 05:12:51 PM
Busch’s sales flier starting 9/28 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/buschs-sales-flier-starting-928/)
26 September 2009, 4:26 pm

I don’t have a Rite Aid flier today – don’t know what’s up with that. That flier has been running in the Saturday edition of The Monroe Evening News.

But I do have the Busch’s Fresh Food Market flier and here’s some of what you will find on sale starting Monday:
...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Funkins fake pumpkins: frugal or frivolous?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 26, 2009, 07:14:25 PM
Funkins fake pumpkins: frugal or frivolous? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/funkins-fake-pumpkins-frugal-or-frivolous/)
26 September 2009, 5:16 pm

The most unusual Halloween merchandise I’ve seen while looking around the retail, discount and second-hand stores in Monroe, Mich., during the past couple weeks is this display at Jo-Ann Fabric:

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/fakepunkin1.jpg)

They look like pum...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Homemade syrup recipes
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 26, 2009, 09:14:49 PM
Homemade syrup recipes (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/homemade-syrup-recipes/)
26 September 2009, 8:51 pm

My friend Candy at Deal With it, Simply! is a big fan of homemade mixes and products. While I don’t have as big of a recipe list as Candy does, I am making more “from scratch” items than I did years ago.

As soon as I saw this post by Sara at Frugal Village – I bookmarked it ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Three coupon packets today
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 27, 2009, 08:58:07 AM
Three coupon packets today (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/three-coupon-packets-today-2/)
27 September 2009, 7:29 am

There are three coupon packets each in my home-delivery Sept. 27 editions of The Monroe Evening News and the Detroit Free Press.

Go get a paper if you don’t already subscribe to one.

If you buy a single-copy newspaper, make sure to buy it INSIDE a store if you are in search of coupons. You d...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe sales fliers Sept. 27
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 27, 2009, 08:58:07 AM
Monroe sales fliers Sept. 27 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/monroe-sales-fliers-sept-27/)
27 September 2009, 8:04 am

Here are the grocery, discount and drugstore sales fliers that were in my newspapers this morning. All are from The Monroe Evening News except where I note Detroit Free Press. I live in the 48162 zip code.

Meijer has assorted apples at 77 cents a pound (make your own applesauce). Meijer cream of mu...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Re: Monroe on a Budget: Three coupon packets today
Post by: stephanie76 on September 27, 2009, 10:52:06 AM

If you buy a single-copy newspaper, make sure to buy it INSIDE a store if you are in search of coupons.

Source: Monroe on a Budget ([url]http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget[/url])


good tip!!!!!!!!!! thank u
Title: Monroe on a Budget: Confirmed: Kmart in Monroe MI has double coupon deal this week
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 27, 2009, 11:22:51 AM
Confirmed: Kmart in Monroe MI has double coupon deal this week (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/kmart-double-coupon-monro/)
27 September 2009, 10:01 am

Did you hear the rumors that Kmart would do double coupons the week of  Sept. 27-Oct. 3?

I did.

But I didn’t post them.

I knew from previous experience that the Kmart sales are a market-by-market decision.

I also knew I would even see two different Kmart ads delivered to my home via the D...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Frugal Village’s tips on uses for vinegar
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 27, 2009, 11:22:51 AM
Frugal Village’s tips on uses for vinegar (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/frugal-villages-tips-on-uses-for-vinegar/)
27 September 2009, 10:32 am

Sara Noel at Frugal Village has tips on the many uses for vinegar for her column today.

I do use vinegar as a dishwasher rinse and to clean out my coffee pot and iced tea pot.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe’s Largest Garage Sale and Flea Market Oct. 31
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 27, 2009, 11:22:51 AM
Monroe’s Largest Garage Sale and Flea Market Oct. 31 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/monroes-largest-garage-sale-and-flea-market-oct-31/)
27 September 2009, 10:49 am

The Monroe’s Largest Garage Sale and Flea Market will hold its next sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday Oct. 31 at the Monroe Bank & Trust Expo Center at the Monroe County Fairgrounds, 3775 S. Custer Rd., Monroe, Mich.

The first such sale was held March 29 – and was a sold-out event wit...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloween sales roundup 9/27
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 27, 2009, 05:58:53 PM
Halloween sales roundup 9/27 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/halloween-sales-roundup-927/)
27 September 2009, 5:47 pm

Here are some of the Halloween items that I’m finding in the sales fliers this week for the Monroe, Mich., area:

CVS Pharmacy has 25 percent off selected Halloween costumes, masks, pumpkin carving kits, light sets and accessories. Buy one get one free fall limited edition candles. Brach’...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloween candy coupons
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 27, 2009, 07:25:04 PM
Halloween candy coupons (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/halloween-candy-coupons-2/)
27 September 2009, 6:56 pm

Coupon clippers – I’m finally starting to see coupons you can use for Halloween candy.

From today’s coupon stacks from The Monroe Evening News and the Detroit Free Press (I live in the 48162 zip code for Monroe MI):

Save $1 on any two bags of Skittles, M&Ms, Milky Way, Snickers, ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: How well do you score on this coupon knowledge quiz?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 27, 2009, 09:26:34 PM
How well do you score on this coupon knowledge quiz? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/how-well-do-you-score-on-this-coupon-knowledge-quiz/)
27 September 2009, 8:47 pm

How good is your grocery coupon knowledge? Let’s find out.

1. What      is the purpose of coupons?

A. To      advertise a product.

B. To      save you money.

2. There’s      a coupon on 2 for 1 single serve candy bars. At what store do you use that      coupon?

A. The      store that ha...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Brian O’Connor: 401k plans failing in retirement
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 28, 2009, 07:32:24 AM
Brian O’Connor: 401k plans failing in retirement (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/brian-oconnor-401k-plans-failing-in-retirement/)
28 September 2009, 6:59 am

Brian J. O’Connor, columnist at the Detroit News, has this piece today: Workers discover 401(k) plans are failing them in retirement.

He makes good points about the unrealistic expectations that have been placed on ordinary people via converting retirement money to 401(k) plans to make compli...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: College Scholarship’s Student Loans by the Numbers chart
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 28, 2009, 09:32:53 AM
College Scholarship’s Student Loans by the Numbers chart (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/college-scholarships-student-loans-by-the-numbers-chart/)
28 September 2009, 7:46 am

The CollegeScholarship blog says on this chart on their site: Please help spread the word. You may embed the image in your blog or on other sites so long as you reference the original source. So here’s the link and here’s the chart!

[img]http://www.collegescholarships.org/images/student...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Jason Alderman: Talking with kids about the recession
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 28, 2009, 09:32:53 AM
Jason Alderman: Talking with kids about the recession (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/jason-alderman-talking-with-kids-about-the-recession/)
28 September 2009, 8:09 am

Jason Alderman’s personal finance column, Practical Money Matters, has this piece: Talking with kids about the recession.

A snippet:

My wife and I are using the current economic situation as an educational jumping-off point for our two children, ages 5 and 9. Here are a few of the strategies...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Pumpkin cake pan (no pricey cake pan required)
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 28, 2009, 03:37:05 PM
Pumpkin cake pan (no pricey cake pan required) (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/pumpkin-cake-pan-no-pricey-cake-pan-required/)
28 September 2009, 2:28 pm

Do you bake cakes? You most certainly have a fluted tube cake pan in your collection. It’s one of the basic cake pan shapes that people frequently have in their kitchen – even if they don’t do “decorated cakes.”

Domino Sugar has posted this pumpkin cake creation that u...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloween recipes at Meijer
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 28, 2009, 04:48:32 PM
Halloween recipes at Meijer (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/halloween-recipes-at-meijer/)
28 September 2009, 4:16 pm

Meijer’s Meal Box site has some easy-do Halloween recipes.

Check out the Boo Cups (spray whippy topping helps make ghostly pudding cups) and the Coffin Sandwiches  (a meat and cheese sandwich that is in the proper shape).

Note: there are no pricey baking molds required for either one of thos...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Hi-Lite and Danny’s fliers 9/28
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 28, 2009, 07:40:38 PM
Hi-Lite and Danny’s fliers 9/28 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/hi-lite-and-dannys-fliers-928/)
28 September 2009, 7:37 pm

Here are the grocery specials that Hi-Lite Supermarket and Danny’s Fine Foods are featuring this week in Monroe, Mich.:

Danny’s has split bone-in chicken breast at 88 cents a pound, pumpkin dip at $4.99 a pound, extra large eggs 99 cents a dozen and standing rib roast at $6.99 a pound.
...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: How much will you spend at Halloween?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 28, 2009, 09:43:00 PM
How much will you spend at Halloween? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/will-youspend-at-halloween/)
28 September 2009, 8:36 pm

I know darn well that if I ask “How much will you spend at Halloween?” that the answer from some people will be “Nothing.”

Halloween is a love-it-or-leave-it holiday in America for reasons I am familiar with, but are best discussed in a parenting or religion forum. However, ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloweekends at Cedar Point: think through the pricing schemes
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 29, 2009, 10:24:28 AM
Halloweekends at Cedar Point: think through the pricing schemes (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/halloweekends-at-cedar-point-think-through-the-pricing-schemes/)
29 September 2009, 10:23 am

Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio, is only about two hours away from Monroe, Mich. That means it’s a popular day trip for local families both for summer outings and the Halloweekends festivities.

If you go to the CP front page you will see $25 ticket deals posted. Do not get confus...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What will you do with Halloween treat leftovers?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 29, 2009, 01:52:17 PM
What will you do with Halloween treat leftovers? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/what-halloween-treats-leftovers/)
29 September 2009, 12:25 pm

One of the amusing things about Halloween is the huge variety of candy and treats that will end up in a kids’ trick-or-treat, trunk-or-treat or party bag.

But before you buy any candy or treats this year for the parties and events, think about why you are getting that product and what to do w...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Free cookie at Mrs. Fields 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 1
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 29, 2009, 03:12:12 PM
Free cookie at Mrs. Fields 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 1 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/free-cookie-at-mrs-fields-11-a-m-to-1-p-m-oct-1/)
29 September 2009, 3:07 pm

All Mrs. Fields stores, including the one at Frenchtown Square mall, 2121 N. Monroe St., Monroe, Mich., will celebrate National Cookie Month in October with a cookie giveway on Thursday Oct. 1.

The company announcement states one free chocolate chip cookie will go to each customer from 11 a.m. to 1...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe grocery fliers in the mail 9/29
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 29, 2009, 05:52:43 PM
Monroe grocery fliers in the mail 9/29 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/monroe-grocery-fliers-in-the-mail-929/)
29 September 2009, 5:45 pm

Some of the grocery and discount stores in the Monroe, Mich., area send their fliers out in the mail. Here’s what I found today.

Family Dollar has a deal you’ll want to pay attention too – $5 off coupon in its flier for $25 purchase now through Oct. 7. This can be used in addition...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: WIC program expands to include more food purchases
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 29, 2009, 10:40:31 PM
WIC program expands to include more food purchases (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/wic-program-expands-to-include-more-food-purchases/)
29 September 2009, 9:55 pm

The Women Infants Children program has been around since the mid-1970s. Although I was never a client, I have known some working families who were.

WIC is an income-based program, but more specifically, it is aimed at a certain demographic: “low-income pregnant and breastfeeding women, women ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Festival of Frugality at Funny about Money
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 29, 2009, 10:40:31 PM
Festival of Frugality at Funny about Money (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/festival-of-frugality-at-funny-about-money/)
29 September 2009, 10:21 pm

Funny About Money is hosting the Sept. 29 edition of the Festival of Frugality. Here are some of the posts that are in the roundup of all things frugal – and be sure to follow up on the comment threads on these posts!

Frugal Upstate: 3 ways to save money on school pictures.

Not the Jet Set: ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Let’s have some fun at the live chat tonight
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 30, 2009, 07:08:28 AM
Let’s have some fun at the live chat tonight (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/lets-have-some-fun-at-the-live-chat-tonight/)
30 September 2009, 6:45 am

I’m hosting my first live chat at 8 p.m. tonight at www.monroenews.com. Did you see this cute ad that’s been running in The Monroe Evening News?

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/chatad0926.jpg)

Now, here’s what to expect as this gets going.

The main ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Getting the word out is great – but first, you have to be the qualified candidate
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 30, 2009, 08:28:43 AM
Getting the word out is great – but first, you have to be the qualified candidate (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/getting-the-word-out-is-great-but-first-you-have-to-be-the-qualified-candidate/)
30 September 2009, 8:27 am

There was a clip on a local TV station this week that followed up on a formerly unemployed woman who recently landed a job.

Some of you have seen it. I did. The follow-up report makes it easy to assume that the posting of a video resume is what got her the job.

That’s a little too simplistic...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Erie Orchards posts its prices on the web
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 30, 2009, 09:30:32 AM
Erie Orchards posts its prices on the web (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/erie-orchards-posts-its-prices-on-the-web/)
30 September 2009, 9:29 am

If you are thinking about getting your pumpkins and other fall agriculture products at Erie Orchards and Cider Mill in Erie, Mich., I just found out the business posts its prices on its web site. One of my friends had, in the meantime, taken her kids there for pumpkin picking and buying apples.

For...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Re: Monroe on a Budget
Post by: livewire on September 30, 2009, 09:37:03 AM
Milan City Market is having a huge sale on meat this next week, starting October 5th.

Boneless western style pork ribs for $.99 cents a pound!
Homemade ground chuck for $1.99 a pound!
Homemade Sweet or Hot Italian Sausage for $1.99 a pound! (the sweet is the best I have ever had)
Thick sliced bacon for $2.49 a pound
Boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts for $1.69 a pound!

Many other great money-saving deals at this Market!
Check them out on Dexter Street (South end of Carpenter), just off of 23!
Title: Monroe on a Budget: What can you get at Halloween Bazaar?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 30, 2009, 01:14:36 PM
What can you get at Halloween Bazaar? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/what-can-you-get-at-halloween-bazaar/)
30 September 2009, 1:07 pm

My “What can you get at …” series normally focuses on discount and second-hand shops in the Monroe, Mich., area. But sometimes I break out of that routine and feature an unusual store …

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/halbaz3.jpg)

Some of my fr...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Debt Diva’s Spooktacular Halloween Costumes
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 30, 2009, 04:00:24 PM
Debt Diva’s Spooktacular Halloween Costumes (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/debt-divas-spooktacular-halloween-costumes/)
30 September 2009, 2:45 pm

Debt Diva has posted her list of frugal but still Spooktacular Halloween Costumes.

My favorite one from her suggestions:

Soldier Boy: Take your son’s camouflage clothing, toy weapons, add a little camo face paint, and you have a little GI Joe.

There was a year when my high school daughter d...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Retail forecasts for Halloween 2009
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on September 30, 2009, 04:00:24 PM
Retail forecasts for Halloween 2009 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/retail-forecasts-for-halloween-2009/)
30 September 2009, 3:42 pm

The National Retail Federation has released its retail forecasts for the Halloween 2009 shopping season.

A snippet from the press release:

One of the spookiest parts of Halloween this year may be the amount people plan to spend on their celebrations. According to the National Retail Federation’s...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Halloween Fun on a Budget - Live Chat @ 8 p.m. tonight!
Post by: Administration on September 30, 2009, 07:57:54 PM
Let’s have some fun at the live chat tonight ([url]http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/lets-have-some-fun-at-the-live-chat-tonight/[/url])
30 September 2009, 6:45 am

I’m hosting my first live chat at 8 p.m. tonight at [url=http://www.monroenews.com]www.monroenews.com[/url] ([url]http://www.monroenews.com[/url]). Did you see this cute ad that’s been running in The Monroe Evening News?

([url]http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/chatad0926.jpg[/url])

Now, here’s what to expect as this gets going.

The main ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget ([url]http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget[/url])




Reminder!  Halloween Fun on a Budget - Live chat @ 8 p.m. - see link below: 
http://monroetalks.com/livechat/index.php?theCase=enterChat&chatID=10 (http://monroetalks.com/livechat/index.php?theCase=enterChat&chatID=10)


Title: Monroe on a Budget: Link to the live chat
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 01, 2009, 12:00:46 AM
Link to the live chat (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/09/link-to-the-live-chat/)
30 September 2009, 10:58 pm

Here’s the link to the Halloween Fun on a Budget chat that took place tonight.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Michigan government shutdown = 2 hours
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 01, 2009, 07:03:15 AM
Michigan government shutdown = 2 hours (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/michigan-government-shutdown-2-hours/)
1 October 2009, 6:35 am

Yes, the Michigan state government did shut down at midnight this morning. However, it’s back in business now.

A combination of bills have been going through the statehouse, and some of it is actually on a temporary 30-day budget. Here are the headlines from the reporters who have been follow...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Nation’s poorest cities include Detroit, Toledo
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 01, 2009, 07:03:15 AM
Nation’s poorest cities include Detroit, Toledo (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/nations-poorest-cities-include-detroit-toledo/)
1 October 2009, 6:51 am

If you are one of my national readers, let me give you a geography lesson.

Monroe, Mich., the city from where I am writing, and for whom my local content is aimed, is within commuting distance to both Toledo, Ohio, and Detroit, Mich.

We can get newspapers from both cities delivered in most of Monr...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Got a cardboard box or panel? You’ve got a Halloween costume
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 01, 2009, 09:44:31 AM
Got a cardboard box or panel? You’ve got a Halloween costume (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/got-a-cardboard-box-or-panel-youve-got-a-halloween-costume/)
1 October 2009, 8:33 am

This idea came from a frugal mom who has seen this trick used many times in her family:

Take a cardboard box, a cardboard panel, or a foam board and use that as the start of your Halloween costume.

You, a friend, or a relative might already have such boxes or boards left over from previous project...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What did Jessica find in her Halloween bin? A costume idea!
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 01, 2009, 10:14:42 AM
What did Jessica find in her Halloween bin? A costume idea! (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/what-did-jessica-find-in-her-halloween-bin-a-costume-idea/)
1 October 2009, 10:09 am

Jessica at The Pennywise Family went digging into her Halloween bin for ideas and … you’d be amazed at the costume idea she came up with based on stuff she already owned!



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: GFS coupon in 9/30 Monroe Evening News
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 01, 2009, 01:57:02 PM
GFS coupon in 9/30 Monroe Evening News (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/gfs-coupon-in-930-monroe-evening-news/)
1 October 2009, 12:19 pm

The Sept. 30 edition of The Monroe Evening News, page 10A, has a $5 off $50 purchase at Gordon Food Service Marketplace.

The coupon is good through Oct. 11. Use it towards your tailgate or Halloween party supplies.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Seasonal flu shots for kids available in Monroe County Health Dept.
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 01, 2009, 01:57:02 PM
Seasonal flu shots for kids available in Monroe County Health Dept. (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/seasonal-flu-shots-for-kids-available-in-monroe-county-health-dept/)
1 October 2009, 1:45 pm

Seasonal flu shot clinics are fairly easy to find for adults. A lot of pharmacies  hosts either special days or standing walk-in times for flu shots, and some workplaces (including mine) set up vaccination clinics for their staff.

But it can be a little bit complicated to arrange for such thing fo...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: More costume ideas starting with sweatpants
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 01, 2009, 03:20:26 PM
More costume ideas starting with sweatpants (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/more-costume-ideas-starting-with-sweatpants/)
1 October 2009, 3:18 pm

One of my readers, mikemax, sent me this as a Halloween costume idea. This is following up on the live chat I hosted Wednesday night – but we have since learned some posts couldn’t get through. (No wonder I felt like I was talking to myself …)

You’ve mentioned sweats for cos...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Live chat topic suggestions?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 01, 2009, 06:14:36 PM
Live chat topic suggestions? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/live-chat-topic-suggestions/)
1 October 2009, 5:26 pm

We did run into some technical glitches with my first live chat at monroenews.com Wednesday night. Specifically, we’ve since heard from people who were watching but couldn’t participate in the discussion.

On the assumption that my co-workers will find a solution for future live discussi...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Reynold’s Baking Cups Cupcake Central
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 01, 2009, 09:28:16 PM
Reynold’s Baking Cups Cupcake Central (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/reynolds-baking-cups-cupcake-central/)
1 October 2009, 9:21 pm

If you want to see some very cute cupcake ideas that won’t cost a lot of money to make – go to Cupcake Central hosted by Reynolds Baking Cups.

There are detailed directions for designs for a variety of holidays and special occasions. You can even Create a Virtual Cupcake.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Free Fall Children’s Festival at MJR Theaters
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 02, 2009, 08:26:28 AM
Free Fall Children’s Festival at MJR Theaters (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/free-fall-childrens-festival-at-mjr-theaters/)
2 October 2009, 8:19 am

MJR Theaters is holding its Free Fall 2009 Children’s Festival starting this weekend. You’ll find the information on the theater web site and today’s Detroit Free Press print edition also has a notice.

There are several participating MJR theaters in the metro Detroit area, includi...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloween fast food coupons
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 02, 2009, 10:28:13 AM
Halloween fast food coupons (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/halloween-fast-food-coupons/)
2 October 2009, 8:31 am

Do you like to hand out fast-food coupons at Halloween? I did that in 2007, trading them off with my candy bars.

The reason I bought the fast-food coupons is I wanted to send treats to my nieces and nephews who live out of town, and I wasn’t able to attend the family Halloween party that year...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Pumpkin farms in the Monroe MI area
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 02, 2009, 10:28:13 AM
Pumpkin farms in the Monroe MI area (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/pumpkin-farms-in-the-monroe-mi-area/)
2 October 2009, 9:05 am

Do you want to pick your own pumpkin, or at least see where it was “born”?

I haven’t seen enough of the actual farm market pumpkin prices to give you price range estimates in that market. But the supermarket prices I’ve seen posted in Monroe are ranging $4 to $5 per jack-o-l...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Holiday t-shirts? I’ve got a better idea
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 02, 2009, 02:30:11 PM
Holiday t-shirts? I’ve got a better idea (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/holiday-t-shirts-ive-got-a-better-idea/)
2 October 2009, 12:39 pm

I saw these holiday shirts at Target in Monroe, Mich., today. I admit: I was highly amused at the boy’s shirt in particular. It says “surrender your candy!”

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/targettees.jpg)

But if you are a family on a budget, I’...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Fall decor that works for two holidays
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 02, 2009, 02:30:11 PM
Fall decor that works for two holidays (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/fall-decor-that-works-for-two-holidays/)
2 October 2009, 1:26 pm

You might get the impression, by looking at the holiday merchandise that is available on the retail and second-hand markets, that you need totally separate collections of home decor items such as hand towels, place mats, tablecloths, candy dishes, floral arrangements, shower curtains, pillow shams, ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Road to Financial Freedom series starts Oct. 4 in Monroe
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 02, 2009, 06:30:59 PM
Road to Financial Freedom series starts Oct. 4 in Monroe (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/road-to-financial-freedom-series-starts-oct-4-in-monroe/)
2 October 2009, 5:25 pm

This notice was on page 7B of today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News.

The seven-week “Road to Financial Freedom” course will begin at 10:45 a.m. Sunday Oct. 4  at Grace Baptist Church of Monroe, 7447 N. Telegraph Rd., Monroe, Mich.

The series runs through Nov. 15.

“It is a seven-...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Fall produce at Monroe Farmer’s Market
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 02, 2009, 06:31:00 PM
Fall produce at Monroe Farmer’s Market (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/fall-produce-at-monroe-farmers-market/)
2 October 2009, 5:30 pm

The Monroe Farmer’s Market, 20 E. Willow St., Monroe, Mich., is advertising that “fall items are here.”

Specifically, the vendors are selling pumpkins, gourds, mums, sweet corn, tomatoes, pears, melons, potatoes, peppers, green beans, organic vegetables, cucumbers, beets, squash, ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Holiday gifts at a garage sale?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 02, 2009, 10:48:27 PM
Holiday gifts at a garage sale? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/holiday-gift-garage-sale/)
2 October 2009, 10:43 pm

One of my friends told me her family has a unique twist on the Christmas gift exchange this year. Everything in the gift exchange has to be purchased at a garage sale or second-hand.

When she told me about that gift exchange theme, we had bumped into each other at a garage sale and she was admiring...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Pumpkins at Ciolino Fruit and Vegetable Market
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 03, 2009, 10:38:54 AM
Pumpkins at Ciolino Fruit and Vegetable Market (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/pumpkins-at-ciolino-fruit-and-vegetable-market/)
3 October 2009, 8:58 am

Since we’ve had a lot of discussion about Halloween pumpkin prices in the Monroe, Mich., area …

Ciolino Fruit and Vegetable Market, which has locations at 2101 Mall Rd., Monroe, Mich.; and 6750 Lewis Ave., Temperance, Mich.; is listing in its Oct. 4-10 ad that large pumpkin prices are s...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe sales fliers Oct. 2 and 3
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 03, 2009, 10:38:54 AM
Monroe sales fliers Oct. 2 and 3 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/monroe-sales-fliers-oct-2-and-3/)
3 October 2009, 9:15 am

Here are some of the sales fliers that were in my home-delivery edition of The Monroe Evening News Oct. 2 and today:

Meijer is holding a one-day super sale today with Tyson sliced bacon at two for $4, jack-o-lantern pumpkins at $3 each (technically two for $6), Gold Medal flour at 99 cents a bag, P...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Frugal and easy Thanksgiving recipes
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 03, 2009, 10:38:54 AM
Frugal and easy Thanksgiving recipes (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/frugal-and-easy-thanksgiving-recipes/)
3 October 2009, 10:03 am

I’m a decent cook and have often served a homemade luncheon or Sunday dinner for guests. But I’ve only hosted a couple holiday dinners. So I’m not really an expert in the ritual of the Thanksgiving feast.

There are other people, however, who do have that experience and I’ll ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Thanksgiving box at Angel Food Ministries
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 03, 2009, 10:40:56 AM
Thanksgiving box at Angel Food Ministries (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/thanksgiving-box-at-angel-food-and-great-food/)
3 October 2009, 10:17 am

Angel Food Ministries has announced its Thanksgiving holiday box special. The cost is $36 and all orders are due Oct. 28. Click on the link to look up the pickup dates and ordering details for your area.

Angel Food Ministries is one of several discount grocery purchase programs that exist across th...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: I’m buying shoes, not a credit card
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 03, 2009, 04:43:06 PM
I’m buying shoes, not a credit card (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/im-buying-shoes-not-a-credit-card/)
3 October 2009, 2:55 pm

I’m not going to name the store where this situation happened, because, frankly, the story could be told about other stores. But it happened to me today.

I was on a mission to buy a new pair of shoes. And instead, I was getting a credit card pitch.

The shoes I bought a couple of months ago f...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Wal-Mart electronics trade-in
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 03, 2009, 08:45:08 PM
Wal-Mart electronics trade-in (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/wal-mart-electronics-trade-in/)
3 October 2009, 8:41 pm

Wal-Mart has an electronics trade-in program with free shipping.

You go to the trade-in page on the Wal-Mart site, look up your unwanted (unloved, unused, sniff!) digital camera, cell phone, whatever, answer a few questions and you’ll get a quote.

You’ll get money if your stuff still h...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Coupon report for Oct. 4
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 04, 2009, 09:54:36 AM
Coupon report for Oct. 4 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/coupon-report-for-oct-4/)
4 October 2009, 8:52 am

There are three packets of coupons each in my home-delivery editions of The Monroe Evening News and the Detroit Free Press.

Products featured in the Monroe packets include Snuggle, All, Kozy Shack, Wanchai Ferry and YoPlus



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloween candy coupons Oct. 4
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 04, 2009, 09:54:36 AM
Halloween candy coupons Oct. 4 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/halloween-candy-coupons-oct-4/)
4 October 2009, 8:58 am

The Halloween candy coupons that I found in my Sunday newspaper coupon packets today (I live in 48162 zip code) are:

Target ONLY coupon $1 off purchase three funsize bags 8.67 to 11.4 of Snickers, Twix, M&Ms, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers – Redplum Oct. 4.

Target ONLY coupon $1 off one 48.67 ounce...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Fall sales for the homecooking crowd
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 04, 2009, 09:54:36 AM
Fall sales for the homecooking crowd (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/fall-sales-for-the-homecooking-crowd/)
4 October 2009, 9:21 am

If you are a “cook from scratch” person either because that’s your preference or someone in the family is on a restricted diet, stop and look at the deals you can pick up this week on canned and frozen veggies that can be added to casseroles, apples and pie pumpkins that you can co...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe sales fliers Oct. 4
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 04, 2009, 10:14:47 AM
Monroe sales fliers Oct. 4 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/monroe-sales-fliers-oct-4/)
4 October 2009, 9:33 am

Here are some of the drugstore, discount store and supermarket deals that I found in my Sunday newspapers this morning. All of the listings are from The Monroe Evening News in Monroe, Mich., except for where I note Detroit Free Press.

There were also fliers for Best Buy, Lone Star Steakhouse (coupo...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Meijer senior discount day Oct. 5
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 04, 2009, 10:14:47 AM
Meijer senior discount day Oct. 5 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/meijer-senior-discount-day-oct-5/)
4 October 2009, 9:36 am

Meijer will have a senior discount day Monday Oct. 5.

You’ll find the notice on the back page of the store flier. The deal is 15 percent off most regular and sale priced general merchandise and apparel items.

Eligible shoppers are age 62 and older who can prove their age.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Promotions for flu shots and flu remedies
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 04, 2009, 10:14:47 AM
Promotions for flu shots and flu remedies (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/promotions-for-flu-shots-and-flu-remedies/)
4 October 2009, 9:50 am

You are likely noticing a lot of promotions at the drugstores and supermarkets for flu shots and flu remedies.

You can expect to pay $25 to $30 for a seasonal flu shot for adults, whether it’s done at a drugstore or as a flu clinic, based on the advertising sales fliers and the clinic announc...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Decorate with your collections
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 04, 2009, 02:44:42 PM
Decorate with your collections (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/decorate-with-your-collections/)
4 October 2009, 1:56 pm

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/window.jpg)

You probably have a collection of something. We have collections of favorite things, and we use some of them to decorate our home.

On my kitchen window sill, you’ll see an arrangement of blue pottery items. This starte...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloween sales week of Oct. 4
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 04, 2009, 08:58:35 PM
Halloween sales week of Oct. 4 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/halloween-sales-week-of-oct-4/)
4 October 2009, 8:56 pm

I’m pulling out the Halloween merchandise as a separate roundup from my weekly sales reports.

All of the following sales fliers are circulating in Monroe, Mich., and arrived to me in the mail or in the local newspapers. If you are checking in from another area, keep in mind that sales reports...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: College information day Oct. 17 in Ypsilanti
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 05, 2009, 09:07:01 AM
College information day Oct. 17 in Ypsilanti (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/college-information-day-oct-17-in-ypsilanti/)
5 October 2009, 8:08 am

This information is from the ARISE Detroit newsletter:

The Esquire Leadership & Mentor Program amd  Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity will host their second annual “College Day: A  Wealth of Opportunity!”  starting at 9 a.m. Saturday Oct. 17 at the Eastern Michigan University Student Center, ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Christmas assistance for Downriver families
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 05, 2009, 09:07:01 AM
Christmas assistance for Downriver families (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/christmas-assistance-for-downriver-families/)
5 October 2009, 8:20 am

This information is for my readers in the Downriver (suburban Detroit) region:

Julie’s List is reporting in her newsletter that the Downriver Salvation Army Christmas Assistance Program is accepting registrations starting Nov. 9.

For application information, go to www.sadownriver.org and cli...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Charles Slat: Monroe County Mi seems to be hanging on in recession
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 05, 2009, 09:07:01 AM
Charles Slat: Monroe County Mi seems to be hanging on in recession (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/charles-slat-monroe-county-mi-seems-to-be-hanging-on-in-recession/)
5 October 2009, 8:27 am

Charles Slat is the long-time business reporter for The Monroe Evening News, so he certainly has the perspective to put on this piece he wrote for his Sunday column: Monroe County seems to be hanging tough in hard times.

A snippet:

I have a couple of theories about this. One is that even those who...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Sara Noel’s frugal Halloween costume ideas
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 05, 2009, 09:09:00 AM
Sara Noel’s frugal Halloween costume ideas (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/sara-noels-frugal-halloween-costume-ideas/)
5 October 2009, 8:31 am

Sara Noel, author of Frugal Village, had this piece as one of her columns this week: Make frugal Halloween costumes.

Her piece follows up very well to the recurring discussions we’ve had on this blog. My favorite from Sara’s list:

CUPCAKE: Use a pink sweat suit (hooded top). You’ll n...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Furnace clean and check specials
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 05, 2009, 02:20:22 PM
Furnace clean and check specials (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/furnace-clean-and-check-specials/)
5 October 2009, 1:57 pm

Local readers in Monroe County, Mich.: be sure to check the pages of The Monroe Evening News to see what the furnace clean and check specials are. Several such ads have been running in the paper in the past few days, and I don’t want to leave anyone out.

Most of those deals expire at the end ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Single Moms Pampering Day Oct. 24 in Milan MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 05, 2009, 05:09:00 PM
Single Moms Pampering Day Oct. 24 in Milan MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/single-moms-pampering-day-oct-24-in-milan-mi/)
5 October 2009, 3:24 pm

This post is for my readers in and near Milan, Mich.

Milan Free Methodist Church, 950 Arkona Rd., Milan, Mich., will host a Single Moms Pampering Day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday Oct. 24.

This is a free event but registration is required in advance at the church office, (734) 439-2414.

Moms wil...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: October specials at Monroe Thrift Shop
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 05, 2009, 05:09:00 PM
October specials at Monroe Thrift Shop (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/october-specials-at-monroe-thrift-shop/)
5 October 2009, 3:38 pm

This post is for my readers in and near Monroe, Mich.

The Monroe Thrift Shop, 119 S. Monroe St., Monroe, Mich., has announced its specials for October.

Women’s and men’s slacks will be buy one, get the second one free. The summer jackets are half off.

The shop volunteers also report they stil...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Danny’s and Hi-Lite sales Oct. 5
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 05, 2009, 11:18:33 PM
Danny’s and Hi-Lite sales Oct. 5 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/dannys-and-hi-lite-sales-oct-5/)
5 October 2009, 10:26 pm

Danny’s Fine Foods and Hi-Lite Supermarket run their grocery ads in the Monday edition of The Monroe Evening News.

Danny’s has selected Brownberry Bread at buy one get one free; fresh ground turkey at $1.69 a pound, Michigan apples at 69 cents a pound.

Hi-Lite has a sale on Spartan pro...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: CNN Money: H1N1 flu – and no paid sick leave
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 06, 2009, 07:22:51 AM
CNN Money: H1N1 flu – and no paid sick leave (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/cnn-money-h1n1-flu-and-no-paid-sick-leave/)
6 October 2009, 7:22 am

Loss of pay is one of the biggest hits some employees have to take if someone at home comes down with H1N1 flu, seasonal flu, chicken pox or other ailment that requires several days at home.

CNN Money has this report: Swine flu – and no paid sick leave.

A snippet:

“On the one hand, yo...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Two bridal shows Oct. 18 in Monroe area
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 06, 2009, 11:25:03 AM
Two bridal shows Oct. 18 in Monroe area (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/two-bridal-shows-oct-18-in-monroe-area/)
6 October 2009, 10:00 am

This post is for my readers in the Monroe, Mich.,  and Downriver (suburban Detroit) areas:

There are two area bridal shows announced for Oct. 18 – one at Frenchtown Square mall in Monroe and one at Flat Rock Community Center.

If you are a bride-to-be on a budget, you want to attend at least...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Aging in Place expo Oct. 13 in Monroe
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 06, 2009, 11:25:03 AM
Aging in Place expo Oct. 13 in Monroe (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/aging-in-place-expo-oct-13-in-monroe/)
6 October 2009, 10:31 am

This post is for my readers in and near Monroe, Mich.:

The Monroe Center for Healthy Aging, 15275 S. Dixie Hwy., Monroe, Mich., will host an Aging in Place Fair from 8 to 11 a.m. Tuesday Oct. 13.

This expo is held in conjunction with Michigan’s Aging in Place Week and is aimed at older adult...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Plant exchange Oct. 10 in Flat Rock MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 06, 2009, 03:26:38 PM
Plant exchange Oct. 10 in Flat Rock MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/plant-exchange-oct-10-in-flat-rock-mi/)
6 October 2009, 2:38 pm

This notice is in today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News:

The Flat Rock Beautification Commission will hold a perennial exchange from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday Oct. 10 in the parking lot of the municipal building, 25500 Gibraltar Rd., Flat Rock, Mich.

Visitors are encouraged to dig up and di...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloween events in Monroe County MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 06, 2009, 03:26:38 PM
Halloween events in Monroe County MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/halloween-events-in-monroe-county-mi/)
6 October 2009, 2:49 pm

If you live in or near Monroe, Mich., I have posted as many community Halloween and fall holiday events as I can find in the MonroeTalks calendar. The corn mazes are a separate list.

Those links will automatically update with new entries, so do check back to see what’s being posted as you mak...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Craft show schedules in Monroe MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 06, 2009, 03:26:38 PM
Craft show schedules in Monroe MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/craft-show-schedules-in-monroe-mi/)
6 October 2009, 3:13 pm

Are you a crafter or vendor with a home-based business? A lot of people do that either as a spinoff from their hobby, or to bring in a bit more income when the day job salary isn’t enough.

The fall and holiday craft and vendor show schedules for Monroe County, Mich., are arriving so fast at T...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Why do people make fun of frugality?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 07, 2009, 08:50:47 AM
Why do people make fun of frugality? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/why-do-people-make-fun-of-frugality/)
7 October 2009, 8:19 am

One of my co-workers and I were talking the other day about why more people don’t do what she and I have long done to stretch our family’s money – tactics like using coupons when they work in your favor, generic products if you like them and the cost is good, …

One possibili...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: A candy co-op and costume swap for Halloween
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 07, 2009, 11:37:03 AM
A candy co-op and costume swap for Halloween (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/a-candy-co-op-and-costume-swap-for-halloween/)
7 October 2009, 10:41 am

The Partyblueprints Blog has some very frugal celebration ideas in its post A No Fear Halloween.

A snippet:

Candy Co-op : Get a few family members and friends to go in on a candy co-op.  Have each participating family/group buy bulk of one candy type.  Then get together and split up the candy so...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Brides on a budget cut back during a recession
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 07, 2009, 12:36:34 PM
Brides on a budget cut back during a recession (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/brides-on-a-budget-cut-back-during-a-recession/)
7 October 2009, 12:16 pm

A formal wedding always costs a lot of money. But how much does it REALLY cost in southeast Michigan?

The CostOfWedding.com site has this estimate for the 48162 zip code (Monroe MI / Frenchtown Township): $14,228 and $23,713.

I learned about that web site when a The Detroit Free Press printed a st...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: MonroeNews: Recession is a rebirth for coupon clippers
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 07, 2009, 01:38:20 PM
MonroeNews: Recession is a rebirth for coupon clippers (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/monroenews-recession-is-a-rebirth-for-coupon-clippers/)
7 October 2009, 1:05 pm

Here’s today’s front page of The Monroe Evening News:

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/mencoupon100709.jpg)

Business reporter Charles Slat did this package for today’s paper.

The main piece is The Rise of the Coupon Clippers.

A snippet:

It seems th...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Toledo Blade: Potato chip sales up during recession
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 08, 2009, 06:58:55 AM
Toledo Blade: Potato chip sales up during recession (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/toledo-blade-potato-chip-sales-up-during-recession/)
8 October 2009, 6:41 am

The Toledo Blade has this interesting report today: Snack study says consumers take recession with many grains of salt – local potato chip sales up.

A snippet:

… After several years of modest growth, potato chip sales have rocketed up 22 percent since the start of the current recession...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: USA Today: Lengthy joblessness “grinds on you”
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 08, 2009, 06:58:55 AM
USA Today: Lengthy joblessness “grinds on you” (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/usa-today-lengthy-joblessness-grinds-on-you/)
8 October 2009, 6:56 am

USA Today has this report: Being jobless for 6 months or more “grinds on you.”

A snippet:

FORT MYERS, Fla. — When Mike Cannington lost his job as marketing director for a chain of motorcycle dealerships in August of 2008, he figured he’d find a new one within a few weeks.

He&#...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Detroit Free Press: Assistance event overwhelmed with applicants
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 08, 2009, 07:46:58 AM
Detroit Free Press: Assistance event overwhelmed with applicants (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/detroit-free-press-assistance-event-overwhelmed-with-applicants/)
8 October 2009, 7:25 am

I have the front page of the Detroit Free Press on my kitchen table. That visual image is more attention-getting than the headline list at Freep.com – but, there’s more on the web site. In the meantime, here’s the scenario:

Cobo Center, one of the expo centers in Detroit, was the ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Dollar Stretcher’s Stocking a pantry tips
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 08, 2009, 11:50:20 AM
Dollar Stretcher’s Stocking a pantry tips (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/dollar-stretchers-stocking-a-pantry-tips/)
8 October 2009, 10:33 am

Dollar Stretcher has this post: How a full pantry saves money.

A snippet:

Stock up with sale items. Don’t rush out to buy six cans of spaghetti sauce or four boxes of macaroni and cheese. Wait for a sale. Most supermarkets put out a weekly sale ad so watch for favorite products and brands to...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Bible Money Matters: 10 Attributes of the Perpetually Broke
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 08, 2009, 11:50:20 AM
Bible Money Matters: 10 Attributes of the Perpetually Broke (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/bible-money-matters-10-attributes-of-the-perpetually-broke/)
8 October 2009, 10:48 am

Bible Money Matters has this provocative post: 10 attributes of the perpetually broke.

A snippet:

Like to blame their problems on outside forces:  People don’t like to see themselves as the source of their problems. While people certainly have problems that aren’t caused by something they’v...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: MonroeParent: Babysitting co-ops in Monroe and Toledo
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 08, 2009, 01:24:40 PM
MonroeParent: Babysitting co-ops in Monroe and Toledo (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/monroeparent-babysitting-co-ops-in-monroe-and-toledo/)
8 October 2009, 1:14 pm

My co-worker Michelle Swartz has an article for the Oct. 2009 issue of Monroe County Parent called “Unlimited childcare – a newly formed group offers free babysitting in southeast Michigan.”

A snippet:

Instead of money, the network uses a point system to exchange and track the ti...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Natural gas bills to be smaller this winter
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 08, 2009, 01:50:39 PM
Natural gas bills to be smaller this winter (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/natural-gas-bills-to-be-smaller-this-winter/)
8 October 2009, 1:27 pm

I’ve been seeing a lot of chatter in the state and national headlines, and today there is a report in The Monroe Evening News: Natural gas bills might be smaller.

A snippet:

Michigan Gas Utilities customers might pay 20 percent less for natural gas this heating season than they did last year...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Garage sale tip of the week Oct. 8
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 08, 2009, 03:52:15 PM
Garage sale tip of the week Oct. 8 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/garage-sale-tip-of-the-week-oct-8/)
8 October 2009, 2:45 pm

Some of my best finds at the garage sales this summer have been craft supplies. But you have to keep in mind that shopping for craft supplies at a garage or rummage sale takes a different mentality than at the craft stores.

Let’s say you need one yard of fabric in an exact color to create a t...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: A cooking co-op?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 08, 2009, 03:52:15 PM
A cooking co-op? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/a-cooking-co-op/)
8 October 2009, 3:41 pm

Adrienne has been writing on money-saving tips and came up with this list, “Top 20 Personal Expenses You Can Cut This Year to Save $1,000,” that she posted on the Accredited Online Degrees site.

The idea that I found particularly interesting at Adrienne’s list is a cooking co-op, ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Frugal recipes and menus at Cook for Good
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 08, 2009, 05:53:04 PM
Frugal recipes and menus at Cook for Good (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/frugal-recipes-and-menus-at-cook-for-good/)
8 October 2009, 4:06 pm

I got an e-mail this morning from Holly who was very impressed with the information on this site: Cook for Good.

The program’s slogan is: “Save money. Eat well. Do good.”

So what’s the Cook for Good concept? This is a menu plan site focusing on homemade dinners. There is a ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What is trunk-or-treat?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 08, 2009, 08:30:52 PM
What is trunk-or-treat? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/what-is-trunk-or-treat/)
8 October 2009, 8:06 pm

Some of the holiday event notices that we get at The Monroe Evening News are called Trunk-or-Treat.

What’s that?

It was explained to me as trick-or-treating from car to car in a parking lot. Apparently it’s catching on in popularity across the country. If you’d like to see pictur...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: USA Today: Lunch debts piling up for schools
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 09, 2009, 08:04:33 AM
USA Today: Lunch debts piling up for schools (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/usa-today-lunch-debts-piling-up-for-schools/)
9 October 2009, 6:58 am

I do not know the policies or details as to how many unpaid lunches that the school districts in Monroe County, Mich., have to deal with.

But it is a growing problem for some areas.

USA Today has this report: Lunch debts piling up for schools.

A snippet:

“When we’re talking to parent...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: AARP Walgreens Wellness tour to be in Monroe, Toledo
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 09, 2009, 10:06:42 AM
AARP Walgreens Wellness tour to be in Monroe, Toledo (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/aarp-walgreens-wellness-tour-to-be-in-monroe-toledo/)
9 October 2009, 9:06 am

This post is for my readers in the Monroe, Mich., and Toledo, Ohio, areas:

The AARP/Walgreens Wellness Tour is scheduling stops in the area. The dates and times announced by the tour representatives are:

Saturday Oct. 17: Noon-6 p.m., Walgreens, 925 Woodville Rd., Toledo, Ohio.

Sunday Oct. 18: No...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Coupons are just the start of money-saving tips in a newspaper
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 09, 2009, 10:19:12 AM
Coupons are just the start of money-saving tips in a newspaper (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/coupons-are-just-the-start-of-money-saving-tips-in-a-newspaper/)
9 October 2009, 10:17 am

From time to time, I’ll read or hear about someone who wants to save money and gets the newspaper “just for the coupons.”

That means they’re picking up a Sunday newspaper on single-copy sales during the weeks they have heard via word of mouth that there are good coupons in t...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Tricks and treats for a more frugal Halloween
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 09, 2009, 01:59:11 PM
Tricks and treats for a more frugal Halloween (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/tricks-and-treats-for-a-more-frugal-halloween/)
9 October 2009, 1:42 pm

We’re on a mission at The Monroe Evening News to share Monroe on a Budget content with our print readers as much as possible.

I don’t have a weekly column in the newspaper. What we do is crosspost or write specific articles as the timing or the topics seem appropriate.

Today is one suc...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe MI sales fliers Oct. 10
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 10, 2009, 10:35:05 AM
Monroe MI sales fliers Oct. 10 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/monroe-mi-sales-fliers-oct-10/)
10 October 2009, 10:33 am

Here are some of the sales and deals I’m seeing in the newspaper ads this morning (48162 zip code):

Busch’s Fine Foods (sale starts Monday) will have a 10 for $10 sale on items such as Pillsbury biscuits, Daisy sour cream and Spartan pineapple. Buy one get one free Thomas’ English...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Money Saving Blog’s ways to turn freebies into cash
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 10, 2009, 12:17:00 PM
Money Saving Blog’s ways to turn freebies into cash (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/money-saving-blogs-ways-to-turn-freebies-into-cash/)
10 October 2009, 11:26 am

When you see my shopping cart pictures, I’m buying merchandise that my family really can, and will, use.

If you’ve read other frugal or bargain-shopping blogs, you know that’s not always the scenario. There are shoppers who enjoy getting as much as they can for their money, and th...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Food Town in Monroe and Rockwood specials
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 10, 2009, 04:16:48 PM
Food Town in Monroe and Rockwood specials (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/food-town-in-monroe-and-rockwood-specials/)
10 October 2009, 4:15 pm

The Food Town grocery ad for Monroe and Rockwood, Mich., for the two weeks starting Oct. 12 arrived in my mail today (I live in the 48162 zip code).

The 99 cent specials will include Spartan specialty potatoes in a box, Spartan pasta and Spartan instant oatmeal.

There’s also a coupon in the ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloween candy and treat coupons Oct. 11
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 11, 2009, 08:40:59 AM
Halloween candy and treat coupons Oct. 11 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/halloween-candy-and-treat-coupons-oct-11/)
11 October 2009, 7:55 am

In the Sunday coupon packets this morning for the Detroit Free Press and The Monroe Evening News, I found the following Halloween candy coupons:

RedPlum Oct. 11: Save $1 on any two bags of funsize M&Ms, Skittles, Snickers, 3 Musketeers, Milky Way, Twix and Starburst.

Other Halloween treat coupons ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe sales fliers Oct. 11
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 11, 2009, 08:40:59 AM
Monroe sales fliers Oct. 11 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/monroe-sales-fliers-oct-11/)
11 October 2009, 8:32 am

Here are the sales fliers that I found in my Sunday papers this morning. All are from The Monroe Evening News except where I note Detroit Free Press.

Keep in mind – many of the same national ads run in the both papers (and also the Toledo Blade if you get that newspaper.) The exceptions happe...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What’s in your flu kit?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 11, 2009, 09:48:34 AM
What’s in your flu kit? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/whats-in-your-flu-kit/)
11 October 2009, 8:58 am

If you are concerned about a flu outbreak, I hope you are getting the seasonal flu vaccine and watching for announcements on availability of H1N1 flu vaccinations. You don’t want to put off the vaccinations so late that you’ve already been exposed to the virus.

But in the meantime, go t...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Wal-Mart vs. Meijer: Does either have unbeatable prices?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 11, 2009, 09:48:34 AM
Wal-Mart vs. Meijer: Does either have unbeatable prices? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/wal-mart-vs-meijer-does-either-have-unbeatable-prices/)
11 October 2009, 9:10 am

My co-worker Charles Slat did this report for today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News: Wal-Mart vs. Meijer – Does either have unbeatable prices?

There are already a lot of comments on that story.

Charles has some expertise on the topic because for many years, he has done a quarterly...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Charles Slat column: coupon clipping yields high interest
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 11, 2009, 02:44:28 PM
Charles Slat column: coupon clipping yields high interest (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/charles-slat-column-coupon-clipping-yields-high-interest/)
11 October 2009, 2:18 pm

Monroe Evening News business reporter Charles Slat has this piece for his Sunday column today: In hard times, coupon clipping yields high returns.

How would you like to be paid at the rate of more than $35 an hour and do the work in your spare time?

Even if you’re lucky enough to already make mo...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloween sales week of Oct. 11
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 11, 2009, 04:44:44 PM
Halloween sales week of Oct. 11 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/halloween-sales-week-of-oct-11/)
11 October 2009, 3:23 pm

You’ll find some good prices on the Halloween merchandise this week, but I’m noticing the retail display shelves are kind of picked over as compared to the selection that was on the market just two weeks ago. If there’s something in particular you want but did not get yet, don̵...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Hey Toledo: How frugal can you be?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 11, 2009, 05:46:53 PM
Hey Toledo: How frugal can you be? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/hey-toledo-how-frugal-can-you-be/)
11 October 2009, 5:36 pm

Do you live in Toledo, Ohio? Come see me and my frugal friend Candy Huner from Deal with It, Simply! at 7 p.m. Tuesday Oct. 13 at the Locke Branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Library, 703 Miami St., Toledo.

Monroe, Mich., friends – you are welcome to attend too! This program is free and open t...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Sara Noel’s fall home decor on a budget
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 11, 2009, 07:48:22 PM
Sara Noel’s fall home decor on a budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/sara-noels-fall-home-decor-on-a-budget/)
11 October 2009, 7:26 pm

Are you disappointed in even the so-called “sale prices” for fall decor?

I understand. I was tired of my old fall orange blossom wreath and it had seen better days, so I got rid of it a couple of weeks ago thinking I could find a nice replacement as the season goes on.

I haven’t ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Breaking the Santa myth (gracefully)
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 12, 2009, 01:00:56 PM
Breaking the Santa myth (gracefully) (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/breaking-the-santa-myth-gracefully/)
12 October 2009, 12:40 pm

My daughter did believe in Santa Claus when she was growing up.

I don’t remember at what point she stopped believing in Santa. I do remember that it was a relatively untraumatic situation as compared to what some other families experience.

What did we do right?

I can tell you it wasn’...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Re: Monroe on a Budget
Post by: BigRedDog on October 12, 2009, 01:16:07 PM
What myth ??? ??? ???  :-\ :-\ :-\  :( :( :(  8* 8* 8*
Title: Monroe on a Budget: Holiday errand help for Monroe County MI seniors
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 12, 2009, 03:02:52 PM
Holiday errand help for Monroe County MI seniors (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/holiday-errand-help-for-monroe-county-mi-seniors/)
12 October 2009, 2:10 pm

This post is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich.:

Caring Alternatives, 2092 S. Custer Rd., Monroe, Mich., has a limited grant subsidy that will be available from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15 to help disabled adults and seniors who are residents of Monroe County, Mich., get ready for the holidays.

The prog...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Danny’s and Hi-Lite sales Oct. 12
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 12, 2009, 11:00:41 PM
Danny’s and Hi-Lite sales Oct. 12 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/dannys-and-hi-lite-sales-oct-12/)
12 October 2009, 9:57 pm

The Danny’s and Hi-Lite supermarket ads for Monroe, Mich., run in Monday’s edition of The Monroe Evening News.

Hi-Lite has Spartan yogurt for 29 cents, Spartan canned pineapple for 89 cents, Spartan assorted cereal for 99 cents, Spartan chicken noodle soup for 39 cents. Pillsbury cake m...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Frugal Villagers ask: What did you get free in October?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 13, 2009, 07:08:18 AM
Frugal Villagers ask: What did you get free in October? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/frugal-villagers-ask-what-did-you-get-free-in-october/)
13 October 2009, 6:30 am

The Frugal Village forum members have a tradition every month to ask: What did you get free?

This discussion goes way beyond the coupon freebies and product samples that get so much attention in the print and web media. The Frugal Village members are grateful for hand-me-down craft supplies, leftov...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Salvation Army seeking winter clothing
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 13, 2009, 02:36:14 PM
Salvation Army seeking winter clothing (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/salvation-army-seeking-winter-clothing/)
13 October 2009, 2:17 pm

This post is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich.

The Salvation Army of Monroe County is asking the public for donations of gently used winter clothing.

According to Maj. Michael Thomas, commanding officer of the Monroe corps, the Salvation Army is anticipating a large need for winter clothing t...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Temperance chiropractor assisting Afghanistan and Iraq veterans
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 13, 2009, 02:36:14 PM
Temperance chiropractor assisting Afghanistan and Iraq veterans (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/temperance-chiropractor-assisting-afghanistan-and-iraq-veterans/)
13 October 2009, 2:35 pm

This notice is for military families in and near Temperance, Mich.:

Dr. Joseph A. LaScala, 7400 Lewis Ave., Suite J, Temperance, Mich., is offering free chiropractic health care for one full year for any U.S. military veteran who is returning from overseas deployment in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Those ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Coupon Sherpa’s 5 tips for shopping with children
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 13, 2009, 03:40:46 PM
Coupon Sherpa’s 5 tips for shopping with children (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/coupon-sherpas-5-tips-for-shopping-with-children/)
13 October 2009, 3:26 pm

I have one simple tip for shopping with young children:

Don’t do it.

I’m speaking from experience. I was divorced / single mom from the time my daughter was a year old until she was almost 5. Yes, that’s the prime age for temper tantrums in the shopping cart. Yes, I was working f...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Blog Action Day: 10 ways your frugal lifestyle helps the climate
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 15, 2009, 08:55:00 AM
Blog Action Day: 10 ways your frugal lifestyle helps the climate (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/blog-action-day-09-frugal-lifestyl/)
15 October 2009, 7:55 am

Monroe on a Budget is a frugal living blog based in Monroe, Michigan. This is my second year participating in Blog Action Day. The 2008 Blog Action Day theme is: Climate change.

(http://www.blogactionday.org/imgs/badges/bad-180-150.jpg)What on earth does frugal living have to do with clima...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: I have a facebook fan page now
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 15, 2009, 02:56:25 PM
I have a facebook fan page now (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/i-have-a-facebook-fan-page-now/)
15 October 2009, 1:51 pm

If you’ve been looking for me on facebook, there’s a reason … I didn’t have a business page or my business contact info posted on facebook.

I do now.

Here’s the Monroe on a Budget facebook fan page.

Here’s my facebook “reporter / blogger” page and m...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Garage sale tip of the week: Oct. 15
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 15, 2009, 04:56:30 PM
Garage sale tip of the week: Oct. 15 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/garage-sale-tip-of-the-week-oct-15/)
15 October 2009, 3:02 pm

This garage sale tip of the week comes from Angie’s List:

Organize your inventory. A few months before your sale, designate a spot in your house for the things you’ll want to sell and let your family members know about it. As time goes by, the spot will fill up with things around the house ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Backyard Gardener’s Halloween tips
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 16, 2009, 01:00:11 AM
Backyard Gardener’s Halloween tips (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/backyard-gardeners-halloween-tips/)
16 October 2009, 12:09 am

The Backyard Gardener has Halloween safety tips at his post Halloween is coming, including this one that’s a good fit with frugal landscaping efforts:

Is the sidewalk area well lit? I know Halloween is about the dark and spooky but a little light will go a long way to keep the trick or treate...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Candy’s frugal Halloween costume ideas
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 16, 2009, 06:37:03 AM
Candy’s frugal Halloween costume ideas (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/candys-frugal-halloween-costume-ideas/)
16 October 2009, 6:35 am

Are you still wondering what to do about the cost of Halloween costumes this year? My friend Candy at Deal With It, Simply! has some ideas at Frugal Halloween Costumes.

A snippet:

When I was a kid, my mom made all my costumes and she said she wished she would have saved them for my kids. The most ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Plan ahead for bake sales and donation drives
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 16, 2009, 10:44:40 AM
Plan ahead for bake sales and donation drives (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/plan-ahead-for-bake-sales-and-donation-drives/)
16 October 2009, 9:52 am

During the next few weeks, there will be a lot of fundraiser bake sales in the Monroe, Mich., area. There also will be a lot of canned food and pantry item donation drives on behalf of needy families.

I’m already receiving a lot of those announcements to be published in The Monroe Evening New...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: USA Today: Easy steps to cut winter heating bills
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 16, 2009, 03:07:09 PM
USA Today: Easy steps to cut winter heating bills (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/usa-today-easy-steps-to-cut-winter-heating-bills/)
16 October 2009, 2:44 pm

USA Today has this report: Easy steps can cut winter heating bills.

Yes, there are news and consumer reports on this topic every fall. But here’s a tip involving baby safety equipment that I haven’t seen before, and would be very inexpensive to implement:

Secure outlets. To keep cold a...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Will you need Christmas assistance?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 16, 2009, 04:51:10 PM
Will you need Christmas assistance? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/will-you-need-christmas-assistance/)
16 October 2009, 4:22 pm

Will your family need charity assistance at Christmas?

Now is the time to be thinking about that possibility. I just learned that applications for Christmas baskets from the Salvation Army of Monroe County will open on Nov. 2.

Do not wait until mid-December to start asking about and applying for C...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Detroit News: Halloween home decor on a budget
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 16, 2009, 09:36:27 PM
Detroit News: Halloween home decor on a budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/detroit-news-halloween-home-decor-on-a-budget/)
16 October 2009, 9:12 pm

The Detroit News has a very fun piece in the Homestyle section this week on Home scary homes – Metro Detroiters share their Halloween handiwork.

Design columnist Susan R. Pollack cites the National Retail Federation statistics I posted a couple of weeks ago that spending on Halloween holiday ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Grand Rapids Press: Falling prices impacting Spartan supermarket
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 17, 2009, 09:18:23 AM
Grand Rapids Press: Falling prices impacting Spartan supermarket (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/grand-rapids-press-falling-prices-impacting-spartan-supermarket/)
17 October 2009, 9:01 am

The Grand Rapids Press has this report – Spartan Stores CEO – Deflation hurting supermarket chain’s bottom line.

A snippet:

Spartan CEO Dennis Eidson says the Michigan grocery chain experienced “significant price deflation” in three of its high volume categories: dair...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Busch’s and Rite Aid fliers Oct. 17
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 17, 2009, 09:18:23 AM
Busch’s and Rite Aid fliers Oct. 17 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/buschs-and-rite-aid-fliers-oct-17/)
17 October 2009, 9:11 am

The Busch’s Fresh Food Market and Rite Aid sales fliers were in my home-delivery edition of The Monroe Evening News today. (I live in the 48162 zip code.)

Busch’s (sale starts Monday) will have Hunt’s Manwich, Daisy paper napkins, Betty Crocker cake mix and Wonder buns on the 10 f...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: St. Joseph Coat Drive is Nov. 7
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 17, 2009, 01:20:59 PM
St. Joseph Coat Drive is Nov. 7 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/st-joseph-coat-drive-is-nov-7/)
17 October 2009, 1:15 pm

This notice is for my readers in and near Monroe, Mich.:

St. Joseph Catholic Church in Monroe, Mich., has announced its Sixth Annual Coat Drive.

If you are able to donate a gently used winter coat in children’s or adult sizes, or children’s snow boots, deliver them to the parish office...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloween party planning kit at Domino Sugar
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 18, 2009, 07:32:56 AM
Halloween party planning kit at Domino Sugar (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/halloween-party-planning-kit-at-domino-sugar/)
18 October 2009, 6:31 am

Domino Sugar has posted a Halloween Party Planning Kit on its site. The ideas and instructions feature easy and frugal projects for freaky food and kids’ games.

For example, buckeye candies are a really popular treat among my Ohio friends. The crew at Domino’s sugar has turned those pea...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Oct. 18 coupon report
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 18, 2009, 09:28:44 AM
Oct. 18 coupon report (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/oct-18-coupon-report/)
18 October 2009, 8:50 am

There are two coupon books this morning in my home-delivery editions of the Detroit Free Press and Monroe Evening News.

Halloween coupons of interest:

SmartSource book: Save $1 on any three General Mills cereal including Boo Berry, Count Chocula and Franken Berry.

SmartSource book: Buy any three ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe sales fliers Oct. 18
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 18, 2009, 09:28:44 AM
Monroe sales fliers Oct. 18 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/monroe-sales-fliers-oct-18/)
18 October 2009, 9:14 am

Here are the grocery, drugstore and discount fliers that I found in my newspapers this morning (I live in the 48162 zip code). All are from The Monroe Evening News except where noted:

Super Kmart in Southgate and Taylor (Detroit Free Press ad) has Kraft mac and cheese three for $2. General Mills ce...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloween sales week of Oct. 18
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 18, 2009, 10:16:55 AM
Halloween sales week of Oct. 18 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/halloween-sales-week-of-oct-18/)
18 October 2009, 9:36 am

If you waited until now to shop for Halloween because you “weren’t ready for Halloween yet,” or wanted to time your purchases to some better sales, here’s a heads up:

The Halloween merchandise is pretty well picked over.

I did my Halloween and fall merchandise research duri...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Financial incentives for using cloth bags?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 19, 2009, 07:46:12 AM
Financial incentives for using cloth bags? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/financial-incentives-for-using-cloth-bags/)
19 October 2009, 6:52 am

I own four cloth shopping bags. I’m not using them on every trip, but I do manage to take them with me for about half of my errands.

It does add “one more thing to remember” when you are shopping. Grab that shopping list, the coupon box or binder, the grocery or drugstore flier, a...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Brian O’Connor’s budget-cutting Grand Experiment
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 19, 2009, 03:48:09 PM
Brian O’Connor’s budget-cutting Grand Experiment (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/brian-oconnors-budget-cutting-grand-experiment/)
19 October 2009, 2:55 pm

Detroit News personal finance columnist Brian J. O’Connor is putting out The Grand Experiment.

He’s attempting to cut $1,000 a month from his family’s budget.

Here’s the news story.

Here’s his twitter feed.

This could be fun to watch.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Ciolino’s, Danny’s and Hi-Lite grocery ads Oct. 19
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 19, 2009, 07:24:19 PM
Ciolino’s, Danny’s and Hi-Lite grocery ads Oct. 19 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/ciolinos-dannys-and-hi-lite-grocery-ads-oct-19/)
19 October 2009, 5:48 pm

Here is the last of the Monroe, Mich., grocery ads for this week.

Ciolino’s in Monroe and Temperance ran an ad in Sunday’s edition of The Monroe Evening News that I missed when I did my Sunday roundup. Look for sweet potatoes at 39 cents a pound, avocados at 59 cents each and walnut mea...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: 10 ways to save with a frugal community
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 20, 2009, 07:57:13 AM
10 ways to save with a frugal community (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/10-ways-to-save-with-a-frugal-community/)
20 October 2009, 7:10 am

The Money Help for Christians blog has 10 practical tips on how you can save money by creating a frugal community.

A snippet:

What I am suggesting is that groups of frugal friends can form money saving networks for mutual financial benefit. While not all of these ideas will apply, even a small gro...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: November Angel Food order details
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 20, 2009, 11:37:07 AM
November Angel Food order details (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/november-angel-food-order-details/)
20 October 2009, 10:33 am

Angel Food Ministries is a discount grocery purchase program that is open to anyone of any income level.

If you are a regular customer, be aware that the November delivery dates have been moved up one week because of the Thanksgiving holiday. The Thanksgiving box orders also are due Oct. 28 –...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Bridal expo Sunday at Links at Lake Erie
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 20, 2009, 03:59:07 PM
Bridal expo Sunday at Links at Lake Erie (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/bridal-expo-sunday-at-links-at-lake-erie/)
20 October 2009, 3:04 pm

This post is for brides-to-be in the Monroe, Mich., area:

The Links at Lake Erie, 14727 LaPlaisance Rd., Monroe, Mich., will hold a bridal expo from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday Oct. 25.

The cost is $5 per person. Sample food from the menu selections and soft drinks will be served from 1 to 3 p.m.

Ther...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Does the Evening News have a coupon swap box?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 20, 2009, 03:59:07 PM
Does the Evening News have a coupon swap box? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/does-the-evening-news-have-a-coupon-swap-box/)
20 October 2009, 3:32 pm

We got an interesting question from a customer today:

Does The Monroe Evening News host a coupon swap box?

Not at this time, however …

The coupons that circulate among my co-workers and I are going to good homes. Here’s what I do with them:

Donate them to other families I know who ar...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Frozen dinners: fail
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 20, 2009, 09:54:58 PM
Frozen dinners: fail (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/frozen-dinners-fail/)
20 October 2009, 8:17 pm

I don’t post a whole lot about my food and dinner preparations, because I find them quite ordinary.

I really am a decent cook and nobody would starve at my house. I am very good friends with my slow cooker, table top griddle, breadmaker, cookie sheets, cake pans and electric skillet.

But the...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: The churches are short on cash too
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 21, 2009, 08:07:01 AM
The churches are short on cash too (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/the-churches-are-short-on-cash-too/)
21 October 2009, 7:02 am

If you live in southeast Michigan, you’ve heard this headline before. Budget cutbacks among the Catholic churches in the region made the news recently.

But the Detroit News went into more details for today’s edition, and you’ll see that it’s a widespread problem across faith...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloween events in Monroe MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 21, 2009, 10:08:10 AM
Halloween events in Monroe MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/halloween-events-in-monroe-mi/)
21 October 2009, 9:52 am

If you are looking for Halloween events in the Monroe, Mich., area, the list can be found here at the MonroeTalks calendar.

Several community parties are taking place this weekend and next that are free to area families. If you’re looking for a little bit of frugal fun, or just an alternative...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: “Sunday” dinner on Wednesday
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 21, 2009, 02:18:28 PM
“Sunday” dinner on Wednesday (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/sunday-dinner-on-wednesday/)
21 October 2009, 2:12 pm

My college daughter is on fall break and came home Sunday night. But with  appointments and visits to out-of-town relatives in the meantime, tonight is the first occasion for her to eat a mom-cooked dinner.

My dad will be stopping by for dinner, too.

So it’s “Sunday dinner” on W...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Learning Bank Network classes start in Monroe
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 21, 2009, 04:10:47 PM
Learning Bank Network classes start in Monroe (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/learning-bank-network-classes/)
21 October 2009, 2:37 pm

The following article about a credit literacy class in Monroe, Mich., is on page 6A of today’s print and e-editions of The Monroe Evening News:

Seventeen persons learned the ins and outs of consumer credit during a “Get Smart About Credit” program Monday, the first of a series of financia...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Veteran’s job fair Nov. 19 in Toledo
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 21, 2009, 04:10:47 PM
Veteran’s job fair Nov. 19 in Toledo (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/veterans-job-fair-nov-19-in-toledo/)
21 October 2009, 2:58 pm

This post is for my readers in and near Toledo, Ohio:

The Northwest Ohio Veterans Job Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday Nov. 19 at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza / Amtrak Central Union Terminal, 415 Emerald Ave., Toledo, Ohio.

More than 60 employers and community organization...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Free health screenings Oct. 23 in Monroe MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 21, 2009, 04:48:17 PM
Free health screenings Oct. 23 in Monroe MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/free-health-screenings-oct-23-in-monroe-mi/)
21 October 2009, 4:32 pm

This post is for my readers in Monroe, Mich.:

If you missed the AARP Walgreens Wellness Tour stop Monday Oct. 19 at Walgreens on Monroe St., there will also be a visit from noon to 6 p.m. Friday Oct. 23 , at the Walgreens at 484 S. Telegraph Rd., Monroe, Mich.

This program provides free health scr...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Christmas budget categories
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 21, 2009, 10:14:46 PM
Christmas budget categories (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/christmas-budget-categories/)
21 October 2009, 9:15 pm

I haven’t created my Christmas budget spreadsheet yet, but I do have my archived records from the past few years.

Did you remember all the extra expenses that come up that time of year?

Life Off the Shelf has a good list at A Simple, Frugal Christmas Part III.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloween spending down in Toledo area
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 21, 2009, 10:14:46 PM
Halloween spending down in Toledo area (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/halloween-spending-down-in-toledo-area/)
21 October 2009, 9:39 pm

The Toledo Blade followed up on the National Retail Federation Halloween spending reports for 2009 with this piece: Recession chills Halloween.

A snippet:

“I was spending $500 every year, and this year, I probably only spent $60,” said Chuck Richards, a Lambertville, Mich., resident kn...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Holiday Control Journal at FlyLady.net
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 22, 2009, 02:18:35 AM
Holiday Control Journal at FlyLady.net (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/holiday-control-journal-at-flylady-net/)
22 October 2009, 1:35 am

FlyLady has a housekeeping system that you can participate in for very little cost.

While the FlyLady team aims at helping you stay organized, the program is a very good fit for frugal families. All you need to do is get a binder so you can download, print off and keep handy the checklists and hous...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: When did you last check your credit report?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 22, 2009, 08:22:43 AM
When did you last check your credit report? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/when-did-you-last-check-your-credit-report/)
22 October 2009, 7:00 am

When did you last check your credit report?

You can do it at annualcreditreport.com.

It won’t cost you anything to go through that web site if all you want to do is check the credit report for mistakes or inaccuracies. Each of the three participating credit bureaus allow you to request one f...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Poke fun at the recession with these Halloween costume ideas
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 22, 2009, 04:30:20 PM
Poke fun at the recession with these Halloween costume ideas (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/recessionhalloween-costume-ideas/)
22 October 2009, 4:28 pm

Coupon Sherpa has a sense of humor with some of these 50 Cheap and Easy Halloween Costumes for Adults and Children.

Clue: think of people and situations that have made the news during this recession ….



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What’s in Kim’s “gift box?”
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 23, 2009, 07:16:29 AM
What’s in Kim’s “gift box?” (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/whats-in-kims-gift-box/)
23 October 2009, 6:50 am

Kim at Frugal Finesse is the frugal blogger and reporter for the South Bend Tribune.

One of her recent posts was Take a peek inside our gift box.

What’s that all about? She’s snagging deals off-season that work for Christmas and birthday gifts!

A snippet:

During the past six months,...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Detroit News: Economy takes aim at hunting
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 24, 2009, 08:54:48 AM
Detroit News: Economy takes aim at hunting (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/detroit-news-economy-takes-aim-at-hunting/)
24 October 2009, 7:49 am

Hunting is a popular hobby in southeast Michigan.

Yes, I know, you do get meat for the efforts. But these days, it’s a more a hobby than a means to feed your family because quite a bit of money is spent on equipment — and sometimes travel — before you bring home that deer or turke...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe sales fliers Oct. 24
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 24, 2009, 08:54:48 AM
Monroe sales fliers Oct. 24 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/monroe-sales-fliers-oct-24/)
24 October 2009, 8:03 am

Hera re the drugstore and grocery store sales fliers that were in my home-delivery edition of The Monroe Evening News today:

Ciolino Fruit and Vegetable Markets in Monroe and Temperance has a truckload sale from Oct. 25 to 31 that will include Idaho potatoes 10 pound bag for $1.79, mini carrots at ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Buy one, get one free deals: make them work for you
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 24, 2009, 08:54:48 AM
Buy one, get one free deals: make them work for you (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/buy-one-get-one-free-deals-make-them-work-for-you/)
24 October 2009, 8:13 am

It’s a popular merchandising technique to offer a buy one, get one free sale.

Here’s how you make that promotion work for you:

Know what the “going price” is these days for that product on a per unit basis. You will not see always see prices listed in the sales fliers, you&...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: My October Angel Food Ministries box
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 24, 2009, 10:55:00 AM
My October Angel Food Ministries box (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/my-october-angel-food-ministries-box/)
24 October 2009, 10:51 am

It’s been awhile since I did a show-and-tell what I bought from Angel Food Ministries.

But as I’ve been doing my recent speaking appearances in the Monroe and Toledo areas, I’m finding that the grocery-by-the-box programs are the money-saving option that  people know the least ab...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Slash your grocery bill in half? Yes but it takes effort
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 24, 2009, 09:02:34 PM
Slash your grocery bill in half? Yes but it takes effort (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/slash-your-grocery-bill-in-half-yes-but-it-takes-effort/)
24 October 2009, 8:57 pm

The Nov. 3 issue of Women’s Day magazine has this article by Susan Samtur, aka The Coupon Queen: Slash your grocery bill in half (or more).

Here’s the lead:

Last month, I paid just 42¢ for $211 worth of groceries. Yup, you read that right. In fact, I save around 65 percent every time ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Hand sanitizer in short supply? Check your own supplies first
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 25, 2009, 07:06:23 AM
Hand sanitizer in short supply? Check your own supplies first (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/hand-sanitizer-in-short-supply-check-your-own-supplies-first/)
25 October 2009, 6:55 am

CNN is reporting Hand sanitizer in short supply as flu hits.

However, don’t waste your money on a panic buy situation. Look around your medicine chest, disaster supplies and school supplies before you go shopping – you may already have plenty for your family.

Those bottles do have expirati...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Oct. 25 coupon report
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 25, 2009, 11:05:01 PM
Oct. 25 coupon report (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/oct-25-coupon-report/)
25 October 2009, 9:51 pm

Redplum and SmartSource both had coupon packets in the Detroit and Monroe Sunday papers today.

I know that there’s a lot of buzz about the e-coupons, printable coupons and cell phone coupons. But most of the coupons that are in circulation these days are the Sunday newspaper coupons.

If you ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Programming note for Oct. 25
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 25, 2009, 11:05:01 PM
Programming note for Oct. 25 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/programming-note-for-oct-25/)
25 October 2009, 9:53 pm

Long-time readers know that I pick out quite a bit of sales and news articles from the Sunday papers.

I’m off my usual schedule this week – I was out of town all day.

Therefore some of my usual Sunday features won’t be posted until Monday.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe sales fliers Oct. 25
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 26, 2009, 07:22:32 AM
Monroe sales fliers Oct. 25 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/monroe-sales-fliers-oct-25/)
26 October 2009, 6:49 am

Do you actually look at the sales fliers that arrive in your mail and in your newspaper? I do.

The only other reliable way to know what’s on sale at the stores in YOUR neighborhood is go to the stores’ web sites and put in your zip code. Don’t assume that a grocery store sale list...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: The NFL football game we almost didn’t go to
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 26, 2009, 07:22:32 AM
The NFL football game we almost didn’t go to (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/the-nfl-football-game-we-almost-didnt-go-to/)
26 October 2009, 7:21 am

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/football1.jpg)

My husband and I were in Cleveland Sunday to watch the Cleveland Browns host the Green Bay Packers. This is a picture from our seats in the upper deck, in the northeast corner, above the Dawg Pound.

Green Bay won 31-3. Se...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Halloween sales roundup Oct. 26
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 26, 2009, 01:26:19 PM
Halloween sales roundup Oct. 26 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/halloween-sales-roundup-oct-26/)
26 October 2009, 12:28 pm

Here’s the last Halloween 2009 sales roundup for the season for the sales fliers in the Monroe, Mich., area.

Note that some of the stores are also having Halloween parties or giveaways for their customers: Toys R Us, Kroger, and Michael’s.

Toys R Us has 40 percent off all Halloween mer...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe grocery fliers Oct. 26
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 26, 2009, 09:30:43 PM
Monroe grocery fliers Oct. 26 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/monroe-grocery-fliers-oct-26/)
26 October 2009, 9:20 pm

Here are the last of the weekly grocery fliers for the Monroe, Mich., area:

Food Town in Monroe and Rockwood – flier comes in the mail – bananas 29 cents a pound, Spartan shredded cheese four for $5, coupon in flier for Pepsi products. Next week’s specials will include spiral slic...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Frugal Halloween events in Monroe MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 27, 2009, 07:37:06 AM
Frugal Halloween events in Monroe MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/frugal-halloween-events-in-monroe-mi/)
27 October 2009, 6:50 am

Are you looking for something to do with the family for Halloween that won’t cost you a zombie’s arm and a leg?

Here’s the list of Halloween events taking place in the Monroe, Mich., area, this week. Many of them are free or low cost. The trick-or-treat times also are included in ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Food pantry donation suggestions
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 27, 2009, 11:40:12 AM
Food pantry donation suggestions (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/food-pantry-donation-suggestions/)
27 October 2009, 9:45 am

As you go about grocery shopping for your own family, keep in mind that October through December is an extremely busy time for food pantry donation drives.

If you are already grocery shopping on a budget, you’ve figured out how to get groceries for your own family at a very low cost. But the ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: H1N1 vaccines will be free in Monroe MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 27, 2009, 01:26:21 PM
H1N1 vaccines will be free in Monroe MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/h1n1-vaccines-will-be-free-in-monroe-mi/)
27 October 2009, 1:06 pm

This post is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich.

The Monroe County Health Department has been distributing fliers about the H1N1 influenza vaccination clinics that will start Nov. 2. Go to the health department’s site for the details.

If you haven’t noticed yet, the H1N1 vaccination...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe’s College Night Expo is Nov. 3
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 27, 2009, 01:40:38 PM
Monroe’s College Night Expo is Nov. 3 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/monroes-college-night-expo-is-nov-3/)
27 October 2009, 1:32 pm

This post is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich.

The Monroe County counselors and Monroe County Community  College will host their annual college expo from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 3 in the Welch Health Education Building on MCCC’s Main Campus, 1555 S. Raisinville Rd. in Monroe, Mich.

Adm...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Veteran’s Day discounts
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 27, 2009, 05:42:34 PM
Veteran’s Day discounts (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/veterans-day-discounts/)
27 October 2009, 3:51 pm

If you are a military veteran with proof of service, or a family member with a military ID card, do watch for the Veteran’s Day discounts that are typically available in November.

A local reader let me know about these two:

Applebees - including the locations in Monroe, Mich., and Dundee, Mich. ̵...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Mackinac Bridge crossing free on Nov. 1
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 27, 2009, 05:42:34 PM
Mackinac Bridge crossing free on Nov. 1 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/mackinac-bridge-crossing-free-on-nov-1/)
27 October 2009, 3:58 pm

This post is for my Michigan readers:

The first Free Fare Day for the Mackinac Bridge has been announced for Sunday Nov. 1.

The Michigan Department of Transportation reports that from midnight to 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 1, the Mackinac Straits Health System Foundation and its co-sponsors will pay the f...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Last-minute Halloween sales?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 27, 2009, 05:42:34 PM
Last-minute Halloween sales? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/last-minute-halloween-sales/)
27 October 2009, 5:32 pm

Yes the sales fliers will tell you about the Halloween sales this week.

But … do be aware that the merchandise is very picked over. I was just running an errand at one store and saw very little stuff remaining on the Halloween shelves, except for stashes of candy.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: El-Bee and Kohl’s senior discounts Oct. 28
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 27, 2009, 05:44:37 PM
El-Bee and Kohl’s senior discounts Oct. 28 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/el-bee-and-kohls-senior-discounts-oct-28/)
27 October 2009, 5:37 pm

Two senior discounts that I found in the newspaper sales fliers today:

Elder-Beerman will have senior discount day Wednesday Oct. 28 for anyone age 55 and older. Save 10 to 20 percent in addition to sales prices, depending on the merchandise and how you pay for it.

Kohl’s will have a senior ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Frugal Thanksgiving tips
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 27, 2009, 09:44:43 PM
Frugal Thanksgiving tips (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/frugal-thanksgiving-tips/)
27 October 2009, 8:21 pm

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays where it’s a little hard to figure out how to cut back on expenses.

The traditional menu is not all that expensive to begin with. The bigger headaches for dinner hosts involve logistics (Who’s cooking what? Who’s sitting where? How do I time t...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Candy wants to be debt free – and she’s working on it
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 28, 2009, 07:52:43 AM
Candy wants to be debt free – and she’s working on it (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/candy-wants-to-be-debt-free-and-shes-working-on-it/)
28 October 2009, 7:06 am

My friend Candy at Deal With It, Simply! and her husband are working through the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University classes.

She’s been posting about her experiences and perspective on her blog:

This week our goal was to sit together and plan out our budget. It was stressful trying to fi...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Guide for Military Families
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 28, 2009, 09:52:44 AM
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Guide for Military Families (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/kiplingers-personal-finance-guide-for-military-families/)
28 October 2009, 8:20 am

I found this link on Paycheck Chronicles, which is hosted by Kate Kashman at Military.com:

Kiplinger has an online Military Family Money Guide with a lot of great links and resources. Topics include financial preparations for deployment, savings opportunities, and avoiding scams that target militar...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Taking care of a sick person at home
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 28, 2009, 09:52:44 AM
Taking care of a sick person at home (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/taking-care-of-a-sick-person-at-home/)
28 October 2009, 9:13 am

This link regarding H1N1 influenza  isn’t quite “budget” topic, it’s more of a DIY topic.

The reality is that when someone gets sick in your home, your family has to take care of the ill person while trying not to infect anyone else.

The Centers for Disease Control has som...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Free construction course to jobless in Monroe MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 28, 2009, 01:54:59 PM
Free construction course to jobless in Monroe MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/free-construction-course-to-jobless-in-monroe-mi/)
28 October 2009, 1:51 pm

This article is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich., and is on page 6A of today’s print and e-editions of The Monroe Evening News:

A free, non-credit course on construction is being offered to unemployed persons at Monroe County Community College, 1555 S. Raisinville Rd., Monroe, Mich.

Th...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe’s Largest Garage Sale 2.0
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 28, 2009, 03:56:58 PM
Monroe’s Largest Garage Sale 2.0 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/monroes-largest-garage-sale-2-0/)
28 October 2009, 3:22 pm

This post is for my readers in and near Monroe, Mich.

Monroe’s Largest Garage Sale and Flea Market will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday Oct. 31 at the Monroe Bank & Trust Expo Center at the Monroe County Fairgrounds, 3775 S. Custer Rd., Monroe, Mich. This is the second such sale and th...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Costco to start accepting food stamps
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 28, 2009, 05:06:52 PM
Costco to start accepting food stamps (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/costco-to-start-accepting-food-stamps/)
28 October 2009, 4:31 pm

Costco Warehouse stores have done a pilot project in New York state on accepting food stamps, and soon the program will be available nationwide, according to an Associated Press story that is making the media rounds today.

Check out the comments at Oakland Press to see the reaction in the metro Det...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Unemployment extension proposal is controversial
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 29, 2009, 08:03:05 AM
Unemployment extension proposal is controversial (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/unemployment-extension-proposal-is-controversial/)
29 October 2009, 7:03 am

Hmm … I don’t recall seeing so much debate about previous unemployment benefits extension proposals in Michigan. I’m not sure how to interpret it.

Sven Gustafson, who hosts the Michigan Job Search blog at MLive, did a post yesterday with an update on the latest proposal to extend ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Babble.com: How the recession is stressing out kids
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 29, 2009, 09:30:21 AM
Babble.com: How the recession is stressing out kids (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/babble-com-how-the-recession-is-stressing-out-kids/)
29 October 2009, 8:56 am

Babble.com has this post – The Family That Frets Together: How the recession is stressing out our kids.

A snippet:

It’s tempting to dismiss the suffering of children who are pretty wealthy compared to those whose parents were barely surviving on minimum wage and then get laid off. But ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Bookmark this site – or facebook fan me
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 29, 2009, 09:30:21 AM
Bookmark this site – or facebook fan me (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/bookmark-this-site-or-facebook-fan-me/)
29 October 2009, 9:11 am

I can always tell when a link to Monroe on a Budget is posted on monroenews.com. Reason: I generally get about 100 page views a day from readers who linking through that site.

You don’t have to wait for my link button to show up on the feature list on monroenews.com. I do rotate off and on be...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Black Friday procedures on this blog
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 29, 2009, 02:04:47 PM
Black Friday procedures on this blog (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/black-friday-procedures-on-this-blog/)
29 October 2009, 1:10 pm

I’m already hearing some chatter and buzz about the Black Friday shopping specials.

If you are a fan of Black Friday deals, you need to be aware that I do not post second-hand information on this blog.

The promotions, sales and deals that I post on Monroe on a Budget are vetted through first...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What if you can’t use sick leave?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 29, 2009, 02:04:48 PM
What if you can’t use sick leave? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/what-if-you-cant-use-sick-leave/)
29 October 2009, 1:53 pm

What happens if you or someone in your family is ill and you can’t use sick leave for that situation?

This is a real scenario for some families who are getting hit with the flu.

Maybe you are at a job that doesn’t offer sick leave.

Maybe you already ate up any sick leave you had avail...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Resume class Nov. 7 in Flat Rock
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 29, 2009, 03:10:56 PM
Resume class Nov. 7 in Flat Rock (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/resume-class-nov-7-in-flat-rock/)
29 October 2009, 2:49 pm

This post is for my readers in and near Flat Rock, Mich.:

Flat Rock Public Library, 25200 Gibraltar Rd., Flat Rock, Mich., will hold a resume class from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday Nov. 7.

This class will focus on resume do’s and don’t’s, four types of resumes, and tips for employment sites on...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: P&G announcing $104 coupons in Nov. 1 Sunday papers
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 29, 2009, 05:06:15 PM
P&G announcing $104 coupons in Nov. 1 Sunday papers (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/pg-announcing-104-coupons-in-nov-1-sunday-papers/)
29 October 2009, 4:11 pm

Proctor and Gamble has announced there will be more than $104 worth of coupon savings in its Nov. 1 Sunday newspaper inserts.

Note to my local readers in Monroe, Mich.: that distribution schedule for the P&G BrandSaver does include The Monroe Evening News. Look at the ad on page 7A of today’s...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Think more like Mrs. Claus, less like Santa, on your wish list
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 29, 2009, 09:16:16 PM
Think more like Mrs. Claus, less like Santa, on your wish list (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/think-more-like-mrs-claus-less-like-santa-on-your-wish-list/)
29 October 2009, 9:12 pm



If you write a letter to, or get a visit from Santa Claus, telling him what you want for Christmas, that list probably focuses on fun and frivolous things.

My standing patter for the Santa visits is “I want a new Barbie doll.” Now, of course, everyone who knows me gets the joke. I rea...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Crafts 2000 Christmas sales flier
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 30, 2009, 07:40:38 AM
Crafts 2000 Christmas sales flier (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/crafts-2000-christmas-sales-flier/)
30 October 2009, 6:40 am

Crafts 2000 is one of the craft stores in Monroe, Mich. The Christmas sales flier from Crafts 2000 came in my mailbox Thursday.

Some items of note:

Crafter’s acrylic paint 2 ounce bottles at 50 cents net.

Darice 50-count blank cards in white, ivory, natural, red and green at $2.97 to $5.97 ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Yule Love it: A Frugal Christmas program
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 30, 2009, 10:18:08 AM
Yule Love it: A Frugal Christmas program (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/yule-love-it-a-frugal-christmas-program/)
30 October 2009, 9:23 am



This post is for my readers in and near Newport, Mich.

The Yule Love It: A Frugal Christmas Program will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday Nov. 12 at Newport Branch Library, 8120 N. Dixie Hwy., Newport.

Learn to plan a Christmas you can afford. This program will include: family activity suggestions,...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Share frugal tips at the mom networks
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 30, 2009, 11:01:03 AM
Share frugal tips at the mom networks (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/share-frugal-tips-at-the-mom-networks/)
30 October 2009, 10:52 am

If you are a mom of a little one, you know that the Internet is full of mom-related networks and sites.

The ones I knew about from 10 years ago or so were bulletin boards for moms who were pregnant about the same time. Some of the newer parenting sites are geographic based. Much of the discussion f...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Military Salute Night with Detroit Pistons
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on October 30, 2009, 04:20:38 PM
Military Salute Night with Detroit Pistons (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/military-salute-night-with-detroit-pistons/)
30 October 2009, 3:07 pm

This post is for basketball fans in southeast Michigan:

The Detroit Pistons will host a Military Salute Night with the Wednesday Nov. 11 game against Charlotte Bobcats. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Click here for the details on how to get the tickets.

Current member...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Re: Monroe on a Budget: Military Salute Night with Detroit Pistons
Post by: BigRedDog on October 30, 2009, 04:24:37 PM
Military Salute Night with Detroit Pistons ([url]http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/military-salute-night-with-detroit-pistons/[/url])
30 October 2009, 3:07 pm

This post is for basketball fans in southeast Michigan:

The Detroit Pistons will host a Military Salute Night with the Wednesday Nov. 11 game against Charlotte Bobcats. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Click here for the details on how to get the tickets.

Current member...

Source: Monroe on a Budget ([url]http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget[/url])


Mayo beat you to it on this one :D :D :D
Title: Monroe on a Budget: When couponers and non-couponers collide
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 02, 2009, 09:18:06 AM
When couponers and non-couponers collide (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/when-couponers-and-non-couponers-collide/)
31 October 2009, 5:01 pm

Here’s a post from Moms Need to Know that’s getting a lot of traffic and comments – When couponers and non-couponers collide.

The story is based on the snarky comments that non-couponing customers have made to couponing customers.

A snippet:

As long as one is completely organize...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe’s Largest Garage Sale II
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 02, 2009, 09:18:06 AM
Monroe’s Largest Garage Sale II (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/monroes-largest-garage-sale-ii/)
31 October 2009, 6:22 pm

I spent my afternoon staffing The Monroe Evening News booth at Monroe’s Largest Garage Sale in the MB&T Expo Center in Monroe, Mich.

This was quite an experience! There were lots of people shopping. But my co-workers who had worked at the inaugural sale in March said it there were even bigger...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Trick-or-Treat 2009
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 02, 2009, 09:18:07 AM
Trick-or-Treat 2009 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/10/trick-or-treat-2009/)
31 October 2009, 8:25 pm

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/candy1031.jpg)

Halloween seemed to be a little slower than usual this year in my neighborhood in Monroe, Mich.

My neighbor said she didn’t notice as many houses lit up for candy stations when she went around with her son. And I sa...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Put the Halloween treats in the snack bins
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 02, 2009, 09:20:07 AM
Put the Halloween treats in the snack bins (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/put-the-halloween-treats-in-the-snack-bins/)
1 November 2009, 7:24 am

The For Better or For Worse cartoon in today’s Sunday comics details Mom’s efforts to take away the leftover Halloween candy from her son – with the intention of throwing it away.

My daughter never overdosed on her candy, so I didn’t have to deal with that situation. She wou...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Nov. 1 coupon report
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 02, 2009, 09:20:07 AM
Nov. 1 coupon report (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/nov-1-coupon-report/)
1 November 2009, 8:51 am

There were three coupon packets in each of my home-delivery editions of The Monroe Evening News and the Detroit Free Press. (I live in 48162 zip code).

This is a good week to start on my 8-week grocery shopping plan, which is timed to begin on the first Sunday of the month. After all, you’ve ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Christmas shopping season has started (Monroe MI sales fliers Nov. 1)
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 02, 2009, 09:20:07 AM
Christmas shopping season has started (Monroe MI sales fliers Nov. 1) (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/christmas-shopping-season-has-started-monroe-mi-sales-fliers-nov-1/)
1 November 2009, 9:48 am

The Christmas shopping season has started.

Now, the Sunday School teacher in me is rolling her eyes. This is still harvest time and Thanksgiving is the next holiday on the calendar. My home won’t be decorated for Christmas until Thanksgiving weekend.

But frugalista in me is watching those sa...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Senior discount day Nov. 2 at Meijer
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 02, 2009, 09:22:08 AM
Senior discount day Nov. 2 at Meijer (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/senior-discount-day-nov-2-at-meijer/)
1 November 2009, 9:52 am

Meijer will have a senior discount day Monday Nov. 2.

Those age 62 and older with proof of age can get 15 percent off most regular and sale priced general merchandise and apparel items.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Dollar General’s Veteran’s Day discount
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 02, 2009, 09:22:08 AM
Dollar General’s Veteran’s Day discount (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/dollar-generals-veterans-day-discount/)
1 November 2009, 9:55 am

Dollar General will have a 10 percent discount on Wednesday Nov. 11 for veterans and active duty military who bring a coupon that is in the sales flier (see flier in  today’s newspapers). I assume you will need your military ID as well.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: How to deal with Thanksgiving expenses beyond the turkey
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 02, 2009, 09:22:08 AM
How to deal with Thanksgiving expenses beyond the turkey (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/thanksgiving-expenses/)
1 November 2009, 8:58 pm

Thanksgiving is one of those occasions when one could feel like you have no alternative to spending money. If you’re going to travel, you’re traveling on an insanely busy weekend. If you’re hosting the dinner or overnight guests, you have to plan for a bigger grocery bill.

But do ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: How much are you spending anyway on juice drinks and soda?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 02, 2009, 09:24:12 AM
How much are you spending anyway on juice drinks and soda? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/how-much-are-you-spending-anyway-on-juice-drinks-and-soda/)
2 November 2009, 6:55 am

Have you seen the TV ad campaign hosted by Americans Against Food Taxes?

The TV and print ads can be found here. It’s an effort to recruit the public to help campaign their legislators for no taxes on juice drinks and soda.

A beverage tax idea is one possibility that has been discussed as go...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Museum Adventure Pass starts year 3
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 02, 2009, 09:40:43 AM
Museum Adventure Pass starts year 3 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/museum-adventure-pass-starts-year-3/)
2 November 2009, 9:28 am

This post is for my readers in southeast Michigan:

The Detroit Museum Adventure Pass, which is a program allowing those with library cards at participating southeast Michigan libraries to request free museum passes in the area, has started its third year of grant funding.

Monroe County Library Sys...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Free veteran’s dinner Nov. 11 in Lambertville MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 02, 2009, 09:54:52 AM
Free veteran’s dinner Nov. 11 in Lambertville MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/free-veterans-dinner-nov-11-in-lambertville-mi/)
2 November 2009, 9:41 am

This post is for my readers in and near Lambertville, Mich.

The Lambertville Post 9656, Veterans of Foreign Wars, will host a Veteran’s Day dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 11 at the post hall, 4120 Piehl Rd., Lambertville, Mich.

This dinner is free for veterans with valid ID card. Fri...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Sara Noel’s second-hand shopping tips
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 02, 2009, 09:54:52 AM
Sara Noel’s second-hand shopping tips (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/sara-noels-second-hand-shopping-tips/)
2 November 2009, 9:47 am

Sara Noel, hostess of Frugal Village, has some great tips on what to buy - and what to avoid – when shopping at the second hand stores.

A snippet from that column, which also appeared in Sunday’s edition of The Monroe Evening News:

You can find seasonal place mats, tablecloths, cloth n...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Huron-Clinton Metroparks admission free on Veteran’s Day
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 02, 2009, 03:18:17 PM
Huron-Clinton Metroparks admission free on Veteran’s Day (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/huron-clinton-metroparks-admission-free-on-veterans-day/)
2 November 2009, 2:21 pm

This post is for my readers in southeast Michigan:

Huron-Clinton Metroparks will waive vehicle entry fees and boat launch fees on Nov. 11 in honor of Veteran’s Day.

The park district includes 13 sites in a five-county area of southeast Michigan including Lake Erie Metropark, Oakwoods Patropark a...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Spirit of Christmas applications available
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 02, 2009, 03:53:04 PM
Spirit of Christmas applications available (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/spirit-of-christmas-applications-available/)
2 November 2009, 3:34 pm

This post is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich.

The Salvation Army of Monroe County, Mich., is now accepting applications for the “Spirit of Christmas” program.

Application will be available today through Nov. 25 for those who would like to receive food, clothing and toys for Christmas. Ap...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Senior discount Nov. 3-5 at Kohl’s
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 03, 2009, 06:22:49 AM
Senior discount Nov. 3-5 at Kohl’s (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/senior-discount-nov-3-5-at-kohls/)
3 November 2009, 6:16 am

Kohl’s has a senior citizens discount of 15 percent off today Nov. 3 through Thursday Nov. 5.

That discount is in addition to most sale merchandise – and the sales flier is listing 50 percent off sales taking place at the same time on popular holiday items such as cold weather hats and ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Holiday items showing up in grocery sales
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 03, 2009, 06:44:23 AM
Holiday items showing up in grocery sales (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/holiday-items-showing-up-in-grocery-sales/)
3 November 2009, 6:27 am

If you haven’t noticed yet, the holiday groceries are starting to show up in the coupons and supermarket sales fliers. It’s not a big amount of specials this week, but obviously the supermarket seasons are changing.

Be sure to look for those deals. The year-round home-cooking people sho...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Ace Hardware bag sale Nov. 7
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 03, 2009, 06:44:24 AM
Ace Hardware bag sale Nov. 7 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/ace-hardware-bag-sale-nov-7/)
3 November 2009, 6:32 am

Ace Hardware will have a bag sale Saturday Nov. 7, according to the sales flier that arrived in my mailbox Monday.

Almost anything that can fit in the special paper bag will be 20 percent off. Items shown as examples include a paint brush, level, outdoor Christmas lights and an extension cord.

For...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Bridal show Nov. 8 in Dundee MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 03, 2009, 11:32:43 AM
Bridal show Nov. 8 in Dundee MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/bridal-show-nov-8-in-dundee-mi/)
3 November 2009, 9:46 am



This post is for my readers in and near Dundee, Mich.:

The Dundee Bridal Expo will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday Nov. 8 at Old Mill Museum Banquet Hall, 242 Toledo St., Dundee, Mich.

Admission is free. There will be vendor displays, food and cake samples, door prizes and live music.

Brides an...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Ideas for Christmas gifts under $20
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 03, 2009, 11:32:43 AM
Ideas for Christmas gifts under $20 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/ideas-for-christmas-gifts-under-20/)
3 November 2009, 10:35 am

It’s a little harder than it used to be to get a nice Christmas gift for $20 or less.

But that is a reasonable range for families on a budget, or gifts for people outside your immediate family (hostess or teacher gifts, for example). And the typical range for gift exchange parties in the Monr...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Parade.com: How the economic crisis changed us
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 03, 2009, 01:02:58 PM
Parade.com: How the economic crisis changed us (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/parade-com-how-the-economic-crisis-changed-us/)
3 November 2009, 12:03 pm

Did you see this week’s Parade magazine in The Monroe Evening News and other Sunday newspapers across the country?

The lead article is How the economic crisis changed us.

A snippet:

Nearly four out of five respondents (79%) say that they’ve felt the impact of the financial downturn, with ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Freep.com: Medicare counseling in southeast Michigan
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 03, 2009, 01:02:58 PM
Freep.com: Medicare counseling in southeast Michigan (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/freep-com-medicare-counseling-in-southeast-michigan/)
3 November 2009, 12:36 pm

This post is for my readers in southeast Michigan:

The Detroit Free Press had a big section in Sunday’s edition called Your Guide to Medicare.

One of the articles lists dates and agencies that are hosting counseling meetings to help senior citizens find the best Medicare drug coverage plan f...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What’s that Mistletoe Market auction all about?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 03, 2009, 03:34:40 PM
What’s that Mistletoe Market auction all about? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/whats-that-mistletoe-market-auction-all-about/)
3 November 2009, 1:34 pm

The Monroe Evening News is advertising a Mistletoe Market auction.

What’s that all about? It’s an online auction of merchandise from our advertisers that you can buy for yourself or for Christmas gifts.

This is the first time my newspaper has hosted an on-line auction. Based on what we...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Clearance sale tricks from Family Balance Sheet
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 03, 2009, 03:34:40 PM
Clearance sale tricks from Family Balance Sheet (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/clearance-sale-tricks-from-family-balance-sheet/)
3 November 2009, 2:34 pm

Are you good at picking out the clearance sales?

Family Balance Sheet has this post: After-Holiday Clearance Sales aren’t Just About Christmas.

A snippet:

Search all around the store, not just the holiday themed aisles and the end-caps. The paper products were found in the paper product ais...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: USA Today: More people walking away from mortgages
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 03, 2009, 05:36:52 PM
USA Today: More people walking away from mortgages (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/usa-today-more-people-walking-away-from-mortgages/)
3 November 2009, 4:01 pm

USA Today has this report today: More walk away from homes, mortgages.

A snippet:

“The most disturbing aspect of this is that it’s becoming acceptable to do,” says Joel Naroff, an economist with Naroff Economic Advisors. “What does that mean down the road for housing and th...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Dealing with flu expenses
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 04, 2009, 07:06:11 AM
Dealing with flu expenses (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/dealing-with-flu-expenses/)
4 November 2009, 6:40 am

Flu headlines have been in the Monroe, Toledo and Detroit news media quite a bit this week with the launch of more flu clinics, including the first public H1N1 clinic in Monroe County. There also is now a school closing for three days this week for “health reasons” in Dundee, Mich.

I...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Military Children Scholarship application season opens
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 04, 2009, 08:15:08 AM
Military Children Scholarship application season opens (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/military-children-scholarship-application-season-opens/)
4 November 2009, 7:48 am

The 2010 Scholarships for Military Children application process has begun.

This is one of the few military scholarships that children of reserve and guard families qualify for. You don’t have to live on or near a military base, although the application process is handled through the commissar...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Nazareth Association scholarship taking applications
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 04, 2009, 08:15:08 AM
Nazareth Association scholarship taking applications (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/nazareth-association-scholarship-taking-applications/)
4 November 2009, 8:02 am

The Monroe Evening News has been sent this press release from the Nazareth Association:

Kalamazoo, MI – The Nazareth Association is offering two $1,000 scholarships to undergraduate students who will be a junior or senior attending a Catholic college or university during the 2010-2011 academic y...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Scammers targeting Michigan’s unemployed
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 04, 2009, 03:47:08 PM
Scammers targeting Michigan’s unemployed (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/scammers-targeting-michigans-unemployed/)
4 November 2009, 2:15 pm

The following article is on page 10B of today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News. I’ve also seen headlines in some other Michigan papers on this situation.

Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency is warning those with state unemployment insurance (UI) debit cards that scammers are ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Detroit TV 7’s “Early Holiday Toy Deals”
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 04, 2009, 04:06:27 PM
Detroit TV 7’s “Early Holiday Toy Deals” (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/detroit-tv-7s-early-holiday-toy-deals/)
4 November 2009, 4:01 pm

The crew at WXYZ Detroit TV 7 went toy shopping and are finding some Early Holiday Toy Deals.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Michigan welfare workers overwhelmed
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 05, 2009, 08:00:50 AM
Michigan welfare workers overwhelmed (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/michigan-welfare-workers-overwhelmed/)
5 November 2009, 6:46 am

The social safety net in Michigan is fraying at the edges in attempts to keep up with the realities of this recession.

I’ve posted headlines from southeast Michigan about food pantries struggling to keep up with the demand, the numbers of students on the free or reduced price school lunches, ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Coupon binders explained
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 05, 2009, 08:14:39 AM
Coupon binders explained (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/coupon-binders-explained/)
5 November 2009, 8:08 am

I use a plastic index card box with index card dividers to store and sort my coupons. It holds all the coupons my family needs and is small enough to fit in my tote bag when I go shopping.

But the box system frustrates a lot of people, so I’ve been mentioning other methods when I do my civic ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Black Friday at Frenchtown Square mall
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 05, 2009, 02:26:26 PM
Black Friday at Frenchtown Square mall (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/black-friday-at-frenchtown-square-mall/)
5 November 2009, 2:14 pm

This post is for my readers in Monroe, Mich.:

Frenchtown Square, 2121 N. Monroe St., Monroe, Mich., has announced it will open its doors at 6 a.m. Friday Nov. 27 (aka Black Friday). The details are on a full-page ad on page 10B in today’s print and e-editions of The Monroe Evening News that l...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: I’m speaking at Nov. 12 Monroe Lunch Bunch meeting
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 05, 2009, 07:32:25 PM
I’m speaking at Nov. 12 Monroe Lunch Bunch meeting (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/im-speaking-at-nov-12-monroe-lunch-bunch-meeting/)
5 November 2009, 7:00 pm

The last appearance on the budget blogger’s fall schedule will be the Monroe Lunch Bunch at 10:30 a.m. Thursday Nov. 12 at the Michigan State University Extension Service office, 963 S. Raisinville Rd., Monroe, Mich.

Em gave a nice plug for me at Mom Moments. Yes this meeting is open to all f...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What should you do when a friend asks for money?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 06, 2009, 12:10:51 AM
What should you do when a friend asks for money? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/what-should-you-do-when-a-friend-asks-for-money/)
5 November 2009, 11:19 pm

What should you do when a friend asks for money?

First: read the Nov. 5 Dear Abby column:

A snippet:

“Dear Friend, Family Member or Co-Worker: You came to me in a state of panic — unable to make your car payment, pay your lawyer’s fee, your taxes or the light bill. You asked for...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Doorbuster specials BEFORE Black Friday? Yes.
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 06, 2009, 08:14:21 AM
Doorbuster specials BEFORE Black Friday? Yes. (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/doorbuster-specials-before-black-friday-yes/)
6 November 2009, 6:50 am

Have you seen the Sears TV ad where the couple tells the sales clerk “We only shop on Black Friday,” and the clerk is explaining there are deals to look for BEFORE Black Friday?

Yes. Pick up the Sears ad that’s in your newspapers today. I’m looking at the one in the Detroit ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: When child support and joblessness collide
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 06, 2009, 04:18:28 PM
When child support and joblessness collide (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/when-child-support-and-joblessness-collided/)
6 November 2009, 3:26 pm

The Detroit News has this report, Michigan child support pleas flood courts.

A snippet:

Parents pinched by the recession are flooding courts across the state with requests for reductions in child support payments.

In Wayne County, requests for payment adjustments have doubled. Courts there and ac...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: MCOP emergency food deliveries announced
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 06, 2009, 04:18:28 PM
MCOP emergency food deliveries announced (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/mcop-emergency-food-deliveries-announced/)
6 November 2009, 3:47 pm

The following article is intended for my readers in Monroe County, Mich., and was in today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News. But I’d like all of you to note the paragraph I put in red:

Beginning next week, a shipment of emergency food will be available for low-income Monroe County, ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Food distribution Nov. 21 in Ottawa Lake MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 06, 2009, 04:18:28 PM
Food distribution Nov. 21 in Ottawa Lake MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/food-distribution-nov-21-in-ottawa-lake-mi/)
6 November 2009, 3:50 pm

This post is for my readers in southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio:

The churches of Whiteford Township in Monroe County, Mich., have announced they will have free food on a “first come, first served” basis for any Ohio or Michigan resident during a distribution from 10 a.m. to noon Sa...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe sales fliers Nov. 7
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 07, 2009, 10:28:52 AM
Monroe sales fliers Nov. 7 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/monroe-sales-fliers-nov-7/)
7 November 2009, 8:57 am

Here are the sales fliers that were in my home-delivery edition of The Monroe Evening News today (I live in the 48162 zip code):

Saving Sense coupon booklet – which can be downloaded on line – has coupons for local businesses such as the very popular popcorn coupons for Phoenix Theater,...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Trent and Lily’s wants your name brand clothing
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 07, 2009, 10:28:52 AM
Trent and Lily’s wants your name brand clothing (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/trent-and-lilys-wants-your-name-brand-clothing/)
7 November 2009, 9:03 am

This post is for my readers in and near Monroe, Mich.

Trent and Lily’s Resale Boutique, 513 N. Telegraph Rd., Monroe, Mich., is advertising that it is purchasing name brand, gently used fall and winter clothing from Nov. 9-25.

There’s also a 15 percent off coupon for your entire purcha...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Personalized weekly specials from Busch’s My Way
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 07, 2009, 10:28:52 AM
Personalized weekly specials from Busch’s My Way (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/personalized-weekly-specials-from-buschs-my-way/)
7 November 2009, 9:14 am

Do you shop at a Busch’s Fresh Food Market? There are several Busch’s stores in southeast Michigan including Carleton, Livonia, Ann Arbor and Farmington Hills.

In the grocery ad for Nov. 8-15, the store is introducing its Busch’s My Way program. You sign up and use either a regist...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Find the $4 prescriptions at Medtipster
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 07, 2009, 03:00:28 PM
Find the $4 prescriptions at Medtipster (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/find-the-4-prescriptions-at-medtipster/)
7 November 2009, 2:58 pm

I know about the discount generic prescription programs that are available at many pharmacies. I’ve blogged about them and used such a program once to get a free antibiotic.

It was hard for me to keep up with all the changes in the plans as more pharmacies signed on or made changes to their p...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Michigan jobless get unemployment extension
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 07, 2009, 08:32:59 PM
Michigan jobless get unemployment extension (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/michigan-jobless-get-unemployment-extension/)
7 November 2009, 7:04 pm

The headlines during the past couple of days, including at the Detroit News, are reporting that Michigan jobless are among those who are getting another extension of unemployment benefits.

Watch for details to be posted at Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency site.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Retail survey says: Consumer holiday spending will be down
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 07, 2009, 08:32:59 PM
Retail survey says: Consumer holiday spending will be down (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/retail-survey-says-consumer-holiday-spending-will-be-down/)
7 November 2009, 8:20 pm

The National Retail Federation has issued its 2009 holiday spending forecast.

A snippet:

According to NRF’s 2009 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, U.S. consumers plan to spend an average of $682.74 on holiday-related shopping, a 3.2 percent drop from last ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Frugal tip: Rethink your Christmas traditions
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 07, 2009, 10:26:55 PM
Frugal tip: Rethink your Christmas traditions (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/frugal-tip-christmas-tradition/)
7 November 2009, 10:14 pm

Before the Christmas season begins, I want you to think about how your family has been celebrating the holiday.

If the attention has been on Santa Claus bringing a pile of gifts, it’s time to put some “old school” celebrations on your calendar.

As you focus your family’s Ch...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Nov. 8 coupon report
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 08, 2009, 09:08:17 AM
Nov. 8 coupon report (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/nov-8-coupon-report/)
8 November 2009, 8:46 am

There are two coupon packets each in my home-delivery editions of The Monroe Evening News and the Detroit Free Press.

Yes, the holiday items are showing up in the coupon packets! Look for products such as Folgers gourmet selections, Crisco olive oil, Pet evaporated milk, Kelloggs Frosted Flakes, Ca...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Food gift ideas for Christmas
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 08, 2009, 10:00:35 AM
Food gift ideas for Christmas (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/food-gift-ideas-for-christmas/)
8 November 2009, 9:36 am

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/xmascoffee.jpg)With the increasing popularity of the de-cluttering and eco-friendly movements in recent years, I’m noticing an increased interest in food gifts at Christmas time.

Those who “have everything they want”, w...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe Christmas and weekly sales fliers Nov. 8
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 08, 2009, 10:41:11 AM
Monroe Christmas and weekly sales fliers Nov. 8 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/monroe-christmas-and-weekly-sales-fliers-nov-8/)
8 November 2009, 10:21 am

Here are some of the sales fliers I found in my Sunday newspapers this morning. I live in the 48162 zip code, and these sales fliers are in The Monroe Evening News except where noted. I am expanding my Sunday sales list to include department stores because of the holiday shopping season.

Meijer has...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Toledo-area merchants plan promotions but few discounts
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 08, 2009, 10:48:11 PM
Toledo-area merchants plan promotions but few discounts (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/toledo-area-merchants-plan-promotions-but-few-discounts/)
8 November 2009, 8:51 pm

The Toledo Blade is reporting that Toledo-area retailers are planning promotions, but few discounts, for the holiday shopping season.

A snippet:

This holiday season, shoppers can expect to find more special events, a larger variety of inexpensive gifts, more lavish decorations, and waves of promot...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Brian O’Connor attacks his utility bills
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 09, 2009, 06:50:42 AM
Brian O’Connor attacks his utility bills (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/brian-oconnor-attacks-his-utility-bills/)
9 November 2009, 6:47 am

Brian J. O’Connor, personal finance columnist at the Detroit News, is working on a series called The Grand Experiment. He’s aiming to cut $1,000 a month out of his household budget.

This week’s episode features the utility bills, and he picked up on a tip I hadn’t thought of...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Freebies for the jobless? Yes, but it’s a hit and miss
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 09, 2009, 10:46:52 AM
Freebies for the jobless? Yes, but it’s a hit and miss (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/freebies-for-the-jobless-yes-but-its-a-hit-and-miss/)
9 November 2009, 8:55 am

CNN has a gallery called Freebies for the Jobless that features businesses across the country who are reaching out to the unemployed.

Now, keep in mind this is a hit and miss situation. Whether such an opportunity is available in YOUR neighborhood depends on whether a business, non-profit group or ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Flat Rock’s Holiday Family Punch Card
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 09, 2009, 10:46:52 AM
Flat Rock’s Holiday Family Punch Card (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/flat-rocks-holiday-family-punch-card/)
9 November 2009, 9:34 am

This post is for my readers in and near Flat Rock, Mich.

The Flat Rock Community Center, 1 Maguire St., Flat Rock, Mich., is offering a Holiday Family Punch Card for families or grandparents with children to enjoy a day at the pool or gym during the Christmas season.

The cost is $40 for Flat Rock ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: “Why should people in distress be the only ones to benefit?”
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 09, 2009, 04:56:40 PM
“Why should people in distress be the only ones to benefit?” (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/distress-benefit/)
9 November 2009, 3:21 pm

H. Douglas Chaffin, president and chief executive officer of Monroe Bank & Trust in Monroe, Mich., wrote a guest column for Saturday’s edition of The Monroe Evening News that was headlined “What happened to personal responsibility?”

Doug said in his piece that bankers are seeing a...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Cabela’s Hometown Heroes Discount Days
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 09, 2009, 06:17:14 PM
Cabela’s Hometown Heroes Discount Days (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/cabelas-hometown-heroes-discount-days/)
9 November 2009, 4:58 pm

All Cabela’s locations, including the one in Dundee, Mich., has announced Wednesday Nov. 11 and Thursday Nov. 12 as “Hometown Heroes” days with special discounts for military personnel, veterans, law enforcement, firefighters and EMS personnel.

“This is our way of saying tha...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Fake tartar sauce
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 09, 2009, 06:17:14 PM
Fake tartar sauce (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/fake-tartar-sauce/)
9 November 2009, 5:51 pm

We’re having fish sticks with baked French fries and canned peas for dinner tonight.

But I don’t keep tartar sauce in stock.

Here’s my trick for fake tartar sauce: 1 tablespoon of mayo to 1 teaspoon of sweet pickle relish. Mix up as much or as little as you need for that day.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe grocery sales fliers Nov. 9
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 09, 2009, 08:58:14 PM
Monroe grocery sales fliers Nov. 9 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/monroe-grocery-sales-fliers-nov-9/)
9 November 2009, 8:44 pm

Here are the Monday grocery fliers for Monroe, Mich.:

Food Town in Monroe and Rockwood’s flier arrived in my mail today. This week’s specials include bananas at 29 cents, boneless beef chuck roast at $1.99 and Dannon yogurt at 39 cents. During the week of Nov. 16-22, get a free holiday ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Wal-Mart’s $20 Thanksgiving Day menu
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 10, 2009, 07:02:18 AM
Wal-Mart’s $20 Thanksgiving Day menu (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/wal-marts-20-thanksgiving-day-menu/)
10 November 2009, 6:28 am

Wal-Mart has issued a press release detailing how a family can assemble a Thanksgiving Day menu for $20. This information is a bit more relevant for my local readers in Monroe, Mich., than in previous years, because our Wal-Mart now has a grocery store!

The list:

One 12-pound Grade A turkey (when ...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Someone still lives HERE!
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 10, 2009, 08:34:26 AM
Someone still lives HERE! (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/someone-still-lives-here/)
10 November 2009, 7:15 am

My husband and I live in a middle-class neighborhood in the city of Monroe, Mich.

Families have always moved in and out of this part of the city for a variety of reasons. But during the past year, there has been a lot more moving out than moving in.

It’s a bit rattling for my husband and I t...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: USA Today: Companies cut back on holiday gifting
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 10, 2009, 11:04:48 AM
USA Today: Companies cut back on holiday gifting (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/usa-today-companies-cut-back-on-holiday-gifting/)
10 November 2009, 9:39 am

You either work for, or do business with, a company that has holiday gifts or gift baskets, holiday parties, or employee bonuses as part of its traditions, … or you don’t.

But one should never take such business gifts for granted, or assume you’ll get an equivalent holiday package...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Don’t get caught by surprise on the holiday calendar
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 10, 2009, 11:04:48 AM
Don’t get caught by surprise on the holiday calendar (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/dont-get-caught-by-surprise-on-the-holiday-calendar/)
10 November 2009, 10:53 am

Before Thanksgiving arrives, I want you to pull out a calendar.

Then get the kids’ school calendars out of their bookbags and binders, go find the church bulletin or look up your church’s web site, look up the holiday schedules that have been posted at work, and call or e-mail your sibl...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Community Shred Day in Gibraltar MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 10, 2009, 03:08:19 PM
Community Shred Day in Gibraltar MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/community-shred-day-in-gibraltar-mi/)
10 November 2009, 2:58 pm

This post is for my readers in Gibraltar, Mich., and is in today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News.

The City of Gibraltar will host a Community Shred Day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday Nov. 14 at the Municipal Building, 29450 Munro Ave., Gibraltar, Mich.

The event is for Gibraltar reside...

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Free turkeys for low income Wayne County MI families
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 13, 2009, 08:20:38 AM
Free turkeys for low income Wayne County MI families (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/free-turkeys-for-low-income-wayne-county-mi-families/)
11 November 2009, 10:00 am

This post is for my readers in Wayne County, Mich.

Low-income families who live in Wayne County, but not in the city of Detroit, are eligible for a Thanks Giveaway offer  (http://www.waynemetro.org/thanks2009.html)from the Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency.

Wayne Metro will distribute turkeys free to eligible families. The distribution times include 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 24 at Wayne Metro’s main office, 2121 Biddle St., Wyandotte. Pickups also have been arranged Nov. 23 in Redford and Hamtramck.

Applicants must provide income verification for the past 90 days such as pay stubs, unemployment paperwork or Social Security statements; a driver’s license or picture ID for everyone age 18 and older living in the home; and last four digits of Social Security numbers for everyone living in the home.

The chart is based on income levels and number of people in the home. A family of four will be eligible if their household income in the past 90 days is $11,025, which works out to the equivalent of $44,100 annually. The entire income chart and other details can be found on the Wayne Metro site. (http://www.waynemetro.org/thanks2009.html)

Here are the times when you can walk-in at Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency 2121 Biddle Avenue, Wyandotte, Mich., to register and receive a voucher:I apologize for the short notice, but this announcement just landed on my desk this morning.

However, I’ve been telling you readers all along that need-based assistance programs come and go on short notice, and that you need to have documentation for almost any such program. Here’s my tips on what to expect as you apply for assistance. (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/do-you-need-charity-assistance-five-tips-to-read-first/)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe’s Consumer Credit agency moves to new office
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 13, 2009, 08:20:38 AM
Monroe’s Consumer Credit agency moves to new office (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/monroes-consumer-credit-agency-moves-to-new-office/)
11 November 2009, 1:36 pm

The following article is on page 7A of today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News.

GreenPath Debt Solutions, a non-profit consumer credit counseling agency, has moved its  Monroe, Mich., office to a new location at 826 S. Monroe St. and will begin serving clients there on Thursday.

With more space and additional parking, GreenPath has added a second certified financial counselor to enable the company to assist more individuals and families seeking to solve financial problems.

The office had been located for many years at 25 S. Monroe St.

“We are thrilled about the move and increasing our capacity to serve many more Monroe area residents who can benefit from our help,” said Dianne Reichel, group manager for GreenPath Debt Solutions. “We are committed to providing every client with compassionate, high-quality counseling and customized financial solutions.”

GreenPath’s new office, a former location of Kelly Services, will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Services offered include pre-purchase housing counseling, foreclosure counseling, personalized budget assessments and debt management programs, through which GreenPath counselors negotiate with creditors to reduce rates, eliminate fees and execute reasonable payment plans.

For more information or to schedule a free counseling session, call (866) 648-8122 or log on to www.greenpath.com (http://www.greenpath.com).

A note from your blogger: GreenPath representatives have been in attendance at, or featured speakers at, several Monroe community events during the past couple of years — including the foreclosure forums and unemployment resource expo.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Former Holcim workers eligible for federal aid
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 13, 2009, 08:20:38 AM
Former Holcim workers eligible for federal aid (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/former-holcim-workers-eligible-for-federal-aid/)
11 November 2009, 1:40 pm

This article is on page 7A of today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News and is for the former employees of the Holcim plant in Dundee, Mich.

Former workers for Holcim (US) Inc. at Dundee, Mich., have been deemed eligible for training and benefits under the federal Trade Adjustment Act.

It means they can get weekly income for a year after their unemployment compensation runs out if they’re participating in an approved full-time retraining program.

The act also provides up to 104 weeks of job training, basic or remedial education, or training in literacy or English as a second language as well as job search and relocation allowances.

The Dundee cement-making plant phased out operations earlier this year, eliminating at least 160 jobs. The plant had operated for 50 years.

Officials said the closure was due to declining demand for the cement it produced, aggravated by imports and the effects of recession, particularly in the Midwest.

A federal certifying officer concluded that the plant workers, including on-site independent contractors, should be eligible for the assistance because increased imports of cement contributed to the plant closing.

Those eligible for assistance include all workers who became totally or partially separated from their jobs on or after May 22, 2008 through two years after the certification date, which was Oct. 28, 2009 as well as any sales or production workers laid off within two years after the certification date.

Information about the Trade Adjustment Act and how to receive benefits is available from the MichiganWorks! Service Center at 1531 N. Telegraph Rd. in Monroe. The telephone number is (734) 240-7950.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: New study says Michigan’s economic future is bleak
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 13, 2009, 08:22:31 AM
New study says Michigan’s economic future is bleak (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/new-study-says-michigans-economic-future-is-bleak/)
12 November 2009, 6:26 am

Even if Michigan is able to have a speedy recovery from the recession, a study by the Pew Center on the States has indicated that it will take years for the state to recover the lost jobs.

Here is some of the reporting on that story:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Deadlines approaching for Christmas assistance
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 13, 2009, 08:22:31 AM
Deadlines approaching for Christmas assistance (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/deadlines-approaching-for-christmas-assistance/)
12 November 2009, 6:53 am

The deadlines to apply for Christmas assistance are coming up fast.

Two examples:I also have a page called Help! I can’t afford Christmas!  (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/help-i-cant-afford-christmas/)where you can find links and tips to get through the Christmas season with your wallet intact.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Wal-Mart’s Black Friday 2009 plans
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 13, 2009, 08:22:31 AM
Wal-Mart’s Black Friday 2009 plans (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/wal-marts-black-friday-2009-plans/)
12 November 2009, 2:42 pm

I’ve seen some chatter about the Wal-Mart Black Friday plans in the past couple of days, and finally pinned it down from credible sources (Associated Press reports and Wal-Mart’s own press release (http://walmartstores.com/FactsNews/NewsRoom/9517.aspx)).

The Black Friday sales will start at 5 a.m. Friday Nov. 27.

Wal-Mart’s new  Supercenter in Monroe, Mich., is open 24 hours a day, and many of the Wal-Marts that usually are not open 24 hours a day will be during that date.

That means customers will be allowed to gather throughout the store to wait for the sales to begin. You won’t be standing out in the cold.

In addition, Wal-Mart has announced Three Days of Black Friday Savings  (http://walmartstores.com/FactsNews/NewsRoom/8818.aspx)that include on-line deals on Thanksgiving Day. The in-store deals will be Friday and Saturday.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe MI Christmas assistance distributed Dec. 22 and 23
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 13, 2009, 08:24:32 AM
Monroe MI Christmas assistance distributed Dec. 22 and 23 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/monroe-mi-christmas-assistance-distributed-dec-22-and-23/)
12 November 2009, 2:46 pm

This announcement is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich., and is on page 5A of today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News.

Lincoln Elementary School, 908 E. Second St., Monroe, Mich. which has been the scene of much holiday joy since first opening its doors in 1921, will once again be a humming hub of activity this Christmas season.

Though it is no longer an operating school, Lincoln will be used as the central distribution point for the Spirit of Christmas toy, food and clothing distribution on Dec. 22 and 23.

The Salvation Army of Monroe County anticipates that well over 1,500 families will receive items this Christmas season, a news release said. “We’re pleased to make this facility available to the Salvation Army and the other community groups which work so hard to make sure everyone in our community can have a Christmas,” said David J. Taylor, superintendent, Monroe Public Schools.

Major Michael Thomas of the Salvation Army echoed those sentiments.

“For us, Lincoln School is a perfect location, centrally located with ample parking nearby,” Maj. Thomas said. “Everything we do will be centered on the first floor in the former classrooms, offices and gym and the natural ‘traffic flow’ in the hallways makes this an ideal distribution facility.”

Persons who think they may qualify for the Spirit of Christmas distribution can register weekdays now through Nov. 25 at the Salvation Army, 1018 E. Second St., Monroe. Registrations will be taken from 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. week days.

For the first time in the south county area, persons can register at the new Salvation Army office in the Bedford Plaza at 7200 Lewis Ave. Suite C-1, Temperance, near the Secretary of State office. Registrations are weekdays from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. You must bring picture ID for all adults in the home, medical cards or birth certificates for all children in the home. Information needed is a combined household income or “Bridge Card.”.

If you are interested in donating toys to the program, a list of toy acceptance centers will be published soon by the Salvation Army.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Homeless Awareness Week begins Nov. 15
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 13, 2009, 08:24:32 AM
Homeless Awareness Week begins Nov. 15 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/homeless-awareness-week-begins-nov-15/)
12 November 2009, 3:10 pm

Homeless Awareness Week in Monroe, Mich., will be Nov. 15-21.

As has been tradition, there will be a variety of events during the week to help raise donations for needy families, get assistance information to those families and explain the cost of homelessness to the community.

Here is the main story  (http://www.monroenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091112/NEWS01/711129967)in today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News.

Here is the list of events (http://www.monroenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091112/NEWS01/711129965/0/NEWS).

I especially want to bring to your attention the Project Connect Expo (http://www.monroetalks.com/events/events/index.php?com=detail&eID=126993&year=2009&month=11). I stopped by that event in 2007 to see what services and information were offered. It’s a helpful resource opportunity for families who are already homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

The expo will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, parish hall, 937 E. Third St., Monroe, Mich. More than 30 agencies and organizations will be in attendance. There will be door prizes, free haircuts, free coats, and children’s activities. The free God Works! Family Soup Kitchen dinner will be served at 6 p.m.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Christmas bake sales
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 13, 2009, 08:24:32 AM
Christmas bake sales (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/christmas-bake-sales/)
12 November 2009, 4:51 pm

What’s one way to avoid doing your own baking at Christmas?

Buy some goodies at a Christmas bake sale or cookie walk. Here’s the list of the Monroe, Mich., bake sales (http://www.monroetalks.com/events/events/index.php?com=searchresult&s=11/12/2009&e=12/31/2009&k=&t=4) we have on file at The Monroe Evening News.

If you are capable of doing your own baking, this is not a money-saving tip. However, if you can’t, or won’t, bake your own goodies, or want only one dozen cookies instead of five dozen, the church and craft show bake sales are an alternative to more expensive bakery items or buying refrigerated dough.

For example: About four years ago, I donated a peppermint cake to a fundraiser bake sale. The customer said she planned to serve the cake at a luncheon the next day.

Most cookies and cakes will keep in the freezer for a time if you wrap them well.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Newport Library presents: A Frugal Christmas
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 13, 2009, 08:26:34 AM
Newport Library presents: A Frugal Christmas (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/newport-library-presents-a-frugal-christmas/)
12 November 2009, 9:23 pm

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/teacupxmas.jpg) (http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/teacupxmas.jpg)The Newport Branch Library of the Monroe County Library System (http://monroe.lib.mi.us) in Newport, Mich., and its sponsors put on a fantastic program tonight called “Yule Love It: A Frugal Christmas.”

There were nearly 50 people attending the free program tonight, and a waiting list besides. If you got bumped off the list, or weren’t able to attend, a copy of the handouts with lots of recipes will be kept at the reference desk for you to look at.

The Newport library staff said they’re used to seeing big crowds at their events. Now, from my experience speaking at library and community education programs, and discussions with librarian friends, an audience for adult programming is harder to get an audience for than kids’ programming. Even when people may be interested in the topic, it’s hard for parents to get away to an event that doesn’t involve children and many other adults would rather just settle in at home for the night.

So I was astonished to see the number of people who came to this event.

Scrapbooker Amanda Maue helped with a make-and-take greeting card project. Pauline Hood from the Flour Garden did chocolate making demonstrations. The librarians then pulled a collection of materials together that featured:There were lots of door prizes. I won one of the gift baskets and I’ll give it to one of my frugal friends for Christmas! (She’ll like the gift, and like the story behind it even better.)

David Ross, community librarian, said the staff proposed the idea about two months ago. The Friends of the Newport Library helped pay for the supplies.

If you weren’t able to attend, or you are one of my national readers, here are some of the tricks Pauline shared at the program about chocolate candy making:What can you make with chocolate and no molds? How about these yummy treats!

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/candyxmas.jpg) (http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/candyxmas.jpg)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Detroit News columnist writes about her husband’s layoff
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 13, 2009, 10:22:15 AM
Detroit News columnist writes about her husband’s layoff (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/detroit-news-columnists-writes-about-her-husbands-layoff/)
13 November 2009, 8:27 am

Marney Rich Keenan, a columnist for the Detroit News, writes this week about the day the word “jobless” hit home. (http://www.detnews.com/article/20091113/OPINION03/911130311/Ax-finally-falls-as-word--jobless--hits-home)

A snippet:
Of course, there was lots of swearing. Lots of venom directed towards corporate. You can’t fly in a head honcho from Manhattan to dismiss a tremendously overworked, loyal group of employees, professing, “There’s nobody I’d rather go to battle with,” and then not expect them to question the arrogant disregard of such a statement.

So is my husband angry? You bet. Entitled to punch his fist through the wall? Sure.

But the greater motivation to rise above this loss is probably going to win out.

In part, it’s because we are so not alone. Michigan’s unemployment rate was 15.4 percent as of September.


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Huron-Clinton Metroparks free admission on Nov. 26 and 27
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 13, 2009, 09:16:09 PM
Huron-Clinton Metroparks free admission on Nov. 26 and 27 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/huron-clinton-metroparks-free-admission-on-nov-26-and-27/)
13 November 2009, 8:53 pm

This post is for my readers in southeast Michigan:

The Huron-Clinton Metroparks  (http://www.metroparks.com)will have free park entry and boat launching at all metroparks, including Lake Erie Metropark and Oakwoods Metropark, on Thursday Nov. 26 and Friday Nov. 27 in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Christmas merchandise at Monroe Thrift Shop
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 13, 2009, 10:32:24 PM
Christmas merchandise at Monroe Thrift Shop (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/christmas-merchandise-at-monroe-thrift-shop/)
13 November 2009, 9:20 pm

This post is for my readers in and near Monroe, Mich.:

The Monroe Thrift Shop, 119 S. Monroe St., Monroe, Mich., is promoting its Christmas merchandise with items such as Christmas decorations, holiday clothing for women, infants and children, toys and housewares.

The shop also currently has a large selection of men’s clothing, shoes for the family, linens and reading material.

The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, except for Tuesdays when the shop closes at 1 p.m.

The Monroe Thrift Shop Association is a volunteer group, with all store proceeds going back to the community through charitable donations.

If you are shopping second hand, I have a sidebar listing the contact information and hours for this and other thrift shops  (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/thrift-shops-in-the-monroe-area/)in the Monroe, Mich., area.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Black Friday shopping tips
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 13, 2009, 10:32:24 PM
Black Friday shopping tips (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/black-friday-shopping-tips/)
13 November 2009, 10:09 pm

It was a little difficult for me to find Black Friday shopping tip articles that focus more on how to handle through the crowds and keep your sanity … rather than which web site supposedly has the best “leaked” ads.

But I did find two.

MSNBC has an article that was written in 2007 but the tips still hold up today: Surviving Black Friday. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15840733/)

A snippet:
Comfortable shoes are a must, and so are portable snacks and drinks. They’ll prevent you from having to endure low blood-sugar levels, dehydration or congested food courts.
SlickDeals also has a really good article called Black Friday: Frequently Asked Questions. (http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1646374)

A snippet:
Why do people go nuts on Black Friday? There are many reasons. A lot of people have off of work. Many people are home visiting families and friends and go shopping together. Mostly, as retailers noticed the higher profits on BF they’ve lowered prices, which increased interest more.


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Nov. 14 Doorbuster specials
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 14, 2009, 08:38:43 AM
Nov. 14 Doorbuster specials (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/nov-14-doorbuster-specials/)
14 November 2009, 7:40 am

There are some doorbuster specials taking place today.
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Thanksgiving food specials are picking up steam
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 14, 2009, 08:38:43 AM
Thanksgiving food specials are picking up steam (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/thanksgiving-food-specials-are-picking-up-steam/)
14 November 2009, 8:00 am

The grocery sales that are in effect for the week of Nov. 16 are when you can expect to find really good promotions on anything you might want for a Thanksgiving dinner.

I haven’t seen all the sales fliers yet, but the timing is easy to predict. The week of Nov. 16 is the last full week before Christmas. Besides, the grocery sales have been pretty good in recent months during the third and fourth weeks of the month.

Some of the items I’ve seen so far in the sales fliers have been featured in grocery coupons this month, so be sure to clip and sort your coupons, and take that coupon box or coupon binder with you to the store.

Now the really smart shoppers know to take advantage of the seasonal specials to stock up on products that can carry over into the Christmas holiday season or for everyday use. If you are running out of room in your freezer, do not panic. A lot of the sale items are boxed or canned goods that go on a pantry shelf.

Here are the grocery and drugstore fliers that were in my home-delivery edition of The Monroe Evening News today (I live in the 48162 zip code):
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: A roundup of fun frugal tips
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 14, 2009, 02:16:19 PM
A roundup of fun frugal tips (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/a-roundup-of-fun-frugal-tips/)
14 November 2009, 1:50 pm

Here are some of the fun but frugal blog posts I’ve seen this week:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: 50+ Homemade Christmas gift ideas from Domestic Cents
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 14, 2009, 02:16:19 PM
50+ Homemade Christmas gift ideas from Domestic Cents (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/50-homemade-christmas-gift-ideas-from-domestic-cents/)
14 November 2009, 1:55 pm

The Domestic Cents blog has this post 50+ Homemade Christmas Gift ideas. (http://www.domesticcents.com/holidays/50-homemade-christmas-gift-ideas)

One idea for the men:
Fleece Blanket (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59h8wgDgTRg) – There are plenty of new-sew versions to make too. You can buy fleece in a manly print (like camo) or with a favorite sports team logo.


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Michigan jobless will get extension instructions in the mail
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 14, 2009, 06:50:54 PM
Michigan jobless will get extension instructions in the mail (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/michigan-jobless-will-get-extension-instructions-in-the-mail/)
14 November 2009, 6:36 pm

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency is reporting that Michigan workers who are eligible for the extended unemployment benefits recently approved by Congress will get instructions in the mail on what to do next.

The news release  (http://www.michigan.gov/uia/0,1607,7-118-1328_1331-226152--,00.html)estimates 70,000 to 80,000 people are affected by this extension of benefits.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Ann Arbor’s hidden poor
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 14, 2009, 10:52:52 PM
Ann Arbor’s hidden poor (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/ann-arbors-hidden-poor/)
14 November 2009, 9:13 pm

AnnArbor.com is working on a special project, “Ann Arbor’s Hidden Poor.” (http://www.annarbor.com/news/special-project-ann-arbors-hidden-poor/) If you are interested in what is happening to southeast Michigan families who are teetering on the edge of financial crisis, you will want to read the pieces that are being produced by that newspaper / news web site team.

One of the reports is how the area resources are stretched thin.  (http://www.annarbor.com/news/areas-resources-for-help-stretched-thin/index.php)

A snippet:
Every week, Fran Deering gets requests from residents in the Green Baxter public housing site, in northeast Ann Arbor. They ask for help filling out forms to request food from the food pantry Deering keeps as the director of the Community Action Network’s community center at Green Baxter.

People even ask her for advice on how to best spend their limited money.

Recently, a resident came to Deering with a dilemma. Her car needed repairs so she could get to her job, but she couldn’t afford to make her rent that month and pay to fix her car.

Deering’s advice? Pay for the repairs.

Deering said she could find money to help cover the resident’s rent faster than she could get money for car repairs.
If you are one of my national readers, Ann Arbor is only 45 minutes away from my city of Monroe, Mich.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Lots of holiday food coupons in Sunday papers today
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 15, 2009, 08:59:00 AM
Lots of holiday food coupons in Sunday papers today (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/lots-of-holiday-food-coupons-in-sunday-papers-today/)
15 November 2009, 8:24 am

If you only buy a newspaper “for the coupons,” today is a day to do that. Specifically, there are a lot of popular holiday foods featured this week in the Sunday coupon packets.

There are three coupon packets EACH in my home delivery editions of The Monroe Evening News and the Detroit Free Press. I don’t get the Toledo Blade delivered at home, but usually that has the same number of coupon packets as the Monroe and Toledo newspapers. All three newspapers can be found at most newsstands in the Monroe, Mich., area.

While the number of packets are usually the same, there are some variances in actual coupons. So here are some of the products I’m finding in my Monroe stack (The Monroe Evening News front page has a balloon listing $315+ worth of coupons):

Pillsbury crescent rolls, Pillsbury pie crust, Chex mix, Mrs. Smith’s pies, Freshlike veggies, Hershey’s baking chips, Bob Evans refrigerated side dishes, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, Lipton recipe secrets, Del Monte canned veggies and fruit.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Thanksgiving specials and other sales week of Nov. 16
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 15, 2009, 11:00:24 AM
Thanksgiving specials and other sales week of Nov. 16 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/thanksgiving-specials-and-other-sales-week-of-nov-16/)
15 November 2009, 10:02 am

The grocery, department store and drugstore promotions are in full swing for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The newspaper sales flier cycle for stores in the Monroe, Mich., area is Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Click back a few posts to find my Saturday sales flier notices, the Monday ones will be posted Monday afternoon.

There is a HUGE stack of coupons in the Sunday papers today. You will want to clip and sort your coupons before you go grocery shopping because a lot of coupon matches are possible either from this week’s coupon packets or previous weeks’ coupon packets.

If you find good prices on grocery products you frequently use, stock up. Holiday food does not have to be eaten on the holiday. Many of the foods Americans typically eat at Thanksgiving also carry over well to Christmas or are everyday foods anyway.

And you already know that Black Friday is not the only day to find deals at the department and specialty stores. We’ve been seeing Christmas gift promotions for the past two weeks.

Here are some of the deals I found in my Sunday newspapers today. All are from The Monroe Evening News in Monroe, Mich., except where I note Detroit Free Press. (I get both of those newspapers on home delivery).

Grocery, discount and drug storesDepartment and specialty stores
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: The Assignment Detroit project
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 15, 2009, 11:00:24 AM
The Assignment Detroit project (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/the-assignment-detroit-project/)
15 November 2009, 10:17 am

There’s been a lot of buzz in the metro Detroit area about the special coverage that Time magazine and its media partners including CNN are giving to Detroit and Michigan.

Here is the Assignment Detroit (http://money.cnn.com/news/specials/assignment_detroit/) home page.

The intro:
It’s a city in crisis – but with potential for a big comeback. Despite an ailing auto industry and the highest jobless rate in the nation, Detroiters are determined to make their hometown thrive once again. For the next year, CNNMoney will focus on that challenge.


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Best Buy’s electronics recycling program
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 15, 2009, 11:00:24 AM
Best Buy’s electronics recycling program (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/best-buys-electronics-recycling-program/)
15 November 2009, 10:21 am

Best Buy has announced an electronics recycling program (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Electronics+Promotions/Online-Trade-In/pcmcat133600050011.c?id=pcmcat133600050011) in which you can get a Best Buy gift card based on the value of your old products.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Target hosting free family Sunday Nov. 22 at DIA
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 15, 2009, 12:57:02 PM
Target hosting free family Sunday Nov. 22 at DIA (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/target-hosting-free-family-sunday-nov-22-at-dia/)
15 November 2009, 11:31 am

This post is for my readers in southeast Michigan:

Target hosts a Family Sunday series on a regular basis at the Detroit Institute of Arts with art-inspired activities.

But on Sunday Nov. 22, the Target Family Sunday (http://www.dia.org/calendar/friday_nights/item.asp?webitemid=2053) special includes free museum admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The usual admission free is $8 for adults and $4 for children.

There’s a full-page ad in today’s Detroit Free Press about the deal, or go to dia.org (http://www.dia.org).

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: USA Weekend: Set a sane holiday budget
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 15, 2009, 12:57:02 PM
USA Weekend: Set a sane holiday budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/usa-weekend-set-a-sane-holiday-budget/)
15 November 2009, 11:41 am

The USA Weekend magazine has this piece today: Set a sane holiday budget. (http://www.usaweekend.com/09_issues/091115/091115holiday-budget.html)

A snippet:
After you’ve set your bottom-line figure, go to about.com (http://about.com/) and type in “holiday gift spending budget worksheet” and “holiday spending worksheet.” Use the gift worksheet to list each recipient and a spending limit. Keep the list with you when you shop. If you go over budget on one person, cut back on another.


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Meijer has posted its Black Friday ad
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 15, 2009, 09:07:07 PM
Meijer has posted its Black Friday ad (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/meijer-has-posted-its-black-friday-ad/)
15 November 2009, 8:05 pm

This takes some poking around, but go to Meijer.com (http://www.meijer.com), enter your store’s zip code (Monroe MI Meijer store is 48162), and you can find the Meijer Black Friday ad.

The doorbuster deals will be good from 5 a.m. to noon Friday Nov. 27. The budget-friendly specials include a selection of DVDs for $8 each, selection of Barbie dolls and action figures for $5.50 each and a Carhartt’s men’s jacket for  $29.99.

Meijer also announces in the ad it will not price match general merchandise sale items on Black Friday.

Remember: if you are one of my local readers, The Monroe Evening News is scheduling the Black Friday ads in the WEDNESDAY afternoon edition. There is no newspaper on Thanksgiving Day, based on long-standing tradition. That means you get the turkey day ads a day before turkey day.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What if you are just stuck with an expense?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 16, 2009, 07:13:05 AM
What if you are just stuck with an expense? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/what-if-you-are-just-stuck-with-an-expense/)
16 November 2009, 6:43 am

What if there’s an expense in your family budget that you are just stuck with?

Perhaps you’ve looked into alternative products or service and they won’t meet your needs. Perhaps you’ve already cut back to the minimum use on that product or service. Perhaps there are only a few providers in the first place for that item.

Brian J. O’Connor, who is writing The Grand Experiment cost-cutting series for the Detroit News, ran into that situation with speech therapy expenses (http://www.detnews.com/article/20091116/OPINION03/911160312/The-Grand-Experiment--Cutting-the-cost-of-the-kid) for his son:
The other big budget item devoted to my boy is untouchable: speech therapy. Li’l Money could also be nick-named Li’l Talker, because of a severe language delay. He’s been diagnosed as a late talker, and his speech development will catch up — but only with a lot of help.

That includes private speech therapy, specialists and consultants, as well as a $190-an-hour special education attorney who has had to help us keep some specialists from making the common – but harmful — mistake of pushing a late talker into programs for autism.

None of it comes cheap, and none of it is covered by insurance.
But Brian did figure out how to save money through the method he uses to pay for that speech therapy. He can set up a Flexible Spending Account to pay for the eligible medical expenses, which results in savings on his tax bill.

I have used FSA myself for many years. Yes, there is paperwork and hassle involved. But if your employer offers it, do look at the list of the eligible expenses to see how it would work for you.

The bigger point is: be as resourceful as you can on a particular expense, and then look for savings in other directions in your family budget.

As Brian’s series shows, you will likely have to take multiple cost-saving steps throughout your family budget in order to noticeably improve cash flow.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe’s Project Connect is Wed. Nov. 18
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 16, 2009, 09:14:39 AM
Monroe’s Project Connect is Wed. Nov. 18 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/monroes-project-connect-is-wed-nov-18/)
16 November 2009, 9:08 am

This post is for my readers in and near Monroe, Mich.

The Project Connect community information expo will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 18 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, parish hall, 937 E. Third St., Monroe, Mich., immediately before the God Works! Family Soup Kitchen dinner.

It is free and open to all Monroe County families who need information on local resources that can help with financial and housing needs, whether or not they are currently homeless. More than 25 agencies and organizations will have information tables.

The Gleaners Mobile Food Pantry is scheduled to be on site. There will also be door prizes, children’s activities and other distributions and free services.

Those who need transportation to the event are asked to call (734) 241-2775, ext. 205.

This expo is sponsored by the Monroe County Homeless Network (http://www.monroehomeless.org/) as part of Homeless Awareness Week events. Other sponsors include the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness and Monroe County Opportunity Program.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Searching for Black Friday experts in Monroe MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 16, 2009, 02:36:57 PM
Searching for Black Friday experts in Monroe MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/searching-for-black-friday-experts-in-monroe-mi/)
16 November 2009, 1:35 pm

I’ve been assigned to cover Black Friday for The Monroe Evening News in Monroe, Mich.

This is the first time in 10 years I’ve covered Black Friday, and I plan to have some fun with the story. The angle my co-workers and I have settled on is:

The Monroe Evening News wants to feature the perspective of someone, or a family, or a group of friends, who are local Black Friday shopping stars.

There are plenty of you out shopping in the area, based on what my co-workers have seen over the years. Mall of Monroe, Meijer and Wal-Mart have announced some of their details for Black Friday 2009. I’m also aware that the unofficial sites are already posting “leaked” information. So I’m sure the scheming for this year has begun.

Here is what I am looking for:If this doesn’t work out, I’ll end up doing “man on the street” interviews at some of the local retailers. That’s the Black Friday story you find at most media outlets. It works, but it’s getting old.

Contact me at paula@monroenews.com or tweet me @monroeonabudge (http://www.twitter.com/monroeonabudget)t if you want to follow up.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: The CyberMonday site
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 16, 2009, 03:18:55 PM
The CyberMonday site (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/the-cybermonday-site/)
16 November 2009, 2:41 pm

The National Retail Federation’s holiday season projects include an official CyberMonday shopping portal and research site. (http://www.cybermonday.com/) Although the site is open year round, it’s aimed at the holiday shoppers.

More than 650 retailers are participating in the site.

CyberMonday is the nickname for the Monday after Thanksgiving, which has become a busy day for online shopping orders. In other words, it’s the Internet version of Black Friday.

This year, CyberMonday falls on Monday Nov. 30.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: December Angel Food Ministries orders
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 16, 2009, 05:20:51 PM
December Angel Food Ministries orders (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/december-angel-food-ministries-orders/)
16 November 2009, 4:18 pm

Angel Food Ministries is a discount grocery purchase program that is open to anyone of any income level. There are several distribution points in southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio.

If you are one of my local readers, there are distribution sites in Monroe, Bedford Township and Dundee, Mich. Grocery orders can be placed on line at www.angelfoodministries.com (http://www.angelfoodministries.com) or bring cash, bank card or Michigan Bridge Card to the local sites during their office hours (which can also be found on the Angel Food site):If you are wondering what this program is all about, click through my Angel Food Ministries archives. (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/category/groceries/angel-food-ministries/)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Danny’s and Hi-Lite grocery ads Nov. 16
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 16, 2009, 07:12:53 PM
Danny’s and Hi-Lite grocery ads Nov. 16 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/dannys-and-hi-lite-grocery-ads-nov-16/)
16 November 2009, 6:58 pm

Danny’s Fine Foods and Hi-Lite Supermarket in Monroe, Mich., schedule their grocery ads on Monday in The Monroe Evening News.
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Here’s what Wal-Mart is saying so far on Black Friday
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 18, 2009, 07:54:23 PM
Here’s what Wal-Mart is saying so far on Black Friday (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/heres-what-wal-mart-is-saying-so-far-on-black-friday/)
18 November 2009, 7:09 pm

People are buzzing around the Internet about seeing a leaked Wal-Mart Black Friday ad. Just for the sake of clarification, Wal-Mart hasn’t actually posted its Black Friday ad yet.

The ads that were in the newspapers yesterday were the Thanksgiving ad for Nov. 18-26. There are some nice deals this week including a Thanksgiving menu for a family of eight under $20 – for example, Green Giant canned veggies for 50 cents, Ocean Spray whole cranberries in can for 88 cents, and turkey at 40 cents a pound. Look for Nestle toll house morsels and cookie pans too.

Wal-Mart’s most recent press release (http://walmartstores.com/FactsNews/NewsRoom/9526.aspx) is also the pre-Thanksgiving stuff.

Now, CNN did call up Wal-Mart officials and asked about the leaked ad for the sale that takes place 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. Nov. 27. (http://money.cnn.com/2009/11/17/news/companies/walmart_black_friday_ad_2009/index.htm?cnn=yes) Some sale notices were confirmed, some were not. I would have thought a CNN story would spark Wal-Mart to officially post the ad, but they haven’t. I just looked.

Keep in mind that if you live in Monroe, Mich., you get a day’s jump on the official Black Friday sales fliers anyway. The Monroe Evening News does not publish a newspaper on Thanskgiving Day, so all of the turkey day ads will be in our paper on Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Cynical Critic’s Black Death Friday best picks
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 18, 2009, 07:54:23 PM
Cynical Critic’s Black Death Friday best picks (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/cynical-critics-black-death-friday-best-picks/)
18 November 2009, 7:24 pm

Josh at Cynical Critic has compiled his list of “best picks” his Black Death Friday Best Picks post. (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/critic/?p=251) I like his list because he is indicating which deals he thinks will be the most popular ones.

Keep in mind that any early pricing you see for Black Friday on second-hand sites is second-hand information. Before you make your shopping plans, you will want to verify the details on the actual store’s web site (many stores, but not all, will post Black Friday ads on their own site a few days early); or in the actual newspaper ads that will be scheduled on whatever date the store asked for.

I have been out of the office for the past couple of days, so I don’t know what the ad runs are like for this weekend. But I do know that the Wednesday Nov. 25 edition of The Monroe Evening News will have a big stack of Black Friday ads (Our paper does not publish on Thanksgiving Day).

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Buy a car on Black Friday?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 18, 2009, 07:54:23 PM
Buy a car on Black Friday? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/buy-a-car-on-black-friday/)
18 November 2009, 7:28 pm

If you are looking for car deals, guess which day that some car pricing researchers say is your best bet?

Black Friday.

Go figure.

Story is at (http://money.cnn.com/2009/11/17/autos/black_friday_car_deals/index.htm?cnn=yes) CNN.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Free college football tickets for jobless, military and UAW members
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 18, 2009, 07:56:19 PM
Free college football tickets for jobless, military and UAW members (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/free-college-football-tickets-for-jobless-military-and-uaw-members/)
18 November 2009, 7:34 pm

The Michigan Job Search blog at MLive.com is reporting that 10,000 tickets will be free on a first-come basis starting (http://www.mlive.com/michigan-job-search/index.ssf/2009/11/10000_free_tickets_to_mac_championship_g.html) at 9 a.m. Saturday Nov. 21 for the MAC Championship football game on Friday Dec. 4 for the jobless, military and United Auto Workers members.

A snippet with the rules:
Organizers will give out 10,000 free tickets to the 2009 MAC championship game Saturday, Nov. 21 beginning at 9 a.m. at the Gate A outdoor ticket window on Brush Street in downtown Detroit. Two free tickets will be available to each person who can present a Michigan unemployment debit card and government-issued ID, valid military ID or United Auto Workers badge.


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Hillbilly Housewife: Once a Month Cooking didn’t work for her
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 18, 2009, 07:56:19 PM
Hillbilly Housewife: Once a Month Cooking didn’t work for her (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/hillbilly-housewife-once-a-month-cooking-didnt-work-for-her/)
18 November 2009, 7:52 pm

Hillbilly Housewife has posted Peg’s Confessions of a Once a Month Cooking Drop-Out (http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/once-a-month-cooking-just-didnt-work-for-us.htm).

I read a book on the Once a Month Cooking concept many years ago, and never did mess with it! I quickly gave that book away.

But Peg did learn some time-saving tricks along the way, so go check out her article. (http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/once-a-month-cooking-just-didnt-work-for-us.htm)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Detroit Tigers lower some 2010 ticket prices
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 19, 2009, 08:03:07 AM
Detroit Tigers lower some 2010 ticket prices (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/detroit-tigers-lower-some-2010-ticket-prices/)
19 November 2009, 6:25 am

The Detroit Tigers have announced a 2010 ticket pricing schedule that includes discounts on some tickets and freeze prices on all other tickets.

Detroit News has the details. (http://www.detnews.com/article/20091118/SPORTS0104/911180424/Tigers-freeze-ticket-prices-for-2010)

Detroit Tigers announcement (http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20091118&content_id=7683060&vkey=pr_det&fext=.jsp&c_id=det).

The 2010 home opener is April 9 against the Cleveland Indians.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Black Friday shopping patterns changing
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 19, 2009, 08:03:07 AM
Black Friday shopping patterns changing (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/black-friday-shopping-patterns-changing/)
19 November 2009, 6:38 am

Are you wondering why so many Christmas gift discounts and deals show up before Thanksgiving, or on Thanksgiving Day itself?

Well, that’s long been my secret for shopping without seeking out the doorbuster specials on Black Friday. I almost always have to work that day. As it turns out, this year I’ll be doing the Black Friday shopping report for The Monroe Evening News. The focus I want to take is on Monroe, Mich., shoppers who have fun and enjoy the day. I know you are out there. Talk to me.

Now if you want to talk about the deals, The Toledo Blade has this report: Black Friday sales changing – many retailers offer deals ahead of traditional rush. (http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091118/BUSINESS10/911180352)

A snippet:
Following a trend that emerged a few years ago, many retailers now offer Black Friday pricing and “door-buster” specials in advance of that day. The shaky economy, some experts say, means people should not expect to find spectacular savings seen in past years because year-to-date retail sales have been poor. “They really need to add an ’s’ to it and start calling it Black Fridays because it no longer is one specific day anymore,” said retail consultant Jeff Green of Jeff Green Partners Inc.
In other words, you can shop Black Friday if you want to. But if you can’t, or would rather not deal with the busy crowds, you can still find sales.

From now until Christmas Day, I recommend you watch your favorite retailers’ ads either at the stores’ web sites or in your local daily newspaper so you can spot those deals as soon as they are announced. Do not expect to find all the sales ads in the Sunday papers. Sometimes the stores are scheduling sales mid-week with a sales flier issued the day before.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: CNNMoney: Few getting long-term mortgage assistance
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 19, 2009, 08:03:07 AM
CNNMoney: Few getting long-term mortgage assistance (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/cnnmoney-few-getting-long-term-mortgage-assistance/)
19 November 2009, 7:00 am

Do you remember all the buzz about mortgage relief when the new national programs got announced? The national financial journalists and some government officials are watching the statistics, and the reviews have not been good.

CNNMoney is adding to the discussion with its report Few getting long-term mortgage relief. (http://money.cnn.com/2009/11/19/news/economy/Obama_foreclosure_fix/index.htm)

A snippet:
Under the president’s plan, delinquent borrowers are put into trial modifications for several months to make sure they can handle the new payments and to give them time to submit their financial paperwork. If they qualify for a long-term modification, borrowers can keep making the lower payments for five years, after which time the interest rate is set at the rate at the time of the adjustment, or about 5% today.

The number of permanent modifications reported is expected to be small, industry observers said. Servicers say they are having trouble getting the necessary documents from borrowers, while homeowners maintain that their servicers are repeatedly losing the paperwork.

And, the question remains, how many people will meet the criteria necessary to adjust their loans for the long-term?
Do not stress out yet. You do have other options.

If $100 or $200 off your mortgage payment would make a difference in your household budget or cash flow, does it really matter where that savings comes from?

No.

For a roundup of money-saving tips based on household budget categories, go to my series The Downsized Budget: How and Where to Cut Back. (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/the-downsized-budget-how-and-where-to-cut-back/)

Many of the cost-cutting steps I outline for working class and middle-class families do require an investment of time and / or money up front to see financial savings later. You’ll find an explanation on how that works at There’s no quick fix for a downsized income. (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/2009/04/theres-no-quick-fix-for-a-downsized-income/)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Trent’s Garage Sale and Thrifting Tool Kit
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 19, 2009, 08:04:05 AM
Trent’s Garage Sale and Thrifting Tool Kit (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/trents-garage-sale-and-thrifting-tool-kit/)
19 November 2009, 8:03 am

This a a great idea from Trent at the Simple Dollar:

Trent has a Garage Sale and Thrifting Tool Kit (http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2009/11/17/my-garage-sale-and-thrifting-toolkit/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+thesimpledollar+(The+Simple+Dollar)) so he can find the sale locations, know what sizes he’s looking for in clothing and household items, and has plenty of small bills to make the purchases.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Homemade baking mix
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 19, 2009, 08:32:47 AM
Homemade baking mix (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/homemade-baking-mix/)
19 November 2009, 8:07 am

Dimes 2 Vines has the directions for homemade baking mix (http://dimes2vines.blogspot.com/2009/11/homemade-bisquick.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+Dimes2Vines+(Dimes+2+Vines)) (aka fake “Bisquick”).

I’m going to print this off and put in my cookbook shelf. I knew there were recipes available for this stuff, but hadn’t looked it up. I do occasionally make biscuits with baking mix.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Coupon Sherpa’s 18 tips to having a “killer” Black Friday
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 19, 2009, 08:32:47 AM
Coupon Sherpa’s 18 tips to having a “killer” Black Friday (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/coupon-sherpas-18-tips-to-having-a-killer-black-friday/)
19 November 2009, 8:22 am

Coupon Sherpa has a great list at 18 Tips to Having a Killer Black Friday. (http://www.couponsherpa.com/ask-coupon-sherpa/18-tips-to-having-a-killer-black-friday/)

A snippet:
Leave the kids at home: Nobody, least of all you, wants to listen to children throwing tantrums in the middle of the mall or worry about losing them in the crowd. Children will only slow you down and insist on buying extra items. Besides, you don’t want the tiny tots to see the gifts you’re buying them.
Coupon Sherpa also mentions getting the Thanksgiving Day newspaper so you get the Black Friday ads.

If you are one of my local readers in Monroe, Mich., keep in mind that The Monroe Evening News does not publish on Thanksgiving Day. You will find the Black Friday ads in my newspaper on Wednesday Nov. 25.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Seniors and needy get Thanksgiving Dinner in Milan MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 19, 2009, 10:48:56 AM
Seniors and needy get Thanksgiving Dinner in Milan MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/seniors-and-needy-get-thanksgiving-dinner-in-milan-mi/)
19 November 2009, 10:04 am

This post is for my readers in and near Milan, Mich., and was in Tuesday’s edition of The Monroe Evening News:

Campfire Bar-B-Q Grille Restaurant will host its 26th annual Thanksgiving Day Feast on Nov. 26.

It will offer free Thanksgiving dinners to seniors 62 and older and the less fortunate. Others will incur charges of $8.99 for adults and $6.99 for children 12 and younger.

The restaurant, 1035 Dexter St., Milan, Mich., will be open from noon to 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day to serve dinners.

Meals will include turkey or ham with mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, a tossed salad and the choice of pumpkin or sweet potato pie.

Because more than 300 meals were served last year, those planning to attend are encouraged to make reservations by calling (734) 439-8889.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Gas discounts at Frenchtown’s Kroger Friday Nov. 20
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 19, 2009, 11:00:21 AM
Gas discounts at Frenchtown’s Kroger Friday Nov. 20 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/gas-discounts-at-frenchtowns-kroger-friday-nov-20/)
19 November 2009, 10:52 am

This post is for my readers in and near Monroe, Mich., and is from a press release that Kroger sent today to The Monroe Evening News:

Kroger Plus Card holders can enjoy 50 cents off each gallon of gasoline from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday Nov. 20 at the new Frenchtown  Kroger Fuel  Center, 3833 N. Dixie Highway., Monroe, Mich.

This special promotion, limited to one vehicle per customer (30-gallon limit), marks the official opening of the Frenchtown  Kroger Fuel  Center.

Kroger Plus Card holders can regularly earn discounts on their Kroger fuel station gasoline purchases when they spend at least $150 a month in groceries.

The Frenchtown Kroger Fuel  Center is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays.  In addition to fuel, the location offers convenience items such as snacks, candy and auto supplies.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Soroptimist scholarships for Monroe County MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 19, 2009, 02:08:31 PM
Soroptimist scholarships for Monroe County MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/soroptimist-scholarships-for-monroe-county-mi/)
19 November 2009, 1:42 pm

The following notice is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich., and is on page 8B of  today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News.

Soroptimist International of Monroe County, Mich., invites local women to apply for monetary awards to help them in pursuing higher education.

The following awards are available:Applications for all awards are available by calling Soroptimist member Peg at (734) 242-4935.

Soroptimist International of Monroe County is a part of Soroptimist International of the Americas, a volunteer organization for business and professional women who contribute time and financial support to community-based projects benefiting women and girls.

Inquiries about membership in the Monroe chapter may be directed by calling Lori at (734) 241-6015 or Barb at (734) 243-0489.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Free turkey dinner for needy in Flat Rock MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 19, 2009, 03:02:53 PM
Free turkey dinner for needy in Flat Rock MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/free-turkey-dinner-for-needy-in-flat-rock-mi/)
19 November 2009, 2:50 pm

This post is for my readers in and near Flat Rock, Mich.

Homeless and needy families in the Flat  Rock, Mich., area can get a free turkey supper with all the fixings Tuesday at the Flat  Rock Family Cafe.

The meals will be served from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the  restaurant, 27517 Telegraph  Rd., Flat Rock. It’s the 25th year that the Steve and Susan  Stylianou family has offered the free meals for the less fortunate at  Thanksgiving.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Kohl’s and El-Bee sales Nov. 20 and 21
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 19, 2009, 07:05:04 PM
Kohl’s and El-Bee sales Nov. 20 and 21 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/kohls-and-el-bee-sales-nov-20-and-21/)
19 November 2009, 6:12 pm

Do you scoff at “department store prices?”

I think you need to look at the sales fliers that were in today’s newspapers for Kohl’s and Elder-Beerman. You’ll find some nice stuff suitable for Christmas gifts, winter wear or holiday feasting preparations that will be on very nice sales prices this weekend.
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Canned pumpkin shortage coming?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 19, 2009, 07:05:04 PM
Canned pumpkin shortage coming? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/canned-pumpkin-shortage-coming/)
19 November 2009, 6:36 pm

I remember hearing some buzz about this earlier in the season – but couldn’t pin it down until today. Apparently, there really is a national shortage of canned pumpkin. Libby’s Pumpkin has confirmed it on the  (http://www.verybestbaking.com/libbys/classic/shortage.aspx)Very Best Baking web site.

So it would be smart for you to count up now how many cans of pumpkin you will need for Thanksgiving and Christmas treats, and buy the cans when you see them rather than waiting until baking day. The Detroit Free Press has checked in with some grocery stores in the region (http://www.freep.com/article/20091119/FEATURES02/91119065/1320/Canned-pumpkin-shortage-due-for-holidays) to see what the local supplies are like.

In the meantime, the Libby’s site is suggesting other options for holiday treats such as strawberry cheesecake pie.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Gov. Granholm makes appeal on Michigan Promise grant
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 19, 2009, 07:05:04 PM
Gov. Granholm makes appeal on Michigan Promise grant (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/gov-granholm-makes-appeal-on-michigan-promise-grant/)
19 November 2009, 6:50 pm

Did your Michigan high school or college student get a letter in the mail this week from the governor about the status of the Michigan Promise program? My daughter did.

Anyone who falls in that demographic knows the background of this program (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/index.php?s=%22michigan+promise%22) and the impact that state budget cuts are having on it.

But if you are wondering what that letter is all about, The Detroit Free Press is reporting on Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s efforts  (http://www.freep.com/article/20091119/NEWS06/911190447/1008/NEWS06/Granholm-recruits-for-aid-battle-)to revive the Michigan Promise Scholarship program.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Glitch in Michigan emergency unemployment benefits?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 19, 2009, 09:06:24 PM
Glitch in Michigan emergency unemployment benefits? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/glitch-in-michigan-emergency-unemployment-benefits/)
19 November 2009, 7:16 pm

Sven at the Michigan Jobs Blog at MLive has found some technical issues with the emergency unemployment extensions that longterm jobless Michigan residents are counting on / hoping for.

A snippet:
There’s another problem with the unemployment extensions signed into law earlier this month: The legislation does nothing to address the fact that all of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits program all expire at the end of the year. …

The tight deadline for applying for the two additional EUC benefit tiers makes it unlikely that many Michigan residents will qualify for the full 20 weeks of added benefits.
Go see what he’s talking about. (http://www.mlive.com/michigan-job-search/index.ssf/2009/11/all_emergency_unemployment_compensation.html)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Hickory Farms free shipping to APO/FPO addresses
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 19, 2009, 09:06:24 PM
Hickory Farms free shipping to APO/FPO addresses (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/hickory-farms-free-shipping-to-apofpo-addresses/)
19 November 2009, 7:49 pm

Hickory Farms, which is based in Maumee, Ohio, and has stores in southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio, has announced a special collection of food gifts (http://www.hickoryfarms.com/category~name~Military%20Gifts~c~600.asp) that can be shipped at no charge to APO / FPO military addresses.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: When a Christmas gift is a charity gift
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 20, 2009, 08:36:54 AM
When a Christmas gift is a charity gift (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/when-a-christmas-gift-is-a-charity-gift/)
20 November 2009, 8:14 am

Woman’s Day magazine for Dec. 1 has a story about The White Envelope Project, which inspires others to give to charities during the holidays.

The concept started with a holiday tradition by one family (http://www.womansday.com/Content/Family-Lifestyle/Holidays/For-the-Man-Who-Hated-Christmas) that was featured in a 1982 Woman’s Day article. That article is the genesis behind giving101.org, which is a national charity referral and campaign site. (http://www.giving101.org/whiteenvelopeproject)

I think this idea would go over well with my local readers in Monroe, Mich., because community service is a significant part of the local culture. The pageant queens really do attend dozens of charity events every year, many of the local college scholarship applications expect students to list their community service hours, nearly all the civic and social clubs have at least one fundraiser or volunteer campaign going at any given time, and schools frequently have projects taking place such as canned food drives or greeting card projects for veterans.

If you’d like to start a charity gift custom among your friends and family in lieu of exchanging more traditional gifts, here are some tips:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: OSHA is getting involved in Black Friday
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 20, 2009, 09:12:25 AM
OSHA is getting involved in Black Friday (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/osha-is-getting-involved-in-black-friday/)
20 November 2009, 9:02 am

A Bloomberg report picked up by the Toledo Blade is reporting that the (http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091120/BUSINESS10/911200379) Occupational Safety and Health Administration is issuing guidelines to retailers on how to handle shopping crowds on the day after Thanksgiving.

Here’s the OSHA news release. (http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=16737)

A snippet:
“Crowd-related injuries during special retail sales and promotional events have increased during recent years,” said acting Assistant Secretary for OSHA Jordan Barab. “Many of these incidents could be prevented, and this fact sheet provides retail employers with guidelines for avoiding injuries during the holiday shopping season.”
Bottom line: if you are a Black Friday shopper, be prepared for changes in how the shopping traffic will be routed through your favorite stores.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Donate to a food drive, take a lap around Michigan Speedway
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 20, 2009, 03:14:17 PM
Donate to a food drive, take a lap around Michigan Speedway (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/donate-to-a-food-drive-take-a-lap-around-michigan-speedway/)
20 November 2009, 2:29 pm

Here’s a donation drive that will get the attention of NASCAR fans in southeast Michigan:

Michigan International Speedway has announced that fans can take their personal vehicles around the race track for free in exchange for participating in a toy drive and food drive.

A snippet from MIS’s announcement: (http://www.mispeedway.com/Articles/2009/11/Track-drive-for-charity.aspx)
Michigan International Speedway is collecting goods to benefit two local charities by hosting a lap around the racetrack from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, weather dependent. Guests may take one lap in their personal automobiles around the historic two-mile oval in exchange for a new, unwrapped toy or bag of food that will be donated to Toys for Tots in Jackson, Mich., and the Food Pantry, in Brooklyn, Mich., respectively.
The last public track drive at MIS was in 2005, so this is a rare treat. All the details are at mispeedway.com. (http://www.mispeedway.com)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Doorbuster deals for Nov. 22
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 20, 2009, 07:14:37 PM
Doorbuster deals for Nov. 22 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/doorbuster-deals-for-nov-22/)
20 November 2009, 7:05 pm

I’ve been telling you to watch the sales fliers BEFORE Black Friday. I’ve had to Christmas shop without the help of Black Friday deals for many years, so I know sales can be found on other days.

Here are the fliers I found in my newspaper today:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Holiday TV shows
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 21, 2009, 07:22:41 AM
Holiday TV shows (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/holiday-tv-shows/)
21 November 2009, 6:18 am

If you have cable or satellite TV, save your money and don’t rent or buy a video to entertain the family. You’ll find a lot of holiday shows on special programming or in reruns during the next few weeks on both broadcast and cable channels.

TV Tango has the list. (http://www.tvtango.com/news/detail/id/120)

Thanks to my co-worker Michelle at Pop Culture Checklist for the heads up! (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/events/2009/11/20/dont-miss-holiday-shows/)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: KitchenAid’s sale
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 21, 2009, 07:47:00 AM
KitchenAid’s sale (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/kitchenaids-sale/)
21 November 2009, 7:34 am

Ah. The joys of being a foodie when it’s holiday season. This is the best time of year to replace or upgrade your cooking equipment.

KitchenAid has a flier in today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News promoting cash back deals on many of its popular items.

Go to KitchenAid.com/gift (http://www.kitchenaid.com/gift) for the details if you don’t have a flier in your newspaper.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Rite Aid and Busch’s fliers Nov. 21
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 21, 2009, 07:47:00 AM
Rite Aid and Busch’s fliers Nov. 21 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/rite-aid-and-buschs-fliers-nov-21/)
21 November 2009, 7:45 am

Rite Aid and Busch’s Fresh Food Market run their sales fliers in the Saturday edition of The Monroe Evening News.
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Rite Aid Gift of Savings: How to get the most for it
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 21, 2009, 09:23:07 AM
Rite Aid Gift of Savings: How to get the most for it (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/rite-aid-gift-of-savings-how-to-get-the-most-for-it/)
21 November 2009, 8:10 am

Rite Aid is kicking off its holiday Gift of Savings rebate program.

Most purchases made at a Rite Aid drugstore from Nov. 22 to Dec. 24 qualify for the rebate. The biggest exception is prescriptions and prescription co-pays, but it is pretty easy to earn at least $5 back on the Gift of Savings promotions.

This is what you do: you go to RiteAid.com (http://www.riteaid.com) and set up your account. Then as you shop at Rite Aid during the next few weeks, log in and type the code that is on your receipt into the computer. That’s it. At the end of the rebate period, click on “send my check.” Yes, it really is that simple, and individual products can still qualify for their own rebate offers.

Now for those of you who like scenarios: I currently have a $10 Fall Gift of Savings rebate check and a $3.99 Rite Aid Single Check Rebate in my coupon box. I just haven’t had reason to get anything at Rite Aid since those rebate checks arrived a week or so ago.

But we are at Rite Aid quite a bit. That’s where almost all of our prescriptions are handled and it’s the closest drugstore to where I work.

So here’s what I will do during the next few weeks:Yes, you can do mail submissions for Rite Aid rebates. But you then have to pay for the stamp and I’ve had a mail-in rebate for another store that was miscalculated. If you are reading a blog, you’ve got access to a computer. Do your rebate filing on line.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Nov. 22 coupon report
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 22, 2009, 08:20:08 AM
Nov. 22 coupon report (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/nov-22-coupon-report/)
22 November 2009, 7:45 am

This is not a big coupon week for the Sunday papers. There was only one coupon packet each in my home-delivery editions of the Detroit Free Press and The Monroe Evening News. There normally are changes in the coupon insert schedules just before or after a holiday weekend.

If you buy the Sunday paper “just for the coupons,” keep in mind that coupons are meant to advertise a product. The fact that you can save money using coupons is a side effect.

Coupons are distributed by the companies just before they think you are shopping for an item – or when they think you would respond to such a campaign.

There were lots of grocery coupons in the Sunday papers during the past couple of weeks. So add today’s collection to the mix and take your coupon box or binder to the store as usual.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Nov. 22 holiday week sales fliers for Monroe MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 22, 2009, 09:00:15 AM
Nov. 22 holiday week sales fliers for Monroe MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/nov-22-holiday-week-sales-fliers-for-monroe-mi/)
22 November 2009, 8:57 am

This is a time of year in which you cannot count on just the Sunday paper to deliver the deals. Many of the holiday sale ads also are scheduled for the daily editions.

This isn’t a scheme by the newspapers to force you into a daily subscription, although, as a newspaper employee, I’d appreciate the additional customer base for the daily edition.

What’s happening is that the advertisers schedule their ads to match up with whatever sales and promotions they have in effect. Even during the non-holiday weeks, some of the drugstore and supermarket ads are scheduled for the Saturday and Monday editions of my newspaper.

It is up to you to pay attention and follow up on the sales so you can stretch your family’s holiday and grocery budget.

The following sales fliers are found in The Monroe Evening News today except where Detroit Free Press is noted. I live in the 48162 zip code.

I am pulling out the Thanksgiving Day specials under their own post, and Black Friday 2009 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/category/black-friday-2009/) is a recurring thread.

Discount, drugstore and grocery storesDepartment and specialty stores
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What stores are open on Thanksgiving Day?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 22, 2009, 09:39:14 AM
What stores are open on Thanksgiving Day? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/what-stores-are-open-on-thanksgiving-day/)
22 November 2009, 9:20 am

Here are the stores in the Monroe, Mich., area  that will be open on Thanksgiving Day 2009 and some of their specials:Stores that have announced they will be closed on Thanksgiving Day include Dick’s Sporting Goods, Best Buy, Menard’s, Aldi, Target, Sears.

I’ll add to this list as I get more details this week from the newspaper ads, phone calls to the stores or the retail web sites.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Big Lots’ Black Friday plans
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 22, 2009, 01:40:58 PM
Big Lots’ Black Friday plans (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/big-lots-black-friday-plans/)
22 November 2009, 12:58 pm

Big Lots has announced that its stores will open at 6 a.m. on Black Friday November 27.

The Black Friday deals will be posted on the Big Lots web site (http://www.biglots.com) at 6 a.m. Wednesday Nov. 25.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Dollar General’s Thanksgiving weekend sale
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 22, 2009, 01:40:58 PM
Dollar General’s Thanksgiving weekend sale (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/dollar-generals-thanksgiving-weekend-sale/)
22 November 2009, 1:16 pm

Dollar General (http://www.dollargeneral.com) has announced its Black Friday shopping hours will be 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The three-day sale Thursday Thanksgiving Day through Saturday includes a four-slice toaster oven, a slider maker or stand mixer for $15 each, 50 percent off men’s and boy’s fleece and screen print tees, and specials on TracFone.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Target’s Black Friday plans
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 22, 2009, 01:40:58 PM
Target’s Black Friday plans (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/targets-black-friday-plans/)
22 November 2009, 1:26 pm

Target (http://www.target.com) has announced its stores will be open at 5 a.m. on Black Friday.

There are mentions of the “two day sale” on the web site, but that link is an interactive marketing campaign that is having a little bit of fun on Black Friday shopping. I’m not finding the actual ad yet.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Best Buy’s Black Friday hours
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 22, 2009, 01:42:53 PM
Best Buy’s Black Friday hours (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/best-buys-black-friday-hours/)
22 November 2009, 1:28 pm

Best Buy  (http://www.bestbuy.com)says in its sales flier today that its stores will be open from 5 a.m. to 10 pm. on Black Friday 2009.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Free letters from Santa for kids in Monroe MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 22, 2009, 03:42:10 PM
Free letters from Santa for kids in Monroe MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/free-letters-from-santa-for-kids-in-monroe-mi/)
22 November 2009, 2:11 pm

This post is for my readers in Monroe, Mich. The details are in the Monroe Recreation Winter 2009 booklet:

The City of Monroe Recreation Department has set up a Santa Letter campaign.

Children ages 12 and younger who live in the city of Monroe, Mich., are invited to write a letter to Santa Letters, care of Monroe Recreation Department, 120 E. First St., Monroe, Mich. 48161 or drop the letter off at Santa’s mailbox at the city hall reception desk.

You are invited to include “any information that would be helpful to Santa.”

City volunteers ask for “no classrooms or groups, please.”

The deadline is Dec. 15.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: The Black Friday page at freep.com
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 22, 2009, 03:42:10 PM
The Black Friday page at freep.com (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/the-black-friday-page-at-freep-com/)
22 November 2009, 2:36 pm

The Detroit Free Press has an extensive Black Friday page (http://topics.gannett.com/black+friday/?template=freep) featuring Detroit-area Black Friday news headlines, news reports / videos / blogs from across the country, shopping tips and tweets.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Sunday prices for that Thanksgiving newspaper
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 22, 2009, 03:42:10 PM
Sunday prices for that Thanksgiving newspaper (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/sunday-prices-for-that-thanksgiving-newspaper/)
22 November 2009, 2:57 pm

The Detroit Free Press has announced that its Thanksgiving Day edition will be sold for $1.50. (Page 14C in today’s print edition).

I don’t know what that means for single-copy prices for my local readers in Monroe, Mich., since the Sunday Freep is officially priced at $1.50 in Wayne / Oakland / Macomb counties and $2 for us who live elsewhere. But do be prepared to pull additional change out of your pocket no matter which newsstand you’ll stop by that morning.

I don’t have the pricing confirmed yet for The Monroe Evening News‘ Wednesday edition. (MonroeNews does not publish on Thanksgiving Day).

But bumping up the price for the Thanksgiving holiday edition newspaper has been a common situation in recent years.

The theory is: since single-copy customers are getting a Sunday-sized newspaper, it is fair to expect Sunday-sized prices at the news stand. It really does take more time to produce, print and deliver those monster-sized holiday newspapers.

Those of us who work in the advertising and news departments will be working like crazy Monday through Wednesday to meet the weekend publication deadlines. And when I was a news carrier as a junior high and high school youth, I had to make extra trips to deliver the holiday newspapers on my routes because I couldn’t stuff as many newspapers at one time into my delivery bag.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Freep: Michigan jobless crowd state agencies
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 22, 2009, 03:44:15 PM
Freep: Michigan jobless crowd state agencies (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/freep-michigan-jobless-crowd-state-agencies/)
22 November 2009, 3:07 pm

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Michigan jobless are crowding the state aid offices. (http://www.freep.com/article/20091122/NEWS06/911220433/1008/Michigan-jobless-crowd-state-aid-offices)

A snippet:
People such as Tricia Baysdell, 30, of Troy, who, like many, is battling the worst economy of her life.

Last week, she waited five hours with her 9-year-old son at the Department of Human Services office in Madison Heights to apply for food assistance and Medicaid. She gave up waiting so she could pick up her other two children from school.
The numbers of Michigan residents who are applying for government assistance is jumping fast.

If you, or someone you know, is in that situation right now, I have two sidebars on Monroe on a Budget to point to your attention:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Shawn Duvalls Hair and Nails Black Friday specials
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 22, 2009, 03:44:15 PM
Shawn Duvalls Hair and Nails Black Friday specials (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/shawn-duvalls-hair-and-nails-black-friday-specials/)
22 November 2009, 3:25 pm

Shawn Duvalls Hair and Nails, (http://www.shawnduvalls.com/) 1416 W. Elm Ave., Monroe, Mich., has an ad on page 6A of Saturday’s edition of The Monroe Evening News with its Black Friday Specials.

The Black Friday Shoppers Party will be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday Nov. 27 and features 25 percent off salon products, a free paraffin dip and gift bag, and a drawing for a purse filled with products.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: The Notre Dame football road trip on a budget
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 22, 2009, 05:42:13 PM
The Notre Dame football road trip on a budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/the-notre-dame-football-road-trip-on-a-budget/)
22 November 2009, 4:14 pm

My husband and I made a day trip to South Bend, Ind., Saturday to see the Notre Dame-Connecticut football game. ND lost in the second overtime period.

A one-day trip isn’t the ideal situation for attending a college football game that’s three hours away. But well, our family is on a budget. Yeah, that’s the theme of my blog. Maybe another time we can do a weekend get-away to South Bend.

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/ndband.jpg)This opportunity came up because the daughter goes to St. Mary’s College. SMC is the women’s college affiliated with ND. Even the student season passes are not cheap, and my daughter has to bring her student ID with the ticket book to the game to prove she’s entitled to use them. But football is part of the college experience, especially if you live in South Bend.

This summer, my husband and I were given the chance to buy tickets from the university for the last home game of 2009 on parent privileges. This was our first opportunity to experience game day in Notre Dame. So, we signed up!

Our seats were in the lower level of the north end zone, near the student section. It was hard to see the football team when they were playing in the south end zone, but we had pretty good views of the sideline antics of the cheerleaders and the band.

I’m a former marching band member myself, so I will tell you most certainly that the ND band is awesome! I don’t recall seeing such precision choreography just for simple stand cheers. And the band definitely moves around when they are on the field too. The biggest cheers from the students came when the band performed a piece recently recorded by country music star Taylor Swift – who visited South Bend just a few weeks ago.

The money details:We took a few pictures early in the day and had plans to take more photos. But we arrived at the stadium just before kickoff and had to rush to find our seats. It didn’t occur to us that the sun would set before the game was done. So there are only a few pictures to show off.

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/ndgrotto.jpg) (http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/ndgrotto.jpg)But my husband did get some night photos of the campus, including this one at the famous grotto.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Food giveaway serves 400 Ohio and Michigan families
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 22, 2009, 07:30:43 PM
Food giveaway serves 400 Ohio and Michigan families (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/food-giveaway-serves-400-ohio-and-michigan-families/)
22 November 2009, 7:19 pm

A food giveaway Saturday in Ottawa Lake, Mich., provided groceries to 400 families in Michigan and Ohio.

This event was sponsored by five area churches and distributed on a first come, first served basis. Here’s the story by my co-worke (http://www.monroenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091122/NEWS01/711229967)r Michelle Swartz for The Monroe Evening News.

If you’d like information on other food assistance programs in Monroe County, Mich., I have a list. (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/grocery-shopping-on-a-budget-tips-and-tricks/where-to-find-food-assistance-in-monroe-county/)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: The Meatless Monday web site
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 22, 2009, 09:30:29 PM
The Meatless Monday web site (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/the-meatless-monday-web-site/)
22 November 2009, 8:40 pm

It’s not just the vegetarians who eat vegetarian. There’s a growing trend toward vegetarian menus once a week as a frugal living concept.

If you’re looking for ideas for daily menus, once a week menus or even just an occasional break from the routine, the Meatless Monday web site (http://www.meatlessmonday.com) may give some inspiration.

The breakfast menu (http://www.meatlessmonday.com/category/breakfast/) on that web site looks pretty good.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: DetNews: Michigan retailers face chilly holiday season
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 23, 2009, 07:30:27 AM
DetNews: Michigan retailers face chilly holiday season (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/detnews-michigan-retailers-face-chilly-holiday-season/)
23 November 2009, 6:38 am

The Detroit News focused on Michigan retailers in this Christmas shopping forecast story: Retailers face chilly holiday season. (http://www.detnews.com/article/20091123/BIZ/911230315/Retailers-face-chilly-holiday-season)

A snippet:
Gift cards, free shipping deals on the Web and no-frills presents such as books and music are expected to see an upswing this holiday season.

But the steep markdowns on electronics, clothing, sporting goods and furnishings that shoppers enjoyed last year aren’t likely to be found. Saddled with extra merchandise after last year’s banking collapse, retailers have scaled back inventory dramatically.
The shift in merchandise specials toward lower-priced items is not entirely a bad thing.

For years, shoppers would be buzzing about expensive gifts that weren’t in my budget even with a Black Friday deal. But this year, I’ve noticed good prices and promotions for items that are usually on my Christmas shopping list or worth considering: Christmas cards, boxed chocolates, movies, books, Christmas tree ornaments and iTunes cards.

So if you are the frugal sort to begin with, it looks like the 2009 deals are made for you.

You’ll find the promotions I’ve found so far for stores in the Monroe, Mich., area under sales and deals (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/category/sales-and-deals/) and Black Friday 2009.  (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/category/black-friday-2009/)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Thanksgiving dinner costs less this year
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 23, 2009, 09:52:17 AM
Thanksgiving dinner costs less this year (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/thanksgiving-dinner-costs-less-this-year/)
23 November 2009, 9:03 am

The Michigan Farm Bureau provided this report, which was printed on page 6A of Saturday’s edition of The Monroe Evening News:

Menu items for a classic Thanksgiving dinner — turkey, stuffing, cranberries, pumpkin pie and all the trimmings — dropped 4 percent in price this year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

AFBF’s 24th annual informal price survey of classic items found on the holiday dinner table indicates the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 people is $42.91, a $1.70 price decrease from last year’s average of $44.61. It’s the largest year-to-year decrease in the cost of a Thanksgiving meal since 2000, when a 4.3 percent decrease was reported.

The survey shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and beverages of coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10.

In 1986, the first year of the survey, the price for the meal was $28.74.

Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers are asked to look for the best possible prices, without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals, such as spending $50 and receiving a free turkey.

Declines in the average price of a turkey and gallon of whole milk are the main drivers behind the decrease. The cost of a 16-pound turkey, at $18.65 or roughly $1.16 a pound, reflects a decrease of 3 cents a pound, or a total of 44 cents a turkey compared to 2008. Milk, at $2.86 a gallon, dropped 92 cents and was the largest contributor to the overall decrease in the cost. The inventory of whole turkeys in cold storage increased through most of 2009, helping to support a slightly lower average retail turkey price, according to AFBF economist Jim Sartwelle. Meanwhile, milk prices have plummeted over the last year due to the global economic recession driving down domestic and international demand for milk and other dairy products.

In addition, consumers are also benefiting at the grocery store from significantly lower energy prices, which affect processing, packaging, refrigeration and shipping costs for food.

“Again this year, the cost per person for this special meal is less than a typical ‘value meal’ at a fast-food outlet,” Sartwelle said.

Other menu items showing a price decrease this year were: a half-pint of whipping cream, $1.55; a dozen brown-n-serve rolls, $2.08; a one-pound relish tray of carrots and celery, 72 cents, and a 12-ounce package of fresh cranberries, $2.41. A combined group of miscellaneous items, including coffee and ingredients necessary to prepare the meal (onions, eggs, sugar, flour, evaporated milk and butter) also dropped in price, to $2.50.

Items that increased slightly (less than 5 percent) in price this year were: a 14-ounce package of cubed bread stuffing, $2.65; two nine-inch pie shells, $2.34, and a 30-ounce can of pumpkin pie mix, $2.45. Retail prices for highly processed foods such as these, which include costs for transportation and packaging, have been slower to decline compared to minimally processed foods like milk and whole turkeys.

Despite retail price increases during the last year or so, American consumers have enjoyed relatively stable food costs over the years, particularly when adjusted for inflation. This year’s Thanksgiving meal actual cost of $42.91 is only $20.05 in inflation-adjusted dollars.

The 4 percent decrease tracks closely with the organization’s 2009 quarterly marketbasket food surveys (available online at www.newsroom.fb.org (http://www.newsroom.fb.org)) and the federal government’s Consumer Price Index (available at www.data.bls.gov (http://www.data.bls.gov)/).

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Elder-Beerman’s Black Friday schedule
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 23, 2009, 03:56:29 PM
Elder-Beerman’s Black Friday schedule (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/elder-beermans-black-friday-schedule/)
23 November 2009, 3:52 pm

Elder-Beerman has announced  (http://www.elder-beerman.com/category/special+events.do)it will be open for shoppers at 4 a.m. Friday Nov. 27. The Black Friday doorbusters will be in effect from 4 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Saturday doorbusters will be from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Friday and Saturday ads are posted at the store’s web site. (http://catalog.elder-beerman.com/elder-beerman/default.aspx?action=entry&storeid=2593253&pretailerid=-98295&savezone=Y)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Kohl’s Black Friday schedule
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 23, 2009, 03:56:29 PM
Kohl’s Black Friday schedule (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/kohls-black-friday-schedule/)
23 November 2009, 3:56 pm

Kohl’s will be open at 4 a.m. on  Black Friday.

It looks like the BF specials are posted (http://www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/ourbrands/atg.jsp) on line.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Black Friday through Sunday specials at IKEA
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 23, 2009, 07:58:59 PM
Black Friday through Sunday specials at IKEA (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/black-friday-through-sunday-specials-at-ikea/)
23 November 2009, 7:15 pm

The IKEA store (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/) in Canton, Mich., is close enough for my local readers to go shopping at from time to time.

The sales flier from IKEA arrived in my mail today and the specials you can look for on Black Friday include a Leksvik coffee table for $59 and a six-piece wine glass set for $1.99.

The Saturday deals include Onska gift ribbons for 99 cents for a four-pack and a Karlsvik sofa for $199.

Sunday’s deals are a Bekvan kitchen cart for $19.99.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Black Friday at Fashion Bug
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 23, 2009, 07:58:59 PM
Black Friday at Fashion Bug (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/black-friday-at-fashion-bug/)
23 November 2009, 7:53 pm

I got the Fashion Bug (http://www.fashionbug.com/) sales flier in the mail today.

The store opens at 7 a.m. on Black Friday. Doorbuster deals include a $6 turtleneck sweater and Right Fit jeans and dress pants for $12.

If you’d rather shop at Fashion Bug on Saturday, look for the coupon in the flier that is good Nov. 28 through Dec. 8. All fall styles will be 50 percent off on Saturday and Sunday.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Keeping track of those sales fliers and coupons
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 23, 2009, 07:58:59 PM
Keeping track of those sales fliers and coupons (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/keeping-track-of-those-sales-fliers-and-coupons/)
23 November 2009, 7:58 pm

This is what I do to keep track of all the sales during the holiday season:

Any drugstore, grocery or discount store flier goes in the binder where I normally keep my shopping list. Those are the stores I routinely shop at, and I’m clearing through that packet once a week. The drugstore rebate coupons get placed in my coupon box.

Any department store, hardware store, haircut salon, specialty store flier or free shipping coupon code goes in a drawer in my living room end table. If I’m going to the mall or a store I don’t normally shop at, I pull out that stack and find any specials that match. This drawer gets cleaned out about every two weeks.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Black Friday at Ace Hardware
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 23, 2009, 09:27:04 PM
Black Friday at Ace Hardware (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/black-friday-at-ace-hardware/)
23 November 2009, 8:19 pm

Yes, the hardware stores do Black Friday too. Reason: most people get out their holiday decor during Thanksgiving holiday weekend. And, well, that’s when some of them realize they need to replace or upgrade some stuff!

Ace Hardware’s (http://www.acehardware.com) flier listing several stores in southeast Michigan came in my mail today. Ace Hardware at 7 a.m. on Black Friday. Doorbuster deals on Friday include free after rebate on a Stanley staple gun and a free after rebate on a ratcheting screwdriver set.

You’ll find coupons in the flier for extension cords, power strips and outlet adapters. One coupon in the flier is 50 percent off one item under $30 on Saturday Nov. 28.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Kohl’s sale on Wednesday
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 23, 2009, 09:27:04 PM
Kohl’s sale on Wednesday (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/kohls-sale-on-wednesday-2/)
23 November 2009, 8:26 pm

Another trick that non-Black Friday shoppers can look for are the sales just BEFORE Thanksgiving.

Kohl’s has a one day sale 7 a.m. to midnight Wednesday Nov. 25 that includes 15 percent off senior citizen discount for those age 62 and older.

Sales flier items include 40 to 55 percent off all boots for the family, 30 percent off all board games, 40 percent off all Barbie and My Little Pony, 50 percent off Trim-a-Tree, 40 percent off boxed and wall calendars.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: El-Bee sale Nov. 24 and 25
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 23, 2009, 09:27:04 PM
El-Bee sale Nov. 24 and 25 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/el-bee-sale-nov-24-and-25/)
23 November 2009, 8:30 pm

Elder-Beerman’s (http://www.elder-beerman.com) pre-Thanksgiving sale on Tuesday Nov. 24 and Wednesday Nov. 25 includes 50 percent off all table linens; and 30 to 50 percent off all china, casual dinnerware, stemware and flatware.

Assorted kids’ coats and cold weather accessories are 40 percent off during the sale.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Hi-Lite grocery ad Nov. 23
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 23, 2009, 09:46:20 PM
Hi-Lite grocery ad Nov. 23 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/hi-lite-grocery-ad-nov-23/)
23 November 2009, 8:40 pm

Hi-Lite Supermarket in Monroe, Mich., schedules its sales fliers on Monday in The Monroe Evening News.

Turkey is 39 cents a pound, limit 1 with additional $10 purchase. Cool Whip is 88 cents. Coupon in flier for Coke 12-packs. Breyer’s ice cream $2.49. Milk is $1.99 a gallon.

Click back a few posts to find the other grocery specials of the week.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Black Friday cynicism at CNNMoney
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 23, 2009, 10:56:16 PM
Black Friday cynicism at CNNMoney (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/black-friday-cynicism-at-cnnmoney/)
23 November 2009, 10:02 pm

Now, to give you some different perspectives on the shopping phenomenon known as Black Friday

CNNMoney has this article: Dirty secrets of Black Friday. (http://money.cnn.com/2009/11/20/news/economy/black_friday_doorbuster_secrets/index.htm?cnn=yes)

OK here’s my secret: You can find nice deals on holiday stuff even if you don’t want to – or can’t – shop on Black Friday. I’m serious. I have been scheduled to work my regular shift for so many years on the day after Thanksgiving that I’ve pretty much given up on doing any shopping that day. I find the sales that happen on the other days.

That being said, Black Friday is a very well entrenched custom for many bargain shoppers. So, I do help out Black Friday fans as much as I can.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Do you make money out of this blog?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 24, 2009, 07:24:46 AM
Do you make money out of this blog? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/do-you-make-money-out-of-this-blog/)
24 November 2009, 7:21 am

I got the following comment from a spammer. Yes, it was spam because of where the author’s link went to, and also because it was tagged on an old post.

But it’s a good question, so I’ll address with question without giving the spammer any advertising link:
Do you make money out of this blog? just curious.
I’ve made just under $100. And that’s not been from the blog itself. That amount is  from two public appearances as the Monroe on a Budget blogger.

That wasn’t the plan. When The Monroe Evening News launched the BlogsMonroe (http://www.blogsmonroe.com) site in late 2006, the goal was to build up a buzzing community of local bloggers and the newspaper would make some money off the ads. The newspaper employees take care of the I.T. details and market the blogs on our reader forums, in our print edition, on our main web site, etc. We also host a blogger meet and greet at the Monroe County Fair.

Our success stories include three people who originally launched on our site and then spun off to set up their own freelance sites. Others have given blogging a try, and realized it wasn’t for them. But none of BlogsMonroe bloggers have been out out any money for being in our network. We’re not charging the bloggers hosting or participation fees.

The bottom line is that the ad revenue keeps the network running.

We’re not earning enough money off the blogs to spin off stipends to the authors. That’s not just an issue with our blog network – it’s a situation with web advertising overall.

To make money beyond the banner ads, some frugal, family and financial bloggers do sponsored reviews or accept pay-per-links. I would not do that as a newspaper reporter, so I don’t do it here.

Other bloggers join networks like the one we have at BlogsMonroe. A few months ago, I was invited to join another blog network and earn some money by writing pieces specifically for them. But as the site owner looked over my blog and I looked over their offer, we realized there might be a conflict of interest with my job. We parted ways in a friendly matter.

Here’s where my paycheck really comes from: The Monroe Evening News. I’ve been one of the reporters there for 10 years.

My job description was rewritten to include hosting this blog. I’m allowed (encouraged) to blog at work because this is a sponsored blog. I’m allowed (encouraged) to copy and post content from our newspaper and our affiliated sites because this is a sponsored blog. My co-workers also send press releases and links my way that come from their sources – so there’s a lot of behind the scenes participation.

Now, one could argue that a reporter with a social media resume has made herself a more valuable journalist. At this point, I’m glad to still have a job. I know too many former newspaper employees who are no longer in the business. Two of the nearest newspaper towns – Detroit and Ann Arbor – have drastically cut back on their staff and production in the past year. And the northwest Ohio newspapers where I used to work in the 1990s have had so many layoffs that I’m certain I would now be unemployed had I stayed in that area.

Here is where my extra money is showing up:

During the past several months, I’ve been on the speaking circuit in the Monroe and Toledo areas. I originally decided to give frugal living presentations just in Monroe since that’s my target audience, but I will do programs elsewhere if I can be on a team or panel rather than a solo appearance.

Most of those appearances are booked by libraries, civic and social clubs. They have budgets so tiny that the reimbursement is usually lunch or a thank-you gift. So I consider those events to be marketing and public relations opportunities for this blog and my newspaper. The hosts are gracious about that tradeoff.

The two bookings I’ve had so far that resulted in actual cash were workshops at Monroe Public Schools Community Education.

So why do I spend so much time feeding this blog?

Well, as many of you readers have figured out, my family is on a budget too. I’ve been able to add a lot of money-saving tricks into my personal collection because of the content I have found for this blog.

And it should be obvious from the headlines that Michigan and Ohio families have to be as resourceful as they can to get through a nasty economy. When it was just our region in recession, the rest of the country paid little attention to the economic woes in Detroit, Monroe and Toledo.

If one less family in the area goes into foreclosure, if one more family can keep the electric bill paid, if one more family can cut their Christmas budget in half and still enjoy the visit from Santa, if one more family has figured out how to use coupons and other grocery tricks to keep a decent amount of food in the house  …

Then all of us in southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio benefit financially.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Avoiding frugal burnout
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 24, 2009, 08:28:41 AM
Avoiding frugal burnout (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/avoiding-frugal-burnout/)
24 November 2009, 8:15 am

This Side of Eternity has a nice piece on Avoiding Frugal Burnout. (http://www.savingdollarsandsense.com/2009/11/avoiding-frugal-burnout.html)

A snippet:
Stay Organized.  This is important since cutting coupons and preparing shopping trips is already a tedious job, you don’t want it to become any more overwhelming than necessary which is exactly what will happen when you let you coupon stack up & get disorganized.


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: 100 Money Experts to Follow on Twitter
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 24, 2009, 08:28:41 AM
100 Money Experts to Follow on Twitter (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/100-money-experts-to-follow-on-twitter/)
24 November 2009, 8:27 am

Do you tweet? I do. You’ll find me at @monroeonabudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget).

I’m listed on a few financial and frugal living tweet lists. The newest ranking I received was a list called 100 Money Experts You Should Follow and Learn From on Twitter (http://www.accreditedonlinecolleges.org/blog/2009/100-money-experts-you-should-follow-and-learn-from-on-twitter) by the Accredited Online Colleges site.

If you are just starting on twitter or want to add new people to your follow list, I definitely recommend adding some financial and frugal living people. We are quite a lively bunch on Twitter.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Toys for Tots reminder for Monroe County MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 24, 2009, 08:52:31 AM
Toys for Tots reminder for Monroe County MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/toys-for-tots-reminder-for-monroe-county-mi/)
24 November 2009, 8:48 am

This post is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich.

The Monroe County, Mich., 2009 Toys for Tots campaign will continue to collect toys through Dec. 18.  The distribution days, led by the Salvation Army of Monroe County, will be Dec. 22 and Dec. 23 at the former Lincoln Elementary School, 908 E. Second St., Monroe, Mich.

A list of all Monroe County drop sites can be found at the official Toys for Tots site. (http://newport-mi.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/default.asp) (Hint: if you contribute to Toys for Tots, watch the toy store sales fliers so you can get as much as possible for your budget.)

Applications for assistance from the local Toys for Tots campaign may be filed through Wednesday Nov. 25 at the Salvation Army offices at 1018 E. Second St., Monroe, Mich., front door, 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. on business days; and at 7200 Lewis Ave., Suite C1, Temperance, Mich. from 1 to 4:30 p.m. on business days. The rules are on the (http://newport-mi.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites/request-toys.asp) Toys for Tots site. Late applications can be accepted via referral from a participating agency.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Cheap Christmas stocking stuffers
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 24, 2009, 10:06:31 AM
Cheap Christmas stocking stuffers (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/cheap-christmas-stocking-stuffers/)
24 November 2009, 9:44 am

A stocking stuffer item is something that you can put in the Christmas stocking to help make the stocking look full.

Items that are well suited for this purpose, but won’t cost a whole lot, include:If you are on a budget, check out the collection of tips and tricks I have at my Help! I can’t afford Christmas sidebar. (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/help-i-cant-afford-christmas/)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Police and firefighters to serve dinner for needy in Monroe MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 24, 2009, 01:44:12 PM
Police and firefighters to serve dinner for needy in Monroe MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/police-and-firefighters-to-serve-dinner-for-needy-in-monroe-mi/)
24 November 2009, 1:31 pm

This article about Thanksgiving Dinner for the needy  (http://www.monroenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091124/NEWS01/711249989)in Monroe, Mich., is on page 1 of today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News:By Dean CousinoAn estimated 1,000 people are expected for the annual pre-Thanksgiving feast Wednesday served by City of Monroe fire and police workers at St. Joseph Catholic Church.For the 18th year, volunteers from both departments will serve turkey, ham, dressing and all the fixings.The meal will be served at four different sittings starting at 3 p.m. in the parish hall, E. Third St. and Kentucky Ave., Monroe, Mich. Other servings will be at 4, 5 and 6 p.m., said Monroe police Cpl. Kent Jeppesen, co-chairman of the meal along with Sgt. Rob Wight from the Monroe Fire Department.About 1,000 tickets already have been given out, but a ticket is not required to get in, Cpl. Jeppesen said.“Anyone can show up for a meal, they are more than welcome,” he said. “We just use tickets to make it easy on us so that a thousand people don’t show up at once.”About 250 people can eat at each serving so that everyone can be seated. Sometimes as many as 200 people will be in line out the door at the start, Sgt. Wight said.“We expect at least 1,000 this year,” he said. “It’s grown every year, especially in the last couple of years. We’ve never run out of food and everything is donated by the police and firemen.”Last year, 36 turkeys were donated for the meal. A few businesses also donate to the effort. The meal includes corn, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, beverages and dessert. Santa Claus makes a special visit and passes out gift-wrapped presents to children.Sherry Iacoangeli, wife of retired firefighter Paul Iacoangeli, buys toys and wraps them for Santa to give out. Members of Boy Scout Troop 502 sponsored by Trinity Lutheran Church assist with cleaning tables.Coats donated by the firefighters and police officers are given out. Last year, about 40 coats were distributed, Cpl. Jeppesen said.About 40 volunteers from both departments assist with preparing and serving the meal. Volunteers from God Works! Soup Kitchen and about a half-dozen retirees from both departments also help out.Members of the departments plan to ring bells for the Salvation Army this season and are planning a shopping spree with needy children in mid-December.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Herkimer’s Black Friday specials
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 24, 2009, 02:07:03 PM
Herkimer’s Black Friday specials (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/herkimers-black-friday-specials/)
24 November 2009, 1:47 pm

Herkimer Radio in Monroe, Mich., has an ad on page 10A of today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News with its Black Friday specials.

The offers include $10 off accessories. There also will be a $10 gift card special with purchase of $50 in gift cards.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Jo-Ann’s Black Friday and Saturday sales
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 24, 2009, 06:09:23 PM
Jo-Ann’s Black Friday and Saturday sales (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/jo-anns-black-friday-and-saturday-sales/)
24 November 2009, 5:47 pm

The Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store flier (http://www.joann.com) came in my mailbox today.

The stores open at 6 a.m. Black Friday with doorbusters including a $1.49 a yard on selected flannels and a pre-lit Christmas tree for $35. There are coupons in the flier good both for 6 a.m. to noon and all day Friday for non-doorbuster specials.

Saturday doorbusters include a regular Christmas tree for $25 and 70 percent off assorted boxed ornaments. There also are coupons in the flier good for 7 a.m. to noon and all day Saturday for non-doorbuster specials.

Three-day sales Friday through Sunday include most Butterick patterns for 99 cents and discounts on buttons, cutting tools and thread.

Save your flier because there is a coupon good for Dec. 3-5 elsewhere in the book

Now a word to my local readers in Monroe, Mich.: The Monroe store has been an interesting place for bargain picking on basic supplies in recent weeks. But if you are looking for something specific, I suggest you go to the Ypsilanti or Taylor stores. There is no guarantee that Monroe will have it in stock.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: JCPenney’s Black Friday plans
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 24, 2009, 08:03:02 PM
JCPenney’s Black Friday plans (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/jcpenneys-black-friday-plans/)
24 November 2009, 7:45 pm

JCPenney is announcing it will open at 4 a.m. on Black Friday and you can preview its ad on the web. (http://jcp.com/jcp/default.aspx)

I know, that’s not very relevant for my local readers in Monroe, Mich. I’m annoyed too that my favorite department store left town. But I know some of you local readers end up at the malls in Toledo, Ann Arbor and Novi at some point on Black Friday.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Turkey day shopping list: take-home tubbies
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 25, 2009, 07:30:21 AM
Turkey day shopping list: take-home tubbies (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/turkey-day-shopping-list-take-home-tubs/)
25 November 2009, 6:18 am

I know the supermarkets will be packed with shoppers today and you probably don’t want to add another thing to your grocery list.

But before you go to the store, I want you to check the inventory of your “leftovers” supplies. If you do not have a sufficient supply of these things, I want you to put them on your shopping list:If you are the hostess for Thanksgiving Day or any other social gathering at your home, your responsibility includes putting that food away before it has set too long out of the refrigerator or stove.

I know the array of serving dishes will not fit in your refrigerator. Repack those mashed potatoes, turkey pieces, ham slices, cranberries, slices of pie, salad, etc., into smaller, portable, take-home or freezeable servings with the help of your bags, foil, disposable plates and tubbies. If an item is freezeable, put it in the freezer so that you have room in the refrigerator for the leftovers that can’t freeze.

As guests leave, invite them to take home leftovers in containers that you don’t have to worry about “losing.” Or you get the leftovers.

By the way, if you are the guest, your job is to help the hostess pack up that food. Maybe your contributions to the dinner can include a new roll of foil or new box of baggies in addition to that pie you made.

There are lots of recipe web sites and print media that have fun ideas on what to do with leftover turkey, leftover sweet potatoes, etc. But first: you need to get the leftovers packed and back in the cold within a safe time frame so that you CAN eat them later.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Black Friday at QVC
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 25, 2009, 07:30:21 AM
Black Friday at QVC (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/black-friday-at-qvc/)
25 November 2009, 6:42 am

The television shopping channel QVC is getting involved in Black Friday this year.

The deals start at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, according to the station’s web site. (http://www.qvc.com/ProgramGuide/ProgramGuideDailyView.aspx?sourcecode=09112620&rewrite=no&cm_re=MH-_-BANNER-_-NEWBLACKFRIDAYTUNEIN&cm_sp=MH-_-BANNER-_-NEWBLACKFRIDAYTUNEIN)

Here’s the news article (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5geyB5Ihs1Ug2oPDQuuHH6zHvOvwwD9C5CC980) from Associated Press that is making the media rounds and was in Tuesday’s edition of The Monroe Evening News.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Black Friday ads will be in MonroeNews TODAY
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 25, 2009, 07:30:21 AM
Black Friday ads will be in MonroeNews TODAY (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/black-friday-ads-will-be-in-monroenews-today/)
25 November 2009, 7:05 am

The Monroe Evening News does not publish on Thanksgiving Day.

That means the Black Friday ads will be in TODAY’s edition. Yes, that’s one day earlier than many other newspapers. If you don’t get home delivery, the papers are hitting the boxes usually around 1 p.m.

Two things you need to know if you buy single copy newspapers today:I will continue the tradition I started last year and snag a fully stocked edition to do a Black Friday ad preview on Monroe on a Budget as soon as the newspapers are available.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: The MonroeNews Black Friday ad stack!!!
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 25, 2009, 02:34:29 PM
The MonroeNews Black Friday ad stack!!! (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/the-monroenews-black-friday-ad-stack/)
25 November 2009, 2:24 pm

I now have at my desk today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News with the Black Friday ad stack.

My local readers in Monroe, Mich., are in for a real treat today, because I have been told that the 2009 edition has more sales inserts than the 2008 edition. Today’s newspaper weighs in at more than 3 pounds!

Now … I usually post newspaper sales fliers based on my home-delivery edition in the 48162 zip code. The newspaper that lands on my desk in the newsroom doesn’t have the ad stack.

But I won’t get a newspaper at my front door until about 5 p.m. Because the Black Friday newspaper is so popular, last year I begged my co-workers for a full newspaper with an ad stack and did a Black Friday preview in early afternoon. That worked out pretty well, so …

Earlier today I was told when and where I could get a paper with the ad stack.

If the ad stack in your home-delivery or news stand paper varies from this report, keep in mind that some advertisers zone their ad inserts by zip code. Monroe, Mich., is tricky for retailers to make marketing decisions because we’re halfway between Toledo and Detroit and also near the Ohio-Michigan state line.

However, I’m not expecting a whole lot of variances.

Here’s what I’m finding in the ad stack:I’ll be back later with a roundup of Black Friday specials listed in the “run of press” aka regular news pages. Do also look through my Black Friday archives (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/category/black-friday-2009/) for announcements and posts that have already been made.

And oh, one more thing: Most newspapers run their ads in their Thanksgiving Day paper. That’s what the Detroit newspapers will be doing. So it’s possible I’ll have a few more reports on Thursday morning if the Detroit Free Press has holiday sales fliers that I haven’t seen yet.

But with the Monroe newspaper, you get the sales fliers a day early. We follow the old school custom of not printing a Thanksgiving Day edition.

Enjoy your bundle of ads today!

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: BF ads that are inside the paper today
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 25, 2009, 04:34:59 PM
BF ads that are inside the paper today (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/bf-ads-that-are-inside-the-paper-today/)
25 November 2009, 3:46 pm

The inserted sales fliers are not the only place to look for Black Friday ads. Take a look at the ads inside the news sections of your newspaper too.

Today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News in Monroe, Mich., has these specials among the ads:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Costs about $1 to cook the Thanksgiving feast
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 25, 2009, 04:34:59 PM
Costs about $1 to cook the Thanksgiving feast (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/costs-about-1-to-cook-the-thanksgiving-feast/)
25 November 2009, 3:49 pm

This annual but fun piece from Consumers Energy is on page 7a of today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News:

Families might spend more energy preparing a Thanksgiving meal than the amount of energy they’ll use in cooking it.

Consumers Energy estimates that the cost of electricity or natural gas needed to cook a traditional Thanksgiving meal for 12 guests is about a dollar.

The meal costs are as follows:Consumers notes that glass and ceramic dishes hold heat better, allowing cooks to lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees.

The oven temperature drops 25-75 degrees each time the oven door is opened, so monitor cooking time and peek through the oven window, if possible, to check on your food.

Other strategies for keeping down energy costs include using a microwave for defrosting and cooking small portions; baking more than one dish or cooking an entire meal in the oven to save energy; and using roasting bags, which can nearly halve oven cooking time.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Black Friday shopping etiquette
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 25, 2009, 04:34:59 PM
Black Friday shopping etiquette (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/black-friday-shopping-etiquette/)
25 November 2009, 4:22 pm

A couple of weeks ago, the Mall of Monroe hosted more than 2,000 people for a meet-and-greet with movie star Peter Facinelli of “Twilight” fame.

One of the things I noticed most about of that day was not just the size of the crowd – but the fact it was a cheerful and well-behaved crowd. That’s despite the fact that more than twice as many people showed up as the mall officials expected. (Here’s the photo gallery (http://monroenews.mycapture.com/mycapture/folder.asp?event=889220&CategoryID=52554&ListSubAlbums=0) at monroenews.com.)

If you were in that celebrity meet-and-greet line, or heard about it, keep those good manners in mind when you go back to the mall and the other local retail stores on Black Friday.

BlackFriday.com has this piece: Shopping Etiquette – How to be Polite and Still Get a Good Deal on Black Friday. (http://www.blackfriday.com/articles/bf-shopping-etiquette)

A snippet:
Take only what you need. Many people grab up all of one item in the hopes to eBay it for more money. Remember that others are here trying to provide Christmas for their families and only take the number of the item you actually plan on giving to other people.
Seriously, people. This is not the year to hog the presents. A lot of families in southeast Michigan are on a budget right now – and not all of them qualify for the charity baskets or programs. Let everyone have a little Christmas.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Sending Christmas cards on a budget
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 25, 2009, 10:16:51 PM
Sending Christmas cards on a budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/sending-christmas-cards-on-a-budget/)
25 November 2009, 9:43 pm

One of my tasks during Thanksgiving weekend is to get the Christmas cards prepped and ready to go.

This isn’t “too early.” Thanksgiving weekend is when I have to do them. The daughter is in college and this is one of the tasks that needs to be done when she is home. It is our custom to have each card personally signed by each family member – and while I might not be able to arrange that for birthday or sympathy cards when the daughter is away, we can still do it for Christmas cards.

If you consider the task of sending Christmas cards in the mail to be too expensive or too time consuming, this post isn’t for you. I’m writing to those who want to maintain the custom with a minimum amount of money and fuss. It can be done on a budget.

Some tips:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: The Detroit Black Friday ad stack
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 26, 2009, 06:46:33 AM
The Detroit Black Friday ad stack (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/the-detroit-black-friday-ad-stack/)
26 November 2009, 6:24 am

I get two newspapers on home-delivery at my home in Monroe, Mich.: The Monroe Evening News and the Detroit Free Press.

The Monroe Evening News had its Black Friday ad stack in the Wednesday afternoon edition. The Freep has its Black Friday ad stack in this morning’s paper.

The Black Friday ads in Freep include:There also are ads in the Freep for Target, Radio Shack, Toys R Us, Verizon Wireless, Lowe’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Rite Aid, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Sears, Dunham’s Sports, Game Stop, Walgreens and Meijer. But I told you about those ads yesterday  (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/the-monroenews-black-friday-ad-stack/)in the Monroe roundup.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Black Friday shopping hours in southeast Michigan
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 26, 2009, 06:46:33 AM
Black Friday shopping hours in southeast Michigan (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/black-friday-shopping-hours-in-southeast-michigan/)
26 November 2009, 6:38 am

I’ve been posting Black Friday sales fliers and hours for the stores in the Monroe, Mich., area, as I got the information from the sales fliers, web sites or calls to the stores. Look through my Black Friday archives (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/category/black-friday-2009/) for those reports.

The Mall of Monroe (the former Frenchtown Square mall), for example, opens at 6 a.m. on Friday.

And if you are shopping in the Detroit area, the Detroit Free Press has a list in today’s paper of Black Friday and Saturday shopping hours (http://www.freep.com/article/20091121/FEATURES13/911210360/1319/) for several southeast Michigan malls such as Twelve Oaks and Great Lakes Crossing

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Putting Black Friday in perspective
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 26, 2009, 08:34:14 AM
Putting Black Friday in perspective (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/putting-black-friday-in-perspective/)
26 November 2009, 7:09 am

If you came to my blog to check out a Black Friday report, let me give you some background as to what this blog is all about.

Monroe on a Budget is a frugal living blog for Monroe, Mich., and is sponsored by The Monroe Evening News. I’m one of the social page reporters for that newspaper. My daughter is in college. My husband lost his career in the radio business several years ago because of downsizing in that industry, and he currently works at an auto supplier.

My target audience for this blog are families in southeast Michigan who are making $45,000 to $60,000 a year (the median income in Monroe is about $53,000); and families in any income bracket who were managing household expenses just fine until a wage earner lost a job or had to take a pay cut (a lot of us fall in that category in Michigan these days).

If you are in one of those two demographics, you have to get very creative and resourceful on how you manage household expenses.

In my blog archives, you will find a huge list of tips, tricks, links and ideas that families in any income bracket or circumstance can use to stretch their household finances. I post about family fun on a budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/category/family-fun/), I explain how to get the most for your grocery dollar (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/grocery-shopping-on-a-budget-tips-and-tricks/), and I’ve talked quite a bit about how to handle college expenses. (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/college-planning-and-financing/)

How do the Black Friday sales fit in with that overall picture?

Answer: shopping for gifts during the Thanksgiving weekend sales is one trick that your family can use to keep Christmas costs down.

You do not have to stand in line at 5 a.m. Friday at the malls and department stores to pick up a bargain this weekend – although, a lot of people do that and enjoy it.

I have found much smaller crowds and still very nice sales while picking up a present or a household item my family needed during the spinoff holiday sales during Thanksgiving Day, at lunchtime on Black Friday and on Saturday morning after Thanksgiving. And it’s not all high-priced electronics that go on Black Friday deals. (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/category/black-friday-2009/) In recent years, there also has been a good selection of lower budget items offered during those promotions.

If you want tips on how to enjoy a nice Christmas on a budget beyond Black Friday, start at Help! I can’t afford Christmas! (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/help-i-cant-afford-christmas/)

I’ll return to my regular programming of headlines, public service announcements, stories from my own family, and commentary about the recession as soon as the holiday sales dust settles.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Trent and Lily’s Black Friday sale
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 27, 2009, 06:56:34 AM
Trent and Lily’s Black Friday sale (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/trent-and-lilys-black-friday-sale/)
27 November 2009, 6:00 am

I just got an e-mail from one of my readers asking about a Black Friday sale at a local resale shop, so I checked back through my links to see what was up.

Trent and Lily’s Resale Boutique, 513 N. Telegraph Rd., Monroe, Mich. is holding a sale from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. today Friday Nov. 27 with “extra discounts and savings”.

Go to the Savings Sense booklet and download Trent and Lily’s page for the details.

The store’s phone number is (734) 457-0574.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Free SAT-ACT prep for military families
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 27, 2009, 06:56:34 AM
Free SAT-ACT prep for military families (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/free-sat-act-prep-for-military/)
27 November 2009, 6:09 am

Those who are in the military and their family members are eligible for a free computer SAT-ACT preparation class intended to help the students prepare for the college exams.

The details are at (http://www.military.com/grad-center/prepare-for-success/free-sat--act-prep-software-for-military-families?ESRC=family.nl) Military.com.

The eKnowledge Sponsorship Alliance, which is supported by the Department of Defense, and a group of National FootNFL and MLB players, offers this program to a bigger list of people than who are usually eligible for military discounts and services:
All active duty, retired, veterans, Guard, Reserve, and all DOD employees, and civilians performing military-support.  Also eligible are relatives and dependants of anyone who otherwise qualifies from the prior list.


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: National Retail Federation’s Black Friday study
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 27, 2009, 07:20:31 AM
National Retail Federation’s Black Friday study (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/national-retail-federations-black-friday-study/)
27 November 2009, 7:01 am

A shopping study sponsored by  (http://www.nrf.com/modules.php?name=News&op=viewlive&sp_id=838)the National Retail Federation is indicating up to 134 million people will shop this weekend. This is higher than the 128 million who planned to do so during Black Friday weekend in 2008.

Yes, some of those people are shopping in Monroe, Mich., at places such as Wal-Mart, Meijer, Kohl’s and Mall of Monroe. I’ll have a story for today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News about a family who shops on Black Friday – and enjoys it.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Frugal Christmas faith tradition: Advent wreaths
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 27, 2009, 08:50:42 AM
Frugal Christmas faith tradition: Advent wreaths (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/frugal-christmas-faith-tradition-advent-wreaths/)
27 November 2009, 8:37 am

If you’d like to add more faith traditions to your Christmas celebrations, one idea for your home decor or family prayer time is an Advent wreath.

It’s simple to make or assemble one. Based on the prices I’m seeing at the craft stores, you could buy the supplies for about $10. You may even have craft items at home that can be repurposed for an Advent wreath.

The concept of an Advent wreath  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advent_wreath) is pretty simple. It is frequently depicted as an evergreen circle with three purple candles and one pink candle to represent the Sundays before Chrsitmas. One additional candle is lit every Sunday.

If you’d like to do such a wreath this year, Sunday Nov. 29 is the first Sunday of Advent and would be the first day to light one candle.

Some people also place a candle in the center of the wreath to represent Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. The center candle can be white, gold or red.

There is room for artistic interpretation on an Advent wreath. As long as there are the appropriate number of real or fake candles and you light one additional candle each Sunday, you are illustrating the concept of waiting for Christmas.

Ideas:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: New Sunday night soup kitchen in Monroe
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 27, 2009, 09:44:56 AM
New Sunday night soup kitchen in Monroe (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/new-sunday-night-soup-kitchen-in-monroe/)
27 November 2009, 9:31 am

This post is for my readers in Monroe, Mich.:The House of Restoration, 1110 E. Second St., Monroe, Mich., now hosts a soup kitchen, ‘Feeding the Body and Spirit,’ every Sunday.

Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and attendees are asked to arrive by 5 p.m.

This is a praise and worship service, followed by a free hot meal. Everyone is welcome.

For information, call the Rev. Michael Anthony at (734) 735-8397 or go to www.houseofrestoration.info (http://www.houseofrestoration.info/).

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Early birds get the Black Friday deals
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 27, 2009, 01:20:51 PM
Early birds get the Black Friday deals (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/early-birds-get-the-black-friday-deals/)
27 November 2009, 12:28 pm

Were you at Wal-Mart in Monroe, Mich., this morning?

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/shoppers1127.jpg) (http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/shoppers1127.jpg)I didn’t deliberately seek out Wal-Mart as a place to chat with Black Friday shoppers. We looked for a family that likes to shop on Black Friday. After we checked in with them on their plans, we learned they were splitting up their team between Wal-Mart and Meijer.

But Wal-Mart turned out to be an interesting place to be this morning. It was absolutely packed with people. When I arrived at 4:30 a.m., I could not find a parking spot anywhere on the Wal-Mart property. I parked across the street at Maggie Moo’s ice cream restaurant.

Anyway, here’s my report for The Monroe Evening News today: Early birds get deals. (http://www.monroenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091127/NEWS01/711279979)

A snippet:
By 4:30 a.m. today, Brandi Elmore was nearing 24 hours without sleep, but she was happy. Almost everything on her shopping list was waiting in a cart at Walmart while she waited for the Black Friday sale to officially start at 5 a.m. Her overnight finds included Play-Doh playsets, pajamas and a baby doll stroller for her 2-year-old daughter.“I’m going to bed after I get home,” she said.


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Danny’s grocery sale Nov. 28-29
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 27, 2009, 02:49:20 PM
Danny’s grocery sale Nov. 28-29 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/dannys-grocery-sale-nov-28-29/)
27 November 2009, 2:33 pm

Danny’s Fine Foods in Monroe, Mich., has an ad in today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News to announce the following specials for Saturday and Sunday Nov. 28-29.

Boneless, skinless chicken breast at $1.29 a pound, baby back spare ribs at $2.49 a pound and 7-Up brand 2-liters at 89 cents a pound.

If you would like to avoid the crowds at the bigger supermarkets or supercenters this weekend, the smaller grocery stores such as Danny’s are a good option. Neither Danny’s location is in the line of traffic for the bargain shoppers.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Black Friday rolls over to Saturday sales
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 27, 2009, 06:06:52 PM
Black Friday rolls over to Saturday sales (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/black-friday-rolls-over-to-saturday-sales/)
27 November 2009, 5:54 pm

If you pay close attention to the sales fliers in recent weeks, you understand what I’ve repeatedly said in the days leading up to Black Friday: There are opportunities to save money at the retail stores on Thanksgiving Day weekend without having to wait in line at 5 a.m. on Friday.

Go back through my Black Friday archives (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/category/black-friday-2009/) to see which sales reports were actually two-day sales and then here are three new fliers that were in my newspaper today:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Christmas items in the classifieds? Yes. Go look
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 28, 2009, 03:32:18 PM
Christmas items in the classifieds? Yes. Go look (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/christmas-items-in-the-classifieds-yes-go-look/)
28 November 2009, 3:01 pm

Pick up the classified section of your local newspaper and look in the merchandise or miscellaneous sections. You’ll probably find some Christmas items at dirt cheap prices.

Today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News has classifieds with (http://www.verican.us/cod6/adlisting.do?catalog=monroenews&list=true) these holiday items offered for sale:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe MI sales fliers Nov. 28
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 28, 2009, 03:32:18 PM
Monroe MI sales fliers Nov. 28 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/monroe-mi-sales-fliers-nov-28/)
28 November 2009, 3:31 pm

Here are some of the sales fliers I found in my home-delivery edition of The Monroe Evening News today:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Kmart’s ShopYourWay Rewards program
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 28, 2009, 07:34:41 PM
Kmart’s ShopYourWay Rewards program (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/kmarts-shopyourway-rewards-program/)
28 November 2009, 6:33 pm

Kmart (http://www.kmart.com) now has a ShopYourWay Rewards program. The Kmart staff gave me a brochure when I was shopping there this week, and I took it home to look it over.

The basic rewards plan is 1 percent back on most purchases at Kmart and Sears. The more interesting details include occasional bonus promotions, hassle-free returns and a chance to win prizes.

Go to the ShopYourWay Rewards page (https://www.shopyourwayrewards.com/cp/login.aspx) to look over the details.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Coupon Crazy Chrys blogs from Michigan
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 28, 2009, 07:34:41 PM
Coupon Crazy Chrys blogs from Michigan (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/coupon-crazy-chrys-blogs-from-michigan/)
28 November 2009, 6:53 pm

I just saw a mention of this blog on twitter and checked it out:

Coupon Crazy Chrys has a coupon blog (http://www.couponcrazychrys.com/) and it looks like she’s picking up on metro Detroit deals. She does say in her “about me” page that she is from Michigan.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Another regional blog: Saving Money in Toledo
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 28, 2009, 07:34:41 PM
Another regional blog: Saving Money in Toledo (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/another-regional-blog-saving-money-in-toledo/)
28 November 2009, 7:12 pm

Another blog I’m adding to my blogroll is Saving Money in Toledo. (http://www.savingmoneyintoledo.blogspot.com/)

Melanie is doing coupon matchups for Meijer, Giant Eagle and the Kroger stores in the Toledo area.

No, I do not do coupon matchups. I don’t plan to. I also don’t promote national coupon matching sites. Reason: they don’t work for my local audience. Monroe County, Mich., has too many complications because of overlapping circulations from the Toledo, Detroit and Monroe newspapers — in addition to multiple marketing districts that are in effect for the area Kroger and Kmart stores.

But I am glad to see other regional money-saving blogs on the web, so I’m adding her to my Ohio blogroll.

According to Melanie’s posts, she ran a coupon class a few days ago (http://savingmoneyintoledo.blogspot.com/2009/11/coupon-workshop-november-23rd.html) in Sylvania, Ohio.

I also have been doing programs this year in the Monroe and Toledo areas on frugal living and grocery shopping tips. The two events I’ve done that could be called a coupon class were arranged through Monroe Community Education. I will post my appearances as they get announced, but it will be after the holidays before I’m out and about again.

(P.S. Here are my grocery shopping tips (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/grocery-shopping-on-a-budget-tips-and-tricks/)).

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Health care help for Michigan unemployed
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 29, 2009, 08:09:08 AM
Health care help for Michigan unemployed (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/health-care-help-for-michigan-unemployed/)
29 November 2009, 7:59 am

The other day, a woman I am friendly to but don’t know very well, said as I was running errands at her workplace: “Hey, did you hear I’m going to be laid off?”

“No,” I replied. “I heard someone in your department would be, but I didn’t know who.”

I asked how she was handling health insurance. There are other family members who use her health plan in addition to her – so she was already brainstorming on what do to.

The problem is: medical services and programs for uninsured families are a hit and miss. She will need to change doctors for one of her children, for example, because the plan she will have to put that child on isn’t accepted by her physician.

Here is another example of hit and miss services: CNN Money has a story this weekend about free health care for unemployed (http://money.cnn.com/2009/11/25/news/economy/unemployed_health_services/index.htm). But the Take Care Clinics that are mentioned in that report are not available at the Walgreens stores in Monroe, Mich.

If you are one of my readers in southeast Michigan, here is where you can research available resources:If you live in northwest Ohio, the only comprehensive resource database I have found for the Toledo area on the web is the Area Office on Aging’s service provider directory (http://aooanwohio2.assistguide.net/).

If you live elsewhere, start your search by calling the 211 hotline service that is hosted in most parts of the country by the United Way. 211 databases are intended to be a referral service for social services. You may have to keep researching beyond 211 to get answers, but it is a place to start.

Keep in mind that many medical assistance programs are aimed at those with special circumstances such as veteran status, senior citizens and children or those with particular ailments. But as the CNN story reports, unemployment status is also increasingly an eligibility factor.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: P&G Brand Saver in today’s paper
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 29, 2009, 08:09:08 AM
P&G Brand Saver in today’s paper (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/pg-brand-saver-in-todays-paper/)
29 November 2009, 8:04 am

The P&G Brand Saver is the only coupon packet I’m finding in my home-delivery editions of The Monroe Evening News and the Detroit Free Press.

It is a holiday weekend and that does throw the regular coupon insert schedules off.

In the meantime, if you are one of my local readers and are in search of coupons, check out the coupon swap boxes that some of the library branches are hosting. For example, I help contribute to the coupon box at Dorsch Memorial Branch Library.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe Jo-Ann’s final sale has started
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 29, 2009, 09:42:27 AM
Monroe Jo-Ann’s final sale has started (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/monroe-jo-anns-final-sale-has-started/)
29 November 2009, 9:24 am

The “going out of business” signs have gone up at the Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store  (http://www.joann.com)in Monroe, Mich.

It’s not the entire chain going down – just the Monroe, Mich., location. There are bigger Jo-Ann stores in Taylor and Ypsilanti. However, there are a lot of upset customers here in Monroe who are annoyed at the thought of driving out of town for merchandise that Jo-Ann carries. I’ve seen forwards of their e-mail chains.

I do not know all the details, only what I have heard via rumor mill and conversations with the clerks. But it was obvious to me a few weeks ago that this was a done deal.

Now that the clearance sale has begun, local crafters may as well see what bargains you can pick up on basic supplies. Some of the merchandise has already been moved out to other locations.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Secret Santa workshop Dec. 4 and 5 at C2K
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 29, 2009, 11:42:57 AM
Secret Santa workshop Dec. 4 and 5 at C2K (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/secret-santa-workshop-dec-4-and-5-at-c2k/)
29 November 2009, 10:43 am

This post is for my readers in and near Monroe, Mich.

Crafts 2000 (http://crafts2000online.com/) in Monroe, Mich., – nicknamed C2K by its customers – will hold a Secret Santa Workshop from noon to 5 p.m. on Dec. 4 and 5.

Families are invited to stop by the store to create free holiday craft projects that can be used for gifts for parents, grandparents, teachers and friends.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe sales fliers Nov. 29
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 29, 2009, 11:42:57 AM
Monroe sales fliers Nov. 29 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/monroe-sales-fliers-nov-29/)
29 November 2009, 11:23 am

Here are some of the sales fliers I’m finding in my home-delivery newspapers this morning. I live in the 48162 zip code. All are from the The Monroe Evening News except where I note the Detroit Free Press:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Salvation Army still needs holiday family sponsors
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 29, 2009, 01:20:40 PM
Salvation Army still needs holiday family sponsors (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/salvation-army-still-needs-holiday-family-sponsors/)
29 November 2009, 11:50 am

I get a mix of local and national readers on this site. A few days ago, there was a discussion in the comment section about charity contributions. One of the national readers posted a link to a site where charity donations could be made on a national basis.

I replied that I expected the local needs and donation drive appeals to be too many to keep up with on this blog – and I’m the reporter who gets many of those notices in the newspaper.

However, the Salvation Army of Monroe County is the lead organization in the largest Christmas drive in Monroe, Mich., area. The chances are really good that if you have been asked to make a donation to a local civic club, school group or church for an “adopt a family” appeal … that match was made with the Salvation Army database regardless of who is actually buying the presents.

And the local committee members are struggling to find sponsors because so many would-be donors can’t make a contribution or sponsor a family this year.

Today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News has this story: Families in need at holiday waiting for donors. (http://www.monroenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091129/NEWS01/711299972)

A snippet:
Saturday is the deadline to pick families and the Army has almost 1,000 families left to adopt, said Maj. Michael Thomas, commander for the Army that acts as a clearing house for those in need.“I know times are difficult, but we’re hoping and praying that people will get involved this year,” Maj. Thomas said Saturday. “Those in need of food, clothing and other essentials is well beyond what we were anticipating.”


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: The No Christmas Gifts This Year site
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 30, 2009, 07:50:50 AM
The No Christmas Gifts This Year site (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/the-no-christmas-gifts-this-year-site/)
30 November 2009, 7:03 am

The Associated Press has a piece, picked up by the Detroit News today, about a “giftless Christmas.” (http://www.detnews.com/article/20091130/BIZ01/911300317/1010/Try-a-giftless-Christmas-to-weather-tough-economy) One of the references mentioned in the article is the No Christmas Gifts This Year site. (http://nochristmasgiftsthisyear.com/)

I am definitely in favor of stretching your household finances through tricks such as replacing high-priced entertainment with budget-friendly fun, smart shopping techniques, and clipping coupons.

But if you would like to declare a “No Gift Christmas,” you’re a little late to be setting those plans for 2009.

You might be surprised how many people are done or nearly done with their shopping this early in the season (we’re almost done). The really frugal people buy items during off-season sales if they know what you like (my grandmother did). You will put your family and friends in an awkward situation if they have already bought your gift and you say “no gifts, please.”

Instead, announce your new policy in late summer or early fall 2010 and it will probably be much easier to implement.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Santa visits, parades and other free fun in Monroe County
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 30, 2009, 09:52:22 AM
Santa visits, parades and other free fun in Monroe County (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/santa-visits-parades-and-other-free-fun-in-monroe-county/)
30 November 2009, 9:47 am

This post is for my readers who live in or near Monroe County, Mich.

If you are looking for frugal family holiday fun to replace the more expensive Christmas entertainment such as visits to the zoo’s Christmas light display, a personal visit from Santa, tickets to a holiday musical or ballet, you are in luck.

A lot of the community Christmas events in the Monroe County, Mich., area are free or on a donation basis. And this is the week when many of those events take place. I’m one of the reporters who gets those notices scheduled for The Monroe Evening News, so I know what’s been announced.

I have all the local holiday events posted and tagged  (http://www.monroetalks.com/events/events/index.php?com=searchresult&s=11/30/2009&e=12/31/2009&k=&t=28)at the MonroeTalks calendar. The notices include when Santa is making appearances, when the parades are kicking off, where you can admire a collection of Christmas trees, and when and where the holiday music concerts are taking place.

Be sure to check that list frequently during the next two weeks – I’m pretty sure we don’t have all the holiday event notices on file yet. I have appealed many times during the past few years to event committees to get notices to the newspaper way in advance so to get the best impact for the publicity. But some events still get announced on a very short time frame. A bunch of those notices arrived to my desk just this weekend.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Christmas dinner for Flat Rock seniors
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 30, 2009, 03:01:19 PM
Christmas dinner for Flat Rock seniors (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/christmas-dinner-for-flat-rock-seniors/)
30 November 2009, 2:13 pm

This post is for my readers in Flat Rock, Mich., and is in today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News:

Tuesday Dec. 1 is the deadline to sign up for a free Christmas buffet for senior citizens 55 and older from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday Dec. 10 at the community center, 1 Maguire Dr., Flat Rock.

The event is for residents of Flat Rock, Mich., only and sponsored by the City of Flat Rock. Entertainment will be provided by the Silver Springs Society.

Shuttle service will be available, but reservations are required. Those who plan to attend should call the center at (734) 379-1450.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Two potluck desserts next week? I’m not panicking
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 30, 2009, 03:01:19 PM
Two potluck desserts next week? I’m not panicking (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/two-potluck-desserts-next-week-im-not-panicking/)
30 November 2009, 2:36 pm

I have to bring desserts for two Christmas parties next week – one that I knew about six weeks ago, and one that I found out about 10 minutes ago.

But I’m not panicking. I know those events pop up during the holiday season. You do too. Stock up when prices are cheap for ingredients to set aside in your pantry for appropriate contributions, and you won’t panic when the invites arrive.

The first party is a group of friends who adore my chocolate fudge cake, but because the food shortening chemistry has changed in recent years I can no longer get that icing recipe to work consistently. I offered a Candy Cane cake instead, and that is getting some “ooh, that sounds interesting” responses.

No problem. I have a box of white cake mix and all the appropriate ingredients in my pantry. I even have the peppermint dust already prepped. What’s peppermint dust? It’s crushed-up candy canes!

The other party is an office party. So I just put out the word on another network to my co-workers: tell me if you want Candy Cane cake or pumpkin bread.

I already have a pumpkin bread mix that I set aside for the random potluck request. I’ll need another box of white cake mix if my co-workers want Candy Cane cake instead, but that’s easy to deal with.

What is Candy Cake Cake?

Ooooh … take a look! (http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes.aspx/candy-cane-cake/852a3d2d-48a7-47ae-8313-9f749bd8cb24)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Free Christmas banquet in Toledo
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 30, 2009, 03:50:19 PM
Free Christmas banquet in Toledo (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/free-christmas-banquet-in-toledo/)
30 November 2009, 3:31 pm

This post is for my readers in the Toledo, Ohio, area.

Toledo Baptist Temple (http://www.toledobaptist.com/dnn/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx), 5732 Douglas Rd., Toledo, Ohio, will host a Christmas Banquet at 5:30 p.m. Sunday Dec. 13.

This is a full dinner plated event. There will also be special music and entertainment.

Admission is free to all who wish to attend. Reservations are requested for logistical reasons between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at (419) 475-3261.

This event is part of the congregation’s effort to reach out to the community.

Yes, Michigan residents are welcome. This church is near the Ohio-Michigan state line, off Alexis Rd., and The Monroe Evening News was sent an e-mail about the event in hopes that we could help get the word out.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe sales fliers Nov. 30
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on November 30, 2009, 07:59:00 PM
Monroe sales fliers Nov. 30 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/11/monroe-sales-fliers-nov-30/)
30 November 2009, 7:21 pm

I do ramp up the sales and deals notices during the holiday season to include more stores than I normally pick at. These ads are all for the Monroe, Mich., area.

The following grocery ad was in Sunday’s edition of The Monroe Evening News:The following ads were among those in today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News:The following sales fliers were in my mailbox today:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Get Rich Slowly: How do you handle peer pressure?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 01, 2009, 07:48:27 AM
Get Rich Slowly: How do you handle peer pressure? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/get-rich-slowly-how-do-you-handle-peer-pressure/)
1 December 2009, 7:25 am

Get Rich Slowly has a post about frugal living that’s getting a lot of buzz on the Internet and also a mention on (http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SmartSpending/blog/page.aspx?post=1406199) MSN Smart Spending: How do you handle peer pressure? (http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2009/11/20/ask-the-readers-how-do-you-handle-peer-pressure/)

You can’t do much about the mix of people at your workplace.

As far as the peer pressure at work goes, I don’t have a lot of materialistic pressures at the office. My co-workers at The Monroe Evening News do like to chat about the latest TV shows or their vacations. But overall, they are a pretty frugal bunch. Even some of the higher-ups brownbag their lunches.

You can, however, make choices about the social circles you keep.

The people I call my closest friends in Michigan and Ohio include those who either have personally been through tight finances at various times in their family, or those who have seen the impact of the regional economy in their professional and volunteer work. So they totally understand the juggling of social life, family life and financial life.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Kroger 10 for $10 sale is coupon friendly
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 01, 2009, 02:06:29 PM
Kroger 10 for $10 sale is coupon friendly (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/kroger-10-for-10-sale-is-coupon-friendly/)
1 December 2009, 12:53 pm

The Kroger 10 for $10 sale in the stores in Monroe, Milan and Dundee, Mich., is very coupon friendly this week.

I didn’t try to take a picture of my shopping cart today because the aisles are getting a little too packed for that during the holiday season. Even when I was doing normal shopping tasks such as pulling coupons and counting my selections, two other customers fussed at me for being in their way.

But I did spend only $32.27 for a load of groceries that included milk, oranges, bananas, sausage gravy, biscuits, canned fruit, rice mixes, candy bars and pecans. 20 items came from the 10 for $10 list.

The “total savings” on the bottom of my receipt was 48 percent.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Freep: Laid-off workers start to lose COBRA subsidies
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 01, 2009, 06:09:06 PM
Freep: Laid-off workers start to lose COBRA subsidies (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/freep-laid-off-workers-start-to-lose-cobra-subsidie/)
1 December 2009, 4:13 pm

The Detroit Free Press is reporting Millions of laid-off workers lose subsidies for health insurance. (http://www.freep.com/article/20091201/FEATURES08/91201050/1318/Millions-of-laid-off-workers-lose-subsidies-for-health-insurance?GID=n2UkH4gZ3PGw7jTV6RFN/0ot9J8TNB5QYXCeR9P44/0=)

A snippet:
Congress is considering new legislation to resume the subsidies but costs and other issues make passage unlikely anytime soon, health leaders say.

The subsidies that ran out today were provided to workers starting in March, for nine months, and paid 65% of a person’s health insurance.

COBRA subsidies will continue for those who started getting the help after March, for a total of nine months.


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: ABC: Looking for jobs, baby boomers continue to fight
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 01, 2009, 06:09:07 PM
ABC: Looking for jobs, baby boomers continue to fight (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/abc-looking-for-jobs-baby-boomers-continue-to-fight/)
1 December 2009, 4:24 pm

ABC News has a report on the determination and resourcefulness that the baby boom generation is applying to finding a new job at Silver lining for older workers. (http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/JobClub/jobs-baby-boomers-continue-fight/story?id=9211406)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: El-Bee, TRU and Sears fliers Dec. 1
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 01, 2009, 08:42:42 PM
El-Bee, TRU and Sears fliers Dec. 1 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/el-bee-tru-and-sears-fliers-dec-1/)
1 December 2009, 8:22 pm

Three sales fliers were in my newspaper today Dec. 1:I don’t necessarily look for “the best bargains” when I’m posting sales and deals announcements. A lot of bloggers and sites specialize in those analyses, and that fine.

Instead, I scan the ad fliers for items that are of interest to a family on a budget. That’s why I lean pretty heavy to basic needs, DIY supplies and lower-cost items.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Coupon tip from Good Housekeeping
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 01, 2009, 08:42:42 PM
Coupon tip from Good Housekeeping (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/coupon-tip-from-good-housekeeping/)
1 December 2009, 8:36 pm

Good Housekeeping (http://www.goodhousekeeping.com) has this tip in the December 2009 issue:

As you look through the grocery store sales flier or web site, and your coupon box or binder to plan your shopping, mark your list with these codes:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: USA Today: More shoppers search for coupons
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 02, 2009, 07:03:05 AM
USA Today: More shoppers search for coupons (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/usa-today-more-shoppers-search-for-coupons/)
2 December 2009, 6:48 am

USA Today is reporting More shoppers search for coupons online. (http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/2009-12-02-coupons02_ST_N.htm)

A snippet:
The number of people scouring the Internet in search of coupons that they can print and present to retailers, or codes that provide them with discounts on retail sites such as Amazon.com (http://content.usatoday.com/topics/topic/Organizations/Companies/Technology/Services/Amazon.com), is up sharply.

Leading coupon websites reported record traffic on Cyber Monday.        RetailMeNot (http://www.retailmenot.com/) had 1.1 million visitors, up 57% from a year ago.        CouponCabin (http://www.couponcabin.com/) was visited 400,000 times, up 65% from a year ago. And        BradsDeals.com (http://www.bradsdeals.com/) said traffic was up 174%, to 16,000 visitors per hour.
A follow-up note to my readers in Monroe, Mich.: Did you know you can find coupons on the web for local businesses?

The Saving Sense booklet that is distributed monthly in The Monroe Evening News is posted on line (http://www.monroetalks.com/coupons/index.php). The Internet readers are getting a sneak peek because the December book is on the web but hasn’t been in the paper yet (it usually is distributed first Saturday).

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Stressing out at the holidays
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 02, 2009, 08:15:03 AM
Stressing out at the holidays (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/stressing-out-at-the-holidays/)
2 December 2009, 7:19 am

The popular images of the Christmas season include joy, happiness, parties, cookies, peace, more cookies, Santa, twinkling light displays, Christmas trees, shopping, parades, ballets, more cookies …

The reality is that the holiday season brings a lot of its own stresses.

Some situations that are affecting my family now have absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, it’s just that other issues happen to be popping up.

Every year, there are families who have to cope with a recent death or divorce as the holiday season gets under way.

Those of you whose finances are very tight may be wondering how you’ll arrange for gifts under the tree or even take care of groceries while the kids are out of school.

One of my family’s most stressful Christmas seasons was two months before our last move – we were tripping over packing boxes and only the bare minimum of Christmas decor could be put up in the house.

I’ve mentioned this before in terms of finances, but it also helps during those stressful years: it is OK to rearrange what your family does to celebrate the holiday season.And in the meantime, keep to the everyday routines that will reduce overall stress in your home. Here’s some of what I do:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Pros and cons of thrift shopping
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 02, 2009, 09:18:24 AM
Pros and cons of thrift shopping (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/pros-and-cons-of-thrift-shopping/)
2 December 2009, 8:50 am

Trent at the Simple Dollar has this post Six Reasons Why People Don’t Thrift. (http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2009/12/01/six-reasons-why-people-dont-thrift/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+thesimpledollar+(The+Simple+Dollar))

A snippet:
Some people avoid thrift stores simply because they’ve never gone to one. If that’s you, it’s time to try something new, because thrift stores are often excellent places to find the very things you need.
The discussion on his comment board is really interesting. Some people are pointing out, as has been my experience, that if they need something very specific they end up having to purchase it at retail anyway.

I aim for the thrift shops when I know it’s likely I will find what I want.

Example: When I need another pair of black dress pants, I look at the thrift shops first. That’s such a common work attire in my area that I can almost always find black pants in good condition very cheap.

However, I’ve given up finding office-suitable tops in my size at the local second-hand shops. My business attire has to meet a dress code that is a notch up from what most local worker bees are wearing. The second-hand selection just isn’t there in my local thrift stores.

So I buy pants at the thrift shop and tops at JCPenney. I’m still saving money as compared to buying all my office clothes at retail.

Here’s my list of the second-hand stores in Monroe, Mich., area. (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/thrift-shops-in-the-monroe-area/)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: CNNMoney: How to give when the giving gets tough
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 02, 2009, 10:16:37 AM
CNNMoney: How to give when the giving gets tough (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/cnnmoney-give/)
2 December 2009, 10:00 am

Are you wondering how to support your favorite causes and charities when your income has dropped?

CNNMoney has lots of tips in this report How to give when the giving gets tough. (http://money.cnn.com/2009/11/30/pf/charitable_giving.moneymag/index.htm)

The story includes a southeast Michigan angle. A snippet:
What makes the situation especially heart-rending is that charities need help more than ever. And nowhere is that truer than in Detroit.

As the metro area’s unemployment rate has soared to 17.8% vs. 9.8% nationally, the amount of money that most charities there collect has plunged. For example, contributions to United Way for Southeastern Michigan fell 21% in its latest fiscal year. (That compares to a 5% drop for the average United Way.)
Now here is my favorite charity donation tip for families on a budget, and I posted it on the CNN comment board: Let your regular household and Christmas shopping spin off into charity donations.

Link your grocery shopper cards to a participating charity so donations will be made to those causes (Kroger and Meijer will do that); and / or buy your local and national retail gift cards from a church or school that sells those gift cards as a fundraiser.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Home financing program for future buyers in Monroe MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 02, 2009, 02:20:29 PM
Home financing program for future buyers in Monroe MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/home-financing-program-for-future-buyers-in-monroe-mi/)
2 December 2009, 1:02 pm

This post is for my readers in and near Monroe, Mich., and is on page 6A of today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News:

A home financing program for first-time and repeat homebuyers will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 10 at Fifth Third’s Banking Center, 453 S. Monroe St., Monroe, Mich.

John Ansara, a mortgage loan professional, will discuss financing programs currently available and what is required to become a homeowner, including the federal $8,000 tax incentive for first-time homebuyers and $6,500 incentive for current homeowners. Also discussed will be mortgage programs, credit scores and debt-to-income ratios.

“There is also down payment assistance specifically for Michigan residents that is available through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority,” said Mr. Ansara.

He and Tony Kenecny, Fifth Third area sales manager, will be on hand to answer  financial questions, including refinance options for homeowners. Reservations are not required, but seating is limited.  For information, call (734) 854-7667.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Michigan Gas offering energy incentives to customers
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 02, 2009, 02:20:29 PM
Michigan Gas offering energy incentives to customers (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/michigan-gas-offering-energy-incentives-to-customers/)
2 December 2009, 1:07 pm

This article by my co-worker Charles Slat is on page 6A of today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News.

Michigan Gas Utilities has joined with 10 other Michigan utilities to form Efficiency United, a consortium that will offer energy optimization programs and energy-conservation incentives to their customers.

From now and into next year, Efficiency United will introduce the programs that include installation of energy-efficient measures for income-qualified customers, an online home energy audit, a residential HVAC rebate program, and a program to assist commercial and industrial customers to install energy-efficient equipment.

MGU customers will be able to get rebates for replacing appliances with Energy Star qualified equipment, such as clothes washers and high-efficiency water heaters. Rebates also are available for low-flow showerheads, low-flow aerators and water heater pipe wrap.

An Energy Efficiency Assistance Program for lower income customers is being managed in conjunction with the Michigan Community Action Agency Association and its member agencies, such as the Monroe County Opportunity Program.

Paul Livernois, external affairs manager for MGU, emphasized that his company is using Efficiency United to implement the state’s energy optimization plans and the programs are not directly connected with MGU except that MGU customers might be eligible for them. The only utility involvement is that the state is using the utilities to fund the program.

The cost of the programs is paid from charge added to MGU bills in July. The Michigan Energy Efficiency Charge began July 1 and varies monthly based on the volume of natural gas a customer uses.

MGU customers interested in any of the programs should first get details by calling toll-free (877) 296-4319 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The other utilities include Alpena Power, Bayfield Electric Cooperative, Daggett Electric Department, Edison Sault Electric Company, Indiana Michigan Power, Xcel Energy, Upper Peninsula Power Company, WE Energies, Wisconsin Public Service Corp., and SEMCO Energy Gas Company.

MGU distributes natural gas to about 51,000 customers in Monroe County, Mich.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: “Wings” program helps Monroe families with donated groceries
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 02, 2009, 02:20:29 PM
“Wings” program helps Monroe families with donated groceries (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/wings-program-helps-monroe-families-with-donated-groceries/)
2 December 2009, 1:23 pm

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/wingfood1202.jpg) (http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/wingfood1202.jpg)I have told readers ever since I launched this blog that formal public assistance is not the only option when your family is dealing with tight finances.

I knew this from my own family’s experience.

But there also has been a steadily growing effort in the Monroe, Mich., area during the past three years to specifically reach out to families who have been hit with layoffs and pay cuts – but who make too much money for the traditional safety net programs such as food stamps, welfare and other income-based programs.

I’ve told you on Monroe on a Budget about these programs as they were introduced, expanded, etc.

One of those efforts is featured in today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News - On a “Wing” and a Prayer  (http://www.monroenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091202/NEWS01/712029985)- a local outreach program is helping those in need.

The story by my co-worker Michelle Swartz:It was by chance that Martha Goetz of Monroe found the help she needed to support her family.“I was just being nosy,” she said, smiling. “I saw people in the parking lot looking through bags and boxes of stuff and I wanted to know what was going on.”She discovered a local outreach program called “Wings.” Formed by the Rev. Bonnie Frey, pastor of Lulu United Methodist Church in Ida, the program offered miscellaneous items to the needy.“It fills a need for people who fall in between the cracks,” Pastor Frey explained. “There are so many people who are over the limit of food stamps, but still don’t have enough money for clothes and other necessities for their family.”Since March, the program has been offered every Tuesday at Eagle’s Nest Community Church. It is held in the parking lot of the church, 620 E. Fourth St., unless bad weather forces it inside. Donated food, clothes, shoes, blankets, toys and household items are offered to the needy.“We come to Monroe’s east side because there is such a great need here,” said Pastor Frey during Tuesday’s distribution. “Louie Barnett (pastor of Eagle’s Nest) has been wonderful. He lets us come here every Tuesday.”Several local businesses, churches, organizations and individuals donate to the cause. Panera Bread, for example, offers a variety of breads, muffins and cookies each week. Inga’s Bakery and Marco’s Pizza also donate food to the program on a weekly basis.Several churches offer canned and boxed food, blankets, clothes, shoes and toys. Local family farms and orchards give seasonal produce.“In the summer, we get vegetables and fruit from local gardens and farms. It’s really good,” said Loraine Bolton of Monroe. “This program has helped my family out quite a bit. Everyone here is wonderful.”Led by Pastor Frey and her husband, Ken, volunteers pick up donations from households, businesses and organizations who offer items. Vehicles packed with donations drop off the items, organize them on tables and assist people, when needed. At times, up to 50 people have attended the weekly program.“These are hard times for a lot of people so they are glad to see us,” said Rochelle May of Monroe, a weekly volunteer. “We hope more donations come in so we can help more people, especially kids. There’s no reason kids should suffer.”Ms. Goetz is thankful for the outreach program.“This has been such a blessing for our family,” she said.Pastor Frey hopes the program will continue to grow with continued donations and volunteers. She has made it a mission in life.“It’s been a blessing. It’s something the Lord led me to do,” she said.The Wings program is offered from 3 to 5 p.m. each Tuesday at Eagle’s Nest Community Church, 620 E. Fourth St., Monroe, Mich.To make a donation or to volunteer for the Wings program, call Pastor Bonnie Frey at (734) 625-4997.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Cash back program at Caregivers Marketplace
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 02, 2009, 04:21:07 PM
Cash back program at Caregivers Marketplace (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/cash-back-program-at-caregivers-marketplace/)
2 December 2009, 4:07 pm

The Caregivers Marketplace is a cash back / rebate program to assist those who are caregivers of a loved one (or who need products themselves) with products that are commonly used to care for a baby or toddler, senior citizen, or someone who is  ill or injured.

Here is the explanation from their web site at caregiversmarketplace.com (http://www.caregiversmarketplace.com/FrameSetup.asp):
Our mission is to ease some of the financial burden of caring for an ill,       elderly or disabled family  member or friend.

As you are probably aware, private health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid do not cover the cost of common        products used in daily  living. Items used for bathing, skin care, bath safety, incontinence, nutrition         and aids for daily living are necessary to maintain a high quality of life for the person  receiving care.        At the same time, regular purchase of these products can become  expensive. That is where The Caregivers        Marketplace™ steps in.

Our one-of-a-kind program provides cash back on  eligible products used every day to provide care. We do        not sell the  products directly. Instead, we offer cash back to you when you buy eligible products anywhere        they are sold. All you need to do to receive cash back on  your purchases is print a       cash back request form, shop for eligible  products and send in your original  receipts with the        completed cash back request form. Once verified, your cash back check will arrive in the mail within        4-6 weeks. It’s that simple!
What are some of the participating brands? They include Nature Made, Gold Bond, Huggies and Ensure. Go to the product list  (http://www.caregiversmarketplace.com/FrameSetup.asp)to see if the exact items your family purchases qualify for this program.



Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Hillbilly Housewife: I know I put those gifts somewhere
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 03, 2009, 06:33:12 AM
Hillbilly Housewife: I know I put those gifts somewhere (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/hillbilly-housewife-i-know-i-put-those-gifts-somewhere/)
3 December 2009, 6:28 am

Hillbillly Housewife has this post about coping with Christmas gift-buying in advance: I know I put those gifts somewhere – Tidy Tuesday. (http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/blog/?p=2388)

A snippet:
No matter what the reason, I end up with small piles of gifts scattered throughout the house, hidden away from little prying eyes… and big prying eyes.

The problem, as you might have noticed, is that the gifts are scattered all over the house.  This leads to a most disturbing situation year after year.  That is the un-gifted gift.  Sure enough, come June or July I find a wonderful little trinket that I meant to give to someone special.  There it is still safely tucked away behind some summer clothes.  Ooops.
Her solution: underbed boxes, along with some deliberately mis-labeled storage boxes for the gifts that have to stay in hiding.

My solution this year was a “landing spot” in my basement office / craft station.

My grandmother’s solution was a shelf on the closet in the family room that used to be the master bedroom.

My husband usually parks my gifts in the daughter’s closet.

Now, there are no snoops in my family. We just need to put our gifts where we can find them when it is gift wrapping day. I know some of you families have to make sure those gifts can’t be found by prying eyes. It still makes sense to designate one spot for everything, and rotate the hiding places if you need to.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Beauty blogs for the budget-minded
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 03, 2009, 08:35:09 AM
Beauty blogs for the budget-minded (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/beauty-blogs-for-the-budget-minded/)
3 December 2009, 8:34 am

You don’t have to be rich to look fabulous. There are some really cool blogs with tips for the fashionista frugalistas.

The EKG Classes team put together this list: 15 Blogs for Those with Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget (http://www.ekgclasses.org/15-blogs-for-those-with-champagne-taste-on-a-beer-budget/).

The bloggers give recommendations on their favorite budget-friendly products and color trends of the season. Looks like there are some great reads on that list!

What’s my beauty routine on a budget?Of course, I get my favorite items when they are on sale or coupon.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Detroit News: Safety net for domestic abuse victims crumbling
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 03, 2009, 09:42:33 AM
Detroit News: Safety net for domestic abuse victims crumbling (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/detroit-news-safety-net-for-domestic-abuse-victims-crumbling/)
3 December 2009, 9:08 am

This article is from the Detroit News - but it echoes what I heard earlier this year from domestic violence caseworkers who work with clients in Monroe, Mich.:

Even though domestic violence happens in good economic times and bad,  the recovery and rebuilding efforts for those who are getting out of such situations has been more difficult during the recession.

The DN report: Metro Detroit safety net for abuse victims crumbling. (http://www.detnews.com/article/20091203/METRO/912030433/Metro-Detroit-safety-net-for-abuse-victims--crumbling-)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Incidental expenses for study abroad
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 03, 2009, 01:22:50 PM
Incidental expenses for study abroad (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/incidental-expenses-for-study-abroad/)
3 December 2009, 12:56 pm

My daughter is doing an international study abroad next semester.

I will go into more detail in a few weeks as to how, what and why a family on a budget is sending a student overseas. Bottom line: This is been part of the plan all along for her college experience.

However, if you or your student is even considering such a venture, I have some tips about handling the expenses that come up long before you get on the plane:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Once Upon a Child in Monroe’s sale Dec. 5
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 03, 2009, 02:38:23 PM
Once Upon a Child in Monroe’s sale Dec. 5 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/once-upon-a-child-in-monroes-sale-dec-5/)
3 December 2009, 1:44 pm

This post is for my readers in and near Monroe, Mich.:

Once Upon a Child (http://www.onceuponachild.com/), which is a children’s resale shop with franchises in the U.S. and Canada, has an ad on page 7B of today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News about a Moonlight Madness sale Saturday Dec. 5 at its location at 880 S. Monroe St., Monroe, Mich.

Fall and winter clothing will be sold at the following discounts:For information, call the store at (734) 241-9640.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Potluck emergency: Christmas edition
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 03, 2009, 04:40:15 PM
Potluck emergency: Christmas edition (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/potluck-emergency-christmas-edition/)
3 December 2009, 4:22 pm

The next two weeks are holiday potluck crazy in Monroe, Mich.

I have been typing up one club notice after another for the social pages of The Monroe Evening News with potluck luncheons, potluck dinners, and “bring a treat to share” notices.

Your sanity will be saved if you plan ahead for those events. You know they will be taking place, even if you don’t have much notice on the date.

One of my first posts at Monroe on a Budget was “Potluck Emergency!” a shopping list of potluck-friendly ingredients that I updated and tweaked for Easter 2009. Go check out the shopping list. (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/04/plan-ahead-for-the-potluck/)

Now here is the trick that is particularly appropriate for the Christmas season because life is just so crazy this time of year:

Cook or bake (and then freeze) your contributions ahead of time — or at least do as much prep as possible. Do not wait until the day of the event, or you will panic and head for the grocery store deli or bakery. That’s not very frugal.

If your time is tight no matter when you schedule your baking and cooking, then select easy-do dishes.

Example: cut-out sugar cookies are pretty, but very time consuming. Why are you making them for a holiday potluck? Bring a coffee cake, salad, baked beans or sweet bread instead.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Cabela’s gifts under $25
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 03, 2009, 08:32:34 PM
Cabela’s gifts under $25 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/cabelas-gifts-under-25/)
3 December 2009, 7:29 pm

The Cabela’s ad (http://www.cabelas.com) for the week of Dec. 3-9 features a section of gifts under $25, including a s couple of sleeping bags, some soft-sided coolers and a summer sausage collection featuring wild game flavors.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: But that is a really good Jo-Ann sales flier!
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 03, 2009, 08:32:34 PM
But that is a really good Jo-Ann sales flier! (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/but-that-is-a-really-good-jo-ann-sales-flier/)
3 December 2009, 7:37 pm

Yes, local readers, the Jo-Ann in Monroe, Mich., is going out of business. The store was honoring its coupons and sales fliers, but I haven’t checked that situation since the official “going out of business” campaign started a few days ago.

But don’t throw out that sales flier that came in the mail today. There’s a lot of really good specials that will be in effect later this month.

Set that flier aside and if you have reason to go to the bigger Jo-Ann stores in Taylor, Ypsilanti or elsewhere in the meantime, you’ve got your coupon deals. I used to shop at the Ypsilanti store when my daughter was attending Girl Scout meetings in Ann Arbor.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Today is my holiday prep day
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 04, 2009, 03:52:41 PM
Today is my holiday prep day (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/today-is-my-holiday-prep-day/)
4 December 2009, 3:51 pm

Every year, I schedule one or two days off work in early December.

This routine started out of necessity.

I was a single /divorced mother for about four years when my daughter was young. Because I had no adult backup at home, I always kept a couple of days of vacation or personal leave on standby. That way, if something came up late in the year that required me to take a day off on her behalf, I had enough paid time off to to handle it. Yes, I know a lot of you parents do that too.

What usually happens is that around early December, I was in a “use it or lose it” situation with my paid time off. I would schedule my last remaining vacation time and book my holiday errands on those days.

The most extreme situation, funny now that I look back on it, involving holiday prep days was at my former job in 1998. My boss arranged, quite unexpectedly, for me to have two days off in early December. I took that as a hint that my work schedule was changing drastically and soon. Therefore I arranged all my planning, shopping, preparations and baking during those two days off.

My hunch was correct. There was a big pile of stuff on my desk when I returned to work. I even guessed correctly about what assignments to expect – she just wasn’t authorized to tell me in advance what was going on.

But I didn’t panic that holiday season. Everything that I needed to do at home was taken care of.

When my last two vacation days needed to be booked for this year, I set aside one day so I could pick up my daughter from college at the end of fall semester (we can’t predict my husband’s work schedule that far in advance).

The other day I booked for today because I knew ahead of time about a cookie swap on Saturday. Then I got an invite for a holiday party on Sunday (it looks like that party will be rescheduled because the hostess is ill.) A few days ago, I learned the newspaper’s office luncheon is Tuesday and the staff is invited to bring desserts.

What I didn’t know ahead of time is that my father-in-law also would be seriously ill this holiday season. We’ve been on the phone quite a bit with the in-laws in the past couple of weeks. We also are having – and will have – more trips back and forth to the Toledo area as my husband and I assist his parents with errands and household tasks.

That’s on top of the time I spent during the past two weeks helping my daughter handle paperwork deadlines for her study abroad program next semester.

Yeah. I probably could have used two days off right now.

Because this is looking like my craziest holiday season since 1998, I’m not only doing Christmas baking today, I’m also cooking ahead a lot of meals for the next couple of weeks. Consider this Paula’s version of “Once a Month Cooking.”

This morning, I woke up at the same time as I normally would as if I was going to work. Then I went to Wal-Mart to load up on groceries that would add to what I already had in the freezer and pantry and could be prepped ahead.

Since last night, I have made:Currently making:Still on my list:Yes, this sounds insane. I can’t remember the last time I cracked 10 eggs on one day except when I was serving omelets for overnight guests.

However, I know how nice it will be to have dinner options in the freezer and all I will have to do at lunch time is pick out what I want thawed out for later.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: An update on the Monroe MI Jo-Ann store
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 05, 2009, 11:02:38 AM
An update on the Monroe MI Jo-Ann store (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/an-update-on-the-monroe-mi-jo-ann-store/)
5 December 2009, 10:25 am

A lot of my fellow crafters have been asking The Monroe Evening News to do a story on the Jo-Ann Fabric closing its store in Monroe, Mich.

To be fair, I think they wanted my newspaper to do a story about their e-mail and phone call campaign to help keep the store open. But since I am a frequent customer at that store, it was obvious to me awhile back that the closing was a done deal.

Now that the store is publicly admitting that it is closing that location (signs on the doors, ads in the paper) my co-worker Charles Slat has been able to pin down the corporate officials for an official explanation.

Today’s story for monroenews: Long-time Jo-Ann fabric store closing. (http://www.monroenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091205/NEWS01/712059973)

A snippet:
A store-closing sale is under way at the business at 1557 N. Telegraph Rd. in the Monroe Mall. The store is expected to close by Jan. 31, company officials said.

“It was identified as an underperforming store,” said Lisa Greb, a company spokeswoman. “We are continually looking at all of our stores — we have over 750 stores — and we continue to monitor their performance and that was the reason with this store.”
In other words: the local crafters weren’t buying enough stuff at that store.

Yes I did buy a lot of stuff at Jo-Ann over the years. I have stretched my crafting budget quite a bit by stocking up on basic supplies with those 40 percent off coupons that customers get when they sign up for fliers by mail.

But that Jo-Ann was also pretty small and handcrafted supply selections were limited because so much shelf space was set aside for ready-made items. If I wanted something specific beyond tape, paper, paint and patterns, I usually would have to end up at a different craft store.

Anyway, as I said yesterday, my best finds from the clearance sale were two Christmas craft patterns that I can work on next year. I did see a lot of shoppers picking through the fabric yesterday, but I don’t know what’s a bargain and what’s not in that department.

If the paper crafting supplies or craft paints go on deep discount later, I’ll stock up on that stuff. But the prices aren’t that good yet for me to buy stuff I don’t need immediately.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: The Food Stamps Cooking Club blog
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 05, 2009, 04:37:05 PM
The Food Stamps Cooking Club blog (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/the-food-stamps-cooking-club-blog/)
5 December 2009, 4:35 pm

Here’s a blog I just found that’s for the really frugal food budgets: The Food Stamps Cooking Club. (http://foodstampscookingclub.com/blog/)

The hostess lives in Nebraska. The blog topics include Angel Food Ministries, WIC, food commodities, farmer’s market coupons and recipes that use products commonly received through those food program. The blog also picks up on headlines about hunger in America.

It’s on my “national blogs” blogroll now.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe MI sales fliers Dec. 5
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 05, 2009, 09:08:45 PM
Monroe MI sales fliers Dec. 5 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/monroe-mi-sales-fliers-dec-5/)
5 December 2009, 8:03 pm

This blog is for anyone who lives in Monroe, Mich., on a budget. That’s why the ads I pay the most attention to are for drugstores, grocery stores and discount stores in the Monroe, Mich., area.

The Saturday Dec. 5 ad stack in The Monroe Evening News includes:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Dec. 6 coupon report
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 06, 2009, 08:50:48 AM
Dec. 6 coupon report (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/dec-6-coupon-report/)
6 December 2009, 8:50 am

I think my home-delivery Monroe newspaper was the victim of a ad stack stuffing mistake.

I’m finding only the RedPlum coupon packet inside and the coupon balloon on the front page has a pretty generous “Save $446+” report.

But my Detroit newspaper has both the RedPlum and SmartSource coupon books. While the exact coupons can and do vary, there are usually the same number of coupon books circulating each week in the area newspapers.

Keep in mind that December isn’t really a great month for supermarket coupons except for holiday food or holiday ingredients. You do want to advantage of those deals. But you’ll find that your coupon collection will get really thin by the end of the month. That’s just the seasonal trends at work.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Church weddings on a budget? Yes it’s possible
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 06, 2009, 09:16:53 AM
Church weddings on a budget? Yes it’s possible (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/church-weddings-on-a-budget-yes-its-possible/)
6 December 2009, 8:56 am

The Rev. Bosco Peters has launched a pretty interesting discussion on his blog, Liturgy, with this post Inexpensive wedding. (http://www.liturgy.co.nz/blog/inexpensive-wedding/2110)

A snippet:
Why do people equate a “church wedding” with lots of expense? …

I was talking to a priest yesterday and soon in his parish there will, in fact, be a simple wedding, with afternoon tea following in the parish hall. Why are more people not made aware of this option?
He’s picking up quite a few comments and I’m among the people who are participating in the discussion.

Most of the weddings I have attended over the years have been church weddings with modest budgets. You’ll find some of those stories in my weddings on a budget archives. (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/weddings-on-a-budget-new/)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe MI sales fliers Dec. 6
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 06, 2009, 11:19:00 AM
Monroe MI sales fliers Dec. 6 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/monroe-mi-sales-fliers-dec-6/)
6 December 2009, 9:33 am

Don’t panic about the skimpy supply of grocery coupons during the past couple of weeks in the Sunday papers. If you have been clipping and sorting coupons all along, there are matches in your coupon box or binder for some of the sales at the supermarkets this week.

Here are the sales fliers I’m finding in my newspapers this morning. All are from The Monroe Evening News except where I note Detroit Free Press:There also are ads in my Monroe newspaper for Durocher’s Furniture and Appliance, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Menard’s, Dunham’s Sports, Kohl’s, Carroll-Ochs Jewelers, Sears, Elder-Beerman and Best Buy.

Other ads in my Detroit newspaper are for Radio Shack, Dell computer, ABC Warehouse, JCPenney, Bed Bath and Beyond, Macy’s, Verizon Wireless.

The reason you want to watch the sales fliers on a weekly basis, even when you aren’t “ready” to buy something, is so you can learn what the trends are. If prices overall are going up on common products, you’ll see the sales prices also inch up or promotions happen on a less frequent basis. There also are items for which the really good prices happen only occasionally, such as during the holiday season.

Nobody needs to tell you when to go shopping when you can pick out on your own initiative when the prices are good. You’ll be putting that sales flier on the top of your shopping list.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Candy was a frugal hostess at a church gathering
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 07, 2009, 07:14:49 AM
Candy was a frugal hostess at a church gathering (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/candy-was-a-frugal-hostess-at-a-church-gathering/)
7 December 2009, 6:18 am

It’s one thing to be frugal in your own home. It takes a bit more creativity and courage to be frugal in a social setting when other people might quite willing to spend whatever money it takes to provide hospitality, fashion, style and formality.

My frugal friend Candy at Deal With It, Simply! hit the right combination when she served as a co-hostess for a women’s Advent gathering at her church. The hostess duties at this event include decorating the table who which the hostess is assigned.

Candy and her frugal niece Angie worked out a theme with the sand dollar legend and everything they used to decorate their area was free or from a dollar store. You can see the pictures here. (http://dealwithitsimply.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/advent-gathering/)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Freep: First-timers crowd homeless shelters
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 07, 2009, 07:14:49 AM
Freep: First-timers crowd homeless shelters (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/freep-first-timers-crowd-homeless-shelters/)
7 December 2009, 6:42 am

The Detroit Free Press has this report today: First-timers crowd homeless shelters. (http://www.freep.com/article/20091207/NEWS05/912070331/1318/Homeless-for-the-first-time)

A snippet:
Advocates for homeless people say these first-timers — many who previously had jobs, cars and homes — are straining already crowded shelters, having worn out their welcome with family and friends and being unable to come up with money for motel rooms or gas for their cars.

In Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties, advocates say people who are homeless for the first-time make up 20% to 40% of those seeking services, out of more than 10,000 homeless people in metro Detroit. Most shelters are at capacity, something that often doesn’t happen until later in the winter, officials said.

“We are seeing a lot of folks who, in a better economy, would not be homeless,” said Joseph Tardella, president of the Homeless Action Network of Detroit.
The article does include a list of emergency housing agencies in the Detroit area. But Julie’s List has a more extensive list (http://julieslist.homestead.com/EmergencyHousing.html) that includes a bigger range of southeast Michigan – including the Monroe area. Also for my local readers in Monroe, here is the Monroe County Network on Homelessness (http://monroe.lib.mi.us/community_info_organizations_homeless_network.htm) page.

I’m not surprised to see this headline. I already knew from my work as a newspaper reporter at The Monroe Evening News that Michigan’s long-standing safety net programs such as the homeless shelters have noticed a lot more demand because of the recession.

That’s why you want to use every means possible to save money when a job loss or pay cut hits.

None of us know how long this recession will last. But families will cope with the stress a lot better when there is food in the kitchens, the lights and heat are on, and they get to sleep in their own homes.

If you “make too much money” for government assistance, but you’re wondering how to keep the bills paid when the paychecks come up short, I’ve got lots of tips and tricks (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/the-downsized-budget-how-and-where-to-cut-back/) on this blog that are aimed at Michigan middle class / median income families and those whose household incomes have dropped for any reason.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Free Shipping Day promotion on Dec. 17
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 07, 2009, 11:18:34 AM
Free Shipping Day promotion on Dec. 17 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/free-shipping-day-promotion-on-dec-17/)
7 December 2009, 11:18 am

The second annual Free Shipping Day promotion takes place Thursday Dec. 17.

According to the host site (http://www.freeshippingday.com/), participating merchants will provide free shipping and delivery by Christmas to customers who order on that day. More than 460 merchants have signed up so far.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Frugal winter preparations
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 07, 2009, 12:12:34 PM
Frugal winter preparations (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/frugal-winter-preparations/)
7 December 2009, 12:06 pm

We’ve been pretty lucky so far in Monroe, Mich., this winter with little snow so far.

But you all know better. At some point during the next few weeks, there will be a snowstorm or multiple snowstorms that disrupt routines in southeast Michigan. Families who are running on a paycheck to paycheck basis do need to plan ahead for this reality. Disruptions in routines can mean more out-of-pocket expenses than usual, and it’s best to minimize the impact by planning ahead.

Here are some tips on how to deal with southeast Michigan winter weather expenses and keep your wallet intact:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Where are Michigan students finding scholarships?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 07, 2009, 04:46:26 PM
Where are Michigan students finding scholarships? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/where-are-michigan-students-finding-scholarships/)
7 December 2009, 3:38 pm

I am working on an online project later this month where the topic will be how to find college scholarships and keep up with the application details. The timing is appropriate because scholarship application season goes into full swing starting in January for current high school seniors.

Details will be announced later, but in preparation for this effort, I’d like to hear stories from families who currently have a student in college whether adult or traditional student age. I especially want to hear from those of you who live in southeast Michigan, where my blog is based.

Here are some questions that will help me out:Now … a word to you who are scholarship database site hosts: You might learn something about your audience by watching this discussion, but this is not a pitch opportunity for you. If southeast Michigan families have successfully landed money with the help of a scholarship database, I want to hear from those families directly.

Feel free to make a post here if you have helpful information, or e-mail me at paula@monroenews.com.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Hi-Lite and Danny’s grocery sales Dec. 7
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 08, 2009, 07:48:27 AM
Hi-Lite and Danny’s grocery sales Dec. 7 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/hi-lite-and-dannys-grocery-sales-dec-7/)
8 December 2009, 6:20 am

Hi-Lite Supermarket and Danny’s Fine Foods in Monroe, Mich., schedule their grocery ads on Mondays.
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Food giveaway in Monroe MI Dec. 11
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 08, 2009, 01:26:15 PM
Food giveaway in Monroe MI Dec. 11 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/food-giveaway-in-monroe-mi-dec-11/)
8 December 2009, 1:19 pm

This post is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich., and is on page 5A of today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News:

Stewart Road Christian Ministries Center, along with the Monroe County Opportunity Program, will hold a Harvest Food Drive-By pickup Friday Dec. 11.

The mobile food pantry and free food packaging will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. at the church, 1199 Stewart Rd., Monroe, Mich. Recipients from the county must register ahead of time at MCOP off S. Telegraph Rd. or call (734) 242-9453 and leave their name, address and phone number.

The giveaway will be limited to one package for each household.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Toy giveaway Dec. 19 in Monroe MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 08, 2009, 01:51:11 PM
Toy giveaway Dec. 19 in Monroe MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/toy-giveaway-dec-19-in-monroe-mi/)
8 December 2009, 1:26 pm

This post is for my readers in and near Monroe, Mich., and is on page 3A of today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News:

Instant Tax Service  (http://www.instanttaxservice.com/index.php)will give away free toys to children 12 and younger Dec. 19.

The giveaway will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the firm in Hampton Plaza, 1337 N. Telegraph Rd. , Monroe, Mich.

The event is part of a nationally coordinated campaign by the tax company, which has nearly 1,200 locations across the country. Parents and families are encouraged to bring pay stubs and proof of their children’s identity, such as birth certificates or medical cards, if the youths are unable to attend.

For more information, call (734) 708-3961.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Slashing the grocery budget fast
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 08, 2009, 07:54:33 PM
Slashing the grocery budget fast (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/slashing-the-grocery-budget-fast/)
8 December 2009, 7:05 pm

There’s a really good discussion on the Frugal Village boards that started with the question: Has anyone slashed the grocery budget for an extended period? (http://www.frugalvillage.com/forums/showthread.php?t=125731)

A snippet from my4littlebuffaloes – who started the thread:
I am now running into problems though.  I don’t have the cash to replenish the things we have run out of. Every week I buy perishables, the items we need, and try to spend a little money stocking up on the great holiday sales (we are talking maybe $5 here). The $50 a week I have given myself goes too fast.
The ideas include as many cook-from-scratch menu items as possible and stocking up on those supplies when prices are good. Yes, it is time consuming to cook that way. But when you have to pinch pennies, money is more precious than time.

On that topic, I do have a huge list of tips that I’ve collected during the past three years at my Grocery Shopping on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/grocery-shopping-on-a-budget-tips-and-tricks/) sidebar.

This fall, I organized that list into the 8 Week Plan (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/grocery-shopping-on-a-budget-tips-and-tricks/grocery-shopping-on-a-budget-the-8-week-plan/) that is aimed at cutting the grocery budget as fast as possible. If you’re wanting to take my grocery shopping class based on the 8 Week Plan, the next one will be Feb. 10 in Monroe, Mich., with Monroe Community Education. (Sign-up details to be announced later!).

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What to get a frugal person for Christmas
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 09, 2009, 10:00:37 AM
What to get a frugal person for Christmas (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/what-to-get-a-frugal-person-for-christmas/)
9 December 2009, 9:10 am



Trent at the Simple Dollar has a good discussion going on “So, What Do You Want for Christmas?” (http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2009/11/20/so-what-do-you-want-for-christmas/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+thesimpledollar+(The+Simple+Dollar)) – specifically, what to get a frugal person or frugal family for Christmas!

One of the commenters, Tradd, has an excellent idea:
I find that when buying gifts for frugal folks, it helps to keep in mind just WHY they’re frugal. Are they frugal out of sheer necessity (ie, do they make sacrifices for one parent to stay home with the kids, is there job loss/health issues, etc.?) or do they do it to be good stewards (ie, they make a comfortable living, but are still frugal?).

The frugal couple I’m buying for this Christmas are in the first category. They love good coffee and Starbucks, but there’s not much room for that in their budget right now. So I got them a bag of Starbucks coffee as well as a $15 Starbucks gift card (they like going for coffee as a date away from the kids).


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: 600 jobs to be created in Monroe MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 09, 2009, 02:02:34 PM
600 jobs to be created in Monroe MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/600-jobs-to-be-created-in-monroe-mi/)
9 December 2009, 1:46 pm

If this prediction holds up, there will be more jobs starting up in Monroe, Mich., in just three months.

The Monroe Evening News has a report today that DTE Energy’s Monroe Power Plant project will result in $600 million, 600 jobs invested in the area. (http://www.monroenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091209/NEWS01/712099995)

A snippet:
DTE Energy said Tuesday it will start work early next year on a $600 million project to further cut pollution from its Monroe Power Plant, creating about 600 jobs over the next few years.Construction will get under way within the first three months of the year to add two more scrubbers in an effort to cut the plant’s sulfur dioxide emissions by about 97 percent. The work is expected to be one of the largest projects in Michigan and should last five years. …In addition to providing work for 600 trades workers, the project is expected to create indirectly another 300 jobs and $300 million in economic spinoff.


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Re: Monroe on a Budget: 600 jobs to be created in Monroe MI
Post by: BigRedDog on December 09, 2009, 02:49:17 PM
600 jobs to be created in Monroe MI ([url]http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/600-jobs-to-be-created-in-monroe-mi/[/url])
9 December 2009, 1:46 pm

If this prediction holds up, there will be more jobs starting up in Monroe, Mich., in just three months.

The Monroe Evening News has a report today that DTE Energy’s Monroe Power Plant project will result in $600 million, 600 jobs invested in the area. ([url]http://www.monroenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091209/NEWS01/712099995[/url])

A snippet:
DTE Energy said Tuesday it will start work early next year on a $600 million project to further cut pollution from its Monroe Power Plant, creating about 600 jobs over the next few years.Construction will get under way within the first three months of the year to add two more scrubbers in an effort to cut the plant’s sulfur dioxide emissions by about 97 percent. The work is expected to be one of the largest projects in Michigan and should last five years. …In addition to providing work for 600 trades workers, the project is expected to create indirectly another 300 jobs and $300 million in economic spinoff.


Source: Monroe on a Budget ([url]http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget[/url])


I believe this information is a little misleading.

Yes, there will probably be 600 people at the site working over the course of the project.  However, a high number of these people are highly skilled workers that often work on specialized projects like this and will travel  long distances to work on these projects.    My son is a pipefitter and he works in Toledo and has always  worked within just a few hours drive of Toledo, however there are employees who are known as travelers and these are the only type of jobs they work. 

And some of the 600 will be there from day 1 until the job is done but others that work in specialized fields will be there only a few days over the entire project.

It all has to do with how you "count the jobs" created...

However, it is still going to be a significant project and is a lot of money that will end up being spent in the Monroe area.

Better than seeing it all go to China I guess 8) 8) 8)
Title: Monroe on a Budget: What scholarship reference letters are looking for
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 09, 2009, 04:04:22 PM
What scholarship reference letters are looking for (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/what-scholarship-reference-letters-are-looking-for/)
9 December 2009, 2:25 pm

My college daughter is starting to work on scholarship applications for next school year.

One of the scholarships she plans to apply for asks for reference letters, so she and I are discussing who might be good candidates for her application letters.

If you are wondering how to respond to a reference request for scholarships, here are some articles and tips that will point you in the right direction no matter what college you attend or program you are seeking money from:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Scholarship databases: are they worth your time?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 09, 2009, 04:04:22 PM
Scholarship databases: are they worth your time? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/scholarship-databases/)
9 December 2009, 3:53 pm

It sounds so easy to search for scholarships on line. All you have to do is fill out a profile about you or your student, and a web site will match you up with scholarships that you qualify for.

The annoying truth is that it’s not that easy.

My daughter is currently a junior in college. We’ve been keeping our eyes open for scholarship money since she was a junior in high school.

While today’s online scholarship databases are a convenience, I have not been impressed with the scholarship information I’m finding on the web. I have seen bad links, expired programs still listed as active, and downright bad matches such as programs that were intended for students in other states.

Keep in mind that a scholarship databases can only provide you with information on which foundation or grant agency has the money to offer, along with some preliminary rules. You still have to fill out the individual applications, submit transcripts, provide reference letters, meet all the deadlines involved … and then wait a few weeks or months to see if you won the award.

That’s why I want you first to focus your attention on notices and applications that are on file at your high school counselor’s office and at your college’s financial aid office.

Based on the scholarship award announcements that I have seen sent to The Monroe Evening News students over the years, many of the scholarships that southeast Michigan students actually get are written specifically for those who attend a specific high school, live or work in a specific community, who work for or whose parents work for a specific employer, or who are enrolling / currently enrolled in a specific college.

If you were a scholarship foundation board member, where would you send a scholarship application notice if you intended the money to go to students who live in a specific community or attend a specific school?

Answer: You’d hand carry or mail that application packet to the intended school office. So think like a foundation board member, and go find where those notices are posted or filed at your high school and college.

The next resource to check with are the employers, union locals and community organizations that the college student and his or her parents are affiliated with. Yes, there are civic clubs and foundations who sponsor scholarships for any eligible person who lives in their communities. I’ve typed up a lot of those notices for the newspaper. But many groups also target any available scholarship money toward their own employees, members and families. My daughter has won two such awards. Go to the human resources office or contact your club or union president to get that information.

Now, as you or a family member has the time, you may want to expand your search. In fact, I was the one poking around the Internet while my daughter was following up on the leads at school and writing her essays.

If you want to do that, here are some of the databases that Michigan colleges such as Monroe County Community College and Michigan State University, and Michigan.gov’s scholarship search page (http://www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid/0,1607,7-128-38193_39939-159049--,00.html), are referring students to:The FinAid web site, which I’ve frequently linked to because the site is so helpful for current and prospective college students, also has scholarship database tips  (http://www.finaid.org/scholarships/)in addition to a link to its scholarship search page.

Bottom line: the scholarship databases will only be worth your time if you follow up on the school and employer leads first.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe High School’s and MCCC’s scholarship pages
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 09, 2009, 04:56:21 PM
Monroe High School’s and MCCC’s scholarship pages (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/monroe-high-schools-and-mcccs-scholarship-pages/)
9 December 2009, 4:05 pm

Now to explain what I’ve been telling you about looking FIRST to your high school counselor’s office and college financial aid office when you seek out scholarship funding, here are two links directly relevant to my local readers in Monroe, Mich.:Yes, those pages already have information for scholarships that will apply to the 2009-2010 academic year. Be sure to check those links frequently during the next few weeks for updates.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Michigan Jobs Blog blogger finds a job
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 10, 2009, 06:36:41 AM
Michigan Jobs Blog blogger finds a job (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/michigan-jobs-blog-blogger-finds-a-job/)
10 December 2009, 6:30 am

One of the more innovative blogs I’ve seen is the Michigan Jobs Blog at MLive, which, until recently was hosted by Sven Gustafson. I could tell that Sven had a business journalism background. What I didn’t know is that the blog was a freelance gig by a laid-off journalist.

Today is his last post, because he landed a new job. (http://www.mlive.com/michigan-job-search/index.ssf/2009/12/michigan_job_search_blog_will_go_on_with.html) And he tells you about the work and effort he put into that job search.

Applications are being taken (http://www.journalismjobs.com/Job_Listing.cfm?JobID=1131513) to take over that blog.

No, I’m not bidding for it. Michigan residents need frugal living blogs too, and I’m helping to fill that niche.

But I hope someone does take it over, because that blog was a brilliant concept.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Siena Heights scholarship for Catholic high school or parish teens
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 10, 2009, 01:48:36 PM
Siena Heights scholarship for Catholic high school or parish teens (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/siena-heights-scholarship-for-catholic-high-school-or-parish-teens/)
10 December 2009, 1:18 pm

Scholarship application season is starting to go into full swing in southeast Michigan.

This scholarship notice is among those that are listed in today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News – and it’s a good example of how today’s scholarship committees are looking beyond good grades when deciding who to honor with funds:

Siena Heights University in Adrian, Mich., is offering the Siena Catholic High School/Parish Grant that provides a $3,000 scholarship each academic year to qualified students.

The award is for first-time freshmen who graduate from a Catholic-sponsored high school or have been actively involved in youth ministry programs in their Catholic parish, a news release said.

Recipients must have a 2.5 grade point average with a minimum ACT composite score of 18.

Students who have been involved in community service projects are encouraged to apply.

The scholarship is renewable for up to four years provided students maintain satisfactory academic progress and a minimum cumulative Siena GPA of 2.5 or higher.

For more information, call (517) 264-7180 or visit www.sienaheights.edu (http://www.sienaheights.edu).

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: New music scholarship at MCCC
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 10, 2009, 01:48:36 PM
New music scholarship at MCCC (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/new-music-scholarship-at-mccc/)
10 December 2009, 1:24 pm

This post from today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich., who attend Monroe County Community College because that’s who the scholarship is intended for.



But it’s also an example that my national readers can learn from. The point: scholarships aren’t just for university-level studies. Students who go to community college can earn scholarships too.

The husband and daughters of Joanne D. Smith have established the Joanne D. Smith Endowed Memorial Scholarship at Monroe County Community College.

The scholarship will provide support for MCCC students pursuing degrees in music, a news release said.

To be eligible, students must be Monroe County, Mich., residents enrolled in at least 12 credit hours and be involved with the College/Community Symphony Band or the Agora Chorale.

The scholarship was established in memory of Mrs. Smith, a full-time homemaker. She was a church pianist for more than 20 years and a youth group leader for more than 10 years.

Mrs. Smith also played the accordion. Music was her passion, and it played a large role in her life, the news release said. She felt that music improves people’s dispositions and reduces tension. She believed that people need to have the correct training and education to succeed.

MCCC has a lot of scholarships available (http://www.monroeccc.edu/financialaid/scholarships.htm), so don’t overlook whatever chance you can get to help with expenses. Even though community college tuition is cheap for my local readers, you still have to pay for related expenses such as textbooks and bus fare or gas money.

Those of you who plan to transfer to university in a year or two will be paying hefty tuition bills soon enough.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Kalahari Resort’s on-line offer
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 10, 2009, 04:14:58 PM
Kalahari Resort’s on-line offer (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/kalahari-resorts-on-line-offer/)
10 December 2009, 2:25 pm

The Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio (http://www.kalahariresorts.com/oh/), (which is about a two-hour drive for my local readers in Monroe, Mich.,) and its sister sites at Wisconsin Dells, Wis., and Fredericksburg, VA., has an online special for its facebook and twitter followers.

The deals are for overnight stays on any of these days: Dec. 11, 14, 15, 16 and 17.

Here’s the Kalahari twitter (http://twitter.com/KalahariResorts) and here is the Kalahari facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kalahari-Resorts/59956458042).

I got the heads up on this offer from one of my readers. Feel free to send me an e-mail  (paula@monroenews.com)if you have a link that budget blog readers might want to know about.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Holiday Survival Guide from HGTV’s Kelly Edwards
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 10, 2009, 04:14:58 PM
Holiday Survival Guide from HGTV’s Kelly Edwards (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/holiday-survival-guide-from-hgtvs-kelly-edwards/)
10 December 2009, 3:14 pm

Kelly Edwards (http://www.hgtv.com/kelly-edwards/bio/index.html), who hosts the HGTV show Design on a Dime, has some holiday planning video tips that are sponsored by Chase Blueprint.

My favorite tip in the collection is the first idea shown in Holiday Survival Guide (http://www.celebtv.com/holiday-survival-guide): A present wrapping party!

What’s that? It’s when you get together with friends or relatives for a gift-wrapping session and everybody brings a roll of wrapping paper to share. There’s no need to buy multiple paper rolls just to have a variety of colors under the tree. Very clever.

She also tells you to look for unique-shaped boxes, and plan ahead for your holiday spending.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: About those corporate holiday press releases
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 10, 2009, 04:14:58 PM
About those corporate holiday press releases (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/about-those-corporate-holiday-press-releases/)
10 December 2009, 3:44 pm

It is typical during December that corporate press releases get sent to newspapers, bloggers, and local broadcast stations with ideas and suggestions on how to get through the holiday season with one’s wallet or sanity intact.

Yes, these items are public relations campaigns. But sometimes there’s some really good material and information in them.

When money-saving tips arrive at The Monroe Evening News, they often get directed to my desk. I pick through the notices to share what I think are the best or most interesting ideas and tips.

So yes, there is editorial review and selection involved on the corporate press releases that I post. I also go through that process when I’m scanning the Michigan headlines for the day or linking to what other bloggers are talking about this week.

The focus I look for on any mentions and links are:

Is the information useful or interesting to southeast Michigan families on a budget? If so, I think about how best to present it on my blog.

If you’d like more holiday tips from a variety of perspectives and topics, check my holidays archives (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/category/holidays/).

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Cracker Barrel’s holiday gift tips
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 10, 2009, 04:16:59 PM
Cracker Barrel’s holiday gift tips (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/cracker-barrels-holiday-gift-tips/)
10 December 2009, 3:48 pm

Cracker Barrel,  (http://www.crackerbarrel.com)on behalf of its Cracker Barrel Old Country Store in Monroe, Mich., sent a holiday planning press release to The Monroe Evening News that includes these five tips on “how to maximize your shopping experience.”
Make a List. Include who you want to stop for and how much you want to spend. Besides family, be sure to add teachers, neighbors and co-workers.

Shop Smart. Select just one or two retailers that offer a variety of gift categories and prices. With your busy schedule, this convenience will make shopping a breeze.

Little Luxuries. You don’t have to pay expensive spa prices to pamper someone on your list. Purchase a few small soaps and scents, or even combine a few items to create a personal care gift basket.

Food Items. Need a gift for a host or hostess? Consider giving a packaged food item that the recipient can share with others or even a gift card.

Extra, Extra! Look for “extras” such as free gift wrapping to add a personal touch without adding up.


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: AOL Radio’s Christmas channels
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 10, 2009, 04:16:59 PM
AOL Radio’s Christmas channels (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/aol-radios-christmas-channels/)
10 December 2009, 4:03 pm

My husband was a radio announcer for many years, so he has a huge collection of rock, pop, jazz, country and holiday music ranging from original Beatles vinyl to an extensive iTunes database.

If you happen to visit our home in December, you would hear music from his collection playing for hours on end. We probably own more Christmas music than some radio stations do.

But if your collection is not so vast – or you want to mix it up a bit – go check out AOL Radio’s Christmas Channels (http://music.aol.com/radioguide/christmas-music)! (I’m digging that Jazzy Holiday set.)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Living nativities, parades and Christmas concerts
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 10, 2009, 05:06:46 PM
Living nativities, parades and Christmas concerts (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/living-nativities-parades-and-christmas-concerts/)
10 December 2009, 4:23 pm

If you are one of my local readers in Monroe, Mich., and normally would attend to the holiday shows and productions in Toledo and Detroit, but the budget doesn’t allow that this year, there’s no reason to be bored. There’s lots of frugal holiday fun right here in Monroe.

If you haven’t checked the holiday events listings on the MonroeTalks calendar this week, take another look.  (http://www.monroetalks.com/events/events/index.php?com=searchresult&s=12/10/2009&e=12/31/2009&k=&t=28)A lot of notices have arrived to The Monroe Evening News in the past few days.

There’s a good selection of activities this weekend including living nativities, another parade, a military wreath dedication and Christmas concerts.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: How easy is it to find your birth certificate?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 10, 2009, 09:13:07 PM
How easy is it to find your birth certificate? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/how-easy-is-it-to-find-your-birth-certificate/)
10 December 2009, 8:28 pm

How easy is it to find your birth certificate?

Next question: how easy is it to find your will? Your life insurance papers? Your passport? Your student’s transcript? Your marriage license? Your power of attorney? Your Social Security annual statement? Your child’s custody papers? Your 401k annual statement?

Can you find any of those documents in five minutes?

I can now.

During the past three months, I have had to look up multiple identity and financial documents relating to a revision on my life insurance policy, pending change in family health insurance carriers, my daughter’s upcoming study abroad travels, and my father-in-law’s current illness.

The most freakingly insane detail was in proving to our family’s new health insurance company that my 20-year-old daughter was my daughter.

Because the two of us have different last names, I needed her birth certificate, the divorce papers involving me and her dad (specifically the pages that detailed her custody and financial arrangements), my current marriage license to show why my name is changed again, and just for good measure I threw in a copy of my driver’s license to prove once and for all what name I’m using now.

It’s not the worst paperwork trail I’ve ever done. In 2005, I also had to dig up my first marriage license to help prove my daughter’s dad was her dad.

Nobody believes it is that difficult to legally prove next of kin and family connections until I explain the documents that are required to do so for a child with divorced parents!

Now, for many years, my husband and I have had a fireproof safe box. In that fireproof box, I had a thin plastic sleeve packet for each of us: me, husband, daughter. Those packets held critical documents such as the wills, insurance policies and birth certificates. I know from experience that my birth certificate is particularly difficult to replace from the original government agency.

Our packets were exploding with papers that were crammed into them. Yet, I was still having to dig deep into the loose papers in the box to find certain documents in recent weeks.

Here’s the solution I came up with today: I liked how the dedicated packets were working out. We just needed more room in each packet.

I also needed to do this fast, and on a budget.

So I dug around my office supplies and found three paper three-prong pocket folders and some plastic sheet protectors. I bought a bunch of folders during back-to-school sales to store Sunday School lessons, but some of the folders had not been used yet.

Each folder got a huge scribble on the front: “Paula’s really critical papers,” and similar labels for husband and daughter. I shoved as many appropriate papers as I could locate in the appropriate folders. The reassembly took maybe 20 minutes.

It’s not perfect. In fact, hardback vinyl binders would hold up better in the long run than paper folders.

They’re not pretty, either. But this task does not need to be pretty.

What you want is finding each person’s critical legal and financial documents in a hurry.

When I put a document on my husband’s desk this afternoon that he might need in the next day or two, I told him that in addition to finding that piece of paper, I had just rebuilt / added to all of our paperwork packets.

He was quite pleased with that report.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: How old is that spice jar anyway?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 11, 2009, 06:22:42 AM
How old is that spice jar anyway? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/how-old-is-that-spice-jar-anyway/)
11 December 2009, 6:21 am

I had to go digging in my spice and baking ingredients shelf yesterday for an ingredient, and realized that a couple of things seemed to be out of date.

So this morning, when I woke up, I checked the dates on every bottle and box. This took only about five minutes. Any container that was out of significantly out of date was thrown out. I last did this about two years ago, so most of the affected expiration dates were for 2008 or early 2009.

One of my happier finds: two newer bottles of cinnamon in addition to an almost empty older bottle. I threw out the oldest one.

I will replace only about half of those products. I need new jars of paprika, ground cloves, ground ginger, and chicken boullion cubes. I also need a new jar of onion powder soon because I will run out of that soon. But I don’t use allspice or chicken seasoning anymore, so they are gone for good.

The best times of year to have spices and baking supplies on your shopping list are just before Thanksgiving, just before Christmas and just before Easter. That’s when the grocery stores and food companies aim at the holiday cooks. Those of us who cook year-round will be smart to take advantage of those seasonal sales to restock basic supplies.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Coupon Sherpa’s 15 tips to regifting (without getting caught)
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 11, 2009, 08:24:27 AM
Coupon Sherpa’s 15 tips to regifting (without getting caught) (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/coupon-sherpas-15-tips-to-regifting-without-getting-caught/)
11 December 2009, 8:09 am

Should you recycle an unwanted present to someone else (aka regifting)?

The answer depends on how well you know the recipient! Some people wouldn’t mind at all. But others might be offended.

Coupon Sherpa has 15 tips to regifting without getting caught. (http://www.couponsherpa.com/ask-coupon-sherpa/15-tips-to-regift-without-getting-caught/)

Among Coupon Sherpa’s ideas is to deliberately set up a white elephant exchange among your friends or family. I’ve seen this done at parties in Michigan and Ohio with “greedy Santa” rules, although some of those parties involved new gifts rather than white elephant.

When your name is drawn on a greedy Santa exchange, you can steal someone else’s gift rather than picking up a new gift from the pile. Because of all the swapping around, most of those gifts end up at loving homes!

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Nativity Story movie and assistance night Dec. 17 in Monroe
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 11, 2009, 11:06:14 AM
Nativity Story movie and assistance night Dec. 17 in Monroe (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/nativity-story-movie-and-assistance-night-dec-17-in-monroe/)
11 December 2009, 10:28 am

This post is for my readers in and near Monroe, Mich.

The House of Restoration, 1110 E. Second St., Monroe, Mich., will host a free movie night starting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday Dec. 17.

The featured film is the 2006 ‘The Nativity Story.’

Hot dogs, popcorn and other refreshments will be provided a no cost. There will also be toys, hats, gloves and scarves available free for those in need.

This event is open to the public. For information, go to www.houseofrestoration.info. (http://www.houseofrestoration.info)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Virtual Cookie Exchange 2009: Christmas coffee mix
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 12, 2009, 08:32:29 AM
Virtual Cookie Exchange 2009: Christmas coffee mix (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/virtual-cookie-exchange-2009-christmas-coffee-mix/)
12 December 2009, 8:32 am

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/cookie125square.jpg) (http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/cookie125square.jpg)A team of bloggers including Hillbilly Housewife are hosting a Virtual Cookie Exchange. They’re inviting blog and web site hosts to submit their favorite cookie recipe and the collection will be put into a pdf file for everyone to share.

My offering isn’t a cookie, but it’s a treat you can have with your cookies! I posted it last year in a response to a request for homemade treats, so this recipe will sound familiar to some of you readers.

Paula’s Christmas coffee mix

1/4 cup nondairy creamer powder

1/4 cup sugar or Splenda (your choice – either one works).

1/4 cup instant coffee powder.

2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder (if you can’t find dark cocoa, go ahead and use regular cocoa but but the dark cocoa is wonderful).

2 tablespoons crushed peppermint candies (we get the best results from those monster sized candy sticks. Break then in smaller pieces, then crush those peppermint candies by whacking a hammer against a plastic zippy bag that holds the candy).

Combine all these ingredients in a bowl.

Store in an air-tight container.

The amount as listed will hold a half-pint canning jar (2 cups).

Use two rounded teaspoons per cup of boiling water (yes you need boiling water to melt those candy pieces down).

The inspiration was a “Bavarian coffee mix” recipe that I was given in the 1980s, and I kept the recipe. My daughter and I created an updated version with quite a bit more punch to suit today’s coffehouse treat tastes.

Is this recipe budget friendly? Well, my daughter and I have figured out who likes it, and who doesn’t. So we don’t make as much during the Christmas season as we once did. That’s wise use of resources. We also have used generic coffee and creamer and noticed no difference in quality. But do not skimp on the cocoa. Use the “good stuff” on that.

Plastic tubbies or baggies also can be used as a budget-friendly alternative to pint-sized glass canning glass jars.

If you’d like to follow the traffic for the Virtual Cookie Exchange on twitter, use hashtag #xmascookies (http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23xmascookies)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Lifeless Michigan economy affects funeral industry
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 12, 2009, 11:47:05 AM
Lifeless Michigan economy affects funeral industry (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/lifeless-michigan-economy-affects-funeral-industry/)
12 December 2009, 11:05 am

My “day job” is on the social desk at The Monroe Evening News in Monroe, Mich. Those responsibilities include working on the obituaries.

Those of us who handle obituaries have noticed a big shift in burial practices in southeast Michigan during the past couple of years. Local families are listing more budget-friendly arrangements such as cremation, fewer calling hours, or memorial services scheduled for dates when relatives could travel at less cost.

Our business reporter Charles Slat also had been hearing from area funeral directors about customers who were asking for, or having no choice but to ask for, budget-friendly options.

Charles followed up with a report for today’s edition: Lifeless economy affects funeral, burial industry. (http://www.monroenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091212/NEWS01/712129973)

A snippet:
“You try to work with families,” added William Bacarella of Bacarella Funeral Home. “The indigent people — unemployed people — they just don’t have the money, so here at the funeral home, we’ve put in special money-saving packages to try to help people out. If they don’t have the money we try to work with them to see if somehow they can make the payments,” he said. “Everybody’s got to have a funeral, but if I get a casket, I have to pay the casket supplier for that.”

Tighter credit means that many survivors don’t have another means of paying that was available in the past. “You can’t get anybody out there to finance anybody right now,” Mr. Bacarella added. “There use to be some finance companies out there. No one will do that anymore.”

Even insurance companies are slow to pay, partly due to the financial troubles of insurance giant AIG, funeral directors say. “They’re taking up to three months now to pay on policies. It used to be two or three weeks,” said Jeff Rupp of Rupp Funeral Home.


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Spirit of Christmas contest in MonroeNews
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 12, 2009, 11:47:05 AM
Spirit of Christmas contest in MonroeNews (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/spirit-of-christmas-contest-in-monroenews/)
12 December 2009, 11:34 am

This post is for my my local readers in Monroe County, Mich.

If you get the print or e-edition of The Monroe Evening News, take a look at the Spirit of Christmas holiday section in today’s paper. You can win $100 if you find the 10 special logos that are hidden in the ads and return your contest entry form by Dec. 18.

I’m not eligible to enter that contest because I’m an MEN employee – so have fun!

But I certainly CAN use the coupons in that tab, and you want to see some of those deals too.

In the meantime, there are lots of ideas and tips in that tab for gift-giving. The articles are featuring this year’s trends in books, tech gadgets and pet gifts. I’ll be saving that glitter craft project article.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe MI sales fliers Dec. 12
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 12, 2009, 12:34:21 PM
Monroe MI sales fliers Dec. 12 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/monroe-mi-sales-fliers-dec-12/)
12 December 2009, 12:22 pm

Here are the other sales fliers that were in my home-delivery edition of The Monroe Evening News today:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Coupon books really do vary by market
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 13, 2009, 10:16:55 AM
Coupon books really do vary by market (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/coupon-books-really-do-vary-by-market/)
13 December 2009, 9:12 am

I don’t recommend using a coupon database to match up grocery coupons to the sales of the week because they don’t work for my local audience in the Monroe, Mich., area. I suspect many of my national readers have noticed the same thing.

When I researched how the databases worked, I realized the trick was matching up national coupon inserts that were scheduled to be distributed to newspapers in that zip code against selected grocery stores that are in that zip code.

That formula is about as good as you can get. For some communities, and for some shoppers, it probably works very well.

But not every grocery store is listed in those databases. I just spot-checked my zip code on one of the popular databases – there are at least four grocery stores within 10 minutes of my house that aren’t listed at all.

And the database method specifically does NOT work in cities where there are overlapping newspaper circulation areas.

My local readers have easy access to two, and sometimes three, Sunday newspapers depending on where they live or pick up a newsstand paper. While there normally are the same number of coupon books each week in the regional newspapers, the actual products and coupon values can and do vary.

Here is today’s example of regional differences in the coupon distribution:

The Smart Source coupon book for the Detroit Free Press that was delivered to my house features Steak and Shake restaurant on the front page. The Smart Source coupon book for the Monroe Evening News that was delivered to my house features Cottenelle on the front page. Same house = same date = same zip code BUT different coupon insert.

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/sscoupon1213.jpg) (http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/sscoupon1213.jpg)

Reason for the difference: There is no Steak and Shake in Monroe. (However, my family does go to Steak and Shake when we take the daughter back and forth to college, so I am glad to see those coupons in the Freep.)

If you continue to flip through today’s Detroit and Monroe SmartSource packets page by page, you’d think you were looking at two different books because identical coupons are showing up on different pages.

By the time I’m clipping my coupons on Sunday evening or Monday evening, I don’t know which grocery coupon is from which newspaper. It would take an insane amount of time to track all that because I frequently get my mother’s hand-me-down coupons from three Ohio newspapers in addition to the coupons that my co-workers and I swap around from various sources. If I have the coupon, I have the coupon.

Furthermore, if you subscribe to any of the popular women’s or food magazines, or save your cash register coupons, or download the printable coupons, you’ve got coupons that are in addition to the newspaper campaigns.

Do your own coupon matching and you’ll get a lot more savings for your efforts than what any coupon database can do for you.

Here’s how you do it:A more detailed list of instructions is at my post Grocery Shopping on a Budget: The 8-Week Plan. (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/grocery-shopping-on-a-budget-tips-and-tricks/grocery-shopping-on-a-budget-the-8-week-plan/) The next time I will teach that program in person with show-and-tell will be Feb. 10 in Monroe, Mich.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe MI sales fliers Dec. 13
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 13, 2009, 10:16:55 AM
Monroe MI sales fliers Dec. 13 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/monroe-mi-sales-fliers-dec-13/)
13 December 2009, 9:56 am

My sales and deals posts aim at the stores and merchandise that families on a budget would be most interested in or find most useful.

I do mention the department stores and specialty stores more often during the holiday shopping seasons. Reason: You’ll find some great deals on routine family needs such as kitchen supplies, housewares and bedding at those stores this time of year.

All of the following ads are found in my home delivery edition of The Monroe Evening News except where I note Detroit Free Press. I live in the 48162 zip code.The Monroe ad stack also includes Best Buy, Sears, Kohl’s, Elder-Beerman, Menards, Dunham’s Sports, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Durocher’s.

The Detroit ad stack also includes JCPenney, ABC Warehouse, Dell computer, Salvation Army, Radio Shack, Verizon wireless, Bed Bath and Beyond and Dish network.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe MI charities struggling to raise funds
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 13, 2009, 01:18:43 PM
Monroe MI charities struggling to raise funds (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/monroe-mi-charities-struggling-to-raise-funds/)
13 December 2009, 1:16 pm

It’s been a well-known fact for the past year or so that southeast Michigan charities are struggling to get donations toward their causes and campaigns.

Two examples are among the stories on the front page of today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Free holiday phone calls from Santa or Tony Stewart
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 14, 2009, 12:56:55 AM
Free holiday phone calls from Santa or Tony Stewart (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/free-holiday-phone-calls-from-santa-or-tony-stewart/)
14 December 2009, 12:02 am

Kroger (http://www.kroger.com) is sponsoring a free Holiday Phone Call promotion.

You can get a holiday greeting phone call from Santa Claus, NASCAR driver Tony Stewart or Sammy the Snowman. (After listening to the sample calls, I would vote for Santa or Tony Stewart. But if you want to get all three sent to someone’s phone or voice mailbox, that’s possible too.)

You can schedule the phone call on the half-hour between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. in the recipient’s time zone (they’ll use the telephone number’s area code to figure that out) through Dec. 26.

Go to kroger.com/holidays (http://www.kroger.com/holidays) for details and to sign up. If you have a Kroger shopper card, you’ll want your on-line log-in handy. If you don’t have a Kroger card, you’ll want an e-mail address at registration.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Today’s headlines: Christmas customers spending less
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 14, 2009, 07:00:37 AM
Today’s headlines: Christmas customers spending less (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/todays-headlines-christmas-customers-spending-less/)
14 December 2009, 7:00 am

Here’s an assortment of headlines from the news this morning about the frugal / penny pinching / handmade Christmas 2009 season in Michigan and across the U.S.If you are looking for ways to spend less money, but still have an enjoyable Christmas, go to my sidebar “Help! I Can’t Afford Christmas!” (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/help-i-cant-afford-christmas/).

It’s a little late in the season to take on tasks that require advance planning such as negotiating a smaller gift-giving list among the relatives or applying for financial assistance. But if you are looking for frugal family fun or gift ideas under $20, it’s still possible to follow up on those tips.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Christmas worship services for Monroe MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 14, 2009, 09:01:00 AM
Christmas worship services for Monroe MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/christmas-worship-services-for-monroe-mi/)
14 December 2009, 8:16 am

If you are looking for a frugal but meaningful way to honor the Christmas season, then shift your attention away from Santa and shopping for a time and remember the religious intent of the holiday.

It is perfectly acceptable to be a visitor at church on Christmas weekend.

In fact, visitors are expected and welcomed this time of year. Every pastor and choir director knows that in the pews there will be relatives and former congregation members from out of town, college students home on break, military personnel home on leave, and people who normally attend services in their home parish but those schedules don’t work with family calendars.

While donations are certainly welcome, and sometimes holiday collections are designated for a specific charity, there is no money required for the vast majority of these observances.

These holiday programs, parties, songs and prayers are the congregation’s gift to the community.

If you are wondering whether your family will find a worship service they can enjoy or feel comfortable at, keep in mind there are as many variations on how to celebrate the Christmas season as there are variations in the Christian faith. There are a huge range of celebrations from kid-friendly to formal services to ethnic celebrations.

In fact, there are so many church announcements arriving now to The Monroe Evening News that I can’t give my local readers in Monroe, Mich., one central link, page, list or day to see everything.

But there was an absolutely huge collection of church advertisements with holiday programs and announcements on pages 6A and 7A of our Saturday Dec. 12 print and e-editions. (http://monroeeveningnews.mi.newsmemory.com/)

Among the events listed in Saturday’s paper:I have other tips on celebrating religious holidays and occasions on limited budgets in my faith celebrations archives (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/category/faith-celebrations/). Most of those posts focus on Christian holidays and events since that is the biggest cultural and religious influence on the Monroe, Mich., area.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Free Christmas Child ID event in Westland MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 14, 2009, 10:08:20 AM
Free Christmas Child ID event in Westland MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/free-christmas-child-id-event-in-westland-mi/)
14 December 2009, 9:50 am

This event is for my readers in southeast Michigan.

5-year-old Neveah Buchanan was from Monroe, Mich. She was found murdered late this spring, and there has been no arrest in the case. MonroeNews.com has a section with the Neveah local news archives (http://www.monroenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?CATEGORY=NEVAEH).

A Christmas Child ID Event in Memory of Nevaeh Buchanan will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Wayne Masonic Lodge 112, 37137 Palmer Rd., Westland, Mich.

The event is free and all area families are invited.

Each child will have their fingerprints taken, a dental impression which holds DNA, and a DVD with a photo and short video. The kit is free thanks to the Mason’s MICHIP program. A parent or guardian must provide proper ID for their children.

The Justice 4 Nevaeh group sponsored a November Spaghetti Dinner raising enough money to insure that every child who attends will receive a new hat, gloves, pair of socks, and a toy. Every family will receive a food basket, as well as a hot-dog lunch for all who attend. Santa will also be in attendance.

There is no cost to attend, but there is a limit of 150 children. Preregistration is recommended by calling (734)419-3232.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: When a holiday gift list is beyond your budget
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 14, 2009, 03:04:16 PM
When a holiday gift list is beyond your budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/when-a-holiday-gift-list-is-beyond-your-budget/)
14 December 2009, 2:02 pm

Stew at Gather Little by Little wrote a post aboutHoliday Finances (http://www.gatherlittlebylittle.com/2009/12/the-holiday-finances/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+GatherLittleByLittle+(Gather+Little+By+Little)) in general, but I’ll pick out his thoughts on how to deal with a holiday gift list that is beyond your budget.

A snippet:
The problem comes when I start to consider employees, employers, supervisors, neighbors, acquaintances, the mailman, the trash collectors, etc. Every time I turn around, I am being asked to contribute $5 or $10 so we can go together for a gift for someone else or to bring a “gift worth $15″ for a gift exchange or so-and-so is expecting a tip. These gifts are putting us in the poorhouse . . . well, we were already there . . . these gifts are putting us under the poorhouse.

Here are a few solutions that may or may not work for you.
  • Homemade gifts: not sure what I can make that anyone will actually appreciate. My wife definitely tries to do this with some success, but this strategy is limited.
  • Budget and save up during the year: Very good idea, but we do not have any more room in our budget for another item. We have a negative savings rate as it is. Our finances are heading in the right direction and we are keeping our heads above water, but we just finished a year with an extra $14,000 of expenses due to our house not selling.
  • Graciously decline: Not sure if there is a way to do this without offending or appearing cheap or worse – everyone gives me a gift anyway and feels sorry for me. Yikes!
Here’s my followup comments for those who are on tight budgets this year, or whose friends / family / co-workers are on tight budgets:

If you are coordinating a group gift, and I’ve been tasked with that responsibility in the past, do NOT select or purchase the gift until you find out who can contribute and what their budget will be. Even the modest $5, $10 and $15 contributions can throw someone for a loop who is wondering how to put money in the gas tank or buy groceries that week.

If you are coordinating a gift exchange, do not put your participants in a situation where they need to buy a gift in addition to their existing shopping lists. If you want a party game, offer a white elephant / regifting gift exchange so people can swap out a present or knickknack they already have but would be glad to trade out.

If you want to tip or provide a gift to your teacher, mail carrier, newspaper carrier, etc., do so because YOU want to and can afford such an offering. I was a newspaper carrier off and on from junior high into my college years and I did like the cash, candy and cookies that many of my customers gave me at Christmas. But I didn’t stiff customer service to those who didn’t tip. (It was an entirely different story for those who tried to stiff me on the subscription bill.)

I have lots more tips at Help! I Can’t Afford Christmas! (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/help-i-cant-afford-christmas/)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Danny’s and Hi-Lite grocery sales Dec. 14
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 14, 2009, 09:06:41 PM
Danny’s and Hi-Lite grocery sales Dec. 14 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/dannys-and-hi-lite-grocery-sales-dec-14/)
14 December 2009, 8:34 pm

Danny’s Fine Foods and Hi-Lite Supermarket in Monroe, Mich., schedule their grocery ads for Mondays in The Monroe Evening News.
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: The history of Christmas cookies
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 15, 2009, 07:10:33 AM
The history of Christmas cookies (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/the-history-of-christmas-cookies/)
15 December 2009, 6:19 am

Are you following the Virtual Christmas Cookie exchange traffic today on the blogosphere (http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/virtual-cookie-exchange) and on twitter (hashtag #xmascookies (http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23xmascookies))? (The blog hosts plan to link today to the participants and compile a pdf with everyone’s contributions.)

Here’s a fun contribution to the discussion: Vue Weekly from Edmonton, Cananda, has this post The history of Christmas cookies. (http://vueweekly.com/article.php?id=13826) The featured recipe in that post is Cherry Snowballs.

According to Vue Weekly, the reason many of these treats became once-a-year specialties is that they use spices and nuts that were once rare or expensive to get in the European kitchens where the Christmas cookie tradition evolved.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: P&G discontinues Kroger eCoupons
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 15, 2009, 12:56:55 PM
P&G discontinues Kroger eCoupons (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/pg-discontinues-kroger-ecoupons/)
15 December 2009, 12:38 pm

If you load up Proctor and Gamble eCoupons to your Kroger shopper card, look in your e-mail today for a notice from P&G. Here’s the note I got in my mailbox:
Beginning December 31, 2009, P&GeSAVER™ coupons can no longer be downloaded to your Kroger® Shopper’s Card. Please redeem all P&GeSAVER coupons you now have on your Kroger* Shopper’s Card by December 31, 2009. We value your loyalty to P&GeSAVER and are very sorry for any inconvenience this causes.


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Miss Monroe County 2010 sign-ups starting
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 15, 2009, 01:52:27 PM
Miss Monroe County 2010 sign-ups starting (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/miss-monroe-county-2010-sign-ups-starting/)
15 December 2009, 1:30 pm

This post is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich.:

The Miss Monroe County Scholarship Pageant will hold a winter sign-up session for the 2010 Miss Monroe County pageant from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday Dec. 17 at the La-Z-Boy Center at Monroe County Community College, 1555 S. Raisinville Rd., Monroe, Mich.

The pageant will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday Aug. 21 at the La-Z-Boy Center. Contestants must have graduated from high school and be between the ages of 17 and 24 – no older than 24 years on Dec. 31, 2011.

Applications and rules can be found at www.missmonroecounty.com (http://www.missmonroecounty.com).

A pageant is not a typical scholarship opportunity, but for some local young women it has worked out very well.

Because of the legacy left by, and continuing leadership of, this pageant by Kaye Lani Rae Rafko, Miss America 1988, the Miss Monroe County program really does raise a lot of scholarship prize money for its queen and runners-up.

To be fair, the candidates put in in a lot of time and effort to earn that money during the spring and summer application process and rehearsals.

The Monroe County queens in recent years also have made more than 100 charity and public relations appearances during their reign. That’s why the community responds by supporting the program financially.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Detroit News: Nearly half of Detroit’s workers unemployed
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 16, 2009, 06:31:31 AM
Detroit News: Nearly half of Detroit’s workers unemployed (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/detroit-news-nearly-half-of-detroits-workers-unemployed/)
16 December 2009, 6:15 am

The Detroit News has been analyzing jobless statistics and underemployment estimates and came up with this conclusion: Nearly half of Detroit’s workers unemployed. (http://www.detnews.com/article/20091216/METRO01/912160374/Nearly-half-of-Detroit-s-workers-are-unemployed)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Ford reinstating benefits for salary staff
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 16, 2009, 06:31:31 AM
Ford reinstating benefits for salary staff (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/ford-reinstating-benefits-for-salary-staff/)
16 December 2009, 6:20 am

If you haven’t heard the headline yet, here’s a sign of economic recovery in southeast Michigan: Ford Motor Co. is starting to reinstate some of the benefit cuts made to its salary staff.

Associated Press story can be found at (http://www.mlive.com/auto/index.ssf/2009/12/ford_reinstates_benefits_for_s.html) MLive.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe MI sales fliers Dec. 15
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 16, 2009, 06:59:01 AM
Monroe MI sales fliers Dec. 15 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/monroe-mi-sales-fliers-dec-15/)
16 December 2009, 6:34 am

Here are some of the sales fliers that arrived at my house yesterday (I live in the 48162 zip code):

From the mail:From The Monroe Evening News:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Survivors Club: Long-term unemployment resource list
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 16, 2009, 07:23:16 AM
Survivors Club: Long-term unemployment resource list (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/survivors-club-long-term-unemployment-resource-list/)
16 December 2009, 7:08 am

The Survivors Club has a resource list aimed at those dealing with long-term unemployment issues.  (http://www.thesurvivorsclub.org/support-center/money/jobs/long-term-unemployment.html)

MSNBC’s Smart Spending team posted the link in its article about how unemployment takes a financial and emotional toll on people. (http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SmartSpending/blog/page.aspx?post=1452810)

While the Survivor’s Club page has a good collection of articles, information and advice, do keep in mind that it is aimed at a national audience. You’ll need to research state and local resources in your own community to get the hands-on help.

I have a lot of southeast Michigan and some northwest Ohio links and resources listed in the blogroll and sidebars at Monroe on a Budget. If you live elsewhere, the hotline to start with is 211 at the United Way – the hotline clerks can point you in the right direction.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: How much does it cost to light the Christmas tree?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 16, 2009, 09:24:28 AM
How much does it cost to light the Christmas tree? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/how-much-does-it-cost-to-light-the-christmas-tree/)
16 December 2009, 8:13 am

How much does it cost to light the Christmas tree or your outdoor display?

Consumers Energy in Michigan has calculated the cost in a press release that was sent this week to The Monroe Evening News and other media outlets.

“Holiday lights are a very affordable way for our customers to add cheer to businesses and neighborhoods during this special time of year,” Frank Johnson, Consumer Energy’s senior vice president of energy operations said in the notice.

Among the holiday trivia:Pretty much that’s what our holiday decor is this year.

I’m not going to total up the cost of those mega-displays that some families do. You can figure that one out by adding up the number of lights you have and using this formula!

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Christmas gift idea: pantry items for foodies and budget-minded families
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 16, 2009, 11:26:20 AM
Christmas gift idea: pantry items for foodies and budget-minded families (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/christmas-gift-idea-pantry-items-for-foodies-and-budget-minded-families/)
16 December 2009, 10:22 am

Sara Noel at Frugal Village and one of her readers are discussing pantry items that would be good gifts (http://www.frugalvillage.com/2009/12/08/add-pantry-items-to-holiday-wish-list/) for foodies and budget-minded families:
DEAR SARA: My sister drew my name for the family Secret Santa and asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I was thinking about working on our stockpile and asking for some of the more expensive stock items, and providing a bunch of ideas. We cook mostly from scratch, and I don’t want to ask for anything (like meat) that would need to be refrigerated. What other suggestions could I add to this list of ideas or suggestions? — Maggie, New England

DEAR MAGGIE: People have their own preferences on what they consider to be pantry staples, but some common higher-priced pantry items include extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, spices, real maple syrup, pure vanilla extract, chocolate, dried fruit, peppercorns, sea salt, fresh herbs, cooking wine, quality honey, coffee, tea and yeast. Here’s a standard pantry list you can look over, too. http://frugalvillage.com/pantry-list-othermenu.html The mixes can be homemade.


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Hobby Lobby is coming to Monroe MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 16, 2009, 01:28:20 PM
Hobby Lobby is coming to Monroe MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/hobby-lobby-is-coming-to-monroe-mi/)
16 December 2009, 1:26 pm

The following story is on page 6A of today’s print and e-editions of The Monroe Evening News. This situation has been of GREAT interest to the crafters in Monroe, Mich!

By Charles Slat

ctslat@monroenews.com

Officials of Hobby Lobby Creative Centers say they expect to have a store open in Monroe by September, located in the vacant building formerly occupied by Walmart at 2155 N. Telegraph Rd.

“We’re expecting to take delivery of the store in April and, if we do, that would mean roughly an August or September opening,” said Scott Nelson, view president of real estate for the Oklahoma City-based firm.

“We’re basically an arts and crafts and home decor superstore,” he said. “Other than basic arts and crafts, we have floral, jewelry, frames, fabrics, scrapbooking, hobbies, home accents and we have a large seasonal department.”

Around Christmas, he said, the seasonal selection typically carries 100,000 items.

The Monroe store will be about 55,000 square feet and will employ 30 to 50 full-and part-time workers. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. The stores are closed on Sundays.

Hobby Lobby has 432 stores in 35 states, including 15 in Michigan.

He said the chain has long had an interest in Monroe.

“It’s a market that we’ve looked at for a number of years. We just haven’t been able to find a space our size,” he said. “We’ve done very well in the mid-markets in Michigan and it’s another good middle market. We look forward to serving the folks there.”

Walmart this year vacated the location Hobby Lobby is considering and relocated to a new supercenter store across the street.

Although Michigan is mired in recession to a greater degree than most states, that’s won’t dissuade the company from planning new stores here.

“We haven’t terribly been affected by the recession,” he said. “Our same store sales are still up. That might have to do with more people deciding to make things rather than buy already-made things. I’m sure people are staying home a little more and wanting things to do, so we fall into that category.

“Most of our Michigan stores are doing very well and we hope to continue that in Monroe,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jo-Ann Fabrics is in the process of closing its Monroe store, which has operated for about 36 years, saying it was an “underperforming” store.

The closest Hobby Lobby stores to Monroe now are in Toledo and Perrysburg, Ohio, and Canton and Sterling Heights, Mich.

The company began Aug. 3, 1972, with 300 square feet of retail space in North Oklahoma City. It was a retail outgrowth of Greco Products, a miniature picture frame company, founded by David Green in 1970.

Still privately owned, Hobby Lobby today is headquartered in a 3.4-million-square-foot manufacturing, distribution and office complex in Oklahoma City. Affiliated companies in the same complex include Crafts, Etc!, Hemispheres, Mardel and Mart Green.

The manufacturing portion of the complex is a 725,000-square-foot building adjacent to the main warehouse and it houses Hobby Lobby’s barewood, fixtures, and candle and scented products manufacturing as well as Crafts, Etc!’s stamp manufacturing and product packaging facilities.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: AP: Don’t expect big holiday sales this week
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 17, 2009, 06:37:03 AM
AP: Don’t expect big holiday sales this week (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/ap-dont-expect-big-holiday-sales-this-week/)
17 December 2009, 6:22 am

If you are waiting for the clearance sales to start shopping, that trick doesn’t work every year.

MSNBC has this article from Associated Press: Big holiday crunch-time sales? Probably not. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34452225/ns/business-consumer_news/)

But it’s not just this year. This has always been a hit-and-miss situation. I know it’s long been a favorite trick of frugalistas to buy as much as possible on the after Christmas sales. I’ve done some of that myself.

You just can’t plan your holiday budget around it.

Besides, some of those “clearance” prices aren’t any better than the sales that take place before Christmas. Why would I buy Christmas cards at half price on Dec. 26 when, if I watch the sales fliers, I can score them on a better sale? I bought 3 boxes for the price of 1 this year by getting those Christmas cards in late November!

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: January Angel Food orders
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 17, 2009, 09:41:08 AM
January Angel Food orders (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/january-angel-food-orders/)
17 December 2009, 9:20 am

Angel Food Ministries is a discount grocery purchase program that is open to anyone of any income level. I’ve been purchasing groceries from Angel Food for almost two years now, and this program is a great complement to coupon and rebate tricks one can do at the grocery and drugstores.

Information about the January menu, prices and order sites is www.angelfoodministries.com (http://www.angelfoodministries.com).

For my local readers in southeast Michigan, the Monroe, Dundee and Bedford sites are reporting the following office hours:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Christmas sale at Monroe Thrift Shop
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 17, 2009, 10:48:14 AM
Christmas sale at Monroe Thrift Shop (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/christmas-sale-at-monroe-thrift-shop/)
17 December 2009, 9:53 am

This post is for my readers in and near Monroe, Mich.

The Monroe Thrift Shop, 119 S. Monroe St., Monroe, Mich., announces it is hosting a half-off sale on all Christmas items and winter clothing for men, women and children from Monday Dec. 21 through Wednesday Dec. 23.

Household items, jewelry and books are excluded from the sale.

The shop will be closed for vacation starting Dec. 24 and will re-open on Jan. 4.

The shop’s regular hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, except for Tuesdays when the shop closes at 1 p.m. The thrift shop is run by a volunteer group with all proceeds going back to the community through charitable donations.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Re: Monroe on a Budget
Post by: AtypicalGirl on December 17, 2009, 11:10:58 AM
Paula, I thought I might throw this out there, thinking maybe you could put it in Monroe on a Budget or something to inform more people.... Idk  :P


I went to the Meijer and Target last night, up on Carpenter Road (Ypsi. or Ann Arbor.. Idk. I'm sure you would know better than me! lol) and there is a Party City located next door to the Target. On the door, they had a sign that stated they would be closing 1/10/10 and that everything in the store was $1.00. Now, I thought that was CRAZY so maybe I read that right... or maybe I didn't  lol  but, if I did, that's an awesome deal! Especially for people who are planing to have a New Year's party, or maybe their kids have birthday's within the next couple of months. I even thought about going in there to stock up on some party supplies!

I'm hoping that someone can confirm what I saw..... because I will admit I was a bit tired, it was dark.... but I'm pretty sure that my eyes saw it right!  :)
Title: Monroe on a Budget: Charlie Teal Family Christmas event in Temperance
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 17, 2009, 03:44:18 PM
Charlie Teal Family Christmas event in Temperance (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/charlie-teal-family-christmas-event/)
17 December 2009, 2:08 pm

The following post is for my readers in and near Temperance, Mich., and is on page 3A of today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News:Forest View Lanes and the Salvation Army of Monroe County want families to have a happy holiday.They are hosting the Charlie Teal Family Christmas Extravaganza on Christmas Eve at the bowling lanes, 2345 W. Dean Rd., Temperance, Mich. The bowling alley will shut down and offer a free holiday meal and open bowling to the less fortunate.Jim Nyhan, owner of Forest View, said he hopes to reach out and help about 300 people for the event.“As a staff, we want to give back to people in this area,” Mr. Nyhan said. “Hopefully this will become an annual event.”The event was created by Mr. Nyhan and Mr. Teal, who is a well-known bowler in Monroe County and the Toledo area.The families will be provided a meal of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, veggies, dinner rolls, desserts and beverages. In addition, children will have their pictures taken with Santa, who will distribute toys.To help get the event off the ground, Mr. Nyhan is looking for volunteers and for donations. He has collected about $1,600 to fund the event, but he expects costs to exceed a couple of thousand dollars.In addition to monetary donations, Mr. Nyhan is looking for clothing, toys, canned goods and gift cards to give to the families the day of the event. Boots and warm clothing are the items of which Mr. Nyhan is in most need.There are three time slots to accommodate the families. The sessions will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. Volunteers are needed for each session.The first 300 eligible people who would like to sign up for the event are asked to call the Salvation Army in Monroe at (734) 241-0440 or the Salvation Army’s Temperance office at (734) 224-7991.For more information about the project or to donate, call Mr. Teal at (419) 466-3924 or Mr. Nyhan at (734) 847-4915.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Kids to Kids toy sale Jan. 9 in Flat Rock
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 17, 2009, 03:44:18 PM
Kids to Kids toy sale Jan. 9 in Flat Rock (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/kids-to-kids-toy-sale-jan-5-in-flat-rock/)
17 December 2009, 2:55 pm

The Flat Rock Community Center in Flat Rock, Mich., just sent this notice to The Monroe Evening News

The Kids to Kids Sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday Jan. 5 at Flat Rock Community Center,  (http://www.flatrockrec.org/)1 Maguire St., Flat Rock, Mich.

This is a sale for children ages 7 to 13, under supervision of an adult, to buy, sell or trade old toys to make room for new toys. The organizers ask that no clothes be involved in the sale.

Table rentals are $5.

For information, call (734) 379-1450.

This is great idea for decluttering in addition to selling or trading! Many thrift shops and charities don’t accept second-hand toys, so there are limited options for getting rid of no-longer loved playthings.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)


(I know ... post originally said Jan. 5, I just called Flat Rock because I saw that press release didn't make sense and they gave me correct date / paula)
Title: Monroe on a Budget: The potluck is tomorrow?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 17, 2009, 03:44:18 PM
The potluck is tomorrow? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/the-potluck-is-tomorrow/)
17 December 2009, 3:17 pm

This is a common scenario among families with kids: The kids don’t give the parents the message – or the parents don’t quite understand the message – and then whoops! The potluck is tomorrow and what do you bring?

One of my normally frugal friends resorted to bakery cupcakes on such an occasion today. I feel for her.

Well, my husband just called and said his co-workers are brainstorming a food gathering for tomorrow. He was asking what we had available to contribute in terms of desserts?

No problem. I told him to go get one of those pumpkin bread mixes from the pantry shelf. It turns out that I ended up with at least one more bread mix than I actually needed this season.

Since the required eggs, oil and nuts are already in my kitchen, this Christmas goodie request will take exactly an hour to take care of.

What’s in your potluck emergency kit?

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Re: Monroe on a Budget
Post by: Paula Wethington on December 17, 2009, 04:06:02 PM
Paula, I thought I might throw this out there, thinking maybe you could put it in Monroe on a Budget or something to inform more people.... Idk  :P


I went to the Meijer and Target last night, up on Carpenter Road (Ypsi. or Ann Arbor.. Idk. I'm sure you would know better than me! lol) and there is a Party City located next door to the Target. On the door, they had a sign that stated they would be closing 1/10/10 and that everything in the store was $1.00. Now, I thought that was CRAZY so maybe I read that right... or maybe I didn't  lol  but, if I did, that's an awesome deal! Especially for people who are planing to have a New Year's party, or maybe their kids have birthday's within the next couple of months. I even thought about going in there to stock up on some party supplies!

I'm hoping that someone can confirm what I saw..... because I will admit I was a bit tired, it was dark.... but I'm pretty sure that my eyes saw it right!  :)


Oooh, interesting!

Can anybody who's in Ann Arbor provide more details? There is nothing about it on the store's web site.

http://www.partycity.com/storedetail.do?id=1393 (http://www.partycity.com/storedetail.do?id=1393)

also nothing on annarbor.com ??
Title: Monroe on a Budget: Kids to Kids toy sale Jan. 9 in Flat Rock
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 17, 2009, 04:44:43 PM
Kids to Kids toy sale Jan. 9 in Flat Rock (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/kids-to-kids-toy-sale-jan-5-in-flat-rock/)
17 December 2009, 2:55 pm

The Flat Rock Community Center in Flat Rock, Mich., just sent this notice to The Monroe Evening News

The Kids to Kids Sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday Jan. 9 at Flat Rock Community Center,  (http://www.flatrockrec.org/)1 Maguire St., Flat Rock, Mich.

This is a sale for children ages 7 to 13, under supervision of an adult, to buy, sell or trade old toys to make room for new toys. The organizers ask that no clothes be involved in the sale.

Table rentals are $5.

For information, call (734) 379-1450.

This is great idea for decluttering in addition to selling or trading! Many thrift shops and charities don’t accept second-hand toys, so there are limited options for getting rid of no-longer loved playthings.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Don’t toss those sales fliers yet
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 18, 2009, 07:36:28 AM
Don’t toss those sales fliers yet (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/dont-toss-those-sales-fliers-yet/)
18 December 2009, 7:06 am

The personal finance story that’s been making the national headlines last night and this morning includes statistics of how many people have not completed – in some cases have not started – their Christmas shopping.

Now the giggle factor is on those who procrastinate when Christmas is the same day every year. But behind the scenes ….  some families have to wait for the next paycheck or a Christmas bonus check before they can finish up their shopping. Others hold off on errands until they go on Christmas break from work or college and have more time in their day.

If you are in those circumstances, don’t toss your sales fliers yet. I’ve been too busy with family matters this week to keep up with daily sales and deals reports for the blog …. but look in your newspapers and mail for the drugstore, grocery and toy store fliers before you go shopping. They aren’t just in the Sunday papers this time of year.

Rite Aid for example had a sales flier in the Wednesday edition of The Monroe Evening News. That’s not the normal sales flier cycle for that drugstore.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Dundee Community Christmas is Dec. 20
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 18, 2009, 07:36:28 AM
Dundee Community Christmas is Dec. 20 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/dundee-community-christmas-is-dec-20/)
18 December 2009, 7:11 am

The following post is for my readers in and near Dundee, Mich., and was on page 3A of Thursday’s edition of The Monroe Evening News:

Dundee, Mich., is throwing a Christmas party Sunday Dec. 20 complete with hundreds of presents for kids.The third annual Dundee Community Christmas program will run from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Dundee High School auditorium, 130 Viking Dr. The first 300 visitors can feast on a turkey dinner, and about 800 gifts are available for kids.Everything is free. The Rev. Adam Siek, pastor of True Vine Ministries, said he was thrilled at the response from the area when he and other volunteers began seeking donations for the party.“It was just awesome to see,” the Rev. Siek said. “The whole community came together. We prayed and a lot of people came forward.”The idea is to help those in need, but the program has grown to the point where everyone is invited. Some gifts include Wii systems, digital cameras, MP3 players and gift cards.Presents will be distributed by randomly selected tickets, which will be handed out to children who attend.Four area churches and many businesses joined together to make the party a reality. Dundee High School students also helped raise money and will assist in the program Sunday.The Rev. Siek said anyone is invited and suggested people just show up. He said the ministry also will be donating 80 hams to area residents this week.For more information on the party, call the Rev. Siek at (734) 770-8088.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Aldi sticky coupon on my MonroeNews today
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 18, 2009, 08:06:15 PM
Aldi sticky coupon on my MonroeNews today (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/aldi-sticky-coupon-on-my-monroenews-today/)
18 December 2009, 8:02 pm

I don’t know how far / what zip codes this was done in but …

My home-delivery copy of The Monroe Evening News today has a sticky coupon on the front with $5 off a purchase of $30 worth of groceries at Aldi.

Yes, we plan to use it although it may be a couple of days before I can get to Aldi. The coupon is good today through Dec. 24.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: DetNews columnist shops at a dollar store
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 19, 2009, 05:44:39 AM
DetNews columnist shops at a dollar store (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/detnews-columnist-shops-at-a-dollar-store/)
19 December 2009, 5:14 am

Brian J. O’Connor, columnist at the Detroit News, has a video clip of his Christmas shopping trip at a dollar store. (http://apps.detnews.com/apps/multimedia/player/index.php?id=3955)

Brian has been writing the Save a Grand (http://www.detnews.com/section/BIZ01) series in which he is cutting back on family budget category by category.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What can you get in Shipshewana IN?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 19, 2009, 05:44:39 AM
What can you get in Shipshewana IN? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/what-can-you-get-in-shipshewana-in/)
19 December 2009, 5:17 am

This breaks out of my usual routine for the “What can you get at” (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/category/what-can-you-get-at/) series. Those articles usually focus on second-hand and discount stores in Monroe, Mich., area.

But one of my readers / on-line friends has been telling me to schedule a side trip to Shipshewana, Ind.,  (http://www.visitshipshewana.org)when I’m going back and forth to my daughter’s college in South Bend, Ind. That city is just a few miles off my route on the Indiana Toll Road. She specifically recommended E&S Sales, a bulk foods grocery store in that city. I had the opportunity to do that Friday, so I followed up!

Shipshewana is in northern Indiana’s Amish district. I’m used to seeing Amish people in Ashtabula County, Ohio, where my family has spent many summer weekends over the years. But Shipshewana took me by surprise with the number and variety of of businesses and restaurants that feature Amish or American country living food, culture and lifestyle.

I got lost first in the main shopping district, but that’s where I discovered Davis Mercantile (http://www.davismercantile.com). It’s a mini-mall with 23 shops. I had lunch at JoJo’s Pretzels (hot dog and root beer float). I walked through at least three other boutiques and bought two pretty pieces of fabric at A Little Bit of Lolly’s. There’s lots of other neat places downtown, but I didn’t have much time to dawdle.

Luckily, I had picked up some tourist brochures at the toll road plaza and I was able to figure out with the help of a city map where I was and that the grocery was just a little bit away.

There is a huge variety of bulk dry foods in E&S – including oatmeal, muffin mixes, spices and flour of assorted kinds. The spice prices are very good, but the only spice I could remember that I needed was onion powder. I got some of that. I also bought a cinnamon raisin bread that my family will eat this weekend, and a bag of egg noodles.

It doesn’t always work out for me to add a side trip when I’m doing college drives, but I’ll certainly stop back again sometime! This town was a fun place to visit.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe Angel Food truck running late today
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 19, 2009, 08:30:32 AM
Monroe Angel Food truck running late today (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/monroe-angel-food-truck-running-late-today/)
19 December 2009, 8:23 am

I just got a phone call from April at Monroe Church of the Nazarene in Monroe, Mich., that the Angel Food truck for today’s pickups is running late.

Instead of starting at 9:30 a.m., the grocery box pickups will start at noon.

(This is one of the reasons you need to put your phone number on the order forms.)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe MI sales fliers Dec. 19
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 19, 2009, 08:54:27 AM
Monroe MI sales fliers Dec. 19 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/monroe-mi-sales-fliers-dec-19/)
19 December 2009, 8:54 am

The following sales fliers were in my home-delivery edition of The Monroe Evening News today:In Friday’s newspaper …I’m noticing some coupon matches in those grocery and drugstore fliers, so be sure to bring your coupon box or binder with you.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Angel Food Ministries gift cards now available
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 19, 2009, 01:30:29 PM
Angel Food Ministries gift cards now available (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/angel-food-ministries-gift-cards-now-available/)
19 December 2009, 1:28 pm

It’s long been part of the Angel Food Ministries program that people will buy groceries not just for themselves, but for another family. I saw such a situation today at Monroe Church of the Nazarene in Monroe, Mich., when someone told the volunteers he was picking up groceries for a co-worker.

Angel Food now has an easy way for you to gift someone with groceries – and then they can order on whatever month is convenient for them.

Angel Food Gift Cards are now available either at the host site or through www.angelfoodministries.com (http://www.angelfoodministries.com). The cost is $30 for a signature (mixed groceries) box, $28 for a senior / convenience meal box, $22 for a produce box.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: WTOL: Huners say it’s time to give back
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 19, 2009, 01:58:50 PM
WTOL: Huners say it’s time to give back (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/wtol-huners-say-its-time-to-give-back/)
19 December 2009, 1:41 pm

If you’ve been reading my blog during the past year, you’ve had a chance to see links to and even some chatter from my frugal friend Candy Huner. She blogs at (http://dealwithitsimply.wordpress.com/) Deal With It, Simply!

Candy and her husband Randy have been featured in the WTOL / Toledo Blade “Families Coping” series in which the Toledo news teams wanted to see how area families were coping with the recession. She and I made connections on line, we’ve become friends, and we’ve done two joint appearances at frugal living programs!

Here’s the lastest feature from WTOL: Huners say it’s time to give back. (http://www.wtol.com/Global/story.asp?S=11689265)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Find the Christmas lyrics at Caroling Corner
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 19, 2009, 04:02:21 PM
Find the Christmas lyrics at Caroling Corner (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/find-the-christmas-lyrics-at-caroling-corner/)
19 December 2009, 3:33 pm

I found this web site today when looking up lyrics for some of the lesser-known Christmas carols for my Sunday School lesson tomorrow …

Caroling Corner – www.carolingcorner.com (http://www.carolingcorner.com/)



Go there to find the lyrics (http://www.carolingcorner.com/) for popular but often mangled religious and secular Christmas tunes such as The Grinch, Go Tell it on the Mountain, Children – Go Where I Send Thee and Auld Lang Syne. If you have kids or grandkids to entertain, it would be a fun frugal family activity to teach them some new holiday songs!

I’m building myself a new Christmas carol binder since the kids’ caroling books I own were hard to find in the first place, and are falling apart even though it’s my second set of books. But I do know how to sing a lot of the popular songs. If I have the words in front of me, whether they are from a hymnal, lyrics page, or other resource, I can teach the songs to the students in a repeat-after-me format.

If I have the music notes, I can also play the songs on flute. But I’ll settle for just the lyrics when needed to expand my collection.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Are you getting Christmas cards this year?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 19, 2009, 10:08:34 PM
Are you getting Christmas cards this year? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/are-you-getting-christmas-cards-this-year/)
19 December 2009, 8:53 pm

Are you getting Christmas cards in the mail this year?

Consider yourself lucky – or, as one of my co-workers said about her cards, consider yourself loved.

The Washington Post is reporting fewer people are sending holiday cards in the mail this year. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/18/AR2009121801995.html)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Freep: Food desperation on the rise in Detroit
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 20, 2009, 08:10:35 AM
Freep: Food desperation on the rise in Detroit (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/freep-food-desperation-on-the-rise-in-detroit/)
20 December 2009, 7:55 am

This story by the Detroit Free Press focuses on Detroit.

It’s actually about southeast Michigan because some of the agencies and services quoted in the article serve the entire region. There also are some Downriver sources included. (Geography lesson: Monroe is just south of the metro Detroit region that is called “Downriver”.)

The piece takes up more than two full pages in the Freep print edition:

Hunger: Food desperation on the rise in Detroit. (http://www.freep.com/article/20091220/FEATURES01/912200458/1319/Hunger-Food-desperation-on-the-rise-in-metro-Detroit)

A snippet:
Hunger is a symptom, like a fever that comes with the flu. The causes are countless. Unemployment. Underemployment. Drug abuse. Mental illness. Credit card problems. Health problems. Just bad luck.

Hunger is so complex and so vast that nobody can put an exact number on how many people in Michigan are struggling, although no one disputes the problem is growing. Food insecurity affects 700,000 in southeast Michigan, according to United Way.

The problem is deeper than the people in line at soup kitchens. The people in need could be your neighbors.
One of the stories I’ve told before on this blog was a series of circumstances in May 2005 that led to my family having about four days worth of food left in the house. True story about a married couple, each with four-year college degrees and good credit, and one very responsible daughter. There are no slackers in our house.

We got over that immediate situation with the help of my parents and the fact my husband soon went back to work. But because of that situation, we have added more long-term savings tricks to the grocery budget.

Groceries are indeed one of the easiest places in your household budget to either get non-profit or government assistance, or stretch your funds via your own resources. A lot of services and programs have started or expanded during the past two to three years to help southeast Michigan residents deal with just that situation.

If you are hesitant to ask about or try these programs, don’t be. If you qualify, you are the family that program was written for. I’ve been getting groceries from Angel Food Ministries (http://www.angelfoodministries.com) for about a year and a half.

If you live in the metro Detroit area, the Freep has some “Do  you need assistance?” information including the 211 service for South Central Michigan (http://www.uw211southcentralmi.org).

Here are some more resources for my local readers in southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: No coupon packets today
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 20, 2009, 08:26:50 AM
No coupon packets today (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/no-coupon-packets-today/)
20 December 2009, 8:14 am

There are no national grocery coupon packets today Dec. 20 in the Sunday papers.

Specifically, I get The Monroe Evening News and the Detroit Free Press. The MonroeNews posts a balloon on the front page when there are coupons – so that’s how you readers can verify that it’s not just a stuffing mistake.

We are now into the Christmas holiday week and the coupon companies normally do not schedule coupon books on holiday weekends.

If you coupon on a regular basis, you know that you’ll be matching the coupon to the sales fliers anyway. That might be possible on the week of release, or it might be possible two or three weeks later. Get your coupon box or binder out and read those sales fliers.

If you want more coupons than what come in your Sunday paper, then work out a trade or swap box among your co-workers, friends or family members. Some libraries, schools and churches also have coupon swap boxes – I’m among those who feed coupons into the box at Dorsch Memorial Branch Library in Monroe, Mich.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe MI sales fliers Dec. 20
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 20, 2009, 10:27:12 AM
Monroe MI sales fliers Dec. 20 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/monroe-mi-sales-fliers-dec-20/)
20 December 2009, 9:14 am

My sales and deals reports focus on drugstore, grocery store and discount store deals that are of interest to families on a budget in the Monroe, Mich., area. (The title of this blog is “Monroe on a Budget …”)

All of the following are from today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News except where I note Detroit Free Press. I live in the 48162 zip code.Other sales fliers in the Monroe newspaper include Sears (senior discount day Tuesday Dec. 22), Elder-Beerman, Best Buy, Kohls, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dunham’s Sports, and Menards.

Other sales fliers in the Detroit paper include JCPenney, Radio Shack, ABC Warehouse.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: A family donated to a food pantry in my name
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 20, 2009, 10:32:31 PM
A family donated to a food pantry in my name (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/a-family-donated-to-a-food-pantry-in-my-name/)
20 December 2009, 8:50 pm

Today was the last day of Sunday School before Christmas. I’ve taught various grade levels of Sunday School for about 15 years. This year, I have a first-grade class.

I consider my teaching to be my gift of service to the parish and community, so it took me by surprise when Christmas gifts started coming my way from the students over the years. I’ve learned to have a big smile, a gracious thank you and enjoy the blessings.

When I got home and opened my envelopes and gift bags today, one of the cards said that the family had donated to a food pantry in my name.

It’s been a few years since anyone made a charity gift in my honor.

But what a perfect charity gift to make in my name.

I don’t think that family knows about this blog, or at least, has made the connections on who is writing it. We know each other only at church. That family is quite involved with parish activities and volunteer service. My guess that the food pantry was selected because they knew of the needs in that ministry.

But yes, I most certainly applaud their choice.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Reuters: More retailers embracing food stamps
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 20, 2009, 10:32:31 PM
Reuters: More retailers embracing food stamps (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/reuters-more-retailers-embracing-food-stamps/)
20 December 2009, 9:35 pm

A Reuters news service story at MSNBC reports More retailers embracing food stamps. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34479788/ns/business-personal_finance/)

A snippet:
From Costco to Walmart, store chains are rethinking years of strategy as they watch prized customers lose jobs and turn to this benefit, the stigma of which is disappearing not just in society, but in corporate America.

Besides staffing up for the spike in shoppers on the first day of the month, retailers are adjusting when and what they stock, updating point-of-sale systems to accept food stamps and shifting expansion plans to focus on lower-income shoppers.


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What’s for dinner? Angel Food pork roast
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 21, 2009, 07:49:03 AM
What’s for dinner? Angel Food pork roast (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/whats-for-dinner-angel-food-pork-roast/)
21 December 2009, 7:03 am

One of the annoyances in family menu planning involves who’s home for dinner on what days. Unpredictable work schedules, sports / dance / other activities, volunteer service, and kid visitation schedules can wreak havoc on the cook who is trying to keep family members fed while limiting the resulting leftovers.

My situation involves a daughter who is away to college for most of the year, but who is now home on break. While she will be out of town on various days to visit grandparents, aunts, cousins, stepfamily members, etc. who live elsewhere … I did plan for the fact that I’m feeding three people instead of two most days until next semester begins.

The number of people who are home – and who is home – has a significant impact on what the cook will plan for menus.

For example: I do not serve tomato soup and grilled cheese when the daughter is home. She doesn’t like either food. But it is one of my husband’s favorite light dinners. So I always save that menu for when it’s just my husband and I at home.

On the other hand, foods that make too many leftovers when I’m cooking for two are very much worth considering when I’m cooking for three.

The dinner menu for today is:Here’s another food I specifically planned to use this week:

About a week or so ago, I found a container of pumpkin flavored coffee creamer on sale for 99 cents – and I had a 50-cent coupon that would double. Therefore the creamer was free.

My daughter and I drink coffee, but the husband doesn’t. Most of my coffee selections, therefore, are flavored coffee with a splash of milk. It’s too expensive to buy flavored liquid creamer, and a bigger waste of money when I can’t drink it all while it is still fresh.

But with two of us working on a free bottle of creamer, yes, that’s a treat.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Frugal Village: Put shampoo in a pump bottle
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 21, 2009, 10:38:16 AM
Frugal Village: Put shampoo in a pump bottle (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/frugal-village-put-shampoo-in-a-pump-bottle/)
21 December 2009, 9:32 am

Here’s a tip that Sara Noel shared in her Dec. 20 Frugal Village newspaper column:
PUMP SHAMPOO: My daughter was having trouble with the shampoo cap. We discovered this when half of a new family-sized bottle was gone and dripping down the side of the tub the same day we opened it. So I thought a pump would be a solution. I searched stores high and low, looking for something that would work. My son then suggested I take one of the half-empty pump lotion bottles we had at home and combine it with another half-empty pump of the same lotion, thus leaving one empty pump lotion bottle. Total cost: $0. It worked beautifully. The label came right off, so the pump is plain and simply pretty. The lotion pump also administers less in each pump, so the children (and me) are not overusing the shampoo. — Jmoffitt, e-mail
I usually link directly to the post on Sara’s site  (http://www.frugalvillage.com/)but this piece isn’t on line yet. I’m picking up the snippet from Sunday’s edition of The Monroe Evening News.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: SaveAGrand: Grocery savings slow at first
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 21, 2009, 05:51:09 PM
SaveAGrand: Grocery savings slow at first (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/saveagrand-grocery-savings-slow-at-first/)
21 December 2009, 4:52 pm

Brian J. O’Connor, finance editor at the Detroit News, is on a SaveAGrand  (http://twitter.com/SaveAGrand)mission. The goal: take $1,000 out of his monthly expenses.

I told him when he got started with this series – not knowing when his grocery expenses would be reported – that it would take a few weeks after launching cost-cutting efforts to notice a significant drop in the grocery bill.

Brian called in nationally known grocery expert Teri Gault of The Grocery Game (http://www.thegrocerygame.com/) to walk him through the supermarket, and well, what was his conclusion?

Matching sales with coupons produces slow results at first. (http://www.detnews.com/article/20091221/BIZ01/912210307/1010/Matching-sales-with-coupons-produces-slow-results-at-first)

A snippet:
Gault’s strategy relies on the fact that most items in the supermarket go on sale at some point every 12 weeks, down to their rock-bottom cost. Adding the coupons from newspaper inserts and signing up for mailers from the grocery store cuts the cost even more — occasionally making some items free.

By pulling out the coupons and stocking up whenever grits, Gatorade or Glad bags were at their lowest prices, she explained, I could likely cut my already trim household grocery tab of $532 a month in half. The trick, she says, is to plan meals around the cheap stuff you’ve stocked up on, instead of making a weekly menu first and then shopping to fill it in.
With three people at home, Brian already has a reasonable grocery bill. According to the formulas for the USDA Cost of Food  (http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/USDAFoodPlansCostofFood.htm)study, a family of two adults and two small children eating on a thrifty menu is spending $503 a month.

But yes, it is quite possible to get your grocery bill lower than the USDA thrifty range. A lot of the Frugal Village members  (http://www.frugalvillage.com/forums/)have done it.

I personally do not recommend The Grocery Game or other coupon matching services because the databases don’t work well for my local readers. The Monroe, Mich., community has too many variables with overlapping Sunday newspaper circulations and supermarket advertising districts.

The concept of matching your coupons to the sales, however, does work no matter where you shop or get your coupons.

A few months ago, I sorted out my collection of grocery shopping tips into Grocery Shopping on a Budget: The 8-Week Plan (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/grocery-shopping-on-a-budget-tips-and-tricks/grocery-shopping-on-a-budget-the-8-week-plan/). In that free handout and the corresponding class I’ve taught via Monroe Community Education (http://www.monroe.k12.mi.us), I explain how to ramp up your coupon collection, how to pick out the deals in the sales fliers,  and add other cost-cutting tricks to your grocery bill.

You likely will not notice the savings during the first month on my program. You will notice it by the end of the second month.

Teri also tells her clients that it can take 12 weeks on her program to notice the difference.

Why?

Because shoppers will not find the best prices on every item every week. For example, there are weeks when you can find cake mix for $1 or less – and there are weeks when you can’t.

The secret is to stock up on commonly used items when prices are low, so that your long-range costs go down.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Hi-Lite and Danny’s sales Dec. 21
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 22, 2009, 06:27:05 AM
Hi-Lite and Danny’s sales Dec. 21 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/hi-lite-and-dannys-sales-dec-21/)
22 December 2009, 6:24 am

Here are the Dec. 21 grocery ads for Hi-Lite Supermarket and Danny’s Fine Foods in Monroe, Mich. They were in Monday’s edition of The Monroe Evening News.
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Freep: Shoppers paring their lists
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 22, 2009, 06:50:56 AM
Freep: Shoppers paring their lists (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/freep-shoppers-paring-their-lists/)
22 December 2009, 6:36 am

Are you spending less on Christmas this year?

It’s the popular thing to do.

The Detroit Free Press has this report today: Shoppers paring their list to handle the recession. (http://www.freep.com/article/20091222/NEWS01/912220360/1322/Shoppers-paring-their-list-to-handle-the-recession)

A snippet:
Fewer people cut back spending in the past 12 months for pure economic reasons such as a job loss than to take precautions in an uncertain economy, the survey found.

Reasons cited to cut spending included a salary cut, 20%, job loss, 16%, precautionary, 28%, and because it seemed like the right thing to do, 23%, according to the ICSC survey.
Now … keep in mind this survey involved shoppers across the U.S. and Canada. The survey report (http://www.icsc.org/index.php) does indicate job loss and pay cuts were more of a factor for U.S. shoppers than Canadian shoppers.

And I suspect if one was able to pull out the Michigan and Ohio demographics, the percentages would be much more skewed toward necessary cuts than optional ones.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: A2.com: Food challenges for Ann Arbor’s hidden poor
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 22, 2009, 07:19:08 AM
A2.com: Food challenges for Ann Arbor’s hidden poor (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/a2-com-food-challenges-for-ann-arbors-hidden-poor/)
22 December 2009, 7:05 am

AnnArbor.com is continuing its series on the hidden poor in Ann Arbor, Mich., with a discussion on getting healthy food to those who are struggling financially.Points from the report:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Email coupons for Ciolino Fruit and Veggie market
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 22, 2009, 08:22:43 AM
Email coupons for Ciolino Fruit and Veggie market (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/email-coupons-for-ciolino-fruit-and-veggie-market/)
22 December 2009, 8:21 am

This post is for my readers in and near Monroe County, Mich.

One of my readers reminded me about an email coupon program for Ciolino Fruit and Vegetable Market in Monroe and Temperance, Mich. I thought I had blogged about it before, but I can’t find it in my archives! Silly me …

You can sign up at SuddenValues.com for the coupons to be delivered (http://monroe.suddenvalues.com/) to your e-mail box. This week’s deals at Ciolino’s include bacon, tomatoes and broccoli.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What’s happening to the scholarship funds?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 22, 2009, 01:52:52 PM
What’s happening to the scholarship funds? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/whats-happening-to-the-scholarship-funds/)
22 December 2009, 1:31 pm

Did the college scholarship fund you were expecting to receive money from fizzle out this year or last? I’m hearing multiple variations on this story this fall and winter, especially as the details pertain to endowed funds.

Some scholarships that are issued to students are based on annual donations or fundraisers. Whatever is raised or donated goes directly to the next cycle of scholarship applications. Money in = money out.

An example of direct scholarship funding is Monroe Thrift Shop Association, which awards dozens of $500 scholarships each year to students in Monroe County, Mich. The amount of scholarships awarded is based in part on the money that the association earns via its second-hand clothing and household goods store in downtown Monroe.

Endowed scholarship funds  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_endowment)are accounts that are set up with the intention that a fund will earn interest that can then spin off to be used for scholarships. This  method works out very well as a permanent or long-term fund – except in years when the return on investments fizzles out.

Many of the scholarships that the Community Foundation of Monroe County in Monroe, Mich., issues to graduating local seniors are from an endowed fund (http://www.cfmonroe.org/impactfunds.html). Many of the scholarships awarded by Monroe County Community College in Monroe, Mich., to its students are from an endowed fund. (http://www.monroeccc.edu/foundation/endowed-scholarships.htm) Some of the scholarship money at my college came from an endowed fund. Some of my daughter’s scholarship money at her college comes from an endowed fund.

If the money isn’t available for students from those dedicated funds, it’s not available. As MCCC officials explain (http://www.monroeccc.edu/foundation/endowed-scholarships.htm), “The number of scholarships and amounts awarded each year vary based upon returns on the investment portfolio.”

In response to the shrinking investment returns, colleges and scholarship sponsors have been appealing to prospective donors to help when and how they can with contributions.

For example:

“We had to tell many good students, some whom had received aid the previous year, that we had exhausted our funds. We expect the requests for scholarship assistance to be as high or higher in 2010,” Charles Bierbauer, dean of the University of South Carolina’s college of mass communications and information studies, wrote in a recent letter to South Carolina alumni such as myself.

What does that mean for college families as they make plans for the 2010-2011 academic year?

First, do not take any scholarship money for granted. Academic, community service and need-based student grants come and go every year for reasons that have nothing to do with the investment returns. Those who have the money can decide to do whatever they want with it.

You also have to search every possible resource for scholarship funds.

The best places to seek out funds are at your high school counselor’s office and your college financial aid office. The reason is that a lot of scholarships are written specifically for those who attended a specific high school, live in a specific community, or who are attending a specific college.

School officials know where their students are getting money. Pay attention to the notices that are on file at your high school and college, and follow up on all the application details and deadlines.

The other key point is to make sure you file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid  (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/)and watch the deadlines. Many private scholarship awards are not announced until late spring or early summer. But to get the most out of your FAFSA application, that paperwork should be filed in late February or early March depending on your school’s or state’s deadline.

If you end up having to sign for student loans to make up the difference between cost of attendance and scholarship funds, you want those loans to be as low-cost and student-friendly as possible. That’s why FAFSA is so important.

If you want help getting that FAFSA file, the College Goal Sunday campaign  (http://www.collegegoalsundayusa.org/)provides free hands-on workshops every February for parents and students across the country. The Monroe, Mich., workshop will be held Feb. 10. (http://www.micollegegoal.org/Parents/Locations/tabid/1362/Default.aspx)

I plan to participate in a personal finance chat on Twitter next week that focuses on finding and applying for scholarships. Watch this blog and the Budget Pulse blog (http://blog.budgetpulse.com/) for details.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Food Town grocery ad for Monroe MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 22, 2009, 07:47:00 PM
Food Town grocery ad for Monroe MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/food-town-grocery-ad-for-monroe-mi/)
22 December 2009, 7:01 pm

The Food Town stores in Monroe (http://www.foodtownmonroe.com) and Rockwood, Mich., share a grocery flier that comes in my mailbox every two weeks.
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: A typical scholarship application
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 22, 2009, 07:47:00 PM
A typical scholarship application (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/a-typical-scholarship-application/)
22 December 2009, 7:35 pm

The Community Foundation of Monroe County in Monroe, Mich., has posted its scholarship application on line. (http://cfmonroe.org/scholarships.asp)

While the application itself is relevant only to my local readers who are applying for the foundation scholarships, the rest of you may want to take a look at it so you know what to expect from a typical scholarship application. That form is asking for information that my college daughter and I have commonly seen on scholarship applications in recent years: including a personal essay, a statement of how you expect to finance your college expenses, your expected major or course of study, and a community service resume.

An important detail: the way you list your parents on scholarship applications is how your parents will be reported on any awards notice that is sent to the newspapers. One should include the names of all appropriate parents (stepparents) on these forms. If there is not enough room on an application, you should include that information on a separate page, or as a footnote on your essay paper.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Freep: Wayne State to cover 800 Promise Grants
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 22, 2009, 09:25:09 PM
Freep: Wayne State to cover 800 Promise Grants (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/freep-wayne-state-to-cover-800-promise-grants/)
22 December 2009, 9:02 pm

The Detroit Free Press is reporting Wayne State University will cover $1,000 in lost Michigan Promise Grants for 800 of its students. (http://www.freep.com/article/20091222/NEWS05/91222047/1319/Wayne-State-will-cover-1000-Promises-for-800)

A snippet:
In all, about 1,400 WSU students would have received a $1,000 Promise Grant payment this year. WSU is using federal stimulus funds to cover the funds for students who demonstrated financial need on their federal financial aid forms — about 800 in all, said Al Hermsen, WSU’s financial aid director.
Translated: this extra help from the college is going to its students whose Free Application for Federal Student Aid (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/) showed they were in financial need.

College students and parents: you need to fill out that FAFSA paperwork every academic year, whether or not you “think” you will get help with the college expenses.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: P&G coupon books on Dec. 27
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 23, 2009, 07:04:42 AM
P&G coupon books on Dec. 27 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/pg-coupon-books-on-dec-27/)
23 December 2009, 6:12 am

There are databases on the Internet that list what date the national coupon companies are scheduling coupon books.

If it’s second-hand information without a source cited, I pay little attention to such things. I’ve already caught a date reported on an unofficial site as a “no coupon” week, but there really were coupons that Sunday.

If you want a heads up that’s the real deal, anyone can get on an e-mail list for P&G Saver. (http://www.pgeverydaysolutions.com/pgeds/brandsaver-coupons.jsp?&edstempseg=GP&utm_source=GP&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=GiveCourageDec09) I do subscribe to that list.

P&G reports it will have a coupon book with $88 worth of coupons in the Sunday Dec. 27 newspapers.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: FreSch: Backyard scholarships and how to find them
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 23, 2009, 04:08:23 PM
FreSch: Backyard scholarships and how to find them (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/fresch-backyard-scholarships-and-how-to-find-them/)
23 December 2009, 3:35 pm

The Free Scholarship Search web site has an article by Gen and Kelly Tanabe called Backyard scholarships and how to find them. (http://www.freschinfo.com/tips-backyard.php)

What’s a “backyard scholarship?”

It’s the scholarship that was written specifically for students who live in YOUR community – those who went to your high school, live in your county, live in your state or attend your college.

A snippet:
Each year there are large scholarships awarded by nationally recognized companies such as Coca-Cola, Tylenol, and USA Today. While you should definitely apply to these awards, keep in mind that competition is stiff and of the thousands who enter, only a few will win. While applying to these national jackpots you should not overlook one of the best sources of scholarships — your own backyard.

Think about all of the groups, clubs, businesses, churches and organizations in your community. Each of these is a potential source for scholarships. Plus, because of their limited marketing budgets, many are not widely publicized. That means fewer applicants and higher odds of winning.
The vast majority of actual scholarship awards that are announced in The Monroe Evening News of Monroe, Mich., where I work as a newspaper reporter, fit in the “backyard” category. They include the Community Foundation of Monroe County (http://www.cfmonroe.org/impactfunds.html) scholarships and many other awards that I crosspost on this blog as they get submitted to the newspaper each year.

There are other scholarships I know of that are available only to students who live in or went to high school in other Michigan and Ohio communities – the Kalamazoo Promise (https://www.kalamazoopromise.com/), the Detroit College Promise  (http://www.detroitcollegepromise.com/index.php)and the Toledo Public Schools Foundation Scholarships (http://www.tpsfoundation.org/2009_scholarships.html) among them.

Where do you find those backyard scholarships?

Look through that checklist  (http://www.freschinfo.com/tips-backyard.php)on the FreSch page and follow up on the suggestions that pertain to your family or circumstances. Those are the same sources I’ve been telling my readers about all along on Monroe on a Budget.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: FreSch: A scholarship application organizer
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 23, 2009, 04:08:23 PM
FreSch: A scholarship application organizer (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/fresch-a-scholarship-application-organizer/)
23 December 2009, 3:41 pm

Are you or your student confused by overlapping scholarship applications and requirements?

If you’re not confused yet, you certainly might be in a few weeks when application season goes into full swing for the 2010-2011 academic year!

The Free Scholarship Search web site has a spreadsheet scholarship organizer page  (http://www.freschinfo.com/scholarship-organizer.html)that you can print off or download for free to help you stay organized.

(Further tip: When my daughter was a high school senior, she and I used a stack of manila envelopes and folders to keep her notices and application paperwork organized.)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: FreSch: Debbie’s recipe for scholarship success
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 23, 2009, 04:08:23 PM
FreSch: Debbie’s recipe for scholarship success (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/fresch-debbies-recipe-for-scholarship-success/)
23 December 2009, 3:51 pm

I love it when scholarship sites have great tips.

The Free Scholarship Search site has a good collection of tips from a variety of resources and perspectives. One of the articles is from Debbie and Susie, a mom and daughter team who teamed up in the search for scholarship money.

Read the article (http://www.freschinfo.com/tipsdebbie.php), but here is a snippet:
Be prepared to spend a LOT of time on your applications. You are asking these organizations to GIVE YOU MONEY – treat it like a JOB. Dedicate the time necessary to it. Your first 12 applications should take 5 hours each – or more!
Yes. My daughter and I have spent a lot of time seeking out college money on her behalf. I do some of the searching and provide the financial information she needs in a timely manner, she’s filling out the applications and writing the essays.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: UofM’s Cash Course site for college students
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 23, 2009, 05:12:39 PM
UofM’s Cash Course site for college students (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/uofms-cash-course-site-for-college-students/)
23 December 2009, 4:27 pm

University of Michigan has a Cash Course site  (http://www.cashcourse.org/umofa/Default.aspx)that is designed to help students get tips on managing money during their college years and beyond.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Scholarship essay tips at ScholarshipHelp.org
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 23, 2009, 05:12:39 PM
Scholarship essay tips at ScholarshipHelp.org (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/scholarship-essay-tips-at/)
23 December 2009, 4:54 pm

Does that scholarship application have an essay requirement?

Don’t panic. Students can write those essays while parents are assisting with other details such as compiling requested family financial data, or searching for leads beyond what the student has already found at the high school counselor and college financial aid offices.

The ScholarshipHelp.org site has an excellent article with examples on Scholarship Essay Recommendations. (http://www.scholarshiphelp.org/scholarship_essay.htm)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Budget-friendly cookies
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 23, 2009, 08:06:51 PM
Budget-friendly cookies (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/budget-friendly-cookies/)
23 December 2009, 7:23 pm

I’ve posted this recipe before.

It is a very budget-friendly cookie. Only four ingredients.

Mexican sugar cookie. (http://www.dltk-kids.com/recipesdb/view.asp?rid=97)

I’m making some tonight for holiday gifting to the relatives.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: College financial aid timeline 2010-2011 school year
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 24, 2009, 02:26:27 AM
College financial aid timeline 2010-2011 school year (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/college-financial-aid-timeline-2010-2011-school-year/)
24 December 2009, 2:02 am

If your family will have a student in college during the 2010-2011 academic year, here is the timeline you need to follow regarding your financial aid and scholarship applications:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: AP: 7 tips for using the gift cards wisely
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 24, 2009, 07:18:54 AM
AP: 7 tips for using the gift cards wisely (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/ap-7-tips-for-using-the-gift-cards-wisely/)
24 December 2009, 6:49 am

The “Dear Santa” lists in my family are expected to include a mix of actual gift suggestions and gift card recommendations.

I always have my pile of gift cards spent by Feb. 1. They do nobody any good when they are left unspent.

The Associated Press has this story at USA Today: 7 tips for using the gift cards wisely  (http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/credit/2009-12-23-gift-card-tips_N.htm)- including using them to buy a gift for someone else if you are not likely to shop at that store for yourself.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What kind of community service goes on the scholarship apps?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 24, 2009, 11:18:39 AM
What kind of community service goes on the scholarship apps? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/what-kind-of-community-service-goes-on-the-scholarship-apps/)
24 December 2009, 11:04 am

You or your student are reviewing a college scholarship application such as this one at (http://cfmonroe.org/scholarships.asp) Community Foundation of Monroe County (this agency administers some of the scholarships that go to students in Monroe County, Mich.) and you see this question:
List Your Community-Related Volunteer Activities
What does THAT mean?

It means that today’s scholarship committees are looking way beyond grades when deciding who to honor.

There is a huge variety of criteria in effect for today’s scholarship programs, depending on what the individual sponsors or foundations are looking for. But many of the applications and forms I’ve seen do ask about community service.

This request should not be a problem for my local readers in the Monroe County, Mich., area. Volunteerism is big part of  our community culture, and students are encouraged from grade school on up to get involved with this or that cause or campaign. The hurdle for students and parents is with unraveling and explaining the details that the scholarship committees and foundations are most interested in.

Tips and hints for answering those community service questions:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Think before you spend that Christmas money
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 25, 2009, 07:52:16 AM
Think before you spend that Christmas money (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/think-before-you-spend-that-christmas-money/)
25 December 2009, 7:46 am

My family’s Christmas celebrations are split up between festivities that take place on Christmas Eve and those that take place on Christmas Day.

I did get some things from my wish list last night. (Those gifts include Hallmark Barbie ornaments. I’ve told you before I collect Barbie dolls.)

But a good bit of what I got last night was restaurant gift cards and cash. My in-laws weren’t able to mall shop this year because they both have medical issues and can’t get out and about like usual. As a result, our Hallmark ornaments (my husband always gets some science fiction ornaments) were ordered over the phone; and many of the other gifts presented to various family members last night were catalog, on-line or QVC orders … or cash

There were some after-Christmas sales fliers in the newspapers yesterday and today. I expect another pile in the Saturday papers. Don’t toss those newspapers yet, just pull aside the fliers you want to review tonight and send the rest to the recycle bin. Most retail stores are closed today anyway.

This break in the shopping hours will give me time to think about and plan what I’d like to do with my Christmas cash. Besides, I haven’t yet seen the pile of goodies from today’s stack of gifts (everyone is still sleeping).

I don’t want to waste my money on impulse purchases. I want to use it on things I really need or would really like – but otherwise can’t afford or would never think to buy.

I’m sure that’s what you would like to do with your money too.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Christmas 2009: the year of music
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 25, 2009, 09:32:34 AM
Christmas 2009: the year of music (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/christmas-2009-the-year-of-music/)
25 December 2009, 8:00 am

This has been one of my family’s more stressful Advent / Christmas seasons.

We’re used to living on a tight budget, having had to do that for so long now. It’s just myself, my husband and the college daughter and we all know what’s happened to the family finances because of the recession.

But there were other complications this year: older relatives who are ill (father-in-law in hospital, grandpa in rehab center), a really tough fall class schedule for my daughter (she got good grades despite the headaches), getting study abroad paperwork for next semester taken care of for my daughter (much more complicated than when she went to Japan as a sister city ambassdor in 2006) …

Despite all that frenzy, the constant joy that my husband, daughter and I have enjoyed during this Advent is Christmas music.

My husband is a former radio announcer, and we have a bigger selection of Christmas music than many radio stations play these days. The iPod, iTunes or stereo has been on in our home more hours than the television during recent weeks. When I loaded up my iPod when holiday music to play in the car for yet another trip to the hospital, everyone’s mood settled down. And on Sunday, I held a sing-a-long for my first grade Sunday School lesson where I brought out my flute and a collection of music books to let the children sing any Christmas carols they liked as long as some were religious tunes.

One of the songs that makes me smile every time it comes up on the music rotation is Whitney Houston’s “Do you hear what I hear?” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20_eed97Lzw)

I hope it makes you smile today too.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Still rattled over DTW incident
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 26, 2009, 08:59:09 AM
Still rattled over DTW incident (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/still-rattled-over-dtw-incident/)
26 December 2009, 7:53 am

This post has absolutely nothing to do with frugal living, and I probably should post it on a sister blog that focuses on the news of the day.

But the fact is: most people who know me on the Internet know me from Monroe on a Budget. So here is the story:

If you are one of my national readers, here is a geography lesson: Monroe, Mich., is 20 minutes from Detroit Metropolitan Airport. We live so close to the airport that when we learn friends and family are flying in and out of DTW, we ask whether they need pickups / dropoffs, dinner at our house, or restaurant / hotel recommendations.

My 20-year-old daughter had a flight originally scheduled to leave at 2:15 p.m. yesterday from DTW’s North Terminal. She is visiting relatives in Texas for a few days.

If you are familiar with the area, we take I-275 to DTW and the access road takes us first past McNamara Terminal. Three miles on the other side of the airport is North Terminal. I dropped my daughter off curbside at North and headed back home, past McNamara and to my freeway. Traffic on the interstate and on the airport roads was light. It was a very uneventful errand.

Once I got home, my husband and I kept killing time on the Internet, waiting for flight tracker confirmation that the daughter’s plane was taking off. As soon as she was in the air, my husband and I would make our next holiday family visit out of town.

About the time her flight was supposed to have left, I saw a breaking news headline on Twitter that startled me. Because so many of the local and national TV stations were on holiday programming that afternoon, the Internet was the best place to try to find out what was going on.

And the initial word was: firecrackers went off on an incoming Delta/NWA flight at DTW.

Our first reaction was: What an idiot.

Second reaction was: How the heck did THAT get past security?

Alarm bells had not yet set in. At the time, I was looking at this as the crazy story of the day. My daughter was on the other side of the airport. We contacted her via text message to let her know what was up.

Her plane took off about 30-40 minutes late. Once we got confirmation of flight in progress, my husband and I drove to my parents’ home an hour away for present swapping and holiday visits. (Daughter got her presents from those relatives a few days ago.)

Now at my parents’ home, it’s pretty common for relatives and friends to have laptop computers and PDAs available to share pictures, play games, get technical assistance from a sibling, or look up trivial facts that come up during conversations. I belong to a very “wired” family.

At one point, my husband called out my name, held up his iPhone, and said “It was an attempted terrorist attack.”

What?!

My mother started hitting the headlines on her computer. A brother-in-law and I started naming off Detroit news web sites. My husband and mom started reading details from the Internet as someone put CNN on TV. Everybody knew my daughter was still en route to her destination – my husband had the flight tracker running on his iPhone.

Friday’s incident at DTW has hit international headlines. But if you want the local reporting, here are the Detroit newspapers with this morning’s headlines:I didn’t look at the clock when my daughter and I left home. But she and I were most certainly were arriving at DTW about the time the incoming flight with suspicious activity landed and / or was being diverted to its “remote location.”

We had been texting my daughter during the layover and as she was landing to check CNN. But she wasn’t finding a TV, and her wireless phone doesn’t have an Internet plan.

Finally I texted her “attempted terrorist attack.”

I am very grateful to the DTW and Delta/NWA staff, the first responder crews, witnesses, fellow passengers, and anyone else who was involved in trying to keep everybody safe in Detroit.

I would rather be writing about a close call with terrorism at my home airport, than about what might have happened if that attempt was successful.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe sales fliers Dec. 26
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 26, 2009, 03:52:39 PM
Monroe sales fliers Dec. 26 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/monroe-sales-fliers-dec-26/)
26 December 2009, 2:42 pm

The retail shopping cycles are starting to return to normal. I saw some after-clearance Christmas items today, but there was nothing I thought was a “must have.” I spent my cash on things that had been on my wish list for awhile, even though they weren’t discounted.

The following sales fliers were in my home-delivery edition of The Monroe Evening News:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Dec. 27 coupons: P&G Saver
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 27, 2009, 08:02:28 AM
Dec. 27 coupons: P&G Saver (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/dec-27-coupons-pg-saver/)
27 December 2009, 7:47 am

The P&G Brand Saver is the only coupon packet that was in my Sunday newspapers today.

Remember: we are still in holiday season. The grocery companies know their customers still have cookies on the brain.

That being said, look for the matches on the sales. Rite Aid in particular is pointing out matches on its sales this week.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Dump those Dec. 31 expiration date coupons
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 27, 2009, 08:34:46 AM
Dump those Dec. 31 expiration date coupons (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/dump-those-dec-31-expiration-date-coupons/)
27 December 2009, 8:25 am

If you keep a coupon box or binder, this is the week when you need to go through every divider and pocket and pull out the coupons that expire Dec. 31, 2009.

This task takes me just 10 minutes or so. The expired or soon-to-be expired coupons this morning ended up being about one-third of my current collection.

DO NOT PANIC AT THE SKIMPY COUPON COLLECTION THAT REMAINS!

I know there haven’t been many coupons or coupon matches worth bragging about in the Sunday papers in the past couple of weeks. This is part of the normal grocery shopping cycle. Supermarket promotions in late December focus more on party foods.

Most of the groceries currently in my house came from Angel Food Ministries and Aldi because I know late December is a bad time of year to rely on supermarket coupon deals. Other smart shoppers will stock up ahead of time on favorite products.

But it is also part of the normal coupon shopping cycle for coupons to return with a flourish in January.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe sales fliers Dec. 27
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 27, 2009, 10:04:28 AM
Monroe sales fliers Dec. 27 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/monroe-sales-fliers-dec-27/)
27 December 2009, 9:22 am

A lot of shoppers think that right after Christmas is when you can find some of the biggest deals of the season.

This isn’t as good of a trick as it used to be. I did see Christmas merchandise marked half off Saturday. But selections were very picked over. Besides, if you watched the sales when the holiday merchandise first hit the shelves in the fall (and ignored the “I’m not ready for Christmas yet!” rants), you might have seen prices that were as good or better.

My Christmas sale cleanup involved buying three jars of spices that were still on holiday sale – and the coupon was expiring soon.

Here are the sales fliers for the Monroe, Mich., area, as found in the Sunday papers today for the 48162 zip code. These are all from The Monroe Evening News except where I note Detroit Free Press:Also look for in the Monroe ad stack: Best Buy, Kohl’s, Elder-Beerman, Bradford Exchange, Durocher’s, Sears and Menards.

Also look for in the Detroit ad stack: Blockbuster, Verizon Wireless, ABC Warehouse and JCPenney.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Brian gives report card on Grand Experiment
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 28, 2009, 08:06:40 AM
Brian gives report card on Grand Experiment (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/brian-gives-report-card-on-grand-experiment/)
28 December 2009, 6:30 am

Brian J. O’Connor from the Detroit News gave a report today (http://www.detnews.com/article/20091228/OPINION03/912280306/Grand-Experiment--Refinancing-founders--but-boat-floats-savings) on his Grand Experiment project in which he attempted to cut $1,000 a month from his family’s expenses.

The take-home point from Brian’s series is, and I’ve told you this before: One money-saving trick alone will not be enough to make a noticeable difference in your household expenses. You need to apply as many tricks as possible.

Compare it to adding to the crayons in your frugal living crayon box. (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2008/05/the-crayons-in-your-frugal-living-crayon-box/)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Is there more than one scholarship list at your college?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 28, 2009, 08:06:40 AM
Is there more than one scholarship list at your college? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/is-there-more-than-one-scholarship-list-at-your-college/)
28 December 2009, 6:50 am

If you are in search of scholarships at the college level, do you know whether there is more than one scholarship list on campus?

One of my sisters reminded me of that situation, and it’s one I saw when I was in college.

The first place to go for any financial aid information at your college is the financial aid office. That’s where you can find out about scholarships that your college or its donors provide to incoming and returning students. That’s also where many of the outside scholarship notices will be posted or sent.

But you may also find, especially at a larger university, that the individual departments / college / school or dean’s offices have a separate scholarship application list and process JUST FOR STUDENTS IN THAT MAJOR. Example: When I was at the University of South Carolina during the 1980s, I filed a scholarship application directly to the journalism school – not to the financial aid office.

So while the college financial aid office is your main resource, do look for any additional scholarship announcements that may be posted at – or known by – your academic dean’s office.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Freep: Ripple effects from modified home loan
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 28, 2009, 09:23:13 AM
Freep: Ripple effects from modified home loan (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/freep-ripple-effects-from-modified-home-loan/)
28 December 2009, 8:46 am

Susan Tompor at the Detroit Free Press is finding some unwanted side effects on home loan modifications. (http://www.freep.com/article/20091228/COL07/912280362/1320/Modified-home-loan-can-hurt)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Sara Noel: How to waste less food
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 28, 2009, 09:23:13 AM
Sara Noel: How to waste less food (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/sara-noel-how-to-waste-less-food/)
28 December 2009, 9:14 am

If you are in a situation where every dollar counts, you’ll want to make sure your grocery expenses go as far as possible.

This is easier said than done when family members grump “I’m not hungry” on days when you scheduled a big meal, or when the product and packaging sizes don’t mesh with your family size.

Sara Noel from Frugal Village has a collection of tips on how to waste less food (http://www.frugalvillage.com/2009/12/25/waste-less-food/). It’s tagged on line as her Friday Dec. 25 column, but The Monroe Evening News ran the piece on Sunday Dec. 27.

My current trick is to immediately box or bag any freezeable leftovers or quantities of food that we won’t use in the next day or so.

This trick is helping us preserve and parcel out the Christmas cookies, because we were gifted with more cookies than usual during the past few days.

I also froze the lasagna that was leftover from Christmas Eve dinner because I knew we’d be spending Christmas Day at another relative’s home, and could not predict our travel / errand schedule for Saturday and Sunday. I pulled the pan out of the freezer this morning, and we’ll eat that lasagna either tonight or Tuesday. The lasagna would not have kept as well had I left the pan in the refrigerator for that long of a time frame.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Wisebread’s 40+ web sites for the college years
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 28, 2009, 11:35:01 AM
Wisebread’s 40+ web sites for the college years (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/wisebreads-40-web-sites-for-the-college-years/)
28 December 2009, 11:19 am

This post from Wisebread is showing up on GoodFinancialCents‘ Top 135  personal finance posts (http://www.goodfinancialcents.com/top-135-personal-finance-posts-for-2009-that-can-be-used-2010-and-beyond/) of 2009:

40+ College Resources for Parents and Students. (http://www.wisebread.com/college/college-resources)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Scholarship chat 7 p.m. Dec. 30
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 28, 2009, 02:18:14 PM
Scholarship chat 7 p.m. Dec. 30 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/scholarship-chat-7-p-m-dec-30/)
28 December 2009, 1:05 pm

The following article is on page 3A of today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News and at monroenews.com (http://www.monroenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091228/NEWS01/712289975). (Do you know how WEIRD it is to write about myself in third person?!)

If a student in your family will be attending college during the 2010-11 academic year, now is the time to prepare for the scholarship application season.

While applications can be accepted throughout the year, depending on sponsors’ schedules, the peak application season for many scholarships won by local students is in January and February. That schedule overlaps with when the need-based federal and college financial aid applications also are due.

Evening News reporter Paula Wethington has a daughter who is a junior in college. Her family has worked through both the scholarship process and the financial aid application process to help with those expenses.

During the past couple of weeks, Ms. Wethington has updated and added to her collection of tips and links on how and where southeast Michigan students can find college funds at her blog, “Monroe on a Budget.” You’ll find the blog at www.blogsmonroe.com/budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget); the button to start at is “College Planning and Financing” at www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/college-planning-and-financing (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/college-planning-and-financing/).

The newest resources on the budget blog include:Ms. Wethington also is co-hosting a chat with Craig Kessler of  (http://blog.budgetpulse.com/)Budget Pulse from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday on Twitter. Mr. Kessler runs a weekly personal finance discussion series on Twitter, and this week’s theme will be college scholarships.

Anyone can read Twitter posts on the Internet or via a wireless phone with text message capability, but to participate in the discussion you’ll need to sign up for a free account at twitter.com (http://www.twitter.com). After you have an account, follow the screen names @monroeonabudget (http://www.twitter.com/monroeonabudget) and @budgetpulse (http://www.twitter.com/budgetpulse). The Twitter hashtag for this discussion will be #bp (http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23bp).

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Common scholarship requirements
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 28, 2009, 02:18:14 PM
Common scholarship requirements (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/common-scholarship-requirements/)
28 December 2009, 2:13 pm

During the past three years, I’ve posted a lot of information on Monroe on a Budget for southeast Michigan residents about scholarship eligibility, deadlines and applications.

The sponsors and foundations who are helping to send students to college these days via scholarships are typically looking for volunteerism, leadership and community involvement in addition to good grades and / or test scores and / or financial need.

What’s the grade point expectation? A common requirement is a 3.0 GPA, which includes a lot more students than just the valedictorians or summa grads.

But there are other criteria you might not expect. These examples from my “scholarship” archives (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/category/college/scholarships/) are for scholarships that have been announced during the past couple of years on behalf of students who are from, or attending college in, southeast Michigan:As I’ve said before:

The scholarship game is not a fair playing field.

It takes a lot of time and effort to fill out those applications.

There is no magic cut-off point where everyone who has a grade point above a certain level gets money for their education.

Whoever sponsors the scholarship money gets to decide where it goes.

There are, however, two ways in which you can build up your chances in getting whatever money that the foundations, sponsors, donors and colleges make available to students in your demographic or geographic area:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: College Solution: 7 things parents should know about study abroad
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 28, 2009, 04:28:18 PM
College Solution: 7 things parents should know about study abroad (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/college-solution-7-things-parents-should-know-about-study-abroad/)
28 December 2009, 4:26 pm

Does your college student’s goals include a study abroad program? If your student is going to take advantage of this opportunity, there will be a lot of logistical and financial details involved in the preparations.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy at College Solutions has this post: Studying Abroad – 7 Things Parents Need to Know. (http://moneywatch.bnet.com/saving-money/blog/college-solution/studying-aboard-7-things-parents-need-to-know/1216/?tag=col1;blog-river)

A snippet:
Start early. Studying overseas requires completing lots of paperwork. The biggest pain for Caitlin was obtaining her student visa from the Spanish Consulate, which required a trek to Los Angeles with her file folder jammed with documents. Caitlin had double and triple checked the items she needed, but the consulate still rejected her initial visa request.

What was Caitlin’s omission?  As instructed, she had brought a statement from our local police department that stated that Caitlin wasn’t a criminal. A consulate worker told her, however, that this letter had to be notarized by government employees with San Diego County and the state of California!
Tip: Stay in very close contact with your college’s study abroad office and / or the study abroad agency representative you are assigned to, and give yourself plenty of time before any applicable deadline to get the documents in order.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Carnival of Personal Finance Dec. 28
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 28, 2009, 08:20:41 PM
Carnival of Personal Finance Dec. 28 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/carnival-of-personal-finance-dec-28/)
28 December 2009, 7:12 pm

Here are some of the posts you’ll find on the Dec. 28 edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance (http://www.gatherlittlebylittle.com/2009/12/the-last-carnival-of-personal-finance-of-the-year/), which is hosted by Gather Little by Little.
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe grocery fliers Dec. 28
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 28, 2009, 08:20:41 PM
Monroe grocery fliers Dec. 28 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/monroe-grocery-fliers-dec-28/)
28 December 2009, 7:25 pm

Hi-Lite Supermarket and Danny’s Fine Foods in Monroe, Mich., run their grocery fliers on Mondays in The Monroe Evening News.Click back a few posts if you want to see the other local grocery specials of the week.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Financially illiterate – or just scraping by?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 29, 2009, 07:24:36 AM
Financially illiterate – or just scraping by? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/financially-illiterate-or-just-scraping-by/)
29 December 2009, 7:21 am

Fox News has a report on a study that looks at the financial knowledge of everyday people: Americans Nearly Flunk Financial Literacy Test. (http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/americans-nearly-flunk-financial-literacy-test/)

At first glance, I thought this report would be an interesting look at the gap between personal finance information that is easily accessible – and families who could use it.

That topic has been a recurring discussion among financial experts. A couple of years ago, in response to a snide comment from a reader about a supposed lack of financial literacy classes for the general public, I made a list of what financial literacy training services and programs (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/how-to-gain-financial-literacy-smarts/) are available in southeast Michigan.

But here’s a snippet from the Fox News article that I think shows a bigger problem:
Most Americans (58%) have no “rainy day” fund to tide them over in the event of a financial emergency such as an unexpected    medical expense. (One rule of thumb is to have enough money to cover 3-6 months worth of living expenses in a savings or money    market account.) The result?  “When a financial crisis hits, they’re not prepared,” says Geri Walsh, vice president of Investor Education at the FINRA Foundation. “They can’t absorb the    impact of a job loss or disability.” That can trigger a deep spiral into debt and even bankruptcy.

Making matters worse, those least likely to have a rainy day fund are those most likely to be hit with a negative    financial shock. As a group, in the past 12 months, individuals who did not have money earmarked for emergency expenses were    one and a half times more likely to have experienced a big drop in income.
In other words, those families have already taken a hit and are now just scraping by.

There is no longer a financial cushion to fall back on because the emergency fund has already been used up, the investments have tanked and the homes aren’t worth as much as they used to be.

Even among the families who had realistic outlooks on the employment situation, who could have possibly predicted financial hits from so many directions? Many of the recovery tricks that are recommended to help families get through individual financial problems can work during a good economy – but just aren’t possible or extremely difficult during a recession.

If you are just scraping by because of a pay cut or other reasons, there are tricks and tips you can use to cut household expenses but still take care of your family. The more wiggle room you can get into your household expenses, the easier it will be to handle the car repairs, replace broken appliances, pay down debt and build an emergency fund.

If you want a list of tips organized by household budget categories, go to my series The Downsized Budget: How and Where to Cut Back. (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/the-downsized-budget-how-and-where-to-cut-back/)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Chat free with a Crown Money Map coach
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 29, 2009, 09:24:54 AM
Chat free with a Crown Money Map coach (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/chat-free-with-a-crown-money-map-coach/)
29 December 2009, 9:07 am

Do you have a question or two about household finances that could be answered via an online chat?

Crown Financial Ministries has a Money Map Coaching service (http://www.crown.org/ForChurch/Solutions/MMCoaching/MMCoachingMain.aspx). In addition to the in-person meetings you can arrange with volunteers, there is also a free online live chat service.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Financial software: How do you pick one?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 29, 2009, 10:32:18 AM
Financial software: How do you pick one? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/financial-software-how-do-you-pick-one/)
29 December 2009, 10:09 am

I started using paper financial workbooks for my household budget in 1990 and upgraded to computer financial records in 1996. I quickly discovered that it is SO much easier to handle household bookkeeping via computer.

My ongoing headache is I lost a lot of data during a hard drive crash some time back, and I decided to recover and rebuild as much as I could. Every time I look at the box of receipts and statements I need to input, I roll my eyes and ask myself:  “What was I thinking when I wanted to rebuild the file?!”

Answer: My husband and I did like having previous years’ financial records to review as needed. I’ll only be missing about four months of data out of 14 years of records when the recovery is done. (I now have an auto-backup system on the computer where those records reside.)

During recent years, a lot of new software products and online services have popped up. Since it is frequently a New Year’s resolution to get finances in order, I will start a series on financial software programs and on-line services so you can see what’s available. Maybe I’ll make some changes or upgrades myself.

But before you pick a financial software or service and spend the time inputting your data, I want you to think about what you might want in such a product or service:Because so many programs and services do exist, I won’t be able to do extensive reviews.

But as I feature each one in the series (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/category/financial-software/), I’ll explain the cost, link to the spec pages, link to reviews when I find them, and point out any special features. And since this is the time of year you can find promotions on many such things, I’ll point out those offers too. If you readers want to suggest a software or service for this series, let me know about it  (paula@monroenews.com)and I’ll look it up.

The bottom line is: once you find a financial system or method that “clicks” with you, you’ll be more likely to use it. And then, it won’t be such a chore to track where your money went.

It will also be a lot easier to make informed decisions on what expenses need to be adjusted when financial circumstances require that.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Financial software: Bento for Mac
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 29, 2009, 03:37:08 PM
Financial software: Bento for Mac (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/financial-software-bento-for-mac/)
29 December 2009, 3:29 pm

I’ll be looking at a variety of personal finance software and services in my financial software series. Random pick for the first feature: Bento for Mac (http://www.filemaker.com/products/bento/index.html).

Bento technically isn’t financial software, it’s organization software. But the financially-reated features include a donation log, equipment inventory, home inventory, job search organization, “my house search, ” home maintenance records, and an expense record.

Bento is now in version 3. Here’s the spec page with details  (http://www.filemaker.com/products/bento-specifications.html)on the downloadable and boxed versions. The cost is $49 for regular version, $99 for family pack, or $20 upgrade for Bento 1 and 2 users. There also is an app for  (http://www.filemaker.com/products/bento/iphone.html)the iPhone / iPod touch devices.

Some reviews:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Financial software: 7 free personal finance software downloads
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 29, 2009, 03:37:08 PM
Financial software: 7 free personal finance software downloads (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/financial-software-7-free-personal-finance-software-downloads/)
29 December 2009, 3:34 pm

Are you looking for comparisons on free personal software download options?

About.com did a roundup at 7 free personal finance software downloads (http://financialsoft.about.com/od/cheapandfreesoftware/tp/Free_Personal_Finance_Software.htm). The featured services include PearBudget and Ace Money Light.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Financial software: Crown Financial Ministries
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 29, 2009, 04:36:41 PM
Financial software: Crown Financial Ministries (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/financial-software-crown-financial-ministries/)
29 December 2009, 3:55 pm

Crown Financial Ministries is a program that I’ve known about it for 20 years, when just the print workbooks and resource books were available under the Christian Financial Concepts banner.

I haven’t used any of CFM’s software. I’ve read the books, listened to the radio show, and accessed the free web resources. But CFM does have a collection of software and online services  (http://www.crown.org/Cart/Individual/Software.aspx)that you can use to keep track of household finances.
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Financial software: Quicken 2010
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 29, 2009, 04:36:41 PM
Financial software: Quicken 2010 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/financial-software-quicken-2010/)
29 December 2009, 4:29 pm

I will tell you up front that I have used Quicken’s Mac products since 1996 – but I really do not like Quicken 2007. It is a way more complicated piece of software now than what I need or want.

That being said, Quicken has a lot of fans. Obviously, it is the right software for a lot of people.

Quicken 2010 for Windows is now available (http://quicken.intuit.com/compare-quicken-personal-finance-software-products.jsp). The price ranges run from $59.99 for “deluxe” to $149.99 for “rental property manager.” If you have been a Microsoft Money software user, you are being “invited” to convert your files (http://quicken.intuit.com/personal-finance-software/transfer-from-microsoft-money.jsp?priorityCode=5301360928&cid=sta_msft_lp) to Quicken 2010. The Quicken Essentials for Mac  (http://quicken.intuit.com/personal-finance-software/mac-personal-financial-software.jsp)is expected for release in February.

Free Money Finance recently wrote Four Things I Like About Quicken (http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2009/12/four-things-i-like-about-quicken.html) and the comment section is pretty good. Fiscal Geek also has a review on Quicken 2010  (http://www.fiscalgeek.com/2009/10/quicken-2010-personal-finance-software-review/)with lots of comments posted there too.

Quicken’s well-known features include tracking expenses, net worth and investments. I found it easy in the older versions to set up household spending reports by month, quarter and by year. When I did my family’s grocery spending analysis for my public speaking engagements, I pulled that data report from Quicken.

A related product is Quicken Home Inventory Manager (http://quicken.intuit.com/personal-finance-software/home-inventory-manager.jsp). I used one of the early versions of that software and I really liked that program.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Free budget forms from Dave Ramsey
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 29, 2009, 08:14:59 PM
Free budget forms from Dave Ramsey (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/free-budget-forms-from-dave-ramsey/)
29 December 2009, 6:56 pm

Dave Ramsey teaches the Financial Peace University (http://www.daveramsey.com/) program and materials.

While you do have to pay for the books and workshops, Dave has some freebies on his web site. Go find the free budget forms (http://www.daveramsey.com/tools/budget-forms/) that you can download and use when working on your family budgets – whether or not you are an FPU student.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Dave Ramsey in Grand Rapids Feb. 25
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 29, 2009, 08:14:59 PM
Dave Ramsey in Grand Rapids Feb. 25 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/dave-ramsey-in-grand-rapids-feb/)
29 December 2009, 7:15 pm

Dave Ramsey from Financial Peace University will give the Total Money Makeover Live program (http://www.daveramsey.com/live/city/city/Grand%20Rapids/date/20100225/) from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday Feb. 25 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Tickets start at $40 per person.

Yes, that is a 3-hour drive for my local readers in the Monroe / Toledo / Detroit region. However, I know some of you might be able to make the trip, especially if you have west Michigan family or friends you could stay with on Thursday night.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: College students: Internship application season is starting
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 29, 2009, 08:14:59 PM
College students: Internship application season is starting (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/college-students-internship-application-season-is-starting/)
29 December 2009, 7:32 pm

College students have a lot to do during the next few weeks: get your taxes done, get your parents to get their taxes done, seek out scholarships, write the scholarship essays, get the scholarship reference letters, file FAFSA, file CSS Profile and any other financial aid paperwork required by your college …

It’s also time to start looking for professional internships for the summer.

If all you want or need for the summer break is a run-of-the-mill summer job to earn some money, this task can probably be put aside for a little while.

But if you want to land the professional / career internship that’s going to be a resume credit, yes, you need to start looking now. My daughter told me today she’s found some internship applications that she will be following up on during winter break – while she is also working on scholarship essays.

Michigan.gov has a Michigan Intern resource page (http://www.michigan.gov/miintern) that includes a resume writing and cover letter tool kit. The site also explains how to use the Michigan Talent Bank to find college internships.

You’ll also want to talk to the academic dean or job placement office at your college soon after January semester starts to look up any postings they have received for students in your major.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What happens when grades aren’t good enough?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 30, 2009, 06:45:01 AM
What happens when grades aren’t good enough? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/what-happens-when-grades-arent-good-enough/)
30 December 2009, 6:37 am

The Monroe Evening News had articles this week about academic eligibility for participating in high school sports in Monroe County, Mich.

Monday’s feature showed what the GPA requirements are locally, and the discussions among parents and administrators on the issue. (http://www.monroenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091228/NEWS01/712289977) The Michigan High School Athletic Association also has rules that apply. Tuesday’s story featured a student athlete who decided to do something about his grades.

While the sports package focuses on keeping students “in the game”, the point I want to make is how important high school and college grades can be for many other reasons:If you are a college student and in danger of losing your eligibility for scholarships or grants because of grades, you need to do whatever it takes to earn those grades.

It’s just as if you are a high school sports participant and in danger of losing eligibility to play because of grades. You need to do whatever it takes to earn those grades.

Ida High School Drew Weiler did just that. A snippet from Tuesday’s story (http://www.monroenews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091229/NEWS01/712299993):
The football game was against longtime rival Dundee, but Ida High School defensive tackle Drew Weiler was on the sidelines wearing only his jersey.

Though he was eager to get in the game, he couldn’t play. He could only watch and cheer his teammates on.

“I wished I was in there,” he said.

It wasn’t injury keeping Drew off the field; it was his grades. He was failing government and English and state rules say that was one class too many. The 17-year-old junior felt terrible, not only for himself, but for his team. Being part of a team is important to him.

“It really made me feel down,” Drew said. “It made me feel like I failed the team.”

He said he felt like he was doing enough academically, but acknowledged he needed to do more. So he did something about it. He worked with a tutor. He stayed after school. He studied with his parents. He worked harder.

After missing two games — against Dundee and Blissfield — Drew was allowed to put on the pads. He went from a 52 percent in English to 67 percent and from 59 percent to 70 percent in government.


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Michigan Tuition Grants fizzling out
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 30, 2009, 08:46:35 AM
Michigan Tuition Grants fizzling out (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/michigan-tuition-grants-fizzling-out/)
30 December 2009, 6:58 am

If you live in Michigan, you’ve heard the headlines in recent months about the Michigan Promise Grant falling apart.

There are other state grants for college funding, and one of them is the Michigan Tuition Grant. That program is meant for financially needy students who are attending private colleges and universities in Michigan. And that grant is also the victim of budget cuts.

The Detroit Free Press has a report today on how the Cut in funding rattles students (http://www.freep.com/article/20091230/NEWS06/912300371/1322/Cut-in-funding-rattles-students) – pointing out that students at Baker College and Davenport University are particularly getting hit hard.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: When paycheck and bill schedules don’t mesh
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 30, 2009, 02:50:34 PM
When paycheck and bill schedules don’t mesh (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/when-paycheck-and-bill-schedules-dont-mesh/)
30 December 2009, 1:43 pm

It would be easy to manage household finances if paycheck cycles meshed with bill cycles.

They don’t.

The paycheck or other income may come once a month, twice a month, once a semester, once every two weeks, once a week, during “the tourist / holiday / business season,” whenever the clients decide to pay you, or any combination of the above.

The bills may come once a quarter, once every six months, once a semester, once a year, once a month, once a week, whenever the kids say “I need $20,” payable whenever a major repair comes up, or any combination of the above.

If you have ever tried to set up a month-to-month household budget plan, and I’ve fiddled with that task over the years, the math can really frustrate the heck out of the family bookkeeper.

Most household budget systems are set up on a month-to-month system. Most financial aid applications ask clients to list their household income and bills either by month or by year. That means when you are looking at that spreadsheet, you need to convert any income and expense amounts that happen on different cycles to the appropriate cycle. For example:Here is another scenario: if you are paid weekly, there will be certain months during the year in which you have five pay cycles instead of four. One of my readers and I were talking about that situation this week.

One way to handle the cash flow is use that fifth-week paycheck to pay for bills that don’t come up every month such as car maintenance and repair, the quarterly water / sewer bill, or Christmas presents. You could also use that fifth week paycheck to stock up on groceries or pay down debt.

What if your income fluctuates or is unpredictable? This has always been applicable to those who are self-employed or work in sales. But the situation is not limited to that audience.

This past year, a lot of Michigan residents had to deal with furloughs and temporary layoffs even if they were technically still employed (result: lower income). Parents who receive child support payments may have to work a household budget around late or missing payments when the other parent has job issues. College students are not able to predict in too far in advance what their summer or part-time income will be during a given year.

Here are some practical tips on how to handle the unpredictable income situation:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Frugal debate exploding on I Pick up Pennies
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 30, 2009, 02:50:34 PM
Frugal debate exploding on I Pick up Pennies (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/frugal-debate-exploding-on-i-pick-up-pennies/)
30 December 2009, 2:40 pm

I Pick Up Pennies has a post that is getting QUITE a bit of comments and links:

What is a “true” frugal blogger? (http://ipickuppennies.blogspot.com/2009/12/what-is-true-frugal-blogger.html)

Part of the discussion focuses on whether she and her husband should spend their rewards points on buying an iPod Touch – or whether those rebates should go to things her family would otherwise spend “real” money on.

My two cents on that point:
If the iPod touch, for example, is used as a tool to help the family save money … why would that be any different than buying the Sunday newspaper to get coupons?


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: College students share their budget-cutting tips
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 30, 2009, 06:52:42 PM
College students share their budget-cutting tips (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/college-students-share-their-budget-cutting-tips/)
30 December 2009, 6:30 pm

Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Ind., invited some of its senior business majors to share their budget-cutting tips with other students (http://www3.saintmarys.edu/headline/financial-resolutions).

A snippet:
“Before the start of each semester set a monthly budget based on what you spent the prior semester and try to identify the areas where you can cut back.”—Amanda Huthwaite ‘10, Little Silver, New Jersey


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Scholarship twitter chat highlights
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 30, 2009, 08:48:29 PM
Scholarship twitter chat highlights (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/scholarship-twitter-chat-highlights/)
30 December 2009, 8:43 pm

If you did not get a chance to check in on Twitter tonight for the personal finance chat hosted by myself and Craig from Budget Pulse, here are some of the tweets I was able to capture and copy off TweetGrid.

We did have issues tonight with not everybody being able to see everybody, which meant I had multiple sites open trying to see and respond to the twitter posts. @budgetpulse was the main host and he is one of the participants whose feeds were not showing up on TweetGrid. I was only seeing him under his other account, @craigkessler. So I looked for the @budgetpulse posts on another viewer and then retweet (RT) so all could see.

It’s not supposed to happen that way. I follow chats on TweetGrid all the time. Then again, sometimes the Internet is funky.

Twitter chats use hashtags, which are computer codes, so that twitter members can follow the conversation they want to see while everyone else is talking about everything else. The hashtag for this conversation was #bp. When you see the @ sign in front of a screen name, that means someone is responding to a post or directing a comment to that screen name.

If you want to get the jist of this .. what you need to do is scroll down to the bottom then read it upwards. It would be too time consuming for me to re-arrange the posts in order.MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): but no matter where you live start first at high school counselor and college financial aid – then branch out to other sources #bp

Wed Dec 30 20:01:53 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): #bp if you live in #michigan I do have state grant and scholarship links on Monroe on a Budget blogMonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): RT @BudgetPulse (http://twitter.com/BudgetPulse): I would like to thank everyone for coming out tonight. Great chat, and everyone have a happy and healthy new year #bp

Wed Dec 30 20:00:22 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): @clarifinancial (http://twitter.com/clarifinancial) haha my daughter would be good as a writer but she wants to work in foreign service #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:59:30 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): #bp Some sponsors host their own awards reception. One event I attended for daughter, she was out of town, she spoke to sponsors by phone

Wed Dec 30 19:59:00 2009clarifinancial (http://twitter.com/clarifinancial): @MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget) If she wants to be a writer, filling them out would be good practice;) #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:58:43 2009Bucksome (http://twitter.com/Bucksome): @MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget) I can’t even remember  back in my day it was so long ago #BP

Wed Dec 30 19:58:31 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): #bp one important detail: if you get a scholarship you need to sent at least a thank you letter out of good manners

Wed Dec 30 19:58:08 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): #bp my daughter during senior year had four or five apps due mid- to late February and she was getting notices in April

Wed Dec 30 19:57:31 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): @BudgetPulse (http://twitter.com/BudgetPulse) Oh this can take weeks. Back in my day I had to apply Dec. 31 for a scholarship that I think was announced April 1. #bpMonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): RT @BudgetPulse (http://twitter.com/BudgetPulse): @MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget) How long do the process usually take to find out if you got a scholarship? #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:55:56 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): RT @BudgetPulse (http://twitter.com/BudgetPulse): @MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget) Wow, earlier than I expected #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:55:48 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): @clarifinancial (http://twitter.com/clarifinancial) Yes good idea. The counselors see the notices as they arrive, one kid or other may be a good candidate #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:55:18 2009clarifinancial (http://twitter.com/clarifinancial): @MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget) Sounds like high school students should build a relationship with counselor to keep tabs on sched coming up. #bpMonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): #bp miss the deadline, you won’t get the money

Wed Dec 30 19:52:24 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): @BudgetPulse (http://twitter.com/BudgetPulse) #bp scholarship apps go up all year round but Jan-April is the busiest time. That means NOW for 2010-2011 school year.

Wed Dec 30 19:52:09 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): RT @BudgetPulse (http://twitter.com/BudgetPulse): Question: What’s the best time of year to look for scholarships? #Bp – PLZ RT

Wed Dec 30 19:51:25 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): #bp If you do a semester or year abroad, the student’s regular college aid might apply anyway

Wed Dec 30 19:50:52 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): #bp ask your study abroad office about those details,.

Wed Dec 30 19:50:26 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): @clarifinancial (http://twitter.com/clarifinancial) #bp yes and a lot of those depend on what country you’ll be studying in.Wed Dec 30 19:49:31 2009clarifinancial (http://twitter.com/clarifinancial): @moneyhighway (http://twitter.com/moneyhighway) Maybe international scholarships are a good idea too. I remember friends from Canada, France, Taiwan. #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:47:13 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): that never happened for my daughter! Everyone asking different questions! #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:38:05 2009clarifinancial (http://twitter.com/clarifinancial): @moneyhighway (http://twitter.com/moneyhighway) Ray, what are some of the more interesting ones you heard of? #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:37:57 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): One scholarship tips book we read was from someone who was able to re-use essays for some of his applications … #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:37:50 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): Many scholarship apps also require an essay. That’s a time-consuming task. … #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:37:21 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): @skduck2003 (http://twitter.com/skduck2003) there’s still competition but yes, chances are much better #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:36:23 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): @clarifinancial (http://twitter.com/clarifinancial) yes you need to look at bottom line when the college award letter arrive #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:35:33 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): RT @BudgetPulse (http://twitter.com/BudgetPulse): @MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget) Because of that kids are intimidated and think its a waste of time #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:34:59 2009skduck2003 (http://twitter.com/skduck2003): @MonroeonABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeonABudget) sometimes those small awards are worth the hassle since many ppl don’t want to put in all the work for them. Less comp. #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:34:49 2009clarifinancial (http://twitter.com/clarifinancial): Usually got good grades but I was never the 4.0 type. The scholarship I got from DePaul was $10k/y! Went to UNC for the lower net cost. #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:34:35 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): #bp @BudgetPulse (http://twitter.com/BudgetPulse) if private scholarship sponsors want to honor promising students who are in financial need, AGI is how that gets determined

Wed Dec 30 19:34:08 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): RT @BudgetPulse (http://twitter.com/BudgetPulse): @MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget) Really? Why would that matter? #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:33:00 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): Yes, wider range of scholarships today than in my day, but here’s the catch: Lot of work to get those $500 and $1,000 awards #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:32:31 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): Something you might not expect is scholarship apps asking for parents AGI from IRS forms. We’ve seen it. #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:31:21 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): my daughter is required to maintain 3.0 GPA to keep her renewable scholarship at her college #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:29:47 2009moneyhighway (http://twitter.com/moneyhighway): there are many different types of scholarships some you’ll need the 4.0GPA but most are not based on gpa only #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:29:38 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): many of the “local” civic club scholarships I see are 3.0 GPA #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:29:28 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): some scholarships are only for the 4.0 / valedictorian / summa grads … but not all #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:29:05 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): RT @skduck2003 (http://twitter.com/skduck2003): @BudgetPulse (http://twitter.com/BudgetPulse), most of the scholarships were flooded with so many applicants *yes that happens #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:28:42 2009clarifinancial (http://twitter.com/clarifinancial): @skduck2003 (http://twitter.com/skduck2003) Good point. I know someone who got money to go to Brown for writing about his idol – Dr. Seuss in the same style. #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:28:10 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): RT @BudgetPulse (http://twitter.com/BudgetPulse): Question 2: Do you have to have a 4.0 to get a scholarship #bp – Plz RT

Wed Dec 30 19:28:08 2009breakingeven (http://twitter.com/breakingeven): Folks, I am off but want to say that college is worth the hassle..here’s hoping for scholarships for all who need them. Happy chatting! #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:27:57 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): @skduck2003 (http://twitter.com/skduck2003) community involvement is BIG right now #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:27:20 2009skduck2003 (http://twitter.com/skduck2003): @BudgetPulse (http://twitter.com/BudgetPulse), most of the scholarships were flooded with so many applicants that it was easy to get passed up for the award  #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:27:08 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): also check with your local civic clubs – some of those scholarships are for hs kids, some are for returning adults #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:26:59 2009skduck2003 (http://twitter.com/skduck2003): @BudgetPulse (http://twitter.com/BudgetPulse) grades were a factor but they also looked at comm involvement (I had), extra curr act (I had) and work experience (I had)..#bp

Wed Dec 30 19:26:35 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): @clarifinancial (http://twitter.com/clarifinancial) find out whether your employer offers tuition assistance, some do #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:26:20 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): HUGE issue in #michigan because 1 state college grant program wiped out this year, another partially funded – state budget cuts #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:25:52 2009clarifinancial (http://twitter.com/clarifinancial): @MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget) Wish I could have found that the second time around. #bp Since high school doesn’t apply, where should they search?

Wed Dec 30 19:25:17 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): RT @skduck2003 (http://twitter.com/skduck2003): I think the big thing with scholarships is standing out from the other applicants – just like getting a job  #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:25:11 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): scholarships come and go every year for whatever reason – the big scholarship I won as hs senior no longer exists #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:24:56 2009skduck2003 (http://twitter.com/skduck2003): I think the big thing with scholarships is standing out from the other applicants – just like getting a job  #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:24:47 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): @skduck2003 (http://twitter.com/skduck2003) I had a 3.6 graduating high school and basically got SOME of my college $ on scholarships #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:24:32 2009CraigKessler (http://twitter.com/CraigKessler): RT @clarifinancial (http://twitter.com/clarifinancial): @MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget) Are there sources for adults going back to school for scholarships? #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:24:22 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): you need to work with your college financial aid office and sometimes state employment agency to get the worker retraining grants #bpskduck2003 (http://twitter.com/skduck2003): @BudgetPulse (http://twitter.com/BudgetPulse), I had the grades and it didn’t seem to help much with scholarships! #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:23:38 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): @clarifinancial (http://twitter.com/clarifinancial) yes especially now in this economy we are seeing a lot of that in #michigan #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:22:49 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): I don’t suggest doing that on purpose because might mess up your graduation goal – defeats purpose to stay extra semester #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:22:31 2009moneyhighway (http://twitter.com/moneyhighway): sorry late tonight #bp what’s the topic?

Wed Dec 30 19:22:10 2009clarifinancial (http://twitter.com/clarifinancial): @MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget) Are there sources for adults going back to school for scholarships? #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:21:58 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): your scholarship is good for that year because you were majoring in it at the time #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:21:52 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): answer to @prosperousfool (http://twitter.com/prosperousfool) and @budgetpulse (http://twitter.com/budgetpulse) most scholarships are a year to year basis, if so … #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:21:34 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): RT @BudgetPulse (http://twitter.com/BudgetPulse): @prosperousfool (http://twitter.com/prosperousfool) But if you switch would you lose the scholarship? #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:20:59 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): RT @prosperousfool (http://twitter.com/prosperousfool): Declare that major to get the grant for that year, and then switch to the major you want. #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:20:44 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): parents – see if  your high school posts those scholarship lists on its web site. My daughter’s HS does. #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:19:53 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): this time of year if  you are a hs senior you really should be checking counselor’s office every week #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:19:30 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): my daughter got one of those – we knew about it from our club representative – I don’t think it’s ever been on a database #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:19:10 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): other scholarships will be made known to club and civic organization members #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:18:41 2009skduck2003 (http://twitter.com/skduck2003): @MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget) agreed!  If HS seniors aren’t looking for award info it can easily be missed!  #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:18:29 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): sponsors and committees will be dropping off their packets at the counselor’s office & are hoping students come pick them up #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:17:54 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): @clarifinancial (http://twitter.com/clarifinancial) those county scholarships / local scholarships are the ones that will be sent to the high schools #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:17:19 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): but it gets lost in the craziness of senior year. What’s more important to student: prom tickets or award apps? #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:16:57 2009clarifinancial (http://twitter.com/clarifinancial): @MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget) My wife just missed the Morehead scholarship, but got a full ride from a county scholarship. #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:16:33 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): @breakingeven (http://twitter.com/breakingeven) Very often I am finding – and this is common among high schoolers – that the info is posted … #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:16:25 2009prosperousfool (http://twitter.com/prosperousfool): Declare that major to get the grant for that year, and then switch to the major you want. #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:16:20 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): @breakingeven (http://twitter.com/breakingeven) in my case I knew what to look for, I had been watching the newspaper scholarship announcements for couple years #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:15:44 2009prosperousfool (http://twitter.com/prosperousfool): I did something for college grants if it may serve to be useful. The “SMART” grant offers up to $4000/yr for specific majors. #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:15:37 2009breakingeven (http://twitter.com/breakingeven): @clarinfinancial (http://twitter.com/clarinfinancial) I could barely remember to bring my books to school, let alone figure out this process! Kids need help in some form. #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:15:31 2009MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget): your most effective approach is thinking local. Your high school office, your college financial aid office. #bp

Wed Dec 30 19:14:38 2009breakingeven (http://twitter.com/breakingeven): @MonroeOnABudget (http://twitter.com/MonroeOnABudget) Does your daughter have help in applying at her school or is this left to parents to help kids navigate the process? #bp

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: USA Today: Laid-off executives struggle to find jobs
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 31, 2009, 07:00:33 AM
USA Today: Laid-off executives struggle to find jobs (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/usa-today-laid-off-executives-struggle-to-find-jobs/)
31 December 2009, 6:34 am

USA Today has this report Laid-off executives struggle to find any job. (http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/employment/2009-12-29-laid-off-executives_N.htm)

A snippet:
Jeff Boose has sent out 300 résumés, mostly for CFO jobs, answered hundreds of online ads and enlisted top executive search firms. He’s come in third place for two spots, second place for four and was the lead candidate for a job that was put on hold.

His main obstacle? “There’s only one CFO position” at a firm.

Meanwhile, so many executives are job hunting that employers are being extraordinarily specific about their requirements. Boose lost out on a CFO job at an ad agency because he didn’t have “interactive media” experience.
Are you surprised that there are 700+ comments on the story?

The point I want to make is that it’s difficult for anyone, in any industry, to find a job right now. Financial recovery tricks for a layoff that were easy to do during a good economy – such as the spouse picking up a second job, transferring your skills to another company, selling the house in order to downsize or move, selling the second or third vehicle, holding a garage sale – don’t necessarily bring quick results when there is a recession.

I’m not so naive as to think the frugal and resourceful living tricks that I write about will get families out of such a mess. They still have to get income back in the house, a health insurance policy on the table, and some financial stability regardless of the income bracket.

I’m just trying to give ideas and tips on how to get a bit of financial breathing room until more permanent solutions are possible.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What is the most frugal thing you learned this year?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on December 31, 2009, 10:30:49 PM
What is the most frugal thing you learned this year? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2009/12/what-is-the-most-frugal-thing-you-learned-this-year/)
31 December 2009, 10:08 pm

The Frugal Village members are discussing: What is the most frugal thing you learned this year? (http://www.frugalvillage.com/forums/showthread.php?t=126832)

My answer to the obvious question: I bought a bread machine at a garage sale and learned how to bake with it. We like that gadget!

My answer to the bigger question: It was an interesting experience adapting Monroe on a Budget content during 2009 to public speaking engagements, community education classes and media interviews or mentions in the Monroe and Toledo areas. These public appearances have really opened my eyes as to what families in the region know – and don’t know – about frugal living and stretching their dollars.

One example: at almost every public appearance I give, at least one person in the audience is surprised to learn that Angel Food Ministries is available to help with their grocery bill. Angel Food has been available in Monroe County, Mich., since at least mid-2007, and has received lots of attention via the area print, broadcast and digital media. I personally learned about it via a front-page story in The Monroe Evening News. How and why could Angel Food stil be a “best kept secret” trick?

On the other hand, I would have never thought of using a coupon binder instead of a coupon box until I saw the binder my friend Candy set up. Now when I’m doing public appearances, I explain both systems of organizing the coupons because I’ve seen that the method that works for me does not make sense to everyone.

I’m constantly on the lookout for new ideas, links and headlines of interest to southeast Michigan families on a budget. So if you have something you’d like to share, feel free to post on a comment board on that topic or email me at paula@monroenews.com.

The third year of Monroe on a Budget starts in January. In the coming year, there will be more public appearances, another community education class, probably more Twitter chats, and yes, lots of headlines, links, and discussions here at the main blog.

I’m hoping we all learn a lot more frugal things in 2010!

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Freezing chopped onions
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 01, 2010, 10:22:55 AM
Freezing chopped onions (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/freezing-chopped-onions/)
1 January 2010, 9:33 am

I got a lot of onions in my December Angel Food Ministries (http://www.angelfoodministries.com) grocery boxes. I keep onions and potatoes in the basement pantry so they do stay fresh for awhile. But I wondered, is there another trick?

As it turns out, yes. You can freeze chopped onions. This technique works for onions that you’d cook into soup, spaghetti sauce or casseroles. It’s not recommended for onion slices you’ll put on burgers.

I just chopped up, bagged and labeled about a quart of onion pieces and — my watering eyes can’t take that it anymore! Normally I have no issues working with onions. But I’m very proud of myself for having learned a new trick.

Here’s the information I found:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Reviving the budget plan for 2010
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 01, 2010, 11:17:29 AM
Reviving the budget plan for 2010 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/reviving-the-budget-plan-for-2010/)
1 January 2010, 11:13 am

There are two ways to interpret my blog theme of “on a budget”:I have done both over the years, but recently my focus has been on the latter. My goal for 2010 is to get back on the former.

This is a huge, huge task. I’m the family bookkeeper, and started with a notebook system that I had set up during my single days. When my husband and I got our first home computer in 1996, I transferred our household financial records to digital format.

I am really NOT a “numbers gal.” My husband isn’t either. We are both technically inclined, but that doesn’t translate to aptitude in accounting. So the computer program was a big help for us in doing the math, running reports and such.

We bought our most recent piece of Quicken software for Mac in 2007. I greatly disliked the upgrades compared to what I had been using. There were many annoyances as I tried to figure out the “new way” to use the software as compared to the preferences and setups I created previously.

Given the circumstances, I was not, shall we say, very motivated to keep up the bookkeeping.

But as per our routine, we kept stuffing the receipts and statements into the designated box that I would pull out and work on from time to time.

Then in spring 2008, we had a computer hard drive crash. At that point, my husband and I had only one computer. My old laptop was not compatible with wireless Internet and I didn’t yet have the laptop I work on now.

Among the items we lost: several months worth of Quicken data. Yes I had backups of the bookkeeping file. The most recent ones were lost during the crash. The off-system backups we could find broke off at about August 2007.

It was possible, since I had not shredded all the 2008 papers yet, to start a new data file and backtrack to Jan. 1, 2008. So that is the decision that was made.

Now, remember the fact that I didn’t really like the software I was working with. The paperwork kept piling up in my box. Every now and then, I’d do some bookkeeping and then put the box away.

I will very likely change over our bookkeeping to a different program or system sometime this year.

I want to be able to track our household spending and compare that to a category-based budget spreadsheet. I also want to balance my checkbook with the help of a computer program. I don’t need or want all the fancy bells and whistles such as tracking investment portfolios by share prices.

But to make a clean break from one system to the next, or even if I stay with my current program, I need to clear out that paperwork box.

And if you want to put your household on a budget plan, you first need to understand where your money is going in the first place. It won’t do any good to build a budget that underestimates grocery expenses or forgets about the kids’ activity fees that come due in the spring or fall.

If you are not already tracking your expenses, then Jan. 1, 2010, is a good day to start.

The accounting box is my main chore for the next couple of days. I’m working / on call for New Year’s weekend so I need to be near a phone, computer and radio. And since the daughter is out of town and my husband has to help his parents with errands this weekend, there really is nothing else on my schedule.

As I was making this post, my husband walked past and he saw the piles of receipts and other paperwork I have all over the dining room table. His reaction: “Fun.”

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Tips on how to start a budget
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 01, 2010, 09:24:40 PM
Tips on how to start a budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/tips-on-how-to-start-a-budget/)
1 January 2010, 9:05 pm

So you want to start a budget, but you don’t have a clue when or how to start?

The eHow site has a collection of startup tips including:Other startup tips can be found at:I also have relevant posts archived under “budgeting” (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/category/budgeting/).

Many household budget methods are little more than an outline or a spreadsheet. You fill in how much money you are actually spending – or expect to spend – in each category or line item.

Some budget methods suggest spending ranges or percentages based on income levels. For example: Dave Ramsey’s Gazelle Budget Lite. (http://www.daveramsey.com/tools/budget-lite/)

You may still have to tinker with exact amounts when you adopt a percentage-based plan. That’s OK. Families have different needs based on age of the household members, cost of living in their communities, debt repayment plans and medical conditions. But the percentage plans are a good starting point.

What expenses should you be looking at? Here is a collection I compiled of Household budget categories (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/the-downsized-budget-how-and-where-to-cut-back/more-household-budget-categories/). Just organize those line items under whatever spreadsheet, software or workbook system you plan to adopt.

It also helps when you have an easy-to-remember starting date. Reason: cash flow tracking, analysis and comparisons are usually done on a monthly, quarter or annual basis.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: iPhone finance apps
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 01, 2010, 10:40:33 PM
iPhone finance apps (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/iphone-finance-apps/)
1 January 2010, 9:58 pm

Got an iPhone? There are financial apps you can download to help you manage your household budget.

Mint.com has some recommendations at 10 iPhone Finance Apps That Count. (http://www.mint.com/blog/finance-core/10-iphone-finance-apps-that-count/)

Another roundup can be found at iPhone Gems: Every Personal Finance Application, Reviewed. (http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/iphone-gems-every-personal-finance-application-reviewed)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe sales fliers Jan. 2
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 02, 2010, 09:30:46 AM
Monroe sales fliers Jan. 2 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/monroe-sales-fliers-jan-2/)
2 January 2010, 9:25 am

It is a fact that grocery and drugstore prices have seasonal swings. There are certain times of the year when peanut butter is on sale. There are certain weeks of the year when laundry soap is on sale.

How do you know when the prices are good on products your family needs and uses?

You know because you watch the prices at your neighborhood stores. While the weekly sales fliers won’t give you all the prices, and sometimes the competiting offers can be confusing, you can certainly watch the trends with the weekly sales fliers.

The Saturday ad stack in my Monroe Evening News this morning (48162 zip code) includes:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Tax season discounts and deals are starting
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 02, 2010, 11:32:54 AM
Tax season discounts and deals are starting (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/tax-season-discounts-and-deals-are-starting/)
2 January 2010, 9:35 am

Whether you have a tax professional or you are a DIY person, you’ll want to know about free and discounted options on services and software.

Yes, I know, you want the taxes done right. But it might cost you a little less than you think to get it done right. Save money where you can!

The notices and ads are just starting for the 2009 tax filing season. I’ll post them as fast as I see them at keyword “taxes.” (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/category/taxes/)

Keep in mind that Monroe on a Budget content is aimed at those who live in and near Monroe, Mich. There will be some national promotions in addition to local ones in the Monroe area. I won’t be posting deals that are meant for people who live elsewhere.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Discounts at Collins Tax Service in Lambertville
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 02, 2010, 11:32:54 AM
Discounts at Collins Tax Service in Lambertville (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/discounts-at-collins-tax-service-in-lambertville/)
2 January 2010, 9:37 am

Collins and Associates Accounting and Tax Service (http://www.collinsaccountingandtax.com) in Lambertville, Mich., has an ad in the January Saving Sense booklet (http://www.monroetalks.com/coupons/index.php) for $30 off income tax preparation for new clients, and also for free income tax preparation for any client’s dependent.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Tax software deals at Staples
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 02, 2010, 11:32:54 AM
Tax software deals at Staples (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/tax-software-deals-at-staples/)
2 January 2010, 9:41 am

The Staples (http://www.staples.com) ad for week of Jan. 3 is listing a variety of deals on tax software. For example:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe community education classes announced
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 02, 2010, 11:34:51 AM
Monroe community education classes announced (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/monroe-community-education-classes-announced-2/)
2 January 2010, 9:55 am

Monroe Public Schools (http://www.monroe.k12.mi.us/) in Monroe, Mich., has the Winter 2010 Community Education schedule now available.

If you wanted to take my coupon / grocery class in the fall, but had a schedule conflict, my very popular Grocery Shopping on a Budget: The 8-Week Plan (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/grocery-shopping-on-a-budget-tips-and-tricks/grocery-shopping-on-a-budget-the-8-week-plan/) is on the schedule for 6 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 10 at Cantrick School in Monroe, Mich. This class fee is only $5 (I’ve seen coupon classes elsewhere priced at $20!).

While I do make the class handout available for free on my blog, the community education classes are helpful because they allow for show-and-tell and discussions. I’ll also bring grab bags of coupons for  you to take home – use just five 50-cent coupons at a double coupon store and you’ve made your money back.

Other MPS classes of interest this semester for budget-minded families:You’ll find the registration fliers in today’s edition of The Monroe Evening News, or stop by the community education office, or go to the school district’s web site (http://www.monroe.k12.mi.us/).

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: God Works adds a dinner in Ottawa Lake MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 02, 2010, 11:34:51 AM
God Works adds a dinner in Ottawa Lake MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/god-works-adds-a-dinner-in-ottawa-lake-mi/)
2 January 2010, 10:01 am

The God Works Family Soup Kitchen (http://www.gwsoupkitchen.com/) program hosts free weekly dinners at churches and other locations across Monroe County, Mich.

All you have to do is show up. There are no questions asked and no income requirements needed. Working families are welcome.

The newest addition to the schedule is Thursday at Crossroads Community Church on Sylvania-Petersburg Rd., Ottawa Lake, Mich. Details are in today’s edition  (http://mpweb.sx.atl.publicus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100102/NEWS01/701029953)of The Monroe Evening News.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: What’s for dinner? Frozen dinner glop :(
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 02, 2010, 06:39:11 PM
What’s for dinner? Frozen dinner glop :( (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/whats-for-dinner-frozen-dinner-glop/)
2 January 2010, 6:17 pm

The word for dinner is: Bleh.

I am working this weekend at The Monroe Evening News. During the work week, I go home for lunch; but that option is not possible when I work the evening shift. I have to bring or buy my dinner on those days.

Last night I brought some homemade beans and ham soup and some pumpkin bread. It wasn’t one of my better batches of beans and ham, but it was OK.

Today, for a change in taste, I decided to poke around my freezer and see what frozen dinners are in there. I usually keep two or three frozen dinners and a frozen pizza handy. We don’t eat  frozen individual dinners very often – but, they are handy on occasion.

If I didn’t bring my dinner to work, there’s almost always a fast-food run among the night crew. But I save that option for rare occasions.

My dinner was supposed to be corn, mashed potatoes, and a chicken-fried gravy beef patty.

The gravy was pretty good.

The rest, well, bleh.

I’ll be sure to cook something decent for dinner tomorrow.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Dana Massing: Clipping coupons pays off
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 02, 2010, 09:08:48 PM
Dana Massing: Clipping coupons pays off (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/dana-massing-clipping-coupons-pays-off/)
2 January 2010, 8:36 pm

Dana Massing has an article at GoErie.com (Erie PA) called Clipping coupons pays off. (http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100102/OPINION07/301029966/-1/OPINION)
I don’t buy something just because I have a coupon for it. However, if there’s a new product I want to try, I’ll often wait until I have a coupon. That way, if I don’t like the product, I haven’t wasted quite as much money.And if a coupon requires me to buy “two or more” of something, I only do it if all the items won’t spoil before I can use them.About a year ago, I began tracking how much I saved with coupons, setting the cash aside for something special. The amount surprised even me.


Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: How can you track your coupon savings?
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 02, 2010, 09:08:48 PM
How can you track your coupon savings? (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/how-can-you-track-your-coupon-savings/)
2 January 2010, 8:59 pm

Do you ever wonder how coupon queens manage to tell you how much money they have saved on coupons?

It’s really quite easy to track, but I didn’t start it until two years ago. Duh! I figured out how to do that accounting trick about four years earlier when my daughter needed to report for a fundraiser how much money we got back at the Michigan bottle deposit machines.

If you are tracking your grocery expenses with a household budgeting software or accounting system, this is how you do it.Then do a “split transaction” or a second line item as your system is set up for:Did you catch the minus sign on the coupon entry?

You might instead list it in red or in parantheses, if that’s how your program works: ($4.20).

The bottom line is that you spent $45.01, but took home $49.21 worth of groceries.

So now when you download your grocery expense reports, you’re going to see a mix of positive and negative numbers. The positive number will be how much the retail value was in groceries. The negative number will be your coupon savings. Subtract the negative number from the positive number and you’ll see what you actually spent (which is the figure that you’re probably used to tracking).

Now here is the catch: each retail store has a different way of listing its coupon savings and promotions on its receipts. You will have to get used to how  coupons are reported by your favorite stores. The percentage-off calculations that some stores do are fun to look at, but may not give you the amount that you are looking for.

But this is just a line item to add up when you are inputting the receipts. Many people who track their expenses already scan through shopping receipts to divide out medical expenses, clothing or household supplies from the groceries.

I personally do not count the sale prices or 2-for-1 deals as “coupon savings” when I do my bookkeeping. That’s just the price of the day in my opinion.

In order to be listed on my “coupon savings” line item, it has to be a discount that I made an extra effort to get: such as cutting out a coupon, downloading a deal to my shopper card, or giving the drugstore cashier a rebate check.

If you can save just $30 a month via coupons and rebates, what else would you spend that money on?

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Five stacks of Sunday paper coupons today
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 03, 2010, 08:39:26 AM
Five stacks of Sunday paper coupons today (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/five-stacks-of-sunday-paper-coupons-today/)
3 January 2010, 8:35 am

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/jan2010coupons.jpg) (http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/jan2010coupons.jpg)

Did you find this in your Sunday newspaper?

This is a photo of what was in my home-delivery edition of The Monroe Evening News: one General Mills, two RedPlum and two SmartSource coupon books.

I also found five coupon books in my home-delivery edition of the Detroit Free Press and saw some chatter on Twitter yesterday that coupon clippers in other communities also were expecting five coupon books.

If you are just starting on a coupon clipping routine or need to restock your supplies, go buy a newspaper or two or three today. Local readers: You know what I’m talking about. The Monroe, Detroit and Toledo newspaper markets overlap in our area. You won’t have any trouble buying more than one newspaper on one stop.

A word to the wise: Do NOT buy your newspapers in vending machines if you are in search of coupons. You don’t know who was messing with those newspapers before you arrived.

You want to walk INSIDE a grocery store, carry-out or drugstore to get your single copy papers with coupons. Don’t procrastinate. As soon as customers realize there is a bundle of coupons in the papers today, they’ll fly fast.

If your newsstand sells out, the next best option for my local readers is during the business hours this week, go to the Evening News office on Front Street. We sell back issues of the newspapers on a first-come, first-served basis.

Now, what do you do with all those coupons?

I have lots of coupon tips (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/category/groceries/coupon-tips/) in my blog archives.

And if you want to get savings in a hurry on a plan that uses coupons and non-coupon tricks, go to my Grocery Shopping on a Budget: The 8-Week Plan. (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/grocery-shopping-on-a-budget-tips-and-tricks/grocery-shopping-on-a-budget-the-8-week-plan/) If you use my checklist, Jan. 3 would be Month 1, Week 1.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe MI sales fliers Jan. 3
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 03, 2010, 09:48:22 AM
Monroe MI sales fliers Jan. 3 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/monroe-mi-sales-fliers-jan-3/)
3 January 2010, 9:39 am

Throughout the week, I feature grocery, drugstore and discount store fliers for the Monroe, Mich., area. Those are the stores that my local readers on a budget are most likely to be shopping at.

I have not gone through the coupon stack in today’s paper yet to see what the matches are. But you do want to clip and sort those coupons as fast as possible so they are ready for your shopping errands. Besides, if there is no coupon match to a sale this week, you may find one another week.

All sales and deals posts I make are from The Monroe Evening News except where otherwise noted. I get home delivery both on Monroe News and the Detroit Free Press. Today’s stack:The Monroe ad stack also includes Sears, Best Buy, Physicians Mutual Insurance, Menards (note the fill-a-bag sale), Durochers and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

I am not finding a Kmart ad in my Monroe paper – I don’t know if that was on purpose or if I was the victim of a stuffing mistake.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Info nights for Monroe County Middle College
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 04, 2010, 02:08:57 PM
Info nights for Monroe County Middle College (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/info-nights-for-monroe-county-middle-college/)
4 January 2010, 2:06 pm

This post is for my readers in Monroe County, Mich., who have a junior high school student in the family:

Monroe County, Mich., students who are now in eighth grade and their parents  are invited to information nights about the Monroe County Middle College  (http://www.misd.k12.mi.us/departments/curriculum/middlecollege/)concept.

The curriculum, which starts in ninth grade, leads to both a high school diploma and opportunity to earn transferable college credit hours in the health sciences.

The following sessions start at 6:30 p.m.:For information, call principal Robert Krueger at 242-5799, ext. 1338 or go to the Middle College web site (http://www.misd.k12.mi.us/departments/curriculum/middlecollege/).

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Hi-Lite and Danny’s sales fliers Jan. 4
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 04, 2010, 06:08:31 PM
Hi-Lite and Danny’s sales fliers Jan. 4 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/hi-lite-and-dannys-sales-fliers-jan-4/)
4 January 2010, 5:41 pm

Hi-Lite Supermarket and Danny’s Fine Foods in Monroe, Mich., run their grocery ads on Mondays in The Monroe Evening News.
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Freep: Reinvention is the new employment
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 04, 2010, 08:08:52 PM
Freep: Reinvention is the new employment (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/freep-reinvention-is-the-new-employment/)
4 January 2010, 6:26 pm

The Detroit Free Press had a Cover Story report Sunday on a metro Detroiter who is going back to college for her master’s degree when her job market fell apart.

The main piece: Reinvention is the new employment. (http://www.freep.com/article/20100103/FEATURES01/1030329/Reinvention-is-the-new-employment)

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Eating from the pantry to keep your grocery bills down
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 05, 2010, 07:44:52 AM
Eating from the pantry to keep your grocery bills down (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/eating-from-the-pantry/)
5 January 2010, 7:00 am

When you get started on money-saving grocery tricks, you’ll find a lot of references to stockpiling and pantries.

The reason is you want to stock up on favorite items when the prices are low. This trick helps get your average grocery expenses down, as compared to buying product when the prices are high.

The other reason is that this is a disaster / emergency planning technique. Such a situation doesn’t have to be a national emergency: I stock up on groceries ahead of time when I know my husband’s workplace will be on shutdown. He gets only unemployment benefits when he’s off of work, and that drop in income throws our cash flow off for the duration.

I also recommend you eat what you have during the first week of my Grocery Shopping on a Budget: The 8-Week Plan (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/grocery-shopping-on-a-budget-tips-and-tricks/grocery-shopping-on-a-budget-the-8-week-plan/) so you stay out of the grocery stores until you are better prepared to look for and pick up the deals.

Apparently, January is a popular time of year to clear out the grocery inventories if the stockpile is getting too far ahead of your family’s routine needs. Keep in mind: groceries have a shelf life and it’s pretty unpleasant to have spent all that money and have the food go bad before you can eat it up.

Hillbilly Housewife is asking her readers to join a discussion on that topic  (http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/blog/?p=2568)and also to go The Menu Mom, who has thrown out a challenge! ( (http://www.themenumom.com/eating-from-the-pantry-freezer-challenge)I like the photo caption that says “the upstairs pantry my 14-month-old empties every 20 minutes.”

(http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/pantry1.jpg) (http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u312/monroemouse/pantry1.jpg)Do you not have a pantry? I technically don’t either. The kitchen holds only my everyday things and there are no built-in shelves in the basement like my sister has at her house.

So I made my pantry area out of an old bookshelf and an old desk that are no longer in use. Here’s a photo I took awhile back of my bookshelf area. When we redo the basement (someday …), we’ll get some shelving installed.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Simple Dollar: How the average American spends money
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 05, 2010, 09:40:54 AM
Simple Dollar: How the average American spends money (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/simple-dollar-how-the-average-american-spends-money/)
5 January 2010, 8:15 am

Trent at the Simple Dollar has found a informational graphic that shows  (http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2010/01/04/how-the-average-american-family-spends-their-income-and-how-to-trim-it/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+thesimpledollar+(The+Simple+Dollar))what Americans are spending their money on. His readers, who include a lot of personal finance bloggers, are already dissecting and analyzing the data.

Trent will be using this piece as the basis for a series on how to cut household expenses in every category. If you are not already an e-mail subscriber to his blog, you may want to do that in order to catch all his posts.

I did a similar project about a year ago based on the Crown Financial Ministries  (http://www.crown.org)household budget plan. Go to the Downsized Budget: How and Where to Cut Back  (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/the-downsized-budget-how-and-where-to-cut-back/)for my tips and a post that shows how the CFM budget would work for a median income family in Monroe County, Mich.

And Brian J. O’Connor at the Detroit News recently had a series called The Grand Experiment (http://www.detnews.com/article/20091228/OPINION03/912280306/Grand-Experiment--Refinancing-founders--but-boat-floats-savings) in which he detailed his efforts to get $1,000 in savings from his family budget.

Any or all of these cost-cutting analysis reports will be helpful resources as you set up your family budget for 2010.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Ellie Kay live chat 4 p.m. Jan. 8
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 05, 2010, 09:40:54 AM
Ellie Kay live chat 4 p.m. Jan. 8 (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/ellie-kay-live-chat-4-p-m-jan-8/)
5 January 2010, 8:27 am

Ellie Kay, a family financial expert  (http://www.elliekay.com/)who is well-known in military family circles, will host a live chat  (http://www.livestream.com/WaterBrookMultnomah)at 4 p.m. EST Friday Jan. 8.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: NCN’s financial spring cleaning
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 05, 2010, 09:40:54 AM
NCN’s financial spring cleaning (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/ncns-financial-spring-cleaning/)
5 January 2010, 9:12 am

The No Credit Needed blogger has made a list of financial spring cleaning tasks. (http://www.ncnblog.com/2010/01/04/a-little-financial-spring-cleaning/)

To follow up on his list:
Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Monroe Thrift Shop January specials
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 05, 2010, 10:05:08 AM
Monroe Thrift Shop January specials (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/monroe-thrift-shop-january-specials/)
5 January 2010, 9:30 am

This post is for my readers in and near Monroe, Mich. I also have a list of all the area thrift shops  (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/thrift-shops-in-the-monroe-area/)as one of my sidebars.

The Monroe Thrift Shop, 119 S. Monroe St., Monroe, Mich., is continuing a half off sale on all Christmas items and winter clothing for men, women and children. This sale does not include household items, jewelry, vintage clothing or books.

The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, closing at 1 p.m. Tuesdays. The shop is a volunteer group with all proceeds going back to the community through charitable donations.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Free kids’ clothing shop in Erie MI
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 05, 2010, 10:15:29 AM
Free kids’ clothing shop in Erie MI (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/free-kids-clothing-shop-in-erie-mi/)
5 January 2010, 10:13 am

This post is for my readers who live in the Mason Consolidated School District  (http://www.eriemason.k12.mi.us/)in and near Erie, Mich.

The Mason Middle School Parent-Teacher-Student Association has started an assistance project called the Eagles Extras shop.

You’ll find the details in the school district newsletter that was mailed out to area residents this week (we got our copies today at The Monroe Evening News – the current issue is not yet up on the district web site (http://www.eriemason.k12.mi.us/actionnewsletter.php).)

Mason Consolidated School District students in all grades and their parents may visit the portable building on the Middle School campus, 2400 Lakeside Dr., Erie, on a confidential basis to choose coats, shoes, accessories, backpacks, pajamas, dental hygiene and laundry soap. Families who wish to use the services should contact their school building principal or counselor to make arrangements.

In the meantime, donations are requested in care of the school offices of gently used clothing in sizes 5 to young adult and also of laundry soap and personal care products.

Several current and former PTSA members are involved in this effort.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: The Money Crashers 2010 New Year’s giveaway
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 05, 2010, 01:55:20 PM
The Money Crashers 2010 New Year’s giveaway (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/the-money-crashers-2010-new-years-giveaway/)
5 January 2010, 1:37 pm

If you go to my speaking appearances or community education classes in Monroe, Mich., you know that I usually provide grab bags of coupons. Furthermore, my frugal blogging friends in Toledo provide goodie bags as door prizes (products bought with the help of coupons) at their / our joint appearances.

But I haven’t done any giveaways from my blog.

First reason: I don’t have any fun swag to give away. No books, no coupon organizers, no cash in my marketing budget.

Second: I haven’t figured out how I would handle the logistics to do even a sponsored giveaway! I get a headache just thinking about that.

But I have, on occasion, pointed people to giveaways and contests elsewhere. Here’s a very interesting one:

The Money Crashers site has announced its 2010 New Year’s giveaway (http://www.moneycrashers.com/new-year-2010-giveaway-bash/).

This is a random draw contest. You earn entry points by tweeting, posting on your blog, becoming a Money Crashers fan on facebook or sign up for an e-mail list.

As I’m looking over the rules, it looks like I’m already eligible for the drawing through a couple of directions. Reason: I am quite involved with personal finance social media, especially the PF blogger community on Twitter. So I may as well also tell my blog readers about the contest.

Now, while I was not able to sponsor a prize myself, I will tell you there is a VERY impressive list with more than 100 prizes: Cash, iPods, gift cards, financial software and financial books.

So now you know what some of my friends in the PF community are doing this month. Be sure to thank your prize sponsor if you win something.

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: Now that you have the household budget numbers …
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 05, 2010, 03:08:57 PM
Now that you have the household budget numbers … (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/now-that-you-have-the-household-budget-numbers/)
5 January 2010, 2:43 pm

Are you looking at your household expenses for 2009 and thinking about your 2010 budget? Yes, a lot of people are doing that this month!

Mike at Gather Little by Little explains his 4 moves to achieve your financial goals. (http://www.gatherlittlebylittle.com/2010/01/budget-for-2010-4-moves-to-achieve-your-financial-goals/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+GatherLittleByLittle+(Gather+Little+By+Little))

Source: Monroe on a Budget (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget)

Title: Monroe on a Budget: January sale at Humane Society thrift shop
Post by: BlogsMonroe.com on January 05, 2010, 04:18:35 PM
January sale at Humane Society thrift shop (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/2010/01/january-sale-at-humane-society-thrift-shop/)
5 January 2010, 3:41 pm

This post is for my readers in and near Monroe, Mich. I also have a sidebar that lists all the area thrift shops (http://www.blogsmonroe.com/budget/thrift-shops-in-the-monroe-area/).

The Humane Society of Monroe County’s Thrift Shop in Monroe Factory Shops, 14500 LaPlaisance Rd., suite B50, Monroe, Mich., has announced a half-off sale all Chri