Thursday, September 30, 2010

What's a Girl to do ?

A LOT in Charlottesville!  Each Thursday I'll list several events upcoming this week that I'm interested in attending.  Hope to see you there!  (thanks Cindy for several of these tips)

  • Antiques Show at the Holiday Inn University area - FRIDAY, $8, 8am-6pm,  to get in.  Reputable appraisers will be charging discounted fees as a fundraiser.  One item is $10 and 3 items are $25 (an appraiser can charge $200/hour).
  • First Friday Art Gallery tour around the downtown mall area - FRIDAY, FREE, begins at 5pm (includes hors d'oeuvres and wine)!
  • Newcomers Club "coffee group" - FRIDAY, FREE, 9:30 am, Coffee at Maggie's home - me and my newbie peeps going - email me if you are a C'ville newcomer for more details.
  • First Saturday Bird Walk - SATURDAY, FREE, 7:30am - Ivy Creek Natural Area, Earlysville Rd, Walk with the Monticello Bird Club.
  • Photography Walk - SATURDAY, FREE, 10am - Ivy Creek Natural Area, Earlysville Rd, Bring your camera.  Call 434-465-1509 if interested.
  • Monarchs on the Move - SUNDAY, FREE, 3pm - Ivy Creek Natural Area, Earlysville Rd, Hands on Monarch release.
  • 1st Annual Community Garden Bike Tour of Charlottesville - SUNDAY, $10 "benefit", 1pm - Tour via your bike five Charlottesville community gardens. Meet at the Bridge PAI, and finish there with good food courtesy of Slow Food Albemarle-Piedmont, cold beverages, door prizes and socializing.
- Rebecca

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Coupon Crazy

Being unemployed, I wanted to participate in some way to the family household finances.  I wasn't contributing to income but I could save on what we spent each month.  I started looking at the basics - what do we HAVE to consume each month.  Mostly food and gas, a night out every now and then, medical and pet care, and time with friends.  The last three items were not going to change but the first item, especially food, could be drastically improved. 

There is a wealth of information online about couponing and deals.  It's taken me about 3 months of study, trial and error, and many shopping trips to understand the system.  Each Sunday my back porch becomes "coupon central", cutting and filing coupons from the local newspaper.  I've even "dumpster dived" in the recycling bin at Whole Foods and horrified my husband by stealing a box of newspapers from the neighbors curbside recycle bin!  A Tidy Cat Litter or a Party Mix coupon is worth diving for in my household!  During the week I print coupons from various websites online and get deals in my email inbox.

Over the last several months I've gotten the following items free:  50 photo prints, Olive Oil, Cat Treats, Dog Treats, M&M's, Allergy meds, Vitamins, Peanut Butter, Jelly, 7th Generation Dishwasher Detergent, Yogurt, Box Envelopes, Mailing Boxes, Worcester Sauce, Chinese Food, Quaker Oats, Soup, Beans, Guacamole, Candy Bars, Cereal samples, Starbucks pastries, and more.  I've gone from spending $75.00 a grocery trip to $10.00!  It's CRAZY.

I met a local couponer rummaging through her large coupon book at Harris Teeter and now we trade coupons and chat about our amazing deals!  I recently joined the Newcomers Club - Saving Money 101 group that currently has about ten members. The popularity of couponing is on the rise because of the economic downturn.

HOW TO GET STARTED:  The first step to saving is to learn your frequently visited store policies.  The "hot" stores with the best deals that are the easiest to work with are Harris Teeter, CVS, Kroger, and Publix.  We don't have a Publix here but there are a lot of published deals online.  Harris Teeter has the best coupon program for a grocery store in our area.  Teeter will "match" your coupon up to .99 AND every 6 weeks or so they have something called SUPER DOUBLES where they match coupon face values up to $1.99.  Which means if you give them a coupon for $1.50 they will take $3.00 off your item during super doubles week!  Kroger will match coupons up to .50.  No other stores in my area will match so I typically shop at Teeter and Kroger.  Did you know that if Kroger over charges you for an item, they will pay you DOUBLE the price of the item for their mistake!  If you're a senior, most stores have a discounted "senior shopping day".

With some good planning, you can structure your shopping to get the best deals and save your dollars for something more interesting than a jar of nuts!  Email me or post a comment if you need help getting started.

Watch my blog and you'll see more shopping deals and tips!


Check out more deals with coupons

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Nosferatu at the Paramount Theater

Last evening my husband and I went to the Paramount Theater and saw the 1922 German Dracula adaptation, Nosferatu. The silent film was accompanied by the Reel Musuc Ensemble, a group dedicated to creating music scores for silent films.  Five musicians playing one of three instruments, a cello, violin or piano, mesmerized 250 film-goers.  It was a very entertaining production and a standing ovation was given at the end for the musicians.  It was indicated to us that it was a really good turnout for a Monday night!

I had not seen Nosferatu since my college film class days, many years ago.  It is a wonderfully creepy film that often generated laughs in the crowd due to the sporadic fast motion camera quirk's and low-tech "rough cut" gags such as coffin lids closing "on their own".  

More frightening films are coming to the Paramount in October.  If you have not seen the original Bela Lugosi Dracula -- I'll see you there on the 25th at 7.   Checkout what's coming next to our wonderful non-profit theater in Charlottesville, Va.

- Rebecca

Monday, September 27, 2010

Welcome to Forsythia Hill

I'm very fortunate to live in scenic Virginia where many trees and shrubs dot the hillsides.  This is our lovely view from our back porch where I do most of my reading during the warmer months.  I'm a research freak when it comes to plants, having many books on hand to do just that!
My husband, myself, and six pets recently moved to this area after living in Southwest Virginia for 20 years in my family home built in 1932.  It was one of the saddest days of my life to move but nothing is "forever" - new paths can be forged and old memories saved.  I've turned a new leaf which has allowed me to return to my love of nature, growing plants, and photographing anything that appears in my garden.  

Forsythia is a tough plant that can be found in nearly every "old" garden in the South.  It is a plant that reminds me of my family home and also encircles our new home with masses of blooms in the Spring.  It dots the roadway into our neighborhood and is such a wonderful vibrant welcome to Spring. 
A perfect plant to welcome you to my blog!

I hope you will follow my blog each day and possibly discover something NEW.  I promise to keep it short and sweet. My postings in general will encompass nature, pets, money saving tips, and events.  

Watch my blog to see when my newest venture opens,
Items will be listed on my blog once the shop is up and running.

- Rebecca
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