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Deals That Are Nifty by Sister Thrifty: February 2006

Deals That Are Nifty by Sister Thrifty

Great Steals and Deals around town and online to save you the big bucks and help you keep more of your hard-earned money!

Friday, February 24, 2006


Hi everyone!
I just discovered If you need to get an auto emission test you can enter your zip code and print out a coupon to save money off your test at a site in your area!

Do you use Netflix? It’s a subscription movie service that allows members to order movies online. There is a monthly fee based on your movie plan, whether you want 2, 3, or 4 movies at a time. The company had been adding people left and right until they got sued. Now, the company is concerned about the almighty dollar and has decided to punish people who are getting a good deal on the system. It has a very simple business model. If you’re lazy and you don’t watch the movies and send them back, you aren’t getting your money’s worth. If you watch them and send them back fairly often, you definitely get your money’s worth. Netflix has decided to punish people who really try to get a good deal and crank through movies super fast. If you send back the movies too quickly, the company will degrade your service and send the movies more slowly. The company has also decided to stop the “unlimited” service. If you’re getting too many movies in a month, you will be cut off. Jeez Louise! If you're interested in the convenience of getting your rentals by mail and would like the additional service of having a movie "cleaned up" (cut out sex scenes, violence, potty mouths) check out Clean Films at

Would you rather go to school or jail? What should happen to you if you bounce a check and it doesn’t get paid? Well, in most states you go to jail. But this sometimes accidental crime is clogging up the court system. As a result, more than a dozen states have started “bad check writing schools.” Instead of going to jail, you go to school. You go to class and learn basic money management. Supposedly the amount of bad checks written declined significantly after going to these schools. Of course, it will take more time and independent surveying to determine for sure. I think it's a great idea. Some people simply never learn how to balance a checkbook. But it’s never too late!

My cousin wrote in with a simple, but effective tip: always ask the salesman "Is this the best you can do?" You'll be surprised how many times the price will drop! Good going, Jodie! :)

Years ago the government printed out consumer pamphlets you could buy with tips on all kinds of things. Now you can read the information online for free! Check out for "66 Ways To Save Money."

GREASE CUTS GREASE. If you have that sticky, greasy film on your range hood or anywhere else that only seems to get worse when you try to clean it with conventional products, this works perfectly and inexpensively: Take a paper towel and wet it with vegetable oil. Wipe over the sticky greasy area and it will come right off. After you remove the stuck-on grease you can clean the surface with a regular kitchen cleaner.
Alrighty, that's probably enough for today. I hope you and your families are happy, healthy, and enjoying all those pennies you're saving! :)

Sister Thrifty

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Auto auctions

Hi gang! Check out the new Sister Thrifty logo designed by my son and niece at

Lisa Vish from Georgia is one of my favorite people in the world. She sent in this great tip: Each week you can go on and see the shopping deals for your state at your favorite grocery store and match up the coupons. Thanks sweetie pie! (To be said with a southern drawl.)

If you're thinking about buying a car from a dealer, think again. Last weekend I saved a bundle on a 2005 vehicle I bought at auction. The people I was bidding against were dealers. Most of the cars are almost new and in great condition. Rental car companies like to use new cars and then sell them at auction before the warranty expires so that they don't have to mess with repairs. The car I bought only has 11,000 miles on it! If you're interested in learning how to do this, just let me know and I'll give you more details!

Speaking of cars, new little cars are coming into the market and you’re going to like what they can do. Honda, Toyota and Nissan all have new “smart” models in production, and all get about 40 miles per gallon. American automakers are years away from getting into this market, so they’re shaking in their boots. These cars won’t be very pretty, but they will seat four people and get you around town in a jiffy. Nissan is offering the “Versa,” which gets 38 mpg and costs between $12,000 and $15,000. Honda’s model is the “Fit,” which gets about 35 mpg and costs $13,000. The Toyota “Yaris” gets 37 mpg and starts at $11,500. Keep an eye out for them all!

How would you like to travel anywhere in America and surf the Web for free? That is a promise coming from three companies: Skype, Fon and Google. The three have set up a joint venture that allows you to share your Internet access with member of a co-op and vice versa. If you’re a member, you enter all of the cities where you’ll be and the system spits back locations where you can get access. Thousands of people are signing up every day. The network is called “Linus” and it’s named after the man who invented the Linus operating system. That system is free. The other option is to join the “Bill” network, which costs money and is named after Bill Gates. To learn more about it, go to and sign up. You’re going to see this all over the world because it just makes too much sense.

I want you to be aware of a dangerous, new phishing scam out there that purports to be from the National Credit Union Administration. It targets people who are members of credit unions and it looks very official. Not only are the graphics very real looking, but the link in the e-mail looks real too. You NEVER want to update your information or your accounts through an e-mail. Always go to the Web site itself or call the organization.

Ok, who has the guts to send the following letter to the IRS?...
Subject: Dear Internal Revenue Service
Enclosed you will find my 2005 tax return showing that I owe $3,407.00 in taxes. Please note the attached article from USA Today, dated 12 November, wherein you will see that the Pentagon (Department of Defense) is paying $171.50 per hammer and NASA has paid $600.00 per toilet seat.
I am enclosing four (4) toilet seats (valued @ $2,400) and six (6) hammers (valued @ $1,029), which I secured at Home Depot, bringing my total remittance to $3,429.00. Please apply the overpayment of $22.00 to the "Presidential Election Fund," as noted on my return. You can do this by sending them one (1) 1.5" Phillips Head screw (see aforementioned article from USA Today newspaper detailing how H.U.D. pays $22.00 each for 1.5" Phillips Head Screws). One screw is enclosed for your convenience.
It has been a pleasure to pay my tax bill this year, and I look forward to paying it again next year. Sincerely, A Satisfied Taxpayer

Have a great week!
CENTSerely,Sister Thrifty

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Valentine's ideas

Hi gang!
February is Museum Month so be sure to check out your local museums...most museums and art institutions througout the country will open their doors at half price.

The Harlem Globetrotters are at it again. Check out their web site for when they'll be in a town near you. If you have a child who was born in the year 2000 he/she will receive a free ticket for life when you sign them up on-line!

So, I was shopping at Costco the other day...I really should say "eating my way through the store"...I love those food samples, but I digress. I saw that an item I wanted was on sale but I forgot to bring my Costco coupons with me (I know, me of all people forgetting to bring a coupon! Outrageous!) so I went up to the Customer Service desk and asked for one. Did you know they always have big envelopes full of their coupons just for forgetful and thrifty shoppers like me? Now you know! :)

You can get huge savings on life insurance these days. The best kind is level term insurance, which allows you to buy coverage for a certain amount of time. You hope that it never pays off and that you outlive your policy. But if it does your family members are set. In the Allentown Morning Call newspaper, which publishes a lot of great consumer articles, there is a report that shows that term policies have dropped by 50 percent over the past 10 years. So, if you took out a policy in the mid ‘90s or even early in the 21st century, you can replace your policy for a much lower price. Why have prices dropped so much? The first reason is because of the Internet. The second reason is because people are living longer and outliving their policies. So, reshop your policy and you could pay much less each month. You definitely want to buy only from companies rated either A+ or A++ by A.M. Best, and be sure to run away if someone tries to suggest variable life or universal life insurance.

Love is in the air.....Time to get ready for Valentine's Day! Here are a few romantic websites with tons of ideas for gifts and ways to show your honey how much you care:
And that's just the tip of the cupid iceberg! There are TONS of web sites like that out there! Amazing, huh. Here's a onto one of those sites on your husband's computer and leave it there so it's staring at him for one big hint. I decorated our kitchen table with lots of hearts and Valentine's stuff (early, I know) and when my hubbie came home he nearly had a heart attack (not literally) because he thought it was already February 14th and he had forgotten to get me something. How's that for a subtle hint? ark I'm just trying to get his romantic ideas churning. Honey, if you're reading this....I was talking about that other husband. :)

If you're going to send flowers on Valentine's day and want to order from FTD, ProFlowers or another online company, first go to's called My Points and you earn free stuff for simply clicking on web sites or when you buy things. I've been using it for years and have earned tons of cool, free stuff!

If you're thinking about giving your loved one a great book for Valentine's Day, check out the great bargains up to 75% off at the Spring Creek Books outlet at

That'll do ya for today. Have a great weekend!
Sister Thrifty

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