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Deals That Are Nifty by Sister Thrifty: February 2007

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!

Monday, February 26, 2007

2/26/07 newsletter

Buying a vacuum cleaner these days can be confusing and overwhelming with so many brands and models to choose from. Three cheers for Consumer Reports who just made shopping for your next vacuum much easier. And they have good news for us too…the top vacuum out there costs just $150. It's a Eureka and it's CR's "Best Buy." People will pay up to $400 for a vacuum cleaner, but the affordable Eureka brands are the second most reliable out there. The Boss Smart Vac Ultra 4870 model had the highest rating for cleaning carpet and bare floors. It also got the highest rating for sucking up cat hair. It was one of only three that scored tops in all three categories, and it's the least expensive at $150. So, what were the worst models? Some of the most expensive ones - $900 to $1,000 – were the least reliable. What about the Dyson, which has gotten so much press? It was in the middle of the pack. For a fairly expensive machine, it got mediocre ratings.

If you're interested in doing an online survey that pays $20 for only a few minutes of your time go to The survey is about eating fruits & veggies.

Gmail is now free for everyone! Back in 2004 Google introduced Gmail but people could only use the service if they were extended an invitation by a member. Now you're invited to the party! Go to to get 2 GB of space, join chats, use their cool new calendar, and tons of other cool stuff. Notice….Sister Thrifty's address is !

I just discovered and thought I'd share some of his money tips. He's a radio talk show host and columnist in Tennessee who has created money management products entitled "Financial Peace University." His "Baby Steps" to financial freedom are:
1. Set aside $1000 to start an Emergency Fund
2. Pay off all debt starting with credit cards
3. Have 3-6 months of expenses in savings
4. Invest 15% of household income into Roth AIRAs and pre-tax retirement
5. Set aside college funding for children
6. Pay off your home early
7. Build wealth and give to others
8. Invest in mutual funds and real estate
Well, those tips are pretty general, so I assume if you buy his products you'll get more details. My point in bringing this up is that now, while we're all working on our taxes, is the time to analyze our finances, evaluate how we're doing, and make changes.

And now for some fun freebies:

Every time Matt Kenseth wins a race, Arby's will give away free medium Curly Fries every Monday following the race weekend. They're calling it "Matt's Monday." Go to

Free tire rotation and brake inspection at Big O Tires printing the coupon at

KOA is offering a free night at their participating campgrounds in May. Check out
That's it for today! Have a good one!
Sister Thrifty

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Health & Wellness

Hi everyone! I try to get these newsletters out to you on the weekends, but I was busy being sick sick sick. Bleh. I'm still not feeling great, but I wanted you to get some of this great information (and sitting at my computer will hopefully distract me from feeling sick sick sick.)

Since I'm thinking health (or lack thereof) these days, I wanted to let you know about an interesting web site I found that you can use to order your own medical tests instead of paying whatever the doctor or hospital charges. Insurance will not pay, but if you don't have insurance anyway or your reimbursement stinks then this could save you a ton of money. Check out Just use good judgment when dealing with your health care.

There are a number of prescription programs that will save you money. To find the Rx program for your state go to Low-income seniors who qualify can get the "Eli Lilly" card and really save on their medications. Call 1-877-RX-LILLY. For a $10 fee, Rxaminer will permit users to enter all current prescriptions and returns a list of available generic or other suggested brands for less money. Go to

Here are some freebies that have to do with health and wellness. GlaxoSmithKline is offering all kinds of free samples when you register: They are also starting the "Orange Card" program, which gives elderly people who qualify 25% off their prescriptions. To read an article about their plan click here:

Here's a free mouth wash sample:

Click on here and you'll get a coupon for free veggies from Green Giant:

Free skincare samples from Chamonix:

Free sample of Palmer's Cocoa butter formula with vitamin E lotion. Go to "Like Some?"

You're probably working on your 2006 taxes by now and I want to make sure you know about the special one-time federal excise tax credit in 2006 rebates tax overpayment on phone bills. What do taxes have to do with health? Well, if you don't pay them you'll be sick when you get audited and have to pay penalties! Everyone is allowed to get this deduction this year only, but you have to make note of it on your tax forms or you'll miss it. To read more about it and how to claim it check out this link:

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you feel loved, appreciated and get a romantic kiss from someone you love! Auntie Anne’s Pretzels will send your loved one a coupon for a free pretzel when you send them a Valentine’s e-card using one of their links. You know, they’re the company that sells those big, yummy pretzels inside the malls. There are several designs to choose from and the free pretzel coupon is good for a month. Sweet!

Here’s another sweet freebie treat for Valentine’s Day: a free Mrs. Smith’s Pound Cake!

Here’s another sweet freebie treat for Valentine’s Day: a free Mrs. Smith’s Pound Cake!

Click on this link to get free aromatherapy fragrance cards:

Here are some great web sites where you can get some great ideas for inexpensive ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
For Couples:
Frugal Valentine Craft Ideas

Romantic Frugal Valentines Day Gifts

Making Valentine's Day Special on a Shoestring

Simple to Make Sweet Treats

In honor of National Pancake Day on February 20th, IHOP will give you one FREE “Short Stack” of pancakes. See for more information.

Have a wonderful week!
Sister Thrifty

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Happy Groundhog Day!

Happy Groundhog Day!

According to Puxatony Phil, spring is just around the corner. He actually may be right this time because starting in 2007, daylight saving time is going to start the second week of March and end the first Sunday in November. It means we'll get a month more of daylight each year we keep in place the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Alarmists are going a little nuts over the act, saying the change could disrupt time sensitive machines and systems such as ATMs, but I'm gonna be lovin the sunshine!

Credit cards may be signing you up to pay!
Have you heard of "Buyer's Advantage?" Supposedly, it's a marketing program sponsored by certain banks and credit card companies that allows you to get discounts on merchandise. But that is a bunch of hooey. It's really an excuse for companies to remove money from their customer's accounts. Chase and Bank of America are soliciting for Buyer's Advantage and it's one of the worst schemes out there. The banks will send you a $10 check or "account credit" that signs you up for Buyer's Advantage. The problem is that when you sign and cash the check or take the credit, you are agreeing to pay an annual fee of $150 for nothing. The money is usually a small monthly deduction from checking accounts, and people just don't notice it. So, check your statements and if you see something questionable, dispute it right away!

Do you know your credit score?
According to a recent survey, only 3 percent of Americans know what a credit score is. Worse yet, less than 15 percent of people are checking their credit reports each year. Credit scores are like a grade that tells you whether your credit is poor, fair, good or outstanding. But, unlike school where you get one grade per class, there are three credit scores you can obtain. First, the industry-accepted standard score is called a "FICO" score, which is between 400 and 800 points. Each credit bureau (Experian, Transunion and Equifax) has different information on you, so they compute your score differently. Your interest rate can change depending on which bureau a lender uses. You must check all three of your credit reports and all three of your credit scores four to six months before you're going to buy a house. If you're planning to buy a house in a month, GET THEM NOW! One in three people find mistakes in their reports, so it's imperative that you do this. The one place to get your credit scores is There are other legitimate sites and other ripoff sites out there, but telling them apart can be difficult. There is only one site where you can get your free report:

Book lovers save money
I just discovered . They have an entire inventory of mass market paperbacks you can borrow for free by paying a monthly fee for shipping and handling of $6.99, which is less than the cost of one book. They'll ship you two books at a time. When you're done reading both ( no due dates, no late fees ), return them in the pre-paid mailer they came in. Automatically you will receive the next two books on your reading list. It's just like Netflix, but for books!

And now for some fun freebies:

Turbotax Online free edition

Free Olay Definity sample

Tums Sample

Creative packaging samples

Free kid friendly sponge from Dawn

Free scrapbook software, free embellishments and more

Have a wonderful week!
Sister Thrifty

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