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On the road…

As you read this, we’re on the road headed for vacation.  Have a great weekend, and stop back early next week for some fresh posts!

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Gifts ect.

My in-laws just came back from vacation with a car full of gifts for us. T-shirts, key chains, souvenir postcards and photographs, you name it.

The problem is, we can’t really use any of this stuff. We have too many nick-knacks as it is, and we’re really trying to cut back on “stuff.” The t-shirts don’t fit.  We have our own photographs from the vacation site, having already visited it ourselves.

To make matters worse, they left the price tags on everything.  Now we know that they spent $14 on a pink vase (a vase from the beach?), $20 each per shirt that doesn’t fit, $7 each for two key chains, and $10 for the photographs. It really bothers me that they waste money on us.  I don’t mean to be ungrateful, but I would much rather have an hour of quality time with them, or one great gift that we can use, rather than $80 worth of stuff.  I’ve tried to explain this already, that we’re really minimalists, but they just don’t get it.  They like stuff, so we must like getting stuff, right?

They also buy food for us, and invite us out to eat 2-3 times per week. I’m a planner, and like to schedule meals for the week.  (They’ll bring over a rotisserie chicken, just as I’m finishing up supper.  Thanks, guys.) They think we can’t afford food, because they’ve seen me clipping coupons and writing out a grocery list. I COULD spend $100 per week on food…  but then we couldn’t contribute to our retirement funds, or prepay the mortgage, or set money aside for our “fun” expenses like vacation. We choose to make sacrifices in our daily expenses, in order to have a better lifestyle in the long run.

I’m really concerned about what will happen when we have children.  My family is very frugal and thoughtful – we will search for weeks to find the “right” gift, and give just one or two well thought-out gifts per person. His family prefers an all-out gluttony of gifts, most of which wind up back in our “re-gifting” closet for the next holiday, because we just can’t use them.

I can already see our children being spoiled by gifts…  and I don’t want that to happen.  I grew up learning to appreciate what we had, because it wasn’t much.  I don’t want our children to struggle or feel deprived, but I also don’t want them to think that money comes from credit cards and the ATM.  Please spoil our children with love, not money.

Does anyone else have this problem?  Do your family and friends respect your lifestyle?  Have you be able to come up with a compromise that makes both families happy?

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Have I ever mentioned that Sunday is my favorite day of the week?  My husband stays home from work, we usually sleep in, and we get coupons and ads in the paper!  What’s not to love?

Rite Aid is offering several steals this week on bathroom products:

Herbal Essence shampoo and conditioner, 2/$5 (normally $3.99 each)
There was also a coupon for $3 off 2, and a rebate for $2 off two.
Total cost: Free

Infusium leave in treatment, $4.99 (normally $7.69)
I had a coupon for $3 off, and a rebate for $2
Total cost: Free

Crest toothpaste, $2.49 (normally 2.99)
I had a coupon for $1 off, and a rebate for $1.74
Total cost: -$.25

The final verdict: Rite Aid paid me $.25 for $18.66 worth of stuff.
That $.25 pays for the sales tax, which means I break even after taxes and get a summer’s worth of hair products for free!

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In honor of Independence Day, the Husband and I will be visiting family members.  I hope all of my American readers have a happy and safe 4th of July!

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ING bonus

I am now a proud member of ING Direct!

ING is still running the $25 bonus program, and new customers can receive a $25 bonus for opening a new Orange Savings or Electric Orange Checking account. I now have 50 bonuses to share with interested readers! Please use one of the links below.

The rules of the bonus game:
1. You must deposit $250 to your new ING Direct account to receive this $25 bonus.

2. To discourage rapid customer turnover, ING places a 10 day hold on your new account. You cannot withdraw your $250 deposit or $25 bonus for 10 days. After that, the entire $275 is yours! Save, spend, or withdraw the money as you see fit.

3. I will receive a $10 referral once you open your account.  For each $10 referral, I will donate $5 to a local food bank.

ING Direct is an FDIC insured bank, currently offering 3% APR for savings and 1.75% for checking.

Orange Savings Account links:
1. $25 ING Direct Orange Savings referral
2. $25 ING Direct Orange Savings referral
3. $25 ING Direct Orange Savings referral
4. $25 ING Direct Orange Savings referral
5. $25 ING Direct Orange Savings referral

Electric Orange Checking links:
1. $25 ING Direct Electric Orange checking referral
2. $25 ING Direct Electric Orange checking referral
3. $25 ING Direct Electric Orange checking referral
4. $25 ING Direct Electric Orange checking referral
5. $25 ING Direct Electric Orange checking referral

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