Thankful for businesses NOT open on Thanksgiving!!!

As a follow up to my rant from Sunday regarding stores opening on Thanksgiving for Black Friday sales, I give you a quick list of retailers that have decided family and friends are more important than a few extra dollars in sales. While I boycott the bad retailers, I look forward to spending my holiday money at these stores posted below!  And bestill my heart, its mostly the awesome discount retailers that I love oh so much that are saying NO.

Gobble Gobble!




As with the bad list, please let me know of other retailers staying closed on Thanksgiving day so we can keep people informed of better alternatives to shop!

No Thanksgiving For You!

It really pisses me off that retailers have infected us with opening on Thanksgiving to kick off Black Friday.

I love deals just as much as anyone, but quite honestly I never got the hype of Black Friday. Maybe it’s because I don’t have kids or a big family to shop for. Maybe it’s because I hate crowds. Yeah, it is definitely because I hate crowds. I usually roll into Target and the like around 10am on Black Friday when most of the chaos has died down, but I still score $5 dvds! And in peace!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love to cook and relax and enjoy friends and family. Large retailers are stealing that away from us. If you work retail, you end up missing out on enjoying YOUR friends and family. If you are a deal finding freak, YOU are leaving the comforts of home for a $99 tv.

Let’s not perpetuate the problem.turkey

I have decided any stores that are opening on Thanksgiving Day/night will not be getting my business from the moment I catch wind they will be open until after New Years. They will not receive a single dollar from me over their most important quarter of the year. Want to join me? Let’s spread the word. Maybe if enough people stop supporting them the retailers will stop opening on Thanksgiving. It’s a pipedream, but worth a try!

Who’s opening on Thanksgiving? I have started a list. Please post any you hear of too, please!!! And share this post eatly and often! I will update the list regularly.

Join me, won’t you?


Sick and Tired.

You know what I am sick and tired of hearing?  That it is too expensive to eat healthy.  No. It’s not.  It’s expensive to be lazy.  It takes effort to eat healthy, not money.

Meal planning is HARD, food prep is HARD, cooking is HARD.  But none of it costs anything if you do it yourself!

Convenience is expensive.  Healthy eating is not.  Not to mention salads at fast food restaurants are most of the time just as bad for you as the burger and fries!  And don’t even get me started on Subway sandwiches…

I am creating a personal challenge for the month of August to document all of my food spending and share it with you at the end of the month.  I will also share with you then all of my tips like planning, shopping and prepping once a week for keeping on track and on budget.

Stay tuned, won’t you!

The perfect pair

Cooking and saving money are two of my favorite things.

I enjoy cooking because it relaxes me.  I can listen to my iPod or Pandora and have a glass of wine while being creative in the kitchen after a frustrating day at work.

I have to save money because I have no choice.  If I don’t, I would have to pick up a second job (herk) or risk losing my house.  Neither are options, so I choose to pinch pennies and do everything I can to save money wherever I can, without skimping on taste, of course!

extra somethingThis is where Raley’s Something Extra Try-It program kicks in.  It is the best of both worlds.  I get to try new food products and I get them for free or at deep discounts (seriously, awesome!) And all they ask in return (because there is no such thing as a free lunch, right?!) is that I review the new products on their website, Twitter, Facebook, here, etc. And since I also love giving my opinions, I jumped at the opportunity! I have waited a few months to review the program because I wanted to see how it would all work out.  It’s been great!  I been able to try their new Top It! Pizza at 50% off as well as their Quick Grains, Infused Broths, and Salad blends, and Nob Hill All-Natural soup for free! In addition to food, I’ve also gotten some free swag too including a pizza cutter, pasta strainer, and cute soup tureen!

So far my most favorite program was the Nu-Val program where I got to try the Infused Broth (think boring old chicken broth, with a kick of chipotle) and Quick Grains together.  There was a recipe right on the box using both together, and it made an amazing Mexican stew (blog post with recipe to come of course).

If you are fortunate enough to live in Northern California with the awesome weather, culture and activities, you now have another reason to be thankful, join the Try-It program and try-it yourself!

Survey Says…

We all are well aware that times are extremely tough right now.  I am always looking for the next deal, the next way to save, and in turn like passing them on to anyone taking the time to read my rambling blog.

Another rarely discovered gem I had found years ago was taking online surveys.  Now I will warn you, there are a lot of very shady companies out there that are either trying to scam you, or just gather your information to sell to other companies.  I have been very cautious about the sites that I joined, and have found that it is an excellent way for me to make some extra spending money.  This is not money in amounts to retire on, of course, but I like to use it as my spending allowance for iTunes and Nook books, for example.

I know that I am merely a stranger on the web to most of you, so I would trust that you do some research of your own.  Check the Better Business Bureau, plug the names of sites into Google to make sure there aren’t droves of people warning of scams, etc. But here are the ones that I currently am a member that are completely legit.

One that I’ve belonged to the longest is Survey Savvy.  The surveys are emailed to you and worth different dollar amounts.  If you complete one, your account is credited, and you can request a check whenever you want.  It’s totally legit and I’ve been cashing their checks for years!

Another one my friend turned me onto last year was Opinion Outpost.  They seem to have a ton of opportunities for surveys, if you’ve got the time.  Their surveys are credited to you as points, and you can redeem your points for gift cards.  For example:  I had 150 points, and was able to get a $15 gift card IMMEDIATELY! Total score if you are an instant gratification kinda person, like me. And $15 off plus free shipping made my Christmas shopping was a double score!

Lastly I got an invitation to joining e-Rewards.  This is another site that kind of combos the above to into one.  You earn dollars that you can redeem for gift cards or rewards from anything from Macy’s to Southwest Airlines.  Unfortunately, you have to be invited to join, but I believe I was invited through one of the above sites!

It’s kinda fun to be able to give your opinion, and people actually wanting it!

If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them for you!