Saturday, April 17, 2010

I don't leave home without it: The Coupon Wallet

All couponers need a system of organization for their coupon collection. Some chose envelopes, binders, small card filing boxes, and some use coupon wallets. The best coupon wallet I've found is at

It is by far the best storage system yet. It's extremely roomy, includes a calculator, scissors, printed dividers, and a pad of pre-printed grocery lists. There are sections for supermarket savings cards, extra large coupons, and any other extras. I ordered a deluxe wallet in pink and black stripes, the fabric is canvas, much like that on outdoor furniture.

My favorite feature of this wallet is that it is large. It measures 8.5" x 4", my wallet when full is about 2 inches wide. The bright colors and size make it pretty hard to lose it in a pile of mail on a counter top.

The deluxe model is $20, the basic model without all the extra storage compartments are $14. The money you save from being organized and knowing where your coupon wallet is at all times is worth the cost of "The Coupon Wallet".

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I love It's a free online classified ad where people sell, buy, barter, volunteer, find work, find vacation homes, chat, carpool, and rant. The homepage for craigslist is very dull but the lack of bells and whistles makes it easy to navigate.

I've gotten gardening advice, given away left over beer after a party, sold baby items, and bought just as much all for yard sale prices on craigslist. It's truly a bargain hunters dream.

If you ever have a few minutes take a chance and browse through the various categories on there is literally something for everyone.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Costco EXPO

Just returned from the EXPO at the Costco Business Center in Commerce. It exceeded my expectations. Vendors and/or samples at the end of every aisle, bargains to be had at every turn, and lots of friendly people. It was getting crowded but it wasn't crazy like at the Costco in Montebello on a weekend. It was easy to navigate the store because there was a lack of children and large families, it was mostly business owners stocking up on discounted goods, the parking lot was full. After our visit we now have a favorite beef jerky and fell in love with and bought a case of Dole's pineapple juice.

There is still time. Doors close at 6pm tonight but the Expo runs tomorrow from 8am-6pm. The EXPO is a must for any Costco loving member!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Costco Business Center, Commerce

A new Costco warehouse store opened about a year ago in Commerce. It's a Costco Business Center and gas station.

The Business Center store carries many of the same products as a typical Costco but the packaging of items is geared towards retail sales. For example, diapers are sold in packs of 14, the type you might find in a 7-11 or AM/PM. There are also a wide variety of restaurant supplies and there is a huge walk in refrigerator with complementary bright orange loaner jackets, one size fits all.

There are a few fabulous points about this new Costco location.
1. The gas station is open from 6am - 8pm. The gasoline is typically the same price or cheaper than Arco. Unfortunately I found that it left deposits in my gas tank that made the "check engine" light come on in my car. It might work well for you though, it won't hurt your car to try one tank.
2. The food court is outside with ample adjacent parking, so close I felt comfortable leaving my kids in the car on a rainy night when I found a prime parking spot right in front of the order line.
3. Every time I visit, the store is never crowded.
4. This store hosts an annual Expo.

The Expo boasts special pricing on hundreds of items including my favorites, Kirkland/Hansen juice boxes and Huggies wipes. There are free samples at the end of every other aisle, with some companies giving out full size samples. This year the Expo is Thursday April 8 and Friday April 9, store hours are 8am - 6pm. For more information visit

While you're on the other side of the tracks please stop by two of my favorite south side stores. The Orowheat Bakery Outlet, (480 S. Vail Ave, Montebello) for breads and pastries, and Broguire's Dairy (505 S. Maple Ave, Montebello) for some glass bottled chocolate milk. There's just something about the glass bottle that makes it a special treat!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Credit Reports

Within the past year I was notified that my personal information was compromised when two companies I had done business with had their computer systems hacked. I spent a few minutes today checking my and my husband's credit report. It was totally free and a lot easier to navigate than I remember in the past. The first page gives a synopsis of your personal credit report and contains links that give details about potentially negative items, accounts in good standing, requests for your credit history, and personal information.

There are three credit reporting agencies, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Everyone is entitled to check each report once a year for free. If you start with the first company, Experian, and don't find any discrepancies, then check back four months later with TransUnion, then four months later with Equifax. I alreaady marked on my calendar in August and December to check the credit reports. However, if you find major discrepancies with the first report it's probably best to check all three at once.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Trash: Athen's Disposal

When the new contract with Athen's Disposal went into effect last summer we citizens were told we would get the same services, new free trash cans, and free bulky item pick up anytime. I was happy with the new service until I called Athen's to arrange a bulky item pick up.

I told them I had two large cardboard boxes filled with wrapping paper, and other trash from presents from Christmas. The representative told me that what I had was not considered a bulky item but rather plain trash. I could request a special pick up for a $20 fee or I could request an additional trash can for $2.50 a month. I told her of the city's promise to us that we'd get the same services and in the past on special bulky item pick up days it didn't matter what was picked up and the same should apply to scheduled pick ups. The representative didn't budge on her statements.

I called the city for help. A city clerk took down my information, called Athens on my behalf, and I had a free scheduled bulky item pick up within minutes. If all else fails, call the city for help when dealing with Athen's Disposal.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Easter is almost here and the other day I told my husband over dinner that I heard "on the news" that the Easter Bunny is only going to be bringing eggs this year and not any toys. "It's all due to the national financial crisis" I said, "he has to cut expenses or he'll have to lay off some of his helper bunnies." So this year it's only eggs. My kids were quietly listening and were so shocked their mouth's formed little "o" shapes.

I found a really cute and easy idea of dyeing eggs in a Family Fun article years ago. It was really easy, took only a few minutes and I didn't have to spend any money on egg dyeing kits from the store.

There are a lot of egg hunts in the area. None in Montebello that I could find, but there are others that aren't too far.

The city of Santa Fe Springs is also having activities.

We'll attend Easter sunrises services at the Montebello golf course with Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Church. Services begin at 6am. There is no seating, so bring your own folding chair, if you have extras bring them along to share with others, they will certainly appreciate it. In the past I've dressed up for the service, but I've seen many people in jeans with sweatshirts/jackets, and some younger people wear pajamas.