Staples Gift Card Promotion

Staples Gift Card Promotion at Constant Contact

Constant Contact appears to be having a 40% off Staples gift cards. I noticed this promotion while logged into constant contact, a online toolkit many companies use for  email marketing. The deal is $30 for a $50 staples gift card. Since I go to staples all the time for their easy rebates and other deals you can stack multiple discounts.

Purchased 6 GC for $180 worth $300 at Staples for a $120 money maker.

Their confirmation email did say it would take two weeks for the GC to arrive. I am hoping this deal is as good as it seems.

See below for the terms and conditions.

Staples Gift Card Promotion

Staples Gift Card Promotion

Stop and Shop Kimberly Clark Paper Product Matchup

Scott and Kleenex Deal at Stop and Shop

Scott and Kleenex Deal at Stop and Shop

Stop and Shop has a good deal on paper products this week, stackable with a Catalina and if you haven’t used it the Kimberly Clark Mail in Rebate. Some people who have called customer service report the MIR is based on the pre-sale price while others say it is based on the after sale price. To play it safe, buy $35 of products after sale pricing.

Scott’s Toilet Paper is on sale for 5.99 and Several varieties of Kleenex are on sale for B2G1

Deal idea.

  • (4) Scott Bathroom Tissue 12 packs, several varieties are on sale for 5.99
  • (12) Kleenex Ultra Soft*  or Lotion Tissues*are on sale for B2G1
  • 39.88 pre-coupon sale price subtotal (23.96 + 15.92)
  • use (4) Kleenex .75 coupons (will double)
  • use (4) Scott’s .55 coupons (will double)
  • 29.48 post coupons
  • -$5 on your next order Kimberly Clark Catalina and -$10 mail in rebate from Kimberly Clark

You pay $14.48 for (4) 12 pack of Toilet paper and 12 big boxes of Kleenex tissues.

*These are the bigger single boxes, not the small 70 counts. Ultra was 210 count.

Kleenex Tissues Coupons

Scott 12 ct. Coupons

Mail in Rebate

Stop and Shop Freezer Deal

I am already missing the Stop and Shop freezer deal which ended on 3/19/2015. In case you missed it, if you spent $25 off of certain products you got an instant $15 off. Needless to say we went many times, and even ended up sending a parent who drives by stop and shop daily.

Stop and Shop March 2015 Freezer Deal

Stop and Shop March 2015 Freezer Deal

One of several trips that we made when we where near a stop and shop, all had pre-discount totals of $40+.

Transaction #1, 8 Kidfresh frozen meals, 2 boxes of blue bunny ice cream treats.
paid -$1.57

Transaction #2, 7 Talenti Gelato
paid $7.93I am hoping stop and shop runs this promotion again.

AmEx Points Awarded!

I signed up for an AmEx promo with their Gold card at the beginning of the year. They where running a bonus point offer, 50K points if you spend $1000 in the first 3 months. Well I knew spending the $1000 was not going to be an issue.

I was happy to see that they awarded me the bonus points the other day, what a nice thing to see.

Point wise, if you use them for travel it works out well, in my case I am going to use them for some Gift Cards. Works out to $500 in Gift Cards. Wish I could do this promo more then once 🙂

points pic

Talenti Gelato

Sea Salt Caramel

Sea Salt Caramel

Great deal on Talenti Gelato at stop and shop, heck you don’t need any coupons either if you don’t want to. Its amazing stuff, we buy it whenever it is on sale it is usually expensive.

Stop and shop has a spend $25 on certain frozen items and you get $15 instantly off your order.

Talenti Gelato is 3.99

Buy 7 of the Gelatos

$27.93 Subtotal
$12.93 after $15 instant savings
$8.93 after $4 from coupons link
$8.93 for 7 container of Gelato that normally cost close to $5 each.

Kimberly Clark Matchup

Coupon Haul, under $34

Coupon Haul, under $34

Less then $34 total couponing trip on Friday, March 13th  though I was missing my great helper Renee, she is in training #‎LECsavings‬

One of the best matchups was a Kimberly/Clark products deal that was running that could be used for a double dip.The products where on sale at Price Chopper, and the shelf price is typically what works on the MIR and Catalina’s.

  • Spend $25 get $5 Catalina for your next order
  • $5 back on $25 or $10 back on $35 Mail in rebate from Kimberly/Clark

1 Scotts Natural Toilet Paper 6.99 (10.50 without card) (1) .55c off of 1 which will double

1 Scotts 1000 Toilet Paper 6.99 (10.50 without card) used (1) .55c off of 1 which will double

13 Kleenox boxes 120/160 counts 1.33 ($2 without card) used (4) .75c off of 3 which will double

  • 31.97 subtotal
  • 23.77 after 8.20 in coupons*
  • 21.77 after PC Store Ecoupon for Scotts
  • 11.77 after $10 MIR
  • 6.77 after $5 Catalina for your next order

$6.77 for 2 jumbo packs of TP and 13 big boxes of tissues.

*Printable coupons, I rarely ever use newspaper insert coupons

Loving My Pellet Stove, Harman XXV Part 3

Harman XXV Enamel

Harman XXV Enamel

We are now season five of heating our place with our Harman XXV pellet stove, all started in the October 2009-2010 heating wise.

Still super very happy with our choice to heat our house with our Harman pellet stove.  Can’t imagine how much our place would cost to heat with oil, especially given how warm we keep our house.

Damn our house is hot, each year the  temperature we keep our house at seems to creep up. Keeping our place at 70 seemed amazing the first year, now our house is rarely below 76. It’s not very green of us I know, but the cost seems so minimal.

Cost wise, we are still using between 750-1000 dollars worth of pellets a year to keep our house in Vermont at 76.

A pellet stove is a lot of work (false), I still hear this one, and think people confuse wood stoves (especially old ones) with pellet stove. Since they both burn wood, many people seem to think you need to always be cleaning them, filling them, they are a pain to start etc all things so far from the truth. With a good stove and pellets, there is little in the way of maintenance besides carrying a bag of pellets to our into the hopper. Who couldn’t use a little exercise of carrying a bag of pellets a day?

Discussion with friend on heating with Oil, oh my!!! I am sure sometimes my jaw must have hit the ground.

  • 5000 a year to heat your house to 68?
  • Well I am on a payment plan it is 260 a month. SO you pay 3100+ a year to keep your house barely 60?
  • 3500 a year and my house is so cold.

I was agast, with the cost but at 3.80 a gallon for oil, doesn’t take long to spend that amount.

I know each house is different but at what point do you stop and think, that you need to make some changes in how you heat your house. Add insulation, install a pellet stove or wood stove, etc. Can’t see spending thousands of dollars a year on Oil heat that seems to only go up each year.

Buy a good pellet stove, if you plan on running the stove 24/7 during the heating season. Everyone I know that has a Harman, which is a lot of us, seem very happy with their stove, and most run it 24/7 like I do for months at a time.

I am sorry to say but you cannot compare a cheapo stove you fire up once in a while and say it works just as well. I find it similar to comparing how old a car is without mentioning how many miles you put on it. A big difference with a 10 year old car that gave you no problems that was driven 250,000 miles and one that is always breaking down that you drove 30,000 miles. Pellet stoves are very similar, if you plan on running your stove all the time buy a good stove.

Buy good pellets, I had the experience at the tail end of the heating season the past few years of using cheap pellets. Oh my what junk most of them are, and yes they do burn sort of. The ash content was not even listed, a bad sign, or a BTU count, or could be found tested by any pellet site via google. I opened some bags to find so much dust and smashed pellets it was not even worth burning them for fear of jamming my stove. The old, you get what you pay for.

Buy a Safe stove, I know on our stove there is multiple safety devices and sensors. The one I run into all the time is the hopper air lock. There is not just some simple contact switch where you put the pellets but an air lock. As soon as the air lock seal is broken, by opening the door to put pellets in, the air fan and augur feeding the pellets stops. It is a great feature, the stove won’t continue to feed pellets and keep them burning hot with the hopper open. There is a small risk of the gases coming up the hopper chute, so a great safety device in case it is kept open. On more then one occasion the stove went “out” because I did not fully shut the hopper door, sometimes when it looked like it was shut too. I was glad of that feature, no matter how small the risk of gases entering the house, I was glad the stove went out.

Purchase for the long view, have a friend who mentioned this week she was going to buy a pellet stove and was wise about it. She was not interested in how much she would save right now but how much the next 5/7 years. The added flexibility of having multiple heat sources. She heats with wood, cheapest option in most cases, but having a pellet stove means she can have a continual source of heat. Her Oil furnace won’t kick on when she is gone all day, or forgets to load wood. Flexibility was key in her looking at pellet stoves with a secondary emphasis on low maintenance.

Maintenance wise, the augur on our stove was replaced 2 years ago. The augur was making a lot of noise and being still under warranty, we felt it wise for them to replace it. The technician that was sent to our house agreed hole heartily.

Future projects for my pellet stove

I am going to be looking at installing a battery backup and/or maybe even a solar source for my pellet stove power. I have been measuring my stoves electric draw, which fluctuates between 60-100 watts, not a huge amount but enough of a draw in any case given I run it 24/7. As a hobby, I tinker with solar projects,  and have built my own panels with the help of my daughter and have a small solar system with battery bank in our backyard. Not enough of a battery bank to power our stove reliably 24/7 though.The panel ends up putting out between 60-90 watts, but with a good but lower cost inverter, not enough headway without some expensive batteries.

Top on the list is what happens if the power goes out? Having enough power to run the stove for maybe 1/3 the day would be a great. With our existing solar setup we have the ability to recharge the batteries during the non-running time. Maybe in the end we will have enough to run the stove off of just solar?


Yes, I know you can buy backup settups but what fun is that and?




Our Top 5 Rules for Getting it Done

1. Aim to do at least 30 minutes or so a day.  

We know what it’s like to feel like you have very little time to get anything done. Between the two of us working full time and raising 2 kids, after everyone goes to bed and other household chores get done it feels like negative hours in the day. But the more that never gets done, the more overwhelming that to-do list becomes and you just want to forget about it all. As tempting as it is to just put your feet up and watch a Jem and the Holograms marathon on Netflix (haters to the left!), it helps to pull your bootstraps up for a few minutes a day and feel that sense of pride when you can cross another something off your “GTSD” (Get That Shit Done) list. THEN you can watch Jem (those sneaky Misfits!!).

It doesn’t have to be all at once or even 30 minutes, either. If you feel like doing something for just 10 minutes, or feel like breaking up the task into 6 5-minute breaks, it really does make a difference on moving toward your goal. Kinda like exercise (yeah, like THAT ever happens, right?)


2. Keep your expectations of how much and how quickly you’ll get things done LOW.

Expecting to sail through your to-do list and go gangbusters or nothing every other weekend is like expecting your going to get a home-cooked Italian meal at Olive Garden. Sorry, Charlie, ain’t gonna happen. Unless you are superman or woman or have taken an inordinate amount of speed (in which case, can I have some? Just kidding, sorry MOM!!) I often find that keeping your expectations low makes them more manageable.It keeps disappointment to a minumum. Then you’re totally surprised when you get more done and get it done quicker than you expected to. It’s a pleasant surprise like when you find that 5 bucks in the pocket of your jeans or that extra fry in the bottom of the Wendy’s bag.


3. Don’t always look for the cheapest, easiest way out.

As tempting as it is, sometimes the cheapest and easiest way is not always what it’s cracked up to be. Often it ends up creating more work and money for  you in the end. I’m often guilty of looking for the cheapest items online and getting ready to buy when I run it by Chris and he usually sends me back all of the not-so-stellar reviews of the item saying it broke within 24 hours, etc… Alas, if something seems too good or cheap to be true, it usually is. Like the ab roller or bump-its. However, if we can find the most legit reasonably inexpensive and easy way to do something, a hack if you will, you can bet we’ll be on it like Justin Bieber on hair wax!


4. Run your ideas or purchases by your partner (or friend or pet or imaginary dragon) first.

I’m not saying you guys have to watch each other like hawks and give each other a hard time over every little purchase, but if you’re about to go for a big-ticket items, it helps to have a sounding board and a little voice of reality to keep you in check (see #3).


5. Start from the corner and work your way outward.

The reason we started this blog was not only to share with you our accomplishments and hopefully a few helpful tips, but also for us to hold each other accountable and track our progress. For us, the easiest way to do so is to start small in the corner of one room (and in this case, we even started in the bottom corner of our house, the basement) and work our way outward. Sort of giving us a panoramic view. Some people go top to bottom, some people go from one side to the other. There are as many variations of it as the Harlem Shake. What we’re trying to get at is you don’t necessarily have to do it the way we’re doing it, just find a way that works for you and stick to it. If it works, don’t question how or why it does, just go with it. (Kinda like when Rihanna changes her hair color).

Well, that’s our top 5 tips today for you out there in blogland, feel free to post your own or scoff at ours (but please do it nicely, we’re sensitive types). The kiddos have now gone to bed, so time to pop open a Sam Adams and get our 30 minutes under the belt!

Hello and welcome to our casa!

Hello everyone! It’s been quite a while since we’ve made an entry in blogland, so please excuse the huge jump in years as you see us move some of our previous posts to here. No, you did NOT time travel. Obama is still our  president and Glee is still a thing.

but in all seriousness, thanks for your patience and thanks for checking out our new digs!

Loving My Pellet Stove, Harman XXV Part 2

October 2013, see my most recent post about my Harman XXV pellet stove.


This is my continuation of initial posting  of my Loving my Harman XXV pellet stove , so I guess this may be considered part 2.

Harman XXV Stove

Harman XXV Stove

It has now been almost 2 full heating seasons with using my Harman XXV pellet stove as my primary heating source. As March is underway the stove is still going but I find myself having to turn it down since they days are getting warmer. It seems a good time to write about my Harman XXV pellet with some additional review information.

Cost: some people are wondering what the XXV cost and I can say it varies. I have seen them online for a lot less then what I paid in other parts of the country. I can say this, you are buying a solid cast iron stove not some sheet metal no-name brand that looks like it will break after the first year so here is what it cost.

  • The Harman XXV was approximately $3100.00 at the local dealer which included a free ton of pellets.
  • I opted for the optional black metal stove pipe that attaches vertically to the top of the stove, which makes it look like a wood stove and is not necessary at all.
  • Total with installation and delivery, the stove and optional “wood stove” pipe was around 4200 of which I got a tax rebate for 1200 back for a total of $3000.00

Has the XXV paid for itself: The way we look at it, YES YES YES. We are insulated from the oil  price spike of heating oil that has happened in Feb 11 and is still rising (hope it goes down) and as an irony pellet prices have dropped so it is cheaper to run. Having to not worry about shocking oil delivery bills has been great.

  • We will have paid $1000.00 for the entire heating season to heat approximately 1900sqft of space to a temp on average of the mid 70’s. We live in Vermont so the outside winter temperature is very cold dropping to below zero F for entire weeks.  We could have saved more money by keeping the temp down, but we like a warmer house especially with a little one.

Maintenance wise: I had the augur replaced, which was under warranty, due to it making a sort of grinding noise. It took the tech only a few minutes to pull the old one and place a new one in, the hardest part was moving it. I bought the optional pipe kit that makes it look like a woodstove and it was in the way. The warranty is very long on the stove so I thought I would go ahead and have them replace it just in case.

Cleaning Tip: Make sure to take the cover off the back and clean out where the pellets come down. It is spelled out in the owners manual how to flip this little cover up after removing this plate which just has a thumbscrew. It is actually really easy once you remove the back cover. I think cleaning it out should be made more important in the manual. I removed a lot of sawdust that had fallen down there, which is normal from pellet dust, and I can imagine it causing issues if it was never cleaned.

Tip 2: Get yourself one of those small wire brushes meant to clean a gas grill, they are about 8″ long and have metal bristles that are semi-soft. These are great for cleaning the grooved inside of the stove where the ash accumulates  out, and since ash insulates, it can keep your heat output from falling. The tool that comes with the stove for scraping is ok but the brush gets a lot more of the crud off.