Friday, August 28, 2009

My new phone...

I am basking in the glory of what is my new EnV Touch phone. I'm still obsessed with it and it has been 5 days since I got it. I had been deliberating between the EnV touch and the EnV 3. Once I tried them out, it was no contest; the touch was for me. Plus I'd like to think I try my best to keep up with the times.

The phone would have cost me $159.99 with my two year upgrade. INSTEAD, it only costme $100 thanks to the promotion Verizon has right now where their Blackberry phones are being advertisted as buy one get one free. Thankfully, my brother also had an upgrade and was planning on buying a Blackberry. His was significantly more expensive than mine. The original price on his was $300.00 with a $100.00 rebate. I asked the nice lady named April if there was any way I could get the EnV touch instead of a Blackberry (since these "regular" phones normally cost less than a Blackberry anyway). She was very accomodating and that is how not only I got my phone for $100 but my brother did too! I of course did have to put everything on my card first and am patiently waiting for my two hundred dollar rebate to arrive.

Even though it's nice to get a bundled package at the kiosk, be careful with all those add ons...screen protectors, cases, blue tooth headsets, navigation applications, etc. I went with a screen protector, which was thrown in with the phone, and a hard clear case. I asked about the blue tooth headset since I am pretty sure driving without one will be illegal soon. They were a little spendy so I opted to look for one on Amazon instead. Ten dollars and free shipping got me a nice LG headset to go with the phone. I am ready to be fully mobile yet again.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cooking from the Pantry II

So the last installment of Cooking from the Pantry we madea fritata. This time we are making more of what people might call a full fledged meal.

1. Corn on the cob
2. Chicken breast filets
3. Risotto

Feeling the urge to be somewhat creative this week, I decided to try making risotto. I'm not an incredibly patient person so I tried my best to keep an open mind. I'm not gonna lie, it was rough. It was starting to smell DELICIOUS about ten minutes in to it. As the rice ($4.69)was soaking up that chicken broth (99 cents), I added some broccoli, cauliflower, and chicken (all of which I had in the fridge). Thirty minutes later, smells even better. Boiling my corn on the cob, decided to add some corn to the risotto too (5/$1 at the store) which brough the ingredients cost to a whopping $2.39 (I figure 99 cent broth, 20 cents for an ear of corn, and about $1,20 for the cup of rice I used). Forty minutes later I just can't wait any longer and take a big bite...only to feel some more than al dente rice. It would be one thing if i could just let it simmer or something but no...I have to stir the entire time. Risotto and I are not friends...UNTIL...voila! It's time to eat! Fifty minutes has gone by since I first stirred the rice...well worth the wait (well, it was as I put that first bite in my mouth...when I think of it comment).

Cooking from the pantry, it's great. I had grilled chicken, corn on the cob, and a chicken, broccoli, cauliflower, corn risotto for the low low price of $2.39!!! (not including my precious stirring time of course).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

To save for a phone...

To touch screen or not to touch screen, that is the question I've been asking myself the past few weeks. I need a new phone. I have been using mine for almost three years now and I have loved it the entire time. I will say now that I am partial to LG phones and enjoy not having to figure out a whole new interface when I switch phones. However, this preference of mine does leave my phone choices rather limited. Instead of opting for the free upgrade, I will be saving up for either the LG EnV Touch (I'll have to get used to the touch screen and possibly get over my annoyance of fingerprints on screens) or the LG EnV 3.

In my attempt to save more money to purchase this "luxury item", I am abiding by some more money saving tips:

  1. No more baths...showers only AND changing the water pressure so that I can save on energy and water bills
  2. Not shopping on an empty stomach...I buy too many snacks when I do that. From here on out I will be shopping with a list of things I NEED (and probably buying store brands vs. name brands since for the most part they have the same ingredients), based on predetermined recipes I will be having for dinner and lunch
  3. That ties me with not going out for lunch or dinner anymore. Sure, sometimes it is ineveitable or there's a birthday of sorts but for the most part, I am cooking dinner and saving leftovers for lunch
  4. I also reuse those lil zip baggies when I am putting not too messy things in to them liek chips or fruit. Tupperware makes it easy to bring my lunch to work AND using my Umpqua cloth shopping bag sometimes gets me a discount at the grocery store for not using their plastic bags
  5. The other thing that helps me save is the fact that I can drink hot chocolate here at work! (no, I'm not a coffee person) but if I were, my Umpqua has an espresso machine that makes pretty much everthing from espresso to latte's so I definitely wouldn't pay whatever the going rate is at the corner St*rbucks

I am really hoping that all these things will add up so that I can soon purchase a phone that does not randomly shut off on me at the most inopportune times

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Money tip...

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson, on living within your means:

"But I know nothing more important to inculcate into the minds of young people than the wisdom, the honor, and the blessed comfort of living within their income, to calculate in good time how much less pain will cost them the plainest stile of living which keeps them out of debt, than after a few years of splendor above their income, to have their property taken away for debt when they have a family growing up to maintain and provide for."

-- From a letter to Martha Jefferson Randolph in 1808

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Oh how I love fireworks...

I believe that the fireworks I saw tonight in Kona were one of the best I've seen. When you group fireworks with crashing waves, 80 degree weather and a light breeze, it just doesn't get much better than that. Unless you want to be herded with a few hundred people, there's no need to pay for a spot to sit in the park. My view was more than ok on the second story of the outdoor mall downtown.

Hope everyone had a fun and safe Fourth of July!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Ah the Islands

What a few days...

1. Surf lessons (a splurge yes) but awesome when you catch a wave. Don't go to the "pro shop" just go to the local stands on the side of the road. Cheaper AND they're not so dead set on your two hour time "limit".

2. True time share presentations have a reputation of their own, but when it saves (your party of 6) over three hundred's worth an hour of your time and the free lunch. And by lunch I mean sandwich and a lot of pressure to buy.

3. Having a condo where you can cook your own meals...AMAZING. Suggestion? Find the FARMER'S MARKET! So much fresh produce at half the cost! There were a couple different ones in town and searching for the right prices can take some time but it's worth it! We went out once, a steak house. Estimated cost for all six of us (with no dessert)? About $120. Buying steak, canned corn, a 5 lb. bag of rice (that has lasted all week) and napa lettuce? About $35. Ah the money you can save by just cooking for yourself! Easier for some than others (it helps when your parents own a restaurant and have done nothing but cook for decades).

4. One other "splurge" we have had however is the pineapple coconut ice cream from Baskin Robbins AND shaved ice. I love dessert...especially ice cream. Baskin Robbins prices are non negotiable. Shaved ice stands are a plenty. Normally the higher the price the bigger the serving...and they are BIG.

5. Our snorkel cruise is up next...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Getting to Kona

Well, we booked the tickets and to save money, we shortened our trip by two days and flew out on a Wednesday instead of Monday...saved about $113 a person and when you multiply that by 6...

We arrived in Kona about mid afternoon on Wednesday and got in our rental car. If you are planning on renting a car, do it online before you get here. You will save about $50 a day (at least that was our experience) booking online through one of the "web specials". Rates change daily for the most part once you get on the island. We also were convinced to buy the "pre-pay" gas option; which ended up being a good buy since gas costs between $3.31 and $3.41 a gallon and we locked in at $3.13.

First stop leaving the airport? COSTCO! We're staying in a's a little off the "strip" and nowhere near the "luxury resorts" but since we have the rental car, we opted for this option. It's a very nice 3 bedroom 3 bath! And at less than $200 a night..definitely a better choice. Of course, you are giving up the maid service, room service, etc. that you would get at a chain type resort but something's gotta give. Our Country Club Villa does offer a great view of the golf course and the ocean from the balcony. We are also cooking our own breakfast and have snacks a plenty in our fully stocked kitchen. When meals for 6 (including two growing brothers of mine) can cost about $100 a meal, cooking at least a meal a day yourself can save a bundle!