Sunday, January 25, 2009

"Reward" Yourself During Tough Economic Times

We are a one income family with many expenses, just like most people. However, I feel that by being involved with certain reward programs, we are able to reap many benefits! Let me show you how you can do it too . . .

Our family of five enjoys going out to eat, but I can't say that we are eating out any less during these tough economic times. We've always pinched pennies when dining out anyway. First of all, we only go out to eat once a week as a family, usually after church on Sundays. I cook simple meals throughout the week and Sunday is my "day of rest". We used to get those free or reduced priced kids meals at restaurants. That no longer works for us since Grant is 12 and Sydney is 10. Luke, age 6, still eats like a mouse so he's not even an issue.

So what do we do?? First of all, we order waters to drink, and I'm not talking about the bottled waters which cost more than a soda. We have figured that we save at least $10 each time we go out to eat just by drinking water. Water isn't necessarily a favorite of mine. However, when you consider that restaurants charge as much for one soft drink as the price of a two liter soda, it makes you think!

Secondly, I love my Citibank PremierPass Mastercard ( because of the rewards I get through the program. Our family has been using this card for two years. Now I wouldn't necessarily recommend getting a credit card to just anyone. It is a definite responsibility and can get many people in trouble. However, this is a card which we choose to charge our expenses on each month, and we pay it off as we go. We charge everything from groceries to doctor's visits to cell phone expenses each month. Again, I want to emphasize that we stay on top of things and pay off these expenses as they occur! I would NEVER encourage anyone to maintain balances and end up paying interest charges as well. We are able to maintain a zero balance and reap dining benefits and other rewards at the same time.

Here is an example of some of the benefits we have received this year just for using our card. Last July, I was able to fly to the Uppercase Living Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota for FREE. This past November, I redeemed some of my points for a $50 JCPenney gift card, a $25 Olive Garden gift card and a $25 Chili's gift card. In January, I redeemed more points for a $100 Macaroni Grill gift card, a $100 Chili's gift card, a $50 Olive Garden gift card, a $25 Starbuck's gift card and a $100 Bed Bath and Beyond gift card (which I will be putting toward new kitchen knives). I still have many more points left to use right now and I'm constantly putting them to good use. Not bad for a $75 yearly fee!! All rewards are usually received within a week to two weeks period of time.

Since 2003, I have also been a member of MyPoints ( in which I receive similar types of rewards. When shopping online, I make sure to login to MyPoints first and I receive points for my purchases. Once the points add up to the amount I need for a reward, I redeem them. I will warn you that MyPoints also sends advertisements through your email. However, it takes me no more than 15 seconds to click on the offer and receive a few points to add to my account. Again, I have redeemed many rewards for gift cards, restaurant gift cards and others! Of course, I also receive points for referring others to the program so please contact me at for an invite!

If you are considering ways to cut back expenses or pamper yourself with simple luxuries during tough economic times, I hope these simple ideas will help.

Monday, January 19, 2009

This article was forwarded to me in an email and I found it to be so interesting. Another reason I feel so blessed to live during this time. However, I feel that some of the same advantages we have in this century could also be viewed as DISadvantages.


This will boggle your mind, I know it did mine!
The year is 1908.
One hundred years ago.
What a difference a century makes!
Here are some statistics for the Year 1908 :

************ ********* ********* ******

The average life expectancy was 47 years.
Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles
Of paved roads.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!
The average wage in 1908 was 22 cents per hour.
The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year .
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year,
A dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME .
Ninety percent of all doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!
Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which
Were condemned in the press AND the government as 'substandard. '
Sugar cost four cents a pound.
Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used
Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from
Entering into their country for any reason.
Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke
The American flag had 45 stars.
The population of Las Vegas , Nevada, was only 30!!!!
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea
hadn't been invented yet.
There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, 'Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind,regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health'
Eighteen percent of households had at least
one full-time servant or domestic help.
There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE ! U.S.A. !
Now I forwarded this from someone else without typing
It myself, and sent it to you and others all over Canada & U.S.A
Possibly the world, in a matter of seconds!
Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years.