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Looking for a Bike Cam, Advice

May 7th, 2015 at 09:02 am

I bought my bike last July, so I have been cycling for almost a year. For all of last year I can remember only one close call with an automobile. It was a car that passed me and then cut in front of me to make a sudden right turn while approaching a stop sign. He did not bother to stop. Luckily I had already been slowing down for the stop sign, so I did not get hit.

But so far this cycling season, I have already had 3 or 4 close calls. These close calls have been like the above example of getting cut off, and of passing too close. My state has the 3 foot law that is supposed to be followed for safely passing bicycles. Most people here are courteous and follow that 3 foot law, but a few like to see just how close they can get to the cyclist while passing. One aggressive driver even yelled out of the passenger window of his truck, Get on the sidewalk!.

So for the purposes of documenting potential accidents and for insurance claims many cyclists across this and other countries have been buying these small high resolution cameras. They can also be used to just document scenic rides and as a journal.

Recently they have become really popular, and can get quite expensive. I would like to get a decent one that does not cost a fortune (under $300), but with a high enough resolution to read license plates, be able to mount either on the handle bar and/or the bike helmet. My rides usually last from 1 to 3 hours, so I need a battery charge to last that long. I looked at the Hero models, but I do not want to look like Wall-E or the Johnny 5 robot from the Short Circuit movies. They also are a little too pricey.

So my question to our fellow SavingAdvice bloggers is what cams do you use or recommend? Thanks in advance.

Laptop Finally Died! Hurray!!

April 28th, 2015 at 04:42 pm

This piece of crap, walmart special, with the much hated Vista operating system, that I bought in Nov.2008, finally quit operating. During the past month I noticed a blackening in the lower left corner of the screen over the start button, so I had an idea that maybe time was up for it being a thorn in my side. It was the bane of my existence, but not anymore.

As a replacement I went with a bigger and better laptop with a i7 processor, 12GB RAM, 1T Hard Drive and a 17.3 inch HD touchscreen. I guess the only drawback is the 8.1 windows operating system. However, I'm slowing getting used to it and it really isn't all that bad compared to the multitude of issues I had with the old laptop. And it did set me back about $1185.00, but I can pay it off within 24 months with no interest.

Coffee Maker Died

September 21st, 2014 at 08:00 am

My beloved Coffee Maker passed away during the night while in the Program Mode. It was about 10 years old. The Wake will be held at Noon today at the trash buggy on the carport. It is requested that in lieu of flowers please send coffee filters.

Early this morning before the caffeine withdrawals set in, I went in search of a replacement to the Chinese-American store, also known as Walmart. I could not find one Made In The USA!!! All of them were made in either China or Mexico. I ended up with another programmable Black & Decker for $32.80, which was made in China. This will be my third Black & Decker. The first one (not sure where it was made) lasted about 20 years. The last one (made in Mexico) lasted only about 10 years. I wonder how long this one will last!

I considered a Mr. Coffee brand, but it has some kind of water filtration system on it. I noticed the replacement filters cost just under $5.00. I decided I did not want that ongoing added expense. Besides, in my area we have great water.

August Updates

September 14th, 2014 at 04:04 pm

Yeah, I'm really late at updating pages for last month.

On the Investment Page my cash allocation dropped a couple percentage points because of two reasons. Equities advanced again for another month. I also added two small purchases, which continues my slow monthly increase in Real Assets allocation. I added a cheap steel producer and a base metals ETF.

I got three surprises / snowflakes in the mail. They were little mail-in-rebates of $6.44 twice and a $3.39. I added then to a local Credit Union Savings Account. They were from something I submitted last spring and completely forgot about. It's great getting money in the mail!

For the month of August my Grocery, HBA, and other little misc spending came slightly over budget, so it was a pretty good month for budgeting.

My sciatica is finally going away, and I am trying to get back on track with exercise and watching the diet. With the weather finally moderating I'm getting more bicycle time. I went out twice today and got in a couple hours of riding time.

7-20 Weekly Spending and Sciatica Updates

July 20th, 2014 at 11:15 am

My grocery spending was right on budget this past week. I was able to get out and walk through the grocery store Friday night and today without too much pain. I then went to Kohls today, but the pain in my back and right leg became too much. After sitting down on one of the little benches in the shoe department to alleviate the pains, I just decided to leave without making a purchase.

At the urging of some of the contributors here, I have started some stretching exercises yesterday and this morning. I am going real slow with them, and starting out very conservatively. I also was able to do a couple of very short 15 min. rides on my new bicycle yesterday and today without hardly any pain. Because the pains have not completely gone away, I'm afraid of aggravating that dang sciatic nerve. I imagine the road to recovery is going to take some time.

07-06 Past Week Spending

July 6th, 2014 at 03:03 pm

I went over budget on groceries this past week for a couple reasons. I usually have a hard time staying on budget during the Kroger Mega Sales. I need to slow down on contributing to the stockpile, and really need to continue depleting it.

The 4th of July Holiday has an impact on the grocery budget also. I had relatives over for a great cookout. As a consolation I now have enough grilled meats and various salads for lunches for at least a week.

I also had to do some extra spending for some bike accessories. I spent about a $100 at a sporting goods store on a new helmet, a pump, and a lock, etc. I did manage to use a $20 off $100 store coupon.

And speaking of my new bike, I am really loving getting back into riding again, even though it's just in the big neighborhood next to mine. I'm getting plenty of exercise and slowing increasing my endurance.

New Discover 5% Cashback Bonus

July 2nd, 2014 at 05:50 pm

I just got an email from Discover about a new 5% Cashback Bonus that is good until July 31. This would be in addition to their current quarterly 5% at Gas Stations.

"New! Earn More at a Store You Choose!"

"Sign up to earn 5% Cashback Bonus on up to $500 in purchases now through July 31, at your choice of one of these great stores.
Select ONE only to sign up instantly with just one click!"

Amazon.com.....Best Buy.....Kohls

6-28 Weight Loss Update and New Bike

June 28th, 2014 at 06:08 pm

It's been six months since I started my diet and exercise regimen. Today I stepped on the ole bathroom scales and weighed in at 165 lbs. This equates to a 55 pound weight loss since Xmas Day. (My Weight Loss Progress Page can be found in the sidebar). Now the quest is to keep the weight off.

So as a reward I bought a new bicycle. It will supplement my exercise routine. It's my first one in about 25 or 30 years, and it's amazing how bikes have changed. I researched them on the internet, and visited several sporting goods stores, big box stores, and dedicated bike shops. I decided not to go with the cheapest or the most expensive either.

The mid range model I chose after test riding several today is the JAMIS Citizen 1. I charged it on the new CHASE Freedom card with the current $200 Bonus for charging $500 in the first three months, so that $200 will help pay for it.

I don't know how to upload and post pictures, so here it is on the JAMIS website:

http://www.myjamis.com/SSP%20Applications/JamisBikes/MyJamis/consumer/bike.html?year=2014&model=Citizen%201&cat_grp=recr_1

6-22 Week Spending and Shopping

June 22nd, 2014 at 08:25 am

I came in right at On-Budget this past week for groceries, HBA, and other consumables. I would have been well below budget if not for an impulse buy yesterday. I went up to a bike shop in the city. It just happens to be across the street from a Whole Foods Market. I suddenly decided to stop in, and sample and buy some of their great cheeses (I should have ate breakfast before leaving the house). I also picked up some organic baby spinach for this weekend salads.

On the rebound home I decided to stop at my favorite clothing store for some more work shirts. I got 3 polo style knit shirts for $12.00 at the Goodwill Outlet. They didn't have any Shorts in my size, so I have an excuse to stop in again in a week or two.

6-15 Cheap Bayer Aspirin and Deodorant

June 15th, 2014 at 07:22 am

In todays Redplum insert in the newspaper there are 2 great high value coupons, $4 off 2 and a $2 off 1 for the Bayer (20 ct or higher). This could mean a moneymaker at your Walmart, as some have the 36 ct at $1.98. My nearest store had them for $2.17 so your mileage may vary. I went ahead and got 6 for $.17 each instead of waiting for a little better price.

We are wrapping up the second week of the Kroger Mega Sale which included Secret and Gillette Deodorant for $1.29 (after $5 off 5). We have $2 off 2 MCs for the Gillette and $1 off 1 MCs on the Secret from the June P&G insert. Kroger finally restocked, so in the past 2 weeks I have picked up 4 of each Deo for $.29 each.

I came in under budget again this week for Groceries, HBA, and consumables. But barely.

I've been out looking for a reasonably priced bicycle to ride around the neighborhood or short trips to the corner store. There are a couple at Walmart and Sports Authority that are possibilities. I'm going to keep looking and try to catch something on sale or deeply discounted. I guess the days of the 50 dollar bike are over.

06-07 CVS Couponing Trip

June 7th, 2014 at 09:10 am

Current Sale ends today.

I got all of the below for $0.16 plus .64 tax = $0.80.

I went into this transaction with $4.00 ExtraCareBucks:

1 - Colgate Optic White Toothpaste, 3.5 oz, @ $3.00
Less $1.00 MC and $2.00 Magic Coupon Machine Q => Free

2 - Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths, @ $3.39 each
Less 2 $2.00 MC's => $2.78 for both.

2 - Arizona Tea, 20 oz, on sale for $.69 each => $1.38

Total = $2.78 + $1.38 = $4.16, less $4.00 ECB = $.16

I then got another $4.00 ECB for the Ban product.

Note: It's my understanding that the Buy 2 Ban Cloths and get a $4 ECB is a June monthly deal, and the limit is 4.

06-01 Weekly Spending Update

June 1st, 2014 at 05:45 pm

I came in under budget again for the second week in a row. Hooray! Although it was mainly grocery spending I did pick up a couple cheap Blu-rays last weekend.

Today I sprang for a Lowes Gift Card while at Kroger. They are offering 4X Fuel Points for selected GC's through 6/17(I think). So the $25 GC means to an extra 100 fuel points for June, which translates to an extra $.10 per gallon of gas. The GC will be used toward more line for the weedeater and some other home improvement items.

Cheap Blu-rays at Best Buy

May 26th, 2014 at 06:15 pm

Today I picked up a couple Blu-rays for $4.99 based on the work of John Steinbeck:

The Grapes Of Wrath
Viva Zapata!

List of some other $4.99 Blu-rays at Best Buy:
The Big Country
The Big Trail
A Bridge Too Far
Broken Arrow
The Comancheros
Force 10 from Navarone
The Grapes of Wrath
The Great Escape
Hang 'Em High
The Horse Soldiers
Platoon
The Magnificent Seven
Rescue Dawn
Tigerland
Viva Zapata!
Von Ryan's Express
Windtalkers

Your mileage may vary at your local store.

5-24 Weekly Spending Update

May 24th, 2014 at 02:47 pm

I made a trip to Kroger late last night and bought just under $30 for under $17. The receipt says I saved 65%. Using some good Q's, I picked up some cheap Simply Lemonade($1.25), Breyer Ice Cream(1.50), Wishbone Dressing(1.29), Gwaltney Hot Dogs(.70) for the weekend Grilling Session.

Their produce department was really lacking in substance, like it usually does on late Friday nights, so I did another trip this AM. The saving percentage was not as good @ 48%, because I did not have many produce Q's. A couple eQ's scored some free mini carrots and $2 off $10 in the produce dept. I also got three free Snickers Bites with $1.00/1 Q's. The Jello will be reimbursed through SavingStar. The cost of the second trip was just under $20.00.

As long as I don't have to go back Sunday to get more stuff, my weekly spending total will be about $36, which will be well under budget for a change. This is the area of my budget that I really need to reduce and start using more crap in the ole stockpile.

4-30 WAGS 81mg Bayer Aspirin for $0.24

April 30th, 2014 at 08:43 am

For all those on the daily 81mg regimen there is a great sale this week at WAGS. It's Buy One and Get Second at 50 Percent Off. The May Savings Book has a $1.00/1 off Q, which is effective as of 4/27, and can be applied to both bottles in the sale. Plus you can use two $1/1 Q's from several past RedPlum and SmartSource Inserts. My store has the 36 count chewables for $2.99, so after buying 2, and applying 2 insert Q's and the May Savings Book Q, it came to $0.48 plus tax for 2 bottles or $0.24 each.

The expiration date on the boxes that I got is 11/2016, so I got 8 bottles to stock up a little more. This brings up the subject of watching the expiration dates of HBA's and especially OTC meds. You may not want to buy so much that you will end up with a lot of bottles of aspirin that have expired. I did this when I first stated extreme couponning/saving, and now I'm donating some stuff that is about to expire.

4-27 Past Week Spending

April 27th, 2014 at 08:07 am

I ended up a little over budget, about $19, on groceries this past week. Kroger is having a pretty good Mega Event Sale, and I did two trips this past week saving 59 and 57 percent according to the receipts. I had some great coupons that were expiring soon, and they coincided with some included items like Special K cereal and Classico pasta sauces. I also got the ground beef and Helpers for the Walmart Mail In Rebate. See previous entry for MIR details.

I went to Kohls yesterday looking for a new belt. I've lost about 40 lbs since Xmas Day, so I'm on the last hole. Maybe it's the first hole in the belt depending which way you start counting. Anyway, their belts were quite expensive and Not On Sale. However, I found some FILA walking shoes On Sale for $44.99 (regularly $64.99). I had a 20% Off Q from their latest email, which added an additional $9 off. So I got a nice pair of walking shoes for $35.99 plus tax which was about the same price as most of their belts. But, I still need a belt.

4-19 Week Is Weak

April 19th, 2014 at 03:27 pm

It's been a slow week for deals and couponning. There probably are some good sales somewhere, as there always is something going on. Just not much for me. There is not supposed to be any coupon inserts in Sunday's paper, so no need to get out and about in the morning. Because I came in under the Grocery and HBA budget this week, I made an extra contribution to one of the savings accounts. Tomorrow will be the big family get-together with all the inlaws and outlaws. Maybe I'll even find one of those egg-laying bunny rabbits.

4-13 Extreme Couponning / Saving Adventure

April 13th, 2014 at 07:54 am

I got out early this morning to beat the rain that is supposedly on the way. Glad I got all the Joys Of Home Ownership (Yard Work) done yesterday.

First stop was Walgreens. The Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths are on sale for $3.99. In today's newspaper inserts there is a Get One Free coupon, so this is a Freebie. But wait! There's more. The Mail In Rebate(expires 4/30) from feelbanfreshdotcom/rebate makes this a $3.99 Money Maker. You need to find a package with the Try Me Free peelie to mail in with the rebate form. I picked up 2 newspapers, 4 Arizona Teas with In Ad Coupon of 2/$1, 2 packs of Ban Cooling cloths, and used the 2 freebie Q's from today's paper, the 2/$1 In Ad Q for the tea, and the four $1 Register Rewards from last weeks haul. Total of $16 for $2.04. Love those Freebies and Money Makers!

Next stop was Kroger, and speaking of Freebies, last Friday's Free Download is for a 12-pack of Nestea 16.9 oz bottles. I picked up 2 more packages of Wright Sausage that's on sale for 2 for $4, and used the BOGO Q. I also found Purina T-Bone treats on sale for $1.00. I had three $1.00/1 Q's, so my puppy dog now has 3 more free packages of treats. He's happy with today's little haul too. The Kroger receipt shows a 90% Total Savings or about $21 of stuff for $2.

And the best part is that I came just under budget of Groceries and HBA for the week.

4-10 Grocery Shopping / Saving Trip

April 10th, 2014 at 03:03 pm

I can't call it an extreme couponning trip this time, because Kroger, my regular grocery store, doesn't have much going on this week, at least for me anyway. However, I did find a couple great deals. Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, the big 13 oz container, regularly $1.29, is on sale for $.99. A new $.40 printable came out today. Also SavingStar has a $.40 rebate. Together that's a fantastic price of $.19 for Kosher Salt. If your store still doubles coupons (mine quit over a year ago), it's an even better deal.

Also at Kroger the Wright Breakfast Sausage is on sale for 2 for $4.00 or $2 each for the 1 lb package. There is a BOGO from the 3/30 Smart Source insert. That makes them $1.00 each. I've never tried this brand, so when I got home I decided to make breakfast for lunch. It's not the greatest breakfast sausage in the world, but it went good with the Sausage, Egg, and Cheese on a thin Bagel.

For desert it was a cup of Stony Field plain yogurt with real, fresh strawberries on top. I found the yogurt on sale at Whole Food Market today for $0.79 each. I used a $1 off 2 store coupon from their website. That's a good price for organic yogurt.

One thing I noticed during lunch was that everything on the menu today was bought On-Sale together with coupons (except no Q's for the eggs and strawberries). It's the best way to shop frugally.

Today's Excellent Shopping Adventure

April 8th, 2014 at 12:46 pm

I'm taking this week off from work. I was hoping to get some yard work done, but the weather wasn't cooperating this morning. So when all else fails, go shopping!

Here is today's little haul involving a round trip to 2 Walgreens', 2 CVS's, Walmart and Kroger.

WAGs
Starbucks Iced Coffee, regular price of $1.99, on sale for $.99, giving a Register Reward of $.99, essentially FREE for a Savings Rate of 100% I did this twice at 2 different stores, because the first one tasted pretty good, and I decided to get a second one at another store near all the other stops today. These two RR's will help pay for next Sunday's newspapers.

CVS
Diet 7-UP, 1 L, regular price of $1.99, on sale for $1.00, less $.30 store coupon, paid .69 for a Savings Rate of 65%.
Snickers Chocolate Easter Egg, regular price of $.99, on sale for $.75, less $.74 store coupon, paid $.01 for a Savings Rate of 99%.
I went to 2 nearby stores trying to do the Right Guard deal, but both stores were out of the Xtreme Clear variety for which I have two $2.00 MC's. I may try again later this week.

Walmart
Beneful Dry Dog Food, 3.5 lb, regular price of $5.48, bought 2 bags and used a BOGO printable manufacturer coupon along with a $2.00 off one MC from an insert, paid $3.48 for both for a Savings Rate of 68%. I did this twice. This means I got 14 lbs of Beneful Dry Dog Food for $6.96.

Kroger
DelMonte Canned Tomatoes, 4 cans, regular price of $1.59 each, on sale for $1.00 each, less 2 printable MC's of $.50 off 2, paid $3.00 for 4 cans for a Savings Rate of 53%.
Beneful Dog Treats, regular price of $4.49, on sale for $2.50, bought 2 and used a BOGO, paid $2.50 for both for a Savings Rate of 72%.

Overall, I bought groceries with a Regular Price of $44.24 that was On Sale for $34.65, Paid $13.65, yielding a Savings Rate of 70 Percent. Not Too Bad!

Extreme couponing / saving

April 7th, 2014 at 06:51 pm

Three years ago I started using some of the extreme couponing (or, as I like to refer to it as, extreme shopping/saving) techniques. My goals were to lower my Grocery and HBA(Health and Beauty Aids) bills by 50 percent, while simultaneously building a decent stockpile. I've been quite successful at both goals. In fact a couple times during the last year I've had to slow down, because my stockpile was getting out of hand. I have also been donating lots of stuff to a local charity on a monthly basis. It's a great way to cull out some of the older things I never got around to using, plus getting a little tax deduction.