Thursday, April 28, 2011

Weddings

Tomorrow is a big day... Yes, you guessed it - Kate & William are getting finally hitched. I know, I can't help myself - but I have always been fascinated by the English royal family. I have no idea why - but the thought of a King & Queen is pretty cool. Americans just don't have these - unless you can call Aretha Franklin the Queen of Soul or Elvis the King. Not the same.

I don't really get "into" weddings, either. In fact, every day weddings bore me & I think they're a racket. I can't stand "bridezillas" and women pretending to be a princess or queen for a day. It literally gags me. And before you judge me & think I'm a jerk the way I feel about every day weddings, know that I take weddings very serious. They're not a show and you're no princess - so get over yourself.

So I have no idea where my excitement for the royal wedding(s) come from. Maybe because they're so far out of reach - almost make believe? Real people being real jerks and spending real money are a bore & foolish. But a "commoner" becoming a princess is pretty cool.

I remember watching the wedding of Diana & Charles 30 years ago. I was part of the 750 million that witnessed it live on American tv. I was in junior high and watched it in Wisconsin with my grandma. And like everyone else in the world, we thought it was enchanting & wanted it to be an everlasting love.

Don't mistake me for a weirdo that has a Princess Diana plate or the William & Kate refrigerator cover - I have neither. The only English thing I have is my husband's family name. But because I can, I'll be up at 4:00 a.m. watching the BBC live tomorrow to see everything and take it all in. Call me a nerd or a hopeless romantic that believes people stay married forever - maybe all of the above. But I will be one of the possible 2 billion people watching the wedding of the decade live in my jammies. Here's hoping they live happily ever after...

*note: the image of William & Kate is from all over the internet - I just love the picture & have "borrowed" it for my personal blog - so don't come after me as the image police.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cooopon or Quepons

I know that coupons are the new thing - but I've been using them ever since I bought my own condo & had "rich paychecks" and "poor paychecks". If you've ever been paid twice a month, then you can figure out what I mean.

In the days of poor paychecks - where it seems everything goes right to bills, etc., coupons come in handy. Not just an Entertainment coupon for a restaurant (many are bogos) - but also coupons for groceries & toiletries.

By the way, the term, "bogo" is old for me, because I've used it for years designing coupons for my job. b2g2 & b2g1 are also industry standards - buy 2 get 2, and so on. Pretty sure you can thank Payless Shoes for making the term bogo common. (or at least that is the first that I remember noticing it going mainstream).

Anywho - coupons are really useful when you see something new & it might sway you to make a purchase - like Cheese Nips - vs - Cheese Its. I'd be willing to buy the one on sale normally - or the one with a coupon - and lately - the one that is on sale WITH a coupon. Yes, I've gotten smart & buy mostly things on sale with my coupons.

Our local grocery store doubles coupons up to a dollar. So the best coupons are the the 75 cent ones that are equal to $1.50 - which now gives me more incentive to buy... especially when the item goes on sale for about $2. My usuals are salad dressing, bbq sauce, hot sauce, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo and cereal. Most of these are free or very close. And most of these have a long shelf life, so I can stock up. (these come in handy during those poor paychecks during the month - or in my case, poor paychecks for the last 2 years - but that is another story).

There have been some new shows on lately about extreme couponing - but if you ask me, these are really shows about shop-a-holics & hoarders. I admit, it gives me real pleasure in getting something for cheap - but these people are addicts. I just don't see how someone needs 200 candy bars or 54 bags of croutons. Most of these people have either large families (so I can sort of forgive them) or they're really fat. I think their diet of candy bars & croutons has something to do with it.

I do, however, understand why you'd buy 54 deodorants - as some of the people donated them - so that is ok. I don't understand making a house into a mini BJ's stocked with 400 years worth of deodorant, though.

This brings me to $ off gas - our grocery store gives you $ off for $ spent. So we had $1.40 off per gallon today. They only allow up to 30 gallons and only in 1 vehicle. The gas nazi's will turn off the pump if they see you trying to put gas in more than 1 car - so we have learned to block the view of the nazi with my Jeep so my husband can pump gas in his car. Then we pull the hose over across the island into my Jeep. And afterwards we fill the 2 cans for the lawnmower. I have no pride when saving $1.40 a gallon when gas hit $3.99 today.

Then, off to BJ's for more saving. They send us coupons that are only for BJ's. But a friend told me years ago we can use 2 more manufacturer's coupons WITH the BJ coupon. Score! Today's best deal was a BJ coupon for a free tub of Mr. Clean magic erasers with a purchase of paper towels. Not only did I use that free coupon, I had a coupon for the paper towels AND the magic erasers. I know, it isn't free candy bars or croutons, but it is pretty close.

Oh, I pronounce them cooooopons. And we saved about $45 on gas AND over $45 at BJ's. Not bad at all - and we didn't get any candy bars or croutons.

Friday, April 22, 2011

And you're outa here!..

One of the shortest relationships I'll ever have... 38 days with a major purchase. Sorry Sleep Comfort mattress - see ya. The delivery guys came today at 5:35 (my time slot was 2:00 - 6:00). Murphy's Law that it was at the end of the day since I was home waiting...

It took me 10 trips from the bedroom closet to the dining room - so the pickup guys were in & out in 5 minutes. One final signature saying that they didn't destroy my house & they were gone with it. I reassured myself by asking that they'd box up the mattress - their answer was "we'll put in the leftover boxes from all the deliveries from today".

I'm sure there is a person from today who bought their new mattress and will want to return it in about 38 days without a box. I swear it is a scam - but it is finally gone. Now the waiting game to get the $ returned to my credit card. This might not be the end of my story... let's sure hope so.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

T minus 3 days & counting...

Only 3 more days with my Sleep Comfort bed. No, no, don't be sad - as it is taking up precious space in my walk in closet right now. It is in 3 boxes that I bought at Lowes. And to make it fit to mail back would take about 5 more - and God knows where I'd find the specific size(s).

From my previous posts on my "number" - you know by now that I've given up the dream of being a lover of the Sleep Number bed. I really, really wanted it to work. I figured it was something worth the extra $, but it isn't. At least for me.

On day 30, I was able to call for a return number from them. The Sleep Number customer service took about 10 minutes to "get through" on day 10. (we had officially given up then). And that is when they told us we HAD to wait for 30 days for our "30 day trial". But this time it took only a couple of minutes of waiting. What you hear from them while doing so is how to adjust your bed. Obviously, this is an issue for many people.

When I spoke to a customer service rep., they did their best to get me to keep the bed. I had to tell her why I was unsatisfied - which is the bar from hell (see previous posts). I embellished my story by throwing my husband under the bus - about how we couldn't sleep with the bar between us and that our numbers were far off from each other. (I admit I had read that on the complaints online). The difference in levels is a huge issue amongst couples with a level problem. Or as they called it " the snuggler's conflict". A: you can't sleep "together" or on the bar. B: if one side is soft & the other is hard, then there is a huge difference on the elevation of the bed from side to side.

I was offered a "fix" to the bar problem. She said they don't address it in the stores & that this new zipper thingy would solve the bar in the middle of my back problem. (no). So the next issue we had was the difference of elevation - and the magically offer a solution to this, too. My guess is they raise the lower/softer side up to meet the higher/harder side. (no). Of course, these were not free, but they offered this to me and it would not go against my 30 day trial. (no). I basically had to be a (nice) but hard ass and say "I've been married 7 years & would like to be married for 7 more - and with this bed, we've been fighting". (yeah, I know I'm a good liar).

So my options to return the said bed in my closet are:
A: find some boxes & send it via Fed-Ex or UPS. Good luck finding some boxes that this effing thing fits in - and THEN I had to get it to a Fed-Ex shipping place - and THEN pay for shipping.
(no)
B: have Sleep Comfort email me pre-paid shipping labels. She said it typically is 5-7 labels at $29.99 each. Oh, and I'd have to find the boxes and get them to a Fed-Ex
(double no)
C: pay for their guys to disassemble the bed & pack it up & take it out of here - and ship it back. (no brainer)

They called & they're coming this Friday. I was asked to make a clear path (check) and remove all linens (check). The lucky dudes will simply have to pack it up - as it'll be sitting on my dining room table - waiting to be given to charity by Sleep Number.

So, the moral of the story is: go with the sure thing. Oh, and don't buy a Sleep Number bed.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I've got your "number"... about $250 down the drain

The Sleep Number saga continues.
After calling the company, they INSIST on a 30-day "free trial". Or in other words, I'm stuck with the effing bed for 30 days and THEN I can return it. I will be reimbursed the full amount, minus the shipping, delivery & setup fee ($139) AND I will have to pay to have it shipped back. My best guess it will be another $100-$200 to ship that damn thing out of here.

They make you wait because they insist it takes days to get used to the bed and to try and find your "number". Well - my number is 60. But the bed just isn't worth $1900. The thought of it being able to change with me was a real plus. But after trying it for 18 nights - it isn't worth keeping. Even with losing some $ to return it, I felt it was best to get rid of it & try another mattress. By the way, the amount spent was highly analyzed by me. I DID my research. I don't blow cash like that on a whim - so I really wanted it to work. If you really think about how much time we spend in our beds, we should spend good $ on them. I figured it was a good investment. But it really was a good lesson learned.

This past weekend, I bought a new Original Mattress Factory mattress. The same style/quality of the one I had taken out 18 days ago. I originally thought of keeping the base from Sleep Number - as it is a great base. Or as my Dad says "it can hold an elephant". However, it is exactly that - a base. And not a box spring. So this morning, a new set was delivered. The difference this time is I bought a 1 piece box spring. It should be more sturdy than my old, split ones. I also didn't buy the low profile box spring. The difference is about 2 inches more off the ground - but we're both tall - not like I need to make a running jump to get on the bed or anything. Plus, nothing a King sized comforter won't fix on a Queen sized bed. (already have).

We tore down the old bed & packed it in some purchased boxes. The bed to return back is in my closet - waiting for boxes from either Uhaul or UPS. Not sure HOW I'm going to get everything boxed AND sent back... but anything to get that thing out of the closet & most of my $ back.

I spent last night on the hide-a-bed. Not fun at all - so I'm really looking forward to my new bed tonight & hopefully a long relationship with it. Bottom line, go with your gut instinct & go with the sure thing. Ironically, the day we decided to just buy a new mattress to replace the Sleep Number bed, is the day my "Sleep Number InnerCircle" info arrived in the mail.