I Could Not Take It Anymore

I sit.  Alot.  Too much.

This week especially.  In shows, during coupon tutoring, watching television, in church and while in conversation with friends.

So adding 6 – 10 hours a day sitting at my desk was just too much.

I could literally feel my rear end spreading out in spite of my time at the gym.  There are not enough squats in the world to undo it.

Additionally more and more bloggers have been sending me articles about the dangers of sitting so many hours a day- even if you do work out on a regular basis.

So today I decided I was going to do it- jerry-rig my desk and turn it into a standing desk.

I didn’t want to spend any money so for right now I just used items I have around my house (doesn’t the paper box just look so professional?!).  If this turns out to be a good solution I might come up with something a little less tacky looking!

Do any of you have a standing desk or just feel like you are going nuts at your desk?

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Frugal Weekend Activities in Hampton Roads 9/8 – 9/9

If you are local and think there is nothing to do in Hampton Roads- think again!  Our area is full of great stuff to do this weekend- and most of it FREE!

Looking for more fun?  Check out the My Active Child Activity Calendar!

Saturday, September 8, 2012
  • 9:30am Shriners Parade at Atlantic Avenue from 17th Street to 29th Street, Virginia Beach VA
  • 10am-5pm Artisans in the Park at Great Neck Park 2516 Shorehaven Drive Virginia Beach, VA 23454
  • 10am-5pm THEN & NOW Portsmouth at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum 2 High Street on the Portsmouth VA Waterfront
  • 10:30am-4:30pm Gymnastics Event at Peninsula Town Center 5100 Kilgore Ave, Hampton, VA 23666
  • 2pm Zootime at Barnes & Noble Greenbrier 1212 Greenbrier Pkwy, Chesapeake, VA 23320
Sunday, September 9, 2012
  • 10am-4pm Artisans in the Park at Great Neck Park 2516 Shorehaven Drive Virginia Beach, VA 23454
  • 2:30-4:30pm Learn to Play Chess! at Mary D. Pretlow Anchor Branch Library 111 W. Ocean View Avenue Norfolk, VA 23503
Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 9th! For a list of local specials/events click HERE.
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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Farmers Market Trip 7/21


This Saturday I had the luxury of being able to head to the Farmers Market and browse a bit!

I am lucky that my city has a Farmer’s Market only 5 minutes from my house.

Last weekend my mom went and got the most amazing ice box watermelon I have ever tasted so I wanted to grab one this week.

And the produce from the Farmer’s Market is usually fresher so it doesn’t go bad as quickly as the stuff from the grocery store (which you have to consider when you are cooking for one person).

This morning I took some pictures of the great produce and the prices so you see what’s usually available!  This trip in addition to what I show they had butter beans, tomatoes, egg plant, plums, peaches and SO much more!

 

Seeded Watermelon $7- They were HUGE


There is usually a good turn out when I am there.  This is one of the typical stands with produce on it.

This is the one I go to but you probably have one near you too!

There is usually a wide variety to pick from – although remember it has to be the right season for the stuff you want!

The ice box melons- I bought one!

The very top picture shows you what I bought today:
2 cucumbers $1 for both
1 green pepper $.50
2 ears of corn $.50 for both (I split this with my mom though- if I just bought two it would have been $.66)
1 ice box melon $3

So I spent $6 this morning.  The market is also on Wednesday mornings so if the watermelon is REALLY good I may be making a trip back!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Locals: Fun and Frugal Weekend Activities


Each week Charlotte at My Active Child finds the best frugal events for you and your family in Hampton Roads.  Here is what you can expect this weekend:

Saturday

  • 11am-1pm Dinosaur Party at Pembroke Mall 4554 Virginia Beach Blvd. Virginia Beach, VA 23462
  • 11am-1pm Teddy Bear Tea Party ($2 per person, reservation required) at Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center 2410 Wickham Avenue Newport News, VA 23607
  • 1-3pm Wreck a T-shirt! (call to register) at Bayside & Special Services Library 936 Independence Boulevard Virginia Beach, VA 23455
  • 8:30-10:30pm Cinema Under The Stars at TowneBank Fountain Park within Town Point Park Waterside Drive Norfolk, VA 23510
Sunday
  • 7am FREE Bird Walks at Newport News Park – Discovery Center, 13560 Jefferson Avenue Newport News, VA 23603
  • 2-4pm Celebrate Wind Day at First Landing Park- Trail Center- 2500 Shore Drive Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Looking for more fun?  Check out the My Active Child Activity Calendar!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


It Was The Biggest Bug Ever


In spite of being the tiredest human being on the planet this morning I was excited to get to WVEC and do “Weekends With Joe and Julie.”

I get to the studio, we finish up with SPCA Sunday and the staff begs me to sing a little bit for them.  After a rousing rendition of “Tomorrow” (quite possibly the most obnoxious Broadway song EVER) I settle back in my chair to attempt to stay awake before I am on camera.

Julie is to my left in the pod doing the weather forecast and is excited because it’s not going to be 150 degrees for the rest of the week.  As she is speaking out the corner of my eye I see a bug flying around the lights.

Now let me be clear- this was a BUG.  Not a gnat or a mosquito- it was about the size of those big bumblebees you see.  And it’s flying around bumping into the lights.  And every time it bumps you can hear it.  Buzz-buzz-buzz- bump.  And I know she is going to see it and she is going to FREAK OUT.

Thankfully Julie does not see the bug until the pictures are up on the screen.  So what the viewers saw was a chart with the weather for the week while listening to Julie calmly explain the weather patterns.  What I saw was Julie calmly explaining the weather patterns as she ducks around the studio with her eyes wildly searching for the bug and her hands are flying around (this is what a professional can do on the air).  She practically jumps the counter and heads to the far corner of the studio.

The moment she finishes talking she flees the studio.  By now the camera guy, teleprompter operator and Joe Flanagan (the anchor) have seen the bug.  Unfortunately this is not when we cut to commercial- it’s now cutting to the longest bank of stories in the broadcast.  So while Joe VERY calmly reports a murder-suicide, the traffic at the beach, a bridge closing and about the free water stations in town we are now all watching the bug.

Kwame (the camera operator) begins chasing the thing around the studio with the paddles we use to keep time.  He is trying to swat it without hitting any equipment, run in front of the camera or distract Joe too much who is still having to calmly and respectfully talk.  Joe is RIGHT on the edge of losing it and having to concentrate so hard with the gymnastics going on around him.  (If only I had my iPhone to record this).  If Kwame went to London he would take home the gold for his floor routine this morning.

Finally for some reason the bug decides to land on the ground right by Julie’s desk.

Now I have to decide what to do.  I am NOT a bug squisher and this is a BIG bug with an exo-skeleton.  Usually I am a “save the bug take it outside person.”  However Joe is barely maintaining his composure and Julie will be doing the weather in the hall if this isn’t taken care of.  So I jump up from my chair and “crunch”… step on the bug and try to kill it mercifully.

We finally break for commercial and everyone in the room dies laughing.  The poor guys in the sound booth hear us all talking at once and can’t figure out what is going on.  I get a high five from Kwame and Julie clasps my hand with gratitude.  Moments later we go live on the air to talk about free Slurpees and free Chick-fil-A.

So now along with coupon queen and singer I can add bug killer to list of uses at WVEC.

Another great rescue from A Frugal Chick!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Frugal Readers- I Want Your Story

Did you see my interview with Amy and Jason about their first month without cable?

In the 2.5 years I have been “A Frugal Chick” my whole life has been changed.  Besides my new knowledge of coupon policies, how to read bar codes and making you tube videos YOU, my readers, have expanded my world.  Every coupon class I teach I learn something new- new discounts, new ways to get discounts, new frugal characteristics.  You guys are my teachers every week.  Some of you have made decisions that have had a profound impact on your family and given you greater possibilities for the future.

So now I want to expand my world and let you teach your fellow readers.  I would love to hear from some of you.  What have you done in your lives that was frugal and made a huge impact on you?  Did you pay cash for a house?  Take in a boarder?  Decide to live without electricity?  Quit eating out?

If you think you have a story worth telling send me a message at afrugalchick (at) aol (dot) com.  Give me two or three paragraphs and let me know your story.  Others may be able to benefit from you!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Kids Frugal Fun: Summer Bucket List


Sharon at Mom on Dealz creates fun kid’s crafts that you can do at home on the cheap!

This craft involves making your bucket list for the summer!

Summer Bucket List

Materials:
Construction Paper
String
Markers
Scissors
Clothespins
Tape

Directions:
1. Create a list with your child of activities they would like to do during their summer vacation.
2. Cut a T-shirt shape out of construction paper and label each “shirt” with one of your bucket list items.

3. Hang a string on the wall and attach each shirt to the line.

Educational Activities:

  • Make some of your bucket list items into goals. For instance we writing the alphabet for my 3 year old and learning colors for my 1 year old.
  • Math: Use different colored paper to create the t-shirts and create a pattern with the colors. Have your child identify the pattern.
  • Writing: Have your child write about each activity after you complete them.
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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


A Frugal Reader: Our First Month Without Cable

Amy and Jason live in Macon, GA with their two sons Josiah and John David.  Amy runs her own spray tan business.  I went to college with both of them.  Amy and I both studied in the music department and lived in the same hall in the dorm.  So if you ever track her down she has some interesting Frugal Chick stories.

In case you missed it about 5 weeks ago I got a bill from Cox Communication and wasn’t amused by the increase.  And as I do whenever I get really frustrated I wrote a post about it.

That day I noticed in my personal facebook feed that one of my friends had forwarded the post to her husband and asked his thoughts on it.  About a day later I saw in his status that they were turning all their equipment into Cox and beginning a new life cable (bill) free.

So I asked Amy if I could interview her and Jason about their first month without cable.  I know many of you have seriously considered eliminating cable in your homes (including myself) and want to know what it’s like.  Usually the people I talk to who have no cable tell me “we aren’t really television people anyway.”  I knew the Murphys actually watched their television so I wanted to see what the adjustment was like for them and WHY they chose to even try life without cable.

The Murphy’s bill for Cox Communications was $191.00 a month. This included cable (with DVR), internet and a home phone.  Each month they paid it slightly groaning at the money being spent (as so many of us do).  So after talking about it they took the plunge and the box went back to Cox Communications.  They also cancelled the home phone because they were RARELY using it anyway.

As you can imagine their kids were NOT very excited.  They had many shows they watched on The Disney and Discovery Channels  and were sure they would not be able to find them.   Amy had several shows she really enjoyed watching she thought they would never be able to find since they were on cable networks (I won’t reveal what these are as several of them are my guilty pleasures as well- college dormmates must keep some secrets for each other).

Then I asked the question I considered most important- have there been any shows you have been unable to find?  Amy laughed.  She said she makes Jason a list and when she gets home from working it’s all ready to be watched.  Jason is pretty computer savvy but he swears he hasn’t had to illegally download anything.  He has even been able to watch all of his sports games on ESPN.com.  Their kids have not missed any shows.  Amy mentioned that she has a soap opera she watches that is easily available on line.  I had no idea that soap operas could be watched online!

Amy did mention one thing that disappointed her watching her shows on line- she has to watch commercials and with the DVR she could fast forward through them.  (Remember commercials?)  I asked Amy if they were watching LESS television then they did with DVR and she said no.  But she did point out that they watched much less BEFORE the DVR.

Right now they utilize several tools to get their television shows.  The first is a FREE trial to Amazon Prime which gives them access to tons of shows and movies.  When we spoke their plan was to continue that after the month was over.  Amazon Prime is $79 a year and gives them access to tons of shows, many free books and free shipping for all Amazon purchases (except for items sold by third party vendors).  They are also paying $9.95 a month for Netflix.  I asked if they were using Hulu and Jason said they had not needed to as of yet.  They are also looking into buying a Roku Player.  They do have an Xbox as well which has allowed them to stream Amazon onto  their television.

This month is their first month without paying for cable (they also got rid of the home phone).  Their bill went from $191.00 to about $45.00.

I could do a lot with an extra $150 a month!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Did You Lose Me On Facebook?


I try not to complain about facebook too often because they are offering their services for free and they are my number one referral source for my website. But I will tell you- timeline has taken some real getting used to.

One of the side effects of timeline is that I have had many readers e-mail and tell me they can’t find my anymore in their news feed (the big list on your main page).

After asking around one of my fellow bloggers was nice enough to show me how to make sure I get everything I want in my news feed and it’s SUPER easy!

All you have to do is head to A Frugal Chick’s Facebook Page. If you haven’t “liked” me already go ahead and do that.

Once you have just hover over the “Like” button and a menu will appear.

Select “Show in News Feed” (there should be a check mark in front of it).

That’s it!

This will guarantee that the posts I do on facebook end up in your news feed!

Thanks to Savings Lifestyle for the pic and information!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Good Housekeeping Research Institute Visit #EEinNYC


Yesterday we had the chance to head to the beautiful Hearst building in New York City and check out the Good Housekeeping Reseach Institute.

You know those jobs that you always wonder if they really exist? Like the guy who can tell you which paper towel really soaks up the most water or the girl who knows which wrinkle cream is the best?

These are the (very smart people) with those jobs.

They work for the magazine “Good Housekeeping” and they determine if a product receives their stamp of approval. I had no idea this was such a hard thing to get. They have lots of tests and funny machines to determine if your bathing suit really will hold it’s color after 50 washes.

This machine was in their section that tests the beauty products. Each year they buy tons of human hair (all kinds too- color treated, sun damaged etc) and test things like shampoos and conditioner. That machine allows them to precisely control the water temperature and can access everything from salt water to pure water.

This machine allows them to take swatches of fabric and wash them over and over and over and over and over to see what happens. They can see if material shrinks or fades, if it frays or there is any other damage.

These towels used to be the same size. The one on the left was what it looked like when they started. The one on the right was after 25 washes. It shrunk 6 INCHES! (Turns out the towels are just shrinking- we aren’t gaining weight!)

This is where everybody wants to work- the test kitchen. They not only check to see if things taste good but they also confirm nutritional information to see that it is correct. Have you ever eaten Pirate’s Booty? When it first came out it was labeled as a nutritious kid friendly snack with 2.5 grams of fat per serving. Good Housekeeping independently tested it and discovered it had 8 grams of fat! They have since reworked the formula and met at a comfortable 5 grams.

Right now they are working on items for the Thanksgiving issue so I am sure turkeys and cranberry sauce will be soon!

This is the area that checks household items- all kinds of products! Currently they were testing skillets.

They also had a big room full of vacuum cleaners- with a machine that grinds dirt into the carpet just so they can see how much it sucks out.

All in all, it was a very interesting tour. I promise you I will never look at the Good Housekeeping seal again without some much due respect!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.