Credit Card Cash Rewards Explained

 
Credit card cash rewards can offer added benefits to credit card owners. But sometimes it can be confusing to claim them. In addition, not all cash rewards are the same.

Types and Distribution of Credit Card Cash Rewards

There are several types of credit card cash rewards as well as different ways they can be distributed. It is important to know when and how they can be made available to make the most of these rewards.

Credit-Card-Cash-Rewards
American Express® statement credit cash reward printed and stored either digitally or manually for proof of distribution.

Types of Cash Rewards

There are between three and four types of cash rewards. The most direct is the statement credit applied directly to your credit card statement, illustrated above. But which statement is the question. Is it your current statement or your next statement? I often find that a call into the credit card company is needed to clarify this question.

The other types of cash rewards are illustrated here. They are gift cards, merchandise and friend referral rewards.

Credit-Card-Cash-Rewards
Types of additional cash rewards available as illustrated by Amex®.

Distribution of Credit Card Cash Rewards

This is where things can get confusing. Distribution has several options:
• anytime by request online or by phone
• with a minimum of $25 in rewards by the same methods
• in increments of $25 in rewards by the same methods

credit-card-cash-rewards
Capital One® offers cash back in any amount at any time plus lots of other rewards.

Option One is the simplest and most direct. Capital One and now Bank of America credit cards both offer this service. See the illustration above,

Option Two is where things can get complicated and there are drawbacks. This is because you can’t withdraw cash rewards at any time. There has to be an accumulation of at least $25 to do so. American Express distributes cash rewards this way. Read the fine print inside the red outline.

credit card cash rewards
Cash rewards are available for a minimum of $25 dollars. See the fine print inside the red lines.

Then there is Option Three, the least desirable way to cash in cash rewards. They can only be made in increments of $25. As illustrated below, cash rewards can be distributed only in increments of $25.

credit card cash rewards
Wells Fargo Go Far® Cash Rewards program distributes rewards only in incremented of $25.

Reading the fine print is important to understand what types of credit card cash reward exist and how they can be distributed. You can also learn more about credit cards on this blog by going to the search bar and typing in credit cards.

SOURCES AND RESOURCES

Capital One Cash Back VISA Credit Cards
Bank of America Cash Back VISA Credit Cards
Wells Fargo Credit Cards
American Express Credit Cards

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Confessions of a Survey Junkie®

 

How I Became A Survey Junkie®

You may wonder, ‘how does one become a survey junkie’? How I became a ‘survey junkie’ is something I ask myself from time to time. Let me go back to explain how it happened.

survey-junkie
The Former Middle Class Ebook Series Facebook page header displaying the trilogy covers
The Poor Middle Class Crisis

Back in 2009, when we became One Day from Homeless, our finances and our lives changed completely. We went from being part of the gainfully employed middle class to part of The Poor Middle Class Crisis.

In our new Former Middle-Class Life, our weekly salaries and monthly investment incomes no longer existed. Instead, they were replaced by very limited monthly retirement social security incomes that had to last all month. To say the least, it was not easy. To put it bluntly, we became like feral children without the benefit of parents or teachers. We had to learn how to survive on our own and all over again. We had become part of The Former Middle Class.

Supplemental Survival Tools

What changed the most was our daily routine. Rather than showering and dressing in 9-to-5 Manhattan garb, we set out in old jeans or sweats to collect bottles on recycling days and cashed them in on other days. We also dress casually for the other parts of our routine. We frequent two food pantries once a week and one food pantry once a month. Between these tightly budgeted visits to supermarkets on senior discount days and doctors visits on other days, our weekday schedule is complete.

In between these activities we have our own indoor farm. We grow microgreens and sprouts to supplement our food pantry diet which tends not to have much fresh produce. In the warmer weather, these foods are not only delicious but super packed with nutrients. But here as well, indoor farming is time-consuming and can be hard work.

survey-junkie
The Facebook header of ‘Soil Is Not a Dirty Word’, Growing our own food indoors is part of our new life of supplemental survival tools

Once a day we do eat a substantial, home-cooked meal. The other two meals are more like snacks that include pantry scavenged food. I tried growing our own food, microgreens as well as sprouts, in our one bedroom apartment. I even got a food compost system to recycle food scraps into worm digested, super fertilizer. But that became arduous. We needed to discontinue these survival supplements and find easier solutions.

Using Credit Cards for Survival and Profit

As I detail in the second book of The Former Middle Class Ebook Series, I taught myself how to benefit from using credit cards. I developed a system that allowed me to decrease my monthly expenses with sign up promotions and cash rewards. Although soil is not a dirty word, using credit cards for survival and profit is a lot cleaner undertaking.

survey-junkie
How to Set Up a Budget

To this day, using credit cards for survival and profit is our most sophisticated undertaking. But it in itself has become a daily, part-time job. To keep on target financially requires hours each day checking online credit card accounts, going over spreadsheets, recording expenses, and tallying expenses by credit card and category of expense. At times, it is mindboggling. There are days when I even feel like it is ‘Greek to me’. In addition, I have accumulated a substantial number of credit cards that have to be rotated every few months to keep them active and viable.

With all the challenges involved in this system, we have managed to rise to FICO credit scores of over 800! When it was below that, I was able to find out why and quickly remedied the situation. I am very proud of this accomplishment and still apply for additional cards but much less often. This finally brings me to where becoming ‘a survey junkie’ came into the picture.

Other Supplemental Survival Tools

Over time and between discovering this boon to our survival, I needed to explore what I call, other supplemental survival tools. Many of them are explored in Chapters 4 and 5 of the first book of The Former Middle Class Ebook series, The Poor Middle-Class Crisis.

It is not a good idea to apply for new credit cards too often. It can raise a red flag with the credit card provider companies, resulting in denials and lower FICO® scores. In order to avoid that, it is necessary to introduce supplemental survival tools. One of my financial gurus, James Wang of Wallet Hacks, often has terrific suggestions on his blog. Here’s one, Surveys for Money.

survey-junkie
From a blog post by James Wang, ’10 Legitimate Paid Survey Sites to Start Making Extra Money Each Month’
Surveys for Money

Way back when we became part of the poor middle-class, we really struggled financially. We had to adjust to a much lower standard of living. Not only that, we had to find perks to survive and still live a somewhat healthy life. Taking surveys was an option that came up in our research. But at that time, I found the idea boring and unappealing.

Well, things change over time and one’s perspective on what is acceptable and or distasteful have to adjust. Therefore surveys started to look interesting. They really didn’t take much time and they could actually be fun. In fact, I began to feel like I was part of the population that helps determine marketing procedures for products. I even felt special. The main thing is to take as little time doing it and make it a game rather than a nuisance.

James Wang has suggestions for technique as well as actual surveys. He puts Survey Junkey® first on his list. It is my preference and the only one I use. That is because there are too many available to make it time effective for me to participate in. It is also because I know it has the James Wang seal of approval. I have found that I can comfortably have a survey bonus of about $10. a month. It is possible to get much more. But my Survey Junkie® addiction is satisfied with by that. Stick around for more supplemental survival tools and other helpful topics.

survey-junkie
From the blog post by James Wang, A list of surveys that pay for you to take them
SOURCES AND RESOURCES
Wallet Hacks® by James Wang
Survey Junkie®
The Poor Middle Class
One Day from Homeless
Using Credit Cards for Survival and Profit
Why Did My FICO® Score Decrease by 12 Points in One Month
The Former Middle Class Trilogy
Soil Is Not A Dirty Word
Seed Mama Indoor Farming

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SEASONS GREETINGS 2018

 
Seasons Greetings 2018 is the most fitting thing to say at this time of the year. Even better than saying Seasons Greetings 2018 is showing it.

Each year Phil, my husband and I like to create or choose from our artwork something we feel would make a fitting greeting card. This year is a double winner. I had begun a decorative art & design project, bottle painting and decorating. They turned out so good that I created 9 of them to make into a Hannukah menorah.

seasons greeting 2018
Happy Hannukah Days menorah created out of 9 bottles I painted and decorated

The same 9 bottles were then transformed by my husband into Christmas tree ornaments. The result was our Christmas Card for our Seasons Greetings 2018 project.

Seasons Greetings 2018
Our Christmas card was also fashioned using my painted and decorated bottles.

Seasons Greeting 2018 to all. Whether you celebrate(d) Hannukah, will be celebrating Christmas, Kwanza or any other holiday at this time of year, we wish you a good one as well as a Happy New Year!

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Why Did My FICO® Score Decrease by 12 Points In One Month?

 

A Stable FICO® Score

I check my credit scores everytime I check my credit card balances. The scores are stable, fairly consistent and fluctuate a few points at most. The chart below is a clear illustration of that stability.

stable FICO® score
I usually have a consistent FICO® score as illustrated by the Transunion chart here
An Untypical FICO® Score Situation

So when I got a notification last month that my best score had dropped 12 points, I was shocked. The charts below mentions the 12 pt decrease in red.

stable fico® score
My credit score has decreased by 12 points. Why did it change so much?

Because I pay such careful attention to my score, I usually have a pretty good idea why it might change and by how much. As I mentioned, I usually have a fairly stable FICO® score. Therefore a decrease of 12 points was a red flag to me. Something was wrong. But I had no idea what it was. It was time to investigate.

Five FICO® Score Factors System

There are five or six main categories that go into determining a credit score. They are illustrated in the three examples below.

stable FICO® score
Five FICO® Score Factors
Six FICO® Score Factors System
stable FICO® score
Six FICO® factors
Primary Credit Factors

The wording may vary slightly and the scoring may as well. But it comes down to basically the same thing. Scoring may be based on a letter system like A, B, C, D or words like, Excellent, Good, Average, Below Average. In my case, my monthly grades have enough excellents that my score remains around 800 for these six categories:
• Payment history (On-time Payments)
• Credit Utilization (Credit Used)
• Age of Credit (Oldest Credit Line)
• Credit Inquiries (Recent Inquiries)(New Accounts)
• Total Accounts (Available Credit)
• Negative Marks

stable FICO® score
What Impacts Your Credit from Capital One
Searching for the FICO® Score Factor Red Flag

The above grades are good enough to rank me around an 800 FICO® score each month. Previous to last month, no action I took lowered my score by 12 points. But I knew that once I found what category was off and why this had happened, my decrease would be explained. In fact, what it was turned out to be kind of humorous.

The Solution Turned Out To Be in the Credit Utilization Category

On an average, I use between 1% and 2% of my credit utilization category. This means that if I have a $100,000 credit limit on all my credit cards, I only charge $1000 to $2000 dollar a month total. Two months ago, I had gotten a new promotional credit card. It offered a cash back reward of $200 if I charged $1,000 on it within three months. I was so excited about the cash reward that I charged the full amount within two months. That reflected a very unusual credit utilization percentage for me. It was much more than normal.

stable FICO® score
Credit Utilization Flagged

Glancing at the chart above, one can see that my normal credit utilization is 2%. But the new card that I purposely charged a large amount on had a credit utilization rate of 22%. Here’s the irony. In order to fulfill the requirements for the promotion, I charged much more in a month than normal. It did not significantly damage my credit. But it did throw both the credit rating company and me for a bit of a loop at first. I am sure that by next month everything will be back to normal since that kind of utilization is atypical for me. In addition, I will have a statement credit or a cash reward of $200. to ease the pain. Not a bad FICO® score lesson in my book!

Conclusion

I was fortunate in this case that nothing serious had happened to my credit. I did not need to contact any of the credit reporting agencies. They are Transunion®, Experian®, and Equifax®. If there is a situation that does not seem right and that you cannot figure out on your own, do not hesitate to call the particular credit card or one of the three agencies. We live in a time when we have easy access to these agencies and we should be careful as well as protect ourselves from errors and fraud.

stable FICO® score
Two published eBooks and a third on the way in the 3 eBook series about ‘The Former Middle Class’
Sources and Resources

Transunion®
Experian®
Equifax®
Using Credit Cards for Survival and Profit

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Worm Compost Tea

 

worm compost tea
Worm Compost Tea from Popular Science

Making Compost from Red Wiggler Worms

Worms and dirt are antithetical to tea, worm compost tea especially for many people. But for someone like me, who squealed with joy when my first order of worms arrived, it has been quite an exciting adventure. Everything about embarking on having an indoor farm has been thrilling and educational.

Indoor Farming

It all started when I decided to grow an indoor farm. I initially called it tabletop farming since I actually began my adventure on a regular round dining table. The reason I decided to become an indoor farmer were circumstantial.
1. I had no place to grow food outside.
2. I needed to have access to local, organic produce for both health and frugality.

Seed Mama Indoor Farming

So I began what became known as, Seed Mama Indoor Farming. The first few months were devoted completely to growing my crops of microgreens in soil. Black gold, or worm castings are the best fertilizer known to man. When they are used directly or made into worm compost tea, the provide super nutrients to anything that grows.

worm compost tea
Seed Mama Indoor Farming
Soil Is Not A Dirty Word

For a time I switched my growing method to soil-less or hydroponic growing. I didn’t focus as much on fertilizer for that process. But I missed putting my hands in the dirt. So I resumed my original passion. That really made it necessary and desirable for me to learn more about composting. Most important was for me to learn now to make worm compost tea.

worm compost tea
Soil Is Not A Dirty Word Facebook Group Cover Photo
Making Worm Compost Tea

Compost tea is not just the liquid run off from worm castings. It has to be ‘brewed’ according to the many recipes I found. So I am just starting to learn this black gold alchemy. I will keep you posted on my progress and let my readers see how magical this potion is meant to be. For now here is a list of posts about making worm compost tea.

Sources and Resources

Is Worm Compost Tea Worth the Hype?

A Simple Way to Make Worm Tea

How To Make Worm Compost Tea with Worm Castings

How To Make Worm Castings Tea

Worm Casting Tea

Best Worm Tea

Worm Compost Tea
Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm Worm Compost Tea
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Branding Part Two: “Just Call Us Dunkin’®”

 

Just Call Us Dunkin’®

Back in 2011 when I wrote a blog post about Dunkin’ Donuts entitled, Design by Dunkin’, little did I know how prescient that title would be. Back in September of this year, Tony Weisman, Chief Marketing Officer, Dunkin’ U.S. announced, “We’re Changing Our Name to Dunkin’”.

rebranding dunkin donuts
The New Dunkin’ Logo
From ‘Branding, Part One: Design by Dunkin’’
This short video tour of my local Dunkin’ Donuts store illustrates the excellence of the use of the Dunkin’ Donuts brand. Notice all the visual information that reinforces their brand and their message, America Runs on Dunkin’. Watch this short video to see how well my local Dunkin’ Donuts illustrates the brand and their message, ‘America Runs On Dunkin’®.

The blog post I originally wrote was very positive about their branding. I loved it. In fact, I also made a video to illustrate my passion for their brand. Their recently announced re-branding program is very exciting for me. I can hardly wait to see what it includes. They’ve done such a good job in the past. My curiosity is peaked to see what they will come up with now.

rebranding Dunkin' Donuts
Business Insider Visits the New Dunkin’ in NYC. This is what they find. There are iced drinks on tap.
The Dunkin’ Rebrand

I’ve already seen a few hints of what the visuals are going to look like. They are very creative. The lively color scheme of bright orange and hot pink will stay. Their official tagline will also remain the same, ‘America Runs on Dunkin’. Here are some examples of their new graphics from their Blog Post, What’s New, September 25, 2018, A Letter from Dunkin’ CMO Tony Weisman: We’re Changing Our Name to Dunkin’ By Tony Weisman, Chief Marketing Officer, Dunkin’ U.S.

rebranding dunkin donuts
Out with the Old Dunkin’ Donuts and in with the new Dunkin’.
Post It On The Building Walls

Here are some building wall visuals I came across in researching this exciting transformation. They are from The News Releases Section of their Website, What’s New, September 25, 2018
Welcome to Dunkin’: Dunkin’ Donuts Reveals New Brand Identity

rebranding dunkin donuts
Just Call Us Dunkin’
rebranding dunkin' donuts
Examples of Dunkin’ Branding
Print It on the Packaging

Of course all the packaging has to be updated. Here’s what it will look like.

rebranding dunkin donuts
Examples of new packaging for Dunkin’

Shout It Out on Social Media

Rebranding is a bold, expensive and risky move. Why is the company doing it? Here’s what they are saying on twitter. They seem calm, comfortable, confident and very approachable about their rebranding Dunkin Donuts to just, Dunkin’! Enough said?

rebranding dunkin donuts
What Dunkin’ has to say on twitter
rebranding Dunkin Donuts
What Dunkin’ Has to Say on Facebook
rebranding Dunkin Donuts
Indicate on Instagram that Dunkin Donuts is going Dunkin’
rebranding Dunkin Donuts
Let Everyone Know It on LinkedIn
Conclusion

I could not say it as well so I would like to quote from the press release of September 25, 2018 on why Dunkin’ Donuts is going Dunkin’. ‘According to Dunkin’ Brands’ CEO and Dunkin’ U.S. President David Hoffmann, “Our new branding is one of many things we are doing as part of our blueprint for growth to modernize the Dunkin’ experience for our customers. From our next generation restaurants, to our menu innovation, on-the-go ordering and value offerings, all delivered at the speed of Dunkin’, we are working to provide our guests with great beverages, delicious food and unparalleled convenience. We believe our efforts to transform Dunkin’, while still embracing our incredible heritage, will keep our brand relevant for generations to come.”

“By simplifying and modernizing our name, while still paying homage to our heritage, we have an opportunity to create an incredible new energy for Dunkin’, both in and outside our stores,” said Tony Weisman, Chief Marketing Officer, Dunkin’ U.S. “We are bringing the iconic name Dunkin’ to the forefront in a bold way that brings to life how we refill optimism with each cup and bring fun, joy and delight to our customers each and every day.”’

rebranding dunkin donuts
YUM from HelloMattStevens.com on Pinterest
Sources and Resources

A Letter from Dunkin’ CMO Tony Weisman: We’re Changing Our Name to Dunkin’ By Tony Weisman, Chief Marketing Officer, Dunkin’ U.S. Sept 25, 2018

The News Releases Section of their Website, What’s New, September 25, 2018
Welcome to Dunkin’: Dunkin’ Donuts Reveals New Brand Identity

We visited Dunkin’ Donuts’ ‘store of the future’ in NYC — here’s what it was like

Dunkin’ Donuts Set to Rebrand as Simply Dunkin’

Dunkin’ Donuts considers rebranding as just Dunkin’

Design by Dunkin’®: The Dunkin’ Donuts Brand

Branding Part Two: “Just Call Us Dunkin®”

Branding Part One: Design by Dunkin®

under Consideration: Brand New (A Special Project)

April Fools: Dunkie Drinks Dunkin’s Coffee

Dunkin’ Brands: Extraordinary Brands. Extraordinary People.

Dunkin’ Donuts, which will officially be Dunkin’ as of January 2019, can be found on:
It’s website
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest

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Design by Dunkin’®: The Dunkin’ Donuts Brand

 
dunkin' donuts brandThis blog post about the Dunkin’ Donuts brand, Branding Part One: Design by Dunkin’ is based on a post that appeared June 4, 2011 on the DBMEi Website by Basil Puglisi Blog. It was in the Marketing & Branding Category. I wrote the original as a DBMEi freelance blogger Alison D. Gilbert, The Entrepreneur.

Branding, Part One: Design by Dunkin’
This short video tour of my local Dunkin’ Donuts store illustrates the excellence of the use of the Dunkin’ Donuts brand. Notice all the visual information that reinforces their brand and their message, America Runs on Dunkin’. Watch this short video to see how well my local Dunkin’ Donuts illustrates the brand and their message, ‘America Runs On Dunkin’®.

We’ll explore the fascinating story of the Dunkin’ donuts brand going forward. But for now, let’s take a look back at branding in general throughout history. Here’s how it appears to have been meaningful a few thousand years ago up through the ages.

A Brief History of Branding: Ancient Times

Surprisingly, the branding industry has been around for thousands of years. There are examples of oxen hieroglyphics depicted on Egyptians tombs. They are supposed to indicate ownership by the deceased.

Dunkin' Donuts brand
Ancient Egyptian oxen Hieroglyphics illustration the importance of this animal to their deceased owners
The History of Tartans

In the 1500’s, woven woolen cloth, known as tartans, are believed to be derived from the French word ‘tiretaine’. They identified the geographic area from which a person came. Later, these fabric patterns became affiliated with families or clans, which is how we primarily know them today. Tartans are attributed to Scotland but also existed and still exist in Britain, Ireland, North America and in numerous other countries around the world. Some tartans were even created as late as the 20th Century. Societies, institutions, philanthropists and organizations inspired these.

dunkin' donuts brand

Livestock Branding

The original intent of livestock branding was to identify ownership, to be ‘a visible and permanent mark’ to distinguish between what was yours and what was mine. It was a clear-cut way to prevent theft as well as a simple way to identify animals and return lost livestock to their proper owner. Branding of cattle is still used in the same way today.

dunkin' donuts brand

Branding and Marketing in the Food Industry: Three Phases

Over time, branding has evolved into an indispensable marketing and advertising tool applied to a great extent, but not exclusively, to the food industry. As such, it has existed since the late 1800’s, a mere sliver of the total time line pie in branding history.

Culinary Ephemera

dunkin' donuts brand

Commercial food brands have gone through three phases. For the purposes of this article, they will not be described briefly to distinguish their periods, “the fragmentation phase (before 1870–1880), the unification phase (1880–1950), and the segmentation phase (1950 and later).” These are referred to with the source credit below. In addition, the ‘4P’ marketing theory is listed below.

History of Food Production

The History of Modern Food Production credited in the sources below.

Dunkin' Donuts Brand

I Want It and I Want It Now!

Present day branding has brought the science of marketing and the art of branding full circle. A brand with the proper marketing can now be known for instant product recognition. The goal of this immediate recognition is the advent of instantaneous acquisition and consumption. The Dunkin’ Donuts brand is working towards this goal of immediate delivery.

dunkin' donuts brand
Seamless Retail Experience
The Seamless Digital Retail Experience. Credit unknown.
The Seamless Digital Retail Experience

The purpose of the type of branding that identifies livestock is called, ‘what’s mine is mine’. But in retail, it is now ‘what’s yours is mine’ and ‘make it mine now’. This is becoming imperative and possible. Recognition through branding and acquisition through digital technology and online marketing make this process closer to seamless on a daily basis. In Part Two, we will see how the Dunkin’ Donuts brand is becoming part of this evolution.

With the evolving technologies of near field communication, local mobile fusion, radio frequency identification, QR code generation and identification, retailers are becoming able to make us offers we can no longer refuse. There is almost no time to reconsider offers as they become digitally seamless and irresistible.

dunkin' donuts brand
I Want It and I Want It Now. Credit Flickr jpg.
In Conclusion

When a brand is done well, the recognition factor is immediate. In today’s digital economy, we are now approaching ‘0’ time between seeing, wanting, purchasing (or consuming). With the continued addition of new technology, this process is getting even faster. The gap is lessening so much that our wishes will become the digital genie’s immediate command. See it. Want it. Get it. Just like that!

Sources and Resources

Ancient Egyptian Oxen Hieroglyphics
World Tartans by Iain Zaczek
A Brief History of Cattle Branding
Culinary Ephemera, An Illustrated History
A Brief History of Branding
A Visual History of Cookery

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Decorative Art & Crafts Revisited

 

Decorative Art & Crafts

Part of Decorative Art, a Bird's eye maple table with colorful legs. © Decorative Painting by Alison Gilbert
Bird’s eye maple table with colorful legs. © Decorative Painting by Alison Gilbert

Decorative Art & Crafts was a division of Art & Design was one of a hand full of major disciplines I was immersed in as an entrepreneur. I thought that this creative endeavour had come to an end. I discovered otherwise.

As a matter of fact, this venture spanned about a decade and included numerous aspects. Included were also:
Decorative Painting by Alison Gilbert
Recycled with Love Collectables
Little Bytes of Art, Wearable & Shareable Art
The Five Step Decorative Painting System
The Five Step Decorative Painting Manual
Painting & Illustration

Begun in the early 1990’s, Decorative Art & Crafts lasted until very early in the 21st Century. Several other ventures intervenes. Then about 3 months ago, in the beginning of the scorching summer of 2018, I resumed indulging in this passion. Since it was too hot for me to engage in outdoor activities, this was the perfect hobby for indoors. I took of like a rocket bound to experience the heavens. And I have been doing just that.
 

Decorative Art with A Twist

Originally Decorative Painting by Alison Gilbert, my decorative tools were primer, paint and a protective coating. In revisiting this discipline, I introduced some new tools, duck tape and contact paper.

decorative art can include Floor cloth and matching cabinet decorated with duck tape and contact paper.
Floor cloth and matching cabinet decorated with duck tape and contact paper. The tool box is an Original Pink Box®.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Recycled with Love Collectibles’ Revived

The One-of-a-kind 'Crazy Coffee Pot @Alison D. Gilbert
From Recycled with Love Collectables, The One-of-a-kind ‘Crazy Coffee Pot @Alison D. Gilbert

The decorative tools are the same and then some. Previous collectables only had primer, paint and a protective coating. Now, I have introduced all different kinds of trinkets and accessories. So far these have included:
• buttons
• pins
• ribbon
• cloth flowers
• glitter medium
• contact paper
• broken jewelry pieces

Making them is really fun and the results are very exciting. Look below for the results. There will be more to show here as pieces are completed.

hobby, vocation,
‘The Button Bottle’ is the result of revisiting the “Recycled with Love’ Collectables philosophy, techniques and then some.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Savvy Shopping Savings

 

INTRODUCTION: OUR WEEKLY SAVVY SHOPPING SAVINGS ROUTINE

Being seniors enhances our opportunities for savvy shopping savings. As a senior, if you like travelling locally by car to go shopping, these suggestions should be appealing. The following examples are where we shop. But these days, I suspect that many suburban areas would have these or similar ways to take advantage of saving shopping savings.

savvy savings shopper
Long Island Cares, Inc. The Harry Chapin Food Bank is a major supplier of free food to those in need on Long Island
Tuesday

This is the Long Island Cares, Inc. ‘Veterans only’ food pantry day. We start our food shopping here in Freeport, LI then head over to Gala Fresh Farms where it is 10% off for seniors.

savvy shopper savings
Our local Gala Fresh Farms is in Baldwin, Long Island
Wednesday

Compare is another terrific supermarket that has a lot of Latino foods to cater to the demographics of the immediate neighborhood. The prices are good and I love the variety of foods. Seniors get 10% off today.

savvy shopping savings
Our local Compare Foods Direct is in Freeport, Long Island
Thursday

Target offers 5% off everyday with their credit or debit card. Since we are in the neighborhood on Thursdays, this is the day to go here. Staples is also right nearby so this is a good day to go here too. We get 5% off with their credit card everyday.

savvy shopping savings
Target recently opened a store in our radius of local shopping in Freeport, Long Island
Everyday

There are many other local savvy shopping savings opportunities everyday. Besides Target, here are a few of them:
CVS offers 30 to 40% off on a regular basis. This is one of the few stores that I pay attention to coupons. It really pays off. They email me and send me postcards to notify me of sales. It makes it very easy to shop and save here.
Staples offers us 5% off with every purchase made with our Staples credit card.
Wild by Nature offers 10% off to seniors. If I shop here often enough, I get another quarterly coupon.
Michaels Stores, Art Supplies, Crafts and Framing has coupons every week. We actually get notification of them by email. Even though this store is not on our regular shopping route, my husband likes to take a short trip to Michaels for his week art supply needs.

savvy shopping savings
CVS is much more than a pharmacy. It’s a quasi department store that always has sales. There are five CVS stores in our shopping route.

We will either include these everyday savings stores into our shopping routine near their location(s) or make a fun trip on another day or the weekend. In the case of CVS, there are five stores in the areas where we do our other shopping. Therefore, we have the luxury of going to any one of them no matter where else we need to shop.

savvy shopper savings
A Mapquest map of our weekly shopping route in Nassau County on Long Island. The area is traversed by two local parkways, Meadowbrook and Southern State, indicated in orange. We use them only when necessary. We can usually accomplish all our shopping on the road indicated in yellow. It is the ‘original’ Sunrise Highway
CONCLUSION: CONVENIENCE BUT CONFLICT AS WELL
I like to shop local and am a supporter of small local shops. But our financial circumstances require that we save money and shop frugally. It is very difficult to find a balance between the two systems, supporting small local businesses and shopping where we can get savvy shopping savings.

With the exception of Long Island Cares, Inc. which is a food bank that supports us, it seems that our finances dictate our choices. But they do not dictate our values. In addition, the direction that business has gone in makes it difficult to shop primarily at small local stores. So it would seem that practicing savvy shopper savings is in direct conflict with shopping small local stores. Or is it? Has anyone found their situation to be otherwise? Here’s what’s been in the media about this issue.

SOURCES & RESOURCES

Savvy Savings Shopper Blog Post

Local Businesses vs. Big Business

Savvy Suburban Survivalism Facebook Group

How Small Businesses Can Compete With Big Box Stores

Savvy Saving Survivalism Facebook Group

The Impact of Chain Stores on Community

The Savvy Saving Survivalist Facebook Page

Study proves it: Walmart super-stores kill off local small businesses

Why You Need to Support Small Businesses

One, Two, Three, Four . . . We Don’t Want Your Superstore

7 WAYS A SENIOR GROCERY DELIVERY SERVICE CAN IMPROVE YOUR LIFE

A Pickup Line You’ll Love: 30 stores that let you shop online and pick up in the store

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