Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Special Help for Medical Bills in Virginia

If you are experiencing issues with health insurance, job retention, or debt crisis as related to your diagnosis of a chronic, life-threatening or debilitating disease, the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) may be able to help.
PAF operates many programs to assist with access to healthcare resources, one of which is the Virginia Cares Uninsured Program (VCUP).
VCUP provides case management assistance to uninsured Virginians diagnosed with a chronic, life-threatening or debilitating disease.
PAF also offers the Co-Pay Relief Program, which provides financial assistance to insured individuals who qualify medically and financially.

> Patient Advocate Foundation: 1-800-532-5274 > Co-Pay Relief Program: 1-866-512-3861

>This information came straight from the website of Virginia Department of Social Services, so I know it is both timely and accurate.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Country Market

Sometimes a short drive or day trip can yield some great finds:
Last Saturday afternoon, I went to the Country Food & Furniture Market on Midlothian Turnpike (US Route 60) in Flat Rock, VA. Flat Rock is between Midlothian and Powhatan, VA on Route 60.
The market is in a small strip shopping center, Powhatan Station, with a gas station, Henry's Texaco, on the south side of Midlothian Turnpike.This Mennonite run market features a deli that serves homemade sandwiches, salads and soups and a grocery that sells country-style cheeses, meats, Yoder Dairy milk, pastries, candies, various mixes and flours and herbs, spices and other seasonings. They sell homemade Whoopie Pies, which are the Pennsylvania Dutch version of the venerable southern Moon-Pie.
I bought some old-fashioned pop-it-yourself blue popcorn. It tastes so much better than the microwave stuff!The food is very fresh and is reasonably priced. As the store is Mennonite-run, it sells no alcohol and is never open on Sundays or Christian holidays.
A shop next door sells Mennonite hand-crafted furniture and crafts.
PHONE: 804-794-4454

Saturday, August 18, 2007

About posting comments on this blog:

I appreciate all your comments and ideas. However, I have one request for comment writers: please post your comments under the appropriate heading/area/post. Most of you have done this, but I occasionally find a comment under an unrelated post or heading. If you have any questions about where to post, just email me and I'll be glad to help. Your privacy will be respected.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Grocery & Other Coupons

Sometimes using coupons can save you lots of money; just be sure you are using the coupon for something you need anyway!
In the case of grocery coupons: Try to use your coupons on sales, on double-coupon days and on other discount days (such as senior discount days) to maximize their value. Check to see if using a coupon is your best deal or if buying a generic or store brand of the same item is a better deal.
Sometimes coupons can be the best deal, especially if you prefer the name-brand item.
Some places I've found coupons:
  • www.valpak.com
  • www.smartsource.com
  • www.coolsavings.com
  • In the Sunday newspaper and in mailers such as MoneyClip & Reach.
  • Newspaper Websites
  • Manufacturers and store websites.
  • Email newsletters from manufacturers or stores.
  • Back of packages & inserts in packages and on trial sizes
  • Coupon dispensers on store shelves and flyers in stores.
  • Coupon trading boxes in stores.
  • Sign up for your local grocery's customer card. They will send you coupons or take coupons out of your grocery purchase receipt at the checkout.
  • Check-out coupons at the grocery or drugstore and coupons on the back of your store receipt.
  • Here's a site that thoroughly covers the topic of grocery coupon savings: http://www.grocerycouponguide.com/
  • If you know of a great coupon source, please post in the comment section!

Discounts and Coupons, Etc.

It's possible to get discounts for various reasons:
  • You are a senior citizen (age limit varies).
  • You are a student.
  • You are a kid under 12.
  • You are disabled.
  • You are a member of the armed forces or are a veteran.
  • You work in law enforcement.
  • You work in the medical area.
  • You work for the federal, state or municipal government.
  • From your employer.
  • You are a member of AARP, AAA, VACU or various other organizations.
  • You are a member of a certain church or temple.
  • You are buying in bulk or as a group.
  • And these are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head!
  • Look around, Google and find other discounts.
  • Please let us know by posting a comment on this blog!

Take Back Your Time Day!

Part of frugal, green living is simpler living; living that is not driven by workaholism (and that includes the endless unpaid drudge work of chores and household maintenance, as well a paid jobs,) hectic scheduling of classes, teams, religious meetings, whatever... Life ain't just about money, honey ;
How many people these days actually VACATE when they take a vacation, IF they take a vacation? How many people spend their vacation time catching up on household chores rather than traveling and visiting friends and family or going the the beach or mountains or a museum or a concert?
How many people spend that time preparing for their next work, their next class or such instead of indulging in recreation (RE-CREATION!) or a fun hobby or past time?
When, did we as a society, become such a nation of uninteresting, no-fun drudges??? WHY? 
What happened to the ideals and leisure of the 60's? Why have we returned to our Puritan pasts?
Why with more labor saving devices than ever are we busier and working more ?
National Take Back Your Time Day (USA & CANADA) proposes some solutions.
Check them out!
While you are exploring this idea, also explore the idea of National Buy Nothing Day. 

National Buy Nothing Day proposes that we sit out the national shop-a-thon frenzy of Retail Black Friday - the day after American Thanksgiving. Sure you can get great bargains on Black Friday, IF you get to the store in the middle-of-the-night and camp out in the cold and IF you are prepared to push & shove like a bunch of football holligans for merchandise that's probably already sold out and IF you are prepared to sacrifice precious holiday time away from your family and friends. And to me, friends, THAT'S NO BARGAIN! Besides, do you really need that super-duper wide-screen plasma TV, even if it is dirt cheap? If you must participate in such a frenzy, go online for Retail Black Monday and shop from the comfort of your home.

Virginia Co-operative Extension Services

Virginia Co-operative Extension Services programs were designed with rural folk and farmers in mind, but their education site has tons of free information on gardening, health, money management and other topics that we city slickers can also use.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Target Shopping Strategies

I'm not usually a fan of big box discount retailers but I'm a fan of Target (even after the Target card hacking debacle!)
(Those in the know pronounce it Tar-jhay!)
Target has fashionable clothes,electronics & home accessories at reasonable prices. Some stores have groceries & pharmacies & dollar bins.
Some useful Target bargain hunting strategies can be found at Not Made of Money
I've found that clearances are towards the back of merchandise areas & on the back end shelves.
Target.com has a listing of weekly sale merchandise, discount coupons & merchandise and sales not available at a local brick-&-mortar Target store.

'TisThe Season for Local Produce !

It's almost summer & it's time for local produce!
Buying local produce is good for the local economy, usually good for your pocketbook & is a greener option than buying stuff shipped from another area. Fresh produce is yummy & a great addition to your healthy diet. Frugal, green, tasty & healthy; what's not to like?
During the colder seasons, most of these places close down except to sell Halloween & Thanksgiving pumpkins & Christmas trees.
I'm listing many, but not all local options for local produce.
I've shopped at all these markets & wouldn't hesitate to recommend them!

17th Street Farmers Market in Shockoe Bottom:
100 N. 17th St.
Richmond, Virginia 23219

Thursday, May 3, 2007 through Sunday, October 28, 2007

Thursday Growers’ & Bakers’ Market: 8:30am–2pm

Saturday Growers’ & Bakers’ Market: 8:30am–2pm
Sunday Open Heirloom Market: 8:30am–2pm
Antiques, vintage & collectibles

Ashland Farmers Market:
On Duncan Street behind Town Hall (off Rt.54)
Saturdays May 5 - November 24
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

William Byrd House Community Market:
S. Linden St & Idlewood Ave ·
Downtown Expressway, I-195 South · Exit 186 (Belvidere St) ·
Next to Grace Arents Community Garden
Free Parking - Rain or Shine.

Tuesday,3:30 to 7 pm, May through October.

Goochland Rural Market:
Grace Episcopal Church -
2955 River Rd W, Goochland, VA
(Rt.6 or Patterson Ave./River Rd. extended)

Saturday May 5th through Sept. 1st - 8 a.m. to12 p.m.
Labor Day through October 27th - 9:00am to 1:00pm

Pole Green Produce Stand
Local produce & plants at very reasonable prices!
6547 Pole Green Road (Meadowbrook Road extended), Mechanicsville, VA 23111
Open April through Thanksgiving
(Weekends only April, October & November - Daily May-September)

Hanover Plant & Vegetable Farm
Local produce & plants at very reasonable prices!
Has a large greenhouse.
13580 Ashland Rd
Ashland, VA 23005

Jim & Robins Produce
Local produce & plants for decent prices in Henrico County
11120 Patterson Ave. Richmond, VA 23233

Cheryl's Produce
Local produce & plants for decent prices
Rt 660 & Route 33(Staples Mill Rd.extended), Ashland,VA
804- 752-5846

Produce cart on Libbie Avenue just off Patterson Avenue:
During season a vendor sells fruit & vegetables at this location.
Hours: ?

Some links to listings of Virginia produce markets, wineries, pick-your-own-produce farms & food festivals:

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Second Debut

I've not yet shopped at Second Debut, the new Goodwill in Carytown.
Their ad in Style Weekly says the store stocks fashions, home furnishing and accents.
What I don't know is if the merchandise has typically low Goodwill thrift store prices or if it is considered a 'boutique' store because of its location in expensive, trendy Carytown.
This thrift shop connoisseur is going to check it out a.s.a.p.
Please post comments if you have any opinions on the store.

UPDATE: I have been here and found a very nice leather belt for $5.00. I do find the prices a tad high (more like consignment) but they do have nice merchandise. My biggest beef is that it is hard to find anything decent at this store for anyone larger than a size 10 or 12.Goodwill Second Debut
3114 W. Cary Street
Phone: 254-7623
HOURS: Mon.-Sat.: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sun.: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Some thoughts on frugality...

I hear various people complaining that they have trouble making ends meet. But when I listen further, I find that these people invariably have unnecessary, and often foolish expenses that are using up their paychecks.
(Before I get rude comments: I know people have unforeseen expenses such as medical bills, car repairs or a sudden loss of income. I know some people make peanuts and any normal expense is a stretch for them. That's not the people I am writing about here.)
Do you really NEED cable or satellite TV services or if you live in an area that won't receive tv without a dish, do you need the premium service? Do you need the fanciest cellphone and cell service plan? Do you smoke? Are you driving a gas guzzler and/or high-end car when you could drive an economy vehicle or take public transit? How about that daily latte at the coffee shop?
Think about these things!
Take smoking: Smoking wrecks your health and appearance. Your medical and dental bills go up, your insurance rates rise and you will lose your looks earlier and need fancy face creams sooner than a non-smoker.

Smokers: I must tell you this: your breath and clothes/hair/house stink! They reek! The awful stench alone should get you to stop smoking but maybe your sense of smell is diminished by your damn stinky coffin nails.
These days cigarettes retail for around $4.00 per pack (or a tad less if buy the bargain brand by the carton at an outlet or Costco.)
Say you smoke even one pack a day:
That's 4 x 365 or $1,460 a year up in smoke and eating up your lungs! If you smoke TWO packs a day, you spent around $2920 !!!
If you put that same amount in a high-yield savings account or invested it, you would be earning money and have a tidy sum.
When you are fretting about making ends meet, think of stopping the frivolous expenses. I'm not saying you should be a skinflint and deny yourself every pleasure ( I am not like that!), but when you get rid of the bloated expenses, you have more room for the fun stuff and can put the money saved towards your life dreams.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Frugal Idea

Part of frugal living is wise use of money.
Here is a site that helps protect consumers against Internet fraud from too good to be true deals.