Finally got my last crit (of sorts) on "Now and Forever" ... and a couple things are clear. I need to work a LOT on the ending (which I knew) and a couple more scenes need to be added (though I haven't a clue what they will be). *sigh*
This writing thing is WORK. *G*
Speaking of, I gave a shout out to Maria Zannini yesterday about her interview with my old editor, but I was a slacker on mentioning that she has an awesome new fantasy romance release out from Carina Press called "Apocalypse Rising". Though it's the second in her series, it's written to stand alone (though you could always just buy the first book, too: "Touch of Fire" from Samhain Publishing).
If you're a fantasy fan, I'm betting you'll thoroughly enjoy her books.
Yesterday, Brandy asked (in comments): Are you buying items you regularly use if you have a coupon, or are you buying items that you haven't used before because you have a coupon?
Before I started watching "Extreme Couponing", I would idly go through the coupons and clip two or three for items I buy anyway and then use them the next time I went to the store. Yes, I saved my $.075 or whatever, but what I've learned since then has been two-fold.
First: I really don't have a lot of brand loyalty. I'll use Colgate or Crest or Aim or whatever for toothpaste (and toothbrushes ... OralB or Reach or Colgate -- it's all the same to me).
Second: You never, never, EVER use a coupon on a regular priced item. You combine them with sales.
What this means to me is that I clip about 90% of the coupons in the flyers now. There are some things I know I'll never use (allergy medicine, contact solution, diapers, denture adhesive, etc) so I skip those, but if it's something I *might* use, out it comes. They're organized by type of item (Food, personal care, household cleaning, pet, etc) first and then by specific item (toothpaste, canned vegetables, laundry soap) and THEN I paperclip brands together (all my Colgate toothpaste coupons, all my Tide coupons). Though many couponers recommend NOT clipping, I can't rely exclusively on the websites to tell me what date of flyers goes with what sale. It's just easier for me to compare flyers to my coupons. PLUS, there have been times I've been out shopping and stumble across an unadvertised sale (like the Ken's Dressing at Shaws) and if I didn't have my coupons clipped (and with me), I'd miss out.
So, Brandy, long story short? I spend a few hours a week perusing the sales flyers for our three local grocery stores and our three local drugstores for sales and compare it to my coupons. If it's something I think I'll use (I'm going today to Walgreens and getting two big bottles of Listerine for $0.50 after coupon ... I don't usually USE Listerine, but at that price I just might give it a try *G*) and it's a good price (like a few cents or free), I pick it up. In a pinch, if I have to use a different brand of sanitary napkins or toilet paper than I usually do, it's okay.
Right now, I'm still having to buy some things at full price because I haven't been doing this that long. But, as time passes and my coupon supply AND my supply of goods expands, I expect that to end. So, yes, I buy things I may not need right away (I bought six bottles of dish soap the other day ... it'll take me a while to go through it, but I have room to store it so why not buy it when it's almost free?).
Still, I'm not like the ladies I saw on the show... one who has something like 75 things of diapers and NO kids. Or the lady who has hundreds of cat treats, but no cat (they paid her to buy them -- $0.05 per each to take them out of the store after coupon). I *hope* those ladies donate their goods to a local women's shelter and animal shelter...
It can be time consuming, but I'm all about saving money. The sooner we have our house paid off, the sooner we have a decent amount in savings, the sooner my DH can quit working 70 hours a week at a job he hates and enjoy his life. So, it's worth a few hours a week.
You Are Steady
You value your own opinion over the opinions of others. You know when you're right.
You trust your intuition. So far it has a good track record of not leading you astray.
You prefer logical to emotional appeals. You like well structured arguments.
You are very clean and tidy. You take pride in taking good care of your possessions.
Um.. yeah. That's pretty spot on.