Sunday, February 26, 2006


That's right. You read the subject line correctly. For those who do not know me, I have very hard time to tan, and if I do actually tan, it will be gone the next day.

Fate had it when my state pageant director suggested me to get a tan because she said I looked too white on stage, especially my legs. So I put my frugal instincts to work, and discovered that we do not have to pay anything out of the pageant fund for it! Why? I looked up "Mystic Tan" at this Palm Beach Tanning Salon online, and clicked on "Look for discounts/coupons in your area" and typed in my zipcode. Sure enough, a coupon appeared, and it offers TWO free UV-free tanning or a week worth of UV tanning.


Naturally I was looking for sunless tanning, because I do not believe in abusing UV power to get a tan, especially from a tanning bed. Sunless tanning costs around $25 a visit. Expensive. But, 2 free sunless tans? Wow.

My advice - if you are looking for something, go to that website and look for its offerings, especially discounts and coupons. Do not go right straight to that tanning salon next door just because you want a tan. Look it up online and explore for discounts.

And yes, I have this pretty nice tan! Last Friday I used 1 of 2 free sunless tans, and I looked like burnt cookie. Slowly it faded over yesterday but my face still looked tooo tan. I recently washed my body this morning with such vigor and used exfloriating (sp?) towelette all over my body. Now I have a nice tan :) Too bad it lasts 4 days...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

My new experiment

I decided to buy this Entertainment book for first time, for $23.75 (including tax, shipping and postage). It has this bunch of coupons in the KC metro. There are entertainment books for other cities also. Will I use those coupons? Will I be ripped off? Maybe.

So it is my new experiment - writing down info every time I use one of those coupons, and how much I save, and pay. At the same time, enjoy those restaurants unheard of at half the price. I love going out to different restaurants, so I thought it was a good way to experiment at lower prices.

Already, I got $25 restaurant certficate to a restaurant of my choice at The menu seemed good (Johnny's Tavern). Also I got 1 free movie rental and popcorn from Blockbuster. I also got $75 United discount. I already used that United discount toward my flight ticket to California this summer for NAD conference. I already got my money worth, plus hundreds of coupons in the book. I also got online access for more online coupons - and many look good, especially restaurants I already was attending and loving. My coworker and I already used 1 coupon last Thursday, to Sidepockets for lunch (buy 1 meal, get 1 free) so we split the bill. Saved $4 already.

It's funny - certain male workers at my work say it is a rip off and it makes me to spend more than usual. But certain female workers see my entertainment book and oohed and aahed over it. Must be gender specific.

Will keep you updated next year when this book expires.

Friday, February 24, 2006

$170 for an audiogram

I am required to show proof of my deafness to NAD in order for me to compete in Miss Deaf America pageant. Despite my 1998 audiogram saying that it was consistent with 1996 result, NAD requires me to submit my audiogram latest as 2 years old. Ugh.

I am used to the school system spoiling me - free audiograms all of my life, as long as I was in school. But now, nope. I am in the real world, meaning ::gulps:: I pay my own audiogram, with copay thru insurance.

It was time to do some research. I called my doctor's office asking about an audiogram. $28? Wow. I thought that was expensive. Not until I called various audiological services in metro area. $160, $175, $115. Whaaaat?! Resigned, I called my doctor's office again, confirming.."Are you sure it is $28?" They assured me, so I made an appointment to get an audiogram at the doctor's office. I felt funny. I never saw any sound booth there, but then who knew.

I entered the office and my gut feeling felt even more strange as I was weighed. Temperature taken. Blood pressure taken. Nurse having me to sit in one of those rooms. Another nurse came by with this black slender tool. Told me to raise my hand when I hear a tone. Silence. Other ear. Silence. Im done. What? I asked the nurse, that I need an audiogram sheet to show proof. She said they dont have that kind of machine, so she wrote on the prescription paper, "Patient not responsing at 25 dB at 500, 1000, 2000, 4000 Hz". 25 dB?! This is a joke. I only can hear over 90 dB. I stared at the white note, figuring out what to do. I told the nurse that I was looking for a sound booth, where I sit inside with headphones. She nodded and said they do not do that here, that I need to see a real audiologist. Dooooooh. They told me the copay for this visit is $6 bucks, but waived me cuz it was all a misunderstanding. They referred me to this audiologist on Shawnee Mission Pkwy for the next day.

I decided to call the audiologist's office for directions, because I did not really understand the address. Thank goodness I did. It was in Super Walmart! I would never have found that place if I did not know it was inside another store. Wait, eeew. Im getting my hearing tested at a super retail market?

I went in the next day. The audiologist was friendly and nice and asked me my reason for getting an updated audiogram. I explained. Then she checked my ears. It was so cool - she turned on this software on this monitor, and put the tool in my ear. Wow, I got to see the insides of my ear! Eeek.. better get rid of that wax in that right ear. That ear is always giving me problems. ::groans::

Then finally I got inside the sound booth and rang the button every time I heard something. I came out, and the real audiogram sheet printed out. Naturally my hearing did not improve within 8 years since that latest audiogram in 1998. Surprising?

What was more surprising - the visit was free.

Yup, you read it right. Free. I walked outside the office and saw this big board saying "Free hearing tests". Wow. I did notice it in other Super Walmarts but never knew what it actually meant. Well, now you know where to go next time if you just want a free audiogram to prove your hearing level.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Happy Birthday, NaTech!

Today is my good buddy Nathan's 25th Birthday. I am envious - that means cheaper car insurance! Soon, soon it shall be my turn...

Nathan is definitely my "frugal" buddy. I turn to him alot to talk about money. We talk about personal finances which is basically anything related with money. Savings, frugality, investment, retirement plan, whatnots...I think he inspired me to decide to do the platform on personal finances for my pageant.

It was indeed a good "fiscal" year for him. He recently got hired by Google, his dream employer, and has been focusing on his personal finances successfully, such as budgetting, investing and saving. Let's wish him for another successful personal finance year!

Happy birthday, Nathan! For those who want to check his blog out -

and wish him a happy birthday!

Saturday, February 18, 2006


Original price: $229
Minus the assembly fee: -$25
Price after 15% discount: $209 (after taxes)
Bonus: $40 gift certificate to be used in March
Total savings: $85

Yep. Worth waiting for. I went to as much stores as I could, throughout 1 year, to look for a buffet table that fits my style and taste. I spotted this buffet table at Home Decorations, that I quite liked. My friend liked it. Several months later, my mom was in town, and I showed that table to her. She liked it.

What was I waiting for? I did not know.

Until this ad came in the mail. Then I knew what I was waiting for.

It offered the customer $10 gift certificate for every $50 of purchase. Ooo. The only catch is to use that gift certificate in month of March. And I do like alot of things in that store. I zoomed to that store and found the 3 door black buffet table, exactly what I wanted. If they did not have it in the store, you would have to order it and pay for the assembly. I told the saleswoman that I wanted this table so she cleared all stuff off it, and we both saw this stain (from a lamp sitting on it) and she couldn't remove it. It was only noticeable if you shine light on it. So she gave me 15% discount or order another one. I took the 15% discount.

The lovely buffet table is currently sitting in my dining room. Soon in two weeks I am heading out there again to use my $40 gift certificates. Whooo!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Finding cheap flight tickets is. frustrating.

Finding cheap flight tickets is frustrating, especially if you must follow a fixed schedule, say to be in Palm Springs, California between 9 am and 2pm on a FRIDAY. That is asking for more money. Ugh.

For instance, if I do not have a specific time to be in PS (Palm Springs), I would have bought that $199 ticket ($210 after fees). No. All morning flights on that day (Friday is a dangerous day to buy cheap tickets) cost over $280. And I swear, those sites are rigged.

It was $240 and I clicked to buy - no - it is unavailable. Bullsh*t. $240 was there all long to deceive me, holding my hopes high. It turned into $380.

I know flight fares change throughout the day but not like this. It was always $240 all the time when I kept double checking. I did not buy at that time because I did not know the exact date and time yet to be in California for the retreat for the Miss Deaf America pageant.

Sometimes to be frugal... but sometimes just be safe than sorry. I used my United discount and bought 2 tickets for $577 (for myself and my chaperone). At least it is less than $600 combined. Im happy but not too happy but not too disappointed.

Websites I used:

I would love to use unfortunately it does not tell you the time, which I cannot afford doing that.

I had $25 discount from United, but it applies only to one person per itirenary. Eek. I saw the low price thru mobissimo (it led me to 1800cheaptickets). So then I went to United airlines page and used my code to get the discount ticket, and at the same time buying the second ticket thru cheaptickets, making sure the flight numbers are same for both.

At least I got both under $600...bye bye stress *poof* gone

Monday, February 13, 2006

Miss Fix-it

Want cheap home repairs? Do it yourself. Don't hire a plumber.

Yep, it has been 1 year since I owned my home, meaning my warranty expired. No more free repairs. No more freebies like a furnace or an air conditioner (yep I was very lucky, got new furnace and A/C (new motor and evaporator, not condensator).

My toilet has been running for 1 month straight. My outlet in my bathroom is broken. Call a plumber? Eek, I am a single young woman who knows nothing about household repairs (except if your furnace is broken - call me).

Sigh. Plumbing service can run above $65 or more. Determined, I went straight to Home Depot (advice: if you want to be frugal, do not go to Home Depot. That store sells insane prices.), asking for help. I bought a new GFCI and a new flapper. Went home. Shut off the main water valve. Replaced the flapper. Tada, I fixed it!

Now about the GFCI.. um. I removed the panel and realized it was more complicated - all of those wires "screwed" on the GFCI. Uh oh. I decided to leave it alone. Then I returned back and decided to play with it (do not ask me why - curiousty is what killed the cat) and sure enuff I got electrocued. Wow. That was when I decided to start reading the instructions...

The point of the story - fix stuff yourself. And have an interesting story to tell to your coworkers.

Friday, February 10, 2006

A Kansas City secret.

This post is aimed toward Kansas City readers.

First of all, if you want to do something interesting, this blog is worth checking out -

That is how I found out about dining deals. The local radio station sells $50 gift certificates for $25 each (actually $28.50 after fees). I bought 2 gift certificates from there already and I do recommend it. One was for Caspian Bistro which is a pretty expensive place. I do not recommend that restaurant by the way. The second is for a spa. I have not made an appointment yet (am wanting a massage, definitely from all of those stress lately).

This is the KUDL website that offers specials.

KC Kitty mentioned that you can click on other radio stations logos to explore their dining specials too. I checked all of them out. A little variety but it is location-based (like Lee's Summit might be a bit of a drive if you live in Olathe).

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The perfect dress.

I did it. I found the dress.

My pageant director required me to get the second dress, for the evening wear gown segment of the Miss Deaf America pageant this summer. Second dress, why? It is the backup to my first gown, in case anything happens to it, or one other contestant has similiar dress to it. I highly doubted it, but then it is always fun to get another dress :)

How wrong I was.

8 stores, 150 dresses later, and finally. I found the dress. I tore fabric, one zipper cut my finger, got stuck in several dresses, had to ask the cashier to zip me out, and so on and on. And then the very last dress I tried on - it is just perfect.

And it was only $161. That is the sweetest part of it. :)

I originally tried this dress on and it was $400 but the price was too high. Thus the 8 stores search and 150 dresses and at last, a glamourous and shimmy dress that is worth $161, after taxes.

The feeling is worth it.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

People can be so generous

People really can be very generous. My favorite hair salon recently donated $150 for my Miss Deaf Kansas fund, and my coworkers are contributing generously toward my donation jar. Friends of my parents in Minnesota are donating without me informing them that we needed to raise alot of money. Stunned, I recently left my Miss Deaf Kansas committee meeting. One family just donated $500!!!!

There is no word like generous. It is priceless to donate. No cash can really sum the word "generous".

Many thanks to all of you who have contributed no matter what or how much. I appreciate that.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Welcome Corey into the world

This post is dedicated to Michael, a coworker of mine, who recently became a first time father yesterday morning at 5:40 am CST. His wife gave birth to a baby boy named Corey Michael. Congrats.

Here's a bunch of links for those who are thinking about having a baby :)

Tips for soon-to-be parents

Financial shocks for parents of newborns

Don't overspend for snobby baby stuff

Naturally I would not be following those articles, at least not for a VERY LONG time.

Now going to enjoy my half-priced Burger King lunch... thanks to the coupons in my mail...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Look rich... but live cheap.

My coworker welcomed me at work with a financial related link this morning, as usual, and it has this quote that I in particular really like. So it is the official motto of my blog as you can look at the top of this page :)

“Live well, look rich and never let the world know how little you're really paid.”

Which was inspired by this article - 9 ways to look rich but live cheap

Well - myself I do not follow those advices also I am not intent on the mandate to look rich. Like brownnosing social events to look good, I do not do that.

One advice I agree the most. NEVER PAY RETAIL. I do not BELIEVE in paying retail. Period. Do not ever buy an item at full price if it can be on sale somewhere else. For instance, I was wanting this digital camera Canon sd450 and its retail price is around $350. My friend got it for $280, so I swore not to buy that camera above $280 :) . Found one for $274 but I have to buy a printer, argh which I am not in mood to sell the printer on Ebay. Well maybe.. Ill think about it :)

And yes, especially children, for the last advice in that article, they cost you money. Wanna live rich? Do not have children then. :)

Im sure its obvious you are aware of my current viewpoint on children :)

::enjoying my $1.77 lunch right now::