Category Archives: Everyday stuff Scam Alert

My son, who is 12 years-old, has been playing Habbo for the better part of a year. He saves his money and usually buys a Habbo gift card at CVS which gives him Habbo “coins” with which to purchase virtual items for his Habbo avatar. It was all fine and dandy until July when he saw online that he could get “free” Habbo coins by texting a number. He went crazy texting for his free coins and built quite a Habbo environment for himself. Well, this month I get July’s bill from Sprint and notice it’s $130 more than usual. Sure enough, each text was billed to our Sprint bill. I immediately banned my son from Habbo, blocked with our router and with our Mac’s security settings. I also emailed Habbo and told them to ban my son’s username. Then a thought came to mind that made me panic. I asked Colton if he was still texting for his “free” coins this month….sure enough he was and has already racked up $71 (before taxes) in Habbo charges for August.

First of all, Habbo is in the UK and getting refund out of them will be impossible. They won’t even cancel his account because they say they will only deal with the actual owner of the account. (I sent them a scathing email about that one, though I suspect it will do no good). We’ve asked Sprint to block any further premium texts to all the phones on our account. Lastly, Habbo knows their users are all kids and they don’t have credit cards, BUT the vast majority have cell phones with unlimited texting service. They know they are easy to lure in with the promise of “free coins” and the kids only know unlimited texting. As a parent, I never dreamed we could be scammed through our cell phones this way. My research on the internet revealed that this is a common Habbo scam.

In any case, the only way I can stick it to Habbo is to make sure as many people know about this scam as possible, so I’m letting you know. If you have kids ask them if they are using Habbo, and if they are, ban them from it before you get a surprise in your cell phone bill.



Filed under Everyday stuff

CVS Deals 2/19/09


Originally uploaded by baysmom3

I did a little CVS’ing today.

I started with a $5 ECB from purchasing Oil of Olay Pro-X last week (or the week before?). In addition there was an Oil of Olay $25 rebate if you bought $50 worth of Pro-X. I also had a $5 Olay manufacturer coupon so that was a great deal on some pricey stuff. I hope it makes me look younger. 😉

Today I purchased:

1 Lysol Disinfectant Spray (the February “crud” is in our household so we need to de-germify). $3.50 with a $2 manufacturer’s coupon, final cost $1.50

1 Clorox Anywhere Cleaning Spray $2.50 with a 75 cents off manufacturer’s coupon, final cost $1.75

3 Suave Body Washes (I chose the remaining bonus sizes), $1.99 each with a 75 cents off two coupon, final cost about $5.25 and then I earned $2 ECBs. Final cost $3.25.

2 Dove Deodorants, $3.79 each with a $1.50 off manufacturer’s coupon and I earned $2 ECBs. Final cost $4.08.

1 Herbal Essence Shampoo, $2.99 and $1 ECBs.

1 Ultrabrite toothpaste, bargain priced at $1.49, just ’cause I needed it.

Then I used my $5 ECB from the Olay deal.

My total for all items was $15.36. After earned ECBs, I got it all for $10.36.

No home runs today, but I felt pretty good about my haul.



Filed under Debt Reduction, Debt-Free Blogs, Everyday stuff

My newest food addiction

I know you’ll think this is the weirdest thing to be addicted to, but I thought I’d share it because I think it’s half-way healthy. We sell it in the Hy-Vee Kitchen. A lot of people were buying it and telling me how good it was, so I tried it and I was hooked. It’s very easy to make, but you can always buy it at Hy-Vee, too.

It’s kind of a pretty salad as well. Next time I make it I’ll post a photo. The amounts of the ingredients are approximate. This recipe isn’t rocket science, so if you like more of an ingredient or less of an ingredient, feel free to adjust.

Ranch Cottage Cheese Salad

1 24 oz carton of your favorite cottage cheese brand (use a low-fat version to make it healthier and buy it on sale, of course!)
1 pkg grape tomatoes
Chopped green onions
1/2 cucumber diced
1 pkg dry Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix (you won’t need the entire package)

Mix cottage cheese and veggies. Add dry ranch dressing mix to taste. Enjoy without guilt. It’s good for you!


Filed under Everyday stuff, Food/Recipes

Card carrying Facebook addict….

I admit it. I’m officially a Facebook addict.

I joined Facebook about 6 months ago and for quite awhile didn’t quite get what was so special about it until people I’ve known throughout my life started joining Facebook and “friending” me. I’ve “friended” people I see every day and I’ve friended people I haven’t seen in 25 years (classmates, neighbors, etc). I’m in touch daily with a huge portion of parents in our Cornelia de Lange Syndrome worldwide community through Facebook and we’ve created a “CdLS-KIDS” Facebook group for our email support list. Most importantly, I’ve connected with family members I almost never see anymore….brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and their kids. We get frequent photos and updates on how their families are doing and they get to keep up on how we are doing. It’s truly amazing how beneficial social networking can be!

I think I’m up to 109 “friends” now. I’ll concede that I haven’t actually met some of my Facebook “friends” in real life, but we share a connection with our kids with CdLS.

I read the other day that Facebook is now the most visited site on the internet. However, I also read that the average Facebook user is generally a 20-something and that people my age aren’t all that into it. I find it hard to believe because most of my Facebook “friends” are around my age and many are even older, including my 60-something MIL.

If you haven’t jumped on the Facebook bandwagon, you should try it. You’ll be surprised at the reconnecting with friends that family that you’ll be able to do.

Can I be your friend?


Filed under Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, Everyday stuff

My CVS Grand Slam

I got myself some deals today!

Yesterday I stocked up on Duracell batteries at CVS. I got $15 ECB when I purchased $20 worth of batteries and I sweetened the deal with two .75 off manufacturers coupons. In the end, I got the batteries for $3.50. I also used $9.50 worth of other ECBS toward this purchase as I had a few other essentials to buy. Yes, chocolate is essential. I bought two bags of Hershey’s Bliss chocolates for 2/$6 and used a $2.50 off coupon.

As a bonus I also received a $10 off a $50 purchase coupon–my excitement for the day!

Today I went back (good thing CVS is on the way home from work!), and rolled my $15 ECB into an Olay purchase. I bought three Olay Regenerists products.

Regenerist 14 Day Intervention Kit – $29.99
Regenerist Night Creme – $20.99
Regenerist Cleanser – $7.99
Total: $58.97

I had coupons for each item–one for $5 off (requested this coupon from, and two from the Sunday inserts for $3 each. New total — $47.97.

I bought a few other things including the new Cover Girl mascara which got me a Cover Girl eye liner for free, plus I had a $1 off coupon for the mascara. Cost for both — $7.49 (the eyeliner shelf price was $4.09).

I also got a gallon of Viva milk for $3.49 and had a 50 cents off coupon for that.

Then I rolled my $15 ECB and used my $10 off the $50 purchase coupon.

I got $75.04 worth of stuff for $33.45! Even the register lady was impressed.

That’s not the end of my savings! I’m sending in for the $20 Olay rebate when you buy $50 worth of Olay products. Rebate form is available for download at Once I get the rebate I will have a final cost of $13.45!

Ideally I would have liked to have made my Olay purchases on sale, but I was out of moisturizer and cleanser. I couldn’t really wait at my age.

I’m 41 years old–yes, I NEED the 14 day intervention kit….I’ll let you know how it works….I expect to look 25 in two weeks.

Tomorrow I plan to go back and get the L’Oreal Age Perfect Pro-Calcium moisturizer for “mature, dull skin”. It’s free after ECBs, then I can roll the ECBs into something practical like toothbrush heads for our electric toothbrushes. Boring, but like chocolate, essential.


Filed under Debt-Free Blogs, Everyday stuff

Frugal Friday

I know it’s Saturday–better late than never!

My frugal find for this week is All You magazine.

All You magazine cover

All You magazine cover

It is full of coupons and it’s a magazine for real women. Those of you who know me know I’m far from being a Cosmo girl. Glamour doesn’t suit me either. I need real, practical tips on living life better….throw in a few coupons that will save me enough to cover the issue price and I’m happy. It runs about $2 which is a bargain in the magazine world, but is unfortunately generally only available at Walmart. I don’t like Walmart for many reasons, and I try to shop there as little as possible, but for the last few months I would bravely go in, fight the crowds, and wait in the long checkstand lines to get this magazine.

However, the other day I got a letter from Northwest Airlines with an offer to sell me magazine subscriptions that I can buy with my frequent flyer miles. All You was one of the choices, so I jumped at the chance to get a year’s subscription for the price of a few hundred miles. Good for me since I won’t be flying again anytime soon! No out of pocket cost and no more visits to Wallyworld! I sent that order form back ASAP and I anxiously await my next issue delivered to my door.

1 Comment

Filed under Debt Reduction, Everyday stuff

Super Savings Saturday

Didn’t have time for a Frugal Friday post as I worked both jobs yesterday, but I have a rare day off today so I managed to take advantage of the CVS deals before the new ad breaks tomorrow.


2 Olay Quench lotions, ad price 2/$12. Buy two, get $5 ECB. $3 off manufacturer’s coupon when you buy two–total cost 2/$4.

2 Always Infinity boxes, ad price $4.99. $1 ECB on both for a total of $2 ECB. Two $2 off manufacturer’s coupons–total cost for both $3.98.

I also got my CVS ECB for my summer spending for $2.50, for a total of $9.50 ECB.

I plan to roll my ECB’s into some Olay facial products for which I have several coupons (including two $3 off coupons for a Regenerist product from a recent P&G insert). If I purchase $50 worth of Olay facial products, there’s also a $20 mail in rebate. I won’t know the total cost of the Olay products until I decide what I want to buy and what coupons I’ll use with them. You can find information about the Olay rebate at

1 Comment

Filed under Debt Reduction, Everyday stuff