Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ruled Paper - Print your own lined or gridded paper

Have you ever needed just ONE sheet of gridded paper? I have. It's pretty hard to make yourself. So, you schlep (Yiddish for drive, walk, drag your body) to the local office supply store where you pay a king's ransom for a tablet of gridded paper. You justify the cost by realizing that you have just bought a lifetime supply of gridded paper.

HOWEVER, somehow or another..... EVERY TIME I need just ONE sheet of gridded paper I can't find that dang tablet I bought the last time.

So, I schlep (you know what this word means now) over to the local office supply store where I pay a king's ransom..... (go back to paragraph one)

OK. That's my story. You know it's true. It's true of gridded paper, music paper, columned paper, dotted paper, etc.

Enter the WONDERFUL folks at ..... ta-ta-ta-da.

There are hundreds of free downloadable printed paper patterns (say that 10 times fast) available on the site.

A great resource for teachers, homeschoolers and small businesses.

Personally, I'm looking forward to playing "connect the dots." By the way, here is a link to a site where you can play "connect the dots" online.

Bargain Shoppers RULE!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Half Price Membership at Participating Gardens, Arboreta, and Conservatories or "See Flowers for Half the Price"

This one only lasts until the end of the month (April 2008)... so act fast.

The Los Angeles Arboretum is running a half price special for NEW family memberships. For a mere $35 you can get a family membership at the fabulous Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia, CA. The Arboretum is a 127-acre botanical garden and historical site jointly operated by the Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation and the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation.

What is so great about this offer (besides the half price sale) is that you can also use this membership card to get in free to any of the hundreds of other participating United States Gardens, Arboreta, and Conservatories listed on the American Horticultural Society site. (click on Reciprocal Admissions on the left hand side of their home page)

This includes wonderful venues like: Descanso Gardens in La Canada, CA; Quail Botanical Gardens in Encinitas, CA; The National Aviary in Pittsburgh, PA; The Brooklyn Botanic Garden in (where else) Brooklyn, NY; The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University in Boston, MA; and many, many more.

These places are truly wonderful family outing destinations. My mother used to take us to see the Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh when I was a kid. I can still smell those flowers. (My mother, by the way, was notorious for her "black thumb." Guess she figured if we were ever going to appreciate flowers, she best take us to the Botanical Gardens.)

Anyway, as time is running out on this great bargain .... best to just call the LA Arboretum Membership office on the phone (626.821.3233) and pay by credit card. Ask for Yvonne - lovely woman. Tell her Bobbi at Bobbi's Bargains sent you. She'll give you a good deal :-)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dodgers Tickets - dirt cheap - going fast

Better jump on this one fast! As part of a special deal with Travel Zoo, you can get tickets to see the Dodger's play for as little as $2!! Now THAT'S what I call a bargain! A field box ticket is only $15 (usually $50).

Click here to go to the special page on the Dodger site.

The games that are available for this discount are the April 23rd & 24th, 2008 Dodgers versus Diamond Backs and the May 5th & May 6th, 2008 Dodgers versus Mets games.

The discount code is: "TZOO" (those are "Ohs", not "zeros").

Hurry, hurry, they are going fast. Take me out to the old ball game at bargain prices!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

One way to find your perfect job

52 weeks = 52 jobs. At least for recent Business Degree graduate, Sean Aiken, it did. Searching for his ideal job, Sean set out to try a new job every week for an entire year.

This is a great site to spend some time on with your kids. Or perhaps just spend some time with yourself.

Lots of short videos. Very neat idea. Could lead to some great conversations.

Bobbi's Bargains: Spring L.A. Kids Consignment Super Sale

Bobbi's Bargains: Spring L.A. Kids Consignment Super Sale
For information on the 2008 LA Kids Consignment Sales,
click here.

Monday, April 14, 2008

How to tell if fruit is organic or genetically modified?

If you are becoming increasingly more aware of the value of organically grown food and the dangers of genetically modified food, then you might also have experienced not being able to tell them apart in the grocery store.

It's not like they have little signs on them that say, "I'm organically grown," or "I'm genetically modified."

Or do they?

Actually, they do.

Each piece of fruit or vegetable has a little label on it with a number. These numbers are the "price look up" or PLU codes.

Each fruit has a four digit number assigned to it. If the label has a five digit number on it that starts with "9" then it is organic. If the five digit number starts with an "8" then it is genetically modified. You can find an alphabetical list of codes here.

Check it out. Once you know this little trick, it doesn't matter if all the apples are in one bin, you can easily pick out the organic ones.

Friday, April 11, 2008

How to buy a window air conditioner

Someone recently wrote to me asking where to get a good window air conditioner at a great price. Because this is an excellent question and an item that you can pay WAY too much for, I thought I best share my answer with my readers.

When I lived in New England (where the winters are cold and the summers are hot and humid), I bought all my window air conditioners second-hand at yard sales at the beginning of winter. I usually paid about $20 and they worked great. The same air conditioner at a yard sale at the beginning of summer would cost about $60. At a store, the same a/c would cost at least $200. Need I say more?

If you don't live in an area that has drastically defined seasons, I suggest that you check out and get yourself a great deal on a second-hand air conditioning unit. Try to do this in the coldest part of the year, but Craigslist is awesome anytime of the year. If you don't know what Craigslist is, then read about it in my earlier blog entry.

Before you rush off on your bargain buying spree, this treasure hunt requires a bit of research and mathematics prior to embarking on the expedition for best hunting results.

The first thing you need to do is measure the space that you want to cool. You need to know the square footage. It's easy to figure out. Just measure the floor. Measure in one direction and then measure in the other direction. Then multiply the two numbers. Ta-da! Square footage.

Now take your square footage and multiply that by 35. That will give you a general idea of what SIZE air conditioner to buy. That doesn't mean how big in inches... it means how big in BTUs - British Thermal Units.

Every window air conditioner has a cooling capacity number that ranges from about 5,000 to 18,000 BTUs. (Larger systems are usually rated in Tons of cooling with a Ton being equal to 12,000 BTUs.) The higher the BTU value, the stronger the air conditioner is. BTUs determine how much cooling the unit can deliver in an hour. Too little BTUs and you won't get cooled off.... too many BTUs and you will waste energy and MONEY (yikes!)

(For those of you living in areas that actually have humidity here is a bit more insight: Many people buy an air conditioner that is too large, thinking it will provider better cooling. However, an oversized air conditioner is actually less effective — and wastes energy at the same time. Air conditioners remove both heat and humidity from the air. If the unit is too large, it will cool the room quickly, but only remove some of the humidity. This leaves the room with a damp, clammy feeling. A properly sized unit will remove humidity effectively as it cools.)

Once you determine BTUs based on square footage (multiplied by 35), make sure that you make adjustments for room location and heat load.

If the room is shaded, reduce the BTUs by 10%
If the room is very sunny, increase the BTUs by 10%
If the air conditioner is in the kitchen, add 4,000 BTUs
If the room is going to be occupied by more than 2 people (most of the time), add 600 BTUs per person.

Another thing to consider is EER. "EER" stands for "Energy Efficiency Ratio." Air conditioners' EERs usually range from 8.2 to 10.5. The higher the number, the more efficiency... and more expensive to buy... but cheaper to operate. It's a numbers game.

When installing your window air conditioner, use a window that is in the shade. Ensure that there is space around the inside and outside for air flow. In other words, don't put the air condition up against the back of your couch or right up against a bush outside. Insulate where the window and air conditioner meet to make sure there is no air leakage around the unit and the window. Make sure that you clean the filters on a regular basis as this will increase the efficiency and life of your air conditioner.

OK... those are my tips. Good luck and stay cool.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Gratitude Sign - it costs nothing

Show gratitude. Simple. Important.

How to show gratitude in a simple way - a sign?

Someone.... I don't know who... has made a video showing how to use a simple sign to show gratitude to our troops. But, not just our troops.... to anyone that should be shown gratitude.

I have found that everyone does something every day that should be acknowledged. Your postal worker, the grocery clerk, the bus driver... your MOTHER!!!! Sometimes, people find it hard to go up to someone and just be sincere and say, "Thank You."

This video and the campaign, The Gratitude Campaign, that goes along with it, shows how to easily say, "Thank You."

It only takes 2 minutes to watch.

I think the world would be a better if everyone took the 2 minutes to watch and apply this little sign.

Click here to see the video, The Gratitude Campaign.

Thank you.