Drum Roll Please…

WOW! This time around we had 380 entrants for our contest. This is far and away our largest turn out. Thank you so much to all of you, seeing this level of participation is very exciting. Selecting a winner for our giveaways is one of my favorite things about running this site.

And on that note, fridays gb 821the winner of the “PiggyBankBuilder Wednesday Giveaway” is Terri from Buffalo NY. Congrats to Terri, enjoy the gift card. For the rest of you, please come back soon for our next give away. 

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Made in the U.S.A. Monday – Annie’s Heirloom Seeds

I once read a quote that stuck with me, “Growing your own food is like printing your own money.” What I like about that statement is the suggestion of control. When you start a garden in your backyard you are taking ownership of your food supply. I plan to start one this summer because I want to grow fresh organic fruits and vegetables for “the Bride” and I to eat.

We don’t want to buy genetically modified  fruits and vegetables covered with pesticides that are shipped from thousands of miles away. We want the freshest produce possible, grown under the safest conditions and picked that morning. We want to pick our own strawberries and carve our own pumpkins. We want to eat salads made from ingredients that we grew. Sure it will be a lot of work, but anything that is worth doing is. 

To start a anniegarden you are going to need seeds, good seeds. Seeds that have been cultivated for decades to provide you with the heartliest and tastiest plants, heirlooms seeds. Based in Michigan, Anne’s Heirloom Seeds offers a dazzling array of seed varieties. For example, they have over 11 varieties of watermelon. My whole life I’ve only had one.  I suspect you are in the same boat. Wouldn’t you like to try the other 10 varieties?  I sure would.

How about growing your own corn for your Labor Day party? Or your own popcorn? Annie’s has so much to offer from the beginning gardener to the most advanced. For about 20 bucks you could have more than enough seeds to start your own backyard garden. You will have “Made in the USA” produce that you grew using “Made in the USA” seeds. 

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Who Will Be Our Next Winner?

Just over a week to go and out current giveaway is really  heating up. That $25 Friday’s gift card could be yours, all you have to do is enter. Just ask Kobi, Winnerthe winner of our last contest. Here she is, prize in hand. Another congratulations to her and wished of good luck to all of you.

I have offered you several ways to enter, including a daily option in the form of tweeting. So please, increase your odds of winning, rack up multiple entries with your tweets. Time is running out, don’t miss your chance. 

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Made in the U.S.A. Monday – JJ Potts, The Garden Art Company

Gardening season is mere weeks away. For so many the back yard or the garden is a place of refuge. Our own little corner of the world where we go to enjoy the warmer weather and escape from the hectic rush of day to day life.  Like all beautiful things it takes a lot of effort to make it happen, so many choices to make. 

When all is said and done it can often be the final touches that make the difference. Those little  accent pieces that add character and beauty to your place. Perhaps something like a beautiful ceramic piece from JJ pots. Their bright beautiful collection of ceramics are made in Utah and give your home a sense of fantasy and magic. 

Many of their pieces focus on pixie and fairies, a birdhousebit of enchantment for your garden. I personally like their ceramic bird houses.  So often my wooden bird houses will begin to rot and fall apart after a few seasons. A thick ceramic birdhouse like this would probably last a very long time. 

They comes with a thick gauge of wire to hang them with and they have a small hole in the bottom for drainage. They are offered in a  variety of roof colors, a bright accent that catches the eye and adds a unique touch to your garden.  JJ Potts doesn’t sell them directly to customers, but I found this site that offers the birdhouses for $29.99

Of courser the birdhouse is only one of dozen of beautiful hand made ceramic products that JJ Potts meticulous handcrafts at their studio. Please visit their site, I am fairly certain that you will find something for your garden. 

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Time is Running Out – Free Yankee Tickets

Yesterday I mailed out my ticket mail awayentry form and receipts for the Hess and Pepsi Yankee ticket giveaway. My brother told me he was doing the same today. For those of you that are interested in this offer please keep in mind that you have until April 25th to get your entry mailed.  Six days left, you better hurry while you still have time. For those of you who are unfamiliar you need: 

  • Four recent gas receipts from Hess, 8 gallon or more per visit.
  • A receipt from a NY Hess Express for either two 12 packs or one 24 Pack of Pepsi
  • A completed entry form.

Call some friends and ask them to save their receipts for you and get on over to your local Hess to grab and entry for and some cases of Pepsi. Time is fleeting. 

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Made in the U.S.A. Monday – Anchor Hocking Drinkware

Recently I broke another one of our glasses. Well I didn’t break it, the Bride did, but it was my fault, sorta. When I wash the dished I like to get all of them in the drying rack. This is true regardless of how many dishes there are. You could make a case, as my Bride often does, that the drying rack has a maximum capacity. I would suggest that if stacked correctly, with great skill and care, the drying rack can accommodate many more dishes then you might think.  I have acheived this feat several times and if you don’t just randomly grab the glasses from the rack the dry glass pyramid will not collapse and break any of the glasses. The moral of the story is that we need a dish washer, but in the short term we need some glasses.

I was under the impression that American made glassware would be pricey.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was wrong, very much so. The people at the Anchor Hocking Company have been making quality American made glassware for over a century. Based primarily in  Lancaster Ohio they are an American manufacturing success story, employing over 1,500 people nationwide.

As I looked through their catalogue I was very impressed by what I saw. My first thought was that this glass ware was going to be expensive. Boy was I wrong. From price searching around the web I have come to realize that all of Anchor Hocking Products are competitively priced and in many cases cheaper then their foreign made competitors. They are selling better made, higher quality glassware for less. It boggles the mind.

GlassesTake this Anchor Hocking Cinch 16 piece set. It includes 8 seventeen ounce tumblers and 8 twelve ounce rocks. These are great for small gatherings or parties, you can serve mixed drink or sodas in them. They are curvy, stylish and have heavy balanced base. How much do you think a 16 glass set like this would cost? Fifty bucks? Forty Bucks? Wrong on both accounts. This set sells for $21.99! Add to that the coupon code “MH20″ and you are knocking off another 20%.

You are getting 16 glasses for under 20 bucks, that is cheaper than what you would pay for cheap Chinese made glasses at a big box store. A better product at a better price and all I did was look. The Anchor Hocking catalogue includes so many great products and all of them are made in America. Form serving pitchers to storage containers, I can see the Bride and I buying many of our dish-ware from them. I hope you do the same.

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Take Me Out to the Ball Game – Free Yankee Tickets!

The year I was born the Yankees won the world series. They would not repeat this feat until my freshman year in college. While my childhood was filled with disappointment and let down the “Jeter Era” of Yankees baseball has been nothing but excitement and joy. Now the Captain is going to retire and I plan to watch him take a few more at bats in person before he walks off into baseball history. 

Last year my family and yankeeI got to take advantage of the Pepsi/Hess offer for two FREE Yankees tickets and watched the Bombers play at home. Since my brother and I live in separate household he got his two tickets and I got mine. He took my Dad and I took my sister so all of us got to enjoy a free day at the ballpark.  I am guessing we saved over $200 on those seats. 

This year we are looking to repeat the experience and will be taking Hess and Pepsi up on their offer. For those of you who may not know this is how it works, in order to get the two free tickets you need to:

  • Provide receipts for 4 fill ups at a Hess gas station, a minimum of 8 gallons per visit. 
  • Buy either a 24 pack or two 12 packs of Pepsi at a NY Hess Express, save the receipt.
  • Mail the 4 gas receipts and the Pepsi receipt with your entry form on of before 4/25/14

Once your entry is received and everything is in order you will receive a coupon code that you can use to redeem for your Yankee tickets. 

What I really like about this promotion os that it costs me almost nothing. I was going to gas my car up anyway and my two 12 packs off Pepsi cost me twelve bucks. That’s 50 cents a can! Now I take a can to work and instead of spending $1.50 on a soda from the pizza or fast food place. Some places charge as much as two bucks for a drink, thanks to pepsi I am saving money.

That aside this is a truly great offer and a nice excuse to see a ball game at the stadium. It expires in 12 days so you best hurry. 

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Free Cone Day!

Burlington Vermont ice cream legends “Ben and Jerry” are once again Free Conecelebrating their anniversary with a free cone day. This annual tradition goes all the way back to 1979. All you have to do is go into your local Ben and Jerry’s ice cream place between noon and 8:00pm today and you get a single scoop of ice cream on a cone. So many delicious flavors to choose from, here is a store locator to help you in your quest. Enjoy. 

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The Next Big Thing Is Actually Quite Small – Spotting an Investment Opportunity

One of the best investment strategies is to be early. ideaSpot a trend in its infancy and capitalize on what you believe will occur down the line. For example, I remember when I heard that Newark, NJ was going to get a new sports arena. I don’t how much you know about Newark, but chances are its probably bad. Riots, violence, crime, gangs, murder, Newark’s image is pretty bad and this arena was meant to revitalize the city and turn things around. 

So here you are its 2002 and you have just read in the newspaper that Newark is getting this massive state of the art arena. What do you do? What is the smart move? I met a man in 2006 who capitalized on this. As soon as he heard about the arena he bought an empty lot two blocks away and built a big beautiful bar. He was told the arena would open in 2007 and he had his place up and running the year before. He knew that the Devil’s would call that arena home and his place would be packed with hockey fans or concert goes many nights a year.  His place was so close that people could park near by and would pass his establishment on there way to the arena. He saw and opportunity and grabbed it. 

The stock market works the same way. Right now social media stocks are on fire. Two years ago you could have bought Facebook stock for 18 bucks, now its over 50. In the 90’s internet stocks exploded. Google IPO’ed for 80 dollars, look at it now. In almost every case the news came out as a trickle and then turned into a flood. If you pay attention early on you can beat the crowd.

That’s all good and fine, but where is the future. Looking back is easy, where is the next trend. I believe from what I have heard and read that the future is so small that you can’t even see it, Nano technology. Smaller than a cell Nano technology aims to fix big problems using tiny solutions. It may be possible to dramatically increase the capacity of a battery using Nano particles to improve its chemistry. Sounds complex? Let me simplify, with this technology you could improve your smart phone battery so much that you would only have to charge it once a week. What is that worth? 

Nano particles could be used to detect and treat disease, improve the strength of building materials, making cars lighter and safer, cleaning up chemical spills. We are on the cusp of a revolution. It has been identified, we are early, now we have to figure out what to do. Who are going to be the leaders of this radical new technology? The answer to that question is going to make some people very wealthy. Right now, time is on our side, we are ahead of the crowd. The best thing to do is to keep your eyes open, keep that word “Nano” in the back of your mind and when you hear it pay attention. Be ready to seize the opportunity. 

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Made in the U.S.A. Monday – Ariens Lawn Mowers

As the Bride and I make the transition from renters to home owners we have begun drawing up a list of all the things we will need once we are in our new home. A majority of the items fall into the “lawn and garden section” and at the top of that list is a lawn mower. When I was a kid we had a “Snapper” law mower. It was red, self propelled, it lasted many years and was very reliable. It was my job to mow the lawn as a kid and the only problem I can remember was the mower stalling because I let the grass get too tall. That was my fault not the mowers. 

As I researched different models of American made mowers, I came across a brand named Ariens. Touting themselves as “the mower that cuts the White House lawn”, Ariens makes an impressive line of American made lawn mowers and snow blowers. Based in Wisconsin this company is a text book example of  lean domestic manufacturing. When many better know brands chose to close down their favorites and export those jobs Ariens held fast and worked with their workers to cut costs.

It can be difficult to find honest reviews sometimes so I often turn to consumer reviews from sites like Home Depot. mowerI found Ariens to be among their top rated mowers like this one. Selling for $479.00 this mower is competitively priced with similarly well reviewed mowers offered on the site.  It is self propelled, has an electric start, a height adjusting handle, and an adjustable height blade. 

Ariens lawnmowers come with a 3 year limited warranty and a legacy of reliability. This mower is on my short list and if I do decide to buy one I will make sure to stack my deals for another 8% off. Saving money, buying American, that’s what I am all about. 

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