Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Complete Free Food Birthday List

I signed up for a ton of these about two years ago and now every time May comes around I get a tidal wave of coupons for free food. I found a fantastic web site that lists practically all the national restaurants offering free gifts on your birthday. If you live in the Seattle area one of the best e-mail lists to get on is the Duke's Chowder House on Alki. He routinely sends free coupons your way http://www.dukeschowderhouse.com. If you don't live in Seattle here's the national chain list.


Just a few of my free food coupons

Monday, April 28, 2008

I Have My Kashi Sample Do You Have Your Kashi Sample?

Exactly 11 days ago I visited the Kashi.com web site and entered my info for a free sample of Kashi Mountain Medley Granola. Today I just got my snack in the mail. Did you get your free Kashi yet? It's wholesome, nutritious, and extremely delicious. Get your free sample today.

StartupSchwag.com - Schwag in the Mail $14.95/Month

One of the perks when I go to affiliate conferences is all the free stuff I receive “schwag.” Most of the time it’s the usual like pens, t-shirts, or totally unusable cloth frisbees. Sometimes you might get something good like a blue tooth handset think Ad Tech 208. For those of use that enjoy receiving logo inscribed products from startup companies there is a site for you can StartupSchwag.com. For only $14.95 a month + shipping you will get giant bags full of schwag!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

"Official" Inflation vs. Personal Inflation

The “official” inflation rate is currently around 4% (The highest level since 1991), but your personal inflation rate could be much higher. Personal inflation is the inflation we feel in our daily lives.

If you want to find additional information about inflation visit InflationData.com.

Here are some examples of just how much more we paying in 2007 and 2008. I tried to get 2008 numbers when I could.

2007 Energy costs rose 17.4%
2007 Food costs rose 4.9%
2007 Gasoline prices were up 29.6%


Today 04-24-08 the price of a barrel opened at the near record high of 117.93. The price you pay at the pump isn’t only affected by the strong demand. Additionally oil has risen because, “Twenty-five percent of the increase in oil prices is strictly due to the fact that the dollar has gone down by 25 percent, because oil all over the world is priced in dollars (http://voanews.com/english/2008-04-23-voa55.cfm).”

Health Care Costs

Data released 04-28-08 shows health insurance premiums are up 30% from 2001 - 2005. In 2007 health insurance rose 6.9%! "According to an analysis of government statistics being released Tuesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the average dollar amount employees must pay per year for family health coverage went up by 30% from 2001 to 2005 (http://health.usnews.com)."


According to a Fool.com article demand for crops is up 40% in 2007 (http://www.fool.com/personal-finance/general/2007/10/26/foods-getting-pricier-than-fuel.aspx?terms=food+prices&vstest=search_042607_linkdefault).

2007 Soybeans are up 75%
2007 Wheat rose 75%
2007 Chicken is up 15%
2007 Milk is up 26%


According to the Seattle Times U.S. rice futures hit a record high on 04-23-08. Consumers are paying 60-70% more for rice in April 2008 than they did at the beginning of the year. A 20 pound bag that sold for $9 just two months ago, now sells for $16. Warehouse stores Costco and Sam's Club are restricting on how much rice customers can buy at once.


With all these price increases you would think wages would inflate as well. “Workers’ wages failed to keep up with the higher inflation. Average weekly earnings, after adjusting for inflation, dropped by 0.9 percent in 2007, the biggest setback since a 1.5 percent fall in 2005 (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22681319/).”

When I look at these numbers I start to distrust the 4% inflation rate we all hear about. When the things I use daily are up double digits, the inflation rate I feel in my wallet is much greater than 4%. If wages are not raising this exacerbates the issue even further.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Free Information - Subscribe to No Cost Trade Magazines at Tradepub.com

I subscribe to one trade publication called Revenue and I can’t even begin to tell you how valuable this one subscription is to keep track of what’s going on in the affiliate marketing world. Best thing about Revenue magazine is I get all this monthly information for free. TradePub.com offers magazines like Revenue (Subscribe here if interested http://www.revenuetoday.com/section/Free%20Subscription) absolutely free. So if your looking for free information on the industry of your choice check out trade publication. Categories include meetings & Travel, business, marketing, internet, and lots more. Visit TradePub.com for free trade magazines.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Get Screwed Less by Big Oil, See the Most Fuel Efficient Cars By Class

2008 Most Fuel Efficient Cars by Class.

You can find the information on the web site FuelEconomy.gov.

Most fuel efficient car overall is the Toyota Prius at 48 City 45 Hwy

Most Efficient Two Seaters

- Smart Fortwo Convertible 31 City, 41 Hwy
- Mazda MX-5 22, 27

Most Efficient Minicompact Cars

- MINI Cooper 28, 37

Most Efficient Subcompact Cars

- Toyota Yaris 29, 36

Most Efficient Compact Cars

- Honda Civic Hybrid 40, 45
- Toyota Corolla 28, 37

Most Efficient Midsize Cars

- Toyota Prius Hybrid 48, 45
- Nissan Versa 26, 31

Most Efficient Large Cars

- Honda Accord 22, 31

Most Efficient Small Station Wagons

- Honda Fit 28, 34

Most Efficient Midsize Station Wagons

- Volkswagen Passat Wagon 21, 29

Least Efficient Cars

- Lamborghini Murcielago 8, 13

Friday, April 18, 2008

Volvo? Volvo? Yeah the Volvo C30 is Seriously Awesome

Hatchbacks are already popular in Europe it's time the US gets rid of their addiction to oversized road yachts and swap them out for something lean and sporty. Volvo is shooting for the young urbanites with accelerating careers and intense, active lifestyles.

The Volvo C30 is not only seriously awesome, but in keeping with the theme of the blog it will save you on gas too. The Volvo C30 gets 20 MPG city and 28 HWY. Even thought the Volvo C30 gets decent gas mileage performance isn't sacrificed. The C30 T5 Version 1.0 has a 227 HP engine that does 0-60 in 6.7 seconds.

I want to get the C30 for its sporty, muscular looks (not cutesy, retro look...think Mini Cooper), the performance, interior quality (some have said it's on par with Audi interiors), 18" Atreus Alloy Wheels, and 10-Speaker Audio System with Dolby ProLogic II Surround Sound.

So how much is all this you’re wondering... With these options the Volvo C30 prices out at $26,445 + near 9% sales tax in my part of the country. So price is $28,825.05.

For this price it's difficult choose because I could go from a "near luxury car" in the C30 to full on luxury in the 2002 BMW 745i Sedan. Yes, it's older, but it's a sweet car.

I'll be sure to post once I get my car!

See the video review from CarReview.com.

Paying For Fonts Sucks, Get Hundreds Free at DaFont.com

I just found out about a site today that offers free fonts called DaFont.com. DaFont.com was described by the blog blogfamously.com as "Fonts Paradise." There are over 7,000 fonts available for download.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

9malls.com is Now Animated!

Check out my new 9malls.com animation.

Free Sample of Kashi Mountain Medley Granola

Get a free sample of Kashi Mountain Medley Granola. I normally don't post free sample offers on the 9malls blog because many times these companies don't follow through on their promises. I've signed up with a Kashi free sample in the past and know from experience that they will send you what they promise. Kashi is also not some crappy junk food, it's made of high quality ingrediants. Kashi products are all-natural, minimally processed that are free of highly refined sugars, artificial additives, and preservatives.

LOST is Back on ABC

Yes, LOST is back… but we will still have to wait another week. The new episodes starting airing on Thursday April 24th 10/9 c! I’m a huge LOST fan, it’s pretty much the only show I watch on TV.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cost of Bottled Water vs. Tap Water

Your recommended daily dose of water is 8, 8 oz servings of tap water every day. If you were to only drink bottled water for a year this calculates to $1,500. If you were to drink just tap water it would only cost you a mere $0.50. Bottled water is the biggest marketing joke since packaged salad. Everyday 60 million used bottles of water are tossed into the landfill.

If your concern is safety you may be surprised to hear that tap water is tested daily by the FDA. Bottled water is tested weekly. "Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, water suppliers are required to provide an annual report on the quality of your local water and to test tap water daily." (http://food.yahoo.com/blog/beautyeats/22317/tap-vs-bottled-what-should-you-drink).

Even though I saved money by buying bottled water in bulk at Costco. I stopped buying it because I realized how fast I was going through the giant box and how wasteful it really was. Since then I bought a large plastic water container that I fill up and keep in the refrigerator. Water taste cool, clean, and refreshing. My garbage isn't overflowing all the time and I just saved myself $1,500 a year!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Did you get your taxes out on April 15th?

April 15th is the deadline for federal taxes, but you don't have to file your whole return. Just enter your name, social security number, and how much you owe and your good for another 6 months. The form I'm referring to is the IRS Form 4868 Tax Extension.

Don't feel bad if you have to use the IRS Form 4868 you are not alone. See TurboTax's 7th Annual Top 10 Tax Procrastinating Cities list. The list can be found on http://dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com/dont_mess_with_taxes/2008/03/texas-top-tax-p.html.

1. Chicago, Ill. (#2) -- Chicago is the "Second City" no more as it takes the top spot for the first time in the seven years the list has been compiled.

2. New York, N.Y. (#5) -- After procrastinating less last year, the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple takes its toll on taxpayers as NYC climbs back up the list to rank at #2. The Giants may be number one in pro football, but New York is second on our list of late filers.

3. Houston, Texas (#1) -- Houstonians have topped our list more than any other city (three times) but must have tired of being the top procrastinators. Progress is progress and Houstonians drop two spots this year.

4. Austin, Texas (#4) -- Austin continues to procrastinate as they lock up the fourth spot for the second straight year. One of the fastest growing cities in America, Austin may be too busy to worry about taxes until the deadline forces them to.

5. San Francisco, Calif. (#5) -- The City by the Bay held steady in the fifth slot for the second straight year. In a year that saw the home run record fall to Barry Bonds, taxpayers in San Francisco waited until they had a full count to take a swing at doing their taxes.

6. San Diego, Calif (#6) -- The home of the 2008 U.S. Open, and home to TurboTax, can't seem to make up its mind. After topping the list two years ago, San Diegans dropped to sixth last year and are there yet again.

7. Seattle, Wash. (#8) -- Grunge may have gone the way of disco, but Seattle residents continue to play fast and late with their tax returns. The Emerald City jumps one spot this year.

8. Las Vegas, Nev. (#11) -- Making its return to the list after a two-year absence is the jewel of Southern Nevada, and former Mormon mission, Las Vegas.

9. San Antonio, Texas (#7) -- Settled first in 1731, San Antonio ranks as one of America's oldest cities. Despite its age, the home of the Alamo is steeped in today as its residents use the power of online tax prep to file at the last minute.

10. Los Angeles, Calif. (#12) -- Apparently Los Angelinos were busy chasing Brittney Spears all over town and waited until the deadline to file their taxes. At least they didn't let the forlorn Brittney file their taxes for them.

If you need tax help TurboTax.com is a great resource. It's what my accountant recommends (I still don't want to do my taxes though). Find out how you can fill out your taxes free online with TurboTax.com.

TurboTax provided us this list of 10 odd ball deductions:

Content - 10 Oddball Tax Deductions

Thursday, April 10, 2008

MagicJack.com Unlimited Calls to United States and Canada $20 a Year

You read the title and I was like you I didn’t believe it. MrCheapStuff.com wrote an article about Magic Jack. That’s where I heard about this new product that launched in 2008.

How does it work?

Plug ANY household phone into the Magic Jack

Plug the Magic Jack into any USB port on your computer

Pick up the phone and talk for free ($20/year) anywhere in the USA and Canada

Until April 15th you get a 30 day no risk free trial.

I haven’t tested this product yet, but I am so tempted. I’ve wanted to drop my local phone company for such a long time now. The phone number you pick is yours for life even when you move. With the Magic Jack I really don’t have any excuses anymore to drop the overpriced local phone company. I mean really? Why do we need local phones when we have cell phones, e-mail, voip, etc. It’s an old technology that needs to die ASAP.

Check product out at MagicJack.com. There are video reviews of the product from 3rd parties which are very helpful.

Back From Las Vegas! Am I More Productive?

Just got back from my week long trip to Las Vegas and I’m feeling extremely refreshed and rejuvenated. I left the cold cloudy weather of Seattle to 75-80 degree weather. It was perfect. Best part of all I was away from my computer for a whole week. That’s probably the longest period of absence in about 8 years!!!

White Rock Canyon AZ - Hot Springs Hike

Lake Havasu Arizona

Las Vegas was more of base camp than anything because from there I traveled to White Rock Canyon Arizona where I hiked 3.5 miles each way to a natural hot springs. Then from there I journeyed to Lake Havasu Arizona where I lounged in the water and watched the craziness unfold on the boats. Then my final trip outside of Vegas was to Zion National Park in Utah where the highlight was climbing the Angel’s Landing Trail. The trail in some cases is only 3-4 feet wide and on one side there’s a 800 foot cliff and the other side a 1200 foot cliff. There wasn’t any room for error because one wrong step would be a sure end.

Zion National Park Utah - Angel's Landing

In Vegas I gambled a total on $25 (lost it all). For me it was most about the clubs, lounges, shows, pools, food, site seeing, and just enjoying the warm weather.

I feel more motivated now that I’m back to do work. I’ve said this before of my blog about the benefits of taking vacations to increase productivity. It’s counterintuitive, but it works. Avoid burn out change your scenery!