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CACOSTA's Photo CACOSTA Posts: 2,460
11/14/08 3:05 P

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Thanks Donna!
I will for sure be ready for all the sales on Nov 28!
Carolyn

“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness…never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”
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11/13/08 1:55 P

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Make sure to check out the Black Friday sites:

www.theblackfriday.com/index.shtml

blackfriday.gottadeal.com/

Donna (Upstate NY)

"Even monkeys fall out of trees."

"Suffering is the tuition one pays for a character degree."

"Accept your diagnosis, but never your prognosis."

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CACOSTA's Photo CACOSTA Posts: 2,460
11/13/08 10:25 A

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I am always looking for great coupons and additional sales to combine them with. I have had the best luck at Kohl's, JC Penneys, Fashion Bug, and Carson's. I always purchase items on clearance when they are offering an additional discount on clearance items and have $$ off purchase coupons. I always buy the winter stuff on clearance racks in spring and summer stuff on clearance racks in fall. I purchased some really nice heavy duty men's St. John's Bay quilted flannel shirts that can be used as lightweight fall jackets (originally $42)at JC Penney's at the end of Spring this year for $1.97. Guess what the men are getting for Christmas!
Carolyn

Edited by: CACOSTA at: 11/13/2008 (10:25)
“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness…never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”
MISSEYD's Photo MISSEYD SparkPoints: (4,893)
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10/25/08 10:08 A

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i gave hubby and i a limit between us. last year i spent about $600 on him (bought a new tv for him) this year $200 on him and vice versa, $50 on the house. also i'll be spending about $50-$100 on my mother so that'll be cut in half. i bought stuff at work (promotional) then just embroidered on them which cut the cost too for 3 cuzins and 1 aunt. i buy magazine subscriptions for really good prices, amazon.com had a special with their cc that u got $30 off so i signed up for that (will be canceling that after its paid) so i was able to get 3 magazines each for 2 years for $51 minus the $30 = $21 so $3.50/year/magazine!!!
everything else i find on sale or just buy

GREENCHIC78's Photo GREENCHIC78 Posts: 136
10/23/08 7:53 P

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I'm baking a lot of gifts year. I love to cook/bake so I am going to make a variety of goodies for my coworkers and friends. I've been saving glass jars and lids and plastic coffee cans to decorate and fill with the goodies, so it really is virtually free! For the family I have a 30 dollar budget for both parents and gf's parents, and 50 for gf. I'm going to start shopping soon though to avoid the Christmas crowds.

Change is inevitable, progress takes work.
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An harm it none, do what ye will
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KAT2010's Photo KAT2010 SparkPoints: (29,808)
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10/23/08 11:15 A

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Ha ha - flybabychr - no you keep the crown, that was a lucky incident for me - i am still learning to be frugal emoticon

Keep Looking UP! (to the Creation and the CREATOR)

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MRSFIXIT's Photo MRSFIXIT SparkPoints: (0)
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10/22/08 4:20 P

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We have 2 different credit union accounts where DH has money deposited from his paycheck to cover loans we have with them. The loans have changed over time, so we actually put a little more in them than is needed. I plan to use mostly this money for shopping. We also have a car for sale, but we've been trying to sell it for months, & even though there's been a lot of interest & SEVERAL people who said they wanted it & would come back with cash, it still sits in our yard. Also, DH replaced his plow truck in the spring, so once he gets the new one (used, but new to us) ready, the old one will go up for sale, & that will likely sell quickly. So I'll have the money, but the question is: "when?"

Donna (Upstate NY)

"Even monkeys fall out of trees."

"Suffering is the tuition one pays for a character degree."

"Accept your diagnosis, but never your prognosis."

home.roadrunner.com/~andydonna


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JESS614's Photo JESS614 Posts: 331
10/22/08 12:51 P

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I am worrying about the holidays and trying to get enough money for presents, my husband and I are trying to save some money from our paychecks every other week, but it's not much right now. Next year I'm definitely starting earlier to save for the holidays- it was harder this year since we got married in April and we were saving our money for paying for the wedding, so we didn't start saving for Christmas until later in the year.

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JESS614's Photo JESS614 Posts: 331
10/22/08 12:49 P

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If I had ever asked my parents to pay off my credit card as my Christmas present (I'm 26), they'd laugh in my face... well maybe not laugh, but they definitely wouldn't pay it. They'd tell me that I'm an adult and I got myself into it, so I have to be a grownup and get myself out of it

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10/21/08 3:24 P

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That's what DH said, too! Most of us have debt, but to ask someone else to pay that debt as a Christmas present seems to take all of the spirit out of the holiday.

Donna (Upstate NY)

"Even monkeys fall out of trees."

"Suffering is the tuition one pays for a character degree."

"Accept your diagnosis, but never your prognosis."

home.roadrunner.com/~andydonna


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FEELINGFITERIN's Photo FEELINGFITERIN Posts: 1,925
10/21/08 7:32 A

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Donna,
I agree w/ you. I think you should give your daughter stuff that she needs, and let her pay off her own card. Otherwise, she's not really learning her lesson, and will continue to add to the debt anyways.

Erin

Isaiah 40:31
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

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MRSFIXIT's Photo MRSFIXIT SparkPoints: (0)
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10/20/08 11:48 P

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I'm a bit frustrated over Christmas shopping this year. I want most of what DH & I get for each other to be things for the house & the same goes for what people buy for us. We want our remodeling to be able to go as far as possible, so this would help.

This also, however, means cutting back. I could look for deals for gifts, but now DD says she wants people to make payments on her credit card. She ran it up, then quit her job. Real smart, huh? That pretty much means nothing under the tree if we all do this, & there are no deals to be found. In the meantime, she seems to keep spending money (i.e., extra student loan money or that she earns from doing tasks for her grandmother). It seems to me everyone should buy her things she needs (like clothing, school supplies, car accessories), & she should make her own credit card payments. What do you all think?

Donna (Upstate NY)

"Even monkeys fall out of trees."

"Suffering is the tuition one pays for a character degree."

"Accept your diagnosis, but never your prognosis."

home.roadrunner.com/~andydonna


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CAROL_'s Photo CAROL_ SparkPoints: (0)
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10/20/08 11:28 P

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Wow these are fantastic suggestions. You all have inspired me so much I'm going to make a list. I look out for better merchandise on 3rd clearance markdown (ultra clearance) throughout the year, and keep a gift shelf/gift box; that's about it for me. And Kat, I thought I was the QUEEN of frugal; I think I have to give up the crown to you, you go girl!
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KAT2010's Photo KAT2010 SparkPoints: (29,808)
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10/20/08 10:11 P

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Got a good start on Christmas shopping, went to Frankenmuth, MI this last weekend, found a discount Christmas shop right accross from Brommers, a famous Christmas shop. We got 20 + gifts for $34.



Keep Looking UP! (to the Creation and the CREATOR)

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TRAVIS07's Photo TRAVIS07 Posts: 3,116
10/19/08 5:37 P

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I have a lot of my shopping done.I caught clearance racks on sale at Walmart ,Kmart and Pennys last year.I hope they are the right sizes.I really meant to catch inventory sales at the Dollar General and Family Dollar stores but think it may be too late.I do some baking also. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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10/13/08 11:56 A

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Just wanted to share that this year DH and I will distribute the (10 years in the making)state quarter maps we have collected for his children and my grandchildren.

Note to self, never start a collection for grandchildren that lasts this long. I started with 5, then 5 more came along!

DH was smart and just did his 6 (adult) children - so he is not out searching for maps and former quarters when new babies come along!
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Keep Looking UP! (to the Creation and the CREATOR)

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FEELINGFITERIN's Photo FEELINGFITERIN Posts: 1,925
10/7/08 9:55 P

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I was at Michael's today and they had small decorated boxes of scented bath salts in their $1 section. I didn't buy any yet, but I was thinking that this might be a neat gift to give to my co-workers. A lot of the nurses I work with get a little something for everyone (candles, Christmas socks, homemades stuff). I would probably just buy for the day shift, so about 20 nurses... Does this sound like a neat idea? They also had matching journals, post-its, stickers... but I'd like to keep the cost as low as possible!

Erin

Isaiah 40:31
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

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CSTEVENSON's Photo CSTEVENSON Posts: 1,524
9/26/08 10:09 A

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I love finding the perfect deal on something through the year.

One extra note about getting creative...don't dismiss freebies as something to include in a gift. Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking old stuff or useless things or making it the whole gift....here is an example, the company I work for has a retail store as part of the overall business. One day last month the new manager decided to get rid of some old inventory. She had baskets that weren't being used, some candles and some bath bombs that she offered to staff free of charge. I am knitting some bath mitts and scrubbies for my cousin for Christmas, because we have a limit of $10 on supplies for a handmade gift. I can add in a couple of bath bombs and a candle and put it in a basket and still be within my limit but really add a little panash to the gift. You just have to be on the lookout throughout the year. You can find interesting containers for your home made gifts or add ons in the most unlikely of places!

I also found a beautiful leather bound journal over the summer for $12.00 on sale, quite a discount. I picked one up and it's in my gifting box. My sister comes to mind for this gift, so when I next need a gift for her, that will come out and I will be able to add a lovely pen for her and she'll have a nice gift....she uses journals all the time.

Live by what you love and not by what you fear - author unknown


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FEELINGFITERIN's Photo FEELINGFITERIN Posts: 1,925
9/25/08 11:45 P

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I checked out some Gooseberry Patch books for the library today. They have some neat ideas for holiday gifts to make. They also have a lot of neat recipes in their books, but no nutritional info.

Erin

Isaiah 40:31
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

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JULESGL's Photo JULESGL Posts: 9,609
9/24/08 9:27 P

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I've already spoken with my family members about doing a "dialed down" Christmas. Meaningful gifts are the key, for family members and friends of YEARS

Everyone else is getting baked goods - that way I can make a lot of Christmas cookies, share small portions with everyone I care about, AND STILL only have a small portion to enjoy for myself. I am not strong enough to have lots of sweet treats in my house!

Teachers love food that they can store - those cookie (dry) ingredients in a jar are great, gift certificates to food are great BUT I know that money is tight and I hate the idea that anyone is going to bust a budget to get me (their teacher) a gift. I would much rather have a handwritten card, describing something funny or fun or meaningful from the child who is taking the class.

Parents volunteering to help at events, or help set up events the night before are AWESOME Christmas presents too!

Live like no one else, so later you can LIVE like no one else

"No man in the wrong can stand up to a man in the right who keeps on a-comin." - Texas Rangers

Dare to be a Linchpin - Seth Godin


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WILDEMOON's Photo WILDEMOON Posts: 3,078
9/24/08 4:28 P

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Gift card for a teacher is a great idea. My mom is a teacher, and she gets more tacky little knick knacks than she can handle. lol She loves that the kids are thinking of her, but she'd honestly be just as thrilled with a card as with any stuff. I'm sure that's true of a lot of teachers since it's much easier to store and/or display a simple card :)

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." - Oscar Wilde

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FEELINGFITERIN's Photo FEELINGFITERIN Posts: 1,925
9/24/08 4:15 P

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I've already been thinking about Christmas! I bought a few things already for people when I saw them on sale... Still have a lot to go though... Some people at work buy gifts for everyone, I just can't afford that. I'm hoping to find something crafty to make for everyone, but something that won't look too hokey. LOL. I have my niece, dad and 1 aunt done so far. I've bought 1 thing for each of my kids (2) so far. I'm going to the library to find a craft book so that I can make things for grandparents. What's a good gift for teachers? I heard one teacher say before that she gets WAY too many candles and body lotions/etc. I was thinking a Starbucks giftcard for them. We'll see.

Erin

Isaiah 40:31
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

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MRSFIXIT's Photo MRSFIXIT SparkPoints: (0)
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9/24/08 2:06 P

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Yes, Christmas is apt to be challenging this year, both with money & time. Both are basically due to our remodeling situation. I like to do crafts, although I'm not that good at them yet because it's a new hobby, but I just can't see having the time to do them this year.

What I started doing about 3 years ago was to create a Holiday Control Journal. I also have a Christmas database. The database holds the addresses of everyone with whom we exchange Christmas cards. I note who I sent to & who sent to us. If we're not getting cards back, then I quit sending. I used to send out over 100 cards. Using this method, I'm down to about 25.

The database also contains our ornament collection, which has gotten so large we haven't been able to put all of the ornaments on the tree for years. So now we limit what we buy to only those we REALLY, REALLY like or are part of a collection we don't want to break, although these are few now. We've also gotten into the miniatures for a smaller tree, which are much cheaper. I suspect at some point in the future, we'll only put up the small tree. The larger ornaments are now part of our "retirement" plan as we have a few collections we intend to sell when we get closer to retirement age.

Of course, the database also tracks who we buy for, the limit we've set, then how much we actually spend. By tracking this year after year, we've been able to make a lot of progress in cutting down expenses. I never used to include tax or shipping spent on presents when determining the amount spent. Big mistake! It's amazing how much this can add up. We've talked to some relatives & decided not to exchange presents with them, but to focus on the kids instead. We've talked to others & decided to cut down on our limits. I've never been able to get through Christmas below $2,000, but I think this year we might be able to stick to about $1,000. My plan is to buy the bare minimum, starting with the kids & our parents, then proceed on to the other adults, including ourselves. We will likely buy something large for the house remodeling project (pellet stove or flat screen TV) as the "main" gift to ourselves, then add a bit to it for "fun" stuff, preferably that we don't expect. If we can afford it, we can buy additional stuff once everything else is bought, but I don't plan to spend the typically $2,000 this year. We've even decided to skip the stockings because what goes in them is usually junk food (mostly candy) or small items, like writing tablets that we'd just buy anyways if needed, so why bother? When the kids were little, I used to put together a healthy breakfast for them in their stockings. It was the only way to get them to eat breakfast -- because it came from Santa!

The Holiday Control Journal also tracks all plans from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day. We do a craft day with my brother's kids early in November. Our anniversary is 11/26. We have birthdays: FIL 12/1, DH & DGD 12/23, DH's best friend 12/25. DH's work has a Christmas party. We like to finish Christmas shopping on Black Friday, too.

I make notes of what's worked well in the past & what hasn't, & that's helped a great deal! We like a nice, quiet, stress-free holiday season. The past 2 years, I've gone out of my way to make a ton of cookies & homemade candy. Last year I made over 1,100 cookies! Now I know what people like best, so I'm making 2 kinds of cookies, 1 pie, candy with the kids on craft day only, & 3 breads. Simple. Easy. Stress-free (mostly). And much cheaper!

Donna (Upstate NY)

"Even monkeys fall out of trees."

"Suffering is the tuition one pays for a character degree."

"Accept your diagnosis, but never your prognosis."

home.roadrunner.com/~andydonna


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CE-CE33's Photo CE-CE33 Posts: 781
9/24/08 1:46 P

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Christmas is so hard for me because I have birthdays during that month as well. Actually November through February is where most of the birthdays are. I have a box that I keep things that I buy for gifts. I will look to see what I have. This year, I think that I will just make sure that my kids, nieces and nephews get something this year.

All of my wants and needs are met because God is my source.


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WILDEMOON's Photo WILDEMOON Posts: 3,078
9/24/08 10:50 A

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We're doing simple cooking this year - cookies, candy, etc. that can be put together and cooked without too much expense. We really just can't afford much more, sadly.

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." - Oscar Wilde

www.biteyourtongue.net/daydream


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MOVIEGRL1737's Photo MOVIEGRL1737 Posts: 115
9/24/08 10:04 A

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I'm also making a lot of gifts this year. I'm a crafter at heart, so I have a lot of craft supplies at hand, anyway. It will e good to get it all used and out of the house as clutter is serious problem for me as well.
I'm a knitter, so using up my yarn stash is going to be a priority this christmas. Socks for everyone!

What you do each day is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.


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CSTEVENSON's Photo CSTEVENSON Posts: 1,524
9/23/08 1:02 P

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Absolutely, money is always tight for us and we always have work on our house to do. When I can, I try to make gifts or get creative with what I buy. I let everyone know up front that for us Christmas is about our religious practices and being with family...good food and gifts are part of that, but not at the cost of our peace of mind. I also put a little bit in a separate account each week through the year to spend at Christmas, and that helps a bit but doesn't usually cover everything.

We always find things for my daughter to make that are simple and inexpensive too, as she has about 25 people (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc.) to give gifts too. One year we bought polar fleece and she cut it into strips for scarves, then attached a felt cut out of her hand on one end.

This year, one of the gifts I'm making is memory boards...you know the fabric covered, ribbon crossed boards you hang by a desk or somewhere to slide in your photos, notes, or even the odd bit of mail you need to remember. I bought a set of 2 artists canvases at Michaels for $12 and fabric can be purchased cheaply if you watch for sales, as can ribbon. They will make two lovely gifts without much cost or time. My cousins two kids are getting lap desks, put together by moi....I will take a pretty metal tray (or a cookie sheet that I will decorate) from the dollar store and glue it to a soft squishy pillow, probably also from the dollar store, and add a few magnets for holding paper, and voila, a lap desk for the car. I might add a box of coloured pencils and a note book too.

There are so many great ideas that you can make very inexpesively and without a lot of time either. BHG.com usually has lots of ideas, as does the Dollar Stretcher website.

Good luck and your planning ahead so that should help a lot!

Live by what you love and not by what you fear - author unknown


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JESS614's Photo JESS614 Posts: 331
9/23/08 12:49 P

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Is anyone else worrying about the holidays yet? (especially Christmas) My husband and I made a budget on who for and how much we'll spend on each person,[just my parents, my 2 sisters, my MIL, my SIL, our nephew(he's 2-doesn't need a lot) and my FIL and his girlfriend] even for ourselves, but I still worry we won't have enough or that we shouldn't spend the money. My MIL bought a gift for us to give to her fiance for Christmas- she didn't want us to worry about finding something. This is our first Christmas being married (we've lived together sinec June 2006 and got married this past April)I don't want to go overboard. I try to get my husband things he needs but won't buy (like new shirts, socks, that type of stuff) I'm trying not to flip out over it since it's a few months away, but money is so tight right now and with winter coming, our gas bill will rise- I'm hoping we don't have to turn the heat on until the end of October-save some money. Sorry I'm ranting... just wanted to know if anyone is in the boat I'm in. Thanks.

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