My thoughts on dental insurance

November 9th, 2008

If you work for a company, they often will pay some or all of your insurance.  In that case, it works out okay most of the time if you have the right insurance.  One time I worked for a company and got a lot of dental work I had been avoiding getting done, and it was a good deal.

I have not found a dental insurance that is worth the paper it is printed on for the self-employed.  Even on years when I needed a root canal (not cheap!) and crown (also costly), I have averaged spending less on dental without insurance than the insurance payments would cost me. Also, I don’t like that a lot of insurances only let you see the less accomplished dentists as the real pros often are very picky about which insurers  they will accept as they are so accomplished in their profession,  people will just pay out of their own pocket to get the best care possible. This is just what I have found – I am not giving anyone advice on what they should do, of course! One should always look at all the facts and decide for themselves on things.

Anyway, I have found that the best thing to do is to spend time and money on good dental hygiene and when you need something done, get the best dentist you can find.

Saving money in the long run

November 9th, 2008

Okay, I promised a personal way to save money so here I am at my computer – just for your! I must tell you that I have just endured a wisdom tooth removal and it was not fun at all.  But that brings me to the topic of a contrary way to save money. When it comes to dental care, I do not attempt to save money by going to a cheaper dentist. I know that in the long run, my wonderful Dr. Behm has saved me not only money but my teeth.

I found out that the price for getting my wisdom tooth removed at the dental clinic would be $250 maximum, but instead I went to Dr. Behm for the $525 extraction.  And it was worth every penney.  Many years ago I had an extraction from your run-of-the-mill dentist.  He actually put his knee in my chest to get the leverage to pull the tooth!  Besides bruising my breast, it was  torture in the mouth as the tooth was extracted.  In contrast, Dr. Behm ensured that I was completely numbed up with a mild anaesthetic.  He also was very gentle in the extraction and he did it in such a way to ensure that the entire root came out.  While it still wasn’t any fun, I was vey impressed with his speed and professionalism.

So, my advice is to pinch pennies using food coupons and sales and Target and thrift stores and Ebay, but if you need dental care, pay for the best. Years down the road, you will appreciate that you still have your teeth with no complications.

I got my first wish!

November 5th, 2008

Early this morning I watched Obama’s acceptance speech and halfway through tears were streaming down my face, as I realized things may change for the better.  I know this is a “saving pennies” website, but this blog entry does fit in to the scheme of things because Democrats have a history of improving the economy and helping the middle class.

I was pleased to hear Obama talk about “increasing production”  as that goes along with my second wish.  It is only through increased production that this country’s economy can mend.

Now, for anyone who doesn’t want to hear about more politics in my blog – my next blog entry will be about a way to economize personally!

Three Wishes

November 1st, 2008

Today is a beautiful day here.  Warm with a cool breeze.  Not a cloud in the sky – but it feels like the calm before the storm.  The election is coming up, and it is a close one.  We are all waiting to see what happens after the Big Day. Here are my three wishes:

1) That the nominee who has been promising change does win the election and does hold good on his promise to start improving the current affairs of this country.

2) That the economy stops inflating the currency and starts getting the country to actually produce worthwhile goods to bring the country honestly into affluence.

3) That the American citizens realize that there is no free lunch and and that we really don’t want a country of welfare recipients who are a slave to the dole system.

I know it may be old-fashioned, but I like freedom and I would like the USA to return to being the land of opportunity (for work not welfare!).

Craigslist saves money

October 27th, 2008

I wanted to get a new futon, but I didn’t want to spend $400 to get a nice one.  I found one in Craiglist which was solid oak and a queen size cushion still in good shape. I really was happy when the owner called and told me she only lived about 5 minutes from my house. After I negotiated the price down to $50 and paid $20 to my handyman to drive it home, I covered it with a cream colored sheet.   It looks fantastic and I have had several compliments on it.

The great thing about using Craiglist, etc. is that you  can buy something which is high quality and still has a lot of life in it for a reasonable price, and you also help out the seller who may need an extra bit of money that month to make ends meet.

You can still find some good buys on E-Bay

October 27th, 2008

I  used to shop on E-Bay a lot, but then I gradually stopped doing it as I found the auctions were going higher than the price I wanted to pay.  Lately, I have been dabbling in the “Make an Offer” auctions.  It is a lot of fun and here is what I have learned:

Don’t make too low of an offer, or you might not hear back from the seller.  Most offers expire in 48 hours.

Offer less than you expect to pay as the seller will most likely come back with a counter offer which you will then meet somewhere in the middle.

I found a Theory dress brand new with tags in my size.  It retails for $395.  There was a “Buy it Now” for $169 and also an “Make and Offer”.  I offered $51 and the seller countered with $79.  I countered the counter with a bid of $62.50 which was accepted.  There was also free shipping on the dress, so I think I came out very well. The dress is a beautiful red and white pattern and it is all cotton and my size.  And now, I have the fun of looking forward to it coming priority mail in the next few days.

Gluten-free Surprise Recipe

October 21st, 2008

This is a great recipe to make if you want to make a wonderful lunch and you don’t have much left in the fridge.  I looked in the fridge and saw a few eggs, a little cheese, a little plain yogurt, a few fresh veggies, and a couple of pieces of gluten-free bread. The recipe serves two, but you could double the recipe to feed four.  Here is how to make it:

Pre-heat oven at 375 (or 350 with convection oven)

Break up two pieces of gluten-free bread and pulse in the blender until it is small crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a pre-greased glass baking pan. Without cleaning the blender, put in 2 raw eggs and about 1/2 cup of plain yogurt and blend until light and creamy. Use a spatula to distribute the mixture over the egg crumbs.  Salt as desired – Celtic Grey Salt tastes the best and is the healthiest. Grate a light layer of cheese over the top.  Add any leftover cooked hamburger or buffalo or turkeyburger as the next layer.  Add a generous layer of cheese as the last layer. Now bake until it is done.  (I didn’t time it, I just kept watching it until it was done.  It didn’t take long to cook.)

Serve it on plates and add fresh cucumber sliced bits and diced green and red pepper over the top. Salsa is also a nice topping if you like it a little spicey.

An easy way to save money

October 20th, 2008

My husband was getting a haircut every four weeks and spending $35 each time.  I took a look at his hair and realized I could easily trim it myself by just sticking to the same style and just trimming off a slight bit all over. I then finished it off by shaving the back of his neck.  I am not a professional hair person, so this is something that should be simple for anyone to do. So far, we have saved $70 and he looks just as handsome as ever!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Financiers

October 14th, 2008

I just found this recipe on the internet.  I need to buy a few of the ingredients and then I will test it out. Perhaps someone can let me know how they like it.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Financiers

Makes 15 one-inch cookies6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup almond flour*
4 tablespoons Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup egg whites (approx. two large)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour financier molds or mini-muffin tins. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and set it aside until it reaches room temperature.

Mix the almond flour with the cocoa powder, salt, and powdered sugar. Stir the egg whites and almond extract into the almond mixture, then gradually stir in the melted butter until incorporated and smooth. Spoon the batter into the molds, filling them three-quarters full.

Bake the financiers for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are slightly puffed and springy to the touch. Remove them from the oven and let cool completely before removing the financiers from the molds.

Once cooled, financiers can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

Save money by staying healthy

October 14th, 2008

One might not think this is the case, but you can save money by only buying food that is what your body needs to stay healthy.  Some people are sensitive to such things as wheat gluten or chocolate.  Even though they are not “allergic” to it (meaning they won’t die if they eat it), they may end up with later medical problems due to not eating what their body easily tolerates.  If you think you may have an intolerance, try not eating the food for a few weeks and see if you feel better. You may be surprised how many aches and pains may just disappear by eating right.