Weekly Update (August 29, 2015) Plus Baby!

Ok, so once again a weekly update covers more than the last week.  But this time I had a good excuse for being late.  On Tuesday night Nicoleen gave birth to our 5th child, Leonie, a happy baby girl!  Good news for the family, but ouch! the gas savings really suffered this week as we didn’t have time to use our $25 Tuesday coupon while getting gas on the way to the hospital.  Oh well, you win some; you lose some.  And this time we won big with a good delivery, healthy mom, and cute baby girl!

Baby Leonie, born August 25th, weighing in at 6 lb. 14 oz., and with a length of 20.5"

Baby Leonie, born August 25th, weighing in at 6 lb. 14 oz., and with a length of 20.5″

As it stands, I saved $9.55 in gas in the past week and a half.  On Sunday I overcame a huge test of my will power.  I was able to resist buying any free Menards stuff even though there was a major haul opportunity.  Three separate flyers listed free-after-rebate items at Menards, 2 of which are still active as of this writing:
There are also several new ads starting tomorrow with free-after-rebate (FAR) items including: hats & t-shirts, cleaning supplies, coffee scoops, picture hanging kits, stick lighters, and American flagsThis late summer rally has disproved my hypothesis that FAR items are slowing down in Menards’ marketing strategy.  Of course you can always stay on top of current Menards ad flyers at their website.

It’s the spreadsheet-updating part of the month for me, and here’s our points and miles report:

  • Redeemed 5,000 Wells Fargo Rewards for $50 cash
  • earned 680 airline miles
  • earned 3,040 hotel points
  • earned 1,953 Chase Ultimate Rewards

New Posts this Week
First Class to Europe – Anniversary Trip 2015
is the outline and table of contents of our summer trip reports from our anniversary trip.  Check back to this post for links to the trip reports for various parts of the vacation as I post them.
American Airlines Flagship Lounge – Chicago (ORD) is a review of the first lounge we visited on our first class itinerary to Europe.  It was an awesome lounge, as I think you’ll see in this post!
American Airlines First Class ORD – JFK is the review of the first class flight we took as part of our grueling (but free!) itinerary.

Credit Card News
We’re in sort of a stagnation period as far as cards go. It’s been a challenge deciding which card to use for what. I will almost certainly cancel my Wells Fargo Propel in October and I currently have 1300 or so Wells Fargo Reward points accumulated. The lowest redemption level for cash is $25 for 2500 points. So, do I put $600 in gas (2x points on gas station purchases = 1200 pts) on that card just for a $25 redemption? It doesn’t seem like a good deal, and it isn’t, but I also really hate having effectively unusable points balances just hanging there. The other option is to redeem points for mp3s at about 150 pts per download.

I got a targeted offer yesterday for the 50,000 mile Chase Southwest personal card, which I will likely not apply for at this time.

Nicoleen got a great offer in the mail a few days ago for her Barclay Aviator card which earns American Airlines miles. If she spends at least $500 in each month of September, October, and November, she’ll get an additional 15,000 bonus miles! That’s a deal we’ll definitely make sure we take advantage of.

Travel News
I have nothing on the books, and that’s very sad. I have a free weekend night certificate good at 99% of all Hilton properties in the world that expires December 20th. I was going to go with a friend for a sweet 36 hour mini-vacation to Chicago to stay at the $400+/night Waldorf Astoria but we’re still working out the details. If that doesn’t happen I’ll probably be taking a segment of my family to the Embassy Suites in St. Paul for a random weekend night. It’s not the Waldorf, but at least I’d be able to drink away my sorrow at not getting a more valuable certificate redemption at the Embassy Suites’ complimentary cocktail hour.

Now you’re updated. Go employ some Value Tactics!

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