When I saw this I got so excited I nearly had kittens! There is a browser add-on for Gmail (also for Outlook) that puts an Unsubscribe button in the menu bar for emails. It enables you to tell the software to figure out how to unsubscribe you from listservs, email lists, etc. instead of ferreting that info out and losing all that time doing it one by one.

On the free version, you get 5 unsubscribes a month with the option to upgrade to unlimited unsubscribes for a fee (though at that point one would have to wonder why you are subscribing to all of these things in the first place if you don’t want them ;P)

Genius.

Also, as a delightful aside, you can now stream Netflix through your PS3 & Wii without a disc! Please see instructions in Netflix for details.

It’s about time!

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I have been terrible about posting (note last post in March). So, If I’m not going to be posting 23 Things stuff (soon, sooooon) I’ll post some other stuff. I have been on a personal mission to decrease debt, increase savings, and save money where ever I can. So here’s some goodies I’ve discovered:

AAA & DirecTV-

If you are a AAA of Northern New England member, you get $10/month off of your DirecTV bill for 2 years. So, if you have these things and are not using them together, get on it. Also, a AAA membership costs $50/year, but will save you $240 over two years. I asked DirecTV if you needed to renew your membership in AAA to get eh 2nd years benefits and they said no, they don’t really check it, and the discount applies for when you asked for it without contingency. That’s math I can get down with.

DirecTV and my House –

Because we cashed in on a super good deal, we switched to DirecTV and are now paying half what we were with DishNetwork. Plus they give you $20 rebate just for signing up for paperless billing and auto debits. Plus we now have promo cards that get us and whoever uses them $50 buck plus all their free install stuff. Plus, it would appear that their basic package is better and cheaper than DishNetwork’s. So, for all you TV junkies who feel rediculous spending what you spend on it, let me know, I’ve got promo codes at least. And if you wait till they do another $23/mo. off for one year promo, you too could be paying under $30/mo. for Project Runway and Golden Girls Reruns! Finally, and this has not been confirmed by anyone yet, but our installer said that they are so competitive, they will buy out your contract with another service if you call them up using the promo card and say roughly, “I would love to switch, but I’m locked in a contract with so and so, is there anything you all can do to get me out of it so I can enjoy your service.” Please, if you try this, let me know if it actually flies. It can’t hurt to ask.

LiveSearch by MSN –

Evidently Microsoft is getting so competitive in search, they will pay you to do comparison shopping on their LiveSearch site. Also, in my humble opinion, it’s a better set up for comparison shopping than the Google and Yahoo equivalents. Mind you, I haven’t taken advantage of this because I keep forgetting, but I’ve read in other people’s blogs that it works.

RetailMeNot –

This is the most awesome thing ever. RetailMeNot is a social networking site for money saving coupon codes. Seriously. But you don’t have to join the network to use it. You just search for a store and members will load up any coupon codes they get on their catalogs, in mailings, via email, and you can try to use them. In my experience, the coupon codes work about 75% of the time, which is pretty good. Also, if you are a Firefox devotee, you can install their RetailMeNot Add-On and whenever you are on a site that RetailMeNot has coupon codes for, it will tell you right in the browser so you don’t have to remember to go to the site. I got that little piece of information on LifeHacker Top 10: Top 10 Ways to Trick Yourself Into Saving Money and there are other widgets you can get, check out #3.

High Yield Online Savings Accounts-

I compared a bunch of these by Googleing the above phrase. It came down to ING Direct and HSBC Direct. ING Direct gives you a steady 3.00% interest rate and if you go through the right avenues, $25.00 to seed the account. The reference code I have for that benefit came from a mailing and is D284U…let me know if it works for you! If not, you can also click through from my favorite financial blog, I’ve Paid for this Twice Already… Her links say with a min. dep. of $250, my mailing didn’t. You let me know. I ultimately didn’t go with this because HSBC is offering a limited 3.50% APY that they keep extending (Now till 9/15) with no minimum to open. Either way, compare those rates to your banks savings accounts. It’s a no brainer.

Online Surveys for Cash –

Firstly, if you don’t spend a lot of time on the internet, don’t bother. If you don’t like taking surveys, hide from the census taker, hang up on telephone surveyors, don’t bother. But, if you like the prospect of making a little bit of extra cash for very little actual work, this might be worth a try. I started out on the Paid Twice blog post about her experience with surveys for this too, and then gathered some others. I have the money from these deposit into my HSBC account and just earn me a little more. So far I’ve made $50 that I didn’t have before! Here’s my breakdown of the one’s I like:

  • MySurvey – I haven’t cashed in on this yet, but the surveys are short and the extra winning possibilities are generous. It’s a low impact engagement. If your interested, let me know and I’ll happily send you a referral, especially since I get extra points for referrals! I may get a button I can put on this website that you can click through, but for now I’ll have to email the referral to you.
  • Opinion Outpost – I’ve cashed out from these folks, and I qualify into a lot of their surveys. These are a little longer, but generally I find not too long. Again, if you’re interested, let me know and I’ll shoot you a referral.
  • Lightspeed Panel – Their surveys are fun, and sometimes you get to participate in product trials that crack me up. There is no referral program that I benefit from, so if you’re interested, go right through the link.
  • Vindale Research – This is a get paid to try out stuff, some free, some not. I like to try out new products and services, so this is a winner for me. Click through the link if you’re interested and I’ll get referral credit.

That’s probably plenty for now. I am a member of a bunch of others, and if you really want to know about all of them, just say the word. These are my favorites.

Cheapest Gas –

My fellas mom pointed this one out to us. MSN Autos Local Gas Price Finder will give you the cheapest to most expensive gas in your area so you can always get the best deal on gas. If finds it by zip code and is extremely accurate.

Okay, I’ve run out of steam. The point is that I like to save money, I actively hunt for this kind of stuff. Don’t say I never gave you anything!

This was hard to do with a lot of things because I don’t yet have enough pictures uploaded to make good mosaics or sudoku, but I saw examples and they looked really fun. As a side note, I also discovered that I uploaded all tiny pictures of my kitties. Now I have to start over with those unless I find that Flickr has a good photo editor…someone please let me know if you know! Also, I set all my cat pictures to private since I couldn’t set my whole profile to private (that I can tell, let me know if you discovered how). Now I realize that was silly…live and learn.

The one I did play with was the trading card mashup. That was fun. However, I did not ultimately post it on Flickr or here because:

  1. I was in a darkly humorous mood and it was for an overdues maven.
  2. The format would only make sense to people who at one time played Magic: the Gathering.
  3. I used a picture of me trap shooting, and a lot of people are uncomfortable with guns.

So there you go. I and other friends who have been in charge of overdues and have a temperament that allows for dark patron-related humor think it is hilarious. But it’s not like I don’t see why people would be offended. So I will make another generally friendly card and post it sometime when I haven’t been watching George Carlin videos all night.

The Flickr widget for WordPress was not displaying my pictures and I couldn’t seem to find any obvious instructions for how to change it, so I did what anyone ought to: I searched the help. Turns out dozens of people had the same problem (imagine that!) and the answer was readily available if you knew where to look. Now I’ve added the widget and you can see pretty pictures in my sidebar. Yay.

And in case it isn’t common knowledge, help documentation is your best friend. And if somebody’s documentation is awful you really should let them know because there is no excuse.

I’ll take some more pictures of the “kids” (and other stuff, I suppose) and try some more mashups later. I found this exercise was useful if for no other reason than I now know to go to Flickr Services to play; I might not have figured that out otherwise.