I am getting older — oh… wait, we all are getting older. See already I might be confused. I know I didn’t think for one minute that I was the only one getting older, or being confused. Right?

With all the gadgets hitting the market today – is it any wonder that for someone my age it’s not intuitive anymore. I used to think that I could figure things out. Figure anything out. That there was always a simple way to accomplish just about anything, by usually just proceeding one step at a time – in the right direction.

However, I just don’t get it anymore. Do you reach an age where this happens to everyone, or is that the “brain power” needed just doesn’t want to cooperate to figure it out anymore.

In the last few years there have been lots of changes – not only in cell phones but in everything. Now things that are just a year old in some cases are already becoming obsolete. Hey I remember when fax machines were a novelty and we all thought that might eliminate the need for mailing any paperwork again…ever. It was just the 1980’s when microcomputers were just getting into the hands of “regular” people…. and it wasn’t that long ago that almost everything started to become “wireless”.

But for me life isn’t becoming easier or less confusing. Part of that is because I didn’t run to get each new gadget as it appeared on the scene, and I am still not sure of some of the technology. It may save time, but at what risk to you or others.

I am thinking about a woman found dead in her garage some six years after she had passed away. All the money she had was “used” up by the companies who had access to her bank account for payment of her bills. So month after month while she decomposed in the garage, her bank account was paying for things she didn’t need, or want, or could even use. No one came to look for her, no one seemed to care if she lived or died – and it wasn’t till everything she had was used up that they finally checked on that house (after foreclosing on it) and found her dead. I think the whole scenerio was caused by this new technology craze. If she didn’t have “automatic” bill pay – they would have found her so much sooner and her heirs would have had some inheritance, and closure. So while this one “technology” inspired “service” takes some pressure off us humans, it can also leave us dead in our garage while it cleans out our bank account.

And that’s just the beginning of the confusing part for me. If you think about some of the other “advances” in the way things are done, you can see that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. The pressure however is on. The credit card companies want you to have automatic bill pay… so you won’t forget and they won’t have to charge you $39 for being late, and 29.9% interest. But what most people don’t realize is that they can “manipulate” their side of the system, so they make you late, and cause you that problem a few times…. and then make you feel pressured into signing up.

In my case it has happened at least twice. AND their “standard” answer is, “sign up for auto pay”…. and mine, “NO way”. I am signed up for reminders and I don’t get them. I go online and set up a payment and it never happens… it just never happens that the payment actually gets made. Their answer: “Oh there was a computer issue that day”…. or “Oh your session might have timed out before our system took the information”, or “Oh there was a solar flare that day…” etc. I cannot believe for one moment it’s only my account that is subjected to such manipulation.

I remember having an AMEX card and cancelling it after my payment (back in those days it was a check you mailed in) .. took more than 20 days each month to get to them. NO … I never thought it really took that long, I think they just didn’t process the payment, or mark it PAID till it was late. Why? To get the late charges and interest, which many customers still today do not question or request they remove.

After it happened twice, I cancelled the card.

If you know me, and maybe you don’t – I pay on time, in full and I don’t play games. That might be the reason I was and am a target for the credit card companies to hassle. I don’t ever pay to have a card, and I don’t pay interest ever and sometimes I even get benefits.

They don’t want a customer like me — and that confuses me.



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I know that most of you are looking for something annoying to read – sorry not today.  Instead,  I wanted to share my Harris Teeter Super Doubles Shopping trip because it shows that anyone really can do it.

First, if you want to just go to the store with all your coupons and walk around checking prices and matching – that’s certainly up to you, but I much prefer the prepared approach.  Why?  I don’t have to keep walking around the store finding the great deals or spend hours in the store — I let someone else do that for me.

This is also not my regular shopping trip – the trips this week are specifically tailored to the Super Double Event.  To prepare I read several blogs that list the “Harris Teeter match-ups”.  I find these by just typing into my search engine “Harris Teeter match ups and the date the sale starts”.  These blogger sites go to almost extreme lengths to not only to find what’s going to be on sale, but also which coupons match up with the sales, and therefore can get you the best shopping trip …ever (or at least a really good one!).  Some of the sites just match up a few of the best deals for the week, and others provide more — like unadvertised sales and coupon match-ups.  Some even provide the “free with coupons list” or the “under $1.00 lists”.  I find all of these valuable and am so glad they are able to do them for me and the other Harris Teeter shoppers. 

While searching their lists – if I find something I want or need, I will use the provided link (if there is one) and print out a coupon for that item.  I also go up to the Harris Teeter website and check out the E-VIC (their loyalty program) to see if there are any coupons I want to add to my card (these are called ZVR).  ZVR coupons are taken off automatically at the register when you use your card and buy the specific products and are in addition to your printed/doubled coupons.  These sometimes will make an item totally free, and other times even make you a small profit. If you have other cards that give you points, bonuses or rewards or where you can add coupons to your cards – you might want to check those out as well.

NOTE: You must have an E-VIC card to be eligible for the Super Doubles, and sign up online to take advantage of the ZVR coupons.

I always read several of the blogs looking mostly for products I use (first choice) and then for products that with the coupon are free.  Sometimes there are tons of choices, and sometimes not so many.  If there are only a few deals I can do, I don’t even go unless the products are everyday ones we use (think coffee, paper towels, toilet paper, cat food). If I find a lot – I will usually make up to about 4 trips in the 7 days of the sale.  Remember, coupon redemption is limited to just 20 which can be doubled in a day, and so 4 trips = 4 different days.

When doing this I make as many 20 coupon lists as I can.  I go with one list, which has the product, the price, and the coupon I have that match up (and I put the coupons in the order of the list).  I know I should put the list in the order the store is laid out, but I find there are differences in the different Harris Teeters and so far I haven’t gone that far — and haven’t needed to!  If they are out of one of the products on list one, I then go to the next list and pack of coupons to see if I can find something in that one to substitute.  I am rarely prepared to take advantage of a surprise sale on something, but I always can get my 20 items – which makes the trip more efficient for me.

My 04/24/14 Harris Teeter Super Doubles Trip

My 04/24/14 Harris Teeter Super Doubles Trip

So let’s see what I was able to do this time.

3 Quaker BIG Chewy Bars, 6 Old Spice Deodorant (one coupon for 2 products), 3 Colgate Toothpaste, 1 Bar of Lava Soap, 3 L’Oreal Advanced Shampoo or Conditioner, 2 L’Oreal Advance Styling Products, 3 Vidal Sassoon Styling Products, 1 Dr. Scholls full innersoles, 2 Mahatma Rice Products (1 coupon on 2)… and then 2 Venus Razor Refills and 2 Snickers bars.  The Venus Razor refills were marked down to $6.24 each and I had one $4.00 coupon and one $5.00 coupon which I used on those (you almost never find them marked down) and I used 2 free coupons for the Snickers Bars.

Grand total for my trip?  $6.78 (tax was $2.97 of that).  You can see on my list I had a ZVR of $2.00 taken off this trip.   It says coupons tendered $105.43, but that might include the sales items, and my extra coupons for my Venus refills, snickers bars and ZVR.

Harris Teeter receipt

Harris Teeter receipt

Yes, I totally enjoyed that trip.  Thank you Harris Teeter for having the Super Doubles event, and especially for not being out of stock of the coupon items.

So do you have a Harris Teeter by you?  Or another store that doubles up to $2.00 face value? 

**Disclosure: I was not paid by anyone to write this article, nor was I influenced in any way – all opinions expressed here are 100% mine.



 

Last year when I wrote about our Health Care issues,  I was seriously wondering what we (my husband and I) would do.  I had no idea that there was a way we could and would be able to pay for the health care under the new and revised plans available through the government marketplace.  Our  company premiums were prohibitive since the change and the coverages were not any better.  So we had no choice but to cancel our company policy and no longer provide health care to our employees.

But, in the end, we may be the only people you know of who are benefiting from the health care reform.  HEALTH2And for those who think no one has benefited, I will relate our story.

As I might have mentioned previously (Original Post) for the last 29 years we provided 100% healthcare to our employees, everyone qualified and everyone received it at “no cost” to them. Our company paid all of the premium. Not one employee had to pay one cent for their coverage and we always got the best plan we could afford to cover them. 

As the years rolled on, the economy tanked, our employee numbers tumbled, our average age increased, and our premiums increased  — we were only able to keep them in check by lessening the coverages overall, for everyone.  We got to the point we had $2500 deductibles, and that meant every cent of the first $2500 had to be paid before you were able to even do a co pay or have some help with your tests or medications.  It wasn’t ideal, it was the only way we could still provide 100% coverage without asking for a contribution from the employees.  None of my employees ever complained about their coverage, even though many of them went from amazingly great coverage to simply adequate coverage over the years.

So the decision was made and the company plan was cancelled.  Leaving everyone to fend for themselves.

My husband and I used the government marketplace to find a plan and also check to see if we were eligible for a subsidy.  We were!  We now both have coverage (because of our subsidy) that costs us a lot less than our coverage with the company plan.  The coverage we were able to obtain has a LOW deductible, LOW out of pocket costs, and pays for many standard things with 0% copay as long as you stay in network.   We might never had even had a plan this good in all the years of having a company plan — and our out of pocket costs are lots less than before.

I almost hesitated signing up.  I mean it was “too good to be true” and you know you should always be careful if something works out that way.  But we are now into that new coverage, I have had to use it and it has been amazing. 

If I told you the amount we have to pay – you too would be amazed!   The amount you pay and the plans you are offered are affected by many factors. The state and the county you live in, the amount of money you make, your ages and other factors all play into what type of subsidy you might get (not everyone qualifies).  We happen to hit the sweet spot in all the categories.  We are still not planning on making many Dr. visits this year — but at least we know – if we need to, we can afford to get just about anything done we need — as long as we make sure we stay in network. 

If you are out there wondering if you would benefit from this … there are rules and qualifications.  We had to cancel our company plan before we could even look into this as an alternative for us.  So if you have a plan available to you, even though you have to contribute to it, you won’t qualify.   If you make too much money, don’t have enough of an offset with dependents, etc. as well as other issues not mentioned here —  all of those things can affect your results…..  but if you don’t have a plan, you shouldn’t hesitate to go check out your options.  You can do it on the government website without actually signing up — there are several “estimators” you can use to check what might be available to you.  And don’t forget to check to see if you qualify for a subsidy — for us it really worked out!

Disclosure: I was not paid by anyone to write this article. The information contained here reflects our personal experience and does not presume to know or be able to advise you on yours.

 

For the last few months, I had stopped shopping at Harris Teeter. I usually want to find a bargain and stretch our dollars as far as they will go…. and the deals – for me – were elsewhere. I always like to use up my pantry items too… so it was a slow shopping period overall.

Harris Teeter this week has what they call Super Double Coupons… where they will double up to a $2.00 coupon. Yes, that means that a $2.00 coupon will double to $4.00 off! No one else around here even doubles the $1.00 ones, so it’s usually a great “event” for me to participate in! There are limitations, and rules, of course — there always are!

But even I skipped the last two Super Double Events — because usually to make the best deals, the items need to be on sale (already reduced in price) and then the coupon matches and doubles — kind of like a double play. This week they are already out of some of their sale items, and if they are, I always ask for a rain check — hoping somewhere down the line to use them. Their rain checks as far as I know, don’t expire!

This week however I spent yesterday (the day I found out they were offering the Super Doubles) checking and looking through all my coupons. Reading what was on sale and checking with the sites on the web that list what’s on sale each week at the different supermarket chains. From reading all of that, I made my list and organized my coupons. The rules at Harris Teeter include the fact, that you can only use 3 of one type of regular coupon, or 2 of any internet printed coupons per trip, with a limit of 20 coupons per day. You can use more that won’t or can’t double, but the limit for doubling them is 20.

DSC03267Here’s what I was able to get –  3 Bottles of Shampoo or Conditioner (Garnier Fructis), 6 cans of Iams Cat Food, 2 Star Kist Creations, 3 Think Thin Bars, 8 Packages of McCormick Taco Seasoning (this is the only one I have found that uses Potato Starch instead of CORN products… that’s important to me because I am allergic to corn), One InkJoy Pens, 6 Yakisobi Noodles, 3 Containers of Chock Full of Nuts Coffee and one can of Chicken of the Sea Tuna.   Can you guess how much my total was? 

DSC03270YES… that’s right, even with the tax, it was $3.89.  (.82 cents of which was tax!!).  I do have to add a caveat though…  I had a $5.00 credit applied to my Harris Teeter account from a previous error during my last shopping trip.  AND so, maybe because of that….  the cash register wouldn’t accept 2 of my coupons, and I think if it would have, I would have been about the same or less (there was one $2.00 and one $1.00) it just would not take them, and since I was very happy with the overall total, I didn’t press the issue (plus I can use those two tomorrow). 

I want to just say Thank You to Mary over at Sweepingme for encouraging me with all her great CVS shops! I really enjoy reading about her trips and seeing how she stretches her dollars!  I am planning on making a few trips to CVS myself to see if I can do as well!

 

 

If  just reading the title of this article makes you on edge,  and has you thinking about whether you could be, read on!

I can tell you, although some like to sugar coat being a cheapskate, there are others that defy human understanding when it comes to the term.  I recently watched the “Extreme Cheapstakes” program on TV and had to turn it off because I really couldn’t deal with some of their extreme ways.  I cannot fathom not using toilet paper (one gal didn’t) and I can’t count the times I flush (so I can pay my share of the water bill), or lock up my food so my husband doesn’t get any.  And while in some of those (loosely called) households it was a competition to see who could save the most, or live “happily” without – that’s way beyond my personal comprehension.

All of us could be in one way or another considered a cheapskate at some level – but certainly the majority of us deserve a nicer term to describe the ways we save money on everyday necessities.   And while some of us don’t mind spending whatever it takes on food, cars or movies – but hate spending money on clothes, shoes or dental work, that doesn’t make us a cheapskate at all.

I mention the things in the last paragraph to try and take advantage of hitting a nerve with one or two of you reading this piece.  Thinking about it you might just know that you’d buy the $200 shoes, and forget the 6 month dental cleaning.   Or you’d water down the milk and juice in your house so that you could actually get a 6 pack to take to the Super Bowl party without going over your food budget.  But would you dumpster dive for food at fancy restaurants instead of buying any food,  or would you serve that food to guests?  Some extreme cheapskates would! 

If you ever want to feel better about the crazy things you do, day in and day out to save a few dollars – your hard earned dollars by the way, to use on something else – just watch the show once.  I already feel better about reusing things around here.  And while I thought I did it “to save the environment” or for some other noble reason, I realize I do it because constantly buying new costs more than I want to spend.

And so, even though, I do reuse, repurpose, take things people have given me and use them till there is no life left in them – I now realize I am definitely not a cheapskate.  Are you?

 

If you’ve gotten here without reading the first article, you might want to start there — if you’ve come by way of google, etc. looking for tips on winning the lottery or other games of chance – you are in the wrong place.  This article is about upping your odds with regards to entering sweepstakes.

So… on that note:

Chose Wisely – My first choice would be sweepstakes that are run by reputable companies, whose names you know or are at least familiar.   The reason I add this point is because sometimes smaller entities run their sweepstakes by their own (sometimes inconsistent) rules.  And…often times just to get and make a mailing list.  I was familiar with a company in the late 1980’s, or early 1990’s  (before I was entering any sweepstakes at all) who kept extending their entry date and in the end didn’t really use a random generation for the winner.   This is always possible (though I would think rare).  But without that third party involvement (hiring someone to handle the details) it might be hard to remove the temptation to award the prize to someone they know, or to make up a winners name and never award the prize at all.

And as a sub-point to choosing wisely – chose to enter only those sweepstakes you really would like to win.  It could be the grand prize you have your eye on, or even if available, one of the smaller prizes — but there is no sense in wasting time entering for something you don’t really want.  Remember you will have to pay taxes on any and all wins here in the US. 

Enter Often – Once you have chosen the sweepstakes that you want to enter, enter as many times as they allow.  Maybe it’s only once, maybe daily, weekly or monthly – but make sure you get as many entries in as you can.  This will increase your odds of being chosen as one of the winners.

Many people have told me that they prefer the one entry sweepstakes, saying everyone has an even chance.  True – but when you can enter every day, and if you do, your odds of winning go up considerably.

Avoid the Over Advertised Sweepstakes – This isn’t to say you can’t win them, someone will win, but the likelihood of it being you is astronomical.  I think about a man a few years back with one of the larger sweepstakes (The HGTV’s  Dream home giveaway) where he said he entered once and won.  That’s the exception, not the rule.  If you watched this program you would have seen that they had at least 10-20 bins approximately 4 ft X 4 ft X 4 ft (yes a 4 ft cube) full of envelopes of entries (estimated to be about 900,000), as well as 38 million online entries.  To have entered only once and won is a spectacular feat — and congratulations to him, but what about those other approx. 39 million entries that didn’t. 

And… Enter Sweepstakes with Multiple Prizes – simply put, the more times they have a chance to draw YOUR name, the better chance you have to win something.

I have won at least one trip each year since 2001, except for one…. and in that year my biggest prize was a laptop computer (not too shabby by the way!).  So far this year’s trip is already in the record books.  It was to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and we had an amazingly good time, thanks to the wonderful sponsors!

Other Articles on this Subject:

Check Out:   Are U Ready to Win? 

Visit Sweepingme.com and read my article on why you should read the Sweepstakes Rules here:  SWEEPINGME.COM

Check out some sweepstakes I post, as well as winners lists (right hand column) here: YESUWON.COM

Disclaimer: I have not been compensated in any way for this article, and all opinions contained herein are my own.

 

Text messages never before seemed  like any kind of a threat since I have “unlimited messaging” but there’s a new way they could be!

I hardly ever use my phone in general and text messages in particular.  I have an ancient phone which I can almost never find when I need it.  And admittedly I am definitely not “up to date”  with the technological advances in phone technology.  My husband and I will joke with each other when we need some tidbit of information in the car… saying “just look that up on your phone” but of course we don’t have a phone that can even come close to doing anything like that.

The text message I received seemed harmless — somebody from a ringtone place saying that I was signed up for as many free ringtones as I wanted — or something like that.  I ignored it right along with the ones from the local Wawa or Kwik Chek  which offers me a deal on a sandwich or a coffee.  I never respond to any of them and quite honestly, they pile up as messages for quite some time before I even get to open my phone to know I have them.  That’s right I don’t use my phone every day.  I almost never can find it when it rings, and I certainly don’t use one of those unique ringtones.   However, I have to admit “emergency” cases have come up over the years and I am glad I have one — I just am not that connected to it.  

So imagine my surprise when the next month on my phone bill I discover at charge for $9.99.  I haven’t a clue what it is, and why it’s there.  I think it’s because I pushed the wrong number into my phone when trying to use it, I think I might have some sort of feature I don’t know about and activated it by mistake.  What I do know is that I don’t want it, whatever it is and I sure don’t want to pay $9.99 for it.

 Cell Phone Ringtone   Yes, it turns out it’s a ringtone scam.  They find your cell number by “any means they can” and then they send you a message about having been signed up for free and unlimited ringtones.  If you do not respond with “STOP” – you get charged $9.99 a month as an access fee to this “free unlimited ringtone” service.  Now you never asked for this, you have no clue why they called your number, but they will bill you as a third party biller through your cell phone service provider for it, each and every month until you cancel it.

   We caught ours the first month, because we read our bills and yes, try to figure out and make sense of any odd charges, or unexpected balance.  Anyone on an automatic payment deduction from their bank account each month, might not notice or care or think about this $9.99.  Many would actually just “assume” their plan or the taxes attached to their plan went up….and this is how and why this particular scam works so well.

So while you can’t hide your cell number from these new thieves – you can check your bill and make sure you aren’t one of their victims.  Our provider was happy to provide the short code to send a ‘stop” message to this company on the same phone the message was originally sent to,  and even waited till I received a confirmation on the phone from them.  She removed the charge off my bill — and per my request blocked all premium services like this one from my phone.  You may not be able to block premium services as I know many of you use them every day – but you can and should make sure that you aren’t a victim to this type of scam. 

 

It’s been a while since I wrote about recycling floppy disks.  In that article (Recycling Floppy Disks Shouldn’t Be Annoying), I mentioned that the first and the best way is to just reformat and reuse them.  Floppy disks can last a long time and can be formatted hundreds of times.   But I also mentioned someone, in that article, who had purchased some from CCSS Inc for recycling them into a useable alternative.   And although most of the purchasers of floppy disks are really interested in using them in their older computers or camera’s – she purchased them purely to make into unique art.

Today I’d like to introduce her art to my readers and show you exactly what she’s making out of those old floppy disks.  It’s her innovative and “think out of the box” (yet still geeky) methods and techniques that take these ordinary, and often times discarded items and make them extra-ordinary.

Natasha Dzurny aka TechnoChic is one of the actual people who sell items made from floppy disks (and other old technology items) on the Esty web network.  Esty is specifically designed around homemade, custom crafted items giving the artisans a place to showcase and sell their wares.  She is a real person with a small business that actually makes useful art by recycling old floppy disks.  Not only that, but these pieces of art can be used by anyone and also serve a useful purpose.  Who could argue with that?  I sure can’t. 

Here are pictures of some of her work:

floppy disk disks art artwork

If you would like to check out her products you can here:   Natasha’s Esty Site

 **Natasha is a customer of CCSS Inc., I was not paid or reimbursed in any way for this write-up about her Esty site. All opinions contained in this piece are my 100% my own.

 

I’ve written a couple of articles on recycling (floppy disks and CD’s)  but how much do I really know about it?  Less that you might think.  Recently, I have been challenging myself – trash or recycling?  And I have been doing some things totally and utterly wrong.

Our trash hauler sorts the recycling trash … and that means we don’t have to  ~  but we do sort into the two main categories, recyclable or not.  In our house, it’s still difficult to keep different buckets, or bags in the kitchen to place these items into and it’s not going to happen at all if we have to walk around the house to the appropriate bin each time we use something.

recycling containers for glass,paper and plasticBut do you realize (I didn’t) how much you hurt the entire process when you throw something into the recycling bin, that should go in the regular trash?   The key word here – contaminate.  Just one item can contaminate your entire recycling bin contents – to the point it just goes into the regular trash and landfill and you’ve wasted your efforts? 

I am guilty of making the following mistakes,  so I’d like to “recycle” the things I have learned and use those experiences to educate someone else on what you should or should not recycle.

First, my biggest mistake, and on my priority list to fix, is using plastic grocery bags to both hold and then throw away my recycling.  These bags aren’t the type of plastic they want in the plastic mix at recycling plants, and worse they get stuck and gum up the works on the belts.  Since I make it worse by tying them closed – I am potentially making all my recycling efforts null and void. These bags need to be recycled at the grocery stores where they have specially marked containers for them.  Those containers keeps all that “type” plastic to one location and yes, although it’s not a “great” recyclable plastic, it will get recycled.

Next, I really didn’t know that some places cannot recycle/do not accept packaging from frozen foods – because the cardboard is wax coated.  This type of cardboard packaging is made to withstand moisture in order to protect the food that is inside.  Cardboard and paper are usually recycled using water to create a pulp, but paper sprayed with wax will not break down into a pulp for recycling.  Sometimes these can be sorted out of the recycling mix, and sometimes the recycler just “trashes” the entire can/truck/load containing them because most buyers of the paper don’t want the “contaminated” waxed cartons in the loads they are purchasing.   In fact any packaging made with foil, glossy, glazed or lacquer coatings need to go into regular trash.  This includes candy wrappers, pretzel bags, juice boxes and ice cream cartons!

And it really is all about selling these items in bulk to those who can and will reuse and remake them into more consumable products.  In fact, without those buyers, there wouldn’t be programs to keep these items out of the landfills.

I really thought by now we’d be able to recycle just about anything and so most of my trash is going into the recycling bin – but as you can see I was wrong about the plastic grocery bags and frozen food containers.  As I read advice on several sites about recycling I came across some other things you should not put into your regular recycling.  I am still hopeful someday we’ll find a way to recycle everything.

The list you still can’t recycle include wire hangers, paper towels, napkins or tissues, ceramic mugs, pottery, styrofoam,  photographs, molded plastic parts, pizza boxes, Chinese food containers, heavily dyed paper, plastic bags and wraps, household glass (think windows and mirrors) or cosmetics.   All these things still need to go into your regular trash.

One last thought, although you can’t recycle everything on trash day, there are many things you can recycle in non-conventional ways.  It pays to keep thinking outside the box and finding new ways to reuse those items.

 

 When it comes to Floppy Disks, you have a variety of recycling choices. 

The first and the best way is to reuse them.  Floppy disks can last a long time.  Information can be written, deleted, or overwritten hundreds of times before the magnetic disk surface that retains that information wears out.  They can also be reformatted to clean off all the previous data, and then re-written with new.  There is so much more I could tell you about floppy disks that likely would surprise you – but alas, this article is about recycling them.

The second way is to recycle their parts.  Floppy disks besides being older are significantly different than CD and DVD media. For one thing they are made up of parts which when you unassemble them can each individually be recycled. The recording part of a floppy disk is a flexible piece of iron oxide film rather than a hard plastic surface like a CD and DVD.  The 3½” floppy disk has some additional steel parts over the 5¼” or 8” ones but otherwise they are similar.  Individually the parts we would need to recycle would be:

diskinsides1

 

  • Plastic – the outer plastic shell or housing, a plastic write protect tab and a plastic wiper tab.  These are all made of Polyvinyl Chloride and a recyclable #3  plastic.3-1Collage
  • Metal – a metal shutter, the spring and the hub are all made of stainless steel.  
  • Paper – A set of paper rings or liners (these liners are attached to the plastic housing and are used to clean the disk as it spins).  Paper, of course is recyclable.
  • Magnetic Disk – A “recording” ring which is made of pliable Mylar® – a polyester film coated with iron oxide (the same materials as cassette and videotape recording surfaces).  Mylar® is Polyethylene Terephthalate and recyclable as a #1 plastic.

The third way to recycle them is to use them in some crafty art projects.  Earlier this year, I sold over  100 – 3.5” perfectly good floppy disks to a person who used them to make unique coasters which she then sold on Esty.  In fact if you check out Esty here: Floppy Disk Crafts.  you will see some unique ideas for using them.

Here are some of the idea’s I liked for craft projects.floppy2Collage

Floppy disks stopped being produced last year and the remaining supply is limited.  So reuse, recycle or re-purpose, the choice is yours.

 

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Reply to question below – 01/15/13

Here’s what my dis-assembled floppy looked like:

R0013615

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