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Archive for June, 2009

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Alice – everyone needs an alice

alice-logoEvery now and then, I find a useful site on the internet that I feel is worth sharing. Alice.com is one of those sites. I read about Alice from a blog post.

Alice.com is a shopping site. It’s in beta, so that means there may still be some bugs (although I have seen sites in beta for several years). They sell household goods that you use everyday. If you are like the Souza’s, you buy the same brand of trash bags, razor blades, napkins, etc. every time you go to the store. Alice lets you take those items, put them on a virtual shelf then when it’s time to get some more, you drag and drop it to the shopping cart. They ship it out and POOF you have your stuff delivered to the front door via UPS.  Like that little smile you get when the box has an amazon logo on it, your Alice box is black and blue. “Gather around kids, the dish soap just arrived!!”

Coupons
If you like our family, you know coupons are great. Also, if you are like us, you never use them because of the pain-in-the-ass they are to organize and remember to take to the store. Alice solves that by applying your coupons for you. They tell you what items have coupons and if you buy that item, they take the coupon off. Hello, I love idiot proof!

IMG_1889.JPGShipping
All orders from Alice.com include free shipping. How cool is that? I put my first order in yesterday to give this service a try. I got an email a few hours later that my stuff had shipped. Last night I clicked the UPS tracking link and smiled when I saw the origination scan: Indianapolis, IN. The warehouse for Alice is in Indy (I’m sure they have others). That means that any order I put in will be delivered the next day as we are only 90 miles away from Indianapolis. God bless Danville, IL!!! Sure as shooting, the UPS lady was here this morning with my razor blades and trash bags.

Prices
I will be honest, I was a little skeptical when it came to prices. If you are buying online and receive free shipping, it’s got to cost more, right? Much to my surprise, the prices are the same as our local stores. Now, does that mean some items are more? I’m sure they are. But from what I saw, their prices are right in line.

Refer-A-Friend Program
So, you like Alice and you sign up. You have a good experience, like me, and you tell a pal or two. Give them a link from you and you get $10 when they place their first order and 3% of what they spend for the next year. So, with my $60 order yesterday, someone could have made $11.80 off me. So, if you are going to sign up, click the link below and let me get some kickback off you buying toilet paper.

Cool little extras
Budget – There are also some nifty budget screens that allow you to see where your money is going. You can see by month, 3 month, this year what you have spent in what areas.
Shop by room – click on bathroom and pick out the items you need for that room.
Product planner – this allows you to set the frequency to be reminded to order something. You don’t automatically get shipped it and charged, they just give you a “heads-up” that you usually order this every x weeks. (Auto ship is coming soon according to the website.)
Profile/Friends – in true social networking form, they have a community. So, you can share with your friends that Dawn is a better detergent than Palmolive. Comes complete with chat room and all.
Twitter – Alice is on Twitter at: @alice

Bottom Line
You are gonna need toilet paper, you are gonna need razors, all things being equal, I would rather answer the door than go to Wal-Mart to pick these items up. Give them a look-see, if you like it sign up and help pay for my dishwasher soap.

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I need two of me. (Two Keith's? Scary thought.)

Two Keiths How many times in life have you wished there were two of you? I think that usually people wish this when they have two events to go to, or they are so busy that they can’t get everything done. I was chatting with a friend of mine earlier today and this subject came up. My wish for two of me is an offshoot of being too busy. However, I have clearly defined roles for the two Keiths.

Keith #1
This Keith’s job is to run Souza Financial Group. I love my career, clients and what I do. If I didn’t, I would have let the other Keith take over long ago. Being able to wake up everyday and go to a job that you truly love doing and feel rewarded for doing it, is the best feeling in the world. So, the first Keith gets up, goes to SFG, meets with clients, and does it with a smile.

Keith #2
This one is the “creative” one. This Keith’s job is to write, to create iPhone applications, build killer websites, become a great drummer, did I mention write? One of my biggest frustrations is that I don’t write more. Writing is one of my favorite things to do, but I don’t make more time to do it.

Since the dual-Keith idea is a dream, I will have to change some priorities and move some of the creative side into the forefront. Right now the “business” Keith is about 80% of my life. With a little effort, I am going to work on getting that more balanced. Check back soon…..