Tag Archives: deals

The one where Daisy bows down to Violet.

5 Apr

Violet has been in the couponing game for quite awhile. She has also been attempting to school me in couponing for a while. Finally, I decided to give in and attend Violet’s Couponing for Dummies and Those With Short Attention Spansclass.

A few Sundays ago, I had Terry get me a newspaper. I sat down on the sofa with a pile of money saving papers in my lap. I called Violet.

“Ok, I have the coupons in my lap. Let’s get this shit started.”

In true teacher fashion, she ran our discussion like a lesson. She had questions, info, facts. Assignments. To be honest, I was a little frightened. We held our Coupon Sunday classes a couple of Sundays in a row, and finally, it was time for her to turn me loose in a grocery store with my new bright orange accordian file (ugh, it was the only color they had.).

Terry went with me on my first big couponing extravaganza. That was probably a mistake. I was a bit neurotic. I looked like those women in the extreme couponing shows. Before we embarked on the insanity, I sat in front of the computer with my grocery store’s website open. I went through their weekly deals and BOGO’s and compared with what coupons I had, and what I needed. This took me probably 45 minutes. I had a comprehensive list, marked with what items were BOGO or franken-BOGO, (refer to Violet’s couponing-basics post for that explanation) I listed which items I had coupons for, what quantities I needed for the specific coupons. I moved the coupons I was planning to use to a front pocket in my accordian. I was ready. It. Was. Intense.

We walked in, I situated my purse in the baby seat thing in the cart. Put my accoridan file on top, paper clipped my list to the cart, and got down to business.

Terry assumed that this would be like an ordinary shopping trip, grabbing what we needed in whatever order we found it. No. Not so much.

Sorry, honey.

I was militant. Organized. Totally type A. (I’m SO not type A. I so WISH I was type A.)

We made it through the entire grocery store, taking advantage of as many BOGO’s as we could. When we finally got to the check out line, after trying to unload our 2 carts of stuff as quickly as possible, I set up shop in front of the monitor to see my items and savings. I handed over my precious coupons and watched the price drop even more.

I did end up spending more than I usually would on 2 weeks worth of groceries, (but not by much) but I was able to stockpile a bunch of things. Things that we will inevitably USE. Cereal, beef/chicken stock, mac & cheese.

My bill would have been around $550

I paid about $360

The little box on the bottom said

Today you saved: $191

We are so set on non perishables now. I won’t have to do a MAJOR grocery shopping expedition for at least a month, probably more. Unfortunately, produce usually doesn’t have coupons, so a lot of my money went towards that. I was able to take advantage of some franken-BOGOS on produce though.

Planning and setting up my couponing was a bit involved. Was it worth it? Hell yes. Savings are savings. They are even better if you are saving on something you were going to buy REGARDLESS. I look forward to getting a Sunday paper and building up my stockpile of coupons and comparing weekly adds to see how to stetch my money.

I also wanted to share something sort of related to money saving tricks..

Pterodactyl’s birthday is coming up, and I was planning on buying her a cute little slide from Little Tikes. I actually was going to order it today. I found a nice coupon online from retailmenot.com, and the Little Tikes website had free shipping.

The slide was $89.99. I did find it for a little cheaper on other websites, but no one else offered free shipping. Shipping was around $30 on other sites. Anyway, I was out running errands (like one to get the First Husband some cases of diet coke at a great price thanks to coupons lol) and on my way home, I drove by a little thrift store near my house.

What was sitting outside?

The exact slide I was going to get Pterodactyl.

The. Exact. One.

I did a u-turn and parked. I sauntered (yeah right, I fucking ran) to the slide and quickly examined it. The thing had to be used, like, once. Whoever got to play with it before had stuck about 20 stickers to the slide. Other than that, it was perfect. I ran in and asked the lady inside for the price.

She looked over at the slide and said… Get ready..

TWELVE DOLLARS.

“I’ll take it.”

 

I somehow managed to shove the whole thing in one piece into my truck. Got that baby home, brought it inside, and started taking it apart. I laid the slide down on my coffee table, and liberally applied Goo-Gone. Five minutes later, all evidence of the previous owners’ stickers was GONE. I took the entire thing apart, and cleaned every inch of it with antibacterial multi-surface cleaner (so I’m a little crazy about having other people’s germs), and it looks like it just came out of the box.

Not only did I get an amazing deal; I mean, really, $12 as opposed to $89.99?! I also feel as though I did my part to be sort of “green”. Giving a gently used piece of indestructible kid stuff another life, while saving.. what? 85%?

I’m not that great at math, but I do know a good deal when I see one.

-Daisy

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Internet Shopping is a Class 4 Narcotic

26 Mar

I love internet shopping. Any time I can be productive in front of a computer wearing nothing but a sports bra and yoga pants, I’m a happy camper. Internet shopping is my Achilles Heel. I even have my credit card numbers memorized from typing them in so often. I dread the day that the bank knocks on my front door, ready to foreclose on my house, while I’m drowning in brown boxes, packing peanuts, and shipping labels.

But until that day arrives, my online shopping will continue.

My one saving grace is that I can find spectacular deals online. You know me by now, Readers. You know that I am meticulous about savings, and the Jewish blood which runs through my veins predisposes me to craving deals in a pseudo-sexual kind of way. My gift to you today is a list of my favorite websites, most of which have scored me dramatic savings over the years.

Heyitsfree.net

This website is actually a blog that morphed into freebie heaven. Goob, the blogger’s pseudonym, scours the internets to find companies giving away free items. Sometimes, he’ll share coupons for freebies, or coupon sign-ups so patrons will receive excellent coups in the mail or their inbox. Other times, he scores actual, tangible products for free. And he doesn’t discriminate. I’ve received free posters for my classroom, more Post-It products than I know what to do with, cat food, diapers, and enough shampoo/soap/hair gel samples to fill my travel toiletry bags forever. He also participates in these freebies, and posts pictures of his weekly scores to the blog. I find it hilarious that this single man has an assortment of free tampons, women’s perfume, and back-issues of Parenting Magazine lying around his house. [Helpful hint: create a spare email address to use when requesting the freebies, otherwise, your normal inbox will fill to the brim with offers from P&G and other vendors.]

Retailmenot.com

Nearly every online vendor you love has coupon codes available to use at check-out. I’m fortunate enough that a bunch of them mail/email me those coupon codes, but not every website is as transparent. Retailmenot.com is a search engine for shopping. You type in the website you want to shop on, and it’ll produce all the relevant coupon codes for that site. It even tells you which ones worked for other shoppers and which ones are duds. Be advised that a few online vendors have blocked access to this site, like containerstore.com. But the odds are in your favor. Never, ever, ever shop online again without consulting Retailmenot.com.

Upromise.com

Look, we all know that we need to start saving for our children’s college, right? If you don’t already have a 529 account for each of your kids, get to gettin’. Upromise.com is an excellent resource for college savings. Many vendors, like Mobil, Publix, and CVS have rewards plans, where a portion of your purchase in the store will be credited to your Upromise account, which can either siphon off into a college savings plan or a cashier’s check mailed to your front door. But the best rewards are the online shopping opportunities. If you click on a link from that website, it’ll automatically 1) Offer you shopping and shipping discounts on your purchases from big vendors like Old Navy and Amazon.com and 2) Credit your Upromise account with a portion of the money you spent on that purchase. New Old Navy jeans AND money for Pterodactyl’s college? Fuck yeah!

Zulily.com and Totsy.com

I’m throwing these together because they are one and the same. They both offer high-end kids and adult items at massive discounts for a predetermined period of time. I got my kid (and another little one in my life) a bunch of Ralph Lauren outfits for pennies on the dollar. (I won’t amaze you with the actual price, as the gift recipient’s mommy reads the blog and I wish not to be tacky.) As an added bonus, Retailmenot.com usually has excellent coupons for these sites, so the savings are exponential. A little example: remember in the “favorite kid stuff” post how I drooled over our Rockin’ Baby pouch? Right now, Zulily.com has a sale on those suckers, which normally retail for $80. Right now, the website is selling them for $40. Can’t beat that.

And now, for the iPhone-ers out there:

A few apps have perpetuated my shopping addiction. Amazon.com has an Amazon Deals app that shows users what the daily deals are, and what the Lighting Deals of the hour are. This came in handy while I was doing my Christmas shopping. I love my eBay.com app. I head straight for the Daily Deals section, where items from eBay stores are heavily discounted for the day. Again, touching the tacky line, I got my brother’s Christmas gift – a brand new HP computer – from the eBay Daily Deals. Lots of memory, RAM, Gigabytes, and other computer words, BRAND-SPANKING NEW (NOT refurbished) for under $300. Most of these deals come with free shipping, too. Obvious bonus.

Do you have any shopping secrets you wish to share with the world? We’d sure appreciate it. =] Comment below! Thanks for reading!

© Daisy and Violet 2012. All Rights Reserved.

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