Category: Cheap

Just Grazing on Some Snacks

It’s no secret around here that I really like food, especially snacks, but I also really enjoy getting mail. Somehow those little targeted Facebook ads figured out as much and invited me to try Graze, a subscription snack box service, and my first box would be free! Free things? Food? Delivered directly to my lazy self? Sign me up!

This is the first Facebook ad that I’ve fallen for so far, but I am so glad that I was such a marketer’s dream that day because my first snack box was just delivered and I can’t shut up about it.

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I often have a hard time choosing snacks because I want something that isn’t going to make me feel guilty, but I don’t want to sacrifice my cravings (usually sweet or salty). That’s what got me about Graze – each box contains four different healthy choices that are also really unique and flavorful. Each snack has a benefit, whether it’s being a daily serving of fruit or under 100 calories, but with options like Wholegrain Banana Caramel Dippers and Tomato & Basil Pizza, you don’t have to feel like you’re being good.

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The nutritional facts of each item are included, as well as the “best by” date. You can also choose whether you want a regular box or one with only low-calorie (under 150) snacks.

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If you visit their website, you can learn more about each snack. Once you sign up, you can choose which ones you would like to try, or exclude any that you don’t want. I decided not to try a few of the spicier options, and after receiving my first box, I rated my favorites to make sure I will get them again (or similar flavors) in the future.

Once my box had shipped, I figured out (somewhat accidentally) that I could view its contents online. What a lesson in self-control this week has been! I managed to only sneak a peek at one of my four snacks and was hoping to be pleasantly surprised by the rest! Here’s what I received:

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This was the first treat I taste-tested and I declared it my favorite right away. As I continued on I had to accept that it was okay to have several favorites, but this one is VERY tasty if you like savory snacks.

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Next up were the Mississippi BBQ Pistachios.

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This one was actually my least favorite of the bunch, only because I tend to want to stuff my face with the sweet and salty snacks. These are not spicy by any means, and for someone who is into BBQ chips and flavors, I’m sure they would be a nice change from ordinary pistachios.

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This next snack is going right into my oatmeal tomorrow morning.

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I don’t buy dried fruit often enough, but I really should. These taste great, even if they look like shriveled, odd versions of their original selves. The strawberries are my favorite and I rated this snack as one I would like to try again.

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And finally, here is my other favorite:

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These are so good that my only complaint is I wish there were more of them! I’m already planning on bathing in any of that leftover toffee dip.

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Each item comes sealed in it’s own little package, so they would all be great for snacking on-the-go. I’ve already taped mine back up and am currently ignoring the gravitational force that wants me to rip them all back open instead of waiting to pack them in my lunch bag tomorrow.

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If you want to try your first Graze box for free also, just use this link! Not only will your first box be free, but your 5th one will be also. Delivery is always free, so at $6 per box, I think the price-point is great. When you factor in all of the promotions, you will get 5 snack boxes for just $18 – less than $1 per snack! You can choose to get weekly or bi-weekly deliveries, but you also have the option of postponing them if you want to skip a week. You can cancel at any time, but honestly, I don’t see myself getting tired of these any time soon!

At least not until I’ve tried the Salted Fudge & Peanut Cookie. Whaaaaaaat?!

[[This is not a sponsored post and I did not receive any type of compensation from Graze for sharing my review. All opinions are my own. Referral code used above.]]

Moolala!

I just found this great site and I have to share! I was reading through some of the deals that other bloggers had posted today and of course I stopped at one that advertised $12 for 2 movie tickets.

Wait, can we insert the sound of screeching tires here? Because I know Dan is like “you don’t even LIKE good movies!”, or “you can’t even stay awake/sit still for a movie!” To which I say “you don’t even like chocolate!!”

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But somehow we do still find ourselves at the movies a lot. And occasionally there is a horror movie, or a silly comedy, or sometimes even an action movie that I do want to see. So I jumped on this deal and bought us 4 movie tickets for $24. Not bad, eh?

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The site is called Moolala and I’m really liking it! Not only can you get great deals, but you earn 2% back from every deal you purchase. AND if you refer someone, you get 2% of every deal THEY purchase, as well as 2% of every deal that their own referrals purchase. So if your friend’s uncle’s sister’s dog’s grandmother buys a deal, you still earn 2%. The math is crazy.

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In a good way.

[Some referral links used]

A Use for All of Those Socks the Dryer Leaves Orphaned

Earlier this year I decided I wanted to be blond (again). I don’t know why my 2012 self hasn’t learned from my 1995, 1997, 2000, and 2009 selves that doing anything different to your hair, especially on your own, is BAD. Several hundred dollars and a few trips to the salon later, I’m finally back to my natural color and never dyeing my hair again (2013 and 2014 selves, take note).

I think this is why I’m now actively avoiding the salon. I can’t bear the thought of spending another 10 cents on my hair this year, no matter how long, snarly (it’s a word.), dry, and split-endy (it’s not.) it gets. Instead I will just keep putting socks in my hair and pretending that it’s a fancy new hairstyle.

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That’s right. The Sock Bun. There is a sock in my hair. IN my hair. Because without it, that bun flops over and you can just tell that I took about 30 seconds to tie it up in an effort to leave the house before reaching for the scissors…

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Side note: I had to take the morning of my Junior Prom off from school to go get my hair fixed after I tried to give myself layers while sitting on the floor of bedroom. Those pictures will not be appearing here.

For a tutorial on the sock bun, watch this video. And no, I have no idea why she is called Mr. Kate. And yes, she is a tiny bit annoying.

It’s Almost Here!!

No, not Christmas. That’s like light years away still. Plenty of time for shopping. (Please just let me keep believing this, as I’m about 7% done with my list…)

I’m not talking about the end of the world (again) either.

No, this is WAY better. This is FREE SHIPPING DAY!

Every year on December 17th, hundreds of companies offer free shipping with the guarantee that your items will be delivered by Christmas Eve. Check out the list of merchants that are already participating.

I have to say, I know a lot of people who do their Christmas shopping mainly online in order to avoid the malls. I have always been too cheap to pay shipping for something that I could pick up at a store, so Free Shipping Day is perfect for me. No crowds. No shipping fees. No reason to even get dressed that day.

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Oh, wait. It’s a work day. Booo.

Why You Should Love CVS as Much as I Do!

Even though I slept through Black Friday, I didn’t miss the sales at CVS all week long! There were 2 separate ads for CVS last week – one from Sunday through Wednesday and another from Thursday through Saturday. Both had great deals and lots of free stuff, although the 1st half of the week was much better!

On Sunday, I ventured out to a few different CVS stores (I know…but I don’t like to do multiple transactions in one because I feel bad for the people waiting) and came home with all of this:

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I paid $1.70 for everything there, and that’s only because I brought the wrong coupon for the Advil or it would have been just 70 cents total! There were actually several more things that would have been free, but I only bought (er, stole for free?!) the things that I needed or really would use.

I went back again on Saturday and got some headphones for free. I also got two candy bars, but I probably don’t need to explain why those are missing from the photo.

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Again, there were a few more things for free in this ad also, but I didn’t really NEED any of them and the one store I went to was out of the batteries and toothbrushes, so I didn’t get those either. If I weren’t so lazy, I could have grabbed them at a different CVS, but I was pretty satisfied with my haul.

I can never stress enough how CVS is my absolute favorite store to shop at. The cashiers are always friendly and knowledgeable, the items always scan correctly, and most of the items are always in stock (with the exception of Black Friday). It’s just so easy to get things for free or cheap there! Definitely sign up for their ExtraCare card if you don’t already have one and start earning those ECBs!

CVS Sparkly Pink Friday Ad!!

I have been waiting about 350something days for this one moment. It was the highlight of my life last year and I’ve been so excited to see if 2012 was going to measure up. Good news – it does!!

The CVS Black Friday ad was released today!!!!! There is a twist this year, however. While there are a number of FREE items in this ad (which is effective from 11/22 – 11/24), the best deals by far are actually in the ad that starts this Sunday!! For that reason, and also the fact that Black Friday sounds so…dark, I have decided to refer to this as the CVS Sparkly Pink Friday ad. Way better, right?

I haven’t been able to find a better ad scan of this Sunday’s flier, but there is one here at iheartcvs.com and honestly, I am too distracted by the pages of free things to spend too much time noticing the poor quality images. Scroll down to the 2nd and 3rd pages. Go ahead, I will wait.

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Ahhhh!! I know!! Every single thing on those pages is FREE! Well, actually I should clarify here that all of these items are free after ECBs. What this means is you should have some ECBs saved now to use towards these items. It’s ok if you don’t though, you will just have to pay a little bit out of pocket first to get some, but then you can just keep rolling them over into free stuff!

So, for example, you can go into CVS on Sunday and pay $0.99 for a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese and $1.00 for Carmex chapstick. If you don’t have ECBs, you would have to pay $1.99 (plus tax) out of pocket, but you will get $1.99 back in ECBs. Then you can use these ECBs on your next transaction to pay for a box of Kleenex and roll of Sparkle paper towels (both $1). You won’t spend any of your own money and you will get $2 back in ECBs to keep going!

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It sounds like a lot of work/transactions for those of you that don’t have ECBs to start you off, but honestly, this is the BEST time to start because you will build those ECBs so quickly! And it is SO worth it to come home with bags full of free things that you will use all year long!

Make sure to save some ECBs from your trips on Sunday through Wednesday to put towards the items from the “Black Friday” ad that will go on sale starting on Thursday!

To summarize:

  • Get 8 gazillion (yes, I do math for a living) things FREE with ECBs this Sunday!
  • Get 2 gazillion more FREE on Friday (or Thursday if your store is open!)
  • Let the crazy people spend their day at the mall, while us completely un-crazy people stock up at CVS on Sparkly Pink Friday!

If I have completely overwhelmed you, or if you want even MORE info on how to work these deals, contact me!

I Have a Secret!

You might already know it, but I like to be annoying and pretend I know something that you don’t. What’s even more annoying is when people say that and then refuse to tell you the secret. I’d rather not even know that you have one because now I’m going to obsess about it and try to figure it out. So much so that when you finally tell me I’m probably going to be like “that’s it…?” I’m not going to do that to you though. I’m going to tell you my not-so-secret secret right now.

Did you know that when you print coupons from the internet you can usually trick it into printing twice?!

I’m serious. Try it right now! Go to coupons.com and find one you want to print. Any one. Let it print out and then you should see this screen:

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Once you see that, hit the “backspace” key on your keyboard. It should automatically refresh the page and reprint the coupon!!

Unfortunately you can only do this once, but it’s an easy way to get multiples without having to use more than one computer!

Ok, now it’s your turn to tell me a secret.

How I Spent My Lunch Hour

There are some good deals at both CVS and Walgreens this week and I wanted to take advantage of both of them, so here is what I did:

Went to Walgreens #1 and bought these two items:

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I am a GIANT lip balm snob and Carmex is the only brand that I really like. It’s the only one that is waxy enough that I don’t have to reapply it every 20 minutes, but it’s not sticky or weird-tasting. I have at least one in every room, every purse, and at work, because I am not obsessive at all. Nope. My favorite is the strawberry one, but I’m excited to try these pomegranate ones!

They were 2 for $3 at Walgreens this week, and when you buy 2, you get back $2 in Register Rewards to use on your next purchase! I also had 2 coupons for 30 cents off of each one that I got from their Facebook page, so I only paid $2.40 for these and then got $2 back!

Next I went to CVS and got these few things:

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Whenever you walk into CVS, scan your loyalty card in the Big Red Coupon Machine (it might have a real name, but whatever) because it almost always prints out something awesome. Today mine printed a coupon for a FREE Salma Hayek Nuance trial-sized item. I chose the curl cream on the right.

If you’re a member of the CVS Beauty Club, you probably received the email coupon for a free trial size Clear shampoo. I grabbed the one on the left and it’s perfect to bring for my trip to Costa Rica on Saturday!!

The toothpaste was $4.99, but you get $2 Extrabucks back, plus I had a $1 coupon from the 8/26 Smart Source insert. I paid $3.99 but got $2 back.

The chocolate was 67 cents, but you get 67 cents Extrabucks back, so it’s really free! It wasn’t open when I bought it. I have no idea how that happened…

So basically at CVS I paid a total of $4.66. I had $4 in Extrabucks to use, so only 66 cents came out of my own pocket for all 4 things!

I got back in the car and headed to Walgreens #2. Luckily there are 2 of them near where I work because I am a lunatic and don’t like to do 2 transactions in 1 store because I feel like it annoys the people behind me and I don’t want to look like a “crazy coupon lady”, so I do my second transaction at a different store if I can. Either that or I come back to the same store at a different time. I know. Nuts.

The Kleenex 4-packs of 60 tissues were on sale for $4. There is a coupon booklet when you walk in the door that has coupons for the entire month of September. Inside there is one for $1 off of these multipacks.

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The one on the left will be great for the next time I sneeze in French.

Usually they have the coupons at the register also, so if you can’t find one, just ask. This made them $3 each and I used the $2 Register Rewards I got from my last transaction, so I paid $4 for all 8 boxes. I also got $2 in Register Rewards back again for buying 8 boxes of Kleenex (the multipacks still count towards this deal!) so I will be headed to Walgreens #1, 2, or 3 tomorrow to get another $2 item for free!

My out of pocket expense for all of these items was $7.06, and I still have $2 Register Rewards and $2.67 in ECBs to spend next time!

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Maybe next lunch break I will have some time for lunch.

Who Wore It First?

I know this sounds snobby, but normally I’m kind of skeeved out by consignment stores. I just feel weird wearing a stranger’s old clothes. I have no idea what happened in them, what was spilled on them, or what the previous owner’s personal hygiene was like. That creeps me out.

About 2 months ago, a new consignment store opened up not too far from me. It’s actually right across the street from the consignment store I used to bring my own old clothes to, until the owner conveniently stopped answering phone calls or emails when I wanted to come collect my check. I’ll be sure to wave to her as I’m leaving the new store. Heh heh.

This new place is called Plum Consignment in Beverly, Massachusetts, and if you’re in the area, I highly suggest you check it out. It’s just so darn cute. It’s set up like a little boutique and it is so so SO clean and organized that I felt like I was shopping for new clothes on Newbury Street.

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I tried on a few things and ended up buying a t-shirt and tank top. The T-shirt ($10) is a navy blue, sort of baggy, ruffly type shirt from H&M, with big sleeves that there is probably a name for, but I’m not cool enough to know it. The tank top ($8) is just a black Merona (Target brand) cotton tank top with some design at the collar.

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They even have adorable bags! Every item is tagged also, just like in the store, so the prices and sizes are easy to find. I will say that the prices were a tiny bit higher than what I expected considering the 2 brands are relatively inexpensive already, but both shirts are like new and still cheaper than what I would have paid in the store, so I grabbed them.

I was looking for a shirt to match a pair of pink shorts that I got for FREE at Bob’s the other day. (I had a coupon for $10 off a $10 purchase that I got in the mail and the shorts were only $5 on clearance, so they ended up free!) The tank top definitely matches. Not sure about the navy blue shirt though. What do you think?

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For the love of gawwwd, will someone puh-LEASE teach me how to take pictures?!

Hotel Schmotel

Sometimes I feel like vacation planning is so stressful, I need to take a vacation from vacation planning. I’ve even had vacations that I needed to take a vacation from. Ok, maybe I get stressed out easily (“what do you MEAN our flight is two minutes late?! That throws EVERYTHING off!”), but there is just SO much to think of when it comes to planning a trip.

Side note: also stressful is when you have a Very Type A person trying to plan a trip with a Slightly Type A But Mostly Type B person. Lots of indecisiveness, freaking out, last minute-ness, more freaking out…. Oh, by the way, I am an absolute list-making joy to live with. Any questions on which one of us is the Type A?

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However, a small miracle happened last week in a cozy, little apartment in New England. Type A & Type A-B managed to book a vacation to Costa Rica! We leave in less than 3 weeks (ahhhh more freaking out!)!! We can’t wait to do a ton of adventure-y things and see a bunch of these guys:

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We were actually able to find a really good deal on a guest house by the beach, thanks to one of my friend’s tips. She writes the blog Vacation Fiend and she really knows her stuff! She suggested vrbo.com where you can search through rental properties in the area where you want to stay.

The villa we wanted wasn’t actually available for the week we chose, but the owner was nice enough to rent us his guest house (read: even BIGGER place) for the same price, so we scored a place with 2BR, 2 Bath, living room, a fully-equipped kitchen, washer/dryer, and a deck with hammocks to relax in for less than $600 for 6 days! Definitely a site worth checking out. It’s an alternative I had never even considered, but now I will be checking this site for every vacation that I go on!

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