Category: Cheap

CVS Thinks You’re Pretty

Shop at CVS a lot? Then make sure you enroll in the ExtraCare Beauty Club so that you’re earning ExtraBucks while you shop! You get a 10% off coupon just for signing up, $5 in ExtraBucks for every $50 you spend (BEFORE coupons!), $3 ExtraBucks on your birthday, and if you sign up today or tomorrow you will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a trip to the 2012 People’s Choice Awards and $500 of products! I’m actually more excited about the $500 of products than the People’s Choice Awards. Although a trip to L.A. would be pretty sweet, provided there are no earthquakes that day. Or landslides. Or fires. Yeah, I’m still more excited about the $500 in products actually…

Just for the record, I know it’s called the ExtraCare Beauty Club, but you don’t have to be beautiful to sign up. I mean, even this girl can join:

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I hope she doesn’t read my blog.

So, You Wanna Pay Me To Shop? Well, OK!

I learned about this one about a month ago and I still can’t believe it actually works, but I promise it does. Ebates is an internet rebate service that gives you cash back for shopping online! In fact, I just got $10 credited to my account today for a gift basket I bought online a few days ago!

I just started doing this in late November and already have over $21 in my account. $21 in a month might not be exciting to everyone, but lately I have been LIVING at Target buying household things for the apartment and $21 buys a LOT of picture hangers, facecloths, air fresheners, and chocolate. What? Yes, chocolate is definitely a household item AND a necessity. If you don’t believe me, come live with me for a day when there is none in the apartment.

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That was actually the day we ran out of hot chocolate, too. I remember it well.

Anyway, back to Ebates. When you sign up, they will deposit $5 in your account to start you off. Then you can search through the stores to see if the one you were planning on buying something from is on the list. I bet you it is. Ebates will tell you how much cash back they are offering and if there are any other deals or coupon codes, they will display those as well. Then you buy your item(s) and wait for the email from Ebates telling you that they’ve credited your account! Once you make at least $10, they will start sending you checks every 3 months. There is a little bit more about that here because I’m lazy and don’t want to type it all.

One word of advice: Make sure that you click the link to shop through Ebates instead of opening a new window or tab, or even leaving the site. I guess that’s more than one word, but seriously, you won’t get the cash back if you don’t go to Ebates first and then click the link to shop through the website that you want. They will open up a “ticket” and once you make a purchase, they will usually send you an email within a day or two letting you know that the money has been credited to your account. It’s like getting paid to shop! What could be better?! Actually, there is one thing….

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[Some referral links used]

 

The 12 Saves of Christmas

So in honor of Christmas, and of the fact that I finally have 10 minutes of free time right now, I’m going to make up a list of 12 different ways to save some money and get some free stuff this week!! Here we go!

12 Shoppers Saving – “Like” the CVS Facebook page and then click on the “Holiday Pass” tab to get a 20% off certificate good until Thursday! *You will need to enter your ExtraCare card #.

11 Drinkers Drinking – Click on the link to get a coupon for $1 off a 14, 16, or 20oz. Diet Coke. Depending on where you shop, this could get you a free soda, or else one for pennies!

10 Gums a-Chewing – Again, click “Like” on the Stride gum Facebook page, click on the “Oomph” tab, and get a free pack of gum!

9 Batteries Charging – If you get the Sunday coupon inserts AND if you saved last weeks, there is a $1 off Energizer batteries coupon in it. Target has Eveready batteries in their dollar bins right now. Don’t see the connection? Eveready is an Energizer brand and these coupons will work on both!

8 Magazines a-Mailing – If you click the link, add ESPN magazine to your cart, and then use the code “ESPN” at checkout, the magazine subscription should be $2.99…for the YEAR! The face value on this one is $103.74, so this is a HUGE deal! Last minute Xmas idea for the sports-lover on your list??

7 Candles a-Burning – Click the link to print a coupon for Buy 2 Get 2 Free Large, Medium, or Small jar candles from Yankee Candle and also get a FREE tote bag! There are a few other YC coupons on this page as well.

6 Make-up Kits….a-Make-upping? – Sephora is offering Stila travel kits that include 4 eye shadows and dual cheek/lip cream in a mirrored palette for only $10! These regularly go for $65! Plus if you chose UPS 2-day shipping and enter the code “UPS2DAY” you will get FREE shipping also AND get to pick some free samples at checkout!

5 Yuuuummmmmyyyy Cookieeees – Pillsbury Holiday cookies are on sale for $1 at Target right now. Buy 2 and use the $1 off coupon attached to this link (you will have to check the box and print it out) and it’s like getting one FREE!

4 Lip Glosses – Click the link to print a coupon for a FREE lip item at Bath & Body Works with any purchase.

3 Email Deals – Sign up for Eversave (it’s like Groupon) before December 31st and get a FREE $5 credit to use towards any future deal. I’ve bought several deals from this site, it’s a good one! And those credits come in handy!

2 Car Check-ups – Print this coupon for a free Winter Prep service for your car from Pep Boys. They will check your lights, wipers, battery, coolant system, and more!

And a Coffee in a Bookstore – Print the coupon for a free coffee or tea at Borders. I love to sit at Borders and read a magazine and watch people! *You have to be a Borders Rewards member for this one, but it’s free to sign up!

Merry Savings!!

Happy Birthday to You!!

Last night I went out to eat with some girlfriends at Not Your Average Joe’s to celebrate 2 of my friend’s birthdays. Another friend and I did not bring gifts, as we had planned to split the cost of meals and drinks for the birthday girls. Well, Joe made us look bad when he decided to give both girls a free meal AND a free dessert! Did you know that if you sign up for their email club, you will get a coupon for a FREE entree and dessert on your birthday? Yeah, neither did we.

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Not only that, but the coupon is good for about 10 days, so you don’t actually have to use it ON your birthday. The entrees there are about $10-15, and the desserts are around $7, so this is a pretty good gift! You also get a 15% off coupon just for signing up.

So, since I like food (“and the Understatement of the Year award goes to….”) and I think it tastes even better when it’s free, I decided to see what other businesses want to give me gifts. This list by The Frugal Girls is a pretty good collection of all the restaurants and even some retail stores that send you a little (or a big) something on your birthday. I think I just might sign up for all of them and see just how much free cake and ice cream I can eat in one day!

So, You Will Bring Me Gas AND Help Me Buy Shoes?!

Since I’ve started this blog, I notice a bunch of my friends have started sending me emails and texts with deals whenever they find them. I love this – keep them coming!! This one is from my friend Lizz, who writes really well, so I should probably have just let her post this herself.

She sent me a text to let me know that you can get 20% off at Payless for the month of December using your AAA membership card. Payless always seems to have a sale going on, and if you hold out a little longer, maybe they will do their Buy One Get One 1/2 off sale again soon! 20% off of that could get you a whole bunch of shoes for cheap! I feel like I need to insert a little personal message to my boyfriend in here reassuring him that I won’t be buying any new shoes until I know they will fit in our new apartment. I can just see him panicking that he’s coming home to this:

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I always seem to forget that you can use your AAA membership card for more than just Roadside Assistance, but believe me, I use it for that too. I lock myself out of my car several times a year, sometimes with it still running. I need a car with keyless entry – I’m adding that to my Christmas list.

Anyway, you can use your AAA card for a whole boatload of stuff (even if you don’t own a boat). Here is a list. There are 40 pages here!!! You can also print this little pocket guide if you’re like me and forget that AAA will save you money along with saving you from a flat tire and running out of gas (yes, I’ve used it for those too…).

Happy shopping! Just don’t run out of gas on the way to the mall!!

Gift Card Granny

How cute is this picture?

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Does this not look just like your Grandma? It looks just like mine, except mine doesn’t wear a cape.And maybe she doesn’t quite move fast enough for there to be flames coming out of her walker. But she’s cute!

This is the Gift Card Granny. If you go to her website, you can buy gift cards for discounted prices. Sometimes they are REALLY good discounts too.On the home page they list the top deals for the day. For example, right now you can get an AMC Gift Card worth $42 for $33.60. This will get you into 4 movies for $8.50 each instead of $10.50. If you prefer clothes, there are several Macy’s gift cards as well that will save you at least 10%. These are just 2 examples though. They have gift cards to EVERYWHERE on here.

Just one tip – Don’t get too excited when you see one for a 60% discount or something. This is most likely because it’s being sold on ebay and the auction still has several days left, so while it looks like a good deal right now for $10, you can bet the price will go up before it’s sold. That being said, you can still score some killer deals on here. Especially if you know you’re going to be spending money in a particular store. I know I could easily spend $100 at New York & Company, so I would definitely be interested in the $100 gift card up there right now for $90. I save 10 bucks before I even start shopping!

The people who run this site are so nice and generous that some stores even list coupon codes as well. This NY & Company page (scroll down a bit) lists one for $40 off $100, so that $100 gift card I just bought for $90 is going to get me so much more than $100 worth of clothes. I basically saved $50 just from coming to this website! Isn’t shopping from your couch fun?!

The Coupon Queen – My New Hero.

Meet the Coupon Queen:

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About a week ago, I saw this woman on NECN and I have been OBSESSED ever since. She went to just 2 different grocery stores and checked out full carts worth $493 total….for 88 cents! You can watch one of the NECN segments here. Incredible, right? Well that’s not even the best part. She has a book coming out tomorrow that tells all her secrets to shopping for FREE!

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I’ve already pre-ordered it from Barnes & Noble (Got it on Cyber Monday for just $10 with free shipping!) and I am really really hoping to get it in the mail by Saturday so that I can go get it signed at the Peabody Barnes & Noble (whatever, I already told you I was obsessed). She will be there from either 1-4 or 12-4, I can’t figure out which – Facebook says 1-4, her website says 12-4. Either way, I will be there with my brand new book just waiting to meet her!

Ok, so that’s STILL not even the best part. If you go to her website, there is a tab for classes. She comes to your house and teaches you how to use coupons to get things for free. Everyone gets a starter pack of coupons and there are giveaways where you can get even more free stuff! Well, I just booked one for January 22nd and I am so stinkin excited!! Consider this an invitation to you, but I will be inviting everyone via Facebook or email as soon as I find out the details on registering. It is $20 in advance, $25 at the door (which will be my door) and that includes your coupons, the giveaways, and whatever food and drinks I decide to make!

Weeeeee!!!

It’s All You. No, Really.

I love getting mail more than most normal people. So I subscribe to more magazines than I’m willing to admit, but this one is definitely my favorite.

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I love All You magazine. Each issue has a bunch of articles on saving money, crafty things, and ideas and tips on everyday household stuff. It’s actually really fun to read. The best part by far though is the coupons! Most of the issues have anywhere from $50-100 worth of coupons inside them!! This one in the picture has $94.50 worth. Not bad for a magazine that costs less than $2 an issue!! It’s the weekend, so I’m not going to do math for you, but that totally works out in your favor. By a lot. They offer a 2 week free trial on their website also, making the math so amazing that you really don’t even need me to think on a Saturday to prove it to you! It’s just super cheap and worth it!

I really like their website also, although it can be a bit busy and overwhelming, but it’s PACKED with saving money tips and interesting articles. There’s also some coupons on the website too!

You know all those daily emails I told you that I get? Well one of them is from All You because every day they offer a different free sample and you can have it emailed to you each morning so that you can sign up for it before they run out! Right now it’s a water test kit for hard water, which is really not that exciting to me, although it might be for you. I mean maybe you’ve been wondering your whole life if you have hard water (what the heck is hard water anyway? Ice cubes are hard water, right? I have those). This sample is kind of an exception though because normally they’re really good samples of health & beauty type stuff, cleaning supplies, candy, etc.

One tip – read the whole magazine before you start cutting coupons or you will end up looking a little bit like this guy:

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You’ve Got Mail

I’m sure most of you have heard of Groupon by now. You enter your email address, pick a city, and they will email you daily deals for things in that city. The deals can be anything from spa services, hotel accomodations, products, tickets, etc. Usually you will have just one day to decide if you want to purchase the deal, but sometimes they last a little longer, or until the specific quantity runs out.

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I absolutely love Groupon. And it’s not just Groupon – I subscribe to about 25 of these things. Yeah, that’s not a typo. If you’re interested, I have an entire spreadsheet of the deal sites I subscribe to like this. Yes, it means I get a lot of emails each morning, but I actually really look forward to them. (You know, writing this makes me wonder if I need to get a life..?) Most of the time the deal is written in the subject of the email, so you can just scroll through your inbox and delete the ones that you’re not interested in rather than reading all of them.

I’ve gotten some REALLY good deals through this site. Recently I got a full-day lift ticket, equipment, and a ski or snowboard lesson at Mt. Sunapee for $20. That’s not a typo either. $20!! It was actually $40, but I had a credit to the site, so I got it for $20 (more on that in a minute). I’ve also gotten a 1-night stay at the Ramada Castle Hotel for $75 and it included a FREE 3-course dinner for my boyfriend and I. The place was gorgeous:

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We’ve also scored some cheap restaurant certificates, a cruise around Boston Harbor for a decent price, and some corn maze tickets for only $2 each! It’s a fun way to check out some new places or do some fun family stuff without spending a lot.

Ok, now for some tips:

  1. Groupon is great, but other sites have some amazing deals too. I like BuyWithMe, LivingSocial, and Eversave the best right now. There are also some sites that cater to a particular area, for example Local Ginger has deals specifically for Massachusetts’ North Shore area, and The Local Deal focuses on the Worcester area.
  2. If you’re going on vacation, say to Disney World, update your subscriptions so that you receive emails with deals from the Orlando area as well. You might be able to score a cheap meal or even some park tickets or souvenirs. Even if you’re not going on vacation, you can sometimes find good deals in other cities that you can buy and use at home. For example, I saw a retail store deal that I wanted to share with my mom, but it ended in Boston before I got the chance. We changed the city to Phoenix and they were still offering the deal, so we were still able to buy it to use here at home (or anywhere!).
  3. Refer friends! Most of these sites will give you a unique referral link to pass along to friends (thru email, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc) and when your friend signs up and makes their first purchase, you will get a credit towards your next one! This is how I was able to get the Ski deal for only $20 – I had referred 2 friends for $10 each, giving me a $20 credit on the site. Pretty cool, huh?
  4. Check the fine print. Most of the deals are not valid until the NEXT day, so you won’t be able to use it that night. They’re usually good for quite a while though. The restrictions are usually minimal, but just make sure that you will be able to use them. If you buy something that you think you may not get to use, you can sell back deals from some of the sites on Lifesta.

I’m off to check my emails! I would love to hear about all the deals you find!

[Some referral links used]

So I Decided to Start a Blog…

Before I start this thing, I feel like I should tell you just one little thing about me: I am CONSTANTLY starting projects and never finishing them. Well, not right away at least. I’ll get an idea (like starting a blog…) and I get SO excited about it, and then I start planning it out, buying supplies, or researching online, depending on what it is, and then it starts to feel a bit overwhelming. So then I put it aside for a while and pretend to ignore the fact that it’s staring me in the face and mocking me from my to-do list (because of course you can’t take anything off the list until it’s 100% done) and then eventually I pick it back up and finish it. Usually this is okay since they tend to be silly projects that would only make me happy anyway, like going through every marker I own to weed out the ones that don’t write well anymore (I own a lot of markers…), or organizing all my online bookmarks into folders, or making a scrapbook for a trip I took 6 months ago and haven’t printed pictures for yet.

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So anyway, I procrastinate. And I get bored easily. But I also like the feeling of finishing things and seeing the end result (and crossing them off that $#@% list!!), so I really do plan to write something in here several times a week. Just in case though, I decided to not make this public until I have a few entries and see exactly what I’m undertaking. So if you’re reading this, it’s actually in the future and you just time traveled!! You’re amazing.

Ok, moving on. Confession #2 – I have an addiction problem. To saving money. It’s bad. I think I literally get a high every time I manage to score something for free or insanely cheap. (This is the part where you decide I’m kinda nuts and move on to another blog…) No, but seriously, I have been so obsessed lately with finding great deals, coupon cutting, and saving money that I just needed to tell people about it! And that’s where you come in! The plan is to share something I have found in each entry, whether it be an awesome coupon, a really good retail store deal, or some freebies that I got in the mail. Believe me, I have plenty of ideas to write about and they’re all on that silly list. I’m hoping everyone else will be as excited as me to get some of these, and I’m also hoping people will share their own deals and savings ideas.

I normally don’t talk this much, I promise. I’m just trying to procrastinate again so that I can pick which thing I want to tell you about first. I think I’ve got it though… (insert drum roll here).

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The 2011 Entertainment book!!!

This thing is awesome. I just got mine today and I can’t even put it down. I’ve gone through it twice and I’m sticking post-it flags everywhere because there is just so much stuff in here that I know I will never remember to look for. You can choose the book closest to your neighborhood (or buy a different area if you know you’re going on vacation in the future) and they’re actually all on sale right now! You get the book for $28 plus FREE shipping. It kinda sounded like a lot to me at first, so I held off on buying it, but now that I have it I would actually have paid much more for it. There are coupons in this thing for EVERYTHING! Hundreds of pages of restaurant deals, most of them buy one get one free. Also tons of attractions – Six Flags, mini-golf, zoos, bowling, movie coupons, museums. At the end there are even retail coupons, like 10% off at Old Navy, or $25 off a $75 purchase at NY & Company. TONS! Most of these are good until November 2011, so you have plenty of time to use them, and you can start using them right now instead of waiting until January. Did I mention it’s huge?

Hey look at that – first entry down. And I didn’t even take a 3-week break 🙂