Friday, February 26, 2010

Deals and Steals - Coldwater Creek 25% Off AND Free Shipping

One of my favorite stores, Coldwater Creek, has a great promo code out right now for 25% off of ANY purchase AND Free Shipping. There are a lot of good deals in the outlet right now. I just picked up these gloves and bag for $15.88, shipped. Retail for these items, without shipping would be over $68.

I also picked up this top, was the one I was wearing when I got stuck in the snow this week...ugh.

Thanks for the tip, Redemption Unlimited!

Use Code WHH8520 to get this deal. And, don't forget to shop through Ebates for an additional 2% cash back.

**Ebates is a cash back program for online orders. In less than a year I have earned $190 cash back on purchases through them. Yes it really works! They deposit my savings in my paypal account every few months. If you sign up through the link above, I will receive a $5 bonus to my account. You will receive a $5 bonus whether you use my link or not. If you prefer not to connect through me, simply visit If you ever make purchases online, you should be using a reputable cash back site.

**Disclaimer...Coldwater Creek seems to be adjusting their base outlet prices up and down frequently, which can be very annoying. I am very careful to only purchase things that I am confident are at a deep discount.**

**This post is linked to Saving & Giving's Sharing Savings.

Image courtesy of Bing.

Freebie Friday

This is my weekly freebie post. First, I'll show you everything that I've gotten for free this week, along with the links to anything that is still available. At the bottom of the post is a list of my favorite online freebies from this week. I usually get at least one free item in the mail every's just like Christmas! Free stuff is out there, it's just a matter of looking for it!

Weekly Totals:
Saved-$201.58 ~ 58% savings
Future Money- $2 @ Weis, $10 @ Superfresh, $20.49 @ CVS
(This is cash off of a future purchase at each store.)
*Please note that I am playing catchup this week. The weather kept me from shopping for about 10 days earlier in the month. I normally would not spend $145 in one week.

My Freebies:

Drugstore Game:
~8 Cans Bumblebee Tuna
~Ear Rinse
~Colgate Max Fresh
~3 Colgate Toothbrushes

Grocery Game:
~2 Coffee Mate
~Sarah Lee Bread
~1/2 Gallon Chocolate Milk (not shown)
~1 lb. Ground Turkey
~Fresh Express Salad

~Avery Removable Label Pad
~3 Pampers Diapers w/coupon HERE
~Murad Skincare Sample HERE
~Betty Crocker Calendar w/recipes HERE
~Eat Better America Calendar w/recipes HERE

Online Goodies:

Zone Perfect is giving away a free sample to their first 30,000 fans on facebook. Click HERE and then click the "Zone Perfect" tab. I've never had a Zone product...wondering how it will taste.

Walmart is giving away samples of Olay Total Effects Body Wash HERE. I love taking these samples along when I travel.

True Lemon is giving away samples HERE. Tasty in tea or water.

Tide has a sample of their new detergent with Febreeze HERE. This will come in handy at my see, I have boys...and their laundry can use all the help it can get!

South Beach has a sample of their new S'mores bar HERE. It's S' you need another reason to grab this one???

Mercury Magazines has a totally free subscription to Ladies Home Journal HERE. You will need to select an industry. I used "other" and then "homemaker". Under job function I always select "general manager" (and I dare anyone to question that!) These are legitimate, I have several free subscriptions from them.

Walmart also has a free sample of Crest 3D Whitestrips HERE. Been drinking too much coffee? Here's the solution ;)

You may notice as you link to the freebies this week that a new window opens for the link. This makes it easier to come back to MDM for the next freebie on the list. My cool friend, Jenny, over at Payday Shopping taught me how to edit the HTML for this neat little trick. Thanks, Jenny! She is trying to shop only on paydays (Bi-weekly), and cook great meals for her family. Be sure to check out some of her recipes. She has a versatile Mushroom Risotto that I am anxious to try out.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ma Ma Betty's Pimento Cheese

I grew up on pimento cheese. Now, I know that a lot of people in the Northern Territories either 1) Don't know what it is, or 2) Think it is disgusting. If you are in the second category, that just means that you've never had the good stuff. I don't mean from a deli, and I don't mean from a plastic tub near the bologna. I'm talking about real, homemade pimento cheese. And, if you are in the first category, please let me introduce you!

We didn't eat a lot of lunch meat when I was a kid. There were basically 6 options for a sandwich:

~Pimento Cheese
~PB & J
~Tomato (come on summer!)
~Bologna (the kind with the red ring that you had to peel off)

My favorite was always Ma Ma Betty's Pimento Cheese. It is so doggone good...and I have just discovered that it is very hard to type with it on your fingers...

There are 3 ingredients.

One half-pound block cheddar cheese (I like extra-sharp.) ~ Please don't buy that pre-shredded mess for this. Did you know that the anti-caking agent they use in that stuff is powdered sawdust? Read the says powdered cellulose...that's wood, baby. Buy a real block of cheese and grate it. Your biceps will thank you.

1/2 C. Mayonnaise ~ This is not the same as Miracle Whip...ick. Do not use a "dressing", use real mayo. A Southern Gal's preference is Duke's Mayo. I am very distressed to announce that the one local store that was carrying it here has stopped. I'm gonna have to put in an order with my folks when they come to visit again.

Small jar of pimentos ~ If you've never bought these, they can be sneaky little devils to locate in the store. They are always on the top shelf. (Hmmm...wonder why?) You can look near the pickles and olives. I have found them near canned tomatoes as well. If all else fails, just ask for them. I have yet to go to a store that didn't carry them.

Grate the cheese, drain the pimentos, and dump it all together. Mix it up and you're done. Some folks add pepper, but I don't. This will keep nicely in a covered container in the fridge for several days...I don't know the limit 'cause it never lasts long!

Slather it on some white bread, and you are golden. In the winter, I love these toasted under the broiler with tomato soup. (Dip the sandwich in the's a rule.) It is also yummy on Ritz Crackers.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I!

**This post is linked to the Ultimate Recipe Swap at Life as Mom.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Corn Dog Muffins

I ran across this super-awesome idea recently over at Family, Stamping and Food. I just had to try it out and share it with you. My boys love corn dogs, and they are gonna dive into these like there is no tomorrow.

I decided to make full-sized muffins and double the recipe so that I would have some left to flash-freeze for a quick lunch or snack. I used...

2 Boxes Jiffy Cornbread Mix
2/3 c. Milk
2 eggs
6 Ball Park Bun-Length Turkey Franks (halved lengthwise and then sliced)

Mix it all up and let it sit for a few minutes (this allows the cornbread to rise a little, making it crown better while baking). Grease a muffin pan with EVOO, fill, and bake at 400* for 18-20 minutes. My stoneware pan makes pretty big muffins, I got 14 out of the recipe. Regular muffin tins will probably give you 16-18.

All you need is ketchup and mustard for dipping...YUM!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Deals and Steals - Saving on Printer Ink

If you are an online deal hound like me, you probably print a lot of grocery coupons. I was truly hesitant to do this at first, due to the expense of printer ink. Then I discovered that, as with most things, it is not necessary to pay full price for it!

First, let me say that I have a printer that is pretty easy on the ink. If yours is an ink guzzler, consider a change. Honestly, for the cost of new ink cartridges you can buy a good printer on sale (which will come with fresh ink!). Mine is an HP 3-in-1. I do not know if they are all easy on do your homework and read reviews before buying.

As for purchasing ink, I have discovered (Also known as LD Products.) I have purchased from this company several times, at a great price. They are reliable, quick to ship, and offer great deals. I have ordered both new and remanufatured cartridges, and both work great. I base my purchase on the current deals available.

123Inkjets offers a 16% cash back rebate if you shop through Ebates. (See description of Ebates below.) Let me give you an example of a deal that you can get right now.

My computer takes HP 21 cartridges. 123Inkjets' price is $13.99, if you purchase 3 or more you get a bulk discount of $13 each. Right now they have free shipping with a $55 order. So...
5 Cartridges x $13 = $65 shipped
Ebates rebate for this purchase = $10.40
Total Cost = $54.60

Compared to:

Walmart Price = $14.97 x 5 = $74.85 + tax (6%) = $79.34
If you order online, you can get 1% back through Ebates, but you will also have to pay shipping.

Walmart- $79.34
123 Inkjets- $54.60
Savings- $24.74
(That's almost like getting 2 free!)

Once you are on 123Inkjets' mailing list, you will receive emails with exclusive deals. Sometimes they offer additional percentages back through Ebates as well.
As will most things, stockpiling printer ink when you can catch a great deal will save you money.

I feel like this post is about as clear as if you have any questions, please let me know! *she grins sheepishly*

**Ebates is a cash back program for online orders. In less than a year I have earned $190 cash back on purchases through them. Yes it really works! They deposit my savings in my paypal account every few months. If you sign up through the link above, I will receive a $5 bonus to my account. You will receive a $5 bonus whether you use my link or not. If you prefer not to connect through me, simply visit If you ever make purchases online, you should be using a reputable cash back site.

**This is an unsolicited review of 123Inkjets. I have not been compensated for this post. My opinions are my own.

**This post is linked to Frugal Friday at Life As Mom. Stop by for other money-saving strategies!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

His Ways are Certainly Not My Ways

In my preceeding post I mentioned that I had a few extra minutes on a Sunday morning, which is rare. So, I took the time to put up a quick devotional. Hmmm...if I had only known.

You are probably as sick of hearing about the snow as I am of looking at it. ;) Unfortunately it plays a pretty pivotal role in this little story I'm going to share.

I was having a pretty good morning...the boys were fed and dressed early. I was wearing a fabulous new top that I found on clearance for nearly nothing. I was prepared to pinch-hit for a Sunday School Class, if needed. And, I was looking forward to participating in something called a Cardboard Testimony during our worship service this morning. If you've never seen one of these, you should. Check out the YouTube video at the end of this post.

Everything was going smoothly, then I had the nerve to try to drive up my driveway. You see, when we had 4 feet of snow on the ground, it was impossible to tell exactly WHERE the driveway was. When our neighbor dug us out, we had to guess at where the curves were. Now that 3 feet of that snow has melted, we've discovered that we missed the curves in two spots, which has resulted in this...

Now, let's talk about my mode of transportation. I have a Jeep. It is a soccer-mom Jeep, but a Jeep nonetheless. It is beyond my comprehension why, but my Jeep has only one drive wheel. This means that only one wheel is actually doing the work of propelling the vehicle forward or backward. It also means that if this one wheel gets in a bad spot, you are stuck. A patch of ice the size of a dinner plate can cause me problems. It hasn't happened often, because I'm careful about where I put that wheel...but it does happen.

Back to the story...while trying to navigate past the mud slicks in my driveway, I got over into the snow/ice pile that borders it...about 4 inches too far over...with my ONE drive wheel...can you see where this is headed?

I thought...I'm from the big deal...I've got this. Well, after 10 minutes of digging out and trying various methods of escape, I decided to unload the boys, get them in the house, and change out of my very cool clearance top and heeled boots.

I finally got out. I did not have the presence of mind to take a picture while I was stuck. (I was too mad that I had gotten stuck in the first place.) It took about an hour of shoveling, maneuvering, and filling my mop bucket with gravel from the driveway to put under and behind the wheel that was stuck. And, I came out of it a filthy mess. But, I got out...all by myself. (Did I mention that my hubby is on a business trip?...and that dozens of people drove by and saw me working but not one offered to help?)

Of course, by the time I finished, it was too late to make it to church. For that matter, I was too much of a mess to go anywhere. And, because this is what I always do AFTER any kind of crisis or stressful situation, I had a good cry. (I don't know why I do this, you'd think I would cry during the problem instead of after it is solved.)

Because I believe that God is in control of all things, I know that my getting stuck and missing church today was within His control as well. Maybe my heart wasn't in the right place about the cardboard testimony, I don't know. He and I are gonna have to talk about that. I know this, He has some purpose in it. His ways are certainly not my ways.

I thought I would share my cardboard testimony with you. The first pic is the front side of the cardboard. It is supposed to reveal something from my life that I tried to control. The second pic is the back side. It reveals what happened when I let God have control. Watch the video, it will bless you.

Sunday Devotional

I don't know if this is something that I will do consistently or not. Frankly, Sunday, the "day of rest", tends to be a little chaotic for my family. So goes the life of a family in ministry. But, this morning I have a few minutes.

I thought I would share a devotional that I wrote for an acquisition work that will be published this Spring. I am very excited about this for a couple of reasons.

1-The proceeds from the book will be going to fund scholarships for women who are seeking a seminary education.

2-It is my first time being published.

There were very specific formatting and word-count limitations, causing it to be short and to the point. As you can tell, I wrote on a subject that is dear to my heart.

Background Passage: Psalm 82

Focal Verse:
“Provide justice for the needy and the fatherless; uphold the rights of the oppressed and destitute.” (Psalm 82:3)

This Psalm is meant to warn national leaders of their responsibility to protect the weakest and most vulnerable among those in their charge. When coupled with James 1:27, it is clear that this same responsibility lies at the feet of every believer.

My husband and I have felt a calling to adoption for many years. Recently God made it clear that the time had come for us to begin that journey. As we began delving into the adoption process, we were surprised by the reactions of many of our Christian friends. All have been supportive, but few seem to realize the Scriptural mandate that we have been given as believers to be active in orphan care. Many have never considered their own position as a co-heir with Christ, and the beautiful reflection of that which we are given through adoption. Paul Pennington, in his blog, Hope for Orphans, stated, “Caring for orphans is God’s will for everybody. Adoption is not.” Consider what role God would have you take in the care of the weakest among us. Whether it is through foster care, adoption, advocacy, or financially supporting those who choose adoption, God’s calling is clear and unavoidable.

*The photo is my own, taken of the oldest standing church building in Antigua.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things ~ Coffee Can Hardware Stockpile

I have learned much from my grandparents over the years. I was blessed to have both sets of my grandparents for my entire childhood and early marriage, only losing my dad's parents about 10 years ago. Some of the things that my grandparents taught me were intentional. Ma Ma Grace taught me all about plants, trees and birds. We went for walks every day that we were together, I learned much about the world around me as we followed that familiar path around her house.

Some things they taught me by example. Many of my penny-pinching ways were inherited through observation of careful frugality in both grandparent's households. Ma Ma Betty taught me to never throw anything useful away. Granted, I struggle with when something has lost its usefulness, sometimes (Hi, My name is Amy....and I am a packrat). But, this practice has often served me well.

For as long as I can remember, Ma Ma Betty had a coffee can full of nuts, bolts, washers and screws in her laundry room. As a child I spent hours digging around in that can, sorting and stacking the treasures inside. I still remember a few of the specific things that were always there...a roll of soldering wire, a rubber-tipped doorstop, those plastic clips that are used to hang un-framed mirrors on the wall...

When I started housekeeping, I went to the grocery store and bought a can of coffee...not for the coffee, but for the can. (I was 20, I didn't really like coffee back then...what was I thinking?) I don't remember what I did with the coffee, but I washed out the can and started throwing in the leftover hardware from various projects...extra nails from hanging curtain rods, extra screws from a ceiling fan kit, extra cup-hooks from my curtain tie-backs.

After over 15 years, the can has gotten pretty doggone full. I cannot tell you how many times I have fixed something, hung something, or finished a project by digging through that can. I sincerely believe it has saved me hundreds of dollars in last-minute trips to the store. I cannot remember the last time that I needed a piece of hardware and didn't find just the thing in my coffee is one of my favorite things!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Freebie Friday ~ 12 Available Freebies

Now that our airport is beginning to allow US Postal Service and UPS flights to land again (another crazy after-affect from the snow apocalypse)...I am getting freebies in the mail again...woohoo. Well, for that matter, I'm getting mail again...woohoo. Except for the bills...booo.

Since it has all been piling up somewhere, it has been a good week. Everything here was free. I'll post links to the stuff that is still available. As always, at the bottom of the post I will list the new online freebies that I have come across. If you want opening your mailbox to be a fun surprise every day, make sure you keep requesting goodies. Companies want to give this stuff away, you just have to ask for it!


~$11.99 from Rite Aid Single Check Rebates

~$35 from Proctor & Gamble/CVS promotion

My drugstore game plans kept falling apart this week (' happens). So, there isn't much here. but, I did get:

~1 Aussie Hairspray

~2 Covergirl Pressed Powders

In the mail:

~Amazon $10 Gift Card (Coinstar Promotion late 2009)

~Uniball Jetstream Pen w/coupon. Limited number available at noon daily HERE. (These go REALLY fast!)

~Coupon for FREE full-size Excedrin that I told you about HERE. (This is still available, and come very quickly!)

~Gooseberry Patch Recipe Book that I told you about HERE.

~Breathe Right Strips w/coupon.

~Celestial Seaoning Green Tea Sample availble on Facebook after taking quiz HERE.

~Kleenex Sample

~6 Nescafe Sticks w/coupon available HERE.

~Suncrystals Sample available HERE.

~Full Size Power Bar Energy Gel Blasts w/coupons that I told you about HERE. (Still available.)

~$17 Conagra Coupon Book

~$15 P&G Coupon Book

~2 Kotex 4-Pad Samples w/coupons available HERE and HERE.

~Weight Watchers Magazine

~Family Circle Magazine

~Costco Insulated Grocery Bag

~P&G Olympic Pin (Came with $35 P&G Rebate Visa)

~Mariani Dried Plums Sample

New Online Freebies:

Rouge Magazine from Proctor & Gamble is a fashion and beauty mag with coupons. A free subscription is available HERE.

Burt's Bees is making toothpaste now. Request a sample HERE.

Request a free sample from OB Tampons HERE.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Conversation Heart Cupcakes

I know that this post is a little delayed...but the Valentine's Day parties have been delayed due to recent meteorological events. As a matter of fact, Valentine's Day was pretty much skipped here. In one of my local stores yesterday, I found the cashier sitting on the floor surrounded by dozens of deflated Mylar Valentine's balloons. There were still over a hundred inflated, suspended over her head. She said that they were trying to salvage them for next year. It has been interesting to see some of the strange after-effects of the storms.

But, I digress. I wanted to show you the cupcakes that I made for my preschooler's Valentine's party today. They aren't fancy, but these kids aren't real fans of fancy. I think they turned out kinda cute. You need three shades of pastel icing, and red. I recommend waiting on applying the wording until just before they are served. Red icing has a tendency to bleed if it sits overnight.

Happy Valentine's Day...real late. Love Y'all!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday ~ Making a Molehill Out of a Mountain

I have concluded through thorough scientific investigation that combining obscene amounts of snow with unwashed laundry creates a chemical reaction that is the catalyst for a massive explosion of growth within said laundry.

Either that, or the winter blahs have negatively affected my initiative to do laundry. Either way, I need to go deconstruct Mt. Fuji, here...or, my family is gonna have to go around naked.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Candy Topiary or Sundae ~ A Tutorial

A friend once taught me this, and I thought you might enjoy seeing the process. It is SUPER easy, and a great, inexpensive craft/gift. Once you have the supplies, it might take 10 minutes, maybe...if you drag your feet about it :)

I have used these as:
~Centerpieces (See above, used at a variety show, guests loved snacking on them during the show.)
~Teacher Gifts
~Just Because Gifts
~Thank You for a great Doctor, Hairstylist, etc.

Now that I think of it, what a fun Hostess Gift, or for a friend's birthday at the office.

Here is what you will need:
Straight Pins, Styrofoam ball (this one is 4 inches), Sundae Glass, Mini Candy Bars (4" ball requires @50 minis, or 1 10oz bag.)

First, plop the ball on top of the dish (whew...are you worn out, yet?)

Next, push a pin through the top right corner of the candy wrapper. (Careful, I stabbed myself at least half a dozen times...)

Then stick it in the foam ball 1/4" above where it is resting on the glass.

Please don't measure...really, resist the temptation! It's not that complicated!

Repeat all the way around.

Follow that with a second row 1/2" higher, staggering the pin placement with the row below. That's just to cover up the gaps.

Continue circling the ball until it is completely covered. This is very forgiving, if you've got a gap, move the pin over a bit.

This little project isn't hard, but if you can do it without bleeding, you are more coordinated than me. It's a good thing I'm not a seamstress. "Here you go, Betty Sue, I've hemmed your wedding gown, sorry about the blood stains..."

You can fill the base with candy or paper shreds if you like, you can also stick a straw in it for fun. I would get a pretty, fancy, bendy one...not this cheapo thing that I just grabbed from the kitchen.

This one is done all in silver with 3 Musketeers Minis. Around Easter you can find the minis in metallic pastels, like the topiary style above. I used a plain glass vase for it. A candlestick would work as well. Use your imagination! One of these days, I'm gonna buy the biggest foam ball I can find and make a massive one, just for the fun of it...but not until I figure out what to do with it afterward...hmmm...

I bought the supplies for this project at stuff mart for about $6.50. Thrift stores are a great source for bases, and dollar stores often carry the foam balls. I think it could be pulled off for under $5 with coupons and a little planning.

OOooo, I just had another about clustering several of the topiary style at varying heights, with each one a different solid color...something like this.

I think I saw someone stocking Easter Candy at the store earlier...I've gotta get more candy!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Tribute to My Valentine

When I consider the directions that my life could have gone, in it almost went...I am in awe of where I am right now.

I met my husband when I was 12. He was 14, and he thought I was a little kid. We were friends for many years, seeing each other only occassionally, until I was 18. Suddenly the age difference (all two years of it) wasn't such a big deal to him any more. We started dating a few months after I graduated.

We married days after I turned 20. That was 15 years ago. It is hard to believe that it has been that long. And yet, so many things have happened over those years.

He is my best friend...

My heart still flutters when he puts on cowboy boots...

He is an amazing father...

He sings beautifully, I love his voice...

He sacrifices much to care for our family...

He loves God first and me second, for this I am thankful...

I want to share an example of how amazing he is. In the past week he has spent countless hours working in blizzard conditions to keep our roof cleaned off so there would be no risk of collapse, digging out the heat pump so that it would keep working, and clearing the driveway so that we could get out in an emergency.

And yet, on his first opportunity to get out of the house after the storms passed, he brought me these "to remind me that Spring is on the way."

I am truly blessed, I love you Sweetheart!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Freebie Friday...Err, Saturday

I intentionally waited an extra day to post freebies this week. See, the snow has made it very difficult to get out to run deals. And, I have only had mail delivery two times this week. I thought by holding out for one more day I might have more to show for the week. But, alas, the pickings are pretty slim. Find my favorite online freebies below.

Here are my freebies in all their glory...

I am pretty excited that I was able to get 5 minutes at CVS to get toothpaste and toothbrushes.

In the mail I received a Cooking With Stock booklet and a Love Letter Kit (just in time for V-day!)


Excedrin is giving away a FREE FULL-SIZE Sample with survey HERE. The survey is one question. Hint-They are giving the freebie away to people who do not usually use their product.

Focus on the Family is offering a no-strings attached, free, 6 month subscription to Thriving Family Magazine HERE. I am really excited to get this one.

Home Made Simple has another $30 coupon book available HERE. These are fabulous, high value coupons!

Sam's Club is giving away samples of Emergen-C HERE.

Choose your sample of Aveeno Haircare HERE. This is one of my favored shampoos.

Teecino Herbal Caffeine-Free Coffee is offering a free sample when you subscribe to their newsletter HERE. I've never tried this one, but I've read good things from other bloggers.

Have Fun!!! Opening my mailbox (when the mail is running!) is like a little bit of Christmas every day. =D

Friday, February 12, 2010

Deals and Steals-$10 off a $10 purchase at JC Penny!

I am dreaming of Summertime, baby! I just picked up this CUTE cotton sundress at the JC Penny Outlet. Retail on this dress was originally $60. I got it for $9.48, shipped. I cannot wait to break out the sandals and THIS DRESS! Use coupon code TEN4YOU at checkout for $10 off of your purchase (Minimum $10 order). The best deals are available at the Outlet, HERE. But, you can use the code on regularly priced items as well. Have Fun!

I made my purchase throughEbatesto receive and additional 3% cash back on my order!

**Ebates is a cash back program for online orders. In less than a year I have earned $190 cash back on purchases through them. Yes it really works! They deposit my savings in my paypal account every few months. If you sign up through the link above, I will receive a $5 bonus to my account. You will receive a $5 bonus whether you use my link or not. If you prefer not to connect through me, simply visit If you ever make purchases online, you should be using a reputable cash back site.

Thanks, Freebies 4 Mom!

Where Are You on the Frugal Map?

Another blogger has created a fantastic online resource for those of us looking to save a buck. Bargain Briana has created the Frugal Map. It is a clickable resource by which you can locate the bloggers who are posting deals in your state. I think it is a fabulous creation! Check it out, and if you are a bargain blogger, submit your site to Briana so that you too can be on the Frugal Map! Be advised, she has hundreds of submissions, so it will take some time.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The VALUE of Bargain Preparedness

I very rarely visit a mall. The closest malls are 25 miles away, in three different directions. But, recently I had the opportunity to get out of the house during the lull between two epic snowstorms...and I took it! Very little was open other than the mall, so that is where we landed.

In light of the rarity of mall trips, it would be easy for me to just ignore the current deals of the mall store variety. Bargain Preparedness (he he...I like that term, I think I just made it up !) has allowed me to make the most of these trips. There are a few stores that I always check when I am in the vicinity. One of these is Bath and Body Works, it is my non-indulgent indulgence (because I NEVER pay full price). Another of my favorites is The Children's Place. I have found that their clothes hold up extremely well, many pieces surviving both of my boys.

During my snow escape I scored great deals in both stores, because I made sure to have current coupons for the available mall stores in my wallet before leaving home.

Here are my B&BW finds:
3-Aromatherapy Hand Soaps - Retail $6 each, Sale B2G1 Free
2-Aromatherapy Candles - Retail $9.50 each, Sale 2 for $10
1-Japanese Cherry Blossom Bubble Bath - Retail $10.50
Full Retail Price + Tax = $50.35
With Sales & $10 off $30 Purchase Coupon = $23.85 (I paid for part of this with a $10gift card that I got for Christmas. I've been saving it to stack with a great deal.)
Savings = 53%, after gift card = 74%

**I also came out of the store with another $10 off $30 purchase coupon and a Spend $10 Get Signature Item (up to $12) Free coupon.

Here are my TCP finds:
3 Winter Hats - Retail $6.50 each, Sale .99
3 Winter Gloves - Retail $6.50 each, Sale .99
5 Shirts/Pants - Retail $8.50-$12.50 each, Sale $3.99
4 Shirts/Pants - Retail $8.50-$12.50 each, Sale $2.99
Full Retail Price + Tax = $147.34
With Sales & 15% off Coupon = $34.10 ($2.27 each)
Savings = 72%

Trust me, I've learned to be prepared the hard way. I cannot tell you how many times I have left home unprepared and missed out on a great deal.

I think the Boy Scouts are onto something with that Motto of theirs, don't you!

This post is linked to Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.
Related Posts with Thumbnails