Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm Gonna Smell So Good Next Year

Just found this! Go here and sign up for a LUV BBW card and get a free gift at Bath & Body Works every month from January to May! You can use the card to get the free gift any Thursday during the month. I hope one of them is their body cream - I use that stuff daily!

The Coupon Queen - My New Hero.

Meet the Coupon Queen:

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!

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!

p.s Just in case you were wondering, this was my other hero:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Attention Couch Potatoes!!

Found a really good deal on a TV at Target this week. It's a VIZIO 26" 720p 60Hz LED LCD HDTV (I hope you know your alphabet). We went to check it out last night and it's actually pretty awesome looking (and we didn't even see it in HD!). The guy was telling us that VIZIO has become one of the top TV brands, and everyone who reviewed it on Google gave it really good reviews, so we are planning on snagging one of these for a bedroom TV. Unfortunately they were out of stock, but the guy in the electronics department told us they get shipments every night, so we're going to keep checking!

The TV is on sale for $198 right now, but if you have a Target Red Card you get 5% off, making it $188. PLUS, if you got the special Target coupon book in the mail this week, there was a coupon on the back for a $15 gift card when you spend $150 at Target! I'm moving to a new apartment next week, so this works out perfect for me - cheap TV in the bedroom, and $15 to spend on new clothes! Er...I mean...$15 to spend on things we NEED for the apartment. Like new clothes.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

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.

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:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

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 (they will show as a "side deal" on the right side of the page).

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:

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, some tips:
  1. Groupon is great, but other sites have some amazing deals too. I like BuyWithMeLivingSocial, 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!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

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.

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).

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 :)