JC Penney 15% off purchase coupon!

Just noticed this in my email.  A printable coupon good for 15% off your entire purchase – with their usual exclusions- good through Saturday, August 1.

We’re doing school shopping tomorrow, and this will definitely come in handy!

Have a great weekend!

Free Money for Reading!!!

TD Bank wants to help you encourage your kids to read.  Kids can earn up to $10 for reading 10 books as part of their Summer Reading Program.  Just download their form and have your kids list books as they read them.

The $10 credit will be deposited in a new, or existing, Young Savers Account when they take the completed form (with the list of 10 books read) to a TD Bank branch.

That’s what I call a win-win!


Get Vogue and W Magazines for $1 an issue for a year!

If  you are truly in vogue, you will love this deal.

Click here to sign up to get 12 issues of Vogue and W for only $1 each.  You have to get both to get the  deal.  For a limited time!

Take Advantage of Back-to-School Deals Even if You Don’t Have a Back-to-Schooler

I love the Back-to-School season.  Even though I’m not a student anymore it doesn’t mean I have no need for school supplies – and I’ll bet you and your family need some, too.

Year-round office supplies. Every year for as long as I can remember I’ve used the super sales to stock up on most of my office supplies for the year.   Pens, pencils, notebooks, paper – there are always a ton of great loss leaders.   And loss leaders – when retailers give ridiculously low prices in hopes that you’ll spend more money on high profit items while you’re there – are a frugal Mom’s friend.

Birthday Party Favors. Once  Son was born my Back-to-School shopping took on a new dimension.  Son sports a July birthday, so in addition to my own office supplies I’ve been taking advantage of the great deals as frugal party favors.  One year I got boxes of 25 crayons for a penny apiece!  You can bet I stocked up – I had enough for 3 years of parties!

Christmas Gifts and Stocking Stuffers. For the kids, for your spouse, to donate to a charity.  Shop early and save!

In my area I’m lucky enough to have Staples, Office Depot and Office Max all close by.  And then there’s Target, K-Mart and Walmart.  I can’t wait to see what deals I’ll get this year!

And speaking of this year – Son enters kindergarten next month.  I’m so very sad that his early childhood is nearly over.  I’m unhappy that Son will be in school all day (as opposed to the 1/2 day kindergartens in many other areas).  I’m going to miss him like crazy.  And for the first time since I graduated college I’m actually going to use Back-to-School sales for someone that is actually going to school.

I already have a lot of the things on the teachers’ supply list.  A few months ago I got a $10 off $10 purchase coupon in the mail from Office Max, so I’ve got a good head start.  But Son needs a backpack, and I’d like to get him a new lunchbox (though I may wait until after school starts and they go on clearance to replace it).

So I already took advantage of Staples’ super deals this week to get Son that backpack.  Staples was offering a box of pencils for a penny and a ream of copy paper for a penny after rebate, with a limit of 2 each.  Staples also offered a $5 off $20 purchase coupon.  So, here’s how it all shook out:

Pencils                       2 boxes @  $.01  = $     .02

Copy Paper               2 reams @$3.69 = $ 7.38

Backpack, 25% off                                     = $14.99

Subtotal:                                                        $22.39

Less $5 off coupon                                       -$ 5.00

Less paper rebate                                           $7.36

Total Cost:                                                    $10.03

So, for pennies over $10 I got the backpack, 2 reams of paper (and if you live in my house with Son’s love of drawing (mostly restrooms!) you go through a ton of paper!) and 24 pencils.  Woo hoo!

Important! I admit I’ve forgotten a time or two to submit the rebate.  Never again!   Send it it!!!!

I also picked up some 25-count boxes of crayons at Target for $.25 apiece.  Hey, those penny ones didn’t last forever!

So, this Sunday I’ll be sure to check out the paper, or perhaps just visit the stores’ websites, and see where the best deals are.  And I’ll plan my week to hit the sales – as long as it’s not out of my way.  But go early for those loss leaders – sometimes they’re gone by Monday!

One more thing – check to see if your state offers a sales tax holiday, and if they do wait to buy anything that isn’t usually on sale.  Florida used to do this, but I can’t find  any info on one this year.  I hope you’re luckier!

Real Simple Magazine Subscription for only $5!!!

Real Simple is my favorite magazine.  Several years ago I bought a subscription for $1 for the year, and was sad when it ran out.  I just could not justify spending $20 – $30 a year on a subscription.

Today I read about this special deal for my fave magazine on one of the blogs in my reader, Coupon Cravings.  She listed some other good subscription deals, too.

Five dollars I can do.  I’ve already signed up.  Yay!!!!

If you’d like Real Simple magazine for only $5 a year, click here.


Borders 25% off Entire Purchase!


This is another great deal.

I just got an email from Borders offering a discount of 25% off of your entire purchase now through 7/12/09.  Use coupon code SLB7010T at Borders.com, or use this printable coupon in-store.

Also good at Waldenbooks!!!

Go forth and read…

Deal from The Rainforest Cafe


I haven’t posted any deals in awhile, partially due to my lack of postiness in general, and partly because there are just so many other bloggers doing it.

This is a pretty good deal though, and makes a trip to The Rainforest Cafe almost affordable.

Get $10 off a $25 purchase with this printable coupon.  Expires July 31st.


The Beach

Kate at One More Thing is doing a weekly carnival of sorts, choosing a topic for other bloggers to write about.  This  week’s topic is “The Beach”.  Two in one day?  Well, I had to catch up…

I have a love/hate relationship with the beach.

I grew up at the Jersey Shore, and we were members of a beach club.  We spent nearly every summer day there, either on the beach or at the pool.  Or both.  And I’ve lived in Florida for 25 years now.

The Hate

1. Being fair-skinned, I got sunburned. A lot.  And severely.  Much to my family’s disbelief, I could and did get sunburned on cloudy days.  Being the late 60’s and early seventies we didn’t know what we do now about the risks of sun exposure and the concept of sunscreen.  As a result I have had a couple of lovely souvenirs of  my childhood – two cute little skin cancers.

2. I never get tan. Not enough so as anyone  would notice, anyway.  I remember coming back to NJ from three months in Florida and being really, really dark tan for me.  My classmates invariably asked, “You were in Florida?  Where’s your tan?”   Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

3.  Bathing suits. Having a far-less-than-healthy body image, I’ve not felt comfortable on a beach since age 10.   If then.   Even when I had a bikini body.  I constantly looked around, checking to see if anyone was looking at me.  I wanted no one to look at me.  I wanted to have a look that made everyone to want to look at me.

4.  Sand in my swimsuit. I think you’re all with me on this one…

5.  Long walks to the bathroom. And lazy parents who make their kids go in the sand, and then bury it.  Humiliating!!!  MY parents – not me.   My Son would never miss a trip to the bathroom!

The Love

1.  I love the beach at night. I love to walk along or sit on the shore and  listen and watch the waves.  I’ve often gone to the beach at night when my soul needed replenishing, and it did the job every time.  The smell, the ocean mist, the sand slipping through my fingers.  Ialways leave recommitted to something, with a great sense of  inner peace.  Heady stuff.

2.  I love the  beach on a cold, windy, rainy day. All of #1 applies.  Add a couple of dogs and it’s awesomer.  When you can leave the beach and go sip hot chocolate by a fire it’s nirvana.

3.  I love riding waves and swimming in the ocean. I’ve even done it naked.  In St. Maarten.  Whoops!

4.  The boardwalk. I remember riding the carousel and the rides in Asbury before it was too seedy, and not minding the seediness of Seaside Heights on summer weekends as a teen.  The lights, the sounds, the smells, the boys – it was everything teenagerhood should be.

5.  Son’s love of the beach. The water, the sand, running after birds…he is my happiness.

The love definitely outweighs the hate.  And Son loves it, so you might even see me there on a not-too-hot day.  I’ll be the one in copious amounts of sunscreen.  I won’t be looking around, though.  My attention will be completely focused on my little boy as I bask in the rays of his joy.

Did That Really Just Happen?

Kate at One More Thing is doing a weekly carnival of sorts, choosing a topic for other bloggers to write about.  This Last week’s topic is “Did That Really Just Happen?”, but I’m apparently a week behind.  Sue me.

Kate’s life.  As of late.

That’s all I’ve got.

Sometimes Buying What You Don’t Want or Need is a Frugal Choice

I know, that’s a ridiculous statement to anyone who has an iota of frugality in their body. And in most cases it is ridiculous.

But sometimes we need to think outside the box to get what we really want, and save money in the bargain.

Prime example: I needed a table and chairs for the kitchen in our new home. I considered the size of the kitchen (quite large) and the color of the floors (brown ceramic tile – ugh!), and spent some time looking in stores, catalogs and online before I decided I wanted a farmhouse-style table with off white legs and a wood top, plus six chairs. I found one I liked at a local furniture store, and it would have cost $1000. I just didn’t want to spend the money…

So, off to Craigslist I went, and spent a few weeks checking the listings every day. I found a few that I liked, but they were either too small or too expensive. The ones I liked were listed in the $500 – $600 range – too much.

And then I saw a listing with a table and chairs that looked darn near perfect. The catch? They were selling a china hutch with it. I don’t want or need one, and I wasn’t particularly fond of the one being offered. They hadn’t purchased it as a set, and it was a cheap fiberboard piece, likely purchased at K-Mart or Walmart. Just not my cuppa tea. Besides, the only appropriate place for the hutch in the kitchen was already appropriated in my plans to house the pasta table (a lovely butcher block table on wheels that my mother had handed down to me, and that many friends have tried unsuccessfully to buy from me over the years).

So, ick on the hutch.


All of the pieces – the table, leaf, six chairs and the dadgum hutch -were priced at $200. Two hundred dollars!!!!

So, I made an appointment to see it. Naturally.

I knew I wanted the set the moment I walked in. First, the house was immaculate. That tells me that the owners are clean, and took care of the pieces. BIG bonus points. If the house was a pigsty it would be really difficult for me to buy a button, let alone furniture.

Second, the table and chairs were almost exactly what I wanted. Wood top with a leaf (so it could sit 4 or 6), white legs, and six chairs that are sturdy as heck. There were a few things I wasn’t entirely crazy about – the scale of the legs was large compared to the table – not my preference. And the wood top was basically rectangular, but was beveled and curvy. My clean-lines loving self would have preferred a regular old rectangle.

And then there was that hutch. That I didn’t want or need. Or like.

What did I do? I gave her a deposit right there, of course. Then I corralled my best friend (the one silly enough to purchase a pickup truck) to help us pick everything up and drop it off at the new house – and this was before we moved in.

And that night I listed the hutch on Craigslist, and sold it the next day for $75. In retrospect I should have asked for more, based on the number of inquiries I received. Live and learn…

So, I bought something I didn’t need to get something I did, and wound up paying only a net $125 for a wood table, leaf and six chairs.

And doesn’t it look nice?

6.14.09 Move and After 149

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