Aeropostale Friends and Family 30% off Coupon is Back!

Shop in store or online between August 6 and August 9, 2009 and get 30% off of your entire purchase! In store use this printable coupon.   Online use Coupon Code FRIEND8689.

The holidays aren’t that far away.  Perfect time to scour the clearance racks and pick up a great deal for someone you love!

Deal of the Day January 30, 2009

I’ve not been doing these, and I likely won’t  do them every day any more.  But here’s one courtesy of Alison…


Take an EXTRA 50% off Old Navy Clearance!


For 5 days only, and exclusively online, get an additional 50% off clearance.  Now through February 2nd.  Enter promo code HALFOFF at checkout.

Bargains, bargains, everywhere…

After a very expensive holiday season (thank you, property taxes!) I’m trying pretty hard not to buy anything this month.  Still, I could not pass up these deals…

The Target near me is offering an additional 30% off clearance clothing, which is already 30-75% off.

I got 12 items for Son (including three sweaters and a windbreaker – and  a Champion Hoodie and sweatpants!) and paid only $28.   I bought everything in next year’s size, so we’re off to a good start.  I used gift cards to finance these finds, so I’m pretty happy.  I’d have been happier if the cashier had not  mentioned that last year they did 50% off the clearance clothing…

I got another coup at Office Max.  They sent me a $10 off $10 coupon, so off I went with the intention of getting an electric pencil sharpener (we don’t have  any other than my make-up sharpener).  The electrics started at 7.99, but I realized that I didn’t want to keep it plugged in, and plugging and unplugging it as needed would be as much of a PITA as a manual sharpener for more money.  They also had a battery operated model for $7.99, but after considering the cost of batteries  I instead got a little manual one for 50 cents, and picked up 2 packs of construction paper (Son makes lots of restroom drawings), glue sticks, a first aid kit for the car and some craft paintbrushes and paid only $.90 out of pocket.

I’m going to re-commit to stay out of the stores because I have a hard time resisting the bargain temptation.  But I do have to go to Kohl’s to return something…

Oy.

Deal of the Day September 6, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!!!!!

This is a terrific deal.

Amazon.com is having a  September Clearance on certain grocery items.  Save an additional 55% instantly when you purchase select products. All you need to do is enter code CLRNCFTY at checkout. Here’s how (restrictions apply). Offer valid through September 30, 2008.

And don’t forget to select Super Saver shipping! And they’re delivering it right to my door, so no gas money spent!

I just bought items that I’d be buying anyway and the 55% discount translated to about a 40% savings from what I would have spent during my regular bargain-hunt shopping (their prices are a little higher than I’d pay on my own)!

And a note to my crunchy friends – there are lots of organic products included!

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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Habit Forming

I’ve often read that it takes a month for something to become a habit. After thirty days it becomes ingrained; no longer unusual or requiring much effort. Whether it be dieting or exercising or prayer it becomes a normal, everyday part of your life.

I don’t think that’s true for all things – at least not for me. Eating well and exercising, for example, have never become ingrained and have always required much effort. I need to constantly re-commit, constantly re-direct my focus, constantly keep my eye on the prize (being svelte, being healthy). Sometimes weekly, sometimes daily, sometimes every fifteen minutes. At times I have the energy and/or resolve and/or willpower for it, other times I don’t. They may become part of a routine, but never become a habit.

Other things I seem to assimilate with little or no effort; almost too easily. I don’t even notice it’s happened, or if I do I have no recollection of having started it. Turning off the water while I brush my teeth or do dishes is a water-saving habit that I don’t even think about. Shutting the lights when I leave a room, or doing dishes in the ambient light from the living room are habits, too.

Shopping for good bargains is another big one for me. I read PaidTwice’s article Start Planning For Next Year’s Valentine’s Day Now about shopping the after-Valentine’s Day clearances to stock up for next year and my initial thought was, ” Well, yeah. Doesn’t everybody do that?” I’ve been doing that for years. In addition to buying trinkets to save for next year’s holidays, I also buy nondescript, non-perishable after-Christmas candy for Valentine’s Day, after-Valentine’s Day candy for Easter. After 4th of July candy for Halloween, After-Halloween candy for Christmas. Then the cycle starts over. I won’t buy unless the sale is at least 75% off, and more often ( like today at Target) 90% off.

After-Holiday isn’t the only time I look for clearance items. When I walk into a clothing store I walk directly to the clearance racks. I rarely look at anything that isn’t on them. It’s not important to me to be trendy – it just has to look decent and fit adequately (perhaps if I was svelte fashion would matter more…). I do the same when shopping for my husband, my son and anyone else for whom I’m buying a gift.

And Target. Sweet Target. I’ve already written that every week I walk their aisles looking for bargains. Now that’s a habit!

Craigslist. Garage Sales. Clipping coupons.

I’m not saying I always get the best deal possible. I don’t. I even (gasp!) waste money, on extravagances (hello pedicure!) or buying healthy food that never gets eaten (see above healthy eating comment). And it’s certainly easier to get those great deals since I’ve become a stay-at-home Mom.

But frugal shopping is such a habit for me that it’s uncomfortable not to do it.

Now if I could only get eating right and exercise to become that same kind of habit…

I Walked Out of Target Richer Than I Walked In

Something happened yesterday that hardly ever happens.

I went to Target and didn’t buy anything. Not only that, I returned something. So I left the store $5.92 richer than I was when I walked in.

I didn’t even buy popcorn for my son.

This is highly unusual. Regular readers know that I love Target, and with the upcoming Birthday March Madness (8 family birthdays, including my father’s 70th and Husband’s grandmother’s 95th!), I expected to spend.

I didn’t find anything to buy. Oh, I found plenty I liked, and wanted. I always do. But there was nothing I needed.

I was almost out the door when I noticed that some of the dollar bin items were 50% off. I made a beeline and selected two items: some glitter glue (I am working on Valentines, after all) and a really cute set of rubber dishwashing gloves. Both items I could use.

But neither item I needed.

So, I put them back and Son and I walked out of the store.

Thank goodness they weren’t 75% off. I would have been a goner.

Target’s Allure May Be Poison, But I’ll Drink to That

Paid Twice over at I’ve Paid for This Twice Already wrote a great article about why she’s avoiding her biggest impulse-buying trigger – the wonder that is Target.

I agree with her. I have spent far too much money on things I didn’t really need just because they were on sale. Often. A lot. Constantly. And not just at Target. I think I’ve come across a solution that will help me curb that, without having to stop my weekly Target Clearance shelf sojourns (my son and I go every Tuesday – the day that our local store makes most of it’s markdowns).

Why do I still want to go? Well, sometimes I find a deal that will make me money. Once I found brand new carseats on clearance for $22 apiece. I bought three and sold them on Craigslist for $60 apiece. I found a Baby Bike Trailer for about $20 that I think I sold for $75. I’ve done similar things dozens of times.

I’ve also gotten gifts for ridiculously low prices. A few weeks ago I was doing my weekly browse, thinking that I needed to get a birthday gift for someone. I ran across a really great gift for $16 that was regularly almost $80 (I’d budgeted $40) – and absolutely perfect for the birthday girl. And two shirts for another family member for $2.47 each.

And I’ve never found another store that gives me great deals so consistently.So, what I’ve started doing this past month (thanks in no small part to the inspiration I’m getting from my friends’ frugal blogs) is just ask myself, “Do we really need this? Can I sell this, and quickly? Can I gift this within two months, and do I have a specific person in mind (I have a gift shelf in my closet full of un-gifted bargains…)?” If the answer is no, well, then it stays in the store.

Last week I spent only $3.47. Two weeks ago I actually left without spending a dime. A record. I was so proud.

For me, I tend to cut out the moldy part instead of throwing out the whole ball of cheese. I’m not saying it’s always the best approach – I’m sure I’d be better off throwing out the whole ball sometimes.

It just always seems a waste to me to throw out that much good cheese.

We all have to do what works best for us. What I love so much about reading different blogs are the discussions they provoke, the thoughts they inspire, and the changes we make as a result. Or not.

Frugality isn’t for wimps…

I have something of a reputation for frugality. I shop clearance racks, clip coupons, plan my route to run errands to use the least gas, re-use generic Ziploc bags (dry goods only) , use my credit cards for everything to get more rewards.

There are people in my life, though, that don’t view me as frugal – they view me as cheap. I get teased, mostly good-naturedly, on a frequent basis.

I don’t see myself as cheap at all. I just don’t see the point in leaving lights burning in unoccupied rooms, buying lots of books when there’s a wonderful library just minutes away, or buying clothing just because it has a certain label on it.

To me saving money is a hobby. I get a kick out of getting a really great deal. My sister and I often tell each other how much we spent on our gifts to each other so we can share a zen moment. Besides, it’s fun to bargain hunt.

Still, you need to have a thick skin to be frugal in today’s buy more, borrow more society – especially if you are the only one in your circle who is. Then, when you find a like-minded person it’s as if the Red Sea has parted again, the angels are singing and you, for once, don’t have to explain why you go to four grocery stores, or don’t go out to lunch every day, don’t buy all the latest DVDs and don’t go skiing every winter.

It’s not that I don’t like nice things – I do. I just don’t see the point on paying $800 for a handbag with some guy’s initials on it. Though I’ll happily sport one if it’s given to me.

Don’t hate me because I’m frugal.

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