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 December 16, 2008

Despite the bad press that certain gift cards have gotten this holiday season, it’s a great time to pick up dining gift cards because many restaurants are giving you a little something extra to say thanks. Check out the holiday gift card promotions with the national eatery chains below.

Applebee’s: Buy a $25 gift card, get a $5 gift card free

California Pizza Kitchen: Buy a $100 gift card, get a $20 CPK Rewards Card free

Denny’s: Buy a $25 gift card, get a $5 gift card free

IHOP: Buy a $25 gift card, get a $5 off $5 coupon free

Max & Erma’s: Buy a $50 gift card, get a $10 gift card free

Outback Steakhouse: Buy a $100 gift card, get a $20 bonus card free

Papa John’s: Buy a $25 gift card, get a free medium pizza

Red Robin: Buy a $25 gift card, get a $5 gift card free

Steak ‘n Shake: Buy a $20 gift card, get a $5 off $5 coupon free (Thanks, Cincinnati Cents!)

Texas Roadhouse: Buy a $25 gift card, get a $5 off $5 coupon free

T.G.I. Friday’s: Buy a $25 gift card, get a $5 Bonus Bites gift card free

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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Deal of the Day December 6, 2008

Here’s an opportunity to save some money AND make a difference.

Drop off your old gently worn coats at Burlington Coat Factory and they’ll give you 10% off your total purchase in addition to your tax deduction slip.  Coats must have no rips or stains, and all zippers/buttons/closures must work.  Click here for more information on the Warm Coats & Warm Hearts Drive.  Offer expires 12/24/08 but the coat drive doesn’t end until 1/15/09.

If you’ve not been to Burlington Coat Factory here’s my experience…

Lots of great clothing, especially for kids.  Lots of great prices,  terrific baby section.  Nice clearance section.  Sloooooooooooooow and too few cashiers.  Few carts.  Used to give no refunds, but now they do.  Mostly agrravating shopping experience, but sometimes worth it.  Great selection of coats.

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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Holiday Tipping? Not So Much

I read an article today that provided guidelines as to what we should tip people who provide services to us throughout the year.  It told whom to tip and how much, whether to give a tip or a gift, and as usual when I read these articles I was surprised at who tips whom and how much they recommend you give.

Perhaps this is a more regional thing, but I just don’t do much of this.  True, I don’t have pool maintenance people, a personal trainer or a dog walker – I do these things myself.  Still, if I did I would figure that I pay these people for their services, so unless they go above and beyond the call of duty I don’t see any real reason to tip them.

Of the twenty-two service providers mentioned in the article, I only receive services from four: mail carrier, newspaper carrier, hair stylist and teacher(s).

My mail makes more than Husband, so I don’t think he (she?) will be getting a tip.   I have a newspaper carrier, but only have it delivered on the weekends so no way am I going to follow the article’s advice and give the tip of a full subscription period, especially when he/she has an uncanny ability to toss the paper right next to the sprinkler.

Isn’t that telling.  I don’t even know if my carriers are male or female.  It was different years ago, when the mail carrier was a neighbor and the newspaper carrier was my friend’s little brother.  In those days we seemed to have closer relationships with our service people, so tips and gifts felt more like giving and less like obligations.  It just shouldn’t feel that way…

My hairdresser has been doing my hair for 22 years, and even once set me up on a blind date with his brother.  If I wind up getting a service from him around the holidays I’ll probably bring a bottle of wine, but I consider the fact that I still tip him even though he now owns his own salon generosity enough.  Come to think of it, my new hair color had to be applied twice and is AWFUL, so perhaps this year he should be giving ME a gift.

Who else will be getting a gift or tip from me this year?  Well, Son’s teachers will be getting tote bags that hold photos, and I’ve filled the slots with shots I took at the Halloween party.  Inside will be a thank you note from me along with some cookies or other baked goods.

I’ll also give a some baked goods or a small, special gift to the teller at the bank who is always so cheerful and helpful, the girl at Costco who always chats with me and the Office Manager at Son’s doctor’s office who always, always goes above and  beyond.

I’m not going to feel obligated to give a gift to someone just because “that’s what’s done”.  Perhaps if I lived in a New York highrise I’d pay the price for not tipping my super or doorman (remember Ross getting shunned by his neighbors on Friends?), but I never expected a gift from any of my clients for doing my job.  Those that did give me a gift felt that I’d gone above and beyond my job duties in my dealings with them, and that’s because I did.

If people go above and beyond for me I shall give them a gift from the heart.  Not because some nebulous “they” say I should.

Holiday Spending Role Reversal

Son has asked for only one thing for Hanukkah/Christmas this year.  A Tri-Rail train.

He adores trains, just like his Dad.  Husband and Son regularly go to the local train museum, and I’ve been known to just pop by the train station on a random afternoon just to let Son watch them go by.  And not just any generic trains; he particularly loves all of the trains that serve our local station – Amtrak, FEC, CSX, but most of all he adores the oddly shaped Tri-Rail trains that serves South Florida commuters.

Son is not a “gimme” kid.  He doesn’t ask for much – in fact this is the first toy he’s ever asked for.   Of course I want to get it for him.  I hoped to find something like the trucks Hess comes out with every year – sturdy for kids and about $15-$20.

Nope.  I’ve scoured the internet and come up empty.  I even had Husband try – and if there’s a train he’ll find it.  Nope.  I’ve even tried calling Tri-Rail directly.

There is no regular toy Tri-Rail.

You’d think a large-ish regional system would have toy likenesses, wouldn’t you?  Well, so did I.  Unfortunately no one makes a Tri-Rail train fit for a preschooler.  The only Tri-Rail trains available are expensive and fragile model trains, the type that people (like Husband) build entire train layouts around so they can run trains to their hearts content.   The thought of Son mistreating playing with a model train – the way a preschooler would play with a model train – makes Husband cringe (he hates to see any train not treated with the reverence they deserve), but doesn’t bother me at all.  A toy is a toy.

But.

An engine is $90 and each car is $30.  That’s at least $150. For a toy that Son will likely break.

Sigh.

I even asked Tri-Rail if they had any special promotional trains, perhaps a model sitting in some executive’s desk.  Nope.  The marketing representative was very nice, and she even sent some train erasers, but even those aren’t Tri-Rail.

Have these people no sense of merchandising????

Spending $150 on these trains is nuts.  Completely insane.  Totally irrational.

And  I soooo want to do it.    Because I soooo want my kid to get what he wants.   I’m willing to forgo any gift for myself, and cut spending on others.  I’m willing to take it out of savings.  I’m willing to do just about anything.

I find myself in an unusual circumstance – wanting to spend money on something frivolous while Husband is being more circumspect.

He’s right.  I know he’s right.

But I sooooooo wanna get it for him.

So, this is the dilemma we face.  Do we spend $150 on the only thing Son has ever asked us for?   Or do we have him face the harsh reality and disappointment of not getting the only thing he’s asked of Hanukkah Harry and Santa Claus?

What do you think?

Deal of the Day November 22, 2008

I love Red Envelope, but they’re pretty pricey.   That’s why I especially love when they give a sitewide discount.

RedEnvelope.com is the online mecca for great gifts like jewelry, engraved photo frames, home goods, and more. Right now, take 15% off your order at RedEnvelope.com. Click the link above to activate the coupon. Offer expires January 11, 2009.

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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Deal of the Day November 20, 2008

Aeropostale kicks off the holiday shopping a little early with their Friends & Family Sale that saves 30% on total purchases via this printable coupon. This is a great coupon savings, but if I remember correctly they had a 50% off sitewide sale closer to Christmas last year, and I’ll bet they’ll do it again!   Valid 11/20/2008 – 11/23/2008.

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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Present Non Grata

Anyone who gets THIS for my Son for the holidays…

urinal1

…better plan on coming over here several times a day to clean it.

Are we clear?  Good.

Deal of the Day October 23, 2008

Here’s a great deal for anyone who has a teen/young girl on their holiday list.

Now at Aeropostale, buy a select girls hoodie for $29.99 and get the matching pant for free. The select hoodies are available in eleven different colors, and several different styles. Offer ending unknown.

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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I got over 5 pounds of Omaha Steak burgers for $1.98!

There are lots of wonderful blogs out there that tell you how tto get free stuff from CVS and Walgreens, and how to find freebies. Most of them involve clipping coupons, which I am still not consistent about.

These bloggers will list items and tell you what date the coupon appeared in the newspaper, and tell you how to use Extra Care Bucksand special rewards to get items for free or almost free. I admire them, I just don’t want to work that hard.

Yesterday I ran across a deal that wasn’t too complicated, and way too good to pass up. I went to a Geico website and signed up for a $25 gift certificate to Omaha Steaks. Then I went to Omaha steaks and got 5.5 lbs of their hamburgers for $1.98, including shipping. Not $1.98 per pound, $1.98 total.

You don’t have to do what they recommend – you can use the gift certificate for anything on their site. Their food quality is terrific, and they often do great package deals. We got one for Christmas last year, and the year before that we sent one to Husband’s Dad.

You want to do this? I don’t blame you. Read Catherine’s post and she’ll tell you how.

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