Sunday, May 24, 2009

CVS 5/24-31

I really haven't been doing CVS much lately, but I jumped back in today for the freebies.

(2) Gold Emblem Apple Juice - $3
Revlon Nail Polish - $3.99
Playtex Sport - $3.99
Bandaids - $2.99
Clearasil Face Wash - $3.99
Speed Stick Pro - $3.99

Coupons Used: 
$1 Revlon
$1 Playtex
$1 Bandaids
3 and 4 ECBs

Total OOP: $12.37

Received: 3.99, 3.99, 3, 3, and 2 ECBs

Friday, May 22, 2009

Going over-budget but feeling okay

I've been feeling very spendy lately, but I've been trying to write down all of my shopping indiscretions to keep myself accountable.  Thankfully, my husband finally got the backpay that he was owed since the union finally signed their contract.  So for May we got an extra $1300!

Today we are going to Princeton, NJ, so we will certainly be spending even more money, but I refuse to feel bad about it.  We've saved $1500 this month like we planned, and we will be able to save a little bit more from the extra money we received.

I have to return the dress that I got from Banana Republic, and I'm disappointed.  But my shoes came from Piperlime and they look pretty fabulous.  

I also bought a bunch of stuff at the Craftacular last weekend:

I got this necklace from Brookadelphia.  I am an English teacher, so I really am a sucker for reading related things.

I also got these lovely ginkgo leaf earrings in silver from Erica Weiner Jewelry.

As I was walking through the aisles I stopped because something smelled SO AMAZING.  It was this yummy lemongrass sage soap from Oliba.  I also got ginger pear and almond & honey.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

178th Festival of Frugality

Check out Living Almost Large for the 178th Festival of Frugality!  My Birthday Freebies post is featured along with a bunch of other great posts. :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Giving back: Kiva

Kiva - loans that change lives
I just logged on to my Kiva account, and I saw that I had $50 in credit available to reinvest.  I was about to loan to two more people.

Kiva is one of my favorite charities, partially because it is so interactive.  Kiva is a person to person micro-lending website that allows you to fund loans from entrepreneurs around the world.  It is amazing to see the unique businesses that these people have created in order to better their lives in the midst of poverty.

I started using Kiva because I was given a $50 gift certificate.  When we first saw the site, my husband and I were overwhelmed and we spent quite some time searching for the "perfect" loan.  We contributed to two loans at that time.  Since then, we've added more money and funded many more loans.

But what really makes Kiva amazing is that once the loans are paid back, you can lend the money again or even withdraw it.  Now Kiva posts the repayments back to your account as it is paid back, meaning you can fund new loans even quicker.  Right now I have nine open loans and one that has been completely repaid.

Since I am a teacher, I have been trying to figure out ways to bring Kiva to school.  I think that the students would really enjoy the fact that you are able to see who the money goes to, and also that you are able to hear about their progress.  

With just $25, you can get started with Kiva!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Buying new music and reminiscing

I just bought the new Green Day album via download from Amazon.  Green Day is such an interesting band for me, because I vividly remember buying "Dookie" in 1994 as one of my first CD purchases ever.  15 years ago!!

I had just gotten my birthday money from my grandmother and I begged my mother to take my to "The Wiz" (as in "nobody beats the...") to get the new Green Day album.  I paid something stupid like $16.99 for the album, but I guess it was worth it because I still do love it.  $16.99 out of my birthday money was a huge amount for me, and in this case it at least paid off.  But I can remember countless other times where I spent that much on albums that I didn't even end up liking that much.  

It's amazing how much has changed.  In 1994 there weren't too many ways that a kid could hear new music: radio, MTV, maybe friends.  But now, you can listen to virtually anything for free, so you can avoid making horrible music purchases like I have in the past.  

Anyway, I think it is interesting that 15 years ago I paid $16.99 for a new album, and today I just paid $4.99 for the download the day that it was released.  (wow. FIFTEEN YEARS!)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Maybe I'm changing?

So as always, I am anxiously awaiting this Friday when I will get my paycheck.  But unlike in the past when I would be waiting so that I could pay off my credit card or some other bill since my checking account was depleted, instead I am excited because I will be able to transfer another $750 into our savings account.  I am ecstatic that we are able to save $1500 (a full month's rent) every month.  After feeling so defeated with our car loan, or our nearly empty bank accounts, it is so amazing to FINALLY be on track.

But hey, I didn't really change that much since I just bought this dress from Banana Republic:

Which I think will be lovely with a new necklace that I got from Etsy seller, roundabout designs:

Monday, May 11, 2009

CVS 5/10 - 5/16

CVS was really easy this week.

6 jars of Skippy - $10

Coupons Used: $.40, 5 ECB, and 3 ECB

OOP: $1.60

Earned: 3 ECB

I know that it was a loss of ECBs, but overall, paying $1.60 for six jars of peanut butter is pretty awesome!  Last year, I always did crazy CVS scenarios, but I think I forgot that the point should be getting stuff that I want/need for cheap.  

I might go back to check out the Colgate and Monitor deals this week though. ;)

Survey sites: HCD Surveys!

I participate in a bunch of different survey sites to make some extra money.  I just got a referral link that I wanted to share for HCD Surveys.  I actually really enjoy the surveys from this site because they are usually very quick and have video content which makes them pretty fun.  For example, during the presidential campaign they frequently had surveys of campaign commercials or speeches and you would have to give your response as the video played.  They sometimes even have text message surveys, like during the presidential debates to say who you thought won the argument.  (They also have an American Idol survey every week, but I don't watch the show!)

You can cash out when you reach $10 and I've probably made around $40 from them so far! :)

If you sign up through my link and complete your profile you will earn $1.00 and I will get a little bit back as well. 

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Freebies for your birthday!

Since my birthday is today, I've been getting all these fabulous birthday offers. I always sign up for mailing lists, and sometimes it actually pays off.

No purchase required:

Cold Stone Creamery - If you sign up for their birthday club, you can get a free creation for your birthday. The coupon is good for 7 days before and 7 days after your birthday. I love that it is available for all ages, because come on, who doesn't love free ice cream? It's also cool because you can register a whole family and manage them under one account. I registered my mom and my husband for their birthdays too!

Sephora - The Beauty Insider rewards program from Sephora is really fun too. It is free to join, and you get points for all your purchases. After 100 points you can redeem your points for a deluxe sample (usually much much bigger than a regular sample, and occasionally even a full size product.) I just found out that if you save 500 points you can trade in for an "exclusive product" (not sure what that means, but I like it) that has around a $50 value. They sometimes send coupons as well - like $15 off $35 - that you have to be a member to use. ANYWAY, once your birthday rolls around, you also get a free gift - either a lip gloss trio or their vanilla cupcake body wash. You can get it online or in stores, but ordering online means you have to make a purchase. In stores it is totally free!

Aveda - If you join Aveda's Birthday Program today you will get a free, full-size product on your birthday!

BOGO Deals:

Houlihan's - Joining the Houlihan's email club will get you a free appetizer right away, but also a free entree on your birthday.

Qdoba - Upon signing up you will get a coupon for free chips and salsa but you will also get a free burrito for your birthday.

Moe's - I'm not sure if this is BOGO, but Moe's will give you a free burrito on your birthday.

Other Stuff:
  • I have a Banana Republic credit card, so I got a $15 off of any purchase coupon.
  • I had signed up for a Famous Footwear Rewards card and I got a $10 off of any purchase coupon.
  • It costs $10 to join the Love Your Body Club at the Body Shop, and you among other things, you get a $10 gift for your birthday.
Do you know about any other great birthday offers?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

CVS 5/3-5/9

I was going to skip CVS this week, but I think I am going to get the 3 boxes of Kellogg's cereal for $10.  I got a great package from Vocalpoint the other day promoting Frosted Mini Wheats and it came with a BOGO coupon as well as some $1 off coupons.  With the coupons I will be able to get three boxes of cereal for around $5.67 and get 5 ECBs back.

Vocalpoint is totally amazing by the way.  I signed up awhile ago and I have never even visited the website again, but I keep getting samples and coupons in the mail.  Besides the cereal, I have gotten samples and free coupons for those Kashi nutrigrain type bars, a Venus razor/coupons, and a bunch of other stuff as well.

Triple coupons!

There are triple coupons at Waldbaum's this week, and I went a little crazy.  Awhile back I purchased 30 Muir Glen coupons, because I knew that when it came time for triple coupons I would get free organic tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Soon after I bought the coupons, there were triple coupons, but by the time I got to Waldbaum's there was only a few cans left.  I was kind of sad and I know that I gave a few coupons to my mom to try to use.

So on Thursday when I checked the circular online, I really hoped for triple coupons because the coupons were set to expire today.  Amazingly enough, it actually happened.

So yeah, I now have 23 cans of FREE Muir Glen organic tomatoes and tomato sauce.  I also got some other free and super cheap stuff, and it would have been even better but I guess the cashier missed a few coupons.

I really love triple coupons! :)