Monday, November 5, 2012
My favorite site is Brad'd Deals for the discount low-down on everything under the internet sun.They have printable coupons, a coupon search tool, and they highlight the best deals of the day/week. You can follow their Black Friday page on Facebook HERE for easy access to exclusive codes each day until Christmas. They also have a Cyber Monday website with more deals (currently a Land's End women's poplin shirt for $4 shipped - regularly $45 before shipping!)
There are so very many of these types of websites. I'm a simple girl (or a lazy girl) and I'm not going to search and list a ton of them. You probably have your own favorites, too - please share!
*Sidenote* Walgreens has 40% off ALL photo items until Wednesday with code EVERYTHING. I love that they can do so many of their gifts right in-store, so there's no shipping cost. Plus, they get it done quickly. I ordered my free 8x10 photo collage online and picked it up the next day at my local store.
Friday, November 2, 2012
If you know someone who is into photography and you can get access to their work, an artfully framed & matted print of their own photo is a fun idea. This would also work if you have taken a great family shot for the mom or dad who is always behind the lens in their own photos, rarely next to their kids in the frame.
Every year, my aunt creates a family calendar with pictures of the whole family (including birthdays, which is SO helpful!) and passes them out to each family at Christmas. It's so much fun to look through it like an album and have it on the fridge to enjoy all year long.
I recommend creating accounts at Shutterfly, Snapfish, Walgreens, and other photo sharing/printing sites - and make sure you click to receive e-mails. You'll get tons of free and super-discounted photo gift opportunities just for being on their mailing list, especially this time of year. I've gotten free 11x14 prints and free 8x8 photo books from Shutterfly just in the past 2 months (and they are not paying me to mention them - I've collected tons of free stuff from them over the years just for having an account). All you pay in shipping! Also make sure you check their "special offers" tab - often there is free shipping on orders of $30.
Specials right now from Shutterfly:
**101 FREE regular size prints - ends today (code SPOOKY)
**50% off hardcover photo books of any size - ends Sunday (code BOOK50)
**FREE SHIPPING on orders $30+ (code SHIP30)
plus more offers, and they change fairly often, so keep an eye out!
Make sure you enter the corresponding code (also found under the "special offers" tab) at checkout to get the deal.
Special offers from Walgreens:
**FREE 8x10 collage - ends Saturday (code COLLAGEFREE)
**66% off custom photo books - ends Saturday (code CSTMBOOK)
Please share if you have any other specials! I'm a little rushed this morning, but will update later if anything else comes up today.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
This year will be a little different than the last Free Christmas. Since we got rid of everything we don't need in the process of 4 moves, we won't be selling useless treasure for cash. Instead, I'm working off deals for FREEBIES or super-spectacular discounts and will be sharing all my fabulous finds with you all. Also, I encourage you to share any deals and codes (either via e-mail or in the comment section) that I could post here for others.
In the spirit of reality, I'm hoping to gather at least half of our list for free. Adult gifts are much easier to find for free, so if I only have to spend cash on toys (which are hard to find for free, but discounts this season are all over the place), I'll be happy.
Are you with me?
First things first, make your list. I have a "must buy" list (immediate family, exchanges, the kids, teachers, etc...) and a "maybe buy" list (extended family, friends, coworkers, etc...) for the ones that you might or might not see, or those you aren't sure about yet, and whose gifts might be small if you do get them. Obviously, the "must buy" list gets done first, but keep the "maybe" list in your back pocket just in case you run across those small "free with purchase" items or something that just won't fit anyone on your "must" list. It's always nice to pick up a free small item here and there to keep in the closet for last-minute gifts.
See this post of you want to know what started this 3 years ago.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Keychain bottle-opener, Ohio State fan variety. His broke a couple weeks ago, and the good beer apparently doesn't twist-off, so you might say this was a slight necessity. It was not on sale (gasp - I know), but it's a small splurge that he'll really like and use. Paid: $8.51, w/ GC.
House slippers. Another need - his old ones are starting to look like only soles. Original price: $32. Paid: $14.99, w/ GC.
Batman Underpants. Yes, you read that right. I let Monsoon pick out his own gift for Daddy. He chose these a while ago, I said we should keep looking. Last week, he still remembered about them and finally insisted that's what he wanted to get for him. He also requested a matching pair, but that's neither here nor there. It's still going down as one of the top ten funniest Christmas gifts ever - mostly because Monsoon doesn't think it's funny at all. He thinks they are the best thing ever. Love that kid. Price: $7.99, paid cash.
Previous amount spent was $87.03, plus this week's spending brings us to a grand total for the husband of... $118.52. Way over in my book, but still SO much better than a normal year.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Batman Underwear - $5.54, paid w/ GC
3-pack Play-Doh, x2 - $2.94, paid w/ GC
Swiss Miss cocoa mix w/ marshmallows (one of his favorite special treats) - $2.04, paid w. GC
Bubble Gum-filled canister bank - $1, paid cash.
This brings Monsoon's grand total to... $103.78. Yes, I went a tad over, but only a tiny little bit! Plus, most of his gifts were purchased with Gift Cards, which were all free.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Husband did finally order the gifts for my sister and nephew last week, and picked them up today. I spent most of Sunday shopping with my mom, which might have been a fun time except we had to drag Monsoon along, too. He's sick of holiday shopping, and I don't blame him one bit - he even balks at the mention of ToysRUs these days.
As always, if you are on my list, don't go sneaking around this page!
Nephew - I won't say what it is, but it has to do with his football team winning their "Super Bowl" this year. If he's found this site, he might be tempted to cheat, I'll just say it has a value of $50, and was also a prize from a printing company which came in the basket we won this Fall.
My dad - a wallet. He's very particular about his wallet, and likes a new one every couple of years, so it's not as lame as it sounds. Original price: $26. Paid (after sale and coupon discount), $9.99 - paid w/ GC.
BIL - Henley shirt. Original price: $36. Paid (after sale and coupon discount), $9.99 - paid w/ GC.
Santa Gift for Nephew - $5 GC to a place he goes to eat after school sometimes, paid cash.
Santa Gift for Monsoon - Nate The Great book. Original Price: $4.50, Paid (after Borders Reward bucks), $0.
Aunt & Uncle (and a few others, not in budget) - Homemade spaghetti sauce, which I'm planning to can tomorrow. Ingredient cost: $15 (just under, but I don't feel like getting out the calculator for a couple of cents).
Our budget allows for a total of $80 for the people above, not including the Santa Gifts, which are not a part of our budget.
The total cash cost to us for all of the items above is: $20. That's a real savings of $60 this week.
Adding up each week of inventory, we have spent a total of about $71 cash on family members* for whom we budgeted $300, bringing the total REAL savings so far this Christmas to a whopping $229.
*family members, not including me or husband or Monsoon - whose gifts are filed on separate days on the blog.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Sold: Loveseat, $50
Sold: Weedeater, $10
Sold: Set of speakers, $15
Sold: 20" tv, $10
Sold: Monsoon's baby stroller (this one pains me, btw), $25
Sold: Computer husband built, $25
Gifted: $50 GC to our local Mall, courtesy of husband's grandmother. He will likely be using most of this toward my gifts since I've pretty much finished shopping for him.
End of week total gain: $185
Cash spent during week #5 = $24.99
Gift Card value spent during week #5 = $26.99
Previous week's end result = $730.81 to the positive.
Week #5 end result (730.81 + 185 - 24.99 - 26.99) = $863.83 to the positive!
*You may notice some slight changes to last week's end result - it's because I failed to factor in the gift card values spent. I had to go back and add those in.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I still have a $10 off any purchase of $10 to a local department store, which I'm hoping to use for my BIL, who wants a shirt.
I just received $5 Borders Bucks, plus a 30% off one item coupon - maybe I can find a book small enough for Monsoon's stocking.
I've also heard about a $10 off $25 purchase at Macy's coupon, and plan to look for it online later today. I'll use this on my husband - but not from me. My grandmother asked me to pick up something for him, and she's on a budget as well. If I can find another dress shirt or tie (or both) for around 25 bucks like the last time I had this coupon, it would be perfect. We shall see.
We also have the free coupons I mentioned on Monday, plus an extra $50's of free stuff from a printing company that I have know idea what to do with. This place is charging $50 to print a high-quality poster out of a photo for my nephew, but I have no idea what to do with the extra $50. Any ideas? I could use some help. We have to use it by the end of the year anyway, so I might as well have something printed. Ideas ideas ideas! please. :)
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
What he doesn't know is... I did pick it up, but not for Monsoon. Yes, I'm cheating a bit - it's a kid's game, and one that we won't likely play without said kid, but it's one that my husband will enjoy as much - if not more - than the rest of us.
I may also have skewed the books a bit when it came down to our family holiday tradition. Every year, we open one gift on Christmas Eve at home - pajamas that we wear on Christmas Morning. Unfortunately, I didn't leave enough in Monsoon's budget for his pajamas, so I'm taking it out of the husband's budget.
Husband's pajamas were $14.99, paid cash.
Monsoon's pajamas were on sale for $10, paid cash. I'll take half of this off Husband's budget, and half off his budget for me.
Monopoly Town game was $10, paid with gift card.
Previous balance on Husband's budget: $57.04 spent ($24.05 cash).
New balance for Husband: $87.03 spent ($49.04 paid with cash), leaving $12.97 for Husband's stocking stuffers.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Previous balance for Monsoon was $75.27. Add the $16.99, and get a new balance of.....
$92.26 spent on Monsoon.
That leaves $7.74 left for stocking stuffers. Unfortunately, none of the other gifts he has will fit in his stocking, so I'm going to have to really stretch that seven bucks!
Monday, December 14, 2009
The first is for my sister, who will be finishing up her teaching degree this quarter. We are ordering her 500 sheets of personalized stationary with matching envelopes. A "From the desk of..." type thing.
The second is for my young nephew, whose football team won their league this year. We're having his team photo blown into a poster for his room. This was my husband's idea, so kudos to him. Our nephew will love it.
That's about all the shopping I have (not) done this week, except for the husband and Monsoon, which I'll report about later in the week. I might have gone over budget, so I might be cheating the system. Just a bit.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Sold: Sofa and Loveseat set - $100
Sold: Sofa - $50
Sold: Softball bag - $10
Sold: Wall mirror - $3
Won: $50 GC to Walgreens (from CyberMonday.com on Facebook - this was actually my husband's win. Woo-hoo, husband! Now he's glad I nagged him every day to make his comment entry).
Found (Won, back in Spring): $25 GC to Macy's.
** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
End of week total gain = $188
Cash spent during week #4 = $65.03
Gift Card value spent during week #4 = $142.41
Previous week's end result = + $750.25
End Result for week #4 (188 - 65.03 - 142.41 + 750.25) = $730.81 to the positive!
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Dress shirt. Original price: $40. BF sale: 12.99, paid with Macy's GC (which I won back in the Spring and hadn't used).
Tie. Original price: $37.50. BF sale: 14.99, paid with Macy's GC and some ($2.98) cash.
Running shirt: Original price, $25. Coupon price: $20. (I bought this as part of a coupon package - in which I could use several coupons at once, and ended up with a birthday gift for my nephew worth $89, which only cost $20. Bonus!), paid cash.
Running socks: Original price, $11. Coupon price: $1.07 (free $10 birthday gift for being a member of DSW shoe store's club), paid cash.
Fiction book. Original price $7.99, paid with Borders GC.
These total $57.04 after discounts, with only $24.05 cash out of my pocket. (regular prices totalled $121.49, for a savings of $64.45)
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Here's the latest:
Bat Cave. It's his "big" toy this year, and one of the few items for which he specifically asked. Original price: $44. Price paid: $34 ($10 coupon), bought with ToysRUs GC.
Mr. Potato Head Jumbo Set. Original price: $24.99. Price paid: $12.50, bought with ToysRUs GC.
Peter Pan pop-up book (huge, elaborate book - one of his favorite stories). Original price: 29.99. Clearance price (b/c they have updated the artwork in a new book): 6.99, bought with Borders GC.
I did purchase 2 other items, but returned them. One was something he'd enjoy, but ultimately took up too much space, which we don't have. Another was a race track, but my Dad got him something similar, and we don't need two.
The total purchases for Monsoon this week came to $51.49 (although we spent $0 cash), added to the previous weeks equals $75.27 spent on Monsoon. That leaves $24.73 left in his budget. I'm going to start thinking about stocking stuffers with the remaining balance.