What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Friday, December 30, 2005

I went to Wal-Mart today after I heard online that most Christmas items were scanning at 75 off. I went late enough in the day so that there wouldn't be a ton of good stuff that I would feel I "had" to buy. I did get a pretty Damask Poinsettia Tablecloth to fit our big dining table for $3.50. I also found a lot of candles good for everyday use or for gifts. I got two big three wick Cinnamon Spice Candles for $1.20 and five 8" tall pillar candles for 60¢ each - three white peppermint and two cream colored vanilla. I got a nice melamine veggie server with four dishes inside a big white dish for $1.50. It was white with two red dishes and two green dishes. I can use it as is for Christmas, with the red dishes only for Valentine's Day, 4th of July or everyday and the green dishes only for other times of the year.

I did place an order from Graveyard mall for some Christmas decoations that came yesterday. They are so nice. I got this two foot tall cast iron tree that looks like a natural birch tree. It was nearly $40.00, but with Graveyard Mall price reductions, nearly Christmas sale prices and ana dditionla 70% off code they emailed me - i paid a mere $2.20. I also got a fabulous "Cocoa with Santa" snowglobe. It retailed for nearly $50.00, but with those same discounts and codes -I paid only $3.00. I got ten items for $21.00 and that includes $6.95 shipping. I normally will not pay for shipping, but with these prices, it was still a great deal.

I also got the first of my five American Girl orders today. I got the 8" Angelina Ballerina Puppet, a hat box filled with clothes, accessories and a hat for the puppet, a boxed set of three books, a softcover book and a hardcover book all for $5.86. I plan on putting some of these in the flea market, some on ebay, some for gifts and some to the local library as a donation. I don't know why they would reduce a $16.95 book to 49¢, but I am glad they did!

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve. I want to wish all my fellow bloggers and readers a very Happy New Year. This will be a new year of documenting all of my deals - let's try to get a lot of deals and do a lot of good with those deals in the upcoming year. I love getting a deal, but I love sharing it with others just as much!

Happy 2006!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I went to Target today to see what was letft in the Christmas aisles. I was looking for useable items that I had coupons that were about to expire. I found Glade Thomas Kinkade candles for 99¢ and I had coupons for $1.00/2 candles. So, they were 2/$1.00. I found the Glade 3-in-1 Blending candles for $1.00 and I had coupons for $1.00/1. I could only find three of those - but they were FREE! I got a 2 pack of Decospheres for $1.99 and used a $1.00 coupon for a total of 99¢ for two. I got some airspray, plug ins, oil warmers and other assorted air freshener itemsm all with coupons and clearance prices. I like to get all these items at Christmas time because I like the vanilla, pumpkin, cinnamon, spice, etc. scents all year long. I loathe floral or perfumy smells.

I had coupons for Ziploc bags that should have scored me tons of nearly free bags, but they were still ringing up at full price. Grrr. The boxes had snowflakes on them and the bagggies on the box were pictured full of gingerbread men. So, they really were "Christmas".

I did buy four sets of rope lights for $3.50 each. I didn't think there would be any left when it went to 75%, not to mention 90%.

I started pricing things for my flea market booth today. I hope I am pricing things correctly - not too cheap, not too much. I really just want to make my rent and get rid of some stuff for now.

Hint of the Day: When you are out looking for Christmas deals - look for useable items. Ziploc bags with Christmas motifs, paper towels with santa or snowflakes on the, napkins with holiday motif, Planter's peanuts with the red bow on the can, Russell Stover or Whitmas Chocolates with green bows in the corner of the box, etc. The Glade candles and air freshener items are usually mixed in with the regular scents - but look for vanilla, apple, cinnamon, pumpkin, cranberry, etc.

Monday, December 26, 2005

www.americangirl.com is having a clearance sale on all the Angelina Ballerina items. I just ordered the Angelina puppet, an assortment of outfits and 17 books - mostly hardback books from $15.95 and under for a grand total including shipping of less than $16.50. I split the order into three seperate orders. Orders less than $5.00 ship for 99¢. There is also a code - 145364 - for 10% off your total - so you can get $5.50 worth and apply the code and it will be less than $5.00 so the 99¢ shipping will apply. You can use the code with each order. I will probably donate these to the local library or I might sell them on ebay. I know donating them is the "right" thing to do...but......

Hint of the Day: Whenever you place an order on-line you should ALWAYS go to www.dealhunting.com and look for a code for the website you are ordering. The americangirl specials were great, but by finding that code, I actually got a FREE 49¢ book (regulary priced at $3.99) with each order since the code deducted 50¢ each time.

www.americangirl.com is having a clearance sale on all the Angelina Ballerina items. I just ordered the Angelina puppet, an assortment of outfits and 17 books - mostly hardback books from $15.95 and under for a grand total including shipping of less than $16.50. I split the order into three seperate orders. Orders less than $5.00 ship for 99¢. There is also a code - 145364 - for 10% off your total - so you can get $5.50 worth and apply the code and it will be less than $5.00 so the 99¢ shipping will apply. You can use the code with each order. I will probably donate these to the local library or I might sell them on ebay. I know donating them is the "right" thing to do...but......

Hint of the Day: Whenever you place an order on-line you should ALWAYS go to www.dealhunting.com and look for a code for the website you are ordering. The americangirl specials were great, but by finding that code, I actually got a FREE 49¢ book (regulary priced at $3.99) with each order since the code deducted 50¢ each time.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Thomas Pacconi 7.5 Pre-Lit Christmas Tree is back at $39.99 this morning. If it is sold out when you try to order it, try again throughout day and it may be back in stock again. This is a $299.00 tree for $39.99 with free shipping. It has 1200 lights and a remote control.

Have a Merry Christmas and order a new tree for next year!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Size 120x90:

I got approved by Amazon to be an Affiliate so I am atempting to post the link above. If it doesn't work, I will try, try and try again. Amazon is famous for posting an really good deal and then changing prices - sometimes day to day. But, if you buy something for say, $50.00 today and notice tomorrow that it is $20.00 -you can call or email them and they will credit you the difference. Sometimes good deals sell out quickly. I missed a deal this morning on a regularly priced $299.00 Pre-lit 7.5 ft. Remote Control Christmas Tree. It was $39.99, but sold out before I could get to it. So, if I post a good deal, but it sells out, I apologize. But, if you do get it - KUDOS!

I'd like to thank Kim. L of Fl for the nice envie of BTFE for my son- I will send you a goodie envie after the holiday rush is over.

Hint of the Day - Have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful deal huntin' 2006!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I got a little carried away on my last entry. I have signed up to be an Amazon Affiliate - but haven't quite yet made it through the approval process. So, the link above isn't working. Sorry about that. I will post the new link as soon ans I officially get 'cepted!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


I get a ton of great deals at Amazon.com. Whenever I find a particularly great deal, I will post if here with a Search Box and the wrods to enter to find it quickly. I would appreciate you using the search box on the "Deal of the Day" site. In the summer they have a toy sale featuring $30.00 toys for $5.29 with free shipping. I bought 15 toys last summer and was able to donate them to Toys 4 Tots, the Giving Tree at my School, the Salvation Army and a few other local charitites. I alos bought a KitcheAid mixer there for a total of $79.00 after discounts coupons and codes. I have never seen one like it sell for less than $169.00.

Hint of the Day: Come back here for more great deals at Amazon aond other places too!
Our ever growing small town has been needing a flea market. I considered opening one, but I really didn't want to LIVE there all the time operating it. So, lucky for me, someone else took the jump and started one up. It just opened Monday and I was the 12th person to rent a booth, so I think it should do well - there is a lot of space. It is inside a grocery store from the 1880's. If you have ever seen pictures of an old grocery store, you can imagine what it looks like inside - floor to ceiling shelves along each wall. I have a five foot wide section that reaches up to the 14 ft. ceiling, plus a corner and in front of a big four pane window right in front of the highway. I think it is in a great spot - lots of room to display and merchandise. She told me I could do anything on the shelves, in front of the window, on the floor, etc. And the best part - it is only $40.00 a month!

I had two booths before - one I did quite well at but was a bit too far away to keep up well. The other one I did terribly at because it was more upscale and my stuff is nice, but not antiques. I am more of a "vintage" and "primitive" person - no true antiques.

This is the type of Flea market wher you rent a space, set it all up and leave it. There is some one on duty to help people and check them out. All I have to do is keep it full, straighten it up and pay my rent. Commission is 10% plus the 40.00 rent. Pretty good - I was paying $55.00 a month and 15% eight years ago when I had my booths.

This really gives me the oppurtunity to clear out a lot of stuff which is great. But, (this is good and bad) it gives me the opportunity to BUY more stuff too! ACK!

Friday, December 16, 2005

I went to a lot of thrifts this week. I got some more vintage Christmas items- a neat Santa with a paper mache face, mohair beard and velvet suit for 50¢ and a few other items I will put back for resell next year.

I finished my Christmas shopping today and I have everything ready for the party at school for my son's class. I've been the Homeroom Mom for five years. I will give each child a book that I got at www.bookcloseouts.com for 48¢ each, a mini stocking, a small Christmas Tree shaped dish, a candy cane pen, a striped pencil and a bunch of candy. All the Christmas items were bought last year for 90% of and the candy was an after Halloween 90% sale score. Each goody bag will have about $10.00 worth of stuff in it - but I only spent about $1.25 a bag. I am always shopping ahead for next year's party or next year's birthday. The bad thing is that my son is off to Middle School next year and there areno parties in Middle School. So,my bargain hunting must stop (in that respect anyway!)

I worked at school today helping sort out Christmas presents, groceries and tolietres for the needy families in our area. We had a cafeteria full of items. Sixz generous people even bought their adopted "angels" a new bicycle. it was nice to see so much generosity. It made me thankful that I was able to be on the giving end rather than the receiveing end.

Merry Christmas. Happy After Christmas Baragain Hunting! ;o)

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Happy Birthday Mumsie!

The Whitman's Samplers - one pound box were Buy One Get One Free at Walgreen's for $7.99. I dug around on the shelf and found boxes that were wrapped in Fall leaves paper. On those boxes there were $1.00 off coupons. So, I paid $5.99 for two boxes - $3.00 each - not a bad deal for a nice Christmas gift. Who doesn't like a box of chocolates?

Can I ask a favor? If you are reading this would your leave me a comment? Just a quick "HI" and how you found my blog? I hear a lot of people say on other boards that they read it, but I would like to see for myself. Thanks!

Hint of the DAY: Check out all the merchandise on the shelf before you grab something. I often find coupons, bonus packages, free with purchase items, etc. at the back of the shelf. I used to stock at a retail store, so I know that sometimes items arrive with little "exras".

Friday, December 09, 2005

I went to my favorite thrift on Wednesday. When I walked in the door I spotted an Annalee Mobiltee Santa doll. My heart skipped a beat as I picked it up wondering if it would be $2.00, $10.00 or ??? Guess how much it was??? 50¢! Then I turned around there was another one! Then I turned around and found another one! Three Annalee Doll's for $1.50. Yippee. They used to sell for pretty good money, but now so much anymore. But, I LOVE them and they are MINE!

I got a good deal on the big Whitman's chocolates the other day too - I will post about that in my next blog.

Friday, December 02, 2005

It's Friday night. I cannot think of ONE baragain or deal that i got all week. No wonder Ihave been depressed all week! Sunday we had our delayed Thanksgiving dinner with the 18¢ turkey. Monday I started stripping down my house and lceaning it in preparation of decoartiong for Christmas. Tuesday I started decorating for Christmas and went to Walmart for groceries. Wednesday we cleaned out the garage, filled up the minivan with donations for the Salvation Army and put out the big inflatable Santa. Thursday night I did not sleep at all and my head was all congested when I woke up. I took some medicine that knocked me on my butt all day - nothing accomplished. Friday my sonmissed school due to a stomach ache. We worked on the Christmas decorations some more.

It takes me the better part of a week to decorate inside and outside my house for Christmas. I have a TON of decorations. Every year it is fun to see what I bought AFTER Christmas last year. This year wew had the above mentioned inflatable Santa. We bought that at Dillon's last year for $7.50. It was $49.99. They had the boxes on top of the freezers and they kept marking them down, but no one ever bought any. DH walked by them every day on his bread route so he kept an eye on them. We broke down and bought one when it hit $7.50 and all the employees were starting to buy them too.

I also buy a lot of decorations at the thrifts and garage sales. I love vintage items. Some I resell and some I keep. I have a set of AnnaLee Mobiltree dolls - a girl and a reindeer that I got for $1.25 each. They would sell for about $100.00- but I love them. I also have a four foot tall rubber faced Santa. I bought him for $2.00. I bought him to resell. But, I fell in love with him and decided to keep him. I think he would sell for $200 - $300. I have a lot of vintage elves, Santas and ornaments too. I had several Eskimo ornamnets on my tree last year that I had bought in a huge box for $2.00. I found out that I had the first three in a series ornaments from Hallmark - Frosty Friends. They were cute, but I had no emotional ties to them, so I sold them on ebay. I got about $65.00 each for them. So, sometimes i keep things forever and sometimes I enjoy it for awhile and them sell it.

Hint of the Day: Keep your eye out for Christmas items all year long. In particular, watch for vintage ornaments, vintge bulbs, Rushton CocaCola Santas, Hallmark Ornaments, Matchless Bulbs tree toppers, Aluminum Trees, Color Wheels, etc.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Well, I said I didn't take part in the Black Friday hub bub. I lied. Sort of. DH volunteered to go to Wal-Mart at 4:00 am yesterday. He got four things that I wanted for Christmas gifts. Well, one thing was for me. They wer all good deals. Good enough to talk about here but not to go into too deeply because the recipients of those gifts ready my blog. (Yes, YOU, Mumsie).

DS and I ventured out late in the day - about 2:00. Wal-Mart still had pallets of a lot of the early morning specials left. I got a mini slow cooker for $4.24, but nothing else.

There is a Christmas parade in a neighboring town today. If we go i will squeeze in a visit to the Dollar Shop (lots of name brand good stuff for $1.00) and maybe the Salvation Army. Tomorrow, I am hosting a full blown Thanksgiving Dinner (although it is three days past Thanksgiving) for my family. The 18¢ turkey will be cooked.

Hint of the Day: Get your husband to go shoping early so you can sleep in. Just kidding. Take a chance and go shopping a bit later after the crowds have subsided and you still might get a deal or two.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Turkey Day.

On my way to family outings today I had to stop at Walgreen's to pick up some cough syrup and Musinex for this nastly little case of Bronchitis that is plaguing me. Anyway, while DS looked at Christmas items, I looked through the Ad. I noticed Russell Stover's Boxed Chocolates were on sale for $3.99. They retail for $7.99. I had some $2.00 off coupons for the Sugar Free Chocolates. So, I got two boxes and checked out. The checker had trouble getting them to scan correctly, but she fixed it and was nice about it. (I hate snide comments about coupon usage.) I think it was beeping because I had bought the Sugar Free variety. The ad said, "Any $7.99 Boxed Chocolates." It didn't say you COULD get Sugar Free, but it also did not say that you could NOT get Sugar Free. Anyway, $16.00 worth of chocolates for my diabeic Step-Father for a total of $3.98. Oh crap - does he read this blog?

HInt of the Day: All varieties of an iem SHOULD be on sale, so don't be afraid to ask if it is on sale.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Thanksgiving is in two days, which means the "Black Friday" is the next day. Low priced merchandise, gift card give-aways, free items to the "first 500", Buy One Get One Free items, etc. Sounds like something I, the "Deal of the Day Diva" would be all over - right? Wrong. I do NOT go shopping the day after Thanskgiving. In fact, much of my Holiday shopping has been complete for months. I shop all year long buy checking the internet for sales and then add coupon codes of free shipping to make it a deal like no other. I have about $500.00 worth of brand new toys for Toys 4 Tots - and I didn't pay more that $5.29 for any of them. Most of them were at least $29.99 and I got them on Amazon this summer during their big toy sale. I paid $5.29 each for everything and got free shipping to boot. Why go out and fight the crowds, when the UPS man can bring it right to your door for LESS money???

Hint of the Day: If you do venture out on Firday, take some mace and a sharp pointed instrument to protect you from the other bargain hunters. "I found it FIRST!" Good Luck!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I bought my Thanksgiving turkey today. Dilon's had them for 50% off with a $10.00 purchase. Bought three bags of Lay's chips for $5.00 and got a free 12 pk. of Pepsi with a coupon. Also bought four cans of Mandarin Oranges on sale for $1.00 each - used a 50¢ off 2 can coupon that doubled bringing my cost to $2.00 for four cans. Let's see - that's $7.50. Also bought four jars of Vlassic pickles on sale for $2.00 each - used four 75¢ coupons that doubled up to $1.00 - making each jar $1.00 each. So, that's my $10.00 purchase requirement for the half price turkey. I found a nice fat 21 pound turkey for $10.18. When I got home, I received a trade for a form for a $10.00 refund on a turkey. Budweiser has great forms offering cash rebates with NO BEER PURCHASE requuired on every day purchaes like deli items, party items, turkey, poinsettia's, gift wrap, summer grilling items, etc. I just received a $20.00 check for chicken the other day.

So, final cost for my Thanks giving turkey? 18¢. How 'bout YOU?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I volunteered at school today working in the library at the Book Fair. DH was off work today so I suggested he volunteer too. We worked 2 hours each. We sold over $800.00 worth of books in two hours. For our time, Scholastic gave us each a $6.00 credit to spend on books. So, that is $12.00. They asked me to work a couple of hours in the morning too, so I will get another $6.00 credit. That doesn't sound like much, I know. But, that's $18.00 credit and that will get my son one very nice book for a Christmas present. He has his eye on a $20.00 book, but he knows I am too cheap to buy it. He will be thrilled when he finds it under the tree. And, it will only end up costing me $2.00!

Since I am working in the morning, I will be dressed and ready to hit the thrift in the next town over and then hit the double coupon store for a few Thanksgiving Dinner essentials. I need a bigger turkey now that I am hosting Thanksgiving. I stock up on a lot of items this time of year while they are on sale. I buy a lot of flour, sugar, nuts, almond bark, canned fruit (mandarin oranges specifically) and other baking supplies now while coupons are plentiful and the advertised prices are lower. I don't do a lot of baking, but getting flour and sugar cheap now allows me to be able to bake whenever I want to without having to go buy everything at once.

Stay tuned for my After Christmas shopping list - I buy SO much after Christmas to be used all year long. They practically give the stuff away - so I think of reasons to buy it all. For instance, we have been using Chrsitmas paper towels since last year when I found rolls of Mardi Gras Paper towels reduced to 12¢ a roll. That is 8 rolls for a dollar! I bought two cases!

Hint of the day: Stock up now while it's Cheap!

Monday, November 14, 2005

I stocked up on pop, chips and dip for the upcoming holiday festivities last week. Dillon's had a number of offers in their Ad using their Shopper's Card and the Pepsi/Frito Lay products had coupons on them too. Since some items counted on the receipt and were automatically deducted - I was able to use a coupon on top of those discounts.

An advertised special was buy two 24 packs of Pepsi Procducts and get three 2 lt. bottles of Pepsi Products FREE. The 24 pks. were $5.00 each so I spent $10.00. Then we found a coupon - Buy three Frito lay products and get a free 12 pk. The Chips were on sale for $2.00 each so I spent $6.00. And then I spotted a deal using my Shopper's Card to save $2.00 on a Tostino Dip when you buy two Tostino Products. Since I had bought two Tostino chips to meet the requirement for the free 12 pk. I used that coupon to deduct $2.00 on the dip which was on sale for $2.27. So, the dip cost us 27¢. And then I spotted one more coupon offering Buy One Dip, Get One Free. So, I got another dip for FREE. In the end, I spent $16.27 for two 24 packs of Pepsi, one 12 pk. of Mug Root Beer, three 2 lt. bottles of Pepsi, two bags of Tostino Gold Chips, one bag of Taco Doritoes and two jars of Tostino Cheese Dip. At regular price all of that would have cost $36.62. So, I saved over $20.00. I also picked up a rebate offering a $3.00 rebate on a Holiday Classic DVD (Frosty, Rudolph, etc) when you send in a receipt with Pepsi and Frito/Lay products on it. So, I have the receipt - now to find a cheap DVD!

They also had turkeys on sale for half price with a $10.00 purchase - since I spent that on the above mentioned items, I got a 13 pound turkey for $6.00.

Hint for the Day - Combine coupons, ad specials and shopper card specials to make a triple play and save BIG!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A quick hello to all my yardsalequeen friends!

I am headed out to a thrift sotre (*SHOCK*) then to a double coupon store with my coupons. DH is on vacation this week and he is following me around the house hopelessly lost. He wanted to help me match the socks earlier. Puleeze! GET OUT OF HERE! He finally went outside to trim back a flower bush that I requested be done about two weeks ago. He will do anything for anyone - you just have to ASK him to do it. He isn't the type to see that the vacuum should be run or the toilet scrubbed.

I hope he doesn't follow me around the thrift - I need my space. I will make him go search the Levi's for LEVI'S tags. That should ocuppy him and make him feel like he is "helping". If he finds a pair, I will owen him big time!

Hint of the Day: Keep your sanity when DH is around for nine straight days. (Okay - that is just a hint for me!)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

On Sunday I went to Wal-Mart and they had all the halloween reduced to 10¢ each. Not a lot left, but lots of bags of litle plastic junky party favors - bags of 70 plastic rats, bugs, skeletons, tops, rings, etc. Seventy toys for 10¢. I bought $3.00 worth for next year's Halloween Carnival at school. That is 2100 prizes! This year I sent one bag of Tootsie Rolls that cost $4.88. Next year will be better.

I went back to Target Monday to look for more markdowns. The Halloween stuff was supposed to be reducted to 90%, but they had already pulled it and boxed it up for returns. DH was with me so we scrounged around in the candy aisle some more. Found three bags of Reese's and a bag of Kitkat's - scanned them and they were 21¢ each. We went down the other candy aisle which is the non-chocolate aisle (I had forgotten to go sown that aisle the other day!) to see what we could find. We found 12 bags of Starburst in different varieties and some Starburst Chew Pops - all for 21¢ a bag. So, we spent $3.15 and got $31.50 worth of candy. Now, don't think we eat candy all the time. I only buy it this time of year, plus I share it with my family. But, MOST of it goes into goodie bags for the kids at school for their Christmas and Valentine's Day Parties.

Hint of the day: Buy NOW for NEXT year.

Friday, November 04, 2005

I went to Target on a Halloween markdown hunt today. My couponing friends were reporting that all Halloween was 75% off today. So, I had to go see what I could find. I am always on a quest for candy for goodie bags at school. I went to the Halloween aisle and all I could find was candy corn. So, I went to the candy aisle and started looking around. First I looked at the Kit-Kat's. All of the bags looked the same, but three of them said "Fun Size" rather than "Snack Size". So, I went to the scanners and low and behold - the Snack Size were $2.24 and the Fun Size were 52¢. Score! I ended up finding 16 bags of name brand candy bars - Heath, Almond Joy, Take 5, Reese's, Buterfinger, KitKat, Snickers, Nestle Crunch, etc. all for 52¢ or less. I did buy one HUGE bag of Almond Joys for $1.09 which means that it was $4.36. (Those are for ME!) It will go to 90% off on Sunday and I will go back and hunt again.

Hint of the Day: Look in other areas of the store for items that are marked down, but out of place.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

DH and I had a little "spat on Monday. So, he brought me home flowers on Tuesday. The only problem is that they were kind of withered up and the stems were kind of slimy. Then I noticed the yellow remnants of a REDUCED sticker on them. I found the recipt - $3.00 reduced flowers. I smell another "spat".

Hint of the Day: Don't buy your wife marked down flowers.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I heard a rumor that red tagged clearance items at Kohl's were $1.00 today. DH and I decided to go see what we could find. We did discover that red tags were only $1.00. There wasn't a whole lot to schoose from- but we found a few things. I found some shoes in the ladies department - Mootsie Tootsie, Nine West and Oh! - I know nothing about shoes. But, they were $49.99 a pair and I got them for $1.00 each. I bought 4 pairs, all in a size 11. I plan on listing them on ebay this Spring. I would think they should all sell for at least $20.00 each. So, for $4.00 I should make at least $80.00.

Hint of the Day: Check out sales racks and specially marked tags. You might get a heck of a deal!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I just won a Cranium Family Fun game on their website. Retail value of $19.99. Now I can stop playing every day! I am also trying to win a Chick-fil-A party platter. Yum-yum. In August, I won a huge Gatorade cooler, t-shirt and free 6 pk. of Gatorade from Albertson's. Funny, there are NO Albertson's in my state - but I still won!

Hint of the Day - Play those online contests and call in contests - people DO win! www.myinstantwin.com is a great place to find all the contests.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I forgot to mention in the post below that the wall unit and lockers were loaded, delivered and unloaded buy the poor sap husbands of the ladies having the yard sale. Free of charge!

Also, my Mom and step-father went to Wal-Mart yesterday and bought two microwaves clearanced at $10.00 each. They were so proud!
My husband for got his cellphone and pager today. So, I took it to him at work. While I was coming home I notied a man putting a "YARD SALE" sign out on the corner. Of course, my car turned without me even helping. I bought a great new wall unit for the living room for $30.00. I also got a huge set of extremely heavy school lockers. I bought them for $1.00. I already have them posted on the local Classified website for $25.00. I hope they sell because I have no where to store them. If they don't sell on there - I will sell them at my yardsale in a few weeks.

HInt of the Day - Don't ask your wife to deliver your cellphone or you at work or your wife might spend $30.00 on the way back home.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Well, snot rockets, I didn't win the lottery - YET!

To calm my wounded soul, I went bargain hunting at Toys R US (TRU) yesterday. I bought two Play-Doh sets, a handheld Boggle Electronic game, a handheld Simon game, a Spy Listener and a laser light. The total before "deals" would have been $57.64. I paid $21.00 and mailed in a $5.00 rebate on top of that for a grand total of $16.00. The games were buy one get one free. The Play-doh was buy one get one free too. The Spy Listener was on sale for 99¢ (was $10.98!) and the laser light was $1.99. I had a coupon for $5.00/$25.00 purchase - so I threw in the laser light to get my total over $25.00.

I bagged up three bags of items to take to the Salvation Army this afternoon. I am trying to declutter and get rid of a bunch of stuff. But, the deals still call out to me. I need therapy.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

It's about 10:08 on aturday, October 15th. Somewhere at a TV station in Chicago, Ill they are drawing the Powerball numbers. The powerball i s up to $300 million tonight. I have one number. One lucky number. I just have a feeling in the gut of my stomach.

If this is my last entry - then I MUST have won.

See you in Hawaii!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I went out of town to a wedding this weekend, so I didn't have much time for deal hunting. We did score two great meals for free between the rehearsal and the wedding. And awesome cake and a bottle of champagne. Does that count? ;o)

I did get a good deal on my Grandmother's Christmas gift the other day. She is still living in the VCR age. I found a DVD player on sale for $39.99 with a $20.00 rebate so that brought it down to $19.99. I paid for it with a $20.00 gift certifvcate that I had earned by making prioir purchases at Amazon. So,in the end, I will have made a 1¢ profit on the DVD player. Now, to find some cheap movies!

I intend to hit a few thrift stores in the next few days, so maybe I'll have some deals to blog about.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Here is a greatsite with lots of wonderful sounding teas. Try it out! Tell them Shara sent you!

Monday, October 03, 2005

We went to a motorcycle parade of 30,000 motorcycles on Saturday, so I wasn't expecting to go yard saling. But, we found a field of tables set up with all sorts of stuff. It was late in the day and they were packing up - so you know what that meant! Deals!

I saw a big cardboard box full of full sized magician items - pull the rabbit out of the hat, a wand, metal tubes to hide soda bottles, wooden rabbits, rope tricks, a chain, a velvet bag, lots of silk scaves, etc. These are old and dated in the 1940's to 1950's. They have great patina and the whole box weighs about 20 lbs. Everything is wooden and well made. Great folk art if nothing else. Anyway - the lady had $20.00 on it - crossed out to $10.00. I commented on them being interesting (she took a shine to my son and was giving him some keychains). She said, "that would be fun for this boy too - you can have the whole box for $2.00 just so I don't have to take them home again." SOLD!

I also got a miniature Russel Wright melamine cup and saucer, six Ken's Pizza Glasses, a Taco Tico Glass and a cool hard plastic 1950's Santa about 15" tall for a total of $2.70.

Hint of the Day: Go to sales late in the day. People don't want to keep it or take it home again. So, they sell it cheap!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Yesterday I took back a remote control airplane and some HitClips discs to ToysRUS that my son received for his birthday. He got $27.00 back. Inside the store he found a Spy Safe Cracker Safe reduced from $29.99 to $14.98 PLUS any other Spy Gear item from FREE. So, he got a handy dandy carrying cse full of spy gear valued at $14.98 for free too. Then he found a Pixter Rescue Heroes cartridge for $9.99. (I had found the Pixter for $1.00 at a thrift store.) So, we checked out assuming we had spent $25.00 but it only came to $21.58. I checked the receipt and the Pixter Cartridge had rung up at $4.79. We went back and got two more different cartridges - Dino Draw and Monster Workshop for a total of $10.00. So, he had the $27.00 for the returns, so he only spent a little over $4.00 out of his pocket for all those things.

On to Target after that. Got my son a really nice shirt for an upcoming wedding - reduced 75% from $19.99 to $4.48. I also got a three pack of men's FOTL 3x tshirts for $2.22 and a 6 pack of men's 52" FOTL undies for $2.00. I'm going to try those on ebay. In the back of the store we found the back To School clearance. Got my son a nice rolling back pack reduced 75% from $9.99 to $4.48. My Momwas with us and she scored two nice pairs of shorts for her DH - was $19.99 reduced to $4.48 for Wrangler Cargo Shorts. Go Baw!

Went to Walgreen's after that and picked up some Coty Powder I needed. I had a $5.50 gift card from the easy Saver Rebates - so I paid a total of $1.57.

All in all - a Great Deal Day!

Hint of the Day: Look for those fabulous red CLEARANCE signs at Target - there are wonderful bargains waiting!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Amazon and Toys Rs are having a great sale. They do it once a year and you can really stock up on a lot of great deals. Whn my son was smaller, I ordered toys to have on hand for birthday parties and for him. Now that he is a bit older, I order most of the toys for Toys For Tots for Christmas. We like to order toys for girls snice we don't have a girl and (most importantly) my son won't want to keep everything that arrives.

I got three huge boxes, a dirty look and a snide remark from the UPS man yesterday. I have mentioned before that the UPS man hates me. He always makes comments about how many packages I get. If he only knew that most of it is freebies, things I have won or really, really cheap deals! I got three huge "My Scene" dolls complete with DVD's and lots of accessories. They are on sale for $5.29 each, buy two get one free and free shipping. So, a total of $11.39 for three huge nice dolls. I also got threee miniature vehicle sets (one of which my son confinscated - I told you so!). The day before I recieved a Shorties pop apart doll for $5.29 and 3BRATZ dolls for a total of $11.9. The my Scene Dolls were $29.99 each - so that was a great deal. Last year we donated so much to the toy drive that we filled up the entire donation box at the TV station. They were very impressed. We are not a rich family or a family that makes a lot of money. But, we try to help out in ways that we can. I can donate 12 brand new nice toys or I can donate say, $25.00 ,which wouldn't buy much retail at Christmas prices.

Hint of the day: Checkout www.dealhunting.com for a list of the best deals ont he internet each day. Also, checkout www.refundcents.com for FREE for the next two days to get all the coupon and deal news you could ever use!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Yesterday I rounded up my coupons (I am dreadfully behind on cutting them out!) and went to Dillon's. They were having a 10/$10.00 on a lot of great items. When I checked out my total was $58.00. They scanned my shopper card and my coupons and the total dropped to $18.00. Over $5.00 of that was taxes which I hate - but what am I going to do about it??? This particular store is overpriced on most items, but if you watch the ads and use coupons along with the shoppers card - you can score some great deals.

(Off Topic rant: DH is out mowing today. Probably for the last time this year. Yet, he is whining that he has to do it. Sit on his butt and ride around the yard. Oh, how hard. I don't have a dishwasher and I can't ride the vacuum. GET OVER IT!)

I'm cleaning out the gargae today - I plan on making a FREE pile in the driveway and donating a lot to the Salvation Army.

Hint for the day: Coupons, coupons, coupons.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

I stayed home yesterday even though it was a Saturday and I am sure there were a ton of yard sales. So, I stayed home and could not have possibly scored a deal, right? Not so fast! In the mail I received another envelope full of Soup Labels for my son. The lady also sent him a nice iron on patch of the USA flag int he envelope. I thought that was really nice.

Later in the day, my neighbor's daughter called from her Grandpa's house asking me to check on her Mom since the phone was off the hook. (I could write a book about the stories form this house!) When I went over there her yard was full of stuff that she was throwing out the door doomed for the trash. She told me to "take anything". I took a nice heavy wooden shelf meant for CD's and tapes - but should hold Beanie Babies very well.

Hint of the Day: Look at your neighbor's trash as you drive by - we make a habit of placing things out by the curb for free. We get quite the kick out of wathcingpeole take stuff. And, if I am tossing it - it is trash. Trsut me!


Friday, September 23, 2005

I've had a good run on deals the last few days. I went to a thrift store on Wednesday and got a handmade quilt dated 1962 with Disney's "Lady & the Tramp" on it. I paid $5.00 - but should get that in return tenfold. Thursday I went to a different thrift store and spent $8.50 on four big sacks. Mostly things for resell, a few things for my son and a couple things to keep. Today I went to several yard sales and got about the same - things for resell, things to keep (a cast iron rooster for my flock, some new T-shirts for my son, a concrete pig for the flower garden) and a few other miscellaneous things. I also went to the SA (Salvation Army) where I bought a 4 gallon metal barrel shaped Skotch Kooler for $10.00. (It's a 1950's ice chest) I also got two of the damnest cutest lawnchairs. They are the old metal ones with the mesh webbing from the 1960's - but they are itty bitty for tiny little kids. I bought them for resell - but lord, they are cute. $1.00 each.

After school I went to Wal-Mart for a few things. We decided to have turkey sandwiches for dinner and I had almost everything we needed. I just needed to pick up some turkey, bread, tomato,chips and dip. ha. Anyway, I had cut out some coupons last night for $30.00 off a blood glucose monitor. I wondered how much they must cost in order for them to offer a $30.00 coupon so I checked it out. I was surprised to see that they were only $28.88. I had two coupons, so I got two of the monitors completely free. I will donate these to the Hurricane Relief. My checker and the CSM were both very happy to see that I was getting them for free and that I was donating them.

Check back next week to see how my 1st Free Spree Fun Day goes. My son is out of school and I have free gift certificates, free T-shirt coupons, free food coupons and a lot of free surprises up my sleeve. It should be fun!

Hint for the Day: Cut out any coupon that interests you - you never know what sort of a deal you might get!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

I thought I would take a mintue and write about how I collect and turn in thousands of Cambell's Soup lables, Tyson's A+ Panels and Boxtops For Education to my son's school.

I belong to an online site for couponing and refunding. I pay $12.00 for that membership (can you believe I PAY for something?!). There is also a print magazine that is available for an additional amount. I do not subscribe to the magazine - however I do get it every month. How do I do that? There are "rewards" for writing articles for that magazine. I write an article about a deal or a bargain that I have gotten recently every few months or so. I get rewarded with three free issues for each article I submit. So, I have a free subscription that comes each and every month and will continue for a long time. In addition to the free issues - every once in awhile the editor will send out an email offering a free ad if you submit it within thirty minutes or so. I quickly write up an ad asking for donations of labels, boxtops and panels. I offer a "goodie" envelope for donations over a certain amount of labels (20), BTFE (10) or Panels (10). The first time I did it, I thought I might receive a few envelopes. I ended up receiving about 50 envelopes of items for the school.

In my goodie envelopes I send rebate forms that I find in stores, extra coupon inserts (I have a box in the Volunteer Center at school and parents drop off their unused Sunday Coupon Inserts for me to use) and stickers. Stickers are a great goodie envie stuffer because people like them for their kids, contest entries and to add to their own goodie envelopes. I have been fortunate twice to stumble on to stacks of stickers for very little money. The first time I was at Toys R us and they were having 90% off all green tag clearnace items. I found 42 packs of stickers marked down to 19¢ each - so I paid 1.9¢ each for a total of about 80¢. Each pack of stickers had 4 sheets per pack, so I had 168 sheets of stickers and I normally cut each sheet in half to even double that number. I also found a clearance sale at Dillon's where they had Hallmark stickers marked down to 10¢ a package- I got 38 packs of those and each package had 4 sheets as well. So, I send out all these stickers and coupons which basically cost me pennies and I get all these valuable boxtops and panels in return.

One I get all the lables accumulated, I bundle them into groups that are required by the diferent companies. About a year ago Campbell's had awesome bonus forms out in the stores and in ad flyers. If you stapled five actual soup labels to the form, it would be worth 100 lables. Shazam! I put out a trader notice sayiing I needed LOTS of these. I had a great response. I was able to turn 1,400 actual labels into 14,000 actual and bonus labels for the school.

When the school has a "Label Drive" the class with the most donatied labels, wins a party or a special event. I donate all mine at once. My son is deemed "cool" when he walks in with a file paper box full of labels and everyone else has a sandwich bag full. For five straight years my son's clss has won a pizza party or a movie party or an extra recess party - sometihng fun for his class only. It sounds like I spend a lot of time on this - but the envelopes just come in and I fill goodie envelopes once a week. I haven't had an ad in the magazine for two months, but I still recieve envies about three times a week. I got two yesterday alone! I guess my "goodie envies" are good!

Hint of the Day: Save labels and boxtops for your child's school. Don't have a child? Donate them to the school up the street anyway. They can use them to buy new playground equipment, laminators, etc. Or, heck, mail them to me @ 100 N. Hunter St. Farmington, AR 72730. Mention my BLOG and I will sned you one FAT envie full of stickers and goodies!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

There was a big church sale in town yesterday. It started at 6:30 am. Even on a school day I could never be there and ready for THAT time! Since it is such a big church - all the members donate to the sale - there is a ton of merchandise.

My son and I got there about noon to see what was left. It was still packed with stuff! I only had $10.00, so we had to look it over and select wisely. The people looking at clothes were givien Wal-Mart plastic bags and told to fill them for $3.00. I see this a lot at sales. I rarely buy clothes at yard sales, so I was only half listening to them. A bit later another lady walked by and had a small file sized box and offered it to someone for $3.00 - fill it up with anything under the tent. "Anything?" they asked. "Anything at all," the lady replied. Well, that got me excited- becauce there was plenty of resellable items, things I wanted, things my son wanted and some useable things too. Finally a lady walked by and offered up a HUGE Toilet Tissue case - $5.00 to fill it up. "ME!" I yelled. I think they had met their match on filling a box! I got so much stuff it was unreal. I found a piece of matte white Haegar Pottery that would sell for about $50.00 alone, but I am going to keep it as I have quite a collection of vintage matte white pottery. I found a wonderful handmade Rooster Girl doll for my flock. My son got two of the Tiger Electroic robotic pets - a bird and a cat - they were priced at $5.00 each at the sale. I got several prints to resell - one is a hand drawn pencil rendition of a war airplane priced at $10.00 at the sale. I bought a bag of precut quilt pieces, an awesome vintage sewing basket full of vintage sewing items, boxes of staionery that I will use, new boxes of envelopes and computer paper, a few little toys for the boy, a new with tag "It's a Girl" bear for a famly member's upcoming baby shower, a MWT Beanie Baby Lizard, lots of craft items, sewing items, computer games, office supplies, christmas and halloween items, etc. My son and I couldn't even budge the box it was so full and heavy. We unloaded it and it filled up the entire back of my VUE. It took me several hours to get it in the house, sort it and decide what goes where.

Oh yes, I ended up giving them $10.00 for it since I got so much in it and it was for charity too. I still got a good deal even at $10.00!!!

Friday I received the Gatorade cooler I won in a call-in contest. It is huge - 60 qts. and came with a T-Shirt and a 8 pack of Gatorade. We have several coolers of different sizes. But, this one is the best and the biggest and it was....FREE!

My UPS man hates me.

Hint of the Day: Going to sales early is great - but sometimes it pays to go late and see what is left over. Deals are out there! Have you found your's yet???

Thursday, September 15, 2005

I went grocery shopping at the Wal-mart SuperCenter yesterday. I get a lot of deals and do a lot of stockpiling at the other smaller grocery stores in my area. But, for the bulk of my actual shopping (You can't live on puddin'). I shop at Wal-Mart. The checker scanned and bagged my groceries and told me my total. When I handed her my stack of coupons I heard this big breath of air behind me in line. The couple behind me was not happy that I was using coupons. "Up your's" I thought to myself. Anyway, my total before coupons was $112.00 and $77.50 after coupons. So, I saved $35.50. Not my best, but a good deal at that.
I finally have a few items on ebay this week after not having sold this summer. I have bids on about hialf my items with several days left on each item. One thing I have up is a Hallmark ornament. I learned to go through boxes of Christmas decorations at yard sale and thrift stores looking for Hallmark Ornmaments. In the original box is the best, but harder to find. Out of the box is okay too - I just make sure it's not broken or damaged. It seems almost any Hallmark ornament will sell for at least $8.50. If I only pay 25¢-50¢ for it - that's a good profit. This is a Series Ornament from 1980 - new in the box with all the inserts and packaging. I paid $1.00 for it. (Which is high for me to pay!) I had a bid on it 20 minutes after listing it. It is up to $27.75 today with 3 1/2 days left to go on it. There is only one other one listed and it has a "Buy It Now" price of $150.00. Kind of fun to see what it will end at! A nice surprise to get me back into the ebay mood!
I have learned what to sell on ebay by reading Kove's Price Guide and other price guides. Not that the pricing informaitn is always correct. But, I have lerned about all the different types of pottery - Haegar, Hull, McCoy, Shawnee - types of glass - carnival, slag glass, vasoline, depression,etc. I know about vintage toys and old advertising items and even new collectilbes like PEZ dispensers and Beanie Babies. The most important thing I ever found out is that "Everyone collects something and everything is collected by someone."
I watch the Antiques Roadshow a lot. I don't have priceless heirloms like those people shlep in - but I have learned a lot by watching it. One man brought in two big shiny black pots. Together they were worth $55,000.00. They were made by a Native American woman and simply signed, "Maria" on the bottom. Well, the shiny pots looked familiar to me and that "Maria" signature looked even more familar. (I better go back and mention that I have many, many collections. Treasures I have found one of, then another, then another and wah-lah, a collection has been formed. One of these such collections is a basket full of miniature pieces of pottery that I have picked up here and there - all small vases, pots, vessels, etc. It all started when I found ten of them at one sale (at the shop of an antiques dealer I call Ms. Snot Britches - that "knows her stuff" and sells off the rejects inexpensively) for 10¢ each.) Anyway, b ack to the $55,00.00 pot story - So,I dug out the basket full of pots and searched through them. There at the bottom was a small shiny black pot - I turned it over -"Maria" it said. Now, I knew this wasn't going to be a $55,000.00 pot. But, it was worth researching and listing on ebay. I did a lot of research on the internet about Maria and learned even more about her pottery. I listed it with a beginning bid of $9.99 and it sold for $367.00. (This was one of the pots I had bought from Ms. Snot Britches for 10¢!) This pot was about as big as a golf ball, so it was certainly not worth $55,000.00 - but a $367.40 profit was alright by me. And, I enjoy this story a lot more than I ever enjoyed that little black shiny pot.
Hint of the Day: Read and learn all you can about everything - there are treasures out there just waiting for you to find.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I have racked my brain thinking and thinking, but I do not think that I have found a bargain in several days. Saturday was the big birthday bash for my son. Twelve kids came. I had enough goodies for 24 kids, so I have plenty left over. That night we went out for Chinese at a different resturant than our usual since it was closed. Sunday we stayed home and put up all the stuff I drug to the park for the party. Oooo - I remember a deal! Saturday when we went to the park to set upI saw some money laying in the street. My son grabbed it - it was three $1.00 bills. Sunday night when I took the recycling to the curb, there was a dollar bill laying on the curb. I only live about 500 yards from the park so I am convinced there is money everywhere. Probably not.

Monday I picked up my deposit check form renting the shelter house at the park. I also went to the grocery store where I waited inline behind a lady that had her food stamp voucher declined. She yelled and hollared and made a fuss. I felt bad for her, until she threw the fit. Anyway, then I picked up my son and one of his friends and we took her home. No deals to report - how sad.Off Topic - How long is Martha going to talk about her days in prison on her new show? She acts like she was at summer camp!!!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Puddin', Puddin', Puddin. Today's deal is all about the puddin'. Kraft Handi-Snack Pudding was on sale at Dillon's yesterday for 99¢ each. I had coupons for $2.00 off 3 Handi-Snacks. That made them 3/99¢. I used five coupons so I got 15 4 pks. for $5.00. That is 60 individual puddings at a cost of about 8¢ a piece. DS takes on almost every day with his lunch - so that was a good deal for our family.

Also, in the mail yesterday I received a coupon for a FREE Home Cafe Coffee maker. I had signed up on a webiste to recieve a free coupon for the apliance - but I thought it meant the coupon was "Free" and it would be for $5.00 off or something. I was shocked to see it was for a FREE Coffeemaker. These are the ones that use the pods and cost about $50.00. Not sure if I will keep it as a reserve Christmas Gift or donate it or sell it or ???? Not bad for free any way you look at it.

I also won three coupons for Keebler Fudge Shoppe cookies on an online sweepstakes. I like Fudge Shoppe coookies just fine. But, I saw on my coupon trading board that some people were getting Chips Deluxe coupons and some were getting Sandies coupons and some were wishing they had gotten another kind. Pecan Sandies are my favorite and are more expensive so I never buy them. I took a chance to see if anyone wanted to swap their Pecan Sandies for my Fudge Shoppe cookies. A lady wrote me and we worked it out. Her trade arrived yesterday. So, even though they were free and good, I made it an even better deal for my famly.

Today is thrift store day. DH had to work today because of the holiday schedule this week. So, I get to venture out alone and take my time without him breathing down my neck. Actually, he has gotten into looking around and has found a few things for himself lately. You never know what you can find if you just look around!

Hint of the Day: You can always sweeten a deal by trading free coupons or using multiple coupons for multiple deals.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

We had an early bithday celebration dinnerfor DS today. We went to our favorite small town Chinese resturant. The owner there is very nice. He has been going through some rough times and has been closed some days lately. We used to eat there occassionally when we wanted to go out to eat - but when he was closed we ate there when we saw he was open. Anyway, things seem to be going better for himnow. He saw that DS opening presents and told him lunch was on him. So, DS got a free meal out of the deal. A deal and I wasn't ven deal hunting! Woo-hoo! The food is awesome and paying for it would have been okay by me. The Queen of Cheap willing to pay! Whoda thunk it?

Went grocery shopping for my Grandmother too. She is the opposite of a deal hunter and cheapness. She likes to pay a LOT for items. If you get her a present and you got it on sale or at a deal - oh, you had better let her think it cost a frickin' fortune or she will be totally P.O'ed at you. She thinks the gift doesn't count as much if you got it on sale. Well, hell-oooo, she wouldn't get much from me if I bought her things at full price! I have her one Christmas gift already. It ws $29.99 - I happened to get it for $1.99. But that's for me to know and her NOT to find out!

Hint of the Day: Make friends with the local business owners - it might pay off unexpectedly!

Friday, September 02, 2005

I went yard saling this morning. Found lots of stuff for resell and a couple of quirky gifts for people. I spent $13.75 total and I know one item will resell on ebay for nearly $50.00 and I got TWO of those!

I'm ordering from Swiss Colony. I order the Petit Fours from the Postage paid section and gte a $28.00 box of Truffles for free. My son thinks getting cholocoate in the mail is the "bomb". Since it is almost 100 degrees every day, they might be "the soup" when they arrive.

Hint of the Day: Look for FREE with purchase codes and FREE shipping codes and combine to gets stuff for free or really cheap.


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Yesterday I had a feeling that I should go to my favortie thrift store. Actually, I always go on Wednesday but that's beside the point. I know all the ladies that volunteer in there. It opens at noon, but they let me come in at 11:30. So, I get the best pickin's! Just so happens they were putting out a cart full of like new clothes for 50¢ each. I bought $10.00 worth so that is 20 items. One was a Colorado Rockies jersey that I will put on ebay. My husband picked out a couple t-shirts. I got my son a t-shirt from MY high school and one from Hawaii. The other 15 were for me. Three of the shirts "weren't me" after I tried them on at home. Still, a great deal on everything.

Even better, I found my son a Pixter that seemed to work, even though I didn't know what it was. I went to Wal-Mart and looked at them. They cost $31.01 at Wal-Mart and I paid $1.00 for it at the thrift store. He loves it and has hardly put it down. It's an electronic drawing pad and illustrator. Aa awesome deal at $1.00.

Gas just hit $3.12 in town. I haven't ever figured out how to get a "deal" on gas. I wish I could. Thee is a telephone locally today raising money for Hurricane Katrina. I'll be calling in later. Son has alredy pledged his allowance.

Hint of the Day: Hit those thrfit stores. You never know what you might find.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Got hair? Goal for today - get free Mach3 Razors and free blade refill packs at Walgreen's. I have coupons for buy the refills get the razor free and Walgreen's has buy the razor get the refills free. So, combined that shoud mean free razors and free refills. If I can get the checker to understand it. That is always the hard part.

Thursday I am volunteering at my son's school for School Picture day. I will write each kids name on a slip of paper that goes into the camera so they know who everyone is for the yearbook. For volunteering, the photo company gives me any package of pictures I choose for FREE. Great deal! The package I chose is $48.00 - not bad for about three hours I still DO NOT understand - They photographed the Kindergartners LAST after recess and after a spaghetti and blueberry cobbler lunch. I had to wipe every kids face and hands with baby wipes and recomb their hair. I'm sure parents were thrilled when they got the pictures and they didn't have the hairdo they left home with that morning. Not to mention the big purple stain on their shirt! I earned those free pictres that day!

I also volunteer at the Book Fair in the Spring. I get a $10.00 credit for every two hours I work. Last year I earned $40.00 in credits so my son was able to pick out a lot of nice books for FREE. I should mention that I love being at school and I volunteer a lot. Because of this, they usually call me to volunteer when I can get someting for free as a "Thank you".

Hint for the day: See what free perks you can get for volunteering some time at school.

Monday, August 29, 2005

I'm not a greedy woman - not the type that wants or needs jewelry, fancy cars, trips to exotic places. I am more of a practical person. I have been asking my husband for a clothesline for years. Well, I finally got one this weekend. I've been hanging out towels and sheets and then tossing them in the dryer to soften them up. Works like a dream and doesn't heat up the house or cost any money to run the dryer. I have a load of sheets to take out now. It's great for towels and sheets, but I don't plan on hanging out my skivvies for strangers to see.

We went to the drive-in this weekend. Fice of us went in one car so each family paid $4.50. (I still owe you 50¢) We sat out in our lawn chairs and enjoyed "Charlie and the Chocolate Factor" and didn't enjoy "Batman Begins". It has been hot, but it was very nice that night.

I am in the midst of planning a Luau for DS's 10th birthday. We are well known for his parties. I just have them at the park, pick a theme and run with it. The kids get lots of great goodies - not just some candy and trinkets. This time each kid gets a bucket hat, sunglasses, silk flower lei, sand pail, paddle ball, beach ball, candy bracelet, lei bracelet, full sized pack of Bubblelicious gum, crayons and a notebook. All of these have a tropical theme. The hats came from the Dollar Tree for $1.00 each (duh), the sand pails are really Easter pails purchased for 12¢ after Easter, the gum was free after $1.00/1 coupons that I had multiples. Everyting else was purchased from S&S Worldwide - an on-line party supply company. I had a code for $50.00 off $100.00 purchase - so I was able to get better quality items and more of it at the same price as Oriental Trading. We will have hotdogs (hotdogs will be purchased with coupons and Dh runs a bread route for the buns), chips ( donated by the Frito Lay guy in exchange for buns for his Labor Day BBQ), drinks (remember that free pop I got at IGA last week?) and snowcones. We are friends with the local ice cream man and he is getting us a case of snowcones at cost for the party. He sells them for $2.00 each- we are paying $20.00 for a case of 48. Lots more to plan and talk about for the party!

Hint for the Day: Use your connections (in my case - the bread man, chip man and ice cream man) to get freebies or cheap things you need.

Friday, August 26, 2005

I only found one yard sale today. Although, with the cost of gas these days, I didn't drive very far looking for signs. I spent $1.40. I got a nice set of vintage Decoware tin canisters with flowers (1950's) - 10¢ for the set, an old cast iron cocker spaniel bank - 10¢, a Chimpanzee doll dressed like a cowgirl - needed this like a whole in the head - but she was only 10¢ and had a $24.99 price tag and a nice stuffed eagle for DS - 10¢. Also got two VHS tapes for 50¢ each - FrankenPooh and Richie Rich with "Home Alone" kid. VHS tapes seem to be the deal at sales lately. True, everyone is going to DVD, but why would you get rid of the VHS and then go buy the same thing on DVD? We have a VCR and a DVD player so we can use both. (Not to mention the fancy dancy new DVD/VHS we won last weekend!)

I bought groceries at Walmart yesterday. Two women were checking out behind me (seperately - they weren't together) and they were discussing the good deal on towels they had found. "What deal? Whee's a deal? I love a deal!" I cried! Turns out bath sheets are only $2.00 and they are big thick pretty towels. I had to leave to pick up DS from school, so I didn't get a chance to check them out. But I can hear those towels calling me from Wal-Mart..."Shara...we're only $2.00! Come get us!" Hubby and I have been married 14 years so some of our wedding towels have big transparent spots in them. Might be time to upgrade - and at a DEAL!

Hint of the day - eavesdrop on other people's conversations. You might find a deal! (I am kidding about this one.) But, if you DO overhear something - all the better for you!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Monday - the first actual week of school. DS wasn't too thrilled about going last week, but seemed ready to delve into it this week.

Yesterday we went to the local grocery store to stock up on some advertised specials. Three weeks ago they had a pull out section full of coupons. There were four coupons for each week all for FREE items with a $15.00 purchase. I grabbed a handful of good ads in hopes that some good deal would come up and I could use duplicates. This week they have boneless, sinless chicken breasts for $1.58 lb. We only eat chicken and turkey so this is a good deal. I normally pay $8.97 for 3 lbs. So, this is half what I normally pay. Since DH was available to got too, we did a double order. We each bought $15.00 worth of chicken and then we both recieved a half gallon of Edy's ice cream, 10 lbs. of potatoes, a 12 pk. of Coke and a roll of Sausage (will give to StepFather as he eats that nasty stuff). Total value of free items was $13.44 for each order so a total of $26.88 in free items. Not bad!

Hint for the Day: Keep extra inserts and weekly ad inserts on had in case a good deal "pops up"!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Friday was the first day of school. I dropped off a tearful son then went to a few yard sales. One was a charity sale. It was their third sale. The first time I went nothing was priced and they said, "Make a pile" and then they quoted you a price. I gathered up a few toys, some Christmas decorations and a few other odds and ends. They quoted me a priced of $30.00 and said it was for Charity. I politely declined. The second time they had a sale, stuff was priced, but waaaay to high. This time stuff was priced, but they were down to the old margerine tubs and stained clothes. I bought a couple new Christmas ornaments for 25¢ each. I went to one other sale and bought three new with tag Beanie Babies for my son's ever-growing collection. I think he has over 300 now. When Beanie Babies first came out I thought it was such a scam - $1000.00 for a blue elephant - Puhleeze. Then bottom fell out and everyone started selling them off cheap or getting rid of them. That's when my sone decided to start buying them. He has gotten most of his for 50¢-$1.00 at sales. The Salvation Army sells them for $2.00 each, but he always thinks long and hard about those before he buys one at that price. He got 11 of them for 10¢ each once - that was his best deal.

Last night we went to a "Back to School Bash" that the PTSA put on. It was like a carnival and a lot of fun. There were games, cheap food ($1.00 hotdogs and sodas)and drawings for prizes. At each game you popped balloons with a dart or threw a football or tossed apples in a basket. It didn't matter if you "won" or not - you still got a prize. My son ended up with two pencils, two nice ink pens, a flashlight, a giant pixy stick, two t-shirts and a sack full of candy. They were doing drawings on the raffle tickets every 30 minutes. We thought we heard my husband's name so we went up front but they were saying another name by that time. You had to be present to win. A friend came over and said they had drawn his name but since we didn't hear it - we lost out. D@amn! Then they announced the winner of the gumball count- how many gumballs were in this big jug. My son had guessed 500 and there were 517. The closest guess was 502 but she was gone. So, the next highest guess was 500 - but they gave it to another kid that also guessed 500. D@mn! My son's shoulders were wilting! So, then they gave away a girls bike and a boys bike and these little kids were sooooo excited! They thanked everyone for coming and were about to walk off stage and somebody yelled - "What about the DVD player?" Oh yeah, they forgot to draw that one. So, who did they call but MY HUSBAND. Yeah! Our son was instantly revived and wanted to walk around carrying the box. It is a nice DVD/VCR all in one player. Not bad for $5.00 worth of raffle tickets and a couple hours of sweat!

Hint for the day: Yard sales yeild deals and buy a raffle ticket once in a while - you just might win. And if you don't - the charity still wins!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Yesterday was my Birthday. Whoopity-do.

I got $50.00 in birthday cash from my Dad. (You're never too old for
b-day cash!). I noticed yeterday that Hobby Lobby had all their
scrapbooking items for 1/2 price this week. I went today and splurged on
a few things and got some really cool things too. I spent $102.18 before
discounts and $51.09 after discounts. My son tossed in some Silly Putty
or it would have been under $50.00.

We went to ToysRUs afterwards and looked for green tageed items. All
green tagged items are on clearance and this week everything is 50% off
the green tag. We bought a Rescue Hero Animal and Figure set for $3.49.
It had been $9.99. When it gets to 90% off, DH and I will go on a
scavenger junt to see what we can find ringing up cheap. This spring
they did this same thing and we bought over $400.00 worth of toys for
less than $20.00. Most of this will go to Toys 4 Tots at Christmastime.
We found a bunch of Playmobile toys that were not green tagged, butlooked
out of place. We took a chance and scanned them and they were ringing up
at 90% off. We got $24.99 Police Cars for $2.49 and Police Motorcycles
that were $14.99 for $1.49. Lots of great items for birthday parties and
charities too. I do usually sell a few things in my garage sale to
recoup the initial investment. Then that makes all the donated items
completely free.

I have $350.00 worth of merchandise coming from a website that ended up
costing me $14.85 (and that includes $5.00 shipping). Each item was
$49.99, but ended up costing me only 89¢ each. I'll save that story for
another day!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

While were at the Festivallast night - about 8:00, these big clouds started rolling in. Suddenly, just as the boys were about to get on the Tiltawhirl, these HUGE drops of rain starting coiming down hard. We ran to get under a tent, but it was blowing so hard and the lightening was striking out in the fieled where everyone had parked. We were about a block from the car. We ran to the other end of the festival and got under another tent to try and get the water out of our eyes. We were running through water past our ankles - that's how hard and fast it was coming down. We ran one more time for the car and by the time we got there it was slowing down some, but man were we drenched. We got the car seats soaked. It took about an hour to get out since the traffic was so bad and it was raining so hard. We drove into Fayetteville where it had not rained at all! We went through the drive in at Chick-Fil-A and the guy looked and me like I was straight out of the looney bin - soaking wet, wet shirt - wet hair - black mascara all over my face. What a looker! I explained to him, but he just closed the window and pretended I wasn't out there.

We were about ready to leave the festival anyway, we just didn't plan on getting soaked to the bone before we left. The canival rides were way to expensive and the games were so high priced and really pretty dorky. I spent a whopping 75¢ trying to push a line of quarters over the edge of machine. I heard one fall out, but never could find it.

Today is coupon insert day and the advertisements come out for Walgreen's, Target, etc. I usually sit down and see what deals I can come up with between the two. I have already discovered that a quick trip to Walgreen's will net me 12 packages of Kraft Handi-Snacks Cheese and Breadsticks for a total of $4.00. These sell for $1.89 each at Wal-Mart. They are Buy one for $1.99 get one for 1¢ at Walgreen's. I have $2.00 off 3 coupons so if I buy twelve that is equally divided by 2 (buy one/get one) and 3 (buy 3 save $2.00). So, $12.00 for the Handisnacks minus 4 $2.00 coupons ($8.00) so a grand total of $4.00 for 12 Handisnacks. Each Handisnack has five individual packages - so that is 60 Handisnacks for $4.00. 6.5¢ a snack. A great deal for after school snacks, school lunches, birthday goodie bag stuffers, and treats for the class (I'm the Home Room Mom!).

Hint for the day - Look over the inserts and double check them up with your ads. Good deals are out there!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

It's Saturday - Yard Sale day. But, honestly, it wasj rust too hot to even attempt any sales. Thee was a sale three doors down from our house yeterday. My son and I walked down there early. It was a garage sale and an apparel sample sale for And1 or andone. I never heard of the clothes before, but it was cool stuff for boys and men - hip hop looking sweat suits, t-shirts, long basketball shorts and cool hats. They new shirts were $4.00 each which is a lot to me at a yard sale, but they were all priced at $29.99 and higher to begin with new. So, I started picking out a bunch of stuff for my son since school starts this week. I asked if they would take a check since I hadn't had a chance to go to the ATM for yard sale money yet. They said no even though they know I live up the street and have lived there for 11 years. Not like I'm a hot check writer or anything. Oh well. I bought him three shirts because I had $13.00. I also picked up a Lennox swan, two crystal toothpick holders and an old glass reamer/juicer - all for 25¢ each. Good resell items. And my son will start school looking hip hop cool.

Tonight we will do the thing I live my life NOT to do. WASTE MONEY! We will go to a big carnival in town and spend money on rides, carny food and attempt to win big stuffed toys that we have NO room for anyway. But, it's a yearly tradition and my son abslutely LIVES for tonight. He loves those rides and wants to win, win, win. I remember when it cost 25¢ to play a game for a chance to win a stuffed toy. Now it's at least $1.00. Throw a dart? 3 darts for $5.00. Come on! We stick to the 50¢ games and set a limit on ride tickets. One ticket is $1.00 and each ride takes 3-4 tickets not to mention he wants Daddy to ride too! So, that's $6.00 at least to watch my son and husband get spun around while I envision them flying off into space.

Monday is my birthday. I'll be 39. Honestly. You say you're 39 and everyone just assumes you are really 40! I AM 39!

My hint for today - Live a little and have some fun and blow a little money every once in awhile!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Several months ago I signed up for the Blockbuster Online Movie Rental program. The first three months were $9.99 then it went up to $14.99 a month. Yesterday I got an email from Blockbuster saying it was going up to $17.99 a month - time to cancel! But, within that email I clicked on a link to get Blockbuster coupons. One of the coupon was for a FREE Previously viewed DVD. There were about 20 titles that you could pick. We went to Blockbuster down the street and picked up a copy of "The Terminal" with Tom Hanks. FREE to keep forever! My point - read those emails and always click on the links to see what they are offering.

I also stopped in Hobby Lobby and checked out the scrapbooking stuff. This is a nasty little habit that I have recently gotten into and I am trying to keep a handle on the amount of money I invest. So, I always browse the end of the back aisles looking for those sweet little yellow Clerance stickers. I got a nice variety of handmade paper stickers that were $2.99 each - reduced to 9¢! Heck of a deal.

*Just so you don't think I am a total cheapy - we did go to the movies today (although it was a matinee, so it was less expensive) and even out to eat at a real sit down resturant without coupons (but, KIDS EAT FREE). We did sneak in a candy bar for the movies in our pocket too. Man, I think I am a total cheapy!

Today's hints: Read your emails carefully and check those clearance items!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Yesterday we bought school supplies and some back to school clothes for my son. He's in the 4th grade this year so he needed more paper products rather than crayons, glue, etc. Although he didn't need a lot of crayons - I noticed they were only 6¢ at Wal-Mart. I always pick up lots of extra crayons, rulers, glue sticks and things like that to give out in goodie bags, donate to Toys For Tots and to send to school halfway throgh the year for the kids that are coloring with tiny little stubs. I substitute teach and witnessed a child coloring a field of flowers all black, brown and gray one day. When I questioned him, he showed me his crayon box and that's all he had. I brought him a new box the next day and he was so proud.

We also looked through the clearnace rack at Wal-Mart in the clothing department. I found Star Wars shirts marked down to $3.00 each. My son, although he really isn't in to Staw Wars -like these shirts - so cheap back to school clothes!

My hint of the day - when you find soemthing super cheap that you know you will use over and over agian - stock up while it's cheap. Boxes of 6¢ crayons will last a long time - no expiratin date - so STOCK UP! As fo the Star Wars shirt - you could buy one now to wrap around the DVD when it comes out and make a nice gift for someone. Alwyas think ahead!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

We went to the Church Sale yesterday and it was a big bust - church members had brought there stuff and were selling it out of their car trunks. Only three cars of "stuff" were there. We left without stopping. There was a big antique and furniture store auction in town yesterday. I assumed that it would be packed with buyers, dealers and gawkers. We drove by to check it out and there we only about 20 people bidding and only one was a dealer. I ended up buying an old kitchen table with green painted legs and a hardwood top for $7.50, an oil painting of a Native American man for $7.50 and something that will end up going to my Mom for Christmas (she reads this Blog. Hi Mumsie!). It was priced at $85.00 - I got it for $5.00. I was willing to go as high as $20.00- but no one else even bid against me. It is Fab-O!

After the auction we went to the grocery store for Kid's Day. There were only four kids in the entire store - two of which have been in my son's class in the past (ah, the joys of small town living). He did the cake walk with one other girl and he won a bakery cake. He was very excited and referred to "HIS cake" the rest of the day. He also did a ring toss game and a bowling game. He won a thermo insulated mug filled with M&M's, a Munch bar, a Twinkie, a Dole banana magnet and sticker sheet and a coupon for a FREE Video Rental. He also got a bottle of Sierra Mist. All in all it was very much worth the short trip up to the store for all these goodies. They took a picture of him with the cake to hang up in the store. My little celebrity!

Hint for today - Sunday is coupon day in the newspapers. I go through them, see what I can use for stuff that I buy all the time. If there are enough good ones, I go by extra papers. If there are only a few that I need multiples of, I trade for them on my coupon board. For instance, we have cats, so we buy kitty litter every week. When I saw a Tidy Cat $1.00 coupon a few months ago, I figured up how many bags we would buy before the coupon expired and then I traded for coupons to have one for every bag we will buy until Spet. 30, 2005 (the expiration date). I haven't gone through the inserts really good yet today - but there were four insets which is really good.

Til next time,

Saturday, August 06, 2005

It's Saturday. The greatest day of the week. GARAGE SALE DAY! (I saw a sign the other day that advertised a GARARAGE SALE). We're headed out to see what finds we can find today. There is a big chruch sale at th end of my road. Plus Iam sure we willp ass others along the way.

It is also "Kid's Day" at the grocery store here in town. Lots of prizes, freebies and samples for the kids. We'll go there see what we cang get for lunch for free then come on home.

I'll post any fab-O finds later.

Hint for today: Yard sales are great places to find ebay resell object,s gifts for people, things to add to your colelctions, cheap kids books, great kids clothes, etc. I BRAKE FOR YARD SALES!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

While following a yard sale sign several years ago, I happened to go down a street that I normally wouldn't have ever followed. At one house there was a card table set up under a tree and they were selling tomatoes, peppers, cucmbers and squash from their garden. This was a "Put your money in the can" type of deal. So, every few days we drive by the house to see what they are seling. Today I got garden fresh tomatoes for 75¢ a pound, cucumbers for 5/$1.00 and sweet yellow peppers for 5¢ each. My hint for today - scope out your neighborhood for large gardens. Maybe they sell off their excess inexpensively.

This is one of my deals that I documented with a photo. PopTarts were in the Dillon's Ad for 97¢ each. I had coupons for 45¢ off one box. Each coupon doubled at Dillon's to 90¢. So, that meant each box of Poptarts would cost only 7¢. I only had a few coupons, so I got on a coupon trading board and traded for additional PopTart coupns. After my trade I was able to get this batch of 31 boxes of PopTarts for a total cost of only $3.31. This deal was a couple of years ago. I also have learned that when I buy anything in a large batch that I should save all the UPC's in case a refund or premium offer comes out in the future. Imagine my glee when I discovered that PopTart's curently has an offer for a free Beach Towel and Beach Tote Bag for every twelve UPC's. I mailed in 24 UPC's today so I have two Beach Towels and two Tote Bags coming for free. Gotta love a deal like that!

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