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.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

My Deals This Week

I went to a thrift store on Wednesday. I got there about 30 minutes before they really open, but you can go on in if the "OPEN" sign is up. As I walked past three big racks of nice suits and dreses the lady working there leaned over and told me I could get anything on the racks for 3/$1.00. So, I looked through them. The first item I picked up had a price tag on it from some swanky boutique for $109.00. I also got a two piece suede jacket and skirt combo and a three piece pinstriped ladies suit. I got three other items too, but I haven't taken them out of the car yet to remember what they are! So, I got six outfits for $2.00. These will all be for resell. DH actuall foudns oemthing cool while he was wandering around. He found these huge wooden clothespins that you hang on the wall. I think they are for holding a notepad. But, I plan on using them to hold a curtain near the laundry area. I also got my son a brand new Pokemon Monopoly Collector's Edition Board game for $2.00.

Went shopping at Wal-Mart and found some good deals on the Clearance aisle. I got a Schick Intuition gift pack with a razor, spare blade and wooden pumice scrubber thingy in it for $1.00. I had a coupon for $2.00 off so I got it for free and made a $1.00 profit on it. They also had two packs of Glade Wisp Air Freseners on clearance for $5.00. I had $3.00 coupons so I ended up geting a two pack for $2.00. They are usually about $7.00 each. So, $1.00 is awesome. I bought three two packs. When I opened one up, there was a $2.00 coupon in each one. So, I will be watching the Clearance aisle for them to go down even more so I can use these coupons.

I am about to do something very unlike me as far as bargain shopping and saving money. We are getting ready to buy a 50" Plasma TV and a new wall unit for it. $$$$$$$$ Shock! We are pretty frugal with our spending and rarely go out to eat or to the movies or basically anywhere - so having a nice big TV for movies and LOST would be a great treat for us. So, we are going to do it. If I can write a check that big!

Hint of the Day: Look around your Wal-Mart for a clearance aisle. Ours is in between the paint and automotive section. This is anew thing for our Wal-Mart and it is a fun aisle to wander through. Don't forget your coupons!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

ToysRUs 90% Off Finds

Every year my family looks forward to the big Toys R Us 90% off sale. We make it a family event! My husband, son and I go armed with a list that I have printed out from Centsible Chat, a bottle of water and our comfortable shoes. We go to each individual section and follow these guidelines. First, we look for any green tagged items on the shelf. Then we go through the list looking for any items in that area. After that, we look for any one of a kind items, items without shelf tags or items with dusty, dented or faded packaging. We gather any items up that meet these qualifications and head to the self-scanners. My son scans the items while I take note of what scans at the 90% off price and place it in the cart. My husband takes the rest of the items back to the shelf and we go on to the next section to start over. We have so much fun with this and like to share our finds with people shopping on the aisle with us. Sometimes they are excited and very thankful to have found a deal. But, more times than not, they look at us like we are from Mars and they just don't get it. Oh well, their loss! This year we were lucky to find the Etch-a-Sketch Plug and Play Video games for $2.50, the inflatable SpongeBob Squarepants Birthday Decoration for $1.49, Hot Wheels Battle X Arena for $1.49, Hot Wheels Battle Weapons for 35¢ each, Barbie Kareoke Cartridges for 15¢, Spiderman Icee Pops for 15¢, two different Leap Pad Mind Games for $1.99 each, stickers for 15¢ and some SMAX figures for 59¢. We have found more in past years, but that didn't stop us from having fun on the "hunt"! When we checked out the checker told us that our total was $174.xx before discounts" and then he pressed the discount button on the register and said, "And now your total is $18.74!" I think he was even surprised at that total! It would have been a bit less, but DH threw in a Pepsi at the last minute! My son will keep the Battle X Arena, one of the Leap Pad Mind Games and one of the Etch-A-Sketch Plug-In Plays. A few of the items are for upcoming birthdays too. The Icee Pops and Inflatable SpongeBob will will go to my son's birthday party this year. I will list the Barbie Kareoke Cartridges on ebay next Christmas. Here's a picture of DS in front of all the goodies. Not surewhy he looks so glum. He's used to Mom photographing him in front of odd things like mounds of Pop-Tarts and piles of Glade Candles!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Last year I posted about a contest from Albertson's Gatorade for these huge coolers. I had won and so had a ton of other people on other boards. This is another contest soponsered by Albertson's and Propel. I called tonight and won! Yoppee!

You can call in once a day and the time resets at 12:00 am EST. A lot of people are winning in the middle of the night particularly at 2:00 am. I won on the Gatorade Call-In contest at 2:00 am myself. Oh yeah, I guess you would like to know what the prize is! It is an MP3 player.


There are 1,488 prizes - all of which are MP3 players. It is limited to the following states: AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, ND, NJ, OK, OR, PA, RI, SD, TX, UT, VT, WA, WI, & WY.

Limit one call per phone number per DAY. Ends 5/15/06. They tell you at the end of the call if you are an instant winner. Try on your cell phone also, work phone, etc. Once the guy starts talking hit "2" then when he talks again hit "2" again. Then enter your eight digit birthday. Then he will say, "I'm sorry" or "Congratulations".

Post if you win! Good Luck!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

My Busy Week of NO DEALS!

I spent most of the week volunteering at my son's school. Wednesday I worked in the library then chaperoned about 160 4th Graders to the Boys and Girl's Club. They did a lockdown and let the kids just go crazy and do whatever they wanted - some climbed the rock wall, played basketball, played air hockey and fooseball, etc. Some of the kids spent most of thier time between the snack bar and the TV room. It was a fun day for them all. DS enjoyed endless amounts of time on the Air Hockey table. After school he had volleyball practice then we all went out to eat.

Thursday I worked at school helping the kids have their class photos and Spring Portraits taken. Lots of boogey cleaning and hair combing. They gave short notice on the picture day so some kids came in not dressed too great. I found the counselor and got a couple spare shirts on hand for some of the dirty litle boys to wear. I hope their Mom's are happy! I guess that was my one deal of the week - I got my son's portrait package for free since I helped the cameraman. That was about $45.00 worth of photos.

Friday I went with the Special Olympics Unified Volleyball Team to compete in a tournament. My son played twelve games and won ten of those. So, his team won first place. This was his first sport experience and it was a good one. I must explain that Unified Volleyball pairs up three special needs kids with three non-special needs kids and they make up a team. My son was one of the non-special needs kids. He was chosen for being a good role model to other students.

Today is Saturday and it is raining and cold. No yard Sales today for me. We are supposed to have 3" of snow on Tuesday. The worst part is that we started Spring Break today. Ds and I have all sorts of garage sale/thrift store trips planned this week. IF it doens't SNOW!

Hint of the Day: If you have a Toys R Us around you - you might want to stop in and look for any green taggged merchandise. It is all scanning at 90% off. The best thing is that a lot of merchandise is scanning at 90% off, but is not tagged in any way. So, it is a bit of a scavenge hunt to find items. Personally, we have a ball with it. We just pick up anything interesting and take it to the self scanners. If it scans at 90% off we put it in the cart. Otherwise it goes back on the shelf and we load up again. Last year we got a ton of Playmobil items at 90% off. I gave some away, donated some to the school, donated to Toys 4 Tots and still have a few around here. You can even get bikes for $5.00-$10.00 at these sorts of sales. They even have Overload Candy Bars ringing up at 6¢ each. If I can find those they will go in the goody bags at DS's party this year. D had a good report card this week and won the volleyball tournament, so we will most likely indulge him with a few things too. Heck, at 90% off - WHY NOT!?!

Friday, March 10, 2006

March Deals So Far

I went to a thrift on Wednesday - got three big half full jars of buttons that I combined into one huge jar for a total of $2.50, three like new vintage board games for $3.00 each, a stack of books that are really drawers for $1.00, some sort of brass vintage thingy that has Greek, Hebrew or I don't know what on written on it and a few other misc. things. I have the brass thingy listed on ebay, but I think I might pull it so I can research it further.

I wanted to go to my favorite thrift yesterday, but we were in tornado warnings all day. Decided it wasn't worth getting blown to Oz in search of a treasure. Instead I shopped on-line for some much needed clothes. I spent $250.00 which is like a ten year clothing budget for me normally! I ordered it on my credit card, will get it all, try it, send back what I don't like and pay it off all in one month to avoid service charges. I had, of course, a free shipping code that saved me $20.00.

I'm on my way to take DS to school - hoping to stumble onto a yard sale.

On Wednesday we had our taxes done. We go to the County Courthouse where volunteers from AARP help you do it on the computer and then e-file it for free. We used to pay $125.00 to have it done and we never got much back. Now it's free and we get a much larger refund. The volunteers really go over the forms with you and ask questions, so you can enter lots of things. Our state refund went for $88.00 to $270.00 just by him adding things and asking questions. Anyway, that is a deal - free tax services! We always put at least $10.00 in the donation can. They always say that is too much - but, gee, $10.00 to have your taxes done??? Now, that's a deal!

Deals, deals, deals - I went to "Deals" on Wednesday too. Have I mentioned Deals before? Everything is $1.00 and they take coupons too! I got these awesome leather looking photo storage boxes for $1.00 each. I had seen them at Hobby Lobby for $14.99 each and was too cheap (ME?) to buy them. I only bought two at Deals since they were flat in a box and I really couldn't see them that well. They are very nice and stylish. I should have bought a bunch of them. They had clearance Valentine's stuff 10/$1.00. I found ten nice little heart shaped tins. DS has a birthday party this weekend and we have already put the earrings and necklace he bought in one of the tins instead of a gift bag. The rest will go in the treasure box at school for the kids.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Another Beautiful Saturday Outside

We had another fun beautiful Saturday outside today. There was a Kite Festival out at a very teeny tiny little town near here. We went out and drove up this huge-erific mountain. Once we got up there you could buy a kite for $1.00 and pay $1.00 to fly it. My son got his kite up 1000 feet in the air. He was very proud. His Grandparents were their cheering him on and they won a $5.00 Wal-Mart gift card for the Best Support Team. We spent $3.00 for three kites, $1.00 to fly the kite and 50¢ for a kite raffle. So, $4.50 for a fun day!

On the way home we stopped at Dillon's. They have all these specials for Buy so many of a product get a coupon for so much off your next purchase. I bought 8 Toaster Struedel for $1.99 each. Used 8 50¢ coupons that they doubled to $1.00 each, so they were 99¢ each. Then I got a $3.00 off my next shopping order coupon. So, I basically paid $4.92 for 8 boxes. Not a bad deal. I wanted to treat us to some deli fried chickenbut they were all out. When I asked if they had any more, they replied, "Well.........We'd have to COOK it." Uh, Helloooooo? I'll pass.

Til the next deal time!

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