10 Effortless Ways to Save Money

I love saving money! I may be more zealous in looking for great deals than the average person. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Here are 10 Effortless ways to save money! It’s not about buying stuff you don’t need or spending a ridiculous amount of time looking for great deals.

1. Join Amazon Prime for Students/ Amazon Mom (Get 1 years of 2 day shipping for FREE) here
– No Fee (you save $79 on prime membership)
-No Min. Order
-Get textbooks & millions of other items even presents like blokus shipped for FREE!!!
-All you need is a credited .edu e-mail (other requirements for Amazon mom)
-It lasts for 1 year
*Best part is that there is NO automatic renewal so in case you forget about it’s ok!

2. Digital Grocery Coupons – Don’t get paper coupons? Hate to clip them out?
A lot of grocery stores now offer savings cards as seen with Kroger, Ralphs, and Vons. Well all you have to is link these cyber coupons to your savings cards, once a month update and viola instant savings at the checkout! Plus you can use additional paper coupons on top of e-coupons!
*All programs are free, no spam and easy to use!

Shortcuts here
Safeway Grocery here
Kroger Grocery here

3. Where to get Printable Coupons (you do need a working printer)
You can to choose and print only the coupons that you want. These are legit sites for printable coupons. Coupon printer software very easy to install without being hassle or risk-free! I do this all the time and I haven’t had any problems at all. They often have better & more discounts than newspapers.
Plus these sites are always having new coupons and new companies joining all the time!

Coupons.com here
Redplum here
CVS in-store coupons here
Target in-store coupons here
Riteaid Video Value in store coupons here (RiteAid Pharmacy prgm -watch 30sec videos = special coupons)

** Also with “in-store coupons” you can stack them with manufacturer’s coupons = double savings!
Example: Welch’s Juice is on Sale $2
                    Target coupons                $1 off
                    manufacturer coupon     $1 off
Guess what! That juice is now     ( = FREE+ tax) to you b/c you were able to use both coupons (in store/manufacturers!)

4. Save money and ditch your television channels! (you need high-speed internet)
I feel like everyone is so busy these days, conflicting schedules and always on the go! Who has time to sit at home at designated time each week to watch their favorite shows? Not me! If you have high-speed internet now you can watch your shows anytime you want! It’s legit!
You don’t have to install anything. It streams directly to your computer and if you have AV cable you can even watch it on your regular t.v. set.

Hulu here– they offer a variety of shows, post new shows usual next day!
CW here – hosts 5-6 full episodes of cw series
ABC here
TBS here

5. Top Money Saving Blogs !
Got some free time in between classes? Bored? Well check out these money-saving blogs that update the latest deals, coupons and sales! These are just my personal favorites. There are tons of blogs & websites dedicated to saving YOU money.

Hip2Save here
Deal Seeking Mom here
Slickdeals here (search forums, for updated info)
Coupon Gal here (So-Cal based)
6. Don’t like to cook? Special occasion? What to dine out? Restaurant Savings!
I love to eat and I love trying out new restaurants. However I hate overpaying or finding a “dud” restaurant since money is tight and you don’t ever want a special treat to turn into a nightmare. My suggestion is to do a little research about 5-10 min on the restaurant and you’ll save $$$!

Yelp here – It is a great site with current customer reviews, link to the main restaurant website, and if promotions are going on

Restaurant Week  here– What to dine somewhere fancy and affordable. Find out about your city’s restaurant. For San Diego there is one Jan 16-27th!
Prices for 3 course meals range from $20, $30 and $40 per person.

Restaurant.com here  – They offer free to up 50% off dining costs. Get ‘coupons – gift card’ for $20 off $35 meal! They are always having discounts codes and promotions on the website. So even there you never need to pay retail price!

Groupon  here– They often offer 50-75% off dining gift cards to use in variety of restaurants. Changes daily! Why? The restaurants want you to try them out so it’s like advertising for the companies and you get to dine on a dime!

**Another tip is to go the RESTAURANT’S OWN WEBSITE…they often have happy hour times, current promotions, and join their e-mail clubs for more discounts! TGI Friday’s, MIMI’s cafe, Macoroni Grill, Famous Dave’s, Coldstone, Noodles & Co, and Claim Jumper are just a few that send special coupons, discounts and alerts to their e-mail members. **

**If you are in San Diego save those clipper  & B1G1 magazines with restaurant coupons! You never know when it will come handy**
7. Shopping can be frugal and fun. But you’ll never feel cheap!
I can’t say it enough how important e-mail and internet advertising has become! You’ve got a favorite store or shop, well on their website and see if they have email subscriber list. You might complain that it’s going to be a lot of junk mail. Most sites can customize how often you receive e-mail, what e-mail you want to receive and you unsubscribe instantly at any time! I’ve got great discounts and information from being apart of these lists.

Stores with awesome e-mail updates & coupons: Express, Bath & Body Works, Charlotte Russe, and Sephora…just to name a few.
It really pays to “be in the know” and it costs nothing to join!

8. Movie Watching!
Seriously when did movie watching become so incredibly expensive? Movies at like $10 to $15 bucks is outrageous! Sure movie watching is a treat and great leisure activity. But imagine all the things you can do with $10 bucks after $10 bucks that you save! It really adds up.

-Purchase AMC silver tickets vouchers at your local campus activity office, online or Costco. ($6-7 bucks)
-Borrow movies from your local library
-Have a movies swap with your friends
-Rent from Redbox! It’s super convenient and easy to use. Only $1 dollar per day and you can return at any redbox location.
-Purchase used movies at Blockbuster or Hollywood video. These are usually sold at 50%-75% off
-Netflix here account. They have different plans, online streaming and you can split costs with roommates!

9. Online Shopping – If you are going to spend the money, way not get cashback?
I am advocate for online shopping all the way. These days you can buy anything online but fraction of the price in stores. Plus many chain stores have special online sales, discounts and FREE shipping. Why brave crowds, lacking inventories and waste gas if you don’t need to. You don’t need special software or special credit card to get cashback!!! I’ve been using cashback sites for over a 1 year and received $30 back just from purchases I make everyday that I need and use. My best cashback was through Ebates where I got 30% cashback for my purchases at Yves Rocher and that’s where I found one my favorite glosses. Most chain stores allow online purchases to be returned in the store and some sites are even offering free return shipping!

*To use cashback websites, you need to create an account. Go through their site link to the store website. That’s it! Your store purchases will be continued as normal, same treatment, same prices, and cashback will not track your personal information. All sites are free!*

Ebates here  – They offer $5 reward for the first $5 in cashback you get, tons of websites and current coupon codes. (cashback in paypal/check)

Bigcrumbs here – No min. payout, variety of store like 30% cashback on Ebay purchases (cashback in paypal/check)

Evrewards here – This is *NOT* cashback site, but it allows you to type in a store and shows you what cashback sites will give you the most back, current store promotions and even cashback on different credit cards. Useful tons to see what the best deal.

10. Last but not least: SAVE THE WORLD, buy a WATER FILTER!
Though I’m guilty of this since my mother buys tons of bottled water which I don’t know why. But seriously consider buying a reusable water bottle and water filter instead of plastic bottles. It sounds like duh or silly b/c “plastic is recyclable”  but it really can help the environment! So think about it. Drinking water is great for your skin, your health and even your mental well-being.

You can buy reusable water bottles about anywhere and everywhere. I see them on Amazon.com, Old Navy, Wal-Mart, Target, and even the Dollar store. It doesn’t have to be large or fancy. I’m sure there’s one out there for everyone. Plus Brita water filters are only like $20-30 bucks and a lot of times fridges also have a water purification system. Which reminds me I need to buy a re-fill.


ZOYA Nail Polish Facebook Promotion (3 FREE bottles, Pay $6.95 shipping)

WOOT the Zoya Nail Polish offer is now live! Just “Like” Zoya on Facebook (if you haven’t already) and you’ll see the exclusive Facebook code to score 3 FREE nail polishes (+ $6.95 shipping)! The code is valid through January 7th.

Zoya Nail Polishes usually cost $7 a bottle so this is a steal. Beauty reviews say it’s like OPI in quality but without the nasty chemicals.

I already ordered:
Karina (ruby red), Dovima (matte black), and Kotori (multi-sparkle blue/green)

Here are some other sweet colors:
Lexi (light shimmer pink)
Dana (bright raspberry)
Midori (bold green)
Aria (rose pink)
Austine (rose gold)
Trixie (metallic silver)
Tallulah (Bright blue)
Yummy (Bright blue)

If you can’t tell, I think I might have nail polish addiction coming on. Anyways once I receive them I’ll try to remember to do a review

Indispensable Makeup Picks of 2010: All under $10

These are a few products that I absolutely adore! If you’ve been reading my blog you know that I love getting great deals. I find that these products not only are great at what they do but incredibly affordable and accessible at your local retailers. Thus you don’t have to fiddle around for deals.

NYC Liquid Lip Shine (554U) Sungold Pink $1.99 (Sold at Wal-Mart, CVS)

  • Applies on smooth with pinkish gold shimmer
  • Yummy coconut-like scent

NYC Color Lipstick (407B) Smooch $1.99 (loca retailers such Wal-Mart, CVS)

  • long lasting, no strong lipstick smell
  • gorgeous coral pink color

The above picture is the color swatch for both of the products. Top is the lip gloss, Bottom is the lip stick, and Left Side is the combination. These two products are stand-alone very nice. However I think they create a spectacular blend when combined. (It’s not as light pink on the lips but more of shimmer coral-pink-gold.)

Baby Shampoo $1-3 (most local retailers)I use baby shampoo all the time for cleaning out my makeup brushes. It’s really effective, gentle and cheap! I saw it once on youtube makeup tutorial and I’ve been using it ever since. It gets eyeshadow, waterproof eyeliner, and makes brushes like new. Plus you can get this for $1 travel size in most local retailers and that will last you a long time!

Baby Oil $1-3
This may sound a bit crazy at first but this stuff really works at getting makeup off your face. I usually just dab some oil on a tissue and wipe off my makeup.I use to have issues with my makeup remover not being able to handle waterproof makeup or it would take a long time to get off. Well this stuff works great even on waterproof eyeliner, mascara, and heavy makeup without leaving residue. Afterwards I just wash my face with my normal daily face wash and no oily ness/smell is left behind. It’s gentle! (just make sure not to get in your eye, make sure to wash oil off)
*I’ve heard that cold cream, baby wipes, and some lotions can also easily remove makeup.

Ulta Automatic Eyeliner in (Black, Olive) $7 (sold only at Ulta, ulta.com)
This eyeliner goes on smooth, is long-lasting, and twistable! I have it a bunch of colors. My favorite is the black which is really black and the olive which is subtle but has that pop of color to change-up your routine. Plus Ulta often has coupons for their store, BIGI and I was able to snag some for only $2 each during one of their sales.
Burt’s Bee pomegranate Oil Lip Balm $3 (sold at most local retailers: Riteaid, CVS, Wal-Mart, Target)
Oh man I’ve tried a lot of different lip balms since I have sensitive lips that are always chapped. I have to say so far this is my favorite lip balm out of huge array from Carmex, Bath & Body works, C.O. Bigelow, the Body Shop, EOS, Chapstick, Nivea, Avon, Smuckers, Soft Lips and etc. I’ve even tried other lip balms made by Burt’s Bees but none of them are as effective as this one. It’s has a pleasant smell, light hint of color, goes on smooth, and keeps my lips moisturized for longer. I don’t find myself re-applying as often.

Olay Quench Lotion $5-10 (Most local retailers : Wal-Mart)
This product came out in 2009 so it’s relatively new but I love it. I tried it on a whim because they were doing a rebate for Olay products. I really enjoy using this product. The lotion is moisturizing without being too thick, lightly scented so it smells good, and there’s a hint of shimmer. I use this lotion all over. It doesn’t irritate my face. It really easy to use bottle with a pump.
Physician Formula Baked Collection: Baked Sands $7.28 (local retailers: Target)
I love trying out new makeup but this one has managed to stay in my makeup bag the longest. I really love the brown tones in this trio, you can apply it dry or wet, and it’s really bang for your buck. I’ve been using this one for forever it seems. My favorite is that golden brown color which highlights your eyes and beautiful color.

Almay Intense I-Color for Brown Eyes $7.49 (most local retailers : Riteaid)
First off I’m not positive that this makes my brown eyes pop like they advertise but it’s a really good product. The color palette is conceived in a manner that really blends together and has the ability to be build-able. My favorite is shimmer pink-purple eyeshadow for highlights and all over color. The colors are pigments, easy to use and long-lasting.

Vegan Bamboo Angled Eyeliner Brush $5 (www.theallnaturalface.com, www.theallnaturalface.etsy.com)
This is the only product that is solely online but I felt for the value I had to mention it. I purchased mine while I was scanning through Etsy mineral makeup sellers. The all natural face has super cheap starter sets for mineral makeup, great customer service, and she gives out tons of samples. While back I was desperately looking for an affordable eyeliner brush but everywhere I looked brushes where $15-20 dollars! Then I remembered about this one which is a fraction of the price and it’s good. It’s angled, stiff enough to make a thin line, and it’s vegan! I use it for applying my gel liner and I’m loving it.

Going shopping? While not get some Freebies…

Free Nail Polish from Orly (shine, oh cabana boy, it’s up to Blue)
*Bring in your Seventeen Dec Magazine or Print seventeen.com/orly
*While supplies last. Last time I got a really nice lancome lip gloss with Seventeen promo.
*Look out for mailers with $3.50 of $10 purchase (exclusion: prestige cosmetic but can be used on OPI)

Victoria Secret:
It’s December! Time to check out your Victoria Angel Secret Rewards Card (in store or online checkout) $10 $50 $100 or $500
*Seventeen Magazine December Issue has a promotion : Free Beauty Rush Lip gloss with any beauty purchase
*I believe if you google “free beauty rush” there’s a printable coupon for December: Free lip gloss with any purchase
*Free Pink Dog with Pink Purchase
*Free Pink Nation Panties with Pink Purchase (coupon for being a part of Pink Nation)

***Friday 12/03 ONLY*** Free Freaky Pets to first 5 customers that say  “Are you a friend of Kromdar the Magnificent?”
Theses are very interesting gifts. Great for younger siblings, children, nephews, nieces or kid at heart.

Printable Hallmark $5 off $5 purchase here 
These are great for picking free or close to free greeting cards, gift wrap, ornaments or put towards a larger present.
Also these December Issues have a $5 Hallmark Coupon within them:

*Real Simple
*Martha Stewart
*Midwest Living
e*Family Circle
*Southern Living
*Oprah Magazine

If you haven’t joined Godiva Rewards Membership, you should think about it because it’s a free program that gives you special deals & chocolate
Since it’s a new month : Free Chocolate! My favorite right now is the creme brulee chocolate.

Bath & Body Works
One of my favorite stores to go for special gifts has just released some new coupons!
Printable $10 off $30 here expires December 24th 2010
Online Code: F102785  $10 off any purchase $10 or more (or if the item is less than $10, the item price) so you just pay $5.99 shipping
I got some 14.5oz candles for only $6.49 tax + shipping (retail $19.50) Really cool because they discontinued some of the scents in store.

*Keep B&BW reciepts because they often have a short survey with $10 off $30 coupon -no expiration date
*With B&BW purchase I’ve seen the associates give out $10 off $30 coupons
*If you haven’t joined their e-mail list, the first month they give you a Free Travel Size item with Any purchase coupon (last about a month) here
*Join LUV BBW for free gifts starting 2011 here.  (Thursdays)

Borders Rewards
Free rewards program for Borders the Bookstore here. They often send high value coupons such as 20% off entire purchase, 40% of any item, 40% off any kids toy or game and free coffee at Seattle’s Best. I recently was able to pick up Ticket to Ride (board game) which retails for $50 for (40% off + 20% off entire purchase -they let you combine coupons) for only $24. This is even better than the Amazon price of $35. They also have some sweet deals on cookbooks, crafty books, and $10 & below section.

Target.com has just released new printable coupons here.
*Check out Target’s Daily Deal tab with discounted deals & free shipping on purchase



Cool Bath & Body Works Promotion (Sign up now, Starts Jan 2011)

Bath & Body Works has a new rewards club available! Head on over here to sign up for the LUV BBW Club! You will receive a LUV BBW Club Membership card in the mail and you’ll be able to use this card to score a FREE GIFT on the Thursday of your choice each month when you come into their store!

Offer valid in store only January 1, 2011 – May 31, 2011. You will receive your monthly gift by visiting U.S. Bath & Body Works stores on any Thursday during each calendar month and presenting your Membership Card. Membership Card must be presented, and will be punched, each time a gift is received.

Also if you have Aerie store near you I remember joining the A-list allows you to get special discounts or even free gifts once a month on a Thursday too. ^^

Black Friday Haul : Walmart, Target, VS, AE,The Body Shop & Hallmark

Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, traditionally the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. -wiki excerpt. Many retailers open up at 4am but it seems this year stores are opening up even earlier! Walmart opened up at 12:01am!

This was my first year actually going to stores on Black Friday. It seemed that the majority of shoppers this year that I spoke to were also newbies. I usually shop Cyber Monday (11/29) because it’s easier, there’s free shipping, and I don’t have to leave my toasty room. ^^

Don’t worry if you missed out on Black Friday because this is just a sampling what’s offered this holiday season that you might want to keep an eye out for.

Max and I headed out to brave the crowds and see what cool deals we could snag. These are the stores that we managed to hit and simple reviews on how their black friday events were like.
1. Walmart
2. Target
3. Victoria Secret
4. American Eagle
5. The Body Shop
6. Hallmark
Additional Info: Charlotte Russe, Gap, Office Depot, and the Postal Office

Walmart (Clairemont Mesa) -Biggest Haul
Our Walmart is a 24 hour store so we could wait inside the store for the deals, all the door busters were wrapped in black plastic & boxed up, and when it got closer to time the employees would unravel them. Walmart had separate waiting areas dictated by yellow balloons for electronic products. I personally felt that Walmart had the best black Friday deals, an adequate amount of products, it was very organized, and they had the friendliest service I’ve ever experience at Walmart.

There’s always been fear towards braving crowds, toy rage, and danger on Black Friday. But I felt that Walmart did a great job by allowing people inside the store which diffused possible trampling over fear of scarcity.

Con was that amount of people & shopping carts made it difficult to navigate through the store. So bringing a shopping partner is a must! (Checkout 30 min)

*Interesting Event: They handed out free 5 hour energy drinks!

Walmart Kitchen Deals
40 Piece Rubbermaid Tupperware Set $9
Rival mini-chopper $3
Rival hand mixer $3 (these went the fastest with individuals buying 25 of them at a time, review soon!)
Couple of dvds $2-10 (They had a variety of dvds ranging from $2, $5, $10. They went pretty quick)

Corelle 12 piece dining set $12 (we already use these & they are excellent quality)

Walmart – Towels
I purchased both $1.33 & $3.77 towels. The cheaper towels were almost gone in a blink of an eye! The $3.77 were longer in length, Egyption cotton, and very thick. They were 50% off the original price.
Walmart – Electric Blanket
I don’t know about you but I”m freezing! These blanket has 10 settings, it’s a good thickness, and sturdy. I’m so happy that Max got me this item and it appears so did my mom! It was $19 dollars for the twin size.  They had a variety of colors and alternative electric fleece throw.
Walmart Clothing
As I was saying I’m really cold right now! I got this blue fleece pullover for $7. I normally don’t buy Walmart clothing but it was well made and warm. I wish I could picked up more clothing deals but  the clothing aisles were cleaned out by 12:20 am when I checked. So I guess next year I’ll have to position myself there.

Next Shop: Target (smaller Clairemont Location)
We got there around 2:30 am after picking up some mexican food to eat. It was so cold outside I didn’t actually leave the car until 3:30am and the store opened at 4am. The line wrapped around the store, past mattress store, and loop around the parking lot. It was one of the longest lines I’ve been in. I don’t know how people in the midwest or east coast wait outside a store because it is blistering cold! I heard people had been waiting in line outside for 5 hours for the $300 t.v. I was just there for pajamas so it wasn’t really worth it to me to wait so long. I was surprised how orderly the line was when the store opened, and it moved rather slow. I was about 200 in the line. So all the shopping carts were gone and it seemed most of the sought after doorbusters in the bins were empty. But I got everything I wanted.

Con- Pajamas I wanted were not labelled so I had to price check them. The check out wrapped around the store and it took approx. 45 mins. I was so bummed when I realized I could have gone to customer service to checkout because there was no line there. Since checkout was so long I got to see every single part of the store, all the other leftover deals, and chat with my line neighbors. I swear it was that long so they could get me to buy something else. I felt perhaps because it was a smaller location that they had less doorbusters inventory.

Many of the really “cheap” door busters appeared not to be a Target Brand. They had generic labels and Max thinks they were made by the dollar section company. I was initially excited about $5 flannel pants  but they felt really thin compared to normal target goods and were not as nice as the Walmart products.

This was different compared to Walmart where they just discounted their original goods. It felt that Target made goods solely for the Black Friday sale. Target’s appliances were double the price of Walmart’s!

*Interesting Event: There were people selling chick-filas in the parking lot.

Target – Xhilaration Pajamas Set
I am really happy that I got these pajamas because they came with a long-sleeved shirt, shorts, and long pajama pants. The rush wasn’t that bad. These were originally $20, on sale from Black Friday for $10, and I had a target coupon for buy any 3 women’s PJ’s (xhilaration, o’malley) get $10 off purchase coupon. So they came out to be only $6.67 a set!!! Unlike the $5 flannel pants, these are normally sold by Target. The quality was nice, 100% cotton, and super comfy. However the long-sleeved shirts in small were a bit tight so I did go up a size. The girl at the changing room was super nice. ^^
Look cute couple polar bears! This was my big purchase at Target. I also got a bought a coke while waiting in line and picked another mixer. (same as Walmart)

Mall Shopping
I went to UTC mall because I had to get the Body Shop deal. About half the stores were already opened at 5am when we arrived. I think Macy & Gap opened at 4am. Charlotte Russe had a black friday text to get offer deal, some people camping out at Apple but I’m not sure why, GAP stores had 50% off so there was a fair amount of people but overall the stores I went to weren’t that crowded. Perhaps it was still to early since I did stop by later around 3pm and there was a lot more people. Huge crowd in Forever 21 but I don’t think they had any big black friday sales. I guess it is the beginning of the Christmas season.

Victoria Secret
They had 50% off Pink LIVE series, buy 1 get 1 50% off bras, PINK sweatpants $25, 7 for $35 signature body/lotion/sprays and VS secret rewards cards. I love mystery behind the rewards cards valued at least $10, $50, $100, or $500. Last time I just got $10 cards but still nifty promo that you receive with any $10 in store purchase, limit 1 per day per customer, and it’s still going on until the end of November.
This was my haul from VS. I got the LIVE PINK yellow fragrance bottle and with that purchase I got free hipster panties (recently joining PINK club -coupon) & rewards card for spending over $10. (Retail Value of $48, spent $16)
LIVE PINK Yellow Fragrance bottle
I was not expecting to buy anything at VS but I couldn’t pass up on this deal. They rarely have this line for sale. Recently I posted about this fragrance in my holiday wish list. It’s fruity, floral, and enticing scent. I really like the bottle design and I was so glad Max got it for me.

American Eagle
They had $20 hoodies, $5 winter accessories, 7 for $25 panties, clearance, and additional 20% off entire purchase.
AE 7 for $25 Panties
I guess this is one of my indulgences. I really like their underwear but at normally $8 a pop, a tad pricey. But with the sale + 20% entire I got them for only $2.87 each. They are sooo comfy, great quality, and cute. I love the polar bears! They also have the same sale online + free shipping!

The Body Shop
The Body Shop had *ANY* 3 items in store for a total $30 (excluded kits & gift sets). They also had buy a $50 gift card get 200ml body butter of your choice. Lastly spend $30, be able to purchase Joy in a Bag (175 value) for only $25 dollars. I’ve been loving the body shop but not their pricing. So I snagged up all 3 deals and was on of their first customers when they opened in the morning.
$50 worth of gift cards in easy $10 domination set. I really liked this feature because it’s more convenient to give as presents. I also got a 200 ml body butter in Mango which is normally 20 value for free!

My Huge The Body Shop Haul Products
This is my first big purchase from the Body Shop and I’m really loving the sale. Considering that most of their products are  usually $$.

For my 3 for $30 purchase:
Spa Wisdom Morocco Argan Oil & Orange Blossom Souffle -really delicious smelling (retail $24)

Olive Body Butter 200ml -refreshing scent, despite me hating eating olives ^^ (retail $20)

Cranberry Joy Slippers -scented & you can heat them up (retail $26)

Joy in a Bag ($175 value)
Bath & Body Works had a similar tote deal but The Body Shop blew them out of the water! All of the items came in a large metallic tote which is very sturdy and would make a great getaway bag. It came with full size products & 2 samples for $25. I believe Jolly orange items were limited edition holiday set as I only see the body butter online for purchase. I adore citrus scents so this was a perfect deal for me. My calculated value is based on similar products’ retail value without sales or discounts. Joy in a Bag is also great  for splitting up to share the goodness. ❤ I was even tempted to buy another because it was such a great deal but don’t worry, I restrained myself.

Metallic tote -nice patent feeling, sturdy, & really large!
Jolly Orange Scrub (value $20)
Jolly Orange Body butter (value $20)
Jolly Orange Shower gel (value $13)
Jolly Orange Lip butter (value $8)
Jolly Orange soap bar (value $5)
Jolly Orange home fragrance oil (value 7.50)
Star ornament home diffuser
Spiced Vanilla loofah (value $3)
Clear plastic scrub tool (value $9)
Glitter nail file (value $3)
Thick nail buffer in Cranberry Joy colors (value $3)
Peppermint Foot Scrub (value $14)
Carrot moisture cream (value $9)
Hemp hand protector tube (value $10)
Samples of shimmer coconut body butter & women vitamin E
= verified value at least $124.50 -not including ornament & tote

This was my last stop on my Black Friday shopping trip. I wanted to include because i think these items are adorable. However Hallmark did not have a big Black Friday sale so I got these at retail prices. (I heard many DEC issues of magazines have $5 off coupons for Hallmark which could be used for a great gift)
Say Hello to Frank & Corky! Hopefully the person receiving them won’t be reading my blog but if they do, I guess it’s just anticipation now.

That’s the end of my adventure. Max always went to Office Depot and purchased a new monitor. He seems to be enjoying it.

p.s. It’s a great day to mail stuff because the postal office was actually line-free! Finally this was a walk in the park compared to Expo. I could do Black Friday anyday of the year though I would be extremely broke. It’s not as crowded or scary as media portrays it.

Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with any of these companies, brands, or products. I purchased everything with my own money. I’m not telling you to buy these products or trying to be pushy about what I can buy. I’m sorry if I offended anyone or their tastes.

Just so excited about the deals I got this Black Friday and maybe it can give you some ideas for the future. Cheerio!

Excited for the Holidays: Gift card deals

The holidays are quickly approaching us! Not to be materialistic but sometimes it’s dreadful hard to find the perfect gift for person on your list and that’s where gift cards come in handy. It’s perfect for acquaintances, bosses, friends or additional to any gift basket.

Also in the state of California there’s a law stating *NO EXPIRATION* on gift cards and many other stores have taken away monthly fees/ opening costs.

Right now many of my favorite stores are offering a “little something something” for your gift card purchases that’s worth checking out. Plus if you think gift cards are too impersonal you can always buy some for yourself to SAVE the whole year through!!!

These are are some of my favorite current promotion going on for gift card purchases
. Here’s the link to the full list on Slick Deals. *Disclaimer I’m not affiliated with any of these company, brands, or products.

AMC theatres – Buy $50 in GCs, get $10 Concession Card.

APPLEBEES Buy $50 GC, get $10 GC -Bonus GC Valid through 2/28/11 http://slickdeals.net/forums/show…&t=2368583

Barnes and Noble – Buy $100 gift card, receive $10 promotional e-gift card (promotional e-gift card will be emailed on 12/26/2010

Benihana-For every $50 gift card you purchase through December 31st, get a $10 promotional card that can be used January 2nd through March 31st 2011.

Borders.com – Buy $50 in gift cards get a free $5 gift card (through 11/30/2010)

Claim Jumper (per LA Times) Buy $50 GC, get $10 reward card valid 1/10-3/31/10 & a complimentary card for a slice of chocolate motherlode cake on your next visit valid thru 1/9/11

Cosi – Buy $50 gift card, receive $10 bonus gift card (bonus gift card good from 1/2/20100 to 2/6/2011)

Corner Bakery – $5 bonus for every $25 in gift cards. (Bonus good in Jan.)

Culver’s Buy a $20 Gift Card, Get a Double Deluxe Combo Free http://slickdeals.net/forums/show…&t=2365797 – Thanks Jeremers

Curry House – Buy a $30 gift card, get bonus house-food brand items free + coupons while supplies last. Ask for the “lucky bag”

Denny’s – Buy a $20 GC, get $5 free (dates unknown)

DSW – Buy $50 GC and receive $10 Bonus GC (Bonus GC can be used between 1/15-1/30).

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar – Buy $100 GC, get $20 bonus voucher. (See Outback Steakhouse offer.)

The Limited – Buy $50 in gift cards through 11/14, get a $10 reward for use between 11/15-12/24

Little Caesars – Buy $25 GC and get $5.

Potbelly Sandwich Works – Buy $25 gift card, get a free sandwich.

Red Robin — Buy $25 in GC’s, get $5 in bonus bucks.
Or buy $500 in GC’s, get a 20% discount.

Robeks– Buy a $25 gc, get a free 24oz smoothie

Souplantation – Buy $50 in gift cards, get a free meal pass no expiration

Taco Bell – Buy $10 GC, get 32oz soda immediately Free. (I purchased 5 GC’s so the manager wrote a note for my Free drinks.)

TGI Friday – Buy $25 in GC Get $5 bonus card; Buy $50 GC, get $10 bonus card.

Vons – buy $150 Gift Cards from the “Gift Card Mall” display in store, get $15 off your shopping order. Note: $150 cannot be giftcards for Vons.

1. Make sure to keep all your gift cards in a place you will remember
2. Mark the amount on the gift card. (I usually just put on a post -it)
3. Look over limitations like expiration dates, monthly fees, and opening costs-I prefer gift cards that don’t have these issues
4. If you receive a gift card you don’t like. Don’t throw it away. You can always re-gift to someone else, use to to purchase actual gifts, sell it for discounted price online, or trade it with someone else.
5. Make sure the card is in mint condition and pin is still covered when you purchase them.

Save your AMC ticket stubs!!! (Promo end Jan 6, 2011)

I”m super excited about this promotion because there’s tons of great movies coming out for the winter.
Nov. 5th 2010 through January 6, 2011, present an original AMC Theatres ticket stub for at least five of the titles listed here (each redeemed ticket stub must be from a different date from Nov. 5, 2010 through Jan. 6, 2011) and snag a $10 AMC Promotional Card (which will expire on Feb. 28, 2011).

Titles: Wow..there’s a lot of 3D movies coming out.
Harry Potter -The deathly hallows Part 1
The Colored Girls
Fair Game
Morning Glory (I want to see this Rachel McAdam’s movie – I love her)
The Next 3 days
The Chronicles of Narnia: The voyage of the Dawn Treader 3D
The Tourist
The Company Men
Tron: Legacy IMAX 3D
Yogi Bear 3D
Little Fockers
Gulliver Travels

Thanks Hip2save!

p.s. if you buy a $50 amc giftcard, get $10 to send at the concession stand!