Friday, November 28, 2008

fighting the masses

so i decided to brave the crowds and fight the black friday masses at walmart, aka friday morning smackdown. i hadn't been able to fall asleep the night before until about midnight, so i already knew i was gonna be tired. i set my alarm for 4:30 so that i could still get there before the sale started but still get the maximum amount of sleep possible. what i didn't foresee was one of my friends calling at 3:55 that morning to see if i was up for the sales yet. it woke me up enough that i had no hope of falling back to sleep for another half hour, so i dragged my pregnant self out of bed and got my butt to walmart by 4:10

i spent the next 40 minutes trying to find the kitchenaid stand mixers that were supposed to be on sale for $130, and found basically everything else but them. i finally tracked down a manager to ask where they were at. turns out i'd passed them several times b/c they were on the same palate w/ a bunch of microwaves and i'd only walked along the microwave side. so at 4:50 i FINALLY figured out where i needed to be to get my hands on one of these things. there were 4 other women there for the same mixer. there were 5 mixers. seems cut and dry to me, each of us should get 1, right? well. . . not so much. one of the women decided she deserved 2, and b/c of where she and the other 3 were standing and how she'd angled her cart, there was no way i could wedge myself in there (even if i had NOT been twice my normal size thanks to baby and company) to grab "her" 2nd mixer, and none of the others could get out. ugh. i tried anyways, but didn't get one. i decided that it wasn't worth starting a fight in walmart over, so instead of yelling about the injustice of my being tired and pregnant and her getting my my way, i trucked it across the store to grab one of the portable dvd players and cases they were selling. i thought for sure they'd be gone by the time i got there, but i was pleasantly surprised to find at least 15 of them still there! happy day! the only other thng i'd planned to brave the sales at walmart for was a set of mega block for trevor. of course, that was on the OTHER end of the store. i swear, they must do these things on purpose. the 3 things i wanted were almost as far apart from each other as they could be. the only way they could have made them FARTHER apart would have been to put one of them in the automotive department. anyways, i figured out really fast that since all the sale items were in the main aisles, it was MUCH faster to go as far as i could through smaller aisles. well, i got to the point where i HAD to go through the main thoroughfare and got stuck. of course, being slightly cotton-headed from the lack of sleep, i'm still pushing my cart around, even though i only have 2 small boxes in it. DUH! i finally decide to ditch my cart in an empty aisle and carry my purchases the rest of the way. smart move on my part. it took me less than 2 minutes to get to the blocks and find my way to the check-out line (oh, and there were plenty of blocks, just as i'd suspected; apparently they weren't THAT hot a seller). i left the store at 5:20 after having to wait for a manager to come void the sale before mine b/c some guy was trying to pay for a $900 tv w/ a CHECK. um, yeah, not so much buddy. they made him go to customer service instead of dealing w/ him there though. that was nice, it could have been a much longer process.

once i was in my car and on my way to target, i called my dad. he lives in utah, so it was only 3:30 in the morning there. i begged him to go to his walmart and try and get me a mixer and i would pay him back. he said ok, so i was happy once again. i made awesome time getting to target, somehow managing to catch EVERY SINGLE LIGHT green! :) very happy evelyn! the only times i stopped were at stop signs, it was wonderful. and b/c it was so early, there were no slow people on the roads. target didn't open their doors till 6, so i stood outside in line w/ a couple hundred other people, wishing desperately that i'd thought about this part - i was wearing a sweater, but i was still cold. it's been warm during the day down here, but i don't go out in the middle of the night much, so i hadn't really thought about it. i survived though. . .

when the doors opened at 6, there were a few people who tried to jump in at the very front, but only 1 actually managed to get through. we were all tired, cold, and cranky and no one was gonna let anyone butt in front of them, not even friends. everyone was told to go to the end of the line, and they grudgingly complied. once i was inside, i knew basically where the things i wanted were located, but i was glad to find that the atmosphere was downright RELAXING after the madhouse they disguised as a walmart. anyways, i found the doodle pro i wanted to get for trevor and madgab for jon and myself. . . the rest of the things on my list weren't on sale, but i figured i'd just get them now to get it over w/. i found the side rails for trevor's big boy bed, as well as a comforter and 3 sets of sheets. i also grabbed a set of towels for our 2nd bathroom b/c up until now, all we'd bothered to buy was the rug and a hand towel. i grabbed a few of the dvds they had on sale (i hadn't planned to get any of those, but they were REALLY cheap, so i figured what the heck; i ended up w/ 5), as well as some infant tylenol and motrin too. i paid and went home after that.

jon was awesome and let me sleep in that morning. i was exhausted, and ended up sleeping till 11:30, late for me these days (usually, even given the chance to sleep in, i'm up by 9 or 10). while i ate breakfast, i looked over my receipts from my early morning adventures only to find that target had charged me $22 for the doodle pro that was advertised for only $10. we needed to go pick up some things from circuit city anyways (already paid for online), so we agreed to go back to target to fix the issue too. well, it turns out that the model i got was NOT on sale, but it had been the only one in the entire area. i was not happy. of course, i didn't think of this possibility, so i hadn't brought it w/ me to return. i looked to see if they had any other models, but to no avail.

i went back to walmart to see if they had a better price b/c $22 really is too much for a toy that's sure to break when trevor decides to stand on it the day after he gets it. i found a much more age appropriate model there for $16, as well as a nearly identical set of sheets to one of the ones i'd gotten from target (target sold them to me for $15, walmart only charged $9). i bought those, along w/ an ornament for trevor for the year and a few other things we needed that were not christmas related. i then returned to target for the THIRD time that day to return the doodle pro and 1 set of sheets.

one of the additional things i'd gotten from walmart was a set of towels. i figured we already had the bath mat and hand towel from there, so it made more sense to get the remaining items from there as well. individually they cost less than at target, again for a practically identical item, and we had fewer things we'd need to buy. of course, i hadn't thought about this until i was already out, so i had to make yet ANOTHER stop at target on saturday to return the towels i'd gotten the day before. oh well. . . oh yeah, and on saturday too, i got the crayola ultimate art supplies kit from walmart. . . jon's got to do this under-priviledged youth mentoring thing and he was told to get a gift for a 3rd grade girl. we know nothing else about her, so it was hard coming up w/ something that would fit in the $10 maximum price limit they set and be universally appealing. in the end, i figured this was a safe bet b/c even if she doesn't like to draw or color, most kids need crayons/colored pencils/markers for school.

oh, i almost forgot too, the whole thing w/ my dad and the mixer. . . so my dad called me while i was at target the first time to tell me that there were like 9 or 10 mixers at his walmart w/ at least 15 people in line for them. this was at 4 am his time! i told him thanks for trying, but no big deal. well, once i was home and trying to fall back to sleep, he called again to tell me he'd found one for me! :) it turns out that sears had them on sale for $199, but you ALSO got a $50 mail-in rebate. that was only $20 more than i'd intended to spend, so i was ok w/ it, especially after my dad offered to pay the additional cost. so yeah, i was WAY happy about that, and i can't wait to get my mixer! i have a feeling i'm gonna be doing a LOT more baking in the weeks and months to come. . . :)

so yeah, the experience ended on a happy note, but i'm not sure if i'll ever brave walmart on black friday that early in the morning again. although, next year i won't be pregnant, so maybe it won't be as bad - i'll be smaller and less tired and irritable. . . and i'll already have my mixer, so i won't be tempted to give anyone a beat down over that either. . . :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

snapfish deal!

ok, so i was looking for some discounts for things i needed to get online when i came across this deal from snapfish: if you use the code DAILYDEALSNOV, it'll give you $10 off $25. the code is good till 12/5/08, according to what i read. i haven't tested it out yet, so i don't know how reliable it is, but i wanted to let you all know about it either way. if you try it, let me know if it works!

taking advantage. . .

so, i was excited to find out that cvs was actually open on thanksgiving day. i took full advantage as soon as my turkey was in the oven! here's what i got--

1) clairol hydrience haircolor (on sale for $8.49; earns 5 ecb's), 2 aussie conditioners (on sale $2.99 each; earns 2.99 ecb's; used $1 off any aussie hair care product coupons for each as well), johnson & johnson soft lotion (on sale $5.69; earns 5.69 ecb's), 2 l'oreal color juice sheer lipgloss (on sale $6.99; earns 6.99 ecb's; used $1 off any l'oreal product coupons for each as well), oster 10-cup rice cooker (on sale $19.99; earns 10 ecb's) maybelline mineral powder liquid foundation (on sale $8.99). paid $63.54, got 40.56 ecb's.
2) sonicare essence 5300 toothbrush (on sale for $49.99). used ecb's from previous purchase, paid $9.99.


so, i paid $73.53 and saved $89.95. that means i saved 55.02% on $163.48 worth of stuff. wahoo! i would've saved more, but for some reason, even though the maybelline foundation tag said limit 2 ecb deals, the register only gave me 1 deal (that was on monday; the ad says limit 1 too, which is why i didn't make a fuss when i realized it didn't give me any ecb's for it today). oh well. so i was out an extra $8.99. . . if i'd gotten that, i'd have only paid like, $1 or so for the sonicare. . . but still, $10 is a great deal on that, considering the original price was $82.99. happy evelyn and happier evelyn's dentist! :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

cvs again! :)

ok, so i'm back at it, full strength now. i went to cvs again today and will be going back this weekend for the AWESOME deals they're gonna have for black friday. :) here's what i got today--

1) 9 monster energy drinks (should have been 10, but i missed 1 in my cart, oops!; they're on sale 2/$3), 12 oz. complete multipurpose solution (on sale $8.99; used $2 off coupon), maybelline mineral powder liquid foundation (on sale $8.99). paid $30.87, got 21.98 ecb's.
2) my missing monster energy drink, 2 scotch magic tape 3-packs (on sale 2/$5), 2 boxes of candy canes (on sale for 88 cents each), 8 herbal essences anti-dandruff shampoos (clearenced at $3.69 each; used 4 coupons for $3.00 off any 2 herbal essences products), tic-tacs. used ecb's from previous purchase, paid $4.25. got 1 ecb.

here's the obligatory picture--

so, in total, i spent $35.12 and saved $61.74. so i saved 63.7% on $96.86 worth of stuff. happy day! :) i haven't reached my limit on a couple of things, so i'll likely get more when i go back this weekend. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

excited about this

so we decided to make it a family tradition to have the missionaries over for dinner on christmas eve. i decided that this year, in addition to dinner/dessert, i wanted to put together a missionary-friendly care package for them, especially since i've gotten such great deals on things and we have more than we'll use in the next few years. so yeah, here's what they're getting: toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, chapstick, gum, hand sanitizer, a couple candy bars, a tube of orange rolls, a couple candy canes, and some cookies. i still have to get the orange rolls and candy canes and make the cookies, but other than that, we've got everything. the only things i paid for out of pocket were the chapstick, sanitizer, and candy bars! i know it's not alot, but from what i've heard about cash flow (or lack thereof) on the mission, anything useful is appreciated by these guys. :) so yeah, i'm hoping they'll enjoy it. i'm thinking about getting them each a stocking to put all this stuff in, but i dunno; if not, i'll just put it in a gift bag or something like that. . . any opinions? any suggestions for what kind of cookies to make for them? anything else that's small and affordable that i could include?

it's been a while. . .

well, it's been a while since i posted anything, even longer since i've posted about any deals i've gotten. . . i figured it was time i finally got back to cvs, so after TWO MONTHS of not going or even bothering to check their ads, i got up off my lazy pregnant butt and found some pretty great deals. so here i go. . .

1) 3 packs of 4 AA duracell batteries, 1 pack of AAA duracell batteries ($5 off duracell cvs coupon). saved $5, paid $17.29; got 15 ecb's.
2) 2 crest 4.2 oz. prohealth whitening toothpaste ($1 off coupon for each tube); 1 right guard deodorant (75 cent off coupon), 3 soft & dri deodorants (had 55 cent peelies on each one, yay!). used ecb's from previous purchase. saved $25.14; paid $0.14; got 14.98 ecb's.
3)10 candy bars (on sale 2/$1), 6 suave body wash (on sale 3/$5), 3 suave deodorants (on sale 3/$5), 2 cover girl mascaras, 2 cover girl eyeshadows (4 coupons, each for $1 off any cover girl product; deal on these was buy cg mascara, get eyeshadow or eyeliner free), 2 chapsticks, 2 pen-size hand sanitizing spray, 3 orbitz gum 14-ct. packs (coupon printed from previous transaction for buy 2, get 1 free orbitz). used ecb's from previous purchase. saved $43.96, paid $30.18.

here's a picture of today's spoils:


so, in total, i saved $73.10 and spent $47.61. that means i saved just over 60% on $120.71 worth of stuff. happy day! :)

dang it though - i just was looking at my receipt and it seems for my 2nd transaction, i ended up LOSING money! grr! i had $18.94 worth of stuff, but $19.95 worth of coupons, if you include ecb's. ugh! i lost a dollar that i could have used to buy something else. . . poop on them for not telling me and double poop on me for not noticing! :*(