Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The New Staples Ink Rewards Program: I Like You Better. I Think.

I have been quiet about my beloved Staples lately since they have taken away nearly every perk that kept me shopping there. They even changed their ink recycling policy, and I wasn't sure that I even understood it. So I waited to report back.

And I'm pretty sure I like it better than before! Basically, you can take in three ink cartridges (Dell, HP, or Lexmark) per day and they will periodically mail you one coupon for all of the ink cartridges that you've redeemed. I like it better because I could potentially save up and have quite a large coupon to spend at one time.

The downside is that I'm not frequently near a Staples store anymore, so I will have to carefully plan on recycling cartridges when I'm in the area. I have been saving ink cartridges in the trunk of my car until I could be sure that I wanted to continue with the Staples program, so I guess it's time to start recycling!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Library Book Store Guilt

I love, love, love the library book store in my tiny hometown. Rather than having a yearly or twice yearly sale, the "friends of the library" open up this little book store one day a week for a few hours. I go once every month or two and buy a bunch. Because I love hearing my friends and family complain about having to lift 52,341 heavy boxes of books every time that I move.

Anyhoo, prices are cheap. The lady working at the store (incidentally, she was my first-grade teacher) tried to charge me $4 for this stack. "How about $5?" I asked, feeling guilty for spending so little and getting so much. Then I just gave her a ten and told her to keep it. I am terrified that they will close this place down, so I try to donate something extra every time that I'm there. Also, I seem to be the kiss of death for stores. If I love it, it will close.

So I say keep the change as long as you keep your doors open and let me feed my addiction.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Recent Cheapie Clothes Buys

I have been finding a lot of good clothing deals lately. Here's some of my recent purchases!

Bitten by Sarah Jessica Parker suit- $8.98 per piece at Steve & Barry's. I was in need of a suit since I've lost weight and none of mine fit me right now. It's even a wool blend! Jacket is lined but skirt isn't- it definitely needs a slip underneath.

Banana Republic jacket- originally $148. Was $27.xx on sale and I had a $15 off coupon. Paid about $13. Did I tell you guys that I am going to be presenting at a national conference in November? Whoo hoo! So this is a legitimate purchase for that occasion. Ahem.

Rue 21 short-sleeved jacket- $5. This store has great clearance- I don't ever pay more than $5 here. Their stuff is not wonderfully made, but you will definitely get your $2-$5 out of it. I recently also got a cute red button-down shirt for $5. Their jewelry clearance is $3 and less.

Cato skirt- $5. It's fully lined!

Express skirt- originally $69.50, paid about $7. It has pockets! I *love* pockets on dresses and skirts!

Cato shoes- paid $4. I don't buy a lot of cheapie shoes, but these were too cute to pass up!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

And the winner is...

Beachnerd! Here is her winning entry:

Wow Dr. Tessa, this is a generous offer! I was flying home from a business conference and tried a friend's ipod. I declared right then and there that I want one for my birthday. Ok: I'm frugal when I make homemade pizza or salads for dinner and then use our bogo Dairy Queen coupons after seeing the free big band music on the weekends for our "date out". I'm not frugal when my daughter has the same day off of work as me. Then we go to lunch wherever she wants to go, mostly because it doesn't happen that often.

Her entry was randomly selected through one of those internet number generator thingamajigs, not just 'cause she called me Dr. Tessa and that made me smile. ;)

I have so enjoyed reading all of your entries! It is really interesting to see what is important to each of you. To be honest, I did this contest in part to make some of you comment here for the first time! I can "see" the number/location of the people who visit, but I wanted to know who you guys are. Thanks to all who commented and entered the contest.

Beachnerd, email me at thefrugalshrink AT yahoo DOT com with your name, address, what color Ipod shuffle you want, and what you would like to have engraved on it. Congratulations! :D

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

This Week's Walgreens Trip

I'm ashamed to admit that it had been weeks since I'd hit up WG. None of the deals have looked too tempting and I've been busy, so that means no shopping. You should see my hideous pile of unorganized coupons. Terrible.

Anyhoo, this week's deals:
Therabreath Starter Kit 9.99 (will be FAR)
Dawn dish soap .49 (used a .50 manufacturer's coupon)
Air freshener 1.50 for two (used a BOGOF coupon- not a great price, but my stockpile is low)
Reynolds wrap .34 (used a .55 manufacturer's coupon)
Nature Made Vitamins 9.99 (will be FAR)
Sandwich baggies .99 (needed these)
Scotch tape 3/1.00 (remember my traumatic no-name tape story?)
Pilot 2-pack of pens 1.00 (will be FAR)
3 packs of Papermate mechanical pencils .15 total
Chocolate bar .99 (will be FAR)

Total spent after taxes (I used a previous WG gift card): $28.32.
Total that I will get back in rebates: $24.16 (including the 10% bonus)
Total spent: $4.16

Also, I told myself that this would be the year that I would stay away from the school supply deals. I'm still trying to get rid of/use up supplies from two stinkin' years ago. However, the siren song of .05 packs of pencils was too much for me to handle. It is a sickness, I tell you! One that apparently runs in my family- not that I'm blaming anyone. ;)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ipod Shuffle Giveaway!

Let me tell you about my Ipod shuffle.

For many years, I have guffawed at how everyone had to have an mp3 player, let alone one made by Apple. I should just never open my mouth.

For my birthday (June 4th), my mom offered to get me a shuffle. I thought that sounded good, since I could use it when I exercised. Since that time, I have had an ongoing love affair with this tiny thing, except for one traumatic incident where I accidentally threw away the headphones. People, it makes *everything* better!! Need some motivation for exercising? Ipod shuffle. Hate doing chores around the house? Ipod shuffle. Want to tune out your children/spouse/boss? Ipod shuffle.

I love it so much that I am going to pony up the money for one of you to have one. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me one way that you are frugal and one way that you aren't. I will randomly draw a winner on Saturday. Make sure your comment includes some way that I can reach you. This is open to anyone in the U.S., including people that I know in real life and/or relatives. 'Cause I totally believe in nepotism.


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Coming next week...

...a fun giveaway/contest.

What could it be???

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I know, Internets. I've been neglecting you. You thought we had an agreement, right? I would try to post more often. And that is my intent, it's just that some weeks are so busy. Lately everything has been busy (in a good way!). I promise (for real this time) that I will get back with it in the next couple of days.



Monday, July 07, 2008

How to Turn a $25 Giftcard Into $30

ALWAYS check and see if there are coupons out there for the stores that you have giftcards from! My friend Beth gave me a Kohl's giftcard for my birthday, and I knew that there was a $5 coupon out there just for signing up for their email list. I wanted to get some bedding or other house-y stuff. After browsing through the store, I found a set of sheets for 50% off ($24.99) and a gold waterfall valance at 90% off that is perfect for my bedroom window ($2.90). After tax, I got .45 back in change. :P So use those coupons to stretch your savings, even with giftcards.

For No Good Reason

But I laugh hysterically every time I see this. :P

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Henry Link Furniture Photos

Please excuse the terrible photos- these pictures do not do justice to how beautiful this furniture is! I have all of the above pieces + one more nightstand and a standing mirror. I'll try to take better pictures soon in the daylight.
This is all vintage late 1950s/early 1960s Henry Link furniture. It's HEAVY wood with dove tailed corners and the Henry Link name is etched inside some of the drawers. It is all an antique white color with gold trim. The coolest thing about it is that it came with the original catalog and sales receipt! As a person that loves old things much better than new things, it is a dream to find so many pieces in perfect condition. I visited this set in an antique store several times over the course of two months in deciding whether to buy it. I was able to negotiate about 20% off the price, but it still wasn't frugal!!!!! :D