30 October 2010

Saturday Finds:

On the Saturdays I don't have to work the bf and I like to go yard sale hunting! Sometimes we find things, sometimes we don't, but the excitement of the chase for killer deals and the quality time we get to spend together is priceless. Today we hit up at least 6 yard sales. The bf had seen a sign for one earlier this week on his way to work so we started there. I also looked up a few on Craig's list in the same area and the rest we just found by spotting signs in on the street!

I love to see what people have to offer and chatting it up to learn a bit about the items history. This week we came home with a few good finds. The bf picked up a great "gardener's problem solver" book that we are looking forward to putting to use next season and a roll out flower garden mat for only a dollar each! Hopefully the squirrels won't be as prone to tearing apart the mat as they were digging up the seeds we planted this year! I scored a set of chrome shower curtain hooks for only $0.50, they even have those fancy roller balls - I can't wait to hang them up and get rid of our gross plastic ones (despite how much I clean them they always look grimy). I was also pretty excited when I cam across a "free box" at on the sales and scored a few books for my mom to take to school for her students to use and a picture frame which needs a paint job, but that's an easy fix and the glass was intact so for FREE it had to come home with me!

29 October 2010

Confessions of a Fast Food Diet

Despite the fact that I have packed myself a delicious lunch everyday this week I have been unable to ignore my cravings for Wendy's spicy chicken nuggets and fries. Twice this week I have given into temptation and made a trip through the drive thru to grab some fast food, but I think today is my last stop.

I am convinced it is subconscious behavioral conditioning. You see I am not a big fan of visiting the doctor and on Wednesday I had to go to the doctor for a physical and PPD test. Today I had to go back to have the PPD read (good news I'm healthy!). After each trip I felt the need to make a stop at Wendy's to grab some nuggets and fries as a treat. I figure, subconsciously my body is craving fast food (comfort food) as a way to make my mind associate going to the doctor with a more positive experience so that the next time I have to go I won't dread it so much.

Or maybe I'm just coming up with excuses to not feel bad for giving into salty greasy food when I had a perfectly yummy and healthy lunch packed! :P

Steals and Deals: Bath & Body Works

Print a coupon for a free lip item (up to $8 value) with any purchase at Bath & Body Works.  This coupon is good through October 31, 2010.

Blockbuster Express BOGO FREE Rental


Use code 2HLLWN at checkout and get a free movie rental when you rent one movie now through 10/31/10.

Steals and Deals: New York & Company

New York & Company

New York & Company is offering a coupon for $50 off a $100 purchase online or in-stores with promo code 6095, print coupon HERE for in-store use.

Plus all cardigans are currently on sale buy one get one 50% off!

Here are a couple of my favorite picks:

28 October 2010

BOGO FREE Gap Outlet Coupon

Do you have a GAP Outlet store near you?
If so, you can print this Buy One Get One FREE coupon valid in stores on Oct. 30th!

Give Your Expired Coupons a Second Life!

It can be very disappointing to find a great coupon only to then realize its expired. Usually the first reaction is to cut our losses and toss it in the trash (or hopefully recycling).

At the end of each month I sit down to begin the lengthy task of cleaning out my coupon organizers of all of the expired coupons and given the amount of coupons I collect weekly, there are usually A LOT of expired ones come the 30th or 31st of each month.

I used to simply gather them all up and place them in the recycling along with all the other papers, but then I found an even greater use for them HERE at ocpnet.org. The Overseas Coupon Program (OCP) collects and distributes manufacturer coupons to military families stationed overseas. Did you know that on military bases overseas the commissary and PX will accept manufacturer coupons up to 6 months past their expiration date? It's true!

How to get involved? 
  • Visit http://www.ocpnet.org/ and adopt a base you wish to donate to.
  • Separate you clipped coupons into two categories: Food and Non-food.
    • This is because most bases have 2 stores,  the “Commissary” (grocery store) and the PX or BX (department store). By separating your coupons into “food” and “non-food” bundles the volunteers on the receiving end can more easily placed your donated coupons at the correct venue.
    • The general rule of thumb is a "food" item is something humans can eat (this includes products like Ensure and Slimfast). A "non-food" item would include pet food, soaps, cleaning supplies etc.
  • Clearly label your bundles - the easiest way to do this is to place them in zip lock baggies.
  • Talley an approximate total value for each bundle.

    • This helps the program keep track of which bases are receiving the most support and which bases need more coupons.

  • Stick your bundles in an envelope and send them off to your adopted base!

27 October 2010

FREE Sample of Dove go fresh Deodorant

Costco membership not required at this time.

Plaid Skirt


I'm really mad about this plaid wrap skirt available at ModCloth.com!

This "One for All Skirt" available from ModCloth is priced at $142.99. WOW! But it's gorgeous! I keep finding myself sharing how drawn I am to ruffles lately....and again the ruffles on this skirt are what I LOVE! The gentle cascading layers are beautiful and I'm always a sucker for plaid.

What do you think? Would you wear this skirt?

26 October 2010

Tuesday Tutorial:

Yearning for a new denim skirt...

I feel like a great denim skirt is a staple to any closet. With a classic cut and a casual fabric they can be dressed up or dressed down with little effort!

I already own a few: a mini from Zara (which I feel is really only appropriate for hanging out in with friends in the dead of summer because its just that mini!), a dark wash pencil skirt from GAP that I LOVE but is currently a size or two too big for me (but I refuse to get rid of it because it's so classic and I know it's only in my dreams that I will stay this size forever), and I lighter wash pencil skirt with a slit in the front that I'm not so thrilled with because I'm always feeling like I'm showing off a bit too much.

I have recently been eyeing up this denim number by CHLOE priced at $109 and available HERE.
Isn't it cute?! I have been on a bit of a feminine kick lately - I'm really into the ruffled bottom. What do you think?

So in order to fulfill my yearning for this beauty, yet save myself the $109 on the price tag, I decided to take an old pair of dark wash blue jeans that I LOVED (and wore all across Europe, but are now too short) and give them new life!

First things first - cut off the legs preserving the top and pockets:

Next I cut one of the legs into two long strips and attached this to the top:
Next I took the second leg and once I figured out that it was not wide enough to create the length I needed for the skirt, I turned a different route. Instead I cut the leg into multiple squares and sewed them together to make two longer strips.

Finally I attacted what was to be the flounce on the bottom of the skirt....unfortunately I didn't have quiet enough fabric to work with to give it the same ruffle look as the Chloe skirt, but I still think it turned out pretty well.

What do you think? Would you wear this? Leave your comments below!

25 October 2010

FREE Blockbuster Express Rental, Today Only!

Stop by a Blockbuster Express today for a free rental when you use code BBXMDY at checkout. This code is valid today 10/25/10 only.
Go HERE to search for a kiosk near you!

Groupon: $40 to The Body Shop for only $20

Today's Philadelphia Groupon deal (also available in many other cities) is a $40 Body Shop gift certificate for only $20! This is a great opportunity to cut holiday gift costs by 50%.
If you're not yet signed up with Groupon you can head HERE to do so.

Insisting on Perfection

Photo by MChloe

At some point in my younger years I developed a fear of failure and to me failing was anything less than an A. So throughout grade school I tended to take the attitude that "if I didn't try I couldn't fail". Now of course that makes no sense because if I neglected to do a project I received a failing grade but I comforted myself by saying that "I failed because I did nothing at all, if I had tried I would have excelled". The truth was, failing was failing and my excuses meant nothing to anyone but myself. Eventually there came a time where I was no longer able to fall back on the safety of "not doing anything to avoid failure" and I had to step up to the plate and prove my worth.

I quickly had to come to grips with the fact that we are all human and people make mistakes. No one is perfect and perfect is a very relative term anyway. It is important to do the best you can within reason. Overloading yourself with unrealistic expectations is basically just setting yourself up for disaster. The more you bite off the more you have to chew and there comes a time when we all get tired. Playing catch up with an already full plate allows no room for self and without taking care of number one nothing on that plate can get done.

"Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." 
~Henry Ford

Insisting on perfection can stop us dead in our tracks and deny us the ability to get anything done at all. In my opinion having nothing done at all is much worse than having something done even if it's not perfect. This can be applied to all aspects of life.
I am frequently asked by people how I managed to live and keep up with such a thrifty and frugal lifestyle. The truth is, I post about more deals than I take part in. I pick and choose what's important to us and where our priorities lie. In the beginning I clipped every coupon, hunted down every deal and spent countless hours scouring circulars and sale racks. I burned out pretty quickly. I took a 2 week hiatus from couponing and playing the drug store game. I didn't go food shopping and simply scrounged up meals from what we had stored away in our cupboards and freezer. I didn't even go to the thrift store. It took me realizing that I had let almost $20 in Rite Aid UpRewards expire to snap me out of my non-couponing rut - how could I have let that much money go to waste?! But when I started up again I made some changes and it has been a trial and error process.

I resigned to only clipping coupons that there is a solid chance I will use (aka. no more children's medicine coupons or pet food, even if they are going to make my deals better). Being bogged down with all the excess many times inhibits us from making progress. I developed a better filing system (I will share this in another post soon), limited food shopping to every other week as well as laundry, and I continuously remind myself that sales are circular and will come again. It is okay to miss a good sale. I save so much money everywhere else that if I have to pay full price for an item, that's okay because I'm still coming out ahead. Every penny saved is just that a penny saved  - and believe me, you'll be surprised how fast those pennies add up!

24 October 2010

2011 is Quickly Approaching

Well that's what I keep hearing anyway. Do you know I saw Christmas decorations set up and for sale last week and it's not even Halloween yet? It seems that we've just flat out forgotten about Thanksgiving. Despite my feelings that retail stores are getting way ahead of themselves with holiday decorations, we are just about upon the holiday season and soon enough we will be coming into 2011. There is just no stopping it....so why not make sure you're prepared for the new year with a 2011 calendar. You can head over to the Oriental Trading site to request a FREE 2011 calendar for yourself today!