Not only do I have $30 in Super Cash, which is a total knock off of Kohls Cash by the way, but I also just found out I have $30 in rewards that I had no idea about. And the two are able to be combined. I’m going to clean up on some Christmas shopping at Old Navy tomorrow. I know it goes against my Black Friday Christmas shopping plan, but with the discounts, it’ll offset any of the great deals I would have gotten on Black Friday. Plus, one of my discounts conveniently expires before Friday, those clever little Old Navians. And, at least I won’t have to fight all the other people who plan to attend Gobble-palooza at midnight on Black Friday. I can now concentrate on Walmart, Target and Kohls which are all located in the same vicinity to each other. I can then come home in the wee hours of the morning, get some sleep, and head back out to the mall. Score! Hey…don’t judge me!
Today Ron and I went to the holiday open house downtown. The visitor center is hosting a contest where you have to answer riddles in the store windows. The people with the correct answers have their entries put in and one will be chosen to win $1,000 cash. Entries with at least 15 correct answers will be put in for a $500 drawing. Also since it was the holiday open house all the shops had discounts and free Christmas-style refreshments. It was a really good day and the weather was perfect. I feel blessed to have has such a great Saturday.
I love my new sign in the kitchen. I’ve been looking for something to go in the space above the stove for a while because it’s a pretty small space and this fits perfectly. Since it has pumpkins I’ll probably change it on according to season but hopefully I can find something similar. I picked this up last week at either Joanns or Michaels, I don’t remember which, and it was 60 percent off. Score!
So a few months ago, I posted about my first real Yankee Candle. At the time, I was curious as to how long it would last. You can visit that post here. Well that was 60 days ago and my candle finally died. I’d say that was pretty good. I burned it everyday, usually lighting it when I got home from work, so I’m surprised it lasted that long. As long as I can keep getting coupons, I’ll probably buy more Yankee Candles, because they really are worth the money, on sale of course, if they last that long. Now, I’ve moved on the second one that I bought that day using a $15 off $45 coupon.
I wasn’t aware you had to dress a certain way to shop at the dollar store. Since Halloween is officially over, I decided to switch my decorations over from spooky cats and pumpkins to fall leaves and turkeys. In my quest for Thanksgiving items, I went to the dollar store. Now, when I was younger my mother shopped at the dollar store, not because that was all we could afford, but because of the unique items you can find there. She used to buy a certain type of chicken for chicken salads, peanuts for holiday parties and seasonal items, like pumpkin paper lanterns. She still does. Naturally, I followed suit. I’ll go the dollar store for holiday napkins, holiday-themed ziploc bags, etc. So I’m in the dollar store today at the register and I, like the rest of America, use my debit card to pay for my whopping $5.25 purchase. After swiping my card, the cashier asks me “Debit or Credit?” I said “credit” and that’s when it went weird. This blonde woman behind me, who had to be in her 40’s, with her daughter I might add, said very loudly, “At the dollar store. It must be an epidemic.” Are you serious? And it’s not like she thought she was funny. Oh no, the way she said it had “I’m a big loudmouth bitch” oozing out of it. I’m not sure what it was about me that offended her so much. Was it my Ugg boots, that I received as a Christmas gift from my husband several years ago; my Coach bag, that I purchased at a massive discount at the outlet for my birthday; or the Vera Bradley chain purse I pulled my card out of? Because if I have those things, I must be just over my head in massive credit card debt, right? If she had any brains about her, not to mention class, she would know that just because you say “credit,” it still comes out of your checking account. That’s why it’s called a debit card. I wasn’t aware that I had to be of a certain stature to shop at the dollar store. By stature, I mean rude, classless, loud and abrasive. The poor cashier had no idea what to say and told me to “have a nice day.” I smiled sweetly and replied “you too,” and left. Had I been in a worse mood, I probably would have said something, but just because she wants to teach her daughter that its okay to act like that in public, doesn’t mean I have to. And, it’s a really good thing I took my North Face off before I went in the store or she really would have had a fit.
I went to Old Navy today, which is really somewhere I rarely go. I usually go in maybe once or twice a year, aside from Black Friday. I’ve been wanting a new coat though and they usually have a great selection, so I went today. Right now, it’s Stuff and Save time. The idea is you get a discount on every item you can stuff in a bag, even things that are already on sale. It used to be that you legitimately had to stuff everything in a bag–of their choosing of course–to get the discount, which you only got if you used your Old Navy card to make the purchase. If it didn’t fit, you didn’t get a discount. Now they’ve become a little lax. As long as you have the Stuff and Save coupon and you use your Old Navy card, you get the discount. I was able to get the coat I wanted, originally $79 for $39. It was on sale for 30 percent off and then using my coupon, I saved another 30 percent off the sale price. Total, I was able to get the coat, three long sleeve shirts, a pullover for Ron, a Christmas present, a fur lined hoodie and a pair of pajama pants for $123. Total, I saved $128. Plus, I got my free reusable Stuff and Save bag, which they give you now instead of making you actually stuff it, which I can use for groceries or whatever. And, on top of that, I got $30 cash back to be used next month on a $60 purchase, sort of like Kohls Cash. I can use that for Christmas shopping. I’d say it was a pretty successful trip. Anytime I can get a bargain, I will. The only thing that would have made it better is if I had went last night. The Stuff and Save didn’t come in the mail until yesterday evening and the sale started yesterday. Because it was the first day, if I had gone last night, I would have saved 40 percent off every item instead of 30, which could have cut my bill by approximately $20. It was rainy though, and I didn’t feel like going all the way to Old Navy. I still did pretty good though.
Working in an area where there’s been lots of talk about how the “big box” stores kill the little man and the specialty stores, I decided I would forego my usual Target trip to buy groceries and instead go to an actual grocery store. Now, I haven’t been in an actual grocery store to buy actual food in quite a long time, but I thought I would try it. I went to Bloom. While inside, after I got my oh-so-important Breeze Card, I did a little shopping. What drew me to the store was the sales ad highlighting 93 percent lean ground beef on sale, so I picked some of that up. I also threw in some all natural pork chops because the price was right. Then things went down hill. Grocery stores are more expensive than big box stores. Aside from that, I found myself waiting at the deli to purchase lunch meat because the two employees were busy having a personal conversation. The one saw me, went back to her conversation and then a few minutes later said the other woman would be with me in a minute. Um, okay. Then the lunch meat was $1 more than advertised on the sign. Nine dollars for a pound of turkey is pretty ridiculous compared to the $5 I usually spend at Target for all natural turkey. Then, at the checkout, I hand my reusable bags to the checker who in turn hands them to the bagger who in turn promptly ignores them. He starts using plastic. Now, I’m pretty environmentally conscious. I use reusable bags, I try not to waste things, I turn off the water while I brush my teeth. I’m not chaining myself to trees in the effort to protect nature, but I try. So when I look at the bagger weird, the checker notices who then says to the guy, “She has reusable bags.” He says, “Oh, I thought you bought those here or something.” Really? I purchased two Ron Jon reusable bags, one from Grand Turk and the other from Cocoa Beach, and a Target bag from Bloom? I don’t think so. I say, “It’s cool,” and take my groceries. When I get out the door, I rebag them using my bags. By now, the waste from the plastic is done. It’s too late to fix that, but the one bag is a cooler bag and seeing as how I purchased meat and a few frozen items, I really wanted them to go in the cooler bag. Needless to say, I tried to go anti-big box. I gave it a good shot, but I’ll be returning to Target to purchase my groceries from now on. They’re cheaper, I can combine store coupons with manufacturer coupons on top of sales, I get 5 cents off for each reusable bag I use and I don’t have to have a card on my key chain to get the sale price. Sure, they don’t always have everything you’re looking for and their meat is packaged smaller, but that’s when I can go into the specialty store and pick up just those items. And, while I can’t always get a particular brand of food at Target, at least I can buy everything else I need at the same time, except for scrapbooking stuff. For that, I’ll go to the specialty store.
Ron and I walked into Target in the sunlight and walked out in the sunset. It actually reminded me of Black Friday when you go into stores in the dark and come out in the sunrise. Or it could just be that I’m starting to get the Black Friday itch, which is true. I’ve already started following the Black Friday blogs, anticipating when the first ads will be leaked. The key to shopping the day after Thanksgiving is planning. You have to go in knowing exactly what you’re getting at each store and the general area in which it’ll be located. Also, it’s important to bring sale ads in case say Walmart advertised an item at a low price, but ran out. You can take the ad to Target and get the item at the Walmart price. Score!
Knowing we were going on vacation and would be gone for almost two weeks, Ron and I didn’t do any grocery shopping. We just ate pretty much everything we had, so today it was time to restock. When I got off work, I went to the grocery store and stocked up on everything–lunchmeat, bread, milk, snacks, vegetables, etc. It’s so nice to have food again and not have to eat peanut butter and jelly everyday for lunch. I used coupons and kind of mapped out what I planned to buy. As a result, with things on sale and using coupons, I saved just under $35. I got tons of food, and some more expensive things like shampoo and body wash, for $112. That’s way more than I usually spend at the grocery store, but I tend to go once a week and just pick up a few things that we need. This is the first time I’ve really done any actual food shopping, expect for right after we got married. If all goes well, I shouldn’t need to go to the grocery store for a few weeks. We’ll see.
Today, Ron and I visited San Juan, Puerto Rico. We were in both the old and new parts of the city and I have to say, I absolutely love it. It’s warm, there are neat little streets and markets, it’s just amazing. Now, I have to admit this is my first time traveling somewhere that doesn’t have English as the primary language. Everything, from street signs to maps, are in Spanish in Puerto Rico. Which is interesting and difficult, at first, but then you find yourself taking on a Spanish accent and saying things like “Navidad” and “Calle.” I won’t really go into why we were trying to say Christmas except that Ron and I collect Christmas ornaments from everywhere we travel to. Poor lady had no idea what we were looking for and we didn’t remember “Navidad” until it was far too late. I’m really glad we got to experience a bit of what Puerto Rico has to offer. We toured the city and the Bacardi Distillery, which gave us a broader glimpse of the area as we traveled by bus to the factory. And our driver was amazing. She was full of good information and little trivia about Puerto Rico. Also, I love that you can be stopped at a red light and someone will come to your car selling donuts and bottled water. That’s something we should definitely start doing in the states. Forgot the drive-thru, all you have to do is obey traffic laws to buy a snack. Tomorrow we head to Grand Turk, but I definitely want to come back to Puerto Rico and spend more time here exploring all it has to offer.