Awhile back, I posted on my Facebook page that I had gotten a phenomenal deal at Victoria’s Secret.  It was so good that I can’t resist sharing it with everyone.  It even surprised me!   I am not usually one to shop in Victoria’s Secret since I think it’s fairly expensive.  I am a cheapskate, remember?  Also, there really isn’t one close to our house.

I had received an email from them about their new sports bras and a promotion where if you tried one on, you got a card that had a mystery discount.  Again, the closest one to us is an hour away and trying on sports bras with two young kids did not sound like my idea of fun.  Discount or no.  Upon further inspection of the email, I saw that they created a really cute hash tag on their twitter called #SportbraBreakup.  They encouraged women to break up with their old sports bra.  I used the hash tag and wrote ‘You are supposed to lift me up and you only pull me down.’  Something along those lines. I thought it was cute and fun! Well, anyway, I got a DM from Victoria’s Secret that I received a coupon.  I opened it and I had won a free sports bra!

I really needed a new one so I decided to make a trip to the mall to cash in my prize asap.  My friend went with me and watched the kids while I tried a few things on.  Let me tell you, this is the best sports bra that I have ever owned.  Say goodbye to uni-boob because this beauty lifts, separates and supports!  The Semi-Annual Sale was going on too so I figured it would be an excellent time to use my gift card that I won at Christmas.  Victoria’s Secret has a wonderful social media presence.  I love it because they give tons of stuff away.  I won this $25 gift card at Christmas on twitter for being on their #VSNiceList.

I picked out a sports bra (any new one that I wanted, I was told.)  But I had to get it shipped to me since they were out of my size.  They shipped it to my house for FREE!  I also picked out another bra from the sale and a cute pair of pajamas.

vsSale

Guess how much I paid for this?  I’ll give you a hint.  The retail value is $156.50.

I paid $14.98.

Here’s how I did it.

I got the sports bra for free.  As I said, I won it on twitter.  It was originally $56.50 (Woah.  Can you imagine?!?!)

The bra was $48 marked down to $24.99.

The pajama set was $52 marked down to $29.99.

That totaled $54.98

I had a $25 gift card that I also won on twitter.

I signed up for a Victoria’s Credit Card, which I have paid off since and got $15 off my order that day.

That takes the total to a measly $14.98.  I figured that we could afford that. 😉

I suggest you check out Victoria’s Secret the next time the Semi-Annual Sale rolls around.  You never know what you’ll find.  Plus, be sure to follow them on social media.  Again, you never know what pops up.  What was the best deal you’ve ever gotten?

Disclaimer: This post is in no way affiliated with Victoria’s Secret.  I just wanted to brag a little about my great deal.  Enjoy!

 

yardsalesign

Yes!  Spring is here and you know what that means: the start of yard sale season!  I have been looking forward to this since yard sale season was over last year.  Today started a beautiful weekend and I was actually feeling better (I am getting over a REALLY bad cold.  yuck!)  so I decided to make it a ‘Girls Morning’ and take my daughter out to a few yard sales.  I buy and have bought a ton of stuff from flea markets and the like.  It’s a great way to get some great stuff at a fraction of the cost or sometimes even free.  Plus, the clothes don’t shrink when you wash them!  The only downside is that it’s luck of the draw.

Here’s a list of things I look for at yard sales flea markets:

  • Kids clothes
  • Books
  • Adult clothes
  • Shoes (This really depends.  They have to be in good condition)
  • Craft supplies
  • Flags
  • Stuffed animals (ALWAYS wash these first!)
  • Board games (make sure no pieces are missing)
  • Electronics (inexpensive ones)
  • Furniture
  • Home goods
  • Dishes and kitchen stuff
  • Tablecloths
  • Holiday decor
  • Cookie tins
  • Toys
  • and lots more!

Of course, I always wash clothes, sterilize toys and clean things as best I can before I use them.  I love a good bargain and I will always try to negotiate prices too!  Now, while I look for certain things, I also stay away from certain things too.

Here’s a list of things you might want to skip at yard sales and flea markets:

  • Bathing suits
  • Lingerie
  • Baby bedding (like crib liners and soft bedding.  They are known to cause SIDS)
  • Carseats (these get recalled all the time and they expire too. Plus, they are only made for ONE accident.  You never know. Just be careful or stay away altogether)
  • Old cribs (see above)
  • Cosmetics (they could be old and you might be asking for an infection if you buy them)
  • Baked goods and/or food (a lot of this stuff has been baking in the sun for hours.  No thanks!)
  • Water bottles and baby bottles (BPA is the culprit here)
  • Always check battery compartments before buying.  They could have battery corrosion in them.

These are just suggestions. You should always use your best judgement before making any purchase.  I always check stuff out very thoroughly just for my own benefit, but also because the seller might give you a better deal too!  I can still recall some of my best deals:

  • A dual tuner Tivo for $10 (pricing varies since the Tivo Roamio came out)
  • Two Winnie The Pooh walkers for $3 (originally $70 for one!)
  • A ThirtyOne insulated lunchbox with my initial monogrammed on it for $8 (originally $18 w/o monogramming)
  • A Little People A to Z Learning Zoo for $5 (originally $70)
  • A vintage baby boy snowsuit for $2.50
  • Set of Retro cafeteria style plates for FREE!
  • Vintage black heels for $3

So get out there and enjoy yourself.  I start out with a predetermined amount of cash.  Then once it’s gone, it’s gone.  That way, I can control my spending and it really makes me think before I buy.  I also keep a running list of items that I am always hunting for.  It makes it more fun!  Timing matters too.  Early gets you the best selections, whereas late gets you the best deals.  Happy hunting!

Do you go to yard sales and flea markets?  What are some good deals that you’ve gotten before?

 

 

Yes!  You just have to have an open mind and a closed wallet. Haha!  One of the things my family loves is trying different restaurants and going out to eat.  However, we stick to a very strict weekly budget and it takes some creative planning on my part.  When we go out to a restaurant, we utilize as many of these tips as possible.  Order up!

1. Plan Ahead– Just like with most things in life, a plan helps things go smoothly.  We decide early in the week that we are/have to eat out this week.  Then I search for coupons in the newspaper, online, or just by asking friends.   I decide on a restaurant and then sign up for their email newsletter (in advance and I use my ‘freebie email address’ but I’ll have another post about that later).  Then in a day or two, you usually get a coupon for a free appetizer or a percentage off your meal!  Gift cards are also a great buy.  If you get them at certain times of the year, they offer extras.  For example, if you buy $50 in gift cards, you’ll get a free $10 gift card for you.  They don’t know that they are all for you!  Then use them throughout the year, combined with coupons/deals to save even more without breaking your budget.

2. Drink water– This one sucks sometimes but it’s totally worth it.  Sodas can rack up a bill, costing as much at $3 and some places don’t have free refills!  Don’t get me started on cocktails!  Water is free.  If you really can’t stand water, ask for lemons, squeeze them in your water, and then sneakily put a packet or two of sweetener for a makeshift lemonade.  Hey, I said I was thrifty!  You might get embarrassed by some methods.  To each his own.

3. Eat locally & know the specials– Remember tip #1.  See?  It comes in handy.  Local restaurants like local customers because you will come back if you enjoy it.  Therefore, eat when they are having a special deal.  Kids eat free some nights, certain meals will be cheaper, etc.  One local diner in our town has Italian Night every Wednesday and you can get homemade Eggplant Parmigiana, spaghetti, garlic bread, and all you can eat salad bar for $6.  It’s enough for two meals plus, I bought a locals card from the area high school that gets us an extra 20% every time we eat there after 4pm.  Seriously.  It pays to know the specials.

4. Waste not. Want not – We never waste food.  If they give us free bread and we don’t eat all of it, I take it home.  Someone will eat it, even if it’s our dog.  You can even tell them how much you love the sauce/bread/whatever and a lot of times, the server will wrap up an extra one for you.  It pays to be nice to your server.  Take all your leftovers home!  Even a tiny bit of veggies or meat can be added into tomorrow’s dinner.

5.  Happy Hour– My landlord used to go out every Tuesday with her husband and sit at the restaurant’s bar.  She got amazing specials and got to try delicious food for a fraction of the price.  You don’t need to drink to sit at the bar.  But if you ever want a cocktail, this is the way to go.

6.   Go around closing time– This works best for fast food.  Sometimes if you show up around the time they close, they want to get rid of the food that’s left over so you’ll get it at a better deal or even for free.  It tastes the same or maybe even better since the deal was so sweet!

I hope you can use some of these tips and found them helpful.  I know they come in handy with my family.  Who doesn’t like saving a little money?