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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Living on the Cheap

I got a note from a reader today about ways to live "on the cheap" which doesn't always mean sales or discounts. I couldn't agree more! In the future, I'll try to cover ways to live on less or for less, and offer creative ways to avoid buying brand new (in addition to posting sales & discounts).

Personally, I keep an ongoing list of things that everyone in our house needs. E.g., my son needs short-sleeve shirts for summer or the next size up shoes. I might need some new work shirts, or black heels for that September wedding - that type of thing. We can't always go out and get things we need all at once, but I keep my list. Then, when I do see the sales come across, I look at my list and see what we need - getting the discount for items we'll use versus just impulse buying.

Another great trick is to go through your home and see what you don't need anymore. Clothes, toys, shoes, etc. Consign them (I'll do another post on consigning later), put up on ebay, sell on Craigslist or swap/sell through a neighborhood network. I bought my double jogging stroller through my neighborhood moms and dads yahoo group and saved $200. I use it almost every day. And today, I sold some appliances on craigslist. I will keep that money aside and use for things we need from my list - not to order a pizza!

Thanks reader Heather for the great idea and I'll keep it coming.

Discount: Diapers.com

Diapers.com is offering 15% off one item through 5/31/10. Normally, their discounts are for new customers only. This one is for anyone; HOWEVER, lots of disclaimers here like not good for diapers, wipes, formula and some of their higher-end brands.

Regardless, they sell so much - Robeez, clothes, toys, chemical free sunscreen, you name it.

Code is MAY15PCT

Sale: J. Crew Summer Sale

Sunny days are here to stay (they are obviously not talking about Seattle). The J. Crew Summer Sale is on now.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Deals: Target Daily Deals

I've already done a post on the daily deal sites that have been popping up lately. But don't forget about good old Target. Called Target: Daily Deals, they offer a new deal every day with free shipping. They do sell out and you never quite know what they will offer. Sign up to follow on Twitter, RSS or email.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Deal: The Bra Factor

I know it sounds strange, but I wear an odd bra size. The only brick and mortar location to buy my size is Nordstrom. I honestly cringe when it's time to bra shop again because I know two bras later, I will be $150 poorer. Oh, the things I could get for $150!

This week, I ran into Nordstrom Rack for something completed unrelated and felt like I had just been awakened from a coma. The Rack sells bras? And they have an entire little section dedicated to my size. AND, I found a Natori seamless one for $27 - which is still selling at Nordstrom.com for $70. It's not lingerie - it's for the every day. My mom always used to say, when you need to feel pretty, go get your hair cut and buy a new bra. So I did both this week. Man, do I feel perky.

Sale & Discount: REI

REI is having their big spring sale now through 5/31/10. If you are an REI member, you also can take 20% off one full price item. Online code is ANNVMEM.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Deal: Safari 2010

Remember when Banana Republic sold safari clothes? I do. Twenty-three years ago, my mom took me to the BR at Pavilions shopping center and bought me a seriously over-sized (my choice) safari t-shirt with a globe on it and khaki linen shorts. Just my surprise this spring when all the summer fashion started arriving at BR and what did it feature – safari gear!

Of course, the looks have changed quite a bit since 1987, but I did find myself leaving the store with what they refer to as their “safari shirt”. It’s hot pink mind you and it was free (birthday gift card) and is just long enough to go great with skinny jeans or white summer shorts & wedges. I actually prefer it un-tucked (compared to the model above). Hubby says it’s not appropriate for work (I disagree). And much to my surprise when I found it featured it Lucky Magazine this month (in hot pink!) Personally, I think it's a Deal because of its versatility and take 25% off when you use your BR, Gap or Old Navy Card through 5/23/10 (see my previous discount post).

Coupons: Papa Murphy's

Papa Murphy's is offering some great coupons on their site right now. All you need to do is enter your zip code and print!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sale & Discount: Athleta Extra 20%

Take an extra 20% off sale merchandise at Athleta through Friday May 21st at 11:59pm (ET). Promo code SWEET20.

Discount: 25% off Gap

May 15-30, 2010, get 25% off at the Gap online or in-store when you use your Banana Republic, Gap or Old Navy credit card. Online code is GAPCARD25.

Discount: Banana Republic 30% off

Banana Republic is hosting an "After Five Style Event". Shop online today 5/18/10 after 5pm (ET) through 11:59pm (ET) or in-store 5-9pm local time and receive 30% when using your Banana Republic, Gap or Old Navy Credit Card. Promo Code 30AFTER5.

Can't go tonight? Enjoy a 25% discount through May 23rd using code SUMMERLOVE. Still gotta use one of the credit cards mentioned above!

Sale: 20% Off Beach Towels at PB Kids

Online or in-store - 20% off PB Kids beach towels through May 24th!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Deals: Kid Friendly Restaurants - "$"

In an attempt to find some low-budget, kid-friendly restaurants, I came across Urban Spoon. It deliciously covers over 70 cities - even places like Santa Barbara. Sort by city, then by neighborhood within the city. From there, you can sort by name, popularity or price. Then of course, I selected kid-friendly and opted for price so I could look at "$" and not "$$" or God-forbid, "$$$" with kids.

Here's my Seattle search (all neighborhoods), in the "$" range, kid-friendly. From here, just select your neighborhood.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sale: Pottery Barn Kids Sabrina Baskets

I love these Sabrina baskets from PB Kids! They are great for sorting toys, blankets, books, burp clothes, etc. I haven't seen them on sale much. This 20% sales runs through May 17th.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Deals: Cheapy Weighty Suity

Spring is upon us, which only means one thing. Swimsuit season is next. This gives me shivers. Combine the thought of summer with my scary dressing room experience at the Gap last week and exercise is the first thing on my mind. So let’s discuss both – exercise and swimsuits.

There’s nothing cheaper than exercising outdoors. You can jog (not my favorite) or briskly walk (my favorite) or do a little of both. Purposely target some hills or add some weights to really feel it. Or push a stroller if you have kids. Find a park to walk through, or a nice trail, or pick a fancy neighborhood and check out the beautiful houses while you stroll. If you have a dog, give the guy some love and get moving!

There’s nothing cheaper than finding something you LOVE and being able to wear it season after season. I feel this way about J. Crew swimsuits. Seven years later, I just retired my favorite J. Crew bikini. If you count the seasons, they really do pay for themselves and quite honestly, they aren’t that expensive. I’ve had one Target swim suit and it only lasted for one year – actually it was one summer. The days are getting longer – get out there!