Archive for the ‘Deals’ Category

Amazing offer alert! Franklin Goose is offering $5 per review for anything on their website, and it is unlimited! Review 10 items and get $50! They explain it on their Facebook and blog, but there is no mention on the site itself. They’re a bit overwhelmed by the response so it may take a few days to get your credit. I spent most of the evening reviewing natural toys, cloth diapers, and any other product on their site I’d seen in person to give a fair evaluation. This will be fantastic for birthday and Christmas presents!


I took the kids over to the Elizabeth Gamble Gardens in Palo Alto today. It was lovely weather and a trip to see many gorgeous flowers was in order! They loved running around the paths with their buddy who joined us, and I loved seeing all of the colorful flowers and plants coming into spring.

I also finished using my Kohl’s gift certificates, buying a few pairs of jeans for myself and a Mother’s Day gift for both of our moms. It wasn’t as good a deal as the other day, but I saved over $200.00 and had a nice chat about finding bargains with the sales clerk who helped me. (Hi, Carolyn!)

I’ve been a busy bee over here and completely neglected my Scratch vs. Store Bought Refried Beans tonight. They’ll be made tomorrow and reviewed for a Saturday post. The next couple of days are likely to be busy, too, with a few mystery shops, activities with the kids, babysitting, a night out with a girlfriend, and my super secret project announcement, which will be here Sunday.

Read Full Post »

You may remember my scary, overflowing entry closet from a few weeks back. It was unusably full, and as I went through it, I discovered that it was full of stuff that didn’t need to be there. Now, it is so empty and I’m not sure how to make the best use of this space. Here’s the before and after shot so you can see the progress.



Top left: Will Creator that was free after rebate to give to my parents (not so subtle hint, haha; they’re expecting it, so it’s not coming out of the blue!), and breast pump that I need to mail to my cousin
Top right: Baby monitor (that we never use because our house is so small! My husband wants to keep it, though), fan that we use in the summer

Middle left: Jackets
Middle right: Mail sorter, now with blank envelopes, address stamp, and postage easily accessible; bottom drawer for keys, middle drawer for receipts, one slot for Mr. Penny’s business papers. The basket on top is for Mr. Penny’s wallet and pocket stuff.

Bottom left: Shoes – jumbled together still and in need of better organization (three wire baskets) I’m taking the shoes out of here altogether.
Bottom right: Nothing!

So I’m thinking of rearranging the set-up here. I am considering removing the baskets below the coats, lowering the coat rack, and adding the mail shelf over the coat rack. That would leave the whole right shelf empty, with 5 of those wire baskets that are hard to pull out and push back in, for storing something. What should I do with that space? I am enchanted by this idea for transient storage space – a place to put library books, things to donate, gifts, and things to deliver. I’m not sure it’s the most effective use of this space, though. Also, it has no doors.

Any ideas?


I also had to share my amazing Kohl’s deal today. I had $80 in gift cards from the Safeway deal last weekend, and an hour in between a mystery shop and my weekly date to go walking with a friend, so I stopped in and made a bee-line to the clearance sections. I scored! I got 4 sweaters and 4 long sleeved shirts for myself (I’m set for next winter!), two pairs of pants for Sweet Pea (crossed off the list, naturally), a Dr. Suess book, and a transforming robot/remote control car for Peanut’s gift from Santa this year. He’s going to *love* it.

My total was $57. 59, but apparently the book is “not subject to discount” so I had to pay cash for that, and then it threw off my other calculation so I gave a $20 coupon and it only scanned in for $12. 59. The cashier couldn’t give me the difference in cash, obviously, and didn’t want to let me pick something else, so we called over the manager. When I asked him, he just gave me the $20 coupon back, saying it was less complicated than trying to re-ring it for me to pay with cash. So I paid $5.46 out of pocket and $40 in coupons that I got for free, and because you wouldn’t believe the amazing deal, I scanned the receipt. I’m corny, I know! You see the Total Saved? Yes, $411.99! Is that crazy or what?
(If you click the image, then click it again, it increases the size so you can read it. I’m not sure how to scale it to a readable size here, sorry.)

I still have $40 in gift certificates. I’m going to another nearby Kohl’s to check out their clearance sections later in the week. I’m planning on checking out potential Mother’s Day gifts for our moms and  Father’s Day gifts for Mr. Penny and my dad.

This post is linked to Metamorphosis Monday.

Read Full Post »

Yes, I’ve said that this isn’t a deals blog, and yes, I’m posting yet another deal. No excuses other than to say that I’m making my dollars stretch as far as possible and want to help you to do the same. That said!

Toy Story and Toy Story 2 are coming out on Blu-ray this week, and they’ll make a great addition to my son’s Christmas gift box. You know I’m not going to pay the full price – $29.99 each! You know I’m going to stack coupons and sales, right?

I was excited to find $5 coupons for each movie. (The coupons are for either USA or Canada, so be sure you print the right one.) If you already have the DVD or VHS, you can get $10 off coupons!

Then I found a scenario at My Frugal Adventures laying out how buy the movies at Toys R Us for $23.99 for both movies and an extra DVD by pre-ordering.

Transaction 1: (This is the preorder)
Pay deposit for Toy Story 1 $5
Pay deposit for Toy Story 2 $5
Buy a 3rd DVD for $19.99
Subtotal: $29.99
Get $15 off instantly on a 3rd DVD for pre-ordering both movies
Get $4.99 off instantly for buying a Disney movie
Final Price: $10

Transaction #2:
Buy Toy Story 1 Blu Ray at $16.99
Buy Toy Story 2 Blu Ray at $16.99 (ONLY this price if you order both 1 and 2!)
Subtotal: $33.98
Minus $10 -which is your deposit from above
Use (2) $5/1 coupons
Final Price: $13.98

So your total is $23.98 for the DVD you select, Toy Story 1 and Toy Story 2!

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have an old Toy Story VHS or DVD you can log into your Disney Movie Rewards account HERE and enter the UPC and get $10 off coupons rather than $5 off! That makes your total $13.98 instead of $23.98 for all 3 movies!! (there is a $10 off coupon for Toy Story 1 and another one for Toy Story 2)

Also I did not expect that extra $4.99 discount to come off and I did not see any signage in the store about it.  I can not promise that you will get the same discount I did!  So if you decide to try this deal you might pay $4.99 more than I did!!

Let’s make the deal sweeter, shall we?

I bought The Princess and the Frog DVD as the 3rd movie, using a $5 coupon. My final price on transaction #1 was $5.55, including tax, and I got a free jewelry box. I’ll sell the movie and jewelry box on E-bay. Currently, the movie alone is selling for about $12. Selling it and using the coupon will take $17.00 or so off the total price – and I got the movie for free because I pre-ordered the two Toy Story movies!

Next, get a free movie ticket to see Toy Story 3 in theaters with each purchase of a Toy Story or Toy Story 2  Blu-ray and DVD combo pack. That saves us $14.99, the cost of two tickets at Costco. A fun, free Mama-Kiddo date is in our future!

You can also hold onto your tickets and the codes inside your Blu-Ray/DVD combos to enter into Disney Movie Rewards. I haven’t signed up yet, but apparently you get free stuff for entering your movie codes.

Altogether, I’ll get two Blu-ray/DVD combos, and two movie tickets for a mere $6.98 (after selling The Princess and the Frog DVD and jewelry box.) That is more than a 90% savings off the original price!!

The movies will join a Toy Story Lego set that I bought with a coupon last week ($14.99 – the coupons are no longer available), and inexpensive Christmas gift for Peanut is in the works. I’m expecting to spend under $50 per kid this year.

I’m making him an art bag with lots of pockets – he loves bags and pockets – and a crayon and marker roll-up, using a pattern I bought for $.99 on Black Friday, sturdy orange freebie fabric that was left over from a paid sewing project in December, and some really cute rocket fabric from my stash. Adorable, right?

We do four gifts per kid each Christmas, plus one gift from Santa, a stocking, and gifts from the family. It’s more than enough every year! Peanut’s gift is already shaping up:

  1. Something you want (Legos and movies inside the art pouch,stocked with art supplies bought for next to nothing at Back-to-School time and a box of Toy Story Band-Aids, $.32 after coupon.)
  2. Something you need (To be determined)
  3. Something to wear (An outfit and shoes, likely a Gymboree deal later in the year)
  4. Something to read (Stone Soup – using Swagbucks – with seeds for next spring’s garden and possibly a little gardening kit – he loves digging and I’m sure gardening will be well received)

And Sweet Pea’s plan is similar:

  1. Something you want (Princess and the Frog Blu-Ray/DVD, a fairy princess dress made out of my wedding dress – I’ve mentioned her love of all things pretty, right? – more to be determined)
  2. Something you need (To be determined)
  3. Something to wear (An outfit and shoes from the last Gymboree sale – cute snowflake patterns on jeans, two long sleeve shirts, and a sweater)
  4. Something to read (Books using Swagbucks, titles not yet determined, but something like Do Princesses Scrape Their Knees or Paper Bag Princess or Cinder Edna, to counteract the Disney-fication of little girl toddlerhood and princess adoration.)

Read Full Post »

So there is good news, there is bad news,  and there is a good deal on a movie and frozen food, in that order!

  • Deposits:

I am depositing $119.50 into the e-fund! Woohoo!
$1 found on the ground at Costco
$3 rebate from Rite Aid$115.50 from mystery shop payments

My current savings total is $946.14. Does anyone know of a bank that I can deposit straight from Paypal?

  • Deductions:

I had to replace my car’s tires and that knocked out  $340.00. Ouch! I shopped around and found that Costco had the best price, but I still had a bit of sticker shock . I’m glad that I had the cash available so I didn’t have to drive on unsafe tires or take on debt to get them replaced, and I’m pretty sure the emergency fund is there to cover just this type of unexpected expense, but it stung a little using it.

  • Deals

This is not normally a deals blog, but occasionally find a money making deal that is worth sharing. Starting today, there is a money making deal at Safeway that I’m taking advantage of and wanted to share.

a. Get the DVD of The Princess and The Frog for $.99, or the BluRay/DVD combo for $6.99 with the deal outlined here.

b. At Safeway, you get $10 in Kohl’s Rewards for every $50 you spend. The Kohl’s Rewards are an awesome reason to spend a little extra on pantry staples that don’t frequently go on loss-leader sales, such as spices. *Edited – the movie deal didn’t work at my Safeway.

c. Combine the  Kohl’s deal with the frozen foods deal running all month and spend $25 on frozen foods. (Stock up on frozen veggies!) You’ll get a $10 catalina coupon toward your next purchase.

Edited to add:

I combined deals to get 70% off of my grocery trip today, stocking up on spices, vinegar, oil, frozen veggies and fish, and items for my Scratch vs. Store Bought posts. I also have $40 for Kohl’s and $20 for frozen foods. Yippee!

I went to Target for the BluRay/DVD combo, and it’s going into Sweet Pea’s Christmas gift. I also got Toy Story Legos for $15 for Peanut’s Christmas gift using a $5 off coupon at Target, more Hanes underwear for Peanut (in yesterday’s comments) and 2 boxes of character Band-Aids for $.32 each with coupons. (I needed the Band-Aids for the movie rebate, and they’ll make a nice stocking stuffer. What is it with kids and Band-Aids? Mine love them! And since we don’t get a whole lot of character stuff, they’re a novelty.)


So that’s the update! Plenty of saving and some unexpected spending which reminds me why I’m saving in the first place.

Read Full Post »

A friend recently sent me a link to Graveyard Mall‘s amazing deal on printer ink refills – 24 refills (12 black, 4 each cyan, magenta, and yellow) for $19.99! I decided to give it a try and ordered it, plus an overhead light for the dining room on the daily deal for just $24.00.

They arrived a week later and I am happy to report that the ink refills work perfectly in my Brother printer! I followed the instructions and refilled all four colors in about 30 minutes, including the learning curve with the first set.  With a single ink cartridge for my printer regularly costing at least $9.99, I would have to spend $239.76 to get an equivalent amount of ink refills, plus much more garbage would be created.  More than 90% savings works for me!

Our dining room is also improved by an overhead light that actually works! A similar light at Home Depot costs $246.00 plus tax. I’d put off replacing the lighting fixture because it was unaffordable, but again, that 90% off puts it into the affordable category.

Now I need to touch up the paint on the ceiling that was covered by the previous fixture.

Not everything at Graveyard Mall is marked down so steeply, and because it’s an outlet, you can’t be guaranteed that the same thing will be there when you go shopping. I don’t know if everything on the site is quite as good a deal, either, but I’m glad I checked it out!

(I am not affiliated with Graveyard Mall and do not get any financial incentive for this review. I was just pleased with the deals I found and wanted to pass them along!)

Read Full Post »

I haven’t been depositing much into the emergency fund lately, but I’ve got projects in progress which will help to boost the fund within the next few months as payments come in.

  • I am doing a short project distributing signs for the 2010 Census to 32 convenience stores (average 15 minutes each, or one very full day), and I’ll be paid $256.
  • I’m babysitting one evening later this month, for another $40.
  • I’ve continued to do mystery shops and expect to make at least $200 in mystery shopping income for the month of March.
  • This month, I opened a savings account at my bank, and after 3 months they’ll give me $25.
  • We’re planning a garage sale in April, so I’m boxing up everything I can find to sell.  Lots of our dining room stuff is packed up and ready to go, and I’m working my way through the wall of cabinets in the living room and the outgrown kid stuff this month. Also, Mr. Penny is going to clear out the garage-turned-office in the next month, and we’ll have plenty of “guy stuff” – tools and electronics – to sell. Last year, we had two garage sales and made over $500.
  • I’ve done some rebate-coupon-sale combining this month at Rite Aid and will be getting $20 in rebates at the end of the month. I’m also starting to stock up for Christmas. For example, this week, Rite Aid has a deal where if you buy Gillette razor refill cartridges, you get a free shaving gel. There is a coupon in Sunday’s paper for a free razor when you buy the refills, and online I found a printable coupon for $5 off any $25 purchase. Rite Aid is also offering a $10 rebate when you spend $30 on P&G brand products this week. The three products are $29.97 before coupons and discounts, but I got all three for free after coupons and rebates. (I had to add toothpaste to get to the $30.00 rebate level, but it, too, had a coupon and a rebate on it, so I spent just an additional $.50 for that.) They’ll go in the Christmas gift box for my brother.  Gillette routinely has coupon-rebate combos, so by the end of the year he’ll get a full basket of personal care products that I acquired for next to nothing.

Online Money Makers

  • I have done a few online surveys at SurveyHead, but haven’t signed up for any others yet. I hear good things about Pinecone Research, but they weren’t accepting new applications.
  • I discovered ChaCha and kgb.com, websites that does something like online directory assistance and answering questions for people on their cell phones, but I haven’t become a guide/agent yet. I’ll let you know how that works out. Has anyone tried it? Any suggestions for a newbie?
  • Another recent discovery is online tutoring through Idapted, particularly in English for non-native speakers. I am signing up and will let you know how that works, too.
  • I’m up to 4,500 points on MyPoints, more than half way to a $50 gift certificate, most from pay-per-click e-mails. I also use them instead of coupons.com to print coupons for grocery shopping, and I get points in addition to the coupon value. Additionally, I’m expecting 5,000 points for using their NetQuote feature on auto insurance and switching to a considerably cheaper insurance carrier. That will be another post! If you’re interested in signing up for MyPoints, e-mail me at thesavedquarter (at) gmail (dot) com for a referral and we’ll both benefit.
  • I continue to earn through Swagbucks, and with a few referrals (thanks, guys!) and their birthday bonanza, I’ve cashed out $25 in amazon.com gift certificates. I’m holding on to them to use for Christmas shopping. I anticipate that I’ll be able to do most of my Christmas shopping with Swagbucks this year, just by searching the internet!
  • I’m expecting about $4 from Ebates for my Old Navy purchase earlier this month.

I continue to be open to legal and legitimate online sources of income, so please leave me a comment if you know of something I haven’t found yet!

And finally, I wanted to share another money saver that I found this week: the Orowheat Outlet store!   I stumbled across this blog post by Fancy Frugalista, where a link is given to the Orowheat outlet, and we made a trip down to find some great deals – I bought 10 items, all whole wheat and HFCS free (Orowheat bread, Thomas’s bagels and English muffins, and Bob’s Red Mill grains) for just $14.31. That would easily be $40 at the regular grocery store!  I love a great find like that!

What are you doing to make or save a little extra money these days?

Read Full Post »

…an unexpected check for $559.30! It’s an overpayment from our health insurance from when Sweet Pea was born 18 months ago today. They’re not speedy about sending the refund, but I’ll take it and stash it away in the emergency fund, which is now at $1,040.29!! That’s right, I’ve broken the $1,000 mark, putting me ahead of schedule for meeting my $6,000 goal this year.

Also in today’s mail was a coupon for a free bottle of Exedrin, and I’m going to put the $5 that I would have spent on it into the emergency fund. I definitely would have bought it anyway, so the freebie coupon was a bonus. (A house with two kids four and under is LOUD and headaches happen!)

I don’t normally post deals here, but I’m posting this one because it’s a pretty good money maker. 🙂 Olay 7-signs body wash is on sale for $5.50 each through Saturday at Target. If you buy 3, you get a $5.00 gift card for Target, bringing the cost down to $11.50 for 3. There were $1.00 off coupons in Sunday’s paper, and if you use 3 of them, you’ll pay $8.50 for the three body washes.  There is also a $15.00 mail in rebate here. Once the mail in rebate comes in, you’ll be making $6.50, plus three free body washes. If Olay isn’t your thing, you could donate it to a women’s shelter or something like that and write it off next year, using the full value of the receipt ($16.50).

Read Full Post »