Impressed Mom with my savings savvy

I did not do any Black Friday shopping, but I still saved myself $55 and my mom $77. The deets:

The $77 deal
My sister’s wedding dress from Ann Taylor. It’s a $600 dress that got marked down 40% for the weekend. Hm, I guess this counts as a Black Friday deal, but really it’s just when she wanted to buy it – and it was done online. The total with tax and shipping came to $389, but I googled for online coupons and gave a 20% code a shot – it didn’t work when we clicked “apply” after entering the code (92400415, good until 12/31/08 for an additional 20% off), but it kicked in after entering credit card information. So the total for the dress came to $312. Bonus: if my sister changes her mind, return postage is paid by Ann Taylor. In case you didn’t know this, most online bridal gown retailers charge a “restocking fee” of up to 50% of the cost of the dress, so this is a pretty big deal. There’s something to be said for buying a gown from a store that isn’t geared towards wedding garb.

The $55 deal
As a reward for withstanding the agony of 2 hours of travel with a bad stomach bug, I got to hit a suburban CVS – which means 24 pages of weekly circular deals instead of a meager 4. Plus the Thankgiving specials, which include a ton of freebies and 99-cent deals. My mom caught me on my second round at the cashier and threw in $5 worth of Lindt peanut butter truffles (yum! and hard to find in anything smaller than a huge $20 bag), and my total out-of-pocket expense for $60 worth of name-brand toothpaste, facial cleanser, candy, deodorant, cosmetics, lotion, etc. came to a whopping $4.66. I started off with $12 in “Extra Care Bucks”, a $4-off-$20 voucher, and a paltry $3 worth of coupons – and came out with $16.45 in ECBs plus a raincheck for a money-making deal on Bic Soleil razors.

Mom’s Reactions
To the Ann Taylor purchase: She’s picking up the tab for the dress, and spent the rest of the day sporadically high-fiving me whenever the memory tickled her.
To CVS gaming: She was utterly flabbergasted at my haul and ensuing sheaf of ECB coupons. She has a great head for numbers and grasped the CVS system pretty quickly, so she took a card application form and we’ll be going back tomorrow. Knowing full well that she wouldn’t be able to resist the bargains to be had, I brought extra coupons to get her going with some money-makers. I told her that we’d get her started tomorrow with less than $10. At the end of the shopping trip, she will have about $30 worth of stuff and at least $12 in ECBs to use in the future.

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5 Responses

  1. I’d be high fiving you too, that’s a steal on a wedding dress. I haven’t tried the CVS game but I’m thinking of starting this weekend, there is one right near our house. Any tips for first timers?

  2. I get a lot of info about weekly circulars in advance from hotcouponworld.com (forms – drug stores – CVS). They have great threads for helping newbies.

    The best deals happen when you have coupons for something that also comes with 100% of the price back in ECBs, and there’s some great stuff on the go this holiday weekend – but today is the last day. We’re starting off with an $8.99 make-up product that I have a $3 coupon for…so mom gets $8.99 worth of money to spend for a $6 purchase. Then we “recycle” that immediately into other products that add up to $9 after coupons. You keep getting back more than you spent. I’ve found most cashiers to be very helpful and even congratulatory when I pull off a great haul.

    It usually takes about $10-20 to get up and running, then just a few bucks a week to keep taking advantage of the offers. I don’t need much as a single person, but I donate all the freebies. What can I say, it’s a cheap way to indulge my charity “hobby”.

  3. Thanks for the advice, I’ll check out that site. I love your charity hobby, I’m going to check out local charities to find out who accepts toiletries as donations. I don’t need 10 deodorants, but if I could get them cheaply and donate them that would be awesome.

  4. I wish there was a coupon culture here in New Zealand. I mean, there is a stifling lack of competition so none of the supermarkets, chemists or other stores need to drastically reduce things as much as in the US or the UK. Ah well, there are many other ways to be frugal 🙂

  5. Those were awesome deals!

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