worth the trip- full cosmetic takedown.

5 10 2010

so i’d never even heard of ulta before i drove by the mall a few days ago and saw that one had sprung up in the gaping void left by vinny ts (ok, maybe gaping void is a little dramatic- did ANYBODY go to that restaurant?). now generally, i would not entirely give a shit about a giant box store peddling makeup (sorry sephora, i’m just a low maintenance kind of girl), but they seduced me in with a $5 off $10 coupon in my sunday paper. i also did a little research and found out that in addition to their own lines and the high end lines they carry, they also carry all the drugstore brands, AND they take manufacturers coupons. SCORE! their flier showed a host of buy one get one 50% off deals on the drugstore brands, and i rounded up my very best coupons and headed over to see what i could do:

2 neutrogena blushes at $5.99 each with the BOGO50% sale, a $3/1 coupon (from all you) and a $2/1 coupon from this weekend’s paper= $3.99

2 NYC color nail polishes for $1.99 each with BOGO50% sale and a BOGO coupon from all you (seriously, if you don’t get all you, you’re doing yourself a profound coupon disservice)= $.99

2 cover girl eye shadows at $3.29 each with the BOGO50% sale, and 2 $1/1 coupons from the P&G brandsaver= $2.94

total= $7.92 minus the $5/$10 coupon from the paper= $2.92! i got all of the above makeup for less than $3! AND for joining their rewards club (totally free and painless to join), they gave me a sack of free goodies including a full size nail polish and eye shadow, scented body cream, and some fancy hair serum.  oh, and a 20% off coupon for next time. SUPER SCORE. also, the staff was super friendly and extremely patient with my crazy coupon ladyness. i’m hoarding this makeup for a secret project (details soon), so especially if they keep the coupon love flowing, i will definitely be going back again.

shaw’s- ok, i have never been a big fan of the “can-tastic savings” event, and this week was not particularly different. the only thing i deemed worth grabbing was the $.88 progresso soup. i had a $.50/2 coupon (doubled of course) from a coupon book i got in the mail, and considering they’re usually around $2 a piece, i thought that $.38 each was a good deal.

target sadly, all the clearanced all natural fruit roll ups & herbal essences 2 packs were already gone (who are you target shelf cleaner? reveal yourself!), but they did have a good deal on hunts diced tomatoes at $.82 a can (screw you can-tastic savings) and i had a $1/3 coupon. $.48 a can seems pretty good, especially because chili season is upon us. they also had the deluxe velveeta mac & cheese (i’m obsessed with mexi-mac) for $1.52, which is pretty much as low as i’ve seen it anywhere (including walmart). there was a good $1/2 coupon in the paper last week (i think!), so $1 a box for me at least, seemed like a score. although again, nothing amazing.

rite aid- the free crest toothpaste and nivea lip care are definitely on the top of my list, but that schick coupon they’re all talking about on the deal websites doesn’t exist up here (kind of like the revlon coupons that never show up in the maine papers). also, i’m gonna pass on the incontinence pads. otherwise, meh. decent deal on frosted flakes ($1.60 per box when you buy 5), and cottonelle 12 packs are only $3.99 after +UP (the only coupons i could find were $.50/2), which is a pretty good price for toilet paper (especially if you’ve ever paid $1 or more for a “desperation roll” at a gas station).

cvs- roughly as much excitement going on at the cvs, but there is a good $.99 revlon nailpolish deal (after ECBs- limit 6!), which would be free if you had any revlon coupons floating around. i didn’t, but i got it anyway because i didn’t want to waste the $4/$20 that the emailed me this weekend. however, the big deal to look out for is lurking in the magic coupon machine. $5 off all halloween decorations and costumes with NO MINIMUM PURCHASE! i bought a pair of striped tights and some purple hairspray for  $.99.  the big bummer was really getting the coupon (it’s a “one day only”) in a store that had kind of a minimal halloween section.

big lots- there is a 4/$10 movie deal goin on at the big lots right now on all regularly $3 movies. i couldn’t find 4 that i liked (my local store didn’t have deep blue sea as advertised- FAIL!), but i did find a copy of rocket science, which is a great movie starring portland’s very own oscar nominee, anna kendrick.  anyway, even though i didn’t buy 4 movies, it still came up as $2.50. they’ve got some decent horror, and the usual sub “straight to DVD” quality (heartbeeps anyone?), but if you like to dig through big bins of crap- there are occasionally some gems in there.

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16 responses

5 10 2010
audrey

Wowow! That make up news is pretty helpful! Especially considering that lately, when I’ve had a couple extra minutes in the morning, I try to make myself pretty and just end up rubbing my eyes all day (old mascara, yuck) and end up looking like the wall after Homer tries to use his prototype make up rifle on Marge.

I went to ulta.com and printed out the coupon which is good until October 23rd. It just comes up in a new window so one could potentially print a couple if they want to make extra trips or give one to a friend. Two Sunday papers full of make up coupons before it expires. Yes!

8 10 2010
bessmarvin

ok, first of all- round of applause for the makeup shotgun reference. but seriously, old mascara is the WORST. i too have been guilty of clawing at my flaky, expired, eyemakeup…. yet even when i do need it, i never want to pay for it. like i can always think of something better to do with that $8. thank you ulta (and sweet understanding middle aged check out ladies who know the value of a good coupon).

5 10 2010
The Dealer

What is your recommendation for the least creepy drugstore on the penninsula? I almost had an anxiety attack in CVS yesterday. Every time I go to Rite Aid on lower Congress they mess up my receipt, and there is always a police car and/or ambulance outside. Is it a total rip-off to buy my toiletries at Hannaford or Shaws? Living and working downtown, it is not often I make the trip to the Falmouth or Scarborough Rite Aids, but the sketch factor is much much lower.

8 10 2010
bessmarvin

that’s a tall order ma’am. there aren’t really any non-creepy drugstores on the peninsula. both rite aids are crazy (you can go to the meth and teen pregnancy rite aid in the west end, or the urine soaked alcoholic rite aid in the east end- take your pick!). the cvs on congress is more crazy people than substance abusers, but the lovely kate sullivan jones from a sweet disorder works there… so that’s a plus! it’s not a total rip to buy your toiletries at the grocery store… but you could be getting them for free at the drugstore. the choice is yours. on the up side, we’re getting a walgreens pretty soon (down on marginal next to planet fitness), that is likely to be less sketchy, or at least bigger and cleaner.

5 10 2010
Winnie P.

Whoa…look out, bitches. She is back! Nice work couponing this week. I saw you on the Coupon Goddess, too. I knew it was you as soon as I read the title of the post…

8 10 2010
bessmarvin

thanks winnie! it was nice to get back in the bargain saddle, and ulta was a rush! that’s funny that you knew it was me on the coupon goddess when you read the post title! i guess i’m pretty obvious- but i didn’t swear, not even a little! i didn’t even talk about things that give me a boner! (i won’t lie, it was tough).

5 10 2010
InfamousQBert

my head exploded when i read that first line. HOW have you not heard of ULTA? maybe they started down here or something, but i’ve been shopping there since the mid-90s, when it was Ulta3 and not at all a big fancy store like they are now. it was a little grey thing in a strip mall. but yes, they’re awesome.

awesome side story:

when they were a little grey hole in the wall, i started getting my hair cut there by a fabulous gay man named edward. he was very sweet and very good, so when they moved to the far end of town to open the big fancy store, i was willing to follow him. the first time i called to make an appt, i asked for edward and the receptionist-boy was all “who is edward?”. i was flummoxed, but said that he’d worked at the old store and told me he was moving with them. he puts down the phone for a minute and then comes back (and, no shitting you, he sounded like hank azaria’s character from “The Bird Cage”) and says “we don’t have an edward, but there’s an eduardo if you want him”. i nearly shit my pants from trying so hard not to laugh. i guess with the fancy new digs, edward felt he needed a fancy new name. 🙂

5 10 2010
bessmarvin

you’d be amazed how much new england doesn’t have. it’s tragic really. i’m still waiting for sonic to make it up here…. i want slushies! also, i LOVE that edward upgraded to eduardo. you need to write a book and put that in it. (please!)

6 10 2010
Winnie P.

If you want to take a little road trip, there is a Sonic in Peabody, MA. We pass by it when we drive to Maine and I always want to stop but usually we are pressed for time (shocking!!!)…and on the way home we just want to GET HOME so I have not made it there yet…

8 10 2010
bessmarvin

despite the stones throwness factor, i almost never go to MA. if i do go, i take the train or the bus. although it would probably be a mistake to go to sonic now, because i would become addicted to their french fries and slushies and then would spend all my money trying to get to MA for junk food. best not cultivate my addiction until there is a sonic in a 15 mile radius.

6 10 2010
blackgirlinmaine

Maine in particular is lacking a lot of things that the rest of the US has and I am not really kidding. I remember how jazzed I was when H&M finally came to Maine. Shoot, I wear MAC cosmetics and the first few years I was here I had to either order online or go to Boston to get it. People would ask me was it a Black thing and I was like um…no, MAC makes makeup for everyone but it wasn’t sold here.

I would love to go to Sonic in fact it annoys me to see the commercials knowing the nearest one is 2 states away.

By the way and I know you probably know this already but it looks like Trader Joe’s will be open by the end of the month. Yes!!!

8 10 2010
bessmarvin

i used to go to NYC once or twice a year just for H&M and Forever21. well, and i suppose i had some friends there too 🙂 but seriously, we are the last part of the US to get anything ever. i totally remember when MAC came to maine! i used to see it in all the magazines and wonder why our department stores weren’t good enough to have it. i can not believe that people asked you if it was a “black thing”. actually, yes i can believe it, but it’s still super lame.

as for sonic… maybe i’ll write them a formal letter of complaint: dear sonic, please force your delicious tv commercials on us unless you are prepared to open a sonic somewhere in our state. it is cruel and unfair. we like hamburgers and slushies too. as a matter of fact, we are the fattest new england state. also, if you refuse to comply, i will come and burn down your headquarters. or more likely, start a mean facebook page about the fact that sonic is a fat jerk who can’t get a date. sincerely, alexandra.

5 10 2010
blackgirlinmaine

I haven’t been in an Ulta in years (duh…been in Maine 8 years of course not) but your review makes me want to run down there. I went to Sephora but after years of not being in one I felt overwhelmed and actually left without buying anything.

Guess I will have to pull out my Shaws paper and check out the can sales though the only things I generally buy in cans are broth and tomatoes. Glad to see you got your bargain streak back!

5 10 2010
bessmarvin

sephora IS totally overwhelming. also, ridiculously expensive. and since i’m not really a makeup person… and they’re not really coupon people… it was never really a good match. ulta was awesome, and totally unpretentious. plus, a girl like me can really get behind a place that gives out full size samples.

13 10 2010
worth the trip- useless product bonanza. « broke 207

[…] that i chose not to click on), as well as some $3/2 coupons that i grabbed off a tearpad at the ulta last week that might add up to freeness… or at least super cheapness (which is also […]

29 11 2010
shaking the bell. « broke 207

[…] a while ago when i first discovered ulta, i mentioned that i was working on a super secret makeup related project that i would eventually […]

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