i spy- cheap shower curtains.

9 10 2011

i have had the same shower curtain since 2008 (a vintage yellow floral affair that i bought off ebay when i was attempting to set up my perfect post-divorce bachelorette pad). as with all vinyl shower curtains, it periodically gets covered in mildewy scunge and requires a good scraping. however, after 3 long years of service, it’s not quite bouncing back the way it once did. also, getting on your hands and knees and scrubbing down a vinyl shower curtain with with a bottle of formula 409 and a mr. clean magic eraser is tiresome.

honestly, i would have bought a new shower curtain years ago, but they’re too goddamn expensive. every single time i go to the store with the intention of purchasing a new shower curtain, the following internal conversation occurs:

“all these shower curtains are hideous.”

“well, i guess this one isn’t too bad…”

“$19.99? are you fucking kidding me?”

screw that.” [leaves store sans shower curtain]

at which point i unearth the magic eraser and call it good. i recently found a purple zebra shower curtain at big lots for $4, and thought i had hit the jackpot.

but today was a game changer. all the dorm room crap at target was loaded onto the endcaps at target for 75% off. including and especially, a huge pile of cute vinyl shower curtains for $2.12 each. i bought 4.  at my current rate, i won’t need another shower curtain until 2023. (there were also at least 20 left over. go! go now!).

today was a good day.

* as a bonus, i also got a super cute pair of yoga pants for $3.34. i think the 75% off section of the sleepwear/fitnesswear section is often overlooked.

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ode on a target endcap.

9 06 2010

target is my natural habitat- inexpensive, well lit, good merchandising… but i’ve never quite managed to score the big bargains in a way that felt worth the effort. maybe it’s because i can’t walk to the target- and thus i only go there once every couple of weeks. or maybe it’s because all the really awesome deals get cleaned out super fast at the south portland store. or maybe it’s a combination of the two. whatever it is, despite my undying  love/lust for target, i’ve never really felt successful in deal mongering there- until last weekend. i don’t now what happened, but something snapped in my little brain and i think i finally figured out what i was doing wrong. here’s the secret formula:

1. arm yourself. first off, understand that every target in the universe is different. regardless of how well you prepare yourself with careful circular study and deal website stalking, what gets reduced at one store might not be reduced at another, or be reduced to a different price, or not exist at all. clearance items are wild cards that crop up and disappear suddenly like a game of discount whack-a-mole. timing is paramount, and you wouldn’t want to accidentally stumble into an amazing deal without your arsenal (because it definitely won’t be there when you come back later). basically, if you’re headed anywhere within a 15 mile radius of a target (admit it! they have a have a strong and mysterious pull), pack your damn coupon folder. and don’t forget to hit up coupons.com & the target website to shake down the best printable action. you’ll often find target-centric coupons that can be stacked with manufacturer coupons for double your pleasure (um, i mean savings).

2. stalk the endcaps. going to target with me is always an hour+ proposition (sorry boyfriend!). i generally weave my way through the clearance clothing racks (my fashion lifeline), past the $4.75 dvd shelf, and then on through beauty, eventually ending in foodstuffs. but whatever your target takedown pattern, make sure to veer off the main concourse and hit the back end of the display shelves- this is where they stow all the crap that they’re trying to get rid of (you know, the good stuff). pretty much every department in the store has  a clearance area, and they’re all worth checking out. from toys to tampons, get ready to bring on the markdowns! sure, it starts with a paltry 15% off, but over time those sexy red stickers will start piling up and piling up, and your once $5.49 facial scrub will eventually dive down to $1.36. careful now, it’s time to strike.

3. load up on gift cards. a ton of the really great target deal scenarios also result in a $5 gift card. hoard the hell out of these! you can also often get free target cards from credit card points and paid survey sites. point being, target is givin it away like a drunk chick on girls gone wild, so grab grab grab while you can can can. the only thing better than finding a great product on sale for a few pennies, is being able to pay those few pennies with zero bank account impact. $5 gift cards may not seem all that hot, but if you’re doing it right ( the coupon goddess can squeeze the bejeezus out of a target deal like no other), that $5 can last you a shockingly long time.

i still may not necessarily be able to come home with a trunk full of toilet wands like the pros, but this weekend, my target stars aligned in a way that i found very satisfying:

pantene hair spray: regular price- $3.79, marked down to $1.61. using a $1/1 from the P&G brandsaver= $.61

listerine whitening mouth rinse: regular price- $3.99, marked down to $1.98. using a $1/1 printed from coupons.com= $.98

better crocker warm delights minis (these bitches are TASTE-TEE and only have 150 calories each): regular price- $1.89, marked down to 1$1.07 with a $.75/1 coupon from coupons.com= $.32 each (i got 4)

eggo waffles: on sale for $1.75, there’s a $1/1 target printable on coupons.com that brought them down to $.75 each (i got two)

la croix sparkling water 8 packs: regular price- $2.50, there’s a sweet $1.25/1 printable on coupons.com that made them them $1.25 each (i got two)

total price tag for the goods: $5.37. not huge bragging rights, but i feel like i’m just getting warmed up. definitely putting target on the weekly circuit, i think we might have a future together.