IKEA busted.

7 06 2012

well, IKEA bus (the squeakquel) has come and gone, and i’m finally recovered enough to write about it (a mere 18 days later) (i know) (i’m sorry).

well, recovered enough to half ass my way through a recap where i’ll omit a lot of details and probably not tell you what you want to know.  i’ll pretend that it’s because i want to preserve the mystique for future riders. yeah. that.

but be kind, i’m lazy because i’m exhausted.

there were actually a number of passengers who asked me how often i  run the IKEA bus, and recommended that i do it more often. which is totally a nice compliment, if woefully uninformed.

IKEA bus is actually a lot of work. not that i’m complaining (i’m totally complaining), but the snack research, and the phone calls, and the paperwork, and deposits, and movie selections, and ticket hawking/guilt trips… twice a year (or monthly, as recommended) would probably kill me a little.

but enough of my whining. for all the work, of course it was AMAZING. some highlights: Read the rest of this entry »

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worth the trip- coupon coma.

19 05 2011

remember back in the day, when i used to post something coupon related almost every day? oh, and when my cabinets were puffed out with extra band aids and shampoo, and i had an overflowing box of donate items for the preble street resource center? man, those days were nice.

but then it happens- COUPON FATIGUE.

after a year or more of wringing every possible deal out of every possible store in town, a girl gets tired, or distracted, and let’s those weekend coupon fliers pile up, and even… EXPIRE.

i recently cleaned out my folders to realized that i had indeed lost almost 2 full months of coupon time. blacked out unconscious, i must have been paying full price for everything- TRAGIC. expensively tragic (the worst kind of tragic).

now at this point, the serious coupon clipping mantle has clearly been handed off to maine’s very own extreme couponer, i love to gossip, which is quite liberating (also, she’s a lot better at it). no longer do i feel the pressure to try to keep up with the rest of the coupon bitties, and have time to do other crazy shit like  throw clothing swaps and complain about “easy feet”. but this weekend as i leafed through my sunday circulars, i realized that i actually missed it.

i remember feeling so high (remember that money making vaseline lotion at shaw’s?) when i could grab something for free. like i was pulling off a tiny bank robbery or something.

i also remember having 5 unopened dove deodorants in my supply drawer. now i’m sadly chasing a single stick around my apartment… and sometimes i CAN’T FIND IT.

so this week, i decided that i’m actually gonna start trying to get back into the coupon game.  i have an empty paper box ready for preble street donations, and i feel mentally ready to be able to find my antiperspirant again.

well, it’s going to have to be a gentle re-entry, because there’s kind of shit for deals this week. and actually, i was zooming through the comments on this week’s iheartcvs.com deal rundown, and people seem grouchy that there hasn’t been anything awesome for a while. has the deal climate changed when i was away? are there still bargains to be had out there in the wild? here is what i’m stalking this week (better to start slow i suppose), let me know if i missed anything: Read the rest of this entry »





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.





worth the trip- an inauspicious beginning.

8 09 2010

so i’ve been feeling a little (a lot) guilty for my complete lack of deal mongering lately.  the humble coupon lady roots of this blog have been lost somewhere along the way, and i don’t care for it. my original mission had been to make the coupon clipping, corner cutting lifestyle more accessible for single childless jerks like me, and i want to try to bring that element back a little bit. that said, it’s a fact:  i will never be a slick and sexy deal hunting machine. however, i do think it’s a worthwhile exercise to really take a look at the weekly deals, and make a perfectly edited list of everything that’s worth bringing home. not just what’s free or what’s cheap, but what’s actually good stuff. thus, i bring to you a new weekly feature: worth the trip.

unfortunately, as with most beta testing phases, there are a few bugs. for example, there really isn’t shit worth getting this week. i had hoped deeply that big lots might have a new shipment of $3 movies, or that target would have some sort of crazy gift card deal… but nothing. no, WORSE than nothing- BABY SALE?! or what about walmart’s pet sale (hasn’t that iams food been recalled enough?). lame.

cvs: if i were going to bother to head over to the cvs this week, i would pick up 2 packs of trident layers gum.  at $.99 each with $.99 in extrabucks back (limit 1), you can get 2 packs for free when you use this coupon. gum is good to have around, and this layers shit is pretty tasty. but seriously, that’s it this week for cvs. i’ll probably pass.

rite aid: not much better than cvs. i will be scoring on the free crest ($2.99 with $2 in +up rewards and a $1/1 coupon from last weekend’s p&g brandsaver). and if my sources (deal seeking mom) are correct, the right guard that’s on bogo (online price $3.99) will also be free after two of these printable babies. you can also get some free biotrue contact lens solution… but i don’t wear contacts and it’s not really donatable, so i’m gonna skip it.

shaw’s: again (are we sensing a pattern here?), nothing earth shattering, but a couple of decent deals on foods that i regularly eat. morningstar fake meats are all on sale for 2/$7. this is generally unremarkable (knowing that you can get them at target for $3.24 most of the time), but shaw’s does the double coupon thang, and i scored a bunch of $.50/1 coupons off a tearpad in the south portland store (don’t worry, i took almost all of them at first, but then felt guilty and threw a bunch back when no one was looking). $2.50 each still isn’t dirt cheap, but it’s about as good as it gets when it comes to morningstar. secondly, i think i’ll score a few larabars in the cart as well. you can rarely get these pricey fuckers for less than a dollar, and since they’re on sale for $.99 each, you can get 3 for $.50/ea. with this doubled coupon.

and that’s IT. not very exciting (or timely at this point), but it is my hope that with less of a vacation hangover and a more proactive spirit, i can get this going as a regular sunday feature (and get the weekend pickthrough back to friday where it belongs).  hopefully, the shopping universe will also give me something a little sexier to report than just free gum. now, i’m fully capable of missing things (or generally not paying attention), so if you see something awesome that i missed, please let me know. i want to know what you’re buying!!! (so i can get to the store first and clean them out).





rite aid, this is screwed +UP.

10 06 2010

there have been a lot of changes happening at ye olde rite aid over the last few months. just when i was getting comfy with the intricacies of the single check rebate program *BAM* the rite aid wellness+ card shows up on the scene. i actually had some sort of weird proto version a long time ago, but it never actually did anything. at least this new version appears to have value in the form of product discounts not available to the plebeian public . but it’s all lies! in reality, they’ve taken the discounts that they used to give us freely (with love) and made them contingent upon us carrying around our little plastic card (so spiteful, and after all this time…). i think they’re feeling a little guilty about it though, because they’re throwing these new +UP rewards at us like a fistful of crumpled twenties at a spent hooker. but i’m a ho for coupons, so i figured…

but wait. i thought that they would work like extrabucks. dollar off coupons toward anything at rite aid except stamps, gift cards, cigarettes & booze- right?! um, no. or at least i don’t think so, but it’s unclear. very very unclear. picture it, yesterday afternoon… i go to rite aid to grab some discount tampax and see what this whole +UP business is all about. well, there was a bit of a fracas when some drunk dude when apeshit when they refused to sell him more booze without identification. so with all waving of arms and screaming of “douchebag!”, i didn’t actually end up looking at my receipt until i got home. what the fuck is this shit? $1 off a $10 seasonal purchase of $10 or more? so, in order to get my whopping $1 reward, i have to buy $10 worth of seasonal crap? and for that matter, what exactly constitutes seasonal? rubber swimmies?

the answer was equal parts cryptic and infuriating: “certain limitations apply, see store associate for details”. does that mean that i am now at the mercy of the sales associate to determine what constitutes seasonal? what if our definitions don’t agree? what if it escalates to shoving? what if i’m the next customer to get hauled into the parking lot screaming “douchebag!”?

all i’m saying is that this +UP situation is really putting a strain on our relationship, and you’ve done absolutely nothing to explain yourself. all this craziness, and NOT A SINGLE WORD ABOUT IT ON THE WEBSITE. who starts a program like this and doesn’t set up some basic parameters beforehand? it smacks of incompetence rite aid. incompetence!