Saturday, November 22, 2014

Who turns down free, soap?

I have waffled back and forth and back again about shopping online and subscribing to deal websites. It just seems to get out of hand so quickly.  Especially around the holidays.  Did I mention I have willpower issues?  Click, click, buy is so EASY and before you know it, I've gotten things I can use but don't necessarily need.  See, I always justify whatever I get.  You know...I've always wanted one of those...I'm saving it for a present...blah blah blah.  Y'all.  I bought $10 worth of hair from Korea because I watched a YouTube video about hair extensions.  I legitimately planned on using them but do you know what the QUALITY of $10 worth of hair is?  It ain't great.  I would have had more fun setting $10 on fire than I did trying to untangle that mess and clip it onto my hair.  Cheese and crackers.  So I just stopped for a long time.  All of those emails went straight into the trash bin and I only saved a few. (Let me preface this whole post by saying I have not included any referral links.  I love getting credits or coupons but I just don't feel right putting it here.)

And, ahem, I have not forsaken any of my thrifty ways for buying a bunch of new junk.  Most of my online purchases are for things I wouldn't (or can't) buy second hand.  Shoes. Services. Consumables.  Hair and Hello Kitty stuff.  Just kidding.  I just bought sweet girl a Hello Kitty clock (brand new) at a consignment shop for 5 bucks.  And I will never buy anymore hair.

Groupon.  Living Social. I saved these. I rarely buy things but when I do, it's something like movie tickets or a $10 Starbucks card for $5.  That's my fave!  And I may or may not buy one on my account and my husband's account too.  Save one for us and give one away as a present.  They also will offer deals on local organic markets where I live.  Getting $40 worth of groceries for $20 is a deal I'd be crazy to pass up.  That deal comes around 2 or 3 times a year so that's nice.  I'm sure you have all heard of these sites and use them already.  Just be careful!  Read the fine print, pay attention to expiration dates, be thorough.  And go to the sites of businesses you may not be familiar with to see how much you are really saving.  If you were going to buy your mom a massage for her birthday and find a deal, see how much their regular packages are.  Sometimes I've found I could get a lower tier treatment for less than the Groupon.

Family Friendly Frugality ( This is a blog/couponing site.  I also follow them on Facebook.  The main reason I saved it is because they have the drop on sales.  This time of year, I'm trying to keep up with what they are posting.  There were several Cabella shoes on sale for less than $10, shipped, this week.  I was slow on the draw and missed them BUT had I been paying attention, I could have some cheap comfy shoes headed my way.  They also find ways to stack deals with coupons, in store and online.

Speaking of coupons, PLEASE do a google search of coupon or promo codes for what ever store you plan on buying from online.  Retail Me Not almost always has a % off code for pretty much every store I ever shop at.

Ok.  So the soap.  I held on to some email subscriptions for stores I had no reason to.  Like The Honest Company.  I have no babies (have you seen those diapers?  ADORABLE!) .  I really like their packaging and a lot of the ingredients in their cleaning/body products but I couldn't justify spending the money plus shipping.  Tonight I got an email from them stating I had a $20 credit on my account.  There was no minimum or other qualifying purchase so I went over to the site to browse.  It's winter so I need body oil.  I'm also almost out of shampoo and body wash...Hmmm.  I started adding things to the cart and had about $22 worth of stuff.  Then I see the shipping will be $8.95 no matter what so I google promo codes.  I find one that will give me $10 off a $25 purchase.  Glory be to the websites that let you stack promo codes.  That will just about guarantee my repeat business.  So I add more things and have $26 worth but my credit is $30 off now.  ADD MORE THINGS!  I swear I edited my cart about 55 times trying to get exactly $30 worth of stuff but everything is priced at dollars and 95 cents.  I'm sure some math/Jenga genius could have hit it on the head but I ended up with $29.80.  Woot!  I paid the $8.95 for shipping and got 5 things I was planning on purchasing this weekend.  I'm excited to see how the products stand up to other natural/organic brands I've tried.  Have you tried them?  Thoughts?

Another side note, about once or twice a month I will hit up some free sample sites. I did unsubscribe from the emails though.  They were overwhelming.  The only caveat to freebie sites is the scams.  If you have to pay for anything, don't.  If you have to fill out 97 questionnaires or sign up for other "offers", don't.  A good site will just have links to the manufacturer of whatever product you want a sample of.  There are a few monthly sample "subscriptions" that are reputable.  I signed up for one called PINCHme.  I'm not sure why they chose that name.  You do have to work a little by filling out a profile and doing follow up questions after you've used your samples but I got a free box of Weight Watchers ice cream bars, a full size nail polish, and more.  The samples make great stocking stuffers or filler for birthday gifts.  I also stock my first aid kit, car, and travel makeup kit with the samples of OTC meds, bandages, hand sanitizer, etc. So it satisfies my shopping AND my frugal needs!

It is hard to resist all the gift with purchase, BOGO, holiday special clearance type emails this time of year.  But I will be strong!  Bottom line? The only way I'm hitting that COMPLETE PURCHASE button is if  1) There is no possible way I can buy this anywhere else; 2) I'm saving much more than I'm spending; and 3) I was going to purchase the item within the next few weeks.

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Like George Washington Carver said:

1. Be clean both inside and outside.
2. Neither look up to the rich nor down on the poor.
3. Lose, if need be, without squealing.
4. Win without bragging.
5. Always be considerate of women, children and old people.
6. Be too brave to lie.
7. Be too generous to cheat.
8. Take your share of the world and let others take theirs.


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