Tag Archive | shopping

Coupon Crazy

Lately I have been searching out coupons to save money on as many different purchases as possible. I used to be very frugal and then I guess I got a little lazy about sorting and keeping track of the different coupons and expiration dates. Now that I want to get back on the Frugal Train, my first thought was to search out coupons and I found a great place online to help with that.

For example, I need to buy some shoes, so I searched online for the shoes I want to get at Shoebuy and then I found the coupon to save more money!

I love shopping for shoes online, because there is no frustration from shopping in the stores and not finding the right size or color. When I shop online, I know right away if they have the right size, and I can see in the image window what the different colors look like. But if I happen to be be out and shopping at the mall or near some of my favorite stores, like Payless Shoes, I can get online coupons to help me save on those purchases.

This works for women’s shoes as well as men’s shoes. If you know that you need a particular size, shopping online is the easiest way to buy men’s shoes, and they deliver the shoes right to your front door within just a couple of days. I found a great pair of Johnston and Murphy Shoes that had a coupon deal and they turned out to be cheaper than any of the local stores.

Getting freebies at a college’s open house

When I went with my son to the open house at one of the college’s he is thinking about attending, one of my favorite parts of the day was when we were taking a break in the student union. There were dozens of kiosks set up where different organizations were giving away promotional items, like pens, tiny flashlights on key chains, can cozies, frisbees, notepads, stress-balls, visors and the like. I went from kiosk to kiosk and loaded up on everything they handed out, and stored it all in a couple of custom bags with drawstring that I got at the first kiosk.

I love getting these types of useful freebies! It’s like going shopping without spending a penny! What more could a gal want?

Splash of Color

I never realized how many different shades of red there are until I bought these two pots of geraniums and brought them home. They are not very close in color to the azalea bush, but hanging them half way across the yard takes away some of the clash. I love geraniums – they are very low maintenance and add such a nice splash of color to your home for several months. If I’m lucky, these will last from April until well into October.

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Great cheap vacations

Some people like to tell me that I am “cheap.” Those are the people who have a lot more money than I do, usually born with a silver spoon in their mouths. Or they have what I like to call a “Sugar Daddy” or a “Sugar Mamma” in their lives. Because of that they can afford to travel around the world and eat all of their meals at restaurants every day of their lives. Me, I have always had to work for a living. And for the majority of the child-raising lives of my kids I had to work full-time, take college courses at night, and raise my kids on a shoestring. So I prefer to think of myself as “frugal.”

One trick that I learned about saving money back then was to not even bother fighting with their father for who would get the kids on a holiday, like Easter or Halloween. I’d go ahead and let them spend the night before at his house, and the day of the holiday, and even the next day too. I’d put off shopping for Easter candy, or Halloween candy until the day AFTER the holiday and then I’d go to the stores and buy a modest amount of holiday-themed goodies at the drastically reduced prices and when they would arrive home I would give them the small token gifts and they would be perfectly happy with what I had given them.

I became pretty skilled at providing cheap vacations as well. Those days were largely before the Internet was even invented, so I would use a travel agent to line up a time-share condo rental and cheap air-fare if the destination was too far to drive, or I’d arrange to drive to my parent’s house in the Washington DC area, stay with them (for free) and do a lot of the Smithsonian Museums, the National Zoo, and spend some great time with my parent’s at their beach house on the Northern Neck in Virginia. We’d go for boat rides, and picnic on the beach at Shark’s Tooth Island, and hunt for shark’s teeth. My siblings would show up and we’d use the family boat to go tubing and water-skiing. A day trip or two to King’s Dominion, or Luray Caverns might round out the vacation. Good times can be had without having to go deep into debt!

Modern Artisans

In the upscale part of town there are some exclusive boutiques and shops that I’ve never ventured in. The types of shops where a summer dress can cost over $500, where imported Egyptian sheets and other luxury bedding can cost up to a thousand dollars. You know the scene.

Well, today I had to run an errand in “that” part of town and it did not take as long as anticipated, so I decided on a whim to stop by one of those little shops and just take a peek. I enjoy window shopping when I get the chance. The shop is called American Artisan and they carry a wonderful selection of handmade and imported items, such as jewelry, glass, ceramics, wood, lamps, metal and fine art. I particularly like a display of stylized ceramic buildings called “Prayer Towers,” crafted by Holden McCurry.

I found McCurry on the internet and browsed through some of the other items he creates. He is a talented artist but his website was disappointingly primitive and limited.

The prayer towers are very inspiring and if I have an opportunity I hope to go back one day soon and buy one of his works.