Archive for July, 2009

This week at CVS

CVS has great deals on school supplies.  Most of them are free after Extra Care Bucks.  Here is the deal I will be doing this week:

3-pk glue sticks 2 $ 1.98
1-sub ntbks 2 $ 1.98
CVS pens 2 $ 1.98
Compass/Protractor 1 $ 1.50
5″ scissors 2 $ 5.98
Flex ruler 2 $ 1.98
Lumene facial wipes 1 $ 2.99
Poly Portfolios 2 $ 0.98
Nutri Serums 1 $ 4.99
Deodorant Trial Sizes 6 $ 5.94
Vasoline Trial Size 6 $ 5.94
Tylenol trial size 4 $ 3.96
Blink tears 1 $ 7.99
Nuts – chocolate covered! 2 $ 1.98
$ 50.17

Then I will use these coupons:

10/50 coupon $ 10.00
ecb $ 10.00
crt soft soap $ 1.00
soft soap $ 2.00
deodorant $ 6.25
vasoline $ 6.00
tylenol $ 4.00
Blink $ 1.50
Nuts CRT $ 2.00
Lumene CRT $ 3.00

After all is said and done, I will turn $10 in Extra Care Bucks and $5 in cash into $28 in Extra Care Bucks.  That is a money maker of $13 🙂  I just love it when they pay me to shop!!


July 31, 2009 at 3:58 pm Leave a comment

How to get a designer wedding dress without going broke

Most brides have dreamed about their perfect dress since they were four years old.  Yards of flowing silk, taffeta, and lace completely surround the blushing bride, making her feel like a complete princess.   Almost as soon as an engagement ring is slipped onto her ring finger, the bride-to-be begins her hunt for the perfect dress.  Catalogues are combed over and appointments are made to begin trying on dresses.  At the boutique the young bride tries on several dresses, finally falling in love with “THE” dress.  Its beautiful, elegant, fits her like a glove.  As she turns around to look at the back of the gown in the mirror, she spots a tag hanging  from the dress and reaches to peek at it.  She just about faints when she sees the price – $5,000!

The average wedding dress in the US costs $1,505 according to the Bridal Association of America.  Prices range from $50 clearance dresses at local department stores, all the way up to several thousands for a designer gown.  Once a dress is purchased it usually has to be altered in some way.  The alterations can add a few hundred dollars more onto the price of the gown.  Accessories on average cost a bride an additional $333.   Adding all the pieces together, a bride’s ensemble averages closer to $2,000. For some, this is well within reach.  For others, like me, the average dress cost about half of the entire wedding budget all together!  So how can you bring that cost down, and still get the designer look that you have fallen in love with?

  • Rent your dress.  If you are not planning on keeping your gown forever, this is probably the cheapest way to go.
  • Find a seamstress to custom make a gown for you.  If you know an accomplished seamstress, you can often get a dress made for a fraction of the price of a designer gown.
  • Wait for a sample sale, or a trunk sale.  Often times the dresses that stores have used as samples for others to try on can be had at a deep discount.  A good cleaning and some small repairs could save you hundreds of dollars overall.
  • Get a bridesmaid or prom dress in white or cream.  Several popular bridal styles are also available as prom or bridesmaid dresses.  My sister actually got her dress this way.  She paid $180 for a white prom dress to wear as a wedding dress.  A similar dress was available at David’s Bridal at the time for almost $1,000!
  • Order a pre-owned wedding dress from eBay, or  This is the route I chose to take.  The designer gown I wanted was over $1,600 to purchase new.  I found the same dress in my size, and paid $926 including the shipping.  Another bonus?  I had my dress in one week, instead of having to wait 12 weeks from the designer.  With the short timeline that we are on, this was the best option for me.  I also intend to sell the dress back when I am finished with it and hopefully recoup most of the cost of the gown.

The key to saving money on your wedding gown is to be flexible and creative.  If you are willing to think outside the box just a bit, you could end up with your dream gown at a cost you can afford.

July 19, 2009 at 7:35 pm Leave a comment

You have to visit VistaPrint

Vista Print is a wonderful website.  They offer custom printing services at excellent prices – and some items are completely free.   I absolutely love anything that I can get for free, so I had to go check them out.   The list of free items varies, but here are some things I saw there:

  • Business Cards
  • Mailing address labels
  • Invitations
  • Business Card Magnets
  • Car Magnet
  • Banner
  • Yard Sign
  • Post Cards
  • Sticky Notes
  • Note Pad
  • T-shirt
  • Mouse Pad
  • Hat
  • Tote Bag
  • Pen

You can order up to 4 free items at a time, paying only shipping & handling.  I chose the slow shipping option – and I ended up paying $5.67 for shipping on 4 items.  Even though it was the slow shipping option, I received my items within 4 days (your mailing/handling time may vary).

All of the free items are customizable with your own information, and there are several options for backgrounds and logos (up to 4,000 different choices!).   What a better way to advertise your own side-hustle than to hand out business cards, or place a magnet on your car to tout your services where ever you go?  A tote bag or t-shirt could make a wonderful customized present for anyone on your gift list.  The invitations would be great for an upcoming event – birthday party, baby shower, house warming, etc.

Vista Print also partners with several online sites to deliver an even better deal.  Inbox Dollars offers you $5 for ordering from Vista Print (if you have never used them, you get another $5 just for signing up).  If you choose the slowest shipping option like I did, you will pay less than $1 for all of your items.  If you use My Points, they will offer you 300 points for your first order.  To get these deals, go to the partner sites first and then link to Vista Print through the respective advertised offers.

Dont want to sign up for Inbox Dollars or My Points?  That’s ok – you can still get a discount on your Vista Print order.  Check out your exclusive 25% discount on custom printed products at VistaPrint. Order today!

July 17, 2009 at 6:50 pm Leave a comment

Frugal Bride

Wedding.  Just the sound of that word strikes fear into the pocket books of brides-and grooms-to-be.  The average cost of a US wedding is $20,000.  OUCH!

I am getting married in less than 3 months.  My DF (Dear Fiance) and I are planning and paying for everything on our own.  There is no way we could afford to spend $20,000 for one day.  Even if we had that much money at our disposal, I would not want to spend that much on one party.  We are planning our wedding for a total budget of only $4,000.  Our guest list is currently over 400 people.  How will we do this on such a small budget?  Stay tuned to the Frugal Bride series to find out more.  You can locate all of the frugal bride posts by the tags on each post.

July 17, 2009 at 5:09 pm Leave a comment

New? Check out these posts to get started

How to get started with CVS ________________________________ How to get started with Walgreens ________________________________ How I use my printer to print money ________________________________ How to get coupons and keep them organized ________________________________ Stockpiling Basics

Coupon Terms

BOGO = Buy one, get one (usually buy one get one free).

EB = Extra Bucks. Use these like cash at CVS.

IP = Internet Printable coupon.

IVC = Instant Value Coupon. These are at Walgreens

MIR = Mail in Rebate

OOP = Out of Pocket

P&G = Proctor & Gamble. One of the Sunday
coupon inserts.

RP = Red Plum. One of the Sunday coupon inserts.

RR = Register Rewards. Use these like cash at Walgreens.

SS = Smart Source. One of the Sunday coupon inserts

WYB = when you buy

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