While looking at the Menards sale flyer on Sunday, I noticed a few things that peaked my interest. First, there was a battery sale, and we were in great need of a few AA's: Rayovac 20 packs were on sale for $6.99 with a $5 rebate (limit 2).
Next, there was an 8 piece king sized comforter/sheet set on sale for $54.99 with a $40 rebate. Now, I know that Menards isn't the first place that you think of when in need of a new comforter, but it's hard to find a set of king sized sheets for $14.99, let alone an entire king comforter/sheet set. And I'm sure the quality isn't outstanding, but for a girl who likes to switch things up on a frequent basis, I'd consider a $14.99 comforter set. It would also be great for someone looking to stage their home for sale!
Finally, there was a picker upper tool that was on sale for $3.99 with a $3 rebate. I don't need a picker upper tool....I can't think of a thing I would use it for in a practical sense. Honestly, it just looked like fun. Bill started handing me tissues with it last night, and I teared up with laughter. Hilarious stuff, but you probably had to be there.
A picture may help:
Imagine this coming at you from three feet away!!
Now here's a picture of all the goods:
Sorry, it's a dark image. The picker upper tool is resting on top of the bed set.
Close Up of Menards King Sized Comforter Set
So it's a major stretch, but the above is the Sydney Palampore set from Pottery Barn, and it bares some resemblance in color scheme to my $15 set. Even for a twin set with 2 shams, the total would be $140 at Pottery Barn (King size is sold out, so I don't have a price for it).
I got 2 packs of batteries, my picker upper stick, and a king comforter set. I paid $78.16 and will receive $53 in rebates* if I keep the comforter set (I need to try it out on the new bed before I commit to it. Afterall, $15 is $15, and I'm not big on throwing money away on an unused item.). Grand total for the purchase is $25.16, including the tax. Wow!
*The rebate is in the form of Menards Credit. We frequent Menards on a regular basis, so we're good with this.
If you have any Walgreens purchases to make this week, today would be a good day to do it! They are offering up 15% off your purchase (20% off Walgreens brand products) with a coupon found here. I plan on heading out to take advantage of this coupon deal and to use up some of the Register Rewards I received last week from the Almay Deal.
Dock 86 is a fun furniture store in the Twin Cities. Here's a picture of about 1/4 of the store:
They carry many unique pieces, from light fixtures to furniture of all kinds to mirrors and accessories. We actually purchased our current dining room table there a couple months ago in the 'clearance room'. They run sales every now and then for 8.6% off their merchandise and they were running that very sale the weekend we went to check it out.
We walked into the store with this (and our 8.6% off coupon):
And here are a few things we found that struck our fancy along with approximate prices (I'm going by memory here in some instances.):
Huge Sunburst Mirror: $150
Nice, Big Pottery Barn-esque Console Table $399
If you read this post, you know we got REALLY excited when we saw these woven counter stools for $70 each....but they were they were the 'Last Ones' of each size, so it was a no go. Shoot!
I heart these chairs. They cost $459 each. I've heard that Florida is inundated with similar chairs on Craigslist. Is anyone in Florida reading this that wants to bring me back a pair of something similar on the cheap? I'm not picky about the color:).
Old vintage trunks around $80 each. We figured they must be faux-vintage because everything in the store is new merchandise. We looked closely and still weren't sure though so they did a good job roughing them up if they aren't vintage.
This didn't have a price on it, but I was thinking it would be adorable in Charm's Big Boy Room as a nightstand some day. I'm digging the vintage look these days. I asked about the price: $286. No thanks. I'll find a real old one instead.
Anyone need a white leather chair or couch?
Or a rug?
Clearance Room Finds:
$586, I believe for this versatile bunk bed. It comes with 4 different colored drawer fronts, a desk, a bookshelf, a built in dresser, a bulletin board and it can be arranged in many different ways to fit the room it's in. It's a 'Build-A-Bear' Branded piece of Furniture. Wouldn't that be a fun store in the mall if they did it with furniture instead of stuffed bears? I can just imagine couch creating there: pick out your fabric, take it to the stuffing station, throw a heart in it and take it home that same day!
Queen Platform Bed for $319, I believe
$60 each for these unusual orb lights. They were quite big.
And here is what we left with that day:
One Free Candle. I love looking at the unusual pieces they have at Dock 86. The prices are a little all over the place, however. We were able to find a really nice solid wood dining table there for $274 (with an 8.6% off coupon) on a previous trip, and we definitely would have scooped up 4 woven stools this trip if they had the inventory. Clearance was slim pickings this go round and lots of it was really damaged stuff. Like you might need to pay me to take it home kind of damaged. Overall, it was a fun trip and we'll make our rounds there again in the future.
It likes to eat ink like I like to eat chocolate chip cookies. And it's super picky...it has 4 different cartridges (1 each for black, yellow, cyan and magenta) and if one of them is out, the printer won't print. You pretty much always have to have back up ink on hand of every color or you run the risk of being printerless (or operating all your printing functions with your backup printer on your kitchen island).
Last week, we had a kitchen computer station set up. We needed some ink. (We rarely have sufficient ink stock because it's so expensive.) Then I read this post from Collin at Hip2Save. I ordered up some non-OEM (generic) inkjets for our printer through http://www.123inkjets.com/. Fingers crossed that the ink works out well and doesn't hurt our printer. The $4.76 (after rebate) per generic inkjet cost is a super savings compared to the Target sale price of $13.69 this week. I really don't mind generic products in most cases. If the product functions the same, and it's cheaper, why not? Until this week, I hadn't been able to find generic Epson ink for our printer around town. So this was a happy surprise.
We placed our order late Thursday night and received our ink on Monday. Check out our new stockpile:
It's a forest of inkjet refills!!
So far, it's working great, and the best news is that now we can relocate our printing operations back to the office. Yeah for clear countertops!
My dad has a saying that I probably heard about a million times in my 18 years under his roof that goes like this: 'If it's not worth asking for, it's not worth getting.' It can be applied to the big stuff in life like applying to a challenging university like UNC-Chapel Hill or calling to follow up with an employer after an interview or pushing to see a foreclosed home even though you'd probably end up in a bidding war if you made an offer on it. You can also apply it to smaller things in life too.
Take this storage tin, for example:
The other night I saw it sitting by its lonely self on a Target clearance endcap. I'd picked it up on an earlier Target run, because I thought it'd make good book storage in Charm's big boy room, but there was no price on it, not even a UPC code so I set it back down on the shelf. On this night, I decided to pick it up and take it to the checkout. I had no idea what would happen, but I told myself that if they let me name my price, I'd take it home for $2.50 (I'd seen similar things in the $10-$12 range, and 75% off of that would be about $2.50 on the low end.) After I presented it to the clerk, she called over a manager who called back to the home storage crew. She asked me what price I'd be willing to pay if they didn't find anything in the back to compare it to, and I said $2.50. She looked at me like I was crazy, and then said, "Umm...let's see what they find." The home storage crew couldn't find anything comparable, so the manager told the clerk to give it to me for $2.50. SWEET!!
Now the storage tin is in Charm's Room and looks like this:
There are some things from my childhood that I will never, ever forget. My Pa's saying is one of them because it rings so true for the big stuff in life and the small stuff too. If you want something bad enough, just ask for it!!
I was ELATED to find this email in my inbox last Thursday morning after a three week wait (See this post for more background):
The Item You Requested is Back in Stock
Reply email@example.com to me
show details Mar 24 (4 days ago)
You requested that we notify you when the following product became available: Aisling Cream Fabric King Platform Bed This Aisling platform bed features a cream colored fabric upholstery. The silvertone nail head accented headboard adds sophistication to this elegant king bed. Our Price: $821.99
I was especially excited because in the interim, I discovered a cool website called Ebates. If you do shopping online, you should really familiarize yourself with websites like this. ShopAtHome is another one. When you're ready to shop you can set up an account (for free!) using the above links and from that website, search for the store you want to shop at, for example Overstock. At this point you will see how much of a rebate (via check payable to you) you can receive for making a purchase at your chosen store. From there, click the link that takes you to your store's page, and then do your shopping. It can take a varied amount of time (1-30 days) for the transaction to post to your Ebates or Shop At Home account, and then depending on the site, rebate checks are mailed monthly or quarterly. Talk about making some easy cash!!
I was also happy to have a 10% off Overstock coupon for the purchase (which I didn't have earlier in the month). And, when purchasing our island pendant lights seen here , I joined Club O. This membership costs $20/year, but in return you receive at least 5% 'Overstock Rebates' (which is like Kohl's Cash) to be used on future purchases and free shipping (normally a whopping $2.95/order even for big furniture). When I bought the pendant lights, I received $15 back to be applied to future purchases and since I was planning on buying an additional light fixture for our foyer, it nearly paid for itself right away and would once I purchased the foyer light.
So here is the shakedown of how my order on Thursday morning broke down financially:
Cost of bed: $821.99
-10% off Overstock coupon: $82.20
-5.6% rebate from ShopAtHome: $41.42 (calculated after 10% coupon)
-5% Overstock Rebate (which I have plans for already): $41.10 (calculated before 10% coupon)
Total made from BBB sale: $1000
Total cost of Ms. Aisling: $656.95
Difference = $343.05
My goal is to replace the nightstands and lamps that I sold for the remaining $343.05 that I made on the sale of BBB. We'll see if that happens--I've been eyeing some pricier nightstands:). I'll be happy if I get close at least, and my Target lamp bases should give me a good start toward reaching that goal!
I'll send pictures of the bed once it arrives and we put it together. I placed the order last Thursday morning and received a call Friday afternoon saying it was in town. How do they do that? The earliest date that it could be delivered due to truck scheduling was this Thursday (tomorrow), however, because they need a really big truck to deliver the 300 pound bed on a full pallet that they 'will attempt' to put in a garage stall. Should be fun:).
We love coffee around here. We don't drink excessive quantities (well, one of us does, but it's when he's at work), and we love being able to switch between regular, decaf and tea with a single device. For these reasons, the Keurig product line is a perfect fit for our family. I purchased our first Keurig (B60 model) 3 and 1/2 years ago for Bill as a graduation present. We've used it every day and we love it! We have the insert that allows you to fill your own ground coffee, to avoid kcup costs if you wish. Honestly though, we love the convenience of the disposable kcups...it's a little guilty pleasure that we're able to afford because we penny pinch in other areas.
Lately, our B60 has been needing 'descaling' on a nearly weekly basis. It still works fine, but we're thinking it may be on its downward slide. Bill told me to keep an eye out on Keurig sales, and I found a great deal at Kohl's (it's where I got our first Keurig too). Kohl's often does the 15%, 20% or 30% sale promotions. Sometimes I get a 30% off code mailed to me, usually I don't, but the coupon code for the 30% off discount is usually widely available online at sites like http://www.slickdeals.net/ and http://www.retailmenot.com/ and there is usually free shipping at Kohl's on purchases above $75. Additionally, Kohl's often offers $10 Kohl's Cash for every $50 spent.
We weighed out the cost of a couple Keurig options (The B60, which we currently own and the B70, which is quieter and has a larger water reservoir) and realized that the cost of the B70 Platinum Edition would only be $11 more than the B60. We decided that for $11 we wanted a quieter machine with a bigger water reservoir. To maximize Kohl's cash, we also ordered 3 boxes of KCups at 30% off. Our order total for the B70 and 3 KCup boxes was just under $150 pre-tax, and we received $30 Kohl's Cash which I used to buy more KCups and this guy:
So for $149.07 without tax, we now have our amazingly quiet, new Keurig B70 Coffee Maker, 4 boxes of KCups (full price are $10.99 each) and my white antler:
Only 2 KCup boxes shown here because the rest are in the glass jar.
For comparison: Target is advertising the Platinum B70 in this week's flyer. The cost is $180 and they'll give you a free $35 gift card = $145 pre-tax for the coffee maker alone. (If you have a Target Red Card, take another 5% off that for a total of $137.75 without tax..for $12 more I received 4 boxes of Kcups and my fun white antler!).
In order to get the best deal on a new release DVD, it's important to buy it the first week it comes out. The sales and coupons that are seen in the first week of release can't be beat! I just purchased the Tangled 4 disc Blue Ray/DVD Combo Pack and will pay at most $10 for it, but if Bill needs a haircut sometime soon, the cost could go down as low as $5.
I purchased the Combo Pack at Target (no surprise there:)). It was on sale for $24.99 and included a free mini-Golden book. There is a manufacturer's coupon available here good for $5 off the purchase. Also, I found a $5 off coupon in a 'Sweet Rewards' Target mailer. One Target coupon and one manufacturer coupon can be combined together on the same product.
Additionally, there are two rebates available for this purchase and because there are two proofs of purchase on the back of the Blue Ray/DVD, you can send in for both rebates. The first rebate is through Success Rice and is valid for $5 if you purchase both the Combo Pack and 2 Success Rice products. The link for the form is here. Additionally, there is a Cost Cutters rebate good for $5 when you purchase the Combo Pack and get a hair cut at Cost Cutters. The link for the Cost Cutters rebate form can be found here.
Here is a picture of the Target 'Sweet Deals' Mailer and the coupons I headed into Target with:
While at Target, I also took advantage of a great deal they were having on vitamins. There are $2 off Target coupons here and there were $1 off manufacturer coupons in recent Sunday papers. Combined with a sale on the vitamins of about $6 per bottle, I ended up getting 3 bottles of vitamins for $9 total. (I checked the expiration on the Flintstone's to make sure we'd go through them in time, and it was 11/2012. We're good:)). I picked up the Success Rice right away, so I wouldn't forget. It was $1.97 per box. Here is a picture of my Target purchases today:
Cost Breakdown for Entire Purchase:
My Total for all the items purchased above (with my Red Card 5% off): $29.05
My Total Sale/Coupon Savings: $32.11
AND I'll be getting $5 back from Success Rice. The way I see it, for $24.05 I got the Combo Pack, 2 Success Rice boxes and 3 bottles of vitamins, and I still paid less than the current sale price ($24.99) of the Combo Pack alone.
Cost Breakdown for the Combo Pack Alone:
The DVD/Combo Pack was on sale for $24.99-$5 Target coupon - $5 manufacturer coupon - $5 Success Rice Rebate = $10 and if we end up getting a Cost Cutter's hair cut in the next couple months, it'll go down to $5.
And that's why if there is a DVD I'm interested in, I almost always buy it the week it is released. The manufacturer $5 off coupon expires 4/3/2011 and Target's sale will probably end 4/2/2011.
Also, please don't think I find all these links on my own. I just know from experience the right websites and blogs to check out when a new DVD is being released. The blog Totally Target helped me find all of these links with great ease!
Here is a picture of my bed, all gussied up in its staged glory prior to the sale of our old house:
Let me tell you, making that bed prior to showings took a good 5-10 minutes alone. I remember working up a sweat as I ran around the house picking things up faster than the kiddos could mess them up. Thankfully, Charm wasn't walking yet and I only had to do it for six weeks!
Here is a close-up of the detail on the bed:
The big, black bed (BBB from here on out), was perfect for that master bedroom and perfect for that house which had lots of black accents. It was big and grand and filled the large master bedroom nicely. It was a true statement piece. It made me feel like a queen, and I loved it. In fact, even though I like to change home decor often, it probably would have been our forever bed IF we had lived in that house forever.
Chapter 2: Moving the BBB
We moved into our new home with BBB, and although the new master bedroom (which is decidedly smaller than our old master) can handle a king sized bed, something was off. Every time I walked into the room, I felt like the air was being sucked out of me. I don't know how else to describe the feeling. I just didn't want to be in there. It felt cramped, like the walls were closing in. The room definitely needed a lighter bed, but it didn't make sense to switch it out given that the bed was only 3 years old. Surely replacing it would be a costly venture, but I needed to do my research to see how bad it would be.
Chapter 3: Finding a Potential Replacement
First, I needed to find out what I wanted in a new bed. I looked around online and in stores and fell hard for this sweet lady named Collette:
I loved her simple curved headboard, the nailhead trim, the fact that it would be easy to switch up the room's look/colors by switching out bedding (this was tricky with BBB due to the ornate pattern on the headboard and footboard and the gold touches on the predominantly black bed). What I didn't love was her $1899 plus shipping price tag. That wasn't going to work at all. I did some more searching and found another option at my new favorite online store, Overstock.
Aside from some slight differences in the shape of her dark feet, she was a super close match to Ms. Collette. And her $821 plus $2.95 shipping was definitely more reasonable. I was getting excited, but there was one big problem: she was out of stock. I didn't know if she would come back in stock so I watched and waited. I watched her go in and out of stock a couple times. It was clearly a popular bed, with great reviews. On the day in early March when I saw her come back into stock with a quantity of 17 (I signed up to receive an email when she was in stock, and they give you the specific number that are available.), I knew it was time to attempt the big bed switch of 2011. (Prior to this 'back in stock' email, I'd only seen Ms. Aisling come back into stock with a quantity of 1 or 2.)
Chapter 4: Selling the Big Black Bed
Before I could justify the purchase of a new bed, I had to sell the old one. Not only for some cash to use towards the new bed, but also because it's still winter in Minnesota, our garage is full to the brim (a project for spring) thanks to our basement finishing project this fall, and we have no place to easily store a spare king bed. Enter my good friend Craig and his amazing List. At first, I was planning to list BBB for $500, which is half the price we paid for it in 2008. When I uploaded the staged bed photos and made my listing, I decided the bed was pretty enough to be a $750 used bed. It was truly a random number, and I figured I could always go lower if needed. I made my posting on a Sunday and got a couple hits within the first hour and they weren't scams. One person wanted the mattress and box springs too, and that wasn't going to happen. Another person was interested but apparently only checked her email once a day, so we had a drawn out exchange that led to....nothing.
On a Thursday, I checked on Ms. Aisling on the Overstock site to make sure she was still there and got some scary news...she now had an 'extremely high sell out risk'. Ahhh!!! I didn't know if that meant there was 1 bed left or 2 or 5, but I knew I needed to up the ante on my bed posting. I talked to my hubby who told me to just order the Overstock bed, because the shipping would take awhile and we could 'just figure it out'. Normally, given the green light to spend some money on something I really wanted, I'd jump on it. For some reason, I just couldn't do it this time. It made me way too nervous spending that kind of money and potentially having 2 beds to deal with.
So here is what I did: I took off my original craigslist post and made a new one. This time I increased the price to $1000, but threw in the Home Goods bombay chests (nightstands) that I got for $150 each and the lamps (which I hated, BTW. They were too tall for next to a bed and you needed to sit up in bed to turn off the lamp at night), which were also Home Goods purchases = not expensive. I figure I added about $350 in goods and asked $250 for them on top of my original bed alone listing price. This was a very reasonable price to me, and apparently, it was very reasonable to lots of people out there who are surfing craigslist looking to drop a grand on a used bed set.
I re-listed the bed set at 3pm on Thursday, we received close to ten 'seriously interested' emails by 7pm and it was sold for the asking price with a $300 cash down payment (bed to be picked up two days later) by 8pm. No joke. I was sky high!! Yippee!! I immediately ran to the computer to order my very own Aisling bed to find this on Ms. Aisling's Overstock webpage: Out Of Stock. I wanted to cry.
Chapter 5: The Silver Lining
If you look hard enough though, you can find a silver lining in almost any situation. My silver lining: I just added a grand to my previously dwindling 'decorating fund' AND if Ms. Aisling ever decides to come back into stock, I have enough moola to completely cover her cost.
Here is our bedroom today:
I brought up a couple tables we had downstairs to use as nightstands. The round one was our old home's foyer table and the folding tray was what we used in our old mudroom to drop keys, mail, etc. I also grabbed a couple of lamps we already owned for a temporary lighting solution. The big round guy was a house warming present from my main man, and the desk lamp was a Target clearance score for $7.48 that I had purchased a while back. The comforter was a Christmas gift from the in-laws last Christmas and the duvet cover was a cheap $17 Target find that I bought several months back in an attempt to work with BBB. Everything else we had in our old home, except the small black, round mirrored table between the two side chairs. I picked that table up for $15 on clearance at Target a couple months ago and I'm thinking it may be painted white in the future. Overall, the room obviously looks less finished than the staged picture of BBB, but it feels so much lighter to me. Even without a headboard, at least I don't feel like the walls are closing in on me.
Chapter 6: To Be Continued
There's more to this story. Stay tuned to read how it continues in 'Here's the Story of a Lovely Bed: Part Two', which I promise will be much, much shorter.
Lots of times things go 'my way', and it's exciting and fun. Lots of times things don't go 'my way' and it's not exciting nor fun. It's really easy to get down, upset, and negative when things go wrong. The easiest way to pull myself out of a mini-funk is to ask myself this: What did I learn from this experience so I either do it better the next time OR avoid doing it at all in the future? I figure as long as I learn from the experience, I'm okay with going through it. Like books vs. movies, projects and tasks never seem to be quite as easy or perfect as we visualize them in our mind to be. My point is that I don't need to strive for perfection in myself, rather forward progress.
With that in mind, I'd like to share with you the lessons I learned this weekend:
1. Fabric shopping (which I find to be extremely stressful and overwhelming in general) at Joann Fabrics on a weekend when there are bonus coupons (extra 25% off entire purchase including sale items) is not going to be a quick trip. Don't bring your husband and kids along.
I did find some fun fabric for some future projects, though:)!
2. If you park your car in an ice filled parking spot and almost hit the pavement when you get out of your car, you should probably be a little more careful when you return to your car 5 minutes later, because the ice will probably still be there. OUCH to the EXTREME.
3. Apparently everyone in our town eats at 6pm on the dot, so don't head out famished at 6pm and expect you'll eat anytime soon, unless you're okay with eating at Burger King on your date night. Shout out to BK for your lack of lines and operable shake machine!
4. Although making a pancake as big as the pan may seem like a good way to make pancakes quickly, it's not. Cleaning up the mess you make flipping that monster negates any time you save from making 1 vs. 5 pancakes. Also, it's hard to tell when it's done, so you have to cut it down the middle anyway. Also, no one in my family wants to eat a pancake that big so we had to cut it up pizza style. Bottom Line: I'm keeping my eye out for a griddle sale:).
Every now and then I get a coupon in the mail from JCPenney that is good for $10 off a purchase of $10 or more, and I always feel like they're sending me $10 cash. I received one of those coupons last week, and I also printed off one of these coupons good for $10 off a $25 or more purchase. It's not as good of a deal, obviously, but it's still a nice savings.
I couldn't combine both coupons in one transaction, so I had the cashier ring me out twice for the following items:
I picked up a polo shirt for the hubster which was on sale for $11.99-$10 coupon = $1.99!!
I fell in love with the furry pillow which was on sale for $15 and the belt was on clearance for $9.60. By using the $10 off $25 purchase coupon, I was able to pay $5.70 for a new leather belt (and cross one more item off my 'clothing needs' list...now all that remains are the elusive leather riding boots and a nice new purse AKA Coupon Satchel Extraordinaire.) and $8.89 for the fuzzy, textured pillow.
Grand total with tax: $17.62
Total Savings: $67.42
This morning, when I woke up, I was hoping I'd be bringing this baby home with me today:
It's a beautiful, antique Jenny Lind bed that popped up on Craigslist for 70 buckaroos. It was the real deal, and exactly what I was looking for to complete Lucky's new room. The bad news: I was runner up to claim this prize. I found out it was sold while I was filling up with gas to start on the hour long trek to score the bed. I learned late last night that it was sitting at a thrift store/non-profit that was only open on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays for very limited hours. I was set to be there for the store's opening today at 1pm. It was not to be. Apparently, it got sold last night. I'm not sure how, but that doesn't matter. She's gone. I'm going to keep searching though.
Since I was already out of the house and about one block from Target, I quickly popped in to see what was happening in the clearance section. Target always makes me feel better! And at Target today is where I won! I scored two lamps and a basket tray that I had been stalking for a couple weeks now. They had been on clearance for 30% off and sometime this week they skipped the 50% off step and went straight to 75% off.
The lamps were originally $39.99 on clearance for $9.98 each and the basket tray which will help to complete my basket wall in the dining room (more on that later) was originally $24.99 on clearance for $6.24!
I think my new lamps will have a happy life in our master bedroom...can't wait to get shades on them.
Now, let the weekend fun begin!!
3/29/11 Update: Clearance mark down schedules vary between individual Target stores. There are 2 Target stores in my town. One of the stores marked the lamps down to $9.98 sometime last week, and the other store is still selling the lamps for $39.99.