I’ll walk you through the process:

CVS. Okay, I know you’ll get bored if I keep posting about CVS – but I wouldn’t want you to miss out on free Colgate toothpaste!

Every so often, my fiancé accompanies me to the store.  I thought it was about time to teach him my saving ways so he follows suit.  To start, I made him sign up for his own CVS ExtraCare card.  Without that, you mine as well throw money down the drain.

His first trip to the in-store kiosk was pretty rewarding – it printed out a $3 coupon for linking his new card to the phone app, and a $2 instant coupon off of Colgate toothpaste (everyone gets one this week).  It also printed a $1 off any P&G product, but we saved that one for later (we’ll be going back to buy Tide).

For this particular shopping trip, we had two coupons from home – $1 off any Colgate toothpaste and $1 off any Colgate mouthwash.  These came in the Sunday newspaper.  Another set also came in my mailbox on Thursday with the local town paper (so I still have two more coupons for another time!)

I’ll walk you through the purchase, just as I explained it to him:
The Colgate toothpaste this week was on sale for $3.00 and the Colgate mouthwash was on sale for $3.99, plus $1 back in ExtraBucks for buying one.  When we combined the $2 instant toothpaste coupon with the $1 toothpaste manufacturer coupon – it was free.  Then when we combined the $3 coupon for linking his card with the $1 mouthwash manufacturer coupon – that washed out the mouthwash.  He actually, technically “lost” a penny – you win some you loose some. Just make sure you win more than you loose.

Overall, 100% savings with a $0.00 receipt total – plus a $1.00 coupon on the bottom for his next purchase!  If these items were not on sale, without coupons he would have paid $9.48 – yikes!

As the cashier bagged his items, she said “It always feels good when it’s free!”.  Yes, good is an understatement.

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You can get your own free toothpaste until CVS closes Saturday night
(September 5th)!

Don’t forget – the CVS website has a “sneek peak” of the full flyer for the upcoming week.  Before you buy something, make sure there wont be a better deal in a few days!

‘Till next time, keep saving!

Another day, another CVS haul… $30.47 down to $1.97

A little over a week ago, the unimaginable happened.  I couldn’t squeeze another dollop out of the Colgate tube and my normally full stash had diminished to zilch.  Completely shocking.

Even more shocking, I woke up on Sunday, July 12th with the assumption that the CVS app and website had both gone haywire as my drowsy morning-eyes read an error stating “no deals available in your area“.  After cursing technology, I realized it couldn’t be a huge coincidence that the paper boy also forgot to slip a CVS flyer in the Sunday paper.  I had to accept the fact: there were actually NO sales.  Say WHAT?! I unfortunately lived in one of the many test markets that tried a new marketing technique – one week without any sales or promotions. Guess what CVS: it didn’t work for JCPenny, and it will not work for you.

Anyway, since I wasn’t about to go pay full price for toothpaste, I’ve been relying on those tiny travel-sized tubes stashed deep in the pockets of my suitcase for the past week.  Luckily for the long-term vitality of my pearly whites, CVS reinstated their sales yesterday and I was able to replenish my stockpile of oral hygiene products.

After a weeklong hiatus from CVS shopping, I strolled in, flyer & coupons in hand: A $10 ExtraBucks coupon from buying P&G Products a few weeks ago and $4 worth of manufacture coupons for Colgate products and Arm&Hammer Laundry Detergent (one of only 3 brands I can use for my extra-sensitive skin).

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There were some great in-store deals too: for every $10 you spend on Colgate, you get $5 back, plus the detergent is B1G1Free! So to make the most of my money, I decided to split my purchase into two transactions.

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Todays outcome: two tubes of Colgate Total, one bottle of Colgate mouthwash and two bottles of Arm&Hammer laundry detergent.  Without sales and coupons, my total would have been $30.47.  And I paid $1.97 total for both of my transactions combined! That’s less than what the cheapest item in my shopping bag would have cost!  Not too shabby.

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‘Till next time, keep your wallet full and your shopping bags fuller!

Semi-Annual & Anniversary Sales Galore (Promo Codes in Contents!!)

Recently, Athleta (among most other stores) announced their much anticipated Semi-Annual Sale!  Athleta has an amzing product guarantee – you could literally wear an item, wash it, and they’ll still take it back if it doesn’t fit right, if it has a defect, or if you can’t let go of your buyers remorse (I wouldn’t recommend admitting the latter to the sales person processing the return…)

I had been eyeing a few items throughout the season, but I knew I should be patient: tick, tock, tick tock. Sure enough, today (a meager one week after the sale was announced) I got the e-mail announcing an additional 20% off sale items in store and online.  Definitely worth the wait.  Gap recently sent me a $10 reward certificate too, which can be used at any of their brands including Athleta – perfect timing.

I feel in love with a black&white striped rash-guard with matching baithing suit bottoms and a pair of matching swim tights (leggings made for water sports – with sun protection!) The outcome: A three-piece matching outfit originally totaling $187+Tax.  Free shipping. Sale Prices. Additional 20% off. $10 Rewards Certificate.  All brought me down to $65+Tax = 65% off!

  

Want to save an additional 20% off sale items at Athleta?
Use current Promotion Code Extra20 until 7/20/15 online, or it’s automatic in store!

I’ve also had my eye on a few items at Lands’ End: their swim tee’s in particular.  Honestly, they are perfect for beach days, paddle boarding & kayaking – they keep you warm when it gets chilly, they keep you cool when you’re sweating, and they prevent sunburn with built in UPF 50 protection!  The shirts went on sale a few weeks ago but I just couldn’t get myself to buy them at JUST the sale price.  Again, the waiting game begun: tick, tock, tick, tock.  What arrived in my inbox today? A good ol’ coupon for 20% off my entire purchase, PLUS free shipping.  The coupon is online-only, because it is celebrating their 20th “cyber” anniversary – but there is actually an advantage to ordering online: more color and size selection as well as extended sizes (I love the extended sizes to get the perfect fit.  Even though I borderline the petite section for some items, I end up ordering the shirts in the “tall” version, so that they are longer in length!)

Outcome? A $39 pink swim tee for $15.99 (60% off!) and a $35 navy&pink swim tee for $9.59 (73% off!).  After adding the dreaded tax, I still only paid $27.20 for BOTH.  As if that’s not enough, for an added bonus, I made my purchase through the Discover Card website, and earned an additional 10% cashback bonus that can go toward my billing statement!

Want  free shipping and 20% off your entire purchase at Lands’ End too?
Use Promotion Code YEAR20 and PIN 2020 until 7/20/15

‘Till next time, stay stylish!  Follow me on instagram for the latest pics of my finds! @VJean25

July 31st Update: Athleta has reduced some sale prices and also reinstated the additional 20% off sale items in-store (not online) between July 31st – August 2nd.  Don’t miss out!

Neiman Marcus is On Fleek for High-End Items at Low Prices!

Neiman Marcus. Once viewed as elite, once viewed as a store that I shouldn’t even peruse.  Well, I’ve completely changed my mind.  Yes, while scrolling through the sale items online I did see a $17,990 Zac Posen gown marked down to $10,749, but don’t let that scare you.  Not all of their items cost as much as used cars.  Keep browsing, and sign up for their e-mail – as soon as you finish reading this post!

Everything they sell is top notch. The best brands, the best quality.  Unfortunately, we all know that high-end designers come with a high-end price tag.  Personally, I do think the better fit and the higher quality fabrics warrant paying a little bit more, but that still doesn’t mean I’d pay full price.  Luckily, it all goes on sale!

Reasons I love Neiman Marcus:
1. Free Shipping
2. Free Returns
3. I live in CT, so when I ship things to my house, there is NO SALES TAX!
4. Their promotions.
5. The Midday Dash.

So, let me explain.  We don’t have a physical Neiman store in CT, so we don’t have to pay sales tax when we order! Say you see something at another department store, but it’s pretty pricy – the sales tax will add up.  Well, check online to see if Neiman has it, and if they do, you just saved yourself 6.35%!  They also constantly e-mail promotions – yesterday for instance, if you spent $200, you received a $50 gift card back.  The more you spent, the more you received! And last but not least, the Midday Dash. Every SINGLE day, an e-mail is sent out around 11am.  Click the link at 12:30 eastern time, and there are daily sales up to 80% off – only valid for 2 hours.  It’s hit or miss, but you can find some amazing deals!  Plus, if you have their credit card – you get $100 back for every 10,000 points you earn and complementary two-day shipping (5 points per $1 with additional point promotions).

The current sale? Up to 70% off thousands of items – apparel, shoes & accessories for the entire family.

Currently, there are 2280 dresses on sale on their website, so it doesn’t matter how picky you are, you can find something that fits your style, and your budget!  Some of my favorite finds on the site right now: A $595 Carmen Marc Valvo floral cocktail dress marked down to $178 = 70% off – perfect for a guest attending a summer wedding.  Need something more formal, say for a black tie event? How about a $998 Monique Lhuillier black gown marked down to $349 = 65% off.  If you need something more causal, how about picking up the Indikka Floral Maxi dress that was $225, now only $78 = 65% off.  And my personal favorite: a $700 tea-length Kay Unger dress marked down to $245 = 65% off.  If you keep looking, there are currently dresses as low as $44.  The options are endless.

Searches are easy.  Search by price, size, designer, color, length – you name it.  So next time you’re looking around for something, don’t rule out high-end department stores – or else you might miss out on finding an amazing designer item at an amazing price.

UPDATE: As of 7/20 all clearance is an additional 30% until 7/23!!!

‘Till next time – stay stylish 🙂

Patriotic Red, White & Blue Jean Shorts (at 84% off!)

The 4th of July has come and past.  Unfortunately, that means summer is almost over – even though it only ‘officially’ started 20 days ago.  That also means we only have 4 solid months before it starts to snow, yikes.  I’m definitely going to take advantage of summer while I can – and a trip to the orchard to pick delicious berries was the perfect weekend activity.

Between Memorial Day and the 4th of July, summer in general is about being patriotic.  The star & stripe True Religion shorts I found this weekend scream patriotism (but they’re still subtle enough for non-4th activities).  Saving money is pretty patriotic too – I could easily argue it’s just one step closer toward the so-called “American Dream”!

True Religion shorts (or jeans for that matter) are pretty great.  They’re soft, comfortable, wash well…. and they’re actually made in the USA.  How many items in your closet are actually made in the USA? Probably not many.

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I went into Marshalls to check out the home goods section.  Clothes weren’t even on my agenda but I happened to walk by the clearance rack.   I quickly pushed through last seasons rejects, and these awesome shorts were just waiting for me.   They were marked down to $29 from $178 – which was 84% off the original price! (Plus they fit perfectly!) #fabfound

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‘Till next time, stay stylish!

Sale on Sale on Sale…

It’s a great time of year.  The first day of summer was one week ago, and that means it’s finally warm enough to wear those cute crop tops, shorts & sundresses.  The beginning of summer also means that the autumn styles are making their debut and it’s time to clear the racks of this seasons top picks that came out in February (when it was still snowing in half the country)!

Banana Republic is on the endless list of stores that has almost everything on sale, plus 40% off the sale price, plus and additional 10% off when you use your Gap/Banana Republic Card!!  I was looking for some versatile traveling outfits that are easy to pack but still stylish (and to keep me cool while I try to endure the heat of the south for a few days).  I ended up finding this incredibly comfortable romper which started at $110.

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I picked it up for the sale price of $40.99… plus 40% off, with an additional 10% off since I used my Gap Card. $22.13 (total discount of 80% off)!

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Since no outfit is complete without accessories, I paired the romper with this Marc by Marc Jacobs leather cross-body bag that caught my eye in Saks Off-Fifth.  I knew it would go with almost any outfit – and what could be more perfect when you don’t have room in your luggage for 5 different purses to match everything.  It was marked down, PLUS an additional 50% off the sale price.

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The purse started off at $328, but was marked down to $233.99, and then kicked further down to $116.99 when taking off the additional 50% off.  At a total of 64% off, it wasn’t the best deal I’ve ever snagged, but definitely worth it for the quality and functionality!

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So to put it all together I added some timeless Ray-Bans and had an easy-breezy outfit perfect for my journey!  Mind the wrinkles… this photo was taken after a 6 hour car ride and a trolley tour in 95degree heat, yikes!

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‘Till next time, stay stylish, and cool 🙂

Dress for success (and savings)!

So I lost count of the compliments I received on my dress today.  I think it’s pretty cute too, but I’m biased since I bought it! Anyway, thought I’d clue you in on my little secret – I got an amazing deal on it (would you think any different by now)?!

Last time I was in Orlando, I had about an hour to kill so I headed to Dillard’s! They were having a huge sale and I went directly to the endless racks of dresses – all marked 50% off the sale price – time to browse.  This particular location seemed to be going out of business, but the sale has been going on for months and they apparently keep getting new merchandise – I just decided to call it a mystery sale and not ask any questions.

After heading to the dressing room, I ended up with this Eliza J. shift with jewels and a gold zipper:

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Dresses in this style are basically my go to: comfortable, easy care and stylish! So the purchase was a no-brainer! (And yes, my pony started off centered…. my hair is just way too heavy and my head is lopsided!)

The outcome? $25.90 from $148 – 83% off! (Half off the lowest ticketed price)

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‘Till next time! Stay stylish 🙂

Perfect gifts at perfect prices.

So, I still haven’t made a decision about which toaster oven to purchase.  I’m really indecisive…. I’ll get back to that another day.

However, I did make a another great purchase this past weekend – for Father’s Day! Now, my father would most likely be more happy if we saved our money and did not buy him a gift.  But I don’t think that’s fair – everyone deserves gift, especially on a holiday that focuses on them!  I had some hints as to what he needed… so I made my shopping plan:

I had a $20 rewards certificate from Marshalls that’s been floating around in my purse for a few months, so I figured I’d finally make use of that.  And where better to go than a store that sells just about anything and everything: clothes, shoes & accessories, home-goods, furniture, even gourmet food!

Enter Marshalls.  The front of the store was Father’s Day central – everything you could possibly think to buy for a man was laid out right when you walked through the doors.  Within 5 minutes, I found exactly what I needed: the perfect gift, at the perfect price… a versatile Brooks Brothers tie at a steep 83% off!  The original $148 tag was still on the tie, but it was marked to $24.99, that’s my kind of discount!

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When I got to the register, after aimlessly browsing the huge store for another hour, I used my $20 rewards certificate.  At a grand total of only $5 and change, what a steal, and what a great gift! That would barely buy you one Frappuccino.  So next time you need a gift, start with a store like Marshalls or TJMaxx that sells a huge variety of items, and you’ll be sure to find something at a great price! (They give gift receipts too!)

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And I promise the tie wasn’t cliché! It was what he was looking for!

‘Till next time… stay stylish 🙂

Same exact product. Two stores. Four different prices.

I promise to start posting about fashion again soon, but in a recent search for a new toaster oven, I had a little sticker shock! (a difference of over $65 for the same exact item in two different stores!)

I’ll backtrack to last night, when the bottom of my Black&Decker toaster oven caught on fire.  Unfortunately, I ended up having to use the fire extinguisher – neither the appliance nor my dinner inside were salvageable.  I was definitely more upset about losing the dinner than the toaster oven… it was 7:30pm and I was starving!

I didn’t really do my research on the Black&Decker.  It was very basic, and it definitely didn’t cost anymore than $30, but it did what it needed to do… up until the flames.

So now I’m in the market for a new one.  This time, I’m looking for a better, higher-quality brand and something with more features (like a convection oven).  After reading what feels like a million reviews, I’ve narrowed it down to a KitchenAid or a Cuisinart.

Lets say I decide on the Cuisinart TOB-60N Toaster Oven, Convection Oven & Broiler (I haven’t actually decided if I want this one yet but it’s a close contender)!  It’s $139.99 full price at Macy’s.  It’s $99.99 full price at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

After applying all valid coupons & promotions, and adding tax & shipping for the SAME EXACT PRODUCT:

$85.07 Total at Bed, Bath & Beyond either in store OR online, any day.
(20% coupon that can be used in store or online & there is free shipping over $49.  They even accept expired coupons, and they send new ones constantly via us mail, e-mail & text)

$94.74 Total at Macys Online today and tomorrow only.
(It’s on sale ONLINE ONLY for $99.99, plus there’s a 20% off coupon today and tomorrow only! But then they added $9.95 for shipping since my purchase was under $99)

$119.10 Total at Macys In-Store this weekend only.
(If I buy it in store, I don’t have to pay the $9.95 shipping, and I can still use the 20% coupon, but I don’t get the online web-buster price!)

$148.87 Total at Macys In-Store after June 21st!
(Well, the price jacks back up to $139.99 and the coupon will have expired)

So, you’re looking at up to a $65 difference depending on when, where and how you buy the same exact, brand new product.  Clearly if I chose the Cuisinart, I’ll make my final purchase at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  And I have even more incentive – I had a lot of Cashback bonus built up from my Discover credit card. For every $20 I traded in, I got a $25 Bed, Bath and Beyond gift card!  That’s another 20% savings! So I can use gift cards that I earned and not pay a dime for my new toaster oven!

Here’s the twist.  What if I choose to buy the KitchenAid instead? Guess what, even though it starts off $40 higher at Macys, that’s where I’ll buy it!  Why? It’s on sale, plus their coupons are valid on KitchenAid products so it’ll come out to a lower price than at Bed, Bath and Beyond! The Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons specifically exclude KitchenAid! I always read the fine print, in fact, I pretty much memorized the exclusions that every store has 🙂 Don’t be fooled. These stores are out to get you, they try to be misleading.  You should be out to get them instead!

I’m off to read a few more reviews!  Check back to see which one I choose!

From $71.95 to $23.73, all with that little red ExtraCare card…

When I was waiting in line at CVS tonight, the woman behind me asked “is all that stuff [in your cart] on sale?”.  She must have gazed through the flyer.  I said yes, then added “I have coupons too and I’m getting the $10 gift card deal”.  Her response? “I’ve seen people do that on TV; you’re going to be a millionaire one day”.  Well, lets hope she’s right.  She was only buying one greeting card so I let her know I was making two transactions and offered to let her cut me in line.  She refused – she had to see it to believe it.

So, I’m going to stray away from the fashion theme today and talk about one of my favorite non-clothing stores: CVS.  All you need to do is get an ExtraCare card (it’s free) and you’re on your way to saving.  A lot.

Knowing I should spend at least $30 pre-tax (advertised promotion this week: get a $10 gift card when you spend $30 on select products), this was the shopping list I created: Scott toilet paper 12 pack, normally $11.49 on sale for $6.99 (I’m getting two packs because I’d never want to run out and this is the only brand I like); Hefty Garbage bags 45 count, normally $10.49 on sale for $6.99; Degree Clinical normally $9.99 on sale for $7.99 and two bottles of Ajax dish soap normally $1.67 on sale for 88Cents.  All of these sale prices totaled $30.72 (pre-tax, pre-coupons).

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I also have 4 bottles of Lysol bathroom cleaner on my shopping list – they’re normally $5.79 or $3.49 depending on the type, but they’re on sale for $2.50 each.  I didn’t add these to my first total because I’m purchasing them during transaction #2.  You’ll see why.

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ExtraCare coupons? $6 off a $30 purchase, and $3 ExtraBucks for linking my ExtraCare card to the CVS app on my phone.  When the coupons were scanned, my total became $23.10 with tax.  Swiped my credit card, the cashier handed me my receipt and the $10 gift card I earned, almost done!

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Time to make a second transaction – for those Lysol cleaners I left in my cart.  At $2.50 each they come to $10 plus tax… used my $10 gift card from my first transaction and paid… $0.63. (that’s the tax on $10)! Unfortunately, I had to pay the tax since I used a gift card.  Had it been a $10 coupon instead of a gift card, the total would have been $0.00.

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So, lets go back to why I bought two bottles of Ajax dish soap for 88Cents each.  I don’t really love Ajax for myself (I go for Palmolive free & clear….) but I can bring it to our community kitchen at work.  Those two bottles of Ajax brought my total JUST above $30.  Had I not spent the $1.76, my total would have been $6 more, and I would not have received the $10 gift card.  Spending $1.76 saved me $16 – that’s worth it to me. Catching on yet?

Oh, I almost forgot! When I swiped my credit card, I used my Discover – which currently gives me 10% cash-back on CVS purchases.  I can put that cash-back directly towards my statement, or redeem it for gift-cards! Here’s a photo of everything that would cost $71.95 (total with tax) if you bought separately at full price without an ExtraCare card.

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My FINAL total: $23.73.

So, if you don’t have a CVS card, go to the store and get one ASAP. It honestly can’t get any easier.