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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Yard Sailing: A Crash Course

Jamie Here!  With the weather turning beautiful, I'm getting Yard Sale fever!  Here are some tips I've learned from my years of "Yard Sailing" - leave your own favorite tips in the comments!

Yard-Sailing.  It's the preferred weekend passtime of the Optimistic Cheapskate.  You never know what you will find in a morning’s worth of Yard Sailing - indeed, sometimes you’ll even come home empty-handed – but the optimist in you will pull you out of bed on a Saturday morning time and time again for another coffee-fueled expedition.

I've been yard-sailing religiously since I was 13 years old, riding my bike out every Saturday morning with my brother's hiking backpack on my back and $2 of allowance in hand.  I once brought home a 1970's prom gown, a brass bong (I thought it was an incense burner) and a hemp fishing net with that $2!  My love affair with vintage clutter & kitsch began early - but that's a topic for another day (and for a hard talk with Debby).

In my adult life, I've clothed myself and my family with yard sale finds.  I earned a salary on Ebay selling vintage clothing for a few years. I've furnished parts of my home and even stocked my Gift-Closet with yard sale treasures.  It's something I love to do - and I have to say - I'm good at it.  If you're a little green to yard-sailing, or perhaps just a little rusty, here are some tips I've learned to help you make the most of a Saturday morning!

Before You Begin: Chart Your Course

With the rise in gas prices, yard-sailing has become a more expensive passtime than in years gone by.  The only way to sail the subdivisions without spending a fortune is to map out your route ahead of time.  How?  Well, either buy a paper as you head out OR print out a list from your local newspaper's website and map it out the night before. If you're a serious couponer - you know that a good plan can make ALL the difference.  Everyone has their own method, but here’s mine.
Most Friday nights, before I fall into bed, I take a look at the weekend yard sale list (online) and jot down which ones I really want to hit.  If I don’t recognize the road, I'll Mapquest it to see if it's close enough to the other yard sales on my list.  I route my trip by grouping together yard sales that are near each other on my path through town.  My list might look something like this:
  1. Victory St. Church Rummage Sale on way out of subdivision .
  2. Sales off Ocoee Street -  8th Street (Boy Clothes!), Centenary Ave (★Ritzy neighborhood!), 20th St. (★★Lee College Mission Trip Sale!★★)
  3. Coming Home- 4 sales on Georgetown Rd.
And yes, I do put stars or exclamation points next to the ones that look like goodies, since I'm groggy and forgetful come morning.  And yes, the Lee College kids do put on some mighty good mission trip yard sales - Two-Star Yard Sales you might say!  (You've never seen so much cheap Abercrombie & Gap!)
After charting a course for your treasure-hunt, it's time to get down to business.  Here are several tips and tricks I’ve learned to get what you want and pay what you want.


1) If at all possible, go the first day of the sale
That’s when most of the treasures will disappear quickly.  I mean REALLY quickly.  Like 6 am.

2) If you can’t make it early, make it late
On the last day of a sale, when the homeowners have been sitting in the sun haggling over prices for too many hours, they’ll likely take whatever you’re willing to offer to avoid hauling everything back inside.  I’ve gotten many things totally free by showing up after 12.

3) Friendly Small-Talk Pays Off! 
On your way up the drive, wave and smile!    Chat about the weather. Ask if they've done well so far. Sellers are MUCH more willing to cut a deal when you've been friendly - silent strangers don't engender much generosity.

4) Narrow Down Your Options:
When you're strapped for time/gas money - search for these: Neighborhood/Subdivision Yard Sales, Church Rummage Sales, or School Sales.  These will yield the biggest selection of stuff, with the least amount of driving around.  Plus, church yard sales are VERY CHEAP!!!

5) Carry small bills and change:
Although it’s no crime to talk someone down from $5 to $2 for a cute set of dishes, it will hurt their feelings when you brandish your crisp $20 bill to pay for it.  It’s just bad form, sailor!

6) Buy in Bulk.
When you've picked out an armful of items you can often get the seller to give you a multi-item discount.  If you've got $10 worth of t-shirts in your arms, you should definitely ask "Will you take $7 for all these?"  You'd be surprised at how many times the answer is "Sure!"

7) Big-Ticket-Item Strategy:
Mrs. Smith was very attached to her old couch.  She needs to sell it, but her memories won’t let it go cheaply.  But she's asking $200 - Argghh!!!  You really, really NEED a couch, but what can you do?  See the following protocol for "Big Ticket" haggling....

The Haggle:  Ask if she would take $100 for the couch.  Notice aloud that there are a few stains and a rip on the side, even murmur a “Hmmm, I don’t know…” or two while circling the couch.  She still won't budge on the price?  Well, either try to meet her halfway (between your offer and her price) or it’s time to stage….

The Walkaway:  In order to be a good bargaineer, you have to be willing to walk away. I suggest walking slowly, with wistful backwards glances thrown in.  In my experience, this will yield a “shout-out” 60% of the time.  For instance they might say, “You know, if you really want that I’ll take $$!!”  or “Tell you what, give me $$$ and it’s yours!”
Of course, if they don't call out, and you’re not ready to give up hope - just pretend you were walking to your car for pen and paper so that you could do this…

The “Here’s My Number”:  If a yard sale is still in progress, and Mrs. Smith is still holding out hope to sell her beloved couch for $200, she’s not likely to go down on the price.  However, there is one more chance to get what you want.  Give her your phone number and tell her why you need the item.  I know, this sounds corny, but it works.  For instance: “Listen, I really love this couch, but I honestly can’t afford what you’re asking.  If you don’t end up selling it, I can offer you $50.  I know that’s not what you’re hoping for, but we really need a new couch and I love it so much I couldn’t leave without trying!”  We got our whole living room set totally free that way.

(NOTE: I'm not suggesting in the least that you lie to get something you want - when I got my couches for free, I truly could only offer the seller $50 for them.  A bargain is no bargain at all if it costs your integrity!)

I hope some of these tips might prove helpful as Yard-Sale season sets in.  Most importantly, you should enjoy the adventure - and if you're trying to save money, avoid buying "Stuff" just because it's cheap.   With your map in your pocket, hot coffee in your thermos, and a hopeful spirit- you’ll be ready to sail through a sea of subdivisions!

- Stay Tuned for the second Crash Course: HOSTING a yard sale!

Rite-Aid Highlights: 4/11 - 4/17

I'm sorry this Rite-Aid list comes so late in the day - I had much on my plate, including a Birthday Skating Party that took up my afternoon today.  I hadn't skated since I was 13 - who knew 16 years later I could still boogie around the rink??
Speaking of Boogie-ing, you'll want to dance over to Rite-Aid tomorrow to snag free Contact Solution, Crest Vivid White Toothpaste, and several cheap items.   Scroll down to the bottom for a simple, straightforward Moneymaker Scenario!
  • Get Rite-Aid Video Values Coupons HERE - earn 20 pts. and get a $5/$20 Printable!
  • Print a $5/$25 Coupon HERE.  
  • You should use these BEFORE any other coupons, when your total is highest.  This is A-OK and even addressed in the Rite-Aid Corporate Coupon Policy HERE (Take a copy with you just in case!)
  • Although Rite-Aid in-ad coupons SAY Manufacturer coupons, they're NOT!!  The barcode is a store barcode, and will stack just fine with other coupons
Best SCR Deals:

AMO Complete Multi-Purpose Solution (12 oz.) $7.99
Submit $7.99 SCR #34 (Limit 1)
(makes it FREE!) *LOOK for BonusPacks to get *2* Free!

Crest 3D White Vivid Toothpaste (4 oz.), $2.99
Submit $2 SCR #59 (Limit 1)
Use $1/1 from 4/4 P&G or 75¢/1 from 3/7 P&G
(makes it as low as FREE!)

Nivea Lip Care, $2.99
Submit $2 SCR #38 (Limit 1)
(makes it 99¢!)

Old Spice High Endurance or Secret deodorant, 2/$5
Submit $2 SCR #45 wyb 2 (Limit 1) 
$1/2 from 3/7 P&G
(makes it $1 ea)

L'Oreal EverStrong or EverPure Hair Care, $5.99
Get $5 SCR #49 wyb 2 (Limit 1)
Use $2/1 from 2/21, 3/21 RP
(makes it $1.49 ea!)

Schick Men's Hydro 3-Blade or 5-Blade Razor (1 ct.), $8.99
Get $6 SCR #5 (Limit 1)
(makes it $2.99)

Tugaboos Diapers, $6.99
Get $2 SCR #1 (Limit 1)
(makes it $4.99)

Brita Replacement Pitcher Filters (3 pk.), $12.99
Get $5 SCR wyb $25 in Brita Products SCR#75
Buy (2) Brita Filters @ $25.98
Use $5/$25 PRINT w/ Zipcode 10001(*If you haven't printed it before)
Use (2) $2/1 Brita Mfr Coupons PRINT
Stack With (2) $2/1 Rite-Aid Video Values Coupons (*If your store lets you use 2)
Pay $12.98 for 2 Filters ~ Get $5 SCR
(makes it $7.98 for Both - or $3.99 per Filter!)

Other Deals:

Oral B 3D, Advantage, or Stages Toothbrush (1 ct.) $2.49
Buy 2
Use BOGO from 3/7 Proctor & Gamble Insert
Use WITH $2/1 from 4/4 P&G Insert
(makes it 49¢ for BOTH!)

Trident Superpack (36 pcs.), 2/$3
$1/1 from 4/11 SS
(makes it 50¢)

Ziploc Bags or Containers $1.99 *Regional Sale
Use $1.50/2 or 40¢/1 from 3/21 SS
or BOGO from 4/11 SS
(makes it as low as 99¢)

Luvs or Huggies Mega Pack Diapers (no rain checks), B1G1 50% Off
$3/1 Huggies PRINT or $2/1 from 3/21 SS
$1/1 Luvs PRINT or from 3/7 P&G
(makes it cheaper!)

(6) Ziploc Sliders Bags $11.94
Amo Complete Multipurpose Solution $7.99
Crest 3D White Vivid Toothpaste $2.99
Nivea Lipcare $2.99
= $25.91

$5/$25 Printable
Ues (3) BOGO Ziploc from 4/11 SS
$1/1 Crest from 4/4 P&G
= $13.91 Out of Pocket
Submit $7.99 AMO Rebate, $2 Crest Rebate, $2 Nivea Rebate
Total Spent After Rebates: 92¢

*If you haven't submitted your *3* SC Johnson Rebates yet, you can get (2) $5 Rebates for buying the 6 Ziploc Bags (Print a PDF Form HERE) That turns this into a $9.08 Moneymaker!!!

- Thanks, CentsableMomma & ForTheMommas!

Free Macaroni & Cheese Explosion

Go become a fan of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese's Facebook Page and you'll get a coupon for a FREE Cheesy Explosion Cup or Box! 
While you're picking up your freebie coupon - stop by the Time2Save Facebook Page and share a deal or help some poor, confused couponer! 

- Thanks, Hip2Save!

Kroger Highlights (4/11 - 4/17)

This week at Kroger looks pretty similar to last week - they're running a promotion called "Digital Choice" again - where you buy 10 select items and you'll get a coupon code printed on your receipt which you can redeem for 1) a movie ticket 2) 15 song downloads or 3) 15 ringtones HERE
**There is a star next to the good deals that are included in the "Select Items"**

Noteworthy Catalina Deals running at Kroger:
Totinos Crisp Crust Party Pizza
Buy 4-5 - Get $1; Buy 6-7 - Get $2; Buy 8 or more - Get $3  on your next order
*I WISH I knew if this was working on the pizza rolls too - has anyone tried those?  Leave a comment!

Upcoming Catalina:
General Mills
Save $4 when you buy 4 participating products in one transaction between 4/19 and 6/13.
Participating Products include: Betty Crocker Fruit Flavored Snacks, Sunkist Fruit Snacks, Nature Valley Granola Bars, Nut Clusters, Fiber One Chewy Bars, Chex Mix Bars, Milk n Cereal Bars


Perdue Fresh Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts - $1.99/lb
Fresh Mixed Bone in Pork Chops - $1.99/lb
Pork Loin Baby Back Ribs - $2.99/lb
Fresh Ground Chuck - $2.09/lb
Mangos or Avocados - $1
Strawberries (1 lb) - $2.50


7UP or Diet Rite (2 litre) - $1**
Use $1/1 PRINT (if you printed it earlier this week or if it resets Monday)
(makes it FREE)

Smart Balance Butter/Sour Cream - 50% OFF**
Use $1/1 from 3/17,3/21 RP or PRINT 
(makes it a great deal!)

Kellogg's Fruit Snacks - $1.99**
Use $1/1 PRINT or PRINT
(makes it .99 cents)

Weight Watchers Smart Ones Frozen Meals - $1.99 each**
Use $1/5 PRINT or
Use $3/10 from 1/10 or 1/17 SS or
Use B3G1 Free from 1/10 SS
(makes it as low as $1.49 each)

Dannon or Activia Yogurt - $2
Use $1/1 Activia PRINT or $1/1 Activia from 3/28 SS
Use $1/1 DanActive from 3/28 SS, $1/1 Danimals from 3/28 SS 
(makes it as low as $1)

Sargento Cheese - $1.99
Use $1/1 PRINT *Zipcode 01885
(makes it $1 each)

Keebler Chips Deluxe of Fudge Shoppe Cookies - $1.99**
Use .55/2 from 3/7 RP
(makes it $1.72 each)

Uncle Ben's Rice (Select Varieties) - $1.69**
Use $1/1 from 3/28, 2/21 RP
(makes it .69 cents)

Bertolli Olive Oil - 50% OFF**
Use $1/1 from 1/10 SS
(makes it a great deal!)

Quaker Cereal (select varieties) - $2.50**
Use $1/1 Oatmeal Squares from 2/14 RP
(makes it $1.50)

Welch's Grape Jelly or Jam - $1.79
Use .55/1 from 1/03 SS
(makes it $1.24)

Maxwell House Coffee (11 - 11/5 oz) - 2/$5
Use $1/2 PRINT, 75¢/1 PRINT or $1/1 from 3/21 SS
(makes it as low as $1.50)

Silk Soy Milk - $2.99
Use .75/1 PRINT or $1/1 from 2/21 SS
Use BOGO from 4/11 SS
Buy 2 gallons, use BOGO + $1/1
(makes it as low as $1 each)

Bear Naked Cereal - $3.99
Use $1/1 PRINT (granola - in included in sale)
(makes it $2.99)

Boulder Canyon Chips - 2/$3
Use $1/2 PRINT
(makes it $1 each)


Cottonelle Bath Tissue (12 pk double roll) - $5.99**
Use .50/1 PRINT or from 3/14 SS or $1/1 from April All*You
(makes it as low as $4.99)

Huggies Jumbo Diapers, Pull Ups or Training Pants - $8.99
Use $3/1 PRINT
(makes it $5.99)

Enfamil Infant Formula - Save $2.50 on Select Varieties
Use $5/1 PRINT (Enfagrow Premium - if included in sale)
(makes a great deal)

Nature Made, Nature's Bounty or Sundown Vitamins - B1G1 FREE
Use two $1/1 coupons PRINT
(makes it a great deal)

Claritin - $8.99
Use $3/1 PRINT
(makes it $5.99)

- Thanks to Robin from PinkCouponCafe for compiling our great list of Kroger Deals each week!

Simplify Sunday 4/11 - Tending Your Garden

Debby McCuiston, self-proclaimed "Queen of Clutter-Free", does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of "clutter", and focusing on what's important.  We're really excited about this new segment - and hope you are too!  Take it away Debby...
I must tell you, a week in New York City can change the way you look at things. I don't think I will ever complain again about how fast the grass grows or having to plant flowers or how long it takes to get anywhere to shop. The only grass we saw was in the parks that the city has planned. I must say, they have done a beautiful job of putting parks in even the smallest spot. Did you know that those concrete areas in the middle of the road can be  turned into a really nice park. With some grass, a few flowers, a fancy iron fence and a little magic you now have a park where people will eat lunch, read the paper and meet up with friends. The odd thing is that no one seems to mind doing all that in the middle of all that traffic. I guess in a barren land any park helps to rejuvenate your spirit.
I came back ready to get in my flower beds. I can't wait to get out in the yard and make some plans to get the yard in order. I do not like to get dirty or sweat! Since we do not have a gardener or young kids at home, it's up to me and my sweet hubby. (This is one of the draw-backs to letting your kids grow up and move away to have a life of their own). If you have kids at home, get them to work in the yard and get all the projects finished before they leave. They won't come back and help, no matter how hard you beg and heap the guilt on.
I know many of you have been working so hard on getting the inside of your house in order. This week let's take a step outside and dream.
Having a yard that is clean and free from all the things that you are saving for that someday projects can be one of the most rewarding areas in your life. When I let myself dream big, big dreams about my perfect house, it always starts in the yard. I want the outside of the house to reflect our personalities. I know most people wait to do the yard after all the stuff is finished on the inside. But we all need a place to relax and get away.Your yard can be another room to entertain friends, and enjoy some quality family time.( Note to self: Friends and family will not think working in the yard is quality time).
Imagine driving up in your driveway and having your yard done. There is a peace that will come over you even before you enter your home. Having flowers around you can calm even the most ruffled feathers after a bad day. I know that getting the yard in order can be expensive and take a lot of time. But you would be surprised that just cleaning the weeds and unwanted stuff in the yard can make a major difference. When you get the basic things taken care of you can add in some small things in as you budget allows. When you start you must make up your mind not to try to keep up with the neighbors or the winner of "the most beautiful house on the block award'. Start by doing what you can with what you have available to you. When we first started working on our yard we would find people that were getting rid of bushes or changing out items in their yard and make a "deal" to take it off their hands.
Start looking through books for ideas of what you would like to have your outdoor space look like. Drive around and see what other people have done to their yards. My favorite is watching the shows on TV about redoing your yard. (My husbands hates this one because I always come up with new ideas and a never-ending list of things to do in the yard). Start gathering ideas and pictures before you begin working. Your yard will always be a work-in-progress, but having an idea of how to begin will help with the motivation when you run out of energy.
While you are working on the yard, consider putting a few veggie plants in pots somewhere in the yard - or, if you have the space, you may want to put in a small garden.. Not only will it add to the beauty of the yard but nothing is better than a fresh tomato on your sandwich.
Start small by getting out and cleaning your yard. Mow and rake up all the dead stuff. Next, get a small flower bed started, around a tree or in a few pots to set on the porch. Get your flowers at any store that has good healthy plants or get a few packs of seeds. (I haven't found coupons on plants or seeds but if you do, let me know).*Jamie Interupts here to point you to THIS POST for plant/seed/mulch coupons!* Take a few before and after pics and send them in. I would love to see the before and after results.
Remember, one of the first things that God created was gardens. He made them for man to live in. They were complete with everything we needed. Can you imagine walking through those gardens?  Talk about peaceful. We can never recapture that amount of beauty in one space. We can create a place to spend time with the Creator, a place of Peace and Beauty. A place to spend time with family and friends. This can be a place to remind us that our relationship with the Creator of the universe needs to be tended to. There are always "weeds" in our lives that are waiting to find a weak spot to take over and choke out the beauty. We need to be looking for ways to make the garden of our lives more peaceful and to reflect the personality of the ONE who lives within us. This garden is always a work in progress, adding new things and taking out the old nature. Remember  the ever-growing relationship with our Lord is the most important thing that we must spend time on. Be careful to get the weeds of life out and replace them with seeds that grow by spending time in His word and time with His people. Nothing can replace the peace that comes from spending time in the "garden" with Him.
Now get out and play in the yard.
Let me know how things are "growing" at or post a picture of your favorite place in your own yard on our Facebook Fan page here.  Others will enjoy and glean off your ideas!

My Coffeemaker Broke Today.... HOORAY!!!

Listen - I LOVE my coffee. I love it about 4-cups-a-day worth. But yesterday I left it on all day and this morning I noticed all the black plastic has been scorched off the hotplate.  Is that enough reason to call it quits?  You betcha!  I've had a masterplan in place for months - because I knew about the Gevalia deal already.  This coffeemaker is WAYY better than my current one - and cheaper too!  If you haven't heard of it - let me just tell you, it's pretty awesome!

Get 4 boxes of premium varieties of coffee! FREE C

The Deal:
Get 4 boxes of premium varieties of gourmet coffee (or Tea!)
FREE Coffee Maker & Travel Mug
FREE Shipping
= $115 retail value!

Just click the "Order Now!" button above to choose your coffee/tea flavors and see all the details.  You will be automatically enrolled into Gevalia's monthly coffee-club, but you can cancel after receiving this $19.95 order with no further commitment to buy anything else.

Office Depot - Free Water, Dymo Labeler, Energizer Batteries!

My jaw just dropped.

Office Depot's ad has THIRTEEN free-after-rewards items this week!  You are allowed to get (2) of each item per day, which makes around $300 of freebies each day for a week!  The awesome part is - you can even do these deals ONLINE each day - use coupon code "83791623" for 10% Off (Expires 4/25)
*Go to the Office Depot website through Ebates or ShopAtHome to get 2% cashback (+ snag a $5 Sign-On Bonus for new members!)

FREE after Worklife Rewards:

★Arrowhead Water 20-Pk (# 756-035) $4.99
★Dymo® Letra Tag Handheld Labeler (# 571-842) $29.99
★Avery White Address Labels (# 364-364) $25.99
★Energizer Max 8-Pk AA/AAA Batteries # 416-545) $7.99
★Uniball Vision Elite Pens (# 924-881) $9.99
★Office Depot® Brand Letter & Legal Storage Totes $9.99
★Bankers Box Basic Corrugate Storage 5-PK (# 449-813) $9.99
★Office Depot® Brand Standard Photo Paper 100-PK (# 937-389) $8.99
★Sharpie® Accent Liquid Highlighters 5-PK (# 343-551) $6.99
★Paper clips (# 222-056) $0.99
★Post-it® 3" x 3" Super Sticky Pop-Up Notes (# 355-395) $10.99
★Paper Pro Stapler (# 976-296) $.99
★Scotch® Refills Tape 4-PK (# 613-764) $8.99

While these are GREAT deals - you need to understand the Office Depot Worklife Rewards system before you jump into these freebies wallet-first!

The Office Depot Rewards you will receive for buying these items come in the form of an Office Depot Gift Card which won't arrive until late August/Early September.  These are tallied quarterly - this quarter ends in June.  You will be required to use up this quarter's gift card by November 30th.
Think outside the box when considering what you will use your "Rewards" on!  If you have a college student, you could probably find a great sale on a mini-fridge at Office Depot around then. Need ink constantly?  Well - buy a couple packs of water this week and you'll have $10 towards an ink cartridge come September.  And of course, there are often good sales on cameras, printers, laptops, etc.. to use those rewards on!  Read all about the program HERE

- Thank you SlickDeals geniuses for explaining all this to me!

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