The spoils of the week

By Mir
September 22, 2006

It’s time once again to compare our kills and see who won at shopping. I suspect that I won, because of something that I just did, but we’ll just have to see.

This week I received my free Schick Intuition (took so long, I forgot it was coming) and a sample of some hand cream.

I also went ahead and bought everyone new pillows and pillow covers on O-Day (we were in dire need) and the last of them arrived today. I can’t wait to try them out!

My free photo canvas came a couple of days ago, too. My picture was a funny size and I figured they would crop it for me; instead, they made me a custom 8″ x 12″ canvas at no extra charge. That’s awesome customer service, and I will be happy to recommend them to others.

But the crown jewel in my frugal tiara came just this morning at my local Salvation Army thrift store. I dropped off a giant bagful of clothes, first. (This is my new rule; I’m only allowed to shop there if I drop off a bag of stuff. It keeps me from shopping there too much and helps me to declutter at home.) Inside, I browsed for under an hour. My superb deal? Not the $3 boutique pajamas or $2 designer dress for my daughter… not the $1 Old Navy sweater or $1 Gap jeans for my son… not even the $1 Express blazer for me. Nope. Check it out: A brand new, tags-on, 100% cashmere Margaret O’Leary sweater. For $2.99.

I totally win. But if you can top it, I shall bow down to your superb thriftiness.


  1. Damn. We bow down to you, oh pretty Mir! What an amazing deal on the cashmere! See…I always say that if you know what names/labels to look for, there is nothing wrong with secondhand! (At Goodwill once I found a pair of Lucky Jeans, with $84 price tag still attached, and I scored them for $2. I’m STILL glowing over that one.)

    Yes, this week I too received my free Intuition razor. The lid was redesigned with slits for draining, I see, and the handle is MUCH more manageable. This morning I took advantage of the extension on that Canvas on Demand deal to get a birthday gift for my hubby. As soon as I hit submit, I realized I had ordered the wrong size, but a super-friendly gentleman manning their phones fixed it no questions asked! Great service!! I also got my free Dunkin Donuts iced coffee to keep me going on this gorgeous Friday!

    Thanks for all you do for us, Mir!! Queen of All Deals!

  2. We are planning a big trip to Lake Tahoe this Jan, so I have started to pick up some winter wear here and there. At Sierra Trading Post this morning, I picked up a pair of Spyder Pac Boots for myself, my husband, and my daughter. I also picked up silk thermals for my daughter, med weight thermals for myself, and two pairs of base layer Dryflo pants and tops for my husband. I also got 2 fleece scarves for the little one. Grand Total? Ready for this…..$142 (includes shipping!). I shopped in their Bargain Barn for everything, then used a 20% off coupon (code #48516 use while still in the cart) and then used the google checkout for an additional $10 off (code#wdgb8 use this in the google check-out). I knew I had made a steal of a deal, but then it gave me a total of how much I saved off the normal list cost. I SAVED $302. THREE HUNDRED AND TWO DOLLARS! YAHOO!!!

  3. I rarely comment, but daymmm. I hate you.

  4. heh..and here i was so proud of myself for getting ready for work yesterday with my free deodorant, free shampoo and conditioner, and free Intuition. haha. (although, i suspect my mail carrier is holding out on me. i think there are quite a few free samples due me that i haven’t received, and i doubt it is ALL due to slow processing at the companies).

  5. Let’s see
    Free deoderant – check

    Free base – well I looked at the shades and they were out of the one that I wanted so, I’ll do that later. But at least I have the coupon thingy.

    Free Spin magazine subscription – hell yeah

    For which you get all the credit. I just follow the links. =)


    Three CD’s – Audioslave, Blue October and Kelly Clarkson (I know, I know) for less than $30 at Amazon, plus free shipping – yup

    But Mir, I’m with you on the Goodwill goodness. Two weekends ago I found an original block print, NW Pacific Coast Native American, matted and framed for… $10. I nearly peed my pants I was so excited. Now it’s hanging in my office.

  6. Oh, I forgot the L’Oreal foundation coupon in my wallet. Thanks to Mir for that too, although I agree that all the colors/shades were really dark. I couldn’t find one that work with my pasty-whiteness, but I’m still proud to have the coupon valued at $13 (!).

    Hannah…Kelly Clarkson rocks! No shame in that.

  7. I’m so proud because I not only used the L’Oreal foundation coupon but, also, discovered that our local Rite Aid pharmacy had a deal that if the HIP pigment stuff was bought, the buyer received a free L’Oreal HIP makeup product of an equal or lesser value. So after a little meeting with the cashier and the manager of the place, they agreed to let me try to use the deal and I ended up with $21 dollars of makeup (the foundation and a lip gloss for my sister) for 85 cents (I gladly paid sales tax). It was great, even though the manager kept glaring at me and questioning me and examining the coupon like I was trying to pull one over on her. But the cashier just said, “Where did you GET this?” and I said, “Write this down. Yeah, you’re going to want to go there a lot” and then I scampered away before the manager killed me.

  8. Mir, you rock. I am so impressed and jealous. I love shopping at Goodwill, and I like your new rule about dropping off. Sometime I go when I shouldn’t just because a deal might be hiding in there somewhere.

  9. Mir, you are beautiful and you totally win … today. Last week, however….

    I’m on my feet for work all day and a nurse-friend and I were talking shoes. We discussed Danskos. I mentioned how much I desired a pair but the $120 had me hesitating a lot. She said, “Danskos? What size do you wear? I have a pair in my closet that I’ve never worn. They are too small and I never bothered to return them. Would you like them?”

    Could I possibly turn down free Danskos? I think not.

  10. Wow. I bow down in awe. I’m frugal, but you’re better. And prettier. So I’ll just keep reading and saving money and getting cool free stuff!

  11. My daughter’s preschool recently closed and, after 3 1/2 years of top notch care, the whole family has been heartbroken. I wanted to give the teachers a parting gift that was worthy of all they had given to us and our family over the years, something they would be able to remember us by. Unfortunately, there were three current teachers, two administrators, and all the teachers from past classrooms that all collectively deserved this honor and our budget doesn’t allow for such group grandiosity. Instead I sat down and composed a letter letting them know all they had done for us over the years, what an important role they have played in our daugther’s lives, and, by extention, the lives of the whole family. I listed all the things I found special about the school and how we would miss but never forget them. I gave the letter on the second to last day and asked the director to make copies for the teachers. When I went to pick up my daughter the last day there were tears in everyone’s eyes and everyone thanked me over and over for the letter. I really felt as though I had succeeded in my parting ‘gift’ and was glad I hadn’t tried to convey our appreciation in monetary value. What a bargain!

  12. A real (not a knock-off) large Dooney and Bourke handbag, new with tags, for $2 at a garage sale. It had been given to the lady selling it by an ex-boyfriend, and she wanted to tell him she sold the $350 bag he bought her for $2. Her vengeance was my gain.

  13. You win. I am frugal, but you are more frugal and much prettier! I love the advice of not going to the thrift store without a drop-off. Thanks for your fabulous advice!

  14. DH thinks this was my steal of a lifetime — about a month ago, I was shopping at our little local thrift store and spotted an excellent condition jacket by Cabella’s … in his size. The volunteer at the counter charged me $2.

    It wasn’t till I got home and DH looked it that we realized it was a 3-in-one jacket — and the outer layer was Gore-Tex!

    DH has worn it several times since then — and he even packed it for an out-of-town trip.

  15. The ONLY thing better than a good find at a thrift store is actaully working at one! Oh my gosh, it kills me when I think of all the purchases I’ve made over the years and now see for a buck or two at my thrift store. And as a clothes sorter, I get first look at most the stuff coming in and can freely take home anything that has a spot or whatever. My little kids are completely ouitfitted in Gap, Garnet Hill, etc for a pittance. If only people knew what good stuff there is at thrift shops instead of thinking it’s all kmart clothes or something. Yesterday my take-home included a set of 100% cotton king size sheets that were slightly faded from the sun (free), and an American Eagle cutie skirt for my teen (3 bucks). The only downside is trying to live a simple, clutter-free life without excess….how to walk away from all those fabulous finds!

  16. Well, you definitely win, but I have also been getting my free stuff in the mail and it’s so exciting because half the time I have forgotten what I signed up for!

  17. WoW! your good!
    about a month ago we were at a flea market, I hate going, most people know what they have, and how much it’s worth.
    I was walking along and saw a familiar shiny heart and realized it was a brand new pair of Brighton clogs, I had just priced at Parisian’s for 310.00, not the color I was looking for at the time, but I figured who cares! I asked the very destracted man “how much”, he looked down all annoyed and said 3.00 bucks. I yanked 3.00 out so fast it made my husband’s head swim, he had no idea what I was so excited about when I “ran” away!

  18. I’m a big girl, so a lot of the greatest deals at Goodwill and Sally Ann are off my radar (though I did buy a still sealed, collectable roleplaying game that’s been out of print for 5 years and sells on eBay for over $100 for $2.99).

    However, just last week at Avenue, I bought 2 chiffon tank tops (originally $40 each, marked down to $6.99), a pair of jeans (orig. $40, on sale for $20, I had a $10 off any jeans coupon), 2 tankinis (hawaiian print and leopard print, orig. $90 each, at $6.99), a pair of gaucho pants (orig. $35, marked to $6.99), and a pair of black pantyhose (orig $6, had a coupon for a free pair), total cost after sales and coupons, just under $30. yes, that is correct; I got $341 of clothing for $29.

    I also saved about 65% on my grocery bill last week, with coupon clipping and sound attention to the sales. I posted a complete summation of what I got here:

    What’s more impressive (to me 😉 )is not just the total amount saved, but how much more it actually is when you take off the very expensive frills and see what I got for $32.

    Coupons are great, and I frequently buy the paper twice when the coupons get really good, but I recently found that the Starbucks near me recycles their unsold copies of the Boston Globe at 9ish on Sunday night, so I have started going by to collect a few extra hits 😉

  19. Darn. I wish I lived near where people give cashmere to Goodwill.

  20. I finally got my razor too…I got my 8×10 canvas (so awesome)…I got some lotion…I got a mens razor too…My daughters halloween costume from Lillian vernon arrived (thanks 10% discount)I also got some more coupons….YEAH. I LOVE free stuff!

  21. I haven’t gotten much the past couple of weeks, except for a Degree sample. I hope my razor comes soon!

    I have to say that your Salvation Army trip was a lot better than my recent one a couple of months ago. I still love going in there – with girls’ pajamas so outrageously priced, or cheaply made…that’s where I’ve had the most luck!

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