Choose your own adventure, sort of

By Mir
May 16, 2007
Category Big Picture

Hello! How is everyone doing? I am feeling somewhat remiss; between the general busyness of my life and getting married and all of that, I feel like Want Not has fallen by the wayside a little. I’m still posting deals, but it’s been a while since I answered questions (because it’s been a while since anyone asked any) and I’ve been really lousy about general topics aside from “Oh! On sale! Shiny!” of late.

So, I thought I’d open up the floor here as I try to get back on track. What are you missing? What do you want to see that hasn’t been here, either because it’s something I used to do but stopped or is just something you’d like to see? What sorts of deals do you like best, what sorts of deals make you roll your eyes? What should we be talking about—in any area of shopping or money management—that we aren’t?

I’m interested in any feedback you care to share. The goal has always been to have a site that’s useful for my readers, and I want to make sure that’s what’s happening here. So talk to me, pretty people. Let’s get this place rocking again.


  1. I’m relatively new to your site, but what I’ve been liking best is free shipping deals (I HATE paying for shipping), coupon codes for The Children’s Place (I keep an eye out for Old Navy, too), and reminders about Amazon’s Friday Sale (I always forget about that sale but often find good things).

  2. I love your site, Mir. Love the concept, love your style, love the bargains. What I struggle with is convincing myself NOT to buy stuff that I don’t really need just because it’s a good deal. So lately, when I’m considering a purchase, I have to think of two things that I’m going to either sell, donate or throw away. One thing in, two things out. Unless it’s a gift. In which case, anything goes.

  3. Mir, I like your site. I’m not a mom so I’m not interested in all of the deals, but that’s OK because a lot of your visitors are probably moms. And you should try to make the majority happy. I like to check out the deals posted here even if I don’t want to buy anything, just ’cause I can think, “I didn’t know I could get that so cheap!” So when I am interested in buying something, I always know to check your site first for ideas.

    I have also gotten great gifts through your site like Laura said. I just won’t tell anyone how much I paid. ‘Cause then I would look cheap. And really smart.

  4. I’m all about free samples of *anything*. I never would have tried those Soy Joy bars or Kashi granola or probably 15 other things had it not been for free samples saw advertised here.

    You rock, Mir!!!

  5. Totally second the freebies thumbs-up! I really loved the Soy Joy bars and some of the other samples I’ve gotten…especially the free pet food, actually, now that I think of it.

    So yeah–freebies are always good!

  6. I second the person who said they like the free shipping deals – I love those! If I can have something delivered to my doorstep, saving me a trip to the store, I am happy, happy, happy. And freebies = good, too.

    What I wouldn’t mind seeing here, every once in a while, is an “I love this product” kind of thing. I know that there are several sites that deal in personnal recommendations (and I read them all, trust me) so I’m not saying it should be an all the time thing. But sometimes there are things that you don’t even know you need until you hear how much someone else needs them! (Or at least that’s the way it is for me.)

    Just keep on keeping on. Your site is wonderful. Pretty, even. Very, very pretty. Maybe even as pretty as you. 🙂

  7. I also love the site and you and you’re pretty and all that! 🙂 I have gotten tons of free samples and things too and I enjoy that. One thing that I would really like to see is more about non-shopping issues. For example, how to help cut your monthly bills without too much pain. I realize that that is not necessarily the focus of your lovely blog, but I think that it would be easier to ‘have it all with less’ if we could save money on the things that we have to pay for every month. Would anyone else like to see that sort of thing?

  8. I have to say I am as enticed about freebies as the next gal, but I got no joy from the SoyJoy bars. I did like the little box coming to my door for free and all, but the experience pretty much fell flat after I tasted those little guys. But that’s just me.

    All of that is to say I enjoy the freebies, even if I don’t become a devotee of each item.

  9. I’ve been visiting your site for quite a few months now, have taken advantage of the great deals. My fave so far? The Leapfrog Alphabet Train, it’s sitting in the closet waiting for Christmas!!!

    I would love to more scrapbooking/crafting deals. I love to scrapbook, but it can get to be an expensive hobby.

    Other than that, I think you are doing a great job!

  10. What really gets my heart pumping are the sales where things are marked way down, like 75% or more. I also like the coupon codes, especially ones that work for the outlet items, like Coldwater Creek. So, lots of stuff for cheap, or free stuff. I haven’t bought deoderant in a while because I have been using the freebies! 🙂

  11. I love the freebies. Food I donate. Fun stuff I often give away for fun. I also like your general advice on saving money. I especially loved your posts about laundry and using a freezer. Stuff like that is fun to read because it’s alway nice to hear how someone else does it to save time, money, etc.

    In general, I just really enjoy your site.

  12. Since you asked, I’ll throw a question out to you! My family needs new pillows. I see pillows on sale but what is a good pillow? I suppose some of it is preference but it feels a little like buying a mattress (an itty bitty little mattress for your head!). What to look for, what to avoid, is it a “get what you pay for” deal?

    As far as feedback for what you are offering – I love freebies of any kind. I personally appreciate deals on kid stuff (especially clothes) and free shipping. IMO, free shipping is the most beautiful phrase in the English language. However, for me, free shipping if you have to spend $75 dollars, isn’t really a bargain. You’ve helped me alot with seasonal things and I do like free services (me + free = BFF). I still use smilebox which you turned me onto. I also love when you show us how to stack coupon codes to get the best deals. I wouldn’t change a thing about the content of the site, even when it isn’t something I can use, I often pass it along to someone I know who can.

    Apologies for the novel….

  13. Ditto on freebies and free shipping codes! Anything that helps me save $3.30 a gallon gas ROCKS!!

    Speaking of gas, maybe you could point us in the direction of some way to get free gas cards? Yes, I know I ask a lot, but if anyone can find it, pretty, shiny Mir can.

  14. I concur on the freebies. I will definitely be buying the Kashi cereal as a result of those samples!!

  15. Free shipping! Love that!
    How about an “evaluation” of sorts of some of the deals. Example…my SIL purchased some of the rest. cert….and found that their was a “fine print” area to the certificate, like what you could eat/use/$ to spend first….maybe we could have a SOUND OFF

  16. ok..I accidently hit tab which then causes your comment to post when your were not ready. SORRY….anyway…

    maybe we could have a SOUND OFF to evaluate some of our most recent “good finds”?

    I have also like your site for finding/seeing other stores/web sites that I never new existed. Maybe a topic of…”did you know that this site existed” would be good too.

    Love your site! Thanks!

  17. Free shipping codes and stackable coupons are my favorites!

    I also appreciate the hints on saving money on stuff I have to buy anyway. I’m now using less laundry soap, cutting my dryer sheets in half and stocking my freezer better because of posts you’ve written here.

    You’ve also done a great job with topics like choosing a credit card, managing credit, choosing cell phone service, etc.

    Finally, I appreciate your general attitude about getting “stuff.” You make it clear that it’s possible to have things we just *want,* but you never make it seem like only the latest and greatest and most expensive thing is worth having.

  18. Amen to what Mayhem said. I L.O.V.E. this site. I especially love the free samples and the free shipping. I click on almost all of your links to check out the deals, but I do use restraint in not buying everything I see on sale. I often refer wantnot to friends (one of whom is STILL excited over her American Girl deal!)

    I had been thinking of suggesting something along the lines of the Sound Off, but more specifically sharing feedback on some of the freebies/deals we found on this site. Like how much I LOVE the Kashi TLC Bars now (haven’t tried the 3 Soy Joys yet). I like to know about new products others have discovered.

    Another idea might be to do some topical/timely things, like ideas for end-of-the-year teacher gifts, or deals on things to keep our kids occupied this summer.

    All in all, your site rocks. You make me laugh, you introduce me to new products/ideas and you save me money. You are the PRETTIEST!

  19. Love the free shipping reminders and the super-great clearance links. Freebies are always good, even if they lead me to become addicted to extremely compact little bars of fruit and soy products.

  20. I love the freebies. LOVE freebies. Even if our family can’t eat them, I’ll pawn ’em off onto friends/family as thoughtful gifts. 🙂

    I need a smack up the head about “it’s only a deal if you needed it in the first place”, though. ahem. Not your fault, pretty Mir, they were all so shiny!

    So, um, more ideas about saving money on normal bills would be great. Even if it’s only so we can afford more pretty shiny things.

  21. Free and Stackable. Keep em’ comin’!

  22. Hmmm, there are far too many mentions of shoes on this blog . . . kidding! Kidding! Never too many shoes!

    I concur about the freebies, they are something I can ALWAYS afford, I love that your readers will come up with some of their own and let us all know, too . . . proof of how pretty they all are.

  23. Love the website. Have ordered many times after reading your blog. An amazon credit card is a dangerous thing! Pam 🙂

  24. Guys seem to be in the minority offering you feedback, so I thought I’d pop in to let you know we’re reading too. In fact, you are one of my daily bookmarks, and I’ve utilized several of the many great deals you’ve highlighted. So, thanks!

  25. Freebies. Stackable coupons. Free shipping. All beautiful words to my ears (um, eyes). You do fantastic job on this site, with humor to boot. Who could ask for more?

  26. Another guy here admitting that I read your site. As a stay at home dad I am in charge of stretching my wife’s paycheck as far as it will go. To that end, I really like freebies and free shipping on things I will be buying anyway. Thanks for all the info!

  27. Still can’t thank you enough for posting the Prevacid discount card…it saves me $100 a year now which is a pretty great deal when you think about it!

    Things like that are a great addition to the shopping deals. I enjoy that you remind me of things that I tend to need reminding about, like looking for free shipping. Keep up the good work and keep up the variety! I can’t really think of anything to add to the site…just sending praise. Thanks!

  28. I love everything about this site. The only thing I can think of is that I just had an “incident” (not related to Want Not, just a general shopping issue) after ordering something from Victoria’s Secret (online)..turns out you CAN’T return items to the store if you’ve ordered online. That would have been good information to have. So my “idea” is maybe a place for us to post information about shopping experiences (like the other person mentioned the “fine print” of gift certificates). Just a thought.

    Keep up the wonderful work, pretty Mrs. Otto! 🙂

  29. Dittos. To my wishlist, I’d add a full rss feed!

    Thank you for this great site!

  30. I’m a fairly new reader. I love the freebies and coupon codes! I got 8% off my last Overstock order, and got some great deals at TCP when you posted the code a month or two back. The freebies always make me smile when I get them!

  31. I like a simple description of what you’re showing or at least a title. Sometimes when I only have a few minutes to come and see if there are any great deals, it’s a little frustrating to have to click on something that only says “I like these” (link) or “everyone needs one of these” (link) and I have zero idea what my browser will be opening. I like it when you say “everyone needs one of these mixing bowls” (link) or “I really like these shoes” (link) so that I know if I should open it or not. But, all in all, your site is awesome and I literally come here EVERY DAY. Thank you thank you thank you!

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