Thursday, November 18, 2010

Black Friday

So although I have been incredibly bad about updating, I am putting aside all of my work and other obligations to write a post about the holiest of holy bargain days of the year: BLACK FRIDAY! Hated by many, feared by most, and loved by those select few brave shoppers who bear the insanity in hopes of finding amazing bargains… and let me tell all of you: we DO! Black Friday is the holy grail of sale days, with almost everything slashed in price or coming with extras. Here are some tips for navigating the insanity:

1)Check out circulars/ads and circle what you want- Check out all of the ads from the stores you might like, usually Target, Walmart, Kohl’s , Macys and many others have amazing deals. Look at all the ads and figure out what you want and where to get the best price—always make comparisons. If one place has a lot of things you like but another store has one item for a way better price, try to see if the first store you go to will do a price match (that way you don’t have to go to tons of stores)!

Here is a good link for some uploads of the ads if you can’t get your hands on a hard copy:

2) Make a game plan- Map out which stores open first, where has the best deals and therefore potentially the longest lines, and figure out a map of where you want to go in order. This year my mother, sister, and I are doing Kohl’s at 3AM, Target at 4AM (giving out a $10 gift card after spending $100), and the Mall after for Macys, Victoria’s Secret, Old Navy and others

3) Be persistent- There may be a line to get in the store, crowding, products running out (even potential wars over getting that last item on the shelf!), and lines at checkout. Try to get through all of it by remembering that you are getting great deals and that it is the beginning of the holiday season—try to have that holiday cheer!

4) If possible, bring a friend or family member- This can be helpful if there are multiple hot items on your list so that you can simultaneously make a run for the different departments of the stores, also their humor and company can help keep you from going insane in the madness!

5) Don’t take things too seriously— It is just shopping (yes, I did just say that). Material objects aren’t everything and aren’t worth fighting (too much) for. Treat others as you would like to be treated, especially cashiers and others in retail, because they sure as hell do not want to be there and if you make their life miserable, they will do the same to you. You never know, your kindness may get you a bigger discount!

6) Stuff to Bring- Ads, Gift lists, pens, coffee/hot chocolate, good music for the car, gloves/hats for waiting outside in line, a friend or family member, a sense of humor!

Finally, here is why I love Black Friday so much (and why I know so much about it). As a tradition, for the past 10 years, my mother, sister, and I always venture out every year on that fateful day after Thanksgiving, plans and coupons in hand, ready to fight. It is always one of my favorite days of the entire year and just thinking about it causes such an excited anticipation inside of me. I feel like a little kid again on that day and it helps bring my mother, sister, and I together in bargain bliss. Last year, as we sat in the Food Court of the mall at 8am eating pizza, we all just looked at each other and laughed hysterically. Since we had been up since 2:30am, 8 o’clock totally felt like lunch time and once we realized the ridiculousness of our pizza breakfast we couldn’t help but laugh. This is one of the many reasons why I love Black Friday and why you should too. Not only does it get our economy going and help people get great deals, but it is an experience. If you have never ventured out on Black Friday due to fear or stress, just try it once just to say you have. You never know what you’ll end up finding.

Happy Saving!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I'm Baaaaaccckk!!

Hey everyone!!

I am so sorry that my hiatus was longer than planned. Between my broken laptop, moving back into school and starting new classes, I HAD to put my blog to the side! I hope you all still love me AND want to save money? Yes? Okay then... Phew!

So today's post is not going to be as long or great as my others but I am transitioning.. don't hate!

Firstly, I wanted to stress the importance of signing up for emails from all of your favorite companies! Since my birthday is coming up (I'll be 21 on Sept. 29th!), I have been receiving TONS of emails with birthday offers, including free entrees and desserts to many chain restaurants (Ninety Nine, Chilis, Unos etc.), gift certificates ($5-$10) at clothing stores, as well as promo codes for free shipping and discounts. While these birthday freebies are just nice extras, I get emails every single day giving me offer codes and notifying me of sales and promotions. If you are one who tries to veer away from a full inbox, only sign up for stores that you really love, but if you don't mind some extra emails, it is a nice way to save money. Some sites that always seem to send emails full of codes/promos are Victoria's Secret, Piperlime, Cutesygirl, Uno's Chicago Bar and Grille, and Macy's. There are plenty others as well, so if you have any questions about the quality of emails that a company sends, ask me in the comments and I'll give you my opinion.

Another way that I get free stuff/coupons on the computer is through a little website called While some of the stuff is blah and other stuff is more directed toward teens (duhh.. its in the freakin' name!), this site provides TONS of freebies including everything from free magazine subscriptions to coupons for grocery shopping and clothing. This is such an awesome site for free stuff so I definitely recommend that you all sign up for their emails or just check the site from time to time.

Since I am writing this blog post instead of doing my homework, I am going to keep it short and sweet and leave you with some eye candy: these Steve Madden pumps (Ulltra in Blush) have been calling my name since May and I have been waiting for the exact moment to pounce since they have not come down from $70-80 since then. Finally, piperlime sent me an email with a 25%-off coupon code and I got these babies for $50 with free shipping!! These will match everything so they are sooo worth it!! Try not to get too jealous! ;)

Happy Saving!,

Monday, August 16, 2010


My computer is broken so I was unable to post last week and will probably not post for the next two weeks! Sorry about the inconvenience loves! Make sure to get some good back to school deals in the meantime and let me know about them in the comments!!

Happy Saving,

Friday, August 6, 2010

Rationalizing: Restraint & Splurging

While I do like to save money, I don't always believe in buying something just because it is a good buy. With bargain hunting must come restraint. Sometimes, I will buy something just because it is cheap and I get home and I never use/wear it. Since I have encountered this problem many times, I have come up with a couple of handy solutions. If you are about to buy something at a great price, think of a few things: 1) If this item were regular price/2x or 3x the sales price, would I still purchase it? If your answer is "no" then you are most likely enticed to buy the item just because of the cheap price. 2) Will I really use/wear this? If it is an item of clothing think of other pieces that it could potentially match or think of potential places where you could wear it. If it is impractical then bow out on the purchase. 3) Do I reaaally LOVE this item? For me, since I LOVE shopping so much, I always ensure that I LOVE an item before I buy it (don't you LOVE when I repeat myself and use caps so much? haha sorry!!). If you truly know that you love it or if you think that you will regret it if you don't buy it then go ahead. Sometimes, I will leave something at the counter on hold, continue my shopping and then return to buy it later if I am still thinking about the item. Finally, make sure you find out about the return policy of sale, clearance, or discounted items... because if you do buy it just because its on sale, at least you may be able to return it if you change your mind once you are home.

On this note of restraint in buying cheap things, lets move on to restraint in buying expensive things. While it is a good quality to have, sometimes expensive items really are worth it. Yes, this is coming out of the mouth of the bargain queen, but I often do splurge on certain things that I know I should splurge on. I used this proposition to sell the expensive stereo systems when I worked at Bose Speakers: would you rather purchase one Bose radio for $500 that will last you a lifetime and give you great quality or would you rather buy 10 $100 radios over the years that continuously break and deliver poor quality music? Maybe that initial splurge may hurt your pocket (or your soul) but in reality, think about the investment that you are making. I always like to think of my expensive purchases as investments and sometimes, I even break down the price-by-wear to make myself feel better. Lets say hypothetically, if I buy a pair of $100 shoes and wear them once a week for a year, I am spending a mere $1.92 per wear, and most likely, I will wear those shoes more often than once a week and have them for much longer than a year. So make sure that you rationalize before you make a purchase, whether a save or a splurge and it will truly be worth the real cost.

Finally, here is a list of items that I don't mind putting some extra money into because I know that I will get a lot of use out of them and often, the more expensive versions deliver better quality than the cheaper versions (not that I'm buying ridiculous designer just for the pretty labels, but just good quality items)

Items to Splurge On:-
Shoes: Nothing like a day in uncomfortable shoes... leather all the way, baby!
-Purses: Not necessarily designer, but just a nice quality purse because I use mine basically everyday until they wear down
-Electronics: My Ipod has lasted longer than 5 cheap MP3 players would have
-Makeup: Eyeshadows not so much but good face makeup makes a world of a difference (no streaks, ladies!)
-Furniture/Matress Pad: I tried buying a cheap mattress pad for college, three simple words: DON'T DO IT!!
-Staple Wardrobe Items: Black pants, trench coat, white button up, black blazer, sturdy pair of heels.. don't skimp on basics that you can get years out of and will never go out of style!

Items to Skimp On:
Accessories: Scarves, headbands & jewelry rotate in and out of my wardrobe daily and are such trendy pieces that I don't like to invest in them... speaking of....
Trendy Pieces: Unlike the wardrobe staples mentioned above, trendy pieces will only be around for awhile so don't invest money in a piece that will end up in the back of your closet in 6 months
Fun Makeup: I find that I play around with eyeshadow and lip gloss, switching them up so much that it just does not make sense for me to put a lot of money into these things like I do with my daily face makeup
Halloween Costumes/Holiday Gear: C'mon... you know you're only going to wear that costume/St. Patty's shirt once (for fear of Facebook photos in which you are caught wearing the same outfit on two different occasions... OH THE HORROR!!) and will most likely end up with beer spilled all over it anyway.. so don't waste your money chicks!

So good luck with restraining yourself, splurging when you should and ensuring that you rationalize before you purchase! Follow these tips and you'll be on your road to fat pockets and a hot wardrobe!

Happy Saving!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Back to School Shopping!

Because I am EXTREMELY anal and overly organized, before I went to college I created my very own dorm check list, which lists every possible item you may forget to bring to college but will end up most likely needing. Here is the list in its entirety, please let me know if I left anything off!!

Dorm Check List!!
(Red=electronic, blue=bath, pink= bed, Green=organization/other, purple=laundry, black= school supplies, Orange=clothing)

• Alarm Clock
• Desk organizer
• Rug
• Backpack
• Shelf
• Trash bags
• Swiffer
• Snacks
• Flashlight
• Under-bed Storage
• Small fan
• Adhesive Hooks
• Mounting Tape
• Paper towels
• Lysol wipes
• Ziploc bags
• Pushpins
• Dry-erase board
• Toolkit
• Small umbrella
• Air freshener
• Night light
• Brita pitcher
• Flash drive
• Computer
• Printer
• Surge protector
• Rechargeable batteries
• 3-2 prong adapters
• Laptop case
• Extension cord
• Printer paper

• Mattress pad
• Blanket
• Headrest pillow
• Sheets/ pillowcases/ comforter
• curtains

• Laundry marker
• Stain remover
• Laundry bag
• Drying Rack
• Quarter dispenser
• Detergent/fabric softener
• Sewing kit

Lint Remover
• Paper clips
• Rubber bands
• Scissors
• Highlighters
• Ruler
• Stamps/envelopes
• Index cards
• lap desk
• Address book
• Planner
• Stapler/staples
• Notebooks/folders
• Labels
• Post-it notes
• Duct Tape
• Razors/shaving cream
• Pepto-Bismol
• Bathrobe
• Aspirin
• Vanity Mirror
• Imodium
• Cosmetic organizer
• Neosporin
• Band-Aids
• Cough drops
• 2 body towels
• 3 face cloths
• 2 hand towels
• Ice pack
• Midol
• Shower tote
• Shampoo/conditioner
• Tissues

• Rain Boots
• Rain Coat
• Clothes appropriate for the weather wherever you may be going

Yes, it may seem that I included everything under the sun, but all of this stuff, along with shot glasses which I stupidly forgot, WILL be handy at some point along the way. Although I like to save money, I also like to plan in advanced and buy things ahead of time when I find them at good prices, rather than waiting until the last minute I need an item and splurging because I have no other choice. Use this list early and pick things up as you go, as you find them at a good price, don't wait until last minute and buy overpriced items just because you may need them.

My advice for the new college student looking for dorm finds is to strategize when shopping. Compare all of the circulars and websites and see where you can get the best deal. Then divide this list by place and get things where they are best priced. Bed, Bath & Beyond may be overpriced on some things but you can truly find some good deals there when college time rolls around, and they ALWAYS have that 20%-off coupon, so utilize that wisely. Target is my all-time favorite for back-to-school shopping because all of their bedroom decor/organization supplies are color coordinated and you can truly build a nice look for next to nothing. Don't go overboard though! Whenever I go to Target, I have a hard time sticking to my list and usually walk out with more than I intend to (I just can't resist!!). Finally, my secret weapon is The Christmas Tree Shop! Their circular right now has so many perfect college essentials for soo cheap! I just recently bought a 4-piece closet organizer (1 each of a canvas hanging sweater/shoe organizer, and 2 canvas and plastic underbed drawers) for just $9.99!! Even at Target, just one of the hanging organizers is $10.. so it was a MAJOR deal! They are also good for cheap basics like loofahs, toothbrush holders, sheets, etc.

So overall, just browse before you buy and go shopping with a list and a plan... and most importantly, stick to it! I promise it will save you a bundle and leave you with a beautifully put-together dorm room!

Happy Saving,

Friday, July 23, 2010


Hello college chicks!

This week I wanna share the basics of consigning and shopping at consignment stores. I have been consigning at the same store for about four years and have made tons of money from selling old clothes, and using the money to buy new clothes (which is really my problem in the first place!!) Since I am addicted to shopping, consignment stores really help me in two ways: 1) I am able to get rid of older styles of clothing, making room in my closet for new stuff, without throwing them away and 2) I save money on perfectly good clothing that I buy from these shops. Just this week, I cleaned out my overly-packed closet and packed up shopping bags with 17 bottoms and 73!!!!! tops!!!!!!!!!!!! ...and the saddest thing is that my closet is still full! Oopsies!

So, here are some tips on actually selling your clothes:
1)Find a good store which fits your style. Selling college-chic clothing may not go over well at a boutique meant for older women and more mature clothing wouldn't sell well in a store meant for the younger crowd. Make sure you find a consignment boutique that fits you, or else your clothing may not be accepted by the owner, or it may not sell once it hits the floor.
2) Make sure clothes are clean, ironed and neatly packaged. Imagine shopping in a store and seeing products that were dirty and wrinkly... would you want to buy them? This is the same outlook that the shop-owner has in mind, so don't bring your clothes in big trash bags.. you want her to think that they are not trash, but treasures that people won't be able to resist scooping up.
3) Think in the "now." When I was cleaning out my closet, I continually would see an item and reminisce about who I bought it with, where I wore it, and ended up getting all sappy over items that didn't fit and were running out style. Instead of keeping these clothes for sentiment or in hopes that they may fit someday, do yourself a favor and SELL them! When you lose that last five pounds you're not gunna wanna squeeze back into clothes from high school, you're going to want to go out and buy new clothes for your new body! Don't hang onto stuff that another woman could get a lot better use out of. Think of it as a type of good deed.
4) Make friends with the owner of the boutique. I have been consigning at the same local consignment boutique for years and have become very close with the owner (even becoming a nanny for her adorable kids one summer!) and it has been a great experience. Don't always look at consigning as a business transaction but as a fun way to help others find cool stuff for a cheap price and a way to purge your closet and cleanse your shopping soul!

Tips for Shopping at Consignment Stores:
1)DIG, DIG, DIG! Consignment stores can sometimes be like "the needle in the haystack"-type of deal, with tons of clothes that may not be right for you, with a few key items hiding that will fit you like a glove and come at a nice price, so definitely take your time to scour the racks. It may seem tedious but when you find that $100 Burberry trench, originally $450, that fits perfectly you'll know it was worth it.
2) Pay attention to sizing. As women, we all know how hard it is to find consistent sizes anyways but since these clothes have been previously worn, it may make it all the more difficult. Maybe Lucy shrunk her cashmere cardigan by accident and now that medium is a small, or Lianna may have stretched out her Seven Jeans, making the 28 a 29... you never know, so try different sizes on! It may hurt to put on a larger size and have it fit, but just know that no one else can see the tag. Think about it: wouldn't you rather look hot than have a smaller number on the inside of your jeans and look like you're a sausage squeezed into casing?
3) Ask about deals. Since consignment boutiques are mostly independently owned, the owners often have more flexibility in pricing. My consignment store offers deals every month from $5 off to 20%-off, all through their email subscription. So ask about a frequent buyer's discount card or an email list or even about current specials. And, most importantly, if an item you love may have a stain, rip, or missing button, ask about a discount. Often, the consignors are very flexible with things like this, but don't push it. The prices are often so low anyways, that defects may be considered in the price already.

So, make some extra money with your old clothes, because as college students we KNOW how important it is to have some extra cash! I currently have $65 waiting for me at my consignment store, and I cannot wait to go spend it on back-to-school clothes. I'll let you in on my secret and let you know about my favorite consignment boutique.. a "unique boutique" called Raspberry Beret. The owner's name is Rachael and she is absolutely amazing!! There are two RB locations, one in Wakefield, MA and one in Cambridge on Mass Ave. Both are chic, funky and have amazing finds! Definitely head on over to these if you're in the area and follow my tips and you should have a great shopping experience yourself... and definitely feel free to share more tips of your own in the comments section!

I appreciate everyone following me, keep spreading the word about my money saving deals, chicks!!

P.S.- Follow Raspberry Beret on facebook,visit their website or stop on in for some great buys!

P.S.- Here's a freaky article on the way that retailers suck money out of our pockets. Don't fall into the trap!:

Spending Schemes

Happy Saving!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sample Sales!

Hey guys!!

My second week writing… yayy!! Today, I want to let you know about another of my favorite online tricks for saving money, which is through the use of sites which offer “sample sales.” For those of you who are new to this type of sale, it can occur in an actual store or online and it usually involves pieces from a high-end brand(s) which are immensely discounted, but only for a short period of time. I have purchased items from Free People, Juicy Couture, Sean John, American Apparel, and Coach all at up to nearly 80%-off through sample sale sites. A beautiful Sean John trench coat, originally $180 for $50; a free people top, originally $60 for $18; an Urban Decay Big Buddha makeup brush, originally $36 for $3... among other amazing buys!! Imagine how hot you can look while saving tons of dough!!!

While this may seem too good to be true, there is a little catch. Many of these sites require a special code to sign up, or even an invitation from a member. The sites which I currently belong to (which I may be willing to invite you to if you leave nice comments) are, listed in order of my personal preference: Haute Look, Rue La La, Gilt Groupe, and iDeeli. All of these sites are wonderful and I have never had a negative experience with any of them. Also, COUPON CODES, which I wrote about last week are also eligible at a few of the sites, which makes for an even bigger discount on designer duds!

So... onto the way these sites work: sign up through invitation or code, become a member, watch everyday for new sales, save money! As simple as that! I highly suggest you sign up for the notification emails, so that you know about the new sales everyday, because they don’t last for long. The sites provide a specific start time (watch out for time zones: I once got up at the ass-crack of dawn to buy a Juicy Couture tracksuit only to realize my 8AM IS NOT Cali’s 8AM, with my roommate laughing profusely at me!!), and then once the sales start, a countdown begins until the sale ends. Items FLY outta those websites, so log on early if you’re really hoping to find a good buy!

So, if you feel like joining one of these fabulous sites, here is a great opportunity.

Luckily, (a site that I LOVE) is offering special invites to this week, which you can find at this link-

Also, If you would like to become a member on the other sites, let me know and I may be able to send you an invitation.

Happy Saving!