Saturday, July 25, 2009

Beg, Borrow and Steal: Coupon Swap

Coupons anyone? I have the following:

20% off Gymboree now through August 30th, online or in-store

20% off Crazy 8 now through August 30th, online with added free shipping bonus or in-store

10% of Children's Place now through September 7th

Leave a comment and I will contact you about sending the savings your way.

Deal of the Day: Smashbox Kit at Sephora

I always wish that getting new makeup could be a "one stop shop". It always takes me too long to compare shades, try glosses, and figure out what I need. With this portable Smashbox kit at Sephora, you can literally grab and go -- new blush, shadows, and lip colors will be at your fingertips. On sale for $32, it is still a bit pricier than your Maybelline or Cover Girl but you can't beat the Smashbox quality. If you shop online with Sephora, you get free shipping on orders over $50, free returns, and three free samples. It sounds like I'll be looking better in no time at all.

Favorite Things: My Personalized T-Shirt

Whether you are looking for a unique birthday gift, a back to school treat for your niece, or something fun for your next family reunion, look no further than this awesome Etsy site.
Personalized t-shirts with your favorite name and design start at just $11. There are plenty of great everyday designs and special holiday choices as well. From polka dots to choo choo trains to princess crowns, you are bound to find a thoughtful and affordable treat. The sizes range from newborn to adult 2X so you can find something to fit everyone as well. By sending the creator of these tees a photo of the recipient in the shirt, you can get 15% off your next order or free shipping.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Money Mantra #6: You Are Enough Without More Stuff

I would be the first person to admit that I want a lot of things that I don't have. Like an iPhone would be sweet, or a new 50 mm lens for my camera, or a few more pairs of premium denim. Maybe a Kate Spade purse, tubs of super duper line erasing eye cream, a drawer full of J. Crew tees, a few Tiffany necklaces, some Bernardo sandals, or the cash for a weekly mani - pedi. Wanting stuff is the easy part. Believing that you have enough and are enough without more stuff is difficult. Even in this down economy, it is easy to buy into the notion that who you are is equal to what you have. But stuff is just that ... stuff. Letting your material possessions frame your satisfaction with life is a slippery slope. But how does one go about convincing oneself that you have enough? Do you set a shopping moratorium and buy nothing but food, groceries, gas for three months? Do you donate unused clothes or household goods to charity? Do you simply make a list of what you are grateful for on a regular basis? Cheap and Cheerful would love to hear your "answers" to this dilemna.

Favorite Things: Body Shop Peppermint Foot Lotion

One of my favorite beauty products of all time is on sale for 50% off! The Body Shop's Peppermint Cooling Foot Lotion is pure heaven. After a good workout or a long day on your toes, this lotion will soothe your barking dogs and make them feel brand new again. (Heck, even the man in your life will love the scent for his own feet!) This lotion is perfect for gifts and stocking stuffers too so stock up while you can! It is $8 a bottle but I guarantee it isn't a penny wasted.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Deal of the Day: Reusable Grocery Bag

Whether you're stopping in to Safeway for some wine and appetizer fixings or roaming Costco for some needed staples, take along this sweet reusable grocery bag. Built to hold up to 40 pounds of filler, it might be the only bag you need for your weekly grocery venture. While I love my resuable bags, I have not found one that is easy to carry and sturdy enough to hold this much! Reusable Bags is also a great source for Sigg water bottles and Built lunch bags. There are some super sale items on the site right now so you can be more green and save more green as well!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Retail Therapy: Back to School Budgeting

As the dog days of summer slowly tick away, it is time to start building your back to school budget. I've put together some cheap and cheerful guidelines to help you spend less and to get more for what you spend.

1. Do a thorough inventory before you do any looking!

Today, I went through my son's drawers and closet and looked at all of his shorts, pants, tees, socks, and underwear. I wrote down a list of what he can still use in September and jotted down the items that need to be replaced.

2. Determine a reasonable amount, one that you can afford to spend.

Of course, your amount needs to fit into your cash flow over the next few months. Make a reasonable estimate of what it will cost to replace the worn out and too small items.

3. Do some comparison shopping, either online or in the stores.

Personally, I do most of my comparison shopping online. And if there is an even better deal in the same store when I arrive, I adjust my list accordingly.

4. Before you head out to do the shopping, take 20% of the money you planned to spend and set it aside.

You will undoubtedly see something else later on down the road. Set the money from your original budget aside for that item. Or treat your kid to a back to school lunch on the first day back in class. Or roll the chunk of cash into your kiddo's college fund!

5. As you shop, stick to your list.

Don't buy more than you need to get your young scholar off to a good start. Everyone enjoys fresh new clothes but you don't have to go overboard.

For purposes of an example, let's say that I have budgeted $150.

Since my preschooler already has a brand new pair of jeans, a nice pair of cords, two hooded sweatshirts in great shape, a windbreaker from last year that still fits, a few long sleeved and short sleeved tees with more life in them, and a good pair of leather sandals, I plan to buy:

2 pairs of cargo pants (navy and khaki) and 3 long sleeved t-shirts from Children's Place. This will cost $45 (pants are 2 for $25 and shirts are 3 for $20) but I have a 15% off coupon so my total would be $38.

3 short sleeved Cherokee tees from Target, 3 pack of Champion socks, and 3 pack of Cherokee underwear. $27

V-neck lightweight sweater from Old Navy. $15

Adidas sneakers from $25

For a grand total of $115. $35 tucked away for lunch or future purchases or piggy bank padding.

Cheap and Cheerful wants to know: What are your back to school shopping tips and tricks?

Deal of the Day: Wedding Paper Divas

Wedding Paper Divas is having a big summer sale. This sister site of Tiny Prints offers wedding invitations, shower invitations and cards for many other occassions as well. The designs are simple and fresh, plus the prices are reasonable. The summer sale is $15 off an order of $99, $30 off an order of $199, and $50 off a $299 order, plus free shipping. If you're tying the knot, celebrating an anniversary, or just looking for social stationery, check it out. The customer service is super and the cards are sure to please.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Favorite Things: Slip N Slide!

I've got some great news: Summer isn't even halfway over! So why not get a cheap and cheerful addition to your backyard fun? For less than $15, you can get a Slip N Slide. Great for kids of any age, from 2 to 42. I know you won't be able to resist taking your turn. Or two. Or three. There are more souped up versions of this classic toy but I think the price is right for the original Wham-O product. Check your local drugstore; I've seen them on sale for 15 - 25% off lately. So grab a beach chair, a Diet Coke, and some friends and live it up in your own backyard.

Deal of the Day: Stride Rite 50% Off Sale

Starting tomorrow, every second pair of shoes at Stride Rite is 50% off. Plus, the sale runs all the way until August 31st. If you need some school shoes or even holiday styles for your little ones, this could be the sale for you! As always, only shop the sale if you need something and don't be afraid to get the shoes with a little wiggle room. Stride Rite shoes are well made and fit fine even up to one size larger than your kiddo's current size. I love the Sperry Top Siders and Super Ball sneakers for my son and they have a great array of Robeez which make great gifts.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Deal of the Day: Free Pastry at Starbucks

On Tuesday, July 21st, you can get a free pastry at Starbucks until 10:30 am with the purchase of any beverage. Click on this link to print the coupon. One new menu item available for sampling is the Gluten Free Orange Valencia Cake. I think that sounds like a perfect pairing for a Tall Cappuccino.

Cheap and Cheerful wants to know: Are you going? What's your favorite treat from Starbucks?

Cheap and Cheerful Cities: San Diego

What does your favorite half day outing look like? My perfect day involves shopping, mexican food and ice cream -- the ultimate trifecta! There is a cool spot in San Diego where I can indulge in all three of my favorite things without ever moving my car. Nestled in South Park on Juniper Street, you can find The Grove, a knitting shop that also has fun and funky gifts. Pick up a ball of yarn or browse a book! Then you can meander to Mexican food heaven at El Camino. Just about anything on the menu is amazing but if you are looking for something a little different, give the sweet potato flautas a try. Top off your outing with a sweet treat at The Daily Scoop, the retro-feel ice cream shop pictured above. I don't know about you, but it almost doesn't get any better than this.

Favorite Things: Shabby Apple Dresses

Maybe you've noticed that I really like colorful and unique dresses for little girls? Well, wait until you see the Shabby Baby line from The details are so precious and the styles look so comfortable too! All of the dresses for girls are under $40. Shabby Apple is a small company that has big plans. Be sure to check back for their Fall line in August.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Money Mantra #5: Balk at Bad Bulk

Some people say, "If one is good, two is better." But is this always true? After all, do you really need 40 rolls of paper towels in your house at one time? If you know you can consistently find paper towels for about $.66 per roll, do you need to spend $40 on paper towels in a single shopping trip? After all, you can return to the same store and get the item for the same low price as needed. For the purposes of minimizing house clutter and freeing up cash for capitalizing on better bargains, I recommend balking at bad bulk. Remember: buy one, get one half off does not save you any dough unless you need both of the items you are purchasing. And spending more just to earn free shipping does not do your wallet any favors.

Cheap and Cheerful wants to know: How do you draw the line between good bulk shopping and useless bulk "deals"?

Favorite Things: Mini Boden Tees

Who says the British are stuffy? Mini Boden, designed and made in the UK, will help change your mind about the British even if their tasty fish and chips can't win you over. With soft fabrics, unique designs, and cheery graphics, the tees in their latest catalog are almost irresitable. Until August 15th, you can get 11% off plus free shipping. While you are browsing for your little monkey, check out the adorable dresses for women too! Cheers!


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