Monday, May 11, 2009

The Frugalista

, I love to find a deal! I wouldn’t necessarily refer to myself as frugal, but I will say that I always look for promo codes online before purchasing, and always look for a coupon online before going shopping. If I want something bad enough and can’t find a coupon, I will, of course, buy it anyway, but there’s nothing like the feeling of getting what you want, and paying less than you expected.

If there is money to be saved, why not put it back in your pocket? It just takes a little bit of effort to look around before purchasing. My favorite site for promo codes is www.retailmenot.com. It has the best promo codes. It’s really great! One of my biggest pet peeves is paying a lot for shipping, and you can usually find free shipping codes on this site. If you can’t find a code there, just Google for a coupon or promo code for whatever site or store you are shopping at. I have even called stores such as Land’s End with an expired promo code from the site, and they have honored it. I also call the store directly if I can’t find a free shipping code, and 9 times out of 10, they’ll waive the shipping.

eBates.com is a site that you can earn money by shopping at stores that you normally shop at. Instead of going to the store’s website, you go through the www.ebates.com site. If you are going to shop at these stores anyway, why not get a little bit of money back for it. Membership is free, and I have never received any junk e-mails from them, which is always something to consider when you join these sites.

My favorite shoe store online is Shoebuy.com. Very similar to Zappos with free shipping on both purchases and returns, but they always have promo codes available on Retail Me Not for 20% off. They also give you an extra 10% when you register, which you need to do to purchase. I purchased $80 shoes for my sister’s wedding, and ended up paying $56 and free shipping. Not bad! These same shoes were $89 at Nordstrom’s. Visit www.shoebuy.com for unbelievable sales.

If you live in Los Angeles, there is a terrific Aveda salon called Vicara in El Segundo (also a location in Torrance), who offers 50% off for first visits. If you go to their website and register, they will give you a 20% coupon immediately, and then e-mail you two coupons every month. The first coupon is 25% off any appointment (which also includes waxing, massages and skin treatments). This coupon usually needs to be used for last minute appointments (same day). The second coupon they send is for 50% off and 10% off products. This coupon is good for the entire month. Although I love my Beverly Hills salon for cut and color, I can’t always get over there. I’ve started going to Becky for roots every 6 weeks, which ends up costing $35 with the 50% coupon. Amazing! During these economic times, it’s businesses like this who will prevail.

I don’t know about you, but I love getting and giving magazines. One of the best magazine subscriptions sites is Best Deal Magazines at www.bestdealmagazines.com. There are popular magazines for as low as $4.69, and you can find a promo code on Retail Me Not and bring the price down even further!

If you are an American Express cardholder and have Membership Rewards (www.membershiprewards.com), there are so many things you can buy with your points besides travel. If you go to www.shopamex.com, there are gift cards, books, beauty products, etc., which you can purchase using your rewards points. There are thousands of items, and if you are a person who has a lot of points and don’t want to use them for travel, you can buy pretty much anything you want here. I have purchased many gifts for friends and family using my points.

My friends still tease me to this day about the overalls I got at Robinson’s-May many years ago (when overalls were in) for $.65. They were on sale for 50% off; I used a coupon, and then used my store credit card, which took it down even further. I turned around and sold them the following month at a garage sale for $5.00.

There are just a few of my favorite sites. Please comment and share your favorites.