Saturday, December 6, 2008

Long Day of Fun & Savings!!

Doesn't it look like fun??
Every year we look forward to Snow at the Mall. Weird for some, but a tradition for us!! Here in Ventura California, we don't get snow... see my blond son, on December 6th, wearing short sleeves, playing in the snow!! Haha!! It was a gorgeous sunny day and he had a blast in the "snow". Yesterday I planned out my entire day so I would be prepared with whatever in-store coupons I would need for the mall. I planned on being there for approx. 5 hours, so I knew I needed to bring it all with me!! I wasn't about to leave the mall if I found a parking spot!! LOL

We started out our day showing up at Office Depot at 9:30am. We had an ad in our paper last Sunday saying "For the 1st 100 customers on Sat. 12/6, Receive a coupon for $10 off $10". Of course that went on my calendar!! $10 in free stuff?! I didn't realize I had to use it on the spot, but I did!! Who doesn't need Scotch tape & packaging tape at this time of year?! Plus I needed some envelopes too. So I paid $1.xx for $11.xx worth of stuff. I also remembered to bring in my 3 empty ink cartridges. They are doing the redemption policy differently now at Office Depot with the empty ink cartridges. I used to get $3 in-store coupons to use for each one I brought in. Now they add the $3 for each one onto your Office Depot Rewards Card, so each quarter when if I earn Rewards dollars, it'll be added to that gift card that comes. So on my next Rewards gift card I'll have an extra $9 on it for the 3 I turned in today. That's cool, but I prefer the instant gratification instead. Oh well. The cashier said they changed the policy a couple weeks ago, so you may want to check into it if you redeem your empty cartridges at Office Depot.

Then "D" & I headed to a yoga & meditation class... trying something new. Hopefully trying to get "D" to learn to S-L-O-W down & breathe... and help on his impulse control. We both enjoyed ourselves, and even though it was $10 each for us, when I thought he was $10 and I was free (nope!), we may go back in January. I save money in other ways to pay for these types of things =)

After yoga, I needed to get my car smogged... Of course, I brought a coupon... for $5 off & a free car wash. I needed my car washed anyway, so that's another $5 I would've spent!! We ate lunch while we waited for my car to be done. No savings there, as I was limited to the places within walking distance of the Smog Station... but it was a great choice, because I ran into an ex-coworker of mine I haven't seen in approx. 8 years!! It was great to see her & her family!!

Got the smog, and my car passed - YAY!! =) Off to Kohl's to see if they had an item I wanted to get my sister... nope... not at Linens 'n Things or Michael's either.... Boo!! We dropped off a large bag of toys to a local church that was collecting toys for the needy kids... then headed to the BloodMobile at the mall... since I was going to the mall anyway and they were going to be there, I decided to go ahead and donate blood. 2 black & blue inner-arms later, I've done my duty!! And for donating they gave me a coupon for a free WHOLE pie from Marie Callendars!! Whoo Hoo!! It was all worth it, even if I am black & blue... it's for a great cause...and I don't mean the pie!! =)

Then it was time to head over to the snow area!! My son had 'ants in his pants' while waiting for me to donate blood, so it was his turn to have fun =) He couldn't wait to hit that snow!! Every year the mall trucks in a HUGE block of ice and they "blow snow". The kids get to play in it in 10-minute timed increments. "D" went 3 times in a row!! LOL While he was in the snow area, I took a toy donation & 2 canned goods to the drop-off table. If you brought a toy & 2 canned goods, you got a $5 Target gift card. (Last year they had a drawing for a $500 gift card, which I won). Of course I got the toy for like $2.85 during the Target toy 75% clearance a few months ago, and canned goods?? I'm sure they were free!!

Finally "D" took a snow-break and we headed inside the mall to use some coupons. Our local mall (Pacific View Mall) sends out a postcard every year for my son's birthday from the Kids Club. On it, it lists businesses in the mall that give out freebies. You all know I love freebies!! So we went "trick-or-treating" from place to place getting the freebie snacks!! Mind you before you read this list of junk, we shared it all... (I'm not sure that makes it any better, but I tried!!)... first we got a cinnamon & sugar pretzel from Auntie Anne's, then a Hot Cocoa from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, a cookie from Mrs. Fields (we still have this!), a minibon from Cinnabon, chased down with a choco-vanilla ice cream cone from Dairy Queen!! This was a kids dream feast! LOL It was pretty awesome for mom too!! All free and way toooo yummy for the thighs!!

In between this trick-or-treating journey through the mall (that's what it felt like), I stopped in Victoria's Secret to use my Save $10 off anything $10+ Q that was mailed to me. I picked out a $10 item, but the Q wouldn't work. It had to be off something $10.01 or more. Ugh!! I'm not a huge fan of Victoria's Secret fragrances, but I found a $12 glitter body wash for my 17 yr old daughter (Shhh!!) that "D" & I decided we liked the smell of (Appletini)... so $2.15 later, we were out of there. We stopped into Target (yes, at the mall), and I used my $5 gift card on the item I wanted to get my sister. It cost $6.19, and I remembered I still had $7.xx left on another gift card, so I didn't have to pay anything for that order.. and I still have $6.xx left on a gift card!! =) Then one last stop in Bath & Body Works to use my "Buy Anything Get 1 Lip Product" coupon. I bought a $1.50 hand sanitizer (more useful to me than the $1 mini gift bag) and got an awesome $8.50 lipgloss!! OOP: $1.61 =) Gotta love nice, cheap gifts!!

We headed back outside with some friends, and "D" did another round in the snow pile before Santa came out & flipped the Christmas tree lights on. We got some Kettle Korn to munch on and then Santa turned on the beautiful tree. Tissue confetti blew all over the place like snow, and it ended with fireworks, and a round of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas". What a wonderful day!! Full of Fun, Family, Friends & Frugality!! My favorite kind of day!! No wonder I look forward to it every year!!

...I'm off to go work on my 80+ Christmas cards... all photo cards I paid less than $20 for total by using all the fabulous coupon codes over the past 2 weeks!! I also received my free Photo Book from the Oprah offer & Kodak Gallery. It turned out awesome and my dad is going to LOVE it!!

Have a great weekend!! I have a date-day planned with my honey on Sunday, so I won't be around much!! Of course, besides a nice meal, I'm dragging him out to a mall further away to use $50 in gift certificates I have!! =) Life is good!!


1 comment:

  1. Serioesly? I never knew all of these coupons wee even available at the mall. Good job!


I'd love to hear your comments!!