Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sometimes It Pays to Clean Out Your Closet

About two weeks ago (maybe longer), I decided it was time for me to clean out my closet. Now, let me tell you that with most of the things in my life, I am VERY organized - as in self-diagnosed OCD. The closet? It was a different story.

My husband and I are fortunate enough to have separate closets. He typically keeps his rather tidy. Mine, on the other hand, was a total wreck - you could barely walk in this walk-in closet. I guess I have never been able to find the time to spend cleaning something that only I, myself, ever see.

Amazing what you can find: A shirt that I had been looking for all summer, clothing items that have patiently been waiting to be mended (for maybe a year or more?), receipts and a calender from 2006 - oh, this is getting bad.

Yes, it was time.

Then, low and behold, JACKPOT! I found a gift card to Sears. Hmmm...I wonder if this has any money on it? I'll call and check the balance.
$29.67!!! Oh my goodness, this was from a returned shirt LAST Christmas! Yessss! And what perfect timing! If you haven't heard, I am headed to Orlando for Izea Fest this Thursday. It may be Fall in northwest Indiana but it's still hot in Florida and I need some shorts - in a BAD way.

Come on family! Let's have some fun! We're headed to...Sears! Surely I could find SOME
thing on sale for under my card amount.

Apparently, clearance has come in and thrown up ALL over Sears right now. Rack, after rack, after rack of...get this...90% off!!! I'm not joking! I suggest you head down to your local Sears store and see what you can find. With a husband and son in tow, I did not get to dig through everything that I wanted to see, though I did end up finding a pair of shorts, a summer top and two overtops - for a grand total of $17! I added up the original prices (which no one really pays FULL price, do they?) and the total came to $138 for these four pieces! I didn't have to spend a dime and I still have money left on my card for... maybe... a Christmas gift! (it's never too early to start shopping for gift deals!)

On to our next stop.

I saw this free event listed on someone's blog this week. Since we were out and about in the vicinity of a Toys R Us, we decided to stop and see what was going on.

I guess I expected the store front to really be decked out (or something) for this "Birthday Party", but it wasn't. Actually, I wasn't even sure this particular store was participating until we walked in and found a sign. Oh, goodie - we were just in time for the start of everything. Please remember, my son is now 10. Had he been around 5 years old, he probably would have loved all of this. Honestly, I was just hoping to snag a free cupcake or maybe a coupon in the midst of it all.

No cupcake.

Even worse, no coupon.

Though, it WAS a free event and this is what was offered:
  • Birthday crowns (similar to the BK ones)
  • Birthday parades around the store with Geoffrey the Giraffe
  • Toy play stations set up for kids to play with
  • Coloring stations
  • Fun music
  • My son did end up with a bit of swag to take home. Again, he wasn't exactly "thrilled" about it all - except for the coupon for a free Hot Wheels car - it isn't good until October 1st, which gives him the promise of coming back soon to check out the latest in Legos. The freebies included: coloring sheets, Disney activity booklet, Elefun stickers, Hot Wheels Battle DVD, coupon for free Battle 5 Hot Wheels vehicle, Crayola Model Magic Clay with a $1.00 coupon.

Finally, after the third round of "Wheels on the Bus", my son decided to snap. He could take this free, babyland event no longer. Throwing his birthday crown to the ground, he ran to the front of the parade, clotheslined Geoffrey the Giraffe and pulled off his oversized, costumed head. Yelling, "Happy Bleepin' Birthday!" - he begrudingly took his swag and headed for the door - leaving the little children screaming and crying for their mothers.

No, just kidding. But that would have been MUCH more interesting (and embarassing) than the day really went. He may have been "thinking" all of this, but really, the effort was obviously appreciated when he said, "hey, where else can you parade around a store with a giraffe?"

Keep your innocence son, keep your innocence.

Overall - if you have young children (under 7 or 8) this would have been a nice, FREE, family outing.

One more coupon shop stop - Michael's. I needed to grab a few things to take to Florida. I, of COURSE, printed out coupons before we left. I found this one: 40% any one regular priced item. It expires September 30, 2009 - so hurry! In reading the fine print, I noticed it said "one per customer." Well, since there are three of us, I printed tres coupons! I had no problems doing a triple transaction at the store. BONUS: with each transaction, I received another 40% off coupon on my register tape! For more coupons, you can also sign up here at Michael's.

Unfortunately, for every deal we scored today, we stopped somewhere else to spend money on non-coupon deals: lunch at Olive Garden, gas, Starbucks and the Albanese Candy Factory. At least by living a frugal lifestyle most any other time, the cushion allows us to splurge and enjoy a fun filled "Shopping Adventure" day!

I'm glad I cleaned out the closet. *wink*


Kraxpelax said...
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Toni said...
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Adventures In Babywearing said...

One of these days we are going shopping together! And have FUN at IzeaFest!!!!


Tanya said...

This was a very entertaining post! I particularly liked the Happy Bleepin Birthday bit. :) And thanks for the tip about Sears. I am heading there today - I have a $10 off coupon!