Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Few Goodies Worth Perusing...

Rue La La just opened a nice sale on Brooks Brothers items with sections for men, women, and children. Just go over here to check it out.  If you think Brooks Brother clothes for children are a bit much, I have to say that while that was my first reaction too, I've now bought several items for Sarah out of desperation because I want classic clothes that most department stores simply don't carry and I have found that Brooks Brother makes their kids clothes so that they wear like iron -- far better than what you could buy in Kohl's or even Macy's. And if your child is relatively easy on clothes you can always sell them on eBay for a nice price because of the upscale label.

And Jones New York just sent our an email offering 40% off their online store plus free shipping on every order today only. Go here to see the details.

And finally some nice offers from Staples on household goods -- nothing like someone bringing your bulky/heavy items to your door with free shipping!  Go here for the ad and here for a bunch of coupons.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Deals on Airline Miles and Hotel Points -- Plus an ANNOUCEMENT FROM ME!

While I'm a big fan of coupons, the biggest thrill of all is a huge credit card bonus. Now, I know some people simply don't like credit cards and other people are going to tell me that changing credit cards and/or having more cards than I absolutely need will wreck my credit rating.  Well, for the record that simply isn't true. I have been rearranging our credit cards to maximize points and miles every year or year and a half for over a decade and I still have an 800+ credit rating and so does my husband.

This past Spring the hotel companies did a major devaluation of their points with Hilton being the worst offender. Unfortunately, we're big collectors of Hilton points. I am NOT happy with Hilton at the moment as the hotel rooms I want for a trip to New York have jumped from 50,000 points a night to 90,000 points a night. No, that's not a typo -- overnight Hilton jumped the rooms at the Doubletree Suites in Times Square (along with dozens of other properties) from 50,000 to 90,000 points.

Hence my status as a VERY UNHAPPY CAMPER. While I'm sure Hilton could care less about the opinion of a middle-aged stay at home mom, I'm still planning on taking action -- in this case changing our credit cards away from Hilton and into a better deal. Hyatt is looking good with their two free nights bonus on new credit cards and American Express is currently offering 50,000 membership rewards points with their Business Rewards Gold card.

So how to track down the best deal for you?

The worst thing is to go directly to the credit card site to sign-up. Since you're already there and showing interest they aren't going to offer you the highest bonuses. You want to be wooed. So trot yourself over to somewhere like FlyerTalk.  Not only will you get a thorough education in the best travel practices (check out the miles and points forum for the best information) but credit card issuers know that sites like that are visited by a demographic they desperately want -- so if they are going to put out a good bonus offer, it might well be advertised there.

So what happens if you don't want hotel or airline freebies?  Basically the same thing. Many programs -- Citibank, Chase, American Express Membership Rewards -- allow you to use points to buy gift cards to stores you use every day in your own neighborhood. Places like TJ Maxx, Staples, and Macys are all possibles.

While FlyerTalk has the most information, you often have to dig for it. If you want your points amd miles information neatly packaged your best bet is a specialist blog. I like The Points Guy and the credit card area of the Boarding Area blog.

I'm off to do a little more research on my own next move. Hyatt is looking good, but I'm also considering the Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express that comes with 50,000 membership rewards points. That's $500 of store gift cards -- not too shabby!  Don't be scared off by business cards. Some will require an actual business, but many are happy with your social security number (you're giving it anyway to get any card you apply for online or in person) and/or some little statement about selling on eBay.

I would like to conclude with a little announcement that fits in rather well with this post. Since I've been stuck inside a lot lately (dodging smoke among other things) and looking for fun things to do I've been putting a lot more time into my other hobby -- beading. And since I can't resist a deal, I've been buying lots of beads from all sorts of bargain sources. Last month I finally broke down and got myself a Connecticut reseller number so I am -- really -- in business. It's only $100 for five years and then you can buy WHOLESALE!  Of course I can't live in a house overflowing with beads so I've opened an Etsy store selling beads and jewelry findings (I'm also selling jewelry in another location on Etsy but I'm revealing enough tonight as it is!)  So if you or someone you know is interested in bargain beads and jewelry findings you can find my Etsy store right over here -- it's called Hewitt Tupper, Ltd. and my partner is the fabulous Sarah!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Connecticut Open House Day June 8th

This is just a heads up for all of you who live in or near Connecticut. On Connecticut Open House Day all sorts of art, history, and tourism establishments that normally charge admission will be free plus a long list of others that are not usually accessible to the public will be open free of charge for this one day.

To learn more and check the list go here.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Venturing into CVS

Yes, I know I wrote recently that I have temporarily sworn off the drugstore deals because of all the smoke outside their doors and the smell of smoke inside, but there are a couple of deals at CVS too good to miss at the moment so I'm going to take my chances this morning -- in fact, this is my last post before I head out the door -- I'm hoping to get there while the crowd is still light!

The first deal worth doing is for Hallmark cards.  There's a $2.00 off a purchase of three or more cards manufacturer's coupon out from Hallmark -- I just printed it and it gave me an expiration date of June 2nd -- and CVS is offering a store coupon for $3.00 off your purchase when you buy three or more Hallmark cards valued at $1.99 or more (that coupon printed with an expiration date of 6/17).

This deal has been bouncing around the internet for the past few days and it's rather good.  You end up with three cards for about $.32 each. CVS is aiming this at Father's Day cards, but you can buy whatever you want and I always find it useful to have a stash of cards in the house.  In the past week or so I had both a birthday and a new baby that I needed cards for so things do happen (although I must say that Sarah graciously offered her talents for the new baby card so I didn't have to buy one of those.)

Anyway, the nice lady at Living Rich with Coupons has the deal laid out very neatly so go right over here to print out your coupons.

And since you're already going to be there, I have read that people are finding all sorts of cosmetics deals at CVS at the moment.  It sounds like they are having one of their periodic clearance sales.  They never seem to advertise these big clean-outs, but they routinely mark items down up to 75% off.  AND you can still use coupons on them -- both manufacturer's coupons and store coupons.  There are also reports of the magic coupon machine -- that big red price checker/coupon printer at the front of the store -- popping out Revlon coupons that can be matched up with the clearance items.

Here are two write-ups for the CVS sale -- these detail the sale items and provide links to the printable coupons. 

For those wanting the full report on absolutely everything on sale, go over to Hip2Save.

For those wanting a more quick-and-dirty approach, go over here to DealSeekingMom for a somewhat shorter version.

I do believe that's it.  I am out the door.  As always, good luck and good hunting!

Jo-Ann Fabrics

If you feel like venturing further, Jo-Ann Fabrics is offering deals too -- the best one being 20% off  your entire regular and sale priced purchse for military past or present -- you need a military ID or proof of military service and the offer does include dependents.

They are also offering a 40% off one regular priced item plus a Memorial Day Sale. You can read all about it here. 

The last of the "big three" craft stores is AC Moore and I wasn't too impressed with their offerings. If you have a child to buy for they have a Memorial Day sale starting today that includes 40% off Crayola and quite cheap prices on flags for waving at a parade but otherwise Michael's is the winner this weekend with Jo-Ann a good deal for those with military service.

Michael's 25% Off Regular and Sale Priced Items 5/26/27

Michael's just issued a new coupon for 25% off your entire purchase including sale items. This is about as good as it gets for "entire purchase" coupons and I wouldn't expect anything this good again for quite a while so if you've been considering some craft purchases, this might be a good time to shop.

I know I've said this before, but the craft stores aren't just for craft supplies. I'm actually headed out to this sale myself shortly -- the Lisbon, CT store which is much better maintained than the Waterford, CT store -- and I have some craft supplies on my list, but also planters, cotton t-shirts ($2.62 after sale and coupon and usually a much nicer weight of cotton than in most regular stores), insulated tote bags for the beach, and baskets for organizing my house. I also hit the craft stores for toys -- they have the best deals on Crayola -- at times up to 50% off -- as well as all sorts of other goodies for the small fry set.

For the Michael's coupon go over here.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Free Shoprunner Memberships and Extensions with American Express

This is a rather nice deal. Shoprunner is a service that provides free two day shipping on purchases from a fairly long list of participating stores including Lord and Taylor, Brooks Brothers, Toys R Us, and They say that membership costs $79 a year but I've always found ways to get it free.

This freebie offer is through American Express and offers either a free one year membership or for those who already have a Shoprunner membership you get a free one year extension.

For the free membership click here. 

For the extensions go here.  You may need to log in, but the offer should come up on your account page.

If you have any problems, there is a long thread at Slickdeals that discusses this deal.