Posts tagged Shopping

How to save $104.91 at BJs

I probably make a BJs run about once every 6-8 weeks.  I stock up on things like paper towels, toilet paper, tissues, trash bags, diapers, wipes and bottled water.  If I have a coupon I’ll buy laundry detergent there as well as dishwasher tablets.  Occasionally there’s an impulse buy or two… like a cute rain coat or book for the girls or a Red Sox hoodie for me.  I definitely consider BJs one of my happy places.  I typically go on a week day morning and bring the girls.  We snack on the fee samples and I let them browse the toy and book isles.  It’s a good way to kill some time with kids.

Well this past weekend, I was about to use my last diaper and told Scott that I need to make a BJs run.  Since we didn’t have anything planned, we decided to go as a family {that means he was coming with us!}.  We also ventured to a new BJs.  We were already out shopping and figured we’d take a little adventure and check out a different location.  This store was brand spanking new AND it had a gas station which the one near us does not.

Anywho, we spent probably close to an hour in the store.  We had free samples of Annie’s Organic Gummy Fruit Snacks, bakery cup cakes, and Russell Stover’s Sugar Free Chocolates.  The girls played “in the cart, out of the cart” and sat in one of those humongous camping chairs {have you ever seen one?}.  A good time was had by all.

We eventually made our way to the check-out at which point Scott had to run to the little boys room.  I put everything up on the conveyor and watched the cashier scan everything through.  Scott walked back from the bathroom just as the cashier announced the total… $228.34.  He looked at me, I looked at him and then I handed the cashier my card.  I can’t remember the last time I spent more than $150 at BJs.  So, what on earth could have happened this time?  I brought my husband!

Keep in mind, before we went into the store, Scott said to me, “We only need diapers, right?”  I said yes, and probably some tissues and water.  So what did he add to the cart?  A dry-fit running shirt for $14.99, a 12 pack of bakery muffins for $6.95, a 3 pack of boxer shorts for $22, a 16 pack of Gillette Fusion razor blades for $42.99, and two packages of batteries for $8.99 each, for a grand total of $104.91.

Next time I go to BJs I’m leaving my husband at home!

Holiday Card Crazy

My husband thinks I’m crazy because about two weeks ago I was already online mocking up our photo Christmas cards.  I emailed him at work asking for his advice on designs and on which photos to include.  At first he humored me, but when I kept asking him throughout the day, I think he had had enough.  The problem is that I am a sucker for Shutterfly photo cards, especially when the holidays roll around.  I love looking at all of their new designs and trying to pick out the perfect one for our Christmas card.  With all of the new designs this year, it’s going to be really hard to choose.

Here are some of my current favorites:

1.  Oh What Fun – I love the simplicity of this card and think it looks amazing with a black and white photo.  The colors are bright and it just look so pretty.  I can imagine my two girls on this card (actually I’ve already mocked one up with them on it :-) and it looks adorable).

2.  With Love Chartreuse – I think this is my top pick right now.  It’s simple yet elegant and I love how you can use multiple photos.  It will be great to be able to include a family shot and then some solos of the kids.  This card is just so clean looking.  I love it.

3.  Jolly Gems – I love the colors in this card.  It’s so cheery and bright.  It also doesn’t scream Christmas, which I like.  Again, I like the ability to include more than one photo in the card and the design is just really pretty.

We’ve been using Shutterfly for our Christmas cards for the past three years.  We’ve also used them for Thank You cards and for prints.  I have never had a bad experience with them.  In fact, I am more impressed with their service each time we order from them.  And don’t even get me started on how much I adore their photo books!  We have at least six of them.

Right now Shutterfly is offering 20% off all holiday cards!  If you’ve never used Shutterfly, right now would be a good time to start.  Their prices, customer service, and quality are all top notch.  And if you’re anything like me, you’d better get cracking on your holiday card because it might take you a while to choose your favorite design.

I am participating in Shutterfly’s 2010 Holiday Card collection promotion where bloggers contribute a write up about Shutterfly and receive 50 free holiday cards.  To learn more, click here.

Play area police.

Rain, rain, go the eff away!

I say this with mixed emotions.  Most of me is completely hating the rain right now, but the homeowner, lawn owner part of my really likes it.  It means our near lifeless grass which we’ve watered (according to the water ban) with no avail, is now getting a grand old drink and beginning to look green again.  But this is day four of rain and the girls and I are beginning to go stir crazy.

Over two of the past four days we’ve visited malls.  And apparently so did everyone else.  They were both crowded and filled to the brim with kids of all ages.  We got some shopping done and had some delicious lunches in the foot court, but we also had some too close encounters in the play areas.  See, I’m used to going to the mall in the winter during the week when there is no one there except for me, some old ladies, and a few other SAHMs.  So, going to the mall int he summer when school is not yet back in session is a whole ‘nother beast!

Our mall’s play area looks a lot like this one:

It has a little club house with a slide and a tunnel and then 2 or 3 other climb in/sit in play structures.  The flooring is soft and it’s enclosed with benches.  The sign at the entrance specifically states that the area is for children under 42 inches tall and that children must be supervised by a parent/adult at all times.  However, no one mans the entrance or makes sure that people abide by these rules.

So, on Monday, we ate lunch and then hit up the play area.  It was teeming with children of all ages and heights.  I knew it wasn’t going to be an enjoyable time.  Just as I was about to scoop the girls back up and leave, a boy, probably 8 or 9 years old and well over 42 inches tall, clotheslined Brinley and she fell to the ground.  He kept right on running.  No one stopped him or came over to see if my kids was ok.  I took the girls out and went over to the “Member Services” booth.  I asked the lady working there if anyone checked up on the play area to make sure that people were playing by the rules.  She was very nice and said not typically but that if I had a problem that she could call the security guard over.  I said yes, please and left the area to do some shopping.  When we returned to the play area it was much more calm and the girls got to play for a little bit.

Today, we went to a mall again (I know, I know but sometimes you just gotta get out of the house!).  Again, this mall was crowded but I expected it after seeing the mall on Monday.  We did a little shopping and then went to have lunch.  After lunch we went to this mall’s play area which is almost identical to the other one.  It was pretty crowded but most of the kids seemed like they belonged there.  I decided to assume the role of “play area police” today.  I wasn’t mean or rude, but I stood watch near the slide for a bit.  Kids have a hard time waiting in line for the slide and I was simply there to help them remember to take turns.  (I was also watching out for Nora as she climbed the stairs.)  So anyway, Nora made her way up the stairs and then down the slide.  Once she got to the bottom she was so proud.  She stood up and started clapping.  Within a fraction of a second, one of the too big kids ran by her and stiff armed her to the face.  She fell and he kept right on running.

Now if Brinley, who is almost four, gets bumped into a little too roughly I usually let her work it out and things are fine.  But it’s a different story when a 7 year old boy stiff arms your 15 month old daughter to the face.  So, I did what any other mean concerned mother would do.  I stopped the boy and told him that he should slow down and watch where he was going.  I reminded him that the play area was for small children and that if he was going to play here he really had to be careful.  He apologized.  I’m not sure where his parents were but within a minute or two he was gone from the play area.  I win!

So, yes, I’m THAT mom.  I refuse to stand idly by and watch my sweet little bruiser girl get stiff armed to the face by a boy who is clearly too big for the play area.  I just wish some parents would be more responsible.  I know the day will come when my girls are just on the cusp of being too big to go in the play area.  They’ll beg to go in and I’ll have to tell them no.  Rules are rules.  And they’re there for a reason. ::Stepping down from my soapbox::

Just my luck!

So, remember how I told you that I had been looking for months for a double jogging stroller and then we scored a sweet deal on one last week?  Well, as you know I went up to my parents’ lake house for a few days this week.  It’s in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere.  If you blink when driving through the town center, you’ll probably miss it.  There’s an antique store, a pizza place, a bank and a library.  Oh, and a place called the Community Clothing Center which is sort of like a Salvation Army store or thrift store.

Before heading to the house, we always stop at the grocery store to get what we’ll need while we’re up there.  The closest store is about 20 minutes away so it’s just easier to get everything before hand.  Anyway, as we’re driving from the grocery store to the house, we pass through the tiny town center.  There’s never anything exciting to see or do down there but I always look around as we’re going through.  As we pass the Community Clothing Center my mom says to me (did I mention that she was with us?), “Hey, there’s a double jogging stroller just like the one you just got.”  I looked over and saw it and she was right.  It was just like the one I had got, except that it was blue.  I just shrugged and said, “Figures, since I just bought one.”

I kept on driving but then my mom and I decided that we should at least go and check it out.  So I turned the car around and headed back.  I pulled up in front of the CCC and had my mom hop out and go inquire about the stroller.  She goes in and comes back a few minutes later and knocks on the window.  I say,”How much?”  She just laughs and says, “They don’t charge for things, you just make a donation.”  Ummm, ok.  At that point she hops back in the car and I get out to go check out the stroller.  It’s legitimately the same stroller I just bought, an InStep Safari TT Double Jogger.  It has all the parts and is in fairly good shape.  It has some stains but nothing that can’t be cleaned.

We decide that, even though I just bought one, we should take it.  She can either keep it at her house for my girls and my  nieces or leave it up at the lake house and we can use it when we walk over to the beach with the kids.  Either way, all we have to do is make a donation and the stroller is ours.  We’re trying to think of what to give for a donation and we’re rummaging through our purses.  Collectively we came up with $15 cash.  It’s all we had.  My mom goes back in, gives the woman working inside the money and tells her that we’re going to take the stroller.  As she does this, I am waiting outside by the car.  An elderly man is sitting in one of the chairs outside the store.  He’s mumblimg, “Where’s my nurse?  She’s over an hour late.  I might just croak right here waiting for her.”  I’m not sure if he’s talking to me so I don’t answer.  Then another man approaches the store, looks over at my car and says to me, “Niiiice car!”  At this point my mom is (thankfully) come out of the store.

I start folding up the stroller and open the tailgate to my car.  So this stroller is NOT small.  It folds in half but that doesn’t mean much.  Oh and my car is already pretty full of our bags of clothes, our food and miscellaneous stuff for the kids.  I have no idea how we’re going to fit the stroller in the back of the car but somehow we manage.

So now, in a matter of 5 days, I have no one, but two double jogging strollers.  It’s just my luck!

A day early, a coupon short.

I seem to have bad timing lately.  In the past week I have gone shopping quite a bit.  There were birthday presents to buy, baby shower gifts to purchase, and just general things that we’ve needed for the house.  We’ve been in our new home for over a month now and we’re still working on getting settled in.  We still have bare walls and undressed windows, but we’re working it.  Anyway, I digress.

Last week Scott made a few trips to Lowe’s to get some things that he needed to do yard work.  Hedge trimmers, loppers, grass seed, yadda yadda yadda.  He spent over two hundred dollars on that particular trip.  All stuff we needed.  Well wouldn’t you know that the very next day when I went out to get the mail there were some nice “new homeowner coupons” in the mail with a big fat $50 off a purchase of $200 at Lowe’s.  FML.  (In case you’re wondering, we couldn’t get a price adjustment unless we returned all of the items and repurchased them with the coupon.  That couldn’t be done since many of the items were already used.  Boo hiss!)

Later in the week, I took a trip up to one of my favorite stores, The Christmas Tree Shop.  For those of you who are not familiar with this store (how unlucky for you!), it is not a holiday shop and they don’t sell Christmas trees (well, they do when they’re in season, but not year round).  Anywho, sometimes I have awesome luck in this store, and sometimes I leave empty handed.  Well, this week I was a lucky shopper.  I got a large mirror for over our fireplace for $30, I got two Adirondack tables for the yard for $12/each, I got some plastic plates, cups and a serving tray for outdoor eating, and a few other things for the house.  I spent a little over $80.  Guess what came in the mail the very next day?  You got it!  A nice, “welcome to the neighborhood” coupon from The Christmas Tree Shop for 20% off your entire purchase.  FML, again. This coupon has the same disclaimer as the Lowe’s one about not for use on prior purchases.  I considered returning everything and re-buying it but the store isn’t that close and some of the items were big and heavy.  Boo hiss, again!

The thing that gets me about all of this is that we’ve been here for over a month.  Why didn’t we get these fabulous coupons sooner?  I’m sure we’ll be back to both stores in the near future and we’ll be able to use them then, but it would have been great to have been able to use them already.  With my luck next time I’m back there, the coupons will have expired.  Ugh.

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