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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cent Saving Saturday

Coupons.

They are not my friends.

I mean I’ve tried SO many times to collect them, cut them out, put ‘em in those handy dandy coupon organizers (check out these cute ones on Etsy if you’re into that: This seller offers a clip onto your cart version that is pretty affordable http://www.etsy.com/shop/glowgirl16?section_id=5923255 or, you can check out this one that is less affordable, but super cute http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=39539434&ref=sr_gallery_16&&ga_search_query=coupon+organizer&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_page=&includes[]=tags&includes[]=title), add all the stuff I have coupons for to my shopping list, and then rush off to the store with nothing but Dumb Dad’s ATM card in hand (and sometimes not even that).

It’s one thing I can’t even pretend to be awesome at.

But, I have gotten some really great coupons lately that I’ve put to use.

Not food coupons, silly, awesome stuff coupons.

Like to NY&Company, and DSW, and JoAnn’s, and Borders, and even DIRECTV has sent me some, for two for one PPV movies (which I have thoroughly enjoyed thanks to the recent, unexpected disappearance of Blockbuster).

Point is, I’m not sure why I can remember to take my coupons for shoes and handbags and reading material when I’m going to the store, but can’t, for the life of me, remember to take my food coupons to the store.

Guess I just don’t see as much of a savings in the food department (everyone knows it’s not because I don’t care, obviously food is VERY important to me). Especially not when I have to buy 2 jugs of Lysol to get 50 cents off of a third. Seriously, who even needs that much Lysol? That would insinuate that I’m planning to spend a great deal of time using it, and that’s a commitment I just can’t make.

Anyway, guess I’m looking for people to share their couponing tips (because I know some of you are SERIOUS about your coupons). How do you make it work? And, just how much cash are we talking?

Free Samples

They, however, are my friends.

I love them and I always have.

When I was young, I mean youngER, I used to love getting those free samples from the magazines and the drugstore for perfume and lotions and junk like that.

I’m not even sure Mimi knows this, but I used to hoard those things in my room.

Nowadays, while I would not be caught wearing CVS perfume (and the magazines have gotten pretty stingy with their free samples, have you noticed that?), I have still found some pretty cool samples to try.

For example, I recently contacted Juice Beauty (really cool organic cosmetics company) and they sent me some samples of their Green Apple Antioxidant Moisturizer and their age defying Antioxidant Serum.

Very nice.

I can’t say that I look like a 17 year old again, but I can say that the moisturizer is to die for. It’s lightly scented, it’s not too thick (some I’ve tried are like rubbing paste on your face), and it leaves my skin feeling very smooth.

I’m a bit of a face moisturizing-aholic (sadly the rest of my body gets completely neglected during the winter months; I swear you could strike a match on my knees), so I really am hard to please in this department.

It is a little on the pricey side, but you have to remember that all that business about the best things in life are free is just not true it’s organic (like USDA certified, which has to mean something, right?), it’s amazing (because I said so), and this is your skin we’re talking about here, people!

Do you want to look like this when you’re 40?

old lady

No. Effing. Thanks.

Anyway. You can check out the serum here and the moisturizer here.

Other places to get cool freebies:

  • Pampers: They’ve teamed up their new product (set to launch in March, 2010) with Team USA for the Olympic Winter Games. Wanna deck your little cruiser out in their Olympic themed dipes? Sign up here and get a free sample. By signing up there you can also qualify to get other neat coupons and/or free stuff. I got Dumb Dad a Prilosec sample because I’m so over listening to him cry out like a scared school girl from the nightmares his heartburn gives him. You’d think he’d just wake up, but senor-sleeps-like-he’s-comatose can’t pull himself around enough for that. Of course he won’t agree to take the stuff, but he’ll eat anything if I dress it up in a chili dog.
  • Websites that know what they’re talking about like The Freebie Blogger or Freebies for Moms. They stay up to speed on all these sorts of things. Me, I’m useless in this department, unless you want to know what samples they are giving out at Costco this Friday, and then I’m your girl.

And, the cent saving tip you’ve all been desperately awaiting…

How to find someone to prepare your taxes, once you’ve attempted it yourself and realized that you’re either in huge trouble or a bigger idiot than you thought.

Back in my official tax prep days, clients of this nature comprised a good chunk of our mid season filers.

Usually they are everyday people with a little education and a lot of confidence. Computer savvy, money conscious, and totally surprised to see a balance due at the end of their tax statement.

They rush into the tax office looking haggard, anxious, and visibly annoyed. Begging (and by begging I mean ranting and raving about how some program screwed them over, you know, because the programs don’t simply respond to what YOU enter) moi to work my tax magic on their return and take away the $1000 balance due that they are convinced they don’t owe.

Sound like someone you know?

Well, you will be fine if you do exactly as I say.

A. Calm down.

2. Take a deep breath.

Then. Gather up your paper work and put it in a box (preferably in some sort of organized fashion) and then get yourself to the Internet ASAP.

Next. Visit this site first: www.irs.gov, because it gives you important tips for finding a tax preparer. And, I’m not talking about the one that sets up shop in your unlce’s basement at his bar. I’m talking about a legal one. Who will actually be able to be found if his work gets you sent to jail.

After that. Goggle it. “How to find a tax preparer”. Because Google can solve any problem. No kidding. Try “how to solve global warming” (apparently that’s so easy there is an ehow.com article about it!), or “how to be the perfect mother” (ehow again, they really can do just about everything).

When that’s done. Use all of the advice these sites give you (like looking them up in the National Association of Tax Professionals, and making sure they offer year round accessibility) and then call a few places to set up an appointment. They can’t make you pay them just to speak to them (well, I guess they can, but that right there is probably a red flag) and stopping by their office will give you a good sense of what they do. Meaning, if they have to meet you on the corner, blindfold you, and walk you to their alley-entry office with a sign on the door that says “Private”, you might want to go ahead and find another tax dude.

And, finally. If all else fails go to H&R Block. They may not be the absolutely most amazing tax prep service (I know some people have some serious beef with them), but they do have some tax professionals there that are awesome at what they do. Plus, the company (which is a large, publicly traded firm) will have to back what happens in their office. No way H&R Block will simply disappear. But, Aunt Tussie’s ex who does “everybody’s” taxes? He just might.

Whew, busy cent saving day today.

Now, be sure you come back Monday because some thing BIG is going down on PBD!

BIG!

It’s the launch date for my next dope, fresh, awesomely bodacious, rockin’, slammin’ PHOTO CONTEST!

That’s right.

First one of 2010 and it will be great!

Don’t question it. Just believe.

Year of awesome, remember?!

7 comments:

Jennifer said...

It's not a "serious" beef. :p LOL And OMG, I LOVE the irs.gov site. Is that not one of the best sites ever? It is extremely easy to navigate and find things you want and they put it in easy to understand language. Love it. For real.

Coupons - Find a blog or website (like Grocery Game) that you really like and is easy for you to follow that matches everything up for you. I also seriously stalk the Coupon Deals for Bargain Hunters on BBC (http://community.babycenter.com/groups/a7465/coupon_deals_for_bargain_hunters). Those ladies are AWESOME! I have no tips on not forgetting your coupons at home... or at work... or in the car. Not that I do that. But I do.

Emily said...

I'm terrible with coupons too. If I try to clip them they just end up floating around my house, expired. Too much clutter, so now I rarely even try. I do wonder if I'm losing out on some great deals though, so I'd be eager for coupon clipping tips!

Babe_chilla said...

Hey thanks for stopping by my blog (and even more thanks for telling me you liked me!!) HA!.

I will have to spend some time around here and get to know you better.

And I have never successfully used a food coupon, but shoes I am ALL over :D

angie said...

I can't wait.

I'm a terrible couponer too.

qandlequeen said...

Back when I was a shiny new 21 yr old bride, I was a coupon maniac. It was our couple thing to do on Sundays, him read the paper and me clip and organize coupons. yeah and then kids came along and blew all that to hell. Then I got remarried, this time to the Coupon King (at work I refer to him as a Coupon Queen, but whatever). Dude is seriously addicted to saving money. And stocking up. I have no tips. I am merely the transport as he swaps coupons with my coworkers (there is something jacked up right there). OH! That can be my tip! Find some friends and swap your coupons with them!

Katie said...

*laughs* I would love to give you some brilliant coupon tip, but since I just found a whole stack in a box I was unpacking..and they expired like 3 years ago and I packed less than a year ago..well, I think I need tips too!

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I hope to see you there again. :)

Simply Stacie said...

Following you from FFF on MBC!

http://stacievaughansblog.blogspot.com

Giving away two copies of the movie Extract starring Jason Bateman and Ben Affleck. Contest ends 4/2/10.
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