The Holiday season is the time for a slick deal or two. Unfortunately this year we have been out of work so my normal spending has had to decrease. When this is the case I resort mostly back to my roots, the roots that got me started doing this in the first place: Freebies!
Years ago I started doing Freebies just for the household samples. Truly addicting, as the mailbox filled up every day. I had to have more. I found me a few good freebie sites and clicked like hell. I learned the basics like more than one email, more than one address and more than one browser. But that eventually paled.
Not enough! The addiction had to be satisfied. More! So on I went to extreme couponing. I did that for a few years, walking out of the stores with more money in my pocket than when I walked in (truly) and so much stuff stockpiled I had to sell it at a fraction of the cost just to make room for more. But that eventually paled, too.
On to the true slick deals: coupon codes, free shipping offers, credit card offers, cashback sites, rebates, and the list goes on. I was bringing home straight cash and merchandise for literally pennies on the dollar! And I still watch for a deal on a regular basis. It's the thrill of the deal, the hunt and chase, the victory.
So on to the holiday's, which always offers the best deals, especially for folks on a budget... like me.
Black Friday is the obvious answer. I don't do the traditional Black Friday. You won't catch me walking into a B&M store (that's brick and mortar for you non-deal shoppers) much less standing in line for hours on end beforehand. Part of that is because of my anti-social nature and another part is the lack of stores nearby, me being in a small town and having to travel 45 minutes just to get there. So, I shop online. That's my forte.
So, I present to you my Holiday Loot for this year under these conditions:
- I'm on a strict budget. That means there were many deal that were great but I had to let them go because it would have cost me "some" money and I just really didn't need it. Some of those left behind deals like to have killed me.
- Everything was purchased online and shipped to me at the house here.
- Deals beget deals: some were purchased considering the value of the bonus I would get later.
- I'm showing you all costs OOP (out of pocket) including taxes and shipping BUT NOT including your normal cashback on credit cards or bonus sites which are almost impossible to define accurately unless it's a big purchase. (In other words, more coming.)
Holiday Loot - $321.48
- 55 inch Insignia HDTV from Best Buy - Yes, I know there were better deals B&M (see above) but I pulled the trigger here for several reasons. I had two $20 gift codes ($40) from a promotion with Visa Checkout, I had a $15 gift card that was refunded to me via my Chase credit card, AND it was shipped to my front door. Keep in mind this is my biggest buy and accounts for $265.99 of the total above. That leaves $55.49 left to be assigned to everything below.
- Moto E cell phone with blue case
- Hamilton Beach Flexbrew coffee maker (used $20 Amazon gift cards - see MCR below)
- SnapFish - 2 orders of personalized Xmas cards with envelopes- 12 total
- Timex Camper's watch
- SanDisc 16 GB Class 10 SD card
- Fun Loops Set 500 pcs.
- Tiki totem sticker kit 12 pack
- Giant wiggly eyes 100 count
- Jos A Bank King sized brown socks
- Jos A Bank shoe laces
- Peanut M&M's 42 ounce packages x2
- Hershey's syrup 24 oz
- Cheez-it's 12.4 oz x2
- Nestle Pure Life grape water 16.9oz x6
- Maxwell House K-cups 12 count
- Swiss Tech Multi-tool
- Portable chargers Generic x3
- Francois et Mimi Slix Bluetooth 4.1 Hi-Fidelity Stereo Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
- Francois et Mimi Elite Genuine 3.5mm Wood In-ear Noise-isolating Earbuds Headphones with Mic
- 3.4A Apple Certified Rapid Coiled Lightning Car Charger for iPhone
- Francois et Mimi In-Ear 3.5mm Aux Hi-Fidelity Flat Cable Non-Tangle Headphones Earbuds Red
- Two movie rentals - Ender's Game and Minions
- Digital movies to own - Kung Fu Panda, Paper Planes, Jackie and Ryan, and Divergent
- Android apps - Flow Free and Shiver:The Lily Requiem CE
- Strange Adventures - bundle 5 PC games
- Earmuffs for my bottle and ear warmers for me
- Money clip/bottle opener
And then there was Shutterfly. Between Kellogg's Family Rewards and offers from P&G (subscriptions still active from my freebie/coupon days) I had several codes for all kinds of stuff with free shipping. Remember these are all personalized and I have the photos to go with them! These are kind of tricky to put together but here's what I got:
- Mix and Match 3x5 folded Stationery cards and envelopes set of 12
- 6 foot roll Xmas Wrapping paper
- 8x11 Soft cover Photo book 20 pages
- 16x20 Print
- 8x8 Soft cover Photo book
- 15 oz Ceramic photo mug
- 4x5 Stationery Photo cards and envelopes 12 count x2
- Metal Xmas Ornament and gift bag
- 8x11 Photo Calendar
- 5x7 Greeting Card
- 11 oz Ceramic photo mug x2
And the Piece de resistance this Holiday season were the offers from MyCokeRewards (MCR). I had several hundred points in my accounts accumulated over the past year but with their Instant Win Game (Boxes of Joy) I have won several thousands of extra points and still going. Here's what I have either won or redeemed points for so far:
- Thirty (30) coupons for a free 12 pack of Coke products. These go on sale every year. I will most likely redeem them for B2G1 (buy 2 get 1 free) in store for a total of 45 twelve packs.
- Two $10 Amazon Gift cards (I redeemed these for the Flexbrew deal mentioned above.)
- Seven (7) $10 Nike Gift cards (I cashed these in for $56. Already got the check!)
- Four (4) coupon for 32 oz PowerAde (Hoping for a BOGO sale!)
- Four (4) $5 Wal-Mart Gift Cards
- Two Personalized Bottles of Coke
- $25 BoneFish Grill Gift Card
- $5 Rewards Digital code (Redeemed for one of the movie rentals above.)
- $5 Dunkin Donuts Gift Card
- $13 MGo credit
- $5 Amazon Digital credit
- $5 Best Buy Reward (earned from the TV purchase above.)
- 35562 MCR points
- Eight (8) Shutterfly $20 codes won with BOJ and MCR (I think I only used one of these. If you are interested I can send you a code or two. Please, just ask!)
I think this year turned out really well considering my budget!
Happy, Happy Holiday Loot!