Remember the Sale!  

Posted by FacelessGraceless

Don't forget - Friends and Family Event at Christopher & Banks and C.J. Banks!

Gyro Hero  

Posted by FacelessGraceless

Today at work, several of my co-workers asked me to go to lunch with them.  We piled into a couple of SUVs, so I wasn't entirely sure who was going along.  We arrived at the restaurant to find that we had the president of the company, a vice-president, an engineer, two project managers, and me.  It wasn't a big deal being the only woman, and I figured we'd all sit a big table together, so our positions in the company wouldn't matter either.

As it turned out, only small tables were available, and somehow I ended up sharing a table with the president.  It's not quite as intimidating as it might be, because he's only about 10 years older than me, and we do see each other several times a day, since it's a smallish office.

But, (and here's where the "graceless" comes in), I had ordered a gyro for lunch.  And when it arrived at the table, it was HUGE.  With an equally obnoxious side of fries.  Mr. President commented that it was really mean of the restaurant to only provide two napkins with a gyro.  I wanted to crawl under the table and hide.  But since that wasn't a feasible option (work clothes and greasy floors do not make for a nice combination), I grabbed a plastic fork and knife and did my best to eat neatly.  I managed to eat about half of the gyro, and about 3 French Fries.  

And when we cleared our trays, Mr. President said that he was very impressed to see that I still had a napkin left over!  If I ever go to lunch with "the guys" again, I think I'll order a salad!

Friends and Family @ Christopher & Banks  

Posted by FacelessGraceless

Christopher & Banks (misses sizes 4-16) and CJ Banks (women's sizes 14-24) are having a "Friends and Family Event" on October 25th and 26th. They are offering 40% off of everything in the store, with a coupon. So stop by one of the stores before then to get your coupon, and then put on your comfortable shoes and go back on the 25th and 26th to stock up!

This is a great deal, ladies! Last year I got 40% off on top of the clearance prices, so I got several short-sleeved shirts for only a few dollars each. Perfect for wearing under sweaters and jackets at work!


Posted by FacelessGraceless

Tater: My hand hurts.
FG: Looks like you were laying on it. How does it feel?
Tater: It's all noisy in there!
FG: I think it's asleep. Let's try to wake it up.
Tater: WAKE UP! You're late for school!

Spent my Gymbucks (plus some real bucks!)  

Posted by FacelessGraceless

Doc, Tater, and I braved the mall last night to spend our Gymbucks. Doc (he actually reads my blog! what a great husband!) said that he loved the outfit I showed off earlier, and that we should buy it! I figured that we already have jeans, and don't really need the hat and mittens, so we could probably get by with just the vest and sweater.

We walked out with the original sweater, plus a second sweater, a brown vest (we already have a navy one which will go nicely with the first sweater), a t-shirt and a hooded sweatshirt (both picked by Tater from the clearance rack; I have taught him well!)
We spent a bit more than I had planned, but with his Old Navy khakis, he's set for the holidays now. I really have no willpower when Doc and Tater start picking out clothes for him. It is so, so cute seeing that big man choosing these tiny clothes from racks and holding up different combinations to find the perfect outfit. And of course, it's equally adorable watching my little man reach up above his head towards a shirt that has caught his eye, and then asking me "is it on sale, Mommy?"

Moneymaker: Arm & Hammer Essentials  

Posted by FacelessGraceless

Arm & Hammer Essentials is a new cleaning product, made to reduce packaging waste. I'd been wanting to try it anyway, but then I saw a free-after-mail-in-rebate (up to $3.50) form in Sunday's paper (10/5 SS). I also saw tearpads for the rebate at my local Jewel-Osco grocery store. OR, you can print a free form!

To sweeten the deal, Arm & Hammer has $1 off coupons on their website. (Yes, there is a typo on the coupon form, repeated three times. Yes, I have emailed to let them know. Yes, I do hope that they send me some coupons for letting them know that they are publicly embarrassing themselves.)

Moneymaker Scenario: Purchase Arm & Hammer Essentials product anywhere, up to $3.50. Use $1 coupon. Send in rebate form. Receive rebate for purchase price.


CVS has the Arm & Hammer Essentials product on sale this week 2/$5.00. Buy 2 bottles @ $5.00, use 2 - $1 coupons printed from the website, and pay $3.00, and then receive a $2.50 rebate for one bottle, for a net total of $.50 for two bottles of cleaner.


Posted by FacelessGraceless

Don't forget to redeem your Gymbucks by the end of Sunday, October 12th!

I love, love, LOVE the outfit to the left! But, it's about $130. So, I think I'll be browsing the sale section of the site to spend my money.
This tee is really cute. I'm glad that Gymboree puts dark colors on the sleeves of their shirts. White sleeves are just hopeless for little boys. Tater comes home with lunch, crayon, grass stains, and who knows what else on his shirts. Dark colors are a little more forgiving. :)
Tater loves sweaters and sweatshirts with hoods, and I do see several here... his size isn't available online, though... There might be a trip to the mall in my future!

Confirmed!: Double Coupons at Super K-Marts  

Posted by FacelessGraceless

UPDATE 10/8 6pm: A second email from K-Mart tells me that "all the same rules apply." I hope this means doubling up to $2! I need to start making a list. Now, to find an advance copy of the sales flyer!

UPDATE 10/8 4pm: I have received an email from K-Mart customer service. They say, in part:

"We appreciate you interest in this promotion. The event runs from 10/15/08-10/18/08." "The double coupons will only be accepted at the participating stores."

I was able to confirm that the stores in Tinley Park, IL and Bradley, IL will be participating. However, K-Mart did not answer my question about whether they would be doubling up to a face value of $2 again, or not. FG

Someone in my online coupon train group reports receiving this email. I have emailed K-Mart myself to verify, and will update you when I know more. FG

Thank you for your recent correspondence. We are always interested in hearing from our customers. Thank you for your interest in our double coupon promotions.
We are having another double coupon event from October 15th until October 18th. It only includes Super K-Mart stores.

Following are the stores that are participating:
Aurora, CO
Kingsport, TN
Indianapolis, IN
Cambridge, OH
Madison Hts, WI
Fremont, OH
Tabb, VA
Medina, OH
Lorain, OH
Taylor, MI
Portage, IN
Englewood, CO
Indianapolis, IN
Indianapolis, IN
Rome, GA
Ashtabula, OH
Concord, NC
Mentor, OH
Terre Haute, IN
Thornton, CO
Queensbury, NY
Moon Twshp, PA
Uniontown, PA
Chillcothe, OH
Round Lake Bch, IL
Warren, OH
North Charleston, SC
Raleigh, NC
Greensboro, NC
Burlington, NC
Morgantown, WV
Hillsboro, OH
Cleveland, OH
Memphis, TN
Lubbock, TX
Tinley Park, IL
Virginia Beach, VA
Carson, CA
Norfolk, VA
Southgate, MI
Tucson, AZ
Virginia Beach, VA
Roseville, MI
Johnson City, TN
Homewood, IL
Bloomfield Hills, MI
Bradley, IL
Port Huron, MI
Detroit, MI
Henderson, NV
Phoenix, AZ

Not-So Happy Meal Toys  

Posted by FacelessGraceless

With the economy in a slump, I would expect McDonalds to be reporting record profits. It seems like the place to go for a cheap, quick meal. Unfortunately, many local stores are losing money on their dollar menu, because of rising food costs. I actually visited one restaurant near my house that had removed the double cheeseburger from the dollar menu, and replaced it with a "double hamburger with cheese." Apparently, the "double hamburger with cheese" has only one slice of cheese, where the double cheeseburger had two. I guess that a few pennies matter to McDonalds as much as they do to us.

I think that McDonalds has found a new revenue stream, though, in an unlikely place - non-food sales. The Madame Alexander-created Wizard of Oz toys featured recently in Happy Meals have proven to be as popular with adults as with children. Not many adults want to eat a Happy Meal, though, or at least not the twelve that would be required to collect a full set of the Madame Alexander Wizard of Oz toys. So, some McDonalds locations are now selling the toys without a meal purchase requirement. My mother found them at her local restaurants from $.89 to $1.19 each. However, when I went out to buy some yesterday, they were selling for $2 each!

With a hamburger happy meal selling for $2.79, one of two things must be true. Either McDonalds is losing money on each Happy Meal that they sell, or they are making a nice profit on each doll that collectors like me purchase.

I guess that I really don't mind the price, even if they are making a profit. I'm buying something that I want, not something that I need. And if it helps them to keep two slices of cheese on my husband's double cheeseburgers, then I'm all for it.


Posted by FacelessGraceless

I narrowly avoided another Graceless moment this morning.

Tater takes a blanket with him to daycare, to use during naptime. The school sends his blanket home every Friday to be washed. Being the superior housekeeper that I am, I usually have it washed and in the dryer by 11pm Sunday night. This morning we were running late, so I grabbed the blanket out of the dryer on our way out the door, and threw it into the car. When we got to the school, I grabbed the blanket out of the car, and started to carry it in. Then I realized that I had forgotten his field trip permission slips, so I went back to the car for them, and as I leaned into the car for the forms, a pair of my husband's underwear fell out of the blanket, and onto the car floor.

I can only imagine the conversations that they would have had at daycare today if Tater had curled up at naptime snuggling a pair of his daddy's boxer-briefs.

Weekend Quotable  

Posted by FacelessGraceless

Aunt: "What do you like on your hot dog?"
3 year old Tater: "A bun. And ketchup and mustard and pickles."

My 87 year young Grandma: "Those Cubs. They fall flat on their faces every October."

FG: "I can't find any spoons! I wonder where all of the spoons have gone."
Tater: "I think they're at the parade."


Posted by FacelessGraceless

I haven't had a traditional leave-the-house and bring-home-a-paycheck job in more than three years now. I left my last job when we moved out-of-state for my husband's work, and somehow, I've never re-joined the work force. Our son was young, our son was ill, our daughter was ill, my husband's job might be re-located again; it never felt like a good time to re-start my career.

So, for the last three years, we've been living on "his" money. And although he rarely refers to it, and I don't know how he thinks of it, I do think of it as "his" money. As in, he has the final say over when and where it gets spent. I don't feel guilty paying the utilities, of course, but I do have some hesitation before handing over money at the mall, especially for something for myself.

A new Kohl's department store opened near us this week, and I was there at 9am to take advantage of the "early bird" specials, and to use the $10 "guest card" that Kohls was kind enough to mail to me. I went in with the best intentions. I was going to buy pajamas for our son, and if the $10 gift card and the dollar bills in my wallet didn't cover it, we didn't need them after all.

I did find the pajamas - two pairs for $16, thank you very much. But since the checkout line was soooo long, I decided to take a quick trip around the store. Purely for research purposes, you know. So that I would know which way to head the next time that I came in to scour the clearance racks. Well, on my scientific expedition, I found the luggage department.

I really do need new luggage. It shouldn't be hard to justify at all. I have one very small carry-on bag with its rolling/pulling handle stuck permanently out - not very handy for storing securely in the overhead compartment. We also have one largish suitcase, with a collapsed side and the fabric pulling away from the zippers.

And the new suitcases were so pretty... One woman was admiring a purple patterned bag; another gentleman was test-driving a bag that could roll in all four directions. Oh, but the prices. Even on the "new store" sales, some of the bags cost more than $200. For one bag! Eventually I found a set of four American Tourister bags for $89. It seemed like a good value, but I couldn't spend that much of my husband's money without asking him! So I called his cell phone, but only got his voicemail. Unfortunately, the $89 price was only good until 11am, and it was already past 10.

Eventually, I decided to buy the luggage, knowing that I could return them for a full credit on my debit card if my husband vetoed the purchase. And as I wheeled the biggest suitcase out to the car, my phone rang. I said, "honey, I bought some luggage. It cost $89. I can go back in and return it right now if you want." He said, "$89? That's cool." and asked what was for lunch. So, I felt okay about my bags. It was still a lot of money, but we could use them for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and my brother's graduation next year...

When I got home from the store, my husband helped me unload the car. He pulled the suitcase out, and commented on how heavy it was. I explained that it would be much lighter when the three smaller bags weren't inside of it anymore, and he looked confused. Then he saw the picture attached to the suitcase, and said, "we get all of these bags?" I said, yes, they're all inside. It's a set. He said, "you got four bags for $89?!" And I explained, yes, that they retailed for over $200, and they had a 10 year warranty, and I felt like we really needed them, but I would be happy to return them... And then he interrupted to say that he thought that $89 for a big suitcase was a good price, and he couldn't believe that I had gotten four pieces of luggage for that little money!

Maybe I don't have to bring home a paper paycheck to add financial value to our family. Maybe. Clearly, I have issues.


Posted by FacelessGraceless

In the course of my bargain hunting, I've ended up with a surplus of a few items. Right now, I have 12 bottles of my husband's shower gel, 4 bottles of my shower gel, 2 bottles of shower gel for our son, and 4 bottles for our daughter. We have four bottles of dishwashing liquid, despite washing 99% of our dishes in the dishwasher. I also have a reusable shopping tote filled with nothing but toothbrushes and toothpaste, and a smaller bag filled with reusable razors. (I would be ashamed to admit all of this, but I know that my fellow frual shoppers will understand. Moneymakers! Great fillers!)

Naturally, when my daughter and I stayed at a hotel this weekend, she forgot to bring a toothbrush or a razor with her. Unfortunately, I had also neglected to bring a razor, and she was in desperate need of one. No problem, right? Where's the sign by the sink that says "forgot your toothbrush? Just call the front desk for a complementary toiletry kit!" Well, this hotel didn't have one of those signs. It did have a small package on top of the mini-bar, though.

Toothbrush, toothpaste, disposable razor, and comb were all visible. Perfect! You can tell that we're staying at a luxury hotel, because they have anticipated our needs and met them! Except... what does that little card at the top say? If I put on my glasses, I might be able to read it... Does it have a dollar sign on it?

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. You too can pay top dollar for a hotel room, and then an additional $7 for your very own disposable razor. Isn't America great?


Posted by FacelessGraceless

I'm going back to my hometown this weekend. It's Homecoming, which means a parade, a community lunch, and a football game.

When you're in a small town, most people are over-extended. The cheerleaders are also on the golf team, and in the marching band, and might be candidates for the Homecoming court, too. The football players are all using their pickup trucks to pull the various floats, and have to man the grills at the lunch immediately following the parade. The mayor of the town could also be on the firetruck with his fellow EMTs, or marching with his son's boy scout troop. It's not unusual to see the same person come through the parade twice; the High School band goes through first, planned that way for years, so that the seniors can jump in to convertibles and ride through the parade again at the end as members of the Homecoming court.

Homecoming is the only day of the year that it's difficult to find a parking spot downtown. With most of the storefronts vacant, only the post office and the tavern get many visitors on an ordinary day. People are loyal to that tiny town, though. Everyone who lives in town will put on their warmest clothes and stand on the sidewalks to watch the parade, even if their children are well past the age of participating. Alumni come back from their big-city lives, showing their Gymboree-clad children where "Mommy and Daddy used to live."

I don't know how many more years we'll be celebrating Homecoming in that small town. Every year the crowds on the sidewalk are a little bit smaller, with a lot more gray hair. Each year the marching band is a little smaller, and more freshmen and sophomores are wearing varsity football jerseys, to make sure that there are enough bodies on the team. As it stands now, the school district is staring consolidation in the face. They might merge with a nearby town to form a new school district, with a school somewhere between the two towns. And if that happens, where will we all gather to watch the tissue-paper floats dissolve in the rainy parade? How will we find those friends that we only see once a year? Will strangers serve our lukewarm baked beans in an overcrowded gymnasium?

Homecoming is bittersweet, because it's hard to know what home we will be coming to next year.

Maximizing your Coupon with RR  

Posted by FacelessGraceless

Another good shopping opportunity! Walgreens is offering $5 off of a $20 purchase on Friday, October 3rd and Saturday, October 4th. I think that these coupons are pretty easy to use, provided that the store is well-stocked! (And remember, most stores will enforce the fine print that your total must be $20.00 or more before tax and after all coupons.)

A good way to get added value from the coupon is to use it on items which produce Register Rewards. (Check out a fantastic scenario at Common Sense With Money and an easy one at Deal Seeking Mom. More possibilities at Blissfully Domestic.) I'm really proud of Scenario 2, also; hope you got multiples of the 9/28 paper!

FG Scenario 1 10/3 - 10/4:
Claritin Allergy Relief 40 ct. @ $19.99
-$2 9/07 S1 insert
2 Dove Chocolate Bars 3.53 oz. @ 2.39
BOGOFree coupon from Walgreens weekly ad (p2)

Pretax Total of $20.38
Minus $5/$20
Out-of-Pocket Cost: $15.38, plus receive $5 Register Reward (RR) to use on future purchase

FG Scenario 2 10/3 - 10/4:
Oral-B CrossAction toothbrush @ $4.49
- $.75 coupon from 9/28 PG insert
($4.49 - .75 = $3.74), earn $4.49 RR

4 Febreze Air Effects @ $2.49
- 4 $1 coupons from 9/28 PG insert
($1.49 x 4 = 5.96), earn $5 RR

Sudafed PE (10 to 24 ct.) @ $3.99
-$1 coupon from 9/28 RP insert

2 Tylenol Allergy 24 ct. @ $4.99
- 2 $1 coupons from 9/28 RP insert
($3.99 x 2 = 7.98), earn $5 RR for Tylenol and Sudafed

Pretax Total of $20.67
Minus $5/$20
Out of Pocket cost of $15.67, plus receive $14.49 RR to use on future purchases

Jewel-Osco deals 10/2 - 10/8  

Posted by FacelessGraceless

I know that Jewel-Osco can be an expensive grocery store, but I do find some good values by combining sales and coupons. Your prices and specials might be slightly different; view your local ad here. Also, don't forget to activate your Avenu savings, before going to the store, by entering your preferred card here. (My stores don't have the Avenu machine in-store anymore; I miss it!)

This week, I'm liking these prices:

Yoplait Yogurt 10/$4 (must buy 10 to receive this price) - $.40 per cup
even better when you print and use these coupons or the coupons from the 8/10 GM and 9/7 GM newspaper inserts

Pepsi, Diet Pepsi or Mountain Dew 12-Pack of 12 oz. cans or Pepsi or Aquafina 6pk of 24 oz. bottles - 4/$10 (must buy 4 to receive this price)

Perdue Chicken Cutlets, Tenders or Nuggets - Buy One, Get One Free
use 2 coupons from the 8/24 RP insert for $1 each, and get two packages for $3.29

Pillsbury Halloween cookie shapes 2/$5
save $.75 on two packages; $4.25 is pricey, but they're cute, and no bowls to wash!

Healthy Ones turkey, chicken or ham 5-6 oz. 2/$4
use $.75 coupons from the 8/17 SS insert, and it's only $1.25 a package

Smucker's Uncrustables 4-pack 2/$5
use $.55 coupons from the August issue of All You magazine or the 8/10 RP insert to pay $1.95 per package

More deals coming soon!

Oh, Cubs, Oh  

Posted by FacelessGraceless

It's the bottom of the 8th inning, the first game of the playoffs, and my Chicago Cubs are down by several runs.  You'd think, 100 years since their last World Series victory, that Cubs Nation would have learned not to expect much in October.  But here we are, all tvs tuned in to watch them lose again.

I know that it's only the first game of the series, but trust me, I've seen this show before.  I know how it ends.

Super Double Coupons at KMart!  

Posted by FacelessGraceless

KMart is offering "Super Double Manufacturer Coupons up to and Including $2 Value" from today, October 1st, thru Sunday, October 5th. I grabbed a handful of my most high-value coupons, and drove over for some deals.

As an aside, does anyone shop at a KMart that isn't run down and dirty? Ick. But for double coupons, I went. And washed my hands afterwards. I can't believe that Martha Stewart would let them keep using her name if the stores in her area were like the ones near me.

Here are my deals! (Prices may vary by store or region, blah, blah, blah.)

Gillette Fusion Hydragel shaving gel $3.00 - $1 q(x2) = $1.00
9/28 PG
Gillette Shampoo $4.00 - $2q(x2) = FREE
9/28 PG
Suave Deodorant $1.79 - $.75q(x2) = $.29
7/13 RP or 9/21 RP
Dove Shampoo $4.19 - $2q(x2) = $.19
8/17 RP
Renu contact solution (free case included in box) $7.69 - $2q(x2) = $3.69
October 2008 All You magazine
4pk. Schick Extreme3 disposable razors $4.99 - $2q(x2) =$.99
8/24 SS or 9/7 S1
Pert Plus shampoo and conditioner $3.19 - $1.50q(x2) = $.19
9/7 S2
Beneful dog treats $5.29 - $2q(x2) = $1.29
? (coupon train)
(2) Clorox toilet bowl cleaner $4.98 - (2)$.75(x2) = $1.98 ($.99 each)
blinkie at K-Mart, on the shelf with bleaches
Glade carpet and room odor eliminator $2.29 - $1q(x2) = $.29
? (coupon train)
Glade carpet and room odor eliminator $2.29 - $1q(x2) = $.29
? (coupon train)

My total before coupons was almost $40, and after the double coupons went through, I paid $12.63 (and $2.43 of that was tax!)

Happy shopping, and please let me know what deals you discover!


Posted by FacelessGraceless

Today is October 1st, and Summer Spending's ExtraBucks have begun printing. Print yours online at, or use the in-store "price scanner/coupon machine" to print them, and you can use them on your next shopping trip!