Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mom, the Bargain Hunter

I stumbled across a few crumbs of good fortune this week, culminating in the extraction of my credit card from my wallet, but the fortunate part of that operation was that it involved the extraction of very little from my bank account.  I almost never shop full-price, and will comparison shop whenever possible.  It may be a result of all of my years in retail, when I got discounts or deep sale pricing (if you have patience, just WAIT - almost everything at the retail level goes on sale eventually!) at my various places of employment, or it may be my humble upbringing, in which I was never spoiled (my husband begs to differ...stop laughing, Steve...) and understood how hard my parents worked for what we had. 
It all started, late last week, with an e-mail from Shutterfly offering a free 8x8 hard-cover photo book!  Now, I absolutely love free, especially when it's something that I actually want.  I made a photo book from Shutterfly a couple of years ago, and just loved it.  I had lofty ideas to create them every year, to give as gifts and to chronicle Samantha growing up.  However...as lovely as the books are, and as easy as the website's instructions are to create them, they are very, very time consuming.  Or perhaps it's just me.  I agonize over the layouts, the photos to be used, the background colors, the words.  And then the projects Just.Sit.  Forever.  I began yet another photo book before Father's Day this year, thinking I had plenty of time to pull it all together, and Shutterfly nearly always has a discount going on to be taken advantage of.  So after a valiant effort to begin that new project, onto the back burner it went.  However, the free book offer I got a notice about was to expire in just a few days, so I had to act fast.  I spent several very late nights putting it together and making it Just.Right.  And I think it turned out perfect!  (Here's a sneak peek...)



Because I usually feel guilty when I'm given something free and I don't spend anything additional other than shipping (yeah, yeah, weird, I know, but I'm sure companies making those offers expect most of us to be this gullible and to make a purchase anyway), I made and purchased some stickers for the Buddy Walk with Sammi's photo on them.  I figured I could make photo pins with them.  Within minutes of completing my order, I was on Facebook and saw someone had posted that Zazzle was giving away 100 free business cards and there was a coupon code for free shipping on top of that!  So nothing plus nothing equals nothing, right?  Hooray!  I had the fleeting thought that business cards would be pretty useless for me, though, since I don't have a business and I don't want our home address or phone number floating out there anywhere, but suddenly realized that I meet an awful lot of people that I want to stay in touch with, and having a business card with my blog and e-mail addresses on it would be a great way to do that.  So I placed that order.  For free.  Then I had another idea - since they had free shipping that was about to expire that day, why not order Buddy Walk photo pins, too?  So I did.  Not free, but free shipping is still always good. 

Any ideas what I can do with the stickers now?  They have Sammi's pic and say, "Buddy Walk 2010."  If I'd known that I was going to purchase real photo pins, I wouldn't have gotten those, or at least I wouldn't have gotten those words on them.  Hmmmm...

I told Steve about my great finds and was in the process of telling him that I did actually purchase a few things, but he found it so highly amusing that I was that excited about getting such cool free stuff that I don't think he heard it all.  So this morning, he called me at work and said, "Do you know how much you got charged yesterday?  I thought you said it was free!"  Well, if you had listened to me instead of mocking me, dear, you'd have known...  :-) 

Anyway, I'm hoping next week brings just as many cool deals!

7 comments:

heather said...

My friend got that same offer from shutterfly and gave me the code even though it said it couldn't be forwarded. So I really spent all day getting a book put together of Morgan's highlights from the last year. Tried the code and it didn't work so it still sits at shutterfly. I think I may want to start doing these books every year for my kids and if I do then I think I'll do the 12 x12 books. If I can budget $100 x 6 kids every year. We'll see. I'm the same way with fretting over the wording, pics and background paper. Your sneak peek looks so cute though!

Melissa M said...

I love good deals, but of course free is better!

my family said...

lol, great deals are the best...well free stuff is the best then great deals are second best:)

Carol N. said...

Make little thank you cards with the stickers?

Sounds like good deals all around - and they just got amazing advertisement by making you a happy customer!

JRS said...

I found out about a free photo book offer on the last day it was available. I too have worked on these, forevuh, and knew I couldn't pull it off in a few hours. Hopefully I can remember to keep plugging away and when the deals come around again, I'll be ready. Glad you scored!
---Jen

kecia said...

oh a woman after my own heart! I LOVE bargains and my husband just laughs at me and/or rolls his eyes as I tell him how much money I saved him by spending money

Lacey said...

How cute is that! I love a great deal. My new favorite place is costco! I can buy lots of stuff for great prices!