Bridesmaid Gift Idea: Monogrammed Jewelry

This cute online shop, Ally Anna Gifts, has a number of steals available through Groupon and Living Social. Here is the Living Social list:

livingsocial (2)

The Groupon list is similar. Don’t forget to shop through a portal. Start at cashbackmonitor.com for ideas; I shopped through Discover for an extra 10% back! With the double-cashback promotion from last year, that’s going to be 20% back!

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Other AllyAnna Gift Ideas

If you make a selection from one of these vendors, don’t rush off the AllyAnnaGifts.com site! Check out the sale section. I know a few friends at my Alma Mater (Clemson!) that might love the bangle with orange and crystal beads.Screenshot (132)

The prices are great, although I won’t know anything about the quality of the piece until it arrives (review are 83% positive…biggest detriment is for issues with the redemption code – yes, I’m having this problem – and, oddly enough, that the bracelets smell…?)

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Bridesmaid Wedding Day Jewelry

I think it’s great if you can give your bridesmaids a gift they’ll use again; jewelry intended for your wedding day might never fit into their wardrobe again. With prices like these, you might have some room in your budget to buy a tasteful gift along with costume jewelry for your event. Or, just the contrary; these would make great gifts if you’ve already picked out wedding day jewelry!

I’m a big fan of gift baskets. You’ll be able to pick out a handful of small items that will be fun to open, especially if you wrap them up and use a trendy tote instead of a woven basket (unless your gals are into that sort of thing.) Take a look at my Bridesmaid Gift catalog for more ideas (please consider the no-obligation option to add me as your personal shopper – I would be flattered!)

Screenshot (129) New to Groupon?

Please consider using my referral link!

Join Groupon and we’ll each get $10 when you purchase your first deal. Be sure to join right before you make a purchase, because the $10 promo is only valid for 72 hours from the time you join!


What gifts did you discover for your bridesmaids?

Leave a comment!

Apple Pencil at Best Buy, $79.88 ($74.88 for Newbies!)

Here’s a great price on a gift idea – or a ‘resale’ opportunity if you aren’t in need of this product…

The Apple Pencil retails for $99.99 (and $114.55 on Amazon…yes, hold that thought…) but we can get it for as little as $74.88! 25% off on a brand new product isn’t bad!

 

Start With A Price Match

Best Buy will price-match to Sam’s Club, who currently has the Apple Pencil for $94.88. That was a quick $5 savings! We just showed them the item from our phone. Here’s the link! You can stop here if you want, but we haven’t got to the fun part…

Use Ibotta to get $15-20 Back!

Ibotta is offering two promotions affiliated with Best Buy that add up to a big discount!

  • $10 Rebate on a $100 Purchase at Best Buy (fine print: this excludes Apple laptops, tablets, phones, and watches…but not accessories or Apple Pencils! Act fast before the rules change!)
  • $5 Criss Cross Bonus

crisscross

If you’re new to Ibotta, use my link to get $5 back on your first rebate redemption! Not bad, right?

Although Ibotta is extremely intuitive, let me go through the details on the Criss Cross Bonus:

  1. Complete two ‘Grocery’ or ‘Beer, Wine & Spirits’ rebates. See my recommendations below.
  2. Complete one ‘Specialty’ rebate. This is the $10 rebate on $100 at Best Buy! One purchase completes both!

My Recommendations on Step 1

Obviously, try to spend as little out of pocket as possible or the rebate loses value!

  • Buy ONE banana and redeem the $0.25 rebate. Valid almost everywhere. Eat the banana! It’s good for you!
  • At Walmart, buy the smallest Smithfield Tenderloin you can find (under the Meat category.) Mine was $3.15 and I redeemed a $2 rebate. Things taste better when they’re bought with coupons!
  • At Walmart, check the clearance section for McCormick Grill Mates. I purchased a Blue Moon inspired seasoning for $1 and redeemed a $0.50 rebate. Happy shopper!

mccormick3

  • Buy a mango, onion, head of lettuce, avocado, bread, gallon of milk, or any-brand of bacon – whatever is cheapest or most usable in your household and available via Ibotta.

How to Complete Step 2

I checked with Ibotta…unfortunately, you have to complete $100 or more. Not the $99.99 retail on the Apple Pencil and certainly not the $94.88 price-matched version. This means you’ll need to buy a “filler” item that costs enough to meet the spend threshold without being excessive. We found a $6.99 canister of pet-stain carpet cleaner (yeah, we’ll use it) so our total was $101.87. You can probably get even closer to $100 if you check the snack section by checkout. There were items as low as $0.49, which will serve you well if you have any trouble with the price match ($99.99 + $0.49 = $100.48 – good job!) Otherwise, shop around! Your target price is $5.12 without going under. How close can you get? Remember…if you don’t buy a filler, you won’t get the rebate. So yes! It makes sense to buy another item and spend more because you’ll get even more back!

When you are ready to check out at Best Buy, be sure to have the Ibotta app open. Click through the Best Buy link (under Specialty) to the $10 rebate offer. Follow all of the prompts and you should see a QR code. The Best Buy employee will scan this link and can show you right on their monitor that “IBOTTA” is displayed toward the top right corner. Our associate was so helpful to point that out! And that’s all you have to do; the rebate gets processed automatically. Mine took about 12 hours to post!

Final Tally

Here’s what you’ll get instead of just spending $99.99 at Best Buy (or more at Amazon):

  • $0.25-$2.25 back from Step 1 (depending on what you chose to purchase)
  • $10 Best Buy rebate on $100 purchase
  • $5 Criss Cross bonus
  • $5 Referral Bonus if you’re new to Ibotta
  • $5.12 Sam’s Club price match
  • A ~$5 item you found at Best Buy
  • A banana!
  • A steak!
  • An Apple Pencil!

That’s a couple products plus up to $20! I like percentages, so even if you aren’t getting the Referral Bonus, you’re spending $79.88 on an item that would have otherwise cost $99.99 – that’s a 20% discount! You’ll also get a handful of other items that don’t cost any extra. Not bad, right?

So, will you do it?

Leave a comment! What did you redeem on Ibotta? And what “filler” item did you buy at Best Buy to reach $100?

Don’t need an Apple Pencil? Sure, sell it on Amazon! You’ll pay ~$80 and sell it for around $110. After shipping and fees, you’ll still pocket $10 and get the easy credit card spend. I love the Amazon Seller program and regularly use it on great promotions or to finish credit card spend. Leave a comment if you need some help!

 

Why rent? Buy a tuxedo for the same price!

Assuming your tux rental (we’re just talking jacket and pants) is $200 at Men’s Warehouse or other retailers, I am definitely an advocate for having the groom, fathers, and groomsmen purchase a tuxedo rather than renting. If you’re going to choose the economy options that are under $100 with tailoring and accessories, you are probably better off renting. However, buying is especially valuable if it’s inconvenient or implausible to pick up the tuxedos on the day of the wedding – for example, there weren’t any options in Kauai that seemed reliable for our wedding – or if the shop charges a daily fee if you can’t return them the next day. Most of us weren’t returning for an additional three or four days, which would have been an extra $80! There are also fewer opportunities for last minute crises when the guys own, pick up, and tailor their tuxedos in advance. Plus…if you ever need to wear it again (who doesn’t?) it has paid for itself and is ready at a moment’s notice!

There are a handful of places that have outstanding sales throughout the year. Here’s a great option that pops up on a regular basis: Express is offering 50% off everything. That makes a standard tuxedo only $238!

Tuxedo

Of COURSE we can do better by stacking promotions! Take a look at these offers via cashbackmonitor.com:

EXPRESS

If you’re a Discover card holder taking advantage of the Double offer (if not, you should be!) that means you’ll get a whopping 20% back on each tuxedo, for a total of $23.80*2 = $47.60 off, or $190.40.

Done! Less than the typical cost to rent.

 

Don’t have a Discover card? Let’s try another deal. Buying a discount gift card will save us up to 20% off, too. Note that you won’t earn Discover cash back if you pay with a gift card, but that isn’t the rule with most of the other programs. So, you could buy an Express gift card at 20% off and use it to purchase your tuxedo via Ebates, Rapid Rewards, etc, and earn yourself some free loyalty miles.

gcg

What about the shirts, shoes, tie, etc…

Express has those, too. So does Kohl’s, among an endless list of other stores. I have a handful of ideas to help you save some cash on those purchases. Since that “stuff” tends to be custom for each event, I think it’s reasonable to put $30-$50 into the accessories and worth buying a comfortable pair of dress shoes that will get some use.

What do you think?

Are you renting or buying? Where did you pick up your accessories?

Up to 34% Off Engagement Rings at Zales!

This is a darn good deal!

If you’re not a Discover cardholder and it’s diamond-shoppin’ time, you might want to take a few minutes to consider this option.

zales

First, sign up for your card at discover.com/double – this DOUBLES all cash back for your first year as a cardholder (plus offers no interest for a whole year! See the last portion of the post for more…) So, when you see Discover Deals (the Discover portal) offering 10% back, that makes it an easy 20% back. Zales has 10% back through the end of the year – just be sure to read the fine print, as it says not valid with other offers. But, does that rule really apply? The answer is “YMMV” – your mileage may vary (you’ll see this expression around many travel blogs and deal sites as a disclaimer that the promotion might not work exactly as advertised, so proceed at your own discretion.) Zales is currently offering 15% off on $1,500, but it may not pair with the Discover offer. So, it’s your choice whether or not to take the chance. Let’s do the math and decide.

Just the 15% Off: Assuming you’re buying a $2,000 engagement ring. That would trigger the 15% off, or a $1,700 sticker price. You should probably use a new credit card that has a sign up bonus on $1,000 so you can make progress toward that free honeymoon! However, if you use your Discover card, you’ll get the standard 1% back, doubled to 2%, for an extra $34 off. Your price would be $1,668.

Just the 20% Back at Discover: Assuming you’re buying a $2,000 engagement ring, your price would be $2,000 and you’ll get $400 in cash back through the bonus plus the standard 1%, or $20, doubled to $40. Your price would be $1,580.

Use both, cross your fingers it works:  Assuming you’re buying a $2,000 engagement ring, your price would be $1,700 after the 15% discount and you’ll get $340 in cash back through the bonus plus the standard 1%, or $17, doubled to $34. End price is $1,326 – a total discount of about 34% off!

What would I do? I would definitely use the 15% off code and shop through the Discover portal! I could save an ADDITIONAL 16% over just using the 20% portal offer ($1,326 vs $1,580), and will pay an “extra” 6%, at most, if I only get the 15% without the cash back bonus ($1,668 vs $1,580.) The only factor that might change my mind would be a significant travel bonus if I used a non-Discover card on the purchase.

Don’t know what you’re shopping for?

If you need help picking out a stone online, don’t hesitate to ask for help. I also suggest the folks over at Price Scope and the Holloway Cut Adviser as great tools for your search. You should pop in to a store or two to get a feel for your personal preference and corresponding prices to make sure this is the best deal you can find.

I might be poking around for a gift for myself, with these prices…

Obligatory financial responsibility statement

Using a credit card takes responsibility. This card happens to come with 0% interest for ONE YEAR. In other words, if you can’t pay off the purchase in ONE YEAR, don’t make it! The rates skyrocket to 10-20% in the 13th month, which will immediately wipe out any savings from using the card!

Kohl’s Black Friday Offer SCALED BACK: Updated Information

Well, dang. I have some good news and some bad news. The offer is still definitely worth taking advantage of! Read all the way to the bottom for at least one way to get the appliances for free. That’s up to ten gifts – holidays, wedding events, your own registry…while the rebates are valid now at Kohls.com, you want to wait until midnight tonight or you won’t get Kohl’s Cash!

Bad News First

Kohl’s teased us with their Black Friday ad a few weeks ago, and left out an important details: how many rebates could we actually redeem?

Now that the rebate forms came out today (posted below) we can see that they allow only five ITEMS per HOUSEHOLD per OFFER. Bummer! I’ll only be taking advantage of Offer #15-42482 and Offer #15-42401. The Toastmaster rebate isn’t allowed online; if it pops up, I’ll jump on it…but for now, I think it might be an in-store only offer.

The items are still $19.99 each. One offer provides a $12 rebate per item; the second is a $10 rebate per item. Here’s the updated math:

First Group: $19.99 each, $12 Rebate, 5 Items Allowed

  • Buy one of each, total $19.99 * 5 = $99.95
    • Submit $12 rebate per item = $60
    • Earn two $15 Kohl’s Cash credits = $30
    • Earn $5 Yes2You Rewards per $100 = $5 (maybe, not sure about rounding)

Second Group: $19.99 each, $10 Rebate, 5 Items Allowed

  • Buy one of each, total $19.99 * 5 = $99.95
    • Submit $10 rebate per item = $50
    • Earn two $15 Kohl’s Cash credits = $30
    • Earn $5 Yes2You Rewards per $100 = $5 (maybe, not sure about rounding)

Totals

  • Cost: $99.95 + 99.95 = $199.90
  • Rebates earned: $60 + 50 = $110
  • Kohl’s Cash earned: $60
  • Earn $5 Yes2You Rewards per $100 = $10, not counted in math
    • $199.90 – 110 – 60 = $29.90
    • Price each: $29.90/10 = $2.99
      • Doesn’t include tax!
      • Price is “after rewards,” so you’ll still have Kohl’s Cash and Yes2You to redeem.

Good News

It sounds like a 15% off coupon will be going life tomorrow. Try code DEALS15 or RMN15OFF. Let’s look at how that affects our math, going with the total price of $199.90:

Totals

  • Cost: $99.95 + 99.95 = $199.90
  • Rebates earned: $60 + 50 = $110
  • 15% Discount on $100 or more = $29.98, new total = $169.91
  • Kohl’s Cash earned: $45

  • Earn $5 Yes2You Rewards per $100 = $5, not counted in math
    • $169.91 – 110 – 45 = $14.91
    • Price each: $14.91/10 = $1.49
      • Doesn’t include tax!
      • Price is “after rewards,” so you’ll still have Kohl’s Cash and Yes2You to redeem.

Obviously, it’s worth using that 15% discount and foregoing the $15 Kohl’s Cash!

Don’t Forget a Portal!

There are a number of holiday portal promotions going on. You’ll qualify for a bonus with this purchase! Here’s a brief summary, since I need to decide which to use:

  • American Airlines: 450 bonus miles on $150+ purchase plus 8 miles/dollar = 1176 miles for ~$15
  • United Airlines MileagePlus: 500 bonus miles on $150+ purchase plus 4 miles/dollar = 1176 miles for ~$15
  • Discover Deals: 10% Back (Doubles to 20% if you’re in on that deal!) = $16.90 or $33.80, makes your appliances free!
  • Southwest: 500 bonus miles on $150+ purchase plus 2 miles/dollar = 838 miles for ~$15

There are bigger bonuses on ~$500 or ~$1000 purchases, but I doubt we will get to that with this promo alone.

How will YOU use this deal?

 

22 Kitchen Appliances for ~$2.49 Each!

EDIT: The rebate forms are out and restrict us to 5 ITEMS per HOUSEHOLD per OFFER. However, an extra 15% and great holiday portal bonuses make this an outstanding buy. Check here for the details.

One of my favorite annual sales is Kohl’s Black Friday. It takes into account all of the fun ways to save…sale prices, rebates, store loyalty credit, and manufactured spend…plus, portal points if we’re lucky! This is an awesome opportunity to stock up on 22 brand new kitchen appliances, regularly $20-$40 at 95% off, or grab gifts for the holidays/wedding showers/registries/wedding party gifts…the list goes on!

You can find the Black Friday ad here. This offer will be available in-store and online; online quantities tend to sell out pretty quickly, so stay tuned to find out exactly when the deal goes live (midnight central time?) or get to the store and grab a shopping cart!

Take a look below for newspaper clippings of my favorite deals:

kohls

Rebates

Each of these items is eligible for either a $10 or $12 rebate ($12 on the first set, $10 on the two subsequent.) You’ll be able to find them by going to Kohls.com and searching “rebates.” They’re valid only on Thurs-Fri, Nov 26-27. In years past, a shopper could get five rebates per product. That’s a total of 110 rebates!

Because you’ll be mailing in a lot of UPC codes with a lot of money at stake, I recommend printing a label (my preference is paypal.com/shipnow) and insuring it up to the value of your rebates. I don’t even want to think about that important envelope getting lost in the mail. Be sure to stop by the post office and get a receipt for dropping off your package in case they lose it, or you’ll have no claim!

Loyalty Credit – Kohl’s Cash

To make it better, Kohl’s has a once-a-year $15 Kohl’s Cash on $50 purchase offer. The cash triggers at 96% of the $50, or $48…so don’t worry that you’re missing it by a couple pennies!

Loyalty Credit – Yes2You Rewards

On top of Kohl’s Cash, you’ll earn one Yes2You Rewards point for each dollar spent; at 100 points, Kohl’s will issue a $5 reward. In other words, it’s a 5% credit issued on each $100 spent. I didn’t actually include this in the calculations below; consider it a little bonus for your hard work.

Portal Points

If we’re able to order online, we can plan on at least two points per dollar at the airline or hotel company of our choice.

Manufactured Spent

If your friends are interested, you could sell them appliances for just a few dollars. They’ll get an amazing deal, and you get to spend money on your credit card for points! For example, you might spend $20 on a given product that, after all the rebates, only cost you $2.50. That’s a good deal for something you want to keep, and a great deal if you have someone to sell it to for $2-3! Who wouldn’t spend $3 for a Crockpot?

Let’s Add It Up

I’ll do the math for one of each item, and then multiply it by five – although it’s extremely unlikely anyone will be able to pick up all the items before they sell out. I would encourage you to do a little advance planning and work out the numbers – increments of $50 are important to maximizing the Kohl’s Cash returns. Here’s how it goes:

First Group: $19.99 each, $12 Rebate, 5 Items

  • Buy one of each, total $19.99 * 5 = $99.95
    • Submit $12 rebate per item = $60
    • Earn two $15 Kohl’s Cash credits = $30
    • Earn $5 Yes2You Rewards per $100 = $5

Second Group: $19.99 each, $10 Rebate, 10 Items

  • Buy one of each, total $19.99 * 10 = $199.90
    • Submit $10 rebate per item = $100
    • Earn four $15 Kohl’s Cash credits = $60
    • Earn $5 Yes2You Rewards per $100 = $10

Third Group: $14.99 each, $10 Rebate, 7 Items

  • Buy one of each, total $14.99 * 7 = $104.93
    • Submit $10 rebate per item = $70
    • Earn two $15 Kohl’s Cash credits = $30
    • Earn $5 Yes2You Rewards per $100 = $5

Totals

  • Cost: $99.95 + 199.90 + 104.93 = $404.78
  • Rebates earned: $60 + 100 + 70 = $230
  • Kohl’s Cash earned: $120
  • Earn $5 Yes2You Rewards per $100 = $20, not counted in math
    • $404.78 – 230 – 120 = $54.78
    • Price each: $54.78/22 = $2.49
      • Doesn’t include tax!
      • Price is “after rewards,” so you’ll still have Kohl’s Cash and Yes2You to redeem.

If you’re able to get five units per item, here’s the math:

  • Cost: $99.95*5 + 199.90*5 + 104.93*5 = $2023.90
  • Rebates earned: $60*5 + 100*5 + 70*5 = $1150
  • Kohl’s Cash earned: $600
  • Yes2You earned: $100, not counted in math
    • $2023.90 – 1150 – 600 = $273.90
    • Price each: $273.90/(22*5) = $2.49
      • Doesn’t include tax!
      • Price is “after rewards,” so you’ll still have Kohl’s Cash and Yes2You to redeem.

Will you take advantage of this deal?

I know this is an opportunity to spend $2,000 on a credit card of my choosing, earn at least 4,000 points to the program of my choosing, get an extra $100 bonus in Yes2You Rewards for whatever I want to spend them on, and give great gifts at awesome prices. Some of these items retail for $40, so a price of $2.49 is around 95% off! You might be wondering how I’ll spend that $600 in Kohl’s Cash; haven’t decided! I’m an Amazon reseller, so I usually find a few products to buy at Kohl’s and sell online. If you’re not into that, maybe you have some regular Christmas shopping to do. Think through whether or not you can make good use of that $600 in Kohl’s Cash; else, you’ve lost that money and need to incorporate it into the price of each appliance.

I’m interested in your thoughts! Leave a comment if you’ll be shopping the Kohl’s Black Friday deal!

25% Off Wedding Stationary at Staples

Staples is on my list of great options for wedding stationary. Save the dates, invitations, thank yous, programs, etc. They have over four dozen designs, all of which are under $1 each, and envelopes are included. The other option is the Create-Your-Own, where you’re able to upload your own image. This could, of course, be a photo…or you could find a low cost graphic designer to create a custom invitation for you (try fiverr.com and get a custom piece or see what they have in their portfolio that might be cheaper – prices start at $5!). There are also a number of sites with completely free stock photos that you can use if you’re the do-it-yourself type; try pexels.com or pixabay.com and search for terms like “background” or “flourish” for subtle designs.

Use code “Invite25” for 25% off your purchase.

StaplesInviteAt first glance, it looks like the cheapest options are $14.99 for 25. Taking an additional 25% off makes them $0.45 each. The more you order, the cheaper they get; 100 are $56.99, and after the 25% discount, only $0.43 each. These are Create-Your-Own “same day wedding invitations.

$14.99 for 25

Of course, we can do better by shopping through a portal; take a look at the options from cashbackmonitor (not familiar with portals? check here):

Staples Cashback

 

If you happen to have a Chase Ink business credit card, you’ll earn 5 pts per dollar at Staples, regardless of which portal you use.

What do you think? Will you design your own or go with an existing product? If not Staples, where are you shopping for your wedding stationary? This was one of the hardest decisions for me because I thought the invitation really “set the tone” for the whole event! Have fun!

Bridesmaid Dresses, Up to 85% Off!

One of my favorite places for wedding-guest-dress shopping is none other than David’s Bridal. The store runs continuous sales, and when you only need to find a dress in your size…it’s a great option!

Big discounts at David's Bridal!

The recommendation for those of you actively planning a wedding is to collect your bridesmaids’ sizes and be ready to jump on a sale when it comes up. Ask your gals to visit David’s Bridal and try on a long and short dress, maybe in two different fabrics, to make sure you have the right size – bridal sizing often differs from regular sizing. Consider whether you want everyone to match or if you like variety – it will give you a better chance of finding all the sizes in one particular style. Lastly, make sure you have the credit to cover all the dress purchases at once; you might miss out if you wait on everyone to purchase their own dresses, and what a disaster that could turn into!

Also, keep an eye out for “Final Sale” items, as these cannot be returned or exchanged.

I was unable to find any additional coupons, portal bonuses, or discounted gift cards for David’s Bridal. But that doesn’t mean they’re not out there…do let me know if you find something!

 

 

So, did you find a great deal at David’s Bridal? Never pay retail!