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!

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!

$145 Manufacturing Spend at Tiger Direct – Free Stuff, Free Points

Here’s the shopping list for current in-stock, free after rebate products at Tiger Direct. Most of these deals end today, so act fast! Also note that some of the items have quantity 2 – go for it!

You’ll want to check out with a Visa card via Visa Checkout for $25 off $100.

If you’re an ibotta user, click through the app to get a link sent to your email; that’ll be an extra $10 back. Yes, that link is my referral code (here it is again!) – I’ll get a couple dollars if you sign up through me, and you’ll get a couple dollars, too!

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Total price is $144, less $25 via Visa Checkout, which is $119. You’ll also get $10 through ibotta, so on a $119 purchase you will “profit” $35 (Visa + ibotta), get the 119 in credit card points, and have a stack of stuff to gift/sell on ebay/craigslist etc.

When you check out, TigerDirect is nice enough to give you a list of links to the rebate you qualify for. You’ll have to spend probably around an hour on those forms and will have to pay for a handful of stamps. Be careful not to miss any UPC codes, signatures, or deadlines.

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!

$15 off $15 with Chase Freedom Plus Miles

Totally free stuff from your choice of 100+ stores. Fantastic. Just enroll your Chase Freedom card and start shopping.

Shop between now and 12/31/2015 and get a $15 statement credit on a $15+ purchase. Easy as that! The fine print does not appear to exclude tax and shipping, so if your total (with tax and shipping) is $15+, you should get the $15 credit. When you shop through a portal, you’ll earn points even though the $15 will be refunded via statement credit. Free miles!!

freedom

Don’t have a Chase Freedom card?

Sign up and get a $100 credit when you spend $500 with your card. Not planning on charging $500 in the next three months? One easy way to do this is to head over to your favorite drug store (that starts with a W and ends with a “greens”) and buy a $500 Visa gift card. You’ll pay a $6 fee, but you’ll get a $100 credit…that’s like getting a $500 gift card for $406. Then, use that gift card whenever you’d normally use your credit card, but without the rush to spend $500 in three months.

Combine with Other Offers for $35 in Free Shutterfly or $66.50 in Free Under Armour

If you use this offer on an order at Shutterfly before Nov 16, they’ll send you a promo code for $20 off your next order. So, make an initial $15 order to trigger the $20 promo code, then of course use that code off a $20 purchase. Shutterfly is offering free shipping on $39+, otherwise it’s usually around $10 – so scope out their offers and see what works for you. Try combinations, too – you might be surprised with how many promotions will work together! Don’t forget to start at a portal to each points, such as the current 4pts/dollar through Southwest Rapid Rewards.

Under Armour is offering $25 off $100 through Visa Checkout, plus the $15 credit when you enroll through the link up top. That’s a quick $40 off $100, or 40%. Discover Deals is offering 15% back at Under Armour (and that will be doubled to 30% if you’re a new card holder or otherwise enrolled in the double-rewards promotion)…however, it appears that Discover is cracking down and only rewarding cash-back when paying with a Discover card. If you want to take the gamble, you could potentially get 30% back on your $75 purchase ($22.50) on top of your $40 discount through Visa. That would be a $66.50 discount (after rewards) on a $100 purchase…a major savings! I happen to think that’s a big risk, so my suggestion would be to check cashbackmonitor.com for current portal rewards – Chase Ultimate Rewards at 5 pts/dollar looks like the best option to me.

Wedding Ideas

There are over 100 participating stores on the Visa Checkout list. Jo-Ann, 1800Flowers, Neiman Marcus, Jos A Bank, Shutterfly…certainly you can find a clever way to save a few dollars on your wedding budget with this promotion. Jewelry? Accessories? Don’t forget to shop through a portal to get a few free points toward whatever travel or cash back program of your choosing.

So, how will you spend your free $15?

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!