Category Archives: grocery

2 Ways to Lose and 2 to Save at Target

I love shopping at Target. Who doesn’t?  The lights, the layout, the colors, they all come together to make the buyer feel at home.  And that’s the point, Target wants you to feel warm and fuzzies in their store because then your wallet magically pops open and boom, there goes a few hundred bucks!

To me the two biggest money pits at Target are the big red CLEARANCE end caps and the dollar spot.

  1. The dollar spot is not comprised of one dollar items. In fact, most of the stuff in this section is $3-$5. “Omg Minoo, loosen the purse strings” you’re groaning to yourself.  But if I grab a handful of these items every time I shop, I can look back and say I spent hundreds in the “dollar spot” on junk! Save yourself the money, nothing and I mean nothing in that section is worth it.
  2. The other money pit is the general use of CLEARANCE on the aisle end caps.  Target uses these orange and white clearance stickers marking how low these clearance items are and suddenly you feel like you need Essie nailpolish that was originally $14.99 but is now on sale for $10.00. You don’t. Just walk away. If you really need an item, maximize your savings by doubling up with coupons or check amazon.com to see if the price is really a limited-time steal.

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Now, how can you SAVE money at target? Here’s how.

  1. The Target Red Card Debit Card– I love this card because really, the last thing I need is a credit card but a debit card lets me use the money I currently have but at target with an additional 5% off.  When you use your Target Debit Card (or the Target Credit Card  at Target stores or Target.com, you will receive 5% off your purchases. If you use a REDcard in the same purchase transaction with another form of payment like a gift card, the 5% discount will apply only to the purchase amount tendered to your REDcard.   LASTLY, the 5% discount does not apply to the following:
    • Prescriptions, clinic services at Target and Target Optical™ eye exams
    • Target gift cards and prepaid cards
    • Previous purchases
    • Target credit account payments, Target Debit Card cash back and cash advances on the Target MasterCard
    • Gift wrap and shipping and handling charges on Target.com purchases
    • Wireless protection program purchases and deposits required by a mobile carrier
  2. Cartwheel App by Target–This app is a must have if you frequent target or if you are planning a trip and want to look up coupons.  My phone is doing that awful thing where it tells me I’m out of storage even though I’ve deleted everything, so I delete and re-download the target app based on my trips to the store.  I will say that the app’s coupons often exclude clearance items so read the fine print. The best savings come when the app has a coupon for an additional savings off clearance items in a category (like apparel).  Also, the app today cannot be used for online purchases (but I bet that will change soon).

These are the ways I save and spend at Target, how do you save when you shop there? Tweet, Instagram or message me here!

6 Hacks to Vacation on a Budget

Sorry for the late post folks, I have been traveling (for pleasure, not work) a lot lately!

That being said, I did a lot of frugaling on my trip and snagged some free meals, discounted meals and gift cards along with other swag along the way.

SO, shall I dive in or first tell you about my trip?

Aw shucks, thanks for showing so much interest, it was great! I love the west coast and had such a blast hiking and site seeing and gambling.

Okay, brass tacks on how to save money while traveling.

  1. Marriott Vacation Resorts-Marriott Vacation Resorts are timeshares that Marriott basically wants you to buy. What you get is an amazing rate at one of their resorts with all the perks. I am in NO WAY affiliated with Marriott (gah I wish they paid me!) but for us the deal we got was too good to be true but it turned out great! The Grand Chateau is right next door to the MGM Signature, a 5 minute walk from the main strip and much quieter than the MGM Grande or Venetian. The building is newer so everything is upgraded. The rooms are amazing with huge bathtubs and a full kitchen. 

    lasvg_phototour15

    What we got:

    We got 4 days, 3 nights at the Marriott Grand Chateau on the strip, $50 Marriott gift card (to be used within the Marriott) and free valet parking (versus the regular $25/day) We used the gift cards for 2 meals and snacks which was great!

    What we had to do: Sit through a 90-minute one-on-one with their salesperson who tries to get you to buy a timeshare. Ours was not pushy at all and was okay with us saying no.

  2. Grocery Shop and Eat in-When we arrived at our Marriott Villa (which included a full kitchen) we went straight to the grocery store and got oatmeal, peanut butter, powerade, fresh fruits and salad fixings.  We ate in every morning and some afternoons and saved a lot of money and didn’t feel icky eating out for every single meal. Win-win!
  3. Fancy does NOT Mean Quality-After a fun day of gambling my husband and I decided to go to a fancy-pants steakhouse called Andiron. The apps came out looking and smelling great! Minus the hair in one of them. We assumed that when we informed the server and he took the plate away they’d remove the charge (even though we had eaten half before finding it).  Alas, nope, there it was, $8.99. It’s not a lot of money but it’s the principle! Don’t give me some nasty, hair-plagued dish and charge me for it! So I flagged down the server and asked him kindly to please remove and he responded “Oh my gosh I thought I did, I’m so sorry!” and voila! Charge removed. Don’t feel like just because the place is fancy you cannot ask for things.
  4. Get a Rental Car-I love using Lyft, don’t get me wrong, but when we decided to leave for a week I started doing the math. Lyft from point A to point B on day 1, day 2 points A,B, C and D, etc. I decided google “Enterprise Coupon Codes” and found a rental car for 6 days for $176. That’s less than $30/day to drive wherever, whenever. Plus when I showed up I asked for a free upgrade with a smile and they gave me one! Woohoo! So for $30/day we got an SUV and were able to drive everywhere on our own.
  5. Las Vegas SpecificTix 4 Tonight– Through work I get some pretty stellar discounts and through the Marriott Vacation resort you get stellar discounts but the best show ticket prices were at one of these stands outside the MGM Grand. We paid half the price of the Marriott discount rate!
  6. Las Vegas SpecificGamble for Comps-I am an Mlife Pear member and love the Mlife Perks! With Mlife rewards you can earn comps for gambling which is win-win.

Tier Levels. New members start at the Sapphire Tier Level and achieve Pearl status at 25,000 Tier Credits, Gold at 75,000 Tier Credits and Platinum at 200,000 Tier Credits. The premium level, NOIR, is by invitation only.

Highlights of each Tier Level include:

  • Sapphire – Discounts on rooms, shows and participating retail shops, access to pre-sale tickets to events, concerts and fights, exclusive personalized offers
  • Pearl – Tier Multiplier: 10 percent bonus on points and Express Comps, 10 percent discount at participating retail shops, buffet line passes (Las Vegas only)
  • Gold – Tier Multiplier: 20 percent bonus on points and Express Comps, priority hotel check-in line, VIP line access to nightclubs and pool day clubs
  • Platinum – Tier Multiplier: 30 percent bonus on points and Express Comps, priority Valet and taxi service, at least 15 percent retail discount at participating retail stores
  • NOIR (Invite Only) – Tier Multiplier: 40 percent bonus on points and Express Comps; complimentary limo service to/from airport; guaranteed room, show and restaurant reservations

Using your MLife Card every time you gamble you earn freebies and discounts along the way!

All around I had a blast and despite a few meals that didn’t go our way I got some free meals which made it okay 🙂