Shop-O-Matic: Deals, coupons, freebies, sales, bargains and tips for thrifty shoppers | Sun Sentinel blogs


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November 30, 2008

NYC holiday markets beat department stores


If you're foolish enough, like me, to head to frigid New York City on a winter holiday, at least visit the many holiday markets the city has to offer.

I went to the one at Union Square where I found painted cooper earrings by Bora from Greece for only $20 and a lovely silk-strewn necklace with a cascade of small gems for $47. You'll also find Christmas decor, unique leather goods and lots of fun gifts for children at the Holiday Market.

Similar markets can be found at Bryant Park, where you also can ice skate, Grand Central and Columbus Circle. So, wherever you land in the city, there is a holiday market to shop.

The markets feature booths from stores around Manhattan as well as the outreaches and independent vendors. While I wouldn't count on a return policy, I found the shopping experience more fun and interesting than the overcrowded department stores with faux sales (20 percent off and only $800!).

South Florida retailers might do well to copy this NYC idea. After all, our weather is much more conducive to outside shopping. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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November 28, 2008

The best part about the holidays? Surprising people

One of the sweetest people I met Friday: Linda Spence, 50, of Riviera Beach, who waited all day Thursday outside Best Buy in West Palm Beach to buy her 13-year-old daughter a laptop.

To pass the time, Spence smoked cigarettes and read three romance novels, including A Seduction at Christmas. When she had to go to the bathroom, she walked to a neighboring gas station while family members held her spot in line.

Spence managed to keep her daughter, Leslie, in the dark about what she was doing.

"She's going to scream and squeeze me like a cat," Spence said


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A blogger's take on Black Friday Midnight Madness at Sawgrass Mills

In my college days at UF, football season was the highlight of the year. The packed stadium was abuzz with energy, and a close game would keep us in our seats until the end of the very last play. The rush of all those students and fans exiting through the Swamp tunnel/gates created a bottleneck like I haven't seen again until Midnight Madness at Sawgrass Mills! Deja vu!!

I went alone, much to the chagrin of my family, the early birds who can't stay up past 10pm. Nice to know they care...but I never for one moment felt apprehensive in the well lighted parking lots, bustling with folks coming and going.

Once felt like every school in Broward County bused in their total student body and added them to the entire worldwide membership of the Shoppers Anonymous Organization. It was a feast for people-watchers, seeing the melting pot of South Florida, but not fun if you wanted to do some serious shopping. Every language was represented, and the only overloaded shopping carts I noticed were being pushed by non-English speaking shoppers

There was a line to get into the Coach store in the Colonnade, and long lines to check out at Ralph Lauren Polo in the Oasis. Radio Shack was letting shoppers in a few at a time, the rest were held outside by the metal barrier gates. I was warned to stay away from BrandsMart.

If you were too tired after the big meal to start shopping at midnight, don't worry, be happy, as the song says!! I found a few things, but the sales just weren't that great. I had to leave because if one more person ran over my heels with their stroller, I was going to lose it! (Yes, strollers, lots of them, at midnight. Maybe Sawgrass Mills should start offering parenting classes.)

What did you find?

POSTED IN: SALES (193), Shopping events (40)

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Some shoppers unimpressed by the savings

At the Shops at Pembroke Gardens, a new outdoor mall in Pembroke Pines, some shoppers making the rounds were unimpressed with Black Friday sales.

Marlene Garau, 20, of Miami Lakes, said she and a friend had hit the Aventura Mall earlier but found “better than normal” discounts only at one store, Urban Outfitters. By 9 a.m., the friends each had picked up a shirt and jacket that was an additional half off the sale price.

Garau, who recently lost her job as a receptionist in a Fort Lauderdale salon, said she certainly is spending less this holiday season.

“Not a lot of people are giving gifts this year. We’re just like … money is tight,” said Garau, as she searched for more bargains at Pembroke Gardens.

-- Doreen Hemlock, staff writer, Sun Sentinel

POSTED IN: Black Friday (43)

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'Tis the season... to economize

Megan Johnson, 34, of Parkland was talking Friday at the Town Center mall in Boca Raton about the need to spend less this holiday season.

"My husband's a contractor, and business is very slow," she said.

"That's right. No Coach bag for you," quipped her 11-year-old son, Jake.

- Paul Owers, staff writer

POSTED IN: Black Friday (43)

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Surprise! Palm Beach Mall is packed

I was stunned when I drove past the Palm Beach Mall around 9:15 Friday morning.

Normally, the rundown center's parking lots are practically empty. But today the place was packed, especially outside JCPenney.

Also busy was Dillard's, which is attracting shoppers with 70-percent-off store-closing sales. I hear Dillard's will be open until at least mid-December.

- Paul Owers, staff writer

POSTED IN: Black Friday (43)

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A sampling of Sawgrass Mills specials

Some of the busiest stores; and sample promotions at Sawgrass Mills:

KB Toy Works: "Biggest Sale Ever" signs plastered on store windows. Shoppers get $20 free bonus bucks with a purchase of $100 or more from Black Friday through Sunday.

Puma: 40 % off footwear and apparel, excluding clearance items.

Tommy Hilfilger: Everything in store, 50 % off all day

Perry Ellis: 60 % off or more on store items

Nike Factory Store: A plethora of discounts, including an extra 20% off entire purchase from midnight to noon Friday

- Arlene Satchell, staff writer

POSTED IN: Black Friday (43)

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Sawgrass Mills drew 30,000 in wee hours

Mall corridors were jam packed with crowds of between 30,000 to 40,000 shoppers.

Willie Mells of Fort Lauderdale had a game plan all mapped out until he saw the lines outside BrandsMart.

"I'd thought I'd knock out all my shopping early," said Mells, 53, staring incredulously at the crush of shoppers waiting to enter the electronics and appliance store.

Mells had hoped to snag a GPS navigation system, some stereo equipment and a few other miscellaneous gifts for co-workers during the morning shopping run.

"With the economy so whacked, I can probably wait until January and still get a good deal," he said, contemplating his next move.

Davis said he wouldn't stay until the throng abated and planned to stop next at a nearby Wal-Mart.

At KB Toy Works, Jeanne Semper of Coral Springs bought a Rhythm Station Keyboard early Friday for $29.98, a $10 savings.

Semper said she'd "comparison shopped" for specific items to determine where the best deals were before heading out.

"You have to do your homework," she said.

Although the crowds were out, Semper said she didn't think many people were spending as much as they did last year and that some were likely just got trying to walk off their Thanksgiving meal.

Of note: With parking scarce, especially near BrandsMart, a couple of enterprising young men tried to sell their parking space for $20 to drivers desperate for an empty spot.

- Arlene Satchell, staff writer

POSTED IN: Black Friday (43)

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Kohl's attracted 200 for 4 a.m. opening

Store Manager Thomas Gebhardt said lines formed an hour before Friday's 4 a.m. opening.

The crowd of 200 to 300 persons, was "well-mannered" and sang Christmas Carols before dashing for doorbusters.

Digital frames, GPS navigation systems and jewelry were hot items at Kohl's and despite the economy, there were many deals to be had this Black Friday, Gebhardt said.

"If you're a value conscious customer, this is the day to shop," he said.

Nancy Ali-Shamaa of Hollywood bought a Presto Cool Touch Electric Griddle for $19.99 (before $10 mail-in rebate), a blender and shirt at Kohl's, attracted by the retailer's "awesome sales."

The 20-year-old student, who arrived 30 minutes before opening, said the $10 Kohl's coupon she received for a $50 purchase was added incentive to start shopping early this holiday.

- Arlene Satchell, staff writer

POSTED IN: Black Friday (43)

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'I look out for discounts'

College student Raphael Tavernier, 19, teamed up with fellow Publix store clerk Jarrell Osborne, 18, to score bargains early Friday at Aventura Mall in north Miami-Dade County.

The two clean-cut youths each bought sneakers at Foot Locker in order to get $25 off a $100 purchase. They also each picked up a Florida Marlins hat to tap a “buy one, get the second one half off” deal. Together, they figured they saved at least $43.

“Publix has been cutting back on hours for part timers, so I work less now,” said Tavernier, an atmospheric science and meteorology student at Broward College, formerly Broward Community College.

He now is working 20 to 30 hours, instead of 40 hours, a week. “I look out for the discounts,” Tavernier said.

-- Doreen Hemlock, staff writer, Sun Sentinel

POSTED IN: Black Friday (43)

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Aventura Mall is brisk

Traffic was brisk at the upscale Aventura Mall in north Miami-Dade County despite the soft economy

. Nicole Gilfoy, a 25-year-old clerk at the Wild Buffalo silver jewelry kiosk, said she parked on the fourth floor of the Macy’s garage at 6:30 am and sees no difference in mall crowds from last year.

“I guess people can’t stay away from the sales,” said the Florida International University student.

Gilfoy said she personally will spend less this holiday season. An internship has cut into her work hours and she is preparing to get married.

“I am cutting down on gifts. I don’t have as much money,” she said. “I’ll buy just for the kids.”

-- Doreen Hemlock, staff writer, Sun Sentinel

POSTED IN: Black Friday (43)

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Man killed in Black Friday stampede on Long Island

Hey, let's take it easy out there.

Look what happened in Valley Stream, Long Island:

Read it here.

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Black Friday video

Thanks to our sister blog, Watch This Now, we have classic scenes of the morning rush:

Click here.

POSTED IN: Black Friday (43)

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Black Friday fun extends to auto repair

The economy is so awful that even auto repair shops feel the need to get in on the Black Friday fun.

Tires Plus in Palm Beach and Broward counties opened at 5 a.m. today and is offering 50 percent off a set of four select tires until 7 a.m. -- provided that you buy a lifetime balance, alignment and road hazard warranty. If you don't need tires, you still can save 50 percent on brakes and other repairs between 5-7.

But no work will be performed at such an early hour. Customers pay in advance and schedule the service for another time.

- Paul Owers

POSTED IN: Black Friday (43)

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Black Friday begins

The Christmas shopping season has begun.

Hundreds of shoppers smiled and gave weary cheers as the doors to Best Buy opened at 5 a.m.
Staff let them in a group at a time to avoid any panic rush, but no one seemed to be complaining.

- Rafael Olmeda, staff writer. Near Sawgrass Mills

5:55 a.m.
The wait at Best buy is down to 15 minutes

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November 27, 2008

Some Black Friday sales start Thanksgiving Day-online

Breaking news from

"What we're seeing today is absolutely unprecedented: 15 retailers are offering their online Black Friday or Thanksgiving Day sales right now! Such retailers include major stores like Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Dell Home, Sears and more.

The link to all of these Black Friday sales is here:"
The timeline for unreleased sales today and tomorrow is available

We've also been keeping track of all the "in-store" items currently available online for their Black Friday prices on our Online Deals page here:

Sun-Sentinel shopping bloggers give you shopping tips all year long. Bookmark us!


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November 26, 2008

Bed Bath & Beyond 20% off 6am-10am Friday

There are a mountain of Bed Bath and Beyond coupons in my kitchen coupon file. But they are each only good for one item.

This 20% off special is for your whole purchase, so now is the time to pick up on the bedding and towels you've had your eye on. There are a few exclusions, so have a look at the ad.

Bed Bath & Beyond Black Friday Ad

Sun-Sentinel shopping bloggers give you shopping tips all year long!! Bookmark us!


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Macy's Savings Pass and Coupon good Friday & Saturday

If you do your homework in advance the Black Friday sales will be even more amazing! Keep checking our blog for more promotions.

Here's a link to print a $10 off $25 coupon at Macy's. And a savings pass to use storewide. Print both from the link below.

Macy's coupons

POSTED IN: Coupons (513), Deals & Steals (282), SALES (193), Shopping events (40)

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More Black Friday hours - Ralph Lauren stores at Sawgrass Mills

It's good news for us night owls about the stores that open at midnight for Black Friday. I don't do 5am, or even 7am, but late nights I'm good to go!!

The three Ralph Lauren outlets in Sawgrass Mills open at 10pm on Thursday, and are open straight through until 9:30pm Friday. There's Ralph Lauren Polo in the Oasis, and Ralph Lauren in the Colonnade, and Ralph Lauren Children, Colonnade.

Ralph Lauren in the Colonnade has a additional 20% off if you spend $250.

Isn't that good news?? Will we see you there??

Sun-Sentinel shopping bloggers give you shopping tips all year long!! Bookmark us!


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Black Friday 20 percent coupon from Pottery Barn


I'm so excited. This 20 percent off coupon just came in from Pottery Barn. It is good for 20 percent off ONE ITEM.

Hurry and print it out now because it's only good for Thanksgiving weekend. Bring it to the store with you and shop 'til you drop...

To print this coupon, click on the single post for this item on the right rail, go to print preview, enlarge to 100 percent and print.

Now, what will I buy? Let me know what you found.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Black Friday (43)

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Black Friday mall hours

On your marks, get set ....

Aventura Mall: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Broward Mall: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Coral Ridge Mall: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Coral Square Mall: 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Galleria in Fort Lauderdale: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Pembroke Lakes Mall: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Sawgrass Mills: 12 a.m. Thursday to 9:30 p.m. Friday

The Promenade at Coconut Creek: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Shops at Pembroke Gardens: 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Boynton Beach Mall: 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Palm Beach Mall: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Gardens Mall: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Mall at Wellington Green: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Town Center mall in Boca Raton: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Hours reflect the times that malls will open Friday. Some retailers might open earlier or later.
Source: Sun Sentinel Research

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At Sawgrass Mills, Black Friday starts at midnight Thursday

Now we know why they call this Black Friday.

Because all the fun starts in the cover of darkness.

Best Buy and other major chains typically open at 5 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving, but the Sawgrass Mills outlet mall in Sunrise is one-upping them this year.

Sawgrass is opening at midnight for die-hard shoppers hell-bent on leaving their football-watching husbands behind.

Marketing mavens hope the midnight blitz adds a little pizzazz to a shopping season that's expected to be one of the worst in decades because the tanking economy.

Some of the better deals out there: 50 percent off toys at Kohl's and a 52-inch flat-panel Samsung TV at Best Buy for $1,499.

Check back here throughout the day Friday for some of the more interesting tidbits we find. We'll be at Sawgrass Mills at midnight and at various stores in Palm Beach and Broward counties talking to shoppers.

Happy bargain hunting, everyone.

-- Paul Owers, staff writer

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Do you Twitter? We'd like to hear from you.

We're looking for a few good South Florida shoppers who use Twitter. We'd like to use your reports to help our readers know what's going on in our area's stores and malls on Black Friday morning.

Please send us some info now and on Friday morning, just use Twitter as you normally would, on your phone or on your computer, and we'll spread your word to Sun Sentinel readers. E-mail with the following information:

1. Your name

2. Phone number (for contact purposes only)

3. Twitter account name

4. City you live in

5. What your Black Friday plans are

We'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Note: You must be 18 or older, and not a store or mall employee.

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Black Friday deals at BJ's


Members of BJs Wholesale Club can get fab Black Friday deals. The club is offering more than $3,675 in coupon savings, including a 42” LCD HDTV for $679.99.

Get up early. BJ's will open two hours early -- at 7 a.m. Special coupons will be offered through the holiday weekend while supplies last on name brand gifts, online shopping as well as groceries.

You should have a received a coupon book in the mail. But if not, they are handing out coupon books at the door. Instant coupons also are available at For example, there's a $50 instant coupon on line for a Garmin nuvi 200 3.5 GPS receiver that was $179.99 and is now $129.99.

Some of the hot deals include:


Sharp® AQUOS® 52” 1080p LCD HDTV (BJ’s Member pricing – including $300 coupon –$1399.99)
Samsung® 46” 1080p LCD HDTV (BJ’s Member pricing – including $200 coupon - $1099.99)
Samsung® 32” LCD HDTV (BJ’s Member pricing - including $100 coupon - $499.99)
Sylvania® 37” LCD HDTV (BJ’s Member pricing - including $80 coupon - $599.99)
Sylvania® 22” LCD TV (BJ’s Member pricing – including $40 coupon - $289.99)


Sony® VGC-JS1100/SC, Intel® Dual Core Processor, All-in-One PC (BJ’s Member pricing – including $100 coupon - $849.99)
Sony® 16.4” Notebook (BJ’s Member pricing – including $200 coupon - $799.99)
HP® Desktop Bundle (BJ’s Member pricing – including $100 coupon - $799.99)
HP® D7260 Printer with 3.5” Touch Screen LCD (BJ’s Member pricing – including $50 coupon - $49.99)

Prices are valid Friday, November 28 thru Sunday, November 30, while supplies last.

Makes you want to join.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Black Friday (43)

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November 25, 2008

Check out TopTenREVIEWS for expert reviews of products

If you are going to shop the Black Friday sales, but are still undecided as to which television or video game you are going to claw your way through the crowd for......there's an unbiased resource to help you select

TopTenREVIEWS is a review Web site, featuring expert reviews of technology and entertainment products and services. provides free access to in-depth reviews, side-by-side feature comparisons, industry-related news, articles and qualified links related to software, hardware, movies, music, video games and Web services.

I'm making my list.....getting a digital picture frame for my Mom. She loves her family pictures, so much that the picture frames are taking over her house. Now to pick one that won't break the day after she opens it. They're kind of expensive, but she's worth it. Maybe I'll find one cheaper on Black Friday.


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Where are you shopping on Black Friday?

Been thinking about Black Friday, trying to decide what's my plan. I don't know about you, but 5am is not fun in my book. I'd rather pay double than get up at 4am!!

If I shop on Black Friday, it will be at Sawgrass Mills, or one of the other stores that will open at midnight on Thursday for the shopping frenzy. Right now I am buried in notes...trying to figure out what I might buy, and where I need to go to get it. I can't shop in that bedlam unless I'm organized.

A website that tries to make sense out of Black Friday for the consumer is It has links for advertised sales, store hours, buying guides for laptops, televisions, GPS devices, and more. There are also message boards where you can post questions or past experiences and advice.

You can even register and work up a personal shopping list. And promises not to sell or share your email address. I'll bet they wind up with a lot of useful data though.

Where will you be on Black Friday?

We give you great shopping tops all year long! Bookmark us!

POSTED IN: Deals & Steals (282), SALES (193), Shopping Advice (99), Shopping events (40)

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Black Friday at Best Buy


Now that we are getting closer to the biggest shopping day of the year, Best Buy has listed its Black Friday Secret Sale items on its Website.

Never fear. It's organized so you can tell which items are for sale only online and which will be in the stores.

Tickets will be handed out as early as 3 a.m. Friday and stores open at 5 a.m.

A Samsung 52 inch, 1080p flat panel plus Geek Squad install is $1,499. A ticket is required to purchase the item in the stores, but it is available online with free shipping.

Insignia 7.0 Megapixel Digital Camera is $59.99 after instant savings. Ticket is required to purchase in store.

Check out the other deals at

XOXO -- Shopper Girl


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November 24, 2008

Win $2,000 shopping spree at Mizner Park

Mizner Park kicks off a month of holiday shopping events with a fashion show on Thurs., Dec. 4.

The "Holiday Nights on the Town" also features live jazz, wine and food tastings, and the chance at a $2,000 shopping spree at Mizner Park.

A special shopping pass with discounts and specials is available at shops. Go to Mizner for details and other incentives. I found, for example, 15 percent off at Ann Taylor Loft on Friday, Nov. 28, aka Black Friday. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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Black Friday Ads at Kohl's


Thanks to the folks at Kohl’s we don't have to search Websites for their Black Friday specials.

Better get to bed early Thanksgiving night because Kohl's opens at 4 a.m. The Early Bird specials are from 4 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Thanksgiving shoppers also will get $10 off future purchases for every $50 spent.

Here are some of the 300 specials:

Toys: 50 percent off entire stock including popular brands like Fisher Price, Playskool, Barbie, Tonka, Matchbox and Hot Wheels. This year it also covers Little Tikes, Crayola and Play-Doh.

Designer brands for misses: 40 to 50 percent off entire stock of apparel including:
Simply Vera Vera Wang – $17 to $100.80, originally $34 to $168; Elle Contemporary Collection – $8.99 to $49.99, originally $24 to $84; Daisy Fuentes – $8.99 to $35.00, originally $18 to $89.

Chaps apparel for misses (selected styles): 55 to 60 percent off; $13.50 to $75.80, originally $30 to $189.50.

High-definition video camera value pack including 2GB SD card, tripod, rechargeable batteries, cable and pouch. Records HD video and captures still images up to 12M resolution: $99.99; regularly $199.99.

Kohl's is cool. You can check out the ads now at

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Black Friday (43), Deals & Steals (282), Kids (37), Miscellaneous (36), Women's Clothing (131)

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November 23, 2008

Holiday cosmetics specials last all year long


Each year about this time Santa Claus brings presents a little early for women: The cosmetic counter holiday specials

If you buy right, you might not have to buy makeup all year long. I'm still using the eye shadow from a holiday Estee Lauder special from a year ago.

This holiday season Lancome seems to have the best deal. For a $36 purchase, you can buy a Lancome case full of cosmetics for only $49.50, supposedly a $339 value. While a few items are decidedly small, the Lancome case has full-size lipsticks and a variety of some of its best products.

I spotted this deal at Nordstrom's. It's the holidays and time to put on a happy face, or at least a nicely made up one. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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New Mini-Mall Consignment Store on Las Olas Blvd

Have you gotten the email that's circulating reminding you to use all your unspent gift certificates and store credits? With all the store closings, it might be a good idea not to stockpile any store credits at this time. Let's see, Linens and Things, Circuit City, Bombay Company, J. Jill...and the list goes on.

Amidst all the doom and breath of fresh air! A new mini-mall consignment store just opened this week at 1517 Las Olas Blvd, where 'Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow' used to be. I poked around on my way to work the other day, lots of great gift items, as well as what will be the ever changing consigned one-of-a-kinds.

Have a look, just west of the 7-11.

POSTED IN: Store openings (20)

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November 22, 2008

Use JC Penney coupon for small gift purchase


On my shopping list this weekend are some warm jammies. Not only has it been a little chilly lately for this reborn Floridian, I occasionally head north during the holidays where I know I'm going to be freezing my fanny off.

No Victoria's Secret here. Something solid like J.C. Penney. My mother bought me a pair of pajamas a few years ago from JC Penney or Sears -- two department stores reliable for relative gift giving because items can be returned in other cities.

These PJ's look cute, for $24.99 to $28.99. I may look at these and possibly use JC Penney's $10 off coupon this weekend for items $25 and over.

I want to be warm, but since I fully intend to return to better weather, I don't want to pay a lot for it! -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

POSTED IN: Black Friday (43), Christmas (51), Coupons (513), Deals & Steals (282), Jewelry (45), Lingerie (23), Women's Clothing (131)

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November 21, 2008

Free iTouch, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle at Tommy Hilfiger


How early were you planning to get up tomorrow? You could get a free iTouch, iPod Nano or iPod Shuffle from Tommy Hilfiger and Details magazine.

The first 10 customers who spend more than $500 at Hilfiger's Aventura Mall store will get the Apple iTouch.

The first 50 customers to spend more than $300 will receive an iPod Nano, and the first 50 customers to spend more than $150 will receive an iPod Shuffle.

And the first 100 customers to spend more than $100 will receive a Details Style Manual.

Doors open at 10 a.m. A live DJ will play from 1 to 5 p.m. and refreshments provided by Coca Cola Zero. The store closes at 9:30 p.m.

Tommy Hilfiger is located at 19501 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 147, Aventura. Call 305-931-1631.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

P.S. Tommy Hilfiger designs cool stuff like this women's red leather watch ($95).

POSTED IN: Deals & Steals (282)

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Black Friday Giveaway of VW Beetle at Pier I


Shop at Pier I and win a car! This is one of the best Black Friday promotions I have ever seen!

Pier I will sponsor a nationwide in-store sweepstakes Nov. 28 (Black Friday) through Nov. 30. The grand prize is a 2009 Volkeswagen New Beetle plus a $500 Pier 1 gift card. Five first prize winners will receive a $500 Pier 1 gift card. Just register at your local Pier 1. You are limited to one entry per day during the sweepstakes period.

The drawing will be on or around Dec. 17. For more info and official rules, see

I really miss my Beetle so I can't wait to enter. How about you?

Store hours for Thanksgiving weekend are 8 a.m. to 10 Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

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November 20, 2008

Free Dr Pepper for everyone in America on November 23rd


Dr Pepper, the soft-drink maker, said in March that it would give a free soda to everyone in America if the Guns n' Roses Chinese Democracy album came out in 2008. Chinese Democracy, delayed since recording began in 1994, will go on sale Sunday.

Tony Jacobs, Dr Pepper's VP of marketing, said "But now that it's here, all we can say is: The Dr Pepper's on us."

Starting Sunday, 11/23, at 12:01 a.m., coupons for a free 20-ounce soda will be available for 24 hours on Dr Pepper's website. They'll expire on Feb. 28. Nov. 23.

To double check this information, I did a Google search and this article came up on MSNBC, MTV, Reuters, Billboard, Yahoo, and countless other websites and news agencies. Pretty good publicity stunt, Axl Rose.

What do you want to bet that the Dr Pepper website crashes?

POSTED IN: Coupons (513)

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Tommy Bahama Orchid Dress


Normally, we don't like to blog about dresses in the triple digits during these tough times. But this Africian orchid dress from Tommy Bahama is equivalent to the "little black dress" of the sub-tropics. You can wear it everywhere!

This sexy, strapless dress is 61 percent silk and 39 percent cotton. It sells for $225. For more info, see

PIcture wearing this little number while you are sipping a mojito with your main man.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Women's Clothing (131)

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Black Friday bargains at Burlington Coat Factory


Are you heading to Burlington Coat Factory for Black Friday specials?

Here are some of the cool things in their ads:

Hannah Montana or Spiderman jacket for $19.99

Gloria Vanderbilt twill jeans for $7.99

Diamond Accent Pendants for $29.99

You can find all of these ad scans on

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Black Friday (43), Deals & Steals (282), Men's Clothing (25), Women's Clothing (131)

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November 19, 2008

Gift idea for the camera enthusiast in your life

I just got back from a girl's trip to Italy...a college sorority sister restored an old farmhouse in Tuscany (sound familiar?) and threw a magical housewarming party for about 100 of her closest friends!!

Nine of us were UF classmates, trapsing around Italy, reminiscing and laughing hysterically about days of old. I tried to photograph and video the antics, but most often I was laughing so hard, there was no keeping the camera still!!

Have you ever played "go around the table and describe your worst date ever" while consuming massive quantities of Chianti? (Chances are we will never be invited back to that restaurant.)


Next time, I'll be prepared. Look at these cool flexible tripods. They will attach to lots of things, or work like a traditional tripod, just to steady the camera when you get the giggles. I'll bet it would hold on to a Chianti bottle neck.

What a cool gift idea for the camera enthusiast in your life. I know I want one....before my next trip!

There are probably lots of flexible tripods out there, a co-worker got his for around $10 at Walmart. I surfed around the Internet and liked these by Joby, called Gorillapods. The smallest one, strong enough to hold a point-n-shoot, sells for $21.95 straight retail, both on Amazon and on Joby's website.

Now if you read this blog, you know we don't like to pay straight retail for anything. So let us know if you come across a better deal!! Hopefully...before I buy mine.

POSTED IN: Catalog shopping (3), Christmas (51), Deals & Steals (282), Holiday Gifts 2007 (63)

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November 18, 2008

Coupon for 20% off one jewelry item at Neimans Last Call

We reported not too long ago about a 'research trip' that two of our shopping bloggers, Marcia and I, made to the Dolphin Mall. There was so much to see that we only mentioned a few of the highlights. Have any of you gone there yet? Like it better than Sawgrass?

One of the 'unmentionables' was a gorgeous $1700 David Yurman pearl and silver necklace at Last Call that I have been dreaming about ever since that excursion.

Now, if I had a mind to go back for the necklace, this 20% off one jewelry item coupon would be worth a lot, wouldn't it? Unfortunately, my dreams would turn to nightmares if this working girl spent that kind of money on a necklace, even with the discount...but maybe you have your eye on one that you can't resist. If so, this coupon is for you....good starting on Wednesday, 11/19 until the 23rd.

20% off one jewelry item coupon

POSTED IN: Coupons (513)

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A deal for frequent Starbucks visitors


I just moved to a new office location and I'm already missing my neighborhood Starbucks. But I will seek out new Starbucks to continue my addiction. I can work anywhere as long a I can find a Starbucks. At right is their new hazelnut hot chocolate. Haven't tried it yet, but it looks good.

To ease the financial pain of my coffee habit, I bought a Starbucks Gold Card. The $25 card gives me 10 percent off all purchases for a year. As much a I frequent the coffee hangout, I thought it was worth the price.

I've had a similar card with Barnes & Noble and find it useful for the holidays when I buy books, CDs or DVDs for many friends and family.

It's similar in concept to buying a membership to Costco or BJ's, but I've avoided these. While there are good deals, I know I would buy way more than I should. So I mooch off friends with cards. Now I can repay them with a discounted coffee. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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20 to 70 percent off Ethan Allen

Just got a postcard from the folks at Ethan Allen.

The South Florida stores are having a Designer Floor Sample sale Nov. 20 through 23. These good sales don't come very often so it's a good idea to see what they have. Floor samples may be sratched or stained, but if you like the furniture, it's worth the cleanup effort.

Local stores include:

Boca Raton: 9200 Glades Rd., Boca Lyons Plaza, 561-451-2400.

Fort Lauderdale: 2900 N. Federal Hwy., 954-561-2400.

Palm Beach Gardens: Legacy Place, 561-625-1703.

Pembroke Pines: 13680 Pines Blvd. at Pembroke entrance, 954-436-2400.

Also, Ethan Allen has a great financing deal right now that has been praised by the trades --- 4.99 percent for 48 months.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Furniture (24)

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November 17, 2008

Kate Moss, Kim Cattrall and Milla Jovich Sexy Lingerie


Maybe we can't look like Kate Moss, Milla Jovich or Kim Cattrall (Who would have the courage at 51 to pose nude with only sushi covering essential body parts?). But I digress. You can buy lingerie from one of their fave spots --

I got the tip from, one of my best tipsters. The lingerie InStyle featured was out of stock, but I found this Colette Babydoll at 20 percent off. It was $315 and is now $252.

Don't you love it? It very glam, very sexy and very naughty. The lingerie combines sheer leopard-skin print chiffon and black sheer Chantilly lace. A bed jacket and tie side panty are also available.

This is so hot that Paris Hilton may also be a fan! It could heat up your marriage.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Lingerie (23), Sexy clothing (21)

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NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson and Lowe's Discount


Now I am convinced that I am a sports illiterate. I thought Jimmy Johnson was a football coach. And here comes another Jimmie Johnson in NASCAR. Who says a Home and Garden Editor can't learn new tricks?

Anyhow, here's the news: Lowe's is offering customers 10 percent off Kobalt tools, tool storage and truck boxes. The offer begins today and runs through Nov. 19 in all Lowe's in the U.S. and Canada. It applies on all in-stock Kobalt tools. The discount will be taken at the register.

I also learned about the connection. Kobalt Tools has been sponsor of the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the past two seasons. Johnson also drove the No. 48 Kobalt Tools Impala SS in eight races this year. Here he is with his latest trophy in an Associated Press photo.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Tools (2)

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November 15, 2008

Love Giving Love Saving at Stein Mart - Wednesday 11/19

Love giving? Love saving? Then stop by any Stein Mart on Wednesday, November 19, for a special one-day event that will benefit a great cause “and” your wallet!

Donate $5 or more to Dignity U Wear when you check out and receive 10% off your ENTIRE PURCHASE as part of Stein Mart’s special, “Love giving. Love saving.” fundraising event. That savings is on top of Stein Mart’s already discounted every day prices and sale items, so your total savings will really add up. It’s a great way to help others while saving money on some early holiday shopping.

No coupon needed—just let the cashier know you want to make a donation to Dignity U Wear and 10% will be taken off your entire purchase. The event is one day only—November 19—at all Stein Mart locations.

Dignity U Wear is a national nonprofit that provides brand new clothing to men, women and children in need. For more than five years, Stein Mart has supported Dignity U Wear, raising more than $2.3 million and helping to distribute more than 1.2 million pieces of clothing to DUW partner organizations.

Find out more about Dignity U Wear

POSTED IN: Shopping events (40)

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Z Gallerie for style at a bargain price



Earlier today I went to one of my favorite haunts -- Z Gallerie in Boca's Mizner Park. The California-based chain is enchanting. Every time I go there I feel like a kid in a candy store. The home furnishings are reasonably priced and look like they cost much more. Don't you just love that? And the displays are so creative that you can get great ideas to design your home.

Anyhow, on this trip I found some great items for the holiday table:

The word "bling" may not be in vogue right now like Recessionista is, but you can buy your bling and not feel quilty. I fell in love with the pair of bling tealight candleholders that resemble a crystal chandelier on a silver post. The 20 inch are $39.95 each and the 17 inch are $37.95 each. To go with them is a set of four bling napkin rings for $19.98. Just picture them on a holiday table -- terrific!

Also, check the sales items in the Boca store. I found some fabulous wine, champagne and martini glasses ornamented with gold, green and red for 25 percent off. They were $9.99 and are now $7.50 each. I would show you, but they aren't on the Website.

While you are there, be sure to look in the north end of the store for closeouts -- 50 to 70 percent off. For store locations, see

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Accessories (73)

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November 14, 2008

Bargains at Shecky's Girls Night Out

I love these events where you can go out with the girls, shop and have a heck of a good time.

Mark your calendar from Nov. 19 and Nov. 20 for Shecky's Girls Night Out at the Catalina Hotel in South Beach. The Sheckys' folks tell us they will have designer fashions up to 75 percent off (including cocktail dresses -- If only I had a place to wear one, sigh), complimentary spa services, cocktails and munchies.

Each room of the hotel's main building will reflect the style and personality of each of the designers. You can purchase tickets to win a Goodie Bag, which will be stuffed with more than $100 of must-have products -- such as Aquafresh White Trays, Aveeno, Chambord, Dove, Good Earth Premium Coffee and Redken.

Hours are from 6 to11 p.m. You must be 21 or older to attend. The hotel is located at 1732 Collins Ave. (305-674-1160). Admission is $10. Or pay $25 for two Goodie Bag tickets including admission. See for more info.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Accessories (73), Beauty Products (66), Shopping events (40), Women's Clothing (131)

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November 13, 2008

$5 off $20 coupon for Walgreens Friday and Saturday

Love those coupons!

Print the coupon in the link to get $5 off a $20 purchase at Walgreens on Friday and Saturday, 11/14 and 11/15 only. There are a lot of sales this week, so combine this coupon with the sale prices and you will be a strategic shopper!

For example, this week Walgreens has buy-one-get-one-free offers on Arm & Hammer laundry detergent, Scotch tape, Kleenex tissues, and Nature Made vitamins. Toss in a few manufacturers coupons and you can stretch that dollar big time.

If you stretch it far enough, you might be able to eek out that new purple sweater you have your eye on!!


POSTED IN: Deals & Steals (282), SALES (193)

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Martha Stewart Christmas Workshop starts Monday November 17th

Get ready early to make it a magical holiday season!

And to get you in the mood, this year, the editors of Martha Stewart Living will help you plan the ultimate celebration with festive ideas for delicious treats and memorable feasts, plus one-of-a-kind decorations and gift ideas. Sign up now for a six-week workshop to get:

-Enchanting decor ideas for outdoors and in
-Start-to-finish party plans for holiday feasts, cookie exchanges, and more
-Handmade cards and gift ideas for everyone on your list
-Fun and festive Christmas traditions for kids and adults
-Interactive holiday quizzes
-Holiday tips from Martha Stewart Living editors
-The chance to show off your creations
-And much more! You get the idea!

Martha Stewart Christmas Workshop

POSTED IN: Christmas (51), Holiday Gifts 2007 (63)

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Stretch your grocery dollar

With everyone trying to pinch pennies these days, don't forget the grocery store where we tend to buy with our stomachs.

I've found a new site for local grocery coupons, Put in your zip code and you can find deals get coupons for your favorite grocery haunts including Publix, Winn-Dixie, Walgreen's etc.

Checking for groceries near Delray Beach I found roast beef on sale for $3.49 a pounds and golden delicious apples for 99 cents a pound. More questionable were the marshamellow peeps on sale at Walgreens: Have they been around for last Easter or are they just early?

Every bit of savings helps these days, though, so worth doing your homework before heading to grocery shop. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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November 11, 2008

Black Friday Deals

Looking for more Black Friday advance ads?

Here are the latest ads posted on the Black Friday 2008 Website:

- Staples' 6-item Black Friday Advertisement "Sneak Peak"

- Dell Home's 27-item Black Friday Advertisement

- CVS Pharmacy's 56-item Black Friday Advertisement

- Gander Mountain's 58-item Black Friday Advertisement

- Rite Aid's 47-item Black Friday Advertisement

- Tommy Hilfiger's 8-item Black Friday Advertisement

You can find all of these ad scans on

XOXO-- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Black Friday (43)

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Michael Kors dress meets every occasion


My friend E. from North Carolina was visiting this weekend for a special event. We had some time to kill so we headed to the Sawgrass outlet mall, of course.

We checked out the 50 percent sale at Coach and then Michael Kors outlet store. Coach has some great buys right now, but even at 50 percent off, their handbags are at least $100 -- too much for sensible girls like us who grew up in the Midwest.

But we soon found our bargain at nearby Michael Kors: The French rosebud dress in cream or red, for only $49.99. We liked the red version -- so we both bought it.

This may be the perfect dress. It fits like a dream and it does not wrinkle. It was wrapped up in a tiny Michael Kors bag and unrolled in perfect form -- great for travel.

Two friends shopping together can rack up deals at Sawgrass. We needed black stockings to go with the dress so we headed to Saks Off 5th. We found Donna Karan "invigorating" stockings for only $4.99. Since we bought them together, we even got half off one pair!

Now a diehard Floridian, I rarely don a pair of stockings. It's just too darn hot. But these were fantastic: I've got to go back for more.

All in all, a successful shopping day. Bring a friend with you: it can pay off in savings and laughs. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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November 10, 2008

Barack Obama Presidential Plates


Normally, we don't go for plates with famous people's faces on them (unless it is England's royal family during a wedding or coronation), but the election of Barack Obama has made history. He merits a whole set of china!

So, check out these plates and mugs from The 8-inch porcelain plates are $16.99 each. The 11-ounce white mugs are $12.99 each.

If you still are a red person at heart, you can buy plates and mugs with McCain on them. His have the inscription: A true American Hero.

The one caveat I have is: They are sold "as is" so if the printing is sloppy you are out of luck.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Political (1), Tableware (13)

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November 7, 2008

Free bridal gowns for military brides


If you are engaged and are on active duty in the military or have a fiance on active duty, you may be able to get a free designer wedding gown worth up to $1,800.

Bill South, co-owner with his wife, Patricia, of Patricia South The Bride's Choice, says to qualify you must show them deployment papers to Iraq or Afghanistan for you or your hubby to be and a military ID. Ten wedding gowns will be given away at the event on a first come, first serve basis. The event, which celebrates Veterans Day, will be held on Nov. 11. Brides do not have to reside in the area where the giveaway is taking place.

To reserve your appointment, call 954-791-6007. The shop is located at 4066 West Broward Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale. See
For other participating stores and states check out

What a great way to show graditude for those risking their lives in these wars. We salute you, Bill and Patricia!

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Women's Clothing (131)

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November 6, 2008

Black Friday Blackout on Specials, Discounts


Earlier this week we told you about, a great site that tips you early about Black Friday specials.

Apparently, every year some retailers don't want you to know what their offers are too early. Boo to them.

They keep their lawyers busy with Cease and Desist orders. As of this morning, five have weighed in with their blackouts -- Walmart, Sears, Big Lots, Macy's and Ace Hardware.

Check for the sneak peak of the Lowe's Black Friday ad listing that was leaked by Lowe's. Some of the best buys include a Black & Decker 24-volt, 4-piece Cordless Combo Kit that was $159 for $59.97 and 14-gallon Shop-Vac Wet/Dry Vac that was $89.97 for $29. They also have decor such as the 3-piece 29-inch Bronze Casual Table with two buffet lamps that was $88 for $49. Remember, specials won't be available until Nov. 28. But you can start planning.

Thanks, Lowe's, for being a good sport!

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Black Friday (43), Coupons (513), Deals & Steals (282)

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Retailers say "Happy Birthday"

It's my 39th birthday again and all week long I've been getting cards from my favorite retailers, or at least those I signed up for discounts by mail.

White House/Black Market sent me $10 off any purchase; I just have to use it by the end of the month. Same offer with Victoria's Secret.

Loehmann's sent me a birthday postcard with a 15 percent discount valid anytime during my birthday month. And DSW sent me a $5 off postcard, but the purchase has to be $19.95 or more -- a little cheaper but I do get discounts from them all the time.

If you're concerned about giving out your birthday when signing up for these offers, use the first day of your birthday month. My friend J does that and then gets a full month to use the birthday discounts. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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November 4, 2008

Election Day sale at

No time to shop when we have lines to stand in to vote!

But after you cast your ballot today, check out for 15 percent off everything with only 99 cents shipping per item (unless there's special handling involved.)

Enter the code Election15 to get the special discount.

If you're a Phillies fan -- or know one, you could buy this World Series T-shirt through Philly%20shirt.jpg

You also can enter to win a $10,000 grand prize in a Kohl's sweepstakes. First prize is a family vacation for four at a Disney World resort and tickets to Cirque du Soleil's La Nouba show in Orlando.

Let's see I've voted, so what shall I buy? Maybe I'll just enter the sweepstakes. It's my birthday week; maybe that's lucky. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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November 3, 2008

Coldwater Creek returns, coupons and free shipping


One of the good reasons to shop the Coldwater Creek catalog is you can save money on returns if you take the item you don't want back to the local store. No packing it up and going to the post office. That takes a lot of the pain out of catalog or online shopping.

This is the second time I have returned clothing to the store at The Terrace at Town Center in Boca Raton. No problems. Everything went smoothly

The problem was the jacket I loved was cut too small in the sleeves. And the fitted blouse was way too fitted for my taste. (See them at right.)

Anyhow, my refund was minus the initial shipping charge, and I lost the $10 coupon that I used to make the purchase. But the saleswoman gave me this good advice: If you place a catalog order at the store, you don't have to pay shipping, and it will be sent to your home, not the store.

I called Coldwater Creek to make sure she was giving me the right info and it is correct. But when I checked on the coupon to see if I could get a new one, she informed me that it wasn't refundable. My best advice: Use those coupons to buy something in the store, if possible. You know the clothing is right and you won't lose the coupon's value.

You may want to check out the online specials at My jacket, which was $89.50 is now $43.99.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Catalog shopping (3), Women's Clothing (131)

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November 2, 2008

Sign up for Bath and Body Works emails and get a free gift


In this day of email spam and junk mail, we might think twice about getting on another mailing list, but when it involves savings, it's worth considering.

Bath and Body Works offers a free gift if you sign up for their email list. The bonus is, they will let you know about sales and special offers once you are on the list.

They are very generous with discount coupons if you sign up for their (snail mail) mailing list. You can sign up for the email list online, and stop by any Bath and Body Works to get on the mailing list.

Bath and Body Works email list link

POSTED IN: Coupons (513), Deals & Steals (282)

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About the authors
Doreen Christensen has never paid full price for anything. If there is a way to save on something, she will find it and share how you can save, too. Doreen is a senior reporter covering consumer news, health, beauty and features for the online and print editions of the Sun Sentinel. A 32-year veteran of the newspaper, she previously was a senior copy editor on the universal copy desk. Doreen spends her time off hunting bargains, clipping coupons, gardening and traveling.

Justine Griffin covers retail and marine business for the Sun Sentinel. She is a Tampa Bay native who graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2010. After spending a year covering crime in St. Augustine, Fla., she moved to Fort Lauderdale and made the switch to business journalism. When she’s not writing, she’s riding horses and spending time with her whippet puppy, Josie.

Marcia Heroux Pounds is the Sun Sentinel's workplace columnist when she's not shopping for shoes. She also writes about small business, which allows her to visit many of South Florida's unique shops and boutiques.

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