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

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February 27, 2009

Oil of Olay fans: Sunday is deadline for Pro X rebate

Oil of Olay's new Pro-X line of products are hot and a $25 rebate is available if you purchase $50 worth before Sunday, March 8.

Get the rebate form by going to Olay.com. You need to download the form and mail it with the receipt by March 23.

Ellen tells Shop-o-matic that she loves the ProX line, which Oil of Olay advertises will "give you younger-looking, younger acting skin."

"I bought the Pro X Olay starter kit using a $10 off coupon (inside the product) and also sent in for the $25 rebate. I LOVE the new Pro X. I have always used Olay and always will," Ellen writes.

My shopping blog colleague Kathy was really smart: She used her CVS coupons to purchase ProX, plus sent in for the rebate. And she's beautiful, so it must be working. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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February 26, 2009

50% to 80% clearance at Macy's through March 1

jeans.jpgThese DKNY stretch jeans, my fav, are on sale for $29 at Macy's clearance sale through March 1. Jeans, dresses, sweater, jewelry and handbags can be found on the clearance shelves.

If I keep bringing my lunch to work (apparently my key to losing weight), I might even look that good in them. -- Marcia "Not as Many" Pounds

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Deals at DCOTA: Save up to 75 percent at Sample Sale

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Looking for deals on furnishings that are typically sold to the design trade only?

The Design Center of the Americas is sponsoring its first Sample Sale in two years 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 4 to 6. You will find everything from antiques to textiles selling for 10 to 75 percent off list price. The offerings include regular merchandise as well as floor samples.

Unlike the old days of Sample Sale when you could get into DCOTA and shop without a designer, the rules have changed. These days you need a designer and DCOTA will match you with one.

But beware this offer comes with a big caveat. The savings price will be slightly diminished because the designers will take a fee of 20 percent fee above the sale price. That means some of the smaller discounts won't be good deals. Kind of makes you pine for the old days, doesn't it?

Advance appointments are suggested; call 954-921-7575. DCOTA is located at 1855 Griffin Road, Dania Beach.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: SALES (212)

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Bargain jewelry: Cuff bracelet a good buy at Ann Taylor Loft

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Even if it's not in the budget to buy a new outfit, picking up some accessories can do the trick.

I just love this Stretch Wide Filigree Bracelet. It's 3 inches wide and has a pattern of brushed silver filigree. It was $34 and is now only $19 at Ann Taylor Loft

And there's a good deal right now: Buy one and get 50 per cent off a second item of equal or lesser value.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Jewelry (50)

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Coupon code for 20% off Restoration Hardware outdoor furniture

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Every time I go into a Restoration Hardware, I find something new to love. Their things have great classic style and are well-made with quality materials. Unfortunately, too pricey for my budget...I even daydream about a part time job there so I can get an employee discount.

This week retailmenot.com has a coupon code for 20% off outdoor furniture, excluding sale items. The code is RPTF309, good until 3/16/09.

Restoration Hardware

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Filene's Basement prom dress sale event 50-75% off

Filene's is having a prom dress event on February 28th. Join the Filene's fan club for a 20% off one item coupon. Click here to join Filene's Basement Fan Club.
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POSTED IN: SALES (212), Shopping events (48)

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February 25, 2009

Nautical skirt: Anthropologie has cool nautical skirt

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We wouldn't live in South Florida if we didn't love the sea. So why not wear sea-themed clothing if it's not too hokey?

If you've got the figure, Anthropologie has the pencil skirt. It's cotton with an acetate lining and features a lassos circle.

It sells for $198, but you can wear it almost everywhere -- if you dress it up or down. It could look just as fine with stilletos or sneakers. Go to Anthropologie.

XOXO --Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Women's Clothing (132)

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February 24, 2009

Freebies: Free subscription to Elle Magazine

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There are a lot of freebies on the airwaves these days. Free pancakes at Denny's, free bagels and Einsteins, free breakfast at Chik Filet. Now you have something free to read while you eat your free food.

Free subscription to Elle magazine

When I clicked on this first it offered me Auto Magazine, but I came back a little while later and it offered me the free Elle.

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How to clean your computer - tips from Martha Stewart

I look forward to a daily email from MarthaStewart.com. Often the tips with photos are good enough to share with our readers. Usually about housekeeping or organizing, today's message was about caring for your computer.

Since we do so much nowadays on computers, and they are such a big investment, it's important to take good care of them. Keeping your computer clean will extend the life of your investment.

I used to catch the kids trying to wipe the screen with a paper towel or tissue. Make sure your children know to only use special screen cleaning wipes, which you can pick up at an office supply store.

Click here to read 'How to clean a computer'

POSTED IN: Tools (2)

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Printable coupon: $5 off $50 at Kmart and double coupons at some stores

I found a $5 off $50 coupon for KMart at hip2save.blogspot.com. Hip2save also tells readers about some great KMart deals. Have a look.

KMart is also advertising double coupons at some stores this week. I have a call in to the manager of the Oakland Park Blvd store to see if they are participating. I'll update as soon as I can track him down.

Let me know if your store is doubling coupons. That would be big news!!

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February 23, 2009

The girl in the green scarf frenzy

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My sister bought me the Sophie Kinsella series that begins with Confessions of a Shopaholic and she knows me well. Need I say more?

I am a shopaholic. Like Rebecca (Isla Fisher) in the movie, I love the smell of Italian leather, the neat piles of new clothes in stores and the display windows of NYC. Unlike Rebecca, I get scared away by a price tag in triple digits.

The movie is hardly a personal finance lesson. In fact, it has set off a blog craze. Other shopaholics have got to have that green scarf!

(Rebecca must have a green scarf for a magazine job interview but her credit cards are nearly maxed out. She's saved by a man at a hot dog stand who hands her $20 to get rid of her so he can get his lunch. The man turns out to be the interviewing editor.)

Yahoo! Answers says Patricia Field used a sample scarf from Dolce and Gabbana for the movie. Patricia Field
announces hold on, the green scarf is in the making! Film critic Caryn James says the movie makes her want to buy a green scarf: Huffington Post

Do I need a green scarf? Well, St. Patrick's Day is coming up.... -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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Oscar fashion -- Kate Winslet, Miley Cyrus, Sarah Jessica Parker

What did you think of the Oscar gowns, fashionistas? I still think some of the stars should shoot their stylists.

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The good: Loved the way Kate Winslet has transformed into a 1930s starlet. Her hair was fab and the dress was tres elegante.

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The bad: Sarah Jessica Parker will always be our fave girl looking for love. But what is it with this princess obsession? Must she always have a full dress that makes her look like Cinderella?

The ugly: The dress, not Miley. This looks like a designer got stuck in a bakery and ran out of ideas. Get a new stylist, girl.

Weigh in with your ideas. If we can't shop for these pricey gowns, we can at least dish.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

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Sexy bikini for $10 from Victoria's Secret

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Need a new bathing suit but don't want to spend a fortune?

Check out this "Beach Sexy" bikini (OK you need the bod to go with it) from Victoria's Secret. It was orginally $24 and on sale for $9.99. It comes in sizes XS to L in four different versions.

Click here to see Beach Sexy

XOXO-- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Swimsuits (10)

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Oscar fashion vs reality

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I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite from all the beautiful dresses on the Oscars last night. It's an escape from reality to admire fashiondom's finest on the red carpet. Did you notice this year, there were no Swans or Gap t-shirts to start tongues wagging?

The morning of the Oscars, fellow blogger Marcia and I made the trek over to the Miromar outlets on the west coast, between Naples and Ft Myers, a one hour drive across Alligator Alley. I was down to the wire looking for a dress for a wedding I'm attending Friday night.

My reality is that Marcia found for me, tucked away in a clearance rack in the Jones of New York outlet, an Evan Picone black dress marked down to $29. Not something I would have bought if I waited for the dress, but I was out of time, and for $29, who cares?

I couldn't help but chuckle as I watched the red carpet and the Oscars when I got home, with my $29 dress hanging in its plastic garment bag on my bedroom door in the background.

BTW, this is not necessarily a recommendation for that drive to the outlet mall, I probably would have done just as well at nearby Sawgrass Mills. The part of the trip I would recommend is watching the sunset with a Pina Colada at HBs on the beach behind the Naples Beach Club Hotel after a hard day of shopping. That place is hopping on Sunday evening.

POSTED IN: Women's Clothing (132)

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Printable coupon for $1 off Tropicana orange juice at Target

Hi all. It's my day off, I don't work Sunday and Monday, so I'm running some of my never-ending errands all day. Do you have a to-do list that just keeps growing, or is it just me? I'm going to have lunch with my mother in Tamarac, which means I get to go to Super Target. Wow! What an exciting life I lead!!

Of course I will be armed with coupons, there's a printable $1 coupon for Tropicana orange juice, and on 1/04 there was a $1 off 2 Tropicana OJs coupon in the Red Plum coupon insert (in the Sunday SunSentinel.) Combining coupons is the name of the game for strategic shopping. While you're printing Target coupons, don't forget to print the one for $1 off Pepperidge Farm Goldfish.

Tropicana is $2.99 at Target, so with the $1 off coupon and $1 off 2 coupon, I will get 2 Tropicana OJs for $2.98, like getting one free.

Have you seen any great deals this week? Enter them in Coupon Chaos Tuesday's comments and you will be entered to win 6 each Smart Source and Red Plum coupon inserts. The drawing is tomorrow, so enter now.

Click here for Coupon Chaos Tuesday

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Coupon: 20% off at Banana Republic

Just found this coupon for 20% off any purchase of $100 or more at Banana Republic, good until 2/25. And if you use a Banana Republic credit card there is an additional 10% off.

Click here for Coupon

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February 21, 2009

$1 off coupon & earn free vitamins with Nature Made's Wellness Rewards program

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When I fractured my ankle recently, I limped into CVS to pick up a prescription...and the pharmacist asked me if I was taking calcium. (When you work until midnight, and run errands on your way home, you get to talk with the pharmacist. It's NOT like there's a line.)

Being newly addicted to sales and coupons, this was a mission...to get the best deal on calcium pills. Did you know that Walgreens and CVS often have buy-one-get-one-free deals for vitamins? And that there are $1 off coupons out there (for example, in the coupon inserts in your Sunday SunSentinel) for various brands: Natures Bounty, Nature Made and Sundown to mention a few. If you do the BOGO and use 2 coupons for $1 each, you can make those expensive vitamins more affordable.

One step further: Nature Made has a Wellness Program, where you earn points for buying vitamins. When you earn 500 points, they mail you a coupon for a free bottle of vitamins (up to $7).

It's a simple easy to do program. Each vitamin is worth a certain number of points, listed on their website. A bottle is worth about 100 points, so you only have to buy about five bottles to earn a free one. No mailing necessary, you just enter the codes online at the Nature Made website.

While you are there, you can also print a $1 off coupon for Nature Made to get you started.

Nature Made Wellness Rewards

POSTED IN: Coupons (754), Rebates (21)

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Savings Coupon: $30 off $100 at Coldwater Creek

Here's a deal from Coldwater Creek. Get $30 off when you spend $100. Click below for coupon. I had to click it a few times to get the coupon to come up, it kept going to another web page. Keep trying, it will finally get there.


Coldwater Creek Coupon

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Einstein Bros Bagels: Free Bagel Friday and Free Coffee Monday

We are going to get fat eating all the free food lately. Now it's Einstein Bros Bagels--Free Coffee and Free Bagels!

Wednesday in snail mail, you should have received an Einstein Bros Bagels flyer with coupons for Free Coffee Monday and Free Bagel Fridays. The reusable coffee coupon is good for a free coffee every Monday before 11am. The free bagel coupon is good on Friday before 11am. Both coupons may be reused once a week until 3/27/09.

This flyer was in the coupon flyers that come in the mail every Wednesday.

POSTED IN: Coupons (754), Deals & Steals (475)

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February 20, 2009

Coupon fever: Are you addicted to saving?

I started using grocery coupons when I joined Char and Marcia writing this shopping blog. I've never bothered with coupons before, but if you cover shopping you have to get in the trenches to truly understand.

It's addicting. Strategic shopping is a science. It's not a matter of saving .35 on an item, it's a matter of combining sale items and BOGOs with coupons, if you are really good at it, often your necessities are free, or better yet, you can make a profit.

Last week, on a quickie shopping spree, I spent $7.00+ and saved $18.00+. Now that's what I'm talking about! It's become a game, like playing Jeopardy or Bridge, only you can play alone...challenge yourself to raise that savings percentage.

I have to admit, I cheat, I use a website that has databases of all the weekly store sales, cross-referenced with all the current manufacturers coupons. My favorite is couponmom.com, because it works for me and it's free. I also find lots of savings tips in moneysavingmom.com.

When you get good at couponing, you'll find that you need multiples of the coupon booklets that come in your Sunday paper. Some folks buy 6-8 Sunday papers a week, just to get the coupons. On this blog, we have Coupon Chaos Tuesday, where you can enter to win 6 each of the Smart Source and Red Plum Sunday coupon inserts. Just give us your favorite savings tip in the 'comments' section, and you are entered to win.

Click here to enter Coupon Chaos

Here's a list of some of some of the strategic shopping websites I have discovered. Tell us about your favorites, what works for you?

couponmom.com, coupons.com, clipngocoupons.com, cheapuncle.com, couponcabin.com, grocerycouponusa.com, storecouponsnow, coolsavings.com, eversave.com, moneysavingmom.com


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Dell mini netbook $249

laptop-inspiron-9-hero-dual.jpgI sit in close proximity to one of the biggest computer/electronics geeks in the Sun-Sentinel newsroom. He is so into cell phones, computers, stereos, etc, I wish I could learn from him by osmosis, but my brain is not made that way.

Last night he was marveling aloud, about a Dell computer advertisement, that the new Dell Mini had come down to $249, including an Unbuntu Linux operating system, and a 4GB harddrive. He might as well be speaking Chinese, but I'm excited about the price decrease...I understand that language.

I occasionally travel on buddy passes with a flight attendant friend. She packs her netbook to check schedules, delays, look up restaurants etc, when she is working a trip. She wraps it in a padded case and tosses it in her wheelie carry-on. No cumbersome full-size laptop handling in security. When I discovered hers, an Asus, they were starting at $399. Now they are getting more in my price range.

I'll be looking for sales now that I know they are more affordable. Let me know if you see something, and I'll do the same.

Dell Mini 9 web page


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Stein Mart coupons -- 20 percent off

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We love coupons at Shop-o-matic and, obviously, so do you. And we love them even more when they help people who are in need.

For the second year, Stein Mart has partnered with the Salvation Army for the national "Give & Receive" event.

If you bring clean, gently used garments in good condition to any Stein Mart store March 5 to March 7, you will get a 20 percent off coupon for each item donated. The limit is four coupons per customer.

The clothing will go to The Salvation Army’s Thrift and Family Stores. Salvation Army needs your cast-offs these days because many stores have reported as much as a 20-percent decrease in donations over the past year. Tax receipts are available for donations.

So, go help the folks short of money and save money on something like this new blouse for spring.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

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Coupon: 40% off one item at Borders

Borders offers its Borders Rewards members deals each week, but this is the best one I've seen in awhile, so I have to share it with you. Just two days only, Friday and Saturday, February 20-21, get 40% off one item. You have to be a Borders Rewards member to use it, but it's free, and you can sign up at check-out.

I know where I'm going to be tomorrow...supporting my favorite bookstore!

Borders coupon link

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February 19, 2009

One day only! 20 Free 4x6 prints at Walgreens

One Day only! Friday, February 20th, get 20 free 4 x 6" prints with coupon code ONEDAY.

Simple rules: Coupon code ONEDAY valid once per account on February 20, 2009. Online orders must include 20 or more 4x6 or 4x5.3 prints at time of checkout to qualify. Limit 20 free prints per customer. Code must be entered at time of checkout to apply discount. buyer must purchase 20 prints online, and only one coupon code is good per order.

Offer me a deal, and I'll jump on it. Of course, I HAD to get 20 free prints. Once I got into the picture files, I couldn't stop at 20...I wound up ordering 63. Walgreens does not offer glossy prints for in-store pick up, so there was a shipping charge. I think your best bet here, if you want a great deal, is to stick to close to 20 prints and pick them up in the store.

I had a hard time finding where to put the coupon code, it's waaaayyy down on the picture page, where you select how many of each print you want.

Click below for Walgreen's site and details.

20 free 4x6 prints

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Coupon: 15% off at Express

Wow guys! Next time I head to the mall I'm going to be so loaded with coupons, I'm going to need my suitcase with wheels. There are so many deals out there these days.

Anybody shopping anymore? Let us hear from you! Tell us where you are finding great sales, they are sure out there. If we are shopping vicariously, through our readers, does that still count?

Here's a coupon for 15% off at Express. I used to love their shorts, what do you buy at Express?


Express coupon

Be sure to enter to win 6 each Smart Source and Red Plum coupon books. Just give us your savings tips at Tuesday Coupon Chaos.

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50 percent off cool shoes

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I just love a bargain-- especially when it's shoes. A girl can't have too many pairs of shoes, can she?

Check out the sale at ShoeSteal.com, which offers 50 percent off dress shoes for men, women, and children.

There are big names among the bargains such as Calvin Klein, Donald J Piner, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger and Steve Madden.

It's easy, just click your shoe size and gender and click through the “Dress” category for the bargains marked with the 50 percent off tag. The sale ends Feb. 22. And it pays to buy more than one pair. Shipping is $5 for the first pair and $1 for each additional pair.

I may just buy these Charlize Bison wedges, left, that were $99.99 and are now $49.99. Or the Beverly Feldman heels that were $179.99 for $89.99. See 50 percent off shoes


XOXO -- Shopper Girl


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Brother PT-120 Label Maker -- Only $10 at Staples

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If you don't have a label maker, you should. I can't live without mine. I label the plastic shoe boxes in my closet, the plastic drawers on my jewelry containers, the Christmas decorations' boxes and food containers in the pantry.

It keeps me organized. We all need more time and finding things right away, and a label maker will give it to you. Once you start, you can't stop!

No longer do you have the excuse that label makers are too expensive. You can get the Brother PT-1280 Label Maker for $9.99 at Staples. The regular $39.99 price is discounted $30 with instant savings at checkout. Shipping is free on orders of $50.

Better hurry. The discount is only available through Saturday Feb. 21. For more info and to order, Click here

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

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Macy's sale starts Friday with 40% to 50% off clearance

Macy's must be clearing inventory for spring.

Regular items are 30 percent to 85 percent off and clearance items 40 percent to 50 percent off starting Friday , Feb. 20, (preview day) and going through Saturday, Feb. 21.

Catch the morning specials both days until 1 p.m. Shoes are $10 off for every $50 purchase, but you might find some on clearance for less. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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February 18, 2009

Free 10 day sample: Origins Night Health Face Cream

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Stop by your local Origins retail store or participating department store for a free 10-day sample of the new Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Night Health Bedtime Face Cream. Click below to print the coupon.

Print Origins coupon


Whie you're here, enter to win 6 each Smart Source and Red Plum coupon books, just share your savings tips at Tuesday Coupon Chaos.

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Coupon: $10 off any $50 purchase at Lowe's

I love to save my home improvement projects until there's a sale somewhere. Now there's no excuse. Print this coupon for $10 off any $50 purchase from Lowe's.

The coupon site is so popular you might have to wait for it to load. I thought it didn't work for awhile today...then it finally came up.

Print coupon

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Today only: Save $50 on shoes at Bloomingdales

937300_fpx.tif.jpgIf you have your eye on a gorgeous pair of Manolos, and can't bring yourself to pay straight retail, today only (Wednesday February 18th) get $50 off if you spend $200. And it gets better. The more you spend the more you save. Tell that to your husbands, they never seem to understand that concept.

Disclaimer: I'm just putting this up for you, I wish I could spend $200 on shoes!!! (Maybe in a former life.)

Bloomingdales shoe sale

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February 17, 2009

Tim Cotterill, 'The Frogman' will appear at Pavo Real Gallery, Boca Town Center

Plum%20Dandy%20-%20Show%20Frog.JPGCelebrity artist and world-renown sculptor, Tim Cotterill, a.k.a “The Frogman,” will make a personal appearance to meet and greet fans, sign autographs, and debut Plum Dandy – the latest limited edition frog exclusive to the Pavo Real Gallery at the Town Center Mall in Boca Raton.

He will also be on site to raffle off one of his special sculptures, with the proceeds from the raffle benefiting R.O.C.K Camp. R.O.C.K Camp is a program that sends local, cancer-afflicted children to a very special summer camp at the Boggy Creek Camp Facility in Eustis, Fla.

The event is open to the public, free of charge, and will take place Friday, February 20th from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, February 21st from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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20 percent off Blik wall art

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Wallpaper may be back, but it's an expensive commitment. One great alternative is stick and remove graphics, like those from Blik.

If you order on line before Feb. 28, you can get a 20 percent discount on any of the four new Threadless designs or any other product, including this group for the laundry room, which sells for $45.

Go to www.whatisblik.com. Enter DOLDRUMS at checkout.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl


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Win free Doce Vida Fitness Outfit

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Don't you want to feel great about your body no matter what your size and shape is? Don't we all? And how would you like to get a fitness outfit for free that helps you look fab?

That's the mantra of Doce Vida is giving away free stuff in a online contest. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. Feb. 19. Prizes are worth $86-$136.

To get the deal, sign up on the SeekingDesigners.com Website.
XOXO-- Shopper Girl

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Freebies from Victoria's Secret and L'Oreal

Two free product offerings:

Free 1-oz. Victoria's Secret Pink Body lotion:

Pink Body lotion

And L'Oreal is offering a free sample of its new EverPure sulfate-free hair color:

L'Oreal EverPure

Samples are a good way to try out a product before you invest in it. You often can get similar samples at department store cosmetic counters. Ask! It doesn't hurt. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Coupon - 20% off one item at Borders

In my ongoing effort to save the last remaining bookstores, I offer you this Borders Rewards coupon. You must be a Borders Rewards member, but membership is free, so why not? Just takes a second to sign up at check-out.

Click here for Borders coupon

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Epson photo paper - Buy one get one free

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Epson has a BOGO offer (buy one get one free) on paper right now. Order before February 23rd, and be sure to enter offer code 9YFASE.

Click here for the sale at Epson.com. Tip: photos print best if you match your paper brand to your printer brand.

POSTED IN: SALES (212)

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February 16, 2009

Shoes: Buy new or repair?

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When is it time to hang up a pair of shoes? Perhaps when they turn into tap shoes.

I wore my favorite Ann Klein black slides to the office last week and heard a "tap, tap, tap" as I walked. Sure enough, I had worn my heels through to the nails.

I thought about repairing. Fellow blogger Kathy tells me she just spent $17 to replace that itsy bitsy rubber piece on her heels. While it might be worth it for shoes otherwise unworn, my poor Ann Kleins were goners.

So off I drove to DSW in Boca Raton where I found some replacement Ann Kleins, not sandals but fairly comfortable high heels, on sale for $35. Of course, I still needed to replace my sandals. I found Aerosole's What's What brand, comfortable yet still stylish black slides also on sale for $35.

When do you give up on your favorite heels? Any recommendations on shoe repair? -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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February 15, 2009

Coupon: Save $1.10 on one can Progresso soup

soup.jpgYou don't get coupons like this very often so I have to share. You can print two from the link below...it's for $1.10 off one can of Progresso soup. At Winn-Dixie until Wednesday, the soup is buy-one-get-one free. At $1.25/can...with the coupon they are 15 cents each...how can you not??

Did you know you can use two coupons for a BOGO? (Every once in awhile I get a grumpy cashier who won't take the second coupon, but most will.)

I did a quick trip through Winn-Dixie on my way to work today, armed with my printed sale list from couponmom.com. I bought $25.96 worth of groceries, but with BOGOs and coupons the discounted total came to $7.58. I am fairly new to couponing, it's SUCH a kick to see "You saved $18.38" on the bottom of my receipt!

$1.10 Progresso soup coupon

Be sure to enter our Coupon Chaos contest, scroll down and look for 'Coupon Chaos Tuesday' below. Leave a savings tip in the comments and you are entered. Winner announced every Tuesday...winner to get 6 each of Smart Source and Red Plum coupon booklets. Bookmark us for savings tips.

Sun-Sentinel shopping blog

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February 14, 2009

Save $50 a day with these tips from Kiplinger

stackofmoney021309.jpgI think I've been whining for a year now about the high impact hurricane windows my condo association voted on. I'm not happy about spending a big chunk of money when the economy, and my job, are so precarious.

Now with interest rates so low, I can refinance my current mortgage, pull out the window money and still lower my monthly mortgage payment. (I still remember the day my parents celebrated making that last mortgage payment....oh well, I'll have to find something else to celebrate.)


Kiplingers.com had a great article with lots of money saving tips, such as setting up a regular payment on your credit card to avoid those pesky late fees...I'm going to set that payment up as soon as I finish this blog posting. I'm actually linking you to the yahoo.com version of the article, because the Kiplinger version had too many links to click, so it was a pain to read. If even one of these tips works for you, it was worth the time spent reading it.

Save $50 a day / Kiplinger.com

POSTED IN: Budgeting (5)

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February 13, 2009

70 to 90 percent off sale at Filene's Basement

No doubt that Filene's Basement in Aventura is having a clearance sale this weekend, though its approach is very confusing.

I got an e-mail announcing "70 to 90 percent off" when its merchandise is 25 percent off. Say what? Apparently this yellow sticker, or e-mail, will get you another 25 percent off:

Filene's coupon

The sale, whatever it is, goes through Monday, Feb. 16, also known as President's Day. In support of our new president, I think a little shopping is in order! -- Marcia 'Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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February 12, 2009

Buy roses for Valentine's and support NPR

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Through Field of Flowers, WLRN Radio is offering a sweetheart deal: 18 red roses for your Valentine for a $100 pledge to the local National Public Radio station.

If you really want to splurge and impress your girl, get 30 roses for a $150 pledge. Both rose purchases come in a glass sphere.

If your love likes roses and you like tax deductions, this is a win-win.

But go to WLRN.org.

The roses will be delivered Friday, Feb. 13, -- the day before V-day -- to lucky recipients in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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February 11, 2009

A satirical salute to Bernie Madoff

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OK, I know this is a pricey item that few of us could afford, but it is a hoot, isn't it?

Betcha that some folks would like to do more than throw darts at Bernie Madoff, the alleged king of the ponzi scheme who caused everyone from west Broward retirees to Palm Beachers to lose their fortunes.

Palm Beach artist Bruce Helander created this satirical "dart board" as a limited edition fine art print. He calls it Bars & Stripes Forever!

The hand-embellished collage print, which includes a private jet, a fleet of yachts and limos, is
done in a limited edition of 100 and sells for $900. It will be unveiled at 7 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Paul Fisher Gallery, 433 Flamingo Drive in West Palm Beach. They are also available at DTR Gallery, 345 Worth Ave., Palm Beach and at the artist's studio in CityPlace in West Palm Beach.

I wonder if any of his victims can spare $900 for the dart board. What do you think?

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

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New mattress from Better Homes & Gardens

It took the folks who make mattresses a while to catch on, but these days they are selling more than comfort. They are selling names you respect.

The latest on the brand-oriented bandwagon is the Better Homes & Gardens line by Five Star Mattress, which was introduced at the World Market Center Las Vegas.

The new line of eight beds will retail from $799-$1,599, according to the trade newspaper Furniture Today. It will arrive in furniture stores and sleep shops in March. The sizzle they are selling: “Designed by women, for women.”

How about the insides? They feature pocketed coils for reduced motion transfer, foam encasement for edge support, and temperature-friendly memory foam and latex.

Tell us. Would you buy a mattress because it has a Better Homes & Gardens label?.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Mattress (1)

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February 10, 2009

Presidents Day sale: 10-15% savings pass at Macy's

Click below for an extra 10-15% savings pass for Macy's for their Presidents Day sale. The pass is good February 11th to 16th...or use your Macy's credit card for the same discount.

Savings pass

POSTED IN: Coupons (754), SALES (212)

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Cheap and cute natural soap and soap dishes

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Sometimes we can't resist telling you about something that rates 10 on the cute meter.

Even if you are a grown-up, you gotta love these Wett Giggles. They tickle the inner child in all of us. The natural glycerin handmade soaps are made one at a time with essential oils and shea butter. Ho hum. What's new? The twist is the manicure brushes that come in eight different animal styles. Aren't they adorable?

Check out Beatrice the cow with blackberry scent and Romeo the dog with orange scent. The soap and brush combos sell for $10. For a limited time, you can save 20 percent on all orders and pay a $4.99 flat shipping fee. Click here for Wett Giggles

I think I'll buy one for me and one for my best friend's child. What do you think?

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

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February 9, 2009

Don't break my heart with heart jewelry

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Ugh! Don't buy me this or anything like it.

I have a collection of heart necklaces. One is an expensive marcasite heart; it's beautiful and was probably expensive, but it's still a heart. I've kept that, but any other heart-shaped jewelry sits unused in my jewelry box. I've given the occasional gem to a niece.

This is the time of year all the heart shapes come out and poor, unwitting men plunk down good money for "hearts" in gold, silver or worse. Don't do it! Red roses would be better. A candlelight dinner cooked by you would be great. Take your love dancing or to hear romantic music.

What do you think, girls? Do you dislike the heart-shaped jewelry as much as I do? What would you prefer for Valentine's Day? -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Lunch Challenge: A confession

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I'm in the fourth week of my Lunch Challenge, and I have to make a confession.

I've been doing really well taking my lunch to work. (My friend E. challenged me to do so with the inspiration of a Sawgrass shopping trip with my savings.) Last week, I took my lunch to work twice and ate once in our printing plant's very affordable cafeteria ($4 for grilled chicken sandwich).

But I've been cheating. For as much as I save on lunch, I spend up to $30 a week on my Starbucks coffee addiction. I've cut back a bit by changing my morning drink and ordering only a tall.

I've also started to trick myself into saving on Starbucks: If I don't have the change available (coins, no dollars), I can't buy my coffee. How do you trick yourself into saving? We could all use ideas. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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February 8, 2009

Florida residents: Free annual pass to Miami Seaquarium with each paid entry

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A Valentine's present can be flowers, candy, sexy lingerie, or when in doubt, there's always jewelry, my personal favorite.

But the ultimate gift is a nice long chunk of your time, and a special day together. The Miami Seaquarium on Key Biscayne has a special for the month of February. Florida residents can buy one full fare admission and get a years pass for free.

The admission is pricey (Adults $38.47, $28.84 children 3-9) but if you would enjoy going often, then this is a deal! Parking is $8, not covered by the pass.

Annual pass holders get a $30 discount on a swim with the dolphins, a very special Valentine's gift, usually $199.

Miami Metro Zoo also has zoo memberships, which give you free unlimited admission for a year.


POSTED IN: Deals & Steals (475)

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February 7, 2009

Budgeting: 7 things to avoid at the grocery store

ClassicRomaine1Text_F.jpgMarket Watch this week had an excellent article by Jennifer Openshaw about avoiding cash traps in the grocery stores. Processed foods often cost three times as much as the individual ingredients, such as bagged prepared salads, energy bars, bottled water and boxed rice products.

I know they're time savers. Sometimes we have to weigh our priorities...do we have time to make a salad from scratch AND help the kids with their homework?

I drink more water if I have bottled water in the 'fridge and can grab one on my way out the door. I buy it on sale, never pay more than $3.99 a case. I appreciate the convenience...I probably wouldn't grab a glass from the tap when I'm rushing out, late for work.

Rationalizing a bad expenditure, yes, I'm good at that. What do you waste money on?

Market Watch article: Cut your grocery bill: 7 cash traps to avoid at the grocery store

POSTED IN: Shopping Advice (122)

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25 Random things on Facebook

I'm putting together a personal Sun-Sentinel Facebook page so I can post it on the blog. We are also learning to Twitter. And then there's StumbleUpon....Digg....who can keep up?

As soon as I got my very skeletal Facebook page up, I heard from a college roommate, someone I had not seen in I-don't-care-to-admit-how-many years. Within two days I had gotten lots of friendly postings from my nieces and nephews, my children's friends, and my friends' children.

Several of the messages included a list called '25 random things about me.' I loved reading these musings and rambling thoughts, wondering how long it took to come up with 25 worth sharing, secretly jealous that there would never be that kind of spare time in my immedate future.

With the Internet Age, nothing takes long to catch on....tonight I see this story in the Washington Post, entitled 25. We Never Do Random Things. Until We Do.

And the New York Times Ah, yes, More about Me? 25 random things

Even Time Magazine: 25 Things I didn't want to know about you

I may never get my Facebook page done and posted here, but it's a beehive of activity already.

POSTED IN: Miscellaneous (41)

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February 6, 2009

Get $10 Kohl's cash if you spend $50

If you are a Kohl's shopper, then this is a deal for you.

Spend $50 between now and February 10th, and get a $10 coupon to spend at Kohl's between February 11-17th.

When Kohls first opened, the curiosity got to me, so I drove all the way to Boynton Beach to see the new store. I found a few comfy t-shirts I liked, then had to get one more to make it to the $50 to get my Kohls cash back.

Word of warning: Imagine my disappointment when I realized the Kohl's cash $10 coupon wasn't good immediately...to redeem it I would have had to make the 45 minute drive up there again the next week.

That will be my last trip to Kohls. But if you live nearby, and like their styles, then by all means, take advantage of this offer.

POSTED IN: Coupons (754)

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$20 off coupon at Coldwater Creek


Last week we printed a 25% off coupon from Coldwater Creek. I printed it and ran over there with only a few minutes to shop...the coupon was burning a hole in my pocket, I had to save some money!!

I like some of Coldwater Creek's costume jewelry...so I bought what, at retail, would have been $82 worth. On sale and with the coupon, it came to $17.

Not a bad deal, huh? There's a new Coldwater Creek coupon out this week. $20 off an $80 purchase.

POSTED IN: Coupons (754)

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"He's just not into you" bargain jewelry

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No matter what age we are, we feel the pain of the desperate women in the new movie, He's Just Not That Into You.
We love. We lose. But did we get any jewelry out of the romance? And do we still want it, or do we cringe every time we see it?

A clever Internet site, www.exboyfriendjewelry.com, allows you to sell those painful memories and to find good buys from others who have loved and lost.

It also means good reading. this from a woman selling a ring from her ex hubby

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"I discovered that my husband was cheating on me and did not tell him that I knew right away. Instead I let him do what he had to do to ease his guilt, buy jewelry for me. So now we are separated and I am trying to pay bills by selling the rings.None of them have been worn, and most still have the retail tag on."

Here's her description: Brand New Beautiful Ring With 22.35ctw CZ. Made with 11.9 grams of 925 Sterling Silver, Size 6, Retail Price: $160, Her Price: $60. Click to buy ring


Love "em, leave 'em and sell "em.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl


POSTED IN: Jewelry (50)

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February 5, 2009

Red garter thong, less than $20, for V day

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Chocolates? Flowers? Liquor? Well, maybe liquor. What do you get your favorite guy for Valentine's Day? How about something for yourself?

Nordstrom's, of all places, is offering a DKNY red garter thong on sale for $18.90. I spied this on shopittome.com. You can also find it at shopnordstrom.com.

Have a sexy Valentine's Day! -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Borders coupon 30% off

As part of my 'save your local bookstore' campaign, I'm posting this Borders 30% off coupon.

I used to buy my books used on Amazon. It just dawned on me one day how much I love bookstores, I should be supporting them! Don't we want to hang on to the few we have left?. You can still look for deals....but at your local bookstore, where you don't have to pay a $4 shipping fee!!

This coupon requires a Borders Rewards membership, but it's free, so why not?! Coupon good until 2/8.

Borders coupon




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Budgeting? Bake your Valentine a gift

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On a budget...trying to stretch that dollar? Try baking your Valentines this year.

Remember, it's the thought that counts.

Betty Crocker has some beautiful chocolate recipes and coupons to go with them. Don't forget a nice cold glass of milk!

Betty Crocker chocolate recipes

Or try this one, with Heath Bars and German Chocolate cake mix, Better than Sex Cake. A co-worker, Cyndi, brought this delicious creation in for an office birthday, the name alone sparked some hilarious conversation.


POSTED IN: Deals & Steals (475)

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February 4, 2009

Love gifts from Betsey Johnson

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Want to forget your troubles for a few minutes?

Check out the Valentine's Day gifts from Betsey Johnson at Aventura Mall.

If your sweetie loves candy but is on a diet, get her the Candy Hearts Watch, right, for $175.

The Valentine's Day Shoe ($250) has won my heart. How about you?

It makes me want to do cartwheels like Betsey does at the end of her fashion shows.

The Betsey Johnson store is located on the lower level of the Aventura Mall, 19501 Biscayne Boulevard Aventura. Phone: (305) 933-0291.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Valentine's Day Gifts (9)

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Look for cheap eats

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You've probably heard of Denny's publicity stunt (photo by USA Today): Yesterday it offered a free breakfast and a reported two million people stood in line, even in cold weather, to get their Grand Slam.

I've been writing about taking my lunch to work, but when I do go out now, I look for a deal. Duffy's, for example, is offering its "afternoon break," 40 percent off meals from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to all its MVP card members year round. Cost nothing to sign up for Duffy's frequent visitor card and you can accumulate points toward free meals.

Check the chains but also don't ignore your struggling neighborhood restaurant. I had a $7 lunch the other day at Japanese Village Hibachi Steakhouse, 350 E. Las Olas Blvd., in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The restaurant is a great place to go with a friend. I'd recommending sitting with others at the Hibachi table and ordering the chicken or steak Hibachi, which is prepared with fanfare by the chef in front of you.

Have you found any great restaurant deals out there? If you operate a restaurant, post your special here. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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February 3, 2009

Go to Nina's Discounts in Tamarac for batteries

Part of the orientation into Tamarac life is being told about Nina's Discounts, 7112 N University Drive, on the corner of McNab and University.

The kind employees at Nina's have been taking care of Tamarac for 20 years. Need a battery replaced? Extra copies of house keys? Have a broken necklace? How do you like the idea of getting 2 greeting cards for a dollar? Head to Nina's.

My mother turned me on to Nina's when she moved to an adult community in Tamarac. I'm out that way when I visit her, so I can't tell you how many batteries they have replaced for me. My Waterford crystal clocks, a friend's Gucci watch, my grandson's Swiss Army watch, my Turnpike Sunpass.

The magic number seems to be $1 for a new battery, including installation, but the most I've paid was this morning, when they fixed my dead Sunpass for $3. Now I'm ready for another trip.

Kathy

POSTED IN: Deals & Steals (475)

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Confessions of a Shopoholic's free tickets and free shopping trip to New York

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The hype is in full gear for the Confessions of a Shopoholic movie at CityPlace in West Palm Beach.

Fans of Sophie Kinsella’s best-selling novel and movie, Confessions of a Shopaholic can go to the Blue Martini from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Feb. 4.

If you are among the first 50 women who arrive “dressed to impress,” you can take home a shopping bag filled with prizes. Arrive later? No worry. Everyone will get a complimentary ticket to the Feb. 10 special premiere screening of the movie at Muvico.

And there's more.

Ten lucky women will get $50 gift cards to shop at CityPlace.

If you are deemed the fabulous “fashionista,” you can win the grand prize -- an all-expense paid trip to stay at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City for the ultimate week of shopping.

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

P.S. If only shopping could make us all look like Isla Fisher, left, who plays Becky Bloomwood in the movie.

POSTED IN: Movies (47)

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Capture your Valentine in a video

A new video creation program, Amimoto Video Valentine, allows lovers (or perhaps just those who have a crush) to make their own Valentine's video from their own photos and music.

Users can add love notes, special memories, significant dates and other romantic touches to make their video personal. This could be the perfect Valentine for the geek in your life.

One user proposed with an Animoto video on his iPod Touch, according to the company.

Creating an Animoto Valentine is free for 30-second videos or $3 for full-length videos. Annual subscriptions to create an unlimited number of full-length videos are $30.

But remember you have a deadline: Feb. 14. You've got a little more than a week to get creative! -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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February 2, 2009

Lunch challenge update: Stretch meals

Last week I learned how to stretch my lunches: I ended up buying lunch twice, but one day I saved half of it for the next day.

I'm entering week three of my friend E.'s lunch challenge -- take my lunch to work at least twice a week to put aside money for my passion, shopping. So far, I've saved $45. I'm only crediting myself half of $10 for the lunch I stretched.

With budgets tight and restaurant meal portions too much, anyway, it makes sense. I'd recommend cutting your restaurant lunch or dinner in half immediately when it arrives and asking for a takeout box. That way, you won't be tempted to eat the whole thing. This not only saves money, but helps your waistline.

What do you do to stretch meals? Post your advice here. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

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Sexy dresses under $100

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I just discovered a Website that has everything from designer names like Badgley Mischka, Anna Sui and Nicole Miller to great looking dresses for under $100.

You have to check it out for yourself, but here are a couple of the lower-priced dresses with style.

The flared print jersey dress, right, is $92, and this strapless beauty is on sale for $80.75.

Find them at Dresses under $100

XOXO -- Shopper Girl

POSTED IN: Sexy clothing (22), Women's Clothing (132)

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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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