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


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January 29, 2010

Dresses at red-hot prices for Valentine's Day


The little black dress-- and its various interpretations-- is one we can't get enough of.

And with Valentine's Day fast approaching, these selections could up the wow factor that may inspire Cupid to launch his arrow your way.

Here are selections from Norma Kamali that are being sold through for $18 apiece: a little black dress, a cap-sleeved sophisticated number and an 80's inspired striped one.

The sale begins Monday.

POSTED IN: Valentine's Day (9)

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Coupons in Advance: Preview coupons for Sunday's Sun Sentinel 1/31/2010

This Sunday we will have a Smart Source and a Red Plum, click here to preview list of coupons.

POSTED IN: Coupons (513)

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Avoid rings on Valentine's Day

floral%20bracelet.jpgGuys, unless you're giving a diamond and proposing, it's best to avoid rings on Valentine's Day, advises Amanda Levison, jewelry designer with AJ Designs in Fort Lauderdale. "It will only lead to disappointment on this day," says Amanda on her Web site, AJ Designs

I like this floral bracelet from Amanda's designs.

Of course, whatever you give, even a card, is meaningful if given in the right spirit and by the right person. Now what do you give a guy? That's the real challenge. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

POSTED IN: Valentine's Day Gifts (8)

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January 28, 2010

Albertsons closing 8 stores in Florida

Andrea posted that her Boca Raton Albertsons was closing, and today CJ posted that there are big mark-downs at the Pembroke Pines store.

Panicked that my Oakland Park store was next, I made a quick call to Albertsons customer service. Yes, it was confirmed that the following stores were underperforming and are being closed: Boca, Pines, Lake Worth, Delray Beach, and Royal Palm Beach. They will be liquidating stock. Staying open: Key West, Oakland Park, Pt St Lucie and Vero Beach.

Discounts vary by department, starting at 10%, with 33% off on wine, up to 70% off on greeting cards. It might be worth a trip for you bargain hunters.

I'm sorry if you are losing your local store, more stores give us more sales, better strategic shopping opportunities. Click here for store locator.

POSTED IN: Deals & Steals (282)

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January 27, 2010

Printable coupon: 15% off at Staples

We are all complaining about how much ink we use to print all our coupons. It's like a 'catch 22' ...spend money to save money.

Every little bit a coupon for 15% off to use in-store at Staples. Click here to print coupon.

POSTED IN: Coupons (513)

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Banana Republic 40% off sale items

rosette%20dress.jpgGet 40% off Banana Republic's sale items, in-store and online at, such as this rosette dress for $49.99.

Unfortunately, with a sale like this, not every item may be in your size. There was a dress I liked even more than the one above, but it's only available in size 16.

Still, 40 percent off on already discounted items is my kind of sale! -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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January 26, 2010

Find sales at Hallandale's new Crate & Barrel

Fiji%20vases.jpgI stopped in at the new Crate & Barrel at the new Village of Gulfstream retail complex in Hallandale Beach and was surprised on two counts: There was furniture, lots of it, and much of it was on sale.

Most of the Crate & Barrel's I've visited have not carried furniture or only a limited amount. This store has beds, dining room tables, couches, etc., and many of the pieces were marked down.

Yet the store also features some of the chain's new look for spring such as spun glass plates infused with colors -- purple, blue, red and green, only $6.95, and Fiji spring vases in blue for $17.95 to $29.95.

There's nothing like a new store, even if it is part of an established chain. Check it out. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

POSTED IN: Furniture (24)

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Coupon Chaos: Enter your best savings tips to win free coupons

coupons1.JPGIt's Coupon Chaos time again. Enter you best tips of the week, and lets help each other be good strategic shoppers!

Publix, Winn-Dixie, albertsons, CVS, Walgreens, Target, Walmart, we need your help to keep up with the sales!

Where are the best deals this week?

--Super Saver Kathy

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January 22, 2010

Coupons in Advance: Over $200 in coupons in Sunday's Sun Sentinel 1/24/10

There will be a Smart Source and a Red Plum in Sunday's Sun Sentinel with over $200 in coupons for our strategic shopping pleasure. Also some nice Target coupons.

Sorry folks, I left the inserts on my desk at the office and I'm going out of town this weekend, not going to work tomorrow, so I can't post the list in advance this week.

Click here for list of coupons.

--Super Saver Kathy

POSTED IN: Coupons (513)

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You're invited! Grand opening - FG Lifestyle Salon & Spa

fg.jpgThere aren't many second chances in this life...but if you missed the Shop-O-Matic Meet-Up, you'll get another crack at it, even more treats!

Francesca Guerrera and her talented crew at FG Salon are having a Grand Opening party! Enjoy spa treatments and great food with friends. Come say hi, I had so much fun at the meet-up, I'll be there!

DATE: January 28, 2010
TIME: 7-9pm

LOCATION: FG Lifestyle
2424 East Las Olas Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Give-aways & promotions will be offered during this premier event. RSVP by January 17. Free chair massages, raffle prizes and goody bags brimming with A-list products such as Environ, Bumble and Bumble and Francesca's own exclusive Hollywood loved line of innovative cosmetics, FG.
Phone: 954 523 2772

POSTED IN: Shopping events (40)

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January 20, 2010

Tommy Bahama and other cruise wear sale

Buy five cruise wardrobe items and get the sixth free at My Own Cruising Journal, a Lighthouse Point store operated by artist Pat Anderson.

This treasure trove of a store is in the Shoppes at Beacon Light, 2424 N. Federal Highway in Pompano Beach. While you're there, check out the artwork of Anderson, who specializes in island art. See My Own Cruising

Pat and her late husband Pete used to sail to various islands, returning with items for their shop and inspiration for Pat's artwork.

And if you're planning a cruise this spring, the sale is a great opportunity to buy Tommy Bahama shirts, and Blue Willis, Mariposa and Fresh Produce clothes. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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New Ann Taylor arrivals 60% off

Ann Taylor is startiing off 2010 well: with a sale. Check out its latest arrivals of blouses and shirts, perfect for work, at

With South Florida's weather so changeable these days, it difficult to know what to wear in the morning. I like this "perfect shirt" from Ann Taylor that would go well with a skirt or pants, marked down to $39.99 from $50.

Dresses, pants, shorts, and jackets all are on sale as well, either in stores or online. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

POSTED IN: Women's Clothing (131)

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January 19, 2010

Free Uniball Super Ink Pen

uniball-vision-elite-rollerballs.jpgGet a free Uniball Super Ink pen later today and while supplies last. These pens use special ink that deeply bonds with paper fiber, which Uniball says helps prevent check fraud. That ink would also be great for your tax return if you're a paper filer. Become a facebook fan of the giveaway and find the form here.

POSTED IN: Free (60)

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Coupon Chaos: Enter your best savings tips to win free coupons

coupons1.JPGIt's Coupon Chaos time again. Enter you best tips of the week, and lets help each other be good strategic shoppers!

Where are the best deals this week?

--Super Saver Kathy

POSTED IN: Coupons (513)

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January 14, 2010

Coupons in Advance: Over $250 in coupons in Sunday's Sun Sentinel 1/17/10

I had to turn the television off to try to get my mind around coupons. I know we are all praying for our neighbors in Haiti, it was bad enough there without the earthquake.

Feel free to use this site to recommend ideas for donations. A simple way to can text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross relief for Haiti. The $10 will be charged to your cell phone bill.

Now the business at hand...we will have a Smart Source and a P&GbrandSAVER in Sunday's paper. After $750 and $1000 in the last two weekends, $250 doesn't sound huge, but there are some generous coupons, and I feel some freebies coming on.

Like $1 off Ricola cough drops, $1 off Pepperidge Farm Baked Naturals, $1 Colgate Total, $1 off Formula 409. Do I have your interest yet? Click here to preview list.


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January 13, 2010

Makeup diva Lauren Luke at Sephora Aventura

YouTube makeup diva Lauren Luke will be at Sephora Aventura,19575 Biscayne Blvd., #723, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16, to promote her new cosmetic line By Lauren Luke. She also has a new book of tips and a Nintendo DS game coming out later this year.

The online makeup guru, who has more than 61 million views and 300,000 subscribers to her makeup tutorials at is promoting her five new makeup kits, available at Sephora stores, and at Luke's Web site.

The $37 palettes contain three eye shadows, eye primer, two lipsticks, a tube of gloss, a blush and aneyeliner packaged in a super-slim case with mirror.

Luke is scheduled to appear on NBC’s Today on Jan. 29.
-- Doreen Christensen


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January 12, 2010

Coupon Chaos: Enter to win free coupons from the shopping bloggers

coupons1.JPGThanks to our regular readers for your posts, getting us back on track after a busy holiday season.

Jan, KCK, DP and Andrea you are so reliable, I can count on you to post great tips, even when your bloggers are too busy. We like to have some new readers/winners, but you four are awesome and deserve it again this week. Thanks and congratulations!

I liked the Special K deal, thanks for sharing guys. I missed it at Winn-Dixie, the sale ends Tuesday. If I can get it together tonight I'll try to catch it at Publix, where the sales run through Wednesday. I hope some of you took advantage of it. Did you?

Okay guys, lets think about strategic shopping. Enter your best shopping tips to win free coupons. Where are you saving this week?

--Super Saver Kathy

POSTED IN: Coupons (513)

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January 11, 2010

Picture hanging strips mean no holes


Ever wind up with a constellation of holes on your walls from art and frames you hang? I'm a fan of giving your living spaces personality with splashes of paintings, prints and photographs. But that usually means unsightly holes in your walls when you decide to rearrange or move out.

I can't vouch for these Command Picture Hanging Strips, but they seem real promising. They peel off easily when you decide you want to move your art. And, thankfully, here are some coupons to give them a try. Coupons expire Jan. 30.

The strips can be found at local Walgreens and CVS stores.

Give us a review when you use them.

POSTED IN: Home Decor (77)

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The Container Store to open in Hallandale Beach

For all your storage and closet organizational needs, The Container Store is often the place to go. But for those in Palm Beach and Broward counties, it is a long drive to the existing store in Miami.closet.jpg

Not a problem anymore: A new Container Store opens Saturday, March 6, in Hallandale Beach at The Village of Gulfstream Park. The new store is only the second retail location in South Florida.

The Container Store in Hallandale will carry more than 10,000 products to solve organizational challenges.

For the grand opening weekend, The Container Store will give 10 percent of its sales to Kids in Distress. Another reason to get organized! -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

POSTED IN: Organization (11)

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January 9, 2010

40% off Italian handbags at Last Call

Neiman Marcus' Last Call stores at Sawgrass Mills and Dolphin Mall have marked down its Italian status handbags by an extra 40%. Sales is good until Jan. 12.

I'm not sure of the quality of these handbags, but in general, Italian leather handbags are the best. I bought one a few years ago on a trip with my son to Florence. Unfortunately, I took the bag to work one day and got ink on it! I nearly cried.

Guess I'll have to go back to Florence one of these days. Or maybe, Last Call. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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January 8, 2010

Coupons in Advance: Over $1000 in coupons for Sunday 1/10/10

You will be happy to know that there are over $1000 in coupons in Sunday's Sun Sentinel.

I forgot to post the winner of last week's coupons. We had a lovely post from 'buddy' who told us about some good buys he finds at the dollar store, and shopping/bonding trips with 'Mom.' It was nice to hear from you, buddy, thanks for the post. Email your address to so I can send your prize.

--Super Saver Kathy

Click here for list.

POSTED IN: Coupons (513)

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January 7, 2010

Free breakfast at Ikea sale Jan. 9-10

Free breakfast at Ikea in Sunrise until 11 a.m. this Saturday and Sunday during its winter sale ending Sunday. Limit of one small breakfast and coffee per customer.

Select items are 20% to 60% off at Ikea's sale, including this bedframe for $99. It's a good time of year to visit Ikea for organizational items, such as shelves, bookcases and storage units.

Visit Ikea near Sawgrass Mills Outlet off Route 84 on NW 136th Avenue. Don't forget to take home some of Ikea's Swedish meatballs! -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds


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January 5, 2010

Talbots outlet sale: Extra 75% off already reduced prices

Our Talbots outlet is blowing out their winter clothes...just marked them down 75% off the already reduced prices. You have to go, you won't believe it.

I was headed to Target because my cube-mate, Bob, showed me his Weight Watchers Smart Ones on sale for $1.89, then you can use a $4 off 10 coupon found on the package, and get a $5 Target gift card to boot, when you buy 10. About a dollar for lunch...I can handle that.

The store just before you hit the Target in Plantation is the Talbots outlet, and the 'Additional 75% off" signs lured me in. I'm telling you ladies, it was like yard sale prices. I got 6 (originally $100+) cardigan style sweaters for $80. Most were $8 to $12. I got there five minutes before closing (they close at 8pm on weeknights) or I could have done some real damage!

Find the outlet at The Shops at Broward Mall at 8160 W Broward Blvd, just west of the Broward mall. And if you are not in South Florida, click here for store locator.

Let us know if you go...what did you find? --Super Saver Kathy

POSTED IN: Deals & Steals (282)

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Jet Blue Sale: Flights from South Florida as low as $29

Jet Blue is having a New Year's sale. Score flights from Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach from $29 to $99 each way. Check out the destinations and book a flight here.

POSTED IN: Deals & Steals (282), airfares (6)

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Bridal sale at Filene's

bridal%20gown.jpgBrides: Get ready, set, go! Filene's famous bridal sale takes place in South Florida, at its Aventura store, on Friday, Jan. 15.

This is the chance for women who are engaged or preparing for a future proposal to get a wedding gown at a highly discounted price. The "running of the brides" has been the stuff of TV comedy series with women fighting over the beaded gowns of their dreams.

Designer gowns are priced from $249 to $699. There are 1,300 to 2,500 gowns available, depending on the store. For more information, go to Filene's Bridal Sale. -- Marcia "Bargain Hunter" Pounds

POSTED IN: Bridal (7)

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Coupon Chaos: Enter your best savings tips here

coupons1.JPGI don't know about you, but I can't seem to get back in sync with my couponing since Thanksgiving. It's all a blur.

I was traumatized by the 12/31 expiration of reams of personal stash mostly untouched by human hands. That Publix Winter Saver book, chock full of great many wasted.

I know I'm really out of it when a $5 off $20 CVS coupon expires unspent...tonight. That's a first. With $750 in coupons last weekend, and a whopping $1000 the weekend coming up, it's time to get back to work.

Now make me feel bad, or worse, tell me that you didn't miss a beat in December. And while you're at it, tell us where you are saving this week.

--Super Saver Kathy

POSTED IN: Coupons (513)

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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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