Email pays off!

After being inspired by Couponing to Disney I made a list of some of the products we use that I love.  Then I sent emails to the companies praising their products but NOT asking for coupons.  I received an envelope full of coupons from Dial last week and today I received a booklet of coupons from SC Johnson because I wrote to Glade about their Spring candles.  LOTS of good ones too!   So if you’re looking to build your stash of coupons I highly suggest writing to some of the companies whose products you use on a regular basis.  I mean look- one email made me almost $20!  More than that actually because our grocery stores double up to 98 cents.  Word.  Oh, and if you’re thinking “OMG I don’t have time to write a million emails”…don’t!  Just write one.  Then save it somewhere, copy and paste, and change some details.  Basically here’s what I wrote to Glade:  ” Hi!  I just wanted to take a moment to let you know how much I enjoy the Spring Sparkle  Glade candles.  The lime scent is so fresh and clean smelling!  My husband, who normally doesn’t care what kind of candles I burn, even loves these and has remarked how good the house smells.  I know the Spring Sparkle is a seasonal scent but please consider making it part of your permanent line.  Thank you for making such a quality product at an affordable price!  Sincerely, Shanny & CSP”.   That’s it.  Like 4 sentences.  Took 2 minutes tops.  Made almost $10 a minute!

Swirly

For Earth Day CSP & I changed out all the regular bulbs in our house to CFLs , or swirly bulbs as we call them.  Just the downstairs alone that was 17 bulbs!  They are brighter and whiter than the old school bulbs plus our electric bill will go down I’m sure.  We received 2 packages of free CFL bulbs from our electric company so that really helps with the cost.  Check with your power company, they may have a similar program.  And since CFLs last forever, we won’t have to replace them for years and years.  We’re headed upstairs to change out those bulbs next!

Fabulous prizes

I wanted to give out good prizes at Shannon G’s baby shower while staying on a budget.  Most baby shower planning sites said just go to the Dollar Store and grab some things and throw them in a bag.  I don’t want stuff from the Dollar Store (unless I need something specific) so why would I give Dollar Store stuff out as prizes?  I knew my friend Christina would have a great idea for me and sure enough she came through.  She told me about these really cute things at Bath and Body Works called PocketBacs. Tiny little anti-bacterial gel bottles.  She told me they have cute little holders too.  So I bought a bunch of the PocketBacs and holders in various flavors and colors.  They also have these adorable tiny candles- bigger than a tealight and maybe votive sized, but in its own container.   I bought a bunch of those in various scents to go with the PocketBacs. Island Margarita is especially yummy smelling.  I lucked out with a coupon and free shipping and of course I went through Ebates so I made 3% back on the purchase.  So for the same amount I would have spent for Dollar Store variety bags I was able to give adorable, useful prizes.   When the box arrived everything smelled so good I had a hard time giving them up!   I went ahead and put the gels into their little holders and paired them up with a candle then put it all in a themed goody bag and tied it with pink ribbon.   Everyone seemed to really like the prizes.  I was very pleased!

The sofa search is over!

For the last 8 years (up until our yard sale in November) we sat every day on a bright red Ektorp sofa from IKEA.  We rented a giant moving truck and drove it up to the College Park, Maryland IKEA to buy it (before there was an IKEA anywhere closer).  We bought the matching chair and ottoman as well.  It all served us very well for a long time.  But the pugs took their toll on the back cushions.  Pugs are a wee bit catlike.  They (at least ours) like to sit up on the back of the sofa or chair.  This smushed down the back cushions and eventually they didn’t bounce back.  Zoe and her razor sharp puppy teeth took her toll on the slipcover.  We loved that we could remove the slip covers from each cushion to wash them.  We also loved that it was affordable.   As our move drew closer we realized that the Ektorp was not going to be taking up space on the moving truck.   The search for a new sofa was on!

We knew we wanted no loose cushions on the back so the pugs wouldn’t have any to ruin.  CSP decided he wanted a chaise instead of a chair and ottoman.  I wanted sofas on legs with space underneath.  That helps your room look bigger and I was tired of moving the sofa or chair and finding all the pugs’ toys and chewies shoved under there.  We also wanted wide arms.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find anything like that at IKEA or any of the local stores.  One day I was flipping through the West Elm catalog and saw the perfect sofa.  The heavens parted and angels sang!  No loose cushions!  Wide arms!  Up on stylish legs!  In our budget!  Fun colors to choose from!  No removable slipcovers but the fabric is treated to repel stains.  Loved the styling!  I showed CSP and sighed, dreaming of finding a sofa like that in a local shop.  In the meantime we’d just sit on our hand me down bonus room sofa since we were losing the bonus room anyway.  Then I closed the catalog and could not believe my eyes!  Charlotte has a West Elm store!  I thought the closest one was in Atlanta!  Woot!

We moved, got settled and went to the West Elm store to see my beloved Lorimer sofa in person.   I had a moment of panic on the way: what if it isn’t comfy?  What if the arms are too low?  But no, it’s fabulous! It was even more comfy than I had hoped!  CSP picked out his chaise in espresso, a dark brown.  I picked lichen for my sofa. SO pretty!  They’ll be here in 8-10 weeks.  Well, from the time we ordered them a few weeks ago.  And when we moved we received a coupon in the mail from West Elm so we saved a bunch of money!  Plus when you use their store credit card you earn Design Dollars (10% of your purchase price) to use as a gift card of sorts in the store.  Woot!  They won’t charge us until they ship so I can’t go spend my design dollars yet, but I’m sure making a wish list. I’m currently obsessed with throw pillows to go with the new colors.  Pale green and dark brown are a big departure from red!  I can’t wait for the sofas to arrive!  They’ll get here just in time for the Mustachio baby shower I’m throwing in March!