Enter some contests, you just might win!

Companies have sweepstakes and instant win games and contests every week.  Now, I enter the ones that have prizes I would be interested in, but when I started, I went a little crazy and entered every non-spammy contest I could find!  (Not a great idea, I know)

Winning is possible! Some of the contests have thousands of winners, so your chances are good.  For the best ongoing list of sweepstakes, visit Freebies 4 Mom; she frequently reminds readers what sweeps are going on, how many winners they will have, and who has won!

As for me, I have won free Hanes from Wedgie-free Wednesday, a Rachael Ray garbage bowl from a Nabisco contest, a free mp3 download from Dove, and third prize in a contest run by American Laser Centers ($300 for laser hair removal, cellulite reduction, or skin treatments).

What have you won? I know that Heather at Freebies 4 Mom likes to hear about who’s won what, so leave a comment here and then pop on over to her site to share there!

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Frugal frustrations: packing tape again

Back in June I complained about my frugal failure with store-brand packing tape.  The tape had left sticky residue all over my nonporous, painted metal filing cabinet.

I’ve got another complaint.  I had to mail some books requested from me through PaperBackSwap.  I used the infamous aforementioned tape since I still had some left.  While the sticky was fine for my mailing purposes, the cutting of the tape was not.  The blade was so resistant to cutting the tape that the plastic tape holder began to bend as I tried to rip my piece of tape.  It was quite a struggle to wrap up my books since I had to use several pieces of tape.  No more will I buy this tape.

I’m all for using store or generic brands.  But if I give them a try and they fail to match up to my needs, I’m going to use the national brand.

Travel-sized freebies: Clinique and a pillow

Today I took my own advice and went to one of the Clinique workshops I recently blogged about. The workshop at my local Dillard’s was Summer Coolers. The consultant was efficient and pleasant.  She first asked me what I was interested in as far as beauty products.  As she put makeup on me, she checked with me before adding more to make sure I wanted mascara, shadow, etc., so as not to put on too much.  Overall, I learned about a couple of new products, got some moisturizer I needed (using a gift card), and got my two travel-sized freebies, pictured above.

Next, I headed down to the Sleep Number Bed store. We’d gotten a mall advertisement in the mail, complete with a giveaway entry form and coupons, trying to entice me to shop. One coupon promised a free gift, so off I went. It turned out to be a free Sleep Number brand travel-sized pillow. Useful and soft–not bad for free!

Being frugal doesn’t always pay…

Recently, I moved from an apartment in my grad school’s town to my hometown. When I was packing up, I had to secure things for transport. Anything with drawers got taped so the drawers wouldn’t fly open in transit. I used clear packing tape, and this was the result:

Filing cabinet

See that shiny stuff? It looks like the tape’s still on there. Nope. It’s leftover sticky residue that didn’t come off with the tape. I used the store-brand tape, but I’ve learned my lesson: sometimes you just have to buy the name brand.

Free undies!

When I saw my mail today, I was excited to find a surprise package. Turns out I’d won Wedgie-Free Wednesday! If you don’t already know about this promotion, Hanes is giving away 500 free pairs of panties per week. Go sign up each week and you can win, too!

Also, I had to make a trip to the mall today anyways, so while I was there, I picked up my free pair of Jockeys from Macy’s. It’s not too late to get your own pair if you haven’t already. To check out my prizes, see image below:

Sharing my savings: Walgreens & CVS

I’m a little late this week, but I did so well that I simply had to blog. Not only did I get to check off one of my PF goals despite losing all my sanity to end-of-semester madness, I took some time after school ended (finally!) to do some therapeutic shopping. I’d been planning to do the Walgreens P&G RR deal but I knew I had a gift card waiting for me at home (my other home). So, I made myself wait until the semester officially ended.

Without further ado, here’s my CVS stuff. As you can see, I maxed out quite a few of the monthly deals! (the OneTouch is actually from WalMart, but it was free w/a coupon!) I probably spent a maximum of $6 for all this stuff.

And a few nights ago at Walgreens, I did the P&G deal (which I learned about here at Centsible Shopper), plus a few other goodies:

P&G RR deal at Walgreens

I got all of the cleaning supplies, the Febreze, and the Charmin wipes for free using $10 RR, coupons, and part of a Walgreens gift card.

I picked up the Herbal Essences so that I could get a free manicure/pedicure. (I heard about this promotion here at Money Saving Mom!) I bought the greeting card (plus another one), the Herbal Essences, and two Sunday papers with one of my P&G $10 RRs.

My family was amazed at how much you can get for free. They all wanted to know how it was possible, and when thinking about how to explain it briefly, I felt a bit like a magician does when asked how she does her tricks. 😉

What I got using my JC Penney coupon

On Friday I posted about the $10-off-$10-or-more coupon from JC Penney salon, and I promised to share brag about what kind of a deal I got.

When I found the salon, I was alarmed to see that most of the products for sale were hair products costing $15 or more! How can hairspray be $22?!? (See, I’m not a hair products kind of girl. When my hair is short, I might use some styling wax, but most of the time it’s long. And why pay so much for hair products at a salon when I could work them into an ECB deal at CVS and get them for free? 😉 )

I digress. So, I found a small clearance section that had some bath-product gift sets and candles. I ended up paying about $1.50 for the gift set and two candles that you see in the picture above! The items were all marked down but had prices lower than indicated on the stickers, so it took me a couple of tries to find a combination close to $10. And, while I was checking out, I overheard a lady behind me asking a saleslady about the curling irons. The other, unused coupon on my sheet was for that very brand of curling iron, so I offered it to her. She was very happy to accept it, with warm thanks, and I left feeling good. Who knew you could get the warm-n-fuzzies from couponing?