Friday, February 22, 2008

Join The Movement!

Tip Of The Day: All the fabulous shopping tips, web sites and stores you guys e-mailed me this week. It just goes to show you, the world is FULL of thrifty people. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

Tip For Tomorrow: A co-worker of mine told me to imagine it was nice outside. That’s what I plan to do this weekend – from the comfort of my home. Where it is always warm and nice.

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: The response to Monday’s segment on Kare-11 was overwhelming, to say the least. You people are FRUGAL, and I LOVE IT. Here are all the tips I got from readers/viewers in just 3 days!

Kayla knows the way to my heart – through accessories:
If you are into jewelry and accessories, you MUST go check out this place outside of Maple Grove.
It is called:
Accessories To Go/B-B Enterprises
17420 113th Ave N
Maple Grove, Mn 55369
Hours: Mon-Sat 9-4pm & Mon and Wed until 7pm.
It is a wholesale Jewelry and Accessory company that is going out of business. Everything is 50% off WHOLESALE PRICES! There is weekly showroom specials. This week-75% off all handbags!
Most Neck and Ear sets are $7 and under! This place is huge! It takes most people 2-3 hours to get thru it!

From Jennie, a fabulous grocery shopping tip:
Have you been to Big Lots or Aldi before? I do the bulk of my food shopping at the latter. I still love the great deals (and have favorite brands) at Cub or Rainbow, but I can get a huge cart of food for my family of 5 for about $120.00! It usually lasts us 2-3 weeks. I am a little iffy on their produce, but most of the other stuff is ok.
I should also add that you do need to bring your own bags to Aldi, but you can buy some there for 10 cents each if you forget. You can also grab any empty boxes you find there and use those, too. Also, bring a quarter to get a cart. They are cash only. They do accept some credit cards, but not the Wells Fargo debit card. They have ATM's in most stores though. They have stores throughout the metro; my favorite is the one in Champlin.

Here’s a whole bunch of cool websites from Tami:
1. Check out this wonderful find! They have many books at cheap, cheap prices and if you order $14.99 or get FREE shipping! I'm waiting for my second order as I write.
2. This site tells you what the Black Friday specials will be WAYYYY before the ads come out. I like to plan my strategy before that day so that I'm actually spending time with relatives on Thanksgiving rather than have my nose in ads. There isn't much on there now, but a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, the stores start releasing the info:
3. Free sterling silver....just pay shipping. I think it's around $6 but I've ordered from there,
4. I love this site to tell me where the deals are at Go to...'visit our forum' and then find screaming deals online and screaming deals around town. Around Christmas, had a deal where they gave everyone a $30 gift certificate. I bought a $29.99 photo tie and just paid the $3 for shipping. They also tell you how to match up coupons for the sales.

A cool theater tip from Anonymous:
I have an under-$20 ticket that you can buy. There's an excellent dance group in Eden Prairie, and their showcase performance is this weekend. Their artistic leader is from Russia and does amazing things. Check out

Two additions to my consignment shop list, and some other fab stores in Columbia Heights from Mplskathy:
1. Fashion Avenue at 50th and France between Chicos and Walgreens. They only take high end stuff (so maybe you better check it out after your year is up).
2. There is a bridal shop in that area, too; here is online info
3. Discount 70, (612) 781-3254, 4027 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN. I think they purchase closeouts so it's different every time. I found a great stain remover there in Dec that I had been buying from HSN for $10 plus shipping, and Discount 70 had it for $3. Buy some if it's still there - upper right area, far back, as you walk in the store, if I remember right.
4. When you are on Central between Discount 70 and Savers, on the other side of the street, in the mall with Snyders, there is a Mike’s Discount Grocery. (between Snyders and Sally's Beauty) They buy closeouts so it’s always different, too.

Mary is giving good hair and good deeds here: I work with woman going through Cancer. I have now for about 7 yrs. I try to help them find affordable wigs...some of the places out there are so expensive, so we try to give great service and we do in-home visits as well.

Great shopping tips from Marti:
1. I put on my mental "blinders" until I reach the clearance section of my favorite stores. You may be shopping slightly out of season, but as long as it isn't too trendy, it'll still be cute next year. Ann Taylor Loft, The Limited, Express, The Gap... I honestly rarely pay more than $20 an item myself. The clearance sales of The Limited are especially amazing during January. I've purchased $1,000 worth of clothes for less than $200, on more than one occasion.
2. My (other) trick is to figure out which stores you really like, and what sort of incentives they have for their credit cards. I have cards with Victoria's Secret, The Limited and Express. They all give out amazing coupons at the outset...and continue to give them. Two caveats, however: don't buy something simply to "use up" the coupon. That doesn't save you money, just wastes it if you don't really love what you bought.
3. Second, pay your bill in full each month. If you can't afford to buy it that month, trust that something else even better will be available when you CAN afford it...and if you wait, you won't have to put yourself even FURTHER into debt to get it. Keeping your credit cards completely clear each month builds really great credit, too, when it comes to the things it makes sense to invest in, like a car or a home. A great pair of shoes may SEEM like a good investment, but listen to what you know your father would say!

Kristen from the Goodwill reminds us all to stop by, plus they have a FANTASTIC event coming up:
We have MANY items (most in fact) under $20 and our stores are great – most are new or remodeled. More info on the stores is on our site: We have weekly tag sales (items are all half-price) and $1.49 Tuesdays, plus many other deals on clothing, home goods and more. Really cheap books, too.
We also have a great boutique in St. Louis Park, Second D├ębut. The items there are a little more than Goodwill but you may just find some shoes or other items that would be within your budget!
We’re having a wedding show this weekend – the Goodwill Bridal Showcase – but I am not sure I can promise you items under $20. However, if your readers are planning weddings they will be able to save money if they shop our event – many bridal gowns are priced at $99 (some more, some less) and some are new and bridal shop samples. Go here for more info:

John from the Blue Sky Guide shows us how to go green for less:
Go green and still be thrifty! Save money on dining, grocery shopping, home improvements, gardening, entertainment, travel and recreation AND do it in a healthy, environmentally sustainable way by using Blue Sky Guide with your purchases. Blue Sky Guide is THE local green consumer guide and coupon book. 2008 Blue Sky Guide (the 7th annual edition) can be found at over 150 retailers or purchased via school and non-profit fund-raisers throughout the Twin Cities. The Blue Sky Guide retails for $20, pays for itself with just a couple of uses and is good until November 30, 2008. Over 300 coupons are listed including; MTC bus/LRT passes, Amtrak, Patina, Lunds/Byerly's, TC Natural Food Co-ops, Fresh and Natural Foods, Whole Foods, Bachman's, Linders, Pizza Luce, REI, Minnesota Orchestra, Timberwolves, Ragstock, Bibelot, Walker Art Center, Children's Theatre, Mn Science Museum, Eriks Bikes, Frattalone's Ace Hardware stores....and many, many more. Check out for a complete listing.

JoAnne is doing good and saving mondo cash in Wisconsin:
I wanted to let you know about the awesome place I volunteer at, over in River Falls, Wisconsin. Treasure's From the Heart is a nonprofit that accepts donations from the community, anything from furniture to kitchen accessories. Everything that comes in is gone through and some minor adjustments made (fixing a loose screw, replacing a button, polishing the silver, polishing the shoes, steaming the clothing), then resold. ALL of our funds go to support in home hospice for Adoray, to help families with terminally ill family members. 90% of our store staff are volunteers - only the managers are paid, and we have some great college kids from our RF University come in to put in hours towards class credit - win/win situation!!
Coming up in March we are going to be having our 50% off sale - all clothing will be half off for one day. I think the most I've spent there on one piece of clothing was $14.99 on a Talbots red wool peacoat And most books are .99 for paperback, $1.99 for hardcover! The half off sale will be Sunday, March 9th from 11 AM to 4 PM.
Check us out when you have some free time, you won't regret the mini-road trip! Hours are Tuesday - Thursday 9 to 7, Friday 9 to 5, and Saturday from 9 to 6. We accept donations up to one hour before closing - we do not accept tv's, vcr's, stereo systems (small radio's ok), mattresses, and exercise equipment.

From Cindy in Buffalo comes this awesome shopping experience:
My sister and I ventured out and opened the first occasional hip shop for women in our hometown of Buffalo, MN - we name it after our grandmother - it is called Lillians! The 4-day occasional shops were invented 10 years ago in Buffalo - there are 10 stores that are only open 4 days a month. The first shop that opened as an occasional store was Second Hand Rose, a shabby chic home decor shop. What Buffalo was missing was a really cool hip shop for women! So we opened our first store just 2 years ago - and now we have 15 of them! They are all nestled in the charm of small town USA. Please come out to one of our sales and melt into the experience! I am in the Buffalo location, but we do have one in downtown Hopkins as well. Here is our website:
We were featured on KARE11 and Jason Davis followed us on our buy trip and we were "On The Road Again" twice in 2007.

Thank you to everyone who has e-mailed me, taken the time to write a comment, or is just out in the world being frugal and fabulous. And thank you for dropping by Cheap But Not Easy – have a great, cheap weekend!


LARUE said...

Savers news! From 2/19-5/11, you get a stamp on your Savings pass (given to you at checkout) for every $5.00 you spend at Savers. Once you have filled the card (after spending $45) you get 30% off your next purchase! And you can then just get a new pass and keep going.

Also, the calendars at Savers with all the coupons are currently half off, which I believe makes them $.99 each. Completely worth the dollar.

I found a lovely spring coat and a Hanna Andersson velour set for the Drama Queen today. And a new tie rack to hang my necklaces on for $3.99. Its wood and from Brookstone, so it was worth it.

Lastly - for online bargains, is my fave. Sometimes they have $1.00 shipping on everything. LIKE A SOFA. It is all good in the hood, as some Chicks have been known to say.

standing still said...

Congrats on all the fab readers and followers. We can say, we knew the Cheap Chick when ...

Mia said... has very cheap used books (you buy direct from the seller)--it can be as low as 75 cents for many popular titles. If you are looking for multiple items, it may be worth it too look at the bigger sellers and combine shipping at media mail rate (if you can wait a week or two). Right now they have a promotion where for each friend you refer who buys something, you get a $5.00 credit--that's like a free book!

Mia said...

Also, Filene's Basement is worth checking out right now if you have one near you. The winter clearance sale (additional 50-75% off everything already on clearance) is usually a great place to snag winter scarves, hats and gloves (hey, there's still a few more months of winter left to wear that stuff!). It is also usually a pretty good time to restock the "gift closet"(I've gotten boxed cashmere sock sets, nice picture frames, etc. for under $5). Clothing, designer jeans and shoes can also be good, but usually only if your size is not a common one where you live.

Mia said...

Happy hours are great for those on a budget, and sometimes you can get great food beyond the usual wings and fries (not that there's anything wrong with wings and fries!) at low prices.

McCormick and Schmick's has a $1.95-$3.95 happy hour menu. Mussels, fish tacos, 1/2 lb. burgers, oysters and bruschetta are among their happy hour menu offerings. You do have to order a drink or two, but still, it's not a bad deal.
I've also been told Morton's has a good, low-priced happy hour menu. I've heard good things about the mini filet mignon sandwiches and the crab dip.