Pinching pennies

Every dollar counts.

Like I’ve mentioned, I’m stocking up on various things that I’ll need while abroad, mainly toiletries, hair stuff, things for the kitchen, and food to cook that I imagine isn’t available abroad. I also need to purchase a couple things for my netbook that I’ve been putting off until absolutely necessary. My sister and I are planning to make a couple of natural hair/body products to bring with us instead of paying big bucks for them. Because they usually have the cheapest prices, 95% of our shopping is done on Amazon and at Wal-Mart.

As inexpensive as things are at Wal-Mart, compared to the competition, I still needed to be careful and wanted to make some charges. You know it’s sad when you have to return products to Wal-Mart because you feel you paid too much for them, but times are rough and my money needs to stretch.

Initially, I had planned on returning just a few things: my Mederma scar gel, a 2-bottle pack of Nyquil, and some lotion. With the scar gel, I felt that I was very happy with the Walgreens brand gel I currently have, so I went to get that.

When I went to Walgreens, it took a while to find the Walgreens brand because it was in the lotion section and not first-aid where some of the other Mederma stuff was. While the Walgreens brand was technically more expensive ($21 vs $15), it was 2.5 times bigger than Merderma (1.76oz vs .70oz), and since I use this stuff pretty diligently I decided to purchase it.

For whatever reason, upon paying for my gel, it occurred to me that there were a lot more things I could return: the couple packs of overnight sanitary pads I bought, the 2 packs of razors I had, and some spices, in addition to the aforementioned things I had.

With the Mederma, while I technically spent $5 more, I essentially saved about $17 when the net ounces of the products are taken into account.

The generic 2-pack of Nyquil cost less than half as much as the brand name ($5.96 vs $12.46). My sister says Equate is a pretty decent generic brand, so I’m trusting her that this will do the trick (she also bought this particular product).

With the lotion I’m unsure if I want to replace it, so I returned it for $7.87.

With the razors, instead of keeping the $9.94 5-pack of razors and the $5.87 3-pack of razors, I decided to get 2 sets of a 4-pack (3 razors with a bonus razor) for $11.74.

When I thought about what I used my sanitary napkins for, it made more sense to me to get a smaller package of overnight pads (about $3.70) and a box of pantyliners (about $5-something) instead of the $11ish I spent on the couple packages of pads. I was hoping to get the pantyliners for cheaper, since the Equate box had 100+ liners and I only wanted like 50, but to get 50 or so liners of other brands cost more than the 100+ Equate brand.

The spices were only a couple dollars, but my mom told me she buys spices in bulk so I could just use some of hers.

Lastly, on a related note, I decided to purchase some clothes through a “Happy Hour” online sale that Charlotte Russe had, where everything on the website was 20% off for 3 hours. They also have a “BFF” promotion when you give them your email, so since I used my actual email address the last time I bought from them online, I used another email address and got an additional 10% off, so 30% in total. Additionally, I had a CR gift card. Last time I bought from the website, I needed to return an item, which I bought using PayPal because the main website was giving me trouble. The salesperson at the CR store at a nearby mall told me that I was only able to get a gift card in return because of it, worth about $38. What’s nice about the card is, even though I paid for it with my money, since I paid for it months ago it almost seems like it’s “free” money, or “found” money. Anyway, between the discounts and the gift card, $94 of merchandise, shipping, and taxes dwindled down to $29.97.

ETA: According to WordPress, this is my 40th post. 40 posts before I’ve even left the country for the first time. Kind of pitiful lol :-p

~ by Revé on August 6, 2011.

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