Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Budget Backfire + Holiday Bargains!

I took several advertising and marketing classes back in college and never really thought much of it-- until recently. I engaged in a social experiment and failed miserably, gah!

1. Free doesn't always mean free. So, Panda Express was promoting their Thai Cashew Chicken with a coupon. No purchase necessary.  However, I went during my lunch hour and decided to patron their franchise as I hadn't eaten there since college.  What I didn't realize was how limited the selection was and how outrageously priced greasy Chinese food had become!  $8 for a two item combo and an extra charge for certain items (all shrimp and steak entrees, so basically all the good stuff!). I felt trapped because my lunch hour was finite and I didn't bring a lunch today, bah!!

Lesson learned: If you plan on redeeming a free food item, go with a plan and immediately get out. The tactic of getting you in the store increases a customers willingness to make a purchase and thus make you spend money!

2. Returning products isn't always best plan: Costco is a bit out of the way for me, but I greatly disliked an item that I purchased a week ago an decided to make my first Costco return ever! However, making a trip there, then waiting in line to return an item, I felt obligated to go browse the warehouse. And of course I returned one item and came out with three. Although I will admit that I was running out of lotion and the Aveeno Body Lotion was on sale (so that purchase was justified!). Nevertheless, if a store is able to get you to come in to their store, you will almost without a doubt buy something. I'm having serious buyers remorse now, bah!!!

Lesson learned: If you're going to make a return, create a list of what you need to buy beforehand so that you will stay on track on what you need versus what you want.

On a more positive note, the holidays are coming! And every savvy shopper knows to start early.   Here are a few of my picks for the week!

Personalized Xmas Ornaments
I saw online that InkGarden is promoting their personalized alumnium ornaments for $1 (plus $5.49 shipping). My husband and I planned to get an ornament each year representing our marriage, but he was super excited about this deal and wanted to make one himself. So I guess this year we'll have two ornaments for 2012. haha... It will be a gift that will definitely be special as you can customize it with your own photos! Click here for the link. Valid now until Dec 17. Promo Code: CHEERS

Gourmet Marshmellows and Hot chocolate
For the foodie in your life why not consider sending over a holiday favorite? 240 Sweet is participating in Plum District and offering a delicious deal for $14 or $20 depending on the package you select.  If you're not signed up to recieve daily updates with Plum you should. Personally I think they offer better Foodie deals than Groupon and Living Social. Expires on sunday Nov 11, 2012

20% off Makeup
For your glamorous friend why not send some beauty items from Click here to check out the products. Free shipping on orders $25 or more and 20% off deal ends Friday Nov 9. But to save more money sign up with ebates prior to checkout.  Not only will you get a $10 Target card for signing up but also cash back on many online retailers. Currently, is getting 6% cash back!

Have you started your holiday shopping and do you have any tips on saving more?

Yours Truly,


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