long weekend pickthrough- FULL REBOOT edition.

1 06 2011

you know when you have a crappy old computer, and if you keep it on without restarting it for a while, it starts to run slower and slower and slower and fills you with increasingly more and more and more rage? well, that’s where i was last week. trying to remain functional without shutting off and getting less and less effective with every passing day. like that shitty gateway laptop your grandma gave you for college graduation.

this week, i decided it was finally time to reboot. i unapologetically shut my laptop on tuesday evening, and didn’t open it up again until today. i slept. i ate. i read! i even went to yoga like a fully functional human being. it was awesome. it’s not that i didn’t do anything while i was out, i just didn’t put any pressure on myself to do anything about it other than to maintain a state of general alive-ness.  here’s what you missed: Read the rest of this entry »

worth the trip- coupon coma.

19 05 2011

remember back in the day, when i used to post something coupon related almost every day? oh, and when my cabinets were puffed out with extra band aids and shampoo, and i had an overflowing box of donate items for the preble street resource center? man, those days were nice.

but then it happens- COUPON FATIGUE.

after a year or more of wringing every possible deal out of every possible store in town, a girl gets tired, or distracted, and let’s those weekend coupon fliers pile up, and even… EXPIRE.

i recently cleaned out my folders to realized that i had indeed lost almost 2 full months of coupon time. blacked out unconscious, i must have been paying full price for everything- TRAGIC. expensively tragic (the worst kind of tragic).

now at this point, the serious coupon clipping mantle has clearly been handed off to maine’s very own extreme couponer, i love to gossip, which is quite liberating (also, she’s a lot better at it). no longer do i feel the pressure to try to keep up with the rest of the coupon bitties, and have time to do other crazy shit like  throw clothing swaps and complain about “easy feet”. but this weekend as i leafed through my sunday circulars, i realized that i actually missed it.

i remember feeling so high (remember that money making vaseline lotion at shaw’s?) when i could grab something for free. like i was pulling off a tiny bank robbery or something.

i also remember having 5 unopened dove deodorants in my supply drawer. now i’m sadly chasing a single stick around my apartment… and sometimes i CAN’T FIND IT.

so this week, i decided that i’m actually gonna start trying to get back into the coupon game.  i have an empty paper box ready for preble street donations, and i feel mentally ready to be able to find my antiperspirant again.

well, it’s going to have to be a gentle re-entry, because there’s kind of shit for deals this week. and actually, i was zooming through the comments on this week’s iheartcvs.com deal rundown, and people seem grouchy that there hasn’t been anything awesome for a while. has the deal climate changed when i was away? are there still bargains to be had out there in the wild? here is what i’m stalking this week (better to start slow i suppose), let me know if i missed anything: Read the rest of this entry »

weekend pickthrough- recalibrated edition.

9 05 2011

i would like to thank you all for being patient with me this week. my spring fever has shown no real signs of waning, but i am becoming accustomed to it in a way that is making it possible for me to function again. the answer appears to be the swingset on the eastern promenade. if it’s been a while since you’ve had a good solid swing, i can not recommend it highly enough. don’t forget to look up. it still feels exactly like flying.

along with a series of small naps with my dog and and the consumption of an entire bag of pepperidge farm chessmen, i also managed to finally organize and update my coupon stash for the first time since february. it was really tragic to have to recycle so many great deals. i really do need to pay attention again- for a while. my preble street donation bucket is looking very bare these days.

maybe this week i’ll even crack open my walgreens cherry now that the new marginal way store is open… has anyone out there been yet?

chances are that all your easter candy is gone now… except for one of these. thank sweet jesus that the folks at the hairpin are problem solvers.

the sadistic truth about women’s clothing sizes. (i do love an infographic, even when it fills me with rage).

who is this mysterious asian woman?

how did i make it past 30 without ever reading this?

i’ve got 2 tickets to paradise. and by paradise, i mean the former yugoslavia.

ooh, free local music.

you had me at “cupcake stuffed“.

18 clues you’re anti-feminist piece of crap.

a hearty high five to the person who wrote this truly inspired review of paul’s food center on yelp.

drop off times for SWAPmaine have been released! (early drop off= FREE ADMISSION).

did you know that chicago dogs has a veggie dog?

thus solidifying her place in the pantheon of awesome moms, my mom sent me this link this morning.

worth the trip- the black album (with a plaid b-side).

24 11 2010

i feel like it was just halloween. how exactly is it thanksgiving already? now, thanksgiving means a lot of things to me- pie, defending my vegetarianism against people who think it is a personal attack, pie, rolling my eyes at football, pie, and most of all… BLACK FRIDAY.

to many, getting up at the pre-crack of dawn in order to shiver outside in the icy icy weather in a line of other assholes who also think that this is a good idea does not seem like a privilege. i know it seems wrong on a number of levels, but i can’t stop myself. i’m not even buying any xmas presents. i’m not even trying to score big ticket items at crazy low prices. i just really love a hot bargain, and have designs on expanding my chick flick collection for less than $2 a dvd.

now traditionally, one gets the thanksgiving paper and weeds through the ads while digesting their  gravy coated food baby after dinner (sort of like half time before the pie round). but since this is the internet age, and we’re all a big fucking pack of cheaters, there are multiple websites offering up all the black friday deal fliers days before anyone has to stick their hands into a frozen turkey and pull out the “giblet sack” (and people question my vegetarianism?).

i love black-friday. net, but it really doesn’t make a fucking difference if you go there or to blackfriday.info or even blackfriday.com. the point is that i’ve been planning my black friday shopping strategy for DAYS. here is my present  ACTION PLAN: Read the rest of this entry »

a very drugstore xmas.

3 12 2009

as we continue our journey through the recesses of the internet in search of awesome stuff that can be purchased for cheap without having to go outside… i thought i’d take a little detour and talk about xmas shopping at the drugstore (because we’re there all the time anyway, and who doesn’t want to pay for their xmas gifts with extrabucks?) without it looking like “i forgot to get you a present so i picked up something crappy at the drugstore on my way over”.

first, a few THINGS TO AVOID:

boxed candy. aren’t we fat enough already? also, nothing says “i picked this up at the drugstore/supermarket/gas station” like a box of russell stover. you may as well just hand them a card that says “you don’t matter”.  if it ain’t godiva (or something equally exotic and amazing), don’t bother.

aftermarket electornics. want to experience the true look of disappointment on a child’s face? give them something that sort of looks like an ipod, but most definitely IS NOT. it’s cheap shit that is likely to embarrass your children in front of their peers. if it says CRAIG or COBY, drop it. please. (don’t even get me started on the “zone40 wireless gaming system“)

shrink wrapped bath sets in baskets. seriously, nothing makes me itchier than thinking about using cheap/overly scented bath products. plus, nobody really uses this shit. you’re basically saying “merry xmas, i got you something to take up space under your sink for the next 5 years until you have a garage sale or get the cojones to throw it out”. nobody wants these, i promise.

anything “as seen on tv”. yeah, i’m talking about you snuggie.

cautions aside, there are actually a number of perfectly thoughtful, or at least not crappy gift ideas to be had at your local rite aid, or cvs, or walgreens….

be the personal hygiene fairy. toss back the scented body lotions, and put together your own “gift set” of stuff that your friends actually use. especially your broke friends. before my couponing catharsis, i used to dread buying personal hygiene products because they drove up the price of my weekly groceries exponentially. toothpaste is expensive! poke through your friend’s bathrooms when they’re not looking, and write down the brands they use. then, put together a cute little box with a few of each item (toothpaste, soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, razors…). it may not be very sexy, but it’s thoughtful, and they’re guaranteed to use it. and isn’t that the key to giving a really good gift?

go overboard! if you know someone who really loves snickers bars… or mac & cheese… or chapstick… or whatever, nothing is as adorable as giving them a big box full of that love.  a year’s worth of gummy worms? a sack full of clean socks for your laundry-averse friends? 15 pairs of inexpensive sunglasses for someone who just keeps losing or breaking theirs? hilarious AND thoughtful. *all net*

perfume. just about every drugstore in town has a little glass case tucked into the cosmetics department filled with fancy-ass perfume. i’m not talking “bod” or “designer imposters body spray” here. i’m talking the same stuff you can get at the department store. there’s just something sweetly old fashioned about giving good perfume as a gift. be careful though, scent is a very personal choice. also- make sure that they wear perfume (and that they’re not horribly allergic to it!). in general,  it’s always safe to get someone a bottle of something they already wear (perfume is stupid expensive), and a little note about how much you love their smell.  if you want to strike out and get them something new, i always love the classics (shalimar, giorgio, chloe, halston…). for the younger set, i suggest something culturally relevant, expensive looking, and not too heavy. burberry brit and anything by gwen stefani are generally winners.

– batteries yo! know someone who is getting a wii this year? well, those wireless controllers eat batteries like nobody’s business. lately, there have been a ton of great deals on batteries all over town ($5 duracell SCR at rite aid anyone?), so why not load up on AAs and give your friend a reason to never stop playing elebits. seriously, a big block of batteries and a sweet note about how you want to come over and play (and possibly some beer) is a surprisingly good gift. also, batteries make a great garnish to any electronic gift. nothing sucks harder than having the factory included batteries crap out just moments after you get into your new toys.

gift cards. what’s great about drugstores is that they all have big ass displays with tons of gift cards to choose from. they’re not entirely innovative, but the best gifts are the ones where the receiver is getting something that they want, and a carefully chosen gift card almost always works. emphasis however on the “carefully chosen” part. mall restaurants suck. unless you know someone who genuinely really loves applebees (which might i add is completely depraved), stay away from restaurant gift cards. try also to be age appropriate. nobody under the age of 40 needs a talbots gift card. some generally safe bets are (obviously dependent on age, interests, etc.) gap, old navy, itunes, target, j. crew, l.l. bean, h&m, pottery barn, and starbucks. oh, and make sure it’s worth more than $10 you cheap bastard.

in summation, the key to good gift giving isn’t really where you shop, but being attentive to the needs, wants, interest, and lifestyle of the giftee. take your time and get it right! no matter how little or how much it costs, people will always remember a thoughtful gift, given with love.

it’s happening…

16 11 2009

there was a WALGREENS FLYER in my sunday paper! apparently windham, bath, & norway all have functional walgreens in their neighborhoods, but i’ve never actually been in one. they’ve been building one on forest ave. for months now- and it looks like it’s almost done! people who coupon seem to love it, but i have to say that i’m a little scared.  the flier looked to have some pretty excellent deals in it, and from what i can tell, the register rewards system works pretty much like the CVS extrabuck system… although i’ve heard rumors that it isn’t as consistent (rewards don’t always print out like they’re supposed to). should i be afraid? should i be excited? should i make my hot and dirty affair with rite aid exclusive and tell everyone else to go screw? the drama!