Thursday, November 5

Sometimes it's just dumb luck

I work hard at being frugal whenever possible. With some vigilance and careful planning, it's possible to save a lot of money. It's not easy, and most of us work hard to live a thrifty life.

Sometimes, though, you just luck into things.

Tuesday was one of those days. Body butter was on sale at The Body Shop. While Tim may be going through less of it down here, I know we'll need it eventually. So I planned to get a few extra while they were cheaper.

The first bit of luck was that Ebates is currently doubling its cash back at certain stores. The Body Shop was one of them. So, instead of 5 percent, we were getting 10 percent back on purchases made through the site. I am a simple creature, and just that bit of luck was enough to make me happy, but there was more to come.

Through the store's reward system, we were due $25 off any one item. Usually, we use it to get extra body butters. This time, though, Tim and I had agreed that I could get something for myself. I had run out of a lotion that really made my skin feel better but, at $22 a bottle, would not make my wallet feel even remotely well. Using the reward, though, I got the lotion for free. Free makes me happy.

I added enough body butters to get the order up to $60 -- the minimum amount for free shipping -- and put the order through. I then went to make a second order (like I said, I like to stock up while the sales are on) and noticed something very strange.

The site was still claiming I had a $25 reward coming to me. So I made the new order. Sure enough, $25 was taken off. So I took the opportunity to get one other item I had run out of and, of course, some more body butters. The order went through without a hitch.

Curious, I went back to the home page and, wouldn't you know it, the website still claimed I was due a $25 reward. I made a total of four orders, each one giving us a $25 reward. Honestly, I would have kept going, but our finances couldn't really handle more than that.

In the end, it was quite the coup:

  • 2 lotions I couldn't otherwise have afforded -- one free, one for $1
  • An exfoliator delicate enough for Tim's skin
  • A night cream I want Tim to try
  • Some facial buffers (Tim's skin builds up easily and then gets itchy)
  • A Christmas gift for $6.30 (retail $32)
  • And 16 body butters

The partridge and a pear tree was extra.

At their normal rates, the body butters alone would have cost $288. I'd get 5 percent back ($14.40) through Ebates. This time, though, all four orders came to $283.25, and I get 10 percent back ($28.33).

I was half expecting an email from the store, saying there had been a mistake and that I would have to put the orders through again. But the confirmation arrived in my inbox the next day, and today I got confirmation of the products having shipped.

Sometimes things just fall into place for you. You don't even have to be particularly frugal. But those of us living a thrifty life know to take as full advantage as is possible. And then go brag to frugal friends. It's what we do.

What about you? When did you just fall into some great savings? Did you take full advantage or do you wish you'd gotten more?

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Anonymous frugal zeitgeist said...


I have one: I did some volunteer work that involved doing something I was going to do anyway (20-mile training runs for the marathon), and as a thank-you gift, I scored two free pairs of running shoes that retail for $140 a pop. Add those to the two pairs I already have in reserve, and I'm set for 2010.

November 5, 2009 at 7:14 PM

Blogger FB @ said...

It was EXACTLY like the time I went into Urban Outfitters, found a dress and thought the tag at $40 meant it was already 50% discounted

I loved it so much, I bit the bullet

Then I got to the counter and the guy took ANOTHER 50% off!!!!!

I felt soooo good.

November 6, 2009 at 3:53 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used a grocery store coupon booklet, added my coupons for the same items, and walked out with $80 worth of groceries for about $30. It was a lot of planning, searching for coupons, etc. but the outcome was soooo worth it!! Even the cashier (who has to "announce" your savings to you) had to do a double-take!

November 11, 2009 at 9:40 AM


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