The Best List Ever

K has compiled a list of Retail e-mail, reward and loyality programs that you should know about. Click here!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Perfect Storm Target Match-Up Post! (ie - get a super fun game on the cheap side)

(I'm sorry about all of the ' action going on in this post, something is up with blogger and it simply will not let me space this post the way I really want to.)
I've said it before but I'm saying it again -I'm all about games. Right now at Target you can get The Game of Things, plus a card deck game, (a $32 value!) for only $9.99! (Or $9.94 after the bag credit. :p)
The Game of Things is similar to most group games - you can make it serious, funny, naughty, opposite, whatever! The rules are sorta simple - pretty much everyone writes a response to the topic card and whoever is not matched to their response at the end of a round by the other players wins! (Actual rules can be found here, but I will dumb them down at the bottom of this post.)
Right now Toys R Us has "The Game of Things" on sale in their weekly ad (page 11A, top left corner) for $14.99. (Normally $27!)
AND go HERE for a $5 off coupon - making it $9.99 (Saving you, like, $17!) There is a 2 print-per-computer limit, so if you haven't used this one yet, you should be able to print it twice.
Now, you can pick this up at TRU when you're there this week getting all the child-centric board games that count towards the Hasbro/Toys R Us rebate,
you can take the Toys R Us ad (actual print ad, not Internet print out, unless your store is lax on that rule) to Target to price match the game (also normally around $27) and get a free hasbro card game as well. (page 16 of this week's Target ad talks about the promo; The Game of Things isn't listed or shown on the ad but is a game by Hasbro and has a promo sticker/tag by its normal shelf price tag in-store. If you still aren't sure about this, go to a scanner or ask an employee to scan it for you - the promo should come up on their screen.)
You may be squeamish about "doing this deal" at Target, because the new coupon and price-matching policies exclude other stores "buy-one-get-X" promotions AND they also exclude you from price matching and then using a Target coupon on said item being price matched. Plus its a bit involved and there are a lot of you out there who have been very turned off by Target lately.
However, the buy-game-get-card freebie is Targets own promotion, so you will be able to price match, get the free card game AND use the manufacturer coupon to get everything for $9.99!
Here's where it gets complicated - normal cashiers don't have the power to price match at their individual registers, so you can check out "up front" or just go straight to Customer Service, since you'll have to stop there anyway.
AND ideally the way that Target wants its "guests" to perform price adjusting when using a coupon is to use said coupon at time of purchase at the front registers and then get reimbursed later, as to keep the wait time down for the rest of us in line at Customer Service, but they'll still take a coupon at CS. However, I see this as bringing in more people than necessary to error the transaction, so you need to decide if you want to make one long purchase at the registers and then get reimbursed at Customer Service (for convenience and sake of time), OR if you want to make this purchase first at customer service and then continue with your other shopping and do two transactions at Target, that is assuming that you are there to purchase more in the first place.
If I were you (which I was, 'cause I already did this and it totally worked) I'd do the transaction first at CS and then continue shopping and purchase everything else separately, which looks like this: find the game (it's in a wooden box and can be found in the "party" or "adult" section of the game isle), pick out which free card game you'd like (you get to choose between scrabble slam, monopoly deal and something that is like pictureika; they should all be well marked that they are the free-game-with-purchase) and then go to Customer Service. Wait your turn (obvs.) and then let the service person know that you are going to price match the big item. They will scan the Game of Things, do some fancy button pushin' to adjust the price and then scan the card game, which will automatically show up as free. (They might go in a different order with the card game scanning and price adjustment, but that part should not matter.) Your total should say $14.99 (plus whatever your sales tax is; so in the D/FW area it'd be $16.23) - then when you go to pay hand over your coupon for $5 off. They'll scan it and then you're down to $9.99! ($10.84 D/FW - because the tax is adjusted to what you pay after the coupon) Done!
I didn't ring this up at a normal register, because I thought the whole thing would give all parties involved - the cashier, the CS person and myself - a headache, but here is what it should look like if you choose to go this way. When you buy both games and use the coupon, the receipt will print out as all are apart of the special promotion - so there will be all of these fancy price numbers everywhere inside a separate box that is marked like so:
-------Special Promotion -------
##### '''''''''GameofThings '''''$27.00 (or whatever price in which your target has the game listed)
##### '''''''''MFR Coupon '''''''''$5.00-
'''''''''''''''''''Refund Value ''' $23.12 (or some other number) T
###### '''''''Card Game ''''''''''''$5.24
'''''''''''''''''''Refund Value ''''$3.88 T
''''''''''''''''Package Subtotal $32.24
'''''''''''''''''''''Card Game Free $5.24-
'''''''''''''''''''Package Total $27.00 (or again, whatever price yours is going for.)
'''''All Items Must Be returned For Full Refund
'''''''''''''''''''Subtotal ''''''''''''''''$22.00 (unless you bought more stuff)
'''''%Tax on $22 '''''''''''''''''''$ tax amount
''''''''''''''''''''''''''Total ''''''''''''''''$ whatever total is
THEN you'll go up to CS and price adjust the NORMAL PRICE, the one that is on the same line as the sku number and the game title (the one that I've highlighted in lime green for you). They should in NO WAY tell you any of the following:
~ You can't do that. (Yes, I can because it's your matching policy, a current ad, your promotion, and a manufacture coupon.)
~ The Price Adjustment is only on the $22 or only on the $23.24 so you'll be getting $7.01 or $8.25 back. (No, the $22 is the price after the Manufactures coupon, and the $*23 is the *stores promo price. Stand up for yourself on this one - point to the "MFR Coupon" words on your receipt and then point to your copies of the *New and Improved* Target Coupon and Price Matching Policies. The 5th Question states that MFR Coupons will be used AFTER the price adjustment, so then point to the original price.)
~ You can't get the free card game. (Again, YES I can because the store promotion is valid on games over $10, of which this game still is after the price adjustment.)
~ I don't get what is going on. (Speak more slowly. Tell the person that you would like to buy these two items but one needs to be price adjusted, but don't mention the coupon. Show them the ad and it's valid dates, then let the employee do their thing. Once it's time to pay, then pull out the coupon.)
~ I can't price match the package total. (That's fine, employee, because you're not matching the package total, you are matching the original sales price, which is also currently the same as the package total.)
The prices in *light blue on the fake receipt indicate what you would receive if you tried to return either game without the other. This is Targets part in trying to prevent anyone from "pulling a fast one" by buying both, keeping one, and getting the full price of the other back, or keeping one for free in the end.
I hope that this hasn't left you completely lost. Getting a great deal sometimes doesn't seem worth it if you have to go through so much trouble. (Which I assure you this post just makes it all seem like a bigger hassle than it really is.) The Game of Things really is a blast to play with friends but because you run out of the included paper fairly fast (it comes with 500 answer slips - if you have 10 people play 2 complete games that's 10 slips per round, 10 rounds per game, times 2 games = 200 slips, or 100 if you go front and back) I personally would NEVER pay full price for it ever; why should you shell out $27 and then need to supply your own paper after 2 - 5 parties? But if I can get it for $10 AND get something else for free out of it then I guarantee you that everyone at that party will have heard about my great score by the end of the night.
*And don't forget that there is also a $5 off coupon for Connect 4X4 on the same coupon site, which is also part of the free card game promotion.
As promised, "The Game of Things" Rules, as read by K:
1) First select a Reader (who can also act as the score keeper) for that round and then everyone gets a piece of included paper.
2)The Reader selects a topic card and reads it aloud - so it could be "Things you shouldn't do while skiing" or "Things you can always count on".
3) Everyone (including the reader) then thinks of and writes down their answer and gives said response to the reader, who then reads them all aloud.
4) Player A will now have the chance to guess who said what - however, you cannot guess the reader (and in turn the reader of the round cannot guess either, because s/he can see every ones handwriting). So if person A guesses person C said response 1 and is correct, then person C is now out and person A gets to guess until s/he fails to correctly identify another response, at which time the next remaining player has a chance to identify the remaining responses.
5) The end of the round features two players guessing who-wrote-what determined over three response slips, because one slip is the readers, thus making it an intentional throw-someone-off answer. Once the round is over, tally up all the points given, then select another player to be the reader/score keeper. A new round can start once everyone has fresh slip of paper and a new topic card has been drawn.
Scoring: You get 1 (one) point for every correct person/response connection YOU make; 6 (six) points are awarded to the person who wins the round; The winner of the round is the person still standing, aside from the reader of course. Then you start another round until everyone has had a chance to be the reader; then winner of the game is the person with the most overall points.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Wow, shameless self promotion time!

It is my birthday, and I plan on celebrating by getting a lot of free stuff, doing some Christmas shopping and then hanging out with my friends. Woohoo!

I've been working on a birthday freebie list for a few weeks now, and while I'm sad that I didn't get every single offer that I've seen posted on various blogs, I did get quite a few so I'm not complaining. (That much. Come on, Starbucks. I've been a registered card holder for forever. Where the hell is my free drink mailer/coupon?)

Anyway, I hope you have a good day and I'll be sure to post soon!


Monday, December 7, 2009

Boggle Deal

So, by now I'm sure you've heard (read?) about the boggle deal at Target - on sale for $12 plus the free card deck AND there is a $5 off coupon floating around out there; if you're one of the ones who is going to buy the coupon online or unluckily happen to find one after the promo is over, don't fret! There is also a travel size ... edition? ... version? ... yeah, I'm going with that - a travel size version of Boggle and it is only $9.99. So, PLEASE don't stress out too much because there is a happy light at the end of that deal tunnel.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Target Rant

I finally have something bad to say about Target that isn't a *personal hang-up, bad-customer-service story or understanding-of-Target's-bottom-line-yet-annoyance-of-the-ever-changing-coupon-policy rant.

You know that $.05 bag credit that was implemented at the beginning of November, that they are *soooo* proud of and have been advertising everywhere like crazy? How many times in the past 36 days have you shopped at a T (or ST) and you've not received your damn nickel?

I feel silly being for upset about this - I mean I'm not raging mad, but it is annoying. It's not even so much that I'm upset about missing the pocket change. (Although it would have made my trip last night all that more impressive.)

I just feel let down as a super loyal Super Target "super user". (McDonald's categorizes their customers into 3 groups - moderate, heavy and super, the lesser being the people who eat at one of the stores at least once a week, the middle is 2-3 and super = 4 times or more. I'm seriously at Target at least once every other day, and at most 3 times - 3 different stores - a day.) I bought their red reusable bags shortly after the announcement to make sure that I always have some in both cars and by the door when I leave; I even have two of those silly ones that are made out of parachute material that fold up into a little coin-purse-sized pouch - and I keep both of them in my Burberry purse all so I'm never without a Target bag. ('Cause you never know.)

Am I just being silly for thinking about it this much?

If I use 3 of my own bags each trip, make 2 trips a week every week for a year (52) - when that's all said and done it comes out to $15.60 a year. Not much to a single girl who lives at home but what about the families who use 8 bags and make 3 trips a week. That's $62.40. Think about what Kristin at Couponing to Disney could do with an extra $62 at Disney World. What could you do with that?

I know that they've trained their employees well - but it's silly on my part too because of course I notice that they haven't scanned the credit, yet I won't say anything at the time because I don't want to seem crazy or desperate to the the people in line behind me. So then I get to the car and I think about it on the way home and by that time I'm blaming myself - maybe there is more that I could have done? Did I talk too much during the process and it was distracting? Should I be a stone-cold bit*h to the next person so they will fear my mean side and want to do everything in their power to please me?

I could say something at the time to guest service - but the lines are hella long and after checking out you need to get home to put your stuff away.

I try to check out with the same people at each store I visit and they know me and they've stopped asking if I want to open up a red card account (because I have one) or if I have any coupons (because of course I do). But sometimes even they forget.

Have you ever had the girl who is all caffeinated and brand spankin' new, or the guy who really really wants to work his way up the chain of command, and they go through all of the motions - "Hi! Did you find everything alright? Do you need a gift receipt? Do you need a gift card? You can save 10% by opening Red Card today!" Do those people really need one more thing to be prompted into saying 500 times a day?

Then there are the cashiers who look like they'd rather have their teeth pulled than be on the clock - you know the ones, the older guy who wants to get away from the house but didn't quite have target in mind, or the person for whom this is their second job of the day and they are so exhausted and drained that they really don't care if we save $.50 on a $4 box of cereal. Those are the cashiers who are ice cold and will tab on through the required questions in the first place. I am not about to tell that person s/he forgot to take my nickel off.

So, here is the question - how do we handle this without seeming like huge a*holes? How do you politely ask your cashier "did you get the bag credit" without seeming homeless, poor, like we're trying to steal something or like we're telling the person with the scan gun how to do their job?

I don't have a problem using coupons - I've only had one situation where I was flat out told I could not use a coupon which resulted in bringing a manager over, showing the coupon policy and calling customer service from my cell phone right there in the lane did not work. (It was those damn travel games - I bought 4 of the last 7 - two HH and two C4 at a store I did not frequent, thus the cashier and I were not on a first name basis. She had already rung EVERYTHING up and when it came time for the coupons, she needed to "call a manger" to push them through; he came over and said that I would only be allowed to get one, that they needed to leave some for others and that they had the right to determine what was considered normal consumption. I understand if I were trying to get them all for free using a Target coupon - like those damn Up & Up toddler wipes, but these were manufacture, not to mention that the cashier had ALREADY SCANNED THEM and PUT THEM IN MY BAGS. So had I just paid for them everything would have been fine, but the d*bag manager wasn't having any of the coupon business even though they would have been completely reimbursed AND have made $.32 off the sale, but whatever. So I just said, that's fine, I'll keep my coupons and please take those other 3 off.) ((Anyway - where were we? Oh yes. Feeling bad about saving money.)

But I know that so many of you out there do feel like you're getting looked at like you're being prosecuted for shoplifting all the time - not just when a coupon doesn't go through or if the cashier is studying the coupon before they'll even try scan it.

I'm about to write an email to corporate - yes, at this ungodly hour - because I just can't sleep and I want to know what those big-wigs think about all of this. I also want to hear what you have to say - should this be a screen prompt? Should the employee be personally docked in someway for every failed bag credit? Target as a corporation should care about this - yes they are losing money five cents at a time but the only way to accurately judge if the program is working and if the planet is being saved one non-plastic-bag-transaction at a time is to have every employee do their part.

What do you think?


(Steps off of soap box)

(*my personal hang up as mentioned in the first sentence is about parents who let their kid - as in only one - sit in those damn extended carts - as pictured at top - that take up the whole aisle and are very hard to maneuver around other people. Your kid doesn't need that - what about the parents who come in after you and have two or three kids and are desperately looking for those multi-kid carts but can't find any so they have to make one sit in the seat and one in the basket creating less space for their groceries, or let one hang on to the side or wander the aisle. I get that I don't have kids so "I don't know", but I assure you that I won't put up with any cart-related temper-tantrums.)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bounce Back Cards and Offers

I love Bounce Back promotions. ("What the what" you say)

Bounce backs are a "gift" or freebie you get for buying (or doing) something else. I'm going to compile a list (because they're fun!) of promo's that we should all know about.

A lot of these are set up as a "thank you" gift card to you for buying another gift card, which can be annoying, because after a while that's a lot of cards and who are you going to give them all to?

Well ... there isn't a rule saying that you can't keep the original and use it for yourself, is there.

Uncomfortable buying such a large amount or is the freebie too good to pass up BUT the store is one that you may not frequent often? Ask the sales associate if the card works at any of their sister stores - Pottery Barn (and PB Kids) are owned by Williams-Sonoma and you can use their cards interchangeably. Same thing with Chili's, On the Border and Maggiano's. (Most of the time you can just look on the back of the card and it will say OR you can call card services if there is a large crowd or you feel silly asking in person.)

And don't forget you can get creative with gift cards - if the promo wants you to buy a certain amount, check and see if you can buy a few cards and spread the total around in different increments. OR if you can't do that, buy the one amount at the time, get the freebie, and then go back later and ask for a few in smaller amounts and pay for those with the one large one. (Have I lost you yet?)

Gift cards in lower amounts work really as gifts for people you don't really like but you feel like you need to get something for - like the kids music teacher who probably talks to the art and P.E. teacher and will be broken hearted if she didn't get anything from you; Secret Santa or White Elephant games; If your tween wants to go to the mall and you are uncomfortable with them having cash or your credit card 'cause they might buy and hide something and never tell you about it - giving them a gift card that only works a certain store will surely prohibit that naughtyness AND if you get the card number and pin info before hand you can even check the card on a regular basis to see what they purchase; Or if you forgot that you needed to get something and are running low on time, bam! you have a gift card.


~ Abercrombie & Fitch - this one is AMAZING because they NEVER offer promotions or in-store coupons. Buy $100 worth of merch (excludes gift cards), get a $25 gift card back. (Warning! the $25 expires on January 30th.) Click here - then it should scroll on the screen after two or three other announcements in the top box.

~ Applebee's - buy $50 in gift cards, get a $10 bounce back. (restrictions apply to gift card, but are listed on back of card ... so I don't know what they are. Sorry!!!)

~ Auntie Anne's - click this link and provide your information. You'll get a coupon sent to your inbox within an hour or two good for a free pretzel when you buy a $10 gift card or a "make your own pretzel kit".

~ Brio Tuscan Grille - Buy $50 in gift cards, get a $10 bounce back. (stipulations - bonus card valid January 1 - March 15th; cannot be used with any other gift cards, promotions, coupons or bonus cards.)

~ California Pizza Kitchen - Purchase $100 in Gift Cards, get a $20 gc back. (read more here)

~ Cheesecake Factory - buy a $25 gift card, get a gc good for a slice of cheesecake valid Dec 26th - March 30th. (Must buy card in-store; can't use free cheesecake card until after Christmas.) (read more here)

~ Chick Fil A - buy a $20 gift card, get a 2010 calendar. (or is it a cow-endar. LOLOL!!!)

~ Container Store - for every $100 in gift cards you buy, you'll get a $25 back.

~ Denny's - buy a $25 gift card, get a $5 card for later. (bonus card not active until january, expires at the end of March; the fine print says "one card per guest per visit" but is very tiny and does not state weater that means one promo card purchased or redemeed.)

~ Einstein Brothers Bagels - (yes, we have Bagel stores here in Dallas.) Click on this link, submit your friends info and you'll get an email with a coupon good for a bogo breakfast or lunch sandwich. The best part is that for every friend you refer you'll get another coupon. (Don't want to spam your friends? Refer your work, home or junk email.)

~ Gilly Hicks - (The Victoria's Secret of the Abercrombie Brand) Spend $100, get a $25 gift card. (cg expires at the end of January; promo excludes buying a gift card.)

~ Holister - get a $25 gc for every $75 you spend. (on merchandise, in-store only; cg expires at the end of January.) (same thing, click here, then wait for it to scroll by in the top box.)

~ Ihop - buy a $25 gift card, get a $5 off coupon. (good for your next visit, coupon expires at the end of January. I'd buy the gift card before I sat down, eat, use the gift card to pay, leave, go to Ihop again before the end of January, use the coupon and then the rest of the gift card. But I haven't been to Ihop since the end of college finals so there you go.)

~ Maggiano's - for every $100 in gift cards you buy by the 31st, you'll get a $20 bounce back gift card. (Bonus card valid January 1 - Feb 28th and is only valid on a purchase of $50 or more, which you'll have no problem doing at Maggiano's.) ((Plus, you can use the $100 gift card at Macaroni Grill, Chili's and On The Border, because they are all owned by Brinker International.))

~ Outback Steakhouse - Buy $100 worth of gift cards, get a $20 bounce back and a free music download from Sugarland. (Bonus Card valid January 1 - Feb 10.)

~ Red Robin - get a $5 bb for every $25 gc you buy. (OR get 20% off for every $500 you buy in gift cards.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Free VS Pink Mini Dog with Purchase!

It's that time of the quarter again - that's right, there is another new mini-dog at Victoria's Secret.

Make any *pink purchase from now until they sell out and you'll get the pint-sized pup.

(Please note that the picture above is not the pup that is being given out this round; although similar in fabric, you get to choose between 4 (or 5) colors, and each has a different "nice" word printed on it, like "peace", "love", "hope", etc. And no, the new one does not have a Santa hat.)

If you're a fan, a collector, or are named hope or love or whatever else they say, then I'd go down to the mall and get one quickly as to be sure to get your choice in color and or phrase.
Otherwise I'd skip it or not place it as a high priority.

It is an in store and online promo, so you don't need a coupon or print out, which also means that will be be included with any other *pink purchase you make. (So you can buy something *pink, use your mystery gift card or any other promo print out you may have and can still get the dog.) ((Also, the promo started this past Saturday, the 28th of Nov, so if you made a VS Pink online purchase since then then you should get one with that order. OR if you purchased something in store and did not get one, find your receipt and take the print out of the VSPink home page and they should give you one.))

Again, I didn't think that these were all that cute, but of course I picked up a pink one and will shove him (her?) somewhere in my pink and girl-y guest room.

Happy Shopping!


*pink equals any Victoria's Secret Pink collection (like the collegiate/dormwear/younger target market)purchase, not just any panty or bra in the color and/or hue of pink. If you just have to have one but don't want to buy any of the small sizes/odd looking shirts and undergarments, then the pink line in the bath and body (and fragrance) collection also counts, as do the bags (purses, travel duffel), water bottles and anything else found in that section. If you don't want to spend that much money but still want the damn dog, then buy a $1.50 lollipop and call it a day.