Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Thrift Stores

Knoxville has several thrift store choices, and a few of my favorite are:

Habitat for Humanity at 2209 North Central, 521-4909

Plenty of furniture and items for the home such as ovens, light fixtures, doors, and even used paint.

Knoxville Area Rescue Ministries, KARM at 3935 Western, 521-7766, 115 Sherlake (off Clinton Hwy), 690-0939, 4528 Chapman, 577-0404, and 3555 Emory, 947-1663.

This year they offered a 20% off coupon in Knox Co Schools coupon books. The coupon could be used once a month (two months remaining at this time). In addition to that, your receipt is good for 10% a future purchase. Their coupons are sometimes limited to clothing/shoes only, so be sure to check them.

Smart Cents at 5731 Western, 558-6187

Smart Cents currently lists a coupon in the Volunteer Coupon Book for 25% off your total purchase. Not only that, they advertise that they will honor all competitor's coupons!

And finally, my favorite:
Amvets Thrift Store at 4105 Holston, 524-8498

Amvets boasts the lowest prices day in/day out. Often, the store is too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter; the store has no bathrooms and clothing is not cutely organized by color. But, they do have a big, full store with everything from books, games, and curtains to sewing patterns, cloth, kitchen utensils, and tables. Children's clothing--from the hideous to The Gap--is $0.89 an item. They have great hours: open seven days a week and most days until 8 p.m. Several times a year, they'll have 50% off everything in the store sales (usually around holidays).

Currently, on the back of your Kroger receipt from Asheville Hwy will be a $5 off a $20 purchase coupon. (It is not good on the purchase of children's clothing, however.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Target Coupons: Lesson Learned

Target CorporationImage via Wikipedia

Target coupons may be used on an item in addition to a manufacturer's coupon. So, if Target puts out a coupon for $1 off Bounty 6-pack paper towels, and you have a manufacturer's coupon of $.50 off, you can get $1.50 off the one Bounty paper towel 6-pack. Two coupons off the same item can make for some phenominal deals at times.

Target's Website lists the coupons in small print at the very bottom of the home page. Look for "grocery coupons."

My last trip to Target was embarassing. Some of my Target coupons didn't want to scan at first. It took several tries and by then the clerk was probably figuring I made the coupons myself with a crayon.

I printed them off one of the sites around that advertises a Target coupon generator. And I hadn't really thought much of it at the time, but now I realize they are probably not technically legit. Upon close inspection, I could tell an obvious difference in quality between the coupon printed off the site and the ones I printed off Target's home page. It appears to me that the ones from the site are actually a screen capture, which can then be saved, cut and pasted, etc to be used. No wonder they didn't scan well.

Maybe that doesn't bother some people, but it sure bothered me. I don't hesistate to hand a stack of coupons to my cashier, but I want all the coupons to be legit for many reasons:

--It's embarrassing
--If they don't scan, I might not want the item, which means extra time and trouble for me and the cashier to void, etc
--Problems might eventually lead Target to discontinue their own coupons, or worse, to not accept any or very few manufacturer coupons.

Finally, this leads me to another issue with Target coupons. On coupon is stated: limit one offer per transaction.

What does that mean? I know some couponers are going in with muliple prints of the same Target coupon, and buying muliples of the same item with it. Are they doing separate transactions?

I am only using one per offer per transaction, which is my interpretation. For me, if it's a super deal, I'll dump my loot in the car and go back in once, maybe twice. Doesn't matter how cheap they are, how many boxes of Kashi cereal do I need, anyway? Chances are, by the time I need more, they'll be doing another sale and manufacturers and Target will all release coupons.

My worry is that Target is considering no longer issuing Target coupons. I have no basis, it's just a hunch.

I'm wondering what others think? Is it ok to use a screen capture of a coupon?

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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Veg-O-Rama has tasty menu, inviting atmosphere

I finally ate at the much anticipated all vegetarian restaurant,Veg-O-Rama, last week! Before I discuss my visit, though, I'd like to share just how long I've been waiting for them to open.

First off, I would have no idea of their existence if I didn't happen to have a rental property in that area that we've been working on for months. One day in February or April, I remember seeing their large banner "Coming Soon" above their door. I was thrilled and began telling people about it and driving by to see when they would open. I scoured the Internet for details and found nothing. Finally, they posted a sign with a sample menu in the window stating "coming in May," (see post) but as June approached, May had been replaced with June. By then I was quite worried and stopped by to see if anyone was available to talk with. Lo and behold, they'd be opening in two weeks! So finally, the day came, and my parents, husband, daughter and I all enjoyed a meal.

We had French Onion Soup, Chili Dogs, Tofu Reuben, Grilled Veggie Skewers, and a Veggie Burger. I only managed to try two items in addition to my own because no one wanted to share. (That's normal for us!)

The food was tasty with original, distinctive flavors and beautiful presentation. Pricing was good, with the highest item at $10.95 and most items being around $7.95.

The atmosphere was inviting and cozy. This restaurant was not thrown together. The loving care that has been put into this new Knoxville vegetarian's mecca definitely shows. They have a comfortable dining set up and feature mostly booth seating. A couple cozy armchairs tempt as you first walk in, and a bar awaits you toward the back.

Missing from their menu were staple, hearty meals (especially for the semi-vegetarians like my stepdad): spaghetti or lazagna, black beans with rice or a stacked enchilada, but I don't know if that's a bad thing. And my only complaint, which I've purposely buried, isthat the portion sizes were on the small size. I am a big eater for sure, though, so I don't know how other visitors have felt. Meanwhile, I hope to return tomorrow for another great meal.

I eagerly look forward to future menu choices, a finished Website, and all the other stuff it takes to get a new business up and running. I'll continue to post on their progress, and I wish them much success.

I can imagine that in time, Veg-O-Rama will become a Knoxville standard, as distinctive as the The Tomato Head and as versatile as The Sunspot.

They are already as delicious!

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Free subscription to Vegetarian Times magazine

I've seen this deal listed on several blogs, and it's too good of a deal for me to pass up since I love their BBQ sauce on a Morning Star Farm's griller with a slice of grilled pineapple and pickles.

Annie's Naturals is offering a free subscription to Vegetarian Times magazine when you purchase two products.
From their site:
The free one year subscription (9 issues) to Vegetarian Times Magazine with purchase of any two (2) Annie’s Naturals or one (1) Annie’s Naturals AND one (1) Earthbound Farm bagged lettuce. Offer good in U.S only. Limit one subscription per household. Must be 18 years or older to win. Offer Expires August 1, 2009. Allow 6 to 8 weeks for subscription to start after offer ends.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Veg-O-Rama Restaurant opens Fri instead of Thu

Veg-O-Rama has a grand opening sign up now on the sidewalk announcing an opening of Friday instead of Thursday, as anticipated. So... finally... I'll get to eat there on Friday, July 10. Looking forward to it!

Eat for half price at Salsarita's & Sitar

Half-off Depot has several new deals up! Two I found intriguing: Salsarita's is offering a $20 certificate for $10 and so is Sitar Indian Restaurant--both are places I enjoy, so I'm excited. Salsarita's is about as close as I come to eating fast food, and my is it tasty. Sitar has a good lunch buffet, but I prefer a quiet evening dinner with one of their specialty dishes and delicious breads.

BOGO deal at Earth Fare


Monday, July 6, 2009

A conversation between WG and BG

an excerpt:

"I mean black people experience the reality of race everyday. White guys, like me, tend to think of ourselves as non-racialized, as if we don't have a race. That's a form of white privilege that you black guys don't enjoy in our racialized society. Of course, I'm not saying that white people are right to think of themselves as non-racialized. It's, in fact, part of our racial consciousness to think of ourselves as non-racialized, if that makes any sense."

A conversation posted on Philosophy Talk on the biracial identity. View it here.

Achieving that 50% mark

Kroger logoImage via Wikipedia

On my last three trips to Kroger, I reached that dreamed-of promise land, where I saved 50% or more on my orders. The coupon high was as great as I had hoped—I called family members to brag, and forced my husband to examine the receipt and admire my mad couponing skills item by item.

I came to some important realizations about what it takes to score 50% off. Though I’d sworn off the rookie couponing mistake of buying something merely because it’s a good deal, I still hadn’t really taken to heart the advice of buying only what’s on sale.

Buying only what’s on sale—along with a few essentials—means you have to be stocked up on what you regularly use. Building your stockpile takes time, but eventually, you just don’t need that much each week. You also have to be willing and ready to plan your week’s meals around sale items. So, if broccoli is on sale, I might make baked potatoes, and so on. Also, if I have a coupon for a sale item, I stock up on it—if I have the money to do so.

I probably won’t reach 50% or better during the winters since I’ll be buying more of my produce at the grocery store than I am right now. I have cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, yellow squash & zucchini from my garden. (I’m not visiting farmer’s market’s much either.)

So, what did I buy?

Well, first off, I had to wait until Friday to shop because I was broke. That’s nothing new, but it did help me put more emphasis on saving.

I know if I shop in the mornings, I will find more manager’s specials: I bought a Kroger bakery whole wheat bread loaf for $1.79. Since it’s preservative free, it goes in the fridge, and we’ll eat it quickly. I also purchased a cheese loaf, which I froze for later (perhaps garlic bread?), and I grabbed a bagged salad mix for $1.99. Again, it should be eaten quickly, but that’s fine as I just finished it off for lunch today.

I also purchased some Over the Moon milk with a coupon for the husband, Kroger oatmeal that was on sale, bananas, a bag of potatoes...

Besides manager’s specials and basics, I also stocked up on some items with store sales and coupons.

I paid $ .50 each for organic lemonade by using a $.75 coupon on the sale price of $1.25 (thanks for the heads up on that sale, Candace!). I paid $1.06 for the large can of Bush vegetarian baked beans and a mere $.85 for Betty Crocker supreme brownie mixes (paper coupons, e-coupons, buy 10 get 3).

I spent a total of $38.50 + tax, but I brought home $81.93 worth of groceries.

So, we’ll be having brownies, beans and lemonade this week?

Not necessarily. The brownies don’t expire for a year, lemonade: same thing. I usually only plan two or so meals, and the rest just comes about. I always have rice, potatoes, pasta, tons of frozen, boxed & canned goods, and now that it’s summer, plenty of fresh stuff too. For instance, last night we ate purple cabbage from my mom’s garden.

Saving a ton can work for many. If you eat boxed, prepared meals, those go on mega sales that you can combine with coupons. If you eat mostly made from scratch meals with fresh veggies like we do, that can work also.

Who it won’t work for—those who have no room for storage, do not want to find, store and use coupons, or don’t want to worry with what’s on sale and/or plan ahead. Some just don’t want to be bothered and consider it a hassle. Of course, some on special diets may have trouble too.

But, I think many people can step up their game a notch or two and really see results that they will find worthwhile.

My mother always taught me to look at the price per unit and stock up when something is on sale, so what I’m doing now is throwing coupons in the mix… and it’s taken me to a much happier, restful place where I can afford what I need… and also afford some things I don’t need, like brownies! Yum!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Duck Duck Goose Consignment Sale

The Duck Duck Goose consignment sale for fall is gearing up, so it's time to get your stuff together! This sale is probably the biggest in our area and worth saving up for. It's often very busy, so plan accordingly--i.e. I find it's easier to shop without my toddler. Visit their page for more info.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Earth's Best baby food 3-day sale

This isn't a run-to-the-store-before-it-closes deal, but if you have some manufacturer's coupons, it's a good time to buy. Details Here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Earth Fare Specials for July


Free Couponing Class

Have you known me for a while and wonder why I'm acting so CRAZY about coupons all of a sudden? Find out what it's all about! On July 9, Coupon mommie is offering a free coupon class (which I meant to post sooner).

I really got into coupons when I attended a different class posted on Craig's List nearly a year ago. I'll always remember the instructor's advice that her mother told her: I don't have much money, but I do have a little time.

A little time is all you need to get started. One evening. July 9. Click Here

Earth Fare 4th of July Specials

4th of July specials at Earth Fare.