The Shopping Games

I’m one of those people who typically try to have my Christmas shopping done by the first week of December. I try not to step foot in any store between Thanksgiving and Christmas and since I do lots of shopping online I want to leave ample time for shipping. This year I had all of my shopping completed as of Black Friday.

Of course, today is Cyber Monday so I checked out some of the sales to see how they compared to what I got.

First up: Land’s End. Last week I purchased clothes for the kids – 4 shirts, a dress and a 3-pack of socks (added to get my total to the free shipping level). A few items were on sale and I had a code for an additional 20% off. Today the whole site is 40% with free shipping on all orders. I loaded up my cart with the same things I got last week, added the 40% off code and… my total was $5 more than what I paid last week! Mmmm. Looks like the stuff that was on sale is no longer on sale, while the stuff that was full price is now on sale. So while 2 of the shirts are now $6 cheaper each, the whole order was more. I technically didn’t NEED the socks but now I almost see them as a bonus.  Final total: +$5 to me.

Next: Kohl’s. I got some Ohio State and Miami Dolphins gear for my nephew on sale and with an additional 15% off on Thursday. Plus I got $15 in Kohl’s Cash because I spent $50 to get to free shipping. Today they have 20% off site-wide and shipping is free for orders of $25+, so I re-loaded my cart. The items were on deeper discount plus the additional discount was bigger so the total was $18 less than a few days ago. I seriously thought about re-buying it all then returning the first purchase. Then I remembered the Kohl’s Cash, which I do plan on spending… and all of sudden doing a return and re-buy for $3 seems ridiculous. Final total: -$3

Next: Target. They had an amazing deal for 10% off gift cards so I picked up one for each teacher. I’ve never seen a discounted gift card for Target before so this was my favorite deal. Final total: +$6

Finally: Amazon – I bought some toys for the kids on Friday and did my pricing research using this site.  Things looked good on the price front so I ordered (side note: if you have Amazon Prime and select “no rush shipping” you get $1 towards a video rental… so I did a separate order for each toy and racked up the credits).  Then yesterday I was at Target and spotted this Marker Maker for Maggie and it was more than $10 cheaper in the store. I looked at Target.com and the price was the same. I called Amazon and they refused to price match. So that one I AM sending back. I got the cheaper one, plus a refill pack and even with the cost of return shipping we’ll break even. Final total: +/-$0 out of pocket. But I did get the bonus refill pack so I’m going to call this +$7.

Also, I recently signed up for Ebates (referral link) and have been religiously shopping through their site.  So far I have a whopping $0.40 cash-back. Maybe it takes some time for the cash back to show up? So far I’m not impressed.

All in all it looks like I actually SAVED about $15 by shopping before Cyber Monday.

What have been your best deals this year?

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