Frugal Series

What is Plum District?

Plum District is a social shopping site that offers local, plus nationwide deals available everywhere.   Like with all social buying sites, the Plum Deals (as they call them) are only available for a limited time.   They offer discounts that focus mainly on moms and their families.   You can find everything including clothes, restaurants, spas, hotels, travel, and family activities.

What do you need to know?

1.   Signing up for an account, doesn’t mean you’ll get the daily e-mail alerts.   Make sure you subscribe to their e-mails.

2.   Plum Deals are often available for multiple days, but only one deal occurs at a time.   Once a deal ends or sells out, you can’t take advantage of it.

3.   Plum Deal vouchers aren’t available immediately.   Check the “Activation Date” on your voucher to know when it will be available to use.

4. Plum Deal vouchers are transferable unless otherwise noted, so you can give one to someone else if you’re unable to use it or feeling generous.   You can also select to purchase Plum Deals as gifts during your purchase.

5. Plum District also offers Plum Steals, which are different than Plum Deals.   They are shocking discounts from favorite major brands and well-established companies.   They are offered just like Plum Deals, but are marked as a “Plum Steal” and have special restrictions.

How do I make a purchase?

1.   Check out the daily Plum Deal and click the “Buy” button.

2.   When you receive your confirmation, just print your Plum Certificate and bring it in like a coupon to redeem or follow the detailed redemption instructions on the Plum Deal voucher.

For more on Social Shopping, read Understanding Social Shopping – Getting Started & Tips!

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It’s the newest fad and social shopping sites are popping up everywhere!

What is Social Shopping?

No, it’s not shopping in a group!   It’s the newest trend online.   Social shopping sites are working with businesses to negotiate a group rate or limited time exclusive sale.   They offer merchandise, services, and even gift cards at dramatically discounted rates of often 50% or more.

Why Take Advantage?

Social shopping is a wonderful way to get a cool gift for a friend or family member without spending a fortune.   I’ve been using it to not only do a little early Christmas shopping, but also to pick up some fun family activities at a great discount, trendy clothes for my little ones (and myself), and to treat family and friends, since some deals are so great that I can afford to be generous.

Tips for Making the Most

  1. Register with your favorite social shopping sites, so you can get daily e-mails announcing their deals.   That way, you won’t miss one!
  2. Understand the site. Not all social shopping sites are the same, so make sure you know the site you’re on.   Some offer online deals, while others offer in-store services and discounts only with printable vouchers.
  3. Read the deal carefully. Make sure you know what you are buying.   Is it a gift certificate?   If so, can it be used on one product or any product in store?   It it a service?   Is it a product?   The description or details will help you out and it’s important!
  4. Read the fine print! Most social shopping deal vouchers expire, so make sure you can use it before the expiration date.   Also, make sure you understand all of the restrictions involved.
  5. Read the Voucher. Once you get your deal, make sure you read the actual voucher or confirmation to find out exactly what steps you have to take to redeem it properly.

What Sites to Watch

There are so many social shopping sites online, but here are my favorites and what I watch for on them!

  • Groupon – Local deals on restaurants, things to do, opportunities to pamper yourself, services and so much more
  • Eversave – Unique and trendy gifts, organics, and other discounts on new and fun online stores and products
  • Plum District – Unique gifts, discounts on fun things to do, opportunities to pampers yourself (or a friend), and much more!
  • Zulily – Deals for moms, babies, moms-to-be, women, and children
  • bTrendie – Discount merchandise for moms-to-be. moms, baby, and kids
  • City Deals – Deals on restaurants, entertainment, salons, hotels, and other local services
  • Beyond the Rack – High-end merchandise for women, men, teens, children, and really the whole family at discount rates
  • Gilt – High-end merchandise for women, men, children, your home and more at discount rates

I’ll be sharing a few of my favorite social shopping sites and what you need to know about them, so watch for that!

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This is Challenge #8, sponsored by Staples, in the 90-Day Budget Boot Camp. If you’re new, find out how you can join to kick your own budget’s butt!

Clair is kicking off this week’s Budget Boot Camp Challenge, but you’ll have to come here for the wrap up on Wednesday to see how our challengers did!

This week’s challenge is to make one extra meal and freeze it for later use.   Check out Clair’s tips for freezing foods and why it saves her money, plus my Freezer Cooking Series to get some help to make your attempt a success!

Plus, enter to win a $50 gift card from Staples that will go perfectly with all these back-to-school deals!

Plus, don’t forget to enter to win a 3-Month Membership to Zoodles for your young one this week too!

Miss anything? Find out what’s new with Budget Boot Camp!

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This is Challenge #7 sponsored by Hit Entertainment., in the 90-Day Budget Boot Camp. If you’re new, find out how you can join to kick your own budget’s butt!

Clair is wrapping up this week’s Budget Boot Camp Challenge, so head on over to see how our readers did, who won, and more!   Did you   make a grocery price book this week?   Or do you track prices?   Do you find it as helpful as our challengers did?

Miss anything? Find out what’s new with Budget Boot Camp!

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This is Challenge #7, sponsored by Hit Entertainment, in the 90-Day Budget Boot Camp.. Scroll down to find out how to enter their exciting giveaway! If you’re new, find out how you can join to kick your own budget’s butt!

Are you ready for the next challenge in the 90-Day Budget Boot Camp?   Here it is!

– – The Challenge – –

Create a Grocery Price Book

Why? The trick to truly saving money is purchasing items when they hit rock bottom prices and buying enough to get you through until the next rock bottom sale.   That’s right, you don’t have to stockpile enough to get you through months or years, just until the next amazing sale.   If you can master this, then you’ll always be paying incredibly low prices.   But, to do so, you’ll need to know what those rock bottom prices are.

I’d love to sit here and tell you rock bottom prices, but it varies.   It varies by brand, region, store, and so much more.   It depends on if you’re brand-specific, only live near one store, don’t have stores that double coupons, or are open to buying whatever is cheapest!   I’d have to know the price for every product at every store and I’m just not that good!   But, you can figure out what you need to know yourself easily.

How? The 6-Week Cycle is a term used to describe the sale cycles.   Most items we purchase go on sale at rock bottom prices every 6-12 weeks, so if you track prices for 12 weeks for the items you buy, you’ll know how low they go.   That’s where a Grocery Price Book comes in handy!   Keep in mind, you will have to update it about ever 6 months or if you notice a price change in your area.

What? You can create a grocery price book however you’d prefer.   You can keep track with a paper or pen.   However, I have a tool (yes, the spreadsheet addict has a spreadsheet) you can use and an example of how to use it!

Come back on Wednesday to find out how our Challengers do and hear their experiences!

– – Giveaway – –

This week’s challenge is sponsored by Hit Entertainment! They create entertaining content and rich characters to engage your child’s imagination, such as Thomas the Train, Bob the Builder, Barney, and so many more favorites!


Hit Entertainment is offering 3 Children’s DVDs to one (#1) lucky winner!

  • Being a Friend
  • Thomas & Friends Creaky Cranky
  • AND Music Music Everywhere

Required Entry:

What products do you most need to track prices for, so you don’t continue to overspend on them?

Bonus Entries:

Each task below that is completed is worth one (1) additional entry. All are option, but give you more chances to win!

  1. “Like” the 90-Day Budget Boot Camp on Facebook!
  2. Follow @MummyDeals and @InGoodCents on Twitter and tweetI’m kicking my budget’s butt w/ @ingoodcents & @mummydeals! Could your budget survive? #budgetbootcamp #giveaway
  3. Add the button for the 90-Day Budget Boot Camp to your website’s sidebar.
  4. Blog about your personal experiences with this challenge and link back, so your readers can start kicking their budget’s butt!
  5. Subscribe to In Good Cents via RSS or e-mail
  6. Subscribe to Mummy Deals via RSS or e-mail

The Fine Print – Entries will be accepted until Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at midnight Eastern. Winners will be chosen randomly via and announced on Mummy Deals on Wednesday, August 18, 2010. This giveaway was sponsored by Hit Entertainment. We were not compensated for this post, but may have received free products for us and our challengers. Regardless, as always, all opinions are my own!

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This is Challenge #6 was sponsored by P&G, in the 90-Day Budget Boot Camp. If you’re new, find out how you can join to kick your own budget’s butt!

Our 6 challenge was to only purchase products on sale with a coupon! It’s tough.   Even for us pros, but it’s the best way to save money!   And, if you can stockpile enough that you only need to shop each week to replenish your pantries with what is on sale and has a coupon, it’s much easier.

But, how did our challengers do? Read on to find out and check out their sites for full details! And don’t forget to link-up your own wrap-ups!

– – 3 Under 4 – –

Despite pregnancy cravings, Kristina did quite well.   She only filled her cart with sale items, excluding splurging on some Pepsi, which I have to understand.   For us, it’s Mountain Dew and Cherry Coke!

Quote from 3 Under 4 – “Truthfully, it went quite well.  This week due to feeling pretty lousy (read: like crap) and not feeling the love of taking three perfectly behaved hooligans out in public, I did a whirlwind shop of yogurt, produce, lunch meat, and cheese at Aldi’s.  These items, even though they weren’t on sale, are staples in our house, so I HAD to buy them.

Read more about Kristina’s experiences and combating pregnancy cravings on a budget!

– – Alli ‘n Son – –

Though Alli did master looking through the sale ads for the best deals and pairing them with coupons this week, it was time consuming and unfortunately, didn’t see much of a different in her budget.   However, she did learn a lot!

Quote from Alli ‘n Son – “So for me, stacking sale items and coupons just didn’t work out. At least for food purchases. Or maybe I just didn’t have the right pairing of coupons to the sales available. But I am keeping my eye out for some up coming sales on hair products, deodorant, body wash and lotion. I have some mega coupons that need to be used up by the end of the month. I think that it is this type of item where I will really seem the most savings.

Check out the Top 10 Things Alli Learned and read more about her challenge experience.

– – Better in Bulk – –

Laura was able to use more coupons this week and paid better attention to sales before she even hit the stores.   She even stuck to her list, but worries finding enough coupons and sale matches to feed her large family is a huge challenge.

Quote from Better in Bulk – “I was successful in that I was able to use more coupons as well as pay better attention to the sales before I set foot in the store. I even carried the store’s circular in my purse to remind myself of the things that my store was featuring that week. I stuck with my list, and didn’t wander up and down aisles. I consider that a huge success.

Find out where Laura found coupons and more about her experience!

– – The Good-Son Family Journey – –

Mitzi had the challenge of feeding 6 brand-specific adults, 3 picky kids, and even 4 dogs for a family picnic this week.   They did well on the meat, since the stockpiled on Costco, but since she had to buy specific things to satisfy her visitors, it did add up.

Quote from The Good Son Family Journey – “I don’t think that indulging in specifics is bad all of the time but if you look at the cost comparison you will see a big difference in the pocket book over time.   I am happy that I can eat the “off” brands & not really care but I do have to admit I made myself a sandwich to take to work today & used the “Dukes” mayo on it & it was I think the best sandwich I have had in quite a while!

Find out what Mitzi bought and how she’s going to have to start searching for a few more coupons!

– – Rudy Family Rukus – –

While Brandy said this challenge was “almost impossible”, she promises it can be done.   In fact, she borrowed a secret from someone to help her get though!   She saved big this week on razors and even got FREE body wash!   Plus, as suggested, she only picked up fruits and vegetables priced around $1 per pound or under.

Quote from Rudy Family Rukus – The razors were a huge savings I got 4 Gillette Sensor razors for my husband normally $8.99 and I got them for about $2.49 a piece.  I also got my razors and replacement blades for a great deal.  I also got my favorite body wash for FREE.  I was so excited!!

Find out Brandy’s secret that helped her make her menu plan and save money this week.

– – Giveaway Winner – –

And the winner’s, chosen randomly through, of the P&G Gift Basket is –


    – – Wrap-Up Link-Up – –

    Note: There is a link-up widget embedded into this post. RSS and e-mail readers, click here to link up your own experiences!

    Miss anything? Find out what’s new with Budget Boot Camp!

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