Month: December 2013

Tips for Shopping at Macy’s

Macy’s typically has sales just about every week.  That can be a little aggravating since it feels like as soon as you buy something, it only gets cheaper next week!

I have found that the best prices are when you’re able to combine a coupon for $10 off a $25 purchase with clearance prices in store.  These coupons seem to only be issued during One Day Sales events (which are a misnomer… as they always last 2 days).  I’ve started tracking Macy’s One Day Sales on this page.  The next one coming up is January 3rd and 4th, 2014.

Here are my top tips for shopping at Macy’s.

Open a Macy’s Card

The day you open a Macy’s card, you are eligible for an additional 20% off your entire purchase.  This is combinable with whatever coupons or other discounts are available in the store that day.  You will also receive coupons throughout the year.  I’ve gotten 20% off entire purchase (or 15% off home), $15 off a purchase of $50, $25 off a purchase of $100 or $50 off a purchse of $200 or more.  I would say the 20% off coupons are the ones I most commonly receive.  Occasionally, I’ve seen $15 off a purchase of $30 coupon.  All of the coupons they send me have a printed code on the bottom for use online.

Shop the semi-annual Friends and Family Sale

Twice a year, in April and November, for a full week Macy’s holds its Friends and Family sale. They will take 25% off your purchase with a lot fewer exclusions than any other sale or your cardholder coupons. This is the time of year to buy brands like Wusthof, Henkels, jeans from Impulse, Michael Kors, Coach and many other brands that don’t typically have any discount at all. There are still exclusions, just a lot fewer than the normal list. You can also pre-sale your merchandise starting the week before. What this means is you can purchase but you can’t take it home with you until the following week when the sale starts. You can always check that the price hasn’t gone down further when you pick it up. If it has, the sales associates can adjust it for you.

Shop the monthly One Day Sales

I don’t know why Macy’s insists on calling their monthly sales “One Day Sales” when they are always 2 days! They typically hold extended hours for this sale and have specials that conclude at 1pm each day.  I have found that the best prices of the month tend to be during One Day Sales.  They also occasionally issue coupons for $10 off a purchase of $25 of sale/clearance apparel and select home items, though I have found it extremely frustrating to shop the home selection with this coupon since everything seems to be excluded and the coupon doesn’t actually list the exclusions. One Day Sales also often coincide with a Beauty Gift with Purchase Event, though not all of them do.

Compare and in-store prices

I have had success asking store associates to match the price in the store if I need something right away and its cheaper online.  This is particularly true in the home department.  The associates usually have no problem adding any additional coupons to the transaction.

Thanks for Sharing Program for Cardholders

In September, the Thanks for Sharing program launches and for a $25 enrollment fee ($10 of which goes to charity), you will receive 10% back of your Macy’s card purchases as a reward in February. So if you spend more than $250 during the Fall quarter at Macy’s, it is worth signing up for this program. If you don’t sign up, associates bug you until you do!

Things to Know


Macy’s only accepts 1 coupon per transaction.  If you have a 20% off coupon and a $10 off $25 purchase coupon, figure out which one yields a better result.  If you’re not sure, I’ve found that the associates are happy to scan both and help you figure it out. also only accepts 1 coupon code per transaction.

Sale/Coupon Exclusions

The list of brands that never go on sale or are excluded from coupons is typically the same for every sale with the excpetion of the Friends and Family sale.  They are:

All-Clad, Eileen Fisher, Emporio Armani, Tommy Bahama, Breitling watches, Burberry, Coach, Dooney & Bourke, Dyson, Ghurka, Gucci, Henckels, Juice, Lacoste, Lalique, Lauren/Polo/Ralph Lauren/Denim & Supply, Levi’s, Le Creuset, Lladro, Longchamp, Marchesa, Michael Aram, MICHAEL Michael Kors/Michael Kors, The North Face, Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, kate spade, Sperry, Star Power by Spanx, Sterling flatware, Swarovski, Tumi, Vera Wang, Louis Vuitton, Wacoal, Waterford China/Crystal/Silver, Wusthof.

Everyday Values (EDV) are never included in any sales

There are a few items around the store with special Everyday Value hang tags. These items never go on sale and coupons never apply to them! Typically these are a bit more fairly priced than other items in the store and are usually basics like a set of plain Carter’s onesies for babies or Charter Club t-shirts for women.

Free Shipping on Orders

Your order of $99 or more always ships free without any additional codes required. However, it needs to be $99 or more after all discounts have been taken off.

Occasionally they also run promos where your order ships free if it includes a $50 beauty purchase or they will lower the purchase requirement to $75.


Happy New Year!

My goodness, I can’t believe we are already at the end of the year! I hope that you had a great Christmas if you celebrate it!

I have been immensely enjoying the last week since my husband is home from work and we are just having a blast relaxing with our little one.

I wish you and your family a fabulous 2014! Happy New Year!

Twenty Favorite White Elephant Gift Swap Ideas Under $20 That You’d Want to Receive!

One of my favorite fun games at holidays parties is the white elephant gift swap.  However, in the past few years my friends and I have gravitated towards gifts that people would actually WANT rather than gifts that people don’t want since I hate spending money on a gag gift that would get thrown away when the night is over.

I was just discussing gift ideas with a friend and I thought I’d blog them since I always seem to scramble for gift ideas when I’m in a time crunch!

White Elephant gifts you'd actually want!
White Elephant gifts you’d actually want!

Gift Ideas


If you’re going to a party with girlfriends, makeup is always a hit.  Though makeup can get expensive really fast, here are a few ideas that are budget friendly.

Too Faced Beauty Blogger Darlings

Tocca Handcream Trio

Nail Polish


There are tons of great budget friendly kitchen items that are also gift friendly too.  Here are a few of the ones I’ve tried in the past.

Cutting board

Cast Iron Skillet


Tea towels

Wine Charms

Cake Pedestal

Food and Drink

Sharing a favorite gourmet food or drink item is usually a hit.

A box of your favorite tea and a tea ball (my favorite is Genmaicha!)

Gourmet hot chocolate

Travel Mug


Here’s some ideas if kids are involved as well.

Puzzles (big kids and for little kids)

Board or Card Games (a fun party one)

Puzzle Games (one of my faves)

Hand or Finger Puppets

Odds and Ends

Here’s a few ideas of things that didn’t fit anywhere else!

Mini Speakers


Christmas Ornament

Bracelet or Earrings

Where to Shop

While you can always shop online, if you’re just buying 1 small thing shipping costs can add up quickly.  I find that going to places like TJ Maxx or Marshall’s is a good place to find budget friendly gifts.

There are also a number of retailers who have a list of items that ship free without any minimum purchase. Here’s links to each one:

Sephora – everything on this page ships free with the code HOLIDAYSHIP

Pottery Barn Kids Ornaments – all ornaments ship free

Nordstrom – all purchases ship free

Crate and Barrel – everything on this page ships free

Target – everything ships free if you have a Target RED card


Shu Uemura is 20% off and offering free shipping today only!

For “Green Monday” (I still don’t know what that is! Can anyone enlighten me?) Shu Uemura is offering 20% off everything and free shipping on all orders!

Now is a great time to get that famous Shu eyelash curler that everyone raves about… including me!  It really is THAT GOOD and its my favorite tool in my makeup toolbox.  Shu Uemura isn’t sold in the US at retail anymore.  I’m not sure why… they are a great brand!  You can only get their products online so this is a pretty good opportunity to try their stuff or stock up.

Sephora: Check your emails for a $15 gift card

In the past few years Sephora has been sending out $15 gift cards to Beauty Insider members ($20 for VIBs) this time of year.  I just got mine so check your email/spam folders for the email as well!  The subject of the mail is “With our thanks: $15 Reward Card”.

I think I’m going to be using mine to order a new mascara.  I am almost out so this comes at perfect timing!

What will you be using yours for?