Monday, June 13, 2011

Birthday Month!

I love birthday month! Having a birthday in June is awesome because it's equidistant to Christmas.  Every year for my birthday, I hit up all my shops for little birthday treats. Oh, and did I mention these are all free, or close to free?!
Left to Right: (Ulta) spa treatment, and free wine and cheese tote, (Sephora) Philosophy's Vanilla Birthday Cake bubble bath, (Body Shop) Green Tea and Lemon body spray, (World Market) Matryoshka measuring cups, and (Body Shop) Green Tea and Lemon reed diffuser. (The lens was NOT free, but a birthday present nonetheless!)

Warning: this post is kind of long, but it's useful if you're a frugal shopper like me!

So let me explain how this works:

For Ulta, if your lucky enough to have one, you should definitely be a member, it's free and the rewards are pretty awesome. If you don't know what Ulta is, think mix between drug store and Sephora, they have both low and high end cosmetics and beauty supply. For every dollar you spend you earn 4 points. The first point level where you get a reward is 500 points. (500 points will get an eye treatment or an eyebrow waxing, or $4 off your purchase, I know, it's a no brainer) That's only $125 for the whole year to get a reward. Every year, I earn at least the 500 point level reward, they go all the way up in intervals of full facials, highlight, haircuts, and the full facial and hair treatment. In addition, they always have sales and 3x or 2x reward points, so that 12 to 6 points for every dollar you spend on those days. So basically, every year, I get a facial or eye treatment for free just by buying my normal drugstore goods at Ulta. (The wine and cheese cooler was a free gift with fragrance purchase)

Sephora: Become a "Beauty Insider" for free and get alerts and offers to brand new lines and every time you shop online you get to pick three free samples. But the biggest perk is for your birthday (anytime within 2 weeks of it) you get a free birthday gift, no purchase necessary. This year it's bubble bath, last year an eye make up kit with liner, shadow, and mascara, the year before a lip gloss trio, the year before, bubble bath, and the year before Body Bliss body cream. Yeah, I've been an Insider for a while.

World Market: I LOVE World Market! My house is basically a World Market catalogue. Their membership program is also free. They send a lot of $10 off your next purchase of $30 coupons which is pretty handy sometimes. When you spend $100 on food they also give you a $10 gift certificate. It's surprising how much food I buy from there. Also if you like wine or coffee, the World Market "card" is awesome because it gives members special deals on wine and has a punchcard-like feature for coffee. Every time you buy 6 bags of coffee, you get a free bag, and Wednesdays are double punch days. The "card" is really just your phone number that you enter at checkout, so I don't have to fish around. For my birthday, they sent me a $10 gift certificate which I used to buy these cute measuring cups! The measuring cups were $12.99 btw, but $3 for these cuties is more than worth it!

Finally, the Body Shop. My old company. Let's put it this way, I worked for the Body Shop for almost four years and had to sell this discount cards every day. The fact that I have one should tell you that it's worth it! This is the only card that cost money, it $10, but it's a discount card with "punches". You get 10% off with every purchase including sale, and Groupon certificates! On certain days you get 20% off. For every $20 you get a "punch" for every $50 you get two ( I know, you can get two punches for two $20 transactions, but you would be surprised at how many people can't do math) on your fourth punch you get $15 for free and on the eight punch, you get $25 for free and a new card for free. There is a one year expiration. During your birthday month, you also get $10 for free. I usually make it to my fourth punch every year. 

So, I go in on my birthday month and get the card for free. This year, I didn't shop very much, but I made out like a bandit when I bought the Groupon ($25 for $45 or $50 if you shop by a certain date). So I got my birthday gift and the $15 ($25 total) for free. I'll still have to buy a card again, but I'll wait for a big purchase to bring the price of the card down, eg: a $50 purchase minus 10% means the car will only cost me $5 instead of $10, so the total price is $55. 

Oh, and this also arrived in time for birthday month.
My crock pot (or pot crocker, as I call it) came in the mail last week! I got it with my rewards points for using Lexis (a legal search engine) throughout law school. I've already used it and it's nothing short of freakin' awesome!

This year, Jeff will be out of town on my birthday again, but it's no biggie. I'll be getting a free eye treatment and having a quiet dinner with a couple friends. Sounds boring, but it'll be the most recreation time I've had since graduation. I love birthday month!


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