My $44 haul @ Nike Clearance Center

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 11.14.42 PM

I love Nike. I especially love the Nike Clearance Center. I first learned about this when my SO went to the Clearance Center outside SF and came back with $5 running shorts, $5 running skirt, $18 drift long sleeve, and a $20 hoodie – all of which were great! I’m used to the Nike Outlet, which is also nice, but is not nearly as cheap as the Clearance Center. More importantly, the Nike Clearance Center has stuff on sale that is full priced at or Nike stores. 

Example is the Aeroreact shirt I found in my size for $16.70!!


Here’s how:

Full priced = $100

At Clearance Center for $29.99 -> minus 30% off coupon (-$8.99) + 20% off everything in the store promo ($4.20) = $16.70 FINAL PRICE

Here’s the rest:

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 7.52.35 AM

Sports Bra

Full priced: $65

At Clearance Center for $29.99 -> -$8.99 -> – $4.200 = $16.70 FINAL PRICE


Compression socks

Full priced: $50

At Clearance Center for $9.99 -> -$3 -> – $1.40 = $5.59 FINAL PRICE

Running socks

Full priced: $16

At Clearance Center for $3.99 -> -$1.2 -> – $.56 = $2.23 FINAL PRICE

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 7.53.01 AM

Ear warmer (I lost 2 last season, so always need these):

Full priced: $18

At Clearance Center for $4.99 -> -$1.50 -> – $.70 = $2.79 FINAL PRICE

Also! If you do the survey at the bottom of your receipt, you can get $5 off your next purchase…

Here is the full receipt, you can see what I bought for other people/ to donate on here too 🙂

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 7.53.21 AM




46% off at

Total advertised price: $125 full priced/ $99.97 on sale Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 8.42.24 AM

Price I paid: $67.48

Savings: 96% or $57.52 (from full price)

Method: I really liked these running shoes because they are supposedly weatherproof. They also reflect light so perfect for evening runs. $125 is too much, so I waited for them to go on sale on; once they were on sale, I waited for Nike to put the sale on sale, which they always do – often with a 25% code. The code has always been available the day before Thanksgiving for the last ~5 years, but I wasn’t sure when the post-Christmas code was available.  Once it was, I started at to save an additional 10%, used the 25% code and was able to get the total price down to $67.48 🙂

Disclaimer: Tax is never included in these reviews b/c it would distort the price before and after the discount(s). I paid with this with my own money because I am an independent chick.

Beauty Boxes Unite! And then Face-off: A look at BirchBox, Walmart, and Target


Beauty is not my area of expertise, deals are! So, I’m not going to tell you how awesome/crappy the products are, but I am going to tell you which beauty box has the best value, what I like them for, and which I would reorder. PLUS, I’ve included a little surprise at the end…

First, I love free/sample products. Just like you wouldn’t buy a new perfume without testing it first, I’m not likely to try a new beauty product without sampling it first. However, I’m also not likely to buy 5 mascaras and see which one I prefer. Enter samples! I’ve found my favorite eye liner through a 100 point perk at Sephora, my favorite lipstick brand through a sample, and my favorite eye shadow from a Sephora value set (see below). Going back to mascara, I don’t have a preference so I actually look for free samples of it, and the ease of getting them means I haven’t paid for it in years.

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 11.55.40 AM (Sephora at JCPenney has the BEST value sets – especially around Christmas. This value set includes a full-sized Nars blush which costs $30 alone)

Therefore, it took me a while to get on board with paying for free samples. Target got me first because the box was $7, they showed you what was inside (and I wanted to try the Fekkai Sunshine Shield spray), and there was free shipping. Next, I picked up Walmart, even though, let’s be real Walmart is not a beauty leader, but they are Every Day Low Price (EDLP) leader, so I figured it would be a good deal.  Last, I broke down and tried Birchbox, the luxury leader. Let’s see how they compare:

1. Ease of finding: Birchbox

Birchbox is easy to find and they auto enroll you so there is no guesswork on when it’s coming or how much you will pay. Target and Walmart were harder to find. I found both on, but Walmart gets second place because you can sign up for a quarterly subscription and Target’s frequency is unclear and if you do find it on their site it can be sold out (my luck when I tried to sign up for their second box).

2. Frequency: Walmart

Walmart is a quarterly subscription, Birchbox is monthly, and Target is… who the heck knows 🙁 and if you find it, good luck at getting it. Even though Birchbox is predictable I was a bit surprised when I ordered on September 24th, was told I was getting the October box, only to have the September box arrive on October 3rd. Then I cancelled my subscription on October 6th and afterwards was charged for the October box, which arrived a few days later. Therefore, Birchbox’s shady policies award them a third place.

3. Price: Tie (due to a $2 spread)

Target: $7 and free shipping

Walmart: free and $5 shipping

Birchbox: $5 with a code; normally $10

4. Presentation winner: Birchbox


Birchbox’s box is so beautiful! I also liked that inside it said it was designed by Birchbox subscribers.20160103_104320

I suspect that Walmart and Target copied the presentation by including tissue paper and welcome cards in their boxes. I’ll give Target second place and Walmart third place by default – their box is pretty ugly.

5. Contents winner: ??? I’ll just review in alphabetical order20160103_105134

Birchbox Pro: I LOVED that you created a beauty profile when you signed up – you share your coloring, beauty and styling habits, and favorite types of products. I also really like the surprise aspect of this box – it’s something to look forward to. Also, the lipstick is a beautiful shade and I’m excited to try a new moisturizer.

Birchbox Con: They didn’t use my profile. I said I don’t blow dry my hair and they gave me a hair mist to use *before blowdrying* and I said to limit perfume samples to max 4 a year (because I don’t want perfume samples), and they gave me a horrid smelling perfume in my first box. I would suggest not doing that for customer retention!

Target Pro: Only box that included 2 full sized products. I also wanted to try the sun protection for your hair, since I run outside a lot. Also got my mascara supply 😉

Target Con: Don’t want the Clairol Hair Food… but that’s just personal preference. Also,

Walmart Pro: There is a whopping 10 brands and 12 products to try. Also, all samples were very practical. Who can’t use a disposable razor or a travel deodorant?

Walmart Con: The products are not that exciting. I can get coupons on every single one of these products (Nivea coupons may be harder to find), so it’s not like I couldn’t or wouldn’t discover these brands on the regular.

6. Value winner: Walmart20160103_105340

Not only are there a crap ton of things to try, you get coupons on most products in case you want to repurchase. Target and Birchbox tie on value because both offer deals to try more products; Target included a 15% coupon on future beauty purchases and Birchbox sends constant emails with different deals.

Overall winner: Walmart

Walmart wills by default!!!! Both Walmart and Target are in the value segment of the beauty market and Walmart’s box has better price, value, and variety. Plus you can get it again if you want to.

Birchbox is by far the most luxurious, but I never want perfume and I don’t blow dry my hair…. so half of these things were already useless. Also, their ordering issues (see above) made me not want to continue with them.

As mentioned before here is the surprise!!

Since Walmart won and it’s not exactly in the same category as Birchbox, I’d like to give a shoutout to the original sample provider…. SEPHORA!!

Sephora gives you 3 free samples with every purchase and then has some great “weekly specials.” I used my annual $15 off $50 coupon to buy my sister a Christmas gift and got all of this below. The “Cyber Weekend Mystery Sample Bag Cyber” had the full sized mask (which I’m a huge fan of after living in Japan where I discovered these), a great travel face wash, a mini eyeliner, and some other random things.  The perfume even smelled good!  All of this was $0.00 making Sephora the winner of the luxury category!20160103_141806

Also, if you want real beauty reviews, check out my friend Brianna’s blog:

Disclaimer: Tax is never included in these reviews b/c it would distort the price before and after the discount(s). I paid with this with my own money because I am an independent chick.



Why do I use Bing?

Q: Why do you use Bing?  #bing

A: For the free stuff of course!! If you make Bing your default search engine, you can earn points (per search), which can be redeemed for gift cards or for the chance to win random stuff. So far, I have received $15 in Sephora gift cards. You can also get Amazon, Starbucks, Dominos, Macy’s, Fandango, etc.

Sign up here

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 10.35.44 AM

Disclaimer: Tax is never included in these reviews b/c it would distort the price before and after the discount(s). I paid with this with my own money because I am an independent chick. May include referral links.

Nike Clearance Center Locations



Nike Clearance Store – Tempe
Tempe, 5000 South Arizona Mills Circle 


Nike Clearance Store – Viejas Outlet Center
Alpine, 5005 Willows Road 

Nike Clearance Store – San Leandro
San Leandro, 1275 Marina Blvd


Nike Clearance Store – Florida Keys Outlet Center
Florida City, 250 East Palm Drive


Nike Clearance Store – Medford Outlet Center
Medford, 6750 West Frontage Road 


Nike Clearance Store – Flushing
Flushing, 4024 College Point Blvd


Nike Clearance Store – Lebanon
Lebanon, 530 Outlet Village Blvd 

Nike Clearance Store – Memphis
Memphis, 4099 South Plaza 

Nike Clearance Store – Pigeon Forge
Pigeon Forge, 2606 Teaster Lane


Nike Clearance Store – Outlets at Conroe
Conroe, 1111 League Line Road


Nike Clearance Store – Centralia
Centralia, 140 W. High St.


Nike Clearance Store – Johnson Creek Premium Outlets
Johnson Creek, 575 West Linmar Lane

90% off at Nike Clearance Center

20160103_085207Total advertised price: $70 full priced/ $49.99 on sale 

Price I paid: $6.99

Savings: 90% or $63.01

Method: I really liked these running shorts, but thought $70 was a lot. Once they hit the sale (NikeTown and other Nike stores never have sale merchandise), I *almost* bought them. Then, I forgot about them until I went to the Nike Clearance Center in Queens NYC. I found the exact color I wanted for $6.99!  They were marked down from $9.99 and then the entire store was an extra 30%. Find a Nike Clearance Center.

Clearance Center20160103_085219

Online (as of 1/3/2016)Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 8.42.51 AM

Disclaimer: Tax is never included in these reviews b/c it would distort the price before and after the discount(s). I paid with this with my own money because I am an independent chick.

61% off Aveeno

20151222_233153Total advertised price: $29.97

Clear Complexion face wash: $9.99 x 2 = $19.98

Positively Radiant face wash: $9.99

Price I paid: $11.70

Savings: 61% or $18.29

Method: I knew that Aveeno was going to be on sale because I found 2 coupons in the weekly Redplum coupon flyer booklet when I was home at my parent’s house last Saturday. (We don’t get the Redplum in NYC, so that was just luck.) However, if you do get it, Redplum foreshadows what is about to be on sale the next week. I like to skim through it and clip anything for my favorite brands and toss the rest. Then I cross-reference it with CVS first and then maybe Rite Aid or Walgreens if I strike out with CVS.

SO, I was very happy to get a “save $2 off 2” and “save $1 off 1” coupons in the Redplum, and then I checked CVS the next day (Sunday) and sure enough it was Buy 2 Get 1 Free. Then I used a ton of Extrabucks ($5.28 worth) to cap off the remaining savings. I normally don’t buy in bulk, but Clear Complexion is my favorite face wash, I was all out, and like to keep one by the sink and one in the shower, so I figured why not.

Disclaimer: Tax is never included in these reviews b/c it would distort the price before and after the discount(s). I paid with this with my own money because I am an independent chick.

51% off McDonald’s dinner

IMG_20151222_193234-2Total advertised price: $6.18

3 piece chicken selects: $3.57

Medium french fries: $2.59

Price I paid: $3.03

Savings: 51% or $3.15

Method: I found a booklet of McDonald’s coupons in the free MetroNYC newspaper that I get on my way into the subway. I used the “free medium fries” with purchase of a “large sandwich” coupon. Apparently the chicken selects counted as a “large sandwich?” Then I had a 15% off merchant reward on my credit card, so I saved 15% on the chicken selects.

How to maximize Amazon

I don’t think I need to tell you much about

Depending on your love of online shopping and deals, you might even have Amazon Prime.  Even though I love both online shopping and deals, I do not have Prime. I did have it when I was a student and I’ll occasionally take advantage of a few free months of Prime, but generally I find it easy to spend $35 on the website.

Now that we’ve covered that, here is how I shop Amazon.
1. I start my shopping at  -> this link allows you to shop like normal BUT by starting here, Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice.

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 8.13.01 PM

2. If I come for a purpose and the total is over $35, then I’m done.  If it’s not $35, I will check a few things:

  • Is the item available for subscribe & save?  Subscribe & save lets you save up to 15% and you receive FREE shipping on thousands of products. You can set how often you want the product mailed and cancel at any time. Sometimes I will order it this way and then immediately put the subscription on hold. (You save even more if you have 5 subscribe & save items a month).

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 9.08.59 PM

  • If not $35, I’ll check the subscribe and save coupons to see if I can find a deal.

Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 9.30.52 PM

  • Next, I’ll check the Amazon deal’s section. The “Outlet” section has some great overstock grocery items!

Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 9.33.08 PM

  • If I’m in a hurry, don’t need anything else and don’t want to buy something just for the sake of it, then I’ll ask a family member or friend to borrow their Prime, however, this rarely ever happens.

3. Sometimes I just go to Amazon to browse. Most of the time I browse my favorite clothing brands to see if I can find a deal.  For example, I love AG jeans and can often get a great pair over 70% off. Delman shoes can also be a real steal on Amazon.

Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 9.46.56 PM

Screen Shot 2016-01-02 at 9.46.14 PM