Vanquishing My Debt

I'm 29 and trying to get a handle on my finances so that, one day, I can buy a home of my own. I've been reading personal finance blogs recently and decided to start one chronicling my own struggles and success (hopefully). I am lucky, considering the amounts of debt and tales of tragedy I've read about... but I am making some positive changes and moving in the right direction.

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Location: Los Angeles, CA

Monday, September 25, 2006

Target donates to charity through me

Well, in a sense. Let me explain.

I am a devotee of The people who post in the forums are genius at figuring out ways to combine sales, coupons and unadvertised promotions to get merchanise for barely nothing. And everything is completely legal, as far as I know. Stores just need to close a few loopholes here and there, or use common sense.

A few days ago, someone had posted an unadvertised promotional deal that if you buy any 2 Almay cosmetics or skin products, Target would give you a $5 gift card. The geniuses on Slickdeals figured out that the cheapest items were the Almay facial soap bars for $3.09 each. Many Almay products had peelie coupons on them for $1 off. So you could buy 2 facial soaps with coupons for a total of $4.38 with tax and get a $5 gift card. (As far as I know, the deal is still going on if you'd like to check it out. There is a similar deal right now with 12-packs of Pepsi, too.)

But I don't use that product, nor does anyone I know. So I should have ignored it, right? Nah.

R and I went and spent $8 out of pocket on 4 bars of facial soap with coupons. We received $10 in gift cards. We then used those gift cards to purchase more soap with coupons...and get more gift cards. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

As of today, we have 16 bars of free brand-name facial soap that will be donated to a teen runaway shelter here in Hollywood... it's free because through the last set of gift cards, we've recouped our inital investment of $8 and even made a profit of about $4. Since our local store is now out of Almay soap, I'll use the gift cards to purchase regular stuff for our own household like toilet paper and Kleenex.

And that's how Target makes charitable donations through its customers.


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