Thrifty Hippy Mama

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Swagbucks is a LEGITIMATE search engine where you earn virtual money just for searching the web. You use it just like you would use google, yahoo or ask, only with swagbucks, you actually earn prizes (ipod, ps3, autographed items and sooo much more)! Even better is that there is no catch and you NEVER have to give personal info such as credit card info, ssn, or anything else that should be kept hush hush.

To join, CLICK HERE. In doing so, you will not only be on your way to FREE PRIZES, but you’ll also be helping me earn a few bucks too.

Upon joining, your account is automatically credited with 3 swagbucks to help you get started. You’ll find that within your first search or two, you should win a swagbuck (or two or three). Those bucks are then added to your account and overtime, they will build. For some this is a matter of days, and for others it may take months. It all depends on YOu! Which brings me to my next tidbit..

Ways to quickly earn swagbucks.
1. Do legitimate searches on the swagbuck website. Say you want to look up a recipe for cheesecake (just an example). Use swagbucks to search and you may be rewarded with swagbucks. I highly advise against over searching as the website will think you are a bot and blacklist you.

2. Download the swagbucks toolbar. It is completely safe and does not contain any adware or viruses. Once installed, you will see a button that says “From TSG”. Whenever TSG (the swag buy) is giving out codes in the toolbar, that’s where it will be. You’ll want to check your toolbar often and as always, enter the code into your account asap as they do expire.

3. Add swagbucks to your facebook and twitter accounts. They post a lot of codes in those 2 places.

4. Install the swidget on your facebook page. You’ll have fast access to check for special codes that are only given to swidget users. Again, codes have an expiration so enter them as soon as you find them.

5. REFFERALS! I can’t stress that enough! Referrals are the FASTEST way to get swagbucks rolling in. You will get 1 sawgbuck for every swagbuck your friend(s) for the 100 they earn. That does NOT include codes. You only earn the bucks from them if they earned it by searching them web. After your friend(s) has reached 100 from searching, you will no longer receive swagbucks from said friend. That’s why it’s important to have as many referrals as possible. Trust me, it adds up fast. I already have 1012 as of this post.

6. When you purchase something from the swag store with your swagbucks, take a video of yourself opening the package. You earn swagbucks just for doing that as it shows the naysayers how real they are. Also, take a photo of you holding your new swag. Again, you will get swagbucks for doing so.

7. Read their blog often. You’d be surprised how many codes get posted there.

8. Submit a poll and if yours is chosen, you will be credited with 10 swagbucks!

9. To be honest, there are so many ways to earn swagbucks, I would be here all day just telling you about it. Just try it out for yourself and you’ll see how easy and addictive it is. There’s nothing to lose by trying it. Since you don’t need to give out any personal info, what’s the harm right?

So if you’re ready to earn FREE prizes, CLICK HERE AND JOIN NOW

Just so you can see what it looks like when you win, I went ahead and took a screen cap to show you. This is one of the MANY that I have won. If you look closely at the top right, you will see that I now have 1016 swagbucks.

Proof that you really do win swagbucks.

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UPDATE! These bags are going FAST! There are limited patterns available! Get them before they’re all gone!

Vera Bradley is having a HUGE sale on their “Hannah” handbag. This beautiful bag comes in NUMEROUS colors and at this price (only $12), they’re sure to be gone soon. To make it an ever better deal, you can save even more by using coupon code 10offsale which will make it $10.80. Shipping starts at only $8! NOW is the time to stock up for xmas. How impressed will the women on your list be, when they get a brand new authentic vera bradley handbag? They’ll think you spent a fortune (sshh I won’t tell) and the best par is, at this price, you can afford to get one for every female you know. Hec, you can even stock up and keep them on hand for last minute gift giving (teachers, kids birthday parties, mothers day etc). Get them while they last!

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{November 18, 2009}   How to work the CVS deals!

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This is a post a had written a WHILE back. Glad I saved it. I am a serious CVS shopper and anyone who knows me, will tell you just how much I come home with, without spending more then a few pennies.. TOPS!

If you’re looking to get started with CVS, please read the following. This should help get you started.

For those non believers out there, here are some photos of my cvs “hauls”. I’ll be sure to list my OOP total and copy of my receipt from now on. These are just to give you an idea of how great shopping at CVS can be!

ALL FREE! baby wipes, baby shampoo, shaving cream, laundry detergent, ALL, baby lotionFREE niquil, playskool diapers and wipes, pull ups, candy, puffs tissues, colgate toothpaste, razors, water, and more FREE huggies diapers, glad spray, right guard deodorant, crest toothpaste, colgate toothpaste, vaseline lotion, arm and hammer detergent, pepsi, etc My favorite CVS haul of all time. This was from Christmas last year. Clearly I can't list everything in this photo, but oyu can see for yourself just how great shopping at CVS can be!  I spent more on this one then normal an even then it was less then $6. Yes, you read that right.. $6 !

    Step 1

is to signup for an extra care card. This is a discount card used at cvs. Without it you will NOT get the sales prices listed and you will NOT earn rewards!! You can signup in the store and instantly get your card, or you can signup online at CVS and wait about 2 weeks for your card to arrive.


OOP= Out of pocket
MIR = Mail in rebate
ECB = Extra care buck(s)
HBA = Health and beauty aids
Bogo or B1G1 = Buy 1 get 1 free
YMMV = Your mileage may vary
FAR = Free after rebate
MFR = Manufacturer

The above are commonly used abbreviations when posting about CVS.

    What is an ECB exactly?

An ECB is a reward that you earn. There are weekly ECB deals and monthly ECB deals. The weekly deals are found in your sunday paper (the CVS sales ad) and the monthly deals are found at your local CVS (usually at the front of the store). Another GREAT place to find the deals in ADVANCE is by going to I HEART CVS.

In order to earn ECB’s, you must complete the necessary requirements for the qualifying purchase(s). Let’s say one of the deals this week is for Dawn dishsoap (this is just an example). For every 2 bottles of dawn that you buy, you earn $1 in ECB’s, but there’s a limit of 5. That means you can ear $1, 5 times. So, if you want all $5 in ECB’s you would have to purchase 10 bottles of dawn.

I’m sure you’re thinking “but that would cost me way more then I would earn. What’s the point”? Well, here’s how you play the game…

It says in the cvs ad that dawn is $1 a bottle. You’d have to spend $2 to earn $1 in ECB’s. Well, you now look through your coupons (save EVERY COUPON…even ones you would NEVER think to use). Wait, you just found $1 one bottle of dawn.. even better, you have 2 coupons for $1 off!! Not only will you get both bottles of dawn for FREE, but you’ll earn $1 in ECB’s!

ECB’s print at the bottom of your receipt as SOON as you earn them. You do NOT have to buy all qualifying items at one time to earn the ECB’s. As long as you fulfill the requirements within the time frame (a week if it’s a weekly ECB deal or a month if it’s a monthly ECB deal) then you will be rewarded with ECB’s. They will print as soon as you complete the requirements.

Don’t have coupons to go along with the sale? No problem. You can do a google search for “dawn dishsoap coupon”. You may (or may not) find printable coupons. Most printable coupon websites only allow oyu to print the coupon 2x. So if you want to buy coupons in bulk I recommend EBAY!

Again the above product deal was just an example. This was a deal they ran a couple weeks ago. Each week there are different ECB deals..and each month there are additional ECB deals.

    What can I do with my ECB’s I earn?

This is the best part. You can use them on ANYTHING in the store except prescriptions, tobacco and alcohol.

    How soon can I use my ECB’s?

You can spend them the SECOND you earn them. ECB’s DO expire though. You have 30 days to use them from the date you earn them. There will be an expiration date printed on them for your convenience.

    How can I keep getting things without using all my ECB’s?

This is what we CVS’ers call “rolling”. In order to “roll” your ECB’s, you want to use them towards other deal’s that earn you ECB’s. here’s an example.

Let’s say that this week CVS has revlon blush for $9.99 and you earn $9.99 in ECB’s for that purchase. Now let’s say you have a $10.00 ECB. You would pay for your revlon blush with the $10 ECB. You would now have your blush AND $9.99 in ECB’s.

So to break it down, you get FREE makeup AND you ECB’s. Since your $9.99 ECB just printed, you now have another 30 days before it expires. You just “rolled” your ECB to last longer.

    What about tax?

You will be required to pay sales tax on your purchases. Each state has a different % that they tax but it’s never more then pocket change.

    CVS’s coupon policy

You are allowed to use one manufacturers (mfr) coupon per item. If you have 20 items, you can use 20 coupons. Simple!

To make it even sweeter though, you can also use your ECB’s too. So let’s say your total after coupons is $4. You have a $3 ECb and a $5 ECB. What do you do? Well that’s really up to you. You can pay with the $3 ECB and then pay the difference OOP (out of pocket), or you can give them the $5 ECB and pay nothing out of pocket.


If you decide to use the $5 ECB, it is in your best interest to ad an item to your order that is worth about a dollar. The reason for this is that you do NOT get refunded the difference. So if your total is $4 and you pay with a $5 ECB, you’re gonna lose out on $1. So your best bet is to find something in the store worth about a dollar.

    Are there any other ways to save even MORE money?

ABSOLUTELY! If you signup at CVS and link your email to your account, you will occasionally get coupons sent to you from cvs. These are WONDERFUL!

The most commonly emailed coupon is $4/$20. This means you get $4 off your total if you spend $20. As with ANY coupon, this means you have to spend $20 BEFORE coupons, NOT AFTER coupons.


You have 10 coupons for $1 off of 1 johnson and johnsons buddies bar soap. These are a dollar or less. So your total so far is about $10 BEFORE coupons. You need to add another $10 worth or stuff before you can use the coupon.

You decide You wanna get some cereal. But wait! They cereal is b1g1 AND you have coupons for $2 off per box!! That’s great since the cereal is normally $4.29 each! Even sweeter deal! Turns out the cereal earned you $2 in ECB’s if you spent $10 on it!

Now let’s calculate this. You already have $10 worth of stuff in your cart. You need to spend atleast $10 more. You would need to buy 3 boxes of that cereal (and get 3 free). Lucky for you, you have 6 of those $2 off coupons (yes, you CAN use a coupon on a free item).

So here’s your total so far..

10 bars of buddies soaps = $10
6 boxes of cereal (b1g1) = $12.87 (plus you’ll earn $2 in ECB’s)


After the cashier rings up your items, hand them your $4/$20 FIRST!!!!!!!!! Then hand them your other coupons. Here’s what will happen..

$22.97 minus $4/$20 coupon = $18.97
$18.97 minus 10 coupons for $1 off buddies = $8.97
$8.97 minus 6 coupons for $2 off cereal = -$3.03

I bet you’re thinking “but that’s a NEGATIVE balance”. yes it is. So what do you do about it??? Remember, we talked about this earlier… You add items to your cart to fill in that balance.. Yep, MORE free stuff!! Go ahead, pick up ANYTHING you want that will fill that balance. How about a 12 pack of coke? Or a tub of baby wipes? Whatever your choice is, just keep it around the $3 mark.

All you’ll be left paying is sales tax AND YOU LEAVE WITH $2 in ECB’s!! You just made a profit and got 10 bars of soap, 6 boxes of cereal, and whatever item(s) you added to your cart to fill out the negative balance!

    I have a BOGO coupon and CVS is having a BOGO sale. Can I use the coupon?

ABSOLUTELY! These are the best! You pay NOTHING out of pocket and get twice the amount of product. If you’re wondering how this works, it’s simple. The manufacturer pays YOUR portion of CVS’s BOGO sale. So you pay nothing but tax and get 2 items (for each BOGO coupon you have).

I think this is pretty much all for basic CVSing. If there are any questions or maybe things I forgot, just let me know!


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{November 17, 2009}   Under Construction!

Welcome to the Thrifty Hippy Mama web blog. Please bare with me while I get this place looking nice. You’ll want to bookmark my blog as I will be bringing you all the latest freebies, sales, and goodies! Lots of good things are ahead!

et cetera