Thrifty Things Friday #36

Hi everyone!

This is our annual “Girl’s Shopping Weekend”. For about 15 years now, my mom and I drive to Saginaw (MI) which is about mid-Michigan and meet up with my 2 cousins and Aunt who live in Northern Michigan. We book a hotel, get adjoining rooms and spend the weekend Christmas shopping. Okay, so we do more gabbing, laughing and eating these days than actual shopping! But, we always have a great time catching up with each other. We will return Sunday evening.

This week my thrift is a little different. I thought I would share a few little things that I do that cuts the costs of this Girls Shopping Weekend.


One of the main thrifty things that I do is, I use MyPoints to earn free gift cards. I have been a member of MyPoints since 1998! I can’t even remember how many GC I have received over the years. I saw all my points up until this time of the year and then cash them all in for GC. I know the stores I shop at while on this girl’s weekend and I make sure to choose those stores for my GC.

thumbnailCACHRKEFThe longer you are an active member of MyPoints, the more email and point opportunities you get. For me, I get a lot. Back when I first joined, I set up a Hotmail account and MyPoints is the ONLY thing I use that account for. So, once a week, I go into that account and click all the email to get my points. And since I am a coupon user, I upload all my online coupons through MyPoints so I can earn extra points that way. A lot of stores work through MyPoints as well and when I order something online, I always try to go through MyPoints to earn those extra points.

It sounds confusing maybe or time consuming but, once you get the hang of it, it isn’t. And this year I am going to the girls shopping weekend with $110.00 in store GC for FREE!

thumbnailCAE9IWWC Another thing I do is I use to order GC to the local restaurants that I know we will be eating at this weekend. I confess, eating out is one of our favorite activities when we get together! LOL This week I ordered and printed off 2 coupons worth $25.00 each and I paid $2.00 for each of them! They don’t always have restaurants in the area I am going to be in but, I always check just to make sure.

Whenever I get a GC as a gift and it is one I can use during this shopping trip, I always save it. For instant my friend gave me a GC for Cracker Barrel for my birthday this year. My mom and I always start our “official” girls shopping weekend by stopping at Cracker Barrel on the way up to the hotel. We have lunch and then shop the little gift store. I always buy my yearly new special Christmas tree ornament there. So, thank you Sherry! :)

thumbnailCA47DZ16 I also go online and check out the stores we are going to and see if they have any special store coupons for that weekend. I generally find a few to use. And being a “Mystery Shopper” for many companies, I check to see if I can snag any secret shops at stores or restaurants in the area when I am there. The store shops will reimburse me my purchase (up to a limit) and then pay a small amount. The restaurant shops will reimburse my entire meal and generally a guest.

One year I did several Aeropostale, Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch secret shops and ended up getting my 3 teenage nephews 5 different outfits each and didn’t pay a dime! Not to mention, I made a little bit of money. Granted I had to spend a couple of hours at the hotel with my laptop doing my reports but, for me it was well worth it.

I have several other little things that I do to save me money but, this post is getting very long.

My point is, I HAVE to use all these little thrifty money savers because we are on a very tight budget. However, you would never know that I do these things because I just appear like I am out shopping my little heart out and enjoying fun  at restaurants as if I didn’t have a tiny budget! 

Over the past 10 years, I have really taken advantage of the internet to save me money and make some money. I work hard at it but, it has helped tremendously! So, if you are on a tight budget, check out some of these ideas I have mentioned.

BTW, none of the above companies have any clue I am writing about them. There is no sponsorship.

Okay, let’s check out some fun features from last weeks party!

Robin at Highpoint Circle shared her thrifty solution to customize some Christmas ornaments. Love it Robin!

DSCN5455wTammy at Tammy Loves Dishes put together this wonderful winter pinecone tablescape from the thrift finds. Thrifty can be beautiful!

dscf4477 Deb at Dragonfly Treasures did such a fun redo on an ordinary wall clock. You have to check it out.

IMG_0109Thank you ladies for such fun posts! If you don’t have the “I was featured” button below, I hope you will snag it for your blog!



  1. Well, first of all, I so want to join some of the companies you're working with to help with *our* budget - thanks for sharing all the information! Second (yes, we're counting today :) I love each of the features and will visit them as soon as I finish this organized comment. Third, thanks for hostessing the party, and I'm happy to be the first linker for the first time ever, anywhere! How fun!


  2. I have been a member of Mypoints almost as long as you :) I am now saving up my points for use when we travel to MI next Nov. for my son's wedding. He is in East Lansing. His bride is a Yooper :)

  3. All of this is news to me. I will be sure to check them out. I am particularly interested in the restaurant site. I LOVE to eat out too. But since my hubby lost his job/retired things have been different. ENJOY your shopping weekend. Sounds like fun. Take care.

  4. Hi lovely lady.
    Thanks so much for having your sweet linky party!!! My next Tablescape will be 75% from the Dollar Tree Stores for Christmas!! I hope you are having a great day.
    XXOO Diane

  5. Thanks for the great info, Diann! Love the features! Happy weekend!...hugs...Debbie

  6. Very nice features, I love the big music paper balls. Thank you for the information and for hosting and having me dear Diann. Merry Christmas.

  7. I have been a My Points member for many years and love the free Gift Cards. My other favorite is now Swag Bucks for Amazon Gift cards. I just bought some Christmas presents for Tiger using those amazon gift cards and being also on a tight budget it sure does help! Enjoy your weekend! hugs, Linda

  8. I am totally impressed with your industrious thrift. I had no idea such things existed. I am saving this post to visit those links and get better informed. Thanks!

  9. Great information, Diann, about ways to make our dollars go farther. I hope you have a great girls' shopping weekend.

    Thanks so much for featuring my thrifty tablescape!

  10. Great tips and I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend...sounds like a lot of fun.


  11. Thanks Diann, Great info here. Thanks for sharing. Your weekend sounds great. Time spent with family is priceless.
    Hope your weekend is great.
    Sorry, a little late coming to your party.

    The French Hutch

  12. Have a great weekend! I joined several months ago because of your recommendation and have enjoyed discounted dinners. Now I am joining MyPoints. I will have to figure out how to do the Mystery shopper. My daughter would enjoy that too. Excellent ways to save for Gift Shopping.
    Connie Haack

  13. I am so impressed with your frugality! My budget gets smaller and smaller and I sure am trying.
    Sounds like you all had a great time.
    Thanks so much for featuring my clock. I'm so tickled!!
    I've been trying to figure out the mystery shopper thing...actually the real from the phony.
    Have a great weekend!

  14. Thank you for the great tips to save money when traveling! Sounds like your girls weekend is a ton of fun!

  15. Thank you for hosting. I'd love for you and your readers to join us every friday for our thrifty link up.


Thank you for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your ideas. If you ask a question, I will answer it here in a comment back to you. Please check back! Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful day! Diann :)