Tag Archives: deals

Find Buried Treasure at Estate Sales

16 Jul

Shop in style at estate sales.

Every good bargain hunter knows the difference between garage sales and estate sales. Personally, besides when I was trying to furnish various college apartments, garage sales do not interest me. Why would I want to get up at 7am on a Saturday and in search of other people’s used and abused cast-offs? This seems ridiculous to me.

One day, while living in Shadyside, a fancy pants Pittsburgh neighborhood, I saw a sign for an estate sale. I had no idea what this involved, but since the signs led to a giant mansion on the classy end of my street, I was intrigued enough to find out. I walked in this amazingly beautiful mansion, and saw that it was filled with shoppers, much like myself, and the staff of an estate sale company. Everything in the house was for sale,
but instead of having to schlep through boxes in a suburban driveway, each room in this house was a like a new store for shoppers to casually browse through.

Obviously, I was immediately hooked after my first in-mansion treasure hunt. At first my friends thought it was weird that I got up on Saturday mornings to go shopping in a recently deceased, elderly person’s home. But it didn’t take long for curiosity to get the better of them, and they sunk to my level, and loved it! Pretty soon, they were the ones asking me when the next sale was, so they could tag along.

All estate sales aren’t winners, even in the snazziest houses, but here’s a few rules to abide by to help narrow down the ones worth dragging yourself out of bed on a Saturday morning for:

1.)    Make sure it’s an actual estate sale, and not just a garage sale in disguise. People are sneaky with that. A suburban family holds a garage sale in their driveway, which is not even remotely the same thing as an estate sale.

2.)    Take the area of town into consideration. Half the fun of going to estate sales is to go inside the big, beautiful houses. If you go to a sale in just an average neighborhood, don’t expect the glam factor to be there.

3.)    Another reason to only cruise the estate sales in the snazzy parts of town is obviously the quality of the items. If you’re like me, and constantly on the prowl for the designer deal-of-a-lifetime, this is an amazing place to go searching.

4.)    Go early. Getting up with the roosters on a Saturday morning is no fun, I’m not gonna lie, but you’ll miss out on the bargains if you don’t. Anyways, you’ll get an adrenaline high to keep you going all day, when you’re handsomely rewarded with all of your sweet bargains.

5.)    Shop with an open mind, not a focus. The best deals are found when you’re not looking for them. If you bust into an estate sale looking for one specific thing, you will likely be bored quickly and will leave unsatisfied. Instead, go in with the attitude that you’re up for anything, take your time digging through the buried treasure, and you never know what you’ll find!

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Travel in Style (and for free) With HiltonhHonors

26 Jun

The American Express Hilton Honors credit card is amazing. If you like to travel, or even if you don’t but need a hotel room a few nights a year, the HiltonhHonors program is for you. Everytime you buy anything with your Hilton Honors credit card, you earn points towards a free hotel room at any of the Hilton brand hotels, all of which are fabulous, some downright swanky.

Derek & I at the Embassy Suites - Glendale, CA

Hilton Brand Hotels Include:

  • Embassy Suites
  • Hampton Inn
  • Doubletree Hotels
  • Homewood Suites
  • Waldorf-Astoria
  • Hilton
  • Conrad
  • Hilton Garden Inn

My boyfriend and I each decided to get an American Express Hilton Honors credit card after a trip to Baltimore a couple of years back. We stayed in a Hilton Garden Inn, and kept seeing all of these signs for this sweet HiltonhHonors reward program. And we’re so glad we did, since we get to stay in classy hotels for free, and we don’t have to do a single thing to do so.

Hotels We’ve Stayed in For Free Thanks to HiltonhHonors:

  • Doubletree Suites Doheny Beach – a.k.a. Dana Point, California– One word describes this hotel a-m-a-z-i-n-g! Located directly across the street from the Pacific Ocean, we got an entire suite in this hotel for free. The hotel had been recently renovated and was absolutely beautiful. Our hotel room even had french doors INSIDE of it. To add to the fabulousness of situation, this beautiful west coast palace is only a few minutes away from my favorite place on earth – Laguna Beach, California. Retail Value = $199.

    Snazzing it up in our room at the Doubletree Suites Doneny Beach.

  • Embassy Suites, Glendale, CA – Wow. That is the only way to describe this gorgeous Los Angeles hotel, which appeared to be brand-new. The hotel lobby was this botanical-like indoor courtyard, complete with a giant pond, beautiful flowers, and glass elevators. Everything about our suite was perfect, brand-new and plush. We were invited to attend a manager’s reception, a.k.a. free cocktails and snacks, before we headed out to dinner. And the next morning we got a free cooked-to-order breakfast. Could it get any better? Retail Value = $169.
  • Hampton Inn, Philadelphia, PA – How can you not love a hotel so centrally located that you can walk to most of the sites in the city? We stayed at this Center City hotel for 2 nights, for free. Obviously. This hotel had also been recently remodeled. It was super clean, super quiet, and very comfortable. Retail Value for two nights = $298.
  • Waldorf- Astoria, New York, NY– Coming soon! We are staying in the Waldorf-Astoria, in New York City over labor day weekend. That’s right, we’re staying in the freaking Waldorf-Astoria for three nights, and not paying a dime for it. Retail Value for three nights = $867.

    Looking forward to 3 free nights at the Waldorf-Astoria, thanks to HiltonhHonors.

Oh la la Embassy Suites Glendale, CA.

Just when you thought this HiltonhHonors deal couldn’t get any sweeter, it does. My boyfriend was upgraded to “gold” status last year. Everytime he makes a reservation with his HiltonhHonors points, he is given choices of what types of gifts he would like to receive in the room upon arrival. These are little things, such as snack food and bottled water, but still, how cool is that? He also gets us perks such as free wireless, or free access to the gym (the Waldorf-Astoria makes commoners pay to use it), and a nice little letter in the room thanking him for being a valued HiltonhHonors member. Haha.

LivingSocial Deals Go Instant

10 Jun
I refuse to remember life before LivingSocial.

I love a good bargain. In fact I’m somewhat addicted to LivingSocial deals. Just when I thought I couldn’t love them anymore, I discovered LivingSocial Instant deals. As I was buying my latest LivingSocial deal on my phone yesterday morning (two movie tickets for $9…not that you care), an option for this new instant deal appeared.

I’m an idiot, and I hadn’t drank any coffee yet, so I stupidly clicked off of it without thinking. It took me a minute to realize the consequences of what I had done. Thankfully, I was still able to check out the concept later on. Basically your phone will send a signal to LivingSocial, letting them know where you are, and if the company has any deals available in the area they will be displayed. Instead of having to wait a day for your offer to be prepared, you can used these LivingSocial deals instantly, by having the merchant scan your phone.

If you have a Droid or an iPhone, you can download the LivingSocial app. If you’re like the rest of us, with a non-fancy pants phones, you can simply type the company’s web address into your browser.