Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Discount Diary Inventory, October

Quite honestly, I have never really sat down and added up my spend versus the actual price like this.  I am confident it will be rather alarming.  Realistically, a lot of these posts were not solely in the month of October.  Thank God or I’d be flat broke.  Below you will find an inventory of items or experiences (and my precious pooch), what the original cost (or a low-balled estimated actual cost) was and what I actually spent.

Purchase Original Actual 
Gilt City Raid the Warehouse Sale ticket $10 $10
Renvy, ruched purple jersey dress $110 $29
wesc, men’s Kinley knit sweater $130 39
Converse, Jack Purcell, Johnny high tops $85 $19
Rebecca Minkoff, Bombshell heels $325 $79
TopShop studded crop jacket $130 $10
House of Harlow earrings $30 $0
TopShop lipstick $18 $0
Four bourdon drinks at Yardbird $40 $0
Bar cheese plate at Yardbird $6 $3
Butter lettuce and mango salad at Yardbird $10 $5
Biscuits at Yardbird $7 $3.50
Kate Spade, The Journal, iPad case $85 $45
IKEA Expedit book case $69.99 $35
Levi’s, high-wasited destroyed denim shorts $44 $44
Levi’s, high-wasited destroyed denim shorts $44 $7
BDG demin, snap up shirt $59 $14.99
BCBG seamless dress, tan $88 $44
BCBG seamless dress, red $88 $44
BCBG seamless dress, gray $88 $44
Kimchi Blue, Scallop sandals, purple $59.99 $19.99
Kimchi Blue, Scallop sandals, turquoise $59.99 $19.99
SATC white Halston $325 $118.99
pink iPhone case* $30 $0.49
wooden flatware organizer* $20 $12.99
squeaky dog toy $7.99 $4
Yankee Candle, 26 OZ, maple butter $14 $2.99
Sperry, women’s Top Sider, graphite $60 $22
Snorkeling trip at John Pennecamp State Park, Key Largo  $44 $44
Ted Baker, the Sanyu, black ankle booties $325 $76
Women who Wine, Fizzy Lifting Drinks event $35 $30
Lobster tail $9 $4.99
Lobster tail $9 $4.99
half a pound of asparaghus $1.19 $1.19
two potatoes $1.39 $1.39
bottle of wine, Chardonnay $8 $8
fried chorizo stuffed olives at 8 oz Burger Bar $7 $0
short rib grilled cheese sandwich at 8 oz Burger Bar $10 $0
guacamole with chips at Lime Fresh $2 $0
queso with chips at Lime Fresh $2 $0
two Surfer Tacos at Lime Fresh $7 $0
sideways cross necklace from Ruby and Jenna $40 $10
sideways cross bracelet from Ruby and Jenna  $20 $9
Vintage Salvatore Ferragamo clutch* $200 $35
Chiweenie puppy* $250 $0

Well, thank you Mircrosoft Excel. You should all probably sit down for this. This list contains 45 purchases.

The total, original price of everything is $3,015.

Are you ready? Anyone want to take a wild guess?

I paid $901, a minuscule 30% of the original retail cost.  Every item is linked, take a look back and see for yourself.

I am in total shock of the vast difference! It will certainly be difficult to maintain this 70% off lifestyle but I’ll try.

xo Rae

*are based on estimates from similar products or prices referenced in the original blog post

featured friends

Normally, I score most of my deals while shopping solo.  With my first month of entries on The Discount Diary coming to a close, lots of friends and family have been sharing their frugal finds with me.

I would absolutely love to share your finds or experiences, so send them along!  Here is what I need:

Who? Who is this for, you, your friend, your mom, who?
What? What did you get? The best part!  Make sure its a high quality item or experience that you got for less. Include pictures!
Where?  Where did you get this awesomeness? Store, sale, city, state, etc.
When? When did you get it and an example of when you used it.
Why? Why did you buy? Because the killer discount of course!  Let me know what the original price was and what you paid.

Any lifestyle related category works, women’s, men’s, kids, home goods, experiences, vintage, groceries, thrifting, anything you got a great deal on.  You do not need to write a novel or even an entire blog post.  Just give me the details and I can put it together.

Don’t you want to brag about share your savings with others?  Email me at TheDiscountDiary@gmail.com.
xo Rae

Shopping with Sandy

I have been glued to my Twitter with the CNN on in the background all evening.  However, as the work day went on and the approaching catastrophe was imminent, I did receive some very clever emails.

At my former job, an internet retailer, Irene and her aftermath put a significant dent into our regular sales with millions stuck without power and less concerned with online shopping.  It seems some other businesses have experienced something similar and were not about to let Sandy walk all over their Q4.  
I received emails with the following promotions, lasting only 24-48 hours, below.  Whether you’re in the storm trying to stay busy or safe elsewhere, have at it.
Urban Outfitters is offering free standard shipping (which will probably be delayed in the north east) on all orders until 3 am tonight (3 am, October 30) using promo code ALLSOGGY.
This may not be storm related, as it isn’t directly indicated and it could really be because they miss me, but Gilt’s email is offering 20% off my next purchase with the promo code GILT20  for 2 days.
And lastly, Karmaloop has pulled out all the stops with an email from the CEO and tons of Twitter promotion.  They are offering free shipping on all orders and tacking on an additional 20% off any orders over $85.  Their promo code is SANDYASS, charming Karmaloop. 
Be safe NY and everyone else affected by Sandy.  
The rest of you, pull out your credit cards, some retailers are already offering to donate portions of profits made over the next couple days to Sandy recovery  efforts.
xo Rae

search and destroy, vintage

I died today, an oxbloody death.  Apparently, THE color this fall is oxblood.  The thought is rather gross to me.  However, I hopped on the oxblood trend today and I am in love.  Although I wish there was a better name, it is the perfect fall color.

I made it a point to wake up and get down to Lincoln Road this morning, October 28 as it was the second day of the Lincoln Road Antique Market and the weather was a PERFECT, breezy 75.  It is every other Sunday through the snow bird season.  Check out some more info and schedule here.

I hadn’t even made it to the ATM yet and I wandered through one of the first booths.  Amid the gator skin, Gucci and Louie V vintage bags and wallets I spotted the oxblood.  I saw the clasps and my eyes lit up. Opened it up and I had myself a vintage oxblood Salvatore Ferragamo clutch.  There is a little wear on the clasps and the outside has the comfortably used look.  I asked the fabulous woman whose booth I was shopping in to hold the bag for me and booked 5 blocks to the ATM.  By the time I returned some other girl was trying to purchase my find and the woman exclaimed, “Told ya, she’d be back.”  Thank you home girl, thank you.

Unfortunately, I cannot tell you the original price or what I saved.  I found an identical patent leather one go for $100 on eBay.  On an appraisal site I saw another bag estimated to be worth $150-250 resell retail value.  Apparently, the Gancini hardware makes it very desirable.

Who knows?  I sure don’t but I love it!  I paid only $35 for it.  You can barely get a pleather clutch from Aldo for that price!

If anyone knows anyone that can give me some information email me at thediscountdiary@gmail.com.

xo Rae

a perfect marriage

Once upon a time there was a man.  He was easy on the eyes, a smooth talker (think Clooney in the 90s) and had a knack for making it work.  You could always find him accompanied by a different beautiful woman but none lasted long. It just seemed they never kept his interest.  They indeed had a presence similar to his but did not compliment him.  Let’s call our friend here, Steakhouse (or any establishment within the food and beverage industry).  Soon our friend Steakhouse, started to constantly hear about this very sexy, smart and equally business savvy woman.  She was also very connected! Upon being introduced, he realized she too, was incredible at self promotion but it came much easier to her because unlike him, she managed, engaged and maintained all of her relationships with different platforms on the internet.  We’ll call her Social Media.

Steakhouse and Social Media took a special interest in each other.  Both equally impressed by each others’ different but complimentary skills, they found they made a beautiful team.  It was like love at first sight.  After a quick marriage, I mean they knew EVERYONE in the industry, they wasted no time starting a family.

And that, my friends is how the Tweet-Up was born.  A Tweet-Up can be very beneficial to the host, the venue and the attendees.  Everyone wins here.  The host takes care of the list of invitees and the promotion of the event.  The venue provides the environment and usually some form of free food or drinks.  The host utilizes what the venue offers to lock in some attendees, preferably very socially active, influential attendees who will post, talk, tweet and write about the event and the venue.  Everyone gets to have free food, drinks and fun while expanding their network, completing the circle of benefits.  It has the potential to be a win for everyone.

Tonight I attended a Tweet-Up hosted by Jamie of Biscayne Commons (@BiscayneCommons).  Jamie, a blogger herself, invited other bloggers that would share the experience on their social media outlets.  Biscayne Commons had a couple of their restaurants, Lime Fresh and 8 oz. Burger host us, providing complimentary food and drinks.

How, you wonder is this even relevant?  Don’t you guys get it?  I met new awesome people and had a free dinner with them!

At 8 oz. Burger Bar we had Fried Olives with Chorizo dipping sauce ($7), short rib grilled cheese sandwiches at $10 (apparently Oprah is a huge fan) and a free, larger than your average, sample sized beer totaling $17.

At Lime Fresh we had chips with guacamole ($2), queso ($2) and pico de gallo, two tacos each of our choice at $3.50 each. I had their Surfer Tacos and a frozen Sangria, which I didn’t catch the price to.  This was minimally $11.

The dinner would’ve cost about $27 and I paid nothing outside of them time I spent tweeting my little heart out all evening.

Perfect marriages and weddings = feel meals.

xo Rae

 

MNF

Haa, got you guys again, this is definitely not about Monday Night Football.  I understand if you close your browser right now.

Ok, for those of you that decided to linger, Monday Night was Fancy.  In a purely “eat your feelings” sort of effort, I combed the aisles at Publix to alleviate my case of the Mondays.  MNF – Score! Lobster tails were on sale.  I’m not sure if this seemed a little bizarre to anyone else but I opted to move swiftly and ask no questions.  Lobster tails and what?  Well, I just wanted a veggie but I suppose that’s not enough for others.  I grabbed two potatoes, a pound of asparagus and a bottle of wine, to cook with of course.

After a long day with a case of the Mondays does anyone really want to cook an elaborate meal?  I didn’t, so here’s how it went down.  The baked potatoes were done in the microwave wrapped in damp paper towel for 15 minutes.  I “grilled” the asparagus on my open panini press with a little butter, lemon, salt and pepper. As those cooked, I put half a stick of butter in a skillet with garlic and sprinkled it with basil.  After that melted, I added about a cup of the wine.  I ended up getting a medium bodied, $8 bottle of Chardonnay.  I sliced the under part of the lobster tails.  Once the butter and wine were simmering I dropped the tails in and covered them for about 4 minutes.  Done.

Lobster tails normally run anywhere from $9 to $13, I paid $4.99 each for two.
A pound of asparagus was $2.38. I used half, approximately $1.19.
Two potatoes came two $1.39 and the bottle of wine was $8.

A home cooked fancy, 15 minute, Monday night meal came to approximately $20.56.  I saved minimally $2 on each lobster tail, which is at least 19% off dinner.  Dinner came to about $10.28 a plate with wine.

Best from my alter ego,

Rachael Rae


women are winers

No, no fellas, that is not a typo.  Perhaps the women in your life whine but me, I prefer to wine (normally accompanied with dining, you follow?).  The Federal, Food, Drink & Provisions recently started hosting Women Who Wine, a series of weekly gatherings of women who want to learn about and enjoy wine aside others with similar interests.

This week’s Fizzy Lifting Drinks pairing was about sparkling wines. The pairing consisted of five wines and four properly paired foods.

The bar at The Federal 
Photo Credit: www.thefederalmiami.com

Now pardon me if this doesn’t come off as if a sommelier were speaking to you but I am utilizing these events to learn and am not perfectly educated, yet. We had Gruet, a Chardonnay from New Mexico perfectly paired with Brie, figs and pecans.  Both tasted better complimentary than solo, think two heads are better than one.  That and the Prosecco from Veneto, Italy paired with butternut squash, toasted pumpkin seeds and prosciutto were my favorite combinations.  The Prosecco, squash and condiments were reminiscent of autumn and made me ready for my Thanksgiving trip home to upstate NY.  Next we had a solo Riesling from Sekt, Mosel in Germany which was nice to break things up.  The following, Gratien & Meyer Cabernet Franc got lost in the incredible rabbit sausage version of bangers and mash with a tomato compote.  I’m sure it complimented it excellently but I was mystified by how much I loved rabbit sausage that I frankly, don’t recall.  And the final pairing was Medici Erulete Lambrusco from Lombardy, Italy, a red sparkling wine, with Texas Style Brisket and Hash that was to die for. By the time I finished that I recognized I needed to stay for more food to complete dinner.

The cost of this delicious evening is $35 (before tax and tip) but when purchasing online, in advance there is a $5 discount.

Not only did I get to enjoy 5 sparkling wines and 4 dishes, an incredible value like I wrote about Sunday, but I am learning about wine and pairing at the same (damn) time in a comfortable, inviting, social setting with Aniece, aka @epicuriouschic, the passionate leader of the series and partner at the Federal.

I love a good experience.

xo Rae 

perfect booties

With the close of such a beautifully, mild day in Miami and what I am sure is a brisk fall evening in New York, I am sure some of you are in search of a nice pair of booties for the cooler months.  Conveniently, I already picked mine up during the off season from the clearance rack.

This was one of those things in life that finds you as soon as you aren’t looking for it.  It was May in Miami, why on Earth would I be looking for black leather ankle booties?  For the record, I wouldn’t be and I wasn’t.  Whilst cruising through the DSW clearance section, which regularly has slim pickins in my size, I spotted some gold bottomed, super soft, studded, leather ankle booties. They fit like they were made for me.      I’d bet a paycheck I could make it through a work out in them.

The Sanyu, by Ted Baker retails originally at $325.  There was an additional 30% off the already discounted DSW price which brought the final price, my price to $76.  At about 77% off, I saved $249.  
Although I highly doubt I ever will, between these perfect booties and my Rebecca Minkoff’s I think I finally understand why women will pay a couple hundred for a pair of shoes.
Also, any woman that hates high heels, you’re doing it wrong.  Once you find a pair/brand that fits your foot properly you will never want to wear flats again!
xo Rae

I’m on daycation…

Let’s talk about value in relation to The Discount Diary.  The whole premise of this blog can come off as shallow and materialistic I suppose, however I think you’ll learn that I like to shop for deals because I recognize value.  Being that I don’t particularly have a deep seeded connection with my perfect Rebecca Minkoff shoes, I didn’t want to pay the original price.  If I truly valued my material objects perhaps I would pay for full price but reality is, they are a pair of shoes.  I know I can live without them.  There are other things that I will pay full price for, especially if it is reasonable or valuable to me, and my day trip to Key Largo was a perfect example.

My slightly hungover girlfriend and I got up early Saturday, stocked the cooler, donned our bathing suits, hopped on 95 South and headed to John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Park to try snorkeling for the first time.  It is America’s first undersea park.  Within an hour and 45 minutes we arrived.

It’s about a 3 hour guided trip, 45 minutes on the boat each way and an hour and a half in the water exploring an enormous coral reef.  Apparently, we missed out on seeing a shark and sting ray like some others in our group, but we saw lots beautiful fish and a couple barracudas.

It was $4 a person to enter the park, which I will happily pay in support of the state parks.  The snorkeling trip was $29.99 plus equipment rental fee for those less experienced like ourselves, which came to $40.  Total, we paid about $44 each for this incredible experience and it was worth every penny and then some.

To complete our daycation, we spent the better part of the evening at a restaurant called Sundowners in Key Largo where we mingled with pirates, found a bunch of cash on the side of the road, enjoyed some tropical drinks (which were $5 a piece, seriously), had fresh tuna sashimi and seafood stuffed mushrooms, befriended a couple native upstate NYers living in Key Largo and aided the bartender in serving drinks.  If I told you what our bill was after a solid 5 hour “dinner”, not only would you not believe me but I’d have to kill you. ;)  


If you ever make it down to the park try to get on Captain George and Betsy’s boat and to refuel after a great experience stop at Sundowners.  Make sure Noah is mixing you a couple cold ones.

xo Rae

moccasins in Miami

Until I purchased them, I had never even heard of them.  When I told my girlfriends what I paid for them they scoffed in shock as they both paid significantly more for their metallic Sperrys in the spring.  During a brief, lunch time Marshall’s run, I was in search of some closed toed, casual, cute and comfortable shoes.  There is nothing I hate more than wet toes and summer was particularly rainy.

So what are my options?  Ballet flats, but did I want another pair? Nope.  It may have been rainy, but I still struggle with other Miami residents pulling out their combat or ankle boots in July, its hot.

And then I came across the softest little, slipper-like moccasins I ever encountered.  They reminded me of the men’s UGGs loafers, the Sperry, women’s suede Top-Sider in graphite.

The original retail price was $60.
I found them in the clearance section at Marshalls and I paid $22.
They were 63% off and I saved $38.
I’ve had them since June and not only are they functional, they are durable.  After doing a quick search online, I found they come in other colors and I can still get them for between $20-40 and you know how I feel about great finds that come in other colors!
xo Rae