Post #54 Special Valentine’s Day Beauty Special! 92.5% in Savings!

$2043.58 in product, $96.91 in cash, -74,010 points (-$56.82)

I’m not going to lie, I’m almost in tears about this one. MP and I shopped at two SDMs yesterday for about 2.5 hours in total and took $2043.58 worth of product out of the stores. I can’t believe how well we did. We even got a handwritten “thank-you” from one of the staff when she found out about the work we are doing.

I have to admit, I’m slightly hesitant when I’m spending other people’s money: I want to stick to the script: baby formula, baby food, toothpaste, food for the Food Cupboard, toys for kids, sunscreen, etc, etc…The “necessities”.

SH’s SDM has had hair dye on sale forever…I’ve eye-balled it a couple of times, but figured it was outside of the scope of what I am doing for charity.

This weekend was a bonus redeem weekend on beauty products only. A friend of mine, MI, had generously donated 120,000+ Optimum points so I contacted her and asked her what she thought of me buying $2,000 worth of hair dye for women’s shelters. She thought it was a great idea. I warned her that I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off, and with her points I didn’t quite, but I was close. At least I was now given the mandate to try.

I’m nearly 100% out of my element shopping for non-essentials for a women’s shelter. I’m not a woman, I don’t think I’ve ever been in anything I would describe as a “crisis situation”, certainly not one that would rely on the good will of others. I spoke to a lot of different people (as many as I could in a really short period of time, since I only devised this plan on Friday night). All agreed that women’s shelters would gladly accept beauty products. MP and I even got help from the Cosmetic Managers at the two SDM when we were shopping to help us with what might be needed.

One of the jobs of services that help women in crisis, or escape from crisis, is to help those that need to, to rebuild a sense of self worth and self esteem. I don’t advocate that people need to look better to feel better about themselves, but I think every bit can help in situations likes this.

Now that I’ve said that part, on to the fun stuff, the stories of shopping…

In this post I set personal records in:

Amount saved one day: $1889.95

Biggest “You have saved” on an SDM receipt: $1,038.80 (my first over $1,000!)

Biggest margin of savings on a points redeem: 85.9%

Largest dollar value on a transaction coming out negative: $228.59 (non-Ivesian bill of $-34.45)

Largest % saved on an Ivesian calculated transaction: 98.9%

Most hair dye ever bought in one day: 78 boxes

Most time thinking about women’s hair products in my life: 2.5 hours

Most times appearing on TV being interviewed on “Our Ottawa”: 1

This day of shopping for beauty products entails 4 purchases from 2 different SDMs. The first is where MP and I went to get the hair dye, but ended up with a LOT more…

We went in and grabbed the 76 boxes of hair dye they were selling for $1.99…turns out some were $0.99, just a bonus for us. Hair dye is a little cheaper than I though…I thought it was $20ish a box, but it turns out SDM sells them for about $13. We had to get to $200 because it was 95,000 points for $200 instead of $170 (I was having a hard time figuring out the non-Ivesian equation for this). I kept counting in my head “$152…$152…$152” Trying to keep track…Then MP and I went looking for the deepest discounted stuff we could find…A lot of shampoos were $10 off, so $13 for $3 for example…So we stocked up…Then we found make-up discounted 90%…We bought 1 eye-shadow “thing” (I’m really out of my element) which was $3 instead of $18 (I know, not 90%)…because we needed to get up to $200. While we were talking to the Manager she told us a lot of shampoo on the shelves were actually being cleared for $0.99 to make more shelf space! The prices hadn’t be adjusted on the price tags, so she walked around checking for us. She pointed out a lot of the L’Oreal was $0.99. This sent my mind racing…They had “buy 2, get $2 off” so it was free, but they were also giving 3000 points if you bought three…I filled the cart, but knew I shouldn’t pass them through at the same time as the bonus redeem stuff (as not to lose the bonus points)…

MP and I took the stuff to the cash and started processing. Our final bill was $201.89 (+tax)…so out of pocket was $28.14…Not bad for all of this:


78 boxes of hair dye

33 bottles of shampoo, conditioner and hair spray

1 “thing” of eye shadow (bonus points if you can spot it in the picture above)

Now for the cool part (if the first part wasn’t cool enough)…MP and I started to load up the 21 bottles of L’Oreal shampoo, condition and, um, “hair mask”…I have no idea what that is, but I knew it was getting me points…If we bought an even number, this wouldn’t work, since it was $2 off of 2, and they were charging me $0.99 per bottle, so it would have been negative…So the 21 hair product things (with an after tax value of $228.59) cost us only $3.49…but more importantly (or I guess less importantly, since we have already saved $225) is that we got 21,200 points! ($37.92 in points)…So $228.59 in hair product for $-34.43!!! I wasn’t going to say it this post, but BOOM! SAVINGS!


If you’ve read my posts before, you know that SDM are own by Franchisees and they can charge what they want as long as it is as least as good as the flyer…So, I headed over to my usual SDM to see if they were clearing at $0.99 as well. They weren’t. They were still a good price, $3.99 instead of $8.29, and they had coupons (and I had coupons I picked up from Loblaws for $1.50 off a bottle, why they got a better deal than SDM, I have no idea) and the bonus points (3,000 for 3 bottles) were in effect, so we decided to buy some more…It obviously won’t be as awesome at the first store, but we did buy $196.72 for $60.53 (shows you what a difference it can be between stores) and earned 21,780 points ($38.96), so about $1.02 per bottle instead of $8.29+tax.

We spent A LONG time shopping…MP was getting bored and the wonderful Cosmetics Manager let her put some price tags on and stuff, which MP enjoyed a lot…I did do a bit more shopping there, and picked up some other stuff that was heavily discounted. This stuff I normally wouldn’t buy, but the price point was good (MP and I got $218.04 worth of stuff for $30 in points (which we had just earned) and $4.75 in cash…I think some women in need are going to really enjoy pampering themselves with this stuff (the stuff in the picture that isn’t shampoo or men’s deodorant):


Thanks for reading this far! Happy Family day, to those that get to celebrate it, and Happy Shopping!


One thought on “Post #54 Special Valentine’s Day Beauty Special! 92.5% in Savings!

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