Tips to Becoming a Savvy Shopper

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Image Source: Flickr

Saving money is one of my biggest priorities. I hate to over pay for something, so you will, almost always, see me step out of line to check my phone for a coupon that the cashier can scan to give me a percentage off my shopping trip. Especially at Kohl’s. They always seem to have coupons! Besides checking for coupons online, a few of my other tips for being a savvy shopper are:

  • Check your junk mail. Yea yea, I know…it’s junk mail. However, that junk mail sometimes has some really great coupons in it. Especially for things you wouldn’t expect to have a coupon for. For instance, we have a resale shop here that we like to go to for jeans for the kids. That resale shop has coupons in the junk mail!
  • Speaking of resale shops, there is nothing wrong with buying used (and saving the difference…sorry, couldn’t resist. You die hard Duggar fans will know what I am talking about). Kids go through their clothes so fast. Why pay full price for something, like a pair of jeans, when you can get them for a fraction of the cost. Case in point…my son just picked up a pair of jeans at the resale shop for $10. It still had the tags on it. Retail price was $38. I rest my case.
  • Use reward cards. Everyone has a rewards card now. Even car dealerships. Get the card. If you don’t want to have a ton of cards in your wallet or little key chain things on your car keys, then search the app store for an app that will hold all those cards for you. My husband uses and app and loves it!
  • Research your large purchases. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on a whim only to find out that you don’t really like what you bought. For instance, a refrigerator with built in WiFi. Sounds cool, but do you really need it? I like to read all the negative reviews of something first. Sometimes the people that post the negative reviews have a point and totally change my mind on a product, while other times they are just whining or they don’t know how to actually use the product. Just research.
  • Read up on the return policy. Some places have a window of time where you can return something without paying a restocking fee. For instance, one place you wouldn’t expect to have a return policy (at least I wasn’t expecting it!) is at a car dealership. East Hills Chevrolet has an exclusive 3 Day/100 Mile Vehicle Exchange Policy! You can never go wrong buying a car at East Hills Chevrolet with this policy!
  • Ask for a better price. Bet you didn’t know you could do that! But you can! My husband is really good about this one. I, on the other hand, need to work on it. I have a hard time asking the sales rep at Kohl’s to give me a better price on something that is already marked. He, however, can look at them and say “is that the best price you can do?” and almost always they will bend over backwards to find a coupon for him to use. It’s crazy…crazy good!

These are my tips. I’m sure I’ve left some out. What tips do you have for being a savvy shopper? Leave me a comment with your tip!

Fun at Home Birthday Party Game for Kids

Having your kids birthday party at your house can be an overwhelming task to take on. Do you invite the whole class; do you invite siblings; how long do you have the party for; and where in the world can I find a cow pinata…oh wait, it’s just my daughter that insisted on a cow pinata (I did finally find one and I stuffed it full of Tootsie Rolls…). At any rate, no matter what theme your child chooses, the older they get, the harder it seems to plan.

Today, however, my family and I had the opportunity to try out a fun toy that I think would make a fun game at a kids party! Especially a boys party. My son seemed to have more fun with it than my daughter, but she had a hard time getting a hang of it.

**I received the pictured toys for the purpose of this post. All stories and opinions are 100% my own**

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My kids are holding the Aeromax Toys Sky Blaster. This toy gets your kids outdoors, running around and having a blast. And best of all…it doesn’t take batteries! I know, parents around the world are cheering now! Nothing worse than having a toy that takes a bunch of batteries that you don’t have when you need them!

Using the Sky Blaster is rather easy. Simply hold on to the yellow tag at the tail of the rocket while pulling back like a slingshot and releasing! As kids get better at launching these rockets, they can soar 50 or 100 feet or even 120 feet!

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Wouldn’t this be a fun addition to a birthday party? You could have the kids compete to see who shoots the rocket the farthest. I guarantee you, the kids will want to do it over and over and over again. Mine did! At the birthday party, you could have a bunch of different competitions set up and prizes for the kids. The prizes would be their goody bag to take home with them! At the end of the party, you can see if anyone can perform my husbands little trick with the rockets…trying to shoot more than one at a time, and yes…I got it on video!

About Aeromax

President Mark Levine began his company 17 years ago with one product, the Aeromax 2000 Tangle Free Toy Parachute, which is pictured in the company’s logo. Today the Aeromax product line boasts 300 (and counting) items and every top toy industry award. Charitable giving is an important component of Levine’s business plan with thousands of units donated to Kids Wish Network and most recently, Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S). 

The Sky Blaster is recommended for ages 8+ and sells for $7.95 each.

Have Fun this Summer with the Sphero Robot Ball

We have four days of school left and I am dreading the “I’m bored” comments all summer long from the kids. They are signed up for sport camps and a summer parks program, but I know there will be those days where they just need to chill in the house. That’s why, when I was asked if I would like review the new Sphero Robot ball, I knew I had to try it out. It sounded exactly like something my kids would like to play with.

**I received one Sphero Robot Ball and a nubby cover for the purpose of this review. All opinions are 100% my own.

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What Is It?

Sphero is the FIRST robotic ball that kids have the ability to control using their smartphone or tablet! Using your smartphone or tablet, you have the ability to drive Sphero any direction, turn on a dime, flip in the air and change colors. Kids love technology. I don’t think there’s a kid out there that doesn’t now more about the different technological devices in their home than their parents do! Sphero allows children to engage with technology like never before by uniquely mixing the virtual world with reality. For instance, take a look at this Zombie game for Sphero:

sphero zombie game

This game is pretty neat. You play it on your tablet or smartphone, but what you see is whatever you are aiming the phone/tablet at. It will automatically pick up Sphero. There are over 30 FREE apps that kids can play independently or with friends and family. You can come up with homemade obstacle courses to steer Sphero through or you can turn your family room into a video game with augmented reality!

Another game we liked is called Flappy Ball. With this game you set your smartphone or tablet on your lap or the table and you hold Sphero in your hand to control the on-screen games. I was NOT good at this one. Zachary, on the other hand, was very good at it!

Sphero Flappy Ball game

Each Sphero comes with a Quick Start guide, two ramps, a charging base, and information on how to download dozens of apps. Sphero is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. You can find Sphero at GoSphero.com and it retails for $129.99. However…from now until June 15, 2014 you can pick up your very own Sphero for just $99!!

My Thoughts

It’s pretty neat and very easy to use (though, I’m not all that good at maneuvering it…my kids are though)! It paired with my phone very quickly and I had no problems with it whatsoever. However, the one thing that I found a little irritating is that the battery did not seem to last very long at all. My kids played with it for about 30 mins and then once they were in bed, my husband went to try it and Sphero was moving VERY slowly, like it needed to be charged. Other than the battery, this is a great toy for 8 year old children and older!

Fun and Unique Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s day is right around the corner. Do you know what you are getting the dad in your life? I always have trouble with this. Both my dad and father in-law have everything they could want. So I usually end up getting them a movie theater gift card, but that’s pretty boring. The thing is, I know both of these people very well. I should be able to come up with some ideas that they will like and use. No one wants to give that gift that will either get returned or shoved to the bottom of the closet. That’s why using Pick UR Gift is the best idea. I can choose a bunch of things that I think they would like, put it in a list for them, email them the list and they get to choose something from the list that they would like!

*This post may contain affiliate links

Double Pocket Throw Pillow

This is cute and useful! Say goodbye to the spilled beer bottles…we all know someone who set a beer bottle on the couch thinking it would stand up, but it falls over and makes your couch smell like beer!

I Love to Fart Mug

My kids and I actually saw this at the store and they wanted to get this for their dad so bad! To me, this is a classic Father’s day gift!

Superman Boxers with a Cape

This is another thing that we saw at the store (Target I think) and my son laughed so hard. He really wanted a pair for himself and my husband. I’ve even seen socks with capes. Too funny!

What do you think? Do you think the dads in your life would like these unique gifts? I would definitely put the above gifts on my Pick UR Gift list. What would you put? Check out the Pick UR Gift Blog for more Father’s day gift ideas!

Top Ten Most Romantic Movies

My husband and I don’t really do anything for Valentine’s day. Never really have. I’m OK with that, sort of. But what I really like are the simple things. Ordering take-out once the kids are in bed, watching a movie together, etc. So it got me thinking, since it’s almost Valentine’s day, what are the most romantic, according to me, movies that everyone should rent?

*This post may contain affiliate links

romantic movies

 1. The Proposal.  Have you seen it? It has Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. In this movie, Sandra’s character is Canadian and in order to stay in the United States, she gets engaged to her assistant played by Ryan Reynolds. Super cute movie!

 2. Pretty Woman. No matter how many times I’ve seen this movie, any time I find it on, I have to watch it. I just love it. I remember the first time I watched it, I was around 12 or 13, and I really wanted to be Julia Roberts. Not the whole prostitute thing, but the falling in love for the first time, thing.

 3. The Wedding Singer. Who doesn’t love Adam Sandler?!? The part at the end where he sings that “Grow Old with You” song, gets me every time! And this is definitely one your significant other would want to watch with you…it has Adam Sandler and it’s a romantic comedy. Win-win situation!

 4. Friends With Benefits. This is probably my favorite movie of all time. Not only does it have Justin Timberlake in it (such nice eye candy), but it is also really pretty funny! I picked up a copy not too long ago at Sams Club for around $4.99! <—total bargain!

 5. Never Been Kissed. This movie is kind of sentimental to me. I saw this not too long after my high school boyfriend and I broke up. As you can imagine, I was devastated. But one quote in the movie turned everything around and made me see things in a whole other light:

That thing, that moment, when you kiss someone and everything around becomes hazy and the only thing in focus is you and this person and you realize that that person is the only person that you’re supposed to kiss for the rest of your life, and for one moment you get this amazing gift and you want to laugh and you want to cry because you feel so lucky that you found it and so scared that that it will go away all at the same time.

  6. 10 Things I Hate About You. This has three actors in it that I really like, Heath Ledger, Julia Styles and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. This another one of those, when it’s on, I have to watch, movies. At one time, I knew every word in the entire movie! Nerd, I know!

 7. Dirty Dancing. I really don’t need to say much about this movie. This is another one that I know all the words to. I also knew how to do every part of the last dance…well accept the lift. And no, I will not video myself doing it. So don’t ask!

 8. The Vow. This movie has Channing Tatum in it and it is about a couple that are in a car accident, the wife slips into a coma and when she wakes up, she has no idea about her life, her husband…

 9. Along Came Polly. In this movie, Ben Stiller is on his honeymoon where he catches his wife (Debra Messing) having sex with another man. They get divorced and then Ben’s character gets reacquainted with someone he knew from junior high (Jennifer Aniston). The story is about the obstacles they face as they start to fall in love.

10. My Best Friend’s Wedding. If you haven’t seen this movie, go out and rent it! I have seen it about a dozen times, and I could see it a dozen more! This is about a woman (Julia Roberts) who realizes, after her best friend gets engaged, that she is in love with him. So she sets out to break up his wedding.

So, these are the movies that I like…what would you add to the list?