Blog, Money Saving

Starbucks, Matching T-shirts & An Empty Stroller

Black Friday… the ONLY day of the year that I’m excited to get up at 4:30 am.

Sure, I’m excited about a few bargains I’m going to snag, but that’s not what gets me out of bed.

For years now, as many as I can remember, my sister and I get up at the crack of dawn on Black Friday, put on our matching Christmas T-shirts and Rudolph earrings and head out to brave the crowds.

But Black Friday bargains are not what excites me about this day. This day, our Black Friday, is pretty much the only day of the year where we can spend the entire day together without kids. My brother-in-law, sweet soul that he is, generously takes care of the kids while my sister and I get to spend the day together.

Like most people, my sister and I both have very busy lives. I have a full-time job, a bookkeeping business on the side, and this blog. She is a mom of three – two teens… and a 4 1/2 year-old – all which have varying activities throughout the week and keep her hopping. She is also the admin for their construction business and a model on HSN! Honestly I don’t understand how she does it all!

So when Black Friday rolls around, we are so grateful for the chance to be together, uninterrupted.

We have done these Black Fridays in cold weather, rain and blazing hot weather where it doesn’t feel like Christmas at all.

And my sister is amazing. Over the years, to keep our tradition going, she has braved the Black Friday crowds with plantar fasciitis, being eight months pregnant, and two weeks post hysterectomy! She is a beast!

Our first stop is always Walmart to snag some kind of fantastic Black Friday deal.

Then we are off to Target where we grab a much needed white peppermint mocha and some more Black Friday finds.

Be sure to check out my Secrets to Shopping at Target!

It’s usually about 630am by this point and we are starving! So now it’s off to Chick-fil-A for their scrumptious Chick-n-Minis!

With renewed strength, we head to Kohls or Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Check out these great holiday shirts from Kohl’s. That’s where we found this year’s matching Black Friday T-shirts!

Then…we bravely head to the mall with our empty stroller.

I know, an empty stroller you ask? Yes. And you should see some of the looks we get while we are out and about. An empty stroller is the perfect Black Friday shopping accessory.

    Drink holders – check
    Undercarriage storage – check, perfect for any Black Friday finds!
    Empty stroller seat – – more storage for Christmas presents,… Or we can just sit in it if we get tired.

There have been many years where one (or both) of us have had little to no money to spend on Christmas presents. But we still go Black Friday shopping.

It’s turned into not about buying, but about spending treasured sister time together. We always enjoy a good laugh, sing Christmas carols at the top of our lungs as we drive to the mall, and have the best time together.

So don’t be afraid of the Black Friday hustle and bustle. Instead, embrace it! Grab your sister, brother, mom, dad, or best friend and make it an adventure AND a tradition!

What are some of your Black Friday traditions? Be sure to share my blog and leave a comment below!

STAY SANE AND SAVE BIG:

Click here to see what 3 things we never go shopping without on Black Friday!

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Money Saving, Money Saving Apps

Avoid Black Friday Burnout!

This post may contain affiliate and/or referral links to products or services, but only things that I truly love and recommend. See my disclosure policy here.

My sis and I were ‘doing our thang’ at Kohl’s on Black Friday last year and found the cutest Star Wars shirt and leggings for my niece.  As we turned to make our way to the registers, we were met with a line of bleary-eyed, haggard-looking people that literally went half-way to the back of the store!  Well, there was NO WAY we were going to stand in that line!

So I quickly popped out my iPhone and went to Kohl’s online to see if they had my niece’s sizes in the Star Wars clothing… and they did!  BUT… I didn’t buy them just yet.

Relieved, we happily jumped into the minivan, got cozy, turned up the Yuletide tunes and clicked on the Ebates app.  Then the heavens opened and the angels sang… there was a 6% cash back deal on Kohl’s thru Ebates!  Thank you, Jesus!  So not only were we able to save ourselves time in line, an aching back, and throbbing feet, but we were able to save an additional 6%!

Ebates is just one of the apps we use on Black Friday… so be sure to get S.E.T.!!!

Get S.E.T.!  This Black Friday, make sure you have these 3 apps before you hit the stores!

Shopkick

What’s better than having gift cards to use for Black Friday shopping?!

Here’s how Shopkick works…you collect points and redeem them for gift cards.  What I love about Shopkick is that you can earn points FAST!

Collect points by:

  • Walking into stores – yes, literally walk into a store, open the Shopkick app and you get points
  • Scanning items in stores – the app will let you know what products in the store are available to scan
  • Purchasing items in the store – usually you earn 1 point per dollar spent

And when you Shopkick on Black Fridays, get ready to score BIG POINTS!  I usually use my points right away, mostly on Target or Starbucks gift cards.  My sister, however, scans throughout the year and saves the points for high-value gift cards.  She’s got over 11,000 points right now!

UPDATE: you can now redeem your points for CASH!!

Sign up here and Shopkick your way through Black Friday!

Ebates

How Ebates works… shop via laptop, smartphone or in-store and get cash back on purchases.  Cash is sent via check or Paypal.

Ebates is not just for your laptop anymore!  Use the Ebates app and not only get cash back on mobile purchases but also get cash back in-store!  For example, at Bed Bath & Beyond you can get 4% cash back when you shop in-store.  All you have to do is link your debit or credit card to Ebates, put that ‘As Seen On TV’ gadget in your cart and head to the registers!

Use Ebates like we did at Kohl’s and did a mobile purchase to save money and avoid those long Black Friday lines.  Or use in-store and save moolah!

Sign up for Ebates here!

Target

If you are planning a Black Friday trip to Target, make sure you have the app!

The Target App features these FOUR great benefits:

  • Cartwheel Savings – just scan items in your cart and Cartwheel will let you know if there are any savings or coupons to use!
  • Target debit or credit card – Not only do you get 5% off when you use them but on the app, they make check-out quick & easy… just scan your barcode and you’re done!
  • Target Gift Cards – you can store any Target Gift Cards on the app and use them at check out
  • Find LOWER prices – use the Target app to scan items and see if there is a lower price for the item online.  If you find a cheaper item, purchase via the app and be sure to use the ‘Pick Up Item In-store’ when you check out.

Be sure to check out my blog on ‘Target’s Genius Plan… and Why We Love It!” for more info on how to save BIG at Target!

So now that you’re S.E.T. for Black Friday, what items will you be shopping for?

Money Saving

Mini Cherry Cheesecake Bites | Thanksgiving Recipes – Elves Choice

Mini Cherry Cheesecake Bites | Thanksgiving Recipes – Elves Choice
— Read on theelveschoice.com/mini-cherry-cheesecake-bites-thanksgiving-recipes/

Are you looking for some holiday recipe ideas for Thanksgiving and Christmas?

Be sure to Check out Elves Choice for some great inexpensive recipes!

They look delicious – and I can’t wait to try these mini cherry cheesecakes!

Money Saving

10 Inexpensive Thanksgiving & Fall Home Decor Ideas from Target

This post may contain affiliate and/or referral links to products or services, but only things that I truly love and recommend. See my disclosure policy here.

One of my most favorite times of the year is here! Even though I’m in Florida and everyone is still in T-shirts and shorts – I am longing for all things Fall!
Fall evokes for me memories of growing up in Missouri, jumping into piles of leaves, crisp morning air, fallen leaves stuck to the sidewalk on a rainy day, the smell of turkey roasting in the oven… home.
Every September 1st you’ll find me putting out the fall candles, decorative pumpkins, and autumn colored dish towels. I haven’t broken out the crockpot yet, but I will when the temps finally cool down.
As I prepare my house for Fall, just wanted to share these cute home decor items from Target… all are $20 or less (mostly less!), so you don’t break your budget. Enjoy!

Gobble & Gather Kitchen Towel – $2.99

Stoneware Turkey Salt & Pepper Set – $4.99

Faux Berry Wreath – Red/Orange – $19.99

Ibotta has a deal on this Yankee Candle at Target right now! Get $3 cash back when you upload your receipt!

Yankee Candle Spiced Pumpkin – $14.99


Harvest 8” Cable Knit Pumpkin – $9


I bought this set of metallic pumpkins last year and I LOVE them! And I love that there are 8 so I can put them in other places around the house.

8 ct Metallic Small Harvest Pumpkins – $6

14×10 Hanging Wood Sign – $7

Harvest Thankful Table Sign – $5

Thankful Wood Wall Decor – $9.99

Happy Fall Galvanized Tin Tray – $20

Money Saving

Bonus for Buying non-GMO products!

This post may contain affiliate and/or referral links to products or services, but only things that I truly love, have tried and recommend. See my disclosure policy here.

I just earned bonus cash on Ibotta. Want in? Download the app and get your $10 welcome bonus! https://ibotta.com/r/asasbhg

Woohoo! Just earned a bonus for buying non-GMO products! And you can too…PLUS get a $10 welcome bonus when you download the Ibotta app!

Want more info about Ibotta? Click here!

Money Saving

Target’s ‘Smartly’ Move Could Change The Way You Shop!

This post may contain affiliate and/or referral links to products or services, but only things that I truly love, have tried and recommend. See my disclosure policy here.

I know it will for me!

I absolutely LOVE Target, but I have to admit, I go to the Dollar store for stuff like paper plates, ziplock bags, straws, etc.

But picture this…

You’re at Target, sipping your grande Starbucks Peppermint White Mocha, picking up cat food, cosmetics, maybe a cute new shirt and what do you see?

Smartly! …Target’s cool new line of lower-priced everyday products like paper bags, paper plates, soaps, household cleaners, toilet paper, etc.

No more dragging the kids to ‘just one more store’, to pick up those everyday items!

This new line of more than 70 items features items priced $.59 to $11.99, but most items are less than $2!

I’m not sure how the Smartly line differs from their Up&Up line, but it’s supposed to offer products that have great value, smart design and (importantly) work good! …so we shall see!

Read about my favorite TARGET HACKS to save even MORE Money!

Target will be rolling out the Smartly items online & in-store on Sunday, October 14th, so I cannot wait to see what all they will be offering!

Do you think this will get you to shop more at Target?  What items do you hope will be available at the lower prices?  Be sure to leave a comment below!

Happy Shopping! 🙂

18×18 Snowflake Pillow $7.49
Money Saving

Can you get paid to workout?

Yes, yes you can!

This post may contain affiliate and/or referral links to products or services, but only things that I truly love, have tried and recommend. See my disclosure policy here.

How I’m only paying just over $1 for my gym membership

So I know what you’re thinking… if you’re really trying to save money why do you need a gym membership? Well, because I live in Florida where it’s hot and muggy for 10 out of 12 months and I don’t want to run in that stuff!

And yes, I could work out at home, but honestly, it’s hard for me to motivate myself on a regular basis.

So when I can get a gym membership for $1 or less, you bet your sweet biceps I’m going to take it!

The secret to saving money on your gym membership?  Health insurance!

My insurance, United Health Care, offers a reimbursement program where they will PAY you $20 per month if you work out 12 times a month. This is a great motivator to continue working out at the gym! And there’s been quite a few times where I have dragged myself to the gym to get that 11th or 12th workout in so I can get that $20. Guilty!

To get the $20, you have to register your gym membership keytag with UHC and be sure you swipe the key tag when you check in at the gym so it can track the number of visits.  Once you workout 12 or more times in one calendar month, UHC will deposit the money into your checking account! Cha-ching!

This particular reimbursement program works with several different gyms. My gym membership is with Planet Fitness and costs about $21 a month for the PF Black Card membership (where you get access to the tanning beds, massage chairs, hydromassage beds, and free fitness training). So with the $20 reimbursement, the gym costs me a little over $1/month!

Now if you get the Classic $10/mo PF gym membership, you’re making money!


Try Amazing Grass PROTEIN Superfood!

OTHER OPTIONS

Aetna offers a similar reimbursement program as United Health Care.  Cigna & Blue Cross offer discounts and Silver Sneakers offers a FREE program to those 65 and up.  Be sure to check out details by clicking on the links below and also check with your insurance provider for details on any of these programs, as they vary by state.

If you’ve found this info helpful, please feel free to like, comment and share this article with family and friends! Thanks!