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

Smell Good Savings and Five Freebies

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.

You know that I’m all about saving money, so I have to share this great deal with you!!!

First of all, I have to say I love Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products! My favorites are the Basil and Radish countertop cleaning sprays. They make my kitchen smell so good – – and Lord knows it needs it!

Plus I love the fact that their cleaning products are plant-derived with natural essential oils. Win-win! And you know what else? They are just so pretty — love the packaging!

Anyway, Grove Collaborative has a fantastic deal on their fall seasonal kit, so I decided to try the apple cider one!

Now, as much as I would like to keep everything for myself, some of these are going to be Christmas gifts! So shhh…


What I BOUGHT – totaling $21.98 :

Seventh Generation Multi-Purpose Wipes in Garden Mint – these smell AMAZING!!! $2.99 (will definitely be ordering more of these!)

Mrs. Meyer’s – Fall Seasonal Kit in Apple Cider – $18.99 which includes:

  • 1 x Seasonal Hand Soap
  • 1 x Seasonal Dish Soap
  • 1 x Seasonal Multi-Surface Cleaner
  • 1 x Seasonal 4.9 oz Soy Candle
  • NOTE: I love the Apple Cider multi-surface cleaner so much that I had to buy more to give as Christmas gifts! LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

  • What I got FREE:

    • Mrs. Meyer’s – Hand Soap (Lavender)
    • Mrs. Meyer’s – Dish Soap (Basil)
    • Mrs. Meyer’s – Multi-Surface Cleaner (Rosemary) – love this scent too!
    • Grove Collaborative – Cleaning Caddy (look how cute it is!)
    • Grove Collaborative – Walnut Scrubber Sponge, Set of 2

    That’s right – – I got everything pictured below for just $21.98 with free shipping!

    Want some FREEBIES too? Get five free products on me when you make a $20 purchase! PLUS you get a free 60-day VIP trial and FREE shipping!

    How it Works

    Once you sign up, your order is set to repeat the following month.  But you don’t have to re-order everything from your current order…Nor do you have to order monthly!  Just go in and remove the items you don’t want and/or add any items you’d like to try.  And if you don’t need anything right away, then adjust it to ship the following month.

    There are order minimums though:

    • $10 minimum order for monthly recurring shipments (with $2.99 flat rate shipping)
    • $15 minimum order for “Ship Now” plans (which just means you gotta have it now!) for VIP members (FREE Shipping for VIP members)
    • $30 minimum order for “Ship Now” plans for non-VIP members

    Non-VIPs pay a flat rate of $2.99 shipping. VIP members always get shipping FREE.

    What’s a VIP member?

    • FREE Shipping! You pay an annual fee of $19.99 – it’s sort of like Amazon where you pay a yearly fee and get free shipping on any purchases.
    • FREE Full-size gifts
    • Early Access – get exclusive access to new and seasonal products at the best prices

    Join Today and

    get a FREE Mrs. Meyer’s 5-piece set on me, with your first $20 purchase!

    Money Saving, Money Saving Apps

    Saving for Black Friday is easy with Digit!

    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.

    UPDATE: Ok, this app really works! I’ve saved over $175 in 8 weeks and didn’t even know it! Cha-ching! Ready to give Digit a try?

    Saved $75 in just 3 weeks!

    Anyone else out there want to have a debt-free Christmas, but only start to remember to save in September? That is me this year!So when I came across this app I had to try it out! And you know what? It really works!

    I recently came across an app called Digit that looks at your bank account and runs it’s algorithms and seeks out how much it can safely squirrel away into a savings account. I like to consider it the Sherlock Holmes of savings. So far I have saved over $175 in 8 weeks… And I don’t even miss it!

    My favorite part about Digit?

    It is super easy to set up! No emails or passwords to remember. You set everything up via text on your cell!

    Plus they offer low balance protection and will let you set a threshold where you can automatically have Digit transfer the money back to your checking account. Or you can set a checking account minimum and when your checking account hits that amount, Digit will stop saving money.

    You can create any kind of savings goal you want – – an emergency fund, Christmas savings, student loan debt… (or if you’re like me, even a Starbucks fund!)

    What I also love about Digit is they communicate with you and let you know how much they’re going to take out. They also let you know how much is currently in your checking account.

    Digit has shown me that on average I can save about $25 per week… my budget allows it!

    Automatically saved over $175 in just over 2 months!

    Is Digit safe?

    Personally, I was a little wary about giving them access to my checking account, but they use 256-bit encryption to protect the transmission of your data to their site, so they are secure. AND your funds are held in FDIC insured banks up to a balance of $250,000.

    How much does Digit cost?

    You can try out Digit FREE for 30 days. After that, it costs $2.99 per month, which is automatically withdrawn from your checking account.

    So give Digit a try and see how much you can save in 30 days!


    Click here for more money saving ideas!

    Use Digit to pay off credit card debt with Digit Pay!

    This is a great way if you’re not so self-disciplined to pay off credit card debt. Basically, all you do is create a “pay off credit card debt” goal and then Digit Pay squirrels away money and once a month pays that extra money toward your credit card debt. How cool is that?! Click here for details!

    I haven’t tried Digit Pay yet, but if you decide to try it please let me know what you think!

    Money Making Apps

    I’m an Agent…

    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.

    So, when I was out of a job for several months I decided to become an agent… a Field Agent.

    It’s a nifty little app I stumbled upon that sends you out on missions to capture information at stores like price and quantity of items, taking pictures of displays, etc and you have to answer various questions about the items.

    Some jobs are quick and easy.  Some jobs require a lot of picture taking and searching a store.

    It’s a great way to make some extra money to pay off debt, pay for your Starbucks addiction or build your Christmas budget!  (only 2 months away people!)

    fieldagent2

    Here are some sample jobs:

    • take photos of rental properties and answer questions
    • Mystery Shop
    • Walmart grocery pickup survey – they seem to have these jobs all.the.time!
    • Audit products/displays
    • Scavenger Hunt
    • …and my favorite…at home surveys.  Once I got paid $1 to sit in my pj’s and give my thoughts on bed linens. lol!

    Sometimes there are jobs where you go and buy a product and Field Agent reimburses you in addition to paying you for the job!  Cha-ching!

    For example, a few weeks ago I went to Walmart and purchased some Happy Egg Co eggs, took them home and tried them, then reported my feedback on how the eggs tasted, etc and they paid me $3 for the job and $4 and change for the eggs. They even posted my egg review on aisle9.com!! Suhweet!

    Field Agent has jobs all over the country, so even when you are traveling you can do it!

    The jobs typically pay between $1-$10 each and they pay you via direct deposit into your checking account.  I have earned $409.30 – so this is REAL money that adds up!  (FYI:  You are 1099’d, so if you make over the $600 threshold in a year, you’ll get a 1099-MISC showing your earnings).

    Now, before you send your anxious little fingers tapping toward the app store to get this, let me give you a heads up…

    • If you cannot follow directions precisely, this app is not for you
    • If you cannot pay attention to detail, this app is not for you
    • If you are afraid of people or of what people think of you, this app may not be for you
    • If you do not have a smartphone, this app is definitely not for you 🙂

    In order to get paid, you must follow the directions of the job to the letter and pay attention to details.  Companies are paying Field Agent for correct information about their products and you may not get paid if you don’t provide the info they ask for.

    Also, some jobs are mystery shops and you have to interact with employees.  And some Field Agent jobs require you to take pictures of displays, signage, etc.  I remember one time being in a store and having to take several pics of displays and feeling very self-conscious and uncomfortable!  (but I soon got over that!)

    Don’t worry, though, you can pick the jobs you want to do, so you don’t have to interact with people or take pics if you don’t want to!

    Anyway, check it out! Click here to watch a video about Field Agent

    Below are some screenshots of jobs and earnings.

    img_4587img_4586img_4588img_4585