D&D Gifts

For the cleric or bard in your life

My teen is all into the world of Dungeons & Dragons and other RPG (role-playing games), so you can bet that I'm always on the lookout for great gift ideas for my self-proclaimed geek and her friends. When I ran across this list of great gift ideas for D&D fans, I knew I had to bookmark it for Valentine's Day and Easter this year! Her BFF also has a birthday this month, and he's just as into the games as she is, so this list couldn't have been published at a better time.

The tube of minis is high on my list; 100 figures for only $20 would be a fantastic gift for her and her friends, or a favor for one of our many events. The themed items are also fun, and they can also always use new dice and dice bags. She's already mended two busted bags over the past year.

Do you have a D&D lover in your life? What would you get them?

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Rescue Box On Sale For A Dollar

The service provides food and vaccines for shelter animals

Subscription boxes are so popular because they bring you a curated box of surprise goodies each month based on a theme that you like. Many of these services even give back when you use them, sending some of your payment to help people or animals in need. I just learned about a new box that has a great trial offer from Greater Good, a company I like to buy gifts at since each purchase helps fund cancer, child literacy, veteran, pet, rainforest, hunger and other projects. 

Rescue Box is like other pet subscription boxes: it allows you to customize your box for your cat or dog and you get goodies for them each month in your subscription. The money you spend on the box, however, also goes to feeding and vaccinting animals, which is a great deal. An even better deal is their trial offer, which is $1 for a trial box with the code TRIALOFFER. The offer is for new subscribers only. Regular boxes start at $23.45 per month and continue to fund pet food and vaccinations while simultaneously bringing your pet treats, toys and other goodies each month.

Have you tried Rescue Box? What did you think? Share any other great pet finds you have in the chat below.

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Young Explorers Sale

Where do you get award-winning toys?

Normally I don't get excited for sales unless they're at least 30% off or a BOGO offer, but when it comes to really quality items, I will totally take 15% off. That's the sale that Young Explorers is offering right now and I'm tempted to stock up on items for my toddler niece! My teen is too old for many of the items for sale, but my niece would love the Electronic Dance Playmat, Giant Interactive Piano Mat (Big, anyone?) and the cute tents available.

When my daughter was young, good, quality toys that won awards, fostered imagination rather than electronic play and assisted with fine and gross motor skills were very important to me. Many items in this sale, like the Secret Formula Lab and Dino Dress-Up capes, fit the bill.

Where do you like to get your toys? Will you be purchasing any from the Young Explorers sale? Tell us about it in the chat.

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Star Wars Light Cover

And other great Star Wars deals

Between May the Fourth, announcements about new Star Wars movies and the third installment of Rey's saga coming to theaters this year (in which John Boyega just teased us about filming his most shocking scene!), Star Wars is on everyone's brain, so it's no wonder that the Star Wars merch is everywhere. There are new goodies featuring Darth Vader, General Leia and everyone we know and love being made every day and it's an exciting time to be alive.

If you need  gift for your Star Wars fan or yourself, look no further than this awesome Darth Vader light cover. Your front porch needs this Sith lord guard for safety and for pizzazz. Not your thing? How about this Chewie seatbelt cover, or these General Leia earrings? Many of these deals are so affordable, why not bling your house, car and self out in Star Wars gear? 

Have you found any great Star Wars deals lately? Share them in the chat!

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Grocery Getter Deals

Share your top bargains

When it comes to ordering your groceries for delivery or pick-up online, there are definitely a wide variety of benefits--as well as drawbacks. While you get to shop in your underwear, avoid using gas and the crowds and have things delivered to the comfort of your home (or to your door), you also have to pay for the service, which isn't always cheap. You also risk the chance of the store being out of an item you wanted and subbing in something you don't want, or getting the wrong variety of an item you ordered.

Wal-Mart will give you a $10 discount off your first online order when you submit it to the company. Many other local grocery sellers will also give you a good discount for your first sale, or with coupon codes. If you can't find them, be sure to email the store via its contact form to find out how to land these bargains.

What do you think of ordering groceries online or having them delivered to your door? Share your experiences and tips in the chat.

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Shopping To Reduce Inequality

How mindful of a shopper are you?

I'm as guilty as not shopping with my conscience lately as anyone. As someone who used to deeply research every purchase, I'm now a tired mom who can't stay up as late as she used to, which is no excuse but provides a bit of background. I used to check not only the source of materials but where the company's political donations even went. It turns out that it does't have to be THAT difficult to shop with your conscience.

Sure, it would be great if you could research every purchase you make, but did you know that if everyone just switched about 5% of their purchases to businesses in poor communities, we could reduce income inequality by 80%? That's amazing! And really, how much is 5% of what we buy? It seems like a doable resolution for anyone, especially if you're hoping to stop spending so much at Target (oh, Target, how we all love and hate you at the same time). 

How do you monitor your spending? Do you try to "vote with your dollars" when you shop and if so, what do you use for your research? Share your buying-with-a-conscience tips for a New Year here!

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Sparkle Presents

Perfect tokens for new year celebrations

Christmas may be over, but New Year's is just days away. It's the perfect time for bubbly champagne, celebrating brand new opportunities to come and all things glittery and sparkly. Maybe you want to get something glamorous for your host or hostess, or something to create sparkle in your own space. 

Gold flake lollipops for your hostess? How about gold temporary tattoos or golden constellation mugs? You can see a list of all that glitters here and pick some gorgeous items for your New Year's celebration. Yes, edible gold is safe to eat, and you can even get silver sprinkles for your goodies, too!

Are you getting anything glitzy or gold for New Year's celebrations? If so, share your goodies here!

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Amazon Subscription Boxes at 50% Off

Offer applies to first month boxes on new subscriptions

Subscription boxes are all the rage these days and you can subscribe to everything from book boxes to cat treats, makeup boxes to fishing lure sets. Subscription boxes allow you to pay for and receive new goodies based on a theme every month, and while you usually get a curated surprise with a value that's equal to or exceeding that of the price of the box, sometimes it can be a dud. It's a risk you take, but those who subscribe usually do it for the fun of the surprise. 

Amazon has a bunch of subscription boxes, with great reviews on STEM boxes and other themes. This week they are offering up to 50% off select subscription boxes (for the first month only) to help you find a great gift for someone you really care about. There's the Field to Cup tea subscription box at 50% off this week, as well as BBQ, gaming and health boxes all priced at 30% off regular price. There are many discount boxes to choose from so visit and browse to see if there's a good one for your loved one--or yourself!

Do you subscribe to any subscription boxes? If so, which ones? Share your links in the chat.

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Oddity Mall

Find all the weird gifts you need

Do you know someone who might like a shirt with an enormous pocket on the outside, a baseball cap that doubles as a phone charger or a tiny lazy Susan for the pantry or fridge? Maybe he or she would LOVE this Chewbacca Bandolier seatbelt cover (I know I would!). You can find all of these things and more at the Oddity Mall, a curation company that scours the web for the strangest finds and where to buy them. You can even sign up for the weekly newsletter to receive new gift ideas regularly.

Many of the items found at Oddity Mall are also sold at Shutup and Take My Money, where you can find everything from wine stockings to plush blobfish and a Q-tip shooting bow. These are perfect gifts for those hard-to-buy people who wouldn't mind a bit of whimsy in their lives. Who couldn't use a Dad Bag Belly Pack (shaped like a belly) or a Game of Thrones flask? 

Where do you find weird gifts for the people on your list? Share your links in the chat!

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Beauty Finds For Under $10

Which is your favorite?

Beauty Boxes are subscriptions to companies with monthly beauty products they offer at a reduced cost. Each collection is often curated with a theme and passed on with a savings due to its smaller or trial size, mass production and co-op like buy-in. Companies like Ipsy and Birchbox sell these boxes for just $10 per month, including shipping, and often include high end products. Ipsy even throws in a makeup bag. 

Target just released its winter beauty boxes, which also have themes as well as both boxes for men and women. Some boxes are aligned more with skin care while others are more "glam" oriented with more makeup products. Target's boxes are a little cheaper, running between $7 and $10, but they also contain more store brands and less high-end items.

Do you subscribe to any beauty boxes? If not, what kinds of bargains do you use to get cheaper beauty products?

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Ugly Sweater Deals

Darth Vader, unicorns and more

If you're like me, you're really tired of deals being thrown at you from every angle. My inbox has been nothing but sales pitches all week! While the deals are great, it's just too much, and I just deleted most of it. That said, I've always wanted an ugly sweater for all of the ugly sweater events we've been invited to over the years, so I thought I'd pass this geeky deal along. There's a deadpool sweater, as well as a Darth Vader one, and some geeky animal sweaters, too. The prices aren't bad and if you need an ugly holiday sweater, they look like decent options for me!

Whatever you do, don't buy Duncan Hines cake mix this week; there's another food recall. It feels like there's a recall every day lately. The lack of romaine lettuce seems to have made everyone lost their minds. Apparently none of these people have heard of different types of lettuce? 

What great deals did you land this week? Share them in the chat.

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Black Friday Bargains

What's on your list?

As someone who doesn't frequently shop on Black Friday, I don't have any big plans this year, but I know my husband's scouring the market for two things: cheap TVs and phones. We have a pretty old borrowed TV since our old one blew up (it caught fire!) and he'd like a more modern one, and my phone is ancient but I refuse to buy a new one because 1. I don't like buying new things if my old ones are still workable and 2. it has a sentimental rock stuck in it from one of its many drops. Sure, I have to reset it to factory settings every few months because it's so outdated but it still works, and it was $45 so if he can't top that, I am not interested! Ha!

Lots of people work hard at getting a good deal on Black Friday, and if you save your family money on things you need, more power to you. I see that Target has an instant pot for under $70, for example, which could be great if you need one. Ours was given to us free from a friend so I'm not sure what I'd be willing to pay for one, but I also know that some people use them daily. Wal-Mart has a PS4 bundle for under $200, so if you're searching for a deal there it's probably a decent one.

What Black Friday deals are you hoping to score, or do you skip the shopping all together? How about Cyber Monday? 

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Where to Eat for Thanksgiving

If you don't have a place to go, check out these places

Whether you're working and need a quick bite, your family or friends are working or traveling and you can't meet up or you otherwise just need a place to go this Thanksgiving, there are several restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day that you can visit for a hot meal. Many other restaurants also help feed meals to those in need (I know KFC used to do this where we live) so you might want to check locally if you want to volunteer on Thanksgiving instead. 

If you're looking for a meal, restaurants like Bob Evans, Waffle House, Cracker Barrel, Tucano's Brazilian Grill and many others are open. They may vary by location so be sure to check locally to make sure that your nearest locations are open. Many fast food locations are also open on Thanksgiving if it's just another day for you and you're not interested in a sit-down meal, but some of these places are also great to either take friends for a no-cook dinner or to pick up take-out and cook it at home.

What are your Thanksgiving plans? 

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Coding Games for Kids

Great gifts for almost any young person

Coding is all the rage right now, and for good reason. Many jobs call for coding skills and it makes sense to teach kids and teens how to do it. There are dozens of coding games available to help teach kids these skills and you can order most of them online. There are even games for the youngest children.

Small kids might like playing Robot Turtles, for example. You use cards instead of an actual computer or any electronics, making it perfect for small hands without much dexterity. For older kids who like Minecrft, Clue Master is a good choice. It features very similar graphics.

Want to set up a free way to teach the kids some coding in person? Schedule a Minecraft or Apple class for the kids at no cost. Invite friends and you can even have a coding party!

What coding game finds have you seen online? Share them in the chat.

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Makeup Deals and Subscription Services

Which do you like best?

For the past few years, I've purchased an Ipsy subscription for my mother every Mother's Day and it's her favorite way to try new makeup. At only $10 per month (or less if you buy the whole year at once), you get a makeup bag and five "deluxe" samples, some of which are oftenn full-size products. I received it myself one year and found it to be a lot of fun, but I just didn't need that much makeup sent to my house each month. They also have great deals, like full-size roll-on perfumes for $8, for subscribers.

My sister swears by Birchbox, which is also $10 per month with five products to sample. It comes in a box and includes more skin care items than Ipsy but also features makeup. I think both subscriptions are great for people who want to try high-end products (and sometimes not as high-end) without spending money for the full price. It's also fun for people who like to try out new colors, but if you are pretty particular about what you like (ahem, like me) it might not benefit you as much.

Which makeup subscriptions or deals do you use? Which saves you the most money?

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