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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Spooky Good Halloween Deals

All available October 31

I snicker every time someone asks me, "What day is Halloween again?" The same day it was last year! It's a fair question if you're wondering what day of the week it falls on or if your town is honoring it a different day, of course. All of these deals are good for the day of Halloween only so be sure to grab them while they're here!

Applebee's has $1 Zombie cocktails on Halloween, all day (this may vary depending on your local liquor laws)! It's even garnished with a zombie brain gummy and it looks adorable. 

Per their usual tradition, Krispy Kreme has a free donut per trick-or-treater dressed in costume.

Chili's has one of their famous 'Ritas on sale for the holiday, but it's not as cheap as Applebee's. The Pumpkin 'Rita has pumpkin spice syrup and unlike other deals here, it's at Chili's every day this month.

As always, Baskin Robbins has scoops for $1.50 on the 31st day of the month, so get Trick Oreo Treat and other seasonal favorites for cheap! 

What are your favorite Halloween bargains?

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Best Book Deals

Where do you get yours?

As a homeschooling parent, I try to get the best book deals I possibly can. There are a lot of ways to do this! Here are just a few.

My first way to get a book is ALWAYS through the library. Unless it's one I want to buy (and bibliophile that I am, these days I'd rather just read and return), I will check it out if I can first. My husband sometimes gets me a city library account for Mother's Day, which is $50 a year but has access to more materials than our county branches as well as a HUGE maximum. We can have 30 out at a time through the county but the city allows 100! That's a steal if you're checking out 60 at a time to read through several pages on alternating days for different subjects and/or different kids. Don't forget to check the ebooks if your library has those!

Next, I check to see if a friend has it and we can borrow. Many of us cover similar topics and often trade books, documentaries, etc. I even made a Lending Library group on Facebook so we can swap them. We even trade board games sometimes!

If you absolutely can't find it and you don't have the cash, try Youtube. This is great if you need to read a classic audiobook, like The Wizard of Oz or Mary Poppins. These are also often free on Amazon.com if you are okay with Kindle books. Speaking of which, I hope you know that if you have a Prime account you also have access to a pretty decent prime books lending library! We've read many books this way, still for free. You can also subscribe to various blogs, like this one, that will tell you about different eBook deals each day.

I must admit that I often use Amazon if I'm going to buckle down and buy the book, but Thrift Books is another favorite resource. I've also found lots of great deals at various thrift stores over the years but not when it comes to specific titles I'm looking for.

How do you save on books? 

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Layaway Season Has Begun

And it's everywhere...

Do you take advantage of layaway offers in order to nab goodies for the holidays while they are on sale? While I've personally never used layaway, I know many people who have and I find it so interesting. I can see the convenience of this option, especially when you have a large family to shop for or you need to make a new purchase when your old TV bites the dust, but I never realized that it was such a heavy phenomenon.

I knew that Wal-Mart offered layaway, for example, but I found out that many private businesses and small shops even offer the service. At our local Renaissance Fair a few weeks ago I saw that one of the garment sellers offered layaway! This is probably a good option for many people considering that handmade garb costs in the hundreds of dollars sometimes. 

Kmart, Sears, Big Lots and other stores offer layaway options. Are they worth it? What are their rates like and do you know of any other off-the-path shops who accept this option?

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Artsnack Subscription Service

Do you get an art subscription box?

My daughter is turning 13 in a few weeks and I've been scouring the web for a truly special gift. She's an artist so I was thinking about getting a fun art subscription box for her. The reviews for ArtSnacks look pretty promising. The box comes with 4-5 full-sized products (usually paint brushes, paints, ink pens and pencils) as well as some advice about how to use them. There's also a little piece of candy included, which would just go wasted since I don't eat sugar and my picky kid only likes chocolate!

It looks like a fun box, but I'm not sure if the price is right for us. I'm looking for something slightly cheaper, but if the supplies are really good it might still be worth it. There are lots of other art subscription boxes, as well as a few "geeky" boxes I'm considering for her as well.

Do you get any subscription boxes for a teen? If so which do you suggest?

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