Shopping – Frugal Novice
Browsing Category

Shopping

Tips For Buying A Used Car

This is a sponsored post partnered with Star Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram of Abilene. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Buying a used vehicle is a great way to get a lot of bang for your buck – you’re more likely to be able to afford vehicles with all the bells and whistles, like navigation systems, heated seats, and built-in entertainment systems. I’ve bought almost all of my vehicles used, and it’s been a great choice. For some people, buying a used vehicle can seem a little daunting, though, so here are some tips for making sure your used vehicle is a smart buy:

Buy a Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your vehicle has been inspected, serviced, and repaired as needed. Because of this, it’s being sold with an extended warranty, and that is really valuable. Buying certified pre-owned lets you know you haven’t bought a lemon. 

Research the vehicle. You can look up the VIN number to see if it’s been in any accidents, or if it’s been damaged by a flood or fire, for example. Small fender benders wouldn’t scare me away, but a major crash in a car’s history could spell trouble. Not only that, some damage to the car could render it undrivable legally, so its best to know before you go.

Look for a car with decent mileage. This doesn’t always mean super-low mileage, because in a used vehicle that can be very hard to find. An average of 12,000 miles per year is considered the norm, so break down the total mileage by the age of the car to figure out if the car has a low or high average. 

Cool Car Features for Families

This is a sponsored post partnered with Reedman Toll Chevrolet. All opinions are honest and are my own.

When you’ve got kids like we do, your priorities in picking a vehicle are a lot different than if you’re buying a car as a childless person. Flashy features don’t matter as much. Instead, it’s all about what makes life with children easier. Here are a few cool car features that every family should look for in their new vehicle:

Entertainment System. This isn’t the simple DVD player setup you might think of. Nowadays, the players can stream shows and music, which broadly expands your options when on the road. You can even add WiFi hot spots to your vehicle so devices can stay connected no matter where you are.

Vacuum Cleaners. What parent wouldn’t like to have a vacuum at the ready? You can easily say goodbye to crumbs and other messes with a feature like this in your vehicle.

Hands-Free Liftgate. How many times have you gone shopping with the kids, only to get out to the car with your hands full? Many vehicles now have a back hatch that can open with just the wave of your foot underneath the back bumper.

Remote Start. This can literally be a “cool” feature in the heat of summer, when you can have the AC running before you and the kids even get in the car. The great thing is this feature that used to be hard to come by is now much more common.

What features would be included in your dream car?

Hyundai Palisade: The Ultimate Family-Friendly Car

This is a sponsored post partnered with Central Avenue Hyundai. All opinions are honest and are my own.

As the mom in a family of five, I’m always on the lookout for family-friendly vehicle options. When you’ve got that many people riding in your car on a daily basis, it’s got to be something that’s roomy and that functions well. I was excited to discover a new option for us to consider – the 2020 Hyundai Palisade. Here’s what makes it a great car for families:

Plenty of seating. The Palisade can be configured with either 7 or 8 seats, perfect for a family and even a few guests along for the ride. If you choose the 7-seat option, there are captain’s chairs in the second row, which makes it easy for kids to get to the back row.

Available 3rd Row Power-Folding Seats. Having plenty of cargo space is an important feature in a family vehicle, because with kids comes stuff. It’s awesome to be able to have seats that fold down with the push of a button – if you’ve got your hands full, it’s incredibly easy to make room for any large items (tuba from band, anyone?).

Available Blind View Monitoring. When you’re driving with kids in the car, it can be nearly impossible to be driving distraction-free. This feature helps you know when cars are coming up in your blind spot, helping prevent you from distractedly changing lanes into a vehicle, and making it even easier to keep your kids safe.

Smart Cruise Control. Like I mentioned above, distracted driving can be a challenge for parents when there are noisy kids in the back. Smart cruise control detects vehicles in the lane ahead of you and automatically slows the vehicle down to maintain a safe distance, preventing you from accidentally rear-ending someone.

With the beauty of the Palisade and the smart and safe features it offers, it’s a perfect family vehicle.

Major Black Friday Deal on Hoover Rogue!

We received a Hoover Rogue to facilitate our review. We were not compensated monetarily for this post. All opinions are honest and are our own.

love to scour the ads before Thanksgiving to see what Black Friday deals will be available each year. Even though we look online ahead of time, my husband and I still always buy the Thanksgiving Day newspaper so we can look through the ads there, too, and plan out what bargains we want to buy.

This year Hoover is offering a $200 DISCOUNT on their smart vacuum, the Hoover Rogue. This great deal is available now through Black Friday at Target, Amazon, Best Buy & Hoover.com (Hoover’s deal will go live Black Friday). As a family of five with three pets (one of whom sheds enough fur to make a new dog each month) we feel like we are constantly needing to vacuum. We’ve loved the idea of a robot vacuum for a long time – and now that we’ve tried the Rogue I can tell you they are totally a lifesaver.

The Rogue’s a little different than some other robot vacuums out there. It travels around the house and memorizes your floor plan, creating a map for itself. We watched on the Hoover iPhone app as it worked (and you’ll notice at the top of the screen shot we named our Rogue Wall-E!) For our first run we just had it do the main living areas and not any of the bedrooms or bathrooms and it was cool watching the app to see as the floor plan developed on screen.

Many other robot vacuums have a bump-and-go technology. This means the unit navigates by changing direction as it bumps into obstacles. With the Hoover Rogue’s Robart™ Memory Navigation Technology it allows it to actually follow a path and get a really comprehensive cleaning done.  And with the app we can watch the progress to see as it cleans each area of our house.

  

The Rogue has a dock and it will take itself back to its home base whenever it needs to charge or is finished vacuuming. We put ours in the living room for now but may move it elsewhere – you could use any location that is out of the way, has access to an outlet, and works well for your day-to-day life.

Another thing I love about the Rogue is the SmartWall™ technology. This means we can go in to the app and block certain areas (maybe we don’t want the master bedroom vacuumed this time, or you don’t want it to go around your dog’s water dish, for instance). And if you use Amazon Alexa or Google Home you can actually give vocal commands!

The Rogue is Wi-Fi connected so you can be out at lunch and start it up via the iPhone app – and as I mentioned above, you can check progress to see when it’s done, meaning you can time your errands to get back to nice clean floors!

And don’t forget – like I mentioned above, the Rogue smart robot vacuum is $499 normally… but is available now through Black Friday at Target, Amazon, Best Buy & Hoover.com (Hoover’s deal will go live Black Friday)!

How to Get a FREE Box of Samples From PINCHme!

I received a PINCHme box to facilitate this review. I was not monetarily compensated for this post, and all opinions are honest and are my own.

love trying new products, and oh my word do I love free samples. So when I got the chance to try out PINCHme I jumped all over it – the best of both worlds!

PINCHme was created to serve as a destination for members to sample products from the worlds leading brands, for free. All they ask is that you tell them what you think.

PinchMe-Box

It’s always fun getting a box in the mail, and I couldn’t wait to see what was included in mine.

Food-Items-PinchMe

There were two food-related samples in mine, and seriously – both were a great fit for our family. The kids were all about trying the Quaker Chewy Bites, and I’m planning to make a peanut butter & chocolate protein shake with the grass fed whey.

Beauty-Items-PinchMe

I also got some shampoo & conditioner, deodorant, personal cleanser, deet-free bug spray & a lint roller. We have a labrador/golden retriever that sheds like crazy so I was especially excited about the lint roller!

Biore-PinchMe

My favorite part of the box was the Bioré products – they were all full-size, which is awesome in itself. But I have loved Bioré products in the past, and trying their new items was right up my alley. I love that these products include more natural ingredients like baking soda and charcoal. They all smell great with a light citrus scent, and they’re a great fit for my oily-to-combination skin. I can’t wait to tell my friends to give this new Bioré line of products a try!

To get your samples, remember to log in at noon on the day the samples are released (which happens to be TODAY, y’all… so get on it!) – click here to go ahead and fill out your profile so you can be ready to snag your samples.

 

We <3 Sam's Club

This is a compensated post. All opinions are honest and are my own.

Our family consists of 5 people; my husband, our 9-year-old son, our 8-year-old son, our 4-year-old daughter, and me. We also have two dogs (one of whom is 85 pounds) and a cat. Our house is full and we run through food and household items so quickly (which I know will only accelerate when we enter the teenage years)!

Sam’s Club is a perfect place to shop for our family – for one thing, we can buy in bulk.

Snacks-Sams

HotTamales-Sams

We also find great deals on books, clothes, and toys.

Books-Sams

Pajamas-Sams

Dresses-Sams

The kids love getting free samples when we go, too!

Samples-Sams

One of my favorite things to get at Sam’s Club is gift cards. They’re always cheaper than the value you receive, and our location even has gift cards for local restaurants.

GiftCards-Sams

Another reason to love Sam’s? You can save all sorts of time with their awesome app by scanning items as you go, letting you check out without even having to stand in line.

SkipTheLine-Sams
Win a $100 Sam's Club Membership!

Right now there’s an awesome giveaway going on. You could win one of TEN free Sam’s Club memberships! Go here to enter for your chance to win… the giveaway ends THIS Friday, June 2nd, so go enter now!

Gift Ideas for Men

You typically only see gift idea posts around the holidays, but I got to thinking that this year I want to really make smart gift choices for the loved ones in my life. This means I want to both spend efficiently and find unique gifts that really fit the recipients.

I thought it would be helpful to share five gift ideas for men – this could come in handy for birthdays, for Valentine’s Day, for Father’s Day, and of course for Christmas, too!

  1. Fishing Gear – I will fully admit that this is not the first gift I would think of, because I really have no experience with fishing. Brian’s stepdad, though, loves to fish, and he can spend hours looking through gear. You can do a really great themed gift with a tackle box, bait, and other must-haves for fishermen. You can find great deals at Cabelas, for instance, at sites like Retale.
  2. Movie Tickets – I’ve thought about buying my husband a pack of gift cards for the movies before. There are plenty of movies that come out that I just have no interest in seeing (I’ll be honest, 90% of those are sci-fi films), and he has no problem going on his own to see them, or meeting up with a friend. You can create a fun basket with tickets/gift cards, candy, and more.
  3. A subscription to a(n) “_______” of the month club – there are a ton of these out there for virtually every interest and hobby you can think of – or even help him be more stylish with some new duds. Did you know that Stitch Fix now has a men’s option? This is a fun idea because then it’s a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year.
  4. A “favorite things” day – Think about what the recipient’s favorite things are. What’s his favorite restaurant? What’s his favorite hobby? Make certificates or an itinerary for the day and do all his favorite things with him. This is a double win because you get quality time together and he gets to do what he loves.
  5. Something from his childhood – this requires a little bit of research, but it can be a really great thing! I knew Brian had really wanted a specific toy from Star Trek when he was a child, so I hunted it down on eBay and surprised him with it for Christmas a couple of years ago. He loved it. And I know first-hand how awesome it is to receive a gift you’ve always wanted, because when we were dating Brian got me an Easy Bake Oven that I’d always wanted. Any gift that you put a lot of thought into will be extra-special.

I hope these ideas help you in your hunt for the perfect gift!

Easy Way to Save Money: Groupon Coupons!

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.

I do a lot of online shopping. With three kids, it’s definitely the most efficient shopping method – but shopping online also expands what’s available to me, since we live in a city with limited options.

Another reason I love shopping online is that it’s so easy to save money. SO easy, y’all. There are tons of coupons available online and I don’t even have to spend the time looking through newspapers and clipping things out.

Groupon Coupons makes it amazingly easy to find coupons for all sorts of products and services, like internet & TV from AT&T. I saw one coupon for 35% off DIRECTV, and another for up to $300 in reward cards. I love coupons like this, because they can add up to major savings.

I love to shop for kids’ clothes online, too, and Groupon Coupons has all sorts of coupons available for some of my favorite kids’ stores:

GrouponCoupons-Stores

Kohl’s, JCPenney, Carter’s, and Hanna Andersson coupons – all just a click away. As you can see above, some of the coupons are available for use in-store, too. You can search for coupons just at stores near you – there are lots of ways to filter the results so you find coupons that are a perfect fit for you.

If you’re online shopping (or in-store shopping!), shop smart with Groupon Coupons and make the most of your money!

Saving Money at CVS is Even Easier with Digital Receipts! #ReceiptYouLater

I’m proud to be working with CVS Pharmacy on the CVS Says Receipt You Later Campaign. All opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers.

love to find bargains. I mean, the name of my blog has “frugal” in it, so it’s probably no surprise that I swoon a little when I find ways to save money.  And right now, while everyone’s budgets are recovering from Christmas, it’s the perfect time to find ways to stretch your dollar.

I’ve loved the CVS ExtraCare program for a long time, because I’ve gotten many great deals with their discounts. It’s better than ever now, because CVS has introduced Digital Receipts. I always have my phone with me, which means I now also always have my CVS coupons with me, right in the CVS Pharmacy app.

cvs-app-homescreen

Here’s the home screen for my app – I can easily view my deals and rewards, and can even store my ExtraCare card on my phone for store employees to scan when I’m shopping.

cvs-extracare-dealsrewards cvs-extracare-sendoffers

CVS’s digital receipts totally simplify my life by going paperless; my wallet isn’t cluttered with long paper receipts, and I know my ExtraCare deals/coupons can be easily accessed (and not lost!). I know I’ll end up saving more money than ever because of this! I love that CVS is so committed to their customers’ needs – they heard loud and clear that we love coupons and special offers, but wanted a paperless option – and they provided it with their digital receipts!

I love how personalized the CVS app is – I’ll receive exclusive benefits, personalized savings offers, quarterly ExtraBucks and more. All of my personal preferences are saved for future transactions via email so everything is tailored for my needs.

If you don’t have access to digital receipts, here’s how to get started:

Just complete a simple, one-time opt-in process in store that includes enrolling in the ExtraCare Rewards program if you’re not already a member. Be sure and provide a valid email address so you can receive your digital receipts. Just ask a store associate! You can also download the free CVS Pharmacy app to make it even easier to manage your coupons and rewards.

Once you’re enrolled as an ExtraCare member, you will have all receipts delivered digitally via email. You will continue to receive exclusive benefits, personalized savings offers, available ExtraBucks Rewards and more, which can be redeemed in store by using a smartphone, tablet or computer, and then simply selecting the “send to card” button found next to each offer. Additionally, all personal preferences are saved for future transactions. You will always be able to specifically request a paper copy of your receipt at the time of the transaction if you’d like one!

Get 2017 off to a great, budget-friendly, organized start and sign up for CVS Digital Receipts today. Your wallet will thank you. #ReceiptYouLater #CVS

Get 30% Off at Walgreens Photo With Little Remedies Purchase!

This is a partnered post with Little Remedies. All opinions are honest and are my own.

With three kids, we’ve relied on Little Remedies products several times to help them through colds. We love their products – they’re natural and effective. And now there’s another reason to love them – they’ve partnered with Walgreens Photo Center for a special deal that will help you keep the kids healthy while also saving on photo printouts for the whole family.

With the purchase of $15+ of Little Remedies products, you can receive 30% off at your local Walgreens Photo Center (through November 5). With cold and flu season coming up, it’s a great time to stock up on Little Remedies products, and then I can use my 30% savings at the photo center to start printing some Christmas gifts (it’s never too early to start getting ready for Christmas!).

Continue Reading…

Be Smart: How to Buy a Used Car (& do it Well)

Buying a used vehicle is a great way to get a lot of bang for your buck – you’re more likely to be able to afford vehicles with those extras you crave, like navigation systems, heated seats, or built-in DVD players. Brian and I have bought all but one of our cars used, and most if not all of our future cars will probably be used vehicles, too. For some people, buying a used vehicle can seem a little daunting – so I’ve shared a few tips for making sure your used vehicle is a smart buy. Here’s one:

  • Buy a Certified Pre-Owned. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your vehicle has been inspected, serviced, and repaired as needed. Because of this, it’s being sold with an extended warranty that is really valuable. Buying certified pre-owned lets you know you haven’t bought a lemon. There’s an old saying that says “If you buy an ‘as is’ vehicle, you drive off the lot, and it breaks into two pieces… you own both pieces.” Go Certified Pre-Owned with your purchase. You’ll be glad you did.

For more tips on making a smart used car purchase, check out my guest post on the Ken Garff West Valley used vehicle dealership blog.

Full Home, Happy Home with Sam’s Club {Giveaway!}

Acorn Disclosure

We’re pretty excited that Christmas is right around the corner. Well, I’m pretty excited. My kids are absolutely thrilled and are convinced time isn’t moving quickly enough to propel us to December 24.

As a parent, though, I’m thinking about all that needs to be done between now and then. I’m not nearly far enough along with gift shopping, I have cleaning I should really get done for company that’s coming, and of course I need to stay on top of all the essentials we need around the house.

Sam’s Club is a really great solution for us in this most busy time of year; I can get both what we need and what our friends and family want for Christmas.

SamsClub-Front

Continue Reading…