Thursday, November 13, 2014

Random Anti-Clutter Stocking Stuffers List! Part I

A lot of my favorite bloggers are posting stocking stuffer lists and I think that's awesome!

I love stocking stuffers and struggle with the fact that I tend to enjoy giving (and getting) one hundred little presents instead of one big present. This leads to random junk, impulse buys and clutter! Seriously, set me loose in the Target Dollar Spot and it's on!

However, when Sunday rolls around and it's time to throw out or donate 7 things (post coming soon on that), that dollar junk is usually the first to go. So how can I satisfy my need for QUANTITY without buying junk and adding to the clutter?

Here are my ideas for fun, random, useful gifts, without feeling like it's just more stuff! Remember though that I'm weird. Your giftee might look at you oddly if you give them crockpot liners.

Of course, I'm using Amazon Affiliate links, but you can find most of this stuff anywhere!

Gummy Vitamins - Every adult wants them, but most won't buy them for themselves. These are the ones I like.

Dish Towels- these are beyond adorable! Nobody realizes how ratty theirs are until they get new ones. The trick here is to THROW OUT the old ones.

Storage containers- Maybe it's just me, but I would love a huge box filled with 99¢ white plastic shoeboxes you can get at Wal-Mart or Dollar Tree

Scentsy laundry smell good things- If you have never tried these, you are missing out.

Scentsy Car smell good things- These are fun, and disposable!

White Strips - Be careful here. I would LOVE to get these because they are kind of frivolous and I love frivolous gifts. However, your giftee might think you are insinuating they have gross teeth.
Proceed with caution.

CrockPot Liners - I LOVE these things, but never buy them because it seems silly to spend money on them when I can just, gasp, wash the crockpot. But, if these showed up in my stocking? Ridiculously happy!

iTunes gift cards - Obvisously, make sure the recipient has an iProduct of some sort, but having a little iTunes gift card makes you feel less guilty over buying really stupid $1.99 apps.

Ponytail holders- You can never have enough QUALITY ponytail holders. Ever. They get lost and self-declutter.

 There you go, Part I of Doodleturtle's Random Anti-Clutter Stocking Stuffers List!

**Some of the above links are Amazon affiliate links. If you choose to shop through that link, you get the exact same wonderful prices as you would if you went to Amazon yourself, I  just get a little thank you bonus from Amazon for directing you there. Some links are to my Mama's Scentsy page. She gives my free Scentsy because she's awesome, I'm just trying to return the love.

Complaining (nicely) is effective!

Last week I was happy to find coupons in my mailbox for $10 off any $20 purchase and $10 off any $50  purchase at GNC. We were running low on a few things so the timing of this was perfect.

I read the fine print carefully and it didn't say anything about not being valid with any other coupons and, in fact, said something about applying other coupons if applicable. At the store we loaded up about $75 worth of product and headed to the register, expecting to get $20 total off our purchase.

At the register, the salesclerk said she didn't think she could do both coupons on the same transaction and we said that was fine, we would break it up into two transactions. We even grabbed a little something extra to make sure that one sale was $25 and the other was $53. The sales clerk was struggling a bit so she called her manager over. He proceeds to tell us, nicely, that GNC has a new policy that allows only 1 coupon per customer. And that if he wasn't there tomorrow, we could use the other one tomorrow so I'm not sure what to make of that one?? Apparently it's one coupon per person ever?

I told them that was fine, just sell us the $25 box of Quest bars and use the $10 coupon. We paid and left and I was flabbergasted that GNC thought this was a good policy.

If they had let us use both coupons, we would have had two transactions of 4 items. One for $15 and one for about $43. A total of almost $60 in sales.

Instead, we bought one thing for $15. Scratching my head. As a former retail employee and as a current business owner, that made no sense so when I got home, I emailed GNC.

I nicely explained how their new policy had affected their sales today and how I thought they should know it seemed silly.

Less than 24 hours later I received an apology and I'm getting a $15 off anything coupon in the mail.

The key here is to be NICE at all times. The employees at the store may not understand the policy or they may be enforcing it wrong, but making them mad won't help your case. Just go along and do the best you can and then email headquarters. The holiday shopping insanity is coming upon us and the person behind that cash register is just as aggravated at the holiday shopping ridiculousness as you are. Most of them aren't trying to be jerks. They are trying to do their job the best they can. If they are being a jerk, it may be because you are being a jerk. Maybe.

PS If you don't have a GNC nearby, you can purchase Quest bars online at Amazon. The Cookie's and Creme are amazing!

**The above is an affiliate link. If you choose to shop through that link, you get the exact same wonderful prices as you would if you went to amazon yourself, I just get a little thank you bonus from Amazon for directing you there.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Wal-Mart Savings Catcher

Part of my goal with this blog is to just put my random thoughts out into the world. The other part is to share ideas and motivation with others like myself. Moms and wives trying to manage their lives and be bad-asses at the same time. Today I'm taking a look at how the Wal-Mart Savings Catcher can help us be more efficient and save cash!

Full disclosure: I have a love/hate relationship with Wal-Mart (Boo and I call it hell-mart).

 I hate every stinking minute I'm in there. Too many people, too much stuff, the annoying screens that blare commercials while you shop. The holiday aisles that appear 7 months before the holiday. Blech.

However, I love that you can get most everything there. I love the cool knick knack piddly stuff that you didn't know you needed that is so cheap you cannot leave without it. In fact, J and I had Friday night date nights when we were first married where we just wondered around HM.

All that said though, I try to avoid the place. Last weekend though we needed dog food and that is when we have to go to HM. We also needed groceries and I had heard about the new Savings Catcher that HM offered so we decided to put it to the test.

We purchased about $150 dollars worth of stuff and I figured the Savings Catcher wouldn't find anything because we bought some random, obscure stuff. The Savings Catcher only works if the item is exactly the same as an item advertised at a local store. Since our town is quite small and has few stores, I was expecting zero savings.

As soon as we got in the car, I downloaded the HM app and created an account. Then I selected "scan receipt" and was done. This took me 5 minutes, tops. The app told me I would get an email in three days telling me if any savings were found.

Well, guess what? Apparently Rite Aid had my biscotti on sale and I was getting $0.58 back! Woo!

The way I figure it, if it took me five minutes to enter the receipt and get $0.58 back. That's $6.96 per hour and while that's not much, it's worth my time. And, from here on out it will be significantly faster because I've already downloaded the app and made my account.

My vote, this a great option to squeak out some savings! Have you tried it? What were your results?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

So much exciting stuff

I haven't written in a while. Not because nothing has happened, but because so much has happened! The big CrossFit competition I've been training for happened last weekend and it was awesome! The picture above is of me helping my team on our best finishing event of the weekend with a few bar muscle ups. (Photo credits to MetCon Photos, LLC) The event was three days long and 6 hours from home. When we got home last Sunday I was done, physically and mentally.

Then yesterday we had another competition, albeit more local and less intense, but a competition nonetheless. J and I partnered up and finished second! All of this has left me with a case of the fatigues. Two weekends of anxiety and adrenaline constantly pumping and dumping has about wiped me out!

All that said though, I feel pretty good tonight. I treated myself yesterday and had pizza and ice cream, but today I'm back on the (correct) macros. I track every day, no matter what, but on days like yesterday MyFitnessPal likes to tell me that if "every day was like today, you would weigh 167 pounds in five weeks". Haha, I'd be a beastly 167 though!

I think that is where people mess up when they are tracking macros and doing the whole flexible dieting thing. On days they "cheat" they do not track, therefore they do not really see the damage they did. Don't get me wrong, I tore that pizza up and did not care one iota about the fat and carbs. I felt absolutely zero guilt. But when I put the numbers in, I saw that it would take about a week of 100% on point eating to offset the binge. I'm okay with that.

But if I hadn't entered those numbers, would my brain have really registered the extremity of eating 2/3 of a large Domino's pizza? And 4 scoops of Moose Tracks Ice Cream? Nope.

The morale to this story. Eat what you want to. Track the numbers. No guilt. Accept the consequences. Stay the course.

PS you cannot track your diet without a food scale. This is pretty similar to mine.

^^Affiliate link^^