Free App Helps You Save Money & Helps Feed The Hungry!

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The holiday season is in full swing. The beautiful chaos of traditions, shopping, family gatherings and spreading joy can be seen all around. For many, this is a time of unbridled excitement, anticipation, and warmth, but for some, this season is a very unpleasant reminder that money is tight, the air is cold, and there may not be enough food to eat.

Although there are plenty of national organizations that organize angel tree giving and free community meals, not everyone has the financial and scheduling flexibility to donate or volunteer to help those in need.

If you’re anything like me, it’s all you can do to manage the company’s secret Santa gift exchange, remember the third-grade Christmas party, bake cookies for the mom’s group Christmas party, and still manage to buy and wrap gifts under the tree for your own family members. Don’t forget Elf on the Shelf-ing, the neighborhood cookie swap, and all the yearly events in between.

Despite this festive pandemonium, there is a remarkable free app available that not only streamlines and simplifies your opportunities to save tons of money on groceries and household necessities, but also for a limited time this app is making donations to WhyHunger.org, a remarkable organization that is dedicated to eradicating hunger. Did I mention that this app is completely free? Did I also mention that it just takes a single tap on this app’s banner for them to donate $1 to this phenomenal institution? I know what you’re thinking…tell me more.

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Favado is a revolutionary app that can be downloaded onto any smart phone or mobile tablet device, and best of all, it’s completely free! With this exclusive program you can tap into savings from more than 65,000 grocery and retail stores from around the country. With a team of budget-conscious experts, they are able to consolidate the best deals and coupons in your area into one, convenient place. Download Favado onto your smart phone or mobile device today and not only will you start saving time on locating the best deals, but you will also save more money!

How exactly does Favado work? It’s really simple, actually. Not only does Favado combine a convenient list of all items that are on sale in your local area, but they also indicate if those items are eligible for additional savings through a printed coupon. Users have the option of ‘flagging’ their favorite items or discounts.

Shoppers have the opportunity to save up to 70 percent on their grocery bill by utilizing Favado’s exclusive and comprehensive list of the best deals around. Even amateur bargain hunters can decrease their spending by at least 25% just by browsing through the sale prices alone. But wait, there’s more.

December 8th marks the kickoff of an extraordinary campaign, #FavaDONATION, to raise funds for WhyHunger.org, a notable organization that was founded in 1975 to combat our country’s unfortunate struggle with hunger. When Favado app holders click on the #FavaDONATION banner, Favado will donate $1 toward eliminating hunger from our nation.

That’s right, just one tap on your device screen will contribute cold, hard cash to an institution that funds six different projects and programs that provide access to healthy foods, education for eliminating and preventing hunger, and promoting community based solutions for helping those in need.

It is estimated that nearly 50 million individuals in the United States alone are currently suffering from hunger. Over 15 million of those are children who do not have enough to eat. Even if you are busy, on a budget, or simply feel overwhelmed with all the demands and expectations of the holiday season, you can still contribute and make a difference for those who are less fortunate. Just download the Favado app and click on the #FavaDONATION banner. It really is that simple. Don’t forget that Favado will not only make a donation to WhyHunger.org, but this app will also save you an incredible amount of time and money!

If you’re still not convinced that you need this app, let me guide you through a few questions to help you determine if Favado is the right app for you.

Do you buy food or household necessities from a retail establishment in your area? The only truthful answer to this question is yes. If you shop for groceries, Favado can save you money.

Do you like to save money? Of course! If you said no, why are you reading this in the first place!? Go download the free app today and start saving time and money by utilizing all the best deals from your area’s retail establishments.

Do you like the idea of contributing to a national cause that will provide healthy, nutritious foods to families that cannot afford it? How about taking part in the formation of a community movement that provides jobs and groceries for those that need them?

Favado is truly a win-win. Maximize your savings, reduce the time it takes to pinpoint the very best deals, and make a contribution to a tremendous cause this season. What are you waiting for.

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Elf On The Shelf: Tips & Ideas!

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By now you have all probably seen and heard about the infamous Elf on the Shelf – the spirited doll that visits households throughout the holiday season and serves as a first-hand informant to the big man at the North Pole, Santa Claus, himself. If this slightly creepy, yet alarmingly effective houseguest is a new tradition in your family, this list of tips and tricks will keep this persuasive snitch a fun and exciting part of your Christmas celebrations.

–          Consider welcoming your very first elf encounter with an elaborate North Pole breakfast. The dollar store is a great resource for affordable accessories and frugal holiday themed décor. You can also compile a little gift basket with trinkets and goodies to celebrate the elf’s arrival. Powdered doughnuts, bananas and strawberries sliced into a candy cane shape, vanilla yogurt topped with raspberries, and peppermint hot chocolate are just a few food choices that are perfect for this welcoming celebration.

–          Some elves bring holiday PJs or a stack of holiday books to enjoy until Christmas. Check your local used book store for unbeatable steals on seasonal children’s books. You may even choose to wrap each book up so your kids can unwrap one every night until Christmas – a book advent, if you will.

–          If your kids are too young to fully grasp and respect the rule of ‘no touching’ then be sure to situate your elf on higher perches. Light fixtures, mantles, ceiling fans, door frames, shower curtains etc. are all great places that are just out of short peoples’ reach.

–          Use tape or Velcro to secure your elf in their position. A tumbling elf may cause quite the chaos in your household – trust me on this.

–          If your elf happens to take a fall, be prepared with oven mitts, tongs, and band aids. You might also keep on hand some magic sprinkle dust that will bring back the elf’s magic just in case someone ‘accidentally’ touches him.

–          If your elf leaves little notes (which it probably should, on occasion) be sure that the handwriting does not resemble that of Mom or Dad.

–          You can make your elf shenanigans as elaborate as you choose, but remember that kids often develop high expectations if you start off on a high note. If you don’t have a lot of time or energy to devote to creative elf tricks, keep it simple.

1907317_10154859680180048_1817554026106888554_n (1)A little girl lost her 2 front teeth last night, and one of the Elves decided to help the tooth fairy out. The other Elf (each child has their own  Elf ), was relaxing in the Barbie Dreamhouse bathtub. Love the marshmallows as bubbles!) Thank you to my dear friend Julie, for sharing this picture!

Some  of the shenanigans our elf Freddy has done which have been received by a ton of giggles is:

  • The elf was playing board games with other stuffed animals
  • Streamers in the living room with the elf holding the roll of streamers, in the ceiling fan!
  • Shaving Cream on the mirror with a message for our child, and finding the elf with shaving cream on his face
  • The Elf was in my KitchenAid Mixer, after leaving flour footprints across the kitchen counter with all of the ingredients to make cookies, and a note that said “Make cookies and deliver them to your police station or local fire fighters. ;)
  • The Elf “decorated” our Christmas Tree with toilet paper!
  • The Elf was found playing video games (controller in his lap)
  • The Elf was held “hostage” (taped him on the wall) while toy soldiers surrounded him.
  • Putting streamers across the bedroom door, so when it’s opened in the morning, the kids walk into streamers.
  • Elf was playing Angry Birds (positioned him to look like he was launching a bird.
  • He made “snow” angels using flour (This was not as messy as it sounds)

My favorite one ever:

We used a Rice Krispies Cereal Box, cut the head out of the middle guy, and put the elf in the cereal box to make it look like the elf was one of the Snap, Crackle, Pop Rice Krispie Mascots

–          During the off season, be sure to carefully pack the elf away in an unsuspecting box. To prevent snooping, label the box with something boring like Aunt Della’s China, Tupperware, or cleaning supplies – they’ll never look in that one!

Most importantly, have fun with this tradition. You might be surprised at how entertaining your elf can be, even for the adults in your family!

What are some things your Elf has done?

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15 Thanksgiving Toys/Activity for Kids

Webkinz Thanksgiving Turkey Plush Animal

Turkey Plush

This forest-dweller has a soft spoken and gentle nature. It loves to spend time outdoors gardening and tending to its crops! When the talented Turkey is not occupied by its green thumb, it likes to enjoy the autumn breeze while relaxing on the Harvest-Time Hammock! Special Item: Harvest-Time Hammock; Special Food: Forage Porridge. Webkinz pets are lovable plush pets that each come with a unique Secret Code. With it, you enter Webkinz World where you care for your virtual pet, answer trivia, earn KinzCash, and play the best kids games on the net! Collect them all!

Got Turkey? Infant & Toddler Cotton T-Shirt

Got Turkey5.5 oz. 100% cotton jersey (Ash is 99% cotton, 1% polyester; Heather is 90% cotton, 10% polyester). Ribbed crew neck. Taped shoulder-to-shoulder. Double-needle hem sleeves and bottom. White is sewn with 100% cotton thread. Printed on Front of T-Shirt. Very vibrant print. Won’t peel or crack in washer/dryer.

Fun at the Farm, Seek and Play Puzzle

Kids Puzzle

Seek and Play Puzzles are excellent educational tools that encourage logical thinking. Each puzzle contains 24 pieces, a full-color mat, and an eight-page resource guide. Once completed, the learning fun continues with 48 activity cards, cross-curricular questions, and thought-provoking writing prompts.

Little People Thanksgiving Celebration

Little People Thanksgiving

Celebrate the story of the very first Thanksgiving with this new Little People® holiday play set! A pair of playful pilgrims and two trusty Indian friends gather ’round the table to give thanks together for a fantastic fall feast! Thirteen-piece set includes four Little People figures, table and two benches, turkey platter, horse and detachable cart, pumpkin, and two connectable harvest fence pieces. (Manufacturer recommended age: 12 months and up)

Thanksgiving Coloring Book

Color book

Thanksgiving includes the story behind how the Pilgrims met the Native Americans and taught each other the different ways of living. Also included games, puzzles and mazes An approved Teaching and Learning Tool. Notebook style book with a colorful plastic spiral binding. At least 24 pages in every Power Panel Coloring Book, hours of coloring fun with games, puzzles, mazes and connect the dots, word search and a heavy chip board backing. This is a perfect ‘Travel Size’ coloring book on a plane, train or in an automobile. These fun books are 8.5 x 11 with a high quality full color card stock cover. Each inside page is a high bright white paper that children can use crayons, colored pencils, magic markers and even water colors on!

Foam Handprint Turkey Craft Kit Thanksgiving Kids Activity

Thanksgiving Hand

Trace each child’s hand on the foam and cut out the shape to create the turkey. Other pieces pre cut. Foam Piece measures 6″.

Thanksgiving Jokes

Thanksgiving Jokes

“Thanksgiving Jokes” is a feast and a “corny-copia” full of funny short jokes for kids. Each joke is about some silly aspect regarding Thanksgiving, from turkeys to pilgrims to pumpkin pie. Kids will gobble up these humorous and short jokes while they look at the funny illustrations throughout the book. Every joke features two illustrations; one for the question and one for the punchline, so each joke can be enjoyed even more. Find out what a pilgrams favorite music is, what a space turkey says, why turkeys go ‘Gobble, gobble’, and many more silly riddles.

Rubber Duckie Ducky Thanksgiving Ducks

Thanksgiving Ducks

Each ducky measures approx. 2″ x 2″ x 2-1/2″H. They do not squeak but do have a hole in their beak for squirting water. These make great little decor pieces for your kids’ table or dessert tray at Thanksgiving time. Great to use as party favors for your dinner guests. They do not float upright. (Manufacturer recommended age: 3 years and up)

Gund Priscilla & Plymouth Pilgrim Set of 2

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Girl and Boy Pilgrim Beanbag Set, polyester Blend, Plastic Beads, 6in H x 3in W x 3in L, Ages 1+

LEGO Seasonal Set ~ Thanksgiving Feast

 

Lego Thanks

Thanksgiving Coloring Placemats (24) Party Supplies

Placemats

American Indian Doll Sihu 15″

Indian Doll

Sihu doll includes American Indian dress, boots, feather hair band, hair ties, and American Indian necklace. Sihu also has a baby that rests in a papoose.

Fisher Price Harvest Hayride Fall Playset

Little People Hayride

Join farmer Sonya Lee and scarecrow EddieTM on a harvest hayride full of fun. Hitch the wagon to the free-wheeling tractor to see the pumpkin spin round ‘n round and a peek-a-boo friend pop up and down as it rolls along! Seven-piece play set includes tractor, wagon, two figures, and a bountiful fall harvest; apples, hay and corn!

The Berenstain Bears Thanksgiving Blessings

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The Berenstain Bears Thanksgiving Blessings Ride along with the Bear family on Thanksgiving Day as Brother and Sister learn about all the things they—and YOU—can be thankful for … including faith, family, and the huge feast waiting for them at the end of their journey to Gramp’s and Gran’s. Includes a sheet of colorful stickers featuring the whole Bear family.

Adorable Kinders 18 Piece Thanksgiving Paper Dolls Set

Paper Dolls

This 18 piece thanksgiving set includes 8 Adorable Kinders Paper Dolls (4 boys and 4 girls), 2 pilgrim boy outfits, 2 pilgrim girl outfits, 2 indian boy outfits, 2 indian girl outfits, 1 restickable glue stick and 1 blunt tip scissors. The paper dolls are made of a durable UV coated card stock and come with a foot stand. They are perforated for easy removal and assembly. The accessories outfits require scissors cutting and may be attached to the dolls using the restickable glue for reuse as in dress-up play, or using permanent glue for single use such as scrap booking, greeting cards, and other arts and crafts projects. The paper dolls and their outfits are made in USA.

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Black Friday Deals: How To Shop The Sales

Black Friday Deals How To Shop The Sales
The holiday shopping season is starting earlier and earlier. The day after Thanksgiving once kicked the gift hunting into gear, but retailers are changing tactics. In order to score the best discounts, shoppers need to use their own strategies. If you are hunting for Black Friday deals, these tips will show you how to shop the sales.The day after Halloween has become the launching pad for pre-Black Friday events. For example:

*Amazon features lightning deals on a daily basis.

*Target began a special toy sales for Cartwheel users that features 50% off a different toy each day.

*Walmart has been hosting several pre-Black Friday sales exclusively online.

The point here is to be ready to shop on little notice. Usually, the impromptu sale information is only shared with shoppers who have signed up for the retailer’s alerts, newsletter or email. You can also check out the company’s website on daily basis if you prefer not to sign up for anything.

A great tip for shoppers who prefer privacy – set up a separate email account that is solely used for singing up for a store’s email program. It will keep the inundation of ads out of your personal or work email. If you are social media savvy, tune in to This Mommy Saves Money on Facebook where I will be posting great deals in our area (I have been posting Holiday deals since beginning of November) and you can also search Twitter for #BlackFriday. Add a specific item you are looking for, such as #BlackFriday Frozen, and it will help narrow your search.

Knowing when the sales are is a great step, but actually scoring the deal can be tricky. Typically, there is a limited stock. This is why being the first to know a sale is happening is vital. Try employing a team of fellow elves to keep watch. Swap lists so you can watch out for must-have deals. Even better, arrange for your friends or family to pick up items if they are a limited quantity.

If you fail to be one of the lucky shoppers who acted fast enough to snag the deal, don’t fret just yet. Stores like Target and Walmart offer price-matching in-store and online. Both stores do not honor prices from “membership clubs” or eBay and rule out price-matching between Thanksgiving and Cyber-Monday. But, if you find a price online from a participating retailer, such as Amazon, and it’s sold out, try taking the ad to Target or Walmart for a price match on in-stock items. (Make sure you check out both retailer’s policies for all exemptions or call your closest branch.)

When it comes to shopping on Black Friday, or in some cases Thanksgiving Day, the key is shop with others who are willing to purchase items on your behalf. Walmart features some deals with “In Stock Guarantees,” so this can free you up to wait on one of those other limited discounts. As long as you are in line by the set hours of the guaranteed item, you will have access to the discounted price, even if the item runs out. So, plan ahead wisely an also note any limitations on items, like one per customer.

For the 2014 Black Friday season, it’s all about TVs. Most retailers are offering stunning prices on flat screens. However, there are some deals that aren’t as great. A study conducted by NerdWallet found that 25 out of the 27 advertisements at large retailers (like Walmart, Best Buy, and Target) featured offers repeated for the exact same 2013 Black Friday price. Make sure you know your standard price points so you can spot a weak deal and pass on it.

Don’t be lured into purchasing Christmas décor and other holiday themed items. The best day to pick up those items for the cheapest prices is the day after Christmas. As the days after the holiday pass, their prices will dive. It should also be noted that a study done by Business Insider found that Black Friday isn’t always the best time to score deals. Labor Day and Memorial Day often feature discounts that beat Black Friday prices on items like power tools, mattresses, and other home goods. The 4th of July is a great time to purchase children’s clothing and video games. So, if you miss a deal in the post-Thanksgiving madness, wait for an even better deal later.

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Kookopa: High End Fashion For A Fraction Of the Cost!!!

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Recently at a blogger conference I had to privilege of coming across a company called Kookopa that gave me the exciting opportunity to wear three high end and very fashionable articles of clothing for 5 days. I was indulged with a beautiful Diane Von Furstenberg floral dress which retails for $595 and an eye-catching sparking top with black slacks by Vince that normally would cost $295.

52170_10152634002659396_8387838665212443861_oI felt like a Princess in this dress by Diane Von Furstenberg! 

The absolute cherry of the sundae was a gorgeous Jimmy Choo hobo bag that retails at a whopping $2,695! It had sort of a basket weave pattern and gold accents and it was hot. Just carrying a purse with a Jimmy Choo label made me feel special.

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At first I was nervous carrying it, and kept in the empty seat beside me on the airplane, so I could keep an eye on it.

I felt very spoiled and knew I could get maybe a little too used to this..

The great news is this Kookopa is actually in the business of making the dream of high fashion clothes a reality even for those who could not otherwise afford it. Yes even a country girl like me can become a high fashion queen. I may have needed help from two other girls to get into the DVF dress but that’s another story… it was worth it! I received so many compliments that night! Kookopa offers a subscription service where every month you can pick 3 pieces to rent for the entire month. You can wear them as often as you want during that time. You can even swap out a piece for free if it doesn’t fit so you know you’ll always get enjoyment out of every piece. Dry-cleaning, insurance and shipping are all included so they take all the worry out of the process.

 

There are two different options when shopping with Kookopa: Event Based & Monthly subscription. The monthly subscription is less than a J. Crew Dress so it is way more affordable than spending thousands and thousands of dollars building up a high fashion wardrobe that quickly will go out of fashion and needs to be replaced.  The event based option is perfect for those who need a knockout dress for a Military Ball, wedding, or cocktail party. You only pay for that item (no subscription costs), and you can choose to rent your outfit for 5 days, 2 weeks, or even a month! I see more Diane Von Furstenberg in my future!

When you are ready to return your items, simply put them in the prepaid shipping envelope! Kookopa takes care of the dry cleaning for you!

I honestly had no idea that this concept even existed but I’ll definitely be using Kookopa for events in the future. Getting to peruse through the choices every month to pick my top selections will be unlike a normal shopping trip to the mall. My feet won’t hurt, I won’t feel stressed about what I’m spending and I’ll be getting the pieces I normally would be staring at longingly through the store window knowing that I can’t afford. This country girl is now going to be rocking high fashion!

Sign up today and get $50 off your first rental!

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