When Should You Buy Big Ticket Items?

When it comes to consumerism, there are certain bigticket items that tend to follow a somewhat predictable cycle in terms of rising and falling prices. In other words, there are certain times of the year that offer better savings on commodities like cars, televisions, appliances, or even real estate, than others. If a pricey purchase is in your near future, be sure to check out the general market trends before signing on the dotted line so that you can take advantage of the best price possible.
Although the real estate market tends to vary each year, buyers have a lot more flexibility and room for price negotiations in the off season of November to March. The most popular time of the year for real estate transactions is during the summers, primarily because the weather and school breaks are more conducive to shopping and transitioning. The competition during these months is higher and sellers are less likely to budge on their listing price. The ‘off-season’ is the perfect opportunity to snag the best deal on your upcoming real estate transaction.
If a new car is in your future, experts advise waiting until late summer or early to mid-fall to make this type of decision. This is because most car dealerships are preparing the lot for new inventory, and they are more likely to offer discounts on older models.
Big televisions tend to have the most affordable price tags throughout the month of January. Not only do retailers like to offer post-holiday sales, but TVs are a popular purchase right before the Superbowl.
Consumer reports suggest that the best deals on household furniture are usually found in the month of February. Labor Day, Memorial Day, and 4th of July sales are also great opportunities to look for heavy discounts in this industry.
Seasonal items like grills, outdoor furniture, sporting goods, and holiday décor are almost always significantly marked down toward the end of said season or holiday month. For example, if you are in the market for a new lawnmower, you’re most likely to find better deals toward the end of the summer instead of the beginning.
Looking for a new artificial, pre-lit Christmas tree? Hold out until the weekend after Christmas and you’ll find unbeatable markdowns!
If you’d like to snag the best price on a big ticket purchase, be sure to do your research before you jump into the deal. Be sure to check out the full guide on Consumerreports.org for a more comprehensive list of popular items’ best sale months. 

JEA: Summer Camp 2016

JEA Camp Savannah

This is a camp that many in the Coastal Empire look forward to each year! The JEA of Savannah offers a wonderful Summer Camp that is open to everyone! The staff is energetic, fun loving, and the different themes each week provide a full Summer of fun & adventure!

I talked to a few of the counselors who are coming back for another year of Camp Savannah. I wanted to know what makes the JEA Camp Savannah different from other local camps, why families should consider Camp Savannah, and why these counselors who are also elementary school teachers love working this specific camp.

What do you find is the most rewarding thing about working the Summer camp program at the JEA?

One of the most rewarding things about working at Camp Savannah in the summers is working with a wide variety of children from all different backgrounds. Yes, we get your average everyday kid, but we also accommodate for campers with disabilities/special needs. One of the most rewarding things for me is working with those campers and watching how the other campers in their groups and all throughout the camp treat them. Everyone treats them with kindness, patience, and respect and it is such an amazing and wonderful thing to witness. Also, just seeing the smiles on the campers faces everyday and hearing positive feedback from their parents is also very rewarding. We often hear a lot from parents about their experiences at other camps – some will say this is the first camp where their child has asked to come back with a giant smile on their face! Others will say they have tried to entice their kids to try other camps, but their child insists on only coming to Camp Savannah. It’s quite the rewarding experience all around. We also work as a unified staff, always looking to improve and help each other out. – Kristina Martell


What do you think the kids take away after spending time at the JEA Summer camp?

The friendships! It’s great to see kids bond so closely, that may not have the chance to get to know each other in other situations. We see so much hate in the world, but here, it doesn’t matter your color, religion, or culture. Everyone respects and values each other. That is something I am proud to be a part of. – Robert Covino

With counselors such as Kristina Martell & Robert Covino it’s no surprise why the JEA Camp Savannah continues to be one of the most anticipated and most popular choices among families in the Coastal Empire!

Here are the themes and dates for Summer 2016:

Basic information:

Campers can be dropped off at 8 am and can stay as late as 6 pm each day!

There will be a Meet & Greet on Sunday June 5th from 11 am – 2 pm. On this day meet the dynamic team  that will be working this years JEA Camp Savannah, get your camp t-shirt, and take a dip in the pool!

For information about camp or other JEA children’s programs, contact our Children’s Director, DJ Horton E-mail: camp@savj.org   Phone: 912-355-8111

June 6th- June 10th: Giborim Academy! Superheroes Unite! Create your own comic book, get moving with the obstacle course, and train with Camp Savannah Sergeants!

June 14 – June 17th: Harry Potter! Work toward the House Cup, learn about the care of Magical Creatures and potions,, dance the night away at the Hogwarts Ball/all camp sleepover!!!

June 20-June 24th: Jurassic Island. Campers will help unearth the mysteries of the past by helping in the Camp Savannah excavation site! Lots of interactive activities, dress up days, and more!

June 27th – July 1st: Color War: The Glacier Games. Get ready for the ultimate water fight! A week of water based competitions and challenges! The week will end with the Snow Ball Dance Party!!

July 5th- 8th: Party In The USA! A week long celebration! Campers will venture out to the Clubhouse for the ULTIMATE party experience and receive a VIP pass to Camp Savannah’s late night “lock in” where campers will stay late at the JEA to celebrate!

July 11th-15th: Anchor’s Away Disney Style! Week long adventure traveling to different ports of call, fun adventure, and of the magic of Disney!

July 18th – 22nd: Camp Ruach! Sports and adventurists unite! Ninja training course, extreme inflatable obstacles, sleepover, dress up days, and the very popular Black Out Pep Rally!

July 25th – July 29th:  The Summer Sizzle. It’s a week long beach party! GLEE style! Campers will work together to sing and dance to beach themed songs, pizza & ice cream social, field trip, and more!

Extra weeks:

May 23rd – May 27th & May 31st – June 3rd: Cookouts, field trips, projects, lots of fun, and a few surprises!!

August 1 – August 12: Sayonarra Summer! Recreate some of the best moments of Summer 2016.


Heart Shaped Crayon Valentines

I post this every year, so in case you missed it…

Ever since my little guy started going to pre-school, this has been a holiday tradition, for him and I. We do this for Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day (we use various shades of green for this holiday), and Easter! This is a very easy, creative, and frugal art activity that anyone can do. You only need 4 things to make these. The entire project only cost $2 out of pocket!

1. Crayons (we use broken ones, who doesn’t have broken crayons in their house right?)

2. A knife

3. An oven, set for 240 degrees.

4. Candy Mold (for whatever holiday you want to make these for), commonly found at Target. They sell the 2 pks for $2 (for several holidays).

You simply place broken crayons inside each heart in the mold. I suggested the knife, in case some of your broken pieces are too big to fit.  Once your mold is full, pop it in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 240 degrees (oven times will vary).

Once your crayons are fully melted, pull the mold out of the oven, and let cool (we let ours cool a few hours, so they just pop out of the mold). For Valentine’s Day we stick a heart onto a  heart shaped construction paper with a crafter’s sticky dot, and he signs each one. They are always a big hit with his class!

We use various shades of green crayons and a shamrock mold for St Patrick’s Day. For Easter (yep you guessed it) an Easter Egg Mold and pastel color crayons.



Transaction vs. Purchase – Explaining it Once and For All


It is the bane of all coupon users’ existence. They get to the store, hand the cashier a coupon that says “one per purchase” and the cashier tries to tell the customer that  they can’t use 2 coupons on 2 items because it says “one per purchase.” Has it happened to you?

The purchase vs. transaction debate is likely as old as couponing is. When it happens to you, the absolute worst thing that you can do is get mad at your cashier and fight with her. In truth, the exact reason that you are having that issue is because the cashier simply does not know the difference.  It is better for you to educate them than to fight them.I have found that the majority of the time, the cashier was given the wrong explanation of transaction vs. purchase.  If you teach them the difference, you will (and other couponers) will have less problems in the future with that cashier. Most importantly PLEASE remember to be polite and kind to cashiers!!


So what IS the difference?

It is actually quite simple. A purchase  is the item you are buying and a transaction is when you pay.

When a coupon says 1 per purchase that literally means 1 coupon for 1 item. If you have 4 items and 4 $1.00 off 1 coupons, you can use all 4 coupons. The only reasons you would not be able to use all four coupons is if the coupon or the store itself forbids it with a limit. (i.e. “limit 2 like coupons per day”)

If a coupon says “1 per transaction” it means that you can only use one coupon every time you pay. In other words, if you wanted to use 4 of these coupons, you would need to pay four separate times. Again, this is provided that the coupon itself doesn’t forbid being used over a certain amount of times.

As I’ve mentioned, some coupons do impose a limit other than per purchase or per transaction. Some of the ones that you will see are a limit per transaction, a limit per day, or even a limit per shopping trip. Recently we’ve also seen them impose limits against who can use the coupon based on the type of insurance they have.

Now you might be asking why you should pay attention to these limits. That answer too is quite simple. When stores accept coupons beyond the limits of what is stated, the manufacturer can refuse to honor it. The store then loses money and then the store is forced to pass those lost costs onto the consumer. That means you end up paying more for your groceries, even with a coupon.


Blow Up Your Microwave With This Deal!


Some of you already know, that I tutor some very special kids every week after school. I usually get to teach the ones who need a little extra help in science, math, and history. This is a science experiment, that all kids enjoy doing, and you can almost always find a deal on the main ingredient, to make it educational & frugal.

All you need for these experiments is:

Ivory Bar soap (and 1 other type to do both experiments, I use Dial)


plate or bowl

2 tall containers

First Experiment:

You will need:

1 Bar of Ivory Soap and 1 bar of the other brand soap

Have the child tell you what they think will happen when you place the bars of soap in the containers. Will they sink? Will they float? Then have the child place the bar of Ivory soap in one container and place the second bar in the second container. What happens? The Ivory bar soap will float while the other will sink.

Why?  The Ivory bar of soap is less dense than water. Ivory soap floats because it has air pumped into it while it’s being made.


Second Experiment

You will need:


plate or bowl

bar of Ivory soap



You can either leave the bar whole or cut it in thirds
Place the soap on a plate or in a bowl
Place the paper plate in the microwave for 2 minutes.
Watch what happens to the soap.

Talk about the changes you saw. What caused this to happen?

You can almost always find Ivory Bar Soap 2 – 3 pk at the dollar store. Kroger has it for only $0.50 this week:

Ivory Bar Soap, 3 ct – $1.00
Use: $1.00/2 Ivory Bar Soap or Body Wash Products – 1-24-16 PG
Final Price: $0.50