Lifestyle

Tips to Prepare for the Unexpected Future

(All posts may contain affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

Let’s face it. We are facing unprecedented times in our country. The recent pandemic has caused panic, stress and fear in our lives. Many people are losing their jobs while others are not sure when (and if) they may return to work.

Since many people are facing layoffs and budget cuts, it is important now more than ever to stretch our hard-earned dollars. There are a few things that we can do in the coming months to put money back into our wallets:

Coupons– Even though couponing is nothing like it used to be, you can still save money by clipping coupons from your Sunday paper or from online. I find that there are still great coupons available for items like toiletries and household essentials. A few dollars here and there adds up after awhile.

Money-Saving Apps– One of my favorite ways to save money on each grocery trip is by using money saving apps. Even if you don’t use coupons, consider using money-saving apps. It takes very little effort to use these apps and the benefits are very rewarding! And, you can use these apps in conjunction with each other to really speed up the earning process! I have 3 top money-savings apps that I recommend and use each and every week:

Fetch Rewards– This app has to be the easiest way ever to earn money! Just scan and earn! Yes, it is that simple! Sign up HERE and use my referral code K3DEH. After you scan your first receipt you will get 2000 points! That is almost enough for your first gift card!  

With Fetch Rewards, there are no specific products to keep track of. You simply scan your receipts each time that you shop and the points add up. If you really want the points to add up, there are bonus products that you can purchase which will earn you more points each time that you shop. In addition, purchases from Amazon and other online stores will also count. Simply scan your receipts each time that you shop and watch the points accrue in your account. AND, it only takes 3000 points to earn your first gift card to places like Amazon, Dunkin’ and Target. Save up your points to earn even larger gift cards! GO HERE to sign up for Fetch Rewards and use code K3DEH

Shopkick This app allows you to earn kicks which are rewards points that can be use towards digital gift cards to your favorite stores. Earning kicks is super easy, and this app is one that you can have your kids help you with! It is kind of like a scavenger hunt as you go through the store scanning products to get kicks My boys love to help me with this! 

There are six easy ways to earn kicks while you shop:

  1. Walk into stores.
  2. Scan barcodes of selected products.
  3. Purchase items and submit your receipt.
  4. Purchase items with your linked card.
  5. Make online purchases.
  6. Watch videos.

That’s it! The Shopkick app is so easy anyone can do it! You shop, you get kicks, and you redeem for gift cards! GO HERE to sign up. 

Ibotta With Ibotta, you can earn real cash back every time you shop online or in-store. Simply check Ibotta before you shop in-store or online, travel, dine out, or make a purchase and you can get rewarded with cash back and gift cards to your favorite retailers. Ibotta works with leading brands and retailers to help you save money without the hassle of traditional coupons, or promo codes.

And, now, earn with their newest feature, you can pay with Ibotta, too! When you use Pay with Ibotta, you can pay for your purchases right from the app, and earn cash back on your entire purchase, instantly. GO HERE to sign up for Ibotta.

Stockpile– I cannot stress enough the importance of stockpiling. I am not talking about hoarding.My general rule of thumb is to have enough items (like canned goods, pastas, etc…) in my stockpile to last for several months. This was especially helpful to my family and I when my husband lost his job several years ago. We were able to live off of our stockpile for several months.

One of the ways that you can stockpile is by shopping the BOGO sales at your favorite stores. When items are on sale, buy extra as your budget allows and those items into your pantry.

Another one of my favorite ways to stockpile is by purchasing reduced meat at the grocery store. I find that stores like Target, Walmart and Winn-Dixie will mark down their meats in the morning or late afternoon. Thanks to these sales, I always pick up several packs each time that I shop and add them to my freezer. This is especially helpful in situations like right now when there is hardly any meat available to the public.

Cancel Gym Memberships– If you don’t use your local gym more than once a month, evaluate whether or not that is a good investment. This may be a great time to cancel your membership for the time being and to find other free options and apps for exercising.

Grooming Services– Consider doing your own hair and nail services right at home. If you cut your spouse’s and kids’ hair at home think of the money that you could save during the month! Invest in a clipper set to start cutting their hair this month! You may be surprised at what a great job you can do! When it comes to your nails, there are so many great at-home gel kits available. By doing these two services at home, you will put a decent amount of money back into your wallet each month.

Sell Unused Items– During this time while we are home, go through your closets and cabinets to see what items that you can sell. Places like Facebook Marketplace, Ebay and Poshmark (for clothing) are great places to make extra cash from items that you have right in your home.

Student Loans– Due to ongoing circumstances, student loans will be deferred for the next 60 days. (at least, maybe longer) without interest or penalties. Check into this as soon as possible if you are a student.

Mortgage Payments– Contact your mortgage lender as soon as possible to see if your payments can be deferred. For many Americans, housing is one of our largest expenses. If you have lost your job or are facing a layoff, this is the number one issue that needs to be discussed. Many mortgage companies may defer payments or offer mortgage forbearance.

Spending– Track your spending. You will be surprised at how much you spend on things that you really don’t need. Things like daily coffee, trips to Target, etc…can put a generous amount of money back into your wallet each month. Start tracking today and save for tomorrow! I have a feeling that once you start track your spending you are going to be surprised at how much money that you were spending each month on these things!

Change the Due Dates of your Bills– Consider asking your creditors to see if you can change the due date of your bills. If you get paid towards the end of the month, see if your credit card companies and utility providers will work with you and let you pay those bills at that time. In addition, see if you can negotiate for a better deal. You may surprised at what one quick phone call will do!

These are some of my favorite tips and ideas for helping us to get through these difficult times ahead. Please remember above all to stay strong and positive!

Planning for the Future with Florida Prepaid College Plans

This post is sponsored by Florida Prepaid College Plans. Use Florida Prepaid College Plans promo code SWEET1920 to save on your application fee. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Please see my disclosure policy.

March is here, and that means spring is in the air! While many kids and parents are preparing for spring break, this is also a great time to think about opening a Florida Prepaid College Plan. Don’t forget that Open Enrollment is now through April 30, and you can use promo code SWEET1920 to save $25 off your enrollment fee!

With Florida Prepaid College Plans, you can start saving for your child’s college education early. In fact, did you know that many parents open a Florida Prepaid College Plan for their child when they are born? Not only is this a wise decision that will help your child to attend college with little or no cost, but it will also keep your child from going into debt with college loans. The average student loan debt is over $31,000. Think of how long that would take your child to pay off that debt! Wouldn’t it be amazing if your child could graduate from college debt free? It can be done thanks to help from Florida Prepaid College Plans!

I have decided that there are things in life I am willing to sacrifice so that my children can have a good education. Just think, if you gave up a cup of coffee or snack at your favorite coffee shop several times per week you could be putting that money towards a Florida Prepaid College Plan for your child! In fact, Florida Prepaid College Plans are the lowest price that they have been in over 5 years with plans starting at just $44 per month!

Florida Prepaid College Plans allows you to plan for your child’s future education without stressing and worrying about the details. They do it all for you! Simply pick the plan that fits into your savings goals and lock in the cost of college for less! You will get such peace of mind in knowing that your child’s future is covered. In addition, Florida Prepaid College Plans are  guaranteed by the State of Florida — you will never lose your investment.

Which Schools Accept Florida Prepaid College Plans?

One of the biggest concerns that I hear from many parents is not knowing which Florida Schools accept Florida Prepaid College Plans. The answer to this question is almost all of them! While Florida Prepaid Plans were designed to be used at in-state public institutions, the amount covered by the plan can also be used at technical and vocational schools. Both Florida Prepaid College Plans and Florida 529 Savings Plans benefits may be applied to any eligible educational institution, as defined in s. 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. See the entire list of schools by using the Federal School Code search through the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Office. I have the entire list for you below as to which Florida Colleges and Universities that accept Florida Prepaid Plans.

Florida Colleges and Universities that Accept Florida Prepaid College Plans:

  1. Broward College – Fort Lauderdale
  2. Chipola College – Marianna
  3. College of Central Florida – Ocala
  4. Daytona State College – Daytona Beach
  5. Eastern Florida State College – Cocoa
  6. Florida Gateway College – Lake City
  7. Florida Keys Community College – Key West
  8. Florida SouthWestern State College – Fort Myers
  9. Florida State College at Jacksonville – Jacksonville
  10. Gulf Coast State College – Panama City
  11. Hillsborough Community College – Tampa
  12. Indian River State College – Fort Pierce
  13. Lake-Sumter State College – Sumterville
  14. Miami Dade College – Miami
  15. North Florida Community College – Madison
  16. Northwest Florida State College – Niceville
  17. Palm Beach State College – Lake Worth
  18. Pasco-Hernando State College – New Port Richey
  19. Pensacola State College – Pensacola
  20. Polk State College – Winter Haven
  21. Santa Fe College – Gainesville
  22. Seminole State College – Sanford
  23. South Florida State College – Avon Park
  24. St. Petersburg College – St. Petersburg
  25. St. Johns River State College – Palatka
  26. State College of Florida – Manatee-Sarasota
  27. Tallahassee Community College – Tallahassee
  28. Valencia College – Orlando
  29. Florida A&M University – Tallahassee
  30. Florida Atlantic University – Boca Raton
  31. Florida Gulf Coast University – Fort Myers
  32. Florida International University – Miami
  33. Florida Polytechnic University – Lakeland
  34. Florida State University – Tallahassee
  35. New College of Florida – Sarasota
  36. University of Central Florida – Orlando
  37. University of Florida – Gainesville
  38. University of North Florida – Jacksonville
  39. University of South Florida – Tampa
  40. University of West Florida – Pensacola

Do Private Schools Accept Florida Prepaid College Plans?

The answer is YES! With your Florida Prepaid Plan, the value that you pay to the other schools is the same as they would have paid to a Florida school. Even if you save with a traditional Prepaid Plan and your child decides to attend private school, you can still use your plan, you are just responsible for the difference. This is so great to know! I think most people are under the impression that their child has to attend a state school with Florida Prepaid and that is simply not the case.

Can My Child Attend an Out of State School?

I have good news! Your Florida Prepaid College Plan travels too! The plan will pay the same amount as it would pay at a public college or university in Florida. Plus, if your child returns to a Florida school, the Plan qualifies them for in-state tuition. I would encourage you to check out the full list of these schools by using the Federal School Code Search through the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Office.

How Do I Get Started With Florida Prepaid College Plans?

Now that you know a little bit about which colleges and universities accept Florida Prepaid College Plans, you are ready to start saving for your child’s future! I realize that many people such as myself may be on a strict budget and don’t feel that they have the extra money to set aside towards a college fund for their children. Think again! My husband I personally love Florida Prepaid because they make saving for college easy, affordable and stress free! Florida Prepaid has plans for every budget.

I would suggest that you use the Florida Prepaid Pricing Tool. This tool is a fantastic resource that will help you calculate exactly how much your monthly payments will be for each plan. You simply enter the child’s date of birth and it will give you the monthly cost for each plan! See, I  told you that they make it super easy! There is NO reason to not invest!

When it comes to plan options, there are many different options available. May I suggest that if you are looking for a budget-friendly option that you start small with the 1-Year University Plan? This is the plan that we enrolled Brady with last year and I could not be more pleased. It is such a flexible option and even allows for different family members to purchase an additional year if they want to, adding up to 4 years! It is better to start small than not have anything at all. You can see the entire list of plans available HERE.

So, what are you waiting for? Join my family and the over 1 million other Florida families who have already invested with Florida Prepaid! When you invest in the gift of education, you are giving your children to the opportunity to be the leaders of tomorrow! I am so thankful for Florida Prepaid and we know that Brady has a wonderful future ahead of him thanks to help from our Florida Prepaid College Plan! Use promo code SWEET1920 to save $25 off your application fee. Open Enrollment is now through April 30.

Do you still have questions? Be sure to visit the Florida Prepaid College Plans FAQ question page HERE. In addition, I have several other posts HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE that may also help answer your questions!

Creating the Perfect Nursery

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

Creating a nursery is so much fun, but no matter how prepared you feel, it’s hard knowing where to start. When I was creating Brady’s nursery, I had no idea where to start. There are so many things that you are supposed to buy, so many things that you are supposed to do, and it can be very overwhelming. If you are in the same boat when it comes to creating a nursery for your bundle of joy that is on the way, keep reading. Here are a few ways that you can create a special and perfect nursery for your bundle:

Consider Your Space

First of all, you absolutely need to consider your space. What do you have room for? When it comes to creating a nursery (especially if it is your first one), it is very important to crawl before you can walk, no pun intended. Make sure you are not getting too carried away with all of the crazy things that you see on Pinterest and instead, focus on what is practical and what you can fit in your space.

The first thing you need to consider, like I mentioned, is the amount of available space that you have. You do not want the room to look too cluttered, so you might have to cut back on some of the non-essentials and only choose essential items, such as a crib, a recliner or rocker, and a dresser/changing table.

My favorite way to help yourself out with this process is by creating a tentative floor plan. Draw a rough outline of the room and then pencil in each piece of furniture. Of course, sizing will probably be off, but this gives you a great start before you actually take the time to measure.

However, you do not have to consider your space if you are moving, which a lot of couples choose to do when finding out that they are having a baby. If this sounds like your situation, make sure that you are making sure that the home works for you now and in the future, as well. So, look at the nursery size, consider the number of bathrooms and what is in the bathrooms (is the tub safe, etc.), will the home have a playroom, etc. Tell your real estate agent that you are expecting and need a home that is safe for your baby-to-be. The reason why you need to be so specific with your wants and needs is because “purchasing a property is most likely the biggest financial decision you will ever make. Whether this is your first purchase or you are an experienced buyer, this decision must be made carefully,” according to Erin King with Jax Historic Realty. “Erin, who previously worked in financial services and holds an MBA with an economics focus, brings a deep understanding of buying and selling historic homes. He enjoys sharing that knowledge with clients, from how to fit a 21st century lifestyle into a historic home and where to seek financing for renovation with a home purchase, to accurately pricing homes in Historic Districts such as Riverside, Avondale, Ortega, Springfield, Murray Hill, and San Marco. Erin, who prides himself on close attention to detail and quick response to clients, has put together a support team of contractors and other professionals who help transactions go smoothly.” So, no matter if you are looking for old homes for sale in San Marco, or a new build, talk with Erin, or your personal real estate agent to make sure that you are getting what you need for your growing family.

Choose A Color Palette

Next up: choose a color palette! This is a really fun part. Do you know that you are having a girl? Maybe you will go with a blush pink color, or periwinkle blue with a hint of purple in it. If you are having a boy, consider a gorgeous light blue color, or maybe an emerald green accent wall. There are so many colors to choose from and this just makes the process very real and fun. When you do choose a color palette, consider the nursery furniture, your flooring, and any ‘unchangeable’ items first. Then, you can choose all of the colors for the walls and decor options. My friend, Alex, chose to go with all neutrals: white, cream, and light beige, with just a few pops of light blush. I think that is a beautiful color palette for her first baby girl. Plus, it is simple enough to last a while.

Know Your Needs vs. Wants

Any new mom or dad is going to go a little crazy and that is okay, but definitely take the time to consider what is a need and what is a want, or you will end up with a very cluttered room, which is not so great or practical and it will only make your life harder in the long run. Diapers? Obviously that is a need. Wipes? Same. A cute unicorn jumpy house? Uhhh… maybe that is not so practical, especially not for a newborn. You get the point! What is a need vs. a want is somewhat similar for everyone, but it is also based on what will make your life easier as a parent. There is no right or wrong way to parent and you just need to see what works best for you! 

Add Personalized Touches

Last but not least, add personalized touches. Have you picked out a name yet? Maybe consider adding it above her or his crib. Do you have a special blanket picked out? Maybe embroider his or her name on the blanket. This is not only a cute touch, but also a great keepsake to have in the future. There are so many ways to add personalized touches to a nursery and in my opinion, it is the best part, so have fun with it.

Huge List of Birthday Freebies!

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

Do you have a birthday in the near future? Be sure to check out this long list of birthday freebies and share them with your friends and family! Keep in mind that it can sometimes take several weeks for these to update in your account. If you have a birthday coming up, I suggest signing up now! If there are any other freebies that you know about please let me know and I will add them to the list!

RESTAURANT FREEBIES:

Chicken Salad Chick– Join Craving Credits by downloading the Chicken Salad Chick app from the App Store or Google Play and you will begin earning points to redeem for amazing rewards, like complimentary food items, special discounts, and Chick gear. You will even receive a nice freebie on your birthday! 

Baskin Robbins– Join the Birthday Club to receive Free ice cream on your birthday!

Rubio’s Coastal Grill Sign up for Rubio’s Rewards and receive a Free taco. You will also receive a special coupon offer for your birthday.

Brio Tuscan Grille– Sign up for the My Brio Rewards program to receive special rewards throughout the year and a Birthday reward.

Caribou Coffee– Join the Caribou Perks program and after your first visit receive a Free medium drink. On your birthday you will also receive a Free drink offer!

Tony Roma’s – Sign up for the Roma Rib Insider’s Club and you will receive special offers and a coupon for a Free entree on your birthday.

Coldstone Creamery– Sign up for the Birthday Club and you will receive a coupon for Buy 1 Get 1 Free Coldstone Creations on your birthday.

Longhorn Steakhouse– Sign up for the eClub to receive a Free appetizer. On your birthday you will also receive a special offer.

Nestle Toll House Cafe– Sign up for the Cafe Club to receive sneak peeks of new products and upcoming promotions. You will also receive special invitations to Nestlé® Toll House® Café By Chip® Club exclusive events and a birthday gift to celebrate your special day!

PDQ– Join the PDQ Fan Club and they will email you a coupon for a Free combo meal on your birthday.

Kobe Japanese Steakhouse– Enroll in Kobe Japanese Rewards and enjoy exclusive benefits and offers! Enjoy up to $15 off a single entrée Friday-Saturday or up to $25 off a single entrée Sunday-Thursday.

Dairy Queen– Join the Fan Club for a BOGO blizzard coupon on your birthday.

Krispy Kreme– Join the Friends of Krispy Kreme and you will receive a Free doughnut and coffee on your birthday.

Orange Julius– Join the Julius League and you will receive a BOGO coupon on your birthday.

Uncle Maddio’s Pizza– Join Uncle Maddio’s Rewards for a Free offer on your birthday.

The Melting Pot– Join Club Fondue for Free birthday vouchers and more.

Cici’s Pizza– Join the My Cici’s Loyalty Program to receive special offers via the app. On your birthday you will receive a coupon for a Free 1-topping pizza to go.

BJ’s Restaurant– Sign up for the Premiere Rewards Program and you will receive a Free Pizookie on your birthday.

Chili’s– Join My Chili’s Rewards to receive special offers and a Free dessert on your birthday.

Applebee’s– Join the eClub and you will be sent a coupon for BOGO entree on your birthday.

Ruby Tuesday– Sign up for the So Connected Club and receive a Free appetizer. On your birthday, choose from a Free burger or Garden Bar entree.

Marble Slab– Sign up for Slab Happy Rewards and you will receive a $5 coupon on your birthday.

Menchie’s– Join the My Smileage program and receive 25 smiles just for joining. Earn $5.00 in Menchie’s Money (reward dollars) with every 50 Smiles you earn. Menchie’s Money is added to your mySmileage account. On your birthday you will receive a $5 Menchie’s coupon. 

California Pizza Kitchen– Download the Dough Rewards app to receive offers throughout the year and on your birthday.

Sweet Tomatoes– Join Club Veg and you will receive a Free meal on your birthday.

bd’s Mongolian Grill– Join Club Mongo and you will receive a Free meal on your birthday.

IHOP– Join the Pancake Revolution and receive a Free meal when you sign up and on your birthday.

Pollo Tropical– Join the Pollo Rewards program and receive special offers throughout the year and on your birthday.

Newk’s Eatery– Join the Roundtable Club and receive a coupon for a Free entree on your birthday.

Rita’s– Join the Rita’s Birthday Club to receive a Free treat on your birthday.

Smashburger– Join the Smashclub for a Free side or shake with any purchase on your birthday.

On the Border Join Club Cantina to receive Free queso or sopapillas. On your birthday you will receive Free queso.

Denny’s– Join Denny’s Rewards and receive a coupon for a Free Grand Slam on your birthday.

Auntie Anne’s Pretzels– Download the Auntie Anne’s app and your coupon for a Free pretzel will be available via your mobile app on your birthday.

Red Lobster– Join My Red Lobster Rewards to receive tasty rewards and delicious offer on your birthday.

Sbarro– Join the Slice Society and receive a Free XL NY Pizza slice with drink purchase and a freebie on your birthday.

P.F. Chang’s– Join P.F. Chang’s Rewards for delicious offers and a tasty treat on your birthday.

Spaghetti Warehouse– Join the Warehouse Club and receive a Free appetizer. On your birthday, you will receive a Free meal.

TGIFriday’s– Join the Friday’s Rewards Club for delicious rewards and a yummy offer on your birthday.

Zaxby’s– Join the Zaxby’s Mail Club to receive a Free Sandwich meal just when you sign up. For your birthday, you will receive a Free nibbler.

Yogurt Mountain– Join the YOMO Club for Free yogurt on your birthday.

Sprinkles Cupcakes-Sign up for Sprinkles Perks to receive a Free cupcake on your birthday.

Cinnabon– Sign up for the Cinnabon email club and receive a coupon for a Free 4-count Bon Bites. You will also receive a special birthday offer.

Starbucks– Join Starbucks Rewards and register a Card to receive a Free handcrafted beverage or food item on your birthday.

Noodles & Company– Join Noodles Rewards for a special birthday surprise.

Dunkin’ Donuts– Sign up for the DD Perks Rewards program. You will receive a Free Beverage when you enroll in the program, and another Free Beverage on your birthday.

Red Robin– Join the Red Robin eClub to receive rewards throughout the entire year, plus a Free Burger on your birthday.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria– Join the Grimaldi’s VIP Email club and receive a coupon for $5 off your purchase. Then, on your birthday, you will receive a coupon for a Free Large Pizza! (up to $19 value)

Earl of Sandwich– Join the Earl of Sandwich Royalty Club for special offers. You should receive $5 in your account for your birthday.

Dippin’ Dots– Join the Dot Crazy Email Club to receive Free Dippin’ Dots on your birthday and other promotional offers throughout the year.

Nothing Bundt Cakes– Join the eClub to receive a Free Bundlet on your birthday.

McAlister’s– Sign up for McAlister’s Rewards and each month you will receive a special offer. On your birthday receive a coupon for $5 off your purchase.

Benihana– Register for The Chef’s Table and receive the latest Benihana news, special offers and a complimentary $30 Benihana Birthday Certificate* during the month of your birthday. 

Sonny’s BBQ– Join the ‘Q Crew and you will receive a coupon for a Free Big Meal Combo on your birthday.

Moe’s- Join Moe’s eWorld to receive special offers during the year and a coupon for a Free Entree on your birthday.

Jason’s Deli– Sign up for email updated to receive special offers throughout the entire year. On your birthday, you will be emailed a coupon for $5 off your purchase.

BurgerFi– As a BurgerFi Rewards member, you’ll receive exclusive offers and promotions such as double point days, birthday rewards and more.

Wich Wich– For every 75 reward points you accumulate, you’ll get a Free Regular 7” Wich. You’ll also get a free Wich on your birthday, a free drink just for joining, and the potential for other special promotions or giveaways.

Olive Garden– Join the eClub for a Free dessert on your birthday.

Panera Bread– Join My Panera Rewards for a Free treat during your birthday.

Firehouse Subs- Sign up for the Firehouse Rewards program for a Free Medium Sub on your birthday.

Jersey Mike’s Subs– Join the Email club for special offers and promotions during the year. On your birthday you will receive a coupon for a Free Sub and Drink.

First Watch Daytime Cafe– Join the Sun eClub and receive a Buy 1 Get 1 Free entree coupon. On your birthday you will receive a coupon for a Free entree.

Culver’s – Join Culver’s e Club to receive coupons and a special offer on your birthday. You will also receive a Buy One, Get One FREE Value Basket coupon when you sign up.

Johnny RocketsJoin the Rocket e-Club for a Free Burger with purchase when you sign up. You will also receive a special birthday offer. 

 

STORE FREEBIES: 

Madewell Become a Madewell Insider and receive special offers and a $25 birthday gift. You will need to sign up BEFORE your birthday month begins to receive the offer. In addition, you will have to spend at least $26 to redeem the offer.

Kendra Scott– The Kendra Scott birthday discount is a fan favorite! Treat yourself to 50% off one item (or 25% off one item from the Fine Jewelry or Home Collection) any day during your birthday month, in any Kendra Scott store.

Bliss– Sign up for the Bliss Rewards program and you will receive a special birthday offer.

Torrid– Become a Torrid Insider and receive exclusive rewards. On your birthday, you will receive a $10 off $10 purchase coupon.

Ace Hardware– Join Ace Rewards and on your birthday you will receive a coupon for $5 off your purchase.

Swagbucks– Join Swagbucks, the site that pays you for using it. Get paid in Swagbucks just for searching the web, watching videos and more! You will also receive 55 Swagbucks on your birthday.

Godiva– Become a Godiva Rewards member and earn one free piece of chocolate each month and an exclusive birthday gift.

Kohl’s Yes2YouRewards– Join and receive 1 point for every dollar that you spend. When you reach 100 points you will receive a $5 Reward to spend on any purchase. You will also receive a $5 Reward on your Birthday.

Urban Decay– Sign up for the Beauty Junkies Club and you will receive a Free surprise on your birthday.

Finish Line– Sign up for the Winner’s Circle and you will receive a coupon for $15 off your purchase.

Sephora– Become a Sephora Beauty Insider and receive a Free product on your birthday.

Express– Join Express Next Rewards for special offers. On your birthday, receive a $10 coupon.

Off Broadway Shoes– Sign up for OB Rewards. You will receive $15 Rewards for every $200 that you spend as well as other savings and discounts throughout the entire year. On your birthday you will receive a reward for $10 off your purchase.

Anthropologie– Join AnthroPerks for special offers and on your birthday receive a coupon for 15% off!

Benefit Cosmetics– Create an account (be sure to go back in and add your birthday) and you should receive a Free Brow Arch on your birthday.

Cost Plus World Market– Join the World Explorer Program and you will receive 10% off just for joining. On your birthday, you will receive a special reward!

White House Black Market Join WHBM Rewards and receive a special surprise during your birthday month!

IKEA Family– Sign up for the IKEA Family program and you will receive a coupon for a Free Birthday Meal and Dessert and a coupon for $10 off your purchase.

Rue 21– Sign up for Rue 21 emails. On your birthday they will send you a coupon for $10 off a $20 purchase.

Hot Topic– Sign up for the Guest List and you will receive a coupon for $5 off your purchase.

CVS Beauty Club– Sign up to receive $5 in ExtraBucks Rewards for every $50 spent on qualifying beauty purchases. On your birthday you will receive $3 ExtraBucks rewards.

Ulta– Join the Ultamate Rewards program and receive points for every purchase. Receive a Free gift on your birthday.

Kiehl’s – Join the Kiehl’s Rewards program and you will receive a nice birthday freebie offer.

bareMinerals– Join the fab Friends and Benefits Club and you will receive a nice freebie on your birthday.

DSW Rewards– Sign up for Special offers and start earning points on every DSW purchase. On your birthday you will receive a coupon for $5 off your purchase.

Macy’s: Gibson 42 Piece Dinnerware Set Only $39.99 Shipped! (Reg. $120) – 3 Style Options

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

These Gibson Dinnerware sets are back at Macy’s! I purchased these several years ago when this offer was available and we LOVE this set! If you need new dinnerware get this set, you won’t regret it! It has been such an awesome purchase!

 Macy’s.com is offering the Gibson 42 Piece Dinnerware Set for only $37.99! (Reg. $120) And, you will score Free Shipping on orders of $25 or more.  There are 3 style options to choose from.

GO HERE to take advantage of this offer.

Explore The Alley at Belleair Bluffs!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of The Alley at Belleair Bluffs; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  Please see my disclosure policy)

I recently had the amazing opportunity to explore The Alley at Belleair Bluffs here in the Tampa Bay area with my friend Marsha from Plate Girl. Located at 596 Indian Rocks Road in Belleair Bluffs, FL, this hidden gem is home to many cute, yet quaint stores that are filled with vintage and eclectic pieces as well as clothing and even delicious food options.

I actually visited this past Saturday, November 30, which was Shop Small Saturday. What fun it was for me as we toured some of the stores, and to hear from each owner as to how they began their business. It is evident to me that each owner really understands their business and takes pride in what they are doing! Everyone was so friendly and made me feel welcome!

We began our tour of The Alley at The Astoria Pastry Shop. This European Bakery has everything from homemade pastries to custom cakes, and they serve delicious ILLY coffee. We had the most delicious cappucinos and sweet treat that helped us get our day off to a great start! The Astoria Pastry Shop is so charming, and they offer both indoor and outdoor seating. It is the perfect stop for coffee with a friend, or you can pick up treats for the go!

Our next stop along the way was Petal and Vine Garden & Marketplace. This store offers exquisite floral arrangements, delectables and unique gifts. There are gift ideas for everyone on your gift list! I especially loved meeting Petals the Deer! This deer is a staple at Petal and Vine and they had him all decorated for the Christmas holidays! Whether you need fresh flowers, a gift for a friend, or a few new items to spruce up your space, be sure to check out Petal and Vine Garden & Marketplace!

Our next stop along the way was Victoria’s Parlour. This shop is unlike any that you have ever been to before and offers everything from paintings, jewelry, oriental rugs, buttons and so much more! The owner, Victoria, has a great love for oriental rugs. In fact, both her parents and grandparents were in the rug business! She has many photos of her family from years gone by showcasing their love of the rug business. Victoria also takes great pride in her button collection. You would not believe the collection of buttons that she has! I highly suggest that you stop by Victoria’s Parlour to see what goodies that she has to offer!

 

After Victoria’s Parlour, we headed over to Lemon Tree Vintage Market. This adorable store offers refreshed and repurposed furniture, the cutest home decor, gifts, clothing and more! I love all the cute lemon pieces! If you need a gift for that hard-to-buy for person, be sure to check out Lemon Tree Vintage Market. They offer something for everyone!

 

I thoroughly enjoyed our next visit along the way at Jewel Antique Mall. This mall houses over 10,000 square feet of antiques, collectibles and treasures from over 30 dealers! If you have been searching for that special something, chances are that Jewell Antique Mall has it!

We also stopped along the way to check out Reloved Resale Consignment and Shabby 2 Chic. If you are into vintage clothing, jewelry and shoes, then Reloved Resale Consignment is sure to be your new favorite stop! In addition, they offer new and designer items as well. I found a gorgeous Talbots Black Velvet Blazer on the clearance rack for $1! I also scored from the 50% off sale and purchased a brown leather Coldwater Creek jacket for only $12! If you have unwanted clothing and shoes, you can drop it off here and they will consign your items for you!

Shabby 2 Chic is such a wonderful store and I love their mission! They support single moms through Shepherd’s Village with all of the donations and items that they receive. They have the cutest designer clothing and shoes at unbeatable prices!

After all of the walking around, we needed a snack and drink so we headed to Belleair Market. Belleair Market is an establishment in the area and they are known for their selection of cigars, wines, Cuban sandwiches, snacks and so much more. The owners bought this an old convenience store six years ago, and it is now a favorite stop for so many in Belleair. I love how they take Cigar Boxes and repurpose them into gift boxes! They also offer homemade family meals like meatloaf and goulash for those nights you don’t have time to cook, as well as WonderRoast Fresh Rotisserie Chicken (one of the only left in the area) and fully catered meals for holidays or special gatherings. Belleair Market has it all! I had a delicious chicken salad sandwich made from their fresh rotisserie chicken and it was so delicious! 

Our last stop along the way was at Pallet Creations and More. This is the home to the She Shed and my friend Marsha’s space, Plate Girl. They offer stunning pieces of repurposed furniture, home decor, collectibles and more. Marsha’s space at Plate Girl is filled with plates, glassware and so many other collections. She definitely has an eye for finding gorgeous and unique pieces. Be sure to stop by and check out all the gift and home decor ideas!

No stop to The Alley at Belleair Bluffs is complete without a visit to Provence Art & Antiques. This space specializes in antique furniture, vintage accessories and creatively repurposed artisanal pieces. The garden out back is stunning. I felt like I was in a Hallmark Movie as everything was so lovely and quaint! The owner even grows fresh rosemary out front, and she was kind enough to give both Marsha and I some. It smells heavenly!

Some other shops that we did not have time to visit in The Alley are: Urban Nest Stationary, Orchid Interiors, Kay Keeling’s Art Adventure, Collum’s Antiques, Chloe’s Decor, Lady Angelo’s Art and Jewel Cafe. I will definitely be going back to explore these places for myself! 

Are you ready to go and check out The Alley at Belleair Bluffs for yourself? I have some exciting news! This Friday night, December 6, from 5-9pm, they are hosting a Winter Market! There will be vendors, live entertainment and holiday specials! Pile the family in the car and head over for a fun evening, and get some holiday shopping done while you are at it! Be sure to let them know that Heather from My Sweet Savings sent you! 

Tips for a Budget-Friendly Holiday

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

A warm welcome to WTSP viewers! I am so glad to have you here at My Sweet Savings! A huge thank you to Jenny Dean for the feature! During the Good To Know segment, we discussed tips for a budget-friendly holiday, so I thought that it would be helpful to list those for you right here on the blog for reference.

Did you know that the average American spends around $1000 on gifts during the holidays?  But, many people don’t budget that amount and often go into debt. This can take up to 6 months to pay off! One of the main reasons that people go into debt is because they don’t plan ahead.

Set a budget and stick to it! Plan how much that you spend for each person and don’t go over. Set expectations and stay with them! One tip is to use cash and the envelope system. This allows you to delegate each person in the family their own envelope. Each envelope will have your set amount of cash for each person and will help you to not overspend. You can also use the envelope to keep track of each person’s receipts and rebates if applicable.

Ask yourself: “Who am I shopping for?”

How much do I want to spend for each person on my list?”

“What is my total gift budget?”

Use coupons and money-saving apps. Sign up to your favorite retailers email lists for coupon and special promotional offers. Many times they will send you coupons that you can’t find elsewhere. I also love the app Retail Me Not as it will show you coupons and coupon codes to use when shopping in-store and online.

Buy gifts online. Purchasing online allows you to buy only those things that you are searching for and not to make impulse purchases. Also, many stores are offering free shipping right now so you don’t even have to go to the store. Consider adding items to your cart now. Log out and then come back a few days later. Many companies will email you a discount to complete your checkout.

Buy discounted gift cards to help lower your holiday budget– Use online sites like Raise.com that offers discounted gift cards. Sam’s Club and BJ’s offer gift card discounts year round. Even the drug stores will offer promotional gift card discounts. A gift card is just another form of payment. You can really get some great deals when you stack the discounted gift card with coupons and promotions to your favorite stores.

Credit Card purchases– If using credit cards, use one that will give you cash or rewards back. If you are going to purchase items you might as well get something back in return. You might be surprised at how quickly these rewards will add u and some cards will even offer incentives during the holidays. Store cards such as the Target Red Debit and Credit card give you 5% off your purchases as well, so this can be helpful to get the most bang for your buck! Also, be sure to check and see if you have available rewards points to use right now for your holiday purchases. Through December 12, Target is offering a store coupon to save $40 off your purchase of $40 or more when you sign up for the Target REDcard!

Don’t overlook the dollar and discount stores– The Dollar stores and discount stores (like Five Below) offer name brand items that you may be surprised to find. Create a gift basket around family or friend’s favorite things. (Coffee, Cheese, Sports, etc…) I also love to utilize the dollar stores for my wrapping paper, gift bags and holiday cards. Their selection is fabulous and you can’t beat the price!

Photo Gifts– I find that photo gifts are always the most received of any of the gifts that I give. The drugstores often offer majorly discounted deals on these items. You can often get a Free 8X10 photo print. I like to add a nice frame from Michaels or Hobby Lobby that I bought with a 50% off coupon, and voila you have a beautiful and affordable gift idea.

Be Creative– Make gift baskets with items that you already have or from items that you got on sale throughout the year. I have made some fantastic gift baskets for friends and family with items that I scored on sale during the year. When I find sales on items I stock up during the year as my budget allows. This way at Christmas I am not going to break my budget trying to find gift items.

The Four Gift Plan for Kids– Consider buying the kids just 4 gifts this year. Something they need, something to read, something to wear and something that they want. This plan will really will help to keep your budget on track!

Wrap your gift in a gift– You can make a loaf of your favorite bread or muffins and wrap in a cute towel. Wrap a set of sheets and put in a pillowcase with a big bow. Place a bag of coffee or coffee gift card in a coffee cup. The options are endless!

Have fun! Having a holiday budget is important, but remember to cherish that moments that you have with your family and friends. Don’t stress out! You will remember the memories more than any item that you purchase. If you stick to your budget you will have extra reason to celebrate!

Give the Gift of Beautiful Skin this Holiday with Rodan + Fields!

Disclosure: I was provided with products from Rodan + Fields to facilitate my review; however, all thoughts are my own.  (Please see my disclosure policy)

Be ready to party in style this holiday season with beautiful skin from Rodan + Fields! Beautiful, healthy skin is the first thing that many people will notice about you, so why not treat yourself this holiday? Rodan + Fields has several bundle deals that will not only save you some money, but will also get you on your way to more radiant skin! I feel that beautiful skin is definitely something worth investing in!

Rodan + Fields Holiday Luxe Set

Get beautiful skin this holiday with the Rodan + Fields Holiday Luxe Gift Set! The Holiday Luxe Set includes: Lash Boost, Active Hydration Serum and Micro-Dermabrasion Paste. This set combines the three of the most popular ENHANCEMENTS products in one giftable set — Lash Boost, Active Hydration Serum + Micro-Dermabrasion Paste. I can’t think of a better gift to give to someone that you love!

Retail Price: $350, however, I have some exciting news for you! You can score the entire kit for only $279! Even sweeter, when you sign up to be a preferred customer (one time fee of $20) you can purchase the kit for $251! You can GO HERE to see the details of this set and for more information.

Rodan + Fields Pure Glow Set

 Get your glow on this holiday season with the exclusive Pure Glow Set. Featuring two of R + F most popular products — the updated Micro-Dermabrasion Paste (with a new look!) and Active Hydration Body Replenish. Micro-Dermabrasion Paste offers full face and body exfoliation. You’ll see smoother, more vibrant, even-toned, brighter-looking skin after just one use. Active Hydration Body Replenish delivers immediate and continuous body hydration and helps prevent future moisture loss, making this the perfect skincare power pair.

Retail price: $149, however, I have some exciting news for you! You can score the entire kit for only $118! Even sweeter, when you sign up to be a preferred customer (one time fee of $20) you can purchase the kit for $106! You can GO HERE to see the details of this set and for more information.

Just take a look at some of these awesome results that ladies have seen by using Rodan + Fields products. The results simply speak for themselves!

GO HERE to see more information about Rodan + Fields products. My friend Teresa will be more than happy to assist you and answer any questions that you might have about the products!

The 2019 My Sweet Savings Holiday Gift Guide is Here!

Disclosure: All of the products in this post were given to me in order to facilitate my review and gift guide. All thoughts & opinions are 100% my own.

I am so excited to finally share with you the 2019 My Sweet Savings Holiday Gift Guide! I have been working tirelessly on this since September and I am thrilled with the products that we are including this year! A huge thank you to all of our sponsors and clients for making this our biggest and best year yet!

GO HERE to see the 2019 My Sweet Savings Holiday Gift Guide.

Easy Canvas Prints: Large Photo Canvases Only $15.95 + Free Shipping!

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

One of my favorite things to gift year after year are photo canvases. They allow you take a photo from a special occasion and treasure it forever in the form of a canvas. We have an entire wall in our hallway with canvas prints of photos from past years. Right now Easy Canvas Prints has a SUPER deal! In fact, they are offering 85% off + Free Shipping! You can create a Custom 11×14 Canvas Photo Print for only $15.99 shipped (reg. $108.55) or a Custom 16×20 Canvas Photo Print for only $20.99 shipped (reg. $156.47) And, no promo code is needed for this offer. Your discounted price will be reflected automatically! 

GO HERE to take advantage of this offer. These make the best gifts for parents and grandparents too!