Archives for 2017
Some people shop all year long for Christmas. Others wait until December 24th. Wherever you fit in that spectrum, you still want to score a deal. Americans spend $830 billion on Christmas, according to a 2013 statistic. If you’re looking for cheap Christmas gifts for kids, then here are five tips that will help.
(Got any kids 5 and under? Here’s a great list of gift ideas for them!)
If you’re a fan of Amazon, especially around the holidays, then check out SnagShout.com. It offers hundreds of deeply discounted products you can purchase in exchange for a review.
How does SnagShout work:
- Browse their merchandise to see if there is something you’d like to purchase. Often these products are marked 60% to 90% off. Some products are even free.
- You’ll be given a specific SnagShout code to enter at check out.
- These are Amazon products, so you’ll be automatically transferred to Amazon to complete your purchase.
- Once you’ve received and tried out the product, you must leave a review on Amazon to complete your agreement with SnagShout.
- After that, you’re permitted to shop for your next SnagShout product.
Giving SnagShout products as gifts is tricky since you do need to leave a review. I’m certainly not suggesting you lie because that’s unethical and could get you banned from SnagShout. The best solution is to purchase the item for your child, let him play with it, then ask what he thinks. You could also purchase an item of which you’re already familiar and leave a review based on what you already know.
Off-season clearance racks
Fall and spring are great times of the year for garage sales. Every changing season brings a deep discount (i.e. end of summer, back to school, end of winter, etc.). If there are huge discounts on summer clothes during the fall, then you could score some big savings on next year’s summer wardrobe and give them as Christmas presents.
If gift cards and online shopping are your preferred methods for finding cheap Christmas gifts for kids, then look up Swagbucks. This is one of the most popular survey + reward sites because it offers a wide variety of ways to earn. They include:
- Searching the Web
- Online shopping
- Watching videos
- Playing games
You could earn points the next time you shop online at Toys R Us, Target, Old Navy, or the Disney Store. Cash in your points for free gift cards for Amazon, PayPal, Walmart, Target, Visa and more.
Click here to sign up for your free Swagbucks account.
Cheap Christmas gifts for kids come in every shape in size. One of my favorite things about Pinterest is that there are so many options for making awesome gifts for your awesome kids. Not everything is cheaper to make at home than it is in the store. However, I encourage you to at least consider this route, especially if time is on your side. I made a no-sew blanket for each of my babies, and could easily work on it while I watched a movie. Fabric stores often have coupons for supplies, so I saved money and gave my kids something homemade they’ll have for a long time from their not-that-crafty mom.
One of the coolest gifts you can give your kids is the gift of experiences. Groupon is a great resource for discounted events and adventures. Search “Groupon + Your City” to find some kid-friendly events happening near you.
Do you start Christmas shopping before or after Thanksgiving? Tell us in the comments below?
Image Credit: Andrew Neel (UnSplash)
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, Kids Ain’t Cheap will receive a commission, but we only recommend products that we know and love. Thank you for your business!
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Remodeling your home has two primary benefits: one, you and your family get to enjoy the upgrades while you live there – which can include having more space, greater aesthetic appeal and fostering a sense of newness. Two, it raises the value of the home in case you decide to put it up for sale. In particular, the kitchen and bathroom areas, when upgraded, fetch a much better price.
Remodeling The Bathroom
This will be one of the highlights of your remodeling project. With a bathroom, there are little changes here and there that lead to big effects. For starters, replacing the wide sink with a free-floating pedestal creates more storage room, and placing a full-length mirror on a free wall opens up the space.
Before you make any big changes to the bathroom, it is imperative that you get the plumbing checked for any leaks. Plumbing Fix is just such a company, and they focus on residential and commercial plumbing problems. Get your drains cleared and pipes fixed before attempting any renovations in these areas.
Additionally, pay careful attention when doing any work that may require displacing some of the plumbing; this is very costly as it sometimes adheres to a city plan. If absolutely necessary, make sure to hire a contractor.
Many homeowners use the driveway leading to their garage to store their cars; it’s a convenient solution to mornings when you’re running late for work – but it only works in regions of the country where the weather doesn’t get very bad. The West Coast is such a region, and if you live there, you might do well to convert your garage into an office.
Many garages have water heaters, and it’s wise to have the place checked for water-related damage. The experts at Restoration Elite in your city are well-versed in all the methods of mold remediation and rectifying the water spots that lead to further damage. If your home has any signs of these, have them taken care of professionally before stripping the walls and construction addendums in your remodeling project.
The kitchen is all about functionality and visual appeal – it’s one of the first rooms that prospective homeowners look at when house hunting. Some of the upgrades that can make your kitchen more enticing involve lighting and cabinetry. You can play with lighting using a pendant light, casting an arresting glow about the place.
With cabinetry; you’ve got to be careful – as it’s easy to spend a bunch on the finest cherry-oak. If you’re doing the remodeling yourself, measure everything thrice before you order the replacement shelves, as it is costly having to send stuff back and re-order.
Other upgrades that make a substantial difference to the kitchen space include the addition of an island, granite countertops (or a different material to cut down on costs), and the addition of stainless steel appliances. Even if you don’t change the cabinetry entirely, the addition of new pulls and handles will make a marked difference.
As for the rest of the house, upgrading the living room and bedrooms is wholly dependent on your budget. Usually, new furniture is the most decisive remodeling change; but a fresh coat of paint on the walls and the rearrangement of the current furniture are cheaper alternatives. In fact, using slipcovers or fabric on sofas and chairs works wonders for renewed visual appeal. New blinds for the windows, as well as curtains where applicable, will change the play of light on surfaces in the room.
It’s no secret that charity events are limited by their budget, making it crucial to maximize every cent if you want to pull off a spectacular occasion. You don’t have to throw a sub-par event just because funds are limited, however.
The key to a successful charity event is to maintain quality while ensuring every guest is well attended to, while at the same time cutting out any unnecessary costs so the majority of your funds go to those who need it the most. This is going to require some creativity, quick thinking, and a solid plan. Here’s how you can host the ultimate charity event even on the smallest of budgets.
Make A Detailed Plan
Micro-managing every aspect of your event is crucial. Take the time to write out a detailed list of all possible outgoings while including hidden costs. This will give you a good idea of your breakeven point, which will let you know how many tickets you need to sell to make a profit.
Afterwards, make notes of every expense to provide full detail as what your costs will be. Once everything is in order, you can begin to see what fits into your budget and what does not.
Pick The Right Venue
Give yourself the time to research and visit plenty of event venues so you can choose the cheapest option that is still in accordance to your plans. It is also wise to give them a few different dates for the event, so that you find the most affordable option.
You should also ask about what is included in the cost. Often times, venues include things like technicians, AV equipment, and PA systems. If there is anything in their package you absolutely do not need, see if they can lower the price by removing it.
If you’re already cutting things too close with just the venue, then you may want to seek out additional funding. Using a site like Plumfund is an excellent way to spread awareness about your cause and receive fundraising for your event from people who may not have otherwise heard of it. All you will need to do is create the event’s page, explain what this charity is for in detail, and allow individuals to contribute.
Buy In Bulk
Food and catering can be one of the most expensive aspects of any event. Maybe you plan on serving cheese and cracker hoderves, or using food trays from a catering company. On the other hand, you could keep things simple and cheap with tasty snacks or an assortment of finer delights.
Whatever it is you plan on serving at your event, buy it in bulk. For instance, you could choose to buy bulk candy for a colorful and exciting table. The fact is that you need a large quantity of food anyway, so why not save some money by purchasing it all at once from the same place?
Volunteers Make All The Difference
If you can enlist the help of volunteers, then you’ll be doing your budget one of the largest favors possible. There are plenty of enthusiastic people who are more than happy to share their time and skills to make your charity a success.
Whether they can offer helping hands in getting things set up, live entertainment, or even act as waiters, they’ll save you money as opposed to those requiring a paycheck for their services. Enlisting is as simple as running a campaign on social media to let the world know you need some extra help for a good cause.
There’s no denying that providing for and taking care of a family is tough, not to mention expensive. Just this year, the Department of Agriculture reported that the cost of raising one child through the age of 17 is between $174,690 and $233,610. That, of course, does not include all of the expenses pertaining to yourself.
The costs of raising a family have led many to seek out a side hustle in order to make extra cash, but can these additional jobs actually make a difference? This article is here to show you how they can save you from financial woe and help pad your monthly budget.
Understanding The Side Hustle
Simply put, a side hustle is anything you do for extra money aside from your normal job. Most people might relate the term to driving for a rideshare, but side hustles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some people pick up night shifts at places like UPS, while others walk dogs or babysit.
The possibilities are nearly endless, leaving it up to you to figure out what you would be good at and what can fit around your schedule. Picking up more work can be exhausting when you mix it into your daily routine. Make sure to have a steady supply of coffee or a nootropic handy. You can read more here if you haven’t heard about nootropics yet.
The Debt Problem
A steady stream of extra income can help pay down your debts faster, but it also makes increasing those debts tempting. If credit card bills or other debts are piling up, it’s important to have a solid plan of action to make sure your side hustle is as effective as you would like it to be.
There are all sorts of helpful tools out there that can make eliminating your debt less of a burden. You can learn more here about what a debt relief agency can do for you, but it’s time to dive into what side hustles are out there.
Top Ideas For Side Hustles
These are just a few ideas that have proven themselves lucrative for families in need of relief from a tight budget. Hopefully they get your gears turning and help you find something that will work for you.
Sell Your Stuff
First up is Etsy, which is perfect for anyone who has a creative knack for making handmade items. For instance, some Etsy sellers knit beanies and sweaters that sell for anywhere from $20 to $50. If you have a hobby of creating something, sell it.
Alternatively, you could sell things you no longer need (like clothes your kids have outgrown) on sites like Ebay. A garage sale is great, but having your things available 24/7 online gives them a much better chance to sell.
If you’re looking for something you can do while watching TV before bed, then sign up for a survey site. It’s free, and can help you make an extra $100 a month depending on how fast you can complete them. It might not be much, but every dollar counts.
Let’s say you’re passionate about gardening, turn that passion into a blog by writing about how to grow the best fruits and vegetables. Then, all you have to do is sign up for affiliate programs and feature products on your site. Anytime someone clicks through the affiliate link and buys a product, you make a small percentage of the profit.
Of course, there is always driving for a company like Uber as well as hundreds of other ways to make extra money on the side. Best of luck!
Kids are curious and excited by nature. They’re impulsive, and unlike most adults, they don’t consider surroundings or consequences before acting. Being so cavalier makes moms and dads nervous at best. Keep your kids safe on your next jaunt through the city.
Keep Distance from Tall Displays
Strolling through the city inevitably involves window shopping and perusing stores. Bringing young children into the store necessitates unwavering vigilance since little ones are curious about everything. Most displays are safe yet beware of high towers or leaving kids around stacked merchandise.
Tell Kids to Wait to Board Escalators
The notion of moving stairs may seem fun to kids but adults know the dangers of the rotating escalator. Ensure kids’ shoes are tied and they are holding your hand when you board and exit the stairs. Also, remind them the stairs is not a place for playing.
Stand in the Back of the Elevator
Like escalators, elevators pique the curiosity of the young. They also pose threat to little ones who enter the elevator when it’s uneven with the floor or if they put their fingers, hands, and feet between closing doors. Additionally, don’t accidentally put your child in harm’s way by using the stroller to stop the elevator from closing before you board. Lastly, stand in the back of the elevator so kids are not tempted to push buttons or stand between opening and closing doors.
Keep Tabs on Them
It’s instinct for moms and dads to keep an eye on the kiddies, but even the most vigilant parent can lose sight for a few seconds. Unfortunately, that’s all it takes for kids to wander off and get lost in a crowd. A range of products helps parents track the whereabouts of kids via tracking technology. For example, a child may wear a bracelet that sounds an alarm to help parents quickly locate.
Update Safety Zones
Agree upon a safety zone where you can reunite with your child when separated. It could be the checkout counter at a shopping store or the help desk within the mall. Kids get just as scared as parents when they wander off. Safety zones enable moms, dads, and kids to stay calm. Be sure to continuously update the safety zone depending on your proximity throughout the day. As to help kids feel safer in the hotel, introduce them to the front desk workers at your Marriott Baltimore.
Find Another Family
It’s difficult to relay how to act toward strangers to a kid. Even adults get confused as to who can help or is a possible threat. Some insights, such as looking for a person in uniform (such as a police officer) can be confusing. However, one mother suggests instructing kids to look for moms and dads with other kids if they are in need of the help of a stranger.
Hold hands when walking in heavy pedestrian traffic, crossing the street, and whenever it’s practical. Kids can’t understand all of the potential dangers of a city but they can understand that it’s important to stay close and to hold your hand.
Black Friday is closer than you think, so make sure you’re prepared. The worst thing a Black Friday attendee can do is to show up without a game plan.
Everyone knows shopping centers and malls are pandemonium on Black Friday, so don’t get caught up in the commotion. Make the most out of your Black Friday experience. Find the right coupon shopping apps.
We came up with the list of the best Black Friday shopping sites and apps available. Find toys, clothes, kitchenware, electronics and so much more. The countdown to the big day has begun!
Black Friday Mobile (BF!)
There’s probably no app more devoted to black friday than simply BlackFriday.com. Available on the app store or Google Play, you can find Black Friday deals before heading to the store. Be the first to get coupon ad alerts and find the best black friday deals before retailers run out.
They make it all easy with their Wishlist. This is a section of the app where you can save your favorite deals all in one place. That’s not all. You can organize your deals by which store they come from or by certain category.
BF has over a million followers on Facebook, so make sure you’re included in getting first wind of great deals!
BFAds has one mission and one mission only: to keep you updated on the hottest Black Friday deals.
The website updates regularly and features articles about big name stores and what they’re offering this year. BFAds also flaunts their “leaked” deals to try and keep users in the know of secretly planned Black Friday deals.
Unique to shopping sites that only let you know what deals are around, BFAds offers their own giveaways. They recently gave readers a chance to enter into a contest in which a winner could receive the much anticipated Nintendo SNES Classic.
Black Friday Ads
Find rare Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals with Black Friday Ads.
Ads for BlackFriday.fm will start popping up in November, so you’ll have to stay tuned. Shop the best Black Friday deals from Kohl’s, Best Buy, Target, Walmart, The Home Depot, Macy’s, Sears, Bed Bath & Beyond, and more.
You can search by brand or category. Categories include appliances, food & wine, sports & outdoors, cellphones, baby & kids, general electronics, among others.
Retail Me Not
Retail Me Not is great all year round, but Black Friday is their time to shine.
Retail Me Not is a popular discount shopping app dedicated to promotions and discounts. This app helps companies get the word out about their brand, and it help customers find what they’re looking for.
This convenient shopper app is popular among clothing shoppers. They can find sweaters, boots, purses, and other Fall favorites.
TGI Black Friday
Another Black Friday shopping website is TGI Black Friday. Receive push notifications and frequent updates on Black Friday news to stay in the loop during the entrance into the holiday season.
According to their website, TGI Black Friday has been featured in The New York Times, CNN, and the Wall Street Journal.
From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, you don’t have to worry about missing a thing. Sign up for the mailing list on their homepage to get notifications when they start emailing deals.
The Black Friday
Though Black Friday deals are not released yet, The Black Friday offers information on current sales. Check their shopper app or website and you’ll find pre black friday deals from places like Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and more.
The Black Friday also gives insightful information like each store’s top picks and recent news. For example, when clicking on Toys”R”Us, you’ll find updated information about the bankruptcy the major retailer is going through and how it will influence their performance this season.
Deal news is similar to the other trusty Black Friday shopping websites on this list, but what Deal News also offers is Black Friday predictions. For example, Deal News predicts that K-Cup machines will be selling for as little as $50 this year.
They also have a shopping blog on their site that is fun to read. In the blog, you’ll find helpful shopping related articles. One of the blogs is titled “10 Ways to Save Up for a Black Friday Doorbuster. In this article, you find 10 interesting ways a shopper can save cash and prepare for the big spending day.
Find DealNews on an Android phone or iOS iPhone.
SlickDeals is also another unique coupon shopping app. It’s like Yelp for deals.
Users can rate and review coupons, so you’ll know what you’re getting into and if a coupon is legit. Users can also share coupons they’ve found with others.
There are forums where people can get together and talk about anything related to online deal hunting. In these forums, consumers work together to sniff out fake or sketchy deals.
This online community of bargain shoppers is changing the way people save money. It’s a wonderful place for people to look out for each other and to avoid getting scammed.
Similar to other discount shopping websites, SlickDeals has a blog where you can find shopping advice and news. One of the most recent blogs features the best things to buy in the month of October.
This shopping app is a little different than the other ones on the list. Santa’s Bag is a convenient way to help alleviate stress of Christmas. This Christmas shopping app is useful in that it helps you plan out Christmas gifts in a streamlined way.
Not only can you plan gifts for others through the app, you can send your preferences for the presents you want to receive this year.
You can also budget your gifts and keep track of how much you’ve spent on each person you’re purchasing items for.
Download it on iTunes and save yourself some time!
Get Ready to Save!
Black Friday seems intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! With all the ways you can coupon search and gift plan, shopping this year should be a piece of cake. The key is preparation. Get ready and keep up with the latest doorbusters by downloading these helpful shopping apps. Good luck, bargain hunters!
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