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Nov 30
icon1 Susan | icon2 Savings Tip (@Savings.com) | icon4 11 30th, 2010| icon3No Comments »

The best thing I took away from a marketing class in college was when my professor told us, “Don’t pay full price, don’t pay sale prices, always negotiate.”  When I heard that I couldn’t believe the amount of money I could have saved if I had known that information before, because I always paid the price that was marked (except my first car, which my mom negotiated).

That day was the beginning and end to my usual retail buying habits.

To my complete surprise, I found you could negotiate or find deeply discounted items at some of your major retail stores.  You won’t be able to negotiate on a pair of socks, but higher ticket items such as electronics or home appliances have room for negotiation (depending on the store, Best Buy negotiates).  You can also find deeply discounted items if you know where to look (Right Start sells floor models at deep discounts and most retail stores have clearance sections).

I have compiled a list of things that can increase your purchasing power and give you the edge in getting the best deal on something you want.

Read the rest of the post at Savings.com.

Nov 25
icon1 Susan | icon2 Special Days | icon4 11 25th, 2010| icon3No Comments »

I woke up very early this morning and thought about everyone, everything, and every moment I was thankful for.

I love Thanksgiving for the fact that it’s the one day in the year that has the word Thanks and giving, all in one word.  It’s a day for people to be really grateful for what they have, celebrate it, and also give back (The Native Americans helped the pilgrims from starvation 389 years ago in Plymouth Mass).

 It’s so easy to take for granted what we have, such as health, shelter, food, family, and more.  I for one can say I am guilty of that.

After thanking the world, I came across an email in my inbox from Healthy Child Healthy World titled, “Remember to Thank YOU!”  I opened the email and it thanked me 3 times and told me how amazing I was (that felt really good).

It’s so easy to thank the world and forget about yourself.  As parents, we become selfless individuals to these little beings, we forget that we are also humans that need words of gratitude from time to time (It’s like drinking water for the soul).

So for this Thanksgiving, thank yourself first, and then go down your mile long list.  After reading that email, I thanked myself a hundred times!

Nov 22
icon1 Susan | icon2 Sale | icon4 11 22nd, 2010| icon3No Comments »

Stumped on dessert ideas for the holidays?  Don’t have the time?  Coco’s Bakery Restaurant is now offering pumpkin pies at only $6.99.  You can order online and pickup at select locations.  The great part, no one needs to know that you really didn’t make that pumpkin pie.

The pies look homemade and will go great with all of your other holiday dishes.  Don’t stress this holiday season and just enjoy!

Also, if you would like to purchase an extra pie during this holiday season for Pies For A Purpose, Coco’s will donate the extra pie to a local food bank.  This would be the perfect way to give back and know that you will be making someone’s heart smile on probably the most loneliest day for someone who doesn’t have shelter or family.

Nov 17
icon1 Susan | icon2 Event | icon4 11 17th, 2010| icon3No Comments »

From now until December 31st, each person who registers at NUK will be a part of making a child smile somewhere around the globe.  Nuk will donate $1 for every registration up to $10,000.

Operation Smile does such great things around the globe, especially in developing countries.  They provide free surgeries to repair cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities.

A smile says a lot about a person and I know for most us who get to smile everyday, it may be taken for granted (just like any necessities in life).

Since we are already online, why not contribute to this cause and help raise $10,000 just by signing up

I just signed up (I also invited others via Facebook to sign up) and it feels good to know that each $1 will go a long way.

Nov 16
icon1 Susan | icon2 Savings Tip (@Savings.com) | icon4 11 16th, 2010| icon31 Comment »

Recently, I was a bad mom.  A really bad mom.  I told my daughter if she continued to be a good girl, I would go to the Disney Store to buy her a Mulan costume for Halloween.  So every day, she was very well-mannered and on her best behavior, both at home and at school (although expected, even without the bribe).

The time came to buy her Mulan costume and I was very much excited for her because it was the day we had all been waiting for.  It was five days before Halloween and I just knew that no other girls would want to be Mulan and it would be heavily discounted because it would be excess stock. 

Boy, was I wrong and it was the biggest retail wake-up call ever.

I walked in and started looking for the costume and couldn’t find any.  So I asked for a team member’s assistance and they took me to the corner where the only costumes I saw was for a pirate, some plastic character (whatever that was), and an overflow of Jasmine tops and pants (too risque for my four year-old). 

For the rest of the post,  go to Savings.com.

Nov 5
icon1 Susan | icon2 Giveaways | icon4 11 5th, 2010| icon332 Comments »

If you are having trouble putting your little one to sleep, the Miracle Blanket is a must.  Over a year ago, we started using it for our baby, and it was truely a miracle.  Our baby was always content and never cried when she was in her blanket, unless she did number 1 or 2 and was hungry.  This is definitely a life saver for any parent!

From now until Monday November 8th (Midnight CST), you will get your chance at winning a Miracle Blanket.  First, you should follow Miracle Blanket on Twitter and Like them on Facebook.  On Tuesday morning, the winners will be posted on both Facebook and Twitter.

To enter, please comment below with a nickname you would have for your sleeping baby (example: my baby is a Karate Kid or my baby is like Swan Lake).  Giveaway is open to residents of  U.S. and Canada.  Good Luck!

Nov 4
icon1 Susan | icon2 Product Review | icon4 11 4th, 2010| icon33 Comments »

I have to admit that I am not a runner.  Not because I don’t like to run (well partially I don’t like to run), but I had knee surgery when I was younger from a gymnastics injury.  Whenever I would run, it was more like a painful physical therapy session, rather than a good stress-free workout.

After the surgery, I’ve been accustomed to walking really fast and only running when I have to chase my daughter from avoiding a freak accident (here and there) crossing a street.

The only thing that’s in the way of me running, besides my knees, is finding the right shoes.  The whole process of going to a Lady Footlocker or Sports Chalet is nothing but draining and even a visit to my foot doctor (spending over $500 on some foot inserts that look like I could have purchased them at a local Ralph’s for $8.99) has not helped me.

So I got excited when I found out that Reebok, the makers of the Easytone (which I love wearing for everyday activities), also made a running version of the sneaker.  Appropriately named Runtone,  I was hoping that this would be my answer to my running prayers.

Just like the Easytone (read my previous post), it’s sleek and stylish.  No bulk and all business.  The balance ball inspired technology with moving air gives you the feeling of running on sand.  And if you’ve ever run on sand, you know how your legs and butt feel afterwards (can I say burning in a good way).

I love how the sneakers are light and they envelop the every curvature of my feet.  Since I have not run for a good amount of time, I took it very slow and started with walking.  Even though I was walking, I felt all of my lower body muscles work.

Once I started to lightly jog with my jogging stroller, the one thing I felt (or shall I say, I didn’t feel) besides my muscles working was that my knee joints weren’t uncomfortable.  The shoes almost gave a bounce to my strides.  At first, I thought it might be psychological because I wanted the shoes to work for me.  But after using it for a week and zero knee discomfort, I have to say that it works for me.

Anyone else have positive or negative experiences? Please share.

(Disclosure: The sneakers were provided by MC Saatchi and Reebok for review purposes and does not affect my views or feedback of the products.  This review is based solely on my personal opinion and experience and results may vary person to person.)

Nov 2
icon1 Susan | icon2 Savings Tip (@Savings.com) | icon4 11 2nd, 2010| icon31 Comment »

A lot of parents wonder when the perfect time is to introduce money into their child’s life.  Whether it’s giving them a set weekly allowance, a bank account, or even saving up for a bike they wanted to buy forever, introducing money is another developmental milestone for any parent and their child.

So when is the perfect time to talk about money?  Just like transitioning from breast milk to solids and from crawling to walking, your child will give you cues that will let you know when to talk about money.

From my own experience, my daughter was learning about money when I didn’t even think she was paying attention–such as the checkout line at the grocery store. She watched me hand money to people, receive money, swipe credit cards, and write checks all the time. Naturally, she mimicked my every actions when she was playing pretend.

Eventually, it transitioned from imaginary play to getting a weekly allowance of a dollar. With that dollar, she would either buy an ice cream bar from a street vendor or she would save a couple months worth of dollars to buy clothes for her Barbie dolls. How old you ask? She was three at the time.

I felt she was ready to learn about the basics of money, but more importantly, she was interested in talking about it, touching it, and using it. At that point, my husband and I signed up for SmartyPig, a free online piggy bank where saving for a specific goal couldn’t be simpler.

Read the entire post at Savings.com.