Category Archives: Deals

Stock up and save event at Walmart #ad

Walmart’s Stock Up & Save Event: PLUS Walmart Gift Card Giveaway

The Walmart gift cards and information have been provided by P&G. All opinions are 100% my own.

Stock up and save event at Walmart #adI have been trying to stock up on all the essentials lately before baby comes. They tell me it could be any day now which is crazy to think about!! So while I was at Walmart, I made sure to take advantage of their “Stock Up & Save” event that is going on now through April 30th where you can purchase your favorite P&G products with some big, limited-time rollback savings and guaranteed low prices.

What to Stock Up & Save On

There are a lot of great P&G products that you can save on right now. This includes everything from Tide laundry detergent, Charmin toilet paper, Bounty paper towels, Pampers Swaddlers Diapers, Luvs Super Absorbent Diapers, Tampax tampons and pads, and/or Always Discreet items as well. What items do you need to stock up on?

For me, I went with Pampers Swaddlers diapers (the huge box of course) and Tide free & gentle which is always good for baby blankets, onesies, outfits, bedding, etc. I know I’ll be going through these items like crazy so I knew it would be the time to stock up on them while I can!

Stock up and save on Pampers #ad

And I’ve already started doing loads of laundry with the Tide so that we have plenty of options for when our little one comes home. I have a feeling the last thing I want to be doing is laundry as soon as we get home from the hospital – but that’s just a hunch!

Stock up and save on Tide #ad

Yes, that is her ‘going home’ outfit, I’ve already got it washed and packed into my hospital bag because you never know! I guess you could say I’m anxious to move on from pregnancy to motherhood… :)

Win a $25 Walmart Gift Card!

Do you have items you need to stock up on? Now is your chance! I’m giving away a $25 Walmart gift card so that you can stock up and save on the items that you need! Enter the contest by using the Rafflecopter form below. Contest is open to US residents. Contest ends April 28, 2015 at 11:59PM CST. 

walmart gift card giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

sarah carlson money saving

Easy Ways to Save Money – And Website Resource List

Today started out early! I woke up at 3am to get ready to go down to St. Louis Park for a couple live segments with WCCO (CBS) about money-saving tips and resources. I had to narrow it down to my top four of each category, which was tough because there is so much out there! But I managed, and hopefully gave some helpful tips.

First things first, I’m almost 26 weeks pregnant now and it was a long process for me to find something to wear for the segments. So far I’ve bought maybe 2 maternity tops, both of which I really don’t love, but they’re better than stretched out t-shirts which has been what I’m down to lately! It’s a frustrating ordeal, to go through your whole closet and not be able to find a single thing that you feel like you look good in. My husband saw my frustration and we made a late night trip to Target to see if we could find something to work. I took a few looks around and found nothing. He grabbed a few tops and said, “Let’s try some stuff on here!” Bless his heart. I ended up going with the blue Liz Lange one he picked out.

sarah carlson money saving

Alright, so back to the topic at hand; money-saving. Here’s the first segment, in case you missed it: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/video/11173815-creative-ways-to-save-while-you-shop/

The second segment didn’t make it up on their website so you’ll just have to keep reading to find out my four favorite deal websites. Here’s what I outlined in my interviews…

Easy Ways to Save Money

Practical Ways for Mom to Save Money

1. Think Ahead – Instead of shopping for what you need right now (which is when you end up paying full price), purchase items that you know you’re going to need when you see them at a low price. For example, if you see a great deal on shampoo/conditioner, buy a few! You’ll need them soon enough and you’ll be glad you have back-ups when you run out, plus you’ll pay much less when you find them on sale (and use coupons to lower your cost even more)!

Personally for me lately, I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for diaper deals. I’ve created a little stockpile of diapers ranging from sizes 1 to 4, and I’ve been able to get them for under $2.00 a package, or in some cases I’ve been able to score them for free! Watch for hot deals (such as save $10 when you spend $40, or get a free $10 gift card when you buy two, etc.) and then stack that with manufacturer coupons and/or store coupons to get the very best deal possible.

2. Shop Second-Hand – Kids go through things so fast that they barely get used sometimes. Everything from clothes, to toys, to movies… they obsess over things for short periods of time and then they just collect dust. These items often times end up at Goodwill, garage sales or stores like One Upon a Child where you can pay a fraction of the cost for something that’s barely been used.

3. Meal Plan – It only takes a few minutes each Sunday to sit down and flip through the weekly circulars. Jot down what’s on sale that week, and try to pair this along with things you might already have in your fridge, freezer or pantry. From there, get your coupons ready and head to the store to get your shopping done all in one day. This will not only save you time during the week (because who likes trying to scrape together something to make at the last minute anyways?) but it also will save you money from having to run to the store and purchase random items at full price.

You don’t have to schedule your whole week either. If you make enough for leftovers, you can make Fridays your “Choose Night” where you all pick from something you already have made. It’s a win-win!

4. Utilize Coupons – Yes, it takes time to clip coupons but it is just worth it. I don’t put that much time into clipping coupons, maybe a couple hours a week? And that’s including cleaning out expired coupons and clipping/organizing new ones. I’ll plan my shopping around store deals and good coupons to get the best deals on items and when it’s a good price, I stock up! My hubby made me storage shelves last summer because I needed somewhere to put my extra ‘stock’. I don’t go crazy but when there’s a great deal, I’d rather buy 10 jars of pasta sauce at $0.20 each than buy one for $2.00 – am I right?

And you don’t have to limit your coupon use to groceries either. I regularly clip gas coupons, restaurant coupons, clothing store coupons, etc. They come in handy and the savings really adds up!

Top 4 Websites for Finding Deals

The second segment of the day, was focused on my favorite websites that I love to use for finding deals. These are a few of the sites that I visit regularly!

  1. Passion for Savings – Find awesome deals and coupon ideas to save big on things you need.
  2. Pocket Your Dollars A local blogger, she posts hot deals ranging from Amazon, Menards, Cub, etc. to get you the best deals from all over the web and offline too.
  3. Money Saving Mom – She posts tips and advice for saving money, along with hot deals as they happen.
  4. Coupon Mom – Posts coupon match-ups for current deals. This site is a good one for those of you who have done some couponing before and know the basics.
  5. Hip 2 Save – This one I didn’t get to mention on-air, but I love her coupon deal videos she does and she updates her site frequently with hot deals as well.

If you haven’t noticed either, I have a Coupon Database on my site where you can search for specific coupons. This is so helpful and will save you a lot of searching when you’re looking for coupons for a certain deal. It tells you right where the coupon is (printable, or in a newspaper coupon insert) so you don’t have to do any of the hard work.

I hope these tips are helpful for you! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below!

Hearts,
Sarah

15 ways to save money during the holidays

15 Ways To Save Money Around The Holidays

15 ways to save money during the holidays

We all know that this time of year can get very expensive, I know I don’t have to tell you that. For me, it’s always the time of year when I have to pull out my credit card because the amount of spending is more than I can bear to see come out of my checking account. But over the last couple of years, I’ve noticed that there are certain ways to save yourself not only money but time too – just by following a few of my handy dandy tips. It may be a little late in the game for some of these this year, but it’s still a good thing to note for next year as well.

1. Start Shopping Early… Like, Now.

Yes, start shopping now because it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that you are going to end up paying way more if you wait to get your gifts and groceries until Christmas Eve. The sooner you start, the longer you have to prepare and the more likely you are to catch a great deal on items that you need instead of buying them at full price because you have no other choice. Trust me on this one, I start shopping the day after Christmas because it gives me the opportunity to score awesome deals.

2. Swap Names For Gifts

exchanging christmas gifts

Up until a couple years ago, both sides of my family bought gifts for every single person in our family. This was a serious amount of stress and money because it’s a lot of gifts! Last year, we got smart and put everyone’s names in a hat. That way, everyone still gets a gift, but you don’t have to buy 15 different gifts now, just one. That in itself will save you loads!

3. Jot Dot Gift Ideas

I have an ongoing ‘note’ on my phone that has family/friends names along with gift ideas that pop into my head when I’m out and about and see something that someone would love. That way, I have an idea of what to get people and if I happen to see a good sale on one of those items throughout the year, I can grab it and save it for a special occasion where I’d need to get them a gift. It has been a lifesaver. So listen closely to what people say they are in need of, because that just might be your ticket to a great holiday gift this year!

4. Watch For Hot Deals and Shop Them

I follow several coupon blogs on Facebook, who frequently post about awesome deals that pop up at a moment’s notice. When I see something that might be a perfect gift for someone, I jump on the opportunity to score a great deal on that item. Let these blogs do the heavy lifting for you and you’ll be amazed at how many items you can find for low, low prices – and all you have to do is follow them on Facebook!

Since I know you’re probably wondering, some of these Facebook blog pages include:

Oh, and don’t forget the Real Housewives of MN Facebook page too :) I post some pretty great things on there as well!

5. Bake Your Gifts

holiday cookies

You don’t have to go to elaborate lengths to give Christmas gifts this year. If the budget is tight, consider giving the gift of baked goods. Everyone loves this and it’s a treat that just keeps giving, even after the holidays. It may sound like a lame idea, but it really doesn’t have to be. Bake a variety of cookies and then go thrifting for containers – I always see cute tins, boxes and containers this time of year for less than a $1.00. Clean them up good and pack it with some cellophane and ribbon to make it a gorgeously inexpensive holiday gift.

6. Take Advantage of Free Shipping

This time of year, stores are throwing around free shipping like crazy. Why waste gas and time going out to the store when you don’t have to? Especially if the store isn’t near you, then it really doesn’t make sense to drive there when they likely have free shipping on orders, sometimes you have to spend a certain amount but it’s usually around $50, and if you’re spending that on a gift or a few gifts, then you are set! So I guess what I’m saying is, always check their website before you make a hike to the store, it will save you in the long run.

7. Set a Budget

If you go into a store knowing that you will only spend a certain amount on a gift, you’ll likely spend less and not get carried away. Many times for our family gift exchange, we set the price max to $20-25 so that no one has to stress about spending too much. It helps to keep everyone in check, and you don’t feel guilty about not spending more.

8. Do Without

Sometimes we’re so busy with ‘wanting’ things, that we don’t stop to think if we really need them. This time of year, stores totally target this mentality and take advantage of the fact that we all want to make this Christmas the best one ever. In reality, do you really need fresh wreathes for every door in the house, Christmas-themed plates/napkins/toilet paper?? Probably not. For the past couple years, my husband and I have skipped getting a Christmas tree. Do I miss it? Yes, but it also saves about $80 every year, plus the constant watering and maintenance before and after… We know that we will eventually go back to having one when we have kids, but right now it’s not like we absolutely need it – and another Christmas tree sleeps easy tonight :)

9. Hand Deliver Christmas Cards

save money on holiday cards

Sometimes Christmas cards can get spendy. If you figure about $1 per card to get printed, and $0.50 for a stamp for each card… then let’s say you send out about 50 cards – you’re going to spend $75 just on Christmas cards and what do you have to show for it? Instead, if you are on a budget, consider hand-delivering your cards to your family and friends. Get them printed early so that you can hand them out when you will see them next. If nothing else, give them to them on Christmas when your family gets together or New Year’s when you see your friends. However it ends up working out best, you’ll save oodles on postage. Plus, if you end up printing your cards at home yourself, you can save yourself even more.

10. DIY Wrapping & Tags

I seen at the store yesterday that wrapping paper averages somewhere between $2.50 and $5.00 per roll. I don’t know about you, but I go through about four or five of those rolls around Christmas time. Skip the traditional paper and go for something a little cheaper. Newspaper, tissue paper, and even grocery bags (inside out so there’s no words) make great alternatives.

For gift tags, don’t buy them; make them! You can use old Christmas cards and cut little shapes out of them, or just use cardstock and cut to the shape of a classic gift tag or even an ornament. Sometimes, I even just use a sharpie and write on the gift wrap itself – that wasn’t really to save money, but mostly because I get lazy after wrapping so many gifts! But it does help keep expenses down as well :)

11. Keep Your Eye on Sales Flyers

Be sure to page through the weekend newspaper to see what deals the stores are having that week on groceries. This time of year, you can find great deals on baking essentials, traditional holiday meal ingredients, and everything holiday related. Plus, you’ll usually be able to find coupons for those same items around this time of year so take advantage of both and get some good deals on your grocery essentials!

12. Price Match

Many stores these days (including Target, Walmart, Cabela’s, etc.) will price match if you find a price better elsewhere. This can save not only money but also the time you would have spent driving to the other store with the lower price. I use an app called Shop Savvy and it has you scan a barcode of the item you want, then it searches high and low for a lower price. Bring that lower price to the store’s customer service department and 90% of the time, they will price match it. You’ll probably only run into problems if the lower price is of a used item on ebay or of a store that you haven’t maybe heard of before.

13. Host a Holiday Potluck

host a holiday potluck

If you regularly host during the holidays, have your guests bring a dish or two to share. For my mom’s side of Christmas, each family brings an appetizer or two and some treats. That way, one person doesn’t get stuck footing the bill for a big meal, and everyone usually finds something that they like! It’s less stressful and the costs get dispersed evenly among everyone and not just one person.

14. Attend Free Holiday Events

Forget paying $5 to see Santa or to walk through a holiday wonderland. Many cities have free events that they put on for the public to enjoy. This includes everything from tree-lighting ceremonies, caroling groups, ice skating in the park, or even just going on a drive looking at Christmas lights. You can still enjoy the season without spending money on these experiences.

15. Prepare For Next Year: Shop After Christmas Sales!

The best way to help yourself save money for next year is to start shopping the day after Christmas. You should know now that the holidays are over, what exactly you will need for next year. Take advantage of the deals that will come after the holidays are over and store them away for next year. You’ll thank yourself later when you don’t have to go out and buy those items at full price!

I hope these tips help save you some money this holiday season. I think we can all use a little savings this time of year!

Happy holidays! :)

Sarah

our holiday christmas card

Best Cyber Monday Holiday Card Deals

Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links.

Wow. There are a LOT of holiday card deals going on today for Cyber Monday. I’m seriously kicking myself for buying our cards last night! But, I feel like I should pass on these great deals to you guys so that you don’t make the same mistake that I did and over-pay for your cards this year!

our holiday christmas card

Our family holiday card (2014)

First off, I’ll come clean and tell you that I used Shutterfly this year, I was suckered into their 50% off sale they had going on this weekend and it’s hard to know when you are getting the BEST price possible. Well, now I know, that I didn’t.

But that’s okay, you still can. Here are today’s best deals for Christmas cards!

1. Cardstore

I used Cardstore for the previous two years, which is why I’m not sure why I strayed from the path this year. They are great and Cardstore will mail cards for you! – how wonderful is that? It makes sending your cards out so much less stressful and time-consuming for sure.

Their deal today is $0.69 flat cards, an awesome deal!


Cyber Monday Event! 69¢ Flat Holiday Cards at Cardstore! Use Code: DDCCP4121, Valid Monday 12/1/14

Make sure to order today before the sale is over. I paid (groan) $1.21 a card – so this is about half of what my supposed 50% off deal was.

2. Ink Garden

Ink Garden has another great sale today on your holiday cards. They’re offering 50% off their cards (promo code GIFT01) plus free shipping on your order.

ink garden card deal

3. Tiny Prints

Tiny Prints guys have 40% off their holiday cards today with promo code CYBER40. These cards are a little bit more expensive still but their designs are uber-cute. Like, seriously cute. Here’s a few samples of the ones I’m swooning over:

ink garden card special

I think that Be Merry Be Bright one is my favorite of the bunch but I seriously love them all. I think I just like the look of those foil overlay.

4. Vistaprint

A good friend of mine turned me onto the deal that Vistaprint is having today. They are offering 60% off sitewide! That is huge. Just use promo code “BESTDEALS” at checkout to receive your discount. She managed to only spend $24.97 for 40 cards and 130 return address labels. That is so good!

vistaprint cyber monday deal

These are some of the best deals that I have found today! And I think that this is definitely the time to jump on these deals. I don’t see prices getting any better than this anytime soon – plus you don’t want to wait until the last minute, waiting for a good deal. That’s just stressful!

If I missed any deals that you’ve heard of, leave a comment below and share! Let’s keep each other informed :)

Happy holiday card shopping!!!

Sarah

this year's best deals on christmas cards

best black friday deals 2014

Best Black Friday Deals (From Home!)

best black friday deals 2014

Alright, I will be the first to say that I love Black Friday shopping. But after a few stores this year, I quickly got tired of the driving, the parking, the long lines, the crabby people, and the disappointing empty shelves by the time you get there… It kind of kills the enjoyment of getting great deals, am I right?

So this year, I came home to finish my shopping online. Yes, that’s right, from my comfy cozy couch. And in case you are looking to do the same this year, I put together a few of my favorite Black Friday deals that you can get from home.

1. Herberger’s

Right now, Herberger’s has free shipping on any order (no minimum) when you use the promo code “FREESHIP” at checkout. That being said, there is really no reason to physically go into a Herberger’s… So what kinds of things do they have on sale? Plenty! Here’s a short list of their best buys:

  • Reversible Down-Alternative Comforters (Any Size) $19.97
  • Farberware and T-Fal 14 piece nonstick cookware $39.97 (after rebate)
  • Cuisinart 7 cup food processor (reg. $195) $49.97
  • Crock-pot 4 qt slow cooker (reg. $30) $9.97
  • The Black Series automatic wine bottle opener (reg. $30) $9.97
  • Shark Ergolite steam mop (reg. $90) $39.97
  • Mattel and Fischer-Price Toys (50% off)
  • See the rest of their doorbuster deals here!

2. Old Navy

Old Navy always has awesome deals on Black Friday, in fact it’s one of the stores that I always make a point of going to. But, I didn’t make it there this year. However, I did manage to make it to their website. It was tough, but I made it happen. Here’s the deal with them, they have free shipping on orders over $50, plus an additional 15% off your entire purchase with promo code “GRAVY”. Not to mention, they have 50% off the entire store right now, soooo… it’s kind of a good deal. Here’s my top picks at Old Navy:

  • Men’s and women’s graphic tees $6.00 and regular tees $5.00
  • Men’s and women’s flannel PJ pants $8.00
  • Men’s and women’s fleece zip-ups $8.00
  • Women’s cardigans $10.00
  • Men’s and women’s jeans $15.00
  • Men’s and Women’s Sweaters $10.00
  • Cold weather accessories $4.00
  • Baby bodysuits $4.00
  • Baby outerwear $10.00
  • See more doorbusters from Old Navy!

3. Target

Target was one of the few stores I did make it to this year, but apparently I didn’t have to because they also have free shipping on all orders! Which makes it way too easy to shop online and not step a foot in stores. Here’s a few of the hot deals going on at Target:

  • Beats by Dre headphones (reg. $169) $97.00
  • Nikon Coolpix L330 digital camera (reg $229) $99.00
  • Shark Rotator Slim-Light Lift-away vacuum (reg $219) $149.99
  • RCA Dual Screen 9″ Mobile DVD Player (reg. $119) $69.99
  • GoPro HERO3+ Silver Edition (reg. 299.99) $199 (after $50 gift card)
  • See the rest of their doorbusters here!

4. Kohl’s

I never step foot in a Kohl’s on Black Friday, ever since I worked there in high school, it’s not worth the chaos and the store-wrapping lines – no thank you! So if you really must get their deals, I would suggest either going tonight around 9:00pm, or shopping their website. Through today they have free shipping on orders over $50. And it’s not hard to spend that there. Plus, for every $50 you spend, you get $15 in Kohl’s cash.

  • iLive bluetooth speaker (reg. $29) $14.99
  • Jawbone bluetooth mini jambox (reg. $179) $99.99
  • Little Tykes easy score basketball hoop (reg. $49) $24.99
  • Barbie fashionistas dolls $6.99
  • Toastmaster 20 oz blender (reg. 29.99) $4.99 (after rebate)
  • All floor care is 20-50% off
  • Sheet sets 50-80% off
  • Shop more Kohl’s deals here

———-

What is on your shopping list this year?

Hearts,
Sarah

Walgreens Mobile App #shop

Easy Summer Savings with Walgreens’ Paperless Coupons

This #WalgreensPaperless shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, and its advertiser. All opinions however are 100% my own.

Walgreens Mobile App #shop

I know first-hand that clipping coupons can be a lot of work and very time consuming. That’s why, when I found out about Walgreens’ paperless coupons, I was pretty excited to grab my phone and give it a try!

I typically only get a few sets of newspaper coupons each weekend, and it takes me a good chunk of time to sit down with my scissors and cut them out. Because of that, I usually end up putting it off and it takes me even longer to get the job done. Now, with the Walgreens Mobile App, I can easily ‘clip’ the manufacturer’s eCoupons with the click of a button and it’s saved to my own little mobile coupon folder (aka my Balance Rewards card). Super easy.

Save on School Supplies at Walgreens #shop

Clipping Paperless Coupons

Starting to clip your paperless coupons is a breeze. You just open up the Walgreens Mobile App and scroll to the icon that says, “Weekly Ads & Coupons”.

From there, you’ll find a wide variety of coupons to choose from, organized by category. When you find one that you want to save to your card, just click ‘Clip to Card’ and just like that, you’ve clipped your first of many paperless coupons!

On my most recent trip to Walgreens, I needed to stock up on several random items. For one, I needed some school supplies which was great timing because there was a coupon for $0.49 glue sticks! They are perfect for mess-free kids crafts and maybe some of my own crafts as well. Beyond that, I was also out of sugar which is a problem when I’m making rhubarb pies in the summer, along with other fresh fruit cobblers. I found a great coupon for Domino sugar on the Walgreens app and saved $1.00 there too! The last of my purchases were the three bottles of Hydrogen Peroxide. I was able to get three of them for $1.00, which saved me about $2.00! I wasn’t in dire need of these per-say, but when I saw the coupon, I knew it would be a great price to stock up on them. They’ll definitely come in handy in my first aid kit.

Using Paperless Coupons at Walgreens #shop

Redeeming Your Coupons

Once you’ve picked out your items and you are ready to check out, head to the register and either present your Balance Rewards, scan your mobile app barcode, or type in your phone number. I always type in my phone number because I forget to bring my card, but they don’t mind and it works just the same! Once your card is loaded, so are your digital coupons. That’s all there is to it, isn’t that easy?!

The screen will say, “Digital coupons applied” and you’ll know you received the savings that you were counting on. You can use the coupons once. After that, it will automatically be deleted from your coupon list.

Here’s my Walgreens haul:

Walgreens Paperless Coupons #shop

Using Your Savings

Beyond financial savings, I think it’s safe to say that this gives me some ‘time’ savings as well. So I used the time that I saved coupon clipping, on baking a garden-fresh rhubarb pie! This is hubby’s favorite, so I think he enjoyed my double savings as well J Plus, I think if I keep this up, I might have time the time and funds to go shopping for a new dress for an upcoming wedding. Oh the possibilities!!

Baking with Walgreens #shop

Have you used Walgreens’ paperless coupons yet? If not, then now is the perfect time to get started! Just search for “Walgreens” in the app store to download it today, and don’t forget to sync your Balance Rewards card to get started with your savings!

Happy shopping!

Sarah

earth to echo movie

Free Passes to “Earth to Echo” Pre-Screening on July 1st!

I received tickets to the Earth to Echo pre-screening for this post.

Earth to Echo Movie Minneapolis MN

I think it is a hot time to go to the movies right now, because there are some GREAT movies coming out. But even better than seeing a great movie, is getting a great deal on tickets to see the movie. Well you can’t beat free, can you??

Yes, that’s right, I said FREE! Because right now, I’m giving away FREE passes to a pre-screening of Earth to Echo!

  • When: July 1st at 7:00pm
  • Where: ShowPlace ICON in St. Louis Park, MN

You can snag up to four free passes to see this movie before everyone else!

Personally, I love doing that because I feel especially VIP for having seen it before it even came out for the public in theaters 😉

Here’s the trailer for Earth to Echo, in case you haven’t seen it:

GRAB YOUR FREE PASSES

Grab your passes to see this summer’s exciting new sci-fi adventure movie EARTH TO ECHO (http://callhimecho.com)! Go to http://relativityscreenings.com/redeem and enter the code ECHOMSP701 to download up to four free passes to see the screening (while supplies last). Note that seating will be first come, first served so it is recommended to arrive early!!

I hope to see a bunch of you guys there! I’m excited!

Hearts,
Sarah

Automatic Car Accessory #shop

Automatic’s Auto Accessory is the Newest in Saving Money While Driving!

I was provided product to review for this post. All opinions however are 100% my own.

Automatic Auto Accessory Details #shop

You all know by now that I am obsessed with saving money! I’ve tried all the tricks of the trade in attempts to save my family money every month. But one area of my life that I hadn’t tried to save money was my vehicle and my driving. I figured it was just something I had to do and there was nothing I could do to change my spending habits there. But I recently found out I was wrong! There is a way you can save money on your driving habits – and I’m going to introduce it to you today, it’s called Automatic!

Now maybe you’ve heard of Automatic, as it’s been in the media quite a bit lately. Most recently, I seen it in the April issue of All You magazine…

AllYou Talks About Automatic #shop

Images from AllYou Magazine – April 2014 Issue

As you can see from the magazine clippings, it’s the latest way to save money while driving. I didn’t understand or believe it at first, but when I got to try it out, I could see it had a lot of benefits!

What Does Automatic Do?

I had thought that this little auto accessory would maybe track my speed and give me feedback as to how I could better my gas mileage. Wrong again! I couldn’t believe the things this little plug-in tool could do! Here’s a few to mention:

  • Provides Driving Feedback – It lets you know with a subtle beep/chirp when it detects behavior that decreases your fuel efficiency. This includes things like hard braking, hard accelerations and speeding (driving 10 MPH over the speed limit can reduce your fuel efficiency by 12-15%).

Automatic Screen Shot #shop

  • Gives Engine Health – By simply tapping the engine icon in the app when your ‘check engine’ light is on, Automatic will display the Engine Codes that are responsible and also it will give you a description of the problem when it’s available.
  • Provides a Week Summary – Automatic will provide you with a weekly summary that includes your total fuel cost, time that you spent driving, the distance you traveled and your average MPG. It will also provide you a driving score from 0-100 to show you how well you have been doing with your driving behaviors (hard braking, speeding and hard accelerating).
  • Shows Your Parking Location – Forget where you parked? Don’t worry about it, Automatic will show you exactly where you parked and gives you a map showing exactly where you left it.
  • Crash Alert – Automatic can detect many types of serious crashes using it’s built-in accelerometer. It will then report the crash to local authorities using your phone’s data connection. You can also provide the information of your loved ones in case you ever are in a crash, they will be alerted with a text message that includes your location and also lets them know that help is on the way.

What is Automatic #shop

I also thought it would be much more complicated to install but it wasn’t at all. It just pops right in under your steering wheel into what’s called your OBD-II port.

You can download the app by visiting automatic.com/review on your iPhone or here for Automatic’s Android app. Create your account and follow the instructions. You’ll get a security PIN to enter and then details on how to connect your phone to your Automatic. It will detect your car’s VIN along with it’s capabilities. It takes a couple minutes but when it’s all done, you’re ready to hit the dusty trail!

The Automatic will take about 45 minutes after you first plug it in to get adapted and start tracking. But once you see information to start to pop up, you’re ready to go!

Automatic Car Accessory #shop

Utilizing the Automatic

Not only is it great for helping you with your driving habits, but it’s also great if you are carpooling or on a roadtrip and you want to see how much your trip cost. There’s your mileage and the exact cost from point to point, so there’s never any doubt about what gas costs were or even how far you traveled. It’s great!

I also love being able to see exactly where I parked because after a long day at work, or shopping, or even just visiting somewhere, it can be easy to forget where you left your car!

And luckily, I haven’t had to use the Engine Check feature, but how handy is that if you ever run into issues with your ‘check engine’ light? I think that’s so neat, and sooo helpful! It even shows you local mechanics that have been highly rated in your area.

Automatic Auto Device #shop

Get One For Yourself!

At this time, you’re maybe thinking you want to try Automatic out for yourself, and I don’t blame you! You can find them at Automatic.com where they retail for $99.95, with free shipping and a 45 day return policy!

But beyond that, Automatic has agreed to give away a Automatic auto accessory to one of my lucky readers! How pumped are you guys?! This giveaway will end at 11:59PM on June 14th, 2014. Open to US residents ages 18 and up. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

free prints at shutterfly

Free Prints From Shutterfly – Just Pay Shipping!

So I found this deal from my friend Carrie over at PocketYourDollars! But definitely wanted to share the savings!

Today and tomorrow, (4/21-4/22) you can get 101 free prints from Shutterfly, and all you have to pay is shipping – which is $7.99. But if you only order 99 prints, then it’s $5.99. This is what I did, so it saves you $2 by printing 2 less pictures…

free prints at shutterfly

Be sure to use promo code: LOVE101 at checkout to get this deal :)

I just finished ordering mine, at this price, I couldn’t help myself. Plus, I have not printed off any pictures in the last 3 years so I have some catching up to do!!

I checked ebates.com for this deal to see if you could possibly save any more money, but apparently they don’t have any discounts for shutterfly! Bummer. Oh well, still a good deal! Hope you get to snag your free prints.

Sarah

free vidal sassoon deal at target

Possible Free Vidal Sassoon Hairspray at Target!

I have gotten some awesome deals couponing lately. But one unadvertised (or un-blogged, I should say) deal that I found was while I was shopping at Target a couple days ago. I stumbled across a great little deal on a clearance end cap! They had Vidal Sassoon hair spray for $1.14, on clearance marked down from $4.99!

free vidal sassoon deal at targetI grabbed my coupon binder and sure enough, I had these $2/1 Vidal Sassoon Styling Product coupons making the hairspray completely free!

I believe you can find this coupon in the 3/2 P&G insert. But it expires 3/31/14, so make sure to get out and check your stores this week!

I know it won’t be the same at every Target, but it doesn’t hurt to check, right? :)

Happy savings!!

Sarah