Friday, November 22, 2013

Better Black Friday Shopping with Your Smartphone

Best Buy #281 - The Night Before 'Black Friday'
Best Buy #281 - The Night Before 'Black Friday' (Photo credit: Croixboy)
It's about that time - Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year.  There is less than a week to go, and some people are even camping out at Best Buy as we speak.  I guess we all have our Thanksgiving slash holiday traditions...

Personally, I think it's crazy, and I usually avoid all stores on Black Friday and pretty much every day between Thanksgiving and a week or two after Christmas.  Can any deal really be worth all the waiting in lines and fighting the crowds?  I'd rather just stay home and shop online.  If I want to shop at all.  I worked retail for several years.  If I ever thought shopping was an enjoyable activity, which I sincerely doubt, that took care of that!

For those of you who wouldn't miss Black Friday shopping, and you know who you are, there are some great apps available for your smartphone that can help make this year's Black Friday shopping even better, whether you're shopping for the latest tech gifts like the iPhone 5s, 5c and iPad Air (now available at U.S. Cellular for the first time with a range of attractive data plans that will allow customers to connect to its fast 4G LTE network with speeds up to ten times faster than 3G.) or just that perfect toy for your adorable grandson.
  • Black Friday App lets you browse "leaked" and "confirmed" ads from dozens of major retailers, create and organize shopping lists, compare prices, get notifications of the latest deals, and even shows you similar products that you can buy now at Black Friday-like prices.
  • Use CardStar to import all those store savings cards to your phone. Lighten up your wallet or your keychain and never miss a reward or discount again. This is one of those apps that will come in handy all the time, not just on Black Friday.  Cashiers can scan the cards right from your phone, and you can get special savings, deals and coupons right through the app.
  • and for people like me who would rather just stay home, there's Amazon Mobile, which lets you browse, search, compare prices, read reviews, and shop - right from the comfort of your own home.  (According to Mobile Commerce Daily, on Black Friday last year alone, mobile shopping accounted for 16 percent of online sales and that number is expected to exceed 20 percent this year, and a recent U.S. Cellular survey showed that 39 percent of their smartphone customers use their smartphones for shopping.) But if you are out shopping in some actual stores - on Black Friday or any other time - the app makes it easy to compare prices. Is that deal in the store really a good one, or can you get it cheaper on Amazon?  Now you'll always know.
  • Insert your favorite app here.  Are there any apps you've found that you make shopping and scoring the best deals easier, faster, or better?  Please share!
So, if you really must grab some of those hard-to-resist Black Friday deals, be sure to check out the available smartphone apps that will make it easier to find the best deals and help you get your shopping done and get back to spending time with your family.  I suppose shopping together could be a way of spending time with the family... 

At the very least, if you have to split up to get those deals, you can use your phones to keep track of each other and be sure you can find each other at the end of the day!

Disclosure: I am being compensated for my participation in the U.S. Cellular Better Moments Blogger Brigade as well as receiving a new phone.  My experiences with and opinions of U.S. Cellular are 100% mine.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Be Carton Smart this Holiday

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Carton Smart for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

What if everyone made just one small smart decision every day?  How much of a difference do you think that would make?  Sure, one person's actions may not seem like much, but when everyone joins in, the impact can  be huge.

Tetra Pak® carton packages, designed for maximum efficiency and environmental friendliness, are one small way to live smarter and make that difference.  The cartons are made of 70% paper, a renewable resource, from selectively harvested, re-grown trees that are FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) and use 1/3 of the packaging compared to cans.  Cartons are space saving, easy to store and open, and the unique packaging process preserves the flavor and nutrients of food without the use of preservatives.  So, not only will you help the environment by putting less waste into landfills, when you Become Carton Smart you'll also be able to feed your family better quality food.

 photo 1898ca76-3272-4baf-a8df-07abf60e15e3_zps1bf425e9.jpg

I received Tetra Pak® carton packages of  Pacific Foods Organic Jellied Cranberry Sauce, Pacific Foods Organic Pumpkin Puree, and Pacific Foods Organic Chicken Simply Stock - the perfect products for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday!

Cranberry sauce goes with turkey, the stock can be used to make the dressing, and I think I'll use the Pumpkin Puree to make a batch of these Pumpkin Oat Muffins.  What's great about these cartons is that they're reclosable, so I can use the 1 cup of pumpkin I need for the muffins and easily save the rest in the carton for later.  How convenient is that?

 photo 795e421d-1ec8-414e-b1b8-dde8f5f23ded_zps62983f0a.jpg photo 62adf36b-e1dc-4d93-98c1-aa80d97a468d_zps600d562e.jpg  photo d1d52bb8-c150-4f19-9a7c-b8c9ab3c8df3_zpsac6b75dd.jpg

I also like that the cartons fit together nicely - meaning they're great for stocking the pantry.  I am definitely going to have to look for other products I can get in these cartons.
Be sure to Follow #CartonSmart on Pinterest to see lots of great small, smart choices that can add up to make a big difference, and if you have some ideas of your own, be sure to Tweet @CartonSmart to share them.

How will you be #CartonSmart this holiday?  Will you buy at least one of your ingredients in a carton?  Recycle all of the cans and jars you use?  Use real dishes so that you aren't throwing away a bunch of paper plates and plasticware?  I'd love to hear your plans.

Visit Sponsor's Site

Sunday, November 10, 2013

We Never Had To Do This Before

We have trees now!  We get kind of excited about that because our last two houses were built in newer subdivisions that had previously been some farmer's field.  No trees.  At least not for years and years, and even then they weren't very big. Then we lost a couple of the trees we did have when the tornado went through a few years ago.

But here we have trees.  The one out front is really pretty right now, all yellow and orange.

And dropping leaves all over the ground, too - so today we raked up a whole pile of those leaves.

We've never had to do that before!  I guess we better get used to it, because there are still plenty of leaves left to fall!

Do you think I'll still think they're pretty by the time we've had to rake all the rest of them?