Saturday, January 1, 2011
If you're not familiar with GiftZip, I explain it to people as "the Amazon of gift cards". Which means, they sell a variety of gift cards to retailers you already know and love - like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kmart, Sears, Fathead, Sephora, Fandango, Borders, Home Depot, iTunes, Nordstroms, Zappos, Foot Locker, GameStop, Meijer and hundreds more!
The gift cards are delivered electronically (via email) so this is perfect for a last-minute gift, and if you have several people you're shopping for you can get them each the gift card they'd like. I bought my son an iTunes gift certificate to test out the site and it literally was just a few clicks to complete my transaction. Delivery was within minutes (I know because my son came into the office and said, "What's this $20 iTunes gift certificate for?" LOL).
I also like that they have different categories (like Him, Her, House, Apparel) so if you're not sure what gift card to get, you can click on a category to see what they offer.
Friday, December 31, 2010
I spent the better part of today using up my coupons that expire today - there was a couple I never could locate the product, but thankfully I got everything else. Unfortunately, I had to use a bunch of them at Walmart, which was an ordeal. Why do they act like I'm stealing this stuff? They make an extra 8 cents on each coupon redemption for handling - they should be thanking me!
With the end of 2010 comes the end of a ton of giveaways I've entered.
Bargain Mom is having an AMAZING giveaway for a $500 DeluxeCard Visa and vacation to Cancun, plus a variety of other prizes. The total value of this prize package is over $2,000! There are lots of entry options so be sure to take advantage of them all to maximize your chances of winning.
Energizer Bunny's Mommy Reports is giving away a $75 gift certificate to Plow & Hearth! I kinda like this coat rack - it would look great in my entryway.
Cocktails with Mom is giving away a Spike Seasoning Magic prize pack! Since I'm eating healthier (or trying to) I've become more interested in finding new seasoning blends to jazz up my food, so this would be a great win :) I also like that many of their products are gluten and/or salt-free.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
I got an email yesterday that I won a BlogHer giveaway which was VERY exciting! I'm putting this win towards my new dryer, I'm halfway there. I'm hoping I'll have enough saved up by Spring Break, so my son and I can work on the laundry room when he's home for that week.
I also found out yesterday that Land's End picked me as one of the participants in their Share the Joy program! I have a stack of coupons that are expiring tomorrow and I was wondering where I was going to put all this extra food (some of it is pantry items but a lot of it is fresh/frozen items and I just don't have anywhere to put it), but instead I'll take it all and donate it either to the food pantry, or the homeless shelter if the food pantry can't store the fresh/frozen items. I'm excited to see how far I can stretch this $50 gift card!
Speaking of coupons, I watched Extreme Couponing last night and I have to say I'm appalled. It's like Hoarders, only with coupons. I think my little stockpile is excessive but these people make me feel much better! Especially that Nathan guy. I commend him for buying 1100 boxes of Total cereal to donate to the food pantry, but why did he have to open the cases and stack them in his driveway to take a photo of it? That's just feeding his ego. He could have just as easily taken a photo of it loaded on his trailer. People like the ones portrayed in this TV show are the reason I can only use 4 like coupons when I go shopping now - they clear the shelves, and we all suffer.
With the year winding down, there are still a lot of good giveaways ending this week. Here's a few I've entered.
As part of their Checking Our List Holiday Gift Guide, A Mom's Balancing Act and Thanks, Mail Carrier are each giving away a Bissell Steam & Sweep Floor Cleaner. I love that these 2 blogs teamed up on their holiday giveaways - it's like doubling your chances to win! This would be great for cleaning and sanitizing my kitchen and bathroom floors, and I love that it cleans and sweeps at the same time - that saves me time! Plus cleaning with steam rather than chemicals is preferable for me - I don't like the chemical smell and residue, chemical cleaners can get expensive and some aggrevate my asthma. Not to mention those chemicals going down my drain will screw up my septic system. *yikes*
Another Checking Our List Holiday Gift Guide giveaway ending today from A Mom's Balancing Act and Thanks, Mail Carrier is a $50 Amazon gift card from GiftZip.com (one from each blog). I love GiftZip.com because I can buy gift cards from hundreds of different retailers in one place. I don't like providing my credit card number to multiple sites, so having one consolidated location to purchase different gift cards works for me!
Coffee on the Patio is giving away a $250 Amazon gift card! I have so many things on my wishlist on Amazon, I could do some serious shopping with this!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
BUT, most of the time I've tried to be conscious about what I eat, and I've moderated the junk (except for the cheese dip and chocolate cake at Christmas! HA!) so I guess I didn't do so bad after all. I really was hoping just to break even, so any loss at all is amazing! Of course, I celebrated with a grilled chicken sandwich and french fries from Buffalo Wild Wings, and 2 pieces of chocolate candy *sigh* The funny thing is, the fries weren't even that good, and the chocolate candy was meh at best - I'd rather have my sugar-free chocolate Jello pudding/mousse instead.
Overall, I'm down 4.66%. I'm hoping to double my weight loss for my next weigh-in, but I'm going to have to get serious about the diet and exercise in order to accomplish that.
I got home last night and my son was knocked OUT, and my driveway was completely cleared. It must have taken him all afternoon to do it, since it was pretty well packed down and mostly ice. I wonder how he'll feel when he realizes if he'd waited until today, it would have probably all melted away? LOL
I've entered a couple of giveaways ending today. The Bragging Mommy is giving away a $50 gift certificate to Blinds.com (billed as America's #1 blinds store). I had never heard of them before this giveaway and when I looked at their site, I couldn't believe how affordable their blinds are! I'm especially interested in their blackout blinds for the bedrooms, since they're on the east side of the house and it drives us both crazy that on the occasions that we can sleep in, we don't because the sunlight comes streaming through the windows! I also like that the company says these blinds help insulate the windows (which means lower heating costs). Even though my windows are pretty well insulated, on those cold days the glass itself gets very cold, and I know that's a point of heat loss. Anything that can help keep my home warmer and lower my heating costs is definitely OK in my book! I also love these faux wood blinds for my living room, and at $62 each they're much less expensive than others I've priced. I also like that I can order a free sample, to make sure I get the right wood tone to match the trimwork in my living room. I'm also thinking about these Sheerweave Solar Shades instead. I love that they come in a variety of patterns, which gives the windows a real custom look. The Alabaster would really compliment the fabric I've chosen for the drapery fabric. I'm going to order a few free samples, so I can see what will work best. I signed up on their website for their email list, and the confirmation says they'll offer sales info, helpful tips and coupons so I look forward to that.
The Mommy-Files is hosting a giveaway for a beautiful 1/10 Carat TW Sirena Solitaire Diamond Pendant, sponsored by Helzberg Diamonds. This pendant is gorgeous, and just my style - not too overstated, and I love white gold. I also know that since it's a Helzberg diamond, that I'll be getting a quality gemstone. I've been in their store at Hanes Mall a few times and admired many of the pieces they carry. Their "bugundy boxes" are well-known in this area as a sign of quality.
Cincinnati Coupons is offering a $50 gift certificate to IGIGI. Anyone who knows me, knows I love IGIGI clothes. They're not just clothes made in plus sizes, they're specifically tailored to flatter the various types of plus-size figures (like hourglass, inverted triangle, oval, rectangle, etc.). For example, I'm an oval... so clothes that call attention to my waist don't look great on me, I need something that falls from the bustline, and then skims my hips to camoflauge my tummy. I also love that their clothes aren't trendy... they really are investment pieces that will be in your wardrobe for years to come. IGIGI is also now offering lots of great accessory pieces, so if I win this I'm not sure if I want to put it towards a new dress, or maybe treat myself to this Athena ring. Decisions, decisions.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Thankfully we survived Christmas. My son got me a little gift (VERY unexpected!) which I thought was sweet. He's still stoked about his Christmas gifts (all either contest wins, or paid for with GCs from contest wins). This coming year, I'd like to win enough to cover some home improvements on my house.... maybe I'll win the lottery! :)
There are a lot of great contests ending this week that I've entered (getting started on my 2011 gift list! HA!!).
Simply Being Mommy is giving two of her readers each a $100 JCPenney gift card! I love the Red Cowl Neck Sweater Dress shown on her post, I wish it came in my size *sigh* But there are so many things I love at JCPenneys (like this little black dress, or even this one), so I would have no problem spending this gift card!
Leanne at Rave & Review is giving away a Miche Large Bag and 3 Shells (of the sponsor's choosing)! I'd never heard of Miche Bags before this review, and I was intriqued by the concept. How great would it be to slip on a new shell, and totally change the look of your handbag? Not to mention, no worries with transferring items between bags and overlooking something (which I do ALL the time). This would be a fun win :)
Just Another New Blog is giving away a copy of James Beard's American Cookery. I cannot believe I don't already own this cookbook, it really is a classic. Over 800 pages of recipes written by one of the foremost experts of American cooking. If I don't win this, I'm buying a copy!
Plow and Hearth is sponsoring a giveaway on Born 2 Impress for a $50 gift certificate to their store. I had heard of them before, but never really looked at what they had to offer - but after perusing the site I've fallen in love with a lot of their items, like this Cape Cod Birdhouse, or for something more practical I could get Fatwood for my fireplace.
A Nut in a Nutshell is giving 2 of her readers a set of 4 Dassant Baking Mixes! I was lucky enough to win a set of these on Facebook last month, and they're YUMMY! We made the Meyer Lemon mix, and I also made the Chocolate Chocolate Chip mix, but my son and his friend killed that off playing Black Ops in an all-nighter - I didn't even get a taste! *pout* I'm saving the Truffle Brownie mix for New Year's Eve, and the Classic Beer Bread I'll make on New Year's Day. I'd LOVE to win another set of these mixes! I checked them out on Amazon, the mixes run ~$2.50 each (sold in sets of 6) so that's very affordable. On the Dassant website, you can get variety packs (as long as you order 4 mixes or more) but the cost is more (although they do offer free shipping).
Monday, December 27, 2010
Well, Christmas has come and gone and I think I gained a couple of pounds.... which I knew I would. I didn't watch what I ate, and treated myself to chocolate cake, mashed potatoes, yeast rolls and fruit juice.... not to mention all the dip I consumed. *sigh* I thought it was worth it at the time, but now.... I dunno. I didn't have to indulge QUITE so much. I guess this is part of the learning process. I'm back on the program today though.
The snow we got on Christmas Day (over 6") is still here, and still gorgeous... of course, I can say that from the relative warmth and safety of my house! It's a bit windy today so the snow is blowing around, giving the illusion it's snowing but it really isn't. I hope the roads are OK tomorrow, because I have to go back to work. :(
I can't find the Dish remote to the TV in my bedroom, and it's making me bonkers. I reeeeeally hope I didn't accidentally grab it when I grabbed my bathrobe and towel this morning...if I did, it's currently sloshing around the inside of my washing machine. :( Somehow I don't think that's a good thing.
I've entered a total of 15 (!) giveaways that end tonight... here's a sampling of what I'm hoping to win:
Fun Saving Money is offering a $50 gift certificate to IGIGI. Anyone who knows me, knows I love IGIGI clothes. They're not just clothes made in plus sizes, they're specifically tailored to flatter the various types of plus-size figures (like hourglass, inverted triangle, oval, rectangle, etc.). For example, I'm an oval... so clothes that call attention to my waist don't look great on me, I need something that falls from the bustline, and then skims my hips to camoflauge my tummy. I also love that their clothes aren't trendy... they really are investment pieces that will be in your wardrobe for years to come. IGIGI is also now offering lots of great accessory pieces, so if I win this I'm not sure if I want to put it towards a new dress, or maybe treat myself to this Athena ring. Decisions, decisions.
Mom Start is sponsoring a giveaway by JoeShopping.com for a $50 Amazon gift card! JoeShopping.com is a shopping comparison site, but with a social media twist. Not only can you compare prices, you can review products, share finds with your friends and solicit their feedback, and so much more! I recently joined and I look forward to exploring the full functionality of the site. Not sure about the badges they have (they look a bit too Nickelodeon for my taste) but it's a nice idea.
Sweeps4Bloggers is giving 5 of their readers a copy of Bed & Breakfasts and Country Inns (22nd Edition, published 2010). There are several B&Bs locally listed in here that I'd love to stay at, and included in the book is a certificate good for a second night free when you book in advance, which is a tremendous savings! I'd love to book a weekend getaway, and getting the 2nd night free would make that much more affordable.
Sweeps4Bloggers is also giving 3 winners a "Small Battle" Pulled Pork Gift Box from North Carolina Barbeque Company! With a retail value of almost $55, there's enough in here to satisfy your taste, whether you prefer Eastern or Western style BBQ.
- 1 lb Piedmont pulled pork BBQ
- 1 lb Eastern pulled pork BBQ
- 1 pint Piedmont BBQ slaw
- 1 pint Eastern Cole Slaw
- 1 (5 oz) bottle of Piedmont BBQ dip
- 1 (5 oz) bottle of Eastern BBQ sauce
We like both styles of Carolina BBQ in our house, so this would satisfy both of us. They're based in Greensboro, but I'd never heard of them until I saw this contest. I wish they had a restaurant open, I'd be there for lunch regularly!
New Age Mama is holding a giveaway sponsored by Plastic Jungle - 3 winners will each receive a $25 gift card to one of the retailers on the Plastic Jungle site. Since they offer 75 different retailers from 1-800-FLOWERS to Zappos, you're sure to find one that appeals to you. I've used Plastic Jungle before and they're great. I buy gift cards at stores I already use at a discount, so I'm already saving money. Add that to a great sale price, maybe a coupon or two and you can really save a LOT of money. If you have some gift cards you don't want to use, you can sell them to Plastic Jungle - check their site to see what retailers they're buying cards from and how much they offer. They offer higher payout percentages on more popular cards like Best Buy and Target, but if you're not going to use the card, it's better to have the cash!
Shining 2 Save is giving away a Keurig Gift Pack that includes a Keurig Mini Plus Brewing System and 4 boxes of K-Cups! Anyone who knows me knows I love my Keurig, and I hate not being able to drink coffee at work. If I'm lucky enough to win this, it's going in my office, along with some Donut Shop coffee, maybe some Caramel Vanilla Cream coffee, or even a box of Celestial Seasonings Variety Mix. I've had to cut waay back on my caffeine on the recommendation of my nutritionist, but I can still indulge (just not as much!).
Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House has 2 great giveaways ending today. The first one is for a Shenzhen Ceramic Knives 3 piece Chef's Set which includes a 6” Ceramic Chef’s knife, 4.8” Ceramic Slicing knife, and 3.2” Ceramic Paring knife. I was lucky enough to win a ceramic knife last year and gave it to my mom - she RAVES about it. I hate to admit it, I almost hate that I gave it to her - I want one of my own! I hate sharpening knives, and I hate when they get rust spots on them (I've told my son NOT to leave them in the sink but he doesn't listen), so these would be perfect.
The 2nd giveaway from Two of a Kind, Working on a Full House is for a a Yoplait Smoothie Prize Pack which includes free Yoplait Smoothie product and a 3-speed KitchenAid Blender. I love smoothies, especially now when I have to make sure I eat breakfast every morning *sigh* I'd much rather have a smoothie for breakfast than a bowl of cereal, or scrambling some eggs. I love that a package of Yoplait Frozen Smoothies contains one full serving of fruit and only 110-120 calories per serving.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Bank of America has lots of time-saving tips on their site. Some pertain to their bank (like their Online and Mobile Banking) but many are tips you'd never expect to find on a banking website, like how to use the “route planner” feature on MapQuest, babysitting exchanges and more.
Here's a few on the Bank of America-sponsored giveaways that I've entered
Katydid and Kid is offering 1 of her readers a $50 Bank of America Visa gift card.
A Mom's Impression is also offering a $50 Bank of America Visa gift card to 1 of her readers (ending 12-27).
Go Graham Go is also offering 1 of her readers a $50 Bank of America Visa gift card (ending 12-27).
Mama's Money Savers is also offering a $50 Bank of America Visa gift card to 1 of her readers (ending 12-27).
Mom Start is offering 1 of her readers a $50 Bank of America Visa gift card (ending 12-27).
Bridgette at The Not-So-Blog is offering 1 of her readers a $50 Bank of America Visa gift card (ending 12-27).
The Dirty T-Shirt is also offering a $50 Bank of America Visa gift card to 1 reader (ending 12-27).
The Divine Miss Mommy is also offering a $50 Bank of America Visa gift card to 1 reader (ending 12-28).