Sunday, August 31, 2014

U. S. Cellular Better Moments Blogger Brigade - BACK TO SCHOOL 101: Stay in the Know, on the Go

It's that time of year again that some parents look forward to.  I myself dread it.  It seems to be an overwhelming time for me.  There are so many things to plan for plus its also a sign of summer coming to end which I dislike. I find this time of the year depressing.

Schedules seem to be a big task for me this year.  I am still trying to make sure I get everyone in the right place at the right time.  Between school schedules, pick up schedules, cheerleading, dance, gymnastic class I am still working on maintaining a weekly schedule.  I am using my calendar on my Apple iPhone 5S to help remind daily my family's schedule.  You could also use a Galaxy S5 to help with back to school schedules. 

Whether students forget to check for homework assignments or miss class due to illness, students don’t want to fall behind. Access to information and connecting with teachers and other students is just a click away with the help of smartphones and tablets.

According to a recent survey by U.S. Cellular, 74 percent of households with children under the age of 18 have at least one tablet. Tablets and smartphones are becoming a simple tool to ensure students keep making the grade.

According to a recent Student Mobile Device Survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 87 percent of students would like to use digital textbooks so they don’t have to carry so much in their backpacks. And half of those students surveyed use their pocket-friendly smartphones instead of tablets.

Tablets are also being used in the classroom; learning apps, eBooks, online educational videos and internet access can all enhance the learning experience.

With reliable mobile access to the internet on a robust network such as a 4G LTE network/high-speed network through U.S. Cellular, teachers and students can effectively harness the full capability of this technology.

Students, teachers and parents can optimize their connected learning experience with the help of the following apps recommended by U.S. Cellular:

Skype (Android) / Facetime (iOS): These free Internet video calling services allow teachers and students to collaborate wherever they are. Teachers can bring guest speakers into class to discuss their expertise, thereby demonstrating how school subjects are relevant to real life. Students can take virtual field trips anywhere in the world. No permission slip required.

Teacher’s Assistant Pro: Featured in USA Today as one of the best teacher apps, Teacher’s Assistant Pro ($3.99 download) allows teachers to keep track of student actions, behaviors and achievements in the classroom. Using an iPhone or iPad, teachers can record student infractions and accolades, create a detailed written description of the event, and communicate with parents, reducing time consuming paperwork.

Notability: This powerful note-taker app is free and allows iOS and Android users to complete worksheets, sketch ideas, keep a journal, integrate photos and record a lecture, and keep it all in one place. Use the search feature to quickly locate notes by title or content. Share with others using iCloud or Google Drive.

DropBox: This cloud-based file sharing and storage free app lets users circulate files from different locations over different networks. Turn in and return assignments, provide up-to-date syllabi from different locations quickly, and post grades securely and easily. 

If you are thinking about purchasing a phone for your child, a Parent Child Agreement may be something that could come in handy. 

U.S. Cellular is donating $1 million to fund teacher classroom projects through its Calling All Teachers program. Last year, the company contributed $500,000 towards educational materials for improved classroom experiences. U.S. Cellular is working with for a fourth time and encourages teachers to post their projects on the site for potential funding. is a charity website that helps teachers identify funds from corporate and individual donations for classroom projects.

Through U.S. Cellular's ongoing commitment to the community and education, the company has contributed more than $7 million through this and other philanthropic programming. Starting today K-12 public school teachers can register online at and affiliate as a U.S. Cellular teacher. Then beginning August 11, they can post their classroom projects for funding consideration. Through U.S. Cellular has funded more than 4,500 classroom projects to date, which included technology tools, art equipment and science experiments. All projects must be submitted by September 21 to be eligible for this year’s funding. Selected projects will be in announced in October.

Disclosure: I am a compensated member of the U.S. Cellular Better Moments Blogger Brigade. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

How I Prepare for Back to School

The first of school is just around the corner for us.  Some people have already started.  I am not ready for my summer to be over but what can I do? 

I always try to prepare for back to school.  This helps me save money and also helps my kids get excited for returning to school.  They both love to buy their new school supplies.

Here is a list of a few things I do to prepare each year:

1)  Clothing and Shoes - I organize my children's closet to see what items I need to purchase and remove any items that no longer fit.  I always buy a new outfit for the 1st day of school.  My mom always did this for me and I have continued the tradition with my child.  A new outfit just adds to the excitement.  Another item I always have to purchase is tennis shoes.  I try to look for sales ahead of time to get the best price.

2)  School Supplies - I first go through what school supplies we had leftover from last year and prepare a list of items we need to purchase.  I then watch the sale ads for back to school deals on school supplies and try to spend the least amount possible.

3) Prepare a Homework Area - My daughter does her homework every night in the same spot.  I keep a pencil box stocked with any supplies she may possibly need.  This helps with her concentration on doing her homework plus I don't have to spend time looking for supplies.

4) Bedtime Schedule - I try to get my children back on a "school" schedule a week before school starts.  Our bedtime schedules never seem to work during the summer.  This also helps me get back on schedule to.  I admit I seem to stay up later and sleep later in the summer.

5) Backpack and Lunchbox - I make sure each child has a backpack and lunchbox in good condition for the school year.

6) Planning for Breakfast - I always plan breakfast each night so my children know what is for breakfast the next morning.  This way there is no complaining.  I try to have quick breakfast items available.

How do you prepare for back to school? 

FREE Sample of Eucerin, Nivea, or Aquaphor

Click here to request your FREE sample of your choice - Eucerin, Nivea, or Aquaphor.  Enjoy!

Cash4Books - Earn an Extra 5% in August

Visit, sell 3 or more books, enter bonus code - AUGUSTCASH14 to activate your 5% bonus.  Ship at no charge and get paid for your books and earn an extra 5%.

 Follow these 3 easy steps to get an extra 5% cash for your books:

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Offer expires August 31, 2014.

A great way to get rid of some clutter and make some extra money. 

Pillsbury - Sign Up for FREE Recipes and Coupons

 Sign up for FREE email for the best of Pillsbury and get exclusive coupons, access free samples and receive recipes.

3 of my Favorite Thrifty Pins This Week

Here is a list of 3 of my Favorite Thrifty Pins This Week:

Mini Ham and Bacon Cheddar Cups - These look great!  I love anything with bacon and cheese.

5 Secret Ways to Find Kindle Books - Since I got a Kindle for my birthday this will come in handy.

Vacation Scrapbooks - Using photo albums to make these.  Very cute!

Great Coupons Available

Great coupons are available.  Print them while you can.

$1.00 off ONE (1) MAXWELL HOUSE Coffee
$1.00 off ONE (1) CAPRI SUN Juice Drink
$1.00 off ONE (1) 6-pack any flavor Hawaiian Punch
$0.50 off one Gourmet Dining Chicken Stir Fry
$1.00 off (2) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese Spreads

Thought of the Day

"We can't become what we need to be by remaining what we are."

Oprah Winfrey

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Favorite Drug Store Deals This Week - 8/10-8/16

Here is a list of my favorite deals at CVS this week:

Active D'Lites with Probiotics Bar - $1.99
Receive $1.99 ECB
Final Price - FREE after ECB
Limit 1

Revlon Eye Shadow - $3.19
Receive $3 ECB
Use $2 printable couopn
Final Price - FREE plus overage after coupons and ECBs
Limit 1

CVS Hemorrhoid Relief or Suppositories $5.79
Receive $5.79 ECBs
Final Price - FREE after ECBs
Limit 1 

CVS Acid Controller $6.99
Receive $6.99 ECBs
Final Price - Free after ECBs
Limit 1 
CVS Antacid Tablets $2.99
Receive $2.99 ECBs 
Final Price - Free after ECBs
Limit 1 
CVS Gas Relief $7.99
Receive $7.99 ECBs 
Final Price - Free after ECBs
Limit 1 

CVS Purelax or Milk of Magnesia $3.99
Receive $3.99 ECBs 
Final Price - Free after ECBs
Limit  1

CVS Anti-Diarrhea $4.99
Receive $4.99 ECBs
Final Price - Free after ECBs
Limit 1 
CVS Daily Fiber $9.99
Receive $9.99 ECBs
Final Price - Free after ECBs
Limit 1 


Here is a list of my favorite deals at Walgreens:

FARR Lipton Pure Leaf Tea - $1
Receive $1 RR
Final Price - FREE
Limit 1

Colgate Toothpaste - $3
Receive $2.50 ECB
Use .50 coupon 8/10 SS
Final Price - FREE after coupon and RR
Limit 1

Lindsey Olives - .99
Buy 2 and Use $1/2 printable coupon
Final Price - .49 each

Mars Candy Bars - .50 

Here is a list of my favorite deals at Rite Aid this week:

No favorites this week!

Olive Garden Coupon

Click here to print a coupon for $4 off 2 dinner entrees and $2 off 2 lunch entrees.  Coupon expires 8/17.

STILL AVAILABLE - FREE Sample of Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers and Wipes

Click here to request your FREE sample of Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers and Wipes.

FREE Sundown Vitamin Gummies

Click here to request your FREE sample of Sundown vitamin gummies on their Facebook page.

FREE Subscription to Field and Stream Magazine

Here is a great freebie that I just requested for my DH. You can request yours here!

FREE Sample of Finish Dishwashing

Click here to request your FREE sample of Finish Dishwashing.

FREE Always Discreet Samples

Click here to request your FREE sample of Always Discreet. 

Menu Planning Monday

Monday - Pork Chops, Fresh Green Beans, Salad, Mash Potatoes, Fried Zuchinni

Tuesday -
Fish Tacos

Wednesday - Spaghetti, French Bread
Thursday - Baked Potatoes and Salads

Friday - Tacos, Spanish Rice

Saturday - Homemade Pizza
Sunday - I try to leave Sunday open because DH likes to cook! 

You can find other great weekly menus at Menu Planning Monday at Organized Junkie!

FREE Enfagrow A Sample

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FREE Favecrafts Garden Craft Ideas eBook

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Great Coupons Available

Great coupons are available.  Print them while you can.

$0.75 off THREE Betty Crocker™ Suddenly Salad™ Mix
$1.00 off ONE (1) OSCAR MAYER Butcher Cut Bacon
$1.00 off one Ore-Ida Frozen Potato Product
$0.75 off 3 Chicken of the Sea Chunk Light Tuna
$1.00 off on ONE (1) TACO BELL Sour Cream Dip

Thought of the Day

"Never stop doing your best just because someone doesn't give you credit."

Author Unknown

Thursday, July 31, 2014

U. S. Cellular Better Moments Blogger Brigade - Cell Phone Etiquette

July is National Cellphone Courtesy month and U. S. Cellular is celebrating by promoting positive cell phone etiquette.  Everyone is constantly on their cell phone, including me, either talking, texting, or replying to emails.  I just wish everyone used a little cell phone etiquette.  I think there is certain times when it is inappropriate to be on your cell phone. The sounds, rings, beeps from your phone can also be distracting.  I wish everyone agreed with me.

Tips for improving courtesy by busy cellphone users:

- Set the ground rules.  If you have plans to meet a relative for dinner or spend happy hour wiht a group of friends, discuss expectations for phone use.  by determining technology use before the gathering, everyone is able to enjoy the occasion. 
- Seek to understand.  Focus on similarities instead of differences and set a goal to understand those around you.  By understanding other's wireless device use,  you'll be more courteous of their expectations.
- Don't be a buzz kill.  Putting a phone on vibrate during a meeting or event can be a good idea, as vibration mode is meant to alert only you.  However, it can distract others if the phone is placed on a table in a meeting or meal.  Put the phone in a pocket, where it can alert you to a call but isn't disturbing others.  If you forget to turn off the ringer and get an unexpected call, phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 stop ringing by simply flipping over the device.
- Avoid being blinded by the light.  Adjust screen brightness prior to entering a dimly lit space, such as a restaurant, recital or school play.  this allows you to use the device to take photos or use social media without disturbing those around you.

Interesting Facts:

A Pew Research survey found that 67% of cellphone owners find themselves checking their phones for messages, alerts or calls - even when they don't notice their phone ringing or vibrating. 

According to a recent U. S. Cellular survey, 37% of users say others get upset with them for phone use, while 63% say they get upset at others for phone use. (Between Nov. 15 and Dec. 2, 2013, 500 nationally representative online interviews were conducted among smartphone users in partnership with Maritz Research.)

As may be expected, smartphone owners who are over the age of 54 have stronger etiquette beliefs than younger users - Among adults 55-64, 82% think it is rude to check your phone while talking with someone else, and 80% think its rude to check while dining.

63% of users 18-34 think it is rude to be on your phone while talking to someone else, while 57 percent think it is rude to check while dining. 

Women are more likely to prefer texting over men.  They are also more likely to have checked or used their phone to avoid conversations. 

63% of people believe that no one gets upset at them for their phone use.  This is the same proporation that sometimes gets upset with other for using phone or tablet.  

Disclosure:  I am a compensated member of the U.S. Cellular Better Moments Blogger Brigade.  All opinions are my own.

FREE Timberwolf Organics Dog Food Sample

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Ways I Saved Money on our Beach Vacation

My family took our annual beach vacation a couple of weeks ago.  We look forward to this every year.  The weather was great and we had a wonderful time.  We got to visit with some friends who were also their on vacation.  My brother and his family came down for a few days and we got to visit with them.  I also celebrated my birthday while we were there.  What better place to celebrate?

Here is how I saved money on vacation:

- I booked reservations by comparing prices online.

- I also received a 30% discount by using a flyer I received in the mail when booking our reservation.

- Our resort has awesome water park including a water slide, lazy rivers, numerous pools inside and out, and a kiddie pool play park inside and out.  I feel like this an extra bonus and no desire to go to a water park while there.  The indoor pools and play areas are great in case you have bad weather.

- I started a vacation grocery bag a couple of months before for nonperishable items such as paper towels, paper plates, snacks, condiments, etc.

 - I saved samples/freebies that I received in the mail to carry on our trip - toothpaste, dental floss, lotion, shampoo, conditioner etc.  The small bottles work great for 1 week plus it saves space in your luggage.

 - We always have lunch in our room.  I took lots of items from home that I had purchased on sale with coupons that I included in our vacation grocery bag.

- We received a FREE breakfast buffet at the restaurant next door with our reservations.  This was a great FREE extra.  I didn't have to worry about buying breakfast foods. 

- When checking in I noticed several coupon booklets in their lobby for local attractions, restaurants etc.  I picked up a couple to use during the week.

 - I ordered a $25 gift card from MyPoints for a restaurant that we had planned to have dinner at.  I also had a $5 coupon.  Our dinner was less than $25 for 4 people and that included 2 adult entrees, 2 kids meals, drinks, and an appetizer.

- We ordered pizza one night and had it delivered.  We searched the yellow pages for local pizza delivery places.  I picked 3, called each one to check out their specials and choose the best deal.

- Had dinner at Outback one night.  I received a free appetizer by saying "Bloomin Monday" to our server.  I saw this offer on their Facebook page.  I also had a $5 coupon plus a $10 gift card.  Great deal for a great meal.  I love Outback.

- We did not purchase any drinks or snacks while at the pool or on the beach.  I had everything we needed so I packed a cooler and snack bag everyday.

  In my opinion, you can't go to the beach without going to eat at a seafood buffet which includes crab legs of course.  (my favorite) The buffets can be quite expensive and make sure you go very hungry.  One afternoon we had a rain shower so we decided to go eat a little earlier than than normal so we go the early bird pricing plus I found a coupon in the coupon book I picked up when checking in.  This saved us $12.

 What do you do to save money on vacation?

Great Coupons Available

Great coupons are available.  Print them while you can.

$0.50 off ONE (1) KOOL-AID Jammers Juice Drink
$0.50 off ONE (1) KOOL-AID Ready-To-Serve
$1.00 off ONE (1) MAXWELL HOUSE Coffee
$1.00 off ONE (1) CAPRI SUN Juice Drink
$0.75 off ONE (1) PLANTERS Peanuts
$0.75 off ONE (1) KRAFT Singles
$1.00 off (2) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese Spreads
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$2.00 off any one Nature Made Adult Gummies
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$0.50 off any Angel Soft Facial Tissue Soft Pack
$1.00 off any ONE Suave Kids Hair or Body Wash
$2.00 off any one St. Ives Fresh Hydration Lotion
$3.00 off $10.00 or more on any St. Ives products
$1.00 off any ONE Suave Professionals product
$2.50 off (12) cans of ALPO Wet Dog Food

Thought of the Day

"Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy."

Author Unknown

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Pampers Gifts to Grow - New Codes for 15 Points

Join Pampers Gifts to Grow Rewards program and receive 100 free points toward your purchase of Pampers goods. 

1 - Click on the banner above and register!
2 - If you purchase Pampers products, enter codes your codes.
3 - Look for free codes on my blog and others.
4 - Points add up quickly and you can use your points for free gifts. 

TWIT81CTG3SL014 - 5 point Code 
FB83PRN8TCEDY14 - 10 point Code
Pampers Rewards does offer gift cards periodically.

FREE Sample of Suave Professionals Natural Infusion

Click here to request your FREE sample of Suave Professionals Natural Infusion. 

3 of my Favorite Thrifty Pins This Week

Here is a list of 3 of my favorite thrifty pins this week:

Easy Coconut Shrimp - Sounds wonderful.

No Bake Twix Caramel Apple Salad - This looks yummy!

Display Photo Albums - I love this idea. 

Great Coupons Available

Great coupons are available.  Print them while you can.

$1.00 off four (4) Gerber 2nd Foods 2-Pack Tubs
$1.00 off 3 Gerber Organic 1st, 2nd or 3rd Foods
$1.00 off any One (1) Silk Soymilk Half Gallon
$0.25 off TWO (2) ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda
$3.00 off Mucinex Allergy Product 5 or 10 Count
$1.00 off One (1) Nature Made Fish Oil product
Buy Benefiber, get Nestle Pure Life Purified Water
$1.50 off any one OxiClean™ Extreme Power Crystals
$1.00 off one Rubbermaid LunchBlox Kit
$2.00 off any Yes To item $5 or over
$1.50 off any (1) VISINE product
$0.75 off any one Arm & Hammer Toothpaste
$1.00 off any (1) LISTERINE Antiseptic Mouthwash
$1.50 off any one Speed Stick GEAR Deodorant
$3.00 off Schick Hydro 5 Disposable Pack
$5.00 off TWO (2) Schick Slim Twin Disposable
$3.00 off Schick Xtreme3 Disposable Razor Pack
$2.00 off any (1) LISTERINE WHITENING Rinse
$1.00 off one Arm & Hammer Spinbrush toothbrush
$1.00 off THREE (3) TEMPTATIONS Treats for Cats

SAVE $2.00 on ANY L’Oréal® Paris Excellence haircolor (excludes Excellence to-Go)
SAVE $1.00 on ANY L’Oréal® Paris skincare product (excludes trial size)
SAVE $5.00 on ANY Nexium® 24HR 28 ct. or 42 ct. product
SAVE $1.00 on any TWO (2) Angel Soft® Facial Tissue items
SAVE $1.00 off any ONE (1) package of Hefty® Trash Bags

Thought of the Day

'When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate, when is bitter, say thank you and grow."

Author Unknown

Monday, July 28, 2014

FREE Sample of Garnier Clean +

Click here to request your FREE sample of Garnier Clean+.  You have a choice between oily, combination, and dry skin.

Menu Planning Monday

Monday - Pot Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Cucumber & Tomato Salad, Fried Squash

Tuesday -
Taco Ring with Salad

Wednesday - Breakfast for Dinner - Homemade Waffles, Sausage

Thursday - Grilled Pizza - I have been wanting to try this forever!

Friday - Grilled Chicken Salads

Saturday - Dinner out with a Gift Card and Coupon
Sunday - I try to leave Sunday open because DH likes to cook! 

You can find other great weekly menus at Menu Planning Monday at Organized Junkie!

York Photo - 4 x 6 Custom Softcover Book for only .99

Order your Custom 4 x 6 Softcover Book for only .99. 
Shipping starts at $2.99. 
Use coupon code - NINETYNINE