save money

NATIONAL USE YOUR GIFT CARD DAY

National Use Your Gift Card Day reminds Americans to use the $1 billion in gift cards left unused each year. On the third Saturday in January, take stock of the gift cards you received over the holidays. Make the most of each one of them before they’re forgotten for good!

Shop Amazon - Most Wished For Items
Shop Amazon – Most Wished For Items

We all do it. Stash away gift cards thinking we will have more time later to use them. They collect dust and disappear into an abyss somewhere. We discover them as we clean and often don’t remember how much was on the card or if we used a portion of it. Those partial balances add up, too!  The first step is to collect the cards together and see what you have. You know where to look.

  • Every pocket of every purse and wallet you have
  • The infamous junk drawer
  • Glove compartment of the car
  • Bottom of the toy box (it may have been used to scrape goo off a toy)
  • The other junk drawer
  • A gift bag with the tissue paper still in it
  • The toolbox (we know what happens when a flathead screwdriver can’t be found)

Once you have your gift cards, get organized. Where do the gift cards work? Restaurants, retail, and services all offer gift cards. Some gift cards are designed to be used just about anywhere.

Maximizing Your Gift
Shop Amazon Warehouse Deals - Deep Discounts on Open-box and Used Products
Shop Amazon Warehouse Deals – Deep Discounts on Open-box and Used Products
  • Check for deals to maximize your gift cards. In most cases, gift cards work just like cash and can be used with coupons. There are exceptions, however, so it’s always good to check first.
  • Is the card to a place you don’t shop? You have a few options:
    • See if the card is good at a companion location
    • Check to see if the gift card can be cashed out
    • Have a gift card swap party or sell your gift card for cash
    • Donate your gift card to a charity fundraiser like a silent auction
  • Plan to overspend the amount of the gift card to avoid having small balances lying around. Even if you add a small useful item (lip balm is always handy) to go a penny over the amount, you’ll be able to hand the card over to the retailer to recycle the card.

HOW TO OBSERVE #UseYourGiftCardDay

Collect your gift cards. It’s time to use them. Don’t let them sit for a year and risk losing your gift altogether. Maximize your gift cards with deals and get the most out of your gift cards, too. Have a shopping spree or a spa day with your gift cards. Don’t let those gifts and savings pass you by! Use #UseYourGiftCardDay to share on social media.

NATIONAL USE YOUR GIFT CARD DAY HISTORY

Tilson PR founded National Use Your Gift Card Day in 2020 to make sure everyone gets the most out of their gift cards. Leave no gift card unturned and find tips, ideas, and deals by visiting useyourgiftcard.com, too.

The Registrar at National Day Calendar® proclaimed National Use Your Gift Card Day to be observed on the third Saturday in January, annually.

Shop Amazon - The Wedding Store
Shop Amazon – The Wedding Store

January 1, 2020! New Years Day

Happy New Year! If your bleary eyed and looking for Asprin, that was an energetic whisper instead of a yell…

Pensacola Pelican Drop with great friends.
The Pelican Drop may be gone but the memories live on!  Happy New Year! 

Well 2020 is officially here. Now if I can just train myself to write that year, on important things like billing, receipts and checks. If you haven’t adjusted your organizer, calendars, and yearly to-do lists, it’s a good day to spend quietly preparing to rejoin the world. (If you’re lucky enough to have time off to do so.)

First make it a point if you’re not totally digital to transfer any dates, notes, or important information to this tears planner. Sync the digital, worlds of desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile so you have your information handy. You should do a complete backup of your contacts, calendars, and any other vital information.

For digital media burn real back up disks. I know, it sounds old fashioned today, but that thumb drive, external hard drive, micro sd card can all be wiped out. The wrong delete command can undo all your hard work. What would you do if you lost all those irreplacable photos?

The Cloud?

Ok, like most of us I have cloud storage. So why do I need to do anything physical like a real disk? Cloud storage has gotten better but, experts still agree if you go with this method, you need more than one. A physical disk also lets me keep my private files…Private!

Data breaches happen all the time. Google, Banks, Stores where we shop, they appear in the news all the time. Sensitive information like credit cards, financial records, taxes, contacts, and any photos, you don’t want out there don’t store it anywhere that has network access. Yes, it makes it easier for you to get to your files but internet security is really only good until the next hacker breaks it. Do you really want to learn through social media that “That” photo is out there. With identity theft rates going higher, do not want to take chances with your sensitive information?

Staying on Track

As a blogger, and in charge of the family finances, I safeguard this information. I use a variety of both physical and virtual tools to make my life easier. To keep my days on track and remember appointments I still use a paper planner. Everything from holidays, birthdays, and planning for both my family and my blog go here. I find it easier to stay focused, complete tasks in a timely manner and use things like alarms on my phone for special reminders.

Blue Sky 2020 Weekly & Monthly Planner, Flexible Cover, Twin-Wire Binding, 5" x 8", Laila

by Blue Sky
Blue Sky 2020 Weekly & Monthly Planner, Flexible Cover, Twin-Wire Binding, 5″ x 8″, Laila

by Blue Sky


Outside of that and a secret stash of sensitive login information I’m fully digital.  We use app named Prism to keep track of paydays, bills, credit cards and so on. It let’s me track and make payments easily with an easy to understand interface that covers everything. It reminds me when the water payment is due. Keeps my bank balance, tells me the car insurance is next week and keeps up with my automatic payments. With bank-level security and automatic locking features even if I lose my phone no one else can get in.

Prism Bills & Money (Kindle Tablet Edition)

BillGO, Inc.

Or on Google Play
For fire tablet edition simply click the logo. Google Play Store here
Give yourself the gift of Prime Membership

Black Friday tips from an Insider

There are two kinds of people who venture out for Black Friday. The first is the ultimate bargain hunter. Then there are those who are going out for the fun of it. Both have different styles and goals in mind. Which ever you are here are some great tips, even if you are in an in between category.

Give the gift of Audible

Is it worth it? My retailers have given up the holiday of Thanksgiving itself. The practice started as retailers began to compete. Every year the store opening and crazy deals have gotten earlier in an effort to beat out their competition. Several years ago some started at 6am. Now they’ve backed into Thanksgiving Day itself. I worked these crazy schedules for years. I can vividly remember my first Black Friday morning. When pulling into my mall and seeing the lines stretched around the buildings in the freezing weather.

Give the gift of Prime
* FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items * No minimum order size * Instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows * Unlimited, ad-free access to over a million songs and hundreds of playlists

Opening the doors has to be done with great care to avoid being trampled. As I was behind a vast counter, I’ve never been so thankful for the two feet separating them from me. One year they even had a stampeding hoard going up the escalators behind me. I’ve seen the news reports of violence and thought wow I’m glad i don’t live there. Then people did it in my store over $15 toasters.

I decided upon witnessing this i would never need a toaster it waffle iron that much. The danger is just not worth saving $5.00. While I did work this for many years, I’m thankful I’m not giving up my family time anymore.

As you venture out this shopping weekend please remember to be patient, kind, and respectful to the retail personnel who work so hard for you. Many have to now completely give up their family Thanksgiving to be here and ready for your shopping pleasure. Here are my insider tips after so many years behind the counter.

Do you really need it on Thanksgiving Day? While fun, you give up that precious time with your family. Those moments once gone can never be reclaimed. Like several of my close family, and indeed myself coming to close to having no more of those moments I appreciate them more profoundly. I remember my dad’s smiles and hugs, his military service humor. The warmth is given to each other as we spend a relaxed afternoon sharing stories, memories, food, and catching up on experiences. So decide if you really want to give that up.

  • If you are venturing out have a game plan.  You should rank items in terms of importance. 
  • Divide and conquer- Go as a group.  It adds to both the fun and makes it easier to find and get what you want.
  • Coupons and deals – Make sure you know the store policies on both the deals and coupons.  If you find them in the sales ad or online read the fine print.  Some cannot be used until after a certain time or even date.  Lots of retailers give out coupons at the door Thursday/Friday for Saturday and Sunday.  Knowing this in advance makes it easier to both budget and keep transactions smooth in the stores.

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee!For most this is a beverage we use to kickstart our days.  If this sounds like you make sure you have some both before venturing out and throughout the day.  Being tired or exhausted lead to shorter tempers and less patience.  On this day your experience will prove much more pleasant if you have these qualities in abundance.Limited Quantities – The deals you see can only be anticipated to a certain extent by retailers.  It is also a gamble on their part.  They have to bet on what items you will buy.  This represents a good amount of money invested to have an item in stock at your local store.  Some items can have the special pricing locked in by order that day.  Keep in mind the clerk in front of you in all likelihood had no part in those decisions.  As they also do not have the final say in some policies.  Knowing this will help you make choices on these items.  It will also keep lines moving so the people behind you will stay happier.

For most this is a beverage we use to kickstart our days.  If this sounds like you make sure you have some both before venturing out and throughout the day.  Being tired or exhausted lead to shorter tempers and less patience.  On this day your experience will prove much more pleasant if you have these qualities in abundance.Limited Quantities – The deals you see can only be anticipated to a certain extent by retailers.  It is also a gamble on their part.  They have to bet on what items you will buy.  This represents a good amount of money invested to have an item in stock at your local store.  Some items can have the special pricing locked in by order that day.  Keep in mind the clerk in front of you in all likelihood had no part in those decisions.  As they also do not have the final say in some policies.  Knowing this will help you make choices on these items.  It will also keep lines moving so the people behind you will stay happier.



Where ever your adventure takes you make sure to bring your smile, your patience, and anything you need such as credit card, photo ID, cell phone charger, phone, and any apps you may need to keep it fun.

Listen to tens of millions of songs on any device anywhere, available for both Prime and Non-Prime members.
Listen to tens of millions of songs on any device anywhere, available for both Prime and Non-Prime members.

NATIONAL FAST FOOD DAY

On November 16th food lovers get a dose of their favorite convenience food on National Fast Food Day. Whether they use the drive-thru, dine-in or get it to go, fast food will grill up, fry up and broil up menu staples. 

First popularized in the United States in the 1950s, fast food is considered any meal with low preparation time and served to a customer in a packaged form. The meal makes for quick dine-in, take-out or take-away. Most fast-food restaurants offer drive-thru service.

Burger King Gift Card

by Burger King
Burger King Gift Card

by Burger King

Following World War I, automobiles became popular and more affordable. At that time, restaurants introduced the drive-in.

Much like today’s food trucks, Walter Anderson first began selling hamburgers out of an old streetcar body at a Wichita intersection. While the menu was limited, the hamburgers were a crowd-pleaser. When the popularity of his hamburgers grew, he partnered with E.W. Ingram and opened the first White Castle in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas. The enterprising restauranteurs were the first in the fast-food business. They sold hamburgers for five cents each.

The United States has the largest fast food industry in the world.  American fast-food restaurants are located in over 100 countries.

National Fast Food Day

While fast-food began as sandwiches and sides, the menus expanded over-time. Today fast-food includes fish, a variety of fried chicken, tacos, pizza and a wide selection of sides. Sodas quench the thirst and desserts sweeten the menu. From ice cream and shakes to pies and cakes, fast food delivers.

As times changed, restaurants added breakfast items to the menu, too. Expanding their hours increased their workforce and their menu options, as well. However, not all fast-food chains offer breakfast.

Jack in the Box Gift Card

by Jack in the Box
Jack in the Box Gift Card

by Jack in the Box

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalFastFoodDay

Invite a group out to your favorite fast-food restaurant. Share some rings and a shake. Do you prefer breakfast or lunch?  

Give a shoutout to your favorite fast-food restaurant using #NationalFastFoodDay to post on social media.

Check out this list if deals. Click here.

November 9, Chaos Never Dies

Feel like your life sometimes spirals into a chaotic mess? Then Chaos Never Dies Day on November 9 is the holiday for you.

This made-up holiday encourages people to realize that chaos is part of life and that it will never die. So instead of getting hassled by it, just take a deep breath and let go of things that create chaos in your life on this day.

How fitting that this made up holiday is settled in November, just before the chaos of holiday, planning, eating, parties, shopping, and gifting begin in earnest. So much so that many started gift shopping for the next year on December 26th. For those who didn’t start that early or at all I can promise it is easier and a lot less chaotic when not scrunched into a limited two month time period.

Chaos of the holiday season

If you are someone who thrives on chaos, you will find yourself firmly in your element as holiday events ensue. While I can quite happily join the holiday hustle, starting early gives me more time for personal gifting and enduring memory making.

Chaos Never Dies Crazy Busy Mom Coffee Mug or Tea Cup

by The Gift Castle
Chaos Never Dies Crazy Busy Mom Coffee Mug or Tea Cup

by The Gift Castle

Cozy up with a warm drink of the season while acknowledging the chair surrounding you. Pair it with a good book for a relaxing break from your busy schedule.

Chaos Never Dies Day is also known as National Chaos Never Dies Day in the United States.

How to Celebrate?

  • Take the day for yourself and do things that de-stress you. Pack your lunch and go for a picnic in the park with your loved ones.
  • Watch a feel good movie or read a book.
  • Take a nap in the middle of the day and remember chaos never dies, so it can wait to hassle you for one more day.
Our membership program offers special benefits including: * Instantly watch thousands of movies and TV episodes * Borrow Kindle books * Get unlimited FREE two-day shipping (no minimum order size)
Our membership program offers special benefits including: * Instantly watch thousands of movies and TV episodes * Borrow Kindle books * Get unlimited FREE two-day shipping (no minimum order size)

Information on this and many more fun holidays go to https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/fun/chaos-never-dies-day

Family Tacos Night

Ingredients


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1/4 medium onion diced
  • 1/4 medium green bell pepper diced
  • 1 – 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce chopped
  • 1 pkg  flour tortillas
  • 1 pint sour cream 1 8oz jar of your favorite salsa.
  • Cheddar or Mexican blend shredded chesse
Tostitos Chunky Salsa - Mild, 15.5 Ounce  by Tostitos  Tostitos Chunky Salsa – Mild, 15.5 Ounce

Directions

  1. Brown fround beef over medium heat. Add pkg taco season and 1/4 c water. Cook another 5-7 minutes allowing water to evaporate.
  2. Cut all vegetable toppings and place in separate bowls.
  3. Open pkg of tortillas and warm for 1 minutes microwave.
  4. Leave spoons in each ingredient to add to tortillas.In our home each person layers the ingredients on the tortilla as they like it. (I like mine full of equal parts veggies and meat. Topped generously with salsa and sour cream. If available I enjoy a bit of guacamole as well.)
  5. If you fill tortilla to full, you will need a fork and plenty of napkins.
  6. Roll tortilla tucking ends as you go.  They are less likely to break or tear if warmed. 
  7. Enjoy.  We eat holding bottom firmly in place.  Be cautious when setting down or they can unroll.
  8. Juices may leak from seams so keep a napkin close by.
Mission Carb Balance Soft Taco Whole Wheat Tortillas | Low Carb, Keto, Whole Grains | High Fiber, No Sugar | Small Size | 8 Count  by Mission Foods  Mission Carb Balance Soft Taco Whole Wheat Tortillas | Low Carb, Keto, Whole Grains | High Fiber, No Sugar | Small Size | 8 Count
by Mission Foods

These are an easy substitute to go low carb or keto. 

There are so many options you can use with this basic idea. Substitute chicken, fish or steak, for ground beef.  Avocado, refried beans, black beans, corn salsa, rice, cabbage.  Any kind of cheese you like.  Or use tortilla chips, top and warn for ultimate loaded nachos.  Skip the tortillas entirely and add more lettuce for a great salad option.  These make a great party food as well.  Try some until you find your favorite.  Try a new variation for Cinco de Mayo, or make it a game day treat.  It’s really fun to try them all.

What’s Your Passion?

Do you have a passion for something? Maybe it’s being a mom, crafting, books, gardening, etc. A great way to express your passions is through your own blog. This gives you the chance to tell others about what you love. It’s one of the biggest and growing trends on the internet.

You can have your own price of internet space.

Did you know some people get paid to write as a freelance writer or promote products that you use? Does this sounds like you? If so you’ll want to not only write great content, but share it with your friends. Once upon a time this was hard to do. With the development of social media it’s easier than ever. As a blogger for the past 2 years I’ve learned a few tricks along the way.

Gift amazon prime
Perfect as last minute gifts or for those who have it all. Some key Prime benefits: * FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items * No minimum order size * Instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows * Unlimited, ad-free access to over a million songs and hundreds of playlists

There are a lot of choices out there, so I thought maybe I’d share mine to help you decide which way to turn. Starting with where do I start. I looked around and found a lot of choices. In the end I chose Word Press. I like the features, themes, and upgrade ability, without having to start over. They’re mobile app gives me the freedom to add when ever and where ever I am. Sign up is easy and just takes a couple of minutes. Click the link below and sign up to get started today.

Ok, so if you’ve searched on places like Google or Pintrest, you’ve seen thousands of entries about blogging. Most tell you how easy it is and give suggestions like I am, “What is the difference you ask? I am only recommending what I actually use. I’ve studied and tried quite a few to find what works the best for me.

Okay so you’ve made the hard choices and even written the posts. Now what? The best way to get viewers is to tell your friends. Start sharing the news on your social media pages. I use a little help with this. I use Postify. It saves me tons of time and work. Again I can do it from my phone if needed. Best of all I can schedule it to share across social media while I’m still in bed. Get Postify here.

Postify posts scheduler for social media
Get it here

With these tools you can easily tell the world just like you do with your best friend. Do I have all the answers?  Nope, but I have enough that several business’s have contacted me asking for me to do it for them. If you decide this might be for you welcome to the club. If not then express your passions as you choose. Wether you keep it to yourself or share it with the world, find the spark that lies within you.

%d bloggers like this: