3 Tips for Buying Things on Amazon

I’m a total Amazon.com junkie. This year to date, I’ve placed 50 orders. For today’s busy lifestyles, it is often more convenient and cost effective to order items on Amazon. Here’s a short list of tips to give you the best success shopping on Amazon (this is not a sponsored post, I just really love Amazon).

  1. Sign up for an Amazon Prime subscription. It’s $99 a year which averages out to $8.25/month. That’s probably the same as what you are paying for a Hulu or Netflix subscription, and guess what? Amazon offers a video streaming service with your Prime subscription. The most important thing about a Prime subscription is that it gives you free 2 day shipping and free returns on most items.
  2. Check the reviews and be discerning. I research the price on everything I buy, from toiletries to books to kid toys. Remember that phrase “safety in numbers”? Well, it’s true for reviews too. An item with 132 reviews where 80% are 5 star or above is a much safer bet than an item with four reviews that are all over the place. That being said, don’t let a few bad reviews prevent you from buying an item. Pay attention to what the majority of people are saying. I usually disregard bad reviews that are extremely short, or sound like someone who is a negative type of person. Look more closely at the longer, more descriptive reviews.
  3. Check seller ratings. Sometimes I’m interested in a used item, say a book or music CD and I will look at the other sellers to see what they are charging. It’s a pretty safe bet to use a seller who has a lot of ratings and 95% or more are positive. For example, I just bought a doll for my daughter’s 1st birthday on Amazon. I decided to buy it directly from Amazon as that was the best price ($10.99). However, I could have purchased it from a few other sellers. One of the sellers wanted $17.99 (including shipping), but they only had 82% positive ratings based off of 20 ratings. I don’t like those odds and wouldn’t choose that seller.

Coming soon….a list of the best things to buy on Amazon!

4 Fun Ways to Beat a Boring Afternoon

The title of this post should really be “4 Fun Ways to Beat a Boring Afternoon When You Have Very Small Children.” But that seemed a little long for a blog post header. You know what kind of afternoons I’m talking about? The ones where naps ended way too early and dinnertime is still MUCH too far away and you’ve got hours and hours of the day left.


  1. Get a coffee and go to the park. This is one of my favorite options because I get coffee (win!) and there’s nothing like being outdoors to calm the mommy and the kiddos. Plus, you never know who you might run into. Abrielle is always super disappointed if we go the park and there are no other children. She asks, “Where are all the friends?”
  2. Window shop at the mall. This is especially nice for a day when the weather is uncooperative. Strap the kids in the stroller and walk around. I like to use this time for brainstorming upcoming holiday gifts and get ideas for projects or house decorations.
  3. Go to the library. This is an easy one, but it’s free and our library has a super fun “discovery room” that actually has toys and education activities. Great way to kill time.
  4. Drive to a local shopping area and bribe children with trip to the pet store. Yeah, I’m guilty of this one a lot. I really just want an excuse to browse at Michael’s and look at craft supplies, but I bribe Abrielle by saying we’ll stop at the pet store afterwards and look at the animals.

What do you like to do with a boring afternoon?

Some Things in Life are Free

Really. Unless you REALLY hate filling out surveys. As it turns out, I like filling out surveys. In some weird way, it meets my emotional need to have someone care what I think. Even if that someone is a market researcher from a toilet paper company. Someone needs to give them the low down on toilet paper! My drive to fill out surveys reminds me of when I used to donate blood in college. The actual donating wasn’t very fun (especially the getting stabbed in the arm with a needle the size of a knitting needle), but the fact that for about 30 minutes I had someone’s undivided attention and care was pretty cool. Same thing with the dentist–I hate going, but I like being taken care of.

Now that I’ve completely sidetracked…back to surveys. I have two main sites where I like to complete surveys. The one I’m highlighting today is Synovate Global Opinion Panels. One of the things they tell you when you become a member is that you may have the opportunity to test a product. When I first signed up, I thought it was a long shot. I have probably completed less than 15 surveys with Synovate, and I have already received two product testing opportunities (and I have another on its way). I am loving it! They ship you a product that is not on the market yet. They include instructions for use/consumption (depending what it is), and in a week or two, they will send you a survey to fill out about the product they sent you. They do require that you keep the product confidential, which is why I can’t share what I’ve been testing. 😦

Happy surveying!

A Housewifey Day

I just felt “housewifey” today and had to share. Since I spent last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday laid up with a migraine, none of the housework or laundry got done. I rested Sunday since I was feeling a little better, and then today, rolled up my sleeves and got to work. The Housewifey Successes of today:

  • Went to Office Depot because of a coupon deal I had read about, and actually scored these cool labels for FREE!

  • Made a trip to Fred Meyer with a coupon, got a great deal from their 40% clothing clearance AND scored 4 bags of Tillamook Cheese ($1 each).
  • Ran into Winco for a couple things. Got home to realize my cinnamon got rung up as bacon bits. I think I got a good deal on that cinnamon bacon bits.
  • Dusted and cleaned the floors! (very important because Baldue the cat leaves behind a heinous amount of cat hair in the summer) It’s amazing what a difference that small amount of cleaning makes.
  • Now I’m going to take a nap. And hey, I don’t even need a coupon–it’s free!

Getting A Great Deal

…out of life!

Well, this post is actually more about getting a great deal with your money. Just thought I would share a few sites with some great deals to check out.


Click on my referral link to sign up. Groupon features a daily deal (must be purchased that day) on anything from clothing to coffee. They have also recently added a Groupon Now! feature (not available in all cities yet) so that you are not limited to the featured deal of the day.


Click this link to view Target’s deal of the day. Again, the deal must be purchased the same day it is featured. I have seen some really great sales on this site. Even better, free shipping comes with these daily deals.

Frugal Living NW

This site has a regular feed that includes links to free samples, links to printable coupons, and posts about the best deals at the main grocery stores.

Money Saving Mom

This site features the author’s video tips on budgeting, as well as links to coupons, samples, deals, etc.


This site does not include every restaurant in any city, but you do get a wide variety of options and they often have a deal for 80% off. Be aware of the fine print: required gratuity and required minimum purchase at some restaurants.