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The Reverse Wishlist – PickURGift

This is a sponsored campaign with PickURGift and the Mums the Word Blogger Network. All opinions are my own.

Pick UR Gift Logo

I delight in picking out the perfect gift for people.  The joy that comes when their face lights up like a Christmas tree is worth the months and months of shopping for the perfect gift.  For some people, however, I absolutely have no clue what to buy them.  I have a few ideas that I think might be a good idea but I’m really not sure.  That’s why I was excited to learn about PickURGift.  It’s the coolest idea!

PickURGift is a reverse wish list.  The bottom line is that you make a list of possible gift ideas online through their site and they’ll contact your giftee with your suggestions.  From there they will select which gift they like best, you’ll buy it, and you can be sure you’ve bought them a gift they’ll like.  Novel idea, right?

 

The PickURGift process:

Pick UR Gift

I just learned about this site today and I wish I had heard of it yesterday.  I bought a gift for a family member today when I wasn’t totally sure they would love it.  I was debating back and forth between three gifts when I just gave up and picked one.  I would have much rather had him take a look at my three choices and have him tell me which gift he would prefer.  Next time I’ll be prepared!

It’s super easy to get started.  I have Chrome and I followed the simple prompts to add PickURGift to my bookmarks.  I then added my husband as a contact so I could start making a wish list for him.  With his birthday and our anniversary coming up this is going to be very helpful!  Once on a website that has a good gift idea {I first went to Pottery Barn to add an iPad recipe holder that I think he would find useful} I went to my bookmarks and chose PickURGift.  From there a little pop up appeared where I chose which picture I wanted him to see and I had the option to write a little note to him about the product.  Check below for a screenshot of the pop up that appears.

Pick Ur Gift Process

Below is a screenshot of what my PickURGift dashboard looks like for Michael’s Birthday.

Birthday Wish List

I’m just getting started with ideas but that’s the great thing about this…it keeps your ideas for you so you don’t have to remember them and you can add to your list at any time.  You can even add clothing sizes, which I definitely need to do because I’m always forgetting!

Wishlist Help

Check out this cool feature!  You can email your list to a friend or family member to get their opinion before you send it off to your giftee.  What a clever idea.

Share Gift Ideas

Last but not least, you can also share your gift ideas with others by making your list public or you can choose to keep it private if you want to keep your list to yourself.  I’ve had a lot of fun looking at what others are considering for gifts and it’s actually given me a new idea or two for my husband {which I can’t put here because he’ll see them!}.

If you have last minute gifts to buy, this is for you!  You’ve only procrastinated because you didn’t know what to buy, right?  Well, now you can know!

If you’ve already bought all  your gifts, then this is for you!  You’re clearly an organized person so you’ll want to get a jump start on next year right away, right?  Well, maybe not right away but you get the idea.

This is an awesome gift giving tool and I hope someone reading this will enjoy this new concept as much as I do!

Top 10 Tips to Save When Shopping Online

Top 10 Tips to Save When Shopping Online

 

I am a self-proclaimed online shopping fanatic.  I buy all my books, some groceries, clothes (that I know what size to buy), decorative items, diapers, and several home supplies.  Some people think that the best way to shop online is wait until you see a sale promoted.  I use to think that too but over the many years of shopping online I’ve learned a few tricks.

 

Here are my Top 10 Tips to Save When Shopping Online:

 

1.)  Use Coupon Codes

Before you buy anything online, always, always, always check for a coupon code first.  We have a online coupon database right here on our site so that you can easily find a code to save a percent off, dollars off, or free shipping.

 

2.) Ask for a Discount

If you’ve searched for a coupon and haven’t found one you might want to try your hand at asking for a discount.  I’ve found that nine times out of then when I ask for a discount I’ll usually get one.  I like to use the chat feature on websites for this.  For smaller boutique type of sites or Etsy stores I’ll send an email and they’ll usually respond within a day or two.

 

3.) Shop Ebay

For years Ebay has been a fabulous place to score deals on last season’s hottest clothes and toys.  While they’re still great for that, they now have discounts on this season’s hottest toys and fashions.  Ebay is a fabulous resource to have in your savings arsenal.  I’ve been guilty of this so I feel I have to warn you, be careful not to get caught up in a bidding war and end up spending more than you intended to.

 

4.) Shop online

That sounds like a given doesn’t it?  One of my tips to save money when shopping online is to shop online.  Countless times I have found something in the store that wasn’t on sale and I held out on buying it until I got home to check for a coupon code (see point 1).  I won’t always do this because I do like to help support my local community but if times are tight I’ll do this in a heartbeat.

 

5.) Shop through Ebates

Ebates is one of my absolute favorite ways to save when shopping online because it takes so little effort!  Ebates is an online rebate program where you simply go to Ebates and sign up or log in, then you search for your favorite store, and that’s it!  You’ll earn from 1%-20% cash back on your purchase.  You have the option to receive a check in the mail every 3 months (when you earned at least $5.01 cash back in your account) or you can have your cash deposited into your PayPal account.

 

6.) Shop Amazon

Amazon’s logo clearly says that they carry everything from A to Z and I’ve found that to be true.  I bought an iPod Touch through an Amazon store and saved over $50 from what that store had it listed for on their site. {Check out my tutorial for how to amplify your iPod’s sound for free!}  Amazon has a coupon section for home supply, beauty, and baby goods that not everyone knows about.  Just do a simple search on Amazon to find all of the current coupons.  If you buy a lot online it might be a good idea for you to purchase an Amazon Prime membership for $79 a year.  This will give you free 2 day shipping.  2 day shipping has been a blessing to me numerous times when I’ve forgotten to buy diapers or a friend’s birthday gift until the last minute.  Plus, you’ll also get a wide variety of free Amazon Instant Videos.  Not only can you save by just shopping on Amazon, using Amazon’s coupons, and signing up for Amazon Prime but if you click through Ebates you’ll be able to get cash back on your purchase (see point 5).

 

7.) Visit “Daily Deal” Sites

There is a plethora of daily deal sites online now where you can save on national and local deals.  My family has really enjoyed taking advantage of the local spa,  salon, cooking classes, and photography deals.  Be careful though because not all of these “deals” are the best price you can get.

 

8.) Check Social Media Sites

Many social savvy stores will have their own Facebook and Twitter accounts where they’ll post exclusive deals, sales, and coupon codes.  I recently saved 25% on my Christmas card purchase by quickly glancing at Shutterfly‘s Facebook page.  I found a free shipping code through my coupon database (see point 1 for the link) but this exclusive coupon code was only available on their Facebook page.  Plus, I’ve also seen people share one time use coupon codes on Shutterfly’s wall for free products that they don’t necessarily want.

 

9.) Save Money on Gift Wrap

With all of the fabulous homemade gift wrap ideas floating around on the internet why buy the fancy pants paper at the stores.  Buy the cheapest {but cute} paper you can find and embellish it yourself.  There are oodles of free printable gift tags and cards on the internet.  Plus, even if you have to shop and buy a gift tag template I’m sure it will still be much cheaper in the end than buying pre-made tags year after year. Besides, who doesn’t like a personalized gift {or personalized gift-wrapping} anyway?

 

10.)  Regularly Read EmbracingBeauty.com

Come on, you knew I had to add this!  Embracing Beauty’s motto is, “Embracing God’s best for your finances, home, and life!”  We’re not a site that includes every deal known to man for two reasons.  Number 1, I won’t post a deal when I know it’s not the lowest price you could get it for.  I just won’t.  Number 2, I can’t post every coupon and every deal.  I would if I could but I have a real life outside of this blog and I have to keep my priorities, my priorities.  I think you understand that.  However, it’s my goal to give you the resources to find those deals and coupons on your own so that you don’t have to rely on me {or anyone} to save money.  We still feature the hottest coupons, freebies, and money-saving deals every week to save you time so please bookmark us and follow us on our social media pages {the links are found at the top right of this page}.

Stay Safe While Shopping This Black Friday #LifeLock

5 Tips to Stay Safe While Shopping Online

 

As Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are quickly approaching I know many of you will be shopping in physical stores and online.  Each fun shopping opportunity presents different threats of identity theft. I’ve been paranoid about my physical safety most of my life but ever since I’ve been married I’ve been more concerned about the safety of my identity.  For some reason I had never thought about it before but my husband quickly educated me.  He wisely introduced me to the idea of shredding old bills and credit card offers, not carrying my social security card with me, and many other things.

 

LifeLock

 

Here are a few other tips to help keep your identity safe:

 

1.  Don’t shred your receipts, save them. Keep receipts in case you need to compare them against your credit card statement. If anything suspicious comes up you want to be ready to dispute it.  I’ve found that craft stores sell cute little storage boxes for  a dollar or two that are perfect to store receipts.  We keep a pile of them in the box with a paper weight until it gets to the top of the box then we wrap a rubber band around it and start a new pile.

 

2.  If a company or store calls and asks for your PIN or SSN don’t give it.  Ever!  I’ve had this happen before and I politely told them that I would call them back via their official number and they understood.  I called back and it was a legit problem that I was able to fix.  Don’t be afraid to tell them you want to call them back, if they are the real deal they’ll be understanding.  If they get upset or pushy them they are probably just phishing for your information.

 

3.  Smartphones are great for a lot of things but they are not foolproof shopping devices. In 2011, a 76% increase in malware targeted at Android devices was cited. This made Android smartphones the most targeted smartphone platform. Malware has also been reported via holiday themed applications and QR codes.  Be careful, don’t think that just because you’re buying over a phone that you are safe.

 

4.  Unfamiliar sites selling the hottest items of the year can often be fake and are set up just for this time of year.  These websites are set up with no inventory or intention of actually selling anything.  Use reputable websites and don’t try to save a few bucks by buying through a smaller site.  If you give your credit card information to a scammer you could end up paying much more in the end.

 

5.  Online auction sites that sell gift cards are more likely to be counterfeit or obtained through fraudulent means, according to the National Retail Federation.   It’s best to buy them in a store and getting the authorization slip with your receipt.

 

What tips do you have for snagging the best deals while remaining safe?

 

Don’t forget Lifelock for Life Sweepstakes that is going on now as well as Lifelock’s Twitter Party coming up this Friday for even more chances to win great gifts!

 

This is a sponsored post on behalf of LifeLock. Opinions are my own.

Kids’ Hello Kitty, Dora, & Care Bear Shirts Only $1.99 (reg. $10.95)!

Hello Kitty Sale

 Adorable Hello Kitty shirts for only $1.99!!

Hello Kitty Sale

Right now, The Children’s Place has Hello Kitty, Dora, Care Bear, & Cookie Monster shirts on sale for only $1.99.  Note that this price doesn’t include shipping.  You could stock up now for next summer or maybe kids could still wear them now over a long sleeve shirt.  Adorable and at a great price!  These would be perfect for birthday gifts too!

 

Don’t forget to sign up or log in to Ebates and click through to The Children’s Place to get 2.5% cash back!

My Favorite Stores from A to Z

shopping

A Ann Taylor (clearance rack)
B BMoss.com, Brookstone, & Bed Bath and Beyond
C CVS Craigslist.com
D DSW
E Etsy.com
F Freecycle.com
G Gap
H Home Goods
I Ikea
J JCPenny
K Khols
L LayersClothing.com
M Marhsallsonline.com Mary Kay
N Neiman Marcus (clearance rack)
O Overstock.com
P Pottery Barn ProFlowers.com
Q QVC.com
R Rugged Wearhouse RedEnvelope.com
S Stein Mart
T T.J. Maxx, Target, & Tuesday Morning
U Uncommongoods.com
V VistaPrint.com Victoria’s Secret
W Walmart Walgreens
X Xerox.com? ha
Y
Z Zappos.com

What are your favorite places to shop?  I’d love to hear where you shop and find good deals!