May 012015

Places to Look for QR Codes that Offer Discounts

QR Code discounts

QR codes are versatile. Some companies use these “magic” tools to offer savings on all kinds of products you already buy. This post aims to help you find QR codes that will save you money and time while you mystery shop. By putting a little extra change in your pocket, QR codes can make you smile!

What Kinds of Things Can You Buy for Less with QR Codes?

Retailers have fallen in love with these great codes. The list of available deals grows daily, and the types of things on which you can save money are already quite varied.

Right now, you can use a QR code to save money on:

  • Toys
  • Video games
  • Food
  • Jewelry
  • Clothes
  • Appliances
  • Movie tickets
  • Many things

Go to your favorite retailer’s website. They may have a QR code you can download and use to save money at one of their locations.

Who Uses QR Codes to Save Money?

It is likely that most people you know with a smartphone have used a money-saving QR image. Those people include:

  • Moms
  • Dads
  • Thespians
  • Teachers
  • Smart office managers
  • Personal trainers who like cheese
  • Your plumber
  • Dancers
  • Prancers

To find codes that save you dough, all you have to do is know where to look.

Where Will You Find Money-Saving QR Codes?

As discounts with QR codes become more popular, you will be able to find them many places. Consider these ideas:

  • At your grocer, look for a sign posted near the entrance that might have a QR code for savings
  • Some retailers mail valued customers promotional QR codes periodically, and you can sign up to receive those mailings
  • If you network for business, you will notice some business cards feature QR codes that may save you money on products and services
  • Anytime you see a print advertisement, it may contain a QR code that will save you money. As with many things, you will find more QR codes when you begin seriously looking for them. These little wonders are all over the place!

How Much Money Can You Save?

In truth, the amount you actually save by using QR code discounts will depend upon your individual choices. Some QR codes offer deep savings. Catch a company at the right time with the right code, and you could find yourself paying less than half of the an item’s retail price. That is a definite bargain!

Get Busy!

Now that you know the “why and how” of saving money with QR codes, do not waste time. Find the codes you need to pay less for the things you already buy. You might even find a code that makes it possible for you to “splurge for less” on something you have wanted to own for a long time.

Happy deal hunting!

This contribution comes from Sentry Marketing Group, a mystery shopping and survey company in Dallas. They blog about mystery shopping, surveys, promotions, and foodservice trends.

Looking to generate your own QR Codes that offer discounts?  Check out this post.

Mar 052015

Save Money and Energy With A Few Easy Tips


It’s no secret that heating your home when it’s cold outside can cost a fortune if you aren’t careful. However, if you’re tired of watching your home energy bills rise once coolers temperatures hit, you don’t have to sit back and let it happen. Instead, you can save yourself some serious money while also reducing the amount of energy your home consumes during the fall and winter by taking a few simple steps.

Cover Up Drafty Windows

Have you ever walked by a window and suddenly felt a cold pocket of air graze your skin? To prevent this from happening, tape clear, plastic film to the inside of your windows during the winter months. When you do this, make sure that the plastic is adhered tightly to the frame of the window to reduce infiltration. Additionally, you should consider putting up insulating drapes on the windows that still feel drafty even after you get done winterizing them.

Lower What You Pay for Warm Water

If you broke down each component of your energy bills, you’d probably be surprised as to how much water heating adds to this total. In the majority of homes, obtaining hot water can account from anywhere from 14 to 25 percent of their total energy consumption. To reduce what you pay for warm water, lower the temperature on your water heater to the warm setting. While this will help you save money, it will also help you avoid scalding your hands.

Pay Attention to the Temperature

Like many other people, keeping your home nice and warm during the fall and winter is important to you. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to pay a fortune to make it happen. When you’re at home, keep your home at a temperature that is comfortable, but not overly warm or cool. When you go to bed at night or before you leave your home for the day, set back your thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees.

Maintain Your Heating System

If your heating system isn’t working efficiently, you could be paying extra to heat your home and not even know it. Even before the leaves start to turn colors, call your HVAC technician over and have him or her take a look at your system. While he or she is there, ask him or her about what you can do to maintain your heating system throughout the winter and how to prevent your system from suddenly breaking down in the middle of an extremely chilly night.

Use the Power of the Sun

The best part about the energy that comes from the sun is that it’s 100 percent free. Use this to your advantage by letting the sunlight in to warm your home during the day and closing your drapes and blinds completely when it starts to get dark outside to prevent draftiness.

Keep in mind that these are just a few of the ways you can reduce energy consumption and what you pay for heating during the fall and winter months. If there are any other energy-saving strategies you like to use, make sure that you add them to your overall plan when the temperatures outside start to drop.

Living in New England, we have to find all ways possible to save money and energy on these bills.  Do you have other tips that you’d care to share?

Dec 242014
birthday gifts

birthday gifts

A birthday is a great time to celebrate how special a person is to you. You want to show them how much you care, but it can be challenging to find just the right gift without blowing your budget. If you’re searching for a birthday gift they’ll remember, follow these easy steps.

Consider Their Interests

Before you start shopping, it’s important to consider your recipient’s needs and interests. You love buying your granddaughter fancy new dresses, but she would rather have new softball supplies for her upcoming season.  This step can be a little tricky if you’re purchasing for someone you don’t know very well or don’t see that often. However, you can find some clues about what they like with a little work. Check out your son in-law’s Facebook page to see what he’s interested in, or ask your brother what your teenage niece has on her birthday list this year.

Think Outside the Box

There are many different items that are marketed as great gifts, but you don’t want to limit yourself to these items. Instead of buying your nephew another car set to add to his immense collection, make an arts and crafts kit to increase his creativity and spur his imagination.  Clothing items and accessories can also be memorable gifts. Shop at to find the perfect new shoes for your friend who loves to run, or pick up a sports shirt for the baseball fan in your life.

Give Experiences

If you want to really make an impact, consider giving an experience and not just a gift. Your grandson already has more toys than he can play with, but he would love spending a day with you at the playground and going to get ice cream.  Giving an experience is an especially good choice if you’re working with a limited budget, although it works best for close friends or family members. Whether you choose to give a night of free babysitting, a home-cooked meal, a special day out with your favorite child or another experience, it’s a special gift that is sure to be long remembered by your recipient.

Choosing the right birthday gift doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Instead, it should be tailored to meet the needs of your recipient. With a little thought and creativity, you can give the perfect gift while still keeping your budget intact.

Aug 032014
blank sweatshirts

blank sweatshirts

Blank sweatshirts are a beautiful canvas on which to put your favorite designs, logos, or other creative image of your choice. Sweatshirts are a favorite go-to for many people because they are so comfortable. They are perfect for lounging around the house or wearing outside on a cool day. In fact, people wear sweatshirts so much, it’s no wonder stains find their way onto this piece of clothing. Stains on any piece of clothing are a nuisance, but there are ways to deal with them, especially if you are quick to take action. It is first important to understand different kinds of stains.

Types of Stains

Stains usually fall into two different categories: dyes and proteins. Most stains are usually one or the other, or a combination of the two.

Dyes are usually found in colored items like vegetables, fruits, and plants. When handled immediately, these are pretty simple to get out of clothing. They become much more stubborn if they are allowed to set in, however.

Proteins can often be treated with detergents that have enzymes. The enzymes help to dissolve fats and break down the proteins.

Combination stains can usually be treated with a detergent first, then laundered like normal with a stain solution applied.

Dye Stains

Fruit and juice stains can be a nightmare if allowed to set. It helps to avoid using soap-based products with fruit or fruit juice stains, since this could make the stain set in the fabric. For particularly stubborn stains, put an enzyme-based detergent in a quart of warm water and soak the stain for about 30 minutes. Then launder the sweatshirt on the hottest setting allowed for that fabric.

Grass stains pervade on the clothing of active young people. The same technique can be applied here for stubborn stains with a slight temperature difference—soak the stain in an enzyme-based detergent and a quart of cool water for 30 minutes. Avoid using hot water with grass-type stains. If the stain remains after washing, soak it again for another 30 minutes.

Protein Stains

Mud is fairly simple to remove if you let it dry completely. For mud spots that remain, you can usually get it out by soaking it with a quart of warm water, a teaspoon of dish soap, and a tablespoon of white vinegar. Let the stain soak for 15 minutes, then rinse. You can also try dabbing the stain with rubbing alcohol if it still persists.


Sauce stains may look stubborn, but if you soak them in cool water with a half of a teaspoon of dish soap and a tablespoon of vinegar for half an hour, they usually come out. After soaking, stubborn stains can be pre-treated with a stain remover, then washed on a warm cycle.

Coffee stains are best handled fresh. Wash your sweatshirt in cold water first, then try rubbing the stain with laundry detergent and cold water. Let it soak for half an hour, rubbing in the detergent every once in a while. Next, wash the sweatshirt on the hottest setting allowed for the fabric. Do not dry until the stain has been completely removed.

Quick Tips to Remember

Stains on your favorite blank sweatshirt might seem like a nightmare, but they are most easily removed if treated immediately. Remember to always check your stained sweatshirt after washing to make sure the stain is removed before drying it. Another pre-treat and wash cycle may be better for getting out a stain than having it permanently set in by a dry cycle.  If all else fails – try Greased Lightning…it’s fabulous for removing stains!

Jul 232014

money saving tips for parents

It does not matter how great your income is; when you have kids, it never seems to be enough. You think you are doing all you can to make frugal choices, but are you? Below is some money saving tips that have more an impact than you might think.

1.  Kiss Your Car Insurance Goodbye – Okay, you need car insurance, but when was the last time you shopped around? Rates often factor in age, address, and credit. So, if you are still paying the same rate as you were five years ago when you lived in a questionable area, had no credit, and still had a speeding ticket that had not dropped off your record, then you are probably paying too much. Call your provider and ask to be reevaluated, and get rates from others while you are at it.

2.  Examine Your Phone Bill – How often do you use that call forwarding option on your home phone service or digital voicemail on your cell? Phone bills are often full of a lot of services you don’t need.

3.  Cancel Movie Channels – Get rid of those expensive movie channels and get Netflix or something similar. Most people pay an average of $30 per month on movie channels. Let’s face it; you are lucky if one decent movie is added every week anyway. It is just not worth it.

4.  Buy a Water Fountain – Right now, you are saying, “Wait! I’m trying to save money, not spend it.” Instead of having an air purifier, vaporizer, and sound element all plugged in the nursery, eliminate these things for one fountain. The sound is soothing, the water evaporates to provide moisture, and the movement of water cleans the air. You can pick one up from online stores like

5.  Stop Eating Out – Eating at restaurants is so expensive. Even if you are only grabbing a muffin and coffee for breakfast or a salad for lunch, this really adds up. Pack snacks, lunches, etc., when you are on the move, so you are not tempted to hit the drive thru.

6.  Don’t Buy Bottled Water – Bottled water is truly the biggest waste of money and it is bad for the environment. Buy a few BPA-free, washable water bottles and a water pitcher with a filter and fill the bottles with your own clean water.

7.  Clip Coupons – How many times have you been standing in line and kick yourself because you remember seeing a coupon for something you are buying? Use a recipe box with dividers to create a coupon filing system that works for you.

8.  Save Gas – There are probably plenty of times when you can easily walk or bike to where you are going instead of taking the car. Gas is expensive. If you have a smaller yard, ditch that gas guzzling mower for a reel mower instead.

9.  Make Baby Food – Buy small jars and puree your own baby food. It will cost a fraction of the price. There are recipes all over the Internet.

10.  Ask for a Better Credit Card Rate – You never know if you can get a better rate, if you don’t ask. Call your credit card company and tell them you are going to transfer the balance to a new card with a better rate unless they can do a little better.

Jul 152014

You’re going to LOVE this site we found! It’s a very cool site for those who are looking to make/bake something but have limited ingredients on hand.


Picture this scenario in your mind.  It’s suppertime.  You ask yourself, “What am I going to make – I want something different than the same ole, same ole.  OR – I have limited ingredients so what can I make with what I have on hand?”

Here’s a solution for you!  Go to  You enter what ingredients you have on hand on the left.  You are not limited to their suggestions – look below that box and where you see ‘Add Ingredients,’ and enter the ingredients you do have.

From there, you’ll see on the right hand side of the page, dishes that you can make.  If for some reason you are missing an ingredient that a dish requires, you will be told that too.

Some of the recipes where you are missing ‘that’ certain ingredient – you can still make.  For instance, if bell peppers are part of the recipe and you don’t have them and you don’t care if you include them in the recipe – it’s not a big deal.

We’d love to hear what you thought of this site – please come back and share your thoughts!

Apr 012014
beef roast savings

How to Save on Beef Roasts

Can’t Afford Beef Roasts? Use this Cut for a lot of Savings

Our family is beefeaters.  Steak, hamburger, beef roasts, steak tips – beef – we just love beef.  Unfortunately though, with the cost of beef rising so fast, the only thing that I could make stretch for a meal was burger.  We stopped having steak once a week and roasts became a rarity.  Then I learned of an awesome tip and want to share that with you!
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