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Shopping Tips: What Eight Things Should You Be Buying Right Now?!

Back to school shopping is on everyone’s minds as summer comes to and end… but what are some other deals to be on the look out for this time of year?!  Sarah, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, shares some of her great shopping tips with us!  Take a look…

8 Things You Should Buy Right Now 

I always like looking for the best deal, and on most things I can usually find it. But when a major hit came to our budget recently I quickly turned into my mother—deal shopping became super charged deal shopping and only looking at something if there was a 70% off sign above it. This complete mind alteration made me think; last article I listed out where to find the cheapest back to school items, while looking in the latest shopping ads I realized there are a lot of other items on sale right now which I don’t need for my kindergartner but could use for the family!

Bedding

Primarily targeted at those going off to college, but sheets (especially twin sheets) bed décor, rugs and lamps are all on super sale right now. If you were thinking of updating a room in the house look at some of these items; just one or two pieces can drastically change a room.

Clothes and Shoes

This is an obvious one to update the kid’s wardrobe but think about you as well. A lot of places are marking down basic summer items right now and just because it is September doesn’t mean it is turning cold; and a lot of basic items can be worn under cardigans and jackets. Shoe stores are running BOGO events too. When you buy the new shoes for the kids throw in an additional pair for yourself. Bonus points if you can find something on clearance which becomes even cheaper as part of the BOGO! (Channeling my mom on that one!)

Backpacks

Yeah I know, we aren’t shopping for school supplies but hear me out! I was of the mindset that after I got rid of my diaper bag if it didn’t fit in my purse (which is about the size of said diaper bag) then the kids didn’t need it. Then I bought my great, very adult, expensive but on sale, pre-budget- blowup backpack and took it on our latest trip to the zoo. I AM IN LOVE! I still had both hands free and room enough to carry everything from snacks to wipes to my husband’s wallet and still had room for more! This being said, maybe it is time to look for one that is on sale, while not all of them are Trolls or Peppa Pig, some are basic in color and tailored to adults—and on sale!

Sandwich bags and lunch box supplies

Even if my kindergartener decides to take her lunch to school she still eats lunchables, applesauce, and cereal at home, so I will be stocking up on these items when they are on sale in a few weeks. Sandwich bags can always be used in my house; from breakfast carriers in the morning to leftovers, a surplus of these will be much appreciated. Clear out a place on a shelf in the garage to put all of these items.

Kleenex

Along this same line, Kleenex will be on sale right now because every classroom will have you bring at least two boxes per child. However, did you know that most homes use Kleenex as well! Stock up now for every room in the house and put some on that “supply” shelf in the garage! Come cold and flu season you will be happy you did!

Computers and Cell phones

Technology is all on sale right now, although targeted more toward those going off to college. But you can benefit now as well! If you aren’t thinking about buying right now but have some questions take advantage of stores bringing in more “experts” during this time. There will be someone that can answer your questions now about processors and data plans and then when the budget turns around or when you are ready for an upgrade you will know exactly what to ask for!

Swimsuits

This has nothing to do with school but it happens every year—stores want to clear out for their fall lines and swimsuits just don’t fit in. This is where you can take advantage of some great markdowns. Still scared to look in the mirror? It is proven that people are at their thinnest in the summer months; we are more active, tan and because of all the extra vitamin D we are getting we feel better about ourselves.

Patio furniture

Planning a Labor Day bbq? I know that my daughters’ 3rd birthday is coming up in a few weeks and I would love to have some more outdoor seating. Perfect timing! Everywhere is trying to clear out their patio furniture to either make room for school supplies or dare I say it fall holiday merchandise. Wait until about the end of August to get the really great deals; but don’t shop around too much, with good deals these aren’t going to be around for long!

From iFamily to Yours,


What You Need to Know About Back To School Shopping

It’s hard to believe that the end of July is sneaking up (quickly, like a tiger) upon us and it’s time to seriously start thinking about back to school shopping for clothes, shoes, supplies, and everything else that the kids need to get through another year. Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t! Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad is here to help with some fantastic tips to make your shopping experience a little bit easier this year. Take a look…

 What You Need to Know About Back To School Shopping

What You Need to Know About Back To School Shopping

Yes, we are really talking about back to school shopping! Even though we started in the beginning of July (we home school), seeing all these sales really makes the “Back to School” season feel real! All those awesome backpacks, locker decor, and crayons really seem to say summer is over.

So this year as you get ready to pick up all your school essentials, Check out these local places for insane deals and all the things you and your kids will love!

Office Depot

Office Depot has one of the best deals. And by deals, I mean .01 deals! During certain times, they will offer items for only .01! You just have to keep track of the ad. But most of their school supplies is under $5 and backpacks are only $10. You can pick up the paper ad or even see you current stores deals by checking them out online.

Staples

Staples is another great place for cheap Items. Currently, Staples has all of their writing and coloring supplies for .97. They even have Crayola (my family’s fave) Marked down. Compared to 2.50- 4.00, that’s a huge score!

Target

Target was one of my first stops last year! They had almost everything you need for on .50! Notebooks, glue, index cards… you name it! We were able to stock up well into this year with the awesome deals they had. Not to mention, they have a wide variety of colors and package sizes as well.

Dollar Tree

Over the past few years, Dollar Tree has really stepped up their merchandise! Before, I would be hesitant to buy certain things from there because of the quality and also the style as well. But the other day when I was perusing around my local Dollar Tree, I found some of the trendiest notebooks, folders and journals! Perfect for kids of all ages along with more traditional composition notebooks.  Not to mention they have an outstanding teacher corner as well! Plus, you can never really break the bank there because everything is a dollar!

Walmart

Walmart tends to be a lot of people’s go- to store. When I was there last week, they had everything for every grade. Especially some really cool printed notebooks for your trendy teen. I even bought several to have for myself! I mean rose gold foil prints?!?! I’m sold! Not to mention they have a lot of 1.00 or less items as well. Once major steal was a Scotchtape pack of 2 for only $1. That is a pretty good bargain! Plus tons of glue sticks for .25-.50 and folders for only .97!

So, as you get ready to venture out, into the crazy world of back to school shopping, keep these places and deals in mind!  Happy shopping!

Pro-Tip: Check several ads throughout the metro area. Not all cities and counties have the same deals. Last year, I found small price differences that not only saved me money, but saved me time from driving all around!

From iFamily to Yours,

b

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Are You Ready For Back to School? Early Shopping Tips!

It’s hard to believe that we’re already closing in on July here in the metro area and, before we know it, back to school time will be upon us. Even though we’ve got another month before the kiddos return to their classrooms, it’s never too early to start preparing and grabbing those must need items from the store to stock up for the coming year. Gabrielle, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, shares three simple tips to help you get a head start on your upcoming year today on the blog. Take a look…

back to school

Are You Ready For Back to School? Early Shopping Tips!

As usual, my bi-weekly Target run was full of wonder.  There were the usual adorable finds in the $1.00 bins, a great pair of yoga pants that I just had to have, and some surprising deals. But when I got to the checkout line, I was hit with the most unexpected reality check.  (And not the usual one of “OMG, I only came in here to pick up two things.  How did this cart get full?)

This was different.  Directly in front of me was a little girl, gleefully loading her newly purchased school supplies into her newly purchased backpack.  The little girls eyes sparkled with delight, while mine widened with fear. I haven’t done half the things I wanted to do this summer.  It cannot be time to buy school supplies already.  A quick look at my calendar tells me I am wrong.  The school year is quickly approaching, and if you’re anything like me, you haven’t even peeked at the supply lists the schools sent home.  Don’t worry.  Here are few tips to help you get prepared.

Tip 1: Don’t Panic

There are still a few weeks left.  You do not need go into the nearest store and empty the office supply shelves.  That’s a great way to waste money on lots of things you do not need.  However, now would be a good time to gather those aforementioned lists.

Tip 2: Check Your Inventory

My kids came home on the last day of school with tons of barely used binders, un-sharpened pencils and at least 3 functional pencil boxes.   We have several unused backpacks that we received as birthday gifts or from church giveaways.  All of those can be used again next year.

Tip 3: Buy Some Essentials

There are a few items on almost everyone’s list.  Plan to pick up a couple of packs of paper, and a few spiral notebooks on the next Target run.  Next week grab a box of crayons and a couple of packs of pencils.  Throw a box of Kleenex and some hand sanitizer in the cart next to that cute little top from the clearance section.

Doing a little bit at a time takes the sting out of back-to-school shopping.  Using what you already have on hand will save time and money, and sticking to your list will help you avoid unnecessary clutter  and confusion.  I’ll try to remember that next time I head to Target.
From iFamily to Yours,

Gabrielle

 

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Gearing Up For Working Out: Affordable Ways To Stock Up And Save Big

Whether you’re working out daily or a few times a week, most of us struggle with stocking up on clothes and accessories for the gym that are comfortable and functional. Connie, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, tackles the issue in this week’s Work It Wednesdays. Take a look…

Work It Wednesdays working out

Gearing Up For Working Out

Affordable Ways To Stock Up And Save Big

Alright all, I am a gym rat and I am proud of it.  But when I workout two and three times a day, that also means I change clothes at least that many times a day.  Since laundry is not my favorite chore, I needed to find some good workout gear that didn’t break my budget.  Here are some of my favorite options:

Scheels 

Scheels in Overland Park truly is a one stop shop for just about everything you could need for working out, spending time outdoors, or playing sports. And they have fudge (it’s all about balance, right?!). One of the best things, as a mom, about shopping there is that they’ve got activities (Ferris Wheel, mini bowling, indoor playground) for the kids so I can take my time picking out the right items to fit my workout needs.

Walmart

Believe it or not, they have some great workout clothes!  And they are super budget friendly!  I’m talking workout leggings for $13 a pair and tanks for as little as $5.  I like their Danskin brand leggings, as well as the Avia leggings.  There are tons of fun prints and different fabrics to choose from.  They have recently started carrying workout tanks and shirts from Athletic Gear.  At just $4.96, and with tons of colors and fun sayings, you can’t go wrong.

Target

Their C9 line of workout clothes are reasonably priced (more expensive than Walmart, but not insanely high) and the styles are constantly changing.  They offer sports bras in several different impact levels, along with leggings, shorts, capris and tops.  Their sports bras are some of my favorites.  They are comfortable while providing enough support for even my high impact workouts during the week.  Watch their ads for special sales or check the Cartwheel app.

Fitness Tee Co

This is my favorite find yet!  It’s a little company based out of Colorado and they make a ton of cute and fun workout tops.  They have two styles of tank tops, plus t shirts, all with fun sayings.  There are tons of colors to choose from.  They usually run weekly specials with tanks as low as $6.99.  They do make the shirts to order, so make sure to allow a couple weeks for your order to show up.  I usually order from these guys once a month or so.

Old Navy

I get texts from Old Navy, guys.  It’s a problem.  They have a great line of athletic gear as well.  I love the variety of fits and fabrics they offer in their leggings and capris.  They are always getting new prints and colors as well.  They have high waisted workout capris for those of us who feel the need to have more coverage, as well as some compression crops that make sure everything stays in place while you workout.  Make sure you try things on just to see what style you like best.  And again, Old Navy usually runs pretty frequent sales, so watch for those and stock up when they come around.

Academy Sports

I can almost always find a pair of shoes for $50 or under, depending on what brand I want, and I love their BCG line of clothing.  Prices are comparable to that of Target, and again, there is a ton of variety in the prints and colors they come out with.  They have tops, bras and capris that won’t break the budget.

I probably own more workout gear than one person should ever have, but I always make sure I keep it in my budget and that I find gear that will last.  In general, I never dry any of my workout tanks, just because they do tend to pill after being in the dryer. Oh, and I use a ton of the Downy Unstoppables and several other brands of laundry scent bead, just to help keep my workout gear fresh.

From iFamily to Yours,

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Live from the Just For Her Event at the Overland Park Convention Center!

Live from the Just For Her Event at the Overland Park Convention Center!


5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

Happy Friday, Kansas City! We know many of you may be scrambling to gather the last minute presents for friends, family, and neighbors, so our Mom Squad Ambassador, Becky, came up with a quick (and easy) list of gifts you can purchase from the comfort of your own home. No need to battle the crowds and traffic, just a couple of clicks and you’re taken care of. Take a look…

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

 

For your favorite family

 

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

 

 

Friends of the KC Zoo Family Membership — By far the best deal for families in the city. For just $109 ($169 if you live outside of Jackson County), your family can get 15 months of zoo access PLUS unlimited rides of the train, tram, carousel, boat and sky rides.

 

For your favorite kids

 

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

 

Surprise Ride Subscription — This box has a different theme each month and comes packed with fun and educational activities to keep your kids busy. My three kids shared a box and we were still able to milk the content over two evenings. $28/month.

 

For your favorite gal

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

Fair Trade Friday — This is my favorite go-to gift when I want to give something unique. The Fair Trade Friday box includes 3-4 items that are fairly traded and provide employment and empowerment to impoverished women all over the world. Items include things like jewelry, soaps and coffee. Prices vary.

For your favorite guy

 

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

 

SprezzaBox Subscription — Don’t worry about fit, this box is full of one-size-fits all stylish fun for dudes like sunglasses, socks, grooming products and ties. It’s just $28/month and is guaranteed to have over $100 in products.

 

For a stranger

 

5 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Purchase in Your PJs

 

Kindness Cards — KindCraft KC started this trend and I love it. Make (or buy) Kindness Cards and pair each one with $5 to give to friends and family so they can enjoy bringing joy to a stranger’s day: Pay for a drive-thru order, tape some money to a vending machine, etc. It’s a gift you’ll both feel great about.

 

 

Becky Ervin is a creative director, mother of three and blogs at PartyBoxKC.com/blog.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

iFamMomSqdBeckyV2

 

 

 

 

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Quick & Simple Tips to Surviving Black Friday Shopping

The hour is upon us. Thanksgiving week is here. How insane is it that 2016 is almost over? It is still boggling my mind. We all have a million things on our to-do list for this upcoming week, and a lot of us probably have some shopping to get done as well. Luckily, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Sarah, has some a great tips of how to survive (and thrive) during your Black Friday shopping trip!

Quick & Simple Tips to Surviving Black Friday Shopping

 

 

Quick & Simple Tips to Surviving Black Friday Shopping

 

Black Friday…so ominous right?! I will throw a little history lesson at you; give you something to talk about around the Thanksgiving table. “Black Friday” was coined in the early 1960s to mark the kickoff to the holiday shopping season. Referring to the time when retailers would go from the red to the black when entering in accounting numbers (red for a loss, black for a profit). For a little extra credit; “Black Friday” also refers to a financial crisis in 1869. Regardless of the definition it is practically a holiday in and of itself, making for long lines, excitement, some disappointment, and has been fulfilling wish lists for a long time. But how do you survive this one day? I will give you some tips that are sure to make your day (or night) of shopping easy and successful!

 

Stay Home

Let’s get the elephant out of the room first. If you really want a successful shopping experience stay home; set the alarm for 2AM and hop on the internet. It may take some time for the site to refresh and it will most certainly be slow, but you will have a fairly good chance of being successful and you won’t have to venture out in the cold. But where is the sport in that?! My husband goes out in the below freezing weather to walk through a field looking for that one perfect deer, then drags it back to the truck where unimaginable carnage takes place to put deer meat in our freezer. This is the same thing people! I am going out in the freezing cold to stand in line for four hours to “hunt” that one toy that is on my daughters’ list only to drag it home wrap it and place it under a hacked up pine tree!

Start Early

We will start around November 1st. Why you may ask? Because that is truly when Black Friday ads begin to make it on the internet and we can see them. Take a look at TheBlackFriday.com, there are plenty of others but this one always seems to get all of the ones that I want. These aren’t leaked either, some sites may say they are but retailers want you to look at their ads, they want you getting excited as early as possible. Another option is waiting until Wednesday or Thanksgiving Day to go and get a paper with ads. If you do this, make sure to go early—like before putting the turkey in the oven! They will sell out quick. And now comes the fun part!

Make a Wish List

Once you have claimed the entire dining room table or living room floor, whichever you prefer, make sure that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is on for the kids and get focused! Get a pen and paper, if you have wish lists or lists of those that you need to buy gifts for, get those out too. I like to remove all the ads that I know I will shop at and then go from there to stores that maybe I won’t go to but they may have that off the wall gift for husband or father-in-law. Now, check times on all your favorites and put them in order from earliest to latest. A couple years ago some stores started to open on Thanksgiving Day—I really hated that! Oh no, not because they were opening on turkey day, if someone wants to skip dinner to go stand in line all the power to them, it just messed up my timing! Now we start to scan, looking at each page and thinking about the people on your gift list, write down (DO NOT CIRCLE or DOGEAR) on your paper the name, gift, price, store, and open time. You will probably find this same item at several stores so make sure to leave room for that, it will come in later. If you really want to get type A you can take this list at the end of your scanning and make it into an Excel file! (Insert: Type A control freak aka Sarah)

Map It Out

Now that we have gone through each ad and we have written down every gift, we are officially ready for Black Friday (or Thursday) ad reading. Now you have to have your plan of attack. Go through your list and look at each store you have to go to. Let’s say its Target, Wal-Mart, Old Navy and Toys R Us, for example, then you know from your list (or excel sheet) that Target opens at 6PM on Thursday, Wal-Mart at 6PM on Thursday, Toys R Us at 5PM on Thursday and Old Navy at midnight. You see what I am saying about moving everything to Black Thursday? Messes with your method! You plan to head to Toys R Us first since it opens at 5 then weigh what you want to buy at Target and Wal-Mart and whichever one has the most important “get” on the list then go there first, then Old Navy at midnight. If you haven’t ever done Black Friday shopping then you know from news reports that this isn’t something you just walk into, there are lines—lines city blocks long in some cases just to get in. Take a look at your list and really ask yourself what the most important thing on the list is—focus there. Because unless Target and Wal-Mart are right next to each other (which I am going to guarantee you they aren’t) then you will have to pick your battles, theoretically speaking of course.

Day Of Morning

The day has come! Or it is several hours later because you just looked at ads this morning! Imagine you are going on a four hour hike, then pack and dress for that. I would recommend leaving the kids at home, for obvious reasons if you are buying gifts for them but for the pure agony they will feel about 10 minutes in. Take a big purse, no we aren’t stealing anything or planning on hitting anyone on the head! This is for putting in gloves, hats, anything that won’t fit in pockets. Don’t wear a coat, a vest would be better, less bulk and little easier to manage once you are inside. Take some coffee and granola bars for energy and caffeine and store in the big purse. And finally, wear tennis shoes for goodness sake, I have to say this because I have seen women in heels and two hours into waiting in line they are complaining about their feet hurting! If you can it is always a good idea to bring someone along with you. Its makes the time move quicker but also comes in handy, more on that in a minute! Don’t worry you will know when the doors have opened, usually screams of joy erupt and the line starts to move quickly. I have never been in a line with pushing but I have heard it happens (insert sarcasm!) This is the point where I don’t care how cold it is, take off the hat, gloves and put up the coffee!

Day Of Action

When you get in, have your plan of attack on where to go. Sometimes those pesky stores mix it up and put the TVs in the clothes section so keep a keen eye! SKIP THE CARTS! Everyone always goes for them and it takes up time. Unless you are getting a big item, you can come back or you may have to awkwardly carry smaller items through the store. Back to that person who came with you, have them stand in a different line now, head to the registers and when the line starts to get long have them save a place. I know this is the worst and I am not a fan when people do it but let’s face it—brilliant idea! Please, don’t push and shove for your item, no one likes that, but you should be aggressive and forceful but polite—it is the holidays anyway! And no pressure, but the “Hallmark moment” you imagine when your daughter opens up that one desperately wanted toy of the season depends on your ability to be a little aggressive.

So you have scored your item! Head to the registers and check out, looking at other things as you go along, or sending said “line holder person” back for more things! If you did not score the item—do not fret! Pull the store website up on your phone find the item and place in your shopping cart, and then head to an open spot and purchase. You may be asking—why didn’t we just do that in the first place from our nice warm house? Sport my friend; it’s called the sport of it! Happy hunting!

 

 

From iFamily to Yours,
ifam_sarah

 

 

 

 

 

 

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