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Need the perfect gift?

kindnotes-ldI think I mentioned this here once before, but the folks at KindNotes were kind enough (see what I did there?) to send me a sample, a while back, and left it with my girlchild in her dorm as a surprise for after we left. She loves it. What could be nicer than your own personal jar of encouragement and affirmation?? Especially when it comes in such a pretty package.

Right now Amazon is running a Lightning Deal on the Colorful Turquoise Splash set of KindNotes, and with $10 off and free shipping, this is a no-brainer for anyone you adore. Get it as a thank-you, get it as a “thinking of you,” get it as a “you’re really hard to buy for but I knew you’d love this,” just go ahead and get it. The tiny, beautiful envelopes alone are worth the money.

[Edited to add: Looks like a few other options are on sale, as well. Click around to see.]

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Looking for an Instant Pot deal?

I have not yet caved to the Instant Pot craze—despite being billed as a “non scary pressure cooker” that can do a million things in very little time, I am still partial to my crock pots—but everyone I know who has one raves about it.

And right now, Amazon has this 3rd generation programmable Instant Pot marked down to just $91.15, which is their lowest price ever.

Now, if you’re bound and determined to find the best deal, if I had to guess, I’d guess we’ll see some amazing prices on Black Friday. But I’d also guess that’s going to be one of those items where you have to wait in line and/or go shopping at 2:00 in the morning. So… up to you. If you want a pretty good price right now, this is the deal to beat. If you’re willing to wait and possibly fight for a better deal, hold off.

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Bake it up, Rachael Ray style

There are a lot of things I don’t love about Rachael Ray—the fact that she declares everything “yummo,” how she once made a “vegetarian” dish on 30 Minute Meals using chicken broth—but I as someone who actually cooks and bakes a lot, I have to admit that I really like her line of kitchenware. (And to be clear: I’m sure she’s a lovely person. I’m easily irritated.) I have a few of her baking pans and they’re really nice quality.

That said, if you need some bakeware, here’s the deal you’ve been waiting for: Right now Amazon has this 5-piece Oven Lovin’ set available for $27.89, and it’s claiming that that’s just 9% off, but ignore that. You can see that this set in the other color is priced at $49.99, and this one with the orange accents has been around $42 for forever. I think now that they’re doing a new color, they’ve put this one on clearance.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t really care what color my baking pans are as long as they work well. This would be a great set to replace your old pans, or to give as a wedding gift or to a graduate heading to their first apartment. With 800 reviews, this set averages 4.5 stars. Grab ’em before they’re gone!

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Pick your Dirt Devil

Longtime readers know I am a fan of quality and durability over simply “cheap;” to me, it’s worth the extra money to get the right item. On the other hand, there are times when I’m good with simply cheap—clothing small children will outgrow, snack food about which I feel ambivalent (ha!)—and that’s okay, too.

I have recommended (and linked to) this Dirt Devil Simpli-Stick vacuum multiple times already, I know, because I think it’s the best compromise around in terms of bang-for-your-buck and being small but mighty. Do I recommend it as your only vacuum? Of course not! But is it perfect for quick kitchen clean-ups or your kid’s dorm room? Absolutely. This is the vacuum I bought for my kid’s dorm. Right now it’s listed at $16.88 with an available $2 coupon to clip, so it’s about what I paid for hers.

But I also just noticed that if you want to go, say, another level up from there, the Dirt Devil Vibe vacuum—similar to the Simpli-Stick, but this one also has a powered brush roll—has that same $2 coupon, which means you can get it for $23. Is it $8 better than the other one? I can’t say for sure, but I’m in the process of accumulating dorm stuff for the other kid, and given that he will actually vacuum on a regular basis, I’m thinking I’ll spring for this one.

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Portable back-up is a bargain at any price

I’m pretty sure we had a deal on these a little while back, but here I am again.

Today (formerly has refurbished 2TB WD My Passport Ultra external drives (in either black or blue) available for just $64 shipped.

For reference: They sell for just under $90 at Amazon (note the 4.5 star average with 5,000+ reviews!), and I thought I was pretty awesome when I scored the 1TB version for my college freshman for $50.

In short, this is a crazy good deal on a tiny powerhouse of data backup. Don’t miss it.

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In case you go swimming with your phone

I am skeptical of any bag which claims to keep your phone dry, on account of the fact that phones are expensive and any failure of said bag is going to prove a very expensive discovery. However, some people swear it can be done, and course sometimes people who don’t spend all their time hermit-ing at home, reading while curled up with dogs (not that that sounds like anyone I know…), go to water parks and such.


Right now Amazon has this 3-pack of iSpecle waterproof phone cases available for $14.99 (not bad), but applying coupon code 9BSEJKO9 brings the price down to just $10.49, which is even better. Reviews are excellent, and if you look at the detail pictures, you’ll see that the mechanism for closing the bags at the top (two turn-latches) does indeed look a lot more secure than many other bags I’ve seen (many of which have a zip-top). Snag ’em now for your next water adventure, or go ahead and buy them and put them away for stocking stuffers and use next summer.

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Not sexy, but necessary

Lord knows I’m never happier than when I can share a really smokin’ deal on cute shoes with you. Or even when there’s a sale that means you can stock up on funny t-shirts for the kids without breaking the bank. But sometimes, we need items that do not light a fire in the shopping center of the brain.

And so, it is with a small amount of embarrassment that I admit to you that I have become a total convert to the Clorox Toilet Wand. I mean, I know, a regular toilet brush and some cleaner is probably more environmentally-friendly than using a disposable head every time, but on the other hand: a disposable head every time means I don’t have something sitting in my bathroom that’s getting all mildewy with toilet juice. So.

I bought my first one about a year ago, and now we have one in almost every bathroom. They work, and I like being able to chuck the head after each scrub. I just checked—because of course I did!—and the first one I got on a “deal” for a little over $6. Well, today at Amazon, the Clorox Toilet Wand with 6 refills is down to just $4.99, plus there’s a clippable $1 coupon, plus you can buy it via Subscribe & Save for additional savings and free shipping. So I just got one more for $3.24 shipped.

(That’s the last bathroom, so I guess I can stop buying them, now.)

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Cleaning all the things!

Hi! I’m not dead. We’ve had a little stomach thing going around here, so now I am cleaning every possible surface to make sure we are done and no one is reinfected. Lemme tell ya, the dogs are not fans of Lysol scrub-downs. (I kid! Probably!)

Anyhoo, while I’m in clean-clean-clean mode, of course I couldn’t help getting excited about a deal on a vacuum cleaner. (I’m aware that this may not be entirely normal, but let’s roll with it.) Right now Kohls has this Shark HV301 Rocket Ultra-Lite Vac listed at $159.99, which isn’t too bad—it matches the Amazon price, and on both sites you’ll see this small-but-mighty model averages a 4.5 star rating. The difference, of course, is that if you buy it at Kohls, you can stack the savings.

You’ll need a Kohls card for the best deal, but that’s nothing new. If you have one, apply coupon code HOME10 for $10 off and then code SUNTAN30 for 30% off, making it just $104 before tax (with free shipping). If you don’t have a Kohls card, you can still use the first code for $10 off, then use code BEACH15 for an additional 15% off.

Do note that this is one model year older than their latest-and-greatest, but at this price point, it certainly doesn’t bother me, any.

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Need a guitar?

I know, I know; I’ve barely been here lately. I’m sorry. Needy people live in my house, and one of them keeps insisting she’s moving out soon so I should spend time with her now before she goes. Sheesh.

This morning’s Amazon Gold Box deals on Yamaha instruments made me think of her, though, because this acoustic guitar (Yamaha FG700S) is the one she owns. At just under $100 shipped I challenge you to find a better brand-name guitar with an average 5-star rating (spoiler alert: you won’t). It’s great for beginners but it’ll last, too, because the sound quality out of it is much better than it has any right to be at this price point.

There’s other deals today, of course. But if you’ve been considering a guitar, this is the deal to beat.

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Get a breeze, clean the air

Summer is full upon us, and it’s exactly the wrong time to find a deal on a fan, even though right about now is when most of us realize we need one. Not to worry—Home Depot has a great deal for you, even in-season. Right now they have this Lasko 42-inch oscillating tower fan with ionizer marked down to just $43.47. This baby has 3 speeds, a remote, a timer, and cleans the air while it circulates to keep the room cool. It’s got an average 4.5 star review there on Home Depot, and for comparison, over on Amazon it’s rated just as highly with over 4,000 reviews (and a much higher price tag). Shipping is free.

My guess is that this particular housing is being discontinued (hence the price drop), but that’s just a guess. It’s a great little do-it-all workhorse of a fan if you need one, though.

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