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Have a little Kohls this weekend

Fun fact: Did you know that you can use your expired Kohls Cash in the store? It won’t work online, but if you go to the store and you’re within 10 days or so of expiration, they’ll still take it. Ask me how I know this! Yep, I screwed up, and it turned out that my inability to read a calendar was actually super useful—I found a bunch of 90% off discounts in-store I never would’ve gotten online. The fact that I ended up paying $.42 out of pocket was just the icing on the cake. (Seriously, the cashier was impressed with me. That’s always fun.)

But there’s another round of discounts and coupons out right now, so if you’re wanting to shop in-store or online, I’ve got you covered. Sale-wise, they’ve just done additional markdowns on holiday items, if you’re interested in stocking up for next year. Plus there’s various Bonus Buys and their semi-annual Intimates Sale is happening right now. Coupon-wise, you’ve got the usual suspects: 30% off and free shipping on any size order with your Kohls Charge with codes MARCH30 and FREESHIP, respectively. Stack codes INTIMATES10 for $10 off your qualifying $40+ lingerie purchase and/or MENSTYLE10 for $10 off your qualifying $50+ guys’ stuff purchase. And everyone earns $10 Kohls Cash for every $50 spent.

In the market for cookware? I’ve been stalking prices on this 12-piece Rachael Ray Cucina set for a while. Today’s price at Kohls is $170—still pretty inflated compared to Amazon’s current $109 price, but trust me, Kohls works out to be the better deal today. Why? Use the 30% off coupon code to bring it down to $119—already better than the Amazon price if you add in the $20 of Kohls Cash you earn!—and there’s also an available $50 mail-in rebate on the page which is Kohls-specific. Your final price is $69, or just $49 if you count the Kohls Cash. That’s… nuts.

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Merry everything!

Hello! I have failed you, the last few days. Instead of finding you last-minute deals, I’ve been busy with visiting family, kid home from college, errands, wrapping, eating, and—oh yeah—I just got braces because nothing says “happy holidays” like having such a sore mouth, you start thinking that maybe straight teeth are overrated, after all. (I kid. It will all be worth it! But the last couple of days have been… uncomfortable.)

Hopefully you’ve been similarly busy (maybe minus the mouth pain…) and have either had a merry holiday already or are getting ready to have one. I wish for health and happiness for all of you, as bargains are nice, but hardly the point. Here’s to love and laughter and board games and family time and whatever fills you up with everything good.

That said, if you are still wanting to focus on shopping, there’s still time to snag deals at Amazon if you have Prime, and you can still get what you need by Christmas. Toy price drops are still going (like, say, on this Aquabeads Mega Set or the Aquabeads Deluxe Studio or, hello, what woman of any age wouldn’t want a DC Wonder Woman Diana Prince with Hidden Sword doll in her stocking for just $5??), and there will be even more for after Christmas to start stocking up, but for now, maybe just relax a little. Go make some cookies. Call an old friend. Read a book.

It’s been a long year. If you can take some time off and chill out with your favorite people, go do it. I’m going to. Happy holidays!

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A quick word of caution about gift cards

If you read no other article about consumer pitfalls this year, read this piece from Bob Sullivan about gift cards. Bottom line: these cards are increasingly attracting hackers, and your protections as a consumer are not guaranteed.

This is why I prefer to give Amazon certificates to folks, either via print-at-home or e-gift. Recipients can add the funds to their accounts right away, and then if by some miracle the thing they want/need isn’t available on Amazon itself, they can buy a gift card there (and then it’s their problem to deal with…) for use elsewhere. Easy-peasy.

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Mother your college student without them realizing

It’s now rounding the middle of June, and here in my house, this is known as “Stock up on dorm food” season. My kids (both! both of them, this time!) are gearing up to head to campus at the beginning of August, and my job for the next month or so is to accumulate what they’ll need to eat in the dorm when they can’t be bothered to hit the dining hall (or it’s the wee hours and they need power for studying).

Sure, I try to buy some healthy stuff, and then I also buy candy, and I buy stupid little microwavable cups of macaroni and cheese and ramen and I remind myself that they are young and healthy and this is the phase of life where they can eat junk and be okay.

But here’s my secret weapon, and you can laugh, but I’m telling you this is primo wisdom I’m laying down here: Buy your college kid(s) some Fiber One bars. Do it. They come in a gazillion varieties and they’re basically junk, but college students will all find that their… ahhh… digestive health… suffers a little in the dorm, at some point. And you can pack probiotics and such, but they probably won’t use them. They will, however, eat the Fiber One bars. Ask me how I know!

Right now (this may be a Prime-only deal; I’m not sure) Amazon has this 36-pack of Fiber One Brownies available for $13.94, which is already pretty good, plus there’s a clippable 25% off coupon, plus you can save up to an additional 15% more with Subscribe & Save, meaning you could be getting them for $8.36 delivered (under $.24/bar), and you don’t ever have to have a conversation with your supposedly adult kid(s) about constipation. Seriously, win/win.

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Heads up, EpiPen families

If you or a loved one uses EpiPens, you’ve likely been following the controversy about skyrocketing costs.

Good news! CVS pharmacies are now carrying a generic at $110 for a 2-pack. Still hardly chump change, of course, but you can fill out this form to potentially get another $100 off, too. Either way, it’s tons cheaper than the name brand.

Standard disclaimer: Discuss with your doctor, etc. But I’m jumping on this deal, because we need EpiPens and I’m sure as heck not paying $500 apiece for ’em.

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Cast iron with a bonus for Gatlinburg

lodge-smokyskilletIf you have a cast iron skillet on your shopping list, check this out: This year’s Great Smoky Mountains Lodge skillet is available right now for $30. That’s not a deal, but $15 of your purchase price will go to the Dollywood Foundation’s “My People Fund,” helping families affected by the recent wildfires in the Gatlinburg, TN area.

It’s a nice way to do a little good while making sure your cornbread is the most delicious.

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Don’t forget that today is #GivingTuesday

Today’s the day for charitable donations, and Cool Mom Picks found the perfect way to figure out where to give so that you can target your dollars to the causes that matter most to you.

As much as I like hunting around for good deals on stuff, I like opportunities to make my money do the most good even more.

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Do you dare to see your total?

I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but it was new to me, so allow me to share:

Apparently there’s a pretty easy way to see your lifetime total spending at Amazon. Just go to the “Your Account” section and click on “Download Order Reports,” then take the resulting .csv file into Excel or something similar and total it up.

download-amazon-reportFull step-by-step instructions can be found here.

My total was, uh, sobering. Ahem.

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Whether you’re doing holidays or basics

Just a quick FYI, if you haven’t noticed: Through the holidays (one assumes), Target is offering free shipping on every order, regardless of the amount.

That means you can hop on over there and take advantage of the current LEGO sale, and/or you can just stock up on snacks. Whatever. Plus if you spend $50+ on qualifying Home items, you can save an additional $10 with coupon code DECOR. If you are a neurotic forward-planner like me, this is a good time to start buying dorm stuff, because 1) it’s on sale and 2) no one else is shopping for it right now. (Hey, my youngest is leaving for college in 10 months. It’s not weird that I’m shopping for that. Stop looking at me.) You’ll also save an extra $10 off your $50+ food/beverage purchase automatically, or $25+ off your qualifying $100+ luggage/airbed purchase with code TRAVEL.

I’m a little bit petty, too, so sometimes when they go to free shipping like this, I do things like order a single packet of paperclips. Listen, we have to entertain ourselves as best we can.

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Heads up, Kindle users

So, if you’ve been buying Kindle books at Amazon over the last few years, today may be a fun day for you: Apple just settled an antitrust lawsuit via refunds to Amazon customers who bought relevant Kindle titles.

How do you know if you got some money? Go check your Amazon gift card balance to see if you’ve got credit. If you’re a big Kindle purchaser, chances are excellent you’ve now got money to spend (and it needn’t be on books).

Enjoy!

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