I’ve got the lunch-packing blues

I’m in the home stretch—just five(ish) more months of packing lunches, and then I’m done. Forever.

I know, I know; my kid could pack his own lunch. He’s offered, even. But this is my last baby and I’m sort of neurotic about nutrition and so I plan to see it to the bitter end. It’s not so bad, really, but for some reason it does feel like a super-annoying chore. (“Didn’t you eat lunch yesterday? Why do you need to eat again today?)

Anyway. Back to school today, back to packing lunches. I just went ahead and ordered these Zesty Ranch Garden Veggie Straws because 1) my kid likes ’em, 2) I feel less guilty about them than I would about potato chips (yeah, I know they’re only a little better, but allow me this fantasy), and 3) between the Subscribe & Save savings and the current 20% off clippable coupon, it comes out to under $9 for 24 bags, which is around the price I’d pay on sale at Costco. Sold!

In related news, no, I would never shove bags of Veggie Straws and packages of cookies into my college kid’s duffel bag before she heads back to campus. Why do you ask?

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Happy New Year!

Hey, it’s 2017. I hope you and yours had an excellent holiday season. I took a break—maybe I should’ve mentioned that before I did it?—and enjoyed having my big kid home from college and my husband around. I haven’t taken the whole week between Christmas and New Year’s off for… ummm… at least a decade. Probably longer. It was awesome.

Anyway! We now segue into my second favorite season: Deep clearance at Dillard’s. Right now items are up to 65% off, and while this is not where I’ll typically turn for issues of growth spurts (that’s what Kohls is for!), it is where I’ll go for really nice outfits, good shoes/outerwear, etc. Dillard’s clearance is never going to be bargain-basement, is my point, but this sale is sort of like a once-a-year expansion at Nordstrom Rack, if that makes sense.

I think we got my daughter’s graduation dress there last year during this sale. It’s that sort of thing.

So, if you’ve got a graduation or a wedding or other special occasion coming up, check it out.

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While you’re wrapping…

… okay, it’s not exactly holiday stuff, but a deal’s a deal and I’m not going to quibble over semantics. Through the end of the year, Amazon is offering a $25 off $75+ “holiday essentials” promotion wherein—you guessed it—if you spend at least $75 on qualifying items, $25 comes off at checkout.

At first I thought it’d be only useless stuff, but you know, there’s a Lysol Wipes deal in there, along with a bunch of other stuff we use, plus I can justify a case of San Pellegrino with savings like this, so I’m not complaining.

Mind you, I don’t recommend filling everyone’s stockings with Ziplocs, either. Just saying you probably need some of these items, anyway.

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Save on last-minute toys

Sure, you’d have to order and then go to the store and pick it up, but today’s daily deal at Target is an extra 20% off many top toy brands, automatically. Buying online and picking up will save you from some of the in-store mayhem, too. (Alternatively—depending on how patient your recipients are—you can go with the free shipping and just wrap up a picture for Christmas, I guess.)

Worth a look if you’ve just done the oh-no-the-piles-aren’t-even shuffle, at least.

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In case you need a global health crisis in time for Christmas

Listen, I love tabletop gaming as much as the next nerd, but even I think that anything with “pandemic” in the title is a little creepy as a Christmas gift. But hey, you do you. If your family wants to get down celebrating via fending off mutated germs, more power to you.

All of this is to say that right now, Amazon has lowered the price on both Pandemic Legacy Blue and Pandemic Legacy Red to just $39.98 (lowest ever), and either one will arrive in time for Christmas.

I know—your next question is “What’s the difference?” And I have an answer for you: the color. (No, really. That’s it. User preference; the games are identical.)

Reviews average 5 stars and apparently there are plenty of people out there really jazzed about global germ warfare. I obviously still have mixed feelings.

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Welcome to the (Minecraft LEGO) Jungle

minecraft-jungle-legoSo the bad news is that this one won’t arrive in time for Christmas, so if you want it for that, go ahead and print out a picture to wrap up while you wait. The good news, though, is that right now Amazon has the LEGO Minecraft The Jungle Tree House available for $39.19.

This is a 706-piece set, including 6 Minecraft-themed minifigs (I am partial to the skeleton…), and I’m actually pretty relieved that LEGO didn’t start making these full-sized sets until my kid had aged out of this obsession. On the other hand, we only had the micro-worlds, so imagine all of the stepping on tiny, pointy pieces I went through. You kids today have it too good, I tell you.

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Dinosaurs popping out all over the place

sabuda-dinosI haven’t found a deal on a Sabuda & Reinhart pop-up book in a while, but they remain just about my favorite thing in the entire world. These are not pop-up books for toddlers—these are paper art, suitable for elementary age and above, and complete artistic masterpieces. (Sabuda & Reinhart books used to be my go-to baby shower gift, always with a quick but please don’t let little ones play with it note.)

Today Amazon has their Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs hardcover available for just $14.04—its lowest price ever—and while you won’t get it in time for Christmas, it’d still be a hard deal to pass up.

In fact, I bet if I went and rummaged around upstairs, I’d find our copy. Sure my teenagers want to sit down and peruse it with me, right? Maybe sit on my lap? (A girl can dream….)

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There’s still time to make it an Instant Pot Christmas

instant-potConfession: I do not own an Instant Pot. I am intrigued by the Instant Pot, and my social media feeds are filled with people raving about their Instant Pots (“Got home late from picking up the kids and had a full roast done in 30 seconds with my trusty Instant Pot!”) (okay, I may be exaggerating just a tad), but I haven’t bitten yet, in large part because I own five crock pots and I know that if I go for another Big Cooking Thing I am going to be pressured to part with one of those. (Yes, I need all five. It’s complicated.)

Anyway! The Instant Pot has been one of the big markdowns this holiday season, but if you weren’t quite there before, and/or you are now in need of a last-minute, will-still-arrive-before-Christmas gift, get on it: Amazon has the 6-quart Instant Pot marked down to just $79, today. That’s still about $10 over Black Friday/Cyber Monday price, but not bad at all. And you’ll look like a hero on Christmas morning.

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I’m always up for coffee

You may not have this in time for Christmas unless you do in-store pickup, but really, there is no wrong time for coffee (now, Christmas, later, a random Tuesday, whenever), so you do what works for you.

Today Target is offering 30% off coffee and coffeemakers, automatically. If you want to buy coffee rather than a machine on this deal, it gets even better: mix and match your choice of three qualifying coffee products (looks like that’s mostly Starbucks K-cups) and you get another $6 off!

Shipping is free, too. And did I mention it’s coffee, the elixir of life…?

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Heads up, Minecrafters

minecraft-cardsDid you know that there’s a Minecraft card game? Did you know that today it’s just $6.99 (its lowest price ever) at Amazon? It’s an add-on, so you’d need to throw it in with a larger order to avoid paying for shipping, but what a great stocking stuffer or have-on-hand gift for your favorite Minecrafters.

It averages 4.5 stars with nearly 200 reviews, too. Recommended for ages 8+.

That’sssssssss a very nice deck of cards you have there….

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