January 2016 archive

How to Save Money When Shopping {4 Tips from an Expert Shopper}

As you might have guessed, I spend a lot of time shopping.  Now in all fairness, that doesn’t mean that I buy a lot, but I’m out in the stores looking at items and getting ideas all the time!  And because I do a lot of decorating “research” {I like the way that sounds!}, I’m pretty good at knowing the value of an item and how much I should reasonably expect to pay for something.  As such, I never like to pay more than is necessary, so I use a few different strategies for ensuring I’m always getting the biggest bang for my buck!

In hindsight, this post would have probably been more useful had I posted it BEFORE the busy holiday shopping season, but I didn’t really think about the little tricks I used for saving money when shopping until I was looking at the bills and receipts this last week.  At any rate, better late than never, right!  This is NOT a sponsored post – just sharing with you my personal process for saving money when shopping.

TIDBITS&TWINE 4 Tips to Save Money When Shopping

 

1. Ebates

I use this ALL THE TIME!  It is literally free money so if you’re shopping online and not using Ebates, you’re missing out.  I’m not kidding.

Ebates-Webpage-via-Tidbits&Twine-2

 

How It Works

To be clear, using Ebates doesn’t mean that you buying anything from Ebates, but rather, you’re using the site to access other online retailers, like Amazon, Macys, Best Buy, Home Depot, etc.  Ebates works with over 1,800 retailers and those retailers pay Ebates a percentage of any purchase you make as a “thank you” for driving business to them.  In turn, Ebates passes a percentage of that money on to you.  Each retailer has a different percentage that you’ll get back and they’re always changing, so just log in and look anytime you want to make a purchase.

Get Started Making $

To get started, simply create a free account {HERE}.   The next time you buy something online, simply visit Ebates first and login.  Then search for the online store you’re making a purchase from and click over to the store’s website and make your purchase as usual.  Once the transaction processes, you’ll see money added to your Ebates account and you’ll be paid every 3 months via check or PayPal.  Hubby has had his account longer than I have and his electronics purchases have really added up over time!

Ebates-Cashback-Account-Summary---Tidbits&Twine

 

At the time I’m writing this, Ebates is offering 4% from Cost Plus World Market, 3.5% back on purchases from Home Decorations Collection, 3% back from Horchow, 6% at JcPenny and 50% at Angie’s List!  What does that mean to you?

Aven Chandelier from Home Decorators Collection

Well, for example, let’s say you’re planning to purchase the Aven Chandelier from Home Decorators Collection.  The listed price is $599.  If you go directly to Home Decorators Collection, you’ll pay $599 plus tax and shipping.  If you go to Ebates.com first and then navigate to HDC to make your purchase, you’ll pay the same amount, but will receive almost $21 back via Ebates.  Okay, so it’s not a fortune, but money is money and it takes and extra 10 seconds to log in to Ebates so it’s worth it!

Whenever I’m planning to make an online purchase, I always first log into Ebates and then check to see if the store I want has a cash back offer in place.

 

2. Price Match

Many stores will match the price of a competitor in order to maintain your business.  Not all stores advertise this policy, though, so it’s best to ask.  This is particularly useful if you want to buy something from a retailer you’re familiar with and trust, but might have found a cheaper price at another retailer you’re not as familiar with.  In that case, bring the other retailer’s listed price to store with you and ask the store you want to purchase from if they can do a price match.  That way, you’ll get the price you want from a retailer you trust!

It’s also important to note that the online and brick-and-mortar versions of large stores are actually run as different companies with different prices.  For example, if you’re at Target and plan to make a purchase, always check the price on Target.com as well, because the price might be cheaper!  The same is true for Walmart where in fact, the prices can vary greatly between the store and the online store.  In most cases, these stores will price match to their own website but only if you ask….they’ll never tell you in the store that you can buy it cheaper online!

Hubby recently went to Walmart to purchase a new HDMI Cable.  When he got there, he found what he wanted and then looked on Walmart.com to check the price.  The cable was almost twice as much in the store as it was online!  He asked for a price match and was able to pay the lower, online price.

Walmart-HDMI-Cable-via-Tidbits&Twine

 

3. Retailer Apps

Paper coupons are quickly becoming a thing of the past, although some stores still print them.  An easier way to keep track of coupons, though, is to use store’s smartphone apps!  I use the Michaels, JoAnn Fabrics, & Hobby Lobby apps all the time because all of the coupons and weekly deals are stored in the app and so I ALWAYS have a coupon on me!  The same is true for Target {their app is called Cartwheel} and many other retailers.  Always be sure to check and see if your favorite retailers have an app and download it for extra savings.  {You can also get coupon codes from Ebates.}

Money-Saving-Retailer-Apps---Tidbits&Twine

 

4. Discounted Gift Cards & Coupons

If you plan to make a large purchase, consider buying discounted gift cards online to help offset your cost.  This is a great time of year to buy gift cards off of eBay because many people are selling gift cards that they received for Christmas.  This is actually how Hubby helped to offset the cost of the Pottery Barn Maxfield Flatware that he bought me for my birthday.  In addition to using a coupon, he purchased a few discounted gift cards and was able to save another 10% off his purchase.

Pottery-Barn-Gift-Cards-via-Tidbits&Twine

People also sell their coupons on Ebay and if you’re making a large purchase, the cost of buying the coupon can easily be offset by the savings from the coupon!

 

As a reminder, when purchasing from eBay, check the Seller’s ratings and return policy to ensure you’re doing business with a trustworthy person.

 

 

 

Which of these have you done?  And what are some of your favorite money saving tips?

Tidbits&Twine - Signature

 

 

 

 

Gorgeous Flatware to Inspire!

You might already know that I have a love of flatware, particularly mismatched, silver flatware.  It’s not just the feel in my hand that I love, but also how it looks, which is why I often showcase flatware in my decorating.  Anything that is functional and beautiful is a win-win in my book!  So today’s post is all about the Pottery Barn Maxfield flatware that Hubby recently bought me for my 40th.  He knew it’s been on my Wish List for many years and I was thrilled when I opened this gift!  {Note: This is NOT a sponsored post – just sharing something I love!}

TIDBITS & TWINE - Pottery Barn Maxfield Flatware Set

 

One of my goals in 2016 is to improve my photography, so what better way to practice than to photograph my new flatware!  After all, doesn’t everyone take pictures of forks and spoons?!  Well, maybe not, but I just couldn’t resist showing off these new additions to my home and practice my photography skills.

TIDBITS & TWINE Vintage Mismatched Flatware

 

The Maxfield flatware is made of silver-coated nickel, so it will tarnish over time, further giving it the illusion of vintage flatware {although, this does also mean more maintenance and upkeep}.  Each of the five pieces in the set has a different design, with tiny crowns embossed on the dinner fork and teaspoon to spark images of hotel insignias and family crests.

TIDBITS & TWINE Vintage Flatware and Ironstone Blue & White

 

Since my set is still new, it is bright and shiny and has an almost white appearance to it, but I know it will darken over time.  This is our new everyday flatware, so it will get quite a bit of use and already I’ve enjoyed using each of the pieces.  The flatware is very sturdy and heavy, making it feel quite grand!

TIDBITS & TWINE Pottery Barn Maxfield Flatware Place Setting

 

 

I’ll try not to overwhelm you with pictures of flatware in the coming months, but I’ll admit this set is a beauty to photograph and I had so much fun playing around with different settings and vignettes.

TIDBITS & TWINE Vintage Flatware, Roses & Boxwood

 

 

I have a new camera that I’m just starting to learn how to use, but until then, I’m using my old camera.  Even so, I hope to improve my photographs this year because photography is one of my favorite parts about blogging!

Tidbits&Twine - Signature

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Best of 2015 {Top 10 Reader Favorites}

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and that your New Year is off to a good start!  I realize this post is a bit late in coming, but I took some time off to spend with my family to celebrate Christmas and my big 4-0 {yikes!}.   As you might remember, I asked Hubby for wainscoting for my birthday and I can’t wait to share with you what he actually got me!

But before I jump into my plans for 2016, I thought we’d take a look back at the best of 2015 with some of your favorites.  If you’re a regular reader, you might find something you missed and if you’re new to the blog, this is a great way to get an overview!  Your Top 10 Favorite Posts included room  makeovers, home updates, and decorating tips so let’s count them down!

 

 

10. MY PANTRY MAKEOVER {BEFORE & AFTER}

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but yes, this is the true BEFORE!

TIDBITS-&-TWINE-The-Kitchen-Pantry-BEFORE

 

9. DECORATING STYLES DEFINED {PART 2}

Decorating Styles Part 2

 

8. HOW TO MAKE EASTER BUNNY FOOTPRINTS

Easter isn’t too far off so Pin it now to use later!

TIDBITS&TWINE - How to Mak Easter Bunny Footprints

7. DECORATING A STAIRCASE {IDEAS & INSPIRATION}

{via House Beautiful}

{via House Beautiful}

 

6. SMALL-SCALE DECORATING IDEAS FOR EMPTY CORNER SPACES

TIDBITS&TWINE---6-Small-Scale-Decorating-Ideas-for-Empty-Corners

 

5. 10 CLEVER USES FOR CORBELS {AROUND THE HOUSE}

TIDBITS-&-TWINE---10-Creative-Uses-for-a-Corbel

 

4. DINING TABLE DECOR {FOR AN EVERYDAY LOOK}

TIDBITS&TWINE -Dining Room Table Decor for Everyday Use

 

3. GUEST BATHROOM MAKEOVER {REVEAL}

This transformation still amazes me…

A guest bathroom transformation: from builder-grade to beautiful! Beadboard ceiling, wallpaper, sconces, marble floors, and a vanity converted from a vintage dresser!

 

2. DECORATING STYLES DEFINED {PART 1}

Decorating Styles Part 1

 

 

And the most read post of 2015….

 

1. 10 DECORATIVE IDEAS FOR NON-WORKING FIREPLACES

TIDBITS-&-TWINE---10-Decorative-Ideas-for-Non-Working-Fireplaces

 

You can find lots more articles by subject on the blog by looking at the Decorating Ideas section.  You can also search by date in the Archives shown in the right-hand sidebar.

Thank you so much for following my blog and keeping me inspired!  2016 will be a big year for projects and I can’t wait to share them with you!

Tidbits&Twine - Signature

 

 

 

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