Archive of ‘Love!’ category

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.



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!



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 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 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 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.



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.}



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.


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?

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Tidbits&Twine Christmas Home Tour 2015

I am so excited to be sharing my home today as part of the 2015 Holiday Home Tour hosted by the fabulous and talented Marty from A Stroll Thru Life.  If you’re visiting from Carmel at Our Fifth House, welcome!  I’m Kim!



My decorating style tends to be a mix of textures and finishes and I like to sprinkle a bit of the old with the new.  When it comes to Christmas decorating, I have two different styles – one for me and one for my kids. My personal style is a more neutral, elegant look that doesn’t necessarily rely on “traditional” Christmas decor, but rather pulls from nature. So think greenery, pinecones, nuts, flowers, etc., set off by muted colors and metallics with a cozy look. My more formal spaces are decorated for me, so let’s start the tour!



Front Porch


Every season, I update my bare twig wreath with new stems and accessories to make a “new” wreath.  This way, it’s more affordable and I don’t have to store multiple wreaths.  You can find a step-by-step tutorial with photos {HERE}.



I started decorating for Christmas so early this year that there we no fresh greenery anywhere to be found!  Instead, I decided to use preserved boxwood, which is a favorite of mine year-round.  I then added a white feather boa for a touch of the unexpected.



A large bow and ornament along with some faux antlers completed the look.



Living Room


Just inside the front door is my formal living room where we put the tree every year.  This year, I was thrilled to be selected as one of Balsam Hill’s 12 Bloggers of Christmas.  I chose to decorate my tree with some elegant, vintage touches in gold, silver, white, and blue.

TIDBITS&TWINE French Vintage Christmas Tree 2015


This tree has two decorating secrets, though.



Secret #1 – This is not a flocked tree!  I gave it a slightly snowy look by tucking snow-covered branches in it.  This way, I have the flexibility to use it as a flocked tree one year, and a plain the next!

TIDBITS&TWINE French Vintage Christmas Tree 2015


Secret #2 – I had my heart set on pearl garland, but couldn’t find any that I liked at the time {this was back in October}.  Instead, I purchased Halloween flapper costume necklaces on clearance and literally draped them on the branches!  So when it comes to holiday decorating, don’t just use what’s available in the Christmas section but be sure to look around the entire store for anything that might work for you.

TIDBITS&TWINE Antique Gold and Pearl Garland Christmas Tree


Secret #3 – I skip traditional tree skirts and instead, use throws.  This way, I can use it year-round and don’t have to store something that I only use once a year.  Plus, throws are generally bigger than tree skirts allowing me to bunch and scrunch to perfection!  This year, I tucked lots of goodies under the tree including books, trophies, antlers and ornaments.

TIDBITS&TWINE  French Vintage Christmas Tree 2015 with Faux Fur Throw


I love the soft glow the tree gives off at night.



You can find more pictures and details about my tree {HERE}.


Dining Room


Adjacent to my living room is my dining room, so I decided to maintain a similar look and feel to create a flow between the two rooms.

TIDBITS&TWINE French Christmas Dining Room in Blue and White with Boxwood


I added boxwood wreaths to the backs of my chairs and I love how this small change creates such an impact.



The table is set with white ironstone, boxwood, silver, and bells.



And because I wasn’t using red in this room, I decided to go with a bolder blue.



Normally I wrap the chandelier with fresh greenery, but this year, in lieu of greenery, I decided to add a boa and bells which turned out to be quite the focal point!



More pictures and details about my dining room can be found {HERE}.




I don’t do a ton of decorating in the kitchen because this space is always in use and with two little ones, it gets messy quickly!  When I do decorate, though, I tend to use kitchen-related items and food instead of traditional Christmas decor.



This 3-Tier Round Display from Mothology is one of my absolute favorites and I had so much fun dressing it up for the holidays!



I added boxwood, pomegranates, mandarin oranges, and nuts with touches of silver and white sprinkled throughout.

TIDBITS&TWINE - Christmas Kitchen 2015 with Boxwood, Pomegranates and Oranges


Next to my stove, I traded my silver champagne bucket for my vintage trophies to create a cute vignette.



On my wall, I updated the look of my vintage herb nesting crates with more greenery and feather boas.




Family Room


The family room is where the kids hang out, watch TV, and play, so it’s definitely a brighter, bolder decorating style than the rest of the house.  I repeated my vintage ladder advent calendar again this year {post HERE}.

DIY Christmas Advent Ladder


I also updated the TV Gallery Wall with a festive feel for the holidays!  More details coming soon!


I hope you’ve enjoyed my tour and will stop by again for a visit!  If you’re new to Tidbits&Twine and want to sign up to receive new posts via email, you can do so {HERE}.  You can also follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram to see what I’m up to.


And don’t forget to PIN IT!



Now, head on over to Monica Wants It to take a tour of her home all decked out for the holidays!  You won’t be disappointed!



Tidbits&Twine - Signature



My Christmas Kitchen 2015 {One of my Favorite Things}

My Christmas kitchen is brought to you by Tidbits&Twine and Mothology


I look forward to decorating my kitchen for Christmas every year since quite honestly, that’s where I spend most of my time.  I generally shy away from holiday decor and instead, use items that feel more natural in a kitchen, particularly food items.  I really wanted to create a special display this year and I have long admired the 3-Tier Round Display from Mothology, so when they sent it to me, I literally did a happy dance on the porch {let’s hope the neighbors didn’t see!}

Mothology 3 Tier Tray

{via Mothology}


The reason that I love this particular tray is because of the gorgeous brown/gray color of the reclaimed wood AND because each tier has a shallow edge.  Why does this matter to me?  I’ve come to realize that trays without any edges make me a bit nervous that things will fall off {especially anything round that can roll right off!} and ones that have too deep of an edge hide too much of the items on display.  And after all, it’s all about the display, right?!  So for me, the Mothology tray is juuuuuuusssst right…yes, just like Goldilocks. :)

{via Mothology}

{via Mothology}


I knew right away that I wanted to use the tray in my kitchen as part of my Christmas display.



My tray is a mix of boxwood {of course!}, nuts, pomegranates, and mandarin oranges.



White mugs, plates, and bowls are mixed throughout.



I also used some silver accents including mercury glass candle holders and cookie cutters.  You know I love to mix textures, so mixing the shiny silver and rustic metal was right up my alley!



I really love this particular mix of colors because it’s bold but still very natural, especially in a kitchen.  And as you can see, I’ve started to introduce the color red, which has been absent in the other Christmas decor I’ve shared with you lately {posts HERE and HERE}.



I’m so happy with my new tray and love how it looks in the kitchen, but my mind is already racing with ideas for using it in other rooms.  It might just be moving to the family room after the holidays… :)




Please stop by again tomorrow for my full Christmas home tour which will include additional photos from my kitchen as well as other rooms in my home!


Tidbits&Twine - Signature




A very special thank you to Mothology for supplying me with this tray.  I love to share with you things that I enjoy, so as always, all opinions and ideas are my own and are expressed in my own words.

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