Archive for the ‘Save Money + Save Time = Save Sanity’ Category

Couponing Made Easy

Thursday, April 5, 2012 @ 11:04 AM
posted by mrscaz

I am definitely one for being frugal. I love a deal, I mean, who doesn’t. I even got into couponing a few years ago to help save money and fill my need for getting the best deal possible. However, then the kids belts business and family time caught up with me and the couponing fell by the wayside.

Now that I have gotten a better handle on my time management (and, quite frankly, because gas prices have gotten so high, I have to save somewhere), I am getting back into couponing. I know what you are thinking, “it’s takes too much time”, “my coupons expire before I use them”, “I never save that much money, so it’s not worth it.” I use to think those same things, but then I found Florida Coupon Savers.

This site is great because they take the sale flyer, they find the coupons and then they match them all up so you can save the most money possible at the store! I live in Central Florida, so the best part is that they cater to this area. We don’t always get the same coupons or even the same value coupons as some of the bigger metropolitan areas, so when I would go to those sites, I would notice more match-ups, but I could never find the coupons. I would get so frustrated. They cover our major stores; Publix, Winn Dixie, Walgreens, CVS, Target, etc.

Know what’s even better than all of that? It’s a FREE site! They don’t charge for any of it. I have seen coupon sites actually charge a monthly fee for “sharing” their match-ups. I spoke to one of the owners of Florida Coupon Savers, and she said “We don’t feel like you should have to spend money to learn how to SAVE money.” With that being said, they even offer FREE couponing classes in and around Central Florida.

My favorite section is the “Post Your Trips” page. Here they show you their actual shopping trips and how they saved money.

Retail Value $109.10 ONLY Paid $31.98!

How cool is that? I love this site and think that is a great resource. They even post deals on clothing, gifts, shoes, accessories and restaurants!

Are you ready to coupon with me?

Blessings,

Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor

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Dapper Snapper FLASH SALE

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 12:03 PM
posted by mrscaz
Special deals from Toddler Tech USA

Share the Savings!!

Be sure to share this with all of your friends & family!

Michelle’s Birthday Bash!

It’s Michelle’s 41st Birthday
and she is celebrating
with a kids belts FLASH SALE on
www.dappersnappers.com!!
Coupon Codes listed below!

 The sale will only be good for

41 Minutes 

on Thursday, March 15th!

The sale starts at Noon (EST)
and ends promptly at 12:41 (EST)!

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Buy 1

Get 1

FREE

For Every

ONE Dapper Snapper
Original Toddler Belt

you purchase, you get
ONE FREE!!!

Use the Coupon Code 41BOGODS.

Offer Expires: 3/15/12 @ 12:41 EST Coupon codes can not be combined, but you can do multiple purchases with different codes.

Toddler Belts

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Buy 1
Get 1

FREE

For Every

ONE Dapper Snapper
Big Kids Belt

you purchase, you get
ONE FREE!!!
Use the Coupon Code 41BOGOBK.

Offer Expires: 3/15/12 @ 12:41 EST Coupon codes can not be combined, but you can do multiple purchases with different codes.

Big Kids Girls BeltsBig Kids Boys Belts

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - 

Buy 1

Get 1

FREE

For Every

 ONE Dapper Snapper
Adult Belt

you purchase, you get
ONE FREE!!!
Use the Coupon Code 41BOGOMS.

Offer Expires: 3/15/12 @ 12:41 EST Coupon codes can not be combined, but you can do multiple purchases with different codes.

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e-meals Review

Thursday, February 23, 2012 @ 11:02 PM
posted by mrscaz

I’m busy, you’re busy, he’s busy, she’s busy, they’re busy… So the question is, if we are all so busy, who’s making dinner? Really, who has time to plan the meals, hunt down all of the ingredients at the store and then to actually remember what you had planned to make for the week and inevitably realizing that you forgot to pick up a key ingredient while at said grocery store resulting in you either having to make another trip to the store or giving up and calling Papa John’s.

Ugh… I have fallen into that pit of dis pare more times than I care to mention. That’s why, when I came across a Groupon last month for something called eMeals, my attention was peaked. It’s hard for me to leave the kids belts office, get the kids, help with homework, do some laundry, spend some quality time with the family and cook a good healthy dinner and eMeals seemed like it would take the guess work out of it for me. On their website they claim, “eMeals is a simple system to solve your dinner time dilemma with easy meals based on delicious recipes and a consistent grocery budget.”

I have to say, this is one of the coolest services out there. It really takes all of the guess work out of dinner. When you sign up, you pick a plan (there are so many to choose from; Gluten-Free, Budget-Friendly, Low-Fat, Portion-Control, Vegetarian, Organic and there is even a section for picky eaters), print the menu and shopping list, shop and then cook and enjoy.

An eMeals plan includes:

  • A family-friendly,organized 7-day dinner meal plan – with concise and easy to follow recipes and directions.
  • A complete, corresponding grocery list – just print and go!
  • The member’s only option to participate in eMeals Referral Program

Here is a sample of the shopping list. You can customize it to the store of your choice. It also pulls in pricing so you can budget properly. They strive to keep a weeks worth of dinners under $100. Oh, yea, they even will include if an item is on sale. How cool is that? The list is also organized by section, that way you aren’t hunting all over for all of the ingredients. When you are in the freezer section, you have a list of everything you need from there. It also includes a list of staples to keep in your kitchen that work for multiple meals.

Above is a sample of the meal plans/ingredients/recipes. Yes, I said recipes, look at those recipes. They are all about a paragraph long and are ridiculously easy to but together. The best part? The kids have enjoyed everything that I have cooked so far. This is a really a great program and I can’t say enough about it.

I would highly recommend eMeals to anyone who is looking for variety, healthy meal ideas and even to save money. If you only have to buy what you need for the meals, then you are saving money by not buying unnecessary things!

Blessings,

Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor

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10 Tips to Healthy Grocery Shopping

Friday, January 6, 2012 @ 12:01 PM
posted by mrscaz

It’s a new year! 2012 already? That happened way too fast, but I am a bit disappointed because I was sure that by now we would all be driving flying cars and using teleporters.

But I digress, back to the new year and new resolutions. This year I resolve to have the best year in kids belts history! That should be easy because I only have to compete with 3 years and while they were great years, I am certain that this will be the best. That’s not my only resolution, like tons of people out there, I am making a resolution for health. Maybe I should be more specific, good health. I’m not looking to lose mounds of weight and be super model skinny thereby making my head look hugely disproportional to my tiny frame, I just want to be healthy. In my search for healthy-ness (shhh, I can make up words if I want…), I thought I would pass along some healthy shopping tips that I picked up.

10 Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips:
  1. Shop the perimeter of the store. That’s where the good fresh stuff is located. The produce section, fresh meat section and dairy section are the best places to shop for clean eating.
  2. LIST LIST LIST Take a few extra minutes before you go shopping to plan out your weeks worth of meals and make a list. If you have a smart phone, there are so many free apps out there that are specifically for shopping lists. The really neat thing about those apps is that they will also organize your list for you into sections so in the long run it makes the shopping trip go much faster! (I like the ShopListFree app. It’s very basic, but also user friendly.) Some of the apps even include pricing, so you can keep it budget friendly!
  3. Focus on Fiber Officially, fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Most adult women should shoot for over 20 grams of fiber a day; men should shoot for over 30 grams. Some great sources are whole fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and breakfast cereals, and all manner of beans. You should choose foods that list whole grains (like whole wheat or whole oats) as a first ingredient. Bread, cereal, crackers and other grain foods should have at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
  4. Avoid Overly Processed Food Box mixes and canned food, while they are convenient, are riddled with sodium. Try to avoid boxed food altogether and if you must get canned food, always opt for low/no sodium choices.
  5. Buy Lean Cuts of Meat There are so many choices out there now with chicken and turkey (ground meats, sausages, cutlets, etc…) that it’s much easier to make substitutions. Beef and pork aren’t too bad in moderation, but you definitely should get the very lean cuts.
  6. Dairy Opt for low-fat items. Cabot has some really great low-fat cheese options (Cheddar, habanero, jalapeno and pepper jack). Skim milk is a good choice and if you are going for yogurt, opt for Greek yogurt. It packs more of a protein punch and has little to no fat. Plain Greek yogurt also makes a wonderful substitute for sour cream.
  7. SAY NO TO IMPULSE JUNK Resist impulse buys while standing in the check out isle. Don’t let those candy peddlers win! You don’t need the candy bar or that bag of chips. Put it back…
  8. Resist the Twinkies Ok, it’s hard to jump into healthy eating, so if you are going to pick up some not so healthy treats, limit it to what you can fit in the top of the buggy (you know, where a small child usually sits). Then when you get in line to check out, re-evaluate those choices and ask yourself again if you really want (NEED) it.
  9. Don’t Meander Shop with a purpose. When you aimlessly meander through the store, you open yourself up to more impulse buys. You also fall into the stores sales traps, the end caps. The end caps are where bad food goes to tempt you and the store pretends that they are “practically giving it away”. Usually, the deals aren’t that great anyway. Just walk away.
  10. Don’t Go Hungry A huge mistake is to shop when you are hungry. Everything looks good when you are hungry and when you are hungry your stomach is telling you that you NEED it all. So save yourself some trouble, eat before you shop. You will thank me later.

So, that’s it. That’s my miracle list for healthy grocery shopping. I know that its not an exhaustive list by any means, but it is a start. I hope you can use at least a few to make your 2012 the healthiest ever!

Blessings,

Common Cents Mama - Kids Belts - Toddler Belts inventor

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Trade Shows – 10 Tips for the Mamapreneur

Sunday, August 14, 2011 @ 09:08 AM
posted by mrscaz
Kids expo
Having done more than a few trade shows to get Dapper Snappers kids belts into the hands of retailers, I’ve picked up a few techniques that are great tips for those Mamapreneurs getting ready to attend their first trade show.
  1. Try to see your product and displays through the eyes of the buyer. Case in point: the t-shirts on our inflate-a-toddlers we used to show Dapper Snappers kids belts in action. I had made cutesy logoed shirts for them. It detracted from the product and gave some the wrong impression. Passersby thought we were selling t-shirts!
  2. Learn how to overcome sales objections. One of our biggest battles was with buyers who would object with “What about adjustable waistband pants?” That’s a tough one, but Hubby figured it out and made toddler belt sales to those buyers easily. You may know your product inside and out, but what differentiates it from what could be considered competition? What makes yours better? Try and phrase your answers so that you aren’t discounting the competition but instead pointing out the positives of your own product. And remember; you are not just selling your product, you are selling yourself, so be confident. If you are unsure, then they will be too.
  3. Be prepared to wheel and deal. Buyers don’t just want a deal, they want to be made to feel special. They want free stuff and promises of continuing discounts. The more money they have, the more power they try to wield. But it pays to be flexible. We had a very well respected couple come buy from us. Their very presence commanded the upmost respect. I won’t call them by their first names because it just seems disrespectful. They got the deal they asked for and we landed a very big fish that even our rep at the time couldn’t land. But know what your bottom line price is. As another exhibitor put it to us, “You aren’t making Dapper Snappers for practice.” Know the cost of your product and everything it costs to get it to the customer, then decide what your “show special” will be. Free shipping is a very big seller.
  4. Network! There are endless opportunities to network. Buyers know other buyers. Exhibitors know everyone. And lots of people will come to your booth to try to sell you something. It could be an inventory tracking program or packaging or even their fabulous PR skills. Be prepared to say “no” or “please email me”. Never let them get between you and your potential customers. Most of them know better than to keep talking when they see you start to speak to a passerby. Some could keep you from your buyer because they don’t know any better or they have no scruples. Don’t let them. Oh, and you will also get to meet the press. This could be anything from industry magazines to blogs.
  5. Be prepared. Have plenty of price and line sheets, business cards, brochures, and catalogs. Bring order forms, pens, and clipboards. Make sure all your product is in pristine condition and you have plenty of samples to show. Most shows will allow a Sample Sale the last day of the show, so be prepared for people to stop by and ask to buy your samples on the spot. It’s a good idea to have a little cash on hand, and/or a mobile credit card reader like Square available.
  6. Keep your booth clean. You would be amazed at the mess that accumulates by the end of the day! Bring a little floor vacuum. Have a hidden garbage can. Don’t eat in your booth if you can help it (crumbs get everywhere and certain foods don’t have a very pleasant aroma). Make sure you have a way to keep yourself organized. Organizers for business cards, folders for orders, sticky notes, etc.
  7. Bring candy; preferably chocolate (Godiva, Toblerone, Lindt are all great ones to offer). Put it in your booth so that people see it but it’s not easy to access without coming into the booth. People will walk by and grab handfulls without even stopping if it’s in easy reach. Candy is always a great way to draw people in.
  8. Have an attention getter. We use a large prize wheel. Boy does that get peoples attention! You don’t have to go through the expense of getting a prize wheel though. You could do something as simple as a string of flashing lights, or have a video (no sound that will irritate your neighbors) playing in the background. People stop when they’re attention is grabbed by lights, movement, and sound. Use it to your advantage. Make them curious.
  9. Have an extra chair available for people to sit down. Trade shows are typically very long and exhausting. Just sitting for a moment and eating a bite of chocolate will put a smile on their faces and they will be more willing to listen to your pitch.
  10. Design your booth so that it’s open and inviting. People like to browse. The more stuff you have, the more crowded your booth becomes and then it just isn’t as inviting as it could be. Keep it simple. They’ve already been inundated by a bazillion products crowded in tiny little booths. Give them something refreshing to look at.

These are only 10 of many tips to make your trade show exhibition a success. Do you have any you’d like to share? Please leave a comment!

PS. Check out this video Hubby did at a trade show for a laugh!

Blessings,

Common Cents Mama - Queen of Kids Belts

It’s Our 3rd Bizaversary!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011 @ 11:07 PM
posted by mrscaz

I looked at the calendar and realized that last week was our 3rd Bizaversary and I completely missed it! Shame on me!!!

Dapper Snappers Kids Belts First Dollar

Can you believe it’s been 3 years already? Wow! Time goes by so fast when your selling Kids Belts, and yet it feels like it’s been 10 years. (Owning a business with do that to you!) In the past year we’ve seen growth beyond our wildest dreams and it just keeps getting better. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with the love, encouragement, and support of family, friends, and fans. Thank you all for taking this amazing journey with us!

Dapper Snappers Kids Belts 3rd Birthday

In celebration, we want to offer you a coupon code for our online store. Use code 3rdbdayFS for FREE SHIPPING on your order (USA only), or  code 3rdbday3OFF $3 off your order (all countries). These coupon codes expire 7/9/11 so make sure to use them now!

Thank you all for all your wonderfulness!

Muwahhhhh!

Blessings,

Common Cents Mama - Queen of Kids Belts

Happy Birthday to Me AND YOU!!! Coupon Code Goodness!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 @ 10:03 AM
posted by mrscaz

PARTY! 40 years and counting!!!

Well, today is my 40th birthday. Now, many of us womenfolk get weird about turning forty, like it’s the end of everything and now we have to be old. But for me that is most definitely not the case! I am forty today and am loving it on behalf of my mom who never got to see 40. I’m loving it because I have a wonderful husband, 2 beautiful (albeit dementia-inducing) kids, a successful business manufacturing and distributing kids belts (you knew I had to throw that in there), and wonderful people like you.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I am doing 2 things. First; I have a coupon code for 40% off Dapper Snappers today only. The code is Happy40th40off. This coupon code is good today only and cannot be used on fundraising Dapper Snappers or Gift Certificates.

Second; I’m having a birthday party! If you happen to be in the Port Orange, Florida area this Saturday, March 19th, come join us as we  howl at the moon sing karaoke at Booths Bowery from 7 pm on. This party was originally going to be my “Cougar coming out party”, but just the fact that I’m 40 and here is good enough for me! So come celebrate with me!

Blessings,

Common Cents Mama - Queen of Kids Belts

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A Coupon Code to Celebrate!

Thursday, February 24, 2011 @ 05:02 PM
posted by mrscaz

Celebrate Cake and Kids Belts!

Hey Dapper Snapper Lovers!

So I have much to celebrate this week!!

  • Of course there was Presidents Day and really who doesn’t love an extended weekend?
  • My baby boy, my Super Dude, turned 6 on Tuesday.
  • The last shuttle launch is today. We are going as a family to watch it from the Port Orange bridge.

So because of all this wonderfulness, I’m giving a coupon code for 30% off at our store; 10% for each great thing! Use code 30offCelebration to get 30% off your purchase at DapperSnappers.com through February 26th, 2011. This code is not valid on fundraising Dapper Snappers or Gift Certificates. But you know what you can buy??? Kids Belts, Toddler Belts, Belts for Adults, Pregnancy Belts, Mitten Clips, and Add-on Clips for pants/skirts that don’t have belt loops!

Have a Dapper Snapperiffic day!!!

Blessings,

Common Cents Mama - Queen of Kids Belts

Where is the Dapper Snapper?!?!

Monday, January 17, 2011 @ 06:01 PM
posted by mrscaz

The dryer must've eaten the sock!

I’ve been making Dapper Snappers Kids Belts for 2 1/2 years now and I have lost more of them than I could count. How? Well, I think it’s the sock-eating dryer monster. I think it saw an opportunity for something even tastier than socks. Yeah…That’s what it was… Okay, maybe not. But losing a Dapper Snapper is so frustrating because you don’t know you’ve lost it until you HAVE TO HAVE IT RIGHT NOW!!!

Customers have been asking me for a solution to the missing Dapper Snapper problem for quite some time. The problem is that I’m the least organized person I know, so the solution evaded me until recently. It’s another example of ‘If something doesn’t have a where to be, it could be anywhere.’ So where oh where could I put Dapper Snappers where I won’t lose them? I think I found a rather simple solution that uses something you already own. That’s right! I’m not inventing a Dapper Snapper Keeper. I’m not asking you to buy anything. I’m not even suggesting you go out and get something you don’t already have. It’s this simple…

Make your own Dapper Snapper Kids Belts Keeper

TADA!!! See how easy that is? You can snap them around any hanger and hang them in the closet or, better yet, in your laundry room. This way you will always know where they are, because they have a where to be.

Blessings,

Common Cents Mama - Queen of Kids Belts

Where?

Monday, January 17, 2011 @ 03:01 PM
posted by mrscaz

Cluttered mess

If something doesn’t have a where to be, it could be anywhere.

I am the most disorganized person I know. The pile of papers on our counter is an amazing, mountainous amalgamation bills, junk mail, coupons, preschool drawings/crafts, and cords to unknown electronics that are probably long gone. But about a year ago, while visiting my bestest friend, I noticed something they did that was so simple that I couldn’t figure out why I didn’t think of it. Every time they came into the house, they would remove their shoes and put them in a basket. This basket, filled with various pairs of shoes, was nothing extraordinary. It was just the simple answer to a problem I’ve been battling for years. Where are my shoes??? I’m proud to say that for the past year the answer to that question has been, “In the shoe-bucket!”

The Shoe Bucket

But it wasn’t until a couple days ago that I realized that that simple organization concept could be applied to anything. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. It doesn’t have to have a bunch of compartments or labels or color-coded tabs. Keep it simple. I want my kids to get organized as well, so I took the Bug to the Dollar Tree and bought these little totes for her to store her art stuff in. Crayons in one bin, markers in another, etc. She is too much like me, in that whatever it is, it won’t get put away unless there’s a place it’s supposed to go.

The Bug's art supplies in bins

Getting organized doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal. Getting just one thing organized can save lots of time, frustration, and sanity.  Your stuff could be socks, kids belts, or emails. That is why I put Hubby to work on creating a program for me to help me stay organized in a very important part of my business. I can’t afford to spend so much time flipping back and forth between websites and emails trying to keep tabs on situations when it could all be in one place. Hubby is building me a virtual shoe bucket. I need a where for all my stuff to be to feel organized.

Do you have a where for your stuff? What’s your one thing?

Blessings,

Common Cents Mama - Queen of Kids Belts

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