5 Ways To Spend Less On Back To School Clothing Using Your Smartphone


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Pretty soon the kids in my neck of the woods will be back to school and that means it is time for back to school clothing.

There is just something about starting out school with a fresh new outfit, but the cost of those outfits can really add up–especially if you have several children to clothe.

Your wallet will thank you when you use these 5 ways to save money on back to school clothing using your smartphone.

Never fear though, chances are you have just what you need to save money on back to school clothing in either your purse or your pocket–your smartphone.

5 Ways To Spend Less On Back To School Clothing Using Your Smartphone

1. Discounted Gift Card Apps

Both Raise and Cardpool offer discounted gift cards delivered to your phone within 24 hours or less. These gift cards will save you anywhere from 2% to as much as 25%. The best part is you can stack those savings on top of rebate apps and in-store sales.

The trick to using them wisely is knowing exactly where you shop and how much you generally spend. Personally, I like to buy a slightly smaller gift card than the total I plan to spend so that I am not left with a gift card with $1 to $2 left on it sitting around for months until we have another pressing clothing need.

2. Rebate/Coupon Apps

There are several apps out there now that will offer you deals like $5 back on a $50 purchase when you upload your receipt. The one I use most is Ibotta.

Receipt Hog doesn’t offer such big returns, but they do offer you a few free spins for uploading clothing receipts. I have earned as much as 400 points from a single spin.

Shopkick offers both rebates and fun check-in points that you don’t even have to buy a thing in the store to receive. Simply open up the Shopkick app when you are walking in the store and accept the walk-in points. Some days Shopkick will offer as much as 200 points for doing this and with a $5 Starbucks gift card currently costing 1200 points, that is a pretty good deal.

3. Email/Store Apps

If there are certain stores you shop at over and over, check to see if they have their own app. If they do, chances are they will offer you money saving codes through the app.

A good example of this is the Target Cartwheel app.

If your store of choice doesn’t have an app, hop on to the web browser on your smartphone and see if they have an email club. If they do, sign up because chances are they offer discount codes and scanable coupons in their emails from time to time–plus you will stay up to date on their latest sales.

4. Zulily

If you prefer to shop at home you can still apply several of the tips above to your purchases. Another great option for at-home back to school clothes shopping is Zulily.

Zulily offers you great name brand clothing at sizable discounts.

Go here to sign up and then download the app.

App uses often get early access to certain deals.

5. Secondhand shoppers have options too

If you want to shop at home and prefer the lower prices that secondhand clothing has to offer, you are going to want to check out ThredUp. (psst…start your account with $10 in credit when you use my referral link)

Go here to sign up and then download the app.

ThredUp can be pricier than in-store thrift shopping, but the selection cannot be beat and they also have a great new-with-tags area.

Do you know of any other apps for saving money on back to school clothing? If so I would love for you to share them in the comments below so we can all check them out!

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3 Things I am LOVING Lately: July 20th


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3 Things I Am Loving Lately What about you

This week my family has been doing our BIG trip test run. So far it is going well. We have a running list of things we would like to alter in the RV before we leave and are figuring out how to best run our days so we have a good balance of family time, mom & dad time, alone time, and work time for me.

I will admit I am still having thoughts of “this is absolutely crazy” as well as “I can’t be away from my own bed for 6 months!” but for the most part this week I am in awe that my family can do this–even if biggest  reason why we can is a cause of sorrow for me. Still I know my dad would love the idea of our family taking his money and seeing North America in a bigger way. He was a real live in today type man.


On the first full day of our week long camping trip in Michigan we went up to Sleeping Bear dunes to hike the trails. The views from the top were amazing.

It was a 4 hour trip from where our family is staying for the week but it was worth the drive.

disc golfing

After the day trip to the dunes we took a day off and just let everyone do their own thing for the day.

The next day we decided to invest in a simple long distance disc golf frisbee for each member of the family. My husband and I figure it will make for some great low cost fun for the family during the trip. In general once you have your disc you can play for free.

Although we did have fun, lets just say that certain members of the family really need to work on their throw. There was a lot of time spent searching for discs in the woods and long grass that bordered the course.


Before you think the whole trip has been all fun you should know that I am also practicing how to fit in working while we camp this week, so that I know how to best do it during the BIG trip.

I have discovered that I can do most of my blog writing offline at the campground using google drive. However I do need access to WiFi for at least 2 to 4 hours 6 days a week  just to keep up with social media and the post writing tasks that cannot be done offline.

Thank goodness for Starbucks cards earned through places like InstaGC and Swagbucks. I can keep my Starbucks gold member card filled enough to allow me to get an ice-coffee while I catch up on my work. Since and ice coffee is under $2.50 that makes for some pretty inexpensive internet access.

What are you loving lately? Share it with me in the comments below.

Let’s get to know one another! Join me on Facebook and/or Instagram. Those are the places I hang out and chat.





3 Task Sheets You Need To Blog More In Less Time


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Are you constantly feeling like you have too much blog work to complete in the time you have available? Do you want to get more done in less time?

Get more blogging done in less time! You can shave hours off your work week by creating these 3 task sheets for yourself.

I am constantly on the lookout for ways to get more blogging done in less time and recently I stumbled upon a great way.

It all started with the decision our family made to take a rather long road trip.

Being a blogger, I can’t stop work for the duration of our road trip. Well I could, but there would be several negative consequences that I am not willing to pay.

I realized if I want to enjoy this trip as much as the rest of my family and not feel like my blog is suffering, I would need to figure out how to get my work done faster.

After much brainstorming I decided the best way to get more done was to break down what I routinely need to do to maintain a profitable blog while still having a life into 3 categorized task sheets.

3 Task Sheets That Can Help You Get More Blogging Done In Less Time

First Vital Step

You have to actually use the sheets once you create them!

I don’t know about you but I am what I like to call Type B-personality. I type out lists like a Type A, but then I either lose the list or never follow it. So in order for this new system to work I had to make myself use them.

There may have been some chocolate rewards involved in helping me to make using my task sheets a habit. So if you need a reward system until using these tasks sheets becomes a habit–set it and go for it.

 Second Vital Step

Hold a brainstorming session

Before you set out to make these three task sheets you need to block out time to do some serious contemplation and brainstorming. A three hour time slot will probably be sufficient.

Here is what you agenda should look like for your brainstorming session

First spend time diving into your Google Analytics  as well as your income sources, asking yourself the following questions:

  • What are your top 50 to 100 posts of all time?
  • Where does the bulk of your traffic come from?
  • Where are you earning the bulk of your money?
  • What affiliate programs are you involved in that really just aren’t working for your blog?
  • What social media platforms are you using that bring you the most traffic?
  • What social media platforms don’t seem to be moving the traffic needle?

Now comes the hard part–make a pact with yourself to stop doing what isn’t bringing in a sizable return either in traffic or in money earned when compared to the time it takes to obtain it.

For example: if there is a topic you blog about and it isn’t getting you traffic, accept a narrowing of your niche and stop talking about that subject. If there is an affiliate that you have been pushing for months and yet you still haven’t made a sale (or just a few sales compared to other products)–stop spending time promoting it and spend the time you have on what is bringing you returns.

With those things crossed off your list you should be left with the most profitable blogging tasks for your blog.

Break down that list into blog tasks that you need to do daily, weekly and monthly to both maintain and grow in these areas.

I am not going to offer you my task sheet as free printables because they are very unique to my own blog, the time I have to work each day and a few more factors.  Therefore I feel it would be more helpful to just tell you how I did it so you can make your own.

Anyone can make these lists. I used Open Publisher to create mine. They do not have to be fancy–mine certainly are not. They just have to work!

Get more blogging done in less time! You can shave hours off your work week by creating these 3 task sheets for yourself.

 What Your Task Sheets Should Contain

Daily Blog Task List

Your daily blog task list should contain everything you need to do each day to keep your blog running well.

On one side of my daily blog task list page is a list of things in order of most important to things that I could miss doing for a day if needed. On the other side of the page is  lots of white space so I can also write down what I need to get done for the family that day, such as laundry or taking a child to the dentist.

I list things in order of importance so that if I am short on time I can skip what really doesn’t need to be done daily. For instance, I don’t have to look at my Facebook insights daily–I just like to, which means it is at the bottom of my list. However, I do have to make sure my post for the day is promoted through social media so that is at the top of my daily list.

Right under the absolutely essential daily stuff are the words “work on weekly task for the day.”  I will address that sheet in a moment, but know for now that this is a vital part of why this system is working so well for me. I use self discipline not to touch the things under “weekly task for the day” until my essential blog tasks are 100% complete.

Weekly Blog Task List

My weekly list breaks down one week of blog post writing into daily tasks so that I finish my blog posts days before they need to be posted–giving me breathing space in case of super busy days created by family stuff.

For example: on Monday I rough draft Friday’s post, Tuesday I finish it and Wednesday I read it one last time before sending it to the gal who proofreads it for me.

I keep Saturday open for special projects like eBooks, new subscriber freebies, an extra day off or as a catch up day if for some reason I got behind during the week.

Sundays I take a full day off blogging unless I took another day off during the week.

Monthly Task Sheets

My monthly task sheet is really more of an editorial calendar. I made a chart using the table maker in Open Office with enough boxes for a month’s worth of blog post titles and divided it up into sections for each day I post.

At the end of each month I hold a brainstorming session for blog post ideas. I can usually fill out this sheet with blog post ideas for the entire month within 30 minutes. I then take an hour or two outlining all those post ideas on paper so that I have a good post skeleton to put meat on when it is time write each post later in the month.

I would like to take this monthly listing of blog posts a step further and create a monthly post routine to follow. Something like “first Monday of the month a post on cleaning tips, second Monday of the month a post on decluttering, etc” so that even less brain power and time is needed each month to create a posting schedule.

Under the post title area I have a few empty lines dedicated for things I would like to get done on the blog during the month should I have more time than usual to work on it. Usually this includes 3 posts I would like to update for Pinterest.

At the very bottom I have an area marked “Saturday project” with two empty lines under it where I write down big blog projects I want to attack–currently this is my eBook time.

Get more blogging done in less time! You can shave hours off your work week by creating these 3 task sheets for yourself.


How These 3 Task Sheets Will Increase Your Productivity

These sheets help increase focus. They will quickly become task masters–tugging you out of rabbit holes and preventing you from screaming, “Squirrel!”

Personally, when I stick to my 3 task sheets I am finding that I am finishing my Monday through Friday weekly list by as early as Wednesday afternoon and often can either take Thursday and Friday afternoon off to enjoy more family time, use it to spend more time on my “Saturday Project” or spend it on those few things I listed on my monthly list as “would love to get to if I have extra time.”

On our long trip I am planning to use that found time to spend more time enjoying the sites with the family. I also don’t plan on doing a “Saturday project” while we are traveling to free up even more of my time.

If you have any tips for managing time spent blogging better, leave a comment below. This blogger is all ears!

How I Started Making Money From My Blog

How I started making money from blogging! | Snail Pace Transformations

If you are looking for ways to monetize your blog beyond ad networks, sponsored posts and products–check out my post on how I first started making money from my blog.

If you found this post to be useful, make sure you don’t miss my latest posts! Have them delivered to your inbox by signing up for my weekly newsletter. Get to know the blogger behind the blog by following me on Facebook or Instagram.