How To: Save Money Online

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Groupon Coupons. But as always, all opinions are my own. 

I can't be the only person who is addicted to online shopping. Right? I mean you stay home. You stay in your PJs. You turn on Disney Junior for the kids. And you shop in peace. The convenience factor is off the charts. Real Talk. But did you also know, there are tons of ways to save online that you can't necessarily do in stores. So, here are my tips and tricks for saving money online!

Groupon Coupons

I ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, use a coupon or promo code. I'm not kidding. I don't check out online until I have found a coupon code. My favorite place to find codes is Groupon Coupons. Groupon isn't just a great place to find killer deals on products and travel. They also have an entire section of their site dedicated to collecting online promo codes for all your favorite sites. We're talking thousands of websites. (Including, Target, Gap, Priceline.com, Anthropologie, Best Buy and so many more.) They even have a Student Discounts section for all of you college students!

My favorite part is that you can search by category. So when I'm looking for the perfect gift for a loved one, I just click the Flowers & Gifts  or Gift Certificate category and I'm taken to a list of the internet's best deals on flowers and gifts.

Next time you're ready to check out online, make sure you search Groupon Coupons first!

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Words of a Stranger

Have you guys ever heard a stranger say something in passing and have it completely change how you feel about your life?? I have. But let me start from the beginning.

My iPhone sucks. Its been randomly shutting down regardless of battery percentage. It won't turn on until I plug it in. And then, of course, when it boots up it still has 73% battery. After being tethered to my wall charger for a week, I finally arrived at my wits end and made an appointment at the apple store to have it replaced. I was annoyed to pay the $80 for a new battery, but I dragged my kids to the mall anyways. Imagine my delight as I sat at the genius bar and the so-called 'genius' told me they didn't have my battery in stock........... (the pause is to emphasize my annoyance) So he scheduled me an appointment at a different store the next morning.

So the next day I loaded my kids up again and dragged them down to an apple store in the middle of the ritziest downtown area in Connecticut (where I'd obviously never been.) After circling (more like aimlessly wandering and turning the wrong way down one-way streets) for 45 minutes, I decided to park in the middle of the road in front of the apple store and wait as long as it would take to for one of those parking spots to open up. Luckily, it was only 20 more minutes before a spot opened up a few stores down. And I only had to honk and shout at two different range rovers that tried to slip in before me.

Already exhausted and beyond frustrated, I parked. I went to the meter only to find it only accepts change. (Where am I?!? 1984?!? Am I really expected to carry loose change?!?) So I dug all my nickels and dimes out of the little pockets in my wallet and starting pouring them in. Nothing happened. No time was added. It just kept flashing 'EXPIRED'. I asked a passing person if they know how these things works and he said, (this is NOT the life changing stranger) "They only take quarters." QUARTERS?!? Why do I not have ANY quarters?!? It's because I'm always a sucker for those dumb bouncy ball quarter machines outside of diners. I agreed right then and there I was NEVER going to let my children take my quarters for quarter machines again. (Can you sense my mood?!? Haha)

I frantically dug around the car (while my kids whined) for any quarters that may have fallen into cracks or under seats. No luck. I non-optimistically checked the designated change compartment assuming nothing would be there, because (let's be honest) I don't organize my change into designated change compartments. I leave it in jacket pockets and spend it on quarter machines. But thank heavens for Zack. He literally ALWAYS saves the day. He wasn't even there, and he saved the day. He had so thoughtfully placed a few of each coin type into their slots so that my designated coin compartment was stocked for me. I mean... (cue the heart eye emoji. #besthusbandever)

I grabbed the two quarters and threw them in the machine. And unbuckled the kids from their seats and started uphill (yes, up a very steep hill) to the apple store.

Okay, so I want to pause here. Because can you just imagine how I looked? If you looked up "struggling" in the dictionary it would have been a picture of me at this moment. I was positively frantic and annoyed. My hair was a mess, things were falling out of my purse, I was carrying Penelope and holding Gunner's hand (there may have been some dragging involved). At this moment, I wasn't thrilled with my life.

Half way to the store I saw two older ladies walking toward me. They were dressed nicely and had lovely manicured nails. They looked like the picture of leisure and luxury. Just a couple of older ladies lunching in Greenwich. Can you just imagine them? And how lovely they looked? And how wonderful their lives were?? I almost rolled my eyes with pure annoyance. As we approached each other I met eyes with one of them, and she looked us up and down and said to the other woman, completely genuinely, "Oh! How lucky is she?"

I literally scoffed as I walked past. What on earth did she mean?!? Lucky??? Me. Lucky? Couldn't she see me?!? It completely caught me off guard. Here she was, in head to toe J. Crew, lunching with her friend. No children to pull her hair or wipe cream cheese on her or dump her soda all over the floor of a restaurant, and she thought I was lucky?!? (Granted, this woman probably wasn't drinking soda at lunch. Guarantee she was drinking sparkling water.)

The comment stuck with me all day. I kept reevaluating her tone over and over again, looking for some hint of sarcasm. But it wasn't there. She looked at me, with my hands too full to even think straight, and all she saw was that I was blessed. And when I look at my life with a clear head, I know that it's true. But, in this particular moment my gripe list was a mile long. I had a million complaints about my life. I was blinded from seeing that these children (that fill my hands and more) are the greatest treasure of my life.

No gift I ever receive, no peaceful uninterrupted lunch, no perfect manicure, no J. Crew jeans, will ever compare to them. A lifetime of those things could never compete with the privilege it is to be their mother.

So the next time you're frantically scrambling to get somewhere with kids in tow, I genuinely hope a kind stranger will remind you of just how lucky you are to have your hands full.



Stocking Stuffer Faves

We got home from our trip late last Wednesday night. Like really late. Like I may have actually cried while I dragged my stuff and kids for 2.5 miles through the airport to baggage claim. (Has anyone flown into JFK and NOT been in the furthest gate possible?!? Yeah, me neither.) 

Anyways, the kids and I slept in on Thursday. Poor Zack had to go to work bright (dark) and early. But, once I finally woke up I decided to jump start the unpacking process, which is soooo not like me. At least not like 2016 me. But maybe this is, like, my new thing? My new 2017 thing. I unpack immediately after arriving home from a trip. Wow! 2017 me seriously has her cr*p together. (Spoiler alert: It didn't last! There is still one suitcase sitting in my closet. Completely full.)