If you shop at Walmart and don't know about Savings Catcher...this tip is for you! If you already use Savings Catcher I would love to know what you think about it by leaving me a comment below. If you don't, keep reading.
In March of last year, one of the friendly cashiers at Walmart told me about Savings Catcher. It is a part of the Walmart app, which can be downloaded for free on iTunes or Google Play. Click here for the app page on iTunes. Click here for the app page on Google Play.
This app is for mobile devices. If you don't have a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device, or just don't want to add another app to your device, then go to the Savings Catcher page on the Walmart website and create an account.
For mobile users: Once you have the app loaded, you are ready to go. After making a purchase at Walmart you open the app, select Savings Catcher, then click on 'Scan a Receipt' to simply scan the QR code located at the bottom of your receipt to load your purchase information to the app. If you are using your computer you enter your receipt's TC# and date of purchase which are also located at the bottom of your receipt. *Important thing to note: You must scan your receipts promptly after each purchase. Walmart only accept receipts that are less than 7 days old.
After your receipt info has been submitted, Savings Catcher will take the next few days to scan advertised deals in your local area to compare the prices you paid with advertised prices. If cheaper prices are found, Walmart graciously gives you back the difference in "Reward Dollars". Walmart will send you an email once their comparison search is complete, usually within 3-4 days, to let you know whether any lower prices are found. If lower prices are found, the email will also tell you how much you get back in "Reward Dollars". The app will also shows this amount in your "Available Reward Dollars". You can save the dollars to accumulate them for a specific future purchase or you can load the money to a Walmart eGift Card each time you have a refund and use the money the next time you shop.
Here is "How It Works" in a nutshell. This is a screenshot of the 'More Info & Help' page of the app.
To date I have received $26.25 Reward Dollars back from my purchases. This amount might have actually been higher if I had been more diligent with scanning my receipts when I first started using the app. Yes, $26.25 is not a large amount of money, but it's sure better than $0.
The Walmart app is free and it really does not take any time at all to scan your receipt. The Walmart app does the work. Sometimes the app doesn't like the QR code, but the app gives the option to key in your receipt's TC# and date of purchase.. This doesn't take very long either.
Can I ask you something? Did you find this tip helpful? I would love if you left me a comment below to let me know either way. Thanks!
Good day and Happy Saving!
Imagine you've just arrived home from a very tiresome day. You thumb through your mail and a small envelope addressed to you is in the stack. You open up the envelope and remove the small note card from inside. It's a pretty card with the words ‘Thank You’ printed on the front. You open the card to reveal this handwritten message…
Hello my friend,
I just want to thank you for helping me the other day. Your kindness made my day better. I appreciate you and I hope you are having a wonderful day.
Wow! A handwritten thank you note from a friend you helped the other day. It’s just the thing you needed to help lift your spirits. You feel so special, your friend took time out of her busy schedule to write you a thank you note. You place the card back in the envelope for safe keeping.
A simple act of appreciation with profound impact, wouldn’t you say?
Proverbs 18:24a says ‘A man who has friends must himself be friendly’.
Receiving a hand written note can be such gift to the recipient. We all get so much junk mail, not to mention our dreaded bills, who doesn’t love getting a personal, handwritten note in the mail? In our ever-busy, ever-increasingly electronic world the gift of a handwritten note I fear is becoming a forgotten treasure; but I want to encourage you to keep it alive.
You may be thinking right now, “I barely have time to go to the bathroom during the day and you are talking about adding more tasks to my already busy life!?!”
Let’s go back to the scenario at the beginning. How does receiving a handwritten note make you feel? When someone takes time out of their busy day to write you a note I suspect it makes you feel pretty special. I imagine the recipient of your handwritten note will feel the same way.
Words of gratitude are powerful and when written by hand are such a treasure to our hearts.
Words of gratitude are powerful and when written by hand are such a treasure to our hearts.
When I think about the handwritten notes I have received I am reminded of how special each one has made me feel. These notes also encourage me to be more intentional about sending handwritten notes to others.
Yes, our lives are super, crazy busy. I get it. There are so many times I want to write handwritten notes to people, but fall short of the goal. Simply saying thank you, sending a text message, email, or e-card are all good ways to show appreciation and I myself use these forms frequently. However, the times when I spend the few minutes out of my busy day to write a handwritten note to someone, I know I am making a good investment of my time with that other person. Not only does this simple act of gratitude take my eyes off myself, it’s telling that other person that their relationship with me matters and they are worth my time. A handwritten note has that extra special touch.
To help myself follow through with handwritten notes more often, I keep a stack of blank cards and envelopes right on my desk. One set has the words ‘Thank You’ printed on the front of the cards and one set has a pretty picture on the front, no words, for occasions other than thank you. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on the cards either, unless of course you want to. The type of card or cost of the card is not what is important, its the act of handwriting the note and the words you say that are the treasure.
In our ever-busy, ever-increasingly electronic world, the gift of a handwritten note I fear is becoming a forgotten treasure
If you are already in the habit of handwriting notes, kudos to you. I am confident your notes are blessing others in a tremendous way. You are most likely also encouraging them to send handwritten notes as well.
Appreciation and gratitude are vital to living a healthy life. And one easy way we can show extra special gratitude to others is with a handwritten thank you note. Maybe there is someone in your life you have been meaning to say thank you to. Perhaps a handwritten note from you could be just the extra special touch that person needs in their life.
What about you? Do you have any stories of handwritten notes you have received that resulted in giving you that warm feeling of importance or confidence you needed at just the right time? Or have you experienced a deeper appreciation for someone because you took the time to handwrite them a note?
I can’t wait to hear from you.
Hubby and I are right in the middle of our debt snowball. (For those of you who are not familiar with Dave Ramsey this is Step #2 in his Baby Steps plan for getting out of debt.) Because we only have one income in our household we have to make our dollars stretch as far as they can. There are some things I am doing to help us with this and I want to share them with you.
My "Thrifty Thursday" tip for this week: Cut your dryer sheets in half.
I am not a fan of fabric softener, so we use dryer sheets. Several months ago I got the idea to cut a few dryer sheets in half and see if a half size sheet still worked well for a load of laundry. It was a success and I have been using half size dryer sheets ever since. I just use 2 of the half sheets if I think the load will need more de-static oomph.
I know dryer sheets are not necessarily super expensive, but I do think they cost a lot for what they are. A little bit of savings here, a little bit of savings there, adds up.
I just grab about a 1/4" thick stack at a time to cut; anymore than that seems to be too thick. The cut edges do stick together so you just have to fan them out before putting them back in the box. The 80 sheet box shown above probably took me less than 2 minutes to cut, fan, and put back on my laundry shelf. And now I have 160 sheets instead of 80!
How about you? Do you have any money saving tips you would like to share? Share in the Comments below. Plus, I might highlight your tip one "Thrifty Thursday".
If you want to find out more about Dave Ramsey and being financially wise, click here.
Is your day a constant whirlwind of activities, responsibilities, and demands? Do you yearn for a bit of peace and quiet during your day? …just a little rest from the ever constant needs of your children and schedule? Have you ever hears of others who’s children nap or have “quiet time” and think “That must be nice, but that’s just not possible in my home.”?
If you can relate, you're not alone. About three months ago, I was so overwhelmed with the demands of being a mama with young children, I knew me and the boys couldn’t continue life this way and something had to change.
I stay at home with my two sons, ages 2 and 4 1/2, and like most toddlers and pre-schoolers they are packed full of energy all day long. They have 2 speeds, fast and really fast. This mama is not packed with that same energy, I don’t know a mama who is; the energy level of young children seems super-human.
For me, the day begins very early and by mid-afternoon I run out of steam and my attitude can go downhill fast. Our days were so out of control I knew I needed to find a way to establish some kind of quiet time/downtime during part of our day—a little peace and quiet to break up the constant action in our lively home.
In Sally Clarkson’s new book The LifeGiving Home she has a chapter on the routines and rituals in our homes. I began to ponder my own daily routines and discovered that once my children’s feet hit the floor in the morning it was non-stop. Thankfully, my youngest son still naps, so he was getting rest and I was getting a bit of a break with only one child awake; but I never took a real break, I was constantly go, go, go. And my oldest son Caleb was following my lead. I was not leading wisely.
The weight of this daily non-stop routine became heavy and too much to handle, for both of us. Being in a constant state of busy is exhausting and draining. I realized that I was not setting a good example for Caleb and I knew a change was necessary.
Us moms have a lot of responsibilities and demands on our time. There are always things that need to be done. It is very easy to constantly be busy, and sadly, a daily routine of downtime or rest is counter cultural and can seem unattainable. I have struggled a great deal with this, but I believe establishing a time of rest in our homes, outside of sleep, is essential to living with more joy and peace. God does not want us to be constantly busy with no breaks or downtime. God and Jesus took time to rest and we should follow their lead. Establishing a daily routine of downtime in our lives is a way we can bless ourselves, bless our children, and glorify God.
This is why I have established a daily routine of downtime in my home. This small break of peace and quiet in our busy daily routine has reduced the craziness in our home, helps keep me centered, and gives me (the tired mama) much needed respite to recharge and be prepared for finishing out the day well. I began experimenting with different strategies for creating this routine of downtime. It is a work in progress, but I have discovered several things so far that are working for me and my oldest boy and I want to share them with you today.
I understand that each child and family is different and the following strategies may or may not work for you and your little ones. I don’t like feeling overwhelmed, out of control, and crazy busy; and I don’t think you do either. This why I strongly encourage you to consider implementing this daily routine into your home if you are not already.
What I have listed below are simply suggestions to encourage and help you establish a routine of downtime in your home or recommit to it. My hope is that you find something useful with this information. No matter how old our children are, I believe they will benefit from us modeling this important daily routine.
Here are strategies I have found useful in establishing a daily routine of healthy downtime in my home. I have provided not only the strategic idea, but practical things we have used within those strategies. As I was writing this post, I also came up with other practical ideas I think are worth trying and included these below as well.
Commit & Be Consistent.
Speak positively about your new routine, prepare everyone for “downtime”, and explain the expectations.
Everyone should have full tummies & empty bladders
Spend quality, intentional time for at least 15 - 20 minutes with your child prior to downtime
Have a Reward for a job well done
Have special age appropriate quiet toys or activities available and used only during downtime
Start small and build up the amount of time if you need to
Be Flexible and Stay Strong
It’s not just about the Kids
Like I said at the beginning of this list, my hope is that these strategies will encourage you to establish or recommit yourself to a daily routine of downtime. These strategies are working for us, but they may or may not work for you and your family. What ever you do, don’t give up! If you need to take a break from establishing your new habit and return later, that is fine. Remember to give yourself and your children grace, but don’t give up completely. Talk to your mom friends and ask if they have a downtime routine and if so, get some tips from them. There are also lots of other people talking about this very topic online, so do some research and see what others suggest.
I am always interested in hearing from you, so please let me know if you find any of these suggestions helpful or if you have other suggestions that are working for you and your family. Also, if you find this post useful, I appreciate the gift of you sharing it with your friends. God Bless you in your new downtime endeavor or recommitment.
Grace to you!
Do you ever think you really are superwoman and try to do everything, all the time? Do you find yourself saying yes to things a lot more than you should? I do. I could be the poster child for someone who says ‘yes’ way too often. If they gave out degrees for overcommitment, I would get a PhD!
For so many years I have lived in the crazy state of overcommitment and didn’t know any different. The cycle is usually this: saying yes to a lot of things at one time, running around like crazy trying to get it all done, then becoming tired and stressed, burning out, begin feeling resentment toward the commitments and then drastically retreating—taking practically everything off my plate that I possibly can. This is no way to live and I blame no one but myself. Can anyone else relate?
In her book, The Best Yes, Lysa TerKeurst says, “Saying yes all the time won’t make me Wonder Woman. It will make me a worn-out woman.” She is so right!
I love helping people and I get excited about new things, new possibilities; but I am now realizing that I have not managed these desires and pursuits well. I believe overcommitment is something that plagues many of us today. Saying yes to things isn’t bad, it’s when we say yes to things without considering the big picture that can get us into trouble.
In this context I am assuming that the decisions being made are all for “good” things. I am not talking about whether we are making immoral or moral decisions, that is a completely different topic. What I am talking about here is making the best decision when opportunities to do “good” things arise.
I am a stubborn person. I think it is one of those bittersweet personality traits. Being stubborn though usually means I learn things the hard way.
One of those golden nuggets of wisdom I recently learned the hard way is this: Just because we ‘are capable or have the skill’ to do something doesn’t mean that we ‘should’ be doing that something. I tried to be superwoman again: this time in front of our whole church and worse yet my family suffered in the process.
One skill that not many people know about me is that I can play drums/percussion. I began playing in middle school and continued through high school. I absolutely love music and playing music I find very enjoyable.
There is no one else in our church who play the drums, at least no one that we know of, and about 6 months after my family and I started attending our church I was asked to practice with the worship team. I was so excited to be asked! I was really nervous though because I had never actually played a full drum set before, but I have always wanted to.
I spent very little time considering what saying yes meant during this season of my life and so I began attending worship practice and quickly became a part of the worship team. In my mind’s eye I thought, God gave me the talent of playing drums so I need to use it, especially at church. Then, about 6 months into signing up for the worship team, I felt God leading me to also help with our church’s youth ministry.
So before I knew it, I was serving on the worship team and leading youth ministry practically every Sunday. Both of these commitments were not just on Sunday morning though. I had worship practice Wednesday nights and Sundays before church; plus, I was preparing lesson plans and activities for Sunday youth class throughout the week and also preparing and hosting the once a month youth night events.
As the year progressed, I added a few others things because they all seemed “good”, like a bimonthly book study with other moms from church, a weekly homeschooling moms support group, and I signed our oldest son up for TaeKwondo.
I am sitting here shaking my head and chuckling a bit as I type just in disbelief that I did it again. I took on so much at one time, especially during this very demanding season of my life with young children. When I started on the worship team our boys were 6 months and 3 years old. Wow was my head in the wrong place. Honestly, I think even someone trying to do all this who doesn’t have young children would be headed for overload.
Around September of last year, I could see the writing on the wall, our household was in constant chaos, I was exhausted all the time and not a very patient mother or wife. Deep down I knew something had to give and it was most likely one of the church ministries. But for awhile longer, stubbornness took the upper hand and I thought if I just made a few changes and navigated things a little differently I could still do it all. I was also feeling a great deal of guilt about possibly having to step away from the commitments I had made.
Of course I was wrong about being able to do it all and near the end of the year I was speeding toward burn out. It became clear that I needed to make some drastic changes in my life right away. My natural instinct was to just drop everything possible, but I knew this wasn’t the right solution.
I remembered a book my mother-in-law had told me about that discusses this very topic of making decisions. It is the book I quoted earlier, The Best Yes. I read through this book as fast as I could and it really lit a fire in me to change my poor habits regarding decisions and commitments. I so appreciate Lysa TerKeurst’s honesty and raw emotions she shares in the book. She really opened my eyes to making wise decisions.
Reading The Best Yes gave me clarity about my situation. I was really being quite selfish and I was asking my family to sacrifice a whole lot in order for me to participate in all these outside activities. With all the things I was trying to do I became a person I did not want to be; I was impatient with my hubby and children and I fell behind on my responsibilities at home. I was not giving my best to my family because I had overcommitted myself once again. Not to mention the fact that I looked like the Tasmanian Devil every Sunday morning and then I would just crash when we got home from church. I knew this wasn’t what God had planned for me or my family. Something had to give. It would have been great if I had been wiser from the start. As they say, hindsight’s 20/20. Sometimes we just have to live and learn don’t we?
After spending a great deal of time in prayer, discussions with my hubby, and seeking counsel from spiritual leaders and friends, I knew that resigning from the worship team was the best choice. There were so many fantastic moments I experienced while on the team and although being on the worship team is a “good thing”, it is not the best thing for me during this season of my life. It was not an easy decision to make, but I know its the best choice and I have peace about it.
I don’t regret the time I spent on the worship team. The group of people involved are amazing and we really built a strong bond amongst the group. Maybe some day I will be able to be a part of the team again, but I know right now is not the time.
Looking back though it is easy to see how quickly we can pile commitments on our plate, especially when it’s “in the name of The Lord”. Being stuck in the crazy cycle of overcommitment is not healthy. Understanding what it means to give my ‘Best Yes’ has been life changing for me. The art of a delayed response is a really valuable skill and one I am in the process of learning. In our fast paced world taking time to respond is anti-cultural. And when you are used to always saying yes, saying no feels awkward.
In the midst of doing all these things to ‘serve God’ I see now that I was really robbing myself and my family of the true joy The Lord wants us to experience. I was trying to ‘do it all’ at the expense of many priceless things. Learning to slow down in our lives and in our decisions is critical to living well-balanced, joyful lives.
It has been almost four months since I resigned from being on the worship team. I won’t lie, seeing that empty seat behind the drum set every Sunday is difficult. It was really painful the first few Sundays after resigning, but the pain is diminishing a little bit each week. I have to keep reminding myself that ‘just because I can, doesn’t mean I should’. I can honestly say that I am living with much more peace. I do not feel constantly stressed and our home is more peaceful. Although a hard one to make, I know I have made the best decision for this current season of my life. Our church family has been so loving and supportive during this difficult decision.
I am still serving on the youth ministry because I feel God has really called me to this ministry. I have a good friend who has been helping me with this ministry for the last several months and I am hoping my hubby will be able to get more involved too. I also have others in the church who are coming forward to help with this ministry so I will be able to delegate much more to them. I have also stepped away from some of the other smaller commitments I had made.
I wanted to share this recent struggle I went through and the wisdom I gained from it in order to help others who may be struggling with a similar situation and who are prone to overcommit, like me. Moms, we are already superwomen, just taking care of our families and homes. God doesn’t want us to be doing this life thing totally frazzled and crazy busy.
Doing ‘good’ things is good, but not at the expensive of our joy or our family’s joy. I believe God will be glorified more when we slow down, look at the big picture, and be more intentional about what we say yes to. As wives and mothers, our decisions do not just affect us. Through this experience, God showed me that just because I have a skill or ability that can fill a need outside my home, doesn’t necessarily mean its the right time for me to fill that need.
If you are stuck in the crazy cycle of overcommitment I want you to know that you can get out. Before you start retreating from all your commitments though, seek God’s wisdom on how to proceed. I highly recommend reading The Best Yes too. I pray that The Holy Spirit will give you guidance on how to reduce your commitments according to His will and to slow down so you can breathe in the joy He desires for you and your family.
May His grace shower you today.
Hi! My name is Mandy Jo.
Thanks for visiting my blog! Being a mom in this modern age is a blessing, but no cake walk. So many expectations are imposed on us and it can be overwhelming and often discouraging.