Back-to-School Shopping Smarts: 9 Ways to Save


Girl drawing back to school

Summer break never feels long enough for parents who have already started prepping for the upcoming school year. According to data collected by the Rubicon Project, 40% of parents with children in grade K-12 are getting a head start on back-to-school shopping two months before the first day of class. With school shopping lists getting longer and supplies getting pricier, it’s no surprise families have spent over 40% more on back-to-school products over the last decade.

Though your son or daughter’s education is priceless, there’s no need to blow your money on school supplies. Study these 9 smart shopping strategies to save time and money on back-to-school lists.

Shop at home.
When you go grocery shopping, you generally have a good idea of what’s filling your ‘fridge and pantry. Take the same approach with back-to-school shopping and search around the house for any supplies you already have or can reuse. If there are optional items on the supply list, hold off on buying those until you’re absolutely sure your student needs them.

Know what to buy in-store & what to order online.
The customer-service firm Stella Service has reported that the average cost of purchasing a typical list of school supplies in a store was 41 percent cheaper than buying those same items online, as reported by Consumer Reports. Though it’s wise to stick to traditional retailers for notebooks and pencils, you should research deals online for backpacks, sporting goods and sneakers since you have a wider selection of products and prices available at your fingertips.

Compare prices on the fly.
Who has time to drive from store to store to compare prices? Luckily, the ShopSavvy app provides instant price comparison by snapping a picture of the barcode so you know the cheapest price on any good across retailers, both in store and online. If you’re shopping online, use the Invisible Hand browser extension to get price alerts in case what you’re shopping for is sold elsewhere for less.

Time your purchase.
They say timing is everything, and that’s especially true for back-to-school shopping. Those living in or near states offering tax-free holidays should shop these days to save on sales tax. Since summer clothes are on clearance, it’s best to load up on tee shirts and shorts and hold off until September and October for fall apparel, including denim. If you’re unsure of the best time to buy items, use tools like TrackIf.com or the SnapUp app to track prices for you. Finally, continue tracking prices even after you make your purchase, since stores including Kohl’s and Target will offer price adjustments.


Buy second-hand clothes.
As all parents know, kids grow out of clothing so quickly that it doesn’t make sense (or cents!) to purchase full-priced garments. Instead, shop second-hand at local thrift or consignment shops, or online at websites like thredUp.com. In addition to buying clothing for less, you can sell items your kids have outgrown for credit toward the upcoming season’s purchase. Otherwise, consider hosting a swap with family and friends who have school-aged children. Everything from unused notebooks and crayons to sneakers and clothes can be traded to help each other save big bucks.

Shop smart for sports and other activities.
In addition to school clothing and classroom supplies, many parents have to buying sporting equipment and musical instruments to support their kids’ activities. Shopping smart for these pricey items can help you save big bucks. For example, Play It Again Sports offers gently-used sporting equipment for up to 90% savings compared to department stores. You can also shop online for musical instruments and save with coupon codes. For example, CouponSherpa.com currently has a promo code for 10% off American Musical Supply, where acoustic guitars start at $199.

Know where to find coupons.
Retailers will release store-wide and sitewide sales during back-to-school, but you can often find coupons and promo codes to save even more. Scour your favorite deal site for extra 10 to 30% savings, plus special deals on specific back-to-school products. Also, sign up for retail newsletters to receive a first-time subscriber coupon. For instance, GAP offers 25% off to new e-newsletter subscribers. Deal bloggers like TheKrazyCouponLady.com will help match coupons with store sales, saving you time in the hunt for the best bargains.

Use social media.
Stores reward customers who like, follow, post, tag, pin, tweet and retweet, offering social media fans exclusive coupons codes and special savings. Like a brand on Facebook or follow them on Twitter for a chance of unlocking special savings. Create retail lists for easy-to-browse sales and instant offers. Check in to a retail location on Foursquare for freebies and coupons and track prices with Pinterest. Ultimately, it pays to be social!

Look for last year’s model.
More grade-school kids are carrying smartphones and are required to have tablets or laptops. Unfortunately, these devices are quite expensive. To save big bucks, opt for last year’s models or consider refurbished. A previously-owned and certified laptop, tablet or smartphone from Apple, Samsung, AT&T or Verizon comes with a warranty and can save you anywhere from 20 to 40%. You can also trade in old gadgets and smartphones at such sites as NextWorth.com or to retail stores including Target and Best Buy for cash or store credit.

School Bus

*Andrea Woroch is a consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. As a sought-after media source, she has been featured among such top news outlets as Good Morning America, Today, CNN, Dr. OZ, New York Times, MONEY Magazine, Huffington Post, Forbes and many more. For more information, visit AndreaWoroch.com or follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice and tips.

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Go on a an adventure this summer (and year round)


Treasure Map

Summer time is a great time to go on a family adventure. For some that might mean a vacation to an exotic location. For others it might mean camping in the mountains. You don’t even have to far to go on an adventure. You can create your own adventures at home in your own backyard.

Growing up I spent my summer vacation with my cousins. Many times we bounced back and forth between my home in New York and my cousin’s home in Pennsylvania. Where I lived we were close to the mall and the movies. In P.A. we were in a more rural location, so we had to create our own adventures. Thank goodness my cousins and I had great imaginations.

I remember staying at a hotel when all my aunts and uncles went on vacation and my cousins and I would pretend to be Charlie’s Angels. I was always Kelly Garett (Jaclyn Smith). My blonde cousin was always Jill Munroe (Farrah Fawcett). And my other cousin was Sabrina Dunan (Kate Jackson). My male cousin got to play numerous roles – he was Charlie, Bosley and the bad guy. We used to chase him all over the hotel, trying to capture him. It was a lot of fun.

My cousins and I also made forts in the woods behind my house and we’d go on “archaeological digs” looking for dinosaur fossils or buried treasure. My home was located on a site of an old farm so we really did find big bones (cow bones). We also found snake eggs (dinosaur eggs).

Oh how I miss being little. I also feel like my kids missed out on a lot of magical adventures not having a yard to play around in.

As a parent I did my best to create adventures with my kids at home or at local parks. I also encouraged them to read. Reading is a wonderful way to go on adventures around the world and even to a distant planet. The possibilities are endless.

Another way to go on an adventure is simply tuning in to Netflix. Netflix has a lot of programming that can sweep anyone off to a magical land or far off location.


One show worth tuning into is Dragons: Face to the Edge. It’s an all new Netflix original series based on the critically acclaimed How to Train Your Dragon.

Soaring beyond their home on the island of Berk in search of new dragons, Dragons: Race to the Edge introduces some of the most exciting dragons yet, each with its own amazing abilities — shock waves, cannon balls and fire blasts, just to name a few.

With the magical Dragon Eye, an artifact Hiccup finds aboard an abandoned ship, Hiccup learns there is more outside the confines of Berk, and that a little curiosity and determination can make every day an exciting journey. In Hiccup’s own words, “this changes everything.”

I haven’t had a chance to tune in yet because I have been trying to take my kids on adventures during summer vacation (the beach, museum, New York City…).

Check out the trialer for the new series.


It looks cool!

Netflix sent me some fun goodies based on the new series.


Dragons Race to the Edge


My apologies for the horrible photos.

Since my kids are a bit older than the target demographic for this series I gave the goodies to my boss. She babysits a little boy who is obsessed with How to Train Your Dragon and everything that has to do with those characters. He still wears a hat I gave him last year that resembles Toothless – even in the summer months!

As per my boss he was THRILLED with the goodies. I’m happy. I knew he would be.

I donated the sidewalk chalk to my job.

I LOVE the idea of using Doritos and Bugles chips as “Dragon Claws.” That is such a fun and creative idea – great for any Dragon themed party you might be hosting too.

Netflix has other programs that can help inspire you and your family to go on your own adventures.


Sofia the First: S1E12, Two to Tangu

Bo on the Go: S1E11, Bo and the Dragon Queen

The Adventures of Puss in Boots: S1E6, Fountains


How to Train Your Dragon 2

National Treasure

Planet Earth

I LOVE National Treasure (part 1 and part 2) and I truly enjoy watching Planet Earth episodes. Our world is a beautiful and amazing place.

Netflix has some new episodes of favorite series as well as new movies you might be interested in checking out too.


Penguins of Madagascar: The Movie (7/15)

H2O: Mermaid Adventures: Season 2 (7/15)

Marvel’s Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.: Season 2 (7/28)

Turbo FAST (new episodes 7/31)

Do you and your family like to go on adventures? What is your most favorite adventure of all time (current or from your youth)? I always love to hear from readers. Feel free to share your stories.

For more information about Netflix visit www.Netflix.com. Netflix is also on Facebook and Twitter.



*I was not compensated for this post. I receive a free membership and goodies in exchange for my participation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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Let’s Learn: Kindness available on DVD July 21, 2015 from Nickelodeon


Let's Learn Kindness

Being a parent is the most rewarding “job” in the world. It’s also the hardest. There are so many life lessons you need to teach your children.

Thanks to Nickelodeon you can reinforce “kindness” with their newest DVD release – Let’s Learn: Kindness. It’s the newest addition to their Let’s Learn series.

The new DVD features episodes about kindness from popular series including Blue’s Clues, Dora the Explorer and Bubble Guppies.

Nickelodeon’s newest DVD, Let’s Learn: Kindness sets out to teach some of life’s biggest lessons including good manners and forgiveness. This delightful DVD features six super-polite episodes of Nickelodeon’s popular franchises Wallykazam!Bubble GuppiesDora the Explorer, Team UmizoomiBlue’s Clues and Ni Hao, Kai-lan as the characters learn the values of friendship, manners, teamwork and more! With over 140 minutes of social-skills fun plus a bonus educational worksheet for on-the-go learning, Let’s Learn: Kindness is a must-have for every growing and loving child. Created by Nickelodeon and distributed by Paramount Home Media Distribution.

Let’s Learn: Kindness includes the following episodes:

Wallykazam! –  “Totally Swamped” – Wally’s grumpy neighbor, Stan of the Swamp, won’t give back his new glider unless Wally can make him laugh– a real challenge since Wally has never even seen Stan smile! Can Wally use his magic stick to make “M” words that’ll get a chuckle out of the swamp monster?

Bubble Guppies – “The Glitter Games!” – Molly helps Demanda, an aspiring princess, with her manners. Together they’ll become true princesses in the hallowed Glitter Games!

Dora the Explorer– “Por Favor!” – Dora and Boots read a fairytale about a young kinkajou, a cute and cuddly forest creature, who is destined to be king.  The kinkajou loses his crown because he doesn’t know the magic words “por favor.”  Dora and Boots set off to teach the kinkajou the magic words. Along the way, they encounter knights, dragons and talking drawbridges.

Team Umizoomi– “Stolen Lunches!” – The team is visiting their friend’s school when The TroubleMakers steal all the kids’ lunches!  Milli, Geo and Bot take off in hot pursuit to get the lunches back before The TroubleMakers reach their secret picnic spot.

Blue’s Clues– “Blue’s Sad Day” – Something is making Blue sad, so we play Blue’s Clues to figure out what it is. Along the way, we help our Felt Friends label their feelings and skidoo into Blue’s school to help her classmates figure out how to resolve difficult situations and emotions.

Ni Hao, Kai Lan– “Kai-Lan’s Carnival” – Kai-Lan and her friends wake up early today because there’s a carnival in the backyard with game booths, prizes and rides! Stompy the elephant is almost finished building a Rollercoaster Rocket Ride that everyone wants to ride. When Rintoo and Hoho throw some balls at another game booth, they accidentally break Stompy’s rocket.  It’s up to Kai-Lan and the viewer to help Rintoo and Hoho realize that if they cause a problem for someone else, they need to say sorry and help to fix it.

Let’s Learn: Kindness will be available on DVD on July 21, 2015 (today!) for the suggested retail price of $14.99. It has a run time of 142 minutes. Look for the DVD where ever DVDs are sold.



*I was not compensated for this post. I am sharing this information for the benefit of my site readers. Any opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted. 

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PicsArt Releases New Version of ‘PicsArt for Kids’ App With A Focus On Education and the Arts



I am totally amazed at the variety of applications available for your devices. My kids are teenagers and even in their short lives technology has grown by leaps and bounds. Kids these days have amazing things available to them.

I love trying out new apps – even ones geared towards children. I work with children so I like to keep up-to-date on the latest and greatest children’s applications.

One app I’ve been having fun with is called PicsArt for Kids. It’s a free app that has a focus not only on education and the arts, but also on FUN!

Kids love to draw and color. They also like to learn, especially when the learning is done is a way that is fun and entertaining. When kids are having fun they don’t realize they are learning too.

National Kids Day is this August 3, 2015. In honor of this day PicsArt, the company behind the app PicsArt for Kids, has launched the app for Android devices.


PicsArt launced the app to spark the imagination and creativity among children ages 3-8. The new app comes with brand new ways for kids to learn, grow and create with the latest animation tools and the removal of in-house ads. This represents PicsArt’s ongoing efforts to provide users of all ages with new ways to create beautiful images with a kid-friendly interface.

“Curiosity and creativity are two things that go hand-in-hand for children experimenting with art.” said PicsArt CEO, Hovhaness Avoyan, “With this new app update, we’ve added features that provide educational value for kids without compromising the creative spirit at the core of our apps.”

PicsArt is a great photo editing application. It allows you to do some pretty amazing edits with you photos.

PicsArt put that same level of attention and detail into their PicsArt for Kids app. The goal is to inspire children to create amazing things through the use of interactive animations, sounds, music, a variety of brush stokes, outline shapes, games and more.


I have tired out several drawing and coloring apps, but so far none of them have impressed me as much as PicsArt for Kids. It’s so easy to use. Even three year olds can easily navigate throughout the app.

I love that the app offers a variety of colors for kids to choose from, not just the primary colors. I think access to more colors and really let a child’s imagination go wild.


It’s more than just coloring and drawing. The app also teaches children to draw the various shapes and how to turn those shapes into things. For example, the app shows children how they can turn a circle in a cat, dog or snowman. It also shows you have to take a wavy, banner-like shape and turn it into a horse or a peacock. As an adult I thought that was pretty cool. I can doodle but never would I think to take such a shape and turn it into a horse.

The sounds effects are fun too, as well as the sweet music that plays in the background (the music can be turned off if needed).

PicsArt for Kids app offers children A LOT of coloring pages. I was pleasantly surprised by the number of coloring pages I found. There are plenty of coloring pages to excite any child including princesses, cars, animals, dinosaurs, monsters, under the sea and more. The coloring pages are super cute too and there are plenty of details in each one that children can color. They are not just basic shapes with 2 or 3 areas to color. These pictures are a lot like coloring pages you find in a book.



In addition to the dozens of free coloring pages available in the app, kids can also get access to new coloring pages via in-app purchases. These pages help them develop a sense of color and shape, and teach them how to draw using brushes and other artistic tools. Kids now have access to high-resolution support from the app as well, which helps them grow comfortable with mobile art creation and prepares them to use PicsArt Photo Studio as they advance.

As a mom I can see the value in such a wonderful app. If my children were younger I would certainly give them this app to play with. I plan on recommending it to the people I know with young children. It is, by far, one of the best coloring and drawing applications I have ever had the pleasure of trying out.


If you would like check out PicsArt for Kids app visit the Google Play Store. You can also find the app on the iTunes store.

If you would like to connect with the PicArt’s 65 million users check out the community section at www.PicsArt.com.

What do you think about the PicsArt for Kids app? Does it look like something you would like to check out for your child or grandchild? The app is FREE and I recommend checking it out.

If you already use this app feel free to share your thoughts about it.



*I have partnered with PicsArt for Kids app to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Nickelodeon Bunch of Play Dates now available on DVD


Nickelodenon Bunch of Play Dates

Nickelodeon fans young and old might be excited to learn about a new DVD that is available today (July 7, 2015) where most DVDs are sold. Nickelodeon Bunch of Play Dates features many beloved Nickelodeon characters all in the same DVD collection. Characters include Dora the Explorer, Bubble Guppies, Wonder Pets, Go Diego Go, Blue’s Clues, Team Umizoomi, Ni Hao, Kai-Lan and The Fresh Beat Band.

Everyone’s favorite Nick preschool stars are ready to party and play in this one-of-a-kind DVD collection, Nickelodeon Bunch of Play Dates. This three-disc collection is jam-packed with over seven hours of educational and musical fun. Viewers can explore their musical side with six song-and-dance filled episodes, take a trip out west for a rootin’ tootin’ good time, or explore their imaginations with six nursery rhyme and fairy tale-themed episodes. Featuring eighteen episodes from Dora the ExplorerTeam UmizoomiBubble GuppiesGo, Diego, Go!The Wonder Pets!Ni Hao, Kai-LanThe Fresh Beat Band, and Blue’s Room, this exciting collection is available at a hot, low price!  Created by Nickelodeon and distributed by Paramount Home Media Distribution for a suggested retail price of $19.99.

Nickelodeon Bunch of Play Dates includes the following:

Disc 1: Dance to the Music

  • Dora the Explorer – La Maestra de Musica
  • Team Umizoomi – Butterfly Dance
  • Bubble Guppies – We Totally Rock
  • Go Diego Go! – The Iguana Sing-Along
  • Wonder Pets – Save the Beetles/Fiddler Crab on the Roof
  • Ni Hao, Kai-Lan – The Ants Dance
  • Special Features:
  • Bubble Guppies: Sing-Along Music Videos
  • Bubble Guppies: I Need to Rock!
  • Bubble Guppies: Rock It!

Disc 2: Rootin’ Tootin’ Wild West

  • Bubble Guppies – The Cowgirl Parade
  • Team Umizoomi – Shooting Star!
  • Dora the Explorer –Pinto, The Pony Express
  • The Fresh Beat Band – Hip Hop Hoedown
  • Go, Diego, Go! – The Great Roadrunner Race
  • The Wonder Pets! – Save the Pony Express
  • The Wonder Pets! – Help the Groundhog!

Disc 3: Once Upon A Rhyme

  • Bubble Guppies – Who’s Gonna Play The Big Bad Wolf?
  • Team Umizoomi – The Umi City Treasure Hunt
  • The Fresh Beat Band – Royal Wedding
  • Dora the Explorer – Dora Saves The Three Little Piggies
  • The Wonder Pets! – Help the Cow Jump Over the Moon/Save the Unicorn
  • Blue’s Room – Little Red Riding Blue

This awesome collection has a run time of 420 minutes – enough to keep your child/grandchild entertained all summer long.

What do you think about this fun collection?

Nickelodeon Logo


*I received a free copy in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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eKAVACH Mobile Solution – Digital Parenting Simplified

** This is a guest post provided by eKAVACH. The opinions expressed are that of the author’s and do not reflect my own. 

Children Technology

eKAVACH is an advanced parental control  app designed for parents to guide and monitor  today’s demanding and technology savvy children. Simple to set up and use eKAVACH  gives parents  the info they need about their children’s online world at a glance.  KAVACH is an Indian word which means shield.

Technology is the epicenter of all our lives today — especially our children’s.  The online content they ingest and consume has a profound impact on their social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development.

eKAVACH  helps families make smooth transition into Digital Parenting . eKAVACH offers the  most trusted library of independent age-based and educational ratings and reviews for sites and apps which can be allowed or clocked from the Parent’s smart phone.  The Parent Concerns and Parent Blog help families understand and navigate the problems and possibilities of raising children in the digital age.

eKAVACH sets up healthy limits, block objectionable sites, and keep kids safe. Parents can manage  the apps their kids use, the searches they conduct, sites they visit, and manage screen time.

eKAVACH offers sufficient parental supervision and control over a child’s activities across various digital horizon which can guaranty  concentrated learning outcomes for your children.

Parent Child Technology

These days It’s hard to understand the threats that lie beyond a click. The thought of our children viewing inappropriate content & online predators is scary. Being physically around children all the time is difficult. Technology solutions that help parents engage and guide their kids in the digital world pro-actively & remotely will deliver value.

eKAVACH is location agnostic  usable in all geographies.


There are 2 apps for this service – a parent app to be loaded on the parent mobile phone and a child app to be loaded on the child smart device.

One of the amazing feature of eKAVACH parental control app is SOS message which you receive from your child – Just on  a click from  your child’s device, it brings you a message that you will not be able to miss. The Location details of your child is delivered by Wi-Fi location or Cell triangulation so that you can take immediate action when your child needs it most-  It’s just a click away

Other features like Safe browsing, content filtering and safe search is provided by eKAVACH for popular and  major browsers . eKAVACH also filters  inappropriate content such as pornography, sex by setting appropriate web category filter for children. 


You can control the time spent by your child in the online world by time usage management feature. This is also applicable to keep control over gaming and other applications too. These days social networking like Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter are popular between the kids . Parents can limit use of these too.

eKAVACH  also gives you flexibility to remotely Manage activities and allows family access from anywhere, anytime.  Rest assured whether you are in office or on the move, there is no need to be physically around to safeguard child’s safety and security.

This application is the perfect composite of internet monitoring and parents  can see everything that is going on in children’s digital world there will be no regret going with eKAVACH app for sure.

For more details, pls visit www.yourekavach.com

Download the FREE apps today

Parent app – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yourekavach.parent&hl=en

Child app – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yourekavach.child


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