• Yarrow Smith - Gift Guru

Believe it or not, but the holiday season is upon us (again!), and that means your shopping list is about to get a lot longer. Finding the right gifts for your family, friends, and colleagues is no easy feat. Staying on budget is even harder. I'm sharing a few ways that I use to save a little extra cash - check them out while you're planning your holiday shopping.

Shop Small + Local - Shop directly with small businesses, like Simply Gifted, of course! You cut out the middle man and save the mark ups.

Honey Browser Extension - The Honey web browser extension automatically finds coupon codes and the best deals when you are shopping online. Simply download the extension and when you go to checkout, you can choose to apply codes. I have saved sooo much money with this. Forget looking for coupon codes all over the place!

Play Hard to Get! Next time you are shopping online, leave the goodies you want in your cart, but don't check out. Most larger companies will retarget you and your abandoned cart with a sweet little coupon (usually about 20%) to close the deal. I admit, this has worked on me so many times!

Shop Early or Late The best deals to be had are usually captured by those that shop in advance and take their time making purchasing decisions (not emotional shopping!), or those that wait to get the crazy good deals last minute. Either way, plan ahead to make sure you get the best deals based on what you are looking to buy.

Sign Up Yes, I know getting tons of promo emails is annoying! That's why I leverage a secondary email address just for shopping. This not only helps you keep all of your online shopping organized in one email account, but it keeps all the marketing emails out of your regular emails as well. So, now you can get all the great member only coupons and deals without all the hassle.

Check Your Credit Cards for Points - If you're like most of us, you have at least one credit card. Is that credit card allowing you to earn points? If not, consider calling your card's backer to see if this feature can be added, or if they offer another card that does. Most cards now even allow you to connect your points account directly to sites like Amazon so you can use your points at check out. I personally use a card that allows me to earn one point for every one dollar spent, and two points on every dollar spent on food and entertainment. If you're like me and dine out a lot, it's a great card!

I hope these tips were helpful! Share your money-saving tips below!

12 views0 comments
  • Yarrow Smith - Gift Guru

I'm pretty sure the legendary Ice Cube once said something like, 'giftin' ain't easy, but it's necessary." Yeah, pretty sure that's it, wink! The art of gifting isn't rocket science, but it does take a lot of thought and creativity to turn everyday, ordinary gifts to something special. Check out four easy ways we used to take this s'mores gift basket from drab to fab!

#1 Personalization

Use personalization to make the gift a one-of-a-kind treat made just for the recipient. Good examples are zip codes or addresses for housewarming gifts, baby names for shower gifts, or monograms for wedding gifts. For this s'mores basket meant as a housewarming gift, I used the zip code for the new home's location.

#2 Upgrade Packaging

Switch items out of commercial packing and put them in fun containers, for example, store marshmallows in mason jars, wrap graham crackers in a kitchen towel tied with ribbon, and place dog treats in fabric bags. The Ball canning jar was ~$2 and the Threshold kitchen towel was $3 - both from Target. The fabric bag was purchased from the Container store and I used my Cricut to add a custom-designed iron-on.

#3 Tie it Together

Using a bit of ribbon on individual items ties them together in a theme and helps your gift look more consistent in color and feel. I used a grey ribbon on the chocolate bar and marshmallows to add a bit of flair and tie the items together aesthetically.

#4 Details are Everything

Once everything is in place, add ribbon and gift tags that match the theme to finish the look. I used light, airy tulle and a custom-designed gift tag to say 'Home Sweet Home.'

So, there you go! Four easy and inexpensive ways to take your gifting to the next level. Enjoy!

30 views0 comments
  • Yarrow Smith - Gift Guru

Is there anything better than fresh flowers?! I personally think they are one of the best gifts you can give, and they are certainly nice to have around the house to enjoy. The downside is that fresh flower arrangements can be expensive.

While doing your weekly grocery shopping, you've probably glanced over at the floral department and thought, 'I don't even know where to begin!' If you have $25 to spend and a few minutes to watch a video, I'm about to change how you feel about grocery store flowers.

Have a look at this short, 3-minute video to see how to make this beautiful arrangement, and enjoy a few tips below.

What was included in the featured arrangement:

  • One pack of fern fronds (on clearance for $1.50)

  • Two packs of assorted greenery (on clearance for 50 cents each!)

  • One pack of white europoms ($6)

  • One pack of white alstroemeria ($4)

  • One assorted bouquet with white roses, pink spray roses, dark pink alstroemeria ($8)

  • Clear vase ($4)

  • Total spend: $24.50 + tax

Tips for Buying Grocery Store Flowers

  • Always check the clearance section in the floral department. You can often find excellent deals for under $5. Be sure to inspect the flowers carefully to make sure they still have life left in them.

  • Timing is everything - check with the flower department manager to see what day(s) they get new shipments in for the freshest selection. This is likely the same day they markdown flowers as well, which means first dibs on the clearance section!

  • Don't skip the food packets - if not already included with the flowers, flower food packets are typically available in the floral department and they make a huge difference in the life of your flowers.

  • Monochromatic arrangements tend to look more expensive, so stick with the same color family, or simple white with lush greenery, for a richer look.

  • Think outside the box on containers - most grocery stores carry inexpensive vases for $3-7, but you can also check the glassware section for non-traditional containers.

Keep Your Flowers Fresher, Longer

  • Water is key - as soon as you get your flowers home, be sure to put them in water until you are ready to arrange them.

  • Trim off excess leaves and trim stem ends - leaves below the water line will promote bacteria and cut the life of your flowers short.

  • Use flower food packets and change water daily - dump out water each day and add fresh water with a food packet dissolved in it.

  • Be cool - if gifting flowers, be sure to store them in the fridge until they are ready to be gifted.

I hope you found this video and these tips useful. Share your tips below!

20 views0 comments