Category: Tips

Target Now Offers Subscribe & Save

Target now has a Subscribe and Save feature similar to Amazon’s program.  Both Amazon and Target offer free shipping on all S&S items with no minimum purchase.

This week Target is taking 20% off your S&S order (along with an additional 5% off if you’re a RED card holder).

I’ve compared prices on a few items to give you an idea of whether or not you would save money.  Keep in mind that prices change all the time so this may not be the case in a few months or even weeks or days.

Item Amazon S&S Price (5% off retail) Target S&S Price (no RED card) — this week 20% off Verdict
Method All Purpose Cleaning Spray – French Lavender (28 oz) $15.16 for 4 bottles ($3.79/bottle) $2.66/bottle Target saves you 30% per bottle
Cottonelle Ultra Comfort Care Double Roll Toilet Paper (32 Rolls) $23.89 ($0.75/roll) $14.87 ($0.46/roll) Target saves you 38% per roll
Bounty Select-A-Size Paper Towels (Huge Rolls) $29.89 for 12 rolls ($2.49/roll) $15.83 for 8 rolls ($1.98/roll) Target saves you 39% per roll
Tide Pods Laundry Detergent Spring Meadow Scent $18.26 for 77 pods ($0.24/pod) $14.39 for 72 pods ($0.20/pod) Target saves you 17% per pod
Method Hand Wash Gel Sweet Water Refill (34 oz) $28.44 for a pack of 6 ($4.74/34 oz package) $3.81/34 oz package Target saves you 20% per package
Bounce Outdoor Fresh Fabric Softener Sheets (240 count) $9.47 for a package of 240 $3.81/34 oz package Target saves you 20% per package


For this week, with Target offering 20% off their Subscribe & Save price, Target is saving you a ton of money over Amazon.  After the 20% off promo ends, it still looks like Target generally saves you more than Amazon.  If you are in a state where Amazon doesn’t collect sales tax, that may make a difference as well.  Target’s selection is also quite limited compared to Amazon’s huge selection.

As for me, I’m off to load up my Target S&S cart with a ton of things we’ll need around the house!  Will you be switching over to Target S&S?

2014 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Shopping Tips

Early Access for the 2014 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starts TOMORROW!  OMG I can hardly contain myself.  According to the online chat customer service, the website will be updated at midnight PST with everything available in the sale.  I will definitely be staying up to see what they unveil!  I also have a shopping appointment tomorrow during the day with one of my friends.  We go every year together and its now an unofficial tradition of ours 🙂

After shopping the sale for a number of years now, there are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way that I’d like to share.

1. Know what goes fast and go for that first

Nordstrom Hinge Victoriana Jacket
This Nordstrom Hinge Victoriana Jacket sold out instantly on the first day.

There are always 1-2 hot items from the sale that will sell out immediately.  One year, it was Tory Burch boots.  Another year it was the beautiful jacket above that was featured on the cover of the catalog.  This year, I’m not quite sure what it will be.  Perhaps the Vince Two-Tone Coat or maybe the Rag and Bone Moto jacket.  If you aren’t able to shop early access, or if the item you want sells out, don’t worry, there is separate stock allocated to the public sale as well.

2. Be a Nordstrom Card Holder!

Nordstrom Visa Signature Card
Nordstrom Visa Signature Card

Besides being the absolute prettiest card in my wallet, Nordstrom card holders get to shop Early Access which starts 8 days before the public sale.  This is great for the impatient shopper like me who wanted to see the catalog in June!  Haha!  Nordstrom card holders will earn double points during the sale towards Nordstrom Notes (e.g. gift certificates).  Nordstrom card holders also have special perks like free alterations and when you shop enough to be in the higher levels, there are things like invitations to the holiday party and private parties.  I’ve been to the holiday party and it is SO MUCH FUN.  Not to mention, the past few years it has been 10 points per $1 spent on your Nordstrom card!

3. Make an appointment with a sales associate

If you typically shop with a stylist all year round, then this will be easy. I’m sure your sales associate will have already called you to make an appointment!  If you’re like me and don’t normally shop with a sales associate then you’ll have to just find someone to book with.  I called my favorite department a few weeks ago and booked an appointment with someone.  Working with a sales associate is great because they can help you track down your favorite items and they can also help pull all of the items you’re interested in and put them aside in a room for you so that you don’t have to deal with the chaos of the first shopping day if you don’t want to.

4. Make a list of what you want from each department

In preparation for your shopping appointment, make a list of all the must-see items from each department you want to visit so you don’t forget anything.  If you’re shopping the first day of early access or the first day of the public sale, it gets pretty crazy in the store.  If I don’t make a list, I tend to forget about things and I will blow my budget and forget to buy some of the essentials I came for!  I try to mark down department by department what items I want to check out in the catalog.

Will you be shopping the sale on Thursday (or next Friday)?  I will be online at midnight eagerly awaiting the site re-opening with the Anniversary items, then at the store on Thursday bright and early!  Can’t wait to see what you all get! 🙂


Faucets – Who knew they were so complicated!?

Hope you had a great long weekend!  Our kitchen faucet has been leaking for a few weeks now and we finally decided on the weekend that it was time to do something about it.  We went to Costco and Home Depot to check out what they had and there are SO many options that it is hard to decide what to do!

Here’s some thoughts and what I learned today in my crash course on faucet buying 🙂

Hansgrohe Metro Faucet
Hansgrohe Metro Faucet – Available at ($199.99)


  • We currently have a faucet with the handle that is top mounted but I think we want to switch to an arc faucet with a side mounted handle.  It just seems more modern, and while the side mounted handles confuse me, I am sure I’ll get used to it after living with it.
  • We definitely want to be able to pull out a head so that we can easily wash the sink.

Materials & Build Quality

  • I noticed that many of the faucets in HomeDepot are now made in China and feature plastic pull down heads.  I think we want something a little higher quality. The MOEN Indi faucet is made in the USA, though the few Kohler ones I looked at were made in China.
  • Costco’s Hansgrohe faucets are advertised as solid brass construction.  Initially, I thought this was great, since my parents faucets are all brass and have lasted 40 years!  However, I’ve been doing some research on brass and it seems like all brass has some lead in it that may leech out.  All faucets sold after January 2014 must conform to a new Safe Drinking Water Act which limits the amount of lead leeched into drinking water from the faucet.
  • Stainless steel is another option.  According to this website, it shouldn’t have any lead.  It also says that not all stainless steel is created equal and that we should look for 304 stainless which is 18% chromium and 8% nickel.
MOEN Indi Faucet - Available at HomeDepot ($238)
MOEN Indi Faucet – Available at HomeDepot ($238)


  • We definitely want to have the option to switch between spray and shower on the flow.  However, one thing I didn’t realize was that some faucets won’t let you switch mid-stream and some force you to hold down a button for shower.
  • According to reviews, Hansgrohe Talis C requires you to turn off the water to switch it from spray to shower and back.  The Hansgrohe Metro requires you to hold down a button for the shower.  I think that might be a deal breaker for me.
  • Another consideration is the flow rate.  I read on the HomeDepot reviews that the MOEN Indi that I liked has a water saving feature, meaning the flow rate is really slow.  The specs say 1.5 gallons per minute, though I can’t really picture how slow that is.  Perhaps I’ll measure my current one, as I’m pretty happy with it.  I’ve seen other faucet spec sheets that say they do 2.2 gpm so there is definitely a range.

After all of that, I think I’ll have to check out a specialty plumbing supply store this week to see what is available at the higher end since I’m not really happy with any of the choices I saw on the weekend.

Where to find Athletic Girls Apparel

This year, I wanted to buy a friend’s daughter athletic apparel for her Christmas gift. She’s a gymnast and this was something on her wishlist.  I searched the mall but apparently athletic girls apparel (in the size range 7-16) is hard to come by!  I had no trouble shopping for her brothers, but I guess the market for girls athletic apparel is much smaller.

I wanted to share where I was able to find success since it was a bit of a frustrating endeavor.

JC Penney

JC Penney was the most promising in store.  They had a wide selection but only from their house brand Xersion.  Besides that, they carried only 3 Nike apparel items.  I ended up choosing a hoodie, tank top and yoga pants from the Xersion line for my gift.  The hoodie was soft but I guess it remains to be seen how well the yoga pants hold up to wear.  Online, the Nike selection is much wider and there are a few more Xersion items as well.


I was terribly disappointed in the abysmal selection at my local Macy’s.  I’ve purchased (girls) Nike workout pants in store before, so I was expecting to see more than just 1-2 different Puma items.   The online selection is much improved, with a full selection of t-shirts, pants and jackets for Puma and Nike.  There are also Columbia and The North Face coats online.


In store I found a few Nike and Under Armour items but at full price they were a little out of my budget. has a lot bigger selection but most of it is full price.  They also have Zella Girl online, which I didn’t see in store but its possible I could have just missed it since I’ve seen it in the past.  They also have Patagonia and The North Face coats.

Fred Meyer

I found absolutely no girls athletic apparel at Fred Meyer!  They have a small selection of Russell Athletic and Under Armour for Boys. Perhaps they have some in the spring/summer season but there wasn’t any when I shopped in December.


I didn’t get a chance to check out standalone sporting goods stores like REI and Sports Authority.  I know that REI has technical wear all year round for babies, girls, boys and adults, however if I remember correctly, most of the kidswear is REI brand and is definitely functional vs. fashionable. 🙂

Perhaps it is due to seasonal priorities that athletic apparel isn’t well stocked at the mall this time of year, but it was a bit frustrating trying to find something cute that my friend’s daughter would love!

Tips for Shopping at Macy’s

Macy’s typically has sales just about every week.  That can be a little aggravating since it feels like as soon as you buy something, it only gets cheaper next week!

I have found that the best prices are when you’re able to combine a coupon for $10 off a $25 purchase with clearance prices in store.  These coupons seem to only be issued during One Day Sales events (which are a misnomer… as they always last 2 days).  I’ve started tracking Macy’s One Day Sales on this page.  The next one coming up is January 3rd and 4th, 2014.

Here are my top tips for shopping at Macy’s.

Open a Macy’s Card

The day you open a Macy’s card, you are eligible for an additional 20% off your entire purchase.  This is combinable with whatever coupons or other discounts are available in the store that day.  You will also receive coupons throughout the year.  I’ve gotten 20% off entire purchase (or 15% off home), $15 off a purchase of $50, $25 off a purchase of $100 or $50 off a purchse of $200 or more.  I would say the 20% off coupons are the ones I most commonly receive.  Occasionally, I’ve seen $15 off a purchase of $30 coupon.  All of the coupons they send me have a printed code on the bottom for use online.

Shop the semi-annual Friends and Family Sale

Twice a year, in April and November, for a full week Macy’s holds its Friends and Family sale. They will take 25% off your purchase with a lot fewer exclusions than any other sale or your cardholder coupons. This is the time of year to buy brands like Wusthof, Henkels, jeans from Impulse, Michael Kors, Coach and many other brands that don’t typically have any discount at all. There are still exclusions, just a lot fewer than the normal list. You can also pre-sale your merchandise starting the week before. What this means is you can purchase but you can’t take it home with you until the following week when the sale starts. You can always check that the price hasn’t gone down further when you pick it up. If it has, the sales associates can adjust it for you.

Shop the monthly One Day Sales

I don’t know why Macy’s insists on calling their monthly sales “One Day Sales” when they are always 2 days! They typically hold extended hours for this sale and have specials that conclude at 1pm each day.  I have found that the best prices of the month tend to be during One Day Sales.  They also occasionally issue coupons for $10 off a purchase of $25 of sale/clearance apparel and select home items, though I have found it extremely frustrating to shop the home selection with this coupon since everything seems to be excluded and the coupon doesn’t actually list the exclusions. One Day Sales also often coincide with a Beauty Gift with Purchase Event, though not all of them do.

Compare and in-store prices

I have had success asking store associates to match the price in the store if I need something right away and its cheaper online.  This is particularly true in the home department.  The associates usually have no problem adding any additional coupons to the transaction.

Thanks for Sharing Program for Cardholders

In September, the Thanks for Sharing program launches and for a $25 enrollment fee ($10 of which goes to charity), you will receive 10% back of your Macy’s card purchases as a reward in February. So if you spend more than $250 during the Fall quarter at Macy’s, it is worth signing up for this program. If you don’t sign up, associates bug you until you do!

Things to Know


Macy’s only accepts 1 coupon per transaction.  If you have a 20% off coupon and a $10 off $25 purchase coupon, figure out which one yields a better result.  If you’re not sure, I’ve found that the associates are happy to scan both and help you figure it out. also only accepts 1 coupon code per transaction.

Sale/Coupon Exclusions

The list of brands that never go on sale or are excluded from coupons is typically the same for every sale with the excpetion of the Friends and Family sale.  They are:

All-Clad, Eileen Fisher, Emporio Armani, Tommy Bahama, Breitling watches, Burberry, Coach, Dooney & Bourke, Dyson, Ghurka, Gucci, Henckels, Juice, Lacoste, Lalique, Lauren/Polo/Ralph Lauren/Denim & Supply, Levi’s, Le Creuset, Lladro, Longchamp, Marchesa, Michael Aram, MICHAEL Michael Kors/Michael Kors, The North Face, Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, kate spade, Sperry, Star Power by Spanx, Sterling flatware, Swarovski, Tumi, Vera Wang, Louis Vuitton, Wacoal, Waterford China/Crystal/Silver, Wusthof.

Everyday Values (EDV) are never included in any sales

There are a few items around the store with special Everyday Value hang tags. These items never go on sale and coupons never apply to them! Typically these are a bit more fairly priced than other items in the store and are usually basics like a set of plain Carter’s onesies for babies or Charter Club t-shirts for women.

Free Shipping on Orders

Your order of $99 or more always ships free without any additional codes required. However, it needs to be $99 or more after all discounts have been taken off.

Occasionally they also run promos where your order ships free if it includes a $50 beauty purchase or they will lower the purchase requirement to $75.