Posts Tagged ‘JC Penney’


My Favorite Things: Walmart Savings Catcher…



savings catcher logo

It’s about to get weird. I’m going to say something nice about Walmart.

This Yankee would seriously rejoice if Target ever came to our sleepy little town, but alas, we are just fortunate to have a tiny JC Penney and one giant Walmart. Thus, much of my everyday and weekly shopping takes place at the latter, whether I like it or not.

The only other game in town for a grocery store is a regional chain that I absolutely adore. There’s only one problem–they have the world’s smallest aisles and the longest checkout lines in the history of man. Despite several efforts on the part of the town and the local management to coax them into giving us one of their “Whole Foods” type stores, we are stuck with this seriously overused and tiny store. H-E-B? Are you listening over here???

Thus, I find myself shopping at Walmart because I just can’t take the claustrophobic nature and lack of selection at H-E-B anymore. But, Walmart does give me one thing that I probably won’t ever be able to get at their competitor–their Savings Catcher app.

This free app does a lot of stuff, but honestly, I don’t use the other features. I don’t even explore them. I just tap the Savings Catcher menu choice and “rock and roll.” When I get a register receipt from Walmart, I click my app, click Savings Catcher and scan the QR code (those square do-hickies that look like ancient video game pixels gone wrong) at the bottom of my receipt with my phone. Almost instantly, Savings Catcher tells me it’s got the entire contents of my receipt in my phone. And, if I want, it will show me the entire receipt in a much easier-to-read display on my phone. Why is this a good idea?

Because Savings Catcher instantly looks for the closest stores to me and compares the prices of all items on my receipt for lower prices at the close stores. Even though I live in a small town, Savings Catcher manages to compare 15 different stores in my area, including dollar stores and a pile of other places that I probably didn’t even know carried the items I bought.

It then sends an email to me telling me that it has my receipt and it’s comparing prices. They warn you that it may take 72 hours to do that. Then, I get another email that the comparison process is complete. If they found cheaper prices at another store, they offer to put the difference(s) on an e-gift card for me. With another click, it’s on an e-gift card!

I started using this app in August and I now have $ 15.47 saved on an e-gift card from 14 receipts. I will grant you that this is not going to buy me the BMW convertible I’ve been eyeing for forever, but it might buy a few stocking stuffers this Christmas. And they did the work for me–I didn’t clip coupons; didn’t have to remind myself how to get coupons on my phone, didn’t have to wait eons for a rebate and didn’t have to type in some promo code in some box. I generally stick the receipts in one of my bags and then when I unload the bags at home, get out my phone and scan the receipt then, so it’s pretty easy to remember to do.

Occasionally, Savings Catcher tells me it couldn’t find a cheaper price, but as you can see, I’m saving about a dollar per receipt with this new little habit of mine. In the beginning the QR reader often didn’t work, but I have noticed this less and less, so they must be working out the bugs rapidly. Even if the QR reader doesn’t work, you just type in the TC# on the receipt which is pretty close to the QR code block. For those of us getting older, you will need your reading glasses to read that, though! And finding my reading glasses sometimes is an effort! But, I’m enough of a Scot to go looking for them for this purpose.

I confess that I haven’t tried redeeming the e-gift card yet, but as I said, $ 15 can get used for stocking stuffers, so I plan on checking out this part of the “equation” soon. Have you tried Savings Catcher? If so, I’d love to hear what you think of it and how much you have saved. I’d particularly love to know if you’ve tried redeeming your e-gift card and how that went for you. Comment below to share your thoughts.

Yes, I suppose I could participate in Black Friday and save even more money, but if I think clipping coupons is too much work, do you really think I participate in Black Friday?

Monday’s Post: Can you pronounce adscititious?

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100 Things I Plan to Do Now That I Don’t Share My Home with Teens or Kids…

on her feet

Warning: You may want to get 2 beverages first.

The reality is that I started doing a lot of the following a long time ago. But perhaps the contemplative point is that we parents often don’t have time to realize just how much we change our previous lives when little ones enter our lives. Why don’t we have time? Just read below and you’ll probably figure it out. Here’s what I either am doing now that the kids are all out living their own lives or plan to do in the next few years:

  1. Use up all the hot water for my shower.
  2. Take fewer cold showers, thanks to # 1.
  3. Quit doing a 1 am check of the living room for bodies playing Xbox Live after bedtime. And people wonder why I’m an insomniac.
  4. Stop turning off all the lights in their end of the house.
  5. Pet the dog.
  6. Sip coffee on my back porch and do more of # 5.
  7. Have a 2nd cup of coffee on the back porch.
  8. Actually water my plants.
  9. Put photos in a photo album and actually use the hope chest for hope.
  10. Talk to my husband about something other than what part of the house now needs to be repaired and which kid needs some “active parenting,” thanks to their latest “issues”.
  11. Remind myself why I married the hubby…besides the fact that he makes a pretty good dad.
  12. Spend all day in the Container store.
  13. Actually go in an IKEA store. Hey, I live in a small town.
  14. Go to Toys R Us and play with the toys instead of telling someone not to play with the toys.
  15. While at Toys R Us, laugh wickedly at the moms telling their kids not to play with the toys.
  16. Quit saving Limited, Too and Delia’s coupons.
  17. Shop in stores filled with expensive, breakable items.
  18. Actually venture into the china department at Macy’s.
  19. Sit in a fast food restaurant, away from the Playland.
  20. Go to matinees of non-animated movies on a weekday.
  21. Make an exception to # 20 for movies with “minions” in them.
  22. Have leisurely meals out with friends without worrying about having to pick up a kid from an extracurricular activity or put one to bed.
  23. Quit instinctively putting my arm across the passenger seat when having to stop quickly in the car.
  24. Put things in the back seat without worrying about which car seat it’s closest to.
  25. Buy a sports car again (Yes, once upon a time MaryAnn owned something other than a mini-van and an SUV. Hard to believe, hunh?)…after the college moving years.
  26. Have a Bachelor/Bachelorette watch party with my BFFs. Don’t hate.
  27. Travel half as much as my hubby…buy a bigger suitcase.
  28. Haunt Sam Moon to buy the bigger suitcase…on a weekday.
  29. Stop closing down all the stores that stay “open late” during Christmas season because the hubby can only watch the kids for 1 long Saturday each December.
  30. Stop listening for the “silence.” Revel in it, instead.
  31. Stop lecturing and replace that with pointed, “open-ended” questions.
  32. Read a book all in one sitting, like Hop on Pop.
  33. Put treats in children’s hands instead of smacking them for reaching for the cookie jar right before dinner.
  34. Yank out those infernal safety plugs in my outlets.
  35. Take the safety latches off the cabinets with dangerous substances in them, like chocolate.
  36. Organize the Tupperware cabinet and pots and pans cabinet and marvel at how it stays that way for a whole day.
  37. Read the owner’s manual for my new cell phone.
  38. Beam that my car interior no longer contains science experiments gone awry in the back seat, random cheerios, and the missing puzzle pieces.
  39. Take the parental controls off the TV and home computer (They turned out to be a complete waste of time anyway with kids who were weaned on computers, etc.) Heck, throw the home computer out, since we all have smart phones, iPads, iPods, Xboxes, and laptops.
  40. Use the wedding china and wash it by hand.
  41. Buy necklaces that actually could be destroyed by chubby hands yanking a little too hard.
  42. Wear dangly and hoop earrings again.
  43. Leave the door open without expecting company in the bathroom at the most inappropriate times imaginable, like when I’m reading Hop on Pop.
  44. Take showers without toddlers to save time on Sunday mornings.
  45. Stop cutting up everyone else’s food while mine gets cold.
  46. Stop evaluating furniture based on child-friendly features such as being indestructible during a nuclear bomb attack.
  47. Use cloth diapers for dust rags instead of burping cloths.
  48. Save money for retirement.
  49. Pay off the mortgage.
  50. Buy a dress when it’s at full retail price…in white.
  51. Quit buying spray ‘n wash, bleach, sunscreen, aloe vera gel, Benadryl cream and bug repellant in 5 gallon drums.
  52. Quit buying the 21 pack of lunch box sized chips.
  53. Snuggle with my hubby on the couch in the living room and watch the Cosby show without having to move game controllers first.
  54. Still laugh at # 53.
  55. Make a real pizza.
  56. Stop closing drawers…everywhere.
  57. Marvel at the balance in the checkbook.
  58. Marvel that the checkbook is actually balanced.
  59. Marvel that you can now balance the checkbook online. This happened while I wasn’t sleeping at night, right?
  60. Talk to my girlfriends on the phone without having to say, “Just a minute…” and then putting my hand over the receiver while I berate some errant child.
  61. Quit giving the “look” to my children from across a crowded room. Instead, give the “smile” to my hubby across a crowded room.
  62. Move the beer and the wine into the main refrigerator.
  63. Make room for # 62 by getting rid of lunchables, juice boxes, juice, Gatorade, and the Pedialyte.
  64. Get rid of the freezer and the side of beef and whole hog that used to inhabit it on a regular basis.
  65. Start stocking up on the “noisy” toys to give my future grandchildren. Laugh wickedly when their parents realize  that these toys don’t come with an optional ear bud plug-in.
  66. Add on to my Christmas village collection and put it on a really low table.
  67. Use tweezers to actually tweeze something, as opposed to pulling out splinters.
  68. Quit explaining what plethora means.
  69. Marvel at how trash cans can stay empty for an entire week.
  70. Marvel at how the bathroom sink can stay clean for longer than 5 minutes.
  71. Marvel at the difference in color of the floor when it doesn’t have ketchup on it.
  72. Marvel at how the former boys’ bedrooms no longer smell like a gym locker.
  73. Marvel at how bathroom towels remain on the towel bar, neatly folded.
  74. Stop banning permanent markers and sharp scissors from the house.
  75. Give away the “Sex Talk” books.
  76. Stop saying, “We only talk about that at home.”
  77. Stop having a panic attack when I hear a school bus approach.
  78. Actually leave the house without having to return to the house 5 times for the favorite blankie, teddy bear, cheerios snack container, extra diapers and stray church shoe.
  79. Use the oven for something other than a frozen pizza or frozen cookie dough.
  80. Let my hair grow longer than my chin and refuse to put it up in a ponytail.
  81. Contemplate my navel.
  82. Stop eating food that’s “cute” or smiling back at me with a fruity set of lips.
  83. Stop evaluating restaurants based on whether they have a drive-thru lane, happy meals, a kids menu or a Rooty-Tooty Fresh ‘n Fruity option.
  84. Go back to “school” shopping for me. I plan to buy books with $ 20 words in them, try on oodles of cute blazers, vests and blouses that actually require ironing, and get myself a really, really tiny purse.
  85. Use the Irish linen tablecloth my dad gave my mother after returning from being stationed in Scotland without being concerned for its permanent demise.
  86. Use my grandmother’s hand-tatted lace placemats more than once a year.
  87. Listen to my music in my car.
  88. Be thankful I no longer know all the words to the songs on Barney, whether I wanted to know them or not.
  89. Take a trip without the children and not write a novel for the person responsible for caring or checking on our children/teens.
  90. Arrive somewhere on time or maybe…wait…can it be…5 minutes early. Be still my heart.
  91. Stop bribing the dentist’s receptionist to watch my kids while I’m in “the chair.” She now drives a Mercedes. Must have a wealthy spouse.
  92. Stop paying babysitters Steve Jobs’ last annual salary for 1 hour of babysitting because your children are that “challenging.” I heard, last week, that those sitters now own JC Penney.
  93. Start investing in Apple instead of paying them.
  94. Observe my children, not to correct or praise their behavior, but to notice which up and coming companies are worthy of my e-trade money.
  95. Sleep in without worrying about whether a kid got up for school on time.
  96. Stop buzzing through the living room every 15 minutes when the boyfriend or girlfriend is over for the evening.
  97. When I stub my toe, stop exclaiming “Sheee’s a really nice person” or “Dammmmmmmmmmms are places where beavers live.”
  98. Stop looking around before I open my lingerie drawer.
  99. Be a little wistful that one era of my life has passed and…
  100. Admire the adults I now refer to as my offspring because they stopped being kids a long, long time ago, in spite of their flawed parenting. 



Wal-Mart Behavior on 2/13…



I first put this on FB a few years ago, but having spent some time at Wal-Mart last weekend, I can assure you that our little town’s Wal-Mart will be almost identical to this today:

Some folks think that Wally World is, quite frankly, “The Devil”. (Adam Sandler would be so proud.) This would be particularly true of the folks who used to work there, like two of my children. 

But the store comes in mighty handy for a variety of reasons in “my domain,” (Jerry Seinfeld would be so proud.) since I don’t have the option of a Target nearby. It’s close to my house; it’s open 24 hours a day for those nights when you’ve run out of cough syrup and your kid can’t stop hacking; it’s cheap; it has wide aisles (Anyone from JC Penney listening to this??? Hint, hint.) and it’s one-stop shopping.

I spend so much time at Wally World that the LSH once said he was simply going to deposit his paycheck there and let them debit our account because that’s where all our money went anyway. So, on my 89th trip to Wally World this week (and I have another trip already planned for tomorrow, because I forgot one more item I need for this weekend) I noticed something very interesting….

There are nearly as many people at Wally World on February 13th as there are when the school supply lists first come out! And that time of the year is plain nuts…the only diff between that time of the year and this time of the year would be that the very same aisle is awash with red, pink, white and black as opposed to psychedelic colors on a sea of pocket folders.

I first encountered a sea of humanity by a giant display of every rose bouquet imaginable…let’s get the crud out of here! I then tried to get down the stuffed toy aisle…too many baseball caps, sweatshirts and jeans and honestly…testosterone.

I then tried to go down the Valentine candy aisle and it was full of shopping carts and purses and women on cell phones with frustrated looks on their faces (My bet is that Junior forgot to give his mom the note that said she needed to provide 24 treats for the class tomorrow and they couldn’t be red in color.).

I gave up and decided to just cruise through the sock aisle to pick up some better “walking sox” and of course, in my rush to get back to the checkout before Kyle deadened my car battery from rocking out to tunes in the car, had to go through the ladies lingerie section…..not a soul anywhere around those lacy, frilly, red numbers. Actually, very little pedestrian traffic at all in that section.

Nooooo comment.

Tomorrow’s Post: Love Letter to My Readers