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Posts tagged with: tax refund

Saying No to Amazon Prime Days


Did you all survive Amazon Prime Days?? I was amazed at how pervasive this sale for a single store was! There were temptations to buy things we don’t need everywhere I looked. Friends and influencers alike on Instagram were all rattling off deals. I saw news headlines covering it and promoting the top steals. It’s the new Black Friday!

We did consider buying something for our business, so I got sucked into the site for a little while. The item we really needed wasn’t on sale, so I didn’t end up buying anything. But I felt myself getting weak. I started considering items for Christmas gifts just because they were on sale.

Prime Days is a prime (ha!) example of when stores make things sound urgent and scarce and talk you into spending money you didn’t plan to spend. They add countdowns, show your percent savings, and then—this kills me—they break it down into monthly payments. I was thiiiis close to making some impulse buys. Very crafty, Amazon.

Intentional Shopping

One nice thing about Prime Days, however, is if you’ve been wanting something and it’s in your budget, you can snag it at a great price. I respect that. I love a good deal. My sisters and I can’t even talk to each other without pointing out a recent deal we got.

But I hate it when I justify making a purchase just because it’s on a clearance rack. As I’ve been de-junking our house, donating, and selling things, I’ve realized how often we buy things we didn’t really want or need. As they say, all that clutter used to be money.

I’ve started keeping a running list on my phone of things we’re in the market for. I add things that I feel like we really need, and then I keep them on there for a while so I can (a) look for the best price for it and (b) see if I still want or need it after a few weeks. It’s amazing how time makes the heart grow less-fond.

Also, my brother-in-law recommended we try Honey, this extension on your browser that looks for coupon codes and low prices as you shop online. When I finally decide to make a purchase for the right reasons, it automatically applies them at checkout. It’s come in handy a few times already.

Seeing Clearly Despite the Marketing

A few years ago, I read that it helps your kids if you teach them how marketers advertise to them. So now sometimes when we see a billboard or a commercial, I’ll ask my kids, “What are they trying to sell you? What do they want you to do?” It’s been a good exercise for me too. The typical answer? They want you to want and buy something.

We run a business so I get that marketing is part of the gig. I worked on marketing teams when I was a copywriter. So I understand that marketing is how businesses grow.

But I’m trying to check my personal spending more. Am I buying something because I’m bored? Tired? Stressed? Or it just seems like a good deal? Do I really need this thing, or should I use what I have? Is this really something I want to take care of and add to our house?

The holidays are coming, so the marketers are going to work hard on us. I’m going to try to think more for myself and shop more wisely.

I Love to Support Small Businesses…but $8 for Tea?!


While my parents were here, our tiny town hosted a downtown event titled “Sip N Stroll.” The purpose and concept was great. Our main street committee or organization, I’m not sure what you call it, has really worked hard to create events centered around the downtown area to drive traffic to the businesses there.

And although they cancelled the large annual Harvest Festival this year due to COVID, they have created several new smaller events to supplement. I, for one, am both grateful and impressed.

What is Sip N Stroll?

I digress…the Sip N Stroll encourage visitors to roam the downtown area with a $10 bingo card to be signed by the 13 participating downtown businesses. If you got at least 7 to sign your card, you earned a free ticket to an event at the downtown theatre (about a $5-10 value.)

And while you were strolling, each business provided a snack type food and your choice of alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink. They were sample size drinks, but it was good fun. I dragged my mom along and we were able to walk about a block of it together. (My dad was on standby to pick us up as we knew she wouldn’t last long but it was a fun way to exercise.)

New Business during COVID

During this event, we discovered a new business…a nutrition business per se. At least nutrition is part of their name. They were sampling their wares, and were actually opening the next day. They had a tea and a protein donut.

I was thrilled – low sugar, caffeine, healthy…score! We don’t have anything like that here at all. And I was super impressed that these women had pulled it together to pen a business during COVID when we have seen multiple businesses failing.

They are obviously bootstrapping it and that is totally okay. I am rooting for them!


I stopped in this morning on the way to take over care-taking duties from my dad. The owner quickly informed me that aren’t taking credit cards yet, which was fine. There were so many options that I told her to choose for me.

A few minutes later, I had a large tea in hand, specialty tea mind you, and a price tag of $8…$8 for just the tea! Granted, it is a really large tea, larger than Starbucks Venti just for reference, but still $8!?!

I don’t know about this…but I’m still wishing them the best of luck. With that price tag though, it will have to be a treat rather than a regular purchase. Which in my mind is counter productive when you are trying to build a location based business in a tiny little town. But I have been wrong before…

Supporting Small Businesses

As I was driving away with my decidedly delicious tea, I got to thinking of ways I could support small businesses more. I mean, I get my staples from Walmart and Amazon. But this month’s challenge is Christmas shopping

I have seen lots of posts on FB where people request their friends post links to their businesses to encourage supporting one another. I thought it might be neat to do here. If you have a small business or Etsy store or something similar that people might want to shop for Christmas presents, would you post it in the comments. I, for one, still have a number of Christmas gifts to get and the more I can support entrepreneurs, people’s side hustles and creatives, well, that’s all the better!