Three Creative Examples of April Fools’ Day Fun


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Today is April Fools’ Day. For our international readers, April Fools’ Day is celebrated every year on 1 April by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes. The jokes and their victims are called April fools.

Google has become well-known for their annual “new” features or product announcements on April 1; however, this year’s Gmail Mic Drop apparently didn’t go as planned and was pulled a few hours ago (more details here). Others, though, were very creative and were quite funny.

It’s been very interesting to see marketers get involved in sharing April Fools hoaxes and bogus products. Here are three funnies that we ran across today. Enjoy!

The Kitchen Chainsaw

Sears sent out a marketing newsletter introducing their “versatile and powerful” battery-powered Kitchen Chainsaw. Designed to “cut your prep time in half,”

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5 Rainy Day Indoor Activities for Kids

Family Living


It’s raining as I write this… probably helped me think on this topic a little more clearly. It seems that kids are particularly bummed by rainy days — especially rainy winter days. During the hot summer, a peaceful rainy day can be a welcome experience as kids often beg to go outside and splash about the puddles. But not in the winter…

So, what to do with children on rainy days like today? Or, to put things into a more “Shopping-Bargains® thrifty mindset,” what can we do on a cold, rainy day that doesn’t involve spending a lot of money?

Thankfully, there are many really great and creative options. In this post, I’ll share five that resonated with me. In no particular order, here they are:

#1 — Make Your Own Sunshine

Sunshine flowers

Valerie of Inner Child Fun presents a great idea for entertaining kids on winter rainy days. Using coffee filters and watercolor paint, she helped her children create

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5 DIY Innovations for your Home

Cutting Costs

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One way to keep your cost of living low is to DIY — do it yourself! In this article, we share five creative DIY innovations that most people can make for themselves and use in their home. Several of these money-saving alternatives can become family activities as well. Likewise, the finished product are likely to make great conversational piece when you entertain guests.

So, in no particular order, here are 5 DIY innovations for your home (with links to their free instructions and photos):

#1 — DIY Lego Tray

DIY Lego Tray

The couple behind — Jamison and Jamie — showed their readers how to build your own little Lego Tray (they also referenced instructions for a DIY Lego Table if you’re more adventurous). In their article, they provided

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SSL Enhances Trust Site-wide



We are excited to announce that early this month Shopping-Bargains® moved entirely to the SSL protocol. SSL stands for “Secure Sockets Layer” and provides a way to transmit private data securely online.

A site secured with SSL means that the connection between your web browser and the website you are visiting is encrypted and secured. In adopting this standard, we are using the same type of security and encryption found on eCommerce sites to ensure your transactions remain safe and confidential. This move impacts all of Shopping-Bargains and can be verified by clicking on the padlock icon in your web browser (usually found in the address bar above).

You may wonder why we decided to move to this enhanced level of security when we don’t require any customer data to use Shopping-Bargains. That’s a good question and one that we thought long and hard over. In short, this move wasn’t essential; however, it lines up with the industry’s best-practices as recommended by Google. If you want the long and technical details surrounding Google’s “HTTPS Everywhere” push, then you can watch this

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Savvy Shopping Recommendations for January



Savvy savings

Melissa Tosetti and Kevin Gibbons wrote the book Living The Savvy Life: The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Smart Spending and Rich Living which helps people spend less than they earn (without doing without). Complementing their book, you can also browse The Savvy Life website, magazine, and blog for even more tips and opportunities to grow more savvy in life as you shop.

Savvy Shopping Enables Savvy Living

One thing they point out about savvy living is the essential element of shopping smart. As a key component to smart living, savvy shopping requires timing your purchases. Here’s the explanation: 

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Warning: Phony Government Grant Scams on Facebook



Shopping-Bargains® is an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau of Mississippi. Apart from the benefits our customers receive knowing we are a verified business entity, we also benefit from BBB warnings regarding some of the latest scams.

Here is a new alert we received this week — it has to do with phony government grant scams posted on Facebook. With the BBB Mississippi’s permission, we share this warning with our shoppers:

Mississippi (January 5, 2016) Scammers are still in holiday season mode, stepping up their efforts to trick Facebook users with phony government grant offers. Multiple consumers have reported to BBB Serving Mississippi that they’ve been approached on Facebook by users sharing links for “free” U.S. Government grants. In the end, the grants don’t exist and the messages are attempts to steal personal information and money.

The scam generally works like this:

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Some Closing Thoughts on 2015. Welcome 2016!




With 2015 nearly behind us, I’ve been reflecting on some major events of this year. In preparing for the new year transition, and really, all of 2016, several things have come to mind — past milestones, current thankfulness, and future opportunities. So, with these topics in mind, I offer a few thoughts relating to the intersection of Shopping-Bargains® and life in general.

2015 Milestones

1 million bargains postedFrom a business perspective, 2015 hasn’t been the easiest one we’ve experienced. Internet competition is larger than ever. Likewise, the online world is changing rapidly — from the growth of mobile users to Google (and Bing/Yahoo) search formula or algorithm changes to coupon marketplace consolidation. And much more.

Nevertheless, we had some notable successes in 2015 . . .

  • We posted our One Millionth coupon/offer in early 2015.
  • On Nov. 1, we re-launched our site with one that was completely new and mobile-friendly.
  • During the year we doubled our store listings from nearly 2,000 to well over 4,000.
  • And we added a full suite of new site features including user feedback options — specifically coupon and store ratings and customer reviews/comments.

I’m Thankful For . . .

I’m very thankful for the valuable feedback from

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“More Blessed to Give…”



With Christmas just one week away, many people are now in near-panic mode. It seems there simply is not enough time (and often money) to buy all the gifts that are “needed” to fit in with our modern American culture.

So what’s a thrifty person to do in this whirlwind (headache?) of a situation? Is there hope for those of us who scour the likes of Shopping-Bargains® to squeeze everything we can out of our budget?

I think so. Let’s go back two millennia and revisit the words of Jesus Christ — after all, isn’t Christmas is supposed to be in honor of Him?

And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ — Acts 20:35 NKJV

At first glance this phrase sounds like there’s supposed to be a lot of gift-giving. Not much hope for the weary in just that, right?

But wait, there’s more! And it’s good news.

Let’s look at the rest of the passage leading up to

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CleanMyDrive 2 – Free Mac App to Manage External Drives

Free Stuff


CleanMyDrive 2

On December 8, 2015, MacPaw released their updated CleanMyDrive 2 app. This Mac app is free from the App Store and is designed to help you clean and manage your portable storage, SSD flash drives, SD cards, external drives, and more.

With CleanMyDrive 2 you can bypass Finder because all of your drives are available from the menu bar — you can easily drag-and-drop files directly onto any drive, check portable disk stats, and automatically clean hidden junk from your external drives. It’s really easy — just drag and drop any file right into CleanMyDrive 2 to copy it to the external drive you want.

CleanMyDrive 2 menu screenshotCleanMyDrive Features

If you ever wanted an easy way to see how much space is used up on each drive (and even what types of files are on them), then CleanMyDrive is for you. It presents a colorful storage bar for each of your external drives, and like the native Mac bar for your internal drive, you’ll be shown the types of files on that drive and how much space they are taking up.

CleanMyDrive is ideal for speeding up slow camera SD cards, USB sticks, USB flash drives, and so much more. And what may be even more useful, it will automatically eject your external drives for you — a great feature since most people forget to eject their external drives when they close their Macs. This helps keep all your data intact.

Finally, CleanMyDrive cleans up files which are sometimes simply hard to delete. These files include both hidden and visible service files created by OS X and Windows (which can corrupt your external drive’s compatibility with other devices).

Get CleanMyDrive for Free

So, enjoy this freebie! You can learn more about this app from MacPaw and download it from the App Store (it’s free!).

And There’s More

If you enjoyed CleanMyDrive 2, you’ll want to try MacPaw’s flagship Mac optimization software — CleanMyMac 3. Don’t forget to check out Gemini, Hider 2, Encrypto (also free!), and the other great titles from MacPaw. Also, be sure to check out our latest MacPaw promotions and free trial offers.

CleanMyDrive 2 screenshot

BBB Warning: Gift Card Online Shopping Con



gift card

Shopping-Bargains® is an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau of Mississippi. As members, we periodically receive warnings of the latest scams and dangers to consumers.

This week, we received an unusual warning with a new twist. It involves scammers requesting online payment with Amazon gift cards.

With the BBB Mississippi’s permission, we share this warning with our shoppers:

Mississippi (December 4, 2015) This holiday shopping season, be on the lookout for a new scam technique. As shoppers become wary of paying by wire transfer and pre-paid debit card, scammers are trying something new. They are requesting victims purchase and pay with gift cards.

How the Scam Works:

You are shopping online and discover a website that sells flat screen TVs, computers, cameras and other big ticket items for deeply discounted prices. You do some research, and find a few reviews from satisfied customers. The price is so great, you decide to give it a try.

During checkout, the site instructs you to purchase an Amazon gift card and use the gift card information as payment. The site may claim that this unorthodox form of payment helps you save paying sales tax.

No matter what the website says, don’t do it! The site — and the good reviews — are all fake. Paying by gift card is just like

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Thanksgiving 2015 Greetings



Thankful for you!Dear Shopping-Bargains® Shopper,

If you’re like me it’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just 2 days away. From a retail perspective, this is the busy time of the year. Thousands of sellers are preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday and trying to get everything done this week so they can still have some time off with family. It’s make it or break it time for many businesses financially as well.

So, with all these things swirling in my mind, I felt it was a good idea for us at Shopping-Bargains® to pause for a few minutes and express some gratitude. After all, wasn’t that the reason Thanksgiving was originally established?

In reality, there are many, many things that I can be (and am) thankful for. However, in coming up with a theme for Thanksgiving 2015, I wanted to keep it simple. Therefore, as a business, it really comes down to one simple thing: we only exist because you choose to shop with us.

With that in mind, and as a small family-run establishment, this year we are especially thankful for YOU. Each of you — our loyal customers! We know you have many online options but you chose to use us. And for that we are very thankful.

And so, with this in mind, we pray you’ll have a blessed Thanksgiving season. We wish you love and peace and good success both now and always. May you have more than you need and enough to share.

Let us always find ways to lift up others.

God bless you,
Mike Allen
Chief Executive Shopper, LLC

P.S. Now for a brief marketing message — if you want to enjoy some great savings opportunities of this season, here are our big sortable lists of relevant coupons and deals for:


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