Help Abused Animals for FREE When You Visit this Website


Recently I wrote a post about ways to donate to charitable causes, even when you do not have much money.

Well, I have a new one for you that is easy and can be done right from the Live Simply, Live Thrifty, Live Savvy homepage.

I have added a Social Vibe widget to the homepage that allows you to click, complete an activity, and donate food to abused dogs at SPCALA.  It’s that simple.

Here is a screen shot of the widget that can be found right above the “Recommended Resources” on the right-hand side of the screen:

Make sure to head there today to do your part to help animals in need.  And when you make a Social Vibe account of your own, you can encourage others to support the causes that you are passionate about– no money required.

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Financial Disaster Averted– Coupons to the Rescue


I'm back on the road to coupon savings again...

Recently I discussed my coupon concerns regarding the changeover from coupons featuring UPC bar codes to coupons with the newer GS1 DataBar.

In my original post, I told you how I went to Wal-Mart, and they could not scan, and therefore would not accept, the coupons that only had the GS1 bar code on them. If you would like to read the original post, here it is:

Attention Couponers: What does GS1 Mean to You?

In my follow-up post, I shared the feedback that I received from a Wal-Mart representative when I contacted the corporate office about the coupon acceptance issue, along with the test that I did to see if the coupons would actually work. If you would like to read the follow-up post, here it is:

A Step in the Right Direction Regarding Wal-Mart and GS1 DataBar Coupons

I promised to follow-up after I went to the store and was able to redeem more coupons featuring the GS1 bar code. Well, I was much overdue for a visit to the store, so on Saturday my husband and I headed to Wal-Mart to stock up. I brought along a stack of coupons, some bearing both UPC and GS1 bar codes, and some bearing only GS1 bar codes. I was able to redeem all of them, and the GS1 coupons scanned without issue.

Yay! I'm a happy shopper again!

I am very glad and relieved to have this problem resolved in such a short time. I was afraid that it might take months, and in the meanwhile, I would be forced to spend more without being able to use coupons.

Much thanks to Wal-Mart for taking care of this issue in such a speedy manner. If your local grocery, drug, or discount store is not accepting the GS1 coupons, I would definitely recommend that you contact the store’s management or corporate office to have the issue looked into. GS1 is the wave of the future, so all stores will need to adjust their systems to accept these coupons.

If you are still having issues with these coupons, feel free to comment below, and share your experience with us.

Happy couponing! 😉

Posted in Coupons, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Giveaway Results: One Lucky Winner Better Get their Creative Hat on…


I want to thank everyone who entered the giveaway for 250 custom 2″x3.5″ adhesive stickers from UPrinting.

Thank you as well to our sponsor UPrinting for providing us with such a fun giveaway opportunity.

I love hosting these giveaways sponsored by UPrinting, because the prize is not one-size-fits-all. Rather, it gives you guys a chance to be involved in the creative process to create an end product that is truly personal and suits you perfectly.

Congratulations to THEHARVARDGIRL, the winner of the 250 Custom Stickers from UPrinting!

And now without further ado, here is our random winner that was generated using Random.org: THEHARVARDGIRL

The winner will receive an email from Giveaway Blogs and/or UPrinting, confirming that they are indeed the giveaway winner and allowing them to claim their prize. Please make sure to check your spam to ensure that you receive this all-important email, as you will not be able to claim your prize without it.

If the winner is so inclined, it would be really cool if they would come back to this blog post, and leave a comment to share how their custom stickers turned out.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the giveaway.

To find out more about UPrinting, go to their websiteblogFacebook page, or Twitter page.

Thanks to our giveaway sponsor UPrinting!

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GIVEAWAY Reminder: Last Chance to Win 250 Stickers Designed by You!


One winner will receive 250 custom stickers from UPrinting!

Did you know that you have less than 24 hours left to enter the latest giveaway to win 250 custom 2″x3.5″ adhesive stickers from UPrinting?

The giveaway ends tomorrow, Sunday, January 29, 2012 @ 5 PM CST.

For more details and to enter, go to the giveaway post below:

GIVEAWAY: Act Quickly to Win 250 FREE Custom Stickers from UPrinting!

I want to thank you all for following the giveaway directions so excellently, and being so clear and detailed in your comments. That is extremely helpful to me, so I appreciate it.

Winners will be announced in a blog post after the giveaway ends.

Best of luck to everyone who enters! 🙂

Posted in Free Stuff, Giveaways | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Aw, How Sweet!


I love when people do unexpectedly nice things. It just makes my day! 🙂

So I thought it was all too sweet that this ‘lil blog was mentioned by Wellness Mama in her latest blog post about other blogs that she likes to read.

Wellness Mama– Blogs I Read

Too kind! Plus if you are looking for some new blogs to check out, she provides a great list.

Make sure to check out the Wellness Mama blog, and show her some love while you are there. You can also find her on Facebook as well.

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GIVEAWAY: Act Quickly to Win 250 FREE Custom Stickers from UPrinting!


SORRY, THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

Hello, all! I have a brand new giveaway opportunity for you guys. But I need you to act on this one quickly, as it will not be a week-long giveaway like normal. Our gracious sponsor needs to get their giveaways wrapped up prior to the end of the month, and we are getting very close to that.

I took a poll awhile back on what items that you guys wanted to win from UPrinting, and I ran a giveaway for your first choice that time. Well, this giveaway will be for your second choice. 🙂

One winner will receive 250 custom stickers from UPrinting!

Here’s what you could win: 250- 2″x3.5″ custom stickers printed on 70 lb. matte adhesive label stock (front only printing) with free shipping– value over $40! Processing turn-around time is 4 business days.  Imagine the creative possibilities!

Number of winners: 1 winner will win the custom stickers from UPrinting as described above. Winner will be chosen randomly from comments on this blog post using Random.org.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. 1 Entry: ‘Like’ UPrinting on their Facebook page, and then leave a comment on this blog post to confirm that you have done so.
  2. 1 Entry: Follow UPrinting on their Twitter page, and then leave a comment on this blog post to confirm that you have done so.
  3. 1 Entry: Tweet how you will use the stickers if you win the giveaway, and at the end of the message include the UPrinting Sticker Printing URL http://www.uprinting.com/sticker-printing.html; then leave a comment on this blog post to confirm that you have done so (provide tweet URL link in comment if you know how to obtain it– click for instructions).

Giveaway ends: Sunday, January 29, 2012 @ 5 PM CST

Additional details and regulations:

  • Open to US residents only, must be 18 years of age and above to enter.
  • Only email addresses used for the giveaway will be eligible to claim the prize.
  • No prize substitutions allowed.
  • Winners are allowed to win only once over a 6-month period.  In other words, if you have won a UPrinting.com giveaway on this website in the last 6 months, unfortunately you will not be eligible to win until that time has passed.
  • Maximum of THREE comments/entries per person, please. Additional comments will be disqualified.
  • In order to be entered into the giveaway, you must complete the requested action and LEAVE A COMMENT on this blog post to confirm that you did. No comment= no entry. Also, I should be able to clearly relate each comment to each action that was done, so please state specifically what you did when you leave the comment (example: “I ‘Liked’ UPrinting on Facebook”). Please leave one comment per action taken (not one comment stating that you did all actions).
  • You are free to comment on other pages or posts, but comments on any page or post, other than this particular giveaway post, will not count as an entry in the giveaway.
  • If you have any questions on how to enter, feel free to leave a comment below to ask (it will not count as an entry) or on the blog Facebook page.

We want to thank our sponsor UPrinting for providing us with such a fun and creative giveaway opportunity.

Make sure to enter the giveaway right away, as time is ticking on this one, and please don’t hesitate to share this giveaway with your friends that may be interested.

For more information on UPrinting, you can visit their website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

Giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting

Disclaimer: “You should assume that the owner of this blog has received free print products in exchange for the post. Any and all reviews posted are based solely on my own experience and may be atypical. Please practice due diligence in making any related purchase decisions.”
Posted in Free Stuff, Giveaways | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Giveaway Results: One Lucky Winner is Getting Some Help from Scrubbing Bubbles…


I want to thank everyone who entered the giveaway for the Scrubbing Bubbles One Step Toilet Cleaner.

I also want to thank all of you for the fantastic cleaning tips, tricks, and techniques that you contributed in your comments. It sounds like you have some practical ways to stay on top of your household cleaning responsibilities. Many of the things that you shared are things that I want to keep in mind to make my own cleaning duties easier.

Congratulations to the winner of the Scrubbing Bubbles One Step Toilet Cleaner!

And now without further ado, here is our random winner that was generated using Random.org:    MELISSA

The winner will receive an email from Live Simply, Live Thrifty, Live Savvy confirming that they are the winner, and requesting their contact info (don’t forget to check your spam). Once the winner replies, I will ship out their prize via USPS.

If the winner is so inclined, it would be really cool if they would come back to this blog post after trying out the product, and let us know how it works out for them.

For everyone else, it might be worth it to take a few minutes to read all of the great comments that were contributed as entries, as they featured some applicable tips on how to make household cleaning easier to do.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the giveaway.

Melissa, you should be receiving your prize soon. Happy Cleaning!

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Product Review: VSL#3 Probiotics Provide Positive Results for Digestive Systems in Distress


Digestive issues– who wants to talk about them?! Not me. But strangely enough, my husband was recently watching a documentary on the Kennedy family and their private home movies which repeatedly referred to JFK’s bouts with ulcerative colitis. This disorder plagued him from the time that he was young, and if I did not already know the end of the story, I would have assumed that it would have kept him down.

The truth is, many of us suffer from digestive issues. Therefore, probiotics have grown in popularity as a way to control all of these disorders. Probiotics provide good bacteria, which can fight the bad bacteria that can lead to stomach and bowel upsets. Probiotics can also boost our immune system, and assist us in losing weight. If you would like more information on probiotics, what they do, and why they are important, check out this favorite article that explains it best: The Right Probiotics for Your Stomach Problems and More.

Recently I got the chance to try out some higher-grade probiotics called VSL#3 The LivingShield. VSL#3 is a medical food designed for the dietary management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis (UC), or ileal pouch (IP), and is intended to be used under the supervision of a physician. Unlike some other over-the-counter, lower-grade probiotics that can be used by anyone, this product is really for those who have been diagnosed with a digestive ailment.

Since I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome a while back, I normally drink plum juice, eat prunes, eat cereal and oats for fiber, take fiber pills, and take store-bought probiotics. Even with all of that, it is still difficult to control my condition and get the results that I desire. So I was excited to try out these better probiotics.

You may be asking what makes these probiotics better than the ones that I have from the local health food store. Well, it’s all in the numbers. The kind that I was taking previously had 25 billion viable cells in each capsule; the VSL#3 has 225 billion per serving (2 capsules). That is about 28 times stronger than the average probiotic, and 100 times more potent than Align, a popular brand in probiotics. These pills are shipped and stored cold in order to maintain the maximum active potency of the cultures. And they contain 8 different strains of beneficial bacteria, including the all-important acidophilus.

I started taking these probotics during the holidays, and they managed to keep my system in check throughout that stressful time and beyond. They seemed to provide the results that I was lacking when taking the lower-grade probiotics. I think they have also played a role in helping me to maintain and build upon the weight loss that I had started previously. I have lost up to 5 pounds more since taking these pills, despite some questionable eating habits both during the holidays and since. I know others, too, who have lost weight simply through the use of probiotics. Additionally, I have not experienced a lot of the bloating that I normally deal with.

VSL#3 is over-the-counter, and you can obtain the product by ordering online at the VSL website, by phone at (866) GET-VSL3, or through participating pharmacies that stock the refrigerated product. There are three different options available, including a flavored powder, an unflavored powder, and the capsules that I took. VSL#3 offers one of the lowest costs per CFU (colony forming unit) of bacteria amongst all probiotics, and since probiotics in general are not cheap, it makes sense to go with the one that provides the best results. The probiotics that I normally take cost $32.99 for only 30 lesser-strength capsules, while a bottle of VSL#3 capsules is only $52 for 60 capsules (twice as many in quantity and much better in strength). You can also get a discount by ordering 2 or more. It is going to be difficult for me to go back to the lesser-grade versions, so I am thinking that I may have to start purchasing these instead. Also the fact that those other versions are not refrigerated really makes me question their effectiveness.

There is plenty of information located on the VSL#3 website, including medical research studies that have been conducted regarding the usage of VSL#3 and specific product details, so if you suffer from digestive issues, I would definitely recommend checking them out further. Your digestive system will thank you for it.

Disclaimer: Though VSL Pharmaceuticals and their associates  provided me with the referenced probiotics samples and related information to use during this product trial, I was not coerced or directed to make the commentary featured above, and all thoughts are completely my own.  Additionally, I was not paid for completing this review. 
Posted in Health and Beauty, Product Testing & Trials | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

GIVEAWAY Reminder: Last Chance to Win a Scrubbing Bubbles One Step Toilet Cleaner!


Did you know that you only have 24 hours left to enter the giveaway to win a Scrubbing Bubbles One Step Toilet Bowl Cleaner?

The giveaway ends tomorrow, Wednesday, January 25, 2012 @ 5 PM CST.

For more details and to enter, go to the giveaway post below:

GIVEAWAY: Win a Scrubbing Bubbles One Step Toilet Cleaner!

I want to thank you all for following the giveaway directions so excellently, and being so clear and detailed in your comments. That is extremely helpful to me, so I appreciate it.

Winners will be announced in a blog post after the giveaway ends.

Best of luck to everyone who enters! 🙂

Posted in Free Stuff, Giveaways | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Step in the Right Direction Regarding Wal-Mart and GS1 DataBar Coupons


Have you been having trouble redeeming newer coupons that look similar to this? Hopefully a solution is on the way...

In my recent post Attention Couponers: What does GS1 Mean to You?, I discussed my discovery that coupons with the new GS1 DataBar on them and without the traditional UPC would not work at Wal-Mart. The reason for the problem is that Wal-Mart’s coupon policy requires that they scan all coupons, and these new databars could not be scanned. According to the comments from you readers that I received in response to my post, printables, insert, and package coupons all had the new GS1 codes on them.

As mentioned, I put in a media request with Wal-Mart to find out if they were aware of this issue, and what they were planning to do to resolve it. I had previously contacted my local store on numerous occasions to no avail– both employees and managers had not even heard of GS1.

I was getting a little worried until I received an emailed response to my request yesterday. Here is what a Wal-Mart spokesperson said and that they wanted me to pass along to you in regards to this issue:

“Walmart is working on improving the acceptance of all GS1-format paper coupons. In the interim, stores have processes in place to first visually verify the correct item is being purchased and then manually key the coupon for redemption.”

I was glad to have received a response, but concerned at the prospect of cashiers having to learn a new system, and how long the process would take. I checked Wal-Mart’s online coupon acceptance policy to see if any changes had been made, and I did not see any. I contacted the representative back who provided me with this information for further clarification, but I have not heard anything further.

Today I had to go to Wal-Mart to pick up my son’s birthday cake, so I decided to do a little test. I brought just a couple of coupons with me– one with both a UPC and GS1 on it, and a new one with only the GS1. I also printed out the emailed response that I had received from Wal-Mart as back-up in the case of a problem.

I was shocked to find that both my regular UPC coupon and the new GS1 coupon were both scanned without issue! I even confirmed it with the cashier to make sure that I had seen correctly, and she laughed and seemed blissfully unaware as to why I would be concerned.

So this is definitely a step in the right direction. Next time that I head to the store, I will use some more GS1 coupons to confirm for sure that there will be no further acceptance problems.

If this is the case, that means that Wal-Mart may have already solved the problem completely. However, as much as I hope that this change is across the board at all Wal-Mart stores, I cannot be sure, so if you can provide some insight either way on what your experience is, that would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to comment below.

At least according to this blog’s stats, it seems that coupon users are starting to pick up on this change. Here are some of the web searches that are connecting people to this blog within the past week: “upc on coupons,” “what do the numbers mean on new gs1 codes coupons,” “no upc bars on the coupons,” “does target take gs1 coupons,” and “coupons printing without upc.”  This public awareness is a good thing, as it will encourage stores to update their systems and policies ( if they have not already done so) to accept these coupons.

Pretty soon coupons with these UPC bar codes on them will be a thing of the past.

Posted in Coupons, Shopping | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments