How To Save On College Textbooks

With the College Board estimating that students now spend about $1,200 a year on textbooks, back to school can be exceptionally expensive for college students and their parents. To ease the financial burden of school, Alex Neal, CEO of, the leading textbook price comparison site, has the following tips to help students and parents be sure they are saving the most on textbooks this school year.

· Use’s Buy vs. Rent Tool:’s “Buy vs. Rent” tool includes a side-by-side analysis of the options available for each textbook, historic buyback prices and a purchasing questionnaire to help students make an informed decision and ultimately save them the most money. The tool uses a proprietary algorithm to recommend whether a book should be bought or rented based on the estimated value of the book in 6 months. Students should be aware of the options available to them so that they can confidently choose the option that fits their budget.

· Confirm Textbook Materials with Professors: According to’s data, nearly one in four students prefer to purchase brand new textbooks. This financial burden can be lifted by asking the professor a few essential questions about course material, such as if an earlier edition (usually substantially cheaper and with few content differences) can be used and whether supplemental materials (CD,s DVDs, access codes, etc.) are required.

· Take a Risk: If students decide purchasing the textbook is their best bet this fall, hold on to the book until next August to sell it back.’s data shows that books typically have a higher buyback rate in August since most students are buying and few students are selling books back to bookstores. Keep in mind that bookstores set prices based on supply and demand, so head in with books to sell at the beginning of the year when their supply is lowest.

· Evaluate Yourself As a Student: Some students prefer to rent their textbooks and some prefer to purchase them. Although CampusBooks’ survey revealed that 50% of students rent their textbooks, variables such as the duration of the class can make renting an inefficient choice. With eBooks, students should take caution due to some eBooks having restrictions on the amount of pages they can print, devices they can download onto and access to the text after a term is over.

· Explore Alternative Options: also features international editions and local library listings. Students can search for books by zip code and CampusBooks will show all local library results. Although you can’t highlight a library book as you would a purchased book and the time you can take out the book is also limited, this is a good option for some students since it’s free. International editions are the same book as the domestic edition, but they are often much cheaper since they are priced for their local market. American editions are typically the most expensive in the world. carries over 8 million new and used college textbooks in one convenient location. The online resource searches thousands of sellers and compares prices on new and used books, rentals and e-books for students. For more information, visit

Summer Reading into School @Scholastic #SummerReading #AD

This post is sponsored by Scholastic

If you’re watching Facebook then you’ve seen that school is starting in some parts of the country. My kids are super excited to get back into their school routines. We have school, then acting, auditions, then home for dinner a little TV and some bedtime reading. If we don’t have any auditions we go to the pool then have dinner and bed time reading. But summer isn’t quite over yet for everyone. As you know we spent the summer doing the SCHOLASTIC SUMMER READING CHALLENGE. Scholastic has joined together with ENERGIZER® to power the 2015 Summer Reading Challenge and encourage families to find innovative ways to discover the power and joy of reading. It’s not too late to take part! Now through September 4th, you can visit We have a bunch of resources for parents to keep encouraging reading with your kids.


· Unlock Original Short Stories from favorite Scholastic authors!

· Find Parenting Resources including Summer Reading printables, activity sheets, booklists and more!

· Play the Innovation Machine Game – a fun and creative writing game and contest!

· Visit “Videos in the Stacks” to receive reading tips for parents from Scholastic’s Maggie McGuire!

These are also tips to avoid “summer brain drain”, as well as the Energizer Instant Win Game. And keeping kids reading really does keep their brains from having “summer brain drain”. Zoe’s school requires her to take a pre-test to compare where she falls after the summer and there was a tiny slide in her reading. So I’m really proud of how hard she worked on reading this summer. She read so many books. Let’s see her favorites were:

Harry Potter Order of the Phoenix……………..(SHE LOVES HARRY POTTER)

Diary of an Enderdragon ……………….(Because her brother reads Minecraft books)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ………  (Worth Reading To Her Brother Aloud)

Whatever After ………………(She can read three of these a night)

The Indian in the Cupboard…………..(Because mommy and daddy said so)



About the Energizer Instant Win Game:

Energizer® and Scholastic are partnering to create the “Power the Possibilities” campaign which gives moms the tools they need to unlock their child’s talents, fuel their ambitions and set them up for future success. Parents can buy any specially marked pack of Energizer® brand batteries to scratch for a chance to win one of thousands of prizes that will power discovery and learning.

Prizes include a family trip to New York City, a Scholastic Study Corner Makeover, a tablet with Scholastic apps, a library of Scholastic books and more! Everyone who plays can also download free digital stories for their family.





Follow Along Socially:

Sign up for the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge

Learn more about the Energizer® Instant Win Game

Follow @Scholastic on Twitter

Like the Energizer® Bunny on Facebook


Back To School With AT&T LG Tone Bluetooth Headsets #Giveaway #ATTSeattle


The annual list of back to school items required from my children’s school gets longer every year. For some students, a new addition to the supplies: headphones.  With many classrooms featuring computers with interactive learning programs, headphones have increasingly become an essential item that traditionally includes pens, pencils, paper, and three-ring binders. My kids need headphones because we home school on the computer and all of it is interactive. LG Tones Promo

But if your kids are anything like mine, a simple pair of black ear buds don’t make the cut. They want multiple color options with premium audio sound and with their smaller ears the ear buds never fit correctly. .  Thankfully, AT&T is running a Back to School promo now on all LG Tone wireless stereo headsets in pink, orange, silver, gold, red, blue, black and white. From now through Sept. 24, save 10% on all LG Tone Bluetooth headsets.

We are giving a pair away thanks to AT&T.

Enter to win:


LG Tone wireless stereo headsets


To Enter:

Tell me what you like at the AT&T Store

Extra Entries:

Use Rafflecopter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Kmart Back To School Fashion Show

This is a partnered post, all opinions are my own.

I remember back to school shopping with my mom. We would go out and do it all in one day so I sort of do the same thing with my kids. We went out last week and headed out to Kmart to get back to school clothes. I had no idea their clothing was SO SO cute! It was hard to stick to budget, not because of the price because prices are so great. The reason we had trouble sticking to the budget was because I wanted to come home with a whole new wardrobe for each kid and not just a few back to school essentials.

Check out these three looks for girls (they have such cute dresses):



With brands like Piper, Piper Faves, Route 66, Basic Editions, Joe Boxer, and Everlast Sport (for activewear) the options for back to school girl clothing are quite fashionable this year.


I let my daughter pick out what she wanted and she made some really cute combinations. The jeans she picked out are by far my favorite, that and the blue jacket. She’s worn it every day since she purchased it. My daughter loves to shop and she could do it all day long. I made her try on everything. This is her dressing room photo shoot. Here are the looks that she put together by herself.



She had fun mixing tops and bottoms with my favorite being the denim jeans she picked out. They are SUPER cute.



My son on the other hand needed help picking out clothes. If he had his way he would be in character shirts 24/7. I had to set a rule, it has to be good for auditions. So he picked out a bunch of collared, striped and solid ones. And I found a NICE pair of jeans. Miles did not want to stick around so we had to do his photo shoot at home. Shopping is not his thing but fashion shows are:



He makes Wrangler jeans look good.


And I love these Joe Boxer shoes. They look great and the price was just right. For boys the brands include Basic Editions, SK2, Never Give Up by John Cena, Joe Boxer and Everlast Sport (for activewear).


We’re now ready to be quite fashionable for the first day of school. What do your kids like to wear on the first day of school?

ZonePerfect® Nutritional Bars At Target

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Abbott Nutrition. The opinions and text are all mine.

I’m trying to eat foods that are really high in protein. I’m always tired and feel that eating foods higher in protein will lower my fat intake and give me more energy. I’m really trying to lose weight and I’m not good at snack time. Snack time should not be sugary things but more nutritional. It should provide great nutrition but with taste and variety too. ZonePerfect®, Kidz ZonePerfect® and Perfectly Simple™ are raising the bar on…well, bars. Zone Protein bars offer an assortment of delicious flavors, visible, natural ingredients and more satisfying protein than other snack options.

I took the kids shopping at Target the other day and we found the ZonePerfect®​ nutrition bars in the health section. In this particular Target they were on the isle across from the vitamins, which was quite convenient because I needed some vitamins too. I was also quite pleased to see that the ZonePerfect® Nutrition bars were on a promotion.

If you buy three different packages then you get a $5.00 Target card in return. YES! That was a nice score. I purchased two boxes for me and one box for the kids. For me I purchased the ZonePerfect® Chocolate chip cookie dough and the chocolate peanut butter. For the kids I purchased the Kidz ZonePerfect® Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip. MMM. I’m thinking of going back to get more because the promotion running right now is a great deal and they taste great too.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Abbott Nutrition. The opinions and text are all mine.

Keep Kids Safe Keep Products #UPUPANDAWAY

This is a compensated post all opinions are my own.

OH My gosh! While I was working today my daughter who is 8, wanted to help me with my blog work. She saw the package of Tide PODS on the floor as all of my blog work that has to be done very soon is, and she opened it up and picked up a Tide POD and said is this for the dishwasher. I said NO…PUT THAT BACK AND WASH YOUR HANDS. I freaked out because I thought she knew better than to pick one up but she didn’t. Which makes me want to remind everyone that keeping your kids safe should be at the top of your minds no matter what their age is. I should not have had these laundry pads on the floor I should have had them Up and Away. Which in a way is ironic since I agreed to do this post before I even realized that I needed to follow these important safety guidelines I was going to share with you. I mean yes it gives me a good story to tell, but I’m kind of embarrassed… because I just left them on the floor thinking I had nothing to worry about. clip_image002

Let’s chat a bit about the new Tide Pods and then talk about keeping kids safe.

The Tide® Pods™ have three chambers The three chambers deliver great Tide cleaning in a single-use form that is twice as compacted as liquid detergent today. It’s just the right amount of detergent to get that clean you expect.

Now it is very important to think about storage and cleanliness. Do not make the mistake I made. Keep laundry pacs Up, Up and Away. Keep them closed in their original containers with the label intact, in a locked cabinet, and out of children’s reach. Only handle them with dry hands. Also make sure to clean up any loose packets that fall out of the container, and immediately wash your hands. If you use liquid detergents, you should also wash any items you use to pour or measure products.

Kids are curious; they taste and feel everything they can to learn more about their environment. To help them most you have to see things from a child’s perspective. Try getting down on your hands and knees and look around for small items. When my kids were babies my husband would hit himself if the head with a toy before we bought it because you know your kid is going to do it. It’s that kind of thought you need while keeping them safe. Also educate your children on potentially hazardous products and situations in the home so they can avoid dangerous situations. IE…make sure they know not to touch chemical products. And just in case it happens always have on hand the numbers of your pediatrician and of the Poison Control Center: 1.800.222.1222 on hand. Remember to educate guests visiting your home – nannies, family, and friends – about house rules and let them know important safety information, like where to store cleaning items. And the emergency numbers.


For the fun part Tide has a national Made2Play partnership with Stride Rite. In Stride Rite stores nationwide, and on, you can enter a sweepstakes to win a free supply of Tide Pods for 1 year, payable via coupons, and also receive a coupon for 25% off a pair of washable children’s shoes.  In addition, all Made2Play washable shoes ship with a sample of Tide Pods. This offer runs now through August 15th

KaBoom & CLIF Kid Urge You To Get Outside and Play

It’s so important to teach kids to be active. We wanted to share some tips and exciting ways from the KaBOOM! and CLIF Kid teams to get up and get outside:

counting the pile

Try on your next walk acting like various animals with your kid(s) this way your once ordinary walk turns into a fun and playful one.

Next time you’re at the park, chase some ducks to get your children moving or create an obstacle course for your kids to partake in.

Try turning your driveway into an array of fun games like hopscotch or tick tack toe.

Have a bunch of bikes just sitting around in your garage? Take them out for a ride as a family!

Let your kids enjoy free play and give them the means to pick and choose how they want to enjoy the outdoors.

With proper supervision give them the chance to take their toys outside or make a fun outdoor fort.

Are you a family who loves sports? Put all your sports equipment in a pile and tell your kids to make up their own sport; a great way for your kids to use their imagination and spend time outside.

Save With Staples Less List #110Ready #AD

When shopping for school supplies, having to get two of everything because I have two kids means every cent I save adds up. Knowing that teachers need help with their classrooms is something that I really want to get behind and the extra savings is the perfect way to help teachers stock up their classrooms. Teachers work so hard and deserve so much. They take care of our children for 6 to 8 hours depending on what grade they are in and what extra-curricular activities they take on. They put their heart and soul into teaching at times. I think everyone I know could name a teacher that impacted their lives, some people could name a couple. I know I have a few that did different things for me throughout my life. That’s probably one of the reasons that I’m so passionate about teachers and feel it’s important to make sure that my kids appreciate teachers too. So while we are out saving money on our own school supplies we try to also get a few extras on their school supply lists to just let the teachers keep in their supply closets. I’ve done this every year.


We saved so much money on the kids’ school supply list this year shopping at Staples and I love that Staples makes it possible for families and teachers to be able to afford the most needed items in the class room. Staples has the Back to School 110% Lowest Price Guarantee. This is where if you find an item cheaper somewhere else they will match the price and give you 10 percent more off. That’s such a great deal. The Staples Back to School 110% Lowest Price Guarantee gives parents the lowest prices period.

Then there is also the Less List. The Staples Less List is a list of school supplies that are in highest demand. In order for parents to get what they need and for teachers to stock up, Staples keeps these items very low. These items include 1-subject notebook (25¢), 2-pocket folders (15¢), index cards (48¢), composition books (50¢) and 24-pack Crayola crayons (50¢) and rulers.


Staples will offer Extreme Deals in its weekly circular and online at . Be sure to check it weekly for the current extreme deals. I had a great time myself with my kids looking for all kinds of supplies to create an amazing gift basket for a teacher near us, not to mention the school supplies they needed individually.


Another great way to save is to join the Staples Rewards. With Staples Rewards or Teacher Rewards, members earn up to 5% back in Rewards and receive free shipping on orders. We have been Staples Rewards members for years now. Just so you know Teacher Rewards members receive an additional five percent back in Rewards on teaching and art supplies, plus special savings events just for teachers in August. Let’s get back to school shopping and save at Staples.

What Happens When Diet and Exercise Don’t Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals

Congratulations, the changes you have made to your diet and lifestyle have started to work, and you’re finally losing weight. But what happens when the rate at which you’re shedding pounds falls dramatically – or even stops?

Most people trying to lose weight will experience a plateau, during which exercise and healthy eating plans seem to have no effect on weight loss. If you’re currently experiencing this situation, it’s important not to lose heart, as there are some steps you can take to get your weight loss journey back on track.

Weigh yourself once a week

A diet and exercise plan is all about losing weight from fat, yet the body can experience short-term fluctuations in weight due to water retention and muscle gain. If you have gotten into the habit of weighing yourself every day, you might have noticed that your weight can fluctuate by two or three pounds in just a few hours. In most cases, these fluctuations are a result of water retention.

Unfortunately, far too many people can’t resist the urge to weigh themselves after every workout session. And when they discover that their weight has actually increased, they can become despondent and think: “What’s the point?” Pick a day and time to weigh yourself every week, and stick to it.

Constantly evaluate your calorie intake

The human metabolism decreases naturally as weight is lost. This means that in order to continue losing weight at a reasonable rate, you have to continually re-evaluate your calorie intake. This can be quite a tricky balancing act to get right, as your body shape and metabolism changes. This is why a Kiqplan coaching app can be so useful. This digital trainer monitors your activity levels and net calorie consumption, and gives you dietary and exercise advice in order to keep you on track to meet your ultimate weight loss goal.

Remember that weight loss naturally slows as you shed pounds

If you are following a healthy weight loss diet plan, you should find that the rate at which you drop excess pounds diminishes the nearer you get to your target. If you have 40 or 50 pounds to lose, for instance, you should find that the first 10 are easy to lose, whereas dropping the last 10 might take significantly longer. You should also remember that, as you lose weight, your body naturally works harder to retain its fat stores. As long as you’re active and consuming fewer calories than you’re burning, you shouldn’t let weight loss plateaus get you down.


Start a food journal

A lot of people can consume extra calories without even noticing it. Unnecessarily large portions, passive snacking and simple cheating might only seem like a few extra calories here and there, but can add up over the course of a week. By keeping a food journal, you can keep track of every single calorie you consume, and identify when and where you’re going wrong.

Avoid the temptation to starve yourself

Too many people react to a weight loss plateau by dropping their calorie intake so much their body goes into starvation made. This is a big mistake. Your metabolism will slow down very quickly to account for the sudden drop in calories. This will leave you without the energy you need to complete your workouts, and your weight loss will continue to stall.

Stick to the plan

When people struggle to lose weight despite a rigorous workout regime, the temptation is often to ‘change things up’ in the gym, or to take up a new form of exercise. So-called ‘muscle confusion’ has the potential to curtail the results of diet and exercise programs, so you should adopt a particular workout schedule and stick to it.

If you’re stepping up the intensity of your exercise gradually, slight changes to your diet should be all that is needed to get your weight loss back on track.