Tag Archives: product testing

Best Deals for May

may dealsWhat are your best buys for the month of May? Well, not only does May include Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, but May 4th is also Star Wars Day (“May the 4th be With You!”) So there are plenty of shopping – and saving opportunities to be had! Which of these items will be on the agenda?

  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Star Wars stuff
  • Memorial Day-related military discounts
  • Menswear
  • Fresh corn (Silver Queen for me!)
  • Peaches, apricots, cherries and nectarines
  • Melons
  • Grilling supplies
  • Handbags
  • Swimsuits
  • Sandals and Spring Clothing
  • Tires
  • Linens and Mattresses
  • Jewelry and watches

BUT…Hold off on PCs and laptops: Back to school sales start in June!

Here are some links to help you compile your May shopping list!

Are any of these items on your to-do list for May? They say you could save up to 75%! What are you in the market for? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!


Earth Day and the Consumer


ecoWay back in 1970, when Earth Day began, it’s fair to say that many environmentalists and many business owners saw each other as enemies. And to the extent that businesses embraced Going Green, many saw it as a necessary evil, the cost of doing business, But today…

…the majority of CEOs say that environmental and social responsibility is critical to competitive advantage. They embed sustainability into their supply chains, conserving energy and cutting waste to save costs and increase customer appeal. They promote products that are less harmful to our communities and to the environment.  GreenBiz.com

So, on this 46th anniversary of Earth Day, let’s take a politics-free look at links describing some of the creative ways companies promote Sustainability…

In other Earth Day news…

So there’s your Earth Day links roundup. And we kept it politics-free (you’re welcome.) Have you seen any interesting or creative ways that corporations are Going Green? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!






Tax Day Freebies 2016!

free stuffMonday is FUN day. That’s right, your taxes are due. It appears we got a few extra days this year, as a meaningful but not widely known federal holiday called Emancipation Day has bumped the traditional April 15 deadline to Monday, April 18.

As usual, many retailers across this land of R’s are offering fun little freebies and BOGOs to make Tax Day a little more bearable. A free coffee here, a scoop of ice cream there… it all helps!

So here’s a brief rundown of some of the treats you will enjoy this Friday and beyond, followed by some links for further information.

Tax Day Freebies 2016:

Some participating retailers…

  • Arbys
  • AMC Theatres
  • Bruegger’s Bagels
  • Boston Market
  • Chili’s
  • Cinnabon
  • Great American Cookies
  • Hard Rock Café
  • McCormick & Schmick’s
  • Maggie Moo’s
  • Office Depot
  • Panada Express
  • P.F. Chang’s
  • Planet Fitness
  • Schlotzsky’s
  • Seattle’s Best Coffee
  • Staples
  • White Castle

And many, many more! So, enjoy your freebies. The April 15-April 18 thing has created a few wrinkles though. Some deals are good for Monday, some are good today and Monday, some are good all weekend. So be sure to call ahead!

Here are some links:

Spring Cleaning 2016

dustpanIf you grew up in a home, with a mom, you remember spring cleaning AND JUST HOW MUCH FUN IT WAS. Now, you’re either the mom or you’re married to her. Spring is still rolling around year after year, and spring cleaning is still a big bummer; it’s just that it’s YOUR house now, so you’re forced to care.

If your cleaning skills and motivation stop at the “straightening up” level, then hopefully you are married to someone who can actually get the job done.  Oh, and it helps to have debilitating dust allergies (like me). A merciful spouse will tell you to get out of the way and go straighten up the garage while she (usually it’s she) does the real work.

At which point, you may be tempted to save lives and your marriage by paying someone else to do your spring cleaning. Hey, there are plenty of people who will do it for you. But how much does professional spring cleaning cost? And what’s involved?

Here’s a list from a couple of years ago, courtesy of personal finance blog LearnVest. They give you the amount of time it would take to do yourself, versus paying somebody:

spring cleaning

More info at the original piece!

Is professional spring cleaning worth the money? Your mileage may vary. It’s probably best to take it on a case by case basis. Sure, I will straighten up my tools in the garage; I’ll leave window washing to the professionals!  At any rate, placing a price tag on these services really puts things in perspective. When you see how much you save by doing it yourself, that’s DEFINITELY worth a nice evening out, wouldn’t you agree, honeybunch?

So, is this the weekend? The weekend you sacrifice your sanity to spring cleaning? What’s the big task you are dreading most? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!


April Fool’s Day 2016

quilted northernThe Internet’s fascination with April Fool’s Day continues, even though the news on any typical day is so outrageous that it already feels made up. Having companies pick a single day of the year to mess with your mind is beginning to lose some of its punch. Regardless, some of these pranks can be pretty fun and creative, even of you automatically know they are fake.

Here is a collection of some the notable pranks for 2016.

  • Redbox is hiring! Be the person who sits inside the machine, handing out movies and taking returns.
  • Craftsman is offering a kitchen chainsaw.
  • Quilted Northern Artisanal “Rustic Weave” Toilet Paper: For a more memorable tree-to-toilet bathroom experience.
  • OpenTable Taste: Can’t decide on a restaurant? Taste the photos with this lickable app.
  • ZumbaRoomba: Housekeeping meets fitness!
  • Lexus V-LCRO: Velcro everywhere – the ultimate in auto safety!
  • E-surance Election Insurance: Moving to Canada after the election? This policy pays for upkeep of the home you leave behind.
  • Not a prank, just a fun thing: Google Maps takes you to FunkyTown!
  • April Fool’s Day FAIL: Google Mic Drop. A “mic drop” is when you deliver the perfect conversation-ending slam or insult, and then you walk out. The Google messaging app offered a special SEND button that produced an animation of one of the Minions doing a mic drop. The problem is that people almost always take offense, and then you have to say “just kidding.” But this app literally ended the conversation, making you look like a jerk. “After facing a backlash from users, some of whom accidentally insulted friends, lost jobs and angered colleagues, Google has disabled the feature, just hours after it was launched.” UK Independent.
  • April Fool’s Day Warning: This stuff doesn’t play in China. They will have none of your disrespectful Western nonsense!

Side note for 2016… Once again, SEARS knocks it out of the park. I am in the loyalty program, and I received an email this morning saying “Sorry, no special deals today.” Then, you click on it, and it says “Just kidding!” Comedy GOLD, y’all!

So, that’s your April Fool’s Day roundup for 2016. See any that didn’t totally irritate you to death? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Easter Spending 2016

easter lily 2For a holiday that never seems to happen at the same time twice (April 20 in 2014, April 5 in 2015, March 27 this year), we never miss the opportunity to celebrate Easter. Thankfully the ten million Easter commercials on TV are there to help us out!

Speaking of which, how about that Cadbury Egg commercial, the one where all the different animals are trying out to be the Easter Bunny? How old is that ad now? Old enough to vote? Still, a classic. Other standouts include the Payless Shoes ad, because my wife keeps pointing out that she almost bought those leather wedges!! Also, the Walmart ad where the young couple can’t make it to dinner because they just had a baby, so they Skype in and make grandma cry. That would be a perfect ad if it didn’t have the little boy who is… maybe not so good… as the toddler on Modern Family. There, I said it.

Anyway, how will we be spending our hard-earned cash this Easter? Here are the numbers!

  • $17.3 Billion: Total Easter spending. (Up nearly a Bill from last year)
  • $146: Average Americans will spend on Easter (up $6)
  • Percentage of people celebrating Easter: 80%
  • Total spending in the US: $17.3 billion
  • Spending per person: $146 (highest in 13 years!)
  • Easter spending growth since 2005: 70%
  • Total spent on Easter flowers: $1.2 billion (up $100M from 2015)
  • Average amount spent on Easter flowers: $31.66
  • Biggest spenders: Age 25-34
  • $5.5 billion spent on food
  • $3 billion spent on clothing
  • $2.7 billion spent on gifts
  • 57 million Easter cards will be sold
  • 83% of adults will buy or make an Easter basket for their kids
  • 81% will steal candy from that basket!

Well, that’s the tale of the (register) tape for this year. While we’re at it, let’s not forget that Easter is a very important religious holiday for many millions of folks. However you spend it, we hope it’s GREAT. Happy Easter from MindField Online! Share your weekend plans with us over at the MindField Online Facebook page!


Sources: Natl Retail FederationStatisticsBrain.comForbes, National Retail FederationAbout FlowersFundivoFortune

St. Patrick’s Day Spending 2016

st pats

One measure of how much a particular holiday depends on PARTYING is reflected in this chart. Under the title “Celebrating by Age,” we see that 73% of us between the ages of 18-24 let ‘er rip on St. Patrick’s Day. That number goes steadily down until, at age 65, it reaches 35%. It’s clearly Youthful Energy times Alcohol Tolerance divided by Recovery Time Needed. It’s MATH, people!

Another sign of the times? Even though the economy continues to struggle, our spending on St. Patrick’s Day – and the One Thing it is known for – continues to rise.

So, let’s get in the spirit by checking our wallet and seeing how much is in there. Net thing you know, it will be Friday, and that wallet will be empty except for a bar napkin with the phone number of a guy or girl you don’t remember meeting.

According to the National Retail Federation

  • 125 million Americans will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
  • That’s 52% of us
  • $4.4 billion will be spent in the US
  • We will spend an average of $35.37 per person
  • Biggest spenders? 25-34’s will spend $42.58 per person
  • 82% will wear green
  • #4… St. Patrick’s Day rank as a “drinking holiday,” behind New Year’s Eve, Christmas, and the 4th of July

So there’s the tale of the tape – cash register tape, that is. What are YOUR plans for St. Patrick’s Day? Calm reflection or wild celebration? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page. Whatever you do, stay safe!

Source, Source

Free Pancake Day!

pancakesIf you like Free, and you like Pancakes, then you are sure to love FREE PANCAKES, and this is your day. March 8 is National Pancake Day, and retailers all across the land are getting into it.

Of course, the big star is International House of Pancakes. IHOP uses the day to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, offering “a complimentary short stack of buttermilk pancakes to anyone who wants one from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. IHOP asks you to donate what you would have spent for that meal to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. If you make a donation of $5 or more, you get a coupon good for $5 off their next visit.” Fortune Magazine

IHOP has managed to giver over $3.5MM to the charity over the past ten years. Learn more at www.ihoppancakeday.com.  If you happen to be in Dayton Ohio today (and as a Dayton native, I ask, why not?) You can enjoy your pancakes with Miss America.

But IHOP isn’t alone.  Waffle House is giving away free hash browns on March 8. And Denny’s is offering 20% your check today. Peet’s Coffee and Tea is offering half-price drinks, and Noah’s and Einstein Bagels are also doing a 20% off deal.

Finally, if you are a pancake purist, you may enjoy tracking down the best pancake places in every state. “These Are The BEST Pancakes In America.” See any names you recognize?

So that’s today’s earth-shattering pancake news. You’re welcome. Any pancake fans out there? I enjoy them, but they aren’t my go-to item. How about you? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Leap Year Savings!

She's LEAPING, get it?
She’s LEAPING, get it?

Leap Year… who came up with that? (Pope Gregory, actually.) An extra day every four years is just…weird, somehow. But also kind of fun. When I was a kid, a friend’s mom had her birthday on February 29th. She REALLY enjoyed telling people she was only 12 years old!

That extra day – February 29th – is coming up this Monday, and retailers and restaurants are having a little fun offering Leap Year/Leap Day deals. Some offers are for everybody, and some just for Leap-ers. Some are only valid Monday, others give you time. So, call ahead. Let’s take a look!

  • Great American Cookies: Free Cookie Cake
  • Hard Rock Cafe: Free entrée
  • Honeybaked Ham: Free or discounted sandwich
  • Krispy Kreme: Discount on second dozen donuts
  • Olive Garden: Free dessert
  • Starbucks: $29 off $100 order
  • Tropical Smoothie Café: $2.29 smoothie, regular $4.49
  • McAlister’s Deli: Free cookies
  • Dollar General:  $5 off orders of $50
  • Foot Locker: 15% off of $70 purchase
  • Lands’ End: 20% off swimwear
  • Lane Bryant: $35 off online purchases of $150 or more, free shipping
  • Lids: Free shipping on orders of $50 or more
  • OshKosh B’gosh: Save 25% off orders of $40 or more
  • Verizon: $50 off select smartphones

These are just a few of the bargains on and around February 29th. Be sure to check out “Celebrate Leap Day with these 55 deals and discounts!” From money dude Clark Howard. And grab those Leap Day deals, or you’ll miss out until 2020!

How about you? Any big Leap Day plans? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Restaurant Loyalty Clubs

ID-100275125How about a little Pro and Con on loyalty clubs? They  are everywhere, from the gas station to retail to restaurants. You sign up, give them your email address, and watch the bargains roll in. And roll in, and roll in. The tagline should be, “If you like saving, but you like getting a ton of emails even more – join the club!!”

I get easily frustrated with these clubs, because it seems like they flood you with offers like BOGO’s or “$10 off of a $50 purchase”… right when you join. They hit you with way more offers than you can use before they expire. Then, the offers – the GOOD ones – slow down to a trickle. Or, it seems like the offers you get are announcements about sales that anybody could enjoy. In other words, they are just advertisements. They have your email address now, and that was really the point all along.

On the other hand… FREE STUFF. Free is free, whether or not the deals continue into the infinite future. If you get tired of it, you can always opt out of the club, unless you are too lazy (and by YOU, I mean ME.)  So they can be good fun while they last.

In case you are loyalty-inclined, here are a few current restaurant loyalty offers, as reported in MoneyTalksNews.com. Sign up and receive…

  • IHOP: Free pancakes
  • TGI Fridays: Free app, or dessert, and a “jump to the head of the line” in the waiting area.
  • Joe’s Crab Shack: Free app
  • Del Taco: Free chicken taco and birthday shake
  • Sbarro: Free slice, birthday surprise
  • Zaxby’s: Meal deal, birthday app
  • Qdoba: Free chips ‘n salsa or drink
  • Chili’s: Free menu item
  • Krispy Kreme: Free doughnut

More deals and links at the original article. So, are you in the club, or are you in several? Which are your faves, and why? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Photo: freedigitalphotos.net/stockimages