Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category

Coming soon… a new way to save!

While getting ready for a blog re-launch after a very long hiatus, a “Hello World” message mistakenly went to everyone who is subscribed to my blog.

I apologize for that email!

Since it went out, I will announce now that Craving the Savings will return within the next few weeks with an exciting new way to save money on groceries.  Subscribers to this blog will be the first to hear of this new tool.

Stay tuned!

Review — Yogi Bear’s All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper DVD

'Yogi Bear's All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper DVD Review

Yogi Bear and his pal Boo Boo live in Jellystone Park, where they constantly sneak behind the back of Ranger Smith to steal picnic baskets from unsuspecting vacationers. Yogi made his debut in 1958, as part of “The Huckleberry Hound Show.” The character proved so popular, he was given his own show in 1960, also sponsored by Kellogg’s Cereals. In addition to Yogi, the show featured separate cartoons with the new characters Snagglepuss and Yakky Doodle. Through 1962, 70 Yogi Bear cartoons were produced, all of them featuring Daws Butler as the voice of Yogi, and Don Messick as Boo Boo. In this Christmas Special, Yogi escapes from Jellystone and hides out in a department store – posing as the Store’s Santa. Along the way, he helps a little girl to rediscover her faith in Christmas.

My Opinion:
My daughter was excited to receive this DVD because of the new Yogi Bear movie that is now in theaters. This DVD was waiting for us when we returned from our holiday trip and since school started back on Monday, we made a quick transition back to our normal routine and didn’t get a chance to watch the DVD. Even though the holidays are over, we plan to watch this DVD over the weekend.

Learn more about this DVD or purchase it for $9.95. It is also available at Dallas Public Libraries, so check your library for a copy of this DVD if you want to rent it first!

Disclosure: I received a copy of Yogi Bear’s All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper in exchange for posting this information. The synopsis, images and movie clips were provided by Warner Bros.

Review — Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales DVD

'Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales DVD Review

Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales is a series of Christmas-themed animated stories, in which each of the beloved PEANUTS characters star in his or her own charming animated vignette. Bonus episode: Is This Goodbye, Charlie Brown – New-to-DVD! Linus must break the devastating news that his family is moving. Charlie Brown and the gang make their goodbyes and prepare for Linus and Lucy’s departure.

My Opinion:
This is one of those DVDs that brings back memories from childhood and I enjoyed watching it with my daughter. She is not as familiar with the Peanuts as I was growing up (I regularly read the Sunday comic strip), but she asked to watch it several times over the holidays.

The DVD includes a bonus episode “Is this Goodbye, Charlie Brown?”

Visit the official Peanuts on DVD Website to learn about this and other Peanuts DVDs. The Dallas Public Library carries several copies of this DVD!

Disclosure: I received a copy of Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tales DVD to review. The synopsis, images and movie clips were provided by Warner Bros. All opinions are my own.

Review — Flipped DVD

Flipped DVD

When second-graders Bryce and Juli first meet, Juli knows it’s love. Bryce isn’t so sure. In the days and years ahead, Bryce (Callan McAuliffe) does all he can to keep his wannabe girlfriend at arm’s length — and the smart, independent-minded Juli (Madeline Carroll) continues to give him the benefit of the doubt. This tender coming-of-age romantic comedy from director Rob Reiner takes the pair from grade school to junior high, through triump and disaster, family drama and first love, as they make discoveries that will define who they are — and who they are to each other.

My Opinion
I haven’t read the book, so I do not know how true the movie stays to the original story, but I enjoyed this movie. It is rated PG for thematic material and language. It is the language that keeps me from allowing my six year old to watch this movie.

Available now on Blu-Ray Combo Pack, DVD, On Demand or for download.

I also noticed that the Dallas Public Library has seven copies of this DVD, so check your library if you’d like to watch it for free.

Visit the Official Website to learn more about Flipped.

Disclosure: I received a copy of Flipped to review. The synopsis and images were provided by Warner Bros. All opinions are my own.

Review — Samantha: An American Girl Holiday DVD

Samantha: An American Girl Holiday DVD

I recently received several DVDs from Warner Bros. to review, which I will be posting today. The first is Samantha: An American Girl Holiday.

For years, girls have wished for a movie about their favorite American Girl. Finally that wish comes true in the first-ever, full-length, live action movie starring long-time favorite Samantha Parkington! Samantha: An American girl Holiday brings history boldly to life as it takes girls on journey back to New York in 1904. Samantha’s prim and proper Grandmary is raising her to be a young lady, but her life starts changing the day as she meets Nellie O’Malley, the servant girl next door. Though they come from different worlds, they come from different worlds, they become fast friends, facing happiness and sorrow, adventure and danger together. But nothing can prepare them for the life-altering surprises that await them this holiday season.

My Opinion
My daughter and I loved watching this movie together. It is a charming tale that teaches so many wonderful life lessons about friendship, caring for others, and finding solutions to difficult situations. My daughter had many questions after we watched the DVD. The movie made a big impact on her.

Purchase the DVD: You can purchase this DVD new for $18.95 or less, or used for around $10. Or, I noticed you can get the Felicity and Samantha: An American Girl 2-DVD gift set for $19.59.

I also noticed that the Dallas Public Library’s Bookmarks branch at Northpark Mall has ordered a copy of this DVD. Head to your local library to see if they have a copy and check out the DVD for free to see how you like it before you buy it!

Visit the Official Website to learn more about Samantha: An American Girl Holiday.

Disclosure: I received a copy of Samantha: An American Girl Holiday to review. The overview, images and movie clips were provided by Warner Bros. All opinions are my own.

Review — ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas DVD

'Twas the Night Before Christmas DVD Review

I think most people are familiar with the ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas movie. This movie has played on television every Christmas season since 1974. But what you may not know is it was digitally remastered and re-released in October!

For some unexplained reason, letters to Santa Claus are being returned to the children of Junctionville. It seems some resident has angered St. Nick, calling Christmas “a fraudulent myth!” Skeptical Albert Mouse has to be brought to his senses “and let up a little on the wonder why.” How Albert is persuaded to change his tune paves the way for Santa’s jolly return to town – and the joyous finale of the animated fable inspired by Clement Moore’s poem and produced by the merrymaking conjurers of Rankin/Bass Studios. The voice talents of Joel Grey, Tammy Grimes, John McGiver and George Gobel make this festive fable even more fun.

My Opinion:
It was fun to watch this movie with my daughter. It brought back memories of my childhood when we would watch this movie whenever it came on television. Now that there are so many television channels available, I can’t keep up with all the holiday programming, so I like having this movie available to pull out each holiday season to watch it when we want.

Buy this DVD
Keep an eye out at stores for this DVD, as you might find it on sale after the holidays. You can also buy Twas the Night Before Christmas at for $13.99.

The Dallas Public Library carries four copies of this DVD and, not surprisingly, all copies are checked out!

Visit the Official Website to learn more about the ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas DVD.

Disclosure: I received a copy of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas to review. The synopsis, images and movie clips were provided by Warner Bros. All opinions are my own.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from

If you are celebrating Christmas today, I wish you and your family a very merry one!

OfficeMax Instant Win Game on Facebook

OfficeMax Elfmas Instant Win Game

I just entered the OfficeMax Instant Win game on Facebook, expecting to possibly win one of the pens, if I was lucky. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I won the Grand Prize – one of 92 Vivitar Grape 7.1 MP digital cameras that they are giving away!

I just read the reviews for this camera and they’re really bad. Bummer…

OfficeMax is also giving away 230 $10 OfficeMax gift cards, 2000 TUL Rollerball Pens and printable coupons for rubber band balls.

The instant win game began on 11/10 and runs until 12/24/10.

To try your luck:

Sign into Facebook
– “Like” the OfficeMax Facebook page
– Click on the Elfmas Town Tab or go here
– You will have to approve access to your data (which I don’t like doing, but did this time. I was going to remove access if I didn’t win anything).
– Click on the pile of presents (Holiday Grab Bag) to start the instant win game.
– Select a present (1, 2 or 3) and click to open.

If you win something, please let me know! Good luck!

Thanks Hip2Save for posting this.

Mamapedia Sweet Deal: $12 for Cooking for the Clueless 2-disc DVD set

Mamapedia Sweet Deal: Cooking for the Clueless 2-Disc DVD set

While I have become a bit more comfortable with cooking mostly from scratch over the last six months, I still feel like I have a lot to learn. I have picked up a few techniques here and there from the free Williams-Sonoma technique classes, but feel like I am still missing some of the basics that might make my time in the kitchen a little easier.

I looked into Dallas-area cooking classes tonight, but only found one that sounded like a good match – the Food and Hospitality certificate/degree program at Dallas County Community Colleges. But I don’t want to pursue a degree or certificate…. I just want to take classes to learn the basics. I tried to see if they offer Continuing Ed classes, but the e-Connect site is down for maintenance.

Then I got an email from Mamapedia about their national “Sweet Deals” and one caught my eye… the Cooking for the Clueless 2-disc DVD set for 50% off ($12 + $2.95 shipping). It sounds interesting and it’s much less than taking classes, so I went ahead and bought it.

The DVD set includes:

• The Restaurant Factor
• The Italian Way
• The Classic Meal
• No-Cook Cooking
• It’s a Piece of Cake
• Stocking your Pantry
• Knives, Chopping & Cutting Boards
• Chef’s Opinion: Pots & Pans
• Food & Wine Pairing 101
• Bonus Footage & More

If you are “clueless in the kitchen” or know someone who is (this might make a nice gift), check out this deal. It will be available through Friday (12/3) and if you buy one, 5% of your purchase will go to the school of your choice.

If you live in Dallas and know of a place that offers classes that teach cooking/baking/food prep basics and are priced reasonably, I’d love it if you could leave a comment letting me know!

Review & Giveaway: JUMBiES Stuffed Animals (12/9)

JUMBiES Review & Giveaway

Once upon a time, many baby animals were being born at once — so many that the storks couldn’t keep up as much as they tried. It eventually got to be too much for the storks and they started crashing into each other!


The result? Twelve jumbled animals that the storks decided to call JUMBiES!

The storks took the JUMBiES to a wonderful island they called JUMBiELAND where these animals could stay until the storks could find new homes for them.

Three of these cute JUMBiES arrived at our home recently, to my daughter’s delight. They are:

JUMBiES - Zumbo the Zelephant
Zumbo the Zelephant (Zebra + Elephant)

JUMBiES - Leopold the Leopird
Leopold the Leopird (Leopard + Hornbill Bird)

JUMBiES - Yuri the Moosecow
Yuri the Moosecow (Moose + Cow)

When the package arrived, I noticed the JUMBiE “sand dollars” that were included with the JUMBiES stuffed toys. Each sand dollar features one of the JUMBiES, a value and the JUMBiE’S motto. For example, the one that features Filbert the Blabbit (Blue Bird + Rabbit) is worth fifty sand dollars and has “Don’t keep it a secret, Blabbit!” written on the back. I used the sand dollars to create a fun discovery game for my daughter, which she talks about in this video review:

What I like about JUMBiES:

– They’re cute and unique
– They have a story behind them to make for a fun discussion with your child(ren)
– They will stand/sit up on their own (this was one of the first things my daughter talked about)
– There’s a Website with games and other activities to extend the “JUMBiELAND experience”
– They are easy to surface wash
– They’d make fun stocking stuffers

The JUMBiES that we received are well-made, but they are best suited for children 3+ years old due to the potential choking hazard of some small, hard parts on the toys (JUMBiES’ eyes, Moosecow’s antlers, etc.).


You can buy JUMBiES online for $7.95 + shipping & handling, or at one of the retailers listed on this PDF. Each JUMBiE comes with a sand dollar and mini storybook.

Win Two JUMBiES!

One lucky reader will win two randomly selected JUMBiES!

Mandatory Entry:

Visit and tell me which JUMBiE you like best.

Optional Additional Entries:
(There are several extra entry opportunities on this giveaway. Please complete the optional entries after you have completed the mandatory entry and leave one comment for each entry specified below. Example: +2 = 2 comments):

– Like JUMBiES on Facebook (+2)
– Like Craving the Savings on Facebook (+1)
– Post on your Facebook page – “Check out JUMBiES and win 2 at They have been compared to the next Beanie Babies!” (+4)
– Follow @JUMBiES on Twitter (+2)
– Follow @CravingSavings and/or @CravingGiveaway (+1 for each)
– Tweet “Check out @JUMBiES and win 2 @CravingSavings – Ends 12/9. They have been compared to the next Beanie Babies!” (+2)
– Follow me on Google Friend Connect (right column) (+1)
– Follow me on Networked Blogs (+1)
– Become an email subscriber or RSS subscriber (+1 for each)
– Post this giveaway on a giveaway linky (and leave the URL) (+2)
– Enter any of my other current giveaways (+1 for each giveaway entered – listed at the top right below the Search field)

– Ends at 11:59 PM Central on Thursday, December 9, 2010. I will use to select the winner.
– The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email or I will select a new winner.
– Giveaway valid only in the US and its territories including APOs.

Disclosure: I received three JUMBiES, two comic books, and several sand dollars in exchange for writing this review and hosting this giveaway. All opinions in this review belong to me and to my daughter.

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