Choose Your Groupons Carefully

When Groupon first gained popularity, it seemed like such a great concept. An easy way to save money on something you already wanted to do while also helping businesses attract new customers, right?

In some cases, yes. I’ve had Groupons that are easy to redeem and the service or product is of great quality. But I’ve had just as many, if not more, where I was really disappointed. I’ve been to restaurants where the servers are quite rude once I let them know I’m using my Groupon. I’ve not been able to redeem some because the company becomes inundated with appointments and can’t handle the volume. Bought products that break or don’t work properly within a few uses.

So now, I’ve learned my lesson. And hopefully you can learn from my experience as well!

I only purchase Groupons now if:
•I know I’ll be using the product or service in the near future. For example, i bought a Groupon for a Paint Nite I could redeem the same day when I signed up for the event.
•Someone I know has used the same Groupon successfully.
•The Q&A section of the listing answers any questions or concerns, such as those listed above, I may have about redemption.

What had been your Groupon experience? Do I just have bad luck or is it really a hit or miss kind of thing?

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Why I Love Hulu Plus

Earlier this month, I switched my hours at work so I could be in and out earlier, so that the traffic on my commute wouldn’t be as bad. Overall, it’s pretty great. I feel more productive and I’m home by 4:30 just about every day.

As a result, I now wake up much earlier and since I’m one of those people who needs at least 7 hours of sleep to be a functioning human, I’m in bed super early most nights. It’s not so bad, except for one downside: I’m missing out on all of my shows!!!

Thankfully I have had a Hulu Plus account for a few years now. I used it a lot senior year of college but haven’t made the most of it since then, until recently. I’m now taking full advantage of it and loving it!

Here’s why I love it, and a few areas for improvement:
•Most major channels have their shows available. Some channels (like CW) only have a certain number of episodes though, so it’s not as great for binge watching seasons. CBS is another major channel whose shows aren’t always available.

•Autoplay is great for lazy people like me – you can have it automatically play the next episode once the one you’re watching finishes. If there aren’t any more episode it’ll play an episode of a similar show

•You can access your account through apps on your phone/tablet, computer and devices like Apple TV or XBOX. Lots of watching options! I could be wrong, but sometimes the computer version has more episode options (at least it did a few years ago!)

•Even with Hulu Plus, there are commercials which is annoying since you’re paying for it. But there’s less than if you were watching it live (or even on demand sometimes) so it’s not as bad as it could be!

•The price might seem steep but it’s $120 total for the year ($9.99 a month) and you get a lot of features for it. If it’s something you’d use frequently, I’d definitely suggest it

My boyfriend has a Netflix account as well but I honestly find myself using Hulu a lot more. I love catching up with my shows – NBC #WCW and ABC #TGIT, anyone??

Favorite Recipe Sites

As I mentioned earlier this week, we’ve been cooking at home a lot lately. One thing I’ve been having lots of fun doing is looking up new and interesting recipes to try. I’m not the bravest when it comes to trying new things, but there are so many free recipes available that there’s something for everyone!

Here are a few of my favorites:

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AllRecipes has lots of great ideas, most of which have been reviewed by users. The comments are a great way to find twists and changes to the recipes that might make it more appealing to you.

Cooking Light has long been a favorite of my mom’s. While they do have a magazine you can purchase, there are also lots of free recipes on their site.

Taste of Home is a user based website, which is great because the recipes come from people like you and me. None of that fancy chef talk you don’t understand!

Pinterest is a favorite of mine, as always. I love the ease of searching the boards and the visuals are always great. Plus they have suggestions to fine tune your search and help you find exactly what you’re looking for!

What are some of your favorite recipe sites? There are so many out there. I can’t wait to try more!

Simple Dinner Recipes

Sorry for the inconsistency in posting lately, friends! Moving, unpacking and shoveling have taken over my life these past few weeks!

Speaking of moving, one of the goals my boyfriend and I have in living together is to limit how often we eat out and to eat dinner together several times a week. He works a strange schedule, so we each eat alone a few nights a week. So we have been making recipes with 4 servings and eating the leftovers for lunch at work or dinner when we’re home alone. So far, so good!

I thought it would be fun to share a few recipes we’ve liked so far and I’m hoping to share a few each month. Since it’s still early in the month, I only have two to share right now, but I’ll have more next month!

1. Shrimp Cobb Salad – this was our first recipe in our new home! The shrimp is absolutely delicious and I found the dressing to be really refreshing.

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2. Paleo Stuffed Green Peppers – one thing I’m trying to cut down on is carbs, so this recipe which uses vegetables instead of rice is a great alternative. We also sprinkled a bit of shredded cheese on the top. This was filling and delicious!

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Anyone else have recipes to share? We’re looking to build our own little recipe book to try!