Break out the record players/iPods or stereos, plug in your headphones, and enjoy. We’re big fans of music here at DefinitiveDeals, and with the Grammy Awards right around the corner, we’re taking a look at some of the nominees and giving you recommendations on what you should be listening to now…
The match is set and the time is now: the Denver Broncos will meet the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl Sunday, February 2 from MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. In honor of the “big game,” we here at DefinitiveDeals are here to break down this 48th installment of football’s biggest game, and give you our prediction of who will reign supreme when the final whistle blows…
So you’ve decided to get a pet. Why not? They’re furry, lovable and all the while, adorable. However, sometimes the costs of trying to care for your animal can add up. That’s why today, we’re breaking down 10 tips to help give the best care possibly to your new companion(s), even if you are on a budget…
We’re big fans of television here at DefinitiveDeals, and unfortunately, the high price of cable can make anyone think twice about how much they want to keep up with their stories. Never fear though, because there are plenty of ways to enjoy your shows for less, and today, we’re breaking down 5 of them for you…
Health and fitness are important, but in the winter, the elements can often make it difficult to stay motivated. That’s why today, we’re offering 8 tips to help you workout, even in the coldest of days…
Winter is in full effect, and some places around the country are feeling the chill in the form of record-breaking temperatures. That’s why today, we here at DefinitiveDeals are presenting 12 budget-friendly to help you keep warm, even on the coldest of nights…
Whether it’s building a fire, wearing layers, or using your resources to your advantage, staying warm doesn’t have to be a struggle. There are plenty of ways to beat the cold, and before you know it, you will have beaten winter and spring will be here (but more on that later).
So what can you do? Here are a few ideas:
- Wood Burning Stove: Before there were furnaces, there were stoves, and if you’re fortunate enough to have one in your home, use it. Just start a fire, add some wood, and you have heat, but be sure to close the vent while the fire roars.
- Layers: Base layers, thermals, coveralls, jackets, sweaters, everything is fair game. Some layers are also designed to trap in body heat, so look into those if need be.
- Windows and Curtains: Some people say you need to open the curtains to let the light in. Along with that, this can also let the heat in if it’s a sunny day. Then at night, close the curtains to trap it inside.
- Check Your Furnace: Many use furnaces to keep warm, but not taking care of it can leave you in the cold (no pun intended) and with a hefty bill. Be sure to check your filters and clear it of any snow, brush or obstructions that might be around the area, check the blower, and if you think there’s a problem, call a professional.
- Ceiling Fan In Reverse: A Fan sounds like the last thing you would want to turn on in the wintertime, but turning it on in reverse works to push warm air down from the ceiling. As an extra tip, be sure to keep it on the lowest setting.
- Warm Beverages, Avoid Alcohol: Drinks such as coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are go-tos for everyone who needs to feel warm, though some of these can lead to dehydration, so enjoy in moderation. On that note, avoid any alcoholic beverages. While it might make your skin warmer and give you the illusion of more body heat, it takes warmth away from your core and actually causes you to lose heat faster.
- Body Movin’: It’s a resolution to some, and a way to generate body heat to others. Get active to help generate the heat. Run on a treadmill if you have one, do some jumping jacks or push-ups, anything really. This helps to get the blood flowing and providing that much-needed warmth. Whatever you do, don’t take the cold sitting down.
- Space Heaters: They’re small, they’re movable, and they’re one of the most effective ways to heat an area for less. Heat an entire room, or just your toes while you’re at your desk. Best of all, it add less than $1 to your electric bill.
- Keep The Oven Open: If you’ve just used your oven to cook something, keep the door open while it cools. This is great for heating your kitchen, or even your small apartment.
- Humidifier: A humidifier is great to have in the wintertime, but it does more than prevents dry skin and chapped lips. The moisture it creates helps to make things feel warmer, so you don’t have to use as much electricity to stay warm.
- Uncover Vents, Seal Away Drafts: Your warm air comes out through the vents, so it only makes sense that you keep them uncovered. This involves moving furniture accordingly or making sure your household pets don’t hog it all for themselves. Along with that, be sure to seal away any cracks or holes that air can escape from such as around your doors and windows.
- Fuzzy Socks: They’re more than just fashionable, they’re also effective in helping you battle the cold. Your extremities are generally the first places to lose heat, so keeping them covered will help to keep your body warmer.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.
A Few Coupons To Help Get You Started:
-Eddie Bauer | 30% Off All Slippers (ongoing)
-Sears | $35 Off $300+ Orders (exp 1/31/2015)
It’s 2014, and along with the new year, it also means it’s tax season once again. Yes, it’s a painstaking process, and no one knows this more than our good friends at H&R Block. That’s why today, we’re focusing on 9 tax preparation tips to help put you at ease when it comes time to file…
It’s one of two certainties in life, so why not get it out of the way as soon as you can? From collecting receipts to interpreting the forms to making sure that it’s as accurate as possible, there’s a lot to be overwhelmed by, but with the right help, you can get through it unscathed and relatively stress-free.
So what can you do? Here are a few tips:
- Keep Your Records: This includes items such as receipts, whether or not a purchase was a personal or a business expenditure, paper documents, or anything of that nature. Keeping track of your records not only ensures accuracy, but also gives you the information you need to back-up your claims should you be audited.
- Gather Your Forms: This means your W-2s and your 1099s. In the coming weeks, you should be receiving them, but if not, contact the IRS immediately. If you’re self-employed, then it will be up to you to obtain them.
- 1099s For Businesses: The deadline for filing your 1099 is February 28. However, if you file electronically, your deadline is pushed back to April 1.
- Understand Deductions: This can trip up even the most seasoned veterans. The key is to figure out know what your standard deductions are from your itemized ones. Standardized deductions can include items such as your age or marital status, or whether or not you’re claiming anyone as a dependent, while itemized can deal with matters such as medical costs, insurance, travel expenses, real estate, charitable donations and more.
- Personal vs. Business Records: This can relate back to the first item we listed. It’s important to be able to keep your business ventures and your personal expenses separate. The IRS tends to scrutinize when both crossover, such as when you use a business vehicle for personal transport. This is where keeping track of your records will come into play.
- Tax Credits Within The Affordable Care Act: Also know as “Obamacare,” the Affordable Care Act’s reform mandate went into effect January 1. As a result, Americans now have to purchase health insurance or pay the price in the form of a tax penalty. That being said, families and individuals can purchase coverage for 2014 through state and federal exchanges, and have the option of using tax credits to help afford it. However, these will only be available to those who are not eligible for affordable coverage from other sources, and if your incomes falls within two to form times the poverty line.
- Avoid Audit Traps: This deals with some of the grey area when it comes to what you can claim as a deduction, such as:
- Classifying employees as independent contractors.
- Claiming a large amount of itemized deductions relative to your income.
- The home office deduction.
- Double Check: It’s something that’s so simple, and it can help you to avoid any costly mistakes (no pun intended). Check for overlapping amounts that can make it seem like you earned more than you did, as this can lead to you paying more than you should.
- File Your Taxes: Once you’ve finished all of this, now it’s time to file. Hey, you might as well while you’re thinking about it.
And our friends at H&R Block are here to help you every step of the way.
Whether it’s for your home or business, they have all the resources and solutions you need to not only finish your taxes quickly and accurately, but also receive the biggest refund you can. Gather your forms and file your return online for free, or purchase one of their premium packages or download the necessary software to do it all from home, or locate one of their offices and schedule and appointment with one of their professionals.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share? What are your experiences with H&R Block? Let us know in the comments below.
A Few Coupons To Help Get You Started:
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Happy New Year! New Year = New You is the theme for today’s blog post, and for those who are still struggling to figure out what their resolution will be for 2014, we here at DefinitiveDeals are here to present you with 10 suggestions to help you start your 2014 off right…
The New Year presents everyone with a clean slate, giving you the perfect opportunity to be the person you’ve always wanted to be. Whether it’s something big or something small, there are plenty of things to do for those who want to be new again.
So what can you do? Here are a few suggestions:
- Spend More Time With Loved Ones: Life can get busy, and sometimes you can get too wrapped up in what you’re doing. If this describes you, maybe it’s time to make more time for your family and friends, whether it’s a simple phone call, spending quality time, playing with your kids, or stepping away from your electronics and hang out with an old friend (see #9).
- Find True Love: Consider your search over in 2014. No one should have to be alone, so take steps in trying to meet new people, be more outgoing, and who knows, maybe you’ll find “the one” in the process.
- Quit Bad Habits: Arguably one of the most popular resolutions every year, whether it’s to quit something like drinking or smoking, or something like eating habits or procrastination. The road may be difficult, but with the right help and willpower, you can kick your addictions and start anew.
- Lose Weight and Exercise: Speaking of new year = new you, losing weight and exercising regularly is also a popular decision (roughly 40%). Take steps to change your diet, adhere to a fitness program or regimen. More importantly, start small and build from there, as lofty expectations can often leave you overwhelmed and throwing in the towel early.
- Enjoy Life: As Ferris Bueller once put it: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” This year, resolve to slow things down and not worry about things that are out of your hands. Take some “me-time” and reflect on the positives and everything you have to be grateful.
- Improve Finances: Whether you’re in debt or you just want to start making better decisions, look at this as an opportunity to improve your overall situation and take control of your finances, and not the other way around.
- Find A New Job: Maybe you’re unhappy with where you’re at right now, or perhaps you’re unemployed. This year, work to change that. Look for your dream job, or return to the working world. There are plenty of jobs out there. All you have to do is start looking.
- Manage Stress Better: This can also relate back to #5 on this list. It’s been a long year for some, so why not resolve to take it easier and get that stress under control. Find a newer (healthier) way to let off some steam, try not to put as much pressure on yourself, get more organized, or take up something like yoga. You’d be amazed by the results.
- Less Time On Electronics: Phones, computers, tablets, television, video games, etc. Over 61% of Americans have admit that they’re addicted to the internet in some capacity, so for 2014, take more time to unplug and give yourself (and your devices) some time to rest.
- Go Back To School: Whether it’s circumstance or you just opted not to go to school at the time. Maybe it’s an item you want to scratch off your bucket list. No matter what the reason may be, take steps to enroll in classes and get your degree.
On the flip side, there’s also the option to give up making resolutions. On average, only 8% of people stick with it, and most will give it up within the first month. It’s okay to set lofty goals, but be realistic. Start out small and build your way up. It might be difficult and often pain-staking at times, but the reward will be that much better.
So what is your resolution? Do you have any tips for keeping up? Do you just skip it altogether? Let us know in the comments below.
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It’s time to ring in the New Year, but if you’re a parent who is finding it difficult to find a trusted caregiver, then this can put a damper on your plans. Thankfully, our good friends at Sittercity are here to offer a helping hand. Today, we’re going to talk about how they can help you find the perfect caregiver so you can have fun and celebrate, while also putting your mind at ease when it comes to your family…
So you have plans to go out for New Year’s, but first comes to issue of finding someone to watch your kid or senior (or even your pet). Finding the right caregiver can be difficult. After all, this is someone you’ll not only let into your home, but also your life. Classified ads can be questionable, and not everyone has a family member in the vicinity. Rather than sweat it, let Sittercity assist you.
For those that don’t know, Sittercity is an online child care solution that allows anyone to seek out babysitters and nannies in their city. The way it works is simple: parents will post an ad outlining their requirements. From there, any caregiver can answer the ad based on what fits their experience and availability. Parents can then interview their candidates and make sure that this is the best fit. After that, all that’s left is to hire.
But why should you choose Sittercity? Here are a few reasons:
- It’s Safe: Safety is the first and biggest priority when it comes to your family. Sittercity provides you with all the tools you need to run extensive background checks so you can know every detail about who you’re about to hire. Comb through full profiles, or check their references and read reviews from past employers.
- You Make The Call: It may be their website, but you’re in complete control when it comes to finding your new caretaker. You post the job and list your requirements, you contact and interview the candidates, you review their qualifications and run the background checks (see #1), and you’re the one that gets to deliver the magical words “you’re hired.”
- It’s Trusted: Since its founding back in 2001, Sittercity has become one of the most trusted resources for families across the country, with millions of satisfied customers and counting. Need proof? Check out some of these testimonials.
But they can do more than help you find a babysitter or a nanny for a kid. You can also post jobs for special needs care, pets, companions, and more.
To learn more, to post a job, or to look for one yourself, visit their official website.
Are you planning on going out this year? Do you often struggle to find a caregiver? Have you had any experience using Sitercity in the past? Let us know in the comments below.
A Few Coupons To Help You Get Started:
-30% Off All Sittercity Memberships (exp 12/30)
-Find Pet Sitters or Dog Walkers (ongoing)
-Find Elder Care Providers and Tutors (ongoing)
We’re just days away from Christmas, and for those who have put their shopping off until the last weekend (AKA: Super Saturday), we’re here to help you out. Today, we’re focusing on 10 thoughtful last-second gifts that your friends and family will love…
Along with Black Friday, Super Saturday can turn into one of the busiest shopping days of the year, and for anyone who hasn’t had the time to shop (or has been putting it off for whatever reason), this can turn into a nightmare. However, you don’t always have to go for the extravagant and pricey to impress your loved ones. From clothing to food to the gift of a day off, there are plenty of thoughtful gifts you can give, even if you’re shopping at the eleventh hour.
So what can you do? Here are a few ideas:
- Picture Books: We’ll start with something for the youngest ones on your list. Picture books are great for early learners, especially if they’re interactive. Find the latest children’s books, or hit up a second-hand shop for an old classic. Some might even be available for digital download on your tablet.
- Gift Cards and Certificates: Yes, we know that gift shopping can be difficult, and for those who don’t have a clue and don’t want to spend hours walking around the malls and department stores, consider gift cards. They’re as good as cash, and will enable the recipient to pick out whatever they want. Get one for their favorite stores or websites, or choose one of the credit card ones so they can shop anywhere.
- Day Off/Night Out: Great for parents or couples looking to have their next date night, because everyone deserves to have a little fun. Set aside one evening and take them to do whatever they want to do. Check out a movie or a show, go to a concert, grab dinner, take a carriage ride around the city, or take them to the spa and do nothing for a change. After all, you’ve earned it.
- Clothes: Clothing is a go-to for everyone looking for a last-second gift. Whether it’s a designer brand or something that looks nice, you can find deals on plenty of items such as dress shirts and pants, dresses, jackets, ties, shoes and more.
- Homemade: Time to put those arts and crafts skills to the test. While anyone can buy a gift, it says another thing if you’re willing to make it yourself. Maybe you’re skilled in painting or pottery, perhaps you have materials to create your own ornament, or you want to make your own picture frame (see #7). Another thing you can do is make fake coupons for the kids, such as “no chores for a day” or “putting off bed time for x-amount of minutes.”
- Personalized Gifts: Ornaments, coffee mugs, writing utensils, even having their name inscribed on their favorite electronics. Personalized gifts are always a popular option, as they allow you to add your own touch to your gift.
- Pictures and Frames: Perfect for distant relatives and grandparents. Buy a frame and fill it with pictures of your family, or get a digital frame and pre-load it with the same. Another idea you can do is to transform it into a canvas print and make it a work of art.
- “Of The Month” Clubs: You know what they love, and rather than just get them one thing, get them a gift that keeps on giving. “Of The Month” Clubs will deliver a specific item to your front doorstep every month, and best of all, there’s something for everybody, including gourmet food, beer and wine, fashion, spa items, and more.
- Food: For the foodie on your list. There are plenty of food items that you can send this holiday season, including gourmet steaks and pork, popcorn, candy and sweets, cheese, fruit and more. You can even send a food package they will receive each month (see #8).
- Electronics: From tablets to televisions to the latest video game consoles, everyone is always trying to get their hands on the latest electronics every holiday shopping season. Some places will even have great deals on the final weekend to help sell their holiday stock.
Is there anything we missed? Will you be shopping this weekend? Are you already done? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
A Few Coupons To Help Get You Started:
-Personalization Mall | 20% Off Your Order (ongoing)
-GiftBasket.com | $20 Off $200+ Orders (ongoing)