Saturday, December 18, 2010

Stuck for a Christmas gift? Send them an iTunes Christmas app

I love apps. I have apps on my iPad and apps on my iPhone. I spend hours searching through the app store, just for the fun of it. Normal apps are fun, Christmas apps are even better!
In no random order, here are a few of my best pics for Christmas apps this Holiday season. The best part? They are all .99 cents. Send a few gifts through the iTunes app store this year, just because you are awesome. Or just give them to yourself, because these are great ways to while away time while hiding in your closet just to get away from your relatives.

Video Calls with Santa - You know that point kids hit before Christmas, where they are done being good and the horns come out? Fighting, not cleaning up after themselves, just generally being naughty? There's an app for that! Video Calls with Santa lets you call Santa on your iPhone. There is a number to call for when they are naughty, nice, and even voice mail. It had the potential to be cheesy, but this app really works. You let them talk to Santa, and when they are done you tap the screen. Santa then keeps talking. It was .99 cents, and so far I have broke up 4 fights and received the festive gift of a clean playroom out of it. Rating: 3 Dings and an extra Ding just because its Santa

Cut the Rope - This is a very fun game, even for the kids. My kids basically took away the iPad and came back when they beat it. So maybe not such a good thing if you like your iPad. Rating: Two Dings, and a thumbs up for Omnomnom because he's cute

Hamster Holidays for iPhone and iPad - This is so cute. Much in the same way that Jingle Cats meow their way through Christmas carols, these little festive hamsters use bells. You can either play along or listen as they chime their bells. Not a lot of substance here, but its only a buck, so why not? Rating: Two Dings, because it must have been difficult to get those hamsters to wear those hats and pose for that picture.

EA is having a sale right now. Many of their board games are 90% off. I just grabbed Boggle, Tetris, Pictureka, and Monopoly. All for .99 cents. I love playing board games on the iPad. Scrabble is a huge hit in my house, and you can't argue with a board game for a dollar. Really, just think of the hours of entertainment it will give Grandpa this Christmas. Give him your phone to play with instead of your TV remote control. Rating: EA Rocks. 3 Dings for posting a Christmas sale

As I still have a lot of work to do before Christmas and I normally only blog when inspiration strikes, I will wish you a Merry Christmas and see you in the New Year!

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Saving money on Christmas gifts this holiday season

Is it truly possible to save money at Christmas time? Its so easy to get into the mood to spend money, what with children begging for toys and festively decorated windows just begging you to drop your credit card off and the door and go crazy. I'm not going to tell you not to spend your money, because at Christmas that would be pretty silly advice. What I will share with you is a few tips I've picked up along the way to save you some money when Christmas shopping. These are specific to Canadians, simply because our economy is different than that of the USA, and also specific to buying toys, because that is what is on my mind today:

  • Shop online: Yes, I know that most of you shop online, but I've seen quite a few people  who get consistently shop online and do not know how to save money. Sign up for newsletters and coupon blasts from and Granted it is super annoying to get a new email advertising their sales every single day, but occasionally there is a real gem in there. Frequent these sites every single day, and you will be rewarded with better savings. 
  • Ship USA: Most people simply click the button that says "Ship to my Home" without thinking. Don't do that. If you live near a border city, you can take advantage of domestic USA shipping. For example, Vancouver is located near the Washington border, so many of us have mailboxes in the USA. Big websites often give out free shipping when you purchase over a certain limit. Simply cross the border and pick up your packages. It generally costs about $5 to pick up a box from a company that provides shipping. It is a bit more hassle than having it arrive at your door, but the money you save makes it worth it. 
  • Visit resale shops: If you have little people, say under the age of 5 for example, you can score great stuff that has been gently used in a resale shop. A specific example of a great place to shop for cool toys is Toy Traders in Langley, BC. You can also look through Craigslist for great deals. Big ticket items, such as Train Tables or Play Kitchens are often barely used, so grab one of these and stuff it under your tree this year. 
I only blog when inspiration strikes, and today I was inspired to help you save money. Have a happy holiday!