Tag Archives: Bed Bath & Beyond

Registering for your wedding

Chef Wes

My husband using some of our new kitchen tools.

If you’re having a summer or fall wedding, this is a good time to start thinking about creating a gift registry. It’s a great time to reinvigorate your fiance, and get them involved in the planning. My husband loved registering and checking out all the kitchen gadgets. The key is to give your guests choices.

First, you need to choose where to register. I suggest shopping the stores before you choose one. Go to two or three and figure out if they have what you’d like to have in your home.

Look for products in a wide variety of price points as every guest will have a different giving level especially if your guests are from different parts of the country. Having lived in several parts of the country, I’ve realized there are huge differences in price points for weddings. Some of it’s personal, but a good chunk of decisions are regional.

When you’re browsing the store, it can be overwhelming because you’re deciding on so many things. What kind of dishes, pots and pans, or mixer do you want for the next 20 years?

Be realistic. It’s easy to get carried away and register for items that you’ll never use. We had a few on our list, that we’ve used once in six months. I tried repeatedly to get some removed from our list, but my husband insisted we would need it. I just rolled my eyes and let him relish in the fun of registering. He is handy in the kitchen, and the last thing I wanted to do was discourage him from planning and cooking.

The stores all offer different programs. They want you to sit through their speech about the pros and cons before they allow you to register. One store even wanted to follow us through the store to make suggestions. Luckily, we convinced them otherwise telling them we already did a site survey and knew what we wanted.

Some stores give you cash back on a percentage of the purchases made from your registry. Others, give you nothing for bringing dozens of your friends and family to their store to shop. Also, consider shipping and handling. Many stores will charge you for it online while others give you free shipping for orders over $99. Bed Bath & Beyond will only ship for free if you find a promotional code or if you go to the store and don’t find the item you need.

We registered at Macy’s and Bed Bath & Beyond, and by far the majority of our guests bought items at Bed Bath & Beyond.

Once all the registering is done, sit back and relax. It’s like Christmas everyday as you get close to the wedding and have gifts arriving. I laughed at some that arrived in huge boxes with a small kitchen gadget in them. Another one arrived with cups wrapped in just a few pieces of paper. Needless to say some were broken and we called for replacements.

Finally, keep track of everything as you receive it. It gets confusing as the gifts start piling up. We waited to send thank you notes until after our wedding so we could send notes with our wedding pictures on them, and I think some guests would have prefered thank you notes as the gifts arrived. I say this because when you send something you always wonder if the recipient got it. We had people asking if we received gifts, and I felt bad when they inquired. It’s just something to consider when you’re figuring out the best way to thank someone.

Just make sure you take the time to write a thank you note at some point. I can’t tell you how many weddings I went to where the bride and groom never said a word about the gift. I don’t want a big pat on the back, but I want to know you received it and put it to use.

Toss the paper coupons and pick up your smartphone

Mobile coupon for Bed Bath & Beyond

Mobile coupon for Bed Bath & Beyond

I have a refrigerator full of coupons from Macy’s and Bed Bath & Beyond. It seems these stores send the most coupons, and I hate to be in the store without a discount of some sort. However, it seems that always happens. Whenever I need a coupon, I don’t have one that’s not expired or I forget the savings at home. That’s why I’ve turned to paperless coupons. Now, I just pick up my smartphone and check my text messages to save.

The next time you are at the store, look near the register. Most will tell you to text an odd combination of numbers (5 or 6) to sign up for text message alerts that notify you of savings.

With Bed Bath & Beyond, you get a text message with a link to the latest 20% off coupon. The other benefit is that you can use it more than once. With the paper coupons, they take them. There is still a limit of one coupon per order or purchase, but you still have it for next time.

Some stores also alert you when the coupon expires so you can plan your purchases better to coincide with a deal.

If you get annoyed by the text messages, you can stop the alerts. I don’t think the stores abuse their privilege of having your phone number. I don’t get that many messages and I haven’t seen an increase in my spam texts.

AT&T is teaming up with several retailers to offer a similar service, only you’ll be notified when you are in the area of a store offering a discount. You need to be an AT&T customer, but it’s another sign that paper coupons will soon be replaced by digital ones.

After all, we never leave home without our smartphone. We do leave home without those coupons. Soon, we won’t have to worry about that.

Free coffee including popular pumpkin spice latte

Courtesy: Starbucks

If you’re a coffee lover, you are in luck this week. There are two ways to get a free latte including the fall favorite – pumpkin spice.

Starbucks is offering free Caffe’ Latte drinks to promote its new do it yourself latte machine. It’s called the Verismo System. The in home brewing machine makes espresso, lattes and brewed coffee. You can taste these home brews at Starbucks Monday, October 15th, from 4 PM to 6 PM. Click here to find a participating store near you. Thanks to Women Get it Free for finding this deal.

The Verismo system retails for $199 and the pods are sold in boxes of 12 for $9.98 and up. The majority appear to retail for around $1 each. The milk pods are slightly cheaper at about 81-cents. To make a latte, you need a milk and espresso pod. So, you’ll still pay a high price for your latte. However, it will be half what you pay at your local Starbucks. The question is – does it taste the same? Go to Starbucks Monday and find out.

When Keurig first came out with its pods, they were pricey as well. Now, you can get them for fifty to sixty cents. You can save even more if brew coffee grounds in the Keurig filter. I expect the Starbucks Verismo pods will come down in price over time, but I don’t expect they’ll be as cheap as the Keurig anytime soon. After all, the Verismo drinks are higher end.

Courtesy: Starbucks

Mobile coupon for pumpkin spice latte
The second offers requires you to sign up for a mobile coupon from Target. If you buy one Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte or Frappuccino you get another one for free. The coupon expires October 26th. Thanks to Coupons-Saving for finding this deal.

Mobile coupons are becoming popular. I’ve signed up for them to save instantly at the cash register. I also like the ones from Bed Bath & Beyond because you can save money even if you forget your paper coupons at home. You’re more likely to have your phone so you can save without planning a trip to Bed Bath & Beyond.

As you know from my blog, I am a proponent of maintaining your privacy. With mobile coupons, you are giving away your cell phone number. However, I haven’t had any problems with spam or excessive text messages from retailers that offer mobile coupons. Plus, you can always unsubscribe if you want to stop receiving text messages.

I think mobile coupons are the future and you might as well start saving with them now.

Homemade pumpkin spice latte
If you want to maintain your privacy and still save money on coffee, how about making it yourself? For a NewsChannel 5 story, a student at Polaris Career Center showed me a recipe to make your own pumpkin spice latte at home with common household ingredients.

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon pumpkin spice (to make your own use equal parts cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg)
  • 1.5 tablespoon pumpkin puree unsweetened
  • ¾ cup milk

Whisk all the ingredients together. Microwave until the milk is frothy. Then, add the coffee and stir everything together.

Related links you may like:
Dunkin’ Donuts K-Cups
Snapple to offer K-Cups
Starbucks offer K-Cups 

PajamaJeans put to the test

Have you ever walked into the grocery store in your pajamas? Now, you don’t need to be embarrassed. PajamaJeans are advertised as a hot new fashion sensation, but do they really do that?

We had a Northeast Ohio moms group test PajamaJeans. The mothers were different sizes, but they both came out with with a good fit. The jeans are sized small, medium, and large rather than size 6, 8, or 10. Still, they fit a mom who was 5 foot 9 inches. Usually she needs long jeans.

The women liked the length and the fit around the waist. But, getting them over their waist took some tugging.

One woman wore her jeans for a week, and had to tell friends she had them on.

PajamaJeans only comes in one color and cost around $40. They’re sold in stores like Walmart and Bed Bath & Beyond.

CPSC investigates claims of injuries from firepots and their fuel

Courtesy Consumer Product Safety Commission Safer Products website - picture submitted by consumer

Look around your yard this weekend as there may be a fire hazard. Firepots and the gel that’s used to fuel them are under investigation by the Consumer Product Safety Commission over reports of injuries.  A national retailer is also pulling the products off store shelves over the alleged safety concerns.

The New York Times first reported that two people were severely injured in New York when they tried to light a ceramic firepot with a jelly-like citronella fuel.

The CPSC issued a warning for fuel pots and tiki torches telling consumers to only add fuel to any product when it’s cool. Fuel splattering and burns are problems when fuel is added to a hot product. The CPSC is investigating the specific claims of burns related to the pots and gel-like fuel.

The reports of injuries led Napa Home and Garden to issue a precautionary stop on future sales of gel burners and fuel at retailers . Bed Bath & Beyond is one of the retailers and announced it will stop sales until further notice.

“We have sold tens of thousands of Fire Burners and fuel during the last two years and have always considered them safe products,” Napa Home and Garden owner, Jerry Cunningham said.

Gel burners are new products in the market. Napa said it relies on guidance from its fuel supplier to create safety directions for the product. The company says it believes the product is safe, but is taking this step of halting sales to reaffirm the safety. A third-party expert will review the warning labels and instructions.

Napa says there are already extensive warnings on the fuel containers and in the care and use instructions. “In spite of all the warnings, which are as good or better that any others in the industry, we need to see what else we can do to make sure our products are safe and people know how to use them safely,” declared Cunningham.

The incidents are also being investigated to figure out if there was a bad batch of fuel.

If you have a problem with a product like this, contact the CPSC. The government agency has a safety database, Safer Products, that can be searched to find complaints. I searched “firepot” and found one report involving a product bought in Washington. The consumer reports that the indoor/outdoor pot caused nearly $3,000 in damage, and included a picture of a burnt couch or futon type product. According to this report, when the consumer tried to snuff the firepot, “the flaming gel erupted volcano style throwing gel at least 5 feet across her living room…”

When I searched “fire pot”, I found another report from a consumer who bought a different brand firepot from a different retailer. However, they report the pot exploded.  The California consumer says the gel was burning a long time before it exploded. The consumer then wrote, “Consumer was spared, but dog was struck, and caught fire. Table caught fire and gel landing on concrete patio burned for up to 15 minutes. Dog ran and caught some grass and plants on fire in yard.” The consumer said the expenses for the dog were approaching $12,000. The dog has third degree burns over 35% of his body.

These reports in the CPSC database are unconfirmed. They are simply consumer accounts of what happened.