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Sunday, January 19, 2014

A very unique Christmas....The boys!

The second blog post on my unique Christmas is here.  I will start with my boys.  As stated in a previous post, I decided to do a theme of tools for my boys.  I want to raise my boys to be men and to be do-it-yourselfers, so I thought tools would really help promote this desire.

The first thing I did was research.  I researched what kind of tools are a must.  I then listed them on a piece of paper and decided which ones they could share.  Saws & drills will one day be something they need alone but at 8 & 11 they can share for now.  However, if they were 16 or so, I would probably get them each their own set.  That way they have them to take with them someday.
Once I knew what I needed, I could start looking.  My big place to buy tools at amazing prices may surprise you.  It is Tractor Supply!  Yes, I am serious.  They have a great clearance section that I am convinced many people miss.  It is usually in the back corner of the store.  A little bit hidden.  I can’t even tell you how much I have bought here for 50-75% off original prices.  You may even find something for yourself.  I got Muck Boots for $14.00 one time.  But that is another story.
The best part of this store is men don’t mind going in there.  So if we are driving in a town far from home and I see one, I may ask to stop.  You can also sign up to get their mailings where you can get 10-15% off coupons sent to you.  Sometimes you can use them on clearance items, which is a bonus!

The second best place I found to buy tools is Amazon.  So many items are eligible for free shipping.  And they have hard to beat prices.  This is where I got my 8 year Old’s workbench as well as other amazing items.  Because he is young I found a Real Construction Deluxe Tool Workshop Kit.  It is actually Styrofoam looking wood that you cut and saw and nail with hard plastic tools.  I thought this would be good practice for him.  Boy was I right.  He built so many items all on his own with this kit.  I was amazed.  Even his older sister got into it.

The secret with Amazon is four-fold.  First, find a friend or relative to either go in on and Amazon prime account with you or one who has an account and will just add you to it.  You will get free shipping in 2 days on most items.  Second, put the items you want in your cart and save them for later.  Then every time you check your cart it will tell you if the price has lowered or rose.  When it hits the price you like move back to your cart and purchase it.

Thirdly, you can try and take advantage of Swagbucks.  Just don’t waste a bunch of time on it.  You can quickly, by addiction & wasting time, get lots of bucks in your account.   Or instead, slowly earn bucks by using it as a search engine or purchasing through them.  You then use the bucks towards gift cards towards places like Amazon.  It won’t get your rich, but to me it is like getting a $5.00 coupon I can use on Amazon.

Lastly, you can tie in your credit card points with your Amazon account.  My friend and employee used all the points they had saved up this year on Amazon.  They paid nothing for Christmas gifts this year, because they had wisely saved up credit card points and used them for the things they wanted to purchase.  They are also Dave Ramsey people so they pay off their credit card every month.

Another place, that I am not crazy about as most of their tools seem pretty cheap, but is worth the look, is Harbor Freight.  You can sign up for their email and get coupons sent to you.  The only thing I purchased here was my oldest son’s workbench and it is awesome. I paid so little compared to other stores including amazon, with the exact same workbench.

I really wanted kits for my boys.  Things they could easily put together on their own or with little help.  So I searched and found a few to wrap up.  But the best thing I found was a building kit of the month club.  And this was not easy to find.  It is the Young Woodworkers Kit Club.   Every month you get a kit with a tool to help you build it.  The tools are not top notch or anything, but they don’t need to be.  It is the kit my kids want.  I am happy with this club.
So there it is.  My boys were happy to get all these tools and have put them to use many times already.  I think this summer they will even get more use out of them.  I love to see them create and be men.  It makes me a proud mama, when I can call one of them and say, “Please figure out how to fix this cupboard door for me.”  Then I step back and watch them work.  What a great blessing.
I sure hope this gives you some great ideas.  I will post links to many of the items I bought.  I just have to go through my Amazon orders to find them.  Sorry but some tools I am unable to link because I got them offline.  Most of the nails & screws I got at a local hardware.  I really try to use local as much as I can.  They need us.
My next post will be the girls.  Until then, happy shopping.


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