6 Educents Must-Haves Cheaper than Amazon

I’d love to be able to shop around for the best price always, but sometimes there isn’t enough time in the day!  

I received a list of items that are cheaper on Educents, (one of my favorite online stores for educational resources) than on Amazon. I was shocked to find some items were $100 cheaper on Educents than Amazon. So, of course I wanted to share this time-and-money-saving list with you!

Hot tip: Use code GETREADY to get free shipping on every order, no minimum required or WELCOME16: 15% off + Free Shipping with no minimum for new customers

Hooked on Phonics Learn To Read Kit for PreK-2nd – Save $170.00

hooked on phonics review


Hooked on Phonics is one of the most trusted brands in teaching children how to read. This set is for Pre-K-2nd graders who are looking to create a strong foundation in phonics. This set includes workbooks as well as access to the HoP online learning portal. Retail Price – $299.99 / Amazon Price – $265.00 Educents Price – $129.99 

Maestro Classics Musical Stories Set – Save $112.00



This 12 CD collection features perennial classics you’ll remember from childhood like Peter and The Wolf, The Nutcracker, and The Tortoise And The Hare. Each disk also includes activities to complete for students after they have finished the story. Retail Price – $200.00 / Amazon Price – $93.43 Educents Price – $88.00

Times Tales Animated DVD  Save $10.00



Times Tales is one of the best ways to teach kids multiplication – period. One mom said, “Best money spent on math. It really worked. Within a week my 9 and 11-year-old completed 110 problem text with scores of 99% and 100% respectively. Wow.” Audio, visual, logical – what’s more to ask?Retail Price – $29.99 / Amazon Price – $28.99 Educents Price – $19.99

Reusable Human Body Sticker Set – Save $9.00



The Mona MELissa reusable sticker playsets are an amazing way to create a hands-on learning experience in your home, classroom, or anywhere with a wall. Teach kids all about anatomy – and make it stick (literally!) – with this scientifically accurate set. Retail Price – $28.99 Amazon Price – $24.99 Educents Price – $19.99

Tegu Magnetic Building Blocks: 40 Piece Set – Save $27.50



Tegu blocks are the wooden magnetic blocks that are captivating children’s attention worldwide. Aside from being an outside-of-the-box toy, Tegu cares about creating social good, and hires workers in Honduras to create these wonderful toys. Plus they plant a tree with each purchase. 🙂 Retail Price – $110.00 Amazon Price – $110.00 Educents Price – $82.50

Hooked on Phonics Spelling Program  Save $20.00



Spelling Bee here we come! The Hooked On Spelling program is no exception to the quality of Hooked on Phonics programs and teaches spelling in a way that’s unique and fun at the same time.

Retail Price – $79.95 / Amazon Price – $130.22

Educents Price – $59.95

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Staples: Back to School Supplies! Under $10!

It’s that time of year again!  Wait… it’s only July. Yes! It’s time to start thinking about Back-To-School already!  School supplies are on crazy discounts right now at many of the major retailers.  Although I don’t have school age kids, I am a teacher at heart and can’t resist a fresh pack of new markers…crayons..notebooks… you get the idea 🙂 (I’m also SUPER thrifty and love finding a good deal… you can read my post about other ways to save here and here).  This is not a sponsored post but may contain affiliate links.

One of my favorite bloggers is Collin over at Hip2Save.  If you aren’t already following her, get on her email list. Yes, you will get daily emails full of amazing deals.  Trust me, it’s the only email I religiously look forward to and read, every-single-day.   I was able to score an amazing deal on several school supplies.  I didn’t grab all the supplies in her bargain, but I did get some.  Staples in Woodbury, MN has an AWESOME supply of all these items, so no worries about fighting to get them.  The sale is on through July 23rd. Don’t miss out!

What did I get?

10 Notebooks (5 College/5 Wide Ruled).   These were .17 each = $1.70 (limit 30)

2 Packs of Markers – .97 each = $1.94 (limit 30)

2 Packs of Crayons – .50 each = $1.00 (limit 30)

1 Pack of Erasers – .25 =  $.25  (Hard to pass up, but I think I have plenty of these on hand!) (limit 5)

4 packs of Pens (1 Black, 1 Blue, 2 Purple) – $.75 each = $3.00  (limit 5)

Colored Pencils – .97 each = .97 (limit 30)

My total BEFORE tax was $8.86.  I simply cannot complain!!  There are other great deals out there as well. I know Target has .50 crayons this week as well as ongoing school supply deals.

Here are a few other deals at Staples:

Purell Hand Sanitizer $2 (reg. $2.49) – (limit 30)  (.75/1 Purell Coupon here – making even less!)

Two-Pocket Paper Folders $0.17 each (reg. $0.55) – (limit 30)

Buy 1 Staples Composition Notebook $0.50 (reg. $2.29) – (limit 30)

Also, if you’re in the market for a new backpack, when you purchase one you get an additional 25% off on your school supplies!

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Exploring: Downtown Hastings, MN

I had so much fun with last week’s post about Hudson, WI that I thought i would try to make this a weekly series where I explore a small town and share some of the great adventures I have along the way.

Last Thanksgiving my friend Vicki asked me to run the Thanksgiving Gobble Gait 8K with her in Hastings.  I had never spent much time there and just figured it would be like any run.  Let me say, it was one of the most beautiful runs I have done!  All of the money from the race is donated to the Hastings Family Service which serves the local community.  What started as a small run has now grown to over 2000 runners.

Post Race Photo with Vicki (right) and her friend Stacie (center)

Although it was cold and went, it was SO WORTH it!  Just being able to say I did it and knowing my race fee went to someone in need felt pretty darn good!

The race started and finished on Main Street in Hastings and although it was cold and wet, I fell madly in love with Main Street!  There are tons of cute little shops and restaurants.  Its very quaint and a nice little day trip. From the Downtown Business Association of Hastings, MN, ” The Historic Downtown Business District of Hastings, Minnesota. You’ll find charming shops that feature; Antiques, Collectibles, Gifts, Fashion, Imports, Toys, Pottery, Jewelry and many one of a kind specialty items and services. Most of our shops are located in preserved historic buildings dating back to the 1800’s.”

Right now they are redoing some sections of Main Street so my photos may be a little limited in the angles as I was simply trying to photo without all the yellow tape and orange cones.   However, even though it was under construction we were still able to navigate to all the shops with no trouble.

My friend Jayme has super awesome taste and had told me about Eye Candy Refind, so I HAD to check it out.  (If you’ve ever been in the Loft at Viva Voce Salon in Hudson, they have several stunning pieces from Eye Candy!!) After a quick trip to their shop in Hastings, I was sold!!  First of all I LOVE the owners.  Super bad ass ladies who run a great shop with gorgeous pieces!  They are SUPER friendly and totally willing to help you with anything.  (and I mean anything, I’m still looking for my card catalog and they are too!).   I ended up buying a gorgeous buffet my first trip there and continue to get inspiration every time I go to their shop!

My buffet table from Eye Candy

I absolutely adore the signs, furniture and decor in Eye Candy Refind. They also do painting classes in the Hastings Store as well if you want to learn how to chalk paint.  Additionally they share TONS of new pieces on their Instagram (eye_candy_refind) and Facebook Pages.  If you’re looking for a one of a kind, quality piece at an affordable price, check out Eye Candy!!!

If you’re someone who wants to DIY your own furniture pieces then stop into one of the many antique shops in town!

A few others:

Second Street Antique Mall

If home decor isn’t your thing, they also have cute little clothing shops as well!  One that is always a stop when we are there is Lah-Tee-Dah Boutique.  They have adorable clothes at very reasonable prices!  You will also find that unique piece you wouldn’t find online or at a mall.  That’s what makes small town shopping so special.  You don’t look like everyone else and you’re supporting a local business.

Other shopping locations for gifts and goodies:

Mississippi Clayworks

Let’s be honest, after all that shopping I’m usually starving and (in my opinion) the BEST place in town is the Busted Nut.  We completely stumbled into the Busted Nut on a whim when we were picking up my buffet from Eye Candy.  It was the best decision ever!!  Fresh peanuts when you sit down and cold beers!  But better than that is the food.  I have been there several times now and I am never disappointed.  Last time we were there, a friend said “This is the best mushroom swiss burger I have ever had!”  I typically order the Chicken, Bacon Ranch Wrap with waffle fries and season sour cream and it’s AMAZING!!!  (See below)

Although the Busted Nut happens to be my favorite, there are lots of other choices while in the downtown area.


The Onion Grille (I’ve heard this place is awesome too!)

Karl’s Red Rock Cafe (Breakfast and Lunch)

Spiral Pizza

While I was walking around taking photos, I saw the sweetest scene in Reissner’s Meat and Grocery. I was transported back 50 years. (or what I imagine life to be like 50 years ago).  Two older gentlemen were standing in the business enjoying a conversation and a coke.  It was the most refreshing, simple moment they were sharing.  They didn’t have cell phones out, they weren’t distracted by anything but what the other person was saying.  It truly warmed my heart.

One thing that always catches my eye when I’m in town is the Meyer Company Sign (Carhartt, Levis, shopping).  It again, takes me back to a time before modern technology.  And while I don’t know the history, I imagine it was put up in the early years of Jc Penney, Montgomery Wards, Sears Roebuck Co.  Just the lettering takes me back to flipping through catalogs at grandmas house.


As you find your way out of town, take a minute to see the beautiful new bridge that was built in 2014.  It’s stunning at night and beautiful during the day.

Hastings is only a short drive from the Twin Cities on Highway 61 South, and about 45 minutes from Western, WI.  I love any excuse to get down here to shop and eat!  (and there may or may not be a casino stop or a stop at Ellsworth Creamery on the way! Pretty sure we’ll be checking out Ellsworth in the near future so I can go back for more fresh cheese curds!)

I hope you are able to seek out new adventures in Hastings or any of the towns I mention along the way.  It’s such a fun journey for me to check out new places and bring friends along for the ride!



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Stitch Fix: Fix #31

One of the questions I get asked most often by people who used to read my blog (before my long hiatus) is if I still do Stitch Fix.  The answer is yes.  I’ve only taken one break from Stitch Fix and it was when I was pregnant with George. What’s wonderful about Stitch Fix is that they offer maternity clothes as well.  I have heard from a few friends who have tried the maternity stuff that they absolutely love it.

Every box has a little note with style cards attached and the first line of my note was, Happy 31st Fix Day!  What?! 31 fixes already. I simply cannot believe it.  That’s well over 2 years (plus a hiatus) of fixes.

What is Stitch Fix?

Stitch Fix is a monthly or as you request clothing service that’s delivered to your door. You sign up, fill out their Style Profile, and then pay $20 as a styling fee. They send you clothes that match up with your profile. If you purchase something, the $20 is applied against your purchase. If you do not purchase anything, then the $20 is forfeited as a “styling fee.”


Bethany V-Neck Knit Maxi Dress – $78

I LOVED the print on the Maxi skirt. It was vibrant teals, corals with navy blue and a hint of off white. The skirt was absolutely stunning and super comfortable. However, that’s where the love of this dress ends.  The criss-cross top makes my already large chest look even larger.  It also ties in the back (or front) and since it’s a higher waisted dress all I could think of was this would be cut if i was 8 months pregnant, which I’m not.  Verdict: Returned

Market & Spruce

Mariam Knit Dress – $68

This dress was quite possibly the most comfortable dress I have ever worn.. the trouble was simply getting it on.  I hope I can explain this properly.  It was a basic larger striped dress and then the smaller stripe was attached at the sides/shoulders and you could adjust it.  At first I had all of the material in the front, but half of it was meant for the back.  I would have loved this dress if I could have removed this weird top.  And trust me, I looked at it and looked at it, but the idea of having to alter a dress that’s already $68 and it’s a knit dress?  Not going to happen. Verdict: Returned


Macks Lace Detail Knit Top – $44

The only thing right about this top was the color.  The rest was a mess.  There is lace detail on the sides and around the shoulders/arm holes (which you can’t really see since my hair is over it). It had a very tight spandex fit to it and no matter how loose of jeans I picked or how much I sucked in, this top did me no favors.  Verdict: Returned

Market & Spruce

Aaron Embroidered Blouse – $58

I’ll admit, this top was cute.  I wasn’t super keen on how it was almost more of a halter and I would have to wear a strapless bra with it, but it was a very comfortable top that was flattering on my body shape.  I liked the color and the light embroidered detail.  Here’s the thing, this stuff isn’t cheap. I have to remind myself that although I’m paying a $20 styling fee and if I don’t pick anything, yes, I lose it.. but if I pick something that I wouldn’t normally pay $58 for in a store, I’m way over spending.  If this top would have been in a lower price range, I would have likely kept it.  Verdict: Returned


Carlota Hammered Coin Earrings – $28

Not my style. Not my jam. No way I’d ever wear these.  They stayed in the box. Verdict: Returned.

For those of you who aren’t familiar; Stitch Fix carries sizes XS-XL and 0-14 as well as both maternity and petite.  (They have shoes now too!).  It’s not age or body specific, they do try to meet your tastes and likes! If you’re interested, here is my referral link. I receive a $25 credit for you signing up and once you sign up you can have other friends sign up under your personal link. (The credit isn’t applied until the first box ships!)



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