Category Archives: Tips & Reviews

Save Money with GROUPON In-Store Coupons

***This post is sponsored by GROUPON.  All opinions are mine.***

Did you know GROUPON has store coupons? I didn’t. How did I not know about this? Where have I been?

In the past, I’ve gotten some great deals on GROUPON for things like hair appointments and home repairs, but, I didn’t know GROUPON also offers coupons to stores I shop.  With back-to-school being just around the corner (my son goes back August 7), I figured I should share this with you… just in case you didn’t know either.

Last week, my son and I went on a mini back-to-school shopping trip.  We were at Target, American Eagle, and Barnes and Noble. Turns out, GROUPON has coupons to all the above stores. I wish I would have used some. We picked up a few new shirts, a hoodie, and a book for his English class. I did not have a single coupon, which always bums me out.

GROUPON Coupons has coupon offers to so many stores, including  The Home Depot. I’m excited about this as I can hardly ever find Home Depot coupons for my various home projects.

groupon coupons

Here’s how GROUPON Coupons works. Currently, GROUPON Coupons has 44 Target coupons. You can use them online and in store. You can get all your deals right on your phone. My son needs a new backpack and school supplies so I’ll be sure to use the $5 off $50 coupon.

Groupon Coupons

 

Same at The Home Depot.  The $5 off coupon will help me save on my deck stain.

 

Groupon Coupons

There are so many places you can shop with Groupon, such as Walgreens, Nordstrom Rack, eBay, Macy’s, Ann Taylor, Office Depot, Footlocker, and many more.

So next time you’re out shopping,  simply go to the Groupon site first and grab the coupons and promo codes. This will allow you to double up on the savings.

PASSPORT TO SUMMER w/ Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen




***This post is sponsored by Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen. All opinions are mine.***

cheddar's

It’s another summer without a vacation for me. Sigh.  Oh well, sometimes, a vacation just isn’t within reach. Although it would be fun to sit on a sandy beach or explore an ancient city, I’m grateful for the “small” things I can enjoy during summer.

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Like an occasional boat ride with my son, on Nashville’s beautiful Old Hickory Lake.

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Or an evening tennis match at the local park; a  great book under a shady tree, and plenty of delicious summer food.

As someone who cooks most nights, going out to eat once in a while, is fun. After a busy day, it feels good to treat yourself to no cooking and cleaning.

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Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen is one of our favorite restaurants. It offers delicious food made from scratch, at a good price.

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My son loves Cheddar’s. It’s close to where we live, and even though the place is always busy, we never have to wait.

It’s been hot in Nashville so he ordered a tall glass of chilled strawberry lemonade. It’s really good and perfect on a hot summer evening. Since he loves comfort foods, he ordered the sirloin steak with  mashed potatoes, chicken tenders and corn. He ate every single bite. A 13-year-old boy can eat a lot of food. Last time we visited,  he ordered one of Cheddar’s favorites:  Hand battered Country Fried Steak with Texas Toast.

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I too have had their steak on more than one occasion. It’s juicy and grilled to perfection.

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PASSPORT TO Summer

If you’re more adventurous, you can experience exotic flavors inspired by islands afar as well as dishes from parts of the U.S. Cheddar’s has tropical inspired items like Sweet Heat Chicken & Shrimp, or Grilled Tilapia & Shrimp with Mango Salsa.

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Take a tour around the menu. Maybe you’re in the mood for a beachy Maui Margarita or a Presidente Sangria.

cheddar's scratch kitchen

We were full after our meal, but there’s always room for dessert, right? We split Cheddar’s Legendary Monster Cookie.  It’s a skillet baked cookie piled high with ice cream, whipping cream, and chocolate sauce. So rich and decadent. Delicious!

cheddar's

We have become frequent visitors of Cheddar’s.  We love the food, good prices, and friendly staff. Going to Cheddar’s is always a pleasant experience for us.  And with such a wide array of drinks and dishes, there’s something for everyone.

Have you been to Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen? If so, what’s your favorite dish.

Best Side Gig – Working As A Brand Ambassador

Brand Ambassador

If you like interacting with people, a Brand Ambassador gig might just be the right side hustle for you. Getting paid $15 to $35 an hour for going to fun events and passing out free stuff to people (which usually makes them happy), is not a bad way to earn some extra money.  You even get to pick your own work hours and days.

For the past three years, I’ve been working as a brand ambassador at various events across Nashville. It’s a great way to make some extra income. However, not many people seem to know about this gig, so I decided to write about this and share my experience as a Brand Ambassador (BA). I’ve brought it up to several of my co-workers and not one person knew what a Brand Ambassador is.

WHAT IS A BRAND AMBASSADOR?

A Brand Ambassador (BA) is someone who is hired to represent a brand in a positive way and by doing so they help raise brand awareness and provide consumers with a memorable face-to-face brand experience.

Brand Ambassadors are the friendly people you see wearing branded t-shirts and handing out or demoing products at events and stores.

  • Many brand ambassador gigs take place on the weekends.
  • If you’re friendly and outgoing and don’t mind standing on your feet for hours, this job is perfect for you.
  • The average BA gig pays $20/hour, which means, you can bring in an extra $300 or so over the weekend.
  • Brand Ambassadors are usually hired in groups to work at large events, music festivals, trade shows, sports games, stores and pretty much anywhere where there are lots of people.  However, sometimes a BA works alone at sampling events in grocery stores.

While some brands prefer hiring younger BAs, other brands want the more “mature” person. For example, a diaper brand would be more inclined to hire a “mom” type BA than a 19-year-old college kid.  It all depends on what the gig is and who the target consumer is. I’ve seen 60-year-old BAs work at events.

While age doesn’t stop you from being hired, visible, large tattoos, multiple piercings, and a messy appearance can.

I’ve represented brands such as Amazon Music, Home Depot, Sam’s Club, Aldi, Jersey Mike’s, FujiFilm, Cascadian Farms, BeachBody and many others.

Another perk that comes with being a BA is you get free access to fun events. I recently worked for Amazon Music at Nashville’s Country Music Festival where I got free access to a very expensive event. I saw several famous country artists and was able to explore the venue during my break and after my shift. Most brands even cover your parking expenses, which is a big deal, considering how expensive parking gets during large events (up to $45 here in Nashville).

Brand Ambassador

WHAT DO BRAND AMBASSADORS DO?

A Brand Ambassador’s main task is to create a fun and memorable experience for consumers by:

  • Giving away free samples and swag
  • Having people test new products
  • Setting up and breaking down events
  • Interacting with consumers
  • Increasing brand awareness by wearing branded t-shirts, hats, backpacks, etc.

 

HOW MUCH CAN I MAKE AS A BRAND AMBASSADOR?

The bare minimum is $15/hr; the average rate is $20/hr. In Nashville, I have seen rates as high as $35/hr. In Los Angeles and New York rates can go as high as $50/hr.

 

WHERE DO I FIND BRAND AMBASSADOR GIGS?

To make money as a BA you’ll need:

  • A computer with internet
  • A friendly and outgoing personality
  • A resume catered for Brand Ambassador gigs
  • One or two nice photos (they don’t have to be professional photos)

 

The ‘No Experience’ Conundrum

Some people are new to the industry and wonder what to put on their resume. Here’s what you do.

Those lacking in event related experience should emphasize their experience working closely with people in another industry. For example, if you’ve  worked in a restaurant and engaged with customers,  emphasize this on your resume. Highlight your people skills experience, and you’ll be landing gigs in no time. Great Brand Ambassadors are endlessly energetic, do their jobs with passion, and love interacting with people.Brand Ambassador

WHERE DO I FIND GIGS?

Ambassador gigs are readily available, especially if you live in or near a major city. There are hundreds of staffing agencies out there.

1) AGENCIES — Many agencies offer a “join their BA team” option on their website. You can do so by creating a profile, and the agencies will email and/or text you directly with any job opportunities in your area. Signing up usually consists of inputting your basic personal information, any experience you have, and some pictures of yourself. Don’t be intimidated if on their websites you see photos of a bunch of young, pretty girls. Trust me, I’m a 47-year-old mom, and I get plenty of work.

2) CRAIGSLIST — I know, some people would never turn to Craigslist for jobs, but, Craigslist is a gold mine for finding local Brand Ambassador gigs. Navigate to your local city, search under the “Gigs” section, and then click on “Events” to find promotional gigs near you.  Most gigs only ask for a resume and some photos, but if you ever feel uncomfortable, move on to the next one. From my personal experience, if a staffing company is legit, they will provide lots of details about the gig, such as time, date, brand, pay rate, etc.

Brand Ambassador

Here are some of the agencies I’ve signed up with:

ATN Event Staffing

Ascent Talent

PS Stearns

WOM Staff

Fusion Event Staffing

BrandGreet

Ace High Marketing

So far, my experience working as a BA has been very positive. I enjoy the fact that each and every event is different (different products, crowd, setting, etc.). It doesn’t get old.  I’ve also met lots of nice people (fellow BAs and consumers) at these events,  and the work atmosphere is professional yet fun.

 

Let me know if any of you have worked Brand Ambassador gigs. Love to hear about your experience.