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Age appropriate books for kids’ gifts

Giving books to kids is a fantastic gift.

Why? It encourages reading which is such an important skill, it develops imagination (which helps problem and solving and creativity in life), it is a healthy pursuit, it is a change from computer games & TV (it takes more imagination, too) and broadens their horizons.

But buying gifts that suit the child isn’t always easy – knowing which book is for which age group can be tricky. I wish books had it written on their somewhere – I have seen it on a couple of books but it is not the norm.

And it isn’t just reading ability which is easier to judge by looking at the book – the content of the story is critical but impossible to fully comprehend without reading it.

I’ve found one online bookshop that puts books into 3 groups (babies & toddlers, 4 – 8 year olds and over 9s) which is a great start but it is actually the over 10s I find hardest to pick in a store.

Another one divides children and young adults’ books into some detailed categories, which is uncommon, but doesn’t help much with the age range unfortunately.

So if the bookstores & publishers aren’t making it easy, we’ll have to do it ourselves! Over coming days, I’ll add posts for each age range to share some recommendations and hope you all will share your knowledge, too.

Some May Madness…

The annual Save Time Online May Madness celebration is underway, but here are a few of the specials you can grab this month…

Save Time Online feature listings booked during May and quoting “May Madness” will get a 15% discount on the listing fee and any other advertising booked at the same time.
Precious Water will give a 10% discount for all custom-made water tanks sold to people mentioning May Madness when ordering. Offer ends 31 May 2009.
Every new project booked with Word Constructions during May 2009 will receive a free edit of the content of one webpage.
Business Mums Guides is offering the Easy Peasy Straight Forward Guide to Business Planning for only $5 instead of $12.50. Available via paypal only until the end of May.
The Business Mums Magazine is offering 35 word classified ads for only $5 if booked (enter the code MM-2009) by 31 May 2009.
Baubles, Bubbles & Bags is offering a $5 voucher to spend on our site.  Code to enter is BMNMAY. 
Just us kids is offering FREE delivery – enter the code BMNMAY at the check out.
Vista Print is offering 50% off various printed items – that is MAD!
Lifetime Health is offering a free Wombat Baby Snooze Mate when you place an order over $250 placed before 31 May 2009

 

More listings will be added throughout the month so keep checking for bargains! And if you run a business, you can join the madness*, too, as the more we offer, the more fun it is for everyone!

* Want to join May Madness? All family-friendly Australian businesses and websites are welcome to participate if they meet the following criteria:

  • make a genuine offer to people throughout the month of May
  • promote the May Madness promotion by linking to this page as often as possible 

May Madness!

Yes, It is the first of May and that means the annualMay Madness Save Time Online May Madness Mayhem 

Every year, Save Time Online bring you offers from a collection of businesses so you can save money and time from one place.

To find out about the offers and specials, just visit our May Madness page. Find the specials that will save you time and money, and follow the link to that site to start saving.

Keep coming back as we add offers throughout May as more and more businesses join in the madness.

If you run a business, you can join in, too. Simply make a genuine offer to people during May, add it to your website with a link back to our May Madness feature, then we’ll add your offer to the collection.

Enjoy May!

Christmas is on its way

It’s that time of year again.

The 1st of December.

You know that you just have 24 more days to organise your family Christmas. The heat is rising and it’s not just because its the first day of Summer.

You still have work, you still have to take care of the kids, you still have to keep the house in running order, you still have to have time to yourself so you don’t go insane. How do you find time to prepare for Christmas?

You hate shopping at Christmas time, people are pushy, rude, mean, eager to get in before EVERYone else, shoving, yelling, trying to find that car park that isn’t two kilometers walk away. How do you deal with shopping at Christmas?

All that you need to do to take away these stresses is to take a little time to prepare and organise. Some tips and pointers to help you over the next 24 days are:

– Write down and plan what you need before you start to shop. Nothing is worse than getting home from Christmas shopping and realising you forgot something.

Shop online where ever you can. This keeps you away from those pesky crowds and everything is delivered.

– Get as many things as possible from the one shop as this saves time in travelling and it will also save in delivery fees if you shop online.

– Plan and order as much as you can before the day. Get your turkey, pre-order flowers, put in a request for a personalised Santa Letter.

– Get the kids to help you out by giving them large sheets of paper to colour in to make wrapping paper or to make cards out of. Or you could get the gift wrapping done in store as this saves time and makes it harder for someone to see what their present will be.

For more handy ideas and links just visit out Christmas Page and have a fantastic month leading up to Christmas!

:)

Clean fans, no fuss!

A little while ago we added Pirrella to our listings, and we think its pretty cool!

Not only do these fan blade covers save you work and time as the blades won’t need cleaning, they also keep you off ladders and chairs which is much safer. We also love the fact that fewer people will use cleaning products on their fans and that fans will need replacement less often – both are big pluses for the environment.

So if you have ceiling fans and hate cleaning them, this is one listing you may find irresistible!

Delivery costs

When shopping online, expect to pay delivery costs. If an online store includes delivery in their prices, expect the prices of your purchase to be higher than buying it at the local shopping centre.

Many online stores base their delivery costs on rates at Australia Post and so the costs will vary depending on where you are in relation to the location of the online store. For example, if the store you are ordering from is located in Sydney and you are in Perth, you can expect postage to be higher than for someone who is in Melbourne.

Some online stores have fixed rate postage, so no matter where you are, or what you buy, postage will be the same. Sometimes the fixed rate may be based on the number of items you buy. At some stores, the fixed rate will be slightly higher than if it was based on Australia Posts rates, however it may work out cheaper if you are further away from the main location of the online store.

Online stores should have their postage details outlined on their site in a place you can easily see it.  This may be listed on a separate page or in a FAQ section. It is well worth checking this out before you buy so you know how much you are likely to pay at check out.

Location, Location, Location

I’m sure many of you have heard this phrase with regard to Real Estate, however it also applies to online businesses, especially online shops. One of the first things many consumers look at is where an online store is located. There are many reasons for this, including the cost of shipping, ease of contacting the store if there are any problems, and delivery times.

Most of the time, there is a full postal address on the contact us page. This shows you where the business is located and may give you an idea of the cost of postage and delivery time. You may find the store is located in the same suburb as you are and there is the option for local pick up.

Another advantage of having a location on the website is currency. There are a number of countries around the world that use dollars, including the USA. When buying from overseas, exchange rates must be factored in to the price, or you may get a nasty surprise on your credit card bill!

Business owners, make sure you let people know where you are located. The minimum you should have listed is your suburb and state.

Customers, please check where an online shop is so you know exactly how much you will pay, as well as estimating the delivery time especially if you need to get your purchase quickly.

Your part in a green world…

The fact is that we humans have made a huge impact on our planet, and now is the time to do seomthign to at least reduce that damage. That’s what being green is all about – conserving our resoucres, protecting our planet and keeping Earth a beautiful place for us, our children and our children’s future families. 

No matter how little impact you think small actions can have, it is the total of many small actiosn that will make a differene in the end. And that small action of yours may just set the example or be the inspiration for soemone else doing soemthing wonderful for our planet.

So that’s our belief in thigns green :)

Getting off our soapbox, we’d love to know how green shoppers are – online and offline. We have set up a survey for exactly that purpose and invite you to participate and tell others about it, too.

Please share your opinions on how the environment affects shopping and how green your business is.

Christmas goodies – get them now!

Christmas is over and the post-Christmas sales have begun. Now is the time to stock up on your wrapping paper, Christmas cards, decorations, and all things Christmassy while they are on special. Often these items are less than half price, so it is worth shopping around and stocking up – and it will save you racing to the shops next December to buy them!

Some online stores also offer discounts on Christmas items so don’t forget to look online, too!