Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Best Magnetic Tile Set

Magnetic tiles are awesome:
  • they keep kids entertained for hours
  • they encourage both solitary play AND group play
  • they are a STEM toy
Wondering what brand of magnetic tiles you should splurge on for that special kid in your life?  Trust me, I know the feeling.  Type in "magnetic tiles" into Amazon and you'll get a crazy amount of results.

I have tried many brands and can help you decide. When I first started trying out different brands, I had the goal in mind that I wanted to find the "perfect" magnetic tile.  Now I realize that there is no perfect brand because everyone has different preferences.

Magnetic tiles are all basically ABS plastic that has been welded or riveted (or both) around magnets.  Most of the sets sold on Amazon conform with all applicable toy standards (contact the seller/company for a double confirmation).

Appearance-wise, there are two types; smooth and concave.

I like the completely smooth ones but many people like the concave ones because they minimize scratching.  The lattice work varies among brands.

Here are some of my brand recommendations for each type.  I consider all of these brands as competitively priced.  Their magnetic strength is also similar.

Smooth surface magnetic tile brand recommendations:

Playmags:  This brand has the strongest magnetic power of all the brands that I have tested.  The company has good customer service and the tiles have a 1-year warranty.

ShapeMags Magnetic Stick N Stack:  This brand is one of my favorites because it has so many different sets, especially super cool add-on sets like long tunnel peices and hexi-gates.  They also have recently released sets with Power+ magnets, which are supposed to be super strong, making them strong competition with Playmags (I have not tried any of their new sets yet so cannot confirm).  It is also one of my favorites because every tile is 100% life-time guaranteed.  They have replaced several of my pieces.

Concave surface magnetic tile brand recommendations:

Friday, February 2, 2018

Smith's Clicklist Tips and Solutions for Frustrating Computer Problems

I had another Smith's Clicklist adventure today.  There were a few "bumps in the road" with this order and I am still learning how to get my order submitted faster, but I am still happy with Smith's Clicklist.

I love being able to shop Smith's super-duper great sales, use coupons, and not even have to step foot into the store.  I feel like a valued customer and I'm saving a lot of time and energy (a big plus for this pregnant mama).  Check out this table full of food...all for a grand total of $105.48 and I'm just a casual couponer these days.
Smith's Clicklist Haul for $105.48
There's a lot of food in that picture, including five pizzas, eight pounds of meat, 12 boxes of cereal, and a Bountiful Basket's worth of produce! :)

I learned some more things that I would like to share with you.

Items missing on Smith's Clicklist online database:  This week Smith's was having a killer deal on Goldfish Crackers (89 cents a package...booyaa!).  But when I typed in Goldfish into the search bar, the only thing that came up was goldfish fish food (umm, not what I was looking for...).  So I tried typing in many different options and finally decided to just call Smith's, and the worker had me type in more variations of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers and even type in the UPC code but...NOPE, still not coming up.  Solution:  She told me to put any brand box of crackers in my cart, then click "View Cart", then type into the comment box (next to the "substitutions allowed" box) what I actually wanted.  Random FYI:  The database is showing Goldfish crackers today.

Flavors missing on Smith's Clicklist online database:  For Dreyer's ice cream, the online database selection did not show a lot of flavors that I knew my local Smith's carried..like Mint Chip.  Solution: Put the brand of ice cream you want into your cart, click "View Cart", then type into the comment box the flavor you actually want.

Putting together an online order is taking too much time:  With all the glitches, it took me a lot of time to get my online order put together.  In addition, I was shopping a Buy__Save___ Mix & Match Sale, I had to make sure that I got the right amount in the cart.  Solution:  I figure this is just a time-sucking "learning curve" and that I will be able to get my online shopping cart into order faster and faster.  I had to take some deep breaths and remind myself that I wasn't having to go from aisle to aisle myself and still saving time.  Also, if I was not shopping the sales specifically and just stocking up for the week, there is a "Start My Cart" tab which show items that you personally buy on a regular basis.  Just a few click click clicks, and you are on your way.

Substitutions and Items out of Stock:  So they didn't have a couple of items that I wanted and they made substitutions.  Solutions:  What was great about the substitutions is that the associates knew that I was shopping the Mix&Match sale, and so they made substitutions in a way that I would still be able to get all the needed items to still qualify for the sale.  For example, they gave me two more boxes of Post Shredded Wheat to make up for the two boxes of Post Blueberry Sunrise I ordered that actually weren't part of the Mix&Match sale.  I was totally fine with this.  I would not have been fine with them giving me sugary cereal substitute.  The associates that were serving me were obviously well-trained in how to substitute items and also brought these substitutes to my attention as we went over my order.  So be reasonably flexible!  You can read more about how Smith's does substitutions here.

So...don't give up on learning Smith's Clicklist.  I'm not giving up, even with the learning curve frustrations I've encountered, because the time&energy-saving potential of Smith's Clicklist is just plain awesome.  And don't forget, the service fee is waived for your first three orders.