Apps, Car Talk, Sponsored, Tips and Tricks, Travel

Tips On Negotiating The Best Car Price

This post is a sponsorship. I was compensated but topic/words are my own

Tips On Negotiating The Best Car Price

Almost more dreading than deciding on the car you want is the negotiating process at the dealership. We have 2 older boys and my husband and I can’t hold onto cars for long so we are typically in a car dealership a few times a year. Not only are we in a dealership for ourselves but because friends and family ask my husband to come car shopping with them because they know how much my husband loves the process of negotiating the best car price. It is a bit of a weird obsession he has as a negotiator. So I had him help me gather our thoughts into 3 (proven by us over and over again) negotiating tips when buying a new or used car.

Do Your Homework

You have searched cars galore and now you have narrowed it down to a model or 2 you may be leaning towards. This is where you begin your pre-dealership visit homework. When you hear the words from finance at the dealership “We’ll make you a great deal”, do you really know what a great deal on that car is? Not if you haven’t done your homework. We like using to search for fair market values on the exact cars we want to look at.

Grab a notepad and pencil and write down the make/model of cars you want to see. List the fair market value that matches the exact features/series for that car. Do this for all of the cars you wish to see so it is handy in a moments notice. Make sure you keep or the apps available incase you find yourself liking a different model than you anticipated. Now, you have a number and a “great deal” will be that number or below.

Note Your Bottom Line

You know the fair value so now you can find your best bottom line! This will be what you want to pay after your trade in or down payment, etc.. Here is an example of the tone you can use in negotiation (right away) when it comes to fair value and your bottom line. For this example I plugged my car into – 2016 Honda CR-V Touring Edition. I then clicked on comparison tool and see that the lowest it has sold for is $34,156 and the highest is $35, 139 with an average price of $34, 648. That gives me a good start to find my bottom line.

“I have a … to trade in. My bottom line is $34, 700 (a nice number between low and high recent sales as mentioned above). I know that fair value is $34, 735 so I am not asking for too much to come in at my bottom line. I don’t care how you work the numbers. You can discount the car or change the trade-in value on my old car but I need that bottom line to be $34, 735 (after registration fees).”

They may try and say you need to put more down (hence, the price becomes more than your bottom line), but you can tell them to please go back and rework the cost and trade in to get you to that number you gave. You may have to come up with a down payment especially if the car you trade in is a lot lower in value but that down payment is part of your bottom line number. Know your comfortable down payment mark and if they are close-get them closer!

Another thing to consider is turning in any junk cars you have. With businesses like JunkCarMasters you can free up yard space and make some money on cars you never thought you’d sell because they buy your junk car.

Be Prepared For A few Hours Time (and no kids)

Most dealers play a game of wearing you down. You come in with a fair value, a bottom line and down payment and they will still try and stay away from your mark. Be prepared to send the dealer back to the sales manager again and again and be prepared for the finance guy to be “busy” and make you wait for a response. This wears you down fast. You just want to accept and go home. We have never walked out of a dealership because we allowed them to break us down-ever!

Keep the kids at home or with a sitter and most importantly, be prepared to walk away with no car! We have done that more than once. When they play hard to negotiate we turn to a phrase something like this,

” Listen. We don’t NEED this car today. You are our first dealership stop. It looks like we are too far apart so we will be taking off. Thank you so much for your time” (leave nicely)!

If you have to walk away it is most likely because that truly is going to become your best deal. We have done it and we have been called back with the deal we wanted. We have also used it as leverage for the next stop by explaining to their team that we walked on place one for being too far off. It is a process and you need to be prepared to spend hours and even walk away and start again. In the end, it is your money and your monthly payment that will become your reward for taking the proper time.

So, head on out. is truly a must visit before you head to the dealership. My note above says this is a sponsored post, but I am serious when I tell you that we never head out to shop before using their website to do our homework. I am honored now that I can team up with them for this post. We use it to browse cars, read reviews and find fair values. Plus, when you tell a dealership you found the fair value on it is hard for them to argue with you. Hold your ground, it will work out for you and your wallet.

I’m curious, did you learn something new here? Are you less intimidated to car shop now?

Food, Recipes, Sponsored

Day after Thanksgiving Sausage Recipes

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Johnsonville Naturals

How motivated are you the day after the big dinner? Chances are you don’t want to cook a full course meal until next year and that fridge is full of leftovers so what to do with those? For many you may be housing guests still and you need to be prepared on meals for the day after! How about using up that stuffing and cranberry sauce for breakfast and making some not-so-boring sausage dogs for lunch with leftover cheeses and veggies? What if you could do all of that with all natural sausage? Johnsonville has your day after meals taken care of with the new Naturals Sausage products. I found mine at my local Safeway.
Sausage Stuffing Breakfast Biscuits

These are as easy as they look!
  • 1 package of Johnsonville Naturals Maple or Original sausage links
  • 2 packages of crescent rolls dough
  • Leftover stuffing
  • Leftover Cranberry sauce (optional)
  • 1 Egg
Cook sausage according to package directions. Separate the crescent dough into their triangles. Drop a spoonful of stuffing on largest end of dough, top with cooked sausage and roll. Do this until all sausage is gone-makes 14 crescents. Brush tops of rolled crescents with stirred egg. Bake 375 degrees 11-12 minutes. Add some cranberry sauce for dipping (optional)
My son and husband could not get enough of these and they heat up well if you have extra.

Sausage Dogs with Leftovers

The directions are as you choose! Cook sausage according to package directions. Top rolls with cooked sausage, veggies and cheese and stick under the broiler for 1-2 minutes. Top with your favorite sauces or toppings. On the side can be more leftovers!

Hint: Once the sausage begins browning, I slice in half lengthwise. It allows for the center to cook well and makes it easier to lay on rolls.
Hopefully that gives you some ideas for the day after! Just make sure you pick up your Johnsonville Naturals while you shop for the Thanksgiving Day ingredients so you are prepared. Learn more including where to find a retailer near you that offers these all natural sausage varieties at
What sausage recipes would you like to share?
College Bound, Education, Parenting, Sponsored

College Care Package Ideas & Printable

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BeHealthyForEveryPartofLife #CollectiveBias

The steps it took to get your child off to College was so stressful. Testing requirements, getting High School classes organized, admissions deadlines, college visits, choosing the dorm, registering for classes, getting financial aid and tuition plans started and now they’re gone! The bedroom sits empty and the Helicopter parent role you’ve been playing to keep them focused and stay on track until dorm move-in day has left you feeling taskless! One of the most popular and self-gratifying tasks you can do is send care packages. It allows you to still ‘be there’ for them when you can’t be beside them. You pack their favorite things because you know they miss home even if they aren’t willing to admit it and Mom and Dad always fixed everything by providing comfort and care products! Care packages fill their void.

Creating a College Care Package

When you are settling into the dorm room and moving items in and out, you have the best opportunity to leave some care packages. Pick up some sacs that maybe are of their favorite sports team and they will also use them for other events as well. Attach a note as to when to open each care package. Not only does this save you on shipping to leave them behind, you know your child has received them as mail can be confusing at first and you want to make sure these care packages are ready to go as soon as they need them.
College Care Package Ideas & Themes

We are sending our kids off to College right at the start of cold and flu season so make sure they are prepared with a sick package. In my package above I have items such as Robitussin CF Max SEVERE Multi Symptom Cough Cold+Flu in an am/pm package because it has a powerful relief for your worst cough and cold symptoms! Now available in a better tasting formula (compared to Robitussin Multi-Symptom Cold CF Max)! I also have the new ChapStick Total Hydration because not only is it 100% natural and smoothes and nourishes lips, but it contains an Advanced nourishing formula with argan oil, avocado butter and rose hip oil with Omega 6 & 9 for healthier looking lips. I threw in some tissue, a blanket from home and some Advil Liqui-Gels because when used as directed for headaches, muscle aches and joint pain, nothing’s faster on tough pain (among OTC pain relievers). I chose his favorite sports team cinch bag that was also at Walmart to pack it all in and attached a note instructing him to open when sick!
Chances are you will visit a Walmart for your dorm stock-up supplies, so add care package items to your list and create some themed bags you can sneak to the campus with you leave in their room as you are setting up their new place. Walmart is where I grabbed these items up for our care package.
Relax! You did good! They have entered one of the best chapters in their lives and with little notes from home, it will keep them as connected as they really do want to be! I’d love to hear your thoughts on if you have ever sent a care package or if you would send one, what is in it?
Food, Money Saver, Recipes, Sponsored

The perfect trail mix and Albertsons Stock Up Sale at Banner Stores

This shop has been compensated by Safeway. All opinions are mine alone. #AStockUpSale #Safeway #CollectiveBias

Chances are there is a time in your day that you need a quick snack for yourself or family while on the go or in a rush. And chances are you have a cupboard full of granola bars and snack size bags of chips picked up from the grocery store. You buy these because they are easy to grab in a hurry or pack into a lunch. But did you know that you can easily make the perfect trail mix to always have on hand and it makes a wholesome snack for those game days when the kids need energy and nutrition for a day on the field. First, you need to get to know what makes up the perfect trail mix and why. You want a trail mix full of nutrients and protein, not fatty calories. Some of the ingredients are on sale now at your local Safeway Stock Up Sale.


Nuts are the protein you need in a snack on a busy day to keep you full and energized. The right nut gives you healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and protein. The wrong nuts give you added calories. All nuts will give you about the same fats, protein and Omega-3’s and they assist you in feeling fuller longer so you do need to consume in moderation so you do not ruin your appetite for the day. Almonds have the lowest calories with cashews coming in second and pistachios take third place. The healthiest choices are raw or dry roasted as opposed to ones roasted in oils or honey. The worst nuts would be macadamia and pecans as they pack the highest calories. However, these are still healthy nuts and the calorie difference is not huge. Just remember to use portion control, when consuming any nuts.


Many seeds are packed full of nutrients but don’t make the best trail mix additive because of their size and the ability to grab by the hand and eat them such as chia seeds and hemp seeds are great in so many ways (they do not contain THC so no worries about it’s relation to the hemp you hear of), but unless they are mixed in a yogurt or dressing they don’t taste the best. So the seeds I would choose for a trail mix are pumpkin seeds that offer you B vitamins, protein, iron, magnesium and zinc and even is known to lower anxiety levels due to the protein source, Tryptophan. My kids favorite are sunflower seeds and they offer you Vitamin B, Vitamin E for healthy cells and folate (great if you’re pregnant).


We all know that a handful of berries is such a great benefit in so many ways, but unless you plan to consume that trail mix right away I don’t recommend fresh berries in a mix that will be dropped in a soccer bag and sit out on a field in the sun all day. The alternative is dried fruits, but choose wisely. Dried fruits have their water removed so they are more concentrated and higher in calories than fresh fruit. Dehydrated peaches are so delicious and I find mine at my local Safeway with the other dried fruits and are a great source of Vitamin A and iron. Dried apricots are my son’s favorite! These are an excellent source of Vitamin A, E, copper and Potassium. Just make sure you pay attention to any added ingredients such as added sugars so look for ‘no sugar added’ on the package labels.


The best way to up the calories and sugars into your snack is dumping chocolates into the mix. If you want to add some healthy sweetness, consider coconut flakes, more dried fruits like cranberries and if chocolate is a must-to get your kids enticed-then stick to organic kinds like mini chips that don’t pack on the calories or even some dry oat cereals for a touch of sweetness but just add a little bit. I’ll throw in some Honey Nut Cheerios because it excites my son, but where he gets a few cereal pieces, he picks up a handful of nuts and fruit with it. Lightly sweetened granola is also a delicious sweet addition. There are all natural flavored coconut chips my son loves sweetened with cocoa too!

I just completed my trail mix shopping at my local Safeway during the current Stock Up sale. In this sale I can grab some Honey Nut Cheerios and Nature Valley Granola for a low price to add to the nuts, seeds and fruits. Once home it takes no time at all to throw it all together and make individual servings so they are ready to grab. I always take some while running errands and let my son grab handfuls at his sports games when he comes in from play. I also like to switch it up each time with changing the fruit or nuts so the family does tire of the same mix.

The Albertsons/Banner stores Stock Up Sale is happening at Albertsons, Safeway and Jewel Banner stores Sept 30-Oct 13 and in Acme, Shaws and Star Banner stores Oct 2-Oct 15. Check your local store for a complete list of all products in ad that are on sale at great stock up prices. Fall is here and now that school and sports are starting again, the perfect trail mix is a great snack choice for the entire family.
Have you had a chance to stock up yet in this Stock Up Sale?