Author Archives: Sarah

Just For U – New Personalized Savings Program from Vons

Vons Blogger Event

Chances are you have a few store loyalty or “club” cards hanging around your wallet.  They are a necessity if you want to get the best prices when you shop for groceries.  Until now, using your card simply enabled you to get the sale price on your purchases.  The tracking of purchases on your card helped the store learn about your shopping habits, but it didn’t do anything for you.  Vons has launched a new savings program that will make that purchase history work in your favor.  I recently had the opportunity to spend a day at Vons headquarters, joining some other So. Cal bloggers to learn all about the new Just For U program.  We spent the morning getting the scoop on the program, then headed to a local store to try it out for ourselves.  I’m excited to share the details of the program and help you take advantage of some extra savings on your grocery bill.

Vons Just For U Signup

Signing up for Just For U is easy, simply go to and click the “Register Now” button.  It takes just a minute or two, you can use either your Vons Club card number or phone number for registration.  Just for signing up you’ll score your first big savings – a FREE dozen eggs!

Once you are signed up and logged in, you’ll see that there are three different ways to save with Just For U.

Just For U Coupon Center

  • Coupon Center – In the Coupon Center you’ll find digital store and manufacturer coupons that you can add to your Vons Club card.  You can browse through all pages of coupons or sort them by category. Some coupons are valid for one time use, others are unlimited until the end date of the promotion.  You have to love coupons that you don’t have to actually clip and carry with you to the store.

Just For U Personalized Savings

  • Personalized Deals -  The Personalized Deals section is my favorite component of Just For U.  In this area, you’ll find unique offers that draw from your Vons purchase history.
  • Your Club Specials – Vons offers hundreds of Club Specials every week.  In this area of the website, you’ll find the current Club Specials filtered to include just those items you have purchased in the past.  You’ll find the deals that are relevant to you without having to search through pages of items you don’t buy.

Once you’ve added all the savings to your card, you can print out a shopping list to take with you to the store or opt to have it e-mailed to you.  Most store locations now have Wi-Fi, making it easy to access your shopping list via smartphone.  At checkout, simply hand over your Vons Club card or enter your phone number as usual and all of the savings you’ve added to your card will be deducted automatically.

The Personalized Deals and Coupon Center are updated on a regular basis, and the Club Card Specials are updated each week as the new weekly ad comes out.  You can maximize your savings by stacking manufacturer’s coupons with the Personalized Deals and Club Card Specials.  When using both digital and paper coupons, note that you cannot use both on the same item, but whichever coupon will give you the best deal will apply.

My Personal Experience with Just For U

For the record, I had not been doing much of my grocery shopping at Vons in recent history.  We made some changes in our diet a year or so ago, buying more natural and organic products.  At the time that we implemented these changes, it seemed that Vons didn’t have a wide variety of these types or items in stock or the prices were higher than I could find elsewhere.  The weekly ads rarely seemed to include organics.  I was pleased to find upon visiting the store during the VIP Blogger Event that natural and organic products seemed plentiful and prices were competitive.  I knew immediately that I would be doing more of my shopping at Vons in the future.  Due to my limited Vons Club purchase history, my Personalized Savings are a little thin and generic at the moment.  As I continue to shop more at Vons, I look forward to seeing more deals tailored to me. So far I’ve made three shopping trips with Just For U and I’ve been pleased with the savings.  Using the website makes it easy to plan my trip and helps me get organized.

Have you signed up for Just For U?  How are you liking the program?

Disclosure:  I was invited to a VIP Blogger Event for the purposes of learning about Vons Just For U program.  As a thank you for attending, I received samples of house brand products and a Vons gift card.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Pinsanity! Jumping Jacks for Weight Loss

Everyone knows that you can find ways to gain weight on Pinterest. All those amazing photos of food that you want to eat but know you shouldn’t. But can Pinterest help you lose weight? As I try to kick-start my own weight loss and exercise goals I’ve been spending more time in the Fitness category. Along with loads of “inspiring” photos of ultra thin women in bikinis, there are some fun workout ideas, healthy eating tips and other helpful things to be found. I happened upon this pin the other day:


Now as exercises go, I’ve never minded jumping jacks. Could this be an easy way to lose a little extra weight? While I can’t verify the claim that every jumping jack burns two calories, it does seem theoretically possible that this plan could work. 100 jumping jacks seems doable. 1000? Every day? Hmm…not sure about that. So I decided to give it a shot.

About 60 jumping jacks into my first set, jumping jacks suddenly weren’t so fun anymore. By 90, I thought I might die. I struggled through to 100. My heart rate was up, I even broke a sweat. 9 more sets in one day? I don’t think so.

If you know someone who can do 1000 jumping jacks in a single day and live to tell about it, there is your new fitness idol. It’s certainly not me. I’ll be on the “Do 100 jumping jacks a day and lose a pound in ten weeks” plan…


My first baby is six today.  Six years gone in the blink of an eye.

Slow down, kid!

5 Easy Ways to Stay Active as a Family

Thinking back on my childhood, some of my fondest memories are of the days we spent being active.  Afternoons spent hiking one of of the many trails around Lake Tahoe, evening bike rides, fun at the park.  The picture above is my sister and I on a hiking trail somewhere near Lake Tahoe, circa mid-1980′s .  What, you never hiked in jellies?   You’ve got to pick your battles and my parents must not have picked that one. It’s important to me to make memories like these with my kids, spending quality time together while setting the foundation for an active and healthy lifestyle.

Here are some fun ways to bond as a family, while getting in a bit of exercise too.

  • Head to the Park – What kid doesn’t love the park?  Swinging, sliding and the monkey bars – the kids won’t even know they are getting exercise.  Keep it fresh by visiting a new park now and then.
  • Take a Hike - Instead of hanging around the house, get out and move your legs.  Seek out some local hiking trails and enjoy the fresh air while you reconnect.
  • Shoot Some Hoops – Anyone who has watched Father of the Bride knows that basketball can be a bonding opportunity.  Invest in one of those adjustable basketball hoops or the freestanding variety if that works better at your home.  If you live in an apartment or want to try it out first, see if you can find an open court at a local park.
  • Put on Some Music and Dance – Who cares if you can’t dance?  Wiggle, wriggle and have some silly fun with your kids!  And if you can dance – you know you’ve been dying to show off your skills.
  • Make a Game of It – Video games don’t have to be a guilty pleasure – just find games that will get your family up and moving.  If you are a Wii family, try Nickelodeon Fit or Just Dance.  XBox Kinect households may enjoy Nickelodeon Dance or Kinect Sports.

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg.  What are your favorite ways to keep your family active?


Happy Valentine’s Day – O”Fish”Ally!

DIY Valentines Day Cards - Will You O"Fish"Ally Be My Valentine

It’s that day we all love or love to hate – Valentine’s Day.  I hope yours is a memorable one! My oldest son is having another Kindergarten first today, his first Valentine’s party where he’ll be exchanging Valentine’s cards with his classmates.  I’m sure he would have been happy to choose a box from the shelves at Target – Cars, Star Wars or the like.  I wanted to do something of the homemade variety.  We found all kinds of inspiration on Pinterest, including these adorable little treat boxes filled with Goldfish crackers.

As it turns out, there is a free printable template for the tags at Tammy Mitchell Photography.  Score!  (She has lots of other fun stuff on her site too, so be sure to check it out.)  There was only one problem.  Jake didn’t want to use Goldfish for his Valentines.  Candy and only candy would do.  And I decided to indulge him.  Yay for Swedish Fish!

O"Fish"Ally My Valentine DIY

We printed the decorative tags on white cardstock and used a 2″ scallop circle punch (get one if you don’t have one, they are awesome for making cupcake toppers!) to fancy them up.  I love the idea of the pillow boxes Tammy used, but happened to have some small cello bags on hand that were perfect for our little fish.

DIY Valentine's Day Cards for Kids

I could have printed his name on the cards, but this seemed like a great opportunity for some handwriting practice…

Making Valentine's Day Cards

A few staples and some glue stick action and voilà – the finished product:

Homemade Valentines Ideas for Kids

Pretty cute, don’t you think?

Happy Valentine’s Day!