Cordless Snow Joe can blow!

So I’ve been busy moving into a new house…. or rather a new to me house.  There are plenty of things that need to be done.  The previous owners did a lot of great updates that I would have done like the flooring, high efficiency furnace etc.  However, they didn’t care about cabinet or closet organization, but that’s another gripe for another post.

There are plenty of pros to owning a single, detached house when compared to a home owners association (that’s run like a militant condo).  The only con so far is that I have to take care of my own landscaping.  This means in the dead of winter, I have to dig myself out of snow storms.  Given my larger lot, 2 car wide driveway, a 10′ long walkway, it’s a back ache.  I had bought a wider, multitasking snow shovel.  The shovel is great for pushing snow, but it still requires muscles and physical labour.  Being a petite, female, it’s not what I’m built for.  I noticed neighbours had driveway markers for a snow clearing company.  I called them and received a quote for $190 for January-April 1.  The fine print said they will only come and clear out the driveway if the weather is FORECASTED to dump 5 cm of snow.  I interpreted this to mean, if it calls for 4 cm, and the wind blows more on top and buries you, good luck with that.  So I figured I’d take a gamble and take my chances.  Well the first 5cm snow fall came, blew more into the driveway.  It didn’t “look” like a lot, but it sure did weigh enough.  By the time I finished pushing and lifting the G4 to clear the driveway and walkway, my back was aching, and the rest of my body was soaked in sweat.  I needed a 1 hour nap afterwards.  When I woke up, I had to start researching snow blowers.

Everyone I know has a gas snow blower.  It has more power to clear the wet heavy stuff, the wheels are powered so all you have to do is steer, no cords to deal with.  The downside is they can be loud, environmentally unfriendly, and the engine requires maintenance.  My car is the only engine I want to care for and frankly, I’m not interested in fixing engines.  Electric snow blowers are maintenance free, and cheaper.  The downside is, you have to have a receptacle handy, and a long power cord with the right gauge to support the amps of the snow blower.  These long, thicker, outdoor power cords could be more than half the cost of the electric snow blower.  Just when I thought I was going to pull the trigger on an electric snow blower I noticed that Lowes had a choice of a battery operated snow blower.  I couldn’t believe my luck!  Snow Joe iON is a cordless, electric snow blower!   I decided to go through Ebates.ca to order my new snow blower and get my 2% cashback from Lowes at the same time.  If I’m going to buy it anyway why not right?  I picked it up at the store and was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to get it out of the car since a Lowes employee helped load it in my trunk.  I was surprised at how light it was.  It’s about 40 lbs and the box has handles on the side so it was just bulky and awkward, but manageable.  Most of it was already assembled.  This video shows how easy it was to put together:

IMG_1334Voila!  The cutest little snow blower I have ever

seen!  I think it must have been designed for women in mind because it’s so light weight and compact.

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So I shoved the battery in, pressed the button to make sure it was fully charged and gave it a go!  I made one trail out of the garage just to see if it could cut through the fresh snow that fell last night.  I was quite impressed that it was able to blow through 8″ of snow pretty clean.
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I started to dig into the right side of the driveway in order to blow all the snow to my yard on the left because I’m sure my neighbour on the right wouldn’t appreciate more than her fair share of snow in her single car driveway.  So I would say that the snow built up over 10″ as I moved towards the left and knew that it was really working hard.  It’s also around the time I noticed I had kicked the led light on by accident so that may have eaten some of the battery.  The battery did start to die as I was clearing the mounds of snow in front of my door and steps.

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I finished my front steps and tidied up the driveway with the G4 shovel which was quite manageable since Joe did the lion’s share of the work.  I brushed the snow off the poor little guy and put him away in my garage.  Since he’s so small he fits perfectly on the side of the garage with my car inside.  By tucking the handle forward, it’s easy for passengers to hop out of the back and walk around it.  IMG_1347

I slid the battery out and when I got back inside I put it in the charger where it’ll take 2-3 hours to recharge.  I’m hoping the cost of a replacement battery comes down so that I can pick up another later, probably from Amazon at some point.  I had my doubts but I’m very impressed and happy with this cordless Snow Joe.  It gives you the cordless freedom of gas, but without the maintenance and gas emissions of electric.  Since it’s small and lightweight, it’s really easy to store.

Where has Ebates been all my life?

I just discovered that I could have been MAKING MONEY from all the online shopping I do.  Isn’t that just a kick in the pants?  There are two separate Ebates, one for Canada, and one for the U.S.  I have accounts for both because I tend to shop at Amazon.com and if no one will ship it to me in Canada, I will settle for Amazon.ca.  There are way more stores listed under Ebates.com that aren’t listed under Ebates.ca but the Canadian one is organized a little better.  You can still shop at the Canadian version of stores on Ebates.com but not vice versa.  Then you can get your “big fat cheque” in U.S. dollars instead of Canadian. You may also have to compare the percentage of cash back you’ll get.  You can get 10% back from Ebates.ca from Toms Shoes.  You will only get 5% back from Ebates.com for Toms.  You’ll also find more promo codes on Ebates.com.  So there are pros and cons on why you should get both.  The bottom line is, at the end of your shopping day, you’ll get a cheque, and you can leave it to the bank to do the conversion.  There seems to be a lot of debate whether this is for real or a scam.  It seems to have been in the U.S. since the late 90’s.  They even have an A+ BBB rating in spite of all the complaints.  I’ll be a personal judge and jury if I ever get over $5 of credit and will update this blog entry.

I realized my rant may have be more than a little confusing.  Probably ’cause I have been kicking myself over the money I could have made by spending it.  So I’ll break it down by listing the stores I could have made money from, and which would provide the most benefit for future reference.

Ebates.ca'Ebates
UP to 2% Amazon CanadaUP to 8% Amazon
5% Gunnar Optiks5% Gunnar Optiks
12% WaySpa6% WaySpa
8% The Body Shop Canada6% The Body Shop Canada
10% The U.S. Version
10% Toms Shoes Canada5% Toms Shoes Canada
6% Groupon4.6% Groupon
Up to 4% Walmart CanadaUp to 2% Walmart Canada
4% For the U.S. Version
4% Living Social4% Living Social + coupon codes
Up to 5% PricelineUp to 5% Priceline
2% Hotwire2% Hotwire
5% Clearly Contacts5% Coastal
NONE!!!4% Crocs Canada
3% Budget Rent-A-Car3% Budget Rent-A-Car
Up to 8% Chapters IndigoUp to 5% Chapters Indigo
25% McAfee Canada12.5% McAfee Canada
(The U.S. Version does get 70% off Clearance.)
2% Dell Canada + Coupons1% Dell Canada
4% Dell Consumer + coupon codes
4% Old Navy Canada2% Old Navy Canada
8% DSW4% DSW + coupon codes
1% Ebay.caEbay - NONE (WTF?)
5% Sephora8% Sephora + coupon codes
5 % Forever 21 Canada + coupon codes2.5 % Forever 21 Canada + coupon codes
2% for The U.S. Version but more coupon codes

This is not an exhaustive list.  I just realized the limitations of using the Ultimate tables plugin for making pretty tables.  The problem seems to be that I can’t expand my simple 2 column table past 21 rows.  It will clear all my data if I do… I will have to find another solution in order to continue my comparison.  To be continued …