Back to School Shopping Challenge with Ford Escape + 10 Readers Win $33 Visa Cash Card

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We are excited to tell you about a fun back to school shopping challenge we have planned this week. Ford Motor Company has challenged us to see how many back to school items we can find for $99 using this week’s current store sales & coupons.  We will then be donating all of the school supplies to students in need at several local schools in Tacoma.

Sia will be heading to the stores on Friday to take advantage of all the school supply deals available this week & see how many back to school items she can buy for $99. We will then come back & share with all of you, the deals that Sia found & how she maximized her savings by using simple shopping strategies & putting her couponing skills to the test! We will be showing you ways to save on a variety of different kinds of back to school deals. We hope this will give you some inspiration on how you can utilize coupons & the store sales when looking for the items on your children’s school supply lists.

The fun part of this challenge is that Sia will be  doing all of her back to school shopping in style! The Ford Motor Company is giving us the opportunity to try out the new 2013 Ford Escape for a day while driving around town finding the best deals on school supplies. It sounds like the Ford Escape is definitely a very family-friendly vehicle so we are looking forward to reviewing the car & letting you know what we think of it!

Here are a few of the features of the 2013 Ford Escape that we’re excited to check out:

  • Hands-Free Liftgate  – this means that you don’t have to put down your kids or your shopping bags to stow items in the trunk area – it will open for you
  • Large cargo space in the trunk area (great for families)
  • Active Park Assist – technology that basically parallel parks the vehicle for you (it takes me forever to figure out how to parellel park so I think this would come in handy for me!)
  • Up to 33 mpg on the highway  – with rising gas prices once again, it’s important to look for vehicles that get better gas mileage when traveling or just driving around town with your family & the Ford Escape definitely gets great gas mileage

Giveaway – 10 Readers win a $33 Visa Cash Card 

As part of this Back to School Challenge, Ford Motor Company also is generously providing a $33 Visa cash card to 10 Thrifty NW Mom readers. This is a chance for you to save some money on gas as you travel around town getting ready for school or use the cash card towards school supplies to help lower your budget.

This giveaway will end on Tuesday August 21st  at 9pm pst.

The winners will be drawn using “And the Winner Is” plugin and announced on the blog.  I will also email the winners. The winners will have 48 hours to contact me, otherwise a new winner will be drawn. US residents only & you must be 18 yrs or older to enter the giveaway. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook in any way.

Here’s how to enter this giveaway::

1st Entry (required entry): What are your favorite or dream features for a vehicle? 

Extra Entries : (make sure these are all separate comments, with a comment for each entry)

2) Subscribe to the Thrifty NW Mom feed via a reader of your choice or email (must be verified)

Disclosure:  Ford Motor Company sponsored this Back to School Challenge by providing $99 for us to use shopping for the back to school deals, which will be donated to local students in need.  Ford Motor Company is also providing 10 $33 Visa Cash Cards to  10 Thrifty NW Mom winners  randomly chosen. No compensation was given to us.  All opinions are 100% ours. See our disclosure policy  for more details.


  1. My favorite features would be heated seats (for the winter), large trunk, & good gas mileage.

  2. My dream features for my vehicle: leather interior, great gas mileage, cargo space in the back for a dog and gear, easy maneuverability. Also, a great price and reliability are a must! Hmm…might need to check out the Escape.

  3. I have always had an idea that cars should come with what I would call a “courtesy horn”. It would be a small button in the center of the main horn, and it’s beep would be much lower in volume than the main horn. I would use my courtesy horn when I need the horn for a non-emergency like getting someone’s attention (like if the light has been green for several seconds and they haven’t noticed). A courtesy horn would give drivers a chance to be much more polite towards each other in non emergency situations.

  4. My favorite feature on a car is the button to open all doors at once. This is a must with 3 small children. I also like cars with great gas mileage.

  5. My favorite dream feature is an iPod pulg in. That would be awesome to just plug in & listen to your gave songs anytime you wanted.

  6. My favorite features in a car would have to be first – GREAT gas mileage. Traveling with your family in a car is much more affordable nowadays.

  7. Dream feature is perfect storage compartments for everything; purse, drinks, hand sanitizer, etc.

  8. I would love solid seats (no nooks and crannys) so crumbs from kids and dogs weren’t always stuck in my seats. Or I would like an awesome hand held vacuum that came with the car, with special attachments for reaching the little spots!
    Super fast air conditioning and heat that came from all angles within the car.
    Hands free doors to go with the liftgate.
    a no carpet cargo area…mine is filthy from hauling furniture and dogs, I would love if I could wipe it out or hose it down instead of vacuum.

  9. I love to have my doors and trunk open via remote. I don’t think I could get a car/van without that feature anymore. I don’t mean just unlock, I want them to fully open!

  10. Hands free lift gate is a must. Also extra storage space and gas mileage is always a plus!

  11. You had me at hands free lift gate! And then I was like WHAT, how do you keep it from opening all the time? Can’t you just imagine your kids playing with that feature…. Watched the video to learn you still have to have the keys in your pocket. I would also love a backup camera, hands free speaker phone built in, and auto start/defrost.

  12. A good quality car at a reasonable price that gets great gas mileage! Is that too much to ask for?

  13. My “dream” vehicle would have remote start and cooled seats. the fan might like heated seats, but at my age, cooling is more important.

  14. I already subscribe Via email and twitter! But the best feature I would want in a car is little to no gas use.

  15. But the best feature I would want in a car is little to no gas use. and the hands free opening of the rear lift gate is great for a mom like me!

  16. Dream: I keep waiting for the Jetson’s car to become available! We’ren’t we supposed to have them by now? It would be nice to fly over traffic. :)

  17. I would love a car that used little to no gas, auto open doors, something to parallel park for me, and something that automatically knows what kind of music I want to listen to!

  18. My favorite feature is the ability to have my own playlists either stored in the hard drive that is already in the car (I think that is what Ford is doing lately) or even just the ability to plug in my ipod so that I can have my kids music and my christian rock without having to worry about cd’s.

  19. The best feature and a must is heated seats for sure—in addition to ample coffee mug space!

  20. My dream features would be built in car seats easily washable interior flexible seating and storage :)

  21. My dream feature would be a real “auto pilot” like the airplanes have. so I can sit back and wait to arrive at my destination.

  22. My dream feature would be some kind of lock or strapping system that tightens your carseat down. That way your not killing your knee bouncing up and down trying to tighten the carseat. Only to find that it still shifts more than an inch side to side. Ugh.

  23. I subscribe via email :). Thank you for this giveaway and to Ford for donating the gift cards.

  24. My dream feature for a vehicle is built in dvd players that plays automatically as soon as the kiddos are buckled in safely for when we go travelling around the country.

  25. my current favorite feature is the volume control for the radio on long drives. lol

  26. I would love to have the park assist and a back-up camera; there can be some tricky areas to park sometimes! Also an in-car DVD player for the kids would be handy. :)

  27. My dream feature is to have an on board built in navigation system. I get lost a lot! :)

  28. I LOVE that I can roll down my windows on my current car with my keys, prior to getting in the car! Wonderful for hot days like yesterday. A dream feature is dvd players in the car, suv style non gas hogger and afforable.

  29. My dream feature would be a car seat system that makes it super easy to put the seats in and take out but is tight and secure!

  30. I love the hands free lift gate and all the space in the second row of seats in my Ford Flex!

  31. My dream features include a built-in navigation system, extremely flexible/adjustable seating arrangements, and a drop-down dvd player at the BACK facing FORWARD for my extended rear-facing kids! :)

  32. My dream car would have built in gaming system so the kids would have something to do beside bug me. And built in navigation so I would get lost!

  33. A small feature I want in my next vehicle would be for automatic trunk door, like my current sliding doors. And I can’t wait to own an electric car in my small town.

  34. My dream feature in my current car is the digital display that tells me exactly how many miles I have left before the gas tank is empty!

  35. A dream feature I would like to find in a car is a storage space up front for my purse!

  36. I love my 2011 Ford Explorer! Additonal features I would love would be to be able to fold down rear seats with one hand and passenger seat height adjustment.

  37. I would love a built-in gaming system for long trips, but honestly, I would love it without too, since my soccer Mom van is over 10 years old! :-)

  38. A dream feature would be washable interior seating and flooring…like stainmaster.

  39. I love having a 3rd row I can pop up as needed. Dont think I could survive without that otion.

  40. my dream feature would be coffee made in car with push of a button… I mean a girl can dream right.. my favorite feature are leather seats with kids so easy to clean and heated seats and sun roof..

  41. My dream car would have windows that automatically close when I turn off the vehicle, windows that automatically stop going up when a hand or finger are in the way like my garage door, room for 7 or 8 and get over 25 mpg,.

  42. The features that I would love are: Child restraints for all ages that adapt as your child grows (car seat)!

  43. Lots of easily accessible cargo space and storage space to stow the 1000’s of things we always seem to need to take with us.

  44. I would LOVE anything that’s hands free. I’m pretty sure I don’t ever just walk up to my car without arms full of stuff. Thanks!

  45. It’s pretty cool when the automatic window has a ‘go all the way down or up feature.’

  46. With three boys all under 7, I love having the third row option to use when they have a friend or cousin come over, but also be able to put down to fill up the back with groceries. I also love having the DVD player for them to be able to watch movies on long trips. Leather seats are always nice too!

  47. I just read about all the features…and the programmable key? LOVE that! That’s totally one of my dream features!

  48. this may sound trivial but I would like a convenient place to put my purse, and since I changes purses frequently, this space would need to accomodate any size purse. Right now, if my purse is small I put it by the driver door up close to the seat (probably not safe but easily accesible). If my purse is larger I put it on the passenger side but close enough to reach.

  49. I love having station changing buttons on my steering wheel in our Ford Explorer, our Jetta doesn’t have them and I realize how convenient they are:)

  50. I would love a large back seat where my kids didn’t complain that their sibling was seating too close to them.

  51. my dream feature is a 12 passenger van with enough cupholders for every kid, and seatbelts/carseats that kids can’t unbuckle while you are moving!

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