Shopping en-US Best Money Tips: Ways to Save $1,000 by Black Friday <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-save-1000-by-black-friday" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="man doing finances" title="man doing finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on saving $1,000 by Black Friday, why you should book holiday travel now, and finding ideas for part time business.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">Ways to Save $1,000 by Black Friday</a> &mdash; Adjusting your tax withholding and ditching your gym membership can help you save $1,000 by Black Friday. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="">Why You Should Book Holiday Travel If You Haven't Already</a> &mdash; If you plan on traveling the day before Thanksgiving, book your ticket now! [MainStreet]</p> <p><a href="">How to Find Ideas for a Part Time Business</a> &mdash; When trying to find ideas for a part time business, make a list of things you are good at doing. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="">Tips for a Frugal, Fun and Enjoying Road Trip</a> &mdash; Keeping an average speed and setting a food budget can keep your road trip frugal and fun. [One Cent at a Time]</p> <p><a href="">How to Stop Being Poor</a> &mdash; Changing your mindset and getting out of debt can help you stop being poor. [Kylie Ofiu]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">32 College Hacks You Won't Learn From Your Professors</a> &mdash; Chances are your college professors won't teach you not to shop for food when you are hungry or inebriated. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">5 Lessons Learned From My First Year of Homeownership</a> &mdash; If you are going to purchase a home, invest in a toolbox and remember that most things are really easy to DIY. [L Bee and the Money Tree]</p> <p><a href="">How to Survive a Night Out on the Town When You&rsquo;re on a Budget</a> &mdash; To survive a night out on a budget, only bring cash! [ReadyForZero]</p> <p><a href="">Top 4 Finance Lessons for Your 30s</a> &mdash; In your 30s, it is vital to revamp your retirement plan. [SmartAsset Blog]</p> <p><a href="">Celebrate the Season With These Fall Dishes</a> &mdash; Celebrate fall with roasted root vegetables! [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Ways to Save $1,000 by Black Friday" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips black friday save Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:00:12 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1222419 at 8 Essential Pieces for Your Capsule Wardrobe <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman wardrobe" title="woman wardrobe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was in high school, I was all about clothes. I mean, I simply couldn't get enough of different shapes, colors, and textures. Buying new clothes at the mall, finding unique pieces at thrift shops, and eventually directing my efforts online was a complete rush for me. Over time, my wardrobe ballooned to epic proportions. And you know what? There weren't enough days in the year to wear all that stuff. Many &mdash; if not most &mdash; items collected dust in my dresser drawers.</p> <p>Now that I'm older and wiser, I've flipped my perspective to a less is more approach. I've learned to embrace the capsule wardrobe, which is a fancy term for a lean collection of essential pieces that are timeless and mix and match. This concept was first popularized in the 1970s and again in the 1980s. The idea is back again, and making your own minimal closet isn't just following one of the latest trends. Instead, it's a smart way to really use the clothing you own and get the best return on your investment. You'll do fewer loads of laundry, too! (See also: <a href="">You're Washing Your Clothes Too Often &mdash; What To Do Instead</a>)</p> <p>Here are some basics to build your capsule wardrobe. Pair these with a few other seasonal duds, and you'll be dressed in no time.</p> <h2>1. Dark Jeans</h2> <p>Whatever cut you choose, make sure your jeans fit your body well. The wash is what's more important when you're thinking of paring down your closet. Dark indigo or other washes without fading or distressing can be dressed up with a jacket for the workplace or dressed down for an evening out with friends. Of all my clothing, my jeans get the best wear by far.</p> <h2>2. Pencil Skirt</h2> <p>This classic silhouette combined with a bolder neutral, like black or navy, makes the pencil skirt a perfect addition to any minimal wardrobe. You can pair it with a bright blouse and jacket for a job interview or even a t-shirt for a last-minute date downtown. Think fabric when it comes to the season. Tweed and wool are solid choices for the colder months; 100% cotton or stretchier blends are better bets when it's warm. (See also: <a href="">7 Style Secrets For Women That Flatter Every Shape</a>)</p> <h2>3. Cardigan</h2> <p>The versatile cardigan can be worn buttoned or open. Belted or not. With a skirt or with pants. It's a hardworking piece that will keep you warm and comfortable in the winter chill and the summer air-conditioning. While I always try to keep my colors muted, I do tend to choose brighter shades for cardigans to make things fun.</p> <h2>4. Button-Down</h2> <p>The rule when I was younger was to always have a white button-down shirt around for work or random occasions. Now? I'm not so stuck on the specific color, but having a shirt with some structure is a great idea. You can wear it under a dress, tied over a maxi skirt, tucked into a pencil skirt, underneath a sweater, and in <a href="">many more ways</a>.</p> <h2>5. All-Occasion Dress</h2> <p>I like the classic little black dress idea best when choosing a single frock, but if that's not your style, choose another color that plays well with your other items. The idea here is to find a dress in a quality fabric that is suitable for more formal events (weddings, funerals, work dinners) but can go the distance for more casual occasions, too. I tend to choose dresses that hit at or just below the knee because that length is appropriate for all without being dowdy. In a pinch, you can even wear a shirt over the dress so it doubles as a skirt.</p> <h2>6. Jacket</h2> <p>A crisp jacket or blazer is a wonderful addition to your capsule wardrobe, especially if you work in an office. If you're not sure about this classic staple, consider picking one up second hand at a consignment or thrift shop. Fit is especially important here, so be sure to choose a cut that flatters your shape and isn't too tight around the shoulders or bulky around your waist. I also love pairing blazers with jeans for a put-together weekend look when I'm out and about. (See also: <a href="">50 Ways to Update Your Wardrobe on the Cheap</a>)</p> <h2>7. Denim Shirt</h2> <p>If a jacket doesn't fit your lifestyle, try a structured denim shirt in its place. I wear mine &mdash; with snap buttons &mdash; most days of the week in one way or another. I like it open over t-shirts or closed with my pencil skirt and a scarf. Unlike with my dark jeans, I choose lighter colors for my denim shirts. That way, you can do the jean-on-jean look (try to mix somewhat compatible tones, though). (See also: <a href="">20 Simple and Stylish DIY Clothing Projects For Women</a>)</p> <h2>8. Fitted Pants</h2> <p>Over the years, the style for pants has become straighter and tighter. While you're not looking to create a spandex-style look, a skinnier pant can go a long way in your everyday wear. I have a pair of fitted black pants that are stretchy and partner well with longer tunic tops and jackets for work. And they marry wonderfully with plain t-shirts when I'm dressed down. Comfort is crucial, so choose fabric blends that conform to your shape but let you breathe all at the same time.</p> <p><em>Anything missing? What goes into your capsule wardrobe? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Essential Pieces for Your Capsule Wardrobe" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Style basics capsule wardrobe fashion fashion basics minimal wardrobe Tue, 30 Sep 2014 09:00:05 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1221880 at 15 Time-Saving Tools Everyone Should Own <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-time-saving-tools-everyone-should-own" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman smartphone" title="woman smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Feel like there's just not enough time in the day? Join the club. It feels like I'm going nonstop from before sunup to waaaay past sundown every day. I haven't found a solution that will add any time to my daily routine, but I have found a few ways to cut back on the time I'm spending on tasks that otherwise could be more efficient. (See also: <a href="">You Need a Time Budget</a>)</p> <p>Take a look at some of my time-saving solutions here, then let me know how you shave a few minutes off your day in the comments below.</p> <h2>1. Food Processor</h2> <p>I enjoy cooking, and I usually make time to eat a healthy meal at home, but I don't always have the time (or energy) to cut, chop, peel, grate, and slice my breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Rather, I use a food processor whenever it makes sense to quickly and effortlessly manipulate the ingredients I need so I can speed up the cooking process and feed my hungry tummy faster. <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00A6JHPK8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZWCJVCQYHLUO3GZJ">KitchenAid makes a great processor</a> (the assortment of blades are beyond helpful), but <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003O47MKA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZR6ZGBIKSY3QGPL5">Ninja also makes a line of powerful food prep products</a> that I personally give my seal of approval.</p> <h2>2. Backup Gadget Batteries</h2> <p>iPhone users in particular know the daily struggle of seeing 1% at 11 a.m. even though they awoke four hours before with a fully charged device. Thus, we're forced to charge our phones multiple times a day to avoid being without power when we're not near a socket. In fact, I've personally spent 20 minutes or more on multiple occasions in an actual Apple store just to get a little juice. A rechargeable, on-the-go battery, however &mdash; <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=mophie&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=4MOINVFV3IS6JINE">like the ones from Mophie</a> &mdash; drastically cuts back on the instances that I have to stop and recharge my phone when I'm out and about. I plug it in at night and take it with me to avert any low-battery crises.</p> <h2>3. Slow Cooker</h2> <p>There's not much better in this world than coming home after a long, hard day at work to a house that smells delicious because dinner is ready to eat. I don't use my slow cooker much in the summer, but I'm looking forward to stealing a little me-time this fall and winter thanks to my Crock-Pot. I'm also fond of this handy little attachment for slow cookers called the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00ET9E7U2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WLEWWACF42T4LJW4">Lid Pocket</a>, which helps me reduce the potential of an OCD attack when I have to put the lid on the counter or sink when taking it off &mdash; and I know I'm not alone.</p> <h2>4. Smartphone and Apps</h2> <p>There's no denying that smartphones help us save time in innumerable ways, from eliminating the need to clip coupons and helping us make lists to managing the security on our homes and keeping in touch with friends. If I had to pick my favorite time-saving app though, I think it would be my mobile banking app. When my bank launched it, it was like trumpets from the heavens were playin' my jam. Now I deposit my checks online, transfer money easily, and even sign up for in-app deals that give me cash back on participating purchases.</p> <h2>5. BB Cream</h2> <p>Erin Konrad, a spokesperson for, told me about BB Cream. I didn't know much about this facial cosmetic product before Erin chimed in, but Wiki describes it as an all-in-one replacement for serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation, and sunblock. &quot;I love using a BB cream in my beauty regimen; it has multiple uses, which can help save me time during my morning routine,&quot; Erin says. &quot;I love anything that allows me to sleep in a few more minutes.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Programmable Coffee Maker</h2> <p>I'm not a coffee drinker myself &mdash; to be honest, I don't get it at all &mdash; but I don't have to be a java head to know that a programmable coffee maker can shave a good five to 10 minutes off your morning routine if you set it to brew just before you get up or while you're doing your other daily routines. There's also another cool gadget that will help you save time in the morning, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00GKNOH8W&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=4GMUXPG5QLDH53QJ">Gamila Impress Coffee Brewer</a>, which gives you the fresh taste of a French Press while you're on the move. I had a chance to try it for another post and even I was impressed.</p> <h2>7. Dishwasher</h2> <p>Most homes have dishwashers nowadays, so let's consider this one an &quot;oldie but a goodie.&quot; In fact, it may even be the biggest time saver of them all. Remember when you had to wash and dry all those dishes by hand? How long did it take you &mdash; 20, 30 minutes? More? Who has time for that &mdash; or dishpan hands? Not me. I just load it and forget it. Until it's time to unload it, of course; you know nobody else in the house is gonna do it.</p> <h2>8. Exercise Equipment</h2> <p>You can save a lot of time and money by buying exercise equipment for your home. I'm not talking about expensive machines, but rather inexpensive pieces like dumbbells, resistance bands, and over-the-door pull-up bars that will help you stay in shape without wasting time going back and forth to the gym multiple times a week. You'll also save anywhere from $10 to $100 a month on gym membership after the initial investment on the equipment.</p> <h2>9. Coin Sorter</h2> <p>My dad used to keep a huge water jug full of coins in his bedroom when I was a kid. Every year or so he would empty it out and spend hours &mdash; like many hours! &mdash; counting and wrapping the coins so he could take them to the bank and cash them in. Of course, these days you also can take your coins to a public machine and have them sorted and counted for you, but that'll cost you upwards of 8% to 10% of your total take.</p> <p>A great solution to save time and money is to purchase a coin sorter for your home and get in the habit of throwing your change into it every day. When the coin wrappers are full, set them aside until you're ready to take them to the bank. I'd also advise buying a fairly decent sorter. I purchased a relatively cheap one in the past and it wasn't worth the plastic it cost to make it.</p> <h2>10. DVR</h2> <p>I don't watch much TV anymore, but back in the day I was a junkie, scheduling my activities around my favorite shows. But thanks to my DVR, I now can do more of what I want and need to do &mdash; like pump out these Wise Bread articles to help you live a more efficient and fiscally responsible life &mdash; because I know I can watch my programs later. Which is perfect for a lazy Sunday when there's nothing else on anyway.</p> <h2>11. Autonomous Cleaning Robots</h2> <p>When <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000UUBCNO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RRJ3CWOUE4UVFCJC">Roomba</a> was first invented the line only consisted of a round disc that would move around your carpeted floor and suck up all the junk that you used to have pick up by manually pushing a vacuum cleaner. That product still exists, though it's now a much more advanced version, but the line also include models that will scrub and mop floors and clean pools and gutters. I can't even begin to quantify how much time these little babies save, but it's not drop in the bucket.</p> <h2>12. All-in-One Washer Dryer</h2> <p>I'm not sure if it's okay for a grown man to look at shiny new appliances like a wild cat eyes a juicy piece of fresh meat, but my obsession is real and perhaps a tad frightening. Nonetheless, I'm totally into the high-efficiency, all-in-one washer-dryers. I know I'm not the only person who hates going back and forth to the washer and dryer putting clothes in and taking them out of one machine on another all day long, and this is the perfect solution.</p> <p>It's important to note, however, that while the machine's TurboWash will dramatically reduce wash time, the dryer (because it's non-vented) may take longer than you're used to. But who cares? When it's done, it's done, and you can get back to your DVR.</p> <h2>13. No-Iron Clothing</h2> <p>I would probably have to iron no-iron clothing &mdash; because I'm totally a freak about ironing my clothes &mdash; but for people who loathe it but have to do it if they want to look presentable and professional, I think this is a great compromise. If you're skeptical about how well no-iron clothing performs, Good Housekeeping put a few brands to the test, <a href="">as reported by ABC News</a>.</p> <h2>14. George Foreman Grill</h2> <p>For those of us who live in urban areas and have no room for a real grill &mdash; or can't own one altogether &mdash; a <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001NXC65K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QJ5RAST22J6QQ6NM">George Foreman Grill</a> is a great compromise appliance. There's no charcoal to burn of course, so you're saving time there, but the other awesome time-saving aspect of these grills is that they cook both sides of the food at once, essentially cutting your time in the kitchen in half. Plus, reviews have always been on the positive side for the grills, so you know you're getting a good product.</p> <h2>15. Hybrid or Electric Car</h2> <p>I left this entry last because as a society we're still not quite ready to fully embrace hybrid and electric cars, but we are moving steadily in that direction. Alas, once these kind of cars become commonplace, positive results will abound. We won't pollute the environment as much, we won't have to rely on foreign oil so heavily, and we won't have to pop in and out of gas stations as much (or ever if your car is completely electric). You can get where you're going faster and cheaper, which will make your trip all the more relaxing. Aaaah.</p> <p><em>Do you have more time-saving items that everyone should own to suggest? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Time-Saving Tools Everyone Should Own" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Family Productivity Shopping efficiency gadgets labor savers time time savers Thu, 25 Sep 2014 15:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1220280 at Take These 10 Items off Your Wedding Registry Immediately (Plus 5 to Add ASAP) <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/take-these-10-items-off-your-wedding-registry-immediately-plus-5-to-add-asap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="bride writing" title="bride writing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So, you're engaged. Congratulations! (See also: <a href="">8 Tips for Planning a Last Minute Wedding</a>)</p> <p>Amidst all the ceremony decisions, location reservations, and fancy wardrobe choices for the big day, you're probably registering somewhere. Before you do, read this article. Having been there and done all of that, I have some suggestions for items we've never touched, and others we've regretted not asking for.</p> <h2>Remove From Your List</h2> <p>Many of the following items are traditional wedding registry items, but honestly? Who needs them?</p> <h3>Fine China</h3> <p>In the seven years I've been married, I've not once needed fancy dinnerware for entertaining. Since we're more frugally-minded folks, our parties are typically pass-arounds or potlucks, and our colorful Fiestaware is holding up just fine. So, skip the fancy patterns and delicate wares and instead find a sturdy, casual set with a few extra servings (think eight or more, total) for when guests visit.</p> <h3>Formal Utensils</h3> <p>The same goes with those extended fork, spoon, and knife sets. Of course I understand all those different utensils have purposes, but not in my life. If you're like me and don't see stuffy dinners in your future, forego the silver and get an extra set of casual utensils you'll actually use on the daily.</p> <h3>Gimmicky Gadgets</h3> <p>Sure, an avocado slicer or garlic chopper might sound awesome in theory, but over the years? Well, ours got pushed to the back of our kitchen drawers never to resurface. Stick with the basics, like a good knife set and wooden spoons or spatulas.</p> <h3>Bread Maker</h3> <p>Making bread at home isn't much more complicated than tossing stuff into a bread maker and pushing start. Really. Plus, you'll never get bakery style crust in a bread maker. I gave mine away years ago. A good <a href="">No-Knead Loaf Recipe</a> is a great place to start.</p> <h3>Panini Press</h3> <p>Whenever I want a grilled sandwich, I slather my bread with butter or oil and cook in a fry pan until golden on both sides. We did receive a panini press as a wedding gift, but it just never seems to travel out of its spot in the lower cabinet.</p> <h3>Other Task-Specific Appliances</h3> <p>Think about it. How often will you really use that margarita maker, a banana ice cream machine, fondue fountain, or cake-pop baker? If the answer is rarely, don't put it on your registry. Chances are that space is at a premium in your kitchen, so it's best to keep your fleet of small appliances lean and multipurpose. (See also: <a href="">7 Kitchen Gadgets That Save You Money</a>)</p> <h3>Bathroom Extras</h3> <p>Our snazzy soap dishes, liquid dispensers, and toothbrush holders? I have no idea what happened to them. We have switched mostly to using castile soap for all washing purposes, so we usually use it right out of the bottle. For the rest, we have quite a system of simple ball jars for storage. And soap fits snugly in one of those shower caddies.</p> <h3>Ice Bucket, Etc.</h3> <p>Whenever I see &quot;ice bucket&quot; on one of those must-have registry checklists, I shrug my shoulders. Not once in the entire time I've been married have I needed an ice bucket &mdash; or a fancy pitcher, for that matter. Champagne, wine, and beer all chill just fine in the refrigerator. If we need ice at parties, we quickly grab it from the freezer.</p> <h3>Crazy Patterned Anything</h3> <p>Between bedsheets, shower curtains, towels, and all other fabrics you might register for, there are certainly a number of choices. I made the mistake of going with a very bold pattern and color choice for all. Now? I sure wish I could divorce these items for a more neutral, time-tested look since my tastes have (inevitably) changed. Concentrate your search on quality versus styled textiles, and keep it basic with neutral colors or solids that can mix and match as your years together roll on.</p> <h3>Lifestyle Items</h3> <p>Again: Resist the trappings on any formulaic checklists you might find regarding wedding registry items. You'll see lots of bakeware on traditional lists, for example. If you hate baking, you likely don't need extra sets of mixing bowls and cake pans cluttering up your kitchen.</p> <p>There's no right way to live life, so your wedding registry should be as unique as you are. Ask for things you'll use, don't put on anything you feel you should just because it's what everyone else seems to have.</p> <h2>Stuff to Add Right Now!</h2> <p>Okay, if I had to do it all over again, these are the things I'd be sure to add to my registry.</p> <h3>Vacuum Cleaner</h3> <p>And another one bites the dust. That used to be my motto for the cheap vacuum cleaners I had in my early 20s. I don't know why I didn't register for a good one when we got married. In fact, we just recently invested in a quality vacuum (set us back a few hundred dollars &mdash; ouch), and it's made a huge difference, especially with our cat hair issues.</p> <h3>Garbage Can</h3> <p>So, if you've always used those cheap open-top plastic garbage cans you can buy at big box stores, you might not realize how much money a good garbage can actually costs. Thing is, they're worth every penny if you want them to last and (eventually) keep your trash out of your toddler's (or dog's) inquisitive reach.</p> <h3>Crock Pot</h3> <p>I feel like a bit of a hypocrite with this one. I wrote to stay away from a bread maker, and now I'm going to tell you to absolutely add a crock pot to your registry list. For me, a slow cooker is extra insurance for not letting my food go to waste. I toss in whatever veggies we have leftover and make soup or stew at the start of each week before I head to the grocery store. (See also: <a href="">35 Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy (or Lazy) Vegetarians</a>)</p> <h3>Dutch Oven</h3> <p>I use my cast iron dutch oven at least every other day. Whether I'm simmering a soup or baking crusty sourdough bread, it works wonders &mdash; but it was also quite expensive. You need not register for the most pricey, name-brand version. Instead, find one with enough room for your purposes, and it will last you a lifetime.</p> <h3>Food Processor</h3> <p>A lot of my friends immediately put a stand mixer on their registries. And &mdash; yes &mdash; I use my stand mixer often for cookies, breads, cakes, etc. However, what I use even more frequently is my food processor. I can blend together homemade peanut butters, sauces, veggie burgers, and even make my own oat flour. (See also: <a href="">The 5 Best Food Processors</a>)</p> <p><em>What do you think of this list? Agree? Disagree? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Take These 10 Items off Your Wedding Registry Immediately (Plus 5 to Add ASAP)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping gift registry wedding wedding registry Thu, 25 Sep 2014 09:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1220281 at The 5 Best Bluetooth Mice <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-bluetooth-mice" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="wireless mouse" title="wireless mouse" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While we've written about wireless mice in the past, a Bluetooth-capable mouse works slightly differently. Most wireless mice operate by having a small receiver constantly plugged into a USB port. On the other hand, a Bluetooth mouse can connect to a computer or tablet directly through the Bluetooth connection, freeing up what can often be valuable USB real estate.</p> <h2>What Is a Bluetooth Mouse?</h2> <p>A Bluetooth mouse is a computer mouse that uses wireless Bluetooth to connect to another electronic device, such as a computer. Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard that is designed to exchange data over short distances, and is most commonly associated with wireless headsets. By utilizing a device's Bluetooth capabilities, a Bluetooth-enabled mouse can directly connect to the device without the need for a separate wireless receiver or USB port. Newer Bluetooth mice are even capable of connecting to tablets and are optimized for touchscreen devices.</p> <h2>Best 5 Bluetooth Mice</h2> <h3>Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008OEHV6U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=XSZLL6ITY5VBCRXR"><img width="200" height="131" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008OEHV6U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=XSZLL6ITY5VBCRXR">Wedge Touch mouse</a> by Microsoft is an elegant and extremely portable Bluetooth mouse that is optimized for use with Windows 8. The Wedge Touch mouse still functions as a standard mouse, but also features a touch-sensitive surface that enables 4-way touch scrolling. Users note that it is exceptionally easy to use; all you need to do is turn it on and connect it to your device via Bluetooth, and you're good to go. Some mention that its small size might take some getting used to, especially if you have large hands, but most appreciate the compact nature of the mouse.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008OEHV6U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=XSZLL6ITY5VBCRXR"><em>Currently $36.83 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Microsoft Sculpt Comfort Mouse</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BZC31WQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=K5M6FQOCGPS3R7OH"><img width="200" height="157" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>Another Microsoft mouse that is optimized for Windows 8, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BZC31WQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=K5M6FQOCGPS3R7OH">Sculpt Comfort mouse</a> is designed like a standard computer mouse, but includes additional design features that complement your Windows 8 experience. The dedicated blue Windows Touch Tab allows you to access the Start menu and scroll through your apps. On Windows 7, it allows you to access the Start menu and scroll forward and backward on your web browser.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BZC31WQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=K5M6FQOCGPS3R7OH"><em>Currently $24.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Logitech V470 Bluetooth Cordless Laser Mouse</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000UY3NR8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=5F3EBFPVBSXVMNJ3"><img width="200" height="180" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000UY3NR8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=5F3EBFPVBSXVMNJ3">Logitech V470</a> brings the precision of a laser mouse together with the convenience of a Bluetooth connection. Laser mice outperform optical mice and this mouse by Logitech delivers smooth cursor control on just about any surface. The V470 also features a battery life indicator so that you never get caught off guard when the mouse runs out of juice. Most users agree that the mouse is easy-to-use and incredibly smooth and responsive.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000UY3NR8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=5F3EBFPVBSXVMNJ3"><em>Currently $84.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>HP X4000b Bluetooth Mouse</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009KY58FE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RUAN66GDR5VIS35Z"><img width="200" height="200" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009KY58FE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RUAN66GDR5VIS35Z">HP X4000b</a> is a great Bluetooth mouse that is designed to fit comfortably in your hand. The contoured design is very ergonomic and great for those that need to use a computer for extended amounts of time. The mouse also boasts an impressive nine month battery life as well as a laser sensor for precise use on just about any surface. Users attest to the solid construction of the mouse and its Bluetooth compatibility means it can be used on other devices such as Android tablets or Chromebooks as well.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009KY58FE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RUAN66GDR5VIS35Z"><em>Currently $27.21 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse T630</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DR8LA6U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=ZCDZFES2OKG3NAC4"><img width="200" height="195" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>This slick and modern <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DR8LA6U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=ZCDZFES2OKG3NAC4">Ultrathin Touch mouse</a> from Logitech is designed to perfectly complement the slim design of an Ultrabook, but can be paired with any Bluetooth-capable device. The thin design makes it extremely portable; it's small enough to fit inside most jean pockets. The touch surface of the mouse supports a number of Windows 8 touch gestures as well. Finally, this battery doesn't require any batteries since it charges via a USB cable.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DR8LA6U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=ZCDZFES2OKG3NAC4"><em>Currently $49.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best Bluetooth mice. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Bluetooth Mice" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jeffrey Pu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides bluetooth mouse product reviews Wed, 24 Sep 2014 09:00:04 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 1198765 at Best Money Tips: Save Big on Buying in Bulk <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-save-big-on-buying-in-bulk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="warehouse shopping" title="warehouse shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on saving big on buying in bulk, easy ways to save more money, and steps for a fresh financial start this fall.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">7 Ways to Save Big on Buying in Bulk</a> &mdash; When buying in bulk, shopping based on per-unit pricing can help you save money. [Living on the Cheap]</p> <p><a href="">5 Easy Ways to Save More Money</a> &mdash; Automating your savings and prepping your meals for the week can save you big bucks. [MintLife Blog]</p> <p><a href="">6 Steps for a Fresh Financial Start This Fall</a> &mdash; This fall, updating your budget and writing down your goals can help you have a fresh financial start. [More Than Wheels]</p> <p><a href="">Are You Spending Enough Time Planning Your Retirement?</a> &mdash; Have you performed a retirement needs assessment recently? [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="">5 Ways to Eat Healthier and Save Money on Food</a> &mdash; Preserving your own food can help you eat healthier and save money. [Canadian Finance Blog]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">4 Things to Avoid Before Closing on a House</a> &mdash; Before you close on a house, don't make any late payments. [MainStreet]</p> <p><a href="">23 Surprising Uses for Pool Noodles</a> &mdash; Did you know pool noodles can be used for quilt storage? [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">12 Essential Dairy-Free Meal Planning Resources</a> &mdash; The Fresh 20 and Milk Free Mom can help you plan out dairy-free meals. [CouponPal]</p> <p><a href="">Life Insurance: What to Consider as a Self-Employed Business Owner</a> &mdash; When deciding whether or not to get life insurance, take into consideration your business structure. [Careful Cents]</p> <p><a href="">9 Robin Williams's Classics to Watch With Your Kids</a> &mdash; Take the time to watch Hook and Aladdin with your kids. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Save Big on Buying in Bulk" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips bulk buying shopping Tue, 23 Sep 2014 19:00:06 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1207992 at A Supermarket Insider Reveals 5 Ways Your Grocer Is Trying to Upsell You <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-supermarket-insider-reveals-5-ways-your-grocer-is-trying-to-upsell-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="grocery shopping" title="grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your grocery store is not out to get you, explains Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert. &quot;Their mission is to make you very loyal as a shopper. They want to form a relationship,&quot; said Lempert, editor of insider grocery journal The Lempert Report and <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>That said, the grocery industry is a low-margin business, and the more stores can do to encourage customers to spend more, in the most profitable areas, the better. Brands, too, would like to influence your behavior. (See also: <a href="">The One Tool That Ensures You Never Pay Too Much for Groceries</a>)</p> <p>So beware of these ways supermarkets and brands attempt to steer your cart &mdash; and your wallet.</p> <h2>1. The Fresh 'n' Fruity</h2> <p>&quot;One reason the produce department is in the front of the store is, it's like aromatherapy. Great colors and fragrances put you in a better mood, so when you're going through the store, you're moving more slowly; you might notice more products,&quot; Lempert said.</p> <h3>How to Evade It</h3> <p>Sticking to a list can help you avoid being influenced by attempted mood control. To avoid feeling deprived, Lempert advises drawing a limited number of blanks at the bottom of the page, so you can add two or three impulse buys &mdash; but no more than you can afford.</p> <h2>2. The Endcap Game</h2> <p>As you turn toward the next aisle, you see a towering display of identical cereal boxes. Beware! This may not be what you think it is. &quot;Most people think everything in that endcap is on sale. Only about half the time is it on sale,&quot; Lempert warns.</p> <h3>How to Evade It</h3> <p>&quot;Look carefully at the sign that's there,&quot; Lempert said. If it doesn't specifically show a discount, it's full price.</p> <h2>3. The Stock-Up Stickup</h2> <p>Buy one get one free, three for $5, or the per-ounce savings of the jumbo vat of ketchup &mdash; these can be traps if they lead you down the path of buying more than you can use before the expiration date.</p> <h3>How to Evade It</h3> <p>&quot;Make sure you buy something in an appropriate size to use,&quot; Lempert said. &quot;They might have 64 oz. tomato juice on sale. You have tomato juice occasionally. You might be better off buying the smaller cans, even though they're more expensive (per serving).&quot;</p> <p>On the other hand, if you are sure you'll use the larger volume in a timely manner, go ahead and grab the deal. BOGOs tend to be the largest discounts you'll see on most products. Lempert has one more caveat for stock-up-and-savers.</p> <p>&quot;Check the per-unit price. Just because it's in a bigger package doesn't mean it's cheaper. Because of operational efficiencies, you might find a 16 oz. can is cheaper on a per-unit basis than a 40 oz. can.&quot; If the factories are configured to pump out more 16 oz. cans, those may be the best deal after all.</p> <h2>4. The Scratch and Dent</h2> <p>&quot;A lot of stores have damaged packaged goods, usually by the meat department. Don't go for that,&quot; Lempert warned. &quot;When you have a dented can, you can easily grow bacteria in that can. If it's a damaged package, I don't care how cheap it is, from a food safety standpoint, I won't go near it.&quot;</p> <p>But feel free to pick up kitty litter from the scratch-and-dent bin. &quot;If it's a nonconsumable, sure,&quot; Lempert said.</p> <h2>5. Checkout Coupons</h2> <p>Those little coupons that print out next to the register? You may notice that they bear an uncanny resemblance to items you just bought. This is because brands want to target certain customers and encourage them to try their product next time.</p> <p>&quot;Let's say you're a Coca-Cola drinker. Pepsi wants to steal you, so they'll give you a high-value coupon to encourage you to switch to Pepsi. Or Coke doesn't want you to leave, so they'll give you a Coke coupon,&quot; Lempert said.</p> <p>These aren't necessarily insidious, and may even save you on things you want. But be aware, there's some psychological pressure being attempted here.</p> <h2>Saving Graces</h2> <p>Phil has a few more insider suggestions for saving at the super.</p> <h3>Try the House Specialty</h3> <p>One area where the store and shopper's interests align is the store brand. These products are often identical to name-brand products, sell for less money, and send more profit back to the store. So while the store may try to steer you to its house brand displays, it's not a trap.</p> <p>&quot;Remember that store brands always have a money back guarantee,&quot; Lempert said. &quot;Compare the ingredients and nutritional information on the store brand to the brand you normally buy. If they're identical, it's probably an identical product.&quot;</p> <h3>Join the Club</h3> <p>Lempert advises shoppers to tap every tool available to save: coupons, online programs, and store cards. Don't be paranoid about the fact that the cards and apps help the store compile data on your shopping habits.</p> <p>&quot;There are no secrets in today's world. Everybody knows everything about us,&quot; Lempert said.</p> <p>Well, at least now you also know a little bit more about the supermarket.</p> <p><em>Have you fallen for any of these upsell traps? Noticed any others? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="A Supermarket Insider Reveals 5 Ways Your Grocer Is Trying to Upsell You" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Carrie Kirby</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Food groceries market shopping supermarket Mon, 22 Sep 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1216063 at The 5 Best Electric Drills <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-electric-drills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="drill" title="drill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="144" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're constructing a house or working on a DIY project at home, an electric drill is easily one of the most versatile and valuable tools to have in your toolbox. Although we may tend to most commonly think of them as merely more sophisticated screwdrivers or hole makers, a good electric drill with the right accessories can also be used to sand, polish, and grind materials and can ensure that your project gets done right and done fast overall.</p> <p>Wise Bread is here to help you find the perfect electric drill for your needs with our top five list.</p> <h2>What Is an Electric Drill?
</h2> <p>An electric drill is a handheld, motor-powered tool that uses an attached drill bit or driver bit on its chuck to bore holes into various materials or to drive screws to fasten materials together. Electric drills are available in both cordless and corded varieties. Cordless electric drills are powered by a rechargeable battery and give you the portability and freedom to use it wherever you want, which often makes them the more preferred option.</p> <p>Although corded electric drills are limited in how far away they can be from the nearest electrical outlet, you'll never have to worry about running out of power when using them, and they can sometimes be more powerful than the cordless drills. Because electric drills come in many different power levels and speeds, it's important to know what tasks you'll want to accomplish with the electric drill in order to find the one that will best fit your needs.</p> <h2>Best 5 Electric Drills</h2> <h3>DeWalt DCD780C2
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0052MIHMO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=7YY5B5P36LDQVZQ5"><img width="190" height="190" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>As a Consumer Search top pick, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0052MIHMO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=7YY5B5P36LDQVZQ5">Dewalt DCD780C2</a> is a top-notch cordless electric drill that has impressed both experts and consumers with the powerful, long-lasting performance that it packs within a comfortably compact design. With a &frac12;-inch chuck size, two speed ranges and 15 clutch settings, many users agreed that this 20-volt drill provides enough torque to tackle medium-sized jobs to the satisfaction of both casual homeowners and professional builders.</p> <p>Users were also very happy with the DCD780C2's rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which take less than half an hour to charge and can last throughout a day's work. A surprisingly lightweight design and an easy-to-hold grip round out the superb package that this Dewalt drill can deliver.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0052MIHMO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=7YY5B5P36LDQVZQ5"><em>Currently $167.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Makita BHP454</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001EYUQM8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6ZMILHYQX3TTHDFA"><img width="190" height="217" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>For the bigger projects that require even more power and speed, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001EYUQM8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6ZMILHYQX3TTHDFA">Makita BHP454</a> is the best cordless electric drill for getting those tougher jobs done. Along with a two-speed metal transmission and 16 different clutch settings, this Consumer Reports top pick features a mighty four-pole motor that can deliver up to 560 inch pounds of torque. And yet with all this power, this drill only weighs five pounds and is just under 10 inches in length.</p> <p>In addition, its compact lithium-ion battery pack is remarkably efficient, capable of delivering a day's worth of power with just a 30-minute charge. The BHP454 also comes with a Shift-Lock drive system, which allows it to switch into an effective hammer drill, giving you the nice value of having two tools in one. Two handy LED lights come standard with this drill as well to help illuminate your work area in the dark.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001EYUQM8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6ZMILHYQX3TTHDFA"><em>Currently $314.98 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Hitachi DS14DSFL
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004D29IA4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=OHOQFXAZOQLZZJRZ"><img width="190" height="194" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>Named a Consumer Reports Best Buy, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004D29IA4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=OHOQFXAZOQLZZJRZ">Hitachi DS14DSFL</a> is an exceptional choice for homeowners and consumers looking for a cordless electric drill that gets the job done without breaking the bank. Users absolutely love the DS14DSFL's sleek design which weighs significantly less than most heavy-duty drills, coming in at just 4.4 pounds. Despite its low weight, this Hitachi drill can still deliver a vigorous performance, one that's capable of outputting up to 300 inch pounds of torque with four different speed ranges and 22 drive settings.</p> <p>Combined with a slim soft grip handle, this light-duty drill is a delight to hold and use. The DS14DSFL&rsquo;s lightweight 14.4-volt lithium-ion batteries provide a long runtime that takes only 40 minutes to recharge. It also comes packaged with a handy flashlight for some extra value and utility.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004D29IA4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=OHOQFXAZOQLZZJRZ"><em>Currently $78.36 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Milwaukee 0240-20</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002WJH9WE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=J4QIQDPENZNIQP2E"><img width="190" height="190" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>If you want a powerful electric drill that doesn't burden you with having to recharge its batteries all the time, then the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002WJH9WE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=J4QIQDPENZNIQP2E">Milwaukee 0240-20</a> corded electric drill is the best choice for you. While it lacks the bells and whistles found on other high-end models, this Milwaukee drill more than makes up for it with its mighty 8 amp motor, which provides an optimal blend of speed and torque with a wide speed range of 0-2,800 RPM that's perfect for drilling through most dense materials.</p> <p>An all-metal gear case provides more than adequate protection for the drill's gears during arduous use for the utmost durability. Thanks to a soft grip handle and a two-finger trigger, it also pleases owners with its great handling.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002WJH9WE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=J4QIQDPENZNIQP2E"><em>Currently $79.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Black and Decker DR260B
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004FRXWRW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JFLH5GAOX4WY5H4L"><img width="190" height="203" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>As an Amazon Best Seller, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004FRXWRW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JFLH5GAOX4WY5H4L">Black and Decker DR260B</a> is another excellent choice for a corded electric drill that's low on price and high on features and convenience. Built with the everyday homeowner in mind, the DR260B is one of the most compact electric drills you can buy, and its small size makes it incredibly ideal for working in those cramped, hard-to-reach areas of your home.</p> <p>The DR260B manages to pack a 5.2 amp motor with a variable speed range of 0-1,500 RPM inside its compact design, enabling it to provide enough power for all your home improvement needs. Last but not least, this ultra-convenient drill comes with a slew of handy features, including a built-in level, on-board bit storage, and a keyless chuck that allow for easy bit switching.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004FRXWRW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JFLH5GAOX4WY5H4L"><em>Currently $18.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best electric drills. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Electric Drills" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">William Tran</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides buying guide electric drills product reviews Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:00:06 +0000 William Tran 1147195 at 6 Painless Ways to Split the Check <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-painless-ways-to-split-the-check" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="friends smartphone resturant" title="friends smartphone resturant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's 2014, also known as the year we all ought to rid ourselves of the long, awkward shuffle of money and pencil-drawn arithmetic that happens each time the bill comes after a nice dinner out with friends. Why? Because there's an app for that &mdash; actually, there are six of 'em &mdash; and you've already proven you need it. Plus waitresses across the globe are tired of splitting the bill between three cards and a crumpled up fistfull of cash. (See also: <a href="">Who Should Pay for the First Date?</a>)</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of the top six apps made to relieve the burden of shared expenses. (Note: If you're the type to try and dodge paying for the guacamole everyone tasted, there's not an app out there that'll help you with that.)</p> <h2>1. Splitwise</h2> <p>This free web and mobile app helps friend <a href="">settle up everything from shared vacation expenses to the electric bill</a>. It's an organizer that allows large groups of people to collectively break down all types of expenses and see what they owe. All data is stored in the cloud, so it can be accessed and shared from anywhere. The app also offers users mediation tools including a fairness calculator to help settle disputes.</p> <h2>2. Divvy</h2> <p>Divvy is a quick and easy three-step debt settler app for iPhone users. It works like this: Snap a photo of the bill with your phone, drag each item to the name of the person who ordered it, and <a href="">see how much everyone owes</a>. Bonus: You can check that you've been charged the correct amount for each item before itemizing the order. Divvy is 99 cents in the App Store.</p> <h2>3. Cover</h2> <p>Some of the top restaurants in New York and San Francisco are now allowing customers to pay with Cover, a free bill-paying app that allows groups of people large and small to split and pay the check <a href="">without ever having to flag down the waiter</a>. Never again will you be stuck waiting for the bill. Simply tell your waiter that you'll be paying with Cover when you sit down to dine at any of the <a href="">113 restaurants that support the app</a>. Cover is free, available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and works best if everyone at the table is signed up.</p> <h2>4. Billr</h2> <p>Groups of up to 16 people can use this app to <a href="">sort and split the bill, plus add gratuity</a>. All you have to do plug in the price of each dish. You can then show each person their individualized bill on your phone screen or send out a text message that lists the breakdown of everybody's debts. Billr is $1.99 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.</p> <h2>5. Advanced Bill Splitter</h2> <p>This Android-friendly app is free and performs much like its Apple supported counterpart Billr. Simply plug in everyone's order, including split items like that bottle of Malbec, and the app will spit out <a href="">personalized meal totals for each diner</a>. Much easier than breaking out the calculator.</p> <h2>6. Receipt Ninja</h2> <p>Perfect for road trips and weekend getaways with friends, Receipt Ninja lets you track and break down shared expenses on multiple receipts. It's a great way to <a href=";hl=en">divvy up gas, tolls, lunch, and hotel charges all in one fell swoop</a>. You can also export the data in spreadsheet form straight to Excel. And it's supported by both Apple and Android mobile devices. There's a free version, but if you want to avoid those annoying ads you'll need to cough up $2.99 in the App Store.</p> <p><em>How do you settle up at the end of the evening? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Painless Ways to Split the Check" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Shopping dining out friends and money restaurant check restaurants splitting the bill Tue, 16 Sep 2014 21:00:14 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1210859 at 6 Ways to Trick Salespeople <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-trick-salespeople" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="car salesman" title="car salesman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You have to deal with a salesperson to make a big purchase.</p> <p>It might be a refrigerator, a car, or even a house. Very often, you feel dissatisfied with the way a negotiation went. You may walk away feeling like you got taken for a ride, and that you had no defense for the wiles of the salesperson. (See also: <a href="">The 7 Laws of Negotiation</a>)</p> <p>Well, it's time to stop thinking about defense. It's time to turn the tables and start owning the outcome of your big purchases. To jumpstart your negotiations, learn these six ways to &quot;trick&quot; salespeople.</p> <h2>1. Buy Them a Cup of Coffee</h2> <p>Apply the <a href="">rule of reciprocation</a> on salespeople.</p> <p>When you first encounter a salesperson, greet her with a small gift (something as small as a piece of gum) or do a small favor for her (open the door). The idea is that you are binding the person to return the favor.</p> <p>No matter where in the world you are, this is a trick that works in negotiation. No matter how cheap your gift is, it will dramatically improve your chances of getting what you want. For example, in a study restaurant servers who presented the check with a mint and then paused to give the customer a second mint and tell them that this one is just for them got a <a href="">20% increase in their normal tips</a>.</p> <p>Ideally, buy them a mug of coffee, a cup of strong tea, or a can of Coke. Turns out that consumption of <a href="">caffeine makes people much easier to persuade</a>. Just don't use the drinks from the waiting room; instead bring one from outside that &quot;is just for them.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Talk Fast at the Beginning</h2> <p>Right after you hand that free cup of coffee, get the talking going&hellip; fast!</p> <p><a href=";fa=main.doiLanding&amp;doi=10.1037/0022-3514.34.4.615">Fast talkers are perceived to be more persuasive</a>. The sweet point is about 195 words per minute, fast enough to force salespeople to focus, yet slow enough for them to still understand you. If you talk beyond 195 words, people start judging if you really know your stuff.</p> <p>If you keep a fast pace, people don't have enough time to come up with counter arguments. So, channel your inner <a href="">John Moschitta</a> and start practicing that fast talk.</p> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <h2>3. Slow Down Once They Agree</h2> <p>However, once you have the salesperson agreeing with you, start slowing down. If you <a href="">talk too fast to somebody that agrees with your message</a>, then you have the reverse effect as talking fast.</p> <p>Even when somebody welcomes your ideas, you need to give them time to evaluate your speech and agree with you more.</p> <p>This is when you slow down from 196 words per minute to about 144. If you talk slower than that, people start perceiving you not as persuasive again.</p> <h2>4. Curse Smartly</h2> <p>If you think that good negotiation skills and cursing don't go together, let me tell you that's some BS.</p> <p>This doesn't mean that you're going to open a can of potty mouth and spread it all over the place. The key is to <a href="">use the word &quot;damn&quot; towards the beginning or end of your speech</a>. The tactical use of this word significantly increases not only the persuasiveness of your speech, but also the perceived intensity of your words in the mind of the listener.</p> <p>Researchers theorize that the smart use of curse words gives the impression that you are being candid and not following somebody else's agenda.</p> <h2>5. Look &quot;Eye-to-Eye&quot;</h2> <p>Take a cue from waiters and waitresses on how to get what you want.</p> <p>A study from Cornell's School of Hotel Administration found several <a href="">techniques employed by servers to increase their tips</a>. One that stands out for our purposes is &quot;seeing eye-to-eye.&quot;</p> <p>This means to:</p> <ul> <li>Establish eye contact throughout your conversation;</li> <li>Bring your face closer to that of the salesperson;</li> <li>Position yourself so that your eyes are at the same height;</li> <li>Mimic the salesperson's body language and posture.</li> </ul> <h2>6. Learn the Four Square System</h2> <p>Think of good salespeople and you're likely to think of car salespeople.</p> <p>You might not like some of their techniques, but in the end they do a decent job at getting you to buy a car. A cornerstone of their technique is the four square system.</p> <p>The main idea of this worksheet is to take the attention from the total price and focus the entire conversation on the monthly payment. Any good car salesperson knows that you can wiggle the monthly payment without lowering the total price. For example, you can:</p> <ul> <li>Increase the number of payments;</li> <li>Provide a bigger down payment;</li> <li>Accept a bigger value for a trade-in.</li> </ul> <p><a href="">Read this confessional from a car salesman</a> on how to work the four square worksheet so that you can use it towards your advantage, or simply &quot;flip the table&quot; by demanding that it is not used in your negotiation at all.</p> <p><em>What is your favorite way to &quot;trick&quot; salespeople?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Ways to Trick Salespeople" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Damian Davila</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Shopping deals haggling negotiation sales salespeople Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Damian Davila 1210856 at Best Money Tips: Ways to Save on the Latest Smartphones <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-save-on-the-latest-smartphones" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="smartphone cafe" title="smartphone cafe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on ways to save on the latest smartphone, ways to save at school, and cool car hacks you should try.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">7 Ways to Save on the Latest Smartphones</a> &mdash; To save on the latest smartphones, trade in your old phone and wait a few months to buy the latest model released. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="">Smart Ways to Save Money at School Without Ruining Your College Fun &mdash; or Going Hungry</a> &mdash; Not taking more than 4 years to graduate and taking advantage of student discounts can help you save money at college. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="">19 Insanely Cool Car Hacks You Should Try Out</a> &mdash; Did you know hanging a shoe organizer on the back of your seat in your car can help you keep your car organized? [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">5 Reasons You Hate Flying and What to Do About It</a> &mdash; If you hate flying because of baggage fees, opt to fly with JetBlue or Southwest. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="">The Best and Worst States to Retire</a> &mdash; Orlando is one of the best cities to retire in, as is Scottsdale. [MainStreet]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">When a Relative Steals Your Identity</a> &mdash; If a relative steals your identity, request copies of your credit report to find out how much damage has been done. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="">How to Write a Book &mdash; Steps to Publish, Market, and Sell Your Books</a> &mdash; Documenting your experiences can help you start the process of writing a book. [Money Crashers]</p> <p><a href="">The New Retirement Rule?</a> &mdash; What do you think of the new retirement rule that states that you should save 15% of your pay for 30 years? [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="">When Money Is Everything: How to Financially Prepare for Divorce</a> &mdash; When you are going through a divorce, find a lawyer and be prepared to divide up assets. [One Cent at a Time]</p> <p><a href="">7 Ways to Be a Leader in Healthy Living</a> &mdash; To be a leader in healthy living, be organized and start early. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Ways to Save on the Latest Smartphones" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips iPhone save smartphone smartphones technology Mon, 15 Sep 2014 19:00:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1207214 at The Best and Worst Things to Buy at Farmers' Markets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-at-farmers-markets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="farmers market" title="farmers market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Farmers' market extremists will tell you to never set foot in a produce aisle again, while grocery loyalists will dismiss markets as overpriced and inconvenient indulgences. So who's right? (See also: <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="">25 Things You Shouldn't Buy at the Grocery Store</a>)</p> <p>It turns out: both. It just depends on what it is you're buying.</p> <h2>Best Things to Buy at the Farmers' Market</h2> <p>These are the fruits and veggies (and other things), you definitely should pick up fresh from your local Farmers' Market.</p> <h3>Berries</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries tend to be expensive at the typical grocery store, in part due to the thousands of miles they've traveled to get to the store. Fresh berries at your local farmers' market will be in better condition (perishable berries don't tend to do well in transport), will be cheaper, and will most likely have fewer pesticides and fungicides than imported or commercial varieties. Ask your grower whether the berries are pesticide-free &mdash; I tend to trust a farmer who can look me in the eye and vouch for his or her berries.</p> <p>Most importantly, local berries, picked at the height of ripeness, are just sweeter and more delicious. Often you can find local varieties of berries that are tastier, but more perishable, so you'll never find them in a grocery store. Or you might discover the rare flavor of wild berries, foraged from the surrounding countryside.</p> <h3>Stone Fruit</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Like tomatoes, most stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums) will ripen but not sweeten on your counter. That means that getting them when they are picked ripe is essential to getting the full seasonal flavor. In addition, stone fruit tends to get sprayed with a lot of pesticides. Ask your grower what their pesticide policy is and whether your fruit has been sprayed.</p> <h3>Avocados</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Don't you just hate buying a bunch of rock-hard avocados at the supermarket, only to find out that they've gone bad by the time they've softened? Much of this is due to commercially-grown avocados being picked far too early (before the level of oils in the fruit have increased to the point where they are able to ripen) and then being transported in trucks where they are easily bruised. Worse, store refrigerators sometimes freeze fresh produce, causing it to go bad faster.</p> <p>By contrast, buying avocados from a local farmer ensures that they have been picked recently. In my experience, avocados from my farmers' market last far longer, don't turn brown inside, and are far more buttery and rich than supermarket avocados. I also have my go-to &quot;avocado guy,&quot; who helps me choose the perfect ripeness of avocados depending on when I want to eat them. And have you ever tried a Reed avocado? These huge, super-creamy avocados are rarely available in supermarkets, but they are my absolute favorite.</p> <h3>Rare or Unusual Vegetables</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>The farmers' market is the best place to try out a new fruit or vegetable that isn't typically found in supermarkets. Have you ever tried the delicate fractal buds of a romanesco broccoli? How about those unfamiliar Asian greens sold by the local Japanese family farm? Or have you ever wondered what a Buddha's hand citron tastes like? The grower is a great resource for asking how to cook and eat these intriguing new vegetables.</p> <h3>Flowers</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>This may seem like an odd thing to buy at a primarily food-oriented market, but pesticide-free cut flowers are a great thing to pick up on your shopping trip. Conventional flowers are usually grown with a heavy load of pesticides, which takes a toll on the workers involved. In addition, transporting fresh flowers isn't great for the environment. Buying seasonal, local, pesticide-free flowers is a great way to get some natural beauty into your home without harming the planet or other people.</p> <h3>Eggs</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>So-called &quot;cage free&quot; eggs at supermarkets are typically not well-regulated. Cage-free might simply mean that the chickens have a door open for a few hours a day. By contrast, at a farmers' market, you can ask the farmer directly about how the chickens are raised and what they are fed. Many local chicken farmers are proud of their &quot;happy chickens&quot; that live a humane life from birth to death, and that eat a more natural diet including foraging for grass and bugs.</p> <h2>Worst Things to Buy at a Farmer's Market</h2> <p>Now that you've stuffed your grocery totes with the good stuff above, turn up your nose at this stuff, which isn't so great.</p> <h3>Wilted Greens</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>The later in the day you come, the less fresh the vegetables will be. This is especially true of farmers' markets that attract growers from outside the immediately local area. Be discerning &mdash; just because it's at the farmers' market doesn't mean it's perfect. In addition, certain vegetables tend to do worse in the heat and sun &mdash; lettuce for example.</p> <h3>Unripe Fruit</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>It's best if you can taste the fruit before you buy, so you can make sure you get produce at the peak of ripeness. Most growers will have samples or will willingly cut you a slice. Make the most of your money and buy only the best, in-season fruit.</p> <h3>Fast Food</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Unfortunately, the crowds at farmers' markets tend to attract food vendors, many of which don't exactly serve health food. Skip the overpriced hot dogs, funnel cakes, and burgers. If you're really hungry and need something immediately, I like to head for the mom-and-pop tamale stands, which offer (usually) homemade steamed tamales and fresh salsas, instead of the deep-fried junk.</p> <h3>Non-Food Items</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Some larger farmers' markets also tend to attract non-food booths that sell gifts and knick-knacks. Be careful not to be suckered into an impulse buy of something that you don't need (I'm thinking potholders, jewelry, clothing, etc). Of course, a local craft item can be a fun souvenir if you're traveling, or a thoughtful gift for out-of-town friends, but in general steer clear of anything you didn't specifically come to buy.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite purchase at your local farmers' market? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The Best and Worst Things to Buy at Farmers&#039; Markets" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Camilla Cheung</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Shopping farmers markets fresh produce fruits and vegetables groceries Fri, 12 Sep 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1209037 at The 5 Best Bluetooth Keyboards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-bluetooth-keyboards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="wireless keyboard" title="wireless keyboard" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="130" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Bluetooth keyboards offer a great solution to one of the biggest problems that many smartphone and tablet owners have; it can be quite difficult and uncomfortable to type on these devices when using their on-screen keyboards. Bluetooth keyboards are also great traveling companions for those who want to be productive on the go.</p> <p>There are a number of key factors to keep in mind when buying a Bluetooth keyboard. Wise Bread is here to help with our top five list of the best Bluetooth keyboards.</p> <h2>What Is a Bluetooth Keyboard?
</h2> <p>A Bluetooth keyboard is essentially a computer keyboard that wirelessly connects and communicates to computing devices using the Bluetooth radio frequency. They're most commonly used with portable devices such as smartphones and tablets that don't come with their own physical keyboard, but they can also be used with Bluetooth-enabled desktop computers and laptops if desired.</p> <p>Bluetooth keyboards are usually more compact and have smaller keys compared to regular computer keyboards, but they all use the same QWERTY key layout. They also come in a number of different form factors that cater to specific needs and comfort styles, and it's ultimately up to you to decide which one works best for you.</p> <h2>Best 5 Bluetooth Keyboards</h2> <h3>Logitech K810 Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0099SMFVQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=YSPACGV2IBJLKTRD"><img width="200" height="116" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0099SMFVQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=YSPACGV2IBJLKTRD">Logitech K810</a> is an outstanding Bluetooth keyboard that has been highly praised for its ability to be used seamlessly and interchangeably with multiple computing devices. Thanks to its Easy-Switch Bluetooth technology, not only can you can use the keyboard with up to three devices simultaneously, you can effortlessly switch between them with the simple press of a button.</p> <p>In addition, the K810 comes with a rechargeable battery pack along with built-in backlighting that can automatically adjust its brightness based on your current environment. Many users also love the keyboard's sleek brushed aluminum look as well as its unique keycap design that provides both a comfortable and noiseless typing experience.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0099SMFVQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=YSPACGV2IBJLKTRD"><em>Currently $69.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008OEHPKM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6ZZZ7BFRVJ4K3B7U"><img width="200" height="94" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>If you're looking for a keyboard that can handle the on-the-go lifestyle, then the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008OEHPKM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6ZZZ7BFRVJ4K3B7U">Microsoft Wedge</a> is the perfect choice for you. The Wedge's most exclusive feature is its multi-purpose cover that powers down the keyboard when it's attached and protects the keyboard from scratches and damage when in transit. Not only that, the cover can also transform into a convenient stand for your tablet, thus allowing you to set up an optimal workstation wherever you go.</p> <p>Despite its very compact and lightweight design, users say there's enough room provided for them to comfortably type on. While the keyboard is compatible with non-Windows devices, the Wedge does come with special Windows 8 hotkeys that work most effectively when paired with a Windows 8 tablet or smartphone.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008OEHPKM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6ZZZ7BFRVJ4K3B7U"><em>Currently $43.95 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Logitech DiNovo Edge Keyboard</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000J43HJ8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=P2HG4CP54VZT6AXV"><img width="200" height="138" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>Although it is the most expensive option on our list, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000J43HJ8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=P2HG4CP54VZT6AXV">Logitech DiNovo Edge</a> offers a phenomenal full-sized Bluetooth keyboard that's loaded with enough innovative features to satisfy any power user. Designed for use with desktop computers, its most notable features include the PerfectStroke key system that enables precise and fluid typing and the TouchDisc touchpad that lets you scroll, select, and control your cursor all in one place.</p> <p>The keyboard also comes with a touch-sensitive volume slider, hidden hotkeys that illuminate when you need them, and a handy charging base to recharge its batteries. These fantastic features are all packed onto an attractively super-thin brushed aluminum frame that's only 11 mm thick.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000J43HJ8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=P2HG4CP54VZT6AXV"><em>Currently $366.62 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Apple Wireless Keyboard
</h3> <p><a href=";qid=1397030143&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=apple+wireless+keyboard"><img width="200" height="102" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>Don't be fooled by its simplistic appearance; the <a href=";qid=1397030143&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=apple+wireless+keyboard">Apple Wireless Keyboard</a> offers an excellent choice for consumers looking for a basic Bluetooth keyboard, and it's one that's both minimalistically stylish and incredibly easy to use. This iconic keyboard's ultra-thin, brushed aluminum body falls right in line with Apple's signature design aesthetic and is easily the lightest option on our list with a total of weight of just eight ounces.</p> <p>Many users say the keys are wonderfully responsive and that it's painless to use this keyboard in any setting given its lightweight design. The Apple Keyboard works with all Bluetooth-enabled computing devices, but it also comes with Mac-specific hotkeys that work best with devices running Apple's operating system.</p> <p><a href=";qid=1397030143&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=apple+wireless+keyboard"><em>Currently $64.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Anker T300 Ultra-Slim Mini Wireless Keyboard</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0096M8VR2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QDJAFBOSYBNGI6YY"><img width="200" height="149" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>With a 4&frac12;-star Amazon rating from over 2,800 customer reviews, many consumers have come to love the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0096M8VR2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QDJAFBOSYBNGI6YY">Anker T300</a> for providing a superb Bluetooth keyboard at an astoundingly low price. Although this keyboard is light on features, many users have praised the Anker T300 for its wonderfully compact and lightweight design that's similar to the look of higher-end models along with its amazingly long battery life.</p> <p>Users also say that connecting this keyboard to your devices via Bluetooth couldn't be any easier. This keyboard is compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled computers, tablets, and smartphones, so you don't have to worry about whether this keyboard will work with your devices or not.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0096M8VR2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QDJAFBOSYBNGI6YY"><em>Currently $19.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best Bluetooth keyboards. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Bluetooth Keyboards" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">William Tran</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides bluetooth keyboards buying guide product reviews Thu, 11 Sep 2014 09:00:07 +0000 William Tran 1150926 at The 5 Best Internal Solid State Drives <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-internal-solid-state-drives" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="ssd" title="ssd" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="153" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Solid state drives are now all the rage when it comes to data storage and management. SSDs are becoming increasingly more popular than traditional hard drives because they're slimmer and much faster. For most, the biggest barrier to entry is the price, as SSDs are typically much more expensive than regular hard drives for the same amount of storage space. Nonetheless, prices for solid state drives are steadily dropping, and SSDs remain a great investment for data storage that can also improve your computer's performance.</p> <h2>What Is a Solid State Drive?</h2> <p>A solid state drive is a data storage device that serves a similar purpose to traditional hard disk drives. The primary difference between a solid state drive and a hard disk drive is that, unlike an HDD, SSDs contain no moving mechanical parts. Because of this factor, SSDs are less susceptible to physical shock, run more quietly, and transfer data far more quickly. Installing a solid state drive into your computer system will not only provide data storage, but will make your computer and applications run much more quickly.</p> <h2>Best 5 Internal Solid State Drives</h2> <h3>Samsung Electronics 840 Pro Series Solid State Drive</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009NB8WTI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=3PVSZCHXU33OO7MG"><img width="180" height="171" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009NB8WTI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=3PVSZCHXU33OO7MG">Samsung Electronics 840 Pro</a> is a top-notch solid state drive that is extremely high-performing. Increased speed and efficiency through this SSD means that your computer can boot up in a matter of seconds and your battery life can improve by up to 50 minutes. This drive also increases your computer's security through its built-in full-disk encryption. Additionally, users love that this drive is very easy to install.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009NB8WTI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=3PVSZCHXU33OO7MG"><em>Currently $383.46 for the 256 GB model on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Corsair Neutron Series GTX Solid State Drive</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AW3O4WU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=GXBXJFP2H44ISY2F"><img width="180" height="166" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AW3O4WU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=GXBXJFP2H44ISY2F">Corsair Neutron GTX</a> is a fantastic solid state drive that is compatible with any computer. The high-speed performance of this Corsair puts it ahead of not just regular hard disk drives, but also most SSDs out in the market currently. This SSD also features native TRIM support, which helps mitigate the problem of gradual deterioration of quality that many SSDs face due to the buildup of obsolete files.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AW3O4WU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=GXBXJFP2H44ISY2F"><em>Currently $209.99 for the 240 GB model on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Crucial M500 Internal Solid State Drive</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BQ8RM1A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=L73YYBW32HY7EXBW"><img width="180" height="117" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BQ8RM1A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=L73YYBW32HY7EXBW">Crucial M500</a> solid state drive transforms your computer's performance while remaining relatively affordable. Installing this SSD into your computer system will dramatically increase the performance of your box, along with increasing your ability to multitask, your system's reliability, and reducing your transfer speeds and boot times. Users love the speed boost as well as its ease-of-install.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BQ8RM1A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=WWS55ZGDMAT5YOOD"><em>Currently $109.99 for the 240 GB model on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Seagate 600 Solid State Drive</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00CKAOJA0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QXZN6L3U2QVRDPFM"><img width="180" height="170" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>For Seagate's first foray into developing solid state drives, it's brought a very serious contender in the form of the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00CKAOJA0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QXZN6L3U2QVRDPFM">Seagate 600</a>. Compatible with just about any laptop, Seagate promises that its SSD will improve boot time and software speeds by up to 50%. Because of its lack of moving parts, it is also more resistant to shocks and drops, ensuring that there is a smaller chance the physical world will damage your data.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00CKAOJA0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QXZN6L3U2QVRDPFM"><em>Currently $139.09 for the 240 GB model on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Intel 530 Series Internal Solid State Drive</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DTPYT78&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DNNLZWDQPICGDTUT"><img width="180" height="142" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>Rounding out our list of internal solid state drives is the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DTPYT78&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DNNLZWDQPICGDTUT">Intel 530 Series</a> of internal SSDs. This drives comes with all the features and performance you've probably come to expect by the end of this list. Users claim that installing this drive makes their computer feel brand new and start-up takes virtually no time at all. Additionally, many people appreciate the 5 year warranty on the product.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DTPYT78&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DNNLZWDQPICGDTUT"><em>Currently $164.00 for the 240 GB model on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best internal solid state drives. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Internal Solid State Drives" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jeffrey Pu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides internal solid state drives product reviews Wed, 10 Sep 2014 09:00:07 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 1152741 at The 6 Companies With the Best Customer Service <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-6-companies-with-the-best-customer-service" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="customer service" title="customer service" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nowadays, it seems like every single company is trying to cut corners.</p> <p>If companies are not <a href="">laying off several employees</a>, then they are forced to find <a href=";_r=0">creative ways to cut labor costs</a>. Given the deadly combo of smaller budgets and fewer employees, it seems that great customer service is bound to disappear. (See also: <a href="">9 Ways to Get Exactly What You Want From Customer Service</a>)</p> <p>Does this mean that great customer service is dead? Fortunately, there are several companies out there working very hand to consistently deliver outstanding customer service. Here are the six companies in which great customer service appears to be alive and well.</p> <h2>1.</h2> <p>The online retail giant takes the the mantra &quot;the customer is always right&quot; very seriously. Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos often leaves a seat open, representing the customer, at conference tables. The &quot;empty chair&quot; is supposed to represent &quot;<a href="">the most important person in the room</a>.&quot;</p> <p>Bezos takes customer service so seriously that he welcomes messages from any client to his very public email <a href=""></a>. He is well known to read customer complaints and forward them to the relevant Amazon employee with just a single character addition: &quot;?&quot; Question-mark emails from Bezos are taken as top level action items by their recipients.</p> <p>The empty chair and question mark strategies from Bezos seem to be getting the point across and creating a culture of great customer service. The 2014 Customer Service Hall of Fame list puts <a href="">Amazon at the top for the fifth consecutive</a> time with 57.5% of survey respondents giving Amazon's service an &quot;excellent.&quot; Additionally, the American Customer Satisfaction Index has put <a href=";view=article&amp;id=149&amp;catid=&amp;Itemid=214&amp;c=Amazon&amp;i=Internet+Retail">Amazon at the top of its online retailing category</a> since 2000 and within its overall top 10 for several years.</p> <p>Need further proof? An Amazon service rep didn't even blink in replacing <a href=";_r=0">a $500 Playstation at no extra cost</a> that got stolen from a customer's doorstep.</p> <h2>2. Morton's Steakhouse</h2> <p>When I asked on Twitter (BTW you can find me at <a href="">@DavilaDamian</a>!) for tips on companies with the best customer service, a follower, who prefers to stay anonymous replied via direct message: &quot;You have to check out <a href="">Peter Shankman's Morton experience</a>.&quot;</p> <p>Shankman is a busy author and speaker and back in 2011 he was stuck in a rut. He knew that between 3:30 a.m. and about 9:00 p.m. he would only have time for a single meal, during a lunch meeting. Since he is steak lover, <a href="">he jokingly tweeted to Morton's Steakhouses</a> if they would meet him at the Newark airport with a porterhouse. Turns out they did! Despite the 23.5 mile distance between the closest restaurant and the airport, the short three hour window to pull off the stunt, and the tweet meant to be a joke, Morton's came through with an outstanding example of customer service.</p> <h2>3. Nordstrom</h2> <p>The main source for Nordstrom employee's great customer service is empowerment. For several years, the company's Rule #1 in its employee handbook has been: &quot;Use best judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules.&quot; Employee autonomy has been <a href="">identified by several industry experts</a> as the source for Nordstrom's renowned customer service. This is why even housekeeping staff are able to help customers.</p> <p>What do Nordstrom employees identify as their key differentiator from other retailers? A Nordstrom employee that worked in the corporate offices and store #001 reveals that it is the <a href="">no-excuses return policy</a>. Ever heard of the <a href="">customer that returned tires to a Nordstrom in Alaska</a>? (Catch: Nordstrom doesn't even sell tires!) Nordstrom accepts returns even without receipts and no matter how worn out a piece of clothing might be. She also points out that everything is in small details such as:</p> <ul> <li>Answering the phone on no more than the second ring.</li> <li>Walking a customer to a location instead of pointing to it.</li> <li>Providing one-on-one service.</li> </ul> <h2>4. USAA</h2> <p>In the financial services industry, USAA often tops the best customer service lists. In the 2014 Temkin Customer Service Ratings survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers, <a href="">USAA's banking business took the top spot</a>, and USAA's insurance business tied with for second place.</p> <p>A USAA customer for several years, Ligaya from Fort Rucker, Alabama, explains why she is loyal to the company: &quot;Consistently great customer service, always upgrading banking options and polite service reps. I also like that they take customer security very seriously. I've never been in one of their actual banks but have never had a problem in over 10 years.&quot;</p> <p>Founded in 1922 by a group of U.S. Army officers, USAA focuses on customers who are military members and their families. After reviewing <a href="">70 customer reviews</a> from this company, it seems that Ligaya is not the only one happy with USAA service. A remarkable 67% of those reviewers give 5 out of 5 stars to USAA.</p> <h2>5. Ritz-Carlton</h2> <p>Despite being a very large hotel chain with several locations in 21 countries, the Ritz-Carlton has been able to maintain a strong reputation for outstanding customer service for over a century.</p> <p>Take, for example, the story of Joshie the Giraffe. When a boy's beloved stuffed animal was left behind at a Ritz-Carlton in Florida, a father told him a white lie: Joshie decided to stay a bit longer at the resort. The same night, the staff from the Ritz-Carlton called the father and informed him that they had found Joshie. The father requested if they could take a picture of Joshie on a lounge chair by the pool. The staff did not only agree, but also carefully documented <a href="">Joshie's extended vacation</a> before sending him back along with some goodies.</p> <p>This and other &quot;wow&quot; stories are shared during the <a href="">company's daily 15-minute meetings</a>. The same wow story is shared across all Ritz-Carlton hotels on the same day to congratulate staff that provided outstanding service and inspire everybody else. For example, employees are empowered to make decisions, such as providing freebies, to <a href="">minimize the perceived waiting time</a>.</p> <h2>6. Zappos</h2> <p>This list of companies with best customer service wouldn't be complete without including Zappos. This company has not one but several stories of <a href="">legendary great customer service</a>.</p> <ul> <li><a href="">A best man for a wedding was saved from going barefoot</a> by intercepting a pair of shoes that were being delivered to the wrong address and providing an overnight replacement pair of shoes to the right destination.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Zappos sets the expectation for both customers and staff members that <a href="">everything can be returned</a>. No questions asked and at no charge to the customer.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A woman, whose feet had been damaged by harsh medical treatments, had to order six different pairs of shoes to see if one would provide her comfort. The rep that helped her process the return of the unwanted shoes via phone wowed her with <a href="">a bouquet of lilies and roses</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The company offers <a href="">over 1,060 pairs of vegan shoes</a>. No, that's not a typo. Zappos decided to take action and address the hundreds of requests for those that prefer non-leather shoes.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The company holds the record for one of the longest customer service calls: <a href="">10 hours and 29 minutes</a>. The most amazing thing is that the rep remained friendly, even when most of the call was about providing advice on how to relocate to Las Vegas. The customer did buy a pair of Uggs boots.</li> </ul> <p>These stories go to show that there are still companies around in which the customer is king.</p> <p><em>What is your best customer service experience? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 6 Companies With the Best Customer Service" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Damian Davila</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping customer service public relations service shopping Mon, 08 Sep 2014 17:00:07 +0000 Damian Davila 1205245 at