Shopping http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1/all en-US The 5 Best Indoor TV Antennas http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-indoor-tv-antennas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-indoor-tv-antennas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boy_remote_control_000012606568.jpg" alt="Boy holding a remote control watching TV" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not everyone needs a premium satellite HD package with thousands of channels to get the most out of their TV watching experience. The most popular shows on television tend to be on the basic cable channels and sometimes even that is too much for people. Whether TV is less of a passion and more your background noise of choice, or if it's just not in your budget to constantly pay for 50+ channels that you don't even watch, having a good indoor TV antenna is the best way to get the most out of your TV watching without breaking the bank with a monthly payment.</p> <h2>What is an Indoor TV Antenna?</h2> <p>Unlike their outdoor counterparts, indoor TV antennas don't sit on the roof to get signals. Rather, they sit atop the TV (or any other high area) and do the same work of catching airwaves to bring basic primetime networks to the television screen without a cable subscription.</p> <p>When saying &quot;indoor TV antenna,&quot; many people probably think of the old &quot;rabbit ears&quot; design that looks like two metal sticks coming out of a base to catch signals, but modern day antennas don't necessarily look like that. They come in more compact, convenient options now, looking like flat boxes that can rest on flat surfaces up high to get the best possible signal. Antennas can receive UHF (ultra high frequency) or VHF (very high frequency) signals, and it's usually best to get one that receives both, but depending on your area you might be able to get by with an antenna that only handles one type.</p> <p>One of the most important things to remember when buying an antenna like the ones in this article is that performance of any product will depend on your individual location. Some people are closer to transmitters than others, and some people might have certain things blocking signal coming from a certain direction that others don't have. It's a good idea to do research on antennas that have worked well in your area before finalizing your purchase.</p> <h2>Top 5 Indoor TV Antennas</h2> <h3>Mohu Leaf Antenna</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004QK7HI8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004QK7HI8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=NZHQ647YQECOSJRK"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Mohu%20Leaf.jpg" width="200" height="200" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004QK7HI8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004QK7HI8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=NZHQ647YQECOSJRK">Mohu Leaf</a>, one of the best rated TV antennas on Consumer Search, is a super convenient model capable of picking up both UHF and VHF signals, though specializing in the former. If the signal is not strong enough, there is an amplified version of the product but be sure to check the quality of the regular version before you go upgrading, as the amplified signal could actually make reception worse for those in areas that don't need the extra power. This antenna is incredibly thin which helps it blend into the background easily and is black on one side and white on the other, giving you multiple options to match the style of the room.</p> <p>Moreso than many other indoor antenna options, the Mohu Leaf is not terribly dependent on its position in the room to get good signal because of its omnidirectional capabilities. While there is no question about the quality signal the Mohu Leaf provides, some customers have questioned whether this slightly pricier option is the only way to get such consistent results when other models seem to perform just as well. Still, the extra money is worth the promised effectiveness of this product.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004QK7HI8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004QK7HI8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=NZHQ647YQECOSJRK">Currently $39.95 on Amazon</a></p> <h3>Terk HDTVa Antenna</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007MXZB2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0007MXZB2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=PQR4ABATQFS7QJSU"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/TerkHDTVa.jpg" width="200" height="200" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007MXZB2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0007MXZB2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=PQR4ABATQFS7QJSU">Terk HDTVa</a> is a great option for anyone that needs an antenna that gets plenty of distance. Another Consumer Search favorite, this antenna can be used from up to 45 miles from transmitters and is recommended for those who live farther away rather than those who live close to them. UHF and VHF signals can be picked up by the Terk HDTVa as long as it is facing in the correct direction.</p> <p>Reviews claim this antenna is very particular about the way it's facing, meaning if your signals come from different directions, you will have to move this product to the direction you need, but the quality displayed is worth the extra effort. This is the amplified version of this product, so if you still need a directional antenna but have strong signal in your area, feel free to get the Terk HDTVi version of this product.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0007MXZB2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0007MXZB2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=PQR4ABATQFS7QJSU">Currently $55.76 on Amazon</a></p> <h3>Winegard FlatWave FL-5000 Antenna</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0063705PE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0063705PE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=5H5XJP6SG4UA47X4"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Winegard%20FlatWave%20FL-5000.jpg" width="200" height="200" align="right" alt="" /></a>Like the Mohu Leaf, the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0063705PE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0063705PE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=5H5XJP6SG4UA47X4">Winegard FlateWave FL-5000</a> boasts the convenience of being flat as paper and performing like a gem. Also similar to the Leaf, this antenna is black on one side and white on the other, making it easier to blend it into the aesthetics of the room depending on your needs. Reviews have claimed the best place for this antenna is in the window, and its decal-esque design makes it blend right in as well as fit into whatever place you might need to get the best reception.</p> <p>Though not intended for VHF channels, the Winegard FlatWave FL-5000 overall does not fall short performance-wise according to numerous reviews. In fact, this product has been compared to the Mohu Leaf as though they were twins, but with some minor differences that depending on the person might not be so minor. The biggest one is the power cable.&nbsp;Rather than a short white cable for the Mohu Leaf, which severely limits the placement options of the antenna or the TV, the Winegard FlatWave has a cable more than double the length at 15ft adding a new level of convenience to the experience of anyone trying to find that signal sweet spot.</p> <p>The one complaint people seem to have about this brand is that this extremely useful longer cable is black, making it a little harder on the eyes in a white room unlike the Mofu Leaf, whose cable is white. Depending on your needs and aesthetic pleasures, the Winegard FlatWave FL-5000 might be the perfect iteration of super-thin indoor TV antennas for you.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0063705PE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0063705PE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=5H5XJP6SG4UA47X4">Currently $34.30 on Amazon</a></p> <h3>RCA Basic Indoor Antenna</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HKGK8Y/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000HKGK8Y&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=IYIKCNW37QCSRAFO"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/RCA%20Basic%20Indoor%20Antenna.jpg" width="200" height="200" align="right" alt="" /></a>The least expensive option on this list is anything but lacking in quality. The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HKGK8Y/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000HKGK8Y&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=IYIKCNW37QCSRAFO">RCA Basic Indoor Antenna</a>&nbsp;comes with VHF and UHF reading capabilities thanks to the dipoles and UHF loop. The dipoles are extendable up to 3 ft, giving you a wider range of space to look for signals. Along with the VHF and UHF signals, the RCA Basic Indoor Antenna also picks up FM signals.</p> <p>Though this model is bulkier than most on this list, it can still comfortably sit atop or behind a tv, or on a small stand nearby depending where the best positioning is without destroying the flow of your room. It has a 4' cord attached to plug into the TV, giving you a little more leeway with distance and placement. With its low price and undeniable reliability in delivering excellent reception, many users have considered the RCA Basic Indoor Antenna the perfect model to satisfy their TV needs.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HKGK8Y/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000HKGK8Y&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=IYIKCNW37QCSRAFO">Currently $7.49 on Amazon</a></p> <h3>Mohu Curve 30 Designer HDTV Antenna</h3> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F3ZO710/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00F3ZO710&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AJ56HG7RUWTQJZ7R"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Mohu%20Curve%2030%20Designer%20HDTV%20antenna.jpg" width="200" height="200" align="right" alt="" /></a>If you are not a fan of sticking something in your window, on your wall, or having something that looks like a traditional antenna, but still want great TV signal, then the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F3ZO710/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00F3ZO710&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AJ56HG7RUWTQJZ7R">Mohu Curve 30 Designer HDTV Antenna</a> might be the right option for you. True to its name, the curve is a flat surface that can be shaped to stand and blend right into your room. If you decide you don't like it in the standing position, you can also lie it flat or stick it in your window; this is a model with many aesthetic options.</p> <p>The Mohu Curve 30 receives both UHF and DHF channels from up to 30 miles away in full 1080p, just like other members of this list, making it a top contender for performance as well as attractiveness. A 10' coax cord means there is plenty of wiggle room for placement, though it shouldn't have to move to much considering it is another omnidirectional model. Just keep in mind that the Mohu Curve 30 Designer HDTV Antenna will only work with TVs that have a digital tuner (built in or set-top). Still, this model is perfect for those craving excellent service with visual variety.</p> <p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F3ZO710/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00F3ZO710&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AJ56HG7RUWTQJZ7R">Currently $49.99 on Amazon</a></p> <p><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; line-height: 22.1000003814697px;">And those are our recommendations for the best indoor TV</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;antennas</span><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; line-height: 22.1000003814697px;">. As always, be sure to check out the&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar" style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; line-height: 22.1000003814697px;">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a><span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-style: normal; line-height: 22.1000003814697px;">&nbsp;to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</span></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/janae-spinato">Janae Spinato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-indoor-tv-antennas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-hair-clippers">The 5 Best Hair Clippers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-swiss-army-knives">The 5 Best Swiss Army Knives</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-aaa-batteries">The 5 Best AAA Batteries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-electric-can-openers">The 5 Best Electric Can Openers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-electric-blankets">The 5 Best Electric Blankets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Buying Guides indoor television antenna product reviews tv Thu, 26 Mar 2015 21:00:11 +0000 Janae Spinato 1290300 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Worst Mistakes to Make at the Supermarket http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-worst-mistakes-to-make-at-the-supermarket <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-worst-mistakes-to-make-at-the-supermarket" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_groceries_000024630006.jpg" alt="Couple making shopping mistakes at grocery store" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on the worst mistakes you can make at the supermarket, spring cleaning tricks, and smart ways to use mason jars.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/spending/T050-S001-biggest-shopping-mistakes-at-the-supermarket/index.html">12 Worst Mistakes to Make at the Supermarket</a> &mdash; Don't let a recipe dictate the groceries you buy. Instead, plan meals around what you already have and what's on sale. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/better-yourself/5-tricks-for-conquering-spring-cleaning-chores-this-week/">5 Tricks for Conquering Spring Cleaning Chores This Week</a> &mdash; Tackling the entire house all at once can be overwhelming. Instead, focus on cleaning and organizing one room at a time. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Uses-Mason-Jars-24543776">16 Smart Ways to Use Mason Jars This Spring</a> &mdash; Use mason jars to bake tasty treats like cakes, pies, and pizzas. They're also great for portion control! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0318/Five-great-budgeting-apps-to-keep-you-in-the-black">Five great budgeting apps to keep you in the black</a> &mdash; BillGuard works a lot like Mint, but with the added feature that they'll alert you when one of the merchants you've recently shopped with is hit with a security breach. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/5-essential-habits-consumers-excellent-credit-scores/">5 Essential Habits of Consumers with Excellent Credit Scores</a> &mdash; People with excellent credit scores use a diverse mix of credit, often in the form of a mortgage, auto loan, and credit cards. [Credit Sesame]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.listenmoneymatters.com/connections-equal-capital-how-being-a-fan-can-pay-off/">Connections Equal Capital: How Being A Fan Can Pay Off</a> &mdash; Building quality relationships now can lead to many opportunities down the road. [Listen Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/trick-yourself-into-saving-more-and-spend-less">5 Ways To Trick Yourself Into Saving More And Spending Less</a> &mdash; Wait 24 hours before you buy unnecessary items to make sure you aren't spending for emotional reasons. [Money Under 30]</p> <p><a href="http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2015/03/24/daily-optimism/">3 Simple Daily Habits That Will Help You to Stay Optimistic</a> &mdash; Create a supportive environment around you. Spend time with optimistic people who will help you get out of a rut or tell you when you're overthinking things. [The Positivity Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://consumerqueen.com/saving-money-2/frugal-tips/25-things-to-put-in-easter-eggs-besides-candy">25 Things to put in Easter Eggs&hellip;.besides CANDY!!</a> &mdash; Shake things up a bit this Easter. Instead of candy, stuff your plastic eggs with stickers, bouncy balls, mini dinosaurs, and other small, age-appropriate toys and knick-knacks. [Consumer Queen]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/5-must-start-habits-to-make-your-mornings-easier">5 Must-Start Habits to Make Your Mornings Easier</a> &mdash; Keep an eye on the clock while your family gets ready in the morning. You may even want to set a timer to alert your kids when they should be moving on to the next task. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-worst-mistakes-to-make-at-the-supermarket">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-supermarket-insider-reveals-5-ways-your-grocer-is-trying-to-upsell-you">A Supermarket Insider Reveals 5 Ways Your Grocer Is Trying to Upsell You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sure-savings-at-the-supermarket-how-to-save-25-on-9-staple-items">Sure Savings at the Supermarket</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk">13 Food Items to Always Buy in Bulk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-indoor-tv-antennas">The 5 Best Indoor TV Antennas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping best money tips supermarket Wed, 25 Mar 2015 19:00:07 +0000 Amy Lu 1355662 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Food Items to Always Buy in Bulk http://www.wisebread.com/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_buying_wine_000019154731.jpg" alt="Couple at the store buying wine in bulk" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It can be hard to decide what's worth buying in bulk. Are you getting a better deal? Will you use all of an item before it goes bad? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bulk-buying-basics-what-to-buy-how-to-store-and-money-saving-tips?ref=seealso">Bulk Buying Basics: What to Buy and Money Saving Tips</a>)</p> <p>Be sure to follow some general rules when you go shopping: Only buy things you always use and use often. Don't buy something you don't know if you like; try a single serving first (for example, a soup brand you like, but a new flavor you haven't tried). And, of course, always consult this list. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-didnt-know-you-could-buy-in-bulk?ref=seealso">10 Things You Didn't Know You Could Buy in Bulk</a>)</p> <h2>1. Alcohol</h2> <p>If you're having a party, you can save some real cash by buying booze in bulk. The bigger the package of beer, the better the deal, and the same goes for spirits. Warehouse stores can offer some real savings, and in some states you don't have to be a member to buy alcohol. Even if you're buying wine from a wine shop, most offer discounts of 5%-15% for a case of 12.</p> <h2>2. Beans</h2> <p>Whether you buy your beans canned or dried, they last a long time and don't run a high risk of going bad before you use them all up. Dried beans offer the biggest savings, and can be cheaper when bought in larger quantities or from a bulk bin. When shopping at Costco or Sam's Club, packages of multiple cans of beans offer a per-can discount of around 15%.</p> <h2>3. Pasta</h2> <p>If you're a pasta lover, stop buying your dried pasta just one little package at a time. You can save up to 40% off the supermarket price by buying in bulk, including whole wheat varieties. The <a href="http://shelflifeadvice.com/grains-pasta-and-cereal/grains-and-pasta/pasta">shelf life of dried pasta</a> is up to two years in air-tight packaging, and many families eat it often, making it a bulk-buy must.</p> <h2>4. Oats</h2> <p>If you enjoy making oatmeal or baked goods using oats or oat flour, then you may want to consider buying wholesale. If you have the space and will use 50 pounds of oats, you can save nearly 70%. Even if you're buying out of the bulk bin or in bigger bags, there are still savings to be had. Make sure you store your oats in an airtight container.</p> <h2>5. Spices</h2> <p>The price difference for <a href="http://allnaturalsavings.com/2014/07/22/bulk-food-vs-packaged-food-price-comparisons/">bulk spices</a> and packaged spices at the grocery store can be huge. However, if you buy five pounds of cinnamon and then don't use it, then it's money wasted. Only buy spices in amounts that you know you'll use. This can be a great time to visit the bulk section of the market and measure out how much you want. One spice that's especially great to buy in bigger amounts is peppercorns. The whole variety keeps for longer, and since pepper goes in nearly everything, you'll keep your pepper mill stocked for cheaper.</p> <h2>6. Meat</h2> <p>If your family loves meat and you cook it often, then go ahead and buy ahead. The key to buying meat in bulk is to portion it out, wrap and package it well, and freeze it. If done properly, meat can last up to one year in a freezer. Be sure to compare prices, since sales at supermarkets can sometimes beat out warehouse store prices.</p> <h2>7. Dried Fruit</h2> <p>A great healthy snack, dried fruit can unfortunately be expensive. It's frequently cheaper at warehouse stores, assuming you will use all of those dried cranberries in a reasonable amount of time. If you shop at a grocery store with bulk bins, dried fruit can be a great buy. Make sure that you buy from bins that are busy and therefore get refilled often.</p> <h2>8. Canned Tomatoes</h2> <p>Canned tomatoes are an item used by home cooks and chefs alike, and they're more than handy to have around. They also last, so they're a great bulk buy. Buying a six-pack at a warehouse store can add up to 25% savings, and won't even take up that much room in your pantry.</p> <h2>9. Coffee</h2> <p>If you're a frequent coffee drinker and you don't buy your coffee in bulk, then it's time to make the switch. It makes economic sense as well as ecological sense. Buying in bulk <a href="http://www.bulkisgreen.org/bulk-questions-answers_5067_ct.aspx">saves on packaging</a>, and you'll get your fix all the same. It's best to buy whole beans, which stay fresh for longer and offer more flavor when freshly ground.</p> <h2>10. Rice and Grains</h2> <p>Grains are another great dry good to stock up on and save money. Buying bigger bags tend to offer real savings, as does buying from the bulk bin. Grains last as long as they are stored properly, but keep in mind that rice and <a href="http://wholegrainscouncil.org/recipes/storing-whole-grains">whole grain shelf lives</a> differ. For example, brown rice spoils faster because of higher oil content. Keep grains in a sealed container, away from sunlight and heat.</p> <h2>11. Sugar</h2> <p>For the bakers out there, going for the big bag of sugar should be a no-brainer. At Costco, you can <a href="http://allnaturalsavings.com/2013/10/28/costco-price-list-vs-grocery-store-price-list/">save 25% on sugar</a> by purchasing ten pounds rather than a two-pound bag. When stored in a cool and dry place, white sugar practically lasts forever. No need to beg for a cup from the neighbors!</p> <h2>12. Oils</h2> <p>Cooking oils such as olive oil are consistently cheaper when purchased in larger quantities, and if you cook with them often, go big. When specifically buying olive oil, make sure the glass container is a dark green to keep out sunlight, or buy in a metal container and transfer smaller amounts to your own bottle. Note that <a href="http://www.eatbydate.com/other/condiments/how-long-does-oil-last/">oil will go rancid</a>, so don't buy more than you can use.</p> <h2>13. Maple Syrup</h2> <p>Good maple syrup can be a costly food item, really putting a damper on your pancake breakfast plans. Luckily, the price gets a little more reasonable the bigger the container. You can order it online or visit a big box store &mdash; just compare price per ounce to get the best deal. Stored properly, it'll last for several months and drown dozens of pancakes.</p> <p><em>What are your regular bulk buys. Please share in comments &mdash; you have plenty!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best 5 Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-grocery-shop-for-five-on-100-a-week">How to Grocery Shop for Five on $100 a Week</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-not-to-buy-at-a-farmers-market">What NOT to Buy at a Farmers Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping bulk saving money warehouse stores wholesale Wed, 25 Mar 2015 15:00:07 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1353920 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Spend Less on Your Significant Other (And Not Get Killed!) http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-spend-less-on-your-significant-other-and-not-get-killed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-spend-less-on-your-significant-other-and-not-get-killed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_opening_gift_000054352330.jpg" alt="Couple opening gift" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Being in a relationship is expensive &mdash; whether you've been together a day or a decade. That means that at some point you'll need to reign in the spending (unless your last name is Gates or Rockefeller). Here are nine ways to do it without ending up on your partner's hit list.</p> <h2>1. Buy Dollar Store Greeting Cards</h2> <p>Tangible cards are quickly losing their appeal in this digital world (I stopped sending out holiday cards five years ago to preserve time, money, and paper), though they're not bygone relics just yet. It's still nice to receive one every now and again. But at an average price of $3 to $7 a pop &mdash; yes, some cards cost as much as a small meal now &mdash; they can put a considerable dent in your gift-buying budget over the course of a year. To scale back, ditch the premium greetings and hit up the dollar store.</p> <p>&quot;I've been purchasing greeting cards from the dollar store ever since I discovered them a few years back,&quot; says Kedal Perez,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com">Coupon Sherpa</a>'s resident money-saving expert. &quot;I often find the perfect card &mdash; sometimes two &mdash; for just 50 cents, compared to Hallmark cards costing $4 and up. In addition to holidays, I like to buy 'just because' cards for my husband when I remember to be a good wife. This habit saves me a ton and conveys the sentiment I'm looking for.&quot;</p> <p>While you're there, don't forget to pick up other gift-giving essentials like gift bags, balloons, tissue paper, ribbons, and more.</p> <h2>2. Decorate a Gift Instead of Wrapping It</h2> <p>On one occasion, I didn't have birthday-specific gift wrap for a present for one of my nephews, and in a bind I decided to decorate the plain cardboard box with crayons. My lack of resources resulted in a gift with a thoughtful presentation that didn't cost any additional money. I've kept up this habit with other gifts throughout the year, keeping a considerable amount of cash in my pocket. You also can adopt this practice. Get creative, too. You can use all kinds of items &mdash; markers, glue and glitter, and other crafty-type items like bows and ribbons that you may have lying around.</p> <h2>3. Celebrate a Holiday Post-Holiday</h2> <p>Ready to be a prime-time savings boss? Celebrate big holidays like Valentine's Day and Christmas after February 14 and December 25. It'll probably take a bit of convincing on your part &mdash; having nothing to open on Christmas morning will seem strange &mdash; but if it works out for the both of you, you're looking at substantial markdowns on all the coveted gifts.</p> <p>&quot;My husband and I recently agreed to celebrate certain holidays [like Valentine's Day] after the fact to avoid mark-ups,&quot; Perez says. &quot;He bought me a beautiful bouquet of orange roses and white lilies on February 15, and I loved them just as much as I would have a day earlier.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Buy Flowers From the Grocery Store</h2> <p>Speaking of flowers, you're spending too much if you're going to a local florist. It's an unfortunate fact, because I like to support small business &mdash; but they just don't have the discount buying power that large chain supermarkets do. You will have to contend with a more limited selection, perhaps, but that's an easy compromise to make when a beautiful bouquet doesn't make you weep for all the wrong reasons.</p> <h2>5. Shop the Clearance Section for Gifts</h2> <p>I'm always keeping my eye out for the perfect gift for my husband, and I hit the jackpot when it's from the clearance section. Whenever I'm shopping &mdash; for anything &mdash; that's the first place I go. I bypass the new arrivals, to the eye rolls of the associates, and get my discount on. This is a great tactic to cut costs on birthday, holiday, and anniversary gifts (or just ordinary wardrobe updates), and you can walk away with some amazing deals if you're shopping well out of season.</p> <h2>6. Make a Gift If You Have the Skills</h2> <p>I like receiving shiny gadgets as gifts from my husband, but I would equally appreciate anything he gave me that was completely handmade. The kind of dedication it takes to make a handcrafted gift sends the message that he'd rather spend time on something thoughtful than buy an item that will never have an ounce of sentiment. Those handmade Christmas ornaments would be treasured forever, but I would replace the iPhone he bought me as soon as a new one was released.</p> <p>Brett Hamilton, whose business <a href="http://www.simple.be">SIMPLE.BE</a> was built on the idea of handmade gifts, agrees.</p> <p>&quot;My favorite way to give great gifts to my wife without spending too much is to custom-make practical gifts for her,&quot; he says. &quot;One year I made her a new waterproof duffle bag from vinyl trucker tarps for soccer games. Last year it was a black and white tote bag made from old recycled sails. She loved it so much.&quot;</p> <p>There is one slight complication with this tactic, however: Your SO might get used to the idea of receiving handmade gifts, so you may have to keep it up once you start it. But is that kind of appreciation really so bad?</p> <h2>7. Get Accustomed to Discount Dating</h2> <p>My husband and I have one rule for our dates (or at least I do): Never pay full price.</p> <p>Seriously, if you're planning dates at full retail value, you're doing it all wrong &mdash; and you're paying dearly for it.</p> <p>There's absolutely no reason you shouldn't be saving money on every date you have together, given the abundance and availability of daily-deal sites, coupon codes, free activities, BOGO deals, and other discount dating opportunities. Even when you can't find a discount, there's probably a way to shave off a few bucks if you're willing to adjust your plans. Take the movies, for instance. In my neck of the woods, a regular screening is no less than $12 (up to $22 when you start throwing in 3D and IMAX). But if you plan the date before noon, you can score $7 tickets at certain theaters like AMC. All you need is a little creative thinking to reduce of the cost of virtually any activity or meal date.</p> <p>Also, don't forget to use your military or students discounts where available. My husband forgets to ask about military discounts all the time, which is why it's a good thing he has me. I never forget, and with the money I saved him on this-and-that admission, he has enough left over to buy me lunch.</p> <p>I love when it works out like that.</p> <h2>8. Buy Refurbished Electronics When Appropriate</h2> <p>Some people are picky about the newness of their electronics, so you need to know your partner well enough to be certain they won't act like an ungrateful brat when they find out their gift is previously own or refurbished. Personally, I prefer that my phone is new &mdash; I don't like the idea of someone else using something that touches my face (I know it's clean, but still) &mdash; though I have no qualms with receiving, say, a refurbished iPad. Buying refurbished can save you hundreds of dollars &mdash; and these deals are available for a wealth of electronics, including video games &mdash; so whether or not to implement this tactic is a relevant conversation to have with your guy or girl.</p> <h2>9. Spend More Time and Effort Than Money</h2> <p>Now that we're past the materialistic and superficial things, let's get real: No amount of money you spend will ever equal the value of your time and effort. I touched on this a bit when I talked about handmade gifts, but it really applies to all aspects of your relationship. Gifts are nice, of course, but a reasonable person (read: a keeper) will choose a free date, gift, meal, or experience with you over something with a price tag any day. Learn how to pay attention to one another's needs before it jeopardizes the relationship, and you're on the right track to a happy life together. Good luck!</p> <p><em>Do you have any ideas on how to spend less on your significant other without getting killed? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-spend-less-on-your-significant-other-and-not-get-killed">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-senior-discounts">Big List of Senior Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wrap-gifts-with-leftovers">How to wrap gifts with leftovers.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/being-frugal-with-froogle">Being Frugal with Froogle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/90-off-is-not-a-deal-if-you-don-t-need-it">90% off is not a deal if you don’t need it.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Shopping bargains cheap gifts Dating Holidays romance Mon, 23 Mar 2015 17:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1351086 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Stupid Shopping Mistakes Even Smart People Make http://www.wisebread.com/10-stupid-shopping-mistakes-even-smart-people-make <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-stupid-shopping-mistakes-even-smart-people-make" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/lady_shopping_000011736667.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I bet you consider yourself a savvy shopper, and probably rightfully so. You search for online discount codes before checkout, pull up mobile coupons at the register, and buy in bulk when necessary. Yes, you're a veritable savings superstar &mdash; but I'm about ruin your day.</p> <p>Even the smartest shoppers make stupid mistakes &mdash; including me &mdash; by overlooking more savings opportunities right under their noses. That ends today. So you can smell what the Rox is cookin', take a look at these 10 buying blunders and change your spendthrift ways.</p> <h2>1. Not Stacking Coupons at Checkout</h2> <p>There's no question that you're using coupon codes at checkout when you're shopping online, but let's face it &mdash; that's amateur hour. Those of us in the major leagues know how to work the system to take advantage of the highest-level discount that we can possibly achieve.</p> <p>Take a recent purchase I made at Gap.com, for instance. I received a promo email touting 50% off one regular-price item, along with 35% off the rest of my purchase. I had to enter two separate codes for the deal. Since the system accepted two separate codes, I wondered if it would take a third, and I found a few online that seemed valid. The first one I entered was rejected, but the second one for an extra 10% off for card members was accepted. Since the system took three codes, I thought maybe it would take a fourth; free shipping &mdash; huzzah! By the time I checked out, I had reduced what was originally $222.75 to $80.79, and because I used my store card, I got reward points that will save me more on a future purchase.</p> <p>This won't work everywhere, mind you, since each retailer's system is different. But, like your momma always told you, you won't know until you try.</p> <h2>2. Bypassing the Refurbished Rack</h2> <p>I have to admit that I don't give much thought to refurbished products. I like the thought of having items that are new and untainted by grubby human hands because, well... they just make my soul feel right. Turns out I'm paying dearly for this snobbishness though, and I may have to reconsider.</p> <p>&quot;Not evaluating the refurbished sections at Sears, Best Buy, Dell, Apple, or other electronics retailers [is a mistake],&quot; says Phong Vu, CEO of DealScience. &quot;The electronics inside are almost always in tip-top shape and always come with a warranty &mdash; big red flag if there's no warranty. These aren't your dent-and-scratch items either. Nowadays, refurbished items look practically new.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Failing to Leverage Price Matching</h2> <p>This is a tactic I learned when I purchased an outdoor theater system for my home last summer. The salesperson at Best Buy told me he was going to consult the online store to see if there was a price difference between in-store and the website. (Nice guy, that one.) If there was a lower price, he would match it. There was, to my bank account's delight. As a result, I make sure to take advantage of this opportunity (if it exists) every time I make a high-price purchase wherever I shop.</p> <p>&quot;When Amazon came along, a lot of retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, and Target felt the price pressure,&quot; Vu explains. &quot;Each of these stores now matches Amazon (and each other) on price. Policies differ by store, so you'll need to read the fine print. In addition, Amazon even matches itself: If you find a lower price on an item you just bought within seven days, they'll give you a refund on the difference in price.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Shopping Like There's Wiggle Room in Your Budget</h2> <p>A lot of times we give up after we're satisfied that we've saved a certain amount &mdash; but is that the maximum amount you can keep for yourself? In some cases it isn't, which is why (if you're dedicated to recouping every last cent you can) you should buy like your budget depends on it (because it does). This is a particularly useful habit when you're booking travel.</p> <p>&quot;Savvy shoppers can utilize Airbnb, HomeAway, and other [short-term rental] sites on vacation for cheaper accommodations,&quot; Vu suggests. &quot;In many cases, you can rent a fully furnished house or apartment for less than your typical hotel chain, like Marriott or Hilton.&quot;</p> <p>As a short-term rental host myself, it's important for me to press this issue. Personally, I offer an entire two-story, three-bedroom home near the beach for less per night than local one-room hotel accommodations. I also undercut all the competition in my area and offer the most amenities, so my guests are truly getting their money's worth on their vacation accommodations.</p> <p>Remember, though, that this habit doesn't only apply to vacations. You should be shopping like there's no wiggle room in your budget on anything &mdash; from groceries to gym membership.</p> <h2>5. Buying Something Just Because It's on Sale</h2> <p>Even though I'm a personal finance expert, I'm still only human &mdash; and I'm guilty of falling prey to falling prices. There have been plenty of times that I've bought things just because they were on sale (hello, holiday decorations), and it's a character flaw that I'm actively trying to correct.</p> <p>I wonder if they have anonymous meetings for discount Christmas décor hoarders...</p> <p>&quot;Buying something solely because it is on sale is one of the best ways to waste your money,&quot; says Sarah Giller Nelson of Less is More organizers. &quot;Before you purchase something on sale, ask yourself if you would still buy it if it was full price. If the answer is no, then save your money for something to come along that you truly love.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;I see this a lot with my more creative clients,&quot; adds Katherine Trezise of Absolutely Organized. &quot;They purchase storage containers, decorative items, and craft supplies simply because they like the way they look and therefore assume they could use them &mdash; somehow, someday,&quot; she says. &quot;I encourage my clients to wait to shop for something until they are ready to put it into use or give it away. Someday is not a day of the week.&quot;</p> <p>Sage advice. These two are never allowed in my basement.</p> <h2>6. Not Negotiating Financing</h2> <p>This is another one of those why-didn't-I-think-of-this tips, but I understand how you can wave the white flag during the financing part of the deal after heavy price negotiating. You don't want to seem cheap or greedy &mdash; but that self-consciousness will cost you. Take the advice of millennial finance expert and author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RI0JE9I/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00RI0JE9I&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=2QDCGFXUJO3YUHLT">The Broke and Beautiful Life</a><em>,</em> Stefanie O'Connell, and go in for the kill anyway. You'll thank yourself later.</p> <p>&quot;One major shopping blunder is working hard to find and negotiate the best price, but failing to apply that same strategy when it comes to financing the purchase,&quot; O'Connell says. &quot;On a mortgage, for example, many people take the first quote they get from their lender. It's far more likely that a negotiation of a few percentage points on the interest rate of a 15 to 30 year loan will pay off more than negotiating a few thousand dollars on closing costs.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Ignoring the Fine Print of Credit Cards</h2> <p>This probably seems like Shopping Savvy 101, but most of us pay more attention to the perks of a credit card than the fine print. This is precisely the purpose of all those attractive incentives: Dangle something shiny in front of your eyes, and you'll totally overlook the ruse. Consider this a reminder to keep your wits about you, especially at the cash wrap.</p> <p>&quot;Signing up for a store credit card may seem like a good idea for even the most savvy shoppers &mdash; who doesn't want 20% off their first purchase?&quot; asks Kevin Fleming, founder of Credit Forums. &quot;The truth is, however, that many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/store-credit-cards-that-dont-suck">store cards</a> have high interest rates, hidden fees, and lots of fine print. For example, many store cards offer a 0% introductory period with no interest if paid in full. This may seem like a great deal for those who want to finance a large purchase, like a new TV. But there's a huge catch: If you don't pay off your purchase by the end of the introductory period, you may owe deferred interest.&quot;</p> <p>In other words, don't apply for plastic without reading the fine print.</p> <h2>8. Costly Assumptions on Past Experiences</h2> <p>Has a retailer put a bad taste in your mouth because of its high prices? Have you avoided that retailer ever since? Well, you might be doing yourself a disservice.</p> <p>&quot;Comparing prices is a fundamental savings strategy, but sometimes assumptions get the best of us,&quot; warns Kendal Perez, savings expert at<a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com"> Coupo</a>n<a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com"> Sherpa</a>. &quot;For example, my mom purchased a griddle for my husband and me on Christmas, buying it from a local store in town. She was shocked to find it for $20 less at another local shop known for high prices, since she assumed it would cost more there.&quot;</p> <p>You know the saying: Old habits die hard &mdash; until you start bleeding cash.</p> <h2>9. Letting &quot;Vacation Brain&quot; Control Your Wallet</h2> <p>Deny it all you want, but we all know Perez is talking about you (and me):</p> <p>&quot;With Spring Break coming up, many of us will allow 'vacation brain' to take over and bust budgets on 'just one more drink' or a pricey excursion in the spirit of YOLO,&quot; she says.</p> <p>I often write about splurging on vacation &mdash; and sometimes that's okay &mdash; but you don't need to ball like a Rockefeller on every getaway. Unless, of course, you like eating powdered mac-and-cheese when you get home. Otherwise, reign it in, vacation like the average American you are, have a couple meals at Le Sizzler, and come home with change to spare.</p> <h2>10. Not Speaking Up When You've Been Overcharged</h2> <p>This is a foreign concept to me because I have a big mouth, but I can see how the meek and timid can get steamrolled if they're not careful. But if you stick with me, kid, you'll learn how to complain at the register and annoy everybody else in line just like the rest of us.</p> <p>&quot;Selecting something you think is on sale only to find it rings up for more is irritating, but failing to tell the cashier about it and buying the item anyway is not smart,&quot; Perez says. &quot;Whether it's a passive nature or not wanting to be 'that guy' holding up the line with a price check, staying silent can be costly.&quot;</p> <p><em>Do you have other stupid shopping mistakes that even smart people make? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stupid-shopping-mistakes-even-smart-people-make">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-coupons-for-everyone-a-review-of-the-couponizer-and-a-giveaway">Are Coupons For Everyone? A Review of the Couponizer (and a Giveaway)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk">13 Food Items to Always Buy in Bulk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-best-deals-coupons-sites">50 Best Deals and Coupon Sites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-outlet-shopping-hacks-that-will-save-you-big">10 Outlet Shopping Hacks That Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-perimeter-perusing-at-target">Tips for Perimeter Perusing at Target</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping coupons price matching sales saving money Tue, 17 Mar 2015 17:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1344239 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Things You Should Never Skimp On http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-never-skimp-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-things-you-should-never-skimp-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dog_food_000002976132.jpg" alt="Dog and his food" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all want to save wherever possible, but there are times when it's actually in our best interest to spend a bit more and enjoy better quality. From toilet paper to kitchen knives and several other items in between, here's a look at 15 things I'll never skimp on &mdash; and that you shouldn't, either.</p> <h2>1. Toilet Paper</h2> <p>My husband makes fun of me because I'm adamant about having a bathroom stocked with high-quality toilet paper (really, it feels like heaven's clouds kissing my bum), and it's worth every extra penny that I spend. The alternative here, of course, is bathroom tissue that's one step above sandpaper. That ultimately leaves me feeling strangely violated. No, thank you. I even go one step further and bring in reinforcements in the form of wet wipes as a finishing touch; a boy's gotta feel fresh, after all.</p> <p>I do, however, always use coupons for these purchases, and I try to sync them with available rebates from apps like Ibotta to cut the cost further.</p> <h2>2. Bed Sheets</h2> <p>I'm not saying you need to massacre your budget by lining your mattress with the most luxurious 95,000 thread count Egyptian-cotton sheets, but you can strike a decent middle ground by shopping smartly. (Personally, I think the very affordable T-shirt sheets are soft and comfy, but I also find them very annoying to fold because they don't hold their shape.) In lieu of those, I wait for more premium sheet sets to go on sale &mdash; Macy's often has awesome deals on bedding &mdash; or I scour sites like Overstock.com and the clearance section of well-known purveyors of quality home goods, like West Elm and Crate &amp; Barrel. IKEA sheets aren't half bad either &mdash; and they're very easy on the wallet.</p> <h2>3. Fresh Meats</h2> <p>I didn't know there was a difference in the quality of meat from supermarket to supermarket until I started shopping for myself &mdash; and boy, is there a difference. I bought ground beef from a low-end supermarket near my apartment in Manhattan when I was in a pinch one night, and when I prepared it, the finished product was an unusual red color. That certainly raised my brow, and it didn't taste all that great, either. Chicken, pork, and seafood items are also susceptible to quality issues. These uncooked proteins might look fine in the packaging, but you'll often see and taste the difference when they're cooked. I hate to say it, but both Walmart and Target are notorious for promising quality meat, but delivering selections which generally fall short of expectations. Because of this, I now make a separate stop at Wegman's &mdash; a specialty supermarket in my area &mdash; to buy my meats. I pay more at the register, sure. But I don't mind since I'm getting my money's worth.</p> <h2>4. Household Cleaners</h2> <p>I've purchased national name brand cleaning products like Windex and 409, and I've purchased the bargain brands with a generic name. My official ruling is that the former perform better in both their cleaning ability ease of use. Generic window cleaner especially is an annoyance to me, as I've found it leaves streaks all over the glass. Seriously, you have one job, anonymous blue liquid &mdash; to remove streaks! As a result, I have to use twice as much as I do the name brand to finish the job. To cut costs here, I wait for BOGO sales on my preferred products, and pair them with coupons that I've clipped from circulars and online.</p> <h2>5. Dishwasher Detergent and Dish Washing Liquid</h2> <p>The same thing that happens with bargain brand household cleaners happens with cheap dishwasher detergent and dish washing liquid: I end up using twice as much to do the same amount of work, because the quality of the product is inferior to pricier brands. Trust me, the struggle in this case is not worth the savings. Thus, stick to the soaps you recognize. They're household staples for a reason: they work.</p> <h2>6. Prophylactics and Personal Care Products</h2> <p>I don't have to go into too much detail here, and I'm probably not allowed to, either. All I'll say is that my health (and yours) is far too important to compromise by buying discount personal care items. That doesn't mean you have to buy the gold standard items, but you should loosen your wallet and buy tested and proven brands that give you peace of mind, along with a satisfying experience.</p> <h2>7. Small Kitchen Appliances and Utensils</h2> <p>You know what really makes my head want to spontaneously pop off my neck? When, in the middle of preparing a meal, my can opener dismantles itself or my microplane breaks in half. It's one of those &quot;count backwards from ten&quot; situations. Like, code red-level anger, folks. Similarly, I get close to bursting into flames when my hand mixer or blender starts smoking just because silly me is using it on the &quot;regular&quot; setting. Come on, man &mdash; appliances are supposed to be tough and durable! These scenarios are precisely why I avoid cheap versions of these products &mdash; Hamilton Beach is officially banned from my house; yeah, I said it &mdash; because if I didn't, the air ambulance would have to fly my rage-ravaged body to the nearest mental facility, stat!</p> <h2>8. Dog Food</h2> <p>Considering the controversy that sometimes surrounds dog food &mdash; here's lookin' at you, menadione and ethoxyquin &mdash; and sporadic <a href="http://www.petfoodrecall.org/2014-pet-food-recalls/">pet-food recalls</a> (which probably happen more often than you think), it's important to me to feed better food to my dog. My furbaby is my buddy and best friend, and there's no price that I wouldn't pay to ensure that he's getting the best quality food I can provide. Discounts are far and few between on premium dog food, but who needs a coupon when the real takeaway is the pure joy I get from my (healthy) pup?</p> <h2>9. Candles</h2> <p>Cheap candles seem innocuous enough, but some of them may contain cancer-causing emissions. Got your attention? Good, because candles made before 2003 (unlikely that you still have any though) may have been made with lead wicks, which release five times the amount of lead considered hazardous for children.</p> <p>The likelier culprits, however, are your beloved aromatherapy <a href="http://www.greenamerica.org/livinggreen/candles.cfm">paraffin&nbsp;candles</a>&nbsp;that Green America says is akin to &quot;preparing a healthy drink of fresh squeezed lemon and adding a shot of gasoline&quot; when burned. Doesn't that sound nice? Instead, look for candles made with 100% beeswax or vegetable-based waxes and cotton-core wicks.</p> <h2>10. Laundry Detergent</h2> <p>I never buy Tide because it's way too rich for my blood, especially when the lower-priced-but-still-quality Purex brand works just as well. I'll never lower my standards to a truly bargain liquid, though. Often the strength and cleaning power of these brands is lacking compared to their national counterparts. And you can forget about no-name powders altogether. I've encountered problems with the full integration of the powder into the water, which costs me more money in the long run because I have to wash the load at least once more to remove the undissolved powder stains.</p> <h2>11. Garbage Bags</h2> <p>All you'll need to make the switch from a cheap, flimsy garbage bag to a heftier brand is for the bottom of the former to break open when you're carrying it from your fourth-floor apartment to the street. If you've been lucky enough to avoid this catastrophe thus far, congrats; if you want to continue to play your cards with these disasters-waiting-to-happen &mdash; well, I told ya so.</p> <h2>12. Deodorant</h2> <p>Is your deodorant combating your perspiration, or simply covering it up? A quick sniff left and right will let you know what's up, and your armpits deserve better than that glorified dollar-store chalk that leaves stains all over your clothes. Spend a couple more bucks to get the good stuff that'll leave you feeling fresh &mdash; and keep your friends from fleeing.</p> <h2>13. Cheese</h2> <p>Good cheese can cost a pretty penny. Even middling &mdash; like Kraft or Cracker Barrel brands &mdash; can bruise your grocery-shopping budget. Unfortunately, those are the prices you have to pay if you want cheese that's palatable by itself and cooks properly in your recipes. Start skimping by buying what I like to call &quot;government cheese&quot; and you'll rue the day &mdash; and probably ruin your appetite. Much of that low-price slop is full of oil that transforms into a goopy, gross mess when you try to cook with it. Save dinner by spending a little more in the dairy aisle.</p> <h2>14. Cookware</h2> <p>Sure, good cookware is expensive, but you really have just two choices: You can fork over the dough for the trusted brand that's well known to stand the test of time, or you can roll the dice with discount cookware that often won't follow through when you're cooking, and needs replacing often. It'll only take a couple instances of making scrambled eggs or pancakes that permanently affix themselves to your griddle to see which is the better option.</p> <h2>15. Kitchen Knives</h2> <p>Dull knives aren't just an annoyance &mdash; they're downright dangerous. When your cheap knives lose their ability to slice and dice cleanly, you have a much higher risk of chopping off your fingertips &mdash; instead of the celery-tips. The dullness makes the knives unstable when placed on top of the items you intend to cut, which can cause them to slip unexpectedly. Given this potential hazard then, it's much more economical to shell out the big bucks for a top-notch set of knives, than spending the money you saved on the cheap knives on a fun-filled afternoon in the emergency room. You've been warned.</p> <p><em>What do you never skimp on? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-never-skimp-on">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-try-to-save-on">5 Things You Should Never Try to Save On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quality-over-price-15-items-to-spend-more-on">Quality Over Price: 15 Items to Spend More On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-that-seem-like-splurges-but-are-actually-savvy-buys">6 Things That Seem Like Splurges But Are Actually Savvy Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-scientific-reasons-to-ditch-the-luxury-brands">5 Scientific Reasons to Ditch the Luxury Brands</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-why-used-is-better">6 Reasons Why Used Is Better</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping cheap goods good buys quality value Fri, 13 Mar 2015 14:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1333305 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Outlet Shopping Hacks That Will Save You Big http://www.wisebread.com/10-outlet-shopping-hacks-that-will-save-you-big <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-outlet-shopping-hacks-that-will-save-you-big" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000041559806_Large.jpg" alt="girls shopping at the mall" title="girls shopping at the mall" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're an avid deal hunter like me, there is no doubt that outlet shopping can be a great way to save money. But in order to maximize your savings, you'll need to try these 10 outlet shopping hacks.</p> <h2>1. Know Your &quot;Outlet&quot; Store</h2> <p>&quot;Outlet&quot; stores come in three flavors: factory stores, actual outlet stores, and conventional retail stores. Always ask an associate what type of store you are shopping in to quickly figure out the type of deals you might find.</p> <h3>Factory Stores</h3> <p>Factory stores are locations that sell merchandise made specifically for the factory store. While the deals to be had can be quite good, be aware that often the merchandise is of lesser quality. I actually had a manager at an Eddie Bauer factory outlet tell me that the stitching is not as good compared to their regular stores and items typically won't last as long. In addition to Eddie Bauer, other examples include Gap, Banana Republic, and Gymboree.</p> <h3>Actual Outlet Stores</h3> <p>Actual outlet stores are locations that sell merchandise originally stocked in regular retail stores. Often products are last season's overstocks or have a small blemish on them. You can typically score a much better deal at outlet stores compared to factory stores. It is important to always examine products carefully to ensure quality. Popular examples of real outlet stores include REI, Coldwater Creek, and Lands' End.</p> <h3>Conventional Retail</h3> <p>Conventional retail locations dressed up as outlet stores are also prevalent. In an attempt to take advantage of popular locations and high foot-traffic, some retailers willingly buy space at outlet malls. The deals at these stores often match the deals found in their conventional retail counterparts. Examples include Old Navy, Merrell, Famous Footwear, Sunglass Hut, and American Eagle Outfitters.</p> <h2>2. Find Hidden Clearance Deals</h2> <p>Just because you're shopping at an outlet mall doesn't mean stores are without a clearance department. Typically, you'll have to walk past all of the full-priced merchandise to find the clearance section hidden in the rear of the store. If you can't find your size or color, ask an associate for assistance &mdash; they often have clearance items in the back that haven't been put out on the sales floor yet or were recently returned.</p> <h2>3. Practice Informed Couponing</h2> <p>When it comes to outlet shopping, not all coupons are created equal. Typically, coupons are created specifically for outlet or factory stores and regular in-store coupons won't be accepted. Check the coupon fine print to avoid the disappointment of a printable coupon being turned away at the register. Always do a Google search for &quot;Store Name OUTLET coupon&quot; before you head out to the store to make sure you find an applicable coupon.</p> <h2>4. Shop Holiday Weekends</h2> <p>Outlet stores are notorious for offering amazing sales on holiday weekends like Memorial Day, Labor Day, Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving. You'll often find entire outlet stores marked down 40%-50% off original prices. The parking lot can be quite full on holiday weekends, so it's advantageous to get there when the stores open to avoid the crowd.</p> <h2>5. Don't Buy Just Because You Made the Trip</h2> <p>All too often, shoppers get caught up in the mystique of outlet malls and feel they need to buy just because they made the drive. Don't fall prey to this mindset. Instead, shop with a list and a budget and stick to it. If the deals simply aren't there, then leave the store knowing that they eventually will be, especially on big holiday weekends.</p> <h2>6. Go Social and Save</h2> <p>Did you know that the majority of outlet centers have their own Facebook pages? Do a quick search for the Facebook page of the outlet mall you plan visit and get exclusive sale and coupon information.</p> <h2>7. Scope the Nike Outlet Hash Wall</h2> <p>The Nike Outlet is a big favorite with many outlet regulars, and many contain a far back wall referred to as the &quot;hash wall.&quot; There, they typically stock shoes that are marked down for a quick sale. What you see is what you get, so if you are not particular on style or color, it's a great place to score a deal.</p> <h2>8. Haggle the Price (When Appropriate)</h2> <p>You can absolutely haggle the price at a traditional outlet location where items are likely to have a blemish or be reconditioned. Politely point out the imperfection, ask for an extra 15% off, and be prepared to settle for a 10% discount. The bigger the imperfection, the better chance of success; especially if you are making a substantial purchase. The same goes for damaged packaging as stores realize they will have a tough time selling items at the advertised price. Give it a try and you may be pleasantly surprised with the result.</p> <h2>9. Shop for Next Season</h2> <p>A great way to save on outlet shopping is to stock up on apparel, shoes, and outerwear for the following year; especially when shopping for growing kids. When you stumble across an amazing deal, simply buy a size or two up and store for next year.</p> <h2>10. Be Aware of the Return Policy</h2> <p>The return policies at outlet shopping locations can often be kind of screwy, so always ask before they slide your credit card. Sometimes items are final sale with no refund available. Sometimes you can only return items to an outlet location, which, depending on how far you drove, can be a real pain. Always be aware of the store's return policy and shop accordingly.</p> <p><em>How do you take advantage of outlet malls to save money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-outlet-shopping-hacks-that-will-save-you-big">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-the-best-deals-of-the-year-shop-labor-day-and-skip-black-friday">For the Best Deals of the Year, Shop Labor Day and Skip Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bulk-buying-basics-what-to-buy-how-to-store-and-money-saving-tips">Bulk Buying Basics: What to Buy, How to Store, and Money Saving Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stupid-shopping-mistakes-even-smart-people-make">10 Stupid Shopping Mistakes Even Smart People Make</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping discounts factory outlet outlet mall sales Mon, 09 Mar 2015 15:00:08 +0000 Kyle James 1324637 at http://www.wisebread.com You Won't Believe How Much the Average Person Spends on Salon Visits Each Year http://www.wisebread.com/you-wont-believe-how-much-the-average-person-spends-on-salon-visits-each-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/you-wont-believe-how-much-the-average-person-spends-on-salon-visits-each-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_haircut_000030105894.jpg" alt="woman getting a haircut" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The beauty salon trade is a 20 billion dollar industry to which just about every American woman contributes. Haircuts, blow-outs, manis and pedis &mdash; they really do add up. And if you're like the average woman outlined below, your regular salon visits can cost you an average of about $1,800 per year! (And that only includes nails, haircuts, and blow-outs.)</p> <p>Fortunately, there are ways you can cut down on your salon expenses without compromising your look. Read on for our tally of what you're spending at the salon &mdash; then consider using some of our tips on saving big by beautifying at home.</p> <h2>1. Haircuts</h2> <p>The average American woman spends <a href="http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2014/02/28/what-america-pays-for-a-haircut">$44 per haircut</a>, plus a tip of $9, for a total of $53 per visit. At an average of four cuts a year, that's a whopping $212 spent yearly ridding herself of dead ends.</p> <p>You could &quot;clip&quot; this expense altogether by learning to cut your own locks. But even if you're not willing to eliminate salon cuts completely, you could easily halve the cost by trimming at home, and saving the salon visits for major cuts or new styles. Ask your stylist for tips on how to achieve a precise and healthy trim. And for those too skittish to reach for the scissors, you could alternatively go an extra month between salon cuts, which will save you some significant coin in the long run.</p> <h2>2. Blow-Outs</h2> <p>Few among us have the budget of a Hollywood star to maintain red carpet-worthy locks 365 days a year. The average blow-out costs about $40, takes about 40 minutes, and has the effect of making you want them more often. For the sake of our example, let's assume the average woman gets a blow-out every other month, costing her a total of about $240 per year. (Ever heard of a <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2012/10/blow-out-junkies-spend-thousands-on-perfect-hair/">blow-out junkie</a>? These women habitually get three or more blow-outs per week. That's $6,240 a year, not including gratuity!)</p> <p>Fortunately, you can achieve the same super-sleek look at home using a professional dryer with a wattage of at least 1875. We recommend the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MFBGATM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00MFBGATM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=UBKE24VUDCLEPPYM">Nanoe Hair Dryer</a> by Panasonic, which retails at about $154. And if you do decide to indulge in a salon blow-out, shop around for the best price. Major metropolitan areas and wealthy enclaves tend to charge more for salon services, so look outside those gilded borders for cheaper rates.</p> <h2>3. Manicures and Pedicures</h2> <p>Salons in the U.S. charge an average of $19.50 for a manicure. The average cost of a pedicure is $32.25. The average woman who gets manis and pedis does so every two weeks, running her an average of $1,345 per year.</p> <p>Whether you pamper yourself with these treatments once a month or just a handful of times during the summer, the cost quickly adds up. But with a little effort and a small investment, you can give yourself salon-worthy nail treatments at home.</p> <p>To begin, Manicurist Mila Yagoudaief recommends a 10-minute soak using <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0036S3Z9G/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0036S3Z9G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=SM3J55DYZ2GPIDJX">Sally Hansen Salon Mineral Foot Soak</a> ($8.88) to soften the skin and cuticles. You can also use this foot soak for your hands.&nbsp;Then use a clipper to trim your nails straight across so they're about even with the top of your fingers and toes, and use an emery board to round the outer edges of each nail.</p> <p>Next, remove any remaining dead skin by massaging your hands and feet with a thick exfoliating scrub, like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002CMLTFO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002CMLTFO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=4ZZA7WWPIKU6RWIZ">Barielle 60 Second Mani-Pedi</a> ($16.99). Rinse with warm water. You'll want to prevent the skin from drying out by massaging your hands and feet with any cream that contains shea butter.&nbsp;Now, find your favorite polish and paint! Don't forget to apply a topcoat to prevent chips and peeling.</p> <p>When you add up the average costs of manis, pedis, haircuts, and blow-outs above, it totals a startling $1,797 &mdash; and that's just the tip of the iceberg, since many women also get regular facials or skin treatments, hair color, massages, and more. Do your budget a favor by treating yourself at home, instead, and save the salon visits for truly special occasions.</p> <p><em>How much do you estimate you spend on yearly salon visits?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-wont-believe-how-much-the-average-person-spends-on-salon-visits-each-year">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-foods-nutritionists-say-you-should-splurge-on">12 Foods Nutritionists Say You Should Splurge On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-electric-razors">The 5 Best Electric Razors</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat">The new face of poverty is fat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-your-toiletries-for-cheap-or-even-free">6 Ways to Get your Toiletries for Cheap or Even Free!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-steps-to-buying-lingerie-for-your-wife-girlfriend-or-significant-other">4 Easy Steps to Buying Lingerie for Your Wife, Girlfriend, or Significant Other</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Shopping beauty treatments salon visits Mon, 09 Mar 2015 11:00:07 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1325130 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things You Should Never Try to Save On http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-try-to-save-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-you-should-never-try-to-save-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-shoe-shopping-Dollarphotoclub_45213493.jpg" alt="woman shoe shopping" title="woman shoe shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I consider myself a frugal person. I've gone without air conditioning, drive a 20-year-old car, and grow much of my own food on a four-acre homestead. After years of trial and error, however, I've come to learn that some things just aren't worth trying to save money on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-case-for-expensive-shoes?ref=seealso">The Case for Expensive Shoes</a>)</p> <p>Here are five critical purchases I've made in the past that I regretted ever trying to squeeze a penny from.</p> <h2>1. Legal Services</h2> <p>While you can do some basic template-type tasks on your own, anything requiring a lengthy legal battle or a contested order should have at least the once-over of a good attorney. I admit to handling a divorce completely on my own, with the help of a divorce kit that was &mdash; at the time &mdash; housed completely on floppy disc. While the outcome wasn't horrible, I could have greatly benefited from even <em>one hour</em> of consulting time from a reputable attorney.</p> <p>Now that attorneys are more accessible than they were even 15 years ago, there's really no excuse to not at least consider one. In fact, many lawyers make it super easy to get their expertise with the same ease of a &quot;template&quot; service. Rachel Brenke's <a href="http://www.bloglegally.com/">Blog Legally site</a>, for example, gives bloggers and other digital content creators advice, tools, and an avenue to ask questions of a seasoned law professional &mdash; without the headache of an in-person appointment. This may be the future of most civil and business-related legal proceedings &mdash; one which I will happily pay extra to be a part of.</p> <h2>2. Dental Care</h2> <p>Have you been tempted to skip your six-month cleaning or save a few bucks by forgoing that annual x-ray? Before you pocket the extra cash from skimping on a seemingly unimportant dental task, consider that many life-threatening diseases can be possibly be traced back to the effects of a poor oral hygiene routine. (The Mayo Clinic lists <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475?pg=2">heart disease and Alzheimer's</a> as just a couple of afflictions that can be made worse by tooth or mouth problems.)</p> <p>In addition to seemingly unrelated complications that can arise from cheaping out on your dental duties, most minor tooth issues can balloon into major dental disasters with a potential to cost you thousands. So, the next time you think that an extra $150 for a cleaning is something you shouldn't part with, consider the cost of waiting, and how it can affect your quality of life down the road.</p> <h2>3. Shoes</h2> <p>There are times when it's perfectly acceptable to pay $5 for a pair of cheap flip-flops (vacation, for example), but most of us rely too much on our feet to treat them badly with an ill-fitting or cheap pair of shoes. Not having the proper fit, dealing with poor support, or finding them to be slippery when wet are just a few problems I've had with cheap shoes.</p> <p>For most of my daily life, I rely on shoes to get me through some pretty adverse situations; I chase kids, work the garden, and run through airport terminals far too often to risk my safety on a pair of duds. Unless there is an adorable pair you'll wear just once for a special occasion, your money is better invested in a long-term relationship with kicks that can deliver on months &mdash; or even years &mdash; of comfy wear.</p> <h2>4. Safe Transportation</h2> <p>Traveling to a place you're not familiar with can seem daunting and feel expensive. In some cities, you are at the mercy of the public transportation system or a taxi driver to get you where you need to go &mdash; at a price you often have no control over. When it comes to cost-saving maneuvers on transportation, I've always chosen to risk less and spend more. As a small-statured woman who is often traveling with children, it just seems okay to pay a premium to know where I'm going, with who, and for what price, ahead of time.</p> <p>One way I've gotten around the feeling of being metered to death by cabs is to use the services of Lyft, which get me a clean and friendly ride experience within minutes of calling for a ride. The prices are transparent and I've never had a less-than-stellar experience. It's more money than, say, a bus, but still within reason for a budget-conscious traveler.</p> <h2>5. Furniture</h2> <p>This year marked the death of all of my cheap furniture. I'm not sure why it all decided to die on me at once, but it was another reminder that you really do get what you pay for. I've shared why I try to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-of-pretty-things-4-reasons-im-keeping-my-ugly-old-stuff">keep my old, ugly furniture</a> as long as I can, but even with all my good, old solid stuff, there's a need to buy new. A new recliner for our fifth baby lasted just under 3 years; it was a $250 buy from the discount furniture store. My cheapo corner desk, made from crumbly MDF and covered in something that looked like shelf liner, lasted a little over 2 years &mdash; if you don't count the permanent coffee rings and the drawer that had to be reattached on three separate occasions.</p> <p>The furniture that lasted the longest included a set of ChromCraft vintage kitchen chairs that we paid a pretty penny for, as well as a 90's country blue couch with a 100% steel frame. Yes, the couch was ugly &mdash; and expensive &mdash; but couch covers are cheap, and that piece lasted longer than most automobiles I've owned. Before you cringe at the thought of spending half a month's salary on that new sectional or dining set, consider how much wear and tear you'll give your new purchase. With six kids in the house, I now know that higher quality is worth the often exorbitant cost.</p> <p><em>What other expenses are well worth the cost? Let us know in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-try-to-save-on">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-that-seem-like-splurges-but-are-actually-savvy-buys">6 Things That Seem Like Splurges But Are Actually Savvy Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-never-skimp-on">15 Things You Should Never Skimp On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quality-over-price-15-items-to-spend-more-on">Quality Over Price: 15 Items to Spend More On</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-great-things-to-do-with-50">50 Great Things to Do With $50</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping cheap quality Splurge value Wed, 04 Mar 2015 18:00:07 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1316824 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Get a Free Month of Amazon Prime http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-get-a-free-month-of-amazon-prime <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-get-a-free-month-of-amazon-prime" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-cardboard-box-Dollarphotoclub_64076561.jpg" alt="man cardboard box" title="man cardboard box" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on how to get a month of Amazon Prime for free, this month's food and drink freebies, and better laundry habits that will lower your power bill.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0227/Amazon-Prime-How-to-get-one-month-for-free">Amazon Prime: How to Get One Month for Free</a> &mdash; If you're an Amazon Prime member and a package did not arrive by the guaranteed delivery date, you can request a one-month membership extension. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T071-C011-S001-food-freebies-in-march.html">5 Food and Drink Freebies in March</a> &mdash; Today is National Pancake Day! You until 10 p.m. tonight to get a free short stack of pancakes at IHOP. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.onesmartdollar.com/how-better-laundry-habits-can-cut-your-power-bill/">How Better Laundry Habits Can Cut Your Power Bill</a> &mdash; Don't forget to empty the lint trap! Your dryer runs more efficiently when the trap is nice and clean. [One Smart Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Items-Encourage-Productivity-36318541">Throw These 9 Things Into Your Bag for a Productive Day</a> &mdash; Keep a pack of peppermint or cinnamon mints on you for the times when you need a quick boost to your mood and energy. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/life-style/saving-money-at-the-movie-theater-5-ways-to-indulge-without-overspending">Saving Money at the Movie Theater: 5 Ways to Indulge Without Overspending</a> &mdash; It's worth it to join a theater's rewards club if you watch movies there at least three times a year. [MoneyNing]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/psych-yourself-into-saving/">5 Ways to Psych Yourself Into Saving Money</a> &mdash; A 2013 study found that people with one liquid account saved more than those with several. If you want to save more, then merge your accounts. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/easier-good-linking-spending-favorite-charity.html">It&rsquo;s Getting Easier to Do Good by Linking Your Spending to Your Favorite Charity</a> &mdash; The AmazonSmile program donates an amount equal to 0.5% of most purchases to a charity of your choice. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thousandaire.com/consider-using-foreign-exchange-specialists-for-international-transactions/">Consider Using Foreign Exchange Specialists for International Transactions</a> &mdash; Foreign exchange specialists allow you to make secure international payments anywhere in the world, at any time. They often cost less than comparable services offered by international banks. [Thousandaire]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/7-ideas-for-new-family-traditions">7 Ideas for New Family Traditions</a> &mdash; Chronicle the growth of your family by taking family photos every year. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/signs-you-might-lose-your-job/">6 Signs You Might Lose Your Job</a> &mdash; If you're increasingly out of the loop at work, it could mean you'll be out of a job soon. [Money Smart Life]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-get-a-free-month-of-amazon-prime">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amazon-prime-benefits-and-how-to-avoid-the-price-hike">Amazon Prime Benefits and How to Avoid the Price Hike</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-books-diapers-and-much-more-with-an-amazon-membership-program">Save on Books, Diapers, and Much More With an Amazon Membership Program</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk">13 Food Items to Always Buy in Bulk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-indoor-tv-antennas">The 5 Best Indoor TV Antennas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping amazon prime best money tips Tue, 03 Mar 2015 20:00:08 +0000 Amy Lu 1320427 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Times Buying Generic Will Cost You http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-buying-generic-will-cost-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-times-buying-generic-will-cost-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_perfume_000027485717.jpg" alt="Woman shopping for perfume" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's a tough call deciding when to buy a well-known name brand item over its cheaper, generic counterpart. Very often, generic and store-brand merchandise is just as good and considerably cheaper. However, there are a number of instances where consumer tests have shown that buying generic just won't do. When purchasing these seven items, spending a little more for a name brand is worth every penny.</p> <h2>1. Electronics</h2> <p>When it comes to high priced electronics, don't mess around. If you're in the market for a big-screen TV, now is the time to go with a tried-and-true brand rather than a cheap knock-off. As the screen grows, so do discrepancies between cheap models and their pricier counterparts. The difference in picture quality and durability becomes especially noticeable at the 50-inch plus range, and according to consumer testing, you need a TV at least that big if you plan on <a href="http://abc7.com/shopping/tvs-need-at-least-50-inch-screens-to-watch-super-bowl-consumer-reports-says/478368/">watching sports</a> or hosting movie nights. Sony often tops the list of best TVs, with other familiar brands like Panasonic, LG, and Samsung also making quality sets.</p> <p>Unless you're a computer whiz and know how to make your own computer, you should also stick with trusted brands when buying a new PC. At the very least, this will guarantee good customer service should anything go wrong (be sure to check the warranty plan) and give you a minimum of specs for a smooth-running computer out of the box. Do some research before you buy any brand to make sure you get the right model for your needs.</p> <h2>2. Diapers</h2> <p>When purchasing an item you will literally use thousands of over the course of your child's early years, it is tempting to grab the cheapest thing and move on. According to extensive tests though, you can save yourself a lot of headaches by using a <a href="http://www.ksla.com/story/6435678/consumer-reports-top-diapers">trusted diaper brand</a>. Pampers consistently topped the list with the best absorbency and durability. Rather than risk leaks and diaper rash, why not cover your babe in the best? Consumer Reports suggests buying the biggest package possible to get the best deal.</p> <h2>3. Condiments</h2> <p>These days, you can buy pretty much any food item at the grocery store for less by choosing the store brand. Often these off-brand versions are just as good, but there are a few exceptions. One example is condiments &mdash; the name-brand options consistently outperform the generic versions in taste tests. Americans have a love affair with <a href="http://www.grubstreet.com/2014/08/ketchup-heinz-irreplaceable.html">Heinz ketchup</a>, and frequently pick it out of blind tastings as their favorite. It has the perfect balance of tang and sweetness that French fries just can't do without. <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2013/12/hellmann_s_mayonnaise_formula_why_does_this_high_amplitude_condiment_taste.html">Hellman's mayonnaise</a> is frequently at the top of everyone's mayo list, beating out generics and other brand names.</p> <h2>4. Batteries</h2> <p>When it comes to regular household alkaline batteries like AA, comparing the power and price of <a href="http://www.wired.com/2012/01/are-expensive-batteries-worth-the-extra-cost/">generic versus name brand</a> ends up being equal. However, because name brands last much longer, they are a better choice for much-used items like your Wii remote. When replacing batteries for electronics like laptops and smartphones, buying a trusted brand is not only a better choice, it's a <a href="http://www.howtogeek.com/172680/danger-why-you-shouldnt-buy-cheap-third-party-batteries-for-laptops-or-smartphones/">safer battery choice</a>. Aftermarket batteries have been linked to fires, and while there isn't definitive evidence to prove that these cheap batteries are the cause, they are at least known to deliver less-than-optimal performance. Generics are not required to meet the same standards that are expected of brand name models, and may get too hot, fail to hold a charge, or wear down quickly. Play it safe and opt for a trusted brand, especially when buying lithium ion batteries.</p> <h2>5. Trash Bags</h2> <p>No one likes taking the trash out, but how about when the bag busts on the way to the bin? Or the handles snap, sending your bundle of gross careening down the stairs? No one wants to deal with leaky garbage, so why skimp and risk it? Glad and Hefty topped Consumer Reports' list of <a href="http://abc7.com/archive/8664636/">toughest trash bags</a>, after putting several brands through some rigorous testing. Glad easily held 50 pounds of garbage without breaking, while the Sam's Club brand only withstood 35 pounds. Even if you're not planning to regularly shove 50 pounds worth of trash into your can, it's worth the peace of mind to spend a few cents more per bag for durability.</p> <h2>6. Paint</h2> <p>With so many paint choices out there, it's hard not to pick the cheapest option and go with it. But skimping on paint can mean uneven coverage, poor adherence, and a crappy finish. These problems can lead to multiple coats, which requires more paint and ends up turning your savings into a wash. It can also mean your paint job doesn't last as long, leading you to paint all over again much sooner than if you went with a <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/consumer-reports-picks-for-best-interior-paints-2013-188298">trusted paint brand</a>. Consumer Reports' consistently chooses Behr paints as their favorites, along with Benjamin Moore, Valspar, and Clark + Kensington.</p> <h2>7. Perfume</h2> <p>Wouldn't it be nice to smell expensive without paying top dollar? The high price of name brand perfume is enough to force many people into purchasing counterfeit versions for themselves or as gifts. The packaging and even the initial scent of these knock-offs can be convincing, but the ingredients and lack of lasting quality shows their true scent. Many <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/ConsumerNews/counterfeit-perfumes/story?id=9670448">counterfeit perfumes</a> are made with nasty chemicals, and because you are spraying them on your skin, could even be dangerous. While cheap generic perfumes may not contain the same gross ingredients as counterfeit varieties, they don't contain the complexity and long-lasting properties of high-quality scents, requiring you to use more perfume. In the end, it's worth the cost to buy a name brand perfume that will last.</p> <p><em>What generic products do you always avoid?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-buying-generic-will-cost-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk">13 Food Items to Always Buy in Bulk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-indoor-tv-antennas">The 5 Best Indoor TV Antennas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best 5 Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping brand-names counterfeits generics knock-offs Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:00:08 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1314908 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Avoid Buying Electronics You'll Regret http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-avoid-buying-electronics-youll-regret <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-avoid-buying-electronics-youll-regret" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mp3-player-Dollarphotoclub_30124781.jpg" alt="mp3 player" title="mp3 player" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>They're shiny and new right out of the package, and too often, they cost a pretty penny. They are the gadgets we drool over when they first make an appearance in stores, sometimes after standing in line for hours to be among the first to get their hands on them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-as-seen-on-tv-kitchen-gadgets-that-are-actually-worth-the-money?ref=seealso">6 &quot;As Seen on TV&quot; Kitchen Gadgets That Are Actually Worth the Money</a>)</p> <p>While I've never considered myself enough of a fanatic to go to ridiculous lengths to buy a tech tool, I do love cutting edge features. I've loved them enough to get something based on hype and then have deep regrets afterward. Here are just a few of my most notable instances of gadget buyer's remorse.</p> <h2>1. Replacement &quot;Toys&quot;</h2> <p>Every holiday, the toy commercials blast the gospel of how great a toy that acts like a tablet will be for your baby/toddler/preschooler. And for a few weeks, the kids are always amazed that they can play games, take photos, and edit videos in a similar fashion to their adult counterparts.</p> <p>But then the magic ends; kids realize soon enough that their tablet is <em>not</em> the same as an iPad. The limitations are too obvious, and for the price of a typical toy tablet, you can easily get into an entry-level adult tablet with all the protective gear you need to keep it safe from spills and drops. It will last the child far longer than a gadget aimed at babies, and you'll avoid finding it unused in the bottom of the toybox. This rule goes for anything that has been &quot;kiddified&quot; for marketing purposes (such as toy phones, cameras, and music players).</p> <h2>2. Cheap Versions of Popular Products</h2> <p>That $35 MP3 player that looks like an iPod Touch &mdash; but isn't &mdash; is what we're talking about here.</p> <p>While there is no shortage of websites selling no-name versions of the product you really want, usually you are better off saving your money for the real thing. Not only is there an issue of quality to consider (can you even reach customer service for an unpronounceable tech company?), but compatibility is always a cause for concern. I remember getting three of my kids nifty music players that held just as many songs as an Apple product, but the file format turned out to be incompatible with most of the software we used for buying songs. The day-to-day implementation of these products was frustrating, and we ended up just giving them away.</p> <h2>3. Tech in the Midst of a Standards Battle</h2> <p>Remember Betamax? Laserdisc? HD-DVD?</p> <p>These were all technologies embroiled in a bitter war during a competitive early market. All lost to other technologies, leaving the owners of their products with pretty worthless gadgets (and libraries of obsolete media.) If you're on the fence about whether your tech of choice is actually <em>the</em> &quot;tech of choice,&quot; you may want to wait a bit before buying. I know no one who is proud of their investment in the losing competitor.</p> <h2>4. Printers With Expensive Refill Cartridges</h2> <p>Investing in tech can be a lot like playing the stock market: You really have to know your stuff to avoid making a significant investment in something that could tank hard down the road. If there is any technology more vulnerable to this than the printer, I don't know of it. Most mainstream printers (both inkjet and toner) start out at a rather high price point, only to become significantly cheaper in the months following their release.</p> <p>Their ink solutions, however, can come way down or stay very high, and this is what is baffling for many consumers. Another factor in how cheap the ink will get is whether knock-off cartridges will be made for that model. Those that accommodate &quot;remanufactured&quot; ink products can save 75% or more for the user, but it's impossible to tell when or if your model of printer will be one of the lucky ones upon it's original release to market. (We regret every printer purchase we've ever made with ink that costs more per cartridge than the actual printer can be bought for.)</p> <h2>5. Mini-Anything</h2> <p>Little blenders. Tiny food processors. Baby coffee machines. Unless you are a hardcore follower of the &quot;tiny house&quot; movement, there is almost no good reason to spend just as much on a small version of a powerful kitchen or DIY tool as its full-sized counterpart. For one, most smaller appliances are lacking in power or quality parts. I have a lazy Susan full of these baby gadgets that were given to me as gifts, picked up for a dime during Black Friday, or just found their way into my home from a yard sale. In a cook-off between them and my mega-powerful-father-of-all versions, they lose. Every single time. So keep your three cup coffee brewers and invest in a 10-cup machine. You don't have to fill it all the way if you don't want to.</p> <p><em>What tech gadgets do you regret buying?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-avoid-buying-electronics-youll-regret">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-advice-for-the-gadget-addicted">Frugal Advice for the Gadget Addicted</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tech-savvy-people-have-these-10-things-in-their-homes-do-you">Tech-Savvy People Have These 10 Things in Their Homes — Do You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-save-money-on-ipads-iphones-and-macs">6 Ways to Save Money on iPads, iPhones, and Macs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-must-have-kitchen-purchases-under-10">13 Must-Have Kitchen Purchases Under $10</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-laptop-computer">How to Buy a Laptop Computer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology dumb buys gadgets tech wasted money Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:00:11 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1308848 at http://www.wisebread.com Never Miss Free Ice Cream Again: Complete Calendar of Annual Free Stuff Days http://www.wisebread.com/never-miss-free-ice-cream-again-complete-calendar-of-annual-free-stuff-days <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/never-miss-free-ice-cream-again-complete-calendar-of-annual-free-stuff-days" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/baby-ice-cream-476416437-small_0.jpg" alt="baby ice cream" title="baby ice cream" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="148" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some people say that there is no such thing as a free lunch &mdash; but there are several companies that are working hard at disproving this saying. Check our calendar and mark these days to pick up awesome freebies ranging from brownies to pancakes to comics.&nbsp;</p> <p>(Click on the image for a larger view)</p> <p><a href="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/FREEBIES-final-large.jpg"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/FREEBIES-final.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p>Embed this infographic:<br /> <textarea style="width:590px;height:65px;">&lt;a href=&quot;http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/FREEBIES-final-large.jpg&quot;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/FREEBIES-final-large.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;</textarea></p> <h2>January 19: National Popcorn Day</h2> <p>Every January 19th on <a href="http://www.popcorn.org/AboutUs/Media/NationalPopcornDay/tabid/115/Default.aspx">National Popcorn Day</a> several movie theaters across the country offer a bag of free popcorn.&nbsp;</p> <h2>February 14: Valentine's Day</h2> <p>Qdoba offers a buy one get one free burrito but you kiss someone for it. Starbucks is holding the &quot;World's Largest Starbucks Date&quot; on February 13, from 2pm to close. There will be a special menu for $5 pairings.</p> <h2>March 4: National Pancake Day</h2> <p>Separate from International Pancake Day, every March 4th IHOP offers a <a href="http://www.ihoppancakeday.com/index.html">free short stack of three buttermilk pancakes</a>. Offer is limited to dine-in guests visiting between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. on that day, while supplies last.</p> <h2>March 20: First day of Spring</h2> <p>Rita's offers a free limited edition cup of Italian ice.</p> <h2>March or April: Ben &amp; Jerry's Free Cone Day</h2> <p>Since 1979, Ben &amp; Jerry's stores offer a <a href="http://www.benjerry.com/scoop-shops/free-cone-day">free ice cream scoop every year</a>. The day happens <em>sometime</em> during March and April, so you have to stay tuned for the company's announcement.</p> <h2>April 15: Tax Day</h2> <p>As a reward for making your federal tax deadline of April 15th, several business offer you freebies:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://arbys.com/articles/We-gave-free-curly-fries-away-on-Tax-Day">Curly fries </a>from Arby's&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Free popcorn at AMC Theaters<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Free chips and queso or salsa at California Tortilla<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>2 cinnabon cinnamon bites (6pm-8pm) at Cinnabon<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Small coffee (during breakfast hours) at McDonald's<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152748696710440&amp;set=a.10151429531275440.856833.54000790439&amp;type=1">Birthday cake cookie</a> from Great American Cookies<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Entree from Hard Rock Cafe, but you have to win it by <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/sing-supper-hard-rock-cafe-131500387.html">singing a song on stage</a><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.officedepot.com/speciallinks/us/od/docs/taxcoupons_shredding.pdf">Shredding of up to five pounds of documents</a> courtesy of Office Depot<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.hydromassage.com/taxday.htm">Water-based massage session</a> from Hydromassage including locations at participating Planet Fitness</li> </ul> <h2>April 22: Earth Day</h2> <p>On Earth Day, you can:</p> <ul> <li>Receive free plantable bookmarks for kids at Pottery Barn.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Score a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152325304405450&amp;set=a.10150763108990450.463068.361297095449&amp;type=1&amp;theater">free organic milkshake</a> at Evos stores.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Enter a <a href="http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm">National Park for free</a> (Note: Additional free entrance dates are Martin Luther King Jr Day, Presidents Day weekend, National Park Service Birthday, National Public Lands Day, and Veterans Day.)</li> </ul> <h2>April 26: National Pretzel Day</h2> <p>For over three decades and by U.S. Congress decree people celebrate National Pretzel Day. Every April 26th, Philly Pretzel Factory, Pretzelmaker, and <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20140422-912906.html">Snyder's of Hanover</a> give out free pretzels. In 2014, Pretzelmaker gave away <a href="http://www.pretzelmaker.com/npd/">65,000 free pretzels</a>.</p> <h2>First Saturday in May: Free Comic Day</h2> <p>Held the first Saturday in May, <a href="http://www.freecomicbookday.com">Free Comic Day</a> is the day in which participating comic book stores across North America give away free comic books. Most stores give at least one free comic book, but some are more generous than others. Check with your local retailer for their Free Comic Day offerings.</p> <h2>Second Saturday in May: Mother's Day</h2> <p>Moms work very hard all year round, so they deserve to get free stuff on their day:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Denny's: Free dessert with 2 entrees</p> </li> <li> <p>First Watch Cafe: <a href="http://www.firstwatch.com/press-release/first-watch-celebrates-mothers-day-with-free-chocolates-for-mom">Free box of chocolates</a> for dine-in Moms</p> </li> <li> <p>Hooters: Free meal for mom, up to $10, with any drink purchase</p> </li> <li> <p>McCormick &amp; Schmicks: Chocolate-covered strawberry for every dine-in mom</p> </li> <li> <p>Shoney's: Free slice of strawberry pie with buffet or entree</p> </li> <li> <p>Starbucks: Each year Starbucks offers various special discounts</p> </li> <li> <p>TCBY: Free 6 ounce cup of frozen yogurt&nbsp;</p> </li> <li> <p>T.G.I. Friday's: Free appetizer (with app download)</p> </li> <li> <p>The Pasta House: Free meal for moms with entree</p> </li> <li> <p>Tony Roma's: Free meal for dine-in moms</p> </li> <li> <p>Zoe's Kitchen: Free piece of Yaya's Chocolate Cake with entree</p> </li> </ul> <p><span style="color: rgb(17, 17, 17); font-family: georgia; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.4em; background-color: transparent;">Sometime in May: Häagen-Dazs Free Cone Day</span></p> <p>Not to be outdone by Ben &amp; Jerry's, Häagen-Dazs offers a free cone from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at over 250 locations in the U.S. This day happens <em>usually</em> within the first three weeks of May, so be on the lookout for the official company announcement. Get there early, as in 2012 <a href="http://www.examiner.com/article/free-haagen-dazs-ice-cream-for-all-on-tuesday-may-8-find-out-where">over 41,300 free scoops</a> were served in New York City alone! Vanilla is the flavor that usually runs out first.</p> <h2>First Friday in June: National Donut Day</h2> <p>Celebrate the first Friday of June with a free donut at <a href="http://www.krispykreme.com/NationalDoughnutDay">Krispy Kreme</a>, <a href="http://www.lamars.com/salvationarmy/?doing_wp_cron=1401989510.1354689598083496093750">LaMar's Donuts</a>, and Shipley Do-Nuts. Places requiring a purchase are&nbsp;<a href="http://www.timhortons.com/us/en/about/6056.html">Tim Hortons Cafe &amp; Bake Shop</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://news.dunkindonuts.com/Press-Releases/A-SWEET-DEAL-ROUND-THE-WORLD-DUNKIN-DONUTS-TO-OFFER-FREE-DONUTS-FOR-NATIONAL-DONUT-DAY-ON-JUNE-6-499.aspx">Dunkin' Donuts</a>, and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152074806937301&amp;set=a.92826962300.97395.85010727300&amp;type=1&amp;comment_id=10152081915277301&amp;offset=0&amp;total_comments=6">Cumberland Farms</a>. Also, check your local donut shop because several, such as <a href="http://www.kitv.com/news/thismorning/head-to-regal-bakery-for-national-donut-day/26367480">Regal Bakery</a> in Honolulu, will honor this day.</p> <h2>June 10: National Iced Tea Day</h2> <p>Enjoy a cold iced tea every June 10th to cool down during a hot summer. Two retailers that consistently participate in this day are <a href="http://corp.7-eleven.com/Newsroom/2013NewsReleases/TeaforFREEat7ElevenisAwesummer/tabid/565/Default.aspx">7-Eleven</a> (free Snapple tea) and <a href="http://news.starbucks.com/news/teavana-celebrates-national-iced-tea-day-on-june-10-by-offering-free-bevera">Teavana</a> (free tea with purchase).</p> <h2>June: Father's Day</h2> <p>Every third Sunday of June, the King of the House can get freebies at:</p> <ul> <li>Bucca di Beppo: <a href="http://offers.bucadibeppo.com/Coupons/FathersDay/FreeCannoli/">Free cannoli</a> for dine-in dads.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Einstein's Brothers Bagels: BOGO sandwich<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hooters: Buy 10 wings, get 10 free for dads<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Spaghetti Warehouse: Free&nbsp;<a href="http://www.40meatballs.com/?page_id=1618">original recipe spaghetti or lasagna</a><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>TCBY: Free 6 ounce cup of frozen yogurt&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>T.G.I. Friday's: BOGO with the purchase of two beverages<br /> &nbsp;</li> </ul> <h2>July 11: 7-Eleven Day</h2> <p>Every July 11th 7-Eleven offers <a href="http://corp.7-eleven.com/Newsroom/2010NewsReleases/OhThankHeavenIts7ElevenDay/tabid/428/Default.aspx">free 7.11-ounce Slurpee drinks</a>.&nbsp;</p> <h2>July 11: Cow Appreciation Day</h2> <p>After you grab free 7-11 Slurpee, dress up as a cow and head to a Chic-fil-A restaurant for a free meal. Yes, <a href="http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Cows/Appreciation-Day">Cow Appreciation Day</a> is a real thing.</p> <h2>September 17: Free queso day</h2> <p>Head over to Mae's Southwest Grill for a free bowl of queso (11am-9pm).</p> <h2>September 19: Talk Like a Pirate Day</h2> <p>Go the Krispy Kreme and get your free donut by talking pirate to the cashier. You can also get a free piece of fish from Long John Silver's.</p> <h2>September 29: National Coffee Day</h2> <p>Every September 29th coffee retailers offer a free small coffee. Some companies that participate are Dunkin' Donuts, Krispy Kreme, Lamar's Donuts, and McDonald's. Other retailers who offer BOGO are Eintstein's Bros Bagels, Noah's Bagels, and Peet's Coffee.</p> <h2>November 11: Veteran's Day</h2> <p>During this holiday in November, veterans and active duty military can get free meals at:</p> <ul> <li>Applebee's</li> <li>Bar Louie</li> <li>BJ's</li> <li>California Pizza Kitchen</li> <li>Chili's</li> <li>Claim Jumper</li> <li>Denny's</li> <li>Famous Dave's</li> <li>Friendly's</li> <li>Golden Corral</li> <li>Hurricane Grills &amp; Wings</li> <li>IHOP (free pancakes)</li> <li>McCormick &amp; Schmick's</li> <li>Olive Garden</li> <li>On The Border</li> <li>Perkins</li> <li>Red Robin</li> <li>Sizzler</li> <li>Texas Roadhouse</li> <li>T.G.I. Friday's</li> </ul> <p>Free coffee at:</p> <ul> <li>Einstein Bros Bagels&nbsp;</li> <li>Krispy Kreme (donut &amp; coffee)</li> <li>McDonald's</li> <li>Noah's Bagels</li> <li>Roy Rogers</li> <li>Starbucks</li> <li>Tim Hortons (free donut)</li> </ul> <p>Free appetizer at:</p> <ul> <li>Carrabba's</li> <li>LongHorn (Texas Tonion &amp; non-alcoholic beverage)</li> <li>Outback (Bloomin' Onion and beverage)</li> <li>Red Lobster</li> <li>Ruby Tuesday</li> </ul> <p>And many more! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-military-discounts?ref=seealso">Big List of Military Discounts</a>)</p> <p>NOTE:&nbsp;Most locations will ask for valid ID.</p> <h2>Sometime in December: Free Shipping Day</h2> <p>Christmas shopping procrastinators rejoice! On <a href="http://www.freeshippingday.com">Free Shipping Day</a>, participating online retailers provide you free shipping for your purchase. This day happens sometime in December so stay tuned.</p> <h2>December 4: National Cookie Day</h2> <p>Check out stores like Great American Cookies and Quiznos to get your free cookie!</p> <h2>December 5: Repeal Day</h2> <p>In honor of Repeal Day, local bars will have deals aplenty to celebrate all the great things about legalized drinking.</p> <h2>December 8: Brownie Day</h2> <p>On December 8th, get a <a href="http://www.restaurantnews.com/celebrate-national-brownie-day-with-a-free-brownie-at-nestle-toll-house-cafe-by-chip/">free brownie</a> at participating Nestle Toll House Cafe locations.</p> <p>There you have it. Set an annual reminder for these freebie days, so you don't forget them.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>What is your favorite day of the year to get freebies? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-miss-free-ice-cream-again-complete-calendar-of-annual-free-stuff-days">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-really-free-freebies">How to Find Really Free Freebies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-getting-these-5-things-for-free">Are You Getting These 5 Things for Free?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-12-month-supply-of-contact-lens-cases-coupons">Free 12-month supply of contact lens cases &amp; coupons</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rejoice-its-haagen-dazs-free-scoop-day">Rejoice - it&#039;s Haagen-Dazs FREE SCOOP DAY.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-went-christmas-shopping-with-fake-money">I Went Christmas Shopping With Fake Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping free stuff freebies giveaways Mon, 23 Feb 2015 22:00:10 +0000 Damian Davila 1151051 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Discount Stores That Are More Expensive Than You Think http://www.wisebread.com/5-discount-stores-that-are-more-expensive-than-you-think <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-discount-stores-that-are-more-expensive-than-you-think" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/walmart store.jpg" alt="walmart store" title="walmart store" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you think you're getting a great bargain by shopping at big box stores that market themselves as purveyors of incredibly low prices, you may want to think again. Consider the alluring &quot;loss leader&quot; pricing strategy, for example. America's discount retailers draw you in by selling certain items at or below cost. But, they make up for lost profits on those dramatic mark-downs by selling you other, higher-priced products during that same visit. By the time you reach the register, the amazing savings you reaped from that doorbuster special is reduced by all the other higher-priced items you purchased. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-retailers-manipulate-you-into-spending?ref=seealso">How Retailers Manipulate You Into Spending More</a>)</p> <p>Stores use a variety of such techniques to make themselves only <em>seem</em> cheaper than they really are. Read on for our roundup of some of the big name stores that are more expensive than you think.</p> <h2>1. Walmart</h2> <p>&quot;Always the Lowest Price. Always.&quot; That's the original Walmart slogan. But the world's biggest retailer was forced to stop using it when the National Advertising Review Board ruled that <a href="http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/03/07/97586/-Wake-Up-People-Wal-Mart-s-Prices-Aren-t-That-Low#">Walmart's lowest price claim simply wasn't true</a>. Perhaps a more accurate tagline would have instead utilized the word &quot;sometimes.&quot;</p> <p>Indeed, some of Walmart's items are priced lower than anywhere else. Those key products are strategically chosen commodities that customers like you tend to know the going price of. Therefore, you know a steal when you see one, such as 25 cent cans of Progresso soup or a Dyson upright vacuum for $369. Eventually, you see enough good deals and assume everything Walmart sells is cheap. Alas, it is not. If you pile up your shopping cart with a mix of good deals, bad ones, and regularly priced items, you've merely neutralized your big savings, while helping Walmart achieve its bottom line.</p> <h2>2. Target</h2> <p>Though it caters to the fashion-forward shopper rather than the self-identified thrifty one, Target sells many of the same products as Walmart. In fact, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/2012/10/23/66b97b8e-17d0-11e2-9855-71f2b202721b_story.html">80% of the merchandise sold in Target and Wal-Mart is identical</a>, according to Charles Fishman, author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0143038788/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0143038788&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=2VZCDYFUMQHVVWZW">The Wal-Mart Effect</a>. The two stores also offer the same discounts. A recent comparison by Bloomberg Businessweek found only a 46 cent difference between the two retailers per $100 of purchases. You'll save those 46 cents at Target, the analysis found, although Walmart usually wins independent price comparisons. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-perimeter-perusing-at-target?ref=seealso">How to Find the Secret Deals and Biggest Markdowns at Target</a>)</p> <h2>3. Dollar General</h2> <p>Despite the name, not everything here is a dollar or less. And even when it is, you're not necessarily getting bang for your buck. Case in point: The price tag on bulk goods at Dollar General is often lower due to <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/dollar-tree-to-buy-family-dollar-for-74-50-a-share-1406542575">smaller unit counts</a>, but they can be higher per piece. For instance, an analysis by the Wall Street Journal found a 28-pack of Pampers diapers sells for $10, or 35 cents per diaper, on Dollar General's website. But the same diapers on Walmart's website sells in a 180-pack box for $45.97, or 25 cents per diaper. So, yes, you can get diapers for less money at Dollar General. But they'll cost you 40% more per diaper than if you were to buy a bigger bulk package at Walmart.</p> <h2>4. Amazon Prime</h2> <p>The $99 annual fee you must pay to gain membership to Amazon Prime gets you free two-day shipping on selected products. If you're a fairly frequent Amazon Prime shopper, a membership should work out in your favor. But beware: As a Prime customer, you may not always be presented with <a href="http://www.geekwire.com/2014/amazon-boosts-prime-membership-99-cites-fuel-transportation-costs/">the cheapest item</a>.</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.geekwire.com/2014/amazon-shoppers-question-whether-prime-membership-scam/">GeekWire analysis found</a> that a search for a Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker turns up a Prime-eligible product that costs $49.95 for free two-day shipping. But if you were to click on more options, the same slow cooker is available from a different seller for $38.01 plus $11.99 for shipping, for a grand total of $50. In this case, as a Prime customer, your $99 membership fee would save you a mere 15 cents.</p> <p>In another scenario, the analysis found a vacuum cleaner filter from Dirt Devil was actually cheaper if you didn't use your Prime account. The Prime item cost $13.49, but another vendor was charging $12.74, plus free shipping. Now, this isn't always the case. Often the Prime-eligible item is the cheapest one. But if you are a sporadic Prime shopper rather than a loyal one, or if you don't want to have to dig to ensure you're getting the best deal, a Prime membership might not be worthwhile for you.</p> <h2>5. Kohl's</h2> <p>At Kohl's, <a href="http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/02/22/consumerwatch-investigation-finds-kohls-sale-prices-arent-always-a-deal/">sales prices aren't always what they seem</a>. A CBS hidden-camera investigation conducted between November 2011 and January 2012 found that the discount retailer was in the habit of marking up items as much as $100 from earlier levels before putting them on sale. For Pattie Woody, the result is that the $202.99 sheet set she purchased at a 50% discount had actually been priced at $169.99 before the sale, the investigation found. The pre-sale markup meant that Woody really only saved 40% rather than the advertised 50%. In another example, a twin sheet set was listed at half off the original price of $89.99. But inside the plastic zipper, the earlier price tag read $49.99, indicating the sale was only a $5 savings from the original tag.</p> <p><em>What other tricks do big-name retailers use to make you spend more?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-discount-stores-that-are-more-expensive-than-you-think">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-amazon-url-hack-generator-save-big">The AMAZON URL hack generator. Save big $$$.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-places-to-get-cheaper-diapers">5 Places to Get Cheaper Diapers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/party-like-its-1999-the-psychology-of-pricing">Party Like It&#039;s 19.99: The Psychology of Pricing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hard-copy-or-ebook-amazons-new-service-allows-you-to-buy-ebook-versions-of-hard-copies-you-own-for-c">Hard Copy or Ebook? Amazon&#039;s New Service Allows You to Buy Ebook Versions of Hard Copies You Own for Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Amazon discounters pricing retail WalMart Mon, 23 Feb 2015 18:00:06 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1302020 at http://www.wisebread.com Choosing the Wrong Color Can Cost You Big on These Purchases http://www.wisebread.com/choosing-the-wrong-color-can-cost-you-big-on-these-purchases <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/choosing-the-wrong-color-can-cost-you-big-on-these-purchases" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car dealer-colors-Dollarphotoclub_69826725.jpg" alt="car dealer " title="car dealer " class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>People generally chalk up color to personal preference when making a purchase, but what about those times when that choice can actually cost money? Strangely, I spend a lot of brain space thinking about the impact of color on my finances.</p> <p>I'm typing this article from the comfort of my new coral pink yoga mat. Coral is one of my favorite colors. Also, I am way more excited than I should be about the fact that it looks like a giant stick of chewing gum.</p> <p>Even though my yoga mat comes with a lifetime guarantee and I bought it at a 15% discount, it wasn't the best purchase I could have made. If I had been focusing on long-term savings rather than how I could add cinnamon fragrance to my mat for the ultimate Big Gum Workout Experience, I would have bought the black version of the same mat.</p> <h2>Black Hides Dirt &mdash; and Requires Less Care</h2> <p>A black mat would hide a lot of dirt. By buying the coral mat, I've basically resigned myself to spending extra time, water, and money keeping my yoga mat clean&hellip; forever.</p> <p>Who am I kidding? I know I'm going to be known by my fellow yogis as &quot;that girl with the filthy pink mat.&quot;</p> <p>I'm so grateful that I look good in black. Because otherwise I would be wearing some dingy looking clothes. As much as I fantasize about wearing white jeans, it's not going to happen. Just thinking about the cost of dry cleaning gives me hives.</p> <p>By now most people have heard about the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Overdressed-Shockingly-High-Cheap-Fashion/dp/1591846544">environmental damage</a> and <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/04/24/bangladesh-building-collapse/2108727/">human misery</a> caused by clothes manufacturing. What continues to go under-reported is the fact that the care and cleaning of clothing is actually more taxing to the environment than clothing production. How you clean your clothes and how often you have to clean your clothes can really make a difference to the planet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-laundry-mistakes-you-didnt-know-you-were-making?ref=seelaso">11 Laundry Mistakes You Didn't Know You Were Making</a>)</p> <h2>White Cars Roll Cooler &mdash; and More Visibly</h2> <p>Light colors are not without benefits. The Car of Torture I drove in high school was burgundy. During Arizona summers, a dark paint job turns an automobile into a furnace on wheels. Although I literally drove home from my summer job everyday wearing oven mitts (pro tip: don't touch a black steering wheel in 120 degree weather with your bare hands), I still have scorch marks on my back fat where I accidentally branded myself with the metal end of the seatbelt.</p> <p>After the unrelenting sun exposure oxidized the burgundy paint job on my car, giving it a distinctly scabby look, my parents agreed to repaint the car white. The color change instantly lowered the interior temperature by 10 degrees.</p> <p>As an adult living in Los Angeles, I only drive white cars. Although the smog keeps my white car looking disreputable at all times, it saves me money in two major ways.</p> <p>First, who has right of way at a four way stop in Los Angeles? The driver of the crummiest car, obviously. A dirty white car saves me on fender benders because other cars give me wide berth.</p> <p>All kidding aside, I drive a white car for visibility at night&hellip; to other drivers. My father, a retired head and neck surgeon, only drives yellow cars because he knows from years of treating accident victims that yellow cars are among the least likely to be <a href="https://www.aaafoundation.org/sites/default/files/CarColorAndSafety.pdf">passively involved in accidents</a>. Most car buyers don't think about paint color as a safety feature, but the cost of buying the wrong color car could be your life.</p> <p>Despite its connection to fire engines, red is actually a hard color to see, especially at night, when people's color vision is distorted. In fact, the common belief that drivers of <a href="http://www.snopes.com/autos/law/redcars.asp">red cars get more speeding tickets</a> is an urban legend.</p> <p>Secondly, the clear coat on my white car has also oxidized, but the damage is much less obvious than it would be on a darker color, and much <a href="http://guidetodetailing.com/damage-repair/how-to-restore-faded-oxidized-paint/">easier to repair</a> with Clay Bar detailing versus new paint.</p> <p>Finally, in hot climates, light colored cars get better gas mileage, because they stay cooler without the use of air conditioning. While I love the look of leather seats, I can't look at a black car with a black leather interior and not think the driver doesn't have brain damage. Or, maybe those drivers are just really into pain and never wear shorts.</p> <h2>A White Roof Is Cheaper, Too</h2> <p>Dark colored cars aren't the only way people are wasting their air conditioning. I'm getting ready to paint my black asphalt tiled roof white to <a href="http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/cool-roofs">reflect heat and save energy</a>. White roofs have been touted as a major way people could help <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Responsible-Tech/2008/1003/how-white-roofs-shine-bright-green">slow global warming</a>. However, repainting the roof is a big no for people who live in areas that have cold, dark winters because white roofs <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/id/35125043/ns/us_news-environment/t/white-roofs-do-cool-temps-study-finds/#.VNm5Y1PF9Cy">make homes harder to heat</a>.</p> <h2>Color Is a Powerful Advertising Tool</h2> <p>Color is also a powerful tool for driving consumer purchasing. Just like my yoga mat purchase, <a href="http://savvypanda.com/blog/selecting-colors-to-influence-client-buying-behavior.html">85% of shoppers place color</a> as a primary reason why they buy a particular product.</p> <p>In addition to aiding in brand recognition, an award-winning study in 2013 revealed that even the background color on a webpage influenced spending. Researchers discovered that shoppers were more likely to spend more money on an auction site like eBay after being exposed to a red background. However, the same shoppers were less likely to spend money on a fixed priced site after being exposed to red.</p> <p>Men seem to be especially sensitive to red, even <a href="http://jht.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/04/16/1096348012442546">tipping red uniformed waitresses more money</a>.</p> <h2>Some Colors Stimulant Appetite &mdash; and Spending</h2> <p>Red and yellow are also <a href="http://www.shape.com/blogs/fit-list-jay-cardiello/color-control-eat-less-workout-more">appetite stimulants</a>, which is why just about every fast food chain uses those colors in everything from their logos to their décor. Cornell University psychology researchers discovered that <a href="http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/outreach/color_plate.html">plate color</a> affects how much people eat. When researchers reduced the color contrast between food and the plate, study participants served themselves 22% less food. Just reducing the color contrast between the plate and the tablecloth reduced consumption by 10%!</p> <p>Over the past decade well-meaning consumers have been snookered out of their hard earned cash by an increasing number of products <a href="http://thegreenwashingblog.com/2014/02/25/marketing-and-greenwashing/">pretending to be environmentally responsible</a>. In addition to greenwashing, consumers now have to be on the lookout for <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/feb/15/komen-pinkwashing-problem-planned-parenthood">pinkwashing</a>. Caused-based shopping as charity is problematic because everyone from <a href="https://www.facebook.com/nopinkwashing">fracking</a> companies to <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/feb/15/komen-pinkwashing-problem-planned-parenthood">gun manufacturers</a> have tried to clean their dirty karma (and <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/10/21/komen-is-supposed-to-be-curing-breast-cancer-so-why-is-its-pink-ribbon-on-so-many-carcinogenic-products/">carcinogenic products</a>) under the guise of helping find a cure for breast cancer.</p> <p>Luckily, pink isn't just used to defraud charitable shoppers. It's still used for good by medical professionals. According to <a href="about:blank">this study</a>, researchers discovered that Baker-Miller Pink (AKA bubblegum pink) has a calming effect. Just looking at the color slows people's endocrine systems and loosens muscles.</p> <p>Baker-Miller Pink. The perfect color for a yoga mat. I feel so vindicated.</p> <p><em>Does color influence your spending decisions? What color will you pay more for?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/choosing-the-wrong-color-can-cost-you-big-on-these-purchases">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/advertising-jargon-that-aims-to-mislead">Advertising Jargon That Aims to Mislead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-products-you-think-you-need-but-really-don-t">25 Products You Think You Need, but Really Don’t</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/orange-makes-you-buy-more-and-other-sneaky-store-smell-tricks">Orange Makes You Buy More (and Other Sneaky Store Smell Tricks)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marketing-messes-with-your-head">Marketing Messes With Your Head</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-this-product-friend-the-hidden-power-of-testimonials">Buy This Product, Friend: The Hidden Power of Testimonials</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping advertising color marketing Mon, 23 Feb 2015 16:00:08 +0000 Max Wong 1299971 at http://www.wisebread.com