Shopping en-US The 5 Best Electric Drills <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-electric-drills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="drill" title="drill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="144" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're constructing a house or working on a DIY project at home, an electric drill is easily one of the most versatile and valuable tools to have in your toolbox. Although we may tend to most commonly think of them as merely more sophisticated screwdrivers or hole makers, a good electric drill with the right accessories can also be used to sand, polish, and grind materials and can ensure that your project gets done right and done fast overall.</p> <p>Wise Bread is here to help you find the perfect electric drill for your needs with our top five list.</p> <h2>What Is an Electric Drill?
</h2> <p>An electric drill is a handheld, motor-powered tool that uses an attached drill bit or driver bit on its chuck to bore holes into various materials or to drive screws to fasten materials together. Electric drills are available in both cordless and corded varieties. Cordless electric drills are powered by a rechargeable battery and give you the portability and freedom to use it wherever you want, which often makes them the more preferred option.</p> <p>Although corded electric drills are limited in how far away they can be from the nearest electrical outlet, you'll never have to worry about running out of power when using them, and they can sometimes be more powerful than the cordless drills. Because electric drills come in many different power levels and speeds, it's important to know what tasks you'll want to accomplish with the electric drill in order to find the one that will best fit your needs.</p> <h2>Best 5 Electric Drills</h2> <h3>DeWalt DCD780C2
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0052MIHMO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=7YY5B5P36LDQVZQ5"><img width="190" height="190" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>As a Consumer Search top pick, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0052MIHMO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=7YY5B5P36LDQVZQ5">Dewalt DCD780C2</a> is a top-notch cordless electric drill that has impressed both experts and consumers with the powerful, long-lasting performance that it packs within a comfortably compact design. With a &frac12;-inch chuck size, two speed ranges and 15 clutch settings, many users agreed that this 20-volt drill provides enough torque to tackle medium-sized jobs to the satisfaction of both casual homeowners and professional builders.</p> <p>Users were also very happy with the DCD780C2's rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which take less than half an hour to charge and can last throughout a day's work. A surprisingly lightweight design and an easy-to-hold grip round out the superb package that this Dewalt drill can deliver.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0052MIHMO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=7YY5B5P36LDQVZQ5"><em>Currently $167.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Makita BHP454</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001EYUQM8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6ZMILHYQX3TTHDFA"><img width="190" height="217" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>For the bigger projects that require even more power and speed, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001EYUQM8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6ZMILHYQX3TTHDFA">Makita BHP454</a> is the best cordless electric drill for getting those tougher jobs done. Along with a two-speed metal transmission and 16 different clutch settings, this Consumer Reports top pick features a mighty four-pole motor that can deliver up to 560 inch pounds of torque. And yet with all this power, this drill only weighs five pounds and is just under 10 inches in length.</p> <p>In addition, its compact lithium-ion battery pack is remarkably efficient, capable of delivering a day's worth of power with just a 30-minute charge. The BHP454 also comes with a Shift-Lock drive system, which allows it to switch into an effective hammer drill, giving you the nice value of having two tools in one. Two handy LED lights come standard with this drill as well to help illuminate your work area in the dark.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001EYUQM8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6ZMILHYQX3TTHDFA"><em>Currently $314.98 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Hitachi DS14DSFL
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004D29IA4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=OHOQFXAZOQLZZJRZ"><img width="190" height="194" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>Named a Consumer Reports Best Buy, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004D29IA4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=OHOQFXAZOQLZZJRZ">Hitachi DS14DSFL</a> is an exceptional choice for homeowners and consumers looking for a cordless electric drill that gets the job done without breaking the bank. Users absolutely love the DS14DSFL's sleek design which weighs significantly less than most heavy-duty drills, coming in at just 4.4 pounds. Despite its low weight, this Hitachi drill can still deliver a vigorous performance, one that's capable of outputting up to 300 inch pounds of torque with four different speed ranges and 22 drive settings.</p> <p>Combined with a slim soft grip handle, this light-duty drill is a delight to hold and use. The DS14DSFL&rsquo;s lightweight 14.4-volt lithium-ion batteries provide a long runtime that takes only 40 minutes to recharge. It also comes packaged with a handy flashlight for some extra value and utility.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004D29IA4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=OHOQFXAZOQLZZJRZ"><em>Currently $78.36 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Milwaukee 0240-20</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002WJH9WE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=J4QIQDPENZNIQP2E"><img width="190" height="190" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>If you want a powerful electric drill that doesn't burden you with having to recharge its batteries all the time, then the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002WJH9WE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=J4QIQDPENZNIQP2E">Milwaukee 0240-20</a> corded electric drill is the best choice for you. While it lacks the bells and whistles found on other high-end models, this Milwaukee drill more than makes up for it with its mighty 8 amp motor, which provides an optimal blend of speed and torque with a wide speed range of 0-2,800 RPM that's perfect for drilling through most dense materials.</p> <p>An all-metal gear case provides more than adequate protection for the drill's gears during arduous use for the utmost durability. Thanks to a soft grip handle and a two-finger trigger, it also pleases owners with its great handling.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002WJH9WE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=J4QIQDPENZNIQP2E"><em>Currently $79.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Black and Decker DR260B
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004FRXWRW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JFLH5GAOX4WY5H4L"><img width="190" height="203" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>As an Amazon Best Seller, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004FRXWRW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JFLH5GAOX4WY5H4L">Black and Decker DR260B</a> is another excellent choice for a corded electric drill that's low on price and high on features and convenience. Built with the everyday homeowner in mind, the DR260B is one of the most compact electric drills you can buy, and its small size makes it incredibly ideal for working in those cramped, hard-to-reach areas of your home.</p> <p>The DR260B manages to pack a 5.2 amp motor with a variable speed range of 0-1,500 RPM inside its compact design, enabling it to provide enough power for all your home improvement needs. Last but not least, this ultra-convenient drill comes with a slew of handy features, including a built-in level, on-board bit storage, and a keyless chuck that allow for easy bit switching.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004FRXWRW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JFLH5GAOX4WY5H4L"><em>Currently $18.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best electric drills. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Electric Drills" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">William Tran</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides buying guide electric drills product reviews Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:00:06 +0000 William Tran 1147195 at 6 Painless Ways to Split the Check <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-painless-ways-to-split-the-check" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="friends smartphone resturant" title="friends smartphone resturant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's 2014, also known as the year we all ought to rid ourselves of the long, awkward shuffle of money and pencil-drawn arithmetic that happens each time the bill comes after a nice dinner out with friends. Why? Because there's an app for that &mdash; actually, there are six of 'em &mdash; and you've already proven you need it. Plus waitresses across the globe are tired of splitting the bill between three cards and a crumpled up fistfull of cash. (See also: <a href="">Who Should Pay for the First Date?</a>)</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of the top six apps made to relieve the burden of shared expenses. (Note: If you're the type to try and dodge paying for the guacamole everyone tasted, there's not an app out there that'll help you with that.)</p> <h2>1. Splitwise</h2> <p>This free web and mobile app helps friend <a href="">settle up everything from shared vacation expenses to the electric bill</a>. It's an organizer that allows large groups of people to collectively break down all types of expenses and see what they owe. All data is stored in the cloud, so it can be accessed and shared from anywhere. The app also offers users mediation tools including a fairness calculator to help settle disputes.</p> <h2>2. Divvy</h2> <p>Divvy is a quick and easy three-step debt settler app for iPhone users. It works like this: Snap a photo of the bill with your phone, drag each item to the name of the person who ordered it, and <a href="">see how much everyone owes</a>. Bonus: You can check that you've been charged the correct amount for each item before itemizing the order. Divvy is 99 cents in the App Store.</p> <h2>3. Cover</h2> <p>Some of the top restaurants in New York and San Francisco are now allowing customers to pay with Cover, a free bill-paying app that allows groups of people large and small to split and pay the check <a href="">without ever having to flag down the waiter</a>. Never again will you be stuck waiting for the bill. Simply tell your waiter that you'll be paying with Cover when you sit down to dine at any of the <a href="">113 restaurants that support the app</a>. Cover is free, available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and works best if everyone at the table is signed up.</p> <h2>4. Billr</h2> <p>Groups of up to 16 people can use this app to <a href="">sort and split the bill, plus add gratuity</a>. All you have to do plug in the price of each dish. You can then show each person their individualized bill on your phone screen or send out a text message that lists the breakdown of everybody's debts. Billr is $1.99 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.</p> <h2>5. Advanced Bill Splitter</h2> <p>This Android-friendly app is free and performs much like its Apple supported counterpart Billr. Simply plug in everyone's order, including split items like that bottle of Malbec, and the app will spit out <a href="">personalized meal totals for each diner</a>. Much easier than breaking out the calculator.</p> <h2>6. Receipt Ninja</h2> <p>Perfect for road trips and weekend getaways with friends, Receipt Ninja lets you track and break down shared expenses on multiple receipts. It's a great way to <a href=";hl=en">divvy up gas, tolls, lunch, and hotel charges all in one fell swoop</a>. You can also export the data in spreadsheet form straight to Excel. And it's supported by both Apple and Android mobile devices. There's a free version, but if you want to avoid those annoying ads you'll need to cough up $2.99 in the App Store.</p> <p><em>How do you settle up at the end of the evening? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Painless Ways to Split the Check" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Shopping dining out friends and money restaurant check restaurants splitting the bill Tue, 16 Sep 2014 21:00:14 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1210859 at 6 Ways to Trick Salespeople <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-trick-salespeople" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="car salesman" title="car salesman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You have to deal with a salesperson to make a big purchase.</p> <p>It might be a refrigerator, a car, or even a house. Very often, you feel dissatisfied with the way a negotiation went. You may walk away feeling like you got taken for a ride, and that you had no defense for the wiles of the salesperson. (See also: <a href="">The 7 Laws of Negotiation</a>)</p> <p>Well, it's time to stop thinking about defense. It's time to turn the tables and start owning the outcome of your big purchases. To jumpstart your negotiations, learn these six ways to &quot;trick&quot; salespeople.</p> <h2>1. Buy Them a Cup of Coffee</h2> <p>Apply the <a href="">rule of reciprocation</a> on salespeople.</p> <p>When you first encounter a salesperson, greet her with a small gift (something as small as a piece of gum) or do a small favor for her (open the door). The idea is that you are binding the person to return the favor.</p> <p>No matter where in the world you are, this is a trick that works in negotiation. No matter how cheap your gift is, it will dramatically improve your chances of getting what you want. For example, in a study restaurant servers who presented the check with a mint and then paused to give the customer a second mint and tell them that this one is just for them got a <a href="">20% increase in their normal tips</a>.</p> <p>Ideally, buy them a mug of coffee, a cup of strong tea, or a can of Coke. Turns out that consumption of <a href="">caffeine makes people much easier to persuade</a>. Just don't use the drinks from the waiting room; instead bring one from outside that &quot;is just for them.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Talk Fast at the Beginning</h2> <p>Right after you hand that free cup of coffee, get the talking going&hellip; fast!</p> <p><a href=";fa=main.doiLanding&amp;doi=10.1037/0022-3514.34.4.615">Fast talkers are perceived to be more persuasive</a>. The sweet point is about 195 words per minute, fast enough to force salespeople to focus, yet slow enough for them to still understand you. If you talk beyond 195 words, people start judging if you really know your stuff.</p> <p>If you keep a fast pace, people don't have enough time to come up with counter arguments. So, channel your inner <a href="">John Moschitta</a> and start practicing that fast talk.</p> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <h2>3. Slow Down Once They Agree</h2> <p>However, once you have the salesperson agreeing with you, start slowing down. If you <a href="">talk too fast to somebody that agrees with your message</a>, then you have the reverse effect as talking fast.</p> <p>Even when somebody welcomes your ideas, you need to give them time to evaluate your speech and agree with you more.</p> <p>This is when you slow down from 196 words per minute to about 144. If you talk slower than that, people start perceiving you not as persuasive again.</p> <h2>4. Curse Smartly</h2> <p>If you think that good negotiation skills and cursing don't go together, let me tell you that's some BS.</p> <p>This doesn't mean that you're going to open a can of potty mouth and spread it all over the place. The key is to <a href="">use the word &quot;damn&quot; towards the beginning or end of your speech</a>. The tactical use of this word significantly increases not only the persuasiveness of your speech, but also the perceived intensity of your words in the mind of the listener.</p> <p>Researchers theorize that the smart use of curse words gives the impression that you are being candid and not following somebody else's agenda.</p> <h2>5. Look &quot;Eye-to-Eye&quot;</h2> <p>Take a cue from waiters and waitresses on how to get what you want.</p> <p>A study from Cornell's School of Hotel Administration found several <a href="">techniques employed by servers to increase their tips</a>. One that stands out for our purposes is &quot;seeing eye-to-eye.&quot;</p> <p>This means to:</p> <ul> <li>Establish eye contact throughout your conversation;</li> <li>Bring your face closer to that of the salesperson;</li> <li>Position yourself so that your eyes are at the same height;</li> <li>Mimic the salesperson's body language and posture.</li> </ul> <h2>6. Learn the Four Square System</h2> <p>Think of good salespeople and you're likely to think of car salespeople.</p> <p>You might not like some of their techniques, but in the end they do a decent job at getting you to buy a car. A cornerstone of their technique is the four square system.</p> <p>The main idea of this worksheet is to take the attention from the total price and focus the entire conversation on the monthly payment. Any good car salesperson knows that you can wiggle the monthly payment without lowering the total price. For example, you can:</p> <ul> <li>Increase the number of payments;</li> <li>Provide a bigger down payment;</li> <li>Accept a bigger value for a trade-in.</li> </ul> <p><a href="">Read this confessional from a car salesman</a> on how to work the four square worksheet so that you can use it towards your advantage, or simply &quot;flip the table&quot; by demanding that it is not used in your negotiation at all.</p> <p><em>What is your favorite way to &quot;trick&quot; salespeople?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Ways to Trick Salespeople" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Damian Davila</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Shopping deals haggling negotiation sales salespeople Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Damian Davila 1210856 at Best Money Tips: Ways to Save on the Latest Smartphones <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-save-on-the-latest-smartphones" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="smartphone cafe" title="smartphone cafe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on ways to save on the latest smartphone, ways to save at school, and cool car hacks you should try.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">7 Ways to Save on the Latest Smartphones</a> &mdash; To save on the latest smartphones, trade in your old phone and wait a few months to buy the latest model released. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="">Smart Ways to Save Money at School Without Ruining Your College Fun &mdash; or Going Hungry</a> &mdash; Not taking more than 4 years to graduate and taking advantage of student discounts can help you save money at college. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="">19 Insanely Cool Car Hacks You Should Try Out</a> &mdash; Did you know hanging a shoe organizer on the back of your seat in your car can help you keep your car organized? [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">5 Reasons You Hate Flying and What to Do About It</a> &mdash; If you hate flying because of baggage fees, opt to fly with JetBlue or Southwest. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="">The Best and Worst States to Retire</a> &mdash; Orlando is one of the best cities to retire in, as is Scottsdale. [MainStreet]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">When a Relative Steals Your Identity</a> &mdash; If a relative steals your identity, request copies of your credit report to find out how much damage has been done. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="">How to Write a Book &mdash; Steps to Publish, Market, and Sell Your Books</a> &mdash; Documenting your experiences can help you start the process of writing a book. [Money Crashers]</p> <p><a href="">The New Retirement Rule?</a> &mdash; What do you think of the new retirement rule that states that you should save 15% of your pay for 30 years? [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="">When Money Is Everything: How to Financially Prepare for Divorce</a> &mdash; When you are going through a divorce, find a lawyer and be prepared to divide up assets. [One Cent at a Time]</p> <p><a href="">7 Ways to Be a Leader in Healthy Living</a> &mdash; To be a leader in healthy living, be organized and start early. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Ways to Save on the Latest Smartphones" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips iPhone save smartphone smartphones technology Mon, 15 Sep 2014 19:00:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1207214 at The Best and Worst Things to Buy at Farmers' Markets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-at-farmers-markets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="farmers market" title="farmers market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Farmers' market extremists will tell you to never set foot in a produce aisle again, while grocery loyalists will dismiss markets as overpriced and inconvenient indulgences. So who's right? (See also: <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="">25 Things You Shouldn't Buy at the Grocery Store</a>)</p> <p>It turns out: both. It just depends on what it is you're buying.</p> <h2>Best Things to Buy at the Farmers' Market</h2> <p>These are the fruits and veggies (and other things), you definitely should pick up fresh from your local Farmers' Market.</p> <h3>Berries</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries tend to be expensive at the typical grocery store, in part due to the thousands of miles they've traveled to get to the store. Fresh berries at your local farmers' market will be in better condition (perishable berries don't tend to do well in transport), will be cheaper, and will most likely have fewer pesticides and fungicides than imported or commercial varieties. Ask your grower whether the berries are pesticide-free &mdash; I tend to trust a farmer who can look me in the eye and vouch for his or her berries.</p> <p>Most importantly, local berries, picked at the height of ripeness, are just sweeter and more delicious. Often you can find local varieties of berries that are tastier, but more perishable, so you'll never find them in a grocery store. Or you might discover the rare flavor of wild berries, foraged from the surrounding countryside.</p> <h3>Stone Fruit</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Like tomatoes, most stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums) will ripen but not sweeten on your counter. That means that getting them when they are picked ripe is essential to getting the full seasonal flavor. In addition, stone fruit tends to get sprayed with a lot of pesticides. Ask your grower what their pesticide policy is and whether your fruit has been sprayed.</p> <h3>Avocados</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Don't you just hate buying a bunch of rock-hard avocados at the supermarket, only to find out that they've gone bad by the time they've softened? Much of this is due to commercially-grown avocados being picked far too early (before the level of oils in the fruit have increased to the point where they are able to ripen) and then being transported in trucks where they are easily bruised. Worse, store refrigerators sometimes freeze fresh produce, causing it to go bad faster.</p> <p>By contrast, buying avocados from a local farmer ensures that they have been picked recently. In my experience, avocados from my farmers' market last far longer, don't turn brown inside, and are far more buttery and rich than supermarket avocados. I also have my go-to &quot;avocado guy,&quot; who helps me choose the perfect ripeness of avocados depending on when I want to eat them. And have you ever tried a Reed avocado? These huge, super-creamy avocados are rarely available in supermarkets, but they are my absolute favorite.</p> <h3>Rare or Unusual Vegetables</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>The farmers' market is the best place to try out a new fruit or vegetable that isn't typically found in supermarkets. Have you ever tried the delicate fractal buds of a romanesco broccoli? How about those unfamiliar Asian greens sold by the local Japanese family farm? Or have you ever wondered what a Buddha's hand citron tastes like? The grower is a great resource for asking how to cook and eat these intriguing new vegetables.</p> <h3>Flowers</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>This may seem like an odd thing to buy at a primarily food-oriented market, but pesticide-free cut flowers are a great thing to pick up on your shopping trip. Conventional flowers are usually grown with a heavy load of pesticides, which takes a toll on the workers involved. In addition, transporting fresh flowers isn't great for the environment. Buying seasonal, local, pesticide-free flowers is a great way to get some natural beauty into your home without harming the planet or other people.</p> <h3>Eggs</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>So-called &quot;cage free&quot; eggs at supermarkets are typically not well-regulated. Cage-free might simply mean that the chickens have a door open for a few hours a day. By contrast, at a farmers' market, you can ask the farmer directly about how the chickens are raised and what they are fed. Many local chicken farmers are proud of their &quot;happy chickens&quot; that live a humane life from birth to death, and that eat a more natural diet including foraging for grass and bugs.</p> <h2>Worst Things to Buy at a Farmer's Market</h2> <p>Now that you've stuffed your grocery totes with the good stuff above, turn up your nose at this stuff, which isn't so great.</p> <h3>Wilted Greens</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>The later in the day you come, the less fresh the vegetables will be. This is especially true of farmers' markets that attract growers from outside the immediately local area. Be discerning &mdash; just because it's at the farmers' market doesn't mean it's perfect. In addition, certain vegetables tend to do worse in the heat and sun &mdash; lettuce for example.</p> <h3>Unripe Fruit</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>It's best if you can taste the fruit before you buy, so you can make sure you get produce at the peak of ripeness. Most growers will have samples or will willingly cut you a slice. Make the most of your money and buy only the best, in-season fruit.</p> <h3>Fast Food</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Unfortunately, the crowds at farmers' markets tend to attract food vendors, many of which don't exactly serve health food. Skip the overpriced hot dogs, funnel cakes, and burgers. If you're really hungry and need something immediately, I like to head for the mom-and-pop tamale stands, which offer (usually) homemade steamed tamales and fresh salsas, instead of the deep-fried junk.</p> <h3>Non-Food Items</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Some larger farmers' markets also tend to attract non-food booths that sell gifts and knick-knacks. Be careful not to be suckered into an impulse buy of something that you don't need (I'm thinking potholders, jewelry, clothing, etc). Of course, a local craft item can be a fun souvenir if you're traveling, or a thoughtful gift for out-of-town friends, but in general steer clear of anything you didn't specifically come to buy.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite purchase at your local farmers' market? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The Best and Worst Things to Buy at Farmers&#039; Markets" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Camilla Cheung</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Shopping farmers markets fresh produce fruits and vegetables groceries Fri, 12 Sep 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1209037 at The 5 Best Bluetooth Keyboards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-bluetooth-keyboards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="wireless keyboard" title="wireless keyboard" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="130" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Bluetooth keyboards offer a great solution to one of the biggest problems that many smartphone and tablet owners have; it can be quite difficult and uncomfortable to type on these devices when using their on-screen keyboards. Bluetooth keyboards are also great traveling companions for those who want to be productive on the go.</p> <p>There are a number of key factors to keep in mind when buying a Bluetooth keyboard. Wise Bread is here to help with our top five list of the best Bluetooth keyboards.</p> <h2>What Is a Bluetooth Keyboard?
</h2> <p>A Bluetooth keyboard is essentially a computer keyboard that wirelessly connects and communicates to computing devices using the Bluetooth radio frequency. They're most commonly used with portable devices such as smartphones and tablets that don't come with their own physical keyboard, but they can also be used with Bluetooth-enabled desktop computers and laptops if desired.</p> <p>Bluetooth keyboards are usually more compact and have smaller keys compared to regular computer keyboards, but they all use the same QWERTY key layout. They also come in a number of different form factors that cater to specific needs and comfort styles, and it's ultimately up to you to decide which one works best for you.</p> <h2>Best 5 Bluetooth Keyboards</h2> <h3>Logitech K810 Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0099SMFVQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=YSPACGV2IBJLKTRD"><img width="200" height="116" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0099SMFVQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=YSPACGV2IBJLKTRD">Logitech K810</a> is an outstanding Bluetooth keyboard that has been highly praised for its ability to be used seamlessly and interchangeably with multiple computing devices. Thanks to its Easy-Switch Bluetooth technology, not only can you can use the keyboard with up to three devices simultaneously, you can effortlessly switch between them with the simple press of a button.</p> <p>In addition, the K810 comes with a rechargeable battery pack along with built-in backlighting that can automatically adjust its brightness based on your current environment. Many users also love the keyboard's sleek brushed aluminum look as well as its unique keycap design that provides both a comfortable and noiseless typing experience.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0099SMFVQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=YSPACGV2IBJLKTRD"><em>Currently $69.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008OEHPKM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6ZZZ7BFRVJ4K3B7U"><img width="200" height="94" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>If you're looking for a keyboard that can handle the on-the-go lifestyle, then the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008OEHPKM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6ZZZ7BFRVJ4K3B7U">Microsoft Wedge</a> is the perfect choice for you. The Wedge's most exclusive feature is its multi-purpose cover that powers down the keyboard when it's attached and protects the keyboard from scratches and damage when in transit. Not only that, the cover can also transform into a convenient stand for your tablet, thus allowing you to set up an optimal workstation wherever you go.</p> <p>Despite its very compact and lightweight design, users say there's enough room provided for them to comfortably type on. While the keyboard is compatible with non-Windows devices, the Wedge does come with special Windows 8 hotkeys that work most effectively when paired with a Windows 8 tablet or smartphone.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008OEHPKM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6ZZZ7BFRVJ4K3B7U"><em>Currently $43.95 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Logitech DiNovo Edge Keyboard</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000J43HJ8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=P2HG4CP54VZT6AXV"><img width="200" height="138" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>Although it is the most expensive option on our list, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000J43HJ8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=P2HG4CP54VZT6AXV">Logitech DiNovo Edge</a> offers a phenomenal full-sized Bluetooth keyboard that's loaded with enough innovative features to satisfy any power user. Designed for use with desktop computers, its most notable features include the PerfectStroke key system that enables precise and fluid typing and the TouchDisc touchpad that lets you scroll, select, and control your cursor all in one place.</p> <p>The keyboard also comes with a touch-sensitive volume slider, hidden hotkeys that illuminate when you need them, and a handy charging base to recharge its batteries. These fantastic features are all packed onto an attractively super-thin brushed aluminum frame that's only 11 mm thick.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000J43HJ8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=P2HG4CP54VZT6AXV"><em>Currently $366.62 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Apple Wireless Keyboard
</h3> <p><a href=";qid=1397030143&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=apple+wireless+keyboard"><img width="200" height="102" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>Don't be fooled by its simplistic appearance; the <a href=";qid=1397030143&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=apple+wireless+keyboard">Apple Wireless Keyboard</a> offers an excellent choice for consumers looking for a basic Bluetooth keyboard, and it's one that's both minimalistically stylish and incredibly easy to use. This iconic keyboard's ultra-thin, brushed aluminum body falls right in line with Apple's signature design aesthetic and is easily the lightest option on our list with a total of weight of just eight ounces.</p> <p>Many users say the keys are wonderfully responsive and that it's painless to use this keyboard in any setting given its lightweight design. The Apple Keyboard works with all Bluetooth-enabled computing devices, but it also comes with Mac-specific hotkeys that work best with devices running Apple's operating system.</p> <p><a href=";qid=1397030143&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=apple+wireless+keyboard"><em>Currently $64.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Anker T300 Ultra-Slim Mini Wireless Keyboard</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0096M8VR2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QDJAFBOSYBNGI6YY"><img width="200" height="149" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>With a 4&frac12;-star Amazon rating from over 2,800 customer reviews, many consumers have come to love the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0096M8VR2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QDJAFBOSYBNGI6YY">Anker T300</a> for providing a superb Bluetooth keyboard at an astoundingly low price. Although this keyboard is light on features, many users have praised the Anker T300 for its wonderfully compact and lightweight design that's similar to the look of higher-end models along with its amazingly long battery life.</p> <p>Users also say that connecting this keyboard to your devices via Bluetooth couldn't be any easier. This keyboard is compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled computers, tablets, and smartphones, so you don't have to worry about whether this keyboard will work with your devices or not.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0096M8VR2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QDJAFBOSYBNGI6YY"><em>Currently $19.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best Bluetooth keyboards. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Bluetooth Keyboards" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">William Tran</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides bluetooth keyboards buying guide product reviews Thu, 11 Sep 2014 09:00:07 +0000 William Tran 1150926 at The 5 Best Internal Solid State Drives <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-internal-solid-state-drives" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="ssd" title="ssd" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="153" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Solid state drives are now all the rage when it comes to data storage and management. SSDs are becoming increasingly more popular than traditional hard drives because they're slimmer and much faster. For most, the biggest barrier to entry is the price, as SSDs are typically much more expensive than regular hard drives for the same amount of storage space. Nonetheless, prices for solid state drives are steadily dropping, and SSDs remain a great investment for data storage that can also improve your computer's performance.</p> <h2>What Is a Solid State Drive?</h2> <p>A solid state drive is a data storage device that serves a similar purpose to traditional hard disk drives. The primary difference between a solid state drive and a hard disk drive is that, unlike an HDD, SSDs contain no moving mechanical parts. Because of this factor, SSDs are less susceptible to physical shock, run more quietly, and transfer data far more quickly. Installing a solid state drive into your computer system will not only provide data storage, but will make your computer and applications run much more quickly.</p> <h2>Best 5 Internal Solid State Drives</h2> <h3>Samsung Electronics 840 Pro Series Solid State Drive</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009NB8WTI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=3PVSZCHXU33OO7MG"><img width="180" height="171" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009NB8WTI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=3PVSZCHXU33OO7MG">Samsung Electronics 840 Pro</a> is a top-notch solid state drive that is extremely high-performing. Increased speed and efficiency through this SSD means that your computer can boot up in a matter of seconds and your battery life can improve by up to 50 minutes. This drive also increases your computer's security through its built-in full-disk encryption. Additionally, users love that this drive is very easy to install.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009NB8WTI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=3PVSZCHXU33OO7MG"><em>Currently $383.46 for the 256 GB model on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Corsair Neutron Series GTX Solid State Drive</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AW3O4WU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=GXBXJFP2H44ISY2F"><img width="180" height="166" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AW3O4WU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=GXBXJFP2H44ISY2F">Corsair Neutron GTX</a> is a fantastic solid state drive that is compatible with any computer. The high-speed performance of this Corsair puts it ahead of not just regular hard disk drives, but also most SSDs out in the market currently. This SSD also features native TRIM support, which helps mitigate the problem of gradual deterioration of quality that many SSDs face due to the buildup of obsolete files.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AW3O4WU&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=GXBXJFP2H44ISY2F"><em>Currently $209.99 for the 240 GB model on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Crucial M500 Internal Solid State Drive</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BQ8RM1A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=L73YYBW32HY7EXBW"><img width="180" height="117" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BQ8RM1A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=L73YYBW32HY7EXBW">Crucial M500</a> solid state drive transforms your computer's performance while remaining relatively affordable. Installing this SSD into your computer system will dramatically increase the performance of your box, along with increasing your ability to multitask, your system's reliability, and reducing your transfer speeds and boot times. Users love the speed boost as well as its ease-of-install.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BQ8RM1A&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=WWS55ZGDMAT5YOOD"><em>Currently $109.99 for the 240 GB model on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Seagate 600 Solid State Drive</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00CKAOJA0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QXZN6L3U2QVRDPFM"><img width="180" height="170" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>For Seagate's first foray into developing solid state drives, it's brought a very serious contender in the form of the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00CKAOJA0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QXZN6L3U2QVRDPFM">Seagate 600</a>. Compatible with just about any laptop, Seagate promises that its SSD will improve boot time and software speeds by up to 50%. Because of its lack of moving parts, it is also more resistant to shocks and drops, ensuring that there is a smaller chance the physical world will damage your data.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00CKAOJA0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QXZN6L3U2QVRDPFM"><em>Currently $139.09 for the 240 GB model on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Intel 530 Series Internal Solid State Drive</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DTPYT78&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DNNLZWDQPICGDTUT"><img width="180" height="142" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>Rounding out our list of internal solid state drives is the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DTPYT78&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DNNLZWDQPICGDTUT">Intel 530 Series</a> of internal SSDs. This drives comes with all the features and performance you've probably come to expect by the end of this list. Users claim that installing this drive makes their computer feel brand new and start-up takes virtually no time at all. Additionally, many people appreciate the 5 year warranty on the product.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DTPYT78&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DNNLZWDQPICGDTUT"><em>Currently $164.00 for the 240 GB model on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best internal solid state drives. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Internal Solid State Drives" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jeffrey Pu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides internal solid state drives product reviews Wed, 10 Sep 2014 09:00:07 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 1152741 at The 6 Companies With the Best Customer Service <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-6-companies-with-the-best-customer-service" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="customer service" title="customer service" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nowadays, it seems like every single company is trying to cut corners.</p> <p>If companies are not <a href="">laying off several employees</a>, then they are forced to find <a href=";_r=0">creative ways to cut labor costs</a>. Given the deadly combo of smaller budgets and fewer employees, it seems that great customer service is bound to disappear. (See also: <a href="">9 Ways to Get Exactly What You Want From Customer Service</a>)</p> <p>Does this mean that great customer service is dead? Fortunately, there are several companies out there working very hand to consistently deliver outstanding customer service. Here are the six companies in which great customer service appears to be alive and well.</p> <h2>1.</h2> <p>The online retail giant takes the the mantra &quot;the customer is always right&quot; very seriously. Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos often leaves a seat open, representing the customer, at conference tables. The &quot;empty chair&quot; is supposed to represent &quot;<a href="">the most important person in the room</a>.&quot;</p> <p>Bezos takes customer service so seriously that he welcomes messages from any client to his very public email <a href=""></a>. He is well known to read customer complaints and forward them to the relevant Amazon employee with just a single character addition: &quot;?&quot; Question-mark emails from Bezos are taken as top level action items by their recipients.</p> <p>The empty chair and question mark strategies from Bezos seem to be getting the point across and creating a culture of great customer service. The 2014 Customer Service Hall of Fame list puts <a href="">Amazon at the top for the fifth consecutive</a> time with 57.5% of survey respondents giving Amazon's service an &quot;excellent.&quot; Additionally, the American Customer Satisfaction Index has put <a href=";view=article&amp;id=149&amp;catid=&amp;Itemid=214&amp;c=Amazon&amp;i=Internet+Retail">Amazon at the top of its online retailing category</a> since 2000 and within its overall top 10 for several years.</p> <p>Need further proof? An Amazon service rep didn't even blink in replacing <a href=";_r=0">a $500 Playstation at no extra cost</a> that got stolen from a customer's doorstep.</p> <h2>2. Morton's Steakhouse</h2> <p>When I asked on Twitter (BTW you can find me at <a href="">@DavilaDamian</a>!) for tips on companies with the best customer service, a follower, who prefers to stay anonymous replied via direct message: &quot;You have to check out <a href="">Peter Shankman's Morton experience</a>.&quot;</p> <p>Shankman is a busy author and speaker and back in 2011 he was stuck in a rut. He knew that between 3:30 a.m. and about 9:00 p.m. he would only have time for a single meal, during a lunch meeting. Since he is steak lover, <a href="">he jokingly tweeted to Morton's Steakhouses</a> if they would meet him at the Newark airport with a porterhouse. Turns out they did! Despite the 23.5 mile distance between the closest restaurant and the airport, the short three hour window to pull off the stunt, and the tweet meant to be a joke, Morton's came through with an outstanding example of customer service.</p> <h2>3. Nordstrom</h2> <p>The main source for Nordstrom employee's great customer service is empowerment. For several years, the company's Rule #1 in its employee handbook has been: &quot;Use best judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules.&quot; Employee autonomy has been <a href="">identified by several industry experts</a> as the source for Nordstrom's renowned customer service. This is why even housekeeping staff are able to help customers.</p> <p>What do Nordstrom employees identify as their key differentiator from other retailers? A Nordstrom employee that worked in the corporate offices and store #001 reveals that it is the <a href="">no-excuses return policy</a>. Ever heard of the <a href="">customer that returned tires to a Nordstrom in Alaska</a>? (Catch: Nordstrom doesn't even sell tires!) Nordstrom accepts returns even without receipts and no matter how worn out a piece of clothing might be. She also points out that everything is in small details such as:</p> <ul> <li>Answering the phone on no more than the second ring.</li> <li>Walking a customer to a location instead of pointing to it.</li> <li>Providing one-on-one service.</li> </ul> <h2>4. USAA</h2> <p>In the financial services industry, USAA often tops the best customer service lists. In the 2014 Temkin Customer Service Ratings survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers, <a href="">USAA's banking business took the top spot</a>, and USAA's insurance business tied with for second place.</p> <p>A USAA customer for several years, Ligaya from Fort Rucker, Alabama, explains why she is loyal to the company: &quot;Consistently great customer service, always upgrading banking options and polite service reps. I also like that they take customer security very seriously. I've never been in one of their actual banks but have never had a problem in over 10 years.&quot;</p> <p>Founded in 1922 by a group of U.S. Army officers, USAA focuses on customers who are military members and their families. After reviewing <a href="">70 customer reviews</a> from this company, it seems that Ligaya is not the only one happy with USAA service. A remarkable 67% of those reviewers give 5 out of 5 stars to USAA.</p> <h2>5. Ritz-Carlton</h2> <p>Despite being a very large hotel chain with several locations in 21 countries, the Ritz-Carlton has been able to maintain a strong reputation for outstanding customer service for over a century.</p> <p>Take, for example, the story of Joshie the Giraffe. When a boy's beloved stuffed animal was left behind at a Ritz-Carlton in Florida, a father told him a white lie: Joshie decided to stay a bit longer at the resort. The same night, the staff from the Ritz-Carlton called the father and informed him that they had found Joshie. The father requested if they could take a picture of Joshie on a lounge chair by the pool. The staff did not only agree, but also carefully documented <a href="">Joshie's extended vacation</a> before sending him back along with some goodies.</p> <p>This and other &quot;wow&quot; stories are shared during the <a href="">company's daily 15-minute meetings</a>. The same wow story is shared across all Ritz-Carlton hotels on the same day to congratulate staff that provided outstanding service and inspire everybody else. For example, employees are empowered to make decisions, such as providing freebies, to <a href="">minimize the perceived waiting time</a>.</p> <h2>6. Zappos</h2> <p>This list of companies with best customer service wouldn't be complete without including Zappos. This company has not one but several stories of <a href="">legendary great customer service</a>.</p> <ul> <li><a href="">A best man for a wedding was saved from going barefoot</a> by intercepting a pair of shoes that were being delivered to the wrong address and providing an overnight replacement pair of shoes to the right destination.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Zappos sets the expectation for both customers and staff members that <a href="">everything can be returned</a>. No questions asked and at no charge to the customer.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A woman, whose feet had been damaged by harsh medical treatments, had to order six different pairs of shoes to see if one would provide her comfort. The rep that helped her process the return of the unwanted shoes via phone wowed her with <a href="">a bouquet of lilies and roses</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The company offers <a href="">over 1,060 pairs of vegan shoes</a>. No, that's not a typo. Zappos decided to take action and address the hundreds of requests for those that prefer non-leather shoes.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The company holds the record for one of the longest customer service calls: <a href="">10 hours and 29 minutes</a>. The most amazing thing is that the rep remained friendly, even when most of the call was about providing advice on how to relocate to Las Vegas. The customer did buy a pair of Uggs boots.</li> </ul> <p>These stories go to show that there are still companies around in which the customer is king.</p> <p><em>What is your best customer service experience? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 6 Companies With the Best Customer Service" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Damian Davila</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping customer service public relations service shopping Mon, 08 Sep 2014 17:00:07 +0000 Damian Davila 1205245 at 10 Grocery Store Secrets Only the Pros Know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-grocery-store-secrets-only-the-pros-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="man grocery shopping" title="man grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've strolled down aisle after aisle, checked shelf after shelf. But some of these little-known grocery facts may surprise even the most grizzled grocery vet.</p> <h2>1. The Supermarket Is Not Your Best Bet for Fresh Food</h2> <p>Christina Major, creator of the Grocery Store Shopping Trip &mdash; which aims to help sufferers of Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure &mdash; advocates for skipping the supermarket altogether when buying meats, fish, cheese, fruits, and vegetables. If you prefer freshness over frugality, that is. &quot;The grocery store can't be fresh &mdash; it's impossible, &quot;she says. &quot;The foods need to travel from farm to warehouse to truck, to store&hellip; and then wait for a stockperson to put it out. By the time you see a 'fresh' vegetable, it's already days, if not weeks, old.&quot; As an alternative, Major suggests picking up these perishables at your local farmer's market and butcher.</p> <h2>2. There May Be a 'Day-Old' Bread Store in Your Town</h2> <p>Bread is fairly expensive, but you can cut the cost by checking for markdowns in the bakery section of your grocery store on goods reaching their expiration date &mdash; or, better yet, by locating a &quot;day-old&quot; bread store in your area. Diane Lockard, a fellow <a href="">personal finance writer at</a>, says that many towns have these kinds of stores (my hometown did), and she recently purchased a large amount of hot dog and hamburger buns at a big discount for a family reunion by using this tactic.</p> <h2>3. Your Grocery Store Has a Clearance Section</h2> <p>Jessica Fisher, author of the cookbook <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1558328432&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=HF7FK37MPHISSG5T">Good Cheap Eats: Everyday Dinners and Fantastic Feasts for $10 or Less</a>, scoops up deals at her supermarket's clearance section. She says, &quot;There are fabulous markdowns on all kinds of things that are perfectly good &mdash; sometimes years from their sell-by date &mdash; that the store is discontinuing. I've saved tons of money buying gourmet and organic items &mdash; as well as organic produce &mdash; this way.&quot;&nbsp;</p> <h2>4. Nutritional Labels Are More Deceptive Than You Think</h2> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0071432396&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=3ZJOZPNAC5QG4X2Z">Cooking Aboard Your RV</a> author Janet Groene warns, &quot;Even avid label readers often miss the key point, which is portion size. To understand how many carbs, how much sodium and so on, look at how many servings the package provides. Most of us take pride in counting calories, not realizing that we're eating more than one portion.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Don't Shop Before 10 a.m. on the Day a Sale Starts</h2> <p>Home organizing blogger Ginny Underwood, advises waiting until mid-morning to do your shopping the day an advertised sale starts &mdash; especially on fresh protein items. &quot;Don't shop too early [that morning], as the butcher and fishmonger many not have the specials out in the display case until 10 a.m.,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>6. You're Probably Not Buying the Right Whole-Grain Foods</h2> <p>Immediately opt for packages with words like &quot;multi-grain,&quot; &quot;stone-ground,&quot; and &quot;whole wheat&quot;? Chris Weiler, author of <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0989179605&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=HLQ6LU3PV7EO2WIZ">The 3/4 Rule: How to Eat as a Young Athlete</a>, explains that you may need to look closer. &quot;The higher the fiber content the more nutrient dense the food, he says. &quot;The 'Fiber Rule' is your secret weapon that enables you to know without a doubt whether or not the ingredients are really whole grains. Since the fiber content is the defining measure of a whole grain, don't even bother reading the marketing claims on the package; simply look at the fiber content.&quot; (See also: <a href="">Getting Whole-Grain Nutrition</a>)</p> <p>Weiler notes that there is a connection between the ingredients list and the amount of fiber listed on the Nutrition Facts table. &quot;If the dietary fiber serving is 3 grams or above, you can be confident that you have a quality, whole-grain food source. The more grams of fiber per serving means that a higher percentage of the food you are eating comes from whole grains. If you are eating a piece of bread that has 2 grams of fiber per serving versus one that has 6 grams per serving, you know that the 2 gram slice of bread contains a low amount of whole grain ingredients and is therefore not as nutrient dense.&quot;</p> <h2>7. This &quot;Natural Ingredient&quot; in Your Food May Make You Gag</h2> <p>I know that gelatin isn't a PETA-friendly food since it consists of animal parts, like bones, but you might be surprised to learn that there may be a little bit of beaver in your diet as well. Melissa Garcia, owner of, recently enlightened me that the &quot;natural ingredients&quot; listed on labels may be more natural than we care to know. &quot;Castoreum, which is a secretion made by beavers from the anal glands, is used as a food additive in some of the products you buy,&quot; Garcia says. &quot;You might find it in some vanilla and strawberry flavored ice-cream and yogurt. Next time you pick one of these products up, check the label.&quot; (See also: <a href="">I'm Eating What? 12 Gross Things in Your Food</a>)</p> <h2>8. You Can Return Things to the Grocery Store</h2> <p>If you're not satisfied with a product you bought &mdash; maybe your milk is already spoiled when you opened it or your apple had a worm in it &mdash; you can take it back to the supermarket. Just like at the mall.</p> <h2>9. Yep, There's an App for That</h2> <p>You can save even more dough at the grocery store &mdash; on top of the sale savings, coupons, and other tactics you're already using &mdash; by downloading savings apps like Ibotta and Checkout 51, both of which are relatively new to the scene. Instead of coupon-like savings that are deducted from your bill, these apps reward you in cash when you buy items that the apps are promoting. I personally use these apps, and I've saved well over $25 since downloading that I can trade in for gift cards or have sent to my PayPal account in real money. You also can search your app store for supermarket-specific apps that also can help stack up the savings.</p> <h2>10. Compare Prices for Similar Items in Different Departments</h2> <p>This tip is kind of a wow-moment for me because I've honestly never thought about this. The amazing tip comes from Stephanie Nelson, founder of <a href=""></a>. &quot;Check different departments,&quot; Nelson says. &quot;A type of cheese sold in the deli department might cost more than a different brand of the same type of cheese sold in the dairy department. One brand of a type of nuts in the produce department might cost less than a different brand of the same type of nuts in the baking aisle.&quot; Seriously &mdash; Mind. Blown. (See also: <a href="">Market Clones: How to Pay Drastically Less for Pricey Products</a>)</p> <p><em>Do you have other supermarket secrets that you're willing to declassify? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Grocery Store Secrets Only the Pros Know" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Shopping Food groceries grocery shopping grocery store Thu, 04 Sep 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Mikey Rox 1202832 at The 5 Best Underwater Cameras <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-underwater-cameras" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="underwater camera" title="underwater camera" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="126" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's always a bummer when you have to leave your camera at home when you go on vacation near a beach or a lake because you're worried of getting it wet and damaged. Pictures taken by or underwater can yield some spectacular and memorable photos. Picking up an underwater camera can allow you to finally begin capturing those special moments. If you find yourself frequently regretting the inability to take photos by the beach, then Wise Bread is here for you with our pick of the top five underwater cameras.</p> <h2>What Is an Underwater Camera?</h2> <p>An underwater camera is a camera that is capable of being operated underwater and withstanding tougher physical conditions. Underwater cameras are built with materials that protect the normally delicate electronics from water, frozen temperatures and crushing pressure. Different cameras have different limits as to what they can handle, so be sure to do your homework to pick out the camera that is just right for you.</p> <h2>Best 5 Underwater Cameras</h2> <h3>Olympus Stylus TG-2</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AQ2BTHK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=A5EFHI2NPZZHHGJX"><img width="200" height="119" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AQ2BTHK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=A5EFHI2NPZZHHGJX">Olympus Stylus TG-2</a> is an extremely well-reviewed underwater camera. According to its specifications, the TG-2 is waterproof down to 50 feet. It's also capable of handling temperatures down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, is shockproof as well as crush-proof. In addition, its lens covers a field of view between 25-100mm with a maximum aperture of f/2 at its widest, which means you'll be able to take great photos, even in lower light.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00AQ2BTHK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=A5EFHI2NPZZHHGJX"><em>Currently $459.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5D</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00ATE7UUK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=RIYMT223RRJUXBB6"><img width="200" height="130" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>For those that are looking for a tough and rugged camera, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00ATE7UUK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=RIYMT223RRJUXBB6">Lumix DMC-TS5D</a> is another great choice. This Lumix is waterproof to a depth of 43 feet, is freezeproof down to 14 degrees, can withstand pressure to 220 pounds and is shockproof from a height of 6.6 feet. This camera also boasts a 28-128 mm equivalent lens that can shoot 1080p HD video. In addition, this Wi-Fi enabled camera allows you to save and share your photos easily.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00ATE7UUK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=RIYMT223RRJUXBB6"><em>Currently $289.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Sony Cyber-Shot TX30</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BEHQKP2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=KTGIAHCLF27BG2MF"><img width="200" height="127" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>If you don't plan on going scuba diving with your camera, but still want something that is a bit sturdier than a typical point-and-shoot, then the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BEHQKP2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=KTGIAHCLF27BG2MF">Sony Cyber-Shot TX30</a> is the right camera for you. This Sony camera has the sleek and slim build of a modern point-and-shoot digital camera but is also waterproof to a depth of 33 feet and shockproof from falls of 5 feet, which means this camera can still take a decent beating.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BEHQKP2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=KTGIAHCLF27BG2MF"><em>Currently $199.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Canon PowerShot D20</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0075SUKIC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VENGXPVJBXMXYUEC"><img width="200" height="130" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0075SUKIC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VENGXPVJBXMXYUEC">Canon PowerShot D20</a> is another underwater camera that is a favorite amongst users. The PowerShot D20 is waterproof to 33 feet, temperature resistant between 14 and 104 degrees and shockproof up to 5 feet. Its 28-140mm lens takes great photos, even in the higher ISO settings as well as high definition, 1080p video. The biggest gripe with this camera is that it's not particularly fast; it takes about 1.4 seconds for it to take a photo.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0075SUKIC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=VENGXPVJBXMXYUEC"><em>Currently $249.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Fujifilm FinePix XP60</h3> <p><img width="200" height="137" align="right" src="" alt="" />Rounding out our list of the best underwater cameras is the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00B18L7KC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=72Q6MWNL53ICQ6AH">Fujifilm FinePix XP60M</a>. The most affordable camera on this list, this Fujifilm is waterproof to a depth of 20 feet, shockproof to drops of up to 5 feet and can withstand temperatures down to 14 degrees. The 16 megapixel lens has a focal length of 28 &mdash; 140mm, can shoot 1080p HD video and has a continuous shooting mode that shoots at up to 10 frames per second.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00B18L7KC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=72Q6MWNL53ICQ6AH"><em>Currently $179.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best underwater cameras. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Underwater Cameras" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jeffrey Pu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides product reviews underwater cameras Thu, 04 Sep 2014 09:00:06 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 1152547 at The 5 Best Sleeping Bags <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-sleeping-bags" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="sleeping bags" title="sleeping bags" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="133" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Regardless of whether you're a first-time camper or a master of Mt. Everest, having the right sleeping bag will dramatically improve your outdoors experience. While buying a sleeping bag may seem like a straightforward process, there are a surprising number of factors to consider. When purchasing a new sleeping bag, it's important to note the filling of the bag, the shape as well as the warmth rating, in order to find the perfect bag for you.</p> <h2>What Is a Sleeping Bag?</h2> <p>A sleeping bag is essentially a protective blanket that can be zipped closed for use as a bed when a traditional bed is unavailable. As mentioned above, the three primary factors to look for are the type of filling, the shape and the warmth. When it comes to filling, you have the primary choice between synthetic and down, with down being significantly higher in quality and cost. Sleeping bags also come in two main shapes: mummy and rectangular. Mummy bags are lighter and warmer, thus making them better for backpacking, but less comfortable. Finally, sleeping bags come in three rough categories: summer sleeping bags, three-season bags, and winter sleeping bags.</p> <h2>Best 5 Sleeping Bags</h2> <h3>Sierra Designs DriDown Zissou Sleeping Bag</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00ABDHS9C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DPP3OECFHIGKZ4GA"><img width="180" height="180" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00ABDHS9C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DPP3OECFHIGKZ4GA">Sierra Designs DriDown Zissou</a> sleeping bag is known for combining the warm and easy-to-pack features of down lining with the water repellant features of synthetic by having the down treated with a polymer. Campers have noted that it performs exceptionally well at dealing with various forms of condensation such as dew and sweat. The mummy shape of the bag also does well at retaining body heat, but the bag is roomy enough at the torso to be comfortable while sleeping.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00ABDHS9C&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=DPP3OECFHIGKZ4GA"><em>Currently $279.90 for the regular size on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Coleman North Rim 0 Degree Sleeping Bag</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0009PUSO4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=LJ4YVE7FMROWBK2L"><img width="180" height="180" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>Users love the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0009PUSO4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=LJ4YVE7FMROWBK2L">Coleman North Rim 0 Degree</a> sleeping bag because it provides a 0 degree bag at an extremely reasonable price. Its great warmth rating means that it's well-suited for winter camping and can keep you warm and comfortable even in frigid temperatures. However, it's important to note that many campers have claimed that this sleeping bag is a little too bulky for backpacking purposes; it's best kept at base camp.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0009PUSO4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=LJ4YVE7FMROWBK2L"><em>Currently $50.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Teton Sports Mammoth Queen Size Sleeping Bag</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000F38YI2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=34PNORSHSNWLHO3U"><img width="180" height="156" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000F38YI2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=34PNORSHSNWLHO3U">Teton Sports Mammoth</a> sleeping bag's large size is perfect for couples or families with a small child that want to stay together when sleeping. This Teton Sports sleeping bag is available in two temperature settings, with the lighter bag appropriate for summer camping, and the heavier one great for winter camping. The all-cotton interior flannel lining makes this sleeping bag extremely comfortable, a feature many users attest to. Unfortunately, its size makes it unwieldy when it comes to portability and re-packing.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000F38YI2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=34PNORSHSNWLHO3U"><em>Currently $143.58 for the winter variant on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Teton Sports Celsius XXL 0 Degree Flannel Lined Sleeping Bag</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001D6MF26&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=C3M5B6HQSZNX7LJ6"><img width="180" height="180" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>For those that are looking for a large sleeping that provides a comfortable sleep, look no further than the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001D6MF26&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=C3M5B6HQSZNX7LJ6">Teton Sports Celsius XXL</a>. This sleeping bag can easily fit someone at least six feet tall, or can snugly fit two people. The inner flannel lining makes this sleeping bag exceptionally comfortable, and the bag is rated down to 0 degrees. Campers agree that this is a great sleeping bag to have for winter camping.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001D6MF26&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=C3M5B6HQSZNX7LJ6"><em>Currently $79.37 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Coleman White Water Large Cool-Weather Sleeping Bag</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00363X1IG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=56PGY2UBZTCPBMSN"><img width="180" height="180" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00363X1IG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=56PGY2UBZTCPBMSN">Coleman White Water</a> sleeping bag is a great affordable, cool-weather sleeping bag for campers that aren't camping in sub-freezing conditions. This sleeping bag is rated for temperatures between 30 and 50 degrees and can fit campers up to 6 feet, 4 inches tall. Users have stated repeatedly that this bag is great for summer camping and doesn't keep you too warm at night. However, its size keeps it from being a particularly good backpacking sleeping bag.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00363X1IG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=56PGY2UBZTCPBMSN"><em>Currently $42.07 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best sleeping bags. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Sleeping Bags" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jeffrey Pu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides buying guide product reviews sleeping bags Wed, 03 Sep 2014 09:00:04 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 1152742 at Best Money Tips: Websites to Visit Before Spending Your Money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-websites-to-visit-before-spending-your-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman laptop home" title="woman laptop home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on websites to visit before spending your money, frugal ways to relax, and the path to purpose.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">7 Websites to Visit Before Spending Your Money</a> &mdash; Before you spend your money, check out Bargain Babe and [Caviar &amp; Quarters]</p> <p><a href="">Gimme a Break: 101 Frugal Ways to Relax</a> &mdash; Relax frugally by getting a good night's sleep or plan your next trip. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">The Path to Purpose</a> &mdash; Did you know that sometimes it's easier to find purpose in life by limiting your options? [More Than Money]</p> <p><a href="">How to Start an Emergency Fund</a> &mdash; When starting an emergency fund, make savings automatic and re-evaluate your needs. [Free From Broke]</p> <p><a href="">So You Want to Retire Early? It's All About the Numbers</a> &mdash; Living smart by downsizing your home and learning DIY tricks can help you retire early. [mySHINYnickels]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">Maintaining Friendships on a Budget</a> &mdash; Going on walks or runs are just a couple ways to maintain your friendships on a budget. [Lisa vs. The Loans]</p> <p><a href="">Tips on Making Traveling to a New City Smoother</a> &mdash; Using Yelp and Google Maps can make traveling to a new city go more smoothly. [Noob Traveler]</p> <p><a href="">5 Ways to Instantly Make a House Feel Like a Home</a> &mdash; To make a house feel like a home, embrace your knick-knacks. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="">Financial Literacy: Protecting Your Personal Information #Finlit</a> &mdash; Asking questions before you disclose your personal information can help you protect yourself from identity theft. [Money reVerse]</p> <p><a href="">10 Costly Mistakes Advisors Make on Twitter</a> &mdash; If you are a financial advisor, don't make the mistake of retweeting too often or following everyone back on Twitter. [Wired Advisor]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Websites to Visit Before Spending Your Money" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips money shopping spending websites Tue, 02 Sep 2014 19:00:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1195775 at Best Money Tips: Ways to Save Money at Target <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-save-money-at-target-0" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="shopping smartphone" title="shopping smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on ways to save money at target, getting the most from your auto insurance claim, and crucial things to know about life.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">10 Ways to Save Money at Target</a> &mdash; To save money at Target, shop early in the week and look for mobile coupons. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="">How to Get the Most From Your Auto Insurance Claim</a> &mdash; If you want to get the most from your auto insurance claim, never accept the adjuster's first offer. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="">30 Crucial Things to Know About Life</a> &mdash; Talking it out and understanding the value of time are two important things to know when it comes to life. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">What You Don't Know About FICO 9 (But Really Should)</a> &mdash; Did you know your residential history is included in your FICO 9? [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="">Graduating Without a Good Job? Here's Why You Don't Have to Move Back in With Your Parents</a> &mdash; Avoid moving back in with your parents after graduation, get laser-specific with your job goals. [The Empowered Dollar]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">14 Steps to Your First Cash Car</a> &mdash; To buy a car with all cash, start saving, working another job, or selling things to come up with the cash for your car. [Cash Car Convert]</p> <p><a href="">How to Start Saving for Retirement</a> &mdash; Opening an IRA is one way to start saving for retirement. [Bald Finance]</p> <p><a href="">The 5 Most Complained About Cars in America</a> &mdash; Did you know the Cadillac ATS is one of the most complained about cars in America? [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="">9 Tips for Throwing a Child's Birthday Party</a> &mdash; When throwing a birthday party for your child, serve nutritious snacks and have fun with the birthday cake. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="">Is Prince Charming Worth Sacrificing Your Finances Over?</a> &mdash; Don't wait for a guy to help you with your finances, get to work and start learning how to effectively manage your finances now! [Budget Bloggess]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Ways to Save Money at Target" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips save shopping target Mon, 01 Sep 2014 19:00:03 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1195774 at What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in September <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-buy-and-avoid-buying-in-september" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="coffee shop barista" title="coffee shop barista" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Once again, we're heading into the home stretch; the big shopping days are going to be here in no time. Black Friday, Holidays, New Year, it's all just around the corner. But for many of us, there are still a few great months of sunshine. And whatever the weather, there are always great bargains to grab, if you know what you're looking for. Here's the list for September.</p> <h2>First, What to Buy&hellip;</h2> <p>Obviously September kicks off with Labor Day, and you'll find a lot of retails stores taking advantage of that long weekend. This is also the month we kick off Oktoberfest (yes, it starts on September 21st) and cheese pizza day (September 5th). But if those aren't appealing, check out the following deals.</p> <h3>Coffee Deals Are Brewing</h3> <p>September is home to National Coffee Day. On the 29th, you will see a wave of free coffee promotions, as well as heavily discounted products. Look beyond the usual places (Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, Caribou) and check out 7-Eleven, McDonald's, and supermarkets.</p> <h3>Patio Goes On Sale</h3> <p>Patio deals have been hot for weeks, but now the stores are really looking to shift the remaining stock quickly. If you can find the goods (many places have already cleared out their patio furniture and accessories), you can expect to see 70% or more off on tables, chairs, outdoor rugs, umbrellas, storage boxes, lighting, and more. You should still have some time this year to enjoy it all.</p> <h3>Lawn and Garden Madness</h3> <p>Along with patio, the other great outdoor pursuit is going on sale &mdash; gardening. A quick stroll through any major retailer will soon show you much they want to dump lawn and garden products. Prices are being slashed across the board, including tools, lawn mowers, hoses, plants, shrubs, and trees. The last few months before your first frost are also a good time to plant certain landscaping bushes and plants, so grab those deals now.</p> <h3>Summer Clothes</h3> <p>They're way out of fashion now. Meaning, most people are wearing them, but not really planning to buy any more. Why bother? Well, summer will be here again next year, and unless you absolutely have to have the latest high-street fashions, this is a good time to stock up. Get them now, seal them in vacuum bags, and they'll be ready for 2014. Also look for swimsuits, summer hats, shorts, flip flops, sandals, and even sunscreen deals.</p> <h3>Get a New &quot;Old&quot; Car</h3> <p>There are four months left in 2014, but the dealerships are already looking to push the 2015 models on you. These are great cars, they're just not the latest models, but the dealership knows it will have a hard time shifting old stock. A lot of people want the latest, greatest cars. Don't be one of them. If you want a new motor, now is the time to start shopping. Expect to see some great 0% financing deals, as well as 10%-20% off incentives, and extra cash back offers.</p> <h3>Small Appliances</h3> <p>Big appliances are to be avoided, but their smaller cousins are on sale this month. Take a look at stores like Target, Sears, WalMart, Kohls, and JCPenney for bargain microwaves, toasters, mixers, handheld vacuums, and countertop gadgets.</p> <h3>Laptops</h3> <p>If you still don't have a laptop, this is another good month to go shopping. The prices continue to drop on laptops, or they remain steady but include greater spec for the same money. Also, there are a few back-to-school laptop deals still hanging around, so shop around and get a laptop bargain.</p> <h3>Baby Stuff</h3> <p>Strollers. Cribs. High chairs. Walkers. Bouncers. You name it, you'll see discounts on them in September. And with Christmas quickly approaching, it could be a good time to grab some bargains as gifts for those people you know with a little one in the house.</p> <h3>Jewelry</h3> <p>The jewelers have good months (February, May, June, October &mdash; December) and they have bad months. This is one of those bad months. Nothing is going on. There is no reason to go out there and buy shiny trinkets for anyone, other than birthdays or anniversaries. You will see bargains everywhere. Get a few now, and avoid the price hikes coming in the next few months.</p> <h2>And, What to Avoid&hellip;</h2> <p>There are lots of deals this month, but there are a few things to avoid. You will probably guess that a certain huge holiday is just around the corner, and that kicks off our list.</p> <h3>Halloween Gear</h3> <p>Next month, almost two months from now to be honest, is one of the biggest holidays in the retail calendar. Right now, you will see shelves piled high with Halloween goodies, but the prices are scary too. You need to be very careful here. Shop around, wait for deals to come. The best time to buy is November 1st, for obvious reasons.</p> <h3>Large Appliances</h3> <p>The big fridges, dishwashers, ranges, washers and dryers are all going on sale this month. But they won't be bargains. Unless you really have to have it, wait until that wonderful day in November &mdash; Black Friday. That's when the biggest discounts of the year will happen.</p> <h3>Fall Clothing and Footwear</h3> <p>You know the aisles are full of fall clothing right now. It's what's hot. And when anything is hot, it is not a deal. Stay away from fall clothing until the Halloween gear goes on sale.</p> <h3>Office Supplies</h3> <p>The few remaining back-to-school sales are about to fizzle out. And once that happens, you start paying full retail price on your school and office supplies. If you see a back-to-school sale, take advantage of it now.</p> <h3>2015 Car Models</h3> <p>Everyone wants a big shiny new car. That's why the prices are so high. Leave them alone and go for last year's model. It's almost the same and comes with a ton of discounts.</p> <p><em>What are you planning to buy this month? Any deals you've been looking forward to?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in September" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping buying guide shopping calendar what to buy Fri, 29 Aug 2014 21:00:04 +0000 Paul Michael 981621 at Best Money Tips: The Best Sites for Renting and Buying Textbooks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-the-best-sites-for-renting-and-buying-textbooks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="student tablet books" title="student tablet books" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on the best sites for renting and buying textbooks, steps to financial prosperity, and things you should know about the U.S. economy.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">The 11 Best Sites for Renting and Buying Textbooks Online</a> &mdash; and Student2Student are a couple great textbook rental and buying sites. [The Real Deal]</p> <p><a href="">6 Steps to Financial Prosperity</a> &mdash; To be financially prosperous, choose a career and do it and marry your soulmate. [Learn Play Give]</p> <p><a href="">6 Things You Should Know About the U.S. Economy</a> &mdash; The housing market is continuing to improve but the job market is weaker than you think. [CBS Moneywatch]</p> <p><a href="">57 Creative Homemade Group Costume Ideas</a> &mdash; With Halloween right around the corner, save money and get a group of your friends together to go as Lego people. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">The Heating and Cooling Myth That Is Costing You Money</a> &mdash; To save on heating and cooling, invest in a programmable thermostat. [The Art of Being Cheap]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">15 Recipes and Crafts You Can Make With Jars</a> &mdash; What are your favorite jar-based recipes and crafts? Did they make this list? [The Coupon Project]</p> <p><a href="">Five People, One Income, and Self-Made Success</a> &mdash; Remember that savings happen in small increments and that you should invest/earn money instead of just saving.. [Afford Anything]</p> <p><a href="">Creating Art for Your Walls: Stenciling Letter onto an Old Canvas</a> &mdash; Are you in need of some new art for your walls? This simple DIY might be just what you were looking for! [House Of Rose]</p> <p><a href="">7 Ways to Get Your Child Excited About Math</a> &mdash; Get your child excited about math by having them do puzzles or using math apps. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="">3 Myths About Buying Your First Home</a> &mdash; It is a myth that buying a home is always a good investment. [Beyond Your Hammock]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: The Best Sites for Renting and Buying Textbooks" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips buying college online renting textbooks Thu, 28 Aug 2014 20:06:55 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1195558 at