coupons http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1146/all en-US 6 Ways Millennials Have Changed Money (So Far) http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_chalkboard_money_500538951.jpg" alt="Learning how millennials have changed money so far" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every generation of Americans have changed the face of this nation in its own way.</p> <p>In the 1990s, our country was very different from it was in the '70s, which, itself, was a far cry from the 1950s. Today, Millennials are overhauling our political, social, and financial landscape so much that it's barely recognizable from just 10 years ago, and that's not necessarily a bad thing (depending on where you stand on certain issues.)</p> <p>As far as money is concerned at least, the &quot;Me Generation&quot; is making it easier to earn money and more efficient to spend it, while reinventing entire aspects of personal finance, like investing. They're living up to the old idiom of putting their money where their mouth is &mdash; and here's how.</p> <h2>1. Cash Back Is Growing While Coupons Fall Behind</h2> <p>I used to be a major coupon clipper, once saving more than $80 on my grocery bill on double-coupon day at my local supermarket. My couponing prowess (and interest) has consistently waned over the years. Instead, substituting my savings with cash back deals through my bank and grocery apps, like <a href="https://ibotta.com/register?friend=jcsgjbv">Ibotta</a>, <a href="https://www.checkout51.com/">Checkout 51</a>, and <a href="https://savingstar.com/">SavingStar</a>, has skyrocketed.</p> <p>I'm not alone. Millennials are hopping aboard the rebate train in droves.</p> <p>If you're not familiar with the concept of the cash back service, it's basically the opposite of the upfront savings that coupons provide. Instead, these rebate providers pay out the consumer on the back-end, after the shopping trip is complete.</p> <p>SavingStar, for instance, offers deals from popular grocery brands like Cheerios, Yoplait, Dove, and more. For some chains, it'll link deals directly to shoppers' loyalty cards. For other stores, shoppers can submit a picture of their receipt through the app or website. In either case, shoppers earn cash back into their SavingStar accounts, which can be paid out to a bank or PayPal account, or as gift cards from Starbucks, iTunes, and AMC Theatres.</p> <p>Of course, cash-back-adopting Millennials would maximize their savings by using both coupons <em>and</em> the rebate services, but, ya know &mdash; kids these days.</p> <h2>2. Investing Is Being Completely Reinvented</h2> <p>As an investor myself, I've avoided putting money in stocks (I just don't trust that market), preferring to invest in real estate or other entrepreneurs' business ideas. Michael Banks, founder of investing and personal finance blog Fortunate Investor, says I'm in good company. Millennials are turning the investment industry on its head by rethinking long-held strategies, perhaps out of necessity.</p> <p>&quot;As the generation with the largest student debt and toughest-looking future, traditional investing is out of the picture,&quot; Banks says. &quot;Instead, more Millennials are relying on micro-investing &mdash; investing small amounts of money frequently &mdash; to accomplish their savings goals.&quot;</p> <p>Micro-investing allows would-be investors with little starting capital to bypass the roadblocks that usually keep them out of the game &mdash; minimum investment levels, trading costs, market research, and really just not having a ton of money.</p> <p>&quot;Investing has always had a high buy-in value, which you would think eliminates the generation that is doing everything they can to save whatever they have &mdash; but a handful of apps are changing that, and opening the doors for Millennials to try their hands at creating their own investment portfolios,&quot; adds Banks.</p> <h2>3. Hardly Anyone Under Age 35 Walks Into a Bank Anymore</h2> <p>Your grandma probably still goes to the brick-and-mortar bank. Heck, maybe even your dad likes to roll in from time to time for a withdrawal and a lollipop, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a Millennial in a bank, unless it's to grab cash from an ATM for after-work drinks (or working there). Rather, they prefer the easy-breezy mobile banking that accommodates their fast-paced lifestyle.</p> <p>According to a recent study, 75% of Millennials are at least somewhat <a href="https://www.marketingcloud.com/what-millennials-expect-from-their-banks/">reliant on a mobile banking app</a> to interact with their bank for tasks such as depositing or sending checks, checking their balance, and paying bills.</p> <p>&quot;This seems like somewhat of a no-brainer, but the power of convenience and control often goes overlooked,&quot; writes creative media agency Brokaw. &quot;Within mobile interactions, there are multiple avenues in which banks can increase their influence and exposure, including text messages and push notifications. Take FirstMerit Bank's text banking and alerts, for example: It allows their customers to request activity alerts for different aspects of their account right from their phone.&quot;</p> <p>Legit, though &mdash; mobile depositing is one of the best inventions of the 21st century. I will stand by that until my retinas are replaced with laser scanners that do all my banking for me. Which is totally gonna happen, ya know.</p> <h2>4. The Monetization of Ideas</h2> <p>Think you need to push product to turn a profit? Old school. Millennials' intellectual property is their bread and butter &mdash; and they're fiercely protective of it.</p> <p>&quot;The increasing monetization of ideas is one trend Millennials are driving, which doesn't look to be slowing down anytime soon.&quot; explains Monica Mizzi, editor of LegalTemplates.net, a website that equips people with the tools to be their own legal advocates. &quot;The boom in startup culture can be largely attributed to the throng of Millennials who are taking the plunge to make their 'one in a million' idea come to life.&quot;</p> <p>Successive studies highlight that a growing number of Millennials are bucking the trend of traditional employment to try their hand at entrepreneurship. With this has come an increasing interest in using nondisclosure agreements to protect their business ideas.</p> <p>&quot;While using an NDA to protect business ideas is not a novel concept, growing market competition has led Millennials to become more proactive in legally protecting their ideas &mdash; even before they have come to fruition,&quot; Mizzi continues. &quot;It's not uncommon to hear reports of big companies pinching ideas or being 'inspired' by their competitors' ideas, so Millennials wanting to become entrepreneurs are more conscious of ensuring their ideas are never compromised.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Instant Financial Transactions Are Becoming More Common</h2> <p>When do Millennials want their money? Now!</p> <p>Domestic instant transaction service has become commonplace for this demographic &mdash; I get paid instantly via Venmo when I deposit money from my Lyft earnings (like a boss!) &mdash; and its expansion to international exchanges is inevitable. The problem is, sending money internationally is a bit trickier with more complex compliance and regulations needs. But at least one service right now, <a href="https://www.remitly.com/us/en/">Remitly</a>, has built compliance and regulation rules into their app making it possible to meet Millennials' need for speed and convenience.</p> <h2>6. Digital Currency Has Real Value</h2> <p>Digital, or cryptocurrency as it's formally known, went mainstream with the runaway success of Bitcoin &mdash; a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of additional units of the currency (as explained by Wikipedia). In layman's terms, it's cyber money that you can spend wherever cyber money is accepted, which is a real thing in this day and age.</p> <p>But Bitcoin isn't the be-all or end-all of digital currency. Imitators have popped up, relevant in their own rights. Using a digital currency called Steem, for example, users of brand-new social network<a href="http://www.steemit.com"> Steemit</a> (which looks a lot like Reddit) get paid for posting and curating content. And it's become wildly popular. After launching this past May, Steemit (which has a 26-year-old CEO) already has nearly 120,000 registered users and posts nearly 1,000,000 unique visitors per month. They've also paid out more than <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/can-this-social-media-site-make-you-rich-w449566">$4,000,000 in rewards</a> to users to date.</p> <p>While digital currency is still in its infancy despite these successes, you can expect to see more and more of it infiltrating sectors of industry. Will it ever replace cash or credit? Probably not. But it's certainly an interesting concept as a new form of legitimate currency as we've move forward with Millennials at the helm.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-millennials-have-changed-money-so-far">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-the-21st-century-why-is-your-money-stuck-in-the-20th">It&#039;s the 21st Century — Why Is Your Money Stuck in the 20th?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-meditation-can-make-you-a-money-master">6 Ways Meditation Can Make You a Money Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-millennial-money-apps-everyone-should-use">The 5 Millennial Money Apps Everyone Should Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-successful-millennials-do">7 Things Successful Millennials Do</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Lifestyle apps cash back coupons digital currency entrepreneurship investing millennials online banking Fri, 02 Dec 2016 11:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1844380 at http://www.wisebread.com The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/piggy_bank_christmas_50816262.jpg" alt="Following a simple holiday budget anyone can follow" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Promised yourself that you'd finally make a solid budgeting plan this holiday season &mdash; and stick to it? We've got your covered with these simple steps anyone can follow to stay in the black when the red and green take over.</p> <h2>1. Set Aside Only the Amount You Can Afford</h2> <p>So many people start the New Year in debt solely because of overspending during the holidays. You don't want that burden on your back. Rather, when planning your budget, allot only an amount you can actually afford, preferably in cash already saved, to the gifts you'd like to buy.</p> <p>&quot;Do not go into debt with holiday spending,&quot; warns consumer expert Kevin Gallegos. &quot;Making that commitment means changing your mindset. It may be telling yourself that giving people what they think they deserve is a mistake. You'll also want to avoid the trap of feeling you must give a gift equal to what someone gave you last year, or creating a perfect ski slope of presents under the tree. Chances are that your family and friends really don't want you to suffer financially in order to give them bigger gifts.&quot;</p> <p>It also stands to reason that they may not have returned the gesture in kind, either. So there's that.</p> <h2>2. Set Limits for Total Holiday Spending</h2> <p>Before you ever leave the house &mdash; or turn on the computer to shop online &mdash; you should establish how much you plan to spend this season and perhaps even on each person on your list. Having a specific number in mind will not only provide a guide as to what your limit is, but it will also help you choose the perfect gift for everyone based on how much money you've assigned to them.</p> <p>Alexis Nido-Russo is the owner of Chicago-based online jewelry store Local Eclectic, and she offers a very specific way on how to break down your holiday budget.</p> <p>&quot;Determine what your total budget for the holidays is, then map out who you have to buy for and assign percentages to each person or category,&quot; she says.</p> <p>For example, if there are six people on your list and your total budget is $1,000, perhaps your percentage breakdown looks something like this:</p> <ul> <li>Husband: 20% or $200</li> <li>Daughter: 30% or $300</li> <li>Mother: 15% or $150</li> <li>Sister: 15% or $150</li> <li>Mother-in-law: 10% or $100</li> <li>Best Friend: 10% or $100</li> </ul> <p>Of course, your specific budget and who appears on the list will vary. You also can shift numbers around if you find the right gift at a lower cost, or you can send that money back to your savings account where it'll better serve you. Also remember to factor in ancillary holiday expenses too, which can absolutely decimate your budget if you're not careful; things like holiday cards and postage, teacher gifts, travel costs, and food and drinks for entertaining.</p> <h2>3. Gather Your Coupons and Discounts</h2> <p>Go through your favorite circulars, emails, and apps to scrounge up all the deals and savings you can &mdash; then start to map out a plan of attack. For example, I'm on the email lists of many of my favorite retailers who send me a seemingly never-ending stream of promotional messages throughout the year, but especially around holiday time. (I recommend <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-email-trick-will-save-you-big-on-shopping">creating a dummy email account</a> for this to preserve your sanity, by the way.) Because I'm privy to insider information, I try to schedule my shopping around their biggest sales and pair them with additional saving that I may have from mailers, previous shopping trips, or in my text messages &mdash; all of which are excellent ways to receive additional discounts.</p> <h2>4. Make Cuts to Your Gift-Giving List</h2> <p>In a perfect world, we'd buy presents for everyone we know during the holidays &mdash; but that's just not feasible. So instead of trying to sneak everyone in because you feel obligated to purchase something, stick to those closest to you.</p> <p>&quot;If your shopping list includes more than five people outside of your immediate family, cut down on the number of people on your gift list,&quot; suggests Rachel Namoff, managing partner of Denver-based asset management firm Arapaho Asset Management. &quot;Then, make a homemade gift, like cookies, to give to all the people you snipped from your original gift list. Ensure you spread the holiday cheer without looking like a Scrooge while enjoying a fun activity with the family.&quot;</p> <p>If you still feel like you may be blindsided by a rogue gift for which you have a return gift, there are a few things you can do:</p> <ul> <li>Update your status on social media that details your holiday shopping plan and who's on the list. Remember, there's no shame in being on a budget, especially if money is already tight.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Contact people directly and let them know that you won't be able to exchange this year if gift giving to one another was established in the past.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Keep your unwanted gifts in storage to have at the ready so you can provide something in return if you feel so obligated.</li> </ul> <h2>5. Enlist the Help of Budgeting Apps</h2> <p>If you're not particularly financial or budget savvy, you can find help online. In fact, there are plenty of mobile apps that'll keep your holiday budget just a few taps of the finger away so you can access it while in real time while you're shopping. Gallegos recommends apps from Mint or Quicken to simplify the process, but there are plenty of others available &mdash; and we've <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-sites-and-apps-to-help-you-track-your-spending-and-stick-to-your-budget">detailed them in abundance here on Wise Bread</a> &mdash; that will track your spending down to the cent.</p> <h2>6. Thoughtful Homemade Gifts Are Cherished and Inexpensive</h2> <p>Namoff suggested baking cookies for those you're trimming from your main list this year, but there's no reason you can't extend this homemade concept to the more important people in your life. I'm admittedly materialistic &mdash; I love my stuff &mdash; but I'm not devoid of sentiment, thus I prefer thoughtful, handmade items over anything store-bought because I know what kind of time and effort goes into a gift like that. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/start-now-you-can-make-these-23-delicious-holiday-gifts?ref=seealso">You Can Make These 23 Delicious Holiday Gifts</a>)</p> <p>Another argument for going this route is that most people in your life rarely need anything that they don't already buy themselves. Personally, if I want something, I save for it and buy it; I don't wait to pawn it off on someone else at Christmas. Certainly I have provided a list of items to my family in the past, but those are merely suggestions and nothing that I need. What I need to know is that you care, and the best way to do that is to sit down and think about how to put a smile on my face at holiday time, and you'll get that reaction from me if you spent more time than money on my gift.</p> <h2>7. Stop Waiting Until the Last Minute to Do Your Shopping</h2> <p>They say the early bird gets the worm, and that's completely true at holiday time. While there are plenty of arguments on why Black Friday isn't necessarily the day you'll get the best deals &mdash; there are amazing offers all times of year and even between Thanksgiving and Christmas &mdash; but you will absolutely do yourself a disservice by waiting until Christmas Eve to buy presents.</p> <p>For starters, by then the pickins will be slim, and you're probably going to disappoint your loved ones with your laziness. Secondly, if you're an online shopper, you will often spend an incredible amount of money on shipping charges the last couple days before the big day, and even then you're not guaranteed that it'll arrive on time in some cases. Save yourself the headache, heartbreak, and surcharges by scheduling your shopping at least a couple weeks before the holiday.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-holiday-season-costs-everyone-always-forgets-about">13 Holiday-Season Costs Everyone Always Forgets About</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-ways-to-use-technology-to-save-on-christmas-shopping">6 Easy Ways to Use Technology to Save on Christmas Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping apps Christmas coupons discounts gifts Holidays homemade gifts presents saving shopping lists Mon, 21 Nov 2016 11:31:03 +0000 Mikey Rox 1815065 at http://www.wisebread.com Save Money in 5 Seconds or Less With These 29 Easy Tricks http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-in-5-seconds-or-less-with-these-27-easy-tricks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-money-in-5-seconds-or-less-with-these-27-easy-tricks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_credit_card_83996553.jpg" alt="Woman saving money in 5 seconds or less" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Saving money often takes a lot of effort and time, but I have found some tricks you can use to save money in just five seconds or less. Some these are quick tools to help you avoid unnecessary purchases, and others are quick ways to save money on things you do decide to go ahead and buy. Finally, there are some really quick things you can do at home to save money that only take a few seconds.</p> <h2>5 Second Tricks Before You Buy</h2> <p>Saving starts before you even pull out your pocketbook.</p> <h3>1. Do Your Own Assessment</h3> <p>Before you buy something, think about how much you would pay before you look at the price tag. Only consider buying if the price is <a href="http://www.yesandyes.org/2013/03/moneyhappysimple-tip-1.html">less than the number you came up</a> with before you saw the price tag.</p> <h3>2. Consider Your Cash</h3> <p>Do you have enough cash in your purse or wallet to purchase the item? If not, leave it on the shelf.</p> <h3>3. Is It Inconvenient?</h3> <p>Imagine exactly where you would put the item after you buy it. Do you have room? Would you have to rearrange things to make a place for it? After this quick exercise you may decide not to buy the item, saving yourself not only money, but the hassle as well.</p> <h3>4. Sum Up the Parts</h3> <p>Visualize all of the materials that went into making the item. Is it worth consuming that much of the world's dwindling resources?</p> <h3>5. Walk Away</h3> <p>If you really want or need the item, you'll come back later.</p> <h3>6. Use the Buddy System</h3> <p>Text a friend (or your spouse) for a second opinion &mdash; &quot;Do you think I should buy this?&quot; For best results, pick a frugal buddy!</p> <h3>7. Do a Price Check</h3> <p>Pull out your smartphone, and do a quick online search. You might find a better price and save money.</p> <h3>8. Is It Worth the Work?</h3> <p>Make a quick estimate of how many hours you would need to work to pay for the item. Is it worth it? For example, if you take home $20 per hour, you would need to work three hours to pay for a $60 shirt. Considering how much time an item will cost you is a quick way to put a potential purchase into perspective.</p> <h3>9. Estimate Cost Per Use</h3> <p>Take the price of the item and divide by the number of times you will use it. Does the potential purchase seem like a good value considering how much it costs for each use?</p> <h3>10. Downgrade</h3> <p>Find a lower priced version of the item you are about to buy. For example, pick the generic or less fancy version that costs less.</p> <h3>11. Find the Clearance Rack</h3> <p>Pick up an item on sale or from the clearance area instead of your usual brand.</p> <h3>12. Edit</h3> <p>Take something out of your cart at checkout that you don't really need. It is easy to get into &quot;buying mode&quot; at the store and put extra things in the cart.</p> <h2>5 Second Tricks to Save on Purchases</h2> <p>Save at the point of attack with some smart buying strategies.</p> <h3>13. Carry Your Coupons</h3> <p>I keep a small file of them in my car. Coupons won't do any good if you leave them at home.</p> <h3>14. Use a Rewards Credit Card</h3> <p>If you've decided that this is a worthy purchase, and you have the cash to pay for it, use a rewards credit card to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal">get cash back </a>or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal">earn travel discounts</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you?ref=seealso">How to Pick the Best Rewards Credit Card for You</a>)</p> <h3>15. Use a Store Rewards Program</h3> <p>On top of rewards credit cards, sign up for your favorite store's loyalty program. When I buy 10 gallons of milk, I get the 11th gallon free. When I buy 10 pizzas, I get the 11th one free. At the grocery store, I use a fuel saver rewards program &mdash; last week I got gas for less than $1 per gallon!</p> <h3>16. Order Water</h3> <p>Skip the expensive beverage loaded with corn syrup or chemicals</p> <h3>17. Skip the Extended Warranty</h3> <p>Decline extended warranty when you check out. In most cases, extended warranty is a better deal for the store then it is for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-warranties-that-arent-worth-it?ref=seealso">4 Warranties That Aren't Worth It</a>)</p> <h3>18. Decline Dealer Add-Ons</h3> <p>If you're buying a car, beware of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-new-car-costs-the-dealer-is-hiding-from-you">sneaky hidden costs</a> dealers may be trying to pack on.</p> <h3>19. Avoid Unneeded Size Upgrades</h3> <p>Why not get a large instead of a medium for only 50 cents more? Because paying 50 cents extra for something you don't need is a waste of 50 cents.</p> <h2>5 Second Tricks at Home</h2> <p>Saving money starts before you leave home.</p> <h3>20. Hang Up</h3> <p>Politely end telemarketing calls or excuse yourself from sales pitches within the first five seconds. This will save you time and likely money as well.</p> <h3>21. Fill Up</h3> <p>Fill your water bottle at home and take it with you.</p> <h3>22. Lights Out</h3> <p>Turn off lights when you leave a room to save money on your electric bill.</p> <h3>23. Go On a Canceling Spree</h3> <p>Cancel an unused subscription to a streaming video service or game account. This can often be done with a couple of computer mouse clicks (or smartphone screen taps).</p> <h3>24. Change Your Furnace Filter</h3> <p>It'll increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling system and you'll save money on your utility bill. Plus your system will last longer with regular maintenance.</p> <h3>25. Check the Air Pressure in Your Tires</h3> <p>Low air pressure costs you money in the form of reduced gas mileage and wears out tires faster.</p> <h3>26. Do a Balance Transfer</h3> <p>If you have a high interest credit card debt, use a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal">balance transfer offer</a> to pay less interest and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=internal">get out of debt faster</a>.</p> <h3>27. Invest in Index Funds</h3> <p>Direct your investment contributions into an index fund with low expenses (around 0.1%) instead of a managed fund with a 1% or higher expense rate. This can be done in a couple clicks on your investment company's website.</p> <h3>28. Switch to LED</h3> <p>Put an LED bulb in a frequently used light fixture. Here's <a href="http://creebulb.com/calculator">how much you can save</a>.</p> <h3>29. Tweak the Temp</h3> <p>Turn your thermostat up a couple degrees in summer and down a couple degrees in winter.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-in-5-seconds-or-less-with-these-27-easy-tricks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money">6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-100s-next-month-with-these-10-grocery-shopping-tips">Save $100s Next Month With These 10 Grocery Shopping Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-hacks-for-single-living">10 Frugal Hacks for Single Living</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn">9 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Autumn</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-shopping-list-strategy-from-5-meal-plan-will-save-you-big">This Simple Shopping List Strategy From $5 Meal Plan Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping coupons expenses Food hacks home price checks saving money tricks Tue, 01 Nov 2016 09:00:10 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1824621 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Everyday Money Tasks You've Been Doing Wrong http://www.wisebread.com/12-everyday-money-tasks-youve-been-doing-wrong <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-everyday-money-tasks-youve-been-doing-wrong" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_blindfold_cash_89353583.jpg" alt="Man learning money tasks he&#039;s been doing wrong" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You handle a lot of routine money tasks, and like most people, you probably haven't thought much about that routine. But these &quot;routine&quot; tasks are repeated over and over and can result in a lot of wasted money if not done efficiently. Here are some everyday money tasks that might be tripping you up:</p> <h2>1. You Pay Your Bills Before You Pay You</h2> <p>What's wrong with paying your bills first? If you pay your bills first, you only get to keep whatever is left for yourself &mdash; which may be little or nothing. If <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pay-yourself-first-what-it-means-and-how-to-do-it">you pay yourself first</a>, you can ensure that you save and invest enough meet your goals, and then pay everyone else. What's the difference? First of all, putting money in savings first means it's a priority, and that's a powerful reminder that you are in control of your financial destiny. Second, leaving the money that doesn't go toward bills in easily accessible accounts let's you feel as if you have &quot;extra&quot; funds in your budget to spend on small purchases. When you save it first, you don't see it, so you won't spend it. Out of sight, out of mind works for saving instead of spending, too.</p> <h2>2. You Are a Rebel Without a List</h2> <p>If you go shopping without a list, you are likely to forget to buy things you need, and you're also likely to buy things you <em>don't</em> need based on what is on sale or what looks good at the time. A shopping list is especially helpful for groceries so you can buy all of the ingredients for meals you plan to make during the week. Using a list saves extra trips to the store, or dining out when you find you don't have anything to eat at home.</p> <h2>3. You Check Your Balance to See if You Can &quot;Afford&quot; Something</h2> <p>Checking to see how much money you have in your checking account &mdash; or even worse, your available credit card balance &mdash; to see if you can afford to buy something is a recipe for disaster. You are almost certain to spend more than you can really afford. Using a budget to plan expenses is the right way to see if you can afford something. If you can't afford something right now, you can set up a budget to allow you to save up.</p> <h2>4. You Do the Minimum</h2> <p>Making minimum payments on credit cards and other loans is expensive. You will end up paying a lot of interest that provides no benefit to you. For example, making minimum payments on a $3,000 credit card debt could take you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-does-your-credit-card-debt-cost-you">16 years to pay off</a> and cost over $3,600 in interest alone! Paying more than the minimum will allow you to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=internal">wipe out credit card debt</a> much faster and save you lots of money on interest that you can use to get ahead.</p> <h2>5. You Self Medicate With Retail Therapy</h2> <p>Some people go shopping as a fun activity or to help deal with depression or stress. &quot;Retail therapy&quot; is a very expensive way to achieve a short-term impact. Plus buying things you don't really need wastes the resources it took to manufacture and distribute the items, and the items take up space in your house. There are lots of constructive activities that are less expensive and avoid the problems that come with recreational shopping.</p> <h2>6. You Are Stuck With Checks</h2> <p>Writing checks is an inefficient way to pay for things. It takes time to write out a check, and you can make mistakes such as making it out to the wrong payee, misdating the check, or writing illegibly and having it rejected. Plus, you have to manually balance your checking account to keep track of checks you have written but have not yet cleared. Instead, use autoplay, electronic payments, and credit cards to make payments whenever possible.</p> <p>When I receive a check as payment, I use an electronic banking app on my phone to take a photograph of the check and deposit it instantly. This eliminates the possibility of losing the check and I avoid making a special trip to the bank.</p> <h2>7. You Don't Use Coupons Right</h2> <p>Some people think coupons are too much work and don't bother to use them at all. I take a low-impact approach to get the most benefit from coupons with the least time and effort. I hang on to coupons that will work on things I buy anyway. Coupons only work if you have them with you when you go shopping, so I put the good coupons in my wallet or in a small organizer that I keep in my car. You can get more impact from coupons by stacking them &mdash; use both a store coupon and a manufacturer's coupon on the same item to save even more.</p> <h2>8. You Are Overpaying</h2> <p>Lots of people overpay for things they buy every day. Buying snacks and drinks at a convenience store or vending machine is likely to be about twice as expensive as buying the same items at a grocery store. Buying coffee at a coffee shop instead of brewing it yourself costs about three times as much. With a little planning and effort, you can have the same items for much less money.</p> <h2>9. You Don't Match</h2> <p>I get this comment about my clothes a lot, but in this case I am talking about 401K matching funds. Many employers offer matching retirement investment funds. This means that for every dollar you put in, your employer will put in a dollar for free. If you are not getting the maximum company match, you are leaving free money on the table every payday.</p> <h2>10. You Aren't Bargaining Hard</h2> <p>There are a lot of situations where a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master">little bit of bargaining</a> can go a long way. When purchasing vehicles or used items, there is often a lot of room to bring the price down if you are willing to risk having your offer rejected. Sometimes even prices at retail stores be negotiated&mdash; I have talked my way into using expired coupons or getting an additional discount if there is something that looks wrong with an item I am interested in. I have also taken items back to get a price adjustment after an item has gone on sale.</p> <h2>11. You Buy Stuff You Want</h2> <p>I guess buying stuff you want is better than buying stuff you don't want, but you should really focus on buying stuff you need. There are lots of things I have wanted to buy but avoided. For example, in recent years I really wanted to buy a recumbent bike, a new computer, and a stool for my wood shop. I decided to ride my old bike, keep using my old computer, and I found a free stool for my shop. These were all things I wanted but didn't need, and I saved a lot of money by not buying stuff I wanted.</p> <h2>12. You Are Buying Your Broker a Big Yacht</h2> <p>You may not realize that you are paying your stockbroker or investment company every day to manage your retirement funds and other investments. Over the years, the difference between a 1% annual fee for an actively managed fund vs. a 0.1% annual fee for an index fund adds up to a lot of money. Check the fees you are paying on your investment accounts and move to less expensive options that have significantly lower fees.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-everyday-money-tasks-youve-been-doing-wrong">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-100s-next-month-with-these-10-grocery-shopping-tips">Save $100s Next Month With These 10 Grocery Shopping Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/double-coupons-they-could-cost-you">Double Coupons – They Could Cost You!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break">4 Coupon Rules That Stores Let You Break</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-convince-a-store-clerk-to-give-you-a-deal">6 Ways to Convince a Store Clerk to Give You a Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting Shopping checks coupons fees minimum payments negotiating organization overspending paying bills saving money shopping list Fri, 23 Sep 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1796738 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Highly Effective Ways to Save Without Clipping a Coupon http://www.wisebread.com/6-highly-effective-ways-to-save-without-clipping-a-coupon <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-highly-effective-ways-to-save-without-clipping-a-coupon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_using_phone_52920552.jpg" alt="Woman saving money without clipping coupons" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let's face it, clipping coupons can be a very time consuming activity &mdash; and it's definitely not for everyone. In terms of savings, the time spent finding, cutting, and organizing coupons is not always worth it. It's with this in mind that I've come up with some easy ways to save significant money that don't require a coupon. So put down the scissors, walk away from the Sunday paper, and save money with these insider tips instead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-retailers-who-let-you-stack-coupons?ref=seealso">9 Retailers That Let You Stack Coupons</a>)</p> <h2>1. Shop on the Right Day of the Week</h2> <p>Were you aware that many popular retailers have specific days of the week where they do all of their internal store markdowns? Shop right afterward, and you'll have first dibs on new clearance items, no coupon required. For example, save money on clearance clothing when they actually have your size or color of choice in-stock. Here are a few markdown days to keep in mind so you can shop and save accordingly:</p> <ul> <li>Kohl's: I had an employee tell me to shop on the second and fourth Saturday of every month. She said those are the two days when you'll find the freshest markdowns.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Macy's: I was told by an anonymous employee that they start their markdowns on Sundays and wrap things up by Tuesday morning. Shop on Tuesday afternoon and get first dibs on new markdowns.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Old Navy: The day to shop at Old Navy is Wednesday. Try it and you'll often find the clearance section stocked with new clothing as well as clearance stuff that has been marked down even further.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Ross Dress for Less: If you're a big Ross shopper like myself, you'll want to check out their inventory starting on a Monday. I was told by an employee, who heads up her store's clearance department, that Monday is the only day they do their markdowns.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>JCPenney: If you can shop at JCPenney on the first and third Friday of every month, you'll find a plethora of new clearance deals to pick from.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Always Use a Cash Back Site</h2> <p>If you're shopping online and not doing it through a reputable&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">cash back website</a>, you're clearly leaving money on the table. In recent years, cash back sites have had the reputation of being more hassle than they're worth. After all, who has time to jump through a bunch of hoops to save a measly 50 cents? Those days are officially gone. Popular sites like Ebates, TopCashback, and BeFrugal have made it incredibly easy to shop online and get significant money back on your purchases by utilizing mobile apps and browser add-ons or extensions.</p> <p>Also, the amount of money you get back has risen as well. A perfect example is TopCashback.com as they give back all of the commissions they receive from retailers to their users. So instead of splitting the 8% with their users, they're giving it all to them &mdash; and instead are making their money via advertising and charging retailers for premium placement on their website. Because of this generous business model, the cash back rates are definitely high enough to make it worth your while.</p> <h2>3. Subscribe and Save Programs</h2> <p>Subscribe and save programs are an oft forgotten way to save money on household items that you'll need on a recurring basis. No coupon clipping required. Think things like diapers, laundry detergent, dog food, paper products, and trash bags, to name a few. The two leading players are Amazon and Target and the savings their programs provide is substantial. Their pricing often beats that of warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam's Club. Perhaps the best feature is they both come with free delivery, which means no more roller carts full of dog food and toilet paper to try and squeeze into the minivan.</p> <h2>4. Wal-Mart Savings Catcher App</h2> <p>If the idea of clipping coupons for your next trip to Wal-Mart gives you the cold sweats, their <a href="http://savingscatcher.walmart.com/" target="_blank">Savings&nbsp;Catcher App</a> is definitely for you. All the app requires you to do is scan your Wal-Mart store receipt after each visit. No scissors required. Wal-Mart will then scour the prices and ads from local competitors and credit your account if they find a lower price on something you purchased. Think of it like an easy way to guarantee you get the lowest price in town on everything you buy.</p> <p>I've been using the app for close to a year and my balance is currently at $42.92. That's a pretty good return on probably 15 minutes of my time. Then when you want to cash out, you can either get a Wal-Mart gift card or redeem via Bluebird by American Express.</p> <h2>5. The Ibotta App</h2> <p>The popular <a href="http://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv" target="_blank">Ibotta's</a> tagline, &quot;Better Than Coupons,&quot; pretty much sums it up. Instead of clipping coupons, you redeem rebates on hundreds of grocery store items, most of which you'll be buying anyway, and get money back.</p> <p>What makes the app stand out from the competition are the rebates available for generic items bought at <em>any</em> store. Buy a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk from the local corner store, and you can redeem a rebate on each. Then team up with friends and family to start earning cool $5 teamwork bonuses every month and your account balance will really grow. Once your account reaches $20, you can cash out via PayPal, Venmo, or a slew of gift cards from popular retailers.</p> <h2>6. Take Advantage of Loyalty Programs</h2> <p>While loyalty programs often get a bad reputation as nothing more than a way for retailers to push advertising on you, they actually serve as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-store-loyalty-programs-that-are-worth-it">great way to save</a> if you do it right. The key is to only join the programs that'll give you rewards on purchases you'd be making anyway. Here are a few awesome free programs that jump to mind.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.cvs.com/extracare/landing.jsp">CVS ExtraCare</a>: You earn a flat 2% back in ExtraBucks from almost all your purchases. (Excludes alcohol, lottery, gift cards, postage stamps, fishing licenses, and the like.) In addition, once you fill 10 prescriptions you get $5 back in ExtraBucks.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://www.walgreens.com/balancerewards/balance-rewards.jsp">Walgreens Balance Rewards</a>: Earn 10 points for every dollar spent. Then once you reach 5,000, points you get a free $5 reward.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.homedepot.com/c/pro_xtra">HomeDepot Pro Xtra</a>: Home Depot's loyalty program is a no-brainer if you buy in large quantities. After joining, you start with $20 of your first $200+ purchase. Then you get access to additional savings after that, like 10% off your $2,000+ paint order.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.safeway.com/ShopStores/RewardPoints.page">Safeway RewardPoints</a>: Along with specific in-store reward deals, Safeway's program allows you to save significant money on your gasoline bill every year. When you spend up to $100 at Safeway, you get a $.10/gallon discount on Safeway gas. Spend $200, and they double it to $. 20 cents less per gallon.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-store-credit-card-target-redcard">Target REDcard</a>: The Target card works a little different from most as it connects to your checking account and works as a debit card. The strong benefits of 5% off every order, free shipping from Target.com, and 30 extra return days makes it a great option for loyal Target shoppers.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-highly-effective-ways-to-save-without-clipping-a-coupon">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-coupons-trick-you-into-spending-more-money">5 Times Coupons Trick You Into Spending More Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stupid-shopping-mistakes-even-smart-people-make">10 Stupid Shopping Mistakes Even Smart People Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop">6 More Apps That Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping apps cash back coupons insider secrets loyalty programs markdowns sales saving money stores Wed, 14 Sep 2016 10:30:11 +0000 Kyle James 1791538 at http://www.wisebread.com Sam's Club or Costco: Which Warehouse Club Is Right for You? http://www.wisebread.com/sams-club-or-costco-which-warehouse-club-is-right-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/sams-club-or-costco-which-warehouse-club-is-right-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_shopping_cart_33524102.jpg" alt="Couple deciding if sam&#039;s club or costco is right for them" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Costco or Sam's? The debate has raged for years and typically involves a pricing breakdown of each warehouse retail giant. But what most comparisons fail to cover are all the intangibles that a membership brings &mdash; things like the return policy and member services that you probably didn't know exist. Well, until now, that is. Here's how the two warehouse giants stack up so you can make an informed decision.</p> <h2>Return Policy (Winner: Costco)</h2> <p>Costco has a&nbsp;<a href="https://customerservice.costco.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1191">legendary return policy</a> which states they'll allow you to return any item, at any time, no questions asked.</p> <p>Unfortunately, their policy was abused in recent years, especially on electronics, and has changed to a 90-day return policy on computers, TVs, tablets, cameras, cellphones, and the like. But what makes Costco's return policy so amazing is that you can bring items back for a full refund without the original packaging, and without your receipt, as they have a record of all your purchases in their system. I was recently able to bring back a Keurig coffee maker that stopped working six months after I purchased it and they gave me full refund, no questions asked. The only items you flat-out can't return at Costco are alcohol, cigarettes, and special orders.</p> <p>Sam's Club&nbsp;<a href="http://www.samsclub.com/sams/pagedetails/content.jsp?pageName=returns">return policy</a> is solid but not quite as attractive. Like Costco, you can return most items at any time for a full refund. But what makes their return policy less attractive is their long list of exceptions. For example, similar to Costco, you have 90 days to return electronics like TVs, computers, and cameras. But this 90-day policy at Sam's also extends to unopened movies, music, and software. Also, you only have 14 days to return connected devices like cellphones and tablets and they must be returned to same store where you purchased them.</p> <p>Furthermore, unlike Costco, Sam's highly recommends that products are returned in their original packaging and you have your receipt in hand. If you don't have either, they claim they'll do their best to process your return, but they reserve the right to deny it. Popular items that you can't return to Sam's Club include alcohol, prescriptions, tickets, tobacco products, and gift cards.</p> <h2>Credit Card (Winner: Costco)</h2> <p>Both stores offer a co-branded credit card. However, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-costco-anywhere-visa-card-by-citi-is-good-news-for-costco-shoppers?ref=internal">Costco&rsquo;s new Anywhere Visa Card</a> includes rewards for Costco purchases which, is really the whole point of using a co-branded card. Why would you sign up for a Sam&rsquo;s Club credit card if it only gives you the minimum 1% cash back on Sam&rsquo;s Club purchases and any <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal">cash rewards credit card</a> could offer? This used to be the case with Costco&rsquo;s credit card, too, but with its recent card change, it now offers 2% cash back on all Costco purchases, 3 percent cash back on eligible travel and restaurant (including Costco Travel purchases), and 4% cash back on eligible gas (up to $7,000 in purchases per year).</p> <h2>Lower Prices (Winner: Toss-Up)</h2> <p>The brain-trust at Consumer Reports recently did a <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/consumer-reports-put-costco-sams-163618887.html">head-to-head pricing challenge</a> between Sam's and Costco. Interestingly, they found that both clubs offered comparable prices across all departments in the warehouse. Many of the pricing discrepancies were merely regional and didn't hold true across all stores. Thus, they essentially called the two stores' pricing a tie and gave a slight advantage to Costco overall due mainly to customer service and product quality of the Kirkland brand. But keep in mind that this slight advantage to Costco comes with a $10 a year higher price tag, as membership starts at $55 while Sam's starts at only $45. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/walmart-vs-sams-club-who-actually-has-the-better-deals?ref=seealso">Wal-Mart vs. Sam's Club: Who Actually Has the Better Deals?</a>)</p> <h2>Better Coupons (Winner: Toss-Up)</h2> <p>In recent years, both wholesale clubs have gone to an &quot;instant savings&quot; coupon booklet which automatically loads club member's cards with discounts on specific items. That discount is then taken at the register and you're not required to clip a coupon or even have the coupon book in your possession. Both club's coupon booklets last about 24 days before expiring. The Costco coupon booklet gets the nod in terms of savings on furniture, electronics, and gadgets, while the Sam's Club booklet has better savings on grocery and household items. In other words, one is not necessarily better than the other; they'll just appeal to different shoppers.</p> <h2>Services Provided (Winner: Costco)</h2> <p>Both clubs offer member services that extend way beyond a low price on toilet paper and chicken thighs. For example, both memberships come with pharmacy services, optical services, hearing aid services, auto buying programs, identity protection, insurance programs, and business payment processing to name a few. But Costco gets the overall nod here as they also offer a highly regarded <a href="https://costcofinance.com/">mortgage service</a>. Many members like it because it removes the guesswork out of the often murky loan fees associated with home mortgages. Their fee schedule is simple; $350 for executive members and $650 for gold star members. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-probably-didnt-know-you-could-buy-at-costco?ref=seealso">10 Things You Probably Didn&rsquo;t Know You Could Buy at Costco</a>)</p> <h2>Membership Fee Discount (Winner: Sam's Club)</h2> <p>Costco rarely, if ever, offers a discount to entice new members to sign up. Sam's Club, on the other hand, is always throwing a bone or two to get new shoppers to test drive a membership. For example, they just recently had a deal where you could score the basic $45 Sam's Club membership along with $95 worth of upgrades and freebies that included a $20 gift card, free pizza, free cookies, and a free upgrade to the &quot;Plus&quot; membership. Don't sneeze at the membership upgrade &mdash; plus members are granted $10 back on every $500 spent, five free prescriptions per year, and early morning access to the warehouse. They seem to run these types on &quot;new member&quot; deals and upgrades quarterly, so keep an eye out on their <a href="https://www3.samsclub.com/best-deals/membership-deals/">promotions page</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-costco-items-will-easily-cover-your-55-membership?ref=seealso">These 6 Costco Items Will Easily Cover Your $55 Membership</a>)</p> <p><em>Are you on the fence about joining either warehouse club? What do you think will sway your final decision?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sams-club-or-costco-which-warehouse-club-is-right-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-social-media-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Social Media Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-costco-items-will-easily-cover-your-55-membership">These 6 Costco Items Will Easily Cover Your $55 Membership</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon">6 Ways to Score a Last-Minute Coupon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-sneaky-ways-wholesale-clubs-get-you-to-you-spend-more">8 Sneaky Ways Wholesale Clubs Get You to You Spend More</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shop-in-stores-with-concrete-floors">“Shop in stores with concrete floors.”</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping costco coupons customer service discounts membership fees return policies sam's club warehouse stores Tue, 06 Sep 2016 10:00:12 +0000 Kyle James 1784941 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things Millennials Can Learn About Saving Money From Gen-X http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-millennials-can-learn-about-saving-money-from-gen-x <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-millennials-can-learn-about-saving-money-from-gen-x" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_friends_shopping_64269827.jpg" alt="Millennials learning about saving money from Gen-Xers" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Millennials think they've got it all figured out &mdash; just ask one and they'll tell you. But while I'm an advocate of the so-called &quot;Me Generation,&quot; allow me to freely admit we still have a few things to learn.</p> <p>Recently, money-saving grocery app Ibotta conducted a three-year analysis on user shopping habits &mdash; they dove deep into 25-million-plus user receipts &mdash; and the findings were interesting. As it turns out, Millennials aren't as financially savvy as they think they are. In fact, they can still learn a thing or two from Gen-Xers, who seem to have the saving vs. spending game down pat. Here are some of the results.</p> <h2>1. Gen-X Shops Where They Get More Bang for Their Buck</h2> <p>According to Ibotta's study, Millennials shop most frequently at beauty/cosmetic stores, nutrition stores, movie theaters, convenience stores, and apparel stores. That tells us that Millennials value quality over cost, and they don't mind paying the price for it. Especially when you consider the places Millennials shop the least, including pharmacies, dollar stores, arts-and-crafts stores, footwear stores, and home improvement stores.</p> <p>I have to admit, as someone who considers myself more Millennial than Gen-X (and I'm right on the cusp of both of these generations being born in 1981), I tend to shop at the places Millennials are least likely to be found. There are incredible savings at dollar stores and arts-and-crafts stores, in particular, and they're too good for me to pass up. Of course, I go to the movies a lot as well (I guess that's the Millennial in me), but you'll very rarely find me in beauty/cosmetics stores or nutrition stores when I know that I get anything I'd find there cheaper at places like Wal-Mart and Target &mdash; and I'm never too proud to shop at either of those establishments.</p> <h2>2. Gen-X Is Perfectly Happy Shopping at Traditional, Lower-Cost Grocery Stores</h2> <p>Millennials shop at natural grocery stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe's about 56% more than non-Millennials, the Ibotta study reports. Which means that Millennial shoppers are not only trendy (or &quot;health-conscious&quot; if you want to be PC about it) in their food choices, but their grocery bills are likely much higher considering the steep prices of natural food markets.</p> <p>Personally, I've never understood the appeal of &quot;organic&quot; food. I've been putting nonorganic foods in my body for 35 years, and I feel two ways about it: First, I'm A-okay, healthy as an ox. Second, the damage by preservative- and pesticide-packed foods has already been done; I hardly believe that switching to organic fruits and vegetables now will change whatever is going to happen to me down the road.</p> <p>Plus, organic broccoli is the worst. I hate it, and you can't make me eat it.</p> <p>On the flip side, Gen-Xers still shop at traditional grocery stores &mdash; and use coupons! &mdash; which we'll get into later.</p> <h2>3. Gen-X Values Their Own Hard-Earned Money More Than Making a Political Statement</h2> <p>I'm not at all surprised by this statistic: Millennials are 8% more likely to shop at Costco over Sam's Club. Moreover, they're 13.5% more likely than non-Millennials to shop at Costco.</p> <p>I have a hunch as to why Millennials largely shun Sam's Club, and it has everything to do with being associated with Wal-Mart.</p> <p>Now, I'm not someone who avoids Wal-Mart as a result of its labor practices or other political stances &mdash; I go where the savings are, just like Gen-Xers (yep, I'm fickle) &mdash; but it seems that there's an entire generation of consumers that look down on Wal-Mart as if it's subpar for whatever reason. (Although, one of those reasons might have to do with those unflattering &quot;People of Wal-Mart&quot; memes or the tramplings at Christmastime &mdash; who's to say, really?)</p> <p>In any case, my assumption is especially valid when you consider that Millennials are 27% more likely to shop at Target than users in all other age groups.</p> <p>I will contend that Target is much cleaner and more organized than most Wal-Marts I've been in, but I'm not boycotting a Wal-Mart or Sam's Club to make a political statement if at the end of the day my wallet comes out the winner. That's just common sense.</p> <h2>4. Gen-Xers Are Good at Making the Most of Mid-Level Consumer Goods</h2> <p>Millennials are brand loyalists through and through. Just look at the forever converts Apple has following its cult. The loyalty doesn't stop there, though. Whereas Gen-X is open to trying new brands, especially if they're lower priced or on sale, Millennials are willing to loosen the purse strings for established labels. When it comes to a brand like Sephora, in fact, Millennials are two times more likely to shop there than Gen X &mdash; and it ain't cheap.</p> <p>But perhaps beauty vlogger Raye Boyce can change a few Millennial minds. She recently tested $600 worth of makeup on one side of her face and $60 in makeup on the other side. The results? Well, see if you can tell the difference in her video on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCXwnlOYsfs">makeup that could save you money</a>.</p> <h2>5. Gen-X Clips a Good Coupon When They See It</h2> <p>I don't know if it's the stigma of using a coupon (maybe they feel &quot;cheap&quot; or embarrassed when they hand over a discount?), but Millennials are losing out on a lot of opportunity to save, which in turn is making their lifestyle way costlier than it needs to be.</p> <p>The Ibotta study reveals that Millennials use 20% fewer coupons than Gen-X, and they take advantage of 7.5% fewer in-store discounts. Those numbers are crazy &mdash; especially the disparity in coupon use.</p> <p>If you're a Millennial reading this right now, listen up: Your ego is making you broke, and it's time to come back down to earth.</p> <p>I don't know how anybody can shop without coupons. This is coming from a guy who has and will continue to use coupons on dates (first dates even!). Because wherever I save means extra money for things I like to do, like enjoying new experiences or making investments that make me more money. That full-price pair of expensive shoes will only make you so happy &mdash; and that happiness will run right out when you're sitting in those shoes at home, broke and alone, on a Saturday night.</p> <p>But at least then you'll have time to clip a few coupons with your shears&hellip; and probably a few tears.</p> <p><em>Do you recognize yourself in any of these shopping stats and behaviors?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-millennials-can-learn-about-saving-money-from-gen-x">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-highly-effective-ways-to-save-without-clipping-a-coupon">6 Highly Effective Ways to Save Without Clipping a Coupon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-everyday-money-tasks-youve-been-doing-wrong">12 Everyday Money Tasks You&#039;ve Been Doing Wrong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-to-wait-until-after-christmas-to-buy">8 Things to Wait Until After Christmas to Buy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping advice coupons deals gen x generations millennials politics saving money stores Fri, 19 Aug 2016 09:00:15 +0000 Mikey Rox 1775193 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways Everybody Saves During Back-to-School http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-everybody-saves-during-back-to-school <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-everybody-saves-during-back-to-school" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_office_supplies_75992729.jpg" alt="Man learning ways to save during back-to-school" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One day after Independence Day, retailers made way for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-for-big-savings?ref=internal" target="_blank">back-to-school items</a> in their aisles. It's kind of annoying, in my opinion, because many kids just got out for the summer a week or two beforehand. I mean, let the dust settle first, right? But I digress. These early installments of supplies can also mean big savings for you, even if you're not a student or don't have children of your own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-back-to-school-shopping?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">Best Credit Cards for Back to School Shopping</a>)</p> <h2>1. Treat School Supplies Like Office Supplies</h2> <p>Need pens, pencils, and paper? Hit your local big-box retailer &mdash; like Wal-Mart, Target, and Staples &mdash; to take advantage of their discounted &quot;school&quot; supplies that coincidentally are the same things you use in your own office. At Target, look for additional savings on its Cartwheel app before checking out; check the clearance section at Wal-Mart and take try to score Bluebird savings on the back end; and checkout with your loyalty card at Staples to get a small kickback in the form of future monetary rewards for everything you buy there.</p> <h2>2. Raid Your Kids' Stash From Last Year</h2> <p>Your kids probably didn't use everything you bought them when they went back to school 12 months earlier. Chances are they still have at least a few leftovers, like binders, folders, dividers and more, that you can claim as your own and put to use. Lord knows they're not going to use something from last year &mdash; what will people say!? So whatever remains might as well go the extra mile for you.</p> <h2>3. Browse Local School's Social Media for Deals</h2> <p>Both big-box and local businesses are attracted to schools this time of year, so adding your local schools on Facebook and other social media may score you insider deals that won't be posted elsewhere.</p> <p>&quot;Similarly, if you live in or near a college town, check Yelp with the keyword 'school' and 'coupon' (or deal/offer) to find a slew of coupons that are intended to attract college students but can be used by anyone,&quot; suggests money-saving expert Mike Catania, whose own site PromotionCode.org also is a good resource.</p> <h2>4. Take Advantage of Price Matching</h2> <p>Spotted a better deal at a retailer at which you don't normally shop? You don't have to go out of your way to get it.</p> <p>&quot;Many back-to-school retailers like Target, Wal-Mart, and Office Depot will price match competitor's offers, so it pays to compare prices and circulars so you don't have to run around town to hunt down the best bargains,&quot; says money-saving expert Andrea Woroch.</p> <p>In fact, Staples is going a step further and offering a price-match guarantee of 110% with an extra 10% off identical products. Use tools like the ShopSavvy app or the Invisible Hand browser add-on to simplify this task while shopping in store and online.</p> <p>&quot;Circulars are your best tool in comparing offers for back-to-school,&quot; Woroch adds. &quot;In addition to browsing weekly ads found in Sunday newspapers, apps like <a href="http://www.retale.com/">Retale</a> and <a href="https://www.flipp.com/">Flipp</a> offer a digital means of finding top discounts while you're out and about shopping.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Visit Trade-In Sites for Savings Upon Savings</h2> <p>Trade-in sites &mdash; those online outlets that offer refurbished electronics at discounted prices &mdash; are often overlooked when people are shopping for the latest and greatest gadgets. But checking in may yield big savings on just what you're looking for. For instance, Gazelle.com is offering up to 30% off on <a href="http://buy.gazelle.com/buy/used/back-to-school-deals">back-to-school gadgets</a> for everyone, with new items added daily. Gazelle sells certified, pre-owned devices that must pass a 30-point quality inspection and everything comes with a 30-day risk-free return policy; payment plans also are available. Don't overlook the brick-and-mortars though: Apple, Newegg, Best Buy, and even warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam's Club offer refurbished or open-box laptops, tablets, computers, smartphones, and the like for up to 75% off.</p> <p>This strategy applies to clothing, too.</p> <p>&quot;Thrift store, consignment shops, and online resellers, including <a href="http://www.poshmark.com">Poshmark</a> and <a href="http://www.thredup.com">ThredUp</a>, are top resources for gently used clothing,&quot; explains Woroch.</p> <h2>6. Clip, Print, Tap, or Paste Coupons</h2> <p>The best way to quickly access store coupons is through a coupon app like <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com">Coupon Sherpa</a>, which features savings at national chain stores like Staples as well as local shops. When shopping online, it's important to search for coupon codes to save money, like a <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/target">Target promo code</a> for $5 off $50 orders, or 25% off a Disney Store purchase. Otherwise, register for a retailer's online newsletter to receive a new subscriber coupon for savings from 10% to 20% off your first purchase.</p> <h2>7. Opt for Generic Over Name-Brand Supplies</h2> <p>Can you really tell the difference between a national brand-name notebook and the off-name or store brand? Probably not enough to pay more.</p> <p>&quot;You're better off sticking with the generic or store brand options to save money, especially since there is little difference between brand names and generic versions,&quot; Woroch says. &quot;On the flip side, however, backpacks, electronics, art supplies, and even sneakers are better brand-name buys because they're often higher quality and last longer, reducing the need to replace them.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Show Those Summer Clearance Racks Who's Boss</h2> <p>While parents are shopping for fall clothing for kids, you can cop the remnants of the summer clothing in the clearance section for yourself. Sure, the summer is winding down, but all is not for naught: You can use the lighter pieces for layering during the colder months, and there will likely be fall-perfect clothing among the summer clothes as well. I recently visited J. Crew Factory's clearance section, which had racks of button-downs, long-sleeve polos, and pants for 50% off already very reduced prices. These kind of deals exist elsewhere &mdash; and they're all in one place at outlet malls &mdash; which makes a visit worth it if you're in need of a wardrobe refresh.</p> <p><em>Do you have more back-to-school shopping tips? I'd love to hear them in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-everybody-saves-during-back-to-school">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales">How to Find the Best Back to School Sales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-to-wait-until-after-christmas-to-buy">8 Things to Wait Until After Christmas to Buy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-supplies-right-now">The 8 Best Ways to Save on Back-to-School Supplies Right NOW</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/use-less-cash-for-your-jcpenney-purchase">Use Less Cash for Your JCPenney Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-black-friday-deal-without-leaving-home">6 Ways to Score a Black Friday Deal Without Leaving Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping back to school clearance coupons deals office supplies savings school supplies seasonal Tue, 02 Aug 2016 09:30:37 +0000 Mikey Rox 1762301 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save Money http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_credit_card_computer_36917590.jpg" alt="Woman using Google Alerts to save money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Google Alerts can do a lot more than tell you when your favorite hot topic or celebrity hits the news &mdash; it can also help you find savings! First, you need to know the ins and outs of <a href="https://support.google.com/alerts/answer/4815780?hl=en">creating an effective Google Alert</a>. And here's how to use those alerts as a powerful tool that can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-shopping-reminders-that-will-save-you-big">save you time and money</a>.</p> <h2>1. Find the Best Available Price for a Specific Item</h2> <p>It wasn't long ago that you had to physically visit competitor stores to find the best price on a particular item. Of course, online shopping has changed all that, and Google Alerts is making it even easier.</p> <p>Let's say you're on the hunt for a swimsuit &mdash; not just any swimsuit, but the swimsuit you spotted Selena Gomez wearing in her latest Instagram post. Google Alerts can help you score the celebrity-endorsed bather for the best price. Here's how: Create a new alert using the name of the swimsuit, the name of the brand, and any desired size or color specifications. Then just sit back, relax, and watch as the results come streaming in. To hone in on the best deal, sort the hits Google dispatches to your inbox by price &mdash; and don't forget to consider the cost of shipping when zeroing in on your final choice.</p> <h2>2. Suss Out Coupons and Specials</h2> <p>It can be hard to know when to pull the trigger on a purchase you've been lusting after. Rest assured, Google Alerts can help you navigate. Simply create an alert for your favorite store and add in keywords such as &quot;free shipping,&quot; &quot;sale,&quot; or &quot;discount code.&quot; This can help you determine when's the best time to punch in your order.</p> <h2>3. Set Up a Price Drop Alert</h2> <p>Let's say you're in the market for a <a href="http://amzn.to/2aNu3pE">Fisher-Price Power Wheels Dune Racer</a>, which retails at about $249, but you're not willing to pay more than $200. By creating a price drop notification, you'll instantly know when the dune racer your child wants for his or her birthday falls within your price range. Simply enter a search query for &quot;Fisher-Price Power Wheels Dune Racer $1..$200,&quot; making sure to put the entire entry in quotation marks. Also be sure to type just two periods between the minimum and maximum amounts that you're willing to pay, which specifies to the desired price range to Google. Under the drop-down menu for &quot;how often,&quot; select &quot;as it happens.&quot; Otherwise you run the risk of missing out on flash sale.</p> <h2>4. Scope Out Product Reviews</h2> <p>Let's say you're looking to purchase a new vacuum cleaner, and you've narrowed it down to three models that sell for just about the same price. How do you decide which one is best for you? One means of navigating this situation is to curate a feed of product reviews of the three vacuum contenders. To do this, punch in the name of the vacuum and &quot;product review.&quot; You can either create three separate alerts, one for each vacuum, or enter the names of each vacuum into the criteria box for one alert, separating each name by the word &quot;OR.&quot; Be sure that &quot;OR&quot; is in caps, but lose the quotation marks.</p> <h2>5. Crowdsource Free Events Near You</h2> <p>Punch in the name of your city, town, or region, as well as the tag, &quot;free event.&quot; And feel free to add in any other keywords describing the type of happenings you're interested in attending, such as &quot;music,&quot; or the name of your favorite restaurant. Voilà! Now you'll know about the free culture and entertainment offerings in your area.</p> <h2>6. Don't Be Afraid to Cancel or Tweak Your Alerts</h2> <p>If you find that your inbox is suddenly swarmed with alerts and you're having trouble sifting through the clutter, know that there are solutions. You can always cancel some of your alerts, reduce the frequency of them, or set up a Gmail filter that funnels them into a separate folder.</p> <p>Remember, Google Alerts are only as helpful as you make them to be. If you find that certain alerts you've created aren't delivering what you're after, take a moment to tweak the search criteria or just flat-out cancel that alert. Google Alerts are supposed to save you time, not burden you with extra inbox clutter.</p> <p><em>Have you used Google Alerts to shop? Share your experience with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn">9 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Autumn</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-44-sneaky-shopping-traps-to-avoid">Flashback Friday: 44 Sneaky Shopping Traps to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-49-smartest-amazon-hacks-that-will-save-you-big">Flashback Friday: 49 Smartest Amazon Hacks That Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-30-brilliant-ways-to-survive-black-friday-madness">Flashback Friday: 30 Brilliant Ways to Survive Black Friday Madness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-in-5-seconds-or-less-with-these-27-easy-tricks">Save Money in 5 Seconds or Less With These 29 Easy Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping coupon codes coupons frugal living Google google alerts saving money shopping shopping habits Mon, 01 Aug 2016 09:30:37 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1762300 at http://www.wisebread.com My Budget Challenge 2016: How to Live Frugally When You Have No Time http://www.wisebread.com/my-budget-challenge-2016-how-to-live-frugally-when-you-have-no-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/my-budget-challenge-2016-how-to-live-frugally-when-you-have-no-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_retro_clock_69446673.jpg" alt="Woman learning to live frugally when she has no time" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>[Editor's Note: This is the another episode in Max Wong's journey to find an extra $31,000 this year. Read the whole series </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/max-wongs-budget-0"><em>here</em></a><em>.]</em></p> <p>One of the assumptions that my friends, who earn more money than me while still living paycheck to paycheck, make about my frugal habits is that they are too busy to actually make these lifestyle changes themselves.</p> <p>This total garbage assumption keeps so many people poor. Many of my friends insist that I have to be totally wasting my life scrimping all the time. This just isn't true. In fact, I have a lot more free time than any of my friends who argue that every financial tweak costs them too much of their precious time. With very few exceptions, I also have more savings. Here's how I keep a tight budget on a tight schedule.</p> <h2>I Don't Waste Time on Researching Things That Don't Matter</h2> <p>To quote Asiz Ansari: &quot;Every toothbrush I bought on a hunch has been fine. I've never been disappointed in a toothbrush. Why waste my time trying to find the best? Have you ever run into someone with no teeth and asked, 'What happened?' And they replied, 'Bought the wrong toothbrush. Should have done more research.'&quot;</p> <p>I spent an hour <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-job-creation">researching a car part</a> for my Volvo. If I bought this part refurbished locally, it would have cost me $765. I found a brand-new, aftermarket version for $45 online that had stellar reviews. I saved $720 by spending one hour of my life exploring my options. I would not spend this amount of my time researching the shovel I just bought at my local hardware store for $70. I bought the shovel based entirely on the fact that there was just one model to choose from.</p> <p>Part of saving money is stripping away the marketing message that you need to buy the best of everything or suffer dire consequences.</p> <h2>I Focus on Saving Money on the Things I Already Do</h2> <p>There are so many money-saving activities out there that it's easy for me to screw up my schedule by trying to do them all. While I am always trying to level up on my savings game, when I am crushed for time, I focus on making the things I must do more financially sustainable.</p> <p>For example I have to weed my garden or risk the wrath of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Since many of the weeds in my garden are edible, I am saving money and time on growing vegetables by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-finding-food">eating my weeds</a>. If this sounds disgusting, please note that Chef Magnus Nilsson of Fäviken Magasinet, one of the world's most acclaimed restaurants, serves an entire menu of foraged foods. In fact, Nilsson would probably be distraught by the fact that I am composting probably delicious moss and pine resin. As much as I hate weeding, eating my plant enemies provides a primal and peculiar satisfaction, which makes all the kneeling in the dirt worthwhile.</p> <h2>I Keep an Aspirational Calendar for the Future</h2> <p>As much as I wanted to harvest the green walnuts that grow on wild trees around my neighborhood, I missed my window of opportunity. The nuts are already too mature to make the pickled walnut recipe I wanted to make for holiday gifts this year. Alas, I just didn't have the free time last month to work on my new hobby of preparing wildcrafted food.</p> <p>So, I am adding &quot;pick walnuts&quot; to my 2017 calendar. By adding reminders to make money-saving moves to my schedule a year in advance, I set myself up for ever-improving financial habits for the future. While I can never do all the aspirational projects I schedule for myself, just creating a plan in advance ensures that I can add at least one new skill to my life each year. I think of it as a wish list with a deadline.</p> <h2>I Get High-End Retail Service at a Low Cost</h2> <p>It does not take me more time to buy a shirt at a thrift store than it does for me to buy a shirt for full price at the mall. In fact, buying used is often quick business because my local thrift stores have customer wish lists. For example, the workers at my neighborhood consignment store know that I am constantly on the hunt for a specific <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">style of discontinued jeans</a>. Whenever a pair in my size shows up, I get a phone call, letting me know they have a pair of jeans on hold for me.</p> <p>People assume that low cost means poor service. Unlike a lot of retail workers, thrift store clerks often revel in the thrill of the hunt. They love finding the perfect thing, even for other people, so they end up acting like personal shoppers for their favorite customers.</p> <h2>The Off Season Is My Friend</h2> <p>When I lived in Florence, my Italian neighbors told me to wait until November, between tourist seasons, to buy clothes. Everything gets cheaper in November. Hotel and restaurants drop their prices and stores put merchandise on sale. Let me just say that the offseason in Florence is fantastic. The museums emptied out, the lines to my favorite gelato stores got short, and I could walk across the Ponte Vecchio without being part of some tourist's upskirt panty video. I see no point in ever returning to Florence during the high season.</p> <p>Even if I lived in Podunk, America and never traveled, I would take advantage of the easier access and the discounts on merchandise, entertainment, and education during Podunk's offseason.</p> <h2>I Buy and Make Gifts All Year Long</h2> <p>I start <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-january-is-the-right-time-to-start-planning-for-christmas">planning for Christmas in January</a>, even though I personally don't celebrate a winter holiday. This extremely early jump on things gives me plenty of time to make handmade gifts and source inexpensive presents for every occasion for pennies.</p> <p>This last weekend I attended the baptism of a friend's baby. I used some of the $100 trade credit I got from a local consignment store to &quot;buy&quot; several sterling silver baby spoons. I gifted one of the spoons to the new kid, and stashed the rest in my silverware drawer where they quietly await future babies. I also bought a scrimshaw pin for my husband as a reward for his especially thrifty behavior this year. Total cost of these gifts: $0. (And I still have trade credit left over)!</p> <h2>Coupons Are for Crazy Cat Ladies</h2> <p>Okay, you know, I save enough on cat food and cat litter each year to buy a plane ticket to New York City. So all those people who don't want to see Hamilton on Broadway can just keep on buying Friskies at full price. Be my guest.</p> <p>Although there are some coupon queens who still get a thrill from dumpster diving for newspaper inserts, grocery stores make it so easy to get discounts now. Most big grocery chains even have phone apps that give a curated selection of coupons based on previous purchases. One of my store apps actually makes my phone beep when I pass a sale item on my list. Seriously, I just used a coupon to buy grass fed beef at Whole Foods for $5 a pound. Grass. Fed. Beef. Whole. Foods.</p> <p>One of my friends lives in DC where his favorite brand of Dennison's Chili is not available. I always send him a flat of cans for his birthday. It does not take me any additional time to buy that chili when it goes on sale, with a coupon, than it does when it's full price. And, even though my friend knows I always buy his chili at a discount, he doesn't enjoy his lunches any less.</p> <h2>I Batch Process My Errands</h2> <p>Mr. Spendypants is saving hundreds of dollars on gas this year by carpooling to work a few days a week. But I save money by carpooling even though I work from home! At least once a week, my awesome neighbor Patria picks me up in her car and we run errands together. Not only does this save me on gas, it turns trips to the post office, the bank, and the pharmacy into a nice afternoon with my friend. Patria started this good habit over a year ago when she realized that she's much more efficient with her errands when I'm in the car with her to keep her on schedule. She also saves money on gas because she's incentivized to batch process her errands.</p> <h2>I Work Less So I Have More Time</h2> <p>I have many friends who work insane hours so they can make enough money to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-people-in-your-life-who-are-keeping-you-poor">pay for the entourage</a>&hellip;that enables them to work insane hours. I have one friend who hates his job so much that I actually worry about him stroking out from stress. He and his wife both work full time to pay for the maid to clean their house, the gardener to do the yard work, and the full time nanny for their kid. Even though I ran the numbers for him, he still can't wrap his head around the idea that he could work fewer hours for less money at his dream job, and that would give him enough flexibility that he could take care of his own child, house, and yard, instead of paying outside help.</p> <p>The concept that working less can mean more money in the bank seems counterintuitive, but how much I spend is as important as how much I earn. If I spend all my money, it doesn't matter if I make $100 or $1,000,000. I will still have zero savings and possibly less free time.</p> <h2>Progress So Far</h2> <p>Alas, Mr. Spendypants threw a spanner into my already maxed-out schedule. He forgot to pay the yearly $30 bribe, ahem, fee to the fire department to avoid the brush clearance inspection. So we were inspected and given a warning. We have just a few days to trim every tree in our yard by 30%. Did I mention that we have 14 trees in our yard? If we miss the deadline for re-inspection, then we will be fined $356 and I will still have to trim every tree in our yard by 30%. So, instead of working for money, for the last two weeks I have been working a volunteer gig as an angry amateur arborist.</p> <p>If my blog posts stop abruptly, it means that I have fallen off a ladder to my death. Wish me luck.</p> <p>As my Mormon friend puts it, I did receive a few #tender mercies during the last pay period in the form of three tiny payments. I earned $9.45 from a book sale on half.com, I sold $51.99 in clothing at a consignment store, and I got a whopping $31.13 as the payout for some random, class action lawsuit against Wells Fargo that I don't remember joining. (I haven't been a Wells Fargo customer in five years, so thank God I wasn't waiting around for that check to arrive).</p> <p>Since Mr. Spendypants and I were out of town for the baptism, he hasn't balanced his books yet. His savings and expenses for last month will be chronicled as part of my next post.</p> <p><strong>Goal:</strong> $31,000</p> <p><strong>Amount Raised:</strong> $19,998.41</p> <p><strong>Amount Spent:</strong> $10,653.66</p> <p><strong>Amount Left to Go:</strong> $21,747.82</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-budget-challenge-2016-how-to-live-frugally-when-you-have-no-time">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money">6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/double-coupons-they-could-cost-you">Double Coupons – They Could Cost You!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/things-you-might-not-know-about-your-local-thrift-store">Things You Might Not Know About Your Local Thrift Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/throwback-thursday-58-best-thanksgiving-hacks-ever">Throwback Thursday: 58 Best Thanksgiving Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-30-brilliant-ways-to-survive-black-friday-madness">Flashback Friday: 30 Brilliant Ways to Survive Black Friday Madness</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living calendars consignment coupons Holidays max wongs budget product research shopping thrift stores wasting time Fri, 22 Jul 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Max Wong 1753339 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Find the Best Back to School Sales http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_back_to_school_68821847.jpg" alt="Kids finding the best back to school sales" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It seems that just as you settle into your summer routine, the school supply signage and setups hit the stores. Every year the back-to-school supply lists seem to get longer, and that doesn't even include all of the new clothes and shoes you have to buy.</p> <p>Here are eight tips on how to find the best back-to-school sales. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-relaxing-ways-to-enjoy-your-kids-first-day-at-school?ref=seealso">23 Relaxing Ways to Enjoy Your Kid's First Day at School</a>)</p> <h2>1. Let Other Sites Do the Work for You</h2> <p>You are only one person, so it will take you quite a while to track down the best deals from all local stores. Save yourself some time and sanity and rely on the expertise from other websites. Here are just a few to put on your radar.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.passionforsavings.com/download-the-passion-for-savings-iphone-app/">Passion for Savings</a>: This site puts a lot of effort into collecting and laying out all of the back to school deals each week. There is even a free app that will keep you up to date on the sales.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://slickdeals.net/">SlickDeals</a>: Just search &quot;back to school&quot; in the SlickDeals search bar for the best and latest deals.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://app.flipp.com/">Flipp App</a>: The Flipp app has all of your local ads in one place. Flipp will also match up any coupon offers available. If your local Walmart or Target allow price matching of digital ads, the Flipp app will make price matching simple.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.afullcup.com/">AFullCup</a>: This savings forum has many postings on deals, coupon matchups, clearance finds, and more for many popular stores.</li> </ul> <h2>2. Don't Do All of Your Shopping in One Place</h2> <p>Many parents will make the mistake of hitting up one store for a few loss leaders and then finish up their back-to-school shopping at that same store. School sales generally go on four to six weeks before most schools get back in session. This gives you multiple opportunities to shop just the loss leaders of most stores.</p> <h2>3. Max Out on Discounted Items</h2> <p>If one store has pencil boxes for a penny with a buy limit of four, then buy all four. Save supplies for the middle of the school year. Usually five months into the school year, school supplies could use a refresher. Replacing school items in December or January is a lot costlier, since there are no amazing sales.</p> <p>You can also donate extra school supplies to teachers, back-to-school drives, and even international charities. Inexpensive art supplies can be given as Christmas gifts or birthday gifts later in the year.</p> <h2>4. Price Match</h2> <p>Walmart and Target will price match most store competitors. Depending on your local Walmart or Target, you might need the store's physical ad to price match. Both stores will only price match items of the same name brand and the same quantity. For example, Walmart will not price match a deal on Target's Up &amp; Up glue nor will they price match a deal on a two pack of Sharpies if Walmart only carries Sharpies in a three pack. Walmart will also not price match rebates.</p> <p>Price matching at Walmart can help eliminate excessive trips to several stores. If you need a lot of a deal, you can also use Walmart to double or triple your deal. For example, if Staples has Kleenex on sale, and you want to stock up, you can get the maximum deal at Staples, and then price match the deal at Walmart to get even more. Since many cities have more than one Walmart nearby, you can even price match the same deal at a different Walmart.</p> <h2>5. Combine Coupons and Rebates</h2> <p>Check&nbsp;<a href="http://www.coupons.com/">Coupons.com</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://coupons.target.com/">Target's coupons</a> for coupons on school supplies. You might even be able to combine Target's printable coupons with a Cartwheel offer or gift card offer.</p> <p>Don't forget to check out rebate apps such as <a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv">Ibotta</a> and <a href="https://www.checkout51.com/">Checkout 51</a>. When the back-to-school sales start, many bigger brands want to boost sales through rebates. (See also:<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop?ref=seealso">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a>)</p> <h2>6. Back-to-School Sales Are Not Just for Students</h2> <p>Even if you don't have students to shop for, the back-to-school sales are a great time to score deals on household items. Usually printer paper is inexpensive or free after a rebate. Many household cleaners and products are also highly discounted.</p> <h2>7. Don't Forget eBay</h2> <p>While eBay shouldn't be your first stop for pencils and glue, it can be a great way to save on expensive calculators and laptops. A new graphing calculator can cost over $100 in the store, but you can find that same calculator used for $40&ndash;$50 on eBay.</p> <h2>8. Hold Out for Clearance</h2> <p>After the back-to-school buying rush is over, stores are quick to put merchandise on clearance to make room for holiday items. Now is your chance to score character items or higher end items at a greater discount. You might even be able to score your child's wardrobe on clearance, since many stores will want to make room for winter gear.</p> <p>When your child is begging for the Avengers backpack or the Dory lunch box, tell them to wait and hopefully their favorite characters will be discounted a few weeks into September.</p> <p><em>How do you save during the back-to-school sales?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016">The 8 Shopping Apps That&#039;ll Actually Save You Money in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop">6 More Apps That Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-everybody-saves-during-back-to-school">8 Ways Everybody Saves During Back-to-School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-black-friday-deal-without-leaving-home">6 Ways to Score a Black Friday Deal Without Leaving Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stores-with-the-best-price-matching">10 Stores With the Best Price Matching</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping apps back-to-school coupons deals education kids price matching retail school supplies seasonal Fri, 22 Jul 2016 09:00:11 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1757095 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 More Apps That Pay You to Shop http://www.wisebread.com/6-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/19250271.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not into <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-best-deals-coupons-sites">cutting coupons</a>? With the help of technology, you no longer have to spend hours looking over the Sunday paper and trying to creatively get around print limits. Several apps make saving money on groceries much simpler and all at your fingertips.</p> <p>These six apps will help you save money on your grocery bill, help you find the best money on certain items, and even earn you cash back</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop?ref=seealso">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a></p> <h2>1. Your Favorite Store's App</h2> <p>Depending on what store you shop at, there is probably an app for it. I live in Southern California and shop frequently at Vons. All I did was attach my Vons loyalty card to the app, and I automatically had over 100 coupons available to use. Not only do they offer store coupons, like $5 off $20, but they also offer the manufacturer's coupons that are found in the Sunday newspaper.</p> <p>My Vons app also gives me coupons based off what I buy. So if I buy organic chicken one week, then it might have an organic chicken coupon on the app the next week. Also, since my Vons has a Starbucks, I receive special coupons and free drinks through the app, too.</p> <p>Whole Foods is another store that has coupons on its app. Usually, Whole Foods is on the expensive side. However, if I am in the area and there is a good price on a certain product, it is easy to just run in for one or two discounted groceries.</p> <h2>2. Flipp</h2> <p><a href="https://flipp.com/">Flipp</a> matches local circular deals with coupons, allowing consumers to see the best price matches for their area. You can also connect your loyalty card numbers with the app, so that your personalized store coupons will sync with the deals. Since you have all of the current circulars in one spot, you can easily price match our favorite deals at a store that price matches.</p> <p>For example, if your local Wal-Mart will price match with online circulars, then you can simply show them this app, rather than keeping track of several different papers. Some stores will require the physical ad for price matching purposes, so know your store's policy before you shop.</p> <h2>3. Checkout 51</h2> <p><a href="https://www.checkout51.com/">Checkout 51</a> is very similar to<a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv">Ibotta</a>. All you have to do is buy one of the special offers (right now any brand of milk will earn you $.50 and tomatoes will earn $.25), scan the product bar code, and upload the receipt. It is very simple and quick to use. I like that all of the offers are right on the front screen, and you do not need to shop at a certain store. This means that if you find a gallon of milk at the .99 Cent Store, you can redeem it, whereas Ibotta does not offer that store for cash back.</p> <p>The Ibotta app still offers more cash back offers, but you don't have to pick one or the other. You can use both to get the most cash back possible. For example, if there is a $1.00 cash back offer for Enjoy Life cookies on Ibotta and Checkout 51, you can get $2 back from scanning your bar code and receipt on both apps. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year?ref=seealso">The Best Cash Back Sites to Earn Thousands Per Year</a>)</p> <h2>4. BerryCart</h2> <p><a href="http://www.berrycart.com/">BerryCart</a> is another cash back offer app that features healthy foods offers. This app pairs well with the Whole Foods app, since many of the deals will overlap, allowing you to get organic and non-GMO groceries for free or very little.</p> <h2>5. RedLaser</h2> <p>Not sure if you are getting the best deal on an item? Simply open up your<a href="http://redlaser.com/application/">RedLaser</a> app and scan the bar code. Not only will RedLaser show you which online stores have a better price on an item, but it also uses GPS to show you the price of that item at stores close to you. For example, if you wanted a certain book and went into Barnes and Noble to buy it, you could scan the bar code and find that the Target next door has the same exact book for $2 cheaper.</p> <h2>6. Shrink</h2> <p><a href="http://www.shrinktheapp.com/">Shrink</a> is a fun app to use. You can earn points, as well as cash back. You can earn points for sharing an item on Facebook, referring friends, and doing other small tasks. These points can then be redeemed for coupons and free grocery products. When you buy certain items, you can then earn cash back for that product. The only drawback is that Shrink features a lot of harder to find, specialty health food items. You might be able to find the products at your local Whole Foods. For example, I was interested in trying a new product called Mother-in-law's Kimchee, but the nearest location I could find it at was a specialty store 150 miles away.</p> <p>To save even more money on your groceries and earn more cash back, look up price matches before you go. Simply Google &quot;(store name) + price match + (current week or month).&quot; Many websites will easily lay out the best deals for certain stores, as well as which app cash back rebates are available.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite app to use at the grocery store?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-more-apps-that-pay-you-to-shop">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016">The 8 Shopping Apps That&#039;ll Actually Save You Money in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales">How to Find the Best Back to School Sales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-highly-effective-ways-to-save-without-clipping-a-coupon">6 Highly Effective Ways to Save Without Clipping a Coupon</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping apps berrycart cash back checkout 51 coupons deals groceries ibotta price matching Mon, 18 Jul 2016 09:00:09 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1753205 at http://www.wisebread.com The 8 Best Ways to Save on Back-to-School Supplies Right NOW http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-supplies-right-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-8-best-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-supplies-right-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_70676425_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="saving on back to school supplies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I realize summer vacation is still in full swing in many parts of the country and most parents have yet to think for a single second about back-to-school supplies. But if you can start your planning now, you can save a lot of money on your purchases. Using time to your advantage gives you the ability to buy when the price is right, and you won't be tempted to buy things at full price simply to cross them off your list. Here are eight ways to save on everything from pencils to a new laptop. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal?ref=seealso">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a>)</p> <h2>1. Always Shop Your Child's Backpack First</h2> <p>Before you stock-up on any school supplies for the upcoming school year, always pull out your child's backpack and empty it out. You'll be happily surprised how many items you'll discover that still have plenty of life left. By doing so, you'll avoid the sickening feeling of buying things like erasers, staplers, glue sticks, and notebooks only to discover perfectly acceptable versions in their backpack.</p> <h2>2. Set Price Alerts on Expensive Items</h2> <p>If you have a new laptop, scientific calculator, or other expensive tech item on your wish list, use time to your advantage and set up price alerts now so you buy only when the price is at its lowest point. If you're an Amazon loyalist, I recommend&nbsp;<a href="http://camelcamelcamel.com/">CamelCamelCamel.com</a> as an easy way to track price fluctuations. You simply sign-up for free, create price alerts for any product, and receive an email when the price is right. They also have a free&nbsp;<a href="http://camelcamelcamel.com/camelizer">browser extension</a> available which gives you instant access to the price history of items sold by Amazon. This is worth examining before you set up your price alerts so you know what price point to aim for.</p> <h2>3. Don't Buy All Supplies From One Store</h2> <p>The best way to guarantee you'll pay more than you should on back-to-school supplies is to walk into a single store and buy every item on your shopping list. Even if you shop at Wal-Mart, you'll still end up buying many items at full price. Instead, check out the sales fliers from all stores and plan your shopping accordingly. By having ample time on your hands to find the best deals, you'll be able to pick up items as you find them on sale. For example, you can pick up paper and pencils from Wal-Mart, but then stock up on the binders and backpacks on sale from Target.</p> <h2>4. Don't Neglect Office Supply Stores</h2> <p>Last year, some of the absolute best deals on back-to-school items were not found at the usual suspects like Wal-Mart, Target, and Kmart. Instead they were found at office supply stores like Staples, OfficeMax, and Office Depot. There were some amazing deals, like one-cent pencils, five-cent glue sticks, 10-cent folders, and five-cent erasers. The caveat is that many office supply stores carry a very limited supply, so keep a keen eye on sales fliers and pounce when the deals become available.</p> <h2>5. Always Price-Match Sold Out Items</h2> <p>When you visit a store like Staples and they've sold all of their one-cent pencils or 10-cent folders, don't despair. Instead, take their sales flyer into your lock&nbsp;<a href="http://help.walmart.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/31/~/walmarts-price-matching-policy">Wal-Mart</a> or&nbsp;<a href="https://corporate.target.com/about/shopping-experience/shop-with-confidence">Target</a> and they'll match the price as long as they carry the same brand. Or better yet, simply start your shopping at Wal-Mart or Target and bring along the office supply store ads with you and just match their prices. Keep in mind that when getting your price match, it doesn't matter if the office supply store has actually sold out of the item. This is a terrific way to be able to shop at a single store and get the best price in town on school supplies.</p> <h2>6. Avoid Cartoon Characters</h2> <p>A great way to overpay during back-to-school shopping is to fall for the cute cartoon characters that adorn items like pencils, backpacks, lunch bags, binders, and notepads. They're typically 20%-30% more expensive than items with no characters on them. If your child absolutely has to have Dory on her new lunch bag or backpack, buy some stickers and let them decorate it themselves.</p> <h2>7. Consider Shopping Solo</h2> <p>An easy way to avoid the temptation of buying pricey Disney items is to leave the kids at home altogether. Not only will it allow you to easily stick to your shopping list, but by shopping alone, the kids won't be able to throw you off your mission of finding and buying the best values. I love the idea of getting kids involved in back-to-school shopping, as it often increases their excitement about the upcoming year. I have found that a great way to do this is when you get home from your shopping trip, not during. Once you return, get them involved in the sorting and organizing of all the stuff you bought, and they will typically get all fired up about school.</p> <h2>8. Find Great Tech Deals Online</h2> <p>When it comes to finding online tech deals for items like laptops, desktops, and tablets, there are three sources you should definitely have bookmarked.</p> <p><a href="http://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/6099/campaigns/welcome-to-dell-university"><strong>Dell University</strong></a><strong>:</strong> When shopping online for a PC, Dell University has some excellent discounts exclusively for students. To take advantage, all you need to do is register for the free&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dell.com/en-us/member/learn/finance-and-rewards/rewards-details">Dell Advantage program</a> and provide the name of your school.</p> <p><a href="http://www.apple.com/us-hed/shop"><strong>Apple Education Pricing</strong></a><strong>:</strong> If an Apple computer is in your future, you'd be wise to check out their Educational Pricing page and save up to 25% off a new MacBook or iMac.</p> <p><a href="http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Global/College-Student-Deals/pcmcat276200050000.c?id=pcmcat276200050000"><strong>Best Buy College Student Deals</strong></a><strong>:</strong> Once you've created a Best Buy account, you can sign-up for exclusive college student deals for computers, small appliances, and accessories like external hard drives and software. Current examples include $100 off a MacBook or iMac, $30 off a Keurig Brewer, and 20% off Samsung and LG microwave ovens.</p> <p>By using these three little-known programs, you'll be able to get all of your tech needs at prices far below retail in many cases.</p> <p><em>How do you save money when buying back-to-school supplies for yourself or your kids? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-best-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-supplies-right-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-47-best-back-to-school-shopping-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: 47 Best Back-to-School Shopping Hacks Ever</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-use-google-alerts-to-save-money">6 Ways to Use Google Alerts to Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stock-up-on-school-and-office-supplies-with-back-to-school-sales">Stock up on school (and office) supplies with back-to-school sales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-everybody-saves-during-back-to-school">8 Ways Everybody Saves During Back-to-School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales">How to Find the Best Back to School Sales</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Education & Training Shopping back-to-school back-to-school shopping coupons office supplies saving money school supplies shopping Tue, 12 Jul 2016 09:30:40 +0000 Kyle James 1748327 at http://www.wisebread.com The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_happy_shopping_71503441.jpg" alt="Woman making shopping mistakes keeping her from a great deal" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In today's digital retail world, there are plenty of clever ways to save money while shopping, including traditional coupons, price protection policies, or cash back apps. But unfortunately, many shoppers still make some big mistakes along the way &mdash; mistakes that result in them paying way more than they should, either online or in-store. Here are some of the most common mistakes, and how to avoid them in the future.</p> <h2>1. Failing to Compare Prices</h2> <p>If you're blindly making purchases without investigating price, you're clearly spending more than you should. With the advent of smart shopping apps like&nbsp;<a href="http://shopsavvy.com/">ShopSavvy</a> and <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/quick-scan-barcode-scanner/id446067710" target="_blank">Quick Scan</a>, there's no reason not to compare prices on significant purchases. These apps work by simply scanning the item's bar code, and within seconds, you'll know if the product is sold cheaper down the street or online. Get in the habit of using one of these apps regularly and you'll never overpay again.</p> <h2>2. Never Considering Price-Protection Policies</h2> <p>While Amazon recently axed their seven-day price protection policy, many popular retailers still offer it. This is important to know, as retailers are always trying to anticipate demand and thus are constantly changing their prices, especially online. Take advantage of the following retailers' price-protection policies.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Best Buy (15 days):</strong> For an in-store purchase, simply return with your receipt and head straight to customer service. For an online purchase, call them at 1-888-BESTBUY to request your price adjustment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Costco (30 days):</strong> Hang onto your receipt and if you notice a lower price within 30 days, simply visit the customer relations desk and receive the difference. If for some reason you lose your receipt, you can always return the item (no receipt required) and rebuy at the lower price.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Dick's Sporting Goods (14 days):</strong> For in-store purchases, you must return to the store of original purchase, with receipt, to get your price adjustment. For online purchases, call them at 1-877-846-9997 to request a price adjustment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Home Depot (14 days):</strong> Bring the item and receipt back to the store within 14 days if the price has been lowered. For online purchases, you can call customer service at 1-800-430-3376.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Kohl's (14 days):</strong> You'll need the original receipt to get a Kohl's price adjustment within 14 days or purchase. Items that don't qualify include clearance, BOGO, and Kohl's Cares merchandise.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Macy's (14 days):</strong> Simply bring back your receipt within 14 days for in-store purchases. For online orders, <a href="https://www.customerservice-macys.com/app/help/price_adjust#formstart">use this form</a> to get your price adjustment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Staples (14 days):</strong> Take your original receipt back to Staples within 14 days and get the lower price. For an online purchase, call them at 1-800-333-3330 to get your price adjustment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Target (7 days):</strong> Bring your receipt in, within seven days, if the item you bought goes down in price. Clearance items are not eligible for price protection. Also, keep an eye out on competitor's pricing as Target will also price match the following retailers within seven days of your purchase: Amazon, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com, ToysRUs.com, and BabiesRUs.com.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Wal-Mart (7 days):</strong> Wal-Mart will refund the difference if the price drops within seven days of your purchase. Exclusions include clearance, special buys, and value of the day products.</li> </ul> <h2>3. Buying the Wrong Items in Bulk</h2> <p>When it comes to buying items in bulk from warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam's, some items don't make the grade and should stay out of your shopping cart completely. Here are some to be aware of.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Brown rice:</strong> Due to the oil content in brown rice, it only lasts for three to six months on average, compared to an indefinite shelf life for white rice. Only buy what you can consume in a few months.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Condiments:</strong> Unless you eat hot dogs and hamburgers on a daily basis, you'll hardly ever use up all of the ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise before they go bad.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Cooking oils:</strong> They just don't have a very long shelf life, so only buy if you know you'll use them before their expiration date.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Nuts:</strong> Because they are loaded with oil, they tend to go rancid fairly quickly. Even when stored in an ideal temperature and humidity, they only last a couple of months.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Bleach:</strong> This one was a surprise to learn. Apparently bleach is only usable for three to six months; after that it starts to lose its effectiveness.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Baking powder:</strong> A big box of baking powder is often a bad buy, as you typically don't need much, and it only lasts for six to 12 months, depending on how you store it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Beer:</strong> Many shoppers will stock up on beer for an upcoming party and overbuy, leaving them with a lot leftover. If you're not a beer drinker, be warned that most beers only have a shelf life of three to five months.</li> </ul> <h2>4. Assuming the Final Price Is What You Have to Pay</h2> <p>If you assume the price on the tag is what you're stuck paying, you're clearly doing it all wrong. You've failed to consider money-saving tools like coupons, cash back, and the idea of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-retailers-where-you-can-negotiate-a-lower-price">negotiating a lower price</a>. Here is how to take advantage of each:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Coupons:</strong> When shopping in-store, arm your smartphone with the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/mobile-coupons/">CouponSherpa</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.retailmenot.com/mobile/">RetailMeNot</a> apps. The combination of both will provide you with a plethora of coupons to thousands of stores which the cashier can simply scan when you're checking out.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Cash back:</strong> Use free apps like&nbsp;<a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv">Ibotta</a> and&nbsp;<a href="https://checkout51.com/">Checkout51</a> gather rebates at the grocery store on items you'll be buying anyway. You will be amazed how quickly your cash back rebates add up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">Earn Thousands Per Year with These Cash Back Sites</a>)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Negotiate:</strong> Always look for damaged packaging, floor models, and imperfect items and negotiate a deal. Often times they will already be marked down, but managers want them out of the store quickly. To accomplish this, they will often sweeten the deal for you by 10% &mdash; 20% if you politely ask.</li> </ul> <h2>5. Always Buying Brand New</h2> <p>If you have the mindset that &quot;new is always better,&quot; you're making a big shopping blunder. If you can&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-should-always-buy-used">consider buying used</a> when making big purchases like a new car, to small purchases like textbooks, furniture, tools, and exercise equipment, you'll save significant money. After all, it makes smart financial sense to let someone else take the depreciation hit. While Craigslist is the obvious place to start your search, don't forget about&nbsp;<a href="http://gsalr.com/">GSALR.com</a> which helps you find garage sales in your local area. The site even offers a Google map to each garage sale and allows you to filter your search by specific keywords like &quot;furniture,&quot; &quot;baby clothes,&quot; or &quot;golf clubs.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Stocking Up Because It's a &quot;Deal&quot;</h2> <p>Do you ever fight the temptation to stock up when you find a good deal, even if in the back of your mind you know you don't need more than one? It's an easy trap to fall into and it often leads to overspending. An easy way to remedy this problem is to stick to your shopping list, and budget, and know that buying excess &quot;deals&quot; often leads to excess waste.</p> <p><em>What shopping mistakes have led you to overspend in the past?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-highly-effective-ways-to-save-without-clipping-a-coupon">6 Highly Effective Ways to Save Without Clipping a Coupon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-coupons-trick-you-into-spending-more-money">5 Times Coupons Trick You Into Spending More Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-frugal-skills-you-need-to-survive-black-friday">8 Frugal Skills You Need to Survive Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-genius-ways-to-save-on-cyber-monday">6 Genius Ways to Save on Cyber Monday</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping cash back coupons deals discounts negotiation price comparisons price protection sales saving money Tue, 28 Jun 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Kyle James 1738706 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Convince a Store Clerk to Give You a Deal http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-convince-a-store-clerk-to-give-you-a-deal <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-convince-a-store-clerk-to-give-you-a-deal" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_bag_83996573.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to convince store clerk to give her a deal" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The time and effort required to &quot;extreme coupon&quot; is something that many of us&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extreme-couponing-5-reasons-why-i-ll-pass">would rather pass on</a>. Instead, learn the right questions to ask store employees to score the best deal possible. Sometimes they'll pass along an exclusive coupon, and sometimes they'll drop clues on the best day of the week to shop, or the products they can mark down for you. By knowing the right questions to ask, you can easily maximize your savings on your next shopping trip. Here's what you need to know.</p> <h2>1. Ask About Markdown Days</h2> <p>Most retailers, both small and large, have specific days of the week when they do their internal store markdowns. Whether it's adding new items to the clearance section, or reducing the price on already reduced clearance products, if you know the &quot;markdown&quot; day, you can shop when the selection is the greatest and actually save some money. Alternatively, if you shop on the day before they do their markdowns, you'll find the clearance section picked over and will offer little of value. Avoid that day if you can by asking when the store does their markdowns.</p> <p>For example, a Macy's employee told me to shop on a Tuesday as they have all their markdowns done by then. Also, if you're a Kohl's shopper, I was told to shop on the 2nd and 4th Saturday every month. The bottom-line is to have the conversation at your favorite store as the information can really help you shop when the clearance section is stacked with fresh deals. I have found that most employees are very open to share this information if you have a friendly chat with them.</p> <h2>2. Ask About Floor Models and Imperfect Items</h2> <p>When I worked at The Home Depot, floor employees were given the authority to markdown imperfect items, scratch and dents, and floor models in order to clear them out of the store quickly. This included marking down damaged packaging that did not affect the quality of the actual product.</p> <p>I can remember having regular customers who would ask me specifically if we had any such items that they could get a deal on. I'd then happily point to them the products I could mark down for them and they often got stuff for 25%&ndash;30% off the original retail price. Start asking employees at stores like The Home Depot, Lowe's, Best Buy, and Walmart about deals on floor items and imperfect stuff. If you can't find any specific items to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-retailers-where-you-can-negotiate-a-lower-price">ask for a discount</a>, then just ask an employee, &quot;Do you have any screaming deals on floor models or scratch and dents?&quot; Then just follow them to the real deals in the store.</p> <h2>3. Ask for a Coupon</h2> <p>Many retailers arm their employees with special coupons and discounts to freely hand out to customers in an effort to build store loyalty and goodwill. So if you're shopping in-store, and you can't find a coupon via your smartphone, start a polite conversation with an employee and ask if they might have a coupon to use. You have absolutely nothing to lose and significant savings to gain. JCPenney, Macy's, Old Navy, Bed Bath &amp; Beyond, and Cost Plus are a few of the stores where this has been known to work effectively.</p> <h2>4. Expired Coupon? Use It Anyway</h2> <p>Have you ever been on a shopping trip and pulled a coupon out of your purse or wallet only to realize it expired last week? For a frugal shopper, it can be a sickening feeling. Next time this happens, still try to use the expired coupon as often the cashier will say, &quot;Oh sorry, this one is expired. But I have one here by the register that you can use.&quot; They'll then scan it for you and you'll save some cash. Stores where I have used this strategy successfully include Bed Bath &amp; Beyond, Michaels, Jo-Ann Fabric, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Harbor Freight Tools.</p> <h2>5. Find Out Which Items You Can Negotiate</h2> <p>It's no secret that retailers have certain products that offer a larger profit margin than others. I recently had a Best Buy employee tell me that products with a bigger profit margin are the items they can negotiate a lower price on. He went on to say that high-end TVs often have more wiggle room in price than those in the $250&ndash;$500 range.</p> <p>Use this information to your advantage and try to politely negotiate a lower price on higher end electronics. If you're worried about looking cheap, try the &quot;bundling&quot; technique. This is when you bundle a TV with a Blu-ray player and ask for a 15% discount if you buy both on the spot. This will also often work at big-box home improvement stores. Think things like a lawn mower purchased with a weed eater, or chain saw with a carrying case and new chain.</p> <h2>6. Ask About Upcoming Sales</h2> <p>When I worked retail, I always had some insider knowledge on upcoming sales events or exclusive coupons and rebates. Most floor employees at big-box retailers have an idea of when prices will probably get better. So ask them when they recommend you should buy to maximize your savings. They'll often tell you to come back on a specific day or weekend as everything will be on sale or when there will be a great coupon available. In either case, just by asking, you can easily get some insider knowledge that'll save you some money.</p> <p><em>What outside-the-box tricks do you use to score a great deal?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-convince-a-store-clerk-to-give-you-a-deal">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-coupons-trick-you-into-spending-more-money">5 Times Coupons Trick You Into Spending More Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-coupon-rules-that-stores-let-you-break">4 Coupon Rules That Stores Let You Break</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-genius-ways-to-save-on-cyber-monday">6 Genius Ways to Save on Cyber Monday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-everyday-money-tasks-youve-been-doing-wrong">12 Everyday Money Tasks You&#039;ve Been Doing Wrong</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bargains buying coupons discounts negotiating retail saving money strategy Mon, 20 Jun 2016 09:30:20 +0000 Kyle James 1732053 at http://www.wisebread.com