calendar http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1757/all en-US Hurray! Annual Freebie Calendar http://www.wisebread.com/hurray-annual-freebie-calendar <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/hurray-annual-freebie-calendar" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dozen_donuts.jpg" alt="Man with donuts" title="Man with donuts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="158" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Don't you hate it when you find out today <em>was</em> free ice cream day by seeing photos on Facebook of your friends chowing down? Print out this calendar of the freebies that tend to come up year after year, and you'll never be caught unawares. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free</a>)</p> <h2>January</h2> <p>New Year's Day freebies on Jan. 1 have included <a href="http://forthemommas.com/free-stuff/free-sheetz-coffee-on-new-years-day">free coffee at Sheetz</a> (seriously, this is the name of a store chain), and in a few areas, a whole <a href="http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/blog/stay_tuned/2011/12/free-donuts-to-ring-in-the-new-year.html">box of Dunkin' Donuts</a> for the first few customers of the morning.</p> <h2>February/March</h2> <p>IHOP usually gives away short stacks of pancakes once a year, on or near <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/01/ihop-free-pancake-day-2011_n_829705.html">&quot;Pancake Day,&quot; or Shrove Tuesday</a>. In 2012, this was <a href="http://www.ihoppancakeday.com/">Feb. 28</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.benjerry.com/scoop-shops/free-cone-day">Ben &amp; Jerry's Free Cone Day</a>&nbsp;comes <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_%26_Jerry's">between late March and early May</a>.</p> <h2>April</h2> <p>Every year a number of businesses offer something <a href="http://www.taxdayfreebies.com/">free on Tax Day</a>, on or around April 15. Past Tax Day offers have included coffee at Starbucks and food at Panda Express, Cinnabon, and Arby's. Also watch for local Tax Day promotions, like special happy hours.</p> <p>In the past, Baskin Robbins has offered its <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/141042619296709/">cones for 31 cents apiece</a> in April &mdash; not free but almost. In 2012 they didn't host this event.</p> <h2>May</h2> <p>The first Saturday in May is <a href="http://www.freecomicbookday.com/Home/1/1/27/992">Free Comic Book Day</a> &mdash; check to see if your local shop is participating.</p> <p>Haagen-Dazs usually chooses a <a href="http://moneyland.time.com/2012/05/08/free-cone-day-today-at-haagen-dazs/">day in May to give out free cones</a>.</p> <p>May 8 is Teacher Appreciation Day, and <a href="http://funfamilyfreebies.blogspot.com/2012/05/happy-national-teacher-day-to-all.html">Buca di Beppo, OfficeMax, and others</a> have offered teachers goodies around then. Homeschooling parents can sometimes collect those freebies as well.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savingscow.com/2012/05/06/happy-nurses-day-freebies-for-nurses-for-national-nurses-week/">National Nurse's Week</a> falls in May, and certain chains such as Cinnabon and Buca di Beppo like to treat healthcare workers to a little sumpin-sumpin.</p> <p>For the Mommas has a nice <a href="http://forthemommas.com/free-stuff/mothers-day-freebies-2012-2">list of Mother's Day freebies</a> that were offered this year, including a free cone at TCBY and some buy one, get one free offers.</p> <h2>June</h2> <p>The first Friday in June is <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Doughnut_Day">National Donut Day</a>. Krispy Kreme, Dunkin' Donuts, and other shops have offered a free donut on this day in recent years, sometimes requiring a purchase.</p> <p>A lesser-known freebie day, <a href="http://www.freerpgday.com/index.htm">Free Roll-Playing Game Day</a>, was celebrated on June 16 in 2012.</p> <p><a href="http://www.takemefishing.org/assets/downloads/FreeFishingDays.pdf">Free Fishing Days</a> (PDF), when you can fish without a license, are locally scheduled by individual states, but most of them fall in June.</p> <p>Dads can usually snag some freebies on Father's Day, such as <a href="http://www.fathersdayfreebies.com/">free breakfast at Ikea and buy one, get one free coffee at Caribou</a>.</p> <h2>July</h2> <p>Convenience store chain 7-Eleven has been known to give out <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2012/0711/Free-Slurpee-Day-Celebrate-7-Eleven-s-birthday-on-7-11">free Slurpees</a> to celebrate its &quot;birthday&quot; on July 11.</p> <h2>August</h2> <p>Whether you have kids in school or not, you should pay attention to the ads at office supply stores as summer winds down. As they compete to bring in back-to-school shoppers, OfficeMax, Office Depot, and Staples often offer a few items for free. Sometimes the goods are free upfront &mdash; usually smaller things like a pack of crayons or pencils. More expensive items, like backpacks, may be offered free or for a penny after rebate.</p> <h2>September</h2> <p>In honor of Make-a-Wish Month, Cold Stone Creamery usually holds <a href="http://www.coldstonecreamery.com/promos/makeawish/">The World's Largest Ice Cream Social</a> during September, where you get a free creation and are invited to donate to Make-a-Wish. Last year, this happened on Sept. 27.</p> <h2>October</h2> <p>Walgreens often offers free photo collages around Halloween.</p> <p>Chipotle used to give away a free burrito to kids who dressed like one on Halloween, but in recent years they've <a href="http://fastfood.ocregister.com/2010/10/30/chipotle-says-no-to-free-halloween-burrito-yes-to-2-deal/77728/">charged $2 for it</a> &mdash; still a frightfully good deal.</p> <h2>November</h2> <p>On Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving), you can often find department store coupons for $10 off any purchase, which can lead to a free $10 item. Sometimes restaurants offer free coffee and other treats to tired shoppers.</p> <h2>Your Birthday</h2> <p>This is the best freebie day of the year! You can sign up for everything from <a href="https://www.baskinrobbins.com/content/baskinrobbins/en/signin.html">free ice cream</a> to <a href="http://dennys.com/?utm_source=google&amp;utm_medium=cpc&amp;utm_term=free%20meal%20on%20your%20birthday&amp;utm_campaign=%28UB%29+Free+Birthday+Meal+P-&amp;utm_content=s3JECKqk1|13101032436&amp;gclid=CNG9_aaKtrECFSQ0QgodoBQAJQ#/specials/specialsMenuLeft3">free meals</a> &mdash; and many, many local bars will give you a free drink as well. You can also check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-birthday-freebies">Big List of Birthday Freebies</a>.</p> <p><em>What did we miss? Leave your own favorite annual freebie in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hurray-annual-freebie-calendar">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-save-with-amazon-prime-pantry">Can You Really Save With Amazon Prime Pantry?</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-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-extra-virgin-olive-oils">The 5 Best Extra Virgin Olive Oils</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/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Freebies Shopping calendar free things to do freebies Wed, 01 Aug 2012 10:36:41 +0000 Carrie Kirby 944698 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Rid of and Avoid Late Fees http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-and-avoid-late-fees <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-rid-of-and-avoid-late-fees" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_on_phone.jpg" alt="Woman on the phone" title="Woman on the phone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="137" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Here&rsquo;s a quiz &mdash; other than a catastrophic financial event, like a bankruptcy or foreclosure, what financial activity is most damaging to your credit score?</p> <p>If you chose, &ldquo;Paying your bills late,&rdquo; you&rsquo;re right. Of the <a href="http://www.myfico.com/CreditEducation/WhatsInYourScore.aspx">five main factors that impact your credit score</a>, your on-time payment record carries the most weight. Of course, paying late doesn&rsquo;t just dent your credit score, it dents your wallet in the form of late fees.</p> <p>The best way to get rid of late fees is to never incur them in the first place. Here&rsquo;s your guide to building an impenetrable late fee avoidance system. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tips-to-shrink-your-bills-every-year">6 Tips to Shrink Your Bills Every Year</a>)</p> <h2>Pay Right Away</h2> <p>Do you have a stack of bills sitting on your desk or kitchen counter? Are they at least stacked with the one that needs to be paid the soonest on top? Even so, to avoid late fees, get in the habit of paying your bills the day they arrive. Sure, you&rsquo;ll lose &ldquo;the float,&rdquo; the time between the arrival of the bill and the due date when your money could be sitting in your interest-bearing checking account racking up all that .01% interest. But getting slammed with a late fee, typically $25-$39, will wipe out about 13 lifetimes of earnings at that rate.</p> <h2>Pay Online</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re still paying bills by check, consider switching to electronic payments, which arrive faster and never get lost in the mail.</p> <p>The most sure-fire way to avoid late fees is to automate your bill payments. Just about any monthly bill can be paid automatically. Whether you should do so is partly a matter of whether you trust that the right amount will be billed each month.</p> <p>We pay our mortgage, health insurance, and some of our utilities automatically. However, we take a manual approach to paying our phone and credit card bills online, preferring to check those bills more closely for accuracy before clicking the &ldquo;pay&rdquo; button.</p> <h2>Ask for Reminders</h2> <p>No matter how you pay, sign up for e-mail and/or text reminders about upcoming bills. Most companies that you spend money with on a regular basis offer electronic reminders. Since we use <a href="http://www.mattaboutmoney.com/2011/08/08/how-does-mint-com-keep-user-information-safe-a-conversation-with-mint%E2%80%99s-security-architect/">Mint.com</a>, which also sends notifications of upcoming bill due dates, we get two electronic reminders for most of our bills.</p> <h2>Remind Yourself</h2> <p>One of the reasons why <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">air travel</a> is so safe these days is because of redundant systems. If one flight control computer system fails, there&rsquo;s another one to automatically take its place.</p> <p>You can build redundancy into your on-time bill-pay system as well by putting reminders in your calendar. Most electronic calendars allow you to set up recurring events.</p> <p>If one of your credit card bills is due on the 11<sup>th</sup> of every month, you can set a reminder one time and have it show up on your calendar every month on the same day. Of course, set the reminder for at least a few days <em>before </em>the due date to make sure the bill gets paid on time.</p> <p>I use iCal on my Mac. To set a recurring reminder, just choose New Event from the File menu and where it says, &ldquo;repeat,&rdquo; choose &ldquo;monthly.&rdquo; If you use Google Calendar, hit &ldquo;Create,&rdquo; add an &ldquo;Event,&rdquo; click the &ldquo;Repeat&rdquo; box, and fill in the details.</p> <p>I also use different colors for different activities in my electronic calendar, which makes the bill due dates really stand out.</p> <p>And remember, it isn&rsquo;t just credit card companies that dole out late fees. Insurance companies, libraries, video rental companies, and many others will slap you with a fee if you pay your bill late or return their stuff late. So, put <em>all </em>of your due dates in your calendar.</p> <h2>If a Late Fee Happens to You</h2> <p>If somehow a bill slips through your impenetrable late fee avoidance system and you incur a late fee, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-what-you-want-on-customer-service-calls">call the company</a> that hit you with the penalty and plead for forgiveness. If you&rsquo;ve been a customer for a while and have had a clean record up to now, you stand a good chance of getting the fee wiped off your bill. However, if at first you don&rsquo;t succeed, ask to speak to a customer service supervisor. Be super kind, accept responsibility, and let them know what steps you&rsquo;ve taken to avoid paying late ever again (see above steps).</p> <p><em>What other steps do you take to avoid late fees?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-and-avoid-late-fees">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-best-prepaid-debit-cards">5 Best Prepaid Debit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</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/travel-and-money-using-prepaid-travel-cards">Travel and Money: Using Prepaid Travel Cards</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/credit-cards-vs-debit-cards-a-comprehensive-comparison">Credit Cards vs. Debit Cards: A Comprehensive Comparison</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-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about">13 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn&#039;t Know About</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Banking Credit Cards automate bill payments calendar customer service late fees Tue, 27 Dec 2011 11:24:18 +0000 Matt Bell 837981 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Ensure You Use Your Groupons and Other Daily Deals http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-ensure-you-use-your-groupons-and-other-daily-deals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-ensure-you-use-your-groupons-and-other-daily-deals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/using_groupon.jpg" alt="Woman using a Groupon" title="Woman using a Groupon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="160" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have an embarrassing admission &mdash; when I moved across the country six month ago, I left a small wave of unused daily deals vouchers in my wake.</p> <p>I felt awful about it &mdash; I hate wasting money! But as my life got busy preparing for a cross-country move, I found myself forgetting expiration dates, meeting friends for goodbyes at non-coupon restaurants because they were more convenient, and in the end, leaving some vouchers because I simply ran out of time and couldn't find anyone else who wanted to use them.</p> <p>Granted, I did have a lot going on at the time. That said, no matter how calm or busy your life is, it can be easy to buy a <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10817658">Groupon</a>, Living Social, or other daily deal coupon on impulse and forget about it. If you're the sort of person who loves purchasing daily deals, but isn't always great at using them, follow these techniques to make sure you get the most out of your coupons. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-daily-deals-make-good-gifts">Do Daily Deals Make Good Gifts?</a>)</p> <h3>1. Put Deadlines on Your Calendar &mdash; More Than Once</h3> <p>For months I put the expiration dates of my daily deals on my Google calendar, thinking that would be enough to remind me to use them. And sure, I'd remember...two days before they expired. This left me scrambling to use the coupons. Now I also put a two-week warning on my calendar as well so I have plenty of time to plan.</p> <h3>2. Get Deals With a Buddy</h3> <p>My friend Chantal is my exercise buddy. When I see an interesting deal for dancing, spinning, or another type of exercise, I'll forward it to her. If we both decide to get it, we're able to keep on each other to make sure we use the deal. This technique works for just about any deal, too &mdash; before you buy, find an interested friend to check out a restaurant with you, do a spa day, or take a tour.</p> <h3>3. Use the Voucher Immediately</h3> <p>Why procrastinate? If you're a strike-while-the-iron-is-sizzling type (or a forget-that-the-iron-is-on type), use your deal as soon as you get it.</p> <h3>4. Keep an Entertainment Folder</h3> <p>If you don't want to use your voucher immediately, you can at least print it immediately. Keep your unused vouchers in a folder somewhere prominent in your home, and when you're trying to think of where you want to eat or what you want to do, flip through your entertainment folder, grab a voucher, and go. You can also keep vouchers in your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-items-city-dwelling-dudes-should-keep-in-their-bags">bag</a> or wallet if you want to impulsively use one when you're out and about &mdash; just make sure it's not one that requires a reservation.</p> <h3>5. Remember &mdash; You Can Use Your Vouchers After Their Expiration Dates</h3> <p>Even if you pass the deadline of the &quot;promotional value&quot; of your deal, you can still redeem the purchase value of it. For example, if you paid $15 for $45 of sushi and you forget to use the deal before it expires, you can still get your $15 with your voucher. It's always best to check the terms of your individual deal, but generally, this is the case.</p> <p><em>Do you have any techniques for making sure you use your daily deal vouchers? Share in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-ensure-you-use-your-groupons-and-other-daily-deals">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/flashback-friday-the-107-best-breakfast-hacks-to-start-your-day-off-right">Flashback Friday: The 107 Best Breakfast Hacks to Start Your Day Off Right</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-hacks-for-single-living">10 Frugal Hacks for Single Living</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-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</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-negotiation-mistakes-that-will-destroy-your-deal">10 Negotiation Mistakes That Will Destroy Your 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/30-meaningful-mothers-day-gifts-for-every-budget">30 Meaningful Mother&#039;s Day Gifts for Every Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks calendar daily deals expire groupon Thu, 15 Sep 2011 10:36:19 +0000 Meg Favreau 706961 at http://www.wisebread.com The Store Sales Cycle: Your Monthly Guide to Clearance Prices http://www.wisebread.com/the-store-sales-cycle-your-monthly-guide-to-clearance-prices <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-store-sales-cycle-your-monthly-guide-to-clearance-prices" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000003869958Small.jpg" alt="Women shopping" title="Women shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My recent article on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extreme-couponing-5-reasons-why-i-ll-pass">extreme couponing</a> definitely got people talking. There's nothing like a lively debate. However, I always like to take something positive away from even the most negative of experiences, and I did discover something that extreme couponers know well &mdash; the store sales cycle.</p> <p>For various reasons, including overstocking of products that are in season and clearing the aisles for the next big holiday, stores put items on sale at the same times every year. With very few exceptions, the same products get cleared out as regularly as clockwork every year, and knowing when they go on sale can help you stock up and save money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Shopping Calendar</a> product-buying guides)</p> <p>Here's a basic, month-by-month guide to the major products, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">produce</a>, and categories that go on sale throughout the year.</p> <p>Keep it handy the next time you plan a big shop, or when you clip a few coupons (I'm not against coupons, just extreme couponing). This is for the United States, by the way; other countries will have the same kinds of sales after major holidays or events, but many other factors will vary the list.</p> <h2>January</h2> <p>Super Bowl is just around the corner, so look for bargains on Pepsi and Coke products, chips and dips, cheese, beer, crackers, snacks, hot dogs and wings, frozen appetizers, and pizzas. Also, with the diet trend in full swing with the start of a new year, look for low-fat, low-carb specials: granola bars, diet frozen meals, diet cereals, yogurts, diet sodas and drinks, and Slim Fast shakes. And as it is cold and flu season, look for bargains in the medicine aisles, including vitamins, fish oils, cold remedies, and chapsticks.</p> <h4>Major Events</h4> <p>Preparation for Super Bowl Sunday, New Year's Resolutions</p> <h4>Seasonal Produce on Sale</h4> <p>Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, grapefruit, leeks, lemons, oranges, papayas, tangelos, and tangerines.</p> <h4>Clearance Items</h4> <p>The holidays are over, so look for major bargains in toys, Christmas decorations, seasonal candy, wrapping papers, and greeting cards.</p> <h2>February</h2> <p>Did you know there was a month devoted to canned goods? Well, it comes with great bargains. And as canned food takes forever to go bad, you can stock up on items like soups, canned vegetables and fruits, canned pie fillings, and canned meats and seafood. This is also a good time to grab breakfast foods, like oatmeal, waffles, and syrups.</p> <p>Chinese New Year also brings bargains in the specialty food aisles, so grab soy sauce, noodles, canned Asian products (vegetables and sauces), dried Asian mushrooms, and Asian cooking oils.&nbsp;</p> <h4>Major Events</h4> <p>Valentine's Day, Black History Month, Chinese New Year, National Canned Food Month</p> <h4>Seasonal Produce on Sale</h4> <p>Broccoli, cauliflower, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, and papayas.</p> <h4>Clearance Items</h4> <p>The day for love is followed by a week of sales. Once Valentine's Day is done, look for major bargains on heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, flowers, themed candies, greeting cards and wrap, perfumes, and deodorant gift boxes.</p> <h2>March</h2> <p>Clear out the freezer for Frozen Food Month. You&rsquo;ll find hundreds of deals in the frozen food aisles, including plenty of frozen vegetables, meats, readymade meals, breakfast items, and pizzas. A lot of products go on sale this month for spring cleaning, including paper towels, cleaning supplies, cloths, garbage bags, and protective gloves.</p> <h4>Major Events</h4> <p>St. Patrick&rsquo;s Day, Frozen Food Month, Mardi Gras</p> <h4>Seasonal Produce on Sale</h4> <p>Broccoli, lettuce, pineapples, and mangoes.</p> <h4>Clearance Items</h4> <p>Great sales items follow St. Paddy&rsquo;s Day, including themed beer glasses, t-shirts, signs, decorations, and candies. Guinness items often go on sale, too.</p> <h2>April</h2> <p>Lots of baking supplies go on sale in April. Look for bargains in the baking aisles, like sugar, flour, cake mixes, nuts, coconut, marshmallows, cake decorating supplies, butter and margarine, chocolate chips, and sprinkles. Earth Day also brings bargains in the organic section of the store, as well as savings on energy-efficient bulbs, tofu, reusable bags, and biodegradable products.</p> <h4>Major Events</h4> <p>Easter, Earth Day</p> <h4>Seasonal Produce on Sale</h4> <p>Broccoli, lettuce, zucchini, rhubarb, artichokes, asparagus, spring peas, pineapples, and mangoes.</p> <h4>Clearance Items</h4> <p>A glut of cheap candy is coming your way with after-Easter bargains including chocolate eggs and bunnies, baskets, toys, themed decorations, and egg-painting kits.</p> <h2>May</h2> <p>The first great grilling event of the year brings bargains in meats, cheeses, BBQ sauces, charcoal, salads and salad dressings, chips and dips, marinades, hot dogs, burgers, and buns. You&rsquo;ll also find Cinco De Mayo deals, including drink mixes, tortillas, spices, and liquor.</p> <h4>Major Events</h4> <p>Memorial Day, Cinco De Mayo, Mother&rsquo;s Day</p> <h4>Seasonal Produce on Sale</h4> <p>Okra, zucchini, rhubarb, artichokes, asparagus, spring peas, broccoli, lettuce, cherries, pineapples, and apricots.</p> <h4>Clearance Items</h4> <p>Once Mother&rsquo;s Day is over, you can expect bargain flowers, chocolates, greeting cards, craft items, clothing, and other themed products. The same is true for Memorial Day and Cinco De Mayo leftovers, including decorations, t-shirts and aprons, eating utensils, paper plates, sunscreen, and insect repellant.</p> <h2>June</h2> <p>Celebrating dairy products for National Dairy Month means that there are deals galore, including eggs, milk, cheese, cream cheese, butter, ice cream, yogurt, frozen yogurt, creams, and whipped toppings. You should also see bargains for 4th of July preparation, including condiments, charcoal, salad dressing, and chips and dips.</p> <h4>Major Events</h4> <p>Father&rsquo;s Day, National Dairy Month</p> <h4>Seasonal Produce on Sale</h4> <p>Corn, lettuce, watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, blueberries, peaches, and apricots.</p> <h4>Clearance Items</h4> <p>After Father's Day, expect clearance items like themed ties, t-shirts, boxed deodorant/aftershave sets, greeting cards, tool sets, gift wrap, and gardening items.</p> <h2>July</h2> <p>No big surprises here. July 4th brings some great bargains on sodas, juice boxes, hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, chicken, salmon, BBQ sauces, condiments, charcoal, salad dressings, liquor and drink mixes, chips and dips, aluminum foil, and baking potatoes. You&rsquo;ll also find some great deals in the ice cream aisles.</p> <h4>Major Events</h4> <p>Independence Day, National Ice Cream Month</p> <h4>Seasonal Produce on Sale</h4> <p>Cucumbers, tomatoes, summer squash, corn, green beans, lettuce, watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, blueberries, apricots, kiwi, raspberries, and plums.</p> <h4>Clearance Items</h4> <p>After July 4th, look for all kinds of slashed prices on things like themed decorations, paper plates and napkins, utensils, banners, patriotic pins, and flags. You should also see the beginning of some back-to-school bargains.</p> <h2>August</h2> <p>As you get into back-to-school mode, look for a feeding frenzy with juice boxes, Lunchables and other ready-made kid snacks, cereals, pudding cups, tissues, granola bars, fruit snacks, canned fruit, lunchmeats, and cheese slices. Also, disinfectants, hand sanitizers, and cleaning wipes.</p> <h4>Major Events</h4> <p>Back to School</p> <h4>Seasonal Produce on Sale</h4> <p>Cucumbers, corn, eggplant, tomatoes, summer squash, green beans, lettuce, watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, blueberries, peaches, apricots, kiwi, raspberries, and plums.</p> <h4>Clearance Items</h4> <p>It&rsquo;s hard to believe, but by August the retailers are already done with summer and are planning for Halloween. Seriously. So look for clearance items like sunscreen, insect repellent, swimsuits, shorts, caps, sporting goods, tents, charcoal, flip-flops, and water toys.</p> <h2>September</h2> <p>Another month, another reason to get the grill out. Actually, it&rsquo;s probably the last major time to do it before the winter, so look for the usual BBQ special offers. Back-to-school products are still going strong with special offers, and a lot of breakfast products will be on sale, ready to help you get your kids in the mood for school. September is also a good time to get your diabetes supplies, including glucose meters, testing strips, and sugar-free products.</p> <h4>Major Events</h4> <p>Labor Day, Hispanic Heritage Month</p> <h4>Seasonal Produce on Sale</h4> <p>Eggplants, pumpkins, tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, grapes, and pomegranates.</p> <h4>Clearance Items</h4> <p>Once the kids are actually back in school, all of those supplies go on sale. Look for pencils, pens, erasers, scissors, notebooks, backpacks, and all sorts of other school supplies.</p> <h2>October</h2> <p>With the holidays approaching fast, the baking aisles start to offer tempting sales. Canned pumpkin, pie crusts, baking chips, chocolates, and other baking supplies go on sale now. There&rsquo;s also an Italian flavor to the special offers in October, with wines, pasta products, and frozen pizzas also on sale this month. And you will see some good bargains in the pet food aisles, particularly dog food (dry and canned).</p> <h4>Major Events</h4> <p>Halloween, Columbus Day, Yom Kippur</p> <h4>Seasonal Produce on Sale</h4> <p>Sweet potatoes, pumpkins, winter squash, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, cranberries, apples, pomegranates, and grapes.</p> <h4>Clearance Items</h4> <p>The stores are still trying to dump the last of the summer items. Look for fans, more camping equipment, and outdoor furniture.</p> <h2>November</h2> <p>Well, it&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dealista-tip-how-to-get-the-best-deals-on-black-friday">Black Friday</a> month. That means everything in the entire store is on sale at some point. But barring that, there are scheduled deals in specific departments. Thanksgiving runs the show, with bargains to be found on turkeys, stuffing, soups, canned yams and vegetables, canned pumpkin, cranberry sauce, marshmallows, gravy mixes, pie crusts, flour, sugar, baking soda and powder, cake mixes, frosting, evaporated/condensed milk, chocolate chips, broths, Jell-O and pudding, hot cocoa, and coffee and tea.</p> <h4>Major Events</h4> <p>Thanksgiving, Black Friday</p> <h4>Seasonal Produce on Sale</h4> <p>Pumpkins, winter squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, spinach, cranberries, oranges, pears, and pomegranates.</p> <h4>Clearance Items</h4> <p>Halloween is expensive, but it doesn&rsquo;t have to be. Stock up on the supplies now, with everything Halloween-related going on sale for the first few weeks of November. It&rsquo;s not uncommon to see 90% off costumes and decorations in the week following Halloween; the stores want the shelf space for Christmas.</p> <h2>December</h2> <p>&lsquo;Tis the season to spend all of your money, but there are bargains to be had. Eggnog deals start the month off right, as well as instant potatoes, gravy mixes, champagne, disposable containers, foil and cling wrap, party platters, and all the other great baking and party foods that went on sale for Thanksgiving.</p> <h4>Major Events</h4> <p>Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa</p> <h4>Seasonal Produce on Sale</h4> <p>Sweet potatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, pears, oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, papayas, and pomegranates.</p> <h4>Clearance Items</h4> <p>After Thanksgiving, the shelves are filled with clearance products around the theme. All sorts of fall merchandise, frozen turkeys, stuffing, festive doormats, and outdoor decorations are available for slashed prices. And Christmas, well, that goes without saying. Now is the time to stock up on all the decorations and gift wrap that you need for next year, as well as gifts including children&rsquo;s toys, non-perishable gift boxes, and other seasonal treats.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-store-sales-cycle-your-monthly-guide-to-clearance-prices">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-perimeter-perusing-at-target">Tips for Perimeter Perusing at Target</a></span> </div> </li> <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/what-clearance-price-is-your-achilles-heel">What clearance price is your Achilles Heel?</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-backdoor-to-amazons-70-off-deals">The Backdoor to Amazon&#039;s 70% off deals</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/hurray-annual-freebie-calendar">Hurray! Annual Freebie Calendar</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping after holiday sales calendar clearance grocery savings Thu, 02 Jun 2011 10:00:11 +0000 Paul Michael 559727 at http://www.wisebread.com Track Your Refunds or Get Ripped Off http://www.wisebread.com/track-your-refunds-or-get-ripped-off <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/cc_small.jpg" alt=" " width="314" height="209" /></p> <p>“Refunds” are supposedly different from “rebates”, although honestly, you might never know it, since both are difficult to obtain. I find that lately, I’ve had to harass the heck out of companies, particularly companies that primarily do business via mail order or on the internet, to get my money back even after returning a product.</p> <p>In the past, when I treated money with a devil-may-care attitude, I’m sure I let dozens of potential refunds slip right by. I don’t believe that all retailers really want to rip off customers, but I don’t see refunds as a really high priority of theirs, either.</p> <p>A few months ago, I realized that I had not received a refund for an anti-virus program that I had purchased months before, the installation of which had required a hard drive reformatting. Thinking that I was being taken for a ride, I emailed the company and demanded my money back. An apology was issued, along with an immediate refund.</p> <p>It was after that experience that I started to keep track of expected refunds. Any time I returned an item to a non-local retailer, I noted the expected time frame for a refund, say 6 weeks, and then entered a reminder in my cell phone that would go off roughly 6 weeks later. When the reminder popped up, I’d check my account balance and see if the refund had been issued. I found that if I didn&#39;t do this, it was really easy to forget that I was owed money.</p> <p>I returned quite a few items following this holiday season, so I was expecting at least six refunds. Guess how many came through in the “expected” time frame?</p> <p>Yup. Zero. Not one. For every single refund, I had to email and/or call the company and ask for the refund. Almost all of them refunded my money within 24 hours, with the exception of Palmer Cash, the “vintage” t-shirt people who don’t seem to believe in customer service. </p> <p>Which got me to thinking: after your returned merchadise is received, these companies are perfectly capable of processing your refund the same day, but they don’t. They tell you it might take 4-6 weeks. Are they expecting you to forget or get lazy about it, the same way companies that offer rebates try to make it as difficult as possible to get your money back?</p> <p>My advice to people who don’t track their expenses as well as the budgeting types:</p> <ul> <li>Whenever you return an item, set up and automated reminder (be it on your cell phone, email, online calendar, or regular ol’ wall calendar) so you’ll remember to look for the refund towards the end of the expected processing time. If I hadn&#39;t been tracking these expected refunds, I&#39;d probably be out well over $400 right now.</li> <li>As always, pay with a credit card if you have one. I don’t, so I use my debit card, which doesn’t offer protection like major credit cards. Mind you, I rarely buy big ticket items.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/track-your-refunds-or-get-ripped-off">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes">How to Get a Groupon Refund When a Company Closes</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-ways-youre-being-a-terrible-customer">8 Ways You&#039;re Being a Terrible Customer</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/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service">7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service</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-last-minute-coupon">6 Ways to Score a Last-Minute Coupon</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-store-sales-cycle-your-monthly-guide-to-clearance-prices">The Store Sales Cycle: Your Monthly Guide to Clearance Prices</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping alarm calendar customer service merchandise money back Palmer Cash refund reminder return Tue, 06 Mar 2007 19:41:59 +0000 Andrea Karim 326 at http://www.wisebread.com