online shopping http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/373/all en-US Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_christmas_gift_46067724.jpg" alt="Woman saving on Christmas shopping with gift cards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Last year, the average American <a href="http://americanresearchgroup.com/holiday/">spent $882 on holiday gifts</a> &mdash; and that amount does not include money spent on décor, meals, or clothes. Many people rack up credit card debt, and with high interest rates, that can make payments on their Christmas purchases for months after the holiday.</p> <p>However, it doesn&rsquo;t have to be that way. You can still celebrate Christmas with gifts and decorations without going into debt. Using discounted gift cards is an ingenious way to stretch your budget further and minimize debt.</p> <h2>Why So Many Gift Cards Are Available at a Discount</h2> <p>There&rsquo;s a reason stores love selling gift cards. Each year, you likely receive gift certificates or cards for your birthday or other holidays. And while it&rsquo;s the thought that counts, you probably tucked one or two away in a drawer and forgot about them. The average person has <a href="https://www.giftcardgranny.com/statistics/">$300 in gift cards</a> going unused, and over $41 billion in cards went unredeemed from 2011 to 2015.</p> <p>Most of the time, cards are stagnant because the gift recipient does not shop at the selected store, or items at the location are too expensive to be covered by the balance of the card. Rather than let the card just sit in a drawer gathering dust, many people opt to get money back in their pockets by selling them.</p> <p>Cheap cards are available through online sites that are 3% to 30% less than their value. From Sephora to Target, you can get a gift card at a significant discount, allowing you to buy more with your money.</p> <h2>Using a Discounted Gift Card</h2> <p>Purchasing a gift card at a reduced price is like giving yourself a huge coupon. For example, you can get a $250<a href="https://www.giftcardgranny.com/buy-gift-cards/h-and-m/">H&amp;M gift card</a> for just $169.62, saving you $80.38. That means you can buy $250 worth of merchandise at a 32% discount. With that savings, you can buy more items within your budget &mdash; or save it.</p> <p>Alternatively, you can gift loves ones a discounted gift card and let them go shopping themselves. Buying a gift card at a reduced price allows you to give a more generous holiday present without breaking the bank.</p> <h2>Where to Buy Cards</h2> <p>There are many sites that sell a wide range of discounted cards. These are three of the most popular.</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.giftcardgranny.com/">Gift Card Granny</a> offers discounted cards from hundreds of retailers, from large big box stores to niche chains. Discounts change each day, and you can find cards marked 50% under their actual value.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.cardpool.com/">Cardpoo</a>l sells cards up to 35% under value. They offer gift cards to stores like Lowe&rsquo;s, Best Buy, Target, and more.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://giftcardzen.com/buy">Gift card Zen</a> is part of coupon site RetailMeNot. You can find cards for hundreds of retailers, including AMC Theatres, American Girl, and Macy&rsquo;s.</li> </ul> <p>Purchasing gift cards and using them for your Christmas shopping is an easy way to get more from your money. You can get a significant discount on your purchases, letting you celebrate the holiday without going broke.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-simple-holiday-budget-anyone-can-follow">The Simple Holiday Budget Anyone Can Follow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-financial-gifts-to-give-yourself-this-holiday-season">13 Financial Gifts to Give Yourself This Holiday Season</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/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</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/heres-how-to-monetize-your-unwanted-gifts">How to Get Rid of Your Unwanted Gifts and Make Money Too</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/9-smart-reasons-to-last-minute-holiday-shop">9 Smart Reasons to Last-Minute Holiday Shop</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Christmas discounts gift cards gifts Holidays online shopping saving money Wed, 23 Nov 2016 11:00:08 +0000 Kat Tretina 1812050 at http://www.wisebread.com The Big List of Money-Saving Coupon Codes for Halloween 2016 http://www.wisebread.com/the-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boys_halloween_costumes_75169753.jpg" alt="Kids using big list of coupon codes for Halloween 2016" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Halloween spending will hit an all-time high this year. The National Retail Federation's annual survey reveals that consumers will <a href="https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/halloween-spending-reach-84-billion-highest-survey-history">spend $8.4 billion</a> on Halloween purchases this year. That's a lot of pumpkins!</p> <p>While Halloween is fun to celebrate, it shouldn't blow your budget, especially since the pricier holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, happen shortly after. Coupon codes are a great way to save money on Halloween purchases. Don't forget to shop through a cash back site, such as <a href="https://www.ebates.com/">eBates</a>, if you are shopping online. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year?ref=seealso">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</a>)</p> <p>All codes have been checked to ensure they work. Check back all month for updated coupons to your favorite Halloween stores.</p> <h2>Carter's</h2> <p><a href="http://www.carters.com/">Carter's</a> has incredibly cute costumes for babies and young toddlers. You can also score some Halloween festive wear for babies and kids up to size 8.</p> <ul> <li>20% off $40 coupon online or in-store when you sign up for Carter's email notifications.</li> <li>20% off $40: CART1016<strong> </strong>(expires 10/31)</li> <li>15% off your whole order: CART3230 (expires 12/31)</li> <li>20% off $50: CAROCT20 (expires 10/31)</li> </ul> <h2>Spirit Halloween</h2> <p><a href="https://www.spirithalloween.com/">Spirit Halloween</a> offers 20% off one item when you sign up for their email notifications. Be sure to check Spirit's social media accounts for more online and printable coupons.</p> <ul> <li>20% off one item: SPEN16 (expires 10/31)</li> <li>20% off one item and free shipping: SPHN1629 (expires 10/31)</li> <li>25% off one item: DONTLEAVE25 (expires 11/02)</li> <li>$5 off orders $30+, $10 off $50+, or $25 off $100+: TIER2016A (expires 11/1)</li> <li>$10 off orders $65+, $20 off $100+, $30 off $150+, or $50 off $200+: HIGHTIER (expires 11/02)</li> <li>Free shipping on orders over $30: SHIP30 (expires 11/1)</li> <li>25% off already reduced sale items: CLEAR25 (expires 11/1)</li> </ul> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-best-deals-coupons-sites?ref=seealso">50 Best Deals and Coupon Sites</a></p> <h2>Halloween Costumes</h2> <p><a href="http://www.halloweencostumes.com/">Halloween Costumes</a> offers price match and costume rentals. On select costumes, you can save 50% off the price by renting. Return shipping on rentals is free. They even have pre-owned costumes for sale and pay for trade-ins on certain styles.</p> <ul> <li>Sign up for their email notifications and receive 20% off your first order.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Like them on Facebook for a <a href="http://www.halloweencostumes.com/coupon-code-discounts.html">$10 off $60 coupon</a>.</li> </ul> <h2>Halloween Express</h2> <p>Halloween Express offers a <a href="http://www.halloweenexpress.com/price-guarantee.php">110% price match guarantee</a>. If within 14 days of purchasing an eligible item from them online and then find a lower price for the same item on a direct competitor's U.S. website, they will refund the difference plus 10%. However, be sure to read all of the exclusions.</p> <ul> <li>15% off when you sign up for Halloween Express' email notifications.</li> <li>20% off your order: CYQJ328MZTE</li> <li>25% off any order: SAVE25CJ</li> <li>Free shipping on orders of $29 or more: FS2016ZLA</li> <li>Get $10 off $65 or more, $25 off $125 or more, $50 off $199, or more: BIGSAVINGS2016</li> </ul> <h2>Costume Discounters</h2> <p><a href="https://www.costumediscounters.com/">Costume Discounters</a> currently has a 10% cash back offer through <a href="https://www.ebates.com/coupons/costume-discounters/index.htm?query=costume&amp;position=3&amp;type=suggest&amp;store=10706&amp;navigation_id=23078">eBates</a>.</p> <ul> <li>25% off an order over $20: SAVE25 (expires 11/01)</li> </ul> <h2>Anytime Costumes</h2> <p><a href="https://www.anytimecostumes.com/">Anytime Costumes</a> currently has an 11% cash back offer through <a href="https://www.ebates.com/coupons/anytime-costumes/index.htm?query=anytime&amp;position=1&amp;type=suggest&amp;store=9606&amp;navigation_id=23078">eBates</a>.</p> <ul> <li>15% off an order over $25 and free shipping: SHOP15</li> </ul> <h2>Wholesale Halloween Costumes</h2> <p><a href="https://www.wholesalehalloweencostumes.com/">Wholesale Halloween Costumes</a> has a 9% cash back offer through <a href="https://www.ebates.com/coupons/wholesale-halloween-costumes/index.htm?query=wholes&amp;position=1&amp;type=suggest&amp;store=11432&amp;navigation_id=23078">eBates</a> for a limited time.</p> <ul> <li>Save 5% off your order: SAVE5</li> <li>$10 off an order over $80: PTEN80</li> <li>20% off of clearance: CLEAR20</li> <li>Free shipping on orders over $75: SUMMER75 (expires 12/30)</li> <li>Free shipping on orders over $40: FBLIKE</li> </ul> <h2>Party City</h2> <ul> <li>20% off all Halloween orders over $50 and free shipping: TRICK39M</li> </ul> <h2>Joann&rsquo;s</h2> <p>For those who are ambitious enough to craft your costumes this year, here are coupons for you. Don&rsquo;t forget to check out <a href="http://www.joann.com/">Joann&rsquo;s</a> fun Halloween décor.</p> <ul> <li>40% off one online item: GFHV303 (expires 10/08)</li> </ul> <h2>More Ideas on How to Save This Halloween</h2> <p>The coupon codes above will help you get a discount on Halloween costumes, décor, and party supplies. For those looking for more money-saving advice, try these five Halloween saving's tricks.</p> <h3>1. Swap Costumes With a Friend</h3> <p>If you have kids that are similar ages/sizes, then you can trade costumes. Even if your children are different sizes, borrow the accessories and save.</p> <h3>2. Don't Skip the Dollar Store</h3> <p>Your local dollar store and .99-Cent Only Store can be great shops for affordable Halloween décor and costume props. Just be advised before buying candy there. It might cost you more than buying candy at a warehouse.</p> <h3>3. Wait to Buy Pumpkins</h3> <p>If you wait until the 30th to buy your Halloween pumpkin, you can save almost half the cost, depending on the seller. One year, at Trader Joes, I received a free pumpkin on the 31st.</p> <h3>4. Look for Free Activities</h3> <p>Most communities offer free fall activities to the public. Check with your city's parks, churches, and mall to see what is being offered.</p> <h3>5. DIY Fall Decorations</h3> <p>Pinterest is a well of good ideas for inexpensive DIY décor ideas. Also, check out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-scariest-halloween-frights-you-can-make-from-trash?ref=seealso">13 Scariest Halloween Frights You Can Make From Trash</a>.</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/the-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016">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/are-you-spending-too-much-on-halloween-this-year">Are You Spending Too Much on Halloween This Year?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-sites-to-find-your-halloween-costume-cheap">13 Sites to Find Your Halloween Costume Cheap</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/14-frugal-christmas-decorating-hacks">14 Frugal Christmas Decorating Hacks</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-online-retailers-who-let-you-stack-coupons">9 Online Retailers Who Let You Stack Coupons</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-on-christmas-shopping-with-this-clever-gift-card-strategy">Save on Christmas Shopping With This Clever Gift Card Strategy</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping costumes coupon codes decorations discounts Halloween Holidays kids online shopping sales Thu, 06 Oct 2016 10:30:14 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1805690 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Strange Ways Online Shopping Has Changed the World http://www.wisebread.com/6-strange-ways-online-shopping-has-changed-the-world <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-strange-ways-online-shopping-has-changed-the-world" 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_online_36991010.jpg" alt="Woman learning strange ways online shopping changed the world" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you prefer online shopping to in-store purchases, you're not alone. According to Business Insider, about&nbsp;<a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/the-surprising-demographics-of-who-shops-online-and-on-mobile-2014-6">78% of the U.S. population age 15 and older</a> fancies themselves a few clicks and a quick checkout when buying something new. While that's all well and good &mdash; and incredibly convenient &mdash; this new American pastime does have its downsides. Check out a few of these strange ways online shopping has changed the world &mdash; not necessarily for the better. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-retailers-use-big-data-to-track-you">8 Ways Retailers Use Big Data to Track You</a>)</p> <h2>1. Consumer Reviews Can Make or Break a Product</h2> <p>Before online shopping became commonplace, consumers had few ways to learn about the pros and cons of a product. They could rely on word-of-mouth if someone they knew had purchased the same item, or they could listen to what the media said about it, perhaps on consumer-related nightly news piece or in magazines, like <em>Good Housekeeping</em>. Because information on how well &mdash; or not well &mdash; a product worked was sparse, consumer unhappiness was limited. Retailers were relatively safe from gaining a poor reputation unless its products were outright duds that caught attention en masse. But that all changed with online shopping, which gave consumers the voice they had been looking for. Today, reviews of a product are trusted more than personal recommendations, according to research. In fact, a whopping&nbsp;<a href="https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-consumer-review-survey/">92% of consumers trust online reviews</a> as much as they would a friend or family member, or perhaps even more.</p> <h2>2. There Are No True Holidays Anymore</h2> <p>Remember when we were kids and holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas meant that virtually no retail stores would be open? We'd drive through town on the way to our relatives' house for supper and there was nary a car in any of the stores' parking lots. That's all changed thanks to online shopping, much to many people's dismay. Each year, it seems, Black Friday hours are pushed earlier and earlier, creeping into Thanksgiving, with some stores opening on Thanksgiving Day even. Last year, Kmart said to hell with the entire holiday and opened at 6 a.m. the fourth Thursday of November, the earliest among major retailers. It was beat out by one other chain, however, though not a competitor: Victoria's Secret opened its doors from 12 a.m. to 12 a.m. Thanksgiving Day (a full 24 hours!), because, ya know, who isn't in the mood for sexy lingerie after stuffing themselves silly with turkey and mashed potatoes?</p> <h2>3. Shopping Malls Are Becoming Ruins</h2> <p>Shopping malls were huge in the 1980s and '90s, so much so that they defined an entire generation. But by the 2000s, attendance at malls around the country started to dwindle. Many factors have contributed to the decline (not the least of which was that&nbsp;<a href="http://www.salon.com/2013/10/26/why_so_much_violence_happens_at_the_mall_partner/">they had become locales of violence</a>), including the rise of online shopping. Bustling hubs of commerce and social activity that once stood proud are now in ruin, relics of the past that serve as a stark reminder that American life isn't what it used to be.</p> <p>&quot;Dozens of malls have shuttered since 2010, with hundreds more on the brink,&quot; says Benjamin Glaser, features editor with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dealnews.com">DealNews</a>. The few shopping centers that have been built in the last decade usually aren't traditional, enclosed malls, but larger complexes with a wider dining and entertainment options, and often open-air areas. To compete with online shopping, brick-and-mortar retailers are trying to create experiences.</p> <p>This fate doesn't paint a pretty picture of what was left in the wake of the downturn or for current mall owners. Those that have already heard its final cash register cha-ching now&nbsp;<a href="https://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/completely-surreal-pictures-of-americas-abandoned-malls?utm_term=.vmGR1doAG#.dq8X0xRoy">look like sets for <em>The Walking Dead</em></a>, and those that still exist are being&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-16/day-of-reckoning-comes-for-u-s-shopping-malls-laden-with-debt">murdered by debt</a>.</p> <h2>4. Dog Bites Have Increased</h2> <p>Family dogs and mail carriers have had a rocky relationship for decades, but recently our friendly canines have been acting out in droves &mdash; all because that pesky USPS employee is stopping by more often with your online packages.</p> <p>According to <em>AdAge</em>,&nbsp;<a href="http://adage.com/article/digital/online-shopping-causing-a-rise-dog-attacks/305366/">dog bites were up 14% last year</a>, reaching a total of 6,549 incidents. The most attacks were in Houston, which had 77, while San Diego and Cleveland clocked in at 58 each.</p> <h2>5. Identity Theft Is Out of Control</h2> <p>Before online shopping became everybody's go-to method of buying everything from clothing to groceries, it was difficult for an identity thief to target a large amount of data. Sure, your credit card could be stolen by a single thief and charged up until the bank caught wind of suspicious activity, but the consequences pale in comparison to a million-accounts data breach that could throw your entire life out of whack.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2013/04/14/identity-theft-growing/2082179/"><em>USA Today</em> reports that credit-card data theft has increased 50%</a> from 2005 to 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Likewise, because your credit card numbers can be worth hundreds of dollar a piece to resellers &mdash; the number of malicious programs written to steal your information has grown from about 1 million in 2007 to an estimated 130 million today. So basically, no one is safe, and you should take even more precautions &mdash; like not storing your credit cards with retailers online &mdash; to avoid becoming a victim.</p> <h2>6. Some Online Orders Are Now Being Delivered by Drones</h2> <p>Future moving too fast for you? Then you won't be elated to hear the news that drones may start arriving at your home or office to deliver your online shopping orders. Yep, flying robots are entering the friendly skies all over the world, and they could be landing in your front yard soon if Amazon has its way. Its PrimeAir program is gearing up for its first consumer flights that promise to deliver packages in 30 minutes or less.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wsj.com/video/china-mail-drone-makes-first-delivery/A3EA877F-AF8E-4E43-AF27-BFE5EF8F15C5.html">China</a> and Australia have already implemented similar services, which has its benefits, especially to those in hard-to-reach rural areas, or for medical purposes, but we can all probably agree that&nbsp;<a href="https://www.pddnet.com/news/2016/09/chipotle-drone-delivery-pilot-program-runs-virginia-tech">nobody needs their piping-hot burrito dropped from the sky</a>.</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-strange-ways-online-shopping-has-changed-the-world">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-little-known-amazon-shopping-hacks">5 Little Known Amazon Shopping Hacks</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-secrets-of-amazons-pricing-strategy-will-help-you-find-the-best-buys">These Secrets of Amazon&#039;s Pricing Strategy Will Help You Find the Best Buys</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/12-surprising-things-you-can-have-delivered">12 Surprising Things You Can Have Delivered</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/filler-strategies-for-amazon-s-free-super-saver-shipping">Filler Strategies for Amazon’s Free Super Saver Shipping</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/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping Amazon delivery online shopping shipping shoppers shopping shopping habits Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:30:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 1800743 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Secrets to Saving on Eyewear http://www.wisebread.com/14-secrets-to-saving-on-eyewear <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-secrets-to-saving-on-eyewear" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_wearing_glasses_86229369.jpg" alt="Woman learning secret ways to save on eyewear" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Eyeglasses and contact lenses are a necessity for more than 150 million Americans. Unfortunately, eyewear is not a cheap purchase &mdash; so we've compiled some tips to help save you money on the cost of glasses and contacts.</p> <h2>1. Purchase Your Glasses Online</h2> <p>Along with enjoying huge savings on your new set of glasses, you can also take advantage of online services to ensure that the glasses look right with your style. This will allow you to casually try the glasses on at home so you can take your time choosing the right ones. Once you find the right pair, they will likely be shipped in no time (even faster than you would get them at the optician's office.)</p> <p>If you have issues like astigmatism, you may not be able to shop online and it might more prudent to have your doctor custom fit you for the right pair of glasses. You may also want to have a professional help you at an optical store and once you find the glasses you like, you can search for the frames online for the best deal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-ever-buy-eyeglasses-online?ref=seealso">Should You Ever Buy Eyeglasses Online?</a>)</p> <h2>2. Purchase Your Contact Lenses Online</h2> <p>Websites like <a href="http://1800contacts.com">1-800 Contacts</a> can save you money on your contacts, compared to what you would pay at your optician's office. You can also often get discounts if you purchase more than one box of contacts at a time. Buying in bulk will also save you money on shipping and allow you to lock in today's rate.</p> <h2>3. Find Trial Offers</h2> <p>Certain contact lens providers, like Acuvue and Dailies, will offer free trial lenses, so you can try them before you buy them. This will help ensure that the contacts fit comfortably, so you know you'll get your money's worth.</p> <h2>4. Look for Online Deals</h2> <p>Take advantage of online coupons and deals from services like Groupon. This can save you quite a bit of money on glasses, contacts, and even your eye exam. Just make sure to read the details thoroughly as some coupons only cover the cost of the frames, and you will have to pay for the lenses out-of-pocket.</p> <h2>5. Ask for a Price Match</h2> <p>Many optical shops will offer a price match, if you ask. Some shops will even offer a price match and a rebate, so you'll actually spend less than you would online.</p> <h2>6. Keep the Same Lenses or Frames</h2> <p>If your lenses are still in good shape and you still have the same prescription, consider reusing them in a new frame. Many optical shops will help you find a similar style frame and can apply your old lenses so it looks like a new pair of glasses.</p> <p>The same rule holds for your frames. If you like your frames, but your prescription has changed, take advantage of a <a href="http://www.replacementlensexpress.com/">prescription eyeglass lens replacement service</a> that will replace the lenses in your existing frames.</p> <h2>7. Opt for Cheaper Glasses</h2> <p>If you tend to wear contacts and only reach for your glasses when you're home, then you don't need to spend a lot on designer glasses. Instead, opt for the cheaper glasses since no one will see them anyway.</p> <h2>8. Don't Replace Your Glasses Every Year</h2> <p>If you don't need to replace your glasses, then it's best to just keep the same pair for as long as you can. After all, it can take a lot of time and energy to find the perfect glasses, so why replace them after only a year?</p> <h2>9. Skip the Add-Ons</h2> <p>Unless your prescription is above +/- 3.00, professionals recommend skipping the add-ons like antireflective coating, light adjusting lenses, or high index or ultrahigh index lenses. Skipping these add-ons can save you quite a bit of money and won't really make a difference in the long run.</p> <h2>10. Shop at Costco</h2> <p>According to Consumer Reports, Costco received the <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/eyeglass-stores/buying-guide.htm">highest overall satisfaction rating</a> of any eyeglass retailer. Not only do they offer better service, but you can also save money on your favorite pair of glasses.</p> <h2>11. Take Advantage of Free Repairs and Adjustments</h2> <p>If you choose to purchase your glasses in-office, then take advantage of free adjustments to ensure your glasses fit perfectly. Inquire with your optician's office about whether they offer any free replacements or repairs.</p> <h2>12. Take Advantage of Insurance</h2> <p>Before you get started, it's important to find out if you're covered by insurance. Even if you don't have a separate vision insurance plan, you may be covered under your regular medical insurance plan. Many insurance plans include a basic eye or dental care plan, so you may be covered without even realizing it.</p> <p>Before visiting your eyeglass store, first find out if they accept your vision insurance. If they accept it, find out what your insurance covers. Take advantage of whatever you can so that you get your money's worth every year. If they do not accept your insurance plan, inquire from your plan's administrator about whether they will offer reimbursement if you decide to pay out-of-pocket.</p> <h2>13. Use FSA Funds</h2> <p>If you have an FSA (or flexible spending account), take advantage of this pretax money to pay for eligible medical expenses such as prescription glasses and contact lenses. Keep in mind that FSA funds might not pay for extras like extended warranties. The goal is to use up all of your FSA funds before the end of the year, but it's important that you don't wait until the last minute to use it or you may rush to pick your new glasses, even if they aren't the most flattering option or don't offer the best deal.</p> <h2>14. Do Your Research</h2> <p>Before scheduling your eye test, research the options available to you so you can determine where you'll get the best deal for your money. Call your eyeglass store of choice to inquire about whether they currently have any coupons or deals to cut the cost of your new glasses. If you know the glasses that you want, you can search online for the brand and model number to compare prices.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-secrets-to-saving-on-eyewear">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/should-you-sign-up-for-that-store-credit-card">Should You Sign Up for That Store Credit Card?</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/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-save-money-this-year-without-clipping-a-coupon">6 Smart Ways to Save Money This Year (Without Clipping a 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/5-things-you-should-never-buy-on-groupon-or-livingsocial">5 Things You Should Never Buy on Groupon or LivingSocial</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping contacts deals eye doctor flexible spending accounts glasses insurance online shopping optician saving money trials Thu, 15 Sep 2016 09:30:29 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1792246 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Avoid Credit Card Fraud While Traveling http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-avoid-credit-card-fraud-while-traveling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-avoid-credit-card-fraud-while-traveling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/credit_card_fraud_56707570.jpg" alt="Learning ways to avoid credit card fraud while traveling" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Credit card fraud is more than just a mild annoyance and risk when you're on the road &mdash; it can bring your travel plans to a halt. But you can outsmart thieves. By using one of these <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">best travel rewards credit cards</a> and following these seven tips, you can minimize the risk of fraud and better enjoy travel!</p> <h2>1. Get an RFID Blocked Wallet</h2> <p>Did you know that credit card thieves don't actually have to touch your wallet in order to steal your credit card? They never even have to see your card or your wallet. All they have to do is brush up against you with an RFID scanner and they'll have your full name, credit card number, expiration date, and even your passport information.</p> <p>To easily avoid this, you can pick up an <a href="http://amzn.to/2aOhoUD">RFID Blocked wallet</a> and <a href="http://amzn.to/2anT8up">passport case</a> on Amazon for around $15. They look like normal wallets but they protect your cards and your personal information from would be identity thieves and credit card hackers.</p> <h2>2. Beware of Insecure Internet Connections</h2> <p>It's inevitable when you're traveling that you'll see this message on your screen at some point:</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/Screen%20Shot%202016-08-05%20at%207.00.36%20PM.png" width="605" height="408" alt="" /></p> <p>When you're using unsecured Wi-Fi connections at hotels, Internet cafes, restaurants, bars, and public parks, everything you type into your browser could potentially be monitored and stolen from you.</p> <p>Whenever you see this warning before browsing, try your best to avoid entering passwords, especially those on your banking and credit card sites. Most banking sites will allow you to access their secure page. Make sure any URL is preceded by <strong>https://</strong> rather than <strong>http://</strong>.</p> <p>You can also get a plug-in for your browser like HTTPS Everywhere (available on <a href="https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/https-everywhere/">Firefox</a>, <a href="https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/https-everywhere/gcbommkclmclpchllfjekcdonpmejbdp?hl=en">Chrome</a>, and <a href="https://addons.opera.com/en/extensions/details/https-everywhere/">Opera</a>), which will do this automatically. Another solution is SurfEasy VPN, which helps encrypt your data when you're using a public connection.</p> <h2>3. Clear Cookies, Passwords, and Browsing History</h2> <p>Make sure you log out of everything, delete your history whenever you access your email or other password-sensitive web pages from a computer other than your own, and clear cookies and caches on the browser. You want to leave no traces of your personal identification or password information on public computers. To prevent ever having to clear the cache, you can also browse &quot;incognito&quot; in Chrome or &ldquo;private&rdquo; in Firefox.</p> <h2>4. Never Let Your Card Out of Sight</h2> <p>In some places, it's very common to have your credit card information stolen by wait staff at restaurants when you give them your card to pay. If you can, always keep an eye on your card and never let it out of your sight. Consider going up to the counter to pay, rather than leaving it in the bill slip for the waiter to deal with.</p> <h2>5. Memorize (or Write Down) the Theft Hotline Number</h2> <p>The minute you notice that your card has been lost or stolen, you should report it. The sooner you can submit a claim to the lost or stolen card office, the more likely you will be protected against unauthorized charges.</p> <h2>6. Set an Alert</h2> <p>Many credit card providers offer email and SMS alerts that will beep at you when your balance goes over a certain amount. If someone does end up stealing your card and spends a bunch of money all at once, you'll be notified.</p> <p>You may be surprised at how long it takes for people to realize that they've had their card stolen. It can be weeks or even months, depending on how many cards are in the wallet and how often the stolen card is used.</p> <h2>7. Monitor Spending Even After You Return Home</h2> <p>It's always a good idea to do a quick follow-up on your credit card history even after you return home. Smart credit card thieves will steal your credit card information, and wait until you&rsquo;re not so on guard to use it.</p> <p>For a couple of months after returning home, go online and check your statements to make sure that you can account for every single purchase. If there is one that you don't recognize, contact your credit card provider right away and start an investigation.</p> <h2>Be Smart... Not Scared</h2> <p>Credit card fraud is a legitimate worry while traveling, but with increasingly effective fraud protection programs and great credit card customer service lines, you really aren't at too much risk of personal loss, as long as you quickly claim any unauthorized purchases on your account. Travel safe, keep your card close, and be aware of your charges.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been a victim of credit card fraud?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-ways-to-avoid-credit-card-fraud-while-traveling&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20Ways%20to%20Avoid%20Credit%20Card%20Fraud%20While%20Traveling.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20to%20Avoid%20Credit%20Card%20Fraud%20While%20Traveling" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Ways%20to%20Avoid%20Credit%20Card%20Fraud%20While%20Traveling.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-avoid-credit-card-fraud-while-traveling">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/follow-these-5-credit-card-rules-when-traveling-abroad">Follow These 5 Credit Card Rules When Traveling Abroad</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/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</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/bankamericard-travel-rewards-more-rewards-for-more-travel">BankAmericard Travel Rewards®: More Rewards for More Travel</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-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</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/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel computers fraud protection online shopping passports passwords stealing theft unsecure wi-fi Wed, 10 Aug 2016 10:30:07 +0000 Nick Wharton 1767287 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Surprising Things You Still Can't Do Online in 2016 http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-things-you-still-cant-do-online-in-2016 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-surprising-things-you-still-cant-do-online-in-2016" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_20643848_LARGE.jpg" alt="you still can&#039;t do these things online" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's 2016. The digital age, right?</p> <p>Well, that's mostly true. There are more and more things that we can do online. And it's nice. Who wants to spend time standing in line when you can take care of business from the comfort and privacy of your own home?</p> <p>Still, every once in awhile, you run into something you can't actually do on the Internet. Here are the things I've found that you still have to do in-person.</p> <h2>1. Use Food Stamps</h2> <p>It has recently come to light that people using food stamps <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/07/15/the-simple-change-that-could-get-affordable-food-to-the-poor-people-who-need-it/">cannot purchase groceries online</a>. This can keep those who live in food deserts from obtaining healthy, unprocessed food. There are some movements online to change this but, for the moment, you have to show up in-person to buy groceries via a government program. While it might be harder to eliminate food stamp fraud, allowing food stamp use online would allow many Americans to eat healthier.</p> <h2>2. Make DMV Changes</h2> <p>This can vary a bit from state-to-state, but many places will not allow you to do things like <a href="http://www.carsdirect.com/dmv/dmv-online-what-you-can-and-cant-do-online">change your address online</a>. While some states will let you fill out an online form to make the change, you will still have to print it out and either send it in or take it to the DMV to get the change into the system.</p> <p>Since you can't usually change your address online, I suppose it follows that you can't take the written driver's test online. While this makes sense in terms of eliminating test fraud and cheating, it means that every single person who wants to take the driving test needs to make an appointment, making for crowded DMVs in many states.</p> <h2>3. Apply for a U.S. Passport</h2> <p>Similarly, you can input all of the information you need to get a U.S. passport online, but you can't actually submit the form. For that matter, you can't pay for it online, either.</p> <p>When it comes to passports, you have to submit your old passport when you apply for a new one. This helps eliminate fraud and helps the government track the different passports you have had. Since you can't send your passport through the computer, the government asks you to send your whole application packet together, by old fashioned mail.</p> <h2>4. Vote</h2> <p>While you can register to vote online, you can't actually cast your vote that way. It seems like <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/when-will-we-be-able-to-vote-online/">it would be a positive move</a>: more people would participate in elections, and the overall cost of having an election would go down.</p> <p>However, voter fraud is a real thing. While there are probably some ways to implement online voting that would at least make fraud hard, the government hasn't invested itself there yet. Some states, like Colorado, are starting to send every registered voter an absentee ballot, though. That way, you can vote from the privacy of your own home, even if you have to send the ballot through the mail instead of the wires.</p> <h2>5. Pay Some Utility Bills</h2> <p>I don't know about you, but I still have a couple of utility bills that I can't pay online. Instead, I have to either send a check or pay by phone. You would think that even small companies would permit online payment, but there are still those that don't.</p> <p>It seems like this is more common with small utility companies, like the family-owned trash company that services my area, or rural ones. If you can't pay online, try giving them a call. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-monthly-telecom-bills-you-can-negotiate">Paying by phone</a> is almost as easy, and many companies are more than happy to let you use your credit card that way, so you don't have to have checks in order to pay your bills.</p> <h2>6. Register a Birth Or a Death</h2> <p>While you can often request documentation of a birth or a death via the Internet, you can't actually register either online. Even U.S. citizens born in other countries have to visit an embassy (or have parents do so) before they can get an official U.S. birth certificate or passport. For children born in the U.S., it's usually enough to have a hospital verify the birth and submit the proper paperwork, so the family doesn't have to actually present the baby anywhere.</p> <p>When it comes to birth and death, the chances for fraud are very high. Even with all of the cyber security that's possible these days, more birth and death certificates would be fraudulently issued if the process was available online. When someone is held accountable for issuing these certificates, fraud is less likely.</p> <p><em>Have you run into anything you can't do online? Do you think that's a good decision or not?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-things-you-still-cant-do-online-in-2016">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-usb-powered-fans">The 5 Best USB-Powered Fans</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-the-nasty-secret-of-the-craigslist-free-section">Beware, The Nasty Secret Of The Craigslist Free Section</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/3-reasons-why-buying-groceries-online-is-great">3 Reasons Why Buying Groceries Online Is Great</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-favorite-mail-order-websites">10 Favorite Mail-Order Websites</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology computer convenience dmv laptop online online shopping tech obsessed vote work from home Wed, 10 Aug 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1769233 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Avoid These Online Shopping Mistakes http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-avoid-these-online-shopping-mistakes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-avoid-these-online-shopping-mistakes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shocked_laptop_78703515.jpg" alt="Woman trying to avoid online shopping mistakes" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on online shopping mistakes to avoid, the secrets behind a tidy home, and bobby pin hacks that will change your life.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2016/0731/Avoid-these-five-online-shopping-mistakes">Avoid these five online shopping mistakes</a> &mdash; Take advantage of free trial offers &mdash; the savings can really add up! Set a calendar notification or alarm on your phone to remind you to cancel when the trial period is about to end. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.adebtfreestressfreelife.com/7-secrets-behind-tidy-home/">The 7 Secrets Behind A Tidy Home</a> &mdash; If you're already in room doing something else, take a couple minutes to do some cleaning or organizing. [A Debt Free Mess Free Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Bobby-Pin-Uses-42115341">These 10 Bobby Pin Hacks Will Change Your Whole Life</a> &mdash; A bobby pin works great as a bookmark! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/about/ways-to-save-school/">Back-to-School Budgeting: How to Save Money on School Shopping</a> &mdash; Back-to-school spending is expected to increase from last year, but there are steps you can take to keep it affordable. Join Experian's #CreditChat tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET for a discussion on back-to-school shopping do's and don'ts. [Experian]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cultofmoney.com/2016/07/27/5-unique-apps-will-save-money/">5 Unique Apps that Will Save Money for You</a> &mdash; Whenever you feel like you deserve a reward, use Tip Yourself to transfer any amount into your &quot;tip jar&quot;. [Cult of Money]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/personal-finance/insurance/health-insurance/medical-tips-help-save-big-bucks-medical-costs/70418">Medical Tips that Help You Save Big Bucks on Medical Costs</a> &mdash; Medical billing mistakes are not uncommon, so double check yours when you get it. [SheBudgets]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/replacing-hvac-system.html">Replacing your HVAC system can be expensive &hellip; here&rsquo;s how to get the best value</a> &mdash; It's best to buy the same brand for your AC and furnace if you want an efficient system. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="https://blog.mint.com/trends/best-ways-get-healthy-budget-080116/">Best Ways to Get Healthy on a Budget</a> &mdash; If you travel a lot or if you don't want bulky weights to take up space in your living room, consider investing in a good set of resistance bands. [mintLife]</p> <p><a href="http://fitzvillafuerte.com/start-business-quit-job.html">How To Start a Business and Quit Your Job</a> &mdash; Let go of the employee mindset. Continue doing the necessary work at your day job, but put your best efforts into building your business. [Ready To Be Rich]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/why-you-should-conisder-letting-your-kids-share-a-room">Why You Should Consider Letting Your Kids Share a Room</a> &mdash; Kids who share a room are forced to learn how to compromise and communicate. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-avoid-these-online-shopping-mistakes">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/discount-designer-clothing-17-places-to-get-name-brands-for-less">Discount Designer Clothing: 17 Places to Get Name Brands for Less</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/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/5-little-known-amazon-shopping-hacks">5 Little Known Amazon Shopping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping best money tips online shopping Tue, 02 Aug 2016 09:30:34 +0000 Amy Lu 1763917 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Online Retailers Who Let You Stack Coupons http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-retailers-who-let-you-stack-coupons <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-online-retailers-who-let-you-stack-coupons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_computer_shopping_71387301.jpg" alt="Couple using online retailers who let them stack coupons" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The idea of walking into a store and stacking coupons of different varieties is not a new concept to most savvy shoppers. Perhaps it's a manufacturer's coupon, stacked with a store-branded coupon, to essentially double your savings. But what about stacking coupon codes when shopping online? I'm here to tell you that it absolutely can be done and it's an amazing way to score a fantastic online deal. Here are the nine &quot;stacking&quot; websites worth knowing about.</p> <h2>1-3. Banana Republic, Gap, and Old Navy</h2> <p>While all three of these stores generally don't allow coupon stacking in-store, their websites happily let you stack up to five coupon codes on a single purchase. Your best option for success is to stack a percentage-off coupon with a dollar-off coupon, although two percentage-off coupons will sometimes work. To maximize your savings, add the percentage-off coupon to your online order first, followed by the dollar-off coupon. Sign up for their newsletters and keep an eye on<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-best-deals-coupons-sites"> coupon websites</a> in order to find multiple coupon codes worth stacking.</p> <h2>4. CVS Drugstore</h2> <p>CVS has a legendary in-store coupon stacking policy that lets you stack a manufacturer coupon, store coupon, and CVS Extra Care Bucks for maximum savings. While shopping online via their website doesn't provide the same amazing stacking ability, it's still worth mentioning. They'll let you stack two coupons per online order, one for a site-wide percentage off, and one coupon good for a specific item you're purchasing.</p> <h2>5. DSW</h2> <p>DSW, also known as Designer Shoe Warehouse, is known for their liberal coupon policy which lets you stack three different coupon codes on your online order. It should also be noted that a coupon code is only good once per account, so once you redeem it, it's gone. Be sure to sign up for the <a href="https://www.dsw.com/dsw_shoes/user/loginAccount.jsp?cm_re=010509%2520Flats-_-Sub3-_-DSW%2520Rewards">DSW Rewards program</a>, as they'll send you monthly coupons that you can stack for things like free shipping or up to 20% off your order.</p> <h2>6. Kohl's</h2> <p>Kohl's just might be the king of coupons when it comes to the ability to stack them. As a matter of fact, you can stack up to four coupons per online purchase. Your best strategy is to start by adding a site-wide percentage off coupon to your virtual shopping cart; you can typically find 15% or 20% off coupons by doing a quick Google search for &quot;Kohl's coupons.&quot; Next, if available, add a couple department specific coupon codes to your purchase. Lastly, for good measure, add a free shipping coupon code to the mix so you get your purchase delivered to your doorstep for no extra charge.</p> <h2>7. NewEgg</h2> <p>Stacking coupon codes at NewEgg works a little different than the other stores mentioned. They allow you to stack more than one coupon per order, but you can only use a single coupon on each item in your purchase. Because they rarely release site-wide coupons, this is not a big issue. But they do release many coupons for specific items, especially for computers and accessories like external hard drives, flash drives, and SSD drives. So if you're not brand or model specific, and simply have a few &quot;must-have&quot; specs in mind, you can very likely buy three items and apply a coupon code to each. Check out their <a href="http://promotions.newegg.com/NEemail/latest/index-landing.aspx">promo codes page</a> for a updated list of current coupons. It's also worth your time to sign up for coupons via email while you're there.</p> <h2>8. Target</h2> <p>According to the <a href="http://help.target.com/help/subcategoryarticle?childcat=How+to+use+promo+codes&amp;parentcat=Promotions+%26+Coupons">Target website</a>, you can apply multiple promo codes to your online purchase. While they aren't specific as to the number of codes you can stack, all you need to do is enter each one and click apply until they say &quot;no mas.&quot; Also, according to their website, it should also be noted that &quot;some offers require that only one promo code be applied.&quot; When this happens, you'll automatically get credit for the coupon that nets you the greatest savings. Always start your search for stackable Target promo codes directly on <a href="http://help.target.com/help/subcategoryarticle?childcat=Current+promotions&amp;parentcat=Promotions+%26+Coupons">their &quot;Current Promotions&quot; page</a>.</p> <h2>9. Victoria's Secret</h2> <p>Victoria's Secret will accept three offer codes on a single online purchase. When checking out from their website, look for the offer codes section and enter up to three. You'll find these codes through their catalog, website, emails, and in promotional mailings. If all of these options fail to score you a code, simply type &quot;Victoria's Secret coupons&quot; into Google and you're bound to find something you can use to save.</p> <p>Not only will Victoria's Secret accept multiple coupon codes on your online purchase, but they'll even <a href="https://customerservice.victoriassecret.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/309/~/i-forgot-my-offer-code-when-i-placed-my-order,-what-do-i-do%3F">retroactively add a code</a> if you forget to add it during checkout, or maybe found one after you finalized your order. You can call them directly at (800) 568-4288 to get your coupon code added to your online purchase. The sooner you can call them after finalizing your purchase, the better, as it gives them ample to time to adjust your order total before shipping your purchase.</p> <p><em>Have you ever been able to successfully stack coupons to save some extra money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-online-retailers-who-let-you-stack-coupons">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/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <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> <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-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016">The Big List of Money-Saving Coupon Codes for Halloween 2016</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-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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-sign-up-for-that-store-credit-card">Should You Sign Up for That Store Credit Card?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping coupon codes deals discounts online shopping retail stacking websites Mon, 11 Jul 2016 10:00:14 +0000 Kyle James 1748329 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get Even More Freebies in Exchange for a Review http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-even-more-freebies-in-exchange-for-a-review <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-even-more-freebies-in-exchange-for-a-review" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_lipstick_selfie_000078747697.jpg" alt="Woman getting freebies in exchange for a review" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Who doesn't like to get free stuff? It's even better when the free stuff is actually stuff you want and like. Through the help of a small personal website and my Amazon review account, I have been able to review &mdash; and keep &mdash; over $1,000 worth of goods for free.</p> <p>Here are my simple tips to increase how many freebies you can score each year.</p> <h2>It All Starts With a Good Amazon Account</h2> <p>If you want to be approached by companies, you have to have an Amazon review account that is full of reviews. Not all of my reviews are great, but if you can take the time to write some helpful and detailed reviews for products you already own and love, then you will increase your chances of being seen by a company. Companies will go based off of reviewer ranking and helpful vote counts.</p> <p>I also highly recommend updating your Amazon reviewer profile to include a little about yourself, your email address, and your picture. My profile says something like, &quot;Yes, I will review your product. Just email me.&quot; A few companies have reached out to me through my profile to offer me a product to review.</p> <h2>Have a Small Website</h2> <p>A small website, even one that is on a free WordPress or Blogger platform, can help you get stuff for free to review. Some review sites will have specific requirements, such as X number of Facebook followers or X number of pageviews each month. I have found that most of the Christian publishers I review books for have very easy restrictions, since Amazon reviews tend to be the gold that most publishers are going for.</p> <h2>Try Reaching Out to Companies Directly</h2> <p>Maybe you don't have a website but instead a social media account or YouTube channel with quite a few subscribers. If you are not approached by companies already, try reaching out to them.</p> <p>A few years ago, I ran a site called<em> The Thrifty Wife</em>, which was not popular, but it had about 1,000 views a week. I looked at other sites that were comparable to mine and saw what they reviewed. I then would reach out to those companies asking if they were interested in exchanging their product for a review. This might be out of your comfort zone, but it worked for a few products.</p> <p>Companies usually have a PR or marketing department, and those individuals most likely do not have time to research every social media account. Most of the extremely popular websites and social media accounts are hard to get a hold of or charge companies to review products. This is where individuals with a decent following come into play.</p> <h2>Book Publishers That Offer Review Copies</h2> <p>I review Christian books as a part of Tyndale, Moody, and HarperCollins' book reviewing programs. However, there are several programs available for both Christian and non-Christian books. Check publisher's websites to see if they have a reviewer program or a first look newsletter. Many indie authors are usually more than happy to provide free digital copies for reviews, so don't be afraid to reach out.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/bethanyhouse/bookreviewers">Bethany House</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.tyndaleblognetwork.com/">Tyndale Blog Network</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.hayhousebooknook.com/">Hay House</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.waterbrookmultnomah.com/bloggingforbooks/">Blogging for Books</a></li> <li><a href="http://tywebbinvirtualevents.com/authors-on-tour/join/">Tywebbin</a></li> <li><a href="http://mpnewsroom.com/">Moody Publishers</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.bookbrowse.com/arc/">BookBrowse</a></li> <li><a href="http://radiantlit.com/">Radiant Lit</a></li> <li><a href="http://vesselproject.com/">The Vessel Project</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.springer.com/book+reviews?SGWID=0-108-12-690404-0">Springer</a></li> </ul> <h2>Other Product Review Sites</h2> <p>Right now, I am a part of <a href="http://www.blueribbonsreview.com/">Blue Ribbon Reviews</a>, which offers free and heavily discounted items to review. I have received a backseat car organizer, reusable baby food pouches, and food containers for less than a $1 a piece, and they were things I could use anyways. So far, their free items I have seen offered have been for sleep-inducing syrup and wallets.</p> <p>The other company I review for is <a href="http://allstarreviewers.com/">All Star Review</a>. The site has offered 100% free items, but you are alerted of the free item a day before it launches, and then it is a first come, first serve basis the day the freebie is live.</p> <p>Obviously <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/vine/help">Amazon's Vine program</a> would be ideal, but I am still waiting for my invite. You can check out these other sites, too. Some are for free products, and others are for deeply discounted items.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.lucky21.com">Lucky21</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.amz.one/#a_aid=trc">AMZ.one </a></li> <li><a href="http://www.therevieweffect.com">The Review Effect </a></li> <li><a href="https://homeproducttesting.org/">Home Product Testing </a></li> <li><a href="http://productelf.com/">Product Elf </a></li> <li><a href="https://www.snagshout.com/">Snagshout </a></li> <li><a href="https://www.giveawayservice.com/">Giveaway Service</a></li> </ul> <p>I have received several great things for free that have been very useful to me, including many organic food items and books that were on my &quot;to read&quot; wish list. However, there have been times I have been asked to review random things, such as a TV antenna or a refrigerator filter that didn't go with my fridge model. To avoid bringing clutter into my home, I only review products I want or know that I will use.</p> <p><em>What have you been able to review for free?</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-get-even-more-freebies-in-exchange-for-a-review">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/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-little-known-amazon-shopping-hacks">5 Little Known Amazon Shopping Hacks</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-big-list-of-money-saving-coupon-codes-for-halloween-2016">The Big List of Money-Saving Coupon Codes for Halloween 2016</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/these-secrets-of-amazons-pricing-strategy-will-help-you-find-the-best-buys">These Secrets of Amazon&#039;s Pricing Strategy Will Help You Find the Best Buys</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> Frugal Living Shopping Amazon books discounts freebies online shopping reviews Tue, 07 Jun 2016 09:00:12 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 1725690 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Questions to Always Ask Yourself Before Making a Big Purchase http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-to-always-ask-yourself-before-making-a-big-purchase <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-questions-to-always-ask-yourself-before-making-a-big-purchase" 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_000077386097.jpg" alt="Woman asking questions before making big purchase" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I say &quot;big&quot; purchase, I mean anything that shows up on your credit card statement and the dollar amount catches your attention. That number will be different for everyone &mdash; could be $50, or it could be triple digits. In any case, if you get in the habit of asking yourself a few of the following questions before making a &quot;big&quot; purchase, you can easily remove some spending on items that don't add to your long term happiness and financial goals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-stop-impulse-buying?ref=seealso">9 Simple Ways to Stop Impulse Buying</a>)</p> <h2>1. Will I Need the Item in the Future?</h2> <p>When making a significant purchase, get in the habit of talking to yourself a little bit. Ask if this item is something you'll need in a week? In a month? Six months from now? Once you have your answers, then make the decision. By asking yourself the question, you can often quickly determine if it's an impulse purchase, which you'll never use regularly, or something you actually need and has long-term value.</p> <h2>2. Does Amazon Really Have the Best Price?</h2> <p>The biggest problem with Amazon is they make it so darn easy to make purchases and overspend. This is especially true if you have a Prime membership and with a single click you can have an item sitting on your doorstep in two days. It often turns consumers into impulse shoppers who rarely do price comparisons and rely on the convenience factor that Amazon provides. But in the long-run, there's no doubt you're going to overpay on many items, and at the end of the year, that money will be significant, especially if you shop at Amazon on a weekly basis. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-stop-online-impulse-spending?ref=seealso">This Is How You Stop Online Impulse Spending</a>)</p> <p>I recommend disabling the &quot;1-click&quot; feature and disconnecting your credit card from your account, which makes it harder to complete an order. You'll be much less likely to shop, click, buy, and overspend. Also, before completing your next significant Amazon purchase, I encourage you to pull up a separate browser tab and do a quick price comparison on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.google.com/shopping">Google Shopping</a>. See if the price you're about to pay really is a good deal, and then proceed accordingly.</p> <h2>3. What Is the Return Policy?</h2> <p>How familiar are you with any given store's return policy? If you're like most, unless it's a store you frequent often, you probably have no idea what the policy details are. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the policy, especially if you're on the fence about the purchase to begin with, or don't know if it's the right size, color, or variation. Will you be able to return it? What about if you open the box? How long do you have to bring it back? These are all things you need to know, so be sure to ask before you make the purchase. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-refund-when-something-is-non-refundable?ref=seealso">How to Get a Refund When Something Is Non-Refundable</a>)</p> <p>Also, be aware of the return policy of &quot;liquidation&quot; or &quot;going out of business&quot; sales. Often these type of sales have a <em>no </em>return policy and all sales are considered final. With the recent news of Sports Authority going out of business, and selling their merchandise to a group of liquidators, it has many shoppers anticipating a plethora of sporting good deals. Be aware that more than likely, whatever you buy you won't be able to return. So be sure that ping-pong table will fit on your patio before handing them your credit card.</p> <h2>4. Is a Coupon Available?</h2> <p>Despite a plethora of coupon apps and coupon websites available, it still amazes me how many shoppers I see pay full-price in front of me in line, while I pull out my smartphone to access a discount. Get in the habit of always asking yourself if a coupon might be available, and then go find one. Then if you can't find one, politely ask the cashier if they have one you can use. Stores like Michaels, Bed Bath &amp; Beyond, Pier 1 Imports, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Joann Fabrics are notorious for handing them out to those who simply ask. After all, the worst they can say is, &quot;No, sorry, we don't have any coupons right now.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-a-last-minute-coupon?ref=seealso">6 Ways to Score a Last-Minute Coupon</a>)</p> <h2>5. Can I Find a Cheaper Alternative?</h2> <p>Some items have&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-cheaper-versions-of-your-favorite-products">cheaper alternatives</a> that do the job just as well, and the only difference is the price tag. Things like a KitchenAid mixer, Dyson vacuum, and Beats headphones immediately come to mind. To figure out if the &quot;big&quot; purchase I'm about to make has a cheaper alternative, I love using the Amazon product carousels found on the individual product page. The two Amazon carousels worth scouring for deals are titled &quot;Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought&quot; and &quot;Sponsored Products Related to This Item.&quot;</p> <p>For example, the Beats Solo2 Wireless Headphones currently sell for&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/1XWINFQ">$199.99&ndash;$299.99 on Amazon</a>, but if you scroll down the product page you'll find some hidden gems in the above mentioned product carousels. In particular, the $44&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/1XWsXLm">Status Audio HD One Headphones</a> caught my eye with their 526 reviews and an average review of 4.5 out of 5 stars, the exact same rating as the Beats variety. Then when you scroll down to the Status Audio reviews, the first review,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/review/R3BYS6LWBH0TNW/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&amp;ASIN=B00SWDHUXW&amp;channel=detail-glance&amp;nodeID=172282&amp;store=electronics">by Michael M</a> nails my point:</p> <p>&quot;It's interesting that the Beats headphones are such sellers and that they are making a ton of money on those because they are horrible headphones with cheap parts and are selling you on their name and as a fashion accessory. If that's your thing then that's fine. But if it's music you want to listen to clearly and accurately then buy these.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Is This a Replacement Item or Something New?</h2> <p>Ask yourself if the significant purchase you're about to make is for an item that's replacing something you own, or simply something new and shiny that you figured you couldn't live without. If it's the latter, do you really need to buy it right now? Odds are if you tell yourself &quot;No,&quot; the must-have feeling will go away shortly as your brain moves on to more pressing things. If the item is replacing something you own that broke, are you sure you can't do a YouTube search and figure out how to fix it? Or maybe it's being sold used on eBay for a fraction of the price.</p> <h2>7. Should I Buy a Higher Quality Item?</h2> <p>Sometimes it's just plain smart to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quality-over-price-15-items-to-spend-more-on">spend more money on a quality product</a> that will last and not accrue quick replacement costs. The problem is knowing when spending more for quality makes the most sense so you don't overspend unnecessarily. A good rule of thumb is to consider how often the item will be used. If it will be used daily, or several times per day, and you plan on keeping it for years to come, then you'll want to consider the quality of the item along with the price and determine if spending more makes sense. Things like tools, mattresses, shoes, kitchen knives, cold-weather jackets, and baby gear are all items worth spending more for higher quality.</p> <h2>8. Have I Considered the Long Term Costs?</h2> <p>Stores like Petco and PetSmart make a killing on the long-term costs of their products. As a matter of fact, they wouldn't exist without them. While that cute hamster seems like a bargain at only $10, the real cost is actually in the hundreds when you consider a cage, food, bedding, and accessories. I recently ran into this issue with my 11-year-old daughter who saved up to buy her own hamster and supplies only to lose interest in the cute furball a couple months later.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the long term costs of the hamster remain the same even though nobody pays attention to it. While we will be giving it away to a friend, I would have been much better off doing a test run with an animal with lower long term costs in the beginning. Perhaps if she could have cared for a goldfish for several months, she could have moved up to the hamster. Lesson learned.</p> <p><em>How do you noodle through big purchases and whether they're smart buys or not?</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/8-questions-to-always-ask-yourself-before-making-a-big-purchase">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/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-sneaky-online-price-changes">6 Ways to Avoid Sneaky Online Price Changes</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/7-ways-to-get-the-best-deals-on-groupon">7 Ways to Get the Best Deals on Groupon</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-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Amazon coupons deals google shopping online shopping price comparisons quality Mon, 06 Jun 2016 10:00:13 +0000 Kyle James 1723973 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-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="/8-apps-that-actually-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/woman_phone_shopping_000086939113.jpg" alt="Woman using apps that pay her to shop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all know &quot;there's an app for that.&quot; Usually we're referring to apps that make our lives a little bit easier somehow. But what if there were a bunch of apps out there that'll actually <em>pay </em>you to shop? Whether it be through earning cash back by purchasing stuff we'd be buying anyways, or simply paying you to snap a pic of your receipt, these apps all have the potential to help you earn some significant money. What's more helpful than that?</p> <h2>1. Swagbucks</h2> <p><a href="http://swagbucks.7eer.net/c/27771/19503/799">Swagbucks</a> is a cash back app with a twist &mdash; namely it focuses on surveys as its primary business model. You download the app, pick a survey to complete, and earn &quot;Swagbucks&quot; when you complete it. The cool thing about the surveys is they tell you exactly how long they will take to complete, and the number of Swagbucks you'll earn. For example, a six-minute survey will give you 50 Swagbucks and the questions are very simple, opinion-based questions. Earn 500 Swagbucks and you'll be eligible for a $5 gift card from Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart or Target. Sitting in the doctor's office waiting room, or maybe at the DMV, complete a Swagbucks survey or two, and before you know it, you'll be treating yourself to a free Venti Frappuccino.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cool-convenient-cash-11-easy-ways-to-make-money-online?utm_source=wisebraed&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=article">How to Make Money Online Without Even Trying</a></p> <h2>2. iBotta</h2> <p>While already on the radar screen of most frugal shoppers,&nbsp;<a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv">iBotta</a> is a terrific way to earn cash at the grocery store. Cash back takes the form of &quot;rebates,&quot; and you simply unlock rebates on specific items before you head to the grocery store. Items that often have rebates available include such staples as milk, eggs, yogurt, and butter. Then when you return home, just scan the receipt with the iBotta app and your rebates, once verified, go straight to your account balance. When your iBotta account reaches $10, you can request payment via PayPal or Venmo. The app is terrific way to supplement traditional paper coupons and double your savings in many cases.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=article">Earn Thousands Per Year With These Cash Back Sites</a></p> <h2>3. ShopKick</h2> <p>The&nbsp;<a href="https://www.shopkick.com/">ShopKick</a> app rewards you with free gift cards for doing the shopping you'd be doing anyways. It works by giving you reward points, known as &quot;kicks,&quot; just for walking into stores like Walmart, Target, Starbucks, Best Buy, and even at your local grocery store. Then when you buy something from the store, you earn even more kicks. Earn enough kicks, and you'll get rewarded with free gift cards to the store of your choosing. Surprisingly, it doesn't take much to earn things like a $5 Starbucks gift card. You'll also be kept updated with new coupons and deals at your favorite stores so you can save even more. An insider tip to quickly add up kicks is to follow&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/SHOPkick">ShopKick on Facebook</a> as they update their feed with new ways to earn free kicks.</p> <h2>4. Mobee</h2> <p><a href="http://www.mobeeapp.com/">Mobee</a> touts themselves as a &quot;fun, new way to make money on your phone.&quot; Once downloaded to your smartphone, the app works by displaying &quot;missions&quot; in your local area that pay you money to complete. The missions are displayed on a map allowing you to quickly see which ones you can easily perform on your next shopping trip. The idea is that you're going to be there anyways, so why not earn a couple bucks in the process?</p> <p>For example, your local Starbucks might have a mission that requires you to answer a few questions about your visit. Most missions give you 250&ndash;750 points and a $5 Starbucks gift card is available after about 500 points. Earn 2,500 points at Walmart and trade your points in for a $25 gift card. I was happily surprised to see the points required to earn gift cards were very reasonable, making this app worth a look.</p> <h2>5. Receipt Hog</h2> <p><a href="http://receipthog.com/">Receipt Hog</a> allows you to cash-in on your shopping receipts. Unlike cash back apps like iBotta, Receipt Hog lets you earn rewards by scanning your receipt from ANY store and it doesn't matter what items you purchased. Once you earn 1,000 points, you'll be eligible for a $5 Amazon gift card or $5 sent directly to your PayPal account. You'll earn 50&ndash;100 points per receipt making a free $5 pretty easy to obtain. I've been using this app for a few months and have already earned $25 in Amazon gift cards with very little effort.</p> <h2>6. Loot!</h2> <p>The folks at&nbsp;<a href="http://earn.loot-app.com/">Loot!</a> have created an app that lets you earn rewards by sharing, typically via social media, recent experiences with a particular brand or retailer. These experiences often require you to snap a picture to share, but not always. For example, you might be asked to snap a picture of a movie you're viewing and share it on Facebook, or perhaps share a print advertisement for a particular product via Twitter. These tasks typically pay in the $0.50 to $1.75 range.</p> <p>You can also earn $0.05 for a Twitter and Facebook &quot;shout out&quot; on specific products and brands that Loot! is currently promoting. The app automatically links your social media accounts making it a simply process to perform a shout out.</p> <h2>7. Gigwalk</h2> <p>When you're out-and-about, on a shopping trip, or simply taking a stroll through town, use the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gigwalk.com/">Gigwalk app</a> to earn some extra cash by completing small tasks. A couple &quot;gig&quot; examples include $10 for taking a dog on a walk or $4 for taking a picture of a store display. The closer you live to a large metropolitan area, the more gigs will be available to you. While the app is appealing as a cool way to earn a few extra bucks, the negative reviews of the app revolve around not enough gigs available and a waiting period for approval that often exceeds a week. But it definitely has potential and is worth being on your radar screen.</p> <p>See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-a-side-gig-at-these-4-best-micro-jobs-sites?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso2&amp;utm_campaign=article">Find a Side Gig at These 4 Best Micro-Jobs Sites</a></p> <h2>8. Field Agent</h2> <p>Somewhat similar to Gigwalk,&nbsp;<a href="https://app.fieldagent.net/">Field Agent</a> pays you to do small jobs in your local area. The biggest difference between the two apps is that Field Agent is more shopping-focused and has &quot;jobs&quot; at locations like Costco, RiteAid, Safeway, and Marshalls. Jobs are first come first serve, pay between $2 and $15, and must be accomplished within two hours of accepting. An example of a past Costco job was an &quot;egg audit,&quot; which for $7, required you record the egg sizes, egg prices, and count the number of egg products in the warehouse. An easy $7 in your pocket if you're on your way to Costco anyways. Similar to Gigwalk, the closer you live to a metropolitan area, the more jobs will be available to you via the app.</p> <p>Free for&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/US/app/field-agent/id364946558">iOS</a> and&nbsp;<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.fieldagent">Android</a>.</p> <p><em>How do you use your smartphone to earn a little extra money?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-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/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-2 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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smart-ways-to-save-money-this-year-without-clipping-a-coupon">6 Smart Ways to Save Money This Year (Without Clipping a Coupon)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology apps gift cards groceries ibotta online shopping rewards smartphones swagbucks Fri, 27 May 2016 10:30:04 +0000 Kyle James 1717319 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Amazon Prime Perks You've Forgotten to Use http://www.wisebread.com/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_music_headphones_000091734517.jpg" alt="Woman forgetting to use her Amazon Prime perks" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With the recent news of Amazon changing <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/18/business/amazon-challenges-netflix-by-opening-prime-to-monthly-subscribers.html">how they charge for Prime</a>, and allowing users to pay on a month-by-month basis, it has many revisiting their membership and asking themselves if they're using Prime to its fullest potential. It's with this frame of mind that I wanted to talk about some of the lesser known Prime perks. After all, Amazon Prime these days is much more than just free two-day shipping, and some of these perks can actually replace monthly premium pay services and help reduce your overall entertainment costs.</p> <h2>1. Unlimited Photo Storage</h2> <p>One of the least used Prime perks is the free <a href="https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/primephotos">unlimited photo storage service</a>. Their cloud drive is secure and allows you to upload and access photos from your PC, mobile device, or via any web connection. So the next time your smartphone or SD card on your digital camera is reaching capacity, you can easily upload your photos to the Amazon cloud.The only limit that Amazon places on your cloud storage is with 1080p video &mdash; you're only allowed 5GB of storage, where the Google free storage option allows unlimited storage.</p> <h2>2. Prime Music</h2> <p>The <a href="http://amzn.to/1TuI49b">Amazon Prime Music Streaming Service</a> has gotten much better in recent months and is worth revisiting. Its improvements make it a fantastic alternative to premium pay music services like Spotify Premium and Pandora One. For example, all Prime Music Stations and custom created playlists now offer ad-free listening with unlimited skips, making it very comparable to premium services. You can now also download songs directly to your listening device, allowing for offline playback when an Internet connection is not available.</p> <h2>3. Prime &quot;Early Access&quot; Deals</h2> <p>As a Prime member, have you ever heard of a site called <a href="http://www.myhabit.com/">MyHabit</a>? If you're like most members, probably not, but it's definitely worth a look as it's owned by Amazon and specializes in highly discounted clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and home items. The deals, often in the 70% off range, are only available to registered Amazon members, and <a href="http://www.myhabit.com/help/201612240">30-minute early access</a> to these deals is granted only to Prime members. Once on the MyHabit website, simply look for the Early Access logo and start your bargain shopping before popular items get snatched up by non-Prime members. It's also worth mentioning that, unfortunately, free two-day Prime shipping is not available on your orders from MyHabit. Their standard shipping rate is a flat $5.95.</p> <h2>4. Amazon Prime Pantry</h2> <p>Another perk that many busy families are not taking advantage of is <a href="http://amzn.to/1YaPEKg">Prime Pantry</a>, which offers &quot;low-priced everyday essentials in everyday sizes, delivered to your home.&quot; The key takeaway to their tagline is &quot;everyday sizes,&quot; as you no longer have to order in bulk and hope you use it all. You can now order the amount that you'll actually use. As long as it fits in your &quot;virtual box,&quot; you'll get it delivered to your doorstep for a flat $5.99. It becomes kind of a fun game to follow your box &quot;fill-percentage&quot; while building your online order. Popular <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-really-save-with-amazon-prime-pantry">Amazon Pantry</a> product categories include groceries, snacks, household, pet supplies, and baby care. If you've never explored this Prime service, and you could use some help keeping your kitchen pantry full, it's definitely worth a look.</p> <h2>5. Free Video Streaming</h2> <p>Are you a Prime member and currently paying for an online streaming service like Netflix or Hulu Plus? If so, you probably haven't explored <a href="http://amzn.to/1TuIa0B">Prime Video</a> recently. For many users, it has become an excellent replacement for the above mentioned pay services. Improvements in recent months include several highly rated Amazon original series, more monthly-added Prime movies and TV shows, and an easier to navigate interface.</p> <h2>6. Amazon Family</h2> <p>My wife and I had our Prime membership for two years before we took the time to see if the<a href="http://amzn.to/1WL7GDR"> Amazon Family</a> program (formerly Amazon Mom) could benefit us. Come to find out, I wish we had used it much earlier as it saves us a lot of time and money every month. Straight from their site, &quot;Amazon Family provides Prime members exclusive family-oriented offers, coupons, age-based recommendations, 20% off diaper subscriptions, and a 15% Baby Registry completion discount.&quot; The 20% diaper savings alone would have been of a great benefit. Also, if you have young children, the coupon offers will often save you 15%&ndash;20% on baby health items, baby food, as well as kitchen and beauty items.</p> <h2>7. Free Trial for Students</h2> <p>I was just recently chatting with a college freshman, and he was telling me about all the things he needed to buy for his dorm room. I asked if he had taken advantage of the <a href="http://amzn.to/1YaQcj2">free six-month Amazon Prime</a> trial that they offer. Surprisingly, he had never heard of it and was excited to get the free two-day shipping on all products sold directly by Amazon. It's worth noting that other perks like Prime Video, Prime Music, and the Kindle Lending Library are not available during the trial period. But after your six-month trial ends, you'll have the option to purchase Amazon Prime for 50% off the $99 price tag at which point you'll gain access to all the Prime perks.</p> <p><em>How do you use Amazon Prime to its fullest potential? Or if not a member, do any of these perks sway your decision to join?</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/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-little-known-amazon-shopping-hacks">5 Little Known Amazon Shopping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-always-order-on-amazon">10 Things You Should Always Order on Amazon</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-avoid-sneaky-online-price-changes">6 Ways to Avoid Sneaky Online Price Changes</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/these-secrets-of-amazons-pricing-strategy-will-help-you-find-the-best-buys">These Secrets of Amazon&#039;s Pricing Strategy Will Help You Find the Best Buys</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Amazon early access deals free shipping music online shopping Prime prime pantry students Wed, 18 May 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Kyle James 1706851 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things You Should Never Buy on Groupon or LivingSocial http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-buy-on-groupon-or-livingsocial <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-you-should-never-buy-on-groupon-or-livingsocial" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_stressed_computer_000081007957.jpg" alt="Man learning what not to buy on Groupon or Living Social" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Groupon and LivingSocial can save you a bundle on a lot of things &mdash; from restaurants to gifts to vacations. But these daily-deals sites aren't <em>always</em> the best bargain around. Check out these items you should steer clear of when shopping on these super-savings behemoths.</p> <h2>1. Makeup</h2> <p>I don't wear or buy makeup (okay, maybe a dab of concealer here and there; no shame in my fleek game), but I know well enough that you shouldn't buy makeup from third-party vendors. You don't know where it's been or possibly even what's in it, which can be very problematic when you're putting it on your face or generally have sensitive skin. It's just a good habit to practice buying your makeup directly from the source in safety-sealed packaging.</p> <p>Jenn Haskins, who writes popular fashion and beauty blog hellorigby.com, recently had an unfortunate experience with makeup she purchased on LivingSocial.</p> <p>&quot;I purchased makeup on LivingSocial that appeared to be an expensive makeup brand, but what I received instead was an unlabeled counterfeit product,&quot; she says. &quot;Luckily LivingSocial refunded me, but I definitely won't be making that mistake again.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Hotel Rooms</h2> <p>We all want to save as much as we can when we travel &mdash; myself included &mdash; so deeply discounted hotels on Groupon and LivingSocial are quite attractive. Sometimes they're a great buy, while other times you could be paying more for the room than if you had made a reservation directly through the hotel. Mike Catania, consumer savings blogger and co-founder of PromotionCode.org, provides more detail into the dynamics of renting hotels on daily deal sites.</p> <p>&quot;Because hotels only offer a limited number of rooms to a certain provider, Groupon/LivingSocial can offer them near cost because they're making the commission from the hotel for running the offer,&quot; he explains. &quot;If demand surges and you've already booked the hotel, you very well could save up to 40% off the available rate. Alternatively, if demand lags and the booking dates are approaching quickly, the hotel will drop the price beneath what they offered it to Groupon/LivingSocial and you could end up having paid a 20% premium for buying the Groupon/LivingSocial offer when they released it instead of waiting for the best time to buy.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Generic Gadgets and Tech</h2> <p>As a general rule, I tend to regard high-priced electronics and gadgets as higher quality than their less expensive counterparts. That's perhaps not true 100% of time, but I'd give it a solid 98% accuracy rating considering that I've typically had great experiences with tech that cost a pretty penny opposed to bargain buys. My philosophy gets a bit iffy, however, when Groupon and LivingSocial get into the mix. In fact, if the tech deal seems too good to be true on these sites, it probably is, says Kristin Cook, managing editor for BensBargains.com.</p> <p>&quot;Groupon and LivingSocial are notorious for rebranding generic items and giving them ridiculously high &quot;retail&quot; prices,&quot; she reveals. &quot;Before buying anything, do a quick Google Shopping search. If the only site selling the brand is Groupon, odds are high you can find the same item under its more generic name on eBay or Amazon.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Store Vouchers With Lots of Restrictions</h2> <p>When it comes to Groupon and LivingSocial vouchers with a long list of restrictions, buyer beware.</p> <p>I had an experience once with a carpet-cleaning service whose Groupon deal promised a $70 cleaning. What I didn't recognize until after the fact (because some of the details weren't even listed) was that there were additional charges for the type rug, size of the rug, and more. What I thought would save me money cost me way more than I anticipated &mdash; hundreds of dollars more, in fact, which was nearly the cost of a brand new rug &mdash; plus the service itself wasn't that great.</p> <p>&quot;Many stores include rules and restrictions making the voucher almost useless,&quot; Cook says. &quot;Specifically avoid vouchers that can't be used for items on sale or can't be applied to shipping/handling costs.&quot;</p> <p>In other words, read through all the restrictions before you buy the deal, and try not to let that low, low price suck you in without being fully informed.</p> <h2>5. Things That You Can Get for Cheaper &mdash; Or Even Free</h2> <p>It seems like a no-brainer to not pay for something you can get for free, but it's easy to overlook that fact when Groupon and LivingSocial are waving &quot;unbeatable&quot; deals in your face. Ultimately, however, your eagerness and laziness could cost you.</p> <p>Stefanie O'Connell, Millennial finance expert and author of <a href="http://amzn.to/1SRp8FW">The Broke and Beautiful Life</a>, talks about the time she found an awesome deal for a museum &mdash; except it wasn't really a deal at all.</p> <p>&quot;I live in New York City and love using Groupon as a resource for low cost activities, but I found one particular &quot;deal&quot; I stumbled across to be incredibly off-putting,&quot; she says. &quot;Groupon was advertising a deal for $18 admission to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The MET admission, however, is a suggested donation. The full suggested donation amount is $25, more than the $18 Groupon price &mdash; but it's still suggested donation, meaning you could just as easily give $18 directly to the MET, without Groupon taking any part of that cut.&quot;</p> <p>O'Connell's tip is probably the best tip when browsing Groupon or LivingSocial for deals &mdash; compare other existing prices to the advertised daily &quot;deal&quot; to ensure you're getting the best discount. Online coupon codes, discounts from direct-marketing emails, and other savings may work out better for you than the one-and-done approach you take when purchasing from Groupon or LivingSocial.</p> <p><em>What are some things you'd never buy on Groupon or LivingSocial? Have you ever been burned by these deal sites? Let's talk about it 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/5-things-you-should-never-buy-on-groupon-or-livingsocial">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/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-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-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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-secrets-of-amazons-pricing-strategy-will-help-you-find-the-best-buys">These Secrets of Amazon&#039;s Pricing Strategy Will Help You Find the Best Buys</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-strange-ways-online-shopping-has-changed-the-world">6 Strange Ways Online Shopping Has Changed the World</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping coupon sites deals groupon hotels knock offs livingsocial online shopping rip offs too good to be true Wed, 23 Mar 2016 09:00:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 1675387 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things You Should Never Buy With Your Credit Card http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-buy-with-your-credit-card <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-you-should-never-buy-with-your-credit-card" 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_000077026409.jpg" alt="Woman learning things she should never buy with a credit card" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's a big temptation: Your pockets are empty, and you desperately need that morning coffee to get through that commute. But don't do it &mdash; don't take that credit card out of your pocket. If you can't pay for that latte with cash, skip it and drink from the free coffeepot at work.</p> <p>It's easy to pay for purchases with credit cards. Maybe too easy. But there are some items that you should <em>never</em> pay for with a credit card. Why? There are always better ways to pay for these items, whether they are small, everyday purchases or big-ticket buys.</p> <p>Here are five items for which you should never rely on plastic.</p> <h2>1. Medical Bills</h2> <p>Facing a big medical bill from your doctor? Don't use your credit card to pay for it. Instead, ask your medical provider to set up an installment payment plan for you. Most medical providers will do this, and the interest rates that they charge (if any) will be lower than the rates attached to your credit card.</p> <h2>2. Income Taxes</h2> <p>If you owe taxes, you <em>do </em>have the option of paying them with your credit card. Again, though, there's a better choice. If you owe thousands of dollars to the government, contact the IRS and ask for an installment plan.</p> <p>To be eligible for such a plan, you must owe less than $50,000 and be current on your income tax filings. You must also be able to pay what you owe within 72 months.</p> <p>This isn't free, of course. The IRS will charge you interest on the money you owe and a late payment penalty, usually at 0.5% a month. But even with these fees, you're better off financially than you would be if you turned to your credit card to pay your taxes.</p> <h2>3. Unsecure Online Purchases</h2> <p>The new EMV credit cards, embedded with a computer chip, are supposed to make in-person credit card transactions safer. But these cards don't offer much protection against online credit card fraud. So be careful when you use your card to make online purchases.</p> <p>And don't ever use your card on websites that aren't secured.</p> <p>Look for &quot;https&quot; at the beginning of a site's URL in your browser. If that's not present, and the site starts instead with &quot;http&quot; (with no &quot;s&quot; at the end), don't buy from it. Such websites aren't secure, and it's far easier for criminals to steal your credit card information from them.</p> <h2>4. Big Vacations</h2> <p>We all deserve a break from the working world. An exotic vacation can provide just that. But save the money for it first.</p> <p>It's easy to rack up thousands of dollars of credit card debt on a single trip if you charge hotels, gas, meals, and visits to museums and amusement parks. Don't fall into this trap: If you save for your vacation, and stick to a planned budget while you're traveling, you'll feel much more relaxed when you return.</p> <p>If you don't, opening that huge credit card bill will make you yearn for yet another vacation.</p> <h2>5. College Tuition</h2> <p>Worried about paying for your college tuition? Join the crowd. But don't rely on your credit cards to help foot the bill.</p> <p>The interest rates on student loans are typically lower than those attached to credit cards. Many schools will even charge you an additional fee when you pay your tuition with a credit card.</p> <p>If you're worried about paying for your college education, meet with your school's' financial aid office. In addition to helping you find low-interest-rate student loans, the staffers there should be able to help you hunt for scholarships or grants that could reduce your tuition burden.</p> <p><em>What do you refuse to purchase with a credit card?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-buy-with-your-credit-card">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/5-best-credit-cards-that-transfer-points-to-airline-miles">5 Best Credit Cards that Transfer Points to Airline Miles</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/choose-the-best-travel-rewards-credit-card-with-this-guide">Choose the Best Travel Rewards Credit Card with this Guide</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-ways-to-avoid-credit-card-fraud-while-traveling">7 Ways to Avoid Credit Card Fraud While Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-travel-purchases">5 Best Credit Cards for Travel Purchases</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-tricks-to-making-the-most-of-your-reward-miles">6 Tricks to Making the Most of Your Reward Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Fast Food medical bills online shopping small expenses taxes travel tuition Tue, 23 Feb 2016 11:30:05 +0000 Dan Rafter 1658859 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Best Hacks for Amazon and Amazon Prime http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-best-hacks-for-amazon-and-amazon-prime <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-best-hacks-for-amazon-and-amazon-prime" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_online_000051347316.jpg" alt="Woman learning best hacks for amazon and amazon prime" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on the best Amazon hacks, ways to save money this year, and over 60 mostly-free ways to entertain yourself at home.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://wallethacks.com/amazon-prime-hacks/">The Best Amazon &amp; Amazon Prime Hacks</a> &mdash; You can get a $5 credit just for downloading the Amazon app! [Wallet Hacks]</p> <p><a href="http://www.becauseimcheap.com/10-frugal-ways-to-save-money-in-2016/">10 Frugal Ways To Save Money In 2016</a> &mdash; Shopping online is easy &mdash; maybe TOO easy! If you block your favorite online retailers' websites, you'll be forced to think twice before you can buy anything. [Because I'm Cheap]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Free-Ways-Entertain-Yourself-Home-30926585">68 Mostly Free Ways to Entertain Yourself at Home</a> &mdash; Need to pass some time at home? Gather some photos and create a collage! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2016/0207/When-should-you-hire-someone-to-do-your-taxes">When should you hire someone to do your taxes?</a> &mdash; Hiring a CPA is a good idea if your tax situation is complicated. Are you divorced with children? Do you own a small business? Do you have high-net-worth investment portfolios? [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/about/valentines-day-budget/">Valentine&rsquo;s Day on a Budget</a> &mdash; Join Experian's #CreditChat on Wednesday, February 10 at 3 pm ET for a discussion on frugal ways to celebrate Valentine's Day. [Experian]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://naturemoms.com/blog/2016/02/08/20-herbs-to-grow-for-medical-home-remedies/">20 Herbs to Grow For Medicinal Home Remedies</a> &mdash; Aloe is a succulent with thick gel that is perfect for soothing burns and skin irritations. [Nature Moms Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.morewithlesstoday.com/not-so-extreme-couponing-tips/">12 Not So Extreme Couponing Tips</a> &mdash; You don't need to spend a lot of time clipping and sorting coupons to reap the savings. Don't try to have a perfect system right from the start. Just choose a few items to always clip and go from there. [More With Less Today]</p> <p><a href="http://www.cheapism.com/blog/4111/aphrodisiac-foods">31 Aphrodisiac Foods to Put You in the Mood on Valentine's Day</a> &mdash; Rich in zinc, pine nuts have been used in the Mediterranean as an aphrodisiac for a long time. [Cheapism]</p> <p><a href="http://www.northerncheapskate.com/what-uses-the-most-energy-in-your-home/">What Uses the Most Energy In Your Home?</a> &mdash; Almost half the energy consumed in a home goes to heating and cooling. [Northern Cheapskate]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/9-ways-to-respectfully-parent-your-child">9 Ways to Respectfully Parent Your Child</a> &mdash; When you see your child is struggling, look for the underlying cause and validate their feelings. They'll feel understood and less alone. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-best-hacks-for-amazon-and-amazon-prime">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/5-little-known-amazon-shopping-hacks">5 Little Known Amazon Shopping Hacks</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/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use">7 Amazon Prime Perks You&#039;ve Forgotten to Use</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-avoid-sneaky-online-price-changes">6 Ways to Avoid Sneaky Online Price Changes</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/these-secrets-of-amazons-pricing-strategy-will-help-you-find-the-best-buys">These Secrets of Amazon&#039;s Pricing Strategy Will Help You Find the Best Buys</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Amazon amazon prime best money tips online shopping Tue, 09 Feb 2016 20:00:05 +0000 Amy Lu 1653328 at http://www.wisebread.com