bargains http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/746/all en-US What You Need to Know About Sample Sales http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-sample-sales <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-you-need-to-know-about-sample-sales" 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_clothes_000026547400.jpg" alt="Woman learning what she needs to know about sample sales" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sample sales can be a fun way to get unique items at rock-bottom prices. Most retail stores, clothing manufacturers, and boutiques have sample sales from time to time, which can translate to big savings for you. In order to get the most out of the sale, it's important to strategize and take advantage of a few simple tips, which we've outlined below.</p> <h2>What Are Sample Sales?</h2> <p>Sample sales are the store's opportunity to clear out inventory from runways, one-of-a-kind items, and unique garments. In a traditional sample sale, designers will sell samples of new retail that have been previewed to buyers. This means you may be able to find some of the newest designs, many of which will be one-of-a-kind, at killer prices &mdash; anywhere from 20%&ndash;90% off. However, it can also mean that the items aren't up to the designer's usual standards because it never actually made it to production.</p> <p>Sometimes, other sales (like overstock sales) will be referred to as a sample sale. These are actually just a retail store clearing out inventory from last season to make room for new stock.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Where to Find Sample Sales</h2> <p>Sample sales often take place in warehouses, showrooms, and small boutique shops. Sites like <a href="http://ny.racked.com/tags/sample-sales">Racked</a>, <a href="http://nymag.com/shopping/">NYMag</a>, <a href="https://www.clothingline.com/">Clothingline</a>, and <a href="http://www.260samplesale.com/">260 Sample Sale</a> can give you a heads up on when the next sample sale will be near you.</p> <p>You can also follow a schedule every year to estimate when the next sale will be. Some stores do a yearly sample sale, some follow a semi-annual schedule, and some clear out inventory every season. Sample sale season runs from November through May in large cities like New York.</p> <p>Either get to the sale early, before anyone else, or at the end, after everyone has left. If you are able to arrive first, you will have the best pick of items. Arriving at the end of the sale can usually result in bigger savings and better chances of negotiating a lower price, since the stores are desperate to clear out any remaining inventory.</p> <h2>Negotiate Prices</h2> <p>One of the great things about sample sales is you can usually negotiate the price. If you are buying more than one item, you might be able to negotiate a lower total cost.</p> <p>Look for imperfections for further markdowns. Anything from a loose button to a small snag can equal big savings. Simply take the item to the register and ask if they would be willing to offer a discount. Don't specify a specific markdown; let the sales associate offer a discount first. If they won't work with you on the price, ask if they're willing to throw something else in (like a free accessory). In most cases, you can walk away with a discount, but in a worst-case scenario, it doesn't hurt to ask. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-smart-and-fun-things-you-could-do-if-you-paid-less-rent">8 Smart and Fun Things You Could Do if You Paid Less Rent</a>)</p> <h2>Try Everything On</h2> <p>Some items may not be true to size, and others may not have sizing marked at all. Most sample sales don't have a fitting room available, so try on what you can on top of your clothes. Hold any other items up to yourself and have a friend take a photo with their phone so you can get an idea of what the garments will look like on you.</p> <p>If there is a dressing room available, try on as much as you can before making the purchase. Remember that items sold at sample sales are almost always non-returnable.</p> <p>Regardless of whether there is a dressing room or not, it's always a good idea to follow Cher Horowitz's advice and also take a photo of yourself in the clothes (or with clothes held up to you). Photos never lie, and you won't have to rely on unforgiving dressing room mirrors or lighting.</p> <h2>Master the Sale</h2> <p>Take advantage of these tricks of the trade and you'll be the master of the next sample sale.</p> <h3>Be Very Picky</h3> <p>Just because you waited in line doesn't mean you have to make a purchase. If an item doesn't fit perfectly, it can always be altered &mdash; but you should factor in the cost of tailoring before making the purchase.</p> <h3>Watch Your Budget</h3> <p>It can be easy to overspend when you feel like you're getting a good deal, but keep your budget in mind so that you don't overdo it.</p> <h3>Bring Cash</h3> <p>Sample sales are often cash-only. By bringing cash, you can also keep a good handle on your budget.</p> <h3>Go for the Bins</h3> <p>Bargain bins may seem intimidating, especially when they are surrounded by a horde of shoppers. However, this is where you'll find some of the best items at the best prices, so it is worth a look.</p> <h3>Start Shopping at the Back</h3> <p>Typically, shoppers start at the front of the store. By making your way to the back first, you'll be able to find the items that most people haven't rummaged through yet. Accessories, shoes, and the most deeply discounted items are usually also in the back of the store, so this is a great place to start.</p> <h3>Dress Comfortably</h3> <p>Make sure to wear comfortable clothes and shoes that you can easily change in and out of, so that you can quickly try clothes on if there is a fitting room available. Think gym clothes or tight basics, such as a tank top, lettings, and flats. Also wear a cross-body bag, since a traditional purse will be cumbersome and only get in the way.</p> <h3>Be Prepared to Wait in Line</h3> <p>Many sample sales won't let new shoppers into the store until some of the shoppers already in the store leave. Be prepared to wait and enjoy the time in line with a friend.</p> <h3>Leave the Kids at Home</h3> <p>A sample sale full of fashionable shoppers is not the place for kids to be running around. You should be able to enjoy yourself and focus on getting the best deal possible (and not on chasing down your little ones).</p> <h2>Other Types of Sample Sales</h2> <p>Sample sales are also commonly referred to as warehouse sales, which are simply blowout sales of old or seasonal inventory. If you don't feel like fighting the crowds, you can also take advantage of deep discounts at sample sales online on sites like <a href="http://www.gilt.com/">Gilt</a> and <a href="https://www.ruelala.com">Rue La La</a>.</p> <p><em>Do you have other tips for mastering a sample sale? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-sample-sales">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-ways-to-save-money-on-clothes">101 Ways to Save Money on Clothes</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-things-you-shouldnt-order-on-amazon">5 Things You Shouldn&#039;t Order on Amazon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-buys-at-tj-maxx">7 Best Buys at TJ Maxx</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bargains designer clothes discounts sample sales Thu, 04 Feb 2016 12:00:02 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1647339 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Best Buys at TJ Maxx http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-buys-at-tj-maxx <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-best-buys-at-tj-maxx" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000072725527.jpg" alt="Woman finding best buys at TJ Maxx" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you ever set foot in a TJ Maxx store only to be completely overwhelmed by the selection? While it's a great place to score designer brands at a low price, you'll get the absolute <em>best</em> value on these six items. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-things-that-are-always-cheaper-at-target">The 8 Things That Are Always Cheaper at Target</a>)</p> <h2>1. Designer Jeans</h2> <p>If designer jeans are your thing, you'd be smart to buy them at TJ Maxx and save close to 70% off the retail price. Brands that you can typically find include Jones New York, Jessica Simpson, Lucky, and Paris Blues. Surprisingly, many of the jeans you'll find at TJ Maxx are not last season's style and were just recently stocked in big department stores like Macy's and Nordstrom. According to website Mental Floss, high-end department stores buy jeans directly from manufacturers under what they term a &quot;buy-back clause.&quot; This stipulates that all unsold merchandise is bought-back by the clothing manufacturer, then sold to TJ Maxx at a hefty discount. The savings is then passed along to you.</p> <h2>2. Outerwear</h2> <p>TJ Maxx is a great stop when you need a new winter jacket, coat, or vest. This is because they tend to carry more name brands than other discount clothing stores like Ross and Marshalls. Outerwear brands you'll typically find include The North Face, Under Armour, Burton, U.S. Polo, and Steve Madden. While they stock outerwear all year long, they obviously have more selection in early autumn. I recommend shopping early on a Wednesday, if possible, as according to an employee, most TJ Maxx locations have their price markdowns completed by midweek. Another pro tip? Shop at the end of the season. TJ Maxx marks down items even further these times of the year.</p> <h2>3. Handbags</h2> <p>Top handbag brands that are regularly stocked include Valentina, Kenneth Cole, Michaella Barri, Saint Laurent, Perlina, and Emma Fox. You'll often find these brands at close to 75% off the original retail price. According to website Racked, TJ Maxx buyers are able to secure deals on handbags by foregoing the ability to return unsold bags to the designer. This means they'll put unsold handbags on clearance and continue to reduce them in price until they're sold-out. So if you see several of the same purse on the clearance rack, be aware that they'll probably get even cheaper within the next couple weeks. It may be worth your time, and money, to come back and buy it at the lower price.</p> <h2>4. Jewelry and Watches</h2> <p>Savings on jewelry is in the 50%&ndash;75% off range on name brands like Anne Klein, Fossil, Paz Creations, Gucci, Movado, Mia Fiore, and even Versace. Jewelry is no doubt one of the all-time popular Christmas gifts, and TJ Maxx is a great place to shop, especially for procrastinators &mdash; they receive new items right up until Christmas Eve.</p> <h2>5. Home Goods</h2> <p>If you're in the market for new kitchen, bath, or bedroom items, you'd be wise to shop at TJ Maxx and save up to 65% off name brands. A few of the designers you'll find highly discounted include Nicole Miller, All-Clad, Oneida, Cynthia Rowley, Wolfgang Puck, and Caro Home.</p> <h2>6. Shoes</h2> <p>Shoe brands like Jessica Simpson, Lucky, Keds, Nine West, Born, Adidas, Reebok, and New Balance can be found up to 70% off at TJ Maxx. Keep in mind that approximately 95% of the shoes at TJ Maxx are <a href="http://www.thebudgetbabe.com/archives/916-The-Truth-about-TJ-Maxx.html">first-run quality</a>. The other 5% are typically irregular and have a small flaw somewhere. Because of this, I always recommend trying on shoes and looking them over really well before purchasing.</p> <h2>7. Food and Coffee</h2> <p>Food, coffee, and other specialty goodies are often over-looked at TJ Maxx, yet provide some great values. According to <a href="http://www.redbookmag.com/life/money-career/features/a38894/tj-maxx-shopping-hacks-save-money-time/">Redbook's Kayla Keegan</a>, you should shop for deals on &quot;gift baskets, imported olive oils, handmade pastas, stainless steel cooking gadgets, and way more.&quot; She also points out that the assortment and selection gets much better around the holidays, and makes for a great place to shop for discounted gifts for the food lover in your life.</p> <p><em>What items do you consistently find the best deals on at TJ Maxx?</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-best-buys-at-tj-maxx">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-should-always-buy-at-department-stores">6 Things You Should Always Buy at Department Stores</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-things-you-shouldnt-order-on-amazon">5 Things You Shouldn&#039;t Order on Amazon</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/buy-raincoats-in-summer-because-winter-always-comes-0">Buy raincoats in summer, because winter always comes.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bargains best values brand name designers discounts sales tj maxx Thu, 19 Nov 2015 17:05:27 +0000 Kyle James 1613394 at http://www.wisebread.com Cheap Ways to Get These 8 Expensive Indulgences http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-get-these-8-expensive-indulgences <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cheap-ways-to-get-these-8-expensive-indulgences" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/drinking_wine_cheers_000018402946.jpg" alt="Friends finding cheaper ways to get indulgences" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As capitalism-loving Americans, we rather enjoy the finer things in life. Gourmet dining, fancy cars, high thread-count sheets that feel like Cumulus clouds&hellip; these are a few of our favorite things. The only problem, however, is that most of us can't afford those items &mdash; at least not on a regular basis. But where there's a will, there's a way. Check out these cheaper ways to score some of your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/4-indulgences-your-business-cant-afford">most coveted indulgences</a>.</p> <h2>1. Wine</h2> <p>Wine deal sites are aplenty, but if you want access to higher-quality wines at steeper discounts &mdash; upwards of 75% off even &mdash; follow these two tips from Mark Aseltine, owner of wine-gifting service Uncorked Ventures.</p> <h3>Shave 1/3 off the Retail Price With a Google Search</h3> <p>&quot;Most winemakers have multiple projects, and almost always there's a small label that they own themselves included in those,&quot; he says. &quot;That small label is often at least a third cheaper than their name projects &mdash; think a Napa Valley winery that you know well; any of them &mdash; but it'll take a few minutes of Google searching to find. Often these wines are made with equivalent grapes, in the exact same facility.&quot;</p> <h3>Join Your Favorite Wineries' Email Lists</h3> <p>&quot;At least once a year a list ends up with a significant offer from second-tier wineries &mdash; a winery that's in most wine stores in your state, but not at your local drugstore or grocery store,&quot; says Aseltine. &quot;Every so often, they'll offer huge discounts to move through some inventory, with about 75% off being fairly standard. Often it's what their middlemen are paying anyway.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Personal Fragrances</h2> <p>If your signature scent is &quot;heaping piles of cash&quot; while your budget is more like stacks of coins, there are ways to cut costs on personal fragrances. First, browse wholesale outlets that sometimes drastically reduce the retail price of a wide selection of perfumes and colognes. If you prefer to shop in store for scents &mdash; especially if you're searching for a new one &mdash; I recommend discount retailers like TJ Maxx and Marshalls, which typically have a decent selection of name-brand fragrances. If you want to go old school, visit your back-in-the-day department store, like Macy's or Sears, and ask for a particular sample at the fragrance counter; associates will likely have a small vial you can take with you. You also can visit daily deal sites and search for discounted fragrances.</p> <p>Yet, if you're not all that worried about the logo on the bottle but rather just smelling like a million bucks, ditch the bells and whistles in favor of &quot;designer imposters.&quot; Since you can't patent a fragrance, many scents are duplicated without a distinguishable note, so nobody will ever be the wiser.</p> <h2>3. Chocolate</h2> <p>Have a hankering for authentic and oh-so-creamy Belgian, Swiss, or maybe even Peruvian chocolate? Join the club &mdash; literally. With a subscription club, you can sign up to have some of the world's best chocolate shipped directly to your door. Tiered subscription levels will determine how much life-enhancing chocolate you'll receive, but you can be sure that it's sourced from only the best makers. Award-winning chocolate club <a href="http://cocoarunners.com/">Cocoa Runners</a>, for instance, partners with more than 45 global chocolatiers to bring its subscribers a new experience each month at a fraction of what it would cost if you cultivated the bars yourself.</p> <h2>4. Caviar</h2> <p>If there's one single dish that says &quot;I'm in the money,&quot; it's caviar. But these unfertilized fish eggs &mdash; most commonly harvested from sturgeon, salmon, and whitefish &mdash; will put a pounding on your pocket if you don't know where to look. Which, thankfully, is not very far.</p> <p>According to The Kitchn, there's plenty of <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/choose-local-sustainable-cavia-71731">local, sustainable caviar</a> produced in the United States that is exponentially cheaper than what comes directly from elsewhere. And when you buy home-harvested caviar, you're not only cutting the cost of this commodity for yourself, but also reducing your carbon footprint since no roe (fancy term for fish eggs) will have to be flown halfway across the world to get to your table.</p> <h2>5. Coffee</h2> <p>As a cost-saving measure on your daily routine, my Wise Bread colleagues and I are often recommending that you reduce your trips to your local café for those cups of joe to go. But if you must get your fix, at least try to talk your way into free or discounted java drinks. Reddit offers several helpful tips for shaving <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/Frugal/comments/efxps/starbucks_hacks/">money off your Starbucks bill</a>, in particular.</p> <p>Real Simple also weighs in on how to buck the system with <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/money/saving/cheaper-coffee">tips from an anonymous barista</a> who's blowing the whistle on bloated café prices. &quot;You can assemble your own iced latte, at a huge discount, by ordering a shot or two of espresso poured over ice and topping it off with the free milk on the condiment bar,&quot; the source dishes. &quot;Or if you and a friend want an iced tea, place an order for a single cup straight-up. Many shops make their tea double strength and dilute it with water before serving. So you can just divide the tea between two glasses and add water and ice yourself. Voilà! Half-price drinks.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Cigars</h2> <p>Like wine, there's no shortage of online cigar shops and outlets offering discounted cigars. <a href="http://www.cigarsinternational.com/">Cigars International</a> is one of the most prominent cigar sellers on the Internet, and it offers reviews for many of its favorite budget cigars. Blind Man's Puff, a blog dedicated to cigars mentions that you can <a href="http://www.blindmanspuff.com/tips-tricks-best-budget-cigars/">score cigars even cheaper</a> than what discount sites are offering. For instance, Cigars International has a sister site called <a href="http://www.cigarbid.com/?">Cigar Bid</a> where individual sticks can be purchased for about $2 less.</p> <h2>7. Designer Clothing</h2> <p>When you want to strut runway looks but lack the cash to pull it off full-price, you'll have to be resourceful. Luckily, there are many ways to cop discounted designer duds these days, including shopping at flash-sale sites like <a href="http://www.gilt.com/">Gilt</a> or <a href="https://www.hautelook.com/">HauteLook</a>; haggling on off-season pieces in store; buying secondhand; swapping with friends; renting designer goods and clothing; and checking closeout websites, like <a href="http://www.nordstromrack.com">Nordstrom Rack</a> and <a href="http://www.6pm.com">6pm.com</a>.</p> <p>Personally, I love visiting warehouse sales &mdash; both generic and name brand &mdash; to stock up on statement-piece wardrobe items. I once scored a $10 admission ticket on Groupon to a warehouse sale in Brooklyn, N.Y., where you could fill up a brown paper bag to the brim. I'm no stranger to Barney's legendary warehouse sale, where I've snagged $250 pairs of jeans for about $25. My pro tip for the latter is to wait until the tail end of the sale. The pickings may be slim, but the discount will bottom out at around 80% to 90% off, whereas when the sale first starts you're only shaving off between 30% and 50%. Your choice on whether you want the pick of the litter or serious savings.</p> <h2>8. Luxury Cars</h2> <p>One of the major problems with luxury cars &mdash; and cars, in general &mdash; is that they immediately lose major value as soon as they exit the lot. Despite this well-known fact, however, plenty of us pine for luxury cars to serve as &mdash; let's be honest &mdash; nothing more than a status symbol.</p> <p>One huge way to save a bundle on a luxury car is to consider the spectrum of luxury cars. Prices vary, and you don't have to spend $75,000 on a Jaguar XJ if a Jaguar XF at $50,000 still suits your fancy. Keep in mind, too, that &quot;luxury&quot; doesn't have to mean typically high-end brands like Jaguar, Tesla, or Porsche. More affordable carmakers offer luxury options, including Hyundai, Lincoln, and Acura.</p> <p>Another means of adding a luxury car to your fleet (or just your single-car garage) is to shop for certified pre-owned vehicles &mdash; used cars &mdash; that will save you a bundle on overall cost. While you may be able to afford the luxury vehicle at the drastically reduced price, however, it's important to consider the cost of repairs to a luxury vehicle (they're not cheaper), and there's a higher probability that your used vehicle will experience at least a couple issue during its lifetime with you.</p> <p>Outside of buying a luxury vehicle to own, you can do a one-shot rental for an event to which you want to show up in style. Or, if you simply have the need for speed in a luxury car, you can schedule a driving experience with companies like <a href="http://cloud9exotics.com/">Cloud 9 Exotics</a>, which specialize in putting regular people behind the wheels of dream sports cars &mdash; I burned rubber in a Lamborghini recently &mdash; for a few laps around a track.</p> <p><em>Do you have cheaper ways to get some of your favorite indulgences? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-get-these-8-expensive-indulgences">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-that-are-actually-cheaper-at-whole-foods">6 Foods That Are Actually Cheaper At Whole Foods</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/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <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-stuff-i-try-never-to-buy-new">The stuff I try never to buy new</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/this-simple-shopping-list-strategy-from-5-meal-plan-will-save-you-big">This Simple Shopping List Strategy From $5 Meal Plan Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <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-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch">5 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries in a Pinch</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping bargains cheap indulgences saving money treats Fri, 19 Jun 2015 15:00:17 +0000 Mikey Rox 1457046 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Great Brand Name Beauty Buys Under $10 http://www.wisebread.com/15-great-brand-name-beauty-buys-under-10 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-great-brand-name-beauty-buys-under-10" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_beauty_products_000060715770.jpg" alt="Woman using great brand name beauty buys under $10" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="145" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes, a small beauty purchase is enough to satiate that urge to try something new. If you're trying to keep your beauty budget on the low side, check out these 15 great brand name <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-beauty-rules-you-should-be-breaking">beauty buys</a> for under $10.</p> <h2>1. Rosebud Salve</h2> <p>The classic <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009I4PRI4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009I4PRI4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=6MEV7AAJNDYKTSH3">Rosebud Salve</a> by Rosebud Perfume Co. is a cult favorite and retails at just $8. This super moisturizing rose-scented lip balm comes in a vintage-style tin and would be a cute addition to your makeup bag.</p> <h2>2. Clinique Take the Day Off Makeup Remover</h2> <p>Clinique's <a href="http://www.sephora.com/take-the-day-off-makeup-remover-for-lids-lashes-lips-P122735?skuId=1123116&amp;icid2=Travel_Size_TopLevel_sku_grid_P122735_link">eye and lip makeup remover</a> is my favorite no-tug eye makeup remover. It just melts everything off without rubbing. This travel size 1.69oz bottle ($10) is easy to throw in your carry-on for all the fun trips you'll be taking this summer and is a great way to try the product out. (Note: I've actually gotten this trial size bottle as a sample for free at Clinique counters before. It doesn't hurt to ask!)</p> <h2>3. Sheet Masks</h2> <p>I'm a huge fan of ultra-moisturizing sheet masks for delivering a concentrated punch of hydration to your skin. They're perfect for moisturizing and brightening before a big event, and they're very affordable. Try <a href="http://www.sephora.com/water-replenishment-cotton-sheet-mask-P391363?skuId=1622455">Dr. Jart Water Replenishment Mask</a>, one of my favorites, for $7.50, <a href="http://www.sephora.com/brightening-face-mask-P386020?skuId=1608108">Karuna Brightening Face Mask</a> for $8, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=TONYMOLY%20I%27m%20Real%20Mask%20Sheet&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;rh=n%3A3760911%2Cn%3A11060451%2Cn%3A11060711%2Cn%3A11060901%2Ck%3ATONYMOLY%20I%C3%A2%C2%80%C2%99m%20Real%20Mask%20Sheet&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=node%3D11060901&amp;linkId=RBIMC4JFISOUNXJ5">TONYMOLY I'm Real Mask Sheet</a> for $4&ndash;$9, or <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;high-price=9&amp;keywords=mizon%20ampoule%20essential%20sheet%20mask&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;low-price=&amp;qid=1433949672&amp;rh=n%3A3760911%2Ck%3Amizon%20ampoule%20essential%20sheet%20mask&amp;rnid=386662011&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;x=8&amp;y=15&amp;linkId=IK67LIDDFMV66JBG">Mizon Ampoule Essential Sheet Mask</a> for $4.33&ndash;$8.50.</p> <h2>4. Sonia Kashuk Creme Blush</h2> <p>The Sonia Kashuk brand collaboration with Target is a great source for good quality cosmetics at affordable prices. The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00WFQBWRC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00WFQBWRC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=TL2K6XIMKQJMFQOP">Sonia Kashuk creme blush</a> gives a great natural finish for around $7&ndash;$9.79, a third of the price of many higher-end brands, with comparable quality.</p> <h2>5. Pacifica Coconut Water Cleansing Wipes</h2> <p>These gentle, vegan, all-natural <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IMK5BNG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00IMK5BNG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=KGS2YL3NOZBUHIGB">Pacifica cleansing wipes</a> are perfect for those days you want to just fall into bed, and don't have the energy to go through an entire cleansing routine. This $6.95 package of wipes is free of harsh surfactants and includes naturally exfoliating papaya enzymes, leaving your skin soft and not dried out.</p> <h2>6. Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cleansing Oil</h2> <p>I love using emulsifying oils to remove makeup. This travel size <a href="http://www.sephora.com/makeup-breakup-cool-cleansing-oil-P254604?skuId=1653518&amp;icid2=TravelSize_TopLevel_Travel_Checklist_Carousel_p254604_link#pdp-reviews">Boscia cleansing oil</a> ($10) removes your makeup and rinses clean, leaving your skin soft and refreshed. This small size is enough for you to determine if it's really a product you like and is a great way to try an oil cleanser if you've never taken the leap.</p> <h2>7. As I Am Coconut Cowash</h2> <p>Have you tried cleansing conditioners yet? These specially formulated conditioners cleanse your hair and scalp without stripping your hair of its moisture and natural oils. If you find that regular shampoo is drying out your hair, a &quot;cowash&quot; (cleansing conditioner) like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00641UCY8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00641UCY8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=TWASQZVWISR7H56N">As I Am Coconut Cowash</a> ($6.79) might help.</p> <h2>8. Pixi Fairy Dust</h2> <p>I love Pixi's innovative cosmetic products. The <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00RKBHOCO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00RKBHOCO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=UEX3TZQR6MU5FDPK">Fairy Dust eyeshadow</a>, for $10, is a unique powder eyeshadow that you apply with a sponge applicator. It wears well, is foolproof to apply, and feels super light.</p> <h2>9. Zoya Nail Polish</h2> <p>I really love Zoya's vegan, natural, colorful <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HX1VCQA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00HX1VCQA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=G4P2Y2PHYZCN2QZZ">nail polishes</a>. Although they are &quot;5-Free,&quot; free of five toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde resin, toluene, and others, Zoya's nail polishes are also easy to apply and long lasting. At $8.87, they cost a bit more than most drugstore nail polishes, but are still definitely affordable.</p> <h2>10. Ecotools Bamboo Brush Set</h2> <p>At about $9, this compact set of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/mn/search/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=ecotools%20brushes&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=ZJI74JGIWYYQ2YPL">Ecotools brushes</a> is a great starter or travel set. Ecotools' bamboo brushes have a reputation for being high quality but very affordable.</p> <h2>11. Konjac Sponge</h2> <p>These soft, all-natural, facial cleansing sponges have been exploding in popularity lately. Used with a bit of foaming cleanser, they create a rich lather and are perfect for gently cleansing and exfoliating your skin. You can find various brands of konjac sponges ranging from $1 to $20, but your best bet is a mid-range brand like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B1M0XCG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00B1M0XCG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=IP63DGFYYQFP3SKU">My Konjac Sponge</a>, $10.</p> <h2>12. Honest Co. Conditioning Mist</h2> <p>We're big fans of The Honest Company at our house: the whole family uses the sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner daily. Recently, I've really loved using the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LVT9WH6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00LVT9WH6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LQQ5AFBMBNU75MTZ">Honest Co. Conditioning Mist </a>($5.99) both on myself and my daughter. It's perfect for detangling, taming flyaways, and giving soft texture to the hair without weighing it down. The ingredient list contains some great natural ingredients like argan oil, shea butter, quinoa protein, and few fillers. It also smells delicious.</p> <h2>13. SheaMoisture Argan Oil and Raw Shea Hand and Body Scrub</h2> <p>SheaMoisture products tend to have great ingredient lists and the <a href="http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=xlsImpprod6430453">argan oil body scrub</a> ($10) is no exception. This luxurious body scrub leaves your skin super smooth and moisturized, and the ingredient list contains quality oils and few fillers (the top four ingredients are sugar, shea butter, safflower oil, and argan oil).</p> <h2>14. Ipsy Glam Bag</h2> <p>For $10 a month, you can subscribe to the <a href="https://www.ipsy.com/">Ipsy Glam Bag</a>, a beauty subscription service that sends you a bag full of deluxe samples (and sometimes full size items) up to $50 in value. It's a great way to sample some brand name items without paying full price. If you find you're constantly making impulse buys at the makeup counter just to try something new, perhaps you'd be willing to contain your habit to the monthly Ipsy bag and save some money.</p> <h2>15. Birchbox</h2> <p>Ipsy's main competitor, <a href="https://www.birchbox.com/">Birchbox</a>, also offers a monthly beauty subscription box for $10. Like Ipsy, it offers a great way to sample brand name products at a low price. It tends to offer more skincare products than Ipsy, which focuses on makeup.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite affordable brand name product?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-great-brand-name-beauty-buys-under-10">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/10-great-brand-name-beauty-buys-under-20">10 Great Brand Name Beauty Buys Under $20</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-eyebrow-pencils">The 5 Best Eyebrow Pencils</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/wantable-makeup-premium-cosmetics-at-a-bargain-price">Wantable Makeup: Premium Cosmetics at a Bargain Price</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-save-on-common-beauty-buys">12 Easy Ways to Save on Common Beauty 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/the-5-best-lip-stains">The 5 Best Lip Stains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Shopping bargains cosmetics makeup skincare Wed, 17 Jun 2015 17:00:13 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1455841 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things You Shouldn't Order on Amazon http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-shouldnt-order-on-amazon <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-you-shouldnt-order-on-amazon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/online_shopping_000043524592.jpg" alt="Woman shopping on Amazon and not finding good deals" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I'm in the market to purchase, well, anything, I usually first check Amazon to find the best price. Over the years, however, I've noticed that I can't just use the site as a one-stop shop for everything on my list. Some things are simply cheaper elsewhere. (I've even started using the <a href="http://www.savings.com/pricejump">PriceJump</a> tool from Savings.com to compare Amazon prices against those at other retailers.) Here are five items that usually <em>aren't </em>cheapest on Amazon. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should?ref=seealso">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store</a>)</p> <h2>1. Groceries</h2> <p>Yes, you can order virtually anything on Amazon, including food. But examine those price tags first. I checked out a few staple items, like <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003ZWLCZC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B003ZWLCZC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=DE2XY356OYUJQOTV">Skippy Natural Peanut Butter</a>, which costs over $8 per container on the site. One commenter noted he could buy three jars of the same stuff at his local store for this price. I agree. Then my eyes bugged out of my head at the sight of a $7.99 box of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Kix-dinirao-Cereal-12-oz/dp/B000VDSRV0/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1426444426&amp;sr=8-3&amp;keywords=kix+cereal">Kix Cereal</a> (12 ounces) that I recently purchased for under $3 in our breakfast aisle. Sure, it's convenient to get groceries delivered to your door step, but not at such a premium.</p> <h2>2. Personal Care Items</h2> <p>I was shocked when I went looking for my favorite container of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HK1ON0/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000HK1ON0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=KIVLRR2TJ3T2FZKE">Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap</a> only to find it costs several dollars more online than it does at my grocery store, even with free shipping. Some further investigation uncovered that the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004LI6CDQ/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B004LI6CDQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=6L4KM5YFPDCLZG5I">Neutrogena mascara</a> I use costs $11 on Amazon compared to the $9 I spend at the corner drug store. And today as I write this article, there's a buy one, get one 50% off sale with my Rite-Aid Wellness Card. The same <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0016OCTLM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0016OCTLM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=EJZKNDCACZDCWSTH">henna dye</a> I use to color my hair is an insane $50 on Amazon, versus the $25.95 I pay on Lush.com. (One area where Amazon wins? Sun care! Most sunscreens I use &mdash; organic and conventional &mdash; are several dollars less on the site.)</p> <h2>3. Cleaning Products</h2> <p>I find much better prices on cleaning supplies at discount clubs and big box stores. For example, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LUTVYA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000LUTVYA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=I2XOO3OHXDXGWUKG">Pledge Furniture Polish</a> costs over $5 (with $7.41 shipping) on Amazon, versus the $3.93 at our Walmart store. A four-count box of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001339ZMW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B001339ZMW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=D2SUMBIXTEU5QBWF">Mr. Clean Magic Erasers</a> costs nearly $10 on Amazon, compared to just $3.47 at Walmart. The list goes on. Plus, you can save a ton on cleaning products by making your own at home, which is what we've done for all-purpose cleaner, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-diy-laundry-detergent-recipes">laundry detergent</a>, dish soap, dishwashing detergent, and more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-everything-with-just-3-all-natural-cleaners?ref=seealso">How to Clean Everything With Just 3 All-Natural Cleaners</a>)</p> <h2>4. Fitness Gear</h2> <p>I love my FitBit fitness tracker, but I snagged it at a low price with a coupon at Kohl's. On Amazon, this wristband is a competitive $88, but you can still save some cash by shopping elsewhere and taking advantage of sales or store incentives.</p> <h2>5. Clothing and More</h2> <p>When it comes to clothing, shoes, and other apparel, you'll need to go on a case-by-case basis and shop around. Online retailers, like 6pm.com, offer great deals on all the top designers and often have codes for extra savings. Using coupons and taking advantage of seasonal sales can yield better prices on everyday wear at your local store. Sometimes Amazon has some incredible deals, like 70% off this cute <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FQK4LCC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00FQK4LCC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LEQBRYIKUHXJBKBD">Kenneth Cole Skylar dress</a> &mdash; just $30. Other times, not so much. This <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SAUXDE2/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00SAUXDE2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=4OMDJ3B4UCJKLIR5">Calvin Klein baseball jacket</a> is $168 on Amazon, and $130 <a href="http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/calvin-klein-baseball-jacket?ID=1991108&amp;pla_country=US&amp;CAGPSPN=pla&amp;CAWELAID=120156340001568481&amp;catargetid=120156340001636759&amp;cadevice=c&amp;cm_mmc=Google_Mens_PLA-_-Men%27s+Apparel+-+Men%27s+Outerwear+-+GS_Calvin+Klein-_-70559928185_-_-_mkwid_btDxCFUh%7Cdc_70559928185%7C-%7CbtDxCFUh">on sale at Macy's</a>.</p> <p><em>This list isn't exhaustive by any means. We'd love to hear what items you've stopped buying on Amazon, or others that you won't buy anywhere else. Please leave your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-shouldnt-order-on-amazon">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-buys-at-tj-maxx">7 Best Buys at TJ Maxx</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/buy-raincoats-in-summer-because-winter-always-comes-0">Buy raincoats in summer, because winter always comes.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-best-discount-shopping-days-of-the-year">7 Best Discount Shopping Days of the Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Amazon bargains discounts sales Mon, 30 Mar 2015 13:00:09 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1359516 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Ways to Spend Less on Your Significant Other (And Not Get Killed!) http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-spend-less-on-your-significant-other-and-not-get-killed <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-ways-to-spend-less-on-your-significant-other-and-not-get-killed" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_opening_gift_000054352330.jpg" alt="Couple opening gift" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Being in a relationship is expensive &mdash; whether you've been together a day or a decade. That means that at some point you'll need to reign in the spending (unless your last name is Gates or Rockefeller). Here are nine ways to do it without ending up on your partner's hit list.</p> <h2>1. Buy Dollar Store Greeting Cards</h2> <p>Tangible cards are quickly losing their appeal in this digital world (I stopped sending out holiday cards five years ago to preserve time, money, and paper), though they're not bygone relics just yet. It's still nice to receive one every now and again. But at an average price of $3 to $7 a pop &mdash; yes, some cards cost as much as a small meal now &mdash; they can put a considerable dent in your gift-buying budget over the course of a year. To scale back, ditch the premium greetings and hit up the dollar store.</p> <p>&quot;I've been purchasing greeting cards from the dollar store ever since I discovered them a few years back,&quot; says Kedal Perez,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com">Coupon Sherpa</a>'s resident money-saving expert. &quot;I often find the perfect card &mdash; sometimes two &mdash; for just 50 cents, compared to Hallmark cards costing $4 and up. In addition to holidays, I like to buy 'just because' cards for my husband when I remember to be a good wife. This habit saves me a ton and conveys the sentiment I'm looking for.&quot;</p> <p>While you're there, don't forget to pick up other gift-giving essentials like gift bags, balloons, tissue paper, ribbons, and more.</p> <h2>2. Decorate a Gift Instead of Wrapping It</h2> <p>On one occasion, I didn't have birthday-specific gift wrap for a present for one of my nephews, and in a bind I decided to decorate the plain cardboard box with crayons. My lack of resources resulted in a gift with a thoughtful presentation that didn't cost any additional money. I've kept up this habit with other gifts throughout the year, keeping a considerable amount of cash in my pocket. You also can adopt this practice. Get creative, too. You can use all kinds of items &mdash; markers, glue and glitter, and other crafty-type items like bows and ribbons that you may have lying around.</p> <h2>3. Celebrate a Holiday Post-Holiday</h2> <p>Ready to be a prime-time savings boss? Celebrate big holidays like Valentine's Day and Christmas after February 14 and December 25. It'll probably take a bit of convincing on your part &mdash; having nothing to open on Christmas morning will seem strange &mdash; but if it works out for the both of you, you're looking at substantial markdowns on all the coveted gifts.</p> <p>&quot;My husband and I recently agreed to celebrate certain holidays [like Valentine's Day] after the fact to avoid mark-ups,&quot; Perez says. &quot;He bought me a beautiful bouquet of orange roses and white lilies on February 15, and I loved them just as much as I would have a day earlier.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Buy Flowers From the Grocery Store</h2> <p>Speaking of flowers, you're spending too much if you're going to a local florist. It's an unfortunate fact, because I like to support small business &mdash; but they just don't have the discount buying power that large chain supermarkets do. You will have to contend with a more limited selection, perhaps, but that's an easy compromise to make when a beautiful bouquet doesn't make you weep for all the wrong reasons.</p> <h2>5. Shop the Clearance Section for Gifts</h2> <p>I'm always keeping my eye out for the perfect gift for my husband, and I hit the jackpot when it's from the clearance section. Whenever I'm shopping &mdash; for anything &mdash; that's the first place I go. I bypass the new arrivals, to the eye rolls of the associates, and get my discount on. This is a great tactic to cut costs on birthday, holiday, and anniversary gifts (or just ordinary wardrobe updates), and you can walk away with some amazing deals if you're shopping well out of season.</p> <h2>6. Make a Gift If You Have the Skills</h2> <p>I like receiving shiny gadgets as gifts from my husband, but I would equally appreciate anything he gave me that was completely handmade. The kind of dedication it takes to make a handcrafted gift sends the message that he'd rather spend time on something thoughtful than buy an item that will never have an ounce of sentiment. Those handmade Christmas ornaments would be treasured forever, but I would replace the iPhone he bought me as soon as a new one was released.</p> <p>Brett Hamilton, whose business <a href="http://www.simple.be">SIMPLE.BE</a> was built on the idea of handmade gifts, agrees.</p> <p>&quot;My favorite way to give great gifts to my wife without spending too much is to custom-make practical gifts for her,&quot; he says. &quot;One year I made her a new waterproof duffle bag from vinyl trucker tarps for soccer games. Last year it was a black and white tote bag made from old recycled sails. She loved it so much.&quot;</p> <p>There is one slight complication with this tactic, however: Your SO might get used to the idea of receiving handmade gifts, so you may have to keep it up once you start it. But is that kind of appreciation really so bad?</p> <h2>7. Get Accustomed to Discount Dating</h2> <p>My husband and I have one rule for our dates (or at least I do): Never pay full price.</p> <p>Seriously, if you're planning dates at full retail value, you're doing it all wrong &mdash; and you're paying dearly for it.</p> <p>There's absolutely no reason you shouldn't be saving money on every date you have together, given the abundance and availability of daily-deal sites, coupon codes, free activities, BOGO deals, and other discount dating opportunities. Even when you can't find a discount, there's probably a way to shave off a few bucks if you're willing to adjust your plans. Take the movies, for instance. In my neck of the woods, a regular screening is no less than $12 (up to $22 when you start throwing in 3D and IMAX). But if you plan the date before noon, you can score $7 tickets at certain theaters like AMC. All you need is a little creative thinking to reduce of the cost of virtually any activity or meal date.</p> <p>Also, don't forget to use your military or students discounts where available. My husband forgets to ask about military discounts all the time, which is why it's a good thing he has me. I never forget, and with the money I saved him on this-and-that admission, he has enough left over to buy me lunch.</p> <p>I love when it works out like that.</p> <h2>8. Buy Refurbished Electronics When Appropriate</h2> <p>Some people are picky about the newness of their electronics, so you need to know your partner well enough to be certain they won't act like an ungrateful brat when they find out their gift is previously own or refurbished. Personally, I prefer that my phone is new &mdash; I don't like the idea of someone else using something that touches my face (I know it's clean, but still) &mdash; though I have no qualms with receiving, say, a refurbished iPad. Buying refurbished can save you hundreds of dollars &mdash; and these deals are available for a wealth of electronics, including video games &mdash; so whether or not to implement this tactic is a relevant conversation to have with your guy or girl.</p> <h2>9. Spend More Time and Effort Than Money</h2> <p>Now that we're past the materialistic and superficial things, let's get real: No amount of money you spend will ever equal the value of your time and effort. I touched on this a bit when I talked about handmade gifts, but it really applies to all aspects of your relationship. Gifts are nice, of course, but a reasonable person (read: a keeper) will choose a free date, gift, meal, or experience with you over something with a price tag any day. Learn how to pay attention to one another's needs before it jeopardizes the relationship, and you're on the right track to a happy life together. Good luck!</p> <p><em>Do you have any ideas on how to spend less on your significant other without getting killed? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-spend-less-on-your-significant-other-and-not-get-killed">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</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-stuff-i-try-never-to-buy-new">The stuff I try never to buy new</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/being-frugal-with-froogle">Being Frugal with Froogle</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/big-list-of-senior-discounts">Big List of Senior Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/90-off-is-not-a-deal-if-you-don-t-need-it">90% off is not a deal if you don’t need it.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Shopping bargains cheap gifts Dating Holidays romance Mon, 23 Mar 2015 17:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1351086 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Types of Bargains You Should Skip http://www.wisebread.com/10-types-of-bargains-you-should-skip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-types-of-bargains-you-should-skip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/going-out-of-business-sale-111946185-small.jpg" alt="going out of business sale" title="going out of business sale" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I love a good bargain. If you're reading Wise Bread, I'm sure you do as well. However, some bargains are more like a wolf in sheep's clothing. They appear to be deals on the surface, but when you really look at them you realize they're either ploys to make you spend more, or they're a complete waste of money altogether. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-getting-ripped-off-by-one-of-these-8-unnecessary-services?ref=seealso">Are You Getting Ripped Off by One of These Unnecessary Services?</a>)</p> <p>Here are 10 such &quot;bargains&quot; that should give you cause for concern.</p> <h2>1. Going-Out-Of-Business Sales</h2> <p>Take care these aren't run by a liquidation firm that is trying to get as much money as possible for the products. You'll find products marked down that are actually marked up from the original selling price, but are now being compared to a Suggested Retail Price.</p> <p>Investigators at ABC news found on &quot;product after product we could peel back the surface price tags to reveal the old prices below. For example, the surface price tag on a Calphalon saucepan said $124.99. But the one underneath said $109.99. Rachael Ray cookware? $199 on the new label, $179 on the old. The tag on a curtain scarf said $39.99 on the top, but peel it back carefully and there was another price tag for $27.99 below.&quot;</p> <p>In some cities, stores have been &quot;going out of business&quot; for years. Even when Blockbuster went out of business, the prices they were charging for used DVDs were comparable to the prices of new DVDs online.</p> <h2>2. Really Cheap Footwear</h2> <p>They may look decent enough, but your feet deserve good support, and any shoe or sneaker under $20 is going to have some major quality issues. A lot of these shoes are made in very undesirable places by impoverished laborers, and the emphasis is always about making the cheapest product possible. Not only will they give you back problems and cause blisters and other foot maladies, they'll also disintegrate within a few months of wear.</p> <p>Unless it's a genuine quality shoe that was marked down by 80%-90%, you should avoid cheap footwear at all costs.</p> <h2>3. Zero-Interest Financing</h2> <p>There's a caveat to this one. If you are someone who is meticulous about paying bills, and know with absolute certainty that you'll never miss a payment, you should consider it. Otherwise, don't bother. Free credit comes with a ball and chain of legal documentation that is designed to jump on you should you miss a single payment, or not pay off the loan in full within a certain time frame. The interest is calculated throughout the life of the loan, often at an exorbitant rate (think 25% and greater) and it's <em>all</em> added on if you make one mistake. Zero-interest financing can be great for a select few, but for others, it can be a nightmare.</p> <h2>4. Doorbusters</h2> <p>Black Friday is coming, and you'll see adverts and flyers advertising insane &quot;doorbusters&quot; deals. Just be careful with these, and do your research. Doorbusters items are often old models that the store wants to dump, or are not even bargains at all. The Wall Street Journal found that many of these <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324851704578133530559716180">doorbusters were available at lower prices</a> at other times that year, and pricing research firm Decide Inc. found that &quot;nearly one-third of the products had been sold at lower prices this year.&quot; It may say doorbuster, but it doesn't mean it's a deal.</p> <h2>5. Many BOGO Offers</h2> <p>BOGO used to mean Buy One, Get One free. Now it means anything from Buy One, Get One 50% off, to Buy Ten, Get One free (which is technically BTGO). The BOGO offers can be great money savers, <em>if</em> you want two or more of anything you're setting out to buy. But they are often designed to coax you into buying more of a product than you really want; and often, more of a product that the store is trying to get rid of. Just remember to average out the cost of the product, and if you can use all of it (especially if it's a perishable).</p> <h2>6. Floor Models</h2> <p>Stores like Best Buy will often let you buy floor models at reduced prices, but beware. First, you have no idea how long the floor model was actually on display. This is not a big deal for a dishwasher or fridge because they aren't in use. But for HDTVs, Blu-ray players, laptops, and other electronics, it's significant. You can ask an employee, but usually they don't know. Being on for 18 hours a day is wearing out the life of the product, and you don't want to take that risk. You also have to consider factory warranties, any missing accessories, and return policies. Then, look at the price of a new product (it may be on sale), or one that is &quot;open box.&quot; The latter is a much better deal as it will be a reduced price for something that's simply missing its packaging. Floor models are often too big of a risk, despite the hefty discount.</p> <h2>7. Extended Warranties</h2> <p>Also called service plans, these are sold to you as a bargain. &quot;It's just an extra $50 to cover your product for three years,&quot; says the store clerk as you're checking out with a $200 printer. Well, it's $50 you don't need to spend, and it adds a significant cost to the item you're buying. <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/extended-warranties/buying-guide.htm">Consumer Reports says</a>, &quot;Our data show that products usually don't break during the two-to-three-year period after the manufacturer's warranty expires and the service plan is in effect.&quot; To put it bluntly, you're paying for something that won't be needed until it's expired. Don't bother. It will be money down the drain.</p> <h2>8. Interest Checking Accounts</h2> <p>Banks want you to skip the free checking and earn interest on your money. But it is often just a way to get you paying a monthly fee for a return that's almost insignificant. You will often need to keep a minimum balance in that account to earn a paltry rate of return, and when you look at the statements every month you'll see your banking fees are greater than what you're getting back. Unless you've got a <em>ton</em> of money in a regular free checking account (which is unlikely), you should stick to traditional free checking.</p> <h2>9. Rental Car Insurance</h2> <p>It may sound cheap enough at the counter when you're signing the paperwork; especially when you compare it to the hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars you may have to spend should someone even ding the car while it's in your possession. But the truth is, most people don't need it. Your current car insurance policy will usually extend to a rental car. If you pay with a credit card, it will almost certainly offer rental car coverage in the transaction. The sales clerk will scare you with bug numbers and what-if scenarios, but seriously, skip the &quot;bargain&quot; that's &quot;just a few extra bucks for a lot of protection.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Overdraft Protection</h2> <p>Federal law now states that you have to opt in to overdraft protection (it used to be an opt out clause) but you really need to stay away from it.</p> <p>The pros of overdraft protection are weak to say the least. Sure, you won't have your card declined at the register, or be humiliated in a restaurant. But to be honest, you really should have a better handle on your money to avoid that ever happening anyway.</p> <p>The cons? They're huge. A simple $4 cup of coffee can cost you $35 in overdraft protection fees. In fact, a study by Moebs found that &quot;the average customer who took out a $100 loan from a payday lender paid about $17.97 in interest and fees, compared to the <a href="http://www.moebs.com/Pressreleases/tabid/58/ctl/Details/mid/380/ItemID/169/Default.aspx">$27 average for overdraft fees</a>.&quot; When something is looking bad next to a payday loan, you know it's awful! See if you can link your checking to your savings account. It's your money you're using, not the bank's.</p> <p><em>Know of any other bargains we should just skip? Please warn us in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-types-of-bargains-you-should-skip">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/do-not-buy-a-digital-camera-online-until-you-read-this">DO NOT buy a digital camera online until you read this.</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/what-you-need-to-know-about-sample-sales">What You Need to Know About Sample Sales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-non-members-can-get-at-costco-including-cheap-eye-exams">7 Things Non-Members Can Get at Costco (Including Cheap Eye Exams!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bad deals bargains over priced ripoffs scams Thu, 23 Oct 2014 15:00:13 +0000 Paul Michael 1241337 at http://www.wisebread.com What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in October http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-buy-and-avoid-buying-in-october <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-buy-and-avoid-buying-in-october" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/halloween-costume-510999729-small.jpg" alt="halloween costume" title="halloween costume" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Boo! Yes, it's that time of year again (as I get older, and my kiddos do too, I feel it creeping up on me more quickly every year). Halloween is here. That means Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Diwali, are all approaching. With them come things to buy. However, these tips should help you save your hard-earned cash and stretch it a little further in the last stretch of 2014 and on into 2015.</p> <h2>First, What to Buy</h2> <p>October 16th is Boss's Day; if you have a boss, and want to stay in their good graces before holiday bonuses get handed out, you may want to consider getting him or her a little treat. Of course, the biggest time for treats, and tricks, is October 31st. Are you ready for it? Well, here are some deals to help you keep more of your money in your pockets before the big day.</p> <h3>Lawn Care &amp; Equipment</h3> <p>Many of us are looking around for deals on winterization. That means it's time to shut down the gardening regime for the winter, and retail stores know it. Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Sears and other major chains will be doing their best to clear out what's left of the summer lawn care stock. If you can find them, you'll also find killer deals on everything from hoses and rakes to fertilizer and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004H89KFC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004H89KFC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=whattobuy03-20&amp;linkId=OKGCJNVCSRU32MLI">insect repellent</a>.</p> <h3>Cruises and Vacations</h3> <p>If you're looking to save some money on a getaway, you can't beat cruise prices right now. I've seen deals for four nights in the Bahamas for two, with kids, for under $300. You can even get them under $200 if you're going as a couple. Check them out but make sure you include the price of airfare to and from the departure city. That often trips people up. It's also off-season for traditional vacations, and that means great deals on packages including hotel and flight.</p> <h3>Halloween Deals (Be Careful)</h3> <p>Yes, there are Halloween deals coming. November 1st is when the first big sales will hit, and by November 15th the stores are almost giving them away. But that's no use to you if you want a deal for this year's Halloween. So, consider buying just a week or two before the big night. Look for deals at online stores, eBay, and consider costumes that may not be as popular next year (for instance, is anyone going to be talking about Frozen with the same vigor? Well, maybe not).</p> <h3>Cars</h3> <p>Now, it has to be said that buying a new car is not good financial sense. The second you drive it off the lot it loses a significant amount of value. A car that's just a year or two old is a much better deal, and will have low mileage and a lot of the warranty left on it. However, if you must have a new car, this is the month to go shopping. September is when new models are released, so the dealerships don't want old stock littering the tarmac. Find the True Car Value, haggle like crazy, and never be afraid to walk away. You'll get a major deal.</p> <h3>Denim and Jeans</h3> <p>It was the same story last year; for some bizarre reason, there's a glut of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Sale-Clothing/b/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=13851881&amp;tag=whattobuy03-20&amp;linkId=U7TA4GPPPU6PRUER">denim and jeans</a> on the store shelves right now. Yes, you can blame some of the bargains on back-to-school, but whatever the reason, take advantage of it. Children and adults alike can snag great deals on brand name denim clothing, and even bigger deals on store brand from Target and Walmart.</p> <h3>Grills</h3> <p>Just like lawn care, the grilling season is behind us. That means great deals for outdoor chefs, and the weather is still mild enough to get a few more weeks (or months) of use out of a brand <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Grills-Fryers-Outdoor-Cooking-Living/b/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=553760&amp;pf_rd_i=2972638011&amp;pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;pf_rd_p=1568795042&amp;pf_rd_r=19E5K0T53YNTEJ8339CW&amp;pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-leftnav&amp;pf_rd_t=101&amp;tag=whattobuy03-20&amp;linkId=D4YG254BJHTUCV5W">new grill</a>. Of course, if you're a brave chef you'll be out there in the snow and ice cooking up steaks and corn like a pro.</p> <h3>Patio Furniture and Camping Gear</h3> <p>Another no-brainer, but it has to be said. Patio furniture and camping gear is not on anyone's shopping list right now. Do you want to sit outside in the rain and snow? So, stores are trying to shift it quickly. Sure, you may have to wait several months to take full advantage of new <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;bbn=3274550011&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;qid=1380570938&amp;rh=n%3A2972638011%2Cn%3A!3274549011%2Cn%3A3274550011%2Cn%3A553824&amp;rnid=3238155011&amp;tag=whattobuy03-20&amp;linkId=2CC67NXHFELP7IB3">patio furniture</a> and tents, but who cares when the prices are this low?</p> <h3>Air Conditioning</h3> <p>When it's cold outside, it's not necessary to make it cold inside. Most people are not concerned with getting a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003F4TH6G/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003F4TH6G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=whattobuy03-20&amp;linkId=4IU2OS4T45V7QSXS">new air conditioner</a>, or upgrading, which is why the month is a great time to start looking. Places like Sears will give you some great deals, and many private A/C firms will do deals on installation. Many will even throw in a free furnace, and that 's smart thinking with winter coming.</p> <h3>iPads</h3> <p>Just before Halloween, Apple will launch yet another new version of its iPad. If you want to get a deal on an iPad, expect the price of the current model to drop when this happens. You won't see any significant drop from Apple around Black Friday anyway, so grab a deal when you can.</p> <h2>And, What to Avoid</h2> <p>There's more to watch out for in Halloween than ghosts and goblins. Here are a few items you should strike from your list unless you absolutely have to have them.</p> <h3>Winter Clothing and Shoes</h3> <p>It makes sense, but so many people seem to rush out and grab the first items they see. The stores are not going to run out, but they are not going to discount anything significantly right now. Most of us are thinking about buying long sleeved shirts, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/b/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=1044646&amp;pf_rd_i=1036592&amp;pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;pf_rd_p=1626943442&amp;pf_rd_r=1P5NACC29Q49XQM3Y2W4&amp;pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-2&amp;pf_rd_t=101&amp;tag=whattobuy03-20&amp;linkId=EPC5GTLINJ3SYXKJ">jackets</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/b/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=5609963011&amp;pf_rd_i=672123011&amp;pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;pf_rd_p=1624163582&amp;pf_rd_r=11JQW4ZGM0CD62NV5K0S&amp;pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-6&amp;pf_rd_t=101&amp;tag=whattobuy03-20&amp;linkId=MLSLN5J2ZDQX6KZK">boots</a>, and even umbrellas. That means demand is high. So, unless you spy a genuine bargain, avoid shopping for these items and try the second hand market instead.</p> <h3>Appliances</h3> <p>Following Halloween comes the biggest shopping day of the year &mdash; Black Friday. Appliances will be discounted BIG TIME this year, so wait a month or so. If you need something like a washer or dryer, consider using a Laundromat or asking a friend or relative to help. Of course, if your fridge or freezer is out, waiting will be tough. Just know, the biggest discounts are coming.</p> <h3>HDTVs</h3> <p>Again, Black Friday will serve up the biggest deals of the year for large screen TVs. No one really needs one of these, so bide your time and wait. Expect to see 55&quot; TVs for as low as $350 (it pains me to write this&hellip; I bought a 48&quot; TV for $399 and thought that was a great deal). You will always pay more for the big brand names though, so don't expect to get a high-end TV for that rock-bottom price.</p> <h3>Tools</h3> <p>Black Friday is a good time for <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Deals-Tools-Hardware/b/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=760330&amp;pf_rd_i=328182011&amp;pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;pf_rd_p=1604362562&amp;pf_rd_r=13YSY19PP8VVVH22VSJG&amp;pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-leftnav&amp;pf_rd_t=101&amp;tag=whattobuy03-20&amp;linkId=BKNFGHM2T3R2PBPX">tools</a>. If you can wait until then you'll save yourself a pretty penny. Of course, if you need something now, avoid the major retailers and try discount stores like Harbor Freight Tools. They have great deals all year round.</p> <h3>Gift Wrap</h3> <p>Just hit up a dollar store for this. The major holidays are coming, and retail stores will push expensive <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;bbn=723463011&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;qid=1380572495&amp;rh=n%3A1064954%2Cn%3A!1084128%2Cn%3A1069242%2Cn%3A1069664%2Cn%3A1069666%2Cn%3A723463011%2Cp_n_feature_four_browse-bin%3A6052768011&amp;rnid=6052761011&amp;tag=whattobuy03-20&amp;linkId=NHNRCCPT2ZMC35GC">cards</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;bbn=723452011&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;qid=1380572771&amp;rh=n%3A3760901%2Cn%3A!3760931%2Cn%3A723418011%2Cn%3A723452011&amp;tag=whattobuy03-20&amp;linkId=OOHS3B2ON7BWU3JN">gift wrap, tissue paper, and boxes</a>. The best bet for saving money is to avoid retail stores and visit the dollar stores instead. They do paper and boxes that are every bit as good and will not break the bank. After all, it all goes in the trash.</p> <p><em>What are you planning to save on this month? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-buy-and-avoid-buying-in-october">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/what-to-buy-and-avoid-buying-in-april">What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in April</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/what-to-buy-and-avoid-buying-in-may">What To Buy (and Avoid Buying) in May</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-buy-and-avoid-buying-in-july">What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in July</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-buy-and-avoid-buying-in-june">What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in June</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/what-to-buy-and-avoid-buying-in-september">What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in September</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bargains buying guide discounts product reviews what to buy Wed, 01 Oct 2014 22:25:19 +0000 Paul Michael 993571 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Little Words That Will Get You the Best Price, Every Time http://www.wisebread.com/10-little-words-that-will-get-you-the-best-price-every-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-little-words-that-will-get-you-the-best-price-every-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car-sales-negotiation-83253714-small.jpg" alt="car sales negotiation" title="car sales negotiation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a bargain hunter and writer, I find the power of words to be nothing short of amazing. The difference between getting a deal and walking away with the same price everyone else does is often just a word or two. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-laws-of-negotiation?ref=seealso">The 7 Laws of Negotiation</a>)</p> <p>There are plenty of words and phrases you should have in your shopping lexicon, but there are 10 you should never leave home (or shop online) without.</p> <h2>1. &quot;Please&quot;</h2> <p>Remember the old phrase your parents and teachers used to say? &quot;What's the magic word?&quot; Well, when it comes to getting discounts and bargains, please is genuinely magic. The Internet and texting age has all but killed a lot of pleasantries. Even please has been reduced to PLS in a message. So when you make sure you say &quot;please&quot; with every request you make, be it in person, on the phone, or if necessary, via email, you are showing deference to the person you're dealing with. This will go in your favor, and will result in a much easier negotiation process when you want to get a deal.</p> <h2>2. &quot;Thanks&quot;</h2> <p>When talking to a sales associate in a store, be sure to say thanks for everything they do. If they have to get up on a ladder to reach on item you'd like, go out of your way to thank them. If they need to look something up on the store's inventory system, thank them for their time. Say it with enthusiasm and authenticity; a dry &quot;staring-into-space&quot; thanks will have the opposite result. But, if you do this throughout the transaction, you are laying the foundation for a discount when the time comes to ask for one. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-say-thanks?ref=seealso">25 Ways to Say Thanks</a>)</p> <h2>3. &quot;No&quot;</h2> <p>This tiny word is incredibly powerful in the price negotiation process. In particular, it can be Kryptonite to salespeople at car dealerships. Put yourself in their shoes for a second. You work on commission, you've just spent two hours giving test-drives and fine advice to someone who is ready to buy. You sit down at the negotiation desk, and start to hash out a plan that will sell the car and make some money. And then, when you think you have the fish completely reeled in, it starts getting away. &quot;NO&quot; is a horrible word to hear after a long time in the sales trenches. The only way to respond is to either let the customer walk away (and watch two hours of your time go up in smoke), or invite them back to the table for further discussion. I have used this on every major purchase I've made, including every single car I bought. Only once did the salesperson let me walk away; when I got home, there was a message waiting for me on my answering machine asking me to consider a better deal.</p> <h2>4. &quot;Free&quot;</h2> <p>When you're buying something worth more than a few bucks, there is never any harm in asking for something for free. A friend of mine in college, Duncan, did this whenever he purchased anything, and he had a very high success rate (it didn't hurt that he was very charming fella indeed). &quot;No matter what you buy, ask them to throw something in for free, even if it's only worth pennies to them,&quot; he'd say. If he bought a tape deck, he'd ask for a free pack of blank tapes. If he bought a case of beer, he'd ask for a miniature bottle of scotch. The day he bought a used car, he asked for free tinting. Even if they said no to his request, they would often give him something, even if it were just a can of soda or a chapstick. Free is free. It never hurts to ask.</p> <h2>5. &quot;Maybe&quot;</h2> <p>Back in the day, when I was nipping at my dad's heels, I would ask for something and be given the answer &quot;maybe.&quot; It was so irritatingly non-committal that it left me knowing as much as I did before I asked the question. And it's just as powerful a word to use when negotiating for a better deal on something. When the salesperson asks if you'll take it, &quot;maybe&quot; is a fantastic way to reply. The natural response from your adversary will be something like &quot;why are you hesitant?&quot; and this leaves the door wide open for you to hammer home some points about price, reliability, and a warranty.</p> <h2>6. &quot;Manager&quot;</h2> <p>Whether you're dealing with someone on the phone (we all know how that can be), or you're in a physical store, asking to talk to the manager is a great ace to have up your sleeve. Most of the time, the person you're dealing with ether does not have the authority to offer a deal, or simply doesn't want to. The manager, on the other hand, has the keys to the deal safe. They can usually override the system and get you the discounts that regular hourly employees cannot give you. By asking to speak to the manager, you can often get the person you're dealing with to step up his or her game and get you a better deal themselves. You may sound a bit pushy, but be polite at all times and it will pay off.</p> <h2>7. &quot;Cash&quot;</h2> <p>If you pay in cold, hard cash you can usually get an instant discount. By simply stating &quot;I will pay you the full amount, right now, in cash if you drop the price by 10%,&quot; you can get a very quick deal. It will usually only work on high-ticket items &mdash; no one cares if you pay cash for your $5 latte. But if you're looking at cars, motorcycles, smaller pieces of real estate, high-end clothing, or expensive audio visual equipment, the magic word &quot;cash&quot; can work wonders for you.</p> <h2>8. &quot;Competitor&quot;</h2> <p>Perhaps this isn't the specific word, but the idea is there. When you're shopping around, it pays to let people know that you are looking. Better still, drop the other store's name, particularly when shopping for the big ticket items. &quot;I was over at your competitor's store, AAA Supplies, and they offered my a 5% discount. Can you beat it?&quot; There are two psychological tricks at play here. First, no one likes losing business to a competitor. And second, by asking to beat someone else's price, you're offering up a challenge. There's a sense of accomplishment achieved by meeting your offer.</p> <h2>9. &quot;Now&quot;</h2> <p>I personally love the word &quot;now&quot; when it comes to discounts. I use it all the time, from eBay shopping to deals in local stores. The immediacy of the word puts people into action, and they will often drop their price knowing you are ready to do the deal right now. On Craigslist, you can say &quot;I'll pick it up right NOW if you lower the price by $10.&quot; Boom, they want it gone quickly and will be happy to oblige. In a store, say &quot;what's on offer right NOW that you can show me?&quot; It puts the power of negotiation in your hands, and if they come back with &quot;no&quot; or &quot;nothing,&quot; you can easily renegotiate or just walk away. You can also say &quot;I want to cancel right now&quot; to watch the offers come flooding in from service companies like phone, cable, and Internet.</p> <h2>10. &quot;Offer&quot;</h2> <p>Finally, there's a word you can use that, if positioned correctly, can get you a deal almost every time. That word is &quot;offer.&quot; On its own, nothing special. But combine it with a phrase like &quot;what's the best offer you can give me on this?&quot; or &quot;make me a serious offer and I'll buy it right now&quot; and you're putting the ball in their court. They will very rarely come back with &quot;I can't&quot; or &quot;no.&quot; It's usually something to counter your question, perhaps with &quot;well how much do you have to spend?&quot; or &quot;what are you looking to pay?&quot; Either way, they have just opened the door to a negotiation. Walk through it, and get your deal. This works on something as big as a house, or as small as a bag of onions at a farmer's market.</p> <p><em>What magic deal words work for you? Please share in comments &mdash; now!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-little-words-that-will-get-you-the-best-price-every-time">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-become-one-of-those-lucky-people-who-scores-great-deals">How to Become One of Those &quot;Lucky&quot; People Who Scores Great Deals</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-stuff-i-try-never-to-buy-new">The stuff I try never to buy new</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living General Tips bargains deals discounts haggling negotiating price Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:00:03 +0000 Paul Michael 1207217 at http://www.wisebread.com The 11 Best and Worst Things to Buy Used http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-used <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-11-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-used" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/secondhand-bookstore-86500119-small.jpg" alt="secondhand bookstore" title="secondhand bookstore" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We often get what we pay for, and when it comes to certain items, some people wouldn't dare buy used. But while there are risks to buying someone else's trash, not every used item is a terrible buy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-reasons-why-im-in-love-with-thrift-shopping-and-you-should-be-too?ref=seealso">31 Reasons to Love Thrift Shopping</a>)</p> <p>From a financial standpoint, some used items are just as good as (if not better than) new ones &mdash; it really depends on what you're looking for. So, before you conclude that new is better or worse, here are 11 of the best and worst things to buy used.</p> <h2>Best Things to Buy Used</h2> <p>Save money and get great stuff &mdash; these five things are always best bought used.</p> <h3>1. Books</h3> <p>Between eBay, thrift stores, and free e-book downloads, there's no reason to buy a new book. Unless you plan to re-read your favorite novel over-and-over again, it's pointless to pay full price for a book when you can go online and buy the print for pennies. Thanks to eBay, I've purchased two <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1599637324/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1599637324&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Writer's Markets</a> (both were less than a year old) for under $10, and I've scored other books that normally sell for $15 or $20 for under $5 including free shipping.</p> <h3>2. Houses</h3> <p>I definitely understand the appeal of buying a new construction home. You can design the home to your preference; new homes are typically more energy-efficient; and since everything's new, you don't have to worry about costly maintenance for at least a few years. However, there's a cost to buying new. According to real estate website Trulia, <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-the-higher-cost-of-a-new-house-may-be-worth-it-2014-05-06">new homes costs approximately 20% more than preowned homes</a>. If you're contemplating a new construction home with a price tag of $250,000, you can potentially save $50,000 by purchasing an older property with similar square footage and layout.</p> <h3>3. Cars</h3> <p>Sure, some cars hold their value better than others. But for the most part, new cars depreciate the moment they're driven off the lot. &quot;Drive a new car off the lot and it can lose 20% of its value,&quot; says Edmunds.com. And if this isn't bad enough, <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/finance/auto/5-smart-reasons-for-buying-a-used-car-2.aspx">most cars lose another 10% in value during the first year</a>. Since depreciation slows down after a car's second year, buying a car that's two or three years old is often a better buy than a brand new model.</p> <h3>4. Jewelry</h3> <p>Diamonds and other precious stones and metals are durable and can last for decades. Therefore, it doesn't make sense to spend thousands on brand new jewelry when you can buy used for less, especially since the <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/finance/personal-finance/bring-your-bling-to-a-gold-party-1.aspx">average retail markup for jewelry is 300%</a>. You're better off going to a pawn shop or another reputable secondhand jewelry retailer.</p> <h3>5. Timeshares</h3> <p>I've sat through a fair share of timeshare presentations, primarily to get free or discount tickets to Disney World and other attractions while vacationing. I've learned two things from these presentations. First, timeshares are crazy expensive. And secondly, you can save money with a resale.</p> <p>A company tried to sell us a timeshare for $20,000, and just as we were about to walk away, the salesperson said, &quot;What if we could get you a foreclosure for $12,000?&quot; It was an $8,000 break for buying a timeshare that was two years old. We didn't purchase, but if I'm ever in the market, resale is the way to go.</p> <h2>Worst Things to Buy Used</h2> <p>If you're ever tempted to buy any of this stuff used, just walk away.</p> <h3>1. Cribs and Car Seats</h3> <p>Baby supplies are expensive, and if you stumble upon a few finds at a yard sale or thrift store, you might jump at the chance to save money. But while baby clothes and toys are excellent items to buy used, you shouldn't buy car seats or cribs used. Car seats are only meant for one accident, and when you buy used, there's no way to know whether the car seat has been involved in an accident or damaged. You should also pass on used cribs. Between recalls and changing crib safety standards, you may unknowingly buy a crib that isn't safe for your precious one.</p> <p>For example, in June 2011, new standards set by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission <a href="http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/28/dangerous-drop-side-cribs-no-longer-for-sale/">no longer allowed the manufacturing or selling of drop side cribs</a> in retail stores, yet you might find these cribs at yard sales or second hand stores. The detaching rails have been &quot;associated with at least 32 infant deaths since 2000.&quot;</p> <h3>2. Mattresses</h3> <p>I'm always amazed by the number of people I see picking up used mattresses on the street corner. Between the risk of a bed bug infestation, dust mites, and bacteria, a mattress is something that you should always buy new.</p> <h3>3. Shoes</h3> <p>There are two reasons why you shouldn't buy used shoes. Putting your feet in someone else's shoes can expose you to fungus, which can cause athlete's foot and toenail infections. Since shoes quickly mold to the owner's feet, buying a used pair may not result in the best fit, and this can cause more pain than comfort. Also, wearing improper fitting footwear can trigger problems with the heels, toes, and joints of the feet, which may require costly medical attention.</p> <h3>4. Electronics</h3> <p>I know people who only buy used electronics, such as laptops, televisions, and tablets. To each his own. You might get a device at an incredible price, but there's a chance that the previous owner didn't take care of the item. Between drops and spills, you could end up replacing the item sooner than anticipated or spending money to fix the device. If you buy used, purchase refurbished items through the manufacturer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-secret-to-buying-electronics-for-cheap?ref=seealso">This Is the Secret to Buying Electronics for Cheap</a>)</p> <h3>5. Used Makeup</h3> <p>Yes, people do sell used make-up. I've witnessed this firsthand at yard sales and estate sales. But regardless of how new or clean makeup appears, or whether the seller &quot;only&quot; applied the item once, lipstick, foundation, eyeliner, eyeshadow, and other beauty products harbor bacteria. Don't put someone else's germs on your face.</p> <h3>6. Swimwear and Underwear</h3> <p>You'd think this was a no-brainer. But given that there's an entire section at Goodwill dedicated to used undergarments and swimwear, someone's buying these items. It doesn't matter whether you wash these garments in hot water, you don't want an item worn close to someone's personal areas to touch you. It's safer to buy new.</p> <p><em>Do you have other items to suggest that are better to buy new or used? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-used">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-stuff-i-try-never-to-buy-new">The stuff I try never to buy new</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-why-used-is-better">6 Reasons Why Used Is Better</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/new-isnt-always-better-12-used-things-to-love">New Isn&#039;t Always Better: 12 Used Things to Love</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bargains buying used Thrift shopping used Wed, 13 Aug 2014 17:00:22 +0000 Mikey Rox 1183442 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save $26,000 in 5 Years or Less http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-26000-in-5-years-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-26000-in-5-years-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/investment-plan-dv1693007-small.jpg" alt="investment plan" title="investment plan" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="160" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A penny saved is a penny that can be earning investment returns in a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-steps-to-getting-started-in-the-stock-market-with-index-funds">well-diversified investment portfolio</a>. At least, that's what I think one of the late, great founders of our nation once said.</p> <p>It's hard to find ways to put money aside, but here are a few creative options that are often overlooked. Check out the strategies below, and you could have $26,000 (or more!) stashed away in just five years.</p> <h2>Shop Homeowner and Auto Policies</h2> <p>It's easy to become complacent about recurring-but-necessary bills like home and auto insurance policies. &quot;Most people sign up with a carrier and stay with them for 10 to 20 years,&quot; says Patricia Nelson, founder of the community outreach program Wise Women Workshop. &quot;Today though, there are no savings for loyalty. When a client switches carriers I see them save, on average, $600 to $800 per year.&quot;</p> <p><strong>Annual Savings</strong>: Up to $800</p> <h2>Negotiate With Cell Phone and Utility Carriers</h2> <p>It's a little known fact that <a href="http://bgr.com/2014/01/29/att-bill-discount-how-to-guide-shrink-bill/">cell phone rates are negotiable</a>, but even less known is that you can also haggle with your utility providers. &quot;Most of these companies will figure out a way to knock $20, $30, $40 per month off of your bill because they want to keep your business,&quot; says Nelson. &quot;But, they're not going to call you and tell you ways to save money on your existing services with them.&quot; If you have success with just one utility bill and your cell phone provider, you could cut about $60 off your monthly expenses.</p> <p><strong>Annual Savings</strong>: $720 or more</p> <h2>Forego Cable TV</h2> <p>Most people think that the only way to get network TV stations at home is to pay for at least a basic cable TV package. That's just not true. Similar to the analog days, you can put a digital antenna on your roof and watch network TV for free (it's 100% legit and the shows come through in HD quality). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-everyone-can-cut-cable-and-still-watch-what-they-love-even-sportsfans?ref=seealso">How Everyone Can Cut Cable and Still Watch What They Love</a>)</p> <p>Expanded cable TV packages average between $60 and $75 per month, and <a href="http://www.fcc.gov/document/report-average-rates-cable-programming-service-and-equipment-1">costs are on the rise</a>. If you can't make it without your shows, there are plenty of cheaper options like Netflix or Hulu Plus, and you can play them on your TV thanks to all of the streaming boxes now available. In my house we gave up cable TV 10 years ago (except for the occasional, infrequently used introductory package after moving), and I was surprised to find I barely missed it. (Cable Internet, though? Like bread or water. Must have.)</p> <p><strong>Annual Savings</strong>: Up to $900</p> <h2>Shop Around for Prescription Drugs</h2> <p>Surprising but true, the cost of prescription drugs are not fixed. &quot;You could be purchasing your medication at the wrong store,&quot; says Nelson, who adds that Walmart offers a list of over <a href="http://www.walmart.com/cp/4-Prescriptions/1078664">1100 drugs at $4 each</a> for a month's supply, substantially lower than most co-pays. &quot;If you're taking two medications and paying a $15 co-pay for each,&quot; she says, &quot;you could be saving $22 per month.&quot; No prescription plan required.</p> <p><strong>Annual Savings</strong>: $264 (more or less, depending on your prescription needs)</p> <h2>Bank Your Annual Raise</h2> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-lessons-from-millionaires">millionnaires next door</a>are notorious for maintaining a consistent lifestyle, despite rising incomes over the years. The average raise is expected to be 3% this year. If you make $50,000 now, that's a $1500 increase. Why not add that extra cash to your bank account instead of using it to trade up to a grander lifestyle? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-new-income-streams-anyone-can-create?ref=seealso">5 New Income Streams Anyone Can Create</a>)</p> <p><strong>Annual Savings</strong>: $1500 on average</p> <h2>Brown Bag It</h2> <p>Bankrate.com estimates you can <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/bring-lunch-savings-calculator.aspx">save $70 per month</a> by packing your own lunch (more if you live in a high-cost area).</p> <p><strong>Annual Savings</strong>: $840 (or more)</p> <h2>Cook Dinner at Home One Extra Night a Month</h2> <p>A recent study estimated the <a href="http://retailfeedback.com/component/k2/item/6-home-cooked-meals.html">cost of a home cooked meal</a> (per person) is $5.93 on average, compared to an average $12.28 to eat out. Skip family pizza night just <em>once</em> per month for your family of four, and the savings add up.</p> <p><strong>Annual Savings</strong>: $304.80</p> <h2>(BIG) BONUS: Ditch the Car</h2> <p>According to AAA, the <a href="http://newsroom.aaa.com/2014/05/owning-and-operating-your-vehicle-just-got-a-little-cheaper-aaas-2014-your-driving-costs-study/%20">average annual cost of owning a car</a> is $8,876 per year. If you live in a walkable area or in a city with a good transportation system, you could forego the cost. Of course, not everyone lives in a walkable area or can get by without their own transportation, so this is a bonus option.</p> <p>Add up the savings (minus the car) to see how quickly a few small changes can add up.</p> <p><img width="605" height="360" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/Alaina%20T%20Saving%20Chart.jpg" /></p> <p>Over five years, all that savings adds up to $26,644 ($71,024 if you're lucky enough to not need a car!). The results could get even better if you invest the money in a well-diversified investment portfolio.</p> <ul> <li>At a 3% average annual return over five years: $29,140.06.</li> <li>At a 5% average annual return over five years: $30,917.23.</li> <li>At an 8% average annual return over five years: $33,762.90.</li> </ul> <p>(Please note that investment returns cannot be predicted, and you should talk to an investment professional before selecting your investment portfolio.)</p> <p>Of course, the key to this and any other cost cutting plan is to remember to <em>bank the savings</em> you find. Otherwise, you're just shuffling money from one spending category to another, and not actually saving and getting ahead.</p> <p><em>What is the most effective way you've found to cut costs and boost wealth? Let us know in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alaina-tweddale">Alaina Tweddale</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-26000-in-5-years-or-less">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/money-resolutions-6-ways-to-take-control-in-2013">Money Resolutions: 6 Ways to Take Control in 2013</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-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have">10 Money Goals All 30-Somethings Should Have</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-inspiring-people-who-each-paid-off-over-100000-in-debt">5 Inspiring People Who Each Paid Off Over $100,000 in Debt</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/14-pricey-things-you-shouldnt-buy-and-what-to-get-instead">14 Pricey Things You Shouldn&#039;t Buy (And What to Get Instead)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-places-to-get-coupons-online">The Best Places to Get Coupons Online</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Investment bargains discounts investing saving savings shopping Mon, 16 Jun 2014 09:00:04 +0000 Alaina Tweddale 1142780 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Things Non-Members Can Get at Costco (Including Cheap Eye Exams!) http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-non-members-can-get-at-costco-including-cheap-eye-exams <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-non-members-can-get-at-costco-including-cheap-eye-exams" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping-5132550-small_1.jpg" alt="window shopping" title="window shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Like most Hawaii residents, I love Costco.</p> <p>With the price of a gallon of local milk as high as $9 and that of a gallon of gas already above $4, Costco is the patron saint of tight-budget students and sales-chasing moms in Hawaii. But the love for the big box retailer doesn't end in Hawaii: Costco has over 460 locations in 43 U.S. states and Puerto Rico.</p> <p>Since you don't need a gallon of mayonnaise or 3-pound bag of tortilla chips that often, you may decide that the $55 membership fee is a bit steep. Here is how to get around dropping five Hamiltons and a Lincoln and still enjoy Costco's low prices. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco?ref=seealso">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a>)</p> <h2>1. Use the Pharmacy and Immunization Services</h2> <p>Costco's gatekeepers cannot hold you up if you are there to purchase items to which access is protected by Federal law. This means that you can still use the pharmacy and immunization services at any Costco warehouse.</p> <p>You can fill new prescriptions, refill existing prescriptions, or transfer prescriptions at the Costco Pharmacy. Even better, you don't even have to leave your home to use <a href="http://www2.costco.com/Pharmacy/Prescription.aspx?cat=678">Costco Pharmacy services</a>. You can order online and have your meds delivered for free via standard USPS within 6 to 14 days. This is quite convenient and lets you maximize your day to the fullest.</p> <p>If you do not have access to free immunizations, Costco often offers the lowest prices for flu ($14.99) and pneumonia shots ($69.78). Costco also offers Hepatitis A and B, HPV, Meningitis, Shingles, Tetanus/Whooping Cough, and Twinrix immunizations. Call the warehouse in advance to check <a href="http://www2.costco.com/Service/FeaturePage.aspx?ProductNo=11642176">availability and pricing</a>.</p> <h2>2. Access Hearing and Optical Services</h2> <p>Another two services protected by Federal law are hearing and optical services. By letting the gatekeepers know that you want to use the optical or hearing services, you can get into the warehouse. However, make sure that the warehouse offers these services. The easiest way to check for this is by checking the &quot;Hearing Aids&quot; and &quot;Optical Department&quot; boxes when <a href="http://www.costco.com/WarehouseLocatorView?langId=-1&amp;storeId=10301&amp;catalogId=10701">searching for warehouses</a> at Costco's site.</p> <p>Most Costco Optical locations offer an independent doctor of optometry on site. Call the warehouse in advance to schedule an appointment.</p> <p>Costco often provides special hearing aid events to demonstrate the latest technologies. Check the <a href="http://www.costco.com/hearing-aid-events.html">schedule for upcoming demonstrations</a> at select Costco Hearing Aid Centers around the country. Some of these events offer free samples. Let the Costco employee at the door know that you are planning to attend the event, and they will let you in.</p> <p>Keep in mind that you <em>do need a membership</em> to buy glasses, contact lenses, or hearing aid equipment. Or you can also use the $10 cash card trick shown below.</p> <h2>3. Window Shopping at Costco</h2> <p>If you really need to see a low price to believe it, you may want to scope out prices before making a final decision on membership. Unlike Sam's Club, Costco doesn't offer one-day passes. This doesn't mean that you cannot go in to browse around items, however.</p> <p>When meeting the membership card checker at the entrance, tell the rep that you would like to go to membership services and ask more info about membership. Head to the service desk, get the application and tell them that you would like to browse around the store before making up your mind. That's it; now you're free to go around and get the latest scoop on prices so that you can compare them to those of other stores.</p> <h2>4. Buy With a Costco Cash Card</h2> <p>Let's say that after comparing all prices, you found that the flat-screen TV of your dreams is indeed cheaper at Costco by several hundred dollars. Now what?</p> <p>The way to buy anything on Costco without a membership is with the Costco Cash Card. According to <a href="http://www.costco.com/Costco-Cash-Card.product.10024438.html">Costco's site</a>, &quot;non-members may use the cash cards to shop at any Costco location in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and online at Costco.com or on Costco.ca.&quot;</p> <p>The tricky part is that you must be a Costco member to purchase or reload cash cards. One way to get around that is to ask a friend or family member with a Costco membership to buy you a $10 prepaid cash card. Some stores may only have $25 cash cards available. Another is to buy a <a href="http://www.giftcardgranny.com/store/costco/?">Costco Gift Card online</a>. You can use the cash card to get into Costco and pay for part of your purchase. You can then pay the remaining balance with cash, debit card, or American Express credit card.</p> <p>Also, cash cards are accepted at Costco gas stations.</p> <h2>5. Shop Online</h2> <p>If you don't know any Costco members, then you still have a chance to access Costco prices. You can look for your item at <a href="http://www.costco.com/">Costco.com</a> and, if available, buy it.</p> <p>The advantage of buying online is that you can use non-American Express credit cards, which are not accepted at Costco warehouses. The disadvantage is that you are dinged with a 5% surcharge, which means that your purchase needs to be <em>less than $1,100</em> for it to make sense not paying the $55 membership fee.</p> <h2>6. Buy Booze</h2> <p>The availability of liquor in your local state depends on both company policy and state legislation. But in several states, such as California, for-profit membership stores cannot exclude the general public from purchasing alcoholic beverages.</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/LifeProTips/comments/18pqdd/lpt_having_a_party_you_dont_need_a_costco/c8gy54c">Costco employee confirms</a> that you can buy alcohol without membership when state law and company policy allow it, however, the employee also notes that most employees don't know this rule and may call a manager to confirm. Just be patient, and if the state law is on your side, you can protect your right to buy cheaper booze. Your cashier will use a &quot;99,&quot; a generic membership number that requires supervisor override, and you can pay using cash or accepted debit card or American Express credit card.</p> <h2>7. Dine the Outside Food Court</h2> <p>$1.99 for pizza slices and $1.50 for hot dog and soda combo are as good as it gets. At several Costcos around the country, including all the ones in the Hawaiian Islands, the food court is outside. This means that you can buy all items on their menu without a membership. Remember to bring change because food courts take only cash.</p> <p><em>Do you know other ways to take advantage of Costco without a membership? Please share in comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-non-members-can-get-at-costco-including-cheap-eye-exams">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/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</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/what-you-need-to-know-about-sample-sales">What You Need to Know About Sample Sales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-rules-you-must-follow-when-shopping-at-costco">5 Frugal Rules You Must Follow When Shopping at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-ways-to-save-money-on-clothes">101 Ways to Save Money on Clothes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bargains club stores costco Thu, 05 Jun 2014 13:00:17 +0000 Damian Davila 1141161 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Surprising Ways to Get Deals http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-to-get-deals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-surprising-ways-to-get-deals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/online-shopping-469754957-small.jpg" alt="online shopping" title="online shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>All of our usual shopping haunts have data on our browsing and purchasing habits. While that can be disconcerting, we can use it to our advantage. Our shopping behaviors can reward us with cool stuff like coupon codes, discounts, free shipping, and bonus gifts. Here are five surprising ways to game the system and get deals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-best-deals-coupons-sites?ref=seealso">50 Best Coupon code Sites</a>)</p> <h2>1. Abandon Your Shopping Cart</h2> <p>We have all done it. We shop around for items and add some to the cart, then something distracts us and we move on, forgetting to purchase the cart. Online retailers notice. Their job is to make sure we buy what's in the cart.</p> <p>Simply shop, leave items in your cart, and move on (you'll need to log in to your account so they know how to reach you). Wait a day or two. Check your email, and you might see an email from the retailer with a discount coupon or an offer for free shipping! Sites that are known to do this include <a href="http://www.zappos.com">Zappos</a>, <a href="http://www.bestbuy.com">Best Buy</a>, and <a href="http://www.homedepot.com">Home Depot</a>. Of course, some retailers just send annoying reminders that you left something behind, but ignore those.</p> <h2>2. Cancel Your Service</h2> <p>How many times have you been on the phone with your cable or Internet provider, threatening to cancel, when they then offer you a small discount to keep your business? Well, the discounts get better <em>after</em> you've already cancelled.</p> <p>Your mileage may vary with <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5864343/the-best-services-that-give-you-discounts-for-cancelling">many of these</a>, but in general, you will come out ahead. Try cancelling your <a href="https://www.netflix.com">Netflix</a>, and a few days later, they will offer you a lower monthly fee than what you were paying. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DBYBNEE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DBYBNEE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=MFM66VVKL4DTIQQP">Amazon Prime</a> is so determined to keep you that if you cancel, they might offer you a new membership for about half off.</p> <p>Almost every cable company will offer you a very special deal for joining their service again, to keep you from signing up with the competition. Try out this tactic out with a few services that you can do without for a couple weeks, like entertainment services.</p> <h2>3. Price Matching</h2> <p>It still works! Back when we all still shopped at stores, all the big box chains touted their price matching policy: Show the <a href="http://www.target.com">Target</a> circular at <a href="http://www.walmart.com">Walmart</a>, and they'll beat their price by one cent on your DVD Player. Gone are the days of advertising that tactic, but you can still take advantage of the deal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-pay-more-guide-to-price-matching-and-cheat-sheet?ref=seealso">Price Matching Cheat Sheet</a>)</p> <p>Ask your clerk if they price match, and if they don't know, go to customer service desk and ask for a manager. Almost every brick and mortar store has an unwritten price matching rule, and they prefer you not know about it.</p> <h2>4. Reddit Deals</h2> <p>It's true: There's a subreddit for everything! Reddit is a huge online community whose generally savvy and persnickety users are good at weeding out bad or useless deals. This leads to a really good selection of deals from all around the web, many of which are surprising and new.</p> <p>Check out <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/deals">Reddit Deals</a> for the heads up on all kind of discounts, deals, and temporary price cuts for things like video games, tech gear, clothes, subscription services, and more. Then, pay it forward and be sure to share the information on deals you might discover with the Reddit community, to get more karma points.</p> <h2>5. Credit Cards</h2> <p>Lastly, and possibly most surprisingly: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit cards</a>. You may not have noticed, but odds are your credit card issuer provides some really neat deals on everyday expenses and good <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">cash back rewards</a>. Some cards&nbsp;offer cash back if you shop through their online portal.&nbsp;In addition, some cards offer other services that help you find deals, like price protection (refunding you the difference of the price if it falls within 30 days of your purchase). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso">13 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <p><em>Where are you finding discounts and deals these days? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-to-get-deals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-sample-sales">What You Need to Know About Sample Sales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-ways-to-save-money-on-clothes">101 Ways to Save Money on Clothes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bargains deals discounts Wed, 04 Jun 2014 17:00:28 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1141754 at http://www.wisebread.com 31 Reasons Why I'm in Love With Thrift Shopping (and You Should Be Too) http://www.wisebread.com/31-reasons-why-im-in-love-with-thrift-shopping-and-you-should-be-too <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/31-reasons-why-im-in-love-with-thrift-shopping-and-you-should-be-too" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping-5269089-small.jpg" alt="shopping" title="shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I realize I'm a strange animal. My palms tingle a little bit when I approach a thrift store. All my senses sharpen. The rest of the world fades into watercolor tones and muffled sounds. I can park, grab my wallet, hop out, and lock my car in a single fluid Matrix-inspired movement. Once inside, I can size up a thrift store in seconds: Who's the serious competition and who's just browsing? Is the store too organized or wonderfully chaotic? What's newly-stocked, and what's stale? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-deals-in-every-thrift-store?ref=seealso">The 5 Best Deals in Every Thrift Store</a>)</p> <p>I've been a die-hard thrifter since I was 13 years old, and now, as I approach the midpoint of my 40's, my love affair with thrifting has only deepened. If you're a serious second-hand shopper, you may recognize many of your own motivations in the list that follows. And if you've never tried thrifting, consider all these reasons to fall madly in love with it.</p> <p>1. Where else can the average person go on a <a href="http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-03-23-rare-document_N.htm">real-life treasure hunt</a>? (I'll save you the click: Man finds copy of an 1823 print of the Declaration of Independence, worth almost $500k, in a thrift store!)</p> <p>2. Saving 75% on retail is just like getting a 75% return on your money.</p> <p>3. Used items are tried and true and (usually) come without surprises.</p> <p>4. Those second-hand jeans are already broken-in.</p> <p>5. Shop for good! Your purchases often help fund charitable causes.</p> <p>6. Thrifting is recycling at its most basic and beneficial level.</p> <p>7. There are all different <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beyond-goodwill-the-different-types-of-thrift-stores">kinds of thrift stores</a>, and they tend to have the widest, wildest, most unpredictable inventory in the business.</p> <p>8. Because retail prices hurt!</p> <p>9. If older means made better, thrift stores have all the good stuff!</p> <p>10. Thrift stores are the perfect places to find an expensive weekend project.</p> <p>11. You can furnish a dorm room or college apartment on a shoestring.</p> <p>12. Thrift stores are windows into our culture &mdash; mix shopping with sociology.</p> <p>13. Thrifting keeps your kids out of the mall (and that's always a good thing).</p> <p>14. You can never have too many copies of &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060724277/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0060724277&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=VDNXEFPAVT543SRT">I'm OK, You're OK</a>.&quot;</p> <p>15. Sometimes, thrifting <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/23/north-carolina-woman-find_n_1690850.html">pays off big</a>. (Again, saving you a click: North Carolina woman buys abstract painting worth $20k for $9.99.)</p> <p>16. Missing an obscure piece of your grandmother's china? Be patient; you'll eventually find it at a thrift store.</p> <p>17. Retail emporiums are homogenous. Thrifting lets you find something that no one else has.</p> <p>18. When you're thrifting, you're not directly increasing the industrial demand for more.</p> <p>19. You can brag about how much you saved.</p> <p>20. Because new books cost at least $14.99.</p> <p>21. Thrift stores are a picker's paradise. Vintage clothes and other items can be flipped for profit.</p> <p>22. Shopping second hand sets a great example for your kids. The value of thrift, creative reuse, and community support are noble lessons!</p> <p>23. Everything is prewashed and preshrunk. When a piece of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/to-buy-or-not-to-buy-criteria-for-thrift-store-clothes-shopping">thrift store clothing</a> fits you in the dressing room, you know it'll fit when you get it home.</p> <p>24. Thrifting can be just a little competitive (in a good way). The friendly rivalry between serious thrifters produces more admiration than envy.</p> <p>25. Every day is new. Inventory turns over so quickly in some markets that you seldom see the same stuff twice.</p> <p>26. Thrift stores are time capsules into pop culture history. Teach your kids about <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002DB5N6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0002DB5N6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=R352XG4BCCHR6Q2O">ALF</a>, Rubik's Cube, Etch A Sketch, lava lamps, and Milli Vanilli.</p> <p>27. You can find items that have long since gone out of production. From out-of-print books to jeans with the perfect cut, thrift stores let us rediscover some of our favorite things.</p> <p>28. Because thrifting isn't just about finding old stuff; there are new items too!</p> <p>29. Because your depression-era parents or grandparents would be proud.</p> <p>30. Thrifting is arguably the most local and sustainable form of commerce.</p> <p>31. Thrift stores are the perfect places to find <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-back-to-school-items-you-should-always-shop-for-at-the-thrift-store">back-to-school bargains</a>.</p> <p>There you have it, my belated valentine to thrift-shopping. Of course there are many more reasons to love this half-sport half-science. What are some of yours?</p> <p><em>Are you an avid thrift shopper? Why do you love it? What's been your best find to date? Please share a comment below (even a recycled one)!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-reasons-why-im-in-love-with-thrift-shopping-and-you-should-be-too">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-diy-magazines-can-help-you-be-self-reliant">These DIY Magazines Can Help You Be Self-Reliant</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/who-cares-if-theres-a-recession-i-just-started-a-business">Who Cares if there&#039;s a Recession? I just started a business</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/gift-giving-hacks-that-will-save-your-money-and-your-sanity">Gift Giving Hacks That Will Save Your Money and Your Sanity</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-thrifty-meaningful-gifts-for-mom">9 Thrifty, Meaningful Gifts for Mom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-free-things-that-arent">8 &quot;Free&quot; Things That Aren&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Lifestyle Shopping bargains thrift stores thrifting Tue, 03 Jun 2014 18:01:08 +0000 Kentin Waits 1141160 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Money-Saving Tips Every Parent Should Know http://www.wisebread.com/15-money-saving-tips-every-parent-should-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-money-saving-tips-every-parent-should-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping-457678757.jpg" alt="shopping" title="shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The average <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2013/08/14/pf/cost-children/">cost to raise a child</a> (birth to age 18) for a middle-income family in the U.S. is now estimated at over $240,000. If you're like most parents, you are still looking for that proverbial money tree (a really big one at that!) in your backyard. The bad news: There is no such thing as a tree that sprouts currency. But the good news: There are plenty of easy ways to stretch your parenting dollar to its fullest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-important-lessons-frugal-parents-teach-their-children?ref=seealso">Important Frugal Lessons Parents Teach Their Children</a>)</p> <h2>1. Prepare Your &quot;Defense&quot; Strategy</h2> <p>Grocery shopping with kids can get expensive. It's no accident that stores place candy, gum, and snack-size bags of cheese curls at checkout lanes, where they beg the attention of your junior shoppers. One strategy to sidestep &quot;negotiation,&quot; or worse yet, a full-fledged tantrum is to allow your child the &quot;privilege&quot; of putting an item of his or her choice on the shopping list before you hit the store.</p> <h2>2. Watch for Your State's Sales Tax Holiday</h2> <p>Most states offer a &quot;<a href="http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/sales_holiday.html">sales tax holiday</a>,&quot; which could mean a nice gift for your pocketbook. On these days, which vary by location, states and some local governments suspend sales tax on certain items for a specific time period. Most occur in late summer to help parents save money when buying back-to-school supplies and clothing.</p> <h2>3. Form a Co-Op</h2> <p>Organize a co-op with other parents. Take turns visiting the warehouse stores (Sam's Club, Costco) and split those huge boxes of diapers, baby shampoo, and potato chips. Rotate child care services, with each couple or parent taking one Saturday night (or Tuesday afternoon) a month to watch the kids while the others enjoy a grown-up night out on the town or a solo afternoon to run errands or take care of your own appointments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco?ref=seealso">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a>)</p> <h2>4. Plan Purchases</h2> <p>Parents can save money by planning purchases during months when bargains are more likely. As Wise Bread outlines in the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Shopping Calendar</a>, certain items &mdash; from furniture to camping gear &mdash; tend to go on sale during predictable times of the year.</p> <h2>5. Take Advantage of Seasonal Sales</h2> <p>Stock up on crayons for $1 a box in late July and early August when the office supply and discount stores all compete for your back-to-school shopping business. Mechanical pencils, rulers, glue sticks, and loose leaf paper don't go bad, and you'll appreciate your &quot;back stock&quot; come February when your kids need to replenish their school supplies.</p> <h2>6. Shop Post-Holiday Clearance Sales</h2> <p>From Valentine's Day to Christmas or the 4th of July, after-holiday clearance sales provide a great opportunity to buy gift bags, wrapping paper, and decorations for next year.</p> <h2>7. Unleash Your Inner Negotiator</h2> <p>Participate in <a href="http://www.ebay.com/">eBay</a> auctions for everything from gently used clothing and kids' accessories to remote-control race cars or multi-packs of diaper rash cream.</p> <p>What's more fun than a treasure hunt? Consignment shops offer great buying (and selling) opportunities for gently used clothing, furniture, accessories, toys, and more. Similarly, thrift shops, house sales, yard sales, estate sales can all be sources of hidden jewels &mdash; at super low prices, which are often negotiable.</p> <h2>8. Visit the Clearance Table Early and Often</h2> <p>Party store clearance sections offer a great assortment of plates, napkins, gift bags, and party favors for your child's upcoming birthday parties. Why wait until the week before the party to stock up? See something you like, grab it when it's on sale!</p> <h2>9. Approach Online Shopping as You Would Black Friday at the Mall</h2> <p>Before you hit the &quot;checkout&quot; button when making any online purchase, make sure to search for a RetailMeNot <a href="http://www.retailmenot.com/">online discount code</a>, ranging from free shipping to percentage off purchase price. Many websites &mdash; from Shutterfly to Kohl's and Sports Authority &mdash; frequently offer their own discounts on the website's home page. Copy and paste into the promo code box at checkout for savings!</p> <p>Visit websites like <a href="http://www.overstock.com/Clothing-Shoes/Childrens-Clothing/27/dept.html">Overstock.com</a>, <a href="http://www.anrdoezrs.net/click-2822544-10705449">6pm.com</a>, and <a href="http://www.myhabit.com/homepage?#page=g&amp;dept=kids&amp;ref=qd_nav_tab_kids">MyHabit.com</a> &mdash; just a few examples of online retailers that offer discounted prices on brand-name (often designer) kids' clothing, shoes, and accessories.</p> <h2>10. Compare Prices</h2> <p>It sounds simple, but prices for the exact stroller or bath soap can vary widely from one website or local retailer to another. Sometimes &quot;free shipping&quot; on what looks like a steal online isn't as good a bargain as it sounds if the base price is higher. Visit <a href="http://shopsavvy.com/">ShopSavvy</a> or <a href="http://redlaser.com/">RedLaser</a>to find the best prices on thousands of items online and in stores. Both also have apps to download to your smartphone, so you can compare prices on the go.</p> <h2>11. Love Thy Community (And Its Bargains)</h2> <p>From books to DVDs to audiobooks to even study aids, your local library can be a treasure-trove of free materials to educate and entertain &mdash; both you and your kids! Most libraries also offer free drop-in read aloud sessions and other special programming for kids.</p> <p>Many local park district programs offer free (or low-cost) lessons, sports programs, and entertainment options. If you live in an area without a park district, find one in a neighboring town. You'll almost always be welcome, although you might have to pay a slightly higher fee than residents.</p> <p>From middle schools to high schools, community colleges and fine arts associations, many local theater departments offer variety shows, plays, and concerts free of charge for area residents.</p> <h2>12. Visit Cultural Venues on &quot;Free Days&quot;</h2> <p>Many zoos, aquariums, and museums offer &quot;Family Free Days,&quot; listed on their respective websites. For example, the Milwaukee County Zoo offers six <a href="http://www.milwaukeezoo.org/events/familyfreedays.php">Family Free Days</a> throughout the year where admission fees are waived. Lots and lots of other <a href="http://freemuseumday.org/index.html">venues around the country offer free days</a>, too.</p> <h2>13. Dine Out for Less</h2> <p>Applebees, IHOP, and many other family-oriented restaurants offer <a href="http://www.kidsmealdeals.com/">&quot;kids-eat-free&quot;</a> deals, where your child's meal is complimentary with the purchase of your adult meal. The Entertainment Book and its <a href="https://www.entertainment.com/coupon/">members-only website</a> contains local buy-one-get-one-free (or at discount) meals, movie theater tickets, bowling games, and more &mdash; not to mention retail and travel deals. Usually sold as a fundraiser, if you use the book a few times, you've usually recouped its cost &mdash; and more!</p> <h2>14. Reuse and Recycle</h2> <p>With a coat of paint and a creative eye, many pieces of furniture can be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-old-furniture-shine-with-these-simple-refinishing-tricks">refinished or repainted</a> to look like new &mdash; or better!</p> <p>Decorating is fun &mdash; and affordable &mdash; when you look for affordable ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-and-ingenious-ways-to-upgrade-your-furniture">upgrade or repurpose furniture</a> to brighten up your kid's spaces.</p> <p>Old white undershirts may look like undershirts &mdash; that, is, until you take your kids' artistic talents to task. Tie-dye, fabric paint, and bedazzle kits can turn an old t-shirt into a fashion statement your kids will be proud to wear &mdash; not to mention a fun afternoon activity.</p> <p>Hand-me-downs often get a bad rap. Let friends and relatives know that you won't be offended if they offer you their child's outgrown clothing! Kids often love getting clothes from their &quot;cool&quot; older cousin or neighbor.</p> <h2>15. Harness the Power of &quot;No&quot;</h2> <p>Sometimes it's that simple: &quot;No.&quot; Or &quot;not now.&quot; Or my personal favorite: &quot;Put it on your wish list.&quot; In addition to saving money, you could be teaching your kids valuable lessons in personal spending. Sometimes the anticipation of getting that special toy or outfit makes it even sweeter &mdash; and sometimes, after the impulse period passes, the item doesn't hold as much appeal as it did in the store. Done right, &quot;no&quot; can often lead to teachable moments, which no money can buy!</p> <p><em>How do you save money on kid's stuff? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mardee-handler">Mardee Handler</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-money-saving-tips-every-parent-should-know">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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