bargain shopping http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8407/all en-US 13 Smart Garage Sale Bargain Hunting Tricks http://www.wisebread.com/13-smart-garage-sale-bargain-hunting-tricks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-smart-garage-sale-bargain-hunting-tricks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000021424814_Large.jpg" alt="hunting for bargains at garage sales" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Unlike retail stores where prices are fixed and the sales staff has a lot of experience handling shoppers, garage sales are a free-for-all. Many garage sale sellers have little experience setting prices, running a sale, or negotiating with buyers. A smart garage sale bargain hunter can score some great deals at garage sales.. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-in-your-garage-that-have-serious-re-sale-value?ref=seealso">5 Things in Your Garage That Have Serious Re-Sale Value</a>)</p> <p>Here are some tricks that can help you get the best deals on the best items at garage sales.</p> <h2>1. Make Sure It's Built for the Future</h2> <p>Kids will continue grow and will need clothes for many years. You might as well get them cheap at a garage sale. If you find high quality kids' clothes for cheap prices, pick up sizes that are too big now, and put them away for a year or two.</p> <h2>2. Seek Apathy</h2> <p>Try to bargain with the person at the garage sale who is the least attached to the item you are trying to buy. I have been at garage sales where the husband seemed to want to hang on to an item, but the wife has said, &quot;he never uses that&quot; and gave me a great deal!</p> <h2>3. Leave the Car Behind</h2> <p>Use a bicycle or walk at citywide or neighborhood garage sales. You can hit more sales and avoid crawling along in the traffic jams. Come back later with your vehicle to pick up items you have purchased. Sellers are happy to mark your item &quot;Sold&quot; after you pay for it so you can pick it up later.</p> <h2>4. Buy It All</h2> <p>Offer to buy an entire set of items for a reduced price. For example, offer a few dollars to take all of the books in the box, or all of the pans on a table if you are interested in a few of them. People want to get rid of stuff at a garage sale and will usually give great deals if you offer to buy a lot of items together. You can always sell the extras later and perhaps make a profit.</p> <h2>5. Haggle on Prices</h2> <p>At garage sales, the price tags are only a suggestion. Selling items for 20% less than asking price is pretty standard. If you are not used to bargaining, it can be uncomfortable, but garage sale sellers expect to get offers for less than the tag price. The worst thing that can happen is that your offer will be rejected and you'll have to decide whether to offer more to get the item.</p> <h2>6. Hit the First Day</h2> <p>Go on the first day of a garage sale while all of the good stuff is still there. If a garage sale is advertised for Friday afternoon and all day Saturday, go on Friday afternoon. The best items and deals are likely to be gone after the first few hours.</p> <h2>7. Plan Your Attack</h2> <p>If you have several garage sales on your list to visit, make a plan to minimize your driving and maximize the number of promising garage sales you can check out. This will increase your chance of finding bargains and reduce your expenses from driving around.</p> <h2>8. Bring Cash</h2> <p>Bring cash to garage sales. Many garage sales will not take personal checks. Cash is better for bargaining &mdash; if you have a variety of bills, you can pull out the exact amount you want to offer and present that to the seller. It can be hard to say no to cold hard cash.</p> <h2>9. Arrive Early</h2> <p>The early bird gets the worm at garage sales! You might be able to scoop up a great item before the sale even gets officially started. &quot;Early Birds&quot; is a term for buyers that show up at garage sales before it starts to pick out the prime items. If you are really interested in an item, you might be able to check it out while the garage sale is being set up &mdash; and maybe even buy it before competing buyers arrive.</p> <h2>10. Check Your List</h2> <p>Make a list of items you are hunting. It's easy to get distracted by the wide variety of cheap items and bargains you see at garage sales. I keep a list of garage sale items on my cell phone so I can check my list when I happen upon a garage sale.</p> <h2>11. Check Back at Closing Time</h2> <p>If you see things you like but the prices are too high, stop by during the final hours at the end of a garage sale. If the items are still there, this is a chance to get a substantial discount. Garage sale sellers don't want to deal with leftover stuff after a garage sale and welcome getting rid of one more thing and getting a few more dollars to put in their envelope before the sale ends.</p> <h2>12. Items to Avoid</h2> <p>Although there are lots of potential bargains at garage sales here are some items to avoid:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Car seats</strong>: Older models may not be as safe as modern products.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Cribs</strong>: Older cribs had safety issues, and it's not worth the risk.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Helmets</strong>: They may have hidden damage and no longer be safe. Older models may not be as safe as newer models.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Packaged food</strong>: It is likely near the expiration date or past it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Pets</strong>: Puppies for sale at a garage sale may comes with a risk of future health problems due to inadequate screening and vet care that professional breeders provide.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>VHS and cassette tapes</strong>: The audio quality of old tapes degrades over time and with use. Look for CDs instead.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>CRT TV sets</strong>: You may need to pay to dispose of this, plus old TVs use a lot of energy.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Old electronics and computers</strong>: They may be cheap, but old electronic items are likely outdated and not as capable as a newer items, which likely give you more performance for the money.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Old appliances</strong>: These are usually heavy and hard to move, and may have problems that you won't discover until after you get it installed in your house.</li> </ul> <h2>13. Look for These Instead</h2> <p>If you are looking for bargains, check out these items at garage sales:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Antiques and collectibles</strong>: When someone decides to clear out their attic, you might be able to pick up some interesting, or even valuable stuff.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Exercise equipment</strong>: Often found for pennies on the dollar compared to the cost of new equipment.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Books</strong>: You can find lots of popular titles for almost-free.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>DVDs and CDs</strong>: These don't wear out as fast as older tapes and are cheap at garage sales.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Bikes</strong>: You can find great deals on quality bikes that have been outgrown or have become clutter.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Tools</strong>: Look for quality items and specialized equipment. Older tools are sometimes sturdier than new ones.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Lawn mowers</strong>: Sometimes people move to a larger place, upgrade their lawnmower, and sell their previous mower for to make room for the new one.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Sporting goods</strong>: A lot of sporting goods for sale at garage sales are very lightly used.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Clothes</strong>: Kids clothes, suits, jeans, jackets &mdash; these are all fair game.</li> </ul> <p><em>What are your best tips for getting bargains at garage sales? Share with us 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/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-smart-garage-sale-bargain-hunting-tricks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-proven-ways-to-save-real-money-at-garage-sales">3 Proven Ways to Save Real Money at Garage Sales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/convert-your-crap-into-cash-without-a-garage-sale">Convert Your Crap Into Cash Without a Garage Sale</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/in-times-like-these-separate-the-want-from-the-need">In times like these, separate the want from the need.</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/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Shopping bargain hunting bargain shopping frugal garage sale tag sale yard sale Fri, 06 May 2016 10:30:04 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1704432 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Things You Probably Didn't Know You Could Buy at Costco http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-probably-didnt-know-you-could-buy-at-costco <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-you-probably-didnt-know-you-could-buy-at-costco" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping-168814957.jpg" alt="shopping man" title="shopping man" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The first Costco location (then called Price Club) opened in 1976 inside a converted airplane hangar in San Diego, California. The original business model was to serve only businesses, offering bulk products at discounted prices. The company quickly realized it could increase its sales by offering memberships to a select group of non-business owners. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-didnt-know-you-could-buy-in-bulk?ref=seealso">Things You Didn&rsquo;t Know You Could Buy in Bulk</a>)</p> <p>The early 1980s saw the boom of the warehouse club industry. In 1983, the first Costco warehouse store opened in Seattle, Washington and in that year, the company became the first ever to grow from zero to $3 billion in sales in under six years. As of November 2013, the company has over six hundred locations across the United States and boasts of over 71.2 million membership cardholders.</p> <p>The amazing part of the Costco story isn't just the rapid growth but the myriad of different products and services the company offers to its members. People think Costco and the first images which spring to mind are garbage can sized pickle jars and packages of enough bathroom tissue to TP the homes of the entire state of Maine. Sure, those products are available, along with window blinds, snow plows, and a chance to shake hands with author Mitch Albom. And now, there's also the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-costco-anywhere-visa-card-by-citi-is-good-news-for-costco-shoppers">Costco Anywhere Visa</a> card, which awards generous cash back on Costco purchases as well as gas, dining, and travel. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco?ref=seealso">Things You Should Buy at Costco</a>)</p> <p>As these benefits will prove, a Costco membership does have its privileges. Here are some things you might not expect to buy at Costco.</p> <h2>1. Cubicles</h2> <p>While most of the world hates the feeling of semi-confinement in half walls the cubicle could serve a purpose in the typical family home. Suppose mom or dad works from home and needs a designated office space but doesn't have an extra room to devote to a home office? Suppose the kids need a quiet and self-contained area to work on homework or other projects that cuts down on the distractions of television or other family members? Why not consider a <a href="http://www.costco.com/CatalogSearch?storeId=10301&amp;catalogId=10701&amp;langId=-1&amp;keyword=cubicle">home cubicle</a>?</p> <h2>2. Funeral Supplies</h2> <p>No one wants to plan a funeral, but sadly, it's a part of life. If you've been lucky enough to avoid funeral planning in your life so far, you've probably got little idea as to how expensive the entire ordeal can be. Between the casket, the flowers, and all the odds an ends, dying costs an incredible amount of money. The time constraints and mental anguish of burying a loved one also cause people to make quick, often costly, decisions just to get the entire ordeal over with. Though it is a bit morbid, planning ahead for a funeral is often the most cost effective plan, and it saves loved ones from the uncomfortable task once you've kicked the bucket. Costco has an entire funeral section. Now you're just going to need to make room in the basement to store your casket. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-great-tech-tools-for-planning-your-own-death-0?ref=seealso">Tech Tools for Planning Your Death</a>)</p> <h2>3. Autographed Books</h2> <p>Every Costco location offers a library of new and old books at discounted prices. There are titles to suit almost every bibliophile including hardcover, paperback, and even children's books. Many Costco locations even host author book readings and signings. Review this handy list of <a href="https://www.costco.com/author-signings.html">upcoming author events</a> at various Costco locations across the United States to find out when your favorite author is visiting.</p> <h2>4. Cars</h2> <p>Costco doesn't have cars in their stores (at least none we know about), but they do offer an auto buying program to members. The Costco Auto Program is designed to save people time and hassle when buying a new or pre-owned car. It's pretty simple &mdash; members can submit a request via the <a href="http://www.costcoauto.com/enterzipcode.aspx?gotourl=%2fdefault.aspx">Costco Auto website</a>. Costco will search your specific area and direct you to one of the 3,000 participating dealers closest to your area. Choose your dealer, visit the lot, and choose the car you want. Show the dealer your Costco membership card, and you'll receive the special price. Costco attempts to eliminate the uncomfortable haggling that comes with buying a car. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-websites-you-must-visit-when-buying-a-new-car?ref=seealso">Websites You Must Visit When Buying a New Car</a>)</p> <h2>5. Gym Memberships</h2> <p>Your local gym is offering deals on memberships but it feels as though there is always a catch. Sure, the rates are decent, but how does a person really know they're getting a deal? If they purchase a membership using their Costco card, they can be sure. Gym membership deals are available at an assortment of clubs and spas across the US. All a member has to do is purchase a gym membership through the Costco website, print out the certificate, and bring it to the participating gym with proper ID; and you'll be sweating it out on a treadmill in no time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-legit-ways-to-use-the-gym-for-free?ref=seealso">Legit Ways to Use the Gym for Free</a>)</p> <h2>6. Snow Plows</h2> <p>The winter is always an unpredictable beast. One day it's unseasonably warm, and the next a foot of snow is dumped on your doorstep. Some areas of the United States get so much snow over the course of the year, it's much more cost effective (and easier on the back) to attach a snow plow to the truck and dig out the driveway. Anyone interested in a snow plow doesn't have to deal with a special vendor can just head on down to Costco. They even offer <a href="http://www.costco.com/CatalogSearch?storeId=10301&amp;catalogId=10701&amp;langId=-1&amp;keyword=snow+plow">plows for sale online</a>. Wouldn't it be ironic if the delivery of your snow plow was delayed because of snow?</p> <h2>7. Small Business Services</h2> <p>Are you looking to run your small business more efficiently? Why not get help from the place where you already buy a ton of your office supplies? Costco offers an <a href="http://www.costco.com/services.html">incredible assortment of services</a> to the small business owner almost as important as packages of bulk toilet paper. The services include merchant credit card processing, water delivery, business document set-up, health and dental plans, payroll services, and even 401(k) plans.</p> <h2>8. Vacation Packages</h2> <p>Sometimes a person needs a vacation just from planning a vacation. Hotel reservations, air travel bookings, and itinerary planning &mdash; vacation planning is best left to someone else. Why not Costco? Not only will they help <a href="http://www.costcotravel.com/?cm_re=Common-_-Top_Nav-_-Travel">plan a vacation</a> and handle everything from air travel and car rental to hotel booking, theme park visits, and cruises; but Costco members receive a discount from participating destinations and resorts. They even have travel experts on call 24/7 to book your vacation at your own convenience. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package?ref=seealso">How to Book a Vacation Package</a>)</p> <h2>9. $63,000 Engagement Rings</h2> <p>We knew that Costco carried jewelry, but we had no idea that not only did they offer engagement rings, <a href="http://www.costco.com/2.12-ctw-Round-Brilliant-Cut-Internally-Flawless%2c-D-Color-Diamond-%22Audrey%22-Platinum-Wedding-Set.product.100006730.html">but a $63,000 engagement ring</a>. The ring is actually worth close to $93,000, but Costco members get the insane discount. We're not sure which will raise more eyebrows &mdash; the stunning ring, the actual and retail prices, or the fact it was purchased at discount warehouse store.</p> <h2>10. Emergency Food Kits</h2> <p>If the world has hopefully learned one lesson these past few years, it's that the entire Earth is at the will of Mother Nature. From tsunamis to superstorms to multiple feet of snow, it's important to be prepared in case of any emergency. The Costco website devotes an entire section to <a href="http://www.costco.com/emergency-kits-supplies.html">emergency preparation</a>. This includes not only food and beverage options but first aid kits and powdered beverages. If you're really serious about prepping for the end of civilization (because you just never know), Costco offers deals on an entire <a href="http://www.costco.com/30%2c144-Total-Servings-4-Person-1-Year-Food-Storage.product.11763436.html">year of food rations</a> for four people and <a href="http://www.costco.com/.product.11766218.html?cm_sp=RichRelevance-_-itempageVerticalRight-_-CategorySiloedViewCP&amp;cm_vc=itempageVerticalRight%7CCategorySiloedViewCP">a water storage system</a> because fresh water is key to survival.</p> <p><em>What surprising things have you found at your local Costco? Share with 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/chris-illuminati">Chris Illuminati</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-probably-didnt-know-you-could-buy-at-costco">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/7-telltale-signs-a-good-deal-is-a-bad-deal">7 Telltale Signs a Good Deal Is a Bad Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-expert-ways-to-save-time-and-money-at-costco">8 Expert Ways to Save Time and Money 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/these-6-costco-items-will-easily-cover-your-55-membership">These 6 Costco Items Will Easily Cover Your $55 Membership</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bargain shopping bulk shopping costco discounts Wed, 29 Jan 2014 11:24:10 +0000 Chris Illuminati 1119563 at http://www.wisebread.com Save Money by Shopping at the Craft Store — Even If You're Not a Crafter http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-by-shopping-at-the-craft-store-even-if-youre-not-a-crafter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-money-by-shopping-at-the-craft-store-even-if-youre-not-a-crafter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000007972850Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You may think craft stores are just for knitters or only those Martha Stewart types. What you might not realize is that the big chain craft stores, like <a href="http://www.joann.com/">Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores</a>, <a href="http://www.michaels.com/">Michaels Stores</a>, and <a href="http://www.acmoore.com/">A.C. Moore</a>, are a haven for fantastic buys of all kinds of home and gift items. And you don't need to be even remotely crafty to benefit. Find out what amazing deals await you at your local craft store. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects">Awesome, Almost Free Upcycled Craft Projects</a>)</p> <h2>Crafty Coupons</h2> <p>Craft store coupons never fail to show up inside the Sunday paper. Weekly ads from the big chains always have 40-50% off coupons and other promotions. In addition, stores sometimes have 10%-25% off total purchase coupons and senior, teacher, and military discounts. You can also find coupons online at the stores' sites or by signing up for store loyalty programs and promotional emails.</p> <h2>Great Selection of Frugal Home Goods</h2> <p>A craft store may not be your first stop to buy an off-the-shelf present or to find home decor, but think again. These stores have a tremendous selection of regular home staples, like decorative planters, baskets, and vases, which you often won't see elsewhere. Affordable seasonal decorations, candles, and inexpensive storage items are also in abundance. Using a store coupon or buying during a sale makes for some of the least expensive home decor around. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-stuff-at-homegoods">Find the Best Stuff at HomeGoods</a>)</p> <h2>Helpful Home Fix-It Items</h2> <p>Instead of hitting the hardware or home improvement store, look in craft stores for a slew of useful home items, such as hooks, rods, spray paint, tapes, adhesives, and small tools. I always use my coupons and shop strategically at craft stores for such items, which saves me about half of the cost of buying them at the other stores.</p> <h2>Affordable Children's Toys and Gifts</h2> <p>If shopping a nearby toy store or online for children's toys is straining your wallet, try browsing the craft stores. These stores have aisles dedicated to affordable children's crafts and toys, which include everything from finger paints to make-your-own jewelry and airplane kits. Use a coupon or take advantage of the many promotions to land a unique and creative kid's gift. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-display-your-art">Display Your Art for Cheap</a>)</p> <h2>Frames Galore</h2> <p>Craft stores have extremely economical framing departments. I have framed several large art prints at craft stores, which cost only half the price of a professional frame store. Most of the big stores have dedicated staff in the framing department, which means you can expect high quality and professional advice. In addition, most stores have multiple aisles dedicated to off-the-shelf frames of all colors, types, and sizes. Throw in some coupons and the prices for such items are hard to beat.</p> <h2>Apparel and Jewelry</h2> <p>Short of making your own clothing or necklace, craft stores also sell solid color tees, bandanas, bags, and jewelry items, which you can use as-is. Or, if you have school-aged kids who always need t-shirts for sports or arts and crafts, nothing beats four tees for $10.</p> <h2>Big Savings on Fabric</h2> <p>If you have ever received a professional quote on recovering a couch or ordering custom drapery, then you know it can cost a small fortune. The biggest expense in such projects is usually not the labor, but the actual fabric cost. Head to your local Jo-Ann's and purchase your own fabric to save a bundle. They often have sales of 40%-50% off per yard, or you can use coupons. You can also find the same or similar fabric patterns that you see in high-end home and curtain catalogs for a whole lot cheaper here. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-curtains">Make Your Own Curtains</a>)</p> <h2>Costumes and Dress-Up</h2> <p>As Halloween approaches, the craft stores see some serious traffic. You can certainly buy a pattern and fabric to make your own, but buying one of the ready-made costumes is even easier. Craft stores carry a big selection of finished costumes, which can often be a lot cheaper than purchasing them elsewhere. In addition, check out the aisles with fun accessories, boas, or other dress-up items to use at theme parties, birthdays, or for general kids' play.</p> <h2>Fine Art Supplies and Stationery</h2> <p>You don't need to be a professional artist to put the many craft store art supplies and papers to good use. If you are looking to make some cheap decor, want to touch up an item, or are attempting a handmade gift, there are plenty of blank canvases, paint brushes, stencils, stickers, and beautiful stationery papers that can yield a whole host of DIY genius. Everything from wall decor to dressing up a candle can be accomplished this way.</p> <h2>Free or Cheap In-Store Activities</h2> <p>If you are looking for something new and affordable to do either by yourself or with the kids, then check out the many low-priced, and often free, class that are offered at big chain craft stores. Most stores have areas in the back with dedicated classroom space, where staff members teach projects and techniques. Everyone loves when they get to take home what they make, and it's an especially fun activity for colder months when the kids need something to do indoors.</p> <p>So what are you waiting for? Go check out a craft store today and scout out the many affordable deals for yourself. You might just be surprised at what interesting items and good bargains you can find.</p> <p><em>What are some of your favorite craft store finds?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-medeiros">Kelly Medeiros</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-by-shopping-at-the-craft-store-even-if-youre-not-a-crafter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-fans">The 5 Best Fans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-detergents">The 5 Best Laundry Detergents</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-digital-food-scales">The 5 Best Digital Food Scales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-laundry-stain-removers">The 5 Best Laundry Stain Removers</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-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Lifestyle Shopping bargain shopping craft stores discount home decor Mon, 09 Sep 2013 10:24:30 +0000 Kelly Medeiros 981256 at http://www.wisebread.com Flash Sale Sites: Great Discounts...With a Price http://www.wisebread.com/flash-sale-sites-great-discountswith-a-price <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flash-sale-sites-great-discountswith-a-price" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/credit-card-5278389-small.jpg" alt="online shopping" title="online shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>These days, there are a slew of flash sale websites offering limited time sales with big discounts on everything from clothes to home goods to electronics. You can save some serious dough using these sites, but there are certainly a few issues to consider before you shop. Read on to determine if flash sale sites are worth adding to your discount shopping repertoire. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-online-stores-with-surprisingly-great-clothing-deals">8 Online Stores With Surprisingly Great Clothing Deals</a>)</p> <h2>How They Work</h2> <p>Online flash sale retailers offer various timed sales on certain brands or genres of goods in limited quantities. It's sort of analogous to a collection of sample sales, pop-up shops, or deal-of-the-day items where big discounts are offered for a short time and on a first-come, first-served basis.</p> <p>Usually, these sites require you to register and become a member to access their sale events. Items come with significant markdowns, and they can often sell out before the flash sale officially ends. Typically, sites time sale events to start at the same time each day and last for three to seven days. Some sites now offer goods for longer periods or on an ongoing basis for certain items.</p> <p>Most of the well-known sites, such as <a href="http://www.fab.com/">Fab</a>, <a href="http://www.zulily.com/">Zulily</a>, <a href="http://www.ideeli.com/">Ideeli</a>, <a href="http://www.ruelala.com/">Rue La La</a>, <a href="http://www.gilt.com/">Gilt</a>, <a href="http://www.hautelook.com/">HauteLook</a>, <a href="http://www.jackthreads.com/">JackThreads</a>, and <a href="http://www.modnique.com/">Modnique</a> (which recently bought Totsy), focus primarily on apparel, accessories, and home items. Others, such as <a href="http://www.onekingslane.com/">One Kings Lane</a>, <a href="http://www.jossandmain.com/">Joss &amp; Main</a>, and <a href="http://www.thefoundary.com/">The Foundary</a>, concentrate specifically on home furnishings. Additionally, sites like <a href="http://www.woot.com/">Woot </a>and the newly launched <a href="http://www.neweggflash.com/">NeweggFlash</a> also carry electronics, among other things.</p> <h2>The Pros</h2> <p>The deals on flash sale sites can be pretty fantastic. Often the greatest finds come from high-priced designer brands with massive markdowns. On average, most of the sites offer at least a 60% discount when compared to full price retail. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-the-most-out-of-daily-deal-sites">Getting the Most Out of Daily Deal Sites</a>)</p> <p>Deals can get even better with regular blowout sale events and seasonal clearances. One Kings Lane, for example, has a clearance section called &quot;downstairs,&quot; which gets updated weekly with additional markdowns. Zulily often runs &quot;extravaganzas&quot; on certain seasonal items or other categories, which offer a big roundup at great prices. Another good example is Ideeli's periodic &quot;Red Sales,&quot; where discounts as large as 90% can be found.</p> <p>Some other flash sale benefits include referral systems, which means you can receive a site-wide $15 or $20 credit when you refer another customer. Many sites also have expert product picks and blogs with designer advice on fashion and decorating. Additionally, most sites have made upgrades to their search functions, which can save a lot of time and help you comb through inventory quickly.</p> <h2>The Cons</h2> <p>Many people do not like the fact that they have to register on many flash sale sites in order to browse, let alone buy. You also may start to receive a lot of email traffic once you register, but you can manage your email settings to opt out in most cases.</p> <p>Shipping can be an issue, too. Often these sites have rather high free shipping thresholds. This makes it tempting to bundle your purchases and can lead to non-essential buying to reach such thresholds. Shipping times have also been reported to be rather long. I must say I have waited as long as 4-5 weeks at times, but it really does vary by site. Be sure to always stay smart about shipping charges and find out from the site just how long items may take to arrive. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-free-shipping-and-online-discounts-across-the-web">How to Get Free Shipping and Online Discounts Across the Web</a>)</p> <p>In regards to returns, some sites have strict policies that can make you really think twice before buying. You might encounter very tight return windows of two weeks or less, or final sale and vintage items that are non-returnable.</p> <h2>The Psychology</h2> <p>If you decide to shop flash sale sites, you need to be very careful about how addictive these sites can be.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-why-behind-the-buy/201107/flash-sales-the-new-deeply-psychological-budget-busters">psychology behind flash sale sites</a> can play into your need to snap up bargains for the sake of finding deals, rather than buying what you really need. Additionally, limited inventory and running timers for items added to your cart can fool you into making a hasty decision just to beat out other shoppers. These things can bust the budget of any well-intentioned buyer and prove downright disastrous for more serious shopaholics. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-people-go-crazy-on-black-friday">Why People Go Crazy on Black Friday</a>)</p> <p>To keep flash sale sites from getting the best of your wallet, make sure to always set out with a pre-determined list of exactly what you are looking for when shopping such sites, and do not allow any purchases not on the list. You should also take your time buying, even if it means your cart may expire or you wait to come back tomorrow. If you have any doubts that you can stick to these guidelines, perhaps it's best to skip such sites entirely and avoid temptation.</p> <h2>The Future of Flash Sales</h2> <p>Flash sale sites depend a lot on word of mouth and referrals for new business. Social media plays a big role in such reviews, and it also means negative feedback becomes very visible. While the nature of reviews often highlights the extremes, it is interesting to note that many sites have been dealing with their fair share of negative customer feedback. Check out the <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/flash-sale-sites-ranked-by-customer-complaints-on-facebook-2013-6?op=1">Business Insider's summary of Dotcom Distribution's report</a> on the 11 biggest flash sale sites and customer complaints on Facebook to see how some well-known sites performed.</p> <p>Finally, as more players enter the space, existing sites are continually trying to keep customers interested and still generate a profit. For example, <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexkonrad/2013/04/30/fab-pivot-new-store-customized/">Fab has made recent changes</a>, such as allowing browsing without having to sign-up, and they have even indicated they are moving beyond the flash sales model. In the meantime, they are promoting the social media side to shopping by offering $5 customer credits for uploading a first picture of a Fab purchase to their Inspiration Wall.</p> <p>It will be interesting to see how other sites tweak their strategies and how this pans out in terms of savings and experience for customers like us down the road. For now, flash sale sites warrant a look for some, but just make sure you use them strategically and not as a new addiction.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite sites for flash sales?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-medeiros">Kelly Medeiros</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flash-sale-sites-great-discountswith-a-price">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/big-list-of-senior-discounts">Big List of Senior Discounts</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-probably-didnt-know-you-could-buy-at-costco">10 Things You Probably Didn&#039;t Know You Could Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-smart-garage-sale-bargain-hunting-tricks">13 Smart Garage Sale Bargain Hunting Tricks</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/black-friday-tips-from-money-saving-experts">Black Friday Tips From Money-Saving Experts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shop-a-beginners-guide">How to Shop: A Beginner&#039;s Guide</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Deals Shopping apparel deals bargain shopping flash sale sites Wed, 21 Aug 2013 10:24:33 +0000 Kelly Medeiros 981154 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Shop: A Beginner's Guide http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shop-a-beginners-guide <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-shop-a-beginners-guide" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/apple store.jpg" alt="Apple Store" title="Apple Store" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So you&rsquo;ve decided to buy something. Congratulations! Here&rsquo;s how to do it.</p> <h2>1. Pick the Right Time</h2> <p>First things first &mdash; you&rsquo;ll need to determine when your adventure in commerce will take place. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deep-discounts-on-schedule-the-best-days-to-shop">The Best Days to&nbsp;Shop</a>)</p> <p>This is a bigger deal than you might think, as &ldquo;when to buy&rdquo; can often be more important than &ldquo;where to buy&rdquo; when it comes to getting the best price. As a general rule of thumb, you&rsquo;re a lot more likely to pay full price if you&rsquo;re trying to buy something at the same time everyone else is. If you&rsquo;re just now getting around to buying an air conditioner, for instance, it&rsquo;s probably too late to get any kind of significant discount &mdash; this is peak season for air conditioner purchases, and most stores don&rsquo;t need to offer discounts to move units. You would have been better off buying at the end of last summer or in the fall, when purchases have slowed to a trickle and stores are trying to get the last remaining units off the floor.</p> <p>Timing is important for non-seasonal purchases as well. Most new products will start coming down in price after spending some time on the shelves. The waiting period can vary &mdash; iPhones and iPads tend to come down by $100 when the new model comes out a year or so later, while a new video game can see its first price drop within a couple of weeks. No matter what, though, you can expect to pay full price if you insist on getting that brand new book or DVD the day it comes out, so do your best to show a little patience.</p> <h2>2. Decide on Quality</h2> <p>People tend to talk about getting the &ldquo;best bang for the buck&rdquo; &mdash; that is, the best quality-to-price ratio. That&rsquo;s a reasonable goal, but I find focusing on value above all else sometimes means you wind up with a low-quality product because you couldn&rsquo;t pass up a too-good-to-be-true price. And that can backfire on you when your new forks and knives that you bought at the dollar store turn to rust in your sink after a couple weeks, forcing you to purchase a new set.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s why it&rsquo;s a good idea to do some research, read user reviews, and determine which brands of your target product meet your standards for quality (and which don&rsquo;t). That doesn&rsquo;t mean casting aside questions of cost and simply buying the highest-quality product on the market &mdash; there&rsquo;s nothing wrong with balancing quality and price to some degree. But you should go into the store having established the minimum quality standard and feature set you&rsquo;re willing to tolerate.</p> <h2>3. Shop Around and Find Coupons</h2> <p>Once you&rsquo;ve established what you want to buy and when you want to buy it, figure out where you&rsquo;re going to make your purchase. Buying online is usually cheaper than buying in a store, so start there. While you can have some success by simply checking the price on major e-commerce sites like Amazon and NewEgg, your best bet may be to use a price comparison site like <a href="http://www.pricegrabber.com/">PriceGrabber</a> or Google&rsquo;s shopping tool. If you do find the best price online, don&rsquo;t forget to account for the additional cost of shipping &mdash; though remember that shipping costs could be offset by the lack of tax if you live in a state which does not collect sales tax on online purchases. You could also avoid shipping costs if you go with a site that offers free shipping (sometimes this is contingent on spending a certain amount) or if you&rsquo;re able to find a free shipping code.</p> <p>Speaking of codes, you&rsquo;ll want to hunt around for any way to get a discount off the sticker price. You can find coupon codes on deal sites (<a href="http://www.retailmenot.com/">RetailMeNot</a> is one popular destination for code-hunting) as well as on the websites and social media feeds of individual retailers. You should also check weekly circulars for deals, sales, and clip-out coupons.</p> <h2>4. Feel Free to Haggle</h2> <p>If there&rsquo;s one area where brick-and-mortar retailers have a definite advantage over online shopping, it&rsquo;s the potential to save by haggling. If you decide to skip the e-commerce trend and hit a physical store, don&rsquo;t be shy about negotiating for a lower price.</p> <p>While you can haggle for anything, you&rsquo;re going to have the most luck (and the most potential for savings) haggling over big ticket items like TVs, appliances, cars, and jewelry; these have high margins and are typically sold by commissioned salespeople empowered to negotiate. Entire books have been written about the art of negotiation, so I can&rsquo;t even begin to tackle all the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-laws-of-negotiation">ins and outs of the haggling process</a>. But the basics are simple: go up the retail hierarchy until you find a salesperson or manager who&rsquo;s allowed to haggle, then see how low he or she is willing to go. Don&rsquo;t be afraid to walk away from the negotiation and leave a phone number for the salesperson &mdash; as the end of the month gets closer and they grow more desperate to hit their monthly quotas, they might just call you with a better offer on that big-screen TV.</p> <h2>5. Use a Credit Card</h2> <p>Now that you&rsquo;ve done your research and picked out your purchase, head to the cashier (or checkout screen) and pull out your credit card. You&rsquo;ll notice I said &ldquo;credit,&rdquo; not &ldquo;debit&rdquo; &mdash; whenever possible, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">you should use a credit card</a> for purchases.</p> <p>In part that&rsquo;s because your credit card likely gives you some sort of cash-back rewards with every purchase (and if it doesn&rsquo;t, you should apply for a rewards card as soon as you get the chance). But beyond the potential for rewards, there&rsquo;s also the fact that credit cards simply leave you better protected against the various things that can go wrong with a transaction. Many of them, for instance, offer purchase protection that serves as a sort of warranty on your merchandise. Obviously you&rsquo;ll want to read the fine print in your card agreement, but in many cases it will allow you to bypass the costly extended warranty that most salespeople will try to sell you. And if you make a purchase and somehow fail to receive the product you ordered, you can do a chargeback, which means the credit card issuer will refund you the money and then go after the shady retailer itself.</p> <p>Using a credit card also provides good protection against fraud in case the transaction somehow results in someone getting a hold of your card or card number. Most credit card issuers will refund all fraudulent charges made with your card, and federal law makes you liable for no more than $50. By contrast, you could be on the hook for up to $500 if someone goes on a shopping spree with your debit card number.</p> <p>Some people <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/going-green-how-to-live-a-nearly-cash-only-life">prefer using cash</a>, and there are admittedly a few advantages there; being allowed only the cash in your pocket can rein in spending impulses, for instance. And using cash can also help in a negotiation, as the promise of avoiding swipe fees may prompt a retailer to knock another $5 or $10 off the price of an item. Other than that, though, you&rsquo;re better off using a credit card &mdash; just don&rsquo;t go getting yourself into debt.</p> <p>If you did everything right, you've purchased a quality product at the lowest possible price. Don't forget your receipt!&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-brownell">Matt Brownell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shop-a-beginners-guide">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/all-the-savings-under-the-sun-12-essential-daily-deal-sites">All the Savings Under the Sun: 12 Essential Daily Deal Sites</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/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use">7 Amazon Prime Perks You&#039;ve Forgotten to Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/discount-designer-clothing-17-places-to-get-name-brands-for-less">Discount Designer Clothing: 17 Places to Get Name Brands for Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Deals and Coupons Shopping bargain shopping coupon code credit card fraud haggling how to shop well online shopping Wed, 06 Jun 2012 10:36:11 +0000 Matt Brownell 932770 at http://www.wisebread.com Black Friday Tips From Money-Saving Experts http://www.wisebread.com/black-friday-tips-from-money-saving-experts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/black-friday-tips-from-money-saving-experts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/blackfridaychris22090.jpg" alt="Black Friday shoppers at Target" title="Black Friday shoppers at Target" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I recently had the chance to hear top money-saving bloggers Miriam Kamin of <a href="http://wantnot.net">Wantnot.net</a>, Cassie and Alex Michael of <a href="http://thethriftycouple.com/">TheThriftyCouple</a>, and Tiffany Ivanovsky of <a href="http://mylitter.com/">MyLitter</a> (so called because the lady has seven kids). They all presented at <a href="http://www.savings.com/">Savings.com</a>'s Save Up conference in Chicago, and they shared their top tips for saving the most money possible on Black Friday. Here's a sampling:</p> <p><strong>From Mir of Wantnot.net:&nbsp;Prepare for online Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping at least a day ahead of time (as in, now)</strong></p> <ul> <li>Try filling your shopping cart in advance. Some retailers will save it, some won't. If you're not sure if it will save, jot down the item numbers so you can quickly throw them into your cart on the big day.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Layer on the discounts. Black Friday sales may look good, but you can probably do even better by combining that sale with a coupon code, or shopping through a rebate portal like Ebates. (Carrie here: If you have a <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-10817658">Groupon</a> or other daily deal certificate, try using that on a Black Friday sale.)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Assemble your coupon codes in advance. (Carrie here: You can find them at <a href="http://www.retailmenot.com">RetailMeNot</a>, <a href="http://www.ebates.com">Ebates</a> or just by Googling the store name and &quot;coupon code.&quot;)<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Follow your retailers on Twitter and Facebook. They might announce limited-time deals or release coupon codes.</li> </ul> <p>For more tips from Mir, see my <a href="http://www.chicagoshopping.com/deals/frugalista/chiscago-shopping-how-to-be-prepared-for-black-friday-cyber-monday,0,297199.story">Black Friday planning post on my blog, Frugalista</a>.</p> <p><strong>From The Thrifty Couple:&nbsp;Take advantage of the deals without blowing your budget</strong></p> <ul> <li>If you're married, work together to set up a specific per-person budget and gift list. For example, the Michaels budget $50 for each immediate family member and $15 for extended family.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>As you shop, update the list so you know when you've spent your allocated funds.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Also note on your list where you hid each gift.</li> </ul> <p>For more tips from Cassie and Alex, <a href="http://www.chicagoshopping.com/deals/frugalista/chicago-shopping-keeping-black-friday-spending-112210,0,2431540.story">see my Black Friday budgeting post on Frugalista.</a></p> <p><strong>From Tiffany of MyLitter: Tips for buying for a large family</strong></p> <ul> <li>No matter how many children you have, leave them at home on Black Friday.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Don't feel like you have to budget exactly the same amount for each child. &quot;There's no reason that my 4-month-old child is really going to get anything at Christmas. She's going to get the token wrapped present from Santa at Christmas so the other kids don't get suspicious.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you see a good toy on sale, buy it. Chances are, one of the kids will be ready for it by the holidays.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Look&nbsp;for large toys sets, like the huge&nbsp;Lego bucket&nbsp;with lots of pieces, or multipacks that can be divided and wrapped individually.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/black-friday-tips-from-money-saving-experts">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/7-best-discount-shopping-days-of-the-year">7 Best Discount Shopping Days of the Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/surprising-ways-to-save-even-more-on-black-friday">Surprising Ways to Save Even More on Black Friday</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/even-more-black-friday-savings-tips-from-shopping-experts">Even More Black Friday Savings Tips From Shopping Experts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-you-spent-on-this-holiday-season">Here&#039;s What You Spent on This Holiday Season</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/why-people-go-crazy-on-black-friday">Why People Go Crazy on Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bargain shopping black friday cyber monday holiday shopping Thu, 25 Nov 2010 13:00:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 332736 at http://www.wisebread.com You're a Chump if you Pay Full Price for That http://www.wisebread.com/youre-a-chump-if-you-pay-full-price-for-that <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/youre-a-chump-if-you-pay-full-price-for-that" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/28689448_2ac826bb3a.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="375" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Couponing and bargain shopping are not for everyone. It takes some time to clip the coupons, organize them, and keep track of sales at all of your favorite stores. But since I've gotten into it, I realized I was missing out on some very simple deals. A number of retailers and manufacturers run perpetual sales or coupon deals on products such that you would be a chump to pay full price for them.</p> <p>I know I was a chump for many years, paying full retail price when I could have gotten the same thing for as much as 50% off. Here's a short list of items I've come across in my rounds that I never need to pay full price for:</p> <p>Couponing and bargain shopping are not for everyone. It takes some time to clip the coupons, organize them, and keep track of sales at all of your favorite stores. But since I've gotten into it, I realized I was missing out on some very simple deals. A number of retailers and manufacturers run perpetual sales or coupon deals on products such that you would be a chump to pay full price for them.</p> <p>I know I was a chump for many years, paying full retail price when I could have gotten the same thing for as much as 50% off. Here's a short list of items I've come across in my rounds that I never need to pay full price for:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Vitamins and supplements</strong> under brand names such as <strong>Nature Made</strong>, <strong>Nature's Bounty</strong>, <strong>Sundown</strong>, and store brands like Meijer regularly go on sale as &quot;buy one, get one free&quot; or BOGO. You can either stock up on your favorite brand when it's on sale, or simply buy whatever is the best deal when you need it. A big bottle of fish oil capsules typically runs $12-$15 at regular price, so without the BOGO deal, you are paying quite a lot for your supplement.</li> <li>There is almost always a sale, deal, or coupon promotion going on for <strong>name brand batteries</strong> such as <strong>Energizer</strong>, <strong>Duracell</strong>, and <strong>Rayovac</strong>. I never buy batteries unless I can get at least a dollar off with a coupon, preferably combined with a sale price, such as $5.29 for an 8-pack of AA's. I really was a chump all those times when I paid the full $9 price for the same product.</li> <li><strong>Tide laundry detergent</strong> goes on sale on a regular cycle. You can't always find a coupon for it, but it's obvious that Procter and Gamble are not expecting you to pay $12 for a 40 load bottle. We like Tide, so I wait for it to go on sale for $5.99, and use a coupon if I have one.</li> <li><strong>Brand name cold</strong> <strong>remedies</strong> and other over-the-counter medicines like <strong>Tylenol</strong> and <strong>Robitussin</strong> have coupon promotions running all the time. Sometimes the coupon is <em>right on the outside of the package</em>, but the cashier doesn't always peel it off and scan it, so make sure you get your credit for it. Generics are usually a better deal, even after coupons, but if you save some of those coupons that are floating around and use them with a sale, you can get the name-brand cheaper than the generic.</li> <li>Unless you have a sensitivity or other reason to be brand loyal, you can almost always get your <strong>contact lens solution</strong> on sale or free. Right, free. Since I've been looking, I've found a couple of free-after-rebate deals on contact lens solution. Even if you can't find an amazingly great deal like that, you can usually find a sale for $2 or $3 off. If you are brand loyal, wait for your favorite brand to go on sale, then buy a 3-4 month supply.</li> </ul> <p>This is just a small selection of the numerous products that are overpriced so that they can become &quot;bargains.&quot; Once you start looking for these deals, you'll have your own list. In addition to individual products that you can almost always buy for less than full retail price, there are a number of store promotions and other easy deals you should be aware of.</p> <ul> <li>Anything from <strong>JoAnn Fabrics</strong> is at least 40% off. Every single week, JoAnn's publishes a coupon for 40% off any regularly priced item. Additionally, they have weekly sales, rotating through most of their stock. JoAnn (whoever she is) doesn't expect you to pay those high retail prices. You can get 40% off any time, unless it's one of those weeks where they have 50% off. If you can get more than one copy of the circular, you can get more than one coupon, and those are good for separate items in the same transaction. Or, if the cashier balks, have him or her ring you up separately. We have two JoAnn's stores here, and one of them stocks the circular at the front of the store, so you can pull out as many coupons as you want (I take my scissors with me to the store). The other store does not, although they are bigger and stocked better. If i need to go to the big store, I stop and get extra coupons at the small store first. It kills me to think of all the times I paid full retail price for a fabric or other item from the store, not realizing that I could have used a 40% off coupon. I am even a former JoAnn's employee, and I didn't know that. (Although at the time, about fifteen years ago, I don't recall ever seeing coupons come through at the register.)</li> <li>I don't usually shop at<strong> Michael's</strong>, but I've noticed that they have the same ongoing 40% off coupon deal that JoAnn's does. So you should be able to get anything at Michael's for 40% off. I actually went shopping there recently without my coupon, and was kicking my own butt all the way home, because I could have saved at least $10 if I had brought it.</li> <li>Similarly, <strong>Linens and Things</strong> and <strong>Bed, Bath, and Beyond</strong> run perpetual 20% of coupon promotions. These coupons are usually good for sale and clearance priced merchandise, although there is a list of brand names at the bottom that it does not apply to. So almost anything you buy at these stores, you can get an additional 20% off.</li> <li><strong>Lowe's</strong> and <strong>Home Depot</strong> don't run coupon promotions all the time, but a couple of times a year, they send out coupons such as $10 off $50 or 10% off. I have also heard (though I haven't tried this) that Lowe's honors competitor's coupons. So even though you can't always count on getting a deal at these stores, if you have a project you are planning, it may be worthwhile to wait for a coupon to turn up. If it comes in your Sunday paper, run out and buy several more papers. Then you can use the coupon for several items. For example, when we were buying paint for our house, we scraped together several coupons, and divided the purchase so we would be able to use them all. Those coupons can really add up to a lot when you are working on a big project.</li> <li>Likewise, <strong>Cabela's</strong> often has coupons for a dollar amount off of your purchase above a certain price. If you are planning a major purchase of outdoor recreation or hunting equipment, don't pay full price at Cabela's. (You'll notice that the prices are on the high side anyway.) We got new coupons in the mail from Cabela's nearly every day for a while leading up to Christmas.</li> <li><strong>Free Money!</strong> Many stores print out special coupons with your receipt. It's shocking how many people throw these coupons away, or forget to take them. Every time I use the self-checkout lane at Kroger, I find a coupon someone forgot to take with their purchase. Last time, the coupon was &quot;$3 off your next order.&quot; I used the coupon immediately for my own purchase. People, this is free money. I'm sorry to say this, but if you leave those coupons behind, or throw them out with your receipt, you really are a chump. Put it in your wallet next to your other money, and use it next time you shop at the same store. In my area, these special coupons (called catalinas by expert couponers) are available at Kroger and Meijer stores. So keep your catalinas, and be on the lookout for ones left behind by other shoppers.</li> </ul> <p>These are just some of the easy deals that I've become aware of. It doesn't take a lot of effort to save money on these things. Once you start looking around, you'll make your own list. Many retailers and manufacturers are using these tactics to get people excited about buying a product for what they think is an amazing price. And some people will actually pay the inflated price, not knowing that they can get it for half the price next week. All of this maneuvering makes me a little bit tired, and I've come to really appreciate the &quot;every day low price&quot; policy of stores like Trader Joe's. However, Trader Joe's doesn't have everything, so it's a good idea to get familiar with the pricing strategies for products you buy frequently. Of course, once you get used to saving money on these &quot;easy&quot; deals, you may decide you don't want to pay full price for anything. Thus, a couponer is born.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/catherine-shaffer">Catherine Shaffer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-a-chump-if-you-pay-full-price-for-that">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-8"> <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-secrets-of-amazons-pricing-strategy-will-help-you-find-the-best-buys">These Secrets of Amazon&#039;s Pricing Strategy Will Help You Find the Best Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service">7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-probably-didnt-know-you-could-buy-at-costco">10 Things You Probably Didn&#039;t Know You Could 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/20-places-besides-etsy-to-sell-your-handmade-goods">20 Places Besides Etsy to Sell Your Handmade Goods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-back-to-school-sales">How to Find the Best Back to School Sales</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bargain shopping cheap groceries crafts retail Sat, 29 Dec 2007 19:56:29 +0000 Catherine Shaffer 1556 at http://www.wisebread.com