I’m sure you’ve often wondered if the sale price of a hot item you’re about to buy is at the lowest price you can find. The answer may actually be hidden on the price tag itself, where internal number and letter codes, asterisks, or even tag colors reveal how far the item has been marked down. Tips to decipher encoded price tags at various retailers have been circulating for years, at least as far back as 2007 when this Target hint was posted. Since then, observant shoppers continued taking note of odd discount price patterns, and former employees leaked hints to help customers figure out how to score the very best deals on the items they buy. But each store has its own set of codes, and it can get so complicated that you practically need a cheat sheet like this one to remember them all. Details of exactly what to look for have been posted on reliable web sites like Lifehacker, Consumerist, and Time. While hints like these may help you determine if the items have reached the lowest price at specific stores or whether further reductions are possible, you’ll still have to rely on your own comparative research to know if you’ve found the best available bargain anywhere.
July 21st, 2014
Did you know that some electronics continue to use power even when they’re not turned on? Electronics that are in “standby” mode are silently wasting energy and running up your electric bill! A quick and easy way to conserve that energy and save money is to simply unplug appliances and devices when you’re not using them. If you don’t want to unplug each of them every day, you can use a smart power strip like this one to monitor electricity usage and turn them off after a set period of time when they aren’t in use. With this power strip, you can manually turn off several items with one switch. You can determine the actual energy usage of each of your appliances with a device like a Kill-A-Watt Electricity Monitor. Plug this device into a three-prong grounded wall outlet and plug your appliance, computer, lamp, or other electrical product into the monitor. The power consumption is displayed on the LED in units like kilowatt hours, volts, amps, and more.
Here are some suggestions to unplug; anything that has a light on it is consuming power when idle.
July 14th, 2014
While food is a large and essential part of our budget, there are some steps you can take to counter the rising prices. Making a few small changes can add up to a big savings. Here are 10 suggestions:
- Use coupons posted on Buxr, clipped from the Sunday paper, and digitally loaded on your grocery store’s reward cards. Some rewards cards also offer the added benefit of gasoline discounts.
- Watch for sale cycles and stock up on staples when they are at their cheapest, usually every 6-8 weeks. Compare unit prices and purchase the sizes that give you the most savings. That may not always be the largest size. See this link to decide which items you should buy in bulk, and use the Favado smartphone app to compare prices across your local stores and find the best deals.
July 7th, 2014
The month of June is over and it is time for our usual monthly wrap-up when we look back at what happened during the past month, announce our contest winners, and also give you a heads up at what is coming.
Monthly Contest Results
CouponNut is the winner of this month’s contest followed by mommy25 and anand in the second and third place. Congratulations guys! Here is the complete list of this month’s winners and prizes:
1. CouponNut (778 Points): $70
2. mommy25 (772 Points): $50
3. anand (717 Points): $50
4. onkarkulkarni (697 Points): $35
5. clover (691 Points): $35
6. laaya (650 Points): $35
7. djhciskoski (642 Points): $35
8. siggy38 (631 Points): $25
9. Version (597 Points): $25
10. psplove (595 Points): $25
11. midget (555 Points): $25
12. 2kidsnuts (534 Points): $10
13. mdshopper1 (501 Points): $10
14. lootango (491 Points): $10
15. bemicmom (463 Points): $10
July 2nd, 2014
Since 2012, the music streaming market has been growing at the expense of digital downloads. The Neilsens Soundscan annual report noted a 32% increase in music streaming last year while downloads of albums, singles, music videos and digital tracks declined 6.3%. Now the streaming market is the future of music, and Amazon is the latest company to announce their entry into the crowded field.
Their selection is small and lacks current hits, but that may not matter. For existing Amazon Prime members, the music service is a completely free benefit that enhances the value of their $99 Amazon Prime Service, which already provides them free 2-day shipping, Prime Instant Video, and a Kindle e-book lending library. They can stream the ad-free service on the web, listen on the go, or download music to enjoy offline. U.S.-based members can try it out at this link; or non-members can sign up for a free 30-day trial here, but must cancel to avoid an automatic charge for annual membership. Amazon’s music library has only about a million songs and hundreds of playlists. This is a lot less than the selection offered by Spotify, for instance, which has more than 20 million songs and adds 20,000 more each day. So how does it compare, and is it worth a look? Here’s our review of Amazon versus the most popular services.
June 23rd, 2014