2014 Holiday Shipping Deadlines

Holiday-ShippingAs more shoppers turn to the web and mobile apps to make their purchases, brick-and-mortar retailers are trying harder than ever to get shoppers into their stores. Whether you shop for gifts online or buy them locally and ship them yourself, we have the information to help you save and get those gifts delivered on time. Many retailers have published their deadlines for placing orders online, and there’s a list for your convenience at the end of this post.

Reducing the shipping cost is an important consideration among bargain hunters like us, and this year more online retailers than ever have advertised free shipping. Some of them require a coupon code to get the free shipping. Major brick-and-mortar retailers have been matching online prices; several are promoting buy-online with same-day store pick-up services, and improving delivery rates by turning stores into distribution centers to ship online orders from those stores instead of distant fulfillment centers. Walmart, Macy’s, and Best Buy are all shipping from local stores now, following the office supply and home improvement stores that have already done so in years past.
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Add commentDecember 15th, 2014

Is Pet Insurance Worth the Cost?

animal-careMany people consider their pets to be family members, and want to give them the best medical care possible. These days veterinary specialists can treat any pet condition with technology as advanced as that used for humans. As pets live longer, the total cost for injuries, emergencies or additional procedures can be expensive, putting a strain on the family’s finances and credit. So pet owners may want to consider insuring them to help pay for any unexpected bills. But, if your pet has good health and only needs normal wellness care and routine preventive treatments, the premiums for pet insurance can often be higher than the actual veterinary costs for the life of the animal. In that case, it’s just not worth the expense of insuring them.

A few years ago when I first looked into pet insurance, there were only a handful of companies offering coverage. Today, there are more than a dozen companies writing policies for over a million pets, although that number represents less than 1% of all pets in the U.S. Common claims for dogs include allergies, swallowed objects, cancer and ear infections; for cats, top claims were for kidney disease, cancer and bite wounds.
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Add commentDecember 8th, 2014

November Contest Results

The month of November 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

onkarkulkarni and djhciskoski share the first and second place, followed by clover in the third. Congratulations guys! Here is the complete list of this month’s winners and prizes:

1. onkarkulkarni (642 Points): $60
2. djhciskoski (642 Points): $60
3. clover (615 Points): $50
4. CouponNut (593 Points): $35
5. mommy25 (588 Points): $35
6. psplove (562 Points): $35
7. mdshopper1 (552 Points): $35
8. siggy38 (550 Points): $25
9. anand (515 Points): $25
10. laaya (495 Points): $25
11. sandyshore (487 Points): $25
12. Version (472 Points): $10
13. lootango (451 Points): $10
14. bemicmom (426 Points): $10
15. 2kidsnuts (386 Points): $10

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Add commentDecember 1st, 2014

Tips for Planning a Ski Trip on a Budget

ski_liftNow that winter’s almost here, many people like to plan ski trips. But skiing on a budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. There are many smaller, lesser known resorts that can offer all the benefits of a great ski holiday at a fraction of the price you’d pay at a larger ski resort. We have some tips to help you get the most out of your trip and still save money.

Plan ahead. The best way to get a good deal is to book early. If you start planning your trip before ski season opens, you have more time to compare prices and get the best rates. Choosing a package with lift tickets and lodging together will cost you a lot less than finding a place to stay at the last minute and buying daily lift tickets.
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Add commentNovember 24th, 2014

Black Friday Store Hours

black-fridayIn years past, Black Friday deals were a closely-guarded secret that could only be seen in advance of the sales through “leaked” ad scans and other unauthorized posts. Shoppers scrambled to compare prices ahead of time and plan their itinerary on the big day. Often the in-store sales literally turned into brawls, and there are reports this year of shoppers camping out 22 days before the sale. Last year we were already seeing some holiday “creep” with earlier store hours intruding into Thanksgiving. But times have changed! This year retailers are running lots more “pre”- Black Friday promotions and even “leaking” their own official ads.

In fact, it’s hard to tell exactly when and where shoppers will really be getting the best prices this year. According to MarketWatch, Thanksgiving Day may offer shoppers the best deals online with projected discounts of 24%, compared to 23% for Black Friday and only 20% on Cyber Monday. The site also reports that online and in-store prices will be generally the same, with the exception of Black Friday in-store special promotions. This is likely due to increased price matching.
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Add commentNovember 17th, 2014

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