Posts filed under 'General'

Don’t Leave Home Without These 12 Travel Apps

TravelAppsIf you’re planning to travel this summer, your best resource can be your smartphone. With the right apps you can locate a hotel, store travel documents, tabulate expenses, and much more. Used together, a good set of apps can be the “Swiss army knife” of travel tools. No matter where you go, you’ll have a wealth of information right at your fingertips. Here are our choices for the most useful and reliable travel apps available for both iPhone and Android devices. And best of all, they’re free!

Planning ahead

  • Wunderlist – You’ll never forget an essential item again because you can make a packing list and share it with others, so they can add items as they think of them. Or use it for your to-do list, personal information for gifts, or anything you need to get organized. You can even send emails to the app and access your lists from many devices, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows, Android, Kindle Fire or the Web.
  • Groupon App – Check other cities a few weeks or months before you go there and grab any good Groupon deals for restaurants or hotels that you can use on your trip, redeeming them right off your phone when you arrive.
  • Priceline App – This is a simple way to book hotels and rental cars when you’re on the go. Use their Tonight-Only Deal for extra savings on same day hotel reservations or access the Name Your Own Price section to get the best deals. Priceline gives you the flexibility to NOT plan ahead and still get great deals on hotels.
  • Tripit App – You can plan every detail of your trip with this app, from car rental to lodging to restaurants. Forward all the email confirmations of your flight, rental car, train tickets, and hotels to and TripIt will build a shareable itinerary for you.

If you fly

  • SeatGuru App – This app provides seating details that the flight booking apps never mention. Developed by TripAdvisor, it tells you everything from seat pitch to the proximity to the toilet to the likeliness to be bumped. Search flights for a color-coded seating plan that shows green is a good seat and red is bad. As each seat is clicked, a pop-up box provides seating advice and amenity information.
  • GateGuru App – This app helps find the hidden gems in your flight arrival and departure locations. Upload your itinerary and the app lists food options, shops and other services like ATMs, along with where to find them in the terminals and ratings from other fliers. The app also provides estimated wait times for security lines and last-minute deals on rental cars.

If you drive

  • GasBuddy App – Find the cheapest gas wherever you go. In one click, locate gas stations nearby and see their current gas prices.
  • iExit App – See what’s at upcoming exits in real-time when traveling on any major highway in the U.S. If you get hungry in the middle of nowhere, you can display restaurants, gas stations, hotels, and more by exit. Then you can call them, view their website, get directions, or see the surrounding area on Google Streetview.
  • Trapster App – This app will alert you to speed traps, red light and speed cameras, accidents and other road hazards. The locations of school zones and EV charging stations are also available.

When you arrive

  • Yelp App – Find places to eat, shop, drink, relax and play. All the entries have reviews from an active community of local residents to help you choose the best ones.
  • Favado App – If you like to save by doing a little grocery shopping for snacks or small meals when you travel, this app is perfect for you. No matter where you are in the country, Favado can compare prices and find the best deals at whatever grocery or drug stores are near you by zip code.
  • Scout App – Get up-to-date listings of recommended concerts, sporting events and other timely entertainment options so you’ll always know what’s happening.

Add comment June 9th, 2014

May Contest Results

The month of May 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 is the winner of this month’s contest followed by CouponNut and anand in the second and third place. Congratulations guys! Here is the complete list of this month’s winners and prizes:

1. onkarkulkarni (852 Points): $70
2. CouponNut (844 Points): $50
3. anand (823 Points): $50
4. laaya (797 Points): $35
5. clover (786 Points): $35
6. midget (767 Points): $35
7. Version (767 Points): $35
8. sandyshore (757 Points): $25
9. djhciskoski (751 Points): $25
10. siggy38 (730 Points): $25
11. roxytang (680 Points): $25
12. mommy25 (674 Points): $10
13. psplove (667 Points): $10
14. Supermom (626 Points): $10
15. supergirl (593 Points): $10

Here are the remaining top 20 winners:

16. 2kidsnuts (587 Points)
17. bemicmom (577 Points)
18. mdshopper1 (487 Points)
19. lootango (433 Points)
20. gabyperu (350 Points)

Thanks to all of our contributing members! No one gets our swag this month since we only mail it once to each monthly winner and everyone above by now has already received a Buxr coffee mug and mouse pad. If any of you haven’t then please do let us know.

Friends Contest Update

We don’t have a friends contest winner this month. Remember, you only need to refer 5 friends to qualify for the prize and we award up to 3 members each month! Help Buxr grow, tell your friends about our little community and win $50 next month. Click here to find more about how this contest works and how you can refer your friends to Buxr.

Add comment June 2nd, 2014

Using Online Medical Resources Wisely

search_online_150x150As medical costs and insurance deductibles continue to rise, most people would welcome help to save on medical expenses. Thankfully, there’s a wealth of information available online to guide us in making decisions about when to see a doctor and what we can do ourselves at home. Granted, it is not likely you will be the next one saving someone’s life by Googling their symptoms online, however if used wisely, these sites can be a tremendous help.

I saw recently on the news that a man went to a medical emergency care facility in a shopping center for a minor cut, and was shocked to see how high his bill was. He didn’t realize that the location he chose away from the main hospital campus offered the same level of care as the hospital emergency room, with treatment by physicians using expensive testing equipment. He could have visited a CVS MinuteClinic Walgreens TakeCareClinic, or Target Clinic instead, where family nurse practitioners and physician assistants provide care at a lower cost, and all of these clinics do accept insurance. Or, better yet, perhaps he could have looked online for instructions to clean and bandage the wound at home.

The best online resources

A 2012 Neilsen survey found that 60 percent of all patients consulted the Internet before calling their doctor about any condition. Most of them found the information useful to assess the severity of their symptoms, educate themselves, and develop questions to ask their doctors. But finding a reliable source is important, because there are many questionable sites that should be avoided. These five sites differ in their focus of information, but are all recommended for their reliability and accuracy.

  1. WebMD is, in my opinion, the very best source of medical information that I use. Their Symptom Checker helps me find a list of possible conditions to match the symptoms I’m looking up, and provides details about what to expect, any self-treatment I can administer, how common the condition is, and when to see a doctor. In addition, the site also has proactive recommendations and health news articles. You can join WebMD for free to save your Symptom Checker history, manage your family’s vaccinations, or track weight loss.
  2. Everyday Health also has a symptom checker, and can provide links to specialists in your area that treat the specific conditions you are researching. The site also includes reliable information about drugs, health issues, and fitness.
  3. The Mayo Clinic site’s Health Information section lets you easily search alphabetically for information about symptoms, diseases and conditions, drugs and supplements, or tests and procedures. There are tools and information for healthy living, as well as outstanding first aid information to help you during a medical emergency.
  4. The CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site posts information like news about virus outbreaks, necessary traveler’s vaccinations, and weather-related and aging issues. The subtle alphabetical index in the blue bar near the top of the page links you to the conditions and topics described on the site.  The section on Life Stages includes good information for parents about safety and possible diseases and conditions at every stage of a child’s development, while the Milestones and Schedules include immunization recommendations and health screening topics.
  5. MedlinePlus is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health and features health topics, drug information, and an online medical dictionary.  While the information is reliable, I didn’t find the site as easy to use as the others. You have to look up everything alphabetically or by browsing the list of topics. There’s a very good tutorial here to help you identify trusted sites providing medical information.

Pet care resources

Any pet owner will tell you that pet care is expensive and the cost of pet insurance prohibitive. Most people don’t realize that veterinarians are as highly trained as their doctors of human medicine counterparts in specialized areas of treatment, while they don’t earn nearly the same salary. With advances in pet care, many of them have to invest in costly equipment. Internet resources can help you care for your pets, too, and save some money on unnecessary veterinary bills.

Both of these two sites offer helpful information that is approved by veterinarians, and are worth checking out before you rush your pet to the vet’s office or emergency care. Proactively checking their ears, trimming their nails, and observing their behavior can greatly reduce the number of office visits. I recently learned that cleaning a scratch or wound with peroxide will delay the healing process, and I should use alcohol and antibiotic cream instead.

  1. Web Vet’s information covers dogs, cats, birds, and other small animals. The site posts blogs and free downloadable PDF “Pet-Pod” topics. You can search for a specific symptom or read comprehensive guides by breed. Articles cover general health, holistic care, travel, and training.
  2. Pet Health Network offers tips for owners of dogs and cats about behavioral problems and proactive care. It provides a list of what to expect for your pet by age.

Remember that online information is not a substitute for medical care. Consult the sites you can trust to educate and help you decide when a condition can be managed with self-care or will require a doctor’s attention. The greatest value of Internet resources is to learn the basics, and know when to let healthcare professionals do the hard work.

Add comment January 28th, 2013

The Buxr You Don’t Know ($50 Giveaway)

buxr_girl_170Buxr will be turning 5 years this coming December, time flies! Over these years it survived two reincarnations and quite a number of updates. Most of them are things we added to the site because you asked for them and naturally all these awesome features are put to a good use by you guys,.. or are they? In fact this recent topic started by a Buxr old-timer equipurple made us wonder if this is really the case. This blog post is meant to be a refresher on all the tools that Buxr offers to help you with bargain hunting.

Coupons Page

The coupons page deserves more attention than it gets for one simple reason: it offers some ways to slice deals no other part of Buxr does. The menu at the top is your friend. By varying the selection and combining it with tags on the right you can see (among other things) all printable coupons, printable grocery coupons, or all printable coupons for a store of your choice (say Payless Shoes). Naturally you can browse online-only coupons as well, but you probably already knew that. ;-)

Home Page

The home page consists of several modules with each performing its own task. My favorites are ‘Daily Quote’, ‘Activity Badges’, ‘Bargain News’, and ‘Upcoming Deals’. If you are logged into your Buxr account (and there is not really a reason why you shouldn’t) then you can configure these modules to your liking, add new ones or delete some you don’t want. You can also flip the deal module sorting between time, votes and popularity. I love sorting deals by popularity as it helps me see what is getting hot even before it starts collecting votes.

Buxr Wiki

If you ever get lost around Buxr, the place to go for help is Buxr wiki. It has a great deal of information about Buxr and shopping deals in general. Some pages worth checking out are Getting Started, Birthday Freebies, Money Making Sites, and a lot more!

Deal Alerts

Too busy to browse deals? You can set up an alert to notify you whenever a deal that you are interested in is submitted. For example you could get an email whenever someone posts an Kohl’s coupon, or a specific product that matches your price criteria. This wiki page has more information on how you can do it.

Deals Page

Not many know that you can customize the deals page to show/hide expired deals, sort deals by date or latest activity, and even filter out deals that get negative votes. This can be done using the controls on the right hand side of the page. In addition you can use the menu at the top to, say, see just the freebies, or only upcoming deals.

Other Pages

Here is a few more places around Buxr that might be of interest to regular members and occasional visitors alike:

  • Badge Awards – the list of recently awarded members. The badges are in recognition of various activities members perform around site, things like sharing a deal or visiting the site for several days in a row.
  • Daily Quote – a list of all daily quotes ever featured on the Daily Quote home page module.
  • Top Users – top 10 most active Buxr-ites and some stats for each. Call it the Buxr “Hall of Fame”! :)
  • Overview Video – a bit old but still useful overview of Buxr in under 7 minutes
  • Buxr Blog – we post every week covering a wide range of money saving topics. Also, this is where we announce monthly contest winners and keep you updated about what is happening in our community.

Do you have a favorite part of Buxr? Please share in the comments to this discussion thread. As you do so, take the poll for a chance to win a $50 cash prize. Good luck!

Add comment August 13th, 2012

10 Items I Never Pay Full Price For

red_sale_bagAs an adult, once I began managing my own finances, I always watched my budget closely. I clipped coupons, carefully shopped the sales, and made sure I mailed in those rebates. I considered myself a pretty savvy shopper. However joining Buxr has changed my life! Now I won’t go anywhere or buy anything without checking the site for coupons first! In fact, there are many things I absolutely will not EVER buy at regular price. Here are my top 10:

  1. Groceries may be the the number 1 way our family saves money. We’ve always planned our menus around what’s on sale, buying the seasonal items that are at their peak quality and best price. We use grocery coupons as much as possible on the items we buy regularly, but never buy any item only because we have a coupon for it. Using our loyalty cards at grocery stores gets us instant savings on many items plus high value coupons mailed directly to us, as well as cash-back coupons that print with our receipts. Another benefit of shopping with a loyalty card is the discount we get when we buy fuel. We always buy paper goods and other staples in bulk at warehouse clubs or whenever they’re on sale.
  2. For clothing, I always check out the sale section in the stores or online, and combine my purchase with a coupon as often as I can. I usually get advance sale notice and some extra coupons through the mailing lists from my favorite stores, so I can plan ahead. A lot of casual wear is also available at the warehouse clubs, because they get special purchases that they can offer at reduced prices.
  3. Gift cards can be bought online below face value at sites like Plastic Jungle or Gift Card Granny, and usually have no expiration dates. I can also sell any unwanted cards that I received as gifts. Then I can wait to combine the discounted gift cards with advertised sales.
  4. Dining out is a nice treat for our family, and we never pay full price for a meal. We purchase certificates only when they’re 80% or 90% off, and redeem coupons we’ve received by mail, email or online. I signed up every member of the family for the mailing list of our favorite restaurants, so everyone gets a free coupon for their birthday.
  5. Magazines are very high on my list to cut costs. I used to think that I was saving money over buying single copies by signing up for subscriptions. That was before I discovered that I could get so many of them for free or only a few dollars a year.
  6. Books are my passion and everyone in the family likes to read, but I hate to pay a lot for them. Nowadays I see new hardcover books in the grocery store for 40% off list, great prices on Amazon, and even better ones on eBay, where I can often buy a used book lot shipped for under a dollar a book. I can sell them or swap with friends after we’ve read them. Any others that I can’t find at a cheap price, can be checked out from the public library for free.
  7. Video games are cheaper on Amazon or if you buy them used at the game stores. You can always find perfectly good last-generation games on clearance in the electronics department as soon as the new titles are released.
  8. Classes and activities that we would enjoy are offered so often for half price or less on the daily deal sites. We signed up at various sites to get a daily email of their offers in our area.
  9. Movies in the theater have gotten so expensive that I never thought we’d be able to save so much on them. But there are lots of free screening opportunities, discount tickets through daily deal sites or bought in bulk online, theater card discounts, and lower-cost matinees. Several theater clubs post weekly coupons on their Facebook pages for free or BOGO refreshments.
  10. Movie DVD rentals are cheap to begin with, but there are so many discount codes available that you can often get one night’s rental for free. Family night with a movie and pizza (bought with a coupon, of course!) is one of our favorite treats.

What’s on your list?

1 comment April 23rd, 2012

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