So I usually like doing things myself, but recently I had my carpets professionally cleaned. The last time I tried to shampoo my carpets was a nightmare so I swallowed my pride and decided to hire someone. Let me tell you: the whole experience was a little scary at first, but fortunately it had a happy ending. I don’t know about you, but I’m never sure who to trust on the internet. Everyone who is offering a service says about the same thing. “We are better than our competitors”. Well duh! I know you think that, but so does your competitor, Mr. Carpet Cleaner man. All sassiness aside, I finally found a company I was willing to try. www.StgCleanestCarpets.com I had 3 reasons for using them. First, they had put flyers up on my townhouse, so I knew they were at least willing to put in some hard work. Second, a friend in the same complex used them and was satisfied. Finally (and if I’m being honest, probably the tipping point): the price. This is a bargain shopping website, remember! These guys were hands down the best price in my town. So bargain hunters, there’s good news, and there’s bad news. Continue reading
The big question today is, “Did you brave the crowds and shop during the madness”
I’m going to admit something that I probably shouldn’t on this blog, but here goes: I stayed home this year!
Don’t judge! The past two years I’ve just seen the dark seedy side of humanity when a bargain is involved and I just couldn’t stomach it this year. So instead I stayed home and shopped online (see? I was still bargain hunting. Now, don’t you feel silly for judging me?!)
I found some Amazon…I mean amazing deals. I’ve wanted a drone for awhile so I splurged and got myself one. Normally $150, marked down to $75 thank you very much!
The not-so-big question of the day is this:
What bargains did you find? Leave a comment below!
So you know how everywhere you go these days everyone has some sort of “loyalty program“? You know what I’m talking about right? When you spend a dollar at their store you get 1 point, or 10 points, or something like that. Then you can use your points for coupons, or cash, or gas discounts. Ring a bell?
Well, here’s my beef with all of these loyalty programs:
I’m cheap. Ergo, I want to be a part of all these programs. Ergo, I collect the little cards they give you. Ergo, my keys weigh a ton. Ergo, I’m going to destroy my ignition. (I swear I won’t say “ergo” again. It’s starting to annoy me too.)
But never fear my friends. I’ve found an app to save all the hastle. FiveStars. It’s a great little app. You can “store” all your cards for these programs in one convenient location and the app will keep track of your rewards for you.
Here’s what I love:
- It’s convenient. Everything stored in one place.
- It’s easy to use. Very user friendly.
- It’s secure. I’ve researched it and they seem to use the top security measures possible.
There’s really only one thing I don’t love:
- You can’t store ALL of your loyalty programs. Only the ones from stores who are FiveStar partners.
But even though it isn’t as far reaching as some other apps, I’ve really liked the selection and I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how many retailers/shops/stores utilize FiveStar. Check it out!
So, I live in a state where the people seem overly…well, cheap. I won’t mention the state because I actually like living here, but let’s just say, it is the Jello capital of the US, was founded by pioneers, has all sorts of religious rumors surrounding it, starts with a “U” and ends with a “tah”.
Okay, this is a bargain blog, but I think sometimes the people in my blessed state take it to an extreme!
I went to a garage sale this last weekend and was blown away by the stinginess of the people running the sale. I saw a stylus for sale. A nice stylus as a matter of fact. Here’s a picture of it:
I’ve been looking for a stylus just like this! I want something fine point. But I digress…
I took it up to the lady in charge and she said, $50. I blinked then said, “How much?” She repeated, “$50”. I’ve done my research, and you can buy this exact same stylus from Walmart for $35. I told her that and she said, “Then go to Walmart.” She turned away from me and went to organize all the clothes she had spread out on the lawn.
I’m all for making a quick buck, but come on lady! If you’re reading this, maybe you ought to consider the definition of a bargain.
Anyway, thanks for putting up with my rant.
What is the most ridiculous “bargain” you’ve run across? Comment below! Maybe I’ll buy the winner an overpriced stylus.
I remember when I was first married and my wife would cut coupons. And I mean a lot of coupons! I know for some they get a thrill. Heck, there have been entire reality shows devoted to it. But for us it wasn’t about having fun (and if it was, I would think we would need to look into other hobbies as newlyweds), it was about saving money. I was a part-time secretary at the time so money wasn’t exactly rolling in.
Anyway, the point of that little back-story is this: coupons can be a major way to save money and find some great bargains. The thing we subscribed to receive 4 or 5 copies of the Sunday newspaper because that is the one with all the coupons in it. Then, after we cut the coupons, we would organize them in plastic baseball card holders according to the aisle in Walmart, or Albertsons. For instance, frozen foods was one section in our binder, diapers and baby needs another, etc. It worked great and saved us tons. I remember several times when we would walk away from a grocery store visit having only paid $0.11. Those were great!
So, my questions are these:
What methods have you found helpful as you clip coupons?
Any resources you would recommend?
What’s the best deal you ever got using coupons?
So this nifty little app is useful when you are looking for a local bargain. You can buy and sell stuff in your neighborhood or nearby.
Here’s how it works:
- Free to sign up
- It’s easy! If you’re buying, it’s a lot like ebay, or craigslist. You simply scroll through and see what’s for sale locally. If you’re selling, simply take a picture of what you are selling and the price then post it.
- Other locals who have the app will get a message that you’ve posted and then they can check it out. Then you text each other within the app and set up a meeting place and time.
In essence, it’s kind of like an electronic garage sale.
I love that you can just find things locally without having to scan through lots and lots of people’s stuff.
I don’t love that a lot of what’s for sale in my local area is kind of junky. Like I said, it’s like a garage sale. And sorry to say, but people in Utah wear out their stuff then try to sell it. I mean, hey, I guess it’s good that we are using our stuff to its fullest, but come on! Don’t sell your junk man!
Deep breath…okay, I’m good now.
All in all, I’d say you ought to check out Close5. I’ve sold about $300 worth of stuff so far and have really liked using this app in conjunction with Craigslist.
Okay, so this post is more of a cautionary tale:
I recently heard about a cool app called “Wish”. They tote themselves as being a completely new and fun way to shop. Here’s the basic idea: you tell the app (or website) what your preferences are and then it supplies you with deals on those types of products or services. Then as you shop, the application’s algorithms pick up on what you like and offer you more stuff based on your buying preferences.
But here’s the bottom line as far as I’m concerned:
- At the time of this review, Wish.com had an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau
- The customer reviews are overwhelmingly negative on each and every website I checked out.
- Complaints ranged from extremely slow shipping times, false advertising – the product shown was entirely different than what they received, and unauthorized transactions just to name a few
- The products are cheap. Many customers compared the products to cheap “made-in-China” type trinkets.
I’m giving the app the benefit of doubt. Here’s what I mean: I signed up and got a “free” gift. I chose a nice looking tie. I guess we’ll see what I get in a couple days…or weeks.
For now, be wary my bargain-hunting friends.
So this app is very similar to the iBotta and Checkout 51 (click on either for my small post about each app), but what sets this app apart is that you get rebates when you shop online stores. It works pretty much the same as the other apps I mentioned so I won’t go into a ton of details. But I will tell you what I love and don’t love about this app.
What I love:
- Variety. There are over 2,000 stores to chose from. And the cool thing is that you probably already shop many of them anyway (JCPenny, Kohl’s, Home Depot, Overstock.com, Walmart, Groupon, etc).
- Hastle free. No forms to fill out or points to redeem. All you do is shop through the app and earn cash back. Just browse through all the deals and when you click “Shop” you immediately activate the cash back rebate.
- An instant $10 bonus when you complete your first purchase using Ebates.
- It’s free to sign up and download the app.
- You can earn up to 40% off of deals
- If you invite 2 friends and they join, you get rewarded with $50.
What I don’t love:
- You do end up giving away a lot of personal information (shopping behavior, credit info, location, etc) to the company. But I guess they collect a lot of that info through our phones already, right Uncle Sam?
- The cash back rewards aren’t as high as I expected.
All in all, I say this app is worth a try. Especially if you are an online shopper or use your phone to shop often.
Checkout 51 is an app that allows you to receive rebates when you buy certain items from a variety of stores. So this nifty little app is a lot like the iBotta app (Click here to see my post about iBotta), so I won’t duplicate a lot content here, but I will say that I really like using the two apps in conjunction because quite often when what I’m shopping for isn’t on the iBotta app, I can find a refund on Checkout 51, or vice versa.
What I love:
- You can sign up and use Checkout 51 on a computer or you can use the app on a mobile device. I mostly use the mobile app because it’s so much more convenient, but it’s nice to have the computer option.
- They refresh the app and give you new offers each week.
- A lot of the offers are things I’m already buying, so that’s awesome!
- Notifications!!!! – This might drive some of you mad, but you can turn on notifications and the app will tell you when you can get $2 back on granola bars, or $0.75 back on bananas, etc.
- Unlike iBotta, you can buy your items at pretty much any store and get the rebate. With iBotta you are limited by where you can purchase your goods.
What I don’t love:
- I’m not always a “name-brand” kind of guy so it kinda bothers me that a lot of what this app offers discounts/rebates on are name brand products.
- No shopping list feature. I’m not a fan of having to scroll through the whole list of offers to find what I want.
All in all, you should definitely try out Checkout 51!
This is another great app you should download if you are a serious coupon guru.
What it is:
Retale is a great way to find local deals. It allows you to select the stores you love to shop at then will update each week with deals and coupons from those stores. You know how you get those ad flyers in the mail? Well, Retale is a way to organize them all into one place without having to find a place to keep all the paper.
What I love:
- It is very user friendly and intuitive.
- I only have to see the ads I care about. No more sifting through the newspaper to find the ad from Michael’s (yeah, I’m kinda crafty).
- I can save the coupons I really want in a “Coupons” section of the app.
- The ability to create a shopping list from inside the app and have the app do all the work of finding me a coupon! I can’t say enough good things about that. I love this feature!
What I don’t love:
- Lets see…um…there’s got to be something…Nope. I love this app.
Don’t get me wrong, if you are a compulsive coupon-aholic, this app may not be robust enough for you, but for the day to day purchases you’re going to be making, I think this app deserves 5 stars.
Check out Retale in the Apple app store or Android market place.
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