Showing posts with label shop. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shop. Show all posts

The Most Un-Frugal Behavior: Procrastination

Waiting in a long line because you didn't anticipate the large crowd is one thing, but procrastinating purchases is another. If you are unaware that your stockpile is getting low on dog food, or toilet paper - it will cost you more money to get the products you need. If you are planning an overseas trip and need a special cell phone or plan to be able to use your phone in Europe; procrastinating will cost you inconvenience and possibly more money for your International minutes. If you need new glasses before that trip and don't plan your new eye exam and ordering inexpensive glasses online; you'll pay hundreds of dollars more for a pair of eye glasses at the local eye glass store.

All these are examples of how procrastinating can cost you money. It's a smart and frugal behavior to anticipate your needs for replacing or acquiring a product. This way you can watch for a sale, visit online sites and set up alerts for sales, and watch for coupons at vendors you may use.

As for your stockpile inventory at home, never take the last of an item from your shelves without putting that item on your next shopping list. I actually have a threshold level of some things like paper towels (like 10 left) where I'll add it to my grocery tracker app and start looking for deals. Remember, some sales cycles are 12 weeks long, and if an item was just on sale it might not be again for a few months.

Now, I've got to check my stockpile...

Pamper Your Pet with Love and Nudges Healthy Dog Treats #NudgesMoments

As a regular reader of Frugalapolis, you know we have a wonderful dog who keeps us happy with her unrelenting love and thoughtfulness. We love to give her love and attention too, and plenty of healthy dog treats as rewards for behaving well and for training. Yes, even old dogs can learn new tricks.

We recently purchased some Nudges dog treats at Walmart (with a $1/1 Nudges coupon of course) and the dog loves them! They work great to help us mange her excitement for walks, and help get the results we seek. You can check out my entire shopping Trip through my Google+ Photo Album HereNudges, which are made in USA dog treats, are premium chicken jerky cuts made with real chicken and are wholesome dog treats for your pets. They have no artificial flavors or fillers and best of all they smell good and they are the best dog treats.

She will walk up to the desk and smell the package and then looking longing at one of us. Dogs are so good at non-verbal signals, its hilarious. When I opened the package and smelled them I was a big fan, they seem just like people food! One of my favorite things about the Nudges is that they are large easy to tear pieces so we can put just one piece in our pocket for a short walk and then tear off the appropriate bite-sized pieces for the dog. 

Ilom always careful with our dogs' diet, health and safety especially as she ages. Because of this, I’m always a little leery about trying a new treat. With all the recent scares involving dog treats made in other countries, I was happy to see that Nudges are safe high quality dog treats made in the USA!

We like to bring our dog with us to outdoor events and get together with friends who also have pets. This helps our dog get some dog companionship she probably missed since our other dog died a few years ago. She grew up with a playmate and is now the lone dog in the doghouse, which I'm sure she likes sometimes - but then again she gets lonely too. She loved playing with Zoey at a recent 4th of July parade.

Another thing important for an older dog is they like gentle petting and softer voices when you are showing your love. I like to use these times to check out the health of my older dog by feeling for new fatty lumps, checking her ears for cleanliness, looking for any new cuts or insect bites and doing a general inspection of her health. I like to see if her coat is shiny and clean, her breath is not smelly, and her paws have trimmed nails. Excessive itching and scratching means its time for her flea goo treatment and possibly an allergy shot. Any time medication is dispensed is a great time to follow up with a Nudge, those wholesome dog treats she loves. 
If you’re interested in checking out the Nudges dog treats, you can learn more on their Facebook page or the Nudges website. They also have their “Share the Love” promotion going on where you can share your dog’s nudge moments by uploading a photo in their giveaway for weekly prizes or a Samsung Galaxy S4 (and $2500 gift card to apply toward phone services)! Upload one of those adorable pictures you have with you and your dog (you must have at least one) or take a new one!

For all the tweeters out there, you can follow them on twitter @NudgesDogTreats. There will be a twitter party on July 17th 2-3pm EST regarding Nudges wholesome dog treats, creating Nudges moments with your pet, and what makes a great day from your pets perspective. Here is the link to the Hosts Twitter party RSVP page.

If your looking for ideas on fun ways to spend your summer be sure to check out this new magazine featured below. There are a lot of great ideas inside.
For more pet safety tips for the summer months, check out the Live SoFab Digital Magazine. There’s more information about Nudges dog treats there as well.

What's your pets favorite thing to do for a Nudge? Tell us all about it in the comments!

Tips on Obtaining Your Budgeting Goals

As we find ourselves in a time of economic downturn, it is more important than ever that we are sticking to the budgets that we set out for ourselves. Going over budget in these tough economic times could mean not being about to pay our bills on time or having to forfeit assets. As these are things that no one ever wants to have to do, try following these tips that will help you to stay on track with your budget and make it through the economic crisis without worry.

1. Make a budget.
It will come as no surprise that a person can not stick to a budget that the have not made. Knowing this, naturally the first step to sticking too your budget is making that budget. The first step to making your budget is documenting your income for every month. Next tally up all of your fixed expenses, or bills. Whatever is left, distribute to categories like groceries, gas, entertainment, and whatever other things you find yourself spending money on. A key category that you should try to put money into every month is savings. That way if you do have to stray from your budgeting goals you have extra money to do so. It also helps in the event of an emergency to know that you have funds stored away if you need them.

2. Use the envelope system.
Even when you have a budget, it can sometimes be difficult to gauge your spending if you are always using a credit or debit card. A great way to keep track of your spending is the envelope system. This system is quite simple to understand and very easy to follow. You will simply make an envelope for each of your spending categories for the month and write the name of the spending category on the front of the envelope. Every month you will put in the amount of cash you have set aside for each of those categories in their respective envelopes. This way when the envelope is empty, you know that you should not spend any more for that month.

3. Do away with online shopping.
Online shopping is all to easy to do, meaning that it is all to easy to spend money that you wouldn't normally spend, and that you might not have for that category of spending. Just say no! Although you may be enticed by the ease and convince of online shopping, it will come back to bite you when you receive your bills for your purchases. If you do have money in your envelope in the category that corresponds with your online purchase, feel free to spend it online but be sure that you take the amount of money you spend online from your envelope and put it into your checking or savings accounts. This will prevent you from double spending your budget.

Author Jason Harter is an accountant who makes a living off of his skill with numbers. He handles a lot of busgetary decisions both in the workplace and at home. He is an authority on accounting because of his Masters in Accounting Degree

Be A Trendsetter with Small, frequent Shops

An interesting study was conducted by Nielson that correlated the number of trips to the store with the economic woes. They categorized shopping into 4 types
  • Immediate: low-value, instant -need driven baskets with an average basket ring of $15 per trip
  • Fill-In: slightly higher value baskets averaging $51 per trip
  • Routine: weekly, high-value shopping trips averaging $98 per trip
  • Stock-up: large trips averaging $242 per trip
Not surprisingly, 82% of trips are the short "fillup" or "immediate needs" trips. I guess I'm part of the trend because I can tell you before couponing you would not catch me in the grocery more than once a week. I hated shopping, in part because of the large totals at the register. Anyway, the trends say more people are making more frequent smaller trips so they have more cash on hand and just get what they need to get by. 
I checked my receipt log and discovered that I made 253 trips to stores in 2010. Thats pretty frequent. I averaged my cost for each visit and its $5.53 per trip average since I spent about $1400 last year. But, my small trips were made for entirely different reasons than most people, and they were not due to economic trends. Maybe the studies got it wrong.
My small, frequent trips were calculated to maximize my coupon savings. Since I almost always have a $5 off $25 or $30 store coupon, I try to keep my trips before coupons close to that amount. If I made trips closer to $100 which fall into the "routine" category, I probably wouldn't be allowed to use 4 of the $5 off coupons since they are competitor coupons. But by splitting my $100 order into 4 smaller ones, I can save at least $5 on each transaction using the $5 off $25 coupon. Duh. Thats why I wonder sometimes when I see couponers in the store with their binders spread out across the baby seat area and their cart is overflowing and also filled on the bottom rack. They probably don't have tons of the $ off $$ coupons for that large order, so they are essentially wasting money. 
I also like to just get reasonable quantities of the items, to leave some product behind for the next shopper. Another reason for my small trips is that we tend go shopping on our motorcycles to far away stores in the country on the weekends. We are limited in what is shelf stable and what we can carry in saddlebags, so heavy things like soda and ice cream are off the list on weekend trips. Plus small orders allow for easier calculating in the aisle - you know, counting your coupons, counting your items, and then adding up the value of the cart vs adding up the value of the coupons. These 4 little calculations have saved me from big boo boos at the checkout with overage. I like to keep my totals between about $2 and $4, this gives me wiggle room for errors doing all that high math in my head.
Anyway, if you're using coupons and make frequent small trips, consider yourself a trendsetter!
 Graphic via Nielson

This is a repost from 2011.

How To Change Your Thinking To Become Richer

If you're struggling to make ends meet and don't have the financial stability you would like then often you simply need a new plan or budget in order to make the difference. Sticking to this new budget though is a lot like sticking to a new diet - it's a matter of psychology and of using the right mental attitude to make the difference. Here we will look at a few ways you can change your thinking and as a result start to keep more of your salary and enjoy a wealthier lifestyle without the stress.
Learn What You Don’t Need
What many of us aren't aware of is just how much of our salary goes on things we don't need due to emotional factors. While we will purchase things often because we genuinely want them or need them, on other occasions we buy simply due to impulse and the psyche nudges of advertising and marketing.

One of the best ways to prevent this is to stop impulse buys altogether by making the rule that you can't buy anything non-essential unless it's been written down for 24 hours. In other words then, if you find a game, ornament or DVD you want in a shop then you need to write it down and come back tomorrow in order to buy it. Often by this time you'll find you don't need it.

Other strategies that can help to stop these impulse buys include thinking about all the things you have that you haven't used yet - books you haven't read and films you haven't watched. Finally, think about how much better it is to have a few things you really like rather than lots of things you don't have space for. Limiting your possessions will improve your 'average' quality while at the same time meaning that each item you do have gets more focus and your room looks less cluttered. Stop valuing your collections in terms of their quantity, but instead think about them in terms of their quality.

Staying On Top of It
One of the bigger problems that many of us have is that we're simply not aware of what's in our bank account at any given time - which of course makes it difficult to budget and to spot areas that could be improved. To prevent this problem consider keeping a cashbook, look into setting up a spreadsheet but most of all - put aside the time you need to manage these and actually keep them up to date. This is the financial equivalent of biofeedback in dieting.


Learn to Value Money
Something I find odd is that the more money I earn the more stringent I notice myself becoming. The reason for this is that I'm proud of the work I did to raise the money and I want my cash to reflect my recent success. While you should never place too much emphasis on the importance of your cash, you should nevertheless make sure that you don't waste it, and it can help to this end to think about some of the things you want to save for and to set yourself some goals.
Author Byline :
This article is authored by John Lowrie, a financial journalist at Payday Angels. If you find this article interesting, you can visit his website to read more of his posts. You can also follow him on Twitter.

Coffee Table Showrooming

So we're slowly trying to furnish our living room and office with new furniture since we got rid of the old stuff. Last weekend we rode our motorcycles around town and visited several furniture stores looking for the perfect coffee table. I had also been surfing the furniture websites for ideas and to see if there was anything that met our needs. This is called showrooming, its a trend where consumers go to brick and mortar stores to see and touch the merchandise they want, try it on, but then leave the store and go home and order it on the web.
Vendors don't really like this trend since they have to maintain the inventory and sales people, but then they never close the sale. This is why certain stores are price matching online vendors this coming black Friday season - Target, Babies R Us, and Toys R Us will price match online merchants such as Amazon,, Just show the cashier the price on the competitor website on your smartphone, or the cashier will look it up and they will match the price from Nov 1 thru Dec 16.
Anyway, back to the coffee table. We want a coffee table that is on casters (wheels) so it can be moved easily, it must have drawers for storing the remotes, coasters, pens, letter openers and TV guide. It also needs a shelf to store the paper cutter because it is DH's job to cut coupons and he does this while watching TV using the coffee table. We were also looking for something relatively small with a width of no more than about two feet. And we wanted it to match our themed woodwork of cherry. So we've looked at lots of coffee tables and finally found some that kind of met the criteria. The one in the picture above is either 26 or 28 inches deep, but it meets our needs in every other way. We really didn't want to even go 28 inches, but we might have - we'll have to see.
So, we saw this coffee table at a nearby furniture store for the value price of $139.99, with a matching end table for another $139.99. But it was 28" wide. When we asked if they shipped to store for free, they said they did if we wanted to pick it up, otherwise shipping was $119 ($420 total w tax and shipping). So we left and went home to shop online. I found the another coffee table online that said it was 26" wide for $190 plus it had free shipping and no tax, plus I had a $20 coupon. So the deal was $360 shipped to our door. So we thought about it and ordered it online this week. Then I  happened to be cleaning off pictures from my phone and found the above and it looked exactly like what we had bought. And when I checked both websites it was the same table. So I contacted the vendor where we bought the coffee table and inquired about the low price guarantee they had. They said they couldn't match $139 because it was too low. I offered to split the difference with them which would be about $38. But then they noticed I had used a $20 coupon so they backed off that offer and only gave me $18 credit for the price match. I told them this was unacceptable and I wanted to cancel my order. So I canceled. Maybe.
I figured I better let DH know what was going on with this deal. And when I explained they wouldn't do the price match, of course he lost his cool, almost had a heart attack he was so mad, and he got on the phone with them. After much discussion with the manager he was unable to convince the store to honor the price match promise of ten percent. He threatened to let everyone online on twitter, facebook and google know how this company doesn't care about customer service. He said his wife (me) is a deal blogger and would spread the word online to let everyone know how they treat customers. Then he hung up. And we went out to do a secret shop at Fat Guys (the burger joint). And then I had to submit my report, but then first I checked email.
And guess what. There was a nice little email from the furniture store manager explaining how he had reconsidered our request and made an exception to honor it, and the additional credit was on our invoice. How nice. Plus another email saying they couldn't cancel our order, so it was coming.
But it's not over because I just checked email today, and our order has shipped again. But this time it shows they sent two end tables and we only ordered one. So, of course we're going to let them know, but now we'll have to get return authorization, schedule a fed ex pickup and deal with the hassle of it all. Maybe they'll just tell us its a gift for all our trouble and to keep it. We may offer to just keep the extra end table if they give it to us for the price match price of $139.99.
Any ideas? How would you handle this?

Watch for part 2 of the coffee table drama.

How To Plan A Remodel

We live in a house built in the mid 50's and it's time to remodel. The wood paneling from the 70's, and the shaggy carpet in brown tones are aging the place. But our thoughts have always been, if its not broke don't fix it. Everything is perfectly functional but it looks aged. Is that a good enough reason to sink thousands of dollars into a remodel? Not really. But since we've paid off the mortgage we have the means to pay for everything as we go. We've cut back on our travel too, as we have everything we need to be happy right in our own back yard. So we've decided to at least modernize the remainder of our house that hasn't been remodeled. If you remember, in 2010 we totally gutted our two bathrooms and kitchen, replumbed the whole house and remodeled the bathrooms and kitchen. It took five months and twenty five thousand dollars, but it has also made life more enjoyable having new rooms with an absence of any problems.
Our next project is to remodel a couple bedrooms, our dining room and living room and office area. The bedrooms will be easy with just paint and carpet and new ceiling fans. Its the living room and office that will require more planning. One of the things I've always hated about my house is that the previous owners put up paneling over the stucco plaster walls of our block home. It makes the living room look like a trailer house. The office also has a hung ceiling with big cardboard panels and rectangle florescent lights - Oh and thats in addition to the faux wood paneling. The paneling will be removed and the original walls restored, and the ceiling removed as well giving us a taller ceiling to drywall and change the lighting. We're also replacing the exterior door and adding a window to the room. This is the last room of our remodel plans but it will be the most satisfying and transforming.
The reason we're finally doing these projects now is we've decided we just don't want to wait for our dog to die before getting new carpet. We had  been waiting for years to be pet free before remodeling - but have decided its not that big a deal. The dog lives outside in the yard except when we're inside she comes in to join us. She is older and mellow and simply lays on her "place" most of the time, unless she is begging for a nibble when we're in the kitchen. The new carpet will not get ruined by having her around a few more years. 
So now that we've decided that we're going to move forward with the remodel there are some steps to take to make sure everything falls into place smoothly. Here are some steps we've accomplished so far:
1. Finance the project - either save the cash in advance or make sure your budget can handle the ongoing expense of paying the handyman, the paint store and the online vendors for your supplies. If you need to put anything on credit cards to pay later you probably can't afford the project right now. 
2. How will you pay? - Figure out if you can get any coupons from the big box stores where you'll be spending thousands of dollars. I just bought 10% off coupons from ebay for our carpet and it will save hundreds. Also redeem those extra reward or airline points for the big box stores for gift cards to buy your supplies. If they mail you the gift card it will take a couple weeks so do this early in your plans.
3. Design - figure out what you want and how you will use the features of your new remodeled room. We've discussed what to do in our guest room and decided since we rarely have visitors sleep over anymore it really is not going to be a guest room. Since our couponing has become extreme, we need the space for our stockpile and I would like a place to read quietly away from the TV, so it will be a stockpile, office area after the remodel. We also are increasing the number of electrical outlets to handle more power strips and to provide power where it currently is lacking. We no longer have a landline so all phone lines and jacks will be removed too.
4. Plan - Think through your steps and document them. I wrote of list of what has to happen first, second, third etc. You need to consider moving things, temporary storage of furniture while the rooms are being remodeled, what purchases need to be done first, what are the lead times, what colors will you use and do you have flooring, walls, windows and ceiling items selected and or purchased? Flooring typically requires a measure session be done by the installer before you can purchase, plus they won't schedule an install until the flooring is delivered. This can take weeks. Plus you don't want to paint after new flooring when you can do it easily before and not have to worry about making a mess.
5. Action - working on a remodel project often involves tedious tasks like tearing out the old, cleaning, patching and repairing and trips to the trash can. It may involve moving furniture and junk around to another room and ruin your groove. It may also involve lots of errands to pick up something you realize you need. It can be stressful and annoying. Its important to plan a timeline and goal for completion and allow yourselves time to relax each day too.
So, if you're planning on a remodel or household project (or not) you can follow along with us as we do ours. So far we've removed the old tile windowsills in the bedrooms and replaced with marble slabs. Now the walls are dry so we can paint. We pulled up the old carpet in the guest room. We've almost done moving everything out of the master bedroom and this weekend we plan to paint the ceilings and walls in the two rooms.

How Would You Like To Be In Casey Anthony's Shoes?

Just think of it, your life is not really in your hands - it's in the hands of a bunch of strangers who may judge you based on some information presented to them, valid or not. It would not really be a great feeling, to be in Casey Anthony's shoes at all. But now she has her life back, but what will it be like?

The feelings she may have could be similar to ones we share when we are relieved of a great debt, or when we finally come to a frugal decision. Sometimes we have to make decisions we know nothing about, so we have to learn about the factors involved to come to our decision. Like for instance, DH needs to get some new walking shoes. Almost all his current shoes are uncomfortable since he broke his foot in that motorcycle collision last September, and his foot healed with a bump where the break was on the top of his foot. So now almost all his shoes hurt when he wears them.

So the plan is to try on some shoes in a store to make sure they fit, but then to go online and find a deal or coupon. DH may feel a little like Casey Anthony, after almost losing his life in an accident, he has a fresh start and can walk again and get some good shoes.

Photo Caption: Casey Anthony talks with her attorney Jose Baez during a recess in her murder trial at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Fla. on Wednesday, June 22, 2011. (Credit: Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel)

My Publix Trip - Gas Cards for $70

Tonight was the first day of the #Publix sale including Gas Cards. My total seems high but keep in the mind the $70 spent included $100 in gas cards, plus the required $25 grocery purchase for each card, so $50 in groceries and $100 in gas cards cost me $70. I plan to do many more trips this weekend to use up the $5 off $30 peelies that expire on July 4th. I have lots of rainchecks for items in the past few weeks and I'm hoping they come in stock this weekend, also the salad dressing and A1 steak sauce are good items that end up being free and bring your grocery total up to $25 so you can get a gas card.
Q details
peanuts roasted salted
$2/1 PQ printable
$2/1 PQ printable
romaine lettuce
$2/1 PQ printable
Sabra Hummus BOGO
$1/1 6-19ss
Kraft Dressing BOGO
(3) $1/2 6-19ss +1/2 TQ +B2G1 TQ
A1 Steak Sauce BOGO
$1/1 6-5ss + $1/1 TQ
Meullers Pasta BOGO
$1/1 printable
Breakstone Zesty Blend
$1/1 6-19ss
Zephyrhills 8 pk Aquapod
$1/1 printable
Bandaids trial size
$0.75/1 PQ GAB + $0.50/1 5-15rp
Athenos Yogurt
$1/2 prt + $1/2 PQ smart svgs bk
BP Gas Card
$10 off $50 PQ
OM Cracker Combos
$1/1 5-15ss
$/$$ coupon
$5/$25 SAL x7/12
$/$$ coupon
$5/$30 PQ x7/4

How to get Free Gas

If you're in Florida, make time to get to Publix starting Thursday 6/30 to buy your groceries and use this coupon for $10 off $50 gas card! Thats a 20% savings on your next gas tank. It's a great time to use your publix peelie from the Sunday paper too.

You can find this coupon in the newspaper today in the Publix Ad, and in the stores starting Thursday. Grab a few extra ads to repeat the deal throughout the sale because they will disappear in a couple days from the stores. They also will likely run out of gas cards so be sure to get a raincheck from customer service.

My Publix Trip - Under A Buck

Well this week I've been stretching myself by trying to do deals at Kmart and Walmart, and Publix. Its way too much sorting, finding, clipping and shopping. The most wasteful part of it all is wasting time with the crabby cashiers at the marts who don't even know whats going on. I did four trips to Kmart this week and I ended up with lots of free product, but in hindsight I'm thinking its not worth it. Same with Walmart - my time and peace are worth more than the hassle of that store. So, I went and had a nice predictable trip to Publix and managed to find the new Smart Savings booklet at my TT store which was a score. Lots of great coupons in there like the Athenos yogurt PQ and the Caribou coffee PQ.

My trip was again mostly produce for our salads (we're still on our diet, more about that to come) and also trying to score some of the elusive deals on the Green Advantage Flyer before it expires on Friday. Again there were no Tylenol Precise heat patches or cream, so they were nice enough to write a couple rainchecks so I can attempt to find this product next month. We did get some of the free flashlights though. I was the coupon fairy today, handing out some $5 off $30 WD coupons to a friend we saw shopping, and then to the guy who stepped behind me in line and didn't mind waiting when I warned him off of the longer wait due to my coupons.
ProductqtypricesubtlB1G1-QtotalQ#Q details
romaine11.991.992.00-0.011$2/1 PQ
mushrooms11.991.992.00-0.011$2/1 PQ
raspberries22.$2/1 PQ
carrot matchsticks11.991.992.00-0.011$2/1 PQ
tyson anytizer BOGO23.296.583.292.001.292$1/1 printable
shrimp cooked 41/5012.162.162.16
garrity flashlights62.5915.5418.00-2.466$3/1 PQ YAF
olay regenerist facial cleanser24.498.988.000.9843/1 PG 6-5 + $1/1 PQ stockup
Crystal Light 10 ct BOGO62.9917.948.978.000.974$1/3 TQ + $1/1 6-12ss
Powerade BOGO121.2515.007.507.500.006BOGO MQ
$/$$ coupon0.000.005.00-5.001$5/$25 competitor x6/28
© 2009 - 2023. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Blogger.