Archive | Spending Smart

What I Did On My Summer Staycation

The high price of gasoline has led travel industry analysts to coin a new term – the “staycation.” They believe lots of folks will vacation close to home this summer, opting for near-by, low-cost attractions. What are your summer vacation plans? Have they been impacted by high gas prices?  We’re renting a house on Lake […]

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Overspend, Overspend-Me-Not

A recent Businessweek.com story mentioned a coupon site I had never heard of before that turns out to be unusually good: RetailMeNot.com. Enter the name of an online store where you’re planning to do some shopping and it’ll give you a coupon code, if available. I figured the site would have coupons for all of […]

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Multiplying Your Tax Rebate

With rebate checks soon to start showing up in people’s mailboxes, retailers are eager to see us spend the money in their stores. For a limited time, several are offering to add 10 percent to the value of your tax rebate if you use the full amount to purchase gift cards at their stores. The […]

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The Right Way to Save on Gas

You’re doing all that you can to save on gas these days, right? You’ve made sure your tires are properly inflated; you’ve taken all the heavy stuff out of your trunk; you’ve even taken to turning off your engine while waiting for a train to pass by. Ah, but there’s one more step you can […]

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Shades of Green

Green is in, and that means store shelves are lined with products claiming to be environmentally friendly. However, according to an article on Smartmoney.com, many supposedly eco-friendly products are more hype than environmentally helpful. The story reported on one study of over 1,000 products with eco-friendly claims, which found all but one containing claims that […]

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Sign of the Times

A recent Time magazine cover story touted “10 Ideas That Are Changing the World.” Number 8 was “The New Austerity.” The magazine explained that there have been many times throughout history when the demise of the American consumer was predicted. But now we may be witnessing the real deal, with people resorting to such radical […]

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Price Matching

Savvy shoppers know that many retailers have either formal or informal price-matching policies, so it pays to do some comparison-shopping. For example, at Circuit City, if you find a lower advertised price at another local store, the retailer promises to beat the price by 10 percent of the difference. Or, if you buy something from […]

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Help for Hagglers

In a recent post, a story about haggling generated several reader tips such as the following: Ask for a price match. Miriam found that the office supply store Staples “didn’t quibble a bit” when asked to match a competitor’s price. Ask for more than a match. Dan discovered that Best Buy would not only match […]

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Name Your Price

Haggling has long been an assumed part of the home- and car-buying experience. But in a down economy more and more retailers, including Best Buy and Home Depot, are going along when people ask for a better price. And not just on big-ticket items. One clothing store shopper profiled in a New York Times article […]

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Click and Save

With food prices on the rise, it’s time to reconsider the lowly coupon. You know, those “free standing inserts” that come in the Sunday paper only to end up on the bottom of the birdcage. According to an article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, a mere two percent of coupons get redeemed. Perhaps the redemption rate […]

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