These Retailers Offer Free Gift Wrapping on Holiday Gifts

(Or for a small fee!)

Picture it, you and your beautifully wrapped holiday gifts, the family Christmas tree all trimmed, and your fireplace glowing with holiday cheer and warmth as you sit in your favorite easy chair sipping a cup of hot cocoa. Sounds like such a great way to enjoy an evening as you get ready to enjoy special family traditions.

If wrapping gifts is just another holiday chore for you, check out these retailers that offer free gift wrapping (or gift wrapping for a small fee)!

Ok, that’s really cool, isn’t it? But for others, wrapping those gifts is just another obligation on a long holiday to-do list. Luckily, plenty of stores still offer gift wrapping, even online, and your gifts arrive ready to put right under the tree. Here’s an even more pleasant surprise, sometimes it’s even free! Continue reading

Will It Be a Happy New Year or Wallet War 2019?

If you are anything like me, you are probably wondering if you might be paying more for things in 2019. Experts predict that the answer is yes you will and one of the biggest reasons, although not the only one, is because increases in tariffs can cause it. With our recent trade controversies and disputes with foreign governments like China and Mexico, there has been a claim that price increases will go unnoticed, but that is starting to prove untrue as some economists and government officials had predicted. More and more now say they expect the impact on consumers to be pretty significant.

Will 2019 be a joyful new year, or will price increases cause a "wallet war" that may leave you broke? Here are 12 areas where price increases are likely.

“Things are going to become more expensive because of these added taxes,” best-selling author and personal finance expert Chris Hogan told CNBC. “This has the potential to impact a lot of areas that people need day to day to survive or to run their business.” Continue reading

Missed Black Friday Deals…Is It Too Late for Great Bargains?

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Congratulations, you just survived another Thanksgiving holiday with all of the trimmings. It probably included not only a wonderful family get-together with turkey and pies, but also enough sports to cause a major overload even for a diehard football fan. It seems every year gets even more and more like that for us, and if you were among the many this past weekend you probably also included some form of traditional shopping frenzy too! Black Friday deals, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday…holy cow does it ever let up for even a second?

So you've missed the Black Friday deals and you're worried the great bargains are gone. There's still time to get great prices on your holiday gifts!

Can You Say “Shop ‘til you drop?”

Smartphones, online shopping, and “sneak peek” discounting have changed Black Friday deals from the door-busting shopping brawl of just a day or weekend into an even more bombastic event. They’ve reshaped how retailers appeal to consumers on these “special” days which serve as the annual kick-off for the holiday shopping season. But wait, there’s more to it than that! Continue reading

Retail Tricks That Make You Spend More Money, Part 2

Last time, I began reminding you of the common yet tricky retailer strategies that you will be facing now that the holiday season is actually here. Trick or treat doesn’t just apply to Halloween now that it’s in the rearview mirror for a while. The retailers like to extend that into the entire November-December shopping time frame and that translates into what is the only and/or most profitable time of the year for 99% of them. The war they wage and win is no accident. Don’t be fooled into thinking it starts on Black Friday and ends on Christmas day. Thinking that November doesn’t really matter when it comes to wheeling and dealing is wrong. November has many promotions waiting to tempt you from Veterans Day promos to “pre-Thanksgiving” and even more yet to be named.

It may be difficult to go out shopping and not spend a lot of money, but these retail tricks are making it even harder. Here's what to look out for.

We covered five ways they fight to get your money on Tuesday. Here are five more that you will be up against so you should be ready to deal with them before you shop the 2018 holiday season! Continued…
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Retail Tricks That Make You Spend More Money, Part I

Happy Halloween! My wife and I just returned from our annual candy shopping to prepare for the trick-or-treaters who’ll be knocking on our door tomorrow. Yes of course we have waited until the last possible moment, couponed, loyalty clubbed and sale’d our way into the event as per usual! Ok, we’re a little bit obsessed with savings and that’s because we normally don’t stock up on Milky Ways and Snickers bars. Not that we don’t love our candy bars and treats. It’s just that between the two of us we’ve probably reached our quota allowed of them, and shamefully I reached my lifetime allowance of them in 1997. Thank goodness that the number of kids are growing in our neighborhood and we will be generous so hopefully no leftovers to tempt us. Suzanne won’t even let me open the bags until at least noon on October 31st!

It may be difficult to go out shopping and not spend a lot of money, but these retail tricks are making it even harder. Here's what to look out for.

But, truth be told, Halloween shopping is just the first of the many battles you will face over the next 60 days! The real shopping war is on right now and retailers are preparing to get every penny they can from you and here’s how! Continue reading

5 Dangerous Terms That Make You Spend Your Hard-Earned Money!

I sometimes have said that you can blame Ralph Nader for all the mistrust people have in big business today. Those seeds were sewn a long time ago when Mr. Nader was a major factor in protecting consumer rights (you can check it out here if you’re too young to remember!). But whether you recall his consumer activism days or not, there were and still are some very good reasons to have mistrust even today. Advertisers often use misleading ads to separate you from your hard-earned cash.

Retailers use dangerous terms and misleading ads to separate you from your hard-earned money. Learn their tricks to keep your guard up and your money safe.

 

We’ve all heard and seen those retail ads on TV and radio, in newspapers and magazines, or in our e-mail inboxes that make unbelievable claims and promises. Think phrases such as “it’s totally risk-free” or “thousands already saved on this amazing offer”. You know what I am talking about here. That too-good-to-be-true ad copy that frequently grabs your attention and makes claims that fundamentally and even deliberately mislead you! Continue reading

Why Are Easy Money Decisions So Hard to Make: Paralysis by Analysis

Have you ever stopped to think about what goes on inside your head when it comes to decision making, especially when those decisions involve money? Is it that people are simply afraid, confused, or are they just generally terrible decision makers?

If you suffer from paralysis by analysis when making easy money decisions, there may be a reason behind it. Let's see what science says about these choices.

Is it really way too “Easy to Be Hard”? Kind of like the band Three Dog Night sang back in 1969, though they weren’t talking about money decisions. But what the heck, I need a 60’s song about this time of day anyway, so why not this one? (I do just love sneaking these great oldies into the post even when they are just here to amuse myself!) Continue reading

NEW *Updated* List of 100+ Amazing Senior Discounts

Today is August 31, 2018 and I have just updated my Super Saving Tips senior discounts list effective right now so it’s bigger and better than ever. Bonus: You don’t have to be 65+ to take advantage of a lot of these discounts as many retailers and services recognize 50 as the line for discounting to “seniors”. I love AARP: If you are the spouse of an AARP card holder (who is age 50+), you can get the discounts they offer no matter what your age. My own wife at 48 gets them!

I've updated my comprehensive list of senior discounts, with everything from dining to groceries and shopping to travel. For many, you don't have to be 65!

 

Many of your favorite places to shop and dine are offering these special discounts. Regardless of whether you feel like eating fast food or a steak dinner, shopping at high end specialty stores or major discount operations, keep this list handy but do keep in mind that these deals may vary based on location. Oh, and don’t forget to ask for the discounts! You may not ever be proactively offered discounts just because you are standing in line at the checkout, so ask!
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How I Saved $148.21 Shopping Today

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Today was a pretty good day. In fact, any day when I save more than I spend, and spend almost nothing on top of it, is a good day. I make a lot of notes and save a lot of info every day that I can use to help save money on shopping and then I strike! Think of it like it is war and you will have a better understanding of how it makes me feel to win the money battle that we all have to fight. So when I tell you that today, I saved $148.21, I hope you get the same feeling that I have when we are winning the war!

To save money on shopping, I strategically plan my use of sales, rewards, loyalty programs, and coupons. You can do it too!

Shopping, Like Any Battle, Starts With a Good Plan

As I said, I am always looking for deals, coupons, and specials that can help me save my money on the things I use. In retirement, it’s ultra-important and I have to admit I have the free time to check out all the possibilities. I haven’t exactly calculated how much impact all of my dedication has saved me for the entire year, but I can tell you that I have saved double-digits regularly on my monthly expenses because of it. If you can do even a little planning and fact finding, you will save like that too! Continue reading

14 Ways to Save on Your Back to School Shopping (Plus Free College Checklist)

I have been writing about back to school shopping for years now around this time of the summer and it is a subject that about a gazillion other bloggers chime in on too, so it must be a biggie! The challenge or chore of it all is a headache for some and a burden for others, but it doesn’t have to be that way if you choose to follow a bit of advice. Here is my very best effort at making the experience not only a money saving one, but as stress free and even as much fun as possible.

If you have kids, back to school shopping is a must. But spending a ton on it isn't. Here are 14 ways to stretch your dollar further for back to school.

If your child is in his or her middle school years, you are probably a real veteran at BTS shopping and perhaps you think you have this routine “knocked” and you’re all set. But, and it’s a pretty big but, every year there are new players and rules to consider so it can’t hurt to review all of it before you venture out to actually do it! Plus, if your child is off to college for the first time, it’s on a whole different level.
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