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Bargain Hunting

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Bargains are waiting to be found at Flea Markets

I love to spend hours looking at flea markets for different items. Different
vendors set up their products in a central location so that consumers can spend
their time walking around and see the new and used items available for sale. You
never know what you will come across at a flea market. There are plenty of new
and used items as well as home made crafts and clothing to choose from.

To help make your day at the flea market the best it can be plan for the day.
Most flea markets are outdoors so you may want some sunscreen and a hat. Others
are inside so make sure you find out ahead of time. You don't want to spend the
day carrying around the items you purchased so make sure you take along a bag
or a cart. There are some very inexpensive carts that fold up and fit into the
trunk of your car.

Make sure you wear good walking shoes too so you won't have to end your daily
early due to tired feet. A good tip to help if you do get tired walking is to
walk to the very end of the vendors and work your way forward. This way you
will have the heaviest load from items you have purchased when you are nearest
your vehicle. Keep in mind that most people start at the entrance of the flea
market so if you start at the back you will be able to see many items before
too many other people do.

Most flea markets are offered on the weekends but some of them do take place on
weekdays as well. The number of other people looking around is generally lower
during the week but then so is the number of vendors. It is really a toss up
about when is the best time of day to make a deal at a flea market. It is
perfectly acceptable to try to get the price lowered down from what the vendor
is asking for it.

By going to a flea market first thing in the morning you are likely to be able
to take advantage of the selection before everyone else has. This is the best
solution if there are particular items you are interested in finding. Yet many
people claim they have a harder time getting the seller to negotiate the prices
when they purchase early in the morning.

By the end of the day though most vendors are very willing to lower the prices
on the items they have remaining. They definitely don't want to have to pack up
any more stuff at the end of the day than they absolutely have to. If you have a
particular item in mind and you can wait until the end of the day you will get a
better price. You also run the risk of someone else snatching it up though if it
is a one of a kind item.

There are different ways to negotiate the price of any given item. You can ask
the vendor what the lowest price is that they will take for a given it. You can
also offer to pay a certain price and see if they will take you up on the offer.
If you want to offer $10 then have that money in your hand for them to see.
Seeing the money will often entice them to take the money.

I have found it is always worth my time to look around though because I may
find the vendor in the next aisle has the same item for $10 less. If I am going
to go back to check on an item with a particular vendor I write down their
location because by the end of the day it can be difficult to remember who is
located where.

What you can Expect from Catalog Return Stores

If you are a shopper who is always in the market for a good bargain, then you
don't want to pass up the opportunities found at a catalog return store. These
are the locations where merchandise individuals ordered from a catalog or even
online these days and then returned for one reason or another.

Many people don't want to shop from catalog return stores because they are
afraid that they won't get quality merchandise. After there has to be some
reason why someone else didn't want it right?

However, you will find the items they offer have nothing wrong with them they
simply didn't work well for the person who ordered them. Maybe it was the wrong
color or the design didn't fit in with their decor like they though it would.
Clothing mainly gets to catalog return stores because it didn't fit properly
for that individual. Regardless of the reason why the item was returned, you
can benefit from it.

You may find some products that have slight damage to them in a catalog return
store. This could be the reason why the product was returned in the first
place. If you are willing to fix the damage on your own or live with it, then
you can get a really good bargain.

I once found a gorgeous dining room table and chair set at a catalog return
store. It had a thick scratch across part of the table. While I couldn't repair
it, I was able to keep it hidden with a pretty lace runner and center piece.
Doing this allowed me to get a high quality table and chair set for my dining
room that I would never have been able to afford at the retail cost.

It is to your advantage to carefully look over any products you are considering
purchasing from a catalog return store. This way you are fully aware of the
damages to it. If you can't find anything ask the sales clerk for more
information on why they product was returned. Most catalog return stores will
be glad to disclose such information to potential buyers.

The possibility of products you will find in any given catalog return store
changes very often because of what consumers are buying. If you have a catalog
return store in your area you should frequent it at least once a month. If
there are particular items that you are looking for don't be afraid to ask the
manager if they can contact you should they get such items in the store.

Furniture, clothing, and home appliances are common items you will find in any
catalog return store. I also find they always have a good supply of home
decorating items including pictures, curtains, and bedding. Shopping at a
catalog return store can be just as fun as shopping at any other retailer. I
love knowing what ever I find will be mine for a very good price.

If you aren't familiar with catalog return stores in your area, then you can
use the internet to find out where they are located. After the holidays is a
really good time to take a look at their inventory. Yet many people only visit
them at this time of year and miss out on wonderful bargains they can take
advantage of all year long.

What Bargains are to be found at an Auction?

You will find auctions that offer a variety of items you may be interested in.
There are auctions for home furnishings, vehicles, art, and even animals
including livestock. Many people are intimidated by the process that takes
place at an auction so they shy away from them.

Yet this is a perfect opportunity for you to get some great items for a very
low price. The biggest factor is that there will be plenty of other people
there bidding on items too. It isn't just you and one other person trying to
negotiate the price.

The other downside of it is that your goal is to negotiate the price of
anything lower so you get a great bargain. Meanwhile the auctioneer is
continually raising the prices higher as long as he continues to have
interested parties bidding on the item. Of course not everyone at an auction is
going to be there to bid on the same items.

If possible, take a look at the items that will be offered at an auction ahead
of time. Most of them offer flyers listing the best items they have to generate
public interest in the auction. Try to show up at least one hour early so you
can take an up close look at the various items that will be for sale. This way
you can confidently bid on them when they reach the auction block.

It is important to remember that you are purchasing items at an auction as it
is with no expressed or implied warranty. If you find an old desk you love and
would like to refinish check it out before the auction starts. You don't want
to win it and find out it is actually made out of particle board instead of
real wood.

Don't let the fact that there are plenty of people around you discourage you
from bidding on the items you really want. If you don't win them try not to
stress out about it. There are generally plenty of auctions taking place in any
given location so you may find the item somewhere else.

Of the flip side of that coin, don't feel pressured to keep bidding more for an
item than you really want to because someone else is bidding on it and you don't
want to be the loser in front of everyone else in attendance. Too many people
worry about this situation at an auction, but it is nothing to take personally
or become embarrassed by.

While you are taking a close look at the various items you may want to bid on,
come up with a maximum price you are willing to pay and then stick to it. If
the opening bid for the item is more than you were willing to pay for it then
pass the item over entirely.

Even if you don't walk away with anything, going to an auction is a very fun
even it itself. There are real estate auctions, estate auctions, and those that
offer a variety of other items. It is fun to attend and observe how the entire
process works. This way you know the proper procedures when you are ready to
make a bid. It is also a great place to network and meet lots of very
interesting people.

Tips to help you save Money at the Grocery Store

Providing nutrition meals for your family is important, but the cost of the
groceries it takes to prepare them can certainly affect what you are able to
do. To help offset the cost of preparing meals, you need to plan well for it.
Too many items we use to make meals end up going in the trash. If you only need
1/2 a head of lettuce then plan another meal to use the rest of it so it doesn't
end up in the trash.

While it does take longer to prepare home cooked meals, it is less expensive
than buying frozen products that offer you more convenience. They will
generally run you twice as much as the ingredients you need to prepare the
foods yourself. If time is an issue, consider using one day a week to prepare
various meals that you can freeze for later in the week.

It is understandable that everyone wants to cook with the ingredients that will
make foods taste the best they can. Yet most of us purchase items at the grocery
store based on a name brand we are familiar with. Have you ever stopped to
compare the price with store brand? If not, you really need to as you will be
shocked at the price difference. Yet in most cases the store brand of a given
item is every bit as good as the name brands.

A couple good examples of this include cereals and sodas. Name brand boxes of
cereal can cost you around $4 per box. When you purchase the store brands that
come in plastic bags instead of the boxes you will find you get twice as much
cereal for less than 1/2 of the cost. I pour those larger bags into airtight
storage containers so they stay fresh.

Popular soda like Pepsi and Coke cost over $2.50 for a six pack. You can
purchase the store brand Cola for about $2.50 per case. Yet they taste every
bit as good as those name brand sodas we often associate with. I guess mentally
we think that the higher price means better quality but that isn't always the

Many people like to cook with various herbs but the cost of them can really add
up. Since they aren't necessary it is a common area where people choose to
eliminate from their shopping list. For very little money you can grow your own
herbs in your yard or even in a small kit that sits on your kitchen window. It
can be a fun process to do with your children and you will have the different
herbs you want to cook with but not the expense associated with them.

You can also grow your own vegetables in a small garden area of your yard. It
doesn't cost very much to purchase the seeds. You may even find tending to your
garden offers you a place to relax and reduce your stress levels. My family eats
lots of strawberries but they are one of the most expensive fruits at the
grocery store. We now grow our own so we can enjoy these delicious berries all
we want when they are in season.

If you decide to purchase fresh vegetables or fruits from a grocery store, get
those that you have to chop up on your own. While purchasing those that have
already been sliced for you is more convenient they will cost you more for the
same product.

Meat is one of the most expensive items you will find in a grocery store.
Unless you live with a family of vegetarians, you will have to pay the price
they are asking for it. Look at the per pound cost of meat before you purchase
it. You will find the larger packages offer you a lower price per pound. Buying
these larger portions and then separating them into the right sizes for your
meals once you get home is an excellent way to lower the amount of money you
spend on the meat your family eats.

Take the Vacation you want without Paying a Fortune for it

The majority of us live a very fast paced lifestyle that involves more things
to get done than we really have time for. As a result, it is ourselves that we
don't fully take care of. Planning a vacation is a great way to reward yourself
for your hard work as well as have some time to relax. Many people think they
can't afford a vacation, but with some time spent looking into various aspects
of things it is very possible to take the vacation you want without paying a
fortune for it.

First, you need to decide where you want to travel so that you can collect all
the information about getting there and the various attractions. If you need
transportation to get there look at the various options. Many people think
getting a package vacation that includes airfare, hotel, and a rental car is
the best way to go. In many cases it can be but that isn't always the case. It
depends on the various specials that are available.

For example my husband and I wanted to take our children to Disneyland. Yet the
cost was several thousand dollars for the roundtrip flight, hotel, passes to the
parks, and rental car. We thought about going somewhere else but decided to see
what our options were first. We discovered that it was almost $300 per person
to fly to California and back.

Yet we found roundtrip tickets to Las Vegas Nevada for $99 per person. We
rented our car from that airport instead and drove the remaining 4 1/2 hours to
California. With a family of five, we saved $1,000 less the cost of gas to get
back and forth. This definitely allowed us to be able to take the vacation we
wanted on the budget we had available.

If you can schedule your vacation on the off season for your location you will
save a great deal of money. Common vacation spots like Hawaii, Cancun and the
Bahamas are always more expensive in the summer time. Yet they are absolutely
gorgeous even in the winter months. Traveling on weekdays instead of over the
weekend will also save you money. In most cases your hotel room will increase
by at least $40 per night if you stay in it on a Friday or Saturday night.

Cruises have become a popular type of vacation because there is so much to do
on a cruise ship. It also allows you to start enjoying the trip as soon as you
arrive on the ship so you have more time to actual relax and try out the
various activities. The majority of cruise vacations are all inclusive. This
means that all of your meals, lodging, and activities on the ship are covered.

You can save money by choosing a port to leave from that is inexpensive for you
to get to. You will likely have to drive or to fly to the port location. Find
out which amenities are offered on a given cruise vacation. If you find you
won't use many of them, then look for a cruise that offers more of them you
will use. This way you are only paying for what you will be accessing during
the vacation.

Another good way to save a substantial amount of money on a cruise vacation is
to down grade your lodging area. Most people don't spend very much time in
their room while on a cruise so it is silly to pay for the most luxurious
rooms. You can get a smaller but comfortable room for about 1/3 of the price on
most cruise ships.

When it comes to saving money on vacations, if your travel dates are flexible
you will save plenty of money. This is one of the best bargains if your
schedule allows for it. Most airlines, cruise lines, and hotels would rather
offer the space at a discounted price than to have it remain empty. The
internet is the best place to find these bargain last minute deals.

Save the Most Money with Holiday Sales

Many shoppers love to take advantage of the sales that take place around the
various holidays. Yet in most cases it is the time right after the holiday when
you will benefit from the most savings. One exception to this rule is the Black
Friday that occurs the day after Thanksgiving. It is considered to be the
biggest shopping day of the year. You can definitely benefit from tremendous
savings but you have to be willing to fight the crowds and get up very early to
get the best deals.

Jewelry is commonly on sale the weeks before Valentine's Day. This is because
many men buy their wives and girlfriends beautiful bracelets, earrings,
necklaces, and engagement rings during this period of time to surprise them on
Valentine's Day. In the weeks after Valentine's Day though you can save at
least 30% on the same items. Now, I am not recommending that you delay giving
your sweetheart their Valentine's Day gift late to save money. But you can
benefit from such sales by getting quality jewelry at a bargain price to give
on a birthday, at Christmas, or for any other occasion.

Easter clothing isn't the cheapest thing to purchase, and the larger your
family is the more expensive it will be. Yet right after Easter all of those
pretty dresses and little pant suits are very cheap. You can buy them to use
for other occasions throughout the year. They make good clothes to wear to
Church and weddings without costing you a fortune. You can also purchase them
for the following year to save you plenty of money.

From the day after Thanksgiving that we talked about through Christmas Eve,
shoppers are in a frenzy getting the perfect Christmas gifts for those on their
list. It can be stressful and it can cost you a fortune. Many people are willing
to pay more for gifts this time of year because it is a necessity and they
really are more interested in getting their shopping done. That is until the
credit card bills start rolling in!

To help reduce the amount of money you spend on Christmas gifts, try shopping
for them all year long when you find sales. How many times have you seen
something on sale and said to yourself that would be the perfect gift for a
specific person? Take advantage of these opportunities and store all of the
items you pick up in one location. This way you always know where to find them.
Using this method you can give wonderful gifts to those on your lists without
spending more than you have to.

Don't forget to take advantage of those great sales the day after Christmas as
well. This is another opportunity to pickup gift items that you don't want to
pass up. You can even buy items for yourself without feeling guilty. Those
perfume gift sets will be at least 50% less the day after Christmas. I buy a
couple of them in my favorite fragrances so I don't have to buy perfume
throughout the year.

You can take the expense out of shopping if you take advantage of holiday
sales. If you plan in advance you will find that the actual sells after the
holiday has passed are much better than the sales prior to it. If you enjoy
shopping as much as I do then you will be very happy to find out how much money
you can save on items you will eventually need to purchase anyway.

Save Money with Online Auctions

I love to shop, it really doesn't matter what the item is. I enjoy clothes,
shoes, art, most anything you can imagine shopping for. Yet I do have to pay
attention to how much I spend because all those small purchases do add up over
time. I have found I can buy twice as much stuff that I want if I shop at the
various online auction sites. Trust me, you can find some great bargains on
both new and used items. The two most popular online auction sites are Yahoo!
Auctions and eBay.

There are literally thousands of products to choose from so you will likely
find anything you are looking for. I enjoy finding things that the stores no
longer carry but that I know are great products. Once you time in a specific
item into the search box you will get a listing of all the products available.
You can view them by the auctions that are ending first, the lowest price, the
highest price, whatever you want.

Before you can place any bids on these online auction sites, you will need to
set up an account. This is a simple process that will take you about 15
minutes. You will need to provide your personal information including your name
and address. You will also set up a user ID and password for your account.

To get the very best deals from these online auctions, you really want to do
your homework before you place a bid on any item. Take a look at the reputation
of the seller. You will be able to see the number of items they have sold as
well as feedback from the people the sold it to. Take a look at what these
people have to say. You want to make sure the seller seems honest with what
they are listing and they ship timely.

Make sure you find out about the cost of shipping the item to you before you
bid on it as well. Some individuals place the cost very low but then they
charge an outrageous fee for shipping. This is because the cost they have to
pay the auction site for their listing is based on the price they open the
bidding at. If the auction you are looking at doesn't give the shipping cost I
strongly recommend you email the seller and get an answer before you bid on the

Most sellers on these online auction sites are pretty straight forward in
regards to what they are selling. There are a few who aren't though so you
really need to take the time to read the entire listing from top to bottom
before you place a bid. For example, I know a person who thought they were
bidding on an iPod on one of these auctions and they were disappointed when
they got an off brand. Yet when I took a look at the listing they purchased it
from that information was clearly stated in the description, she just didn't
read it all.

Not only can you get great bargains from online auctions, it is fun to look
around and see what people have to offer as well. To help ensure you get the
items you want for a price that fits your budget decide what your maximum bid
will be on a given item. Enter that amount when you place your bid. This way
you don't have to keep going back to see if someone outbid you. Don't get
caught up in a bid war with someone though because you might end up paying more
than the item is worth just because you don't want to get beat! By setting your
limit in the beginning you won't have to worry about it. Should you get outbid
on something there is likely many more of it on the various pages of listings
on these online auction sites.

Save Money when you Purchase Refurbished Products

Most of use enjoy being able to buy the items we need as well as enjoy some
luxury items now and then. The cost of many items though makes it difficult to
budget for them if you don't want to simply run out and charge up your credit
cards every time you want or need something.

One of the best ways to get what you want or need is to take a close look at
refurbished items, also referred to as reconditioned, that are for sale. These
items offer you the same name brand and the same quality but they are sold for
less. This is because the item has been returned because it did not work
properly. Yet it has been looked at and repaired so it is just as good a
purchasing a new one. Many refurbished products come with a warranty as well
but several of them are purchased in an "as is" condition. Make sure you ask
about this before you make the purchase.

Some individuals avoid refurbished products because they fear they won't work
well for them. They figure since the product has already proven to be defective
one it surely will again. This is very rarely the case as refurbished products
are examined by those trained to repair them. Once the problem is identified
the work hard to correct it. Before the product is resold it is thoroughly

Some items that get refurbished are more common than others. Generally all of
the various types of electronic products out there can be refurbished. Vacuum
cleaners and computers are two of the most popular. Why pay for a new computer
or a new vacuum when you can get the same model with the same features for less
price just by purchasing one that has been refurbished?

iPods are popular items many of us would like to have but not everyone is able
to pay a couple hundred dollars for one from a retailer. Buying a refurbished
iPod can be done for less than $100 and it will work for you just the same as
one you buy off the shelf in the box. Other big ticket items where you can save
a great deal of money is on television sets and home theatre systems or stereos.

Most people don't realize it, but the computers, cameras, and other products
that are opened up and placed on display in stores are often sold as
refurbished items rather than new ones. There is absolutely nothing wrong with
the product it has just been handled by many people and it likely won't have
the original packaging. You can ask the store manager about getting the store
model at the refurbished price. They can contact you once the display period
has ended.

Buying refurbished electronic products is an opportunity to save money over
buying them new. To get the best bargain for your money, make sure you take the
time to research the product you are interested in. If the reviews show that
many of them have problems operating correctly you really don't want to make
that purchase. However, if the product has a good review then you can
reasonably expect what you purchase to last you a very long time.
Try to find refurbished items that offer you the option to return them to the
store if you have any problems with them. You should also look for items that
offer you a warranty with the product at no charge. Too many refurbished items
only come with an extended warranty period that you have to pay for in addition
to the cost of the item.

To find out where to pick up a refurbished product that you are looking for,
contact the various retailers that sell it in their stores. You can also take a
look around on the internet to get some great information. Make sure you only
purchase refurbished items from reputable retailers though as you don't want to
be disappointed with your purchase.

Save Money when you Purchase items Online

These days the concept of online shopping is something most of us with
computers are used to. Not only does it offer you the convenience of shopping
from the comfort of your home, you can do it at any hour of the day. If you
take the time to compare the prices of what you find in the retail stores or
catalogs to what you find online, you can generally find the product for less
including shipping.

The downside to this is that you don't get the instant gratification of taking
the item with you the moment you purchase it. Yet for the amount of money you
can save when you shop online it is worth waiting for a few days until it
arrives at your doorstep. You will also save money in another way if you take
the time to read the various reviews about the products you want to purchase.
These reviews are written from actual consumers who have used the product. It
is definitely worth checking into the quality of a product from the consumer's
point of view rather than just focusing on the advertising you see for that

If you have a fast internet connection, it really doesn't take too long to
visit various sites that sell the item you are interested in. It is a good idea
to keep paper and pens close to your computer. You can easily compose a chart
listing the name of the site, the cost of the product, the cost of shipping,
warranty/return information, and the length of time it will take for you to
receive the item. This way you can quickly look back over the information you
have and make a selection that will save you the most money.

There are even some websites that allow you to compare the same item by several
different retailers, so most of the footwork is taken care of for you. Look for
sales and promotions that may be sent to you by e-mail for a particular product
or website. If you frequently make purchases from the same websites it is worth
it to sign up for their newsletters and promotions.

You want to make sure any online site you are considering making a purchase
from is secure. This will help prevent your information from being accessed by
hackers or other individuals. With the issue of identity theft being on the
rise it is good to take every precaution. It is very simple to find out if a
site is secure or not. The address that shows up in your browser for any given
webpage will start with http. If there is an "s" after that then the site is
secure. If the "s" is missing then you do not want to make your purchase from
that site. It is just too risky.

When you get to the checkout portion of the website pay close attention for any
boxes that offer you the chance to enter a promotion code. Having this code
could help you get a discount on your purchase and save you even more money.
Many websites have a promotion code that offers free shipping. You can get the
promotion code from exploring the internet or you can contact the site by phone
or e-mail. Tell them you are willing to make a purchase if they will share the
promotion information with you. Trust me, they aren't going tell you no!

You are likely to find thousands of sites online that offer the item you want,
so take the time to find the right product offered by a reputable website that
is secure. Since there is so much competition out there you will find buyers
have the upper hand. You can likely find what you want for less than retailers
offer it even with the cost of shipping it to you. This is because they have to
compete with so many other sites and because they don't have the same overhead
expenses as brick and mortar retailers.

Save Money when you Purchase Damaged Goods

No one wants to get any item they have purchased home and discover that it has
been damaged in some way. In the event that it does happen the course of action
to follow is to return it to the place of purchase for another product in
excellent condition or for a refund of the cost they paid for it. However, the
retailer has to try to make some money of these damaged goods so they will sell
then at a cost that is much less than the actual cost of the item.

If you are handy with repairs, then this could be a great way for you to get a
bargain price on the products you really want. Furniture is a very common type
of product that can be damaged. Yet it is fairly easy to repair a torn cushion
or cover up scratches on tables and desks. The more severe damage the item has
then the more money you will save on the cost. It is a very good idea to take
find out exactly what repairs are involved and the cost of the materials to
complete the job. If you won't be able to complete the work on your own then
you need to find out how much it will cost to take it to someone else.

The majority of retailers don't leave these returned items with scratches or
dents in them out for everyone to see. It is definitely worth the time to ask
the sales clerk if there are any damaged items of a particular product that you
may be able to purchase at a lower price. I did this at Sears once with a TV and
got exactly what I wanted for $600 less because there was a huge scratch on the
top of it. I was able to fill it in with some Old English Polish and I placed a
couple of picture frames on the top of it anyway.

Grocery stores often sell damaged goods at a lower cost as well. They only do
this with products where the packaging has been damaged but nothing else.
Canned goods that have been dropped and dented offer foods that are still good
inside but that can on the shelf for regular price is going to get passed over
time and time again. These items are generally found in one particular area of
the store, often with other discounted items.

You may not realize it but many discount retail stores such as Ross and TJ Max
offer designer clothing that have some defects in them that make them not
suitable to be sold at high priced retail stores. In most cases you can't even
see the damage to the clothing when you try them on. However, if you can get a
designer jacket at 1/2" of the original price just because the button holes are a
little bit off center then by all means that is a tremendous bargain.

If you take the time to look at damaged goods in a different perspective, you
will find they offer you significant savings. Since most retail stores offer
customers a generous return policy it is very likely they have several items
you are looking for that have been damaged while on display or returned by a
customer due to damage. Taking advantage of these opportunities can help you
get the items you want at a very good price.

Save Money when you Buy Outdoor Items

Most homeowners take great pride in keeping their yard looking beautiful all
year long. Yet the cost of such upkeep can really get expensive after a while.
You can save money when you buy outdoor items at various times of the year.
These bargains will help you have the quality yard you want but without the
high price tag.

Fertilizing the grass usually takes place in late spring. It is common for
people to fertilize again in the late fall so that the precipitation over the
winter can help their grass stay green. If you stock up on fertilizer at the
end of the winter you will have plenty for spring but you will get it at 1/2 the
cost or less. The same goes for weed killer. At the end of winter make sure you
stock up on plenty of ice melt and a couple of good quality snow shovels. This
way you will save money on the items you need for next winter.

There are some big ticket items that generally can be found in any yard. Some
of them are a necessity and others are luxury items that allow you to enjoy
your backyard more in your free time. Lawn mowers and weed trimmers are very
expensive during the spring and summer months. I can't tell you how many people
I know who have had to pay the going price for one because their quit on them.
If you know your lawnmower is on its last legs purchase one at the end of the
summer when they are very reasonably priced.

Camping is a favorite spring and summer activity for families. Try buying a
couple of sleeping bags and a good quality tent during this time of year and
you better be prepared to pay a copy hundred dollars for the items. At the end
of camping season many of these products go on sale so they can make room for
the next seasonal items. This is the best time to replace them.

Barbeque grills, swimming pools, and patio furniture are also great items
everyone wants to be able use during the summer months. If you have to purchase
a barbeque grill during the summer there are generally sales on them around
Memorial Day and Father's Day. You can get a great deal of an older model that
the store is trying to move out to make room for the newer models.

Many retail stores that offer outdoor items also offer credit cards for their
store. You can get discounts of various amounts when you purchase these items
on that credit card. The secret to getting a bargain this way is paying the
balance in full immediately. This way you get the discount on the purchase and
you won't end up paying any interest on the items while you are paying off the

There are plenty of ways to save money when you buy outdoor items. Planning
ahead is one of the best ways to save on them, especially those big ticket
items that you have to have. Of course it is very important that you store the
items you buy to use at a later time in a place where they won't get damaged or
lost. If that happens then you really didn't get a very good bargain after all!

Save Money Shopping for Clothing at Thrift Stores

On average, most people clear out their closets at least twice per year. All of
the clothing they no longer wear it taken to charity locations and thrift
stores. Many people donate clothing items that they only wore a couple of times
or that still have the tags on them. The most common thrift stores to find such
clothing are the Salvation Army and the Goodwill. Both of them inspect clothing
for stains and tears so you can be sure you will find good quality clothing for
men, women, and children at very low prices.

Many people think these thrift stores only carry outdated clothing but that is
simply not the case. Children often outgrow clothing before it has been worn
out or the style has faded. There are also plenty of clothing articles that
never go out of style including t-shirts and denim jeans. While you may not
find the same styles offered at the trendy retailers in the area you will find
plenty of quality clothing for less than you will pay for it anywhere else. I
have walked out of such thrift stores with bags of clothes that cost me less
than purchasing one outfit at a retail store.

Jackets are very expensive but not if you purchase them from a thrift store.
There are plenty of winter jackets, pullovers, and windbreakers to choose from.
To make finding things in the right size easier most thrift stores separate
clothing by the type that it is and by sizes. However, you will need to spend
your time looking through what is available. The downside is that if you do
find something you really like and it doesn't fit you won't have very good luck
finding it in another size as you do in a department store.

Depending on the location of the thrift store, they may carry various household
items as well. Some of the larger facilities offer used furniture, appliances,
and books. I found a couple of nice wood end tables at a thrift store once that
I like so much I have never replaced them with anything else even though I can
now afford to do so.

Too many thrift stores have gotten a bad reputation for being viewed as a place
to shop for individuals who don't have very much money. If your pride keeps you
from visiting thrift shops then you will be throwing your money away. If you
have never been into a thrift store you really should take the time to do so.
You will be pleasantly surprised at what you find there.

Another good alternative is shopping at consignment stores. These are places
where individuals take their unwanted clothing and furniture to be sold. The
store splits the profits made from anything that sells with the person who
brought it in. Most consignment items can only be on display for a limited
amount of time. Towards the end of that time frame the items are generally sold
at a discounted price before they are taken off the list of items to be sold.

You will pay more for items at a consignment store than you will at a thrift
store but you will also be able to find some wonderful bargains that still save
you money over buying them retail. The reason you will pay more is because the
person selling the items and the store want to make as much profit as possible.
You generally won't be able to negotiate the prices though.

One good example of saving money at either thrift stores or consignment stores
is for party dresses, wedding dresses, and prom dresses. It is likely that they
will only be worn once so it is silly to spend hundreds of dollars on such a
gown. You will likely be able to find a good selection of such dresses that are
still in style. Even if you have to pay to have the dress altered a bit you can
still have the beautiful dress you want without the expense.

Save Money on Text Books

One of the most expensive areas of attending college seems to be the cost of
the text books these days. Since most colleges only use a particular book for a
year or two it is very hard to purchase them in advance. Yet there are some good
ways you can catch a break when it comes to paying for the text books you need.
Almost all colleges have bulletin boards so you can place an ad for the various
books you need. Hopefully individuals who have just finished the course will
gladly part with the book for much less than they paid for it.

If you have text books from courses you have finished you may be able to trade
what you need for what someone else needs. If you are in a particular type of
program such as business or education you will likely find other students who
need to take the same classes as you. Setting up a text book swap is a great
way to maximize the amount of money that you do spend on text books.

It can be very frustrating to get the newest edition of a particular text book
and then find out it hasn't changed very much at all from the previous edition.
Take to your instructor as they will likely have gone through the new edition
and make comparisons to the old one. Most instructors are fine with you using
an older edition of the same book. You can save a substantial amount of money
if you are able to do so.

Another frustration can be to find out after your purchase such a text book
that you won't need it very much as the instructor mainly teaches from notes.
If this is the case consider purchasing a book with a classmate and splitting
the cost. This won't work well if you will have a great deal of text book
reading or assignments to complete though.

Check to see if the college library offers copies of text books rather than
purchasing them. Most libraries that offer this option don't allow the text
books to be checked out but you can use them in the library as you need to. If
you choose this option make sure you start on assignments as quickly as
possible so that you don't have to stress about someone else already using the

Some book stores offer to place used text books on consignment for students.
These are often placed in the bookstore with the new books on the shelves.
While they may have some wear and tear as well as highlighting they will serve
the purpose of a one semester course. These consigned books generally sell fast
so make sure you go to the bookstore at the very end of the semester. As
students complete their finals they will take their books into the bookstore.

On the back of each textbook is an ISBN number. It is generally found above or
underneath the bar code on the book. You can use this number to search for the
text book on the internet. There are several places where you can purchase new
and used textbooks at a price that is much less than what you will pay for it
at the college campus bookstore.

Save Money on your Purchases by Taking Advantage of the Rebates Offered

Many manufacturers offer mail in rebates to encourage consumers to buy their
product. The way these rebates work is that you have to pay the full price for
the product when you get it. Then you fill out the rebate information and mail
it in along with a copy of your receipt. They will then send you a check.

However, you will be amazed at how many people fail to get around to sending in
the information for their rebate. Most offers have a set time frame so it is a
good idea to get the information in the mail as quickly as possible. They
either don't want to mess around with the process or the simply forget with so
many other things taking place in their life.

Since it can take weeks to get your rebate in the mail, it is a good idea to
keep a file of the rebates you have mailed in. Always make a copy of the rebate
information and the receipt before you mail it in. This way you have proof of
your purchase and a phone number to contact them if you don't receive the
rebate in a timely manner.

The amount of any given rebate will vary but when you consider that the average
on is $25, that is a great deal of money that consumers aren't taking advantage
of. It is a good idea to always use them to your advantage. Otherwise you are
simply throwing your money away.

Each rebate process may be slightly different so make sure you take the time to
read all the information that comes with it. You don't want the frustration of
waiting for 60 days to get the rebate only to get a letter instead that says
you aren't eligible because you failed to provide some piece of information or
your form wasn't completely filled out.

It is also a good idea to take action when a rebate you send it is not honored.
This doesn't happen very often but it is very important that you follow up. If
you only purchased the item at the price offered because of the rebate than it
is even more important that you get it.

Getting your rebate should never exceed 60 days. If you don't have it by then
contact the company. Make sure you document all the information about when you
called and who you spoke to. It is good to have a log of this information so
that if you want to pursue getting the rebate by other means you can back up
your information.

There are a couple good websites you can use to track your rebate including,, and If you
don't find your rebate and the manufacturer isn't working with you then file a
complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau.

The majority of company's who offer rebates do honor them though so this really
should never be an ongoing issue for you. There are plenty of businesses that do
look forward to the unclaimed rebates though because at least 40% of them never
get filed by the consumer.

As a rule of thumb though, I wouldn't recommend basing your purchase on a
rebate. If you don't end up with the funds then the product cost you more than
you were willing to pay for it. While you wait for the rebate process to be
completed you will have the loss of that additional money that could be
allocated for something else.

You should also be prepared for rebates to ask for your personal information
including your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. This could
result in you getting coupons and promotions that will save you more money in
the future. However, they can result in you getting bombarded by offers by the
manufacturer that you aren't interested in.

Give Great Gifts without Paying a Fortune for Them

Sometimes it seems that you are always trying to budget for different occasions
where you need to provide a gift. There are always plenty of housewarmings to
attend, weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays to keep you digging into your
pocketbook. Since you know you will always need gifts, it can save you plenty
of time and money if you purchase such gifts in advance while they are on sale.
This is the perfect way to find bargains for gifts so that the recipient thinks
you spent more than you did.

To make this concept work well for you, organization is very important! I know
people who buy plenty of bargains to give as gifts, but the problem is they can
never remember what they have or where it is when they need something. If you
create a list and keep it in a safe place you will always know what gifts you
have available. I keep them in an air tight Tupperware storage container (that
I got on sale!).

If you have children then you know there are always plenty of birthday
invitations coming your way throughout the year. When the toy store or another
retailer has a sale on toys purchase some common ones. Girls generally like
dolls and Barbie's. Boys will always enjoy cars and action figures. Board
games, puzzles, and books make great gift items for both boys and girls.

Try to avoid anything that is trendy because you don't know how long that fad
is going to be in existence. If you give a gift that used to be trendy but
isn't popular anymore it will be very obvious that you didn't shop for the gift
recently. Some children's characters are always in style though like the Disney
Characters and Looney Tunes so you should be save purchasing toys with these

For adults, there are a variety of great items you can find at bargain prices
to give them for most any occasion. Flower vases, picture frames, photo albums,
and candles all make great gifts for even the most difficult people on your
shopping list. These items are timeless as well so it doesn't matter how long
they stay in your gift chest before you give them to someone.

You can even incorporate this concept to purchase birthday and Christmas
presents for your spouse and your children. This way you will spend less around
the holidays, and you won't be burdened with shopping while everyone else it
that time of year. It can help to keep a list of the items that catch the eyes
of those in your family so you can make sure you get the right item when you
see it on sale.

Being able to offer someone you care about a very special gift is important,
but it can also be stressful when you are pressed for time and money is tight.
By purchasing bargain items as you come across then you will always have plenty
of great gifts to share without breaking the bank. This will allow you to give
people better gifts than if you have to shop for them right before the
occasion. Sure, you may get lucky and find a good sale at that point it you
can't be sure it will happen.

Getting the Home you want at a Price you can Afford

The topic of real estate can be very tricky as the market continually shifts.
Sometimes it is a buyer's market out there with plenty of homes to choose from.
Other times the seller's have the upper hand as more people are looking for
quality homes than there are available in the area. Getting the home you want
at a price you can afford is going to take some effort on your part. However,
since purchasing a home is likely to be the biggest investment you ever make it
is well worth it to do your homework before you sign anything.

One of the best ways to do this is to find a home that is worth less than you
can afford and then do some repairs and remodeling. If you have the time and
the ability to do this on your own you will save a fortune. It can be very
expensive to hire a contractor so think about this option only if you are up to
the task of completing the majority of the work on your own.

You will be surprised to find out how much money you can save on a home with an
unfinished basement area. Yet this gives you the opportunity to design it
exactly how you want it to look. It will also double the amount of space you
have to use when you first bought the home. This is one of the best ways to
maximize your investment in any home. You can add extra bedrooms, a family
room, and even a home office in that space.

Homes all over the country are being foreclosed on for non payment daily. These
homes are generally put up for auction by the bank that the funds are owed to.
You can get a bargain price on the home of your dreams through this process.
You will have to be prequalified for a mortgage loan or a line of credit prior
to the auction though as you will have to have funds to put down a sizeable
amount of the purchase price that day.

If you know the area you live in well, then you will likely know why
individuals are moving out of their home. If they are relocating for work or
need to sell their home because they are trying to purchase a larger one
chances are they will reduce the price to meet your offer just to get out from
underneath the home as quickly as possible. This is also true where the couple
who owns the home is getting a divorce.

Many people looking for a home go through the process of being prequalified.
This allows you to find out exactly what the maximum amount is that you can be
approved for when it comes to a home mortgage loan. You shouldn't disclose that
figure to the seller of the home but when you make an offer on the home you do
want to include a copy of the prequalification certificate.

The reason for this is that they are more likely to accept a lower offer than
the asking price from someone who definitely has the ability to get the
financing. This is a signal to them that you really are ready to purchase their
home if they price is right for them. They also don't have to continue looking
at offers and then later find out the person couldn't get the loan to complete
the process.

Buying a home isn't an investment you want to take lightly. Most mortgages
cover a 30 year period so the purchase will affect your budget for a very large
part of your life. Getting the home you want at a price you can afford takes
planning, research, and time. Yet this investment is well worth it to be living
in the home of your dreams at a bargain of a price.

Getting a Good Deal on Children's Clothing

Children grow at unbelievable rates, and sometimes it seems like their clothes
no longer fit just overnight. Clothing isn't cheap so having to budget for a
new wardrobe isn't easy. If you have several children then you know all too
well the burden of coming up with money to buy all of the clothes they need
before school starts and again in the summer time. Sure, you can save some
money by passing clothing from one child to another but there are plenty of
other ways to save money on children's clothing.

Many stores offer buy one get one free offers throughout the year on jeans,
shirts, and even shoes. While you may not think your child needs so many right
then consider buying them the next size up. This way when you need bigger
clothes for them you already have some stored away at home without having to
rush out and spend whatever the going price is at that time for such items.

Pay attention to the sales that take place throughout the year on children's
clothing. You will be amazed at the savings. In fact, the first place I look
when I enter a retail store is the discount and sale racks that are generally
placed at the back of the store. I have purchased swimsuits and swim trunks for
my children as school time approaches for just a dollar or two instead of $10 or
$20 a piece.

Winter jackets can cost from $50 to $200 dollars depending on where you
purchase them from. I always buy extras for my children at the end of winter
and never pay more than $20 for them. The same with summer clothing such as
sandals and shorts. They go on sale as school approaches and I buy larger sizes
to store until next summer. I use tight sealing storage containers for the
clothing so it won't get damaged.

Sweaters for both boys and girls are a common item in the colder months, but it
can be expensive for good quality ones. Buy them on sale and pack them away for
next year. Try to avoid ones that offer seasonal colors or themes so that they
can be used whenever the child needs one. Even paying $5 for a sweater that is
regularly $30 is a very good deal in my book.

My children and I make it a day of fun and games when it is time to change from
one season to the next. We go through the containers of clothing and try on
things to see what is a good fit. We also clean out clothes that don't fit from
their closets. This way we know exactly what items each child still needs to be
ready for the season.

To get good deals like these on clothing for children you need to be well
organized and plan ahead. You may think it isn't worth while to pay for items
now that won't get used for a year, but think about the overall savings. I have
three children to buy winter jackets for so $20 each in about the cost of one
when the next winter rolls around. This is the best way I know to keep my
children dressed nicely but also to make it fit well into the budget I have to
work with.

Don't forget to look at the sale pages for children's clothing that are often
found in the major newspapers on Wednesdays and Sundays. You may be able to
pick up some great deals at these one day sales, but make sure it really is a
sale and not just a promotion of their regularly advertised prices. To get the
most out of the clothing you purchase, try to avoid trendy themes that may not
be in style when your child is able to wear them next year. Stick to basic
styles and colors.

Get the very best Rates on Hotel Rooms

It can be fun to go on a trip and enjoy staying in a luxurious hotel room. Yet
many people have to pass up that option and go for a more moderate hotel
because of the expense involved. There are some good ways to get the hotel you
want at a price you can afford though. It does take some research and planning
but it can be done.

Regardless of the hotel you are looking at, weekends are generally their
busiest time. Planning your stay during the week will help you get a much lower
rate. You also need to do research to find out the slowest time of year for that
given hotel. They will offer lower prices during that time period so that they
can sell rooms rather than leaving them empty.

If you have any type of membership such as AAA or military, you may be eligible
for discounts on various hotels without even knowing it. Call the hotel and ask
them what discounts they offer. While you have them on the line ask them to
quote you the very lowest price they can offer. Then compare this price to
different online sites.

Sometimes the hotel offers the best price and other times you will find it
online. If you are more comfortable booking with the hotel directly, ask them
to honor a price you found somewhere online. Many hotels offer discounts for
people who have stayed with them before, even free nights or upgrades after you
have stayed with them a set amount of times.

If you will be staying at the hotel for several days at a time you will likely
get special treatment. This could be a room close to the elevator or with the
best type of view. Make sure you mention the length of your stay and what you
are interested in when you make the reservation. There is generally no extra
cost for such features but make sure you ask before you agree to the

When you arrive at the hotel you can ask them for a free upgrade. If they have
the room available they may be able to honor your request. There is no
guarantee that it will happen though so be prepared that you will be in the
type of room you paid for. If you are visiting the hotel on the off season or
during the week you are more likely to get such an upgrade at no extra charge.
You may mention that you would really love one of the balcony rooms if they
could offer you an upgrade if you want a specific type of upgrade amenity.

Many people plan their hotel arrangements way in advance. This is good so that
you are guaranteed a room. However, if you can get away with flexible days to
stay then you can keep a watchful eye on the very best prices. You can grab
some great last minute deals on hotel rooms online at different travel sites.
You have to be careful though because you don't want to end up with no hotel
room at all.

You can try to work out a deal by simply walking into a hotel in the late
evening to see what is still available. You have a good chance of working out a
good deal since the room may go unused if they don't offer it to you. However,
they may be viewing it as a chance to get more money for the room since you are
looking for one at the last minute. Don't be afraid to say no to their offer and
try to renegotiate it. Too many people simply walk into a hotel, as the price,
and then pay for it without any negotiating taking place whatsoever.

If you know several other people who will be staying at the same hotel you can
ask for a group discount rate. In some cases the rooms all have to be paid for
together but the majority of hotels will accommodate individual billing.

Finding Bargains while Shopping for Antiques

Many people have the misconception that antiques cost more than they can
afford. Shopping for antiques is a great way to spend a free afternoon and you
may be surprised at how many good bargains you come across. The hardest thing
is many people don't know the true value of the particular item they are
looking at in an antique shop.

It may have caught their attention because of the style of it or it brings back
happy memories. You never really know if the shop owner is trying to up the
price or if you are already getting a good deal. Since you can't quickly go to
another store and compare the price you pretty much have to decide the maximum
you are willing to pay for an item and then walk away if the negations don't
work in your favor.

It is a good idea to do some checking into the reputation of a given antique
dealer before you even step foot into their store. You will find you are able
to get good deals on antiques when you get to know the owner of the store. If
you are a frequent shopper in the store you can build a good relationship.
Brining in other customers to the store is something that will get noticed as
well. The owner of the antique store will want to work with you on items so
that you keep generating more business for them.

You will be able to negotiate the price for what you want if the antique shop
is operated by the owner and not several different employees. Even though you
will find more selection at antique malls, you won't be able to negotiate the
prices as much. Small antique shops can generally offer you some history on the
pieces you are the most interested in.

For most antique shop owners, money talks so carry plenty of cash when you go
out looking for antiques. This way they don't have to mess with credit card
transactions that cost them money. Many of the older antique stores are
hesitant to take personal checks, especially if you are from out of town.
Showing that you do have the cash with you in an unobvious way is also helpful.
For example, you can count it and then say will you take $100 for it, that is
all I have with me today.

It is important to remember that you will be purchasing antiques in the
condition they are in. Make sure you take the time to thoroughly examine what
you are purchasing. You don't want to get home and discover what you thought
was a great bargain is nothing but junk. Most antique dealers take pride in
offering quality items but you still need to check. You will be disappointed if
you think you are going to take home an antique in mint condition for a very low
price though.

If you are looking for certain antiques, take a look around online to get a
good idea of what the going price is for them. Try to negotiate something that
is about 25% less than the rates you find online. Don't be afraid to ask the
antique shop owner to cut you a better price. It helps if you say something
along the lines of "would you accept $100 for this"? Instead of "can you lower
the price"? It definitely helps you get what you want if you are assertive but
not going overboard.

Finding a Bargain on a New Vehicle

We have all heard that depressing statement that a new vehicle depreciates in
value the second you pull away from the dealership. I used to think that was an
exaggeration until my friend got into a wreck in her Dodge Durango a week after
she purchased it. The insurance wouldn't give her enough to cover buying a new
one even though she was not at fault in the accident. She had to get an
attorney and eventually she was able to get a new vehicle to replace it, but
not without quite a circus taking place around the issue for a couple of months.

Buying a new vehicle is one expense that you have to consider very carefully.
Those monthly payments can sure take a chunk out of your disposable income. You
also have to consider the cost of license plates, insurance, gas, and regular
maintenance on the vehicle. To help you find the very best bargains on the new
vehicle of your choice you will want to conduct some research before you start
negotiations with the salesman.

There are a variety of ways to find out the book value on a particular vehicle.
You can go to or You can get a very detailed
price by listing the make of the vehicle, the various accessories it offers, and
the mileage. This information will help you find the lowest price you can expect
to purchase that vehicle for.

Next, take a close look at your credit report so you know exactly what interest
rate you can expect on a new vehicle. This way you don't waste your time
haggling with the sales. See what they offer you for a price and financing
before you bring your information into play. If they match or beat it then
great. If they want to give you higher price or interest rate, present your
researched information. If they won't sell you the vehicle for that price with
that interest rate then go somewhere else.

October is a very good time of year to start considering the purchase of a new
vehicle. This is because they want to start clearing out vehicles on the lot to
make room for the next year's models that will soon be arriving. Since many
vehicle dealerships don't see much in the way of sales over winter due to the
cold and the holiday season, they are more likely to present you with the deal
of the century to make the sell.

If you see other sales around the holidays they may be a good time to save
money as well. The key to making sure it is a bargain is to make sure the cost
hasn't been inflated or your interest rated jacked up a percent or two to cover
the promotional cost of the vehicle. Too many people get caught up in what they
see on the windshield of a vehicle rather than looking at the big picture.

New vehicles often end up with a scratch or a dent in them soon after you buy
them. While this can be very upsetting you really can't do much about it.
Someone leaving their shopping cart in the parking lot of the store can result
in the wind running it into your vehicle. You can find great deals of new
vehicles that have some body damage such as small scratches and even hail
damage from a recent storm. In most cases you will save several times what it
costs you to repair the damage.

To motivate customers to make a purchase of a new vehicle instead of just
looking many dealerships offer incentives like 0% financing and cash back. Make
sure you find out all the details of such promotions as they may be a good way
to save money or they may cost you more in the long run. Take the time to
calculate all the possible scenarios so that you get the bargain you were after
with your new vehicle purchase.

Find Great Bargains at Pawn Shops

At one time or another most of us have experienced wanting to purchase
something but it just wasn't in our budget to do so. In most cases these items
weren't necessities but luxuries we definitely would have loved to own. One
place to find great bargains on the items you want without spending a fortune
is your local pawn shops.

A pawn shop is a place where individuals can take their items and exchange them
for cash. They have a set period of time that the items will be kept. They have
to repay the amount they got for the items along with a percentage that varies
by state and local regulations.

If an individual takes their items to a pawn shop and doesn't return to pick
them up by that deadline, then the owner of the pawnshop has the legal right to
sell the items to the public. Since the items in any given pawnshop will vary at
any given time, you will want to frequent them often.

Some of the more common items found in any pawn shop include guns, televisions,
VCR's, DVD players, video game consoles and games, furniture, cameras, tools,
stereos, jewelry, and music. If you are looking for a specific item you can let
the owner of the pawn shop know. Most of them are kind enough to give you a call
should that particular item fall into their hands for resale.

The majority of items found in a pawn shop are in very good condition. Most of
the individuals who take their items into a pawn shop are desperate for money
so they trade in items they generally would have been using for the cash they
need. While many people do return to pick up their items, there is a high
percent that just don't have the money to do so. Others have no intention from
the moment they step into the pawn shop to return to pick up the items they
brought in.

Pawn shop owners have a legal obligation to get information from individuals
who bring items in. This is to verify who they are and to track them down
should the items they brought in be stolen goods. For the most part you won't
have any trouble with the items you purchase from a pawn shop. Many of them
also ask for the name and contact information of anyone who buys items just in
case any issues do arise.

Should you be interested in purchasing a firearm from a pawn shop you need to
be prepared to complete the same paperwork and process as you would to purchase
a new gun. Most states have a mandatory waiting period for purchasing guns, and
any pawn shop that sells them has to follow the same rules.

Regardless of what you are looking for, don't forget to take a look at what is
for sale at your local pawn shops. You will be amazed at the bargains you find
there. Most of them have a very good selection of items that changes
frequently. You will also save plenty of money buying these items over the
retail cost of them. You do need to carefully inspect all items though because
I don't know of any pawn shops that offer any kind of warranty of the items
they sell.

Find Great Items at a Low Price by Going to Yard and Garage Sales

The saying that one man's trash is another man's treasure is one that we all
find to be very true at one time or another. Many people clear out their
unwanted items and then have a yard or garage sale. This is a great place to
find items you want and need at bargain prices.

If you don't like the price on any given item at these sales you can ask them
to lower it. Negotiating the selling price is a common practice for yard and
garage sales. Should the seller not be willing to lower the price you can
always ask them to take down your phone number and call you if the item doesn't
sale for the price they want. You will find most people are willing to lower the
price rather than risk the item having to be carried back inside or stored if it
doesn't sale at the end of the day.

When it comes to yard and garage sales, you will find you have the best luck if
you start out early in the morning. Take the time to read through the ads in
your local newspaper. It can be fun to map our a route of yard and garage sales
you want to hit with a friend or even as a way to spend some time by yourself.
This strategy will prevent you from constantly back tracking.

The items you will find at a yard or garage sale will vary but some common
items include clothing, furniture, baby items, kitchen item, art, tools, toys,
bikes, and even vehicles. If you are looking for something in particular then
search out ads that have those specific items.

Since babies outgrow clothes and items like car seats and basinets quickly they
are often in excellent shape. Career clothes are very expensive and you can find
a wonderful selection of quality work clothes for both men and women at yard and
garage sales. I have come across ladies business suites that still had the tags
on them! The down side to purchasing clothing at yard and garage sales is that
you can't try them on first to make sure they fit. However, I figure if I am
picking up a $60 skirt and blazer set for $2.50 I will take my chances!

If you are looking for furniture then target the ads that describe and estate
sale or a moving sale. In most cases they will be trying to sell all they can
to prevent having to pack it up and move it with them or pay to place it into
storage. You can generally even get them to assist you with loading the items
you purchase or delivering them if you can negotiate the right deal. In most
cases if you pay for an item the seller will be happy to allow you to come back
later to pick it up if you need to.

Clothing, household items, jewelry, and baby items are often expensive you pay
retail price for them. You can get a great bargain if you get up early and go
to yard and garage sales. Make sure you head out early and you have single
bills and plenty of change. Then go have sun seeking the items you are after.
If you are like me, there will be plenty that catches your eye that you decide
you want just because you can't pass up the great price for it.

Don't Pass up the Value of using Coupons

Most retailers understand the amount of competition they have out there,
especially in larger towns. To help encourage customers to remain loyal to them
they accept coupons for various products. One of the best uses of coupons is for
purchasing grocery items you already use. Look for stores that offer you double
or triple the face value of the coupon. Some stores only offer double and
triple coupon values on specific days of the week so make sure you take
advantage of them if at all possible. You will be amazed at how quickly this
type of coupon system can help you slash your grocery bill.

It is very important that you make sure the store isn't inflating the prices on
their items though because if they do you won't save much with the coupons.
Don't be tempted to use a bunch of coupons in items you don't normally use
though or your grocery bill may end up increasing!

You can get coupons from magazines and newspaper ads. Pay close attention the
to the expiration dates on them as well. If you have access to the internet go
to the sites for the products you use. Many of them offer coupons that they
will mail to you or that you can print at home. If these sites offer an opt in
list for you to get promotions and coupons by e-mail then take advantage of it.

Some retail stores that welcome coupons offer a counter where you can take your
unwanted coupons for other people to use. At the same time you are welcome to
pick up various coupons others have left to make your own purchases. There are
great coupon organizers that you can use like a mini filing system. You can
categorize the coupons by the listed areas as well as create some of your own
categories. This will reduce the amount of time you spent going through them
while you are shopping.

Many retailers are more than willing to honor the coupons for a competitor so
that you will purchase the item from them instead of the other store. The best
way to approach this issue is to take the coupon into the store with you. Ask
to speak to a manager and explain that you really want to make the purchase
from them but that the other store offers a much better price. In most cases
they will at least match the price of the competition. Other retailers will
even beat the price to encourage you to remain a loyal customer of theirs.

Any time you plan to visit a museum, amusement park, or other activity check to
see if there are coupons offered anywhere. Many times you will find buy 1 get 1
free coupons for such outings and that can be a great savings for your trip.
You can usually find this out by looking online or calling the chamber of
commerce in the area of the event. Online auctions like Yahoo! Auctions and
eBay offer you plenty of opportunities to take advantage of discount coupons
that others are selling as well.

Restaurants often offer discount coupons to get people to come in and eat. You
do need to pay close attention to the details of the coupon though. Many of
them will have specific days of the week they can be used. Some of them also
have a set time frame where they can't be used after 4 pm or something similar.

If you take the time to seek out coupons for items you will already spend money
on then you can get the rewards of spending less while still getting all the
things your family needs. You may think it is silly using a $.75 cent coupon
here or a $2.00 coupon there but it will really start to add up over time. When
you consider the amount of money you spent on groceries, eating out, and
entertainment for a whole year those coupons really start to sound good!

Do you Really Save Money if you Purchase Items in Bulk?

With the continued cost of various items in our society the concept of buying
in bulk is getting to be more common that ever. Yet many people question if
they are really saving money or not. The answer to this question that yes you
will save money when you purchase the right items in bulk. For example you
really don't need to purchase a case of 200 light bulbs as that will last you
for many, many years. On the other hand if you have a fairy large family or
lots of guests on a regular basis you might consider buying toilet paper and
paper towels in bulk.

Any item that you will use up in a short period of time is a good candidate for
being purchased in bulk. There are many membership warehouses that offer bulk
items that focus on families and small businesses. Dry ingredients for your
home including sugar and flour are good options. Avoid buying bulk items that
will result in eating the same thing day after day though as no one wants to
have to do this. For example, don't buy snacks and potato chips in bulk because
everyone in your family will quickly tire of the taste.

If you find that such items like that are a good deal but more than you
reasonably need, consider buying bulk items with another family. This way you
can share the items and the expense. It is good idea to take the other party
shopping with you so that everyone gets a fair say in what items will be
purchased. You may need to be willing to try new brands of items to make this
work. If the other party already uses that brand ask them to give you a sample.
If you want them to consider your brand then offer them a sample of it to try as

Meat is probably the best item you can buy in bulk to save money. This will
likely involve investing in a freezer that can be kept in your garage or
basement to store the meat in. You can purchase a whole beef, 1/2 a beef, or even
a quarter of beef. Bulk meats of bacon and pork from pigs are also a good
option. Once again you may want to consider sharing the products and the cost
with a friend or relative.

Canned goods last a very long time so you can purchase them in bulk and not
have to worry about them spoiling. Some good choices are soups, canned
vegetables, and various sauces that you will use for cooking. Babies are quite
expensive as anyone with them can attest to. Buying diapers, baby food, and
baby formula in bulk are all good ways to save money on those necessities. And
finally, let's not forget about the expense relating to feeding our pets. If
you use dry cat or dog food then buying it in bulk may be a good option for you.

Most people don't change the type of laundry detergent or cleaning supplies
they use very often. You can purchase these items in bulk and save plenty of
money. Most of the time they will come in larger bottles that you can pour into
smaller spray bottles. Make sure you have a cool dry place to store the
remaining cleaning supplies that are out of the reach of children.

To ensure you are really getting a good deal on bulk items, take the time to
read the information relating to the cost of the item per unit. This way you
can compare that price with the overall cost. In most cases you will be able to
find some really good deals that save you money. On the other hand don't be so
quick to pick up that big package of what ever you are looking at without
finding out how much each item is really costing you. Manufacturers have gotten
very good at selling items on concept and package designs rather than pricing.

Can Discount Stores Really offer you a Bargain?

It seems like dollar stores and other various discount stores are becoming a
common retailer in most areas. Can these discount stores really offer you a
bargain or do they just sell poor quality items? In my opinion, there are
plenty of gear bargains to be found in dollar stores and discount stores if you
look for the right items.

I give lots of cards to people, but they can cost $3 each at most retailers. I
can find some great cards at discount stores for about $.50 each. They are
still funny or pretty or sentimental in nature and I never feel like I had to
settle for less than what I wanted to say.

Disposable items for a party are a great deal at discount stores. The cost of
napkins, paper plates, cups, silverware, invitations, and tablecloths can
really add up fast. Wrapping paper and gift bags are another area of party
items that can be found for a good price at discount stores.

I wouldn't recommend going into discount stores and buying gifts for your
family members or friends, but there are some good items in there. I personally
enjoy buying picture frames from discount stores because they look just as nice.
However, I would feel bad giving picture frames from these stores as gifts. For
example I bought a very nice set of three frames from a discount store
recently. They look like glass and make a beautiful display on my dresser. Yet
when you pick them up you can quickly tell they are made from lightweight

Most discount stores have plenty of toys for children, but remember that
children are very hard on toys. They will be very disappointed when the head
pops off the doll or the tires fall of the car. I wouldn't recommend buying
such toys from a discount store as the quality just isn't there.

Yet there are plenty of fun children's toys you can get from a discount store
including cards, marbles, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and coloring books. These
all make great items for stocking stuffers or even for traveling to make the
trip go by faster. I like to bring bubbles for when we stop at a rest area as
an incentive to get them to treat each other with respect while we are on the
road. Simple, but it works well every time!

There are also plenty of items at discount stores that you can use to decorate
your home. I refuse to pay $35 for a shower curtain! It just isn't going to
happen. I always get them at the dollar store for just a couple of dollars.
They last a very long time and they were well. I have not problem at all when
the time comes to replace it. I have also found neat soap dishes and wall
hangings for my bathroom at discount stores.

Office supplies are something most of us use on a regular basis. You can get
them for a very good price at discount stores. Notebooks, paper, pens, glue,
rulers, scissors, calculators, and envelopes can all be found for a really good
price. I have never had any problems with the quality of such items. They are
very comparable to those I buy at other retail stores for much more money.

I think when it comes to finding bargains at discount stores there are some to
be found. It is important that you don't have too high of expectations when it
comes to the quality of the items. Yet in most of the cases relating the
different items I have described above, the quality doesn't have to be
exceptional. They will work to serve the purpose without costing you a fortune.
This makes party planning much more fun when you know you have the budget to
cover it all. If you don't shop at discount stores you are really missing out
on some great bargains!

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