Archive for August, 2010

How to Save on Sporting Events

This time of year many people love getting together with family and friends, piling in the car and taking off to watch your favorite team score a dramatic win? Sports events are intoxicating – the energy of the crowd, seeing your favorite players up close and personal, and even the overpriced junk food has a certain appeal. Attending live sports events can get expensive in a hurry though. Score big savings on future games with the tips below.

Use your Email for Savings

Create a free email account and sign up with all of your favorite local sports teams and box offices (visit the team website and sign up for their email newsletter). You’ll be notified of upcoming games, special promotions and much more before anyone else even knows the event is going to happen. Many teams offer fan-only promotions that they send out to their mailing lists. It could be anything from members-only discount tickets, to a free kid’s night, free team apparel or a free hot dog.

Financing the Food

Unless you consider the hot dogs, peanuts, and sodas a truly important part of the sports experience, do everything you can to avoid buying food at the game itself. Eat before you go, sneak in a snack (we always take our own peanuts to baseball games!), make plans to meet up for a pre-game tailgating party or eat together at home once the game is over. Don’t make plans to go out to a restaurant after the game, or you’ll wind up spending almost as much as you would have at the event! You’ll save a considerable amount of money per person by not craving those nachos as the concession stand, and it shouldn’t affect your enjoyment of the game itself.

Don’t Drink Your Money Away

Depending on the venue, you may be able to carry in a bottle of water or soda. Some large arenas and ballparks will check your bags when you enter and make you toss out your bottle of water, but if this isn’t an issue where you live and someone is willing to carry a bag or a purse, you can save $5 per drink. Hold off on the beer til after the game. It’s pricey to drink alcohol at sporting events, so tell yourself you don’t need a beer to enjoy the game and instead get together with friends afterward to celebrate the victory with a couple beers from your own fridge.

Avoid the Merchandise Trap

Game merchandise is so hard to resist. Jerseys, foam hands, and other “official” products are all piled into a kiosk that calls your name the moment you walk by it. Young children are especially prone to wanting anything that flashes as they walk by. To avoid coming home with a ton of expensive disposable items, shop around before the game. Check out eBay, Craigslist, sporting goods stores clearance racks, and even your local toy store. Stash your treasures until the day of the game and then bring them out and give them to your family. Everyone will be just as happy, and you won’t come home with an empty wallet and a lot of regrets. And of course… if you go to a lot of games… save the treasures for the next game!

Watch it on TV

If the game is televised, why not buy some soda, hot dogs, and popcorn at the store and have “game night” at the house.  You’ll still get the benefit of family time if you make a night of it and get all the same food attractions as a concession stand, without concession stand prices.  Also, if you have a DVR, you’ll never miss the “play of the game”. During football season, you can trade off hosting a game-watching party with your friends and go to a different house every week. Many times, it’s more fun watching at home with a group where you can see every play clearly, avoid weather extremes, and show-off your game-calling skills.

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Money-Saving Coupons for Back-to-School

Back To School Savings

Save on School Supplies

The 2010-2011 school year is right around the corner. You know what that means – new school supplies for your kids (or for yourself if you’re taking adult courses). Last week we alerted you to Tax-Free Shopping Days for school clothes and supplies. Today we have found some coupons for you to save on the supplies you need – or even get free supplies!

Pilot Frixion Erasable Gel Pens, $1.99
$1/1 Pilot Frixion Gel Pens, exp. 8-28-10 (Walgreens, Aug)
$1/1 Pilot Pen printable
$1/1 Pilot Pen printable
FREE after coupons! (info from couponsandfreebiesmom.com)

If you have Dollar General Stores in your area you can get some great deals on Back-to-School Products (check other dollar stores for deals, too).
Visit their website to “Fan” them on Facebook and receive coupons every Friday. View their full weekly ad here.

School Supplies
2/$1 Deals
Marble Composition Book
Raymond Geddes 24 ct crayons
10 ct pencils
Poly or Fashion Folders

B1G1 Free Deals
Poster Board, 22×28
Poster Board, 11×14 (5 pack)
Duck Bulk Packaging Tape
Duck Mailing Tape with Dispenser
Duck EZ Start Packing Tape
Super Glue, 2 pack
Multi Point Pencils, 10 ct.
Assorted Art Skills Poster Board Accessories

$1 Deals
Poly Spiral 5×7 Notebook
Fashion Notebook
Zipper Binder Pouch
Glue Sticks, 2 pack
Fashion Mechanical Pencils, 4 pack
12 ct, colored pencils
Retractable Gel Pens, 2 pack
Retractable Fashion Pens, 2 pack
Pocket Highlighters, 2 pack
Clear or Invisible Tape, 2 pack
Security Envelopes, 40 ct.
Shoe Box with Lid
Mead Trapper Portfolios

Family Dollar also has deals through August:

5 for $5 Deals
Yellow Wood Pencils, 24 ct. or Colored Pencils, 12 ct.
Notebook Paper, 150 ct.
Pencil Box
Trio Ballpoint Pens Pack or Black Stick Pens, 10 ct.
Top Flight Composition Book, 100 sheets or 1 Subject Notebook, 70 sheets
Kids Scissors, 2 pk. or 2-hole pencil & crayon sharpener
File Folders

$2 Deals
1″ Fashion View Binder
Jumbo Key Calculator
1″ Poly Binder
Dry Erase Markers, 4 pk.
Jumbo Highlighters, 5 pk.
Elmer’s Purple Glue Sticks, 2 pk.
Mechanical Pencils, 5 pk

5 for $5 Disney Products
Stationary Sets
Marker & Activity Set
Diary
Notepad/Stamp Set
Memo Pad/Pen Set
Pencil Pouches

Also, more deals under $1 – Lunch Kits & Backpacks ($6 or $8), storage containers, school desks & college supplies.
Check the Back to School Ad for deals in your area.

Awesome Deals aboud at Staples and Office Max this week!
Don’t miss the Penny Deals at Staples–Valid Sunday 8/15 -Wednesday 8/18.
1 cent notebook. Limit 6. Minimum purchase $5.
Staples Copy Paper Ream. Limit 2. After EZ Rebate.

Also, 50 Cent Deals– Limit 2.
Mini comp book
Staples dual dome pencil sharpener
Westcott plastic ruler
Staples 1 hole punch
Staples glue sticks 4 pk
Staples 100 ct push pins clear & asst
Slider pencil case
Pentel Hi Polymer white handheld erasers

Dollar Deals–Limit 2.
Pentel RSVP Ballpoint Pens 5 pk
Quartet Enduraglide Fine Asst 4+1
Staples 3 hold binder punch
Westcott 6” scissors
Staples small binderclips
Assorted really useful boxes
Ticonderoga red check pencils
Sharpie marker fine 5 pk
Staples poly zippered envelope
Staples pocket exp file
Mini legal pad 3×6 3 pk

And the Penny Special at Office Max: (Limit 6)
Schoolio 2-Pocket Folders $0.01

Under $1 Deals (Limit 3)
6″ Plastic Proctractor – $0.05
Schoolio Crayons (24-Pack) – $0.05
Paper Mate American Classic #2 Pencils (10 Pack) – $0.15
Crayola Crayons (24 pk.) – $0.20
Schoolio Washable Fine or Broad-Line Markers – (8pk.) – $0.25
Schoolio Composition Book (100 sheets) – $0.50

Visit

If you have several kids, a home-school group, or many families that want to save money together, you may want to consider the Bulk School Supply Ordering Program from Dollar Tree. You can order online and pick up the items at a store near you with Free Shipping.

While this won’t help you for going back to school, you can still get a free pen from Bic (will arrive in 6-8 wks).

At 11am CST every day until September 9, biceasyglide.com is giving away 1 FREE Bic Pens to the first 1,000 people to respond. You can also get $1.00 off a Bic Pen purchase.

FREE Black Pants from the GAP – hurry!

The first 50 people to walk into select GAP stores, tomorrow August 14 will receive a FREE pair of black pants! Click Here to check if there is a Black Magic Pant Event near you. All shoppers can print out a 25% off in-store coupon good from August 14-22.

Free Pants From Gap

FREE Black Pants from The GAP!

You have probably noticed in recent months that you get fewer credit card offers. If you do receive offers of credit, long gone are the 0% APR or lower interest rates offers. If you have applied for any credit recently, you likely found it harder to be approved.

Why is it when Americans are so in need of credit are banks less willing than ever to offer it in the form of credit cards? They say that now is the time for them to be prudent. Wasn’t one of the main points of the bank bailout – the American tax-payer funded bank bailout – that credit needed to be kept in tact?  After the banks were saved from going under they ceased funneling money to customers. They’re sitting on trillions of dollars of tax-payer money and now the Government has called for additional Financial Reform. Will that make the credit crunch even worse?

Check out a detailed article on this issue:

Credit Card Companies Pulling Back Credit Offers to American Households: Those Zero Percent Offers have now Turned into 30% Offers with Annual Fees. Banks have over $2 Trillion in Excess Reserves yet are unable to Offer a Decent Credit Card Rate.

How Do You Know if a Short-Term Loan is the Right Choice?

There is a lot of confusion and doubt surrounding the lending industry right now. You’ve probably heard positive and negative things about short-term cash loans. If you are currently in a financial bind and wondering if this type of loan is the right solution for you, read on and see if this product fits your needs.

Are Short-Term Loans Good or Bad?

Are Short-Term Loans Good or Bad for me?

a short-term loan is the smarter choice for you if…

  • You occasionally bounce checks. The average bounced-check fee is $27.04. More banks are now using a tiered structure where the first check bounced incurs a $25 fee, the second bounced check will cost you $30, and any additional a whopping $35 each. Add on the $30 average bounced-check fee from the merchant and your costs continue to escalate. You could borrow $200 with a short-term loan for about half that cost… not only saving you money but saving your credit rating.
  • You only make minimum payments on your credit card balance each month. American’s currently carry about $1 trillion in credit card debt… many making only the minimum payment each month, driving the true cost of borrowing a few hundred dollars into the thousands. In fact, charging $500 on a credit card that already has a $2000 balance will cost you over $1400 making only minimum payments. With a short-term loan you can borrow the $500 for about $115 in fees – and because you pay it back quickly, the cost (and your debt) doesn’t continue to grow.
  • Need a little extra money between paychecks. Unfortunately life doesn’t happen on our pay schedule – which means even the most carefully planned budget can be thrown off by unexpected expenses. When that happens and you don’t have the time (or option) to use other bank products (like a line of credit), a short-term loan provides a quick, no hassle, short term solution.
  • Regularly overspend and get off budget. If you’re an impulse shopper and are surprised every month at how much debt you’ve incurred, short-term loans that require you to pay them off in full monthly may be a smarter choice for you as they’ll force you to be much more conscious in your spending.

a short-term loan may not be right for you if…

  • You pay your credit card off in full regularly. If you have your credit card spending under control and are paying off the balance regularly, then that’s the best choice for you. Make sure you’re using a credit card that offers advantages like discounts at your favorite merchants, reward points (such as Air Miles) and no annual fees.
  • You have access to inexpensive bank products. A line of credit and small loans through a bank typically have very low interest rates. If you have access to these products, use them. Of course, you should still shop around, not all banks are equal, and even if you have most of your accounts at one bank, you may find a better deal at another.
  • Friends and family can help you out. OK, for many of us asking friends and family for help is the last thing we want to do, but if you are lucky enough to have some rich friends or family members you’d be crazy not to start there first.

For more info on specific loans, browse the Frequently Asked Questions on Paradise Cash Advance in the U.S., and CashCanDo in Canada.