Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Celebrities that Promote Frugal Shopping

One of the biggest problems with paying attention to celebrity gossip is that it can inadvertently encourage you to waste a lot of money. Girls who want to look like their favorite celebrities may want to pay for everything from new makeup to plastic surgery to get those looks. And women are often encouraged to buy expensive, trendy, designer clothing to emulate their favorite stars. That’s why it’s so nice to see that some hot celebrities are starting to promote frugality when it comes to clothing and shopping.

Gilly Ferguson, who writes a style column over at HeatWorld.com, highlights a couple of recent examples of this great little trend:

Sienna Miller. This star is known for having a huge wardrobe. However, she recently re-wore an old item from two seasons ago and she wore it twice in one week. One of the problems with celebrity clothing trends is that they encourage you not to wear the same thing twice. This is unrealistic for normal people and also a serious waste of money. It’s nice to see Sienna bucking this trend.Amy Winehouse. This starlet has launched her own clothing line with Fred Perry. What’s great about is that it’s a

Monday, November 8, 2010

10 Signs That Frugality Has Become Compulsive Hoarding

Compulsive hoarding is a condition in which people accumulate things. There are many similarities between living a frugal lifestyle and hoarding. However, there are also key important differences between the two. Living a frugal lifestyle is okay. Compulsive hoarding doesn’t feel good and is something to get help for. Check out the following ten signs to make sure that your extreme frugality hasn’t turned into compulsive hoarding:

1. Hoarders keep things that are unsanitary or unhealthy for others in the home. For example, a hoarder may be unable to let go of food that has been expired for a long time even though others believe that the food is unsafe. Many frugal people choose to ignore the expiry dates on their food so that they aren’t wasteful. However, if this decision gets so extreme that other people are saying they won’t eat the food because they think it’s unhealthy then it’s probably worth it to take a closer look at your behavior. If you are putting anyone’s health at stake then you’re probably a hoarder.

2. Hoarders get things that they don’t need just because the things are free or cheap. Frugal people love to get a good deal. However, this can get too extreme. It can get to the point where you absolutely can’t pass up a good deal on an item even if you don’t need the item. Hoarders do this so often that they may run out of room in their homes since they have so much stuff. Trent Hamm points out that this has a cost. It may mean you need to pay for storage or for a larger home. Or it may just have an emotional toll from having to clean up around so much stuff. Frugal people factor this cost into consideration. Hoarders can’t do that and feel compelled to get that good deal.

3. Hoarders get mad when other people try to help them with their problem. Frugal people are always looking for new tips and tricks for saving money in a way that’s healthy and supports their other life goals. If you find that you’re getting defensive and angry when people make suggestions, you may be a Hoarder.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cost-Cutting Methods of UK Businesses

UK businesses have worked hard to cut the costs of travel during this time of economic hardship. A new report indicates that the trends that have started now are likely to continue for at least 2-3 years. And, in fact, many people believe that UK businesses will continue to use this new money-saving model for cutting business travel expenses even after that when the economy (hopefully) has improved.
There are five leading ways that these businesses have cut the costs of travel:
1. Video conferencing and teleconferencing instead of travel. As technology improves, it is possible to replace in-person meetings with virtual meetings that very closely replicate the face-to-face experience.
2. Replace the use of taxis with the use of public transportation. Business people on vacation are no longer being reimbursed for expensive cab costs but instead are asked to take buses and trains
3. Having employees fly coach. It is increasingly common for business travelers to fly coach instead of the more expensive business class and especially in place of first class. Some businesses do allow their employees to fly a better class on the way to a destination but then require them to travel economy class on the way back
4. Downgrading hotel choices. Business travelers are no longer able to enjoy their choice of luxury hotels but instead are limited to more affordable options
5. Careful consideration of the importance of each trip. One tip recommended by more than one in four employees that is now being implemented is much more careful assessment about the need for business travel before it takes place. If the return on investment for the trip isn’t worth it then the trip shouldn’t take place.

$25 off $25 - Gardens Alive

Here is another great catalog you will want to sign up for so that you become part of their customer database.

Today I received my catalog, and since I have not shopped they sent me a $25 off $25 Coupon to mail in with my order. It is no minimum order and the coupon says if I spend $25 or less, I get my item completely free.

Although I don't have a coupon code to share with you ( as it is a hard copy coupon only for my family ), I highly recommend you click here and request their free catalog.

I would sign up for their newsletter here, too and send it to your "deals" email account, too. Remember, if you don't have a separate email account for all your loyalty programs, newsletters and freebies, I highly recommend it. It keeps all your deals from taking over your personal email account.

Sometime in the future, you may receive a free $25 coupon, too!

I Love Reading Reviews

I have been on a bit of a run lately with doing some upgrades around the house to my appliances, heating equipment and even my gadgets. to see what other people thought or think of the items I am thinking of buying. The reviews are pretty important because they are from people that bought the item already and know if it is good or bad.
For example, if you go to any electronics website you will see tons of reviews and ratings from consumers. I was reading some digital camcorder reviews recently and they are a good case point. There are so features and facets to today gadgets like cell phones, digital cameras and lcd televisions that it is hard to stay on top of. Reading reviews really gives you insight into things that you might not think of. Things that you might forget to ask the salesperson. If you are going to spend the money, you want to be informed.
Of course, you sometimes have to take the reviews with a grain of salt. Some people like to complain for the sake of complaining. After you read through a few of them you will be able to pick the bad reviews from good reviews.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Shopping for Text Books

My friends kids are both at university this fall and he was doing some ranting about the cost of textbooks. He is like many people. He just sends the kids off with a credit card to the campus book store and buys everything new. I know that is what I did my first year of university. In hindsight it was a terrible waste of money for me. There are a number of other options out there that you should never have to buy new expensive text books.
The first think I would do is look for used books. You can do this my looking for ads in your school newspaper. Students are always selling their books off from the pervious year. There are also flyers and bulletin boards scattered around the campus where you can probably find somebody selling their used books. We have a number of used books stores in town where you have a good chance at finding used text books.
If you can't find your text books used then I would shop around first before throwing out the money at the campus book store. They may not have the best price. There are a zillion online book stores. I would be willing to bet that you can find a good deal on those books.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Ways to Save Money at the Gas Station

I love the picture below. Don't you with the prices were the same as when they were using these types of gas pumps? The prices always seem to be up when I cruise in for a gas fill up. Here are some general tips you can use to save money next time you have to fill up at your local gas station.
1. Find a credit card that offers cash back or has a rewards program and use it for your gas purchases. I recently just switched to a credit card that utilizes Air Miles so I can get some swag from their rewards catalogue.
2. Find a gas station that offers membership savings for using their credit cards. I know of a petro station nearby that offers a couple of cents on the litre if you use their special credit card to make purchases.
3. Check the internet for local gas prices and compare stations to see if you can find one that has cheaper prices.
4. Turn off the AC when driving around in the city. You will save gas by not running your cars air conditioning. You just have to sweat it out a bit. On the highway however having open windows might cost you more in gas because of the drag. You might want to have the a/c on in this case.
5. It's okay to use the cheaper priced gas. This day in age who would pay for premium? It's just money down the drain.
6. Get in the habit of checking your tire pressure. Most stations offer a free air pump for customers. Just check your tire pressure on your tire and give it quick check once a month. You will save money.
7. Clean the garbage out of your car, especially heaving items. A lighter car uses less gas. You aren't a transport so stop hauling heavy loads.
8. Avoid idling. If you are going to be stopped for more than one minute, you will save gas by turning the car off and restarting when you are ready to go. Our town has a law that cars can't idle for more that a minutes.

Let the Dishwasher Air Dry

I was reading a few saving money tips articles online and I came across one that suggested letting your dishes air dry if you use a dish washer. This is something that I had never thought of before. I just took the dishwasher for granted but I imagine it uses a lot of electricity using the hot air to dry the dishes.
Usually when we do dishes we let the dishwasher sit overnight or for the day so it's not like we need them to be instant dry. I tested this on the last few runs. On my dishwasher I can actually turn off the heat dry option as a setting although I have read where a few people had to manually turn theirs off when it goes into heat dry mode. This may be on older models.
I found that the dishes were fine when taking them out. A few might be damp but you can always dry them off a bit before they go to the cupboard. Another suggestion may be to open the door to let the air in to dry them off better. Either way give your electricity bill a break and let mother nature dry your dishes.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Do You Ever Buy Anything from a Store?

This was a question a friend of mine asked me thet other day when I was showing some iPhone4 gadgets that I recently purchased. Of course not, why would I pay full retail price for something when I have to go to an online auction and find the items that I need for a fraction of the price. You do have to do your homework when buying from auction websites. You have to look at the sellers feedback and you have to research prices, brand names and shipping. For example, if a person if offering low prices with high shipping prices you should stay away from them. When they sell you a crappy item they just have to refund the purchase prices and not the shipping. It's an old scam.
My point is don't rush out to a retail store and pay way much more than what you have to for a brand name item. Do some digging and I bet you can find what you are looking for and save some money.

Saving On My Home Renovations

I have been working on my house. Mostly redoing my basement from scratch. Right now it is in a total state of disrepair. I have foam sprayed the basement walls, added an HRV as well as a heat pump and new blower. With all of this out of the way I am putting a plan together to drywall everything, add my tv room as well as a small office or computer area.
I imagine ones first move would be to rush out to a box store and look at office furniture. I was driving by an office liquidator store and decided to stop in. I found out that lots of offices will dump their existing furniture and supplies not because there is anything wrong them but because they have redecorated. I couldn't believe how it is to pick up a decent desk and chair set.
The lesson is, you don't have to buy everything brand new. Do some digging and find a used store, a liquidator or a charity that sells donated items. There are lots of options to save you some money.

Easy Ways to Save Money

It really doesn't matter if you are ahead or behind in your savings plans, it's always a good idea to try to save a little more. I know I feel better about myself and my life when I look at my bank account or my credit cards and know that I am winning the battle to save and get rid of my debt. Here are a few easy tips to help you start saving money today.
Examine your priorities and ask yourself if you really need the items you are thinking of buying. Especially those big ticket items. Do you want them because somebody else has them or because you are trying to fill a void or are you just bored? Prioritize and spend your money on things you need and seriously think about things that you want.
Set spending limits and stick to them the best that you can. You have to realize that you can't always meet your goals but try to come as close as possible. Don't get depressed or upset when you don't meet your goals but feel good that you made the attempt and came as close as you can. Things happen in life that are beyond our control like flat tires and a car that won't start.
There is that old saying about keep it simple stupid. Life can be complicated. Sometimes we try to make things more difficult than we have to. Do you need to join an expensive gym when you can take up jogging or walking for a fraction of the cost? Can you get buy with your existing car without having to sink into massive debt to have the latest model?
Take stock in what you have and be happy. Some people place too much importance on having the latest gizmo's and toys. Does this make a person happier? Not really, especially if you can't afford it and it bogs you down in debt. Be happy with what you have and enjoy life. Work towards the goal of saving money, getting out of debt and enjoy life one day at a time.