Row Nine

Friday, May 28, 2010

More Freebies and Sweeps For Our Savvy Shoppers

We've uncovered lots of goodies for our Shopping Savvy followers as we begin the month of June. Come check them out and more to come as we spot them. Enjoy!


Sweepstakes

Better Recipes Daily Sweepstakes. Grand prize is $5,000 cash but there are daily giveaways and you can enter once a day for cooking supplies from Cooking.com, gift cards and more.

Clausen's Fresh Sensory Overload Sweeptstakes. It's an instant win where you can win a $25 American Express Gift Card plus be entered to win a $5,000 Summer Fun Gift Package. Play daily and ends July 31, 2010.

Cruise The Caribbean Sweeptakes: One Entry Per Person. Great cruise vacation prizes from Celebrity Cruise Line. Enter before June 21st! ENTER IT HERE

To Texas With Love Sweeps: Also one entry per person. Ends July 2, 2010 from Travelocity. ENTER HERE

Conde Nast Traveler Escape To Grapevine Sweepstakes. Also one entry per person. Ends June 22, 2010. Prize is a 3 night trip for 2 to Grapevine, Texas includes airfare, accomodations and gifts.

Tales of the Cocktail New Orleans Getaway Sweeps: The Tales of the Cocktail event in New Orleans brings together the best and brightest of the cocktail community award-winning mixologists, authors, bartenders and chefs-for a celebration of the artistry of drink making. Prize: 4-day/3-night trip for two to New Orleans, LA, on July 20-23, 2010, including roundtrip airfare, accommodations at the Hotel Monteleone, and 3-day pass to the Tales of the Cocktail event. ARV $2,000. One entry per person before June 25, 2010.

WOW! Country Living & Wisteria have 30 days of great prizes up for grabs. You can enter as often as you like and enter for the ones you would like to win. Go check them out and ENTER HERE

Freebies

As Always with our Freebies, these were good at the time I published them but many have limitations and I would act fast to insure you get your's.

Free Olay Total Effects Body Wash Sample from Walmart - GET IT HERE

Two Free Samples of Kraft Sandwich Shop Mayo - GET THEM HERE

Hyland's Homeopathic Restless Legs Sample - GET IT HERE

Crest 3D Whitestrips Sample From Walmart - VISIT HERE

Burt's Bees Toothpaste Sample and $1 off Coupon - GET IT HERE

Free Sample Purex 3 in 1 Fabric Softener - GET ONE HERE

Free Charmin Extender Toilet Paper Holder - VISIT HERE

Tide plus Febreeze Free Sample by mail from Walmart - GET ONE HERE

Free Arm & Hammer Advanced White Toothpaste Sample - CLICK HERE

Free Poise Pantyliner Sample Kit - CLICK HERE

Free Crystal Light Pure Fitness Samples - Complete a short survey HERE

Free Healthy Drink Samples from Emergen-C - GET THEM HERE




















Sunday, May 23, 2010

Too Much Of A Good Thing

Shopping Savvy is an art. But, can you have too much of a good thing? Or, in other words, is it really a great deal to buy in bulk? While in a great many cases it is, there are some instances where it's actually not smart.

So, before you run to the Wholesale Club or stock up at the next BOGO Sale or Markdown, take a peek at this recent article published on Yahoo! Finance. It brings light to many items that you actually should not buy in bulk, for reasons of them going bad, becoming obsolete or taking up too much storage room to make the savings worthwhile.

I found this interesting and enlightening. While I knew some, I didn't really think about others but the article makes good sense. Enjoy and here's to Shopping Savvy!

Best Stuff Not To Buy In Bulk
by Seth Fiegerman

Too Much of a Good Thing

While the frugal part of me cringes to admit this, not all things are great to buy in bulk. The truth is that some items go bad too quickly, take up too much space in your house or actually cost less to buy it individually. Here are some tips you should know when considering what you should and shouldn't buy in bulk, as well as our list of products that you should generally stick to buying in small doses. Obviously, prices on these items do vary from store to store, but keep these examples in mind. Also, we each consume products differently. If you live in a house with 10 other people, you might want to skip reading this and spend your time looking at apartment listings instead.

Brown Rice

We all know that it's usually not a smart idea to buy perishable products like eggs or milk in bulk, but there are plenty of other things out there that people tend to store indefinitely without realizing they expire within six months to a year. Case in point: brown rice. In general, we tend to think of rice as something that just lasts and lasts, but brown rice (which happens to be better for you than white rice) has a much shorter shelf life because it contains more oil. So, buy in moderation and make sure to store it in a refrigerator if you plan to keep it for long periods of time.

Candy

One key rule of buying in bulk is that you should beware of purchasing guilty pleasures like candy and other junk food. Otherwise, bulk buying can turn into bulk eating. One consumer put it best on Savingadvice.com: "If I go to my local store and but 2 candy bars for $1 a piece, I spend $2 and they will last a week. I buy a box at Costco of 24 candy bars for $12, they still will be gone in a week. Even though the unit price is less, I end up spending more."

Paper Towels

It may sound like a good idea at first. Paper towels are not perishable and they do tend to cost less when you buy them in bulk. But according to Joshua Thomas, a spokesperson for Target, there is a downside to buying this in bulk. "Paper towels may be more evergreen but before you buy them in bulk, you need to think about how much space you have in your home," he said. And the last thing you want is to have paper towels taking up space you could use for other necessities. Just because some bulk items are lighter on your wallet doesn't mean they won't weigh down your life in other ways.

Toilet Paper

Just like with paper towels, you don't want to go overboard purchasing toilet paper. Yes, we all dread that moment when we go to the bathroom only to find there's no toilet paper left, but at the same time, you don't want to have your cabinets and shelves overflowing with rolls of Charmin.

Nuts

In general, you should try to avoid buying nuts in bulk, unless you're the kind of person who munches on them throughout the day. They may be more affordable in bulk, but nuts usually expire within one to two months. "The high fat content in nuts (particularly in peanuts, pecans, and walnuts) causes them to go rancid rather quickly," said Alejandra Ramos, home-cooking expert and creator of the site AlwaysOrderDessert.com. "If you must buy them in large quantities, remember that roasted nuts last longer than raw ones, and shelled ones last the longest. Light, heat, and moisture also affect the quality and they have the tendency to absorb smells so always store nuts in the fridge or freezer. This also goes for seeds and nuts like sesame seeds, flaxseeds, and pine nuts."

Mayo (and Other Condiments)

Ramos also recommends shoppers avoid buying condiments like mayo, ketchup and salad dressing in bulk "unless you'll be using them right away at a large party or event." These items, she said, tend to only last six months to a year and "take much longer to get through than you'd expect."

Vitamins and Nutritional Supplements

Even stuff that's good for you may end up being a bad investment. Several consumers wrote to us about why it's not worth buying vitamins and other supplements in bulk and the experts agree. "Unless you are absolutely certain that you won't mind drinking the same flavor of protein shake every day for the rest of the year, avoid buying the jumbo containers of soy-isolate. Even the most hardcore fitness enthusiasts need variety, and these products do eventually expire," said Linsey Knerl, better known as The Dealista. "The same can be said for vitamins. Unless you are certain that you'll tolerate them well, don't stock up. Sample a smaller size of packaging for a few weeks, note any side effects, and only proceed with an 'economy-size' package if it agrees with you."

Diapers

Knerl also urges parents to refrain from buying diapers in bulk when their children are entering a growth spurt. "I've run into problems when I purchase a large case right before baby grows," she said. "While you can squeeze some kiddos into a smaller size for a time, it can be a hassle to have purchased a large case and then have them go to the next size -- with over 150 diapers in the old size still hanging around."

Bleach

Bleach is another item that you might be inclined to buy in bulk but unfortunately it goes bad over time. According to The Scripps Research Institute, bleach has a shelf life of six months and then "starts to degrade." Each year you keep the bleach around, it loses 20% of its effectiveness, and you lose that much more of the money you put into it originally.

Check the article out online at Yahoo! Finance here:
http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/109193/best-stuff-not-to-buy-in-bulk

For more items NOT to buy in bulk, visit Main Street here:
http://www.mainstreet.com/slideshow/smart-spending/best-stuff-not-buy-bulk

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Excellent Article To Read About Grocery Pricing

Hi Savvy Shoppers:

First off, a quick please note that most of my websites are down right now and we are working diligently to get them back up. Sadly enough, our hosting server got hacked with many thanks to the Turkish hacker who has nothing better to do with his time then put his mind to destructive use. Grrrr....

On a brighter note, it is giving me an opportunity to give a facelift and increase security so it's onward and upward from here on out!

I just ran across a very interesting article about Grocery Pricing that was published at Bankrate.com

For those who are avid couponers, can't seem to beat the system or want to figure out how to beat the grocery stores at their own game (and don't we all!), this article sheds light on grocery pricing and I found it very interesting.

Thanks to it's author and Bankrate.com for sharing. Enjoy and happy shopping and saving!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Take grocery coupons to the next level
By Jay McDonald of Bankrate.com


Have you hit a wall with grocery coupons? Is chasing after bargains from store to store costing more in time and gas than it's worth, even for frugal folks?


Knowing how grocers deal out savings through four pricing strategies can help you reach the next level of savings.

"It's an age of transparency now. Consumers now have more weapons than they have ever had," says Venkatesh Shankar, professor of marketing at the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

"Once you see the value proposition you are getting out of your stores, you can determine which retailers best meet your needs."

“Consumers now have more weapons than they have ever had.”

Grocery stores comprise a more than $500 billion industry in the U.S., according to U.S. Census figures. Not surprisingly, there is fierce competition for a pie that large. As a result, profit margins are razor-thin.

Grocers use pricing strategies to make ends meet. These pricing models -- deployed over tens of thousands of items in a typical supermarket -- allow retailers to offer just enough in discounts without giving away the store.

4 pricing strategies - The four major grocery pricing strategies are:

High-low: Popular with savvy bargain hunters who save by stocking up, these supermarkets offer deep markdowns on some items. Typically, high-low grocers offer an enticing array of weekly grocery coupons, promotions, buy-one-get-one-free, or BOGO, offers and special discounts for loyalty-card holders. The grocers recoup their lost profits by charging slightly higher margins on other items. High-low grocers also typically charge vendors for warehousing, shelf space and promotional displays. High-low chains include Kroger, Publix, Safeway and Winn-Dixie.

Everyday low prices: Popular with price-sensitive shoppers, EDLP retailers negotiate rock-bottom wholesale prices from their vendors in lieu of charging fees. They then pass on the savings to customers. EDLP chains include Walmart, Target, Food Lion and Lucky.

Discount clubs: Discount clubs
make their profits from membership fees and reduced overhead. As a result, their markup is usually half that of supermarkets. Their warehouse stores typically stock a small fraction of a supermarket's inventory (1,500 items or so) and package it in large quantities to maximize the savings to members. Discount clubs include Costco, BJ's Wholesale Club and Sam's Club.


Aggressive pricing: Although these retailers generally carry fewer than 1,000 items, they specialize in selling name-brand products packaged to sell at attractive prices. Aggressive pricing stores include Dollar General, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree.

Each pricing strategy offers bargains for shoppers willing to put in the work, says Neil Stern, a senior partner at McMillanDoolittle LLP, a retail consulting firm in Chicago.

Read the rest of the article online here:
http://www.bankrate.com/finance/personal-finance/take-grocery-coupons-to-the-next-level-1.aspx

Sunday, May 9, 2010

New Sweepstakes For You & Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all our readers! We hope you are having a great day!

I know some of the sweepstakes enthusiasts have told us how much they like these and would love to see more.

For some, you might wonder what this topic has to do with shopping savvy? Well, while not a shopping exercise per se, sweepstaking is a great way to add to the family budget in little and not so little ways. Let me explain:

A simple entry that takes only a few minutes can pay off handsomely in free stuff - cash, prizes and more. Over the years, I have won countless numbers of items from sweepstakes from the littlest gifts up to a DVD player, a VCR and a Graco High Chair before my son was born. I have received dozens of gift cards from various stores and online merchants. Plus, I have won cash prizes including a $1,000 savings bond. I am still looking to hit the "big one" but over the years since I began participating in sweepstakes I have won a lot of things!

We have plans later but for now, I am in the office and have some new sweeps to pass along to everyone. Enjoy!


It's back again from MyRecipes.com, the $5,000 Grocery Giveaway! Enter to win daily and you can even send yourself a reminder to enter again via email.
CLICK HERE TO ENTER

$5,000 Room Makeover Sweepstakes from My Home Ideas. You can enter this one daily too and runs thru 6-30-10.
ENTER IT HERE

Savor Savannah Sweepstakes from Southern Living. Win a trip and lots of perks to Savannah, Georgia.
ENTER HERE

Southern Living's Food For Today Sweeps. Grand prize includes a cookbook and $500 American Express Gift Card for groceries. This one is good until December 2010 (see official rules for details) and they will actually be giving away this prize as specified in their rules - for a total of 9 times you could win the grand prize. Come check it out and bookmark this one to come back and try again.
CLICK HERE TO ENTER

The All You Dreams Come True Sweeps. Prizes being given away at several levels and you choose the prize. You can enter daily and it doesn't end until January 31, 2001 so bookmark this one if it's one you like also.
ENTER IT HERE

Cooking Light's Spring Gift Guide Sweepstakes. Hurry, this one ends May 13th and you can win a trip to a culinary academy or a wine club membership.
CLICK TO LEARN MORE AND ENTER

North Carolina High Country "Choose Your Journey" Sweepstakes. This one expires the end of May too so get in on it now.
ENTER HERE

I will continue to share more as I find them. Good luck!

Now I am off to finish up the work here in my home office and to spend some time with my special little someone this Mother's Day. Happy Mothers day to all!