Spend Less On Tech Gadgets

Purchasing the latest tech toys isn’t cheap. With the help of companies such as giftcardrescue, you are able to purchase discounted gift cards to stores such as Target that will help you Here’s how to soften the blow to your wallet.

spend less on tech gadgets

1. Sell your old device. Before upgrading to a new smartphone, laptop or tablet, consider selling or trading in your old device. Many retailers and wireless carriers offer trade-in programs. “The more current the phone or gadget, the more credit you can expect to receive,” consumer and money-saving expert Andrea Woroch says.

While retailers typically offer a gift card toward future purchases, trade-in websites including Gazelle, BuyMyTronics and Glyde offer cash. “Some sites will buy it from you even if it’s broke, though naturally you’ll get a lower buyback,” says DealNews.com spokesman Mark LoCastro. “That’s money that you can in turn use for your new gadget purchase.” You may get more money reselling the device yourself through eBay (EBAY) or Craigslist, but that option also requires more legwork to complete the transaction and more potential for the buyer to flake out or defraud you.

2. Know your needs. According to Stephanie Humphrey, weekly tech columnist for Ebony.com and founder of the blog A Matter of Life and Tech, it’s a good idea to determine how much storage space and what features you need before a shopping excursion. That way a slick salesperson won’t upsell you to a model that has extra bells and whistles you won’t use. Customers sometimes “go in and say, ‘Gimme that one,’ and it’s more expensive than what [they] need,” she says.

With most non-Apple products, you can usually add more disk space later if needed, although it’s often cheaper to buy the right amount from the start. If you must upgrade your disk space later on, Humphrey says you can save money if you buy the component pieces online and install them yourself.

3. Consider buying the previous generation. iPhone 5s may be popular among the tech cognoscenti, but if you’re price-conscious, consider an iPhone 4 or 5 (not 5s). “Electronics have one of the fastest depreciation values on any consumer good as manufacturers and brands release new updates and models on popular gadgets every few months,” Woroch says. “What’s hot today may be old news in a few months, so it’s not worth paying a premium just to get the latest bells and whistles.”

LoCastro adds that a previous generation device is often still capable of running the latest apps and software. “You might just sacrifice a faster processor or thinner design,” he says.

Timing your purchase to the release of a new model can also save you money. “The best time to buy a current-generation iPad is toward the end of its life cycle,” LoCastro says. “So the minute you hear rumors that a new iPad is in the works, chances are retailers will discount the current iPad. That rule generally applies to all types of gadgets, from smartphones to tablets.”

4. Look for open-box deals or refurbished devices. Many retailers sell open-box items at a steep discount. “Open box may just mean it was the display model, or [an employee] may have opened it to show someone and that person decided not to purchase that item,” Humphrey says.

Refurbished devices have typically been used and returned to the manufacturer, which usually restores it to factory settings and tests it for defects. Humphrey says it’s a good idea to buy refurbished products from a reputable source, and make sure it’s factory certified.

5. Exercise caution on secondary markets. Worldwide sales of smartphones to end users totaled 968 million units, and tablet sales reached 195.4 million units last year, according to Gartner (IT), a technology research and advisory company. Plenty of these functional devices wind up on the secondary market when the owner gets tired of them or decides to upgrade.

Craigslist and eBay are two popular sources for used devices, but they can be riskier than buying directly from a retailer or manufacturer. Humphrey likes that eBay displays reviews from previous buyers. “You want sellers that have a lot of ratings so you can get a feel for how many people have walked away satisfied,” she says. Just be cautious about what you read. “There’s a whole industry now around buying fake reviews,” Humphrey points out. Craigslist connects local buyers and sellers, allowing them to meet in person to test a device. “The only real way to know if a product is going to function is to power it up,” she adds. If you’re conducting a Craigslist transaction in a public place for safety reasons, you can easily test out a smartphone or laptop, but trying out a TV or other large device becomes trickier.

6. Skip the extended warranty (most of the time). Retailers make much of their money from selling extended warranties, not from the products themselves. Your credit card may automatically offer protection beyond a standard manufacturer warranty for some items, so it’s worth checking before you pay for an extended warranty. Also consider the type of gadget you’re buying. “When it comes to televisions, you’re usually safe to skip over this added expense,” Woroch says. “While warranties do offer peace of mind, HDTVs are surprisingly reliable.” Humphrey says you probably don’t need an extended warranty on a TV, but it might be worthwhile for a laptop or tablet. “You’re transporting those, so there’s more of a chance that you’ll drop it or scratch it,” she explains. Still, the manufacturer warranty may not cover accidental damage such as water damage, so read the fine print before you buy.

Original article on U.S. News

How I Cut My Food Budget In Half

Kali Geldis tells the DailyFinance about how she cut her food budget in half. If she would have known about services such as giftcardrescue.com, she could’ve saved even more!

With discounted gift cards to major grocery stores like Whole FoodsWalmartTarget, and more; saving hundreds of dollars a month is common. Here is her story.

cut your food budget in half

I opened up my budget tracking tool last November, and my jaw dropped — I had spent $1,200 on food that month. That’s when I knew I had to make a change.

Now, a few notes about that total: That includes groceries, restaurants, bars and fast food. Also, I prepared Thanksgiving dinner — $125 for couple of pies and a turkey for six people. However, that $1,200 number stuck with me — I needed to cut my spending on food.

It’s no surprise that food was a big budget-breaker for me — it’s one of the most common expenses on which financial planners see clients spending too much money. I definitely felt like I was throwing money away. There are so many other ways I could use that money — paying for a vacation, investing more money in an individual retirement account, saving for a down payment on a home, paying for a wedding.

It was when my now-fiancé proposed over Christmas that I knew needed to buckle down and cut my food spending by a lot. Weddings are expensive, and the money that was going toward nights out and nice dinners with friends was wrecking my budget. While I wasn’t going into debt, I realized it was just a matter of time. And debt is something I strenuously avoid. (I never carry a balance on my credit cards and am constantly monitoring my credit scores for free on Credit.com to make sure my credit utilization level is low.) If I was going to start cutting my food spending, I needed new rules for myself.

How I Cut My Food Spending in Half

  • Pack lunch for work. A simple step, yes, but I realized that I don’t need to pack a lunch every day for work, just pack supplies for lunches once a week. I realized I could get a big supply of baby spinach, some dried cranberries and some salad dressing, and have enough to last me for lunches the entire week. It made packing a lunch less of a hassle, and helped me avoid ordering lunch delivered to the office on Seamless on a daily basis. (I still let myself order in every once in a while.)
  • Make grocery shopping a priority. I’m a New Yorker, so stocking up on groceries for the week is more difficult than hopping in my car, filling up my cart and heading home. I have to carry all my groceries from the store to my apartment, and a week’s worth of food is shockingly heavy. I’ve opted instead to use Fresh Direct to order groceries every week. Even though I know I’m not getting the best deal on every item I buy, I know that by regularly filling my fridge, I’m not ordering a $25 meal from an online food delivery service. The savings adds up.
  • Just say no. Part of my food spending problem was that I would go out with friends and feel pressured to order another round of drinks, splurge on dessert, or get a bunch of appetizers for the table. I deserved it, right? I had to learn some self-control and think about the bigger expenses I really wanted — owning a home in a few years, saving money for my upcoming wedding (and the awesome honeymoon we want), and planning for a fully funded retirement. (Yes — I’m a millennial who is thinking about retirement — we do exist!)

I looked at my food spending in May — it’s down to about $600, a huge accomplishment, I cut my food budget in half! It took me about six months to really get into a groove with these new habits, but the payoff is big. My fiancé and I are on track to save more than $1,000 a month for our wedding, and we’re hoping to have a little left over to save for the other big costs down the road.

16 Target Shopping Secrets

If heading to Target is the highlight of your week, here are some awesome secrets that will help you save money and have a more fruitful experience. Purchasing a discount Target gift card before hitting the store will allow you to save even more!
Flickr: partymonstrrrr / Via Creative Commons

1. Target has a schedule for when they mark product pricing down. The schedule is as follows:

Monday – Electronics, Accessories, Kids Clothing, Books, Baby, and Stationery

Tuesday — Domestics, Women’s Clothing, Pets and, Market food items

Wednesday — Men’s Clothing, Health and Beauty, Diapers, Lawn/Garden items, and Furniture

Thursday — Housewares, Lingerie, Shoes, Toys, Sporting Goods, Decor and Luggage

Friday — Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, and Jewelry

Target has a schedule for when they mark product pricing down. The schedule is as follows:

Target / Via facebook.com

2. The price tag will tell you what percentage the markdown is.

The lower left shows the original price and the upper right hand corner shows the percentage off for the markdown.

The price tag will tell you what percentage the markdown is.

3. If the price tag ends in $0.06 or $0.08, the item will be priced down again.

As long as there is inventory in the store. It will probably remain on clearance for around 2 weeks.

If the price tag ends in $0.06 or $0.08, the item will be priced down again.

Target / Via facebook.com

4. If a price tag ends in $0.04, it is final clearance andwon’t be marked down again.

They’ve gotta draw the line somewhere.

If a price tag ends in $0.04, it is final clearance and won't be marked down again.

Target / Via facebook.com

5. Target enforces a limit on the number of returns you can make without a receipt.

It’s no more than $75.00 a year.

Target enforces a limit on the number of returns you can make without a receipt.

Target / Via facebook.com

6. All electronics and entertainment purchases have alimited amount of time in which they may be returned or exchanged.

You have 30 days after the day of purchase.

All electronics and entertainment purchases have a limited amount of time in which they may be returned or exchanged.

Target / Via facebook.com

7. Beyond the 5% off it gives it’s users, REDcard debit and credit card holders will receive an extra 30 daysto return nearly all items purchased with their REDcard at Target and Target.com.

And there’s no annual fee.

Beyond the 5% off it gives it's users, REDcard debit and credit card holders will receive an extra 30 days to return nearly all items purchased with their REDcard at Target and Target.com.

Target / Via facebook.com

8. You can return Target purchases by mail for free.

Just visit the online return center and print out a prepaid return label. Target will pay the return shipping fees.

You can return Target purchases by mail for free.

Target / Via facebook.com

9. If you find an item in a competitor’s ad, bring it to Target and they’ll match the advertised price.

No questions asked.

If you find an item in a competitor's ad, bring it to Target and they'll match the advertised price.

Target / Via facebook.com

10. If you pay with a check, you have to wait 10 daysbefore you can get a refund in cash.

Otherwise you have to settle for a Target GiftCard.

If you pay with a check, you have to wait 10 days before you can get a refund in cash.

Target / Via facebook.com

11. Target has mobile coupons available to be sent directly to your phone.

You can sign up here. You don’t have to clip coupons anymore.

Target has mobile coupons available to be sent directly to your phone.

Target / Via facebook.com

12. And the Target app gets 10 or more new couponseach week.

Your cashier can just scan your phone if you decide to use one and the app is FREE to download.

Lara Parker for BuzzFeed

Lara Parker for BuzzFeed

13. The Cartwheel app is a free app that Target recently debuted. It offers several deals that change weekly that offer different ways to save than the Target app does.

The app will link to your Facebook, but you can choose whether or not you allow it to post for you. It’s beneficial for you that it links to your Facebook because the more friends you have using Cartwheel, the more coupons you get to use. For example: one week Cartwheel may offer 15% off women’s shoes and the next 10% off all Women’s Underwear. You can search the app easily and find exactly what you need to buy.

Lara Parker for BuzzFeed

Lara Parker for BuzzFeed

14. If you find an item on sale that you wish to purchase but the store runs out of stock, you canrequest a rain check.

This means that no matter what, when the item is restocked you can purchase it at sale price.

If you find an item on sale that you wish to purchase but the store runs out of stock, you can request a rain check.

Target / Via Facebook: target

15. At most Targets, for each bag that you bring in to use, you will receive $0.05.

That adds up!

At most Targets, for each bag that you bring in to use, you will receive $0.05.

16. You can find brand new Target merchandise for cheap at Goodwill.

After Target clearances certain items and they still don’t sell, they will then donate those items to Goodwill.

You can find brand new Target merchandise for cheap at Goodwill.

Flickr: jeepersmedia / Via Creative Commons

Go forth with this information and prosper.

Go forth with this information and prosper.

NBC
If you would rather skip Target and shop at Walmart, find out how to coupon to save.
Original article from Buzzfeed.com

Signs You Are A Starbucks Addict

If Starbucks is a part of your daily ritual, you know what effect that can have on your wallet. Not to promote your addictive behavior but there is now a way to get Starbucks for cheaper! With Starbucks introducing their new wine and beer happy hour; you might be spending a lot more time there. Here are 39 signs that you are a Starbucks Addict.

Starbucks addict

1. It’s a different way to drink your calories without getting hungover the next day

2. A small iced coffee is sufficient enough caffeine and only costs $2

3. It’s expanding its menu to include wine, reaching out to the inner-alcoholic in all of us

4. The 30-minute line is a great excuse to get away from work

5. Caffeine is more addicting than carbs and it has fewer calories

6. It’s the go-to Instagram picture when you have nothing else to upload

Starbucks Addict

7. Because you’re probably drinking it right now

8. The barista will, more than likely, screw up your order

9. The worst way to start the morning is taking a sip of what you thought was an unsweetened green tea, only to chug a giant gulp of sugar water

10. You will be charged extra for soy milk

11. It owns your bank account since it’s the top priority of your weekly life

12. You spend time counting down the days until you can feast on all the different Pumpkin Spice concoctions

13. The baristas recognize you and have your order memorized

14. It’s the best assistant at work you could ever ask for

15. You got visibly upset when the barista told you Starbucks discontinued your favorite breakfast: Veggie Artisan sandwich

16. You secretly believe that every time you place your order, the barista will f*ck it up

16.When budgeting, you sacrifice meals to make room for your coffee expenditures

17. If you don’t have a Gold card, it’s your biggest goal in life to obtain one

Starbucks Addict

18. But, let’s be serious, you got a Gold card months ago

19. You use the Starbucks app more than any other app on your phone

20. You physically can’t do any activity without first stopping for coffee

21. You’ve gotten into a verbal altercation with another customer about who was in line first

22. You think going multiple times in one day is acceptable

23. You’ve contemplated going out on a date with a barista so that you might get free coffee (or at least a discount)

24. After years and years of consumption, you’ve somehow built up a resistance to anything smaller than a grande

25. You never feel comfortable ordering from an out-of-town Starbucks

26. You depend on your barista for your daily dose of happiness

Starbucks Addict

27. You see no appeal in other coffee bodegas

28. It doesn’t matter how out of the way it is, you will always choose Starbucks over any other option

29. You understand and accept the fact that you need to allot 15 different five-minute slots throughout the day to pee

30. If your name is difficult to pronounce, you get a thrill from giving an easy-to-spell name instead

31. You are on a first-name basis with the Starbucks closest to your office and your apartment, oh and your parents’ house

32. You can’t comprehend the fact that people actually enjoy drinking decaf

Starbucks Addict

33. You like your caffeine like you like your men: strong

34. You have paid more than $5.25 for a cup, complained about it and did it again the following day

35. You don’t even own a Keurig because you just love your trips to Starbucks

36. You say a little prayer every night that Starbucks might offer free refills one day

37. The fact that there are now drive-thru Starbucks locations made your life just a little bit better

Starbucks Addict

38. You actually take it personally when people tell you they don’t like Starbucks

39. You stopped reading this halfway through to get another cup

Originally from EliteDaily

Photo Credit: WeHeartIt

5 Best Ways To Get A Discount

If you think you are paying too much for certain products, you could try to get a discount next time you are at the store. By simply asking for a product at, what you think is a reasonable cost, could win you that price for your purchase. DailyFinance shares ways to approach getting a discount on products you are buying. Using websites such as GiftCardRescue.com
can get you a discount anytime you are shopping. With discounted gift cards for up to 35% OFF actual value, saving money is guaranteed.

Get a store discount

Be friendly, polite and nice. When you ask for a discount at the register, you’re asking the cashier to do you a favor. You don’t know if a discount is available and you need his help. Being friendly, polite and nice to the cashier can go a long way. Smile, say hello and ask her about her day as she rings up your purchases. When it comes time to pay, that’s when you ask if there are discounts for which you qualify.

Accept you’ll fail most of the time. Some stores simply don’t offer discounts of any kind. They don’t run promotions, they don’t have coupons and there’s no way for a cashier to ring up a discount. Other stores run promotions all the time. If you’ve heard of Bed Bath & Beyond (BBY),

you’ve probably seen one of their ubiquitous 20 percent off coupons. They come in nearly every mailer, apply toward almost everything except a few name brands, and never actually expire, despite having an expiration date. If you forget a coupon, the cashier has a book of bar codes he or she can scan to give you the right discounts to help you save. Depending on how nice the cashier is, sometimes she will even scan bar codes reserved for competitons’ coupons to give you even more savings. It pays to be nice in life!
Get lots of practice. There is only one way to get comfortable with failure: experience it. Once you’ve felt the sting of failure, it doesn’t hurt as much the next time. And when you do fail, it’s really not a big deal. Most cashiers will say “sorry, we don’t have that,” or something similar. If you think you’ll struggle with this, pretend you’re acting or playing a persona. Pretend you’re testing out different strategies, like the result when you’re friendly versus simply being polite. Let it become a game, and failure stops being as big of a deal.
Try obtaining discounts at smaller shops. In the case of a large store, cashiers don’t usually have the freedom to give you a discount unless it’s already part of the company culture, as is the case with Bed Bath & Beyond. With smaller stores or at farmers markets or smaller venues, you may be speaking with the proprietor, and he has the flexibility to do anything he wants. The store may not advertise a three-for-two discount but it might go for it if you ask. If it’s near the end of the day, the owner might prefer to sell the item at a lower profit margin than not at all.
Take advantage of an affinity group. Are you retired or active military? Are you of a certain age? Military, veterans, student and senior discounts are everywhere, but some stores don’t advertise them. To find out if the store has one, just ask. Are you a member of the National Military Family Association or AARP? Membership organizations often negotiate special discounts for members, and they may have done it at the store you’re in, and those discounts may not be advertised.If you find yourself having trouble trying these strategies, just remember that a few seconds, even if they’re uncomfortable seconds at first, could save you a lot of money in the long run. It’s worth the effort.

Ladies Choice!

Today we have exclusive deals for the ladies. There are some amazing sales going on at some of our favorite Women’s Clothing Stores.

 

  • Aeropostale- Extra 30% off Clearance today only. Use Code: 30FALLCLEAR that will take an additional 30% off their already super low prices. This offer is only valid today, 09/26/2012
  • Nine West – all footwear is priced at Buy One, Get One 50% off through10/02/2012.
  • Victoria’s Secret – Free shipping on $50+ orders just enter coupon code 50FALL to get them shipped for free. Expires 09/27/2012.
  • Sperry Top-Sider – Up to 50% off select women’s styles, discounts of up to 50% on select women’s styles. Sale ends 10/02/2012.
  • New York & Company - Buy One, Get One 50% off pricing. Alternately all jeans and cords are Buy One, Get One 75% off. Ending on 09/27/2012.

 

The Seasons Are Changing, Are You Ready?

Summer is coming to an end, meaning its time to pack away the shorts and tank tops, but is your wardrobe ready for the change in temperature? Here are some of today’s BEST deals for getting your closet ready for fall 2012. 

 

Today’s Deals:

  • Under Armour – Free shipping & free return on all footwear. No coupon code necessary. Offer expires 10/02/2012
  • PacSun – Free shipping w/any denim purchase. No coupon necessary. Sale ends 09/23/2012.
  • Eddie Bauer – Free shipping and 25% off on jeans and pants, use the coupon code FALL12. This deal expires 09/23/2012.
  • The Limited – $25 off orders of $125 or more, use coupon code FALL25. Expires 09/20/2012.

 

 

 

Bahama’s Vacation, Oakley Shades, iPhone 4 and More

  • Grand Lucayan Bahama’s Vacation for 3 nights at  $199.99 per person via CheapCarribean.
  • Women’s Oakley Deception Sunglasses only $39.99 (originally $190) at Oakley Vault.
  • iPhone 4 (refurbished) black 16gb model with no contract for $254.99 at Cowboom.
  • Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls V for Xbox 360 or PS3 for $39.99 at in-store only at Toys R Us.
  • Samsung Bluetooth Wireless Headset (great stocking stuffer) only $7.47 at Amazon.