admin / February 14, 2011

The Blog-Sometimes Bargain Items Are Awful

Last week I learned a valuable lesson that not everything that’s a budget price is that great. Last month I bought a pack of eight rolls of toilet paper that were on special at the supermarket. It wasn’t until last week we started to use them and my husband was the first to complain. I quickly agreed that it was the worst toilet paper I’d ever seen. It looked fine on the roll but proved to be just one ply and so thin if you held it up to the light you could see through it. You’d have to use twice as much paper as other brands and hence save no money. Lesson learned, stick with old favorites because sometimes bargain specials are neither. And there’s more to the story. I e-mailed the company and told them how unhappy I was with the purchase and have to say they responded quickly and are sending me coupons for their other brands.

Remember the soap nuts I mentioned in this month’s newsletter? I purchased the sample package and also the sample size of the all purpose cleaner. Quick service and they send you a coupon for 12% off not only your next purchase but all future ones too. The package arrived after I’d finished doing the laundry but I’ll let you know what I thought about them in next Monday’s blog. I have tried the all purpose cleaner and it does an excellent job. I like the fact it’s in concentrate, looks like you can use it on just about any surface and it’s a good price too.

The articles about saving money keeping rolling-

My late father would have loved this one-

http://finance.yahoo.com/banking-budgeting/article/111978/6-costs-you-should-always-negotiate?mod=bb-budgeting

When it pays to buy used-

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/First-Person-5-Things-I-ac-3815880417.html?x=0

Yes, we’ve been warned-

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Higher-food-prices-ahead-apf-2876382522.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=8&asset=&ccode=

Another food focused week on Budget Smart Girl, first of all how you can add flavors to every day foods. Then the first of a series of articles on cooking with beans and legumes. This week it’s black beans and a recipe for smoky black bean nachos.

Have a good week.

admin / February 9, 2009

The Blog-A Week of Deals

Last week the writing community was buzzing with news about a product called the Fly Fusion pen. You write with it then connect it to your computer and it downloads what you’re written straight into a word document. This sounded like a dream come true for me. Most of the time I use my laptop, but sometimes when the muse strikes while I’m watching TV, I’ll start writing in a notebook. Problem is I have to spend time typing my notes into the computer. This pen sounded very tempting so I went to the Web site and discovered it was originally $79.99 now marked down to $19.99. Had I read correctly? Yep, seemed I had. I ordered one and have been using it since Friday. I love it and I love it even more because it cost less than $20. Yes, it made this Budget Smart Girl smile.

And why do I mention this, well, I checked out some other products on the Leap Frog site, and if you’re looking for some birthday gifts for children or even want to start holiday shopping early, check out www.leapfrog.com. Their current sale not only includes the Fly Pen but some other great learning toys and gadgets for kids. If you’ve got some extra cash right now, go ahead and do some holiday shopping. We might not see prices this low again.

It seems like every retailer is drawing customers into their store by offering deals and more discount items. On Monday when I went grocery shopping and I noticed the supermarket now has a whole aisle’s worth of products that cost just a $1. I thought I might as well give some products a try and bought a box of dishwasher powder, a package of those dishwasher pouches that are supposed to make everything sparkling clean, a package of baking mix that looks similar to Bisquick and a Devil’s Food Cake mix. I plan to give them a test run this week and will let you know how they compared to higher priced items. Many people say all these products are made by the same manufacturers, so we’ll see if it’s true.

On Budget Smart Girl this week… some low cost, but oh, so delicious recipes with a Mardi Gras theme. And if you have children’s toys and clothes sitting around the house and wish you could trade them for something else, I think you’ll want to hear about this new swap site.

Have a good week and Happy Valentine’s Day.

admin / February 5, 2009

How to Never Pay Full Price Again!

Yes, wouldn’t it be great if you never had to pay full price for anything ever again? Well, there’s a way and it’s thanks to sites like the one I’m about to tell you about.
Karen Hoxmeier is the mastermind behind a Web site called www.mybargainbuddy.com I recently chatted with her to find out about the site and how Budget Smart Girls can use it to get the best deals on everything from kids clothing to dresses for that special occasion.

Budget Smart Girl (BSG)-When I read your bio it seems you’ve always been a Budget Smart Girl. Is that true and is that how the Web site got started?
Karen Hoxmeier (KH)-I’ve always tried to get the best deals on everything. And in 1999 I started to shop online, searching for bargains. I had three little kids so finding the best deals was essential. I got so good at it I started sending e-mails to my friends alerting them to the deals I found. Before I knew it, 200 people were on that e-mail list, and many of them I didn’t even know but they’d got to hear about me through word of mouth.

BSG-And I would think these days the site’s really popular.
KH-People are definitely in a bargain hunting mode and once you get into that mind set it’s almost impossible to give up.

BSG-Say I’m new to the site and online comparison shopping, how does it work?
KH-If you’re looking for a specific item you can type that word in and see what the search brings up. Say for example you’re searching for a good deal on a digital camera; the site lets you do a price comparison check too.

BSG-Are there more deals out there now?
KH-Definitely, you can pick up some great bargains every day. And one tip I have is if you find something that’s the price you like, buy it and buy it quickly because some of the deals only last a few hours and some have limited numbers. When the merchandise is gone, that deal is over.

BSG-I noticed you have a newsletter we can sign up to receive, what will we find in it?
KH-It’s sent out Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and it will tell you about five deals that are especially worth checking out.

BSG-And you have a prize drawing.
KH-Yes, some companies donate gift cards and you can win something twice a month, on the 1st and the 15th.

BSG-Are you noticing any particular buying trends during this recession?
KH-Yes, people are purchasing items that they consider necessities and not luxury items. Right now winter clothes are popular. Some prices are reduced as much as 75%.

BSG-Yes, I noticed while I was on your site that there was a child’s winter jacket on sale for $2.98.
KH-Yes, some of the deals are incredible.

BSG-Any insider secrets to finding the best of the best?
KH-Yes, you can sign up to follow mybargainbuddy on Twitter and find the most up to date deals.

BSG-And it’s not just about finding discounts, what other perks can you find.
KH-Check out the free shipping deals, sometimes that can save you money too.

BSG-This has to be a labor of love for you.
KH-It’s grown into a full time job for me. I’m at the computer as soon as I get up and checking what deals are out there to post on the site.

BSG-Any money saving tips you can share?
KH-Yes, wait till it goes on sale, never pay full price for anything. And with groceries, don’t buy it unless you have a coupon. And here’s something I do to save money. If I see a good deal I’ll buy it for later use. Put your good deal finds in storage containers and when a birthday rolls around, you don’t have to go shopping.

Thanks Karen and I’ll be using the site to find myself some good deals on jeans. I’ll let you know what I find.

Check out the new Budget Smart Girl Store Dismiss