Shopping

Stumbling on the Simple Things

When I write on The Simple Dollar, I often write about tips and techniques that I’ve found useful for saving and investing money. I’ll talk about the big things – like always spending less than you earn – but I also list things like ten ways to avoid financially responsible buying. I have very little …

The Feeling You Get From A Coca-Cola Classic: How Advertising Tickles Your Wallet – And Five Ways To Fight It

Whenever I hear that phrase the feeling you get from a Coca-Cola Classic, my tongue tingles a bit and I can’t help but think, “Man, an ice cold Coke in a glass bottle sounds good right now.” That ad works like a charm on me and it likely encouraged me to buy far more Coke …

10 Simple Ways to Beat Impulse Buying

About once a month as a Friday “bonus” post, I’m featuring an original article written by one of my favorite bloggers. This guest article was written by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits. The enemy of frugality and simplicity and your monthly budget is the impulse buy. We’ve all done it, of course, and it can …

Categories: Psychology, Shopping

The One Hour Project: Price Compare The Things You Buy Regularly

This post is part of The One Hour Project, in which you can spend just one hour to put your finances in a better place without a big lifestyle change, through frugality or other financial choices. A while back, I mentioned how I build my own price book. While this is a great idea, for …

Getting Over The “Taboo” Of Generics And Store Brands

Many Americans (including many of my friends) are conditioned by many years of marketing to select name brand products at the store. They’ll skip right by the generic rice puffs and buy the identical Rice Krispies for a dollar more per box. They’ll skip by the 100% store brand juice and pick up Juicy Juice, …

The Simple Dollar Gets A New Cell Phone – And Saves Significant Money In The Process

Over the last week, my cell phone has slowly been dying. The screen goes black randomly and it ceases to accept button input until I remove the battery and re-insert it. This phenomenon has happened with more and more frequency as of late, reaching the point where it’s killed phone calls in the middle of …

Categories: Saving Money, Shopping

Visiting Williams-Sonoma: How To Avoid Overspending On Something That Stirs Your Passions

As regular readers of The Simple Dollar know, I’m a food junkie. I enjoy preparing food from scratch, presenting it well on the plate, and using sturdy, quality kitchen implements to prepare the food. I have a library of cookbooks (even though I really stick with just a few of them for everyday use) and …

Categories: Shopping

How I Build And Use A Price Book

About a week ago, I made an offhand mention of a price book in my detailed review of The Complete Tightwad Gazette. I compressed several ideas down into a single paragraph, mostly commenting on Amy Dacyczyn’s suggestion on how to do it from the book itself. Several readers wrote in and asked how I do …

Categories: Food, Shopping

Review: The Overspent American

The vast majority of Americans are trapped in a cycle of “work and spend” and simply don’t know how to escape. We’re surrounded by an enormous abundance of incredible material goods, but these goods don’t really mean anything – they leave us with a hole that’s only partially filled by this stuff and we have …

Categories: Books, Shopping

Healthy, Cheap, Tasty, and Quick: The Grocery Store Grand Slam and Eight Tips on How To Achieve It

Most food purchases at the grocery store boil down to one of four factors: Is it healthy? Is the food low in fat and provide good nutritional quality? Is it devoid of chemicals of mysterious origin? I also include ethical issues here, such as buying from local traders and such – healthy in a different …

Categories: Food, Groceries, Shopping

Is It Worth Higher Prices For A Quality Shopping Experience?

I confess that I do not shop at the grocery store with the lowest prices on my staple goods. Yes, that’s right – I intentionally go to a different store that, if I buy all of my staples, will actually cost me a few dollars more than the cheapest place. If you’re interested, here’s a …

Categories: Shopping

The True Monthly Cost Of An Appliance

I felt compelled to write about this topic after reading a comment by Garvey on Is A Deep Freezer Worth It?: There is no way a freezer costs $10-15/month … to run. It’s more like $3-4. This was in response to my statement that the cost of owning and maintaining the deep freeze is about …

The Gray Area Between Want And Need

You’re a student and you need to buy some pens for class. You visit an office supply store, see a box of cheap black pens for $4, but then you spy a few high-quality pens for $20. Do you buy the more expensive but not quite necessary pens? You’re a parent who is new to …

Categories: Shopping

A Personal Finance Lesson From The Gap

About a week ago, I had a fairly interesting experience at The Gap. I stopped there on a spur of the moment as I was looking for gift ideas, and I was about to leave when I realized that there was only one noticeable employee in the store. That employee was running the only checkout, …

The Bulk Buying Debate

As long-time readers of the site know, I’m a big advocate of buying in bulk for many reasons (which I’ll get into below). Yesterday, however, a reader named Terry M. left the following comment on my post about saving money in the bathroom: Not sure how much I like the idea of stockpiling anything. What …

Categories: Frugality, Shopping

Comparison Shopping: Comparing The Internet To What’s On Your Store Shelf

For about the last year, my wife and I have purchased several household items in bulk from Amazon. Not only is the shipping free, but we don’t pay sales tax and we rack up lots of bonus points on our Amazon card by doing this. Our philosophy is that if Amazon has the same or …

Categories: Groceries, Shopping

Seven Reasons Why I Chose Sam’s Club Over Costco

In the recent past, I mentioned that our new home’s location has a Sam’s Club and a Costco almost the same distance apart, and now that we will finally have storage space, the opportunity to really take advantage of warehouse shopping became clear. To decide which one we would go with (a significant decision, because …

Categories: Groceries, Shopping

Consumer Reports, Total Cost of Ownership, and Why I Buy What I Do

Over the weekend, my wife and I visited an appliance store where we were looking at potential appliances that we may have to purchase when we move into our home. We are doing such things now so that we can quickly order such items when the actual rush of moving in and getting settled happens. …

Categories: Shopping

Five Ways To Break A Shopping Addiction – And Five Ways To Help Someone Else With Their Addiction

One of my wife’s closest friends is completely addicted to shopping, and unsurprisingly she spends a lot of time juggling credit card bills and dumping huge amounts of cash into finance charges just to gain enough breathing room to shop some more. Recently, she’s begun to see that things are going to have to change …

Categories: Shopping