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

The Four Web Sites That Directly Save Me The Most Money … And Some Thoughts On Other Online Shopping Sites

Who says web surfing can’t directly save you money? First of all, here are five websites I use on a very frequent basis that have directly saved me significant money. Remember The Milk http://www.rememberthemilk.com I wrote ecstatically about this site before, but the same still holds true: I use it to manage my grocery list, …

How To Pick Out A Grocery Store After Moving – Or If You’re Looking To Save A Few Dollars

Where I live, there are no large grocery stores in a twenty mile radius (there are two small “town” groceries that are fine for incidentals, but their prices are rather high and their selection is limited). However, right outside of that radius are several different options for grocery shopping. When I first moved to the …

Categories: Groceries, Shopping

Talking Yourself Out Of Unnecessary Spending: How I’m Doing It With Five Things I Really Want

Many people (myself included) often want items that they can afford, but by buying it they are really hurting their potential savings for the future. I know personally that Item I Want: A Nintendo Wii Tactic I’m Using: Realizing I’ll rarely use it Whenever I think about buying a Wii, I picture playing it with …

Personal Finance 101: Grocery Store Math

Simple Math to Help You Save Recently, I received a lengthy email from a reader who had a ton of basic personal finance questions contained within. I thought it might be interesting to start an irregular “personal finance 101″ series to answer and explain some of her questions. This question isn’t from the long email, …

How Department Stores Trick You Into Spending More

Ever noticed how you go to the store to just pick up one thing, then by the time you get back to the checkout aisle, you have five or six things in your cart and a bigger bill than you could have possibly anticipated? This happens over and over again because department stores (and let’s …

Categories: Shopping

Buy In Bulk & Earn Incredible Returns

I’m a big believer of buying in bulk simply because of the savings you can earn on a bulk purchase. For example, let’s say that I like to buy a $10 bottle of wine each Saturday for drinking with dinner with my wife. However, I find out that if I buy it by the case …

Five Minute Finances #3: Make A Grocery List

Five Minute Finances is a series of tips on how you can save significant money or reorganize your financial life in just five minutes. These tips appear Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on The Simple Dollar. Ever had to face down a $150 grocery bill? I have, and the reason was usually that I entered the …

Deconstructing A Television Advertisement: The Lesson Of Robert Goulet

Given the slickness of modern advertising, many people often view ads strictly as entertainment, when in fact they are intelligently packaged items designed to use various methods into tricking you into buying your product. I find myself often guilty of this, as I was during the Super Bowl this past weekend when I fell in …

When Frugal Ideas Clash: Quality Consumer Goods Are Worth The Price

Every regular reader of this site knows I can be one cheap person. Just earlier today, for instance, I advocated making your own shampoo and Tabasco sauce to save a few bucks. However, there are limits to the cheapness, as one reader of mine so astutely brought out with a single question: Is it ever …

Categories: Frugality, Shopping

Penny-Pinching In The Toiletries Aisle: The Simple Dollar Looks At Toilet Paper

For those of you unaware, I am a big fan of buying in bulk, even though I live in a relatively small space (hint: don’t look in my closet). Why? If I buy in bulk, the cost per unit is often so much cheaper than buying “normal” packages that I end up saving a boatload. …

Photo Diary #1: A Trip To The Grocery Store

This morning, I went grocery shopping with my son and took my digital camera along to record the experience of grocery shopping with a penny-pincher. Let’s see how it went – maybe we’ll both learn something. Welcome to Hy Vee! I went shopping at the Hy-Vee grocery store in Ankeny, Iowa, a northern suburb of …

Synergizing The Shopping List And The Coupon Box To Save Big Money At The Grocery Store

In the past, I’ve discussed the art of clipping coupons as well as the huge advantages of a grocery list. Lately, I’ve found that combining the two together can net a very nice financial edge – and it only takes me about ten minutes a week. I schedule my primary shopping trip on Saturday mornings. …

Categories: Coupons, Frugality, Shopping

Comparing Warehouse Shopping Chains… And How You Can Get In For Free!

As a regular patron of Sam’s Club (mostly due to proximity), I can emphatically say that I’m a fan of warehouse club stores. I’ve also had the opportunity to visit the other two major warehouse shopping chains in the United States, CostCo and BJ’s. For those uninitiated, Wikipedia describes a warehouse club: A warehouse club …

Categories: Shopping

Facts About Car Title Loans & Rent To Owns

Yesterday, a local talk radio show did a segment on the ethics behind car title loans and rent-to-owns. The host, one J. Michael McKoy, argued that such services are vital for low income families, while his more sensible sidekick was arguing vehemently against them. The callers were a motley crew of various opinions, as you …

Categories: Debt, Shopping

The Wal-Mart Question

Many of my friends refuse to shop at Wal-Mart for various reasons. Here’s a quote from a recent email I received on this very topic (which I’m fairly sure originated with a consumer advocacy group): Wal-Mart’s prices aren’t lower. For one month, a newspaper in Arkansas tested the prices of 6 Wal-Marts against other stores. …

Categories: Shopping

What To Do When You Want To Splurge

Once you’ve managed to stick to some sensible spending limits for a few months, you’ll eventually come across some reason to splurge on an item. Maybe it’s a cashmere sweater or a Nintendo Wii, or maybe just a romantic weekend away somewhere. Before you started budgeting, you just did these things, but now it seems …

Categories: Shopping

The Simple Dollar Takes A Trip To Sam’s Club

As a big fan of buying in bulk, I’m a card-carrying member of the only warehouse club within thirty miles of my home, Sam’s Club (there’s a CostCo about thirty miles away, but it’s really inconvenient to go there). As I go there on a weekly basis, I thought it might be interesting to write …

Categories: Shopping

Hot Tips On Thrifty Shopping From… The New Yorker?!

I recently read a fascinating article about the art of thrift shopping for clothes in, of all places, The New Yorker. In their style issue, no less – an issue that regularly talks about buying $3,000 handbags and five digit shopping sprees as though they were an everyday occurrence. The article, entitled Rag Time (and …

Categories: Frugality, Shopping