Category Archives: Saving

Sometimes Holiday Clearance Becomes Useful Not In A Year, But Immediately!

If you have read this blog a while you may know that me and my girlfriend like to take advantage of Holiday Clearance. We like to shop the day and week after all major holidays including Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day & Easter. I have no problem with buying up clearance, storing it a year, and when that particular holiday rolls around again already being (mostly) prepared.

I love to decorate for pretty much every holiday and season, so of course Spring is no exception. During my trip this past week to Target I was able to take advantage of the clearance, and in addition to getting a few Easter decorations and supplies for next year, I was able to score some Spring decorations which are perfect to put up now! In fact, I have already decorated with them.

Target first goes to 50%-off decor and 30%-off candy the first day after each holiday. Then within a few days they go to 70%-off decor and 50%-off candy. After a few more days they finally go to 90%-off all decor. During this trip all decor was only 70%-off, but still worthwhile for the few things I was able to find.

It made it even MORE valuable to us that we were able to find the Spring decorations mixed in with the Easter clearance. If you are ever unsure of if something is included in the clearance at Target use their red price scanners which are throughout most stores. I have been surprised by many things over the years. Sometimes things are even actually a higher percentage discount than you expect, as the signage doesn’t get updated right away.

I hope you enjoy this quick little haul / blog, and don’t forget to check your local stores for clearance after any holiday or season. I wrote a blog a while back with some other information on clearances which you can find here. All stores vary by location, so it’s best to frequent different stores and learn how they usually mark things down. I have a few more hauls planned soon, including a few stores I like to visit every now and then to save money including Ollie’s Outlet, Aldi, and Five Below. If you have any other suggestions on shopping hauls or other content, any questions, or any other comments, PLEASE leave them below. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Brent Ott

Sam’s Club Haul: Worth The Membership for Business or Personal? YES!

Over the years I have really come to enjoy shopping at Sam’s Club for both business and personal reasons. I remember going a few times when I was younger with family or friends, as well as taking a few of their “free preview” tours maybe 5 to 10 years ago. Every so often you can find these passes in a local mailing, the local newspaper, or on the Internet.

I finally purchased a “Sam’s Business” card for just $45 annually a few years back, and it was one of the best decisions I have made. They offer three different types of memberships: the “Sam’s Business” as I got, the regular “Sam’s Savings” membership which is also only $45 annually, and finally the “Sam’s Plus” membership which is $100 annually. The “Sam’s Plus” offers a variety of different perks, including the main perk which is Cash Rewards based off of purchases you make. Each level of membership has it’s own perks, which you can find here. For me, the “Sam’s Business” is the perfect fit.

I get quite a lot of things for my business at Sam’s Club, at deals that are hard to compare to. Some of the things I get include bubble wrap, printer ink, t-shirt bags (grocery carryout bags), and Electronics Duster. I also get MANY things for my household at Sam’s Club which include paper plates, garbage bags, vitamins, air freshener, bottled water, cheese sticks, peanut butter crackers, and the list goes on. The key to shopping at Sam’s Club and doing so smart, is to do price comparisons of the things you may be interested in buying. Check the amount of the item that is in the packaging, and the cost per ounce, etc… Make sure that you are actually getting the best deal compared to where you usually purchase that particular item. On most things you spend a little more money up front at Sam’s Club, but the cost savings over the course of you using that item makes it a smart investment and actually saves you money in the long run.

Pictured here is the recent haul that I wanted to share with you guys. To write this blog I actually went to Sam’s Club twice to shop, in addition to get photography, etc.. This cart was my entire first haul, and cost $64.22. That breaks down to the following: $7.98 for the pack of cheese, $8.91 for the Glade three-pack (which was on clearance, more on that to come!), $13.74 a piece for the two pairs of Calvin Klein shorts, $8.48 for the pack of cups, $5.98 for the soil, and $3.98 for the bottled water. Of course, here in Pennsylvania, there was also $1.41 in sales tax. I have done the math on these purchases (I’m a little O.C.D., I admit!) and these were the best deals around. The shorts were actually a different type of investment for me, as one pair goes to my girlfriend, and I’ll be selling the other on eBay. Being a reseller, Sam’s Club really comes in handy as you can often find a lot of great deals at regular price, but even BETTER when they do their clearances.

When you are walking around Sam’s Club look for all the items with the price tag which ends in “1.” At Sam’s, this means the item is on clearance. Sometimes you will even find something that was marked down once, and then is put on an even bigger clearance. They really blow stuff out often to make room for new merchandise.  Sam’s Club isn’t like a typical grocery store or department store in the fact that they don’t have a ton of variety. They also often switch up what they do carry, although many things in their inventory do stay the same. Every trip is like a new adventure!

I am sure this is one of many people’s favorite parts of Sam’s Club, but don’t forget the free samples and the free sample machine! Every day throughout the day they set up stands in which employees sample a variety of products which they offer. Over the years I have sampled too much to recall everything! Everything from breakfast sandwiches, to cheese, to burgers, to orange juice, to fruit, candy, breads, spreads, desserts, and everything in between. In addition, Sam’s Club has “Freeosks” in each store which are updated often. At these sample machines you simply scan your membership card, and out comes a free sample! These freebies alone can make the membership worthwhile. You can get more information on the Freeosks (which are also available at certain other stores) here.

One more thing to mention is that you can place an order with Sam’s Club on their website, and have it prepared to pickup in-store or get delivered. If you use this perk, you can also use eBates to get some cash back on top of what you would have already spent anyway. I wrote a blog post on eBates a while back which you can find here. I suggest EVERYONE check that out, it’s honestly FREE MONEY!

In addition to everything I have mentioned, joining Sam’s Club comes with even more membership perks. One thing I love is the Snack Bar. Here you can get some INCREDIBLE deals including a $2.50 slice of pizza (it’s actually two large slices) and drink combo. Clubs also have a tire department, a pharmacy, car-buying perks, health insurance perks, and the list really does go on. I don’t take advantage of NEAR as many perks as I probably should. Bottom line, is a Sam’s Club membership worth it? Whether you are interested in a membership for business or personal reasons, the answer in my opinion is a strong YES.

Do you shop at Sam’s Club? What are some of your favorite things to buy there? Any of the perks I didn’t mention or briefly mentioned that you take advantage of? Leave any questions or comments below and I will respond. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Brent Ott

 

3 More Ways I Earn Extra FREE Money Every Month: PayPal Business Debit MasterCard, Target REDcard & Wal-Mart Savings Catcher

If you know anything about me by now, it may be that I like to earn a little extra cash any way that I can. Today I wanted to share three more ways that I do just that every month.

First off I wanted to talk about something that I have done for MANY years….

***PayPal Business Debit MasterCard

The PayPal Business Debit MasterCard is one of the cards that has been in my wallet the longest. I have long been an eBay seller, and nearly 100% of the payments I receive from eBay go directly to my PayPal account. Having their Business Debit MasterCard when you sell on eBay is a must in my book. First off, you have direct access to your funds from sales. Second, and possibly above all else, when you use the card ANYWHERE as a credit card (not enter your pin) you earn 1% cash back on EVERY purchase! It’s really that simple.

Within the first week or two of every month you then receive your cash back for the previous month. There is no annual fee or any fees other than the original PayPal fees for your eBay sales, etc.. I use mine a lot for business purchases and a variety of other purchases throughout the month. It’s awesome getting the cash back every month for making purchases you already would have anyway.

If you would like more information on the PayPal Business Debit MasterCard you can find everything you need here.

Next up is yet another Debit Card I have used over a year now and highly recommend…

***Target REDcard

The Target REDcard is offered as a Credit OR Debit Card. Since I limit the amount of credit cards I open and don’t use any store credit cards usually, I recommend the Target REDcard Debit Card. The first selling point is that on EVERY purchase you make at Target or Target.com, you INSTANTLY save 5% off! In addition, you get free shipping on Target.com when using your REDcard. When you sign up for it you link it to your existing bank account, and every time you make a purchase after a few days the amount you spent comes out of your bank account. No fees, lots of perks, and 5% savings on EVERYTHING! You can’t go wrong.

I feel that I need to point out that I only make purchases at Target which I already would have anyway. I don’t buy things JUST to get the 5%-off. Doing that is where a lot of people can get into trouble. It’s important to comparison shop and make sure that you are still getting the best overall deal, and staying within your monthly budget.

If you would like more information on the Target REDcard everything you need is available here.

Finally I want to share a tool that I have used several years to once again earn FREE month every month…

***Wal-Mart Savings Catcher

The Wal-Mart Savings Catcher is very unique. Every time you shop at Wal-Mart you simply, first off, save your receipt. Using either the website or the available app, you enter your receipts, and it automatically after that compares your purchases to other local grocery stores, other national chains, and other convenience stores.

After a few days of processing you get back what, if any, savings that you could have otherwise earned shopping elsewhere. Doing just this I have earned enough Wal-Mart Bucks (money that can be spent at Wal-Mart or Wal-Mart.com) to get a free toaster oven, a free doormat, free food purchases, all sorts of things.

If you would like more information on the Wal-Mart Savings Catcher simply click here.

Final Thoughts:

These three tools, if you ask me, are all no-brainers. They are all free money simply for shopping like you already would have. The PayPal Business Debit MasterCard gets you 1% cash back ANYWHERE you shop and use the credit option. Target REDcard gets you 5% off of ANY Target purchase. Finally, the Wal-Mart Savings Catcher can save you HUGE depending on what you buy which may be on sale somewhere else, that you may have otherwise missed.

 

I recommend just sticking with your regular budget (and if you don’t have one get started, it’s easy!) and not making purchases just to feel like you are saving money, so why not? Keeping this in mind while you shop and use these tools will keep you out of trouble. Who doesn’t like earning free money? I know I do!

Thank you for reading and if you have any questions or comments please leave them below, and I will respond!

Thanks again!

Brent Ott