Category Archives: Shopping

Late Summer / Early Fall = Great Time For Clearance & Savings!

Late Summer & early Fall is a great time to enjoy a few last BBQ’s, hit up that local swimming pool or amusement park, and begin to buy Halloween decorations (all of which I love!), but it is a great time for something else as well. It’s a great time for clearance shopping!

If you are into gardening like I am, and into saving money (who isn’t?!), this time of year is a great opportunity to get things like planters, bricks, and other gardening supplies for cheap. One place to begin your search is Wal-Mart. I went to Wal-Mart a few weeks ago and was able to score some bricks for my garden for under 80 cents each! I am already using them, but another great idea if you have the space is to purchase these items, place them in storage, and use them at the beginning of next Spring. Unless of course you are lucky enough to live somewhere like California where it is possible to garden year-round. I’m jealous if that’s the case!

Other stores which are great to check this time of year are Target & Ollie’s Outlet. Both offer great sales on seasonal merchandise year-round.

If you’re in the market for some Summer/warm weather clothing for yourself or to resell as I do, TJ Maxx is a great place to hit this time of year. As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, twice a year in January and July, TJ Maxx begins their “Yellow Tag Clearance” sale. As they begin stocking the new seasonal inventory, everything else gets a yellow tag with some of the deepest discounts available. Each week these items get a deeper discount until they are either all gone, or they end up sending them off elsewhere. All of the best stuff goes fast so I always like to visit early and visit often.

This time I visited one of my favorite purchases was a Bugatchi Uomo shirt I scored for $22, which originally retails for OVER $100! I was also able to score some great deals on Free People women’s leggings, Jordan kid’s shirts and shorts, Nike polo shirts, and a lot of other great things all of which I am reselling on eBay. I love the TJ Maxx “Yellow Tag Clearance” event and am already looking forward to it beginning again in 2018. It’s been going on now a few weeks, and as of this writing is still going on, but you better hurry to your local TJ Maxx before everything is gone and Fall/Winter clothing season is in full swing.

In addition to clothing TJ Maxx also extends the “Yellow Tag Clearance” to other hard goods throughout the store. You never know what you may find!

Do you frequent any of the mentioned stores for clearance this time of year? Any great scores you’d like to share? Any other stores you visit this time of year to save big? We’d love to hear from you! Leave some comments below!

Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Haul: Taking Advantage of Once-A-Year “Ollie Days!” Customer Appreciation Sale

Since I started this blog one of my favorite things to do so far has been the shopping hauls I have shared. I have a short list of stores I plan on blogging about, and Ollie’s Bargain Outlet was one of them. So when I found out about “Ollie Days!,” a once-a-year 15%-off-everything Customer Appreciation Sale, I found this to be the perfect opportunity.

Ollie’s was founded in 1982 and from their Wikipedia page the basic concept of their store is the following: “Ollie’s Bargain Outlet deals in surplus merchandise obtained from various retailers, suppliers or manufacturers throughout the country, whether in the form of closeouts, bankruptcy sales or other similar means of buying the stock at below wholesale costs.”

I first learned about Ollie’s when I was young, on one of my regular Summer vacations my family took to HersheyPark in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Near the hotel we stayed at there was an Ollie’s, and I quickly fell in love. I have memories of buying a lot of cheap office supplies. Yes, I was just a kid, but even then I enjoyed having an “office.” I may have not actually been running businesses at the time, but I always pretended I was, or just made plans, wrote down ideas and goals, etc…

One of my favorite things about Ollie’s is that you never quite know what you may find. As mentioned from Wikipedia, Ollie’s sells surplus merchandise from different retailers and manufacturers, so there is always something different. They carry everything from food, to books, cleaning supplies, seasonal items, and literally everything in between.

On this past trip which I am sharing, I was able to spend only $18.69. First thing I scored was something which I was literally in need of buying this week anyway, and that was various Axe products; shampoo, body wash, and deodorant. Priced at only $2.99 each, what a great deal! I would have paid more anywhere else. I also scored a frame for a project my girlfriend is doing, which was marked at $3.99. Not the best deal on that, compared to just picking up a frame at Wal-Mart or Dollar Tree, but I didn’t feel like making another stop.

Finally two of my favorite scores were the cinder blocks and pieces of carpet. The pieces of carpet, which I got to place in various spots in my apartment, were only $1.89 each, and possibly the best deal of all, the cinder blocks were only each $1!  I have already used these in my garden and they were just what I was in need of! All of the prices I mentioned were the marked prices, but don’t forget that EVERYTHING in the store during “Ollie Days!” is 15%-off! Until my Sister mentioned it and I then got the advertisement in the mail, I had never heard about this yearly sale before. I guarantee I’ll be back next year!

If you have an Ollie’s Bargain Outlet in your area, and have never stopped to give it a chance, I recommend you doing so. I hope you enjoyed the haul, and as I mentioned I have several other stores I plan on sharing soon, some of which you likely have never been to. I imagine at least some of you haven’t. I’ll also be doing more hauls of stores which have proven to be popular in doing so already on this blog, such as Dollar Tree.

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or anything else, PLEASE leave them below! Also follow us on Twitter & Facebook for a lot of exclusive content.

THANK YOU!

Brent Ott

FREE Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups & $1.36 Stationary!

I’m always trying to take advantage of as many freebies as I can, and this week was no exception as I scored a few great deals that I wanted to share with you. I was able to snag some free Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (a King Size nonetheless!), and some cheap stationary!

First off, let’s talk about the free Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Here on this blog before I have mentioned how I like to take advantage of my local gas station Sheetz’s loyalty reward card program, the MySheetz Card. They recently overhauled their program and made some changes. I didn’t know how I’d feel about it at first, but after getting to learn about it, I am enjoying the changes. It’s much like the Giant Food Stores program that I use, where you can load offers and deals on to your card. Before you would earn credits for certain items you purchased, and after so many you would earn a free one of that particular item. Now you earn points on everything you purchase, and you can use those points for a variety of rewards such as free hot dogs, free candy, free coffee, free drinks, free hoagies, and much more. It’s now all your choice what you use the rewards for.

Every so often, like they have always done, they also send you an email with a freebie that you can cash-in with no purchase necessary. This past week I received an email with a FREE King Size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup candy bar! One night this week after my girlfriend was done with work, we stopped by and picked up our free candy bar! Let me tell you, after putting it in the refrigerator for a few hours (you gotta put your chocolate in the fridge!) it was the perfect end to the night! If you live in the Northeastern United States you can get more information on the MySheetz Card here.

For many years I have also been a member of the Staples Rewards program offered by, of course, Staples. I often get a variety of discounts and offers in the mail, but every so often they send what I consider the “holy grail of Staples offers,” a $10-off-$10 coupon. As long as you purchase full-price items (nothing on sale counts) you can literally spend as little as you wish over $10 and basically get everything for free. On this trip I was able to score some stationary for me and my girlfriend and only had to spend $1.36 out-of-pocket. Sometimes I’ll go
in and spend much more than $10 and get some stuff I was already in need of anyway, but this time I just took advantage. It’s good to spend more sometimes so you can keep getting the coupons in the mail. If you would like some more information on the Staples Rewards program you can find it here.

I mentioned Giant earlier, which is one of my favorite grocery stores, and I’ve got some good freebies there for this week already loaded on my card. I will try and share those here soon, or at least post them on the Ninja Ghost Investments Facebook page, which you can find here.

Bottom line is take advantage of rewards programs which offer freebies. You can try some of these examples I mentioned if you have any of these stores in your area, or just do some research on some of the programs your local stores offer. You just may be surprised! Thanks for reading and I’ll be back with more soon! If you have any questions or comments PLEASE leave them below!

Brent Ott

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

 

Dollar Tree Haul – AWESOME Place To Shop For Household Goods, Supplies & Fun!

One of the things I wanted to do with this blog is to share some of the ways I utilize certain stores to maximize my savings and household budget. I have many stores I frequent, but the first of many I’d like to share is Dollar Tree. They are a chain of 13,000+ stores across the United States, which unlike certain other “dollar stores,” offers everything for only $1!

In addition to random household items and other things which we will get in to, many of the locations have a grocery section. Some even have a frozen section. I don’t often buy many things from the grocery section, but here and there I do get a small pickup. Some of the main things I buy from Dollar Tree are household cleaning products, Holiday decorations, greeting cards, and health and beauty items.

As you see in the included haul photograph from a shopping trip I made just yesterday, I got many of the things I mentioned already. First off I bought some decorations for the upcoming Easter holiday in addition to St. Patrick’s Day greeting cards I plan on sending out this week. You have to look carefully through the greeting cards at Dollar Tree. Obviously most are only $1, but some are actually only $0.50! On this trip I also bought some health and beauty products for me and my girlfriend, some seeds to plant this Spring, some disinfecting wipes, and yes, a cheese grater. We made a recipe last week with fresh Parmesan cheese and realized while making it that we didn’t have one (or lost it!). Luckily we didn’t actually need the grater for the recipe, but now we have one to use up the rest!

I didn’t buy much of it on this particular haul, but one of my other favorite things to purchase at Dollar Tree are holiday gift wrapping and packaging materials. Paper, bows, tags, bags, boxes, you name it, Dollar Tree has it. Being only $1 really helps you stretch your cash so when it is time to buy a gift you can spend more money on the actual gift and less money on the stuff to place that gift inside. Of course sometimes I do still buy certain things for gift wrapping at other stores, especially if it is on clearance, or sometimes just certain things that are unique. As I say often, you gotta live! Most Dollar Tree locations also have a section where you can buy inflated helium balloons, which can come in handy for many purposes.

Walking through Dollar Tree, to me, is always like an adventure. You never quite know what you may find that you need, or sometimes, just want. When everything is only $1, you can easily squeeze more “wants” into your shopping trips and not only “needs.” I always take my shopping list with me and am often able to cross off many things that I need.

I am always an investor first at heart, so I also just briefly wanted to mention that I do also own a small position in Dollar Tree ($DLTR) stock. It’s been a solid long-term growth stock, although it has recently pulled back from highs around $97 per share in August of 2016 to the level it is currently trading at of around $75 per share. As I usually do when you can get a discount and it is a solid stock, I say buy more!

If you would like more information on Dollar Tree you can check out their website here. You can also shop many of the items right on the site, although I currently don’t take advantage of that feature. I do know some friends who do. If you enjoy these haul blogs, let me know. I plan on doing hauls for other stores, and if you guys enjoy them, more Dollar Tree hauls as well. What did you enjoy? What would you have liked to see me do more of or talk more about? Other thoughts or suggestions? Leave them below, and I will respond!

Thank you for reading and enjoy your day!

Brent Ott