Tag Archives: saving money

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

“Tech Wreck?” NOPE! Just Another Step In The Trek ;) … AND Cryptocurrency Craze!

I’d like to start off by saying that I apologize for the lack of content on this blog recently. I have so many ideas for posts but with all the individual businesses I run it’s hard to always find the time. I’ll try to do better in setting aside time, as I truly do enjoy sharing my thoughts with you all and I plan on this blog being a huge part of the rest of my life. We’re only getting started!

First off, as you may have heard, a week or two back there was a “Tech Wreck,” as CNBC liked to call it. Shares of technology stocks were plummeting, but if you checked the market now, you wouldn’t know it as they’ve mostly all came back. To me, it seemed like market manipulation at its finest. I was following the charts closely, and the way the trades were happening while the stocks were falling it simply looked like computer generated trading. Tech stocks have been on a tear this year and my best guess is that the algorithms of today’s trading softwares were rebalancing portfolios.

The valuations of many tech companies are high. There is no denying that fact. But many of these stocks have future growth potential that boggles the mind. I won’t get in to every single tech stock in this blog post, but take Amazon for example. Amazon continues to dominate, and expand to areas that nobody ever thought possible. Just a short week after this so-called “Tech Wreck” news broke that Amazon is buying Whole Foods in a $13.7 billion dollar all cash deal. This will give Amazon a huge physical retail footprint on the market. Once this news broke, retail stocks began taking a HUGE hit, and still are.

Amazon is killing it with its web services, they continue to work on likely future drone deliveries, and just imagine what we HAVEN’T heard rumors about as of yet? I see this buyout of Whole Foods as just the beginning. I can see them possibly purchasing more grocery store chains, or even a department store chain. I’ll go out on a limb here and say that I could see Amazon buying Kohl’s in the next few years. Perhaps instead they may even buy Sears?! Not only can Amazon expand its business in many different ways with the Whole Foods purchase, but they can also expand their warehouse and fulfillment capabilities. It’s truly a win-win for Amazon.

When this “Tech Wreck” hit, while many were talking about how Amazon’s days of grace were over, I immediately went on the offense and started to buy and was able to purchase more shares of Amazon and Facebook at a discount. I bought more Facebook at $149.60 per share (as of this writing back to $155.07) and more Amazon at $978.31 per share (as of this writing back to $1,003.74).

Unlike many, I DO NOT see a recession coming any time soon. Not in 2017, at least. 2018 in its entirety is too far out to predict right now, but I would say the chances are slim. Will there be pullbacks? Yes. A correction? Yes, likely several. But are we in for a huge recession filled with doom and gloom? Not yet. My best prediction is that the Dow will reach closer to 30,000 (up from its current 21,394.76) before we get closer to the next recession. As for the stocks I mentioned, Facebook and Amazon, my target price for Amazon is around $1,250 per share and my target price for Facebook is around $200 per share, all within the next 6 to 12 months. What am I saying here? BUY. BUY. BUY!

I’d also like to mention that when there is a recession, eventually, which there WILL be, I’ll be ready. You should also. You should make sure you are sitting at least a little cash aside every time you invest for when it does happen. A recession is the single greatest opportunity for anyone to grow their money and business, despite the initial loss which will likely occur if you are already in the market. Then again, it’s NOT a loss if you DON’T sell, which I won’t be doing. A recession is a HUGE buying opportunity.

Now, to my other current obsession, cryptocurrency. What is cryptocurrency you may ask? Well, thanks to Google, here goes: “a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.” When you read a lot about cryptocurrency you hear a lot about the underlying “blockchain technology.” What is that? Again, thanks to Google: “A blockchain facilitates secure online transactions. A blockchain is a decentralized and distributed digital ledger that is used to record transactions across many computers so that the record cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks and the collusion of the network.”

I believe this technology is a huge part of the future. Right now the market for these cryptocurrencies is very volatile, but I’m slowly growing a small position which I plan to hold for the long-term. There are literally thousands of cryptocurrencies, but only a few main ones, which I consider to be Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. I have bought all three at various prices, and do so using Coinbase. It’s one of the more reliable places to purchase cryptocurrency, although the site does sometimes have issues where it goes down temporarily. Hey, when you’re blazing trails sometimes there are issues. We’re really still just in the beginning stages of this. If you look at the rate of return that Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin have had in the last year, to me anyway, it’s well worth a small risk. Am I going to sell all my stocks and cash out my savings to “bet the farm” on cryptocurrency? No. Am I going to continue to grow a small position and take a chance on what I believe to be a huge part of the future? You bet your ass I am, and I think that you should too.

I’ll be writing more on tech and cryptocurrency in the near future, as well as sharing more shopping hauls, and information on other investments I have recently made. Plus you never know what else may give me the spark of motivation to begin blogging about. I’ve got a ton of ideas planned out as well. THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading and if you have any questions, comments, or anything else, PLEASE leave them below!

THANK YOU!

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

New Free Money Alert: Earn Extra Cash on Stuff You Would Already Buy Anyway with eBay Bucks!

I’m always looking for new ways to maximize my purchases. In addition, eBay is somewhere that I often shop for both business and personal reasons. If you put these two together, using eBay’s program “eBay Bucks” makes perfect sense. It sorts of reminds me of eBates, which I absolutely love and have used for several years. You make purchases during a quarter of the year, and following that quarter you get paid, simply for doing what you already would have done anyway.

There are, however, a few differences. First off, with eBay Bucks you receive your payment in the form of credit on eBay, as opposed to eBates where you get either a PayPal payment or a paper check. Second, unlike eBates who offers various percentages for different stores on the platform, eBay Bucks has just one base percentage which you can earn, which is currently just 1%, but can and has changed in the past. Nonetheless 1% is 1% and I’ll take it!

eBay Bucks has been around a while, and I’ve heard of it in the past, but just this past week I finally got around to signing up (which is free) and made my first few purchases. It already shows my balance of earned eBay Bucks, which is awesome, and like any program gets you excited to continue earning.

After each quarter of the year ends (January through March, April through June, etc..) you are supposed to receive your payment within 3-15 days of the end of that quarter. One more difference between eBay Bucks and eBates which I have noticed is that you need to use your earned eBay Bucks within 30 days of receiving it. If you are like me and make a lot of business  (or any) purchases anyway, this won’t be much of a problem. If you don’t shop very often on eBay, it may be. Just something that you need to keep in mind.

I havn’t used eBay Bucks for very long as I stated, but they also apparently do special promotions every so often where you can earn extra eBay Bucks. I look forward to using these promotions when I see them pop up. You can earn up to $100 on any single eBay purchase, and up to $500 every quarter. So, if you spend more than $10,000 on an eBay order or more than $50,000 in a quarter, you’re out of luck. But why are you spending that much on eBay anyway? I want to know! 😉

If you would like more information on eBay Bucks you can find it here and if you would like to sign up you can do so here.  Since using it is new to me as well, if I learn anything interesting, have things I really start to like, things I don’t like, etc.., I’ll either update this blog or post a new one. Thanks so much for reading and if you have any questions or comments PLEASE leave them below, and I will respond!

Thanks again!

Brent Ott

 

What Stocks I Am Buying In 2017 So Far And Recommend (Shopify, Nvidia, UPS) and What I Am Increasing My Positions In…

It has been a few weeks since I’ve posted here, so I figured I’d take this opportunity to share the stocks I am buying so far in 2017. Stocks which I am buying both for the first time, and also increasing my positions in.

So far this year I’ve purchased shares of three new companies. These include Shopify (SHOP), Nvidia (NVDA), and UPS (UPS). First off I’d like to talk a little about Shopify, which is an ecommerce company based out of Canada. Shopify has been my biggest winner so far this year. I bought shares on January 20th at $50.09 per share, and currently as of this writing it sits at $61.52 per share. That is a roughly 23% gain as of this moment. Shopify has been growing quite steadily over the past year, and I see it continuing to grow. They have announced a working relationship with Amazon, and have had tremendous earnings. Even at the current price, I recommend it as a “buy,” but before I increase my position again I’ll likely wait for a slight pullback in the price.

As for Nvidia, which is a technology company based out of California, I purchased my shares on February 3rd at $114.38 per share, and it currently sits at $107.23 per share so it has lost roughly 6% as of now. Despite that, I highly recommend it a “buy.” Within the next several weeks I plan on increasing my position. Based off their technology regarding artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and autonomous cars alone the stock has a tremendous upside potential which should not be overlooked. The stock has exploded in the past few years and I see it continue doing so.

Finally I purchased my shares of UPS, the World’s largest package delivery company, on January 6th for $115.40 per share. It currently sits at $106.90 per share, so again it has dropped and as of right now lost roughly 7% per share. I see this pullback as another opportunity to buy more. With the continued growth of Amazon, Shopify, and ecommerce in general somebody has to deliver the packages, and UPS stands in the best position to capitalize on just that. Aside from the strong growth potential for both Nvidia and UPS despite being down, both are dividend stocks. UPS currently pays 3.11% and Nividia currently pays 0.52%.

I wrote a blog earlier this year about my opinions on Facebook & Amazon, which can be found here. I continue to stand strongly behind the future of both, and I have increased my positions on both stocks so far this year. I will continue to do so at various times throughout the coming weeks and months. If you enjoy these blogs where I share my buys, recommendations, etc.. please let me know in the comments below. If you have any other recommendations for content, leave those as well. I have been enjoying writing this blog in 2017, and have a lot of ideas to improve it. Thanks for reading, enjoy the rest of your day, and don’t forget, leave those comments! I will reply!

Thanks again!

Brent Ott

Save Money with Grocery Store & Gas Station FREEBIES & Reward Programs

My girlfriend and I have always been a big fan of both grocery store & gas station reward programs, in addition to others at restaurants, coffee shops, etc… We always will be regardless of how much money we may have saved, and you should be as well! Let’s face it, every penny and dollar saved really does add up.

I figured that I would share a recent haul with you, and I plan on doing more similar things in the future. Everything you see pictured comes from two of our favorite places for reward programs, Giant Food Stores & Sheetz Gas StationEverything cost only $6.01, including the lottery ticket which we had a “free ticket” winning ticket which we cashed in for! (Off of this one we won another free ticket!)

I really enjoy Giant first off because they have an online & app coupon program, in which you can load offers directly to your store reward card. They often send complete freebies which you can load. Usually there are certain dates which you need to load the offer by, and redeem the offer by, but it is well worth the effort especially for something completely free! Like most grocery store reward cards they also offer points you receive for certain dollar amounts spent, which you can redeem for gas rewards and other offers especially around the Holiday Season. We take advantage of several of these local programs.

Sheetz is similar, although different, and very unique for a gas station. First off, every so often they instantly load a complete freebie to your reward card, which usually you receive an email for in advance. They also offer earned freebies for every so many purchases of a particular item you make. One example is for every 10 coffees purchased you get one free. They have similar offers for salads, subs, and a variety of other items. Sheetz is unlike many other gas stations as they have a built-in Made-to-Order food section/restaurant in some locations.

This haul came the other night after I picked my girlfriend up and we were headed home. We decided to swing by both Giant & Sheetz quick, and spent maybe 45 minutes total in both locations before heading home. Here’s how the $6.01 haul broke down…….

  • Hershey’s Pudding: Regular priced $2.50 at Giant with $0.75 actual coupon and a $0.75 coupon loaded onto our card = $1
  • Campbell’s Yes! Soup: FREE with loading onto our Giant card!
  • Silk Cashew Milk: FREE with loading onto our Giant card!
  • Nature Valley Almond Butter Bisquits: Regular priced $2.50 ON SALE at Giant with $1 coupon loaded onto our card = $1.50
  • To-Go General Tso’s Chicken:  $3.51 not on sale, my girlfriend just wanted it! Happy girlfriend/wife, happy life!
  • Lottery Ticket: FREE with cashed in winning ticket. We don’t often play lottery, and I wouldn’t recommend doing so, but sometimes we give it a go anyway! You gotta live!
  • 16 oz. Coca-Cola: FREE with freebie loaded onto our Sheetz card!

As you see, total cost paid = $6.01!

Most of the time we just pick up freebies when we already were going grocery shopping, getting gas, or heading to whatever store the discount is for, but in this case the free soup was expiring that night so we made an exception. We religiously only try and do one shopping trip per week, at least for groceries. With running our individual businesses, a lot of the time we have several trips per week to make for various things.

Bottom line, don’t forget about using your local grocery store and other reward programs! Get the card, learn the rules, and don’t forget that in most cases you can stack actual physical coupons on top of the loaded ones for even greater savings! THANK YOU for reading, and if you have any questions, comments, suggestions, ANYTHING.. LEAVE THEM BELOW!

Thanks again!

Brent Ott