Tag 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

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

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

 

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