Saving Money Tips For Halloween

Buy ahead: After Halloween, many superstores slash prices their costumes by 50 percent or more. This is prime opportunity for costume vultures to pick-up versatile costumes (e.g. witch, vampire, fairy, etc.) and statement accessories for the next year. By doing so, you’ll save money and won’t have to brood about what to be for next year. I’m sure a costume party will arise soon.

Donate and Get Savings at Goodwill: Most people purchase Halloween costumes for single-use, and then donate them the next day. By visiting your local Goodwill or thrift store, you’re not left shouldering costume depreciation costs and can easily walk out the door with a costume under $10.

Make your own or burrow from a friend: If you don’t find cheap Halloween costumes that suit your tastes, you can build a costume or burrow some for a unique look. Have a favorite TV show, movie or pop-culture personality? Scavenge for clothing and accessories for a look that can’t be duplicated. Most family and friends will still keep costume parts from their previous years. If they dont, they should! If they throw it away, at least donate it.

Craigslist has everything: Online forums like Craigslist.org help you search locally for a Halloween costume that stands out. List prices are reduced by $15 or more, and those with a silver tongue can negotiate an even better deal. Another perk is that this savings hunt takes place in the comfort of your own home.

Coupon Codes Online: Search on-line for coupon codes to help chip away at retail price tags. Many dedicated costume stores like BuyCostumes.com provide on-site coupon codes for free shipping and mark-off discounts.

Also, coupon websites like retailmenot.com offer lists of potential money saving coupon codes from major Halloween shops like Spirit Halloween, and their success rate so that you get the Halloween costume you want, at a price you can afford.

If you’re doing some online shoppings, use the sites below and save some money on halloween costumes.
Well? What are you waiting for?! Halloween’s just around the corner!

How Can You Tell If It’s A “Bad” Yelp Review

It seems that sites like Yelp are getting more and more useful. 

Whenever I’m searching online for a ma and pa restaurant, I’m hit with these insane pairings — one review raves the other talks about roaches or bad customer service from a certain person.

Online consumer reviews are everywhere. But how do you know if the review you’re reading is real? Was it written by an unbiased, unpaid consumer? How can you be sure it wasn’t written by the business owner’s cousin or, maybe, her fiercest competitor?

Click the Picture below and review the both a bad and good review made by this so called customer. Fake picture above that could effect a variety of merchants. Be cautious and filter out the fake reviews.

Fake picture above that could effect a variety of merchants. Be cautious and filter out the fake reviews.
Yelp 101 Intermediate Class – How Can You Tell its Fake
  • Click their profile and check how many reviews they made. Review the ratings that person made for other companies and make your judgement. (You’ll sometimes find some that are extreme, only 5 star and 1 star ratings)
  • Double check if he/she”checked in” (most yelp reviewers check in with their smart phone, but this is a safety net)                
  • Friends, friends, and more friends. Check if they have friends!
  • Not having profile pictures can raise red flags all around
  • Sometimes it helps, but you can also check the amount of reviews a business has. But on the rarest occasions
Anymore tips? Post on the comments below!

5 Things We Overlook and Spend Too Much Money


As we strive to get out of debt and track our spending, we will still find it hard to let old habits die easily. While we may understand there are cuts we need to make in our budgets, it may be hard to let go of something that bring us comfort or at least the things we don’t think we can live without. It is these little things that we purchase that can really add up and prevent us from using our money to pay down debts. Getting sale items and grocery coupons are only 40% of the solution.

Here are 5 things you really pay too much for and make your wallet happier:

Bottled Water


Of course we must drink water each day to keep our health in check but there are much more savings-conscious ways to stay hydrating than picking up 3 or 4 pricey bottles of water from the convenience store each day. At more than $2 a pop for a bottle of H20, you can easily end up paying $40 a week or more during your average work week.

Recommendation: Invest in a filtration pitcher for your tap water and recycle those used plastic bottles for a quick refill. Another way is to get the 1 gallon of water and carry around. It’s not embarrassing to save water right? It also shows you go to the gym a lot.

Pre-Cut Groceries 
Sure it may save you some time and aggravation by picking up a fruit or veggie tray at the grocery store. But think about it this way, wouldn’t you rather learn how to cut your own food? You’ll have to cook eventually and learn how to all that. It’s definitely not healthy eating out and I really feel it’s great way to learn how cut simple vegetables, fruits and meat.

Recommendation: Obviously the recommendation will be to buy your own uncut foods. YOu can save a spending more than 50% off. To make it easier to grab and go and prevent waste, slice and wash what you bring home as soon as you get there and store them in air-tight, easily accessible containers or grab and go snack bags. It will make everything a lot easier. Trust me.

ATM Fees, Overdraft fees, etc
Whenever you use an ATM that is not associated with your bank, not only do you incur charges from the ATM sponsor, you also will get hit with fees from your own bank. I’m sure there’s a spread of the so called “overdraft fee” disease. We tend to realize how much is in our account or keep track of what we spend with our debit card.

Recommendation: Take the time to find out where your nearest bank is. If you need to burrow money from a friend, burrow it. It’s not worth it to see all the fees in your statement. I wish overdrafts fees can just disappear. Prevent your self from using your debit card as a credit card. That tends to happen to a lot of over drafters. Keeping track on your debit transaction on your smart phone or mini note pad helps tremendously. Don’t be the victim and always check your account. Spend wisely and always check the bank overdraft fee rules.

Movie Theater Experience


Not much beats experiencing a big action thriller on the big screen but with the ever increasing price of box office tickets and snacks, a family of four is looking at up to $40-$60 for one night out to the movies, not including dinner.

Recommendation: Save the big bucks and open an account at Netflix or Blockbuster. The cost of one movie night out can equal up to 6 months of an online membership. They’re older movies and recent new ones. Refrain from going out and just wait till the new movies comes out. They’re plenty shows to watch before it comes out. If you have a favorite movie, ask someone who owns costco membership, discounts at work, or living social/groupon. They can get discounts ranging $8 a movie ticket.

Credit Card Fees
As credit card rules keep changing, there are millions of account holders who are struggling to keep up with their debts and end up making late payments or missing entire payments on their credit card accounts each month. These late or missed payments can cost you not only in the short-term but also for years to come. $30 + fees plus additional charges for memberships, balance transfers, and other transactions can put your credit card debts in serious straits.

Recommendation: Setting up automatic payments each month can help reduce  or eliminate the amounts of fees you have to pay each month. You can also cancel cards that incur membership fees and keep your credit spending down to the bare minimum. Don’t be afraid about insufficient funds or overdraft fees. You’ll need to be cautious and make sure every month that there’s a specific balance you cannot spend on. Balance and set a standard on your accounts.

Redbox vs NetFlix (How to save money watching shows and movies)

Technology has granted families more convenient access to movies than ever before. Many of the large chains that rented VHS and DVDs have gone out of business due to the new concepts in movie rentals. Today, there are two popular services that are much different that video stores in the last few decades.

Here is an overview of what is popular in the world of rented movies and tips for saving money on movies at home:

Redbox Versus Netflix

These days many families rely on either Netflix or Redbox to fulfill their movie needs. Redbox is a convenient vending-service style movie rental service. Customers can find Redbox machines in many locations including Walmarts, convenience stores, and malls. For $1 rental fee, Redbox users insert their credit cards to rent the video and then has a day to return it to prevent extra charges.

Click here for some RedBox Promo Codes. One free rental a day.

Netflix customers have been seeing many recent changes including a name-switch to Qwikster (which is now officially dropped) for their DVD service. Customers can select movie rentals online through their account and put movies they want to see in their own queue. Movies are then shipped based on the queue order and customers only have to go as far as their mailbox to retrieve their movie selections. The company has also started a separate business that offers streaming, on-demand movies through the Internet and popular gaming devices.Netflix does cost more money than RedBox with two separate monthly subscriptions. To stream movies and televised shows will cost $7.99 per month. To receive DVDs by mail, plans start from as low as $9.99 per month. So, it’s worth the money if you order DVD’s at least more than 10 times a week.

Depending on your love of movies, either service may suit you well. If you enjoy the convenience of home delivery with no due dates, Netflix certainly has a vault of recently released and classic movies of all genres. RedBox users who are out and about each day can benefit from paying just a dollar for movie rentals but must be able to return movies on time to avoid excess costs.

Click here for a Netflix Free Trial

CONCLUSION

It’s just depends! From personal experience, I use Redbox and Netflix. I stream my favorite TV shows and movies with just a click of a button. We also got the DVD’s package and DVD’s are mailed to us. But sometimes, I would want a DVD right away just for convenience. You never know, you may need a last minute dinner date or Sunday family night movie ASAP.

But for now, here’s my recommendation: Stream your movies/tv shows and if you really need a movie, Redbox it to your closest kiosk. You can save a bundle from Netflix’s DVD Service. Come on, even if you have one Redbox Promo Code, it can save you 1 free movie per  bankcard. Yes, I said per card. Think of the possibilities.

ALTERNATIVES

Try Blockbusters Express

If your sick of seeing red, you can check out Blockbuster Express. They’re a great replica of Redbox with local kiosk all around your local area. Try something a litte different and see if you like it.

Click here for BlockBuster Promo Codes.

Hulu Plus

I’m sure a lot of unhappy customers fron netflix already switched over, but if you wanted to stream your movies and favorite TV  shows, Hulu Plus would be your next safe bet. They provide on most gaming consoles and online.

Click here for their One Week Free Trial

Other Options

Movie-watching is a great pastime for families, especially during the cold, winter months. There are other ways to get movies you love without spending a fortune or even a few bucks. These ideas include:

Library

Most libraries have an extensive list of movie titles available for free to card-carrying customers of the library.

Family Swap

Friends and relatives probably love movies too so check in with them about which DVDs they have and plan to swap out. Not only is it a free way to see more, you can start a tradition of hosting movie nights for everyone to enjoy.

Discount DVDs

Look in discounts stores, dollar stores and even major chain stores for the cheap video prices now being offered. You can often get popular movies for $5 or less. Online sites like eBay or Amazon often have videos for less than a dollar plus shipping.

You don’t have to stop enjoying movies – just find a more creative way to watch them without spending so much.

Columbus Day Sales in 2011

Columbus Day 2011 is Monday, October 10th

Should be accurate, but call your local merchant for further details.

Clothing / Accessories 

Home & Garden

  • Home Depot: Columbus Day sale Ad Scan (enter Zip code)
  • Lowe’s: Columbus Day Sale Ad Scan (enter Zip code)
  • Macys: Columbus Day Sale on many items
  • Pottery Barn: Up to 60% Columbus Day Sale
  • Sears: Columbus Day Sale (50-60% mattressess, up to 20% Kenmore appliances) + Free shipping on orders over $99 w/code COLUMBUSDAY

Electronics

Other

Why should you Scuba Dive?

There are two experiences in life that never fail to give me pause: riding in a plane, looking at the earth and the patterns of nature and civilization; and strapping a tank of air and diving in the sea.

Flying has become for many of us an everyday wonder, so much so that we focus on the banality of customer experience. But so few have taken the time to learn how to dive despite that it’s in many ways more miraculous.

Scuba is pretty simple. There’s a tank of air and a regulator. You suck the air out of the tank and float around. But until Cousteau worked out the kinks, the underwater world was locked for almost everyone. And even those who could freedive never quite got to experience the placidity and peacefulness that a luxurious hour’s worth of air provides.

Diving is by definition otherworldly. It moves your perception to the helm of a submarine, turning your body into a vehicle by which you can visit an ecosystem that has remained for millions of years out of reach to our air-breathing ancestors.

There’s plenty of adventure to be had underwater. I’ve dabbled with a few technical dives, where a diver doesn’t have time to let their mind wander but must focus on the dangers at hand: rushing currents, low visibility, treacherous environments like wrecks or caves. All of that is interesting in its own right, but it’s akin to stunt flying or piloting a fighter jet. It’s for the dedicated or the extreme, not the dabbler.

But anyone can learn to dive in the relative shallows, spending a long weekend getting a certification that will let them drop into the waters of a tropical reef and simply lounge, watching the fish dart around coral heads or follow bigger animals attend to their rounds.

Scuba isn’t difficult—and I say that as someone who occasionally still finds himself having a panic attack at depth, especially away from warmer waters. In fact, in the warm waters of the tropics, the water melts away my claustrophobia; I rarely feel like I’m fighting nature by sliding underwater for a time, but feel almost welcomed. (That fish are so neighborly helps.)

I could relate to you all the animals I’ve seen, the wrecks and the strange formations, but none of it can really match what you’ll experience with your own eyes. We’ve grown up watching countless nature documentaries that make diving underwater seem almost pedestrian, but until you do it yourself it’s hard to understand the transformative, quieting effect of sitting on a sandy sea floor, raptly attentive to a tiny, inconsequential fish colored like a molten Jolly Rancher and thinking to yourself, “No matter what I’ve done with my life, no matter what happens to our world, I’m witnessing something that billions of people before never imagined was part of our planet.”

Snorkeling Catalina Coupon ($22 Introductory Lesson)

Down Below

Domino’s Coupons Freebies and Deals!


Note: codes may expire without notice, and may be for limited area. Limit one code per order, per person.

Who Doesn’t Like Domino’s Pizza?!

Freebies: 

  • Use code: EBCS – FREE Cinna Stix (no purchase necessary, carryout only) ~ this is from the Entertainment Book 
  • Use code: SWEETJOBS or SWEETCAREER – Get FREE Cinna Stix with online order
  • Use code: ZZZ2 or EB11LCC (delivery only!) for FREE Chocolate Lava Cake (says expired on August 31st, but I used it yesterday!)
  • Use code: EBEBPBB for free pasta with purchase of pizza
  • Use code: EBFP or EBE-FPP or ACCESS or EBEBPP – Buy one large pizza and get a large pizza of equal or greater value free
  • Use code: 9151 – Get 2 medium, 2 topping pizzas for $5.99 each (at participating stores). Minimum 2 pizzas, deep dish extra.
  • Use code: 51383 – Get 2 for 1 delivery
  • Use code: EBFC – Get a FREE 2 liter bottle of soda w/purchase
  • Use code: EBFS or EBEBPS or SANDWICH – Get a free sandwich w/purchase of large pizza
  • Use code: M2M – Get any 3 or more Med 2-Top Pizzas for $5.99 each (or 10-Piece Chicken for $5.99)
  • Use code: EMDT2Fs9 – Get the 2 medium 2-toppings pizzas for only $5.99 each
  • Use code: FIVEOFF – Get $5 off a large plain pizza

Deals:

  • Use Code TF6QR6 – Any 2 for $5.99 each: Med 2-Top Pizza, 8-pc Boneless Chicken or 8-pc Wings
  • Use code 9151 or MDD8K – 2 Medium 2-Topping Pizzas for $5.99 each
  • Use Code 9177 – Get 2 Large 2-topping pizzas for only $7.99 each
  • Use Dominos Coupon Code 9168 – $5.99 for 8pc Bone-In New Chicken
  • Use Dominos Coupon EM8PIECE or TZ5JV4 – 8 piece Chicken for $5.99
  • Use Dominos Coupon EM14PIECE – 14 Piece Chicken for $9.99
  • Use Dominos Coupon TF2CQ8 – Choice between 14 piece boneless or wing chicken for 9.99
  • Use Dominos Coupon 9175 – $11.99 Any Large Specialty Pizza
  • Use Dominos Coupon TK6DS8 – Get any large Specialty Pizza for $11.99 and add Medium 1-Top Pizzas for $5 each
  • Use Dominos Coupon HPN72 – 10″ 2 Pizza (up to 10 toppings), Pasta, or Sandwich for $5 each before 2pm * Carryout only.

Online Coupons: Chili, Denny’s and Maggiano’s Coupons

Check out this week’s coupons:

Online Coupons and Offers : Chili’s

Here are the deals currently available at Chili’s Bar & Grill.

– Free chips & queso with any entree – Printable when you join email list
– 2 entrees & an appetizer for $20 – everyday value
– $5.00 off your next visit to Chili’s (must sign up)

Online Coupons: Denny’s

Click the picture to download it 

Online Coupon: Maggiano’s Little Italy

50% Off any Little Italy favorite dish with the purchase of an entree. – expires 9/28/11

Sooner the better 🙂
Happy Savings!

Blockbuster Express: Twenty-Two Free Rental Codes

Blockbuster Express: Twenty-Two Free Rental Codes

Are you ready to watch some movies? Here are a ton of new codes for a free $.99 DVD rental at any Blockbuster Express location.

Is Blue the new Red?

These new codes are good through 9/26:

76RMAQ8
56AGSF4
53MMKC6
75JMMF6
33CHAH4
2950BW3
22DWTM9

These are also still valid!

These codes are good through 9/19:

73PGAR8
27KRVF6
54RMAQ6
36MMKC4
39CHAH2

These codes are good through 9/23:

87PGAR9
62KRVF3
65RMAQ7
56AGSF4
43MMKC5
85JMMF7
23CHAH3
64HLG5P

This code is good through 9/25

LAS993

This code is good through 10/9:

ROCKNROLL

Occasionally these codes do not work in particular areas. My suggestion is to reserve your rental online and then pick it up at the Kiosk. That way you know that it worked for you before heading out! These codes work once per credit card, so if you have 3 credit cards, you’re talking 30 free movies!

Technology, Good or Evil?

Before reading this blog, take a moment to visit our website http://www.StretchE.com. Search for Newport Fun Tours. It’s a great place to rent bikes, boats, paddle boards, etc. One of our most popular coupons.

Today, I want to talk about the power of technology and our dependency on it. I moved into a new home with a few friends of mine, and because we didn’t call Cox, we’re suffering without the internet. Technology is like a drug, but we still reap some benefits from it. Think about modern technology today, and think about what sort of products you own. First things that come to my personal list are the following (this isn’t including whatever products my family owns):

  • iPhone 3G
  • PS 3
  • Wireless bluetooth speaker for the car
  • A 22″ 1080p television.

Now use your imaginations. Start taking some of these things away, and think about how you’d feel if you didn’t own these products. Start with your smart phone. If you own a smart phone, think about how many inconveniences arise because you no longer have all the apps they offer you. This includes google maps, pictures, internet, games, etc. Now let’s get rid of text messaging and HD televisions. What are you going to do with your life now? Finally, let’s take away the most convenient, dependent piece of technology known to man — the internet.

Want to know what I did/am doing without the internet at home? Yesterday I played some ball (which I don’t do frequently), watched a movie, read some of Ted Kennedy’s memoirs, and went out with some friends. If you ask me, I was pretty productive, except for the fact that I watched a movie (The Other Guys, in case you’re wondering, and yea it was a mediocre movie).

The fact is that we’ve grown dependent on technology, and it’s obvious. I can’t imagine living without my smart phone because of all the amenities it provides. I can’t live without being connected to all the friends I rarely ever see, but get to speak with over facebook. Ever since I got my tv a couple months ago (with PS 3, Netflix, blue ray capability), I feel like I ALWAYS have something to do or watch. I just finished Lost, and now I’m hunting through Netflix for other shows/movies to watch. Now I can’t imagine what it’d be like without it.

Anyway, the point I’m getting at isn’t that technology is evil. Contrary to hippie belief (LOL), TECHNOLOGY IS NOT EVIL. People complain about technology making us less productive, and it is, but it comes with certain amenities. Sure we have the ability to become lazy and complacent, but it also provides us with a world of knowledge. I read the news, learn from Wikipedia (Yes you DO learn from Wikipedia. Even if it has user editing capability, it’s still tightly monitored), and overall just intake valuable information I wouldn’t regularly be provided with. Personalities are shaped through the media and people learn from technology, some of it better than others though.

Recently, it’s been all over the radio and internet that Spongebob makes your children dumb (SURPRISE!!! LOL). Shows like that help contribute to make technology seem evil. There are also other shows/movies like Jersey Shore, Jack Ass, Twilight, or Ace Ventura that make us learn dumb things that we want to repeat. I guess overall, you just have to be smart enough to refuse to retain it for it’s lack of intellectual value, but instead temporarily enjoy the humor (I know I do because I am guilty of watching some of those, occasionally).

To refute my previous comments, there are other interesting shows/movies that provide intellectual information that would NEVER be seen had we not been provided with technology. This includes Planet Earth, Wild Boys (Yes the show with Steve-O and Chris Pontias), all those cooking shows, Anthony Bourdain, and many more. I’ve learned so much about animals, cooking, and traveling that the layman wouldn’t be presented with without the use of technology.

I’m sure you understand the point I’m getting at after ranting about all of this in my incredibly long blog. Technology is a GREAT thing, but should be used in moderation (kind of like alcohol.. Hahaha). If people use too much of anything, it usually turns out for the worst. Life is all about moderation anyway. Anyway, thanks for reading.

Shan Mahmood

P.S. I have learned a LOT from Wild Boys. Steve-O has learned a lot from his experiences also. If you get a chance to watch the show, take that moment. But watch with caution, that show gets kind of disturbing sometimes. Lol