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Ten Tips for Becoming a Smart Shopper

Ten Tips for Becoming a Smart Shopper

1 – Do Your Research.

This is especially important for big-ticket items such as cars, furniture and home appliances. A little research done on the Internet or by using consumer research magazines could save you a bundle in a number of ways. For example by researching different retailers, both online and on the high street, you could save money on the purchase price in the first place. However, there are other ways research could help you save such as buying a more economical washing machine. This could save you money in the long run through the use of less power and less washing powder.

2 – Shop Around for Insurance

Don’t be complacent by sticking to the same insurer year after year, especially with car insurance. It pays to shop around for the best deal, you could save hundreds.

3 – Change Your Provider

The same thing applies to your utility providers and your mobile phone network. Shop around and look for a better deal. Don’t be afraid to change to a new supplier if your current one isn’t willing to make the effort to keep you as a customer by offering you a better deal. There is always an alternative.

4 – Be on Top of Your Game in the Supermarket

Be a little more diligent when you do your weekly shop in the supermarket as you could save quite a bit of money by swapping brands occasionally. Don’t just dismiss the idea of buying the supermarket’s own brand. In a lot of cases, the quality is just the same but the price is a lot less. Also, look for items with less packaging. If the supermarket doesn’t have to pay for packaging in the first place then they won’t pass the cost onto you. Don’t just go by the price on the box or tin. Take a calculator with you and work out the price per 100g or whatever makes sense. You could save money by buying larger quantities.

5 – Buy Things Near to their Sell by Dates

Another tip when you are in the supermarket is to look for produce that has been reduced because it is near its sell by date, especially if you intend to use it straight away anyway.

6 – Look for Special Offers

This applies in lots of places but is especially relevant in supermarkets. Consider hunting out special offers for items that you normally buy anyway, such as ‘buy one, get one free’ offers. It may mean you have to swap brands or maybe have to freeze some things but you have got some of them for free anyway and your shopping bill will be less the following week.

7 – Consider Using Charity Shops

Charity shops can be Aladdin’s Cave’s full of items that you would never normally be able to afford. Why not consider visiting charity shops in upmarket parts of town as you might stumble across some designer bargains, especially clothing that may have only been worn one or two times. Once you’re done with them, you could even then probably sell them on eBay for a profit.

8 – Don’t Buy Bottled Water

This one really is a no brainer. The news is that the water in your tap at home is just as good as the stuff in bottles and is pretty much free compared to it too. If you insist then get yourself a water filter in your refrigerator to improve the taste or put some orange squash in it – but stop buying bottled water right now.

9 – Stop Buying Lottery Tickets

When you come out of the supermarket do you usually stop off and get yourself a lottery ticket and maybe a couple of lottery scratch cards? Well stop it right now. If you buy two lottery tickets and three scratch cards per week that soon adds up to a tidy sum every month that could be put to better use elsewhere. Why not put it into a savings account and use it for Christmas presents instead?

10 – Stop Buying Ready Meals and Buy a Recipe Book

You might think you can’t cook and you might think you are doing best by just buying ready meals that can be cooked in the microwave but you are kidding yourself. The amount of fresh produce that you can buy for the cost of a ready meal could be quite considerable and most meals are not that difficult to prepare. They will taste better and you’ll get a lot more for your money too.…

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Check Out These Wonderful Ideas To Improve Your Fashion

Check Out These Wonderful Ideas To Improve Your Fashion

Fashion might seem like something that only certain parts of the population really stress over. However, the truth is everyone wants to look nice. Regardless of who you are or how fashion savvy you are, there is likely a tip or two in the following paragraphs that help you look your best.

Black is a good basic color to wear with other colors, but do not concentrate on wearing black all the time. While wearing black on the bottom half of your body can be somewhat slimming, make sure you jazz your style up by adding something colorful on your upper body.

Strap on a belt for a fast and fashionable look. You can choose the appropriate color to complement your look and style. Pair a brightly colored belt with your skinny jeans, or create a fashionable look by adding a bold patent leather belt to your outfit for a night out on the town.

Instead of spending a lot on specialty items, make sure you’re purchasing the fashion basics. Target items that are always in fashion, yet work with other styles as well. Start with the classic look of a black pencil skirt and give it the look of today with a trend top or jacket.

Do not use sponges to apply your liquid and cream based foundations and blushes. You will lose product in the sponge every time you do. Additionally, the sponge becomes a breeding ground for germs. Instead, use clean fingertips for application, switching fingers or cleaning them between different products or colors.

Latest Fashion

Look inside fashion magazines to get an idea of what you should be wearing for this season. You don’t have to get clothes that directly match what the latest fashion is. However, you can form a style that is very similar so people may know you are up to date with the latest fashion.

Latest Fashion Trends

In order to make sure that you can fit into the latest fashion trends you are going to want to make sure that you are as slim as possible. Diet and exercise so you don’t feel embarrassed because you can’t fit into some of the latest trends that this season’s fashion has to offer you.

Latest Trends

In order to make sure that you can fit into the latest fashion trends you are going to want to make sure that you are as slim as possible. Diet and exercise so you don’t feel embarrassed because you can’t fit into some of the latest trends that this season’s fashion has to offer you.

New Fashion

While some fashions go in and out of style, and new fashion trends are set all of the time, the seasons have certain rules regarding fashion that tend to stick around. For instance, during the spring, wear brighter colors and stand out. During the fall and winter months, go for more earthly tones and reserved patterns.

You might only hear certain individuals around you obsess about how they look or the latest fads and styles. However, everyone thinks about their fashion when they look in the mirror in the morning. Keep in mind all that you read here so that you can dress and look your very best.…

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Would You Like Shoe Tips? Read This

Shoes are what quite a few people are in need of, because walking around with bare feet isn’t a good idea. For this reason, you should consider a variety of factors when shoe shopping. This advice has previously proven to be effective.

Have both of your feet measured if you’re unsure of your size. Many folks have one foot that is not exactly the same size as the other. Look for a pair which fits the biggest foot comfortably.

Prior to purchasing any shoes, get them both on your feet and walk around. You may not notice how uncomfortable or ill-fitting a shoe is until you walk in it. Try a few different sizes to see what fits best.

Even if the weather is nice outside, you shouldn’t wear flip-flops everywhere. Depending on the type of environment you are in, flip-flops can cause many injuries and blisters because there isn’t much support cushion. Be sure you are considering which times you are wearing them.

Although you want your shoes to look great, they should also be comfortable. The shoes you purchase should protect your feet. Wearing uncomfortable shoes just for their looks can actually hurt your feet in the long run. This often results in problems down the road, so insist on a proper fit at all times.

Determine your arch type prior to purchasing athletic shoes. You should get your feet wet and then step on some white paper. The wet parts can tell you what type of arch you have. If you see most of your footprint, then you have a flatter arch. The middle isn’t going to be seen with a high arch. This can allow you to get a more comfortable fit from the shoe.

Do not fall prey to the concept of breaking shoes in. You may be told by a salesperson that your pair of new shoes just needs to be broken in. This is not always how things happen. Indeed, good shoes will be comfortable and fit well upon their first wearing. If the pair you are trying do not feel right, do not buy them even if they look great.

If you purchase shoes on the Internet, be certain about return policies. Sometimes, you may buy shoes online that you cannot try on, and you would want to return them if they do not fit. Look for money-back guarantees so that you do not end up with useless shoes.

Shoes will not normally break in as you wear them. They should be comfortable, immediately. They may not stretch the way you want later. You will just injure your feet and stop wearing the shoes.

Don’t buy shoes that hurt your feet because you convince yourself they will become less painful in time. If the shoes are uncomfortable when you try them on, they will probably remain that way. If you have corns or bunions, you can have the shoes professionally stretched.

As you can now see, shoes are essential if you want to walk anywhere. Now that you have went over some tips that can help you to locate some shoes you can wear, you should have no trouble getting them. Best of luck in your shoe shopping adventures!…

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Christmas Shopping Tips To Get Your Gifts This Year

Christmas Shopping Tips To Get Your Gifts This Year

Christmas shopping is a huge stressful problem for many.A� While it should be a nice time of the year to just relax, many have problems with the holidays as the gift giving can be a bit of a problem.A� If you have to do Christmas shopping this year, learn some tips that will make this process a bit easier on you so that you can enjoy the holidays more.

Start off by writing down a list of people that you need to buy for.A� Find out what you are willing to spend or what you can spend on each person.A� Figure this out to give yourself a good idea. When you have this information just be sure and to follow it. Don’t get sidetracked when you are doing your shopping.

Once you know this information, you are able to set a budget for yourself.A� Get this budget in line early in the year so that you can start saving.A� Knowing you have your money for gifts does take quite a bit of the stress off you. Doing it this way will also give you more money to spend and you should be able to do this without using your credit cards.

Start shopping very early.A� There is nothing wrong with buying a gift halfway through the year for someone you know that might like it.A� If you see something that someone might like, just purchase it regardless when it is. Sometimes you can get some good deals when you do your shopping all through the year and not just at Christmas time.

Go online and look for good deals.A� It’s much less stressful than going out shopping and it will come to your door.A� Many stores online offer discounts when purchasing a certain dollar amount.A� This is a way of saving money. Plus many have free shipping so you want be charged extra.

If you do shop at traditional stores, try going during the less popular hours.A� This way you can avoid standing in lines and wasting you time.A� Go very early in the morning or late at night.

Don’t let it all stress you out.A� It’s the holidays.A� It’s supposed to be a relaxing time.A� Plan ahead and avoid all the stress.A� Just take a break and relax when feeling overwhelmed.

Christmas shopping can become very stressful at times.A� Find out what you can do that will help you get your gift buying done with much less stress.…

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Kid Friendly Foods Are Not Created Equally

Kid Friendly Foods Are Not Created Equally

Humans by nature love sugar, fat and salt. Kids are no different! If we look at whole foods in their natural state, it is hard to find foods high in sugar, fat or salt. You can find natural sugars in fruit and milk, and fat in nuts and seeds, but sodium is very low in natural foods that have not been processed in any way. That is why foods high in sugar, fat and salt appeal to us so much. These foods tantalize our taste buds and make us want to eat them more and more.

Food marketers are smart. They know that if they load “kid friendly” foods with sugar, fat or salt, kids will request (or demand!) them over and over. Marketers also know that parents are all about convenience, and foods that are ready-to-eat or individually packaged, sell well. Unfortunately, to make a foods’ shelf life extendable, salt or sugar is typically added as a preservative. This is why convenience and processed foods often times are not the healthiest choices.

Here are a few strategies to help shoppers select healthier foods for children:

1. Visualize the amount of sugar in a product.

It is hard to envision grams of sugar in a product. However, if you divide the amount of sugar in grams by 4, that will give you the amount in teaspoons. For example, if you read the nutrition label for a can of soda and the grams of sugar are 36, you can divide by 4 to get the number of teaspoons, which would be 9. You can then envision your child consuming 9 teaspoons of sugar if he/she were to drink the whole soda!

2. Check the ingredient list.

If the ingredient list on the nutrition facts label is very extensive or has ingredients listed that you have never heard of, reconsider purchasing the product. If one of the first few ingredients is sugar, or ends in “ose”, the product is high in some form of sugar.

3. Take a look at the sodium content.

Packaged and convenience foods are just that, convenient, but are typically high in sodium. Neither adults nor kids should be consuming more than 2000 mg sodium a day. Some pre-packaged meals and snacks contain upwards of 1000 mg sodium in one serving.

4. Eat foods in their natural form as often as possible.

When selecting foods, do you know where they come from? We know that apples come from trees, and potatoes are grown in the ground, but what about that granola bar? If a food is coming from its original source, and has not been altered in any way, it is most likely worth eating!

5. Package your own snacks.

Foods that are individually packaged are convenient, but much more expensive. Look for higher fiber (>3 gm/serving) crackers or cereals and package them yourself in individual snack bags. Take a few minutes to cut up fruit and vegetables and package those as well. You will save money and your kids will be taking in nutrient-dense snacks!…

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10 Dorm Room Essentials

10 Dorm Room Essentials

With July 4th barely behind us, it seems premature to being thinking about school. But as we careen into August, the start of the school year isn’t far off. For many, it will mean heading off to college and living away from home for the first time. Ah yes, college dorms…seems like yesterday. Nostalgic for days when decorating meant posters plastered over a concrete block wall, I decided to create a shopping list of ten dorm room essentials for all you fabulous freshman.

While your laptop and your textbooks will have more impact on your academic success, the following list will make living in that cramped yet sterile dorm room just a wee bit easier:

1. Memo Board – Back in the olden days (i.e.; when I was in college…), we hung these outside our door as a nifty way to communicate. Friends stopping by while you were in class could jot a brief note or a roommate could advise you that while you were studying in the library, you missed a call on the communal hall phone from your boyfriend. This was life before cell phones, people! But even today a mini white board as a dorm room essential. In the age of the text message, there’s something quaintly high-touch about this low-tech form of communication. And let’s face it: a memo board is gonna run you a lot less than those text messages!

2. Bed-in-a-Bag – Nothing brightens up a generic dorm room faster than a colorful comforter. Invest in a coordinated set and save the hassle of finding matching sheets and shams.

3. Bed rest – Most dorm rooms provide you with a desk and chair, but let’s face it–you’ll be doing most of your studying sprawled out on your bed. A bed rest gives you the back support you need while you’re researching your American Lit paper–or watching episodes of Family Guy on Hulu.

4. Booklight – Speaking of studying, if you’re a night owl and your roomie is an early riser then a booklight will help you study in the wee hours while allowing him/her to sleep soundly.

5. Desk Organizer Set – For the times when you do actually use your desk, having a place for everything and everything in its place is a real time saver. Plus when the ‘rents come to visit, it’ll make you look studious and efficient. (We won’t tell them you spend most of your time sprawled out in bed watching episodes of Family Guy!)

6. Alarm Clock – Since Mom will no longer be around to wake you up in time for your 8 am Econ class, you’re gonna need something that will. Just make sure the alarm isn’t too annoying for your roommate or he/she might retaliate by setting it to go off on that lazy Saturday you had planned to sleep in…

7. Laundry Bag – Something else you’ll no longer be able to count on Mom for: laundry. Oh, you can try accumulating all your dirty clothes to take home at the mid-semester break, but chances are you’re gonna have to break down and wash them yourself. Either way, you’ll need a big, tough laundry bag to lug them to their destination.

8. Shower Tote/Caddy – Another toteable must-have is some kind of basket for all your shower essentials. Most dorms have large communal bathrooms and so you’ll need a way to transport your shampoo, conditioner, razor, body wash, etc. from your dorm room to the bathroom.

9. Flip-flops – This handy-dandy slip on in an instant footwear is a must for trekking down the hall to take your morning shower. Heck, you might even want to wear them while you’re IN the shower! No need to worry–I’m sure your Room and Board dollars are being well spent. Though you wouldn’t know it from the cafeteria food…

10. Microwave – Did someone mention cafeteria food? Yikes! That’s as good a reason as any to invest in a mini microwave. Whether it’s nuking a frozen dinner or popping some popcorn (to eat while you’re watching episodes of Family Guy on Hulu…), a microwave can be a true lifesaver when it comes to dorm life.

And there you have it: ten essential dorm room items! The best thing about this shopping list is that most if not all items can be found at discount retailers like Target or Kohl’s–making getting ready for your freshman year that much easier.…

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Shopping Tips for Purchasing Online

Shopping Tips for Purchasing Online

The Internet can be a wonderful tool for shopping online, and people are now becoming less timid about creating a purchase or financial transaction online. There are literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions of online stores for virtually every kind of product. Many of these websites are online versions of famous brand-name stores, and even smaller “mom and pop” type enterprises offering every kind of nick knack.

Many people actually are finding that they prefer to shop online as a convenience, and also as a way to save money and time in other ways. This includes the hassle of long shopping lines, or having to drive to get to your favorite store or shopping mall. Combine this with the fact that you can easily do comparison shopping online, and maybe even get a merchant discount, or other incentive for shopping via the web.

However, with all the convenience and benefits provided by online shopping, there still are some very necessary precautions to be aware of. This article has been written to point out some of the pros and cons of purchasing online, as well as some simple tips anyone can take to assure, safe and secure shopping online.

One surefire approach is to use shopping directories to find the best shopping sites and the best deals. The reason this is a good idea is because many of these directories have multiple links to many website resources with stores grouped by categories and the merchandise available. Often you will be able to shop for items not available at local stores because of where you are located, thus allowing you a broader selection then you may be used to having. You may even save on some local taxes, depending on where you reside.

One tip here, is to be aware of your local sale tax codes, and be sure to consider the extra costs of shipping and possible handling fees. These extra costs are not usually factored into the purchase price, and you don’t want any unpleasant surprises. You also want to be aware of how long the shipping will take, and what the potential cost of returning an item might be, along with the fine print for re-stocking fees and other terms related to return policies. Reputable online retailers understand that some products need to be returned because of damage via shipping, the wrong size or color, and things of this nature.

Online shopping does not have to be that different than any other kind of shopping, and while Internet shopping is fun and has many benefits, be on the lookout for potential online fraud. Take some time to research websites and retailers that are not familiar to you. Here again, you can search online for websites that offer honest reviews from past and present customers. Online retailers that want to stay in business know all about online reputation management, and what they need to do to get and keep a good customers. Another tip is to not go overboard on an expensive shopping spree. Buy a few less expensive items as a test of how well you will be treated by online retailers. If you are satisfied, you can always return to the website to do more shopping.

Most online transactions will be completed via credit card, and for this reason can be considered reasonably secure. Just be sure that your transactions are encrypted and that you do not have to provide too much personal information. Most online retailers will make it a point that they are using state-of-the-art encryption software, and use this as a selling feature for advertising and promotion in their marketing messages. When credit card information is properly encrypted, there is a far less risk of hackers or unauthorized access to your financial information.

Finally, just like shopping in the brick-and-mortar world, always be sure to read things like the privacy policy and refund & return policies. Keep records of these in a file, along with a copy of your order page and proof of purchase. Follow these shopping tips for purchasing online, and you most likely will be delighted with your shopping on the web.…