5 Free Reads for August with Amazon Prime

Did you know certain Audible narrations come free with your Amazon Prime membership?

Image result for amazon audible

From Amazon:

If you never seem to have time to read all the books on your list (and who does?), Prime Reading with Audible narration could be your new best friend. It’s easy to switch between reading and listening on multiple devices, so you can zip through books while driving, doing yard work or preparing dinner.

Click HERE for August’s selections.

Seasonal Shopping

Here’s a helpful article on seasonal shopping that I read in the Dollar Stretcher newsletter I receive via e-mail.  I save lots of money each year buying our necessities off season ~ especially clothing.  Oh, and chocolate.  Read below to see what I mean!

Do you have any seasonal shopping tips to add?

Sale Sale

A Blackbelt in Smart Seasonal Shopping

by Alayna Frankenberry
How to save by shopping seasonally

Your neighbor who bought a snow blower in April isn’t crazy.
Neither is your friend who buys all her bikinis in September,
or your aunt who purchases a metric ton of chocolate every
year right after Christmas. This behavior might bewilder the
rest of us, but as it turns out, there is a method to the
madness. It’s all about scheduling your shopping trips so you
pay the least and get the most. If you can figure out the best
time to buy these popular products and others like them,
you’ll see mad savings, and that’s just what this guide’s
about.

1. Food – Stocking up on food is tricky. After all, you can’t
exactly buy 20 pounds of lunchmeat in June with the intent to
eat it in August. The best times to buy will vary from food to
food. Bottled water is cheapest in August after the weather
begins to cool. Baking supplies like spices, flour and sugar
go on sale in November and December. The best time to buy
chocolate (aside from every day, obviously) is right after
holidays like Halloween, Easter, and Valentine’s Day. Big on
microwaved dinners? March is national frozen food month, and those foods are
likely to be on sale at that time.

2. Clothes – Thursday is the best day of the week for clothes
shopping. It’s when retailers gear up for weekend sales and
try to get rid of older items to make room for new shipments.
If you’re shopping for a specific item, do it just as the
appropriate season for that garment is ending. For example,
look for cheap bathing suits in August and good deals on wool
coats in February. When you notice stores like Target and Old
Navy switching displays and getting ready for next season’s
styles, it’s time to pounce on marked-down pieces and stock up
for next year.

3. Electronics – After the holiday rush, electronics giants
like Best Buy have leftover inventory that they’re eager to
sell. Since most shoppers will have blown through their
electronics budgets earlier in the month, retailers know they
have to reduce prices if they want to keep moving TVs, cameras
and gaming systems. Don’t forget that you can sometimes save
on merchandise that has been opened and returned. To boost
your savings even more, keep an eye out for new devices or
models, because when companies update products they
slash prices on previous versions. If you don’t mind having a
slightly older phone or laptop, you’ll be able to save big.

4. Toys – There’s good news! You don’t have to risk life and
limb battling the Black Friday masses to get the best deals on must-have holiday
toys. For the lowest prices, buy as close to Christmas as you
can. Prices drop dramatically during the third week of
December, so this is one area in life where it really pays to
procrastinate. As with electronics, discounts are even bigger
after the holiday, so if you have a really, really good hiding
place, consider buying next season’s toys in January.

5. Wedding Supplies – Shop between Thanksgiving and Christmas
and you could score your dream dress for a fraction of the
regular price. When it comes to other event supplies, from
table settings to custom wine labels, skip the bridal megastores and
shop online at sites like Bottle Your Brand instead. When you
put promo codes from sites like SoNotRetail and iBotDis to use this winter,
you’ll double your savings. Keep in mind, though, that if you
live in a hot Southern climate, your best in-store savings
happen during the hottest months. That’s because most brides
schedule their ceremonies for cooler weather.

Create your own smart shopping schedule to make the most out
of your budget – but don’t let yourself get carried away. Two
winter coats for the price of one is great, but getting 100
winter coats for the price of 50 might be taking things a
little too far. Unless of course you’re into conspiracies and
you suspect that “bath salt attacks” is just government spin
for “civilization-ending zombie invasion.” In that case, you
can never have too many cans of peaches in your underground
bunker.

Take the Next Step:
– For more on seasonal shopping, please visit
<www.stretcher.com/menu/topic-a.htm#buyseasonal>
– For more great shopping strategies, please visit
<www.stretcher.com/menu/topic-a.htm#buystrategy>
– Do you know the 7 secrets that retailers don’t want you to
know? If you don’t, you should. Find them at
<www.bankrate.com/finance/personal-finance/7-shopping-secrets-retailers-won-t-
tell-you-1.aspx?pid=p:dls>

Saving Money on Your Bills

Because the cost of living is rising,  my husband and I are trying to cut back on some monthly expenses wherever possible.

Yesterday I made a few phone calls that saved us over $100/month ~ and all I had to do was just call some of our providers!  For example, our trash pick up costs are going through the roof.  After shopping around I realized we could nearly cut our current bill in half.  When I called our current provider and explained that their prices were just too high for us, they immediately offered to meet the competition’s price because we have been “loyal customers for over a decade.”

Well, this was a good thing!

So I called our phone company (we use Vonage), and discussed lowering our plan with them or even getting rid of our land line all together.  Vonage didn’t want to lose our business and again we were found to be long-time “loyal customers” who paid their bills on time.  So they also cut our bill in half and even gave us a better plan!   {By the way, if anyone wants to switch to VOiP with Vonage, feel free to use this link   &  we’ll both get a month free.  Vonage is good like that.  You can earn months  &  months free for referring people. }

I have a few more phone calls to make today as I shop around for competitive prices &  as I also simply eliminate some of the services that we can do without.

Do you have any money saving tips to share?

 

 

 

How to Extend Cell Phone Battery Life

Here’s a tip from one of my favorite money saving sites, Debt Proof Living, regarding cell phone battery life.

If you’ve ever experienced the annoyance of having to replace a cell phone battery—only to discover that a replacement is so expensive you’re better off just buying a new phone—I have good news. There are things you can do to prevent premature battery failure and the unexpected expense of premature phone replacement.

Click HERE for the full article.

Homemade Frappuccinos

Why spend an arm and a leg at your local coffee shop when you can make a frozen coffee beverage right at home?  We like to beat the season’s heat by having a homemade Frap in the sweltering summer afternoons.

Frosty goodness.

Here’s how to do it:

1 mug of coffee brewed double or triple strength (we use decaf since kids are drinking)

Sugar to taste

2 1/2 cups of milk (low fat is fine & takes some of the guilt away!)

1 tablespoon dry pectin, optional*  (found usually in your baking aisle)

1 cup ice

Whipped cream, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, optional

Brew the coffee & add sugar to taste while it’s hot.  Stir till dissolved & cool.  (I make a cup the night before & refrigerate it ’til needed)  Put all ingredients in a good blender & whirl it up ’til smooth.  Add any of the optional ingredients like chocolate, whipped cream, sprinkles, caramel sauce or anything you’d like.

Now  go out on the sizzling patio with your favorite straw sun hat & put your feet up.  Slowly, pour your frosty beverage into one of these fancy refreshment repositories that you can frugally purchase with a 20% off coupon at Bed, Bath, and Beyond…

… and enjoy!

* pectin is the secret ingredient, rumor has it, in that big Moby Dick character named chain.

Moms of Babies and Toddlers!

Has anyone seen the Amazon Moms program?  While it doesn’t apply to me since my children are a bit older, I hope someone will benefit from this offer:

Click the image for link

From their site:

. Amazon Mom is a free membership program aimed at helping parents and caregivers, from the prenatal days through the toddler years, use Amazon to find all the products their family needs. To join, simply sign into your Amazon account and tell us whether you are a Mom, Dad, or other caregivers of a child. By providing information about your family, you can help us personalize offers, e-mails, and product recommendations to help you find exactly what you need at just the right time. Amazon Mom members receive benefits such as 30% off diapers and wipes, exclusive offers, and FREE Two-Day Shipping with Amazon Prime.