24 Sep 2015 Published by: Posted in: Business

Not long ago, there were only a couple major ways you could shop for products. One of them was of course to visit local stores and purchase goods in person. This is how commerce had always been done for centuries, and many people still feel the most comfortable buying items after having some sort of face-to-face interaction with the vendor.

modern day shoppingBut decades ago, mail order become a second major way in which people shopped for products online. This remained a popular way to shop for many people, especially elderly and handicapped people who didn’t always find it convenient to go out every time they needed a product.

But the way we shop has really undergone a revolution in the last decade or so. This is largely due to the Internet. Today, many of the largest retailers in the world such as Amazon or online marketplaces. And each year, the amount of money people spend purchasing goods online goes higher and higher.

When internet shopping first became mainstream, people tended to purchase known items like CDs and books online. But it wasn’t long until more personal items like shoes and clothing also became big hits. Part of the reason for this is that media has improved quite a bit. Today, people can view high-quality, close-up images of an item they want to buy. They can also customize products and view different versions, all from the comfort of their home. These factors make people feel a lot more comfortable about shopping on the Internet.

It also helps that the vast majority of businesses that sell products online have a very flexible return policy. There is no denying that even if you fall in love with a product through images online, you may be disappointed once the item arrives. Moreover, for things like clothes or shoes, you may find that the item does not fit you the way you had hoped. For these reasons and more, it’s very important that you check the return policy of any shops you purchase from. The good news is that most online stores are very understanding and allow you to return items up to 30 days after the date of purchase. You will, however, need to cover the amount for return shipping in most cases.

Another topic that is important to mention is shopping security. Identity theft has become a major concern worldwide. Each year, we hear news of one or two major vendors that has their servers hacked. Customer information and credit card numbers can be compromised in this way.

With that said, you are typically well-protected if you shop from reputable stores like Amazon.com. Such major e-commerce giants usually use very reliable security protocols such as SSL. While anything is possible, the chances of any sensitive information such as your credit card information being intercepted is very slim when you use a site that employs the latest security technology.

You do need to be more cautious when buying from smaller vendors. Look for trust seals that indicate that the site uses a secure shopping technology of some sort. Also, it helps if a business doing online is a member of the Better Business Bureau.

One major benefit of online shopping to consumers has been cheap prices. Let’s face it, when you can visit other vendors and compare prices with a few mouse clicks, it pressures all online merchants to offer the best price possible. To this end, many large vendors offer a low-price guarantee. While such guarantees are nice, I have found that you still need to do a bit of research to make sure you are in fact getting the best deal possible. And keep in mind, things like shipping costs can affect the ultimate price you pay. A vendor that offers a very cheap price on a product may not be your cheapest option if they overcharge for shipping.

mobile shoppingOne great way to save money by shopping online is by using online coupons. Sites such as Groupon and Retailmenot offer tons of discounts you can avail yourself to. This is why I always hit up a couple coupon websites before I make a final decision to purchase anything online. In some cases, I will even put off a given purchase if I know that the vendor is likely to be offering a coupon sometime soon. It’s good to particularly pay attention to special days like Black Friday, when almost all merchants, both online and offline, offer steep discounts on many items.

As you can see, there is a lot to online shopping, and it takes a few years of buying things on the Internet before you can become a truly savvy shopper. I recommend reading tons of shopping articles and doing research online to make sure you are taking advantage of all the benefits you can get by shopping intelligently in the modern age. Once you are comfortable with online shopping, it might be time to move onto mobile shopping, which is quickly becoming the next big thing.

19 Dec 2015 Published by: Posted in: Money

At a certain point in your vaping journey, you may find that you’re getting bored with the flavors you can purchase (unless you shop at stores like Vaporfi – more on that below). If you’re adventurous, you may then decide to mix your own e-juice. This can seem like a pretty complex endeavor at first, but if you know a few basic things, it’s not that difficult.

The first thing you’ll have to do is acquire all the supplies. You’ll need plastic bottles of all sizes, syringes, and the liquids themselves, which are:

Nicotine Liquid: These come in different strengths, so get the one that is appropriate for the strength of e-juice you want to create.

Flavoring: Getting quality flavoring is key to producing good e-juice. So experiment with different flavors, and try more than one brand.

Propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin: These two liquids are mixed in different proportions depending on what kind of vaping experience you prefer. Use more vegetable glycerin a thicker flavor. Use more propylene glycol if you want a stronger flavor.

Next, you’ll have to figure out exactly how much of each liquid to mix. Instead of figuring out mathematically how to do the calculations, simply use one of the many e-liquid calculators available online. Such calculators will ask you what strength of nicotine you want, along with the proportions of PG and VG. If you’re not sure, I’d start with 80% PG and 20% VG, as that seems to be a popular default ratio.

That’s about all there is too it. I’ve mixed a few e-liquids, but ultimately, I found that I prefer the professionally mixed e-liquids. As for flavors, if you use a store like Volcano, you will likely never run out of flavors to try, since they have hundreds (with new ones being added regularly). And if you use a Volcano Ecig promo code from E-cigbargains.com, the price of their e-liquids are only slightly more expensive than the ones you’d mix on your own. If you’re motivation for mixing e-liquids is therefore to save money, I’d say you’re better off just getting some coupons and purchasing from Volcano instead.

01 Dec 2015 Published by: Posted in: Money

Gallery wrapped canvas printIf you are interested in a new and innovative way to decorate your home, you should definitely give some though to getting a canvas prints. I like them a lot because they are gorgeous to look at and have a lot of impact. You can make canvas prints out of just about any picture so long as it has sufficient resolution. For this reason, it’s a good idea to take photos for canvas prints using a high quality digital camera with good pixel resolution.

Once you have the picture you want to use, you can go to Canvas People, which is my favorite store for ordering canvas prints. This store will allow you to upload your photo and order a canvas print in various sizes. There are also other options you can choose, such as gallery wrap, which will give a nice effect to the edges of your canvas print. If you do end up using Canvas People, make sure you get yourself a Canvas People coupon as that will allow you to save a bit of money on your order. In addition to searching for coupons on the internet, I also like to check the twitter feeds for printing websites since I find some good deals listed sometimes.

Some great photos to use for canvas prints include family photos, artwork, and scenery. Canvas People has stock images you can use, but I believe the best canvas prints are personalized ones; I therefore recommend you use your own, unique photo for your canvas prints.

If you want to do other kinds of printing other than Canvas Printing, such as printing for brochures, business cards, or other business materials, consider getting your ink from Printplace. I have used them a number of times for professional printing I needed done for my small business. Overall, their prices are competitive, but you should always check to see if you can get any Printplace coupons and other similar discounts on printing. I use coupons all the time and typically save hundreds of dollars on my orders.

11 Nov 2015 Published by: Posted in: Business

TinderIf you ask people what the number one issue about dating in the modern world is, it will usually boil down to two things: finding the time, and meeting eligible singles. Dating can definitely be a challenge as our lives have become hectic, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you take advantage of the right websites and even apps, your chances of finding the right man or woman will rise astronomically.

Should apps be your thing, the two best dating apps to check out are Tinder and Hinge. But because there are quite a few dating apps now, and you can download most of them for free, you should try out several. I like to stick to well known apps because they will have more users.

In terms of dating sites, there are only two that I recommend: Eharmony and Match.com. Which site you choose depends on your dating style. If you want help being matched, then Eharmony is well-respected for its ability to find compatible singles in your area. The results are based on scientific research about personality, and they seem to have a very good success rate with their matches. If this sounds good to you, make sure you obtain an eharmony free trial offer from CouponLeaf.com to learn more.

On the other hand, should you desire to take a more active role and search for matches on your own, then Match.com is the better choice. Either way, both Match.com and Eharmony are two of the stronger dating sites out there, and you can’t go wrong choosing either one.

02 Nov 2015 Published by: Posted in: Money

I always do research on contact lens prices before I place an order on the Internet. Even if you have a store you like to use, you need to constantly check prices to make sure your favorite store is continuing to give you the best deal. Price competition on the Internet can be intense, and vendors chance their prices all the time. In addition, the coupons you can use at various contact lens shops vary from month to month, making one vendor the best choice a certain month, only to change the next time you buy lenses.

online contact lens storeIt’s not easy to compare lens prices across stores, because there are three things that can change the price quite drastically. The first are online coupons. Depending on the store, you can end up saving 15% or more on your order due to online coupons. This is the case for my favorite store, Lens.com, where I routinely find coupons that save me $20 or more. The catch with most such coupons is that you need to place a minimum order if you want to qualify for a coupon.

Secondly, the price you pay can differ according to how many boxes of lenses you buy. In almost all cases, it is in your best interest to order 4 or more boxes, as this is when discounts really start to kick in. If you want to use an Lens.com coupon, you’ll usually find that your order needs to exceed a couple hundred dollars. To get your order this high, you typically need to buy 4-5 boxes, although this depends on how expensive your contact lenses are.

Finally, whether or not you receive free shipping can influence the final price you pay quite a bit. To qualify for free shipping, your order usually has to be over a certain dollar amount. At Lens.com, the order must be $129 or more. At other stores, the threshold is usually around $100. Shipping can otherwise cost around $9 or more, so getting your order to a point where you get free shipping is important. To view some free shipping deals for contact lens stores, make sure you go to lensstreet.com.

You can also lower the price you pay for lenses by buying cheaper lenses. However, I do not recommend this approach. I have found that the best quality contact lenses charge more, but that extra charge is well-justified. Where your eye health is concerned, you don’t want to take the risk by using cheap brands. That’s why I only buy name-brand contact lenses such as Acuvue Oasys. This is true also for contact lens solution. Low-priced solution may sound like a good idea, but I have tried them and they irritated my eyes.

Therefore, to save money on contact lenses, you should find low-priced stores that offer discounts like the Lens.com coupons I typically use.  Look for free shipping deals as well. But never settle for poor quality lenses. Instead, get the best brand you can afford, then try to save money by looking for deals online.


21 Oct 2015 Published by: Posted in: Money

Saving money is one of the biggest priorities of new moms. But many of us have small businesses or work from home, and cutting expenses isn’t always as easy as we’d hope. Take ink cartridges for example. On average, they can cost up to $40 per cartridge or more, but how can you pay less for them? Most people don’t have a clue, and that’s why I am making this post today.

There are several paths you can take to try and pay less for printer ink. One popular way is to refill old cartridges and reuse them. To do this, you have to purchase ink bottles and other equipment and you can often get such kits from major online ink stores such as Inkfarm. Refilling ink, however, is not quite as straightforward as you may think, so it’s important to watch some videos on the topic and make sure you know what you’re getting into before you run out and purchase an ink refill kit. The video below will give you some idea of what is involved with refilling used cartridges with new ink.

Another path you can take is to purchase your ink cartridges online. This allows you to compare prices and pick the store with the lowest price. I find Inkfarm usually has the best price for the cartridges I buy, but the lowest priced store may be different for the cartridges you use. In addition, you should be using online coupons if you buy ink online. I recommend using this inkfarm coupon code from inkjetprinterdiscounts.com. This usually saves me 15% or more off retail prices, and gives me an additional discount.

Be sure you pick a store that gives you free shipping, otherwise shipping costs will eat into any savings you realize by buying online and using coupons.

12 Oct 2015 Published by: Posted in: Money

As I mentioned in my previous post, this site deals a lot with shopping. Along those lines, I’d like to talk a bit today about shopping for audio books.

You may have seen some of the commercials for audible recently, such as the one below.

So what exactly is Audible? It is the world’s largest audio book program that allows you to download audio books and listen to them on a variety of devices, such as a smart phone, mp3 player, computer, tablet, and a few other devices. Think of it as the Amazon of audio books. In fact, the company is a subsidiary of Amazon, so you can rest assured that Audible is run by a professional company that will be around for a long time.

Here are a few other facts about Audible you may be interested in:

  • They have over 100,000 audio books you can purchase.
  • As a member, you can download books at a discount.
  • Membership includes 1 free audio book a month.
  • The monthly membership fee is $14.95.
  • There is a free trial that lasts for 2 weeks.

So is the membership worth the price? If you listen to a lot of audio books (1 or more per month), then the answer is quite obvious. Being a member can save you a lot of money in the long run.

But what if you only download an audio book occasionally? For those people, the answer can be a bit more complex. The key thing to remember is that you get a free book for joining, and another free book for each month that you’re a member. After you get your initial free book, the price for the 1st book you purchase each month is therefore $14.95.

Without a membership, you can expect to pay $20 to $30 for popular titles. With the membership, the price is almost half of that. So in my opinion, it is better to join and get your free book for a month, then cancel instead of paying the full, non-membership price. You can cancel Audible at any time and there is no long-term commitment, so you should not hesitate to join even if it’s for a short period.

girl listening to audio book

First-time members can also get a free trial, which includes a free audio book. This trial typically lasts for 14 days, however, we have a link to an Audible free trial offer that lasts 30 days, which you can get from the site, Free Trial Spot.

In terms of selection, you will find that most popular books and bestsellers are available as audio books. For less popular books, it’s more of a crap shoot. I suggest you go to their site and type in a few titles that are representative of the books you like to read, to see if they are available in audio format.

But Audible isn’t the only web service for which you can get a free trial. I’d like to spend a few minutes also talking about Gamefly, which is another one of my favorite services that were made possible by the Internet.

As you might have guessed, Gamefly is a business that is involved with video games. It is a web service where, after you sign up, you are able to rent an unlimited number of games from the Gamefly library (which currently boasts 8000 titles).  When you borrow a title, it is sent to you through the mail. To find out exactly how the program works, visit the Gamefly website, and take advantage of the Gamefly free trial available from http://freetrialspot.com/gamefly.php.

The best part about Gamefly is that there are no due dates on the games you borrow. This means that, as long as you are a subscriber, you can keep the games you borrow for as long as you like. You do need to return them, however, before you receive any of the other titles on a list (called a queue) that you maintain online.