If you didn’t know already, people hide things thinking that no one will come looking for the items later. Look around for what you want and you might find it, mis-shelved. I found one of my favorite sweaters hanging on a rack in the mens’ section in Filene’s basement. Maybe someone decided they didn’t want it at the last minute or put it there so they could come back for it later. It happens. Many times when there are items that are in limited quantity or the last one on the shelf, salespeople might squirrel it away for themselves. Since people are at risk of losing their jobs if they do that, they resort to hiding items in the wrong place (where an interested party is less likely to look for the item) or walking around carrying it on the pretense of re-shelving the item.
Looking around in the wrong place for an item takes luck and a little skill when trying to find something. Generally mis-shelved items are not too far away from where they should be, either by chance (or your blind luck) you may find an item that a person has put aside for themselves.
People who hide things aren’t really too ingenious when they put things aside, because if they move things too far out of place, they will be noticed and snapped up by someone else.
If there are items that are on sale at a price that is too good to be true – some stores will have a special sale aisle. Check there first since the regular shelf may have a limited quantity. Featured items may be on display in a place where you would least expect to find item.
If you use stamps sparingly but still need some, your best bet would be to purchase the Forever Stamps if you don’t use them often. I generally send notes to people and just can’t bring myself to buy the plain looking stamps. Plus, a book of 10 or 20 stamps vanish quickly when I am sending out notes.
The interesting stamps and the Forever Stamps cost the same amount, since I am not keeping the Forever Stamps forever, buying the attractive ones suits me. For sporadic users of stamps or other items that are used infrequently, purchase what you will use and what you like.
Since regular stamps cost the same amount the choice of design is up to you. What about other items such as paper towels or ice cream? When there is a difference in price but you have a preference – what should you choose? When the price is considerably more expensive, the choice becomes more difficult. For one or two items this doesn’t make much of a difference but when you purchase several items that cost “just a little more,” the prices add up and can increase your bill by $10% or more.
It all boils down to what do you really want and will you use it? I have used Forever Stamps, but since stamps don’t last very long when you buy 10 or 20 the choice isn’t that big of a deal, since the price is the same. If I had to pay an additional 2¢ on each decorative stamp, then the less costly ones might become more attractive.
Watch the little upgrades in things that you buy; a generic item may suit you and save you lots of cash!
A recent trip to the Print Outlets in a small town in Illinois showed me two things. There were a lot of empty stores even at the outlet mall and outlet pricing isn’t always such a great deal. In one store I overheard a lady saying to a coworker – why are they sending these thing s here if they have been discontinued? The reply from her co-worker – they have no place else to send them.
In another store there were three different prices for a bag in the same style. One was on sale because of the color, another was the regular price and yet another was discounted even further. The salesman in the store was asked about the prices on the bags and he said corporate sets the prices and makes it difficult for him. Because the black bag was the most expensive, the ivory one was at a clearance price and the dark brown bag was still another price… he and the store lost the sale.
Both scenarios show that outlet stores aren’t always high end merchandise. A few stores still use their outlet or factory stores for imperfect or discontinued merchandise though it is possible to get a great deal at different stores checking for imperfections and prices. It might be possible for an employee to offer you a discount at an outlet store but not very likely that you will get the deal that you want.
The discount may be elusive at an outlet mall and may not offer discounts like you may find at TJ Maxx, Marshall’s or A.J. Wright. Since most outlet malls are on the periphery of large cities, making the trip to one might be a nice outing but don’t always expect to find such great deals.
Could you eat well for $50 a week?
The challenge posed by some bloggers is to spend $50 a week per adult on good food. Is it possible? Coffee is included as part of the beverages but not alcoholic beverages.
Just considering the cost of food, my first response to eating well for $50 a week means that you must know how to cook and be creative. Otherwise the $50 will go rather quickly. Having a variety of foods to eat and shopping on sale is possible. Maybe because I know how to cook and like buying inexpensive wine to drink with dinner (less than $10 but higher than two-buck Chuck).
Many people will say that $50 is a lot. Actually $50 allows people to spend money on treats and not have all of the meals only cost $5 for a family of 4. Even ordering out could fit into this schema. For people who love food, foodies, spending $50 a week is a stretch and is probably a lot less than they would usually spend without a budget.
Everyone has a cheap meal that is filling that they like to make. This isn’t necessarily great food that you would eat all of the time. Unfortunately, some people are forced to feed a family on $100 a week for several people but may miss out on seasonal fruits and vegetables because they are too costly.
The premise of the experiment is to eat well. Not just eat. Detractors who say that the threshold is too high don’t really understand that quality food costs more. There is eating, and eating well. If you are looking for a filling meal you can often get that cheap. The question is what is the long term cost?
This will be something to revisit. Bypass the Time review of the concept, and just go to the site itself.
The forecast for back to school shopping is looking bleak for retailers. This year, numbers are predicted to decrease by 7.7% for elementary and high school purchases.
According to the National Retail Federation’s 2009 Back to School Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, the average family with students in grades Kindergarten through 12 is expected to spend $548.72 on school merchandise, a decline of 7.7 percent from $594.24 in 2008.
This year’s back-to-college and back-to-school spending combined will total $47.50 billion.
Is it any surprise that many people will shop the sales? Maybe not. This morning, I heard this information on the radio and a suggestion was made to buy school supplies at office supply stores instead of drug and discount stores. Buying school supplies at one place will not save you any money. Some stores are advertising “loss leaders” to get you in the store for a short while. Case in point, CVS offered two pocket folders for 5¢, limit 10 with your store card just for the first three days of the sale. After that, the folders would be 50¢ each. Target had Crayons on sale but the price wasn’t advertised.
Even if there is a list of school supplies, go through and see which things are optional and which you definitely need. Buying everything at one place was never an option when I was a child. We always shopped the sales. Now that people are using money more wisely, it is vital to bundle errands, have someone else (a relative or friend) buy some to get around purchase limits – unless you are buying alcohol children can make purchases as well.
Unless there is a sign that says no rainchecks – ask for one. Or if there is supposed to be a shipment coming in at another time, ask when the store will get the shipment and restock the shelves. Occasionally there are more items in back, stores may wait to put them out until after the sale has ended or only receive a small shipment. Go early when items are on sale (if you can) – don’t wait until Friday to shop for items listed in the Sunday circular, many products will already be sold out.
Hunting for back to school bargains will be more of a necessity this year than ever. Looking around and starting early will give you a greater chance of getting the best deals.