Author Archives: Serena

  • Upgrade you kitchen appliances on a budget

    You can update your kitchen appliances on a budget. Plenty of options exist that will allow you to cook in a modern setting without spending a fortune or having to take out a home improvement loan.

    You can easily achieve a new look by changing the color of the appliances. Rather than stick with copper or white, try stainless steal for an upscale look that enhances your home’s resale value.

    You can make it easier on yourself shopping-wise by choosing a set. Many manufacturers turn out appliance sets and you can land a great deal this way.

    Make a smaller kitchen seem bigger and get more work out of it with a range microwave. It provides a hood and a microwave, plus its space saving design helps give you more counter top space. Try the Samsung 1.8 cubic feet microwave for $249 or the manufacturer’s 1.6 cubic feet option for $199.

    Enhance this by adding an oven and cooktop. Those working with a tiny house design or redoing a condo kitchen can maximize the space by installing a compact oven. Try the Summit RE203W for $369.05. It requires only 20 inches of space, but provides the four burner system you’re used to using. In homes of standard size, you can whip up culinary treats on this Amana 4.8 cubic feet electric range in stainless steel.

    Forget washing dishes by hand. You need a dishwasher. If your small space stopped you until now, try this countertop dishwasher from EdgeStar for $259. If you have room and prefer a traditional model, Frigidaire makes a four-cycle machine in black, white or stainless steel for $449 to $520, depending on finish.

    You can install the retro look of the Smeg refrigerator without spending the $5,000 price tag. Choose the GE Artistry line instead. You can get a four piece appliance set for only $8,135 that includes the retro fridge, convection double oven, range hood and dishwasher. You get your entire cooking space in perfectly matching appliances.

    Another way to save money, but still get new appliances is to shop the scratch and dent sale. You can save hundreds on a purchase due to a tiny cosmetic scratch or dent which you can then buff out.

    Finding the right appliances does not have to be tough. You can easily redo your cooking space for only a few thousand dollars. You just need to shop around and budget.

  • Top 5 Smarthome Products in 2019

    In today’s technology-driven world, every household has a smarthome device that provides convenience and security 24/7. In line with this, the smarthome device industry is rapidly growing. Different gadgets and devices enter the market almost every year. To find the best gadgets for your home, here is the list of the top five devices in 2019:

    1. Amazon Echo Show 8

    This new addition to the Echo Show line features an HD display panel and a slightly larger screen compared to its previous version, the Echo Show 5. Because Amazon is positioning this device to be used primarily in the kitchen, you can now watch Food Network TV shows on this device. Launched in September 2019, it comes with an 8-inch HD display. It is now easier to follow recipes, as well as save those recipes with Amazon's voice recognition platform, Alexa.

    2. Ecobee SmartThermostat

    This WiFi-based thermostat lets you control your home temperature, from heating to air conditioning, with an app or with your own voice. The newest version includes a state-of-the-art remote sensor that can read the ambient temperature and occupancy so it can adjust accordingly. Equipped with new intelligent features, it can also help you save at least 23% annually on your heating and cooling costs. You can also call your friends, stream music and control other smart devices with Ecobee SmartThermostat with Alexa built into the system.

    3. Arlo Q

    With its great video quality from its excellent cameras, Arlo Q is 2019’s best webcam-based security camera. It has strong motion and sound detection, plus it comes with a free cloud-storage plan. According to its users, Arlo Q is very simple to set up for indoor monitoring. Its scheduling is deeper and more flexible than most of its competitors.

    4. Nest Hello

    This doorbell camera continuously records videos and its facial recognition feature lets you know who’s at your door by name and it can distinguish between people and cars. Because of this, the notifications you receive are very accurate and precise. With its 2019 release, Google has added a package detection feature so it can alert you when packages arrive at your door.

    5. Amazon Echo Dot – 3rd Generation

    Voice assistants are the starting point for building a smarthome. Amazon’s new generation of Echo Dot offers more skills and support for more third-party devices and applications such as Pandora, Spotify, Audible and Sirius XM among others. It is the most compact smart speaker in Amazon’s line so it can fit into small spaces. The improved speaker quality provides richer and louder sound as compared to the previous generations and it can be paired with a second Echo Dot for stereo sound. As a result of Amazon’s efforts to produce eco-friendly devices, this new version comes in a cloth-covered finish, with softer and rounded edges.

  • Amazon Prime day versus Amazon on Black Friday- which has better bargains?

    Amazon's Prime Day is a day, or two, where Prime members can snag some exclusive deals. These deals are in comparison, if not better than the deals all customers receive on Black Friday. Which day has better deals, though?

    The numbers do not lie. Amazon started the exclusive day of deals for Prime Members to celebrate its twenty-fifth birthday in 2015. Let us take a closer look at the deals for these 2 days. We will then give you a clear understanding of which day is better to shop.

    What is Amazon Prime Day?

    It is a day set up exclusively for Prime Members. If you are a Prime Member of the site, you can save with the many deals available to you. The first-ever day set aside exclusively for Prime Members was July 15, 2015. Some think it was an over-rated publicity stunt.

    It was started as a way for the company to give back to its members. It was a way to celebrate their twenty-fifth birthday. The birthday celebration was a success and the company has continued hosting the event every year since. Every year, the event gets better.

    The 2019 event was the best so far. In July 2019, the event was hosted for 48 hours. Prime Members saw the best deals near the end of the 48-hour event. Every year, the event boasts better numbers than the immediate preceding year. It appears the company has found itself a keeper sale.

    What About Black Friday?

    It is the accepted term for the Friday following the Thanksgiving Day Holiday. Every year shoppers go to a day-long event of shopping and starting their Christmas shopping list. All stores both brick-and-mortar and eCommerce put on specials to attract the most customers.

    The first Black Friday event was held in 1952. Despite this, the term has not been used to describe the day until recent decades. Amazon is no stranger to hosting sales on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The site offers many sales that usually begin late on Thanksgiving Day. The sales are plentiful and the day usually boasts profits for the company.

    The deals site-wide are extraordinary. These sales are open to all visitors to the company's site. You do not have to be a Prime Member to snag a deal with this sale. So, which day has the better deals? Read on to find out.

    The Better Deals

    Some companies have followed the deals for Amazon's 2 biggest sale days. These studies are ongoing and they state that the Prime Day deals might be slightly better than the other. It might be because of the way the site owner and operator value the customers who visit.

    Whether the trends will hold up for the year 2019 is still to be answered. The day for Prime Members has passed. But, we have yet to kick off the 2019 Holiday shopping. We cannot be certain if the Day for Prime Members was better in 2019. If the trends hold up, though, it was.

  • The Lowdown on Refurbished Tech

    Businesses have long known that refurbishing tech is a smart idea. Even older equipment can be beneficial for a company, as long as it's in working order.

    So what is the lowdown on refurbished tech?

    It's simple. As long as the company doing the refurbishment knows its stuff, it's a great way to save money. Companies that buy a lot of technology products love this option because the savings are significant. The result is the devices work the same way, so it's money savings.

    Shop Wisely for the Best Deal

    This type of equipment may even carry a warranty, which means it's comparable to the brand new options. For tech like servers, an older computer runs reliably, especially when refurbished with new parts. Check out all the details of the job before making a purchase.

    Purchasing refurbished tech is also a good idea from an environmental standpoint. It's not okay to get rid of all devices as soon as new ones come online. Most of them will perform for years without any significant issues. Why send something to a landfill prematurely? If you usually throw out working tech, consider selling it instead.

    Go for the Highest Value

    The criteria for judging older equipment is similar to new tech. If the specs of a computer, for instance, meet the requirements to run a program, it will work for your purposes. There's no reason to spend too much on say a backup DNS server. If it's a non-essential networking device, it can run for years and perform its job.

    Expensive equipment is often a deal when refurbishing is complete. If you're looking for a pricey, unique item, going this route will make a lot of sense.

    The other obvious question to ponder is how much of a return this investment will make. The reason to save money on a piece of technology is to earn a higher profit faster. Since you pay out less upfront, you'll get your cash returned quicker. That's another reason refurbishment remains an option. Companies that are buying a lot of technology will realize gains even faster, at scale.

    Earn the Highest Rate of Return

    Now you understand why refurbishing makes sense. Even in the event of replacing your technology, consider fixing it, and then reselling it. If you're able to add value in the supply chain, you'll recover extra profit.

    For redundant technology, it's not a big hassle to have downtime when you fix up an older unit. If the work it's performing is in a backup capacity, you can take it down fast and put it back up in short order. Even for more complex projects, you can minimize downtime. With an efficient maintenance plan in place, the technology will stay working its best.

    Now is the time to discover the benefits of refurbishing technology. The lowdown is, it's a solid plan that helps businesses and individuals around the world get more for their money. It also helps the planet, because there's less garbage for the landfills. Not only that, this type of device provides the person or company with the highest possible ROI because of the steep discounts.

  • 10 Must Have Back to School Items!

    Are you dreading those busy store aisles and seemingly never-ending supply lists? You can breeze through your shopping experience this year with these 10 must have back to school items!

    Basic 3-Ring Binders
    There is no doubt that you will need plenty of 3-ring binders. Choose between a variety of colors and even cover pocket options.

    Post-It Flag + Ballpoint Pen and Highlighter

    The Swiss Army Knife of the studying world, the Post-It Flag + Ballpoint Pen and Highlighter is exactly everything that the name implies. Take notes while you're studying, uncap the highlighter to mark key ideas you've read, and pull off a Post-It tab to mark your page all with one tool.30 Count Elmer's All Purpose Glue Sticks
    You likely have a ton of glue sticks to purchase. A 30 count box of Elmer's All Purpose Glue Sticks will provide you with plenty for the whole year. Plus, they're non-toxic and washable!

    Multi-Colored Flash Drivers
    Most reports require a flash drive to transport from home computers to school. With a multi-color pack of flash drives, you can select a color for each child or each subject!

    Digital Alarm Clock with Snooze
    A digital alarm clock with optional snooze is the perfect item to add to your supply list. With such an affordable price tag you can get one for each child in your home.

    4 Pocket Wall Organizer
    The 4 pocket wall organizer is perfect for dropping papers in that need to be signed or looked over by parents, or even organizing homework for the week. Use one for the whole family or purchase each child their own.

    Organizer Caddy
    Avoid the inevitable cries of missing pencils, markers, crayons, and any other necessary items to complete homework. With an organizer caddy, you can keep all necessary supplies together where kids can find them with ease.

    June 2019- July 2020 Wall Calendar
    Keep the whole family on track this year with a June 2019 through July 2020 wall calendar. With a wall calendar you can see the entire year's events, holidays, days off, and appointments all at once.

    Hands-Free Toothpaste Dispenser
    No more messy sink, squished up tubes, or missing toothpaste caps. A hands-free toothpaste dispenser allows your kids to take care of their morning routine independently without you having to clean up afterward. Plus, most brands come with an included toothbrush holder.

    Dry Food Dispenser
    Sticking with the theme of keeping clean and encouraging independence, a dry food dispenser should be at the top of your must have supply list. Fill with your children's favorite cereal or oatmeal and the rest is on them. With a simple twist of the handle, a serving size of cereal will flow out effortlessly into their waiting cereal bowl making for a mess-free breakfast experience for all.

    With this list of 10 must have items your shopping experience will be hassle-free, and so will your back to school routine.

  • How to score deals on Ebay

    On eBay, there are many products with a high price tag or starting bid. To successfully win auctions without spending a lot of money, you'll need effective eBay strategies. In this blog post, you'll discover tactical ways to save money on eBay.

    Place Bids Based on Previous Sales

    Most people spend more cash than they should on auction items. If you want a great deal on specific products, research previous listings. In most cases, newer items will sale at these prices again. However, to be successful using this buying tactic, you'll have to be patient.

    Begin the process by visiting the advanced search area. Then, make a list that includes the maximum amount of money that past buyers spent on an item. You should only make bids based on the five lowest amounts that people paid during past auctions.

    Seek Bargains

    To score big deals, you'll have to buy items in bulk. The big benefit is that bulk listings never have a lot of competition, so you can take your time scouting bundles without managing bids. You can find bulk bargains in the Collection Only area after accessing the advanced search settings.

    Pinpoint Misspelled Items

    In some cases, a few listings will have misspellings. These listings won't get high volumes of traffic because most buyers enter correct spellings when they search for popular items. As a strategic shopper, you can score deals by taking advantage of these errors since they will have very low competition.

    The only way to find different types of misspellings for various items is by using software that detects errors. These applications make the scouting process easier because they effectively compile many misspelled combinations. If you want a variety of results, simply run different spelling error tools by different developers.

    Bid Strategically on Listings

    Most listings end during the day. If you want a reasonable deal on great items, you may need to make bids on auctions that end after midnight. These auctions will have very low competition because most people who may want to bid will be asleep.

    To find late night listings, you could conduct a manual search. However, if you want more options and faster results, use an app that compiles information about auction times instead.

    These strategies can help you save cash during auctions. To maximum your savings, try to bid on listings that have free shipping or a flat shipping cost.

  • Summer Weddings: Look Your Best for Less

    My favorite weddings are in the summertime. Light and airy dresses, open toe heels all make for a fun night out! Getting in invite can be exciting but also nerve-wracking, what are you going to wear? Looking your best doesn’t have to be expensive if you know where to look. I was determined to keep each item under $100 to make a head-to-toe fabulous look that won’t break the bank.

    I always start a look with the perfect dress. Bloomingdale's has a huge selection of beautiful dresses up to 50% off. Here are some of my favorites:

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    AQUA High-Neck Lace Dress

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    BCBGeneration Lace Detail Dress

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    Lauren Ralph Lauren Bell-Sleeve Crepe Dress

     

    Next comes the shoes, a beautiful open toe strappy high heeled sandal is very in right now. Nordstrom has so many options up to 60% off. Here are some amazing options that are sure to please your wallet!

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    'Luminate' Open Toe Dress Sandal

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    Gracie Ankle Strap Sandal ADRIANNA PAPELL

    _102483205Rome Sandal CHARLES BY CHARLES DAVID

    Finally, every wedding look must be complete with some statement jewelry and an embellished clutch to hold your bare necessities. Think lipstick, phone, and ID only. Here are some cute dressy bag options I found on ASOS:

     

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    Claudia Canova Clutch Bag With Gold Stud Hardware

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    Maya Allover Sequin Oversized Coin Purse

     

    As for statement jewelry, I went H&M because they never disappoint with fun accessories at fabulous prices. As in under $10:

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    Bracelet

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    Tasselled earrings

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    Necklace

     

    So go out and dance the night away, knowing you scored a gorgeous new look at unbelievable prices. You’ll feel lighter but your wallet sure won’t!

  • 5 Top Trending gifts for Christmas 2018!

    Christmas is just around the corner. Finding the perfect gifts for everyone on your list can be a momentous task, especially for the person who has everything. If you want to keep up with the seasonal trends, then here are five hot ticket items for 2018:

    1. LOL Surprise Dolls

    If you have an 8-12-year-old girl to buy for this year, then you must know everything about LOL Surprise Dolls. The surprise is you have no clue what you are getting until it’s unwrapped. The ultra-cool dollies and animals are all the rage. They went to market before the Christmas season in 2017, but they were undetected until recently. Still, store shelves can barely keep these dolls in stock. A recent poll showed that most preteen girls have about 45 dolls and pets in their collection. At about $10 for each egg, they are an affordable present idea. Of course, they have larger and costlier sets for the avid collector too.

    2. Nintendo Switch

    The Nintendo Switch came out last year. However, it was at the top of the price point for video games and unaffordable to many. Yet, jumping back on for an adventure with Mario and Luigi has many people putting this game system on their wish list. The price is more affordable, and since Nintendo is releasing a new version in 2019, they are eager to sell off the older model. With a better cost and more hype, the super portable gaming unit is flying off shelves.

    3. Amazon Echo

    If you have Siri for your cell phone, then you need an Echo for your home. When Amazon put the Echo Dot on sale for $20 over Black Friday weekend, they were filling orders as fast as they could. What’s so special about this little box? Well, it can tell you the weather, play a song for you, answer internet related questions, and do 100 other things too. People have finally embraced these devices, and their new, lower price point, makes them a hot Christmas gift idea for the 2018 season.


    4. Amazon Fire Stick

    More people are ditching cable and opting for an internet-based service. With the Amazon Firestick, the choices are endless. Giving this gift allows people to watch all the shows and movies they could want without paying a dime. Since they start at around $39.99, the price point is on target for budget-conscious shoppers. All that is needed is a good internet connection, which most households have.

    5. Little Live Pets

    Children are enthralled with pets that chirp, bark, wag their tail and appear lifelike. Parents love them because while they are animated, they don’t come with the high cost and responsibilities of a real pet. This years’ new hot animated items are the Little Live Pets. Select from birds, turtles, puppies, and even a unicorn. Since it’s gender friendly, both boys and girls will appreciate these interactive marvels.

    Selecting the right gifts this holiday season can be difficult. However, if trends tell you anything, the electronic gadgets and gizmos are still the hottest sellers!

    Readers share your feedback below on past gift ideas that have worked for you teens, moms, dads and kids!
  • 10 Best Items To Buy In December!

    Tis the holiday season and everyone is out shopping for that perfect gift. While gift giving is what this time of year is all about, don’t forget to stock up on some low-cost household essentials. Did you know in the month of December there are fantastic prices on things you need year-round? Here are the ten things that you should only buy at year’s end.

    1. Televisions

    On Black Friday, television prices were so low, and you could buy two or three for the price of one regularly priced set. One retailer had a 65-inch smart tv with 4K technology for only $400. While you may not be one of the lucky ones to cash in on this offer, you could nab a 60 inch for around $598 too.

    2. Washers and Dryers

    It’s not much of a Christmas gift, but you can score a front loader set with large capacity and pedestals for around $1,500. The average cost of these items would be approximately $2,200-$2,500. Talk about a savings!

    3. New Cars and Trucks

    Yes, even the car industry wants to get in on the sales action. Even if you don’t have the budget to give a car as a gift, the new family van may be at a price you can afford. Watch the sales closely in December, because you may want to upgrade now and save.

    4. Summer Items

    Do you want a new patio set or grill for your porch? Well, anything left over from the summer must go. Ask your local store if they have any items in the back. They are trying to move this stuff so that they can get the Christmas goodies out. You can score a nice swingset for a backyard for about one fourth to one half of the original cost.

    5. Video Game Systems

    Video games are always a hot ticket gift item. However, when the old version from the previous year is about to be replaced, you can get a steal on the model currently out. For instance, Nintendo is replacing their Switch with an upgraded version in the later part of 2019. So they have reduced the prices on the consoles out in stores now. It’s a win-win for all.

    6. Clothes

    Whether you want designer duds from the big names or you prefer to go to a department store like Nordstrom Rack for your threads, chances are you can get a good deal. There are plenty of coupons and discounts that are floating around to take advantage of. Why not stock up on your summer wardrobe when things are reduced?

    7. Air Conditioners

    If you live in a hot climate, you may have thrown out old window units that lost their refrigerant. Since these items are not in demand, it’s the perfect time to replace them. Expect to save around 50 percent off the retail cost by purchasing at the end of the year.


    8. Airline Tickets

    Thinking ahead is always a good thing when it comes to the airline industry. You can book your flight for up to a year in advance when you purchase your ticket during the holidays. Can’t think of a gift for your parents or spouse? Why not give them a round-trip flight to the destination of their dreams?

    9. Cruises

    Even the cruise industry wants a piece of the holiday pie. You can get fabulous vacation destinations to help you get over the winter blues. Make sure to be flexible on your dates, and the duration of the cruise, to obtain superior savings.

    10. Jewelry

    Whether you are proposing, replacing a ring, or want to buy something special, then you should take advantage of holiday sales. Plus, if you can wait till after the big day, then prices will be even more affordable.

    The best time to shop for Christmas related items is on December 26th. While stores have great sales to lure you in for holiday shopping, they won’t compare to cost the items on clearance after the crowds have gone.

  • Use Credit Cards not Cash for Your Holiday Shopping Season- Here's Why:

    The time to do holiday shopping for your friends and family members is now. Using a credit card instead of cash is more beneficial to you for a lot of reasons. The following are five reasons that using your credit card for your holiday shopping could be positive for you:

    1. It's Safer for You

    The biggest benefit of using a credit card to do holiday purchases is that it is safer for you than other methods are. If you use your card, you don't have to walk around with large wads of money in your pocket. You lower the risk of robbery and personal injury that way. You'll then be able to enjoy your time while Holiday browsing at Target, Kohls, Walmart or other public stores without extra worries.

    2. You Can Repay in Small Increments

    Another excellent reason to do your seasonal shopping with credit cards is that you have the option to pay back the debt slowly. You don't have to give away your entire paycheck. You can just borrow the money by using your credit card and then pay it back each month over time. You can pay for the goods until the next year when it's time to catch the Christmas blowout at Toys "R" Us for your kids.

    3. You Get Cashback Bonuses

    If you have a credit card that gives cash back bonuses, then you have yet another reason to do all of your shopping with your credit card. Cashback cards give you a certain percent back on your purchases. Depending on the card you have, you may be able to use your cash back to pay your monthly card bill.

    4. There's Online Shopping Convenience

    You can also do your seasonal shopping online if you use your credit cards. Nothing beats the convenience and the privacy of being able to just shop online for whatever you want. When you're ready to do your rounds of holiday buying, you can visit the website of a popular retail location and take your time. You won't be burdened by long lines, privacy breaches or any other inconveniences. You can take as much time as you need to ensure that you get everything that you want for the closest people to you.

    5. It'll Improve Your Credit Score

    Finally, it's good to use your credit card for important purchases such as the ones you buy during the holidays. Every time you use your credit card and then make payments on the balance, you improve your credit score. Ultimately, you want to have a credit score that's positive and high enough to whereas you can get the things in life that you desire. Card usage is important, but you also have to remember not to use too much of your credit so that you appear irresponsible. Use your card in moderation, and everything will be just fine. You'll have a happy and stress-free experience during the most family-oriented times of the year.

    Now you know why it's beneficial to use your credit card. It's time to start your holiday shopping right now.

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