Author Archives: Serena

  • 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.

  • 5 Ways Black Friday is Different than Cyber Monday

    Everyone knows that Cyber Monday is when you can shop online for deals, and Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving which kicks off the mad rush for holiday shopping. Shoppers line up outside of big box stores for hours to get the best deals, and often camp out to do so. As you could expect, Black Friday is a very different experience from Cyber Monday.

    1. People have prepared in advance
    There are many places where shoppers can go online to find ads before Friday. Retailers deliberately leak their ads to get more people in the door for the holiday. Retailers love the long lines because that means more foot traffic and more money spent. Even if you don't have the store's ad in front of you, all of the big box retailers typically have one in store by the time you arrive.

    2. Pre Sales
    Retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart etc. run pre-sales in advance of the first day to give consumers a taste of what to expect. These pre-sales serve as bait for the main event, giving people a small sample of the deals that they can come to expect. Pre sales can often be as lucrative as the actual sales on Friday.

    3. More Likely To Run Out
    Products are much more likely to run out on the day after Thanksgiving. Retail stores can only carry a set amount of inventory, so hot items tend to sell out in a few minutes. People have even been known to fight over the items that are in the most demand. Televisions seem to be the most popular items that sell out the fastest as the best deals can be found then.

    4. Cyber Monday Has Best Deals on Fashion
    If you're purchasing fashion items, your best bet is waiting to buy online on Monday. That's when shoes and clothes tend to be heavily discounted, and you also get to take advantage of the convenience of shopping from home instead of dealing with crowds of people. If you know your sizes, then it's best to skip the crowds and buy your favorite items on Monday morning instead.

    5. Cyber Monday Also Great Time To Buy Travel Deals
    The Monday after is also one of the best times to get deals on your travel packages. If you're looking for a good deal, then Monday is your best bet for grabbing a deal on the package that you have been excited about.
  • How to host the ultimate Affordable Thanksgiving dinner!

    Thanksgiving has a reputation for being a stressful holiday, but it doesn't need to be that way. It's possible to have an awesome day with friends and family without totally blowing your budget. Here's a guide to having the ultimate affordable Thanksgiving.

    Keep it Simple

    Pinterest can be a great source for recipes, but don't hold yourself to an impossible standard or you'll likely end up miserable. Instead, stick to what you either know how to make or can reasonably attempt. Most basic recipes are also very affordable: think mashed potatoes, gravy, and green beans. If you have a friend that knows how to make fancy dishes, consider enlisting them to supply the showstoppers. To make it even cheaper, you can make it "potluck style" where all the guest bring something to share.

    Shop Carefully

    Start now to compare prices on your Turkey Day essentials. Most stores publish flyers that are available online or in your local newspaper. You probably won't be able to find everything you need at one store, so keep that in mind while you do your research.

    Make Side Dishes the CenterSide dishes can be a penny saver and a key ingredient in hosting the ultimate affordable Thanksgiving. Think cinnamon baked apples, maple sweet potatoes with apples and bacon, or even sliced spiced carrots.

    Skip Roasting a Whole Bird
    Contrary to common belief, you don’t actually need to roast a whole bird for Turkey Day. Consider roasting some pre-cut pieces of turkey or skip the turkey altogether and purchase a rotisserie chicken from the store.

    Have Your Turkey Day Game Plan on Point
    One of the biggest steps towards having a cheap Turkey Day? Plan ahead. Make sure you have all the right tools on hand. If you don’t have a roasting pan, relax: there are other ways to cook your turkey. Roasting pans can be expensive to buy since they only get used once or twice a year.

    Consider making and freezing most of the essentials ahead of time. It could save some sanity on the big day to know that all you have to do is pop the mashed potatoes and dinner rolls in the oven after you’ve cooked the turkey.

    With these tips you’ll be ready to conquer Turkey Day like a champ. It’s easy to impress your guests and stick to a budget at the same time.

  • Top Five Black Friday Retailers!

    Are you looking to score a sweet deal this upcoming Black Friday? Thousands of shoppers around the country will be on the prowl the day after Thanksgiving searching for the best prices on items they love. From a huge television set to a deluxe coffee maker, you'll never know what hot ticket item is up for grabs. If you're searching for an excellent place to strike your next Black Friday deal, check out these five amazing retailers!

    Walmart is the king kahuna of deals during the holiday season. Toys, electronics, apparel, and furniture are just some of the hot ticket items shoppers desire. Walmart is set to open the doors early to eager customers who are ready to strike a deal.


    Do you want great holiday prices without all of the chaos and headache? Amazon is one of the premier online retailers providing incredible deals to customers at the click of a mouse. Shoppers will have opportunities to receive hefty discounts on several of Amazon's own products including echo devices, Fire tablets, and 4K televisions. Shop from your couch this Black Friday, and snack on some of the Thanksgiving leftovers!

    Best Buy

    Imagine watching the big game on your new 50" smart TV! Best Buy is your ticket to becoming the envy of your friends and family this holiday season. Best Buy is offering outrageous deals on laptops, tablets, and everything digital! Your car rides will be much quieter with your children occupied by their new electronic devices!

    Does your limited budget prevent you from purchasing that brand new mattress? Macy's is your top retailer offering the mattress of your dreams. Spice up your winter wardrobe with stylish accessories offered at a great bargain. You will be the talk of the office with your stylish and new look.


    Target may not be on your list of top stores to visit for great bargains. However, you will be surprised by all of the amazing sales that are available. You can sign up for free to receive the holiday ad early on their website to be ahead of the game.

    As you prepare for holiday shopping, create a game plan in advance to hit all of the top retailers. Go shopping with your friends and family to divide and conquer all of your favorite stores!

  • Your 2019 Holiday Shopping Guide

    Holiday shopping time is approaching quickly

    To make it easier we have developed a unique shopping guide to take some of the guess work out of gift giving. We have also included some very handy tips to help make gift purchasing just a little less stressful.

    Create a list

    Make a list of items for each recipient well before shopping and sales begin. This list should begin with the pickiest recipient and continue down to the easiest. This way that picky recipient will be taken off of the list first, which makes the rest of it easy to accomplish. Knowing what the recipient likes or needs makes shopping or planning for them easier as well.
    If someone seems to have it all it might be better to stick to the general shopping guide suggestions outlined below.

    Here are some Apps to Guide you

    Today, there are many gift guides software apps like Giftster, Santa's Bag, Christmas Gift List, Gift it, and of course Amazon's always reliable Gift Organizer to help keep track of those on a gift list, the types of gifts you purchase, cost and location of where they were purchased.

    Women over 40

    The best gifts for this age bracket fall into the accessories or jewelry category. A beautiful but simple necklace or even a scarf could make their day just right. If their ears are pierced they may even love to receive a pair of pearl earrings. Click here for 25 more great gift suggestions from Woman's Day!

    Men over 40

    Men are usually easy to please when it comes to gift receiving. These males appreciate gifts that provide comfort or make their lives easier. A handsome pair of leather gloves makes touching an ice cold steering wheel much easier in the winter months.

    He may also appreciate a new wallet, scarf, or even a new tie.


    These gifts are traditional, but always seem to be welcomed. Check out Esquire's blog on gifts for some more inspiration on what to buy the man of the house!


    Teens love gift cards. This way they can pick out their own style or items they like. They appreciate the chance to be able to shop for themselves and these cards make that possible.


    This item doesn't have to be just given in a card though.



    Gift cards can be placed between the wrappers of a giant candy bar, put in a gift basket filled with stationary supplies if the teen loves art, or even put in the bottom of a stocking filled with goodies. Again, there are so many unique and fun ways to give this type of gift.


    Pay Attention to Pre-Holiday Sales

    The closer to the Holiday we come, the bigger the sale frenzy! All your favorite online and in store retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Wayfair, Sam's Club will be offering never before found discounts an all things gift and holiday related. The top categories being Tech, Fashion, and home.

    Holiday shopping does not have to be as stressful as it was in the past. With the tips and suggestions outlined in this little shopping guide we hope we have helped to make this holiday season just a little easier!

    Readers, do you have any tips on gift giving? Please share your feedback below.

  • These 3 retailers offer the best cosmetic discounts.

    The Cosmetics Industry is one of the most lucrative with annual industry revenues of $445 billion in beauty cosmetics.

    Men buy almost as much cosmetics as women, though mainly for skin care. Women spend an average of 13 percent more than men on cosmetics, related to beauty products.

    There are over a dozen categories of cosmetics from which to choose. These include:
    . Fragrances
    . Eye makeup
    . Hair preparations
    . Baby products
    . Bath oils, capsules, bubble bath and other miscellaneous bath products
    . Makeup blushers, powders, rouge, lipstick and liquid makeup for the face and body
    . Oral Hygiene products
    . Skin care products
    . Shaving products
    . Manicuring products like nail enamels, polish/enamel removers, cuticle creams
    . Suntan products
    . Skin creams, sprays and powders
    . Deodorants, cleansing soaps and feminine personal products

    Brands name Versus House brands:

    There are two avenues of choice when purchasing cosmetics. The first is to choose brand names that will might cost a little more or a generic brand that costs less. The determination on which choice is better depends on the buyer. Generic "house" brands generally won't offer discounts since they are already reduced in price. Quality is another factor to consider when purchasing cosmetic products.

    However, often the difference in quality between brand name cosmetics and house brands is negligible. In some instances, the less expensive brand might be of equal or higher quality. For example, Lancome Mascara is priced at $26 while Maybelline mascara is priced at $7.

    The three retailers who offer the best cosmetic discounts include:
    . Walgreen's
    . Walmart
    . CVS

    These three retailers regularly offer discounts in printed flyers, as well as online at their websites. It is also important to note that all three of these retailers stock trade name cosmetics like Chanel, Clinique, Lucerin Skin Care, Cover Girl makeup, Maybelline, Revlon and their own generic brands.

    These three retailers also offer online discounts that are automatically applied at time of purchase with discounts applied to a credit or debit card.

    In addition, all three retailers provide a price matching policy to ensure customers get the best prices available. For example, Walmart Customer Care policies are accessed online and help customers determine price matching eligibility.

    Walgreen Benefits:

    Walgreen's takes discounts on cosmetics a step further with "paperless discounts" via paperless coupons. Simply go to the Walgreen's website and shop for the cosmetics of your choice and click either "Shop" or "Clip" from the online menu. When you visit the store, discount coupons you selected are automatically applied, reducing the cost of the item.

    CVS benefits:

    CVS has an interesting "rewards" program. When a customer spends $30 on cosmetics, they can get a free beauty bag outfitted with favorite cosmetic samples like Biore skin products, Dove Bath and Body Wash and beauty tools and accessories.

    With certain cosmetic sales campaigns, CVS also offers a BOGO (Buy One, Get One) policy with up to a 50 percent discount. If customers are not satisfied with their cosmetic purchase, CVS has a return policy.

  • The Future Of Shopping

    The Impact of Modern Technology

    Modern technology has impacted numerous sectors including retail. This has resulted in many retail lotions closing as the future of shopping shifts to e-commerce. This has placed pressure on the remaining retail locations to adapt or become extinct. Many consumers are choosing to shop online using a computer or mobile device as opposed to visiting a physical store. The expectations of augmented reality will become more sophisticated and impact the online experience. This technology will enable consumers to see exactly how different items will look in their homes. Making purchases online is expected to be voice activated to make the experience even easier.

    The Social Experience

    The physical retail locations are expected to make the shopping experience of the future along the lines of a town square. The expected offerings include a selection of restaurants and entertainment facilities including theatres, concert halls, electronic and virtual reality arcades and bowling alleys. The retailers must find a way to not only attract new customers but to ensure the existing customers want to return. Many stores are expected to become guide shops where the consumer touches the product they desire and can be educated by the sales associates. Retailers are also expected to use new technologies to obtain more information about their customers, personalize the experience and revolutionize their marketing.

    The Independent Locations

    The number of independent stores is expected to increase despite the number of retail locations that have closed. The combination of the cloud and mobile based solutions will make it easy to open a new store with a fairly small investment. The option of making a purchase online and picking it up at a retail location is expected to gain in popularity. This will combine online and offline purchases and is tentatively being called click and collect. Checkout lines and cashiers may be replaced with artificial intelligence. This will enable consumers to charge their purchases when they leave while alleviating long lines and wait times.

    The Themes

    Themes are expected to play a larger role as time passes. This includes flexible payment methods, enhanced customer service, mobile wallets and mobile systems available at the retail locations. Drones are being developed for faster delivery, technology is decreasing the time necessary for product development and environmental and ethics consumer concerns will be addressed. Data security will substantially increase and jobs may be lost to artificial intelligence. The Internet of Things or the connection of devices will become essential for retail operations due to the dramatic increase in the number of consumers shopping with a portable device.

    The New Models

    The new generations are not interested in the methods used for traditional marketing. This has caused a retail renaissance leading to a disconnection of the consumer experience. Retail is expected to use data as a means of expanding commerce to reengage the consumer. The behavior of the modern consumer makes digital technology necessary for any retail business to survive. The behavior and requirements of the consumer will be analyzed regarding their preferences in the future. This will require new technologies including faster speeds, more convenient purchases and the deployment of physical locations.

  • Be trendy and don't break the bank with these 6 tips!

    Looking fashionable and trendy without breaking the bank can be tricky as well as difficult to pull off, mainly because you are probably working on a budget. However, it does not mean that it is not possible. Here are six tips to help you look fashionable and stylish without breaking the bank.

    1. Purchase Your Clothes in Sales or During the Off-Season

    Keep in mind that you should never leave the house without knowing what you are going to spend. Plan, budget, and stick to that figure. Most people usually end up spending more than they had anticipated just because there were some lovely items on sale. If you insist on purchasing from an expensive store, make sure that you only do it from their sale rack. Moreover, ensure that you do not buy clothes when they are in high demand, as they are going to be more expensive. For instance, do not buy a winter coat during winter as it will be a lot costlier then. Purchase it during summer, and you will get to save a lot.

    2. Sell Articles That You No Longer Need

    We all get caught up in the habit of hoarding clothes thinking that we might ‘need’ them someday. However, if you cannot remember the last time you put it on, sell that item. This way, you will get money to purchase trendier ones. Online sites offer platforms such as Thredup, Tradesy, and Poshmark to name a few to sell your used clothes. Moreover, you will have created space for your new clothes.

    3. Get Selective Colors

    One of the golden rules of looking trendy is to make sure that you wear the right colors. This means avoiding purchasing clothes that require a specific partner. By purchasing neutral colored clothes, you will be able to match them with various tops and trousers.
    Moreover, you can also play around with monochromatic and dichromatic outfits.

    Monochromes usually have a sophisticated appeal. But if it gets too monotonous, you can try a dichromatic look to shake things up a bit. Nevertheless, monochromatic and dichromatic hues always look sharp.

    4. Visit Charity or Thrift Shops

    Most people do not purchase their wares from these stores. However, you’d be surprised by what you can find there. Go and look around, you might find a goldmine.

    5. Keep it Simple

    Keeping it stylish and fashionable does not mean that you must purchase expensive accessories and clothing. In fact, experts recommend keeping it simple regardless of whether you are on a budget or not to avoid overdoing it. Understated pieces are often the most elegant. As such, ditch those flashy and tacky accessories which might cheapen your look, and go for the subtle, timeless pieces which are both stylish and modest.

    6. Read Fashion Magazines

    The more you know, the better equipped you will be at understanding how to be stylish even when on a budget. Fashion magazines are full of tips and ideas. And thus, even if you will not purchase the exact items in the magazine, you will have an idea on how to make things go together. Peruse through those magazines.

    Being trendy does not mean visiting expensive shops. You can be stylish without breaking your bank. Utilize the above tips, and you will turn heads everywhere you go.

  • September Is The Perfect Time To Buy These 5 Things

    When fall is upon us, that means we get to break out our comfy sweaters, indulge in cinnamon and spice, enjoy the cooler weather, and save money on great products and services! September is the perfect time of year to buy a whole host of different things.


    Summer Apparel

    Yes, it’s true, that fall means long sleeves and pants, coat and scarves, so why buy summer clothes that you won’t be able to wear? Well, because retailers such as Nordstrom Rack, Macy's, and JC penny offer big discounts on all sorts of summer clothing, including swimsuits, shorts, and tees. In order to make room for their fall collections, retailers will mark down their existing stock to low, low prices, which means you can score cute, summer items that you can save for the next time it gets warm out.


    If you’re planning a big trip for the holidays or thinking of going home for Thanksgiving, then you should search for airfare as soon as those fall leaves start to hit the ground! Buying a ticket early means that you will save big bucks, and you can use that money you saved on gifts for you or your family. If a winter holiday is too far away and you need to getaway now, many airlines also offer great off-season deals on flights.


    Sometimes the best thing we can do in order to get a good night’s sleep is buy a new mattress. But mattress retailers don’t offer a lot of sales throughout the year. But September is the perfect time of year to buy yourself a new, comfy mattress. Starting around Labor Day, most mattress retailers offer stunning deals on new mattresses. Like the apparel retailers, they want to get rid of old stock to make room for new products, which means you can snag a new mattress at a bargain price.

    iPhones and iPads

    Every September Apple throws a huge event in order to introduce their new products, including the latest models of iPhones and iPads. So if you’ve been debating on when to replace your old, damaged phone or tablet, now is the time to do it, as you can get the latest and greatest iPhone or iPad. But if you’re not dying to own that new, fancy iPhone, you can score big discounts on the older models that all get marked down significantly.

    Plants and Produce

    To add a little greenery to your life and yard, the early fall season is the perfect time year to score discounted plants at your local garden store. To make room for holiday plants, garden stores will mark down their summer flowers, shrubs, and plants. The fall harvesting season is also a great time to head down to your nearby farmer’s market and enjoy fresh, local produce, in the form of vegetables and fruits.

    Fall is the best time of year to save big on a wide range of products!

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