Regardless of the reason that you are making a purchase, you will find that everyone loves receiving gadgets as a gift. They work great for anniversaries for your husband, birthdays for your mother and Christmas presents for your kids. But, with the many gadgets that are out there, how do you know which ones to buy?
While everyone has their own tastes, there are some pretty awesome ones this year that are sure to put a smile on the face of your loved one when they open their gift from you. Check them out below.
Toshiba Chromebook 2
This Chromebook has a lot going for it; 1080p display, portability, 2.58 GHz Intel Celeron processer, 4 GB of Ram and 8 hours of battery life just to get started. This is the perfect computer because it is compact and lightweight so you can easily take it with you while you are enjoying updating your Facebook page or surfing the Web.
For the person who loves to listen to music, this makes a perfect gift. There are many different options to choose from that will fit with the tastes of anyone. These speakers are great because you can easily connect with them with your portable device. You can also enjoy sharing your love for music with others because they are loud enough to use for a party as well. Plus, they are compact so you can take them anywhere with you.
With the renewed interest in health, the Fit Bit is the perfect gift for those looking to improve their health this year. It also works as a great gadget for those who simply love to work out and are looking for a new way to track their progress. These devices will allow you to keep track of many things, included the amount of calories that you are burning each day and the amount of steps that you are walking among many other items.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
This is poised to be one of the most popular smartphones for this year. Although it is not waterproof and has somewhat of a short battery life compared to other models, this phone offers a sharp and colorful screen. It is great for those who require their smartphone to perform multitasking functions and comes with an extremely accurate stylus as well. Along with these benefits, you can also enjoy a quality, fast camera as well.
Amazon Fire HD 6
One of the best things about this tablet is that it is affordable. While it is usually associated with reading, there is actually quite a bit that you can do with this tablet. In fact, it is very functional and you can easily enjoy the same apps and options that you would for an IPad.
Gadgets are extremely popular and make great gifts regardless of the person that you are shopping for. Plus, you may even enjoy purchasing a few of them yourself! Whatever the reason for the gift, make sure that you make them smile with a gadget this year.
These days, travelling is very expensive, but it is still a pastime that people love to take on. Because of this, it is important that there are ways to cut down on costs so that the trip is more enjoyable. Saving on travel costs is also great because it gives travelers the opportunity to spend more money on the things that they will enjoy on their trip rather than travel.
If you are planning a trip, there are many things that you can do to find cheap flights online. Below you will find some helpful tips so that you can save money on flights that you can use for something more important.
This is one of the best places to start when you are looking for cheap deals on flights. They are able to get better prices for flights mainly because they do such a large volume with the airlines. They then pass on a portion of the savings to the consumer so that a better deal can be found on the flights that are listed.
After you have found flights on the travel sites that are reasonable, you should then compare what you find on the official airline website as well. If you have a particular destination and know the airlines that fly to it, you can visit each of the websites to find the best deal. While this may be a bit time consuming, you will know that you have found the best deal by doing this.
Some websites offer wholesale travel and these sites can be very helpful if you are looking for an international flight. The goal in these websites is to reduce the total amount of the ticket by a certain percentage and they are able to offer discounts between 20% and 50% off of what you would find other places. This also works best if you already have a destination in mind.
This type of website will allow you to search multiple travel websites at once so that you can easily compare them. The best thing about these types of sites is that you can perform one search and look at all of the major travel sites at once. Without these sites, you would need to do a manual search on each travel site instead.
Here are a few tips that you can use to help you find the best flights as well:
- The best time to search for flights is Wednesday mornings just after midnight on Tuesday
- Plan ahead and book early, especially during busy times of the travel season
- Travel agents can help with complex flight arrangements
- Compare prices for different days of the month
Even though travelling can be expensive, there are many ways that you can save quite a lot of money on your flight in order to make your overall trip more affordable. The trick is to be patient and thoroughly conduct research before making your final decision as to which tickets you plan to purchase.
Many couples want to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a unique, fun, and romantic way, but might not have a large amount of disposable income to do spend on one night, however special it may be. Have no fear; there are plenty of cost-conscious ways to celebrate the day and/or night with your significant other or loved ones. Here are some of our suggestions for places to look –
1. Discount on flowers. Although your local florist may have a habit of raising prices due to the demands of Valentine’s Day, larger online retailers offer select discounts and lower pricing if you are willing to choose from a certain selection and delivery at a certain time.
2. Discounts on travel. If you live in a major metropolitan area, chances are the larger chains might have significantly increased room rates on Valentine’s night, week, and/or weekend. That does not go for ALL locations and overnight stays, however. Check out websites such Expedia and Priceline and last-minute offers from Groupon or LivingSocial. You never know what late packages or deep discounts might be available.
3. Do it yourself. There are so many websites, blogs, and go-to online sources for arts, crafts, recipes, and DIY projects. If pennies are really tight, taking the time to make something yourself not only saves money, but will also mean more to your loved one(s) in the long run.
4. Focus on local. Research websites, blogs, forums, and Facebook pages of local publications (newspapers, e-mail lists, etc.) They usually always have great ideas and lists of places to go and things to do right in your backyard. They are also pretty good about including deals and steals and even exclusive coupons.
Don’t forget that Valentine’s Day does not necessarily have to be focused on couples. After all, a noteworthy amount of individuals take the day to celebrate many types of love, from that of their children, to pets, to fellow students or co-workers. Regardless to whom your attention goes there are many ways to share the joy without breaking the bank, all at your fingertips!
One of the greatest benefits of joining loyalty programs, subscribing to e-mail newsletters, liking Facebook pages and following companies on Twitter or other social media websites is without a doubt the birthday goodies and freebies. From free desserts or entrees to excellent discounts, here is a look at some national and regional chains and the perks they dish out on your big day.
If method of redemption isn’t specified, always check the website, as most rewards require membership in either a loyalty/rewards program or e-mail subscription and please note all of these offers are subject to change.
American Eagle: 15% off coupon.
AMF Bowling: free bowling.
Applebee’s: free dessert with purchase of entrée.
Arby’s: free milkshake with purchase of any item.
Barnes & Noble: children receive a free cupcake with membership in kids club.
Baskin Robbins: free scoop of ice cream.
Ben & Jerry’s: free scoop of ice cream and discount on ice cream cake with membership in Chunk Spelunker.
Benihana’s: $30 gift certificate.
BJ’s: free pazookie dessert.
Brunswick Bowling: free bowling.
Buca di Peppo: free small pasta with any entrée.
Buffalo Wild Wings: free dessert.
Chili’s: free brownie dessert.
Chuck E. Cheese’s: 100 free tickets.
CVS: $3 off coupon.
Denny’s: free Grand Slam Breakfast.
Dunkin Donuts: free beverage of choice.
Fuddrucker’s: free item with a membership in the Fudd Club (also on your anniversary!)
Genghis Grill: free stir-fry bowl with a membership in Khan’s Club.
Great American Cookie: free surprise with membership in Cookie Mall Club.
Harkins Movie Theaters: free medium popcorn.
Hooters: 10 free wings with club membership.
IHOP: not only do you get a free meal on your birthday, but also upon signing up and on your one-year anniversary of joining!
Jason’s Deli: $5 off coupon.
Johnny Rocket’s: free hamburger with membership in Johnny Rocket Club.
Krispy Kreme: free doughnut with membership in Friends of Krispy Kreme Club.
La Madaline: free pastry.
Medieval Times: buy one get one free coupon.
Old Navy: $10 off coupon for purchase of $50 or more.
On the Border: free dip trip or dessert.
Outback Steakhouse: free dessert with membership in rewards program.
Panera: secret offer automatically loaded onto your loyalty card.
PF Chang’s: free dessert with e-mail subscription.
Red Lobster: free dessert with membership in rewards program.
Red Robin: free burger with bottomless fries with membership in Red Royalty.
Romano’s Macaroni Grill: free slice of chocolate cake.
Sephora: changes each year, requires membership in rewards program.
Sbarro: free slice of pizza with drink purchase.
Smoothie King: buy one get one free coupon.
Sonic: free surprise with membership in Sonic Cruisers.
Sprinkles Cupcakes: free cupcake.
Starbucks: free drink of choice with membership in rewards program.
Steak n Shake: free meal.
TCBY: free small frozen yogurt and $3 off ice cream cake.
Texas Roadhouse: free appetizer or side item of ribs.
TGI Friday’s: free dessert with purchase of entrée.
The Children’s Place: 15% off coupon.
Waffle House: free waffle.
Wendy’s: $1 off coupon.
Which Wich: free regular wich (sandwich).
Wingstop: free order of French fries.
Zoe’s Kitchen: buy one entrée get one free coupon.
Once controlled by Spain and a part of the United Kingdom until 1962, the now independent country of Jamaica is the third largest island of the Greater Antilles, the most populous English-speaking country in the Americas after the United States and Canada, and one of the Caribbean’s most popular travel destinations.
Given that 50 percent of Jamaica’s income comes from the tourism industry, there are a host of resorts, hotels and more from which to choose when planning an ideal getaway. With such a tremendous amount of options, we know choosing the perfect spot can become rather overwhelming. Below is our look at a handful of Jamaica’s highest-rated and idyllic destinations.
Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island
A 5-star property ranked #10 among luxury resorts in Jamaica and #5 among Sandals properties by U.S. World News and Resorts, Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island is six miles from Montego Bay, yet feels a world away. The mainland resort offers many activities including seven pools, a private beach, and 4×4 vehicles for jungle excursions. The private island, accessible by the property’s large dragon boat, offers guests a taste of the Far East, with a Thai fine dining experience, a plethora of Asian-inspired signature spa treatments and late dancing complete with a tiki motif. Sandals also offers an upgraded package in which guests can pay to stay at one property but enjoy the amenities at Sandals Royal Caribbean, Sandals Carlyle, and Sandals Montego Bay.
Secrets St. James
Nuzzled on the beach of a Montego Bay peninsula, Secrets St. James is an adults-only (18 and over) all-inclusive luxury resort. All 350 of its room feature whirlpool tubs, balconies, and access to around-the-clock room service. The property hosts a full-service spa; bike and horse rentals; onsite aerobics, basketball, Pilates, snorkeling, kayaking, surfing and boogie boarding; and most importantly, access to a private white sand beach.
Half Moon, a RocketResort
Covering 400 acres of beachside property, Half Moon provides the ultimate in resort amenities including two miles of beach, 51 pools, 13 tennis courts, four squash courts and six high-quality restaurants. Guests can enjoy nearby scuba diving, horseback riding, water sports and much, much more. Select rooms offer oceanfront terraces and/or private swimming pools for an even more luxurious experience. More than anything, Half Moon prides itself on its attentive, full-service staff.
One of the Caribbean’s most coveted resorts and known for its comfy beaches and sunset views, Couples Negril features superior all-inclusive amenities not found at other all-inclusive properties. Scuba diving, water skiing, snorkeling, windsurfing, and kayaking are all including in each package. With four bars and restaurants featuring open-air terrace seating and beachside tables, every guest’s tastes and preferred dining experiences will certainly be met.
Iberostar Rose Hall Suites
Rose Hall, the least expensive of Iberostar’s trio of Jamaican resorts, is more lively and upbeat than the standard Caribbean luxury resort. For considerably affordable rates, guests can enjoy four restaurants, four bars, a multitude of water sports, a full-service spa, a theater, a casino, a nightclub, and even a well-reviewed kids’ club.
With most people working several, full-time jobs just to make ends meet, the thought of going grocery shopping again can be daunting. Budgeting sounds stressful, and, my goodness, is cereal really that expensive now? Don’t worry! With our tips and ideas, you’ll be able to save money every time you go to the store.
Coupon, coupon, coupon.
There really is no substitute for taking a few minutes out of your day to comb through the paper and the internet for coupons and advertisements for your local stores. Though some coupons may not seem to save you all that much, they most certainly add up, and you’ll be surprised by the total you’ve saved at the register.
Research prices – every time.
Grocery stores are always having different deals, buy one get ones, and ‘manager specials.’ If you research these before you shop, you’ll be able to go to the store that is having the best prices at the time. It won’t always be the same store, and if you’ve got that particular store’s card (almost always free), then you’ll be saving even more with their sale prices.
Buy bulk and freeze.
If there is a sale on chicken or beef, especially, you’re going to want to take advantage of it and freeze what you aren’t going to immediately use. Frozen meats will keep for a very long time, and you’ll be able to stock up on things you know you’re going to use later. The same goes for most other non-perishable items. Take advantage of deals every time.
Plan your menus.
If you know what you’re going to be getting ahead of time, you won’t be as tempted to spend money on things you don’t really need, or, as my father called it, “all the stuff that jumps in the cart.” This is especially helpful when you plan your menus according to weekly sales. Then, you’re not only saving money by knowing exactly what you’re going to need all week, you know you’re getting the best deals, prices, and making the most of your budget.
Never go to the store when you’re hungry.
It sounds logical, or even silly, maybe, but you might be surprised by the amount of things you buy that you don’t need, nor even necessarily want, just because you’re hungry and your eyes are oh-so-much larger than your stomach. If you’re full, you won’t be tempted by all the seemingly-delicious things before you, and you’ll only get what you went to the store to buy in the first place.
Don’t be afraid of substitutions or off-brand products.
A lot of the time, recipes call for ingredients that might be a bit too pricey for you, or maybe there is a similar ingredient that is on sale. Often, there won’t be much difference at all in the products – except the price! It’s always smart to look those things up online, or ask a friend, before you splurge on something super expensive unnecessarily. The same goes for buying off-brand products instead of name-brand ones. It’s a different type of substitution, but often there is very little (if any) difference in the taste between one and the other. Don’t spend more money for a name.
Meat is expensive – use alternatives sometimes.
Not every single meal has to have a meat in it. There are plenty of alternatives that are healthier and still can pack in the protein and good-for-you things that are found in meat products. Beans, nuts, and certain cheeses are just a few examples of things that are far cheaper than and still just as good for you as all that meat. Pack in the veggies (even cheaper if they’re in season!) and don’t worry about having to center every single meal around beef, chicken, pork, or another meat.
Don’t do your shopping with a card. It is far easier to spend money when you can’t see it disappearing. Keeping cash on you will give you a physical sign when you are running low on it, and you won’t be as tempted to buy things you don’t really need. Being conscious is necessary to budget well and easily.
With everything in life becoming more and more expensive, most people have foregone the idea of vacations, thinking they simply don’t have the funds for it. Follow these eight tips on saving while traveling, and you’ll be surprised at just how affordable a getaway can be.
1. Plan out your trip – including gas prices.
While most people tend to make an itinerary for their vacation, a lot of travelers fail to research the cheapest gas stations on route to their destinations and end up spending more money than they have to for gasoline. Research it! Gasbuddy.com is an excellent resource that will give you up-to-date pricing on all the fuel-up spots. All you have to do is type in the zip code, and you’ve got the cheapest gas prices right there.
2. Sample local cuisine during lunchtime.
Food is an important part of any trip, and no one can resist going out on the town to sample the local flavors in a new place. Forego the expensive dinners by slipping into the locals’ favorite restaurants during lunchtime. Most places serve lunches at much cheaper prices than dinners, and it’s the same exact meal.
3. Cook your own food.
While we’re on the subject of eating, don’t go out every night/day. It is extremely more cost-effective to go to a local supermarket to purchase a few groceries than it is to eat out. You don’t eat out every night you’re at home, and that’s one of the top ways to save money – period, so don’t do it when you’re on vacation! Besides, going to the local shopping places can add an extra bit of fun to your time away from home.
4. Cheaper hotels are not as shabby as you might think.
The less-expensive hotels have gotten a bad rap over the years for being dirty, unsafe, or just not as pleasurable to stay in as the more-pricey varieties, but that’s just not the case. Places like Hampton Inn and Drury Inn are comfortable, clean, and often offer free breakfast and Wi-Fi. Just watch out for the hidden costs hotels tend to have.
5. Bring your own phone or a pre-paid card.
If you plan on using the phone at all, don’t use the hotel’s phone. If you can’t bring your own phone for some reason, a pre-paid calling card is a good, second option. Hotel phones charge exorbitant prices, and if you use your own, you’ll know exactly what your limits are.
6. Drive, don’t fly.
Yes, it might seem much faster to fly instead of drive to your destination, but if you can, take your car. It is much cheaper to drive than to fly, and you won’t have the hassle of security, not to mention the fees for your bags. If your car won’t make the trip, renting one is always an option, too. Having your own car will also save on local transportation costs. You won’t have to worry about paying a taxi, bus fare, or any other passage fees.
7. Amusement parks are expensive.
Everyone knows that the tickets rack up the costs, but don’t forget how much more expensive the food will be inside the theme parks, too. You’re already going to shell out a lot of dough on souvenirs; don’t buy the food inside the park. Take some in with you, if you can, or plan ahead and have your meals before and after the park visit.
8. Timing is everything.
Every tourist spot has its prime time when everyone wants to travel there. Don’t go then. Odds are, prices for everything are going to go down during the off-season, and you won’t have to deal with so many people, either. This holds true for certain days, too. If you fly, look at the flight plan and see the difference in price between one day and the next. Sometimes, especially concerning holidays and weekends, a day can make a huge difference in price, and it might be worth waiting – or leaving early – an extra day.
As the year winds down, we instinctively begin to look toward the next, making resolutions, deciding what to prove upon and inevitably, what changes we need to make. Traditional areas of focus are health and wellness, organization, and naturally, reducing spending. Having said that, here is some of our money saving tips to get the New Year started on a budget friendly note:
Do it yourself.
From painting your house or fixing a minor leak, to making a birthday cake or redoing an armoire, the Internet is now an endless source of tips, trips and easy-to-follow and illustrated instructions on how to do just about anything and everything on your own. Resourceful websites such as Pinterest and a plethora of individual DIY blogs will be your new best friend when it comes to cutting costs, and ultimately having more fun, for money saving at-home projects.
Clean out the clutter.
Not only will cleaning out all of your closets, cabinets and nooks and crooks get your year started on a more organized note, but also offer a much better picture of what you do and do not have. This will keep you from buying items for the house or ingredients for the kitchen you already have. Bonus: throw a yard sale to get rid of everything you don’t need anymore and put that extra money towards a bill or into savings.
Take the time to compare.
Although thoroughly researching prices can appear tedious at first, it’s genuinely easier now than ever before. There are differences between in-store prices and website prices (even for the same franchise), there are differences from store to store; and there is differences between the store and comprehensive websites such as Amazon. Taking a few minutes on the computer to compare 3-5 websites or pull up one of many apps available to cost compare while you’re in store is well worth it.
Look at coupons.
There are so many coupons nowadays, we know ignoring or tossing them is easy to do. But really, you should take advantage of the coupons offered through loyalty and reward programs, via email newsletters, on coupon websites and the traditional newspaper clippings. The real key is to not buy something just because you have a coupon, but to make sure coupons are for items you or your family use regularly or sincerely need.
The word ‘budgeting’ often brings with it negative thoughts. Images of sitting around, miserable, unable to do anything fun because you have restricted your funds come to mind, and the first step into a new financial plan is already weighed down with trepidation and despair; but that isn’t how it has to be at all.
Budgeting can be much easier and less-stressful than people often believe it is, and with these eight tips, you will be able to start off 2015 on the right foot, saving and managing your money with ease.
1. Decide what you want. This is the very first step you need to take. Do you want to save up money for a vacation? Are you putting aside money for college? Do you just want to have a nest egg to fall back on just in case? Maybe you just want to have a little extra in the account so you don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck. Setting a firm goal will keep your purpose in mind when you get discouraged. Plus, having a specific goal makes it easier to focus than a lofty ideal of saving money simply for the sake of saving money.
2. Separate your ‘needs’ from your ‘wants.’ A hard, but necessary, thing to do is to decide what you absolute have to have and what you don’t necessarily require to live. The first things you should count towards your expenses are the things you must have. Rent, food, gas, etc. Whatever things you use day-to-day should be listed and accounted for first. Only then should you make notes of the things you don’t need but still want to budget for.
3. Overshoot for your expenses, and undershoot your income. This way, if you accidentally spend a little too much, you will have some cushion to soften the blow, and you won’t completely go over your budget.
4. Remember that no one is perfect, and that it’s okay. Ideally, you won’t ever spend too much money, your account will always be in the positives, and you will keep strictly to your budget with ease. Realistically, no one is perfect. You are going to make mistakes, you are going to spend too much, and you are going to mess up sometimes. That is perfectly fine. It is nearly impossible to follow a budget exactly, so don’t give up just because you mess up now and again.
5. Be adaptable. Don’t stick to the numbers you first come up with. Look at your budget at the end of every month, or every other month, and see if you need to make any adjustments. Maybe you’re spending more on gas than you thought. Maybe you haven’t been using your allotted budget for groceries. Being flexible with yourself will take a lot of the stress off, and you will still save money.
6. Use cash as often as possible. Keeping up with a budget is hard. Don’t make it harder on yourself by using a means of payment of which you can’t immediately see the effects. With cash in your wallet, you have a physical sight of your money depleting when you spend it. You’ll be much less likely to spend cash frivolously when you are actually watching it disappear.
7. Use a savings account with withdrawal penalties. Having a special savings account to put all your extra money in for safe keeping is a great idea, but not if you’re going to be tempted to dip into it now and again. If your account has penalties for early withdrawal, though, you may be much less likely to convince yourself to take a little bit out “because you really need it.”
8. Set long and short-term goals. Yes, your big goal is important – it’s the reason you started budgeting, after all – but if you don’t have a goal you can reach in a shorter amount of time, you might be more apt to give up out of frustration. You need to see results, so set a few goals you can reach in a shorter amount of time if you stay on your budget. Something small. Something achievable. Meeting any goal at all will make it all the easier to meet larger goals later on.
The rush, the excitement, then the overwhelm and exhaustion. Black Friday shoppers rise early and shop intensely. They spend their day off, standing in long over crowed lines. Why?
Shoppers are looking for the thrill of a bargain just in time for the gift-giving season.
“Black Friday creates that kind of ‘perceived competition’ in that it’s not just a shopping day with a bunch of people. It’s a shopping day with a bunch of people where discounts don’t last and discounted products are scarce.”
A Better Way
Could it be that there is a better way, a way to beat the competition without the hassle of lines and crowds?
You want a deal right? Who doesn’t, but why stand in those long lines at four in the morning if you don’t have to.
There is an easier way.
Imagine getting those great deals and even better ones from the comfort of your home in your PJs. After all, you’re likely to still have a food hangover from out that Turkey.
This year consider shopping online for those Black Friday deals!
Sites like Amazon have already started the countdown and are even providing deals early. You can subscribe to Amazon’s daily deals emails to make sure you don’t miss a single one.
I even spotted 56% off on a high definition flat screen television.
You can sign up for Amazon’s daily deals to get updates.
More Retailers Offering Online Deals
Best Buy is a popular one, for electronic consumers that offers some fantastic deals online every year. Kohl’s, Target, Gap, Old Navy, Sears, Staples, and even Toys R Us are among retailers offering exclusive discounts to online shoppers this year.
For a more extensive list, visit BlackFriday.fm, your Black Friday Source.
Survey results from Accenture shows that 30% of consumers will be heading online to do their Black Friday shopping this year, up from last year.
If you want to join them and get the best deals, there are some tips to take into consideration.
Make the Most of Online Black Friday Shopping…
1. Plan and Prioritize
Black Friday deals are not guaranteed, and once stores run out, you are out of luck. If you have items that you really want, especially electronics and big-ticket items, create a plan. Decide which items are your biggest priorities and go after those deals as soon as they become available. This way, you can catch them before they are out of stock.
2. Pay attention to time zones.
When sales start at a set time, don’t forget thatthe time zone may very at the online store you are shopping from.
3. Signup for newsletters and emails beforehand.
Many retailers will offer extra discounts of 10-20% off if you signup on their mailing lists. This will also give you a heads up to the sales that are coming.
Research the right product for you, so you can make the best choice. Looking for a digital camera for instance? Check the ones that are going to have the specs you need and then see who is offering the best price. You can few black friday deals at our listed stores here.
Afraid you will miss out on discounts from shopping online for Black Friday, rather than in store?
Shop online and you can receive the benefits of those after Thanksgiving deals without all hassle!