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January is the Best Time to Score a Deal on These 13 Things

Worried you missed out on all the After Christmas sales? Well, dry your tears because some of the best sales of the year are going live this month in retail and online stores everywhere.

January is the ideal time of the year to go bargain hunting for these 13 things:

January is the Best Time to Buy Linens

1. Bedding and Towels

White sales traditionally show up in January. Expect big discounts on most bedding, bath, and home essentials. Stores can often offer from up to 50% off to up to 75% off select bedding, bath, and other items during a white sale. Here are the types of items you’ll likely see at white sales:

  • Sheets
  • Pillows
  • Bedspreads
  • Duvets
  • Towels
  • Home decor
  • Furniture

2. Calendars

Most everyone starts a New Year with resolutions and intentions to get his or her life in order, but if you can stay organized until mid-January without a calendar, expect to save over 50% on most calendars and planners.

3. Spaghetti

Jan. 4, is National Spaghetti Day. So why would that matter when it comes to bargain hunting? In the past, nationally known restaurants have offered super deals (sometimes it’s been on the house!) on a plate of spaghetti—a good indication of what we can expect this year, too:

  • Spaghetti Warehouse
  • Carrabba’s Italian Grill
  • Fazoli’s
  • Luby’s
  • Maggiano’s Little Italy

4. Televisions

You can be sure that the end of football season ushers in the kickoff for great television deals as retailers gear up for the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, 2020. Based on past years’ performances, you should expect retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Costco, and others to offer rock bottom prices towards the end of January—an excellent time to score a bargain.


The 10 Most Popular Everyday Cheapskate Posts of 2019The 10 Most Popular Posts of 2019

I can’t believe it’s 2020—a brand New Year, and, new decade, too (with apologies to those who see 2020 as the last year of the last decade)! The year 2019 has been an absolute whirlwind here at EC Central—a year filled with growth, joy, and bright new horizons.

Believing that it’s always a good thing to look back to see where we’ve been and to count the blessings—here is a roundup of the 10 most popular Everyday Cheapskate posts in 2019. What was your favorite?

Here we go …


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My Shopping Addiction Rehab Program

Shopping is my thing. I love the thrill of the hunt, that feeling of discovery and the joy of a bargain. I find it satisfying in ways I can’t fully describe. I want to experience the feeling as often as possible. Shopper’s high is no joke. It’s real, it’s palpable, and it’s addictive.

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Shopping got me into a lot of trouble. In just 12 years I ran up more than $100,000 in consumer debt—most of it on credit cards. Eventually, all of it came crashing down and nearly took me with it. Thankfully, that crisis became the catalyst to turn my life around.

It took 13 years to repay all of the debt. I learned a lot about myself in the process but mostly that the satisfaction I got from shopping was short-lived. It was fake because it vanished in less time than it took me to get the stuff to the car. But that just set me up to do it again and again because the small bursts of joy I got from shopping were worth the pain that always followed.

Crazy I know, but absolutely true. I could so easily go back to my old ways, and that’s scary.

So, what keeps me on the straight and narrow? It’s you! You’re my shopping addiction rehab program. Paying off that monstrous debt and these past 28 years of writing, researching, and communicating with you on a daily basis have become the best maintenance program I could hope for.

And the best part? I get to use my shopping skills nearly every day, but now in a constructive way.

Take the email I got from Jeannine who asked simply, “What is the best inexpensive Bluetooth speaker?” Just like that, I flew into shopping mode—that thing I love to do because it brings me uncanny satisfaction.

But here’s the deal: I’m not shopping for myself. I’m not spending my money or creating a bit of debt. I’m researching for Jeannine and that frees me from all of the personal negative stuff. I get to experience the joys of shopping that I love so much without any of the remorse or regret, guilt or shame. That’s authentic, lasting satisfaction. I love my job.

I did go shopping for Jeannine and a few other readers whose requests showed up at about the same time.

1. Bluetooth speaker

Bluetooth and wireless speakers let you bring your favorite music, podcasts and audiobooks with you wherever you go, whether you’re out on a hike or in the kitchen doing dishes—without the need to use headphones or depend on the phone’s or iPad’s microscopic built-in speaker. My pick for the best inexpensive Bluetooth speaker is Anker SoundCore. This thing is amazing with 24-hour playtime, low distortion and superior sound.

2. Stainless coffee mug

Coffee lovers are discriminating when it comes to both quantity and temperature of their favorite brew. Zojirushi Silky Black Stainless Steel 16-ounce Mug represents the gold standard. There is no finer. Retains heat so well it comes with a 5-year warranty on heat retention! And did I mention 16-ounces? No wonder this coffee mug has earned so many 5-star reviews. It’s that lovely!


Take a listen to today’s Podcast episode! 


3. Kids electronic tablet

These days children start very young with electronic devices. The problem though is that kids are kids and most smartphones and tablets are too delicate to handle toddler abuse. With that in mind, my pick for your favorite little ones is Kids Amazon Fire Edition Tablet. This is the real deal—not a toy, but built like one because it is all but indestructible.

This tablet has a 7-inch screen, 16 GB, Wi-Fi and all of it surrounded by a kid-proof case then wrapped up in a 2-year worry-free guarantee. If it breaks for any reason, return it and you’ll get a free replacement no questions asked. Complete with front and rear cameras, best-in-class parental controls.

One year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited gives access to 10,000 kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and content from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney and more. Wow. I want one.

4. Fitbit Charge 3

This must be the gift of the year given all the people I know who are dying to get one. Worn, Fitbit Charge 3 continuously monitors heart pulse, calorie burn, and heart rate. 7-Day battery life. Automatically tracks how long and how well you sleep and even wakes you up with a silent vibrating alarm. Fitbit Charge 3 comes complete with GPS that allows you to see real-time stats when you run—things like pace and distance, all while on your wrist. It even displays the time, just like something from the olden days called a wristwatch. For sure, Fitbit is stylish, hip and cool.

5. Portable battery charger

Don’t you hate it when your phone or other device dies and you’re nowhere near an outlet? So did the creators of this amazing little RAVPower Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank. Just plug your device into it and you’ll get a super quick charge. About the size of an index card, this thing has a huge capacity. Colossal battery: 22000mAh capacity, a single charge powers an iPhone X 4.9 times, a Galaxy S8 4.4 times, or an iPad mini 4, 2.6 times. Two USB ports allow you to charge two devices at a time. 5.8A Output 3-Port (iSmart 2.0 USB Ports). Compatible with iPhone 11/Pro/Max/ 8/ X/XS, Samsung S10.


Everyday Cheapskate participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon affiliated sites.

UP NEXT: 

7 Cheap Gadgets That Make Life Easy—Fun, Too

2019 Holiday Gift Guide — Mary’s Favorite Things


2019 Holiday Gift Guide — Best Ideas for Grandparents

2019 Holiday Gift Guide — Mary’s Favorite Things

2019 Holiday Gift Guide—Best Gift Ideas for KIDS!

2019 Holiday Gift Guide—Best Learning Toys

11 Ways to Get the Best Online Deals and Discounts

Just about everyone who shops online knows to look for a discount, promotional code, or coupon of some kind before hitting checkout. According to Statista, in 2016 126.8 million U.S. adults redeemed online coupons, a number that’s projected to grow to 145.3 million users by 2021. But digital coupons are only one of 11 ways to get the biggest discounts and best deals this holiday season.

cropped shot of young couple shopping online with credit card and laptop at christmas

Coupon codes

Making it a personal commitment that you won’t buy anything online without a coupon code is something you’ll be able to carry out, almost flawlessly. Coupons and codes are out there if you know where to look. A simple Google search is one way. Another is to visit sites like RetailMeNot and Coupons.com. Totally stumped? Contact customer service or the online chat feature and kindly ask for a code. A simple “Is there anything you can do for me?” has been known to work very well.

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Want What You Have, Buy What You Need

Years ago, I read in The New York Times that according to Yankelovich Research, the average American adult is the target of some 3,500 commercial ads in a single day. More recently that estimate has been adjusted upward to 5,000. How outrageous is that? Sure, we live in a highly commercialized society but 5,o00 commercial ads? In a single day? I figured that had to be a gross exaggeration.

I decided to conduct my own test. I would count the ads I heard or saw in my typical day. I knew it wouldn’t come anywhere close to 5,o00. Or even 3,500.

The next morning the radio alarm sounded and before I could even open my eyes, I needed to put two hash marks on my score pad. So prolific were the ads on television I could barely keep an accurate count and get ready for the day at the same time.

Of course, I had to count every message, banner, business placard, real estate sign, billboard, license plate frame, bumper sticker, commercial vehicle, and bus I saw on the way to work all the while being careful not to miss any radio ads. Good thing I wasn’t driving.

Reading the newspaper boosted my count significantly as did flipping through a few magazines. Have you ever counted the ads in a typical magazine? Try it sometime.

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Savvy Shopper Tricks and Treats

You think shopping is what you do when you buy things. That’s true, but it’s more than that. Shopping is a competition with you on one side and retailers on the other. And whenever the store gets more of your money than you planned to leave behind, they’ve executed a brilliant shopping trick. They win.

What follow are the tricks that retailers don’t want you to know. Learn them well and you’ll you’ll turn the tables on them. You’ll start winning at the shopping game!

girl in black dress and witch hat holding shopping bags, looking at camera and smiling

TRICK: Buy only the loss-leaders and get out of there

A loss leader is something retailers sell so cheap, they’re losing money on the deal. Buy-one-get-one-free (BOGO) is a great example. It’s like bait to get you into the store because they know if they can do that, you’ll buy other stuff at full price. The trick is to take just enough cash so you can buy up all of the loss leaders you will use and then get out of there.

Why stores hate this trick. Retailers hold sales to increase their cash flow—not to save you money. They do anything they can to get you through the door. Statistics tell them that once you’re in the door, there is a high statistical likelihood that you will pick up enough full-priced items to more than make up for that loss leader. It’s a risk on their part and when you don’t follow their plan, they lose. You win.

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An Incredibly Easy Way to Save Money Shopping Online

With the year’s biggest shopping season now coming into clear view, it’s time to gather our wits, sharpen our resolve, and determine to know everything we possibly can about how to save money. Today I want to show you an online shopping hack that will help stretch your holiday dollars until they scream!

I used to love a good shopping mall. But those days are long gone and I don’t miss them one bit since I’ve discovered the joys and convenience of online shopping. In fact, I’ll do just about anything to avoid having to go inside a mall. Or even a grocery store.

I’m going to walk you through the basic steps of an incredibly easy way to save money shopping online, using an actual purchase I made as an example.

Female hands typing on white computer keyboard

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23 Ways to Chop Your Grocery Bill

Need a foolproof way to cut your food/grocery expenses by 25% this month? Announce to your family that there will be a complete ban on the consumption of food during the first week of every month. There. That should do it!  Twenty-five percent right off the top.

What?! Don’t think you can pull that off? Me either, but not to worry. Here are some much less painful—and I hope a bit more realistic—ways to chop the high cost of food.

 

You couple aghast at the cost of their groceries while looking at the receipt

Create a shopping list

Do this at home when you are hungry. You will be more creative and thorough.

Not hungry

You will be compelled to buy everything in sight regardless of what’s on your list. Tip: If you can’t avoid it, head to the bakery a pick up a cookie or grab a protein bar on your way in. That will be enough to silence your hunger and clear your mind.

Leave the kids at home

You will stick to your shopping list with much less frustration and stress if you fly solo.

Avoid convenience or specialty stores

You won’t find many bargains there.

Groceries online

Online grocery shopping is the latest and greatest for many (me!). It keeps me out of the supermarket where, even with a list, I’m an impulsive disaster just waiting to happen. I shop at KingSoopers (part of the Kroger Family of stores) and pay a flat fee of $4.95 per order for its Pick Up service, or now free for orders of $35 or more. Walmart offers its groceries online program with free same-day pickup is now available at hundreds of Walmart stores nationwide (store locator). Walmart does not charge a pickup fee but has a minimum order requirement of $30.

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How Materialism Leads to Discontentment

I should not have even picked it up. I knew better. After all, what was I expecting from a magazine titled simply, SHOP Etc.? 

I can say with all honesty that before flipping open the magazine, I needed nothing. Not a thing. I was content and quite busy with my work. If anything was tugging at my attention it was my garden and all my planting issues—not a lack of shoes, clothes, and household items. 

Close-up of woman mindlesssly wandering through a catalog creating discontentment

In the space of just a few minutes, everything changed. Just like that, I needed new shoes (Kors, $235), sunglasses in the hot purple shade for summer (Prada, $245) and of course The Cutest Suit (J. Crew, $296).

And once I realized the new must-haves for the kitchen, everything I have now seemed completely unacceptable and hopelessly out of style. I need new Czech goblets (Crate and Barrel, $8.95 each), a stainless steel sink (Kohler, $1,815) and faucet (Essex, $385). Don’t even get me started on all the things I realized I need for my bedroom, patio and living areas. How naïve I was only a few minutes earlier feeling content and quite satisfied with my life. A mere 164 pages later, I was filled with inadequacy and discontentment. 

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