Best Video Game Deals

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Perfect ideas for the holidays, best video game deals!

If you do a great amount of sewing and need a new machine, consider the Singer Heavy Duty Sewing Machine.  It is just slightly more expensive than a run-of-the-mill machine, but it will last so much longer – perhaps 2-3 times as long.  Now that’s frugal!

If you have dogs that stay outside every once in awhile or more, consider a kennel cover.  They keep rain, sun, snow, etc. mostly off of the dogs.  It holds up well on extremely windy days.  You should definitely take your drill and add a machine screw and lock nut on each of the four supports.  Amazingly, even below freezing weather has less of an effect on the pine/cedar.  It will definitely help it last longer.  So, in the long run, you will be ahead.  Now that’s frugal!

FRUGAL BONUS:

If you have not been to Fuddruckers lately, you should check it out.  Really tasty gourmet burgers.  Their chicken Caesar salad is also surprisingly good.  The best part is being able to add anything you want from the salad bar, including the cheese and french fry sauces.  Make sure to look at the Wednesday special (if you are there on Wednesday) before making your ordering decision.  (Plus you can save money by not worrying about the tip)  You can also answer a few questions for their survey for a chance to win a $100 gift card.

As the holidays are approaching and guests are coming, consider going to an import store to pick up some of those special items – cheeses, meats, veggies.  You might be surprised to find that the prices and the quality will be much better than the supermarket version.  It may keep you from going out to eat, which again saves money!

If you have priced hams lately, you may have been in shock.  Here is another money saving idea:  many discount grocery stores have ham pieces, normally with the rind, that are cut up already in a package for $2-$3 per pound.  Buy a package or two. and freeze until 3 days before Thanksgiving.  Then defrost in the refrigerator, pour dark Karo syrup over it and heat in a crockpot on Thanksgiving morning.  No one will know you did not spend $50 on you ham – and it is pre-sliced and ready to go!

As the thoughts of guests are in your head, make sure your plumbing situation is ready.  Consider stocking up on various sized plungers – inexpensive without the fold out, one with it, a small drain plunger, an accordion type, and strainers to keep out items that could cause issues.  So much cheaper than a plumber and reusable.  Now that’s frugal!

As you prepare for guests, if you notice some of your grout has disappeared, there is help.  Your local flooring store might have special colored caulk that is designed to fill in between tiles.  If you have a piece of the grout, it will be easier to match.  Much cheaper than replacing all of you floor or wall.  Now that’s frugal!

If you have a new car where the dealer has given you free oil changes, make sure you take the recommended extra services with a grain of salt.  Do your research ahead of time to see which services are actually worth it.  Certain engine treatments make actually improve gas mileage, so it would more than pay for itself.  Other services may be unnecessary or overpriced.  Be prepared so you can make the right fiscal decision!

With winter upon us, watch your windshield.  Keep some of those “gas station” towels on hand (available in a roll at O’Reilly’s or Auto Zone).  If you have a chip, have it checked out by a glass company.  Some of them can actually be eliminated.  Others, if they are filled, will be less likely to run since water will not get in and turn to ice.  Normally, $30 to $40 will take care of this.  This is certainly much less than a new windshield.  Frugal!

As you check over your Christmas list, consider going to Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Ross’ for their great line of gift items.  These stores buy the inventory after close out sales of department stores.  Obviously, last years socks, underwear, never-out-style shoes, etc. look the same as this years’ items.  Of course, the many kitchen and household items they have are always in style.  Places like Macys and Dillards have rotations of best selling items and the last mark-down step merges into the sell to the discount stores.  Their holiday decoration selection will also knock your socks off, but for less money!  Check it out for yourself – same quality, a fraction of the cost!

If you are looking for comfortable and stylish shoes and looking to make a difference, combine these by buying some Toms shoes.  For each pair sold, they donate a pair.  Awesome idea!  They normally run great specials on their stock, as well.  Now that’s frugal!

Save money on your furnace bill.  Look into oil filled radiator heaters as well as ceramic and milkhouse heaters for the bathroom and kitchen table.  They work great for bedrooms and will allow you to greatly decrease your thermostat.  This is the time of year that they are discounted.  You may be able to grab one for $30 if you look around.  They really work and save money!  With your thermostat down during the day, make sure you pick up some thermal hunting socks.  They really work around the house as well.  More money saving!

Great gift idea for your spouse: gift cards to restaurants.  You get thank you’s for the gift and then you get to go out to eat for “free.”  Cracker Barrel, Applebees, Chilis – place like that so you do not look like a cheapskate.

Cool Gadgets and Gizmos

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FRUGAL BONUS:

For great deals on gently used clothes for men and women, handbags, shoes – check out Plato’s Closet and sister store, Clothes Mentor.  They obtain their clothes by buying them from the general public (an additional way for you to make money), but they are extremely particular.  This makes it somewhat difficult as the seller, but delightful as the buyer.  You know you are getting clothes that are still in style and in great shape.  Not only are the prices a fraction of the original cost, but many items are discounted even further.  Awesome brands; awesome prices.  Now that’s frugal!

Another dinner idea: cooked rotisserie chicken from your local supermarket.   A small one is about $5 and a large one is $8.  Pair it with a loaf of french bread and your family is full.  Now that’s frugal!

Don’t forget to swing by your local import store for 4th of July extras like feta cheese, olives, olive oil (although Aldi’s is hard to beat for this), meats.  A great addition to the traditional hot dogs, hamburgers, and potato salad.

If you are looking for a nice tailgating grill, the small Coleman ones with the propane cylinder are so convenient.  The refills are less than $6 for a 2 pack.  Now that’s frugal!

 

If you need inexpensive and reliable batteries, Dollar General is your place.

If you need adhesives, especially ones that can withstand heat, check out your local auto parts store.  Obviously, if you need to put your rear view mirror back on, O’Reilly or Auto Zone will take care of you.

If you are in the market for a new weedeater, consider getting one where you can use polycut blades, especially if you hate changing out the line.  Some people actually struggle with this. Stihl has a few brands that you can easily convert.  So much less frustration.  Be careful though, because those blades are rather powerful.

If you have weeds to you need kill, do yourself a favor a skip the generic brands.  Buy the real stuff – Roundup.  It works so much better than the competitors.  So, in the long run, it saves you money.  Now that’s frugal!

If you have a new car with SIriusXM Radio trial or if you have a car that used to have it, you should really consider getting a subscription.  You can add it to an existing radio as well.  They normally run specials.  If you travel a little bit, you never have to worry about finding  a station.  For a little more, you can have the same benefits on your computer, phone or tablet.  Such a good deal!

Valentines Day Flower Delivery

Attention, all of those with a special someone in your life, as Valentine’s Day rapidly approaches in less than two weeks, it is time to plan that Valentines Day flower delivery.  The results of not doing this would be very detrimental to your relationship.  Make sure you also pick up a card and some candy.  Jewelry is always a good idea.  If you cannot find something you like that is new, you can always visit a reputable pawn shop for great deals at a fraction of the original cost.  A makeover on existing jewelry, especially if you have an awesome and frugal spouse, works great as well.

Flower.com
Teleflora

FRUGAL BONUS:

If you live in an rural area, look into county clinics.  Most take insurance and have a sliding scale for income levels.  Most operate on a series of grants.  Some even have deals with local pharmacies (normally with a 90 day script) that can have you hundreds of dollars!

If your child has any athletic or musical talent, make sure to nurture it for potential college scholarships someday.  Of course, do not neglect academics!

Check with your high school to see if any of the colleges in your state has an online high school course list.  This will avoid potential scheduling conflicts and will have headaches in the future.  It should be a great experience for your student.

If you listen to Christian Music, make sure to support your local station so others can listen to the message as well.

If you like Polish Pottery, Italian and Spanish bowls, consider shopping at TJ Maxx or Marshall’s.  These stores also work very well for men’s clothes, under clothes, shoes, pants, shirts, various gift items, and so much more.  The prices will be a fraction of department stores with a great selection.

That old laptop that does not work may just need a new power cord.  Although they vary greatly in price, they are normally rather inexpensive.  Sometimes, the company website itself is the best source.

If you live on a cold area and use natural gas for your heating, consider switching to propane.  The local propane company can install a conversion kit for less than $100.  With propane, you will never get a “surprise” bill that is much more than anticipated.  You purchase the propane ahead of time (they can bill you), and you have a gauge so you know exactly how much you have and when you need to call to have a new shipment delivered.  For some people, avoiding that “surprise” kick in the mouth has saved them at least 50%.  Do a little investigation to save big money!

Another way to save on heating bills is to buy space heaters and radiator heaters to use in the bathroom and bed rooms at night.  Also, firewood and accessories will help during the evening.  You can use your heater much less this way and save money!

Invariably, winter wreaks havoc on our windshields.  You may need to replace yours to pass inspection or maybe just to see.  Don’t just assume that the national chains have the best price and service.  You would be surprised how competitive your local glass company could be.  Once you factor in the price of gas, convenience, proximity if there are issues, shopping local (especially if you too are a local business), the choice is “clear.”

If you need new wiper blades, shop around and decide.  At most local auto parts stores, they will replace the blades for free.  This way, you know for sure it fits and you don’t have to deal with doing yourself.  Sometimes, big box stores are cheaper, but you have to take the risk on your own.

Try Chef Fabio’s Italian Sausage Stuffing; it is truly to die for:

Looking for a slightly different Valentine’s gift, perhaps for a child?  Buy a dozen of their favorite candy bar(s), perhaps a stuffed animal or two and make a sweet cute basket.

Make sure to take advantage of the day-after-Valentine’s Day-sale on all candies and chocolates!

Top Christmas Ideas

There is still plenty of time to shop for Christmas. You should always be on the lookout for a good Christmas gift.  Sometimes, those small and thoughtful gifts will score the most points: sleep pants, Nutella, bagels, drink cups, special candy – perhaps that is only available during the holidays, leggings, panty hose, Joe Boxer (anything, can’t go wrong with Joe Boxer) underwear, sports bras, socks, sleep pants – Joe Boxer!

Kitchen items always go well this time of year.  There are plenty of stocking stuffer ideas – whisks, cookie scoops, spatulas, silicon mats.  See if your city has a commercial kitchen supply place.  They normally allow the general public to shop there.  The selection is incredible and the prices will be pleasantly surprising.

Pier 1 has some very nice hanging lanterns.  They are designed for tea lights to go in.  Very elegant and only $14.  A gift for your sweetie or for yourself.

 

FRUGAL BONUS:

Make sure you change your oil as recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.  This will save you a considerable amount of money in the long run.  If you can find a local oil change place that is honest, this will also benefit you.  Take all your cars there so the records will also be available in case this comes up when you are trying to sell your car.

Outlet stores have great selections of particular brands and low prices.  Sometimes, slightly defective items will be nearly free.

Do you do a lot of baking? Does your oven show the correct temperature?  Perhaps an inexpensive oven thermometer will help your cakes turn out better.

Need an idea for a chemistry class experiment?  Try determining the conductivity change of water when you add nothing, iodized salt, non-iodized salt, salt substitute (potassium chloride).

Great new recipe:  Italian Stuffing (from Ciao Chow).

If you love Cajun food, look for Crawfish at your local grocery store.  Some stores have whole crawfish that you can boil in crab/crawfish boil.  Make sure to add corn on the cob and small red potatoes for an awesome treat:

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Great Thanksgiving Ideas

Scrapbooking is a great way to preserve memories for your family and generations to come. Make a detailed family tree (ancestry.com is a great resource). The scrapbooks do not have to be fancy. Even if you have shoe boxes full of photos and newspaper clippings, start today. Start with a specialty album – wedding, first year of baby, senior year, THIS year, this holiday season — just anything —- just start.

 

If you have not already tried this, you have to check out Flex Seal. It is a rubberized leak sealer that can be used virtually anywhere in and around the house: cracked pipes, cracked sink, cracked gutters, and so much more. It is truly a repairman in a can. Ya gotta try this stuff:

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FRUGAL BONUS:

With winter approaching, make sure to check your wiper blades.  Replace them if necessary.  Some auto parts stores like O’Reilly’s, AutoZone, Pep Boys, will replace them for free when you buy them.  Since certain models require a special tool, always ask them to do this free service for you.  Also, you can rest easy that they will be the right size.

Take all your cars to a local oil change place.  If you get your vehicle inspections there also, they will make sure to take care of any minor issues that might cause problems.  Keep it local when you can.

Ask your doctor about OTC vitamins and supplements.  Sometimes these are as effective as prescription items without the side effects.  Mult-vitamins, fish oil, CoQ10.  Just ask.

Think you can’t afford a dentist?  Even if you have dental coverage, you still need to check around.  It can be more affordable than you think.  “Let your fingers do the walking.”  Some local dentists are still rather reasonable.  If you live in an area that has a county dental clinic, this may be the best deal.  Do your research first.

If you are interested in savings on heating costs this winter, consider turning your thermostat down and getting an electric blanket.  If you have a king size bed and want to save, look into getting two twin size electric blankets.  This might save you almost $100.  Sunbeam has them for only $20 each on their site and they work great.  You do not have to worry about fighting over the control since you both have your own independent blanket.  The overlap area in the middle gets the benefit of both blankets!

If you will be outside at all this winter (ball games, hunting, backyard activities, etc.), look into “Hot Hands” body warmers.

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If you like imported food, pick up some items for Thanksgiving.  If you have overnight guests, you will need something beyond turkey for pre or post eating.  Feta Cheese, oil cured olives, sudjuk, spices, specialty breads.  Just go to a European market and browse.  It may become a Holiday tradition.

If you like frugal ideas and coupons, subscribe to AllYou magazine.  Great monthly coupons and fantastic ideas to save money.

Do you like working with old furniture?  Did an item that is solid wood and in good shape structurally at the flea market, then repaint it, change the knobs, and put some tile on the top, caulk in between the tile, and wax on top. {Home Depot, Lowe’s}  It will look better than new and you will have built-in coasters!!
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Gift Cakes

If you need a cake for a special occasion, you can buy a specialty cake pan and make your own. If this is not your “cup of tea” click below to have a gourmet gift cake delivered nationwide:

Birthday cakes, Cake Delivery, Bake Me A Wish

FRUGAL BONUS:

Does your hopefully college-bound student have any special talents?  As summer is approaching, it is definitely time to think about using these talents to obtain more scholarship money.  Get them involved in camps through colleges.  There are camps for math, art, music, all sports, debate.  There is a state math team (ARML) that has a national competition in June.  Involvement in these activities will not only help in high school classes, ACT/SAT scores, but also college scholarships and maybe even choice of majors.

If you have medical bills, you can normally buy time by sending regular payments instead of ignoring the bills.

If you use fancier shampoos and conditioners, consider going to Sally’s Beauty Supply.  Their prices are a fraction of what you would pay at a salon for the products (which they also use on your hair).  Their equipment is very inexpensive and high quality.  If you pay $5 for the yearly club membership, you get 10% off of your purchases.

Valentine’s Day Jewelry Deals

On of the most popular gifts for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day is jewelry. Save money and make her happy!  Check it out:

Szul.com Dynamic 728x90

Are you in the market for a new microwave?  Consider the Kenmore CMO, available at Sears and K Mart – in store and online. It is available in white, black, and red to fit any decor.  It is very reliable, easy to use, looks sharp, and is reasonably priced at $109.99.  Layaway available!

If you are setting it up a little distance from a plug-in, make sure to purchase an appliance extension cord (heavy duty, not the inexpensive white one) at your local hardware or farm and home store.

The Kenmore white countertop microwave oven 69122 takes the guesswork out of microwave cooking. A built-in moisture sensor detects when food is cooked just right, and then automatically turns the oven off when finished.

This 1.2 cu. ft. white 1,200-watt microwave features multi-stage cooking function to take the hassle out of cooking foods that need several cooking cycles. For example, program the defrost cycle and time, the cooking power level and time, the hold warm function. When one stage is complete, the next stage automatically starts. This Kenmore countertop microwave oven also offers Auto Defrost, which thaws out specific foods (such as meat, poultry, fish or bread) without you specifying defrosting and power levels.

1.2 cu. ft of interior space is tall enough for a 7-in. mug or 20 oz. cup
Delivers 1200 watts of power for faster cooking and reheating
Multi-stage cooking lets you set more than one cooking cycle for a food—like defrost, cook and warm—and automatically runs each cycle in order, at the power you specify and for the time you specify. preparations with multiple steps hassle-free.
Sensor Cooking eliminates guesswork by detecting moisture in food and automatically adjusting the cooking time
One-touch cooking has pre-programmed buttons for favorite foods, so you don’t have to choose cooking times and power levels
10 power levels
1-year general warranty

 

FRUGAL BONUS:

If you heat with wood and have an insert, make sure you have it checked out regularly.  Ask them about setting the thermostat lower so the insert will kick on earlier.  You will be happy you did.

See if there is a salvage grocery store in your area.  You will be amazed at the deals and interesting items you find there.  Sometimes you can find prep food used by restaurants for pennies on the dollar!

Throwing a party?  Need serving pieces? Consider going to places like Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Ross’s.  Get selection, great deals, but sometimes hit and miss.  Isn’t that part of the fun …

Support your local charities; go to their events.  Not only will you be a part of their ministries, you will also be able to network for business purposes, especially in small towns.

Save money when you rent movies – try Redbox. If you text OFFERS to 727272, you will get text codes for free movies and 50 cents off of movies periodically.  If you sign up with your email, you will get additional savings this way.  Make sure to reserve online so the movie can be there waiting for you.  It beats driving around to several Redboxes, hoping your movie is there. This is especially important for new releases.