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  • The Best Cyber Monday Deals That Are Still Available

    Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time to get down to business and start preparing for the next major holiday- Christmas! Although Black Friday is known as the biggest shopping day of the year, Cyber Monday is a close second and generates billions of dollars in sales. The deals often continue throughout the end of November, so don't fret if you missed out on Cyber Monday. We've compiled some of the hottest deals that are still available for your shopping pleasure.

    Major Retailers

    Walmart is offering up great prices on thousands of items, and with free 2-day shipping on purchases of $35 or more, you can check plenty of gifts off your list from the comfort of your own home. One must-have item on the wish list of many children this year is the Nintendo Switch, and Walmart is selling this hot gaming console for $299.

    Target is featuring daily deals throughout their Cyber Week, which runs through the end of November. Each day there are discounts on hundreds of items, like 50% off of the hottest toys, 30% off rugs, and free Target gift cards with the purchase of specified items. Even better, 2-day shipping is free with no minimum purchase. If you haven't yet decorated for the holidays, you can score excellent prices on all of the necessities like this 6-foot Alberta Spruce which is on sale for only $28.

    Not to be outdone, Kohl's is also hosting a full week of Cyber deals which includes free shipping with a $25 purchase. Save an extra 20% off already-low prices with the discount code GIVE20. This coupon code can be stacked with other offers like 20% off fine jewelry with code JEWELRY20 and 10% off watches with code WATCHES10. Get that special someone this gorgeous pair of 1 Carat Black Diamond Stud Earrings for just $127.99, which is a savings of over $370 off the retail price.

    The biggest online retailer, Amazon, is also offering up Cyber Week specials, with different deals running each day. One of the biggest Cyber Monday deals, this Echo Dot for just $19.99 plus free shipping, is still available and boasts a savings of 50%. Now you can take Alexa with you wherever you go.

    Small Businesses

    Don't forget to support your local businesses, as many of them are also running Cyber specials throughout the last week of November. Smaller stores like Bath & Body Works and Yankee Candle are serving up buy one, get one free deals on candles which are always a great gift for teachers and neighbors. You can grab six large jar candles at Yankee Candle for just $88.50, which is a savings of 50%.

    Other small businesses running online specials this week include AeropostaleBarnes & NobleCarter'sGymboreeLands' EndPetco, and Ulta Beauty. Get your Christmas list checked off before the start of December with these amazing Cyber week deals. You might even have some money left over to buy yourself something nice.

  • How Much Does a Gym Membership Really Cost?

    Joining a gym or fitness club is a sign of affluence. You can pay for an indoor, recreational area. In fact, millions of people pay for monthly gym memberships every year, which equates to a multimillion-dollar industry. Your monthly charges may not seem like a lot of money, but they can add up. Take a close look at what your club really costs at the end of the day. The numbers might surprise you.

    The Initial Fees 

    Most people see the advertised charge as the basic cost of their membership. As you walk in the door, however, you're suddenly greeted by the registration fee. This initial charge is usually a lump sum that's due before you can participate in the club. Depending on the facility, the charge can be several hundred dollars or more.

    These initial fees may also be charged in yearly installments. Clubs often give these fees different names, but they still add up to more than the advertised price. The fees typically go toward club upkeep, payroll and profit margins.

    Yearly Contracts 

    Pay-as-you-go memberships are the best deals. You're welcome to cancel at any time without penalties. Be wary about the contractual agreements, however. Certain clubs require a year or longer contract before you can join. They'll typically package the cost into monthly payments that seem affordable.

    Be aware that this contract is binding. It must be paid in full regardless if you use the club once a week or twice a year. It's a fact that many people don't realize that they attend the club for fewer hours a week than they intended to upon signing up for the opportunity. These funds continue to be pulled from bank accounts across the globe while the club gains more profits.

    Logging in Commute Time 

    Research suggests that you'll work out more often if the club is nearby. A membership can be worth the money if you find a facility a few miles from home. If it's a pay-as-you-go club, the value is even better.

    People who have to commute to a gym will simply forgo the idea after a certain time period. It's a voluntary habit, unlike a commute to a job that pays the bills. A good value for your health must be easy to get to with a comfortable atmosphere.

    Paying for Training or Classes 

    Don't forget that your monthly fees typically cover basic access to the facility. It doesn't usually include personal training or exercise classes. Do your research before signing up for a club. A few, select clubs include some training. These businesses may be worth the investment.

    If you're strictly looking for a safe area to use the machines and weights, the training costs don't largely factor into your investment. Simply use the membership as you see fit.

    Don't be afraid to go outdoors and exercise in the fresh air. Fitness clubs aren't the only choices for your health. Be creative so that you can stay healthy without an ongoing membership. Gyms may be trendy, but you can forge your own path where health and fitness are still priorities.

  • Cheap and quick September outings

    The beginning of September traditionally signifies the end of the summer, when everyone throws their last summer cookout on Labor Day. Just because summer has come to an end, does not mean that the fun should stop. There is plenty of fun to be had in the month of September, and all without busting the budget! Here are some ideas to make September a fun, active, and budget-friendly month:

    Football Games 
    Local high school football games can be an inexpensive outing that will make the whole family happy. Go back and revisit your Alma Mater and see how much has changed or how much has stayed the same. You may find some familiar faces in the crowd and have some catching up to do! If you prefer games played at the university level, you can usually get a pretty steep discount if you are an alumnus or a current student. You can see who is playing this week on a sports schedule website or a local news station.

    Fall Foliage 
    In some parts of the United States, the leaves will begin to change around September to vibrant oranges, reds, and yellows creating a spectacular display. All you will need for this outing is a little time and enough gas money to make the journey, if you live within driving distance. While its always fun to take a leisurely drive, take some time to check out some fall foliage maps before you go just to see if you will be experiencing the natural colors at their most vibrant.

    State and County Fairs
    Fairs have been a popular way to spend an evening since the 1800’s. Admission is usually fairly reasonable, and you can pay per ride or game. If you are not careful, you can blow your budget quickly with all the amusement rides and food that are offered. However, it is usually satisfying enough to walk around the fair grounds and be a part of the vibrant fair atmosphere.

    Local Festivals
    The cooler air also brings in the start of fall festivals. Admission is typically also free for local festivals and you can spend as much, or as little, time as you would like to browse the vendors. There are usually free concerts to enjoy and activities for the children. You could get lunch at the festival and try some unique food or go to your favorite local lunch spot for a quick bite to eat. Here you can find a comprehensive list of the festivals happening in your area during the month of September.

    Time and money are two very valuable resources. Sometimes you don’t have the time to spend planning a trip or making an all-day outing, other times there may be budget constraints that limit your spending for the month. Just because you are limited on time or money in September, doesn’t mean you have to be limited on fun! You can still make September a memorable month without spending your last dime.

  • 7 Tips to Heat Your Home on a Budget

    Are you on a budget to heat your home this winter? If yes, then worry not since these tips will help you warm your house and save on the electricity bill.

    1. Upgrade Your Boiler
    If your boiler has been in existence for more than ten years, it might be time to upgrade it to a more efficient one. Depending on your house and the type of your old boiler, buying a new A-rated condensing boiler could save you up to $400, mainly when it produces the same amount of warmth for less energy. The fact that it is new means that it will take a long while before it experiences issues which could require repair.

    2. Install Thermostatic Radiator Valves
    University of Salford research has shown that installing thermostatic radiator valves and heating controls save energy up to 40% in comparison to a house that has no controls. These heating controls will assist you in programming your heating so that you only use it when needed. New smart thermostats can be controlled using your smartphone so that you can turn them on as you head home. If you are on a budget, this is a great way to save up on electricity bills during the winter season.
    3. Turn Down the Dial
    Research by WHO recommended a living room temperature of 21 degrees Celcius while the Public Health England revised it down to 18 degrees Celcius in 2014. More research has revealed that reducing your temperature by even 1 degree Celsius could save your electricity expenses by 10 per cent. You can warm your house at 18 degrees Celsius and save on cost.
    4. Wrap Up Warm
    In case you own a hot water tank, lag or insulate it properly to maintain the temperature of the water for longer to reduce the costs of heating. According to the Energy Community, insulating a water tank could save you up to $200 per year. You can also save money by upgrading the previous insulation.
    5. Maximise your Insulation
    During loss of warmth in a house, the roof facilitates in the loss of around 25% of the heat. To reduce this, install a 25 cm insulation throughout your house. Moreover, about 33% of the warmth is lost through the walls. Therefore, installing a cavity wall insulator could save you up to $210 in electricity expenses. Confirm from your energy suppliers if there are current insulation schemes which might be installed cheaply or for free.
    6. Move Your Sofa
    Most people like moving the sofas next to the radiator or fireplace but the furniture will be absorbing warmth that could be warming the house. Moving the couch away from the heater will allow hot air to circulate the room. Also, don’t dry your clothes using the radiator. Leave the radiator free so that hot air can circulate the house.
    7. Use timers on the main heating
    According to the Centre for Sustainable Energy, program your boiler to turn on the heating at lower temperatures 30 minutes before waking up in the morning as opposed to turning it on at higher temperatures immediately you wake up. This will lower the cost of your electricity bill.

    Conclusion
    You can clearly heat your house and stay on a budget this winter. Happy heating!

  • Notepads and pencils can add up- where can I find the best back to school deals?

    About Back-To-School Time

    When back to school time comes, you know that you are going to have to gear up for your kid’s materials. Generally, your kids are going to need pencils, pens, crayons, book covers, folders, backpacks, etc. These are all items that can be inexpensive, but at the same time, they can add up if you have to buy them all at once. Added to that, if you have more than one school-aged child, you will have to buy multiple items for your children, and that can really add up. Instead of spending big bucks on school supplies, you can make savvy decisions when purchasing your child’s school supplies.

    Purchasing with Coupons
    One good way to save money is by using coupons to purchase school supplies. Generally, around back-to-school time, there are good coupons for school supplies. If you purchase the local Sunday paper, you can get coupons to purchase school supplies at a discount. If you are able to get multiple papers, it is possible for you to get some school supplies for free after coupons and rebates.

    Shop at the Dollar Store
    The Dollar Store will have all of the kids supplies that you need for back to school. You have to be sure to go to a Dollar Store that sells everything for just a dollar, because there are some stores that are called Dollar Stores, but the items that are in the store are different prices. If possible, go to a local dollar store and not a chain Dollar store.

    Shop Back-To-School at the End of the Season Each Year
    Everyone is eager to get their back-to-school items before the school year starts, but a money-savvy move would be to wait until after the back-to-school season is over to buy items for the next year. This is the time when stores will put all of their back-to-school supplies on sale. It is possible to get these supplies for 75% to 90% off when you shop off-season. Generally, back to school materials are the same every year, so you can get next year’s supplies at the end of this year’s season and save tons.

    Back-To-School Does Not Have To Break The Bank
    The Back-To-School season can be an exciting time; it does not have to be a time that is stressful for parents. Whether you have one child or multiple children, you can save money by making savvy shopping decisions during the back-to-school season. There is no reason why you have to follow what everyone else does. By shopping wiser and shopping at off time periods, you can get your kid’s school supplies at a discounted rate.

  • What can I expect from Labor Day sales?

    Labor day is one of those holidays where everyone is looking forward to relax and also to reward their year of hard work with some retail therapy if possible. If you are a retailer, you have a few days to strategize and make your store one of the places where shoppers will stop and make a purchase. Here are some of the tips that will help you make the best sales during this time.

    People start looking for deals early

    The first thing that you need to understand about the Labor Day and the shopping process is that people start their shopping early. In the next week or so, you should be ready to go live with any sales that you are planning for the day. You need to sit down with the marketing and PR executives and come up with an offer, deal or discount that the shoppers will find irresistible. The ideal sale that is themed around a holiday starts a few days before the holiday and ends a day or two after the holiday. If you have an online store, getting shoppers to participate in the sale will be very easy and fun.

    Themed items sell the most

    Holidays are the times when most people make emotional sales. This means that they will not be purchasing most of the items because they absolutely need them, it is the offers that make them want to shop. In addition to the offers, they like going for items that have a connection to the general theme of the holiday, especially because they travel and offer these items as gifts to their friends and relatives. When planning your offer, you need to include branded and Laborr Day themed merchandise. If you are in the hospitality industry, offer items such as exclusive getaways which are themed around the holidays as they will get the most sales.

    The power of advertising

    Everyone will be making an advertisement or the other about a flash sale, a clearance sale or a discount. There will be a lot of noise over the television about sales and the digital channels will reflect the sales atmosphere. If you need to advertise and actually capture the attention of the shopper, you need to think about a creative way of advertising which will set you apart. At the same time, the advertising strategy should be within a limited budget for maximum profit. Brainstorm with the team and come up with the best way to advertise your services.

    These are some of the ways in which you can prepare for the Labor Day sales. Other preparations which will make the process more beneficial to you include making sure that the store is open longer hours than your regular, getting temporary customer service personnel to handle the extra shoppers and even other services such as getting ample packing space for your customers and beefing up security around the stores for better customer experiences. With these tips in mind, managing labor day sales will be quite easy and fun.

  • 10 Best August Buys!

    10 items to buy in the August Sales

    August is filled with end-of-summer deals and back-to-school bargains. Mark this month on your calendar so you can take advantage of price reductions. Here are some of the items that you will find get marked down.

    Window and Portable Air Conditioners 

    Stores with an inventory of air conditioners like Home depot, Lowe's know that the season is almost done for cooling a home. However, dorm rooms and off-campus housing may not come complete with an air conditioning unit. This is a great time for picking up a small unit that will keep your college-bound child comfortable. Also, if you have been pushing that old window unit to the limit and know that this is its last season, pick up a new unit that will deliver next spring.

    Swim Suits and Flip Flops

    If it does not bother you to wait on next year's styles, swim suits and flip flops are marked down drastically. Go with a plain white or black color and you can't go wrong for next year's look. Flip flops are a must all year round. A weekend trip to a hotel with swimming and spa features, casual wear around the house or having a spare makes this the perfect sales bargain.

    Storage Containers 

    Big chain stores run various sales for college students. Storage containers fall into this category for transferring and storing valuables to a higher education facility. Take advantage of Walmart's low prices for all of your fall cleaning projects.

    Wine

    September is harvest season for grapes and the old inventory has to be cleared to make room for the new. This is good news for you. Stock up on your favorite wine that will come in handy over the holidays and other festive gatherings.

    Shoes

    Back-to-school sales begin earlier and earlier. In fact, some kids start the new school year as early as mid-August. Shoes are a hot item for attracting buyers and many stores will offer outrageous discounts. Check out Macy's large selection of all styles.

    Vehicles

    Thinking about a new car? The new arrivals are just around the corner and dealers are pushing to move vehicles off of their lot. Visit a few dealerships and see how low they are willing to go in the month of August.

    Microwaves

    Another must have for a dorm is a microwave. Even if you do not have a student that is heading off to school, microwaves will be so inexpensive that you can pick up one as a wedding gift or to have as a spare.

    Outdoor Furniture

    The snow is not flying yet. There is still plenty of time to enjoy a new patio set that is on sale to make room for recliners and fireplaces. Check out Wayfair for their selection and prices.

    Laptops

    Take advantage of this special geared for students. Manufacturers will be showing off their best products in hopes of making a sale, even at a huge reduction.

    Lawn Mowers

    Creative financing on last year's model of lawn mowers is often found in August. A trade-in may also be possible in addition to a great sales price.

  • Should you buy or rent camping gear?

    Want to be well equipped on your camping trip? Read this before you choose to rent or buy your gear so you don’t waste your money.

    Summer is in full swing and with it that camping that you’ve been dreaming of is about to become a reality. Before you embark on your trip, you will be faced with an important question. Should you buy all of the necessary gear, or should you opt to rent it for the duration of your excursion? To make sure you know which option makes the most sense for your next outdoor camping adventure, the advantages of renting versus buying outdoor supplies are outlined below.

    Why Buy?

    1. Choose exactly what you want.

    When renting camping gear, it is frustrating to have to choose from among limited options. Perhaps you want a super sturdy, heavyweight tent and the only options available are super light. Or perhaps you wanted a stove that is really easy to light, and all that is being rented is much more complex. On the other hand, when buying your own equipment, you can choose the specific type, functionality, brand, color and price range.

    2. One time payment-forever usage.

    If you go camping often, it makes a lot of sense to buy your own camping gear. Just like anything you buy, the more it is used, the less you pay per use.

    3.  Always available.

    You have finally found the weekend that works for you and your loved ones to get away and you surely must be excited about your upcoming camping trip! Bear in mind though, that you are not alone in your choice of summertime fun. Thousands of people take advantage of summer to steal away for an outdoor overnight excursion. Therefore, the gear you wish to rent may not be available to you during peak camping season. This means that the variety of items that you may want- such as air mattresses, sleeping bags, lanterns, waterproof backpacks and trekking poles -may not be available when you want them. Therefore, buying these items and storing them for your eventual trip is certainly a good idea.

     

    Why Rent?

    1. It’s economical.

    If you are an unseasoned camper, and still have not decided if camping is totally for you, renting gear could save you lots of money. For example, when buying a tent, you can pay close to $500. In contrast, renting a tent for one day, maxes at about $35. In addition, you can also usually higher quality gear than you can afford to buy.

    2. Save space.

    Make no mistake: camping gear takes up room- and lots of it too. If you live in an apartment or in a house without a lot of empty storage space, like extra closets and a large basement, it may be close to impossible to store bulky camping gear. The beauty of renting the equipment is that you return all the gear right after your trip, allowing you to breath easy, knowing your quarters are not about to become even more cramped.

    1. Easy to use.

    Renting equipment, especially if you are new to camping comes along with another great perk. The rentals provide each renter with custom made easy-to-follow user manuals in plastic, water-proof sleeves with each piece of equipment. Instead of wasting precious time and energy trying to figure out how to assemble your gear, the user-friendly instructions allow you to set up camp quickly and without stress so you can truly enjoy your trip.

     

    Now that you’ve gotten a picture of the advantages of renting versus buying camping gear, you can choose what suits you best and hit your campsite and have some real fun!

  • 6 best websites for outdoor patio furniture deals

    A outdoor is never complete without a place to sit. The clear skies and sunshine which are characteristic of the summer make it even more tempting to set up a great place to relax in the evening, have a cup of coffee and even hold a book club meeting. However, the process of buying patio furniture should not be abrupt and without careful consideration of the important details. If you want quality outdoor furniture which will be delivered to your doorstep, think about shopping from the following websites.

    Apt2B 

    Buying furniture is inevitable, and there is no better place to make these purchases than the Apt2B website. This is the one stop shop where you will find all the classical designs reminiscent of your favorite designers, and yet, they are not knockoffs. If you fancy an outdoor which looks modern and elegant, this is the place to choose your furniture from. There are hundreds of chairs, lounges, tables and another outdoor furniture to choose from.

    Bobs Discount Furniture 

    If you are looking for outdoor furniture which will come at an irresistible bargain to you, head over to Bob’s discount furniture. The store has more than eighty showrooms in fifteen states, and their selection is just classic. Even better is their online collection, whose variety is second to none. You will get quality masterpieces for your outdoors, but at a discounted price.

    Janus et Cie 

    This is a high-end patio furniture store which is located in New York City. The difference that you will notice about their furniture is the perfect manner in which it is upholstered and also the wonderful way that they choose the colors and patterns. The materials are selected bearing in mind that they will serve outdoors, which means that they have been made to resist adverse weather. There are 12 showrooms across the country, but you can shop online and have the products delivered to your doorstep.

    Curran

    This shop started in 1996, and for the two decades it has been in operation, it has turned into one of the best high-end furniture stores in the country. One of the things that are unique about their outdoor collection is that in addition to seats and tables, they sell umbrellas and fire pits, poufs accents and many other accessories. If you want to transform your outdoor into a Hollywood glamour zone, this is the store to shop at.

    Cost Plus 

    This is the perfect place to head to if you are looking for practical pieces of outdoor furniture, but at a discount. Cost Plus has chairs, tables and accessories that are both durable, modern and stylish. They will deliver the pieces which you shop right to your doorstep.

    Serena and Lily 

    The great thing about this outdoor furniture store is the balance that it strikes between cost and elegance in their masterpieces. The shop offers a wide range of furniture from classic, contemporary to modern pieces.

    These are the six places where you are assured of complete success when shopping for furniture online. You are totally allowed to pick different pieces from the different shops and put them together in your house.

  • 5 things you need to know when buying a grill

    Few things beat the absolute beauty which comes with a summer backyard barbecue. For this to go smoothly, you will need great organizational skills, but more importantly, a good quality grill. The process of getting a barbecue is not as easy as going to the store and picking what catches your fancy. Here are five things that you need to understand before you buy one.

    Selecting the fuel type

    The first consideration that you have to make when choosing a barbecue is the fuel type. The two options here are propane and natural gas. Most of the barbecues which are on sale have a configuration to run on either of the fuel types. However, it is impossible to run a propane configured barbecue on natural gas and the other way around. An additional tool that you can use to ease the conversion between propane and natural gas is a gas conversion kit. If you would like to use both fuel types, invest in the kit.

    The price of the unit

    This is the factor that most of the people think about when they are doing their summer barbecue shopping. Barbecues come in a range of prices, from the cheapest at $150 dollars to some that cost as much as $10,000. Each of the units will have their own unique set of features and additions. The best way to pick a barbecue is come up with a budget and then compare the models that fall within your range; this move will allow you to pick what works best for you.

    Some good bets are the Weber Spirit || E-310 from Amazon from $499.99 or the Weber Genesis II E-310 Gas Grill from Walmart for $70

    The material used to make the body

    Some of the common materials used to make barbecues include cast aluminum, sheet metal, and stainless steel. Most people prefer stainless steel because of its appearance, however, not all stainless steel will give you that finish that you are looking for. It is important to ensure that what is being sold to you is genuine. There are people who make the mistake of believing the seller and ending up with less than perfect barbecues. Just understand that even if they said it is stainless steel, there is a possibility that it is something else.

    The features which come with the Grill

    There are certain additional features that you have listed in your mind as a must have. There are also others that you will not mind not having. Decide whether you want additions such as a side burner, multiple level grilling surfaces, rotisserie burners, lights and all other additions. Only go for the features that are a must have because they all come at a cost.

    Other considerations which you need to make when you are choosing a barbecue include the heat and durability of the unit. You need a grill which is well-insulated against heat loss for efficiency, and you also need to ask for a warranty. The warranty is what helps you decide whether the seller is confident about the durability of what they are selling, and the more confident they are, the more you will also be.

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