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Save Money Shopping For Clothing At Thrift Stores

(category: Bargain-Hunting, Word count: 684)
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On average, most people clear out their closets at least twice per year. All of the clothing they no longer wear it taken to charity locations and thrift stores. Many people donate clothing items that they only wore a couple of times or that still have the tags on them. The most common thrift stores to find such clothing are the Salvation Army and the Goodwill. Both of them inspect clothing for stains and tears so you can be sure you will find good quality clothing for men, women, and children at very low prices.

Many people think these thrift stores only carry outdated clothing but that is simply not the case. Children often outgrow clothing before it has been worn out or the style has faded. There are also plenty of clothing articles that never go out of style including t-shirts and denim jeans. While you may not find the same styles offered at the trendy retailers in the area you will find plenty of quality clothing for less than you will pay for it anywhere else. I have walked out of such thrift stores with bags of clothes that cost me less than purchasing one outfit at a retail store.

Jackets are very expensive but not if you purchase them from a thrift store. There are plenty of winter jackets, pullovers, and windbreakers to choose from. To make finding things in the right size easier most thrift stores separate clothing by the type that it is and by sizes. However, you will need to spend your time looking through what is available. The downside is that if you do find something you really like and it doesn't fit you won't have very good luck finding it in another size as you do in a department store.

Depending on the location of the thrift store, they may carry various household items as well. Some of the larger facilities offer used furniture, appliances, and books. I found a couple of nice wood end tables at a thrift store once that I like so much I have never replaced them with anything else even though I can now afford to do so.

Too many thrift stores have gotten a bad reputation for being viewed as a place to shop for individuals who don't have very much money. If your pride keeps you from visiting thrift shops then you will be throwing your money away. If you have never been into a thrift store you really should take the time to do so. You will be pleasantly surprised at what you find there.

Another good alternative is shopping at consignment stores. These are places where individuals take their unwanted clothing and furniture to be sold. The store splits the profits made from anything that sells with the person who brought it in. Most consignment items can only be on display for a limited amount of time. Towards the end of that time frame the items are generally sold at a discounted price before they are taken off the list of items to be sold.

You will pay more for items at a consignment store than you will at a thrift store but you will also be able to find some wonderful bargains that still save you money over buying them retail. The reason you will pay more is because the person selling the items and the store want to make as much profit as possible. You generally won't be able to negotiate the prices though.

One good example of saving money at either thrift stores or consignment stores is for party dresses, wedding dresses, and prom dresses. It is likely that they will only be worn once so it is silly to spend hundreds of dollars on such a gown. You will likely be able to find a good selection of such dresses that are still in style. Even if you have to pay to have the dress altered a bit you can still have the beautiful dress you want without the expense.

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Can Discount Stores Really Offer You A Bargain

(category: Bargain-Hunting, Word count: 670)
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It seems like dollar stores and other various discount stores are becoming a common retailer in most areas. Can these discount stores really offer you a bargain or do they just sell poor quality items? In my opinion, there are plenty of gear bargains to be found in dollar stores and discount stores if you look for the right items.

I give lots of cards to people, but they can cost $3 each at most retailers. I can find some great cards at discount stores for about $.50 each. They are still funny or pretty or sentimental in nature and I never feel like I had to settle for less than what I wanted to say.

Disposable items for a party are a great deal at discount stores. The cost of napkins, paper plates, cups, silverware, invitations, and tablecloths can really add up fast. Wrapping paper and gift bags are another area of party items that can be found for a good price at discount stores.

I wouldn't recommend going into discount stores and buying gifts for your family members or friends, but there are some good items in there. I personally enjoy buying picture frames from discount stores because they look just as nice. However, I would feel bad giving picture frames from these stores as gifts. For example I bought a very nice set of three frames from a discount store recently. They look like glass and make a beautiful display on my dresser. Yet when you pick them up you can quickly tell they are made from lightweight plastic.

Most discount stores have plenty of toys for children, but remember that children are very hard on toys. They will be very disappointed when the head pops off the doll or the tires fall of the car. I wouldn't recommend buying such toys from a discount store as the quality just isn't there.

Yet there are plenty of fun children's toys you can get from a discount store including cards, marbles, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and coloring books. These all make great items for stocking stuffers or even for traveling to make the trip go by faster. I like to bring bubbles for when we stop at a rest area as an incentive to get them to treat each other with respect while we are on the road. Simple, but it works well every time!

There are also plenty of items at discount stores that you can use to decorate your home. I refuse to pay $35 for a shower curtain! It just isn't going to happen. I always get them at the dollar store for just a couple of dollars. They last a very long time and they were well. I have not problem at all when the time comes to replace it. I have also found neat soap dishes and wall hangings for my bathroom at discount stores.

Office supplies are something most of us use on a regular basis. You can get them for a very good price at discount stores. Notebooks, paper, pens, glue, rulers, scissors, calculators, and envelopes can all be found for a really good price. I have never had any problems with the quality of such items. They are very comparable to those I buy at other retail stores for much more money.

I think when it comes to finding bargains at discount stores there are some to be found. It is important that you don't have too high of expectations when it comes to the quality of the items. Yet in most of the cases relating the different items I have described above, the quality doesn't have to be exceptional. They will work to serve the purpose without costing you a fortune. This makes party planning much more fun when you know you have the budget to cover it all. If you don't shop at discount stores you are really missing out on some great bargains!

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Finding A Bargain On A New Vehicle

(category: Bargain-Hunting, Word count: 678)
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We have all heard that depressing statement that a new vehicle depreciates in value the second you pull away from the dealership. I used to think that was an exaggeration until my friend got into a wreck in her Dodge Durango a week after she purchased it. The insurance wouldn't give her enough to cover buying a new one even though she was not at fault in the accident. She had to get an attorney and eventually she was able to get a new vehicle to replace it, but not without quite a circus taking place around the issue for a couple of months.

Buying a new vehicle is one expense that you have to consider very carefully. Those monthly payments can sure take a chunk out of your disposable income. You also have to consider the cost of license plates, insurance, gas, and regular maintenance on the vehicle. To help you find the very best bargains on the new vehicle of your choice you will want to conduct some research before you start negotiations with the salesman.

There are a variety of ways to find out the book value on a particular vehicle. You can go to www.NADA.com or www.KellyBlueBook.com. You can get a very detailed price by listing the make of the vehicle, the various accessories it offers, and the mileage. This information will help you find the lowest price you can expect to purchase that vehicle for.

Next, take a close look at your credit report so you know exactly what interest rate you can expect on a new vehicle. This way you don't waste your time haggling with the sales. See what they offer you for a price and financing before you bring your information into play. If they match or beat it then great. If they want to give you higher price or interest rate, present your researched information. If they won't sell you the vehicle for that price with that interest rate then go somewhere else.

October is a very good time of year to start considering the purchase of a new vehicle. This is because they want to start clearing out vehicles on the lot to make room for the next year's models that will soon be arriving. Since many vehicle dealerships don't see much in the way of sales over winter due to the cold and the holiday season, they are more likely to present you with the deal of the century to make the sell.

If you see other sales around the holidays they may be a good time to save money as well. The key to making sure it is a bargain is to make sure the cost hasn't been inflated or your interest rated jacked up a percent or two to cover the promotional cost of the vehicle. Too many people get caught up in what they see on the windshield of a vehicle rather than looking at the big picture.

New vehicles often end up with a scratch or a dent in them soon after you buy them. While this can be very upsetting you really can't do much about it. Someone leaving their shopping cart in the parking lot of the store can result in the wind running it into your vehicle. You can find great deals of new vehicles that have some body damage such as small scratches and even hail damage from a recent storm. In most cases you will save several times what it costs you to repair the damage.

To motivate customers to make a purchase of a new vehicle instead of just looking many dealerships offer incentives like 0% financing and cash back. Make sure you find out all the details of such promotions as they may be a good way to save money or they may cost you more in the long run. Take the time to calculate all the possible scenarios so that you get the bargain you were after with your new vehicle purchase.

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Save Money On Text Books

(category: Bargain-Hunting, Word count: 557)
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One of the most expensive areas of attending college seems to be the cost of the text books these days. Since most colleges only use a particular book for a year or two it is very hard to purchase them in advance. Yet there are some good ways you can catch a break when it comes to paying for the text books you need. Almost all colleges have bulletin boards so you can place an ad for the various books you need. Hopefully individuals who have just finished the course will gladly part with the book for much less than they paid for it.

If you have text books from courses you have finished you may be able to trade what you need for what someone else needs. If you are in a particular type of program such as business or education you will likely find other students who need to take the same classes as you. Setting up a text book swap is a great way to maximize the amount of money that you do spend on text books.

It can be very frustrating to get the newest edition of a particular text book and then find out it hasn't changed very much at all from the previous edition. Take to your instructor as they will likely have gone through the new edition and make comparisons to the old one. Most instructors are fine with you using an older edition of the same book. You can save a substantial amount of money if you are able to do so.

Another frustration can be to find out after your purchase such a text book that you won't need it very much as the instructor mainly teaches from notes. If this is the case consider purchasing a book with a classmate and splitting the cost. This won't work well if you will have a great deal of text book reading or assignments to complete though.

Check to see if the college library offers copies of text books rather than purchasing them. Most libraries that offer this option don't allow the text books to be checked out but you can use them in the library as you need to. If you choose this option make sure you start on assignments as quickly as possible so that you don't have to stress about someone else already using the book.

Some book stores offer to place used text books on consignment for students. These are often placed in the bookstore with the new books on the shelves. While they may have some wear and tear as well as highlighting they will serve the purpose of a one semester course. These consigned books generally sell fast so make sure you go to the bookstore at the very end of the semester. As students complete their finals they will take their books into the bookstore.

On the back of each textbook is an ISBN number. It is generally found above or underneath the bar code on the book. You can use this number to search for the text book on the internet. There are several places where you can purchase new and used textbooks at a price that is much less than what you will pay for it at the college campus bookstore.

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Give Great Gifts Without Paying A Fortune For Them

(category: Bargain-Hunting, Word count: 559)
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Sometimes it seems that you are always trying to budget for different occasions where you need to provide a gift. There are always plenty of housewarmings to attend, weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays to keep you digging into your pocketbook. Since you know you will always need gifts, it can save you plenty of time and money if you purchase such gifts in advance while they are on sale. This is the perfect way to find bargains for gifts so that the recipient thinks you spent more than you did.

To make this concept work well for you, organization is very important! I know people who buy plenty of bargains to give as gifts, but the problem is they can never remember what they have or where it is when they need something. If you create a list and keep it in a safe place you will always know what gifts you have available. I keep them in an air tight Tupperware storage container (that I got on sale!).

If you have children then you know there are always plenty of birthday invitations coming your way throughout the year. When the toy store or another retailer has a sale on toys purchase some common ones. Girls generally like dolls and Barbie's. Boys will always enjoy cars and action figures. Board games, puzzles, and books make great gift items for both boys and girls.

Try to avoid anything that is trendy because you don't know how long that fad is going to be in existence. If you give a gift that used to be trendy but isn't popular anymore it will be very obvious that you didn't shop for the gift recently. Some children's characters are always in style though like the Disney Characters and Looney Tunes so you should be save purchasing toys with these themes.

For adults, there are a variety of great items you can find at bargain prices to give them for most any occasion. Flower vases, picture frames, photo albums, and candles all make great gifts for even the most difficult people on your shopping list. These items are timeless as well so it doesn't matter how long they stay in your gift chest before you give them to someone.

You can even incorporate this concept to purchase birthday and Christmas presents for your spouse and your children. This way you will spend less around the holidays, and you won't be burdened with shopping while everyone else it that time of year. It can help to keep a list of the items that catch the eyes of those in your family so you can make sure you get the right item when you see it on sale.

Being able to offer someone you care about a very special gift is important, but it can also be stressful when you are pressed for time and money is tight. By purchasing bargain items as you come across then you will always have plenty of great gifts to share without breaking the bank. This will allow you to give people better gifts than if you have to shop for them right before the occasion. Sure, you may get lucky and find a good sale at that point it you can't be sure it will happen.

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Getting The Home You Want At A Price You Can Afford

(category: Bargain-Hunting, Word count: 672)
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Getting the Home you want at a Price you can Afford

The topic of real estate can be very tricky as the market continually shifts. Sometimes it is a buyer's market out there with plenty of homes to choose from. Other times the seller's have the upper hand as more people are looking for quality homes than there are available in the area. Getting the home you want at a price you can afford is going to take some effort on your part. However, since purchasing a home is likely to be the biggest investment you ever make it is well worth it to do your homework before you sign anything.

One of the best ways to do this is to find a home that is worth less than you can afford and then do some repairs and remodeling. If you have the time and the ability to do this on your own you will save a fortune. It can be very expensive to hire a contractor so think about this option only if you are up to the task of completing the majority of the work on your own.

You will be surprised to find out how much money you can save on a home with an unfinished basement area. Yet this gives you the opportunity to design it exactly how you want it to look. It will also double the amount of space you have to use when you first bought the home. This is one of the best ways to maximize your investment in any home. You can add extra bedrooms, a family room, and even a home office in that space.

Homes all over the country are being foreclosed on for non payment daily. These homes are generally put up for auction by the bank that the funds are owed to. You can get a bargain price on the home of your dreams through this process. You will have to be prequalified for a mortgage loan or a line of credit prior to the auction though as you will have to have funds to put down a sizeable amount of the purchase price that day.

If you know the area you live in well, then you will likely know why individuals are moving out of their home. If they are relocating for work or need to sell their home because they are trying to purchase a larger one chances are they will reduce the price to meet your offer just to get out from underneath the home as quickly as possible. This is also true where the couple who owns the home is getting a divorce.

Many people looking for a home go through the process of being prequalified. This allows you to find out exactly what the maximum amount is that you can be approved for when it comes to a home mortgage loan. You shouldn't disclose that figure to the seller of the home but when you make an offer on the home you do want to include a copy of the prequalification certificate.

The reason for this is that they are more likely to accept a lower offer than the asking price from someone who definitely has the ability to get the financing. This is a signal to them that you really are ready to purchase their home if they price is right for them. They also don't have to continue looking at offers and then later find out the person couldn't get the loan to complete the process.

Buying a home isn't an investment you want to take lightly. Most mortgages cover a 30 year period so the purchase will affect your budget for a very large part of your life. Getting the home you want at a price you can afford takes planning, research, and time. Yet this investment is well worth it to be living in the home of your dreams at a bargain of a price.

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Save Money When You Purchase Items Online

(category: Bargain-Hunting, Word count: 680)
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These days the concept of online shopping is something most of us with computers are used to. Not only does it offer you the convenience of shopping from the comfort of your home, you can do it at any hour of the day. If you take the time to compare the prices of what you find in the retail stores or catalogs to what you find online, you can generally find the product for less including shipping.

The downside to this is that you don't get the instant gratification of taking the item with you the moment you purchase it. Yet for the amount of money you can save when you shop online it is worth waiting for a few days until it arrives at your doorstep. You will also save money in another way if you take the time to read the various reviews about the products you want to purchase. These reviews are written from actual consumers who have used the product. It is definitely worth checking into the quality of a product from the consumer's point of view rather than just focusing on the advertising you see for that product.

If you have a fast internet connection, it really doesn't take too long to visit various sites that sell the item you are interested in. It is a good idea to keep paper and pens close to your computer. You can easily compose a chart listing the name of the site, the cost of the product, the cost of shipping, warranty/return information, and the length of time it will take for you to receive the item. This way you can quickly look back over the information you have and make a selection that will save you the most money.

There are even some websites that allow you to compare the same item by several different retailers, so most of the footwork is taken care of for you. Look for sales and promotions that may be sent to you by e-mail for a particular product or website. If you frequently make purchases from the same websites it is worth it to sign up for their newsletters and promotions.

You want to make sure any online site you are considering making a purchase from is secure. This will help prevent your information from being accessed by hackers or other individuals. With the issue of identity theft being on the rise it is good to take every precaution. It is very simple to find out if a site is secure or not. The address that shows up in your browser for any given webpage will start with http. If there is an "s" after that then the site is secure. If the "s" is missing then you do not want to make your purchase from that site. It is just too risky.

When you get to the checkout portion of the website pay close attention for any boxes that offer you the chance to enter a promotion code. Having this code could help you get a discount on your purchase and save you even more money. Many websites have a promotion code that offers free shipping. You can get the promotion code from exploring the internet or you can contact the site by phone or e-mail. Tell them you are willing to make a purchase if they will share the promotion information with you. Trust me, they aren't going tell you no!

You are likely to find thousands of sites online that offer the item you want, so take the time to find the right product offered by a reputable website that is secure. Since there is so much competition out there you will find buyers have the upper hand. You can likely find what you want for less than retailers offer it even with the cost of shipping it to you. This is because they have to compete with so many other sites and because they don't have the same overhead expenses as brick and mortar retailers.

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What Bargains Are To Be Found At An Auction

(category: Bargain-Hunting, Word count: 564)
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You will find auctions that offer a variety of items you may be interested in. There are auctions for home furnishings, vehicles, art, and even animals including livestock. Many people are intimidated by the process that takes place at an auction so they shy away from them.

Yet this is a perfect opportunity for you to get some great items for a very low price. The biggest factor is that there will be plenty of other people there bidding on items too. It isn't just you and one other person trying to negotiate the price.

The other downside of it is that your goal is to negotiate the price of anything lower so you get a great bargain. Meanwhile the auctioneer is continually raising the prices higher as long as he continues to have interested parties bidding on the item. Of course not everyone at an auction is going to be there to bid on the same items.

If possible, take a look at the items that will be offered at an auction ahead of time. Most of them offer flyers listing the best items they have to generate public interest in the auction. Try to show up at least one hour early so you can take an up close look at the various items that will be for sale. This way you can confidently bid on them when they reach the auction block.

It is important to remember that you are purchasing items at an auction as it is with no expressed or implied warranty. If you find an old desk you love and would like to refinish check it out before the auction starts. You don't want to win it and find out it is actually made out of particle board instead of real wood.

Don't let the fact that there are plenty of people around you discourage you from bidding on the items you really want. If you don't win them try not to stress out about it. There are generally plenty of auctions taking place in any given location so you may find the item somewhere else.

Of the flip side of that coin, don't feel pressured to keep bidding more for an item than you really want to because someone else is bidding on it and you don't want to be the loser in front of everyone else in attendance. Too many people worry about this situation at an auction, but it is nothing to take personally or become embarrassed by.

While you are taking a close look at the various items you may want to bid on, come up with a maximum price you are willing to pay and then stick to it. If the opening bid for the item is more than you were willing to pay for it then pass the item over entirely.

Even if you don't walk away with anything, going to an auction is a very fun even it itself. There are real estate auctions, estate auctions, and those that offer a variety of other items. It is fun to attend and observe how the entire process works. This way you know the proper procedures when you are ready to make a bid. It is also a great place to network and meet lots of very interesting people.

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Save Money When You Purchase Damaged Goods

(category: Bargain-Hunting, Word count: 479)
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No one wants to get any item they have purchased home and discover that it has been damaged in some way. In the event that it does happen the course of action to follow is to return it to the place of purchase for another product in excellent condition or for a refund of the cost they paid for it. However, the retailer has to try to make some money of these damaged goods so they will sell then at a cost that is much less than the actual cost of the item.

If you are handy with repairs, then this could be a great way for you to get a bargain price on the products you really want. Furniture is a very common type of product that can be damaged. Yet it is fairly easy to repair a torn cushion or cover up scratches on tables and desks. The more severe damage the item has then the more money you will save on the cost. It is a very good idea to take find out exactly what repairs are involved and the cost of the materials to complete the job. If you won't be able to complete the work on your own then you need to find out how much it will cost to take it to someone else.

The majority of retailers don't leave these returned items with scratches or dents in them out for everyone to see. It is definitely worth the time to ask the sales clerk if there are any damaged items of a particular product that you may be able to purchase at a lower price. I did this at Sears once with a TV and got exactly what I wanted for $600 less because there was a huge scratch on the top of it. I was able to fill it in with some Old English Polish and I placed a couple of picture frames on the top of it anyway.

Grocery stores often sell damaged goods at a lower cost as well. They only do this with products where the packaging has been damaged but nothing else. Canned goods that have been dropped and dented offer foods that are still good inside but that can on the shelf for regular price is going to get passed over time and time again. These items are generally found in one particular area of the store, often with other discounted items.

You may not realize it but many discount retail stores such as Ross and TJ Max offer designer clothing that have some defects in them that make them not suitable to be sold at high priced retail stores. In most cases you can't even see the damage to the clothing when you try them on. However, if you can get a designer jacket at

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