Discount Web Sites For Music, Movies, Books And More

Do you want to find some priced just right discount web sites? Are you a savvy shopper? Keep a close eye on your budget? Are you an entertainment lover, wine connoisseur, or candy fanatic? We all love to treat ourselves once in awhile. But books, DVDs and CD’s can be pricey. Wine can sometimes be out of sight and the packaging of candy seems to be getting smaller and smaller. The following web sites will help you indulge in your passions and save some cash. Here are some great discount web sites when you want to treat yourself to music, movies, books and more.

If you love music, try:

SecondSpin.com: I love Second Spin and have ordered from them various times. They offer used CD’s, DVD’s and Vinyl and prices are very good. They often run promotions and specials. Shipping is a standard $3.99 on all orders in the U.S. They also have a great variety. Order something that is defective? No worries, they will send you a return label for an exchange. This must be done within 30 days of ordering. Looking to make some money? They will buy your used CD’s and DVD’s. They will even reimburse you for the shipping.

Deep Discount.com: Deep discounts offers new movies/tv shows, cds, vinyl, fitness accessories, Blu-ray and DVD’s, electronics, video games, etc. Everything on the site is brand new.

More Discount Sites…

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If you love Books, try:

Book Outlet. I came across Book Outlet last year when I was Christmas shopping. They have a good selection of discounted books. Sometimes you will find what you’re looking for and sometimes you won’t. They do have really good prices. I got my Mom a cookbook by chef Lydia Bastianich for $13.00, normally $30. I also ordered other books for friends last year. Another perk is every time you order a book you get a $5 coupon for your next order. (Limit 1 coupon per order regardless of quantity.)

Thriftbooks. Thriftbooks is a new and used book store online. Each book must pass a quality control test before being offered for sale. Orders over $10 have free shipping. They are environmentally conscious in that they ship books in 100% recycled packaging. Also, if there is no demand for a book they either donate it to charity or recycle it, keeping more waste out of our land fills. They have reasonable prices and a very good selection.

Priced just right discount web sites.

Even more discount web sites.

If you love wine, try:

WineExpress.com. Wine Express has a lot of wines to choose from. You can purchase by the bottle or by the case. You can shop by type, country, expert rating, price, on sale, etc.

Tastingroom.com. Tastingroom.com sells sample size 50ml bottles. These are about the size of a pour at a wine tasting. Not only is this a great site for wine connoisseurs but also for those just learning about wines. This is because consumers can buy mixed sampler packs at extremely reasonable prices.

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If you love candy, try:

 Discount candy

Thewholesalecandyshop.com This web site is a candy lovers dream. You can buy all kinds of candy in bulk which is good for larger families. (Think treats for potty training? Or a special treat in a lunchbox?) You can also buy single candy bars as well. They also sell cough drops in bulk which would be good for large families in the winter time. This would also be a great web site to look at around Halloween time. They have lots of variety and good prices.

These are some great discount websites. So the next time you want to go on a mini shopping spree, have had a bad day, or just want something new, surf on over to these sites. You may find what you really want at a steal of a deal. Think of it as discount web sites at their finest.

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Photo courtesy of  JeffersonLiu via Pixabay.com

Photo courtesy of Pexels via Pixabay.com

 

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But Why Do A Budget?

Why do a budget? It’s that time of the month again. You sit down to pay the bills and once again, you are having a mini coronary because there is too much month left at the end of your ‘shoestring’ budget. I hear it all the time. “I don’t have grocery money.” “I’m behind on my light bill.” “I’m so stressed out.” It’s not that you don’t have enough money, it’s that you have a hard time managing it. And that’s okay. There is nothing wrong with you if you struggle in this area. It wasn’t until I picked up the book The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey eight years ago that I learned how important a budget is.

I know what you’re thinking. Why do a budget? They are no fun and too hard to stick to. The number one reason I can give you to why you need a budget is that you will know exactly where each dollar is going and your stress level will go down. Maybe not at first, it takes tweaking and adjusting over about a 90 day period. But once you’ve got it down, you’re gold.

Why do a budget?

Why do a budget?

Here are some of the biggest perks of doing a budget every month:

*Knowing exactly what your monthly expenses are. Sitting down and listing your expenses on a piece of paper let’s you see where all your money is going. It is quite an eye opener. (You know, like that $180 cell phone bill you pay every month.)

*It helps you figure out what can be eliminated. When we got serious about getting out of debt, we didn’t have cable for about two years. We also got out of our pricey T-Mobile contract and started paying about $100 for both of our cell phone plans with Straightalk. ($80 savings right there-Boom!)

* Seeing exactly what’s coming in and going out is a stress reliever. When you can look and see exactly what needs to get paid during a certain week, it’s liberating. When you’re not struggling to remember due dates, it’s a huge relief. Not only that, you will feel like you’re giving yourself a raise. There have been times I have found an extra $50 hiding in there because we removed something (cable, high phone bill, take out) from the picture.

I have been doing a budget now for eight years. Every month, pencil and paper. (Yes, I’m old fashioned that way, I’m a writer after all.) But you can also use the software of your choice, whatever is easiest for you. I’ve learned over the years that money management is 80% behavior and 20% head knowledge. Our budget has worked wonders over the years. Try it and see if it makes a difference. Who knows, you may go from ‘but why do a budget?’ to ‘how did I ever manage without?’

 

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Grinding Down Your Grocery Bill Savings

Do you want to grind down your grocery bill savings? Everybody wants to save money on their groceries. Feeding our families is one of the most expensive feats we have to do and if we’re not careful, it can get out of control. Grocery bills can climb to astronomical heights by not paying attention to what you put in your cart or how much it costs. Here are a few tips to make your next trip to the grocery store easier and cut down your costs too. This is called grinding down your grocery bill.

Grocery Bill Savings

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Make A List-I know this sounds obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many people I see just throwing things in their cart without a care. Making a list helps itemize and organize your ingredients and keeps you from making impulse purchases.

Plan Your Meals Around What’s On Sale-Look at your circulars and take note of any meats, veggies or dairy that’s on sale. Then build your menu around it.

Look for discounted meats-Meat can make a huge dent in a grocery budget. Look for meats that are discounted, there is nothing wrong with them. Just because the expiration date is a few days after you buy it or the day of, does not mean it is spoiled. Take it home and put it in the freezer. On one of those weeks where money is tight, you will be thankful to have a full freezer.

Look for discounted bakery items-Every store has a display of discounted bakery items. This display can be a gold mine when you are looking for rolls for your sandwiches or a cheap treat. But only buy what you need, as these breads tend to spoil faster than the ones in the traditional bread aisle.

Eat one to two meatless meals a week-Not only is this healthier for you, it will shave some dollars off your budget. So bring on the mac n’ cheese, salads and vegetable quiche. Your wallet will thank you.

Eat your leftovers-Leftovers are great for lunches. It’s healthier and will save you a ton of money compared to buying take out or eating from the vending machine. Once a week, have a leftover night to make sure things get eaten up.

Use what you have-Don’t feel like going to the grocery store? Having a week where money is extremely tight? Challenge yourself and use what you have in your fridge, freezer and pantry. A bag of salad and chicken breasts can become lemon pepper chef salad, for example. Get creative.

Eat Before You Shop-This is crucial. If you go to the grocery store hungry, you are bound to come home with more than what’s on your list, mostly impulse buys. It’s happened to me. So by all means, eat before you shop. This alone will add up to grocery bill savings.

And one last tip for those of you who really struggle with the whole grocery thing; recipes, lists, ingredients and all. It’s okay, you’re not alone in your struggle. I love food and planning a menu but even I get stuck sometimes. Although I haven’t tried this yet, I have thought about it.

Try eMeals– Basically, you pick a meal plan based on your family size and eating style. Each week your meal plan arrives with seven days of meals including entrees and sides. You also receive a detailed grocery list organized by section. If you choose a specific grocery store your meal plan will be coordinated with weekly sale items. As of this writing, plans range from $30 (3 mnths), $48 (6 mnths) and $58(12mnths) for two people. Prices are the same for a family menu which feeds 3-6 people.

In conclusion, there are many ways to save on your groceries. Get creative and have fun with it. Your wallet will thank you and who knows, the money you save could be used for a special night out once in awhile too. Now that is what grocery bill savings is all about.

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Sweet Sips And Treats For A Steal This Summer

Do you need a sweet sip or treat for a steal? Have you had a rough day? Or maybe it’s your lucky day and the food or beverage you are craving is being honored on it’s National Day. Like you, I love food. But more importantly, I like to save money. The following tips are how you can get your sweet sips and treats for a steal this summer.

National Food Days (Treats For A Steal)

Fried Chicken Day (July 6)-KFC and other national chains as well as local restaurants usually commemorate the holiday with deals.

IHOP- On July 12, IHOP will be celebrating their 58th anniversary. In honor of this, they will be offering 0.58 short stacks of pancakes from 7am-7pm.

National Ice Cream Day(July 17, 2016)-This year National Ice Cream Day falls on the third Sunday in July. Keep an eye out on Facebook and ‘like’ the official pages of Baskin-Robbins, Cold Stone Creamery, Carvel, etc to see what’s being offered. Also, don’t forget to contact your local ice cream shops as well.

National Hot Dog Day (July23)-In the past, 7-Eleven and Quiktrip have offered free or discount hot dogs. Contact your local convenience store for details.

National Waffle Day (Aug 24)-Restaurants such as Bob Evans, Denny’s and Waffle House typically offer coupons, BOGO meals or a free waffle.

Sweet Sips And Treats For A Steal.

Sweet Sips For A Steal.

Dunkin Donuts-Love iced coffee/tea? Dunkin Donuts runs a .99, any size iced coffee or tea from 2pm-6pm on a fairly regular basis. I do know it is a limited time offer. Iced coffee is my downfall. 🙂

National Root Beer Float Day (Aug 6)-In the past, A&W has offered a free float to each customer.

Now those are my kind of sweet sips and treats for a steal this summer.

 

Other Sweet Sips And Treats.

Here are a few other ways I have found to get treats at a discount.

Join the DQ Fan Club– Want more ice cream? Go to Dairy Queen online and sign up for their Fan Club. You will get six coupons a year for a BOGO medium size blizzard.

Blue Bunny iscream Team-Looking to save some money on the treats you bring home? Join the Blue Bunny iscream team to receive coupons, enter contests and sweepstakes and learn about new products.

Here’s to a happy, healthy summer of sweet sips and treats once in awhile this summer. You deserve it.

Photo courtesy of irfinsyah via  Pixabay.com

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How To Kick Murphy’s Law Out Of Your Life And Your Finances

Everybody knows Murphy’s Law, “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” It never fails, does it? You make plans, have to be at an appointment, waiting to take off on your flight and something goes wrong. Your friend is sick, there’s a traffic jam, or you have a three-hour delay for some reason. For me, I’ve seen Murphy’s law rear it’s ugly head the most when I didn’t have my finances in order. Don’t laugh, it’s true. I can’t tell you how many times I have had a super expensive car repair or a trip to the vet that turned out to be astronomical. How did I pay for all these? On the credit card. This vicious cycle went on until the spring of 2013. That’s when we attended Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University and everything changed. My husband and I started working Dave’s Baby Steps and by the time we were done with step three, Murphy didn’t come around as much anymore. Murphy’s law started slowly walking away.

Murphy’s Law: Proofing Your Life

We learned that there are steps you can take to ‘Murphy proof’ your life as Dave would say. Granted it won’t take your problems away, but it will help keep those ‘emergencies’ at bay. You see, Murphy loves to knock on your door when you are unprepared. However, once you get things in order, he knocks less and less. Here are some steps you should be taking to send Murphy to someone else’s door.

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$1,000 Emergency Fund

Dave says, “The first step you need to take is save $1,000 for a ‘baby’ emergency fund.” There are lots of things you can do to hurry up the process of getting this in place. Take an extra job delivering pizzas, save all your change, sell a lot of things on eBay, sell the motorcycle that has been in the garage for twenty years. This is the foundation. This is your safety net for the roof leaking, the alternator on the car going out, or the washer and dryer breaking down. Also, keep it in a safe place that is easy to get to. One of the best methods I have heard of is in a picture frame with a note that says, “In case of emergency, break glass.” That would put a kink in Murphy’s Law. Continue reading

Borrowing Money: Becoming A Slave To The Lender

Proverbs 22:7 says, “Just as the rich rule over the poor, the borrower is slave to the lender.”

I used to have credit cards and car payments. I’ve made poor decisions like charging a little Christmas here and there. I even put groceries on it once. It’s something we as a society don’t really think about. Every time we add more debt to our lives, we become shackled in chains that grow heavier and heavier. We become slaves to our lenders. Yet, we sign up for it like it’s a way of life.

Little Pieces Of Plastic.
Credit Cards-We rack up tons and tons of debt on these little pieces of plastic. This in turn causes stress over the pending minimum payment. Not to mention all the interest and fees. Yet, people allow the cycle to repeat every month. Therefore, they are on the hamster wheel running and running, and wondering if, and when, they will ever get off. The borrower is in bondage to the lender.
Slave To The Lender.
Slave To The Lender

Lend Me Some Wheels.
Car Loans-I understand that everyone needs a vehicle and that for most people, car payments are a way of life. What I don’t understand, is why people have to buy way more car than they can afford and put that much pressure on themselves. What happens if someone loses a job or has to change jobs and has to take a lower wage? Those payments still have to be made every month. The borrower is slave to the lender.

Two Parties,One Slave,One Lender.
Relationships-This is probably the most heartbreaking of all. We are conditioned to think that we are helping friends and family by loaning them money. The truth is, it only ruins and taints relationships. This happened recently to a very good friend of mine. He went into business with his best friend and agreed to not only loan his friend money, but also buy merchandise for the store on his personal credit card. The store went bust, his friend can’t pay him back, nor does he have any interest in doing so. In the end, my friend had to file bankruptcy because of it. A business and a 30 year friendship completely destroyed.

As a society, we need to think more about how our decisions affect us. Do we really want to open that credit card? Do we really need to upgrade to the newest thing? Can we really afford that much car? How will lending this person money affect both sides of our relationship? In the end, it is our choice weather or not to become a slave to the lender. I have been on both sides of the coin and trust me, freedom is better.

Photo Credit courtesy of AKuptsova via Pixabay.com

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Saying Goodbye To Work (And Surviving Pt. 1)

You have been dreaming of saying goodbye to work in the rear view mirror and looking out the windshield to your dreams ahead of you. You have dreamed of opening your own business, pursuing your writing career or whatever your passion is forever. It’s time to fly. Or is it? What’s your game plan? Do you know how your finances are going to flow? Have you talked to your significant other about this? These are the things you have to think about before you jump off the cliff. Not fun, I know, but if you want to leave with your sanity in tact and not thinking ‘what did I do?’, these are the things you need to think about. How do I know? Because I did it. A little over two weeks ago I took a running jump off the cliff and jumped into my passion of writing full time. Here is how I decided to leave work behind and had the confidence that I would survive. You can too.

Saying Goodbye To Work.

Saying Goodbye To Work

Finances
I am the money manager in our family so I sat down with our budget and worked the numbers. I figured out that my husband’s pay will cover half our bills and we may have to take out of savings for a little while. I know what we can cut out if need be to cut down costs. But more importantly, I have a deadline for when I want this business to be up and running and making at least my salary from my old job. If I’m not there by my deadline, I will find a part time job.

Your significant Other And Your Family And Friends
When you tell family and friends what you’re going to do you will be met with all kinds of responses. Some will be happy and excited for you. Others won’t be able to comprehend why you would want to go from a stable job to something unpredictable. I’m blessed in that my husband was 100% supportive of what I wanted to do. He knew I was miserable at my job and that I would be much happier. We sat down together and talked over the financial aspects of things. We discussed my time frame. He knew that if things didn’t take off by a certain time that I would go looking for other employment. In the end, even though we were both a little nervous, we knew we had a great plan in place. I was confident in saying goodbye to work.

Telling My Boss
I got a little creative in putting in my two weeks notice. I decided to type it up on pink paper, hence giving them the ‘pink slip’. I was lucky in that although they hated to lose me, they were excited for me and happy to see me go after what I really want. They had watched my journey since last year and watched my writing grow and evolve. It was time for me to be saying goodbye to work.

My First Two Weeks
My first two weeks have been good. I have been able to discipline myself and have a schedule down. My pitching has been going okay, but I strive to do better. I’m still trying to find a balance between writing and pitching. However, just like anything, it will take time to work things out. I have no worries, I can do this. I have no regrets about leaving work behind.

Photo courtesy of geralt via Pixabay.com

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Who Is Behind Freelance By Lowrance?

Hello, my name is Carrie Lowrance and I am the writer behind FreelanceByLowrance. I started building my freelance writing business as a side hustle in January. In building my portfolio I was lucky to be featured on Huffington Post, She Is Fierce, The Freelance Dance and Indebted Mom. I recently took my side hustle full time. I offer articles, blog posts and email copy writing services. My niche is personal finance. I recently finished some professional development training with Steve Slaunwhite on email copy writing which was amazing. I am also an author. Since I was nine years old I have dreamed of writing and publishing books. Last year I made that dream come true by publishing my first book of poetry, Lithium Dreams And Melancholy Sunrise. I followed it up with my second poetry book, The Safety Of Objects. Prior to taking my business full time I worked in a day care. This was a great experience and so much fun. The children in the school age room where I worked gave me the courage to publish my first children’s book, Don’t Eat Your Boogers (You’ll Turn Green). When I am not writing, I enjoy spending time with my husband, hanging out with friends, cooking and baking.