Wednesday, January 19, 2011

TODAY ONLY! $20 Gift Card for $10!

Hurry up on this offer, because it will go fast!

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Never used LivingSocial before? It's just like Groupon, a daily deals site where you can save usually 50% or more on gift cards, restaurants, spas, and all sorts of services. Try it, you won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Quick Tip: Rain Checks

Quick Tip: Rain Checks - Totally Worth It!

You've started looking for sales and deals at your local grocery stores. You've even planned ahead and brought your coupons to maximize your savings. However, you find an empty shelf! Not to fear, the Rain Check is your friend! Almost all stores offer Rain Checks when they are out of a product. But, before you ask for one, do a quick check of the following.

1. If the shelf is empty on the "end cap" (the end of an aisle where sale items are usually prominently displayed*), check the item's normal location in the store for additional stock.
Likewise, if the item's normal shelf is empty, check for end-caps.

2. Ask a stocker or store manager if they have additional stock in the storeroom.

3. If the store is truly out of the item you want, then ask for a rain check! If you must have that item right now and aren't just stocking up on it, then ask the store manager if he or she is willing to substitute a comparable item. Recently at Fred Meyer, they were out of the $1.79 carton of eggs. When I asked if they had more in the back, they told me to just get another brand, and tell the cashier to charge me the $1.79 price. I mentioned this to another manager at the front of the store near the checkout, and she not only agreed, she got the cashier's attention and let her know it would be O.K. to do. This saved the cashier a call, and me a wait in line, while she called to confirm. I wound up getting better eggs that what were on sale!

*A word to the wise: Just because items are prominently displayed on end-caps does not mean that they are the best deal!

Plastic Grocery Store Bags. You have them, now what to do with them?

Though some communities are considering and passing legislation to outlaw them, single use plastic grocery store bags are everywhere. Sadly, we often seem them stuck in trees, bushes, and littering the sides of our roadways. Like many people, even if you are using reusable bags, folks still have a bunch of the plastic ones at home. I personally use reusable bags, but on occasion, I forget them in the trunk of my car, or simply do not have enough to hold all my great grocery deals! So, plastic bags, what to do?

Plastic bags, Uses and Recycling

Some folks use the grocery store plastic bags to clean up after their dogs instead of buying the little plastic bags that are stored in the retractable dog leash. Others will take their store of plastic bags to the recycling can meant solely for these bags at their local grocery store. I don't know what they make out of those bags, but, I'm glad there is less going to a landfill. Another use I have for these bags is for tossing the wrapping and tray* that holds raw meat from the grocery store. *Some communities recycle these plastic trays. Where we used to live in Central Ohio did, here in NW Oregon, they do not. Of course, there's always the option of using them for temporary storage of wet swimsuits, towels, and sandy shoes / toys when coming home from the pool or the beach.

Plastic bags, where to keep them?

My family keeps a "bag of bags" hanging in the pantry / laundry room. This is where any of those plastic bags go after groceries are unloaded. However, I have another idea that I really like on where to store those bags. See, I also use the plastic bags to line the small trash cans that we have in each bathroom, bedroom, etc. I find it annoying to have to go grab a new bag from the pantry when I empty the trash in any of those rooms , so this is what I do. When we have finished a box of tissues, I stuff it full of those plastic bags, then store the reused box-full of bags under the bathroom sink. That way, the bags stay under control in a cute way, and it makes it really easy for me to tidy up in the various rooms. Restock as needed. Who doesn't want an easier job of cleaning up around the house? I even like to keep a tissue box full of plastic bags in the trunk of my car for those wet towels, sandy shoes, etc. that I mentioned above.

Don't forget...

If you do use reusable bags, remember to make sure you're getting your "reusable bag credit" at the grocery store, if you're store does this. It's usually five cents per bag. It's your money, keep it!