Our President argues that our economy is sound. Drive less, he said. John McCain’s no-less- clueless henchmen claim that the recession is all in our heads. Many of the current administration’s apologists say it’s a matter of pulling up our collective bootstraps. All we know for sure is: Money’s tight.
Come November, kicking the bastards to the curb and beyond sounds like a mighty fine idea to us. But what do we do till January when Things Could Change?
Well, here at CHEAPIOSITY, we economize. We bargain-hunt. We conserve our ever-dwindling funds. We shop smart.
Getting the best price is ever more important. The New York Times published an interesting article about getting better prices at the brick and mortar MegaStores like Best Buy, Circuit City, and others. Before you shop, check out this helpful link. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/23/business/23haggle.html?em&ex=1206417600&en=1f71cf57986b3fa8&ei=5087%0A. Also, if you don't like shopping in cyberspace take a look at www.krillion.com, a site that helps you find products locally and then compares prices for you.
More savvy shoppers opt for online bargain hunting, instantly saving themselves gas money, travel time, and the hassle of parking, while multiplying their price comparison possibilities. Here are some hints that will optimize your cyber-shopping excursions.
1. Do your research. Know exactly what you want before you buy. Check out the actual item in a store, then read available online reviews and customer feedback.
2. Once you know exactly what you want, use your favorite search engine (we like Google, but if you prefer Yahoo or MSN or whatever, we say go for it). Once you see what the price ranges are, check out one of the price checker websites, like http://www.nextag.com/, http://www.pricegrabber.com/, or http://www.dealtime.com/. When you find the item, insert your zipcode and find out exactly what it will cost you. A lower price can be offset by high shipping and handling or sales tax. You need to look at the bottom line before deciding where to buy.
3. After completing steps 1 and 2, are you ready to make the purchase? NO! Now it’s time to look for online coupon codes on websites like: http://www.bradsdeals.com/, http://www.hotdealsclub.com/ and http://www.retailmenot.com/. These sites not only give you coupon codes, but lots of bargains as well. For sites that only offer coupon codes, check out sites like: http://www.couponcabin.com/ and http://www.couponalbum.com/.
4. Okay, so you’ve done steps 1,2, and 3….Are you ready to buy? Can you just buy the item already and move on with your life? Yes and no. If you purchase a lot online, you may want to join http://www.ebates.com/. They have about 900 stores in their program. They get a finder’s fee for referring you and then then pass a percentage on to your account and send you checks per their terms and conditions.
Think this all sounds like just too much trouble?
We hear you.
We hear you, but you have to understand: we only started the CHEAPIOSITY website in response to our friends’ constant marveling at our bargain shopping prowess. It’s not brain surgery, but living on the cheap takes a little time and commitment. And we can think of nothing better or nobler to do with our spare time than to share our expertise with you.
Let us try to inspire you to follow our lead with the following true story from our recent past.
A CHEAPIOSITY founding partner (and FYI, possibly the Cheapest Man In The World: let’s call him CMW) bought himself a new flat panel HiDef TV with all the bells and whistles. CMW's cable company provided him a special HiDef cable – a bulky monster that looked like 5 cables stuck together. It was, to say the least, not attractive. Think rubber python. CMW was not pleased, having spent a big chunka change on his gorgeous streamlined TV, hoping to modernize and sleekify his digs. There must be a better way, he thought. CMW asked around and discovered the existence of a lovely slim wire the size of a standard power cord that could replace the python and fit nicely into the HDMI jack on the back of the fabulous new TV.
CMW checked around for a price, realizing that the gorgeous thin wire retails for between $50 and $100…small wonder the cable company didn’t provide it gratis. It’s expensive, and while The Cheapest Man In The World didn’t mind laying out big bucks for the TV, he had reached his limit. (He had also found the Best Bargain In The World on the TV.) Time to rest? No. Not by a long shot. It’s never time to pay retail. NEVER!
So… CMW starts his python cable research. He learns that the connecting ends have to be gold. Gold. Great. The cable requires 1.3 of something and 28 awg, whatever that means, and the cable prices rise as you add them on. He Googles and Nextags the exact item he needs and finds a site called http://www.mycablemart.com/, where he finds a coupon code for 10% off, and ends up paying……are you sitting down?……$11.06 total for the same wire most normal people (we call ‘em chumps and muggles) would blithely have bought for $50-100 of their hard-earned moolah. So the happy ending. The cable works great, the HiDef picture is amazing, and he’s a happy camper/couch potato with $40-90 extra bucks in his pocket.
Now not every deal will save you that much, but CHEAPIOSITY promises that if you follow our steps, you will always save you serious money.