Here’s the latest… What’s this? Another MHOTC column? Well… sort of. I know many of you love reading Bryan Blathers and while I’m not one to muse at length on a specific topic, I have come to realize that there are all sorts of tidbits of news and snippets of advice I have to offer on how to find a deal or save money.
Often these come to me as I’m out-and-about, in casual conversation, read social media or from your emails. Sometimes I wake up at 3 a.m. and I realize we published some terrific event or deal eons ago and it has fallen off your radar.
Most are short and not worth a standalone post, but noteworthy enough that it gnaws at me I haven’t shared.
So I’ve decided to pull all these bits and pieces together. I can’t promise a set schedule or fancy format. I just want to let you know, what I know, when I know it.
Sometimes, Bryan may even jump in, as he’s the master of scouting out deals and the fine print that often comes with them. Here’s the latest news you can use:
…April 15, 2018
Toys ‘R’ Us Liquidation Sale Isn’t Much Of A Sale
I stopped by Toys ‘R’ Us yesterday and the store’s Going Out Of Business Sale isn’t much of a sale. True, many of the shelves are cleared, but I’m not sure why? Signs say everything is “up to 30% off”.
But, as far as I could tell (and I walked most of the store), almost all the good stuff (toys, games, dolls, etc.) is still only 10% off. If you’re looking for bargains you won’t find them. Almost every item I saw was cheaper at Walmart or Target.
Silver Sneakers Is Gold
MHOTC reader Bev sent me a note about Silver Sneakers and I thought I would share. Writes Bev, “I just turned 65 and started using my Silver Sneakers card. Wow! What a great deal.
“I signed up at several health clubs close to where I live. I like the classes, so I can go to different clubs and take advantage of my fav class at different places. VASA has hydromassage, which is great after my old bones have been creaking for an hour.”
Sounds to me like Bev kicks some butt in those classes. And her advise is wise. For those of you — ahem — of a certain age, be sure to take advantage of those senior freebies, especially when they inspire you to maintain your health. Live long and prosper.
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
Here’s are some grocery shopping tips from MHOTC reader Linda.
“It used to be bigger was a better deal. I bet that many people still go for the larger quantities thinking they are saving money. (They might be if it saves them a trip, but in all honesty we shop often if getting fresh produce.)
“For example, Pace picante sauce is often cheaper per ounce in the smaller jars at King Soopers. Sometimes dish soap is also better in smaller amounts. I have been known to get our my phone calculator and figure out the price per ounce to get the best deal.
“I also caution folks not to buy a name brand with a coupon or that is on sale without first looking at the generic product. Even with coupons and sales, generic is cheaper.
“I dislike grocery shopping and take it as a personal challenge to try to outwit the stores. Sometimes how much you save comes down to how exhausted you are by the end of the day.”
Linda, we have to go shopping together. We are on the same page. In my coupon workshops I try to mention that most stores do put the price per ounce (or per “whatever” based on the type of product.) If, like me, you have an issue with fine print, pack a magnifying glass. I do.
And, Linda’s advice on generics is spot on. Did you know that many store generics, such as canned good and cleaning products, are manufactured by the same companies that do so for the name brands?
Often you are getting an identical product (like canned corn) with just a different label (and a lower price). At least try the generic version of a product. You might be pleasantly surprised.
With Tax Day soon behind us and Earth Day looming, you may be in the mood to shred old documents or toss those old electronics. (I have an entire box of nothing but computer cords and no clue as to what device they go with.)
The good news is that ’tis the season for shredding and e-cycling events. Be sure to check our calendar and your neighborhood newspapers or online bulletin boards for ones near you. Many are sponsored by local real estate agents or civic groups.
Likely I’ll be heading over to Aurora (along with thousands of my closest friends) next Saturday for the 9NEWS Earth Day Electronics Recycling Fair. At least I’ll free up a few feet of space in my basement.
Previous New You Can Use…
…March 23, 2018
Toys ‘R’ Us Liquidation Sale Has Rocky Start
So the Toys ‘R’ Us liquidation sale was supposed to start yesterday, March 22, emphasis on supposed to. At the Aurora store (Havana St.) there were sad little signs pasted on the doors saying that due to circumstances beyond the employees’ control, the Liquidation Sale was delayed until today, March 23.
Even when it does launch, don’t get sucked in by the word SALE. Understand that when a store liquidates, for the most part, it means inventory has been sold to a liquidation company.
That company wants to get the most bucks for its purchase. So often retail prices on items are raised and then the discount applied.
Toys ‘R’ Us wasn’t known for having the lowest prices in town anyway, so 20% to 30% off may not be as good a deal as other big box stores or online. Heck, even 50% off may not be that great a deal.
I’ve seen liquidators actually stick a new higher price tag on top of a lower price one. My advice: Get a good idea of what toys, games, dolls and the like are selling for on average BEFORE you hit the sales. Then you’ll know if you are really saving money.
Bed Bath & Beyond Beyond+ Really Does Save You Money
If you shop Bed Bath & Beyond on a regular basis like I do, you should really join Beyond+. I wrote about this program in detail (which used be super-secret and you needed an invitation to join) in January. Now the retailer is pushing it with signs all over the stores and online.
Yes it costs $29 a year. But you get 20% off your entire purchase (even the $1 stuff) every time you shop. And you get free shipping on all online orders.
Just yesterday I saved $6 off my purchase of clearance items (things like shampoo and contact lens solution), then I used $15 in manufacturer’s coupons — yep, BB&B accepts coupons). My question is, why aren’t you a Beyond+ member?
Money Museum Goes On Spring Break
Thanks to one of our alert readers, we learned that the Money Museum in Downtown Denver is closed for renovations. I know many of you were wondering why it mysteriously disappeared from our list of free and cheap things to do. Or maybe not.
I’m not sure how you renovate money. Hmmm. The website says it will re-open for free self-guided tours this summer. So, there’s a sticky note on my calendar to remind me to check in June. Stay tuned.
Being 60+ in Denver Has Health Benefits
After spending obscene amounts of money for various gym memberships — walking on a treadmill isn’t nearly as much fun since Headline News turned into “Scandalous Headlines and Courtroom Drama News” — I was overjoyed to learn that Denver residents 60 and older now get FREE membership at all Denver recreation centers and swimming pools.
Now, no more excuses for not getting the heart pumping with a host of free exercise classes close to home. Here’s our original story. My question is, when are other metro communities going to offer a similar program? Let’s make some noise folks.
No April Fools Joke — Coupon Holiday Coming Up
It won’t be totally empty, but your newspaper will be a bit thin on April 1 when it comes to coupon inserts. For some reason, manufacturer’s have come to the conclusion that we do NOT shop over holidays. (Yeah, I don’t get that rationale either.)
That why you’ll find nary an insert on Memorial Day, Labor Day, Christmas and New Year’s weekends.
So, April Fools consumers. On April 1, Easter Sunday, you’ll only find a P&G (Proctor & Gamble) coupon insert. The good news is on April 8 you can expect three or four inserts to restock your coupon coffers.
Speaking Of Coupons…
You may have noticed that P&G coupons (products like Pantene, Ivory, Tide, etc.) expire within two weeks AND you can now only use 2 identical coupons per shopping trip, instead of 4.
This makes me cranky, especially with all the Buy 4, Save $4 or Mix & Match sales we face every week. If I wanted to spend my grocery shopping doing math, I would NOT have become a journalist.
Have any tips or observations you want me to share? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.