Is it a Bargain? Finding Deals at Thrift Stores

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Is it a Bargain? Finding Deals at Thrift Stores

deals thrift stores
On the internet you can get promo codes for GoDaddy renewals quite easily. But getting the most bang for your buck at Thrift stores requires a little more strategy.

Charity thrifts, especially the “Big Girls” such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, and the Rescue Mission’s Thrifty Shoppers, are huge operations. Because of that, they typically price items by broad categories and do not (repeat, do not) distinguish items by brand or quality. They leave it up to you, the shopper, to decide if the item is a good deal at the price or worth waiting for to snatch up during a sale. Here are some guidelines that will help you get the most for your dollar.

Step 1.  Know your prices.

Routinely visit your favorite clothing and household stores to keep current with prices, styles, and options. Keep catalogs handy if they offer them, and visit retailer websites. Online price checking sites can be very helpful as well.

Step 2.  If you find an item you want, grab it.

Don’t wait for the rotating category or holiday sale. That beauty will be gone in a flash! Even at ‘full price,’ many thrift store discounts already approach 95%. Try finding that at the mall!

Step 3.  Once you know standard prices for the items you want, set a threshold.

Start with an 85% rule, and you’ll be buying clothing and household items for 15% of retail. Now that’s a deal anyway you cut it.

Step 4.  Know when to be flexible about your 85% rule.

Huge operations or not, the big thrifts are as savvy about brands as you are, so they’ll often set aside primo items in their glass display cases or on the wall behind the checkout station. Special items such as designer purses present risks in the thrift stores because there are no guarantees. The burden is on you to determine whether you’ve got a chance at a bargain or are looking at a knock-off. If you’re sure about the authenticity of the item and your discounted price is significantly better than a sale price at the retailer, go for it!

Step 5.  Ask for a discount.

Many of these stores have an ‘as-priced’ policy, but some really do offer reasonable discounts on items that are not ‘good to go.’ For example, a missing button or opened seam can be worth another 10 to 20% off the price marked. Similarly, prices on large-ticket items such as furniture are often negotiable. So go for it, but remember to be a good sport if the salesperson can’t (or won’t) budge on price.

Step 6.  Donate.

Donate to your favorite thrift stores, because the more quality treasures they get, the more you are likely to find.

How Expedia Discounts Will Save You Money

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As you can tell, we’re pretty budget conscious here at We didn’t even spring for a .COM domain name when we first set up our website!

We wanted to let you know about, the last travel discount website you’ll ever use. They have discount codes for Expedia that’ll save you off of flights, hotels, cruises and more. They even have a cheap cruise discount promotion on right now. You can save money on anything on that site that’ll save you money when your domain renews.

We also want to give you some budgeting travel tips and ideas to make sure you have a stress free travel experience:

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How to Set a Holiday Budget and Stick to It

Shopping is the hallmark of the holidays. Although shopping can be a joyful and fun experience, it can also be damaging to your bank account. But this year, you will be armed with a budgetary plan. Learn how to set a holiday budget and stick to it, so you can get back to enjoying your shopping.

Set Your Holiday Budget

Where do you start when setting a holiday budget? Consider your holiday costs by listing them out. This should include the number of gifts you intend to purchase (or names of recipients), holiday foods, holiday decorations, days off of work without pay, travel costs (plane tickets, rental car, and hotel room), party clothing, and any other special costs related to the holidays.

Your budget may need to be larger if your holidays include a vacation or travel, or your budget may be smaller if you intend to take little time off or celebrate at home. Opting for a staycation is a great way to trim your holiday budget.

Once you have an idea of the types of costs you will incur over the holidays, you can start to assign rough values to how much you expect to spend on each. Do a bit of research to estimate travel costs, average gift prices, and food costs. If you add up your estimated costs and the amount is significantly higher than what you can afford, some trimming will need to be done. Otherwise, stick to this estimate and expect a five percent plus-or-minus buffer for your budget.

To trim your budget from the estimate, start with the costs that are the most flexible or least important to you. Generally, travel is the largest cost factor, which can be reduced by staying local, looking for travel deals on sites like Groupon, or using reward points. You can save on gift costs by suggesting a Secret Santa rather than purchasing individual gifts for everyone on your list. And, you can reduce your holiday food costs by having a potluck where everyone contributes a dish rather than cooking and paying for everything on your own. Continue trimming until you get to a reasonable budget. If the number still seems lofty but all costs are necessary, consider alternative ways to earning extra money during the holidays.

Stick to Your Holiday Budget

Now that you have a budget in mind, trimmed to a reasonable amount, it’s time to get rigid and stick to your financial plan. How do you avoid the money traps abound during the holiday season? Plan in advance.

Focus your grocery shopping trips by making a list from which you don’t stray. Live by the principle if you don’t need it, don’t buy it, even if it’s on sale. Sales can be particularly enticing during the holidays since you are looking to save money, but often they have the opposite effect–encouraging you to buy more things that you don’t really need.

Sticking to your budget also means sticking to your list of gift recipients. It may seem tempting to give a card or gift to everyone you know, including your mailman, but this can quickly add up as well. Instead, making a batch of homemade cookies to give or handmade cards you print yourself can keep you from going over budget.

This year, plan your holiday budget in advance and you won’t have to worry about a post-holiday financial crisis. A little bit of thought goes a long way to save you money.



Cheap Headphones and Sound iOS Apps For Enjoyable Study Sessions.

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If you need to study, even little sounds like the hum of a refrigerator can break your concentration. We want to help: as former students, we’ve found some cool and affordable ways to help with your study sessions. By the way, most of these cool tools weren’t around way back when we were in school, so count yourself lucky!

best headphones under 100 - studying2 of the Best ‘Cheap’ Headphones Under $100

We’ve curated list from a great list of cheap headphones selected by Best Gear. You can check them our for a full list of recommendations.

1. Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Headphones – These are great sounding headphones that actual record producers will use because they are so good, especially when you consider the price. Audio-Technica are renown for their high quality yet affordable audio gear, and this is the best ‘bang-for-your-buck’ headphones around.

2. Sony MDRZX110NC Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Headphones – Active noise-cancellation is a dream for long, uninterrupted study sessions. How active noise-cancelling headphones work is that they actively cancel out external noises (like a truck driving by, or a refrigerator hum). This means you can put them on and hear absolutely nothing for as long as you want. While most noise-canceling headphones run around $300, Sony makes a really good pair that tends to sell for around $60.

Now that you have some good headphones, how about putting on something to listen to that’ll help you concentrate. Music with lyrics can be distracting, and classical music can be repetitive (or snooze-inducing) if you have to study for many hours in a day. Here are some atmosphere apps that are just enough to help you cancel out extraneous noise and keep yourself studying for hours.

4 Cheap iOS Sound Apps to Make Work and Study Enjoyable:


Even the most sociable people sometimes have to shut the office door and get down to some serious solitary work. If you’ve got an important assignment or project to finish, playing music can be distracting, but sitting in silence can be daunting. Check out these four iOS apps that use ambient sound to boost focus and enjoyment when working.




A no-nonsense app that provides one specific feature: ambient thunderstorm sounds. It describes itself as using “stereoscopic 3D audio” to deliver superior sound, especially effective when coupled with headphones. Additionally, it gives realistic lightning flashes that sync with the thunder to add to the experience. Far from being distracting, this actually adds to the realism and will soon get you into a steady workflow. It includes two distinct thunderstorm types to choose from, and in-app purchases allow you to add more if you’re seeking variation.


Price: $2.99




This app is less focused but offers a huge range of ambient sounds to relax and work to. Browse categories like “Animals”, “Earth” and “Fire” to pick your favorites and download them for free. Written descriptions, previews and a keyword search help you find the perfect sounds and create a library for different moods. Describing itself as an “environment enhancer”, it’s also received the stamp of approval from healthcare company HealthTap as a means of relaxing and focusing busy people.


Price: $2.99


White Noise


Promoted as a sleep aid, the range of sounds available on White Noise are also great for tuning out the exterior world and keeping your attention on the task at hand. Mimicking the functions of traditional white noise machines, it features everyday sound effects like “Air Conditioner”, “Beach Waves Crashing” and “Train Ride”. Somewhat simpler than the paid apps above, it nonetheless does the job well. It also promises to help mask the symptoms of tinnitus and the clock feature will fade the sound out and gradually wake you up in a peaceful way.


Price: Free


Custom Sounds of Nature Lite


The lite version of this app offers a highly customizable experience at a low cost. You can choose from “Calm Ocean” and “Mountain Stream”, then tweak the various sounds to your liking. For example, the “Calm Ocean” setting features “Ocean”, “Seagulls”, “Wind Chimes” and “Foghorn”. You can switch each of these on or off and set the intensity depending on your tastes. It also features a timer so the sounds fade away when you come to the end of a study period, signaling it’s time for a break.


Price: $0.99


People have been using white noise machines and natural sounds for years to help them relax and focus. By creating your own sound bubble, you’ll tune out distractions and get into a productive and calm workflow. Give one of these apps a try today and see how it helps you work peacefully and effectively.


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