Best Buys in January — Famous Frugalista Picks

Happy New Year to All! Wow! Weren’t the holidays great! It was so much fun to relax and take a few weeks off, but I’m back and ready to Save, Save, Save again.

How about you? Are you ready to learn more ways to “live high on the hog when you can’t afford bacon?” Even if you don’t have a fat wallet, you can still live pretty darn well — if you know how to find the best bargains.  As The Famous Frugalista, I’ve made it my mission to share tons of ways for you to live well and enjoy abundance in your life —  and NOT destroy your budget at the same time, so c’mon, Cupcake — let’s save some dough.

This month you can grab some great bargains on the obvious things like Christmas decorations, cards, wrapping paper, and ribbons. Stores want those seasonal items out, out, out and off the shelves so they’ve got room for all the new goodies they want you to spend your money on. And of course, there’s the traditional “white sales” on bedding, towels, and linens. If you need sheets or a new comforter, now’s the time to get a real deal.

Retailers are gearing up to bring in the newest spring fashions too, so if you’re still feeling like Frosty the Snowman without a warm coat, check out the clearance racks for jackets, winter gloves, hats, and scarves. Warm up and save, Sweet Pea!

Let’s talk about some of the not-so-obvious, super-duper deals you can latch onto this month.  Maybe you’ve been drooling over a new motorcycle, dreamin’ of how cool you’ll look toodlin’ down the highway? Here’s a news flash. . . There’s no stampede heading for your local motorcycle dealer right now. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s c-o-l-d outside! And that means you’ve got a lot of bargaining power because dealers aren’t selling many bikes this month. If a new motorcycyle is your heart’s desire, better boogie on in during January to negotiate a sweet deal.

OK, maybe a shiny new motorcycle isn’t your cup of tea. What you really want is a comfy new couch. That old lumpy number with the worn upholstery, stains where the dog upchucked, and squashed cushions has got to go. Now’s the time to rev up your furniture shopping engines.

furniture store display

Image via Wikipedia

The new furniture lines are introduced in February and March at the big trade shows and again in the summer. Here’s what happens. (I know, I managed a furniture store for years). Retailers hit those trade shows, get all jazzed up about the latest and greatest new styles of couches, love seats, tables and so on. They go into buying mode, or frenzy as the case may be, and it’s easy for those orders to mount up fast. The total can be in the thousands and thousands of dollars.

And then what happens?

more furniture...

Image by 2fs via Flickr

They get back home and realize there’s not enough room on the showroom floor for all those brand, spankin’ new pieces! LAST YEAR’S MODELS HAVE GOT TO GO, so you’re in a great position this winter to spruce up your house and save some major moola on new furniture. Retailers will wheel and deal to make floor space because they’re in a bit of a bind right now.  And Darlin’, you can probably negotiate a terrific package deal during January and February if you’re in the market for more than just one piece of furniture. Give it a whirl.

Now I know that not everyone’s in the market for big ticket items, so how about saving a few shimoleons on gift cards that you can use now or later?  Gift card exchanges have popped up like the weeds in my garden after a rain. It’s a way for people to sell their unwanted gift cards (did you get some of those yourself?) and a way for you to buy ’em at a discount.

English: Assortment of gift cards

Image via Wikipedia

Everybody wins. Do yourself a favor and check more than one site to find the best prices. Here are a few sites to explore:

Plastic Jungle

Gift Card Castle

Gift Card Granny

Card Hub

Look for more Famous Frugalistic tips on January Best Buys in my next post. Lots more ways to save comin’ up. . so stick around.

Just so you know, I don’t make money by pointing you to suggested sites.  I’m just giving you some places to check out so you can save a few bucks.

I’d love to have your feedback on my money-saving tips. Did they work for you? Have you got some ideas to share? Are you looking to save money on a particular item? Let me know and I’ll try to help you find the best deals.

© The Famous Frugalista 2012

The Famous Frugalista Find of the Week — Dining Out on a Dime

When you’re making every dollar stretch ’til it begs for mercy, going out to eat seems like an unaffordable extravagance. Especially during the holidays when you’re trying to pay the bills, buy gifts, and maybe put together a big dinner for family and friends besides. Ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching! Who’s got anything extra to spend on restaurant meals? (OK, maybe fast food once in a while, but not a real sit-down, served by a waiter, kind of meal.)

I’m always on the lookout for a good deal that helps us hold on to a middle-class lifestyle, even on a skinny little budget. Listen, Cupcake, you don’t have to give up those restaurant meals completely. You can still eat out and save, save, save at the same time!! And you know me, I’m all for saving some serious cash. They don’t call me The Famous Frugalista for nothing, ya know!

Want in on the secret? Of course you do! Just go to restaurant.com and select your state. Up pops a list of cities where you can find some sweet discounts. You can purchase a gift card online with NO fees and NO expiration date. I love that!  A $25 card for $10, all the way up to a $100 card for $40.  Whacking 60 bucks off a nice dinner out — Woo Hoo! Now that’s what I call the Frugalista Way!

restaurant.com

Image by FunnyBiz via Flickr

Check out the list of restaurants in your area, pick out your favorite, and use your discount card when you pay the bill.

Until December 25, there’s a special promo going on — a $25 gift certificate for just $1. You read that right — just one little ol’ simoleon! The catch is that only certain restaurants are honoring this deal. Check the web site to find out if there are any in your area and cash in. I’m all over this deal, Sweetie Pie!

Want more goodies? Check out Specials.Restaurant.com for daily deals like 2 dinners and 2 movie tickets for $25.

And Darlin’, how would you like to give a FREE $10 eCard to a friend, a family member, or just as a random act of kindness? You can send up to 40 a day through December 25, so now’s the time to jump on this special promotion.  Sound too good to be true? I thought so too, but it’s for real.

It’s part of the Restaurant.com Feed It Forward program. All you have to do is create a free account, then follow the step-by-step directions for sending out those $10 eCards. So easy to use and it won’t cost you one red cent. It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas . . . Ho, Ho, Ho!

English: Thomas Nast's most famous drawing, &q...

Image via Wikipedia

I think Santa Claus just pulled up in his sleigh.

Just so you know, I don’t receive any money, discount cards, or anything else from Restaurant.com. I’m  passing along the savings info, in case you want to give it a try. If you do, I’d really appreciate it if you’d take a minute to let me know how the gift cards or the Feed It Forward program worked out for you.

© The Famous Frugalista 2011

A Christmas Wish

I ran across a wonderful quote the other day and wanted to share it with you. It seems especially fitting at this time of year. . .and just think how we could change the world if we kept this in mind in the coming year.

There’s no money involved. No budgets. No coupons to cut out. No Internet searches for the best deals. Each of these suggestions is absolutely free, but could make such an incredible difference to someone in your life. Try them yourself and see what happens . . .

CHRISTMAS GIFT SUGGESTIONS

To your enemy, forgiveness.

To an opponent, tolerance.

To a friend, your heart.

To a customer, service.

To all, charity.

To every child, a good example.

To yourself, respect.

– Oren Arnold

May your Christmas be filled with love, peace, and much happiness. I wish you prosperity, good health and much joy in the New Year.

© The Famous Frugalista 2011

Famous Frugalista Find of the Week!

You know me, as The Famous Frugalista I’m always on the lookout for a great deal to share with you. I’m all about helping you save money on the things you need. And this week, I’ve found a real goodie for you. In fact, it’s more like a trainload of goodies! A true Famous Frugalista Find of the Week! 

Here’s just a teensy sample of super-duper savings available this week in four different cities:

• Want to work off some weight and have a little fun? Try 5 Jazzercise classes for 20 bucks. That’s half price, Cupcake!

• Car repairs are mega-expensive, you know that. $90 to spend on auto repairs for just $40 sounds pretty good to me. In fact, I could have used this deal last week.

• Do you dream of being on the PGA tour, complete with your own personal caddy and a throng of adoring fans clamoring for your autograph? Bring out your inner golf pro with 18 holes of golf and cart rental for two people – $31 (Unfortunately, no adoring fans included.)

• Are you a hockey  fan? How does a  premium or select c ircle ticket to a professional hockey game sound for just $13?

• Maybe you want to give your little darlin’ dance lessons but it’s just not in the budget. Here’s a deal for 52% off — weekly dance lessons for 2 months for $60. Can’t promise she’ll be a prima ballerina in a couple of months, but she should be more graceful. (Hey, wonder if I can get in on those lessons? I’ve been told I have two left feet.)

• Got an old photo of great uncle Elmer that desperately needs restoration? You can get a photo restored, plus a free 8 x 10 print made of it for 6 bucks. You read that right. Regular price is $50.

  And I just scooped up a Home Murder Mystery Party for 15-20 people for just $25. Yep, that’s all. Half price. Comes with the whole mystery party laid out for me, including costume ideas, tips for food, music, decorations, even has the invitations ready to print out. Makes is soooo easy. No stressing about what to do, so I get to enjoy the party too. Hmmm. . . Now all I have to do is decide whether I want to be Iguana Trump, Mimi Martini, or Lucy Legs. As long I as can wear my purple feather boa, it’s all good. Zowie!

So, the question is “Famous Frugalista, where can I get in on these sensational savings?” And the answer is . . . (drum roll please. . .), . . . just sign up at LivingSocial.com for Daily Deal alerts.

It’s simple. You just plug in your email address and the cities where you want to find the deals.  Full disclosure here — if you don’t live in a pretty good-sized place, your town won’t be listed. You’ll have to pick a city that’s near you. (I signed up for four different cities, two nearby and two where I want to vacation one of these days.)

Here’s how it works.  Every day you get an email with at least one deeply discounted deal for a local business. The deals have a time limit attached — some are open for a few days, some much longer. There’s no spamming and Living Social guarantees to make it right if you’re not “jumping for joy” with your deal. A huge discount, no spam, and a guarantee. Don’t cha just love it?

When you buy, you get a link to your voucher the next day. You can give deals as gifts which is pretty nifty, especially if you forgot someone’s birthday or (gulp!) your anniversary. I know you’d never, ever do that — but just in case, it’s good to know about.

Maybe you’re thinking, “This deal’s pretty good, but it would be a whole lot better if I could get it for nothing.” (Spoken like a true Frugalista!) If you want your particular deal for free, then you can share a link with your friends. If three of ’em buy the same deal, yours doesn’t cost you a thing. Take that to the bank, Baby!

OK, Cupcake, get yourself signed up today and start saving some serious money.

And just so you know, I’m not getting paid to endorse this site or sing their praises. I just like the deals and I think you will too.

© The Famous Frugalista 2011