20 Money-Saving Tips for Smart Women

20 Money-Saving Tips for Smart Women Kindle Book.

Check out my latest book in the Amazon Kindle library: 20 Money-Saving Tips for Smart Women. It is available in eBook format, exclusively from Amazon Kindle. Amazon prime members: borrow it for free. Anyone can buy it for only $2.99! You don’t need to own a kindle to buy a kindle book – you can read it on your computer, iPhone, iPad, or other phone or tablet, too! Ladies: I’m sure that you will be able to use at least one of the tips and that you will save more than the book is worth. I will be dropping more specific hints as to the book’s content within the next few days. Here’s today’s spoiler: some products discussed in the book include nail and skin care products, feminine hygiene products, whitening toothpastes and teeth whitening kits, toiletries, makeup, cosmetics, brands, and store brands.

5 Graduation Gifts on a Budget

Some really great ideas that might also give you inspiration for gifts for other occasions, too. One thing I really like about this post is embodied in the very first suggestion – the gifts that people tend to appreciate most are things that they will actually use, and these things need not be expensive!

Everyday Savings

All of these gifts serve at least one purpose – perfect for a space- and cash-strapped grad of any age!grad1

1. Laundry basket packed with detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets and quarters. Look for spring sales and use our printable coupons to save even more!

2. Embroidered towels – Every grad could use a set of towels. Get the recipient’s initials embroidered for a functional and special gift!grad2

3. Travel guide for the city in which they’re going to college (or a big city nearby) – If your grad is moving to a new city, buy a travel guide full of restaurant recommendations, shopping hotspots, neighborhood tours and more! Opt for a version featuring budget-friendly tips and free seasonal activities to ensure he or she can take advantage of the suggestions.

4. Toolkit or first aid kit – These will come in handy for small assembly jobs and minor…

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Make Your Own Foaming Hand Soap – Article of the Week

Sorry about my lack of postings for this week – it has been a busy one. I will try to post 2-3 times per week, from now on, though. But, since I promised, here is this week’s “linked-out” article to help you save money:

Saving Money by Making Your Own Liquid Foam Soap RefillNormally, I like to post more general tips, but I just couldn’t resist with this one. Liquid foaming hand soap: pretty much the best invention known to man, especially since it’s no longer just for the newly potty-trained, who must now learn to wash their hands when they’re through. Now, we ‘big kids’ can use it, too, and it comes in all of these fun scents and it’s just so light and foamy and . . . well, you get the point, it’s awesome. However, the coolness factor is, unfortunately, built into the price. It is slightly more expensive than (boring) bar soap. If the sequester has got you penny-pinching, like many of us, fear not, because you won’t have to give up your fun soap! Apparently, with the small investment in just one bottle of foaming soap (to get a dispenser of the proper width), you can continue to make your own refills on the cheap.

As you can see from the photos in the article, it really appears to be the real deal. I was ever so slightly disappointed to learn that those colors weren’t natural. I was also a little disappointed that the author prefers not to use scented soaps because the scent will remain in the bottle, like, forever. I am aware that plastic is porous, but has she tried what I like to call the “power-washer” – the handheld hose/nozzle washer on many kitchen sinks that allow you to spray down your pots and pans with hot water and get the gunk off super-fast? It shouldn’t make that big of a deal. I would buy a small vial of one of those scented essential oils from the drugstore or Wholefoods and add, like, a drop of that to the mix. If she means that we should start with an unscented bottle, that’s cool with me, or simply buy one in a scent that is likely to also be available in one of those little essential oils or aromatherapy oils (e.g., lavender, vanilla, etc.). But I love scented hand soap (I’m also female, and for many of you, this may be less big of a deal).
When I began to read the article, I was also wondering, “well, wait a minute, don’t they already sell refills for some of those things?” The author read my mind, and she mentions in the article that yes, they do, but apparently, making their own refills has saved her family, and several others (from the comments) a lot of money. Those who have saved the most by making their own foaming soap refills are those with (surprise!) small children, who have lots of messes to wash off from Nickelodeon’s latest sticky goop or gak or whatever it’s called (loved that stuff when I was a kid, but it stuck to EVERYTHING), and whose eyes are also a little too big for their hands! She also said to buy the one-use foaming hand soap bottles, instead of their more expensive “refillable” counterparts, because either way, after a few months, the pumps will clog, and unless the pump is strategically fused with the rest of the plastic, they’re just as refillable. All that matters is making sure you buy a bottle that is specifically designed to dispense foaming hand soap, and you should be good to go.
So, in sum: A ‘must’ for people who have children, but if you like foaming soap, it will probably save you a little bit of money, too.

For more advice on how to be a smart consumer, check out my Kindle books🙂. Click to purchase or borrow (Amazon Prime members – see info. about the Kindle lending library) 20 Money-Saving Tips for Smart Women. And as always, you do NOT need to own a Kindle – your web browser and a free Amazon.com account are enough! My books are inexpensive – my current book is just $2.99, and it promises to save you more than $2.99, or your money back. And yes, there are other books in the works!



“8 Painless Ways to Save Money”

I am going to start posting a link to a helpful outside article every week, starting with this one. Each of these articles will give you helpful advice on how to save money. Some of these articles may be quite popular already, but rest assured that I evaluate each one for quality content. I also make sure that the articles contain helpful tips that are not already on my blog. Articles that do contain some tips that are on my blog will only be posted if they also contain some very useful advice that is not already on this blog. I will even point out what you should skip!

Side note: if you haven’t already downloaded my e-Book, 20 Money-Saving Tips for Smart Women, you should do so right now, because it’s only free for through the end of the day! Either click on the book’s title, above, or click here to download from the kindle bookstore. YOU DO NOT NEED TO OWN A KINDLE TO DOWNLOAD THE BOOK – EVEN YOUR WEB BROWSER WILL DO; KINDLE ALSO MAKES APPS FOR NUMEROUS DEVICES (iPad, iPhone, android phones, other tablets and smart phones, Mac and PC).

Without further ado, this week’s article is:

8 Painless Ways to Save Money from the U.S. News & World Report.

My opinion: While a couple of these tips may be obvious to some people, the article also includes a couple of tips that we should remember to do, but typically don’t. A little reminder is often quite helpful, because it’s easy to just maintain the status quo. When I read this article, all I wanted to do was the face-palm. Why am I not already doing these things?! The article also highlights one of the biggest areas of our budget where we could be saving money in various ways, and that area is: insurance, insurance, insurance. Also, your credit score isn’t just about being able to get that loan you need . . . It reminds us to consolidate our monthly bills, too, since it’s easier to pay one on time than, say, three (hint, hint). And perhaps one of the most useful tips in the article is the one that contains helpful investing advice that is not obvious. Enjoy!

Another Chance to Get my Book for Free

Missed my first promotion? That’s okay – you can still get ’20 Money-Saving Tips for Smart Women’ for free from the Amazon Kindle store, starting tomorrow (3/13). This is a limited time offer, but this time, you will have three (3) days to get the book for free. Starting at midnight on 3/13, you can download the book for free, and this promotion will end at the end of the day on Friday, 3/15.

The free tips on this blog will help you save money, but there are even more tips in my book. My book will tell you how to save on nail and skin care products, tooth whitening, cosmetics, oral care products, toiletries, personal care products, and more! So, what are you waiting for? Hop on over to the Kindle store and get my book for free, starting tomorrow, and start saving money by shopping smarter!

Again, you do NOT need to own a Kindle to download my book. You can view Kindle books directly from your web browser. There are also free Kindle apps available for your iPad or other tablet, smart phone (iPhone, android, etc.), mac, or PC. You can also download the book in other formats that are supported by other e-Readers (e.g., the Nook, Sony readers, etc.). All you need is a free Amazon.com account.

So, in sum: click here todownload my book, for free, tomorrow, and save money.

Bargaining with Retail Giants?? Yes, You Can!

First of all, thank you to everyone who helped made this past Friday’s free book promotion day a success! But now, as promised, my next non-promotional tip:

Now, let me preface this by saying that I completely understand the plight of those who hate to try and bargain – I was once one of those people who would be too shy to bargain with a street vendor in Mexico! The current economy has gotten me over this fear, however. After realizing how much more expensive retail prices were in comparison to online prices for the very same items, I started getting really fed up with stores. Don’t get me wrong – I know that retailers have overhead, and I don’t mind paying a little extra for the instant gratification of being able to have the item and use it today, but the magnitude of the price differences was getting to be rather appalling. I was so appalled that I . . . stepped outside of my comfort zone and decided to try and bargain with them; low and behold, it worked!

Bargaining with major retailers is a bit trickier than bargaining with a street vendor in a tourist-trap. The first thing you need is leverage. By this, I mean proof positive of what the competition is charging for the exact same item. If you come in armed with an ad from a competing retail store for the same product, there’s no question that they’ll price match – in fact, they may even price match on a store-brand version of a product, if it’s essentially the same product and quantity. If you don’t have that, be sure to come armed with your smartphone. You may want to download some barcode scanning apps that allow you to check prices from all over the web. I have an app called RedLaser on my iPhone, and there are plenty of other barcode scanning apps, the vast majority of which are free. Don’t rely on these exclusively, though – if you don’t get a barcode match, for some reason, when you scan the barcode of the item that you are looking at (in store), or if you don’t see a better deal on the results posted by the app, don’t give up. A quick and dirty Google search of the product name may turn up some deals, too.

However, with these results, your best sources of leverage will be the websites of other major retailers. I have used Walmart’s website with the most success, as they tend to have good deals and are a major retailer. You probably won’t have much luck pointing to the better deals on Amazon.com because 1) for online-only purchases, you must pay for shipping, generally, whereas in store, you won’t have to, so that’s a selling point for the retailer, and 2) you can’t have the item in hand that very same day if you buy on Amazon – another point for the retailer. However, if you show them Walmart’s website, and the item doesn’t say ‘online only,’ the retailer is not likely going to ask you to use the store finder on Walmart.com to check the stock and store prices of the local stores – it’s just too much work, and they do want your business. So, if you see a better deal on a competitor’s website (i.e., another retail store, especially the big chains), don’t be afraid to whip out your smartphone and show them the site – the odds are good that they will do a price match. One of my proudest shopping experiences was when I picked up an awesome piece of nerd gear from Microcenter for $17 less than their sticker price, upon whipping out my iPhone and showing them the price of the item on Walmart’s website. They matched Walmart’s price, in full.

And even if you see a better deal at an online-only store, such as Amazon.com, it still doesn’t hurt to ask them to match the price. Your odds of success with this approach increase dramatically if 1) the shipping offered online is fast and free, 2) the item is not something one typically needs right away, and 3) the price difference is significant. One time, I saw a pair of ski pants at an online-only store for $40 less than the same pants that I was looking at in my local ski shop. Note: I didn’t tell them that I needed the pants because I was going skiing the very next day, of course, and my other ski pants weren’t warm enough. While they were not willing to match the online-only store’s price, they did knock $20 off of their store price, and the shipping wasn’t even free through the online store!

For more advice on how to be a smart consumer, check out my Kindle books🙂. Click to purchase or borrow (Amazon Prime members – see info. about the Kindle lending library) 20 Money-Saving Tips for Women.


Pump or Crimp Tube: The Only Difference? $7

True story: I felt the tingling of an oncoming cold sore. I know, the horror!! Anyway, I tore my house apart looking for my favorite OTC cold sore medication (Abreva), only to discover that the tube’s cap was *gasp* missing, and the cream was all dried up! Naturally, I rushed to my local pharmacy, which happens to be a CVS. The end of the very first aisle of OTC medications was packed full of tiny tubes of Abreva that had little pumps at the top. Each tube contained 0.07 oz of Abreva cream. The price was $7 – a small price to pay for not having to walk around with this big, nasty thing on my lip for a week (I think I had even had a date the following evening). So, I tossed it in my cart.

Then, I remembered that I needed something else, which was ironically kept in the same aisle where the Abreva is typically kept. I can’t remember what said item was, but when I went to look for it, something drew my attention: more Abreva! These tubes of Abreva, however, did not have the handy dandy pumps on the end – they were the crimp-style tubes, with which I was familiar (you know, like the style of tube most ointments and toothpastes come in, with a crimp on the end that you have to keep flattening and rolling up once you’ve used up a significant amount, in order to be able to squeeze more of the contents out of the tube). Anyway, curious me, I wanted to see if there was any difference in price between the fancy pump tubes and the regular old crimp tubes. To my dismay, there was.

Get this: both styles of tubes contained the same measly 0.07 oz, and here’s the real kicker . . . the one with the fancy pump was $7 less than the plain old crimp tube! That’s right: same brand-name Abreva (I don’t believe there was a store-brand generic at the time), same exact quantity. There was only that slight variation in packaging, but one version (the nicer one, ironically) was selling for twice as much, in the same exact store! And they were only an aisle or two apart! The store relied upon (or took advantage of) the fact that nobody (except for me, and maybe a few other hawk-eyed shoppers) bothered to look at the small print that specified the number of ounces were in each tube and/or bothered to check and see if there was a difference in price. They either assumed that they were the same price, or that the more expensive tubes contained more cream. More ironically, the less expensive tubes actually looked slightly larger than the $14 ones. Sneaky retailers! Next time you go out shopping, if you see two variations of the same item (especially if they’re placed in separate locations), don’t simply assume that they’re either the same price, or that the prices reflect differences in quantity – for all you know, the only difference could be $7! (And a slightly different dispensing mechanism).

For more advice on how to be a smart consumer, check out my Kindle books🙂. Click to purchase or borrow (Amazon Prime members – see info. about the Kindle lending library) 20 Money-Saving Tips for Women.

Everyone: Download my book for FREE tomorrow!

Hey all,

Just wanted to let you guys know that my new eBook, 20 Money-Saving Tips for Smart Women, is available for FREE download tomorrow (3/1), right here on Amazon. All you have to do is be an Amazon.com member. The easiest way to view the book is to download one of their many free viewing apps for Kindle. They have apps for PC, mac, smart phones (iPhone, android, etc.), iPads, other tablets, etc., so you can read it on almost any device you want, for free! The other option is to select ‘transfer to computer’ to download the book to your computer in a format that is not exclusive for Kindle (this way, if you want to view it on a competitor’s e-reader, like a Nook, or a third party e-Reader, like Sony, you can!).

Sounds to good to be true? Well, there is ONE little catch: if you download the book for free, and you find even one of the tips helpful, then you are morally obligated to leave feedback (preferably a positive one) on Amazon. If you choose to write a review, it can be as brief or as verbose as you want. You can even just click the stars if you don’t have the time or don’t wish to write (again, the more stars, the merrier).

If you miss tomorrow’s promotion, and you are an Amazon Prime member, then you can still read my book for free through Amazon Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. In fact, you can even borrow it once a month for free this way if already happen to be an Amazon Prime member and you own a Kindle (yes, you do have to own a Kindle to get it for free this way, unfortunately). But the Prime membership is not exclusive to the Kindle – it’s the same Prime membership that gets you the free two day shipping, yada, yada. BUT, if you have a Kindle and are not a Prime member, you can get my book for free by signing up for a free one-month trial membership (just set a reminder to cancel your membership in time, just in case you don’t want to become a Prime member). I have no vested interested in you becoming a full-fledged Prime member, so look at what it offers, how much it costs, and how long it lasts, and decide whether it makes more sense to keep it or to cancel.

And by the way, if you come to like my book, the other non-promotional stuff I put on this blog, or my general online persona, then please, encourage everyone you know who is a Prime member and has a Kindle to borrow my book for free! Why do I say “borrow” and not “buy”? Because Amazon still pays me when people borrow my book for free, so it’s a win-win-win: your friends get some good advice from my book(s) (yeah, I’m just getting started) for free by taking advantage of a service they are already paying for and a device they already own, you get to look a genius and a wonderful friend, for free, and I get paid, without even having to ask anyone for money! So, please, help me out – do free stuff, so that I get paid by the man. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

(And yes, if you borrow, you can still leave good reviews . . . hint, hint)

So, to sum it up: tomorrow, you click this link, download my eBook for FREE on Amazon, and then you go to this link to give my book some stars (hopefully 5) and a glowing review, if you have a moment!

Stay tuned for some non-promotional stuff, coming soon!