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 Personal Finance, Shopping 
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When Should You Buy in Bulk?

Buy Bulk and SaveOne of the common admonitions that consumers often hear is to buy in bulk. When you buy in bulk, the reasoning goes, is that you get an overall discount for buying large quantities.

In some cases, this works well, providing you with a lower per-unit cost on items that you purchase regularly. Sometimes, though, it doesn’t make sense to buy in bulk.

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 Shopping 
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Watch Out for These 5 Holiday Scams

The scam truckAny time there is a lot of money going being spent, scammers present themselves, ready to take advantage of our desire to get the best deal. There are all types of scams out there, from investment scams to other types of fraud. During the holiday season, scammers are on the prowl, looking for those whose judgment might be a little impaired.

As your quest for the perfect holiday season gets underway, it’s important to stay on the alert for scams. As always, if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Here are 5 holiday scams to watch out for:

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 Shopping 
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4 Ways to Get Free Shipping with Your Online Purchases

Free ShippingOne of the reasons that many people hold back from making online purchases is the cost of shipping. What’s the point of saving $5 on a purchase when shipping will cost you $7?

The good news, though, is that free shipping is becoming easier to come by. Indeed, I rarely pay for shipping anymore. If you want free shipping on your online orders, here are 4 strategies you can follow:

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 Shopping 
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Organic Food: What Do the Labels Really Mean?

Produce MarketOrganic food is a large industry that is growing every year. According to TIME, “Americans spent some $16.7 billion on organic food last year, up from $13.8 billion in 2005–and sales are expected to rise by 20% this year.”

If you buy organic foods, you know that the price is often substantially higher than the price for conventionally grown foods. Before you put down your hard earned cash to buy organic foods, make sure you understand what you are actually buying. Here is a guide to organic labeling.

According to The Huffington Post, “organic fruits and vegetables must be grown without the use of: synthetically created pesticides; synthetically created chemical fertilizers; sewage sludge; genetic engineering which appears to introduce novel proteins, allergens, viruses, and toxins into crops; irradiation.”

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 Frugal Living, Shopping 
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Generate Some Cash for the Holidays by Selling “Stuff” on eBay and Craigslist

InternetThe stores have been marketing Christmas to us since at least October, though they really ramp up their efforts in November and December. They have to. Many retailers “depend on the last two months of the year for up to 40 percent of their annual sales” (Syracuse.com).

While consumer shopping is expected to be up 4.1% in November and December, that is slower growth than the previous two years (Syracuse.com). There are many reasons why shoppers may be holding tight to their purse strings this year, including the looming fiscal cliff.

However, if you have a basement (and closet and bedroom) full of stuff, economic uncertainty can help you pad your bottom line because more and more shoppers are looking for a good deal.

Where do they look? Often on Craigslist and eBay.

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 Shopping 
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Make the Most of Your Holiday Shopping

Holiday ShoppingYou know you’re going to spend money this holiday season. For most of us, it’s one of life’s inevitabilities. Just because you know you are going to spend, though, doesn’t mean that you can’t make the most of the holiday shopping season.

If you are smart about your shopping, and if you are careful about what you buy — and how you go about buying it — you can actually reap some benefits from holiday spending:

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 Shopping 
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4 Tips for Effectively Using Layaway

layawayOne of the Christmas traditions making a comeback since the recession has been layaway. The idea behind layaway is that you can reserve an expensive item now, and make payments on it for a few weeks. Once you have paid off the item, you can take it home.

Layaway allows you to make sure that  your get the items you want (vital during the holiday shopping season), without breaking the budget — or turning to high-interest credit cards to make the purchase. If you want to make the most of layaway this holiday season, here are 4 tips to consider:

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 Shopping 
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Holiday Price Match Policies of Target, Walmart and Best Buy

Target Shopping CartsLooking to save both time and money this holiday season? (I know, who isn’t?)

If you are in the habit of searching the ads every week and then stopping by several stores to buy the best deals for the kids’ presents, think again. Keep searching the ads, but then use the power of price matching to simplify your life. Only go to one store, but get the benefit of the sales offered at all of the other brick and mortar stores (and at some stores, online retailers) by using price matching.

Today, we’ll cover the regular and special holiday price matching policies of three of the largest retailers in the US. Hopefully, one of these policies can save you a bunch of money!

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