Costco Members Can Shop at Sam’s Club for FREE Through July 4th

June 27, 2016 by Kyle
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“Your Costco Membership Card is now your free Sam’s Club Card at all locations through July 4th.”

Sam's Club and Costco

Hats off to the marketing team at Sam’s Club for this brilliant move. In the wake of Costco switching over to Visa from American Express, it has many Costco members very unhappy for a variety of reasons and many are actually threatening to cancel their memberships.

Because of this negative backlash, Sam’s is trying to grab some new members away from Costco by offering free access to Sam’s Club through July 4th. But more importantly, they are pimping the fact that they accept ALL major credit cards. The one caveat with this offer is that it’s not available for shopping on the Sam’s Club website.

Sam’s broke the news on their Facebook page a couple of days ago and it has many shoppers excited to check out a Sam’s warehouse in person. (See also: 8 Ways to Shop at Sam’s Club Without a Membership)

Ask the Reader:  Do you plan on checking out Sam’s Club for free this week?


By Kyle James

Photo credit to Sam’s Club.

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Frugal Hack #35: Amazon Rewards Visa Trick to Get More Points

June 24, 2016 by Kyle
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If you have the Amazon Rewards Visa Card from Chase you’re already aware that you get 3% back on Amazon purchases, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases. But when it comes time to redeem your Amazon reward points, did you know that there’s a REALLY clever way to get even more points added to your account? A way that Amazon is hoping you never consider.

Amazon Rewards Visa

If you have the Amazon Rewards Visa Card from Chase you’re already aware that you get 3% back on Amazon purchases, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases. But when it comes time to redeem your Amazon reward points, did you know that there’s a REALLY clever way to get even more points added to your account? A way that Amazon is hoping you never consider.

Essentially, you’re given several options when it comes to redeeming your points. Many shoppers, if not most, will simply opt to use their points on an Amazon purchase which will reduce the price of the item they’re buying. We can probably chalk it up to instant gratification. Well, I’m here to tell you…DO NOT ever do this again. Instead, use the cash back option (or statement credit) every time, and earn more points in the process. Here’s a quick breakdown of why.

If you use your points towards an Amazon purchase, be aware that you won’t be getting all of the reward points possible. For example, if your points bring a $300 item down to $220, you’ll score 660 reward points on the purchase ($220 x 3). But if you cash out your points, or request a statement credit, then use your card to make the same $300 purchase, you’ll end up with 900 points instead of 660. ($300 x 3). Remember, you’ll get the same dollar amount whether you cash out or redeem points directly on an Amazon purchase, making this trick a total no-brainer.

So that ends up being 240 more reward points by simply changing how you redeem your points. If you’re a loyal Amazon shopper, the extra points by doing this little trick will add up quickly and can definitely be significant over the course of a few months.

Happy savings.


By Kyle James

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Wallets Now Optional at Many Walmart Locations

June 20, 2016 by Kyle
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Walmart Pay App

In seven states, you no longer need to bring along your wallet to shop at the local Walmart.

No, I’m not talking about becoming a shop-lift artist, I’m talking about using the Walmart Pay option. Walmart Pay allows you to upload your payment information directly into the Walmart app and simply use your smartphone to pay at checkout.

The seven southern states where this has become a reality include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. Look for this to go national in the next 12 months.

Once you enter your credit card information into the app, all you have to do is open the Walmart app (iOS, Android), enter your PIN, and hold your phone over the code to scan. Done. Pick up your bags and leave. You’ll then get your e-receipt shortly via email.

Using your smartphone to complete purchases is not a brand spanking new technology. The trend started with Apple Pay and has since grown to individual retail chains like Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts.

But…buyer beware. Retailers know that the easier they make it for you to complete purchases, the more likely you’ll be to buy stuff you don’t necessarily need. Or worse yet, make it easy to forget what exactly you’ve purchased and how it affected your monthly budget. Molly Blakeman, a Walmart spokesperson, essentially reaffirmed this, “One day we hope that people don’t remember if they purchased something online or in a Walmart store because it’s so seamless.”

Ask the Reader:  Have you ever used your smartphone to make a purchase?


By Kyle James

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The Legitimate Reasons Why Some Shoppers Hate Costco

June 15, 2016 by Kyle
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Costco

Most folks love to shop at Costco as it offers some great ways to save money if you know what you’re doing. (See: Costco Shopping Tips That’ll Save You Time and Money) But as with any store, some shoppers don’t like certain aspects of shopping in the warehouse. So when I stumbled upon a MarketWatch article talking about the reasons some folks hate shopping at Costco, it piqued my curiosity. Here are a few of the reasons why some shoppers hate Costco that I found the most interesting.

Oh…the Lines

According to Consumer Reports, the slow checkout process at Costco irks many shoppers. I actually think this one has gotten better in recent years as many smart Costco shoppers avoid the weekend if at all possible. Unless of course, they shop late in the afternoon on a Sunday during the NFL season when the warehouse is practically empty.

Only One Credit Card Option

Yeah, I kinda get this one. For a long time Costco had an exclusive deal with American Express. But as of June 20th, 2016, they switched over to Visa which has made a lot of shoppers happy, especially those who use their Visa card to collect airline miles. You can use the following forms of payment at Costco: Cash, personal check, debit/ATM cards, Costco cash cards, Costco Credit cards, EBT, and your Visa credit card.

Little Shopping Advice

Some shoppers that hate the warehouse dislike the lack of employees on the floor who can help them decide which bottle of wine to buy or which HDTV has the most bang for your buck. The good news is you can use your smartphone to find reviews on Amazon. CNET, or just do a generic Google search for the product name followed by the word “review” and you’re bound to find some useful info to help you with your buying decision.

Once It’s Gone, It’s Gone

If I had to pick the one thing about Costco that I dislike the most, this would probably be it. Not because I missed out on the sold-out Sam Adams Summer Brew, but because it creates a false sense of urgency in shoppers. Don’t buy something because it “may” be gone soon, but rather because you have an actual need for the item. Otherwise you’ll end up with 4 huge bottles of Jose Cuervo Grapefruit/Tangerine Margaritas that’ll you never drink. My wife fell in love with this drink a few summers ago and we stocked up BIG-TIME. Then she decided they gave her a sour stomach and now they sit lonely in our pantry.

No Shopping Bags

I’m cool with this one, especially since the boxes they use are actually easier for carrying heavy items. At my house, shopping bags just up in the recycle bin anyways.

Ask the Reader:  Would any of these reasons be enough to keep you from paying $55 for a Costco membership? (See also: The Best Costco Deals That’ll Easily Pay For Your Membership)

7 Reasons Some Shoppers Hate Costco  |  Market Watch


By Kyle James

Photo by Mike Mozart.

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11 Freaking Awesome Ways to Save Money at Walmart

June 13, 2016 by Kyle
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Walmart is the 2nd biggest retailer in the known world. With that said, it constantly surprises me how many shoppers assume the Walmart price is the lowest thus there is no need to try and find clever hacks to save even more money. Well, I’m here to tell you that the low everyday price at Walmart is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to saving a buck or two. Here are […] Continue Reading…

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Amazon No Longer Offers 7-Day Price Protection (But Not All Hope Is Lost)

May 25, 2016 by Kyle
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I come today bearing bad news for loyal Amazon shoppers. As of early May 2016, Amazon is no longer offering 7-day price protection on your purchases. Apparently this was never an “official” policy, and was offered as a one-time exception at the discretion of chat operators and customer service reps. But the fact of the matter is, they almost always gave you a price adjustment if an item you just purchased went down in price.

But […] Continue Reading…

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All The Hardware Stores That Price-Match Home Depot and Lowe’s

May 18, 2016 by Kyle
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Technology is amazingly handy, especially when it comes to DIY YouTube videos that can help you with pretty much any job around the house. Another aspect that has changed the DIY landscape is the ability to use retailer’s price-match policies to ensure you get the lowest price on tools, hardware, and DIY supplies. Perhaps you’d rather shop at your local Ace, Menards, or True Value as they offer better customer service and are happy […] Continue Reading…

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The 7 Store Gift Cards You Should Use ASAP (Before It’s Too Late)

May 12, 2016 by Kyle
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(Updated 5/24/16)

Having you ever cleaned out your purse or wallet only to find an old gift card to a business that doesn’t exist anymore? If you have, you know it’s a pretty sickening feeling. It’s with this in mind that I want to help you avoid this “gift card foul” in the future. Here are the retailers that are currently in, or re-emerging, from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, or worse yet, about to shutter […] Continue Reading…

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McDonald’s Secret Menu Hacks That’ll Save You Money

May 10, 2016 by Kyle
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I recently noticed that McDonald’s stock is at an all-time high. They are clearly making a ton of money off our fast-food love affair, so I figured it was time to come up with some McDonald’s secret menu hacks that can actually save us money on our next trip to the golden arches. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, these tips can definitely save you some cash. McFlurry anyone?

1. Order the “Budget” Big Mac
Did […] Continue Reading…

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Ask Company For a Coupon if They Can’t Fix Their Product

April 28, 2016 by Kyle
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Here’s a Cheap (and Brilliant) Way to Score a Replacement Product:
So, this tip is short and sweet. If you have a product that is broken and out of warranty, and the company that manufactured it is unable to fix it (or it’s cost prohibitive), ask them for a coupon that you can use to save money on a replacement.

I recently had a friend do this quite successfully with Logitech. (See the screenshot of the […] Continue Reading…

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