When You Upgrade a Service, Ask For a Reimbursement on Overages

May 14, 2019 by Kyle
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Here’s a frugal hack that will help you save money when you get hit by overage charges from your cell phone provider (or any company for that matter). Don’t just blindly accept additional charges ANYMORE as you stand a great chance of getting them removed if you play your cards right. Here’s what you need to know…

When You Upgrade a Service Ask For Reimbursement on Overages

The Verizon Example

With two teenagers with a smartphone, my family was consistently going over our data plan every month and getting hit with overage charges from Verizon.

So when I finally got a spare moment to analyze our Verizon account, I realized we needed to upgrade to the unlimited data plan as the overages were killing us.

Start a Chat Session

So I went ahead and started a chat session with Verizon. I prefer to chat rather than call as it’s easier to get straight to the point and not get distracted.

At first I got nowhere with the chat representative but I persisted and finally got the answer I was looking for.

I told the rep that since I was upgrading to a more expensive monthly plan, refunding the overage charges was the least Verizon could do.

I stuck to my guns and the rep finally gave-in and told me they would give me back my $45 in charges.

See Also: Learn to Negotiate with Dish, DIRECTV, AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast and Save Hundreds

Will This Work For Other Carriers?

It absolutely should work with AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile.

It should also work with other service companies where you’ve incurred overage charges.

DSL Internet and broadband Internet jump to mind as many come with a maximum usage policies before you incur additional charges.

Final Thoughts…

Be sure to follow up and make sure the charges are indeed removed from your bill.

It’s easy to forget about the chat session which is why I always take a screenshot of the conversation and make a note to check my account in a week or two.

Good luck and happy savings.


By Kyle James

The 9 Product Sizes That Keep Shrinking (But the Price Stays the Same!)

April 30, 2019 by Kyle
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Have you noticed that many grocery store items are shrinking in size? In many cases, manufacturers are hoping you DON’T notice and are often tricking you with the dimensions of the box, carton, or jug. Here are 9 such examples with some shopping hacks to fight back on each. Hope these tips help you save money on your next trip to the store.

The 9 Product Sizes That Keep Shrinking (and What To Do About It!)

1. Ice Cream

Do you remember the days of buying ice cream in half-gallon cartons (64 oz)?

Now when you buy your favorite Dreyer’s or Breyers ice cream they typically come in 48 oz (1.5 quarts) cartons.

Unfortunately when this sizing change started happening a couple years ago the price stayed the same or even went up in some cases.

Work-Around Hack: Try to buy ice cream produced by local creameries, many of which still package their yumminess in half-gallon cartons with a price point lower than the big brand names.

2. Orange Juice

Last year, Tropicana quietly rolled out 52 oz clear plastic jugs to replace their 59 oz containers. The price remained the same.

The tricky part of this dealio is the jugs look identical from the front view as they simply made them slimmer.

So when you view them all lined up at the grocery store you don’t notice a difference unless you look at the boiler plate on the bottom of the jug telling you the size.

Work-Around Hack: Always look at the price per ounce when buying OJ. If you’re not a brand-specific shopper, opt for the best deal available.

3. Cereal

While cereal boxes look the same size from the front, MANY are getting really skinny.

The result is less cereal in the box for the same price.

According to a recent study “15 products suffered a reduction in packet size, and in the majority this resulted in an increase in the relative cost for each ounce of cereal.”

Work-Around Hack: Check the per ounce price when buying. Often times buying your favorite cereal in the “Family Size” box, or from Costco, makes for a better deal.

4. Toilet Paper

Many toilet paper manufacturers still claim the same number of sheets per roll, BUT they made the sheets smaller.

The average size use to be around 4.5 inches per sheet and they now come in closer to 4.

Work-Around Hack: Buy your TP from Costco as the sheets still measure 4.5″ x 4.0″. WAY bigger than brands like Scott and Charmin that come in at 4.1″ x 3.7″ per sheet.

5. Coffee

Believe it or not, a 1 pound can of coffee use to actually hold 1 pound of coffee. Crazy concept, huh?

Nowadays the same size can or bag only contains 11-13 ounces of coffee.

The next time you’re at the grocery store check out this phenomena.

Work-Around Hack: Buy coffee in bulk from Costco or when it goes on sale at your grocery store. You’ll pay a unit price MUCH less than if you bought the 11 oz Starbucks bags.

6. Yogurt

I love my Greek yogurt but I recently noticed how much smaller the containers are getting.

A container that use to last me an entire week now only lasts 4-5 days.

Brands like Chobani have been shrinking containers for years now.

Instead of raising their prices, they’ve found the strategy of simply having smaller containers to be much more profitable.

Work-Around Hack: Buy larger volume multi-serving yogurt containers as you’ll pay much less per ounce than if you buy the individual-sized yogurt cups.

7. Toothpaste

Toothpaste manufacturers are getting really tricky as well.

Colgate, for example, took their largest size (8.2 oz.) and lowered the tube to 8 ounces. Then they had the audacity to print “33% more” on the front of the 8 oz. box.

It’s not until you look at the small print on the back of the box where it compares the 8 oz. box to the 6 oz. box.

Work-Around Hack: Aside from making your own toothpaste, pay attention to unit size and look for deals on specific brands. Also, you can save by buying multiple tube “packs” from Costco.

8. Shampoo

Many shampoo makers have been slowly shrinking bottle sizes for years.

By doing it slowly, they’re hoping you won’t notice. Start noticing y’all!

Work-Around Hack: Snatch as many shampoo bottles as you can on your next hotel stay, shave your head (like me), or buy in bulk and save.

9. Canned Tuna

Tuna cans have a shrinkage problem.

20 years ago, a can of tuna weighed in at 7 ounces. Nowadays you’d be hard-pressed to find one over 5.

Unfortunately, the price of a can of tuna has NOT been shrinking making the cost per ounce significantly higher than in the past.

Work-Around Hack: Look for sales and grocery store coupons which can bring the price down. If you have the pantry space, you’ll want to stock-up when the price is right and beat the canned tuna manufacturers at their own game.

Ask the Reader: What other items have you discovered that are consistently getting smaller while the price remains the same or even goes up? Let me know in the comments below.


By Kyle James

Kohl’s Will Soon Accept Your Amazon Returns for FREE

April 24, 2019 by Kyle
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In an effort to get shoppers into their stores, all Kohl’s locations will start accepting your Amazon returns come July of 2019. But wait…it gets even better. Keep reading to see how this news just might be a game changer if you’re a big Amazon shopper.

Kohl's Will Soon Accept Your Amazon Returns for FREE

Do Items Need to Be In Original Box or Packaging?

Surprisingly, NO.

Once you initiate the return via the Amazon site, you’ll be given the option to drop-off the item at your local Kohl’s.

Just bring it in and they’ll box it up appropriately and get it returned for FREE.

Do I Still Need to Print a Return Label at Home?

Again, surprisingly, NO.

All you have to do is drop off the item and they’ll print the return label for you and ship it.

Now that’s COOL.

See Also: Amazon’s Return Policy: Insider Tips for Success

Where Inside Kohl’s Do I Go?

There will be a specific desk in the back of the store (I’m guessing) where you take your return.

Check out the picture above as this is what it’ll look like.

The brain-trust at Kohl’s isn’t dumb as they’ll want you to walk through the entire store before getting to the Amazon returns desk.

They’re banking on you noticing a deal or two on your journey to the bowels of the store.

Do All Amazon Purchases Qualify?

No.

Only items sold directly by Amazon, and not 3rd party sellers, qualify for returns at Kohl’s.

It will be interesting to see if more exclusions are added before the full roll-out in July. Things like size and weight of the item jump to mind immediately.

Do I Have To Be An Amazon Prime Member?

Nope, all Amazon shoppers qualify for this handy return service.

Is This a Full Roll-out in July?

Yes.

All 1,150 Kohl’s stores will start accepting Amazon returns in July.

A specific date has not been announced yet.

Anything Else I Should Know?

You know I always have one more tidbit for ya.

Apparently Kohl’s is planning on designating specific parking spots close to the entrance for those making Amazon returns.

Since we will have to walk to the back of the store this will make the trek a little easier.

Ask the Reader: Will you use the Kohl’s return option or is more of a hassle than it’s worth?


By Kyle James

Image courtesy of Kohl’s.

Costco Hack: How to REALLY Buy in Bulk and Save Money

April 16, 2019 by Kyle
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We all know about the bulk buying aspects of shopping at Costco. But did you know that many Costco locations let you buy meats, bakery items, and even some fruits and veggies “by the case” or in “cryovac bags” at highly reduced prices? If you have the freezer space, this Costco hack can really save you and your family some money. Here’s how the whole dealio works.

Costco Hack: How to REALLY Buy in Bulk and Save Money

Many Items Can Be Bought “By the Case”

I recently had a Costco employee tell me that many items come into the warehouse frozen and are thawed and repackaged for sale.

She went on to say that many of these items can be bought by the case before they are repackaged for BIG savings.

What types of stuff you’re probably asking…well let’s break it down.

Think Bakery and Deli Items

Did you know that most Costco locations actually post the price for buying the original box items arrive in?

The employee showed me the “Bakery by the Case” board posted in the bakery which breaks down the price for buying items this way.

I was immediately intrigued as the savings on most items was in the 20-40% range on various breads and bakery items.

Look for this posted information the next time you’re in your Costco, and IF you have the freezer space at home, it just might be a great way to save money.

Or better yet, go in with a family or 2 and buy the entire base box and split it among yourselves.

She also told me that Costco does a similar thing on some meat and deli items. Ask about it!

Give Me Some Specifics…

After some further research, I discovered a Reddit thread where Costco employees talked about this tip too.

One Costco employee, Reddit user 84awkm, used the cookie example. He said you can buy a box of 24 for $7.99 ($0.33/cookie) or a case of 180 frozen cookies for $34.99 ($0.19/cookie). The frozen cookies come raw and you just bake them at home when you want them.

He said similar examples for savings exist with bagels, baguettes, and bread too.

See Also: 7 Ways to Essentially Get a $60 Costco Membership for Free

Costco Deals on Bulk Meat Too

Many Costco locations (NOT ALL) sell meat in bulk as well.

Costco sells very high quality meat and many locations let warehouse members buy the entire “Cryovac” bag.

The cryovac bag is what many meats are delivered to Costco in and you can buy the ENTIRE bag for a reduced price.

Cryovac is a vacuum sealed bag that allows meat to be frozen for a longer period of time and keeps it freshness when thawed.

If they are not in the cryovac bag, they are in a “case” which is usually also available for sale.

Could be a case of rib eyes, case of new york, case of crab legs, etc.

BUT…according to one employee, you’ll get “3 or so times the meat for the same price.”

Great deal for sure if you have the freezer space.

Keep in mind that the meat will be untrimmed and you’ll have to do that yourself. 

Bottom line: Ask if your local Costco sells in bulk like this and save BIG money in the process.


By Kyle James

Target Employee Discount: Here’s How It Works So You Don’t Get Busted

April 5, 2019 by Kyle
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The Target employee discount is one of the best perks they give their workforce. As a matter of fact, you probably found this article because you’re considering applying for a job at Target, or maybe you’re a new hire seeking more info.

But like any discount that retailer’s hand-out, there are certain caveats and hacks that you should know to maximize your savings. With that in mind, let’s break down the employee discount at Target […] Continue Reading…

11 Best Places to Get Money Orders Near Me (With Prices Too)

March 28, 2019 by Kyle
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Dating back to the Civil War, money orders are a fast and secure way to pay an individual or business. They’re a piece of paper similar to a check, but unlike a personal check, they’re considered guaranteed money.

Maybe you don’t have a checking account, or perhaps you’re buying a used vehicle from a private party, whatever the case, you stand a great chance of needing to buy a money order from time to time.

It’s […] Continue Reading…

Best Buy’s Employee Discount: Here’s What You Must Know

March 25, 2019 by Kyle
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Thinking of applying for a job at Best Buy? One thing that might sway your decision one way or another is the Best Buy employee discount. Here’s everything you need to know about their discount, including items that are excluded and some insider tips that will maximize your savings.

What is the Best Buy Employee Discount?
The standard employee discount at Best Buy is Cost + 10%.

So if an item’s retail price is $100, and the […] Continue Reading…

Walmart Is Closing the Savings Catcher Program Forever (NO, I Say!)

March 22, 2019 by Kyle
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As I’ve talked about before, the Savings Catcher program at Walmart has been making a bunch of changes in recent months. Well, I have some major news on this front…the program is going away FOREVER. Here’s what you need to know.

Why is Savings Catcher Closing?
According to Walmart, their “efforts to lower prices upfront on thousands of items across our stores is working.”

So they feel the program is no longer needed.

As a shopper who’s earned […] Continue Reading…

J.Crew Return Policy: All You Need to Know to Make Returns a Breeze

February 26, 2019 by Kyle
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Let’s be honest, the J.Crew return policy is not very lenient. In fact, many shoppers might call it down-right stingy. But fortunately I’ve come up with a few clever hacks to make returns at J.Crew a little easier. Here’s everything you need to know about their policy to make returns a breeze.

How Many Return Days at J.Crew?
60 days.

You have exactly 60 days from the date of your purchase to return an item to J.Crew.

After […] Continue Reading…

This Simple Amazon “Workaround Hack” Will Make Shopping Even Easier

February 11, 2019 by Kyle
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Do you get frustrated when shopping on Amazon from your laptop or desktop? Especially when shopping for anything that has different sizes or colors, like clothing and shoes? If you do, you already know you have to manually pick your size and color to see the corresponding price. Very tedious and REALLY time consuming. Wouldn’t it be nice if Amazon displayed the price for all sizes and colors on one screen? If you know […] Continue Reading…