In-Store Pickup: These 11 Retailers Make the Grade

June 5, 2019 by Kyle
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Do you love shopping online? Maybe it’s the coupon codes, or the easy price comparisons, or the overall convenience? Whatever the case, many retailers let you shop their website then pickup the item in-store at their brick and mortar locations, usually within an hour or two. Here are eleven such popular retailers along with details on how their in-store pickup service works. Hope it helps!

In-Store Pickup Services: These 11 Retailers Make the Grade

Best Buy

Best Buy In-Store Pickup

After you add items to your cart at Best Buy’s website, you’ll want to choose “Store Pickup”, then select your local store.

They’ll then give you an estimated pickup time which is usually within an hour.

Then wait for an email telling you the order is ready for pickup.

Bring in your order number, photo ID, and credit card to collect your items.

Look for reserved parking spots labeled Store Pickup which will be close to the front door for even faster pickup.

Also, they have a convenient program called “Friends and Family Pickup” which allows you to order something online and have someone else pick it up.

An example where this would be handy is an away-at-college-student. You can buy them something online and they can pick it up at a Best Buy near campus.

BJ’s Wholesale

BJ's In-Store Pickup

If you have a BJ’s in your neck of the woods you should be aware of their Pickup Service.

Penned the “Shop BJs.com – Pick Up in Club” program, most orders will be available for pickup within 2 hours.

Just place your order, select Club Pickup and wait for your email confirmation.

See Also: The 8 Best Return Policies in the Known Universe

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Dick's In-Store Pickup

Dick’s has upped the game by offering Free One-Hour Pickup.

Just shop their website like you normally would, set your store preference and add items to your virtual cart.

Under delivery options, select in-store pickup and finalize your purchase.

Wait for the email notification that your order is ready and drive on down.

When you arrive, visit the Self-Service Pickup Station to let employees know you’re there.

Home Depot

Home Depot In-Store Pickup

To take advantage of the Home Depot In-Store Pickup option just shop like normal but select “Pick Up In-Store” on the product page in your virtual cart.

You’ll get 2 emails, the first will be an order confirmation followed by an email telling you the order is ready for pickup. The 2nd email will usually arrive within 2 hours.

The 2nd email will also contain the instructions needed to make the pickup process seamless and quick.

IKEA

IKEA In-Store Pickup

The IKEA “Click and Collect” service is WAY slick.

Just shop at IKEA.com and add products to your shopping cart.

Once you get to the checkout page select “Click & Collect” and they’ll prepare the order at the store of your choosing.

Wait for the email or text message then go get your stuff.

Important Note: This program will cost you $5 upfront but you’ll get it back in the form of an IKEA gift card when you pick up your purchase.

Kohl’s

Kohl's In-Store Pickup

The Kohl’s Free Store Pickup is pretty straight-forward.

Just place your order, choose Free Store Pickup Today and wait for the email (usually within 2 hours).

Then drive to Kohl’s, park in a reserved space and head for the designated pickup line.

Lowe’s

Lowe's In-Store Pickup

The Lowe’s In-Store Pickup policy works very similar to the Home Depot’s.

Just select “Store Pickup” at checkout and grab your item(s) at the customer service desk when you get a notification that your order is ready.

They don’t specify a specific time frame but it’s always been within a couple hours in my experience.

Macy’s

Macy's In-Store Pickup

The Macy’s in-store pickup system is pretty slick too and available on a vast majority of items.

Simply pick Free Pickup In Store at checkout and get an email within 2 hours that it’s ready.

Be sure to place your order before 6 p.m. to get the 2-hour in-store pickup window.

Staples

Staples In-Store Pickup

The Staples In-Store Pickup program is cool too.

Just shop the Staples website and click the “Pick up Today” button and select your local store.

Once you complete your purchase you’ll get a “Ready for Pickup” email within 1 Hour. Now that’s fast.

Target

Target In-Store Pickup

The Order Pickup service at Target is pretty darn convenient as well.

When shopping the Target website, look for eligible items marked Free ship to store or Free order pickup.

Select either option and complete your purchase.

Next, wait for an email confirmation that your order is ready for pickup and you’re good-to-go.

Also, keep an eye out for Target Drive Up in late 2019. The service will allow you to place an order via the Target app and have a Target employee bring it out to your car.

Walmart

Walmart In-Store Pickup

Walmart has a handy in-store pickup service that is often underutilized.

Just order online and get same day pickup (usually within 2 hours) at NO extra charge.

The one catch is that it only applies to select items….but the selection is in the millions of items.

Just look for “Free pickup today” under the item’s price and follow the instructions.

Ask the Reader: Did I miss any retailers? Let me know in the comments, thanks!


By Kyle James

Old Navy Return Policy: Here’s Exactly How It Works

May 22, 2019 by Kyle
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The Old Navy return policy seems fairly straight forward at first glance. But when you start to delve into the details you quickly realize it has some nuances to it. Let’s take a deep-dive into their return policy and get all your burning Old Navy questions answered.

Old Navy Return Policy

How Many Return Days at Old Navy?

You have exactly 45 days from date of purchase to return stuff to Old Navy.

The same goes for Gap and Banana Republic.

What Happens After 45 Days?

If you try to return something to Old Navy (with your receipt) after your 45-day return window, you’ll be stuck with store credit.

BUT…this is completely at the manager’s discretion, meaning you could potentially be out-of-luck.

Hopefully Old Navy still has the item in-stock as you’ll stand a greater chance of success that way.

The current selling price is what you’ll typically get in merchandise credit.

Can Clothing Be Worn?

Clothing has to be in UNWORN and UNWASHED condition to be returned.

They will not take back any items that have been worn or washed UNLESS they are defective.

See Also: Is Old Navy’s Coupon Policy Bad Customer Service?

Do I Need My Receipt?

Typically YES….but there are some cases where you don’t need your receipt.

This is especially true if you’re exchanging an item for a different size or color. No receipt is required if the item is still in new condition.

If you lost your receipt and want a refund, Old Navy can usually look up your order via your credit or debit card.

If they find NO evidence of your purchase, you’ll be stuck with store credit at the current selling price of the item.

If you try to return an item without a receipt, and they don’t currently sell the item, they’ll tell ya to pound sand.

Are Clearance and “Final Sale” Items Returnable?

Clearance items are returnable but final sale items are NOT returnable.

Can I Return Stuff Bought Online to a Store?

YES, absolutely.

As a matter of fact this is the best way to avoid having to pay return shipping fees.

Just the bring the item(s) back to any Old Navy with your packing slip.

Does Old Navy Track My Returns?

When you make a return without a receipt they will ask for a photo ID.

They use your information to track your returns to make sure you aren’t taking advantage of their policy.

To many “No Receipt” returns at Old Navy and they can ban you from future returns.

Can I Return Gifts for Cash?

No, you cannot get cash for gift returns.

You’ll have to settle for store credit. This applies to returns with and without a gift receipt.

Be prepared to show a valid photo ID for them to process your gift return.

How Do I Return Items Online?

When your online order gets delivered take notice of the invoice slip.

This invoice has a section for returns that you’ll need to fill out and follow the instructions.

BUT…an even easier way is to check out their Online Portal for returns that will quickly guide you through the process and help you print out your return shipping label.

Be aware that you’ll be stuck paying the return shipping charges so it’s always smart to return items in-store when you can.

Can I Return Old Navy Items to Gap or Banana Republic?

No.

You must return items back to the brand where they were originally purchased.

What About Holiday Returns?

Old Navy has a nifty little holiday return policy that you should be aware of.

All items bought between November 1st – December 24th can be returned up until January 15th or 45 days of purchase, whichever is later.

Ask the Reader: What’s been your experience with the Old Navy return policy? Any tidbits that I may have missed?


By Kyle James

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 and answer all your burning questions.

Target Employee Discount

What is the Target Employee Discount?

Target hands out a 10% employee discount.

This discount is good for both in-store purchases as well as stuff you buy at Target.com.

Also, according to this Target employee, workers get an extra 10% off fresh (and frozen) fruits and veggies bringing your discount to a whopping 20%.

What Form of Payment Can You Use?

In order to get the employee discount you must use either cash, a Target gift card, or a Target REDCard.

I highly recommend using the REDcard (either debit or credit card) as you’ll score an additional 5% discount, bringing your total discount to a solid 15%.

Are Any Items Not Included in My Discount?

Yes, there are quite a few items that aren’t eligible. Here are the big ones…

– Alcohol – Don’t go buying booze with your employee discount.

– Gift Wrapping – Gotta wrap your own gifts at home.

– Hunting/Fishing License – Have to pay full price to hunt or fish in your neck of the woods.

– Target+ Items – Not sure what these are but you can’t get 10% off when you buy them.

– Gift Cards – This one makes sense as it would be easy to make money off gift cards.

– Stuff you Sell or Exchange for Profit – This one seems a little open-ended and left for the manager’s discretion.

See Also: 7 Target Clearance Tips That’ll Save You BIG

How Do I Get My Discount?

When shopping in-store, just go to any open checkout lane and present your Target team member card which has all the pertinent info on it.

To get your online discount, you’ll have to create a Target.com account and enter your Team Member number in the About Me section of your account.

Can Family Members Use the 10% Discount?

Only the employee and their spouse are eligible for the employee discount.

Don’t go shopping with your mom or boyfriend, use your discount, AND let them pay.

This is a bug no-no and can get you reprimanded or fired.

Of course you can always buy something for someone with your discount and simply have them reimburse you.

Is There a Maximum “Dollar Amount” Discount?

I asked a couple of my Target contacts and none of them were aware of a max “dollar amount” discount.

So you should be able to buy that thousand-dollar 70″ 4K Curved TV and get $100 off instantly.

Can I Get the 10% Employee Discount on Black Friday?

Yes.

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Arbor Day. It doesn’t matter, you still get your 10% off.

See Also: 5 Target Shopping Hacks Guaranteed to Save You Money

Hack Alert: Double Your Discount!

Open a Target REDcard credit card and they’ll mail you a 10% discount on your REDcard anniversary every year which you can STACK with your employee discount.

For those non-math majors like me…that’s a 20% DISCOUNT. Not too shabby.

Ask the Reader: Do you work at Target? If so, how often do you take advantage of the employee discount and what’s the most money you’ve saved?


By Kyle James

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 with this in mind that I researched the 11 best places to buy a money order near you, as well as the costs associated with each. I also breakdown what to do if you lose a money order and how to spot a fake one from a mile away.  

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

Why Would You Need a Money Order?

A money order is a great way to pay someone or have someone pay you.

Here are the BIGGEST benefits.

– Guaranteed Funds – A money order is issued with NO bank information on it and is backed by a 3rd party issuer like Western Union or MoneyGram.

To get a money order issued, you have to use cash or have the money taken directly out of your bank account making the funds “guaranteed”.

This makes for a great way to collect payment on a used vehicle for example. The buyer doesn’t have to withdraw a large amount of cash, and the seller can avoid collecting payment via a personal check.

– Very Convenient – Anyone can get a money order; no bank account required. Plus, the number of establishments that will issue a money order has also grown substantially, more on that later.

– Money Orders are Traceable – When you buy a money order you’re given a receipt with all the pertinent information on it to trace it (if needed). If a money order is lost or stolen, it can be easily cancelled and replaced (unlike cash).

What Does a Money Order Cost?

It completely depends on the store or business you buy the money order from. Fees currently range from $0.70 all the way up to $1.60.

Important note: The largest money order you can purchase is $1,000. If you need more than that you’ll have to buy multiple money orders or use a cashier’s check.

The 11 Best Places to Buy a Money Order

1. Walmart

Walmart money orders are pretty cheap and convenient since you’ll probably be shopping their anyways.

Cost: $0.88 (up from $0.70)
Company Used: MoneyGram
Maximum Amount Allowed per Money Order: $1,000
Payment Allowed: Cash, debit card, Walmart money card.

The $0.88 fee is the max fee and pricing varies by Walmart location. Only money orders that were created at Walmart can be cashed at Walmart.

2. Publix

When it comes to grocery stores, Publix is one of the cheaper places to get a money order. Here are the details.

Cost: $0.89
Company Used: Western Union
Maximum Amount Allowed per Money Order: $500
Payment Allowed: Cash, debit card.

It should also be noted that while Publix sells money orders, they do not cash them.

3. CVS Drugstore

CVS recently joined the ranks of drugstores offering money orders.

Cost: $0.99
Company Used: Money Gram
Maximum Amount Allowed per Money Order: $500
Payment Allowed: Cash, debit card.

Just walk up to any open checkout register at CVS and you can buy a money order. Be sure to bring a photo I.D. to make it happen.

4. 7-Eleven

Did you know you can grab a Slurpee and a money order on the same visit to 7-Eleven? Here’s the scoop.

Cost: $0.75
Company Used: Money Gram
Maximum Amount Allowed per Money Order: $500
Payment Allowed: Cash, debit card.

Since 7-Eleven locations are open 24 hours a day, they make for a great place to score that 2 a.m. money order you might need someday.

5. Kroger

Here’s what you need to know about getting a money order at Kroger.

Cost: $0.70
Company Used: Western Union
Maximum Amount Allowed per Money Order: $1,000
Payment Allowed: Cash, debit card.

Similar to Publix, Kroger is a great place to buy your groceries and money order all in the same trip.

6. K-Mart

As long as Kmart stays in business they’ll offer money orders.

Cost: $0.70
Company Used: Western Union
Maximum Amount Allowed per Money Order: $500
Payment Allowed: Cash only.

At $0.70 each, Kmart money orders are some of the cheapest around. But keep in mind that you CAN’T use your debit card to score one – cash only.

7. Meijer

Meijer has one of the cheaper money order services around.

Cost: $0.65
Company Used: Western Union
Maximum Amount Allowed per Money Order: $500 and $3,000 per customer, per day.
Payment Allowed: Cash, debit card.

8. Walgreens

Did you know that your local Walgreens offers money orders too? Here’s the skinny…

Cost: $0.65 – $1.00
Company Used: Western Union
Maximum Amount Allowed per Money Order: $500
Payment Allowed: Cash, debit card.

Update: Unfortunately Walgreens doesn’t offer money orders anymore. They now offer Western Union Money Transfers instead.

A WU money transfer allows you to use your debit card ($15 fee), credit card ($15 fee), or bank account ($0.99 fee) to send money to anyone at any time.

9. Rite-Aid

You can also get a money order at your local Rite-Aid drugstore.

Cost: $0.99
Company Used: Western Union
Maximum Amount Allowed per Money Order: $500
Payment Allowed: Cash, debit card.

It’s worth noting that Rite-Aid will NOT cash money orders at this time.

10. Local Banks

You can also go to your bank and ask for a money order.

While the fees may be higher, it will be much easier to have the money taken directly out of your bank account and turned into a money order.

Bank of America: $5 fee, $1,000 limit.
Wells Fargo: $5 fee, $1,000 limit.
US Bank: $5 fee, $1,000 limit.
Chase: $5 fee, $1,000 limit.
Regions Bank: $1 fee, $1,000 limit.

11. Post Office (USPS)

The United States Post Office is a tried-and-true way to get a money order created.

Cost: $1.25 for money orders $500 or under, $1.70 for $500.01 to $1,000.
Company Used: USPS
Maximum Amount Allowed per Money Order: $1,000
Payment Allowed: Cash, debit card, or traveler’s check.

USPS also lets you create international money orders with a $700 limit on each.

You can also cash in your next money order at the post office, which was something I was not aware of.

How Do I Spot a Fake Money Order?

Keep in mind that a thief can buy a money order for $1, then try to tamper with it to make the amount larger.

Or they can create a completely fake money order and try to pass if off as real.

When it comes to spotting a fake money order, there are 2 important things to be aware of.

1. Check the Dollar Amount – Does the dollar amount on the money order appear to be fuzzy or discolored? If it does, then there’s a good chance someone tried to erase the number and replace it with a larger number.

Also, if the amount is over $1,000 it’s probably a fake. This is because domestic money orders have a maximum value of $1,000 and international money orders have a maximum value of $700.

2. Examine the Paper – Hold the money order to a light (or at an angle) and check for a watermark.

If you don’t see a watermark you know it’s a fake.

USPS money orders have a watermark of Ben Franklin on the left side.

MoneyGram has a “logo” watermark on it as well as a heat-sensitive stop-sign that changes color when you put your finger over it.

Western Union also uses a watermark along with ink that will run when the money order is altered.

If you suspect a fake, you should call the company that issued it before trying to cash it.

– Western Union: 1-800-325-6000

– Money Gram: 1-800-666-3947

– USPS Verification System: 1-866-459-7822

What Should I Do If I Lost a Money Order?

There are 2 scenarios at play here…you either lost the money order before giving it to the recipient, or you lost it after it was given to you as a form of payment.

Let’s break down both scenarios…

1. You Lost a Money Order Before Giving it to Recipient

If the money order has yet to be cashed, you’re going to want to cancel it ASAP.

First call the issuer and explain the situation to them. This is where the importance of KEEPING YOUR RECEIPT comes into play.

Your receipt will have all the pertinent info needed to cancel the money order or to see if it’s been cashed.

You’ll typically be asked to fill out a cancellation request form, be sure to attached a copy of your receipt to it.

The issuer will give you instructions on how to return the form and you’ll be hit with a cancellation fee. Cancellation fees vary from $6 all the way up to $18 or more.

You’ll be given the option of getting a refund for the amount or having another money order issued.

Be warned that it can take 1-2 months for your cancellation request to be processed.

If you don’t have your receipt, it could cost you upwards of $30 to try and get your money order cancelled.

If the issuer comes back and tells you that the money order was cashed, you’ll have to take the evidence to the local authorities so they can investigate further.

2. You Lost a Money Order Given To You as Payment

Contact the person who gave you the money order and get a copy of the receipt if you can.

Next, call the issuer and they’ll help you through the process of regaining your cash.

The takeaway here is to cash or deposit your money order as soon as possible.

Where Should I Cash My Money Order?

When cashing a money order you’ll have to show a valid I.D., endorse it with your signature, and possibly pay a small fee before you get your cash.

When it comes to cashing or depositing it, here are the best places to make it happen.

  1. Bank or Credit Union – Take the money order to a bank or credit union that you already have an account with. You can either take the cash or deposit the money immediately into your account.
  2. Post Office – If you have a USPS money order you can take it to your local post office and have it cashed.
  3. Grocery Stores – Some grocery stores can it. Call ahead or visit the customer service desk to find out.
  4. Retail Stores – Many retail stores will cash a money order, but only if it was created at their store. For example, Walmart will only cash money orders that originated from a Walmart location.
  5. Check Cashing Business – Most will be able to cash your money order for you.

Ask the Reader: Where do you usually buy money orders? Do you prefer a specific business because of the location or because they have small fees?


By Kyle James

Photo credit to Marcin Wichary.

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.

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

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 retail price is $60, you’ll get it for $66.

It should also be noted that you won’t qualify for their employee discount until you’ve worked at Best Buy for at least 3 months.

Do Some Products Not Qualify?

Unfortunately, yes.

You WON’T be able to get a discount on Geek Squad services, Apple products, most computers and tablets, movies, and smartphones.

See Also: 7 Mind-Blowing Ways to Save Money at Best Buy

What Items are a “Must-Buy” for Employees?

Because the discount is cost + 10%, the secret for scoring a great deal is knowing which items at Best Buy have the largest profit margin, which means they have a “low cost” to Best Buy.

Buy those and you can REALLY save some money, easily up to 50% off the retail price.

These items are not laptops and name-brand HDTV’s, but rather things like headphones, cables, cases, and other accessories.

Especially look for deals on Best Buy’s branded items as they have big margins. These include Insignia and Dynex HDTVs, Rocketfish cables, Geek Squad flash drives, and InIt cases.

Do Geek Squad Employees Score the Same Discount?

Yes, they’ll score the same discount as regular BB employees.

Is There a Maximum Discount Percentage?

Best Buy recently topped their employee discount at 50%.

Anything Else You Should Know?

Why yes, there are several things worth knowing…

– Brands Can Limit Discounts – Brands that sell at Best Buy have the authority to limit the discount employees receive.

– Questionable Best Buy “Cost” – I’ve been told that you have to take the word for what Best Buy says is their “cost” on an item. Some employees have questioned their “cost” as inflated.

– Some Products Have a Smaller Discount – Be aware that some stuff has an employee discount, but it might be lower than cost + 10%. It will often be cost + 5% or 8%.

Look for Free Stuff – Perhaps the coolest thing about working at Best Buy is the free stuff stores hand out to workers from time to time. Could be stuff that doesn’t sell, or new items that the brand is trying to promote.

Ask the Reader: Do you work at Best Buy or have you in the past? If so, what’s the largest Best Buy employee discount you’ve received?


By Kyle James

Photo credit to Mike Mozart.

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.

Walmart Closing the Savings Catcher Program

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 close to $100 via the Savings Catcher program in the past 2 years I find this hard to believe.

I know for a fact that Walmart does NOT have lower prices on some items when compared to Costco, Target, and even local grocery stores.

When’s the Last Day?

The program’s official last day is May 14, 2019.

After that date you will no longer be able to submit receipts to Savings Catcher.

But you WILL be able to keep your Savings Catcher balance until you spend it and it will NEVER expire.

You’ll also still be able to scan your receipts into the Walmart App as I way to keep track of your purchases.

See Also: The 19 Stores That Will Price Match Walmart’s Low Prices

How Are Customers Reacting to the News?

As you might have guessed, not well.

Many loyal Walmart shoppers have taken to Twitter to voice their outrage…


While some shoppers are trying to plan a boycott for May 15th, others are done with Walmart altogether…

Moving Forward, Will Walmart Price Match at All?

So out of curiosity, I called my contact at Walmart and asked if they would be going back to a standard price match policy like they had in-place before Savings Catcher.

Regrettably, I was told they would NOT have a Walmart price-match policy moving forward.

Maybe this will change in the future, but for now the price you pay at Walmart should be considered the final price.

Ask the Reader: Are you going to miss the Savings Catcher program as much as I will?

By Kyle James

Photo credit to Mike Mozart.