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 what I’m talking about, I have a solution and this Amazon workaround hack is for you. Let’s break it down.

This Simple Amazon Hack Will Make Shopping Even Easier

First, the Problem….

Puma Shoes on Amazon Desktop

Just the other day I was shopping on my laptop for a new pair of Puma shoes on Amazon.

I didn’t really care what color, I just wanted the lowest price in my size.

I found it REALLY tedious to have pick every color available to see what the price was. Check out the screenshot above to see what I’m talking about. They list the color but not the corresponding price.

Since Amazon is notorious for having vastly different prices for shoes and clothing, depending on size and color, I knew there HAD to be a better way to shop their website.

By the way, this goes for more than just apparel and footwear on Amazon, pretty much any product that comes in different colors or sizes will have different pricing. Think of things like water bottles, hats, Bluetooth speakers, backpacks, headphones, etc…

See Also: The One Amazon Hack That’ll Find You the Lowest Price…Every Time

Next, the Simple Solution….

Puma Shoes on Amazon Mobile

I vaguely remembered that when shopping from my iPhone, Amazon listed pricing along with the different colors.

So on a whim I pulled out my smartphone, went to Amazon.com via the Safari browser, and low-and-behold THEY DO list the prices below each color. (See screenshot above)

OK, that’s great, but what if you’re like me and find it really hard to shop from the tiny screen on your smartphone?

Or maybe you still have a flip phone? I know many of you do!

Well, the solution is to shop on the Amazon MOBILE site from your laptop or desktop computer.

To make it happen, you simply type in Amazon.com/mobile into your browser and the mobile site will automatically load.

BOOM, you’ll now gain access to the price of all sizes and colors without having to click on each one individually.

What Will the Mobile Site Look Like?

Amazon Mobile

As you can tell from the screenshot above, Amazon mobile displayed on your desktop or laptop computer will look a little funny at first.

It will have a lot more “white space” on it and will look way less cluttered and busy.

Heck, because of the simplicity of the “mobile view”, you might end up liking it even better and never switch back.

How To Go Back to “Full” Site?

When you’re done shopping on the Amazon mobile site, you may want to go back to the full Amazon “Non-Mobile” site for whatever reason.

To make it happen, you simply type amazon.com/fullsite into the browser and you’ll be magically transported back.

If the Amazon site seems to be “stuck” in mobile-mode, try clearing your browser’s cache and cookies and then reload the site.

Happy shopping and I hope you find this Amazon hack as handy as I did.

Ask the Reader: Have you tried this Amazon “workaround hack” before? Let me know if you were as stoked as I was with the result.


By Kyle James

JCPenney Return Policy: 8 Questions Answered So You Can Shop Smart

February 4, 2019 by Kyle
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At first glance the JCPenney return policy looks pretty awesome, but when you start to look a little closer you notice that there are MANY exceptions that shoppers need to be aware of. Not only will I break down these exceptions, but I’ll answer all your burning return policy questions and even give you an insider hack for those who lost their JCPenney receipt. I hope this information helps.

JCPenney Return Policy: Questions Answered So You Can Shop With Ease

How Many Return Days Does JCPenney Offer?

For most items, there is NO time limit on returns.

The most popular items that come with NO time limit on returns at JCPenney include shoes, clothing, linens, bedding, housewares, kitchen gadgets, and home decor.

What If I Don’t Have My Receipt?

If you lost your JCPenney receipt, you’re NOT out of luck.

You can still return items but will have to settle for the lowest advertised price in the past 45 days.

You can’t get a cash refund and will instead receive store credit to be used on a future JCP purchase.

Be prepared to show a valid I.D. as they’ll track your return history to avoid any misuse of their fairly generous return policy.

Are There Any Exceptions to This?

Yes, there are quite a few items that have a time limit on returns.Here are the most notable.

Fine Jewelry 60 days with a receipt. Also worth noting that watches must be unworn.

Smart Watches/Fitness Trackers – 10 days with a receipt and they must be unworn and you must have a receipt.

Body Jewelry – All sales are final.

Special Occasion Dresses – No time limit but dresses must be unworn with green return tag still on them.

Furniture/Mattresses – Must be returned within 48 hours of delivery. Call them at 1-800-442-7902 to start your return. Also note that you’ll be hit with a 15% restocking fee and $85 pick-up fee.

Electronics – The same as furniture, 48 hours from time of delivery. You’ll also be hit with the same restocking and pick-up fee.

Fitness Equipment – Same as electronics above. 

Major Appliances – 48 hours from time of delivery and you MUST have your receipt. You’ll also be hit with a 15% restocking fee.

Custom Blinds & Drapes – Order must be cancelled within 24 hours of initial purchase. There is NO refund available after that since the items are custom made. 

In-Home Window Treatments – You must request a refund within 3 days of original contract date. 

Home Services – Includes things like flooring and counter-tops. You have 3 business days from your order date to request a refund. 

Salon Items – 60 days and you must have a valid receipt. 

Sephora Products60 Days with a receipt, if beyond 60 days you’ll get store credit. If you don’t have your receipt they may be able to “look up” your purchase if you have a Beauty Insider account.

Optical – Custom made eyewear comes with a 24 hour return policy. You can also exchange eyewear within 60 days, if not satisfied, for glasses of equal or lesser value.

Portrait – 60 days with a valid receipt. 

Can Items Be Used or Worn?

The short answer is DEPENDS and often falls on the discretion of the store manager.

If items are gently worn, you stand a good chance of returning the items.

If you buy a blouse, spill wine on it, then try to return it you might have a hard time returning it unless there is something wrong with the blouse that is not your fault.

The same can be said for items missing their original tags and packaging…your mileage will vary.

Are There Any Items That CAN’T Be Returned?

Yes, there is indeed some stuff you CAN’T return to JCPenney and here they are.

  • Gift Cards
  • Monogrammed Items
  • Personalized Items
  • Altered Items
  • Body Jewelry
  • Perishable Foods

Everything else JCP sells is returnable.

What About Returning a Gift?

You can return items with a gift receipt BUT you can’t get cash for them.

You will have to settle for store credit or an even exchange.

Also, you’ll get the price of the item that’s listed on the actual gift receipt.

If you don’t have the gift receipt you’ll get the lowest listed price within the past 45 days.

Can I Return Online Purchases In-Store?

Yes, absolutely.

When you buy anything from the JCPenney website, you can definitely return it to your local brick and mortar location.

This is obviously the quickest and easiest way to make a return.

If you don’t have a JCP in your area you can simply use the “Return & Exchange” form that came with your package to process your return.

The one problem with this is that you’ll be on the hook for the return delivery charges.

Hack Alert: Did You Lose Your JCP Receipt?

Ask an Associate to Look Up Your Purchase.

JCP

Apparently, according to the JCP Facebook page, you can ask an associate to use your credit card to look up your previous purchases.

I’m guessing your mileage may vary as some associates might not know how to do this…but it’s worth a shot.

If the associate looks at you kinda funny, ask if a manager can do it for you.

Ask the Reader: Have you made a return recently at JCPenney? Was it an easy process or a total pain in the butt? Let me know!


By Kyle James

Photo credit to Mike Mozart.

What is an “Amazon Go” Store and Why You Should Care

January 28, 2019 by Kyle
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How would you like to be able walk into a grocery store, fill your basket with goods and walk out without standing in line and checking out? That’s exactly what you do when you walk into an Amazon Go store and it’s pretty incredible technology. Here’s how Amazon Go stores work and why you should give a darn.

What is an

OK, So What Exactly are “Amazon Go” Stores?

Amazon Go is a “brick and mortar” grocery store concept that lets you walk in, grab the items you want, then walk out without having to checkout in the traditional way.

No cashiers asking you “So whatcha up to today?” and more importantly, NO lines.

You simply download the Amazon Go app for free, scan the app when you walk in, and they’ll track exactly what you buy and bill your Amazon account when you exit.

Once you scan the app, and enter the store, you can put your phone away as you won’t need it again.

Where Are Amazon Go Stores Currently?

The Amazon Go roll-out started back in 2016 in Seattle and has grown to 9 stores as of this writing.

Besides Seattle (4), they have stores in Chicago (3) and San Francisco (2). Two more in the works.

Most are currently located in busy financial districts where workers want to grab a quick lunch or snack. This is evident by many Amazon Go locations being closed on weekends.

What Products Do They Carry?

Think of Amazon Go stores as a “corner market” type of store.

They carry staple items like dairy, bread, candy, drinks, snacks, coffee, and personal hygiene products.

But their most popular section is the prepackaged foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Most are from local restaurants and suppliers that shoppers recognize and know are tasty.

And yes, they carry alcohol. Be prepared to show your ID to an employee before entering the booze section of the store.

Also, when shopping at a specific Amazon Go location, be sure to tap the Discover tab within the app and it’ll tell you exactly what the store carries.

What About Amazon Go Prices?

The prices aren’t outrageous and are actually reasonable.

For example, you can get a tasty wrap for $6.49, a bag of chips for $1.29, and a bottle of water for $.99. That’s well under $10 for a quick lunch. Not bad.

Are the prices going to be less than a big-box grocery store? Not typically, but the concept of “time being money” makes the Amazon Go proposition a winner for many on the move.

As Amazon opens more “Go” stores, look for prices to drop as they fine tune the technology and figure out how to pass more savings along to you.

Do You Need to be a Prime Member?

Nope.

Amazon Go is open to ALL shoppers, even those without a Prime membership.

You just need an Amazon account along with a smartphone so you can download the app.

How Accurate is the Technology?

Amazingly, it is REALLY accurate.

So accurate in fact that Amazon has said that if you manage to exit an Amazon Go location with something you weren’t charged for, it’s on them and you can KEEP it.

I was intrigued by this YouTube video from Linus Tech Tips as they did a great job explaining the tech being used in the store.

Not only are there cameras everywhere tracking your movements, but they track what items you pick up and take along with those that you pick up, stare at, then put back.

The prepackaged food items have specific Amazon Go bar-codes on them but the other items don’t, which is kinda incredible.

Amazon has been tight lipped when talking about exactly how the stores work, but in any case, they’re clearly using computer vision and deep learning to track what you grab.

Why Should You Care About This?

Put simply, because it’s the future.

Remember when Amazon acquired Whole Foods back in 2017?

It was no accident that this was shortly after the first Amazon Go store popped up in Seattle.

Look for Amazon to bring this technology to Whole Foods in the very near future.

It might not be in the entire store to start, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was in the next few years.

This line-less technology is the future of “brick & mortar” shopping and Amazon is at forefront.

Data Concerns?

When you walk into an Amazon Go location you better believe the data collection starts in earnest.

They’re tracking what you buy, what you look at (and for how long), and how you navigate the store.

Data that’s used to improve their stores and technology to better serve you.

This data collection might seem a bit “big brotherish” but it’s the price you pay to enter Amazon Go….your choice.

Ask the Reader: Have you ever shopped at an Amazon Go location? Would you go back? How was the experience and the value proposition?


By Kyle James

Photo credit to Amazon.com.

Are Costco Tires Cheaper? Here’s How Costco Prices Stack Up

January 23, 2019 by Kyle
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Is the tread depth on your tires looking a little skimpy these days? Costco just might be the place to go to save some money on your next set of tires. In this article, I dive into the pricing at Costco along with some handy tire shop “hacks”, along with the warranty they give you. But more importantly, I look at the price of Costco tires and how it stacks up to Walmart, Big O Tires, and America’s Tire Company. (Hint: The savings secret is in the coupon.)

Are Costco Tires Cheaper? Here's How Costco Prices Stack Up

In order to compare “apples to apples”, I’m gonna use my 2004 Chevy Silverado as an example.

I’ll see what 4 new tires would cost me at Costco, then I’ll use the same tire and compare my other options.

I choose a tire from Michelin, specifically the Defender LTX M/S, as it’s a popular worldwide brand that pretty much everybody sells.

What Is The Cost of 4 New Tires at Costco?

4 New Tires at Costco

So my Chevy truck needs 4 new tires. My first stop is Costco.com to see what it’ll cost me.

After entering my vehicle’s specs, four new Michelin Defender LTX tires will run me $186.49 each.

Add an install fee of $15 per tire, and a $2.99 service fee per tire, and I’m out the door for $817.92. (before tax)

Note: Check out the screenshot above, the $70 coupon for 4 Michelin tires was VERY helpful. Costco almost ALWAYS has a coupon like this. Might not be for Michelin, could be for Goodyear, Pirelli, or BF Goodrich. (More on this later)

Of course you’ll need to be a Costco member to be eligible for their tire deals.

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

How Does Costco Compare to the Competition?

With the $817.92 number in-hand, I went out and compared the Costco price to the following local competitors…

Walmart:

Walmart Tires

The same exact tire at Walmart, the Michelin Defender LTX M/S, sells for $203.99 per tire.

Throw in their basic tire installation of $15 per tire and the total (minus tax) would be $875.96.

For those of you who don’t want to do the math, Costco is over $58 cheaper than Walmart.

Big O Tires:

4 New Tires at Big O

The same Michelin tire at my local Big O Tires is even more expensive than Walmart and WAY more than Costco.

As you can tell from the screenshot above, I’d be out the door at Big O for $965.

That’s $147 more than my local Costco.

America’s Tire:

America's Tire

The folks at America’s Tire are also more expensive than Costco.

Four new Michelin tires would run me $816 + $80 install fee + $10 disposal fee = $906.

A little cheaper than Big O Ties, plus they offer a lifetime tire service which gets you free rotations and free flat repair for the life of the tire.

My Conclusion:

Costco tire prices beat the competition quite easily in my scenario.

But surprisingly the only way to consistency get a lower price at Costco is to use one of their current coupons which will get you a discount on a set of 4 new tires.

Costco Tire Coupon

The key here is to NOT be a “brand specific” tire shopper.

Maximize your savings by taking advantage of whatever coupon they’re currently offering.

With that said, Costco often (if not always) has great tire coupons available for brands like Michelin, Goodyear, BF Goodrich, and Bridgestone.

Take advantage and you’ll save enough money to cover the cost of your annual Costco membership.

By the way, I thought I might find a similar Michelin tire coupon at some of the other retailers that I price-checked, but surprisingly there were NONE to be found.

Any Cool Costco Tire “Extras” to Be Aware Of?

Yes, glad you asked.

Every tire you buy from Costco comes with their 5-Year Road Hazard Warranty which you should factor into your buying decision.

This warranty will get you the following:

– Flat Repair: If one of your tires has a flat, Costco will fix it for free.

– Free Tire Rotations – Bring your car in every 5,000 miles for a free tire rotation. This will make your tire tread last much longer.

– Free Pressure & Inflation Checks – If your low tire pressure light comes on you can bring your car back to Costco and they’ll take care of you.

Conversely, the Costco Road Hazard Warranty DOES NOT cover the following:

– Tire Damaged from Certain Situations: These situations include an accident, vandalism, racing, commercial use, off-road use, snow chains, and worn mechanical components.

– Tire Transferred from Another Vehicle – Only the car which the tire was originally installed on is eligible.

The Costco warranty just might sway you when all other things are equal, namely price per tire.

BONUS: 4 Costco Tire Center “Hacks”

1. Always Make an Appointment – Showing up at Costco to get new tires, especially on a weekend, it gonna lead you to a 2-3 hour wait (at least).

Be smart and call ahead to schedule an appointment or do it online.

2. Keep an Eye Out for Penny Installation Deals – A few times per year Costco will roll out their “1 Cent Install Deal” which will save you an easy $60.

Costco 1 Cent Install Deal

3. Costco Offers FREE Tire Rotations and Flat Repairs – When comparing the Costco price to your local competitors be sure to take this into account.

4. Costco Fills Your Tires with Nitrogen – Apparently this helps keep your tire pressure more stable and gives it less temperature swings in extreme weather.

Ask the Reader: Do you buy your tires at Costco? If so, was it an easy process and how much money did you save?


By Kyle James

7 Target Clearance Tips: Learn How to Save BIG at Tarzhay

January 16, 2019 by Kyle
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Would you believe me if I told you there was a science to finding the best clearance deals at Target? I’m not gonna lie, it’s kinda true.

Not only is there a science to reading their clearance stickers, but also knowing which day of the week will score you the best deals.

It’s with this in mind that a present 7 Target clearance hacks that’ll guarantee you get the best deal and save money on your next shopping haul.

7 Target Clearance Tips: Learn How to Save BIG

1. Learn How to Read Target Clearance Price Tags

Target Yellow Clearance Price Tag

You’ll never look at a Target price tag the same way again.

When looking at a yellow clearance price sticker, there is some hidden info you’ll want to know.

Here’s how it works:

– Prices Ending with .88, .98, .48, .24, or .04 – These are all clearance items.

– Check Upper Right Hand Corner – You’ll see a tiny number. It will be either a 15, 25, 50, 70, or 90. This is the percent off the original price.

You’re probably thinking, “So what?”

Well, I had a Target employee tell me that they continue to mark things down weekly until they’re ALL gone.

But she also told me that NOT all clearance products get marked down every week.

So if you see an item with a 15 in the corner, and they have a ton of inventory, there’s a great chance you can get it next week for 25% off. And so and and so on.

The holy grail at Target is the 90 as that’s the lowest clearance price you’re EVER going to find.

Note: These clearance stickers use to be RED but my local Target now has YELLOW ones. It’s worth noting that some stores might still be using the red ones.

See Also: The Only 5 Target Shopping Hacks You’ll EVER Need

2. Shop on the Right Day of The Week

Clearance Electronics

Did you know Target has a clearance markdown schedule?

Every weekday they take a specific section of the store and do their markdowns.

Shop on the right day and get “first dibs” on all the newest clearance deals.

Here’s how their schedule currently breaks down:

– Monday – Electronics, Accessories, Kids Clothing, Books, Baby and Stationery

– Tuesday — Domestics, Women’s Clothing, Pets and Market (food items)

– Wednesday — Men’s Clothing, Health and Beauty, Diapers, Lawn & Garden items and Furniture

– Thursday — Housewares, Lingerie, Shoes, Toys, Sporting Goods, Decor & Luggage

– Friday — Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, & Jewelry

Use this insider info to your advantage and save money on stuff you’d be buying anyways.

See Also: What Day to Shop? 12 Insider Tips on Store Markdowns

3. Know the Christmas Clearance Schedule

Shop right after Christmas this year at Target and save HUGE.

Here’s how their holiday clearance schedule currently works.

December 26th – 29th: Score 50% off Christmas clearance stuff and 30% off food items.

December 30th – Jan 2nd: Score 70% off and 50% off food items.

January 3rd – January 5th: Score 90% off and 70% off food items.

Be aware that your mileage may vary on this schedule as some stores seem to play be their own rules.\

Let me know in the comments if you see any different clearance schedules in your neck of the woods.

4. Find Clearance Deals on Target.com

Target.com

Don’t forget about the clearance section on the Target website.

While you might not find the same screaming deals as you’ll find in-store, there definitely is some great opportunity for savings.

This is especially true in these online categories: Clothing, Baby, Furniture, Home, and Toys.

For example, I recently found a sweet Goodfellow & Co. Fleece Jacket for $14.99, regularly $29.98.

I also noticed a Peoria Loveseat for $134.99, regularly $299.99.

5. Shop the Aisle End-Caps

Target End Caps

Sometimes it can be hard to figure out where the clearance items are hidden at Target.

With that said, the one surefire place to fine them is on aisle end caps.

Not every end cap, but many of them. Especially the end caps that are facing an outer wall of the store. Those often have hidden gems on them.

You won’t find these near the front of the store, you’ll need to wander in a bit to spot them.

So before you go paying full-price for something, walk to the end of the aisle and see what hidden deals you might be able to find.

In the picture above, I found a Polaroid digital frame for 50% off the original price. It wasn’t even in the electronics section but the home goods department.

So be sure to snoop around the end caps, you just might be surprised with the deals you’ll find.

6. These 4 Departments Have the Best Clearance Deals

Toy Aisle

Without a doubt you’ll find the BEST clearance deals in Electronics, Toys, Clothing, Shoes, and Home Goods.

The picture above is from the toy department and it had an entire aisle dedicated to Target clearance toys.

Granted this picture was taken a few weeks after Christmas, but I’d add Target to your list of retailers to visit when looking for an inexpensive toy around Christmas and birthdays.

7. Look For “Repackage” and “As-Is” Items

Target Repackage Tag

Keep a keen eye out for yellow stickers titled “Repackage” and “As-Is”.

They’re typically items that have nothing wrong with them and are usually items which were returned.

They come with the same warranty and lenient return policy that “brand new” items have. So why pay full price for them when you can score them at a major discount.

I’ve personally found them to be screaming deals in the 50% off range.

Ask the Reader: How do you find Target clearance deals? Do you have any insider hacks that I may have missed?


By Kyle James

How to Cancel DirecTV and Save BIG (No Seriously…Like a Lot of Money)

January 10, 2019 by Kyle
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Are you finally ready to cut-the-cord and cancel your DirecTV account once and for all? I did this exact thing last year and have easily saved over $500 in the days since. But it’s not as easy to cancel as you might think. Perhaps you’re still under contract or maybe the early cancellation fee has you concerned. I’ve done all the work for you and have answers to all your questions. I’ll even breakdown 5 of your best TV options once you’ve cancelled DirecTV. Let’s get to it.

How to Cancel DirecTV and Save BIG (No Seriously...Like a Lot of Money)

First, You Gotta Call DirecTV

Gather up all your account information and call DirecTV at 1 (800) 531-5000.

You cannot cancel via their website as they DO NOT want to make it easy for you to cancel.

Be prepared for a 10-20 minute process, always best to call early in the morning to avoid long wait times.

You’ll immediately get put in their automated phone system.

Always pick choices that lead to you talking to a REAL person. You can also try repeatedly pushing the 0 button at every option to get to a customer service rep quickly.

When I cancelled DirecTV recently, I simply told the first person I spoke with that “I want to cancel my account immediately”.

I was then rerouted to their customer retention department as they wanted to try and talk me into staying.

After all, DirecTV has invested a lot of money into keeping you as a paying customer and they don’t want to lose you.

To this end, they’ll offer some pretty attractive incentives to try and talk you out of leaving.

For example, they offered me 50% off my bill for 1 year AND free HBO for 6 months.

I gotta admit I was intrigued, but I stuck to my guns and cancelled.

After all, even with the reduced bill for a year, I knew I would be saving more money by cancelling and opting for other TV viewing options. (More on those later)

See Also: Learn How to Negotiate with DishNetwork, DIRECTV, AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast

Are You Still Under Contract?

Luckily my 2-year DirecTV contract had expired by the time I called to cancel.

If you’re not in the same boat as me, be prepared to swallow hard when considering getting out of your contract.

It’s going to cost you a $15 deactivation fee as well as $20 for each month remaining on your contract.

So if you have 8 months left on your contract, it will cost you $160 + $15 = $175 to get out early.

But it’s important to remember that for many of us, that’s only 2-3 months of what we were paying DirecTV already.

So, unless you have 15-20 months remaining on your contract, it’s totally worth it to pay the penalty to get OUT early and MOVE on.

What About All the Equipment?

Lucky you, you get to keep that beautiful satellite dish fastened to your roof.

Everything else they’ll want back. Namely your receiver, remote, and cords.

I was sent a return authorization form and asked to take my equipment to my local UPS Store.

The cool thing about this is that I didn’t have to worry about boxing up all the gear as the UPS Store did it ALL for me.

I literally handed them a bag with all my gear and they gave me a receipt showing that I indeed dropped it all off.

Important Note: They’ll give you 3 weeks to get the equipment back. Make sure you do it sooner rather than later as they’ll hit your account with a $150 fee if you don’t get the gear back in the 3-week time period.

Why You REALLY Have Nothing to Lose…

If you’re on the fence about giving DirecTV the boot, I have some relief for you.

A few months after I cancelled I got a “Come Back to Us” letter in the mail.

In the letter. they offered me their Select Package (155 channels) for only $19.99/month for one year.

They also offered free HBO, Starz, Cinemax, and Showtime for three months.

So the takeaway is if you do end up cancelling DirecTV, but ultimately regret it, this letter will get you back with a screaming good deal.

Bonus Tip: How to Cancel DirecTV Now

DirecTV NOW (Our Full Review) is their new streaming service that’s a decent alternative to satellite cable.

But if you’re currently subscribed, there may come a time when you want to get rid of it as well.

To make it happen you just visit your online account, no phone call required.

Once you’re logged in, just click on Settings, Manage My Plan, and then Cancel Plan.

There is NO contract or early termination fees to worry about.

You’ll keep the DirecTV Now service until your current billing period ends.

5 Solid Cord-Cutting Options

Congratulations on giving DirecTV the boot. So now what?

Well, here are my 5 favorite cord-cutting options that my family has used at different times to watch all our favorite channels and SAVE a ton of money in the process.

Find a mix of these 5 that makes the most sense for your viewing habits.

1. Over-The-Air HD Antennae

HD Antennae

The first thing to do is visit the website NoCable.org and enter your physical address.

The site will tell you based on your location (and topographical features) what HD channels you’ll get over-the-air waves.

If you live out in the country, or have mountains around, you might only get a couple channels.

But if you live on flat land, or in a town or city, you’ll probably be amazed with the number of HD channels available to you for FREE.

Just buy an inexpensive HD antennae (they run around $25), hook it to your TV, and start watch HD channels immediately at no-cost to you.

2. Hulu

Hulu

Hulu is a popular streaming service that starts at $7.99 a month and currently offers a 1-month trial for new customers.

Pros: Price, long trial period, tons of current TV shows, some packages include ESPN and other sports channels, no contract.

Cons: Have to pay more for limited commercials, expensive “Live TV” option, limited original programming.

3. Netflix

Netflix

Unless you live under a rock you’re already familiar with Netflix.

Plans start at $7.99 a month and new users get a generous 30-day free trial.

Pros: Thousands of new movies and TV shows added monthly, excellent original programming, no contract.

Cons: No live TV, no local channels, no ESPN.

4. Sling TV

Sling TV

Sling TV (Full Review) is another live TV streaming option with monthly plans starting at $25. Comes with a 7 day free trial so you can give it a test drive.

Pros: Inexpensive, ESPN included, DVR option, ability to pick certain channels, no contract.

Cons: Limited local programming, eats up broadband quickly.

5. Fubo TV

FuboTV

FuboTV is another streaming option that’s been gaining favor recently.

I’ve done their free 7-day trial a couple times so I could get the NFL Red Zone and track my fantasy team.

I was happy with their service both times and the Fubo user interface was simple to use.

Packages start at a somewhat pricey $39.99/month, but it comes with 75+ live channels

Pros: Great sports programming (especially for soccer and NFL fans), easy to learn user interface.

Cons: Expensive, no ESPN, no local channels.

Bottom line, cut the cord and start saving money today.


By Kyle James

Amazon Prime Student vs Prime: What Are The Main Differences?

January 8, 2019 by Kyle
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Amazon Prime Student is a no-brainer for most college students, especially when ordering textbooks. But trying to figure out how Prime Student is different than regular Amazon Prime is a bit tricky. Both Prime services have many of the same Prime Perks but there are some glaring differences that I wanted to breakdown. I also wanted to show you how to join Prime Student without a .edu email address. Let’s get to it shall we…

Amazon Prime Student vs Prime: What Are the Differences?

Are the Prime Perks the Same with Prime Student?

The major differences between Prime Student and regular Prime are fairly significant.

First, let’s start with the similarities.

Similarities:

Both versions of Prime come with these KEY benefits:

– Free 2-Day Shipping: This is the BIG one. Both come with unlimited free 2-day shipping on all eligible items.

Some major universities even have an “Amazon Store” on campus that allows for same-day Prime Student pickup. I recently saw this on the UC Berkeley campus.

– Prime Video: Both Prime Student and regular Prime members gain access to Prime Video which lets you stream thousands of movies and TV shows for free. Huge money saver if you can use Prime Video to replace Netflix.

– Photo Storage via Prime Photo: Both also come with Prime Photo which scores you unlimited, full-resolution, photo storage.

– Twitch Prime: Twitch is popular with many college students and is a gaming platform with a bunch of free gaming content.

– Prime Reading: You’ll gain access to over 1,000 free Kindle books, comics, and magazines.

Differences:

Here are the 2 key ways Prime Student and regular Prime are different.

– Prime Music: Only full-fledged Prime members get access to Prime Music and the millions of songs therein.

– Kindle Owners’ Lending Library: No access to Prime Student members.

See Also: Amazon “Prime Student” Hacks (Plus a 6-Month Trial Membership)

Is the Prime Student Free Trial Different than the Regular Prime Trial?

Yes, it certainly is.

Prime Student actually comes with a whooping 6-month free trial, compared to the 30-day trial that accompanies regular Prime.

Once your 6-month trial period is over, you’ll get the option to extend your Prime Student membership at the reduced rate of $6.49/month which comes out to about $78/year. Cancel at any time.

Amazon lets you renew monthly for up to 4 years OR until you graduate, whichever comes first.

If you don’t cancel at that point, your account will roll over to a regular Prime membership.

Regular Amazon Prime currently costs $119/year or you can pay monthly at $12.99/month.

How Do I Qualify for Prime Student?

You’re going to need a .edu email address to be eligible to Sign-Up for Prime Student.

If you don’t have a .edu address NO worries as you’re still eligible.

You’ll simply need to email one of the following documents to amazon-student-verif[email protected].

– Student ID: The ID must have a valid expiration date on it.

– Transcript or Class List: Must be from your current term and have your name and school’s name on it.

– Official Acceptance Letter: Must include your matriculation date.

– Tuition Bill: Has to have your name and college’s name on it.

Once verified, expect Amazon to get back to you within 3-5 biz days with the link to officially sign-up for Prime Student.

See Also: 6 Brilliantly Slick Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Can Prime Student Be Shared?

Nope, Amazon Student cannot be shared with others.

Ask the Reader: Are you currently enrolled in Amazon Prime Student? What benefits do you use the most?


By Kyle James

8 Awesome Ways Your Amazon Echo (and Alexa) Can Save You Money

January 2, 2019 by Kyle
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Thanks to the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot it has become much easier to save money in everyday life. These cool tech gadgets from Amazon have become much more than handy devices that’ll tell you how many fluid ounces are in a cup. If you know how to use them correctly, they’ll actually help you save money on utility costs, gas, water, and even expensive car repairs. Let’s break it down…

8 Awesome Ways Your Amazon Echo Can Save You Money

1. Save Money on Gas

Did you know your Amazon Alexa enabled device can tell you the best way to get to work every morning, saving you time and gas?

Just say “How’s my commute?” and you’ll be notified of any accidents or traffic on your normal route and be redirected if necessary.

The days of sitting in stop-and-go traffic burning precious gasoline are a thing of the past.

Note: If you haven’t setup your home and work locations yet, you’ll get a notification on how to do so within the Alexa app on your phone. This will automatically happen the first time you ask Alexa about your commute.

2. Save on Travel

Are you jonesing to take a trip but are stuck on a shoe-string budget?

Have you ever tried saying “Alexa, where can I go for $500?” Or $400? Or $1000? Or $200? You get the point.

Try it and you’ll be notified of some stellar travel deals from KAYAK that will get your research pointed in the right direction.

Alexa will first ask you the airport you want to depart from, then suggest cities within your budget. Pretty cool.

Unfortunately, as of this writing you cannot book via Alexa but I’m sure that’s in the works.

See Also: 140+ Hilarious & Helpful Alexa Commands

3. Save on Electricity Costs

One of the coolest new features of Alexa is how she can connect to smart plugs throughout your home.

For just a few bucks you can buy these smart plugs and make anything you plug into them “smart”.

For example, my sister-in-law recently plugged her Christmas tree into a Amazon smart plug and could tell her Echo, “Alexa, turn on (or off) the Christmas tree lights” and viola it happened.

So, by using these plugs on everyday items and lights that you often forget to turn off, you can quickly save energy around the home.

Because let’s face it, it’s WAY easier to sit on the couch and tell Alexa to turn something off rather than get up and do it ourselves.

4. Get Really Smart with It

The aforementioned “smart plugs” are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to home automation that can help you save.

A few of the more popular smart home devices that work with Alexa include the Nest thermostat, Lutron light switches, Samsung SmartThings, and Philips Hue lighting.

My personal favorite is the Nest as it allows you to set your home’s temperature using Alexa as well as with your smartphone when you’re not home.

Use the Nest wisely and it’ll easily help you reduce your home’s heating and cooling costs by 15%.

5. Save Money on Music

If you’re a Prime member you can access Prime Music for free with Alexa as well as other free streaming options from Pandora and Spotify.

But what I love most is that I can connect Alexa to the I Heart Radio app is listen to all my favorite podcasts for free.

Oh, and while not a big money saver, you can also stream all your local radio stations too.

6. Save Cash on Water

If you’re water bill seems too high, Amazon Alexa to the rescue.

Sync Alexa to the ridiculously cool Rachio Smart Sprinkler and you’ll quickly know exactly how much water your yard needs and be able to adjust your water consumption accordingly.

The voice automation is super cool too as you can just say “Alexa, water zone three for 5 minutes” when something in the yard is looking a little dry.

7. Save on Costly Car Repairs

Sync your Alexa device with Automatic Pro and “Decode your check engine light like a pro”.

This is a great way to figure out what’s wrong with your vehicle before taking it to the costly mechanic.

The device plugs right into your car and makes it a “smart” car of sorts.

It’s a great device for teenage drivers as well because it gives you location tracking, engine light diagnostics, and even crash detection.

The best part? It comes with a free 3G subscription for 5 years.

8. Save on Household Items

Have you ever tried saying “Alexa, order more toilet paper?”

If you have, you already know that you can order pretty much anything from Amazon via your Alexa enabled device.

Just the other day I did this while sitting on the throne as I was within shouting distance of our Echo and I gotta say I felt like a complete genius.

Once you’ve ordered a particular item from Amazon you can just say, “Alexa, reorder X” or “Alexa, order more X” and they’ll ship it to you again.

Buyer beware as not all household items are a deal on Amazon but most will definitely be cheaper than an emergency run to the overpriced drugstore.

Ask the Reader: How have you been able to use your Alexa enabled device to save money?

Happy savings.


By Kyle James

Disclosure: If you go through any of the Amazon links on this page, and make a purchase, I get a small commission on the purchase. Money I use to keep this blog rolling down the road.

All 32 Popular Stores That Offer Extended Holiday Returns

December 21, 2018 by Kyle
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As we start wrapping gifts and placing them under the tree, it gets my mind thinking about the inevitable returns that will be happening after Christmas. Specifically, which stores offer extended holiday return periods to make your returns a piece of cake. So I set out to do the research and came up with 32 popular retailers that all offer extended holiday return policies. Hope this helps…

All 32 Popular Stores That Offer Extended Holiday Returns

6PM.com

Standard Return Policy: 30 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: You have until February 28th for Holiday returns for ALL orders placed between November 1st – December 31st.

Amazon

Standard Return Policy: 30 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: You have until January 31st for Holiday returns for ALL orders placed between November 1st – December 31st.

Apple Store

Standard Return Policy: 14 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Apple’s 14-day return policy is extended to January 8th for all items purchased between November 25th – December 25th.

B&H Photo

Standard Return Policy: 30 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to February 1st for all items purchased between November 1st – January 1st.

Banana Republic

Standard Return Policy: 45 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 15th for all items purchased between November 1st – December 24th.

Barnes & Noble

Standard Return Policy: 14 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 31st for all items purchased between November 1st – December 31st.

Best Buy

Standard Return Policy: 15 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 14th for all items purchased between October 29th – December 30th.

Cole Haan

Standard Return Policy: 30 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 18th for all items purchased between November 12th – December 18th.

Disney Store

Standard Return Policy: 30 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 18th for all items purchased between November 7th – December 18th.

FinishLine

Standard Return Policy: 45 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to February 15th for all items purchased between November 15th – January 1st.

Forever 21

Standard Return Policy: 30 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 8th for all items purchased between November 13th – January 7th.

Free People

Standard Return Policy: 30 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 31st for all items purchased between November 1st – December 24th.

GAP

Standard Return Policy: 45 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 15th for all items purchased between November 1st – December 24th.

Hewlett-Packard

Standard Return Policy: 30 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 15th for all items purchased between November 1st – December 25th.

Kmart

Standard Return Policy: 30 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 31st for all items purchased between November 1st – December 24th.

Kohl’s

Standard Return Policy: 30 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 31st for all items purchased between November 1st – December 25th.

Macy’s

Standard Return Policy: 180 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 31st for all items purchased at Macy’s between November 1st – December 31st.

Neiman Marcus

Standard Return Policy: 60 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 31st for all items purchased between October 12th – December 25th.

NewEgg

Standard Return Policy: 30 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 31st for all items purchased between November 1st – December 24th.

Nike

Standard Return Policy: 30 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Within 60 days of purchases made between November 7th – January 6th.

Office Depot/Max

Standard Return Policy: 90 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 14th for all items purchased between October 1st – December 24th.

Old Navy

Standard Return Policy: 45 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 15th for all Old Navy purchases between November 1st – December 24th.

Overstock.com

Standard Return Policy: 30 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 31st for all items purchased between November 1st – December 31st.

Pier 1

Standard Return Policy: 45 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 31st for all items purchased between November 1st – December 24th.

Pottery Barn

Standard Return Policy: 30 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 31st for all items purchased between November 1st – December 31st.

Saks 5th Avenue

Standard Return Policy: 30 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 15th for all orders placed after October 15th.

Sears

Standard Return Policy: 30 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 31st for all Sears items purchased between November 1st – December 24th.

Staples

Standard Return Policy: 30 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 14th for all items purchased between November 19th – December 27th.

Target

Standard Return Policy: 90 Days, 30 Days for Electronics.

Holiday Return Policy: Your 30-day return period begins on December 26th. REDcard holders get an extra 30 days.

TJ Maxx

Standard Return Policy: 30 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 23rd for all items purchased between October 15th – January 4th.

Urban Outfitters

Standard Return Policy: 30 Days.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to February 28th for all items purchased between November 1st – December 25th.

Walmart

Standard Return Policy: 90 Days. 15 Days for select Electronics.

Holiday Return Policy: Extended to January 10th for items with a 15-day return window. Extended to January 25th for items with a 30-day policy. Purchases must be made between November 1st – December 25th.

Ask the Reader: What holiday return policy do you plan on taking advantage of this year?


By Kyle James

Photo credit to Mike Mozart.

Walmart Free Samples: 4 Ways to Score Freebies from Wally World

December 19, 2018 by Kyle
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We all know how popular free samples are at Costco, but did you know that Walmart free samples are actually better? This is the case both in terms of the value of the item, as well as the usefulness of them. After all, Costco free samples are mainly impulse food purchases like 4-cheese raviolis BUT Walmart freebies are for things you actually need. Let’s break it all down so you can score free stuff from Walmart too…

Walmart Free Samples: 4 Ways to Score Freebies from Wally World

Score Free Samples “Inside” Walmart

This is the most obvious way to score free samples from Walmart.

While not as prevalent as Costco, the aisles at Walmart often have folks handing out freebies.

It happens most often on weekends and during peak shopping hours.

If you see a few people standing around a small table, you’ll want to head over and see what’s going on.

You’ll most often find product representatives handing out samples in the food aisles as those items are easy to hand out and often create impulse purchases.

You’ll also often find samples being handed out for items like shampoo, soap, lotion, and shaving cream.

Also, look for coupons or offers on these products as companies are trying hard to make a new loyal customer out of you.

I also recommend doing a Google search for “Walmart in-store events” and you’ll find details of upcoming free sample days and times.

See Also: These 12 Companies Happily Send Out Free Samples

Get Free Samples Mailed to You

I never considered getting samples from Walmart mailed to me.

But hallelujah, it’s indeed possible and it’s actually kinda awesome.

A couple years ago you could simply visit Walmart.com and type “free samples” into the search bar and be inundated with freebies.

Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.

But not all hope is lost as Walmart now offers 2 free sample boxes.

They are called the Baby Box and the Beauty Box. Here’s how it works…

1. The Walmart Baby Box

Walmart Baby Box

The Walmart Baby Box is crammed full of cool free samples for babies and expectant mothers.

The only catch? You have to pay a $5 shipping fee but the samples inside easily make up for the cost.

Walmart has three baby boxes: 1 for the expecting mother, 1 for a newborn/infant, and 1 for a toddler.

When you sign-up (for free) you enter your child’s due date and Walmart sends out the boxes on a schedule so you get products when you and your child actually need them.

You’re only charged the $5 when the box is processed for delivery and ready to be mailed.

Brands that are involved include Huggies, Dove, All, Pampers, Neutrogena, and Nuk.

2. The Walmart Beauty Box

Walmart Beauty Box

Walmart has beauty product samples too.

Similar to the Baby Box, the Beauty Box from Walmart is a great way to score a bunch of free samples for practically no cost.

You only have to pay the $5 shipping fee and you’ll get free samples mailed to you from name-brands like Cetaphil, Aveeno, Nivea, Biore, Kleenex, Garnier, and Neutrogena.

After all, why pay for an entire bottle if you’re not sure you’ll even like it?

Be aware that many of the samples you’ll receive are for new product releases.

Walmart will mail you a new box once per season (4 times per year) and not charge you the 5 bucks until the box is ready to be mailed.

It’s a pretty cool gift idea as well.

Any Other Walmart “Free Sample” Secrets?

Yes, I have one more important tip.

Be sure to follow Walmart on their social media outlets as they often post free sample opportunities.

Here are the specific ones to follow:

Over the years I’ve seen many free sample notices on the Walmart Facebook and Twitter pages. Both for in-store freebies as well as the online variety.

I haven’t personally seen any on their Pinterest or Instagram page, but I’ve been told they do indeed exist.

Ask the Reader: How have you received free samples from Walmart? Or are you still looking for your first?


By Kyle James

Photo credit to Mike Mozart.