How to Save - Part 3
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How to Save

How to Save on Halloween Candy During COVID-19

Posted on Tuesday, October 6th, 2020 at 9:50 pm
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In previous years, people made sure to buy plenty of Halloween candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters. This year, celebrating Halloween in the regular way could be risky. Changes must be made to avoid spreading COVID-19. The unexpected result is that you can save money on Halloween candy this season.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) trick-or-treating is considered an unsafe activity this Halloween. This means you won’t need to buy as much Halloween candy as you may have purchased in previous years. It is fine to buy a little Halloween candy for your family to enjoy, and save money on it at the same time.

Avoid impulse buying. Things have been rough this year, and many people reach for sweets when they feel stressed. In many places, Halloween displays have already been put up in stores. This could influence you to buy Halloween candy that reminds you of better times. Again, a little bit is fine. Just be careful to stay within your budget.

People with large families can save money by purchasing a family-size bag of Halloween candy. You can get more candy for less money than if you bought several smaller bags of Halloween candy. This plan works best for families that all happen to enjoy the same kind of candy.

Take your time. Some candy companies started shipping Halloween candy to stores earlier this year than in past years. It appears they want to stretch out this candy-buying season. This means you can enjoy Halloween candy for longer this year, and make it fit within your budget.

Are your kids disappointed because they cannot go trick-or-treating this year? Parents can buy some Halloween candy for them to enjoy at home. It won’t cost much money to pick up a bag or two of candy.

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Pizza Hut will Close 300 Locations

Posted on Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 at 7:00 am
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Pizza Hut will close up to 300 restaurants, most of which are dine-in locations that are not well suited for carryout and delivery. It is easy to see why those locations aren’t doing well, at a time when people are sheltering at home and ordering delivery, and when restaurants in many states are not allowed to have people eat inside the building.

NPC International owns 1,225 Pizza Huts and Wendy’s restaurants in 27 states. On August 17, 2020, ABC News reported that there were 7,000 Pizza Hut restaurants in the United States.

In July of 2020, NPC International filed for bankruptcy protection. More recently, NPC International said, in documents filed in bankruptcy court, that it came to an agreement with Pizza Hut to close hundreds of locations. In the filing, NPC International said that closing stores that were not designed for pick-up or delivery will allow it to invest in smaller stores that can better handle online orders.

Yum Brands, which owns Pizza Hut and many other fast-food brands, said that the Pizza Hut stores that are being closed had underperformed others owned by NPC International, and that closing them would strengthen NPC’s remaining portfolio.

Does your family love Pizza Hut? You might still be able to get delivery if the Pizza Hut near you has been offering it. However, if the nearest Pizza Hut was dine-in only, and was not accepting pick-up orders, you may have a problem. That store may be closed.

Before you plan a pizza night, it would be a good idea to call the Pizza Hut that your family usually visits. If someone answers the phone, it probably means the restaurant is still in business. If it has already closed, you may need to find a Pizza Hut that offers delivery or pick-up orders.

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How to Shop Going Out of Business Sales

Posted on Wednesday, August 19th, 2020 at 7:00 am
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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many stores to go out of business. Some of them are well-known brands that have been around a very long time. There is opportunity for smart shoppers to get the best deals from going out of business sales.

It may be tempting to buy things that you don’t actually need. Before making a purchase, take a minute to think about whether or not you actually have a use for the item. For example, replacing your old coffee maker with a new one – at a discount price – is a good idea. Buying clothing you won’t wear is a waste of money.

Do you have gift cards for the store that is closing? Now is the time to use them up! Before you visit the store in-person, check the store’s website to see if it is still accepting gift cards. Do you have coupons? The store may or may not take them, so keep that in mind as you shop.

The best deals aren’t likely to happen immediately. Going out of business sales are similar to clearance sales. The products included in the sale start of at a discount. As time goes by, the discounts increase. The longer you are able to wait, the better a deal you will get. However, there is a chance that the item you want will sell out if you wait too long.

Are you planning on buying an appliance from a going out of business sale? Doing so can be a bit of a gamble. Before you make the purchase, find out if the warranty is with the store that is going out of business, or if it is with the manufacture of the appliance.

The manufacturer of the appliance will likely continue to be in business after the store you bought it from closes. That kind of warranty is less risky than one from the store that won’t exist much longer.

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How to Get Tested for COVID-19 for Free

Posted on Tuesday, July 7th, 2020 at 10:39 pm
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People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 might hesitate to get tested for it. What does it cost? Will your insurance cover the test? Here are some ways to get tested for COVID-19 for free.

CVS Health will offer self-swab COVID-19 tests to individuals meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria. Patients will need to schedule tests online, and they will get tested in CVS parking lots or drive-thru windows. CVS will not do testing inside the stores. It appears this means that CVS will only test people who are sitting in the CVS parking lot inside a vehicle.

Walgreens is offering free drive-thru nasal swap testing for COVID-19. People will need to schedule test online and must be inside a vehicle in order to get tested. Walgreens does not to COVID-19 testing inside their stores.

In May, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that Los Angeles would be the first big city in America to offer wide-scale, free COVID-19 testing to all residents, whether they are experiencing symptoms of the virus or not. To get tested for free in LA, a person must use an online portal to schedule a test.

New Jersey is offering free COVID-19 testing to anyone who wants a test. You don’t need to have health insurance in order to get tested. There are 250+ sites that will do free testing.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires all Medicaid, Medicare, and other government health insurance plans to cover COVID-19 testing for free. Some private health insurance plans will as well. People with no health insurance coverage should also be able to get tested for free.

Be aware that there are some “loopholes” to worry about. You could end up getting charged a lot of money for the test if you went to a doctor or hospital that your insurance company does not consider to be part of their network.

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Save Money on a “Staycation”

Posted on Thursday, July 2nd, 2020 at 7:47 am
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The school year has ended and summer is here! This is usually the time when people decide to spend a lot of money on a vacation that involves travel. In 2020, with COVID-19 still around, it makes more sense to take a “staycation” instead. Be healthy and save money at the same time!

Make a Vacation Playlist

Put together a playlist of the songs that make you think of summer vacation. Make use of your Spotify account, and create a collection of songs that remind you of road trips and beaches. If you prefer videos, consider making your summer playlist on YouTube instead. You now have something fun to listen to during your “staycation”.

Read a Book

Find a comfortable place and start reading! Start with books that you have at home that you haven’t gotten around to reading yet. These could be physical paper books or the digital versions. Those who have a backyard can lounge outside on a chair with a cool drink while reading. Others might prefer to stay inside and read on a soft bed, with the option to take an afternoon nap.

Have a Film Festival

There are many streaming services that include a wide variety of movies. Which one are you subscribed to? Pick out some movies that remind you of summer. Catch up on summer “blockbusters” that you missed when they hit the theaters last summer. Find a romantic movie that takes place on a beach or other beautiful location. Make some popcorn and enjoy the movie.

Make Your Own Spa

Relax with the “staycation” version of a spa. Those who have a hot tub can make use of it. Others may prefer to fill their bathtub with warm water, toss in a bath bomb, and dim the lights. If you enjoy aromatherapy, consider using a candle or essential oil that is designed to induce relaxation.

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A List of Stores Offering “Senior Hours”

Posted on Wednesday, June 10th, 2020 at 4:29 am
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While some stores are re-opening, it is important to know that the COVID-19 virus is still present. Stores are helping to protect seniors from COVID-19 by creating hours where only seniors and vulnerable shoppers can shop.

Good Houskeeping put together a list of stores that have senior hours. Here are a few:

Albertsons: 7 to 9 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays
ALDI: 8:30 to 9:30 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays
Costco: Any member 60 and older can shop from 8 to 9am Tuesday through Thursday. No more than two people can enter the store with each membership card at one time.
Dollar General: The first hour of operation is reserved for seniors
Food Lion: Every Monday and Wednesday seniors and at-risk customers can shop from 8 to 9 am
Food Town: Anyone 65 and older can shop from 7 to 8 am
Kroger: All stores open at least one hour earlier for seniors and at-risk customers. Call your local store for exact times.
Publix: Anyone 65 and older can shop on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 7 to 8 am
Rite Aid: Seniors and at-risk customers can shop from 9 to 10 am on weekdays
Safeway: Stores are open from 7 to 9 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays for seniors and at-risk customers
Sam’s Club: Seniors and at-risk customers can show every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 to 9 am
Target: Stores are reserving an hour on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for “vulnerable shoppers”. Call your local store to find out exact hours.
Trader Joes: Stores will dedicate their first hour to seniors and at-risk customers. Call your local store to find out exact hours.
Vons: Stores open from 7 to 9 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays for seniors and at-risk shoppers
Walgreens: Tuesdays are considered “Seniors Day” with all-day discounts and seniors-only shopping from 8 to 9 am
Walmart: Through April 28, 2020, stores open one hour early on Tuesday for 60 and older to shop

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Tuesday Morning Filed for Bankruptcy

Posted on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020 at 2:27 pm
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Tuesday Morning was founded in 1974 by Lloyd Ross. He worked with big brands that had leftover inventory and nothing to do with it. He purchased their excess merchandise and sold it, garage-sale style, in a warehouse. It later developed into the Tuesday Morning stores, where people find amazing deals.

Unfortunately, Tuesday Morning has filed for bankruptcy. It began closing stores on June 1, 2020. Those stores include ones in 30 states. A total of 17 Tuesday Morning stores will close in California, and Florida will lose 16 Tuesday Morning stores. An additional 100 stores will close in a second round of closings after Tuesday Morning tries to renegotiate leases.

In a press release, Tuesday Morning said it would pursue financial and operational reorganization designed to all the company to reduce its outstanding liabilities and strengthen its overall position. These actions are due to the immense strain of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you have recently purchased something from Tuesday Morning, you might be able to return it. Tuesday Morning’s website states: “You may return unused merchandise with the original receipt within 30 days of purchase. Merchandise must be in sellable condition with original packaging”. It should be noted that they are extending their current return policy by 45 days, after individual stores reopen due to COVID-19.

The Tuesday Morning website has sales on a variety of items, from crafting essentials, pool accessories, outdoor cushions and pillows, bath and body essentials, gourmet food, and more. All of them are 20% to 60% off the department store prices.

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Neiman Marcus Filed for Bankruptcy

Posted on Monday, May 11th, 2020 at 5:07 pm
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Neiman Marcus, a luxury department store chain, has filed for bankruptcy. CNBC reported that the problems that Neiman Marcus was facing included debt and the coronavirus pandemic. The company filed for bankruptcy, a deal that includes handing its business over to creditors.

It is not unusual for stores that have been saddled with a lot of debt – for whatever reason – to have to make tough decisions about filing for bankruptcy. The new twist here is that the coronavirus pandemic has closed retail stores that would otherwise be open, greatly limiting foot traffic and the ability for stores to sell directly to customers.

For those who love the Neiman Marcus brand and style, there are some ways you can save on those products right now. The Neiman Marcus website currently has an “Up to 50% off” sale. It includes a wide variety of things including shoes, hair accessories, bags/purses, pajamas, dresses, pants, shirts, and even some extremely unique looking home décor. Several of these items have been recently marked down from the original sale price.

There is also a clearance sale on the Neiman Marcus website. As always with clearance sales, it is hard to know for certain how long these items will be available.

There is also a limited time offer where customers can “earn a $50 – $2,400 gift card” by using a code on the Neiman Marcus website. In general, these types of offers require customers to spend a certain amount of money before they can earn a gift card. There may not be time for that with a store that has filed for bankruptcy.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Neiman Marcus is expensive. These sales have lowered the price on some items, but they are still going to be far outside of the budget of most consumers.

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J. Crew is Preparing for Bankruptcy

Posted on Monday, May 4th, 2020 at 4:54 pm
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Clothing company J. Crew is preparing for a bankruptcy filing. This was reported by CNBC and several other news sites. In the past few years, J. Crew has struggled to retain loyal customers. Recently, it has faced challenges due to the coronovirus pandemic that caused many people to be under “stay at home” orders.

As always, when a clothing store appears to be facing bankruptcy, there will be ways for people to save money while shopping the store. For best results, visit the J.Crew website. Right now, customers who sign up for J. Crew Rewards get an extra 15% off their purchase.

There is also a 60% off sale on swim and shorts. You can purchase one-piece women’s swimsuits, or individual parts of two-piece women’s swimsuits. This enables customers to mix and match different shapes of swimwear in order to end up with something they are comfortable wearing.

There is also a 40% off sale on Summer-Ready styles. This offer is only valid on the J. Crew website. Use the code SETSALE when you make your purchase. The Summer-Ready styles include a variety of dresses, t-shirts & tank tops, other shirts and tops, pants (some of which have draw-strings) jeans, sweaters, and skirts. There is also a selection of summer suits for those who want them.

You should assume that the items you purchase from a store that is filing for bankruptcy will not be accepted as returns. In general, stores that file for bankruptcy tend to have bigger and bigger sales as they try to liquidate stock.

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Hoarding Toilet Paper Won’t Save You Money

Posted on Wednesday, April 15th, 2020 at 1:51 pm
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Shortly after people became aware of the dangers of COVID-19, they started hoarding toilet paper. They also hoarded cans of beans, huge bags of rice, milk, and eggs. Maybe you were one of the people who hoarded necessary items. Keep in mind that hoarding toilet paper isn’t going to save you money.

Why are people hoarding toilet paper and other items? It is because they are afraid. COVID-19 is a scary, contagious, virus. People who are afraid may do irrational things in an effort to comfort themselves. In this case, people bought pallets of toilet paper because doing so made them feel as though they had control over what happened.

Hoarding toilet paper, and food, will end up costing you more money than you save. Stores are no longer accepting returns on those items, in part because doing so could spread coronavirus. You may be stuck with more food than you can safely eat before it goes bad. That’s a waste of money!

Spending more than you should have a huge grocery haul could make it harder for you to pay bills. Overspending on groceries could mean you can’t pay your credit card bill. It could mean you don’t have extra money to spend on an emergency. Hoarding could result in not quite having enough money to pay your rent next month.

Some people see empty shelves at the grocery store and panic because they think it means there is a shortage. So, they overspend on things they really don’t need in that quantity. Doing so could actually cause a shortage where their wasn’t one before.

Shortages can lead to rationing. Grocery stores may impose a limit of one package of toilet paper per customer, or two cans of beans per household. The best way to prevent rationing is to only buy what you need for the next week.

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