Category Archives: Money

Save Money By Shopping At Comparison Shopping Site compares prices across Amazon, Walmart, Target,,,, Walgreens, and Costco and presents them in a single online store! asked me to use their site and consider writing about my experience.  All opinions are my own.   I received compensation to be used on to facilitate this review.

I prefer to shop online for things like household items, cleaning products, some cosmetics, and other things that I know I like and use often.   90% of my household item online purchases have been through and I’ve always assumed that Amazon offers the lowest prices.  With my Amazon Prime membership I get free 2-day shipping on most items I purchase.  I buy everything from home cleaning products to handbags and shoes, online.   If I find a cute pair of shoes at a local store, I search for the same shoes online, while I’m at the store.  If the price that the online store is offering is within $8 or so of the price of the store where I am, I will buy the item at the store.  If the price is over at the store is $10+ more than what I found online, I purchase the item online.  Researching products that you use and buy often online can pay off.

Let me note here that I appreciate the idea of supporting local businesses and I definitely (like really.. too much maybe) support local stores like The Gap, H&M, Sephora, Target, and REI but if I know that I can buy the item for $10+ less online, then I do.. most of the time. online comparison shoppingWhen contacted me and invited me to use their site you can only imagine how interested I was.  I was excited to learn that compares prices from 8 online shopping sites including,,, and more.

Here is an overview of my experience with

Finding items on

Shopping on is easy and fun!   The tabs at the top of the site link shoppers to main sections of the site including pets, mom & baby, health, beauty, snacks, and more.
I prefer using the search box to quickly find what I am looking for.  When I entered “Tide laundry detergent” in the search box, I was taken to a page that features the many variations of Tide laundry detergent and below each product image was the best price being offered from online stores that compares prices from.   From there I clicked on the single product I wanted to see the prices for and to the right of the product image is a list of prices with the best price being at the top of the list.  Next to each price is the name of the store that is offering the corresponding price.   In most cases, the stores presented to me were Walmart, Target,, and Walgreens. is where I ended up buying my choice of products from.  That was a surprise to me.  I hadn’t considered comparing to until using

Discounts and special offers! even presents shoppers with any special offers, discounts, and available coupons, for individual products.  Sometimes you will even find a buy 2 products, get 1 free offer for a brand such as Neutrogena.  For example, a search for “Tide HE 2X Ultra Liquid Laundry Detergent, Clean Breeze – 64 Loads” brought up a list of 3 prices and the last price, albeit the most expensive, had the text “buy 2, save $1.50” next to it.  Simply click on the coupon icon and it is automatically applied to your order.

Here is a snapshot of my purchase at
The total for this purchase was $54.79 including shipping. comparison shopping website


Here is the same order on ‘a popular’ online shopping website.
The sub-total total was $57.82 but the total with shipping came to $64.32.

online comparison shopping

If you are like me, you find it difficult to buy something that you know you can find for less somewhere else.  Whether it be between two local stores or online vs. local, it’s always good to compare prices.
One example of the HUGE savings that finds for shoppers is today’s price for “Kellogg’s All Bran Buds”.  The prices I was presented with for this item on today were from and  They were $20.50 and $30.14 respectively.   Prices can and do change, of course so the best price might not be the same now as it was earlier today but that is what makes so cool.. they keep track of the prices and show you the best price all the time!

Swap and Save

Once you’ve finished adding items to your shopping cart, click on the ‘Savings Center’ link to see how you can save money on the product in your card.  The swap and save function will present you will savings options such buying multiples of a product or choosing a larger size. Just click the ‘swap and save’ icon to amend your cart so you get the best unit price.  It’s that easy!

Since becoming a shopper and seeing how much time and money I have saved buy using the online shopping comparison site, I have created a list of things that I will buy through such as laundry detergent, razors, paper towels, and some cosmetics.  These are all things that I buy regularly and would rather have delivered to my door than have to spend my valuable time going to a local store only to pay a higher price.

Check out is finalized through the sites that offer the best price on the products you are purchasing and you will get a receipt from each site you purchase from.

Thanks to’s online shopping comparison tools, I know that I will save quite a bit of money and best of all.. TIME! asked me to use their site and consider writing about my experience.  All opinions are my own.   I received compensation to be used on to facilitate this review.

Save Money for College While Shopping for Holiday Gifts, with Upromise

upromise college savings ambassadorI am a huge fan of shopping.. but I also love saving money!  I prefer to save more (way more) than I spend and I try to teach my kids the same.

I have told my 12 year old son many times that we will not be paying for his college education and that he must earn his college education by making good grades.  College is just about 7 years down the road for him and that’s not long.  I signed up for Upromise when my son was a baby and I am glad! I can’t believe how quickly these years have gone by.  Not only is he 12 years old but I’m a mother to a 12 year old! That’s almost more shocking to me.  He’s going to be driving in the next few years and then off to college he’ll go.

Upromise by Sallie Mae is a program that offers shoppers cash back towards collage savings, on certain purchases.    Everyday shopping that you do at the grocery store, toy store, book store, and even eating out can put money into your child’s college fund.

Upromise is offering some great deals this holiday season and for 10 weeks Upromise is featuring some pretty amazing cash back bonuses throughout the holiday season through their Holiday Savings HotSpot. They are offering 10%, up from 3%, off at Sephora this week (ends 11/17) so if you love Sephora as much as I do, you’ll want to jump on this deal!

You probably already shop at Toys R’ Us, Macy’s, Brookstone, Sears, Target, Apple Store, Best Buy, Land’s End, Home Depot, and The Disney Store so why not save for your child’s college fund at the same time by shopping through Upromise?

Crazy, cool upromise goodies!

  • If you aren’t a member of Upromise yet, you can sign up here. You’ll get $5.00 in your account when you sign up and there are no fees.
  • For those of us who shop online a lot (raise your hand), you can download the Upromise Internet browser tool bar, TurboSaver.  This toolbar will search participating retailers sites that you visit, for coupons and discounts.   How easy is that?!
  • Through December 13th, all shoppers at Upromise will be entered into a daily drawing for a $500 Apple gift card!

A brief overview of 529 college savings from my point of view:

Parents should start saving early for their children. But even if college days are soon approaching, getting even a little bit of a head start on tuition and additional college expenses will be beneficial. One of the most popular college savings resources available is a 529 college savings plan.   A 529 college savings plan allows families to save a significant sum of money in an account designed specifically for college funding.   Upromise makes it easy for parents to save for their child’s college education just by purchasing the same every day items they always do.   529 plans may be one of the most effective means of saving for college because of the tax benefits and because parents, grandparents and others can contribute on behalf of specific students.  You can learn more about 529 college savings plans on Upromise here.

Useful upromise links:

Disclosure: I am a paid upromise college savings ambassador.  All opinions are 100% my own and were not influenced in any way.

Alicia Hagan, Editor

The Do’s and Don’ts of Layaway Plans

This a guest post by Andrea Woroch, a consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc.

Layaway PlansWould you rather put holiday spending on your credit card or pay for it through a layaway program? Many Americans are opting for the latter, helping retrench these time-honored payment plans.

Walmart, Sears, Best Buy and TJ Maxx are just a few of the major merchants now offering layaway. In fact, Toys ‘R Us has expanded its layaway program to include most toys, rather than just the big-ticket items.

Layaway nearly vanished before the recession, as credit card use grew in prominence. Stores preferred we swipe away because it was easier than handling all that paperwork. But with consumers leery of facing too much holiday debt — and threatening to spend less this year in stores — retailers began using layaway as a means of luring us back.

While this all sounds well and good, there are problems related to such programs. Here are a few “Do’s” and “Don’ts” you should consider before making the leap.


Do Dissect the Fine Print
You’ll have to sign a contract or layaway initiation form, which naturally contains a lot of vital information you could easily overlook. Don’t let a long line or impatient clerk rush you through checking each detail so you know what to expect.

Do Consider Whether it’s Worth the Origination Fee
There’s a fair amount of paperwork, processing and labor involved in layaway plans, so stores charge a start-up fee for each order. Consider the amount of that charge is worthwhile compared to the overall total of your purchase.

Do Decide if You Really Need This Item
Should something happen and you decide not to go through with all payments, you’ll likely have to pay a fee of roughly 25 to 30 percent of the total price of the layaway plan. That’s a hefty fine for changing your mind, so make sure you really want the item before placing it on layaway.

Do Compare all Fees vs. Credit Card Charges
Add up the potential costs and consider whether you’d be better off placing a purchase on a credit card. According to a New York Times op-ed by Cornell professor Louis Hyman, a typical shopper could wind up paying far less interest by using a credit card, even if it has a fairly high APR. Plus, a credit card gives you purchase protection and, with some companies, price protection.


Don’t Ignore the Internet
Don’t let a sale combined with a layaway plan talk you into buying before researching your options. You’ll often find better deals online and it’s a lot easier to comparison shop with your mouse. Search for promo codes to use toward your coveted item, and then compare the total cost of the online purchase to what you’d ultimately pay by putting it on layaway.

Don’t Neglect Your Expiration Date
There’s a limit to how long Walmart will store your stuff. As with other stores, they want to move it before Christmas, so check to ensure you have enough time and cash to pay the entire debt off on time or you’ll forfeit everything you’ve already paid. Mark that date on your calendar and make sure you make all payments before it hits.

Don’t Forget About Automatic Withdrawals
Some merchants prefer to set-up automatic checking-account deductions, ostensibly to save you the hassle of coming in to make each payment. In actuality, it’s just another way to make sure they get their money. Should one of those payments bounce, however, you’ll be socked with a healthy overdraft fee from both the merchant and your bank. Once again, mark on your calendar the date each deduction will be made, so you can double check the balance in your account.

Don’t Layaway When You Can Pay
It’s hard to part with cash during the holidays, when other expenses build up, but the fees you incur with a layaway plan aren’t always worth it if you can pay cash now and avoid the hassle.

This a guest post by Andrea Woroch, a consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc.

Kroger Cart Buster Savings Event Through 8/17 and $25 Gift Card Giveaway!

Kroger Cart Buster Savings Event
Have you heard? The Cart Buster Savings Event is back at the Kroger Co. Family of Stores, beginning July 31st with storewide savings in almost every department! During the savings event, summer deals are just getting started. Browse the aisles and load up your cart with everyday items from brands you already love.   

From July 31st through August 17th save on tons of brands across more than 100 categories from General Mills, PepsiCo, Unilever, Heinz, Mars, Wrigley and Kimberly Clark.

I few items I stocked up on during this Kroger Cart Buster Savings Event are Dove soap, Degree deodorant for my son, California Pizza Kitchen Pizza (yum!), M&M’s (my husband’s favorite snack), and Tostitos chips.   Look for some of your favorite participating products like, Honey Nut Cheerios, Yoplait , Pillsbury Pepsi, Doritos, Gatorade, Smart Ones, Ore-Ida, Cottonelle, Viva, Breyer´s Ice Cream, Axe , Snickers, Pedigree and Orbit.

  • Click here for a printable .pdf list of participating products.

You’ll find big savings storewide at the Kroger Family of Stores, which includes Kroger, Ralphs, King Scoopers, City Market, Dillons, Smith’s, Fry’s, QFC, Baker’s, Owen’s, Jay C Food Stores, Hilander, Gerbes, Food4Less, Fred Meyer, Pay Less Supermarkets and Scott’s food & Pharmacy.

The savings don’t stop there!
Make sure to follow the Cartbuster “Deal of the Day” beginning August 3rd and running through August 16th.* Download exclusive offers, on more of your favorite brands, directly to your shopper card, by visiting, beginning Wednesday, August 3rd.

*Please be sure to check your local Kroger Co. Family of Stores for participating dates and deals. The Deal of the Day promotion is not valid at: Fred Meyer or Food 4 Less.

Enjoy the savings!

$25 Kroger Gift Card GIVEAWAY!

We are giving a lucky reader a $25 Kroger gift card good at any of the Kroger. Co family of stores!
To enter to win, leave a comment below.  Entries accepted through August 22nd.  Winner will be chosen by August 24th and will be notified via email.
Earn extra entries by doing the following:

Disclosure: The Kroger gift card, information, and giveaway have been provided by Kroger and General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

Alicia Hagan, Editor

Extreme Coupon Show Backlash as Stores Change Policies: Learn Coupon Do’s & Don’ts

Extreme Couponing - Do's and Don'ts

Thank you to Andrea Woroch for this great post!

A recent article on The Consumerist found the TLC show, Extreme Couponing, has sparked a trend of out-of-control couponers who ransack stores with little regard for fellow shoppers. Merchants have taken notice and many major retailers are starting to change their policies. Here are some of the big ones.

Rite Aid
Rite Aid has taken the same steps as Target to crack down on shoppers looking to exploit BOGO coupon offers. The drug store chain has also made other changes including limiting the number of coupons per item to four. If inventory is running low, managers may limit the numbers further.

The biggest change at Target comes to their buy one, get one (BOGO) policy. They now only allow one BOGO coupon per purchase. Previously, customers could “stack” Target printable coupons, combining store and manufacturer BOGO coupons to get both items for free.

Many high tech shoppers have even started to crack coupon barcodes, allowing them to use coupons on products they’re not intended for. Walgreens is working to combat this fraud by adopting a new type of barcode. New barcodes will be able to hold more data and can better make sure Walgreens coupons are used for the right product.

At Publix stores throughout the country they’re also limiting the number of coupons that can be used on one product. Their new policy limits couponers to one manufacturers coupon and one store coupon per item.

Shopping with coupons is certainly a smart way to save, but there are right and wrong ways to do it. Here are some basic do’s and dont’s to help you coupon with class.

DO play by the rules. Couponing isn’t too complicated and common sense should get you by in most cases. Rules vary store to store, so if you’re planning to use a large amount of coupons, it helps to brush up on coupon policies before you shop. This includes making sure you’re buying the item the coupon is intended for and checking to see if they’ll accept expired coupons or not.

DON’T clear the shelf. In the eyes of casual shoppers, clearing entire shelves of popular sale items crosses the line between couponing and hoarding. If you really want to stock up on certain products, try making multiple trips or call ahead and ask a manager if they’ll set aside an order for you.

DO be organized before you check out. It’s a nightmare for cashiers and people waiting in line when you hand over a haphazard pile of miscellaneous coupons. It’ll be much appreciated if you clip them before hand and make sure they’re all facing the same direction. Also, remember to remove coupons for products you didn’t end up buying. If you are using mobile coupons, have them ready on your smartphone for the cashier to scan.

DON’T shop during the busiest times. The stress level of those waiting in line during peak times is high enough. Using dozens of coupons takes time and will only irritate other shoppers. Instead, go shopping when business is slow. It takes the pressure off to complete the transaction as quickly as possible for both you and the cashier.

DO be polite to the cashier and fellow customers. Sure, you might have some knowledge other customers and even clerks don’t, but it’s no excuse to treat others like they’re beneath you. If a cashier isn’t familiar with coupon policies, stay calm and ask to speak with a supervisor. They’re much more helpful if you don’t lose your cool. When your cart is overflowing, give those behind you a heads up that you’ll be using coupons. If someone is waiting with just a loaf of bread and gallon of milk, let them cut ahead.

DON’T steal coupons! A growing trend turning the tide against couponers is theft. Newspapers and newspaper subscribers are increasingly finding coupon inserts stolen. This is a big no-no and can get you into some serious trouble. Many people will willingly part with their unused inserts if you ask nicely.


Consumer Savings Expert, Andrea Woroch, has been featured as a media expert source on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, FOX & Friends, ABC News NOW, MSNBC, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Smart Money and many more. For more savings tips visit

Get Involved!

Do you have any couponing tips or other money saving tips you’d like to share with us?  Tell us in the comments below!

Alicia Hagan, Editor