HOT - New Android Smartphone For $50 NO CONTRACT (Use With Any Provider)!

LG Optimus One I posted an amazing deal I got on a brand new android smart phone in my latest How To Save Money Radar. But, since this is such a smoking hot deal, I thought I should write a separate post with a step by step guide on how to get one yourself before this offer expires on March 31st, 2011 along with answering some common questions!

First things first, I want to make sure everyone understands that modern smart phones do not really cost between $0 and $100, which is what you see them typically advertised for. They actually cost more than $500 if you don’t want to be tied down with a 3 year contract. Some people don’t look at a 3 year contract as a big deal, but it is a big deal and here’s why:

  • Contracts eliminate your negotiating power and you can usually negotiate with retentions to save an enormous amount off your monthly bill if you aren’t under contract.
  • Contracts with smartphones often force you into an expensive monthly plan in addition to an expensive data plan totalling more than $50/month to get the cheap phone price.
  • Contracts stop you from switching to another provider that better meets your needs or that has better prices.
    • This is especially bad when a great promotion comes along and you want to switch.
    • Many prepaid companies offer outstanding value for savvy consumers and light users ($8.50 per month or less).
  • Contracts stop you from changing your phone whenever you want if you don’t like it or a newer model comes out that you really want.
    • If your phone dies out of warranty or you drop it, lose it, or otherwise break it then you are on the hook for the full cost of replacing it!
  • Contracts have huge cancellation fees (up to $400) if you need to get out of it because you are moving out of the country or to a place that doesn’t have service from your provider.
Keep reading » about HOT - New Android Smartphone For $50 NO CONTRACT (Use With Any Provider)!>

Using The MBNA Alaska Airlines MasterCard To Earn Nearly Free Flights Fast

flying for freeA few weeks back, I mentioned booking a pair of flights to Los Angeles for my wife and I using rewards points as a way to save money on our vacation. At the time, I indicated I would follow up with more details on exactly how we did it and, although it took a little longer than expected, here are said details:

What Would These Flights Normally Cost?

Before I go into all the details about the rewards points, you should first know the stakes. How much exactly would the flights have cost us if we were to have booked them through regular means without spending many hours hunting down a once in a lifetime seat sale?

Well, seeing as this is pretty much a coast to coast flight across North America, these tickets do not come cheap. Comparable seats were going for $856.50 per person including all taxes and fees. For both of us, that works out to be $1713.00 – clearly a lot of money!

How Much Money Did We Save By Using Airline Miles?

Most people know that booking reward flights is not 100% free. There are always taxes, fees, and the odd surcharge that has to be paid on top of the actual fare for the ticket. Also, when dealing with rewards points, there may be some costs associated with obtaining the rewards. I’m not talking about spending money you would have spent anyway to earn rewards on your credit card, but instead additional costs associated with obtaining the reward miles or points.

In this particular instance, I calculated the final cost of our flights including all taxes, fees, surcharges, and rewards acquisition costs to be $323.76, which is a savings of 81.2%.

What Steps Were Taken To Make These Cheap Flights Possible?

Keep reading » about Using The MBNA Alaska Airlines MasterCard To Earn Nearly Free Flights Fast

Is This Morally Wrong?

Cold-FX and The Scream III by Chealion, on Flickr When it comes to saving money, there are lots of grey areas and retailer policy loopholes to be taken advantage of that can help you save a few extra dollars on your purchases. I’ll be honest and admit that I have taken advantage of some of these loopholes myself over the years. However, at the same time I do aim to conduct myself with honesty and integrity but now and then I still catch myself wondering if I have gone too far or compromised my integrity in some way in an attempt to save a few dollars.

Here’s the situation. About a week ago I came down with a cold and, although I rarely take medication of any sort when I’m sick, I decided to buy some Cold FX to try and ward off the sickness a little quicker. I was short on time so I went to the nearest store to buy the Cold FX where I know the prices are often significantly more expensive than, say, Walmart. I was proven right as I ended up paying about $28 + tax for the 60 pill bottle. I didn’t know what the standard price for Cold FX was at the time, but I knew it must be significantly lower than that!

Fast forward to today, and I was perusing the flyers and planning to do some shopping at the very same store where I bought the Cold FX because they happen to have excellent sale prices even though their regular prices are almost like extortion. While flipping through the circular I immediately noticed that Cold FX was on sale for $10 less than what I had paid for it just one week ago. Now, this wouldn’t be a problem if said store had a price protection policy that would allow me to get my purchase price adjusted to the lower sale price, but they don’t.

Most people would just chalk this up to rotten luck and move on. However, knowing the ins and outs of retailer policies combined with the fact that I was going there for a scheduled shopping trip anyway, I had to do something about it!

Fabricating A Price Protection Policy At Stores That Have None

Keep reading » about Is This Morally Wrong?

Four Frugal Foods That Should Be A Staple In Every Home (And They Are Healthy, Too!)

Potatoes

This is a guest post written by Denise from The Single Saver, a single woman herself who grew up in a small family. A reformed spend-a-holic, she now enjoys the challenge of finding new ways to live a frugal yet very comfortable lifestyle. When not saving money, she is usually spending it on food for her two greyhounds and two cats.

Food – it is one expense that, no matter how much we would like to, we can never completely eliminate. And for most of us, a big chunk of our budgets are eaten up (pun intended) by food in one form or another. Reducing your grocery bill can help free up money for other purposes. But how? One way is to buy foods that are filling, nutritious, have long shelf-lives, and are cheap.

The four foods I am about to tell you about should be staples in every home due to their many excellent qualities. First off, they are all very inexpensive. Secondly, they all offer excellent health benefits. Third, they have long shelf lives, meaning costly food waste is kept to a minimum. Fourth, they are filling foods than can be combined with other ingredients to make a large variety of dishes. Oh, and did I mention they are super INEXPENSIVE?

As an added bonus, each of these items can be prepared in as large or as small of a serving as is needed, making them ideal for singles and smaller families to have on hand.

And now, without farther ado, here is the list: Keep reading » about Four Frugal Foods That Should Be A Staple In Every Home (And They Are Healthy, Too!)

Pages