Friday, March 21, 2008

NEVER pay for a RedBox DVD rental again

Why go to Blockbuster or Hollywood Video? Why pay between $4-$5 for a DVD movie rental? Why pay anything for a DVD rental ever again? For the last month, I haven't paid for one new release movie at RedBox, and sometimes I've rented two or three in one day. It's legit, it's easy and if you ever pay even one cent for a DVD rental again, well, you're paying too much.

I have to thank Peter for first bringing my attention to this back in January, when I posted a free coupon for Hollywood Video. What a fool I was, in hindsight. I was looking for these free rental coupons, scouring the web and clipping magazines and newspapers. All I had to do was pop along to the RedBox which is on my way home from work, punch in a code and grab my free rental.

Code sharing for RedBox

This is not like illegal downloading (which I hate - cheap, not frugal) or borrowing a copy from a friend. RedBox actually distributes these codes weekly if you sign up for SMS or email messaging, here . You get a free rental code each Monday which you can use for one night's free rental.

But this is 2008, and the Internet creates a vast number of people all getting codes. Enter the code sharing websites. I've listed a few of my favorites below, but what they basically create is a community of people sharing codes for the RedBox rentals.

Each code is good for one use per credit/debit card (you need to swipe it, you will be charged for each additional day you may have the movie out). If you have more than one card, you get more than one free rental off that code. I have swiped three cards, entered that same code each time, and got three brand new releases for a whole day of movie heaven. OK, so I'm a movie addict.

All you need to do is visit these sites and print out the latest list of codes before your trip to the local RedBox. I like insideredbox the best, it gives a percentage rating for the codes, much like Anyway, choose your movie, punch in a code (hit the Add Promo Code button), swipe your card and take home your free rental. As long as you return it before 9pm the following day, you never pay for that movie. I do believe they put a $1 hold on your card for each rental, but that is of course returned to you very quickly.

So, there you have it. I can't really believe Blockbuster and Hollywood Video can compete with completely free rentals. And to be honest, with the late fees I've paid in the past, I'm no fan of either.

[Update - the Monday email I received from RedBox today with my code was followed with the phrase - Forward To Friends. I think that settles the ongoing debate about whether RedBox approves of code sharing]

Here are sites you can try for codes, which are constantly updated. At the time of writing this article, both DVDONME and BREAKROOM are working codes that will get you a free rental.




Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Filler strategies for Amazon’s Free Super Saver Shipping

How many times have you been shopping on Amazon, added the items you want to your cart and have then been told “Wait! Add just $2.97 to qualify for Free Super Saver Shipping.” Maybe not that exact amount, but you get the idea. What happens next is hours of searching to find something to plug the hole. Well, not any more.

After a frustrating weekend of looking around on Amazon for items that only qualified for Super Saver Shipping (SSS), I discovered a few interesting facts: one, Amazon have not made it easy for you to find these items; two, the items you do find are often way above the price you need to fill the gap.

So, I did some hunting around. I left messages at various boards on Google Groups, and I waited for the answers. I was not disappointed.

Here are my top three ways to find filler items on Amazon to get you to that magical $25 total.
1: The code addendum

This is my favorite because it focuses the search one exactly what you want to find. Simply do a search as normal, say for a piggy bank, and then add the following code &emi=ATVPDKIKX0DER at the end of address box and hit “enter.”

add code

Now all of your results should qualify for SSS. A sprinkling don’t, maybe a flaw in Amazon’s labeling system, but you’ll have tons of choice. (By the way, my favorite was this one. It’s like our Wisebread piggy has caught measles or something.)

piggy measles

Elegant Baby Pink Ceramic Polka Dot Piggy Bank
2: The search engine

This one from FillerItem couldn’t be simpler, although you don’t get quite the focus of the first. Simple put the amount you need to spend to get to $25 in the box, and then check the boxes for the areas you’d like to search. You’ll get a huge list of items, based on the boxes you checked, that hit the magical number you put in the box.

3: The handy filler list

A site called FreebieVille has a pre-populated list of things you can use to plug the holes and reach the $25 mark. With items in the pennies, this can be invaluable.

I’d much rather order something for 52 cents and give it away, to someone who could use it, than pay $7 on shipping. I think we all would.

So there you have it. Hours of endless searching have just vanished. Instead, you are now armed with three foolproof strategies to get you to that $25 free shipping figure every single time you shop.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Simple (And Easy) Money Saving Tips For Frugal Living

1. Make your lunch

It’s so easy I’m surprised more people don’t do it. If an average sandwich is $5 a pop and you buy one each day you’re at work, then over a year it’s going to cost you about $1,200 (assuming you have 28 days holiday which is more than most people will get). Get into the habit of rustling up your own food and you can easily pocket half of that cash, using the other half to bulk buy your groceries at the supermarket.
2. Downgrade your brand purchases

Going for the cheapest beans in the store is a bit over the top (especially since they probably taste horrible). Drop a brand level on everything you can and the overall price drops by roughly 30%. Often you’re only paying for the branded packaging anyway.
3. Align your eyes to belly ratio

Americans actually waste about 40% of food produced for consumption. According to Wasted Food, that amounts to an annual cost of over $100 billion. Buy only what you need for the week and avoid stocking up with food which could spoil quickly. If you run out of food mid-week it’s no big deal to make a second trip to the supermarket.
4. Reduce your heating bill

By turning the temperature down in your house by just one degree you can save almost 10% on your heating bill. Also, you’ll prevent about 240kg of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. Cheaper, and greener too.
5. Enjoy happy hour

If you like a beer with your buddies in the evening, consider going at less popular times of the day. Many bars offer happy hour deals when it’s quiet which can often see you save up to 50% of the cost. You can’t complain at getting more beer for less.
6. Be a late adopter

I know it’s tough to wait until the buzz surrounding the new mobile phone or games console has died down - especially if you’re a techno-geek - but if you can hold back from buying until at least six months after the new technology is launched you could save up to 50%. Let other obsessed geeks drive the price down for you.
7. Give alternative gifts

People always say “it’s the thought that counts” when you’re giving and receiving gifts. You can put this to the test by offering alternative gifts. You could offer your dad a weekend of gardening to save him mowing the lawn and cleaning out the fish pond or give your girlfriend a booklet of massage vouchers to redeem whenever she likes. They’ll love your thoughtfulness and you get to pocket the cash you would have otherwise spent.
8. Have a house-swap holiday

Instead of shelling out on an all-inclusive deal to Jamaica this year, you could have a house swap holiday instead. Who knows, maybe you’ll bump into Cameron Diaz and she’ll take a shine to you. Give it a go at HomeLink.
9. Drive better

The Energy Saving Trust reckon you can save almost $200 a year by ‘eco-driving’. Obviously this is applicable to manual cars and it involves changing gear before your engine hits 2,500 rpm, driving smoothly and eliminating the use of your air-con while driving at an efficient speed of around 45-50mph.
10. Shop smarter

You can save up to 60% on clothes prices by visiting designer outlet stores, as they sell nothing but excess stock, special buys and end of season merchandise from some of the biggest names in fashion. I got some Diesel jeans for $30. Bargain!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Buy Only from Stores with Free Shipping with Free Shipping On [Shopping]

Easily find items sold online with free shipping on sites like Amazon, eBay, and more than 500 other online stores with website Free Shipping On. The website sports easy navigation: two tabs that allow you to perform searches for items available on Amazon and eBay with free shipping, and then a third tab takes you to a page that offers free shipping coupons for over five hundred stores, from Apple to Walmart and organized by category as well. If shipping costs usually cause you to scratch your head and decide to wait for a better deal on retail, you may now want to reconsider.
Free Shipping On