Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Update on Shoe Sites

Nothing stays the same: Just spoke to a rep at and was told that their return policy is now 365 days. Don't ask me why it may take someone a year to return something they have not worn, but the site says you would be surprised...some people buy things, put them away, forget they have it and then want to return it. How nice to buy something and forget you just spent money!

I did notice that their competitor,, has the same return policy, 365 days. They also have free returns, which online does not unless you feel strongly about the shoe you want to return - it is not made well, or something like that - and ask that they pay for the return. They do have free exchanges.

So far I have not seen discount coupons from I do like my discounts!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Shopping For Your Pets

Where are the best prices for most of your pet meds and other things? Having had 3 labrador retreivers and a cat all at once meant spending lots of money on visits to the vet as well as paying for all their medications. I found one site where the cost of most items I needed was at least a few dollars less per item as on other sites. Couple this with free shipping over $100 and many coupon codes for discounts on your total order, makes this my favorite site over and over again. Many times I receive the products in a few days after ordering.

Where to go: check out

You can also call them to ask any questions and place your order. After I signed up to receive emails from them, I have gotten coupon codes for 5% off any order with no minimum, although under $100 you pay shipping, and 7 or 8% off orders over $150.00. It varies but the codes keep coming.

They have loads of other things for all your pet's needs and when I say pets, I mean cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, ferrets, birds, fish and reptiles, to name a few. They will fax your vet a request for a prescription medication you want if you don't have a script to give them. Of course your vet has to have approved your pet's taking this medication first. And...your vet doesn't mind you buying the medication from somewhere other than their office.

I do use other sites when there is something I need which does not have, and also if there is a coupon code for a big discount or if something is specially priced. I will post more on other sites at a later time.

Start saving money now!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Going to order wine in a restaurant?

No, I am not going to tell you how to order wine. But here is what I do if I happen to check out a restaurant's website before going: if they publish their wine lists, I go to to get an idea of how much a wine I may want to order actually would cost to buy and then see how much the restaurant marks it up. Some markups are not as bad as others, and that may help me decide.

Of course most sites don't have prices published even if they have the wine list online. Sometimes you don't know what type of wine you will want, and then sometimes you may just want a great wine, regardless of the cost.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Searching For and Buying Wine

How much wine can one person buy? As much as I can store. I look for wines which I have tried at restaurants, or ones I read about on different wine sites, wine columns in newspapers and magazines. Then I check to see who may have them and when they may offer free shipping. Sometimes the price offered is so good that I will pay for shipping.

Where to price wine: I start out by going on to see who sells a particular wine and check out the costs. Information is free unless you want to see an even longer list of merchants. There is a fee for this "professional" service.

Then I order. The best thing to do is to register on various wine sites so that you will get emails about all their offerings especially the sales and free shipping offers.

Where to buy: here are a few of my go to sites:,,,,,,, The physical location of the wine site is important to me because the further away, the longer the shipping time, the worse for the wine, maybe. All this is based on using ground shipping, not any kind of expedited time frame. I don't want to spend a great deal to get the wine. Some sites will tell you that due to warm weather, they may not ship until a certain time. Most importantly, you may need to be home to sign for the delivery.

Winery Sites: you may be able put your name on the mailing lists of the wineries you like so that you can get first choice of the wine produced each year. Many wineries have waiting lists since they can only allocate a certain amount due to the fact that they do not produce more than a couple of hundred cases a year.

Enjoy your wine and remember to drink responsibly!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Broadway Ticket Discounts

Who likes paying high ticket prices for a Broadway Show? You can bet that I don't so I signed up at various sites to get emails for discounted show tickets. Usually they are for a show about to begin its run and only for a specific time period. I would also guess that if a show is not doing well or has been running for a long time, you may get emails for discounts.

You can print out the email and go directly to the box office for purchase or do it online using the code from the email. That's all you do, other than hope to get a good seat.

You can go to the TKTS booth in Times Square at Broadway and 47th street for tickets to a show that same day. For evening performances, tickets start selling at 3pm, and for matinees, 10am Wednesday and Saturday and 11am on Sunday. The line starts way before selling starts.

Sometimes you can buy tickets for "standing room only", or the box office may have "rush" seats, at a discounted price, at the very last minute.

Check out and search "discounts for broadway shows" to get more information.

Just be sure to turn off your cell phone when the show starts!

Ticket sites:,, (limited shows, but lots of other discounts,) (a site to click for coupon codes for all shows,), to name a few.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

YAPTA: Planning a Trip Part 2

Air Fare Watcher: Don't forget, if you are planning a trip and can wait to book your airfare, check out This site will send you updates for any reduction in the fare to your destination. Just register, find your flights and add them to your profile. You can check fares on multiple airlines if more than one goes to your destination.

You can also do this for Hotel prices.

If the price of your airline ticket drops below what you paid, Yapta will alert you when you are eligible for a refund from the airline.

Have fun saving money!

Go to:

Friday, October 16, 2009

Leaving My Land Line Behind

Forget your Landline: I recently purchased the OOMA system to use as my home phone. Yes, it works through the internet, but it has more advantages than getting the "Triple Play" from your cable company. You need to make the initial investment for the equipment, but after that, it is free, with certain exceptions, such as a maximum use of 3000 minutes per month or making a 411 call or a "900" number call. You pay for calling those numbers. You can choose between keeping your existing telephone number or getting a new one.

It took 15 minutes to set up and there it was, a dial tone on an old "home phone." It comes with the "Hub" for your main telephone and a "Scout" to use for plugging phones into jacks in other rooms. The "Scout" can also function as a second line.

As I use it more, I will post comments.

Where to buy: many websites and stores sell it. I bought mine at a while ago, but it is getting more popular, so more venues are selling it. Right now it is actually sold out on the site. You can also go to and get further information. You can find forums online which help answer some questions and OOMA'S site will answer most questions you can think of.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Airlines May Not Be That Forthcoming!

REMEMBER MY POST ABOUT BUYING A SCALE TO WEIGH YOUR LUGGAGE? See this article below from Budget Travel. I am happy to know that my small scale was right!


8 Things an Airline Would Never Tell You

We asked a half-dozen insiders to expose little-known facts the airline industry would rather you didn't think about. They shared some pretty eye-opening stuff.
By Alexander Basek, Thursday, September 3, 2009 |

1. "Airport luggage scales often lie." It's bad enough that the airlines charge a fee for overweight luggage, varying from $39 to $300 per bag industrywide. But it's galling that they may also hit you with the fee by mistake. At JFK last November, New York City's Department of Consumer Affairs found that 14 percent of the airport's scales were not properly calibrated. At Boston's Logan airport, 10 percent of the scales recently inspected gave incorrect readings. The South Florida SunSentinel has discovered numerous busted scales at area airports. And the list goes on. What to do? Stand up for yourself, especially when a scale barely tips the balance into the "overweight" category. Brandon Macsata, executive editor of the D.C.-based lobbying group Association for Airline Passenger Rights advises passengers to weigh their bags at home first, and if the airport scale comes up with a different number, insist that your bags be weighed on a different scale. Yes, it's come to that.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Taking a Trip, Part 1

Taking a Trip Can Be a Wonderful Experience: You just have to know how to do it. You can, for example, use an independent travel agent, go through American Express, or find an online site offering loads of different trips. You name it, you can do it. I have tried numerous ways.

When an online tour company offers many trips, you can request brochures for those you are interested in. These can be sent to you or downloaded from their site. I prefer the actual brochures. You will also notice that the same tour is offered by other companies, so you can choose the company based on how much help or additional services they offer. More importantly, some of these companies will let you personalize a trip at an additional cost. We travel with another couple, and we found that this works best for us.

When you are in a group, you tend to go at the pace of the group and we also found that some trips have too much down time. You are paying good money for your tour and from my point of view, I want the most out of it. By compiling your "own" schedule, you can see and do more each day.

A few years ago we took a trip to Thailand and Cambodia and used independent tour guides in each country. All this was arranged for us ahead of time by the tour booking company, incorporating our suggestions as to what we wanted to do and see. In Cambodia, we asked to be taken to a local market, not commonly on a list of places to see, and that was one of the best experiences of the trip. When you have a group, it would have been difficult to arrange this.

This is not to say that a group tour is not good. In some cases, you are going to a country where you have to be in a group, for many reasons, or the trip is not set up for totally independent travel. Let me add that I didn't mind a group tour when we took our first trip to the Peru and The Galapagos, because we met wonderful people and that was where we met our future traveling companions.

Start planning your next trip and let me know how it goes!

Some Tour Companies I have used:,, and I looked into,, and there are many others. Price tends to be a factor in which one you choose.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Coupon for

Go to: for a 10% off coupon on sale items good through October 13th.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

When You Want to Buy a New TV

Do you search the internet for the best price for a TV? I do this all the time. It seems that the price changes each week. Sometimes the price is so good that I will want to buy it. Instead I wait. Wait because you know that at some point it will be less. You know that as soon as a newer model comes out the older ones need to be sold. Many times you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the old and the improved version, so buy the model which is now reduced. I have ordered large size TV's online and there was never a problem. Once, on a lark, I went into Sears. They claim that they match prices, but as it turns out, the only price match they do is with stores which are nearby. Forget internet price matching as far as Sears is concerned. Wherever you buy, try to check the site's ratings. This is one reason I try to stay with one or two of the companies I have used in the past.

Your favorite TV programs never looked so good.

Where to buy: www. or I believe that they are the same store, different sites, so I go back and forth to see which posts the better price. Not everything on these two sites are the same. These both usually offer free shipping. Another company to try is They are out of NYC and the store practically takes up an entire city block. Sometimes you can try to negotiate the price on an item. There is also but note that they do not usually sell the newest nor the top of the line model, which may not matter in the long run. Some TV's on come with shipping included and that is not bad. Or you can go to the store which may have different models and prices. And you have to be a member to buy anything.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Does Your House Need a New Coat of Paint?

How much longer can we put this off? Painting a house is a major undertaking as well as an expensive one. Painting estimates will be a price for the total job, or can be priced by the hour plus supplies. (See my comment below about painting supplies.) Which way is best is up to you and I would base it on how much I trust the painter to be honest with his hours. An advantage to a one complete price is that you know up front what you are spending. I have done it both ways and when I use the hourly method, I have an estimate of hours put into the contract. You can also ask if you can buy the paint because I found that a paint store may give you the "painter's" discount or better, since you are buying a large quantity of paint. (Remember, the painter may get a discount but he may not pass it on to you.) Or, get the prices on your own and have the painter agree to a price per gallon. How neat a painter is also matters. You don't want to clean up after them each day. Try looking into their van to see how neatly they keep it.

How to find a painter: Definitely ask friends and neighbors for recommendations, although a local company whose vans/trucks you see all the time can't be bad - as long as they are legitimate. Once, on a whim, I asked a painter for his card when I parked next to him in the parking lot of a local store. Turned out to be the nicest man, lived locally and that was that. Your local hardware store (if any are still left in your neighborhood,) is also a good place to start asking for names.

And remember, this painter will be around the house each and every day. Make sure your dogs don't steal his lunch!