Posts Tagged ‘discounts’

The Special Deal Days of Holiday Shopping


The holiday shopping season continues to start earlier in the year, and that means a growing number of “special shopping days” with more deals and discounts from retailers and online outlets. This is a greater opportunity for you to save on those items on your gift list. But with more and more sale days, it may be quite a challenge to keep your spending in check during the holiday shopping season. The keys to staying in control are:

  • plan ahead
  • know the best days to shop
  • research and price compare ahead of time
  • use coupons and promo codes
  • stick to your budget

Here are the 12 traditional big sale and discount days for holiday shopping:

November 10 – Neighborhood Toy Store Day  This day of awareness was initiated to help shoppers find the best children’s toys on the market and encourage shopping in your  local community. Check out this website with resources: Neighborhood Toy Store Day. 

The Day after Thanksgiving – Black Friday – In the United States, Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day. On this day, most major retailers open extremely early, often even on Thanksgiving night, and offer promotional sales to kick off the shopping season, similar to Boxing Day sales in many Commonwealth Nations. Sales are announced weeks ahead of time, and doorbuster deals are offered in limited quantities, which means advanced planning is essential to get the most from these bargains. More to find big savings in our post: Black Friday, Cyber Monday Money Saving Tips

The Saturday following Thanksgiving – Small Business Saturday  – Small Business Saturday reminds us to shop at locally-owned neighborhood stores. Boutique independent shops can offer some unique choices, quality goods and caring service.

The Monday following Thanksgiving – Cyber Monday – This marks the start of Cyber Week, where online shopping deals are continuous right up until the very last holiday minute, especially if you know where and how to search for bargains. By shopping online you save on gas and parking fees. Watch for sales, and use promo codes for discounts and free shipping offers. 7 Cyber Monday Shopping and Safety Tips.

End of November or in December – Chanukah – The first day of the eight-day holiday of Chanukah changes from year to year, but check your calendar and watch for new offers, specials and promo codes before that first day and and throughout the eight days of Chanukah. More tips to enjoy your holiday celebration in our post:  8 Ideas for a Happy Hanukkah Party on a Budget.

Second Monday in DecemberGreen Monday – eBay coined the term “Green Monday,” which does not refer to anything ecological, but rather, refers to the busiest online sales day of the year and the busiest shipping day in the country, with sales reported to bring in over one-billion greenbacks. More savings tips in this video:  Green Monday

Mid-December – Free Shipping Day – The U.S. and Canada’s Postal Service’s Annual Free Shipping Day,  is a one-day, online-shopping event when literally thousands of merchants offer free shipping promising delivery by Christmas Eve, and many merchants offer additional special promotions and discounts. More on participating retailers, special offers in this post on Free Shipping Day .

Third Thursday in DecemberNational Regifting Day – Regifting can be a budget-friendly option for gift-giving and is a more environmentally friendly option. Additionally, National Regifting Day conveniently coincides with the time that many businesses are hosting holiday office parties. One word of caution: be sure you don’t regift the gift back to the person who gave it to you originally. More handy tips in this video on The Art of Regifting.

Saturday before Christmas Day – Super Saturday – This is the second biggest retail shopping day of the year. The Saturday before Christmas is called “super” because it’s the last weekend chance for shoppers, which makes it super for retailers. Along with extra incentives and doorbuster deals being offered through the weekend, shoppers may also find a wide range of retail prices with tons of impulse items priced on the higher side while items that haven’t moved previously may be priced to sell. More in this video: Super Saturday Holiday Shopping

Christmas Eve Eve and Christmas Eve – Two more intense days for sales at brick-and-mortar stores. This is the final opportunity for shoppers browse for gifts in order to give them in time for Christmas Day, and it’s the last chance to move inventory before final end of year markdowns. But though you may be facing a time crunch, it’s still possible to find deals. How-to tips in this video:  Last Minute Holiday Shopping Tips.

December 26 – Kwanzaa – This seven-day celebration starts the day following Christmas and ends on January 1. This week is loaded with post-Christmas and end-of-year discounts being offered, but pay special attention and you may find extra coupon codes and discounts added to address this specific holiday. Ideas, crafts, recipes and gift ideas in our post: 7 Kwanzaa Celebration Ideas.

Day After Christmas and Post Christmas Deals: The day after Christmas is now considered to be a close contender with Black Friday as one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Shoppers are in stores with gift exchanges and returns, and using gift cash and gift cards while taking advantage of end of season sales for items like winter gear, clothing and coats. It’s also a good time to find rock bottom prices on holiday items you might want to stock up on for next year’s holiday season like wrapping paper, holiday cards, and decorations. Discounts are usual offered through January 1 as retailers need to move last year’s inventory to make way for new spring stock. Make the most of your post-holiday shopping with the tips in this video on How to Snag After-Holiday Deals.

 More on how to get the most for your holiday shopping dollar:

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Give Mom the Best and Your Budget a Break for Mother’s Day!

It’s easy to give mom the best!

From easy recipes, to beauty or spa gift basket ideas, to decorating ideas – we’ve got so many amazing affordable ideas for Mother’s Day we just couldnt single any out!

So let yourself go and create nothing less than wonderful for mom… you’ll be glad you did!’s categories are brimming with the best ideas to create a day Mom will love:

For more specific gift ideas, check this blog post:

These posts mention  great resources for nice discounts and even free fun local activities:

Mother’s Day Fact: Mother’s Day started as part of a women’s peace movement dating back to the USA’s Civil War… more here.

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Father’s Day: Fantastic and Wallet-Friendly

We know you care, and your Dad will too!

You can show Dad you have real heart for him, and also hold onto your real savings at the same time with these videos loaded with easy budget-friendly or even free do-it-yourself gifts, gift baskets, recipes, entertaining and activity ideas Dad will love!

Father’s Day the Home Shopping Way – Every father deserves the best, and what better way than with Home Shopping? What dad wouldn’t appreciate a little comedy with his socks and BBQ?  Catch this Karen Alloy comedy.

Meetballs 3-course, feed 4, under $35 – Chef Bill Poirier from Boston’s restaurant, Sonsie, whips up a 3-course-meal for 4 people, for under $35 budget. Spinach salad, turkey meatballs, & chocolate ricotta!

Summer Grilling , Serve 8 for $10 Each – Cook up a 3-course meal for 8 people and for under $10 each with recipes from David Joachim and Andrew Schloss, Authors of  Mastering The Grill.

Cupcake Father’s Day Gifts – Everyone loves cupcakes and the author of   Hey There, Cupcake! shows how to decorate dessert for a special Father’s Day.

DIY Coin and Key Keeper – Give Dad a hand for pocket change & car keys with this one-of-a-kind do-it-yourself tray that any child can make!  Easy DIY from Crayola Creative Workshop.

DYI Photo Frame from a CD Case – An easy DYI gift project from Crayola Creative Workshop: turn an old CD case into a bright and bold picture frame that can hold a special message.

Origami Necktie and Shirt Card – So Easy to do! A DYI origami necktie and shirt card that’s sure to bring a smile to every dad.

Men’s Spa at Home – Men like to indulge too. Check out these at home men’s grooming products and gifts to pamper the man in your life from Lenny LaCour.

For more gift ideas, that are sure to please, check out these blog posts:

These previous posts mention  great resources for nice discounts and even free fun local activities you may want to make part of your Father’s Day plan :

Father’s Day FACT:  Did you know:

Scholars claim the tradition of Father’s Day can be traced in the ruins of Babylon where a young boy called Elmesu carved a Father’s Day message on a card made out of clay nearly 4,000 years ago. Elmesu wished his father good health and a long life. The idea of a Father’s Day celebration in the U.S.A. originated in 1909 in Spokane, Washington, when Ms. Sonora Louise Smart Dodd was listening to Mother’s Day sermon.  Sonora pondered if there is a day to honor mother then why not for father and she began a rigorous campaign to celebrate Father’s Day in the U.S.  It wasn’t until  1972 that a permanent national observance of Father’s Day  was established by President Richard Nixon. More Father’s Day facts

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How to Save Money Dining Out, Traveling or At Home

Whether you are on the road traveling or touring your own home town, dining out can be a real wallet drain. You are at more of a disadvantage when you are in new unfamiliar places with limited resources and in a rush. But you can still enjoy dining out without busting your budget even while traveling, vacationing, or touring your own town by simply keeping a few easy tips in mind.


A Hotel restaurant may be convenient, but… that little bistro or cafe down the block may be a far better value. For example, we randomly selected the Hilton Hotel on Ave. of the Americas in NYC. We checked the weekday breakfast menu at the New York MarketPlace Cafe. The full American Breakfast Buffet is $35 per person. The lowest priced item on the breakfast menu was $12 for granola with yogurt, berries and honey. At the Europa Cafe, just two blocks away, you won’t get the Hilton atmosphere, granted, but you’ll get a lot of local flavor and a spinach and cheddar cheese omelet with potatoes, toast, and coffee or tea for $7.53 – that’s a savings of $27.47 over the hotel cafe. Europa Cafe’s large homemade granola with yogurt and fruit is just $4.25 – which is a $7.75 savings over the New York MarketPlace Cafe.

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Hidden fees can appear on your dining tab. Before you pay or sign ask if a gratuity has already been added in. This applies anywhere, including in your own home town neighborhood. Some countries customarily add a gratuity in, or a “service charge”. Often a gratuity is included for larger parties of 6 or more. Ask your lodging hosts or hotel ahead of time how much of a tip is customary. Watch for extra platting charges for splitting an entre; it might be worth it to order something small and pack the extra to go, instead of incurring a $6 fee that you get nothing in return for. Ask before you order if they accept credit or debit cards, and if there is an extra surcharge for using them.

Ask your hosts or hotel if there are any specials, vouchers or coupons for restaurants.  However, when asking for a recommendation, keep in mind some concierges get kickbacks for sending you to pricy tourist traps so be sure to ask for their unbiased opinion and suggestions.

Some establishments may offer lower prices or freebies on certain holidays, or on specific days of the week, or during certain hours, like before 7:00 pm or after 9:00 pm. Check the specific restaurant you are interest in online for any current promotions, and also check online for coupons and specials at sites like

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Eat off the beaten path. Head for eateries in areas that outlie the more popular busy tourist centers. These restaurantuers livelyhoods depend on serving local residents and business people quality fresh regional dishes for reasonable prices daily, and that works in your favor.

More tips in this video:

Street Food. This can be a great way to have a quick sample of local cuisine at a real bargain, but this can also be tricky.  You want to be sure the vendor is well equipped, hygienic, and the food is good quality and fresh.

Catch this video from a curbside cuisine expert for tips on how to do that:

Cook in. Of course, a big dining money saver is to prepare at least some of your own food. You can do this, even if you’re traveling.  Shop at local farmer’s markets or nearby grocery stores and prepare a picnic. Creating your own meal just once a day can easily save you $35 or more, per person, per day.

More money saving travel posts:

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April & Tax Time & Earth Day – Freebies, Giveaways and Discounts

This started off as a post for Tax Time Relief – Tax time is usually stress time. We thought it would be nice to let you know about a few freebies, giveaways and discounts that might help brighten up the next few days (and beyond) as the deadline for filing U.S. income tax draws to a close. Usually the deadline is April 15, but due to a Washington D.C. holiday, the 2011 filing deadline has been extended to April 18… which also means more days to cash in on many of these special offers!  But it ended up featuring deals through the month of April.. there were so many great promotions with taxes, the extended tax filing deadline, and Earth Day following right after, we just kept adding on! Lucky you!


Arby’s – Arby’s is giving away its signature curly fries on 4/15 between 11 am and 10 pm.Print a coupon from their Facebook page.

Starbucks – Starbucks is giving free coffee or tea when you bring in your reusable cup on 4/15.

McDonald’s – Buy-one-Get-one Free: Snag a free Southern-style chicken biscuit or sandwich when you purchase one on 4/15 at participating stores.

Whole FoodsReceive a free coffee at participating locations on 4/15: Whole Foods Market Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio, Marlton, and Princeton, NJ locations.

Subway – Limited locations are offering a free cookie of choice on 4/15. Additionally, if you live in Greensboro (NC), Raleigh (NC), Richmond (VA), Norfolk (VA), Wilmington (DE) or Greenville (SC), stop by for a  buy-one-get-one-free footlong sub as part of Customer Appreciation Day.

4/15 and 4/18:

McCormick & Schmick’s – On 4/15, McCormick & Schmick’s is offer drink specials during its Early Filers Happy Hour. Then on 4/18, it will host an all-day Tax Relief Procrastinators Celebration featuring a variety of $10.40 entrée specials (bar only) and tax relief drink specials.


H&R Block – Running out of time to get your return done? H&R Block will fila a 2011 tax extension for you free.

TurboTax – Prepare, print & file your simple federal return FREE with TurboTax Federal Free Edition. Federal returns are due Monday, April 18 at 11:59pm local time. You can E-File your return or an extension until the last minute.

HydroMassage – Hundreds of business owners across the nation are uniting to eliminate stress by giving out FREE 10-minute HydroMassages on 4/14-18. See the map for all participating locations.

Boston Market – Buy-one-get-one free: Receive a free individual plate when you buy any individual plate meal with printable coupon through 4/18.

Free Preview of HBO and Cinemax – DirecTV, Dish Network, Verizon FIOS, and some Cox Communications customers will be getting a free preview of HBO and Cinemax.

Papa Johns Get a large, original crust pizza with up to four toppings for just $10.40 when you enter promo code: 1040 when ordering at through 4/18.

Staples – will copy up to 30 single-sided or 15 double-sided tax-related documents for free.

Brueggers – You can receive their Big Bagel Bundle for just $10.40 when you bring in this coupon through 4/18.

4/15- 4/19:

White Castle 15% off any purchase through 4/19 with coupon.

4/15 – 4/21:

Bally Total Fitness – Anyone can work out for free on 4/18. From 4/15-21 members are able to sign up for a free 30-minute personal training session. Also, the gym is offering a Tax Day membership special that discounts the two-year Premier National Access membership to $418 (a $61 discount).

4/15 – 4/22:

Office Depot – Will shred up to five pounds of paper and copy 25 pages of tax document free of charge. You must bring this coupon in before April 23.

4/16 – 4/24:

US National Parks – Free Admission to US National Parks to Celebrate National Parks Week.


Cinnabon –  On 4/18, Cinnabon is giving two free Classic Cinnabon Bites per person from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

P.F. Chang’s – Offers a 15-percent discount on all dine-in and carry-out orders on April 18 (happy hour items and alcohol excluded).

MaggieMoo’s Ice Cream and Treatery – On 4/18 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., they are giving a free mini ice cream sundae featuring the new Crumb Cake Fundae.

California Tortilla – Stop in and get an order of free chips and queso with any purchase on April 18.

Chili’s – All day during normal business hours Monday, 4/18 Chili’s offers a free or dessert with a purchase of an entree, with this coupon or a display of this coupon on their phone, at participating locations nationwide.

4/22 – Honoring Earth Day:

Starbucks: Bring in a reusable Travel cup to your local Starbucks store on 4/22 and get a free cup of coffee or tea!

Evos:  You can receive free organic milkshakes served in biodegradable cups on Earth Day. Locations in California, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina.

Numi Organic Teas: Receive a 20% discount on April 22 — just enter code:  EDAY40 at checkout.

Origins: Take advantage of their trade-in program on Earth Day only. Bring one of your current skin-care product bottles – empty or full, from any brand – to an Origins counter and receive a free full-size cleanser. Choose from Checks and Balances Frothy face wash or Perfect World antioxidant cleanser with white tea.

Babies R Us: Get a free reusable tote bag when you bring a valid coupon (PDF) into its stores through April 22. Plus, you’ll get a 25% discount off all the clothing and shoes you can fit into the bag.

Disney Store: If you bring in six plastic bottles or soda cans you get a free hat made from recycled bottles at the Disney Store. And/or you can swap five plastic bags for a free reusable tote bag.

Amazon: You will find up to 34% off some of its Earth Day specials.  Find up to 40% off products from its “green and natural” store. Good through April 23.

Planet Earth Series: The BBC is offering the first episode of the “Planet Earth” series as a free download on iTunes through to April 26.

Caribou Coffee: Bring in your reusable mug for a free coffee. and you receive 50-cents off anytime you bring in a reusable to their store.

Burt’s Bees — With every $50 online purchase, Burt’s Bees online is giving away a Head to Toe Starter Kit. The kit contains trial-size natural cleansers, lotions and creams. Orders must be placed before 11 p.m. April 30. Free shipping on orders $49 an over. For eco chic deals,  check out this list of 33 Earth Day Deals for Clothing, Home & Baby.

CVS pharmacy: As part of their recently launched program called GreenBagTag, CVS will pay ExtraCare reward card members $1 back for every four shopping trips where they decline plastic bags; whether you use a reusable bag or carry out your items. In addition, CVS will give 5 cents to World Wildlife Fund for every GreenBagTag sold in the next year. Receive free “Stop Global Warming” flip-flops with every order! (we’re not certain how long this offer lasts).

Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Markets: Receive a free reusable tote bag at Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market when you spend $20 or more. The totes usually sell for 99 cents. You’ll need to bring in this printable coupon. Valid till 12/31/11, while supplies last.

Yoga Journal: Get a free digital download of the Yoga Journal’s May issue, and the latest issue of their sister publication, The Vegetarian Times, as well! (We’re not ceertain how long this offer lasts).

And.. for more on Earth Day: Please don’t miss our posts: 8 Earth Saving & Money Saving Household Tips! and Earth Day Every Day Saves You Money.


Lowe’s Home Improvment Stores: On Saturday April 23, visit a Lowe’s home improvement warehouse and get a free tree.


Baskin Robbins – Take advantage of Baskin Robbins’ annual 31-Cent Scoop Night from 5 PM – 10 PM .

Ongoing Through the end of the month of April:

IHOP Kids Eat Free with each adult entree for the entire month of April from 4-10 pm for children 12 and younger. – offers Tax Day Freebies with purchase through the month of April. Add the items below to your shopping cart and use Coupon Code: TAXDAYFREEBIE at Checkout:

For more tax help catch’s channel: Finance, Credit, Budgeting

And for more enjoyment check out this video: “Taxman” – George Harrison and Eric Clapton, concert recorded in Tokyo, Japan

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7 Cyber Monday Last Minute Shopping and Safety Tips

Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t just for Friday and Monday anymore. We spotted special “holiday” deals well before Halloween this year, and as Stacey Ross, founder of, notes many stores are beginning their more ‘serious’ discounts on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, instead of the traditional Friday following Thanksgiving. Online shopping deals will be continuous right up until the very last holiday minute, so Cyber Monday deals are now really everyday deals, especially if you know where and how to search for bargains, how to work the internet and make the most of mobile cell phone apps. Here are some last minute strategies, inside tips, guidelines, and websites that you can use from now until.. well, maybe always!

How To Find the Best Cyber Monday Deals – 7 tips to make the money saving most of your Cyber Monday holiday shopping (or any online shopping).

Black Friday Cyber Monday – Black Friday Cyber Monday tips to price compare, buy gift cards at less than face value, find deals, cell phone apps, avoid shipping charges, save time, & more from Bitsy Jennings & Erin Brooks of The Frugalicious Show.

Insider Cyber Monday Tips – Dianna Baros, Editor of gives tips for finding Cyber Monday deals, stretching your holiday shopping dollar, online coupon stacking & favorite discount sites.


Cyber Safety – One of the best online safety videos we’ve found: Identity Finder CEO, Todd Feinman, shares his unique tips to stay safe while shopping online this holiday season… or any season.

Cyber Monday: Beware the Malware – CnetNews article from Elinor Mills has good information on keeping your computer safe.

5 Black Friday Money Saving iPhone Apps – An SLTV blog post with cool apps to save you time, trouble, and money.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday Money Saving Tips – A blog post featuring 6 tips to more holiday shopping bargains, cyber surfing, and safety pointers.

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5 Black Friday Money Saving iPhone Apps

The cutting edge in money saving for Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be as close as your iPhone or iPad Touch, or not… find out which app is worth its fee or effort before you head out to take on the holiday deal shopping frenzy.

BlackFridaySteals iPhone App – This video features a review from and helps you determine if the 99-Cents you spend to purchase this mobile app will be worth it for the money you may end up saving when using this to shop Black Friday Deals.

TGI Black Friday iPhone App – Crazy Mike from walks you through the features of this cell phone free money saving app in this clip.’s Black Friday App –  This paid iphone and iPad Touch app from, receives surprising marks from tech app reviewer, in this “must see” video review.

Black Friday Deals App –  In this clip shows how this shopping app for Black Friday & Cyber Monday works, and evaluates if the cost of this iPhone and  iPad Touch mobile app is worth it’s potential savings to you.

3 Money Saving iPhone Apps – Tech Reviewer, Matts MacIntosh, shares  3 mobile apps in this segment: 1) receive  coupons and locations where they are accepted,  2) check and track prices for mobile apps, and  3) scan bar codes & then locate the best deals.

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2 Simple Shopping Tricks Saved Us Over $300

We received coupon savings, without the coupons!

We had some clothing returns to take care of which had been sitting around for quite a while. Why not take advantage of Labor Day sales while we were at it? By shopping for end-of-season sale items we’d be saving some money. But, by shopping sales and using our favorite simple shopping savings trick, we were able to cash in on even bigger savings!

Lord and Taylor:

We went to Lord & Taylor with a 4-month old gift return.   They took the item back with no problem. :) At the same time we wanted to buy two shirts.

Shirt ‘A’ at full price would have been $98.00  It was on sale for $48.98  (savings: $49.02)

Shirt ‘B’ at full price would have been $98.00. It had been reduced to $69.99, but when it was rung up we discovered it was on sale for an additional mark-down, bringing it to $49.99 (savings: $48.01)

At checkout we asked our favorite shopping value question, “Are there any other special offers or coupons in effect that we might be able to use?”  Our sales person said, with a smile, “I will check.” She found a coupon sitting behind the counter, scanned it and cheerfully informed us that we received an additional 15-percent off our total purchase!  (savings: $14.85)

Total Lord & Taylor Savings:  $111.84



We also had a return to take back to Macy’s. This return was almost 12 months old. We did have a receipt, and they also took the item back with no problem. :)

We selected a sports jacket. Original full price: $375.00.  Sale price: $204.99.  (savings: $170.01)

We found a shirt  which unfortunately was not on sale and full price was $49.50.

Once again, at the counter, we asked our sales person if they could accommodate further savings for us. We mentioned that we had coupons from Macys, but they had been left at home, and  “Was there anything they could do for us?”  And once again, our sales person said, “I think so”.  She too scanned a coupon from behind the counter for an additional 20-percent off our entire order! (20% off  savings: Shirt: $9.90  Jacket: $40.98)

Total Macy’s savings: $220.89



Simply by shopping sale items, we were able to save $267.04.

We received an additional “Just Ask” savings of $65.75 which we would not have gotten had we not asked.

Total Shopping savings: $332.79

Yes, Another, “Just Ask” Ca-Ching Moment!  We just could not resist bringing the “Just Ask” tip to you again because it just plain works!

Videos with Tips on This Related Topic:

  • Money Saving, 5 Top Spend Less TV Tips – Author, personal finance advisor, & radio host, Garrett B. Gunderson interviews’s co-founder, Michael Fishman, who reveals SpendLessTV’s 5 top shopping savings tips.
  • Cheapest Days to Shop – Nikki Key from The Daily Idea gives easy shopping pointers that could save you a bundle.
  • Haggle for Discounts! – Susan Koeppen on CBS’ The Early Show gives tips to finding the best deals, and how to haggle for additional discounts in-store and online when shopping.
  • Secret Deals You Have to Ask For – MSN Financial Advisor, Liz Weston, gives not-so-obvious pointers for getting discounts & deals on everything from coffee to children’s clothes & coupons to checkout scan errors

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