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Bargains

For me, mon ami, getting a new calendar  means that I’m fully aware that the year is coming to an end in a matter of a few months. Around this time, calendars for the next year will be now available. Depending on the store, new calendars may already be around as early as July.

I give a lot of thought to getting a new calendar because it’ll be nailed to my wall for the whole year and I don’t want it to become an eyesore. I know that a calendar has basic functions—to tell the date, day of the week and the occasion( if so stated) on the date box. But I still believe that a calendar’s appearance also has to blend with the decor in your home or workspace.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder so if I find a new calendar to be appealing to me, then so be it.

Getting one shouldn’t be expensive either. My blood freezes when I see calendars being sold especially at the big-box chain bookstores for $20++++!!!  Sacre bleu!

Ever the perennial bargain hunter, I have found and stuck to a particular crafts store(Michaels) that sells calendars  for as low as $1.50 up to $3.00 each. With a store coupon, you’ll get it even at a lower price and the calendars are big and pretty too. I’m quite partial to calendars with 12 different picture  pages than just 1 picture with 12 white standard calendar pages(like a notebook).

Just my 2 cents’ worth on this subject.

Bonjour!

Josie

As that popular Staples commercial said ,” it’s the most wonderful time of the year” and I don’t mean Christmas even if the familiar Yuletide lyrics  was  playing over that commercial.

It’s the annual back to school sales which is in a way the Christmas shopping season for Staples and all other stores that sell books,office and school supplies. Electronics like notebooks,etc. are also included here since we live now in a high-tech world so the electronic stores like Radio Shack benefit too. Furniture stores like Ikea also  thrive during this time  since college-bound kids need to look into new fixings for their new pad come the new schoolyear. The clothing stores benefit too since most school-bound folks want at least a fresh set of basic clothes to help them feel comfortable during their school hours.

If budget’s a concern considering that one has to put up with school loans, the thrift stores would be a good option to look into as well. Just make sure that you’ll get as much maximum quality from such cheap purchases as you could or else, it’ll still be wasted money for you.

Like Christmas, if you don’t want to be fried by the current heat wave nor deal with the crowds, there’s always online shopping. If you can  also get free shipping with it, so much the better!

For me personally, this is the time of year that I also look for great bargains to stock up on office supplies like pen,notebook paper,shoes,etc. and if I’m patient enough, the sales keep getting better as the schoolyear approaches. The stores in their eagerness to get rid of their back to school inventory in time for the fall, they’ll slash prices even more. At the same time, they’ll also keep on their summer liquidation sales so you get double bargains as well.

One doesn’t have to be a student to enjoy this particular sales season.

Happy shopping in this “Christmas season” in August! I kid you not!

Josie

Two stores in my neighborhood are soon going on liquidation for different reasons. One of them will be closed to give way to Target which is coming to Canada next year. The other store will be closed because their lease will soon be up in the mall where they’re located due to the fact that the mall will be converted to a civic center.

In light of this,liquidation sales will be arriving soon. They’re really just closing-out sales wherein deep price discounts are given so that the stores can get rid of their inventory. In turn, it’s a boon for the consumer since one can get stuff at great, low prices.

Remember though that once you do make such a purchase,  a sale transaction will be deemed as final. They may even put a pentel slash mark over the receipt so that you can’t even return nor exchange the item that you had just bought. Think first before you buy even if it’s a great bargain.

Remaining inventory may be what’s left and possibly picked over already so in terms of getting a specific size,color,etc., it may not always be the case but if you do get it in your own specifications, then it’s your lucky day!

Happy shopping!

Josie

Receiving gift cards or certificates(whether in physical or electronic form) are great. It’s like getting free money whether someone gave it to you or you won it in a contest.It’s also a plus when the card design has pictures which reflect the occasion and the personality of the recipient. Using it is another aspect altogether.

One must be able to use it as promptly as possible before its expiration date. One never knows when the gift or store policy would change or worse, close up business for good before that card ever gets used at all.

In the past, they’re usually good only for 6 months. In other cases, using it so close to that date would entail paying a “penalty’fee and would even reduce the amount of the money paid into that card.

Later on, the expiration date got extended to 5 years. Nowadays, there’s no more expiration dates. (Yey!). You can plan your shopping trip around it and get more out of it especially when the store that issued that card is having a great sale. With today’s economic times, we really got to think it through very well!

Some stores even offer the service of electronically uploading your gift card with more money that you pay into so as to save them from issuing you another card. Sounds to be environmentally practical(recycling,that is).

I have read reports time and time again that after Christmas,many people who receive gift cards never get to use them and they all pile them up in their drawers. And to think that gift cards are becoming the number 1 gift item received every Christmas for practical reasons.

What a waste of money which could be of help to your overall budget in some cases.Also, it will help the store since every recorded gift card redemption is considered as  a sales statistic. Buying a store gift card doesn’t count as a sale,just remember that.

Happy Shopping!

Josie

Whenever I travel outside Canada , I make sure to do logical shopping , meaning that whatever I bring back  would not end up being confiscated by Customs Canada(That would  be a waste of money!).  We all want to get  great  shopping bargains but we also have to be careful on our shopping selections in light of airport security as well as to the Customs Division of our respective home country.

Take for example the neverending commerce and travel between the U.S. and Canada. If you drive between both countries, you can practically bring a lot more stuff( wines,canned goods,perfumes,etc) in various sizes and quantities.  If you were flying, weight and quantity restrictions would apply though.  Liquids,creams and gels remain  to be scrutinized though.  If you were driving across either country, I’m sure bringing  big bottles of Remi Martin cognac  or  Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Perfume (my personal favorite)  for example wouldn’t be a problem. No worry pas, mon  ami!

 Of course, whether you fly or drive, never transport fresh produce or meat, firearms, insecticides and other obvious items that are a real danger to homeland security to any country.

 Consider also your home country’s customs rules on duty-free amount limit.

In Canada for example, effective June 1, 2012, (with regards to traveling to the U.S.) if staying for 24 hours in the U.S. ,you can declare up to CDN$200 tax-free;   up to 48 hours, declare CDN$800 tax-free ; for a stay 7 days or more, no limit has been mentioned though the old rule used to say CDN$750.00.

That’s my 2 cents’ worth on the matter.

Happy bargain-hunting!  Au revoir!

Josie

Who would’ve thought that  I could find a knock-off Louis Vuitton bag at rock-bottom  price while browsing a flea market? I kid you not. Cross my heart! One staple of American culture is the flea market.

This is where people go to find the best bargains on items that others would like to get sell off. One’s castoff is another’s treasure. The flea market experience is virtually that of a treasure hunt, you’re always on the look-out for that unique item- that comes with a great price, of course.

The Louis Vuitton bag that I got was hardly used and quite an impressive knock-off with all those intricate stitchings, colors, etc. The lady had been selling a lot of other brands like Gap, Abercrombie, and Ann Taylor (just to name a few) at great bargain prices too. I felt good about that  bag purchase but I could tell that both my sister and  her daughter (my niece) have set their eyes on that same bag. I might have to surrender it to them at some point. Oh well… there are still shopping days ahead. I still might find another bag that I could get for myself.

Always keep your eyes open for anything interesting that may come your way while shopping. You never know, you may even get a good deal.

Till then!

Josie