Made in the U.S.A. Monday – Royal Apparel

This is a first for me. I have showcased many “American Made” companies, but never one that was in my county. Royal Apparel has been making sweatshop free, eco friendly clothing in NY since 1992 and they are about a 20 minute drive from my house. I bought a bunch of stuff from them for myself and my infant son back in September.

I received my purchase and have worn my “Royal Apparel” attire and I can say equivocally that I love it. More importantly I love how it looks on my son. I bought him two long sleeve thermals, USAtwo organic cotton onesies, and a hooded sweatshirt. The fit and quality of these clothes is top notch.  In addition to that the feel of their organic cotton it so soft and comfortable. I can already tell that I will wear these pieces for a long long time.

Unfortunately for my son he will outgrow all of his clothes in the next few months, but I certainly plan on buying him more as he grows. I also want to buy the two of us exact matching outfits for a family party. I am corny that way.

If you are looking for some high quality, butter soft organic cotton clothes to give as a gift this Christmas, you can’t do much better than “America Apparel”.

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Five Cyber Monday Steals!

This is my day, I don’t like crowds, I hate malls, give me a glass of chocolate milk, some cookies and my computer and stand back. I’ve wrangled up some deals to help you add a few checks to the list and come out looking like a hero. Take a gander:

  • Sony 4K 55 inch 3D TV $1198.00 – WOW! This is almost exactly what I paid for my current TV last year. SonyBonyIts about 500 bucks less then what you would have paid for this level model last year. Sony’s are great, they are sleek looking, delivery an excellent picture, and are filled with features. You are getting one heck of a TV for almost half off and remember that Sony doesn’t like discounts, so this one might not be around tomorrow.

 

  • Hoover Scooter $359.95 - I’m starting to see HooverScooterthese more and more. Kids really seem to love them. They are like Segway scooters with out the handles. Kids stand on them and lean forward and they go. They look cool and certainly draw your attention. At this price they may be high for some, but the WOW factor may be worth it to others. At $250 dollars off you are certainly getting a solid deal.

 

  • Keurig Single Cup Brewing System $79.99 This is a good deal, CoffeeMakerbut it comes in layers. This device retails for $110.00 so right of the top you are saving 30 bucks. Then they are sweating the deal with a $15 gift card and 15% off with coupon code Cyber15. A gift for them a gift card for you, or use the card as a stocking suffer. If you know someone with an outdated or broken coffee maker this might be for you.

 

  • Boomco Blasters $19.99 – My younger brother and FunGunI would have loved these as kids. Harmless foam darts that we could battle it out with in our basement, hours and hours of entertainment. They are 50% off and out of the box fun.

 

  • Plush Dragon Rocker  $39.99 – I’ve seen Dragon Rockerthese around and they are great. Aside from being a rocker for your child, they also bright up any room with a splash of color. I solid idea for any kids in their dinosaur phase.

 

So I hope these ideas help you. Plenty of cyber monday left, just remember in some cases when the deal is gone, its really is gone. Don’t forget to add to your deals by visiting Ebates and Fatwallet first. Stack those deals!

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TV Deal of the Day!

What a difference a year makes, last year you were lucky to find a 4K TV for under 2 grand. SAMSUNGDEALNow the deals are just pouring in. Case and point this 55inch Samsung for $1600. To me this deal is incredible for several reasons.

  1. First off its a Samsung, not a Westinghouse, or Insignia, or some other company no one has ever hear of. These guys are a leader in 4K TVs.
  2. Secondly its a new TV, not a refurb. When I first saw it I thought it was refurb pricing. I am not against refurbs, but new is of course preferred.
  3.  Can’t forget the model number, the 9000 line of Samsung TV’s a solid, mid range entry.
  4. The cherry on top, it comes with a 3d blu ray play, also a Samsung. I find its always best to match the player with the TV.

A deal like this wont last so head over to Ebay quickly if you are in the market for a new 4k TV. The only downside for some would be the curve. That’s a personal choice that you will have to weigh on your own. as someone who spent months last year looking and reviewing several of the top 4K TV I can honestly say that if I didn’t already own a 4K TV I would probably be buying this one.

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Black Friday Is HERE! Three Deals to Get Things Started.

We are in it now. Black Friday, the official kick off to the holiday shopping season. Last year I openly wondered if the deals were real or if this was all hype.  Every situation is different, but in my experience you have to believe. With that in mind, let’s begin.

Now before you run off and grab your conquests you have to prepare. A deal is great but multiple deals, stacked on top of each other is the best. Do you have a Discover card? Did you activate the 5% cashback bonus for this quarter? It works at Amazon, department stores, and clothing stores. All it takes is a few clicks and you can take on extra savings to your deals.

You also can’t forget Fatwallet and Ebates. These site not only help you find deals, but the offer cash back at hundreds of retailers. Looking over their deals I can tell you that the cashback is very high this year.

Alrighty, with all that settles here are some deals to get you  started.

  • Marvel Art – Signed By Stan Lee - Men in general and young men specifically are rather difficult to shop for. Right now comic book character are quite popular and Stan Lee is the current king of the art form. “Beyond the Rack is offering up a wide assortment of limited edition prints depicting SpidermanMr. Lee’s most iconic character like this one of Spider Man. They are doing so at a great discount, retailing at $500 and reduced for your right now to $129.99. This is a great gift for a comic or movie fan that they can keep on their wall for years and year. The best part is that their is a strong possibility that this piece will hold its value or even increase in value over time. Once they have outgrow that phase they can sell your gift, like an investment.
  • Samsonite Luggage - I know what you might be thinking, luggage? Really? Luggage? Stay with me. If you have a member of your family that is engaged or is going on a big vacation like a long cruise or a trip to Disney this could be the best gift ever. LuggageLuggage is expensive, this set retails for over 400 dollars. Right now you can have this well reviewed, TSA approved Samsonite set for $119.99. Give it to them next December and they will sing your praises when they return from their next trip.
  • Ipad Mini 2 – Last year we gave my sister one and now she uses it more than her laptop.Ipad mini 2 It small and light and the screen is beautiful. I know the two is now considered and older model, but at $199 you really can’t bet the price. This deal is offered from Walmart and they a sweeting in the pot with either Free shipping or free in store pick up for those of you who want to lock down that gift right now.

So there you are, three deals to start the ball rolling, more to follow.

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A Litte Bit of Free Holiday Music

I’m back! Or at least I’m trying to come back. The work, family, website balance has been a little tricky.

Anyway, Christmas season is about to begin (for me Christmas time doesn’t begin until after Thanksgiving, I’m old school) and you might want some Holiday jams to get you in the spirit.

siriussatellite

Luckily for us Sirius satellite radio is here to offer some assistance. From now until December 2nd they have unlocked their service and those of you with satellite radio ready cars can enjoy the experience for FREE.

 

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Free Burrito!

I just wanted to share a little tip to all my Moe’s loving readers. The Bride and I are big fans of the Tex Mex chain, we often go at least once a week. At check out I always make sure to punch in my cell phone number and record the visit. BurritoI quickly learned that for about every ten visits I get a free burrito.

The other day I hit 50 visits and sure enough the text informing me of my free burrito arrived. I can’t help but wonder what will happen when I hit 100. I hope its awesome. Anyway if you are skipping out on the check in you are leaving some free burritos on the table, stop that. 

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My Backyard Garden – The Harvest

As my second year of backyard farming comes to a close and I am enjoying the tasty yields of my harvest, I now have time to reflect. harvestHere in New York we have enjoyed a hot, sunny, and mostly dry Summer. These conditions have benefited most of my crops, while hurting others. My corn has been picked, as have some of my watermelons. Tomorrow I may dug up my potatoes and my tomatoes continue to give me a mixed yield.

Here are how things worked out my plant:

  • Sugar Baby Watermelons: The best news first. These little guys were a great big home run. I have 8 melons, I have already harvested 4. They are very heavy(juicy) and very sweet. These plants were completely problem free. I watered them steadily and gave them organic fertilizer and they just took off.  I was very aggressive with vine management, making sure to keep them out of other beds or tangling with each other. I am going to seed save from my biggest melon and use them in next years harvest. I give them an A.
  • Tomatoes: Now the bad news. I have three varieties of tomatoes. My “Sunburst Cherry” variety is robust and giving me hundreds, literally hundreds of little cherry tomatoes. My pepper style is also very hearty, great color, great yield. The troubled plants and the one that dominates most of my time are my Beefstakes. This is completely my fault. I only had four tomato cages and used them on my cherry variety. I neglected to stake my beef stakes, mostly because they appeared so hearty and it cost me dearly. Instead of growing up they grew out. When the tomatoes started to appear they weighed down the branches causing damage and stress. This hurt the overall health of the pants and caused a massive loss of yield. This was completely my fault and I will not make the same mistake next year. I give my results a C-
  • “Stowell’s Evergreen Sweet Corn” – A very solid variety, it yielded some really large full ears, 24 in all. My experiment to CORNplant each of the 3 rows 1 week apart was a total dud. My heart was in the right place, but I definitely over thought it. Despite my “help” the plants recovered and the loss was limited to one or two plants. A thunderstorm damaged two more, but that is almost unavoidable. The real trick with corn is water. If you don’t give it consistent water you will have missed kernels. I had that problem last year, but I managed to avoid it mostly this year. When all is said and done I give my corn a B+
  • “Binteje Potatoes” – As I mentioned before, I have no harvested them so it is impossible to know how they are. The leafy portion of the plant looks very very healthy, but the part that matters is a mystery. Time will tell.

Mistakes will come, but they can be valuable if you learn from them. I will have my full report and my final grade in a few weeks.

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The PiggyBankBuilder Portfolio Challenge – Game Over

August was a pretty rough one for the markets and I shared in its pain. Here are my results:

  • Krogers (KR) – Purchase price – $63.53, number of shares 46. Current Price: $33.92  a gain of $198.34
  • Microsoft (MSFT) – Purchase price $46.76, number of 32. Current Price: $42.50, a loss of $136.32
  • iShares Silver Trust (SLV) – Purchase price $15.11, number of shares 99. Current Price: $13.99 a loss of $110.88
  • BlackBerry (BBRY) - Purchase price $10.82, number of shares 138, Current Price $7.47 a loss of $462.30

closedI’m down $511.16 or about 10%. As of now I am out, closing up shop. I set up a hard rule when I began this exercise that I would never allow my portfolio to lose more than 15% and while I am not there I don’t see how things will improve in the near term. Like Kenny Rogers says “You got to know when to fold um”. So I am walking away from this market and waiting to see how things pan out.

What went wrong? The popular consensus is China. The Chinese are very deceptive with their economic numbers. Some believe that they are heading into a recession, but no one can no for sure because of the perception that they are dishonest. I give some weight to this argument, but I don’t think that is the while story.

I believe that America is entering a recession and many people are worse off than they were back in 2007. I fear that the resulting down turn will be quite dramatic. I hope I am wrong and I feel confident that in the next two months I will know one way or the other. Fingers crossed.

 

***Please not that I am not and investment adviser.Please consult your investment adviser before making any financial decisions that could result in loss.

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The PiggyBankBuilder Portfolio Challenge – The July Slide

It’s bad, it doesn’t show any signs of getting better. Here are my results:

  • Krogers (KR) – Purchase price – $63.53, number of shares 46. Current Price: $38.72  a gain of $319.70
  • Microsoft (MSFT) – Purchase price $46.76, number of 32. Current Price: $46.62, a loss of $4.48
  • iShares Silver Trust (SLV) – Purchase price $15.11, number of shares 99. Current Price: $13.99 a loss of $110.88
  • BlackBerry (BBRY) - Purchase price $10.82, number of shares 138, Current Price $7.66 a loss of $436.08

I’m slightly less red, down $231.74. QuestionWhile my portfolio recovered a small amount my confidence in this market is waining. All the news that I read is bad, all of the earnings I see are misses. A great case for another recession could be convincingly and easily made to me. I am trying to maintain a level head, but sometimes the sky is falling. Is this one of those times? I suspect that time will tell.

 

***Please not that I am not and investment adviser.Please consult your investment adviser before making any financial decisions that could result in loss.

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Thank You For 3 Years!

Its hard to believe but three years a go on this date PiggyBankBuilder was launched. American PigI knew nothing about creating or running a website at the time, but through hard work and some trial and error I have built this place. My goal was the same then as it is now, help people explore their financial options and choices to make small changes that could help them save money and grow wealth over time.

In helping others I have managed to make changes in my own life that have benefited me greatly. By teaching and sharing I pushed myself to save money. Looking forward my sole goal is to continue this path and reach out to as many people as possible. To all of my visitors, thank you for your support.

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