Category Archives: Saving Money

Building a Computer Deal

It’s time for millions of students across the country to get back into school mode. Colleges dorms are filling with new and returning students and the younger ones know that their summer is quickly coming to an end. Back to school shopping is well underway and the most expensive item on the list is often a computer. 

Selecting a computer grows more complicated each year. Do you get a tablet or a laptop or a desktop? Is it going to be used primarily for gaming or movie viewing or heaven forbid, school work. What if you could have it all? Even better, what if you could have it all at a very generous discount. 

My brother recently decided to throw in the towel on his old laptop, it was too old and too slow and it crashed a lot. He reached out to me with two requests. He wanted something that could handle several tasks at once and it had to be affordable. Armed with those parameters I set out on my task. 

I looked in my usual places, review sites, discounts, deal spots. I found a few candidates but none that rely impressed me.  I asked for 24 more hours and then, boom. I found what I didn’t even know I was looking for. 

I give you the Dell XPS 18. It looks DELLlike a fairly nice desktop bundle. You have a pretty big 18. inch screen, a wireless keyboard and mouse. If you were to look a little bit closer you would discover that things aren’t what they seem. That “Monitor” is actually a giant tablet. That’s right this desktop can covert into a portable tablet that you can use all over your home and still be connected to the inter webs. 

This computer gives you the usability and power of a desktop and the portability of a tablet. Windows 8 touch screen capabilities allow you to interact with the screen in very engaging and new ways. A computer like this usually retails for around $1200 dollars, but I found a nice deal. 

A Ebay daily deal to be exact. Right now you can have this PC/Tablet for $679.95. Now it is a referb unit, but it comes with a standard 1 year warranty. Some people may shy away from such a thing, but I have had good experiences with such devices in the past. 

Sure 43% off is great, but don’t go clicking that “buy it now” button just yet. Remember BigCrumbs is offering .5% cash back. That knock another $3.38 off. You should also enroll in Ebay bucks and $13.60 could be yours. No sense leaving almost $17 on the table. 

I shared this deal with my brother and he loved it, the reviews were good and it is just what he wanted. He ordered it yesterday and should be receiving it early next week. If this seem like something you might be interested in then check it out, but remember the daily deals don’t last very long. 

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Five Bucks off a $25 Fandango Gift Card

I am sure you have seen the commercials and some of you have probably tried Fandango. For those of you who have enjoyed using theFandango-logo online movie ticket seller as well as those who may be interested in trying, Fandago and Visa signatures cards are offering you a deal. Right now you can buy a $25 gift card for only $20 if you use your Visa signature card.

Depending on where you live in the country that $5 might be a free ticket. For me, in NY, where movie tickets can be $12.50 a pop, it knocks the price of a movie night with my wife from $25 down to $20. Every little bit helps, right? Check it out.

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When the Yankees Win Big So Do You – PapaJohn’s

Last Tuesday when my family and I were enjoying our fantastic free Yankees tickets thanks to Hess and Pepsi I noticed an ad on the jumbotron. PapaJohnLogoWhen the Yankees score six or more runs and win you get 50% off any regular price menu items the next day. For the entire season if the Yankees win by score 6 or more runs all you have to do is go to PapaJohn’s site, place an order, and enter the promo code  “Yankees6″ to get 1/2 off any regular priced menu items. 

*** Please not that this promotion doesn’t appear to work outside of the NY area.***

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I Got My Yankees Tickets!

Back in April I wrote about a Yankees ticket giveaway that is sponsored by Hess and Pepsi. I am YANKEES!proud to report that as of last night I got my tickets. My father, brother, sister, and I will be attending the June 17th home game against the Toronto Blue Jays. We will be seated in section 132, right behind the third base line foul pole on the field level.

These will be the best seats I have ever had in the new stadium. Out of curiosity I price checked them and I discovered that tickets in that section sell for around $150 a piece. My brother and I saved about $600 but taking advantage of this giveaway. 

For those of you that did enter, please hurry, the seats are running out fast. For those of you that missed your opportunity, you will have to wait until next year, but don’t worry I will be here to remind you. 

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Insuring Your Home – Observations From a First Time Buyer

Bad things happen every single day, turn on your local or national news channel and it’s right there. 521Some horrible tornado or flood or fire has just decimated huge areas of real estate. These are daily reminders of the importance of home insurance. When things go bad its good to know that eventually you will be made whole. Even if you disagree with me, most lenders require you to buy insurance as a condition of getting a mortgage.

As a first time home buyer I will admit that I was not well versed in home insurance. I have had car insurance for my entire adult life and I have a small life insurance plan, but home insurance was foreign to me. I gave myself a bit of a crash course and this is what I took away form the experience.

  • Understand Your Coverage Levels – When speaking on the phone with various agents, I made sure that we reviewed each line of the policy and asked questions about anything I didn’t understand. In my case I found that the recommended levels of coverage met almost all of my needs.
  • Flood Insurance? – I thought long and hard about this. “Super Storm Sandy” really devastated my region and the saddest thing was to meet people that had their home destroyed and didn’t have flood coverage. My future home is miles from any type of water so I opted not to get it, but I did buy back up coverage. This coverage insures me against the sewer or water pipes in my home backing up into my basement.
  • Guns, Pools, and Trampolines – These are the three red flags of home ownership, and one of them will raise your premium. Something to keep in mind.
  • Shop Around - I got four quotes, all for the same coverage. The first one was $3700, the second was $2600, and the last two were $1400. I went with Allstate, because of their low price and the local agents professionalism and willingness to help me.
  • Bundle - My agents recommended bundling my home and auto insurance together.  This allowed me to reduce the cost of both. All in I am paying about $3500 a year for home and auto for both my and my wife’s cars. I saved thousands of dollars a year by shopping around for the best price and bundling my coverage.

The last thing to keep in mind is that to do this right takes time. Every quote took me about an hour. The agent needs loads and loads of information from you, when was the home built, square footage, types of construction, the list goes on and on. It can be tedious but its extremly important and if you do your homework you can  save  a ton of money. I hope this helps. 

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Time is Running Out – Free Yankee Tickets

Yesterday I mailed out my ticket mail awayentry form and receipts for the Hess and Pepsi Yankee ticket giveaway. My brother told me he was doing the same today. For those of you that are interested in this offer please keep in mind that you have until April 25th to get your entry mailed.  Six days left, you better hurry while you still have time. For those of you who are unfamiliar you need: 

  • Four recent gas receipts from Hess, 8 gallon or more per visit.
  • A receipt from a NY Hess Express for either two 12 packs or one 24 Pack of Pepsi
  • A completed entry form.

Call some friends and ask them to save their receipts for you and get on over to your local Hess to grab and entry for and some cases of Pepsi. Time is fleeting. 

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Take Me Out to the Ball Game – Free Yankee Tickets!

The year I was born the Yankees won the world series. They would not repeat this feat until my freshman year in college. While my childhood was filled with disappointment and let down the “Jeter Era” of Yankees baseball has been nothing but excitement and joy. Now the Captain is going to retire and I plan to watch him take a few more at bats in person before he walks off into baseball history. 

Last year my family and yankeeI got to take advantage of the Pepsi/Hess offer for two FREE Yankees tickets and watched the Bombers play at home. Since my brother and I live in separate household he got his two tickets and I got mine. He took my Dad and I took my sister so all of us got to enjoy a free day at the ballpark.  I am guessing we saved over $200 on those seats. 

This year we are looking to repeat the experience and will be taking Hess and Pepsi up on their offer. For those of you who may not know this is how it works, in order to get the two free tickets you need to:

  • Provide receipts for 4 fill ups at a Hess gas station, a minimum of 8 gallons per visit. 
  • Buy either a 24 pack or two 12 packs of Pepsi at a NY Hess Express, save the receipt.
  • Mail the 4 gas receipts and the Pepsi receipt with your entry form on of before 4/25/14

Once your entry is received and everything is in order you will receive a coupon code that you can use to redeem for your Yankee tickets. 

What I really like about this promotion os that it costs me almost nothing. I was going to gas my car up anyway and my two 12 packs off Pepsi cost me twelve bucks. That’s 50 cents a can! Now I take a can to work and instead of spending $1.50 on a soda from the pizza or fast food place. Some places charge as much as two bucks for a drink, thanks to pepsi I am saving money.

That aside this is a truly great offer and a nice excuse to see a ball game at the stadium. It expires in 12 days so you best hurry. 

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Free Eats – The Birthday Round Up

I always hope that my birthday falls on my day off and if it doesn’t I usually take off. Some of my friends argue that that is a waste of a vacation day. I disagree, your birthday is the one day of the year where you celebrating you. The moment that you entered this world. Why shouldn’t you spend it doing what you want and while your at it how about some free food to add to that celebration. Here is a list of five places that will reward you on your birthday with some free grub. In most cases all you have to do is sign up in advance. 

  • AppleBee’s – Always a “PiggyBankBuilder Giveaway” favorite, applebees dessertAppleBee’s will give you a free dessert on your birthday if you sign up to their e-mail club. I have a well founded suspicion that your dessert will also some with some free signing from the wait staff. 
  • DairyQueen – Keeps the dessert goodness going with a DQ Birthdaybuy one get one free coupon for one of their famous “Blizzards”. Not exactly free but who wants to eat ice cream alone anyway. All you have to do is join their fan club which will enter you into their contest and will award you a buy one get one free coupon just of enrolling. 
  • Houlihan’s – Will give one free entree(up to $15) houlihans birthdayto any Birthday girl or boy who joins their club as well. They will even give you one free appetizer just for joining, you are winning now and later. 
  • Moe’s Southwest Grill – A personal favorite of the PiggyBankBuilder, moe'sMoe’s will give one free entree (no fajitas) as well as chips and salsa to you on your birthday provided you join their club prior. There is a good chance that I will take them up on that, I really enjoy Moe’s. 
  • Tropical Smoothie Cafe – Will give you a free smoothie on your birthday. That makes sense. If your birthday is on the summer, like mine, you will tropical smoothie birthdayappreciate a nice frosty beverage to heat you beat the heat. All you have to do is join Club Tropical”.

So there you are, a fine collection of birthday freebies for you to enjoy when that joyous day comes around. 

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Stacking Up Savings to Build the Best Deal

The odds are pretty good that if you have found your way to this site you are someone who likes deals. Well my friend you are not alone. I am always looking for a deal, because like you I know that a few bucks saved here and there can really add up to some meaningful cash over time.  The trouble most people seem to have when searching for the best prices comes from quitting too early. 

You find a pretty good sale price and you think, “That’s pretty good”. I would argue that “pretty good” just won’t do. Are you paying with a cash back credit card? How much back 1%? Really? Did you use BigCrumbs or Ebates? You don’t belong to those sites? WHAT! You need to use all your available resources to get the best deal possible. Here is an example:

Let’s say you want to buy a microwave. Your old one is on its last legs, its big and dirty, it takes up too much counter space. You want something modern, energy efficient, quiet, with lots of features. You search around and you find a well reviewed unit that also happens to be on sale at home depot. microwaveThis stainless steel over the ranger Whirlpool microwave is exactly what you are looking for. It has over 1000 reviews on the home depot website and almost all of them are 5 stars. To sweeten the deal home depot is selling if for $228, that’s 12% off the retail price and they are going to ship it to you for free. Mission accomplished right? 

Pump the brakes for a second here, if you act now you are leaving a lot of savings on the table. You found a great microwave for a good price and who doesn’t  like free  shipping? Here are two more step you can take to sweeten the deal even more.

Click on over to BigCrumbs and Ebates and search Home Depot. You will see that Bigcrumbs is offering 3% cash back and Ebates is offering 4% and ontop of that they are giving you a $10 coupon code for an order over 100 dollars. Looks like this time Ebates wins, you link over to home depot, select your microwave, and enter your coupon code. You just saved and additional $18.72.

Don’t stop there. As you may recall I recently wrote about Discovercard’s 5% cash back offer at home improvements stores. At checkout you pay using Discover and you knock another $10.90 off the price. 

Two extra steps saved you over 30 bucks and knocked the price of that microwave down from $228 to $198. Those two extra steps took mere minutes but the savings were huge. 

So remember even after you get a deal you can still build on it with these simple steps. Build those deals!

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Discover Card 5% Cash Back Bonus

As far as cash back on credit card purchases go 5% is pretty much the gold standard. I have seen 6%, but its very rare. Most cards give you 1%, some 3% and only the most generous top out at 5%. In that category Discovercard has developed a reputation for offering a healthy variety of offerings. The categories change every quarter and April 1st marks the start of a new one, “Home Improvement”.

cashbackRegistration is very simple and very easy, it literally involves clicking a box to activate the reward category. Once you do you will be eligible to earn 5% cash back from home improvement stores, furniture stores, and Bed Bath and Beyond. So if you have any big projects slated or you are just looking to do a little Spring cleaning than this promotion is for you. Please note that the cash back bonus is only on your first $1500 in purchases so if you are remodeling that kitchen you are probably good for an appliance of two. 

For everyone else this is a great feature that should help you maximized savings when you are out looking for home improving deals. 

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