Friday, April 27, 2012

AAA Discount

One of the great benefits of AAA membership is all of the discounts.  Wherever you go, as you pay, you should ask, "Do you have a AAA discount?"  Below is a partial list.  The full list, and details (they aren't paying me here) is available at AAA.

Among the discounts (check websites for details):

  •  UPS: 15% off services and 5% off shipping.
  • Prescriptions: With AAA Prescription Savings Card, up to 24% off prescriptions.
  • Local Restaurants: 10 to 20% off at many (see website)
  • Payless ShoeSource:  10% off
  • Dunham's: 10% off
  • Nebraska Steaks: 10% off.
  • 10% off order of $100 or more.
  • Jos. A Bank Online: 20% off
  • Kohls: 15% off

Friday, April 20, 2012

Another Awesome Website -

I've learned of another great website.  Whenever you buy items online, you should look for the "promotional code" box or "coupon code" box.  This is a box were you enter a special code.  Maybe the code was sent to you in an email, or a catalog, or in the mail.  You enter this code in the little box and you receive a discount.

What happens if you don't have the code?  Should you be punished for not having it?  I think not.

What if there were a website that has the codes?  What if this website received user feedback on whether the code worked for them?  Such a site exists.

1) Go to the SITE and enter the company name that you're looking for.

2) Click "Search"

3) Jot down the code.

4) Go to the site from which you're ordering, and try entering the code in the promotional code box.  Complete your purchase.

Did it work?  If so, go back to the SITE and give feedback.

I've used this on sites like Kohl's, Amazon, and  It always pays to at least check.  Sometimes it's $5 off your order, other times it's free shipping.  It depends on the company and the offer at the time.  Enjoy!


The Frugal Maestro

Friday, April 13, 2012

Stop Playing The Lottery

I'll confess, I splurge when the jackpot gets really high.  It isn't that "I couldn't live on a measley $2 million jackpot."  It's my way of limiting my lottery expenditures to $5 at a time, once or twice a year.

I know people who play the "Powerball," a  42 state lottery, every Wednesday and Saturday.  $10 a week. That's $520 a year.

They'll claim that "they're due."  Each drawing re-sets the odds at 1 in 195,249,054 to win the Grand Prize.  Each drawing resets the odds at one in 35 to win.  If you buy 5 tickets for each drawing, you raise your odds to 5 in 35 to win $3 back.

The odds of dying in a car wreck next year are 1 in 7500 people.  This is almost twice as likely as getting three matching numbers plus the Powerball and winning $100 from one ticket.

I read an article that suggests that the odds of either dying in a car wreck, or killing someone in a car wreck in a two mile round trip to buy a Powerball ticket are seven times greater than winning the jackpot.

People spend money on strategies like wheeling systems that really only improve your odds by increasing the number of tickets that you purchase. 

Other people join lottery clubs that increase the odds of winning by increasing the number of tickets purchased, but decrease the jackpot per person because you're dividing it equally and/or suing one another because "Person A collected the money and Person B bought the tickets and Person C made photo copies of the tickets," etc.

Someone very wise once said, "I win a dollar every day I don't buy a lottery ticket."  Another wise person said, "you can't win if you play."   If you feel lucky, why not choose a 50/50 raffle somewhere that benefits a good cause.  Your odds are much better.

Stop Powerballing!  You just saved $500 a year.


The Frugal Maestro


Friday, April 6, 2012

Buying Cell Phone Accessories From Your Carrier?

So you're buying a new phone, and none of the accessories from your old phone are not compatible with the phone you're buying (what were the odds?!).  If you're buying in a store, you may be dealing with a helpful associate who is working on commission.

Phones need accessories.  Phone stores sell accessories, and who better to target than someone who is buying a new phone?  Car charger, spare wall charger, case, bluetooth, screen covers, maybe some sort of stylus. 

The sales person may throw out the term "bundling."  By you buying a bunch of stuff for your phone all at one time, "you're saving money."  If you go to the movies and buy a "bundle" consisting of a $7 Coke, a $9 Popcorn, and a $4 box of M&M's, they may tell you that you're saving $2, but you've just spent $18 for $3 worth of junk food.  Same goes for phone accessories.

As an example, I pulled some typical phone accessories (chargers, protective cases, headphones, bluetooth, screen protectors) from the AT&T website, and compared the exact same items on Amazon.  You may even find cheaper prices somewhere else.  The results are below.

You spend twice as much at the AT&T Store.


The Frugal Maestro