Archive for January, 2012

Cut insurance costs, not coverage

Your homeowners insurance might cost you more this year — if it hasn’t already.

Most insurance companies are hiking rates across Georgia, largely because of last year’s destructive weather and insurance fraud, particularly roofing scams. If your premium’s going up, and you think it’s not justified, shop around.

It’s easier than you think. Start with these tips to get the best price — and value — on protecting your property:

Don’t be shy: “A lot of times when you’re speaking with an insurance agent, it’s like talking to your doctor,” says David Colmans, executive director for the Georgia Insurance Information Service, a trade association. “You hear things, but it doesn’t sink in.” Colmans advises consumers to keep asking questions until they understand their policy, saying people typically don’t realize their coverage may be lacking until they file a claim.

Shop: Harold Weston, a clinical assistant professor in risk management and insurance at Georgia State University, says to …

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Half off Willy’s burritos

burritoNot a snowflake in sight. Nope, no wintry bluster here.

Maybe we should start crossing our fingers for good luck. Because when wintry weather hits, Willy’s Mexicana Grill will declare it “Burrrrrito Day” on its Facebook page, and you can get 50 percent off a burrito of your choice that day. Just wait for the Willy’s Facebook page announcement, then order a burrito at Willy’s and say “Burrrrrito” to the cashier to get the discount.

– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter

Want to learn how to coupon? Or have questions about the process? Join us on the blog for our live chat with Coupon Mom Stephanie Nelson on Jan. 31 at 11 a.m.

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Wes Moss: Is Ron Paul crazy?

Certified financial planner Wes Moss provides personal finance advice and accessible investment strategies. His guest post appears here weekly.

Wes Moss hosts 'Money Matters' Sunday mornings on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB

Wes Moss hosts 'Money Matters' Sunday mornings on AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) wants to get rid of the U.S. Federal Reserve System – an issue that he has made the centerpiece of his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Paul, and like-minded libertarians, think the Fed’s constant intervention in our economy leads to disasters like the housing collapse, banks taking on too much risk, and the debasement of the dollar.

Is Paul right? Or is he off his rocker?

First, a quick explanation of the Fed’s role:

The Fed’s over-arching mission is to maintain full employment and keep inflation at a gradual or moderate pace. Its open market committee controls the money supply and uses that power to manipulate short-term interest rates. If the economy needs a boost, the Fed will lower rates, making cheap …

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My big, fat, bargain wedding: First, finding a venue

This is the first part of a series on wedding planning on a reasonable budget. I hope you will join me on this journey of orchestrating the ideal wedding — without overspending.

Opa!

I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect setting for my boyfriend to propose. I will never forget overlooking the ocean in Greece with thousands of tiny lights dotting other islands in the distance.

We spent the rest of our vacation savoring incredible food and enjoying the natural beauty of the country. But once we returned to the States, I switched to planning mode.

First things first: we had to find a venue. I never dreamed how difficult it would be to find a space that fit our needs. Once we narrowed down Atlanta-area spots based on size, price, dance floors, and other specifications, there were only about three to consider.

We also learned that the prices for most venue catering packages are astronomical. I can understand requiring a $100 per person package at an iconic venue like, say, the …

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Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta coupon code

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming. Where do you even start?

A great place to begin is the Bridal Extravaganza of Atlanta on Jan. 29. Peruse wedding cakes, watch the fashion shows and meet with vendors to start planning your special day.

And this week you can get 75 percent off general admission online with promo code AJCDEAL (reg. $10, $15 at the door).

The first 200 women in line will receive a Be A Bride SWAG bag, so arrive early to secure your spot. Also, download the mobile app, which will include mobile-only show specials that could translate to savings of several thousand dollars.

Offer is valid until one hour before the doors open.

More: Planning a wedding? Me, too! Join me on my money-saving journey at My big, fat, bargain wedding.

– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter

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Beer deals, free kids’ meals at Burger Tap

Meal

There’s something for everyone this weekend at Burger Tap.

Visit during the restaurant’s grand opening for discounts on beer and kids’ meals. Tonight from 6 to 11 p.m., take advantage of 25-cent pints of Bud Light, Newcastle or PBR when you purchase a burger. Plus, you’ll get 50 percent off all other beer.

On Saturday, kids 12 and younger will receive a complimentary kid’s meal from noon to 7 p.m.

1409 N. Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-249-7191. Sunday – Thursday, 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday – Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.

More: Ways to save on beer

– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter

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Coupon Mom: Deals on chicken, batteries, diapers…

Stock up on staples for pantry and save

Chicken, soup, lunch meat, protein bars: This week Kroger has Perdue boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale for $1.99. This is a stock-up price, so get out of the cycle of ever having to pay full price by filling your freezer this week. Kroger also has Pure Protein bars on sale for $1 each. Use the coupon for $1 off two from the Jan. 8 SmartSource circular to pay 50 cents each. Progresso soup is on sale for $1 per can. Use the coupon for $1 off four from the Jan. 8 General Mills circular to pay 75 cents per can. Butterball lunch meat, turkey sausage and turkey bacon is on sale for $2.50 at Kroger. Use the 55-cent coupon from the Jan. 15 SmartSource circular to pay $1.95 each.

BOGO on batteries

Rayovac: Walgreens has Rayovac Hearing Aid batteries (eight pack) on sale “buy one, get one free.” Regularly $9.99, use the Dec. 4 SmartSource coupon for $1 off two to pay $8.99 for two packages, a savings of 55 percent.

Write it down for …

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Even more ‘Odysseo’ discounts

1206odysseo JC9

A rider performs a trick on a horse during the Cavalia's new horse show Odysseo. The show features 70 horses and 55 world-class acrobats, aerialists, riders, musicians and dancers. Johnny Crawford jcrawford@ajc.com

In case you haven’t been following Goldstar lately, the ‘Odysseo’ discounts have been flowing like milk and honey.

The discount ticket site is once again offering discounts on the red (VIP), gold and orange sections. They’re not the cheap seats, but the discounts are incredible. For example, for tonight’s show you can buy a red section ticket for $151.50 (reg. $210.05), a gold section ticket for $79.55 (reg. $118.33) or an orange section ticket for $66.30 (reg. $98.38). (All prices include service fees.) This offer is valid for today’s through Sunday’s performances.

As a frame of reference, regularly priced yellow section tickets (the cheapest) will run you $61.15, or you could pay $5 more and get much better seats with the Goldstar discount for the orange …

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Clark Howard: Savings from smartphone apps may cost retailers

Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

ClarkHowardA new trend called “showrooming” can hurt brick-and-mortar retailers in an age when smartphones and other mobile devices allow anyone to comparison-shop prices for anything, anywhere, at any time.

A recent Codex Group survey found roughly four in 10 book buyers will go to a store and thumb through a book, decide they like it and then buy it cheaper on Amazon, according to what I read in The New York Times. But that trend has dangerous consequences for retailers of all kinds.

I have an app on my smartphone called ShopSavvy that allows me to scan a bar code at a store and instantly get a list of retailers both online and local offering the item for a cheaper price. …

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Publix Georgia Marathon discount

Long-distance runners, prepare to support your sprinting friends.

This week the Publix Georgia Marathon partners with the Atlanta Hawks to give race participants a super discount.

For each Hawks home victory this week, new race registrants will receive a discount equal to the amount by which the Hawks win. For example, if the Hawks win by 12, runners will receive $12 off registration cost. The discount will be valid between noon and 11:59 p.m. the day after the win with discount code HAWKS. The promotion is valid for tonight’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers and Saturday’s game vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Georgia Marathon is on March 18 in Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta. The 26.2-mile and 13.1-mile courses travel through metro Atlanta’s interesting and historic areas including the Sweet Auburn district, Inman Park, Decatur, Druid Hills, Virginia-Highland and Midtown.

– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter

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