Archive for August, 2012

How ’bout a Groupon to be a Brave for a day?

Across the AJC’s newsroom a bit, our Sports News Now blogger has posted this unusual Groupon:

For $30,000, you can throw out the first pitch at the Chicago Cubs’ Aug. 30 home day game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The experience includes a personal suite for you and 13 friends, a tour of Wrigley Field, a full Cubs uniform and your very own press conference.

Forget the hapless Cubbies and their legacy for being allergic to baseball’s big prize. How much would you pay to throw out the first pitch — in full Atlanta Bravos uniform — at The Ted?

Bonus question: Who would you want as your catcher?

Find consumer news and deals throughout the week, from a range of experts, at the Atlanta Bargain Hunter blog. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

In print, our Deal Spotter section in Thursday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution is full of great local deals and exclusive offers.

– For the AJC Atlanta Bargain Hunter blog

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Coupon Mom: Lots of back-to-school deals, so stock up

Every grocery store, drugstore, discount store and office supply store continues to have great deals on stationery and school supplies, so stock up for school, home and the office to last all year.

Be sure to check your store circulars for the best deals on items you need. Highlights include:

Pens, pencils and paper

Staples: Staples has Zebra retractable ballpoint pens (seven count) on sale for $4. You will get an Easy Rebate in your account for $4 at the register, so your net cost will be free. Staples also has Staples No. 2 yellow pencils (eight count) for 25 cents each (limit two), composition books (100 sheets) for 10 cents each with $5 minimum purchase, and Hammermill 8.5-inch by 11-inch copy paper (500 sheets) for $1 after Easy Rebate. Pay $6.99 at the register and get a $5.99 Easy Rebate in your account for a net cost of $1 (limit two). Also find a Staples in-store coupon for $5 off your purchase of $50 or more in the weekly circular from the Sunday Atlanta …

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Clark Howard: Two of the cheapest phone plans out there

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

ClarkHowardLooking to save money on your monthly cellphone bill? Don’t pay big bucks to a contract wireless carrier. I want to let you know about a few of your other low-cost, no-contract options.

A deal I first told you about back in April from Metro PCS has been extended. It’s a $25 per month offer for unlimited calling and unlimited texting. That works out to be $300 annually — including all taxes and regulatory fees —making it among the lowest price points of this type in the country.

There are only a handful of phones you can use on the plan: the Kyocera Presto, Huawei Pinnacle, Samsung Contour, LG Select, Huawei M735 Blue, LG Beacon or Samsung Freeform III. All phones are priced $49-$69 (plus a $10 activation fee.)

This offer works best in Metro’s home markets — which includes most of metro Atlanta. Though when …

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Jessica Shops: Consignment sale, boutique savings

Consignment craze

North Metro Mothers of Multiples: Buying out of season is one of my best shopping tips. This organization’s  fall/winter Children’s Consignment Sale is 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at Roswell Park, 10495 Woodstock Road, Roswell. Save on gently used infant and children’s apparel, toys, equipment, layette, maternity and more. Cash or checks only.

Transition into fall

Remixx: One of my favorite metro Atlanta boutiques, Remixx, now is taking 50 percent off — and an additional 20 percent off reduced items — until the end of August. Exclusions include jewelry, candles and home goods. This is the time to get items that transition into fall and will work with next spring’s wardrobe. Remixx boutique, 1145 Woodstock Road, Roswell.

Shop for a cause

Socialvest: Anytime I find a shopping deal linked with a charity, I’m sold.

Socialvest is an online organization that allows you to give back through something you already do every day: Shop major retailers. Even …

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Deals roundup: Free gas, savings on bridal show, car service

There’s no better deal than free, especially when you’re talking free gas for your car or truck.

Atlanta-area community bankers Thursday morning will be giving away $20 in gas to each of the first 200 people at Shell Food Mart, 1790 Howell Mill Road N.W., Atlanta.

Employees from Credit Union of Atlanta and Family Savings Credit Union will be staffing the giveaway, scheduled from 9-11 a.m.

The event is part of a nationwide “Take Back Your Banking” promotion touting Kasasa, a national brand of free checking and savings accounts  available through community banks and credit unions. “We anticipate a long line of cars,” organizers said.

If you miss out, remember to bookmark our handy-dandy, updating map of where to find cheap gas throughout metro Atlanta.

Exclusive AJC deal: 75% off bridal show tickets

Brides-to-be this Sunday can  meet wedding planners and event designers, see gowns and formalwear, plus experience the special touches that go with linens, wedding cakes, …

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Wes Moss: The truth behind our unemployment rate

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

Now that the Olympics are over, Americans can forget about medal counts and get back to obsessing on another number: the nation’s monthly unemployment rate.

The U.S. economy added 163,000 “net new” jobs during July, the 22nd consecutive month of job gains. Sounds like a good employment report, right? That depends on whom you ask.

President Barack Obama pointed to the new jobs and 22 months of employment growth and declared July to be a good month. But GOP challenger Mitt Romney disagreed. His argument: During July the unemployment rate actually rose to 8.3 percent.

How can that be? Simple math. The unemployment rate is calculated as a ratio. There are about 155 million people in the labor force, 13 million of whom are looking for jobs. Thus, 13 …

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Coupon Mom: Backpacks, personal care items

Walgreens: Pack them up for charity, too

Backpacks, totes: Walgreens has backpacks or tote bags, regularly priced at $10.99, on sale “buy one, get one free,” so your cost will be $5.50 each when you buy two. If you can buy an extra one or two for your local charity’s back-to-school program, you’ll be making a difference at a bargain price.

Tampons, Lanacane, diet aids: Find Walgreens Perfection Tampons (eight pack) on sale for $1.50. Get a $1.50 Register Rewards coupon and your net cost will be free. Lanacane with Aloe Spray (3.5 ounce) is on sale for $6. Get a $6 Register Rewards coupon and your net cost will be free. Renew Life 3 Day Diet Start shots are on sale for $10. After the $10 Register Rewards coupon, it’s free.

CVS: Stack the savings

Beauty Club: If you go to CVS this week, be sure to scan your Extracare card at the red Coupon Center to get a coupon for $5 off any cosmetics purchase of $15 or more. Also sign up for the Beauty Club to have the …

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Clark Howard: Buy the bag to save on cereal

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

ClarkHowardWhen you’re walking down the cereal aisle, there’s a way you can save big bucks by looking at one particular off-brand of cold cereal.

MOM Brands Co., formerly known as Malt-O-Meal, makes giant bags of cereals that are essentially knockoffs of popular brands. Their Tootie Fruities brand is similar to Froot Loops and their Honey Nut Scooters brand is a Cheerios impostor, to name just two examples.

Buying these cereals will save you between 20 and 25 percent off the national brands. Sales of MOM products are now booming with revenue closing in on $750 million, according to The Los Angeles Times.

So much in the world of cereal sales is driven by colorful advertising and cute characters on the boxes. If you or your kids are particularly brand driven, just save the box of your favorite national brand and put the MOM bag …

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Friday-Saturday’s sales tax holiday: What you need to know

School has already started across much of metro Atlanta, but the back-to-school shopping season is about to hit its stride.

For the first time since 2009, shoppers can avoid paying sales taxes on their clothes and shoes, computers and their crayons and other supplies. Previously, Georgia had had annual tax holidays beginning in 2002.

Here’s what you need to know about this year’s sales tax holiday:

When: 12:01 a.m. Friday morning to midnight Saturday evening

What’s included: Clothes and shoes that cost less than $100 per item. School supplies that cost less than $20 an item. Computer-related electronics in a single purchase that cost $1,000 or less.

What’s not included: Clothing accessories, computer gaming systems and cellular devices, furniture, medical supplies, janitorial supplies. Anything sold at a hotel, restaurant, airport or theme park. Rentals or items used in a business, or for resale, are not exempt from paying tax.

Examples: Here’s the official list of …

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Jessica Shops: Town Brookhaven, eyeware, school clothes

Out on the town

Town Brookhaven: One of my favorite new shopping destinations is Town Brookhaven, home to more than 40 shops, restaurants and entertainment options. Beginning Aug. 16, a series called “Thursday on the Town” kicks off on the third Thursday of each month featuring an array of savings. Boogaloos Boutique is serving up wine and light appetizers while shoppers are treated to 20 percent off from 6–9 p.m. Fantastic Sams has 25 percent off services, Swirll Frozen Yogurt is taking $1 off and Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub is taking 10 percent off checks. Save at most retailers and restaurants and enjoy a walkable shopping experience. (4330 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta)

Seeing double

Ansley Eyecare: There’s nothing better than shopping for charity. Ansley Eyecare is the first optician in Atlanta to carry 141 Eyewear, a line that donates a pair of frames for every pair sold. Save 20 percent on 141 Eyewear frames and lenses by mentioning Jessica Shops. Cannot be combined …

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