Monday, July 15, 2019

How To Save Money on Amazon Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day is promoted as an epic day of deals. The online retailer releases special offers throughout the day and posts notifications on their website and app. To get the best deals you have to follow along, check back often and purchase quickly before the deals expire.

Here are a few of my tips for approaching Amazon Prime Day.

1. If you don't need anything, don't buy anything. Don't visit the website. Don't open the app. And don't respond to other retailer offers that will try to match the frenzy. This is the surest way to save money. Instead, take a friend out to lunch, read a good book or go for a hike outdoors. You'll likely find more enjoyment in these experiences.

2. If there is one item that you have been waiting to purchase, only shop for that one item. Use the search feature and not the browse feature. This will hopefully help you to stay focused on the task at hand - to get that one item.

3. If you can't resist, join in. But set a budget based on what you can afford and do not buy more than your budget. Once you reach your budget, close your browser and don't reopen it.

4. Look on Amazon, but compare prices on other sites like Walmart, Target, Best Buy, REI, etc. Almost all major retailers try to compete with Amazon and offer deals on or before Amazon Prime Day. And don't forget to shop locally. If you find a great deal on Amazon, call your local retailer and see if they can match the price or come close to the price. You money creates more value within your community when you shop locally.

4. If you're all in. These are the deals to look for:

Amazon Branded Devices like Echo, Fire Tablets, Kindles and Ring Doorbells. Amazon is able to sell these items at discounted prices as loss leaders or gateway products.


Household Essentials like Coffee, Pans, Instapots and Vacuum Cleaners. It there are things that you use on a regular basis, it may be worth it to purchase it now. However, try to realistically assess if the item is an essential or a luxury.


Mens and Womens Fashion There are some good deals to be had, but this is one category where it is very easy to buy things that you may really want, but really do not need.


Travel and Outdoor Products There are some great deals in this category, but really all of these items could be considered luxury purchases. Be wise.


Have fun during Amazon Prime Day. Just remember, the best way to save money is to not buy anything at all. :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Campfire Alternatives - When you feel that burning desire, but...

Summer's here! Ready to create some memories of camping, roasting hot dogs, munching on s'mores and gathering around the campfire.

You feel that burning desire, but...

What! There's a fire burn ban! No campfire!

With many wilderness areas experiencing dry conditions and prime conditions for forest fires; some national, state and municipal parks have fire burn bans in effect during the summer months.

Here are some tips and alternatives when it is not possible to have a traditional campfire.

1. Prevent forest fires. Smokey Bear is 70 years old and still spreading the word about fire safety. There are fire burn bans for a reason. In recent years we've seen massive forest fires devastate wilderness areas as well as some towns. Take Smokey's advice, "Only you can prevent forest fires."

2. Go for a night hike and star party. Plan your hike in advance. Take a flashlight or headlamp (a light with a red light feature is even better). Use a navigational device like a GPS or navigation app to find your way. Carry a jacket or blanket because even in the summer, the temperature can drop at night. Bring a star finder chart or star app and gaze up into the night sky.

3. Hang fairy lights. Bring along a set of fairy lights and a portable power bank. Hang the lights in the trees. Place them around your tent. Or wrap them around some wood and create a simulated campfire. You might even try wrapping them around a water bottle to create a makeshift lantern.

4. Pass out glow sticks and bracelets. Kids of all ages love glow sticks and bracelets. As the sun sets and the moon rises, pass out some sticks and bracelets and let the fun begin.

5. Assemble a faux candle campfire. Have you even walked into a romantic restaurant and admired a display of flickering candles, only to discover that the candles were actually faux candles? Don't be afraid to go faux. Assemble a grouping of faux tea candles to make a fanciful flickering campfire.

6. Try a portable propane campfire pit. Although many parks ban traditional campfires during the dry summer  months, many of those same places allow propane campfire pits. Always check with the ranger station or park host to make sure that propane campfire pits are allowed. The Outland or Camp Chef propane campfire pits are highly rated.

Don't let a fire burn ban ruin your summer memories. Get out, go camping... and instead of a traditional campfire try some of these clever alternatives.

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