A Sam-tastic Opportunity Just Got Better!


sams connect thing 3As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Bro! Why buy a can of Axe Body Spray when you can buy a whole case, Bro?” Buying in bulk can be a great deal, especially if you have a large crew. And Sam’s Club is one of the premier names in the biz. So it’s big news when a giant like that teams up with MindField Online.

MindField Online Announces “Member Connect” with Sam’s Club

MindField Online has been proud to be associated with Sam’s Club for almost two years ago. Now the partnership gets even better with the Sam’s Member Connect Panel!

The Member ConnectPanel is open for MindField Panelists who are also Sam’s Club members. So, if you aren’t a Sam’s member, but someone else in the household is, then that person can participate and get the incentive. So go to the Sam’s Member Connect page at the MindField website and give it a shot!

To take part, head over to the “Welcome Sam’s Club Member!” page at the MindField Online website. First, click the box that says, “I have read and accepted the Member Terms of Agreement, Privacy Policy and Data Quality Statement.” And congrats on being among the 2% of people that ACTUALLY READ the Member Terms of Agreement, Privacy Policy and Data Quality Statement before accepting! Then fill out the required info. Also, do the thing about setting your email privileges to accept MindField emails.

We also want to extend a huge welcome to Sam’s Club Members who are joining MindField for the first time through the Member Connect Panel.   Any questions about the Sam’s Member Connect Panel? Hit us up at the MindField Online Facebook page, and we will try to get you an answer ASAP!

Savings for the Month of May!

may savingsThere are unique savings to be had each month of the year. Here are some highlights for May (with bonus dumb commentary!) followed by some links. Enjoy!

  • Thrift Stores: Not going to go into my love/hate relationship with Goodwill (you’re welcome) but now is the time at this and other second-hand stores. They’re stacked to the ceiling with the stuff you got rid of during Spring Cleaning. Have fun buying back your own junk!
  • Refrigerators: Just happens to be the time of year when the new models ship to store. So last year’s gleaming, untouched side-by-side gets kicked to the curb in favor of one that looks exactly like it but costs $100 more!
  • Mother’s Day: Last month was better, but if you have waited this long, skip jewelry. AFTER Mom’s Day, buy jewelry for next year. Then, put it in your hall closet, and never see it again.
  • Memorial Day: Truly, one of the more authentic holiday sales. Real savings, instead of “30% off our already inflated prices!” Best yet, immediately after Memorial Day (act fast!) all of that red, white and blue stuff is waiting to be snapped up, to use for your 4th of July cookout! If you really want to confuse your drunk guests, make sure the banners still say “Memorial Day”!

Those are your savings highlights for May. Check out some more useful links below:

Do you have any May savings secrets to share? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page! And have a great weekend!

How to Spend Your Tax Refund?

MW-BV866_pftaxr_20140304115214_MGThe tax-filing panic has passed for another year. Now, we play the Waiting Game (“I’m SICK of the Waiting Game! I want to play Hungry Hungry Hippos!” Homer Simpson) Anyway, if yours is the average American family, you’re likely to get about a $2,600 refund from Uncle Sam.

What to do with that money? The urge to splurge will always be there. It’s natural to want that big flat screen TV or that getaway vacation. But, how about some more… responsible ideas?

It’s The Consumerist to the rescue. They have an ongoing series of financial self-help articles with the umbrella heading “How Not to S*ck at….” And this week’s topic is spending your tax return. Here are some bullet points highlighting “How Not to S*ck at Spending Your Tax Refund.”

  • Pay Down Debt
  • Emergency Fund
  • Boost Your Retirement Nest Egg
  • Save For College
  • Create a Fund For Anything (pay cash for the thing you want instead of credit.)
  • Give It Away
  • Make Additional Mortgage Payments
  • Do Those Home Repairs

Of course, more tips and lots more detail at the original piece, so check it out! Now, the big question is… how will YOU spend YOUR tax return? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Easter Basket of Savings!

easterEaster is upon us, and you’ve either spent a bunch of money already or you are about to. Statistics say that we will spend about $140 this year. Coincidentally, about the same amount we spend on Valentine’s Day.

The biggest expense is Easter candy, which almost 90 percent of celebrants will buy, and Easter dinner was a close second with nearly 86 percent of shoppers planning a special meal. Other items shoppers planned to buy included Easter dresses or outfits, gifts, decorations and flowers. GoBankingRates.com

So, with all that spending, where are the deals? We meant to tour around the web and found you a bunch of deals, but this single article has done that work for you, including deals at Target, Walmart, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Dress Barn and a bunch more. So, go there!

Finally, yes, there is a real, sober, serious meaning behind the Easter holiday that has nothing to do with chocolate bunnies and marshmallow peeps. To those who celebrate it, MindField Online wishes you a Happy Easter full of family and fellowship!

Tax Day Freebies!

Merely a serving suggestion...
Merely a serving suggestion…

And now, a tradition not nearly as annoying as those corporate April Fools’ Day pranks we talked about previously: the Tax Day Freebie! Restaurants, bars, hotels and other retailers love to capitalize on our tax day grief, offering various freebies, 2-for-1’s and “$10.40”-themed deals on April 15. And the list grows every year! Here are some samples:

  • Free curly fries at Arby’s
  • “Sing for Your Supper” at Hard Rock Café
  • Dinner for 2 for $10.40 at Boston Market
  • A big ol’ bag of bagels and cream cheese from Bruegger’s for $10.40
  • Free document shredding at Office Depot
  • Free sandwich at Schlotzky’s Deli
  • Half-off fro-yo at PinkBerry
  • Free coffee at Micky D’s
  • Free shave ice from Kona
  • Half-off lunch at Sonny’s BBQ
  • Half-price drinks and slushees at Sonic

…and on and on. Here are some links. What’s your favorite Tax Day deal or freebie? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Links to Tax Day Deals!

Last Minute Tax Fun

tax-tips-last-mBy the time next Tuesday’s blog post rolls out on 4/15, it will be Tax Day. So, consider this post to be the Last Minute!

All the helpful writers on money matters are quick to point out that there are plenty of things you can do to grab some last minute tax savin’s. So, if you are one of those of those thrill seekers who puts things off, what we call back in Kansas “Thing Put-er Off-ers” then this is the post for you. We have gathered a bunch of helpful links from around the web for your procrastination pleasure! Please to enjoy, “Last Minute Tax Tips 2014”!!

US News Money: 9 Last-Minute Tax Tips for Procrastinators

TurboTax: Tax Tips After January 1, 2014

Huffington Post: Last-Minute Tax Tips to Maximize Your Savings

Business Week: Last-Minute Small Business Tax Tips for Procrastinators

PC Mag: Tax Tips for Last-Minute E-Filers

Daily Finance: Don’t Panic: 5 Tips for Stress-Free Last-Minute Tax Returns

These look like some bits of sound advice, which is good for you because the only advice I could come up with was either A) Pssh! Blow it off, man!” or B) “You should start panicking, like, NOW!” Anyway, you’re welcome. If you got your taxes done, have a great weekend. If you’re starting tomorrow, have something else!

The Thrill of the Hunt?

saveWhen it comes to groceries, do you experience the thrill of the hunt? Trekking from store to store, tracking down that bargain, snaring it, bagging and tagging it, taking a photo with it, and so on? Whatever, man. No judgment here!

But if you’re like me (i.e., a DUDE) the answer is “No”. I have one store for the weekly haul, and one store for the quick, one-or-two-item grab without the 3-mile walk. I barely think about the fact that there are at least 4 other grocery stores I could visit, not to mention the CVS’s, Dollar Stores and Big Lots that have grocery items now.

They say that people generally only know the prices of 4 items, and I can’t even claim that! So, this news from Walmart is interesting… Starting last month, Walmart began testing the “Savings Catcher” in Atlanta, Charlotte, Lexington, Dallas, Huntsville, San Diego and Minneapolis. You go to the website, enter some info from your receipt, and it scans the prices of the different competing stores near you. If it finds a lower price at, say, Kroger, it sends you an e-coupon for the difference. It may be for 27 cents for one item, but for a $100 receipt, or for a whole month, it could add up.

It’s just a test for now, and only in a few cities but, if you want to learn more, visit the Savings Catcher site. So, what do you think? Would you give up the thrill of the “bargain safari” and let the computer do the work? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

To Cash or Not to Cash?

Yep. All singles. Sigh....
Yep. All singles. Sigh….

Quick question: who still carries cash? I don’t mean that you have a twenty for emergencies, but that cash is your primary way of getting around. My wife is the “20 for an emergency” type, while I am cash. I will whip out the debit card for $80 worth of groceries, or the AmEx for Sunday brunch, but that’s so I don’t use up my precious cash! (Though, at brunch, I almost always leave the tip in cash.)

Is it generational? I worked at a place where I was a good (!) 15 years older than the rest, and NONE of them carried cash. Is it gender? My wife would NEVER carry as much cash as I do. Is it convenience? Our bank has very few branches, and getting to the ATM is a drag, so I never come away with less than $100.

At any rate, money guru Dave Ramsey has compiled a list of the pros and cons of carrying cash.

Pros include:

  • If you’re on a strict budget, and you see your cash dwindling, it helps you spend less.
  • Cash can give you bargaining power on a purchase.
  • Convenience, of course. And others

As for the Cons of cash:

  • If it gets stolen, it’s GONE.
  • It’s bulky and messy. (My wife marvels at the way a piece of paper with 4 corners and 2 sides can somehow be crammed 97 different ways in my wallet!)
  • It’s useless online, which is becoming a primary way we shop. And others

So, cash or no cash? What do YOU do? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

April Foolishness

That’s the spirit!!

As a writer FOR the web, I spend a lot of time ON the web. For me, April 1st is the most irritating day of the year, and it sneaks up on me every time!! I’m reading something (supposedly) serious like Newsweek.com and I see, “The President then said farewell, boarded the mothership and returned to his home planet.” And I’m like “Grrr! April Fools!” I might as well go play in the street for the rest of the day.

So I guess I can appreciate when businesses try to have a little fun with the concept. I mean, I might as well. They’re not going to stop just for me, and playing in the street is dangerous. So, here are some noble April Fools’ Day efforts from companies trying to get in on the fun and irritation.

See any that didn’t totally irritate you to death? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!