Tag Archives: online research

Best Deals for May

may dealsWhat are your best buys for the month of May? Well, not only does May include Mother’s Day and Memorial Day, but May 4th is also Star Wars Day (“May the 4th be With You!”) So there are plenty of shopping – and saving opportunities to be had! Which of these items will be on the agenda?

  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Star Wars stuff
  • Memorial Day-related military discounts
  • Menswear
  • Fresh corn (Silver Queen for me!)
  • Peaches, apricots, cherries and nectarines
  • Melons
  • Grilling supplies
  • Handbags
  • Swimsuits
  • Sandals and Spring Clothing
  • Tires
  • Linens and Mattresses
  • Jewelry and watches

BUT…Hold off on PCs and laptops: Back to school sales start in June!

Here are some links to help you compile your May shopping list!

Are any of these items on your to-do list for May? They say you could save up to 75%! What are you in the market for? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!


Easter Spending 2016

easter lily 2For a holiday that never seems to happen at the same time twice (April 20 in 2014, April 5 in 2015, March 27 this year), we never miss the opportunity to celebrate Easter. Thankfully the ten million Easter commercials on TV are there to help us out!

Speaking of which, how about that Cadbury Egg commercial, the one where all the different animals are trying out to be the Easter Bunny? How old is that ad now? Old enough to vote? Still, a classic. Other standouts include the Payless Shoes ad, because my wife keeps pointing out that she almost bought those leather wedges!! Also, the Walmart ad where the young couple can’t make it to dinner because they just had a baby, so they Skype in and make grandma cry. That would be a perfect ad if it didn’t have the little boy who is… maybe not so good… as the toddler on Modern Family. There, I said it.

Anyway, how will we be spending our hard-earned cash this Easter? Here are the numbers!

  • $17.3 Billion: Total Easter spending. (Up nearly a Bill from last year)
  • $146: Average Americans will spend on Easter (up $6)
  • Percentage of people celebrating Easter: 80%
  • Total spending in the US: $17.3 billion
  • Spending per person: $146 (highest in 13 years!)
  • Easter spending growth since 2005: 70%
  • Total spent on Easter flowers: $1.2 billion (up $100M from 2015)
  • Average amount spent on Easter flowers: $31.66
  • Biggest spenders: Age 25-34
  • $5.5 billion spent on food
  • $3 billion spent on clothing
  • $2.7 billion spent on gifts
  • 57 million Easter cards will be sold
  • 83% of adults will buy or make an Easter basket for their kids
  • 81% will steal candy from that basket!

Well, that’s the tale of the (register) tape for this year. While we’re at it, let’s not forget that Easter is a very important religious holiday for many millions of folks. However you spend it, we hope it’s GREAT. Happy Easter from MindField Online! Share your weekend plans with us over at the MindField Online Facebook page!


Sources: Natl Retail FederationStatisticsBrain.comForbes, National Retail FederationAbout FlowersFundivoFortune

Drugstore Deals

drugstoreDo you look to your drugstore for deals? I admit that I don’t. My drug store, which I won’t name, spits out half a dead tree in coupons every time I pick up my prescriptions. They know who they are dealing with, so they tell me “Give these to your wife!” So I bring them home, all excited, thinking I have done something swell. And she tells me that they are so full of restrictions and exclusions that they are hardly worth the effort.

Oh well… it’s a place where I get my pills and, occasionally, an emergency or convenience item. No big deal.

Apparently, though, if you aren’t a big lazy quitter like me, you CAN get good deals at the drug store. According to DailyFinance.com, it takes a lot of elbow grease; you have to read the circulars, cut coupons and join the loyalty clubs. If you do the work, you can often find deals on the following:

  • Cereal
  • Dairy   
  • Eggs
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Makeup
  • Personal care items
  • Store-brand garbage bags
  • Drugstore-brand diapers
  • Hair color

There is plenty of detail at the original article, along with a couple of links to saver sites that concentrate on specific drug stores, so check it out!

How about you? What’s your fave drug store? Do you find deals there? What kind? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

A Fast 50 Bucks?

job adsHappy Friday MindField-ers! How are your new year’s finances? What does this next year look like for your pocketbook? About this time of year, I start adding up all the potential projects that are rumored to be coming my way. I have come to realize that if my year EVER matched my rosy January predictions, I could have retired years ago.

So, in the meantime, you look for ways to make more money. Maybe a big new job. Maybe a part-time thing to help pay the bills. Maybe it is a lot of little things, which is today’s topic.

MoneyTalksNews.com has compiled a list of “50 Ways to Make a Fast Fifty Bucks.” You will find a lot of the usual things (have a garage sale!) but there are some unusual ideas, as well – many of which relate to opportunities you can find on the web. Here are some highlights…

  • Performing tasks: Lists about ten websites you can visit to pick up odd jobs
  • Sitting: House, pet, baby, etc. Includes links
  • Selling: Garage sales, Craigslist and more. Lots of links.
  • Renting: Airbnb, etc.
  • Crafts: From swap meets to Etsy.com, sell your crafts! Links aplenty!
  • Claim lost money: I have done this. It can be a hassle but, if the money’s big enough, it’s worth it!
  • Medical Research: Like those two dum dums on the old Drew Carey show!
  • Manual Labor
  • Using your talents: Be a math tutor, teach piano, etc.

I don’t know about you, but I have stumbled onto this article at just the right time. I will be looking into this for sure. Here’s that link again. How about you? Could you use a few extra bucks to help pay off those holiday bills? Have you tried any of these ways? How did it work out? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Veterans Day Freebies 2015

VA 15poster_lowresFirst off, a big thanks to our veterans, active military and their families! Now, go out and enjoy your freebies, such as a free haircut at Great Clips, a free Bloomin’ Onion from Outback, or a car wash at Sheetz! The list of participating retailers is long, and these are just the big national chains. There are likely many smaller retailers in your locale showing their appreciation. And you will probably want to call ahead to make sure.

Here’s a link roundup of the bigger deals, along with some links for further information. Enjoy… and be sure to thank a veteran today!

2015 Free Veterans Day Freebies!

  • Applebee’s: Free meal
  • Bob Evans: Free all you can eat hotcakes.
  • Carraba’s: Free appetizer all week
  • Chili’s: Free meal
  • City Barbeque: Free sandwich platter
  • Denny’s: Free Grand Slam
  • Fatz Eatz & Drinkz: Free Calabash Chicken
  • Friendly’s: Free breakfast, lunch, or dinner
  • Golden Corral: Free meal
  • IHOP: Free meal
  • Little Caesars® Pizza: Free pizza or $5 Lunch Combo
  • LongHorn Steakhouse: Free onion and drink
  • Max & Erma’s: Free Cheeseburger Combo
  • Olive Garden: Free entrée
  • On The Border: Free “Create Your Own Combo”
  • Outback Steakhouse: Free Bloomin’ Onion and a non-alcoholic beverage.
  • Red Lobster: Free Appetizer or Dessert, Mon-Thurs
  • Red Robin: Free Double and Fries
  • Shoney’s: Free All-American Burger
  • Sizzler Restaurants: Free lunch
  • Smokey Bones: Free meal
  • Starbucks: Free tall brewed coffee
  • Texas Roadhouse: Free lunch event
  • T.G.I. Friday’s: Free lunch
  • Tony Roma’s: Free half rack Baby Back Ribs
  • Uno Chicago Grill: Free individual pizza or entrée with purchase

And here are your links. Enjoy!

Top 20 Spending Regrets

Spending Regret #21: Investing in flying money
Spending Regret #21: Investing in flying money

Have you ever made a purchase that seemed SO logical at the time? You really had yourself convinced that it was a good investment. Heck, at these prices, you can’t afford NOT to buy! And then, it just sits there on the shelf unused…mocking you. Personally, I have one right now: a certain very famous foreign language program that set me back $600.

If it’s any comfort, we all do this, so much so that AARP has written not once but twice on the topic and compiled a Top 20 of spending regrets. Here are some highlights…

  • First-Generation Technology: It’s just not worth it to be the first one on the block.
  • ‘As Seen on TV’ Products: Anything where they automatically send you two for the price of one, I’d watch out.
  • Elaborate Weddings: Average cost of a wedding is $26,000. Think of the head start you could give yourself with even HALF of that money.
  • Get-Rich-Quick Schemes: If it sounds too good to be true…
  • Prepaid Funeral Plans: I worked in this industry. Yes, put aside money for your funeral. Discuss your wishes with your spouse. But a “plan”? I don’t know.
  • Used Books: Guilty. I have the most impressive bookshelves, and I have read fully one-third of them!
  • Home Party’ Products: One for the ladies. As far as I can tell, simply attending one of these requires you to buy something. That’s a built-in regret!
  • Season Event Tickets: Also guilty. By the time you miss two of the 6 or 7 events, it’s not a value anymore.
  • Things to Get You Organized: Ask my wife; it’s not enough to put all your junk up on the shelf – all the containers have to match! A classic battle of slob-meets-OCD!
  • Specialized Kitchen Appliances: Bread maker, pasta maker, $300 smoothie machine… more like specialized space-taker-uppers!
  • Loans to Family, Friends: This one could have been #1 thru 20 on this list!

And these are just half of the entries. If you don’t want to experience financial regret, check out the two lists, HERE and HERE. How about you? We all have spending regrets? What are yours? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Discovering Savings on Columbus Day

columbus dayBetween Labor Day and Black Friday, there’s an also-ran of a shopping holiday called Columbus Day. Lately, the actual holiday of Columbus Day has been quietly shoved aside, rightly or wrongly, so much so that I am unaware of it until I hear a commercial for “Toyota’s Columbus Day Clearance Sale!!!”

But please, no politics, just consumerism!

So, aside from radio ad hype, are there deals to be found on Columbus Day weekend? Or are you better off waiting for Black Friday?  The Answer is Yes. According to USNews.com:

  • Shoes and accessories are great buys. In fact, you might save 30 to 70% on wallets, purses, and totes, around 50% on shoes, according to DealNews.
  • Clothing will see discounts, but not the deepest. Maybe up to 40% now, 50% or better on Black Friday.
  • For HDTV sales, size matters. Don’t know what that headline means, but the point is that prices are basically what they will be for Black Friday, so go for it.
  • Gadget-seekers should practice patience. Better wait for Black Friday.
  • Big-ticket items are better buys later. Refrigerators, etc., just came out at Labor Day, so they’re still pretty new. Wait a bit.

Bottom line, if you are a gift shopper, and you feel the urge, you are probably going to head out this weekend to “discover” some savings! If you do, here is a really thorough list of what many of your favorite retailers have to offer this Columbus Day weekend, thanks to DealsPlus.com.

How about you? Will you wait until Black Friday, or are you heading out to shop this weekend? What kinds of deals are you hoping to snag? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Free Stuff Friday!

free stuffEverybody likes stuff. And we like it even better when it’s free. I do, anyway! If you like stuff and you don’t want to pay for it, then check out this timely article at Kiplinger.com entitled, “Fabulous Freebies — Valuable Things You Can Get for Free.” The list of 69 things carries the disclaimer, “We don’t allow any useless junk on our list, only quality goods and services that you would happily pay good money for (or perhaps you already are.”)

Here are some highlights:

  • Baby Stuff
  • Beauty Stuff
  • Sample Stuff
  • Pet Stuff
  • Medical Stuff
  • Diet and Fitness Stuff
  • Travel Stuff
  • Cultural Stuff
  • Recreation Stuff
  • Hobby Stuff
  • Entertainment Stuff
  • Education Stuff
  • Computer Stuff
  • Financial Stuff
  • Retirement Stuff

…and on and on (and on!) If you have some “Free” time, check out the original article. And if you don’t have any free time, then make some…it’s free! How about you? Have you tripped across any valuable freebies? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a nice weekend!

Silver Linings for Young Job Seekers

hire me

It’s that time of year. Newly-minted college grads are hitting the streets, or the web, or both in search of a job. They face obstacles, for sure. The mirage of the big Recovery…oh don’t get me started. Let’s just say the job market still isn’t what the economists would term Super Awesome.

And some young job seekers create their own problems. I always hear this second-hand (“My buddy has a friend who is a hiring manager and he says…”) but the popular notion is that today’s grads want no expectations placed on them, don’t want anybody on their back, and they demand $60,000 per year – on day one.

So, young job seeker, mistakes will be made, expectations will be unmet, and failures will lurk behind successes. These things don’t have to be complete surprises, however. That’s the point of this Time Magazine piece, “10 Tough Job Lessons Worth Learning by Age 30”. Here is a sampling of common career woes.

  1. Your dream job is a dud.
  2. You didn’t adequately prep for an interview.
  3. You were too eager to say yes.
  4. You got passed over for a promotion—or laid off.
  5. You have a nightmare boss.
  6. You scored a high paying job—and hate it.
  7. You covered up a mistake when you should have come clean.
  8. You blew a big presentation.
  9. You’re friends (or enemies!) with the wrong coworkers.
  10. You disagreed with your boss—in the open.

Just the bullets, of course. The point is, these are common. It’s not just you. I wish I had known that as numbers 2, 3, 5, 6 and 9 happened to me in my 20s. And the happy ending is that “Workplace setbacks are rarely career enders.”  It’s a great piece; it states the disaster, what you can learn from it, and how to recover. If this is you, seriously, you must read this piece.

How about you? Did any of these happen to you at that age? (I know they did.) Share your story at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

The Future of Shopping?

the futureWhen I think of “Future Shopping,” I think of George Jetson trying to give his wife a twenty, but she takes the whole wallet instead! Anyhoozle, there’s an article in the Wall Street Journal on the future of shopping entitled, oddly enough, The Future of Shopping. The basic nugget o’ wisdom goes like this:

Thirty years down the road, much of the change in retail is going to be driven by a complete reformulation of the relationship between how we make the stuff, how we sell the stuff and how we consume the stuff.

Here are some of the predictions:

Malls become “Alls”: I can remember our mall back in the 70s had not one, but two grocery stores in it. That seems ridiculous now but, apparently, it will be coming back. Aside from clothing, food and electronics, you will see “gyms and innovative fitness centers, medical services and even schools, grocery stores and luxury spas”.

Artisanal everything: Handcrafted clothes, furniture, foods, etc.This is about the counter trend of being local. It is about a need to be different and nostalgic for things that are timeless and somehow pure.”

Highly personalized clothing: Super-precise tailored measurements for clothing made immediately by robots. They’re already doing it in Korea!

A Different Kind of “Mobile”: They’re doing this in Charleston SC already. There’s a restaurant on the well-to-do/upscale tourist part of town. They have long waits, so on weekends, this truck full of upscale ladies apparel/accessories parks outside the place to take advantage of the captive. (“Go ahead, honey; I’ll be in the bar.” – Me)

Are you seeing some of these already? Which ones? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!