I was going to use this “I need to pick up milk” experience to see what kind of bargain I could find on milk. Turns out I needed to pick up a few other things, and so I was able to do a cross comparison of prices of five items in five different stores–CVS, Superfresh, Wawa, Giant and Walgreens. I went in looking for a gallon of fat-free milk, fat-free half and half, orange juice with pulp, Thomas’ cinnamon raisin bagels, and coffee. Here’s what I found for saving money.

Gallon of fat-free milk

The Everyday Cheapskate, Mary Hunt, had recently written about good bargains on milk in places other than the supermarket, and boy was she right. My local Walgreens was selling a gallon of fat-free milk for $2.93. Unfortunately, they were sold out so I couldn’t take advantage of that bargain. The next best price was back at the supermarket–Giant–where a gallon of fat-free milk could be had for $3.18.FYI, prices in other stores ranged from a high of $4.14 (Superfresh) to $3.39(CVS).

Fat-free half and half

I normally don’t buy half and half to use in my coffee, but with my mom coming for a visit, I wanted to pick up some items that she’s used to having at home, including fat-free half and half for her coffee. (She’s also the reason for my buying the OJ and bagels.) Giant ended up coming out the winner on the price of a quart of fat-free half and half, at $1.89. CVS was also selling a quart at the same price but it wasn’t fat-free. Wawa was even cheaper at $1.29, but again, it wasn’t fat-free. Walgreens didn’t carry half and half, and Superfresh had the fat-free quart for $1.99.

Orange Juice with pulp

Again, the OJ is for my mom and she specifically requested the Florida’s Natural brand with pulp. (I was looking for a half-gallon container.) Walgreens didn’t have any OJ to speak of, and CVS carried Tropicana at $4.29 for a half gallon. Ouch. At Superfresh her preferred OJ was much cheaper than CVS, at $3.79, but just like with the fat-free half and half, Giant came up the winner: they were running a special of two half-gallons of Florida’s Natural OJ with pulp, 2/$6 or $3 each.

Thomas’ Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

CVS, Wawa and Walgreens didn’t stock these bagels so the only comparison I could do was between Superfresh and Giant. At Superfresh the bagels were $3.49. Giant, once again, had the best price: $3.14.


I’m a big fan of flavored coffees–hazelnut is my favorite–but when mom comes into town, I know that it’s time to get a can of boring old coffee. She’s not a fan of the flavored coffee. Not surprisingly, Wawa sold no cans of coffee, because it’s the place in town where everyone stops in for their morning cup of Joe to go. (By the way, a 20 oz coffee there will set you back about $1.20.) The brand that the other four stores carried was Folgers, so that’s what I used in my comparison so I was doing an apples-to-apples thing. At CVS, you could get two 13-oz. cans of Folgers medium roast for $5.00 (2/$5), or a 39-oz can of the same coffee for $10.99. At Superfresh the 13-oz can was $4.89 and the 39-oz. can was $8.99. Walgreens only stocked the 13-oz can, and it cost $3.99. At Giant the 13-oz can was $3.49 and the 39-oz. can was $8.89. So which one did I buy? None of them. Giant was having a sale on its own brand of coffee, and I was able to get a 13-oz can for $2.00.
I was really surprised that I ended up finding all of the best prices at Giant, because I’d always assumed it was an overpriced market. Of course, if I had been able to get the milk at Walgreens (which is in the same shopping center at Giant), I would have saved $.25. Not much, I know, but those kinds of savings add up.

Probably the hardest thing about this experiment was after I’d decided that I was going to do all of my shopping at Giant, I knew that I couldn’t browse around and see what else they had on sale or what items looked good to me. I put my five “necessities” in my cart, put on imaginary blinders and made my way to the checkout lane. I was able to get out of the store for under $20 (actually, $19.39), and I paid cash.

I’d be curious to hear from folks how the prices on these kinds of things vary based on location. Let me know.

Yesterday I had a chance to have a twenty minute chat with Carolyn Bigda, who writes the Your Money column that appears in the Chicago Tribune and the Baltimore Sun, about buying a car on eBay (I’ve bought two, a 2000 Acura Integra and a 2003 Toyota Celica). In it we discussed my experience with buying a car, how I vetted out the vehicle, how I vetted out the seller, and the other more transactional parts of the process such as how I paid, how I received the documents, and other salient details of the process. Who knows how much of what we talked about will make the column but it was a fun time chatting with her about my experience.

She mentioned that the article would appear on 14 October but I didn’t ask her if it’ll be in print or online, or both. If it’s in print I hope it’s in the Baltimore Sun because that’ll be easier to get my hands on…

Now, onto the gems of the week:

  • Big congratulations to Nickel for hitting one million visitors!
  • NCN is up to Day 24 and on that day he wrote about Roth IRAs.
  • FMF shares a tip that I think applies to any type of investing, avoiding costs in 529 plans.
  • If you haven’t seen Flexo’s redesign, I recommend you head on over to his site and check it out. One of his good posts this week is him checking in on his philanthropy and volunteering goals and how he’s pulled back support for an organization. Head on over if you can and give him some advice, I’m sure he’d appreciate it.
  • JD ended his foray into “fun money” investing by pulling out of Countrywide and back into index funds. It’s a powerful article because he goes into how it helped him understand his risk tolerance.
  • Jeremy laments our litigious society as a woman sues Apple for dropping the price of an iPhone.
  • Spend money to save money.
  • Sun talks some investing as he wonders if the small-cap party is over.
  • SVB hits up some good points on why the rich get richer.
  • Golbguru shares a sentiment that personal finance bloggers are rich, inflexible, and pretty much jerks. I am not rich. Or inflexible.
  • Are special bank offers for seniors of any value?
  • I wrote a guest post over at Frugal Upstate that was an introduction to 401k’s and Roth IRAs.
  • Very clever bait Hustler, I bit. See the personal finance graduating class of 2007.

I liked the idea of “rolling your own” baby bond that you fund yourself. I’m reserving opinion on the government’s version until I figure out what their actual proposal is.

Wow, I have no idea why I wrote Tribute… I know it’s Tribune but somehow it came out as Tribute. Thanks for the note Bob!

Minimum wage provides a “dying” wage rather than a living wage. It does not provide for the costs of adequate housing, food and education. And forget about leisure. While the free market may determine the base minimum wage as it is certainly doing in Alberta where the “minimum wage” is now at $10.50 for a McDonalds McJob (night shift), our province is an anomaly and I don’t believe you can depend on these types of boom economy situations to provide a sensible setting for the minimum wage. I love the SparkleTeddy‘s blog and personally do not know how any family with both couples working minimum wage jobs survive. I feel the minimum wage must be in place if only to protect those who cannot advocate for themselves, those who do not have a big business lobby group to ensure that their profit margin is adequate (i.e. inflated) and those who are too busy working (i.e. trying to survive) to be writing to argue their case on our financial blogs.

You can argue that all these minimum wage suckers could all get an education and boot strap themselves into the middle class but don’t forget that an education these days is a mortgage in itself. In addition, an education is no guarantee of a well paying job; witness all the MSc. students working as administrative assistants. And what about the elderly poor, the people on AISH (assured income for the severely handicapped), the mentally ill on our streets and single parents with kids – don’t they have enough nails in the tires of their rattling vehicles (if they have cars at all)? Why add to their woes by letting the free market determine how poor they will be? In Canada, at least for now, there is a medical system that is accessible if not quickly accessible to all. What happens to the working poor in the U.S. who face a medical emergency or accident? Bankruptcy? Or more genteel poverty?

I certainly feel that we, the well off are selfish and self absorbed. Don’t think so? Notice that this article is about happiness and the strange concept that your value as a human being does not depend on your cash value but many of the comments have zeroed in on the minimum wage comments. Most of the comments appear (to me at least) show a striking lack of sympathy for the people among us who are bringing up themselves and their kids on wages that are guaranteed to ensure that the next generation will be poor. Like wanzman said it best “get over yourselves” people and put yourselves in the shoes of the working poor.

oney is only a mechanism for purchasing things that bring happiness. A wise man once told me:

“Money is the lubricant of life”

And I couldn’t agree more. The more lubricant you have, the easier life becomes. However, just having the lubricant doesn’t ensure happiness.

Secondly, on the topic of wages, I feel that the marketplace efficently dictates wages. Minimum wage jobs are really supposed to be temorary; for teenagers and students. Nobody is supposed to make a career out of making burritos at Taco Bell. But people do. Making burritos is very simple, and thus a vast number of people in the marketplace are qualified for that job, thus the wages are low.

I believe people need to take responsiblity for their own education. By increasing their education, they again access to jobs that are more exclusive, thereby requiering higher wages. The goverment cannot MAKE people become educated, but the marketplace and the goverment provides incentives for education. Rasing minium wage higher than the market would naturally dictate would give people incentives NOT to get educated. Bad idea.

Interesting you point this out. Right now, I’m speaking with a recruiter about a possible career change. I’ve only been in my current job for six months, but the money I make just isn’t inline with what I want to do in life so I’m switching companies. $10-$12K difference is what I’m looking for and it’s true … the extra $12K for a college grad is very significant given the amount of my loans.

If there should not be a minimum wage – if a person chould be free to work for an employer at any wage – say, $1 per hour – landlords and developers should also be free to offer housing they can profitably provide to someone earning $1 per hour.

Funny how people support a free market in labor but hyperventilate about free markets in housing and land use.

I’d rather be employed at $5.15/hr than unemployed at $8/hr. A minimum wage simply consigns the bottom layer of the talent pool to poverty and dependence on charity or robbery. And the higher that minimum wage is raised, the more people are priced out of the job market. Frankly, I doubt they would derive any more value from the $8/hr they’d see teenagers making at Burger King than they do today from the millions per year they hear about Fortune 500 CEOs making. No matter how high a wage gets, it only benefits the people who are still employed to earn it. The minimum wage started out as a program to keep blacks, immigrants, and women out of the workforce. Now it’s mostly just a government policy to steal from the truly poor for the benefit of middle-class teenagers, while making self-righteous leftists feel better about being unrepentant cowardly thieves.

Of course, the core premise of the original post is entirely correct…money isn’t everything. Money is just a tool, and what you use it for is way more important than how much of it you have.

And for the record, the only time I hyperventilate about free markets in housing and land use is when people are trying to argue against them.

Government regulation is about the use of force by people powerful enough to wield politicians as weapons against those not powerful enough to do so. Trying to pretend that it’s really for the benefit of the poor and disenfranchised just makes the practice more offensively craven.

I find it surprising that college grads couldn’t do at least a little better than that. But assuming you are correct and is is not possible for them to get paid better somewhere else, it may be too late for the 50 year olds. That said, the larger problem I see in America is that too many people put the cart before the horse in everything they do and then assume “things will work out”. 1/3 of our children are born out of wedlock (that’s financial suicide right there). And TONS of people simply do not save when they do make living incomes. They act as if they will be able to earn X income or more for the rest of their working lives. BIG MISTAKE! I’m 37, live in a high cost area, have never made more than 50K a year at my job, and have 164K in long term savings / investments. Assuming an 8% return, I could stop saving right now and have a nest egg of over 450K at age 50. 450K will not be a fortune when I’m 50 (it isn’t now), but it will certainly keep me from needing to take some crappy minimum wage job when I’m 50. Unfortunately, most Americans never plan for the worst case scenario and then they wonder why they’re always living at or near “crisis” mode.

If you want to make money fast, you need to work smarter, not harder. You also need to think outside the box. So many people are looking for money making ideas that will allow them to make money fast, but it is just for one time. You get that extra cash and that’s it. A better choice is to maximize your earning potential to avoid wasting time and money.

Have a Plan and be Educated

Just simply getting whatever job you can get and working hard all your life isn’t maximizing your potential. For now, get whatever job you can, but you should work towards the life you want to live. Go to college and get a degree in an area that interests you. Plan to build a career in your area of study.

It may take a few years or more to get a degree and start at the bottom, but if you build a timeline and set up a plan, work at that plan, and you’ll get where you want to be.

Choose the Best Plan of Action

Don’t just go after what will make you the most money. It’s true that a career is meant to earn you money to support yourself, but if you look at only the finances of it, you may end up hating it and quitting to work at a bad, low-paying job. You shouldn’t put money above happiness. You should search for the balance between it all.

At the same time, keep your head out of the clouds. Understand that, unless you are sitting on millions of dollars, you will need to support yourself. Keep your hobbies and jobs separate unless you can earn from your hobbies what you need for survival.

Start a Business

Most people have jobs where they work for other people. That may or may not be what you will be best at. Having your own business or being an entrepreneur is a great lifestyle for the right person. If that’s something you’re interested in, research the career choice and the business you want to get in to. Also, keep in mind that failure is highly probable. If you’re going to succeed, you’ll need to get right back on the horse.

Working smarter means taking control of your career and life. Don’t just get a job, set a goal for the best job for you. Also, learn how to feel satisfied with your life. If you love your job, even if you aren’t making big bucks, keep doing it. Life isn’t all about making money.

If you are just looking to make money fast to pay for a new car or something small one time, you can save money regularly for these goals, or you can be creative and find a way to get some extra cash. No matter what you do, being smart about your finances will prove to be the most beneficial in your life.

Last Minute Tech Gifts for Moms

If you slacked on finding the perfect gift for mom, I’ve got some last-minute tech gifts to keep her connected and make her life easier (because isn’t that least you can do for mom? -> sarcastic 🙂 ). Here are my favorites… and mom doesn’t even have to be tech-savvy to use them.

Striiv Smart Pedometer

The Striiv Smart Pedometer is more personal trainer than pedometer. It learns your behavior and says all the right things to help you move more, eat better and reach all your health and wellness goals. The color touchscreen provides instant feedback and encouragement throughout the day— and you can even make free donations to charity just by staying active. Perfect for any mom who thinks she’s too busy to go to the gym.

Alesya Bags

Mom might need to carry around her laptop, but that doesn’t mean she wants to look like a cookie-cutter cubicle dweller going it. Chuck her black nylon laptop bag and get her a gorgeous bag from Alesya instead. Her laptop will be snug and easily accessible from the side zipper, plus there’s plenty of room for peripherals and girly things. From the outside, no one will know it’s not the “it” bag of the season.


With a life always on the run, you can fault mom for losing the occasional phone, wallet, pet or child… avoid all such mishaps with the Bikn system. Install the Bikn app and then add tags to up to 8 things that matter most to her. Now the phone finds them, and they can find the phone when one goes missing. So simple, I wish I had thought of it.

Samsung Galaxy Note

Somewhere in between a smartphone and a tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Note knows how to multi-task just like mom does. Use the pressure-sensitive “S Pen” to draw, sketch, or handwrite a note with ease, and the super-large screen means she can catch up on TV shows in the carpool line.

Motorola Roadster

Mom’s always in the car, and people are always trying to reach her. Bad combination, if you want to drive safely. Motorola solves this conundrum Roadster, a hand-free bluetooth speaker that reads your texts to you, and allows you to dictate your response. Now she can drive with little distraction (unless you factor in the raucous group of kids in the backseat).

Nook Simple Touch with Glo Light

I’m a big fan of gadgets that do one thing really well. So, in spite of my love for tablets, I think that when it comes to reading, eReaders are the best experience. However, they have one downfall— nighttime reading, which to me, is the best kind of reading. Barnes & Noble has reinvented the Nook by adding a glow that you can adjust for optimal viewing at night, while still enjoying the glare-free clarity of an e Ink eReader. Late nights with 50 Shades of Gray never looked so good.


Moms usually assume the role of Chief Memory Officer (in other words, she’s behind the camera, not in front of it). Get her ready for her close-up with theSwivl, her own personal cameraman. Drop your iDevice into the base station and the Swivl will follow your every move, panning and tilting to keep you in frame while you chase after the kids, move around the kitchen, or multitask while video chatting with the grandparents. A CD quality microphone ensures you capture the best possible sound even if your’e moving further away from the camera.

Save Your Money for Electronics with these Top Tech Deals

Do you plan to buy electronic stuff? Be it home electric appliances, smartphone, or any other gadgets, consider these top tech deals. By purchasing products from the offered deal, you can get a discount on the price up to more than 50 percent, cashback or even free stuff. With these electronic deals, you are guaranteed to save some money compared to when you buy the product at regular price. Below are some deals that will give you the most benefit.

  1. Samsung JS9500 88 inch SUHD Smart TV


Previous price: $22,997.99
Price in deal: $16,997.99

The sophisticated Samsung 88 inch SUHD Smart TV comes at a favorable price with 25 percent discount. You can get this deal in Frys.Com. For a high-range Smart SUHD TV, Frys is generous to offer a deal in this product. The deal is offered as part of Labor Day deal. When else will consumer get a discount for the high-range product? This one is one of top tech deals.

  1. TCL Roku Smart LED TV 32S8000 2015 model


Previous price: $289.99
Price in deal: $169.99

TCL Roku Smart LED TV 32S8000 2015 model’s price was cut almost half of it! The HD LED TV is priced only for $169.99, means it is 41 percent lower than the regular price. This deal is offered by the big online marketing company, Amazon. Amazon offers this deal without adding the charge for the shipping. It means the shown price is all you get to pay, and you will get this smart TV delivered to your home. This middle range television also supports Netflix so if you want some favorable priced Smart LED TV, visit Amazon site and search for this product deal.


  1. Asus Intel Core i3 Laptop 15,6 inch


Previous Price: $499.99
Price in sale: $369.99

Laptop with 4GB of RAM, 500GB HDD and powerful processor priced only $369.99 on Amazon. With this offer, you can save $130 off the usual price of $599.99. This is an excellent deal as the laptop is already pre-installed with Windows 10, means that you don’t have to buy operating system separately with such price. Amazon also offers free shipping for the product even when it is in deal price. If you want to get a laptop or replace yours with the new one, this offer is one of the top tech deals on the internet, and you can save the remain of your money for the future.

Grab it Fast! Electronics Deals of The Day

Electronics seems evolving day to day like a speed of light. Many new models and technologies of electronics stuff hit the market. As you are now probably having the most high-tech HDTV, in a few months your HDTV will already be out of date. Electronics stuff somehow becomes important to us human not only to entertain us but also to help us survive our days.

Can you imagine your life without TV right? Or you may get lost somewhere if you don’t install a GPS on your car? If yo want to upgrade or buy a new electronics stuff for your home, you can visit nearest electronic center or simply shop online. Remember, shopping for a special day or occasion like the valentine, or Christmas may surprise you with a super deal. Electronics deals of the day also offered by some of the online shops below:


Here we go again with Amazon.com. It offers electronic stuff starts from TV, camera, computers and accessories, car devices, GPS and navigation, cell phones and accessories, office equipment, musical tools, and also electronic accessories. Amazon doesn’t get famous for anything. It offers great deals for everyone. In electronic devices, Amazon gives the discount from 20% to 70% for various brands and devices.

Best Buy

Best buy also offers electronics deals of the day. It offers special deals for buyers that you can save your money about $10 to $100.


Woot offers a unique way of selling the electronic products. It makes you want to build and decorate your home with electronic devices using a picture of a room design as it is your home. The electronic products you will get from Woot have mostly refurbished, and you can save up to a hundred dollars!

Those three online shops offer electronics deals of the day with the special deal every day you want and in need of renewing your electronic products or simply just making your first purchase.

Get The Special PC Deals of The Day In One Click Away

PC here, PC there, PC everywhere! PC or personal computer has now been a primary needs for everyone from students to businesspeople, men, and women. PC has a lot of functions, and its purpose depends on owner’s goals. PC differs from one to another in specifications, brands, and price. Buyers would first see the specs of the PC. For the instant, gamers would look out for a PC with high resolutions display, great RAM, and large space of memory. Everyone’s PC is based on their needs.

If you happen to have a plan of getting yourself a new PC, you should see the PC deals of the day right away on the internet. Here’re some great deals for you

  1. Pcmag.Com

Pcmag.com will show up at the very top of Google search when you try to find the best deal of PCs. It offers special deals for you who wants to buy PC, laptop, tablets, and phones. You can also make a deal with them to buy an app, software, and security system. Want to complete your camera collection? Pcmag also offers you a special deal on the camera. For PC, Pcmag offers 5% up to 30% discounts. Plus, for several items, it applies the free shipping bonus.

  1. Amazon

Welcome to the Amazon! The next PC deals of the day keywords will guide you to our famous friend, Amazon.com. Amazon also offers a complete sick deal started from 20% off and more. It is your call to find the right and match PC for you

  1. Best Buy

Bestbuy.com, on the other hand, offers many special deals. You can get six months free internet security protection for laptop purchase, one-year free internet security protection for Blue Label TM laptop. You’ll also get free shipping! Another excitement right?

Anyway, Anyhow, when you are about to buy new PC you should consider your needs, budget and of course quality. Make a deal with the greatest PC deals of the day you can find!

Take a War on Cyber Monday Deal to Get Your Best Item!

Do you want to shop for your needs? You may use the Cyber Monday deal which will make you luckier to take the lower price of items that you need. Before getting some information about where you can get your deal, you may know about what is cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is a marketing term about to get a shop on Monday.

FYI, it was firstly coined by Ellen Davis to persuade people to get some items trough online store. The root of Cyber Monday is inspired from the day after Thanksgiving holiday in the United States which is Monday. In that day, some of the online stores offer the special price, discount, or even coupons.

That’s sound great, right? Besides that, there are also many benefits from shopping in the Cyber Monday especially for getting the Cyber Monday deals. Without throwing too many budgets on the items that you want, you will get more items there.

It also can be so precious when you are preparing for Christmas day, parties or even invited into some of celebrating day which makes you bring some gifts. Buying more than one gift at the same time will make you cried over the river, right? So, preparing all of the gifts while the Cyber Monday is happening might be the best way to saving your budget.

There is no worry about any more money on your purse while there are so many needs and items to buy. With the special offer in the special day in the way also the Cyber Monday, you will get the triple attack. From now, you can mark your calendar and check the online store routinely to check this special offer of Cyber Monday deal.

So, prepare yourself! Make a list of items that you need and don’t forget to take your gadget on to begin the war in Cyber Monday event.

iPhone 7 Plus With Dual Cameras, Will the Rumor becomes True?

It seems like yesterday that iPhone just released the 6S plus, yet right now, the iPhone 7 plus will launch in the half quarter of 2016. Rumour has it. Another rumour said that the 7 plus will feature a dual cameras technology with a smart connector near the bottom of the phone. Meanwhile, all the dimensions and designs are pretty similar to what iPhone 6 plus already has but slightly thinner. Let’s take a closer look to the prediction of iPhone 7 Plus with dual cameras.

Unlike the previous 6S model, iPhone 7 plus will not have antenna bars. Ceramic will be the material of the body instead of alumunium. Moreover, the rumours spread all over the internet said that there will be no either headphone jack or lightning port. Speaking of which, iPhone 7 plus will likely show up with a lot of functions omitted, including the home button. It will be replaced by a 3D technology touch screen that already displayed on iPhone 6S. When iPhone thinks that gorilla glass is an old style, and that they will use sapphire glass which is stronger than the gorilla. Indeed, an iPhone 7 Plus with dual cameras should get a best protection to avoid the dissapointment of any damages.

Another iPhone 7 Plus new features which will not be found in other models of iPhone are its sensitivity over using a gloves, capable in drying out of wet iPhone, wireless charging, USB C-Port, dynamic home button, iOS 10, 32 GB storage starter, A10 processor, 3GB RAM, and a hundred times faster new wireless, LiFi. As for the cameras, iPhone 7 plus will likely to have an optical zoom technology and 3D camera sensors. Finally, all of those predictions of iPhone 7 Plus with dual cameras are still rumours. If you are highly anticipating the born of iPhone 7 plus, you sure have to be patient for the official statement and launching from Apple.