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Score! 5 Tips for Maximizing Your Holiday Shopping Savings

5 Tips to Maximize Your Holiday Shopping Savings

The 2013 holiday season is in high gear. But before you work off your Thanksgiving turkey by doing an all-night-standing-in-line endurance challenge to grab that latest gadget, you’re going to need to know the hottest trends of the season so you can plan your shopping warm-up and workout effectively. From retailers’ plans to the best days to find bargains, PennySaver has got your holiday shopping marathon mapped out.

1. Caffeinate to counteract the tryptophan and warm yourself by the glowing light of the Internet

According to the Adobe Digital Index Online Shopping Forecast, millions of shoppers will be flocking to the Internet on Thanksgiving Day to take advantage of online shopping deals. Sales of merchandise online on Thanksgiving will most likely bring retailers into the black. Forecasts predict online retailers to rake in a collective $1.1 billion in sales that day. Expect deep discounts from large shopping sites as well as the smaller mom and pop operations. All of the major department stores want in on the cyber action, so places such as Macy’s for example, will be jumping into the online Black Friday discount scene. Be sure to log on as early as possible. Have the kids do the dishes while you enjoy uninterrupted shopping. Fight the food coma with the thrill of scoring deals.

2. Make sure those electronics are in working order and load up on apps (the sans calories kind)

Much of this year’s holiday shopping will be done remotely, so you’ve got to make sure your electronics are up to the task. Grab spare batteries for your cell phone so you don’t miss important discount alerts. Get a cover for your iPad to reduce the chance of any damage to your shopping companion. If it’s time to update your chargers, go for it. Some retailers are planning on offering mobile-only discounts that can’t be found in stores. The mobile app Swirl will send you exclusive markdowns in exchange for access to your personal data. They’re going to do it anyway, so you might as well make the most of it. Another useful app, The Access Mobile Discount and coupon app, provides information on more than 100,000 retail locations offering bargains.

3. Don’t overlook Cyber Monday

Even some of the most tech-savvy among us have never heard of, or have simply forgotten about, Cyber Monday. This year, the Cyber Mondays in November and December are going to be epic. Your favorite major retailers will offer deals on all kinds of merchandise. You can sign up to receive alerts on the best offers through you go-to gadgets.

4. Gift cards are really OK

Great news for frazzled and overwhelmed shoppers. Gift cards used to signify an impersonal gift given to someone you didn’t know very well. Not anymore! We can all breathe a sigh of relief this season, as gift cards have become completely acceptable to give to even our closest confidantes. A majority of Americans now say they would rather get a gift card than anything else at all, according to an official survey of the National Retail Association. So go ahead with the guiltless gifting. They can be purchased nearly anywhere. Consider converting the majority of your gift giving into gift cards, and you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle this holiday season.

5. If you’re going in person, go early

You know what they’ve always said about the early bird, right? The old adage still holds true in this day and age. Nothing has changed with regard to arriving at the store early; in fact, this season it’s more pertinent than ever. Retailers are going to offer spectacular sales and savings, but sometimes when they run out of inventory, that’s it. Period. Don’t miss out on the best goodies by being a lazy bones. Double-check that your alarm clock is plugged in and arrange a back-up wake-up call from Wakerupper. No one can get the better of you when you rise with the sun.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Save Money Monday: Even More Apps to Save You Money

PennySaver wants to make sure you have all of the apps that can you increase your savings, so for this installment in our Save Money Monday series, we’re going to highlight even more free apps, designed to help you save money.

Cell phones are as common as wallets these days and, with the right app, may actually come to replace the wallet in the future. This is because a cell phone is no longer just a phone but also a mini computer that operates as a digital toolbox, helping you through your day to day activities. Most of these apps are free to download and use and many have been developed for your convenience, primarily to help save you money. Below are a list of some of the best free cell phone apps on the market that will keep a few more dollars in your pocket.


Save Money Monday: iSlick app can save you money on technology. If you want to find a specific gadget or piece of technology that was too expensive when it first hit the market and may have now gone down in price, you have to download iSlick. This free app allows you to search every retailer out there for the gadget and it’s price, both in-store and online. It will also allow you to price watch all the new gadgets and pieces of technology and give you updates whenever these prices go down, so you can be on top of every new technological trend. Available for download on your iPhone/iPad, Android and Nook.

Google Voice

Google Voice is a free app from Google that does a number of incredibly helpful things. It allows you to send text messages with just your voice, and also allows you to get text transcriptions of your voicemails for free. You can also opt to keep your actual number from showing up on people’s caller IDs if you are placing a business call from a personal line and vice versa. But the place Google Voice saves you the most amount of money is through international calls, which allows you to do so with a transparent, flat rate. So if you’re travelling around the world, you’ll be able to talk to whoever you want without spending an arm and a leg.

Onavo Extend

Save Money Monday: Onavo app will save you money on your data plans. If you are trying to get the most you possible can out of your smartphone plan, then downloading the Onavo Extend app will help you to use as much data as possible without having to pay for it. This app compresses emails and downloads, allowing you to get as much as four times the data plan you signed up for. It does this by diverting the data coming down to your smartphone through cloud-based servers, so that all the content that comes to you has already been compressed. So if you’re trying to save money on your cell phone bill, this is the perfect free app for you.


This free app from the popular website, AirBnB allows travelers to find rooms in the place they are visiting that are cheaper than any hotel imaginable and often in a better location. AirBnB allows people with apartments or condos to list their places online for travelers to stay in at a fraction of the price a hotel would cost. This app allows you to literally find the open AirBnB places near you and contact them to see if you can get a room. Available for download in the App Store and Google Play.


The music app that is totally free and allows people to listen to even more music than they knew existed may be one of the best on the market. Spotify has changed the music industry again, much like Pandora changed it. While you won’t own any of the music for free through Spotify, you’ll be able to listen to more than 15 million tracks total whenever you want.

Rating 4.00 out of 5

Save Money Monday: Free Apps that Keep Your Wallet Full

PennySaver wants to keep you ahead of the curve, so for this installment in our Save Money Monday series, we’re going to highlight some free apps that will help you save money.

Using your phone as your own personal pocket computer has become the new trend these days, as the quality of cell phones and wireless internet has allowed these gadgets to be the most helpful tool in your daily arsenal. Because of the handiness of these phones, a slew of applications, better known as apps, have been created and can be downloaded for free which will help you get the best possible deals on a number of different products out there or keep track of finances, among other important things.

Below are some of the most helpful free apps for your phone, for you to use when you’re out shopping for that next great deal or that will just help you save money.


Redlaser is a free app that allows people to compare prices on products across a number of different stores so you can find a better deal. You can simply scan the item you wish to compare with your phone and the app will respond with prices from competing stores in your area and across the internet. In some cases you can buy the product directly from the app. This is most helpful if you’re the type of person who doesn’t mind going from store to store to find a particular item. The RedLaser app is available for iPhone, Windows Phone or Android systems.


Hate paying the high prices for gas and always on the lookout for that off brand gas station with the best possible gallon prices? Well release that portion of your brain from ever having to do that again with the GasBuddy free app, which allows you to find the cheapest gas in your neighborhood when you need to fill back up. Prices are constantly updated by the app’s users, so the prices are usually pretty accurate, even if they are changing on a daily basis. Users are encouraged to do this by being eligible to win $250 for every gas price they report. GasBuddy is available for download on both iOS and Android platforms.


If you travel regularly, then the Kayak free app is a must have. Much like the bargain travel website, Kayak scans the web in search of the best possible deals on flights, hotels and rental cars from just about every site possible. It then curates them all down into one list for you to easily peruse. There are even alerts that you can set up on the app itself every time fares you have set it to watch go down, so you can buy them before they sold out or the price goes back up. You can download the Kayak app for your iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, iPad or Kindle Fire.

Amazon Price Check

Ever been at a store and wanted to know the price of something that is not marked? You have to find a clerk, have them do a price check, wait… this can take forever. However, with the convenient Amazon Price Check app, you can know exactly what a product costs immediately by scanning the bar code. This way, you can know what a product costs and then compare it through another great free app (listed above) to see if it is worth buying at this location. The Amazon Price Check app is available in both the iTunes Store, App Store for Android, and on Google Play.


The free Zipcar app will allow you to use the sometimes convenient zipcar service in a big city when you just need some wheels for a short amount of time. This is perfect for people who live in a big city where it is impractical and expensive to own a car. After you secure a membership (which is around sixty dollars per year) you have access to this free app that will allow you to find the zipcar locations nearby, so you can go pick up your car for an hourly rate and hit the road. This is so much cheaper than a rental car and sometimes even cheaper and always more convenient than public transportation. Get the Zipcar app for your iPhone or Android device.

Rating 4.00 out of 5

Save Money Monday: Easy Ways to Lower Your Utility Bills

March Money Saving MadnessIn today’s shaky economy, we need to cut corners wherever we can. Some things are easier to do without than others, however, utility bills are something few people can get away from. Having heat, lights, and running water are all things most of us don’t want to live without. But when we use these things without thinking, utility bills start to stack up pretty quickly.


Fortunately, a little mindfulness can go a long way when it comes to keeping those costs under control. For this special March Money Saving Madness installment of Save Money Monday, PennySaver is highlighting some money saving tips to help lower your utility bills.

Light bulbs

By now, a lot of people have already made the switch to Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs), but it is surprising how many people are still filling their sockets with the same type of bulb Thomas Edison first discovered. While the incandescent was certainly a good idea in its day, CFLs are a much better one. While CFLs cost more initially, you’ll see the savings on your electricity bills almost right away because CFL bulbs put out the same amount of light while using a fraction of the energy. They also don’t need to be changed as frequently and often last many years as opposed to the few months you’ll get out of the old fashioned bulbs.

In addition to these savings, there is an added perk because CFLs don’t hold heat the way the other bulbs do. This means they are safer for your family, and won’t overheat your house in the summer months.

Manage Your Heat Settings

Save Money Monday: Manage your heat settingsFor years we’ve heard that wintertime thermostats should be set no higher than 68, and summer settings should rest at around 78. If you’re too cold or too hot grab a sweater or a cool drink of water. But, although it’s a good place to start,  managing your heat goes beyond turning down the temperature. Programmable thermostats are all the rage these days, and for good reason. They allow you to set your indoor temperature even lower when you are gone all day or are on vacation. You can set it up to go back to a more comfortable level when it’s closer to the time you get home.

Proper insulation in your home also goes a long way when keeping the outside from invading the inside. Use weather stripping and apply caulk around cracks and crevices where unwanted air tries to get in.

A little work on the outside can help too. Homes that have a lot of shading from trees and shrubs block off excess heat and cold which will help keep bills under control. Painting your roof white not only gives your home character, but homes with a white roof use up to 40% less energy than those with a black roof. That extra coat can also serve as a weather sealant and increase the life of your roof.

Ease up on the Appliances

A lot of people use their appliances more than they really need to. They may heat the oven for smaller dishes that could be just as easily made in a toaster oven or even the microwave. When appliances are used, energy efficient appliances with an endorsement from Energy Star are preferable. Not only do they use less energy and lower your bills, but you may also be able to get a tax credit for making the investment. When appliances aren’t in use, they should be turned off or even unplugged. Electricity will still cost you, even when the appliance is dormant.

Watch Your Water

With water it is easy for people to either use too much, or to make it too hot. There are some who keep their water heaters set as high as 180 degrees, but 120 degrees is a more energy efficient temperature that will still allow you to take effective showers and get your clothes clean in the washing machine. If you head out of town, turn your water temp down even further.

Shower times should also be kept short in most cases. A long shower can be a treat, but it shouldn’t be an every day luxury. Clothes can also be washed in cooler temperatures most of the time and will get just as clean.


Just follow these money saving tips, and it’ll help keep the bite out of those pesky utility bills.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Holiday Layaway: Friend or Foe this Shopping Season?

For the frugal shopper looking to save money, layaway has always been a good option. It’s easy and doesn’t require much forethought on the consumer’s part; they just head to the store, pick the item, and start making payments. No big deal, right?

Maybe. Admittedly, making a budget and heading out into the rush to find a few key items is a really smart way to do business. If you have the willpower to figure out exactly what you need, go get it and then resist buying anything more, then you deserve an award. In this case, the system will work well for you: you’re not only thinking ahead, you’re making sure you don’t end up buried in a pile of debt at the end of the expensive holiday season.

There are, however, a few caveats you should consider before signing up for these programs, and they are not always well explained by the businesses offering them. PennySaverUSA.com is here to help explain the advantages and disadvantages of using layaway this Holiday season.

Remember the Fee

Layaway Shopping this Holiday Season
The whole point of layaway is to plan ahead and save money, and in many cases doing so in a thoughtful, frugal manner will get you there. However, you shouldn’t forget that there are fees attached just like credit cards. Should you go through with your purchase, according to the Wall Street Journal, the fee is usually small. Should you, on the other hand, not end up making the purchase, you can often expect larger fees.

Consider That You Might Miss Sales

Using this program also often means that you will miss out on sales and promotions when they come around. Because you will presumably pick your purchases earlier in the season, you likely won’t be eligible for many of the discounts that occur later on, such as Black Friday. This might be worth it to you, but it’s best to be aware.

Be Prepared for Gift Card Rebates

According to TIME Business and Money, one of the biggest promoters of layaway – Walmart – returns your refundable fee after a successfully completed purchase in the form of a gift card. While the money itself is valid, this often means that you have to make another trip to the store, where you will likely end up paying more than the amount of the gift card. That is if you don’t forget it entirely.

Pay Attention to Payment Structure

Though payment structures are generally both reasonable and expected, make sure you are apprised of them ahead of time. For instance Toys “R” Us, has a fairly elaborate one that could trip you up if you aren’t careful. The key to successfully using this program is preparation.

So this holiday season, do yourself a favor and think long and hard before signing up. Sure, it’s an awesome way to stay out of debt and put presents under the tree, but it isn’t always as consumer-friendly as it seems. Keep these tips in mind, though, and you should come through just fine.

Rating 4.33 out of 5

Aaron v. Food: Del-Taco Challenge!

Our UX Designer Aaron Irizarry is still training to replace Adam Richman on Man vs. Food, so he decided to take another challenge last week. While looking through coupons in the PennySaver to save on lunch for the Web Team, we came across a coupon for 39 cent tacos, and Aaron took a challenge from a fellow UX friend of his from Twitter. He was challenged to eat 11 of them. Can he do it? This was our second challenge to Aaron, the first being the Fatburger Challenge, which you can see here.

Aaron, eat those tacos!

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Advertising Your Restaurant

Chipotle Burger from Nick's Super Burgers, PennySaver Customer

If you are starting your own restaurant, PennySaverUSA.com is the perfect place to advertise and get your name out there. If you’re advertising with us, you can give away multitudes of coupons, receive online reviews and ratings and begin to make your mark in your community.

First, like all advertisements, you need to cover the basics, such as what, where and when. Tell them what kind of restaurant it is, where you’re located and when you’re open. But even within those basic guidelines, you need to try to get as much info included with the least amount of chance for confusion. For instance, if you’re a sit-down cheeseburger and fries restaurant that also sells burritos and smaller lunch items like salads and soups, as well as vegetarian options,  be sure to try to pack that info in there. When groups are leaving their offices for lunch, simply selling cheeseburgers might not appeal to everyone involved and might cost you potential business.

Another important point to hit with as much detail as possible is location. Give your address, your cross streets and any note-worthy landmarks that might help people to navigate to your place. There are so many choices these days, especially in a metropolitan area, people can tend to give up very easily and hit the most convenient place they see.

Be sure to list what kind of atmosphere your restaurant has.  If your restaurant is a family friendly restaurant, be sure to point that out.  If you are running more of a business aimed at adults (a lounge or bar, for example), be sure to make this distinction. Also, if there is any designated parking for your restaurant, mention that in the ad to prepare people so when they pull up, there is no more hassle than necessary.

PennySaverUSA.com is also known for it’s vast array of coupons, especially in the restaurant department. Offering 2 for 1 specials, 20 percent off with coupon, wine or beer specials or whatever creative savings you can come up with is a proven way to get people in the door. It creates incentive in a  very competitive landscape.

We encourage everyone who wants to create a buzz around their restaurant to use PennySaver.com, and if you are a restaurant owner or want to share any suggestions, comment below!

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Steals of the Week!

It’s Wednesday, it’s 11:30 and it’s time to…uh…ok, we’ll party later, for now it’s time to SAVE! It’s time for the PennySaverUSA.com Steals of the Week.

We ventured into the world of heavy duty appliances this week. With the economy still hitting a lot of people hard right now, having an appliance like a freezer or washer/dryer go out on you in your home or business could be a major hindrance. Or if you’re moving into a new dorm or just enjoying the last weeks of summer, check out these deals:

This person in Anaheim, CA has 2 freezers available for $75 a piece, one being an upright and the other being a chest freezer. That’s Cheap!

If you’re in Georgia and your Washer has gone out, check out this Kenmore 80 Series Washer in Kathleen, GA being offered at only $100!  If you need clothes washed, this is an inexpensive way to get back on track.

Are you moving into a new dorm room and you need your own little fridge? If you’re in Oak Forest, IL, you can grab this one for $50! It’s in great condition and perfect for storing beverages. It also includes a mini freezer inside.

If you’re in the Anaheim area and you’re looking for a Commercial Dryer, look no further than PennySaverUSA.com! You can get this dryer for only $150!

As a kid, summer wasn’t summer without mom and dad making Homemade Ice Cream with blackberry cobbler at least a times! If you’ve never tried to make your own ice cream, for $15, you should give it a try! It’s still in the box, so have at it!

Have any Steals that you’ve found? Comment Below!

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Steals of the Week!

Hello there, PennySavers! Every Wednesday, we take a dip into the sea of savings that is PennySaverUSA.com and look for outlandishly crazy deals!

Check out this organ in Victorville, CA that we came across. It’s priced at $35!  If you’re a professional or advanced organist, this is a really cool, retro vibe that can help add some old school cool to your repertoire. Or, if you’re a beginner, $35 is not a lot to pay to get started on a REAL organ. Check it out!

Or, for $15 more, we found this organ in Corona, CA. $50! Click here

Do you have a toddler or a little one who is soon to be a toddler? Maybe a motorsports fan in training?

What little guy wouldn’t love this Racecar Bed in Buena Park, CA! The seller said that their son  grew out of it and they decided to sell it for $45. What a STEAL!

If you find any steals that you think everyone should see, comment below!

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Facebook Coupon of the Day

Who doesn’t love a good coupon? And these days, who doesn’t love Facebook? Are you thinking what we’re thinking? A combination is in order, like peanut butter and chocolate, Milo and Otis, Harry and Potter… okay, that last one didn’t make sense. Now you can check in on Facebook for a special coupon every day just for being a part of our Facebook family!

Here at PennySaverUSA.com, we are building our community more and more every day, and we thought we should start giving something back to our pals in Facebook-land. Every day of the week, we will be giving out one coupon from across the web to our friends, and we think that you just can’t miss this opportunity! We are also putting up our custom videos and having a lot of fun, so give it a try!

We have a variety of deals and coupons that we want to share with our Facebooks pals; some will be local savings, some will be national, but you have 7 Days a Week to check into Facebook and see what we’re offering up for that day.

So, come over and click LIKE on our Facebook page and you won’t be sorry! www.facebook.com/PennySaverUSA

Also, check on PennysaverUSA’s coupon page to check in on local deals to save you a few bucks.

Rating 3.00 out of 5