Category Archives: Saving Money

Save Money On Your Wedding Reception

November 10, 2011

7 Ways To Save Money On Your Wedding Reception

The average American wedding costs around $30,000! When any bride takes a look at the cost of entertainment, food, the cake, and more, it’s not hard to see where those thousands go. However, it’s perfectly possible to have a beautiful, fun wedding reception without plunking down your life savings. Here are a few tips to save money on your wedding reception:

Save money on your wedding reception.

Do you really want Uncle Charlie at your wedding? Image credit: daryl_mitchell, Flickr.com.

1. Trim the guest list.
This is the simplest, easiest way to save money on your wedding reception. The number of guests you have to cut depends on how much you need to trim your budget; if your cost per head is $50, downsizing from 200 guests to 150 saves you $2,500! If you’re worried about insulting someone, go with a close friends and family only reception and visit with other guests afterwards, perhaps by throwing a small dinner party.

2. Simplify your decorations.
Decorations for a wedding reception can get pricey, so simplifying what you use can ease the strain on your wallet. This can be done in a number of ways. Use bigger tables so you need fewer centerpieces and tablecloths. Consider purchasing local in-season flowers and greenery. You can even try out non-floral decorations like candles or lanterns, which can be bought in bulk from a range of suppliers for as little as $1 apiece.

3. Don’t leave an unnecessary paper trail.
You’ve already shelled out a lot of cash for beautiful invitations and ceremony programs, so you don’t need to keep spending on unnecessary paper items for the reception. This can include menus, table numbers, escort cards, and more. Menus are overkill at a buffet dinner or simple hors d’oeuvres affairs, but if you really want one, consider placing a single sign near the reception entrance announcing the options. Have your favors double as escort cards by attaching a small tag with each guest’s name and table.

4. Plan for hidden costs.
“Hidden costs” are any costs that you don’t immediately think of, but which appear on your bill later and can completely blow your budget. They may be service charges, bottle-opening fees, gratuities, and cake-cutting fees. Before you sign a contract with your vendors, ask about these fees and make sure you can afford them.

5. Consider a mid-week reception.
Saturday weddings are popular but expensive. Just like hotels and vacation venues, booking an event in the middle of the week can shave a lot of cash off your bill. The same is true for weddings around major holidays and even peak times of the day. Just make sure you let your guests know well ahead of time so they can request enough time off from work.

Save money on your wedding reception.

Do you really need all of this? Image credit: D.L., Flickr.com

6. Don’t serve a full bar.
Open bars can get pricey when you’re charged by the bottle. Instead of having an open bar at your reception, go for one or two signature drinks, or skip the alcohol altogether. If you still want an open bar but need to save money, consider closing the bar for an hour sometime during the reception, such as during the hor’s d’oeuvres or while guests are seated during dinner.

7. Use some elbow grease.
With some careful planning, DIY-ing your wedding can save a lot of money. What you make or do yourself depends on your own abilities and how much help you have, but the possibilities are limitless. Make your own centerpieces, favors, wedding album, and more. This also works for saving money on the ceremony.

Whatever your budget, you can have a great wedding. Just follow these tips and use your own ingenuity to save money on your wedding reception. But don’t forget the most important part – enjoy your wedding no matter what!

Best Couponing Websites

November 4, 2011

The Best Couponing Websites

The economic crisis has forced many people turn to a trusty old friend to save them money – coupons! If you look around in your Sunday newspaper you can find coupons left and right, but the internet has changed the game. These are not your grandmother’s coupons; let’s just call them coupons 2.0.  Here are some of the best couponing websites available to help you save money.

Groupon
It is hard to start any best couponing websites list off with any site other than Groupon. After all, Groupon is credited with reintroducing young people to coupons. The whole premise behind Groupon is both simple and fun; every day there are a few deals available for a limited time. If there is nothing that piques your curiosity today, just wait for tomorrow’s deal. Chances are, you’ll find an interesting deal soon!

Coupons.com
Coupons.com not only provides a great variety of coupon categories, but the site itself is also very easy to navigate. When you are trying to save a few dollars, the last thing you want to do is browse through countless of pages to find what you actually want. The fact that you can search for zip code specific deals makes it even easier to find the deals that appeal to you.

Checkout the best couponing websites!

Tired of dealing with this every Sunday? Checkout the best couponing websites instead. Image credit: sdc2027, Flickr.com

CouponCabin.com
The staff at CouponCabin.com realizes that people do not need expired coupons and certainly do not want to spend their time on deals that are not timely. So they update the deals at least three times a day to ensure that the coupons are still valid. One of the benefits of this website is that it has a separate section for ‘favorite deals’ and ‘most-used coupons’ allowing you to find the hottest deals the instant you land on the homepage. They also have a handy newsletter that they send out every Monday.

RetailMeNot.com
RetailMeNot.com has a very dedicated community of users who provide updates on what coupons are still valid, where to find the best deals of the day, and explanations of the fine print. You can also sign-up to receive e-mail alerts whenever a new code or coupon is posted to your favorite store. By choosing this option, you will no longer have to constantly check the website to see if new deals have been posted.

CouponMom.com
CouponMom.com does more than just provide coupons; it also lists free samples and other types of discounts. The layout itself is very easy on the eyes and does not feel cluttered with banner ads. Like RetailMeNot.com, you have the option to sign up for e-mail alerts for your favorite stores so you do not have to worry about missing a deal.

These are some of the best couponing websites we have found so far, but we are certain there are more. What are some of your favorite couponing websites?

How to Save Money on Electricity – Six Easy Tips

October 28, 2011

How to Save Money on Electricity

Looking at the electric bill at the end of the month can be quite a shock, particularly during seasons of extreme temperatures.  Luckily, if you follow these tips on how to save money on electricity, you can significantly cut that bill. Plus, by saving energy you will reduce your impact on the environment.

Turn off those lights!

Image credit: lemasney, Flickr.com

Tip #1 – Turn off the lights

It’s very easy to forget to turn off the lights, but remembering to do so can create big energy savings in the long run. If you are in a room that does not get much traffic such as the kitchen or bathroom be sure to turn off the lights whenever you leave the room. It may take some time to get used to doing this, but after awhile it will become second nature. If you are still having trouble remembering, consider installing lighting occupancy sensors. Worried that turning on and off the lights too quickly wastes electricity and wears out light bulbs? The MythBusters buststed that myth!

 Tip #2 – Check the energy savings settings on your computer and monitor

Using screen savers help save energy, right? Actually, not at all. It is much better to have your monitor automatically turn off after a certain period of time (I have mine set for 10 minutes).

You can save even more energy by letting your computer hibernate when it is inactive. Hibernation mode uses up virtually no energy and you do not have to go through the entire start-up process again. EnergyStar estimates that you can save up to $350 dollars over the life of your computer (4 years) by smartly managing the power settings on your computer.

Tip #3 – Make your dryer more efficient

When you move your clothes from the washer into the dryer, most people simply bunch them up together in a wet lump and toss those clothes into the dryer. However, if you untangle your clothes and separate them before you throw them in the dryer, they will be dried more efficiently and you will save money on electricity.

Tip #4 – Off-peak hours

Contact your electric company and see if they have off-peak hours. During off-peak hours, the cost of electricity is reduced. Electricity is generally less expensive late at night, early in the morning and on weekends, so it is cheaper to run the dishwasher and washing machines during these times. How much you will save will vary depending on your location, but here in Oregon off-peak rates are 66% less than of on-peak rates.

Every degree counts!

Image credit: Mick Wright, Flickr.com

Tips #5 – Check that thermostat 

Even a one degree change makes a big difference. Turning the thermostat down (or up during the summer) when you are out of the house will help you save money on electricity without sacrificing comfort. By following EnergyStar guidelines you can save $180 annually on your heating and cooling costs.

We hope you found these tips on how to save money on electricity helpful. You can realize big savings just by making small changes to your daily routine and habits. Are there any other methods that you use to save money on electricity?

Textbook Buyback Android App | Cash4Books Textbook ISBN Scanner App

October 24, 2011

Free Textbook Buyback Android App

We are proud to introduce the official Cash4Books.net Textbook Buyback Android App. Selling textbooks has never been easier:

  • Scan textbook barcodes using your phone’s camera. No barcode? No problem! Simply use the custom keypad to manually enter the ISBN.
  • Receive instant price quotes on textbooks that we are currently purchasing. We also buy non-textbooks including fiction, non-fiction, hardcovers and paperbacks.
  • The app will store your list of books.
  • Checkout within the app.
  • Print your emailed packing slip and free shipping labels. No printer? Contact us and we will send you shipping labels.
  • Ship your books, then get paid.
Yes, it’s really that easy!

 

Cash4Books Textbook Buyback App

 

Download the app today

Click or scan the QR code to go to the Google Android Marketplace to download the app: Cash4Books Textbook Buyback Android App   You can also download the app by opening up the Google Android Market on your phone and searching the the term “cash4books”.

Cash4Books Textbook Buyback Android App

Eight reasons why you will love our app!

Here are eight reasons to download the Cash4Books Textbook Buyback App:

  1. The app is 100% free!
  2. Scan textbook barcodes with your phone’s camera (no special barcode scanner hardware required). The high-quality barcode scanner will even work on phones that do not have auto-focus cameras.
  3. Textbook buyback has never been easier; get price quotes from anywhere you have mobile service.
  4. Auto-Add mode allows you to scan books continuously. In our testing, 15 books could be scanned in under a minute.
  5. The keypad has a “978” button for ISBN-13s and an “X” button that is necessary for certain types of ISBN-10s.
  6. Save yourself time and energy by taking your Android to your bookshelf instead of having to to lug your books to your computer.
  7. We offer textbook buyback services year-round. You don’t need to wait until finals week to sell textbooks.
  8. The app has a built-in help screen to provide you with answers to your questions about scanning and selling textbooks.
We hope you enjoy the new app. If you like it, please leave a review in the marketplace. Have problems or questions? Use the Contact Us page to send us an email or give us a call, 1-877-243-5935, Monday-Friday, 8-5 Pacific Time.

The Cash4Books mobile apps are powered by Vision Smarts barcode readersThe Cash4Books mobile apps are powered by Vision Smarts barcode readers! Visit www.visionsmarts.com for more information and tell them Cash4Books sent you.


Do you have an iPhone? We also have an iPhone Book Barcode Scanner app!

Five Money Saving Android Apps

October 14, 2011

Money Saving Android Apps

Before we showcase some exciting money saving Android apps, we want to announce that the official Cash4Books Android app will be released on October 19! The app will have a built-in barcode scanner, allowing you to quickly and accurately receive instant price quotes. And since the app is 100% free, you can actually make money using your Android.

Want money saving Android apps? Try this money making app too!

Now available! The official Cash4Books.net free Android app.

Now, without further ado here are some of our favorite money saving Android apps!

#1 – Google Shopper

Have you ever had that feeling while you were out shopping that you could get the same product for a little less somewhere else? Wonder no more, thanks to Google Shopper. This money saving app recognizes products by voice, text, barcode scanning, and even by picture! It lets you search online for a better price and read product reviews. Next time you buy a product, you’ll know you’re saving money.

#2 – ShopSavvy

With ShopSavvy you’re always going to get the best price on products you buy. While saving 50 cents on one item may not make a huge difference, think about how the savings add up for 10 products. Now think about the savings for 50 products? I’ll leave the math to the experts, but you can see how eventually these small savings add up over time into big savings.

#3 – CardStar

How many times have you stood in line at the grocery store only to realize that you forgot your rewards card? Suddenly that 36-pack of toilet paper that was on sale doesn’t seem like such a great deal. With CardStar you can enter membership and reward card information for Blockbuster, CVS, Best Buy and many other large retail stores. Once you enter your cards into the app, the store can scan your membership information directly from your phone. You’ll no longer have to carry around all those cards and you’ll never end up with overpriced toilet paper again!

#4 – Mileage

We all know too well about the recent spike in gas prices. Mileage is a great money saving Android app that tracks your gas usage and miles driven. The more aware you are of how much you gas you use, the more likely you will try to cut back on unnecessary car trips. As a bonus, you’ll also lessen your impact on the environment.

#5 – Skype

If you ever made an international phone call, you know how expensive it can be. Fortunately with Skype, calling is free when you call Skype-to-Skype. Furthermore, fees are much lower than those of your standard provider if you call an international landline or cell phone.

Now that we posted some of our favorite money saving Android apps, we want to know about a few that we may not have discovered yet. Do you have any particular apps that you use to save money?


The Cash4Books mobile apps are powered by Vision Smarts barcode readersThe Cash4Books mobile apps are powered by Vision Smarts barcode readers! Visit www.visionsmarts.com for more information and tell them Cash4Books sent you.