Blog Posts by Cheapism.com

  • Which is the Best Flash Sale Site?

    By Josue Ledesma, Cheapism.com

    In the expanding world of online shopping, flash-sale websites are all the rage. These sites offer a variety of merchandise at heavily discounted prices. The catch? Sales usually last just 24 or 48 hours and product availability is limited. Items often sell out within hours, and customer complaints about service and shipping dog some of the e-vendors. Here are four best flash sale websites, ranked according to reviews and range of offerings.

    A quick note: The flash-sale sites discussed below offer deals to "members only," but there's nothing exclusive about them. Just provide your email address and you're welcome to browse and shop as you please.

    Related: Top inexpensive laptop computers

    1. Gilt Groupe. Gilt Groupe is a veteran among daily deals websites and one of the largest. Gilt sells discounted goods for women, men, kids, and home, as well as city deals for restaurants, retail shops, services, and events, and travel deals for hotels,

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  • 10 Defensive Shopping Tactics

    By Emily Lugg, Cheapism.com

    One of the best ways to save money at the store is to never be caught unprepared. We've compiled a list of 10 defensive shopping tactics worth adopting before you step out the door for any shopping excursion.

    1. Stick to a list. Whether you're shopping for food, clothing, or home goods, always go in with a plan. It may take some time to prepare a list, but the investment will pay off. Sure, those shoes might look good with your new skirt or you may really like to own that movie that just came out on DVD, but if the item isn't on your list there's probably a reason it didn't make the cut in the first place.

    Related: 10 champagnes under $20

    2. Set a budget in advance. Set a spending budget for everything, from weekly groceries to birthday and holiday gifts, and keep an eye on the big picture, not just the isolated shopping trip. How much can you afford to spend on each niece's or nephew's birthdays? How much should you budget for your parents'

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  • 4 Best Stocking-Ready Headphones Under $15

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    Related: Best cheap android tablets under $200

    Need a last-minute stocking stuffer? A pair of inexpensive headphones may be just the ticket. Although audiophiles will want something more powerful, most people are happy with a basic pair that keeps the music flowing. Earphones make the perfect companion on a run or at the gym, and it's always great to have an extra pair just in case.

    Related: Is Amazon always cheap(er)?

    Cheapism.com has found four well-rated headphones available for less than $15. Three out of four are earbud-style in-ear headphones, which are lightweight and can easily be slipped into a pocket or bag, making them ideal for a smartphone or MP3 player. They also may help prevent outside noise from creeping in. One potential downside: The tips or pads that fit on the buds may fall off and get lost at some point. Extras are included with the earphones and come in different sizes to fit most anybody's ears.

    Related: Top

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  • 5 Digital Cameras for Under $100 for Christmas

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    Flipping through old photo albums over the holidays brings joy, often laughter, and memories that have faded over time. These days many people use ever-present smartphones to capture the moment, but others may still prefer a dedicated digital camera. Even the cheap ones have features such as optical zoom, which most smartphones lack (instead they simulate the effect digitally). Cheapism.com has highlighted a number of stocking-ready digital cameras available for less than $100.

    Related: Best tablets under $200

    Cameras at this price point can give more expensive models a run for their money in good light, although they tend to struggle when there's limited light available. Luckily, all the digital cameras Cheapism recommends come with optical image stabilization, which helps prevent blurriness in low-light images. All four also house 16-megapixel sensors and shoot 720p high-definition video.

    Related: Where to buy cheap(er) printer ink

    For

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  • 10 Must-Have Items to Make Holiday Travel Easier

    By Raechel Conover, Cheapism.com

    Related: Airlines with lowest baggage fees
    Related: Best cheap car rental companies

    Unless you're a flight attendant or pilot, you may not find airplane travel to be the most comfortable way to get around. And with the holidays looming, the experience may be fraught with still more crowds and unpleasantness. We found 10 cheap items to carry on board that can ease the pain of flying.

    Related: Best cruise ships for under $75 a night

    As a general rule of thumb, airline travel is rarely hassle-free. Expect it, deal with it, and move on. It helps tremendously to have a positive attitude and to be polite and cheerful to those around you. This can go a long way towards making the experience more comfortable for everyone. Better yet, it's free.

    More from Cheapism:
    Best sites for finding cheap travel
    4 ultra cheap tablets under $100

    For more ways to save, follow Cheapism on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.
    To stay on top of the latest posts,

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  • Give Your Cat a Homemade Toy for the Holidays

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    After Christmas shopping for all the humans on your list, you may not have a lot left over for a pet-store shopping spree. Still, you don't have to leave your favorite felines with empty stockings (although they may consider those as much fun as any toy!). There are a variety of homemade cat toys you can create with supplies you likely have around the house.

    Related: Petco vs. Petsmart comparison

    Let's start with instructions for a couple of cat toys that are simple to make:

    • Split a walnut in half and clean it out. Put a bell inside and glue the walnut back together with non-toxic glue to turn it into a ball.
    • Find a small child's sock that no longer fits or is missing its twin. Put a bell or some catnip into the sock and tie it up for your cat to chase.
    A homemade cat toy is a wonderful way to show your love.

    If you're feeling more ambitious, here's a classic homemade cat toy: a stuffed mouse. Handmade mice go for $7 on Etsy, but you can make your own for free. The instructions below are

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  • Where to Buy Cheap(er) Printer Ink

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    Between Christmas cards, family photos, party invitations, and other seasonal projects, the holidays drink up a lot of printer ink. Unfortunately, a la the shaving industry, printer manufacturers make their money off high-priced replacement cartridges, rather than the devices that make use of them. Cheaper ink is out there, though, and "the secret" that printer companies don't want you to know, according to PC Mag, is that it can serve just as well as their expensive cartridges.

    Related: Top inexpensive ereaders under $100

    Online ink retailers sell low-cost cartridges in two varieties: remanufactured cartridges and compatible cartridges. The latter are made by third-party manufacturers. Although they are designed to work with specified printers, sometimes customers find themselves with a dud. Remanufactured cartridges, by contrast, are recycled brand-name cartridges. Quality can still vary, however. Whereas some remanufacturers have strict

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  • 4 Tablets Under $100 for Christmas

    By Michael Sweet, Cheapism.com

    The first tablet to win the hearts, minds, and wallets of the general public was the iPad from Apple, whose price tag made a tablet under $100 seem like a pipe dream. An iPad is still a triple-digit proposition, as are several other high-end tablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tabs. Amazon shook up the tablet world with its Kindle Fire, a very good, functional tablet that costs several hundred dollars less than the iPad and other popular competitors. Barnes & Noble has also released a Nook tablet that is priced in the Kindle Fire's ballpark.

    Related: Best tablets under $200

    Many consumers are drawn to these name-brand devices, either at the high end or in the middle of the price spectrum, but we found several ultra-cheap tablets under $100 that consumers appreciate for what they are.

    There's no doubt that tablets under $100 are an impressive value, but predictably, tablet makers cut corners to keep retail prices so low. The processors that

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  • Is Amazon Always Cheapest?

    By Emily Lugg, Cheapism.com

    If you're like me, Amazon consumes your front doorstep, especially as the holidays near. In the month or so beforehand, I get a big brown box or two several times a week. As an Amazon Prime member, I have even ordered just a package of batteries or new socks for my toddler during the rest of the year simply because I will have it sooner than if I had to find time to stop for "just" that. And until now, I've always thought that shopping Amazon wasn't only more convenient, but that it was cheaper, too. Unfortunately, I was mistaken.

    Retailers compete with Amazon by offering a price match guarantee.

    Lesson learned after I researched a variety of products, ranging from slow cookers to kids' tricycles. I found that, across departments, the sticker price on Amazon is often a few dollars lower than the retail store. But it is the lack of coupons and price-matching at Amazon that makes this mega-retailer less the deal than we think it is. Sure, the item is shipped right to our front doors, which saves time and possibly more

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  • Name Your Price Shopping Gains Popularity

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    In the art of negotiation the question of whether to state your bottom line first is a frequent topic of discussion. During most shopping excursions there's really no issue because the price is the price. But that tradition is changing. "Name your price" shopping is in, and oftentimes consumers can name the price they're willing to pay for things like concert tickets, electric guitars, and hotel rooms. It's up to the seller to decide whether to accept the offer.

    Related: Best reward credit card recommendations

    Merchandise. A new member of the "name your price" crowd, Greentoe lets users place an offer on new merchandise and retailers decide whether the offer is good enough. Greentoe currently features products from five categories: baby, home theater, appliances, music (instruments, headphones, and microphones), and photo. Select the item desired -- a dryer, say, or Fender guitar -- and enter a price that includes the cost of the item, tax, and

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