How to Get the Best Deal on Carpet Installation

How to Get the Best Deal on Carpet Installation

Although our house wasn’t that old when we bought it, the carpet had already been stained in several places because the previous owners had a bunch of dogs and kids. Since I was expecting quadruplets at the time, and the carpet was in great shape other than the stains, we decided to live with it until the kids got a little older so we wouldn’t have to worry about them ruining new carpet. The quads are seven now and it’s past time to have new carpet installed in the house so I went on a mission to get the best deal.

There are three different components to look at when comparing prices for having carpet installed – the price of the carpet, the price of the padding, and the price of the installation itself.

How to Get the Best Deal on Carpet Installation

Since the major home improvement stores in my area will match or beat their competitor’s prices, I started out by checking carpet prices at other smaller local stores and began keeping track of sales ads in the paper. Lowe’s has a low price guarantee where they either match a competitor’s percent off sale offer, or they’ll beat the competitor’s price on an identical item by 10%. Home Depot also has a price match guarantee where they’ll beat a competitor’s price on identical items by 10%. The guarantees don’t typically cover labor or installation costs so when I narrowed down my carpet selection I ended up choosing Home Depot since they currently have a $37 whole house carpet installation deal going on, as opposed to the $97 deal at Lowe’s.

How to Get the Best Deal on Carpet Installation

The thing that surprised me the most during my research is that the carpet pricing actually varied from store to store in the same chain so that’s definitely something else to keep an eye on. I live on the state line between Alabama and Florida so I had picked out my carpet in Florida but then I went to the Alabama store to actually place my order and I was shocked to see that they had a sale section where in stock carpet was under $1 per square foot. The sample that I had chosen at the other store was $1.65 per square foot and had a 5 year guarantee, imagine my surprise when I found a better carpet with a 10 year guarantee for just 93¢ a square foot. Add that to 49¢ per square foot for the padding and the total of $1.42 per square foot was cheaper than my original selection BEFORE adding padding. I’m thrilled to report that I saved nearly a thousand dollars on three rooms of carpet just by shopping around and also checking at several different stores within the same chain.

UPDATE! Beware of hidden charges!

Home Depot’s installers did a beautiful job of installing my carpet, however they told me that because there was paint on my concrete floors they couldn’t use nails on the tack strips and had to glue them down instead, then they proceeded to bill me an additional $331 for GLUE! I explained that I felt like it was a bait and switch so we renegotiated and I ended up paying an additional $30 since I felt that more than covered the cost of the glue.

5 Practical Ways to Get Rid of Credit Card Debt

Are you purposely ignoring the increasing amount of credit card bills piling up on your kitchen table? Don’t worry—millions of other people also know what it’s like to be behind on bill payments. If you are deep in debt, you first need to realize and accept that you have to face these debts straight on. Here are some practical tips to help you out:

1)  Ask for a lower rate.

Call up your credit card company and kindly ask the customer service representative if there’s any way you could get your current rate lowered. The worst that they can do is say no to your request. Who knows? They might just agree!

2)  Divide your minimum credit card payments in half.

Interest is based on your account’s average daily balance for the month. Why not divide the minimum credit card payment in half, and then pay this amount twice a month? By doing this, you’ll also be able to schedule your payments around the time you get your paychecks, as opposed to scrambling to gather enough funds for one large payment at the end of the month.

3)  Follow the snowflake method.

The snowflake technique requires you to use any extra money to help pay off your credit card debt. Did you get cash as a birthday present from your parents? Did you make a few dollars from garage sale earnings? Use these additional dollars to pay off your debt instead of spending it or putting it in the bank. It may not seem like a lot—but every little bit counts!

4)  Find an additional source of income.

If your monthly earnings just aren’t enough, you might need to find another source of income. If your schedule permits, then try looking for a part time job that you can do in the evenings or during the weekends. Utilize your talents to make a little extra money. Write articles for local magazines or newspapers, or develop a website for a friend’s business. A few extra dollars per month can make a huge difference in getting you out of debt!

5)  Build an emergency fund.

It may seem like a tall order, but do your best to allot a portion of your budget towards building up an emergency fund. If you need to make a sudden trip to the doctor or send your car in for repairs, it’s better to pay for such expenses with cash instead your credit card!

Follow these tips and you’ll make steady progress towards being debt free. Focus on your goal and commit to getting yourself out of credit card debt, one payment at a time.

Photo Credit: iClipart

How to Save Money When Shopping for Appliances

Are you planning to move into a new home or replace an old appliance in dire need of an upgrade? It doesn’t matter if you are buying a cheap model or the top of the line—appliances are very expensive. When it comes to buying new ones, frugal homeowners should make it a point to save whatever amount of money they can.

Here are some great tips to keep in mind when shopping for appliances for your home:

1. Buy an older model.

New models of appliances are released frequently, resulting in older models being considered as outdated. Older models are significantly marked down in order to make room for the new arrivals. If you aren’t picky, then buy last year’s model and you can save hundreds of dollars in the process.

2. Embrace the scratches and dents.

Major retailers are likely to have an assortment of appliances that have sustained a few dents and scratches while in transit or by just sitting in the showroom. You’ll be able to get very good bargains on these items, so browse through the damaged models to see what you can live with. Be sure that the damage on the appliance is merely superficial and that it won’t affect its performance whatsoever.

3. Buy energy efficient appliances.

Take a look at an appliance’s Energy Guide label before making a purchase, and always consider buying Energy Star and other energy efficient appliances. Buying an energy efficient appliance will make a substantial difference in your operating expenses.

4. Stick to one store.

If you are buying several appliances at a time, see if you can purchase everything from just one store. You’re likely to get a better deal by buying several items from one retailer compared to buying an item or two from different stores.

5. Take a look at multifunction models.

Keep an eye out for one appliance that can do the tasks of two, three or even four appliances like a steamer/pressure cooker/roaster/slow cooker. This way, you’ll be able to save money as well as precious kitchen space. Of course, it’s important to note that purchasing a multifunction model is not always the best choice. There’s no need to pay for extra functions if you are likely to just use the primary feature.

6. Purchase a floor model.

If the appliance’s box doesn’t matter much to you, see if you can get a better deal on an appliance if you buy the floor model. You’re likely to get a good price on an item if the floor model is the last piece. Remember to inspect the item for damage and make sure that it works before buying it!

7. Ask for free shipping or delivery.

In order to save a few extra dollars, ask your retailer if they offer free delivery or shipping. Many dealers offer free delivery for large appliances.

These are some practical guidelines to keep in mind when shopping for appliances. Follow these seven tips and you’ll soon find out that it’s possible to buy appliances without breaking the bank.

Photo Credit: iClipart

Top Tips to Stop the Spending

Do you find yourself regularly resolving to quit the spending habit? Here are some ways you can stop the spending—without having to deal with any complicated budgets.

1. Leave the credit card at home.

That’s right—start paying for everything with cash or a debit card. Credit cards make it incredibly easy for you to spend on unnecessary items. By paying with cash, you’ll be forced to use only what you have. After all, you can’t use your credit card if you don’t have it with you.

2. Know the difference between a need and a want.

Before making a purchase, make it a point to ask yourself if you need that item or if you merely want it. Of course, you shouldn’t deprive yourself completely of the things you want—but stopping to think about your purchases will make you more aware of your spending habits. If you are really considering making a purchase, give yourself a day or two to think it over. If you forget about the item in a few days, then maybe you didn’t really want it after all.

3. Keep a record of everything.

Get a notebook and keep a written record of every single thing you’ve purchased for the day, no matter how big or small they may be. It may seem like a taxing task at first, but you’ll be able to see spending patterns you weren’t aware of before. You’ll also be able to see areas that you may be able to spend less on.

4. Stick to a grocery list.

Write down every single thing you need to buy from the grocery store—and follow the list. As hard as it may be, don’t pick up unnecessary items! If you really want a particular item, make a mental note to include it in your next grocery list instead.

5. Don’t use a shopping cart.

Whenever possible, use a shopping basket or carry your items with your hands instead of using a shopping cart. You’ll be less tempted to buy things if can’t carry them.

6. Bring a packed lunch to work.

It doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare a few sandwiches in the morning. You’ll save a significant amount of money on your lunch if you do away with taking out from a store or eating at a restaurant.

It isn’t easy, but do your best to stick to these six tips. Who knows? They might eventually become habits.

Would you like to share any of your tips for stopping the spending?

Photo Credit: iClipart

4 of the Best Ways to Save When Online Shopping

Millions of people around the world are hooked on online shopping—and with good reason. By shopping online, you waste no time or gas driving from mall to mall in search of a particular item. The great news for smart shoppers is that you not only save time, but a little money too.

These are some of the best ways to save a little money when shopping online:

1) Use online coupons.

Coupons aren’t just for your local grocery store. Thousands of online retailers accept discount and coupon codes, which can get you anything from 5+% off on your purchase to free shipping. Most retailers only accept one promotional code at a time, so be sure to look for the best one!

2) Shop on cash back websites.

Another great way to save a little money on online shopping is to use cash back websites. These sites will give you a monetary reward for your purchase, which you will often receive in the form of bank checks, bank transfers or gift vouchers.

3) Compare prices.

One of the greatest things about online shopping is that you can easily compare prices from the comforts of your own home. With a little extra effort, you’re likely to find that you can get a much better deal on a particular item at another website. You may also want to try using online comparison sites like Shopzilla and PriceGrabber to make your search more efficient.

4) Buy in bulk.

Why not stock up on presents for birthdays, weddings or even the holiday season? Most online retailers will offer you free shipping or even a percentage discount once your total bill has reached a certain amount. Of course, only buy items in bulk if you’re sure to use them!

Living frugally doesn’t mean that you have to give up shopping completely. Living frugally just means that you need to pay more attention to your spending habits and decisions. Try keeping a record of your savings from shopping online, and marvel at the amount of money you’ll have saved in a year’s time!

Photo Credit: iClipart

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The Budget Diet – Part Two

A Guest Post by:  Kristl, http://www.thebudgetdiet.com/ 

The Budget Diet is a diet for your wallet…not your waistline!  You’ll discover new money saving tips everyday to help you slim down your daily spending!  The Budget Diet girl is not a financial planner or an accountant…just a mom that knows how to live the good life on a budget!  Follow The Budget Diet on Facebook or Twitter.

Part 2

The Budget Diet is a diet for your wallet…not your waistline, and sometimes your overspending requires your wallet to go on a CRASH DIET!

 If you’re in need of some serious savings, consider this your weekly challenge!

 It’s a simple 3-step process, here’s how:

 #1. You must know the amount of your weekly allowance…see part 1.

 #2. Once you’re used to spending your weekly allowance and not a penny more…let the crash diet begin!

 #3. Starting this week, allow yourself to only spend half of your weekly allowance! Example: If your weekly allowance is $350, you’re going to have to live on $175…food, fun, gas, dry cleaner, etc. Continue the crash diet for 4 weeks!

This is a tough challenge, but it will force you to change some spending habits & save a lot of money!

You’ll have to think twice about every purchase!

The Budget Diet girl suggests having a reward to make this challenge more fun! So…take the money you saved & buy something you really want or take a weekend trip!  Get the entire family involved in this challenge!

 Happy saving!