Know When A Sale Is Legitimate

Frugal Living Tips
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July 18, 2002 Issue

Cheaper: Insiders' Tips for Saving on Everything by Rick Doble and Tom Philbin OUR NEW BOOK! Just published
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Vol. 8, July 18, 2002

Here is the latest issue. Enjoy!
Editor, Rick Doble

  1. ON SALE!
    Fraudulent sales
    Know when a sale is legitimate
    Great weed killer
    Simple tips
  5. 60,000 FREE RECIPES
    Complete recipe site
  7. In our next issue
  8. About our advertisers
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#1. ON SALE!
Fraudulent sales
Know when a sale is legitimate

July is a great time for sales on warm weather clothing. You will find a lot of clearance and close-outs. Just make sure that they are the real thing.

===What is a sale?
The word sale has a specific legal meaning. A sale must offer real discounts, items not usually selling at that price. Some stores have sales so often, the government has ruled that they are not really discounted, but rather the normal price.

A sale is a temporary mark down or a special promotion; the price will go back to the regular one after the sale is over.

The terms clearance or closeout mean the price will not go back up. After a clearance sale, the price only goes down further and the items may eventually be thrown out, put on bargain table, or given to a charity.

===Bogus words
The following words and phrases sound good but have no real legal meaning: special, unusual, extraordinary, special value or purchase, special buy, value pack, priced right.

==="Regular" and "original" price
Beware of inflated discounts! I found some unusual fine print in the sale catalog of a famous nationwide department store. It explained that clothes in their catalog may have never actually sold at the "regular" or "original" price. However, those "regular" prices for most garments were listed next to the discounted price.

Translation of the fine print: in this case the "regular" price may be like a suggested list price and used only for reference. The clothes probably sold at the store for a lot less on an everyday basis.

If you didn't read this small print, you might "foolishly" think you were getting a much bigger discount than you actually were.

Free cell phones
and lots of different calling plans.


Vinegar is a great weed killer.

It's cheap, safe, effective and okay for the environment. Try it first before you buy an expensive toxic spray bottle of the latest chemical herbicide.


The FBI reports there are more burglaries in July and August than at any other time period. With people away on vacation, vacant homes can be easy pickings.

We do not recommend an expensive alarm system for a variety of reasons: Most burglaries happen very quickly; by the time the police arrive the criminals are often gone. Also many security systems are prone to false alarms.

Here's a simple and cheap approach to home security: Your yard should look well kept when you are away and your home should look lived in or even a bit messy.

Just before you leave, clean up your yard and mow. Have neighbors check on your home everyday. Have them pick up the mail plus any newspapers; they should also remove things that may have accidentally landed in your yard such as a candy wrapper or a soda can.

Instead of cleaning up your kitchen or other area easily visible from an outside window, leave dishes and knives and forks on the table. Leave a radio on. I like to tune it to a talk station so it sounds like people are having a conversation. Give it a lived in look. Naturally you should leave a light or two on inside and an outside light as well if possible.

In addition check all your windows and doors. Many burglars simply go in through a first story window. Make sure all your windows are locked and cannot be opened from the outside.

Discount Hotel Reservations
Check out the specials!
Such as:
New York from $69
Chicago from $68
San Francisco from $79
Washington DC from $69


You might find some pre-Labor Day sales. You will get a better selection before the big sales in September. There also may be some promotions on back-to-school items.

NOTE: With some produce now available all during the year, many people have forgotten when fruits and vegetables are really fresh. Buying in season means that these items are often cheaper, fresher and that money may be going to local farmers:

Fruits and vegetables: apples, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, celery, chard, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, grapes, green or wax beans, green onions, green peppers, lima beans, limes, melons, nectarines, peaches, peas, pears, plums, summer squash, tomatoes.

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Want a lot of great recipes? You can impress your friends, your boss, your spouse, even yourself.

You will find almost 60,000 indexed recipes at this incredible free site. You can browse by region or by type of dish.

Or you can search their database for the recipe name or key words with "SOAR: The Searchable Online Archive of Recipes."

At the bottom of each recipe you can click to view a plain text version for printing or saving. Print out the ones you like or save the page into a folder on your computer.

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Hi :

I came across your site, and I think it's great. I am a 23 year-old college graduate who just moved to Washington DC. I work in television (which doesn't pay much at all), so I realized I needed to stop spending and start saving, so I wouldn't starve like I did in college.

A couple of things I did: Started taking public transportation. Most states now offer tax incentives for employers for their employees to take the bus or train. My employer gives a $100 stipend a month - I went from paying $230 in gas a month to $20 on bus passes. My commute is a little longer, but that's an extra $210...and my stress level from traffic has gone WAY down!

I also got creative with saving. I found that I was buying a lot of soda/juices for lunch. Instead of buying bottles of soda every couple of days at the supermarket for a buck apiece, I went online to Office Depot when they were having a special, and ordered 17 cases for $30, delivered right to my office for free. It was much cheaper. I store the cases under my desk - 17 cases lasted me a little over 7 months.

The best part is I wear nice clothes (that I get from places like Marshall's and Ross), and still go out and have fun, but I also manage to save about $400+ a month. I think that's pretty good since most 23 year olds are running out to buy cars and expensive DVD players (got my Panasonic model for $25 on the Internet).

I've actually made a game out of it - I see how much I can save a month. I then invest it, where it APPRECIATES rather than depreciates.

Just thought you'd like to know there are kids today that are good with their money! Keep up the great work!!!


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Hi :

I have visited your web site at and feel that your content would be of interest to the visitors to the Child Support Network web site. Your web site's listing has already been added to our links page.

Gary Katz
web site:

You can use the BigZoo
like a calling card for 3.5/minute on the road.
Or give one to your children to call home for 3.5/minute.


It's back-to-school time and back to work for the rest of us. This is one of the biggest periods for clothing and other purchases. We'll give you lots of tips.

Get Calphalon pans, grills, ice cream makers
and all kinds of cookware.
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Your purchases help support this free newsletter and web site. We have carefully selected these merchants for value and reliability.

In the event of any problem with a merchant that we list, we will try to help resolve your dispute. Your purchase must have been processed though a link on our newsletter or web site.
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    is used by the national media, such as:
  • ABC-TV's TheView (Supermarket Secrets)
  • Woman's Day (3 articles)
  • Woman's World (6 articles)
  • Mademoiselle
  • Bottom Line/Personal (12 articles)
  • SweepsFeed - a TV syndicated news service for national distribution (2 interviews)
  • Editor, Rick Doble inteviewed by WTVJ (NBC) Miami, FL, May 2002
  • Editor, Rick Doble is under contract with Penguin Books to write a book tentatively entitled Breaking the Price Barrier

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Buy milk, bread, fruit, cereal and meat at your local supermarket for 50% off.

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