THE GIANT ECONOMY SIZE SCAM
Bigger might just cost a lot more

Frugal Living Tips
-- SAVVY-DISCOUNTS.com Archive --
September 5, 2002 Issue


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Published 1st & 3rd Thursday Of Each Month
Vol. 8, September 5, 2002

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

    TABLE OF CONTENTS
  1. CLOTHES ON SALE THIS FALL
    Wait for great savings
  2. FREE DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE
    Why pay $2 per call
  3. THE GIANT ECONOMY SIZE SCAM
    Bigger might just cost a lot more
  4. HOW TO LOOK LIKE A MODEL
    It's easy :)
  5. LOOK LIKE A MOVIE STAR FOR $22
    But this tip is for real
  6. BUY HEATING FUEL NOW
    This tip was worth repeating
  7. LETTER TO THE EDITOR
    Is that emergency cell phone call really free?
  8. About our advertisers
    We looked for good values from reputable merchants. Read our pledge to our readers if you encounter a problem.
  9. About SAVVY-DISCOUNTS.com
  10. Advertise with us - click here
  11. NEW! Classified Ads Section
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    --- As low as $9.97 an issue
    to reach 90,000 savvy readers
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#1. CLOTHES ON SALE THIS FALL

Retailers are hurting. Sales have dropped significantly from this time a year ago. After Labor Day you may find extensive discounts in September and October on back-to-school and fall clothing. Watch for announcements in your local newspaper and on TV.





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#2. FREE DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE

Directory assistance is expensive today. Some long distance services charge about $2 to look up one or two numbers.

There are now several sites on the Internet that offer this free and that are much more sophisticated than the old 555-1212. You can look in yellow pages, white pages, do reverse lookups, search internationally and more.


5 cents 24/7 long distance
IDT Long Distance is the best
regular long distance carrier
5/minute 24/7


I tried all of these directories below and found that not one was perfect, but all were adequate and probably as good as talking to a operator in the old fashioned way.

For an overall list of web directories of US and International phone numbers try this web site:
http://www.teldir.com

To look up a specific person in the US try one of these:
http://www.infobel.com
http://www.anywho.com
http://www.switchboard.com



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#3. THE GIANT ECONOMY SIZE SCAM

In the August 14, 2002 edition, the Wall Street Journal began an article about expensive "economy size" packaging with the headline "Taking the Value Out of Value-Sized."

We reported on this in 1996 and what we said then is just as true today. Here is what we wrote back then:


Buying the larger size is always cheaper, right? It costs the producer less to package and handle, right? Plus he's getting a bigger chunk of your money at one time.

We have always assumed that bigger was a better buy, which it often is. Advertisers have encouraged us with phrases like "Value Pack." However, once the public gets used to an idea and develops a shopping habit, merchandisers try to take advantage.

Consider the following examples:
Tuna:
6 oz.= $.65 or .11 per oz.
9 oz.= $1.48 or .16 per oz.
12 oz.= $2.09 or .17 per oz.
Tampons:
38 tampons = $3.48 or .09 each
48 tampons = $5.99 or .12 each
The 48 tampon package was labeled a "Value Pack"
Tissues:
175 sheets = $.89 or .005 per sheet
250 sheets = $1.69 or .007 per sheet
The 250 sheet package was labeled a "family" box.




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In short, never buy the larger size without doing the math. Manufacturers often try to fool us with odd numbers, numbers which are hard to compare without a calculator (which most people won't bother to use). Also bear in mind that while (in some states) posting the unit price may be required for food at supermarkets, it is usually not posted for items like dish soap and paper products .

When you buy the "giant economy size," you are in effect stock piling. I think your money would be better spent on various products that go on sale at deep discounts. "Giant" sizes at best may only offer a 10% discount. But you can often find everyday products at 30%-70% off.


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#4. HOW TO LOOK LIKE A MODEL

Want to look like a model?
First of all you will need to grow 7 inches!

At the risk of a man commenting on women's issues I came across this statistic:

Average Model
5 ft. 11 inches, 115 lbs.
Average U.S. Woman
5 ft. 4 inches, 142 lbs.
Source: Good Housekeeping, July 2002

I find this particularly interesting because many women I know have complained about the gap between the image of women in the media and the truth of being a woman in real life.

Remember: Manufacturers want women to be discontent with the way they look so marketers can sell a product.


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#5. LOOK LIKE A MOVIE STAR FOR $22

Do you have to spend a lot of money to look good? We found this very interesting report from the most glamorous of festivities, the Oscars.

Quoted from the SouthCoast Today March 29, 1996:
http://www.s-t.com/daily/03-96/03-29-96/zpeople.htm
"While other actresses strutted in Armani, Vera Wang and Richard Tyler at the Oscars , Sharon Stone topped off a long black skirt with an off-the-rack $22 turtleneck from the Gap."

We believe that Sharon Stone realized that the Gap tailoring fit her body well. We have found that companies cut their clothing in distinctive ways.

For example, Editor Rick Doble has always preferred turtlenecks from Lands End, because the cut fit his body while other quality turtlenecks did not.

When you find a company that makes clothes which match your particular torso, you are in a sense, getting tailored clothing for a ready made price.




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Chicago from $68
San Francisco from $79
Washington DC from $69


#6. BUY HEATING FUEL NOW

We mentioned this just a month ago but with almost 50,000 new subscribers and the price of oil spiking higher we felt it was worth repeating.

Fill your tanks now with heating oil or natural or propane gas. You will generally save about 20% over the cost in just a couple of months.

The manager of a propane company gave me this tip. Heating fuel prices are very seasonal and tend to be at their lowest in late summer and early fall.




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.


#7. LETTER TO THE EDITOR

This letter refers to our article in the last issue about making free 911 calls from a cell phone without signing up for any carrier.
To read the article in the last issue click here.


Hi SAVVY-DISCOUNTS.com :
Are you sure that it's absolutely free? Free from any long distance or local charges? I told my cousin about this supposedly free cell phone & she didn't believe that it was free for emergency 911 calls. My luck something would happen where I wouldn't be able to get to a public phone or get sick & need help quick. I'm diabetic , I'm doing ok so far, but it would be good to know that I could get help if I ever need it. Do I need a long distance carrier? It just seems too good to be true that I won't have to pay for the service. It just seems like there's got to be a catch somewhere, somehow.

Our reply:
There is no catch except that you must have possession of a working cell phone. The reason that it works (and is not a gimmick) is that it is the law. The FCC rules state that these 911 calls are free. Just to test this my wife made a 911 call with her used cell phone (no carrier, no calling plan, no anything) and it was answered by the police department. We said we were just checking that it actually worked and they said that was fine.

You can buy used cell phones off the Internet as we said in the article in the newsletter. Just go to the web site of
http://www.emergencycellphones.com
and read what they can sell you used and also how this works. If you can find someone who will give you their old working cell phone, then you have this emergency service for free.



Free cell phones
and lots of different calling plans.




#8. PLEASE PATRONIZE OUR ADVERTISERS.

Your purchases help support this free newsletter and web site. We have carefully selected these merchants for value and reliability.

OUR PLEDGE TO YOU:
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.
As a consumer publication for 8 years, we at SAVVY-DISCOUNTS.com have considerable experience in consumer and complaint matters. Further if we experience a large number of complaints from any merchant, we will no longer list that merchant with our newsletter.
If you have a problem, please e-mail us at this special e-mail address:
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    #9. INFORMATION FROM
    SAVVY-DISCOUNTS.com

    is used by the national media, such as:
  • MSNBC (National Cable TV)
    Interview -- July 2002
    Cut Clothing Costs
  • 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 interviewed 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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