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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Guest Post by Kyle at Rather-Be-Shopping

It's Tuesday, which means more great ideas and coupon codes from Kyle, the mastermind behind Rather-Be-Shopping. If you're an online shopper, bookmark his site; he's bound to have a coupon code you'll need!

And before you point-click-buy, remember: it's only a great deal if you actually need it!

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I really enjoyed Marianne's post last week Going Frugal: Investing in High $$ Items. I too am a firm believer that you will actually save money in the long run by investing in certain high quality items. So I wanted to take this opportunity to do a sequel to Marianne's post and add my 2 cents.

~ KitchenAid Stand Mixer - I asked for my wife's opinion on this topic and she immediately said her KitchenAid electric stand mixer. She uses it all the time for baking and cooking and she says the controls are simple, she loves the attachments, it is very well made, and should last her the rest of her life! Cost was close to $300 but she does not regret a penny of it. The savings comes from making, not buying, cookies, pie crust, breads, and much more.

~ Britax Car Seat - Before our first child was born, over 6 years ago, we did our research and everything we read kept pointing us back to the Britax Roundabout car seat. Unfortunately, it was also the most expensive one on the market. But my wife and I wanted the safest car seat available and the safety reviews, and usability, were hard to argue with so we made the purchase. At the time, we paid around $220. I think they are a bit cheaper now. It was one of the best purchases we ever made. It is very easy to install and it is so well built that all three of our kids used it. As a Dad, I loved the safety features and the kids were all very comfortable sitting in it. A couple of times we used other brand car seats on vacation and it made me really appreciate our Britax! A great investment for our family.

~ Tools - I have to agree with Marianne on this one! Every time I have skimped on a tool purchase it has come back to haunt me. This has been my experience with both power tools and hand tools. This does not mean that I buy professional grade, top of the line only, but it does mean that I do my research before I buy and make sure I am getting something that will last and not drive me crazy trying to use! Definitely worth the extra money. Quality tools will shave costs by allowing you to do your own home repairs and improvement projects.

What would you add to the list? Looking forward to your comments!

Here are some online coupons that can help you save money on the 3 things I mentioned.

Baby Center.com
Free Shipping on your $49+Online Order
Coupon Code: FREESHIP49
Expiration: 5/31/08
See All: Coupons For Baby Center

Baby Age.com
Free Shipping on your $99+Online Order
Coupon Code: MAY99
Expiration: 5/31/08
See All: Coupons For Baby Age

Baby Universe.com
Free Shipping on your Britax order thru this Link
Coupon Code: None Needed
Expiration: 6/02/08
See All: Coupons For Baby Universe

Target.com
Save $5 Off your $50+ order thru this Link
Coupon Code: None Needed
Expiration: 6/30/08
See All: Coupons For Target

Overstock.com
Save $15 Off your $200+ Online Order thru this Link
Coupon Code: None Needed
Expiration: 5/15/08
See All: Coupons For Overstock

Smart Bargains.com
Save 12% Off your Entire Online Order (New customers only)
Coupon Code: None Needed
Expiration: 5/31/08
See All: Coupons For Smart Bargains

Tool King.com
Save $10 Off your $250+ order, or $20 Off your $300+ order
Coupon Code: STELLAR
Expiration: 5/14/08
See All: Coupons For Tool King

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I want to note that you might be one of those lucky souls who can find a great deal on these larger $$ items on eBay or through Craigslist or Freecycle. But you do need to exhibit a good bit of Buyer Beware know-how; there's nothing more disappointing than finding out the great deal you scored is just a lemon in disguise.

If the price of some of these items seems a bit out of reach, get creative! Do you have a close friend or family member who'd benefit from the item, too? Maybe you can buy one together, split the cost, and split the usage.

Thanks to all who've commented and shared their fave high $$ frugal investments! Please jump in and share yours if you haven't already!

Happy Savings!

4 comments:

Kyle said...

Agree Marianne, except for the car seat. Never buy a car seat used or "like new" as any small fender bender or accident can damage the integrity of the car seat and safety harness/straps. Unless of course the person you are buying it from is a friend/family member that you trust.

GreatDealBaby said...

Check out DealTaker.com to save money too! You can find Free Stuff, over 6,000 working coupons, Daily Deals, Hot discounts & Really Nice Folks too!

Marianne Thomas said...

Kyle, thanks for the comment (and the post!); you're 100% correct on the car seat issue. Buying one second-hand from an unknown source is never worth the risk.

Also, with car seats they do 'expire' after a certain date (usually good for 5-6 years) as the plastic starts to age and could crack; check for the hard imprinted expiration date on any carseat you buy or own to be certain you're within limits.

Kansas Mom said...

I don't know anything about tools, but I second the Britax and the Power Aid mixer. We saved on car seats by borrowing infant ones and wish we'd gone with Britax from the beginning (since we ended up switching later on). I've seen some very good Britax sales at Baby Age.

We bought our mixer at Kohls with a gift card after our wedding nearly 10 years ago and it still works perfectly. Watch the clearance racks because they change the colors every year and those "old" ones end up on clearance. We paid only $100 for ours just because it was matte gray instead of shiny.

On the car seats, I think more recent research shows the new car seats handle little fender benders just fine. It's still better to buy a used one from someone you know so you can be sure of its history, though. Also, I think you're not supposed to use them for more than five years because the plastics start to degrade.