Cutting the cord - Is it really an option?

Category: Shopping
Published: Tuesday, 22 December 2015
Written by Helgio Lafson

Cable companies have been losing subscribers in record number. The reason is that many people are turning to the Internet to watch TV shows. Technology has finally come to a point where not having cable service is a viable option. But if you're thinking of cutting the cord, you should first be aware of what alternatives you will have.

To get all the main TV channels like NBC, CBS, and ABC, all you'll need is a HD antenna. If you get one that's of decent quality, you should be able to watch good quality HD TV. The best way to select a good antenna is to pick a well-rated one on Amazon. You can typically get a decent HD antenna for around $30.

But what about your favorite shows on other channels like HBO or MTV? You have several options here. The first is to subscribe to streaming services, which allow you to watch many popular shows. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant Video (which comes with Amazon Prime) are all excellent options. You'll even get some original programming that you can only watch on your streaming service.

One disadvantage of streaming services like Amazon Prime, however, is that the shows will usually only be posted a year after they have aired. This means you'll always be behind on your favorite show. Unless you're willing to buy the most recent episodes on iTunes or Amazon, you may have no choice but to wait until they become available at your streaming service.

If you don't want to wait, a newer service called Sling may be the answer. This service costs $20 a month but allows you to watch about 20 cable channels over the Internet. You can use a USB stick to watch the programs on your TV as well. Although it is still a new service, I've heard many good things about Sling, so you may want to consider giving it a try. Here is some more information about Sling if you're interested:

 

If you enjoy playing video games and have a game console such as Xbox or Playstation, integrating TV service is quite simple. Xbox is already integrated with Sling TV. Similarly, Playstation has its own service called Playstation Vue. Plans for Playstation Vue start at $29 for 55 channels, and there are currently 3 plans to choose from. People who own game consoles, therefore, should research options such as these, which on the whole cost less than cable service and offer more channels for a lower price.

Another way to save money if you use game consoles is to join a service called Gamefly, which is a video game rental service that sends you games you rent via mail. Joining Gamefly by using a free trial (which lasts 1 month) can be a great idea additionally because currently, you can get a free month of Hulu as well. (To get the free trial, go to this page: http://freetrialspot.com/gamefly.php.) Therefore, you'll be able to test drive the Hulu service and Gamefly service at the same time at no charge.

As you can see, there are many options you can turn to even if you forego cable altogether. That said, you'll probably have to mix and match a few different services and experiment a bit to get all the channels you want. But it's doable, and worth exploring since you can end up saving $50 or more per month.

Essential Vitamins for Good Skin

Category: Shopping
Published: Thursday, 03 December 2015
Written by Helgio Lafson

We all want beautiful skin, but it's hard to come by. Problems like acne or rosacea plague many people, and finding clear skin can be a lifelong battle for some people. But did you know that taking some essential vitamins is one of the best ways to make sure you have good skin? Fortunately, most of the vitamins that help you have beautiful skin are very easy to find.

Having a well-balanced diet, unfortunately, is not enough to ensure you are getting all the vitamins we need. As a result, vitamin deficiency is all too common in our country. Therefore, you should make sure you get plenty of the following vitamins to help you have great skin:

Vitamin D: This vitamin helps with calcium absorption, but can also be helpful to people who suffer from psoriasis. Many Americans suffer from Vitamin D deficiency, so you should have your levels checked the next time you go to the doctor's office.

Vitamin C: In addition to fighting the aging process, Vitamin C helps with wound healing and can reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Vitamin E: Perhaps the most well-known vitamin for skin benefits, Vitamin E can be taken orally or used as a topical cream.

Vitamin K: Vitamin K is also known to be beneficial for your skin, as it can help you recover from bruises and help reduce a variety of skin irritations.

So how can you ensure you are getting enough of these vitamins? The easiest solution for most people is to purchase a good multivitamin from an well-respected vitamin store like Pureformulas. You can also find multivitamins at local grocery stores and health food stores. But my preference is to buy them online from stores like Pureformulas. Not only can I used a Pureformulas coupon and buy vitamins at a discount, I can also get free shipping on all orders at this store. And overall, I find that online stores have a much better selection of products. A big selection won't matter too much if you are buying very commonplace vitamins, but when you are looking for rarer supplements, buying online is definitely the smartest way to go about getting your supplements.

Ways to purchase e-cigarettes cheaply

Category: Shopping
Published: Friday, 06 November 2015
Written by Helgio Lafson

Up until a few years ago, seeing someone with an e-cigarette was rather unusual. But lately, I see people vaping everywhere I go. This increased use of e-cigarettes has caused many towns and cities to place bans on vaping in public buildings. This is just one indication of how prevalent e-cigarettes are becoming.

brand name e-cigarettesIf you drive through your neighborhood, you are bound to come across a couple stores that sell electronic cigarettes. Most convenience stores also carry e-cigarettes. However, this is not the best, cheapest way to purchase electronic cigarettes and their components. As with many other things, you selection will be much better if you shop on the Internet. This is especially important if you are shopping for something like e-liquids, were there are hundreds of potential flavors. I've found that the variety of flavors available at vape stores are much more limited than what you can find online.

With all that said, it's important to keep in mind that not all online e-cig stores are worth your business. Many of them sell cheap e-cig products imported from China. While you may save some money buying from such stores, don't expect the quality of your products to be high. I've bought batteries that leak, e-liquids that have a strange chemical flavor, and had other bad experiences by purchasing from the cheapest vendor.

A much better way to get your e-cigarettes is to buy brand name products from places like White Smoke. For only a couple dollars more for something like batteries, you end up with a much more reliable product. It's worth it to pay a bit more for brand name e-cigs, especially since the cost of e-cigs on the whole are rather low, especially when compared to the cost of regular cigarettes.

But that doesn't mean you should pay full retail price for brand name e-cigarettes either. One thing you can do is go to a search engine and look for coupons for your favorite e-cigarette store. I use search terms like "White Cloud coupon code" or "White Cloud E-cigarettes Discounts" to find deals all the time. Sometimes, you will need to copy/paste a short code in order to claim your discount. In other cases, you may gain access to special promotions or giveaways. Either way, it's well worth it to take the extra time to hunt for an online coupon. Read more about this at e-cigbargains.com.

I hope this information will help you find the best e-cigarette products at the lowest prices possible. Have fun vaping!

You can find additional tips about online shopping by reading my other article,Shopping tips for the modern shopper.

Do the Match.com commercials have a point?

Category: Shopping
Published: Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Written by Helgio Lafson

Despite the prevalence of online dating in the modern era, many people still hesitate to join a dating site such as Match.com. A recent article on NPR actually highlighted this interesting fact. We have to remember that as a society, online dating is still a relatively new thing for us. And many of the old fashioned beliefs of how to meet other singles are passed down from previous generations. While dating online may not have the stigma it once had, there certainly remains a good amount of reluctance on the part of some individuals.

The latest batch of Match.com commercials emphasize this fact. On the streets of various cities, the host of the commercial asks eligible singles whether they are on Match.com. Many are not, and when they are shown profiles of people on Match, they show obvious interest. Could this be you as well?

The best way to know is to open up an account using a Match.com free trial. By doing this, you can create your own profile and begin searching for single people living in your geographic area. But the best part of the free trial is that for 3 days, you can also communicate with other members. (Just go to Couponleaf.com to try out match.com for 3 days free.) This is a crucial part of determining whether a dating site is a good fit for you. Regardless of all the bells and whistles a site has, at the end of the day, if you don't connect with other members, it is all rather pointless.

Having said that, it's also important to keep in mind that online dating is not a quick fix to any dating woes you have. Just as you have to put in time and effort to find a compatible person outside the online dating world, so too must you put in time and effort to get results online. The people who have the most success typically spend many hours revising and improving their profile, and taking lots of pictures or even videos of themselves. Some even read books and join sites designed to help you get better results from dating online.

Like all things in life, you pretty much get whatever you put in. But you won't get anywhere unless you put yourself out there. Even if you don't have hours every day to devote to online dating, it doesn't hurt to join a solid dating site like Match.com and see what happens. Who knows, you just might become the next online dating success story.

 

Does your business need printed materials?

Category: Shopping
Published: Monday, 26 October 2015
Written by Helgio Lafson

Look at the many ways businesses promote themselves lately, and you'll notice that many marketing methods are purely electronic. E-mail, facebook pages, social networking, websites, etc. dominate modern marketing methods. This has caused many to question if they still need to invest in traditional, printed marketing pieces like postcards and brochures.

Business mailing servicesAlthough it's very important to make sure your business has a strong web presence, I continue to believe that printed marketing materials still play an important role. The only exception may be if you are marketing exclusively to a young crowd. If this is not the case, I can guarantee that many of your older customers will appreciate some old-school marketing methods.

One big hurdle that keeps many businesses from buying a lot of printed promotional materials is the fact that they incur a high cost. Consider a simple postcard, for example. You need to hire a designer for the card, a writer to write copy, and then you need to have them professionally printed. After that, you need to purchase a mailing list and pay for mailing costs. All said, a rather simple campaign can easily end up costing you thousands of dollars.

But the thing many business owners don't realize is that it's entirely possible to do a print promotion on a shoestring budget. I recently did this myself, and here is how I saved money.

  1. Designers and Copywriters: I went online and hired cheap designers on sites like Fiverr. The work may not be top-notch, but you'll be surprised to find that most people on Fiverr do a professional job.
  2. Printing: Online printing services, on the whole, offer discounted prices. I used a shop called Printplace to get my postcards done recently. By using Printplace Coupons, I was able to get a very good deal. For the best results, I recommend using offset or digital printing.
  3. Do-It-Yourself Printing: If you don't want to use a professional service, you can print many products like flyers, postcards, and brochures on your own. You'll need a good printer and lots of high-quality ink. The ink especially can become expensive, but there are ways to obtain printer ink cheaply on the Internet. I get my ink from a very good online ink store called Inkfarm. If you don't already have a favorite online ink store, I highly recommend you try Inkfarm. For a limited time, you can get a 10% off coupon from Inkfarm.
  4. Mailing: Streamlining can often lead to extra savings. Since Printplace offers a mailing service, I utilize their services routinely. For a recent order, I searched for coupons and promo codes, and found some great ones on the Internet. Using these coupons, I was able to save almost a hundred dollars.

If cost is a concern for you, I think you should follow a similar plan to getting your printing and mailing done. Even if the postcards that are produced using this method may not be the most eye-catching designs out there, you'll still be able to promote your business effectively. I got good results from my recent marketing campaign despite doing it on the cheap, and I was very happy with how things turned out.