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How to Find Last Minute Deals for 4th of July Travel

July 1, 2011 |

Fourth of July weekend is just a few days away but it’s not too late to find good deals on travel whether you plan to hit the road or book a last minute flight.

A rebound in air travel this ... Read More

Is Going Green a Sure Money-Saver with Hybrids?

June 13, 2011 | 1

As gas prices continue to hover around the $4-per-gallon mark, more people are thinking about buying a hybrid car to become more fuel efficient and save money. Read More

How to Save on Summer Travel (Without the Burn)

June 6, 2011 | 1

Sure, gas is $4 a gallon and inflation is driving up the cost of everything, but if you’re going to travel this summer by road or air there are plenty of ways to save money.Read More

Memorial Day Travel Dilemmas

May 26, 2011 | 1

airport-travelMore people plan to travel this Memorial Day than in 2010 despite skyrocketing gas prices, but most will be taking to air instead of the road. The American Automobile Association (AAA) is predicting air travel will increase 12 percent over the three-day weekend that marks the unofficial start of summer. An estimated 2.93 million people a day will travel by air over the weekend.

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Mother's Day Sales Fall Flat

May 18, 2011 | 1


After a disappointing Easter, retailers were hoping for a rebound on Mother’s Day but consumers continued to keep a lid on spending.

“Mother’s Day sales helped customer traffic flows, but consumers were also exploring other more discretionary channels, such as furniture and electronics stores,” said ICSC chief economist Michael Niemira, putting a positive spin on the numbers.

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Where to Find the Best Bang for Your Buck at Costco

May 11, 2011 | 1

costcoCostco has a reputation for offering quality products at low prices but there are some departments that offer better deals than others.  Costco is able to offer low prices because it marks up its products an average of 13 percent, providing just enough profit to cover its operating costs. Of course, you have to pay a $50 membership fee to get those deals but it’s those fees that allow Costco to keep its prices low, since they account for nearly all its net income in any given year.

But, as I outlined in a previous blog, that $50 membership fee doesn’t buy you bargains in every department but it does give you access to some truly great deals. Here are a few categories where you can find the best bargains at Costco.

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Easter Sales Struggle to Meet Projections

May 9, 2011 | 1

An unusually late Easter wasn’t worth the wait for retailers who saw sales fall short of projections.  According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), sales for the week ending April 24 rose 3.2% compared to the same week in 2010. But they rose just 0.4% from the previous week, hinting that the run-up to Easter didn’t generate much enthusiasm among shoppers.

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When it Doesn’t Pay to Shop at Costco

May 3, 2011 | 3

costcoAs a longtime Costco shopper – dating back to the days of its predecessor Price Club - I’ve found great bargains in just about every aisle of its stores. But there are some departments where Costco doesn’t provide much of a bang for your buck.

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Home Improvement Retail Recovery, a Work in Progress

May 2, 2011 |

Home-Depot-SalesHome improvement retailers are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel after the longest drought in sales they’ve ever experienced.  Both Lowe’s and Home Depot reported an increase in same-store sales in recent months, a sign that a long-awaited recovery is around the corner. But executives are tempering their optimism with warnings that the housing market will take years to truly recover and that improvement will be slow to come.

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March Retail Sales Inch Up

April 25, 2011 |

NordstromSoaring gas prices and the lack of an Easter shopping season put a damper on U.S. retail sales in March.

Sales increased just 0.4 percent in March compared to a 1.1 percent gain the previous month, according to U.S. Commerce Department data. With sales of gas excluded, retail sales jumped just 0.1 percent. Read More

Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Blurring the Lines

May 5, 2009 |

cyber-monday-laptopYears ago, Black Friday was considered the official start of the holiday shopping season to the degree that retailers would wait until that day to set up Christmas displays. But the arrival of the Internet and Cyber Monday have changed the dynamics of Black Friday and essentially made it a four-day event.

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