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6 Things You Should Buy On Amazon And 5 Things You Shouldn’t

6 Things You Should Buy On Amazon And 5 Things You Shouldn’t

We are addicted to online shopping and why shouldn’t we be? Twenty years ago, if we wanted to buy a new television, we went to three or four different stores, compared brands and prices, and then made our decisions. When we needed to do our Christmas shopping, we hit the mall, fought for a parking space, and trudged through crowds and long checkout lines. It was exhausting.

Then along came our salvation — major retailers opened up online stores, and Amazon, which once only sold books, expanded into the universe of “everything.” Gleefully, we get online and do all of the comparison-shopping we want — or do we?

Amazon has become the largest player in the field of online shopping. It is just so easy to go to one website for absolutely everything we could even hope to need or want, purchase our items, have them gift-wrapped and shipped if necessary, and worry about the credit card statement later. Yet, many economists say that online shopping is one of the biggest reasons for credit card debt today.

Surprisingly, the consumer associations found out that a lot of us do not take the time to run a quick price research and shop around. In the case of Amazon, it is just too convenient not to do so. However, comparing prices from different retailers can save you a lot of money. Doing some research online before buying anything is a good habit to get into. Comparison-shopping is a smart move on everything from buying milk to choosing a new credit card; using websites like CompareCards can help you locate the best cards for your needs like 0 percent balance offers or cards with no annual fee.

However, I did some research for you. Here are six types of products that are much cheaper to purchase on Amazon, and five that you’d better get somewhere else.

Good Buys on Amazon

The thing about a company like Amazon is that there is an entire department that does nothing but run comparisons on popular items, in order to make their pricing highly competitive. So, in recent years, many of the items that were typically more expensive on Amazon are now either the same or less than other major retailers. While food, dog food, and paper products are still higher on Amazon, many others are not:

1. Diapers

New parents are often baffled by the amount of cash spent on baby essentials. The good news is you can reduce the spending a lot if you start stashing on Amazon. Here’s Amazon’s price on the 216-count package of Step 1 diapers:

Pampers Amazon

    And here’s Walmart’s:

    Pampers Walmart

      Today, Amazon beats Walmart, even if only by a small amount!

      2. Small Kitchen Appliances

      This category as appeared on almost every list of things never to buy on Amazon, but things have changed a bit today. Here are three random items selected from Amazon’s list:

      Ninja Master Prep

      Ninja

        And Walmart’s Price

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        Ninja Walmart

          Exactly the same, but with Amazon you don’t need to leave the house and spend extra money on gasoline.

          And Amazon’s price on the Presto Cool Daddy Cool-Touch Fryer

          Amazon

            And Walmart’s:

            Walmart

              And here was quite a shocker. The Hamilton Beach 6-speed classic stand mixer on Amazon was a full $20+ dollars less! Anyone looking for small appliances should certainly check Amazon’s prices rather than just assuming they will be higher!

              3. Household and personal care items

              A quick researched proved that Amazon offers a bit cheaper prices that Walmart on different household and personal care items like washing powder, detergent shampoos and more. Rather than shop online for such things as shampoo, conditioner and lotions, local members-only warehouse stores and dollar stores have huge variety for far less than online retailers as a whole. Laundry detergent was something possible worth checking, so a comparison was run on Tide Pods Detergent. Amazon’s price was $17.97 for a 72-count package, while Walmart’s was exactly the same. Further, Amazon price members pay no shipping ever, although Walmart does now have such a “club.”

              Tide Amazon

                Walmart Price:

                Tide Walmart

                  4. Small Electronics

                  Small electronics are a mixed bag for Amazon. While they meet some prices of Walmart and BestBuy on such things as MP3 players, they are pricier on others. The Kindle Paperwhite 3G, for example was $10.00 more on Amazon:

                  Kindle

                    BestBuy’s Price:

                    Best Buy's price

                      While BestBuy’s price represent a “sale,” it should also be noted that this chain will match any price on any item sold by another retailer!

                      5. Larger Electronics

                      Televisions are always a popular item for comparison. The one selected her was the Samsung 32-inch, 720p LED TV. Comparing Amazon, Walmart, and BestBuy, Amazon came out ahead!

                      Amazon

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                      Amazon TV

                        While the text says “click for product details, when you do, you will discover that, indeed, Amazon does have new ones at the $183.15 price.

                        BestBuy

                        BestBuy

                          More expensive, but, there is that price match guarantee!

                          Walmart:

                          Walmart TV

                            6. Books

                            Most comparison lists claim that Amazon is higher than big box book stores. While there are not many left, there is Barnes and Noble, and here are the price comparison on three books that are new releases.

                            Amazon: Sister Mazie, Pirate Hunters, and In the Unlikely Event:

                            Amazon Book 1

                              Amazon Book 2
                                Amazon Book 3

                                  Barnes and Noble:

                                  b1

                                    b2

                                      b3

                                        Amazon hold its own against the big box store!

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                                        And now let’s take a look on the things you should get in your corner store or Target instead of ordering through Amazon.

                                        1. Food

                                        Yes, you can now order fresh food delivery through AmazonFresh if you live it Seattle, Los Angeles, San Fransisco or San Diego area, NYC and Philadelphia city center. Because Amazon only delivers fresh groceries to a few cities on the west coast of the United States right now, comparing prices on fresh foods with grocery store chains across the country is impossible. However, there are plenty of boxed and canned food items that are shipped by Amazon, and in general they are more expensive than the items in stores and at other online retailers. Here is the pricing on Kellogg’s nutria-grain bars at Amazon:

                                        Amazon Food

                                          Walmart does not sell boxes of 48-count Nutri-Grain bars, but it does sell 16-count boxes, 3 of which are equal to Amazon’s box. Here is its pricing:

                                          Walmart food

                                            3 boxes of at $4.78 each comes to $14.34, beating Amazon by $5.00!

                                            Want to save even more money on food? Here are some great hacks for spending less on groceries at the supermarket.

                                            2. Power Tools

                                            Other online retailers continue to beat Amazon prices quite handily. For example, there is the most recent pricing for a Black and Decker 20-volt cordless drill/driver at Amazon:

                                            Amazon Tools

                                              And here is the price at CPOOutlets.com, a discount online retailer:

                                              Tools

                                                3. Paper Products

                                                Paper towels and toilet paper really should be picked up locally, but for those who just must shop online, here is a comparison price just on one type of paper towel – Viva.

                                                Amazon Price:

                                                Amazon Paper

                                                   

                                                  And here is Walmart’s price:

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                                                  Paper

                                                    Amazon’s price is for two 12-count packages. The equivalent for Walmart would be three 8-count packages for a total of $26.91. That’s a $7.00 price difference!

                                                    4. Dog Food

                                                    Walmart beats Amazon here too. Consider this bit of comparison shopping!

                                                     Amazon price for Kibbles ‘n Bits:

                                                    Dog Food Amazon

                                                      And Walmart’s:

                                                      Walmart Dog Food

                                                        If we compare the price per pound, Amazon’s cost is $.54, while Walmart’s is $.51, that’s $1.35 less per 45 bags, times how many bags are purchased in a year?

                                                        5. Clothing

                                                        Name brand clothing continues to be more expensive on Amazon than at other discount clothing retailers. And if you know the item you are shopping for, there is no reason not to just “Google” it and compare. For example, it was quite easy to compare the price of a men’s Nike cord body mapping polo shirt, priced on Amazon at $45.99.

                                                        Amazon:

                                                        Nike Amazon

                                                          And here is the price on eBay, with no bidding:

                                                          Ebay

                                                            Comparison online shopping is easy to do, and, really, if you want the best bargains on anything, you are well-advised to closely check. Going to Amazon, or to other big retailers (BestBuy, Home Depot, Walmart) will is more certain, in terms of product availability, but if you take the time to “Google” the item you want, you will discover a number of discount outlets that are carrying your item at a hugely discounted price. And when you do shop the “big boys,” understand that their prices change quite often, dependent upon what they find their competition is doing. Shipping costs must always be considered as well, as you compare the total price you will actually be paying. But above all, be wise, lots of little savings over time accumulate to bigger ones!

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                                                            Elena Prokopets

                                                            Elena is a passionate blogger who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                                                            Last Updated on June 26, 2020

                                                            25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

                                                            25 Easy Tips on How to Save Money Fast

                                                            “How to save money fast?” This is the question asked by all of us not in the top 1% of rich people.

                                                            If you are looking for ways to drastically reduce your expenses immediately, first look at what you need to spend money on every week. And I mean really need.

                                                            You don’t really need to order in food. You don’t really need to buy expensive perfume.

                                                            Building from that, you can work out how your regular expenses can be reduced.

                                                            As for irregular expenses, they can also be deceptively costly in the long run. Once-off buys can also be tackled with some prudent planning and a little extra research.

                                                            And remember: a budgeted lifestyle does not mean a bad or boring one!

                                                            But first, understand what budget you can cut down on daily:

                                                            • Regular expenses for the average adult (can be trimmed but not eliminated):
                                                              • food
                                                              • rent/mortgage
                                                              • cell phone
                                                              • insurance
                                                              • socializing/entertainment
                                                              • transportation
                                                              • hygiene products
                                                              • household bills
                                                            • Irregular expenses for the average adult (can be eliminated or cut down a lot):
                                                              • travel
                                                              • clothing
                                                              • medication (*depends)
                                                              • grooming (hair, nails etc.)
                                                              • gifts

                                                            Now, let’s dive right into the 25 ways to save money fast:

                                                            Save Money on Food

                                                            1. Bring a stock of food to the office/work

                                                            Instead of popping out for an overpriced salad and a smoothie, leave a set of basic utensils at the office as well as a stock of non-perishable goods such as tinned fruit, tuna, rice crackers and so on (try to avoid the junk food and this can turn into a pretty great diet!).

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                                                            Stocking up means you won’t forget or say “I didn’t have the time” when you rushed out to work in the morning.

                                                            2. Buy the store-brand version

                                                            Many basic foods, such as bread and milk, will taste exactly the same as their branded alternatives. Go for stuff with minimal additives and preservatives. Meat in a tube is probably insanely unhealthy!

                                                            3. Eat cheaper cuts of meat

                                                            Learn how to tenderize and flavour cheaper meat and fish, and save on the (typically) most expensive item on your grocery bill.

                                                            4. Have group dinners

                                                            If 10 friends put $5 each in the kitty, it’s pretty easy to make a giant lasagne and get refreshments, as well as hang out with your favourite people.

                                                            Save Money in Transport

                                                            5. Get a bicycle

                                                            Save on gas money and bus/metro fares with this underrated mode of transport.

                                                            6. Use public transport and/or don’t get taxis

                                                            Some places can only be reached by car. But as a good practise, check your public transport website and see if any routes pass nearby where you need to get to. Walk as much as you can.

                                                            7. Find the cheapest gas

                                                            Regularly check out where the cheapest gas can be bought.

                                                            Save Money in General Shopping

                                                            8. Shop online

                                                            Not only will you save on the gas or transport fares from going to the shopping mall but you will also find better deals

                                                            9. Sell your old stuff

                                                            Get your unwanted belongings up on eBay ASAP and earn a few dollars.

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                                                            Here’re more ideas for you: 25 Things to Sell to Make a Lot of Money

                                                            10. Bulk buying stores

                                                            For regular non-perishable/slow perishable purchases such as toilet paper, cat food, pasta, washing powder and so on, do an epic stocking-up trip to a co-op or equivalent (my mum used to go to a place that restaurants buy from).

                                                            Be wary of supermarket “deals”, as some have been found to be fraudulent after working out a simple calculation.

                                                            11. Become a flea market/car boot sale/street market guru

                                                            You can find original gifts and develop good negotiation skills at these places.

                                                            12. Generic brand medication

                                                            More often than not, the generic version of paracetamol and other basics work the same as the branded version.

                                                            13. Choose deodorant, not perfume

                                                            It blows my mind when someone drops $70 on a bottle of spray. Stick with a nice deodorant, and not only will you smell just fine but you’ll be sweat-free as well!

                                                            Cut Down on Household Expenses

                                                            14. Printing

                                                            Ink is one of the most expensive substances in the office and coloured ink is doubly so. B

                                                            e more efficient and choose black and white, and if your printer doesn’t have a print-both-sides options, just print odd pages first, re-insert the paper and print even pages.

                                                            Expand the margins of what you are printing as often as you can to save on paper.

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                                                            15. Minimize SMS and phone calls

                                                            A combination of a free chat service such as WhatsApp and a free call service such as Skype can reduce your bill to nothing (so long as you have a decent Wifi connection).

                                                            16. Shop around for insurance

                                                            Most people don’t spend enough time searching for the best insurance deal.

                                                            Keep a watchful eye out for deals and new competitors in the market.

                                                            17. Try re-negotiating your rent/mortgage

                                                            If you have built up a good credit history or a good rapport with your landlord, then chances are a frank chat about needing to tighten your spending could result in lowering your payments. You’ve nothing to lose from trying.

                                                            18. Don’t get a TV

                                                            Invest in a computer/laptop and an internet-only package. You can watch more (and often better) entertainment on the web, and skip the advertisements as well.

                                                            19. Pool your internet bill with a neighbour

                                                            My apartment building is basically a big old house split into three apartments. There are five of us in total. We pool the internet bill, making it crazy cheap.

                                                            Save Money in Socializing, Entertainment And Travel

                                                            20. Have house parties

                                                            Instead of paying for overpriced drinks, set up a series of in-house get-togethers with your friends. Everyone takes a turn, so it’s not always your house that needs cleaning.

                                                            For sound insulation, hang heavy drapes on the walls and windows. For music, invest in a good second-hand set of speakers which you can connect to your computer. Let Spotify or Grooveshark playlists do the rest.

                                                            21. Open festivals, meetups and events

                                                            It never fails to surprise me how much underground stuff goes on around me for free or for very cheap. Find out who runs the blogs and websites that list all the less well-known cultural activities.

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                                                            22. Volunteer

                                                            If you can’t pay for a ticket, volunteer and get to be there anyway.

                                                            23. Housesit

                                                            There are multiple housesitting websites offering you the possibility to avoid paying hotels and skip the discomfort of crummy hostels.

                                                            Save Money on Hygiene and Beauty

                                                            24. DIY beauty

                                                            French manicures, pedicures, waxing, eyebrows… pretty much all of these can be achieved at home (and done well) with some practise. There are plenty excellent blogs and YouTube tutorials to help.

                                                            25. Fewer haircuts/volunteer at a trainee hairdresser

                                                            If you can’t bear the risk of a trainee touching your locks, learn more ways to manipulate your hair as it grows and get haircuts sparingly. Women’s haircuts are outrageously priced in many cities.

                                                            Bonus: Effective Money-Saving Tips for Everything

                                                            Here’s a summary of what you can generally do to save more money:

                                                            • Share/pool resources. Organize a neighbourhood sharing scheme, common resources for your apartment block or with your friends. Not everybody needs an individual lawnmower.
                                                            • Buy energy-saving everything. The easiest way to lower your bills – replace those lightbulbs!
                                                            • Buy in bulk. Be sensible about it (i.e. make sure you have space!), and drastically reduce weekly expenditure.
                                                            • DIY. Skill up using YouTube tutorials on plumbing and many other essential services so you never have to pay for simple problems again.
                                                            • Research a lot before making a decision. Most money-wasting is the result of poor preparation and planning. Don’t shirk this part just because you don’t like it!
                                                            • Use your network. Your network is full of resources that can ease the pain of budgeting. Ask for help.
                                                            • Stop and think. Do I really need it?

                                                            Unfortunately, there are some things that require plain ol’ giving up for the time being. This can include high-cost sports such as skiing, the latest versions of some technologies, the finest brands of food/drinks, premier seats at the opera and most other indulgences.

                                                            What is important to remember during lean times is that when you look back on your life, it will be the experiences that stand out, not the extra comforts.

                                                            Living on a budget can teach you a lot about how much you can really get out of your paycheck. We only live one life, so make the most of every penny you earn!

                                                            More Tips for Personal Finance Management

                                                            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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