Category Archives: Business

Couponing for Beginners: 11 Tips That Will Save You Thousands

I have been couponing for over a decade. I have saved thousands. I wish I would’ve been meticulous about tracking how much I have saved, but an estimated guess would be that I have easily saved over $25,000.00 in the 10 years I have been couponing. Right now, I save about $200-300 a month, which is over $2,400 a year. So in case you haven’t gotten into couponing yet, now is a great time. This is a couponing for beginners article. If you are already a seasoned pro, I offer my online video training course which outlines my efficient step-by-step couponing system which will save you  $45.00 in 35 minutes of couponing prep or less. (Order by clicking here).

Before I got started there was a lot I had to learn. These were the days before the popular TV show Extreme Couponing came on TLC. I didn’t have as many resources as there are now. I would have to say getting started now is a great time to start because of all the technological advancements that make matching sales and coupons so easy. Not to mention the huge amount of printable and online coupons and discounts available now that weren’t then.

Have I convinced you to start couponing? If so, let’s get started. Here are 11 coupon basics that you need to know no matter which store you shop at:

#1- Coupons have expiration dates and must be used before they expire. They also have other restrictions that need to be followed: size, quantity, brand, make, etc. Just think of it this way: the Big Print Giveth, the Small Print Taketh Away. For example a Pampers coupon will say $2.50 off in big print. At the outset that seems like an awesome deal. When you read the smaller print it will say off two boxes of Pampers Swaddlers Diapers. The boxes are pricey and it’s usually always a better deal to buy the smaller jumbo packs and use a high value coupon on those. The small print just took the $2.50 and made it not such a great deal after all. Read each coupon carefully.

#2- Coupon websites that match sales with the coupon are the best way to go when planning your shopping trip. They do most all of the work for you. They find the sales and then they find any available coupon for the sales and match them up. It’s awesome! A few that I have been using with a lot of success are:

Favado.com – The coolest thing about Favado is that it is an app for smart phones and can go with you into the stores. It is VERY accurate and free! Using this app saves me anywhere from $50.00-$200.00 a month!

Another great all around match up site is www.grocerysmarts.com. I love this site.With Grocerysmarts.com you can highlight just the stock up prices (I’ll mention more about those below). You can also easily list all the grocery stores in your area on one page. Awesome- especially for price matching. I use this website in conjunction with Krazycouponlady.com and the Favado phone ap.

Another amazing website that you can often find awesome, typically unadvertised, and all the best deals is thekrazycouponlady.com. I love this site! 

Quickly checking at least two and usually three different sources before going to a store ensures that I don’t miss an amazing deal.

Finally, an awesome app that works for just about any popular grocery store and some retail stores and theaters allows you to earn cash back is called Ibotta. In the first 3 months of using it I made $77!  Ibotta is like a mobile coupon app/rebate machine. When you buy something being sponsored by Ibotta and the store you bought it at you will earn cash back. At the end of your shopping trip to redeem an item  you need to follow a quick process of learning a fact, watching a short clip, or sharing it on Facebook. After that, you simply take a quick photo of your receipt and the product you bought and the cash will be credited to your account. Plus, if you sign up and redeem 10 purchases with over .25 cent rebates you will receive a $10.00 bonus if done in the first 30 days which is a pretty great deal! Click here to sign up for Ibotta and be sure to redeem to earn your $10.00 bonus.

Another free app is called Checkout51. It is very similar to Ibotta but it can be used with any store. I’ve tested it and It works great! Plus, unlike ibotta it isn’t store exclusive, which is great for people who live in smaller towns and that don’t shop at big chain grocery stores. You can get cash back on milk, eggs, and other everyday groceries. I use this and ibotta together and sometimes get items for free! Sign up for Checkout51 here!

#3- You can print off coupons online. Most all coupons can be printed 2 times per computer. If you have a laptop and a desktop you can get 4 coupons to use. You simply either need to hit the back button after a coupon is done printing and it will reprint or you will need to go back and re-select the coupon and print again. These are some of the best resources to find online coupons:

a. Coupons.com—is the largest database of online printable manufacturer coupons. You can often just go to coupons.com and find items that you may have on your grocery list and print them off there. A more efficient use of time is to search on hotcouponworld.com for the items on your grocery list instead of sifting through all of the coupons on coupons.com.

b. HotCouponWorld.com—Is a huge coupon search/database that can search for almost every coupon out there in the USA. Once you are at HotCouponWorld.com, click on the coupon database and search for items that you need. It will show you if there are any coupons out there (printable, insert (non printable), etc.) available for that certain item. (The database doesn’t work with smartphones. You will need to use desktops or laptops to search for coupons for specific items.)

#4- If you use over 5-10 coupons each shopping trip, buying a Sunday newspaper subscription will save you money. I tried both couponing with and without the newspaper. I saved much more by having a newspaper subscription. I actually paid for all 4 of my newspaper subscriptions in the first 3 weeks I had them by using the coupons I found in them.  

coupo   

 

 

      #5- Coupons come in the mail and newspapers.  The main mailer is an insert called Red Plum. In some areas Red Plum also comes in the Sunday papers. The abbreviation used for Red Plum on most all couponing sites is RP. Smart Source ( SS) comes in the Sunday papers. Proctor and Gamble (PG) also comes in the newspaper (usually the first paper each month). Side note: another few abbreviations are BOGO ‘buy one get one free” and MM which means it is a money maker. A money maker, in most cases means that by buying the item (which is free) you will have extra money through its purchase to use toward another item in that same purchase. OOP means total out of pocket money you will need to purchase the transaction/products.  

Source:

http://livelikeyouarerich.com/couponing-for-beginners-11-tips-that-will-save-you-thousands/

Advertisements

McDonald’s and Uber Just Made a Huge Announcement, and It’s Going to Be a Game-Changer

Believe it or not, business is booming at McDonald’s.

The fast-food chain is currently riding a wave of success founded on several prosperous initiatives, including all-day breakfast, aggressive soft-drink promotions, and a makeover of its iconic Big Mac.

This killer combination (possible pun intended) has led to exceptionally strong first-quarter sales, shooting the stock up to an all-time high.

But none of these strategies can compare with McDonald’s’ next move.

As reported yesterday by Crain’s Chicago Business, which broke the story on its website:

McDonald’s plans to expand its relationship with Uber Technologies as it seeks to offer delivery of its food to customers in more U.S. cities.

The Oak Brook-based burger chain, which has been testing delivery through the UberEats mobile app in about 200 restaurants in Florida since December, said today it will launch delivery in several cities by the end of June.

“We’re encouraged about the start we’ve had,” CEO Steve Easterbrook said on a conference call with analysts and investors. “We are not in test mode, we are expanding.”

This announcement is huge, for several different reasons.

Why This Is So Huge

I know what you’re thinking:

Who in the world wants McDonald’s food delivered? It’s not even that great when it’s fresh.

But you’re underestimating the customer base of the fast-food king. Sure, there are a lot of McDonald’s haters out there, but there are also a lot of fans. This isn’t one of the most ubiquitous restaurants across the globe for nothing.

And it’s exactly that saturation that gives McDonald’s such a major advantage when it comes to delivery.

“One of our greatest competitive advantages is that we’re closer to more customers than any other restaurant company in the world, with nearly 75% of the population in our five largest markets living within three miles of a McDonald’s,” Easterbrook pointed out in a recent letter to shareholders.

“On top of that, we have 20+ years of delivery experience in Asia and the Middle East,” he continued. “We’re working aggressively to identify the right operating models for bringing delivery to more customers–whether we control all aspects of the delivery process from end to end or partner with third parties for ordering and fulfilment. We have a number of pilots underway and plan to scale quickly based on results.”

In addition, remember that most McDonald’s food is already consumed outside its stores.

“Some 70 percent of McDonald’s U.S. business goes through the drive-thru, and in urban areas, far more consumers take its food to-go versus eating inside,” reported Crain’s.

Despite a rough start, Easterbrook really seems to be hitting his stride as McDonald’s’ chief executive. His vision moving forward is remarkably clear, and no one can deny the results he’s achieved in a very short amount of time.

And with a variety of stock-option awards and performance-based bonuses, he’s certainly motivated: In 2016, his compensation almost doubled.

In the process, Easterbrook has us calling McDonald’s a word we haven’t associated with the brand for a very long time:

mcdonalds-uber-850x476

Source:

https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/mcdonalds-just-made-a-huge-announcement-and-its-going-to-be-a-game-changer.html

Automation Could Slash Jobs in Developing Countries

World Bank President Jim Kim warns that two-thirds of jobs in developing nations could be wiped out by automation, a situation that could boost conflict and refugee flows.

Kim spoke Thursday in Washington as economic and political leaders from around the world gathered for meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Kim says it is not clear how fast automation would cut jobs. He says the threat to employment opportunity comes as near-universal access to the internet means people in the poorest nations understand that others have much more comfortable lives. The result, Kim says, is soaring aspirations. Without economic growth and opportunity, those unmet aspirations could lead to frustration, unrest, or more refugees seeking jobs in other nations.

The World Bank president says the issue is urgent because the world already faces serious problems with conflict, climate shock, famine and the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

Kim says the solution is to mobilize trillions of dollars in private capital that currently is earning little or no interest. He says World Bank experts are seeking ways to help commercial lenders make such investments in ways that are less risky and more commercially viable. According to Kim, this is the only way to move with enough force and speed to manage a problem of this size.

robot-textile-factory-800x533_c

In the United States, worries about jobs being lost to computers and automation grow out of the millions of manufacturing jobs lost since 1999. While some politicians blame trade for these employment losses, many economists say most of those jobs vanished because of automation.

While manufacturing jobs proved vulnerable to automation, research shows different results in banking, where the addition of hundreds of thousands of Automated Teller Machines, or ATMs, was accompanied by a slight increase in jobs for humans. Workers who were displaced when robots took over repetitious, tedious work moved to jobs that were less predictable or that required human, emotional connections, such as sales.

Source:

http://www.voanews.com/a/automation-jobs-developing-countries/3818450.html

Credit card with fingerprint tech now in South Africa

Mastercard has unveiled its new biometric card, which combines chip technology with fingerprints to verify the cardholder’s identity for in-store purchases.

 

South Africa is the first market to test the technology, with two trials concluded by Pick n Pay and ABSA.

 

The card builds on fingerprint scanning technology used for mobile payments and can be used at EMV terminals.

 

How it works

 

A cardholder enrols their card by registering with their financial institution.

 

Upon registration, their fingerprint is converted into an encrypted digital template that is stored on the card.

 

The card is now ready to be used at any EMV card terminal.

 

When paying in-store, the biometric card works like a chip card.

 

The cardholder dips the card into a retailer’s terminal while placing their finger on the embedded sensor.

 

The fingerprint is verified against the template and – if the biometrics match – the cardholder is successfully authenticated.

 

The transaction can then be approved with the card never leaving the consumer’s hand.

 

Benefits

 

Authenticating a payment transaction biometrically confirms, in a unique way, that the person using the card is the genuine cardholder.

 

Merchants can improve customers’ shopping experiences, as the card works with existing EMV terminal infrastructure and does not require upgrades.

 

For issuers, the technology helps detect and prevent fraud, increase approval rates, reduce operational costs, and foster customer loyalty.

 

Additionally, a future version of the card will feature contactless technology.

 

Trials underway

 

The recent South African trials mobilised employees from Pick n Pay and ABSA to test the potential ways convenience and security could contribute to the checkout process.

 

Over the next few months, additional trials will be conducted with the biometric card.

 

A full roll-out is expected later this year.

Source:

https://mybroadband.co.za/news/banking/207608-credit-card-with-fingerprint-tech-now-in-south-africa.html

Amazon launches ‘Subscribe with Amazon,’ a marketplace for digital subscriptions

Amazon has made headway in the subscription business with its Subscribe & Save feature for consumers, which offers discounted pricing on products if you agree to buy on a recurring basis. Now, the retailer is looking to expand its subscription footprint with a new program called Subscribe with Amazon, which aims to make Amazon the place to discover, subscribe to and manage a range of digital subscriptions — from streaming services to subscription-based apps, from meal planning services to online fitness classes, and much more.

The service has been in development since last year, and has been quietly live on Amazon’s site for some time. However, it has not been broadly promoted to consumers — something that changes today, with the announcement that it’s open for sign-ups.

Many of the digital subscriptions available on the marketplace were things Amazon was already selling — like news and magazine subscriptions, or access to its kids’ reading app Amazon Rapids or its toy-of-the-month club, STEM Club, for example. But the new portal for Subscribe with Amazon aggregates and organizes all the different types of subscriptions under one roof.

It also offers consumers a single destination where those subscriptions can be managed via an online dashboard.

A few of the more notable names available on the site include Disney Story Central, a subscription-based service for kids’ stories featuring popular Disney characters; Fitbit’s Fitstar personal training platform; Creativebug’s online art and craft classes; cloud storage service Dropbox Plus; streaming TV service Sling TV; meal planning and recipe subscription eMeals; concert membership service Jukely; and meditation service Headspace.

subscribe-with-amazon

Amazon is also selling subscriptions to publications, like The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, The New Yorker and Consumer Reports. Others live at launch include Texture, LegalZoom, MileIQ and Tawkify.

Thought not yet available, we understand the subscription cocktail startup Hooch, which offers a free drink a day in bars and clubs in major U.S. metros, will soon be available on the site. Hooch is an interesting partnership, given that Amazon will have to age-verify subscribers as part of the sign-up process.

Hooch confirmed its involvement, and the company offered more insight as to why it would want to participate — beyond the obvious customer acquisition play, that is.

“Amazon customers will directly manage their subscriptions on the Amazon.com portal,” says Hooch CEO Lin Dai.

“We think it will be a positive for us because a lot of time our customers don’t mean to cancel, but their credit card expires or they move to a new apartment or different address, and they forget to update their address on Hooch,” he explains. “But people are more likely to have updated payment methods on Amazon, so we think there will be fewer interruptions.”

 

Anyone who has ever had to update their credit card information across the web can understand this struggle. It’s often difficult to remember the many services you’ve signed up for, and updating each one individually is a hassle.

Amazon won’t universally solve this problem, as it’s unlikely to offer subscriptions to its competitors like Netflix or Spotify, but it does have the potential to bring a number of other digital subscriptions together in a single interface for easier management.

This is an area a handful of startups have been addressing, as well, including Trim, TrueBill and Billy.

Source:

Amazon launches ‘Subscribe with Amazon,’ a marketplace for digital subscriptions

Alibaba launches program to help 1 million U.S. businesses sell to China

SAN FRANCISCO  — When Jack Ma, executive chairman of Chinese mega-company Alibaba, met with President Trump in January, he made a promise – the online sales platform would give 1 million U.S. small businesses entrée to the Chinese market.

On Tuesday, Ma will announce he’s launching a program to make good on that promise. Alibaba plans a conference in Detroit on June 20 and 21 to teach U.S. businesses how to sell to the company’s 443 million customers in China.

The two largest small business markets in the world are the United States and China, and “connecting them seems like a good idea – good for the United States and good for China,”  Alibaba President Michael Evans told USA TODAY.

While Americans are familiar with the idea that most of their consumer goods come from China, China does import some consumer goods from the United States. Alibaba sees an opportunity to greatly increase those.

Currently, the site has 7,000 U.S. businesses, mostly large companies and big-name brands. Over the next five years, Alibaba hopes to increase that to more than 1 million, with the vast majority made up of small businesses. When Ma met with then president-elect Trump, he said the plan would create 1 million U.S. jobs.

 

As a first step towards that, the company  hopes to invite as many as 2,000 U.S. small business owners, entrepreneurs, and farmers to Detroit, focusing on products it believes Chinese consumers want.

The aim is three-fold. First, Alibaba needs to educate attendees about the business opportunity that China represents.

Next it plans to tell them how the nuts and bolts work of selling to China is done, everything from finding a partner company in China to the logistics of shipping, to dealing with foreign exchange.

Finally it will play matchmaker, introducing Americans to small Chinese businesses that maintain digital storefronts on Alibaba’s Tmall site.

“We’re going to be very involved in the end-to-end process, establishing the connection and the facilitating it,” said Evans.

Source:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2017/04/25/alibaba-launches-program-help-1-million-us-businesses-sell-china/100827290/

Canada is launching an experiment that will give 4,000 people free money until 2020

Finland, the Netherlands, and San Francisco, California, have already shown interest in giving people a regular monthly allowance — a system known as basic income.

Now Ontario, Canada, is planning a basic-income trial as well.

On Monday, Premier Kathleen Wynne outlined new details of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot, which is expected to begin later this spring and last for three years.

A total of 4,000 people in three regions in the province will begin receiving additional income based on their current salary.

A person in the trial can receive up to $16,989 a year, though the equivalent of 50% of any additional earned income will be subtracted from that figure. So a person who makes $10,000 a year at their job, for example, would receive $11,989 in basic income, for a total income of $21,989.

 

Eligible recipients, who must be between 18 and 64 and considered low-income, will be chosen through a randomized selection process.

Wynne says one goal of the pilot is to reassure people that their government supports them.

“It says to them government is with you,” she said. “Ontario is with you.”

The premise of basic income is straightforward: People get monthly checks to cover living expenses such as food, transportation, clothing, and utilities — no questions asked.

Along with Canada, several countries are conducting basic-income trials.

Finland’s government launched its pilot on January 1 and is giving 2,000 unemployed Finns $590 a month. In various cities throughout the Netherlands, 250 people will soon receive an extra $1,100 a month for two years. And in Kenya, the charity GiveDirectly has launched a trial version of a 12-year study that seeks to gather the first longitudinal data on basic income.

The concept of basic income has been around since the 1960s. Since then, various researchers and government officials have given basic-income experiments a try, with mixed results.

In general, however, the data seems to tilt in basic income’s favor.

A study published in late 2016 found that people who received unconditional cash transfers used drugs and alcohol less frequently than people who didn’t receive the money. And though it’s easy to assume free money would make people lazy, research suggests the opposite is true. People in one 2013 study worked on average 17% longer and received 38% higher earnings when they got a basic income.

Skeptics, meanwhile, say that because many basic-income trials have been conducted in small villages in the developing world, the findings won’t necessarily translate to developed countries.

Ontario’s trial will begin in the regions of Hamilton, including Brantford and the County of Brant, and in Thunder Bay and the surrounding area. The third pilot will launch in Lindsay in the fall.

“Everyone should benefit from Ontario’s economic growth,” Wynne said in a statement. “A basic income will support people in our province who are reaching for a better life.”

Via Business Insider

This Entrepreneur Skipped College and Made $1,037,100 In Five Months

Alex Tew didn’t give a damn about paying his “dues.”

At 21, he was about to start a three-year business management course at the University of Nottingham . . . but there was one significant problem: money. He didn’t want to be saddled with ridiculous student loan debt he would work years to pay off. Most students his age just shrug and accept that society “requires” them to play by the rules. Tew’s mind was in a completely different place.

After brainstorming ideas to make some extra income to pay off the loans quickly he decided to launch a basic website that would sell one million pixels on the homepage to advertisers for $1 each. A truly strange idea in 2005 that has since been copied ad nauseam.

 

Though Tew is from England, he thought “million dollar” was more attractive than “million pound” from a marketing perspective. There are more Americans online as well, so he decided to go with US currency. For the record, I think he was right!

The pixels are too small to see individually, so they were to be be sold in blocks of 10×10 for a minimum purchase of $100. Each advertiser could choose what pictures they wanted to display in their allotted space and to where they wanted the pixels to link. The plan was ingeniously simple . . . but Alex had no idea if it would actually work.

“From the outset I knew the idea had potential, but it was one of those things that could have gone either way,” he remarked on FT.com. “My thinking was I had nothing to lose (apart from the 50 Euros or so it cost to register the domain and setup the hosting). I knew that the idea was quirky enough to create interest . . . . The internet is a very powerful medium.”

The first few sales rolled in slowly — mostly to family and friends — propelled entirely by word of mouth. Word spread more quickly as people heard about the site. The BBC picked up the story and it blew up. Visitors poured in. Advertisers lined up. After only one month, the site had made more than $250,000. After two months, it topped $500,000.

Demand spiked around New Year’s 2006 when only 1,000 pixels were left. In the interest of fairness, Tew auctioned the remaining slots off on Ebay to the tune of $38,100. He’d just made $1,037,100 in five months. Media attention was largely praiseworthy, calling the idea a brilliant example of novel, innovative advertising and entrepreneurship in the internet age.

Cs5MVYDWgAYJGjD-1024x538

Naturally, others were less enthused. Don Oldenburg of the Washington Post called the site “a cheap, mind-bogglingly lucrative marketing monstrosity, an advertising badlands of spam, banner ads and pop-ups.” He went on to write “it looks like a bulletin board on designer steroids, an advertising train wreck you can’t not look at. It’s like getting every pop-up ad you ever got in your life, at once. It’s the Internet equivalent of suddenly feeling like you want to take a shower.”

Commentary like this always makes me laugh because it’s a prime example of how deeply ingrained the “pay your dues” mentality runs in many of us.

Oldenburg (perhaps appropriately named?) seems to imply that perhaps Tew doesn’t “deserve” such praise or reward because The Million Dollar Homepage doesn’t follow procedure. It’s way outside the box. It’s ugly.

At the very root of his complaint, he probably feels like Tew’s success wasn’t earned. I get it where he’s coming from. To witness a stupid, simple website like this make more in five months than most traditional employees make in an entire career might be infuriating and mind-boggling to some.

It triggers the same type of rage you feel when you see an invention on late night TV and think to yourself, “I could have thought of that!” I’ve been there. The urge to give in to jealousy and envy is strong. But, to the hackers, misfits and rebels of our generation, these types of massive wins by the underdogs of society are simply validation that we’re on the right path. Their success means that we can do the same.You are part of this new world and the opportunity to make such massive strides is yours as well as Alex’s.

Am I telling you to go out and build another Million Dollar Homepage? Of course not. It probably wouldn’t work. The allure was in the novelty. What you should be paying attention to is Tew’s trajectory and overall approach to creating his life. His willingness to take risks. His rejection of the “time spent” model and his playful approach to ethically skipping steps and getting ahead. This is how you need to start thinking.

Jace Hall told me years ago, you don’t need to pass through “B” to move from “A” to “C.” With creativity and hustle, you can live the life of your dreams now. Not in 30 years.

Oh, by the way: After the success of The Million Dollar Homepage, Tew dropped out of the business degree he was fundraising for in the first place. And not a single due was paid. Take that, establishment.

And lots of parents and grandparents won’t like this new truth. Even some of your friends won’t like it, because if you don’t have to pay your dues, that means you can be successful NOW. And that’s scary to a lot of people.

It’s pointless to think this isn’t true. Alex Tew and people like him prove it every single day. He built a simple website, advertised it and he made over $1 million in five months. No dues paid whatsoever. If anybody’s convinces you to let go of this antiquated mindset, let it be Alex.

Pixel-London-Marketing-AH

Source:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/292422