Do’s and Don’ts to Save You Money on Valentine’s Day

Do shop early. If you are buying something, buy the card, flowers, candy, and/or gifts sooner than the day before (or the day itself).  To get the right gift at the best price means leaving enough time to find it.

Deals on flowers from Kelly at Faithful Provisions

Flower Deals for Valentine's Day

Do find alternative ways to show your love.  You don’t have to buy something for someone to show them that you love them.  You can do something fun together or make a gift for them, like a homemade card or a craft.

20 Valentine’s Day DIY Craft Ideas from Hani @ Craftionary

20 valentine's day crafts

Don’t wait too long to make or buy stuff for Valentine’s Day.  Otherwise, you will have to settle for whatever you can get or put together last-minute.  If you wait till the last minute, you will either be stuck with a less than awesome gift or a high price tag, or both.

Do save on dining by taking advantage of special deals.  Be aware that many formal restaurants will inflate prices for Valentine’s Day.  If you are still determined to go, take advantage of special deals.

Deals for restaurants on Valentine’s Day from Kelly at Faithful Provisions

Save on Valentine's Day Dinner

Don’t feel that you have to go out to dinner.  Make a special dinner at home. Get out the nice table-cloth, candles, and put up some decorations (which could be the DIY crafts you made from above).

Recipes, from breakfast to dessert, from Doug at Pocket Change Gourmet

Make your own Valentine's Day Dinner

Do save on dining by having dessert at home.  Whether or not you do decide to go out to dinner on Valentine’s Day, have dessert at home.  This way you’ll save that extra cost as the cost of dessert is extremely inflated at restaurants.

12 ideas for Valentine’s Day dessert from Kim at Handmade and Craft

12 Sweet Valentines Day Recipes

Don’t feel constrained to celebrating Valentine’s Day on February 14.  This is a great way to save money.  Celebrate after February 14 and you can save at the restaurants that have by now gone back to regular prices and buy Valentine’s Day themed items on sale from stores trying to clear the shelves.

Those are just a few dos and don’ts of how to save money on Valentine’s Day.  What are some ways that you save on Valentine’s Day? What are some things worth splurging on for this holiday celebration?


How to Save on Your Super Bowl Party

Super Bowl (3 February, 2013)

While hanging out with friends and family enjoying the big game is a fun tradition, it can also be expensive depending how you celebrate the event.  So here are a few tips and ideas on ways to save on your Super bowl party.

Make Your Own Food 

Many restaurants and take-out places are offering Super bowl related deals.  However, many of them will still be more expensive than making your food yourself.  There are tons of websites with recipes to make for your Super bowl party, including over at that has a bunch of chili, wings, dips, and dessert recipes (just to name a few).  Look for sales on the ingredients you’ll need at the supermarket, many will be on sale now knowing that people are buying those items in preparation for the upcoming big day.

Ask Guests to Bring a Dish

If you’re having people over to watch the game with you, ask them to bring a dish or a beverage to share.  If each guest can contribute something small, it will add up to savings for you.  I would consider this justifiable since you’re hosting the party, wouldn’t you?

Save on Take-Out

If you can’t cook or no one else is coming who could bring a dish or you just want to order in, be smart about the deals offered.  Order what you really want and will actually eat.  It may seem like it only costs a few dollars more for the extra wings or the liter of soda, but be careful not to fall for what only seems like a good deal.  If you weren’t planning on ordering that much when you went in there, stick to the original plan.  Save your money and your waistline.

Get a New TV

TVs generally go on sale right before the Super bowl, so now could be a good time to snag a good deal on a new TV.  However, be smart and don’t buy a new TV just because it is on sale.  Only get one if you really need one.  Otherwise, you’re spending more than you should and you’re defeating the purpose of trying to save money.

Enjoy the game, your time spent with family and friends, and the yummy fried foods you probably shouldn’t eat too much of.  I’ll be watching the Puppy Bowl.  Until then, I’m getting a sneak peek here.

Who are you rooting for?  What’s your favorite part about the Super bowl? Or are you like me more inclined to watch puppies?

Free Deals and Discounts for Students

Photo Used Under Creative Commons from CollegeDegrees360

Photo Used Under Creative Commons from CollegeDegrees360

When you’re a student, you may be low on cash and want to find free stuff and deals to save you money.  Here are a few offers for students to save money on stuff you might need or what.

Amazon Student

Anyone with an .edu email address from their college and meets the other eligibility requirements can sign up for Amazon Student free for 6 months.   With Amazon Student you can get free 2 day shipping on eligible purchases and more perks like special student discounts now and then on certain products.

Do note: When the 6 month period is over you will be automatically upgraded (and charged for) Amazon Prime membership, so be sure to turn off the automatic upgrade unless you want to purchase that.  If you do want to continue the service, it is at a discounted price of $39 down from the normal price of $79 for Amazon Prime. Then you will be able to still receive the benefits of this service at a discount for the rest of your time in college (up to 4 years).

Sign Up for Amazon Student here!


Before you buy that laptop or software for your computer, be sure to check out some of the deals available for students.  Apple offers select discounts for students on their products if you qualify.

See if you qualify for education pricing at Apple

Microsoft also has special deals available for students, including development software you can download for free and a course and exam in programming.  If you’re into the computer programming and development thing, check out their offers.

Check out the free offers and deals from Microsoft

Textbooks and Study Tools

I recently heard about this new site called that offers an alternative or supplemental solution to those expensive college textbooks.  This site has gathered information on many subjects you can read for free, on many devices.  It also has study tools like flash cards, study guides, and quizzes to test your knowledge.  Note: I haven’t personally used the site, but it seems worth looking into for extra help on studying or saving on textbooks.  Also, I wouldn’t recommend using this instead of your required textbook, but maybe in addition to it for the help it offers with studying and accessibility instead of lugging books everywhere.  If you or someone you know has used this site, share that experience in the comment section below.

Check out

For more study tools for free on a variety of subjects, check out  Here you can search for the subject that you are studying and find flash cards, quizzes, tests, and games to help you learn the information on that subject.  I have only used it once to test it out, and I didn’t sign up.  If you or someone you know has used this site, share that experience in the comment section below.

Test out your knowledge at

Movie Tickets

Some movie theaters offer special prices and deals for students.  For example, Thursdays at AMC Theaters are Student Day.  This means that high school and college students with school ID’s get a discount on their ticket price.  So if you are heading to the theater, wait till Thursday and bring your student ID to get the best deal.

See AMC Theater’s Special Offers

Public Transportation

In many areas, cities offer special student discounts on public transportation.  If you take the train, bus, or metro, see if your city offers any discounts.  Here are a few various state and city public transportation discount offers for students:

NJ Transit Student Pass (with participating schools)

Houston Texas Metro

LA California Metro (See Reduced Fares)

5 Ways to Save on Textbooks

5 Ways to Save on Textbooks

Photo Used Under Creative Commons from CollegeDegrees360

I’m a college student, and like many other students, I’m not rolling in dough.  So when I start a new semester, take a look at the syllabus, and see that I have to purchase at least 3 books per class at an average price of $150 a book, I start to sweat a little.  I mean, I don’t know about you, but I don’t have money just lying around or burning a hole in my pocket waiting to be spent on a textbook that I’ll only look at a few times.  So I do what I do best, dig out the loose change between the couch cushions, pinch those pennies, and find the lowest price out there on those required books.  So if you are a college student, will soon become a college student, or know someone who is a college student, this article is for you.

If you fall into any of the above categories, you will most likely have some idea that college textbooks can be quite expensive.  Like, “I’m going to have to start the Ramen noodle diet so I can afford my textbooks” expensive.  So to prevent your sodium from skyrocketing or your bank account from completely being depleted, check out these tips on saving on textbooks.

Buy Online – New or Used

The first tip is to scope out the best deal on your required textbooks.  The campus bookstore is convenient, but that convenience comes at a steep price. There are tons of online retailers selling new and used textbooks, but it’s a hassle to see who is selling what you need for the lowest price.  Use a website like that lets you type in the title, author, or ISBN of your required textbooks and shows you what online retailers are selling it and at what price.  This way you can get the best deal by only going to one site.  There are a few possible drawbacks.  First, make sure you are ordering the right book.  If you bought it at the college bookstore, it’s most likely what the professors told them to order.  If you buy it online, it might be an older version or special edition, so just pay careful attention to what you buy.  Second, find out first that it is all there.  Some used lab manuals or books with special access codes can often have pages ripped out or the code used and now invalid, so some things you just can’t buy used.

Rent Your Books

If you don’t mind returning the book at the end of the semester, you can rent the books you need, usually at a lower price than buying it new.  Just like the fact that a hoard of retailers are selling textbooks, it seems just as many renting them. also shows you which online retailers are renting the books you need, so check them out for this as well (or check out other book rental sites).  Some books are impossible to rent because you have to write in them or rip pages out, like lab manuals.  Generally, though, you will probably not need those textbooks ten years from now, so you can rent them.  Just be sure to remember to return them on time or you’ll be charged extra.

The Library

You may have noticed from earlier posts of mine that I love the library, and here is another reason.  Whether it is at your local public library or more likely your college library, sometimes you can find the books you need there.  Sometimes a college library will put books on reserve for students to come and read in the library (not check out and take with you).  This way you might be able to get away with not actually buying the book, but still being able to use it.  The draw back on this, though, is that you can’t write/highlight/underline in a library book or possibly even take it with you if it is on reserve.  But if you are ok with not doing any of those things, then this is the cheapest way to go, free!

Share a Book

If you know a person in the same class as you, or someone who has already taken the class, see if they will share their book with you.  (Or at least split the cost).  You give up a little freedom by not being sole owner, but you’ll save a little money if you’re lucky enough for this method to work out for you.  (Note, though, that if you are getting a book from someone who already took the class that you are getting the right version and that there isn’t anything missing like lab pages or access codes.)

Sell Your Books

After the semester is over, you can possibly recoup some of your expense by selling back your textbooks.  Head over to again, because they also offer the service to show you who is buying your books and for how much.  Usually, the sites buying your books will pay for shipping.  Then, sites like will give you credit on their site, while other sites like will pay you by check or PayPal.  Sometimes a textbook loses some value when a new edition comes out, so try to sell them as soon as you can.

(I noticed I mentioned numerous times in this article, so I better mention that this isn’t an ad for them nor am I getting paid for this. There are many other worthy sites out there for buying, renting, and selling textbooks.  I just have used this site in the past and their service was useful in getting a lower price on textbooks then at the college bookstore.  So I thought I’d share them with you!)

What are some ways you save on textbooks? If you finished school, do you ever occasionally still use any of your old textbooks?