13 Ways to Save at Pier 1

It's easy to spend your paycheck at Pier 1, but with all of these ways to save you can get the same great items for less.

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Whether you’re hoping to spruce up your bedroom, your living room rug is looking pretty shabby or a new Papasan is calling your name, Pier 1 will likely have the home item you’re looking for. If you want to save a little cash while you shop, try some of these tactics to get the same great Pier 1 products for less.

1. Sign up for Newsletter Emails

Visit the Pier 1 homepage and sign up to receive Pier 1 emails. You’ll immediately receive an email with a 10% off your next purchase code. Plus, during holidays and special sales, these emails can have deals or free shipping codes.

2. Sign up for Mailers

You can sign up to receive the Pier 1 mailer for advance notice on all the latest savings, offers and special events on the Pier 1 website.

3. Visit the Clearance & Sale Section

Start your Pier 1 search in the clearance and sale section. Items here are marked down drastically, and you never know what you might find.

4. Open a Pier 1 Rewards Card

Customers who open a Pearl Pier 1 Reward card will receive 15% off their first purchase when they use the card, as well as a birthday bonus of 10% off, invitations to store events and an extended return time on purchases. Remember to pay this card off in full – the APR is a variable 27.74% and that means those interest charges can add up fast.

5. Upgrade to the Cobalt Card

If you’d prefer more rewards, the Cobalt Pier 1 Reward card provides all the same benefits as the Pearl card, except the first-use bonus is 20%, plus users earn one point for $1 in new purchases and receive a $10 Reward Certificate for every 200 Rewards points earned. Adhere to the same payoff rules as above to avoid astronomical interest fees.

6. Go Platinum

The third and final tier of credit card offered by Pier 1 is the Platinum Pier1 Reward card. Apply for this card to get all the perks of the Cobalt version, plus an extra 10% off qualifying purchases on the first Tuesday of each month. Remember, opening a store credit card impacts your credit. Even though store credit cards are often seen as easier to get approved for, it is still a good idea to check your credit before applying. (You can check two credit scores for free at Credit.com.)

7. Check for Additional Seasonal Perks

Once you’re a Pier 1 Rewards member, check the Reward card perks page on the site for any additional offers. For example, during the month of February, card members earned three times the points on Wednesdays, among other things.

8. Shop Seasonal Sales

If you can, hold off on purchasing certain items until after a particular season ends. After each season, Pier 1 is bound to have a blowout sale to make room for new inventory. For example, their past Spring Makeover sale included 20% off select categories of spring goods. After Christmas is a good time to check the site for sales as well.

9. Try Coupon Hunting

Before making any purchases, be sure to always check out sites like Groupon, Coupons.com and RetailMeNot for promo or coupon codes you may have missed.

10. Follow Them on Social Media

Follow the store on Facebook and Twitter for really current information on the latest deals and discounts. This is also important for catching special flash sales.

11. Get Some Gift Cards

Sites like Gift Card Granny and Raise allow you to purchase Pier 1 gift cards at discounted rates.

12. Install Honey on Your Computer

Never miss another promo code when you install coupon aggregator Honey on your computer. The browser extension searches the web for you at checkout and applies all applicable coupons so you don’t have to waste time searching. (Before downloading, see how Honey and other money saving Chrome extensions add up.)

13. Wait for Free Shipping

If you can’t get to the store and you can wait a bit for your goods to arrive, it’s worth taking advantage of free shipping deals when they crop up. Check the site frequently and try placing group orders with friends if you need to order a certain amount in order to qualify.

Want more brand hacks? Check out these 15 ways to save at Bed Bath & Beyond and 14 ways to save at Wayfair.

Image: SolStock

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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I Tried It: Google Chrome Extensions That Saved the Most Money

So many Google Chrome extensions swear they’ll save me money, but will they really?

There are few things as satisfying and dangerous as online shopping. When you’re not swiping your card or handing over cash, it’s easy to overspend and forget that online shopping is still shopping.

While there isn’t a Google Chrome extension to pry the computer mouse out of my hand while I browse the Sephora website, many Google Chrome extensions boast they’ll help you save while online shopping.

Although I was skeptical, I was optimistic because technology has never failed me before. Kidding. Anyone who has a smartphone knows that’s a lie. However, technology can be amazing and I love Google Chrome extensions. I probably spend more time with Google Chrome than with my own family. Let’s see how these extensions added up.

The Test

I shopped on four store websites and tested each extension on the same purchases. I avoided items that explicitly said they were excluded from coupons and deals. I added a variety of items to my cart to cover more potential deals and coupons.

Macy’s Total: $292.26

Honey: After one click and a few seconds, Honey notified me that I saved $58.51 and earned a small cash bonus. Honey found a deal on shoes that the other add-ons had not found. ResultI saved $58.51.

InvisibleHand: The extension showed me two “deals.” One was an ad for discounted Macy’s gift cards. The other was “Up to $50 off select sunglasses purchases.” I was not buying sunglasses. Result: No money saved.

Offers.com: I had to hunt down codes from their list. Most were not applicable to my order. This extension caused a lot of pop up windows. I used the first applicable code it suggested. Result: I saved $4.93.

PriceBlink: It did the same exact thing as InvisibleHand, promoting the same two non-applicable “deals.” Result: No money saved.

Winner: Honey. This saved me the most money by a long shot.

For my fellow shoppers looking to max out on their deals, you can consider using a Macy’s credit card can increase your savings, as well. Read our review on the Macy’s credit card for details. (Before applying for any new credit, it’s best to make sure your credit score is high enough to qualify. You can check two of your scores free on Credit.com.)

J.Crew Total: $562.50

Honey: Honey found 10 coupon codes and applied the best one. Result: I saved $43.20.

InvisibleHand: When I clicked on the coupon code I wanted to use, InvisibleHand open a new tab, said I was on my way to deals and then just brought me back to the J. Crew homepage without applying any code. This happened for every deal I tried. Once again the top “deal” was an ad to buy J. Crew gift cards for cheap. Result: No money saved.

Offers.com: All the offer codes I tried from this extension were expired or not valid. Result: No money saved.

PriceBlink: The extension opened a pop up with deals, similar to InvisibleHand. It brought me to a new window, bringing me to the PriceBlink search engine. The only code that popped up was expired. Result: No money saved.

Winner: Honey. This was the only extension that saved me money.

LOFT Total: $375.50

Honey: Honey said the store had no working codes but did offer me a 0.1% to 5% cash bonus. The LOFT website clearly had a promotional code all over the homepage, but Honey missed it. This extension might not be as flawless as I was starting to think it was. Result: No money saved.

InvisibleHand: The pop-up contained the coupon code promoted on LOFT’s homepage for 40% off. I was able to copy and paste it without leaving the page. Result: I saved $150.20.

Offers.com: Once again, one code popped up and it was the same 40% off deal. I did, however, have to visit a new window to get the code. Result: I saved $150.20.

PriceBlink: PriceBlink also found me the 40% off deal, but I had to visit two separate web pages to access it. Result: I saved $150.20.

Winner: InvisibleHand. While three out of four of the extensions found the same deal, InvisibleHand was the most efficient and easiest to use of the three.

Payless Total: $154.93

Honey: After trying a bunch of codes, Honey settled on a 15% off discount. Result: I saved $23.24 and earned a small cash bonus.

InvisibleHand: This found a few deals but, again, most were not applicable. Result: I saved $21.33.

Offers.com: It found me a bunch of codes, but most were not applicable to my order or broken. Eventually, I saved 15%, but only after Offers.com opened 10 tabs. It was a different code than the one Honey found, but it got me the same savings. Result: I saved $23.24.

PriceBlink: Once again, it showed me a lot of codes that were not applicable. Result: I saved $21.33.

Winner: Honey. Although most of the extensions got me a similar deal, Honey was the most efficient and provided a cash bonus.

Final Verdict

Overall, these extensions are all capable of saving you money while you shop, though some are more efficient and effective than others. If you’re looking to save, strategically using a rewards credit card or subscribing to newsletters can also help. (In fact, we’ve rounded up a list of great credit cards for online shopping.) Here’s how I’d grade each extension I tried:

1. Honey: A

Honey was the most user-friendly and helpful extension of the bunch. It’s automatic and takes a lot of work out of finding the best deal. No need to manually to experiment with different codes and offers. It does it for you.

This extension requires a sign-up through e-mail or Facebook, but it offers a rewards program. Their “HoneyGold” rewards program gives you Amazon gift cards as you shop at Honey-supported online stores or refer friends to the extension, a great perk for frequent online shoppers.

2. Offers.com: B-

Although it usually provides many discount options, some of the codes had expired and most were not applicable to the order. I had to click on codes to reveal them, then new windows would pop up. I then had to copy and paste each code in to see if my order qualified. You also have to search for the store you’re in and sort through codes for some web pages. Not great.

There was also an Offers.com pop up on every page of the store I visited. The main way this extension could’ve saved me money was by aggravating me until I gave up on shopping.

3. InvisibleHand: C

Every time I was browsing a store on every single page of the online store there’d be a pop up across the top of my screen telling me about deals. Very irritating. A lot of the deals were not really deals or were expired.

The app promised to “automatically get the lowest price on whatever you’re buying,” but that’s not what I experienced. The process is not automatic. The only thing it automatically did was irritate me. This extension was pop-up city. It opened new windows each time I clicked on a code but didn’t actually apply the code. This extension often prompted me to apply for credit cards and buy gift cards, which I wasn’t looking to do.

4. PriceBlink: C-

While shopping, I faced constant pop-ups as well as ads for cheap gift cards. I also had to click multiple times and open many tabs to access the deals, a lot of which had expired. I did save some money, but it was inefficient. It would have been easier to use Google to find discounts.

Image: pixelfit

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12 Ikea Shopping Hacks

ikea-shopping-tips

There’s something thrilling about going to Ikea. The big blue and yellow sign, the smell of Swedish meatballs and cinnamon buns in the air, and the dizzying amount of merchandise are enough to make your head spin. Everything looks amazing and you want to buy it all (or at least I do!). Here are 12 hacks to keep your spending in check.

1. Peruse the Website 

Because being in an Ikea store can be overwhelming, take a few minutes to go through the Ikea website before you head to the store. The site also has lots of deals that you might miss when you’re physically in the store.

“Look up your local Ikea’s store webpage because there are always special deals you may only learn about from seeing them online,” Josh Elledge, founder of smart shopping site, SavingsAngel.com, said. 

2. Make a List 

Ikea.com offers online shopping lists so you can get organized before you go. Because let’s be real, we’ve all headed to Ikea to look for a bedside table and left with a car full of stuff and a big credit card bill to show for it. Lisa Batra, the founder of My Kid’s Threads, the online marketplace where parents can buy and sell designer children’s clothing, suggests adding the locations of each item to your list. 

3. Sign Up for the Moving Program

If you’re planning a move and intend to make a big Ikea purchase, take advantage of their moving program where they’ll give you a 25% off coupon on your next purchase of $250 or more.

4. Check the Sales

Ikea stores usually have a special sale one day a week, so call ahead to ask what day that is and plan accordingly. The sales vary, but they are usually an extra percentage off certain items or categories.

“I have found the best time to visit Ikea is early in the morning on the weekdays — Monday happens to be my favorite due to fresh inventory and less crowds,” Batra said.

“Household furnishings are least expensive in December, same with cookware and tableware. They’re most expensive in May and June,” said Brett Graff, leading expert on all things home economics at TheHomeEconomist.com and publications like the Los Angeles Times.

5. Be Prepared

Graff pointed out that Ikea can be a workout. “We make better spending decisions when we’re not distracted, so wear comfortable shoes, have a snack and a water bottle on hand,” he said. “Leave the kids at home, they tend to ask for things and get tired.”

When it comes to bags, it helps to bring your own. Batra always brings her own bags since you’ll have to pay for them otherwise. 

6. Become an Ikea Family Member

“The Ikea Family program is a no brainer because it offers exclusive (and often generous) discounts on select products,” Elledge said. In addition to special discounts, often in the 15-20% off range, and extra time in Småland (the ball room), the program entitles members to free coffee and tea in the restaurant, early sales announcements, 90-day price protection, BOGO frozen yogurt and, every once and a while, the chance to win gift cards.

7. Enter Through the Exit 

When you arrive at the store, Batra recommends entering through the exit door, which will put you in the warehouse. “You’ll have your list ready with the locations all mapped out so you’ll be in and out in a jiffy!” she said. “This tip has saved me countless hours and dollars in my pocket. Plus it allows me to bypass all the eye candy throughout the store.” 

8. Visit the ‘As-Is’ Section

Another advantage of hitting the warehouse first, according to Batra, is the “As-Is” section, which is nearby. She suggests finding out when your local store restocks the “As-Is” section, which in her experience is usually on Mondays. If you are not familiar, the “As-Is” section contains discounted items that are already assembled. These items have either been used for display or were returned by other customers. The price is generally right and you don’t have to put the items together (but you do have to squeeze them into your car!).

9. Stay on the Straight & Narrow 

Ikea is a prime example of a store that is designed to entice shoppers to buy, buy, buy. The winding path ensures that you see (and hopefully want) literally every item in the store. Instead of following this designated path, follow the “shortcuts” signs to get to the areas you need to visit more quickly. Also, consider putting the Ikea app up on your phone because it provides a handy map. 

10. Watch for ‘Last Chance’ Tags 

It’s OK to veer off your path if you happen to see a yellow “last chance” tag on something that intrigues you. That tag indicates that the item is about to be discontinued. There is usually a discount being offered as well, so consider snapping it up!

11. Keep Those Booklets 

You might be inclined to toss those instructional booklets once you’ve assembled your purchases, but Elledge recommends hanging onto them so you can get free replacement of broken parts.

“All you need to do is visit your local Ikea store and show them the parts you need,” he said. “To make the process much easier, use your booklet to ID the product and exact part number. Because of this benefit alone, Ikea is my go-to store for most furniture items.”

12. Consider Ikea Delivery 

So many stores offer free shipping that Ikea’s $59 delivery fee might seem pricey. But, if you are buying more than your car can hold, that fee is much more reasonable than renting a U-Haul. The $59 fee can increase based on the distance from you home to the store, but it does not increase based on the size of your order.

Remember, whether you’re redecorating your digs, buying a new home or furnishing an apartment, it’s important to stay on budget. High levels of debt can wind up hurting your wallet — and your credit score. You can see how your current debt levels are affecting your credit by viewing two of your credit scores, updated every 14 days, for free on Credit.com.

Image: theJIPEN

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What to Buy at the Dollar Store (& What to Avoid)

If you’re like me, you enter your neighborhood dollar store intending to quickly grab one or two things. Instead, you end up slowly roaming the aisles for an hour, checking out absolutely everything. After all, you don’t want to miss an amazing $1 deal!

Here are a few things to keep in mind for your next trip:

  • Not everything at the dollar store is actually $1, so check prices.
  • Sometimes you get what you pay for — low price can equal low quality.
  • Dollar stores often receive odd lots or overstocks. Keep that in mind before purchasing — check for quality, damages and expiration dates (when applicable).

There are some items that can be great finds at dollar stores, and other kinds of purchases that are best left to other retailers.

What to Buy

Plant supplies, like clay pots, glass marbles, etc.
These are usually a great bargain at a dollar store versus home improvement stores. I would, however, avoid gardening tools, as the quality probably isn’t there.

Packing tape
I always make a point of picking up a roll or two at the dollar store. The rolls can be a bit shorter than at the office supply store, but for $1 vs. at least three times that, it’s a good deal.

Decorative gift bags
You can usually get plain gift bags pretty cheaply at stores like Target and Kmart, especially if you buy a package of multiples, but those shiny bags festooned with pictures of balloons or holiday ornaments? Those can go for $3 and up versus $1 at the dollar store.

Hair accessories, like coated elastics and hair combs
These are $1 a bunch at the dollar store and are at least $2.50 at the drugstore. The quality of the elastics can be a bit questionable at the dollar store, though, so give them a good tug before buying. 

Toothbrushes and toothpaste
If you find brand names at the dollar store for $1, grab them. Be sure to check the expiration date on the toothpaste, though.

Beach reading and coloring books
You probably won’t find The New York Times best sellers at the dollar store, but a good trashy novel? Yes. Coloring or activity books are also a good buy at the dollar store, but I would skip those that come with markers or crayons, which may be dried out or of poor quality. 

Foam core
School project? If you can find foam core for $1 or even $2 at the dollar store, grab it. I’ve seen it priced between $3 and $12 elsewhere. 

Mylar balloons
If your local dollar store sells and inflates balloons for $1, this is a great deal. The balloon or floral store will charge more.

Cotton balls/pads
If they are 100% cotton and $1, get them. Only get cotton swabs at the dollar store if they are brand name.

What to Avoid

Perishable & packaged foods and candy
Freshness and quality can be questionable, so I would proceed with caution. Check expiration dates and ingredients and inspect for damage before purchasing. 

Power strips, USBs, chargers and earbuds
Avoid buying anything that you plug into your beloved smart devices at the dollar store. The quality is probably not up to snuff, so don’t take the risk. 

Plastic food containers
Especially if you are in the habit of microwaving food in plastic containers or putting them in the dishwasher (both of which I advise against), do not buy plastic containers at the dollar store. The quality may be substandard. 

Sunscreen
Only buy sunscreen if the expiration date is a couple years away (allowing for time it may have already sat on the shelf), as SPF tends to degrade over time. Also check for a seal. If there isn’t an expiration date or seal, skip it. 

Detergents and cleaning products
Like sunscreen, the efficacy of cleaning products can degrade over time. Best to skip unless there’s an expiration date that is a couple of years away. 

Makeup, toiletries and medicines
I’d pretty much skip this category. It’s rare to find name-brand products anyway, and if you do find name brands, they could be pretty old.

Toys and games
These are usually made very cheaply. Your child will delighted for a minute until the toy falls apart. Rubber and plastic balls are good, though.

If saving money is important to you, don’t forget that you can save on everything from car loans to credit card interest rates if you have a good credit score. You can monitor your financial goals like building credit for free on Credit.com.

More Money-Saving Reads:

Image: cyano66

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