Centsible Saver

Centsible Saver: Energy Star tax holiday coming soon

adunn@newsobserver.comOctober 20, 2012 

Editor’s note: For daily tips on saving money, check out the Centsible Saver blog on newsobserver.com. Amy Dunn writes every day about coupons, saving money and frugal living. Below are recent excerpts from her blog.

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing new appliances for your home, you might want to wait a few weeks and save yourself some money.

The weekend of Nov. 2 through Nov. 4 is North Carolina’s Energy Star sales tax holiday, the state’s fifth annual.

Energy Star products that meet efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy are exempt from sales and use taxes. Qualified products will have an Energy Star label, making them easier to identify.

Products that qualify for tax-free status include Energy Star clothes washers, freezers, refrigerators, central air conditioners, room air conditioners, air-source heat pumps, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers and programmable thermostats. As long as you pay for the appliance and request immediate delivery you’ll qualify for the savings. If the delivery is delayed by the seller, you’ll still qualify.

Free movie tickets: Next time you’re in the cereal aisle at the supermarket, be on the look-out for specially marked General Mills cereal boxes. Free movie tickets are on the line.

You can score one free movie ticket to Regal Cinemas (or dozens of other theaters across the country) with the purchase of two boxes. The vouchers are valued at up to $12 and can be used on “no pass/no coupon” movies. Cereals participating in the free movie promotion: Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Reese’s Puffs, Lucky Charms, Fiber One, Trix, Golden Grahams and Cocoa Puffs.

Even better, with coupons and generous sales, you’ll likely be able to score multiple boxes of cereal for the price of a single box – and get the free movie tickets on top of that.

Coupon class: Learn to coupon like a pro at my next coupon class.

Registration is now open to the public for my Nov. 3 half-day workshop at the Ronald McDonald House of Durham, 506 Alexander Ave.

For $20, you’ll learn basic and advanced coupon techniques, score a reusable grocery bag full of freebies and walk out with all the tips you need to cut your grocery bill by at least half.

The half-day session will include information on: finding, organizing and using coupons for the items you already buy; matching your coupons with the weekly grocery ads to maximize your savings; tips on using digital coupons to your advantage; the ins and outs of local grocery and drugstore policies and rebate programs; meal planning and other frugal-living tips; and ideas for celebrating the upcoming holidays debt-free.

The class fee also includes parking, breakfast and a detailed class handout. Most folks easily recoup the cost of the class in their first grocery trip. We’ll also do a drawing for prizes, which include grocery gift cards, movie passes, cookbooks, children’s books and more. Bring a donation to the Ronald McDonald House and get a second chance to win.

Go to the N&O ZONE page at www.newsobserver.com/zone to register and check out the Ronald McDonald House wish list for its most pressing needs.

Target takes aim: Target is taking aim at online competitors with a new price-match policy for this year’s holiday season.

For the first time, Target will match the prices of Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Bestbuy.com, Toysrus.com – and even its own site, Target.com.

This is a great perk for holiday bargain shoppers, especially those armed with smartphones who can readily check online prices.

The price-match policy will run Nov. 1 through Dec. 16 for online competitors. The policy is being extended to Dec. 24 if a customer finds a better price at Target.com or a local competitor’s print advertisement. Complete details on the policy won’t be released until Oct. 22.

Target’s new policy mirrors an earlier announcement by electronics retailer Best Buy, which began price matching online competitors on Oct. 7. Best Buy will continue the policy through Dec. 24 with the exception of a 10-day period at Thanksgiving.

Dunn: 919-829-4522

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