Quick Tip: Make a Dryer Vent Vacuum Cleaner Attachment

Make a Lint Lizard

Unless you have been hiding under a rock–you have likely seen the lint lizard advertised on TV. It is a long tube attachment for your vacuum. It is designed to fit in hard to reach places inside your dryer to suck up lint that may be clogging your dryer’s exhaust.

But you do not need to buy the lint lizard–you can make one yourself!

1. Go to the hardware store. Buy a five foot clear tubing with a 1 inch diameter. It will cost about $3.00.

2. Get some insulation tape (padded tape). And wrap it around one of the ends of the lint lizard. Keep wrapping until it makes the diamater just large enough to be slightly larger than the end of your vacuum hose.

3. The clear tubbing with the padded end should just fit snugly. You may want to tape the tube to the vacuum hose for added security.

Place the hose in your dryer to suck up the lint. Please unplug the dryer from the electrical outlet before you start.


Tip Of The Week #70: Outlets & Deals

Designer brand name apparel and accessories, professional culinary cooking pieces, name brand shoes, latest hot cosmetics and fragrances–yes you can get these and more at outlet stores, but are you getting the best deals?  MarkdownMom has written on this before recommending that you look for the clearance racks in the outlet stores for the best deals–yes, they do have them.

Buyer Beware:  Not everything is on sale compared to retail stores. Initially, outlet stores were used to sell not-in-season merchandise, slightly flawed items, etc.  Now many retailers produce special lines for outlet stores such as The Gap has  Nike® and Adidas®.  These may be of lesser quality in workmanship and materials.

However, not all retailers are following this trend.  Le Creuset® cookware is same quality, but may have flaw or chip.  Apparel shops like Dress Barn carry the same items as in their stores.  Remember the percentage off is based by manufacturers suggested retail price which is seldom sold at that price.

MDM Says:  Be sure check with clerks at the stores and do your homework to find out if merchandise is the same as the original.

Slashed In Half (VIDEO)

The cheapest family was on The Talk today with suggestions on how to cut your grocery bills in half.

Steve and Annette Economides’ book shows how you can save on your grocery bill by

  • Organizing your grocery list around menu planning.
  • Shopping the sales listed by your local grocers in the newspaper and flyers.
  • Limiting prepackaged portions by DIYer.  For instance, buy deli meat by the roll like salami and have the staff cut it or cut it yourself.  And More.

You can get their recent book at Amazon for $10.42.

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Is It Me Or Does Their Name Seem Tailored For This Book?

Beware Of Retailer's Blip On The Markdown Scene, It May Be Inflation!

Markdown Mom has been following a disturbing trend with regard to clearance items on one of the home shopping networks.  One way to follow a desired item to get the best deal has been by putting it on a “wishlist,” especially with clearance items that are limited in quantity.  Usually a price change on a clearance item is a downward one, but recently these prices have fluctuated, countering accepted business practices, and in fact have increased.  Markdown Mom has seen this done in more than one case.  For example, a pair of shoes goes on clearance for $39.99, it may or may not become sold out.  One color variation may sell out at $39.99, but then the item reappears at $59.99  What has happened? 

Well, some may argue that the new stock is the latest version of a tried and true style.  However, this is doubtful for a sandal being sold in the middle of winter–it is definitely from last season.  What has happened is that more of this item did not sell and the shopping network was able to buy up the remaining stock.  However, to warrant returning the item to original price, the remaining stock would have to be purchased by the retailer at the original wholesale price –doubtful even in good economic times.  Since it ostensibly was new stock, the retailer raised the price; however, instead of pricing the “new” merchandise at the clearance price, the price was raised on all the remaining stock including the old stock that wasn’t sold.  This would provide retailers a greater profit on the item then when it was first introduced when you figure in the reduced wholesale cost on the remaining stock  plus the regular markup the retailer takes when the item is repriced to its’ original nonclearance price.

 What is being played here is game concerned with “when the item was purchased” by the retailer.  This is not a new pricing scheme, Markdown Mom has found that popular chains have done the same thing.  Ever wonder why you may find the same style and even the same color with one on clearance and another exact replica at full price?  When asked, store personnel have stated that the item for full price became a part of the inventory at a later time.  All clearance/markdowns are based upon how long the item has been in stock, and the remaining quantity.  Usually, past season is more important when dealing with changing styles such as in apparel and accessories.  Markdowns are taken to move old merchandise out to make space for new merchandise at full price. 

 What this shell game involving time represents is I-N-F-L-A-T-I-O-N either at the wholesale or retail level.  So when is a bargain, a bargain?  Well, the only way to tell is to know the stock and follow the pricing–and whenever you can, use the “wishlist” option, it’s one way to keep track!

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