Hi y’all, I’m taking a blog vacation through the end of August to work on some other projects – I’ll see you around Labor Day!
I’m telling myself I won’t post anything. If I run across any deals I can’t resist sharing, it’ll probably be through Facebook or Twitter 😉 Likewise, you can let others know about bargains on the Facebook page!
In the meantime, here are some deals and events to get you through…
Mellow Mushroom – Celebrating 40 years with “Way Back Wednesday” celebration on August 20: $2.50 small pizzas, $.30 Cokes, $.75 beers
RVA Sandwich Week – August 25-31, 2014: $5 signature sandwich deals at 26 Richmond-area restaurants
Kids Consignment Sales – Fancy Pants Richmond will be Aug 26-28
Events: (Full calendar)
Last week, I filmed two segments for NBC12’s More Bang for Your Buck – if you’re new to the site because you saw them, welcome!.
“Tips to make your yard sale successful” I have some strong opinions on yard sale signage, in case you couldn’t tell 🙂
Heads up email subscribers! I’m in the process of switching email delivery systems from Feedburner to Feedblitz.
(Reasons for switch: Google-owned [free] Feedburner service that I was using is widely expected to be discontinued in the not-too-distant future. Also, with almost 2000 subscribers, I really need a more flexible, customizable system to serve y’all better.)
What does that mean to you? You should continue to receive daily email updates without having to do anything. All subscriptions have already been migrated to the new service; they will just be delivered by Feedblitz instead, beginning today.
One immediate improvement is the ability to subscribe to a weekly update instead of a daily one. If you’d prefer to get all the week’s posts in one Friday email, visit the Richmond Bargains email subscription page to sign up! While a few pieces of information may be outdated by the time you receive it, most of it, like the weekend free and cheap events, should still be relevant. I’ve just set up that option, so this Friday will be a test of the new capability…
If you have any questions, feedback, or encounter a glitch, please let me know!
Frequent visitors might notice the site looks a little different lately; I redesigned it last weekend and am pretty stoked about the improved functionality!
(If you’re an email subscriber who hasn’t been to the site in a while, surf on over to check it out!)
You may not even notice the changes. The biggest improvement you might see is that the layout is no longer broken. After restoring the site following a hack last March, we were never able to get the sidebar properly aligned again using the previous theme. So I’ve switched to a simple, basic theme – no bells and whistles, but hopefully more user-friendly for y’all, and for me!
Some of the tweaks:
I’ll still be messing around with improving features for a while, like a better center feature on the home page.
If you run across something that doesn’t look right, or have suggestions of something you’d like to see, please let me know!
Posting is a little light this week because we have been visiting family in Oklahoma and will be back in Virginia soon.
Stay tuned for the F.R.E.E. List tomorrow and a list of Halloween deals on Thursday!
For those of you that remember seeing my younger son as a baby last year, he is not so little anymore! He refuses to take independent steps, but he tries to repeat every word we say these days.
Also, there are still some spots left in Saturday’s baby bargains class!
(This is a post by RichmondBargains.com. If you are seeing this message on another website, please visit richmondbargains.com/blog for the original scoop on saving money in Richmond!)
This is our current table (there’s a glass top under the cheapie plastic table cloth) and it doesn’t work for a number of reasons!
Last week I posted on Facebook that we are looking for a new (to us!) dining table, and asked folks where in Richmond they would look for one, besides Craigslist. Got lots of responses, and thought some of the suggestions might be useful to others in the market for furniture:
Carissa G. – Class and trash !
Megan L. – Revival!
LaDifference – Well…. we’d say start in our clearance room! You are looking for a BARGAIN with STYLE, right? ; )
Laura S. – Diversity thrift
Tracy S. – Estate sales
Dawn C. – Value City Furniture on W Broad
Yvette M. – I got a great drop leaf at Fan Tastic Thrift
Patty C. – Roomstore on Broad is going out of business.
Tara D. – Love of Jesus on Midlothian or Yesterdays & Today -Unique Furniture and Home Decor Consignment in Ashland. You probably have already checked out Hope Thrift, but I’ve seen some nice antique tables in there.
Nora A – Thrill of the hunt in ashland. If they don’t have it they will make it or get. And they are awesome!
Dianne B. – The antique shop next to Hope Thrift has some beautiful stuff too!
Kimberly W. – Alexander’s antiques auction on thurs nites
Kimberly A. – Susans selections. Staples mill rd area
Lisa O. – Bloom Brothers where I got mine…ooops, ,they are out of business 🙁 We did buy our couch from The Dump. Good prices and we had great service :0)
Carole E. – Caritas yard sale at end of each month
Kristen R. – Class and trash
Obviously, I have my work cut out for me. Really, we just want a basic wood set that can stand up to little kid wear and tear.
Regarding the Room Store on W Broad closing (thanks Patty!), I did notice an ad in Sunday’s paper for it. In general, furniture chain closing sales require some skepticism. The website mentions liquidation sales beginning August 2nd, and also that the store is “supplementing inventory for improved selection” (which sounds suspiciously like code for a liquidation company bringing in cheap stuff)
It’s on my list to check out, let me know what you think if you go/have been!
As promised, here are the answers to the questions most frequently asked about RichmondBargains.com!
“So you’re like Living Social?”
Not really. Don’t get me wrong, I love daily deal sites like Groupon and Living Social. But, at least currently, I don’t sell certificates like they do. Instead, I summarize the local offerings every day from daily deal sites. I also work with local companies to offer special deals to readers on the Coupons and Offers section, but you can get those deals by contacting the companies directly and mentioning Richmond Bargains. My focus on this site simply passing along information – tips on how Richmonders can save money.
“Soooo, how do you make money?”
(A great question to consider when visiting any website, or getting anything of value for “free”!) Well, first and foremost, I write this blog because I love helping friends and neighbors get great deals. That’s why I started writing in 2008, and that will always be what motivates me. However, I am trying to develop the website as a business as well, to cover operating costs and some of the amount of time I lavish on the blog. The small income I currently make comes from advertising revenue (Google ads and direct relationships with businesses), teaching classes about coupons and saving money, freelancing for RVANews, and affiliate links (when you purchase a Groupon or Living Social deal through one of my links, it supports the site). I am primarily interested in developing relationships with local businesses, so if you know of one that would benefit from more exposure, please let them know about Richmond Bargains!
“Wow, how much time does that take?”
Short answer: A lot. It’s perhaps an hour of writing on an average weekday. Plus miscellaneous time spent researching – that’s jumbled together amidst my email accounts, Facebook feed, Twitter feed, etc. Lately, I’ve been confined to doing site-work in the evenings after everyone else has gone to bed, because the boys just keep me too busy during the day. If you are missing an email reply from me, that’s why. If you notice that there are visual elements that need fixing, that’s why. What you might not realize is how much communication time goes into the site as well. That’s been the biggest surprise to me as Richmond Bargains has grown, is how much of my time gets taken up with conversing with PR people, potential advertisers, current advertisers, people sending me tips, etc. (Currently accepting applications for interns 😉 ) No supermom here – my house, my sleep, or my social schedule, sometimes all three, suffer from time to time because of blogging.
And last but probably the most popular:
“How do you find out about the deals?”
Research, research, research. I get mileage out of my mailing list email addresses (I have two – one general, and one Richmond-specific) and sign up for emails from businesses all around town. I also “like” their Facebook pages. I subscribe to a number of national deal sites and blogs. And I make myself to listen to radio commericals and notice newspaper ads. A small but growing percent come from tips from readers, which are very welcome. Special thanks to folks like Jonah, Anita, Michelle, Wes and others who keep sending stuff my way! I’ve noticed an uptick in people sharing deals on the Facebook page, which is wonderful, because then others can benefit even if I don’t get a chance to post all of them.
P.S. Not really a question, but I hear “I love you guys” a lot. For the sake of clarity, Richmond Bargains is me and no army. Just Alison 🙂
As of June 14th, RichmondBargains.com is officially four years old!
I started writing this blog in 2008 when my first son was just six months old. Now he’s four-and-a-half, and we’ll be celebrating my younger son’s first birthday this week! Thank you everyone for reading faithfully and providing the encouragement to keep doing something I love.
In honor of the occasion, and since there have been plenty of new folks checking out the site for the first time in the past year, I thought I’d do a RichmondBargains.com “Frequently Asked Questions” post. Tomorrow, I’ll share answers to the questions I get asked a lot
(Got a question for me? Please leave a comment, or email me richmondbargains at gmail dot com)
Happy Friday everyone! As childcare permits today and tomorrow, I’m checking out the HEAV homeschool convention at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Last night, I had the very exciting opportunity to meet Crystal Paine (MoneySavingMom.com), whose blog I have been reading for what feels like forever, and who has been a key inspiration to my frugality and blogging journeys. I’m not one for getting giddy, but this is about as close as I get 🙂 She is as nice in person as you would expect – we chatted about kids, homeschooling and blogging, and she said everyone in Richmond has been so friendly. Her work with Compassion International (the proceeds from her book The Money Saving Mom’s Budget
are supporting a Child Survival Program) encouraged us to start sponsoring a child in the Dominican Republic – Luis, from whom we also received our very first letter yesterday!
National Parks – Saturday is another Fee Free Day at national parks, in honor of Get Outdoors Day
Pirouzan Oriental Rugs – Holding an auction on Friday and Saturday of final rug inventory remaining at the store
Virginia State Parks – Book a cabin Thursday or Friday for the coming weekend and save 25%. Reserve through 800-933-7275 only
Chick-fil-A Westchester Commons – “Christmas in July” on Friday – buy one large peppermint milkshake, get one free
Whole Foods – Friday One-Day Deal: Bone-in rib steaks $8.99/lb. (Reg. $13.99/lb) This tender, well marbled cut is from cattle raised on a vegetarian diet with no added growth hormones or antibiotics, ever! Sale valid Friday, June 8th only. While supplies last.
Richmond SPCA – June is “Adopt A Cat Month” at the Richmond SPCA! Adoption fees for all cats aged 6-months and older are reduced by 50 percent
Tip from Wes:
Free McAfee Internet Security 2012 (good for up to 3 pc’s) at Staples
June 3 through June 9
FREE after mail-in rebate,
Reg. Price $69.99 – $4.99 instant savings – $65 mail-in rebate = FREE
Tip from Michelle:
Coupons for Mexico Restaurant– One is for carry out and the other two are for dine in but they are good 7 days a week. (It’s not a no you can’t use them on a Friday or Saturday kind of thing.) Yeah!