Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Savvy Shopper: Get great deals on spring and summer staples

<Best Dealsp>Along with the first day of Spring having taken place, seedless watermelons at $2.98 are another sign that warmer weather is on the horizon. In addition, springtime staples like ice cream, barbecue sauce and chips are available at prices that won't leave you cold.

On top of the deals featured in this article, many more great offers are a click away on our Facebook page (enter "Lubbock Savvy Shopper" in the search tool). To make things even easier, "Like" our page to get the deals delivered right to your news feed!


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Best March Madness 2014 Deals, Discounts and Coupons

You might think about betting money on some NCAA basketball games during the 2014 March Madness tournament, but above all, you should bet your bottom dollar on saving money during this amped-up sporting event. Many retailers are offering promotions and sales. Let's take a look at some of the best savings out there.

TV Deals

You can't watch the games at home without a TV, and many retailers have offers for lower priced electronics and televisions:

  • Dell coupon code F6QLF1RRZJ$GVJ saves you $460 off the LG 60 Plasma Smart HDTV. Expires: March 25.
  • Save during the Sears sale for up to 30 percent off TVs and electronics. Exclusions apply. Expires: March 22.
  • Use Abe's of Maine coupon code GIFTCARD50 for a free $50 gift card with your select TV order. For a limited time only. Expires: March 24.
  • Take advantage of this special offer for a free $500 Crutchfield rewards card with your select LG HDTV order. Expires: March 30.
  • Get up to 20 percent off TVs and electronics at Kmart during its sale. Expires: March 22.
Related: First Day of Spring 2014 Freebies and Discounts

Sporty Savings

Witnessing the action might inspire you to play. Shoot hoops for less, and represent the team you are rooting for with fan gear and sporting goods:

  • Save during the Eastbay Basketball Sale. Online only. Restrictions apply. Expires soon.
  • Finish Line is offering up to 50 percent off NCAA apparel, plus free shipping on many items. Expires: March 28.
  • Shop during this Walmart sale to get a Lifetime 44″ Pro Court Basketball Hoop for only $104. Expires: April 10.
  • Sports Kids has special pricing with 30 percent off NCAA items. Expires soon.
  • Use the College Shack coupon code MADNESS5 for $5 off your $25 or more order. Expires: April 30.
  • Save during the Rawlings gear sale for 15 percent off basketballs. Expires: April 1.
  • Lids has a 2 for $25 special with select NCAA hats. Expires soon.

Fan-Friendly Sales

Everyone wants to get in the game. Even stores unrelated to basketball are offering March Madness savings:

  • Save up to 70 percent off with the Heidi Daus Designs March Madness sale. Expires: March 31.
  • There is a Magazines.com extra 20 percent off March Savings Madness sale, where you can save on ESPN, Paula Dean, Girl's Life and many more. Expires: March 20.
  • Save 15 percent off any order plus get free shipping when you apply MagicMurals coupon code MADNESS15. Expires: March 20.
  • Use Nearly Natural coupon code MARCHMADNESS for 10 percent off all orders for silk flowers. Expires: March 31.
  • SmartWool coupon code MARCHMADNESS gets you free shipping on any order. Expires: March 31.
  • Get a Sports Shot Glass for only $5 at Things Remembered with your Sports Mug order. Expires: April 13.
BeFrugal.com features cash back, online and Coupon Codes restaurant coupons, weekly ads, deals and bargains, as well as web-based tools to help consumers save time and money. Photo credit: Erik Charlton Join for free today and get paid to be frugal!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Keep coupons organized to maximize savings

One of the most challenging aspects of couponing is finding a way to organize your coupons so you can find them when you actually need them. Being organized when it comes to your coupons will save you a lot more money than being unorganized. Many new couponers simply give up couponing because they get frustrated with Price Compare organization. The good news is that there are some very effective and manageable ways to organize your coupons that will increase your grocery savings tremendously. There is no one method that works for everyone, but there are some methods that work better than others.

Common coupon organization methods include:

  • Accordion-style file
  • Envelope or Ziploc baggie in the purse
  • A lunchbox or shoebox with dividers
  • A plastic box made for index or recipe cards
  • The no-clip method
  • The binder method

Accordion-style organizers, envelopes and boxes

The organization methods that involve filing coupons one in front of the other have their benefits. The files, envelopes or small boxes are often small enough to put into your purse, and they are usually lightweight.

If you don't use many coupons, these types of methods may work very well for you.

The downside to these methods is that they make it very difficult to see what coupons you actually have. When you are in the store searching for a coupon, you will spend a lot of time flipping through each envelope or section and looking through each stack. It is very easy to let coupons expire with these types of methods because you can't see the coupons easily.

No-clip method

The no-clip method involves putting each coupon insert into a file each week by date. You do not cut out any coupons when the coupon inserts arrive. Then, when you see the deal lists with the dates of the specific inserts that coupons were in, you go to the different files, find the coupons and cut them out. You do this for every coupon you plan to use that was in the newspaper for the last few weeks.

Although it saves you tons of time on the front end, because you don't cut out any coupons until you see a sale to use them on, you spend much more time going back and forth to the same inserts over and over again for different sales.

Other negatives of using this system include not having a good way to file your printable coupons AND not being able to take advantage of any unadvertised sales. If you only bring to the store the coupons you cut out for your specific shopping trip, you don't get to use your coupons on all the other great deals that stores do not advertise in their flyers including clearance and sales that have continued from the previous week.

The binder method

The binder method, which is the method I use, involves filing coupons in baseball-card holders, dividing them by product type and storing them in a three-ring binder.

This method takes couponing to a new level of organization and allows you to find what you need, when you need it.

When I first started couponing over 15 years ago, I used a traditional accordion-style organizer. It worked for about a month, and I knew I needed another method. I was frustrated because it took me too long to find the coupons I needed when I was making my grocery list and when I was shopping in the store.

I discovered the binder method and have used it ever since.

I will say that the binder is bulky and certainly doesn't fit in my purse. I pretend that lugging it around is like weight lifting, and I am just burning a few extra calories while saving a lot more than a few extra bucks. Although the binder method is not for everyone, it is my favorite method and has worked beautifully for me for well over a decade.

Benefits of using the binder method:
  • A binder organizer can hold far more coupons than most accordion files, envelopes or recipe box organizers.
  • Each coupon and its value are visible, cutting down on the time it takes to find a coupon when you are looking over the sales ads or shopping at the store.
  • Expiration dates are easier to see, and you are less likely to let a valuable coupon expire.
  • You can quickly flip to the pages for the section of the store you are in and see all the coupons you have available. This is especially important if you run into an unexpected or unadvertised deal (which happens to me almost every time I shop).
  • The binders fit easily on the child seat section of the cart, so flipping through the pages as you walk through the aisles is simple.
  • Binder organizers are easily expandable. As your coupon inventory increases, add more coupon pages to your binder.
  • Many binders have pockets with room for your sales ads, calculator, pens and store reward cards.
  • Plus, you will look so cool with that big 'ole binder and people will be amazed by your awesome organization skills!

In reality, people do stop me in the store regularly to ask about my binder and how I have it set up. It's a great time to give a mini coupon class in the store. I am guessing that many of you who use the binder method experience this as well.

Create your own binder coupon organizer

You can easily make your own binder organizer with any three-ring binder (either zippered or not), baseball card pages (found in the trading card section of most big box stores) and tabbed dividers (found in the same big box stores or office stores).

I recommend labeling the tabbed dividers by product type so you can see all the coupons for a specific product in the same section. Here are the tabbed divider labels I use on my organizer:

You will need at least 24 baseball card pages, one for each tabbed divider section. Soon after you start using the binder method, you will probably want to add at least another 24 pages, if not more for some of the sections like dairy and frozen.

Pre-made coupon organizer insert sets

If you would rather purchase the pre-printed tabs and coupon insert pages instead of making them yourself, see my website for a pre-made set that fits in regular all three-ring binders.

What to cut

I use the binder method for 85 percent of my coupons. I cut out those coupons from the newspaper inserts that I know we will use and those coupons I am pretty sure we will use. I also cut out the coupons for products we don't use but I know I can get a good deal on the product to donate to the food bank. Then I leave the rest of the coupons uncut and file them by date in file folders. Every once in a while I end up finding a great deal on a coupon I did not think I would use and then I go back to the insert and cut it out. About once a month, I cut out the coupons I have not used and donate them to the military ( see www.coupsfortroops.com for more information on US military overseas using expired coupons).

Tips to remember

File your new coupons every week so you don't end up with a backlog of coupons.

Bring your organizer with you to your child's extra curricular activities and file while they are in ballet, soccer, music lessons, etc. If you watch a favorite television show each week, that's a perfect time to be cutting and filing coupons.

Remove your expired coupons once a month and then send them to our U.S. military stationed overseas. They can use manufacturer coupons that are expired for up to six months at the commissaries on overseas bases. For more information on this wonderful opportunity to give back to our U.S military, see www.coupsfortroups.com.

Each time you go through the cycle of filing coupons and shopping with your organizer, you will become more efficient and save more and more money. Good luck organizing and remember: It's your money - spend it wisely!

Friday, March 14, 2014

'Scandal' Star Tony Goldwyn Cast As Polygamist In Lifetime Movie

Tony Goldwyn ("scandal cast") is set to play Warren Jeffs in an upcoming Lifetime movie. The film, "Outlaw Prophet," is based on the book from Stephen Singular, "When Men Become Gods."

"For the past six months we've been talking with producer Judith Verno about locations, details of the story. Our first choice for the book's title was 'Outlaw Prophet' which they're now using for the TV movie," Singular told the Denver Post of the production.

Jeffs was the leader of a fundamentalist Mormon polygamist sect who was caught after evading authorities for more than a year. The film follows Jeffs' rise to power following the death of his father.

Art Monterastelli ("The Hunted"), Steve Kornacki ("Boardwalk Empire") and Bryce Kass wrote the script for the movie, which will be directed by Gabriel Range ("Death of a President").

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

Entertainment News

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Business inventories up, but sales drop in Jan.

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. businesses continued to restock their shelves and warehouses in January, but sales plunged during the snowstorm-plagued month.

Inventories rose 0.4% after a 0.5% increase in December, the Commerce Department said Thursday. But sales dropped 0.9% in January after a 0.1% decrease the previous month, putting sales back near September 2013 levels.

The report suggests that winter weather kept shoppers at home. But businesses anticipate a rebound because they expanded their inventories to meet expected demand in the months ahead.

SHOPPERS: JOBLESS CLAIMS: Drop points to stronger labor market Feb. retail sales rebound despite winter weather

Still, there is a possible danger to economic growth: When companies build their stockpiles as their sales fall, they may end up stuck with more goods than they need.

That potentially forces them to slash prices and sell at discounts in order to clear the extra inventory.

However, the February retail sales figures released separately Coupon Thursday indicate that sales growth has picked up. Retail spending rose 0.3% in February. Retail sales had fallen 0.6% in January and 0.3% in December.

The increase suggests that consumer spending has started to recover after being tempered by snowstorms and freezing temperatures that blanketed much of the country.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Yet overall economic growth could be slower due to the recent decline in sales and inventory expansion that has slowed from its pace in the middle of 2013.

Slower restocking will likely lower growth to about a 2% annual pace in the first quarter of 2014, down from 4.1% in last year's July-September quarter and 2.4% in the October-December quarter.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

HTC One Deals: Available for Free on Amazon

If you were looking to buy a new smartphone, then the timing is great Coupon has a couple of HTC One deals for you. The HTC One, which is undoubtedly the best-looking smartphone released on the market in 2013, is now available for only a penny on contract with two of the biggest US carriers.

Amazon is offering the Sprint HTC One with 32 GB of storage for only $0.01 after you sign a two-year contract with the retailer. Given that Sprint is offering the HTC One at $99.99, you will save almost $100 if you take advantage of Amazon's deal. If you prefer to buy the Sprint HTC One off-contract, you should know that the price is $699.99. Besides the Silver Sprint HTC One, you will also be able to choose from the Red or Black models.

If you prefer Verizon, then Amazon has a deal for you as well. The 32 GB Verizon HTC One is available for $0.01, of course with a two-year contract. Unfortunately, Amazon is only selling the Black Verizon HTC One model, but you will be able to save almost $50, as Big Red is selling it on its website at $49.99. The contract-free price of the Verizon HTC One is $699.99.

Amazon also has a HTC One deal for the AT&T variant. While AT&T is selling the 32 GB HTC One on their website at $199.99, you will be able to order it from Amazon at $49.99, therefore you'll save about $150. The AT&T HTC One is available with a Silver body or a Black body. In case you don't want to sign a two-year contract with the carrier, you will be able to grab the AT&T One at $699.99.

Furthermore, if you order any of the three aforementioned HTC One variants in the next 51 hours (at the time the article was written) you will have it shipped to you on Monday, March 10.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Interstate linking Vegas, Phoenix faces tough go

<weather phoenixp>By MICHELLE RINDELS
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Las Vegas and Phoenix are linked by a road that narrows to two lanes, hits stoplights in a Depression-era town and until recently backed up traffic over the Hoover Dam.

Despite being two of the largest cities in the Southwest, they aren't directly connected by an interstate freeway.

There have been halting advances toward creating a slick, new highway to cover the 300 miles of desert between Sin City and the Valley of the Sun, but if it's ever going to happen, according to Steve Betts, leader of a coalition of project supporters, "everyone would have to be very creative."

An effort to improve what's now a 4 ½-hour drive with a more reliable road has heavy-hitting allies, including business leaders and the Republican governor of each state. "Long-term jobs are created by our connectivity," Betts said, noting that the stretch would be the first piece of a new shipping route between Mexico and Canada.

But critics ask whether such a multibillion dollar development would be more than a vanity project that would take resources away from more immediate concerns. The cities already "are connected by U.S. 93. Whether they need an interstate is a question," said transportation historian Earl Swift.

That the cities aren't already linked by an interstate is a fluke of timing. The Phoenix and Vegas populations exploded just after the national road-building frenzy that started in the 1950s.

"As good as the planners were in the midcentury, they could not have foreseen the emergence of Las Vegas," said Robert Lang, director of Brookings Mountain West, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas-based think tank focused on the region's economics and public policy.

The Las Vegas metro area, population 2 million, is 40 times larger than it was in 1950. The Phoenix area, population 4.3 million, has grown 13-fold over that span.

"It's very difficult to remedy something like this once it goes wrong," said Lang, an expert in urban and economic growth. "Piecing this back together is a heavy lift."

Highway supporters won a key victory last year when Congress formally designated Interstate 11. The legislation provides no funding, but it allows builders to tap into interstate construction dollars.

Following that designation, transportation departments in the two states took up a $2.5 million study to plot routes and estimate a cost. The project could run about $4 billion using rough Federal Highway Administration estimates, or closer to $10 billion by other calculations.

Outside-the-box solutions could be necessary as the project confronts difficult political and financial realities.

The nation's interstate system grew out of "a groundswell of grassroots demand" that partly involved safety. The national road fatality rate in 1956, when funding for the system was approved, was almost six times higher than in 2011, the most recent year statistics are available.

"The highway death toll was shocking," said Swift, whose book "The Big Roads," explores the history of the interstate system.

Vehicle crashes were "killing more people on the roads every year than we lost (annually) in Vietnam. It was a crisis," he said. "The public was pushing congressmen to do something about it."

Decades later, the Interstate 11 project doesn't have such public urgency, and safety has been a relatively minor aspect of the pitch.

The main talking points now are how the interstate would create more efficient freight flows and boost the regional economy. "It's not a matter of functionality," said Tom Skancke, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance.

"Looking from a global competitiveness standpoint, does it compete better globally?" he asked. "Or do we want to bounce along the bottom?"

An interstate could link Los Angeles, Phoenix and Las Vegas as partners in a "megaregion" that competes with other regions, and could open a trade route from Mexico to Pacific Ocean ports and Canada. Arizona and Nevada are currently losing much of that flow and its attendant development to Texas and California, according to Betts, chairman of CAN-DO, an acronym for Connecting Arizona and Nevada-Delivering Opportunities.

Proponents warn about the consequences of doing nothing, pointing to projections that the cities will add a combined 4 million people by 2025.

"We have to get ahead of the curve," Skancke said. "We're reacting to what happened 30 years ago, while the rest of the world is building."

Proponents are pushing nontraditional financing for Interstate 11, suggesting a public-private partnership in which investors would step in to provide funding. Others, such as transportation expert Bob Poole, of the libertarian Reason Foundation, suggest making the entire stretch a toll road.

Such plans acknowledge the reality that the federal highway fund, which pays for road projects, has dwindled under a revenue model that hasn't changed in 20 years. Also, aging roads and bridges demand an increasing share of that money annually.

However the project would be funded, supporters will need to overcome concerns from those who ask how essential it is that the two cities are linked by an "interstate" - defined as a multi-lane, divided highway with interchanges and few access points.

Road proposals are sometimes more about prestige than empirical demands, Swift said.

"Kill away all the layered arguments, and an awful lot comes down to 'We're too important not to have it,'" he said.

Arizona is well on its way to widening a 200-mile stretch of two-lane road between Phoenix and the Nevada line. All but 40 of those miles are now four-lane, divided highway, addressing most congestion problems there, said Michael Kies, the Interstate 11 project manager for the Arizona Department of Transportation.

In Nevada, county leaders recently approved a local fuel tax increase to pay for the $300 million Boulder City Bypass, aimed at loosening the most notable bottleneck between Las Vegas and the Arizona border. The 12-mile route will allow drivers to avoid Boulder City's quaint but often congested downtown streets. The bypass is expected to be complete in late 2017.

Also, in a joint Nevada-Arizona project, a bridge went up in late 2010 allowing travelers to bypass tourist traffic on top of the Hoover Dam.

Still, other critics worry that pushing further toward the interstate dream would contribute to urban sprawl and hurt the environment.

"The last thing we need is another freeway," said Sandy Bahr, president of the Arizona chapter of the Sierra Club. "We need to look for other transportation modes."


Follow Michelle Rindels on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RindelsAP.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2 Threats to Amazon.com's Future Growth

When a company is expected to grow earnings by 40% plus over the next several years, any threat to this earnings growth should be carefully considered by investors. Though Buy Cheap.com seems to want to be everything to everyone, there are at least two major threats that could hurt this company's potential.

A well-known issue everyone seems to ignore
There should be little doubt that one of the prime reasons many people shop online is to avoid paying sales tax at the point of sale. Though some believe that Amazon's competitive advantage is convenience, the economy of the last several years has taught many people to watch every dollar they spend.

It just makes good sense that if a consumer can buy the exact same product from Amazon and avoid paying sales tax they will do so. To combat this challenge, companies like Wal-Mart Stores are willing to continually cut prices to compete with their online counterparts. Though size clearly plays a part, Wal-Mart's U.S. sales growth came in at just 2.4% in the company's last quarter.

With over 4,000 locations domestically, Wal-Mart is probably a better proxy for the domestic marketplace than Amazon. However, there should be little doubt that the ability to avoid sales tax by purchasing on Amazon is hurting the physical retailers' sales.

Though some might believe sales tax won't be an issue, it's hard to ignore the obvious slowdown in Amazon's overall sales growth in concert with more states requiring sales tax be charged to its customers. Currently, 19 states require Amazon customers to pay sales tax. Not coincidentally, Amazon's worldwide trailing 12 month sales growth has slowed sequentially from 29% in the fourth quarter of 2012, to 24% in the fourth quarter of 2013.

As Amazon continues to expand, more states will certainly require sales tax to be collected, or a nationwide online sales tax may become law. This sales tax issue is a huge competitive difference between a company like eBay and Amazon.

Most of eBay's sellers generate less than $1 million in out-of-state revenue, which would exempt them from collecting sales tax under the current version of the bill. In short, eBay could become a haven for tax avoiding customers.

With more than 60% of Amazon's revenue coming from general merchandise and electronic sales, this might be the most significant threat facing the company today.

A Prime concern
A second threat to Amazon's future actually comes from one of the company's most popular features. Amazon Prime members pay $79 per year for many benefits including free two-day shipping and streaming of thousands of instant video titles, this could change in the future.

Amazon has suggested that the Prime service may be too expensive to maintain the $79 annual price. If the company raised the price by $20 to $40 as has been suggested, Amazon could lose a significant portion of its membership.

In fact, a poll by Bizrate Insights of 200 customers found that 46% thought that the existing $79 price for Amazon Prime was too high. It's not hard to imagine these customers choosing to cancel their membership if Amazon goes through with a price hike of at least 25%.

eBay would seem to be a natural destination for jilted Prime members. The company offers a discount on seller's fees if they offer free shipping and meet certain criteria. Though eBay may not show the same type of revenue growth as Amazon, the company's Marketplaces business has consistently grown users at a double-digit rate, and its fixed price merchandise volume increased by 19% on a year-over-year basis.

In addition, if shoppers are looking for convenience, Wal-Mart's vast number of locations in everyday low prices could draw Prime members back into the stores. Wal-Mart could also one up Amazon at its own game by using its store locations as mini shipping warehouses.

Amazon claims that its Prime service has "millions of members." Imagine these customers having to choose whether to pay a higher annual price for Prime, while simultaneously having to pay sales tax on their purchases where they did not before. For a stock that still trades at a forward P/E ratio of more than 180, a continued slowdown in the company's revenue growth could mean the recent hit to the stock price is only the beginning.

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

The TouchArcade Show - 143 - Hodappy Bird Better Be Playable in 'Mikey Flapps'

<Promo Codesimg src="http://toucharcade.com/wp-content/plugins/lazy-load/images/1x1.trans.gif">

This week's podcasts starts with a nice long discussion on emulation, spurred by the recent release of GBA4iOS. From there, we of course talk about the hottest games of the week, including a typical chat on free to play mechanics due to Bug Heroes 2 launching free to play and immediately switching back to paid. All the relevant news is in there too, and we take a break to talk about the Mikey games getting ported to Android.

If you've been having trouble with our podcast feed, it seems like the way to fix it is by unsubscribing and resubscribing in your podcast management app of choice.

Don't forget to shoot us emails with any questions, feedback, or anything else relevant or irrelevant to podcast@toucharcade.com. We read 'em all, even if they don't make it into the podcast.

As always, you can listen to us with the links below... And if you like what you hear, please subscribe and/or drop us a review in iTunes. Much appreciated!

iTunes Link: The TouchArcade Show
Zune Marketplace: TouchArcade.com Podcasts
RSS Feed: The TouchArcade Show
Direct Link: TouchArcadeShow-143.mp3, 82.8MB

GAMES NEWS This week's episode of The TouchArcade Show is sponsored by...

Epic Ninja Game - Pixel Art Retro Fast Paced 2D Platformer, $1.99 - Epic Ninja Game is a new 2D twitch platformer - a retro blast from the past with its 8-bit sound and pixel art graphics. Play one of 90 levels in 3 exciting worlds. The story is in an action-packed comic book spread across the game. Every world has boss fights and many new ways to die!

Epic Ninja Game is available now on iOS, Android, Mac, and PC. See the trailer and get it now at www.EpicNinjaGame.com.

West Texas Crude Discount Spurs Unit Train Trips to Gulf Coast

The cost of light crude in West Texas has dropped far enough below Louisiana prices to prompt shippers to move oil to the Gulf Coast by rail.

Refinery maintenance has reduced local demand at the same time as crude output has recovered since the fourth quarter of 2013, when extreme weather caused well freeze-ups. Operations in the Permian Basin have returned to normal, a Jan. 20 statement from Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (PXD) showed.

West Texas Intermediate in Midland, Texas, fell by 75 cents to a Deal News of $15.40 a barrel against Light Louisiana Sweet, the benchmark crude on the Gulf Coast, at 3:53 p.m. New York time today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The spread has widened from $8.75 on Jan. 28.

"We're seeing a bit of a resurgence now, we've moved a few unit trains out," Bruce Carswell, vice president at Permian Basin Railways, which runs two short-line railways that carry oil from the formation, said by phone yesterday. "In the last month, we've seen things improve, and more conversations with folks about trying to turn the spigot back on."

WTI in Midland averaged $11.06 below LLS in January and $10.99 so far in February, both above any month since April of last year.

Rail Loading

The Gulf Coast region had 815,000 barrels a day of crude rail loading capacity in 2013, according to U.S. State Department data. All of that capacity is located in the Permian and Eagle Ford basins in western and southern Texas. The region had about 985,000 barrels a day of unloading capacity, mostly on the Texas and Louisiana coast.

Midland, 300 miles (483 kilometers) west of Dallas, is a pricing hub for the Permian Basin crude, the largest onshore U.S. oilfield sitting mostly below western Texas. The basin is expected to produce 1.4 million barrels a day in February, according to Energy Information Administration forecasts.

That would be an increase of about 110,000 barrels a day from a year earlier and 500,000 barrels a day from February 2010. Producers are using improved technology to recover more oil from old wells and find crude in previously untappable rock.

To contact the reporters on this story: Dan Murtaugh in Houston at dmurtaugh@bloomberg.net; Eliot Caroom in New York at ecaroom@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

Saturday, February 1, 2014

New February printable and digital coupons!

It's the beginning of the month and most of the printable Deal Of The Day sites add new coupons and reload some of their coupons from the previous month so you can print them again! So, if there is a coupon you really wanted, but it was out of prints last month, it may be available today! Read on for the list of printable coupon sites to visit today.

You will want to check out the following sites in the next couple days to print your favorite coupons before they are no longer available. Some of these sites don't reset their coupons every month on the first day, but they usually add new coupons throughout the month, so be sure to check them out.

* Coupons.com coupons can be found in the Smart Shopper Coupons link above. Some of my favorite manufacturer's coupons each month come from this website!

* Smartsource.com - Good source for printable manufacturer's coupons

* Redplum.com - Good source for printable manufacturer's coupons

* BettyCrocker.com - Good source for printable manufacturer's coupons for Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and other products

* Pillsbury.com - Good source for printable manufacturer's coupons for Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and other products

* CommonKindness.com - Good source for organic and health food product coupons

* SavingStar.com: With the e-coupon site SavingStar, you don't print out a coupon to redeem at the register. You load digital coupons to your reward card and then the coupon savings are added to your SavingStar account. Once you have accrued $5 worth of savings in your SavingStar account, you can cash the savings in for a gift card. You can choose to receive an Amazon gift card, have the money deposited into your Paypal account or checking account or donate it to a non-profit organization. My favorite aspect of this site is that you can use a hard copy coupon at the register for a product that also offers a SavingStar e-coupon! For more information, click the Thursday Thoughts: SavingStar link in the box above or head to their website HERE.

* Checkout 51 is a new coupon source that can be used in conjunction with paper coupons and other digital coupon programs! And you can use it with your smartphone or computer. Sign up on the Checkout 51 website HERE for free using your e-mail or Facebook info. Browse the available offers (and print out a list if you don't think you will remember them). Head to the store (any store) and buy the offers you want (we have had offers for milk, orange juice, cereal and more!). Take a photo of your receipt and upload it to Checkout 51. Once they confirm your purchase, they will credit your Checkout 51 account in about 24 hours. When you accrue $20 in your Checkout 51 account, you can cash it out in the form of a check mailed to your address. It's a very easy way to increase your coupon and save savings even more!

* ibotta.com is a coupon site that allows you to earn cash back on the groceries and non-food items you buy at stores including Harris Teeter, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart, Kroger and more! For more information, click the ibotta app article in the box above or go to the ibotta.com website. PLUS, they are offering a new member bonus right now. New members get a $2 Welcome Aboard sign-up bonus when you redeem your first offer within 10 days of registering HERE!

* Recyclebank.com is a website that gives you points for learning about great ways to become more eco-friendly in your home and throughout your community. You can cash in those points for coupons, freebies (like magazine subscriptions) and gift cards to places like Panera, iTunes, Best Buy and more! It's free to join and you can start earning points right away by doing easy activities like watching videos about recycling, pledging to recycle certain products and reading articles about eco-friendly topics.

* EatBetterAmerica.com (this site often has coupons for health foods and organic products)

* Mambosprouts.com (this site has a number of products for health foods and organic products)

* KelloggsFamilyRewards.com for printable coupons valid on various Kellogg's products when you use points collected on the boxes of qualifying products. Sign up for a free account, enter codes from participating Kellogg's products (codes are printed in the inside of the box), earn points for each code and then redeem the points for coupons! It's all free and if you use Kellogg's products, it won't take you long to get enough points for coupons.

Once you get a chance to look at the new coupons, let us know which are your favorites!

As you see new coupons become available in the next couple days, please let us know by posting in the comments section below or in the Share the Deals section for the day.

This post contains some affiliate links and I thank you for using them!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Naked Yoga Model Demonstrates Poses In Her Birthday Suit (NSFW)

I have mixed feelings about the series photographer Peter Hegre posted on reddit nsfw of his wife, Luba Shumeyko, doing super-advanced yoga poses in the buff. One the one hand, the photographs are undeniably beautiful. On the other hand, well, a lot of things. I hate that they perpetuate the myth that yoga poses are supposed to look a certain way. The fact is, most bodies will never be able to do many of these poses and seeing someone else do them can make the practice seem unapproachable - especially to newbies. Also, sadly, because she is naked, some dope will see these pictures and mistakenly think that yoga is sexually charged practice. Actually, it's not - or shouldn't be, I should say. With some recent sex scandals that have rocked the yoga world, you can see how easily those lines get blurred. Naturally, Redditors had various reactions - from discussion of Luba needing to "eat a cheeseburger" to admiration of "her physical strength" to comments about "how much more detail you can see in muscle tone when clothing is off." Because how could a woman be naked without everyone weighing in? Click through and see what you think about the naked asanas (NSFW). [ Nerve; Huffington Post; Imgur]

Thursday, January 23, 2014

NASA to Launch Five New Earth Science Missions in 2014

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NASA is putting more eyes on the Earth in 2014 than it has in more than a decade, with five launches delivering Earth science missions to Earth orbit and the International Space Station over the course of this year.

The new missions will study the Earth's systems in the hopes of addressing major issues including "climate change, sea level rise, decreasing availability of fresh water and extreme weather underground events," according to a NASA press release. The three satellites and two new instruments for the ISS are designed to collect data on carbon dioxide, rainfall, snowfall, soil, winds and clouds, among other things. (MORE: 10 Amazing Things We Learned in 2013 About the Only Earth We'll Ever Have)

"This really is shaping up to be the year of the Earth," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in the release, "and this focus on our home planet will make a significant difference in people's lives around the world."

The launches are as follows:

1. February 27: The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory. Launched on a Japanese H-IIA rocket, GPM will study precipitation to understand the Earth's water cycle.

2. June 6: The ISS-RapidScat mission. ISS-RapidScat is, as its name indicates, headed for the space station, where it will collect data on global ocean winds to improve climate research, weather forecasting and storm tracking.

3. July: The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO)-2. Originally scheduled for 2009 but scrapped after a launch failure, OCO-2 will study global levels of carbon dioxide to better understand the carbon cycle and both natural and human sources of the greenhouse gas.

4. Sept 12: The Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS). CATS is also headed for the ISS and will study small particles in the atmosphere, called aerosols, which affect cloud cover and the climate in ways that are crucial but not well understood. They're also dangerous for human health at ground level.

5. November: The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission. SMAP data is expected to improve weather forecasts, agricultural productivity and flood and drought monitoring through studying the moisture in Earth's soil.

The two ISS missions will be launched on Falcon 9 rockets by private company SpaceX, which has a contract with NASA to deliver supplies to the space station. In total, five Earth-observing instruments are set to be delivered to the space station through 2017.

"This is just the beginning of the space station becoming a part of the global Earth-observing network," ISS chief scientist Julie Robinson said in the release.

MORE: Beautiful Satellite Images of Earth From Space

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Coupon Kitchen - Pick the right day for sale items at Lowes

This week, Lowes Foods has a few in-ad coupons for its three-day sale Jan. 24-26. Be sure to shop on those three days to get the best price on the rotisserie chicken and Fresh Express garden salad included below.

The subtotal for all three meals is $31.67, or $2.64 per serving. Most of the items below can be found in the Lowes Foods ads in today's StarNews.

Deal News Kitchen features recipes based on weekly sales at Harris Teeter, Lowes Foods and Food Lion, rotating between the stores each week. For a full week of recipes, coupons and extra savings, visit


Shopping List

Chicken and black bean tostadas

Lowes Foods fajita-size tortillas - $1.69

1 large rotisserie chicken - $4.99 (with in-store coupon valid Jan. 24-26)

Lowes Foods black beans, 15 oz - $.80

Wholly Guacamole, 7 oz - $2.99, or $1.99 with $1-off coupon from EatWholly.com/omg

Kraft shredded cheddar cheese - $1.78

Fresh Express garden salad - $.98 (with in-store coupon valid Jan. 24-26)

2 roma tomatoes ~ $.80

Chicken fajita spuds

4 large baking potatoes ~ $1.80

Lowes Foods fat-free sour cream, 8 oz - $.99

1 onion ~ $.80

1 green pepper - $1.49

1 roma tomato ~ $.40

2 green tomatoes - $.89

Sautéed shrimp with Italian roasted green beans and tomatoes:

1 lb green snap beans - $1.29

1 pint grape tomatoes - $2.99

1 lb shrimp - $7.99

Chicken & black bean tostadas

4 fajita-size tortillas

2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast

15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 package Wholly Guacamole

Shredded cheddar cheese

Shredded lettuce

2 roma tomatoes, diced

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place tortillas on large cookie sheet. Spray both sides of tortillas with cooking spray. Bake two to three minutes, flip over, and cook two to three minutes longer, until lightly browned around edges.

Meanwhile, add chicken, black beans, cumin and chili powder to a large skillet and stir. Bring heat to medium-low and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until warmed through.

Spread 1 Tbsp of guacamole on each tortilla shell. Top with chicken/bean mixture, shredded cheese, lettuce and tomato. Serves four.

Chicken fajita spuds

4 large baking potatoes, washed and dried

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

½ cup fat-free sour cream

1 Tbsp butter

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 tsp olive oil

1 onion, sliced

1 green pepper, sliced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken

1 Tbsp water

1 roma tomato, diced

2 green tomatoes, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pierce potatoes with a fork or sharp knife. Place on a paper towel, leaving space between each potato, and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Turn over potatoes and cook an additional five to 10 minutes or until tender when poked with a fork.

After allowing to cool, cut a one-inch-wide strip from top of each baked potato. Carefully scoop out pulp, leaving shells intact; set shells aside. Mash pulp and stir in a quarter-cup of cheese, sour cream, butter, salt and pepper. Spoon back into shells and place on a baking sheet. Bake potatoes at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and green pepper; sauté for five minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, chicken and water. Reduce heat and let simmer for two to three minutes.

Remove potatoes from oven. Top with chicken mixture and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake five more minutes or until cheese melts. Top with diced tomatoes and green onions. Serves four.

Sautéed shrimp with Italian roasted green beans & tomatoes

2 green onions, chopped

1 lb green snap beans, trimmed

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

1 tsp salt, divided

1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered

1 tsp dried oregano

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp minced garlic

1 lb shrimp, peeled and de-veined

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Toss green onions, green beans, 1 Tbsp olive oil and ½ tsp salt in a medium bowl. Spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast in oven for 10 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes and oregano; return to the oven and roast until the vegetables begin to brown, about 10 minutes more.

Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle shrimp with remaining salt, pepper and garlic. Add shrimp to pan; cook two minutes on each side or until shrimp are done.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Amazon Wants to Send You Stuff Before You've Even Decided to Buy It

The idea is called 'anticipatory shipping'


E-commerce juggernaut amazon local.com has a long legacy of fielding eyebrow-raising ideas-it recently told it was experimenting with delivery by drone and, heck, even the Kindle e-reader was out-there at one point. Now the Seattle-based giant has patented a method of shipping products before customers even place an order.

In December, Amazon was granted U.S. Patent No. 8,615,473 B2 for what the company describes as "anticipatory shipping," or a way of initiating the delivery process before a customer even clicks "buy." The idea is to cut down delivery time and, possibly, make it even less necessary to visit brick and mortar stores.

The document describes a process for boxing and shipping items the company expects customers in a specific area will want-based on previous orders, product searches, wish lists, or the contents of a shopping-cart before checkout.

Once in transit, the packages would theoretically wait at the shippers' hubs or on trucks until an order arrives. That is a different approach than the current approach: Today, the site receives an order and then labels packages with the final destination addresses at its warehouses before loading them onto waiting delivery trucks.

Sucharita Mulpuru, a Forrester Research analyst, told the Wall Street Journal: "It appears Amazon is taking advantage of their copious data. Based on all the things they know about their customers they could predict demand based on a variety of factors."

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

VaporCigaretteDeals Suggests E Cigs Users to Buy Cheap Electronic Cigarettes in 2014

Deerfield Beach, FL -- ( SBWIRE) -- 01/14/2014 -- The year 2013 has experienced some massive changes and the most shocking of all has to be the sudden price hike on tobacco cigarettes. The financial meltdown in 2013 has resulted in many products increasing their prices but the tobacco cigarette price has affected the buyers majorly. And unable to quit the habit of smoking cigarettes smokers were instead looking for effective alternatives. The most effective smoking alternative is the e cigarette smoking. Many review sites for e cigarettes suggest smokers to Price Compare Electronic Cigarettes in 2014.

Click Here To Know More About The Most Popular Electronic Cigarettes.

VaporCigaretteDeals has played a major role in clarifying the confusion related to the price of electronic cigarettes. Many smokers of tobacco cigarettes often tend to mistake the stylish looking e cigarettes to be more expensive than the tobacco cigarettes and are hesitant to give them a try. But the site VaporCigaretteDeals clarifies this doubt by listing out some of the most affordable brands of electronic cigarettes manufactured in the business. The experts of the site even suggest the smokers to Buy Cheap Electronic Cigarettes in 2014 and quit the habit of smoking the expensive tobacco cigarettes.

The official spokesperson of the website added, "On our site VaporCigaretteDeals we revealed that major percentage of smokers are unable to cope up with the sudden hike in the price of e cigarettes and at the same time mistake the stylish looking e cigarettes to be expensive. But the actual fact is disclosed by our site as we suggest the smokers to Buy Cheap Electronic Cigarettes in 2014 from the affordable brands listed on our site."

In spite of the increasing popularity EverSmoke is the most affordable e cigarette brand.

How to Buy Cheap Electronic Cigarettes in 2014? Read more about it on http://www.VaporCigaretteDeals.com/.

About VaporCigaretteDeals.com
VaporCigaretteDeals.com is an electronic cigarette review website that reviews some of the top brands of electronic cigarettes available in the international market.

For more information about VaporCigaretteDeals.com contact Michael Smith at +911244110418 FREE or support@VaporCigaretteDeals.com, 3422 SW 15 Street, Suite #5217,Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Shoppers want to spend on gifts, not shipping

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After Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Green Monday comes the final holiday shopping day of the season with its own moniker: Free Shipping Day. That day occurred Wednesday and data from FreeShipping.com shows consumers embraced free shipping deals at Walmart.com, Kohls.com and Target.com the most.

The site says more than 1 million consumers signed up with their first name and e-mail to gain access to free shipping offers from retailers including Victoria's Secret, Macy's Inc. and Best Buy Co. FreeShipping.com says 25% more visitors logged into the site on Free Shipping day this year than last year. That's more than the 8.3% growth in site visits FreeShipping.com posted on the holiday last year.

Walmart.com, Kohls.com, and Target.com experienced the highest volume of clicks and purchases from FreeShipping.com members. Target had nearly a 50% increase in purchases from FreeShipping.com members compared to the previous 17 days of the month. 16% of FreeShipping.com members who visited the site before the holiday in December returned to browse and shop on Free Shipping Day. And apparently it's the women of households who are clamoring to finish up their online gift buying, as 63% of all visitors to FreeShipping.comwere female.

Amazon.com, meanwhile has been heavily promoting its Prime Membership, which offers free, two-day shipping for 22 million items sold on Amazon.com for $79 per year. Members of Amazon Prime who live in the contiguous United States have until midnight Eastern time on Sunday, Dec. 22, to order their goodies in time for Christmas.

True Prime procrastinators can still shop Amazon for select items as late as Dec. 23, though, and pay an extra $2.99 minimum fee per item to have the items delivered by Dec. 25. Amazon also offers "local express delivery" on Dec. 24, Christmas Eve, for $3.99 per item. Local express delivery is available in Baltimore; Boston; Chicago; Indianapolis; New York City; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Seattle; the San Bernardino, CA, area; Washington, D.C.; and in parts of New Jersey.

Despite an array of items eligible for Prime shipping on Amazon.com, recent analysis from Colin Sebastian, an analyst for investment firm Robert W. Baird & Co., finds there is plenty of room for Prime to expand to add more products. A fourth quarter inventory survey conducted by the firm finds that only 11% of all physical items on Amazon.com are eligible for Prime shipping-including 25% of media products, such as books and music CDs, and just 6% of non-media products. Baird research estimates there are at least 15 million paying Amazon Prime members, and such shoppers typically order three to four times more products than non-members, with a natural inclination toward buying Prime-eligible products.

"We see further Prime product availability as creating a virtuous cycle of increasing subscriptions, further category penetration and greater unit sales velocity," Sebastian writes in his analysis. Amazon does not disclose the number of Prime members.
The survey also finds that, despite the later start to holiday shopping this year, many items are now out of stock on Amazon.com, particularly products in the home and kitchen, electronics, home improvement, appliances and health categories. Sebastian says this suggests a strong end to the holiday shopping season.

Other just-released holiday shopping data suggests it isn't just U.S. shoppers hitting sites like Amazon to finish up their gift buying. Canada Post Corp., Canada's national mail and courier service, says it is on track to deliver a record 27 million parcels this holiday season. It also is reporting a 20% increase in domestic parcel volumes from the third week of November through mid-December compared to the same time last year. Canada Post delivers packages to 6,400 postal outlets across the country that consumers visit to pick up their packages.

"We've seen firsthand the incredible role that online shopping is playing this holiday season," says Doug Jones, senior vice president of delivery and customer experience at Canada Post. "It is a good-news challenge we have this year, with Canadians entrusting us with their own increase in parcel deliveries and shopping experiences, but we also need them to pick up their items as quickly as possible at their local postal outlet."

Jones adds that Canada Post has been delivering packages on weekends since Nov. 16 and, since then, it's delivered more than 700,000 parcels on Saturdays and Sundays. This past Monday, Canada Post set a record for daily parcel delivery by delivering 1.25 million packages.

Amazon.com is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. Walmart.com is No.4, Kohls.com is No.26 and Target.com is No.18.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sports Authority Coupon 2014: 15% off Coupons, Printable Coupon & Deals

<Online Dealsp>

Los Angeles, CA -- ( SBWIRE) -- 01/06/2014 -- Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, Sports Authority stands out as a company that excels in athletic shoes and apparel for men, women, and children. Sports Authority is a retailer that offers a huge selection of sports equipment and apparel, where consumers can find everything they need to complete any home gym, including exercise machines, free weights and stretching mats. The company is the nation's preeminent full-line sporting goods chain, which can help a business or home office operate efficiently, and provide effective client services through its retail stores and website. Each week the company changes their sales to offer discounts on several items throughout the store, where shoppers can stay in shape and on budget by using the Sports Authority coupon codes and free shipping offers.

sportsauthority.com: Get 15% Off coupon on your order

sportsauthority.com: Enjoy $20 Off Online Orders $100+

sportsauthority.com: View All Available Sports Authority Coupons

The Sports Authority coupon code is the best way to save money on purchasing gym equipment or the latest and greatest gear from the sports world at a very reasonable cost. This Sports Authority coupon code will allow customers to get the opportunity of saving on different versions of accessories that can be used for outdoor activities and the amount of money that customers got as their savings can be used to purchase other products that they might need. Sports Authority coupons provide additional discounts off the original price. These Sports Authority coupon codes are exclusive unadvertised deals and are not published outside of Sports Authority's affiliate networks. Consumers must hunt Sports Authority coupons down through the internet. The discount is calculated when the ordering is processed. To use the Sports Authority coupon code, consumers must enter it on the check out page before they submit their ordering.

Sports Authority is a full-line sporting goods store, which is dedicated to providing our customers with the best shopping experience possible by consistently providing an impressive assortment of brand name merchandise at great values in over 1,200 categories including equipment, footwear and apparel. Dedicated to increasing that value, Sports Authority strives to be the first choice for the sports, leisure and recreational customer by providing industry-leading customer service and product knowledge as well as "Specialty Service at Everyday Low Prices". When customers sign up for the newsletter they will also receive a Sports Authority coupon for 10% on their next purchase.

About Cheaperseeker
Cheaperseeker provides not only Sports Authority online coupons, promotions, and discounts but also for hundreds of other top stores throughout the US and around the world, so remember to check over at Cheaperseeker.com before doing any online shopping at sportsauthority.com or other online store to make sure the prices paid are as low as possible.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

5 Cheap Tech Stocks to Buy Now

Jeff Reeves, Editor of InvestorPlace.com

Tech stocks are undoubtedly at risk of overheating after a great run in 2013. But finding cheap stocks to Deal News in the technology sector isn't impossible ... if you know where to look.

Sure, social media is full of froth, with LinkedIn ( LNKD) sporting a forward P/E of almost 100 and recent IPO Twitter ( TWTR) racing up over the holidays. Finding cheap stocks to buy in this corner of the tech sector seems nigh impossible.

Elsewhere among tech stocks, you've got once-battered players like chipmaker Micron ( MU) that have soared by triple digits in short order on turnaround hopes. No luck there, either.

But there are thousands of tech stocks of numerous flavors, and not all picks have run up to extreme valuations just yet.

If you are looking for cheap tech stocks to buy, you have to look at unsung companies that have been overlooked by the rest of Wall Street. And it also helps if you have the patience for dividends and long-term growth instead of the desire to snag a short-term momentum trade in a fashionable name.

Consider these five cheap tech stocks as bargain buys for the New Year:

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, http://investorplace.com/2014/01/5-cheap-tech-stocks-buy-now/.

©2014 InvestorPlace Media, LLC