How to Save Money When Buying in Bulk

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Don’t you hate it when you reach for trash bags, paper towels, or batteries, and you discover someone used the last one and didn’t bother to mention it? Sure, it’s annoying, but it can also put a dent in your wallet. Research has shown that consumers who make a midweek “fill in” trip to the store buy twice the number of items they had intended. Hit the supermarket aisles less often, and save almost $1,000 a year—as well as a lot of frustration. Here are four strategies for stocking up on nonperishables.

1. Compare costs.

Track prices of your must-have products at your local grocery store, then keep a best-price cheat sheet in your wallet. Next time you’re stocking up, you won’t have to wonder if you’re getting a good buy. Know the cost per unit (CPU) before you buy in bulk. (That’s the cost divided by quantity or unit of weight, like ounces.) That figure isn’t always posted on the store shelf, but there are apps and online calculators that will do the math for you. Calcnexus.com has the Grocery Price Calculator, a free online tool that you can also access from most Web-enabled cell phones; it factors in coupons too. For $2.99, BlackBerry users can access Price Comparer in the AppSuite. Android users can download the free Unit Price Compare at appstorehq.com.

2. “Hire” a virtual assistant.

Turn the shopping over to an online team. Alice.com, a discounter, sells direct from the manufacturer. (It’s named after the frugal housekeeper on The Brady Bunch.) Set up a free account and create a “shelf” of your favorite products. Manufacturer coupons are automatically applied, shipping is free, and you’ll receive alerts that you may be running low. After your first order, there’s a minimum purchase of six items. Select your favorite products, from more than 16,000, at Amazon.com’s Subscribe & Save. Get a 15 percent discount and free shipping, and choose when you want to restock—from one- to six-month intervals.

3. Shop warehouse stores.

Even factoring in the annual membership fees— $45 at BJ’s, $50 at Costco, and $40 at Sam’s Club—you can still save. Stay focused and buy only what you need and will use within a reasonable time period.

4. Don’t overstock.

Some products have a short shelf life. Bleach begins to lose its effectiveness after six months, say experts, but should perform well for at least nine months (unless it freezes or you store it someplace that is too hot). And don’t gamble with a jumbo case of diapers for your fast-growing newborn, says wisebread.com blogger Linsey Knerl. It’s also best to test smaller sizes of products before buying in bulk, she adds. “I bought a large bottle of a cleaning product, only to find out my child was allergic to it. And I wasted $50 on a vitamin supplement before I learned I was pregnant. I can’t use it while I’m expecting or nursing, and I’ll never use it all before it expires.”

By Janice Lieberman from Reader’s Digest

via http://www.rd.com/advice/how-to-save-money-when-buying-in-bulk/

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Dots Clothing Retailer Files for Bankruptcy

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On Monday, January 20, 2014, Dots, LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of New Jersey. The company was started approximately 27 years ago with a single store located in Cleveland, Ohio, but has since grown to a 400 store clothing chain, which spans 28 states and employs over 3,500 people. Through the years Dots has carved out a comfortable niche in affordable fashions, shoes, jewelry and accessories for women ages 25 to 35.

The company now blames their need to file for bankruptcy on prior management, the economy and leases that cost too much. Dots has filed a voluntary petition in an effort to keep doors open, restructure certain operations, continue its new merchandising strategy, and simultaneously find a buyer. To help in these efforts Dots is closing 36 of its stores that are currently underperforming.

Dots currently has 18 stores in New Jersey, according to its website, including locations in Audubon, Bayonne, Bloomfield, Brick Township, Cherry Hill, Elmwood Park, Ewing, Hamilton Township, Lodi, Millville, Montclair, Newark, North Bergen, Perth Amboy, Turnersville, Watchung, and West Longbranch.

Parent Company of Fox & Hound and Champps Restaurants Files for Bankruptcy

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F & H Acquisitions Corp., parent company of the Fox & Hound sports bar and Champps casual-dining restaurant chains, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on December 15, 2013. The company is seeking to sell substantially all of its assets while under federal bankruptcy protection. Along with F & H, 41 of the company’s affiliates also filed for bankruptcy protection.

 

The company owns and operates a total of 101 restaurants spanning 27 states across the nation: 66 of these restaurants are Fox & Hounds while the other 35 are Champps. Throughout the nation there are over 6,000 employees working for the company. In New Jersey, F & H Acquisitions Corp. operates four restaurants, a Fox & Hound located in Edison, NJ, and three Champps restaurants located in Edison, Marlton and Newark, NJ.

 

F & H Acquisition Corp. reports that the recession and poor sales are to blame for their bankruptcy filing. F & H has debts of about $119 million. According to Rick Van Warner, a F & H spokesperson, “[t]his difficult decision, which has the support and participation of our senior lenders, is the best and quickest option to restructure our finances, minimize disruption to our restaurants and fully implement our ongoing turnaround plan.”

 

It is reported that F & H Acquisitions Corp. plans to find a buyer to bail the business out of financial trouble. They plan to hold an auction by March of this year.

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