6-22-11: Initial release.
A few weeks ago I was at my local USA Postal Office, and I was asking them about what I would need to do to ship a gift to my friend in Canada. After learning a bit about the customs forms I would have to fill out, I then asked the post office worker what should I do about boxes.
He then told me about this flat rate program about cardboard boxes made specifically for this purpose, and he pointed me to a shelf of boxes behind me. As I looked at it, I then asked him can I take the box home ahead of time and package my materials there rather than try to do it at the post office and he said yes.
At that moment in time, I just had a revelation. My brother told me that if he needed a free envelope for storing his school papers, he would stop by the local post office and just nab a whole bunch of expensive envelopes. He didn’t pay for them because the train of thought is you will mail it out and at the time of mailing, you will get charged for the postage (which includes the weight of the envelope).
However, if you are savvy, maybe you just take the envelopes for your own personal purpose and never mail anything out! In return, you got free envelopes! I didn’t believe it, but when I went to the post office and realized I can take home a bunch of boxes (which I could use for personal storage), I just had a great epiphany.
Say what you want. Am I cheap bastard? Perhaps. But do you want to go to the store and shell out a couple bucks to buy a big plastic bin to store your junk, or would you rather use a free cardboard box? >_>
So the next time you need a box for storage, or moving, look no further than your local USPS post office building. They have what you are looking for and you just hadn’t realized it!
When you go vacationing, the first thing you probably look for is the hotel room. Questions go through your mind: where should I stay? Free breakfast? How many stars? Is it a good area? How convenient is it? Here are some tips to finding a good place to stay.
5 stars is not always the best. In fact, most 5 star/posh hotels offer very little free items other than a room. Each thing more is extra, and the cost can be pretty high. Forget wi-fi, free breakfast, free parking. 5 stars means valet parking, expense hotel room service and food.
Normally, you should look for a 3 or 4 star hotel, and if you can, pick a well-known name like Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn, etc. Use travel sites to book the lowest value room in the hotel. Each room is typically the same, so you won’t be shorthanded if you pay 50% less than the normal rate. Next, check if the hotel has free breakfast and free wi-fi (if you need that). Most 3 – 4 star hotels have at least 1 of those 2, so it shouldn’t be too difficult.
Book in advance. Never try to book the week before you go and expect to find a cheap place with what you want. People typically look for the same things you do, and all the good, low cost hotels fill up quickly. Try to book at least 3 months beforehand.
Pick hotels in good locations. Don’t take a hotel in a run down area because it has the lowest price. Don’t risk injury or loss because you choice a bad area. Instead, find a populated area, and read hotel reviews and view maps to find out more. If you are visiting a city, try to get a place in town so that you can wander around in the evening. If you are too far away, you may have to pay extra to park in town, and you might not be able to stay and mingle in the nightlife (especially if you use hotel services like shuttles and buses).
When looking at motels, read reviews on travel sites to find out what type of place you are looking at. It is best to generally have an idea what the hotel room will be like and what the hotel provides before picking it.
Finally, if you really do find a good deal on a 5 star hotel like I once did (roughly $100 a night on rooms with regular rates of $500), then you should take that type of deal if you can’t find other places at roughly the same price. Since you will be saving a load of money, you can afford to pay for valet parking and things of that nature. You can live without Wi-Fi and other things for a few days.
If you have any tips that YOU try to follow, post them here!
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As if Amazon.com couldn’t get any better, they’ve finally put down a wicked competition in the Black Friday madness this year.
They have a unique system where you, the consumer vote on what incredible deals you’ll get. There are 8 rounds, each of 3 items under a specific category. For example, the first round consists of the Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3 (40 GB model) and the new Xbox 360 Arcade system that is replacing the Core system. Each are sold at incredibly lower prices (over 50%!) but you’re only able to get that deal on the one you vote for, if you show up at a specified time and are offered that deal.
You can vote once in each round, careful though, you can’t change your vote. You have to be a registered user but it’s free and you only need your basic information until you buy the product. I would recommend setting up your account for one-click buying however as these deals are highly limited to about an average of 500-1,000 pieces of inventory per item.
Head over to this url to get started: [ http://promotions.amazon.com/gp/holiday/amazon-customers-vote ]
Happy shopping viewers of The Underground!
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