BOSTON (CBS) – We are a nation of consumers. It runs our economy.

Shopping has become a sport. There are TV channels dedicated to shopping. QVC and the Home Shopping Network where you can purchase everything from jewelry to lobster tails to mattresses.

We now have malls with residences on the top floors so the residents do not have to leave the mall except to go to church and some malls have that covered also.

When you are shopping and you are looking for a bargain there is the thrill of the hunt. I don’t recommend shopping for entertainment. But if there is something you want or need get the best deal you can. And maybe even enjoy the process.

Wine glasses for a wedding gift are a good example. Do you want Waterford crystal which is manufactured in Ireland? And how much time are you willing to spend on the hunt?

Recently for a wedding gift I was looking for some goblets, I found Waterford crystal goblets retailing at $79 each. I found them on the Up Scale Gallery for $59. A discount of 25%.

I had tried the Simon Pearce retail store on Newbury Street and figured I could get a deal at the factory in Quechee, Vermont when we were up there for a wedding. But their seconds were not that good of a deal. We had a great lunch and tour of the glass blowing facility.

Also, try Good stuff cheap and the shipping is real cheap, $2.95 whether you are buying cotton sheets or a garden bench. Beware though; there is a hefty restocking charge if you want to return an item.

While doing the research for this segment when I was on I discovered they had good deals on hotels. It looks to be about 35% discount. Who knew?

Costco is the upscale model of the warehouse clubs and occasionally you can find leather jackets and Waterford crystal there as well as the large packages of toilet paper. The sell flowers and caskets!

Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Home Goods are where I hang out. Head to the back of the store and check out their gift and linen selections. I found the best price on Egyptian cotton towels there. I purchased a wicker table for our porch last summer. It was a hideous yellow and very cheap, but a can of spray paint fixed the color!

Want an oriental rug? Try Building 19. Oriental type rugs can be had real cheap there. Again you need to know your merchandise but they have some very good bargains.eBay

Another good place for oriental rugs is eBay. There are over 20,000 oriental rugs up for sale. I got dizzy looking at them. I also bid on several. Hopefully I won’t win the bids! It is so easy to get caught up in auction fever.

Also try and then head to their online outlet.
Retail stores have sales several times a year to get rid of old merchandise or display items. Even Jordan furniture has a once year “Let’s get rid of this stuff” type sale. Again if you know what you want you can get a really good deal.

One More thing:  You may already have access to discounts already in your pocket. AAA membership gets you lots of discounts from travel to TVs. If you belong to Sam’s Club, BJ’s or Costco have you checked out what else they offer besides cheap cheerios. AARP is another source for travel discounts.

From Bottom Line: Best Times To Buy –  New suit: July or January. Caribbean vacation: March & April. Cars: November and December, dealers want to move inventory before end of year. Airline tickets: They go on sale Wednesdays, just after midnight.

Two other sources for the best times to buy stuff:  AARP Magazine, Money Central

This has been an interesting series to do. I have definitely learned a lot as I shopped and ate my way thru the last couple of weeks and I have saved 20-60% on everything I have purchased.


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