6 Places to Get Low-Cost or Free Mammograms (Without Insurance)

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The National Breast Cancer Foundation partners “with medical facilities across the country to provide free mammograms and diagnostic breast care services to underserved women.”
Source: thepennyhoarder.com
One of the best ways to stop breast cancer in its tracks is early detection (it works).

6 Places That Offer Low-Cost or Free Mammograms

Click here to search for a location near you.

1. Your Doctor

Medicare and Medicaid also cover the cost of mammograms.
To qualify for this screening, you should be between the ages of 40 and 64, have no insurance or insurance that fails to cover screening exams, and live at or below 250% of the federal poverty level.

2. The National Breast Cancer Foundation

This breast cancer organization has affiliates in 120 American cities.
To learn more about mammograms — including how they work and how to prepare — check out this PDF from the Komen Foundation.

3. The Susan G. Komen Foundation

According to its website, its affiliate network “is the nation’s largest private funder of community-based breast health education and breast cancer screening and treatment programs.”
Women today have a bounty of ways to get free and low-cost mammograms. Here are six options.
Some YWCA chapters provide breast cancer screening and education to women who have no insurance or who are underinsured.

4. The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program

If you’re 50 or older, the Affordable Care Act requires your insurer to cover screening mammograms every two years with no co-payment. More information is available here.
Whatever you do, don’t wait!
Ready to stop worrying about money?

5. The YWCA

The CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program “provides breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services to low-income, uninsured and underinsured women across the United States.”
You can find out more information about your state or territory here.

6. Your Local Imaging Center

Though every woman should do breast self-exams each month, women over 40 should also consider getting a mammogram — an X-ray that examines breast tissue — every one to two years. (Here are specific guidelines.)
Contact your local YWCA to see if it offers affordable mammograms.
If you’re younger than 40 but have risk factors for breast cancer, you might need a mammogram, too; ask for your doctor’s recommendation.
Susan Shain is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder. Former SEO analyst Jacquelyn Pica assisted with research.
You can search for a local mammography center on the FDA website. <!–

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What is Cold Brew Coffee and Why You Ought to Know

Hot brewed coffee grounds have more of everything extracted because of the heat: flavors, acid and caffeine. Cold brew doesn’t extract as much as all of these because the ratio of coffee to water is higher. People drink larger servings of cold brew than hot coffee.
Cost: ,020 for a year (not much less than buying at a coffee shop).
“Coffee tastes better at coffee shops like ours because we have better equipment,” says Chalkley of The Chelsea St. Pete. You also can have a superior cold brew system at home with Toddy’s Pro Series for 0.
Use coarsely ground coffee beans (most grocery stores have grinders there). Put your coffee in the jar, add the water, and shake it up well. You can either refrigerate it or leave it out. Let it steep for at least eight hours.

Pro Tip
Cost: 8 for coffee and filters for a year.

What is Different about Cold Brew Coffee Anyway?

Smooth and less bitter than drip coffee and iced coffee, cold brew is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States.
Cost: 0 to 0 a year (including equipment)
You can make your own cold brew in ways that fit every budget. Go all out and buy an excellent coffee bean grinder, water filter, French press pot, and high-end coffee beans. This equipment could set you back 0, even higher if you opt for top-shelf equipment.
Get creative with your cold brew concentrate! Add a cinnamon stick, chili pepper, or other flavoring to the water part while it steeps.
If you need your cold brew NOW, look for the Cuisinart cold brew coffee maker which promises cold brew coffee in 25 to 40 minutes by shaking the coffee grounds. Retail price is about 0 but you can find it for sale online for about half price at Amazon and other retailers.

How is Cold Brew Coffee Different from Iced Coffee?

Cold brew is more expensive to buy at a coffeehouse because it requires more attention. Calculating the right amount to make for the next day without running out too early requires trial and error.
Let the mixture sit uncovered for a few minutes so naturally occurring gasses can escape.
Sales have more than tripled since 2015, with sales expected to reach almost 2 million this year, and almost a billion dollars in 2025. That’s a lot of coffee, the going price for a 20-ounce cup at Starbucks. A 40-ounce container of Stok’s cold brew coffee costs almost at the grocery store.

Check out our tips on how to get a good cup of Joe at home and save money on coffee. Tip No. 1: Grind the beans yourself.

Make Cold Brew at Home

When using a French press, first put the coffee grounds in a jar and shake it up really well. Then pour it into the French press. It is less messy.
Iced coffee is hot coffee cooled down. It might have been brewed hours before, and then refrigerated, or poured over ice to serve. Since it was hot brewed, all of the oils and acids in the coffee beans are extracted and end up in the brew.
“Hot coffee takes too long to drink and there are so many ways it can go wrong. Cold brew is more consistent and I can drink it right away,” said Susan O’Neil, a project coordinator for the city of Chicago. “I drink 20 to 40 ounces a day since I stopped drinking soda.”

This illustration shows a cold brew coffee and how to make it.
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Three Scenarios for Cold Brew at Home

Before you splurge on a 0 Fellow Clara French press, for example, look around your house and see if you have a pint or larger Mason jar, some coffee filters, ground coffee and water. That will do to start.
With the majority of commercial cold brew sold in plastic containers, why add more plastic to the environment? Reduce waste and get better taste when you make cold brew coffee at home. 

(Almost) No Budget

You don’t need to use cold water. Room temperature water is fine. Using filtered water is better.
Does cold brew coffee have more caffeine? Depends on who you ask. Coffee retailers claim it does, but drilling into the details often shows that they are referring to the cold brew concentrate, which gets further diluted for the drink.
Chalkley uses a pound of coffee in a gallon to make cold brew concentrate. You can play with the ratio for a taste you like. Cold brew can last up to two weeks refrigerated without losing any flavor. Don’t want to make a concentrate? Use 3 ounces, or about two and a half scoops, to a quart of water.
There are numerous appliances made specifically for cold brew coffee. The Toddy (named so by Todd Simpson, who first popularized cold brew coffee in the US in the 1960s.) starts around . Similar systems like the Primula Burke come with bottoms that unscrew, so it is easier to dump the coffee grounds.

Medium Budget

The absolutely least expensive way to make cold brew uses stuff you have around the house. No need for a cold brew maker. You’ll need a lidded jar (ideally a Mason or spaghetti sauce jar cleaned well), coffee filters, a sieve, ground coffee, and of course water. The basic cold brew ratio is 1:4, or 1 part coffee to 4 parts water. It isn’t necessary to use cold water, but filtered water is good.
What is cold brew? It is deceptively simple. Cold brew is coffee made from water and ground coffee. Instead of brewing it hot, a concentrate is made by steeping the grounds in water for 8 or more hours. Then it is filtered and ready to thin with water or milk, and enjoyed hot or cold. Coffee shops often use a 1:4 ratio of concentrate to water.
Experts recommend against using expensive coffee beans for cold brew coffee. This isn’t the time to break out the Kona. However, using decent coffee beans only makes your morning coffee better.
Buying cold brew every day can end up costing more than ,400 a year. If you like drinking cold coffee and are decent at planning ahead, make a cold brew concentrate at home and save 50 percent or more.
Grinding your beans freshly for each batch of cold brew coffee will result in brighter and tastier coffee. Coffee grinders cost from to hundreds. Using filtered water also helps make a more delicious cup.

Money is No Object

The Penny Hoarder contributor JoEllen Schilke writes on lifestyle and culture topics. She is the former owner of a coffee shop in St.Petersburg, Florida, and has hosted an arts show on WMNF community radio for nearly 30 years.
Source: thepennyhoarder.com
“We use a specific coffee for our cold brew (Vesuvio blend from Batdorf auf Bronson),” says Teresa Vidal Chalkley, owner of The Chelsea St. Pete, a coffeehouse that opened in the middle of the pandemic in St. Petersburg, Florida. “There is a pound of coffee to a gallon of nice spring water, with a little bit of minerals in it. Then we filter it with bamboo and cloth filters.”

A man makes cold brew coffee in this illustration.
Getty Images

5 Tips for Making Cold Brew Coffee at Home

  1. What is cold brew coffee? Is it really that different from iced coffee? How do people get so hooked on it? Sometimes it just takes that first Starbucks cold brew, and they are all in. It’s that good.
  2. Add hot water to your cold brew concentrate for a smooth hot drink with a 1:3 ratio of concentrate to water.
  3. Once enough time has passed, put a coffee filter in the sieve and place over a wide-mouthed glass or jar. Slowly let the coffee filter through (squeeze gently if it is taking too long). Taste and add more water if it is too strong.
  4. The charm of cold brew is the absence of acid. Not only does cold brew have a smoother feel while you drink it, no acid means it is less bitter and the other natural flavors are more pronounced.  Cold brew also allows added flavors to really shine. Some coffee drinkers might find cold brew bland without the complexity of the acid.
  5. Filtering the coffee is the least fun part of making cold brew coffee. Using a French press eliminates most of the angst. The French press not only makes it easy to clean up the coffee grounds, but you can make a cold brew concentrate that will last several days. A French press can cost to . Make sure you buy one that holds at least 20 ounces.

We are going to give you three scenarios to fit your budget so you can make cold brew coffee at home. There’s a system for every budget and taste. Once you know how to do it, you can create your own recipes.
Decaf coffee drinkers need not despair — you can make cold brew with decaffeinated coffee beans. It is much better tasting than the aged hot decaf coffee poured over ice that you usually end up getting from a shop.

Go Stress Free with These 10 No-Cost Strategies

Remember the physical things you might otherwise take for granted: Your heart is beating and your legs allow you to walk, for instance. The same is true for your surroundings: Your toilet flushes and you have running water. These are things to be thankful for, too.
Fike recommends not letting your devices beckon you, especially when you’re having a conversation with someone else. Most things do not need an immediate response.
“How many times do you literally inhale your food? Instead, slow down and chew it. When you chew your food thoroughly and mindfully, it’s amazing how different it tastes,” Fike said. “When you’re eating anyway, why not do it mindfully?”
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1. Cultivate Gratitude for Mental Health

You need to breathe to live, but breath can reduce and relieve stress, too.
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That means that to live a stress-free life we all need more parasympathetic responses in our lives, or moments when we are rested, rejuvenated, relaxed and restored.
Fike said that even your commute to work, school, or wherever you’re going can be a time for mindfulness instead of craziness.

2. Live in the Moment Through Mindfulness

“Sprinkling a few seconds of full presence throughout your day is gradually going to help you increase your capacity to feel more of your feelings and consequently feel more alive.”
“When we get into a negative headspace, it makes our world feel small. But when you’re in a headspace of gratitude, it gives you a feeling of interconnectedness, which is a strong human emotion,” Holzworth said.
Many apps and YouTube videos exist to teach you the basics, guide you through short meditations and offer other meditation exercises.
As you’re trying them out, Fike said, it is important to find a voice that resonates with you and that you like listening to. If you don’t like the voice, you won’t pay attention to what they’re saying.

3. Work Mindful Micropractices Into Your Life

And guess what? It’s not about adding anything to your do list. “It’s just about bringing your full presence to whatever you do, wherever you are, and however you’re feeling,” Holzworth said.
“What you’re focusing on is how your feet are moving, how your feet feel as they connect to the ground, how your bones, tendons and muscles all work in symphony with each other as you put one foot down and lift the other one up.
“Be in the present moment,” Holzworth said. “Life is a gift and it should be treated like that and honored.”

  • Notice the aroma of the coffee grounds.
  • Hear the sound of the fresh coffee being poured into your cup.
  •  Feel the warmth on your hands as you hold the cup.
  • Breathe in the steam and aroma of the fresh brew as you bring it to your lips.
  • Enjoy the taste and the warmth of the coffee in your mouth and throat.

First of all, because we noticed it. “That’s a mindfulness moment,” Holzworth said.
There are also walking meditations and meditations around simple tasks you routinely do.
“It’s really about opening yourself to the small things like the taste of your coffee. It’s not just about the big things, it’s the little things that bring us comfort and joy,” Holzworth said. “(It could be) the touch of your cat’s fur, the sound of his purr.”
So doing little things to stay in the moment can help mental health and relieve stress levels.
If a giggle can help, think of what a good belly laugh could do to lower your blood pressure and relieve stress?

A man in his bathrobe stands on a commuter train while sipping coffee from a coffee mug.
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4. Embrace the Commute

So what does that really mean? Both suggested coffee as an example, one thing many of us use to begin our day.
If you think that a stress-free life means upending the way you exist, you’ll just get overwhelmed. If you think that a stress-free life means upending the way you exist, you’ll just get overwhelmed.  Get used to looking for self-created stress triggers.

  • Listen to something you enjoy to help make the drive less stressful.
  • When stopped at a stoplight or stop sign, take a look around. Notice things you might not have seen before, like a store, restaurant, or even a pretty tree. “Some people pretend that Buddha is winking at them when they get a red light,” Fike said.

How can your commute reduce stress? Here are two ways:
“Unfortunately, I’d say the majority of our population, and especially right now, is living sympathetic-dominant,” Holzworth said. “These people are existing in this world of fight or flight response in a state of stress.”

5. Pay Attention to Your Senses

Here are their 10 ways to cultivate a stress-free life without spending a dime.

You can go to an expensive wellness retreat to get peace of mind. Or you can use some tips from relaxation experts to bring the peace home. There’s no need to spend money in pursuit of a stress-free life.
Meditation means different things to different people. Fike said she didn’t connect to silent meditation at first, so she embraced guided meditations for help with stress reduction.

6. Relieve Stress with Laughter

Almost all guided meditations will involve focusing on breathing and reminding you about your physical body, such as the feeling in your toes and the top of your head.
That short period of mindfulness can bring you back into control and relieve stress. And it can be adapted to any simple activity.
Holzworth explained that there is a sympathetic and parasympathetic part of the nervous system. Both control the involuntary functions of your body. The sympathetic nervous system helps your body handle stress — think “fight or flight” reflexes. The parasympathetic system controls your bodily functions when at rest — think “rest and digest.”
Think of these moments as reminders. “A reminder of impermanence, a reminder to be mindful, a reminder not to take the red light personally. They are all reminders to slow down.”
“I’m not sitting in the lotus position, meditating for an hour in silence on the top of the mountain,” she said. “I am a real life human being with real life problems and real life challenges. I take my real life experience and I present it to people who are also living real life.”

7. Breathe to Relieve

You can meditate anywhere your feet are, Fike said, such as moving from the couch to the bathroom.
“Your breath is a master regulator. Taking a few deep breaths is going to stimulate your vagus nerve and send a signal to your brain that says relax and calm down,” she said. “Just close your eyes and take a few deep breaths, and I guarantee everybody who does that is going to feel better.”
Both suggest looking for brief moments throughout your day when you could incorporate mindfulness. The warmth of towels when they come out of the dryer. The sensation of warm water covering you in the shower. Even the rewarding repetition of folding clothes.
Mindfulness is being conscious and aware of surroundings to move as close to being stress free as possible. Thinking about everything you have to do and how little time you have to do it doesn’t accomplish much except cause stress and maybe raise your blood pressure. The same is true for obsessing about the past, which is something you can’t change.
Next, because we usually giggle, too. “Even us giggling is a mindfulness moment.”
“Anything engaging your senses is going to increase mindfulness and bring you into the present moment,” Holzworth said.

8. Find Your Own Way to Meditate

Little things can bring us comfort and joy — if we pay attention to them. Both practitioners encouraged what they call “micropractices of mindfulness,” or the practice of being mindful about the things we do every day.
We talked to two wellness experts from Miraval Arizona Resort and Spa in Tucson, Arizona, about simple things you can do each day to relieve stress and improve your mental health. Staying mindful and balanced, living in the moment, and avoiding triggers are just some of the techniques they suggested.
Laughter is a break from the part of your brain that is analyzing and planning, she said. It’s a way to engage the part of your brain that is intuition, creativity, insight. “When we giggle, we let our guard down a little bit. It’s a complete relief. Laughter is great for our health.”
Mindfulness and meditation go together, but are not the same. Simplified, mindfulness is being aware, and can fit into many parts of your day. Meditation is often an activity for a certain period of time.
Tiffani Sherman is a Florida-based freelance reporter with more than 25 years of experience writing about finance, health, travel and other topics.
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Fike uses her own mindfulness and meditation practices as an example. These practices can show how life literally slows down and you can combat stress.
Source: thepennyhoarder.com
It’s all about bringing yourself back “to something more pleasant rather than something irritating,” Fike said.

A mom plays with her children as they put boxes over their heads while being silly.
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9. Detox From Your Electronics

Finding simple ways to focus on the positive is a form of stress relief that will “make your heart happy,” Holzworth said. “It has a physical and psychological effect on your whole being.”
“It’s really just about bringing more consciousness to your existence and how you interact, not only with yourself, but the rest of the world,” Holzworth said.
That can be the sight of a beautiful sunrise or sunset, the smell of flowers, the sound of the ocean or the taste of something yummy.

10. Don’t Stress About De-stressing

With everything going on around us that is worrisome, be it personal or on a larger societal scale, it is important to remember the good things.
Phones and other electronic devices are our constant companions, but putting them down for even a few minutes can be a way to focus on the present and remove potentially stressful triggers.
“It’s just taking a break to focus on something that you normally wouldn’t do.”
Your blood pressure and stress hormones will thank you if you just put the phone down for a while.
You can turn this simple morning routine into a mindful micropractice, Fike said, by “really taking a moment to focus on feeling a sense of gratitude instead of a mindless routine that we all get into.”
Jess Holzworth is a spiritual life coach and yoga, meditation, and breathwork instructor. Carolyn Fike teaches practical meditation and how to incorporate the seven chakras into the practice. <!–

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Both Fike and Holzworth said trying to be stress-free isn’t about changing behaviors or adding all kinds of things into your already busy day. It’s about incorporating things you already do to help reduce stress.

These 7 Restaurants Are Offering Better Pay and Perks to Fill 125K Jobs

Source: thepennyhoarder.com
The Mexican favorite needs to fill more than 5,000 positions. To attract more employees it has raised crew members’ pay to to an hour, resulting in an average hourly wage of . It’s also offering referral bonuses to employees who help recruit a new hire. A referral that results in a new crew member is worth 0, while a referral for an apprentice or general manager gets a 0 bonus.
Perks: Pay increases, referral bonuses, 401(k), expanded college tuition coverage for degrees in agriculture, culinary and hospitality.
How to apply: Go to the McDonald’s website.  

7 Restaurants Offering Signing Bonuses or Higher Pay

McDonald’s: 65,000 jobs

Marquee signs at restaurants around the country show food service employers are still desperate to fill thousands of jobs — and they’re upping their offerings with signing bonuses and higher wages.
Wages: to per hour
How to apply: Go to the Chipotle website.
This sub shop is offering a variety of signing bonuses at many of its 2,000 restaurants around the country. One very determined franchise owner in Santa Cruz, Calif., recently promised a ,000 hiring incentive for an assistant manager, ,000 for a shift manager and 0 for other full- or part-time employees. Other franchise owners are offering 0 signing bonuses. New hires get the bonus once they are on the job for six weeks.
It’s also hoping to entice new hires with paid time off (no details announced on how much) and financial aid for education. McDonald’s will offer qualifying crew members ,500 a year toward college tuition and ,000 to managers.

Starbucks: 17,000 jobs

Katherine Snow Smith is a freelance writer and editor in Chapel Hill, N.C. 
Wages: Average hourly wage for baristas is , while average annual salary for managers is ,000, according to Glassdoor.
How to apply: Interested applicants can check out the website
How to apply: Go to the company website.

Papa John’s: 15,000 jobs

This longtime staple in casual dining is seeing triple digit sales increases thanks in part to a country song called “Fancy Like” by Walker Hayes that details how he celebrates on payday. “We fancy like Applebee’s on a date night, got that Bourbon Street steak with the Oreo shake,” the lyrics say. The song has even inspired a viral TikTok and Instagram dance craze.
The pizza chain announced plans in July to spend .5 million on referral bonuses and employee appreciation bonuses at corporate-owned stores through the rest of 2021. Existing employees who refer a friend to an interview that results in a hire get as does the new employee. Employees are also eligible for up to 0 in appreciation bonuses paid in increments through the rest of the year.
How to apply: Interested applicants can check out openings here.
“We’re Hiring.” “Join our Team.” “Interview. Get a Free Meal.”

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar: 10,000 jobs

Wages: to for entry level positions; to for shift managers, according to the company.
We checked out Indeed, Glassdoor and chain restaurant websites to find the ones offering the best pay and bonuses. If you’re looking for full- or part-time work, consider these employers first.

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Perks: 401(k), health insurance
IHOP is hoping to fill 10,000  jobs under its trademark blue roof at all of its 1,600 restaurants, with in-person and virtual interviews in a more streamlined process.

IHOP: 10,000 jobs

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Perks: College tuition aid, high school diploma program, free ESL program, some paid time off.
McDonald’s raised hourly wages for all of its existing employees and new hires earlier this year to to for entry-level positions. It can’t mandate the same for franchises, which make up 95 percent of all stores, but it is encouraging them to raise their wages, too.

Chipotle Mexican Grill: 5,000 jobs

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Wages: Average hourly wage of an hour.
Wages: Servers make an average of an hour, line cooks make an average of an hour while managers make an average annual salary of ,000, according to Glassdoor.
How to apply: Go to this link.

Jersey Mike’s: 2,500 jobs

Wages: An average of an hour for team members, according to Glassdoor.
Perks: Parental leave, up to ,000 reimbursement for adoption, surrogacy or fertility procedures, 100% tuition reimbursement for a bachelor’s degree through Arizona State University’s online program, 401(k) matching.
The coffee giant is looking to fill 17,000 jobs across the country. A few clicks on a map on the company website lets applicants know what jobs are available in their area.
How to apply: Go to this link. <!–

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Average hourly wages for non supervisory positions in the food and beverage industry surpassed in July, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

7 Online Flea Markets Where You Can Find Deals on Treasures

Similar to Craigslist, Flea-bay simply connects you with sellers. No transactions take place on the site, so haggle away!
Of course, a few online flea markets are industry giants you almost certainly already know about.
And there’s also a wonderful category called “Everything Else,” with subsections like “Metaphysical” (which features “haunted” items) and “Weird Stuff” (We found cockroach earrings).

A New Way to Browse: Online Flea Markets

Jamie Cattanach (@jamiecattanach) is a freelance writer, and Adam Hardy (@hardyjournalism) is a freelance reporter and editor. Staff writer/editor Tiffany Wendeln Connors contributed to this post.
This site is truly a gem. It’s one online flea market you don’t want to overlook. With subcategories like vintage sewing tools and breweriana (read: old signage, steins and more from classic breweries), TIAS really makes it feel like you’re about to stumble upon unique treasures with each click.
Another great feature? “Finds,” Nextdoor’s very own local buy-and-sell section. You can browse listings to find deals across all kinds of categories. Toys, games, furniture, vehicles and much more! Its nifty filters make finding exactly what you want a breeze.

The Obvious Online Flea Markets

Where can you find antique Pez dispensers, hot vintage heels and (finally!) the perfect lamp to match your weirdly patterned bedspread — all on sale for just a few bucks?

  • Amazon: A once humble bookselling website, Amazon has become an online marketplace so powerful that its astronomic growth sent its founder, Jeff Bezos, into space. Vendors big and small can sell new and used products on the site — including handmade goods — and they can appear on your doorstep in as little as one day.
  • Craigslist: Known for sending shivers down the spines of journalists due to upending newspaper revenues, the online classifieds site is an easy way to pawn off your tchotchkes to neighbors, find some hidden treasures yourself — and so much more. It’s all anonymous, though. So give out your personal deets sparingly, and always meet in a safe, public space!
  • eBay: This classic buy-and-sell site has been around for more than a quarter century. Although it bills itself primarily as an online auction site, it operates like most online flea market sites. Many of its listings are available for immediate sale — and it seems you can find just about anything you might desire.
  • Etsy: Sort of like eBay’s quiet, artsy little sister, Etsy specializes in handmade goodies, but it’s also a treasure trove for lovers of all things vintage. In fact, it has a whole category devoted to vintage items, and it’s well-organized enough that you can dive into niches as specific as bolo ties, fedoras and marbles.
  • Facebook Marketplace: Compared to the other geezer sites so far, Facebook Marketplace is very new. Launched in 2016, the online marketplace feature is built into regular ol’ Facebook, and you can buy or sell all kinds of stuff on Marketplace, including cars and campers. You can even find rental properties. Marketplace is locally focused, but it also supports shipping.

7 Online Flea Markets You Might Not Have Heard of Yet

The site looks a bit dated. But, hey, it sells antiques. Maybe that’s an intentional part of its charm? It still functions just fine. The category’s sidebar makes browsing simple. And, before you click, it shows upfront how many listings are in any given category — a feature other virtual flea markets could learn from.
But everything is virtual these days. You turn to your laptop (or, let’s be real, your smartphone) for everything from takeout to taxi rides to a date for Friday night.
So it’s no surprise there’s a whole world of online flea market shopping out there. And it’s just as quirky and addictive as the real thing — especially since you can see it all with just a few clicks.

1. Fleabay(.net)

Pros

  • Wide array of categories (even rentals and services!)
  • Each listing is “reviewed by a human”
  • Free stuff!

Cons

  • Clunky website
  • Pop-up ads
  • Few listings

You may notice that Srchie is included in just about every “top online flea market” article. (It was even included in an older version of this article.) However, the beloved website and its social media accounts have been abandoned since 2017. RIP Srchie. We’ll never forget all your great deals.
Like most online flea markets, items are organized by tags as well as categories, creating better searchability and organization. The site populates the number of listings currently available in each category in parentheses, so no mysteries there.
In a battle of the Fleabays, the dot com version comes out on top. Flea-bay (notice the hyphen) is a solid online flea market that features a pared-down and slightly dated interface. But that doesn’t make it at all difficult to use.
OK, we covered our basic-online-flea-market bases. On to the weird and wonderful ones. Half the fun of a traditional flea market is stumbling upon offbeat items and great deals you never would have found elsewhere.

2. Flea-bay(.com)

Pros

  • Easy to use and navigate
  • Has smartphone apps
  • Haggle friendly

Cons

  • Lots of empty categories
  • Very little information on seller
  • Listings may include very little information

Here’s everything else you should know about online flea markets.
Not only are regular flea markets wacky and wonderful, but their goods are usually pre-owned, pre-loved and dirt cheap. (Who wants to pay the full retail price?!) In short, they’re a Penny Hoarder’s dream.
What’s great about Mercari is how easy it makes reviewing the seller. Click the seller’s name and, boom, you can see more details about them and quickly check out any reviews. Mercari also handles payments. So no worrying about forking over cash to strangers in person!
Although Bonanza seeks to be the best eBay alternative, it doesn’t offer bidding or bartering options.

A man grows excited as he buys something online with his credit card.
Getty Images

3. vFlea

Pros

  • Easy to see if items are pickup only or shippable
  • Useful filters
  • Bartering and haggling allowed

Cons

  • Unencrypted website
  • PayPal account required for payments
  • Lots of old listings

Mercari touts a user-friendly experience whether you’re browsing on its websites or scrolling through listings with the smartphone app.
Generally speaking, yes, online flea markets are safe. As with any online purchases, guard your personal information. And if you need to make a transaction, be sure the website is encrypted. This sounds fancy, but it’s actually pretty easy to confirm. You can check by looking at the address bar of your browser: You should see “https” before the website’s name. The letter s in https means the website is secure. Many small or old websites ignore this crucial security feature.
Here’s what we found out.
Yes, you can sell stuff online, and it’s an extremely popular way to make some extra cash. Almost every flea market website mentioned in this article allows everyday sellers and established vendors to sign up and start selling.

4. Bonanza

Pros

  • Sleek interface
  • Fun and quirky inventory
  • Active community forum and blog
  • Vets sellers to some extent

Cons

  • Can be tough to verify vendor reviews
  • No bidding

Technically, Nextdoor is a social media site for your community. And it takes that seriously. You actually need to input a valid address, which you will have to verify, to join your community group.
The list of prohibited items includes wine, credit cards and “human parts and remains.” Used airbags are merely “questionable,” though.
The most frustrating thing? A number of the categories were empty of listings — but there’s no way to tell that without clicking through. There’s also no baked-in way to make an offer on an item; if you’re interested, you’ll have to fill in an online contact form.
Founded in 1995, The Internet Antique Shop (TIAS) is a bit of an antique itself. While it never took off quite like its buy-and-sell siblings eBay or Craigslist, TIAS has carved out a remarkable niche for all things antique.

5. Nextdoor

Pros

  • Verified locals only
  • Popular option
  • Lots of easy-to-use filters to help you find the best bargains
  • Frequent listings for free stuff
  • Haggle friendly

Cons

  • Lengthy signup process
  • Smaller towns may not have any users
  • All purchases made offline

There’s even a “Vintage” section under fashion so you can easily shop for those precious duds from another era.
We’ll give you a hint: It’s not Walmart. At least, not our Walmart. (And if yours fits the bill… would you let us know where you live?)
Depending on the online store, it could be as easy as creating a listing and publishing it for the world to see. Other sites are more selective on who they let sell items, and the sign-up process might require you to provide lots of personal information to verify your identity. Shipping is something you should definitely factor in when you get started: some sites allow it — and may even cover the shipping costs, and some sites are only for local sales.

6. Mercari

Pros

  • Pick-up and shipping options
  • Easy to review sellers
  • Tons of listings and categories
  • Haggling accepted
  • Very polished site and app

Cons

  • No niche — inventory fairly bland

The site has dozens of categories to browse, but most listings seem to be focused on electronics, clothes or accessories. Like many small online flea markets, it lacks the thousands — or even millions — of listings like some of the better-known online marketplaces.
It does, however, list categories for everything from home goods to collectibles, including coins and paper money.
Finally, vFlea still has some weird stuff available, although it draws the line at community events. For instance, you’ll come across the occasional hilltop timeshare, which apparently can be shipped or picked up locally.

7. The Internet Antique Shop (TIAS)

Pros

  • Inventory chock full of antique goodies
  • Simple browsing
  • Replicates the wonder of sifting through a quiet antique market
  • Still active after a quarter century
  • Verified vendors

Cons

  • Listings contain little info
  • Usually only one picture per listing

Exercise good judgement, just as if you’re at a real flea market. Verifying sellers and vendors is a tough nut to crack for almost all online shops — even major corporations like Amazon. As best as possible, try to check who’s selling the item on any given listing before you make your purchase. Some flea market sites more than others make it easy to see the reputation of the seller. For sites that are locally-focused, the sellers are likely neighbors. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay vigilant.
Compared to other online flea markets, vFlea feels the closest to actually thumbing through junk until you find a treasure — before leaning across the table to make a bid. The interface is also a touch more polished.
A bit like a cross between Craigslist and eBay, Fleabay (a .net domain not to be confused with flea-bay.com!) lists items from all over the world — and includes categories as diverse as rental properties and ride shares. There’s even a free stuff section.

A collection of vintage things sit on a table.
Getty Images

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Online Flea Markets

No, it’s your favorite online flea market.

Are Online Flea Markets Safe?

Still, it’s fun to browse when you’re trying to get a quick flea-market fix online.

Are the Sellers Legitimate?

Each listing’s thumbnail specifies whether items are shippable or for local pickup only and also includes an asking price. The platform has built-in “buy now” and “haggle” options, and even an opportunity to “barter” with goods of your own.

Can You Make Money Selling on Online Flea Market Sites?

To replicate real flea market experience virtually, we checked out a variety of smaller online flea markets and compared inventory, prices and user experience to help you find the best deals at the digital folding table.
There are tons of freshly listed items across a host of different categories. And if you live nearby the seller, you can opt for pickup. Otherwise shipping allows you to tap into a massive selection of goods.

What About the Online Flea Market Srchie?

Fleabay’s listings feature little more than an item description, location, the seller’s information and an expiration date. Shipping or local pickup is arranged on a per-listing basis, and you reach out to the poster directly.

The Penny Hoarder Shop is always stocked with great deals, including technology, subscriptions, courses, kitchenware and more. Check it out today!

Source: thepennyhoarder.com
Once you’re in, you can do all sorts of stuff. Gossip. Post community PSAs. Discover local events. (Our photo director uses Nextdoor to save money by polling neighbors for recommendations and hunting for deals from local businesses!)

Capital One QuickSilver Rewards for Students Credit Card Review

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes references to offers from our partners. We receive compensation when you click on links to those products. However, the opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply here.

The Capital One Quicksilver Rewards for Students card is a cash-back credit card designed specially for college students. An ideal spending aid for younger folks (and lifelong learners) with fair credit, it’s appropriate for anyone attending or planning to attend a four-year institution, community college, or other qualifying higher education institution.

Quicksilver Rewards for Students boasts a flat cash-back rate — unlimited 1.5% back on every purchase, every day — and no annual or foreign transaction fees. Capital One reports card utilization and payment activity to the three major credit reporting bureaus, giving Quicksilver Rewards for Students cardholders a golden opportunity to build credit over time with responsible use and timely payments.

Quicksilver Rewards for Students has much in common with the flagship Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, which has stricter credit standards. It also shares a brand with the Capital One QuicksilverOne Rewards Credit Card, which is marketed to general audiences (not just students) with fair or average credit.

Key Features

The Capital One Quicksilver Rewards for Students card has a straightforward cash back rewards program, relaxed underwriting requirements, and some other benefits worth writing home about.

Earning Cash-Back Rewards

The Capital One Quicksilver Rewards for Students card earns 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases, every day. There’s no limit to how much you can earn over time.

Redeeming Cash-Back Rewards

You can redeem your accumulated cash-back rewards for:

  • A general statement credit to your account balance
  • A targeted statement credit applied to specific past purchases
  • A paper check mailed to your address on file
  • Credit for eligible purchases made with PayPal
  • Gift cards offered by participating partner merchants

You can redeem in any amount and at any time.

Additional Card Benefits and Perks

The Capital One Quicksilver Rewards for Students card has some additional benefits worth noting:

  • Extended warranties on eligible purchases with existing manufacturers’ warranties
  • Complimentary travel accident insurance, subject to policy limits and exclusions
  • A card lock feature that protects your account from fraud
  • Randomly generated virtual card numbers that ensure you don’t have to give your real card number to random online merchants
  • Complimentary access to Capital One Shopping, a browser plugin that can help you find a lower price when you shop online
  • 24/7 complimentary concierge service when you shop, dine, or travel
  • 24/7 travel assistance and emergency cash advance service if your card is lost or stolen
  • Periodic free credit report alerts (for events such as an increase or decrease in your credit score) on your Experian or TransUnion credit report

These benefits may be subject to terms and limitations and are subject to change at Capital One’s discretion.

Important Fees

Quicksilver Rewards for Students does not charge an annual fee. There’s no fee for foreign transactions, including transactions made at overseas points of sale and online purchases made with merchants located outside the United States. See terms and conditions for information about balance transfer fees and cash advance fees.

Credit Required

The Capital One Quicksilver Rewards for Students card is appropriate for students and soon-to-be students with fair credit or better. It’s not suitable for students with poor credit or limited credit, nor new-to-credit students who don’t have credit scores.

This card offers modest credit lines for applicants. You may be able to apply for a credit line increase after demonstrating a record of timely payment and responsible card utilization.


Advantages

The Capital One Quicksilver Rewards for Students card has some key advantages over other student credit cards and entry-level cash-back cards. They include a straightforward and relatively generous rewards program, low card fees, and relaxed underwriting.

  1. Solid Rate of Return on All Eligible Purchases. The Capital One Quicksilver Rewards for Students card has a simple rewards scheme: a 1.5% cash-back rewards rate on all eligible purchases, every day, with no caps on earning potential or rotating bonus categories to worry about. This isn’t the most generous cash-back program around, but it’s above-average for a student credit card.
  2. No Foreign Transaction Fees or Annual Fee. Quicksilver Rewards for Students doesn’t charge an annual fee or foreignt transaction fees. These are key benefits for budget-conscious students who don’t want to pay to keep the card around and who plan to study abroad or shop with international merchants while in college.
  3. Open to Applicants With Less-Than-Perfect Credit. Quicksilver Rewards for Students is appropriate for applicants with fair credit scores. You don’t have to have perfect (or even good) credit to apply for this card.
  4. Nice Lineup of Fringe Benefits. Quicksilver Rewards for Students has some choice fringe benefits, including extended warranties on eligible purchases, basic protections for travelers, and fraud protection measures like a handy card lock feature. These might not be the deciding factor in your decision to apply for this card, they certainly don’t hurt.

Disadvantages

Although it’s one of the best credit cards for students, the Capital One Quicksilver Rewards for Students card is not perfect. Its disadvantages include a missing early spend bonus, no 0% APR introductory promotion on purchases or balance transfers, and no bonus cash-back categories.

  1. No Early Spend Bonus (Sign-Up Bonus). Capital One Quicksilver Rewards for Students does not offer an early spend bonus (also known as a sign-up bonus) for new cardholders. There’s no way to earn rewards above the flat-rate baseline during your first months here.
  2. No Introductory APR Promotion. You won’t find an intro APR promotion from Quicksilver Rewards for Students either. This is a drawback relative to some other Capital One credit cards, and certainly to other student credit cards that waive interest on purchases or balance transfers for new cardholders.
  3. No Way to Earn Cash Back Above the 1.5% Rate. You can’t earn rewards any faster than this card’s flat-rate 1.5% baseline rewards rate allows. That’s not a bad baseline for an entry-level student credit card, to be sure, but it’s also not up to the standards of premium cash-back credit cards that offer 5% back or more on eligible purchases.
  4. Not Appropriate for New-to-Credit Applicants. Quicksilver Rewards for Students does not require excellent or even good credit, but it does require some credit history. This is a drawback for applicants who don’t have any credit history to point to, including those who haven’t been able to build credit without a credit card and international students seeking a U.S.-based payment solution for the first time.

Final Word

The Capital One Quicksilver Rewards for Students card is one of the better student credit cards on the market right now. With a flat cash-back rate that’s right where an entry-level card’s should be, no annual fee, and a relaxed underwriting process, it has the potential to be a real asset for many college students.

Is Quicksilver Rewards for Students perfect? Far from it. It’s not suitable for applicants with bad credit scores or no credit scores at all, which excludes many young people who haven’t had a chance to build credit as minors and most international students as well.

And its fringe benefits aren’t specially designed with students in mind, as is the case for some more innovative cards in this niche. You won’t find a free or discounted subscription to Amazon Prime Student or rewards on purchases of streaming services here, for example.

Before deciding to apply for Quicksilver Rewards for Students, make sure it’s the best fit for your needs. After all, this is a card you hope will carry you through the next four years — or however long remains on your student journey.

Source: moneycrashers.com

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card Review

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes references to offers from our partners. We receive compensation when you click on links to those products. However, the opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card is about as basic as credit cards get. Though it’s currently not included on our list of best low APR credit cards, it has all the makings of a contender in that category: an extended 0% APR introductory promotion, a low regular interest rate, and virtually no frills.

The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card is great for paying down debt and carrying a monthly balance at reasonable cost. It’s not advertised as such, but its relatively loose underwriting requirements mean it’s useful for building credit – or, more likely, improving credit from a sturdy but unspectacular baseline.

If you’re looking for a credit card that returns part of every dollar you spend via a generous rewards program, stop right here and check out our lists of the best cash back credit cards and best travel rewards credit cards. Otherwise, read on to learn more about the U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card’s strengths, weaknesses, and overall suitability.

Key Features

Introductory APR

The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card charges no interest on purchases or balance transfers for 20 months from your account opening date. Qualifying purchases can be made at any time during the 20-month window. Qualifying balance transfers must be made within the first 60 days.

Cell Phone Protection Plan

U.S. Bank offers a cell phone protection plan that protects against damage and theft, subject to certain limitations and restrictions. The plan does not apply to damage due to lost phones, nor phones disabled or destroyed due to electronic failures.

You can cover the primary cardholder’s phone (primary line) and up to three auxiliary lines listed on your provider’s monthly statement. The maximum payout is $600 per claim and $1,200 per year, less a $25 deductible per occurrence and a hard cap at the replacement value of the phone.

Free TransUnion Credit Score and Credit Reporting Tools

This card comes with a free TransUnion credit score (VantageScore) each month and an accompanying suite of credit analysis and reporting tools, including a score simulator that helps you predict various financial events’ impacts on your credit score. Everything is accessible in your online account dashboard.

Choose Your Own Payment Due Date

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum gives you the flexibility to choose your own payment due date. It’s not a given that you’ll be able to choose the precise date you prefer. Check your cardholder agreement for more information.

Overdraft Protection for U.S. Bank Deposit Account Holders

If you have a U.S. Bank deposit account, you can opt into U.S. Bank’s overdraft protection program. Once you’re enrolled, transactions that would normally result in overdrafts are instead executed as intended. U.S. Bank draws on your Visa Platinum card’s cash advance credit line to cover the shortfall. There’s no credit card fee associated with this service, but most U.S. Bank deposit accounts do charge daily fees – most often $12.50 per day.

While overdraft protection is useful (and essential in situations where you absolutely have to complete a transaction), it can become a burden. Overdraft protection transfers immediately begin accruing interest at the regular cash advance rate, so it’s in your best financial interest to pay them off as soon as practically possible. Also, keep in mind that your cash advance credit line is likely to be lower than your card’s spending limit.

Important Fees

There is no annual fee. Foreign transactions cost 2% to 3% of the total transaction amount, depending on denomination. Balance transfers cost the greater of 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5. Cash advances cost at least the greater of 3% or $5, but ATM cash advances and certain other types of cash advances cost more.

Credit Required

This card requires good credit.

Advantages

  1. No Annual Fee. The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card has no annual fee. That’s welcome news for frugal cardholders who simply want to pay down existing credit card debts without resorting to payday loans or finance large purchases without paying interest or excessive, recurring fees.
  2. Long 0% APR Introductory Promotion for Purchases and Balance Transfers. This card’s 0% APR introductory promotion lasts 20 months for purchases and balance transfers. That’s longer than some of the top balance transfer credit cards on the market. If you’re struggling with high-interest credit card debt or planning a large purchase that you can’t pay off in a single month, this card is worth a closer look.
  3. Useful Cell Phone Protection Plan. This card’s cell phone protection plan comes in handy in all-too-common situations that you’ve likely (and unfortunately) experienced firsthand. You can claim a loss of up to $600 per occurrence, enough to cover the replacement cost of all but the spiffiest new phones.
  4. Free Credit Score and Reporting Tools. Curious about the state of your financial health? Wonder no more. Visa Platinum cardholders enjoy free monthly access to their VantageScore credit scores, plus useful simulation tools that provide insight into current and future credit score trends.
  5. Flexible Payment Due Date. With the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card, you have the freedom and flexibility to choose your own payment due date. If you’re a freelancer or small business owner with irregular income, this simple perk can mean the difference between smooth financial sailing and a dire cash crunch. You can also enroll in autopay to ensure you don’t accidentally miss a payment.
  6. No Penalty APR. This card doesn’t charge penalty interest. If you regularly carry a balance and occasionally miss your due date because of cash flow issues or unexpected expenses, this can significantly reduce your out-month interest costs.

Disadvantages

  1. No Rewards. The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card has no rewards program. If you’re looking for a credit card that pays you back for every purchase you make, check out popular no-annual-fee cash back cards, such as Chase Freedom or Citi Double Cash Card.
  2. No Sign-Up Bonus. Most rewards-less credit cards lack sign-up bonuses, and Visa Platinum is no exception. Plenty of cards incentivize early spending with generous sign-up bonuses – in the no-annual-fee cash back department, Chase Freedom Unlimited is my personal favorite.
  3. 2% to 3% Foreign Transaction Fee. The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card’s foreign transaction fee is 2% for U.S. dollar-denominated transactions and 3% for transactions denominated in foreign currency. If you regularly travel outside the United States, look for an annual-fee-free alternative with no foreign transaction fees, such as Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards.

Final Word

The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card gives new meaning to the term “bare-bones.” This card has two interrelated use cases: financing large purchases and getting existing credit card debts under control. If you approach either case with discipline and resolve, you can dramatically increase your spending power or create some much-needed breathing room in your personal budget.

If you’re not planning a major purchase and are lucky enough not to be saddled with existing credit card debt, the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card likely isn’t your card.

Source: moneycrashers.com

8 Ways to Save Money When Buying Tires for Your Car

With vehicle ownership comes many expenses, from car insurance to maintenance to new tires. Depending on the type of vehicle you drive, replacing a set of tires can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. So saving money on tires is critical for many tire buyers.

Fortunately, there are many easy ways to save money on a new set of tires.

How to Save Money When Buying Tires

There are countless tire options at many price points, but even the cheapest tires can be expensive. That’s why it’s crucial to leverage these tips to save money on tires.

1. Compare Prices Online

The Internet makes shopping and comparing prices easier than ever.

Check out individual brick-and-mortar tire shops’ websites. Look at places like Pep Boys, Tire Kingdom, Walmart, Costco, Sam’s Club, and Goodyear to find tire prices online and compare them. You can also see a far more extensive selection of available tires and their prices at large online tire retailers like Tire Rack and Discount Tire Direct.

You can even go outside the tire industry and check websites like eBay or Amazon.

When shopping, keep these variables in mind:

  • Fees. Some online shops include extra fees with new tires, including disposal, a new valve stem, mounting, and balancing. Check with the retailer to get an idea of these costs so you can see the entire picture.
  • Sales Tax. When shopping online, some companies exclude sales tax if you live outside the company’s home state. For example, if the company is based in New York and you live in Florida, you may not pay sales tax, which can greatly reduce the cost.
  • Shipping Fees. Always look into shipping fees. Most online tire retailers ship for free, but it pays to double-check.

2. Watch for Circulars

Watch for tire ads that come in the mail or newspaper. These often highlight special offers you may not find anywhere else, like buy-three, get-one-free deals and percent-off specials. When reviewing these sales, always read the fine print, as they often have limitations and requirements to get the sale price.

For example, a 25% off sale may only be on specific tire sizes, or that buy-three, get-one-free deal may only be for the tire — you still have to pay for balancing, the valve stem, and disposal fees.

3. Search for Rebates

There’s not much markup on tires, so the retailers may not offer great sales too often. However, tire manufacturers often offer rebates for meeting certain purchase requirements. For instance, Firestone may issue a $100 rebate if you buy any set of four Firestone tires.

These rebates are generally through the mail, so you must mail the rebate form with a copy of your receipt and wait to receive a check or gift card in the mail for the rebate amount. These rebates often take weeks to process, so patience is key.

You can find the rebates advertised on tire manufacturers’ websites, but you may also find them on a retailer’s site or in a circular.

4. Look for Takeoffs

While used tires are rarely worth buying, takeoffs are a different story. These are tires that a person purchased, used for a few days, and returned within a specific period — typically 30 days or less.

Often, the buyer simply didn’t like the way they rode or handled. The tire retailer will put different tires on their car and place the used tires back on the shelf at a deeply discounted price so long as they’re not defective.

These takeoff tires are still basically brand-new and can save you big money.

5. Shop During Holidays

Like many retailers, tire service shops use holidays as reasons to slash prices. You can often save money on tires by shopping around holidays, including:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Presidents Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Independence Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Labor Day
  • Black Friday

6. Use Competitive Shopping

When looking to save money on buying tires, the last thing you want to do is get just one price quote and get the work started. Instead, get multiple written quotes on the same or similar tires and get the lowest cost through competitive shopping.

Once you have three to four quotes, take the lowest quote from one tire shop to the others and see if they can beat the price. If you get a better price from another shop, repeat the process. Continue repeating this process until you get the best price possible.

7. Focus on Things Other Than Brand Name

Unless you’re a race car driver, you just need a set of quality, long-lasting tires. There’s no need to shop for the big brands. Big-name tire brands like Michelin, Bridgestone, Firestone, Dunlop, and Goodyear are high-quality, but they’re among the most expensive options.

You can get quality tires from lesser-known brands like Kumho and Hankook at significantly lower prices.

Instead of looking at the brand, focus on the tire’s performance and durability. Several other key features are more important than the brand name.

Speed Rating

Most vehicles have a recommended minimum speed rating for their tires. This letter rating indicates the sustained speed a tire can structurally handle. For example, a V-rated tire can handle sustained speeds of up to 149 mph, while a Y-rated tire can handle 186 mph.

You can find the speed rating stamped along with the tire size on the sidewall in one of three ways:

  • Before the R: 225/60VR16
  • After the Two-Digit Load Rating: 225/60R16 92V
  • Before the R and After the Two-Digit Load Rating: 225/60VR16 92V

Note: The R just stands for “radial,” as in radial tires. It comes before the tire size (the tire in this example has a 16-inch diameter).

Load Index

Load index is the amount of weight each tire can support while inflated. Verify the cheaper tire matches or exceeds the load-index minimum your car requires. You can find the load index requirement in the owners manual or on the tire placard inside the driver’s side door jamb.

The load index is a two-digit code stamped after the tire size on the sidewall. For example, if the tire code says, “225/60R16 92V,” the load index is 92.

The load index ranges from 1 through 112, and the higher the number, the more weight it can support. Tirerack.com has a more comprehensive explainer if you want more details.

Treadwear Rating

Tire treadwear rating is often mistaken for a direct translation to how many miles a tire will last. It’s more of a comparative number.

The baseline treadwear is 100, and a tire with a 200 treadwear rating lasts twice as long in testing before its tread wears out. A 300 treadwear tire lasts three times as long in testing.

Each tire manufacturer performs its own testing on the same 400-mile test track in Texas to ensure uniformity in the treadwear ratings. The tires complete a 7,200-mile test. Every 800 miles, the testers check and adjust the air pressure in the tires, perform an alignment, and rotate the tires.

After the test, the testers measure the remaining tread and compare it to the remaining tread on the baseline 100 treadwear tire.

Compare the cheaper tire’s treadwear rating to that of a more expensive tire. That gives you an idea of how long the cheaper tire will last relative to the more expensive competitor.

But note that while tire manufacturers complete treadwear testing under strict National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rules, each uses its own baseline tires. So a 500 treadwear Kumho tire may not last quite as long as a 500 treadwear Goodyear because they used different baseline tires. However, the number can still be helpful when making an apples-to-apples comparison.

You can find the three-digit treadwear rating stamped on the tire’s sidewall after the word “Treadwear.”

Warranty

The warranty may be the single best way to compare a less expensive tire to a pricier competitor when all other variables remain equal.

Most tire manufacturers include some type of mileage warranty on their tires. Generally, these warranties range from 25,000 miles to 80,000 miles.

These mileage warranties mean the manufacturer guarantees the tire’s tread will remain above the wear bar for a specified number of miles. The wear bar is a small, raised section of rubber running across the grooves in the tread that indicates the tire has reached the end of its useful life. If the tread reaches the wear bar early through no fault of the vehicle or driver, the tire company gives you a prorated credit toward a new tire.

For example, if a $100 tire with a 50,000-mile warranty only lasts 25,000 miles, the tire manufacturer owes you $50 — 50% of $100 — toward a replacement tire.

If a less expensive tire has all the same or better ratings than an expensive brand-name tire and a matching or longer warranty, you can save money on the cheaper tire and feel confident you’re getting an otherwise equivalent tire.

8. Go for All-Season Tires — if Possible

In areas where winters get cold and snowy, it’s not uncommon to switch from summer tires to winter tires. However, keeping two sets of tires on hand can get quite expensive. If you live in a temperate region or one where snow is light and rare, you can get away with one set of all-season tires instead of separate sets for summer and winter, saving you money in the process.


Continue Saving Money After Buying Tires

Sure, you can save money when buying tires with the seven tips above, but you can save even more money by helping your tires last longer. There are several maintenance strategies you can use to extend the lifespan of your tires and save even more money.

1. Maintain Your Tire Pressure

Tire pressure impacts fuel economy and the longevity of your tires. Too little pressure can cause excessive wear on the outer edge of your tires, but too much pressure can accelerate tread wear in the center of your tires.

To avoid these issues, check your tire pressure at least once per week and compare it to the pressure recommendations in your owners manual or on the tire placard inside the driver’s door jamb. Always check and adjust your tire pressure before driving, as time on the road increases the tire’s temperature, which increases its pressure. Adjust the pressure as needed.

Never inflate your tires to the maximum pressure listed on the tire’s sidewall. It’s too much pressure for most passenger vehicles.

Many tire shops will check and fill your tires with air for free, and gas stations usually have air stations that cost around $1 to use. You can also buy a small portable tire pump with a pressure gauge for $20 to $30.

2. Perform Regular Rotations

Tire rotation is a maintenance procedure that places each wheel and tire in a different position on the vehicle. That changes each tire’s angle and rotation slightly to prevent it from wearing unevenly, which can happen if it remains at the same angle and in the same position for too long.

Every vehicle has its own recommended tire rotation schedule in the maintenance schedule section of its owners manual. Perform this maintenance as the manufacturer recommends to maximize your tires’ lifespans.

Tire rotations are often free with oil change services. If they’re not free, they’re still inexpensive, generally $20 or less.

3. Check and Adjust the Alignment

Your vehicle’s suspension flexes with the road, which can sometimes throw its alignment off. Alignment is the angle at which your wheels sit against the road. Driving with the alignment out of specification can cause excessive wear on one part of the tire, significantly shortening its life.

At least once every six months, have a repair facility check your vehicle’s alignment. If it’s out of specification, the shop can perform the alignment. That helps maximize your tires’ life.

Alignment checks are often $20 or less. If you need an alignment, expect to pay $50 to $100, depending on the complexity. The shop usually removes the alignment check fee if you complete the alignment service.

Some repair shops offer lifetime alignments for an extra cost. If you plan to keep your vehicle for a long time, it may be a worthwhile investment, as you can get the vehicle aligned as often as you like at no extra cost as long as you own it. Lifetime alignments usually cost $150 to $200.


Final Word

Tires can be one of the most expensive things to maintain on your vehicle, but it’s worth it. They’re the only point of contact between your car and the road, so you want the best tires you can afford.

That’s why you may want to consider getting a road hazard warranty on new tires. It may not save you money, but it can protect your investment. These tire insurance policies generally cover 100% of all flat repairs and offer prorated replacement guarantees if the tire is irreparable.

By using these tips, you can maximize your tire investment. Then, with the right tire maintenance, you can ensure your new tires last as long as possible, saving you even more in the long run.

Source: moneycrashers.com