Category Archives: Shop

Sharing easy tips on finding good bargains, educated shopping, and making smart financial decisions.

Last Minute Holiday Shopping on a Budget

It’s crunch time and you still have not found that gift that puts the “thought” in “the thought that counts”, while Amazon Prime 2-day delivery in time for Christmas is now out of reach?

Feeling a little tight this holiday season and need to work within a limited budget?

Discount retailers to the rescue!  T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, Ross !

While many see Target as the one stop shop for all holiday shopping needs, often times it can put a larger dent in your spending than desirable.

Some smart shoppers may have caught on by now, but for those of you not yet aware of these discount shops, this is the year and holiday to discover some fantastic bargains!

Here you can find legitimate name brand products at a discounted price, from knit hats, designer purses, beddings, gardening tools, toys to home decor. You name it, these stores have some version of a product that will fit someone’s taste and price point.

Example deals under $20:

$14.99All Clad Stainless Steel Pasta Tongs
$12.99T-Fal non-stick Fry Pan
$12.99Calvin Klein knit hat
$11.99Nike Wallet
$9.99Remington Cordless Shaver
$15.99Guess Purse

These are the real deal–no knock offs!

Ross tends to have the steepest discounted items, while T.J.Maxx stores have more options for the name brand lovers out there.

So don’t be discouraged by the ticking of the clock.
Set a spending limit and go shopping–there are deals to be had out there!

More spending tips can be found here:   20 saving hacks at discount retailers

Happy Holidays!
Mrs Practical

How to Shop Online Securely

Risk of shopping online

As the internet increasingly becomes a feasting ground for identity theft, we  consumers must remain vigilant in protecting our identity, and exercise precaution when carrying out online purchase transactions. Any legitimate website that require a password should be secure (indicated by an “https:” in the URL location bar, not just http:, the ‘s’ stands for secure).

Controlled Payment Number Feature

If you do a lot of online shopping, you want to minimize the risk of your credit card number proliferating across the web. Luckily some credit card agencies offer a “controlled payment number” feature option through online banking.

How it works

This feature allows you to create a temporary credit card number that is tied to your real credit card account, and use that temporary number to make your purchases so you do not have to disclose your original credit card number to the online merchant. Therefore your card number does not get stored in their database to risk getting compromised.


You can track your past purchases made with that credit card number at anytime by logging into your online credit card banking account. The transactions will show up as they normally do, in either the recent transactions or billing statements.

This controlled payment feature allows you to set the expiration date and the spending limit. That credit card number can then be reused up until the date you set it to expire or until you hit the spending limit. I set the expiration to the minimum of 2 months and set the spending limit to the amount of the purchase transaction I’m about to execute. This way each online transaction has its unique number. You can choose to set a higher limit of course.

This feature service is free!

Don’t be a victim of identity theft. Sign up for one of these cards to take advantage of this valuable security feature!

Example credit card agencies that offer this free security service:

Disclaimer: has no affiliation with these credit card agencies. We have had a positive experience using these features and are simply looking out for number 1 🙂

Happy safe shopping!

Mrs. Practical