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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Take It Like a Man 3.30.11

First things first, thank you for, again, coming to read my blog this week. I am entered into a competition to win $500 for the most liked blog on the site BlogSynergy. If you could take a moment to go THERE and click the “like” button, I would be forever grateful. I’ll thank you in advance, because I know you guys are awesome! (You don’t have to be a member of the BlogSynergy site, but you do have to be a member of Facebook. If you don’t already like me there, too, just pop on over and do it now…then you can get back to reading.)

It’s “Man Week” over at Ebates and the Frugal Living Community, so in keeping with the trend I thought I would do a post just for you guys – or those ladies looking for a gift for the man in their lives. Father’s Day is coming, plus I’m sure if he’s not a dad, you will have to buy him a birthday/anniversary/Arbor Day/Passover gift soon enough, so you might as well take note. I was racking my brain this week trying to think of a “manly” discussion that I could contribute to the community that was “budget-minded” and that’s when I remembered I love golf. I mean, I don’t like to play it, but I do love to watch it. Maybe that makes me weird, but I’m aware that I would need to take anger management classes and also buy a new club after every round I played if I took it up. While I don’t necessarily think it’s a sport, I recognize the skill and patience it takes to play the game (like bowling!) and know that I would be terribly bad at it. There’s also the fact that I can’t afford to take it up. (I also love gadgets, which will be my next FL discussion and the rest of this post, so if you hate golf, skip down a bit.)

Frugal Golf Trips

There are a lot of guys (and ladies) who like to travel and play golf in new places...and I know a lot of them travel to destinations to play a specific course. Unfortunately, course fees can add up, but there ARE ways to save!
  • Some courses charge less for a less desirable tee time or day.
  • If you only plan to golf a few times on your trip, consider renting your equipment. You won't have to drag your clubs everywhere you go or pay for checked baggage fees (or overweight fees).
  • Check out GolfSwitch on Expedia for cheaper tee times that you can reserve and pay for in advance!
Do you know of other ways to save on a golf excursion or know of inexpensive courses? 

Oakley Men's Servodrive Golf Shoe,White/Brown,10.5 M USTop-Flite XL 13-Piece Complete Golf Club Set (Right Hand)INTECH Golf Tee 3 1/4" 75 Pack (Natural)

I think this is a problem a lot of people encounter. Golf is expensive. How regular people can afford to go play almost every weekend is beyond me. Well, I found some tips on how to save on such things that I’m going to share with you now, because I like that sort of thing and I think more people should get to play golf more often and not be forced to have to skip it when they go on vacation and have the chance to play new and exciting – not to mention challenging – courses. So, pack your golf shoes and some sunscreen and try using some of these techniques to hone your money-saving golf skills:

  • Book a less desirable tee time or less busy day to get a discounted rate.
  • Buy an Entertainment Book for your vacation destination (if applicable) or use your current one to look online and find discounts on golf where you are going. They mark the books down in February and March, so you get an even better deal, plus you can get cash back on your purchase of one with Ebates (17.5%!).
  • Use Expedia to book a reduced tee time rate on GolfSwitch. They have a network of golf courses worldwide where you can book ahead of time, get a good deal and, because you paid in advance, only have to worry about showing up!
  • GolfNow.com
  • Many courses give discounts to residents. If you know anyone in the area that you’ll be playing in, see if you can get them to book for you.
  • Rent your equipment when you get there. No sense in dragging your heavy clubs everywhere you go if you’ll only be playing one or two rounds while you’re on your trip. You’ll save by not having to pay (overweight) baggage fees each way and you won’t have your bag taking up all that space in your room. Your back will also thank you.
  • Groupon! Sign up for Groupon for free and get up to 75% off dining, shopping and activities. This includes greens fees. I have seen many Groupons for lovely golf courses in the Portland area, so I have to believe that you can find equally good ones for your home area and other U.S. and international destinations (where Groupon is offered). It doesn’t hurt that you may also see Groupons for other things you may want to see and do…or eat!
So, hopefully that will help you keep some green in your wallet while you’re keeping your ball on the green!

Bushnell GPS BackTrack Personal Locator (Camo)  ZAGGmate Aluminun iPad Case with Bluetooth Keybaord  PSP 3000 Core Pack - Black   iGo EverywhereUniversal Wall (AC) and Auto (DC) Charger with Retractable Cable (Charger Only, Tips Not Included)
What’s a trip without cool gadgets to take along with your and make your trip easier, possibly cheaper and funner! Without gadgets our lives wouldn’t be quite as interesting and time wouldn’t fly so fast…and we’d get lost in a rural area for two hours, because the roads aren’t on a map and there aren’t even any farmers to ask for directions. While Tom Tom may not always get me where I want to go in the easiest way possible, he IS smart enough to know not to take a shortcut through the cornfields of Yuba City. Here are some other fancy gadgets that will make your trip easier, better and less expensive:

  • Bushnell Back Track personal GPS – I love this thing! Granted, I don’t have one yet, but it’s on my wish list and I’ll have it in my hands before my next trip. People who do have one have given it rave reviews. No guy wants to ask for directions (and some of us ladies have a terrible sense of direction, too). With this awesome little device, you can add your starting coordinates, like your hotel’s street entrance, and then while you’re off enjoying the day you can forget all about where you started and then use the Back Track to guide you back to that exact spot! This is fantastic for places that have large parking lots (Disney, anyone?) or if you’re meeting people back at a specific place or finding your bus stop again. This doesn’t work indoors though, so if you get lost in Mall of America or a parking garage, it can’t help you.
  • Sony PSP – The PSP stands for PlayStation Portable, but it does oh so much more than play games. With the PSP you can store pictures, surf the web, listen to your MP3s, watch movies and use it as a GPS navigator. You can probably do even more that that, but this really is the ultimate do-it-all device. If it could also make phone calls and read books, you wouldn’t have to take anything else. I hear that Sony is working on such a handheld electronic. I hope they can also make it a touch screen (or at least let me use a stylus), because that’ll be my next purchase.
  • Zagg aluminum iPad case with wireless keyboard – I know you guys love your shiny new iPads. Well, it can be hard to do actual work on those little things, given the weight and the ability to only type as fast as the touch screen allows and the fact that it auto corrects everything you don’t want it to and stuff you do it doesn’t. While the Zagg case comes with a bit of a high price tag ($99), it can solve all your keyboarding problems and keep your iPad safe. The keyboard is WiFi enabled, so no wires are needed to connect your iPad, plus, it props your iPad up like a monitor, so you don’t have to hold it either. Voila! You’re ready to work and write emails! Also, it only add ¼” to the bulk of your iPad, so shoving it into the outside pocket of your carry-on should be just as easy as before!
  • iGo multi-charger – This will always be on the top of my travel gadget must-have list. I have several of them and the tips to go with all my devices, including the international mobile phones I have from Mobal. It’s just SO handy. It takes up minimal space (stuff it in a shoe to save even MORE space) and eliminates all your other adapters for your electronics, except for your netbook/laptop. They have iGos for those, too, but they are just as bulky as your regular adapter, so why not save the money and take that one instead? I have an iGo wall adapter, car adapter, splitter – so I can charge TWO items at once – and the USB plug, which allows me to charge something with the power from my netbook. All these components fit into a nice little makeup bag (my preferred mode of transportation for such things) and take up less space than just two of my regular adapters, that now live in the “cord drawer” at home.
Join me over on Facebook, as I will be giving away
several sets of iGos soon on my page. Just click the “like”
button and you’re a fan, because only fans will be eligible
to win! More info to come!

  • Kindle from Amazon – These handy e-readers are getting more and more affordable. With the money you save on books (they are less expensive in ebook format), this pays for itself pretty quickly. If you love to read, then the Kindle – or other e-reader – is a must! I found that I was always taking at least two books with me every time I traveled. If my husband was reading something, we would add another to the pile. Well, now with the Kindle, we take just the Kindle and a few magazines. Such a space saver! We can take (almost) all the books we own, plus newspapers and blogs with us in that one small package. If we both want to read at once, it’s not a big deal, because with the free Kindle reading apps downloaded on both our iPod Touch and iPad, one of us can read a book on the Kindle and the other can read on one of those other devices. Not only is that cool, but it’s SUPER cool, because the app syncs with your Kindle account and remembers your place. So, if I start reading on the Kindle and then have to switch to reading on the iPad, I won’t have to flip through to find my page. The only way this works badly is if you both want to read the same book at the same time. Luckily, we don’t have this problem.

Speaking of Kindle – Did you know you can subscribe to
the Shereen Travels Cheap blog on yours? No? Well, you can!
Take Shereen Travels Cheap everywhere you go, get real-time
udates when new posts are published, so you can read and
enjoy STC at home, at work, on the train, in France!
Don’t have a Kindle? You can still use that fancy Kindle
reading app, which is FREE, by the way, to read on your
other web-enabled devices (iPad, Blackberry, Android, etc.).

Do you have more to add to my lists? Comment here or run over to the Frugal Living Community and join the discussion with me and my other frugal friends. You can join other discussions, too, and learn how to save money on fashion, groceries, travel and more! Blog Frog is a fantastic site that is comprised of bloggers and blog readers who share the same interests. In addition to joining different communities (Frugal Living is NOT the only one, just the one where I am a community leader and share most of my money-saving ideas), you can find other blogs that interest you, interact with other bloggers/readers and make new friends.

So, as I said above, Ebates is sponsoring “man week”. What does that mean for you? Besides fun topics on golf, couponing, gadgets and other things men like, they are offering double cash back on some of your favorite online retailers! One of my favorites, Backcountry.com, is on the list this week for 8% cash back. They sell a wide range of travel clothing and accessories for men, women and children! Got some outdoor things you want to do and need supplies? Backcountry is sure to have it. Man Week ends on Monday though, so make sure you order by then.

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