Archive for November, 2008

Black Friday Fever
November 26, 2008

The lines, the traffic, searching an eternity for a parking spot. Does getting a good deal make all the hassle worth it?  Millions of people apparently think it does. It seems Black Friday has become almost as celebrated as the day of Thanks we all observe the day before.

With retailers hurting and consumers watching every penny, who knows if this Black Friday will in fact mean retailers will turn a profit (or be “in the black” as the name suggests); but the internet is definitely buzzing with Black Friday ads and leaks about good deals. I am posting several of the sites I found here.

If you have a site or a sale you want to share, let me know. I’ll post it for everyone.

Wallet Pop

Pink Friday



Black Friday Ads


Black Friday Gotta Deal


As if Rebates weren’t uncertain enough…
November 20, 2008

A major rebate processor has filed for bankruptcy

(The following information was taken directly from

You may have already read or heard, that there is a problem with a relatively large rebate processor, known as Continental Promotion Group, Inc (further CPG) who has filed for bankruptcy today.

The easiest way to see if you are affected, is to check copies of rebate materials you have submitted recently, which have not yet been fulfilled. You keep copies, right? Take a look at the destination address. The department and name of the recepient will vary depending on the brand of the product that carried the rebate, but the address will most likely have the following in it:

P.O. Box 52900 (or P.O. Box 52911)
Phoenix, AZ 85072-2900

CPG main website for checking upon your rebate is If you see this site as point of contact on the rebate, you may be affected.

If you do not have a site or address listed on the rebate form, you may use the known phone numbers below to figure out if you may be affected:

  • 877-776-1280 (Antec rebates)
  • 877-776-2676 (XFX rebates)
  • 866-678-7025 (Acronis rebates)
  • 866-533-6885 (AVG Rebates)
  • 888-864-6781 (Canon rebates)
  • 866-533-6880 (Logitech rebates)
  • 866-256-9991 (Smith Micro rebates)
  • 877-776-4631 (TRENDNet rebates)

Last, but not least, the following companies are known to have used CPG as their rebate processor in the recent months. We do not have a full list of the companies which have used CPG as their rebate clearing house, however, here is the list we have so far, compiled with the help of our users:

We have linked the names for companies which we have had recent Front Page Deals involving rebates. Click on the link to see those deals.

  • Acronis Software
  • Adaware
  • Adobe
  • Advance Auto Parts
  • Antec
  • AVG
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • BIC Corporations US – Shaver Division
  • BFG
  • Bridgevine
  • Canon
  • Casio
  • Checker / Schuck’s / Kragen Auto Parts
  • Citibank
  • Costco
  • DeLorme
  • Freestyle Meter
  • Fujitsu
  • Joe’s Sports
  • Home Depot
  • Logitech
  • Motorola (Surfboard cable modems)
  • Murray’s Discount Auto Parts
  • Natures Earth Products
  • Nero
  • Panda Distribution
  • Pandigital
  • PC Tools
  • PriceGrabber
  • Rosewill (Newegg house brand)
  • Samsung
  • Smith Micro Software
  • Spot
  • Tabletops Unlimited
  • TrendNET
  • Westinghouse
  • Windstream
  • XFX
  • XM Satellite Radio
  • ZeroTherm
  • Zyxel

I think I am affected, what should I do?

First and foremost, if you have recently received the check, and have not cashed it yet, DO NOT CASH IT. The check will bounce, and you will probably be hit with a non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee [varies by bank]. If you have deposited it, it may be worth your time to call your bank, and see if they have attempted to collect on it, and if so – see if they can reverse the attempt. Most banks will work with proactive customers like you, and you may get brownie points for that.

If you have recently made a purchase which had a rebate that was going to CPG, and have not yet submitted – DO NOT SUBMIT IT. Instead, contact the place of purchase, and request a return authorization, since you will no longer be able to get the item at the advertised price.

Do not try to contact the rebate processor using any of the known phone numbers. Chances are, it won’t help you, and you probably won’t even get an answer.

Keep copies of every rebate you have – do not assume they are a lost cause just yet. As time progresses, there may be alternative solutions available which may allow you to collect your rebate(s).

We recommend that you do not contact the company that manufactured the product immediately. There are many users like you, and chances are that some have already done it for you, and posted their findings.

Companies that have taken action and informed their customers so far

Stretching Your Grocery Dollars
November 18, 2008

Local 2 Investigates is looking out for your bottom line at the grocery store.  Tonight at 10, we compared prices of the 5 largest grocery store chains in our area: Wal-mart, Target, Randall’s H-E-B and Kroger.

When we contacted each store for their response to what we found, most sent us information on how you can save by shopping their stores.  Keep reading to find out how to stretch your dollar depending on where you shop.kroger

With regard to the pricing story you are working on, our retail prices are a function of the cost of the product from the manufacture. In terms of the price comparison, we believe your sample is too small. When we do price comparisons of our competitors we look at least 200 products to get an accurate view of total pricing.

Lastly Kroger has a large variety of the Kroger Brand product. This product is as good as or better than the national brand at a lower retail price.

We are seeing that many customers have switched to the Kroger Brand to save money. In regard to the increase in retail, there is no doubt we have experienced food inflation. This was a factor of a number of things including the economy, fuel prices, increased world demand, etc. Kroger through its extensive buying capabilities works hard to keep inflation to a minimum.

 Kroger triples manufacturer’s coupons up to 35 cents and doubles coupons up to 50 cents.

1. Shortcuts
 A service of AOL, in partnership with Kroger, the site allows customers to download coupons directly to their Kroger Plus Card. During checkout, coupons are automatically redeemed when your Card is scanned.2.

 Customers can download Procter & Gamble (e.g. Tide) coupons directly to your Kroger Plus Card. During checkout, coupons are automatically redeemed when you scan your Card.
3. Printable Coupons

 Customers who forget to pick up the Sunday paper can print coupons directly from the site. They can also view their weekly circulars online and add items directly to an electronic shopping list – another surefire way to save money.



Customers can sign up for a 1-2-3 Rewards MasterCard and earn free groceries when they shop. Customers earn points every time they shop with the card 1 point for every dollar spent outside the store, 2 points for every dollar spent inside the store and 3 points for every dollar spent on any of the Kroger family brands. For every 1,000 points earned, cardholders receive $5 in FREE groceries.Also, through our NEW Holiday Fuel Saver Reward Program (

1 point for every dollar spent outside the store, 2 points for every dollar spent inside the store and 3 points for every dollar spent on any of the Kroger family brands. For every 1,000 points earned, cardholders receive $5 in FREE groceries.Also, through our NEW Holiday Fuel Saver Reward Program6.

 Kroger shoppers are able to save $.10 off fuel with a $100 grocery purchase, as well as by purchasing $50 in gift cards or by filling two prescriptions at a Kroger Pharmacy (refills or new prescriptions). The gift cards and prescriptions are new features for this holiday season that will continue through the end of the year. See attached release on this program.




H-E-B doesn’t triple or double coupons, but instead HEB President Scott McClelland says the store offers everyday low prices.

The retailer hires an independent auditing company to comparison shop 15,000 items at both Kroger and Wal-Mart every month. H-E-B says it then adjusts its prices so that 75% of those 15,000 items are priced equal to or lower than the items at Kroger. McClelland says on average, their audits show H-E-B prices are about 8 percent lower than Kroger and slightly higher than retail giant wal-Mart.

You can see the results of H-E-B’s price checks.  Most of the products list the price you’d pay at Kroger versus the price you pay at H-E-B.

H-E-B also offers what it calls “Combo Locos.” This week’s example, if you buy a brisket, you can get 5 or 6 items (like vegetables, bread and soda) for free.


These limited item price comparisons (yours was 10 items) rarely provide consumers with an accurate picture of real grocery prices with more than 50,000 items in a typical store.  In other words, Randalls carries more than 50,000 items in any one of our stores. A comparison of only 10 items does not provide your viewers with a true picture of prices across the entire store nor does it appropriately reflect the full savings that our customers enjoy. During any one week we have nearly 5,000 items across the store at significantly reduced special pricing. Randalls also provides customers with a broad range of other savings opportunities across the store and at the fuel pump that will not likely be reflected in this kind of story. For example:

 ·        Through our PowerPump program, Randalls is providing customers with the best fuel reward program in the market through accumulated gasoline discounts of 10 cents per gallon for each $100 spent in our stores. We recently doubled the fuel reward to 20 cents for every $100 spent on our selection of more than 300 gift cards.

·        We offer double-coupon and triple-coupon discounts.

·        Randalls has one of the best “airline miles” programs earned on Continental.

·        We provide online coupons through that customers can print and redeem in stores.


1.  Walmart is always committed to price leadership, especially when our customers need it most.

2.  We take our commitment to provide value very seriously.  We work closely with key suppliers, reduce packaging and lower shipping costs so that we can help keep prices low.  When items do increase in price we have take into consideration many factors, such as transportation and cost of manufacturing. 


Also, Walmart’s every day low price promise to be the lowest price retailer in any community through its Ad Match program.  Walmart’s policy of matching the price of any local competitor’s printed advertisement for an identical product



Still waiting on response…

Sniffling, Sneezing, Coughing? Google It!
November 13, 2008

My niece’s second birthday party was cancelled last weekend because she and her mom were sick. Two weeks ago so many people called in sick at the station, it looked like a holiday in our newsroom.

Google must have noticed something going around. It just started this new site to track Flu Trends. Kind of cool, even if it won’t help you feel any better any faster

A Sign of the Times
November 9, 2008

With the economy in a freefall and prices shooting skyward, we’re all looking to make a few extra bucks… or save a few.. wher ever we can.

That’s why KPRC Local 2 Sports Reporter/ Producer Winston Dutchin’s new enterprise is so ingenious. He’s selling snacks… candy bars, chips and pretezels… right at his desk. He makes some extra cash… and everyone in the newsroom can save not only a trip to the “KPRC Local 2 Severe Snacking Center,” (yes, that is actually the real name of our break room) it also saves us 10 cents for every transaction.

You see, Dutchin is undercutting the vending machines. I love it… and so does my arse apparently. Today I bought a Twix and Baked Doritos.