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Shopping for a new phone: Reviewing the Samsung Galaxy A15 5G

Samsung Galaxy A15
Purchased directly from my carrier, T-Mobile

BachelorontheCheap.com

With my old phone no longer taking a charge, the port was shot, I begrudgingly started shopping for a replacement phone.

I tend to hang on to whatever model phone I have for as long as I can, I'm not a gotta have the latest trendy phone kind of guy.  My old phone was a Galaxy A32 which I purchased in the spring of 2021 (The A32 was introduced in Feb. 2021).  So I made good use of that phone for almost three years, about my average for replacing a phone.

I'm a fan of the Samsung brand and I'm a mid-range phone person, I simply need a phone that will perform everyday tasks, and has a good camera and decent battery life.  I don't play games or watch movies on my phone, and I don't need a bunch of features I'll never use (or figure out).  The A32 served me well, the charge port simply wore out.  And is it just me, or does cell phone quality lean 'disposable' these days, forcing you to upgrade before you should really have to?  

In shopping for a new phone, I focused my search on what my service provider, T-Mobile, had to offer.  That means I'm buying a "locked" phone, to mean, it's only going to work on the T-Mobile network, but I'm OK with that, as I have no plans to switch carriers. I considered non-Samsung phones, staying in my mid-range comfort zone.  With no need for the latest trendy phones like the Samsung A24 Ultra priced at $1,299 and the iPhone 15 Pro Max costing $1.199 - GAG! - I set my budget at less than $500.  I didn't want a monthly payment and a 24 or 36-month service contract.  Other phones considered were the Google Pixel 7, iPhone SE, Motorola Edge, and OnePlus Nord N30.

I went with the Samsung Galaxy A15 5G, which was introduced in December 2023.

I usually buy a replacement phone by going to a local T-Mobile brick-and-mortar location, but on this occasion, I purchased my phone directly from the T-Mobile website.  Having done my homework online, I didn't need a phone recommendation from a local store employee, and phone activation and data transfer these days is easy-peasy, just follow the prompts.   I received my phone in two days (down to 28% battery on the old phone), the shipping was free and the setup took me about 15 minutes.  One area where T-Mobile has cut costs, is they no longer include a USB plug-in adapter, it's now "sold separately."  They provide you with a USB cable, but not the adapter so you can use a traditional outlet for charging.  I'll have to buy a second one for a backup.  My old backup wore out, another made to be 'disposable' item. 

The A15 features a triple-lens camera and the latest Android operating system, Android14, which was released in October 2023.  Costing me $228, the Samsung Galaxy A15 5G falls into the budget phone category in price but provides good value for the money.  While the camera on this phone isn't quite as good as what I had with the A32 (which had a quad camera and more pixels), it's got better Bluetooth connectivity, better battery life (36 hours vs. 30 hours), faster charge time (full charge time 1:21 hr vs. 2:19hr), a newer operating system (Android 14 vs. Android 11), and faster performance in all the processing benchmarks. 

USB plug in adapter
No longer included with a T-Mobile Samsung phone purchase

While I did sacrifice a bit on the camera, considering the typical still-shot type of pictures I take, the difference is negligible.   The A15 outperforms the A32 in virtually every other category, so although going budget buy, it was still a phone upgrade.

Comparing the price for the A15 vs. other carriers:  Both AT&T and Verizon charge $199.99 for the phone, plus a $35 activation fee.  You can also get 'free' standard delivery and 'free' setup, but those so-called freebies come with nuances, like if you sign up for phone protection plans, an additional monthly expense, or it's a new phone line, another potential expense.   The A-15 is also available at retailers like Walmart ($195), or Best Buy ($199.99) the phone comes unlocked, leaving you free to go to any carrier of your choice.  You'll still have the activation fee to consider.  TIP:  If you are a long-term customer of any carrier, ask to have the activation fee waived.

So far I'm happy with my budget phone with mid-range performance.  It's been a super easy transition and hopefully, the charging port on this one is a little more durable.  A phone that is wireless charging capable would be nice, but it's a feature that drives up the price, and something I don't "need."

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike


Don't fall for meat club promos

Good Chop
Received in the mail:  Good Chop 'free' turkey promo for returning customers

BachelorontheCheap.com

I'm not a fan of meat club services like Butcher Box and Good Chop.  Sure, they're convenient as heck getting meat delivered to your doorstep, but it's A LOT more expensive than buying meat locally, up to $10 more per pound more expensive for an 8-10 pound mix of beef, chicken, and pork!

I've tried and sampled both Butcher Box and Good Chop, if I had to choose between the two services, it would be Butcher Box, they're cheaper than Good Chop.  Trying to lure me back in, Good Chop recently sent me their latest promo, a 'free' Thanksgiving turkey if I come back.

No thanks.

Good Chop is also running a "$100 off your first three boxes" promo for new customers on their website, that's $50 off your first box, $30 off your second box, and $20 off your third box.  

Good Chop can get away with sending out 'free' turkeys because the rest of their meats are marked up so high.   I did a review on them back in 2021, they're WAY overpriced.   Despite the 'free' turkey, you'll be paying more per pound for beef, more for chicken, more for pork, than you would be if buying locally.  The 'free' turkey won't cover the price gap, not even close.  That turkey price is baked into the price per pound of Good Chop meats, it's not really a 'free' turkey.

A 10-14 pound turkey at Dillons (Kroger brand, whole turkey, frozen) will cost you about $17.   Check out the following price comparison, I'm using Dillons because it's the mainstream grocery store, which tends to run higher in price for a cart full of groceries vs. Aldi, and vs. Walmart.

Dillons:

  • A pound of ground beef at Dillons currently costs $3.99 for 80/20.  
  • Price per pound for boneless/skinless chicken breast at Dillons is currently $4.99/lb if you buy the name brand Tyson, for an average package weight of 1.89 pounds, or about $9.48  
  • Boneless pork loin chops are priced at $10 for a 2.5 pound package
  • Bacon, Kroger brand, a 16-ounce package costs $3.99
  • A choice boneless ribeye steak just under one pound will cost you about $14.44
  • Turkey, whole, frozen, Kroger brand, $16.88

That's about 7.39 pounds of meat, plus a turkey, for a total of about $58.78 at Dillons. 

Good Chop:

  • 2, 1-pound packages of ground beef
  • 6, 6-ounce boneless/skinless chicken breasts
  • 4, 8-ounce boneless pork chops
  • 1, 12-ounce package of bacon
  • 2, 8-ounce ribeye steaks
  • 'free' turkey

That's 8 pounds of meat, plus a turkey, for the regular monthly subscription price of $149.  I'll pass on that 'free' turkey.  Even if you take advantage of the Good Chop "$100 off" promo for new subscribers, you're still paying way too much.  That promo breaks down to $99 for your first box, $119 for your second box, and $129 for the third.  Then you're stuck with the regular monthly price of $149, for an 8-10 pound box of meat.

Don't fall for meat club subscription promos, you're still paying WAY too much per pound with those services.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Related:  Meat Subscription Review: Good Chop vs. Butcher Box

Related:  Grocery Store Prices, Comparing Aldi, Dillons, and Walmart


Product Review: Furologee Kitchen Baker's Rack

Furologee Kitchen Baker's Rack
Functional, practical

BachelorontheCheap.com

Out with the old and outdated, in with the new.

I'm a minimalist, not big into high-dollar furnishings, knickknacks, or decor, I prefer quality and function over elaborate, showy things.

I recently sold an old 1970s-era dining room hutch on Facebook Marketplace.  It was a big, heavy, two-piece unit with glass doors.  Needing furniture coming off a divorce, I purchased it secondhand and it served me well in storing glassware, cookbooks, and such, but it was a dated piece and for me, not all that practical.

Enter the Furologee Kitchen Baker's Rack

My kitchen is a galley-style kitchen, so there's not a whole lot of storage, and counter space is minimal.  In shopping for a replacement for the hutch, I wanted something that could accommodate a couple of small appliances to free up some counter and cabinet space.  The Baker's Rack I selected features 2 pull-out wire baskets, plenty of storage shelves, 10 hooks for organizing, and a wine rack.  It can be set up for a coffee bar and/or be a microwave stand if desired.  With 5-tiers of storage, it's got flexibility in workstation usage.  

Assembly instructions
Easy-to-follow instructions

I opted to set the rack up as a coffee station, with plenty of room left over to store some sandwich baskets, a small crock pot, a rice cooker, my favorite stock pot, and a few other items.  It's an assembly-required item, and the instructions were easy to follow, and nicely illustrated, and all the parts were numbered well.  The rack included all the tools needed to complete the assembly, I put it together in less than an hour while watching a game on TV.

Costing me $99 on Amazon, I'm giving the Furlogee Kitchen Baker's Rack 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap Stars.  It was easy to put together and provided my dining room with an updated, modern look.  A very practical unit, it gets everyday use and was reasonably priced.  Similar units were available on Amazon for $125 and up.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike


Shopping for a microwave

Hamilton Beach Microwave
Bargain!

BachelorontheCheap.com

My microwave recently died, it served me well for nine years, which is above average for a microwave oven (average lifespan is 5-7 years).  It reheated many a meal, popped A LOT of popcorn, steamed vegetables, boiled water, and so much more. 

The old microwave was a Panasonic, which has a good reputation for microwaves, often earning 'Top 10' spots in various consumer product ranking services over the years.  A countertop model sized at 1.6 cubic feet with 1250 watts of cooking power, the appliance came with a few more bells and whistles and more power than most countertop models of its day.  Costing about $175 nine years ago, replacing it with the 2023 version would run me around $275, depending on the store.

I appreciate the Panasonic brand, but I never did use all the bells and whistles.  The 1.6 cubic feet of cooking space could accommodate oversized dinner plates and large trays of food, but like the bells and whistles, I never really prepared anything needing all that space.   

A downsize is in order and I set my budget at between $100 and $175.

I could have stuck with the Panasonic brand, dropping down to a 1.3 cubic-foot model with 1250 watts of power.  With no sacrifice in power, that's still plenty of room for reheating a standard-sized dinner plate of leftovers, and tall enough to accommodate my Salbree popcorn popper.  Sticking with the Panasonic brand in a smaller version would cost me around $130, within budget.

Another option according to one of those consumer product rating services, is a 0.9 cubic foot model made by Black & Decker.  I'm not sure why this service rated this microwave so highly.  Black & Decker tools suck, they don't last long, I bought a few back in the day and quit buying them because they're pretty much disposable tools, not quality tools.  I would suspect the same in a Black & Decker microwave.  It's budget-friendly with a price tag of $114, but the 10-inch turntable can only fit a small dinner plate or low-profile coffee mug, nothing bigger.  This microwave also has a lower wattage than other countertop models in this budget range at just 900 watts.  You can still perform most tasks, but it's going to take longer and demonstrates the B&D business model of not striving for higher quality.  

The new microwave in place
Looks good doesn't it? This model is available in white, which matches my kitchen appliances.

Exploring other options, brands like LG, Sharp, Toshiba, Farberware, and others, needing a microwave over 1 cubic foot, enough space for large dinner plates, tall enough for a REAL mug of coffee, and enough power to defrost, reheat, and cook evenly without taking forever proved to be a bit of a challenge.  Most models meeting my criteria in online shopping exceeded my budget max of $175, and shipping would take 3-5 days.  It's not like I HAVE to have a microwave right this minute, but reheating some dinner in the frying pan or oven and dirtying extra dishes doing so is not convenient.  Yes, spoiled by technology.

Then I found a replacement microwave while doing some in-store shopping today at Walmart.

Enter the Hamilton Beach 1.1 cubic foot microwave with 1000 watts of power.  Price tag:  $77.

WAY under budget, this microwave is large enough to do what I need it to do, has VERY easy-to-use quick functions, and has enough power to perform any microwave cooking tasks.  Did you know most microwave recipes are designed with a 1000-watt microwave in mind?  It's considered the perfect wattage.  Hamilton Beach is also a brand that consistently ranks in those 'Top 10' best product lists year in, year out, especially in the "Best Value" category.

I'm pleased with the purchase so far, but all I've done is unpack it, put it on my countertop, and heated up some water in it for some tea.  Stay tuned for notes on how well it reheats dinner, pops popcorn, and does a microwave recipe in it.  Another plus for this microwave is it has a handle, rather than one of those push button door openers.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

 

 


Household essentials on the cheap at Dollar Tree

Dollar Tree
1625 S Rock Rd #115B, Wichita, KS 67207

BachelorontheCheap.com

Regular readers know I'm a fan of Dollar Tree.  In my experience, you flat out get the best bang for your buck for most household essentials, without sacrificing product quality.

Armed with a short list of items to pick up during this morning's errand run, I purchased 16 items for $17.20.  Try to do that at the mainstream grocery store. 

Household essentialsThe list included paper plates, paper towels, toilet paper, napkins, parchment paper, plastic wrap, trash bags, facial tissue, and some flower seeds.

Conveniently located at the corner of Harry and Rock in Wichita, this is a very popular Dollar Tree.  I hit the store just after 9 am, and some of the aisles were a bit crowded with restocking carts and products waiting to go on the shelves, but otherwise, the store was clean and presentable. 

Dollar Tree
Essentials on the Cheap

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Related: Dollar Tree Archives - Bachelor on the Cheap


Father's Day Sale at Tree Top Nursery!

 
 

Father’s Day Sale

Find a great gift for Dad at Tree Top.
Show this email at checkout to redeem the 25% Off Any One Item coupon. It's a great way to save on home & garden décor, trees, shrubs, garden supplies, and much more.

 

June 10th - 18th

 

*While supplies last. In stock items only. Exclude landscaping and maintenance.

 

30% Off Fruit Trees,

Vegetables, Herbs & Berries


Consignment and Thrift Shops in the Wichita Metro

Robinson-greig-sKh7dihwHT0-unsplashBachelorontheCheap.com

Consignment shops, thrift shops, flea markets, second-hand stores, and surplus stores, they're all treasure troves, great finds for gently used clothing, furniture, and other household items at discount prices.

There is no shortage of them in Wichita, the choices are many for savvy shoppers on the hunt for interesting and one-of-a-kind items.  Exceptional deals and unique items are aplenty in the ICT!

Here's the BachelorontheCheap.com Consignment & Thrift Shop Guide to help you sort through all the fun opportunity shopping options in the Wichita Metro.

AbleLight Thrift - Wichita

Another Lady's Treasure - Wichita

Assistance League of Wichita

Cali Thrift Store - Wichita

Camp Creek Vintage - Wichita

Campbell's Corner Store - Wichita

DAV Thrift Store - Wichita

Dead Center Vintage - Wichita

DT's Outlet - Wichita

Economy Corner - Wichita

Edrop - Wichita

Findings etc. - Wichita

Fit For A Queen - Wichita

Fun Finds - Wichita

Furniture on Consignment - Wichita

G.I. Rose Military Surplus - Wichita

Goodwill Industries - Wichita

His Helping Hands - Wichita

Hunt and Gather Vintage Wichita

ICT Consignment - Wichita

Invio Fine Furniture Consignment - Wichita

K-15 & Pawnee Flea Market - Wichita

Kid To Kid - Wichita

Linda's Second Look Store - Wichita

Main Street Threads - Valley Center

McCoy's Consign & Design - Wichita

MK Consignment Store - Wichita

Moor Clothing Outlet - Wichita

New 2 U Kids - Wichita

Nifty Thrifty Store - Haysville

Oaklawn clothing 'n stuff - Wichita

Paramount Antique Malls & Marketplace - Augusta, Wichita

Plato's Closet - Wichita

Recycled Threads Consignment - Wichita

Renew Consign & Café - Andover

Second Hand Rose - Wichita

Shop Risky - Wichita

Sumthing For Everybody Furniture and More - Wichita

The Hereafter - Wichita

The Savvy Consignors' Boutique - Wichita

The Treehouse Thrift Store - Wichita

The Violet Closet - Wichita

The Walk In Closet of Derby

Things4That - Wichita

Uptown Cheapskate - Wichita

Vintage Stock - Wichita

Wichita Home Outlet

Woodlawn United Methodist Thrift Store - Derby

Worn Again: resurrected rags - Wichita

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

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If you appreciate the informational post you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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Another reason to like Aldi, their "Twice As Nice Guarantee"

Bachelor on the Cheap

Regular readers know that I'm not hung up on name brands.  Sure, a few hold a top spot on my shopping list because they're the best of their kind, but 8 times out of 10 they're not the best or worth the higher price, you're just paying extra for marketing hype.

Providing customers with high-quality products that are every bit as good if not better than the name brand is another reason to like Aldi.  I've sampled, reviewed, and cost-compared a boatload of Aldi products vs. the name brand and Aldi usually comes out on top.

Aldi backs up what they sell, here's their guarantee:

Aldi Twice As NIce GuaranteeALDI Twice As Nice Guarantee

We believe we have the best quality products around.  We’ve designed and tested our brands to meet or exceed the national brands in taste and quality. We’re so confident in our products that every item in our stores is backed by our unbeatable Twice as Nice Guarantee.*

If for any reason you are not 100% satisfied with the quality of any product, we will gladly replace the product AND refund your money. To receive the Twice as Nice Guarantee, the product packaging and any unused product must be returned to your local ALDI store manager.**

*Please note that a receipt is required to receive a refund in the original form of payment.  Customers who do not provide a receipt will receive an ALDI Merchandise Credit gift card equal to the current retail price of the returned item.

**The Twice As Nice Guarantee does not apply to non-food ALDI Finds items, alcohol, national brands and non-quality related issues.

Return Policy

At ALDI, we’re so confident in our ALDI-exclusive food items that we’ve backed them with our unbeatable Twice as Nice Guarantee. For items not covered by the Twice as Nice Guarantee (non-food ALDI Find items, alcohol*, national brands or non-quality related issues), a replacement or refund** will be offered. In addition, some of our ALDI-exclusive brands and national brand offerings are covered by a manufacturers' limited warranty. Please consult the instruction manual or warranty card that came with the product to determine how to make a warranty claim.

Computer/Electronics return policy: Returns with a receipt will be honored within 90 days of the original purchase date. Product must be returned with all contents and in original product packaging.

*Please note, state law may prohibit the replacement or refund of alcohol.

** Please note that a receipt is required to receive a refund in the original form of payment.  Customers who do not provide a receipt will receive an ALDI Merchandise Credit gift card equal to the current retail price of the returned item.

Reference:  https://www.aldi.us/en/about-aldi/return-policy/

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Related: Aldi Archives - Bachelor on the Cheap

 

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Enjoy this post?

If you appreciate the informational post you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

follow me on Twitter @Bacheloronthe1

follow me on Pinterest

follow me on Instagram

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Boast and post on BachelorontheCheap.com

Bachelor on the Cheap Logo small 08032022TPost your events and announcements!

Wichita Metro businesses can now promote their events and make announcements for their business on BachelorontheCheap.com. It's another way to get your name out there to help generate some online and social media buzz, driving new customer traffic to your website and into your establishment!

It's easy, just email the essentials to [email protected]:

  • Business Name
  • Business Address
  • Phone Number
  • The event details or announcement info and/or the link to it
  • Images/banners are welcomed

The best part, it's free, although a tip of just $3 is appreciated.  C'mon, it's basically free advertising, no sales calls, no recurring fees....  Information will be posted as directed by you and a link to your  event/announcement on Bachelor on the Cheap will be sent for your review.

Your event/announcement is dedicated to you, a stand alone page, taking readers to your website.  Those new and potential customers can also find you in the Bachelor on the Cheap Search directory as well as in the Wichita Events & Announcements category posts.  It's also another way to get picked up with an additional listing for your business in Google search results. 

Reach new customers, get started today!