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A simple shop with big price gaps

Gate Hook and EyeBachelor on the Cheap - I check prices so you don't have to!

Problem:  Small wooden gate that flaps open and shut in high winds

Solution:  Secure gate with hook and eye, a latch would be overkill.

You would think that something so simple as a hook and eye would be reasonably priced wherever you shopped.

Nope.

I don't need anything fancy, don't want or need a hook made out of brass or something with a glossy black finish.  Just a simple hook and eye for a simple job. 

Check out the price gaps!

Hook and eye prices

Hook and Eye 2-pack
Hook and Eye 2-pack from Lowe's

I only needed one hook and eye, but apparently, it's a 2-pack minimum.  All 2-pack prices listed were for zinc hook and eye sets.  A 3" hook and eye was determined best for the job, but a 2.5" would have worked.  Home Depot didn't have a 3" option but for the price of the 2.5" it was cost prohibitive.  I went with Lowe's for the purchase, True Value was the next best price.  Walmart didn't have a 3" option and look at the jump in price if a larger hook and eye is desired.

Ace is the closest to me for home repair and project needs, but I saved $3.51 by going to Lowe's.  Such a simple shop, but with a big price gap.  It was worth the extra couple of miles for this errand.  I already knew that Ace tends to run higher in price than Lowe's for similar things, but that kind of gap for a hook and eye?  Really Ace?

20230224_121357The markup for virtually the same product is eye-opening, especially for something so simple.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Related: Lowe's vs. Home Depot vs. Menard's vs. Sutherland's

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If you appreciate the cost comparison 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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Shopping insights on BachelorontheCheap.com

Bachelor on the Cheap Logo small 08032022Saving money, fighting inflation

I enjoy helping others by providing great consumer content.  I work hard to provide consumer insights, researching all things shopping which hopefully turns your food, product, service and dining endeavors into better shopping experiences.  Your input and feedback is invaluable in creating and posting that content.

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$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike


Dillons (Kroger) is where you want to buy potatoes

Kroger Potatoes, 10lb bagBachelor on the Cheap

I track the prices at the popular grocery stores on a weekly basis, Aldi, Dillons (Kroger), Walmart and Trader Joe's, reviewing the prices of essential items.

Dillons tends to be the most expensive place to shop week in, week out for a cartload of groceries, despite the use of their loyalty card and digital coupons.

But Dillons does have some good prices on certain items, potatoes for example.  Week in, week out, Dillons is the cheapest place to buy potatoes.

With my pantry about out of russets, I picked up a 10 pound bag today for $4.79.  Compare that to 10 pound bags at competing stores:

  • Aldi - $5.49
  • Walmart - $5.77
  • Trader Joe's - Trader Joe's doesn't have a 10lb bag option.  A 5 pound bag is $4.99.

You would think that with Walmart's volume buying power they would have the cheaper potatoes, but Kroger wins the day on this one.  Dillons may or may not be a convenient stop for you, but they do have the cheapest potatoes of the common grocery stores.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Related:  Grocery Store Prices

Enjoy this post?

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

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Super Bowl Watch Party Prepping on the Cheap

Bachelor on the Cheap

Party Prep
A picnic basket is a festive, space saving way to put plates and plasticware out for a grilling themed party! Thanks Diane!

Throwing a party can be stressful and no, I'm not talking about the impromptu kind of party where you have some buddies over to watch the big game and all you have to do is have cold beer in the fridge and a few bags of chips on hand.  I'm talking about a planned out party, to include a food menu, a drink menu, a variety of guests, perhaps some party favors and a bit of decoration.

The first thought when planning your party should be about the aftermath......  Who wants to wash dishes?  NOBODY.  For a casual party keep it simple!  Buy some inexpensive plastic or paper plates and cups.  You can pick up something a bit more festive than plain 'ol white paper plates at Dollar Tree, various packages of 8-12 plates for just $1.25 a package.  Check out their party isle!  They've got just about any party need and decor covered, plates, napkins, tablecloths, plasticware, cups, shot glasses, serving trays, serving spoons, you name it.

20190712_100204-1The second thought is the menu.  Jot down menu ideas whether it's simply on a piece of paper or on a white board in the kitchen.  Everything else for the party hinges on what YOU plan to serve.  When inviting guests, ask them to bring a side dish or a dessert and BYOB for drinks.  This cuts down on your meal prep, adds to the food menu and cuts down on your booze expense.  You supply the main dish, the meat for example, let's say, burgers and brats for that casual party.  Guests will provide a wealth of chips, salads (lettuce, pasta, potato), hot potato dishes, bean dishes and more to compliment the main dish.  Most party guests will let you know what they're bringing.  There will be desserts to enjoy as well, and desserts go with everything!  When it comes to drinks, have 20190712_071443some water and a couple of 2 liter bottles of soda handy.  I typically purchase a case of bottled water, some Sprite and Coke.  Many guests will bring a bottle of wine to open up and share which is always fun and conversational.  If you have a bar, open it up to your guests, having beer, wine and spirits on hand for any special requests.   This can be quite fun too, having guests try an adult beverage they've never tried before.  People will respond to, "Come here, I want to give you a shot of something....."  A tip jar on the side to cover bar expenses is optional.

Take the lay out of your buffet line seriously.  It can't be hap hazard, burgers on one end and buns way over on the other....  Lay it out in an organized fashion, imagining how you would fill your plate as you set it up.....  Pick up the plate, napkin, plastic ware, then condiments, meats, sides and so on, consider the possible warming trays, platters, bowls and even a crock pot or two guests might bring (Can you say, "Baked Beans with huge chunks of bacon?"  It's another dose of YUM!).  Provide a power cord or outlet option.  Make it so a line of people have room and won't be bumping into each other, cutting through, excuse me, sorry, pardon me.....

20190712_095454-1(1)Provide an appetizer for guests to snack on until the bulk of the guests arrive or in case your main entree isn't coming along as timely as you had planned.  Keep it simple.  A few small bowls of Pub Mix (Costco $6), pretzels, nuts, etc., dispersed in key places in the party area will go a long way towards keeping folks satisfied - especially those early arrivals - until the buffet line is open.

When it comes to entertainment, it depends on the crowd and if there's a theme to the party.  It could be playing cards or board games on the coffee table; work friends just chilling out to binge watching the latest trendy program or a run of sitcoms; or good old fashioned soft music and conversation.  For a little fun I always like to post a trivia question somewhere and the first person to answer the question correctly gets $1.  At my latest party, I put a bag of ice in an ice chest for drinks (don't forget ice for the party!), and on top of the ice chest was an impromptu sign that read: 

Cold As.....

ICE

Name the rock band for this late 70's era hit and win $1

Play it up, use your imagination, maybe the prize will be different for your party.  And themes for parties are always fun.  Themes can be in the food, Asian cuisine, Mexican cuisine, Mediterranean....  Or themes can be in the entertainment.  Think like as for having a watch party for a big game on TV.  Guys and gals (whether bona fide fans or gals just supporting their guys) typically wear sports jerseys and some even 'sport' face makeup in their favorite team's colors (see what I did there with, 'sport'.....) to watch that big game.  If watching a movie, let's say something Marvel, why not 'sport' Marvel apparel?  Somebody might just show up in an Iron Man mask.....  

As the host of the party, you'll want to have an assortment of aluminum pans and disposable plastic storage containers on hand.  The aluminum pans are for serving up the meats or whatever main dish you planned, possibly using those pans to transport the meats/main dish if grilling.  These are fantastic because there is no clean up involved, throw them away when done and they're cheap.  Get a package of two or four (depending on size) for just $1.25 at Dollar Tree.  And for when guests would like to take some tasty leftover treats from the party home with them, a small stack of Ziplock or other brand of plastic storage containers/bowls, a.k.a. Tupperware comes in rather handy.  I love it when guests take some food home with them, that means the food was good and party guests are leaving with a party 'favor' of sorts and a smile.  Party success!  If any food remains after that, bonus for the host.

A few little things that sometimes get overlooked when putting together a party are having enough serving spoons ($1.25 at Dollar Tree), condiments, toothpicks, seating and a trash can on hand.  When guests bring those fantastic side dishes to the party, sometimes they forget the spoon to serve it up with.  That's where you as host, come to the rescue with a serving spoon or a set of tongs (about $1 Walmart).  When it comes to condiments, this depends on what's being served, but I like to buy small bottles of ketchup, mustard, pickles, mayo, whatever for the party.  They're fresh, smaller bottles that take up less space which is important because you'll want to keep them in a small tray of ice on the buffet table for the duration of the party.  An assortment of toothpicks and appetizer/cocktail picks come in handy as well for grabbing those pickles, olives, etc., and perhaps serving up a mixed drink requiring an olive to two.  Seating can sometimes be an afterthought.  Sure, you've got the couch, loveseat, maybe a Lazyboy (your chair...) and maybe some folding chairs.  But what if your party grows to 15 - 20 people?  Dining table chairs will suffice if they're not in use for playing cards, but don't be afraid to say, "Bring a chair."  Just about everybody these days has some kind of sporting/folding chair.  For parties growing in number beyond that, then it becomes a standing around, rubbing elbows party.  And then perhaps the most overlooked need for a party, is a strategically placed trash can.  While putting it in the middle of the room would be the easiest to find, the "Hey, here I am so don't just leave your frick'n dirty plate on the coffee table!".....  It would be a bit unsightly.   Find a spot that's out-of-the-traffic-path, yet easy to find, like say, on the way to or next to the bar.

Here's my checklist for getting started on putting a party together:

List of supplies for a casual party

  • Table cloth(s)
  • Plastic or paper plates
  • Napkins
  • Cups
  • Plasticware
  • Water
  • Complimentary soda
  • Ice, don't forget the bag of ice
  • Condiments and a tray of ice to hold them in
  • Power cord/extension cord, or outlet access for a crock pot or two
  • Aluminum pans
  • Serving spoons & tongs
  • Toothpicks, appetizer/cocktail picks (for picking up small appetizers, mixed drink use or after meal use)
  • Tupperware for guests (the 'party bag', taking home tasty treats!)  TipRepurposed Deli Meat containers work great for this.
  • Seating (do you have enough?)
  • Trash can access
  • Charcoal (if grilling)

You can have a great party without having to spend a lot to make it so.  Besides, it's the people that make the party!   Most of the above list that you don't already have on hand can be purchased at Dollar Tree and/or Walmart for a sum total of about $30 tops.  The bulk of your party cost is going to be in creating the main course and then there's the optional alcohol if you decide to do that.  I recently bought brats, ground meats for burgers, a pork shoulder for pulled pork and the buns and cheeses to go with it all for around $65, so my total expenditure for a casual grilling themed party was less than $100, the cost of some adult beverages not included.....  "Come here, I've got a shot of something for you....."

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

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If you appreciate the article 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 a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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Arby's Coupon Deals on Fries, Shakes, Classic Roast Beef Sandwiches and more

Bachelor on the Cheap Logo small 08032022By Mike Thayer

Check your snail mailbox, Arby's might have sent you a page of coupons, redeemable at participating restaurants.

The coupon sheet states in contains over $40 worth of coupons.  Here are some coupon highlights perhaps you'll find a great deal on one or two of your Arby's favorites:

  • $1 Small Fries, choose Crinkle or Curly Fries (the Curly are WAY better).
  • 2 for $5 Classic Roast Beef Sandwiches
  • $4 Reuben Sandwich
  • $1.99 4-piece Mozzarella Stick or 5-piece Jalapeno Bites
  • $6 Gyro Meal, include Gyro, Small Fries and a Small Soft Drink

Coupon only valid for one use per visit at participating Arby's Restaurants.  Coupons expire 11/30/2022.

20221026_152627 20221026_152610
That Strawberries & Cream Fried Pie looks pretty good...

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Enjoy this post?

Buy Me a Coffee

If you appreciate the article 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 a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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Wendy's Coupon Deals Includes FREE stuff

Bachelor on the Cheap Logo small 08032022By Mike Thayer

Check your snail mailbox, Wendy's might have sent you a page of coupons, redeemable at participating restaurants.

Here are some coupon highlights to include a lot of free stuff:

  • FREE 6-piece nuggets with any purchase
  • Buy one, get one FREE Baconator
  • FREE Small Frosty with any purchase
  • FREE Small Chili with any purchase
  • FREE Cookie with any purchase
  • FREE 4-piece French Toast Sticks with any purchase

 

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Must have the printed coupon to get the deal.  Coupons expire 12/18/2022.  Check your snail mailbox!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Enjoy this post?

Buy Me a Coffee

If you appreciate the article 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 a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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Weekly Aldi deals features discounts on pizza, fruits, veggies, snacks and more!

Bachelor on the Cheap Logo small 08032022By Mike Thayer

Aldi is where I prefer to do a majority of my grocery shopping.  I'm typically a weekly shopper and I like Aldi because they do indeed have lower prices for groceries without a sacrifice on product quality. 

Here are some highlights of this week's deals, prices valid October 26-November 1, 2022.  No coupons required for these deals, check your snail mailbox for their flyer.

  • Mama Cozzi's Pizza Kitchen 16" Deli Pizza - $4.99 - $5.99 each.  Pepperoni or Five Cheese.
  • Mangoes, 69 cents each
  • Blackberries, $1.49 per 6 ounce package.
  • California green grapes, 99 cents per pound.
  • Clancy's Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips, $1.59 for a 13 ounce bag
  • Casa Mamita Diced Tomatoes with Green Chillies, 85 cents for a 10 ounce can.
  • Appleton Farms Premium Sliced Bacon, $3.99 for a 16 ounce package
  • Park View Hot Dogs, 99 cents for a 12 ounce package.

There's all kinds of price discount deals at Aldi this week, from boots to zucchini!

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Don't believe Aldi has the best overall prices?  They've been voted #1 in price for 5 years running according to the dunnhumby Retailer Preference Index.

Related:  If you're not a regular shopper at Aldi, why not?

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Enjoy this post?

Buy Me a Coffee

If you appreciate the article 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 a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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Whopper Meals and Chicken Deals at Burger King

Bachelor on the Cheap Logo small 08032022By Mike Thayer

Check your snail mailbox, Burger King might have sent you a page of coupons, redeemable at participating restaurants.

Get a Family Bundle (I didn't know BK did Family Bundles, did you?), 3 Whopper sandwiches, 3 Cheeseburgers, 3 medium fries for $15.99 with the coupon.

Get a Whopper meal for two, 2 Whoppers, 2 large fries, 2 large drinks for $12.49 with the coupon. 

Get a Whopper meal, 1, Whopper, 1 large fry, 1 large drink for $6.99 with the coupon.

Those are all great deals, considering the regular price for a Whopper, just the sandwich, without cheese will run you about $6.39.

Also on the coupon sheet are deals for original chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets, chicken fries and various other meal/sandwich combinations to include:

Get 2 Original Chicken Sandwiches & 2 medium fries for $6.49 with the coupon.

Get an 8 piece Chicken Nuggets & 1 Large Fry for $3.49 with the coupon.

Get 2 Croissan'wich sandwiches Meal with 1 Medium Hash Browns and 1 Medium Coffee for $5.49 with the coupon.

Check that snail mailbox!  This set of coupons expire on 01/01/2023.

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$pend Wisely My Friends...

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Buy Me a Coffee

If you appreciate the article 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 a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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Stocking up on household essentials at Dollar Tree

Dollar Tree Shopping
23 items for just under $28

By Mike Thayer

Regular readers know I'm a fan of Dollar Tree.

Today they're having a 10% off your entire purchase of $10 or more sale.  I was there when the store opened at 9am.

Stocking up on household essentials, I purchased 23 items for just under $28.  Try to do that at the mainstream grocery store or even Walmart!  And even though you won't find many name brands at Dollar Tree, there's no job/task performance worries, the Dollar Tree stuff does just fine. 

Related: Shopping at Dollar Tree

Related: Don't pay too much for household cleaning products

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$pend Wisely My Friends...

Related:  Taco Challenge 2022

Enjoy this post?

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If you appreciate the article 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 a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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If you're into Mums, buy them at Aldi

Mum
These are great looking plants

By Mike Thayer

Today's Shopping Tip

It's Mum season! 8" Mums are just $3.99 at Aldi while supplies last. That price beats what you'll pay at Lowe's, a garden center or the mainstream grocery store. I picked up 5 plants this morning for a grand total of $19.95 + tax.

These are great looking plants and Aldi has three main colors that I saw in stock, the purple you see pictured right, classic yellow and a rust variety.

Purple Mum
Healthy plants freshly watered when I was browsing

 

$pend Wisely My Friends...

 

Enjoy this post?

Buy Me a Coffee

If you appreciate the article 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 a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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