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The annual pool party invite just came in the mail and you’re dreading having to bare a swimsuit in front of your friends. For the past few years, you’ve managed to wiggle out of going by faking an upset stomach, headache, and certainly the most creative excuse – a charley horse in BOTH legs that you suffered in a freak vacuuming accident.

Before your friends start growing concerned about your health, maybe it’s time to finally find a swimsuit that you feel comfortable wearing. JoeShopping is here to help (picture us running down the beach with an orange life buoy a la David Hasselhoff – minus the 5 pounds of chest hair and alcohol addiction.) We’ve got a few swimsuit solutions for you, no matter what your trouble area may be, and a few ways to save on ‘em, too. Because we realize not everyone can sell their souls to the devil in exchange for the perfect beach body (Gisele Bundchen, we’re looking at you.)

SPANX: Sheer Ruffle One Shoulder One-Piece Swimsuit

Price: $178.00 & Free Shipping

Plus, Free Spanx Tote bag with purchase.

We all know and love SPANX, the miracle workers behind products like the Footless Body-Shaping Pantyhose that even Oprah sings praise about. Here, they’ve come up with a swimsuit that offers the same benefit as their top selling undergarments: smooth and flatten trouble areas while leaving you with a nice, shapely silhouette.

D-Cup Underwire Retro Balconet Top & Ruched Top Hipster

$32.50 (top) $29.50 (bottom)

Use code DCE15 for an extra 15% off.

Busty ladies know it’s hard to find a bikini top that not only has room in the cup area, but offers support, too. This bikini from Delias offers just that, and with 8 colors/patterns to choose from, they didn’t skimp on making it look cute, too.

Eddie Bauer Short Beach Dress

Price: $39.50 & Free Shipping

This dress can be worn as a cute cover-up when you’re just strolling the beach, but can also be jazzed up with pretty sandals and accessories for wearing later to dinner.

Belted Design Print Boyshorts

Price: $16.10 ($12.88 after coupon code Shop20R)

These bright coral boyshorts come with a removable printed belt and offers a little extra coverage than a typical bikini bottom. Matching top can be found here.

Oh Baby by Motherhood™ Geometric Tankini Top & Scoop Bottoms Swim Set

Sale: $40.60 (and Free Shipping if you spend $75+)

For those with a bun in the oven, this fashionable swimsuit offers coverage, support and adjustable shoulder straps that convert from regular to crisscross.

It’s never too early to start thinking about winter clothes. The National Weather Service is predicting an above average winter for cold and wet weather. The West and Southeast will be wet and the Northern states, Rockies and Midwest will see above average snowfalls. With that in mind, it will behoove you to start getting your winter wardrobe down ASAP. Waiting for the leaves to turn and the first snow to fall will result in you paying a premium for the winter fashion you want.

Retail Store Coupons

Printable coupons for retail outlets can usually save you between 10% and 50%. In some cases savings can be even more. Printed coupons usually have an expiration date so once you print them you must use them fairly quickly.

Online Coupons

Look for all online coupons that give you a promotional code which can be used during the checkout process. After you fill your basket full of all the goodies you need for the winter, type in the promo code and apply it to your purchase order. It will then readjust the shopping cart total and give you a discounted price. Coupons can be applied to items which are already on sale. Applying a 20% off coupon, to a clearance item which is already marked down significantly, can give you big savings.


Sometimes making your summer fashion work for the winter is a very inexpensive alternative to going out and buying expensive new winter items. Take a look at what you have and see what might work layered. Long-sleeved T-shirts, knee-high boots, summer dresses are just a few items that can be combined into the stylish winter outfit which offers protection against the cold air.

Make Clothes

Some of the accessories you need for the winter months are great DIY projects. Take scarves for example; you can take fleece or an old wool sweater and cut it into a cool fashionable scarf for the winter. Just find a tutorial for free online and watch it.


If you end up procrastinating your winter shopping until the start of winter season is already here then my best advice is to simply wait to buy. January and February the cheapest months of the year to buy winter clothing. If you can make do with what you have until then you can save big on holiday specials.


Classified add websites like Craigslist have cheap items for sale and even free sections you might want to browse to find deals. Buying lightly used clothing from someone online is smart. You can totally score doing this and save yourself some cash.

Clothing swaps

Clothing swaps are like a swap meet or flea market where people can exchange the clothes they no longer use. Clothing swaps have been around for a lot of years and it is definitely a cool way to recycle clothes you don’t use. Check your local listing for swaps in your area.


Make sure what you buy matches well with the rest of your wardrobe. If you can mix pieces together and create new outfits without having to buy complete outfits you can save lots of money.

Stick to quality

You might be really excited about a jacket on sale but if the quality is not good it probably won’t last you more than one season. This means that next season you will end up having to buy a whole new jacket or sweater. In the long run this will cost you more money.

Pack it

Once winter is over you can save space and actually save money by packing away your winter clothes. You can save money because well packed clothing will last a long time. Ensuring next season when you go back up your jackets, sweaters, and the rest of your winter stuff, it will be fresh and ready to go.

Before there was Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 or online gaming, America was having fun simply playing board games. Scrabble, Monopoly and Clue… we’ve grown up playing these classic board games. And now, whether we’re breaking out games during a party with friends or gathering the kids up for family game night, the excitement of rolling a Yahtzee still hasn’t lost its amusement.

Although most of these games have been around for decades, these fun versions add a new twist to old favorites. We’ve rounded up 10 of some of the coolest versions of everybody’s favorite board games in the list below.

  • Wizard of Oz Scrabble, $29.99
  • Available at eToys.com

Packed inside a box that reminds us of the famous ruby slippers, this edition of Scrabble comes with an exclusive Wizard of Oz dictionary.

  • Free Shipping on orders of $69
  • Donkey Kong Jenga, $29.99
  • Available at Drugstore.com

Long before Princess Peach, Mario was rescuing Pauline from the evil clutches of Donkey Kong. Race to the top to save the princess before the tower tips to win.

  • Free Shipping on orders of $25
  • Family Guy Game of Life, $35.99
  • Available at Calendars.com

Much more interesting than the traditional pink and blue pegs, you’ll travel around Quahog as the whole Griffin family in this Game of Life: Peter, Lois, Chris and Stewie. Oh, and Meg.

  • Free Shipping on orders of $25
  • Monopoly Peanuts Edition, $27.96 (Was $39.95)
  • Available at BarnesandNoble.com

Join Charlie Brown and the gang in this Peanuts Edition of Monopoly, which includes pewter playing pieces like Schroder’s piano and Snoopy’s dog bowl and properties like Woodstock’s Nest.

  • Free Shipping on orders of $25
  • Yahtzee Super Mario Edition, $14.99 (Was $19.99)
  • Available at ThinkGeek.com

A Question Block from the Nintendo’s Super Mario video games takes the place of the red cup found in the original Yahtzee version.

  • Harry Potter Clue, $34.99
  • Available at Calendars.com

Hogwarts is the backdrop in this version of Clue. Play as your favorite Harry Potter character, including Harry, Ron and Hermione, as you race to Dumbledore’s office to guess the who, what and where!

  • Free Shipping on orders of $25
  • Operation R2D2, $29.99
  • Available at EntertainmentEarth.com

Everyone’s favorite droid needs an operation in this version. And it’s no wonder, he took some serious abuse in the films! But be careful, like Cavity Sam, we guess R2-D2 was also denied anesthetics. Bump into him with your tweezers and he’ll let out a robotic squeal.

  • Pictureka Disney Edition, $16.99
  • Available at Target.com

You need a sharp eye to play Pictureka, and this version is no different. The game tiles in this edition are packed with a variety of Disney-related objects and favorite Disney characters.

  • Simpsons Sorry!, $29.99
  • Available at Amazon.com

We totally think this edition should’ve been renamed Doh! Be the first player to get all of your characters (including Homer, Krusty the Klown, Mr. Burns and more) to your home base to win.

  • Free Shipping on orders of $25 or more
  • Marvel Heroes Uno, $11.97

Although not technically a board game, how could we forget a game like Uno? The cards in this Uno deck are much cooler than the ordinary ones, as they are outfitted with everyone’s favorite Marvel heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Wolverine, Thor and lots more! The Skip card? Dr. Doom.

Free Shipping on orders of $25 or more

How much is your monthly cell phone bill? If you’re like me, it’s around $100. For many of us it’s the biggest monthly expense after rent. On top of that, new phones can be expensive. When T-Mobile offered up the new Samsung Galaxy S3, I knew I had to have it. There’s another $280 spent. Where’s the frugality in that?

Thankfully, there are ways we can turn our smartphones around and make them into money saving machines. Here are a few ideas:

Coupon app

If you don’t use coupons because clipping coupons is a hassle, you don’t have an excuse any more. There are tons of coupon apps, including the Valpak for iPhone app. They work almost the exact same way as traditional coupons, except there aren’t stacks of paper to remember every time you go to the store. All the information is stored right on your smartphone.

The best part: there are tons of these types of apps, and they’re almost all free. All you do is download them and start compiling the coupons you want to use. Nearly every major retailer and grocery store has a way to redeem them, whether it’s by scanning a barcode or entering in a code number.

Price comparisons

If you’re buying items at a retail store and you’re not price comparing on your smartphone, you’re spending too much money. Sorry to say for big box retailers, but for many of us they’re merely showrooms these days. The frugal and savvy among us go in armed with smartphones and try to find the best deal possible. It’s only when we need an item right now that we actually make a purchase.

There are a number of ways to do this. You can find a price comparison app — there are too many to list — or you can simply resort to a Google search. Type in the product name, and you’ll see shopping results from around the web. Factor in tax and shipping, and you can see if it’s a better deal to order online.

Spending tracker

How can you start saving money if you don’t know how much you spend? With credit cards and mobile payments these days, we have a harder time keeping track of our spending than our parents did. A barrier essentially exists between us and our money. It’s hard to understand what you spend if you’re just handing someone a piece of plastic.

Since your smartphone goes with you everywhere, you can use it to record your spending habits. Every time you spend even a dollar, make a record of it on your smartphone, either in a notepad app or a spending tracking app. There should be some immediate effects: you’ll be more aware that you’ve spent money. But the real punch comes when you check your log after a month. You might feel ashamed at how much money you spend — and waste!

Budgeting apps

The first thing I did when I got that shiny new Galaxy S 3 was search Google Play for budgeting apps. There are tons of them, and they all provide different functions. Some, like the Mint.com app, can automatically track your finances and give you up to the minute reports. Others require you to set spending limits and stick to them. Either way, you can stay on top of your finances and stick to your budget much easier if the app is always with you. That’s the advantage of a smartphone.

With devices costing $200 to $300 and with service at around $100 per month, smartphones can be big holes in anyone’s expense report. Thankfully, there are surefire ways to turn the tables and use that smartphone to save money and live a more frugal life. If you can save even a little from coupon apps and price comparisons, and then reduce your spending with budget apps, you’ve made huge strides towards a freer financial life.

If you’re like us, your mornings begin with the alarm going off (hitting the snooze button a couple o’ times), dragging yourself out of bed and stumbling to the coffeemaker or teapot to get your caffeine fix. This task can seem even harder on a day like today (Monday…groan!), but that’s where a cool coffee mug or tea cup can come in handy. It’s that little ray of sunshine on an otherwise super sleepy, I-don’t-want-to-go-to-work-today kind of morning.

We scoured the internet to find 10 mugs we thought were either cute or cool (and a couple that we thought were even a little strange.) So whip up your favorite brew, add one lump (or two!) and join us as we take a look at the fun mugs below, which we hope make waking up in the morning just a little more pleasant.

Panda Friends Mug & Spoon Set, $24.00

This mug from UrbanOutfitters.com comes with a matching spoon that features a panda playing peekaboo on the brim.

  • Free Shipping with a $100 purchase!
  • Rubik’s Cube Mug, $12.99

It’s a good thing this Rubik’s Cube Mug from ThinkGeek.com comes already solved, otherwise we’re sure we’d end up with coffee in our laps.

  • Up to 75% off 400+ products at ThinkGeek.com!
  • Cookie Monster Om Nom Nom Mug, $9.99

This Cookie Monster mug from EntertainmentEarth.com begs to be filled with milk and have cookies dunked in it. NOM!

One Week Clearance Sale at EntertainmentEarth.com!

Personalized Action Mug, $14.99 after coupon Feel like the star athlete of your favorite MLB team when you have your name printed on this personalized mug from PersonalCreations.com.

  • 25% off your purchase when you click this link!
  • Toliet Mug, $12.99

Why would anyone want to drink out of a mug shaped like a toliet? We don’t know, either. But the good news is, there’s no seat, so you won’t have to worry about get yelled at for leaving the seat up again. From SpencersOnline.com.

  • Konitz Classic Chalk Talk 12-Ounce Mug, $7.57

Use the included chalk to label drinks, draw a picture or write messages on these microwave/dishwasher safe 12-ounce mugs.

  • Free Super Saver Shipping on orders of $25 or more.
  • Café Olé Mug, $28.99

While we’ve never actually met a Spanish speaking penguin, this little guy is still pretty stinking cute. He comes with a little saucer sombrero, perfect for holding your sugar cubes or tea bags. From ModCloth.com.

  • Stacked Up 3 Coffee Cups in 1, $11.20

Here’s a teacup fit for the Mad Hatter himself. It’s one teacup designed to look like a wobbling stack of three.

  • Free Super Saver Shipping on orders of $25 or more.
  • Shark Attack Mug, $9.56

If your morning brew doesn’t give you a jolt, the surprise of looking down into your drink and seeing a open-jawed shark staring back at you will. From McPhee.com.

  • Self Stirring Mug, $18.99

This mug from ThinkGeek.com knows you’re tired in the morning, so it takes the work out of stirring your drink by doing it for you. Just press the button and voila! A perfectly stirred drink. Now if we could only get more things done in the morning with just the press of a button!

The economy has forced many people to become creative with their shopping techniques. Money does not seem to go as far as it used to. There are basically two ways that you can look at all of this. You can mope around and be miserable about the current state of the economy which never gets anyone anywhere or you can take a different outlook on the situation.

You must see this as an opportunity for something new, a chance to change for the better. Once you understand this simple concept, everything in life becomes a whole lot easier. Here is what you need to do:

Change Your Shopping Habits

Finding the best deal is not always as difficult as one might think. You just need to know where to look. If you are spending all of your free time looking for great deals at all of the major department stores in your area, then you are wasting your time. You need to completely re-think your shopping. These large department stores are not going to help. Sure, you may be able to find a great deal every now and then from a major retail outlet, but you need to understand how these places operate if you want to start saving some money.

The occasional deal that you do find will make you a happy customer. This is the bait, and you have just fallen for it. This is the part where the retail giant reels you in like a poor fish at the end of a line. Once you are inside the retail store, you will spend more money. This is how the retail store makes up for the “great deal” you just thought you had.

Time To Get Thrifty

Welcome to the wonderful world of thrift stores. These stores offer countless treasures that are just waiting for you. If you have never had the pleasure of shopping in a thrift store, then you really don’t know what you are missing. It only takes one look at the price tag to convince you that this is the place to shop. You may even think that the price tag is a typo. This is not uncommon. Many first time thrift store shoppers think the prices must be some kind of mistake. Don’t be alarmed if you find yourself in the same situation.

What Can You Find In Thrift Stores

This has to be one of the best things about a thrift store. You can find just about anything that you could ever imagine, and everything has a low price tag. Here are some of the more common items that you can find in a thrift store:

  • clothing
  • music
  • furniture
  • movies
  • video games
  • jewelry
  • antiques

These are just a few of the more common items. You can basically find anything that you would find in a department store at a thrift store, but the end result will be more money in your bank account. Shopping at thrift stores is the best way to start saving some money.

Happy Thrift Shopping!

George Papas is a freelance writer who enjoys shopping for a bargain. He discovered thrift stores years ago, and now he is sharing his secret with the world. His family uses Musicmagpie.com to sell all of their old games, DVDs and CDs.