Jean Chatzky reveals shopping strategies and Super Bowl deals, and explains credit card surcharge news that will help you save money and get the best bang for your buck.
It's Frugal Friday! TODAY's financial editor Jean Chatzky shared some great tips and deals for beating the winter blues without bursting your wallet, new credit card fees to watch out for and how to beat them, and where you can find the best deals on SuperBowl snacks and big screen TV's.
Winter is the season 36% of adults say they're likely to indulge in a little shopping to boost their moods. The key is to do it sensibly, because you don't need to splurge to get the same happy bump in your brain.
"Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man is my little treat," Chatzky confessed.
NEW CREDIT CARD FEES
Starting Sunday merchants can start charging you a 4% surcharge on everything you buy with a credit card. It goes to cover the fees they pay the credit card companies for processing the card. It sounds bad, but it means that instead of raising the prices on all the items in the store in order to cover their credit card transaction costs, merchants can selectively charge only those who are conducting the more expensive transactions.
The fees will likely be phased in slowly and with prominent warning signs, starting with airlines and hotels, then taxis and utilities and finally retailers, but if you want to avoid them entirely, "pay by debit card, or cash," said Chatzky.
SUPERBOWL SNACK DEALS
Score a touchdown with your wallet and your belly with these hot deals for SuperBowl yummies.
Chipotle: Free Burrito, Burrito Bowl, Salad, Tacos with receipt for 6 or more burritos purchased Feb. 3rd
Whole Foods: 54 oz. Bucket Of Chicken Wings - $7.99
Kroger: Cheese, Chicken, Veggie and Meat and Cheese Combo Weekend Party Platters for $12.99 each.
YES, IT IS SMART TO BUY A BIG-SCREEN FOR THE GAME
Thinking about buying a huge new TV to impress your friends for the SuperBowl? Go for it.
"Now is one of the two best times of the year to purchase big TV," said Chatzky, the other being Christmas. Some of the best deals this year are in the 60" category. Look for these steals:
$1,298 - Sony BRAVIA 60" 120Hz 1080p WiFi LED LCD HDTV
$699 LG 60" 600Hz 1080p Plasma HDTV at Fry's
$748 Seiki 60" 120Hz 1080p LCD HDTV pickup at Walmart
MONEY-SAVING TIP FROM A VIEWER
On Frugal Friday we always like to feature a viewer who has a great idea for saving money. Amanda Rosen from Jacksonville, NC writes that she has 4 credit cards with different cash back bonuses.
"Each month I put sticky notes on them so we know which card to use at which location," she writes. "For instance, normally I would use Chase at a restaurant (3%), but when Discover gives 5%, we know to use that card instead. Everything that can go on a credit card, does. As long as you have the discipline to pay in full every month and pick cards with no annual fees, it works great! We are on a very limited budget and still make $500-$600 a year in bonuses."
Isn't it great when we can learn to save from others? If you have a great tip you'd think other people watching the show can use, send it in to our mailbag and it just might get featured on-air!