Saturday, July 20, 2013

How Mobile is Making Us Better Shoppers with Money Savings Expert @AndreaWoroch #VZWvoices #save

Andrea Woroch, Consumer Savings Expert
"I save up by cutting back in other areas of my life...." - Andrea Woroch

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Savers Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

The Verizon Savers Voices Program brings together top bloggers from the Midwest who are interested in sharing how technology can make it easier to stay on top of and share information about the latest deal and saving trends. One of the great things that has occurred due to my involvement in the Verizon Saves Voices is that I got to travel to Chicago for device training for my new Verizon Blackberry Z10 smartphone and to hear a presentation by Consumer Saving Expert Andrea Woroch.

Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who regularly appears on shows like NBC's Today Show, Dr. OZ, Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, MSNBC, CNN, ABC News with Diane Sawyer.

Verizon brought in Andrea for the Verizon Blackberry Z10 training to give all the Verizon Savers Voices bloggers a presentation entitled "Mobile Technology & Consumers: How Mobile Technology Increases Efficiency, and Saves You Time and Money."

Mobile phones like the Verizon Blackberry Z10 can help us save money...
Andrea's presentation encompassed how mobile apps have enabled our smartphones to do a lot more than just make calls.  New smartphones like the Verizon Blackberry Z10 now help us become smarter shoppers and live our best lives.

Andrea's presentation spotlighted how Mobile Apps are giving consumers better shopping experiences and the convergence of shopping and technology means major changes for consumers. I personally know that fact is true because of the dozens of apps that I use on a weekly basis to save money.

My Blackberry Z10 showing my bargain shopping apps
Even smartphones like the Blackberry Z10, which currently don't have tons of apps, still have some great Money Saving apps available in the Blackberry Market like Gas Buddy, Crackle, Best Parking, Skyscanner, and Search for Amazon.  And even without apps, we can still use our smartphone browsers to navigate to the mobile friendly versions of top bargain shopping websites like Slickdeals and eBay.

Andrea and I sat next to each other during the Verizon Blackberry Z10 training and we bonded over, what else, technology and saving money.  Andrea loved the Logitech Cube Mouse that I was using with my laptop and she loved it even more when I told her that I got it for the bargain basement price of only $15.  I loved the LBD that she was wearing and I loved it even more after she told me how little she paid for it.

Andrea graciously agreed to be interviewed for this post about the methods that she uses to save money.  This woman knows a thing or two about getting a bargain. Check it out -

Andrea Woroch
Consumer Savings Expert

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What is your favorite online bargain store ?
There are tons of great online bargain stores that sometimes shopping can feel overwhelming. Though Macy's isn't specifically known as a bargain store, they have definitely focused a lot of their marketing on offering promotions and coupons so you can always find a good deal. Plus, I appreciate their free shipping and easy in-store returns or exchanges.

Otherwise, I often find myself browsing for shoes on DSW and have scored some great deals on the member-only flash sale site, And, Newegg is great for electronics and tech bargains!

What is your favorite bargain B&M store?
Homegoods  - I always find such great bargains on wonderful decor items, furniture and small home good pieces to update my home. It's also a great place to find holiday gifts and wedding presents! I have found items that look just like products at popular home goods stores like Pottery Barn and Ballard Designs for a fraction of the cost.

What is the most money you have ever saved in one shopping trip? 
It's hard to recall the most I've ever saved, because I never buy anything at full price and have definitely scored huge savings on various items like clothes and accessories when shopping warehouse sales. However, just yesterday I noticed that the same exact patio sectional couch I bought from a warehouse store last September for $900 was listed for $1799 at Costco. This clearly shows that it pays to wait and buy seasonal items at the end of the season!

What is your favorite money saving app for your smartphone or tablet? 
The CouponSherpa free mobile coupon app because I always forget to look for coupons online and the app always comes to the rescue to help me save at check out.

What is your best tip for saving money while traveling? 
Check VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owners) or AirBNB for cheap apartment or condo rentals before looking for hotel deals. Especially smart for large families who would otherwise need multiple rooms, you can usually find space for everyone in one place for much less. Also, don't eat out every meal. Splurge on a nice dinner, but keep costs at bay by making/packing your own deli sandwiches and refilling reusable water bottles before heading out for your day of adventure.

What is your best tip for saving money while eating out?
Check for discount restaurant gift certificates. They often offer promo codes for additional savings on top of the already reduced gift certificates, sometimes saving you 70% off! I also only drink tap water and avoid over ordering. Chances are you don't need an appetizer and entree since restaurant meals tend to serve large portions anyway!

What is your favorite bargain website (other than, lol) ?
Bargain Babe does a great job in summarizing deals and Kiplinger Personal Finance "Kip Tips" always shares helpful and timely money-saving advice for consumers.

What was your most embarrassing bargain shopping moment? 
Realizing I was overcharged by $1.00 for my groceries and holding up the line to wait for cash back. At this point, it wasn't really the $1 but the principal behind it. Though it was a bit embarrassing making a stink about a dollar, it's always important to review your grocery bill and ask for your money back when they make an error! The same store wouldn't let you walk out with a dollar's extra worth of food without getting money from you so why should you let them take the extra cash from you!

What was your best ever bargain shopping moment?
I have so many bargain-bagging moments. However, my favorite story has not as much to do with how much I saved but how impressed my father was with the technique I used to go about it. He joined me for a trip to Target where I was perusing the iPad mini case selection to protect my newest gadget. Realizing I could be missing out on a cheaper price online, I quickly grabbed my phone and scanned the barcode of one particular case that caught my eye with the RedLaser mobile app.

The app showed me several other stores selling the same case, one store in which was selling it for $10 cheaper than Target--or roughly 40% less. So I quickly made my way to the Customer Service desk to show the associate my findings. My father was in awe when he watched the sales associate ring me up at the lower price! He then bragged about it for days and tried to show other people how to use the app.

I loved your LBD that you wore in Chicago. What's your best tip for saving money on clothing? 
Invest in pieces that are timeless, like a black dress or nude heels, that can be worn through out the year and through changing fashion trends. You definitely don't want to overspend on trendy articles of clothing or accessories that will surely go out of style come the following season. For trendy clothes, look to flash sale sites like Ideeli or HauteLook for savings, scope out consignment stores, go to discount retailers like Target and Forever21 that offer cheap copy cats of high-fashion trends.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. What's your best tip for saving money while wedding planning? 
It's incredibly important to outline your budget. Since most engaged couples may not have the slightest idea for costs on catering, flowers and photography, it's important to call around to a few vendors to get an idea of the investment for each category to understand how much your wedding will cost. Then identify what is most important to your big day for splurging on, like photos for memories that last a lifetime, while saving on that which may offer less significance to your big day, like flowers.

If money were no object, what is the one thing you would buy yourself?
If money where no object, then I assume working wouldn't be a necessity either?! If that's the case, I would buy myself a ticket to see the world. Traveling and experiencing new cultures is my greatest passion. Though I try to get away on a big trip ever couple of years, it takes a toll on my finances. I save up by cutting back in other areas of my life. However, I would love to go away every year to a different part of the world and see /experience how people live there!

Thanks to Andrea for all the great money saving tips.  Watch for the next post in my Verzion Savers Voices series coming soon...


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