Category Archives: Stretch your Dollar!

15 Tips to Avoid Storm Damage Repair Scams and Other Rip-Offs

Our hearts and prayers go out to those affected by the most recent tornadoes and storms. Please pass along this vital information, as sadly there are scam artists attempting to take advantage of an already difficult situation …

storm damage fallen tree

The last few weeks of storms wreaked havoc on much of North Texas, leaving damage and destruction of vehicles, homes, property, and more. To avoid another disaster at the hands of scam artists, be sure to use caution with these useful tips from Fort Worth’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the FTC:

Avoid Home Contractor and Repair Scams

  1. Check with your insurance company first to determine your home and repair coverage and filing requirements; keep their contact information handy.
  2. Be leery of door-to-door workers or telephone solicitors who offer home repairs, inspections, heating/cooling services, or speedy insurance processing.
  3. Shop around for contractors. You may need to make temporary repairs, but permanent repairs made by a contractor should be the result of multiple work bids and contractor research.
    Require written bids that clearly identify the project’s materials, associated costs, labor charges, as well as the timing of work including the beginning and expected completion dates.
    • Be sure that the bids are comparable.
    • Do not pay in advance for any work and do not pay in cash.
    • Get references from the contractor’s past customers.
    • Check out the contractor’s history with the BBB and relevant trade association(s). Always research a business with the BBB before you sign any contracts.
  4. Require copies of all contractor licenses, permits and liability insurance prior to any work commencing.
  5. When work is complete, be sure to get a notarized statement that all sub-contractors have been paid in full to avoid a contractors lien on your property.
  6. If you have an HVAC repair, allow heating/cooling units to be cleaned out and dried before determining what, if any repairs are actually needed.

Steer Clear of Vehicle Damage Scams

  1. Similar to home repairs, shop around for a quality vehicle repair service. 
    • Require written bids that clearly show the repair parts, associated costs, mechanic labor charges, as well as the timing of work including the beginning and expected completion dates.
    • Do not pay in advance for any work and do not pay in cash.
    • Get references from past customers.
    • Check out auto mechanic’s history with the BBB or business review sites like Yelp.
  2. If you are shopping for a used vehicle, look for signs of flood or hail damage like rust, mud, watermarks, discolored upholstery, mismatching carpet or a musty odor.
  3. Request a vehicle report based on the VIN to check for past reported auto damage of any kind.

Protect Yourself From Charity & Financial Solicitation Scams
Take the following precautions to make sure your donation benefits the people and organizations you want to help.

  1. Ask for detailed information about the charity, including name, address, and telephone number.
  2. Get the exact name of the organization and do some research. Searching the name of the organization online — especially with the word “complaint(s)” or “scam”— is one way to learn about its reputation.
  3. Call the charity. Find out if the organization is aware of the solicitation and has authorized the use of its name. The organization’s development staff should be able to help you.
  4. Find out if the charity is trustworthy by contacting the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving AllianceCharity NavigatorCharity Watch, or GuideStar.
  5. Ask if the caller is a paid fundraising company. If so, ask the name of the charity they represent, the percentage of your donation that will go to the charity, how much will go to the actual cause to which you’re donating, and how much will go to the fundraising company.
  6. Learn the basic signs of a Charity scam and more ways to protect yourself at the FTC’s helpful online guide.

Help stay clear of all scams by using the free resources at the Better Business Bureau.  Be sure to check out all businesses and charities online or by phone (800)-621-8566.

If you find yourself a victim of poor workmanship or a scam artist, immediately contact the BBB to try to recover your investment or alert others about the business or individual(s) involved. Consumers or small business owners victimized by a scam can learn more or file a complaint at fwbbb.org.

 

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THIS WEEK — Sharon Young & Ladies Designer Brand Warehouse Clothing Sale, May 4-6

 As promised, we popped over to the Ladies Designer Brand Warehouse Sale to get our readers an exclusive sneak preview, as well as uncover some special bargains that you won’t want to miss. The sale starts this Thursday and runs for 3 days (May 4-6).

This huge, direct from the designer warehouse clothing sale only opens its doors to the public 4 times a year, and you’ll find almost everything marked down 50% to 75% OFF retail.  There are sizes to fit just about anyone —  from Petite to Women’s sizes and everything in between.

Here’s a little taste of some of our favorite finds:

Sharon Young Ladies Designer Brand Warehouse Sale  Sharon Young Ladies Designer Brand Warehouse Sale

The latest sale is packed front to back with gorgeous designer collections from top-end boutique and department store brands like Sharon Young, John Mark, Tru Luxe, Ali Miles, Slim-Sation, Multiples and more! You’ll have fun discovering row after row of fantastic spring and transition-to-summer fashion bargains.

 Ladies Designer Brand Warehouse Sale 2017

6 Ladies Designer Brand Warehouse Sale

:: You’ll find 1000s of fantastic tops, dresses, pants, jeans, and other key wardrobe elements at great prices, like this on-trend casual mesh top (above) that comes in several fun colors — perfect to give your wardrobe a bright pop of color. It’s also made in white if you need a “go with everything” top to carry you through the summer. 

  3 Ladies Designer Brand Warehouse Sale

3 Ladies Designer Brand Warehouse Sale Tru Luxe

:: Be sure to check out our favorite casual lines from Ali Miles and Tru Luxe  — we found a GREAT selection of jeans and tops!  Pssst… Tru Luxe jeans and pants normally sale for at least $99 when you buy them at the department store, but they are ALL $40 at this sale!  We also found many of the same Ali Miles tops offered online for full price at a major department store (Hot tip: Google “Ali Miles” and compare prices!).


:: SECRET SAUCE INSIDERS’ TIPThe sale will feature a special Buy One Get One FREE” deal on Thursday and Friday (only)! This offer is on top of the already discounted prices, so be sure to ask about this deal to stretch your savings and wardrobe.


:: Isn’t this Ali Miles sleeveless top with hand-beaded collar gorgeous and perfect for summer? It is one of our favorite bargains, at only $20! It sells in department stores for $79 and is a perfect summer staple since it can be dressed up with straight leg pants or worn casually with your favorite jeans (click on the picture above to see a closeup).

Sharon Young Warehouse Sale 2017

:: We are in love with the rich fabrics and careful attention to quality we found throughout the John Mark and Sharon Young collections —  you’ll see incredible bargains with most of these collections at least 60-70% off retail! These two lines are definitely a “Best Buy” at this sale — we found many of these same styles being sold at full price ($99 and up!), right now at a major department store. 

:: Don’t miss the silky soft fabrics in the new weekend leisure and  athletic lines from brands Sport Haley and Bette & Court — ideal for a day on the tennis court or just a walk around the neighborhood. We found rows of tops, shorts, pants, and more made with great looking performance fabrics ~ some even incorporate a UPF 30 sunblock protection.

Sharon Young Warehouse Sale    Sharon Young Warehouse Sale

P1080305   P1080304

In a nutshell, we found:

  • Bargains and bargains — Over 18,000 pieces of gorgeous ladies designer clothing & accessories, deeply discounted off retail!  There is a huge selection that covers a wide variety of styles from trendy to traditional and from casual to dressy.  These are gorgeous top quality collections carried in high-end department stores and fashion boutiques ~ you’ll find them at this designer warehouse sale at a big discount.
  • Ladies, Petite and Plus Sizes ~ something for everyone!  Sizes range from Ladies & Petites sizes 2-18 and a stylish selection of Women’s Plus 0X-3X.
Shop to Support a Great Cause: Proceeds From The May Sale Benefit a Special Boy’s Upcoming Liver Transplant!

If you have ever shopped the Ladies Designer Brand Warehouse Sale,  you have most likely met Kathy Rayford, the lovely and kind treasure who often runs the sale’s cash register area. What you may not know is that Kathy’s 14-year old grandson Kyle is on a waiting list for a liver transplant ~ regretfully, he has been diagnosed with an incurable liver disease called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) which has many progressive complications including liver failure (learn more about PSC here).  

We are so happy to let you know that a portion of the May sales will go towards helping Kyle’s family defray the thousands of dollars in upcoming medical bills for his transplant procedure! Thank you so much for blessing their family and for your care and support.

 

Details, details
When: May 4-6, 2017 ~ Thursday & Friday, 8:00AM to 7:00PM and Saturday, 8:00AM to 5:00PM
Where: 10367 Brockwood Rd ~ Dallas. You’ll see yellow signs directing you where to go (or just follow all the ladies you will see!).
Important to know before going: There is a large dressing room area provided if you want to try on all your wonderful finds, but typical of women’s fashion warehouse sales, it is ladies only but not private — you likely want to keep this in mind when choosing your undergarments : ). Since this is a women only event, husbands, guy-friends and kiddos under 12, please stay comfortable at home.

Enjoy and Share! :)

 

 

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Thank you to the Ladies Designer Brand Warehouse Sale for sponsoring this post.  All opinions stated are entirely my own (as always).  Frugal in Fort Worth only recommends brands and businesses we use and trust!

Save the Date: 2017 Texas Tax FREE Holiday for Energy Star Appliances & More — May 27-29

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Be sure to save the date!  Please pass this along to anyone you know who might be in the market for new appliances, ceiling fans, air conditioners, or other Energy Star qualifying products (this can save them a bundle!)…even incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs receive tax-free status!

Texas Tax Free Weekend 2017 Washers and Dryers  Texas Tax Free Weekend 2017 Refrigerators and Kitchen Appliances

Saturday, May 27 to Monday, May 29, Texas shoppers receive a break from paying sales tax on purchases of many energy-efficient products like fluorescent light bulbs, ceiling fans, and energy-star home appliances like refrigerators, washers, and more even energy-star rated college-dorm / compact-sized refrigerators qualify! This is an excellent way to get extra savings on qualifying items, plus save on future energy costs too.

Texas Tax Free Weekend on Ceiling Fans and Air Conditioners

The energy-star products qualifying in 2017’s tax-free weekend include:

  • Refrigerators priced at $2,000 or less
  • Ceiling fans
  • Incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs
  • Clothes washers
  • Dishwashers
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Air conditioners priced at $6,000 or less
  • Delivery, installation, shipping, and handling for any of these items are also excluded from tax!

The 2017 sales tax holiday begins on Saturday, May 27, and ends on Monday, May 29 (Memorial Day Weekend).

Texas Tax Free Weekend 2017 -- Fluorescent & Energy Star Lightbulbs      ENERGY STAR logo

Qualifying products will need to display the ENERGY STAR logo which will appear on the appliance, the packaging, or the Energy Guide label. The discount also applies to delivery and installation fees and there is not a limit to the number of qualifying items one can purchase during this sales tax holiday.

:: To find out more, go to the Texas comptroller’s site, here.

Enjoy and Share!  :)

 

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3-Day Sharon Young and Ladies Designer Brand Clothing Warehouse Sale — Opens to the Public Next Week!

Greetings Frugal in Fort Worth friends! We have been on a bit of hiatus, and wanted to let you know we will be back in full gear next month (we sure have missed talking with you!). Because we’ve had many readers checking in on the next dates for the Sharon Young and Ladies Designer Brand Warehouse sale, we wanted to make a quick “pop-in” to let you know that it’s almost here!

Be sure and save the date as it starts next week!  A readers’ favorite fashion and warehouse clothing sale, The Ladies Designer Brand Warehouse Spring Sale runs for 3 days, and sale doors will be open Thursday, May 4 to Saturday, May 6 only!

Here’s a little sample of what’s in store —

Sharon Young 2017 sale    Sharon Young 2017 sale

The direct from the designer, Sharon Young & Ladies Designer Brand Warehouse clothing sale only opens their doors to the public four times a year, and the next sale runs Thursday to Saturday, May 4-6. This rare sale is in a large warehouse venue (behind Sharon Young’s design headquarters in Dallas), and will be huge with over 18,000 designer pieces!

You’ll find everything is marked down 50% to 75% OFF retail, as well as sizes to fit just about anyone ~ from petite to women’s sizes and everything in between. The sale features deep discounts on collections from Sharon Young, John Mark, Tru Luxe, Multiples, A La Carte, and more! You’ll even be able to shop their two new weekend and sportswear/performance lines — Bette & Court and Sport Haley. All prices start at $20 (with nothing over $60!).

You don’t want to miss this fantastic sale, including a surprise Buy One Get One Free offer on Thursday & Friday (May 4 & 5)!

We will be heading over for a preview of the sale to get you an exclusive sneak peek at some of the wonderful finds (get your shopping list ready!). In the mean time, be sure to carve out time to pop over to next week’s sale.

Sharon Young Ladies Designer Brand Warehouse Sale  Sharon Young Ladies Designer Brand Warehouse Sale

Details, details
When: May 4-6, 2017 ~ Thursday & Friday, 8:00AM to 7:00PM and Saturday, 8:00AM to 5:00PM
Where: 10367 Brockwood Rd ~ Dallas. You’ll see yellow signs directing you where to go (or just follow all the ladies you will see!).
Important to know before going: There is a large dressing room area provided if you want to try on all your wonderful finds, but typical of women’s fashion warehouse sales, it is ladies only but not private — you likely want to keep this in mind when choosing your undergarments : ). Since this is a women only event, husbands, guy-friends and kiddos under 12, please stay comfortable at home.

Enjoy and Share! :)


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Want to keep up with fresh ways to save money
and button down the family finances?
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Thank you to the Ladies Designer Brand Warehouse Sale for sponsoring this post. All opinions stated are entirely my own (as always). Frugal in Fort Worth only recommends brands and businesses we use and trust!

Limited Time — $11.19 For Nautica 5 Pack Baby Onesies at Amazon

Amazon is running a pass-along worthy deal — for a limited time, get big savings OFF top-rated Nautica Baby Girl and Boy Onesie Bodysuits — $11.19 for a pack of 5 cute onesie designs (making these less than $2.50 per outfit)! These are great to have on hand in your gift closet for last-minute baby showers or to brighten the day of a tired mommy.

Here are the links to the sale (Psssst! Be sure and read our Secret Sauce Savings Tips at the end of this post):

:: $11.19 ~ 5 Pack Nautica Baby Girls’ Bodysuits

:: $11.19 ~ 5 Pack Nautica Baby Boys Bodysuits

Secret Sauce Savings Tips: These 5-pack onesie sets come in a nice variety of design options, however not all sets are on sale — be sure to click on the size you want and then on the various styles to find the $11.19 sale designs.  Also, we like to remind our readers that Amazon prices can change at any time, so you might not want to wait when you find a great deal you intend to buy. 

:: Pop over here to find more great sale items at the Nautica 50% OFF (and more) children’s clothing event.

Enjoy and Share! :)


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2017 FREE Water Smart Landscape, Gardening, and Irrigation Seminars at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden

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FREE Fort Worth Water Smart Irrigation and Landscape Seminars

The Fort Worth Water Department, in partnership with Texas AgriLife Extension Service, is hosting a series of FREE water smart landscape and gardening seminars throughout 2017. These classes are offered monthly at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden and will equip you to make educated decisions in your landscape as well as make efficient use of the latest watering and irrigation technologies.

:: Water Efficient Landscape Design ~ March 2, 2017
Are you on a budget but your landscape needs a facelift? Transform your landscape into a water efficient landscape. You’ll learn basic design principles, plant placement, and hardscape so you can do it yourself!  Register here. »

:: Native and Adaptive Plants for North Texas ~ April 6, 2017
Are you a “Native Texan” or a transplant? Plants are native or transplants too!This program covers a large selection of minimal water use plants that are native and adaptive — ideal for a sustainable landscape or garden. You will learn proper soil preparation, planting and native and adaptive plant selection.  Register here. »

:: Water Efficient Landscape Plants and Maintenance ~ May 4, 2017
Learn to install and maintain a water efficient landscape. Topics include proper soil preparation, plant and hardscape installation, and maintenance.  Register here. »

:: On the Wild Side: Gardening for Wildlife ~ June 1, 2017
In this seminar, you’ll learn about native and adaptive plants that are not only water efficient additions to your landscape, but also beautiful landscape accents that attract beneficial wildlife.  Register here. »

:: Drip Irrigation DIY ~ July 6, 2017
Learn how to water more efficiently with every drop by converting your spray heads and sprinkler system to drip. This hands-on class will teach you how to install drip irrigation tubing from your faucet or convert an existing zone to drip. Drip irrigation for foundation watering will also be covered. Register here. »

:: Water Efficient Irrigation ~ August 3, 2017
In this class you’ll learn how to most efficiently operate your sprinkler system and its components to take advantage of water efficiency best practices.  You’ll also learn how to maintain your home’s automatic sprinkler systems and make basic repairs.   Register here. »

:: Lawn Care Maintenance ~ September 7, 2017
Proper lawn care is a key component to a healthy lawn. This program covers basic lawn maintenance best practices as well as selecting the right turf grass to improve the health and longevity of your landscape. This class will teach you how to maintain your landscape using less water, fertilizers and pesticides, too. Register here. »

:: Composting ~ October 5, 2017
This program teaches the benefits of different types and methods of composting.  Register here. »

:: The Edible Landscape ~ November 2, 2017
Why water and mow what you can’t eat? Utilizing areas in your landscape to grow edibles is a way to add food on your table and reduce your grocery bill. This program teaches you how to incorporate edible plants into your home garden and landscape. You will learn how herbs, fruits and vegetables can add to the colors and textures of your permanent landscape combining both aesthetics’ and functionality.  Register here. »


All seminars will take place at:

Fort Worth Botanic Garden
3220 Botanic Garden Blvd. ~ Inside the Iris Room

Do note, that while seminars are FREE, they do require pre-registration as there are limited seats — given on a first come, first serve basis.


Enjoy and Share!  :)


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..

amazon cookware save 50 off promo code
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THIS WEEK — Sharon Young & Ladies Designer Brand Warehouse Clothing Sale, February 2-4

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Woohoo! It’s almost time for our readers’ favorite fashion warehouse sale! The Ladies Designer Brand Warehouse Sale will open its doors to the public this week — Thursday to Saturday (February 2-4) with lots of designer clothing deals!    Here’s a little sample of what’s in store —

Sharon Young February 2017

The direct from the designer Sharon Young & Ladies Designer Brand Warehouse clothing sale only opens their doors to the public four times a year, and the next sale runs this Thursday to Saturday, February 2-4, 2017. The sale will be huge (over 18,000 pieces!), and everything is marked down 50% to 75% OFF retail.  You’ll find sizes to fit just about anyone ~ from petite to women’s sizes and everything in between.

The sale features deep discounts on collections from Sharon Young, John Mark, Tru Luxe, Multiples, A La Carte, and more! You’ll even find two new weekend and sportswear/performance lines — Bette & Court and Sport Haley. Prices start at $20 (with nothing over $60!).

Tencel Skirt Vest   Black Top & colorful Leggings Sharon Young

In a nutshell, you’ll find:

  • Gorgeous high-end boutique and department store brand ladies designer clothing & accessories — 50% to 75% OFF retail.  There is a huge selection that covers a wide variety of styles from trendy to traditional and from super casual to night-on-the town dressy.  These are top quality collections carried in high-end department stores and fashion boutiques ~ you’ll find them at this designer warehouse sale at a big discount!
  • Ladies, Petite and Plus Sizes ~ something for everyone!  Sizes range from Ladies & Petites sizes 2-18 and a stylish selection of Women’s Plus 0X-3X.

Sharon Young   Sharon Young November 2016 sale

Details, details
When: February 2-4, 2017 ~ Thursday & Friday, 8:00AM to 7:00PM and Saturday, 8:00AM to 5:00PM
Where: 10367 Brockwood Rd ~ Dallas. There is free parking, and you’ll see signs directing you where to go (or just follow all the ladies you will see!).
Do note: All Credit Cards are accepted, along with cash or check, but no credit card gift cards are accepted. Also, there is a large dressing room provided for trying on all your finds, but typical of women’s fashion warehouse sales, it is ladies only and not private. Since this is a women only event, husbands, guy-friends and kiddos under 12, please stay comfortable at home. 

Enjoy and Share! :)

 


Get Blog Updates Delivered By Email - FREE! Follow Us On Twitter! Subscribe to My Feed

Want to keep up with fresh ways to save money
and button down the family finances?
Subscribe to Frugal in Fort Worth now. It’s FREE

 

Thank you to the Ladies Designer Brand Warehouse Sale for sponsoring this post.  All opinions stated are entirely my own (as always).  Frugal in Fort Worth only recommends brands and businesses we use and trust!