Bulk Buying and Other Resourceful Consumer Trends

(NewsUSA) – When the economy nosedived, and companies had reason to be scared, a few businesses got resourceful.Low incomes and record job losses pushed consumers toward trends like buying in bulk and using group discount websites. And where there was demand, supply soon followed.In came the success of wholesalers like Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s. But warehouse clubs weren’t the only stores seeing growth in bulk sales. Farmers markets, co-ops and natural food stores observed more supersized shopping. Whole Foods said bulk food purchases were growing by approximately 25 percent every year.That wasn’t the only buying trend to emerge, however."The Groupon following led to an explosion of similar sites, like LivingSocial and Dealfind, not to mention all of the city-specific ones," says Joe Kalfa, the leader of a new movement of group buying called All Our Power."You can buy virtually any commodity in bulk and get all kinds of group discounts on spas, restaurants and vacations galore, but what about monthly expenses like car insurance, gas and health care? It seems to me like there’s room for some improvement," adds Kalfa.Well, maybe there is.According to Time magazine’s Moneyland, warehouse club members can save 25 to 35 percent on their food budget. Shoppers who forego packaging altogether and buy food from bins or dispensers save anywhere from 30 to 90 percent over prepackaged products.Imagine those types of savings applied to insurance policies, gas prices, medical bills, cell phone plans and more.All Our Power, which seeks to rally 10 million members and secure membership discounts from all kinds of service providers and retailers, could be the next group-buying trend to take flight.A buzz has already formed around the young movement as consumers worldwide realize the potential benefits of a free membership with access to serious negotiating power.Are you tired of paying too much for car insurance or gas? You’re not the only one. Sign up and learn more about your buying power at www.allourpower.com. Or, see what others are saying on Twitter @ AllOurPower.

Destination Affordable? Couples Can Save With Oceanside Nuptials

Tying the knot isn’t what it used to be. The wedding industry is as profitable as primetime football, celebrities compete for the shortest, most gimmicky marriages (72 days or less?) and the exotic appeal of a romantic getaway has led to the widespread popularity of destination weddings.

One in every 10 weddings features an exotic locale, or at least a location neither the bride nor groom calls home. While there’s no absolute explanation as to why destination weddings have started a bridal takeover, the hefty price of typical weddings is reason enough for many – especially if Daddy isn’t footing the bill.

Forget Fast Food: 10 Secrets to Making Good Food Fast

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Today’s busy lifestyles leave little time for basic cooking, and have led to a growing trend of daily fast food meals — for breakfast, lunch and …

The Newest Trends in Holiday Crafts

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Today’s economy has inspired a thrifty, do-it-yourself mentality that resonates with many Americans -; a trend that will no doubt carry into holiday gift-giving.

In 2008, over 42.6 million households created handcrafted gifts, and no wonder — not only can handcrafted gifts recycle materials and save money, they also prove far more memorable than any department store gift card.

“With tightening budgets, more innovative craft supplies and products, and greater inspiration coming from the DIY movement with TV, the Internet, and craft publications, we are experiencing a perfect storm for an incredible handcrafted holiday gift-giving season,” explained Craft & Hobby Association CEO Steve Berger.

According to the CHA Designer Holiday Trend Report, we can expect to see several key trends in 2009’s holiday crafts:

– Give a gift, save the world. Eco-friendly gifts that repurpose or reuse items will prove popular. For example, crafters will transform old sweaters into patchwork blankets, stockings, bags and wreaths, or turn picture frames into ornaments.

– Knit up some nostalgia. Crafters will recreate simpler times with old-fashioned items and toys. The sock monkey, for example, has made a huge come-back with kids and is showing up in both traditional and non-traditional colors.

– Craft with your computer. Using the latest three-dimensional embellishments combined with downloaded images is part of a huge trend in the craft world. Hybrid crafting can be personalized by printing written phrases, names and dates, or decorating digital creations with large, thick and textured embellishments.

– Pick sophisticated colors. Red and green will remain popular this holiday season, but crafters will choose traditional hues like avocado, kelly green and forest green. Deep purple and chocolate will show up often, as will gold and silver, because they create a more expensive look.

– Appreciate a good motif. Popular holiday motifs will likely include happy snowmen, reindeer, vintage Santas, birds, snowflakes, trees and retro animals and teddy bears.

Accessorize Your Bathroom on a Budget

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Decorating a bathroom on a budget is a lot like updating a wardrobe on a budget. Work with what you have, and use accessories to update and add the “wow” factor.

In the bathroom, accessorizing can even include bathroom sink faucets. “With a pre-assembled drain assembly such as Speed Connect, a new faucet is easier to add than a new coat of paint,” says Gray Uhl, design director for American Standard. “Even better, top performing lifetime finishes and drip-free, solid brass faucets start as low as $100.”

Trend No. 1: Warmer Finishes. Special finishes in warmer tones such as satin nickel, oil-rubbed bronze and blackened bronze are currently popular in hardware and faucets, coordinating well with creams and browns in linens and wall décor. “Matte black finish is the proverbial height of fashion for faucets and accessories right now,” says Leslie Clagett on her blog, kbculture.blogspot.com.

Trend No. 2: American Minimalism. “Styles such as the Moments, Copeland and Princeton faucet collections echo the same geometric lines and styling familiar in European contemporary design, but warmer and softer,” says Uhl. “American minimalist faucets and accessories look best when paired with warmer tones and rich wood surfaces in cabinets and bathroom furniture.” Uhl notes that an easy way to get the look is with a design-matched collection such as Tropic, which includes furniture, faucets and fixtures.

Trend No. 3: Escape. Turn even a small bathroom into a spa experience with a serene, monochromatic look and plant oils that create a soothing aroma. Asian-inspired design such as the Green Tea bathroom sink faucet completes the look, with the added benefit of a discrete pull-out spout, which makes it easy to rinse the sink or wash delicate clothing items or one’s hair.

Trend No. 4: The Responsible Bathroom. Look for the WaterSense label on new bathroom faucets. The WaterSense label is an assurance that water use will be reduced by 30 percent or more, without sacrificing performance. Replacing three older faucets with three WaterSense-labeled faucets can save almost $500 and 74,000 gallons of water per year.

Style Trend No. 5: You. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to be yourself. Bathrooms are personal spaces, so personal statements work well, including tasteful humor. After all, if you can’t be yourself in the bathroom, where can you be yourself?

Board Games Are the Answer for the Holidays

<b>Board Games Are the Answer for the Holidays</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – How will my Uncle Harry and Grandma Betty get along? What should we do with all the kids? What presents should I get? How much should I spend? Every host over the holidays has a host of questions, but thanks to traditional board games, there is a one-stop solution consumers can count on to suit both their holiday gifting and gathering needs.

“The right game can be a gift that keeps on giving and bring any group together, no matter how diverse,” says Eric Poses, creator of Loaded Questions, a popular discussion-oriented board game with more than 1 million sold.

According to a recent survey conducted by GfK Roper, 53 percent of Americans say that socializing with other players is the most enjoyable part of playing a board game. Winning may not be everything, but bringing the whole family together for under $25 is a victory that everyone can enjoy.

And it’s not just families playing board games. Game nights have also become a growing trend among friends, couples and even singles looking for ways to socialize and maximize their entertainment dollars.

Recent figures released by NPD group corroborate this trend, as board game sales are up 10 percent in the face of high-tech video games and the toy industry’s overall decline during the first six months of ’09. Games like Loaded Questions, with an entrepreneur at the helm, are paving the way for small manufacturers to join the Goliaths of the industry in this trend of inexpensive, social entertainment.

This holiday season, Poses is opening up his game for fans to come up with their own “loaded questions” and offering $25,000 in cash prizes for the five winning suggestions. To enter the contest, people can visit www.loadedquestions.com to submit up to five original questions for consideration. The new edition of Loaded Questions is now available at Target, Barnes & Noble, Toys “R” Us, Borders and hundreds of specialty retailers nationwide.