The Chronic Consumer

I buy things — all the time!

Outrageous Prices

I was talking to my friend Leigh from SoCal today, and the conversation inevitably turned to how everything is getting more expensive — seemingly by the day. The cost of living in Southern California has always been high compared to the rest of the country, but things are truly getting out of hand now. When you add the fact that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find good jobs in Los Angeles, you know lots of people are facing some tough times ahead.

At any rate, Leigh is having to cut back on everything these days in order to get by. No more shopping sprees, no more new cars, no more unnecessary magazine subscriptions… and no end in sight. I’ve had enough of all of this, and can’t wait for the economy to recover and for prices to get back to manageable levels. How about you?

One-Year Anniversary!

I’ve been so busy for the last couple of weeks that I didn’t even notice that The Chronic Consumer turned one! The site went live on May 11, 2007, and has been online ever since. The first year has definitely been a learning experience and it’s been a bit harder than expected to keep this site going, but I feel that I’m finally hitting my stride now.

I want to thank all my regular readers out there and welcome any new ones that might have straggled in more recently. Without you guys, there wouldn’t be much point to maintaining this blog!

Here’s to another great year!

How to Prevent Identity Theft

For anyone who shops online as much as I do, identity theft is a major concern. I routinely give out sensitive information such as my full name and address, my credit card numbers, my bank account number, my PayPal address, and my driver’s license number to various websites for all the different purchases I make. More often than not, these are well known sites that employ the latest and greatest security measures, but I admit to rolling the dice on occasion with a few unknown retailers.

Can you imagine what kind of damage could be done if this data fell into the wrong hands? Some people spend years trying to recover their good name and credit rating after an instance of identity theft. That’s certainly not a battle I want to face anytime soon, which is why I’m considering signing up with lifelock.

Lifelock helps protect your identity by setting up fraud alerts on your behalf. After the alerts are in place, creditors and banks must verify the identity of anyone who attempts signing up for a new credit cards or applying for a line of credit in the name of the person designated in the fraud alert. Lifelock is available for individuals, families, and even children, and definitely sounds like an effective security measure.

If you make as many online purchases as I do, then you might want to check out the features and benefits of Lifelock for yourself. Taking a proactive approach to preventing identity theft is much smarter than simply sitting back and hoping your sensitive data never gets compromised, so visit the Lifelock website today!

Gap Coupon Code — Free Shipping

I got an email notice today saying that between now and May 31, the Gap is offering free shipping on purchases from all four of its retail chains. This includes the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Piperlime.

Moreover, Gap has simplified the shopping process so that customers can make purchases from all four stores by using a single cart and checkout system. So if you find a pair of jeans from the Gap and a great top at Banana Republic, you can now put them together in the same order. That’s pretty awesome!

Anyway, the free shipping code that you’ll need to enter to get your discount is 1CHECKOUT.

There are some good deals on swimwear and shorts out there, so this would be a good time to stock up on summer apparel!

Finding the Right Credit Card

As someone who loves to shop a lot, I’ve learned how to stretch my dollars as far as they can go by taking advantage of sales, discounts, coupons, and other bargains. The key to being able to buy what I want is never to pay full price for anything if I can possibly help it.

Another important lesson I’ve learned over the years is that not all credit cards are created equally. In addition to varying interest rates and annual fees, credit cards differ in the types of rewards they offer to customers. For instance, some cards provide cash back, airline miles, or free gasoline, while others don’t come with any extra perks at all. I think it’s a complete waste to use a credit card that doesn’t pay you back in some way, so if you’re not getting any rewards from your current card, maybe it’s time to look for a different one.

That’s where Credit Cards Club can help. Credit Cards Club is a website where consumers can get tons of free information about some of the best credit card offers online. The Credit Cards Club site arranges offers by category, making it very easy to find the best cash back credit cards, business credit cards, instant approval credit cards, bad credit credit cards, and more.

The benefits of each featured card are highlighted for you, which makes comparison shopping a breeze. Moreover, you can even apply for any cards you like right there on the site so you don’t have to worry about losing track of great offers.

If you’re looking for a brand new credit card that provides benefits and features that fit your lifestyle, then check out CreditCardsClub.com today. They’ve done all the legwork and have gathered the best offers in one spot, so finding the right credit card is easier than ever before!

The O.C. — The Complete Second Season

I didn’t start watching The O.C. until the show was well into its fourth — and final — season. I had watched maybe one or two episodes from Season 1 on DVD, but wasn’t particularly impressed with the characters or any of the storylines. Sure, I liked Seth and Summer almost immediately, and Kirsten and Sandy were interesting too. However, back then the spotlight was squarely on Ryan (Ben McKenzie) and Marisa (Mischa Barton), and I didn’t think either of those two were terribly great actors.

But I kept watching every now and then, and when I finally got to around the halfway point of Season 1, I was completely hooked. I borrowed the DVDs from my friends, sat through marathons where I would watch four or five eps in a single day, and finished out the series in record time. Once it was over, I realized that I truly liked the show and would miss the characters a lot — so much so that I immediately purchased all four seasons on DVD for my own collection!

The Complete Second Season box set contains all 24 episodes that aired on FOX from November 4, 2004 to May 19, 2005, including some of my favorites like “The Rainy Day Women” (where Seth and Summer finally get back together), “The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn’t” (where Summer saves the day by decorating Lindsay and Renee’s house), and “The Dearly Beloved” (where Ryan finally finds out about Trey and Marisa).

As with the Season One box set, the episodes are contained on six discs, while all the bonus features (except for commentary) appear on a seventh disc. The bonuses in The Complete Second Season include:

  • Extended creator’s cut of “The Rainy Day Women”
  • Commentary on “The Rainy Day Women” and “The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn’t”
  • A piece on how O.C. fashion is made
  • A retrospective TV special called The O.C. — Obsess Completely
  • A gag reel from Seasons 1 & 2

I particularly liked the commentary about two of my favorite episodes, and the gag reel as well. I just wish the gag reel had been a little longer because it’s a lot of fun seeing actors let their guard down like that.

Overall, I love my copy of The O.C. — The Complete Second Season DVD box set. I nabbed it from Amazon.com when it was on sale for just $16.99, which is about as low as the price would ever go for a brand-new set. If you were a fan of The O.C., then you simply must add this box set to your collection!

5.11 Tactical Gear

Although tactical gear is designed for use by law enforcement and military personnel, you don’t have to be a cop or a soldier to enjoy the benefits of these highly durable and functional shirts, pants, boots, jackets, gear bags, and accessories. That’s because stores like 511TacticalOutdoors.com make these products available to the general public at discount prices, which means regular consumers like us now have access to all kinds of cool gear!

511TacticalOutdoors.com only sells products that feature the 5.11 label, so you know you’re getting the best name in tactical gear with every single order you place. With a huge selection of items in stock and ready to ship, 511TacticalOutdoors.com can get your stuff to you faster than anyone else.

Check out the site today, and see for yourself why 511TacticalOutdoors.com is one of the leading online suppliers of tactical gear!

Nike Women’s Fitness Gloves

I’ve been working out at a gym three times a week since the beginning of February. I do a mix of cardio and weight training, and have made slow but steady progress in that time. One problem I encountered, however, was getting blisters on my hands from lifting weights. Not only were these blisters unsightly, they were also painful and sometimes prevented me from completing my workouts the way I wanted to. That’s why I decided to buy a pair of Nike Mult-Purpose Women’s Fitness Gloves a couple weeks ago.

These Nike Fitness Gloves are designed to protect hands and keep them dry during workouts. They come with a padded palm, stitched flex grooves for comfort, and stretch fit for ease of movement. The gloves are made from Dri-FIT mesh fabric, which allows air to flow through them and cool your hands (and also allows for quicker drying).

I’ve been using these gloves during my workouts for the past two weeks, and I can definitely say that they’ve made a huge difference. I no longer get blisters, which means I can now comfortably proceed through my weight-lifting routine without constantly worrying about what’s happening to my hands. There’s just the right amount of padding in these gloves to allow for adequate protection without sacrificing anything in the way of grip, feel, or performance.

I’ve seen these gloves advertised for anywhere between $15-$18 in sporting goods stores and online. That’s a pretty good deal, if you ask me — especially since it means the end of weightlifting blisters!

Bear in mind that these Nike Multi-Purpose Fitness Gloves are meant to conform with your hand and have a tight fit. That’s a bit different than other types of gloves you might buy, so I just wanted to throw this tidbit out there.

Anyway, these gloves are highly recommended. Check them out!