Money savers and secrets

January 15, 2008 9:19:01 PM PST
Shopping with 7-year-old Amber can be a great mom-daughter bonding experience, but it can also be tough on the pocketbook.

As any parent knows, kids sometimes wear their clothes out before they outgrow them.

"I find as they get older, they get a little rougher, especially on their pants. Pretty rough on the knees and the bottom part, dragging them on the ground," said Amber's mom, Tina Anderson.

So we let Tina in on a secret. It's the Sears' wear out guarantee.

"You can bring the merchandise back in and we'll replace it free of charge," said Mark Martin, a Sears spokesperson.

Just become a member of Sears' free KidVantage program. When your child's clothes wear out, you can get an identical or comparable item in the same size.

"They actually do not have to bring in a receipt. They'll just be asked if they're a member of KidVantage. We'll ask for their phone number, and we'll replace it free of charge," said Martin.

Starbucks' Secrets

Starbucks actually sells a smaller size that isn't advertised or on the coffee chain's menu. It's an eight ounce short cup. The short cup is 15 to 35-cents cheaper than the rest, but specialty drinks still contain the same amount of espresso.

Here's something else a lot of Starbucks' customers don't realize. If you bring your own cup, you'll get 10-cents off any beverage you buy.

After Warranty Repairs

Ever heard of an after-warranty adjustment?

Sometimes manufacturers will extend coverage to include problems that don't rise to the level of a recall, but they don't tell you they're doing it.

To see if there's an after-warranty adjustment on your vehicle, ask your dealer.

Those after-warranty adjustments are also called secret warranties, and they can be difficult to find.

The Center for Auto Safety gives lots of great tips on exactly how to get your car repaired for free, if it has a known defect or problem.

Also try going to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.