I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t wait around for a deal before I purchase something. If I decide I want something, most of the time it’s not because there was a sweet deal or coupon offered for the item, it’s because I want the item. Plain and simple, I don’t buy things because they are a great price, I buy them because I want them. Now don’t get me wrong, I definitely like a good price and I don’t always withstand all sales. For example, just this past weekend I discovered by word of mouth that Buy Low was offering Chex cereal for just $0.98 a box. I love Chex cereal! It’s great for breakfast and I’ve never had a “Chex Mix” that I didn’t like (may I suggest Muddy Buddies). Anyway, when I discovered this sweet price for Chex I went to Buy Low and purchased 28 Boxes. Yep, 28 Boxes for just under $28. I guess I’ll be eating Chex and egg whites for breakfast for a very, very long time.
Even though I bought the Chex on sale, I didn’t buy the product just because of the price. If Buy Low was having a Cheerios sale for $0.25 a box, you wouldn’t see me with a cart full of them. I wouldn’t even buy one. I don’t like Cheerios and I don’t want them, so no matter the price I just don’t want to buy them. Do you ever find yourself throwing away expired products in your house because you had too much of it and just didn’t use it? Chances are it’s because you didn’t even really want the product in the first place, it was just an impulse buy based on a sale. Next time ask yourself, “Do I really want this? Do I buy this even when it’s not on sale?” If you can answer yes to those questions, then I’d say it’s a safe bet to walk away with…. 28 boxes.
The truth is, I rarely buy based on a sale because I often have no clue there is one. I don’t look at ads online or in print and I avoid being subject to commercials in radio and television. I’ve completely ‘tuned out’ as much advertising as possible from my life. I’ve put myself on an Ad-Consumption diet. If I’m watching my favorite TV show and have to break for 20 minutes of the hour for lame commercials, I get frustrated and turn it off. I’m there to watch the show, not see a bazillion ads! Most people are paying for a cable or satellite subscription ($60-$100 a month) but they STILL have to watch ads for half of the viewing time?! Are you kidding me?! You can’t even go to a movie without seeing commercials and ads before the show. Nothing feels better than knowing that the $8.50 I spent on a movie ticket isn’t enough to block 20 mins of pre-show advertising.
Here are a few tips to blocking ads from your life:
There are a few ways to block ads during your internet browsing experience. If you’re still using Internet Explorer, now is the time to quit. Install Firefox. It’s a much better browser and offers faster and more secure browsing. Another thing it offers is Add-Ons. Add-Ons are little extensions to the browser that you can install that offer new or better functionality. Once you’ve installed firefox install the Adblock Plus Add-on. That’s it! Install firefox and the adblock plus add-on and any web site you visit will have the ads hidden. This will make your browsing experience more pleasant because you wont’ have annoying flashing banner ads to pester you anymore. In addition to that, web pages will load faster because you no longer have to download the ad graphics! Hooray!
Blocking ads on TV is a little more technical. The easiest way to do this is to get a DVR box from your cable or satellite provider. This device will let you record your favorite shows ahead of time so you can watch them later. Get into the habit of watching all your shows AFTER they have aired. This way you can hit the fast forward button to skip right through those commercials. This solution is easy, but it does cost some cash.
Another option is to watch shows online. Most major networks have recent episodes available on their web site for viewing online. You can also find many shows at hulu.com. This method won’t eliminate ads, but it certainly reduces them. You’ll only be subject to one ad every 10 minutes or so instead of a handful like on regular television.
Lastly, if you’re really tech savvy you could do what i do and use an AppleTV or PlayStation 3 to watch all your TV shows. I’ve set up my desktop computer (a mac mini) to automatically download tv shows for me after they air. Later when I have time, I watch them on my big screen as they stream over the network to my AppleTV or PS3. This method eliminates all commercials for me, because the shows I download already have them edited out completely. No need to fast forward!
This one is easy. When you get ads in the mail, throw them away. Don’t even look at them first. Just toss them. With all this “Going Green” commotion, I’m surprised paper newspapers and ads are still distributed. And, why do I keep getting phone books delivered to my door? I throw those away too.
If you subscribe to magazines, you’ll just have to deal with the ads. But most of the content in magazines can be found online, and with the previously mentioned adblock solution, you can finally escape!
It’s time to ditch the radio and start listening to an iPod. Put only the music you like on your iPod and listen to it at random if you like. This way you won’t have any annoying commercials to interrupt your favorite songs, and you’ll finally be freed from lame radio DJs.
I have several talk radio programs I listen to on a regular basis too. It is so annoying to be interrupted every few minutes for a slew of ads. The programs I listen to have subscriptions I signed up for to listen to them via podcast. I think it was like $30 for the year to get a podcast subscription. That is a price I’ll gladly pay to get content I enjoy without the commercials! And, it saves time too! An hour long radio program is shaved down to a half hour of actual content when it’s commercial free. That means half the time you’re listening to the radio, you’re listening to those blasted ads! Ugh, no thanks! You can also browse the iTunes podcast directory for a plethora of free podcasts to listen to.
Well that’s it folks, I hope you enjoy your new ad-free lifestyle! Maybe it will save you some money since you won’t be spending cash on useless crap just because it’s on sale. Or maybe it will just give you some extra time during your day to do something besides consider a new product or service at a new low low price.