Archives for October 2015

Turquoise Motorola Shell for the Moto G (first gen) for $3.19

If you have the first generation Motorola Moto G smartphone, and love turquoise type of color shells, you are in luck! The official Motorola shell, only in the turquoise shell is now down to $3.19 with a limit of three per customer at, where it averages 3.9 out of 5 based on 400+ customer reviews.

Now the bad news. This is an “Add-In Item”, so you must place an order of $25+, otherwise the shopping cart will not let you buy it. This restriction includes Prime members.

One easy way to get to $25+ is to pick up some microSD cards for your other phones/tablets/devices, for example, this 64GB Kingston goes for $19 (and in frustration-free packaging), while this 64GB Silicon Power goes for $20.

NOTE: the first generation Motorola Moto G does NOT take microSD cards. But most households have multiple mobile devices, so chances are you can use microSD cards – that’s why I’m mentioning them.

11.6-inch HP Stream 11-p010nr x360 Convertible for $200

Once upon a time people needed four figures to get a laptop. Not so anymore. You can find laptops for $200 these days, and in new condition. You can even get convertibles at this price range. Case in point, the convertible 11.6-inch HP Stream, with 1366×768 non-touchscreen, 2GB RAM, 32GB on-board, one year of Office 365, and free upgrade to Windows 10 (comes with Windows 8.1) is on sale for $200 with free shipping at Amazon by Amazon actual with a limit of three per customer.

The processor is a Intel Celeron N2840 which as of writing time ranks #1420 (a magic number!) at, and combine that with 2GB RAM, this is for email and lightweight web browsing and video. There’s only so much multi-tasking you can do on 2GB of RAM and a slower “Celery” processor. But it has a 360-degree rotating screen, so it can fold all the way under the keyboard, making it a thick tablet.

Not only that, but this laptop is a portaholic’s paradise considering the price. You get three USB ports, an Ethernet port, an HDMI port, and a memory card reader. Not bad, and the three USB ports come a long way towards making up for the 32GB on-board storage. You can always get some of those tiny USB flash drives.

The full name of this is “HP Stream 11-p010nr x360 Convertible”. It averages 4.3 out of 5 based on 77 customer reviews and has 46 questions peer-answered.

DVD Set: Wing Commander Academy for $8

On sale again, on DVD, the animated scifi TV series “Wing Commander Academy”, based on the popular old-school video games, is now going for $8 at Amazon by Amazon actual. Free shipping for Prime members or with a $35+ order for non-members. Total runtime is about 4.5 hours, a total of 13 episodes and it originally aired in 1996.

It’s back: 25c Coffee or Tea (12oz) at Whole Foods

It is back! The 25c coffee (or tea) promotion returns at Whole Foods, hot on the heels of their 25c oatmeal promotion. This new iteration is good until November 3 in 2015. You don’t need a coupon, you don’t need a membership card, just buy a 12oz coffee or tea and you pay $0.25. You don’t have to buy anything else. You can buy multiple 12oz coffees if you need more caffeine.

This is as official as it gets, it’s on their official Twitter account, with the tweet in question embedded below:

Starbucks Rewards: Spend $8+, Get 4 Bonus Stars

This is a good time to volunteer to make a coffee run at the office or at home ๐Ÿ™‚ If you are a Starbucks Rewards member, a new promotion came in via e-mail (does not require opt-in or coupon code) that gets you four bonus stars every time you make a purchase of $8 or more between October 30 and November 1st in 2015 (three days). You can use this promotion as many time as you like. Your order total must be $8+ per transaction, not cumulative over multiple visits.


PS: I don’t know if this works if you buy a drink and a gift card (or gift card reload) in the same transaction. The bonus stars will appear within 24 hours, so if curious, you can try it early on October 30, and you may know whether it works or not by October 31st AM ๐Ÿ™‚

LG Nexus 5 for $175

The launch of Marshmallow (Android 6.0) changed the depth chart of the Nexus phone line-up. No longer can the trusty Nexus 4 get official OTA Google OS updates with the rest of the pack. So the lines have moved, now the Nexus 5 is the oldest phone that is going to be Marhsmallowed (yes, it’s a verb!). Of course there is (and will be) more work at XDA and other places to get 6.0 on the Nexus 4, but if you prefer the official OTA, it has to be Nexus 5 or newer.

Speaking of which, eBay seller “mobilepros1” (97.9%) is offering new-condition factory-unlocked 16GB LG Nexus 5 (model D820) for $175 with free shipping, with a limit of five per buyer. Only the black color scheme is available. This is a GSM model. No contract!

The warranty is curiously described as “Remaining US Warranty”. Remaining as in? ๐Ÿ™‚

A quick refresher, this has 2GB RAM, 16GB on-board, no microSD, 5-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 800 with Adreno 330, and things like that. Some are reporting battery life improvements with Android 6.0, which is a good thing since battery life was one of the knocks on this one when it came out.

Now strategically the question is, do you get this one or a Nexus 6? Other things equal, the Nexus 6 may get an additional official OS update over the Nexus 5. On the other hand, there’s breaking rumor-news now that Google will merge Android and ChromeOS, so I don’t know if that will throw a monkey-wrench in their OS upgraditis situation.

Seller-refurbished Samsung Galaxy S4 (Verizon) for $90

If you are not a perfectionist, and you are comfortable with the higher risk of seller-refurbished products, the Verizon version of the 16GB Samsung Galaxy S4, model i545, is offered in seller refurbished condition for $90 with free shipping, in three of the four colors (blue is sold-out), by eBay seller “GuaranteeCellular” (98.4%). Limit five per customer. No contract!

The description there stresses that it has “noticeable scratches or scuff mark”, but promises that it will be fully functional and have a clean ESN. As of posting time, over 1900 units got sold from this particular listing, despite the higher risk and the lower percentage of the seller. If you are risk-averse or a perfectionist, you may want to sit this one out.

Nov 1-7: 40% off all EXPO dry-erase markers at Staples

I am sure I am not the only one addicted to dry-erase markers ๐Ÿ™‚ Per the Staples Weekly Ad for November 1-7 (2015), they will have an in-store 40% off sale on ALL their EXPO dry-erase marker kits. The price will be adjusted by their cash register, there is no coupon needed. But if you have any other coupons or rewards, you can try them to see if you can drop them even further.

This is perhaps particularly of interest for some of the EXPO kits that rarely get discounted. The 4pks occasionally go on sale, but some of the bundles (eg with magnetic eraser) rarely (if ever) get discounted. So if you may want to drop by and see what’s going on.

Phone Plan Price Wars: Sprint offers new 1GB 4G LTE Data with Unlimited Talk and Text plan for $40 per month

The price wars are heating up as T-Mobile continues to generate uncarrier waves and Sprint feels left behind. So it is no surprise that Sprint has now announced a new low priced plan – if you only need 1GB 4G LTE of data per month. The plan becomes available on October 30 (2015).

You pay $40 per month. Half of that gets you unlimited talk and text, and the other half gets you 1GB of 4G LTE data. Once you cross over 1GB, there are no overages. Your data speed just crashes down to 2G, and given how slow 2G is, it’s not a shocker that are offering “unlimited 2G” ๐Ÿ™‚

Separately, Sprint is trying to triangulate its “real” unlimited (high speed data) plan, the latest incarnation going for $70 per month with 3GB of mobile hotspot included and global roaming. This is nowhere near the 7GB of mobile hotspot you get with the $80/month T-Mobile unlimited plan, but it’s $10 less.

Still time to get the free Samsung October 2015 e-book (if eligible)

If you have an eligible Samsung Galaxy device, and you have installed the Galaxy app-store version of the Kindle app, every month, you are entitled to pick one free e-book from a choice of four options. You can pick it up at any point during the month, and it is yours to keep. Most of the books participating here are also part of Kindle Unlimited. This is a separate program from (and stackable with) Kindle First.

I forgot to post this earlier, but it’s better late than never, there’s still 50 hours left in October 2015 ๐Ÿ™‚ The options are, as you can see in the picture below:



  • if the price in the Samsung Kindle app is NOT $0, it means you will pay for them. Make sure your device is eligible and synced and only get it if the price shown in $0…
  • … but if you accidentally get a non-$0 item, fear not, you can go to and request a refund
  • if you have an S-Pen device, there’s good reason to get the Galaxy app-store version of the Kindle app – it recognizes the S-Pen! For example, you can highlight or change pages using the S-Pen
  • you can run both the Samsung Kindle app and the Google Play one on the same device with the same account

[DEAD] 5-inch Huawei SnapTo Unlocked 4G LTE for $98

This particular sale ended but with so many phones on the market, and with Huawei desperate to gain a foothold in the USA market, on the heels of its Nexus flagship phone, there are bound to be more sales in the future…

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[DEAD] TiVo Mini with IR Remote (Old Version) for $90

This sale ended…

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Complicated 3-part Starbucks Offer gets you 8 bonus stars

Pretty soon we may need a Ph.D degree to sort out the Starbucks Rewards offers. In a new offer that went out today to their Rewards members via email, you have a complicated three part promotion that will earn you eight bonus stars (in addition to the regular 1-star per purchase). This complicated offer is like this:

  • purchase one Fall Favorite item (PSL, Salted Caramel Mocha, Toasted Graham Latte) between Oct 27 – Nov 2
  • purchase any breakfast sandwich (check their website or app if you don’t know which sandwiches qualify as breakfast) between Oct 27 – Nov 2
  • make any purchase on Saturday October 31


And that’s it. As simple convoluted as that ๐Ÿ™‚ The bonus will be loaded to your account by November 13. If you decide to join in, my guess is that there are reasonable chances this won’t show up automatically, so you may have to ping their customer service. The good news is that their customer service is very responsive and fixes their Rewards kerfuffles.

DIZA 100 iPhone 6/6S Case w/kickstand for $3 after coupon

The iPhone 6S maybe brand new and at full price, but the price-war between the 3rd-party non-designer accessory makers is already heating up to crazy levels. For example, for a limited time only, coupon code XGXA9G8U gets you the DIZA 100 case with built-in kickstand for iPhone 6S for just $3 at This also fits the iPhone 6. The coupon only works if the seller is “AskForMall”, but the order is fulfilled by Amazon, so a Prime membership gets it to you for free. Not to jinx it, but it’s not part of the Add-On program yet ๐Ÿ™‚

PS: I really think it’s high time manufacturers stopped using a final “S” in their model names. You know, in English, the final “S” means plural. One can perhaps forgive sweatshop Chinese accessory makers, but what about Apple? ๐Ÿ™‚

FreedomPop: pre-owned Samsung Galaxy S3 for $80 w/free S&H [or Galaxy S4 for $140]

If you want to try out the Freedom Pop service, and could use a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone with the service (or if the service doesn’t work out, you can use it as a media player or in-house remote control), you can get the certified pre-owned Samsung Galaxy S3 for $80 with free shipping. It comes with a 30 day warranty.

This is a 4G LTE phone, which is important existentially for the cellular part of the service, because Freedom Pop exists on Sprint’s network, and the older “4G WiMaX” is going away. So if you buy anything from Freedompop that you want to use over cellular, make sure it is 4G LTE, not 4G WiMax.

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