Baby products up to 80% more expensive than regular products

  • 80% of comparable products are more expensive on the baby aisle
  • Skin oil and cotton buds are almost double the price
  • Some baby products, such as wet wipes are significantly cheaper than the ‘adult’ equivalent

It seems the cotton wool is being pulled over consumers’ eyes as new research reveals baby products are between 16%-80% more expensive than similar regular products.

The research, conducted by money saving website, reviewed Walgreens baby products alongside Walgreens regular products*. 80% of the products examined are far cheaper when purchased from the adult aisle. This includes products which are seemingly identical, such as cotton buds and talcum powder, both almost over double the price when purchased as baby products.

Adult price comparison

Baby price comparison

A switch to regular products could offer huge savings per shop. Skin oil offers the biggest cost saving, where baby oil can be purchased for 80% less than the cheapest oil for babies. However, the difference in price also descends when purchasing specific baby products. The largest difference is with wet wipes, with a huge increase in cost coming from ‘regular’ products available at Walgreens.

Wet wipes and disposable bags are amongst the items of significant price difference as consumers can find the baby alternatives at half the price.

The three products where the regular products come out cheaper than their baby counterparts include shampoo and bubble bath, which are both 42% cheaper, and toothpaste which is 35% cheaper.

Sezer Yurdakul, Couponbox Head of Marketing says: “It seems unreasonable that there is such a big variation in prices between baby and regular products, especially for those products which appear to be identical. It’s proof that it’s worth checking other aisles for better deals before making your purchase. Online shopping is perfect for this as you can see all the relevant products and prices right in front of you. Plus you get the added bonus of utilising great discount codes at the same time.”

Check out the latest offers at Walgreens, and sign up for an alert so you never miss an exclusive Walgreens deal again.

*Prices correct as of 11th July 2017,

[Update] September: The “Sweet Spot” for Affordable European Travel

Experts Weigh In on the “Trump Travel Effect,” Offer Savings Tips

June 22, 2017, NEW YORK – Advance bookings for summer travel this year are down 3.4 percent overall and 20 percent for bookings from the Middle East according to a report Tuesday by the New York Times.

According to MGM Resorts International CEO James Murren, the chilling words of Trump’s travel ban have the potential to put a freeze on the $250-billion US Travel and Tourism industry.

“Travel and Tourism is our most important export,” Murren said. “It’s really critical to understand that people coming to the United States, spending their money here, helping middle class jobs, improving our economy, is really critical. And [the travel ban] is counter to letting this country grow.”

Meanwhile, a Bloomberg stock index for US-based airlines has risen 6.5 percent and many major US airlines plan to increase international service at the end of 2017, indicating that American demand for summer travel abroad is continues to rise.

Some experts project that Trump’s travel ban will not only hurt the US Travel and Tourism Industry, it will also contribute to rising costs for travel in the European Union.

Additionally, overall demand for European travel is expected to grow in 2017 which will add to the effect.

Travel Now, Spend Less: Hit the Sweet Spot

If demand for US travel continues to decline, Europe and the rest of the world will pick up the slack. Naturally, this will lead to higher travel costs.

Therefore, now is the time to put some mileage on your passport, before Trump’s travel ban makes prices soar.

To help counteract the “Trump Travel effect,” coupon and savings portal Couponbox offers the following top seven cities for affordable end-of-summer travel in Europe.

The sweet spot for affordable European Travel is September 16th to the 23rd, according to Couponbox research. Book now for that time period and save big on flights and hotels.

Top 7 Cities for Affordable End-of-Summer Travel in Europe 2017

As you know from our previous articles on travel, one of the most important rules of finding the cheapest flights is…

Book in advance!

That’s how we found these end-of-summer deals* on

Get them now before they run out!

*Hotel prices are per night for seven nights for two in a three-star hotel (or better) with free breakfast and internet in the city center. Flight prices are per person, round-trip from NYC.

All prices are updated regularly and subject to availability.

[The update below is from June 28, 2017]

For the latest updates click here

Paphos, Cyprus

Paphos Ocean View

Best hotel: $103.00⇑

Best summer flight, 9/10-9/17 (one stop): $639.00⇒

Total cost for trip two: $1,999.00 (⇑ $294 from $1,705)


Berlin, Germany

Berlin Reichstag

Best hotel: $52.00⇓

Best summer flight, 9/23-9/30 (one stop): $510.00⇓

Total cost for trip two: $1,384.00 (⇓ $307 from $1,691)


Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon by Night

Best hotel: $71.00⇒

Best summer flight, 9/19-9/26 (one stop): $514.00⇒

Total cost for trip two: $1,525.00 (⇒ $2 from $1,523)


Valencia, Spain

Lake in Valencia

Best hotel: $58.00⇒

Best summer flight, 9/20-9/27 (one stop): $483.00⇒

Total cost for trip two: $1,372.00 (⇒ $2 from $1,370)


Krakow, Poland

Krakow Street

Best hotel: $54.00⇒

Best summer flight, 9/17-9/24 (one stop): $596.00⇑

Total cost for trip two: $1,570.00 (⇑ $233 from $1,337)


Prague, Czech Republic

Prague Bridges Sunset

Best hotel: $24.00⇓

Best summer flight, 9/13-7/20 (one stop): $508.00⇒

Total cost for trip two: $1,184.00 (⇓ $98 from $1,282)


Budapest, Hungary

Budapest River Daytime

Best hotel: $22.00⇓

Best summer flight, 9/20-9/27 (one stop): $504.00⇓

Total cost for trip two: $1,162.00 (⇓ $79 from 1,241.00)



Students and Schools Across the Country Awarded for Kindness

Kid Kindness

Couponbox Announces Kid Kindness Month Contest Winners

Febraury 20, 2017: Couponbox announced three winners today for its First Annual Kid Kindness Month Contest. The international coupon portal created the contest for elementary and secondary school students to win $1,000 to implement their kindness project and an additional $1,000 to support their sponsoring school or organization.

Three projects and schools won prizes for the 2017 Kid Kindness Month Contest:

Help St. Jude’s Children, a project submitted by Lily Caraballo, Abigail Gniech, Nisa Cabrera, Emily Míreles and Marisol Lopez from Namaste Charter High School in Chicago, IL, will donate books, toys and hot meals to the families and children of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

2017 Service Project (for the Canton Fire Department), submitted by Caden Koehn from Canton High School in Canton, OK, will help the fire department during the high fire danger days of summer by providing supplies to the volunteer firefighters.

You Can Be a Problem Solver or You Can Be a Problem Causer (for the Flint Michigan Water Crisis), submitted by Katie Rusinek from Holy Family Catholic School in Grand Blanc, MI, will donate their prize to the Safe Water, Safe Homes Fund, which provides aid to the community of Flint, MI, during the ongoing water crisis there.

“We were overwhelmed by the acts of kindness the kids outlined in their entries,” said Marco Piu of Couponbox. “When the contest first started, we had high expectations, but as the deadline for entries drew near, we found that those expectations had been exceeded. We are grateful for all the entries, which were quite inspiring, and we are even more grateful that the voting system was in place to choose the winners—a task that would have been difficult for any panel of judges.”

“We look forward very much to next year’s contest,” added Piu, “which we hope will get even more entries and will reach an even wider audience, spreading kindness from coast to coast.”

Kid Kindness Month prizes from Couponbox will be awarded to the winning entries via 10x digital, the digital marketing agency which helped promote the contest. The agency itself will also award the fourth-place entry, Frank Zwolinski’s Home Orphanage in Peru, with a $500 prize as a part of its own Kid Kindness Month Honorable Mention Award.

About the Kid Kindness Month Contest

Couponbox sponsored the Kid Kindness Month Contest to inspire and recognize acts of kindness by our next generation. To enter the Kid Kindness Month Contest, kids aged 7-13 who live in the US submitted an entry—with video, text and/or photos—describing how they would spend $1,000 to spread kindness or help a group of people or cause. Kids were able to submit individually, as a group or as a class with a sponsoring organization such as a school or religious group.

About Couponbox
Couponbox is an international online discount company that creates shopping experiences with added value, helping shoppers save money by providing coupons and deals for stores such as Michaels, JCPenney and Kohl’s.

Educational Toys Low on Kids’ Wish Lists This Year

Survey results show that most popular toys are dolls and electronics

December 13, 2016: We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas!

The melody is going through your head right now.

For most of us, the Christmas holiday season is a time for family, memories and being with the ones you love.

But for our kids, it’s all about the presents. Finding the right gifts can be hard for some parents and difficult for others, which is why we decided to investigate the matter.

As was the case in 2015, this year we conducted a survey of more than 1,000 parents to find out what their kids wanted the most for Christmas this year. However, this year we did it a little differently.

The survey was conducted during the first three days of December, and asked participants the question, “What is the toy that your kids want most this Christmas?” Respondents were given the freedom to choose any product. The twist this year is that we categorized the results for an extra level of analysis. The results were both interesting, surprising and occasionally funny.

What Is the Most Popular Toy Category for Kids This Year?

According to the survey, the top three most popular categories of toys are the following:

Dolls, Stuffed Animals and Action Figures – 19.3 percent
Electronics – 14.5 percent
Video Games – 11 percent

Top Toy Categories Christmas 2016

However, there was one response that was more popular than any of those, and it was some version of “My kids haven’t decided yet,” which accounted for 23.8 percent of answers.

Unfortunately, among the least popular toys were the more practical and educational categories. The Art Supplies, Musical Equipment and Kitchen and Books categories barely cracked the top ten and accounted for less than three percent of responses.

The general Educational category did not even break into the top ten with 2.7 percent of responses at position number eight, oddly beating out Pokémon and Disney, both of which have their own category.

What Is the Most Popular Toy in Each Category?

Within each category of toys, there is usually one that sticks out. This year, some new toys made an appearance on the list, but for the most part it was the usual suspects.

In the “Dolls” category, the most popular toy was Lego Friends (21.9 percent), followed by Barbie (10.2 percent) and Elmo (9.7 percent), all perennial favorites.

The iPad (14.3 percent) and iPhone (10.2 percent) together dominated the Electronics category, followed by Beats Headphones (11.6 percent) and Drones (8.8 percent).

Playstation (30.4 percent), mostly the PS4, won the Video Game category, and Xbox One (16.9 percent) took second place, followed by Nintendo (8.1) percent and Wii (7.1 percent).

Top Toys Christmas 2016

These results were similar to last year’s survey that had the iPhone and iPad in first place with six percent Playstation 4 in second place with 5.2 percent and Legos with 4.9 percent.

What Are the Most Popular Educational Toys?

As mentioned above, the Educational toy category barely got three percent of the vote. However, the clear winners of the category are Dora and Dash & Dot.

As a matter of fact, they dominated the Educational category. The well-established Dora received 59.7 percent of the vote and the newcomers Dash & Dot received 38.3 percent.

Unfortunately, educational toys are low on our kids’ Christmas wish lists this year. However, this might be the result of the way we buy toys for our children rather than an indication of their interests.

According to a study by Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, most gift givers try to give gifts that amaze and “wow” their recipients. Such gifts are considered failures by the study, which suggests that gift recipients prefer gifts that they will be able to use or enjoy long after the moment of giving.

Jenn Choi, a parenting expert from, agrees. “There is no shame in trying to amaze and astonish when kids open their gifts,” she wrote in an article on “But if we want to turn our toy purchases into educational investments, then we need to get involved and stay involved. We have to play with them. It’s as simple as that.”

For parents who do want to get more involved in their children’s education, this is good news. According to the sources above, it is a simple matter of changing our toy- and gift-giving habits.

Not All Kids Want Toys – the Socks and Shoes Effect

Although apparel is not strictly a toy, approximately two percent of respondents stated that their kids have clothing on their Christmas wish lists this year. Interestingly, socks and shoes made up about 36 percent of those responses.

To put that into perspective, cowgirl boots accounted for a mere four percent of the responses, suggesting that utilitarian gifts are indeed more popular than fun ones—that is, unless your child happens to work in the rodeo.

For tips on how to engage your child in reading and other educational pursuits, visit the Couponbox blog.

Also, get the best deals and discounts on books and educational toys on from your favorite shops like Amazon and Scholastic.

Cyber Monday Overtaking Black Friday

More than 150 million expected to shop Cyber Monday 2016

October 27, 2016: asked more than 1,500 Americans the question “Are you more likely to shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?” 47.8 percent of respondents stated that they were more likely to shop Cyber Monday this year. 26.3 percent were more likely to shop Black Friday in-store, and 25.9 percent were more likely to shop Black Friday online.

These results show that overall, 52.2 percent of Americans will be shopping on Black Friday. However, a whopping 72.9 percent will be shopping online between both days. In other words, shopping online on Cyber Monday alone is more popular than shopping either in-store or online on Black Friday. Check out the results of the survey in the infographic below, and compare it with last year’s survey results.

Which one is more popular?

When Did It Start? Black Friday History

Since 1932, the day after Thanksgiving has been considered the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Today, we call it Black Friday, but it didn’t always have that name. No one knows for sure where the term originated, but according to some sources, it was first used in 1961 in Philadelphia by police who were inundated by traffic problems due to the shopping frenzy.

They attached the word “black” (often used to denote a tragedy) to the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving because on those days their workloads increased.

Another origin story is that the day after Thanksgiving was the day when the account ledgers of retail shops went from being in the “red” to being in the “black.” In this case, the positive connotation of the word black comes from accounting jargon.

When Is It? Black Friday Date 2016

Whatever the origins of Black Friday are, this year it comes on November 25th. Cyber Monday, the Monday that follows Black Friday, comes on November 28th this year. According to the survey above, Cyber Monday has the potential to outperform Black Friday for the first time since 2013.

Many shoppers still believe that Black Friday has the better deals compared to Cyber Monday. However, both shopping days have their pros and cons. Shoppers looking for that extra 10 percent discount at Best Buy or Target will do well on Black Friday.

For those interested in shopping efficiently without all the chaos, Cyber Monday will likely be the day they find what they are looking for at the price they want.

How to Get the Best Discounts: Black Friday Deals 2016

Black Friday is not only an American shopping day. It is recognized around the world as one of the most commercially lucrative times of year. From Canada to South Africa, Black Friday is a day for deals. This means that international shipping rates might finally be worth the cost for shoppers looking at brands they can’t find in the US.

Naturally, this especially applies to online shopping, where deals can be found in the most unlikely of places. An important aspect of Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping days are that they are no longer concentrated on those single days. Retailers often begin promotion of their sales in November and even October through December.

Black Friday Milestones

2005 – the first year that Black Friday was the biggest shopping day of the year

2006 – the first injuries associated with Black Friday are reported

2008 – the first death associated with Black Friday is reported

2009 – Kmart opens on Thanksgiving Day so customers can avoid Black Friday crowds

2011 – the first time major retailers opened for Black Friday at midnight

2013 – Cyber Monday beats Black Friday as biggest shopping day for the first time

2014 – the first time Black Friday sales decreased since the 2008 recession

2015 – introduces Prime Day in July as a Black Friday alternative

Be Safe on Black Friday

However you choose to celebrate Thanksgiving and the lead up to Christmas, it is important to take safety precautions if you are shopping in-store on Black Friday. Always take water and snacks with you and avoid confrontations with other shoppers.

Remember that Black Friday deals are no longer exclusive to the day. Great deals are to be had both before and after Black Friday. Online shopping is a safe alternative to Black Friday with many of the same deals available.

Your health is more important than discounts and sites like are there for you all year round. Risking your safety is simply not worth a few extra dollars.

View and share the results of the Black Friday survey with the mini infographic above and search for discounts on gifts for the whole family on

To embed the infographic above on your website simply copy and paste the code below:

<p><img src="" title="Cyber Monday Overtaking Black Friday" /></p><p><a href="">Cyber Monday Overtaking Black Friday</a></p>

Fighting Fear: The 7-Billion-Dollar Price Tag

And how much do we spend to overcome it?

Survey reveals big money goes into overcoming our fears

September 22, 2016: Approximately 34.2 million Americans have a phobia, and every year they collectively spend more than $7 billion to overcome these fears with various treatments, according to a recent survey by, a rapidly growing savings website.

The survey asked 1,000 random people across the country how much money they spent in the last 12 months on the treatment of their fears. 29.2 percent of respondents reported spending between $101 and $1,000. 18 percent said that they spend at least $1,001.

That is an estimated $7.09 billion after factoring in the phobic population.

Most Popular Fear Treatments

The vast majority of respondents reported using several treatment methods for their phobias. However, the number one method was self-help.

More than 33.2 percent stated that they self-educate to combat their fears, while only 15.8 percent sought professional help, including exposure therapy, hypnotherapy and virtual reality therapy.

24.3 percent of respondents reported using independent exposure therapy. 20 percent reported using books, and 12.8 percent reported using videos.

Purchasing out of Fear

The cost of treatment is not the only financial impact that fears have on people. Survey respondents also reported that their fears forced them to make certain purchases. The most common was pest control services, which was reported by 22 percent of all respondents.

Among men, the number one purchase was insurance (18 percent). And among women, it was cleaning products (28 percent).

Other Effects of Fear

Our fears don’t only affect us financially, but in many other aspects of our lives as well.

According to the survey, 13.4 percent of respondents reported losing a job due to their fear, and 6.1 percent gave up a promotion. A staggering 19.2 percent lost a relationship.

The number one reported effect of fear is the loss of confidence (40 percent), followed by self-esteem (35 percent) and a normal life (26 percent).

What Are Our Greatest Fears?

The number one fear in America is not the fear of spiders or the fear of clowns.

It’s the fear of personal failure. These include financial loss, unemployment and being alone. 31 percent of respondents reported having a fear in this category.

30.2 percent said their fear had to do with insects. 29.4 percent have a personal anxiety such as fear of clowns, heights and flying. 25.5 percent have a fear of reptiles, and 25.3 percent have a fear of social situations, such as sex, relationships and public speaking.

The top fear among both women and 18- to 34-year-olds was the fear of insects.

The Halloween Effect

An interesting fact revealed by’s research unrelated to the survey reponses is that the number of google searches that include the words “fear” and “phobia” normally reach their apex around the end of October each year.

Right before Halloween.

For more details on the fear survey, check out the infographic here:And the cost of overcoming them


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<p><img src="" title="Fighting Fear: The 7-Billion-Dollar Price Tag" /></p><p><a href="">Fighting Fear: The 7-Billion-Dollar Price Tag</a></p>

iPhone 7 Rumors Confirmed

The latest smartphone from Apple

But Is the iPhone 7 as Revolutionary as Apple Claims?

September 14, 2016: On September 7th, 2016, something revolutionary happened. Or did it? Apple unveiled their latest smartphone creations to the world, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The new phone features dozens of new bells and whistles, most of which had been accurately rumored about for months.

However, how many of them are truly unique to the iPhone 7? decided to find out, so we focused on the 13 major changes and additions to the most recent incarnation of Apple’s flagship smartphone. If you are on the fence about buying the iPhone 7, our research will help guide your smartphone shopping.

In addition to the analysis of the phone’s new features, we also prepared an iPhone 7 pricing cheat sheet for those of you who are already convinced that you will buy one.

The Camera

Although most rumors were focused on the removal of the 3.5-mm audio jack (which will be covered below), Apple’s biggest triumph last week was the iPhone 7 Plus’ new camera. It is a dual lens camera with one wide-angle lens, one telephoto lens and a quad-LED True Tone flash.

It sounds impressive, but its real claim to fame is its ability to take pictures with a larger depth of field. This is something that is usually reserved for “real cameras” like SLRs and DSLRs. And it’s the first time a smartphone has featured this capability. But unfortunately, that’s not true. Two years ago, HTC released a smartphone with this same feature, the One (M8), and several others have done the same since.

The 12 MP resolution of the rear camera and 7 MP of the FaceTime (front) camera are great, but also far from unique. HTC’s Desire Eye has 13 MP on both its rear and front cameras. The new optic image stabilization feature of the iPhone 7 cameras has also been featured in dozens of other phones to date.

The Display

Apple loves its Retina HD displays. And why, not? They have eye-popping resolution and color. There’s no arguing that. However, the latest change to the Retina HD display is simply what other phones, like the Galaxy Note 7, have already featured: cinema-quality color, what Apple referred to as a “wide color gamut.”

And although the Retina display is touted as top-of-the-line, it is rumored that the company will ditch its LED-based Retina display and move to OLED displays which are now all but standard in most other smartphones.

The New Home Button

The haptic feedback generated by the Apple-branded Taptic Engine of the new home button is the feature Apple wants us to focus on. However, many people are not big fans of haptic feedback and end up disabling it to save battery power and overall phone longevity. What’s more useful than the haptic feedback of the new home button is its customizability.

But the truly great thing about the new home button is that it is solid state, which means that it has no moving parts. This no doubt enabled the iPhone 7 to upgrade its water resistance to the standard that most smartphones have already exceeded, IP67.

The Processor

During the September 7th event, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Phil Schiller, said that the iPhone 7’s new 64-bit A10 Fusion processor is a “rocket ship.” And he might be right.

It’s 120 times faster than original iPhone. It has a quad core with two high performance (HP) cores that are 40 percent faster than the iPhone 6’s A9 and twice fast as the A8. The other two cores are high efficiency (HE) and run at one-fifth the power of the HP cores.

Schiller went on the say that, “There is absolutely no question. A10 Fusion is the most powerful chip ever in a smartphone.”

Based on those figures, Schiller’s claim may be correct. But it’s too soon to tell. A true comparison of the phone’s speed will be possible once the iPhone 7 hits the market officially on September 16th.

Audio & Wireless Headphones

Our research found that the only truly revolutionary thing about the iPhone 7 is the removal of the 3.5-mm audio jack. And this is nothing to snicker at. Most high-end smartphones have been reluctant to take this big step. However, it’s not completely unique as several lower-end smartphones have already ditched the 100-year-old audio jack. Still, the iPhone 7 really is leading the way in terms of high-end mobile audio.

The iPhone 7’s additional speaker for stereo sound is also not a first, but shows Apple’s dedication to providing the best options for audio.

Each new iPhone 7 comes with Lightning-connected EarPods. A slew of other Lightning-connected and wireless headphones are already available. Apple’s own AirPods will be available in late October for $159. If you’re in the market for new headphones for your iPhone 7, we prepared a cheat sheet for that too. Many are available on sites like

Buying guide for iPhone 7 headphones

The Rest

The rest of the iPhone 7’s features are all very iPhone specific, so comparing them to other smartphones wouldn’t make sense.

These features include LTE Advanced connectivity for up to 450 Mbps for faster wireless service, the longest battery life ever in an iPhone, the new iOS 10, the new colors Jet Black and Black and the new storage capacities of 32 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB.

Pricing and Availability

On, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have been available for preorder since September 9th and will be available for purchase on September 16th.

Pricing for the iPhone 7 on the site starts at $649 for the 32-GB version and goes up to $749 and $849 for the 128-GB and 256-GB versions.

The iPhone 7 Plus starts at $769 for 32 GB and goes up to $869 and $969 for 128 GB and 256 GB.

Price sheet for all iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models

Consumers who don’t want to buy the iPhone 7 outright can buy the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus and pay for it in monthly installments.

Contracts from leading carriers like Sprint, Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile are available with little to nothing to pay up front, spreading the cost of the phone across 24 months. The catch is that you have to pay for 24 months of wireless service as well.

According to our research, Sprint has the best 24-month pricing for the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus for the 32-GB version. AT&T was a close second.

Additionally, most top carriers offer up to $650 in credit for trade-in of the iPhone 6 and other models. This effectively makes the 32-GB iPhone 7 free with a trade-in and 24-month contract.

If you want to have a closer look at pricing for the 32-GB iPhone 7, the chart and infographic below will be of great help. Prices exclude taxes and activation fees.

Find out which carrier has the best 24-month plan for the 32-GB iPhone 7In the Box

Each new iPhone 7 comes with Lightning-connected EarPods, a Lightning to USB Cable, a 5W USB power adapter and a Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter.

Stay up-to-date on tech deals and offers for the iPhone 7 and other products at shops like Best Buy and many more on

View and share the full infographic here:Pricing information for iPhone 7 and accessories

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<p><img src="" title="iPhone 7 Rumors Confirmed" /></p><p><a href=" ">iPhone 7 Rumors Confirmed</a></p>

Virtual Reality: A 360° View of the Future

The future is here

What is the future of VR?

August 25, 2016: The future of virtual reality (VR) is already here. A quick Google News search will show you as much. With the introduction of the Samsung Gear VR in 2015 and this year’s unveiling of Facebook’s new 22,000-square-foot Area 404 hardware lab, VR is slowly but surely becoming a part of our everyday life.

VR is an exciting field that is growing exponentially. For this reason, we created (together with our sister site an infographic of the industry’s highlights, which you can view below.

How Far Have We Come?

Virtual reality is far from a new concept. Arguably, the first attempts at creating a virtual environment date back to the 12th century in China, when some of the first panoramic paintings were created.

Since then, humanity has created a plethora of media with the intention of creating an immersive experience or viewers. These have taken the form of stereoscopic photos, flight simulators, 4D films and VR video games.

We’ve come a long way since those previous technologies. If the amount of money being poured into VR technology is any indication, we will be going even further very soon.

Most recently, advancements in augmented reality (AR), a technology closely related to VR, have helped push it forward.

Who Are the VR Pioneers?

We can see the virtual reality hardware and software of today as a simple continuation of these previous efforts. Most modern consumer VR products are focused on video and sound through the use of head mounted displays (HMD) and are primarily intended for use in entertainment and gaming.

However, many experts predict that this will change very quickly, with new senses being added to virtual environments in the near future.

The current leaders in industry are arguably the big players like Youtube, Facebook, Samsung, Google and Apple. Each of these companies is searching for the next big breakthrough and are struggling to differentiate themselves from the crowd in what many predict will be a multi-billion-dollar industry by 2017.

Of course, we can’t forget Niantic Labs, maker of Pokémon Go, the world’s most popular augmented reality (AR) app.

Big Players Spending Millions

To date, these big players have already spent millions on the acquisition of VR technology and research, the most notable of which has been Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus in 2014 for $2 billion. Apple has spent millions on acquiring the VR companies Primesense ($345 million), Metaio ($32 million) and Faceshift (undisclosed).

Google and Youtube have been less active in terms of purchasing, but have been extremely active in developing their own VR capabilities.

Youtube has been focusing on content creation, namely 360° video, for use with virtual reality hardware. Google is busy developing affordable hardware like the Google Cardboard and will be coming out with the Daydream platform for high-quality mobile VR in Autumn 2016.

Interview with the Experts

Although VR is already a reality, the future holds many exciting promises. Based on Couponbox research and our exclusive interview with René Dünkler from the Fraunhofer Institute in Munich, Germany, the uses of virtual reality are almost limitless.

Dünkler is in charge of Technology Marketing for the Holodeck 4.0 project, which is a 44,000-square-meter virtual reality space, which allows users to walk around in a virtual environment with other users. The project is an advancement in VR technology and looks forward to including partners to push it even further.

How Far Will We Go?

Some of the future uses for VR that we discussed with Dünkler were oriented toward VR-learning and architecture design. Other uses we came across in our research were in the tourism, real estate and retail industries. VR users will one day be able to visit far-off locations, view potential properties and shop in virtual stores.

Many developers and startups are already thinking in terms creating a complete sensory environment where users can connect to a virtual world with all their senses. The goal, Dünkler said, is to feel “comfortable in the virtual world.”

The VR technology we already have is impressive and has been built upon the imagination and expertise of many generations of developers. If the predictions of experts like Dünkler are correct, consumer VR products will be as popular as smartphones sooner than we think.

View the full interview with René Dünkler here and the infographic of VR highlights below:

What is the future of VR?

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<p><img src="" title="Virtual Reality: A 360° View" /></p><p><a href="">Virtual Reality: A 360° View</a></p>

$500 Billion in School Funding Is Not Enough

Save money all year round

American teachers and parents still spend 1.6 billion every year on school supplies.

August 4, 2016: The $500 billion in public funding for America’s 98,500 schools is not sufficient to cover necessary classroom supplies, based on data from the US Census Bureau and the Education Market Association (formerly the NSSEA).

Teachers and parents spend $1.6 billion every year on school supplies. While this spending is just a small percentage of the public funds spent on the nation’s schools, it is an extra burden that many Americans are not able to afford, especially teachers. Additionally, some experts have made a connection between this insufficient funding for classroom supplies with the grim reading stats in the U.S.

Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and, average teacher salaries are lower than the state median income in 29 states and Washington D.C.

The bottom five average teacher salary to state median income ratios were found in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Hawaii, Utah and Washington D.C. where teacher salaries are more than 20 percent lower than the state median.

The states with the top five average teacher salary to state median income ratios were New Mexico, Maine, Idaho, West Virginia and Rhode Island, where teacher salaries are more than 20 percent higher than the state median.

Additionally, the cost of living for a single person can be 40 percent or more of the average teacher salary by state. The cost of living for a married couple with two children can be anywhere from 87 to 187 percent of the average teacher salary by state.

When asked about the amount that teachers and parents spend on school supplies every year, Shane Forster, Country Manager at, had this to say: “I’m not surprised by those numbers. In our business, many of the retailers we work with are seeing more and more parents and teachers signing up for discount programs, much more so than the schools themselves. They make up a considerable portion of the customer base.”

“Teachers and parents are extremely motivated by the success of their children and students, and retailers see school supply spending increase from year to year,” he said. “Their dedication and willingness to spend is a positive sign, but can undoubtedly put a strain on some. It is our goal to help customers with as many discounts on quality products and brands during the back-to-school season as well as year round.”

Naturally, teachers and parents will never stop spending on school and classroom supplies completely.  However, these staggering figures should be enough of a signal to educational administrators that funding can be increased or simply used more efficiently.

Until then, get discounts on school supplies and much more on

How to Save Money on School Supplies

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Wegmans Has the Best Prices on Beef Steaks

Know your beef market

But Beef Is Overpriced in Supermarkets Survey Says

July 15, 2016: According to a recent supermarket survey by, a rapidly growing coupon portal, Wegmans has the best average prices on USDA Choice and Prime cuts of steak, at $14.50 per pound. The survey collected and compared the prices of the six most popular cuts of steak at 15 major online and brick-and-motor shops that sell beef.

Behind Wegmans in beef steak prices were FreshDirect and Lowes Foods, with average prices at $14.75 and $15.55 respectively.

Although Wegmans had the best average price on steaks, the survey revealed that supermarkets in general are overpriced compared to the average retail cost of beef. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which keeps track of the average retail prices of food across the nation, the average cost of a USDA Choice sirloin steak is $8.68 per pound. That’s about 40 percent lower than the average price of steak at Wegmans.

While the survey included both Choice and Prime cuts, and the BLS data reflects Choice cuts only, the 67 percent difference in average cost is a clear indication that supermarkets mark up their beef products considerably more than other steak retailers.

Neither the study nor the BLS data indicate where beef steaks are available at the national average price. Presumably, however, these prices are found at local traditional butchers and meat markets which do not have the national reach and online presence of major supermarkets like Wegmans.

Marco Piu, general manager at had the following statement to offer when asked about the price discrepancy: “Finding the best prices on any product is always a matter of knowing your market. In this case, beef-lovers know where to find the best prices on meat because they are constantly connected to that market.”

“The value of the beef survey comes from the fact that not everyone is a beef expert. Since special retailers like meat markets and butchers often do have the best prices, shoppers may not have enough time to get the best price on every item. Therefore, knowing which supermarket has the relatively best price on a particular item, in this case beef, can help us decide which one to visit on any given grocery trip, minimizing the time we spend on shopping,” Piu concluded.

Other results of the survey were that the Northeast region of the US has the highest average prices on sirloin steak ($9.11 per pound) and the West region has the lowest ($8.32). Interestingly, the average price of ground beef is most expensive in the West ($4.02 per pound) and cheapest in the Midwest ($3.26).

If you’re interested in saving money on beef, get grilling tips and other savings advice on

How to save money on steaks.

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