Deal Alert: These are the best things to buy in September

With students back in school and the fall season just around the corner, shoppers can expect to find clearance prices on school uniforms, lawn tools and other outdoor equipment beginning after Labor Day.

The deal-hunting website FatWallet.com says September brings deep discounts on back-to-school clothing and yard items, like lawn mowers, trimmers, edgers, and hedgers.

Crowds take advantage of the nice weather for after Christmas shopping at the Palm Beach Outlets in West Palm Beach on December 26, 2016. (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post)

Fall apparel and outdoor wear will also be on sale — but the best deals come later in the month, FatWallet says.

Deal Alert: These stores are closing in Palm Beach County

Labor Day sales will offer some discounts, but shoppers who wait until later in the month may find event better deals on jackets, long sleeve tops, work boots and denim clothing, the website said.

“Summer clearance sales feature outdoor sports apparel, college and professional teams merchandise, and hiking and hunting apparel with discounts in the range of 20-40 percent off from popular online stores like REI co-op, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sierra Trading Post, Cabela’s and others,” FatWallet said.

Back-to-school clearance prices will drop even more as retailers look to clear out merchandise to make way for holiday items.

“Look for deep discounts and site-wide sales online from brands like Levi’s, Lucky, Guess, True Religion and Lee among other popular brands,” FatWallet said.

Clearance sales on lawn tools and equipment will also ramp up following Labor Day weekend. FatWallet says shoppers can find the year’s best discounts on push mowers, riding mowers and lawn tools.

Hurricane Harvey could send Florida gas prices soaring

Hurricane Harvey could cause gasoline prices in Florida to soar by as much as 30 cents a gallon, AAA warned Thursday.

The rapidly strengthening hurricane is expected to make landfall somewhere along the Texas coast late Friday or early Saturday, threatening Gulf Coast oil refineries that help supply the state with gasoline, AAA said.

Ana Melendez, of Wellington, fills up her vehicle at the 7-Eleven gas station at the corner of Congress Avenue and Forest Hill Boulevard on Tuesday, May, 2, 2017. (Michael Ares / The Palm Beach Post)

Nearly half of U.S. refining capacity is located on the Gulf Coast, and nearly one-third of those refineries appear to be in Harvey’s path, AAA said.

“This could be a big deal especially for Florida motorists,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said. “Florida pumps are primarily supplied by gasoline that sails over from refineries in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.”

RELATED: WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH GAS TAXES IN PALM BEACH COUNTY?

Gas prices in Florida were already climbing because of “pre-existing refinery issues in the region,” Jenkins said.

On Thursday, AAA estimated the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in Florida to be $2.30, and $2.38 in Palm Beach County. The average price in Florida and Palm Beach County has risen by a dime in the past month, AAA said.

“This storm could cause more refinery closures and prevent tankers from moving fuel in-and-out of Texas ports, which would cause gas prices to surge from 10-30 cents,” Jenkins said.

Gas prices in Florida have climbed 5 cents over the last three days, AAA said.

Among the areas that have seen the largest price jumps: Tampa (10 cents), Orlando (10 cents), Fort Myers-Cape Coral (7 cents), and the region of Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice (6 cents).

 

 

 

 

West Palm Beach tourism company to offer 90-minute eclipse cruise

Looking for a place to watch Monday’s historic Solar Eclipse?

Visit Palm Beach,  which offers kayak and paddle board rentals and cruises aboard its 50-foot catamaran Hakuna Matata from the West Palm Beach waterfront, has just announced it will offer a 90-minute eclipse catamaran cruise for residents and tourists who want to view the event from the water. 

RELATED: Fake eclipse glasses ‘flooding’ market, astronomy group says

The 2 p.m. cruise departs from the waterfront docks along the Intracoastal Waterway in downtown West Palm Beach.

To reserve a spot call (561) 881-9757 or visit www.visitpalmbeach.com.

MORE: How Floridians can watch the Aug. 21 solar eclipse

Monday’s eclipse is the first to travel coast-to-coast in the U.S. in 99 years.

ALSO:Upcoming total solar eclipse stirs fears of apocalypse

Florida is not in the path of totality, where the moon will completely overtake the sun and complete darkness will reign for more than two minutes.

About 80 percent of the sun will be covered by the moon in South Florida.

Amazon Prime Day 2017: 5 tips for finding the best deals

Amazon plans to bring back its popular “Prime Day” sale on July 11, offering 30 hours of deals to members in 13 countries.

The bargain hunters at FatWallet.com and BestBlackFriday.com have offered up these eight money-saving tips to make sure you get the best deal.

In this Tuesday, May 9, 2017, photo, a package from Amazon Prime is loaded for delivery on a UPS truck, in New York. Amazon is extending its annual “Prime Day” promotion to 30 hours this year. Amazon will offer discounts and other deals in an effort to boost sales during the slower summer months. This year’s Prime Day will start at 9 p.m. ET on July 10, 2017. While Amazon has claimed success, there have been grumblings that Prime Day deals have been unimpressive or involve older models. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Check your account settings

Prime Day starts at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT) on Monday, July 10 – and Amazon said new deals will be offered as often as every five minutes. FatWallet’s experts recommend checking your account settings now to make sure you’re ready to shop.

RELATED: Amazon’s “Prime Day” deals return July 11; Here’s what to expect

Deals can sell out within seconds, so FatWallet offered these tips to save you time at checkout:

  • Let Amazon know all of your information (billing/shipping) so it’s much easier and faster to purchase an item
  • Add your billing, shipping addresses and credit card(s) Once those are saved it’ll be
  • Enable 1-Click Ordering (some Lightning Deals do not allow 1-Click Ordering)
  • Make sure that your cart is empty before you start shopping
  • Clear your browser’s cache to help avoid any issues during checkout

Do Research

Amazon’s Lightning Deals do not have a visible price until they become available, so it can be tricky to know if it’s a great deal in the moment, FatWallet says. The website recommends making a list of upcoming deals you’re interested in and scouting around the web for competing prices. You can also use a website like camelcamelcamel.com to check pricing histories to help you buy with the confidence you’re saving money.

Check for a preview of deals

Over the past two years, Amazon has held off until the day or so before Prime Day to provide a significant preview of deals, according to BestBlackFriday.com.  The website expect Amazon to wait until early in the day on July 10 or sometime on July 9 to release this year’s list.

Use your desktop or laptop computer for purchases

While Amazon’s app is a great tool for browsing and finding upcoming deals, BestBlackFriday.com recommends purchases on a computer. It is quicker and allows you to have more than one window open, which is essential for comparing prices and looking up third-party reviews for products.

Watch for sales at other stores

Don’t forget sales from competitor stores.  While Amazon is the star on Prime Day, BestBlackFriday.com says competitors like Walmart, eBay, and Best Buy are likely to have strong sales themselves.

Back-to-school shopping: Retailers already stocking shelves with school-related items

Students won’t return to school in Palm Beach County for another five weeks, but retailers are already lining store shelves with back-to-school items in hopes of catching early-bird shoppers.

The Fourth of July holiday marks the unofficial start of the back-to-school shopping season, as big box retailers mark down summer items like patio sets and backyard supplies to make room for pencils, paper and other school-related items.

RELATED: Will 20 new programs spell the end of gifted clusters?

Back-to-school is the retail industry’s second biggest shopping season of the year, falling behind Black Friday and holiday shopping rush.

Parents of K-12 and college students are expected to spend more than $121.6 billion in this year, according to MediaMath, a programmatic ad tech company for marketers.

(Photo by Taylor Jones/The Palm Beach Post).  School supplies Indiantown Community Outreach will give away during the 5th annual Back to School Bash.

Spending on back-to-school items starts ramping up right after the Fourth of July holiday, peaking between late July and mid-August, according to a MediaMath study.

Back-to-school related sales are expected to grow by 4 percent this year, according to eMarketer, a market research firm.

Workers at the Target on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard spent part of the Fourth of July clearing out a corner of the store to make way for school supplies. Patio items were marked down as much as 70 percent to make room for the back-to-school rush.

Florida’s popular back-to-school sales tax holiday will return next month. The holiday, which runs Aug. 4-6, is worth an estimated $33.4 million.

During the three-day weekend, shoppers won’t be charged the state’s 6 percent sales tax or the county’s discretionary sales surtax on certain school-related and other specified items.

The annual tax break this year includes clothing, footwear and certain accessories selling for $60 or less; certain school supplies selling for $15 or less per item; and personal computers and certain computer-related accessories, selling for $750 or less per item, when purchased for noncommercial home or personal use.

Amazon’s “Prime Day” deals return July 11; Here’s what to expect

Amazon plans to bring back its popular “Prime Day” sale on July 11, offering 30 hours of deals to members in 13 countries.

The savings start at 9 p.m. ET (6 p.m. PT) on Monday, July 10 – and Amazon said new deals will be offered as often as every five minutes.

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Here’s what’s new this year:

Amazon said there will be more Alexa-exclusive deals for members with an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Amazon Tap, compatible Fire TV or Fire tablet.

RELATED: This new store just opened in the Wellington mall

Shoppers can also expect to find more television deals. “Amazon is planning one of its largest total volume TV deals in history with a record level of inventory but once again, the TV deals will likely sell out,” the company said in a news release.

Amazon will offer pre-Prime Day sales, beginning today. “Every day leading up to Prime Day on July 11 members will find all kinds of exclusive promotions and deals,” Amazon said.

These sales are already underway:

  • Amazon Music Unlimited – Prime members who haven’t yet tried Amazon Music Unlimited can get four months of the full catalog on-demand service with access to tens of millions of songs, for just $0.99.
  • Prime Video – Get $10 to shop on Amazon.com anytime on or before Prime Day when you stream a video included in Prime for the first time on your TV. Restrictions apply.
  • Kindle Unlimited – Prime members can save up to 40 percent on a Kindle Unlimited membership.
  • Audible – Shoppers can get access to Amazon’s library of audiobooks plus original audio programming from Audible for 40 percent off their first 6 months.
  • Everyday Essentials – Prime members can save up to 35 percent off with onsite coupons on select food and household items in Prime Pantry.

Amazon launched Prime Day in 2015, and the sales event has proven to be one of the company’s largest.

But the inaugural Prime Day also sparked complaints from shoppers, who said the deals didn’t live up to the hype.

Why Lion Country might get cheetah, penguins

After 50 years in Palm Beach County, the owners of Lion Country Safari plan to sell the drive-through zoo and amusement park to the owner of a Connecticut-based wildlife center — a move that could bring more animals to the facility off Southern Boulevard.

A young giraffe is seen at Lion Country Safari, which earned the county tourism award, the Providencia.
*
old: Nafari, which means “first-born” in Swahili, was born June 24 and is the first baby giraffe of the 2014 season at Lion Country Safari in Loxahatchee, Florida. Nafari was born weighing 141.5 pounds and measured 70 inches tall. Lion Country Safari is a leader in giraffe breeding programs in North America with more than 60 giraffes births. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Marcella Leone, founder and director of the nonprofit Leo Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich, Conn., plans to buy Lion Country in a deal that is expected to be finalized later this year. Once the sale is complete, she said she hopes to bring more animals to the park — including a cheetah and a colony of African penguins — both of which are currently living at her Connecticut wildlife center.

VIDEO: Lion Country Safari Exhibits: Extinct oryx thrive at the park

“Our plan is to expand upon the foundation that is created,” Leone said Tuesday of her plan to buy Lion Country. “I have a true love for that place and for animals. I just want to continue to improve it and expand on what they are already doing.”

Earlier this month, Lion Country Safari was named one the best “Savanna Exhibits” in the world, according to a ranking released by Zoo Nation.

The list features the top 10 places in the world to view African wildlife outside of Africa. Lion Country took the 10th spot on Zoo Nation’s list — a ranking it is using to help draw out-of-town visitors to its drive-thru zoo.

RELATED: Lion Country named one of the world’s “Top 10 Savanna Exhibits”

The ranking placed Lion Country among A-list attractions, including the top-rated African Plains exhibit at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

BREAKING: Is Lion Country Safari being sold?

Lion Country Safari, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in western Palm Beach County, could be sold to an animal conservationist, a spokeswoman confirmed on Monday.

The drive-through safari and amusement park is still weighing the details of the sale — a deal that could be finalized late next month, spokeswoman Jennifer Berthiaume said.

A young giraffe is seen at Lion Country Safari, which earned the county tourism award, the Providencia.
*
old: Nafari, which means “first-born” in Swahili, was born June 24 and is the first baby giraffe of the 2014 season at Lion Country Safari in Loxahatchee, Florida. Nafari was born weighing 141.5 pounds and measured 70 inches tall. Lion Country Safari is a leader in giraffe breeding programs in North America with more than 60 giraffes births. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

RELATED: Lion Country named one of the world’s “Top 10 Savanna Exhibits”

“They are working through details,” Berthiaume said. “It is possible that it will be sold…We hope to know more by the end of July. Nothing is finalized.”

Berthiaume said Lion Country has had the same owners for 50 years, adding that the proposed sale could mark “an exciting time” for the park.

Earlier this month, Lion Country Safari was named one the best “Savanna Exhibits” in the world, according to a ranking released by Zoo Nation.

The list features the top 10 places in the world to view African wildlife outside of Africa. Lion Country took the 10th spot on Zoo Nation’s list — a ranking it is using to help draw out-of-town visitors to its drive-through zoo.

 

Wawa to open two more Palm Beach County locations next week

Wawa, a family-owned chain of convenience stores known for its hot coffee and tasty sandwiches, will open two more Palm Beach County locations next week, according to the company’s website.

Wawa plans to hold grand opening ceremonies on Thursday (6/15) at locations in West Palm Beach and Greenacres.

Palm Beach County Commissioner Steve Abrams and Mayor Shelley Vana with a Wawa mascot.

RELATED: City commissioner: Wawa wants to open in Boynton Beach

The West Palm Beach location at 1530 Belvedere Road (near the corner of Belvedere Road and Australian Avenue) will open at 8 a.m. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 10 a.m.

The Greenacres location at 6566 Lake Worth Road (near the corner of Jog and Lake Worth roads) will also open at 8 a.m., with the ribbon cutting ceremony planned for 2 p.m.

RELATED: Wawa says Hello to Palm Beach County

Wawa opened its first three Palm Beach County locations in March. The stores are located in Palm Springs and Riviera Beach.

Wawa announced in 2015 that it planned to open dozens of stores in Palm Beach and Broward counties.

Wawa opened its first Florida location outside of SeaWorld in Orlando in 2012.

National Doughnut Day 2017: Here’s where to find a FREE treat

National Doughnut Day is June 2, and to celebrate the occasion several local shops will be giving away freebies and discounts.

Here’s where you can find a sweet treat:

Jupiter Donut Factory will be giving away free doughnut while supplies last, according to its Facebook page. The chain has locations in Jupiter, Royal Palm, Boynton Beach, North Palm Beach and Stuart.

Dunkin’ Donuts locations throughout South Florida will treat customers to a free classic doughnut with the purchase of any beverage.

Cumberland Farms: From 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., Cumberland Farms will be giving away a free doughnut with a purchase of any Chill Zone, Hyberfreeze, hot or iced coffee, tea, or cappuccino beverage. The deal is only available at Cumberland Farms’ new concept stores and is limited to one doughnut per customer per qualifying purchase.  To find a new concept store near you, visit www.cumberlandfarms.com/ stores.