Full retail prices are for the meek

With pocketbooks lighter these days, “shoppers are getting smarter” about finding deals, says Jessica Dickler in CNNMoney.com. And “retailers are playing along.” For online shopping, retailers are starting to respond to the “surge” in people searching for online coupon codes. But you should find the best price first, by using a site like Pricegrabber. And whether it’s stated or not, most brick-and-mortar retailers, “boutiques and big box stores alike,” will match or beat a competitors price for those “ready to buy.” Old-fashioned “haggling” and looking for display or “out of the box” merchandise are also good ways to save. For those “with the nerve to ask,” you can “save some serious cash.”

The end of Budweiser?

If Belgium’s InBev buys Anheuser-Busch, as rumored, says David Pauly in Bloomberg, the only way it could make the $46 billion price tag pay is “to take an ax to the target company’s costs.” The truth is that “beer consumption in the U.S. grows slowly,” so raising prices or cutting costs are the two options. What could that mean? A cut in the marketing budget, certainly, but the “bigger worry” is that “InBev cost-cutting might interfere with the processing of Budweiser.” Call me “hopelessly unsophisticated,” but “what do these guys know about brewing beer?” InBev’s Stella Artois and Beck’s are both “bitter.” The logic of this deal is suspect, but “there’s nothing suspect about the taste of Budweiser.”