Getting EVERYTHING Cheap: FAQ Week Part 5

A lot of you have expressed interest in the idea of optimizing your shopping trip or doing local comparison shopping, but either don’t buy alcohol or don’t buy it as frequently as other things. Today we will briefly discuss some of the vision we have for Nowcado (get it for Android or iOS).

Q: I don’t buy liquor often, but I really like the idea of optimizing my grocery/clothing/bicycle/action figure/portal gun shopping trip. What are you planning on doing to help me?
A: While we are starting with a niche of liquor stores, we would like to eventually expand into other areas so that we can optimize all of your shopping trips to help save you time and money.

Q: I am an app developer and would love to make an app or website that helps my users shop for <insert thing I care about here>. Do you expose an API that I can use to leverage your optimization analysis?
A: It isn’t publicly visible just yet, but yes, all of our products implement an API right now. We are in the process of adding documentation so that it is more accessible for other developers. If you fall in to this category, please contact us!

Q: I like finding the best deals about products, but I don’t like that you make me do work to enter new things in. Will this get easier in the future?
A: We will likely always have a crowd-sourced component to our service, but we hope to partner with stores so that we can retrieve their product information directly. You can help make this happen by encouraging your favorite local stores to come talk to us!

Protecting My Privacy: FAQ Week Part 4

You probably want to know how Nowcado (get it for Android or iOS) is bravely battling the evil and malicious spammers and data-hoarders.

Q: I don’t want to send any details or activity about myself to Facebook (or any other mega corporation). How is Nowcado protecting me in this dangerous world?
A: We know how important your online privacy is, and we are doing a number of things in this area.

  1. We never send any information or activity to any network in any way. When you log in, we only retrieve the email address and username on file with that network, but we don’t receive anything else.
  2. While you are signed in, we do not interact with any network ever again. As proof of this, you could try disallowing Nowcado from your Facebook or other network account and see that we continue to function perfectly (unless you sign out and try to sign back in again – which is the only reason we don’t recommend disallowing Nowcado permanently).
  3. You can learn more about how the actual sign in process works on Facebook by referring to our previous post here.

Optimizing Your Life: FAQ Week Part 3

Many of you were wondering why you may want a user account for Nowcado (get it for Android or iOS), and what is involved with making one.

Q: Why do I need to make an account?
A: Essentially, it lets you unleash the power of Nowcado. Our cart feature that optimizes your shopping trip is tied to your account, as you may be familiar with on other shopping websites. We also have some exciting new features in the works that will be tied to your account.

Q: How do I make an account?
A: There are two ways to do this, though we have plans to support additional account creation/sign in methods besides these in the future.

  1. If you sign in with Facebook, we use your email address in order to automagically create a Nowcado account for you (the email is required as we use it for things such as notifying you about changes to your account or sending you a shopping trip – we will never spam you or share these addresses with anyone).
  2. You can create a traditional account by signing up with your email address and a username, confirming your email address, and then signing in with it in the app.

Getting Stuff Cheap EVERYWHERE: FAQ Week Part 2

Today we address a few questions about where and how you can use Nowcado (get it for Android or iOS) .

Q: I see you are focused in College Park. I do not live in College Park. That makes me a sad panda.
A: Not to worry. Since all our data is crowdsourced, you can add items near you today! The more you add, the better Nowcado can optimize your shopping trips based on your preferences. This has already started happening in a few areas around us, so you may already see some data near you right now.

Q: I see you only have mobile apps for Android and iOS. I do not have an Android or iOS phone (or I don’t like installing apps on them). This makes me a VERY sad panda.
A: We are launching a desktop version of Nowcado in the imminent future so that everyone can enjoy Nowcado. We will make an announcement when this goes live shortly.

Getting Stuff Cheap: FAQ Week Part 1

We’ve been inundated with questions about Nowcado (get it for Android or iOS) that we wanted to address this week. To start, we thought we would answer a popular one about adding the products you buy to our service so that we can better optimize your shopping trip.

Q: Oh noes! I searched for an item in Nowcado and found that the price was wrong. I want to help!
A: Fear not, eagle-eyed shopper! All the prices are crowdsourced, so you simply must click on the store where the price was wrong from the item page, change the price in the textbox, and submit.

Q: That’s awesome! How do I add new items to Nowcado?
A: There are two ways to do this.

  • If the product already exists at some other store, you can:
    1. Search for it.
    2. Click the “Add to other store” button to add a price at a new store (or add the store if we don’t have it listed).
  • Whether the product exists or not, you can also:
    1. Click the “Add Item” menu button to select the store where the item is sold (or add the store if we don’t have it listed).
    2. Scan the barcode of the product. If the product exists in our database, the name will be retrieved, but otherwise you may enter it.
    3. Enter the price and submit it to our database.

Q: Must I scan the item in the store? I am nervous about doing this.
A: Although we have done a fair bit of this ourselves, we do not recommend this approach. The best way is to not change your shopping habits at all! When you return from your shopping run, simply scan the barcodes of the products you bought using the prices listed on your receipt.

Whisky Liqueur (aka Save That Cheap Whisky You Were About To Dump)

Have you ever bought whisky only to taste it and find it is awful? Don’t throw it away – save money like Nowcado (get it now for Android or iOS) helps you do by making it into your own bespoke whisky liqueur! Here’s how:

  1. Find flavors you will want to use with your liqueur, such as 1/2 a vanilla pod, cinnamon sticks, cloves, black peppers, coriander, lemon rinds, sage, rosewater, or homemade caramel (e.g. sugar+water heated over a burner until it turns dark, then cooled with cold water to make it syrupy – this also makes your liqueur darker).
  2. Divide up the bottle in to separate containers and mix them with these ingredients. Note: Rosewater is special and shouldn’t be mixed here. Let these sit for 3 days to absorb the flavors.
  3. Add each jar (and rosewater, if applicable) to a pitcher a little bit at a time, constantly smelling as you go, until you get the combination of flavors you are looking for. Be sure to only pour the liquid, or else you will have to fish out the solid ingredients later.
  4. Add some sweetness to your mix – 2 tsp of maple syrup or agave syrup works well. Don’t oversweeten!
  5. Smell it one last time, and adjust the flavors as you see fit.
  6. If you have any flavored whiskey left over at the end of this process, you can use it for future liqueurs or for cooking. If you oversweetened or overflavored in any way, just add a bit more whisky and you can save it.
  7. Finally, put your mix in to a sealed bottle or decanter and let the flavors meld for about two months.

The process will take some time, but it can be a lot of fun and teaches you about mixing flavors which will help you with future drink and cooking recipes.

Confectioners Sugar / Salt Hack

It turns out that the sweetness of sugar is actually consistent across sugars. The only thing that changes is the coarseness, or in the case of brown sugar, the use of molasses. The only sugar you should ever really need to buy is simple plain sugar!

In order to make confectioners sugar (or powdered sugar), all you need to do is run your regular granulated sugar through a blender until it has a fine, powdery consistency. Feel free to use this in yesterday’s drink recipe, or indeed any recipe that calls for confectioners sugar.

This also applies to salt, as all salt has the same salinity. The only thing that changes is the granularity. Run your kosher salt through a blender to make table salt!