Shopping en-US Best Money Tips: The Best Sites for Renting and Buying Textbooks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-the-best-sites-for-renting-and-buying-textbooks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="student tablet books" title="student tablet books" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on the best sites for renting and buying textbooks, steps to financial prosperity, and things you should know about the U.S. economy.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">The 11 Best Sites for Renting and Buying Textbooks Online</a> &mdash; and Student2Student are a couple great textbook rental and buying sites. [The Real Deal]</p> <p><a href="">6 Steps to Financial Prosperity</a> &mdash; To be financially prosperous, choose a career and do it and marry your soulmate. [Learn Play Give]</p> <p><a href="">6 Things You Should Know About the U.S. Economy</a> &mdash; The housing market is continuing to improve but the job market is weaker than you think. [CBS Moneywatch]</p> <p><a href="">57 Creative Homemade Group Costume Ideas</a> &mdash; With Halloween right around the corner, save money and get a group of your friends together to go as Lego people. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">The Heating and Cooling Myth That Is Costing You Money</a> &mdash; To save on heating and cooling, invest in a programmable thermostat. [The Art of Being Cheap]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">15 Recipes and Crafts You Can Make With Jars</a> &mdash; What are your favorite jar-based recipes and crafts? Did they make this list? [The Coupon Project]</p> <p><a href="">Five People, One Income, and Self-Made Success</a> &mdash; Remember that savings happen in small increments and that you should invest/earn money instead of just saving.. [Afford Anything]</p> <p><a href="">Creating Art for Your Walls: Stenciling Letter onto an Old Canvas</a> &mdash; Are you in need of some new art for your walls? This simple DIY might be just what you were looking for! [House Of Rose]</p> <p><a href="">7 Ways to Get Your Child Excited About Math</a> &mdash; Get your child excited about math by having them do puzzles or using math apps. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="">3 Myths About Buying Your First Home</a> &mdash; It is a myth that buying a home is always a good investment. [Beyond Your Hammock]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: The Best Sites for Renting and Buying Textbooks" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips buying college online renting textbooks Thu, 28 Aug 2014 20:06:55 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1195558 at The 5 Best Hair Clippers <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-hair-clippers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="haircut" title="haircut" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Investing in a solid set of hair clippers and cutting your own hair can save you a ton in the long-term on haircut costs. Higher-end hair clippers can be purchased that are practically identical to models that you'll find inside a barbershop or a salon. There are also myriad affordable hair clippers out there that are suitable for the occasional trim. Below is Wise Bread's list of top five hair clippers so that you can start getting your haircut on.</p> <h2>What Are Hair Clippers?</h2> <p>Hair clippers are specialized electronic devices that are used to cut head hair. Clippers are composed of a pair of comb-like blades that oscillate back and forth. They essentially operate like a row of tiny scissors to cut your hair. More expensive clippers typically include stronger, more powerful motors and greater overall longevity. But they can also be bulkier which may not be ideal if you're cutting your own hair and excessively powerful for beginners. Lighter, home-use clippers are typically less costly and many reviewers are perfectly satisfied with their cutting strength.</p> <h2>Best 5 Hair Clippers</h2> <h3>Wahl Chrome Pro 24-Piece Haircut Kit</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0026IBSVE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=BDC5BHYOSE7GJSTO"><img width="180" height="180" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>One of the best rated, affordable hair clippers sets, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0026IBSVE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=BDC5BHYOSE7GJSTO">Wahl Chrome Pro</a> is perfect for folks that are just getting into cutting hair at home. Reviewers applaud its cutting quality with one user accidentally shaving their own head because they weren't prepared for how smooth the clipper is. The motor also isn't quite as powerful as those used in professional salons, which means that the clipper itself is less likely to get away from inexperienced users.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0026IBSVE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=BDC5BHYOSE7GJSTO"><em>Currently $24.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Oster Classic 76 Professional Hair Clipper</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00070E8LA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=IZ2BJCW752YKH7NK"><img width="180" height="180" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>If you're looking for a powerful set of hair clippers that will last, then look no further than the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00070E8LA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=IZ2BJCW752YKH7NK">Oster Classic 76</a> hair clipper. This powerful clipper can handle thick, wet hair with ease, and many have claimed that their set has lasted at least a decade, if not two. However, the high price tag may not be palatable to those who are just starting to cut their own hair. Professional stylists also say that these clippers can also get away from beginners quite easily. Nonetheless, many at-home barbers swear by this clipper and say it's worth the investment, especially if you plan on cutting your hair for a long time.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00070E8LA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=IZ2BJCW752YKH7NK"><em>Currently $123.60 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Wahl Color Pro 20-Piece Complete Haircutting Kit</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000JNQSIQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=V2DMZDGDVU5KSMMC"><img width="180" height="180" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>With an average of over four stars after 1,400 reviews, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000JNQSIQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=V2DMZDGDVU5KSMMC">Wahl Color Pro</a> is definitely a favorite amongst users. Despite its low price tag, top reviews applaud its power and the smoothness of its cuts. Many have stated that with a couple of good haircuts, this clipper practically pays itself. Build quality is also something that is praised with this clipper, with its metal casing giving it a sense of heft and sturdiness. Finally, users appreciate its relatively quiet operation.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000JNQSIQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=V2DMZDGDVU5KSMMC"><em>Currently $17.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Wahl Professional 8110 Balding Clipper</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000VVT94G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=J65WZXQ54JO5Y5FT"><img width="180" height="180" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>For those looking for a completely clean-shaven head, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000VVT94G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=J65WZXQ54JO5Y5FT">Wahl Professional 8110</a> balding clipper is the way to go. Its powerful motor and durable build makes quick work of hair no matter how much of it is on top of your head. Be warned though, there isn't much finesse when it comes to this clipper and you won't be doing any styling or touch-ups with it. But for a straightforward buzz cut, nothing works better.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000VVT94G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=J65WZXQ54JO5Y5FT"><em>Currently $42.13 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Andis Promoter+ Clipper and Trimmer Combo Kit</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001BODNYO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=FSNACKOQ7ZFKGUS6"><img width="180" height="180" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001BODNYO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=FSNACKOQ7ZFKGUS6">Andis Promoter+</a> clipper and trimmer combo kit provides you with everything you need to give great haircuts at home. Andis claims that the clipper itself is four times more powerful than you average clipper and many of the reviews confirm that claim. This kit also includes a trimmer for finer cutting work, as well as over 20 additional accessories so that you can cut just about any style you want.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001BODNYO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=FSNACKOQ7ZFKGUS6"><em>Currently $48.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best hair clippers. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Hair Clippers" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jeffrey Pu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides hair clippers product reviews Thu, 28 Aug 2014 09:00:09 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 1152546 at 12 Back-to-School Shopping Tips for the Busy Parent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-back-to-school-shopping-tips-for-the-busy-parent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="family shopping" title="family shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Shopping for everything on the back-to-school list can be a real pain. Not only do those $0.75 highlighters add up (especially if you have several children), but it's easy to feel overwhelmed when you're adding that shopping on top of everything else you have to do to prepare for the coming season. (See also: <a href="">Back-to-School: Saving on College Textbooks</a>)</p> <p>While there's usually not one place where you can consistently go to get the best deals, it is possible to make the whole back-to-school shopping process easier. Here are some ideas that should help you lift the overwhelm and even enjoy the chance to spend some time with your kids.</p> <h2>1. Take Your Kids One at a Time</h2> <p>Instead of hauling everyone on a massive back-to-school shopping trip, try taking each of your kids separately. This isn't the most efficient way to do things, but it almost always makes for a more peaceful, enjoyable experience. If you don't have someone who can watch the ones who aren't going with you, see if you can drop them off at a pay-by-the hour daycare for a little while.</p> <h2>2. Break It Up</h2> <p>The shopping feels overwhelming when you try to do it all at once, so why not purchase things as you see them on sale. This requires you to keep an eye on where you might get the best prices for different items, but it often saves you money and stress. Just carry a copy of the list with you and cross off the items as you buy them.</p> <h2>3. Price Match for the Best Deal</h2> <p>If you only want to visit one store, choose one with a good <a href="">price matching policy</a>. Most office supply stores, drug stores, and stores like Target and Walmart will match a competitor's deals, but some of them are stricter with these policies than others, and these policies can vary by location. In general, you will need proof of a lower price elsewhere, and that deal will need to be current when you shop.</p> <h2>4. Keep an Eye Out for Insane Deals</h2> <p>There are usually one or two extremely good deals every year. For instance, <a href="">one year OfficeMax sold backpacks for a penny</a>. To find these deals, read the ads that show up in your mailbox, buy a Sunday paper, and search online for &quot;back-to-school&quot; deals. Be ready to jump on a deal as soon as you see it, though, because supplies don't usually last very long.</p> <h2>5. Find Coupons Online</h2> <p>Websites like often collect as many back-to-school deals as they can find, <a href="">all in one place</a>. While these often won't apply to classroom items (though some sales do!), they will help you figure out where to shop for school clothes in a way that doesn't break the bank.</p> <h2>6. Start Early</h2> <p>Back-to-school shopping tends to get put off simply because it feels like such a frustrating and expensive task. However, many of the best discounts start as early as mid-July, so find out what you need (or make an educated guess) so that you can take advantage of these deals. It's an awesome feeling to be done before everyone else has started.</p> <h2>7. Shop Your Home</h2> <p>Even if you don't think you have much in the way of school supplies at your house, check anyway. You may have a spare eraser sitting around, and maybe a tissue box and some glue. If you are extra motivated, start storing the school supplies that come your way. If you buy a bottle of glue for a project and use two dabs, you can store it and send it with your kid in the fall. This can be an easy way to collect things like pens and pencils, too, which always seem to be appearing and disappearing.</p> <h2>8. Compare Prices While Shopping</h2> <p>If you have a smartphone, apps like <a href="">ShopSavvy</a> can help you make sure you're getting the best deal. Just scan the barcode of the item you're looking at, and the app will tell you if you can find it cheaper somewhere else. This isn't foolproof, but it does work the majority of the time and it can help you feel confident about the purchases you're making.</p> <h2>9. Consider the Warranty</h2> <p>If you're purchasing a large item like a backpack or winter snow gear, think about the warranty. It's probably worth spending a bit more at a store that offers a lifetime warranty, rather than purchasing a cheap item and then having to buy another new one next year. If your child is helping to choose the item, make sure he or she knows that this is intended to last for years.</p> <h2>10. Track How Much You Spend</h2> <p>There's no doubt that back-to-school shopping is expensive, but you will feel better about it if you know that your spending this year is comparable to what you spent last year, or that you spent more but it was because you had to replace a major item (like a backpack). Note how much you spend on your phone or in a notebook, then tally the amount when you're done and put it in a place where you'll be able to find it next year.</p> <h2>11. Buy In Bulk</h2> <p>If you know that your kids will need to replace certain items throughout the year, or you know that they will need the same items from year to year, consider buying those things in bulk. Do make sure that the bulk price is lower than the sale price at a regular store. This also means that you won't end up running to the store at 10 p.m. because your child forgot she needs more pens or paper or whatever.</p> <h2>12. Take a List</h2> <p>This may seem obvious, but it's important to know what you need and how many. If your child wants more of a certain item and doesn't have a good reason for that, you'll be able to say, &quot;No&quot; because you'll know, absolutely for certain, how many of the item the schools says they need. If you have more than one child and you're doing all the shopping together, tally the lists before you leave. That way, you'll be able to buy pencils for Sally and Joe together, instead of chasing them down twice.</p> <p><em>Have you finished your back-to-school shopping? What did you do to make the process easier this year?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="12 Back-to-School Shopping Tips for the Busy Parent" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Sarah Winfrey</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping back-to-school school clothes school supplies shopping with kids Wed, 27 Aug 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1195557 at The 5 Best Universal Remotes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-universal-remotes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="universal remote" title="universal remote" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="147" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Anyone who has ever owned a home entertainment system is aware of the plethora of remotes required to control each component and the chaos that can ensue if you were to lose one of them. This is where a universal remote can come in handy, as it gives you the ability to control all your favorite electronic devices on just one convenient remote.</p> <p>There are a number of key factors to look for when searching for the ideal universal remote. We here at Wise Bread have done the homework for you, and we're happy to present our list of the five best universal remotes.</p> <h2>What Is a Universal Remote?</h2> <p>A universal remote is an advanced remote control device that can be programmed to control multiple electronic entertainment systems in your home, including televisions, cable boxes, video players, gaming consoles and sound systems. Setting up a universal remote to control your existing electronic devices generally requires entering in a product code on the remote that's unique to the device that you want to control. Certain universal remotes will even let you download the codes from a computer with Internet access right onto the remote.</p> <p>Most high-end universal remotes also allow you to perform commands that would usually require multiple keystrokes with just the press of a single button instead. It is important that you make sure that the universal remote will be compatible with your electronic devices before you buy it.</p> <h2>Best 5 Universal Remotes
</h2> <h3>Logitech Harmony One
</h3> <p><a href=";qid=1396728842&amp;sr=8-2&amp;keywords=logitech+harmony+one%E2%80%A8"><img width="180" height="208" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>Both experts and consumers alike have praised the <a href=";qid=1396728842&amp;sr=8-2&amp;keywords=logitech+harmony+one%E2%80%A8">Logitech Harmony One</a> for being a fantastic universal remote with easy-to-use features and a very ergonomic design. Great for owners of large entertainment systems, this Consumer Search top pick can control up to 15 different electronic devices and comes with a simple Internet-guided setup process.</p> <p>Users love the remote's lightweight, contoured body that's very comfortable to hold as well as the illuminated buttons that are great for nighttime use. Its touch-enabled LED screen lets you perform a wide variety of commands with just a simple touch, and its on-screen options can be customized to your personal preference. You can also easily recharge the remote's batteries with the included charging dock.</p> <p><a href=";qid=1396728842&amp;sr=8-2&amp;keywords=logitech+harmony+one%E2%80%A8"><em>Currently $449.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Logitech Harmony Ultimate
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BQ5RY1G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=XX45LDQ54A3O7EYW"><img width="180" height="195" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BQ5RY1G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=XX45LDQ54A3O7EYW">Logitech Harmony Ultimate</a> universal remote delivers an incredibly advanced and feature-packed controller for the entire home entertainment system that'll certainly satisfy power users. Not only does it include all the great features found on the superb Harmony One remote, it adds even more convenient features on top of that, including dual button mapping, haptic feedback, and a built-in accelerometer that can automatically turn on the touch screen when the remote is picked up.</p> <p>The Harmony Ultimate remote also comes with an exclusive Harmony Hub receiver that lets it access devices that are behind closed cabinet doors and walls. If you download the Harmony smartphone app, the Hub can also transform your smartphone into a remote with its own customizable interface.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BQ5RY1G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=XX45LDQ54A3O7EYW"><em>Currently $349.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Logitech Harmony 1100
</h3> <p><a href=";qid=1396918596&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=harmony+1100"><img width="180" height="147" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";qid=1396918596&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=harmony+1100">Logitech Harmony 1100</a> offers a unique tablet-style universal remote that gives users an innovative and even simpler way of controlling their entertainment devices. This Consumer Search top pick packs a gorgeous 3.5-inch, full-color touch-screen display that gives you complete control of up to 15 devices and comes with a slew of customization options, including personalized commands and the ability to add icons for your favorite channels for instant access.</p> <p>Although it&rsquo;s certainly larger than your traditional universal remote, users say that the tablet remote is still easy and comfortable to hold. The Harmony 1100 also comes with a convenient charging stand and can be easily setup using web-based software.</p> <p><a href=";qid=1396918596&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=harmony+1100"><em>Currently $424.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Logitech Harmony 650
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004OVECU0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=Z7C3FY3BELQ2FOOH"><img width="180" height="185" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004OVECU0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=Z7C3FY3BELQ2FOOH">Logitech Harmony 650</a> is the perfect choice for those looking for a high quality universal remote that doesn't require a small fortune to afford. Despite its sub-$100 price tag, this Amazon Best Seller comes with many of the features that you'll commonly find on more expensive universal remotes, including a color command screen that lets you jump to your favorite channels and commands, illuminated buttons for nighttime use, and an easy web-based setup process that lets you start using your remote without a fuss.</p> <p>This remote can control up to 8 different devices, and its wonderfully contoured design is lightweight and feels great in your hands. It also comes with one-touch activity buttons that can turn on the appropriate devices for the specified activity you desire with a single press.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004OVECU0&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=Z7C3FY3BELQ2FOOH"><em>Currently $72.64 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>URC-WR7
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001KC08A4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=CXGITL7HSNDFZAM4"><img width="180" height="180" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>While it may be the most budget-friendly option on our list, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001KC08A4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=CXGITL7HSNDFZAM4">URC-WR7</a> basic universal remote delivers more bang for your buck when compared to other options in its price range, and its also an excellent choice for users who aren't particularly tech-savvy. The URC-WR7 can control up to 7 different devices and comes with special macro buttons that can turn on multiple devices and execute multiple commands with one easy push.</p> <p>The remote also allows you to save up to five of your favorite channels on each of the four customizable &quot;My Favorites&quot; buttons. The Quick Setup feature on the URC-WR7 automatically finds the devices you want to control so that you can get your remote working right away, no computer needed. If a particular device can't be found, the remote also has a learning mode that lets you easily transfer commands from another remote onto this one.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001KC08A4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=CXGITL7HSNDFZAM4"><em>Currently $23.22 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best universal remotes. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Universal Remotes" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">William Tran</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides buying guide product reviews universal remotes Wed, 27 Aug 2014 09:00:04 +0000 William Tran 1150362 at 10 Foods With the Most Bang for Your Buck <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-foods-with-the-most-bang-for-your-buck" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman buying milk" title="woman buying milk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What does it mean to get the most for your money when it comes to food? If you want to get the most calories for your dollar, you needn't look much further than the nearest fast food chain, which will gladly serve up a high-calorie burger, french fries, or a milkshake for less than $1.</p> <p>And that cheap food sure feels like a bargain. You're full, only $1 dollar poorer, and you can be back at your desk within 20 minutes' time.</p> <p>But whether that food is <em>really</em> the most cost-effective thing to eat depends on how you look at value. Sure, you'll probably get the most <em>calories</em> for your money from fast foods or junk food. The problem is that in the United States, what most people need isn't more calories, it's more <em>nutrients</em>.</p> <p>The latest statistics show that more than two-thirds of <a href="">Americans are overweight or obese</a>. And while corpulence used to be considered a sign of wealth, rates of obesity are just as high or <a href="">higher in the most disadvantaged populations</a>. But despite all those calories, most Americans <a href="">fall short of the recommended dietary guidelines</a> for many key nutrients. In other words, the concept of getting the most for your money when it comes to buying food has changed. And, at a time when more people than ever are overfed but still undernourished, experts suggest we should be stretching our food budgets by seeking out the foods that cost the least and provide the highest possible level of nutrition. (See also: <a href="">How to Eat Well on Just $20 a Week (With Meal Plans!)</a>)</p> <p>A publication created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2012 looked at different ways of <a href="">measuring the value of food and food costs</a> beyond cost-per-calories. It compared cost per 100 calories, cost per 100 edible grams, and cost per portion. What it found is that you can fill your plate &mdash; and your stomach &mdash; with some very healthy foods for less than the cost of a fast-food burger.</p> <p>So what are the cheapest healthy foods you can buy? Here are the 10 top contenders.</p> <h2>Corn Tortillas</h2> <p>Corn tortillas are cheap food no matter how you look at them; they're cheap per calorie, they're cheap per portion, and they require little or no preparation (although if you're ambitious, <a href="">you can make your own</a>.) These aren't nutritional powerhouses on their own, but they're <a href="">relatively low in calories</a> and if you stuff them with some of the other foods on this list, you'll have a great, low-cost, nutritious meal.</p> <h2>Beans</h2> <p>Pinto beans and other dried beans are among the least expensive foods per portion size. And that's good news. Beans are powerful disease fighters that are <a href="">high in fiber, protein, and antioxidants</a>. They're filling, flavorful, and they come at a price of about 27 cents per cup. And they aren't that hard to cook up. <a href="">Really</a>.</p> <h2>Onions</h2> <p>Onions have been a staple food in many cultures for centuries; the Egyptians even worshipped these pungent layers of peel. What's not to love? They're easy to grow, can be stored for long periods, and they add loads of flavor to any dish. Plus, <a href="">they're high in vitamin C and disease fighting compounds</a>. And, at 55 cents per pound, onions are one of the least expensive vegetables out there.</p> <h2>Carrots</h2> <p>Carrots can be cooked into <a href="">soups</a>, baked into <a href="">pies</a>, or are great with a little dip as an afternoon snack. They also come with <a href="">plenty of fiber and tons of vitamin A</a>. The cost? About 63 cents per cup.</p> <h2>Potatoes</h2> <p>Potatoes have gotten a bad rap in recent years, mostly as a result of diets like Atkins or South Beach, which aim to limit carbohydrates. However, it's important to remember that potatoes have been a staple food for people around the world for centuries. Plus, many of the studies that have vilified potatoes have lumped steamed or baked potatoes together with French fries and potato chips. (See also: <a href="">End Potato Prejudice: 10 Reasons Why You Should Eat Potatoes</a>)</p> <p>In reality, a plain potato is <a href="">relatively low in calories, and very high in fiber and vitamins</a>. Plus, potatoes have also been <a href="">found to be the most satisfying food on the Satiety Index</a>, which means a helping will keep you feeling fuller longer. All that for about 53 cents per cup.</p> <h2>Bread</h2> <p>Bread is another food that many health-conscious people have banished from the table, and in some cases for good reason. Research has shown that eating too much starchy food &mdash; especially at the expense of fruits and vegetables &mdash; contributes to obesity. That said, whole grains are associated with <a href="">lower levels of unhealthy belly fat</a>. The bottom line? If you stick to whole grain breads and avoid overdoing it, you'll be just fine. Look for day-old bread at your local bakery, or buy in bulk on sale and freeze it for later.</p> <h2>Oatmeal</h2> <p>Whole grains are good for you, but oats might just be the best of the bunch. Beyond providing a healthy dose of fiber, <a href="">oatmeal's soluble fiber has been shown to reduce LDL (or &quot;bad&quot;) cholesterol</a>. Eating oatmeal regularly may also reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and prevent hardening of the artery walls. For the biggest benefit, use rolled or steel cut oats. And be sure to buy them unprocessed; instant oatmeal packets tend to cost more and be loaded with sugar and salt.</p> <h2>Milk</h2> <p>A gallon of milk might look pretty expensive; <a href="">according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics</a>, a gallon of milk cost an average of $3.62 as of June 2014. Even so, <a href="">the FDA ranks 1% milk as less expensive than regular soda</a> for an average serving. Full-fat milk is also cheaper on a cost-per-calorie basis, as it has more calories than the same volume of soda. And no matter what kind of milk you choose, it has far more nutrients than soda or even fruit juice, including calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. Debates about milk's value as a health food aside, there's no question that it's a better, more nutritious choice than soda. It's good to know it's healthier for your budget, too.</p> <h2>Eggs</h2> <p>Eggs are the ultimate low-cost food. Not only are they inexpensive, but they are easy to prepare. They are a great source of complete protein, and include vitamins and minerals that are hard to get from other food sources, <a href="">such as vitamin D, vitamin K and choline</a>. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a carton of eggs punches in at about $1.95. Breakfast (or lunch or dinner) for a few cents!</p> <h2>Peanut Butter</h2> <p>Peanut butter is nutritious, filling, practical &mdash; and cheap! One serving will give you a dose of vitamin E, magnesium and potassium, and B vitamins. Research has shown that regular consumption of peanuts and other nuts <a href="">can protect against heart disease</a>, and can significantly<a href=""> lower your risk of diabetes</a>. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can bring home a one-pound jar for about $2.50.</p> <p><em>What healthy foods help you stretch your food budget? Let me know in the comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Foods With the Most Bang for Your Buck" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Tara Struyk</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Shopping Health healthy eating healthy food nutrition Tue, 26 Aug 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Tara Struyk 1193085 at The 5 Best Teeth Whiteners <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-teeth-whiteners" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="teeth whitener" title="teeth whitener" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="151" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You might think the only way to get your teeth sparkling again is by taking a very expensive, very time consuming trip to your dentist. Teeth whiteners provide the results of a cumbersome dental visit with more manageable prices and incredible convenience with minimal difficulty. However, there are many important factors to consider when deciding just which brand is right for you. We here at Wise Bread have compiled a list of the top five teeth whiteners to help you find just the one.</p> <h2>What Are Teeth Whiteners?</h2> <p>Teeth whiteners are essentially personal dental bleaching kits that, when applied on your teeth consistently, help dramatically lighten the color of your teeth as well as remove any blemishes and discoloration that they may have. While there's a wide array of options available, many experts say that the most effective teeth whiteners come in the form of dental strips and gels. There are also teeth whiteners for individuals with sensitive teeth.</p> <p>Most teeth whiteners cannot be expected to produce results after an overnight usage, but with consistent application they give you the gleam of a recent dental visit without the huge bill to show for it.</p> <h2>Best 5 Teeth Whiteners</h2> <h3>Ultradent Opalescence PF Teeth Whitening Gel</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00147Z7R4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=LJC5J2KUN2FN43FQ"><img width="200" height="188" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00147Z7R4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=LJC5J2KUN2FN43FQ">Ultradent Opalescence PF Teeth Whitening Gel</a> is a high-quality, professional-grade teeth whitening solution that has not only proven itself to be incredibly effective but also very easy to use. This Consumer Search top pick utilizes a unique potassium nitrate-fluoride formula that delivers fast whitening results along with the added bonus of strengthening your teeth and reducing cavities. Just dispense the gel onto a custom-made mouth tray using the provided syringes</p> <p>The only issue is that you must obtain a tray yourself from a professional dentist. The gel is available in different potencies, and the specific potency you choose will determine how long you need to wear the gel during each use, which ranges from 30 minutes to overnight.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00147Z7R4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=LJC5J2KUN2FN43FQ"><em>Currently $28.42 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>GO SMiLE Smile Whitening Light System</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0042LKK58&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=KWZUD2W4NN65EIIB"><img width="200" height="200" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>A Good Housekeeping top pick, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0042LKK58&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=KWZUD2W4NN65EIIB">GO SMiLE Smile Whitening Light System</a> is another terrific choice for an at-home teeth whitening kit that employs a more innovative method for making your teeth shine that's still simple to perform. Users need only to apply the peroxide gel onto their teeth and then hold the provided LED light device in front of their mouth for three 10-minute sessions per use.</p> <p>The GO SMiLE system has proven itself to be capable of making your teeth at least one shade whiter on average, and many users love how the process caused little to no teeth irritation. It also comes with enough peroxide gel for three separate uses which adds some nice value.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0042LKK58&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=KWZUD2W4NN65EIIB"><em>Currently $88.36 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Crest 3D White Whitestrips Advanced Vivid</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00336EUTK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=ZWXOWAXLLIO6I6QB"><img width="200" height="200" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>Another Consumer Search top pick, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00336EUTK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=ZWXOWAXLLIO6I6QB">Crest 3D White Whitestrips Advanced Vivid</a> has some customers seeing results after just four days of usage and a very simple application system. The only teeth whitener with an &quot;A&quot; grade from Good Housekeeping, these strips just need to be applied directly to the teeth and they get to work.</p> <p>They can be seen as a little time consuming since they require 30 minute usage sessions for 20 days, but the results are impeccable. While some people did report sensitivity of the teeth and gums with the product, they were very few as the strips bond well to the teeth making spillage of the formula rare.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00336EUTK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=ZWXOWAXLLIO6I6QB"><em>Currently $41.41 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Rembrandt Stain Dissolving Strips</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007RF1YZG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AUVDCZ6AKGPTPY7E"><img width="200" height="200" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>A well reviewed option in the teeth whitening market, <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007RF1YZG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AUVDCZ6AKGPTPY7E">Rembrandt Stain Dissolving Strips</a> come with the super simple method of use that lets them just dissolve in your mouth. It has an intense minty taste and only requires 5-10 minutes a day for treatment.</p> <p>Rembrandt Stain Dissolving Strips only need to be applied two times a day for two weeks to show results, which are, on average, to get teeth an entire shade lighter than they were before. While comfort may vary depending on the user, generally most people enjoy the product since it gives them the freedom to apply the strip and forget about having to take it out.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007RF1YZG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=AUVDCZ6AKGPTPY7E"><em>Currently $32.95 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Supersmile Professional Whitening System</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007IIHZ6O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=XDIYDQUIZGDLHLZF"><img width="200" height="214" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>Along with being the lowest priced item on this list, <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007IIHZ6O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=XDIYDQUIZGDLHLZF">Supersmile Professional Whitening System</a> is a toothpaste, so it still contains enamel-building, teeth-toughening, and cavity-fighting agents, giving it great value. One of the best reviewed teeth whitening products on Consumer Search, Supersmile Professional Whitening System is a great product for those who aren't looking for an intense whitening.</p> <p>This product has the best record with consumers in terms of sensitivity, as most reviewers have reported no discomfort or sensitivity of the teeth or gums after using this product. It focuses on being the gentle outlet for teeth whiteners while still producing good results. Using this product merely requires you to do what you normally do: brush your teeth twice a day. It doesn't take up any extra time and application is easier than strips or trays.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007IIHZ6O&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=XDIYDQUIZGDLHLZF"><em>Currently $34.79 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best teeth whiteners. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Teeth Whiteners" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Janae Spinato</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides buying guide product reviews teeth whiteners Tue, 26 Aug 2014 09:00:04 +0000 Janae Spinato 1154409 at The 5 Best Bicycle Helmets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-bicycle-helmets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="family biking" title="family biking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="147" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Bicycling is a widely enjoyed activity that carries a multitude of health benefits along with being a very environmentally friendly means of transport. However, riding a bicycle also requires wearing the proper safety equipment to ensure that the rider is well protected when accidents happen. A bicycle helmet is an especially crucial accessory that all bicyclists should have on that'll decrease their risk of severe head injuries.</p> <p>While choosing a good bicycle helmet may seem easy enough, there are actually many important elements to consider. We here at Wise Bread have done the research for you, and we're happy to present our top five list of the best bicycle helmets you can buy.</p> <h2>What Is a Bicycle Helmet?</h2> <p>A bicycle helmet is a safety device worn on the head that's designed to protect the user from severe head injuries in cases when the user falls off of a bicycle as well as to eliminate interference in the user's peripheral vision when riding a bicycle. The most ideal bicycle helmets come with a lightweight design, good ventilation, and a comfortable fit.</p> <p>Bicycle helmets come in a wide variety of different designs, with some models specifically tailored to fit female riders and children. It is very important for bicyclists to wear a bicycle helmet while riding for their own personal safety. Certain U.S. states and international countries have established laws making it illegal to not wear a bicycle helmet while riding a bike.</p> <h2>Best 5 Bicycle Helmets</h2> <h3>Giro Aeon
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005QY7Y86&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=4VMBUOVLPWVE2R6U"><img width="200" height="165" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>An ideal option for devoted bicyclists, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005QY7Y86&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=4VMBUOVLPWVE2R6U">Giro Aeon</a> is a Consumer Search top pick that provides an incredibly comfortable and lightweight bicycle helmet that looks just as good as it feels. One of the Aeon's most popular features is its innovative Roc Loc 5 fit system that comes with a micro-adjusting dial and a three-position bracket. Together, they let you easily adjust the helmet's tightness and vertical position with just one hand while you're riding for the most satisfying fit.</p> <p>Thanks to a one-piece exoskeleton design that merges an impact-absorbing EPS inner lining with a polycarbonate outer shell, the Aeon is capable of providing excellent protection without being a burden to wear. This helmet also incorporates a special WindTunnel ventilation system into its design that optimally channels cool air over the user's head and forces hot air out to prevent overheating.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005QY7Y86&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=4VMBUOVLPWVE2R6U"><em>Currently $186.98 for a medium size on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Specialized Echelon II
</h3> <p><a href=""><img width="200" height="124" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>The <a href="">Specialized Echelon II</a> bicycle helmet delivers a worthy update to the original Echelon, which was a Consumer Reports top pick, that will surely please riders who want an advanced bicycle helmet with a more affordable price tag. Don't let the Echelon II's sleek, lightweight design fool you; this helmet is equipped with a composite matrix internal reinforcement structure that effectively protects your head during accidents along with providing larger air vents for more efficient cooling.</p> <p>The Echelon II also comes with a micro-adjustable dial and four different height options that you can easily adjust while riding. A Tri-Fix web splitter makes adjusting the helmet's side straps wonderfully simple, and reflective decals are incorporated into the helmet's design to ensure optimal visibility during nighttime rides.</p> <p><a href=""><em>Currently $65.00 on Specialized's official website</em></a></p> <h3>Giro Skyla
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0062CSL8I&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=MSA64742ECV2M3ME"><img width="200" height="155" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>Another Consumer Search top pick, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0062CSL8I&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=MSA64742ECV2M3ME">Giro Skyla</a> is a bicycle helmet made just for female riders that offers outstanding protection and comfort along with a terrific female-oriented design. Like many of Giro's quality helmets, the Skyla is comprised of an in-molded construction that combines an inner foam liner with an outer polycarbonate shell complete with 20 air vents that allows the helmet to be very protective as well as lightweight and breathable.</p> <p>Not only does it come with an Acu Dial fit system that lets riders adjust the helmet's fit while riding with just a single hand, many female users appreciate how the Skyla's dial system is placed slightly lower on the helmet to provide room for the ponytails of longer-haired riders without obstructing access to the dial itself. Users also praise the Skyla for being especially adept at fitting smaller heads comfortably.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0062CSL8I&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=MSA64742ECV2M3ME"><em>Currently $35.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Bontrager Solstice Youth</h3> <p><a href=""><img width="200" height="148" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>As both a Consumer Reports and a Consumer Search top pick, the <a href="">Bontrager Solstice Youth</a> bicycle helmet is an excellent choice for young bicyclists that delivers superb protection along with a number of kid-friendly features. The Solstice Youth has received top scores from both experts and consumers alike in the safety department, thanks to its sturdy in-molded shell design that ensures the child's head is very well protected from any impact.</p> <p>It also manages to be lightweight and well ventilated and can accommodate long haired children as well. With the built-in Micro-Manager fit system, this helmet can fit any head size snugly and comfortably with a simple turn of the dial. To further appeal to child riders, the Solstice Youth comes in a number of fun colors that'll certainly appeal to their tastes.</p> <p><a href=""><em>Currently $44.99 on Bontrager's official website</em></a></p> <h3>Giro Indicator
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008Z9H1VO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=KBZCS5WHZP3UW2XE"><img width="200" height="157" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>For casual bicyclists who want a good quality bicycle helmet, the Consumer Search recommended <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008Z9H1VO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=KBZCS5WHZP3UW2XE">Giro Indicator</a> bicycle helmet is a standout choice that's both fairly low-cost and high in value. Although it comes in only one universal size, the Indicator is effectively constructed with a lightweight in-molded hardbody and a Acu Dial fit system to provide optimal protection while maintaining the most comfortable fit that you can easily adjust.</p> <p>While the helmet's 20 air vents allow for great ventilation for rides on hot days, some users like how the helmet can also accommodate additional headgear underneath it for added insulation on colder days. This durable and versatile helmet is available in a variety of sleek designs and colors that goes well with your sporty lifestyle.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008Z9H1VO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=KBZCS5WHZP3UW2XE"><em>Currently $39.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best bicycle helmets. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Bicycle Helmets" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">William Tran</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides bicycle helmets buying guide product reviews Thu, 21 Aug 2014 09:00:05 +0000 William Tran 1150191 at 5 Things That Seem Like Savvy Buys But Are Actually Terrible Splurges <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-that-seem-like-savvy-buys-but-are-actually-terrible-splurges" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="gym employee" title="gym employee" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have an instance in which we thought we were making a smart purchase, but ended up paying unintended consequences. It's so tempting to take up an almost-too-good-to-be-true offer, but here are five purchases that sounds savvy but are actually terrible splurges. (See also: <a href="">6 Things That Seem Like Spurges But Are Actually Savvy Buys</a>)</p> <h2>1. Interest-Free Credit for a Limited Time</h2> <p>Many merchants offer no interest loans for a period of time for big ticket items like TVs and appliances.</p> <p><strong>Why it sounds savvy</strong>: You get the item on credit, but then pay it off entirely before the interest kicks in? You're getting the cake and eating it, too. You're beating the system!</p> <p><strong>Why it backfires</strong>: Many people use the &quot;no-interest&quot; lure not only as a temporary excuse for an <a href="">impulse purchase</a>, but also for postponing paying the bill. Also, too often buyers don't already have the money saved up before making the purchase on credit. It becomes a race against time to pay it off before interest adds up &ndash;&ndash; a race many lose in the end.</p> <h2>2. Life Insurance for a Child</h2> <p>This is particularly morbid, but insurers sell parents life insurance policies to indemnify them against the death of their children &mdash; primarily as a way to offset potential funeral costs.</p> <p><strong>Why it sounds savvy</strong>: Maybe your child will be the next Disney superstar, or the world's youngest astronaut. You've got to prepare for that, right? If anything, God forbid, happens, you <a href="">want to be prepared</a>.</p> <p><strong>Why it backfires</strong>: The possibility of the unthinkable happening is <a href="">not very likely</a>. Let's face it, fear is the engine that drives the insurance industry. Sometimes we fall for the false security of unnecessary insurance. If you are not rolling in disposable income, put your money in a mutual fund to save for your child's college education instead of insurance premiums.</p> <h2>3. Credit Monitoring Services</h2> <p>You've seen the ads on late night TV or heard them on talk radio &mdash; savvy thieves are scooping up the details of your identity and using those details to make credit purchases or take out big loans, which ultimately harms your credit rating. Scary!</p> <p><strong>Why it sounds savvy</strong>: Services like IdentityGaurd can help track your score, find fraudulent activity, alert you of &quot;identity theft,&quot; and offer insurance on any losses &ndash;&ndash; it's a one-stop shop so that you don't have to worry about any of these problems again!</p> <p><strong>Why it backfires</strong>: Here comes the fear factor once again. <a href="">Credit monitoring services</a> are very expensive and are another way to reap money from people afraid of fraud. Your financial institution already protects you against fraud and will pay back any lost funds. You would lose a lot more money paying for these services than you could ever have potentially lost in a fraud incident. Instead, make it a habit to monitor your credit yourself. (See also: <a href="">How to Get a Truly Free Credit Report</a>)</p> <h2>4. Cable TV</h2> <p>With hundreds of channels to choose from, plus plenty of premium movie channels, of course cable TV is worth the cost!</p> <p><strong>Why it sounds savvy</strong>: Television is so much cheaper than going to the movies or other outside entertainment. What's another $10-20 per month on the premium channels? They keep me at home not spending more money!</p> <p><strong>Why it backfires</strong>: We are rapidly moving past the cable TV model. With Netflix, <a href="">Chromecast</a>, Hulu Plus and other products and services, you can cut the cord entirely and subsist on internet alone for <a href="">nearly anything you watch</a>. Netflix costs as low as $7.99 per month for streaming-only service, whereas the average cable bill is $86 (<a href="">which has tripled</a> in the past 10 years). Binge-watching is more fun anyway.</p> <h2>5. Gym Memberships</h2> <p>A gym membership seems like a good way to get motivated to work out more often &mdash; after all, you're surrounded by like-minded people, and you wouldn't want to waste your money by not taking advantage of the gym's resources, would you?</p> <p><strong>Why it sounds savvy</strong>: It's time to invest in you, for once. Finally, you can commit to getting healthier in an environment with fewer distractions. What's another $20 per month for access to unlimited classes and all that expensive equipment?</p> <p><strong>Why it backfires</strong>: You start out strong, but eventually it becomes another thing to do. In the end, you don't need <a href="">money to work out</a>; you just need your body and gravity (and <a href="">maybe a milk jug</a>). However, this doesn't mean to invest in a home gym either! A compact weight set will do, when you are ready for them. Plus, working out al fresco is more pleasurable, with fresh air, and vitamin D from the sun.</p> <p><em>Can you think of any other savvy buys that are actually gigantic money wastes? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Things That Seem Like Savvy Buys But Are Actually Terrible Splurges" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Amanda Meadows</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping dumb buys spending splurges wasting money Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:00:05 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1188677 at 12 New Ways Restaurants Trick You to Spend More <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-new-ways-restaurants-trick-you-to-spend-more" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="good restaurant service" title="good restaurant service" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I lived in Columbus, Ohio, my favorite spot was a little place called The Blue Danube, familiarly known as &quot;The Dube.&quot; In addition to the usual inexpensive bar fare, the menu there offered the <a href="">Dube Dinner Deluxe</a> which paired a bottle of Dom Perignon with a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches (made with Roquefort cheese) at a cost of $185.</p> <p>Though I always regarded the Dube Dinner Deluxe as more of a joke than anything else, I've since come to realize that including it on the menu was a savvy marketing strategy on the part of the bar's owners.</p> <p>Due to a cognitive bias known as <a href="">anchoring</a>, diners are more likely to buy mid-priced items when the menu highlights a very expensive meal. Just the existence of a high-priced item is enough to make the other prices on the menu seem reasonable in comparison. &quot;Menu engineers&quot; (and yes, that's a real profession) actually describe these very high priced items as &quot;<a href="">decoys</a>,&quot; since they're only there to soften the sticker shock of other offerings. (See also: <a href="">13 Overpriced Restaurant Items</a>)</p> <p>As it turns out, restaurants have a pretty good handle on behavioral psychology &mdash; which is why you often end up leaving with a fuller belly and a lighter wallet than you intended. Here are 12 of the sneakiest tricks that restaurants use to get you spend more.</p> <h2>Menu Presentation</h2> <p>A well-designed menu is the single greatest asset for a restaurant's bottom line, as it can help to steer customers to the items the restaurant most wants to sell. That's why you'll find nearly all restaurants have many or all of the following features on their menus.</p> <h3>1. Visual Highlights</h3> <p>If you have ever wondered why some menu items are placed in a text box or otherwise bolded, it's because the restaurant wants to draw your attention to the item. Often, the boxed-off menu item is something that is a major profit-maker for the restaurant &mdash; like chicken wings, for example. Wings cost the restaurant pennies, so the more they sell, the more they profit.</p> <p>In addition, menu designers recognize that most people's eyes are drawn to the <a href="">top right-hand corner</a>, so that is where the big money-maker dishes are often placed. You may have noticed this if you've ever searched in vain for a simple burger on a menu. Burgers and sandwiches and the like don't tend be super profitable in some restaurants, so they are often confined to &quot;menu Siberia,&quot; where you'll have to read through the pricier items before finding them.</p> <p>Finally, photographs of food tend to be powerful motivators, which is why restaurants will place photographs of only some of their menu items. The ones appearing in photographs are the most profitable dishes.</p> <p>Even in high-end restaurants, where photos on the menu are considered a little déclassé, you will often find line drawings or other visual representations of the big money makers.</p> <h3>2. Offering Two Portion Sizes</h3> <p>I often order salads when I dine out, and I have noticed that salads are usually offered in two sizes. This practice is called &quot;bracketing,&quot; and it's a no-win for the customer. Most customers will order the smaller/cheaper portion, thinking that the lower price is a better deal. But the menu does not specify how much smaller the cheaper portion will be, and in general the restaurant is actually hoping you'll buy the smaller size. If you do splurge on the larger salad, often the size difference will be made up in inexpensive lettuce.</p> <h3>3. Feeling Like Family</h3> <p>Diners tend to like seeing the <a href="">names of mothers, grandmothers, uncles, and other relatives</a> on their menus. That's why you'll see something listed as &quot;Bubbie's Chicken Soup&quot; or &quot;Uncle Doug's Famous Burgers&quot; rather than simply chicken noodle soup or &frac14; pound burgers.</p> <h3>4. Brand Name Recognition</h3> <p>Going along with that, menu designers have discovered that using <a href="">brand names helps boost sales</a>. For instance, T.G.I. Friday's offers Jack Daniel's sauce, and many restaurants make sure to specify that their juice is from Minute Maid. The name recognition is enough to help sell the food.</p> <h3>5. Descriptive Language</h3> <p>A study by Cornell University revealed that foods described in a more flowery or beautiful way were more appealing and popular with diners than the same items presented more plainly. For instance, the study would either label a dessert as &quot;New York Style Cheesecake with Godiva Chocolate Sauce&quot; or simply as &quot;Cheesecake.&quot; The results showed that diners chose the more descriptive menu items <a href="">27% more often</a> than the more plainly labeled items.</p> <p>Restaurants will often use this effect to highlight a profitable dish &mdash; while using much plainer description on a less profitable menu item placed nearby.</p> <h3>6. Price Shenanigans</h3> <p>One of the things you won't find in almost any menu, from a formal foodie haven down to Mom's Diner, is a dollar sign. Omitting the symbol from the price seems to be enough to spur diners to spend significantly more, according to another Cornell study.</p> <p>In addition, you'll notice something funny about the numbers on menus. You will rarely see any prices ending in a 9. For instance, a dessert will be listed as $4.95 <a href="">rather than $4.99</a>. Apparently, numbers ending in 5 seem &quot;friendlier,&quot; while numbers ending with 9 connote value, but not necessarily quality.</p> <p>Many restaurants will leave off the cents entirely, listing their dishes as a clean and simple number. All of these gambits make prices abstract, which makes spending feel less threatening and painful.</p> <h3>7. Price Placement</h3> <p>Many menus will avoid listing prices in a column, since that will make it much simpler to compare prices between meals. Instead, many restaurants will bury each item's price beneath the description.</p> <p>Even if prices are listed across from the dishes, restaurants generally do not print leader dots between the dish name and the price. It's harder to scan across to the price without those dots, meaning you're more likely to focus on the dish.</p> <h2>Service</h2> <p>The menu is not the only way restaurants try to manipulate your spending. Your friendly server is also in on it.</p> <h3>8. Introducing Themselves by Name</h3> <p>When your server introduces himself as Todd and claims he'll be &quot;taking care of you this evening,&quot; he's not just being friendly. Studies have shown that <a href="">restaurant tipping is higher when servers introduce themselves</a> because the interaction feels more personal.</p> <h3>9. Upselling</h3> <p>Servers are trained to ask you if you'd like to add to your meal during every step of the ordering process. For instance, when you order a cocktail, your server might offer you a choice of brands of liquor &mdash; letting you know that the restaurant carries both Bombay and Beefeaters gin, for instance. What the server does not tell you is that there is also a perfectly good and inexpensive gin that the bartender would have used had you not specified either Bombay or Beefeaters.</p> <h3>10. Listing Specials Verbally</h3> <p>In addition to upselling, servers are also trained to rattle off the day's specials &mdash; from the appetizers to the soups to the entrees to the desserts &mdash; off the top of their heads. This practice provides you with a mouth watering description of the foods that the restaurant is hoping to sell, but it does not give you the price point for each special. Many diners are too embarrassed to ask about the prices of specials, meaning they are surprised when the bill comes.</p> <h3>11. Beverage Timing</h3> <p>You've probably noticed that good servers get your beverage from the bar very quickly after you place your order. That's partially because if the timing is right, you'll run out of your drink either before your entrée arrives or in the middle of your meal &mdash; which will often mean you ask for a refill. If you're drinking a bottle of wine, you might find that your server is Johnny-on-the-spot with refills, since you might be persuaded to purchase another bottle if the first one is empty before your plate is.</p> <h3>12. The Midas Touch</h3> <p>Waitresses in particular are known for being very friendly and even lightly touching diners on the shoulder or hand. That's partially because studies have shown that both men and women tend to tip significantly more when their waitresses touch them in a friendly way. Researchers have dubbed this the <a href="">Midas Touch</a>.</p> <p>This Midas Touch <a href="">does not extend to male servers</a>, however. Diners are more likely to see that kind of touch as creepy rather than friendly or nurturing when it comes from a waiter rather than a waitress.</p> <h2>Limiting Your Restaurant Spending</h2> <p>Unfortunately, the restaurants hold most of the cards when you decide to treat yourself to a meal out. Since you are there to enjoy yourself, it can be very difficult to attempt to counteract the psychological tricks since doing so will likely negatively affect your enjoyment.</p> <p>The best way to deal with these issues is to plan ahead. Bring cash so you cannot spend more than you brought. Check out the menu online and decide what you will order before you arrive. Make sure you ask questions of your server if you're not sure of prices or options. And plan to savor your food and drink, since it will help you be more satisfied and lessen the possibility of over-ordering and overeating.</p> <p><em>Have you noticed any other tricks of the restaurant trade? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="12 New Ways Restaurants Trick You to Spend More" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Emily Guy Birken</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Shopping dining out psychology restaurants spending tricks Wed, 20 Aug 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1189022 at The 5 Best Heart-Rate Monitors <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-heart-rate-monitors" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman runner" title="woman runner" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Beyond exercise and a good diet, maintaining a healthy active lifestyle also means knowing as much as you can about your body, especially your heart. Having a good heart-rate monitor with you while you perform physical exercises can help you effectively train at the appropriate intensity level while also ensuring that your heart rate stays within a safe range.</p> <p>A wide variety of heart-rate monitor models are available, each with their own unique features that are ideally suited for certain needs. Wise Bread is here to help find the best one for you with our top five list.</p> <h2>What Is a Heart-Rate Monitor?</h2> <p>A heart-rate monitor is an electronic monitoring device that utilizes built-in pulse sensors to let you measure your heart rate in real time as well as to record the data for long-term analysis. A heart-rate monitor is comprised of two parts: a chest strap transmitter that measures your physical heart beat and a wrist receiver that displays the information to the user.</p> <p>Newer models of heart-rate monitors can also transmit their data over to smartphones via downloadable apps. Strapless heart-rate monitors are also available if you find that wearing a chest strap is too uncomfortable.</p> <h2>Best 5 Heart-Rate Monitors</h2> <h3>Timex Ironman Race Trainer</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005CP9HDE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=HFF6L6Z7QDCI5N6O"><img width="180" height="180" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005CP9HDE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=HFF6L6Z7QDCI5N6O">Timex Ironman Race Trainer</a> provides a terrific choice for a heart-rate monitor that comes with a number of helpful functions that can benefit both casual and professional athletes alike. This Consumer Search top pick has been lauded for its accurate and reliable heart-rate tracking along with its five preset heart rate target zones and one customizable one that's effective in letting users know when to pick up or slow down their workout.</p> <p>Users also say that both the chest strap and the water-resistant wristwatch are very comfortable to wear. Other notable features include a 50-lap chronograph function that can average your heart rate per lap, five interval timers, and the ability to save data from the last 10 workouts.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005CP9HDE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=HFF6L6Z7QDCI5N6O"><em>Currently $82.08 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Polar FT60
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001F0PVNK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=TKBHAWARY26I4XIH"><img width="180" height="167" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>Another Consumer Search top pick, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001F0PVNK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=TKBHAWARY26I4XIH">Polar FT60</a> heart-rate monitor comes packed with a number of advanced features that make it the ideal choice for serious athletes. Doing more than just simple heart-rate monitoring, its most exclusive feature is its STAR Training program that lets the FT60 create customized workouts personalized to your fitness needs as well as weekly goals for training times and calorie intake.</p> <p>The FT60 comes with a built-in 5-minute fitness test that allows you to keep track of your weekly weight changes, and it can also store up to 100 files in its easily accessible training history. Not only is it comfortable and easy to use, the chest strap transmitter uses a specialized signal code to ensure interference-free communication with the wristwatch.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001F0PVNK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=TKBHAWARY26I4XIH"><em>Currently $110.49 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Polar H7
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007S088F4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=76CVUWZSJHF4QW22"><img width="180" height="87" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007S088F4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=76CVUWZSJHF4QW22">Polar H7</a> heart-rate monitor is a Consumer Reports top pick that utilizes the newest technology to give you a hassle-free way of monitoring your heart rate. Unlike most heart-rate monitors, the H7 is only comprised of a Bluetooth-compatible chest strap. Rather than sending data over to a wristwatch device, the H7 pairs its chest strap transmitter with your smartphone via Bluetooth and then displays your heart rate and workout data through a compatible fitness app.</p> <p>It can even sync with gym equipment that comes with compatible Polar heart rate technology to give you a hands-free method of measurement. Overall, the H7 minimizes on the amount of equipment you have to manage and the time it takes to set everything up, so that you can just focus on having an effective workout.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007S088F4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=76CVUWZSJHF4QW22"><em>Currently $53.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>MIO Alpha
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BJ6HLDI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=4372L7VTXYDP4AK4"><img width="180" height="189" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>If you're not a fan of chest straps, then the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BJ6HLDI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=4372L7VTXYDP4AK4">MIO Alpha</a> is definitely the most ideal heart-rate monitor for you. The Alpha sports watch contains two light beams and an electro-optical cell that are used to detect your pulse signal, which is then calculated through advanced algorithms to accurately determine your heart rate without the use of a chest strap. It can even continuously measure your heart rate while running at top speeds of 14 mph with great accuracy.</p> <p>In addition, the Alpha allows you to easily set your target heart rate zones and lets you review your exercise data right after your workout, including total workout time, average heart rate, and how long you were working at peak levels. You can also sync the data with a variety of popular fitness apps on your smartphone using a Bluetooth connection.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BJ6HLDI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=4372L7VTXYDP4AK4"><em>Currently $198.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Polar FT1</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003HT88JQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=O5YMIIMBMTVZ4ZBN"><img width="180" height="192" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>With a top recommendation from Consumer Search, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003HT88JQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=O5YMIIMBMTVZ4ZBN">Polar FT1</a> manages to deliver a quality-filled heart-rate monitor that comes at a very affordable price. Many users say that the FT1 more than makes up for its lack of high-end features with its simple one-button operation and accurate heart-rate tracking. It also allows users to set custom heart rate zones and can alert you when you sway from those zones, which is an uncommon feature in low-end heart-rate monitors.</p> <p>Users also approve of the FT1's large wristwatch display that provides easy-to-read stats with great clarity. A common feature in the Polar line of heart-rate monitors that also comes with the FT1 is the specially coded chest strap transmitter which ensures an uninterrupted transmission of data to your specific wristwatch.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003HT88JQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=O5YMIIMBMTVZ4ZBN"><em>Currently $41.56 on Amazon
</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best heart-rate monitors. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Heart-Rate Monitors" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">William Tran</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides buying guide heart rate monitors product reviews Wed, 20 Aug 2014 09:00:03 +0000 William Tran 1149089 at Best Money Tips: Questions to Consider Before Overspending <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-questions-to-consider-before-overspending" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman tired from shopping" title="woman tired from shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some amazing articles on questions to consider before overspending, saving on back to school shopping, and cost cutting tips for drivers.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">8 Questions to Consider Before Overspending</a> &mdash; Before you overspend, ask yourself what would happen if you didn't make the purchase. [Bobby Finance]</p> <p><a href="">How to Save Money on Back to School Shopping</a> &mdash; To save money on back to school shopping, don't be afraid to go used and create a list you can stick to. [Debt Roundup]</p> <p><a href="">5 Cost Cutting Tips for Drivers</a> &mdash; Avoiding accidents and driving smarter can help cut the costs associated with your car. [Your Personal Finance Pro]</p> <p><a href="">The 411 of Balancing a Checkbook</a> &mdash; When it comes to balancing your checkbook, make sure to record all transactions. [Tayne Your Debt]</p> <p><a href="">Maintaining Your Network Is More Important Than Saving Money</a> &mdash; Sometimes it's a good idea to spend a little extra money to maintain your network because your network can help you find new jobs! [Cashville Skyline]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">Retirement Account Rollover Options</a> &mdash; Did you know Roth IRAs can only be rolled over into another Roth IRA? [McClain Lovejoy]</p> <p><a href="">An Easy Way to Figure Out When to Delegate Tasks</a> &mdash; If someone else can do a task 70% as well as you can, it's ok to delegate that task to the other person. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">Look After the Pennies &mdash; The Five Richest People In The World</a> &mdash; The richest man in the world is Carlos Slim from Mexico. [Stumble Forward]</p> <p><a href="">Smartphones: As Important as Deodorant?</a> &mdash; Nine out of ten people think their smartphones are as important as deodorant and toothbrushes. [Surviving and Thriving]</p> <p><a href="">10 Social Media Tools That Make Everything Easier!</a> &mdash; Buffer and Pocket are just a couple social media tools that can make your life easier. [Chris Ducker]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Questions to Consider Before Overspending" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips overspending questions shopping spending Tue, 19 Aug 2014 19:00:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1186297 at Get Fashion Trends on the Cheap With Wantable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-fashion-trends-on-the-cheap-with-wantable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="jewelry shopping" title="jewelry shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you love trying out the latest in fashion and beauty &mdash; <em>and</em> getting them at a discount &mdash; then <a href="">Wantable</a> may be just your thing.</p> <h2>About Wantable</h2> <p>The Milwaukie-based company Wantable matches you with a number of boutique accessories, full-size makeup products, or designer intimates at $40 a box (or $36 a box for a monthly subscription). The contents of the box will be a surprise, but the stylists at Wantable will use a quiz to make sure you love the products you get.</p> <h2>The Goodies</h2> <p>The style quiz is fairly detailed and extremely easy to use. You're presented with a number of style options, and all you need to do is move a slider up to &quot;Love&quot; if you love it, &quot;Dislike&quot; if you don't, or just leave it at &quot;Like&quot; if you don't feel too strongly either way. Here's a quick summary of my selections for the <a href="">accessories box</a>:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Love:</strong> Classic, Mix 'n Match, Earrings, Necklaces, Hair Accessories</li> <li><strong>Like:</strong> Rock 'n Roll, Boho, Bracelets, Scarves, Gold Tone, Multi Tone</li> <li><strong>Dislike:</strong> Glam, Rings, Watches, Sunglasses</li> </ul> <p>Let's take a look at what I got!</p> <h3>Addy Headband</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>I've always liked the idea of headbands. They're pretty much the only kind of hair accessory that has a fighting chance of staying in my hair, especially since I started wearing my hair short a few years ago. But even then, trying to find a one that works with my abnormally large head has been an exercise in frustration and discarded dreams (for a neat and low maintenance 'do). If a headband is tight enough to not slip at the slightest turn of my head, the pressure is likely to cause enough discomfort that I tear it off before the day is out.</p> <p>The wired headband changed <em>everything</em>.</p> <p>I've seen them around but was always too skeptical to carry through with a purchase. Well, joke's on me! They're actually quite wonderful. The one that Wantable sent me is in basic black-and-white stripes &mdash; super easy to match with anything in my closet. But beyond the aesthetics, I love the functionality. The wire molded to my head comfortably, despite its weird shape and size, and once I secured the headband with a twist (you can also knot or loop!), it stayed put no matter how much I flipped, swung, or bounced my head.</p> <p>Plus, it's a really cute look!</p> <p><em>Retail value: $11</em></p> <h3>Sandy Bracelet</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>You know what I have realized since doing these Wantable reviews? I am a sucker for gold tone and pastels, together. I've been getting a lot of this combination lately, and I LOVE it. I use these pieces to dress up a casual outfit or dress down a fancier ensemble, thereby making my wardrobe even more versatile than it was!</p> <p>Speaking of versatile, check out the Sandy bracelet above. It's a simple gold chain intertwined with sections of pink, white, and green cord. You can wrap it around your wrist to wear as a bracelet, or unwind and drape it around your neck &mdash; on its own or as a layered piece. I'm certain this will become another one of my go-to accessories. My only complaint is that the ends of the colored cords jut out slightly, giving the otherwise beautiful bracelet an unfinished look upon close inspection &mdash; plus, it irritates my skin when it lands just so. Still, I count this piece as a win.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $26</em></p> <h3>Aubrey Necklace</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Besides gold-and-pastel jewelry, Wantable also likes sending me chunky statement necklaces made with many different materials. This time, they are beads, cords, and stones in shades of blue, plus another component that I haven't seen much of in my Wantable goods: gunmetal chain!</p> <p>Here's another piece that can be dressed up or down, which I like. I also like the details: interwoven cord and chain, stone insets at unexpected angles, the twin clusters of rhinestones attached to the blue gems &mdash; like sparkling pom-poms. However, I did notice that one of the long blue beads was chipped at the center &mdash;not a deal-breaker, just unfortunate for a piece this pretty.</p> <p><em>Retail value: $42</em></p> <h2>Is It Worth It?</h2> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>I would be very hesitant to spend $79 on these three pieces. I might wish that I could, but with my budget? Ha! No. But if I could get them all at just a smidge over half-price? Yes. Oh yes.</p> <p>The Sandy bracelet-necklace and the Aubrey necklace-necklace are gorgeous pieces (very minor flaws notwithstanding), but it is the Addy headband that underscores (for me, at least) the value of a service like Wantable. Sure, you can shop for accessories yourself and buy only the items you like, but with Wantable, you get to try products that are just outside your comfort zone &mdash; without being <em>too</em> out there. You can take the time to try something different, right in your home. If you regularly spend $40 on accessories anyway, a <a href="">Wantable box</a> may be just the thing to help you save money and experiment with your style.</p> <p><em>Disclaimer: I received a free box for an honest review.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Get Fashion Trends on the Cheap With Wantable" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Amy Lu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Style Wantable Tue, 19 Aug 2014 09:00:16 +0000 Amy Lu 1160903 at 5 Smart Ways to Save on Back-to-School Clothing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-smart-ways-to-save-on-back-to-school-clothing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="mother baby shopping" title="mother baby shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I say it every year, but the summer raced by at lightning speed. It's already mid-August, and many of us are diving deep into back-to-school mode. One of the most important parts of getting ready? Dressing the part. But refreshing your fall wardrobe &mdash; whether you're heading into the classroom or not &mdash; doesn't need to cost a fortune. In fact, it doesn't need to cost anything at all! (Related: <a href="">50 Ways to Update Your Wardrobe On the Cheap</a>)</p> <p>Here are some tips that will get you looking smart without spending foolishly.</p> <h2>1. Take Stock</h2> <p>Before trekking to the store, it's important you gain a solid understanding of the clothes that already live in your dresser drawers. Take a couple hours to dump all your clothing items onto your bed and to go through them. Try each piece on to see what fits both your body and lifestyle. Divide into three piles: keep, toss/donate, and on-the-fence. Place the keep and on-the-fence clothes back into your closet and proceed with the next tips. (You can always repeat again with those clothes you're not sure about.)</p> <h2>2. Sell the Old</h2> <p>And before throwing away or donating discarded clothing, try hitting up your local consignment shops. You can even sell your stuff (for free!) online with sites like <a href="">thredUP</a>. Keep in mind that most stores prefer name brand clothes in good condition (no stains, rips, pilling, etc.) that are within a few fashion seasons of the current date. Then pocket the money you earn to put toward new duds. Many stores will give you more credit versus cash if you choose to shop with your earnings there.</p> <h2>3. Think Thrifty</h2> <p>That's right! While you're at the consignment store, take a look around. Chances are you might discover a few pieces you love that are like-new and won't end up costing you a dime. Thrift stores like GoodWill and Salvation Army are other good places to browse, you'll just want to inspect these pieces more carefully for signs of wear. Historically, I've found great deals in these types of places, especially on children's clothing, since kids outgrow shirts and pants so quickly, they hardly get a chance to lose that gently worn look. (Related: <a href="">6 Back-to-School Items You Should Always Buy at the Thrift Store</a>)</p> <h2>4. Add Accessories</h2> <p>Before racing to the retail stores, consider if more clothes are really what you need. Sometimes <a href="">having fewer options</a> means that dressing takes less time and energy in the mornings, meaning you go about your day with less hassle. You may also get better overall use out of a smaller wardrobe because you won't forget about anything in the depths of your closet. If you think this idea applies to you, shop around for a few key accessories &mdash; belts, scarves, hats, jewelry &mdash; that can transform otherwise plain outfits into sheer style. (Related: <a href="">Affordable Accessories to Kickstart Your Style</a>)</p> <h2>5. Shop Sales</h2> <p>Don't pile into the car without a plan if you want good deals on a new wardrobe. Take some time to check your local paper, TV advertisements, and store websites for any promotions or coupons. And don't forget to check those social media accounts, as some major shops post coupon codes only for their loyal fans to enjoy. Chances are, there's a sale upcoming, and you'll be kicking yourself if you pay full price only to find whatever you bought is 40% off days later. Once you purchase, be sure to protect your investment by <a href="">washing your clothing less often</a>.</p> <p><em>What are your best methods for saving big on back-to-school clothing? Please share in comments</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="5 Smart Ways to Save on Back-to-School Clothing" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping back-to-school clothes clothing fashion thrift stores Mon, 18 Aug 2014 21:00:04 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1185371 at Best Money Tips: Steps to Grocery Savings Without Double Coupons <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-steps-to-grocery-savings-without-double-coupons" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="grocery shopping" title="grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on grocery savings without double coupons, things that annoy hiring managers, and coming to grips with paying your rent on time.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">6 Steps to Grocery Savings Without Double Coupons</a> &mdash; You can save at the grocery store without double coupons by comparing what you purchase and tracking sale prices. [Pocket Your Dollars]</p> <p><a href="">9 Things That Really Annoy Hiring Managers</a> &mdash; Being too persistant can really annoy hiring managers. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">Coming to Grips With Paying Your Rent On Time</a> &mdash; To make sure you pay your rent on time, budget rent as a priority and make cut backs where possible. [Money Q&amp;A]</p> <p><a href="">5 Times It's Worth Booking a Hotel While Backpacking</a> &mdash; If you are backpacking and become concerned about your safety, it is probably worth it to book a hotel. [CouponPal]</p> <p><a href="">How to Dress Cheaply for the Rest of Summer</a> &mdash; Rocking cotton and linen and remembering that dresses are your friend can help you dress cheaply for the rest of summer. [The Shop My Closet Project]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">10 Things We Need to Fix to Slow Down the March of Identity Theft</a> &mdash; In order to slow down identity theft, consumer apathy and security must be dealt with. [Credit Sesame Blog]</p> <p><a href="">Ready to Do What You Love and Find Your Ideal Career?</a> &mdash; Teaching yourself something new and establishing a side hustle can help you find your ideal career. [Common Sense Millennial]</p> <p><a href="">Are You Driving a Lemon?</a> &mdash; If your car is a lemon, contact the manufacturer as well as the dealer to report any problems with your car. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="">6 Tips on How to Act on the Sidelines of Your Child&rsquo;s Sporting Event</a> &mdash; It is important to be positive and not yell at the coach when attending your child's sporting event. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="">New Law Mandates In-State Tuition for Vets Studying at All Public Colleges Starting Next Year</a> &mdash; Starting next year, vets will pay in state tuition fees at all colleges, even if they attend college in another state. [Bargaineering]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Steps to Grocery Savings Without Double Coupons" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Shopping best money tips coupons Food grocery market supermarket Mon, 18 Aug 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1185498 at Best Money Tips: Smart Ways to Save on Clothing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-smart-ways-to-save-on-clothing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman shopping" title="woman shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some amazing articles on smart ways to save on clothing, getting your dream job, and tips for successful investing.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">10 Smart Ways to Save on Clothing</a> &mdash; Save money on clothing by stocking up off-season and participating in loyalty programs. [Living Well Spending Less]</p> <p><a href="">A 6 Step Guide to Getting Your Dream Job</a> &mdash; To get your dream job, search job postings and find out what skills you need. [The Me Project]</p> <p><a href="">8 Tips for Successful Investing. Number 5 Is a Must.</a> &mdash; When trying to invest successfully, surround yourself with other investors and be consistent. [The Frugal Feminista]</p> <p><a href="">Top Ten Financial Mistakes</a> &mdash; Not having healthcare and having a high debt to income ratio are two major financial mistakes. [Financially Blonde]</p> <p><a href="">Top 5 Important Tax and Investment Documents to Keep</a> &mdash; It is important to keep income tax returns and bank statements. [Investor Junkie]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">5 Growing Careers for Work-at-Home Moms</a> &mdash; Work-at-home moms can expect to see a rise in social media manager positions. [1099 Mom]</p> <p><a href="">7 Home Repairs You Can Do Yourself</a> &mdash; The next time you have a dripping faucet, try fixing it on your own! [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">Some Nasty Financial Surprises Shouldn't Be &quot;Surprises&quot; at All</a> &mdash; Did you know you can expect to spend 1%-3% of the cost of your home on maintenance and repairs? [Frugal Confessions]</p> <p><a href="">How to Effortlessly Increase Your Supermarket Savings</a> &mdash; Reducing your garbage can help you increase your supermarket savings. [Object Wealth]</p> <p><a href="">The 5 Best Infant Car Seats</a> &mdash; If you are in the market for a new car seat, check out the Combi Shuttle. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Smart Ways to Save on Clothing" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips clothes clothing save shopping Thu, 14 Aug 2014 19:00:03 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1183821 at