Shopping http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1/all en-US 7 Places to Find Free or Cheap Groceries http://www.wisebread.com/7-places-to-find-free-or-cheap-groceries <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-places-to-find-free-or-cheap-groceries" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/portrait_of_smiling_woman_holding_a_grocery_bag.jpg" alt="Portrait of smiling woman holding a grocery bag" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It turns out, almost 40 percent of wasted food in the U.S. is tossed by consumers, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. This waste comes at a huge cost to our environment and to the budget of the average American. Luckily, we can help stop this waste by salvaging perfectly edible, delicious, and occasionally gourmet food with some minor tweaks to our shopping habits.</p> <p>But why stop at saving the planet when you can also save hundreds of dollars a year on dinner? Here are some of the best places to find salvage groceries.</p> <h2>1. Salvage grocery stores</h2> <p>Salvage grocery stores, also known as discount grocery stores or grocery outlets, stock merchandise that other food suppliers cannot sell. This includes packaged foods with dents and dings, food that is close to its expiration dates, overstocks, and seasonal items that are no longer in season.</p> <p>Typically, salvage stores offer a 50 percent discount on name-brand items, but some stores offer even steeper discounts depending on the package appearance. My local salvage grocery store even accepts coupons that give me additional discounts. If you're new to salvage grocery shopping, be sure to talk to the store staff about how to maximize savings.</p> <p>While I have some neighbors who shop exclusively at our local salvage grocery store, the double-edged sword of these establishments is the constantly shifting inventory that can vary from day to day. The store staff can give you the lowdown on delivery schedules so you can grab the freshest produce or the rarest snacks.</p> <p>Salvage grocery stores buy their merchandise from grocery reclamation centers &mdash; both places are regulated and inspected just like regular grocery stores, so the food you buy at a salvage store is just as safe to eat. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-alternatives-to-the-grocery-store?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Affordable Alternatives to the Grocery Store</a>)</p> <h2>2. The markdown rack</h2> <p>Many regular grocery stores have a discount rack of merchandise that can range from almost expired milk to mint condition product closeouts. While this rack is generally hidden at the back of the store, post-holiday, this discount rack can extend to several aisles of goods. I always purchase a metric ton of Easter candy the day after Easter. No one who eats my cookies or brownies has to know that the dark chocolate chunks are chopped up chocolate eggs or Easter Bunnies. The discount rack discount at the national chain stores is typically 30-50 percent off the regular price.</p> <h2>3. Imperfect produce</h2> <p><a href="https://www.imperfectproduce.com/home.php" target="_blank">Imperfect Produce</a> is a weekly farm box service that delivers to subscribers' front doors. What do stores consider imperfect produce? Items such as curved cucumbers that don't stack easily, gigantic or tiny avocados &mdash; really any fruit or vegetable that lacks uniformity qualifies as imperfect. Cost-wise, you will pay 30-50 percent less than what you would pay at a grocery store. Also, unlike most Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm box programs, Imperfect Produce allows subscribers to customize their boxes, so you will never get fruits or vegetables that you hate with your order.</p> <h2>4. The farmers market</h2> <p>It costs farmers time, money, energy, and gas to transport their goods to the market, and then it costs them additional time, money, energy, and gas to transport the unsold produce home or to dispose of it. To get the best discounts at the farmers market, go at the end of the day. Farmers would rather sell their food at a loss than not sell it at all.</p> <p>As a regular market customer, I get a lot of free produce from several farm stands at my local market. Rather than throw away unsellable, bruised produce, the farmers give me their damaged goods to turn into jams, pickles, and salads. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buy-this-not-that-at-the-farmers-market?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Buy This &mdash; Not That &mdash; at the Farmers Market</a>)</p> <h2>5. The farm</h2> <p>If you live in a rural area, you can skip the farmers market and go directly to the source. Farms will often give produce to farm staff as a perk of the job, which is why I work for four hours every week as a beekeeper at a local farm.</p> <p>Last year, at the height of the avocado shortage, I ate approximately $350 in free avocados that had fallen from the trees during a windstorm. I also took home hundreds of pounds of &quot;squirrel kissed&quot; plums that I converted to jam. This month, I've been enjoying tiny lettuces and really baby carrots in my salads, produce that was too small to be sold at the farmers market.</p> <p>Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF-USA) maintains a <a href="https://wwoofusa.org/how-it-works/" target="_blank">list of organic farms</a> worldwide that provide food (and lodging) in exchange for work.</p> <h2>6. The refrigerator</h2> <p>The average American family throws away more than $1,500 in food each year. What could your family do with an extra $1,500 of tax-free income per year?</p> <p>There are many ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-fridge-tricks-that-will-save-you-big?ref=internal" target="_blank">manage your food inventory to save money</a>. Even if you hate menu planning or meal prep, you can salvage your random leftovers by using an ingredient calculator to find recipes that will maximize the food your already own. Or, you can just commit to eating last night's leftovers for today's lunch. Or, if you are a thrill seeker, make <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-night-soup-delicious-soup-from-leftovers?ref=internal" target="_blank">Thursday Night Soup</a>.</p> <p>To remind my husband to pack leftovers for work lunches, I put everything that is approaching its &quot;eat by&quot; date on the top shelf of the refrigerator. This shelf is clearly labeled &quot;Eat Me First.&quot; This simple hack has dramatically cut down on food waste in our house. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-turn-leftover-sweet-potatoes-and-other-starchy-foods-into-something-special?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Ways to Turn Leftover Sweet Potatoes and Other Starchy Foods Into Something Special</a>)</p> <h2>7. The dumpster</h2> <p>Dumpster diving is the new recycling. Actually, it's an old, barely hidden secret activity enjoyed by TED Talkers, professors, and activists who have figured out how to eat like royalty on the budget of paupers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dumpster-diving-101-6-strategies-for-success?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Dumpster-Diving 101: 6 Strategies for Success</a>)</p> <p>Dumpster diving for food is actually less disgusting than dumpster diving for anything else. For one, most of the garbage found in most grocery store dumpsters is just food, and much of it is at least protected from the elements and from cross-contamination by a plastic bag. (You won't find super gross stuff like medical waste in grocery dumpsters.) Also, because food sellers have to be super-vigilant about vermin, your average store will take the necessary steps to protect their garbage from rats.</p> <p>Rob Greenfield, a sustainable living activist, biked through cities around the United States, eating food from around 300 different dumpsters. His blog features a decent photo representation of the quality and quantity of food available for the taking behind your local grocery store.</p> <p>Dumpster diving, just like every other variety of foraging, has a learning curve. If rescuing food all by your lonesome seems daunting, there are Meetup and Facebook groups full of salvage foodies who regularly run dumpster tours and rescued food dinner parties. It has become a much more common and accepted practice than most people would think. Even I, who thinks of herself as a seasoned urban scrounger, was shocked to discover Yelp reviews for dumpsters in my area! And New Yorkers actually have a directory of dumpsters by borough on the <a href="https://freegan.info/freegan-directories/dumpster-directory/manhattan/" target="_blank">freegan.info</a> website.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-places-to-find-free-or-cheap-groceries">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-having-your-groceries-delivered-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Having Your Groceries Delivered Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shop-the-salad-bar-and-other-ways-to-save-big-on-groceries">Shop the Salad Bar and Other Ways to Save Big on Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-checkout-line-tricks-to-finish-shopping-faster">5 Checkout Line Tricks to Finish Shopping Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-low-cost-foods-packed-with-nutrition">25 Low-Cost Foods Packed With Nutrition</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-15-foods-that-are-worth-buying-organic">The Only 15 Foods That Are Worth Buying Organic</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping Dumpster diving food scraps food shopping grocery tips salvage groceries Mon, 21 May 2018 08:31:22 +0000 Max Wong 2141990 at http://www.wisebread.com The 9 Best Storage Products as Recommended by Organization Pros http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-storage-products-as-recommended-by-organization-pros <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-9-best-storage-products-as-recommended-by-organization-pros" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/colorful_storage_cubes_476253601.jpg" alt="Colorful shelves of different colors with utensils" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You don't have to go shopping before you start organizing your home. Cardboard boxes and any containers you have sitting around the house will suffice for sorting items. But professional organizers know that there are certain containers, shelves, and gadgets that can make the job of decluttering easier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-keep-your-entire-life-clutter-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Smart Ways to Keep Your Entire Life Clutter-Free</a>)</p> <p>Besides, having a shiny new toy or two just might incentivize you to finally get to work on your decluttering project. Here are some top storage picks from the pros.</p> <h2>1. Paper sorter for container lids</h2> <p>I'm one of those cooks who saves every scrap of leftovers, no matter how small; so of course I have a million plastic and glass storage containers in my kitchen &mdash; and <em>of</em> <em>course</em> I have trouble corralling all those lids and keeping them in order. I was intrigued when I read on the <a href="http://bneatobar.com/the-tupperware-search-party/" target="_blank">Bneato Bar blog</a> that a <a href="https://amzn.to/2I8Nn0j" target="_blank">paper sorter</a> &mdash; normally found in offices &mdash; could be helpful the kitchen for keeping container lids accessible and visible in a drawer when placed on its side. I'll try it!</p> <h2>2. Lazy Susan</h2> <p>Raise your hand if you think we need a gender-neutral term for this incredibly useful device. Maybe I'll just start calling it a Lazy Sam. At any rate, put these <a href="https://amzn.to/2I3rUKj" target="_blank">rotating trays</a> in your pantry and cabinets.</p> <p>&quot;Instead of letting the oils and vinegars that fall to the back disappear, it keeps everything accessible because it spins!&quot; says professional organizer and blogger Tova Weinstock, aka Tidy Tova.</p> <h2>3. Linus clear open storage bins</h2> <p>These open-topped, <a href="https://amzn.to/2rtHeWj" target="_blank">stackable bins with built-in handles</a> by InterDesign are marketed as a bathroom organizer, but founder of Gotham Organizers, Lisa Zaslow, recommends them for every room and closet in the house.</p> <p>&quot;They come in a variety of sizes and make it super easy to group similar things together &mdash; one of the golden rules of organizing,&quot; Zaslow says. &quot;Because they're sturdy and easy to clean, they're particularly great for things that can spill or are sticky.&quot;</p> <p>Weinstock also recommends clear Linus bins, especially for the pantry.</p> <p>&quot;I love these for keeping like-items contained (think: baking supplies) so you know where things are and don't end up buying multiples,&quot; Weinstock says.</p> <h2>4. 3-tiered mesh tray</h2> <p>Founder of Chicago-based organizing service Organizing With You, Inc., Pooja Naik recommends a <a href="https://amzn.to/2Iv7OrI" target="_blank">tiered mesh tray</a> for taming desktop clutter by organizing papers that need attention into categories. It may seem obvious, but, she explains, it helps you get that first step of organizing done, clearing the surface, which then gives you more workspace to tackle the next task.</p> <h2>5. NEET zippered cable tie</h2> <p>With a video-gamer husband and three children who all have their own personal devices, I live in a cable nightmare. Charging cords dangle and sprawl all over my house, making areas that should be calm &mdash; like my bedroom &mdash; feel chaotic.</p> <p>Professional organizer and blogger Cary Prince found a product that just might solve my problem at the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) conference (yes, that's a thing). These <a href="https://amzn.to/2KKyRh7" target="_blank">zippered cable ties by NEET</a> are like little coats that zip around your cables, from skinny earbud wires to fat bunches of coaxial cables.</p> <p>At home, they can gather together messes of cables and keep them from getting coated with dust. In a purse or suitcase, they provide a convenient way to wrap up and contain cords so they don't get tangled.</p> <h2>6. MOS magnetic cable organizer</h2> <p>Another idea for reining in cord chaos is this chic <a href="https://amzn.to/2I8URAF" target="_blank">magnetic cable organizer</a> by MOS, which can be mounted on a wall or placed on a desktop. It comes with magnetic blue cable clips to attach cables to its surface. Founder and president of Mindful Decluttering &amp; Organizing, Pam Holland, included this item in her list of favorite organizing products, explaining, &quot;This attractive magnetic pad makes it easy to keep those unruly electronic cables in one place and untangled.&quot; (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-declutter-your-digital-life?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Easy Ways to Declutter Your Digital Life</a>)</p> <h2>7. Mesh stacking shoe shelves</h2> <p>More than one organizer I spoke with agreed that shoe racks or shelves are a must for preventing pileups. Zaslow swears by this <a href="https://www.containerstore.com/s/white-mesh-stackable-shoe-shelf/d?productId=10015028&amp;q=mesh%20shoe%20shelf" target="_blank">white mesh shoe shelf</a> from The Container Store.</p> <p>&quot;The mesh keeps heels from falling through the shelf, and you can quickly stack them up to store many pairs of shoes in a small 'footprint' &mdash; no tools needed. They are super minimal so you barely see them, but they're really strong, unlike some other flimsy shoe shelves,&quot; Zaslow says.</p> <h2>8. Command hooks</h2> <p>Lack of adequate hooks for hanging things is often a frustration for me, especially since I'm not handy with a drill. Zaslow solves this problem by using easy-to-apply <a href="https://amzn.to/2woHY49" target="_blank">Command hooks</a>, which come in a variety of sizes.</p> <p>&quot;There endless ways to use them: hang mops and brooms inside of a closet, create a spot for kids' backpacks near the front door, hang your blow dryer on the side of your vanity, or store oven mitts inside the door of a low cabinet near the stove,&quot; Zaslow says.</p> <h2>9. Stackable shelf organizer</h2> <p>Ideally, your kitchen would have shelves at the perfect heights to store all of your dishes and glasses, with no big gaps of wasted space between shelves. But why wait until you have the ideal kitchen before you start organizing, when you can maximize the space in the cupboards you have now? Holland recommends doing that with this <a href="https://amzn.to/2K4hWEZ" target="_blank">DecoBros product</a>, not just inside cupboards but also on countertops.</p> <p>&quot;I prefer these to the white wire ones commonly used as they are more stable and things don't slip through the cracks,&quot; Holland writes.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-storage-products-as-recommended-by-organization-pros">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-all-your-stuff-and-travel-the-world">How to Sell All Your Stuff and Travel the World</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-holding-onto-too-much-stuff-is-a-burden-for-your-loved-ones">Why Holding Onto Too Much Stuff Is a Burden for Your Loved Ones</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-label-makers">The 5 Best Label Makers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easiest-items-to-flip-for-cash">10 Easiest Items to &quot;Flip&quot; for Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization Shopping declutter decluttering tips organization tips professional organizers storage boxes storage hacks Tue, 15 May 2018 08:30:23 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2140342 at http://www.wisebread.com These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/the_perfect_dress_for_me.jpg" alt="The perfect dress for me" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a passionate yet frugal fashion connoisseur, I'm always looking for ways to keep the peace between my inner Chic Chandra and Frugal Fran. It isn't easy. One of my favorite ways to pacify both sides and exercise a bit of creativity is by engaging in shopping challenges. Some challenges I've found through social media, fashion blogs, and some my fellow spendthrift friends and I create ourselves.</p> <p>No matter what you're trying to do &mdash; be &quot;bougie on a budget,&quot; upgrade your wardrobe, try out different styles, or give yourself a complete makeover &mdash; shopping challenges help you simultaneously accomplish your fashion and finance goals. Below are a few of my favorites, but I challenge you to be creative and mix and modify these, or create your own.</p> <h2>1. No Shopping Challenge</h2> <p>The No Shopping Challenge is exactly like it sounds. You don't shop for a specific amount of time. It's one of my favorites. During the challenge, you don't buy clothes, shoes, or accessories of any kind. This challenge forces you to use what you have and re-envision your wardrobe. It stretches you past your comfort zone and it helps break your normal fashion thought pattern. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-simple-do-not-buy-list-keeps-money-in-your-pocket?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How a Simple &quot;Do Not Buy&quot; List Keeps Money in Your Pocket</a>)</p> <p>I always institute this challenge during a spending fast, but it usually extends far beyond the end of the fast. My shopping fasts usually last anywhere from four to eight months. However, some people stretch the challenge a full year.</p> <p>During my most recent fast, I noticed the most fascinating thing. Not once, during the entire six months, did I ever say to myself, &quot;I have nothing to wear.&quot; The shopping fast actually keeps my Frugal Fran happy and Chic Chandra satisfied.</p> <h2>2. Adding Accessories Challenge</h2> <p>In the Adding Accessory Challenge, you set a very small budget and buy nothing but accessories for a set period of time. This challenge came about during a time, several years ago, when money was tight because I was aggressively saving for a big-ticket item. I had $25 per month allocated for shopping, entertainment, and miscellaneous items. I wanted to revamp my outfits a bit without going over budget. And I found a way to do just that by accessorizing. Even though I had very little money to spend, during the initial challenge, I was able to amass quite a collection of eclectic accessories. The trick is to pair an interesting and eccentric piece of jewelry or a great hat with a basic outfit, allowing the accessories to take center stage.</p> <p>Accessories can be super cheap &mdash; if you have a keen eye and a bit of imagination. You can pick up scarves, hats, socks, jewelry, and even purses for very little money. I've paid as little as $.50 for some really great pieces. What you spend instead of money is time. Shop yard sales, thrift stores, sample sales, and keep an eye out for seasonal sales from your favorite brands, and you're sure to find some killer deals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-ways-to-save-money-on-clothes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">101 Ways to Save Money on Clothes</a>)</p> <h2>3. One In, One Out Challenge</h2> <p>The One In, One Out Challenge is all about spending money strategically and combating excess and wastefulness. The object of this challenge is that for every item you purchase, you must get rid of a similar item, sell it, or donate it to charity. For example, if you buy a pair of black pumps, you must get rid of a pair of dress shoes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-make-800-on-month-on-ebay-selling-used-clothes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How I Make $800 on Month on eBay Selling Used Clothes</a>)</p> <p>This challenge can be extremely difficult, because when you pick something up, you have to choose to let go of something else. It combats hoarding tendencies, making you regularly take stock of what you already have, and only purchasing things you need. It also helps you break your attachment to material things and become a more mindful shopper.</p> <h2>4. A Week Without Challenge</h2> <p>The Week Without Challenge is truly a challenge. The purpose of this challenge is to assess the clothing items you love and chose one or two of those items to go without for the week. For example, if you're always wearing black shoes, you would go an entire seven days without wearing black shoes. This really shakes up your wardrobe and makes you think outside the box.</p> <p>This challenge is especially helpful for people who have a very specific style and wear the same few items incessantly. If a T-shirt and jeans is your go-to outfit, you would go a week without wearing either one of those items. It's also a great challenge to do with a friend. Instead of you choosing the items to go without, you allow your friend to choose for you. It keeps you honest and it will provide you with a more objective perspective on your style. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-master-these-10-shopping-skills-before-you-hit-30?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Master These 10 Shopping Skills Before You Hit 30</a>)</p> <h2>5. The 10x10 Challenge</h2> <p><a href="http://www.stylebee.ca/10-x-10-challenge/" target="_blank">The 10x10 Challenge</a> is when you select 10 clothing items and style those items into different outfits for the same number of days. The catch is you wear <em>only </em>those 10 items for the entire 10 days. Chic Chandra just had a mild panic attack.</p> <p>This challenge really gets your creative juices flowing, and essentially helps you create a micro capsule closet. It will also highlight the fact that you can do a lot with very little. A boyfriend button down triples as a shirt, a dress, and a jacket. Tie it around your waste and you've got another look. It teaches you how to look at your clothes in a new way in lieu of always looking for new clothes. Some people do the challenge for 30 or even 60 days. Of course, the longer the time frame, the less challenging it becomes.</p> <h2>6. $30 Outfit Challenge</h2> <p>The $30 outfit challenge is all about learning how to shop on a budget. It makes you visit shops you may not otherwise visit. You are given a budget $30, and you must purchase an entire outfit &mdash; including shoes &mdash; without going over. I know you're reading this saying, &quot;There's no way.&quot; It's not only possible, it's actually pretty easy once you learn where to look and how to shop.</p> <p>If you're like most people, you have a handful of stores you frequent regularly. They are your tried and true. You know exactly how the clothes fit. You know the style, and you know the price range. This challenge pushes you to look beyond your traditional go-tos and visit stores and websites that may be outside your comfort zone. The best part about this challenge is that once you try it and succeed, you'll be hooked. And your inner Frugal Fran will rise to her feet and begin the slow clap that crescendos into thunderous applause.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/denise-hill">Denise Hill</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget">6 Guilty Pleasures That Are Killing Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-social-media-tricks-you-into-spending-more">8 Ways Social Media Tricks You Into Spending More</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-classic-impulse-buys-we-need-to-stop-falling-for">10 Classic Impulse Buys We Need to Stop Falling For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-simple-do-not-buy-list-keeps-money-in-your-pocket">How a Simple &quot;Do Not Buy&quot; List Keeps Money in Your Pocket</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping impulse buys new clothes no shopping challenge saving money shopping habits shopping tips style challenges Mon, 14 May 2018 09:01:08 +0000 Denise Hill 2140341 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Online Stores That Let You Try Before You Buy http://www.wisebread.com/5-online-stores-that-let-you-try-before-you-buy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-online-stores-that-let-you-try-before-you-buy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_woman_smiling_with_shopping_bags_outside.jpg" alt="Young woman smiling with shopping bags outside" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Shopping online is always a fun way to pass the time, but when your order arrives and it doesn't fit right or isn't how you pictured it, going through the return process can be a headache. Lots of online retailers are consistently updating their returns protocols to be as easy as possible, but it doesn't change the fact that your money has already been spent and you aren't happy.</p> <p>Luckily, there are brands that now offer a 'try before you buy' option, that gives you access to samples before buying full sizes, or shipping the items to you for $0 and giving you a trial period before charging you for the item. Here are a few you should check out.</p> <h2>1. Amazon Prime Samples and Prime Wardrobe</h2> <p>Exclusively for Prime members, <a href="https://amzn.to/2rfsQjM" target="_blank">Prime Samples</a> lets you try samples of food, baby items, beauty products, personal items, and household supplies. You can pick individual samples from their large selection, or you can select a box of pre-chosen samples in a specific product category. And when you buy samples, all are $2&ndash;$4 each, you get a credit of equivalent value to redeem on a future purchase of the full-size product if you decide to buy it.</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2JIrntx" target="_blank">Prime Wardrobe</a> offers a similar concept but with clothing, shoes, and accessories. Fill your box, try them for seven days, and you can either keep them and get charged for only the items you wish to keep, or return them all for free in the box and with the return label provided. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-amazon-prime-perks-youve-forgotten-to-use?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Amazon Prime Perks You've Forgotten to Use</a>)</p> <h2>2. Warby Parker</h2> <p>Choosing the right eyeglasses is a process that takes time. When the founders of <a href="https://www.warbyparker.com/home-try-on" target="_blank">Warby Parker</a> were tackling the challenge of an online store for glasses, they decided to try the sampling idea for customers, and it stuck. You can select five frames to test for five days and they'll ship them to you &mdash; for free! Send back the ones you don't want and only pay for the glasses that you wish to keep.</p> <h2>3. ThirdLove</h2> <p><a href="https://www.thirdlove.com/pages/try-before-buying#/" target="_blank">ThirdLove</a> has been making quite a splash with women. Because their bras are on the expensive side (about $68 each), the try-before-you-buy idea has helped them expand their customer base. Order your bra with the help of their online guide in finding your exact size (they have half sizes, too!), receive it in the mail, and then &quot;wear it, wash it, live in it&quot; for 30 days. If you love it, it's yours for $68. Don't love it? Return it for free, and they will donate it to their charity, <a href="https://www.thirdlove.com/blogs/unhooked/thirdlove-difference-importance-of-giving-back" target="_blank">Bras for All</a>.</p> <h2>4. Casper</h2> <p>Mattress purchases are challenging, and doubly so if you're buying them online. So <a href="https://casper.com/" target="_blank">Casper</a> makes it easy for you to give it a go. Buy your mattress, have it shipped right to your door, and then sleep on it for 100 days. Don't like it? No problem. They'll come pick it up with no additional cost to you, and they'll give you a full refund. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-a-mattress-in-10-minutes-or-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Buy a Mattress in 10 Minutes or Less</a>)</p> <h2>5. Sephora</h2> <p>Making a purchase online or in-store with <a href="https://www.sephora.com/free-beauty-samples" target="_blank">Sephora</a>? Make sure you take advantage of their generous free sample program to try some new products. When you place an order online, you can add three samples free of charge. In-store, you can ask for a sample of just about anything and they will accommodate you whether you're buying something or not.</p> <p>I have a Sephora in my neighborhood and every time I've visited, they are more than willing to whip up a sample of anything that interests me. And whenever I do make an in-store purchase, they always toss some samples into my bag as a little surprise. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-smartest-ways-to-save-at-sephora?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Smartest Ways to Save at Sephora</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-online-stores-that-let-you-try-before-you-buy&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Online%2520Stores%2520That%2520Let%2520You%2520Try%2520Before%2520You%2520Buy.jpg&amp;description=5%20Online%20Stores%20That%20Let%20You%20Try%20Before%20You%20Buy"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Online%20Stores%20That%20Let%20You%20Try%20Before%20You%20Buy.jpg" alt="5 Online Stores That Let You Try Before You Buy" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-online-stores-that-let-you-try-before-you-buy">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-amazon-prime-day-actually-worth-it-this-year">How to Make Amazon Prime Day Actually Worth It This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget">6 Guilty Pleasures That Are Killing Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget">These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-things-that-should-never-cost-more-than-99">11 Things That Should Never Cost More Than $99</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-a-simple-do-not-buy-list-keeps-money-in-your-pocket">How a Simple &quot;Do Not Buy&quot; List Keeps Money in Your Pocket</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping Amazon amazon prime casper free samples samples sephora shopping tips thirdlove warby parker Fri, 11 May 2018 08:30:15 +0000 Christa Avampato 2138950 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Cleansing Milks http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-cleansing-milks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-cleansing-milks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_washing_face_886381818.jpg" alt="Woman using best cleansing milk" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Cleansing milk is a gentle formula face wash that can cleanse the skin without irritating or stripping it of its natural oils. It's typically made from lightweight ingredients that won't leave a residue behind and can help maintain the skin's moisture balance.</p> <h2>What is a cleansing milk?</h2> <p>A cleansing milk, or milk cleanser, is a face wash product that can effectively, yet gently, remove dirt, makeup, and impurities from the face. It works well on most skin types, including normal, sensitive, combination, oily, dry, and mature skin.</p> <h2>Top 5 cleansing milks</h2> <h3>Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk</h3> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2JZNOuC" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/juice.jpg" width="80" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="https://amzn.to/2JZNOuC" target="_blank">Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk</a> is gentle enough for all skin types, including aging, dry, and sensitive skin. The organic cleanser deeply cleanses, tones, and removes makeup. The creamy formula soothes and replenishes with beneficial ingredients like organic grapeseed, sesame, and sunflower oils, aloe, neroli, organic juices, camomile, calendula, and linden. It also feeds the skin with vitamins C, B5, and E. It has no parabens, petroleum, SLS, pesticides, phthalates, or artificial dyes or fragrances. It comes from the trusted Juice Beauty brand and is backed by outstanding online reviews.</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2JZNOuC" target="_blank"><em>Currently $10.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Yes To Cucumbers Gentle Milk Cleanser</h3> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2Iiohzw" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/yes.jpg" width="232" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>An Amazon's Choice product, the dermatologist-recommended <a href="https://amzn.to/2Iiohzw" target="_blank">Yes To Cucumbers Gentle Milk Cleanser</a> works well on all skin types, including dry or sensitive skin. The natural cleanser is free of parabens, phthalates, and SLS. The gentle formula has calming ingredients and antioxidants like green tea, aloe vera, and soy proteins to moisturize the skin while cleansing it. The Allure &quot;Best of Beauty&quot; Award Winner is recommended by Consumer Search and backed by outstanding online reviews. If you'd like something with a slightly thicker consistency, consider the highly rated <a href="https://amzn.to/2rtyTkN" target="_blank">Yes To Coconut Cleansing Balm</a> instead.</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2Iiohzw" target="_blank"><em>Currently $20.69 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Clarins Cleansing Milk</h3> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2K2DrGs" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/clarins_0.jpg" width="74" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="https://amzn.to/2K2DrGs" target="_blank">Clarins Cleansing Milk</a> is gentle enough for all skin types, including normal or dry skin. The cleansing cream effectively removes makeup and impurities using alpine herbs to help maintain the skin's balance. The cult classic cleanser is recommended by TotalBeauty and backed by outstanding online reviews.</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2K2DrGs" target="_blank"><em>Currently $26.18 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Dr. Hauschka Soothing Cleansing Milk</h3> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2wlTxZJ" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/dr%20hauschka.jpg" width="81" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>An Amazon's Choice product, the <a href="https://amzn.to/2wlTxZJ" target="_blank">Dr. Hauschka Soothing Cleansing Milk</a> works well on all skin types, including dry, sensitive, oily, mature, and blemished skin. The calming cleanser melts into the skin to gently remove makeup, dirt, and oil without irritation. It contains ingredients like anthills, jojoba, and sweet almond oil for additional benefits to the skin. Recommended by Allure, it has a cult following among celebrities like Debra Messing.</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2wlTxZJ" target="_blank"><em>Currently $23.40 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Mario Badescu Cleansing Milk</h3> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2jF19gB" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/mario.jpg" width="79" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="https://amzn.to/2jF19gB" target="_blank">Mario Badescu Cleansing Milk</a> with carnation rice oil is enriched with vitamins and antioxidants to smooth and soften the skin. The gentle, creamy, wipe-off cleanser works on all skin types, including dry and sensitive skin. It removes makeup and debris, fights free radicals, and slows skin degradation. The cult classic has outstanding online reviews and is frequently recommended by beauty bloggers.</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2jF19gB" target="_blank"><em>Currently $12.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best cleansing milks. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar" target="_blank">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-5-best-cleansing-milks&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%25205%2520Best%2520Cleansing%2520Milks.jpg&amp;description=The%205%20Best%20Cleansing%20Milks"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%205%20Best%20Cleansing%20Milks.jpg" alt="The 5 Best Cleansing Milks" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-cleansing-milks">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-cleansing-balms">The 5 Best Cleansing Balms</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-charcoal-scrubs">The 5 Best Charcoal Scrubs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-face-scrubs">The 5 Best Face Scrubs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-facial-masks">The 5 Best Facial Masks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-dandruff-shampoos">The 5 Best Dandruff Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Shopping 5 best beauty products cleansing milk face cleanser face wash product reviews skin care Thu, 10 May 2018 08:00:12 +0000 Andrea Cannon 2139809 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Best Apps for In-Store and Online Savings http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-best-apps-for-in-store-and-online-savings <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-best-apps-for-in-store-and-online-savings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_grocery_store_phone_853947248.jpg" alt="Woman using best apps for in-store savings" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on the best money saving apps that you&rsquo;ll use all the time, last minute DIY gifts for Mother&rsquo;s Day, and inexpensive self-care tips.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://www.thriftyfrugalmom.com/money-saving-apps/">The Best Money Saving Apps (that you&rsquo;ll use every week!)</a> &mdash; You can save a ton of cash just by using these apps in stores and online. [Thrifty Frugal Mom]</p> <p><a href="https://thefrugalchicken.com/last-minute-diy-gifts-for-mothers-day/">Last minute DIY gifts for Mother&rsquo;s Day</a> &mdash; These DIY Mother's Day gifts are creative, thoughtful and, best of all, are quick and easy to make! [Pampered Chicken Mama]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thefrugalfeminista.com/7-inexpensive-self-care-tips-when-dealing-with-stressful-finances/">7 Inexpensive Self-Care Tips When Dealing with Stressful Finances</a> &mdash; Working toward your financial goals can be really stressful sometimes, which makes it all the more important to practice self-care every day. [The Frugal Feminista]</p> <p><a href="https://madmoneymonster.com/2018/05/03/how-to-be-financially-independent-as-a-stay-at-home-mom/">How To Be Financially Independent As A Stay-At-Home Mom</a> &mdash; Stay-at-home moms can still earn an income by working from home, in a variety of fields. [Mad Money Monster]</p> <p><a href="https://theartofsimple.net/hospitalityhack/">5 Simple Hacks to Take the Stress Out of Hospitality</a> &mdash; Having guests over should not burn you out! Keeping it simple means a good time for everyone &mdash; including you. [The Art of Simple]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="https://www.fromfrugaltofree.com/garden-plants-practically-impossible-kill-climate/">Garden Plants That Are Practically Impossible to Kill In Any Climate</a> &mdash; Both indoor and outdoor plants offer a variety of benefits, but not all of us have green thumbs. Luckily, there are a number of plants that are almost impossible to kill. [From Frugal To Free]</p> <p><a href="https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2018/0501/After-a-long-lull-inflation-rises-from-gas-pumps-to-retail-stores">After a long lull, inflation rises from gas-pumps to retail stores</a> &mdash; Prices have been rising across most industries. What does this mean for the economy at large? [The Christian Science Monitor]</p> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/DIY-Lavender-Mosquito-Repellent-42643778">This 2-Ingredient Nighttime Mosquito Repellent Is So Easy to Make</a> &mdash; Sleep easy &mdash; and mosquito-free! &mdash; with a just few spritzes of this homemade lavender spray. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="https://fabulesslyfrugal.com/clean-out-junk-drawer/#.Wuyaasgh3BI">What To Do With the Junk in Your Junk Drawer</a> &mdash; There's probably a lot of useful stuff in your junk drawer&hellip;but what about the things you no longer need? Odds are, you can donate to a charitable organization that would make good use of it. [Fabulessly Frugal]</p> <p><a href="https://www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com/this-one-thing-will-make-you-a-successful-blogger/">This One Thing Will Make You a Successful Blogger</a> &mdash; Whether you blog to share recipes, make money, or just to keep a diary of your day &mdash; if you want to be successful at it, you need to keep this one thing in mind. [The Frugal Millionaire]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-best-apps-for-in-store-and-online-savings">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">7 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016">The 8 Shopping Apps That&#039;ll Actually Save You Money in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-prescription-drug-coupons">Don&#039;t Use Your Prescription Drug Coupons Until You Read This</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-best-couponing-apps">The 10 Best Couponing Apps</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping apps best money tips Mon, 07 May 2018 08:31:18 +0000 Amy Lu 2139062 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Cleansing Balms http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-cleansing-balms <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-cleansing-balms" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_face_cream_612641354.jpg" alt="Woman using besy cleansing balms" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If your skin ever feels dry or irritated after you've washed it, consider adding a cleansing balm to your routine. It can remove dirt, makeup, and impurities, while helping restore the skin's moisture balance, leaving it soft, hydrated, and healthy.</p> <h2>What is a cleansing balm?</h2> <p>A cleansing balm is a creamy makeup remover that can also calm the skin. While balm cleansers can be extremely effective at removing stubborn makeup, they won't irritate sensitive skin or dry it out. They typically start off as a wax and become an oil once they come in contact with the skin.</p> <h2>Top 5 cleansing balms</h2> <h3>CLINIQUE by Clinique: TAKE THE DAY OFF CLEANSING BALM</h3> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2HMnpUc" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/clinique_0.jpg" width="245" height="183" align="right" alt="" /></a>The cult classic <a href="https://amzn.to/2HMnpUc" target="_blank">CLINIQUE by Clinique: TAKE THE DAY OFF CLEANSING BALM</a> works quickly to gently remove dirt and makeup without irritating the skin. It works on all skin types, including dry and sensitive skin. The cult classic is recommended by publications like Allure, Harper's Bazaar, Shape Magazine, Rank &amp; Style, The Independent, Good Housekeeping Institute, Refinery29, TotalBeauty, and The Cut. If you're looking for a creamy cleanser, consider the best-selling <a href="https://amzn.to/2ri99I1" target="_blank">Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Milk</a> instead.</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2HMnpUc" target="_blank"><em>Currently $23.45 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm</h3> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2rfYmOt" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/farmacy.jpg" width="245" height="222" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="https://amzn.to/2rfYmOt" target="_blank">Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm</a> effectively removes even waterproof makeup. It also gently removes dirt, oil, pollution buildup, and impurities. The nourishing cleansing balm-to-oil formula is made with echinacea greenenvy and other powerful ingredients to leave the skin feeling soft and hydrated. The Allure &quot;Best of Beauty&quot; Award Winner is recommended by The Good Housekeeping Institute, TotalBeauty, and Rank &amp; Style.</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2rfYmOt" target="_blank"><em>Currently $49.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup 3-in-1 Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm</h3> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2HL7tO9" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/it.jpg" width="245" height="241" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="https://amzn.to/2HL7tO9" target="_blank">IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup 3-in-1 Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm</a> effectively removes makeup in no time. The hydrating, sulfate-free, paraben free, purifying instant makeup remover is a creamy blend of botanical oils, antioxidants, and high-performing ingredients, like collagen, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and ceramides to provide softer, hydrated skin. It's also made with an anti-aging, skin-softening serum concentrate to help reduce lines and signs of aging. It was developed by plastic surgeons and is recommended by Allure, TotalBeauty, and Rank &amp; Style.</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2HL7tO9" target="_blank"><em>Currently $38.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm</h3> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2jnWtvr" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/elemis.jpg" width="245" height="180" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="https://amzn.to/2jnWtvr" target="_blank">ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm</a> deep cleans, softens, and nourishes the skin all at once. It is made with active plant extracts and botanicals, rose water, and other beneficial ingredients to gently dissolve makeup, dirt, and pollutants. After removing the balm, any of the collagen-boosting and antioxidant-rich blend left behind will only further benefit your skin. It's formulated without artificial colors, parabens, SLS, or mineral oils.</p> <p>This works on most skin types, including dry, aging skin. It is recommended by publications like Allure, Harper's Bazaar, Shape Magazine, Stylist, The Independent, The Cut, and Refinery29.</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2jnWtvr" target="_blank"><em>Currently $14.10 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Heimish All Clean Balm</h3> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2rbXhIj" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/heimish.jpg" width="237" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>Amazon's Choice for cleansing balms, the hypoallergenic <a href="https://amzn.to/2rbXhIj" target="_blank">Heimish All Clean Balm</a> works well on all skin types, including sensitive skin. It effectively removes makeup without irritation or residue buildup, so skin feels clean and soft. The balm cleanser changes to an oil texture once it touches water, so it is gentle on any delicate areas. It has over 300 five-star reviews on Amazon and most reviewers agree that it smells great.</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2rbXhIj" target="_blank"><em>Currently $18.25 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best cleansing balms. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar" target="_blank">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-5-best-cleansing-balms&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%25205%2520Best%2520Cleansing%2520Balms.jpg&amp;description=The%205%20Best%20Cleansing%20Balms"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%205%20Best%20Cleansing%20Balms.jpg" alt="The 5 Best Cleansing Balms" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-cleansing-balms">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-cleansing-milks">The 5 Best Cleansing Milks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-facial-masks">The 5 Best Facial Masks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-dandruff-shampoos">The 5 Best Dandruff Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-tweezers">The 5 Best Tweezers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-hair-mousses">The 5 Best Hair Mousses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Shopping 5 best beauty products cleansing balms face creams product reviews skin care Thu, 03 May 2018 08:00:14 +0000 Andrea Cannon 2138309 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Spot a Knockoff http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-spot-a-knockoff <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-spot-a-knockoff" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_with_little_black_bag_in_stylish_outfit.jpg" alt="Woman with little black bag in stylish outfit" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The counterfeit goods business is a big problem, so big that it's valued at <a href="http://www.oecd.org/gov/risk/trade-in-counterfeit-and-pirated-goods-9789264252653-en.htm" target="_blank">$461 billion as of 2013</a>. Knockoffs are everywhere, and can be found in almost every product line. It's not just watches and purses, but razor blades, laundry detergent, cosmetics, toys, medications, and even fish, wine, and milk. And counterfeiters are getting more sophisticated with their copies. So, how do you protect yourself? Here are 10 ways to avoid getting taken.</p> <h2>1. The price is too good to be true</h2> <p>You can argue that some brands are way overpriced (Kanye West really does sell a plain white T-shirt for $120). The price of any legitimate product you purchase goes way beyond the cost of materials. You're paying for fancy ad campaigns, design and research costs, quality materials, and many other factors. Knockoff brands don't have to incorporate any of that, so although they look almost identical, they can be priced at 75 percent less than the original, and that should be an immediate red flag. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-cheap-clothes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The High Cost of Cheap Clothes</a>)</p> <h2>2. It's not available from the original retailers</h2> <p>Retail stores and trusted online sites go to great lengths to keep fakes out of the system. They also have the power to help authorities track down the suppliers of knockoffs. If you see incredible prices online for brands you know to be much more expensive, they will be on unfamiliar, sketchy-looking sites.</p> <p>If someone is selling these items on the streets of your town or city, that's also a major warning sign. Not only will you be risking more than just the purchase of a fake brand, but you have no way to return the illegal purchase. Even eBay has had trouble with knockoffs, and will often have to remove sellers when they find out the items are counterfeit.</p> <h2>3. You find mistakes and typos</h2> <p>Knockoff products do not go through the rigorous quality controls that legal items must endure. It's extremely rare to find errors on legitimate products, and those that do have them are usually marked down and sold in outlets. If you see spelling errors, especially in logos, then it's a fake. If you see highly visible typos (not something buried in legal verbiage), then it's almost certainly fake. If you notice that the color combinations are way out of character for the brand, then it's most likely a knockoff.</p> <h2>4. The materials look and feel wrong</h2> <p>If you examine the product and it feels off, it's good to trust your gut. It could be way lighter than you expect it to be, or not as smooth and luxurious as you'd hoped. Knockoff brands cut corners, using man-made materials in place of leather or suede, steel instead of silver and gold, and cheap alternatives to quality supplies. If it just feels wrong when you handle it, you should walk away. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-spot-and-avoid-a-fake-sale?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Ways to Spot and Avoid a Fake Sale</a>)</p> <h2>5. The workmanship is way below par</h2> <p>From a distance, fakes can be difficult to spot. However, if you get up close, you should be able to see some of the poor quality workmanship. For example, on clothing and bags, you will come across inferior stitching, misaligned labels, overprinting, collar tags instead of tagless labels, and uneven embossing. Authentic products are well-made because a brand's reputation is everything. With knockoffs, it's just about profit margins.</p> <h2>6. The description goes overboard on &quot;authenticity&quot;</h2> <p>Real products don't usually have to point out that they're authentic. Fake products, on the other hand, are promoted with language that sounds desperate to convince you that they're the real deal. You'll see phrases like &quot;100 percent authentic,&quot; &quot;no cheap knockoffs,&quot; and &quot;verified genuine.&quot; Any kind of description littered with these words is akin to a serial cheater telling you they are totally, completely, 100 percent trustworthy. Yeah, sure.</p> <h2>7. Smell and color can be major red flags</h2> <p>You may think, <em>what's the harm?</em> when buying a knockoff perfume, if it looks and smells the same. Well, keep in mind that shortcuts to make the product cheaper might include using ingredients like antifreeze and urine. Yes, pee has been used in the production of counterfeit perfume. Imagine what that could do to your skin.</p> <p>The other biggest indicator, other than price and smell, is color. Genuine perfumes do not use a lot of dye in the formulation. Also, the bottle will be a little misshapen, or the glass could be cloudy.</p> <h2>8. The packaging is off</h2> <p>Sneakers, for example, can go for thousands of dollars, especially the limited editions. If you spy a pair that you really want, carefully inspect the box first. Look up genuine sneaker box packaging on your phone and look for shoe size placement, logos, and the color of the box. The fakes will be a little off, and the printing won't be as sharp. Look inside for the correct labels. Everything should match with the box. Look at the stitching. It will be perfect on a genuine sneaker.</p> <p>Take a whiff, too. It should smell fresh and new, not like chemicals or &quot;gluey.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Use magnets and your breath to check jewelry</h2> <p>When it comes to precious metals, your secret weapon here is a magnet. Gold and silver are not magnetic, so if the solid gold chain sticks to the magnet, it's either gold plated or simply gold colored metal.</p> <p>With diamonds, breathe on them. A genuine diamond does not retain heat so it will not fog up. A fake one will go cloudy. Also, look for hallmarks on jewelry. Most counterfeiters cannot be bothered to stamp them.</p> <h2>10. Test out electronics before buying</h2> <p>Fake electronics can look identical to the real deal, but the internal components are miles away from the quality of the originals. First, turn it on (if you can). When you fire up a new tech gadget, it should work perfectly. You shouldn't have issues with flickering, loading, or anything else.</p> <p>Look for misspellings, especially in the places most people don't look (the serial number panels, inside the battery compartment, and so on). Also, make sure the packaging and the item are on-brand. Apple is very clean, sleek, and simple. If your packaging is busy, it's not Apple. Most genuine electronics have a certification mark and a hologram &mdash; these are almost impossible to fake. And again, look at the price. An offer of $250 for a new iPhone? Yeah, that's clearly counterfeit.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-ways-to-spot-a-knockoff&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Ways%2520to%2520Spot%2520a%2520Knockoff.jpg&amp;description=10%20Ways%20to%20Spot%20a%20Knockoff"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Ways%20to%20Spot%20a%20Knockoff.jpg" alt="10 Ways to Spot a Knockoff" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-spot-a-knockoff">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget">6 Guilty Pleasures That Are Killing Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-things-that-should-never-cost-more-than-99">11 Things That Should Never Cost More Than $99</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/now-or-later-how-to-decide-the-right-time-to-buy-almost-anything">Now or Later: How to Decide the Right Time to Buy Almost Anything</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-small-monthly-bills-slowly-wreck-your-annual-budget">How Small Monthly Bills Slowly Wreck Your Annual Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping knockoff handbags knockoffs luxury items rip off shopping tips Spending Money Tue, 01 May 2018 09:00:10 +0000 Paul Michael 2135303 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Guilty Pleasures That Are Killing Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coffee_to_go.jpg" alt="Coffee to go" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to guilty pleasures, we all have a few. Some vices are fine to indulge in every once in a while &mdash; like that weekly caramel latte. However, splurging too much on these vices can rob our budget, and in some cases, our health. Here are six guilty pleasures that are destroying your budget.</p> <h2>1. Smoking</h2> <p>Smoking is famously detrimental to your health, of that we are all aware. But it's also a nightmare for your budget. The average cost of a pack of cigarettes is $6.16, with most states charging between $5-$10 a pack. Smoke five packs a week, and you are looking at spending more than $1,600 a year on cigarettes.</p> <p>Even if you label yourself a social smoker, and only smoke the occasional cigarette, you're risking getting addicted, or resurrecting a smoking addiction you've previously kicked. Your financial and physical health will both prosper by dropping this habit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-smoking?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Rich You'd Be If You Stopped Smoking</a>)</p> <h2>2. Eating out for lunch</h2> <p>When you're rushing around in the morning, it seems easier to just buy lunch near your place of business. But shelling out your hard-earned cash every day of the workweek can quickly add up. According to a Visa survey, the average American spends $11.14 twice per week on eating lunch out. And that works out to be over $1,000 annually that you could be putting into an emergency fund, your 401(k), or your child's college fund while bringing a bag lunch to work instead.</p> <h2>3. Monthly subscriptions</h2> <p>How many subscriptions do you currently pay for each month that you can live without? Add up your magazine subscriptions, radio, books, TV subscriptions, meal deliveries, and any fun monthly boxes you receive each month. If you aren't using these subscriptions or can do without them, now is the time to cancel.</p> <p>Canceling $150 worth of subscriptions and memberships a month will allow you to save $1,800 a year. Think about how far that $1,800 could go in your debt repayment quest. You could even plan a European vacation with your spouse with that money. Is a monthly box of makeup samples or dog treats really worth it? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-on-a-european-getaway-with-kids?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Save on a European Getaway With Kids</a>.)</p> <h2>4. Buying lottery tickets</h2> <p>Whether you drop a few hundred dollars playing poker with friends or buy $10 worth of lottery tickets each week, this guilty pleasure adds up quickly. Even if your casual gambling habits only cost you $200 a year, think about how much more likely your $200 can yield a return if you invested it into the stock market or an ETF. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-safeguard-your-financial-future-with-just-200?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Safeguard Your Financial Future With Just $200</a>)</p> <h2>5. Retail therapy</h2> <p>Retail therapy is a quick way to turn a frown upside down, for many people. It's also a quick way to spend tons of money. Even if you stick to seasonal sales and the clearance rack, it's easy to spend $100 on unneeded items in a single shopping spree. Feeling the need to shop like this once a month will drain you $1,200 a year, and you will probably be struggling with extra clutter, too.</p> <p>Invest this $1,200 in your retirement account each year instead and that'll be one less thing (and a big one) causing you stress &mdash; that often leads you to retail therapy in the first place &mdash; effectively breaking this cycle and improving your financial health.</p> <h2>6. Daily lattes</h2> <p>Five-dollar lattes or blended coffee drinks seem like a drop of change in the bucket. Buy one 300 days out of the year, however, and your coffee habit runs up a $1,500 tab. Brew from home and in five years you'll have enough for a $7,500 down payment on a home instead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking-expensive-coffee?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Rich You'd Be if You Stopped Drinking Expensive Coffee</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Guilty%2520Pleasures%2520That%2520Are%2520Killing%2520Your%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=6%20Guilty%20Pleasures%20That%20Are%20Killing%20Your%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Guilty%20Pleasures%20That%20Are%20Killing%20Your%20Budget.jpg" alt="6 Guilty Pleasures That Are Killing Your Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-things-that-should-never-cost-more-than-99">11 Things That Should Never Cost More Than $99</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget">These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-reason-we-still-spend-to-impress">The Real Reason We Still Spend to Impress</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">39 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping bad habits budget tips Guilty Pleasures shopping habits shopping tips Spending Money Fri, 27 Apr 2018 09:00:09 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 2133484 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Smart Thermostats http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-smart-thermostats <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-smart-thermostats" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/home_smart_thermostat_474100082.jpg" alt="Using the best smart thermostats at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A smart thermostat can automatically adjust the temperature when no one is home to save you money every season. It can save energy and may even help you qualify for energy-saving programs and utility rebates. Over time, a smart thermostat can even pay for itself with the savings you'll enjoy.</p> <h2>What is a smart thermostat?</h2> <p>A smart thermostat can make your home more energy-efficient. Investing in a smart thermostat can save you big money in the end. That's because running your furnace, heater, or air conditioner more than necessary will just cost you more on your utility bills. The right smart thermostat can keep you at the optimal temperature while you're at home, and help save money on your heating and cooling costs while you're away.</p> <p>In most cases, you can easily connect a smart thermostat to your Wi-Fi network to control it from anywhere. They typically work with most HVAC systems and couldn't be easier to use and setup. They can even learn your habits and schedule, so your home or business is always at the ideal temperature.</p> <h2>Top 5 smart thermostats</h2> <h3>Nest Learning Thermostat</h3> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2FbCGYB" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/nest.jpg" width="245" height="245" align="right" alt="" /></a>Amazon's #1 best-seller in home programmable thermostats, the <a href="https://amzn.to/2FbCGYB" target="_blank">Nest Learning Thermostat</a> learns your habits and schedule. It's easy to use and install, and works with Amazon Alexa, the Nest App, and other smart devices. It features energy saving options, a remote control, auto scheduling, and much more. The Energy Star thermostat also uses Farsight for an easy-to-read display that you can see from across the room, which displays the temperature, weather, and time. It can also alert you if something is wrong in the home while you're away.</p> <p>This is available in a number of color options. It's backed by over 17,000 five-star reviews on Amazon and is recommended by CNET, Tom's Guide, Lifehacker, PCMag, and DigitalTrends.</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2FbCGYB" target="_blank"><em>Currently $222.50 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Honeywell Smart Wi-Fi Programmable Color Touch Thermostat</h3> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2HohGnr" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/honeywell_5.jpg" width="245" height="190" align="right" alt="" /></a>An Amazon's Choice product, the <a href="https://amzn.to/2HohGnr" target="_blank">Honeywell Smart Wi-Fi Programmable Color Touch Thermostat</a> works with Amazon Alexa. The smart programmable features include flexible scheduling, smart response technology, on-screen comfort information, indoor humidity sensor, auto alerts, and energy-saving options. It includes an app so you can control your thermostat from anywhere. The advanced comfort, security, and control features include a customizable locking color touch-screen, simple setup, and Wi-Fi remote access. It's recommended by Lifehacker and backed by over 3,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2HohGnr" target="_blank"><em>Currently $183.95 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>ecobee3 lite Smart Thermostat</h3> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2JnwHCI" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/ecobee3.jpg" width="245" height="243" align="right" alt="" /></a>Amazon's Choice for smart thermostats, the <a href="https://amzn.to/2JnwHCI" target="_blank">ecobee3 lite Smart Thermostat</a>, 2nd Generation works with Amazon Alexa, optional room sensors, and the mobile app. It offers hands-free control, HomeKit capabilities, and hundreds of integration possibilities. It's easy to install with an easy-to-use touch-screen display. It works with your local weather, schedule, and desired comfort settings.</p> <p>While there are other (even newer) versions of this smart thermostat (such as the <a href="https://amzn.to/2K9PimO" target="_blank">ecobee4 Thermostat</a>), the ecobee3 remains the most popular, dependable option for most people. It has more than 500 five-star reviews on Amazon and is recommended by CNET, Tom's Guide, and Lifehacker. It's also backed by a three-year warranty.</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2JnwHCI" target="_blank"><em>Currently $169.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Emerson Thermostats Sensi Smart Thermostat</h3> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2KdryhK" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/emerson_0.jpg" width="245" height="156" align="right" alt="" /></a>Amazon's Choice for learning thermostats, the <a href="https://amzn.to/2KdryhK" target="_blank">Emerson Thermostats Sensi Smart Thermostat</a>, works with Amazon Alexa and other smart devices. It's easy to install and remotely control temperature and timeline with the free mobile app. It uses geofencing for location-based temperature control and flexible scheduling to help reduce your utility bills. It's recommended by CNET and Lifehacker, and backed by more than 3,500 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2KdryhK" target="_blank"><em>Currently $135.89 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Honeywell Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Smart Touchscreen Thermostat</h3> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2HUx8ol" target="_blank"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/honeywell%20t5.jpg" width="245" height="244" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="https://amzn.to/2HUx8ol" target="_blank">Honeywell Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Smart Programmable Touchscreen Thermostat</a> works with Amazon Alexa and features a simple app and HomeKit technology. It also has automation features like Smart Alerts, individualized programming, and geofencing location-based temperature control.</p> <p>The Energy Star Certified thermostat is easy to use and install, allowing you to connect from anywhere with your smartphone or tablet. It has more than 600 five-star reviews on Amazon and is recommended by CNET, PCMag, and Digital Trends.</p> <p><a href="https://amzn.to/2HUx8ol" target="_blank"><em>Currently $98.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best smart thermostats. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar" target="_blank">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-5-best-smart-thermostats&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%25205%2520Best%2520Smart%2520Thermostats.jpg&amp;description=The%205%20Best%20Smart%20Thermostats"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%205%20Best%20Smart%20Thermostats.jpg" alt="The 5 Best Smart Thermostats" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-smart-thermostats">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-usb-powered-fans">The 5 Best USB-Powered Fans</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-glass-cleaners">The 5 Best Glass Cleaners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-allergen-sprays">The 5 Best Allergen Sprays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-shower-curtains">The 5 Best Shower Curtains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping Technology energy bills go green home product reviews smart thermostat thermostat Wed, 25 Apr 2018 08:00:07 +0000 Andrea Cannon 2135768 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways Social Media Tricks You Into Spending More http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-social-media-tricks-you-into-spending-more <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-social-media-tricks-you-into-spending-more" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/summer_shopping_in_the_city.jpg" alt="Summer shopping in the city" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to saving money, social media may not be your friend &mdash; especially if you're a millennial. Research shows that a whopping <a href="https://www.allianzlife.com/-/media/files/allianz/pdfs/newsroom/2018-allianz-generations-ahead-fact-sheet-3.pdf?la=en&amp;hash=1EEE6760599516273AC49A4712924887E665A52A" target="_blank">57 percent of millennials</a> spent money they hadn't planned to spend because of what they saw on social media. Here are some of the sneaky ways social media gets you to spend more, and what you can do to avoid it.</p> <h2>1. Impulse buys</h2> <p>Social media makes it easy for you to hand over your hard-earned (digital) cash with frictionless in-app purchases, like unlocking game levels, adding monthly subscriptions, and shopping for items recommended by people you follow. Within seconds, you can tap or swipe your way into an expensive, unplanned purchase.</p> <p>Avoid this impulse by making it your policy to save the photo of the item or subscription and revisit it at a later date. Chances are, by the time you look at the saved photo later, you won't want the item as badly, or at all. Another strategy that works for me is looking up the reviews of the item before buying. A lot of the time, items that are super trendy on social media get terrible reviews in real life. Find a mental trick that works for you, like telling yourself you'll wait until the item is on sale, to delay purchasing until you've thought it through. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-effortless-ways-to-prevent-budget-busting-impulse-buys?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Effortless Ways to Prevent Budget-Busting Impulse Buys</a>)</p> <h2>2. Suggested posts</h2> <p>Social media algorithms may not be helping you in your quest to save money. If you've shown interest in anything from fashion, to coffee, to beauty products, the algorithm on platforms like Instagram remembers what it thinks you like and shows you similar content and products. When you open up the app, the algorithm may then show you a barrage of things you should buy &mdash; and they're usually tailored to your preferences, making it doubly hard to resist.</p> <p>To avoid this influx of temptation, be sure to avoid the Explore page on Instagram or skip over suggested posts if you can. You might not be able to avoid all temptation, but you'll definitely cut down on the sheer number of tempting photos you see. Also, avoid &quot;liking&quot; photos full of products, so the algorithm doesn't push similar content into your feed. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-mental-biases-that-are-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Mental Biases That Are Keeping You Poor</a>)</p> <h2>3. Those sneaky influencers</h2> <p>If you follow any influencers, your best bet is to unfollow them if you want to keep your hard-earned cash. Seeing someone else's perfectly-curated and styled life is a surefire way to feel unsatisfied with what you currently have, especially if the influencer has (as most do) cultivated an approachable persona.</p> <p>Remember, influencers are <em>not</em> just like us. That entire line of Tom Ford lipsticks, the stylish new watches, and the new clothing line at Nordstrom were probably all provided for free, as was the trip on a private yacht to a beautiful island getaway to show off all their new wares in front of epic scenery. If you start trying to keep up with your favorite influencer's lifestyle, you'll quickly end up in the poorhouse.</p> <h2>4. FOMO</h2> <p>It's telling that fear of missing out, aka FOMO, has become common parlance on social media. Most of us, to some extent, want to keep up with everyone else. And we fear being left behind, or being seen as not up-to-date.</p> <p>Remember that trends come and go fast, especially on social media. Once you buy that latest gear, watch, or stylish outfit, in a few months, the next trend cycle will be pushing another product. Instead of buying something to fit in with the crowd, think about whether it truly fits in with your needs and lifestyle. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-letting-fomo-ruin-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are You Letting FOMO Ruin Your Finances?</a>)</p> <h2>5. An expanded social circle</h2> <p>Before the advent of social media, it was hard enough to resist comparing ourselves to our friends, but it's even more difficult now with our drastically expanded circles on social media. The increased frequency of social contact online has also made it harder to resist spending. Whereas before social media, you might've seen that uber-rich high school classmate once a year, now you see what she's doing everyday on Instagram. In fact, 88 percent of millennials believe that social media makes them compare themselves more with others.</p> <p>Consider unfollowing people you barely know on social media, especially if they're a bad influence on your shopping habits. Instead, interact with closer friends more frequently &mdash; social media algorithms usually show you posts from accounts you interact with more frequently &mdash; rather than acquaintances you barely know, and will probably never see again in real life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-money-lessons-you-can-learn-from-the-joneses?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Money Lessons You Can Learn From the Joneses</a>)</p> <h2>6. Endless MLMs from old friends</h2> <p>Not long ago, it seemed like every time I opened Facebook, another friend was hawking leggings, skin care, or essential oils from a multilevel marketing (MLM) company. Wanting to support friends who are trying to make ends meet is an admirable goal, but doing so can quickly add up, especially with the high prices of most of these MLM products. Before long, buying a few products I didn't need had completely wiped out my &quot;fun&quot; money for the month.</p> <p>Facebook allows you to stay friends with a person, but to stop allowing their posts to show up on your feed. All you need to do is unfollow. Eventually, I had to block the feeds of more than one person to prevent my feed from turning into one huge ad. Those friends can still send messages to me, but I don't see what they post unless I consciously go and check out their page. And now, when people approach me about MLM products, I tell them that I already have a supplier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-friend-types-that-can-hurt-your-finances?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Friend Types That Can Hurt Your Finances</a>)</p> <h2>7. Hyper-targeted ads</h2> <p>Sometimes it seems as if the internet is reading your mind. Advertisers on social media are able to target you based on the data you generate by using the platform. Everything including the movie you streamed recently, the ramen shop you checked in at, and your political leanings are accessible in this new marketplace, making it harder to ignore ads that seem custom-made for you.</p> <p>In the interest of preserving your hard-earned cash, take steps to prevent ads from being quite as eerily targeted toward your likes. Clicking on the small triangular &quot;AdChoices&quot; logo on any online ads served to you will take you to a page run by an organization called the Digital Advertising Alliance. Once you get to the AdChoices page, you can opt out of having ad networks target you with personalized information. It won't block ads entirely, but it will help you avoid the onslaught of personalized ads.</p> <h2>8. Go off the grid</h2> <p>It may seem old-fashioned, but it's nice to take a break from social media sometimes if you feel you're too caught up in the constant marketing ploys. Research shows that spending a lot of time on social media can have negative effects on your mental health. Try consciously unplugging over the weekend and spending that time with friends in-person, or limiting yourself to an hour a day of social media time throughout the week.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-ways-social-media-tricks-you-into-spending-more&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Ways%2520Social%2520Media%2520Tricks%2520You%2520Into%2520Spending%2520More.jpg&amp;description=8%20Ways%20Social%20Media%20Tricks%20You%20Into%20Spending%20More"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Ways%20Social%20Media%20Tricks%20You%20Into%20Spending%20More.jpg" alt="8 Ways Social Media Tricks You Into Spending More" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-social-media-tricks-you-into-spending-more">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-too-many-decisions-costs-you-money">Here&#039;s How Too Many Decisions Costs You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget">These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-7-common-spring-spending-traps">How to Avoid 7 Common Spring Spending Traps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/39-mindless-ways-youre-wasting-money-in-every-part-of-your-life">39 Mindless Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money in Every Part of Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology impulse buys mental bias privacy saving money shopping habits social media social media tips Spending Money Thu, 19 Apr 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Camilla Cheung 2131790 at http://www.wisebread.com How Small Monthly Bills Slowly Wreck Your Annual Budget http://www.wisebread.com/how-small-monthly-bills-slowly-wreck-your-annual-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-small-monthly-bills-slowly-wreck-your-annual-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/problem_with_documents.jpg" alt="Problem with documents" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Have you ever noticed that we look at most of our expenses in terms of monthly payments? We often justify these expenses by saying, &quot;It's just a few dollars a month.&quot; Sometimes, we even break costs down into weeks or days. But this type of thinking can be dangerous to our finances. Looking only at monthly expenses can mask the total impact of what you're spending. And when we view our expenses in isolation, we don't always see our full financial picture.</p> <p>Here are some things to think about when you tell yourself, &quot;It's just a few dollars per month.&quot;</p> <h2>It all adds up</h2> <p>When you think of your expenses as individual costs that you pay on a monthly basis, you're seeing only a very small part of your finances at any given time. Combine these monthly costs, however, and you'll see how quickly they can add up and make it hard for you to save. This is especially true with subscription-type services, in which you may pay a seemingly low monthly fee for a product or service.</p> <p>Netflix is just $9.99-$11.99 per month. Your news subscription may be $7. You have subscriptions for meal planning services like Blue Apron, and clothing delivery services like StitchFix. None of these subscriptions may seem costly in and of themselves, but when you add them up, they could comprise hundreds of dollars in monthly expenses and leave you with very little left over. And because they're subscriptions, they may be automatically deducted from your checking account or credit card, so you may not even be fully aware that money is leaving or when. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-meal-prep-subscription-boxes-worth-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Are Meal Prep Subscription Boxes Worth It?</a>)</p> <h2>You're being manipulated</h2> <p>How did we get into the habit of thinking of expenses in the context of a month or less? Because the people who seek our money want it that way. If a company can get us thinking about costs in smaller chunks, we're more likely to spend money. A gym could easily charge you $480 a year to join, but instead, they charge $40 a month and advertise that monthly amount because it seems like less. Your cellphone company could just ask for $1,200 upfront when you sign a two-year contract, but it's less scary to charge you $50 a month.</p> <p>Granted, most of us would prefer to pay in monthly amounts because we may not have tons of cash on hand, but most companies don't even offer us the option to pay in bulk amounts if we want to, because they don't even want us thinking about how much they take out of our accounts each year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-scarcity-marketing-tricks-you-to-spend-more?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Scarcity Marketing Tricks You to Spend More</a>)</p> <h2>Resist the coffee analogy</h2> <p>Every once in a while, someone will encourage you to donate money or buy a product, arguing that it will cost you &quot;less than a cup of coffee&quot; each day. The suggestion is that coffee is a fairly low and everyday expense, and it's a compelling sales tactic. But the next time someone comes at you with this pitch, consider examining it in a different way.</p> <p>First, ask yourself if you'd be willing to cut out your daily coffee in order to buy this new product or service. If not, then accept that your expenses will definitely rise. Second, recognize how much that cup of coffee each day actually is costing you. Maybe it's just $2 every time, but that's $10 during a workweek, $40 monthly, and nearly $500 a year. Suddenly, you realize that the &quot;cost of a cup of coffee&quot; isn't mere pocket change. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking-expensive-coffee?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Rich You'd Be if You Stopped Drinking Expensive Coffee</a>)</p> <h2>A higher monthly payment is always a big deal</h2> <p>Have you ever financed a car? The goal of the car salesman is to get you comfortable with a monthly payment and ignore the total costs over time. If you're paying for the car in full with cash, there's not much a seller can do to mask the cost. But when breaking out the total into payments, the seller can convince you that a few extra dollars are no big deal.</p> <p>For example, let's say you're looking to have payments of no more than $200 per month. The seller may say &quot;Well, I can get you down to $230, which is in the ballpark. Deal?&quot; That extra $30 may not seem like a lot. But if you have a 60-month loan, that adds up to $1,800! If you were paying for the car with cash in full, you'd never think that paying an extra $1,800 was reasonable.</p> <h2>Monthly payments can mask interest</h2> <p>If you purchase a home, you will likely have a mortgage with interest payments. You may also have interest payments if you finance a car. When this happens, the total cost of your purchase is higher, even though you don't think of it that way.</p> <p>Consider that if you purchase a house with a sale price of $400,000, you may pay $2,000 per month over the course of 30 years, bringing the actual money paid to $720,000. Monthly payments can make large purchases feel more digestible and manageable, but they can also cover up the total cost of big-ticket items over time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-paying-too-much-for-your-mortgage?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs You're Paying Too Much for Your Mortgage</a>)</p> <h2>Consider the lifetime costs</h2> <p>Once, while in the process of paying some bills, I tried to calculate how much I had spent over my lifetime toward cellphone, internet, and cable TV services to one particular company. I determined that I had paid this company each month for about 18 years. The math was eye-popping. In my life, I had directed more than $30,000 to one company just so I could stay connected.</p> <p>Granted, I'm not sure what I'd do without my phone or high-speed internet. But it did make me wonder whether I was always getting the best deal. Imagine if I had found a way to cut these bills by 10 percent each month. That would be $3,000 more in my pocket today! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-driving?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Rich You'd Be If You Stopped Driving</a>)</p> <h2>We don't think of income this way</h2> <p>If someone asks you how much money you make, do you tell them what you take in on a weekly or monthly basis? If you are a salaried employee, probably not. Usually, we think of our income in terms of annual salary, and we rarely stop to think about how much we bring in each month, each week, or each day. Unless you're an hourly employee, you don't say &quot;I make just $24 in an hour.&quot; You say, &quot;I make $50,000 a year.&quot;</p> <p>Think of expenses the same way. You might change your behavior as a result. &quot;I spend $1,200 a year on cable so I can watch Portland Trail Blazers games.&quot; &quot;I spend $940 a year on Americanos from Peet's Coffee.&quot; Yikes! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-get-your-morning-coffee-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Get Your Morning Coffee for Free</a>)</p> <h2>Saving is a long-term goal</h2> <p>It's important to remember that building wealth and achieving financial freedom is a very long process. It's the relatively small amount of money you save each day that piles up over time and becomes something substantial. It's very easy to be dismissive of a small weekly or monthly expense, but it's those very expenses that can make the difference between accumulating wealth or accumulating debt.</p> <p>When analyzing spending, it's helpful to examine all money as potentially helpful in your quest to build wealth. One hundred dollars now, if saved, could represent much more in the future. If spent, it's gone forever. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-safeguard-your-financial-future-with-just-200?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Safeguard Your Financial Future With Just $200</a>)</p> <h2>Take your usage into account</h2> <p>It's easier to defend the &quot;it's only a few dollars a month&quot; attitude if you regularly use the product or service in question. One could argue that a high-speed internet subscription, while costly, is worthwhile if you use it for several hours a day to run a business. But what about all those things you pay for that you never use?</p> <p>Your gym membership may only be $10 a month, yet you haven't worked out in months. Netflix may seem inexpensive, but you rarely stream any movies or shows. These monthly costs can really add up, and they are made worse if you are spending money on things you never use.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-small-monthly-bills-slowly-wreck-your-annual-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520Small%2520Monthly%2520Bills%2520Slowly%2520Wreck%2520Your%2520Annual%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=How%20Small%20Monthly%20Bills%20Slowly%20Wreck%20Your%20Annual%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20Small%20Monthly%20Bills%20Slowly%20Wreck%20Your%20Annual%20Budget.jpg" alt="How Small Monthly Bills Slowly Wreck Your Annual Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-small-monthly-bills-slowly-wreck-your-annual-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/now-or-later-how-to-decide-the-right-time-to-buy-almost-anything">Now or Later: How to Decide the Right Time to Buy Almost Anything</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-question-you-should-ask-before-every-major-purchase">The One Question You Should Ask Before Every Major Purchase</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-its-better-to-buy-at-the-last-minute">6 Things It&#039;s Better to Buy at the Last Minute</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-guilty-pleasures-that-are-killing-your-budget">6 Guilty Pleasures That Are Killing Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget">These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Shopping monthly boxes monthly costs saving money shopping tips Spending Money subscriptions Fri, 13 Apr 2018 08:30:10 +0000 Tim Lemke 2129347 at http://www.wisebread.com Why You Should Sign Up for Airline Rewards Even If You Don't Travel Much http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-sign-up-for-airline-rewards-even-if-you-dont-travel-much <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-you-should-sign-up-for-airline-rewards-even-if-you-dont-travel-much" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/she_is_a_self_starter.jpg" alt="She is a self-starter" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So you've got a busy job that never sends you on trips. Or you're terrified of flying. Or you have small kids whom you dread dragging onto an airplane. Sign up for some frequent flyer accounts anyway. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>Why bother if you're not going to be earning miles by buying airplane tickets? Because there are a lot of ways you can accumulate miles besides flying. Once you have all those miles, you can save up for a dream trip or one amazing vacation per year. And if you truly plan to never fly, you can even spend your miles on stuff other than flights.</p> <h2>How to earn miles without flying</h2> <p>My friends say they can't understand how I travel for free through frequent flyer miles, when they have never flown enough times to earn a single free flight. My answer is that I haven't bought enough plane tickets to earn free flights either. I earn the bulk of my miles right here on the ground. There are so many ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-tons-of-frequent-flyer-miles-without-flying?ref=internal" target="_blank">earn frequent flyer miles without flying</a>.</p> <h3>Credit cards</h3> <p>The fastest and easiest way to accumulate frequent flyer miles is by getting a new credit card. Just today, I signed up for a card that will pay me 40,000 miles after my first purchase of any amount. Typically, a new card will pay a similar or larger bonus after you meet a required minimum spend in the range of $1,000 to $5,000.</p> <p>These cards will also pay you one or more mile per dollar you spend. If you are responsible for running a household of multiple people, like I am, you may find it easy to accumulate 3,000 or more miles per month paying for things such as groceries, kids' day care or activities, gas, etc. Even without the sign-up bonus, that would amount to more than 30,000 miles per year &mdash; enough for a round-trip domestic flight on most airlines or a one-way ticket to Europe. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Use Travel Rewards Cards to Get Free Trips</a>)</p> <p>By combining bonuses and points for my monthly spend, I've been able to get my whole family to Australia and back, among other trips &mdash; with few of those points coming from actual flights.</p> <h3>Online shopping</h3> <p>You may find it more rewarding to use an airline shopping portal than a rebate site, such as eBates, when making online purchases. During the past two years, I earned about 5,000 miles each year through online purchases, and I am not a big shopper.</p> <h3>Other partner purchases</h3> <p>Rental cars and hotel stays are also good ways to accumulate frequent flyer miles without flying. Don't forget to put down your frequent flyer number at check-in.</p> <p>Also, you can often get a mileage bonus for switching cable companies or signing up for a new phone plan. I currently get just over 400 miles after I pay my bill every month, which will net me another 5,000 miles this year.</p> <p>Finally, don't forget to register all your credit cards with airline dining programs, so that you can get miles for eating out at participating restaurants without even thinking about it.</p> <h2>What to do with the miles</h2> <p>The best value for miles is generally flying &mdash; especially international flights in business or first class. So if you don't travel much, but you would like to take a trip one of these days, saving up for a really great one is a smart move. Don't worry too much about the miles expiring, because most programs <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-frequent-flyer-miles-that-are-about-to-expire?ref=internal" target="_blank">push the expiration date back</a> every time you make a transaction, including earning more miles. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-expert-tips-for-redeeming-miles-for-free-travel?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Expert Tips for Redeeming Miles for Free Travel</a>)</p> <p>If you abhor flying and never plan to redeem your miles by taking a flight, you're probably better off choosing a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work?ref=internal" target="_blank">cash-back credit card</a> as your main card. But that doesn't mean you have to pass when the only rewards offered for signing up for a new service or making a transaction are miles. There are lots of ways to spend those miles other than flying. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tricks-to-making-the-most-of-your-reward-miles?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Tricks to Making the Most of Your Reward Miles</a>)</p> <h3>1. Book travel that doesn't involve an airplane</h3> <p>On <a href="http://www.dpbolvw.net/click-2822544-11373616" target="_blank">Points.com</a>, you can transfer miles from some frequent flyer programs into an Amtrak account. Just note the exchange rate. For instance, if you want to convert Hawaiian Air miles to Amtrak, you will end up with only one Amtrak point for every five Hawaiian points you cash in.</p> <p>You can book a car/hotel package, including activities, with miles on American Airlines Vacations, or pay for a cruise with miles through United.</p> <h3>2. Subscribe to a magazine</h3> <p>If you are the kind of person who still likes having paper magazines on your coffee table, the site MagsforMiles.com can be an affordable way to subscribe. For example, to get a year of my favorite, Sunset, would cost me only 600 Hawaiian Air miles. Since these miles are worth about 1.2 cents each, that's a year of the magazine for about $7, which is not a bad price, especially if you're looking to spend a few &quot;pocket change&quot; miles that will never amount to a larger transaction.</p> <h3>3. Go shopping</h3> <p>Delta allows members to <a href="https://marketplace.delta.com/" target="_blank">exchange miles for retail items</a> such as Tumi bags as well as vouchers for the $100 Global Entry fee, or even gift cards for the airline. United allows you to redeem miles for <a href="https://partner.audiencerewards.com/mileageplus/index.cfm" target="_blank">tickets to Broadway shows</a>, among other things.</p> <h3>4. Get gift cards</h3> <p>Points.com will exchange many kinds of airline miles for gift cards, which could be helpful if you need to get a birthday gift for someone and are short on cash. The individual airline sites may also have information about trading miles for gift cards. However, be sure to check the rates and make sure you're not throwing away large amounts of miles for small value cards.</p> <h3>5. Donate to charity</h3> <p>Each airline has its own list of charities to which you can donate miles. If you were going to give cash anyway, this can be an efficient way to get the miles off your hands while helping the organization. The only drawback is that, unlike a cash gift, a miles donation is not tax deductible.</p> <h3>6. Send a loved one on a flight</h3> <p>Many airlines will charge you a fee to transfer your miles to another person, but there's a way around that: You can use your miles to book a flight for someone else just as you would book it for yourself. So even if you plan to never set foot onboard a plane, you can send your niece on a graduation trip or pay for your mom to come visit you.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhy-you-should-sign-up-for-airline-rewards-even-if-you-dont-travel-much&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhy%2520You%2520Should%2520Sign%2520Up%2520for%2520Airline%2520Rewards%2520Even%2520If%2520You%2520Don%2527t%2520Travel%2520Much.jpg&amp;description=Why%20You%20Should%20Sign%20Up%20for%20Airline%20Rewards%20Even%20If%20You%20Don't%20Travel%20Much"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Why%20You%20Should%20Sign%20Up%20for%20Airline%20Rewards%20Even%20If%20You%20Don%27t%20Travel%20Much.jpg" alt="Why You Should Sign Up for Airline Rewards Even If You Don't Travel Much" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-sign-up-for-airline-rewards-even-if-you-dont-travel-much">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-flexible-ways-to-cash-in-your-miles-and-points">3 Flexible Ways to Cash In Your Miles and Points</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-airline-miles-while-you-shop">How to Earn Airline Miles While You Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-airlines-frequent-flyer-miles-have-the-best-value">Which Airline&#039;s Frequent Flyer Miles Have the Best Value?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-more-value-out-of-american-airlines-miles">How to Get More Value Out of American Airlines Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-understanding-airline-flight-routes-can-score-you-better-rewards">How Understanding Airline Flight Routes Can Score You Better Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Travel airline miles airline rewards rewards points shopping tips travel miles travel tips Wed, 04 Apr 2018 08:30:09 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2127517 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's What You Can (And Can't) Buy With SNAP http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-you-can-and-cant-buy-with-snap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-what-you-can-and-cant-buy-with-snap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fresh_colorful_vegetables_and_fruits.jpg" alt="Fresh colorful vegetables and fruits" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, has always been controversial. It's meant to help ensure that everyone gets enough to eat, and the program assures applicants that they have the right to be treated with &quot;dignity, consideration, and respect.&quot; Yet, the program also imposes lots of complicated rules on users, and many people have shared opinions about whether users are making &quot;acceptable&quot; choices with their SNAP dollars.</p> <p>Recently, SNAP has been in the news &mdash; and in the middle of countless social media debates &mdash; because of three developments.</p> <p>First, Amazon opened its first automated grocery store, Amazon Go, where you can simply enter the store on the app, take the items you need, and leave without checking out as part of their Just Walk Out shopping experience. However, it doesn't accept SNAP.</p> <p>Second, a petition has been circulating advocating that SNAP benefits should cover food for pets as well as human household members.</p> <p>And third, the Trump administration Office of Management and budget director, Mick Mulvaney, proposed replacing food aid to low-income families with a &quot;Blue Apron-style&quot; box of canned goods and other non-perishables.</p> <p>Which made us wonder what you can currently buy with SNAP, and what you can't.</p> <h2>What you can buy with SNAP</h2> <p>SNAP and its beneficiaries have plenty of critics, often people who feel that low-income individuals should be limited in what they are allowed to purchase with public funds. Critics of those critics would say that prescribing their shopping lists is intrusive. Generally, the rules limit SNAP purchases to food products, with some limitations and exceptions.</p> <h3>Energy drinks</h3> <p>Energy drinks such as Red Bull have been available for purchase with food stamps since 2013, when companies making them began changing their labels to list &quot;nutrition facts&quot; instead of &quot;supplement facts.&quot; Critics have tried to have them removed from eligibility, but as long as they are classified as a food item, they are likely to stay.</p> <h3>Luxury items</h3> <p>Since they are clearly food items, you can, in theory, buy steak, lobster, shrimp, or any other high-end food with food stamps. Legislators have proposed removing such items from the program, but in reality there is no need: Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that people in the income group low enough to qualify for SNAP hardly buy any beef or seafood (only about 10 percent of the average monthly grocery bill), because it's too expensive.</p> <h3>Junk food</h3> <p>There is some truth to the impression that a lot of SNAP recipients buy junk food. A <a href="https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/ops/SNAPFoodsTypicallyPurchased.pdf" target="_blank">2011 USDA analysis</a> found that 23 cents of every SNAP dollar goes to sweetened beverages, desserts, salty snacks, candy, and sugar. (The other 77 cents goes toward meal ingredients, such as milk, bread, meat, cereal, and vegetables.) However, non-SNAP households spent 20 cents of every dollar on those same sweet treats. So shopping habits were similar, regardless of payment method.</p> <p>Nutritionists have expressed concern about the amount of junk food purchases funded by SNAP, which is meant to improve health, not to contribute to health problems such as obesity. But attempts to cut junk food from SNAP run into problems both with complexity and with the discomfort of making the government the judge of which foods are worthy and which aren't.</p> <p>Another approach, presented in a <a href="http://www.uconnruddcenter.org/files/Pdfs/Schwartz%20AJPM%202017%20SNAP.pdf" target="_blank">2016 paper in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine</a>, would be to provide incentives for purchasing healthy foods, either alone or in combination with limits on junk food purchases.</p> <h3>Birthday cake</h3> <p>While you can't buy hot prepared food items, you can buy baked goods. Muffins, cakes, and cookies purchased at grocery stores and some bakeries are fair game.</p> <h3>Holiday items</h3> <p>Since they are technically edible, you can buy your Halloween pumpkins with SNAP &mdash; but not decorative gourds. Gift baskets, prefilled stockings or prefilled Easter baskets can be purchased as well, but only if at least 50 percent of the contents are edible items and the basket contains no prohibited items. For example, you could buy a holiday stocking with a few small toys and a lot of candy, but not a large stuffed bear holding a small box of chocolate.</p> <h3>K-Cups</h3> <p>You can purchase coffee to make at home, in any form, with your SNAP card. This includes single-use pods such as K-Cups, instant coffee, cappuccino mix, whole bean, or fresh ground coffee.</p> <h3>Taco Bell (sometimes)</h3> <p>The vast majority of SNAP recipients are limited to buying groceries with SNAP. But in some states, elderly, disabled, and homeless SNAP recipients can participate in the Restaurant Meals Program. In Arizona, participating restaurants include <a href="https://extranet.azdes.gov/faapolicymanual/FAA1/baggage/MealsProgramRestaurants.pdf" target="_blank">Taco Bell, Denny's, Subway, and others</a>.</p> <h3>Seeds</h3> <p>In 2014, SNAP began allowing participants to purchase seeds and plants that produce food, and launched a <a href="https://www.snapgardens.org/" target="_blank">site to encourage gardening</a>.</p> <h3>Produce at the farmers market</h3> <p>You can legally buy fresh fruits and veggies, as well as homemade jams and honey, at farmers markets. The only catch is that most stands only accept cash, while SNAP functions as a debit card. The government is working with local markets to change that, including publishing a <a href="http://www.usdalocalfooddirectories.com/farmersmarketdirectoryupdate/FM_Portal_Public.aspx" target="_blank">directory of farmers markets that accept SNAP</a> and setting up incentive programs such as bonuses for SNAP users.</p> <h3>Food from online grocers</h3> <p>The USDA is operating a <a href="https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2017/01/05/usda-announces-retailer-volunteers-snap-online-purchasing-pilot" target="_blank">pilot program</a> allowing SNAP users to order groceries online. This could be a boon to people living in food deserts and homebound elderly and disabled people, not to mention parents of small children and those who work long hours and can't get to the store. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-having-your-groceries-delivered-can-save-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Having Your Groceries Delivered Can Save You Money</a>)</p> <h3>Cocktail mixers</h3> <p>While you cannot use SNAP for alcohol, you can buy mocktails, bloody mary mix, tonic water, or margarita mix.</p> <h2>Things you can't buy with SNAP</h2> <p>Despite the fact that we just listed a wide range of items that you can buy, there are actually plenty of things you are not allowed to purchase with SNAP benefits. Some make perfect sense; there's no way taxpayers are going to fund cigarette or alcohol purchases. But there are valid arguments that some of the following items should be covered.</p> <h3>Rotisserie chicken</h3> <p>Those hot roasted chickens in the deli are sometimes cheaper, pound for pound, than raw chicken. And for people who don't have access to a kitchen, they could be included in many healthy meals such as chicken tacos or chicken salad. However, most SNAP recipients can't purchase any hot prepared foods, including these.</p> <h3>Toiletries</h3> <p>Since they are not food, you can't use SNAP to buy household items such as soap, laundry detergent, diapers, sanitary napkins, or toilet paper. Since these items are essential, this restriction can be a hardship for SNAP recipients.</p> <h3>Pet food</h3> <p>As mentioned above, a petition asking the federal government to include pet food in the SNAP program recently received more than 230,000 signatures. While there's a valid argument to be made that pet ownership is a luxury that the American taxpayer shouldn't have to support, the counterargument is that pet owners that fall into poverty are more likely to give up or abandon pets if they can't feed them &mdash; and housing these pets in shelters or euthanizing them costs the public money.</p> <h3>Grocery bag fees</h3> <p>More and more local governments are discouraging waste by requiring stores to charge for grocery bags. SNAP cannot be used to pay those fees, and the local law may not exempt SNAP users. So SNAP users should either bring their own bags or be prepared to pay for disposable bags with cash.</p> <h3>Food shipping charges</h3> <p>SNAP users participating in the trial of online grocery ordering must <a href="https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/online-purchasing-pilot" target="_blank">pay any delivery or convenience fees in cash</a>.</p> <h3>Live animals</h3> <p>While you could buy live crabs to cook at home, you can't use your <a href="https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/eligible-food-items" target="_blank">SNAP card to buy a piglet</a> to raise or a cow to milk &mdash; even if it would save you money and provide more nutritious food in the long run. Livestock just isn't part of the program.</p> <h3>Alcohol and cigarettes</h3> <p>Alcohol and cigarettes aren't food, they're not nutritious, and the public doesn't want to pay for them.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fheres-what-you-can-and-cant-buy-with-snap&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHere%2527s%2520What%2520You%2520Can%2520%2528And%2520Can%2527t%2529%2520Buy%2520With%2520SNAP.jpg&amp;description=Here's%20What%20You%20Can%20(And%20Can't)%20Buy%20With%20SNAP"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Here%27s%20What%20You%20Can%20%28And%20Can%27t%29%20Buy%20With%20SNAP.jpg" alt="Here's What You Can (And Can't) Buy With SNAP" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-what-you-can-and-cant-buy-with-snap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-healthiest-grocery-stores">The 6 Healthiest Grocery Stores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shop-the-salad-bar-and-other-ways-to-save-big-on-groceries">Shop the Salad Bar and Other Ways to Save Big on Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping food desert food stamps groceries grocery stores grocery tips healthy food poverty snap Tue, 03 Apr 2018 08:30:13 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2127516 at http://www.wisebread.com How Professional Award Bookers Can Get You Free Rewards Flights http://www.wisebread.com/how-professional-award-bookers-can-get-you-free-rewards-flights <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-professional-award-bookers-can-get-you-free-rewards-flights" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_traveler_doing_selfie_in_the_international_airport.jpg" alt="Young traveler doing selfie in the international airport" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Racking up airline points by flying or using <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards credit cards</a> is fairly easy, but redeeming them for award flights can be more challenging. It can be hard to find available award seats using the airline's search functions, and it takes time to pore over multiple partner airlines' websites and consider different routing options.</p> <p>Thankfully, there are services that can help you get the most value out of your reward points and miles. For a fee, you can hire a professional award booker to find and book your award, saving you not only time, but sometimes points worth hundreds of dollars.</p> <h2>The challenges of award booking</h2> <p>When you have reward points or miles with a single airline, at first it might seem like a straightforward process to redeem those miles for an award flight. When in fact, it can be difficult, confusing, and time consuming. First, you might try to use the airline's website. However, these websites may not show most of the airline's partner award flights.</p> <p>For example, the American Airlines AAdvantage program only allows you to redeem miles online for flights on American and seven of its partners. That leaves over a dozen other airline partners that you can only call to book, including Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, LATAM, and Etihad Airways. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-more-value-out-of-american-airlines-miles?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Get More Value Out of American Airlines Miles</a>)</p> <p>But even if the airline claims to show all partner awards, its website might not actually display what you are looking for. For example, some airlines will only show itineraries with a certain number of connections. If your itinerary requires you to make more connections than the website will display, then you will be unable to book your award online.</p> <p>And if you do call the airline to get help with award booking, you will often reach indifferent customer service agents who may have little training and even less incentive to spend time on the phone helping you redeem your points and miles.</p> <p>This task becomes exponentially more complex when you're trying to redeem reward points in a flexible program that allows transfers to multiple airline partners. For example, one credit card rewards program lets you transfer your points to miles with nine different airline programs, while another has 16 different transfer partners. The Starwood Preferred Guest program has over 30 airline transfer partners. When you consider that each one of these frequent flyer programs can have over a dozen redemption partners, the award travel possibilities are overwhelming.</p> <p>Finally, booking an award flight can be extremely time consuming. I've been seriously collecting points and miles for more than 10 years, and have redeemed my miles for dozens of award flights for myself, my family, and my friends. I've also researched and written hundreds of articles on credit card rewards and award travel.</p> <p>And yet when I have to book an award, I can spend hours searching various websites, piecing flights together, and calling the airlines to book them. If it takes someone like me that long to book an award flight, imagine what it's like for the average traveler.</p> <h2>How award booking companies work</h2> <p>I have several friends who offer award booking services, and they have two advantages that I lack. They have access to numerous programs and websites that help to automate airline award searching. Sometimes these programs grant special access to the airline reservation systems and can return far more accurate and comprehensive results than the airlines' consumer facing websites do. Other services simply query multiple airline websites and aggregate the results in a more helpful format. Some of these services are available to the general public, but for a fee, that's rarely worth it for most occasional award travelers.</p> <p>In addition, professional award bookers have invaluable experience that they can draw on. These are hard-core travel geeks who have memorized airline award charts and flight routes, and instinctively know how to redeem the fewest points for the best flights. Many award bookers even know how to instruct airline customer service representatives to use their systems to book awards that the agents weren't trained to do.</p> <h2>How to work with an award booking company</h2> <p>To get started with an award booking company, you will typically have to fill out a form or have a telephone consultation in which you list the points and miles you have, where you are trying to go, and the dates you are willing to travel. Award booking companies are great, but they are not miracle workers. Therefore, you'll have the best results when you can specify a range of possible dates, and you'll do even better if you offer alternate departure airports or destinations.</p> <p>To have the award booking service ticket your itinerary, you will also have to give them your frequent flyer numbers and login information. Once you submit your information, you can expect the process to take at least a day or two before you are presented with proposed itineraries for your approval.</p> <p>Most award booking companies charge clients only when they are able to find an acceptable itinerary. The prices vary but you can usually expect to pay between $100 and $200 per person. For example, Gary Leff runs <a href="http://bookyouraward.com" target="_blank">Book Your Award</a> and charges $185 per person. He got started in the business in 2009 after getting many reader questions about award booking on his travel blog, View From The Wing. His service has since been written about in Condé Nast Traveler, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, and many other publications.</p> <p>Leff specializes in helping people secure premium cabin international award seats, which are often the most valuable use of your points and miles. &quot;Digging into the minutiae of airline partners and frequent flyer program rules isn't for everyone,&quot; Leff says. &quot;And you can't always just enter where you're starting from and where you're going and get all of the options for your trip from your frequent flyer program's website.&quot;</p> <p>Ari Charlestein runs <a href="http://www.awardmagic.com" target="_blank">Award Magic</a>, which charges $179 per person for one-way and round-trip awards, and $279 per person for multi-destination and round-the-world awards. When Charlestein was in college, he met someone who flew to Australia each year in business class with miles. He recalls thinking, <em>You're telling me these miles that my parents wasted to go skiing in Colorado, we could have used to fly to Australia in business class?</em> When he told his friends and family that he could help them book award flights, and they told their friends, he started doing this on the side, and later went full-time.</p> <p>Typically, his clients reach out to him through his website and schedule a phone call. He then goes through every possible routing and airline, looking for the best combination. For example, he could help you use credit card points to transfer to Virgin Atlantic to redeem for a flight operated by Japan's ANA airline.</p> <h2>Should you use an award booking company?</h2> <p>For most travelers, it makes sense to at least try to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/maximize-the-value-of-your-airline-miles-and-points?ref=internal" target="_blank">book an award yourself</a>, especially if it's a simple itinerary. There are lots of tips and tools to help you along the way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tricks-to-making-the-most-of-your-reward-miles?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Tips to Making the Most of Your Reward Miles</a>)</p> <p>But once you've tried and failed to find award space at the lowest mileage levels, and you are feeling overwhelmed, then it might be the time to seek professional help. This is especially true if you're looking for an international flight in a premium cabin, or if you'd like to make multiple stops on your trip. By paying an award booking service a few hundred dollars, you can save the time and aggravation necessary to book an award trip that might be worth thousands.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-professional-award-bookers-can-get-you-free-rewards-flights&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520Professional%2520Award%2520Bookers%2520Can%2520Get%2520You%2520Free%2520Rewards%2520Flights.jpg&amp;description=How%20Professional%20Award%20Bookers%20Can%20Get%20You%20Free%20Rewards%20Flights"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20Professional%20Award%20Bookers%20Can%20Get%20You%20Free%20Rewards%20Flights.jpg" alt="How Professional Award Bookers Can Get You Free Rewards Flights" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-professional-award-bookers-can-get-you-free-rewards-flights">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-travel-splurges-that-are-worth-every-penny">5 Travel Splurges That Are Worth Every Penny</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-pitfalls-when-chasing-travel-rewards">6 Pitfalls When Chasing Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-great-seat-on-southwest">How to Get a Great Seat on Southwest</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-bring-your-pet-onboard-a-flight">How to Bring Your Pet Onboard a Flight</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Travel award bookers credit card rewards flight booking travel budget travel rewards travel tips Tue, 03 Apr 2018 08:30:13 +0000 Jason Steele 2124242 at http://www.wisebread.com