Shopping http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1/all en-US 5 Things You Should Never Try to Save On http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-try-to-save-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-you-should-never-try-to-save-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-shoe-shopping-Dollarphotoclub_45213493.jpg" alt="woman shoe shopping" title="woman shoe shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I consider myself a frugal person. I've gone without air conditioning, drive a 20-year-old car, and grow much of my own food on a four-acre homestead. After years of trial and error, however, I've come to learn that some things just aren't worth trying to save money on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-case-for-expensive-shoes?ref=seealso">The Case for Expensive Shoes</a>)</p> <p>Here are five critical purchases I've made in the past that I regretted ever trying to squeeze a penny from.</p> <h2>1. Legal Services</h2> <p>While you can do some basic template-type tasks on your own, anything requiring a lengthy legal battle or a contested order should have at least the once-over of a good attorney. I admit to handling a divorce completely on my own, with the help of a divorce kit that was &mdash; at the time &mdash; housed completely on floppy disc. While the outcome wasn't horrible, I could have greatly benefited from even <em>one hour</em> of consulting time from a reputable attorney.</p> <p>Now that attorneys are more accessible than they were even 15 years ago, there's really no excuse to not at least consider one. In fact, many lawyers make it super easy to get their expertise with the same ease of a &quot;template&quot; service. Rachel Brenke's <a href="http://www.bloglegally.com/">Blog Legally site</a>, for example, gives bloggers and other digital content creators advice, tools, and an avenue to ask questions of a seasoned law professional &mdash; without the headache of an in-person appointment. This may be the future of most civil and business-related legal proceedings &mdash; one which I will happily pay extra to be a part of.</p> <h2>2. Dental Care</h2> <p>Have you been tempted to skip your six-month cleaning or save a few bucks by forgoing that annual x-ray? Before you pocket the extra cash from skimping on a seemingly unimportant dental task, consider that many life-threatening diseases can be possibly be traced back to the effects of a poor oral hygiene routine. (The Mayo Clinic lists <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475?pg=2">heart disease and Alzheimer's</a> as just a couple of afflictions that can be made worse by tooth or mouth problems.)</p> <p>In addition to seemingly unrelated complications that can arise from cheaping out on your dental duties, most minor tooth issues can balloon into major dental disasters with a potential to cost you thousands. So, the next time you think that an extra $150 for a cleaning is something you shouldn't part with, consider the cost of waiting, and how it can affect your quality of life down the road.</p> <h2>3. Shoes</h2> <p>There are times when it's perfectly acceptable to pay $5 for a pair of cheap flip-flops (vacation, for example), but most of us rely too much on our feet to treat them badly with an ill-fitting or cheap pair of shoes. Not having the proper fit, dealing with poor support, or finding them to be slippery when wet are just a few problems I've had with cheap shoes.</p> <p>For most of my daily life, I rely on shoes to get me through some pretty adverse situations; I chase kids, work the garden, and run through airport terminals far too often to risk my safety on a pair of duds. Unless there is an adorable pair you'll wear just once for a special occasion, your money is better invested in a long-term relationship with kicks that can deliver on months &mdash; or even years &mdash; of comfy wear.</p> <h2>4. Safe Transportation</h2> <p>Traveling to a place you're not familiar with can seem daunting and feel expensive. In some cities, you are at the mercy of the public transportation system or a taxi driver to get you where you need to go &mdash; at a price you often have no control over. When it comes to cost-saving maneuvers on transportation, I've always chosen to risk less and spend more. As a small-statured woman who is often traveling with children, it just seems okay to pay a premium to know where I'm going, with who, and for what price, ahead of time.</p> <p>One way I've gotten around the feeling of being metered to death by cabs is to use the services of Lyft, which get me a clean and friendly ride experience within minutes of calling for a ride. The prices are transparent and I've never had a less-than-stellar experience. It's more money than, say, a bus, but still within reason for a budget-conscious traveler.</p> <h2>5. Furniture</h2> <p>This year marked the death of all of my cheap furniture. I'm not sure why it all decided to die on me at once, but it was another reminder that you really do get what you pay for. I've shared why I try to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-of-pretty-things-4-reasons-im-keeping-my-ugly-old-stuff">keep my old, ugly furniture</a> as long as I can, but even with all my good, old solid stuff, there's a need to buy new. A new recliner for our fifth baby lasted just under 3 years; it was a $250 buy from the discount furniture store. My cheapo corner desk, made from crumbly MDF and covered in something that looked like shelf liner, lasted a little over 2 years &mdash; if you don't count the permanent coffee rings and the drawer that had to be reattached on three separate occasions.</p> <p>The furniture that lasted the longest included a set of ChromCraft vintage kitchen chairs that we paid a pretty penny for, as well as a 90's country blue couch with a 100% steel frame. Yes, the couch was ugly &mdash; and expensive &mdash; but couch covers are cheap, and that piece lasted longer than most automobiles I've owned. Before you cringe at the thought of spending half a month's salary on that new sectional or dining set, consider how much wear and tear you'll give your new purchase. With six kids in the house, I now know that higher quality is worth the often exorbitant cost.</p> <p><em>What other expenses are well worth the cost? Let us know in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-try-to-save-on">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-things-that-seem-like-splurges-but-are-actually-savvy-buys">6 Things That Seem Like Splurges But Are Actually Savvy 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/quality-over-price-15-items-to-spend-more-on">Quality Over Price: 15 Items to Spend More On</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/50-great-things-to-do-with-50">50 Great Things to Do With $50</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/5-scientific-reasons-to-ditch-the-luxury-brands">5 Scientific Reasons to Ditch the Luxury Brands</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/23-money-saving-items-everyone-should-own">23 Money-Saving Items Everyone Should Own</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping cheap quality Splurge value Wed, 04 Mar 2015 18:00:07 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1316824 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Get a Free Month of Amazon Prime http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-get-a-free-month-of-amazon-prime <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-get-a-free-month-of-amazon-prime" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-cardboard-box-Dollarphotoclub_64076561.jpg" alt="man cardboard box" title="man cardboard box" 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 some great articles on how to get a month of Amazon Prime for free, this month's food and drink freebies, and better laundry habits that will lower your power bill.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2015/0227/Amazon-Prime-How-to-get-one-month-for-free">Amazon Prime: How to Get One Month for Free</a> &mdash; If you're an Amazon Prime member and a package did not arrive by the guaranteed delivery date, you can request a one-month membership extension. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T071-C011-S001-food-freebies-in-march.html">5 Food and Drink Freebies in March</a> &mdash; Today is National Pancake Day! You until 10 p.m. tonight to get a free short stack of pancakes at IHOP. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.onesmartdollar.com/how-better-laundry-habits-can-cut-your-power-bill/">How Better Laundry Habits Can Cut Your Power Bill</a> &mdash; Don't forget to empty the lint trap! Your dryer runs more efficiently when the trap is nice and clean. [One Smart Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Items-Encourage-Productivity-36318541">Throw These 9 Things Into Your Bag for a Productive Day</a> &mdash; Keep a pack of peppermint or cinnamon mints on you for the times when you need a quick boost to your mood and energy. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/life-style/saving-money-at-the-movie-theater-5-ways-to-indulge-without-overspending">Saving Money at the Movie Theater: 5 Ways to Indulge Without Overspending</a> &mdash; It's worth it to join a theater's rewards club if you watch movies there at least three times a year. [MoneyNing]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/psych-yourself-into-saving/">5 Ways to Psych Yourself Into Saving Money</a> &mdash; A 2013 study found that people with one liquid account saved more than those with several. If you want to save more, then merge your accounts. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/easier-good-linking-spending-favorite-charity.html">It&rsquo;s Getting Easier to Do Good by Linking Your Spending to Your Favorite Charity</a> &mdash; The AmazonSmile program donates an amount equal to 0.5% of most purchases to a charity of your choice. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thousandaire.com/consider-using-foreign-exchange-specialists-for-international-transactions/">Consider Using Foreign Exchange Specialists for International Transactions</a> &mdash; Foreign exchange specialists allow you to make secure international payments anywhere in the world, at any time. They often cost less than comparable services offered by international banks. [Thousandaire]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/7-ideas-for-new-family-traditions">7 Ideas for New Family Traditions</a> &mdash; Chronicle the growth of your family by taking family photos every year. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/signs-you-might-lose-your-job/">6 Signs You Might Lose Your Job</a> &mdash; If you're increasingly out of the loop at work, it could mean you'll be out of a job soon. [Money Smart Life]</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-how-to-get-a-free-month-of-amazon-prime">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/amazon-prime-benefits-and-how-to-avoid-the-price-hike">Amazon Prime Benefits and How to Avoid the Price Hike</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/save-on-books-diapers-and-much-more-with-an-amazon-membership-program">Save on Books, Diapers, and Much More With an Amazon Membership Program</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-things-you-should-never-try-to-save-on">5 Things You Should Never Try to Save On</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/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping amazon prime best money tips Tue, 03 Mar 2015 20:00:08 +0000 Amy Lu 1320427 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Times Buying Generic Will Cost You http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-buying-generic-will-cost-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-times-buying-generic-will-cost-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-hardware-store-paint-shopping-Dollarphotoclub_46597939.jpg" alt="woman paint shopping" title="woman paint shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's a tough call deciding when to buy a well-known name brand item over it's cheaper, generic counterpart. Very often, generic and store-brand merchandise is just as good and considerably cheaper. However, there are a number of instances where consumer tests have shown that buying generic just won't do. When purchasing these seven items, spending a little more for a name brand is worth every penny.</p> <h2>1. Electronics</h2> <p>When it comes to high priced electronics, don't mess around. If you're in the market for a big-screen TV, now is the time to go with a tried-and-true brand rather than a cheap knock-off. As the screen grows, so do discrepancies between cheap models and their pricier counterparts. The difference in picture quality and durability becomes especially noticeable at the 50-inch plus range, and according to consumer testing, <a href="http://abc7.com/shopping/tvs-need-at-least-50-inch-screens-to-watch-super-bowl-consumer-reports-says/478368/">you need a TV at least that big</a> if you plan on watching sports or hosting movie nights. Sony often tops the list of best TVs, with other familiar brands like Panasonic, LG, and Samsung also making quality sets.</p> <p>Unless you're a computer whiz and know how to make your own computer, you should also stick with trusted brands when buying a new PC. At the very least, this will guarantee good customer service should anything go wrong (be sure to check the warranty plan) and give you a minimum of specs that will give you a smooth-running computer out of the box. Do some research before you buy any brand to make sure you get the right model for your needs.</p> <h2>2. Diapers</h2> <p>When purchasing an item you will literally use thousands of over the course of your child's early years, it is tempting to grab the cheapest thing and move on. According to extensive tests though, you can save yourself a lot of headaches by <a href="http://www.ksla.com/story/6435678/consumer-reports-top-diapers">using a trusted brand</a>. Pampers consistently topped the list with the best absorbency and durability. Rather than risk leaks and diaper rash, why not cover your babe in the best? Consumer Reports suggests buying the biggest package possible to get the best deal.</p> <h2>3. Condiments</h2> <p>These days, you can buy pretty much any food item at the grocery store for cheaper by choosing the store brand. Often these off-brand versions are just as good, but there are a few exceptions. One example is condiments &mdash; the name-brand options consistently outperform the generic versions in taste tests. <a href="http://www.grubstreet.com/2014/08/ketchup-heinz-irreplaceable.html">Americans have a love affair with Heinz ketchup</a>, and frequently pick it out of blind tastings as their favorite. It has the perfect balance of tang and sweetness that french fries just can't do without. <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2013/12/hellmann_s_mayonnaise_formula_why_does_this_high_amplitude_condiment_taste.html">Hellman's mayonnaise</a> is frequently at the top of everyone's mayo list, beating out generics and other brand names.</p> <h2>4. Batteries</h2> <p>When it comes to regular household alkaline batteries like AA, comparing the power and price of generic versus name brand <a href="http://www.wired.com/2012/01/are-expensive-batteries-worth-the-extra-cost/">ends up being equal</a>. However, because name brands last much longer, they are a better choice for much-used items like your Wii remote. When replacing batteries for electronics like laptops and smartphones, buying a trusted brand is not only a better choice, <a href="http://www.howtogeek.com/172680/danger-why-you-shouldnt-buy-cheap-third-party-batteries-for-laptops-or-smartphones/">it's a safer choice</a>. Aftermarket batteries have been linked to fires, and while there isn't definitive evidence to prove that these cheap batteries are the cause, they are at least known to deliver less-than-optimal performance. Generics are not required to meet the same standards that are expected of brand-name models, and may get too hot, fail to hold a charge well or wear down quickly. Play it safe and opt for a trusted brand, especially when buying lithium ion batteries.</p> <h2>5. Trash Bags</h2> <p>No one likes taking the trash out, but how about when the bag busts on the way to the bin? Or the handles snap, sending your bundle of gross careening down the stairs? No one wants to deal with leaky garbage, so why skimp and risk it? Glad and Hefty topped Consumer Reports' <a href="http://abc7.com/archive/8664636/">list of toughest trash bags</a>, after putting several brands through some rigorous testing. Glad easily held 50 pounds of garbage without breaking, while the Sam's Club brand only withstood 35 pounds. Even if you're not planning to regularly shove 50 pounds worth of trash into your can, it's worth the peace of mind to spend a few cents more per bag for durability.</p> <h2>6. Paint</h2> <p>With so many paint choices out there, it's hard not to pick the cheapest option and go with it. But skimping on paint can mean uneven coverage, poor adherence and a crappy finish. These problems can lead to multiple coats, which requires more paint and ends up turning your savings into a wash. It can also mean your paint job doesn't last as long, leading you to paint all over again much sooner than if you <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/consumer-reports-picks-for-best-interior-paints-2013-188298">went with a trusted brand</a>. Consumer Reports' consistently chooses Behr paints as their favorites, along with Benjamin Moore, Valspar, and Clark + Kensington.</p> <h2>7. Perfume</h2> <p>Wouldn't it be nice to smell expensive without paying top dollar? The high price of name-brand perfume is enough to force many people into purchasing counterfeit versions for themselves or as gifts. The packaging and even the initial scent of these knock-offs can be convincing, but the ingredients and lack of lasting quality shows their true scent. Many counterfeit perfumes are made with nasty chemicals, and because you are spraying them on your skin, <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/ConsumerNews/counterfeit-perfumes/story?id=9670448">could even be dangerous</a>. While cheap generic perfumes may not contain the same gross ingredients as counterfeit varieties, they don't contain the complexity and long-lasting properties of high-quality scents, requiring you to use more perfume. In the end, it's worth the cost to buy a name brand perfume that will last.</p> <p><em>What generic products do you always avoid?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-buying-generic-will-cost-you">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/5-things-you-should-never-try-to-save-on">5 Things You Should Never Try to Save On</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</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-things-you-should-never-buy-at-the-dollar-store-and-10-you-should">10 Things You Should Never Buy at the Dollar Store (and 10 You Should)</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/7-things-non-members-can-get-at-costco-including-cheap-eye-exams">7 Things Non-Members Can Get at Costco (Including Cheap Eye Exams!)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping brand-names counterfeits generics knock-offs Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:00:08 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1314908 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways to Avoid Buying Electronics You'll Regret http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-avoid-buying-electronics-youll-regret <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-to-avoid-buying-electronics-youll-regret" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mp3-player-Dollarphotoclub_30124781.jpg" alt="mp3 player" title="mp3 player" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>They're shiny and new right out of the package, and too often, they cost a pretty penny. They are the gadgets we drool over when they first make an appearance in stores, sometimes after standing in line for hours to be among the first to get their hands on them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-as-seen-on-tv-kitchen-gadgets-that-are-actually-worth-the-money?ref=seealso">6 &quot;As Seen on TV&quot; Kitchen Gadgets That Are Actually Worth the Money</a>)</p> <p>While I've never considered myself enough of a fanatic to go to ridiculous lengths to buy a tech tool, I do love cutting edge features. I've loved them enough to get something based on hype and then have deep regrets afterward. Here are just a few of my most notable instances of gadget buyer's remorse.</p> <h2>1. Replacement &quot;Toys&quot;</h2> <p>Every holiday, the toy commercials blast the gospel of how great a toy that acts like a tablet will be for your baby/toddler/preschooler. And for a few weeks, the kids are always amazed that they can play games, take photos, and edit videos in a similar fashion to their adult counterparts.</p> <p>But then the magic ends; kids realize soon enough that their tablet is <em>not</em> the same as an iPad. The limitations are too obvious, and for the price of a typical toy tablet, you can easily get into an entry-level adult tablet with all the protective gear you need to keep it safe from spills and drops. It will last the child far longer than a gadget aimed at babies, and you'll avoid finding it unused in the bottom of the toybox. This rule goes for anything that has been &quot;kiddified&quot; for marketing purposes (such as toy phones, cameras, and music players).</p> <h2>2. Cheap Versions of Popular Products</h2> <p>That $35 MP3 player that looks like an iPod Touch &mdash; but isn't &mdash; is what we're talking about here.</p> <p>While there is no shortage of websites selling no-name versions of the product you really want, usually you are better off saving your money for the real thing. Not only is there an issue of quality to consider (can you even reach customer service for an unpronounceable tech company?), but compatibility is always a cause for concern. I remember getting three of my kids nifty music players that held just as many songs as an Apple product, but the file format turned out to be incompatible with most of the software we used for buying songs. The day-to-day implementation of these products was frustrating, and we ended up just giving them away.</p> <h2>3. Tech in the Midst of a Standards Battle</h2> <p>Remember Betamax? Laserdisc? HD-DVD?</p> <p>These were all technologies embroiled in a bitter war during a competitive early market. All lost to other technologies, leaving the owners of their products with pretty worthless gadgets (and libraries of obsolete media.) If you're on the fence about whether your tech of choice is actually <em>the</em> &quot;tech of choice,&quot; you may want to wait a bit before buying. I know no one who is proud of their investment in the losing competitor.</p> <h2>4. Printers With Expensive Refill Cartridges</h2> <p>Investing in tech can be a lot like playing the stock market: You really have to know your stuff to avoid making a significant investment in something that could tank hard down the road. If there is any technology more vulnerable to this than the printer, I don't know of it. Most mainstream printers (both inkjet and toner) start out at a rather high price point, only to become significantly cheaper in the months following their release.</p> <p>Their ink solutions, however, can come way down or stay very high, and this is what is baffling for many consumers. Another factor in how cheap the ink will get is whether knock-off cartridges will be made for that model. Those that accommodate &quot;remanufactured&quot; ink products can save 75% or more for the user, but it's impossible to tell when or if your model of printer will be one of the lucky ones upon it's original release to market. (We regret every printer purchase we've ever made with ink that costs more per cartridge than the actual printer can be bought for.)</p> <h2>5. Mini-Anything</h2> <p>Little blenders. Tiny food processors. Baby coffee machines. Unless you are a hardcore follower of the &quot;tiny house&quot; movement, there is almost no good reason to spend just as much on a small version of a powerful kitchen or DIY tool as its full-sized counterpart. For one, most smaller appliances are lacking in power or quality parts. I have a lazy Susan full of these baby gadgets that were given to me as gifts, picked up for a dime during Black Friday, or just found their way into my home from a yard sale. In a cook-off between them and my mega-powerful-father-of-all versions, they lose. Every single time. So keep your three cup coffee brewers and invest in a 10-cup machine. You don't have to fill it all the way if you don't want to.</p> <p><em>What tech gadgets do you regret buying?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-avoid-buying-electronics-youll-regret">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-4"> <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/frugal-advice-for-the-gadget-addicted">Frugal Advice for the Gadget Addicted</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/tech-savvy-people-have-these-10-things-in-their-homes-do-you">Tech-Savvy People Have These 10 Things in Their Homes — Do You?</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-as-seen-on-tv-kitchen-gadgets-that-are-actually-worth-the-money">6 &quot;As Seen on TV&quot; Kitchen Gadgets That Are Actually Worth the Money</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-ways-to-save-money-on-ipads-iphones-and-macs">6 Ways to Save Money on iPads, iPhones, and Macs</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/craigslist-vs-ebay-where-to-sell-10-common-items">Craigslist vs. eBay: Where to Sell 10 Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Technology dumb buys gadgets tech wasted money Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:00:11 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1308848 at http://www.wisebread.com Never Miss Free Ice Cream Again: Complete Calendar of Annual Free Stuff Days http://www.wisebread.com/never-miss-free-ice-cream-again-complete-calendar-of-annual-free-stuff-days <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/never-miss-free-ice-cream-again-complete-calendar-of-annual-free-stuff-days" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/baby-ice-cream-476416437-small_0.jpg" alt="baby ice cream" title="baby ice cream" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="148" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some people say that there is no such thing as a free lunch &mdash; but there are several companies that are working hard at disproving this saying. Check our calendar and mark these days to pick up awesome freebies ranging from brownies to pancakes to comics.&nbsp;</p> <p>(Click on the image for a larger view)</p> <p><a href="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/FREEBIES-final-large.jpg"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/FREEBIES-final.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p>Embed this infographic:<br /> <textarea style="width:590px;height:65px;">&lt;a href=&quot;http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/FREEBIES-final-large.jpg&quot;&gt;&lt;img src=&quot;http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/FREEBIES-final-large.jpg&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;</textarea></p> <h2>January 19: National Popcorn Day</h2> <p>Every January 19th on <a href="http://www.popcorn.org/AboutUs/Media/NationalPopcornDay/tabid/115/Default.aspx">National Popcorn Day</a> several movie theaters across the country offer a bag of free popcorn.&nbsp;</p> <h2>February 14: Valentine's Day</h2> <p>Qdoba offers a buy one get one free burrito but you kiss someone for it. Starbucks is holding the &quot;World's Largest Starbucks Date&quot; on February 13, from 2pm to close. There will be a special menu for $5 pairings.</p> <h2>March 4: National Pancake Day</h2> <p>Separate from International Pancake Day, every March 4th IHOP offers a <a href="http://www.ihoppancakeday.com/index.html">free short stack of three buttermilk pancakes</a>. Offer is limited to dine-in guests visiting between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. on that day, while supplies last.</p> <h2>March 20: First day of Spring</h2> <p>Rita's offers a free limited edition cup of Italian ice.</p> <h2>March or April: Ben &amp; Jerry's Free Cone Day</h2> <p>Since 1979, Ben &amp; Jerry's stores offer a <a href="http://www.benjerry.com/scoop-shops/free-cone-day">free ice cream scoop every year</a>. The day happens <em>sometime</em> during March and April, so you have to stay tuned for the company's announcement.</p> <h2>April 15: Tax Day</h2> <p>As a reward for making your federal tax deadline of April 15th, several business offer you freebies:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://arbys.com/articles/We-gave-free-curly-fries-away-on-Tax-Day">Curly fries </a>from Arby's&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Free popcorn at AMC Theaters<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Free chips and queso or salsa at California Tortilla<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>2 cinnabon cinnamon bites (6pm-8pm) at Cinnabon<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Small coffee (during breakfast hours) at McDonald's<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152748696710440&amp;set=a.10151429531275440.856833.54000790439&amp;type=1">Birthday cake cookie</a> from Great American Cookies<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Entree from Hard Rock Cafe, but you have to win it by <a href="http://finance.yahoo.com/news/sing-supper-hard-rock-cafe-131500387.html">singing a song on stage</a><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.officedepot.com/speciallinks/us/od/docs/taxcoupons_shredding.pdf">Shredding of up to five pounds of documents</a> courtesy of Office Depot<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.hydromassage.com/taxday.htm">Water-based massage session</a> from Hydromassage including locations at participating Planet Fitness</li> </ul> <h2>April 22: Earth Day</h2> <p>On Earth Day, you can:</p> <ul> <li>Receive free plantable bookmarks for kids at Pottery Barn.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Score a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152325304405450&amp;set=a.10150763108990450.463068.361297095449&amp;type=1&amp;theater">free organic milkshake</a> at Evos stores.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Enter a <a href="http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm">National Park for free</a> (Note: Additional free entrance dates are Martin Luther King Jr Day, Presidents Day weekend, National Park Service Birthday, National Public Lands Day, and Veterans Day.)</li> </ul> <h2>April 26: National Pretzel Day</h2> <p>For over three decades and by U.S. Congress decree people celebrate National Pretzel Day. Every April 26th, Philly Pretzel Factory, Pretzelmaker, and <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20140422-912906.html">Snyder's of Hanover</a> give out free pretzels. In 2014, Pretzelmaker gave away <a href="http://www.pretzelmaker.com/npd/">65,000 free pretzels</a>.</p> <h2>First Saturday in May: Free Comic Day</h2> <p>Held the first Saturday in May, <a href="http://www.freecomicbookday.com">Free Comic Day</a> is the day in which participating comic book stores across North America give away free comic books. Most stores give at least one free comic book, but some are more generous than others. Check with your local retailer for their Free Comic Day offerings.</p> <h2>Second Saturday in May: Mother's Day</h2> <p>Moms work very hard all year round, so they deserve to get free stuff on their day:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Denny's: Free dessert with 2 entrees</p> </li> <li> <p>First Watch Cafe: <a href="http://www.firstwatch.com/press-release/first-watch-celebrates-mothers-day-with-free-chocolates-for-mom">Free box of chocolates</a> for dine-in Moms</p> </li> <li> <p>Hooters: Free meal for mom, up to $10, with any drink purchase</p> </li> <li> <p>McCormick &amp; Schmicks: Chocolate-covered strawberry for every dine-in mom</p> </li> <li> <p>Shoney's: Free slice of strawberry pie with buffet or entree</p> </li> <li> <p>Starbucks: Each year Starbucks offers various special discounts</p> </li> <li> <p>TCBY: Free 6 ounce cup of frozen yogurt&nbsp;</p> </li> <li> <p>T.G.I. Friday's: Free appetizer (with app download)</p> </li> <li> <p>The Pasta House: Free meal for moms with entree</p> </li> <li> <p>Tony Roma's: Free meal for dine-in moms</p> </li> <li> <p>Zoe's Kitchen: Free piece of Yaya's Chocolate Cake with entree</p> </li> </ul> <p><span style="color: rgb(17, 17, 17); font-family: georgia; font-size: 1.5em; line-height: 1.4em; background-color: transparent;">Sometime in May: Häagen-Dazs Free Cone Day</span></p> <p>Not to be outdone by Ben &amp; Jerry's, Häagen-Dazs offers a free cone from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at over 250 locations in the U.S. This day happens <em>usually</em> within the first three weeks of May, so be on the lookout for the official company announcement. Get there early, as in 2012 <a href="http://www.examiner.com/article/free-haagen-dazs-ice-cream-for-all-on-tuesday-may-8-find-out-where">over 41,300 free scoops</a> were served in New York City alone! Vanilla is the flavor that usually runs out first.</p> <h2>First Friday in June: National Donut Day</h2> <p>Celebrate the first Friday of June with a free donut at <a href="http://www.krispykreme.com/NationalDoughnutDay">Krispy Kreme</a>, <a href="http://www.lamars.com/salvationarmy/?doing_wp_cron=1401989510.1354689598083496093750">LaMar's Donuts</a>, and Shipley Do-Nuts. Places requiring a purchase are&nbsp;<a href="http://www.timhortons.com/us/en/about/6056.html">Tim Hortons Cafe &amp; Bake Shop</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://news.dunkindonuts.com/Press-Releases/A-SWEET-DEAL-ROUND-THE-WORLD-DUNKIN-DONUTS-TO-OFFER-FREE-DONUTS-FOR-NATIONAL-DONUT-DAY-ON-JUNE-6-499.aspx">Dunkin' Donuts</a>, and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152074806937301&amp;set=a.92826962300.97395.85010727300&amp;type=1&amp;comment_id=10152081915277301&amp;offset=0&amp;total_comments=6">Cumberland Farms</a>. Also, check your local donut shop because several, such as <a href="http://www.kitv.com/news/thismorning/head-to-regal-bakery-for-national-donut-day/26367480">Regal Bakery</a> in Honolulu, will honor this day.</p> <h2>June 10: National Iced Tea Day</h2> <p>Enjoy a cold iced tea every June 10th to cool down during a hot summer. Two retailers that consistently participate in this day are <a href="http://corp.7-eleven.com/Newsroom/2013NewsReleases/TeaforFREEat7ElevenisAwesummer/tabid/565/Default.aspx">7-Eleven</a> (free Snapple tea) and <a href="http://news.starbucks.com/news/teavana-celebrates-national-iced-tea-day-on-june-10-by-offering-free-bevera">Teavana</a> (free tea with purchase).</p> <h2>June: Father's Day</h2> <p>Every third Sunday of June, the King of the House can get freebies at:</p> <ul> <li>Bucca di Beppo: <a href="http://offers.bucadibeppo.com/Coupons/FathersDay/FreeCannoli/">Free cannoli</a> for dine-in dads.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Einstein's Brothers Bagels: BOGO sandwich<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Hooters: Buy 10 wings, get 10 free for dads<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Spaghetti Warehouse: Free&nbsp;<a href="http://www.40meatballs.com/?page_id=1618">original recipe spaghetti or lasagna</a><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>TCBY: Free 6 ounce cup of frozen yogurt&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>T.G.I. Friday's: BOGO with the purchase of two beverages<br /> &nbsp;</li> </ul> <h2>July 11: 7-Eleven Day</h2> <p>Every July 11th 7-Eleven offers <a href="http://corp.7-eleven.com/Newsroom/2010NewsReleases/OhThankHeavenIts7ElevenDay/tabid/428/Default.aspx">free 7.11-ounce Slurpee drinks</a>.&nbsp;</p> <h2>July 11: Cow Appreciation Day</h2> <p>After you grab free 7-11 Slurpee, dress up as a cow and head to a Chic-fil-A restaurant for a free meal. Yes, <a href="http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Cows/Appreciation-Day">Cow Appreciation Day</a> is a real thing.</p> <h2>September 17: Free queso day</h2> <p>Head over to Mae's Southwest Grill for a free bowl of queso (11am-9pm).</p> <h2>September 19: Talk Like a Pirate Day</h2> <p>Go the Krispy Kreme and get your free donut by talking pirate to the cashier. You can also get a free piece of fish from Long John Silver's.</p> <h2>September 29: National Coffee Day</h2> <p>Every September 29th coffee retailers offer a free small coffee. Some companies that participate are Dunkin' Donuts, Krispy Kreme, Lamar's Donuts, and McDonald's. Other retailers who offer BOGO are Eintstein's Bros Bagels, Noah's Bagels, and Peet's Coffee.</p> <h2>November 11: Veteran's Day</h2> <p>During this holiday in November, veterans and active duty military can get free meals at:</p> <ul> <li>Applebee's</li> <li>Bar Louie</li> <li>BJ's</li> <li>California Pizza Kitchen</li> <li>Chili's</li> <li>Claim Jumper</li> <li>Denny's</li> <li>Famous Dave's</li> <li>Friendly's</li> <li>Golden Corral</li> <li>Hurricane Grills &amp; Wings</li> <li>IHOP (free pancakes)</li> <li>McCormick &amp; Schmick's</li> <li>Olive Garden</li> <li>On The Border</li> <li>Perkins</li> <li>Red Robin</li> <li>Sizzler</li> <li>Texas Roadhouse</li> <li>T.G.I. Friday's</li> </ul> <p>Free coffee at:</p> <ul> <li>Einstein Bros Bagels&nbsp;</li> <li>Krispy Kreme (donut &amp; coffee)</li> <li>McDonald's</li> <li>Noah's Bagels</li> <li>Roy Rogers</li> <li>Starbucks</li> <li>Tim Hortons (free donut)</li> </ul> <p>Free appetizer at:</p> <ul> <li>Carrabba's</li> <li>LongHorn (Texas Tonion &amp; non-alcoholic beverage)</li> <li>Outback (Bloomin' Onion and beverage)</li> <li>Red Lobster</li> <li>Ruby Tuesday</li> </ul> <p>And many more! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-list-of-military-discounts?ref=seealso">Big List of Military Discounts</a>)</p> <p>NOTE:&nbsp;Most locations will ask for valid ID.</p> <h2>Sometime in December: Free Shipping Day</h2> <p>Christmas shopping procrastinators rejoice! On <a href="http://www.freeshippingday.com">Free Shipping Day</a>, participating online retailers provide you free shipping for your purchase. This day happens sometime in December so stay tuned.</p> <h2>December 4: National Cookie Day</h2> <p>Check out stores like Great American Cookies and Quiznos to get your free cookie!</p> <h2>December 5: Repeal Day</h2> <p>In honor of Repeal Day, local bars will have deals aplenty to celebrate all the great things about legalized drinking.</p> <h2>December 8: Brownie Day</h2> <p>On December 8th, get a <a href="http://www.restaurantnews.com/celebrate-national-brownie-day-with-a-free-brownie-at-nestle-toll-house-cafe-by-chip/">free brownie</a> at participating Nestle Toll House Cafe locations.</p> <p>There you have it. Set an annual reminder for these freebie days, so you don't forget them.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>What is your favorite day of the year to get freebies? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/never-miss-free-ice-cream-again-complete-calendar-of-annual-free-stuff-days">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/how-to-find-really-free-freebies">How to Find Really Free Freebies</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/free-12-month-supply-of-contact-lens-cases-coupons">Free 12-month supply of contact lens cases &amp; coupons</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/are-you-getting-these-5-things-for-free">Are You Getting These 5 Things for Free?</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/hurray-annual-freebie-calendar">Hurray! Annual Freebie Calendar</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/you-cant-save-if-you-dont-try">You Can’t Save if You Don’t Try</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping free stuff freebies giveaways Mon, 23 Feb 2015 22:00:10 +0000 Damian Davila 1151051 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Discount Stores That Are More Expensive Than You Think http://www.wisebread.com/5-discount-stores-that-are-more-expensive-than-you-think <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-discount-stores-that-are-more-expensive-than-you-think" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/walmart store.jpg" alt="walmart store" title="walmart store" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you think you're getting a great bargain by shopping at big box stores that market themselves as purveyors of incredibly low prices, you may want to think again. Consider the alluring &quot;loss leader&quot; pricing strategy, for example. America's discount retailers draw you in by selling certain items at or below cost. But, they make up for lost profits on those dramatic mark-downs by selling you other, higher-priced products during that same visit. By the time you reach the register, the amazing savings you reaped from that doorbuster special is reduced by all the other higher-priced items you purchased. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-retailers-manipulate-you-into-spending?ref=seealso">How Retailers Manipulate You Into Spending More</a>)</p> <p>Stores use a variety of such techniques to make themselves only <em>seem</em> cheaper than they really are. Read on for our roundup of some of the big name stores that are more expensive than you think.</p> <h2>1. Walmart</h2> <p>&quot;Always the Lowest Price. Always.&quot; That's the original Walmart slogan. But the world's biggest retailer was forced to stop using it when the National Advertising Review Board ruled that <a href="http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/03/07/97586/-Wake-Up-People-Wal-Mart-s-Prices-Aren-t-That-Low#">Walmart's lowest price claim simply wasn't true</a>. Perhaps a more accurate tagline would have instead utilized the word &quot;sometimes.&quot;</p> <p>Indeed, some of Walmart's items are priced lower than anywhere else. Those key products are strategically chosen commodities that customers like you tend to know the going price of. Therefore, you know a steal when you see one, such as 25 cent cans of Progresso soup or a Dyson upright vacuum for $369. Eventually, you see enough good deals and assume everything Walmart sells is cheap. Alas, it is not. If you pile up your shopping cart with a mix of good deals, bad ones, and regularly priced items, you've merely neutralized your big savings, while helping Walmart achieve its bottom line.</p> <h2>2. Target</h2> <p>Though it caters to the fashion-forward shopper rather than the self-identified thrifty one, Target sells many of the same products as Walmart. In fact, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/2012/10/23/66b97b8e-17d0-11e2-9855-71f2b202721b_story.html">80% of the merchandise sold in Target and Wal-Mart is identical</a>, according to Charles Fishman, author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0143038788/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0143038788&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=2VZCDYFUMQHVVWZW">The Wal-Mart Effect</a>. The two stores also offer the same discounts. A recent comparison by Bloomberg Businessweek found only a 46 cent difference between the two retailers per $100 of purchases. You'll save those 46 cents at Target, the analysis found, although Walmart usually wins independent price comparisons. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-perimeter-perusing-at-target?ref=seealso">How to Find the Secret Deals and Biggest Markdowns at Target</a>)</p> <h2>3. Dollar General</h2> <p>Despite the name, not everything here is a dollar or less. And even when it is, you're not necessarily getting bang for your buck. Case in point: The price tag on bulk goods at Dollar General is often lower due to <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/dollar-tree-to-buy-family-dollar-for-74-50-a-share-1406542575">smaller unit counts</a>, but they can be higher per piece. For instance, an analysis by the Wall Street Journal found a 28-pack of Pampers diapers sells for $10, or 35 cents per diaper, on Dollar General's website. But the same diapers on Walmart's website sells in a 180-pack box for $45.97, or 25 cents per diaper. So, yes, you can get diapers for less money at Dollar General. But they'll cost you 40% more per diaper than if you were to buy a bigger bulk package at Walmart.</p> <h2>4. Amazon Prime</h2> <p>The $99 annual fee you must pay to gain membership to Amazon Prime gets you free two-day shipping on selected products. If you're a fairly frequent Amazon Prime shopper, a membership should work out in your favor. But beware: As a Prime customer, you may not always be presented with <a href="http://www.geekwire.com/2014/amazon-boosts-prime-membership-99-cites-fuel-transportation-costs/">the cheapest item</a>.</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.geekwire.com/2014/amazon-shoppers-question-whether-prime-membership-scam/">GeekWire analysis found</a> that a search for a Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker turns up a Prime-eligible product that costs $49.95 for free two-day shipping. But if you were to click on more options, the same slow cooker is available from a different seller for $38.01 plus $11.99 for shipping, for a grand total of $50. In this case, as a Prime customer, your $99 membership fee would save you a mere 15 cents.</p> <p>In another scenario, the analysis found a vacuum cleaner filter from Dirt Devil was actually cheaper if you didn't use your Prime account. The Prime item cost $13.49, but another vendor was charging $12.74, plus free shipping. Now, this isn't always the case. Often the Prime-eligible item is the cheapest one. But if you are a sporadic Prime shopper rather than a loyal one, or if you don't want to have to dig to ensure you're getting the best deal, a Prime membership might not be worthwhile for you.</p> <h2>5. Kohl's</h2> <p>At Kohl's, <a href="http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/02/22/consumerwatch-investigation-finds-kohls-sale-prices-arent-always-a-deal/">sales prices aren't always what they seem</a>. A CBS hidden-camera investigation conducted between November 2011 and January 2012 found that the discount retailer was in the habit of marking up items as much as $100 from earlier levels before putting them on sale. For Pattie Woody, the result is that the $202.99 sheet set she purchased at a 50% discount had actually been priced at $169.99 before the sale, the investigation found. The pre-sale markup meant that Woody really only saved 40% rather than the advertised 50%. In another example, a twin sheet set was listed at half off the original price of $89.99. But inside the plastic zipper, the earlier price tag read $49.99, indicating the sale was only a $5 savings from the original tag.</p> <p><em>What other tricks do big-name retailers use to make you spend more?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-discount-stores-that-are-more-expensive-than-you-think">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/5-places-to-get-cheaper-diapers">5 Places to Get Cheaper Diapers</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-amazon-url-hack-generator-save-big">The AMAZON URL hack generator. Save big $$$.</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/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</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/party-like-its-1999-the-psychology-of-pricing">Party Like It&#039;s 19.99: The Psychology of Pricing</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/filler-strategies-for-amazon-s-free-super-saver-shipping">Filler Strategies for Amazon’s Free Super Saver Shipping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Amazon discounters pricing retail WalMart Mon, 23 Feb 2015 18:00:06 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1302020 at http://www.wisebread.com Choosing the Wrong Color Can Cost You Big on These Purchases http://www.wisebread.com/choosing-the-wrong-color-can-cost-you-big-on-these-purchases <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/choosing-the-wrong-color-can-cost-you-big-on-these-purchases" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car dealer-colors-Dollarphotoclub_69826725.jpg" alt="car dealer " title="car dealer " class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>People generally chalk up color to personal preference when making a purchase, but what about those times when that choice can actually cost money? Strangely, I spend a lot of brain space thinking about the impact of color on my finances.</p> <p>I'm typing this article from the comfort of my new coral pink yoga mat. Coral is one of my favorite colors. Also, I am way more excited than I should be about the fact that it looks like a giant stick of chewing gum.</p> <p>Even though my yoga mat comes with a lifetime guarantee and I bought it at a 15% discount, it wasn't the best purchase I could have made. If I had been focusing on long-term savings rather than how I could add cinnamon fragrance to my mat for the ultimate Big Gum Workout Experience, I would have bought the black version of the same mat.</p> <h2>Black Hides Dirt &mdash; and Requires Less Care</h2> <p>A black mat would hide a lot of dirt. By buying the coral mat, I've basically resigned myself to spending extra time, water, and money keeping my yoga mat clean&hellip; forever.</p> <p>Who am I kidding? I know I'm going to be known by my fellow yogis as &quot;that girl with the filthy pink mat.&quot;</p> <p>I'm so grateful that I look good in black. Because otherwise I would be wearing some dingy looking clothes. As much as I fantasize about wearing white jeans, it's not going to happen. Just thinking about the cost of dry cleaning gives me hives.</p> <p>By now most people have heard about the <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Overdressed-Shockingly-High-Cheap-Fashion/dp/1591846544">environmental damage</a> and <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/04/24/bangladesh-building-collapse/2108727/">human misery</a> caused by clothes manufacturing. What continues to go under-reported is the fact that the care and cleaning of clothing is actually more taxing to the environment than clothing production. How you clean your clothes and how often you have to clean your clothes can really make a difference to the planet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-laundry-mistakes-you-didnt-know-you-were-making?ref=seelaso">11 Laundry Mistakes You Didn't Know You Were Making</a>)</p> <h2>White Cars Roll Cooler &mdash; and More Visibly</h2> <p>Light colors are not without benefits. The Car of Torture I drove in high school was burgundy. During Arizona summers, a dark paint job turns an automobile into a furnace on wheels. Although I literally drove home from my summer job everyday wearing oven mitts (pro tip: don't touch a black steering wheel in 120 degree weather with your bare hands), I still have scorch marks on my back fat where I accidentally branded myself with the metal end of the seatbelt.</p> <p>After the unrelenting sun exposure oxidized the burgundy paint job on my car, giving it a distinctly scabby look, my parents agreed to repaint the car white. The color change instantly lowered the interior temperature by 10 degrees.</p> <p>As an adult living in Los Angeles, I only drive white cars. Although the smog keeps my white car looking disreputable at all times, it saves me money in two major ways.</p> <p>First, who has right of way at a four way stop in Los Angeles? The driver of the crummiest car, obviously. A dirty white car saves me on fender benders because other cars give me wide berth.</p> <p>All kidding aside, I drive a white car for visibility at night&hellip; to other drivers. My father, a retired head and neck surgeon, only drives yellow cars because he knows from years of treating accident victims that yellow cars are among the least likely to be <a href="https://www.aaafoundation.org/sites/default/files/CarColorAndSafety.pdf">passively involved in accidents</a>. Most car buyers don't think about paint color as a safety feature, but the cost of buying the wrong color car could be your life.</p> <p>Despite its connection to fire engines, red is actually a hard color to see, especially at night, when people's color vision is distorted. In fact, the common belief that drivers of <a href="http://www.snopes.com/autos/law/redcars.asp">red cars get more speeding tickets</a> is an urban legend.</p> <p>Secondly, the clear coat on my white car has also oxidized, but the damage is much less obvious than it would be on a darker color, and much <a href="http://guidetodetailing.com/damage-repair/how-to-restore-faded-oxidized-paint/">easier to repair</a> with Clay Bar detailing versus new paint.</p> <p>Finally, in hot climates, light colored cars get better gas mileage, because they stay cooler without the use of air conditioning. While I love the look of leather seats, I can't look at a black car with a black leather interior and not think the driver doesn't have brain damage. Or, maybe those drivers are just really into pain and never wear shorts.</p> <h2>A White Roof Is Cheaper, Too</h2> <p>Dark colored cars aren't the only way people are wasting their air conditioning. I'm getting ready to paint my black asphalt tiled roof white to <a href="http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/cool-roofs">reflect heat and save energy</a>. White roofs have been touted as a major way people could help <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Responsible-Tech/2008/1003/how-white-roofs-shine-bright-green">slow global warming</a>. However, repainting the roof is a big no for people who live in areas that have cold, dark winters because white roofs <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/id/35125043/ns/us_news-environment/t/white-roofs-do-cool-temps-study-finds/#.VNm5Y1PF9Cy">make homes harder to heat</a>.</p> <h2>Color Is a Powerful Advertising Tool</h2> <p>Color is also a powerful tool for driving consumer purchasing. Just like my yoga mat purchase, <a href="http://savvypanda.com/blog/selecting-colors-to-influence-client-buying-behavior.html">85% of shoppers place color</a> as a primary reason why they buy a particular product.</p> <p>In addition to aiding in brand recognition, an award-winning study in 2013 revealed that even the background color on a webpage influenced spending. Researchers discovered that shoppers were more likely to spend more money on an auction site like eBay after being exposed to a red background. However, the same shoppers were less likely to spend money on a fixed priced site after being exposed to red.</p> <p>Men seem to be especially sensitive to red, even <a href="http://jht.sagepub.com/content/early/2012/04/16/1096348012442546">tipping red uniformed waitresses more money</a>.</p> <h2>Some Colors Stimulant Appetite &mdash; and Spending</h2> <p>Red and yellow are also <a href="http://www.shape.com/blogs/fit-list-jay-cardiello/color-control-eat-less-workout-more">appetite stimulants</a>, which is why just about every fast food chain uses those colors in everything from their logos to their décor. Cornell University psychology researchers discovered that <a href="http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/outreach/color_plate.html">plate color</a> affects how much people eat. When researchers reduced the color contrast between food and the plate, study participants served themselves 22% less food. Just reducing the color contrast between the plate and the tablecloth reduced consumption by 10%!</p> <p>Over the past decade well-meaning consumers have been snookered out of their hard earned cash by an increasing number of products <a href="http://thegreenwashingblog.com/2014/02/25/marketing-and-greenwashing/">pretending to be environmentally responsible</a>. In addition to greenwashing, consumers now have to be on the lookout for <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/feb/15/komen-pinkwashing-problem-planned-parenthood">pinkwashing</a>. Caused-based shopping as charity is problematic because everyone from <a href="https://www.facebook.com/nopinkwashing">fracking</a> companies to <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/feb/15/komen-pinkwashing-problem-planned-parenthood">gun manufacturers</a> have tried to clean their dirty karma (and <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/10/21/komen-is-supposed-to-be-curing-breast-cancer-so-why-is-its-pink-ribbon-on-so-many-carcinogenic-products/">carcinogenic products</a>) under the guise of helping find a cure for breast cancer.</p> <p>Luckily, pink isn't just used to defraud charitable shoppers. It's still used for good by medical professionals. According to <a href="about:blank">this study</a>, researchers discovered that Baker-Miller Pink (AKA bubblegum pink) has a calming effect. Just looking at the color slows people's endocrine systems and loosens muscles.</p> <p>Baker-Miller Pink. The perfect color for a yoga mat. I feel so vindicated.</p> <p><em>Does color influence your spending decisions? What color will you pay more for?</em></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/choosing-the-wrong-color-can-cost-you-big-on-these-purchases">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-7"> <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/advertising-jargon-that-aims-to-mislead">Advertising Jargon That Aims to Mislead</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/25-products-you-think-you-need-but-really-don-t">25 Products You Think You Need, but Really Don’t</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/orange-makes-you-buy-more-and-other-sneaky-store-smell-tricks">Orange Makes You Buy More (and Other Sneaky Store Smell Tricks)</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/look-but-dont-touch-avoiding-market-manipulation">Look, But Don’t Touch: Avoid Marketing Manipulation</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/unbearably-stupid-packaging">Dumbest packaging ever?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping advertising color marketing Mon, 23 Feb 2015 16:00:08 +0000 Max Wong 1299971 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Ways You're Being Tricked to Spend More http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-youre-being-tricked-to-spend-more <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-youre-being-tricked-to-spend-more" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-woman-shopping-market-Dollarphotoclub_78052004.jpg" alt="happy woman shopping" title="happy woman shopping" 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 some great articles on the ways you're being tricked into spending more, how to decorate on a budget, and the ways your employer can help you save money.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://fitzvillafuerte.com/science-shopping-9-sneaky-ways-youre-tricked-spending.html">The Science of Shopping: 9 Sneaky Ways You're Being Tricked to Spending More</a> &mdash; The priciest items will be at eye level. If you want to save some dough, look up and down for cheaper options. [Ready To Be Rich]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mydollarplan.com/5-quick-tips-for-decorating-on-a-budget/">5 Quick Tips for Decorating on a Budget</a> &mdash; Revamp the furniture you already have with new hardware, new lamp shades, or a wallpaper lining. [My Dollar Plan]</p> <p><a href="http://www.threethriftyguys.com/2015/02/7-ways-to-save-money-through-your-employer/">7 Ways to Save Money Through Your Employer</a> &mdash; You may be able to get discounts on travel and entertainment through your employer. [Three Thrifty Guys]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.phroogal.com/5-money-saving-apps-shopaholic/">5 Money Saving Apps for the Shopaholic</a> &mdash; Shopkick shows you the latest deals at popular retail stores, and you can earn points to turn into gift cards&hellip; without even buying anything! [The Phroogal Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2015/02/18/self-love-today/">Simple Self-Love: The Top 10 Ways to Be Kind to Yourself Starting Today</a> &mdash; If you're having a mediocre day, take one small step towards something positive. Set up a coffee date with a friend, try a new hobby, or research a trip you want to take. [The Positivity Blog]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/What-Your-Biggest-Weakness-Interview-Question-33900029">4 Rules for Answering the Weakness Question</a> &mdash; When asked about your weaknesses, be honest &mdash; but not TOO honest. Avoid weaknesses that will hurt your chances of getting the job. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://bargainbriana.com/healthy-breakfast-ideas-anyone-can-make/">Healthy Breakfast Ideas Anyone Can Make</a> &mdash; Breakfast burritos are easy to make ahead of time for a quick breakfast or an on-the-go snack. [Bargain Briana]</p> <p><a href="http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/7-things-that-might-killing-your-relationship.html">7 Things That Might Be Killing Your Relationship</a> &mdash; The desire to control another person, especially a partner, is rooted in fear and insecurity. [Lifehack]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/chinese-new-year-activities">Chinese New Year Activities</a> &mdash; It's never a bad thing to learn about other cultures and traditions. Chinese New Year is already under way, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate! [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.everybodylovesyourmoney.com/2015/02/18/4-realistic-ways-save-half-income.html">4 Realistic Ways to Save Half Your Income</a> &mdash; If you don't already have multiple income sources, create one (or two!) and send that money directly into savings. [Everybody Loves Your Money]</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-ways-youre-being-tricked-to-spend-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-8"> <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/22-supermarket-tricks-you-havent-heard-yet">22 Supermarket Tricks You Haven&#039;t Heard Yet</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/4-ways-stores-trick-us-into-impulse-buys-and-how-to-resist">4 Ways Stores Trick Us Into Impulse Buys (And How to Resist)</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-things-you-should-never-try-to-save-on">5 Things You Should Never Try to Save On</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/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping best money tips retail tricks Fri, 20 Feb 2015 20:00:10 +0000 Amy Lu 1301686 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/engagement-diamond-ring-Dollarphotoclub_61801254.jpg" alt="engagement diamond ring" title="engagement diamond ring" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Planning to pop the question? You'll need a ring before you get down on bended knee, and when it comes to buying jewelry, it's easy to make costly mistakes (especially if you don't know what you're doing). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-wedding-trick-will-save-you-thousands?ref=seealso">This One Wedding Trick Will Save You Thousands</a>)</p> <p>To ensure that you're getting the best value for your budget, here are 12 engagement ring tricks from leading industry experts. Former diamond cutter and third-generation jeweler Anubh Shah of<a href="http://www.fourmine.com/"> Four Mine</a> jewelry, and Andrea Novella, creative director at<a href="http://www.gemmajadejewelry.com"> Gemma Jade Jewelry</a>, divulge their insider secrets to help you get the most brilliance for your buck.</p> <h2>1. Buy Diamonds Just Shy of Critical Weights</h2> <p>Carat weight and size are important in the ring-buying process &mdash; at least they are to your girlfriend &mdash; and jewelers know it. That's precisely why most diamonds are cut in half and whole increments, as pricing is based on those thresholds.</p> <p>&quot;Instead of shelling out for the full 1.00 carat diamond, try to find something around 0.95 carat,&quot; advises Shah. &quot;Manufacturers do everything they can to cut to critical weights because the pricing is tiered on those values. If a diamond is cut to less, the value is lost and therefore price can be significantly less.&quot;</p> <p>Novella agrees, calling this &quot;the best tip of all.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Diamond prices increase exponentially for each carat,&quot; she says. &quot;So if you want one carat, buy a .97. If you want 2, buy 1.95. It's essentially the same thing but much cheaper.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Buy Diamonds Online</h2> <p>We buy everything else online these days, so it only makes sense that you can find great deals on diamonds at Internet retailers.</p> <p>&quot;Buy diamonds online, even if you want to browse in store,&quot; suggests Anubh. &quot;Prices are significantly less and selection is far larger. You can see upwards of 20% price differences between online and in-store prices. Online jewelers are extremely price competitive and so the markups are actually very low. Jewelers make their margins on the setting, so buying the diamond loose then having it set in a ring locally is also a great idea.&quot;</p> <p>There's another important tip that you don't want to overlook, and it can save you hundreds of dollars.</p> <p>&quot;Also, buy one from a jeweler that's out of state so you save on taxes,&quot; Anubh adds, &quot;which can be an 8%+ difference.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Plan Your Purchase for the Summer</h2> <p>June through August is unofficially known as wedding season, so you probably assume that's the worst time to buy an engagement ring. The exact opposite is true, in fact, because while the actual weddings are taking places during the warmer months, most engagements are established throughout the rest of the year.</p> <p>&quot;Summers are a good time to buy &mdash; summers are slow for most jewelers and wholesalers so they'll be more price flexible to try and push inventory,&quot; says Anubh. &quot;Pricing is volatile around Christmas and can either go drastically up or down. Avoid the volatility and buy during the summer days. Plus it's wedding season so people aren't generally buying as many engagement rings at that time.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Opt for a Non-Traditional Shape</h2> <p>Would your lady prefer a round diamond? Unfortunately for you, she's in the majority, which drives the price up due to demand. To save some coin &mdash; if it won't leave you single, of course &mdash; look into more non-traditional shapes.</p> <p>&quot;Fancy shapes (shapes other than traditional round) are significantly less expensive and more trendy &mdash; why?&quot; asks Anubh. &quot;Because round is the most popular shape so it's most in demand &mdash; simple economics. Also, a diamond cutter's job is to preserve the maximum amount of weight. Rounds lose much more carat weight than other shapes, so they carry a premium.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Consider Alternative Stones</h2> <p>They say that diamonds are a girl's best friend. But isn't it interesting how there's no famous idiom that equates diamonds to a dude's worst enemy? If you're feeling the pinch on the prospect of buying a diamond, perhaps you can consider alternative stones, like precious gems or even a manmade, eco-friendly diamond-esque stone. (Tough sell, I know, but it's worth a shot.)</p> <p>&quot;Non-conventional brides might want to consider alternative stones to diamonds, or use a diamond setting but another stone for the center stone,&quot; Novella suggest. &quot;Asian cultures highly value imperial green jadeite, for example. It's more rare than diamonds but still more affordable.&quot;</p> <p>(P.S. If your bride is non-conventional, consider yourself an even luckier man.)</p> <h2>6. Go for the Gold</h2> <p>Yellow gold went out of fashion for a while over the past couple decades, but its back with a vengeance now that it has an enviable price tag. And Novella wants you to hone in on it for investment's sake.</p> <p>&quot;Gold provides the best value. Prices have steadily risen over the years so it's a good investment metal, but more affordable than platinum,&quot; she explains.</p> <h2>7. Look for 14k Instead of 18k Gold</h2> <p>While you're concentrating your efforts on gold, you also should know that there's a better value between one karat weight and another. It may seem like 18k gold is the best buy given the higher number, but that's not the case.</p> <p>&quot;Generally, you can consider 18k like a brand name; it's purer than 14k, but adds little to no extra raw value,&quot; says Anubh. &quot;The longevity of 14k is high, and simple 'servicing' (yes, like with a car) can keep it looking brand new. Just polishing out scratches or rhodium plating restores shine as if it were new. Do this once year &mdash; it should only cost about $10 to $20.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Steer Clear of the Brand Name Rings</h2> <p>I didn't have to buy an engagement ring because I married a dude (we're simple like that), so I had no idea that there were brand-name rings. Now that you are enlightened, you should stay far away too.</p> <p>&quot;Avoid brand name rings and branded designs,&quot; Anubh warns. &quot;Any ring can be custom made and any design created as close to the original as possible. There are huge savings when custom making a branded design so I definitely recommend that route if you like something branded outside your budget.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Look for Diamonds in the H/I Color and S1 Clarity Range</h2> <p>Now we're getting into the nitty-gritty of engagement ring buying with a quick lesson on diamond color and clarity.</p> <p>H/I Color is an<a href="http://www.jewelry-secrets.com/Diamonds/Is-H-I-Color-A-Good-Diamond-Color/H-I-Color-Diamonds-Good-Or-Bad.html"> &quot;average color, middle of the road, greatly abundant, and Consistent Color in Nature</a>,&quot; according to Jewelry Secrets. In laymen's terms, the color is a little bit off (a bit of yellow in the mix), but hardly noticeable. The SI Clarity range on the other hand includes three levels &mdash; SI1, SI2, and SI3 &mdash; which equate to flawless to the naked eye, flawed to the naked eye, and &quot;this is probably a diamond, but it's definitely not the best one,&quot; respectively.</p> <p>If you want to spend less, this is where you can make some concessions, says Anubh.</p> <p>&quot;Diamonds in the H/I color and SI clarity range offer the best value,&quot; he explains. &quot;The imperfections are rarely visible to the naked, untrained eye and the color is hardly distracting. Round diamonds mask color much better than fancy shapes.&quot;</p> <p>This is another slippery slope, gentlemen, so proceed with caution.</p> <h2>10. Seek Out GIA-Certified Rings</h2> <p>Did you know that there's, like, a governing body on diamonds? There are a few, actually. But the Gemological Institute of America is the only one you need to know.</p> <p>&quot;Only buy GIA-certified diamonds, if you're truly looking for value for money,&quot; Anubh advises. &quot;GIA is the most consistent grading lab and has the highest grading standards. Other labs are inconsistent and carry noticeable discounts for a reason. Don't be fooled!&quot;</p> <h2>11. Put Away the Plastic and Pay Cash</h2> <p>Given the high cost of engagement rings, your plan probably is to pay for it with credit. That's not the best idea for two reasons &mdash; you can easily rack up interest charges if you let the balance drag on, and you may be missing out on savings. A better bet is to hoard cash until you can afford it outright. You'll sleep better at night knowing that you don't have another huge bill looming over your head, it'll give you enough time to make sure this is definitely the right relationship for you, and you'll keep more money in the bank because of a potential kickback.</p> <p>&quot;Buy your engagement ring via bank wire or check from a wholesaler,&quot; Anubh recommends. &quot;There's almost always a discount because no credit card processing fees are involved.&quot;</p> <p>While we're on the subject of diamond wholesalers, Novella thinks you should seriously consider this route over a local jewelry store.</p> <p>&quot;Buy the diamond wholesale or through a broker, and then have it set with the jeweler,&quot; she says. &quot;You'll save on the markup for the center stone, which is the main part of the cost.&quot;</p> <h2>12. Stick to Your Intended Budget</h2> <p>It's really easy to go over budget when you're blinded by love &mdash; but you need to keep it together, man. Set a max amount that you'll spend and make it your goal to find the perfect ring by coming in <em>under</em> that threshold.</p> <p>&quot;Unless you're blowing out your budget, the odds of getting something significantly better for a small increase in budget are low,&quot; Anubh imparts. &quot;It'll make you feel bad in the long run. Stick to a number and stay under. Everyone is happy when they find an extra dollar in their jeans pocket.&quot;</p> <p><em>Did you save a bundle on an engagement ring or other piece of jewelry? How'd you do it?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">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-9"> <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/wedding-dresses-for-under-200">Wedding Dresses for Under $200</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/10-awesome-sites-to-shop-for-affordable-cool-jewelry">10 Awesome Sites to Shop for Affordable, Cool Jewelry</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-places-to-get-cheaper-diapers">5 Places to Get Cheaper Diapers</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/where-to-buy-discounted-designer-clothing-online">Where to Buy Discounted Designer Clothing Online</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/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe">8 Essential Pieces for Your Capsule Wardrobe</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Shopping Style engagement ring jewelry marriage ring wedding Fri, 13 Feb 2015 18:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1289195 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Kitchen Gadgets That Aren't Worth the Money http://www.wisebread.com/10-kitchen-gadgets-that-arent-worth-the-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-kitchen-gadgets-that-arent-worth-the-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/garlic-press-Dollarphotoclub_61613548.jpg" alt="garlic press" title="garlic press" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone wants to save time and get creative in the kitchen, but many kitchen tools simply aren't worth the money. Many &quot;new&quot; gadgets are designed for tasks that can be done with tools you already have in your kitchen, and some are just so weird that you'll probably never use them, no matter how gorgeous those turducken popsicles look on the infomercial. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-must-have-kitchen-purchases-under-10?ref=seealso">13 Must-Have Kitchen Purchases Under $10</a>)</p> <p>So check out this list of 10 kitchen gadgets that aren't worth the money, and then maybe just stop watching infomercials altogether.</p> <h2>1. Garlic Press</h2> <p>Go into any home, and you'll probably find a garlic press tucked away in the back of a kitchen drawer. If you've ever used one, you know why. The poor results and the difficult clean up are not worth the money for many people, even professional chefs. Once you press the clove, most of it turns into a liquid paste that you can't use, and then you have to try to figure out how to salvage what little is left once it goes through the press.</p> <p>It's quicker and cleaner to mince the garlic with a sharp knife. The same goes for a garlic peeler. You can get the same result with a knife. Gently crush the clove with the broad side of a large knife, and the peel comes right off. Then you only have to clean one tool instead of two.</p> <h2>2. Zester</h2> <p>No zester I have tried has never given me the results that you see in the pictures from food magazines. Either use a vegetable peeler, or if you need a finer grade, use the finer side of your cheese grater.</p> <h2>3. Wire Cheese Slicer</h2> <p>I've actually owned two of these. One was a gift, and the other I bought after the first one broke. They always break. You're better off slicing cheese with a knife, especially harder cheeses. If you want thinner slices, you can use non-waxed dental floss and get the same effect.</p> <h2>4. Egg Poacher</h2> <p>While a microwave egg poacher might be worth the money if you are in a hurry and want a quick breakfast, metal egg poachers are a huge waste of money. They are designed to be placed in the bottom of a pot of water, but if you are going to go to the effort of boiling water, you are better off just poaching your eggs the traditional way. The eggs typically get stuck to the metal unless you use a lot of butter, and trying to get the pan out of the boiling water without burning yourself is nearly impossible.</p> <p>Poaching eggs isn't that difficult once you get the hang of it. The trick is keeping the yolk intact when you crack the egg into the water (fresh eggs are ideal for poaching since the yolks tend to hold up better). If you have a slotted spoon, you can easily remove the egg from the water when it's done.</p> <h2>5. Nutribullet</h2> <p>I've never owned one of these, but a friend of mine bought one and said it broke after a few uses. She also said it took too long to grind the food and even longer to clean after use. Plus, you lose a lot of the nutrients because it removes all the fibrous material. Most people buy these juicers to save space, but if you are serious about juicing, look for a traditional juicer. You get more of the fiber and nutrients, and they tend to be more reliable and last longer.</p> <h2>6. Cake Pop Molds</h2> <p>I may be slightly biased on this one since I've never understood the concept of a cake pop. Why not just make a cake? But they can be fun for parties and for children. However, keep in mind that they are not as easy to make as it sounds. I looked up several reviews of different brands, and most people said it took them several tries before getting the right consistency. The pops also stick to the pan more often than not, so unless you really want to make cake pops all the time, it's not worth the money or effort to make them for one or two parties.</p> <h2>7. Electric Can Opener</h2> <p>I have to admit, I grew up with one of these, and they can be handy. But manual can openers are made with smarter designs now, making them easier and safer to use. You can get a decent manual can opener for under 10 dollars, and you'll be saving a little counter space.</p> <h2>8. Pickle Grabber</h2> <p>In theory, these are a great idea. But you could also save your money and just use a fork to get that last pickle out of the jar.</p> <h2>9. Strawberry Stem Remover</h2> <p>Yes, as the name suggests, this tool is designed solely to remove strawberry stems, but some people also use it to remove the tops of tomatoes, too. You can also do this easily with a serrated knife, or provide a dual use for your grapefruit spoon (which is actually handy gadget if you eat a lot of grapefruit).</p> <h2>10. Pepper Prepper</h2> <p>Of all the items on this list, I think this one has to be the biggest waste of money. This tool is designed to remove the cap of the pepper and the ribs and seeds from the middle. You can do that just as easily by cutting around the middle in four slices, which also takes care of the next part of the prep work. If you are making stuffed peppers, I can see how this item might be appealing. But again, you can easily carve out the cap with a knife and remove the innards by hand and only need to clean one tool.</p> <p><em>What kitchen gadget do you own but rarely use? Please warn us in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-watson">Ashley Watson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-kitchen-gadgets-that-arent-worth-the-money">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-10"> <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/13-must-have-kitchen-purchases-under-10">13 Must-Have Kitchen Purchases Under $10</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-best-10-items-to-borrow">The Best 10 Items to Borrow</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-ways-to-avoid-buying-electronics-youll-regret">5 Ways to Avoid Buying Electronics You&#039;ll Regret</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-awesome-useful-gifts">25 Awesome, Useful Gifts</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/6-as-seen-on-tv-kitchen-gadgets-that-are-actually-worth-the-money">6 &quot;As Seen on TV&quot; Kitchen Gadgets That Are Actually Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping gadgets kitchen tools utensils Fri, 13 Feb 2015 12:00:05 +0000 Ashley Watson 1289196 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Organic Grocery Items That Aren't Worth It http://www.wisebread.com/10-organic-grocery-items-that-arent-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-organic-grocery-items-that-arent-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/roasted corn.jpg" alt="roast corn" title="roast corn" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're like me, you buy organic because you believe it's good for you (fewer chemicals in your body and more nutrients in the food) and good for the environment (fewer pesticides sprayed on crops). But it's also expensive. So the question is: what kinds of foods can you get away with buying non-organic? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-15-foods-that-are-worth-buying-organic?ref=seealso" style="font-size: 13px; line-height: 1.15;">The Only 15 Foods That Are Worth Buying Organic</a>)</p> <p>Here are 10 foods for which you can skip the organic and buy conventional instead.</p> <h2>1. Maple Syrup</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/maple%20syrup%20bottles.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>While you should buy pure maple syrup instead of maple-flavored &quot;syrup,&quot; it doesn't have to be organic. The <a href="http://andersonsmaplesyrup.com/index.php?page=organic_nonorganic">same process</a> is used to produce both organic and non-organic maple syrup and most non-organic syrup is made without pesticides or chemicals.</p> <h2>2. Seafood</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/raw%20salmon.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The USDA doesn't currently have organic standards for seafood, so if you see seafood labeled as &quot;organic,&quot; beware. The label <a href="http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/common-resources/fish/seafood/labeling/organic-seafood-fact-or-fiction/">doesn't mean it adheres to any U.S. standards</a>.</p> <h2>3. Quinoa</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/quinoa%20blueberries.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Quinoa has a bitter-tasting coating that's not appealing to pests, <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/shopping-storing/food/non-organic-food/non-organic-quinoa">so most quinoa growers skip pesticides</a>. Although there's a chance a farmer might spray a quinoa crop, it's unlikely. So, go ahead and buy conventional quinoa, since it's unlikely to have unhealthy chemicals.</p> <h2>4. Grapefruit Juice</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/grapefruit-juice-Dollarphotoclub_67204155.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Since grapefruit has a thick skin, most pesticides don't penetrate the fruit inside. You can skip organic grapefruit juice.</p> <h2>5. Avocados</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/avocados%20bunch.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>You've probably noticed that organic avocados aren't that much more expensive than conventional ones. The reason? Like grapefruit, given their skin, growing organic avocados isn't that much more difficult than growing conventional avocados.</p> <h2>6. Most Tropical Fruit</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/kiwis.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The Environmental Working Group (EWG) came up with a <a href="http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/">&quot;Clean 15&quot;</a> &mdash; 15 types of produce that have lower pesticides. Over 25% of this list was made up of tropical fruit. Pineapple, mango, papaya, and kiwi are all types of produce shown to have fewer pesticides.</p> <h2>7. Frozen Peas</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/frozen%20peas.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>My toddler son loves to eat frozen peas (and specifically to eat them still frozen.) We almost always tried to buy them organic, believing these to be better for him. Imagine my surprise to find out that they are also part of EWG's Clean 15.</p> <h2>8. Corn</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/roasted%20corn.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Corn is another item I was surprised to see on EWG's list of produce with fewer pesticides. While they say there are fewer pesticides, remember that organic certification also means that the item is not genetically modified. So, if you are only choosing organic items to lower your exposure to pesticides, it's fine to buy conventional corn. But if you want to avoid genetically modified foods, then buy organic corn.</p> <h2>9. The 3 C's: Cantaloupe, Cabbage, Cauliflower</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/cantalopes.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>One of the guidelines in knowing when to choose organic over conventional is whether you eat the skin. If you eat the skin, it's usually best to buy organic. With cantaloupe you don't eat the skin &mdash; so perhaps that's one reason it made the EWG Clean 15 list. But cabbage and cauliflower were also part of EWG's Clean 15. So a good way to remember these items is &quot;the 3 C's.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Onions</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/onions%20bunch.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Since they're a staple of everything from meatloaf to stir fry, you might assume it's best to buy organic onions. Not so. Conventional onions have fewer pesticides than many other foods, partially due to the layers of outer skin that you peel away, so you can skip organic. Further, at least <a href="http://www.foodnavigator.com/Science/Organically-grown-carrots-and-onions-match-conventionally-grown-antioxidant-levels">according to one study</a>, organically grown onions do not offer any more nutrients than conventionally grown.</p> <p><em>Do you mix and match conventionally grown produce and organically grow? How do you decide?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-organic-grocery-items-that-arent-worth-it">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-11"> <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/is-your-apple-dangerous-how-to-eat-fewer-pesticides-and-save-money">Is Your Apple Dangerous? How to Eat Fewer Pesticides (and Save 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/8-ways-to-buy-organic-and-still-be-frugal">8 Ways to Buy Organic and Still Be Frugal</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/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, By the Month</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-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best 5 Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping conventional groceries organic pesticides produce Tue, 10 Feb 2015 22:00:06 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 1286277 at http://www.wisebread.com The Only 15 Foods That Are Worth Buying Organic http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-15-foods-that-are-worth-buying-organic <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-only-15-foods-that-are-worth-buying-organic" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-organic-food-shopping-Dollarphotoclub_62700198.jpg" alt="woman organic food shopping" title="woman organic food shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In a perfect world, all food would be organic and we would all be able to afford it. Instead we're faced with awkward produce-aisle decisions every time we step foot into a grocery store &mdash; is this worth paying 50&cent;, $1, $5 more? What are the health implications, and is organic equally important across the board?</p> <p>Let's get real here: <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/is-organic-better-for-your-health-a-look-at-milk-meat-eggs-produce-and-fish/2014/04/07/036c654e-a313-11e3-8466-d34c451760b9_story.html">most organic food</a> has not been proven to be &quot;better&quot; for you, meaning it doesn't contain more nutrients or some magic cancer-fighting voodoo. So far, studies have been inconclusive about the effects of eating a diet rich in organic foods versus non-organic. But even skeptics can't argue with the <a href="http://www.nrdc.org/living/shoppingwise/choose-organic-produce-where-it-matters-most.asp">principles of organic farming and food buying</a>: no harmful chemicals and sustainable environmental practices.</p> <p>Not everyone can afford to go full organic, and that's where the <a href="http://www.ewg.org/">Environmental Working Group</a> (EWG) comes in. The non-profit publishes research yearly based on the level of pesticides found in fruits and veggies, and ranks them from worst to best.</p> <p>Below is a list of 15 food items using the EWG and other researchers' information that you should pony up for and go organic. Everything on this list is doubly important for kids and pregnant women. Finally, whenever possible, buy local.</p> <h2>1. Apples</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/apple%20plate.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you're going to buy just one thing organic, make it apples. They consistently appear at the top of the <a href="http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list.php#">EWG's offenders list</a>, harboring a number of pesticides that traditional farmers use to keep pests and disease at bay. Most of the harmful stuff is contained in the skin, but it's also the healthiest part of the apple. Luckily, organic versus non-organic apples has one of the lowest <a href="http://www.mofga.org/Publications/MaineOrganicFarmerGardener/Fall2011/PriceDifferences/tabid/1966/Default.aspx">price differences</a>, so you won't be paying double for your peace of mind.</p> <h2>2. Baby Food</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/baby%20food.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Many doctors think that babies are more susceptible to the potential negative health impacts of pesticides. When your baby begins to transition to solid food, it's a good idea to <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/baby-food/buying-guide.htm">feed your child organic</a> whenever possible. This is especially true for the fruits and vegetables on this list, since they tend to have more pesticide residue in the first place. To offset the increase in cost, consider buying in bulk.</p> <h2>3. Strawberries and Blueberries</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/strawberries%20bowl.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Berries are sensitive and heavily exposed &mdash; they don't have a tough outer shell or skin to protect them. Because they grow largely unprotected, they are more susceptible to pests, and pesticides are often the solution. Note that according to the EWG, domestically-grown blueberries are more contaminated than international varieties.</p> <h2>4. Peaches and Nectarines</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/peaches%20plate.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>These delicious stone fruits have thin, edible skins and are naturally delicate, so they are typically sprayed with various poisons to keep them from molding and to keep away pests. Even if you peel your peaches or nectarines, traces of chemicals will remain. <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/chi-0812-peaches-pesticides_mainaug12-story.html#page=1">Some doctors suggest</a> buying organic versions of these fruit is especially important if you are pregnant or have children.</p> <h2>5. Celery</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/chopped%20celery.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Celery also scored high on EWG's list, with 13 chemicals detected in total. The crunchy veggie is porous and grows largely outside of the ground, so it absorbs chemicals easily. Next time you're at the market, reach for the organic option, along with a jar of&hellip;</p> <h2>6. Peanut Butter</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/peanut%20butter%20bread.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>If you have kids or just love peanut butter as much as a kid, then consider investing in <a href="http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/10/22/five-easy-ways-to-go-organic/?_r=0">organic peanut butter</a>. It will be pesticide-free, plus most organic brands utilize a healthier recipe to boost the good-for-you-ness. It may take a few tries to find a brand you like and get your family on board, especially if they are used to the sugary, unnaturally smooth stuff, but it's worth it.</p> <h2>7. Potatoes</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/potatoes%20barrell.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Considering the amount of potatoes an average American consumes, switching to organic spuds is a no-brainer. Even if you're scrubbing and peeling your potatoes, there's a very good chance they still contain potentially-harmful chemicals. The EWG found that the average <a href="http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php">potato had more pesticides</a> by weight than any other food tested. So before mashing or frying or baking, shell out a few more cents for organic taters and put your mind at ease.</p> <h2>8. Milk</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/milk%20splash.jpg" width="605" height="341" alt="" /></p> <p>Traditional farming practices now include treating cows with hormones so that they will produce more milk. Unfortunately, we can't have our milk and drink it too. Some of these hormones are passed on to the consumer, and although <a href="http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/recombinant-bovine-growth-hormone">we do not know the full impact</a>, many people are choosing the precautionary route and switching their families to organic dairy. Look for rBGH-free on the label.</p> <h2>9. Greens</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/lettuce%20closeup.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Delicate greens, including spinach, lettuce, kale, and collard greens all make it in the top 15 of EWG's list. Many highly toxic chemicals are permitted on leafy greens, and even chemicals that were banned in recent years can still be absorbed through the soil and show up in the plants. If you are a frequent salad eater, just go ahead and buy organic. The <a href="http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirtydozenplus.php">EWG recommends</a> that kale and collard green lovers that don't buy organic should consider cooking before eating.</p> <h2>10. Tomatoes</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/tomatoes%20plate.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Tomatoes are one of the only fruits or vegetables that has been proven to be more nutritious in organic form. According to a study, organic tomatoes have nearly <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90914182">double the concentration of two flavonoids</a>, which are considered very healthful. Conventional tomatoes also made the EWG naughty list, so the choice seems clear: organic all the way.</p> <h2>11. Bell Peppers</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/bell%20peppers%20table.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Sweet bell peppers rank high on the list, as these colorful veggies tend to have surprising amounts of pesticides remaining on them. Go organic when you can, and when eating conventional bell peppers be sure to give them a nice, cold bath. Cooking also helps to reduce the amount of chemicals present.</p> <h2>12. Grapes</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/grapes%20plate.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>During the EWG's testing, they found a single <a href="http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php">grape with fifteen different pesticide</a>s present. Gross. Because they ripen quickly and end up attracting insects, grapes often get sprayed with a multitude of chemicals to keep them untouched and in perfect eating order. If you can't find organic or can't stomach the price tag, buy seasonally from a local source and give them a good wash.</p> <h2>13. Meat</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/beef%20fillet.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The European Union has already banned the use of hormones in cattle, but the practice is still permitted in many other countries, including the U.S. These hormones can remain in the meat, and the potential health effects of ingesting them on a regular basis is not yet well studied. But buying organic meat is as much about the potential health risks of the growth hormones and antibiotics as it is about choosing the more humane option. Organic cattle are typically given more space, allowed to graze, and fed natural feed so that they can live a happy and healthy life before making it to the plate.</p> <h2>14. Cucumbers</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/cucumbers%20bowl.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Conventional varieties of this refreshing vegetable are typically treated with a petroleum-based wax to preserve freshness. This wax is also good at holding on to already present pesticides, and is impossible to completely wash off at home. Organic varieties omit this wax, making them a superior produce aisle choice. When eating the conventional version, be sure to wash and peel the cucumber &mdash; although this does not guarantee removal of all chemicals, and it removes some of the nutrients.</p> <h2>15. Hot Peppers</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/hot%20peppers%20basket.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>For those who indulge in spice on a regular basis, try to buy organic hot peppers whenever possible. Conventional hot peppers often have high levels of harmful pesticides, partly because a few especially nasty chemicals are permitted on peppers that aren't allowed on other common crops.</p> <p><em>What does your organic shopping list look like?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-15-foods-that-are-worth-buying-organic">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-12"> <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/8-ways-to-buy-organic-and-still-be-frugal">8 Ways to Buy Organic and Still Be Frugal</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/is-your-apple-dangerous-how-to-eat-fewer-pesticides-and-save-money">Is Your Apple Dangerous? How to Eat Fewer Pesticides (and Save Money)</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-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</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-organic-grocery-items-that-arent-worth-it">10 Organic Grocery Items That Aren&#039;t Worth It</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/5-frugal-rules-you-must-follow-when-shopping-at-costco">5 Frugal Rules You Must Follow When Shopping at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping ewg food shopping fruits and vegetables grocery shopping organic Thu, 05 Feb 2015 18:00:35 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1285074 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Clothes Shopping Hacks That Save Time and Money http://www.wisebread.com/9-clothes-shopping-hacks-that-save-time-and-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-clothes-shopping-hacks-that-save-time-and-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-clothing-shopping-Dollarphotoclub_69139192.jpg" alt="woman clothing shopping" title="woman clothing shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Let me let you in on a little secret: I am not a fashionista.</p> <p>In fact, buying clothes used to scare the crap out of me, because I just knew I'd end up with things that I didn't love, didn't work for me, didn't go with anything else I owned, or didn't fit as well at home as they did in the store.</p> <p>For a few years, I didn't shop much at all. I had three babies, and so I had partial wardrobes in several different sizes, and I changed shape so much that shopping seemed like an exercise in futility. After I had my kids, though, I hit a point where I realized I needed to get my wardrobe together. Actually, I just needed a wardrobe &mdash; a set of clothes that I liked, that suited my style and my lifestyle, and that fit a body that ended up a very different shape from where I started. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe?ref=seealso">8 Essential Pieces for Your Capsule Wardrobe</a>)</p> <p>Enter the Clothes Rules. I dug around and found some ideas that, when I follow them, are slowly helping me create a wardrobe I love and that works for every occasion. Here they are.</p> <h2>1. Determine Your Body Shape</h2> <p>Whether you're a <a href="http://www.menstylefashion.com/guys-do-you-know-your-body-shape/">man</a> or a <a href="http://www.joyofclothes.com/style-advice/shape-guides/body-shapes-overview.php">woman</a>, there are many different shapes your body can take. Since different clothes flatter different shapes, it's important to have an idea of what will work on your body before you shop.</p> <p>If you look at the body types and you're still not sure where you fit, ask someone you love to help you out. This requires a lot of trust, but sometimes you need an extra set of eyes, particularly if you feel like your body doesn't look the way it used to.</p> <h2>2. Find Pictures of What You Like</h2> <p>Once you know what will work for you, find pictures online of clothes you like that fit those qualifications. You can search through Pinterest, look at items from stores you like, or scroll through fashion blogs.</p> <p>At this point, you just want to gather photos of everything you like that might work on your body. Sometimes it takes a while, but you should be able to find 30-50 items (preferably everything from pants to shirts to jeans to more formal wear).</p> <h2>3. Know Your Style</h2> <p>When you have the pictures of clothes you like that should also look good on you, put them all together. Notice whether there are items that seem to go together, or that look like they would work to make an outfit.</p> <p>Note that there's no &quot;good&quot; or &quot;bad&quot; here. If all of your clothes would look good together, it will be easier to <a href="http://thoughtcatalog.com/heather-hailey/2014/03/9-secret-power-shopping-hacks-youve-never-heard-of-but-need/">understand your style</a>. If they're all different, maybe your style is something like &quot;eclectic.&quot;</p> <p>You will also want to make sure your style fits your life, too. If you need business casual clothes for work, make sure to include some pictures of these. You may need to purchase separate pieces for work, if those clothes just don't fit in with the rest of your style.</p> <h2>4. Get Your Measurements</h2> <p>Before you go shopping, make sure you know your measurements. You will want to have numbers for (at least) your chest (bust and under bust, for women), waist, hips, and inseam. When shopping for dress shirts, you may also want to know your neck circumference and arm length. These can be hard to get accurately on your own, so get some help.</p> <p>Take these numbers with you when you shop. They will help you find the right size. Many pants are sized by waist and inseam, and, more and more, stores will list inseam or sleeve length on the tag.</p> <p>If you end up shopping online, accurate measurements are essential. Check the size chart for any garment you buy, and make sure it will fit in all the relevant directions.</p> <h2>5. Find the Stores That Work For You</h2> <p>This may take some trial and error, but most people find that certain brands carry clothes that fit both their personal style and their body. Finding your stores can make shopping a lot easier, because you'll learn what sizes you wear there, so you can buy online or without trying clothes on.</p> <p>One of the best ways to do this is to take a few hours and go to a mall, without an urgent need to buy something. Start going into stores and trying things on, and you will quickly find out which ones are best for you.</p> <h2>6. Wrap Waistbands Around Your Neck</h2> <p>Whether you don't like dressing rooms, can't find an empty one, or just don't have time to try things on, there are a couple of hacks for determining whether a pair of pants will fit. For the first one, make sure the zipper is closed and the button buttoned. Then, <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Will-Those-Thriftstore-Pants-Fit-No-Dressing-Room/">wrap the waistband around your neck</a>.</p> <p>In general, if the band doesn't overlap, the pants are too small. If it overlaps an inch or so, they should fit. And if it overlaps more, they will be too big.</p> <p>This works best if you try it with some pants you love before you go to the store. That way, you will know how your current favorite pairs measure up, so you can look for the same thing in anything new that you buy.</p> <h2>7. Measure Hip Size With Your Shoulders</h2> <p>If the waist seems like it will fit, check the hip measurement. Find the widest part of the pants and <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Will-Those-Thriftstore-Pants-Fit-No-Dressing-Room/step2/Hip-Hip-Hooray/">hold that up to the widest part of your shoulder</a>. If your shoulders are wider than the pants, they are likely too small. If the pants are just a bit wider than your shoulders, they will likely work well. And if they are a lot wider than your shoulders, they will probably be too big.</p> <h2>8. Check Your Fabric</h2> <p>The fabric you want for an item of clothing will be determined by what that item is, how you plan to wear it, what your style is, and what you like. There are <a href="http://www.stylelist.com/read/what-are-you-wearing-a-look-into-the-materials-in-your-clothes/">several different common clothing fabrics</a>, and many, many different blends that mix them.</p> <p>Finding what you like often takes trial and error. It may help you to look at the tags on clothes you already own and love, to figure out what you'd like to buy more of in the future. If nothing else, trust your intuition. If you don't like how something feels on the rack or on your body in the store, you probably won't wear it.</p> <h2>9. Use a Tailor</h2> <p>This might seem like it doesn't belong here, because tailoring and shopping don't often go together. However, <a href="http://lifehacker.com/how-to-shop-for-clothes-online-and-get-a-perfect-fit-1501813895">a good tailor can sometimes work miracles with a piece that isn't quite perfect</a>. And for some body shapes, a good tailor is a godsend.</p> <p>An example: I have narrow hips, so it's hard for me to find pants that fit in both waist and hips. If I find a pair I like that fits in the waist, I know that my tailor can usually take in the hips without much hassle. It's an extra expense, but sometimes it's worth it for that perfect fit.</p> <p>It's easier for a tailor to make something smaller than bigger, so keep this in mind when making your purchases. In addition, simple things, like taking in a waist, will be much faster and cheaper than things that require your tailor to completely dismantle a piece of clothing.</p> <p>Shopping for clothes can feel impossible and frustrating, but it doesn't have to. I hope these tips will help you feel confident and find clothes that you love!</p> <p><em>Do you like to shop? How do you avoid the frustration and annoyance that can come with buying clothes?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-clothes-shopping-hacks-that-save-time-and-money">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-13"> <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/where-to-buy-discounted-designer-clothing-online">Where to Buy Discounted Designer Clothing Online</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-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe">8 Essential Pieces for Your Capsule Wardrobe</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/101-ways-to-save-money-on-clothes">101 Ways to Save Money on Clothes</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-style-secrets-for-women-that-flatter-every-shape">7 Style Secrets for Women That Flatter Every Shape</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-fix-18-common-wardrobe-malfunctions">How to Fix 18 Common Wardrobe Malfunctions</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Style clothes clothes shopping fashion Thu, 05 Feb 2015 16:06:15 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1284844 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Fruits and Veggies That Stay Fresh a Month or Longer http://www.wisebread.com/10-fruits-and-veggies-that-stay-fresh-a-month-or-longer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-fruits-and-veggies-that-stay-fresh-a-month-or-longer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-apple-refrigerator-Dollarphotoclub_65515085.jpg" alt="woman apple refrigerator" title="woman apple refrigerator" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My family signed up for its first CSA (community supported agriculture) share several years ago. Ever since, we've been enjoying delicious, local produce during the growing season and beyond. And an added benefit? We've learned a few tips and tricks when it comes to smart food storage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-pantry-foods-that-keep-longer-than-you-think?ref=seealso">18 Pantry Foods That Keep Longer Than You Think</a>)</p> <p>There are so many varieties of fruits and vegetables that will last for a month or more when stored properly. Here are 10 of your best bets and how to keep them going strong.</p> <h2>1. Onions</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/onions%20batch.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Go ahead and buy your onions in bulk. Even Vidalias, which are more susceptible to bruising, can last <a href="http://www.sweetonion.com/voc-tips.htm">up to a year</a> when wrapped in paper inside the refrigerator. If you don't have the kitchen space to spare, you can also find a dark, cool, and well ventilated spot in your home and hang them up in pantyhose. Simply cut one down when you need it for cooking.</p> <h2>2. Apples</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/apples%20basket.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Apples fare well in the refrigerator, where they can stay good for <a href="http://www.stilltasty.com/fooditems/index/16383">up to four weeks</a>. Once they are fully ripe (slightly soft and sweet), simply place in a plastic bag in the fridge. And here's something cool: If you can find a spot in your house that's 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit and high humidity, your apples could last as long as six months!</p> <h2>3. Potatoes</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/potatoes%20basket_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Most varieties of potatoes stay fresh in the pantry for between <a href="http://www.eatbydate.com/vegetables/fresh-vegetables/potatoes-shelf-life-expiration-date/">three and five weeks</a>. Their life can be further extended by placing them in the refrigerator for up to several months. Once you notice the potato soften and form green spots, it's time to toss. Those little sprouts that shoot out of the potato's skin are harmless and can be removed before consuming.</p> <h2>4. Winter Squash</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/winter%20squash.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>All those delicious varieties of winter squash (acorn, butternut, kabocha, spaghetti, delicata, etc.) will <a href="http://cedarcirclefarm.org/tips/entry/winter-squash-storage-tips">keep for several months</a> if stored in a dark spot that's kept below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (your basement, perhaps?). Just be sure to ask your supplier if the squash was cured prior to sale, which basically means they were set in a dry, sunny place for seven to ten days after harvest.</p> <h2>5. Garlic</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/garlic%20bowl.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>The key to keeping garlic good for months is humidity, so it's best to keep it in your crisper drawer. Otherwise, those beautiful bulbs will shrivel up before you get a chance to mince them. Even chopped garlic can <a href="http://www.rodalenews.com/how-store-garlic">last several weeks</a> this way, just make sure to keep it in a tightly closed container. Note that refrigerated garlic will sprout once moved from the cold to the counter after only a couple days.</p> <h2>6. Carrots</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/baby%20carrots.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Carrots last for <a href="http://www.eatbydate.com/vegetables/fresh-vegetables/how-long-do-carrots-last-shelf-life/">four to five weeks</a> in the fridge. Even baby carrots can stay tasty for nearly a month when stored this way. Once carrots start to go bad, you might notice white dots or &quot;white blush&quot; on them. Eat these guys right away before they become mushy or slimy.</p> <h2>7. Beets</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/beets.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Beets have the staying power of <a href="http://gardening.yardener.com/Harvesting-And-Storing-Beets">several months</a> when placed in a cool, dark, and humid space like a root cellar (or crisper drawer). You'll want to remove beet tops to prevent them from shriveling. Just make sure to leave about a half-inch of stem to prevent the juices from bleeding out prematurely.</p> <h2>8. Cabbage</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/cabbages.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Hearty cabbage has a shelf life of <a href="http://www.hort.purdue.edu/prod_quality/commodities/cabbage.html#8">up to six months</a> if stored the right way. The best conditions are in your fridge at around 32 degrees Fahrenheit with 95% humidity. Don't fret: If the outer leaves start to show signs of spoilage, they can be swiftly removed to reveal fresh leaves below.</p> <h2>9. Lemons</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/lemons%20group.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>A bowl of lemons may look beautiful when placed on your kitchen counter. However, they'll stay fresh only about a week this way. Instead, place them in a sealed plastic bag inside your refrigerator for <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/the-best-way-to-keep-lemons-fresh-for-a-whole-month-tips-from-the-kitchn-144430">up to a month</a> of delicious, juicy goodness.</p> <h2>10. Celery</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5123/celery%20batch.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Limp celery got you down? Here's a cool trick to try the next time you stock up! You can keep celery robust by <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFHHLyLE9H8">wrapping it in aluminum foil</a> and stashing inside your fridge. Just a single sheet will do. When you store celery this way, it will stay crisp for over a month.</p> <p><em>What fruits and veggies keep best for you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fruits-and-veggies-that-stay-fresh-a-month-or-longer">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-14"> <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-only-15-foods-that-are-worth-buying-organic">The Only 15 Foods That Are Worth Buying Organic</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-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-at-farmers-markets">The Best and Worst Things to Buy at Farmers&#039; Markets</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best 5 Credit Cards for Groceries</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 CSA food storage fruits and vegetables kitchen storage Mon, 02 Feb 2015 16:00:09 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1284458 at http://www.wisebread.com The 8 Worst and Best Airport Buys http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-worst-and-best-airport-buys <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-8-worst-and-best-airport-buys" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businesswoman-duty-free-airport-shopping-Dollarphotoclub_65500505_2.jpg" alt="businesswoman airport shopping" title="businesswoman airport shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your defenses are down when you enter the airport. You've got money to burn, time to waste, and you're in a state of euphoria because you'll be on a tropical beach in less than five hours. But, beware, ye of many impulses: Airport buys can make you broke if you're not careful. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-secrets-from-the-worlds-most-frugal-frequent-travelers?ref=seealso">25 Secrets From the World's Most Frugal Frequent Travelers</a>)</p> <p>So here's a list of what to watch out for at the airport (hint: most things), along with a couple items that are okay to dive into.</p> <h2>Worst Airport Buys</h2> <p>Plan ahead and you can avoid most of these pricey concourse purchases.</p> <h3>1. Personal Snacks and Drinks</h3> <p>David Bakke, travel expert at <a href="http://www.moneycrashers.com">Money Crashers</a>, implores you to avoid bottled water at all costs when you're at the airport. &quot;You'll pay about triple the price that you do in a grocery store.&quot;</p> <p>While you should avoid bottled water altogether &mdash; it's bad for the environment and tap water is free, ya know &mdash; I understand that sometimes you need it. To avoid this impulse buy, add a water bottle to your packing list and keep it in your carry-on so you can fill it from the fountain when you're past security. If you forget your water bottle, remember this tip from Aaron Deutsch, founder of <a href="http://www.tellthem.co">TellThem.co</a>.</p> <p>&quot;If you need a bottle of water at the airport, my tip is to buy it from McDonald's, not the news shops&quot; he says. &quot;McDonald's typically charges $1.50 to $2 while the news stores charge $2.50 to 3.50. Small savings but nice!&quot;</p> <p>&quot;Healthy food is hard to find at the airport, and usually I bring what I need for the kids,&quot; adds Sandra Magura, author of the children's book <em>HippoDuck &mdash; Trouble at the Airport</em>. &quot;But on those unexpected delayed flights sometimes you run short. When I did, I was forced to get something from one of the convenience stores. I ended up buying a granola bar for my two-year-old. He loves them and so do I. What I don't love is the $4 price tag that went along with it. I can buy a box of six at Walmart for $2. They got me that time, but I will be sure to pack extras on the next trip.&quot;</p> <h3>2. Wi-Fi</h3> <p>Airports are increasingly jumping on the free Wi-Fi bandwagon or offering personal tablets for free use when you're in the terminal, but there are still hubs that require you to pay for Internet service if you want to get online while you're at the terminal. Most of us can use our phone networks to do what we need to do, but if you need more capability or a bigger screen that can only operate with Wi-Fi, do some detective work before purchasing.</p> <p>Bakke offers a great hack. &quot;If you need to access the Internet, see if the airport has a Starbucks &mdash; where it's free &mdash; rather than paying for Wi-Fi,&quot; he says.</p> <p>Starbucks might not be the only place that offers free Wi-Fi, by the way. Pop into a few bars and restaurants to see if they offer it, if there are no Starbucks in the vicinity.</p> <h3>3. Headphones</h3> <p>Bakke warns to avoid headphones and other electronics from those newfangled vending machines that are popping up at airports. You've probably seen the Best Buy-branded models if you've traveled recently.</p> <p>&quot;I recently looked at these [headphones] with my son during a recent trip; he claimed he absolutely had to have them,&quot; Bakke recalls. &quot;I made a bet with him that I could find them for half of what the machine was charging. Sure enough, we checked Amazon and found them for about that much cheaper.&quot;</p> <p>You also can ask your airline's attendants if the flight offers headphones. Instead of buying a $200 pair of Beats just because they're pretty and you're on vacation and you think you deserve it, step back, take a breath, and find out if there are pairs for available on your flight, which usually only cost about $2.</p> <p>&quot;There is no reason that a set of headphones cannot have a permanent home in the side pocket of your carry on bag,&quot; adds John Z. Wetmore, producer for <a href="http://www.pedestrians.org/">Perils for Pedestrians</a> television. &quot;It takes very little planning to avoid overpriced last-minute purchases. Packing checklists are your friend if you have a tendency to leave things at home when you pack at the last minute.&quot;</p> <h3>4. Neck Pillows</h3> <p>You want to guess how many neck pillows are in my closet? Three! It seems like my husband buys a new pillow every time he flies, and those three aren't even counting the ones he's lost over the years. That's <em>hundreds</em> of dollars worth of <em>neck pillows</em>.</p> <p>I've never purchased a neck pillow in my life; it's always seemed like a huge waste of money to look so silly on an airplane to me. Instead, I bring my own travel-worn bed pillow from home (it's flat, so it's easy to travel with), or I ask for a blanket/pillow on the flight so I can cuddle up on the window or rest my head on the tray table. Much better than sleeping straight up with an inner tube around your neck, in my opinion.</p> <h3>5. Currency Exchange</h3> <p>The last time I traveled someplace where I needed to exchange currency, the dollar was worth half what it was at home &mdash; and that didn't include the fees that the service charged. That's a tough blow to take when you've saved for so long for something.</p> <p>DailyMail.com says, &quot;With so much else to sort out before you go away, it's tempting simply to purchase your foreign currency at the last minute in the airport departure lounge. But doing that means you'll pay significantly more than you need to, as airport bureaux de change offer some of the worst possible deals to walk-up customers.</p> <p>&quot;The alternatives? Pre-order currency. Earlier this week, buying &euro;500 on the spot at a Gatwick Moneycorp bureau would have cost you &pound;440.88. Had you ordered the &euro;500 online on <a href="http://www.moneycorp.com/">www.moneycorp.com</a> to pick up at the airport, the cost would have been &pound;404.17.&quot;</p> <p>This is obviously an example from Europe, but you can apply the same principles in the United States when you're preparing for travel abroad.</p> <h3>6. Parking</h3> <p>Sometimes you have no other choice but to drive yourself to the airport and park. And you'll pay dearly for it. If you can help it, ask a friend or family member to give you a ride &mdash; slip 'em some cash for helping you save some &mdash; or use public transportation where available and convenient.</p> <h2>Best Airport Buys</h2> <p>Okay, not everything at the airport is a total ripoff.</p> <h3>1. Local Food/Beverage Souvenir Items</h3> <p>I'm not much for tangible souvenirs &mdash; just one more piece of junk I have to put out at the yard sale next year &mdash; so I prefer to preserve my trips' memories with photos that I can frame and local food items that I can consume when I'm home. For instance, I've purchased beignet dry mix from New Orleans and BBQ sauce from Memphis that bring back fond memories of each trip when I use them.</p> <p>Liz Dahl, founder of <a href="http://boomertravelpatrol.com/">Boomer Travel Patrol</a>, agrees that this is a best practice, especially on liquids.</p> <p>&quot;For me, the best buys are local products from the city the airport is located, especially the liquid items,&quot; she says. &quot;This is the place to buy those souvenirs, because you can take them on the plane with you at that point.&quot;</p> <p>The latter is a good point to remember if you're only traveling with a carry-on bag. You won't be happy if you have to give up a liquid item because you overlooked the rules while you were shopping.</p> <h3>2. Duty Free</h3> <p>If you're in the market for cigarettes or alcohol, you can score great deals at the duty-free shops. All other items, especially electronics and beauty products, aren't a very wise purchase as you usually can find them cheaper at home or online.</p> <p>Consider, however, that you're allowed to bring mini bottles of liquor onto your flight. That's right &mdash; according to <a href="http://blog.tsa.gov/2014/01/tsa-travel-tips-tuesday-traveling-with.html">The TSA Blog</a>, &quot;Travelers may carry as many 3.4 ounce bottles of liquid (mini bottles of liquor are 1.7 ounces) that fit comfortably in one, quart sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag. Comfortable means that the bag will seal without busting at the seams. One bag is permitted per passenger.&quot;</p> <p>That's pretty much an invitation to load up on the mini bottles at the duty-free shop.</p> <p>Of course, there's this stipulation: <a href="http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&amp;SID=03efb7c1b34301bf39ff6d98084cdd45&amp;rgn=div8&amp;view=text&amp;node=14:3.0.1.1.11.2.3.37&amp;idno=14">FAA regulations</a> state that &quot;No person may drink any alcoholic beverage aboard an aircraft unless the certificate holder operating the aircraft has served that beverage.&quot;</p> <p>But if you're savvy, you'll figure out how to make it work.</p> <p><em>Do you have other suggestions for best/worse airport buys? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-worst-and-best-airport-buys">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-15"> <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/23-airport-hacks-to-remember-before-your-next-flight">23 Airport Hacks to Remember Before Your Next Flight</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-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use">The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use</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-cheap-ways-to-make-flying-coach-feel-like-first-class">5 Cheap Ways to Make Flying Coach Feel Like First Class</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/5-hidden-comforts-to-consider-when-choosing-an-airline">5 Hidden Comforts to Consider When Choosing an Airline</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/24-helpful-travel-hacks-to-make-flying-stress-free">24 Helpful Travel Hacks to Make Flying Stress-Free</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Travel air travel airport flying Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1283485 at http://www.wisebread.com