Shopping en-US 20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="grocery shopping" title="grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A job loss, a big audacious savings goal, or a shiny new set of braces. Whatever the cause, most of us have had to sit down and figure out how to feed our families for less money at one point or another. (See also: <a href="">How to Grocery Shop for Five on $100 a Week</a>)</p> <p>Here are 20 strategies for stretching your grocery budget without skimping on nutrition or enjoyment</p> <h2>1. Eat Less</h2> <p>Sixty percent of Americans admit to <a href="">eating more than is good for them</a>. When you're watching your pennies, one of the easiest ways to spend less on groceries is to buy less and eat less. Start by cutting way back on snacks, the culprit behind most overeating and among the most expensive grocery items.</p> <h2>2. Focus on Value Foods</h2> <p>It's fun to cook with a wide variety of ingredients, but sticking to the foods with the <a href="">most nutrition per dollar</a> can get you through a lean patch. Need more options? These 50 healthy foods can be had for <a href="">under a buck a pound</a>.</p> <h2>3. Buy in Bulk</h2> <p>Whether it's dividing up large Costco meat packages or hauling 50-pound bags of grain from a feed store, there are lots of ways to save by bulk buying. The important thing is to safeguard against waste by making sure you have a safe place to store it and that you will use the entire purchase before it goes bad.</p> <h2>4. Do the Work</h2> <p>You can <a href="">make your own bread</a> for half the price of a low-end store-bought loaf, and end up with a more delicious and nutritious product. Pre-chopped and washed veggies cost a premium and don't stay fresh as long. Roll up your sleeves and do your own prep work to save.</p> <h2>5. Substitute</h2> <p>The recipe may call for pine nuts, but pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are way cheaper. Learn about more <a href="">low-cost ingredient substitution</a> ideas.</p> <h2>6. Stop Throwing Food Away</h2> <p>Since 40% of all food produced in the United States is <a href="">thrown away</a>, eliminating waste is low-hanging fruit. At our house, we avoid waste by serving the kids small portions and seconds (or thirds) as needed, using tiny containers to save every last leftover, and incorporating those leftovers into other dishes. There are plenty <a href="">more ways to cut food waste</a>.</p> <h2>7. Drink Water</h2> <p>You know by now that <a href="">soda is bad for you</a>, but you don't need juice either. If you don't like plain water, flavor it with a splash of juice instead of pouring whole glasses of juice. Not only does this save money, but it cuts calories too.</p> <h2>8. Try Batch Cooking</h2> <p>Assembly line cooking, <a href="">once-a-month cooking</a>, whatever you want to call it, prepping food ahead and freezing it saves money by accommodating bulk purchases and helping you avoid high-priced instant meals when you're short of time.</p> <h2>9. Rinse Out the Container &mdash; Into the Pot</h2> <p>Whenever I empty a jar of tomatoes or a Tupperware of soup into a cooking pot, I put a little water in the container, shake, and empty it into the cooking pot, to make sure I'm not throwing away even a gram of food. The extra water cooks off.</p> <h2>10. Learn to Make Cheap Meat Delicious</h2> <p>Meat lovers don't have to buy T-bones to enjoy a hearty meal. <a href="">Osso buco, carnitas and hanger steak</a> are all delicious when done right.</p> <h2>11. Dilute It</h2> <p>Adding beans or rice really does <a href="">make a stew go farther</a>.</p> <h2>12. Make Your Own</h2> <p>Prepared foods are among the highest-margin items in the supermarket. If you've never tried it, you might be surprised how easy it is to <a href="">make your own guacamole, hummus, or even peanut butter</a>.</p> <h2>13. Make Your Own Instant Mixes</h2> <p>Another high-cost item is &quot;instant&quot; anything. Make <a href="">single-serve oatmeal packets</a>, <a href="">pancake mix</a>, or practically anything you use a mix for, and save.</p> <h2>14. Consider Markdowns</h2> <p>I kind of wish Safeway would rename its &quot;Clearance&quot; meat section, because it feels as if I'm buying used pot roast. Still, taking home items that are about to expire can save you 50% or more if you are able to use or freeze them right away.</p> <h2>15. Grow a Garden</h2> <p>Even if you <a href="">only have a balcony</a>, you can grow enough food to reduce your spending. To realize savings, it's important to pay attention to <a href="">how much you spend on a garden</a>. Focus on <a href="">plants that produce expensive items</a> to save the most.</p> <h2>16. If You're Getting a Pet, Get a Small One</h2> <p>It may seem crass to put a pound limit on love, but the fact is that feeding pets can strain a tight grocery budget. According to the ASPCA, a <a href="">large dog costs about $235 a year</a> to feed; a little yapper only about $55. Better yet, get a fish, which you can feed for $20 a year or less.</p> <h2>17. Use a Full Discount Arsenal</h2> <p>Coupons, online deals, in-store offers, rebates &mdash; these tactics really work and can easily cut your grocery spending by 20% or more.</p> <h2>18. Switch Stores</h2> <p>Where you shop can make a big difference in what you spend for the same groceries. Changing from <a href="">Safeway to Walmart</a> could save a family more than $1,600 a year. Explore your neighborhood &mdash; you may have a fresh produce market or a weekly farmer's market with even better prices than big box stores.</p> <h2>19. Return It</h2> <p>Your berries got moldy the day after you bought them? You picked up the wrong item and paid full price instead of the sale item you thought you were getting? Don't be afraid to stop by customer service the next time you visit; managers at good stores are happy to process the occasional refund.</p> <h2>20. Eat Your Garbage</h2> <p>My grandmother, born during the Depression, has a great anecdote. One garbage day, her husband looked out the window and asked why the other houses all had two trash bags out front, but they only had one.</p> <p>Grandma's answer: &quot;We eat our garbage!&quot;</p> <p>Grandma was stretching her husband's Navy paycheck as far as it would go, and one way she did that was by never letting a leftover go to waste. Every Thursday night, she'd throw every bit of this and that from the fridge into the crockpot for a weekly &quot;garbage stew.&quot; It was usually delicious, but even if she wanted to, she could never duplicate it. (See also: <a href="">Thursday Night Soup: Delicious Soup From Leftovers</a>)</p> <p>Another way of eating your garbage: Learn to prepare the <a href="">vegetable trimmings</a> you've been throwing away.</p> <p><em>Any other ideas for saving on groceries? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Carrie Kirby</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Shopping Cooking Food food costs groceries Thu, 02 Oct 2014 15:00:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1226228 at What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in October <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-buy-and-avoid-buying-in-october" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="halloween costume" title="halloween costume" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Boo! Yes, it's that time of year again (as I get older, and my kiddos do too, I feel it creeping up on me more quickly every year). Halloween is here. That means Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and Diwali, are all approaching. With them come things to buy. However, these tips should help you save your hard-earned cash and stretch it a little further in the last stretch of 2014 and on into 2015.</p> <h2>First, What to Buy</h2> <p>October 16th is Boss's Day; if you have a boss, and want to stay in their good graces before holiday bonuses get handed out, you may want to consider getting him or her a little treat. Of course, the biggest time for treats, and tricks, is October 31st. Are you ready for it? Well, here are some deals to help you keep more of your money in your pockets before the big day.</p> <h3>Lawn Care &amp; Equipment</h3> <p>Many of us are looking around for deals on winterization. That means it's time to shut down the gardening regime for the winter, and retail stores know it. Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Sears and other major chains will be doing their best to clear out what's left of the summer lawn care stock. If you can find them, you'll also find killer deals on everything from hoses and rakes to fertilizer and <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004H89KFC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=whattobuy03-20&amp;linkId=OKGCJNVCSRU32MLI">insect repellent</a>.</p> <h3>Cruises and Vacations</h3> <p>If you're looking to save some money on a getaway, you can't beat cruise prices right now. I've seen deals for four nights in the Bahamas for two, with kids, for under $300. You can even get them under $200 if you're going as a couple. Check them out but make sure you include the price of airfare to and from the departure city. That often trips people up. It's also off-season for traditional vacations, and that means great deals on packages including hotel and flight.</p> <h3>Halloween Deals (Be Careful)</h3> <p>Yes, there are Halloween deals coming. November 1st is when the first big sales will hit, and by November 15th the stores are almost giving them away. But that's no use to you if you want a deal for this year's Halloween. So, consider buying just a week or two before the big night. Look for deals at online stores, eBay, and consider costumes that may not be as popular next year (for instance, is anyone going to be talking about Frozen with the same vigor? Well, maybe not).</p> <h3>Cars</h3> <p>Now, it has to be said that buying a new car is not good financial sense. The second you drive it off the lot it loses a significant amount of value. A car that's just a year or two old is a much better deal, and will have low mileage and a lot of the warranty left on it. However, if you must have a new car, this is the month to go shopping. September is when new models are released, so the dealerships don't want old stock littering the tarmac. Find the True Car Value, haggle like crazy, and never be afraid to walk away. You'll get a major deal.</p> <h3>Denim and Jeans</h3> <p>It was the same story last year; for some bizarre reason, there's a glut of <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=13851881&amp;tag=whattobuy03-20&amp;linkId=U7TA4GPPPU6PRUER">denim and jeans</a> on the store shelves right now. Yes, you can blame some of the bargains on back-to-school, but whatever the reason, take advantage of it. Children and adults alike can snag great deals on brand name denim clothing, and even bigger deals on store brand from Target and Walmart.</p> <h3>Grills</h3> <p>Just like lawn care, the grilling season is behind us. That means great deals for outdoor chefs, and the weather is still mild enough to get a few more weeks (or months) of use out of a brand <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=553760&amp;pf_rd_i=2972638011&amp;pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;pf_rd_p=1568795042&amp;pf_rd_r=19E5K0T53YNTEJ8339CW&amp;pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-leftnav&amp;pf_rd_t=101&amp;tag=whattobuy03-20&amp;linkId=D4YG254BJHTUCV5W">new grill</a>. Of course, if you're a brave chef you'll be out there in the snow and ice cooking up steaks and corn like a pro.</p> <h3>Patio Furniture and Camping Gear</h3> <p>Another no-brainer, but it has to be said. Patio furniture and camping gear is not on anyone's shopping list right now. Do you want to sit outside in the rain and snow? So, stores are trying to shift it quickly. Sure, you may have to wait several months to take full advantage of new <a href=";bbn=3274550011&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;qid=1380570938&amp;rh=n%3A2972638011%2Cn%3A!3274549011%2Cn%3A3274550011%2Cn%3A553824&amp;rnid=3238155011&amp;tag=whattobuy03-20&amp;linkId=2CC67NXHFELP7IB3">patio furniture</a> and tents, but who cares when the prices are this low?</p> <h3>Air Conditioning</h3> <p>When it's cold outside, it's not necessary to make it cold inside. Most people are not concerned with getting a <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003F4TH6G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=whattobuy03-20&amp;linkId=4IU2OS4T45V7QSXS">new air conditioner</a>, or upgrading, which is why the month is a great time to start looking. Places like Sears will give you some great deals, and many private A/C firms will do deals on installation. Many will even throw in a free furnace, and that 's smart thinking with winter coming.</p> <h3>iPads</h3> <p>Just before Halloween, Apple will launch yet another new version of its iPad. If you want to get a deal on an iPad, expect the price of the current model to drop when this happens. You won't see any significant drop from Apple around Black Friday anyway, so grab a deal when you can.</p> <h2>And, What to Avoid</h2> <p>There's more to watch out for in Halloween than ghosts and goblins. Here are a few items you should strike from your list unless you absolutely have to have them.</p> <h3>Winter Clothing and Shoes</h3> <p>It makes sense, but so many people seem to rush out and grab the first items they see. The stores are not going to run out, but they are not going to discount anything significantly right now. Most of us are thinking about buying long sleeved shirts, <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=1044646&amp;pf_rd_i=1036592&amp;pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;pf_rd_p=1626943442&amp;pf_rd_r=1P5NACC29Q49XQM3Y2W4&amp;pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-2&amp;pf_rd_t=101&amp;tag=whattobuy03-20&amp;linkId=EPC5GTLINJ3SYXKJ">jackets</a>, <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=5609963011&amp;pf_rd_i=672123011&amp;pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;pf_rd_p=1624163582&amp;pf_rd_r=11JQW4ZGM0CD62NV5K0S&amp;pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-6&amp;pf_rd_t=101&amp;tag=whattobuy03-20&amp;linkId=MLSLN5J2ZDQX6KZK">boots</a>, and even umbrellas. That means demand is high. So, unless you spy a genuine bargain, avoid shopping for these items and try the second hand market instead.</p> <h3>Appliances</h3> <p>Following Halloween comes the biggest shopping day of the year &mdash; Black Friday. Appliances will be discounted BIG TIME this year, so wait a month or so. If you need something like a washer or dryer, consider using a Laundromat or asking a friend or relative to help. Of course, if your fridge or freezer is out, waiting will be tough. Just know, the biggest discounts are coming.</p> <h3>HDTVs</h3> <p>Again, Black Friday will serve up the biggest deals of the year for large screen TVs. No one really needs one of these, so bide your time and wait. Expect to see 55&quot; TVs for as low as $350 (it pains me to write this&hellip; I bought a 48&quot; TV for $399 and thought that was a great deal). You will always pay more for the big brand names though, so don't expect to get a high-end TV for that rock-bottom price.</p> <h3>Tools</h3> <p>Black Friday is a good time for <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=760330&amp;pf_rd_i=328182011&amp;pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;pf_rd_p=1604362562&amp;pf_rd_r=13YSY19PP8VVVH22VSJG&amp;pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-leftnav&amp;pf_rd_t=101&amp;tag=whattobuy03-20&amp;linkId=BKNFGHM2T3R2PBPX">tools</a>. If you can wait until then you'll save yourself a pretty penny. Of course, if you need something now, avoid the major retailers and try discount stores like Harbor Freight Tools. They have great deals all year round.</p> <h3>Gift Wrap</h3> <p>Just hit up a dollar store for this. The major holidays are coming, and retail stores will push expensive <a href=";bbn=723463011&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;qid=1380572495&amp;rh=n%3A1064954%2Cn%3A!1084128%2Cn%3A1069242%2Cn%3A1069664%2Cn%3A1069666%2Cn%3A723463011%2Cp_n_feature_four_browse-bin%3A6052768011&amp;rnid=6052761011&amp;tag=whattobuy03-20&amp;linkId=NHNRCCPT2ZMC35GC">cards</a>, <a href=";bbn=723452011&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;qid=1380572771&amp;rh=n%3A3760901%2Cn%3A!3760931%2Cn%3A723418011%2Cn%3A723452011&amp;tag=whattobuy03-20&amp;linkId=OOHS3B2ON7BWU3JN">gift wrap, tissue paper, and boxes</a>. The best bet for saving money is to avoid retail stores and visit the dollar stores instead. They do paper and boxes that are every bit as good and will not break the bank. After all, it all goes in the trash.</p> <p><em>What are you planning to save on this month? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="What to Buy (and Avoid Buying) in October" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping bargains buying guide discounts what to buy Wed, 01 Oct 2014 22:25:19 +0000 Paul Michael 993571 at Best Money Tips: Ways to Save $1,000 by Black Friday <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-to-save-1000-by-black-friday" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="man doing finances" title="man doing finances" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on saving $1,000 by Black Friday, why you should book holiday travel now, and finding ideas for part time business.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">Ways to Save $1,000 by Black Friday</a> &mdash; Adjusting your tax withholding and ditching your gym membership can help you save $1,000 by Black Friday. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="">Why You Should Book Holiday Travel If You Haven't Already</a> &mdash; If you plan on traveling the day before Thanksgiving, book your ticket now! [MainStreet]</p> <p><a href="">How to Find Ideas for a Part Time Business</a> &mdash; When trying to find ideas for a part time business, make a list of things you are good at doing. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="">Tips for a Frugal, Fun and Enjoying Road Trip</a> &mdash; Keeping an average speed and setting a food budget can keep your road trip frugal and fun. [One Cent at a Time]</p> <p><a href="">How to Stop Being Poor</a> &mdash; Changing your mindset and getting out of debt can help you stop being poor. [Kylie Ofiu]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">32 College Hacks You Won't Learn From Your Professors</a> &mdash; Chances are your college professors won't teach you not to shop for food when you are hungry or inebriated. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">5 Lessons Learned From My First Year of Homeownership</a> &mdash; If you are going to purchase a home, invest in a toolbox and remember that most things are really easy to DIY. [L Bee and the Money Tree]</p> <p><a href="">How to Survive a Night Out on the Town When You&rsquo;re on a Budget</a> &mdash; To survive a night out on a budget, only bring cash! [ReadyForZero]</p> <p><a href="">Top 4 Finance Lessons for Your 30s</a> &mdash; In your 30s, it is vital to revamp your retirement plan. [SmartAsset Blog]</p> <p><a href="">Celebrate the Season With These Fall Dishes</a> &mdash; Celebrate fall with roasted root vegetables! [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Ways to Save $1,000 by Black Friday" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips black friday save Tue, 30 Sep 2014 19:00:12 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1222419 at 8 Essential Pieces for Your Capsule Wardrobe <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman wardrobe" title="woman wardrobe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was in high school, I was all about clothes. I mean, I simply couldn't get enough of different shapes, colors, and textures. Buying new clothes at the mall, finding unique pieces at thrift shops, and eventually directing my efforts online was a complete rush for me. Over time, my wardrobe ballooned to epic proportions. And you know what? There weren't enough days in the year to wear all that stuff. Many &mdash; if not most &mdash; items collected dust in my dresser drawers.</p> <p>Now that I'm older and wiser, I've flipped my perspective to a less is more approach. I've learned to embrace the capsule wardrobe, which is a fancy term for a lean collection of essential pieces that are timeless and mix and match. This concept was first popularized in the 1970s and again in the 1980s. The idea is back again, and making your own minimal closet isn't just following one of the latest trends. Instead, it's a smart way to really use the clothing you own and get the best return on your investment. You'll do fewer loads of laundry, too! (See also: <a href="">You're Washing Your Clothes Too Often &mdash; What To Do Instead</a>)</p> <p>Here are some basics to build your capsule wardrobe. Pair these with a few other seasonal duds, and you'll be dressed in no time.</p> <h2>1. Dark Jeans</h2> <p>Whatever cut you choose, make sure your jeans fit your body well. The wash is what's more important when you're thinking of paring down your closet. Dark indigo or other washes without fading or distressing can be dressed up with a jacket for the workplace or dressed down for an evening out with friends. Of all my clothing, my jeans get the best wear by far.</p> <h2>2. Pencil Skirt</h2> <p>This classic silhouette combined with a bolder neutral, like black or navy, makes the pencil skirt a perfect addition to any minimal wardrobe. You can pair it with a bright blouse and jacket for a job interview or even a t-shirt for a last-minute date downtown. Think fabric when it comes to the season. Tweed and wool are solid choices for the colder months; 100% cotton or stretchier blends are better bets when it's warm. (See also: <a href="">7 Style Secrets For Women That Flatter Every Shape</a>)</p> <h2>3. Cardigan</h2> <p>The versatile cardigan can be worn buttoned or open. Belted or not. With a skirt or with pants. It's a hardworking piece that will keep you warm and comfortable in the winter chill and the summer air-conditioning. While I always try to keep my colors muted, I do tend to choose brighter shades for cardigans to make things fun.</p> <h2>4. Button-Down</h2> <p>The rule when I was younger was to always have a white button-down shirt around for work or random occasions. Now? I'm not so stuck on the specific color, but having a shirt with some structure is a great idea. You can wear it under a dress, tied over a maxi skirt, tucked into a pencil skirt, underneath a sweater, and in <a href="">many more ways</a>.</p> <h2>5. All-Occasion Dress</h2> <p>I like the classic little black dress idea best when choosing a single frock, but if that's not your style, choose another color that plays well with your other items. The idea here is to find a dress in a quality fabric that is suitable for more formal events (weddings, funerals, work dinners) but can go the distance for more casual occasions, too. I tend to choose dresses that hit at or just below the knee because that length is appropriate for all without being dowdy. In a pinch, you can even wear a shirt over the dress so it doubles as a skirt.</p> <h2>6. Jacket</h2> <p>A crisp jacket or blazer is a wonderful addition to your capsule wardrobe, especially if you work in an office. If you're not sure about this classic staple, consider picking one up second hand at a consignment or thrift shop. Fit is especially important here, so be sure to choose a cut that flatters your shape and isn't too tight around the shoulders or bulky around your waist. I also love pairing blazers with jeans for a put-together weekend look when I'm out and about. (See also: <a href="">50 Ways to Update Your Wardrobe on the Cheap</a>)</p> <h2>7. Denim Shirt</h2> <p>If a jacket doesn't fit your lifestyle, try a structured denim shirt in its place. I wear mine &mdash; with snap buttons &mdash; most days of the week in one way or another. I like it open over t-shirts or closed with my pencil skirt and a scarf. Unlike with my dark jeans, I choose lighter colors for my denim shirts. That way, you can do the jean-on-jean look (try to mix somewhat compatible tones, though). (See also: <a href="">20 Simple and Stylish DIY Clothing Projects For Women</a>)</p> <h2>8. Fitted Pants</h2> <p>Over the years, the style for pants has become straighter and tighter. While you're not looking to create a spandex-style look, a skinnier pant can go a long way in your everyday wear. I have a pair of fitted black pants that are stretchy and partner well with longer tunic tops and jackets for work. And they marry wonderfully with plain t-shirts when I'm dressed down. Comfort is crucial, so choose fabric blends that conform to your shape but let you breathe all at the same time.</p> <p><em>Anything missing? What goes into your capsule wardrobe? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Essential Pieces for Your Capsule Wardrobe" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Style basics capsule wardrobe fashion fashion basics minimal wardrobe Tue, 30 Sep 2014 09:00:05 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1221880 at 15 Time-Saving Tools Everyone Should Own <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-time-saving-tools-everyone-should-own" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="woman smartphone" title="woman smartphone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Feel like there's just not enough time in the day? Join the club. It feels like I'm going nonstop from before sunup to waaaay past sundown every day. I haven't found a solution that will add any time to my daily routine, but I have found a few ways to cut back on the time I'm spending on tasks that otherwise could be more efficient. (See also: <a href="">You Need a Time Budget</a>)</p> <p>Take a look at some of my time-saving solutions here, then let me know how you shave a few minutes off your day in the comments below.</p> <h2>1. Food Processor</h2> <p>I enjoy cooking, and I usually make time to eat a healthy meal at home, but I don't always have the time (or energy) to cut, chop, peel, grate, and slice my breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Rather, I use a food processor whenever it makes sense to quickly and effortlessly manipulate the ingredients I need so I can speed up the cooking process and feed my hungry tummy faster. <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00A6JHPK8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZWCJVCQYHLUO3GZJ">KitchenAid makes a great processor</a> (the assortment of blades are beyond helpful), but <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003O47MKA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZR6ZGBIKSY3QGPL5">Ninja also makes a line of powerful food prep products</a> that I personally give my seal of approval.</p> <h2>2. Backup Gadget Batteries</h2> <p>iPhone users in particular know the daily struggle of seeing 1% at 11 a.m. even though they awoke four hours before with a fully charged device. Thus, we're forced to charge our phones multiple times a day to avoid being without power when we're not near a socket. In fact, I've personally spent 20 minutes or more on multiple occasions in an actual Apple store just to get a little juice. A rechargeable, on-the-go battery, however &mdash; <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=mophie&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=4MOINVFV3IS6JINE">like the ones from Mophie</a> &mdash; drastically cuts back on the instances that I have to stop and recharge my phone when I'm out and about. I plug it in at night and take it with me to avert any low-battery crises.</p> <h2>3. Slow Cooker</h2> <p>There's not much better in this world than coming home after a long, hard day at work to a house that smells delicious because dinner is ready to eat. I don't use my slow cooker much in the summer, but I'm looking forward to stealing a little me-time this fall and winter thanks to my Crock-Pot. I'm also fond of this handy little attachment for slow cookers called the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00ET9E7U2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WLEWWACF42T4LJW4">Lid Pocket</a>, which helps me reduce the potential of an OCD attack when I have to put the lid on the counter or sink when taking it off &mdash; and I know I'm not alone.</p> <h2>4. Smartphone and Apps</h2> <p>There's no denying that smartphones help us save time in innumerable ways, from eliminating the need to clip coupons and helping us make lists to managing the security on our homes and keeping in touch with friends. If I had to pick my favorite time-saving app though, I think it would be my mobile banking app. When my bank launched it, it was like trumpets from the heavens were playin' my jam. Now I deposit my checks online, transfer money easily, and even sign up for in-app deals that give me cash back on participating purchases.</p> <h2>5. BB Cream</h2> <p>Erin Konrad, a spokesperson for, told me about BB Cream. I didn't know much about this facial cosmetic product before Erin chimed in, but Wiki describes it as an all-in-one replacement for serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation, and sunblock. &quot;I love using a BB cream in my beauty regimen; it has multiple uses, which can help save me time during my morning routine,&quot; Erin says. &quot;I love anything that allows me to sleep in a few more minutes.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Programmable Coffee Maker</h2> <p>I'm not a coffee drinker myself &mdash; to be honest, I don't get it at all &mdash; but I don't have to be a java head to know that a programmable coffee maker can shave a good five to 10 minutes off your morning routine if you set it to brew just before you get up or while you're doing your other daily routines. There's also another cool gadget that will help you save time in the morning, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00GKNOH8W&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=4GMUXPG5QLDH53QJ">Gamila Impress Coffee Brewer</a>, which gives you the fresh taste of a French Press while you're on the move. I had a chance to try it for another post and even I was impressed.</p> <h2>7. Dishwasher</h2> <p>Most homes have dishwashers nowadays, so let's consider this one an &quot;oldie but a goodie.&quot; In fact, it may even be the biggest time saver of them all. Remember when you had to wash and dry all those dishes by hand? How long did it take you &mdash; 20, 30 minutes? More? Who has time for that &mdash; or dishpan hands? Not me. I just load it and forget it. Until it's time to unload it, of course; you know nobody else in the house is gonna do it.</p> <h2>8. Exercise Equipment</h2> <p>You can save a lot of time and money by buying exercise equipment for your home. I'm not talking about expensive machines, but rather inexpensive pieces like dumbbells, resistance bands, and over-the-door pull-up bars that will help you stay in shape without wasting time going back and forth to the gym multiple times a week. You'll also save anywhere from $10 to $100 a month on gym membership after the initial investment on the equipment.</p> <h2>9. Coin Sorter</h2> <p>My dad used to keep a huge water jug full of coins in his bedroom when I was a kid. Every year or so he would empty it out and spend hours &mdash; like many hours! &mdash; counting and wrapping the coins so he could take them to the bank and cash them in. Of course, these days you also can take your coins to a public machine and have them sorted and counted for you, but that'll cost you upwards of 8% to 10% of your total take.</p> <p>A great solution to save time and money is to purchase a coin sorter for your home and get in the habit of throwing your change into it every day. When the coin wrappers are full, set them aside until you're ready to take them to the bank. I'd also advise buying a fairly decent sorter. I purchased a relatively cheap one in the past and it wasn't worth the plastic it cost to make it.</p> <h2>10. DVR</h2> <p>I don't watch much TV anymore, but back in the day I was a junkie, scheduling my activities around my favorite shows. But thanks to my DVR, I now can do more of what I want and need to do &mdash; like pump out these Wise Bread articles to help you live a more efficient and fiscally responsible life &mdash; because I know I can watch my programs later. Which is perfect for a lazy Sunday when there's nothing else on anyway.</p> <h2>11. Autonomous Cleaning Robots</h2> <p>When <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000UUBCNO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RRJ3CWOUE4UVFCJC">Roomba</a> was first invented the line only consisted of a round disc that would move around your carpeted floor and suck up all the junk that you used to have pick up by manually pushing a vacuum cleaner. That product still exists, though it's now a much more advanced version, but the line also include models that will scrub and mop floors and clean pools and gutters. I can't even begin to quantify how much time these little babies save, but it's not drop in the bucket.</p> <h2>12. All-in-One Washer Dryer</h2> <p>I'm not sure if it's okay for a grown man to look at shiny new appliances like a wild cat eyes a juicy piece of fresh meat, but my obsession is real and perhaps a tad frightening. Nonetheless, I'm totally into the high-efficiency, all-in-one washer-dryers. I know I'm not the only person who hates going back and forth to the washer and dryer putting clothes in and taking them out of one machine on another all day long, and this is the perfect solution.</p> <p>It's important to note, however, that while the machine's TurboWash will dramatically reduce wash time, the dryer (because it's non-vented) may take longer than you're used to. But who cares? When it's done, it's done, and you can get back to your DVR.</p> <h2>13. No-Iron Clothing</h2> <p>I would probably have to iron no-iron clothing &mdash; because I'm totally a freak about ironing my clothes &mdash; but for people who loathe it but have to do it if they want to look presentable and professional, I think this is a great compromise. If you're skeptical about how well no-iron clothing performs, Good Housekeeping put a few brands to the test, <a href="">as reported by ABC News</a>.</p> <h2>14. George Foreman Grill</h2> <p>For those of us who live in urban areas and have no room for a real grill &mdash; or can't own one altogether &mdash; a <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001NXC65K&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QJ5RAST22J6QQ6NM">George Foreman Grill</a> is a great compromise appliance. There's no charcoal to burn of course, so you're saving time there, but the other awesome time-saving aspect of these grills is that they cook both sides of the food at once, essentially cutting your time in the kitchen in half. Plus, reviews have always been on the positive side for the grills, so you know you're getting a good product.</p> <h2>15. Hybrid or Electric Car</h2> <p>I left this entry last because as a society we're still not quite ready to fully embrace hybrid and electric cars, but we are moving steadily in that direction. Alas, once these kind of cars become commonplace, positive results will abound. We won't pollute the environment as much, we won't have to rely on foreign oil so heavily, and we won't have to pop in and out of gas stations as much (or ever if your car is completely electric). You can get where you're going faster and cheaper, which will make your trip all the more relaxing. Aaaah.</p> <p><em>Do you have more time-saving items that everyone should own to suggest? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="15 Time-Saving Tools Everyone Should Own" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Family Productivity Shopping efficiency gadgets labor savers time time savers Thu, 25 Sep 2014 15:00:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 1220280 at Take These 10 Items off Your Wedding Registry Immediately (Plus 5 to Add ASAP) <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/take-these-10-items-off-your-wedding-registry-immediately-plus-5-to-add-asap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="bride writing" title="bride writing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So, you're engaged. Congratulations! (See also: <a href="">8 Tips for Planning a Last Minute Wedding</a>)</p> <p>Amidst all the ceremony decisions, location reservations, and fancy wardrobe choices for the big day, you're probably registering somewhere. Before you do, read this article. Having been there and done all of that, I have some suggestions for items we've never touched, and others we've regretted not asking for.</p> <h2>Remove From Your List</h2> <p>Many of the following items are traditional wedding registry items, but honestly? Who needs them?</p> <h3>Fine China</h3> <p>In the seven years I've been married, I've not once needed fancy dinnerware for entertaining. Since we're more frugally-minded folks, our parties are typically pass-arounds or potlucks, and our colorful Fiestaware is holding up just fine. So, skip the fancy patterns and delicate wares and instead find a sturdy, casual set with a few extra servings (think eight or more, total) for when guests visit.</p> <h3>Formal Utensils</h3> <p>The same goes with those extended fork, spoon, and knife sets. Of course I understand all those different utensils have purposes, but not in my life. If you're like me and don't see stuffy dinners in your future, forego the silver and get an extra set of casual utensils you'll actually use on the daily.</p> <h3>Gimmicky Gadgets</h3> <p>Sure, an avocado slicer or garlic chopper might sound awesome in theory, but over the years? Well, ours got pushed to the back of our kitchen drawers never to resurface. Stick with the basics, like a good knife set and wooden spoons or spatulas.</p> <h3>Bread Maker</h3> <p>Making bread at home isn't much more complicated than tossing stuff into a bread maker and pushing start. Really. Plus, you'll never get bakery style crust in a bread maker. I gave mine away years ago. A good <a href="">No-Knead Loaf Recipe</a> is a great place to start.</p> <h3>Panini Press</h3> <p>Whenever I want a grilled sandwich, I slather my bread with butter or oil and cook in a fry pan until golden on both sides. We did receive a panini press as a wedding gift, but it just never seems to travel out of its spot in the lower cabinet.</p> <h3>Other Task-Specific Appliances</h3> <p>Think about it. How often will you really use that margarita maker, a banana ice cream machine, fondue fountain, or cake-pop baker? If the answer is rarely, don't put it on your registry. Chances are that space is at a premium in your kitchen, so it's best to keep your fleet of small appliances lean and multipurpose. (See also: <a href="">7 Kitchen Gadgets That Save You Money</a>)</p> <h3>Bathroom Extras</h3> <p>Our snazzy soap dishes, liquid dispensers, and toothbrush holders? I have no idea what happened to them. We have switched mostly to using castile soap for all washing purposes, so we usually use it right out of the bottle. For the rest, we have quite a system of simple ball jars for storage. And soap fits snugly in one of those shower caddies.</p> <h3>Ice Bucket, Etc.</h3> <p>Whenever I see &quot;ice bucket&quot; on one of those must-have registry checklists, I shrug my shoulders. Not once in the entire time I've been married have I needed an ice bucket &mdash; or a fancy pitcher, for that matter. Champagne, wine, and beer all chill just fine in the refrigerator. If we need ice at parties, we quickly grab it from the freezer.</p> <h3>Crazy Patterned Anything</h3> <p>Between bedsheets, shower curtains, towels, and all other fabrics you might register for, there are certainly a number of choices. I made the mistake of going with a very bold pattern and color choice for all. Now? I sure wish I could divorce these items for a more neutral, time-tested look since my tastes have (inevitably) changed. Concentrate your search on quality versus styled textiles, and keep it basic with neutral colors or solids that can mix and match as your years together roll on.</p> <h3>Lifestyle Items</h3> <p>Again: Resist the trappings on any formulaic checklists you might find regarding wedding registry items. You'll see lots of bakeware on traditional lists, for example. If you hate baking, you likely don't need extra sets of mixing bowls and cake pans cluttering up your kitchen.</p> <p>There's no right way to live life, so your wedding registry should be as unique as you are. Ask for things you'll use, don't put on anything you feel you should just because it's what everyone else seems to have.</p> <h2>Stuff to Add Right Now!</h2> <p>Okay, if I had to do it all over again, these are the things I'd be sure to add to my registry.</p> <h3>Vacuum Cleaner</h3> <p>And another one bites the dust. That used to be my motto for the cheap vacuum cleaners I had in my early 20s. I don't know why I didn't register for a good one when we got married. In fact, we just recently invested in a quality vacuum (set us back a few hundred dollars &mdash; ouch), and it's made a huge difference, especially with our cat hair issues.</p> <h3>Garbage Can</h3> <p>So, if you've always used those cheap open-top plastic garbage cans you can buy at big box stores, you might not realize how much money a good garbage can actually costs. Thing is, they're worth every penny if you want them to last and (eventually) keep your trash out of your toddler's (or dog's) inquisitive reach.</p> <h3>Crock Pot</h3> <p>I feel like a bit of a hypocrite with this one. I wrote to stay away from a bread maker, and now I'm going to tell you to absolutely add a crock pot to your registry list. For me, a slow cooker is extra insurance for not letting my food go to waste. I toss in whatever veggies we have leftover and make soup or stew at the start of each week before I head to the grocery store. (See also: <a href="">35 Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy (or Lazy) Vegetarians</a>)</p> <h3>Dutch Oven</h3> <p>I use my cast iron dutch oven at least every other day. Whether I'm simmering a soup or baking crusty sourdough bread, it works wonders &mdash; but it was also quite expensive. You need not register for the most pricey, name-brand version. Instead, find one with enough room for your purposes, and it will last you a lifetime.</p> <h3>Food Processor</h3> <p>A lot of my friends immediately put a stand mixer on their registries. And &mdash; yes &mdash; I use my stand mixer often for cookies, breads, cakes, etc. However, what I use even more frequently is my food processor. I can blend together homemade peanut butters, sauces, veggie burgers, and even make my own oat flour. (See also: <a href="">The 5 Best Food Processors</a>)</p> <p><em>What do you think of this list? Agree? Disagree? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Take These 10 Items off Your Wedding Registry Immediately (Plus 5 to Add ASAP)" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Marcin</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping gift registry wedding wedding registry Thu, 25 Sep 2014 09:00:07 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1220281 at The 5 Best Bluetooth Mice <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-bluetooth-mice" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="wireless mouse" title="wireless mouse" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While we've written about wireless mice in the past, a Bluetooth-capable mouse works slightly differently. Most wireless mice operate by having a small receiver constantly plugged into a USB port. On the other hand, a Bluetooth mouse can connect to a computer or tablet directly through the Bluetooth connection, freeing up what can often be valuable USB real estate.</p> <h2>What Is a Bluetooth Mouse?</h2> <p>A Bluetooth mouse is a computer mouse that uses wireless Bluetooth to connect to another electronic device, such as a computer. Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard that is designed to exchange data over short distances, and is most commonly associated with wireless headsets. By utilizing a device's Bluetooth capabilities, a Bluetooth-enabled mouse can directly connect to the device without the need for a separate wireless receiver or USB port. Newer Bluetooth mice are even capable of connecting to tablets and are optimized for touchscreen devices.</p> <h2>Best 5 Bluetooth Mice</h2> <h3>Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008OEHV6U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=XSZLL6ITY5VBCRXR"><img width="200" height="131" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008OEHV6U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=XSZLL6ITY5VBCRXR">Wedge Touch mouse</a> by Microsoft is an elegant and extremely portable Bluetooth mouse that is optimized for use with Windows 8. The Wedge Touch mouse still functions as a standard mouse, but also features a touch-sensitive surface that enables 4-way touch scrolling. Users note that it is exceptionally easy to use; all you need to do is turn it on and connect it to your device via Bluetooth, and you're good to go. Some mention that its small size might take some getting used to, especially if you have large hands, but most appreciate the compact nature of the mouse.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008OEHV6U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=XSZLL6ITY5VBCRXR"><em>Currently $36.83 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Microsoft Sculpt Comfort Mouse</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BZC31WQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=K5M6FQOCGPS3R7OH"><img width="200" height="157" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>Another Microsoft mouse that is optimized for Windows 8, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BZC31WQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=K5M6FQOCGPS3R7OH">Sculpt Comfort mouse</a> is designed like a standard computer mouse, but includes additional design features that complement your Windows 8 experience. The dedicated blue Windows Touch Tab allows you to access the Start menu and scroll through your apps. On Windows 7, it allows you to access the Start menu and scroll forward and backward on your web browser.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00BZC31WQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=K5M6FQOCGPS3R7OH"><em>Currently $24.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Logitech V470 Bluetooth Cordless Laser Mouse</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000UY3NR8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=5F3EBFPVBSXVMNJ3"><img width="200" height="180" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000UY3NR8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=5F3EBFPVBSXVMNJ3">Logitech V470</a> brings the precision of a laser mouse together with the convenience of a Bluetooth connection. Laser mice outperform optical mice and this mouse by Logitech delivers smooth cursor control on just about any surface. The V470 also features a battery life indicator so that you never get caught off guard when the mouse runs out of juice. Most users agree that the mouse is easy-to-use and incredibly smooth and responsive.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000UY3NR8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=5F3EBFPVBSXVMNJ3"><em>Currently $84.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>HP X4000b Bluetooth Mouse</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009KY58FE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RUAN66GDR5VIS35Z"><img width="200" height="200" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009KY58FE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RUAN66GDR5VIS35Z">HP X4000b</a> is a great Bluetooth mouse that is designed to fit comfortably in your hand. The contoured design is very ergonomic and great for those that need to use a computer for extended amounts of time. The mouse also boasts an impressive nine month battery life as well as a laser sensor for precise use on just about any surface. Users attest to the solid construction of the mouse and its Bluetooth compatibility means it can be used on other devices such as Android tablets or Chromebooks as well.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009KY58FE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RUAN66GDR5VIS35Z"><em>Currently $27.21 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse T630</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DR8LA6U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=ZCDZFES2OKG3NAC4"><img width="200" height="195" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>This slick and modern <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DR8LA6U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=ZCDZFES2OKG3NAC4">Ultrathin Touch mouse</a> from Logitech is designed to perfectly complement the slim design of an Ultrabook, but can be paired with any Bluetooth-capable device. The thin design makes it extremely portable; it's small enough to fit inside most jean pockets. The touch surface of the mouse supports a number of Windows 8 touch gestures as well. Finally, this battery doesn't require any batteries since it charges via a USB cable.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00DR8LA6U&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=ZCDZFES2OKG3NAC4"><em>Currently $49.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best Bluetooth mice. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Bluetooth Mice" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Jeffrey Pu</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides bluetooth mouse product reviews Wed, 24 Sep 2014 09:00:04 +0000 Jeffrey Pu 1198765 at Best Money Tips: Save Big on Buying in Bulk <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-save-big-on-buying-in-bulk" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="warehouse shopping" title="warehouse shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on saving big on buying in bulk, easy ways to save more money, and steps for a fresh financial start this fall.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">7 Ways to Save Big on Buying in Bulk</a> &mdash; When buying in bulk, shopping based on per-unit pricing can help you save money. [Living on the Cheap]</p> <p><a href="">5 Easy Ways to Save More Money</a> &mdash; Automating your savings and prepping your meals for the week can save you big bucks. [MintLife Blog]</p> <p><a href="">6 Steps for a Fresh Financial Start This Fall</a> &mdash; This fall, updating your budget and writing down your goals can help you have a fresh financial start. [More Than Wheels]</p> <p><a href="">Are You Spending Enough Time Planning Your Retirement?</a> &mdash; Have you performed a retirement needs assessment recently? [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="">5 Ways to Eat Healthier and Save Money on Food</a> &mdash; Preserving your own food can help you eat healthier and save money. [Canadian Finance Blog]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">4 Things to Avoid Before Closing on a House</a> &mdash; Before you close on a house, don't make any late payments. [MainStreet]</p> <p><a href="">23 Surprising Uses for Pool Noodles</a> &mdash; Did you know pool noodles can be used for quilt storage? [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">12 Essential Dairy-Free Meal Planning Resources</a> &mdash; The Fresh 20 and Milk Free Mom can help you plan out dairy-free meals. [CouponPal]</p> <p><a href="">Life Insurance: What to Consider as a Self-Employed Business Owner</a> &mdash; When deciding whether or not to get life insurance, take into consideration your business structure. [Careful Cents]</p> <p><a href="">9 Robin Williams's Classics to Watch With Your Kids</a> &mdash; Take the time to watch Hook and Aladdin with your kids. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Save Big on Buying in Bulk" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips bulk buying shopping Tue, 23 Sep 2014 19:00:06 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1207992 at A Supermarket Insider Reveals 5 Ways Your Grocer Is Trying to Upsell You <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-supermarket-insider-reveals-5-ways-your-grocer-is-trying-to-upsell-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="grocery shopping" title="grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your grocery store is not out to get you, explains Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert. &quot;Their mission is to make you very loyal as a shopper. They want to form a relationship,&quot; said Lempert, editor of insider grocery journal The Lempert Report and <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>That said, the grocery industry is a low-margin business, and the more stores can do to encourage customers to spend more, in the most profitable areas, the better. Brands, too, would like to influence your behavior. (See also: <a href="">The One Tool That Ensures You Never Pay Too Much for Groceries</a>)</p> <p>So beware of these ways supermarkets and brands attempt to steer your cart &mdash; and your wallet.</p> <h2>1. The Fresh 'n' Fruity</h2> <p>&quot;One reason the produce department is in the front of the store is, it's like aromatherapy. Great colors and fragrances put you in a better mood, so when you're going through the store, you're moving more slowly; you might notice more products,&quot; Lempert said.</p> <h3>How to Evade It</h3> <p>Sticking to a list can help you avoid being influenced by attempted mood control. To avoid feeling deprived, Lempert advises drawing a limited number of blanks at the bottom of the page, so you can add two or three impulse buys &mdash; but no more than you can afford.</p> <h2>2. The Endcap Game</h2> <p>As you turn toward the next aisle, you see a towering display of identical cereal boxes. Beware! This may not be what you think it is. &quot;Most people think everything in that endcap is on sale. Only about half the time is it on sale,&quot; Lempert warns.</p> <h3>How to Evade It</h3> <p>&quot;Look carefully at the sign that's there,&quot; Lempert said. If it doesn't specifically show a discount, it's full price.</p> <h2>3. The Stock-Up Stickup</h2> <p>Buy one get one free, three for $5, or the per-ounce savings of the jumbo vat of ketchup &mdash; these can be traps if they lead you down the path of buying more than you can use before the expiration date.</p> <h3>How to Evade It</h3> <p>&quot;Make sure you buy something in an appropriate size to use,&quot; Lempert said. &quot;They might have 64 oz. tomato juice on sale. You have tomato juice occasionally. You might be better off buying the smaller cans, even though they're more expensive (per serving).&quot;</p> <p>On the other hand, if you are sure you'll use the larger volume in a timely manner, go ahead and grab the deal. BOGOs tend to be the largest discounts you'll see on most products. Lempert has one more caveat for stock-up-and-savers.</p> <p>&quot;Check the per-unit price. Just because it's in a bigger package doesn't mean it's cheaper. Because of operational efficiencies, you might find a 16 oz. can is cheaper on a per-unit basis than a 40 oz. can.&quot; If the factories are configured to pump out more 16 oz. cans, those may be the best deal after all.</p> <h2>4. The Scratch and Dent</h2> <p>&quot;A lot of stores have damaged packaged goods, usually by the meat department. Don't go for that,&quot; Lempert warned. &quot;When you have a dented can, you can easily grow bacteria in that can. If it's a damaged package, I don't care how cheap it is, from a food safety standpoint, I won't go near it.&quot;</p> <p>But feel free to pick up kitty litter from the scratch-and-dent bin. &quot;If it's a nonconsumable, sure,&quot; Lempert said.</p> <h2>5. Checkout Coupons</h2> <p>Those little coupons that print out next to the register? You may notice that they bear an uncanny resemblance to items you just bought. This is because brands want to target certain customers and encourage them to try their product next time.</p> <p>&quot;Let's say you're a Coca-Cola drinker. Pepsi wants to steal you, so they'll give you a high-value coupon to encourage you to switch to Pepsi. Or Coke doesn't want you to leave, so they'll give you a Coke coupon,&quot; Lempert said.</p> <p>These aren't necessarily insidious, and may even save you on things you want. But be aware, there's some psychological pressure being attempted here.</p> <h2>Saving Graces</h2> <p>Phil has a few more insider suggestions for saving at the super.</p> <h3>Try the House Specialty</h3> <p>One area where the store and shopper's interests align is the store brand. These products are often identical to name-brand products, sell for less money, and send more profit back to the store. So while the store may try to steer you to its house brand displays, it's not a trap.</p> <p>&quot;Remember that store brands always have a money back guarantee,&quot; Lempert said. &quot;Compare the ingredients and nutritional information on the store brand to the brand you normally buy. If they're identical, it's probably an identical product.&quot;</p> <h3>Join the Club</h3> <p>Lempert advises shoppers to tap every tool available to save: coupons, online programs, and store cards. Don't be paranoid about the fact that the cards and apps help the store compile data on your shopping habits.</p> <p>&quot;There are no secrets in today's world. Everybody knows everything about us,&quot; Lempert said.</p> <p>Well, at least now you also know a little bit more about the supermarket.</p> <p><em>Have you fallen for any of these upsell traps? Noticed any others? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="A Supermarket Insider Reveals 5 Ways Your Grocer Is Trying to Upsell You" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Carrie Kirby</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Food groceries market shopping supermarket Mon, 22 Sep 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1216063 at The 5 Best Electric Drills <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-electric-drills" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="drill" title="drill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="144" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're constructing a house or working on a DIY project at home, an electric drill is easily one of the most versatile and valuable tools to have in your toolbox. Although we may tend to most commonly think of them as merely more sophisticated screwdrivers or hole makers, a good electric drill with the right accessories can also be used to sand, polish, and grind materials and can ensure that your project gets done right and done fast overall.</p> <p>Wise Bread is here to help you find the perfect electric drill for your needs with our top five list.</p> <h2>What Is an Electric Drill?
</h2> <p>An electric drill is a handheld, motor-powered tool that uses an attached drill bit or driver bit on its chuck to bore holes into various materials or to drive screws to fasten materials together. Electric drills are available in both cordless and corded varieties. Cordless electric drills are powered by a rechargeable battery and give you the portability and freedom to use it wherever you want, which often makes them the more preferred option.</p> <p>Although corded electric drills are limited in how far away they can be from the nearest electrical outlet, you'll never have to worry about running out of power when using them, and they can sometimes be more powerful than the cordless drills. Because electric drills come in many different power levels and speeds, it's important to know what tasks you'll want to accomplish with the electric drill in order to find the one that will best fit your needs.</p> <h2>Best 5 Electric Drills</h2> <h3>DeWalt DCD780C2
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0052MIHMO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=7YY5B5P36LDQVZQ5"><img width="190" height="190" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>As a Consumer Search top pick, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0052MIHMO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=7YY5B5P36LDQVZQ5">Dewalt DCD780C2</a> is a top-notch cordless electric drill that has impressed both experts and consumers with the powerful, long-lasting performance that it packs within a comfortably compact design. With a &frac12;-inch chuck size, two speed ranges and 15 clutch settings, many users agreed that this 20-volt drill provides enough torque to tackle medium-sized jobs to the satisfaction of both casual homeowners and professional builders.</p> <p>Users were also very happy with the DCD780C2's rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which take less than half an hour to charge and can last throughout a day's work. A surprisingly lightweight design and an easy-to-hold grip round out the superb package that this Dewalt drill can deliver.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0052MIHMO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=7YY5B5P36LDQVZQ5"><em>Currently $167.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Makita BHP454</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001EYUQM8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6ZMILHYQX3TTHDFA"><img width="190" height="217" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>For the bigger projects that require even more power and speed, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001EYUQM8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6ZMILHYQX3TTHDFA">Makita BHP454</a> is the best cordless electric drill for getting those tougher jobs done. Along with a two-speed metal transmission and 16 different clutch settings, this Consumer Reports top pick features a mighty four-pole motor that can deliver up to 560 inch pounds of torque. And yet with all this power, this drill only weighs five pounds and is just under 10 inches in length.</p> <p>In addition, its compact lithium-ion battery pack is remarkably efficient, capable of delivering a day's worth of power with just a 30-minute charge. The BHP454 also comes with a Shift-Lock drive system, which allows it to switch into an effective hammer drill, giving you the nice value of having two tools in one. Two handy LED lights come standard with this drill as well to help illuminate your work area in the dark.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001EYUQM8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6ZMILHYQX3TTHDFA"><em>Currently $314.98 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Hitachi DS14DSFL
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004D29IA4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=OHOQFXAZOQLZZJRZ"><img width="190" height="194" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>Named a Consumer Reports Best Buy, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004D29IA4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=OHOQFXAZOQLZZJRZ">Hitachi DS14DSFL</a> is an exceptional choice for homeowners and consumers looking for a cordless electric drill that gets the job done without breaking the bank. Users absolutely love the DS14DSFL's sleek design which weighs significantly less than most heavy-duty drills, coming in at just 4.4 pounds. Despite its low weight, this Hitachi drill can still deliver a vigorous performance, one that's capable of outputting up to 300 inch pounds of torque with four different speed ranges and 22 drive settings.</p> <p>Combined with a slim soft grip handle, this light-duty drill is a delight to hold and use. The DS14DSFL&rsquo;s lightweight 14.4-volt lithium-ion batteries provide a long runtime that takes only 40 minutes to recharge. It also comes packaged with a handy flashlight for some extra value and utility.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004D29IA4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=OHOQFXAZOQLZZJRZ"><em>Currently $78.36 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Milwaukee 0240-20</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002WJH9WE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=J4QIQDPENZNIQP2E"><img width="190" height="190" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>If you want a powerful electric drill that doesn't burden you with having to recharge its batteries all the time, then the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002WJH9WE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=J4QIQDPENZNIQP2E">Milwaukee 0240-20</a> corded electric drill is the best choice for you. While it lacks the bells and whistles found on other high-end models, this Milwaukee drill more than makes up for it with its mighty 8 amp motor, which provides an optimal blend of speed and torque with a wide speed range of 0-2,800 RPM that's perfect for drilling through most dense materials.</p> <p>An all-metal gear case provides more than adequate protection for the drill's gears during arduous use for the utmost durability. Thanks to a soft grip handle and a two-finger trigger, it also pleases owners with its great handling.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002WJH9WE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=J4QIQDPENZNIQP2E"><em>Currently $79.00 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Black and Decker DR260B
</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004FRXWRW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JFLH5GAOX4WY5H4L"><img width="190" height="203" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>As an Amazon Best Seller, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004FRXWRW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JFLH5GAOX4WY5H4L">Black and Decker DR260B</a> is another excellent choice for a corded electric drill that's low on price and high on features and convenience. Built with the everyday homeowner in mind, the DR260B is one of the most compact electric drills you can buy, and its small size makes it incredibly ideal for working in those cramped, hard-to-reach areas of your home.</p> <p>The DR260B manages to pack a 5.2 amp motor with a variable speed range of 0-1,500 RPM inside its compact design, enabling it to provide enough power for all your home improvement needs. Last but not least, this ultra-convenient drill comes with a slew of handy features, including a built-in level, on-board bit storage, and a keyless chuck that allow for easy bit switching.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B004FRXWRW&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=JFLH5GAOX4WY5H4L"><em>Currently $18.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best electric drills. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Electric Drills" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">William Tran</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides buying guide electric drills product reviews Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:00:06 +0000 William Tran 1147195 at 6 Painless Ways to Split the Check <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-painless-ways-to-split-the-check" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="friends smartphone resturant" title="friends smartphone resturant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's 2014, also known as the year we all ought to rid ourselves of the long, awkward shuffle of money and pencil-drawn arithmetic that happens each time the bill comes after a nice dinner out with friends. Why? Because there's an app for that &mdash; actually, there are six of 'em &mdash; and you've already proven you need it. Plus waitresses across the globe are tired of splitting the bill between three cards and a crumpled up fistfull of cash. (See also: <a href="">Who Should Pay for the First Date?</a>)</p> <p>Read on for our roundup of the top six apps made to relieve the burden of shared expenses. (Note: If you're the type to try and dodge paying for the guacamole everyone tasted, there's not an app out there that'll help you with that.)</p> <h2>1. Splitwise</h2> <p>This free web and mobile app helps friend <a href="">settle up everything from shared vacation expenses to the electric bill</a>. It's an organizer that allows large groups of people to collectively break down all types of expenses and see what they owe. All data is stored in the cloud, so it can be accessed and shared from anywhere. The app also offers users mediation tools including a fairness calculator to help settle disputes.</p> <h2>2. Divvy</h2> <p>Divvy is a quick and easy three-step debt settler app for iPhone users. It works like this: Snap a photo of the bill with your phone, drag each item to the name of the person who ordered it, and <a href="">see how much everyone owes</a>. Bonus: You can check that you've been charged the correct amount for each item before itemizing the order. Divvy is 99 cents in the App Store.</p> <h2>3. Cover</h2> <p>Some of the top restaurants in New York and San Francisco are now allowing customers to pay with Cover, a free bill-paying app that allows groups of people large and small to split and pay the check <a href="">without ever having to flag down the waiter</a>. Never again will you be stuck waiting for the bill. Simply tell your waiter that you'll be paying with Cover when you sit down to dine at any of the <a href="">113 restaurants that support the app</a>. Cover is free, available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, and works best if everyone at the table is signed up.</p> <h2>4. Billr</h2> <p>Groups of up to 16 people can use this app to <a href="">sort and split the bill, plus add gratuity</a>. All you have to do plug in the price of each dish. You can then show each person their individualized bill on your phone screen or send out a text message that lists the breakdown of everybody's debts. Billr is $1.99 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.</p> <h2>5. Advanced Bill Splitter</h2> <p>This Android-friendly app is free and performs much like its Apple supported counterpart Billr. Simply plug in everyone's order, including split items like that bottle of Malbec, and the app will spit out <a href="">personalized meal totals for each diner</a>. Much easier than breaking out the calculator.</p> <h2>6. Receipt Ninja</h2> <p>Perfect for road trips and weekend getaways with friends, Receipt Ninja lets you track and break down shared expenses on multiple receipts. It's a great way to <a href=";hl=en">divvy up gas, tolls, lunch, and hotel charges all in one fell swoop</a>. You can also export the data in spreadsheet form straight to Excel. And it's supported by both Apple and Android mobile devices. There's a free version, but if you want to avoid those annoying ads you'll need to cough up $2.99 in the App Store.</p> <p><em>How do you settle up at the end of the evening? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Painless Ways to Split the Check" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Brittany Lyte</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Shopping dining out friends and money restaurant check restaurants splitting the bill Tue, 16 Sep 2014 21:00:14 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1210859 at 6 Ways to Trick Salespeople <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-trick-salespeople" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="car salesman" title="car salesman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You have to deal with a salesperson to make a big purchase.</p> <p>It might be a refrigerator, a car, or even a house. Very often, you feel dissatisfied with the way a negotiation went. You may walk away feeling like you got taken for a ride, and that you had no defense for the wiles of the salesperson. (See also: <a href="">The 7 Laws of Negotiation</a>)</p> <p>Well, it's time to stop thinking about defense. It's time to turn the tables and start owning the outcome of your big purchases. To jumpstart your negotiations, learn these six ways to &quot;trick&quot; salespeople.</p> <h2>1. Buy Them a Cup of Coffee</h2> <p>Apply the <a href="">rule of reciprocation</a> on salespeople.</p> <p>When you first encounter a salesperson, greet her with a small gift (something as small as a piece of gum) or do a small favor for her (open the door). The idea is that you are binding the person to return the favor.</p> <p>No matter where in the world you are, this is a trick that works in negotiation. No matter how cheap your gift is, it will dramatically improve your chances of getting what you want. For example, in a study restaurant servers who presented the check with a mint and then paused to give the customer a second mint and tell them that this one is just for them got a <a href="">20% increase in their normal tips</a>.</p> <p>Ideally, buy them a mug of coffee, a cup of strong tea, or a can of Coke. Turns out that consumption of <a href="">caffeine makes people much easier to persuade</a>. Just don't use the drinks from the waiting room; instead bring one from outside that &quot;is just for them.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Talk Fast at the Beginning</h2> <p>Right after you hand that free cup of coffee, get the talking going&hellip; fast!</p> <p><a href=";fa=main.doiLanding&amp;doi=10.1037/0022-3514.34.4.615">Fast talkers are perceived to be more persuasive</a>. The sweet point is about 195 words per minute, fast enough to force salespeople to focus, yet slow enough for them to still understand you. If you talk beyond 195 words, people start judging if you really know your stuff.</p> <p>If you keep a fast pace, people don't have enough time to come up with counter arguments. So, channel your inner <a href="">John Moschitta</a> and start practicing that fast talk.</p> <p><iframe width="605" height="340" frameborder="0" src="//" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <h2>3. Slow Down Once They Agree</h2> <p>However, once you have the salesperson agreeing with you, start slowing down. If you <a href="">talk too fast to somebody that agrees with your message</a>, then you have the reverse effect as talking fast.</p> <p>Even when somebody welcomes your ideas, you need to give them time to evaluate your speech and agree with you more.</p> <p>This is when you slow down from 196 words per minute to about 144. If you talk slower than that, people start perceiving you not as persuasive again.</p> <h2>4. Curse Smartly</h2> <p>If you think that good negotiation skills and cursing don't go together, let me tell you that's some BS.</p> <p>This doesn't mean that you're going to open a can of potty mouth and spread it all over the place. The key is to <a href="">use the word &quot;damn&quot; towards the beginning or end of your speech</a>. The tactical use of this word significantly increases not only the persuasiveness of your speech, but also the perceived intensity of your words in the mind of the listener.</p> <p>Researchers theorize that the smart use of curse words gives the impression that you are being candid and not following somebody else's agenda.</p> <h2>5. Look &quot;Eye-to-Eye&quot;</h2> <p>Take a cue from waiters and waitresses on how to get what you want.</p> <p>A study from Cornell's School of Hotel Administration found several <a href="">techniques employed by servers to increase their tips</a>. One that stands out for our purposes is &quot;seeing eye-to-eye.&quot;</p> <p>This means to:</p> <ul> <li>Establish eye contact throughout your conversation;</li> <li>Bring your face closer to that of the salesperson;</li> <li>Position yourself so that your eyes are at the same height;</li> <li>Mimic the salesperson's body language and posture.</li> </ul> <h2>6. Learn the Four Square System</h2> <p>Think of good salespeople and you're likely to think of car salespeople.</p> <p>You might not like some of their techniques, but in the end they do a decent job at getting you to buy a car. A cornerstone of their technique is the four square system.</p> <p>The main idea of this worksheet is to take the attention from the total price and focus the entire conversation on the monthly payment. Any good car salesperson knows that you can wiggle the monthly payment without lowering the total price. For example, you can:</p> <ul> <li>Increase the number of payments;</li> <li>Provide a bigger down payment;</li> <li>Accept a bigger value for a trade-in.</li> </ul> <p><a href="">Read this confessional from a car salesman</a> on how to work the four square worksheet so that you can use it towards your advantage, or simply &quot;flip the table&quot; by demanding that it is not used in your negotiation at all.</p> <p><em>What is your favorite way to &quot;trick&quot; salespeople?</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="6 Ways to Trick Salespeople" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Damian Davila</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> General Tips Shopping deals haggling negotiation sales salespeople Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:00:06 +0000 Damian Davila 1210856 at Best Money Tips: Ways to Save on the Latest Smartphones <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-to-save-on-the-latest-smartphones" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="smartphone cafe" title="smartphone cafe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on ways to save on the latest smartphone, ways to save at school, and cool car hacks you should try.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="">7 Ways to Save on the Latest Smartphones</a> &mdash; To save on the latest smartphones, trade in your old phone and wait a few months to buy the latest model released. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="">Smart Ways to Save Money at School Without Ruining Your College Fun &mdash; or Going Hungry</a> &mdash; Not taking more than 4 years to graduate and taking advantage of student discounts can help you save money at college. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="">19 Insanely Cool Car Hacks You Should Try Out</a> &mdash; Did you know hanging a shoe organizer on the back of your seat in your car can help you keep your car organized? [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="">5 Reasons You Hate Flying and What to Do About It</a> &mdash; If you hate flying because of baggage fees, opt to fly with JetBlue or Southwest. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="">The Best and Worst States to Retire</a> &mdash; Orlando is one of the best cities to retire in, as is Scottsdale. [MainStreet]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="">When a Relative Steals Your Identity</a> &mdash; If a relative steals your identity, request copies of your credit report to find out how much damage has been done. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="">How to Write a Book &mdash; Steps to Publish, Market, and Sell Your Books</a> &mdash; Documenting your experiences can help you start the process of writing a book. [Money Crashers]</p> <p><a href="">The New Retirement Rule?</a> &mdash; What do you think of the new retirement rule that states that you should save 15% of your pay for 30 years? [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="">When Money Is Everything: How to Financially Prepare for Divorce</a> &mdash; When you are going through a divorce, find a lawyer and be prepared to divide up assets. [One Cent at a Time]</p> <p><a href="">7 Ways to Be a Leader in Healthy Living</a> &mdash; To be a leader in healthy living, be organized and start early. [Parenting Squad]</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Ways to Save on the Latest Smartphones" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping best money tips iPhone save smartphone smartphones technology Mon, 15 Sep 2014 19:00:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1207214 at The Best and Worst Things to Buy at Farmers' Markets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-and-worst-things-to-buy-at-farmers-markets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="farmers market" title="farmers market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Farmers' market extremists will tell you to never set foot in a produce aisle again, while grocery loyalists will dismiss markets as overpriced and inconvenient indulgences. So who's right? (See also: <a style="text-decoration:none;" href="">25 Things You Shouldn't Buy at the Grocery Store</a>)</p> <p>It turns out: both. It just depends on what it is you're buying.</p> <h2>Best Things to Buy at the Farmers' Market</h2> <p>These are the fruits and veggies (and other things), you definitely should pick up fresh from your local Farmers' Market.</p> <h3>Berries</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries tend to be expensive at the typical grocery store, in part due to the thousands of miles they've traveled to get to the store. Fresh berries at your local farmers' market will be in better condition (perishable berries don't tend to do well in transport), will be cheaper, and will most likely have fewer pesticides and fungicides than imported or commercial varieties. Ask your grower whether the berries are pesticide-free &mdash; I tend to trust a farmer who can look me in the eye and vouch for his or her berries.</p> <p>Most importantly, local berries, picked at the height of ripeness, are just sweeter and more delicious. Often you can find local varieties of berries that are tastier, but more perishable, so you'll never find them in a grocery store. Or you might discover the rare flavor of wild berries, foraged from the surrounding countryside.</p> <h3>Stone Fruit</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Like tomatoes, most stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums) will ripen but not sweeten on your counter. That means that getting them when they are picked ripe is essential to getting the full seasonal flavor. In addition, stone fruit tends to get sprayed with a lot of pesticides. Ask your grower what their pesticide policy is and whether your fruit has been sprayed.</p> <h3>Avocados</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>Don't you just hate buying a bunch of rock-hard avocados at the supermarket, only to find out that they've gone bad by the time they've softened? Much of this is due to commercially-grown avocados being picked far too early (before the level of oils in the fruit have increased to the point where they are able to ripen) and then being transported in trucks where they are easily bruised. Worse, store refrigerators sometimes freeze fresh produce, causing it to go bad faster.</p> <p>By contrast, buying avocados from a local farmer ensures that they have been picked recently. In my experience, avocados from my farmers' market last far longer, don't turn brown inside, and are far more buttery and rich than supermarket avocados. I also have my go-to &quot;avocado guy,&quot; who helps me choose the perfect ripeness of avocados depending on when I want to eat them. And have you ever tried a Reed avocado? These huge, super-creamy avocados are rarely available in supermarkets, but they are my absolute favorite.</p> <h3>Rare or Unusual Vegetables</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>The farmers' market is the best place to try out a new fruit or vegetable that isn't typically found in supermarkets. Have you ever tried the delicate fractal buds of a romanesco broccoli? How about those unfamiliar Asian greens sold by the local Japanese family farm? Or have you ever wondered what a Buddha's hand citron tastes like? The grower is a great resource for asking how to cook and eat these intriguing new vegetables.</p> <h3>Flowers</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>This may seem like an odd thing to buy at a primarily food-oriented market, but pesticide-free cut flowers are a great thing to pick up on your shopping trip. Conventional flowers are usually grown with a heavy load of pesticides, which takes a toll on the workers involved. In addition, transporting fresh flowers isn't great for the environment. Buying seasonal, local, pesticide-free flowers is a great way to get some natural beauty into your home without harming the planet or other people.</p> <h3>Eggs</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="" /></p> <p>So-called &quot;cage free&quot; eggs at supermarkets are typically not well-regulated. Cage-free might simply mean that the chickens have a door open for a few hours a day. By contrast, at a farmers' market, you can ask the farmer directly about how the chickens are raised and what they are fed. Many local chicken farmers are proud of their &quot;happy chickens&quot; that live a humane life from birth to death, and that eat a more natural diet including foraging for grass and bugs.</p> <h2>Worst Things to Buy at a Farmer's Market</h2> <p>Now that you've stuffed your grocery totes with the good stuff above, turn up your nose at this stuff, which isn't so great.</p> <h3>Wilted Greens</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>The later in the day you come, the less fresh the vegetables will be. This is especially true of farmers' markets that attract growers from outside the immediately local area. Be discerning &mdash; just because it's at the farmers' market doesn't mean it's perfect. In addition, certain vegetables tend to do worse in the heat and sun &mdash; lettuce for example.</p> <h3>Unripe Fruit</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>It's best if you can taste the fruit before you buy, so you can make sure you get produce at the peak of ripeness. Most growers will have samples or will willingly cut you a slice. Make the most of your money and buy only the best, in-season fruit.</p> <h3>Fast Food</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Unfortunately, the crowds at farmers' markets tend to attract food vendors, many of which don't exactly serve health food. Skip the overpriced hot dogs, funnel cakes, and burgers. If you're really hungry and need something immediately, I like to head for the mom-and-pop tamale stands, which offer (usually) homemade steamed tamales and fresh salsas, instead of the deep-fried junk.</p> <h3>Non-Food Items</h3> <p><img width="605" height="340" src="" alt="" /></p> <p>Some larger farmers' markets also tend to attract non-food booths that sell gifts and knick-knacks. Be careful not to be suckered into an impulse buy of something that you don't need (I'm thinking potholders, jewelry, clothing, etc). Of course, a local craft item can be a fun souvenir if you're traveling, or a thoughtful gift for out-of-town friends, but in general steer clear of anything you didn't specifically come to buy.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite purchase at your local farmers' market? Please share in comments!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The Best and Worst Things to Buy at Farmers&#039; Markets" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Camilla Cheung</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Shopping farmers markets fresh produce fruits and vegetables groceries Fri, 12 Sep 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1209037 at The 5 Best Bluetooth Keyboards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-bluetooth-keyboards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="wireless keyboard" title="wireless keyboard" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="130" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Bluetooth keyboards offer a great solution to one of the biggest problems that many smartphone and tablet owners have; it can be quite difficult and uncomfortable to type on these devices when using their on-screen keyboards. Bluetooth keyboards are also great traveling companions for those who want to be productive on the go.</p> <p>There are a number of key factors to keep in mind when buying a Bluetooth keyboard. Wise Bread is here to help with our top five list of the best Bluetooth keyboards.</p> <h2>What Is a Bluetooth Keyboard?
</h2> <p>A Bluetooth keyboard is essentially a computer keyboard that wirelessly connects and communicates to computing devices using the Bluetooth radio frequency. They're most commonly used with portable devices such as smartphones and tablets that don't come with their own physical keyboard, but they can also be used with Bluetooth-enabled desktop computers and laptops if desired.</p> <p>Bluetooth keyboards are usually more compact and have smaller keys compared to regular computer keyboards, but they all use the same QWERTY key layout. They also come in a number of different form factors that cater to specific needs and comfort styles, and it's ultimately up to you to decide which one works best for you.</p> <h2>Best 5 Bluetooth Keyboards</h2> <h3>Logitech K810 Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0099SMFVQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=YSPACGV2IBJLKTRD"><img width="200" height="116" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>The <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0099SMFVQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=YSPACGV2IBJLKTRD">Logitech K810</a> is an outstanding Bluetooth keyboard that has been highly praised for its ability to be used seamlessly and interchangeably with multiple computing devices. Thanks to its Easy-Switch Bluetooth technology, not only can you can use the keyboard with up to three devices simultaneously, you can effortlessly switch between them with the simple press of a button.</p> <p>In addition, the K810 comes with a rechargeable battery pack along with built-in backlighting that can automatically adjust its brightness based on your current environment. Many users also love the keyboard's sleek brushed aluminum look as well as its unique keycap design that provides both a comfortable and noiseless typing experience.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0099SMFVQ&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=YSPACGV2IBJLKTRD"><em>Currently $69.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Microsoft Wedge Mobile Keyboard</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008OEHPKM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6ZZZ7BFRVJ4K3B7U"><img width="200" height="94" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>If you're looking for a keyboard that can handle the on-the-go lifestyle, then the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008OEHPKM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6ZZZ7BFRVJ4K3B7U">Microsoft Wedge</a> is the perfect choice for you. The Wedge's most exclusive feature is its multi-purpose cover that powers down the keyboard when it's attached and protects the keyboard from scratches and damage when in transit. Not only that, the cover can also transform into a convenient stand for your tablet, thus allowing you to set up an optimal workstation wherever you go.</p> <p>Despite its very compact and lightweight design, users say there's enough room provided for them to comfortably type on. While the keyboard is compatible with non-Windows devices, the Wedge does come with special Windows 8 hotkeys that work most effectively when paired with a Windows 8 tablet or smartphone.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008OEHPKM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=6ZZZ7BFRVJ4K3B7U"><em>Currently $43.95 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Logitech DiNovo Edge Keyboard</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000J43HJ8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=P2HG4CP54VZT6AXV"><img width="200" height="138" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>Although it is the most expensive option on our list, the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000J43HJ8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=P2HG4CP54VZT6AXV">Logitech DiNovo Edge</a> offers a phenomenal full-sized Bluetooth keyboard that's loaded with enough innovative features to satisfy any power user. Designed for use with desktop computers, its most notable features include the PerfectStroke key system that enables precise and fluid typing and the TouchDisc touchpad that lets you scroll, select, and control your cursor all in one place.</p> <p>The keyboard also comes with a touch-sensitive volume slider, hidden hotkeys that illuminate when you need them, and a handy charging base to recharge its batteries. These fantastic features are all packed onto an attractively super-thin brushed aluminum frame that's only 11 mm thick.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000J43HJ8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=P2HG4CP54VZT6AXV"><em>Currently $366.62 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Apple Wireless Keyboard
</h3> <p><a href=";qid=1397030143&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=apple+wireless+keyboard"><img width="200" height="102" align="right" alt="" src="" /></a>Don't be fooled by its simplistic appearance; the <a href=";qid=1397030143&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=apple+wireless+keyboard">Apple Wireless Keyboard</a> offers an excellent choice for consumers looking for a basic Bluetooth keyboard, and it's one that's both minimalistically stylish and incredibly easy to use. This iconic keyboard's ultra-thin, brushed aluminum body falls right in line with Apple's signature design aesthetic and is easily the lightest option on our list with a total of weight of just eight ounces.</p> <p>Many users say the keys are wonderfully responsive and that it's painless to use this keyboard in any setting given its lightweight design. The Apple Keyboard works with all Bluetooth-enabled computing devices, but it also comes with Mac-specific hotkeys that work best with devices running Apple's operating system.</p> <p><a href=";qid=1397030143&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=apple+wireless+keyboard"><em>Currently $64.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Anker T300 Ultra-Slim Mini Wireless Keyboard</h3> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0096M8VR2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QDJAFBOSYBNGI6YY"><img width="200" height="149" align="right" src="" alt="" /></a>With a 4&frac12;-star Amazon rating from over 2,800 customer reviews, many consumers have come to love the <a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0096M8VR2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QDJAFBOSYBNGI6YY">Anker T300</a> for providing a superb Bluetooth keyboard at an astoundingly low price. Although this keyboard is light on features, many users have praised the Anker T300 for its wonderfully compact and lightweight design that's similar to the look of higher-end models along with its amazingly long battery life.</p> <p>Users also say that connecting this keyboard to your devices via Bluetooth couldn't be any easier. This keyboard is compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled computers, tablets, and smartphones, so you don't have to worry about whether this keyboard will work with your devices or not.</p> <p><a href=";camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0096M8VR2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=bguidelink-20&amp;linkId=QDJAFBOSYBNGI6YY"><em>Currently $19.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best Bluetooth keyboards. As always, be sure to check out the <a href="">Wise Bread Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="The 5 Best Bluetooth Keyboards" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">William Tran</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Buying Guides bluetooth keyboards buying guide product reviews Thu, 11 Sep 2014 09:00:07 +0000 William Tran 1150926 at