bulk shopping http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11363/all en-US 10 Things You Probably Didn't Know You Could Buy at Costco http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-probably-didnt-know-you-could-buy-at-costco <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-things-you-probably-didnt-know-you-could-buy-at-costco" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping-168814957.jpg" alt="shopping man" title="shopping man" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The first Costco location (then called Price Club) opened in 1976 inside a converted airplane hangar in San Diego, California. The original business model was to serve only businesses, offering bulk products at discounted prices. The company quickly realized it could increase its sales by offering memberships to a select group of non-business owners. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-didnt-know-you-could-buy-in-bulk?ref=seealso">Things You Didn&rsquo;t Know You Could Buy in Bulk</a>)</p> <p>The early 1980s saw the boom of the warehouse club industry. In 1983, the first Costco warehouse store opened in Seattle, Washington and in that year, the company became the first ever to grow from zero to $3 billion in sales in under six years. As of November 2013, the company has over six hundred locations across the United States and boasts of over 71.2 million membership cardholders.</p> <p>The amazing part of the Costco story isn't just the rapid growth but the myriad of different products and services the company offers to its members. People think Costco and the first images which spring to mind are garbage can sized pickle jars and packages of enough bathroom tissue to TP the homes of the entire state of Maine. Sure, those products are available, along with window blinds, snow plows, and a chance to shake hands with author Mitch Albom. And now, there's also the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-costco-anywhere-visa-card-by-citi-is-good-news-for-costco-shoppers">Costco Anywhere Visa</a> card, which awards generous cash back on Costco purchases as well as gas, dining, and travel. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco?ref=seealso">Things You Should Buy at Costco</a>)</p> <p>As these benefits will prove, a Costco membership does have its privileges. Here are some things you might not expect to buy at Costco.</p> <h2>1. Cubicles</h2> <p>While most of the world hates the feeling of semi-confinement in half walls the cubicle could serve a purpose in the typical family home. Suppose mom or dad works from home and needs a designated office space but doesn't have an extra room to devote to a home office? Suppose the kids need a quiet and self-contained area to work on homework or other projects that cuts down on the distractions of television or other family members? Why not consider a <a href="http://www.costco.com/CatalogSearch?storeId=10301&amp;catalogId=10701&amp;langId=-1&amp;keyword=cubicle">home cubicle</a>?</p> <h2>2. Funeral Supplies</h2> <p>No one wants to plan a funeral, but sadly, it's a part of life. If you've been lucky enough to avoid funeral planning in your life so far, you've probably got little idea as to how expensive the entire ordeal can be. Between the casket, the flowers, and all the odds an ends, dying costs an incredible amount of money. The time constraints and mental anguish of burying a loved one also cause people to make quick, often costly, decisions just to get the entire ordeal over with. Though it is a bit morbid, planning ahead for a funeral is often the most cost effective plan, and it saves loved ones from the uncomfortable task once you've kicked the bucket. Costco has an entire funeral section. Now you're just going to need to make room in the basement to store your casket. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-great-tech-tools-for-planning-your-own-death-0?ref=seealso">Tech Tools for Planning Your Death</a>)</p> <h2>3. Autographed Books</h2> <p>Every Costco location offers a library of new and old books at discounted prices. There are titles to suit almost every bibliophile including hardcover, paperback, and even children's books. Many Costco locations even host author book readings and signings. Review this handy list of <a href="https://www.costco.com/author-signings.html">upcoming author events</a> at various Costco locations across the United States to find out when your favorite author is visiting.</p> <h2>4. Cars</h2> <p>Costco doesn't have cars in their stores (at least none we know about), but they do offer an auto buying program to members. The Costco Auto Program is designed to save people time and hassle when buying a new or pre-owned car. It's pretty simple &mdash; members can submit a request via the <a href="http://www.costcoauto.com/enterzipcode.aspx?gotourl=%2fdefault.aspx">Costco Auto website</a>. Costco will search your specific area and direct you to one of the 3,000 participating dealers closest to your area. Choose your dealer, visit the lot, and choose the car you want. Show the dealer your Costco membership card, and you'll receive the special price. Costco attempts to eliminate the uncomfortable haggling that comes with buying a car. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-websites-you-must-visit-when-buying-a-new-car?ref=seealso">Websites You Must Visit When Buying a New Car</a>)</p> <h2>5. Gym Memberships</h2> <p>Your local gym is offering deals on memberships but it feels as though there is always a catch. Sure, the rates are decent, but how does a person really know they're getting a deal? If they purchase a membership using their Costco card, they can be sure. Gym membership deals are available at an assortment of clubs and spas across the US. All a member has to do is purchase a gym membership through the Costco website, print out the certificate, and bring it to the participating gym with proper ID; and you'll be sweating it out on a treadmill in no time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-legit-ways-to-use-the-gym-for-free?ref=seealso">Legit Ways to Use the Gym for Free</a>)</p> <h2>6. Snow Plows</h2> <p>The winter is always an unpredictable beast. One day it's unseasonably warm, and the next a foot of snow is dumped on your doorstep. Some areas of the United States get so much snow over the course of the year, it's much more cost effective (and easier on the back) to attach a snow plow to the truck and dig out the driveway. Anyone interested in a snow plow doesn't have to deal with a special vendor can just head on down to Costco. They even offer <a href="http://www.costco.com/CatalogSearch?storeId=10301&amp;catalogId=10701&amp;langId=-1&amp;keyword=snow+plow">plows for sale online</a>. Wouldn't it be ironic if the delivery of your snow plow was delayed because of snow?</p> <h2>7. Small Business Services</h2> <p>Are you looking to run your small business more efficiently? Why not get help from the place where you already buy a ton of your office supplies? Costco offers an <a href="http://www.costco.com/services.html">incredible assortment of services</a> to the small business owner almost as important as packages of bulk toilet paper. The services include merchant credit card processing, water delivery, business document set-up, health and dental plans, payroll services, and even 401(k) plans.</p> <h2>8. Vacation Packages</h2> <p>Sometimes a person needs a vacation just from planning a vacation. Hotel reservations, air travel bookings, and itinerary planning &mdash; vacation planning is best left to someone else. Why not Costco? Not only will they help <a href="http://www.costcotravel.com/?cm_re=Common-_-Top_Nav-_-Travel">plan a vacation</a> and handle everything from air travel and car rental to hotel booking, theme park visits, and cruises; but Costco members receive a discount from participating destinations and resorts. They even have travel experts on call 24/7 to book your vacation at your own convenience. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package?ref=seealso">How to Book a Vacation Package</a>)</p> <h2>9. $63,000 Engagement Rings</h2> <p>We knew that Costco carried jewelry, but we had no idea that not only did they offer engagement rings, <a href="http://www.costco.com/2.12-ctw-Round-Brilliant-Cut-Internally-Flawless%2c-D-Color-Diamond-%22Audrey%22-Platinum-Wedding-Set.product.100006730.html">but a $63,000 engagement ring</a>. The ring is actually worth close to $93,000, but Costco members get the insane discount. We're not sure which will raise more eyebrows &mdash; the stunning ring, the actual and retail prices, or the fact it was purchased at discount warehouse store.</p> <h2>10. Emergency Food Kits</h2> <p>If the world has hopefully learned one lesson these past few years, it's that the entire Earth is at the will of Mother Nature. From tsunamis to superstorms to multiple feet of snow, it's important to be prepared in case of any emergency. The Costco website devotes an entire section to <a href="http://www.costco.com/emergency-kits-supplies.html">emergency preparation</a>. This includes not only food and beverage options but first aid kits and powdered beverages. If you're really serious about prepping for the end of civilization (because you just never know), Costco offers deals on an entire <a href="http://www.costco.com/30%2c144-Total-Servings-4-Person-1-Year-Food-Storage.product.11763436.html">year of food rations</a> for four people and <a href="http://www.costco.com/.product.11766218.html?cm_sp=RichRelevance-_-itempageVerticalRight-_-CategorySiloedViewCP&amp;cm_vc=itempageVerticalRight%7CCategorySiloedViewCP">a water storage system</a> because fresh water is key to survival.</p> <p><em>What surprising things have you found at your local Costco? Share with us in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-illuminati">Chris Illuminati</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-probably-didnt-know-you-could-buy-at-costco">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-expert-ways-to-save-time-and-money-at-costco">8 Expert Ways to Save Time and Money at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-smart-garage-sale-bargain-hunting-tricks">13 Smart Garage Sale Bargain Hunting Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-should-always-buy-at-department-stores">6 Things You Should Always Buy at Department Stores</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-even-more-freebies-in-exchange-for-a-review">How to Get Even More Freebies in Exchange for a Review</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping bargain shopping bulk shopping costco discounts Wed, 29 Jan 2014 11:24:10 +0000 Chris Illuminati 1119563 at http://www.wisebread.com Why You Pay More at the Grocery Store (and How to Stop) http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-pay-more-at-the-grocery-store-and-how-to-stop <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-you-pay-more-at-the-grocery-store-and-how-to-stop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/8200880966_c3808de0b6_z.jpg" alt="grocery store" title="grocery store" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many of us don't think too much about what we throw into our grocery carts &mdash; or how much it all costs. After all, we have to eat! But for most Americans, food makes up one of the largest expenses in the budget, right after paying for housing and transportation. If you can trim just $20 off your weekly grocery bill, it can save you $1,000 per year; saving $60 per week could put more than $3,000 extra in your pocket.</p> <p>Believe it or not, those kinds of savings aren't unrealistic, and you don't have to starve to death to achieve them. All you have to do is look at where grocery stores make their money and where you may have some bad shopping habits. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-grocery-shop-for-five-on-100-a-week">How to&nbsp;Grocery&nbsp;Shop for Five on $100 a Week</a>)</p> <h2>What You Pay More For</h2> <p>It isn't hard to guess which items in the grocery store have the highest mark-ups; after all, you won't see a fancy display around cabbages or low-fat milk. In fact, the highest margin &mdash; and therefore lowest value &mdash; items will fall into one or more of the following categories.</p> <p><strong>Convenience</strong></p> <p>The closer a food is to being ready to put on the table, the more it'll cost you. That's why things like pre-cut fruits and vegetables and breakfast cereals have significant mark-ups. The same goes for most packaged convenience foods and pre-made meals. For many of us, throwing a few convenience items in the cart is a matter of necessity &mdash; or sanity. Just be aware that the less preparation you do at home, the more you'll pay at the store.</p> <p><strong>Brand Names</strong></p> <p>It wasn't long ago that store-branded foods were pretty terrible imitations of brand name favorites. Nowadays, however, most stores offer a great range of high quality products under their own labels and, in many cases, they're much cheaper than the mega brands you'll see advertised on TV.</p> <p><a href="http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/menus/certain-foods-so-expensive.htm" target="_blank">Brand name items are marked up dramatically</a>. You might have to do a little experimenting, but for the most part, brand name foods don't cost more because they're better &mdash; they're just better known. Do you really want to pay for your canned soup's star power?</p> <p><strong>Organics</strong></p> <p>There's still a lot of debate about whether organic produce provides a health benefit over conventionally grown fruits and veggies, but one thing you can't argue with is that organic comes at a price.</p> <p>Organic foods tend to cost 30 to 50% more than regular produce, largely because organic producers are smaller, have smaller markets, and don't receive the same subsidies as other growers.</p> <p>If you're concerned about pesticides, pay more where it counts by choosing organic items that tend to be highly contaminated when grown conventionally. According to the Environmental Working Group's 2012 &quot;<a href="http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/" target="_blank">Shoppers' Guide to Pesticides</a>,&quot; these items include apples, celery, bell peppers, peaches, strawberries, and grapes. Items such as onions, corn, pineapple, and avocados, on the other hand, are relatively uncontaminated, so buying organic here may provide limited benefit. To save even more, check out organic produce at a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-not-to-buy-at-a-farmers-market">local farmers market</a>, or grow your own in the back yard.</p> <h2>Habits That Can Cost You</h2> <p>Avoiding the most costly items in the grocery store is essential, but if you really want to nail frugal grocery shopping, you have to steer clear of costly habits as well.</p> <p><strong>Lack of Flexibility</strong></p> <p>One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to be a little flexible about what you buy each week. Having a meal plan is great, but you also have to be creative and willing to roll with the sales and promotions at your local grocery store.</p> <p>Rather than dutifully scooping the same old meats, fruits, and veggies into your cart every week, use the sales to determine what you buy. Choose items that are on special and work them into a flexible meal plan. This kind of shopping has gotten even easier with websites like <a href="http://punchfork.com/" target="_blank">PunchFork.com</a>, which allows you to enter an ingredient or two and find tons of illustrated recipes that'll fit the bill.</p> <p><strong>Lack of Research</strong></p> <p>Doing a little research in local flyers before hitting the shops can be a great way to shave a few dollars off your food bills. Chances are there are a few grocery stores in your area, so you can often decide which one to visit based on what you need.</p> <p>When I want to stock up on canned tomatoes, pasta, and dried beans, I often head to my local Italian market, where there's a broad selection of these items at a lower price than at other stores. When I want to stock up on rice and noodles, I visit the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-save-a-bundle-on-your-groceries-consider-you-local-asian-market">Asian market</a>. If you know which stores have the best prices on certain items, you can visit them intermittently to stock up, and decide where to shop that week based on what you need the most.</p> <p><strong>Lack of Math Skills</strong></p> <p>Grocery stores couldn't possibly make comparing prices more confusing.</p> <p>Fortunately, most of us now carry a pocket calculator in the form of a smartphone with us wherever we go. This makes calculating unit prices much faster, and, unless you're a math whiz, probably more accurately, too. There are even a few apps that'll do all the work for you, such as <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=leoliang.unitpricecompare&amp;hl=en" target="_blank">Unit Price Compare</a> for Android or the <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/compareme-shopping-utility/id300814524?mt=8" target="_blank">CompareMe Shopping Utility</a> for iPhone.</p> <h2>Time: One More Thing Worth Saving</h2> <p>Once while browsing canned tomatoes, an old woman sidled up beside me.</p> <p>&quot;You can't buy those,&quot; she hissed, before telling me the same tomatoes were 25 cents cheaper at a store across town.</p> <p>I bought the tomatoes. I'm all for saving money, but we all have to decide when the savings just aren't worth <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-pay-in-time">the price of our <em>time</em></a>.</p> <p>Perfecting your grocery shopping strategy doesn't have to mean avoiding all the snacks you love or spending all weekend clipping coupons. In fact, how far you go is entirely up to you. After all, being frugal is about more than just saving money, it's about living well on less. And that, in my opinion, is all about balance.</p> <p><em>How are you saving money at the grocery store?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-pay-more-at-the-grocery-store-and-how-to-stop">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-big-at-these-4-discount-supermarkets">Save Big at These 4 Discount Supermarkets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-not-to-buy-at-a-farmers-market">What NOT to Buy at a Farmers Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-lessons-i-learned-from-aldi">5 Frugal Lessons I Learned From Aldi</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping bulk shopping convenience groceries on a budget Wed, 20 Feb 2013 11:24:31 +0000 Tara Struyk 967800 at http://www.wisebread.com Extreme Couponing? 5 Reasons Why I’ll Pass. http://www.wisebread.com/extreme-couponing-5-reasons-why-i-ll-pass <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/extreme-couponing-5-reasons-why-i-ll-pass" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000015191372Small.jpg" alt="coupons! coupons! coupons!" title="coupons! coupons! coupons!" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&rsquo;s the latest, greatest (although that&rsquo;s debatable) topic around the water cooler. A show called &quot;Extreme Couponing&quot; highlights people who buy hundreds of dollars worth of produce from the grocery store and pay for 95% of it with free coupons. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-best-deals-coupons-sites">50 Best Deals and Coupon Sites</a>)</p> <p>I hear this all the time:</p> <p>&ldquo;It was amazing! The bill came to $894, and they paid like $12 after coupons!&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Really? No way!!!&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Yeah, I&rsquo;m so doing this now!&rdquo;</p> <p>Now, is that true? Yes, it is. I have seen people walk to the counter with shopping carts full of stuff, and they only have $50 in their purse. They come out with change.</p> <p>But here&rsquo;s another truth. Your average shopper is not going to walk into a store with a bag full of coupons and walk out with their week's worth of groceries for a fraction of the price. Extreme couponing, like anything else that seems too good to be true, has a few catches involved. And they&rsquo;re not small catches either.</p> <h3>1. It&rsquo;s a Full-Time Commitment</h3> <p>You can&rsquo;t clip a few coupons on Sunday and expect your next shopping bill to be 90% less. If that were the case, everyone would do it and most manufacturers would go out of business very quickly.</p> <p>This takes a lot of time, patience, organization, research, and dedication. You have to stockpile hundreds of copies of the weekly coupon circulars. You need to know when things are going on sale and when the stores are doubling coupons. You need to know more about the products in the grocery stores than the managers of those stores. And even then, when you are that buttoned up, it&rsquo;s not what you&rsquo;d expect.</p> <h3>2. You&nbsp;Have to Stockpile a LOT of Stuff</h3> <p>All of these extreme couponing people, without exception, have filled their homes with mountains of products.</p> <p>I saw a lady buying 77 bottles of mustard because she had 77 coupons for them. My family uses maybe two bottles a year. Yours may use four per year. They may use one every month. It will still takes years to get through them all. But every time they are featured in a coupon, the bottles come home. Does anyone need hundreds of bottles of mustard? I know I don&rsquo;t.</p> <p>One woman has a grocery store in her basement, stocked with hundreds of bottles of laundry detergent, ketchup, mouthwash, toothbrushes, and all sorts of other stuff. The rest of her family comes to shop in the basement for free. Great for them. But are you prepared to devote all of your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-awesome-storage-solutions-for-under-10">storage space</a> to products you never have a hope of using, just to save money?</p> <h3>3. You Become a Slave to Coupons</h3> <p>Imagine waking in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. You realize, to your horror, that you didn&rsquo;t use a coupon. It&rsquo;s double coupon day too! That means the store is actually paying you to take a bottle of Aspirin. So you drive to the store in your PJs and pick it up. Yes! A free bottle of Aspirin and 12 cents in change.</p> <p>I, for one, am not prepared to give up my life to coupons. But this is what happens. It&rsquo;s sad to say that extreme couponers are addicts. You just have to look at what they put into it and what they get out of it, plus the stress they go through if they don&rsquo;t get a coupon or spend it.</p> <p>Like any other addiction, that, to me, is not healthy. People who spend most of their time at the gym may look healthy, but they&rsquo;re addicted to the rush of the workout. And that&rsquo;s unhealthy, too. So just because they&rsquo;re saving money, it doesn&rsquo;t mean it&rsquo;s a good addiction to have. The rush they feel when they see the register start chalking up the discounts is the same rush you see on the faces of people at slot machines. They&rsquo;re hooked on savings, regardless of what it is they&rsquo;re actually saving money on.</p> <h3>4. You Spend Hours at the Grocery Store</h3> <p>Hours and hours. Way more than an average shopper. And when the time comes to check out, you&rsquo;re about to become very unpopular, because everything has to be checked out in the right order to get the maximum discounts. You may even have to split your order into separate loads to make it work. Life is short. Don&rsquo;t spend it all in the grocery buying 58 bottles of shampoo.</p> <h3>5. You Are Taking Much More Than You Need</h3> <p>Here&rsquo;s something that really got to me. On a recent episode, a woman discovered that she was basically being paid to take product out of the store. The double coupon meant that she&rsquo;d get credit back to spend on other things. That part is smart.</p> <p>But here&rsquo;s the selfish part. She cleared the store of ibuprofen. Boxes and boxes of it went into her cart. Thanks to her, no one else was getting it that day, or that week depending on when the shelves are restocked. And that happens a lot with these extreme couponers. They clear out the shelves to take advantage of coupons.</p> <p>What happens to all the stuff they take? Does it get used? Does it expire and get <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/waste-not-want-not-stop-throwing-away-your-food">thrown away</a>? Does it get given away? It&rsquo;s just consumerism gone awry. By all means, get the stuff you need for cheap or free. But 77 bottles of mustard? 100 bottles of medicine? All the canned dog food in the aisle? It&rsquo;s greed. Pure greed.</p> <p>Yes, I know I will get naysayers on this one, but this is sickening in so many ways. Watching these people devote their lives to coupons, buying more than they need, and losing sleep over a few bucks, it&rsquo;s madness.</p> <p>I&rsquo;m all for saving money and using coupons, but you can take things too far. This is just depressing.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extreme-couponing-5-reasons-why-i-ll-pass">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easiest-ways-to-score-free-ebooks">5 Easiest Ways to Score Free eBooks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-100s-next-month-with-these-10-grocery-shopping-tips">Save $100s Next Month With These 10 Grocery Shopping Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-places-to-get-coupons-online">The Best Places to Get Coupons Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/double-coupons-they-could-cost-you">Double Coupons – They Could Cost You!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-real-reason-we-still-spend-to-impress">The Real Reason We Still Spend to Impress</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Entertainment Shopping bulk shopping coupons extreme couponing Mon, 16 May 2011 10:36:27 +0000 Paul Michael 541642 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 One-Size-Fits-All Spending Tips That Don’t Really Fit Everyone http://www.wisebread.com/5-one-size-fits-all-spending-tips-that-don-t-really-fit-everyone <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-one-size-fits-all-spending-tips-that-don-t-really-fit-everyone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/latte_spending_tips.jpg" alt="Latte" title="Latte" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="160" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It&rsquo;s a new year, and you&rsquo;re prepared for the onslaught of financial tips aimed at helping you turn over a new leaf, form a resolution, and help your finances enter a period of recovery. But what if you&rsquo;re doing OK? Is the advice necessary, relevant, or even useful? These five tips seem to be popping up EVERYWHERE, but before you drop your current successful personal finance habits in lieu of these common suggestions, make sure they will meet your personal budget needs.</p> <h3>Common Tip #1: Shred Those Credit Cards</h3> <p>This is one that is really starting to bug me. I know that for those with spending problems or who can&rsquo;t pay off their debts in a responsible way, a credit card is the ultimate in temptation. (I&rsquo;ve been there. I understand.) For those who have managed to keep their credit cards as a part of a healthy financial portfolio, however, there is no need to slice and dice your plastic.</p> <p>Small business owners and the self-employed especially will find the liquidity of a line of credit to not only be necessary at times; it can actually be profitable. By putting my groceries, gas, and small business costs on my credit cards, I earn enough points each month to easily keep my printer ink and post-it notes fully stocked. (And I never pay interest.)</p> <h3>Common Tip #2: Shop Less</h3> <p>Impulse buys can kill the budget, so it makes sense that the more shopping trips you make, the more likely you could be to spend unnecessarily. Add in the cost of fuel for your vehicle (and time away from home and family), and multiple shopping trips a week can be a bad idea. But they can also be an awesome way to realize some personal finance dreams.</p> <p>My family is hoping to store up three months of non-perishables as part of an emergency planning goal, and this can only be done by faithfully hitting our local stores to purchase their loss leaders each and every time they offer them. With limits set for the 99 cent bags of flour and 25 cent canned veggies, it&rsquo;s necessary to visit the store at least once a week in order to be sure that our family of seven has enough for the next power outage, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-do-today-to-prepare-for-a-pandemic-flu">pandemic flu</a>, tornado, or period of ridiculous inflation. If we stay on target, buying only what we came for, it can work in our favor, and by combining trips with outings we already have scheduled, we aren&rsquo;t spending more than a few pennies for the extra fuel to drive around the parking lot.</p> <h3>Common Tip #3: Skip the Latte</h3> <p>I will never follow the &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-keeping-your-latte-factor-will-help-you-save-money">latte factor</a>&quot; &mdash; not in a million years.&nbsp;This mom of five rarely indulges in anything.&nbsp;(In fact, I&rsquo;ve never even had a manicure.) By choosing a simple lifestyle void of a single pair of designer shoes and less than two dinners out per year, you can&rsquo;t possibly deny me the right to make my own Starbucks lattes at home (via my Tassimo brewer) or to drive through the Scooter&rsquo;s Java lane on my way home from grocery shopping.&nbsp;We all have our little indulgences, and as long as my bills are paid, I&rsquo;ll continue to drink my coffee.</p> <h3>Common Tip #4: Cut the Land Line</h3> <p>This is another cliché money-saving tip that drives me to insanity. Living 10 miles from the nearest anything leaves me feeling a bit vulnerable out in the middle of rural Nebraska. My cell phone works sometimes, and my internet works less often. By asking me to cut my land line, you&rsquo;re suggesting that I&rsquo;m OK with having my access to an ambulance or police officer limited by the weather or my internet provider&rsquo;s whims. At $19 a month for a line, it&rsquo;s well worth the cost to keep it (and possibly save someone&rsquo;s life, if needed).</p> <h3>Common Tip #5: Take a Staycation</h3> <p>It think it&rsquo;s great that some people have found a way to enjoy their summer or winter break in the comfort and privacy of their own homes, without the cost of travel and with their loved ones surrounding them. When it comes to my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/america-is-the-no-vacation-nation">vacation</a>, however, I&rsquo;m getting the heck out of town. I work from home with my husband and homeschool my five kids. There is no way I am going to fool myself into thinking that camping in the backyard or playing board games is the same as going somewhere warm and letting the kids swim while I sit down for longer than 10 minutes. I know that I&rsquo;ll pay a premium for this privilege, but I feel like it&rsquo;s worth it. For less than $1,500, I can rent a van, drive across the country, and stay in a nice family hotel with an indoor water park and buffet meals. I&rsquo;m definitely budgeting this in!</p> <p>I love that people are individuals, uniquely made to have their own gifts, passions, and personalities. I think our personal finance choices will (and should) reflect that. We&rsquo;ve already covered some of your pet-peevey <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-the-readers-what-money-advice-are-you-sick-of-chance-to-win-20">financial advice that you&rsquo;re tired of hearing</a>. <em>Do you have any others?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-one-size-fits-all-spending-tips-that-don-t-really-fit-everyone">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-money-resource-book-the-finish-rich-dictionary-book-review">A Money Resource Book: The Finish Rich Dictionary (Book Review)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-retirement-latte">The Retirement Latte</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-limits-of-small-economies">The Limits of Small Economies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-escape-the-paycheck-to-paycheck-cycle">How to Escape the Paycheck-to-Paycheck Cycle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-easy-ways-to-wake-up-richer-tomorrow-than-you-are-today">12 Easy Ways to Wake Up Richer Tomorrow Than You Are Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance bulk shopping credit card cancellation Latte Factor staycations Tue, 11 Jan 2011 13:00:10 +0000 Linsey Knerl 447995 at http://www.wisebread.com