saving money http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/165/all en-US 7 DIY Crafts That Will Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/7-diy-crafts-that-will-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-diy-crafts-that-will-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_diy_clothes_000054462560.jpg" alt="Woman using diy crafts to save money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It seems obvious that making and doing things yourself will save you money. But some projects require so many supplies that they aren't realistic to take on, and sometimes manufacturers are simply able to make things cheaper.</p> <p>The seven <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects">DIY crafts</a> below, however, are not only rewarding and fun, but can also save you cash.</p> <h2>1. Sewing</h2> <p>I'm sure you've heard this before, but sewing is the mother of all money-saving crafts. Even with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-basic-sewing-tricks-that-will-save-you-money">basic hand sewing skills</a>, you can salvage damaged clothes and sew on missing buttons, adding many miles to your wardrobe. With a sewing machine and a little knowledge, you can alter clothing for fit and hem long curtains, skipping a trip to the tailor and saving real money. Acquire even more knowledge and skill, and you can make your own curtains, bags, placemats, napkins, pillows, clothes, and more. Not only can you make home decor and clothing items specifically to your taste and specifications, you bypass the costs that come with brand names and have control over the quality.</p> <h2>2. Candle Making</h2> <p>You might be surprised at how easy and affordable it is to <a href="http://www.candletech.com/candle-making/how-to-make-container-candles/">make your very own candles</a>. If you're a candle fanatic or enjoy giving them as gifts, then add a very personal touch while saving big bucks by making your own. Start by using upcycled containers, like jelly jars for medium-sized container candles and shot glasses for votives. Soy wax is often the easiest wax to start with, and look for wax that is made for container candles. Buy pre-tabbed wicks that match the size of your container and type of wax. Otherwise, you'll just need an old metal pot or kettle, another pot for double boiling, a candy or craft thermometer, glue tabs or a glue gun, clothespins, and fragrance or dye if desired. You only have to make a few candles to offset the cost of the supplies, and you've got unique and fun candles for your home and to give to friends.</p> <h2>3. Homemade Cards</h2> <p>I am always surprised by the high prices of cards at the store. It's common to find cards for upwards of $5 now, and you're paying for what amounts to a mass-produced piece of paper. Rather than spend time reading way too many cards trying to find just the right one, <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/275212/all-occasion-cards/@center/276974/card-making-center">make your own cards</a> at home. You can tailor each card to the recipient and please your own aesthetic, all while saving money. Buy a pack of blank cards and envelopes &mdash; often similar to the price of one fancy greeting card &mdash; and decorate them with stamps, drawings, ribbon, photographs, and more. Get creative and have fun with it! Your friends and family will appreciate the personal touch.</p> <h2>4. Floral Arranging</h2> <p>Floral arranging is more than just a craft, it's an art. Using simple floral tricks is a fun way to save money while decorating your home or giving a gift. Turn grocery store flowers into <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/affordable-flowers-for-valentines-day-or-any-day">lovely floral arrangements</a> with the help of a vase, some know-how, and some optional embellishments. Try using foraged greenery to fill out arrangements, rather than spending money on fern fronds and eucalyptus at the store.</p> <p>Step your decorating game up a notch and <a href="http://thehort.org/blog/2013/12/diy-make-your-own-wreath.html">make your own wreath</a> to hang proudly on your door. During the holidays, I pick up the free cuttings at the Christmas tree stand down the street, and use the branches, a pair of gardening shears, and some wire or florist foam to make my own wreath that lasts for weeks. In the spring, use foraged twigs and dried flowers. You can also make wreaths out of lots of non-plant items, such as burlap, ribbon, ornaments, and more!</p> <h2>5. Quilting</h2> <p>A great quilt is a piece of art, and often represents hours and hours of labor. If you're in need of a new bed cover or want to give a quilt as a gift, don't worry! You don't have to spend tons of time, energy, and fabric money in order to make a great quilt. Save big by using recycled fabric from shirts, sheets, and scraps. Fill out the rest of your quilt with on-sale fabric, and choose a simple pattern. A baby blanket makes a thoughtful gift for an expecting mother, a bed cover is a nice newlywed present, and a homemade blanket is good gift for pretty much everyone.</p> <h2>6. Framing</h2> <p>A custom frame can often out-price the art inside, and that just seems wrong. You can pick up cheap poster frames at the store, but they are typically poor quality, can be unprofessional looking, and don't come in every possible size. If you enjoy hanging art and photos around your house, or want to give framed items as gifts, consider <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Picture-Frame">learning framing</a>. You'll need a few supplies, but many of them are already part of well-stocked tool box. Framing your own photos makes the size, materials, style, and color totally customizable. You can mat your work with all sorts of fun materials, or just create a simple box frame. It's the best way to get your art looking just right without emptying your wallet.</p> <h2>7. Painting</h2> <p>It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do for a whole lot of household things. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-ways-to-use-spray-paint-for-cheap-and-easy-decorating">A paint job</a> can breath new life into furniture, rugs, table cloths, frames, vases, and more. It also requires a relatively small amount of supplies, know-how, and work. Does your coffee table need a little love? Instead of kicking it to the curb, give it a good sanding, cleaning, and then spray or paint it a fresh new color. Add some pizzazz to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think">rug or tablecloth</a> with a pop of color and design. Rather than spending money on a set of matching picture frames, pick up an assortment of wood frames at the thrift store and spray paint them to match. Or get inspired, and paint some new art work for your walls. Even blocks of color can make a fun statement.</p> <p><em>What crafts do you enjoy?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-diy-crafts-that-will-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects">18 Awesome, Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</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/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</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/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think">18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">25 Gifts You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-fantastic-uses-for-apples">23 Fantastic Uses for Apples</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY crafts creating home saving money Tue, 26 May 2015 17:00:25 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1431049 at http://www.wisebread.com The 12 Best Frozen Food Values http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-best-frozen-food-values <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-12-best-frozen-food-values" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/frozen_fruit_raspberries_000038545662.jpg" alt="Frozen raspberries that are one of many frozen food values" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many people only stop in the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-frugal-foods-you-should-always-have-in-your-freezer">frozen aisle</a> for ice cream and a selection of TV dinners, but there's more to this section of the grocery for value seekers. Frozen food offers real convenience, variety, and savings. Items are typically ready-to-cook, they have a much longer shelf life than their fresh counterparts, and are available year-round. Produce is typically frozen at its peak, sealing in nutrients and flavor.</p> <p>Many items are simply cheaper frozen, and many others offer real value because of their ease and longevity. This includes the 12 items below &mdash; stock your freezer with these smart buys and save some cold, hard cash.</p> <h2>1. Berries</h2> <p>Frozen fruit is typically a good deal across the board, and this is definitely true with berries. While price checking at my local grocery, the savings were most noticeable with blueberries. Fresh ones were 66 cents an ounce, while frozen were a mere 25 cents. Strawberries, cranberries, and raspberries are also great values. They are washed and frozen at their peak, and the quality is consistent all year. Fresh berries also tend to go bad quickly, and freezing eliminates that problem while locking-in nutrients.</p> <p>Frozen berries are especially handy for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-superfood-smoothies-for-a-better-morning">making smoothies</a> (they actually work better than fresh), pancakes, muffins, and other baked goods.</p> <h2>2. Fish</h2> <p>Many shoppers gravitate toward the fresh fish counter when shopping for seafood, but few know that in the U.S., most fish must be frozen before being sold, in order to kill germs. Since this means the &quot;fresh&quot; fish has already been frozen and defrosted, why not buy it still frozen? Fish is often frozen when it has just been caught, keeping it as fresh as possible. The price difference is also huge. At our grocery, wild-caught salmon was 75 cents an ounce at the fresh counter, and only 30 cents an ounce for frozen, individual filets. Similar savings can be found for cod and other fish.</p> <h2>3. Shrimp</h2> <p>The same deal goes for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/70-scrumptious-shrimp-recipes">buying shrimp</a>. You could pay big prices for shrimp that's already been frozen anyway, or you can just buy it frozen and save big. We found frozen shrimp for almost 60% cheaper than the &quot;fresh&quot; version, and there were lots of options, as well. Find various sizes, shelled and unshelled, de-veined, and cooked varieties in your frozen food aisle.</p> <h2>4. Pizza</h2> <p>The frozen pizza section seems to get bigger and bigger, and varieties have greatly expanded beyond Bagel Bites and Digiorno (don't worry, those are still on offer). When comparing prices to the &quot;fresh,&quot; pre-made (uncooked) pizzas that they sell in the deli section of the grocery, frozen is a much better buy. During our trip, the deli pizzas were $7, while comparable frozen pizzas were as little as $4. They also offered more options on toppings, types of crust, and some healthier choices. Frozen pizza is also worth considering over delivery, since many chains have started using frozen pizzas anyway. There's no wait, no tip, and they are typically cheaper.</p> <h2>5. Mango</h2> <p>If you find mangos to be especially hard to pick at the store and a little difficult to cut up, we can relate. Frozen mango eliminates these problems, since they are perfectly ripe and cut before being flash frozen. Mango is an excellent smoothie fruit, so buying the frozen version is a no-brainer. Ounce for ounce, mango also tends to be cheaper when bought this way, and unless you live someplace tropical, the quality is higher.</p> <h2>6. Spinach</h2> <p>This nutrient-dense green vegetable is one of the better deals in the frozen food aisle. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-tasty-ways-to-use-frozen-spinach">Frozen spinach</a> is offered chopped and whole, in bags and in boxes. It's a perfect solution if you're planning to wilt your spinach anyway in dishes like soup, stew, quiche, or other hot items. It's also a great way to keep greens handy without them quickly going bad in your crisper, and will save you money, too.</p> <h2>7. Corn</h2> <p>Frozen corn is a freezer essential. It's amazingly cheap &mdash; just 9 cents an ounce at our store &mdash; and comes in handy at dinnertime. As opposed to opening up a can of corn, you can use a little or a lot and throw the rest of the bag back in the freezer without wasting any food. Corn is perfect for adding to soups, salsa, and more, and because the kernels are so small, it doesn't need lots of defrost time.</p> <h2>8. Burritos</h2> <p>While doing price comparisons at the grocery store, we found frozen burritos for just 33 cents a piece. Prices like that practically harken back to the 1950s, and are hard to beat today. Plus, they only require a quick ride in the microwave before eating. Our store offered dozens of flavors and brands, and a number of healthier options ranging from $1&ndash;$4. They're a great item to keep in the freezer as a last minute quick meal or snack. Unless you have time to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheaper-and-healthier-than-store-bought-10-great-freeze-ahead-burrito-recipes">freeze your own burritos</a>, of course.</p> <h2>9. Broccoli</h2> <p>When shopping in the frozen food aisle, you can find broccoli for as little as $1 a pound. It's a great deal regardless, but when you consider that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-ways-to-prepare-frozen-broccoli">frozen broccoli</a> is already cut up and only includes florets, it becomes an even better deal when compared pound for pound with fresh. It's great for steaming or adding to curries and stir frys. It's also super convenient, since it's already washed, cut, and good to go.</p> <h2>10. Juice Concentrates</h2> <p>More often than not, when you look at your carton of orange juice or container of lemonade, it says &quot;from concentrate.&quot; You can buy that concentrate in the frozen food aisle for a fraction of the cost, mix it with water, and you have the same thing for cheaper! These concentrates are especially good for making big batches of lemonade, punches, or fruit tea for gatherings. They'll also last in your freezer, so you will have everything you need to serve up a cold, fruity drink at a moment's notice.</p> <h2>11. Waffles</h2> <p>There's a reason that many of us grew up eating frozen waffles &mdash; they are cheap, easy, and quick. When feeding a family that's rushing out the door for school and work, it just makes sense. Now there are more options than ever, with whole grain and gluten-free varieties offered. They cost less than 50 cents per waffle, and even though mixing up and making waffles yourself would be cheaper in the long run, it's not by much, and the time saved is valuable. Add some fruit and yogurt for a complete breakfast for about $1 a serving.</p> <h2>12. Puff Pastry</h2> <p>To make a gourmet dessert with a low budget and almost no effort, turn to the freezer aisle. Puff pastry takes skill and hours to make, but the frozen variety bakes beautifully and is sure to impress. Use it to make flaky tarts, napoleons, or turnovers. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-easy-and-impressive-frozen-puff-pastry-recipes">Puff pastry</a> is also great for savory dishes like chicken pot pie. Even the most skilled home cooks use it, since making your own is unreasonable for most people, and the frozen version is almost as good.</p> <p><em>What frozen foods are staples in your kitchen? </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-best-frozen-food-values">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-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch">5 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries in a Pinch</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/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars">20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/supermarket-savings">Supermarket Savings Guide</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/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping Cooking frozen foods groceries saving money Thu, 21 May 2015 17:00:19 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1424543 at http://www.wisebread.com Always Buy Airfare on Tuesdays and 7 Other Calendar Shopping Secrets http://www.wisebread.com/always-buy-airfare-on-tuesdays-and-7-other-calendar-shopping-secrets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/always-buy-airfare-on-tuesdays-and-7-other-calendar-shopping-secrets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_000026548068.jpg" alt="Woman using calendar shopping secrets to find good deals" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ever wonder if there's a rhyme or reason to the retail game? Well, there is, and it often involves knowing <em>when </em>to buy. Reverse your losing streak and start winning by buying these items on certain days of the week.</p> <h2>1. Airfare</h2> <p>It seems like everyone has an opinion about the best time to purchase airfare, but the general consensus seems to be that Tuesdays are you best bet to pick up a ticket for your next jet-setting vacay.</p> <p>&quot;Airlines post sales on Monday evening which make other airlines scramble to match prices on Tuesday morning. By 3 p.m. on Tuesday, the unbelievable deals are gone, but those sales may last for a few more days,&quot; writes My Dollar Plan.</p> <p>ABC News also weighed in on the subject of <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/best-days-shop-save-electronics-clothing-airfare-groceries/story?id=24515725">cheap airfare</a>, citing CheapOair.com, which said that purchases can save up to $236 on average on Tuesdays &mdash; while Fare Compare is much more specific, claiming that the lowest prices are typically found at 3 p.m. EST on Tuesdays.</p> <p>CNN took a different approach to find out the best average time to <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2015/02/11/pf/best-time-to-buy-airfare/">book your cheapest plane ticket</a>. &quot;CheapAir.com analyzed nearly 5 million trips last year and found the best prices for domestic airfare were booked, on average, 47 days ahead of the departure date. The year before, the sweet spot was 54 days,&quot; it says. Forbes backs up that assessment by generalizing that the <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/grantmartin/2014/12/09/best-days-to-book-flights-are-tuesdays-50-100-days-before-travel-expedia-study-concludes/">best time to buy airfare</a> is 50 to 100 days before the trip.</p> <h2>2. Electronics</h2> <p>In the market for a new computer? DVD player? Flatscreen TV? Tell the boss you'll be a little late on Monday because you've got some shopping to do.</p> <p>According to the Huffington Post, &quot;Online manufactures and retailers offer cheaper deals for computers, TVs, cameras, video games, and other electronics on Mondays.&quot;</p> <p>Consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch confirmed to ABC News that Mondays are the best time to buy electronics, such as cellphones and tablets, because that's the day manufacturers release rebates and discounts and the retailers pass them on to customers.</p> <h2>3. Jewelry</h2> <p>Lifehacker says that Wednesdays are the best day of the week to buy jewelry, because &quot;...apparently women tend to shop in the middle of the week, so online jewelry prices start dropping on Wednesdays and sales on accessories continue on Thursday.&quot;</p> <p>That statement isn't entirely scientific, of course, but <em>Time</em> magazine substantiates it with research that suggests that jewelry is at it lowest on Wednesdays.</p> <h2>4. Groceries</h2> <p>You might expect Mondays to be the best day to go grocery shopping &mdash; because who wants to go grocery shopping on Monday &mdash; but it's actually Wednesday when you'll score the best deals.</p> <p>DailyFinance says it's more economical to shop mid-week because Wednesday is the day that many supermarkets release new sale ads, but also honor the previous week's sale items. Take advantage of that tidbit and you could walk away with double the savings.</p> <p>On the other hand, however, My Dollar Plan and U.S. News &amp; World Report both claim that Sundays are the day you should do your food shopping because that's when new coupons appear in the newspaper.</p> <p>So who's right?</p> <p>Let's say that nobody's wrong &mdash; both days have their merits &mdash; but Wednesdays take the lead in the &quot;best day to grocery shop&quot; category.</p> <p>Just steer clear of the supermarket on Saturdays, which research shows is the busiest grocery-shopping day of the week.</p> <h2>5. Cars</h2> <p>Many websites agree that Monday is the best day of the week to buy a car.</p> <p>&quot;Coming off of a less than impressive weekend, any sales they can get to temper their unimpressive performance are gladly taken, but sometimes the opposite is true,&quot; explains My Dollar Plan. &quot;If the dealership had a big sale and the results were impressive, they may be more likely to make the same deals to people they met over the weekend. Sort of an icing on the cake as they look at their sales numbers.&quot;</p> <p>But wait &mdash; there's more&hellip;</p> <p>The best month to a buy a new car, according to Fox Business News and ABC News based on data from TrueCar, is August. Reasoning suggests that August buyers benefit from changeovers in model years, which used to come in September and October.</p> <p>And for the absolute, very best day to buy a car, you'll want to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-years-best-day-to-buy-a-car-is-approaching-2013-12-09">shop on New Year's Eve</a>. That's right, you'll have to put your party plans on hold if you want to score serious savings, according to MarketWatch &mdash; though you can still save a bundle anytime between the day after Christmas and Jan. 2.</p> <h2>6. Major Appliances</h2> <p>You've probably noticed a pattern emerging that weekdays are the best days to save on a lot of item, which is just typical isn't it? Who has time to shop Monday to Friday!?</p> <p>Rest assured that major-appliance manufacturers are tapped into your schedule, with Saturday and Sunday being the best days to reduce the cost of washers, dryers, refrigerators, and more.</p> <p>For good measure, Home Depot accepts competitor coupons. You can find an abundance of low-priced Lowe's coupons on eBay (that's how coveted they are; people are selling them online), primarily for 10% of your purchase.</p> <h2>7. Gas</h2> <p>You might think the gas gods are against you &mdash; always raising the price-per-gallon when you feel the pinch the most &mdash; but you might be surprised to learn that the industry is (sort of) in your corner.</p> <p>According to GasBuddy, the best days of the week to <a href="https://blog.gasbuddy.com/posts/GasBuddy-Study-Finds-Best-Day-for-Motorists-to-Fill-Up/1715-562509-2244.aspx">buy the cheapest gasoline</a> are actually on the weekend. Shocker, huh?</p> <p>&quot;Surprisingly, many states see the lowest gasoline prices for the week during the weekend, which may come as a surprise to many motorists,&quot; said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with GasBuddy.</p> <h2>8. Clothing</h2> <p>The early bird gets the worm when it comes to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/101-ways-to-save-money-on-clothes">new clothes</a>, and if you want the pick of the litter, you better show up on Wednesdays or Thursdays.</p> <p>Margie Cader, spokeswoman for Shop It To Me, says that retailers <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Business/best-days-buy/story?id=23128573#4">add new sale merchandise</a> on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, so if you want to take advantage of new markdowns, Thursday is the ideal time to strike, according to ABC News.</p> <p>Catey Hill, a consumer reporter for MarketWatch, confirms Cader's assessment to Marketplace.</p> <p>&quot;They're hoping people will go shopping on Friday or Saturday, so they <a href="http://www.marketplace.org/topics/your-money/ask-money/best-days-week-shop">release the deals</a> on Wednesday or Thursday in preparation for the weekend. But there are so many avid couponers that are like, 'Oh deal's released, I'm getting this right now!' that by the time Saturday has rolled around the inventory is much more picked through,&quot; she says.</p> <p><em>Do you have insider knowledge on items that are cheaper to buy on certain days of the week? Let us know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/always-buy-airfare-on-tuesdays-and-7-other-calendar-shopping-secrets">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-shouldnt-order-on-amazon">5 Things You Shouldn&#039;t Order on Amazon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-outlet-shopping-hacks-that-will-save-you-big">10 Outlet Shopping Hacks That Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/for-the-best-deals-of-the-year-shop-labor-day-and-skip-black-friday">For the Best Deals of the Year, Shop Labor Day and Skip Black Friday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stupid-shopping-mistakes-even-smart-people-make">10 Stupid Shopping Mistakes Even Smart People Make</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/tips-for-perimeter-perusing-at-target">Tips for Perimeter Perusing at Target</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping clearance discounts sales saving money Wed, 20 May 2015 17:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1424425 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Unexpected Ways Stay-at-Home Parents Save Big http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_and_son_000015641889.jpg" alt="Mother saving big by being stay-at-home parent" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you a stay-at-home parent? Or are you perhaps considering becoming one? It's a scary jump &mdash; and that's something I understand personally. There are a number of factors I considered before leaving the full-time working world to stay home with my daughter almost four years ago. But thankfully, there are ways to find unexpected savings just by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-legit-ways-for-stay-at-home-moms-and-dads-to-earn-some-extra-cash">staying home</a>. Here are an important few to consider as you prepare your new budget:</p> <h2>1. Work Wardrobe</h2> <p>Of course, we all want to look nice and be fashionable. But when you stay home, there's less pressure to maintain up-to-date work clothing and other sets of wardrobes. Not only that, you can also experiment with second-hand shops for your family's clothing. I'll admit, it feels strange to see my closet shift from workwear to mostly casual duds. At the same time, I've been able to adopt a more minimalist approach with my apparel. It's saved us lots of money, at least several hundred dollars a year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe?ref=seealso">8 Essential Pieces for Your Capsule Wardrobe</a>)</p> <h2>2. Meals Out</h2> <p>When I worked my last job at a local university, I would often grab lunch in the union or elsewhere around campus. Little by little, the dollars added up. I'd spend $25 a week (okay, probably more) when I had plenty of food spoiling at home. Dinners, too, would present challenges. All too often, I'd find myself getting out of work late and browsing a takeout menu.</p> <p>Staying at home leaves more hours open for meal planning and cooking. Not only that, you can try out <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-and-money-with-a-monthly-assembly-or-bulk-cooking-weekend">bulk cooking</a>, which saves time and money. You'll also have more motivation to survey your grocery store choices. I love budget stores like Aldi, where I can usually pack a whole cart full of food for less than $100. Every bit counts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-should-never-buy-from-aldi?ref=seealso">10 Things You Should Never Buy From Aldi</a>)</p> <h2>3. Daily Commute</h2> <p>I left my 9-to-5 when gas prices were at their absolute highest. Though my commute wasn't terribly far, I have friends who travel an hour or more to their jobs. All that money on transportation and upkeep is blown away like so much exhaust. Parents who stay home can work to schedule activities and errands to maximize efficiency. In fact, you may even find the opportunity to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/becoming-a-one-car-family-5-points-to-consider">become a one-car family</a> in the process. We've been living this way for the past year. It was challenging at first, but the money back in our pockets (gas, car insurance, maintenance costs, etc.) has made it worthwhile.</p> <h2>4. Daycare Costs</h2> <p>Obviously, if you stay home with your kids, you won't need much or any childcare. Since I do work part-time from home, I have my daughter in a preschool class a few mornings a week to give us both a breather. It's a fraction of the cost of full-time daycare. And I can write-off this expense during tax season. For those of you on the fence, try calculating how much you might spend on full-time childcare. How would this expense impact your monthly budget? My old salary, for example, would have been cut in half or worse, making staying at home a more viable option.</p> <h2>5. Basic Living</h2> <p>I've also found that staying home allows me to return to those <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-old-fashioned-skills-that-save-you-money">old fashioned ways of living</a> and, therefore, saving money. When I was working outside the home, I didn't have the time or desire to make my own cleaning supplies. Now I mix up batches of all-purpose cleaner, homemade <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-diy-laundry-detergent-recipes">laundry detergent</a>, and other scrubs like it's my job. Well, I guess it <em>is</em> my job. You get the idea. Staying home allows me to take better stock of what we're spending and how we might less expensively run our household from the inside out.</p> <h2>6. Free Stuff</h2> <p>During nap times or other breaks, you can take a look around at local calendars to find free activities in your area. I've collected coupons, vouchers, loyalty bonuses, and all other sorts of stuff in a binder. That way, when we're looking for entertainment, I can find fun on a budget. And you'll be surprised by the number of free or low-cost things you'll discover when you have the time to seek them out. We have saved a huge amount of money this way and often spend less than $25 on a weekend. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-entertain-your-kids-for-free?ref=seealso">20 Ways to Entertain Your Kids for Free</a>)</p> <h2>7. Sound Budget</h2> <p>After I left my job, I had more brain cells to focus on our operating budget. As a result, I have an extremely good handle on how much money goes in and out of our home. I'm able to adjust our budget accordingly. This keen attention to detail has been invaluable to us. It's also an action that's allowed me to stay home without feeling as much financial pressure. We no longer waste money on extras, like magazine subscriptions and gym memberships. Overall, we're just more mindful in our spending. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-mindless-ways-youre-spending-money?ref=seealso">10 Mindless Ways You're Spending Money</a>)</p> <p><em>In what ways has being a stay-at-home parent boosted your budget?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-pitfalls-stay-at-home-parents-should-avoid">5 Financial Pitfalls Stay-at-Home Parents Should Avoid</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/5-important-questions-to-ask-before-adding-to-your-family">5 Important Questions to Ask Before Adding to Your Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-sibling-discounts-that-can-save-you-big">6 Sibling Discounts That Can Save You Big</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/save-money-with-a-dependent-care-tax-credit-and-fsa">Save Money with a Dependent Care Tax Credit and FSA</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/zen-and-the-art-of-hiding-money">Zen and the Art of Hiding Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Family child care kids saving money stay-at-home parents Tue, 19 May 2015 23:00:09 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1423350 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Get Your Morning Coffee for Free http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-get-your-morning-coffee-for-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-get-your-morning-coffee-for-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_drinking_coffee_000027559401.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to get their morning coffee for free" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a nation, we drink a lot of coffee. Over half of Americans over 18 years of age drink at least one cup every single day. That equates to over <a href="http://www.e-importz.com/coffee-statistics.php">150 million cups of coffee</a>, and doesn't account for those of us who drink two or more cups. With the average price of a standard coffee coming in at $2.38, that means we're spending $357 million every day on coffee.</p> <p>And yet, there are so many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking-expensive-coffee">ways to get coffee</a> for free! Here is a list of ideas to get you inspired and spending less.</p> <h2>1. Get it From Your Employer</h2> <p>The first idea on the list is almost certainly the most obvious. Many of us are fortunate enough to work at a place that has a kitchen, a coffee maker, and all the coffee we could ever want to drink. It's actually a good move on the part of the business, as a caffeinated workforce is an alert workforce. However, so many people with this free resource decide to go through the drive-thru line at Starbucks before arriving at work, preferring to pay $5 for a coffee loaded with cream and flavorings. Do yourself a favor &mdash; drink the coffee at work. You can always bring in your own flavorings and creamers if you want a more sophisticated taste.</p> <h2>2. Become an Ikea Family Member</h2> <p>If you sign up for Ikea's Family Card, which is free, you are entitled to a <a href="http://info.ikea-usa.com/FAMILY/">free cup of Ikea coffee </a>every day. This is particularly useful on the weekends, when you're out and about running errands. Take advantage of the free coffee (you can also get free tea) and get some shopping in at the same time.</p> <h2>3. Be Extra Nice to Pret A Manger Staff</h2> <p>If you're lucky enough to have a Pret A Manger near you (in the U.S., they're currently located in New York, Chicago, and Washington D.C.), you have a very good chance of getting a free coffee just by turning on the charm. According to the CEO, Clive Schlee, the chain gives away <a href="http://www.dansvilleonline.com/article/20150426/BUSINESS/304269986">28% of its coffee free</a>, based entirely on whether the staff likes you or not. The staff has the right to give away free coffee, and does so to those people who deserve it. If you're nice and polite, you may get one. If you're very attractive as well, you'll almost certainly get one free. If you sneer and snarl, forget it.</p> <h2>4. Pop Into Cost Plus World Market</h2> <p>Every branch of Cost Plus World Market will brew at least one of its coffee varieties every day, and wants you to try them for free. If you have the time, stop by the one nearest you before you go to work, and sample their latest flavors. The cups aren't very big, but there's no reason you can't sample it twice before you leave. It also comes with creamers and sugar or sweeteners.</p> <h2>5. Take Advantage of National Coffee Day</h2> <p>Every September 29th, coffee stores around the U.S. and the world give away millions of cups of free coffee. On that day, check to see who in your area is serving free cups of coffee. They will most likely have a limit on the size of the cup, but you can pop into several on your way to work, or after dropping off the kids at school.</p> <h2>6. Cash in on Loyalty Programs</h2> <p>Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, and Dunkin' Donuts will all reward you with free coffee just by signing up for an online account. Before you go out, create your profile and you'll get a code or printable coupon that you can use to get your free cup of coffee. The unscrupulous among you may even be tempted to create multiple profiles with different e-mail accounts. That's your call.</p> <h2>7. Birthdays = Free Coffee</h2> <p>If it's your birthday, chances are the local coffee stores will happily give you a free cup of your favorite morning pick-me-up. First, check to see if they do give out coupons for birthdays (Dunkin' Donuts definitely does with its Dunkin' Perks program). If they don't, try your luck when you get to the front of the line, and show them your ID. Most of the time, you'll walk away with a free coffee.</p> <h2>8. Swing by a Hotel Lobby</h2> <p>Almost every hotel in the country serves free coffee in the morning, for guests and their visitors. While it may not be entirely ethical to drop into the hotel every day on your way to work for a free cup of joe, hotels put out gallons of coffee every morning, and throw away a lot of it. A few cups here and there won't put anyone's nose out of joint, especially if you are a regular guest of the hotel when you travel for business or pleasure.</p> <p><em>Where do you pick up a free cup of joe?</em></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/8-ways-to-get-your-morning-coffee-for-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-cool-uses-for-your-coffee-maker">11 Cool Uses for Your Coffee Maker</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-12-best-frozen-food-values">The 12 Best Frozen Food Values</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/7-diy-kitchen-skills-that-will-save-you-money">7 DIY Kitchen Skills That Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-creative-uses-for-k-cups">8 Creative Uses for K-Cups</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-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch">5 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries in a Pinch</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Food and Drink coffee freebies saving money Mon, 11 May 2015 17:00:57 +0000 Paul Michael 1414194 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How to Get a Sale Price-Match at 16 Popular Stores http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-get-a-sale-price-match-at-16-popular-stores <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-to-get-a-sale-price-match-at-16-popular-stores" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_000047775914.jpg" alt="Woman getting price adjustments on her purchases" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My family has been trying to save money these past few years by avoiding unnecessary purchases on everything from clothing to toys to electronics. There are times, though, when things break, clothes wear out, or we otherwise find ourselves heading to the store to fill a new need. Best case scenario in this event? Paying the lowest price possible. Over time, I've discovered a few tips and tricks that get us the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-pay-more-guide-to-price-matching-and-cheat-sheet">best price matching</a> and adjustments at a number of popular retailers.</p> <h2>1. Target</h2> <p>If you find a lower price on something you bought within seven days of purchase, you can take advantage of <a href="https://help.target.com/help/subcategoryarticle?childcat=Price+Match+Guarantee&amp;parentcat=Availability+%26+Pricing">Target's price-matching policy</a>. Just bring your receipt to guest services and proof of lower price (from places like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy) via website or printed ad. Price adjustments may also be made before you buy. Note: Any purchases made online are exempt from Target's price-matching policy.</p> <h2>2. Walmart</h2> <p>I've searched Walmart's website for pricing and headed to the store only to find the item more expensive on the shelf. In this event, you can <a href="http://help.walmart.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/31">request a price match</a> in most U.S. states at the register. For other adjustments, bring proof of price to customer service and make sure the item is identical and in stock at the competing store. Walmart also offers its <a href="https://savingscatcher.walmart.com/">Savings Catcher</a> to compare your receipt with local competitor pricing. If there's an opportunity for you to save, you'll get the difference back on an eGift Card.</p> <h2>3. Macy's</h2> <p>Price adjustment requests can be made within 14 days at <a href="https://customerservice.macys.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/266/~/how-can-i-get-a-price-adjustment%3F">Macy's stores</a> nationwide. Money is refunded to your original form of payment, whether cash, debit, or credit. Price changes are only made if the original purchase was made without a coupon, and you must take your item(s) back to the store for the adjustment.</p> <h2>4. Nordstrom</h2> <p>Good news! If you find an item you just bought for less at a competitor's store, Nordstrom will meet that price provided it's the same color and size. Alternatively, if the same item you bought <a href="http://shop.nordstrom.com/c/pricing-policy">goes on sale</a> at a Nordstrom store within 14 days of your purchase, you can easily get the extra taken off your order by bringing your receipt to customer service.</p> <h2>5. GAP, Old Navy, Banana Republic</h2> <p>Keep your receipt to get a <a href="http://oldnavy.gapcanada.ca/customerService/info.do?cid=3317">one-time price adjustment</a> within 14 days of your purchase. Any items you bought using coupons, promotions, or other discounts (clearance, final sale, etc.) are not eligible for changes unless the promotion was free shipping. In addition, price adjustments for items sold online cannot be made in physical store locations.</p> <h2>6. J. Crew</h2> <p>Think fast, because J. Crew gives you just seven days from purchase to take advantage of its <a href="https://www.jcrew.com/help/returns_exchanges.jsp">one-time price adjustments</a>. Items must have been bought at their original prices (no clearance or final sale) and you'll need your receipt. The same policy stands with J. Crew's Factory outlets.</p> <h2>7. Lowe's</h2> <p>My husband and I recently bought a new refrigerator at Lowe's. I noticed it was $3 less at a local competitor, so I asked about the 10% <a href="http://www.lowes.com/cd_everyday+low+prices_787241445_">Price Match Guarantee</a>, and we ended up saving an additional $3 plus $120 on our purchase. The store gives customers a full 30 days to compare prices at local stores and websites &mdash; impressive. Just keep your receipt and bring proof of better pricing to customer service.</p> <h2>8. Home Depot</h2> <p>Not to be outdone, Home Depot offers similar 10% <a href="http://www.homedepot.com/c/SF_MS_In-Store_Low_Price_Guarantee">in-store price matching</a>. This policy, as it goes with many retailers, does not extend to &quot;discontinued, clearance, obsolete, seasonal, or distressed merchandise&quot; at competing stores. Online purchases earn the matching only, minus the additional percentage back.</p> <h2>9. Office Depot</h2> <p>For adjustments at Office Depot, just make sure the item you're requesting a change on is both new and identical at the store across town (or online). You can ask for <a href="http://www.officedepot.com/renderStaticPage.do?file=/customerservice/lowPrice.jsp">price matching</a> before purchase or within 14 days of receipt. The store will even match Amazon and Reliable, though third-party retailers are excluded from this policy.</p> <h2>10. Staples</h2> <p>Likewise, you can <a href="http://www.staples.com/sbd/content/help-center/pricing-and-promotions.html#10003_6">request price adjustments</a> at the time of sale or within 14 days of purchase at Staples stores. This policy excludes any local special events, like grand openings, anniversary sales, and liquidations. In the case of items with free versus paid shipping, Staples will match if both are on the same terms. However, if the store offers free shipping and the competitor's lower priced item does not, shipping charges will apply to the overall matching equation.</p> <h2>11. Toys &quot;R&quot; Us, Babies &quot;R&quot; Us</h2> <p>I bought my daughter a camera at Toys &quot;R&quot; Us earlier this year and was able to get it for the lower Amazon price by asking at customer service. The store's <a href="http://www.toysrus.com/shop/index.jsp?categoryId=11949070">Price Match Guarantee</a> is simple and straightforward. It's valid on in-store purchases only, limited to two items (if you're purchasing several identical toys), and the store's online prices are matched provided they aren't special &quot;online only&quot; promotions. Exclusions include Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals; clearance, closeouts, and flash sales; as well as any pricing that is low due to typographical errors.</p> <h2>12. Bed Bath &amp; Beyond</h2> <p>Any pricing that's lower at direct competitors or online retailers like Amazon will be honored at <a href="http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/static/pricematch">Bed Bath &amp; Beyond stores</a>. This excludes club stores like Sam's Club, BJ's, etc., in addition to pricing that's low due to clearance, closeouts, or limited time quantities. Better yet, a manufacturer's coupon can be used in combination with the price match for even more savings.</p> <h2>13. Kohl's</h2> <p>To get an adjustment, <a href="https://cs.kohls.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/88/~/what-are-price-adjustments%3F">keep your receipt</a> for two weeks after buying anything (original price or sale) from Kohl's to see if the price is lowered. Items bought on Buy One, Get One (BOGO) are excluded from this offer. Kohl's also <a href="https://cs.kohls.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/90/related/1/session/L2F2LzEvdGltZS8xNDI4ODU0NjUwL3NpZC9LNER2b0hqbQ%3D%3D">matches competitor pricing</a> provided you provide a dated ad &mdash; in-store only &mdash; with identical merchandise.</p> <h2>14. Best Buy</h2> <p>Electronics behemoth Best Buy &quot;<a href="http://www.bestbuy.com/site/help-topics/price-match-guarantee/pcmcat297300050000.c?id=pcmcat297300050000">won't be beat on price</a>&quot; &mdash; so you know you can get a good deal. At the time of sale, the store will match local store and online pricing in addition to online retailers like Amazon, B&amp;H Photo Video, Crutchfield, Dell, HP, Newegg, and TigerDirect. Preordered or backordered an item? If its price drops, you will automatically get the lower price. You can also request price adjustments within 15 days of purchase with receipt.</p> <h2>15. Dick's Sporting Goods</h2> <p>I actually live in the town where Dick's Sporting Goods first opened its doors in the late 1940s. Their <a href="http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/shop/index.jsp?categoryId=20675246">Winning Price Guarantee</a> applies to identical items sold at local retail stores. Simply bring in the print or online ad to get the match at the time of sale. Exclusions to this policy include rebates, coupons, clearance, closeouts, BOGOs, and out-of-stock items.</p> <h2>16. Amazon</h2> <p>I had no idea that Amazon <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201133150">offers price-matching</a>. But there's a catch; it's only on televisions and cell phones. All other items on this giant online store are exempt from the policy. Though there's no information about formal price adjustments on the site, I've found several personal accounts for <a href="http://www.onehundreddollarsamonth.com/how-to-get-a-price-adjustment-from-amazon/">how to get a deal</a>. The process involves signing into your Amazon account, clicking the help button, and then chatting with a representative about the change in price you've seen to get your refund. The blogger in the above scenario has only tried this approach within a week of purchase.</p> <p>In the end, I've learned that no matter what or where you're buying, it never hurts to ask about a retailer's price matching or adjustment policy. The worst answer you can get is &quot;no,&quot; and usually you'll be pleasantly surprised by the extra dollars you'll have left in your pocket. Every little bit counts!</p> <p><em>Do you regularly take advantage of retailer price-matches? What's the most you've ever saved?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-get-a-sale-price-match-at-16-popular-stores">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-price-match-policies-you-should-be-wary-of">8 Price Match Policies You Should Be Wary Of</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stupid-shopping-mistakes-even-smart-people-make">10 Stupid Shopping Mistakes Even Smart People Make</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/always-buy-airfare-on-tuesdays-and-7-other-calendar-shopping-secrets">Always Buy Airfare on Tuesdays and 7 Other Calendar Shopping Secrets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-best-frozen-food-values">The 12 Best Frozen Food Values</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-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch">5 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries in a Pinch</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping buying price matching saving money Fri, 08 May 2015 15:00:09 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1410184 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Sibling Discounts That Can Save You Big http://www.wisebread.com/6-sibling-discounts-that-can-save-you-big <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-sibling-discounts-that-can-save-you-big" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_silly_faces_000015279016.jpg" alt="Sibling kids with discounts that can save you big" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a father of three, I can tell you that raising children is one of the toughest, but most rewarding things you'll ever do. But let's be completely honest &mdash; raising a child is expensive. And raising more than one child is <em>really</em> expensive. Raising three or more? Forget about it.</p> <p>But if you do have more than one child, you may have some financial relief available in the form of sibling discounts. Here are six to be aware of.</p> <h2>1. Orthodontist Discount</h2> <p>My son just recently had braces put on his teeth, and the sticker price of over $5,000 was a tough pill to swallow, especially since my younger daughter is also going to need braces in a couple of years. During the appointment with the business manager, I jokingly asked if I could get a sibling discount on my daughter when it's her turn for braces. Surprisingly, she said, &quot;absolutely, we can give you 15% off her orthodontic treatments when she's ready.&quot; Needless to say, I was very happy I asked.</p> <p>The obvious time to ask about a sibling discount is with twins who need braces at the same time. If you don't fall into that category, but have more than one child getting braces in the span of a couple years, be sure to ask right before the second child gets them put on. This technique may also apply to other elective medical procedures, such as acne treatment lasers, and so forth.</p> <h2>2. Summer Camp</h2> <p>My wife and I spend a good chunk of our summer vacation driving our kids to various camps. A few years ago I started inquiring about sibling discounts, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that almost all of them offer something. The size of the discount varies depending on the length of the camp, and whether it's of the overnight variety or not. From my experience, you stand a great chance of getting a 10%-25% discount simply by asking.</p> <h2>3. College Tuition</h2> <p>It you plan on having at least two kids enrolled in college simultaneously, I hope you take advantage of a 529 college savings plan. You should also be aware of college tuition discounts that many institutions offer. George Washington University famously offers a 50% tuition grant for the second student attending at the same time. Many other universities also offer generous sibling discounts. These include Seton Hall, Gonzaga, and Western New England University. Bottom line: Do your research as this could save a big chunk of money, especially with twins or siblings very close in age.</p> <h2>4. Daycare Costs</h2> <p>If you have more than one child in daycare, ask about a sibling discount. While you'll typically have to pay a babysitter more when they watch multiple children, it's not the case at many childcare facilities. Most will offer a sibling discount in the 10%-15% range. If your children are not in &quot;full-time&quot; daycare, the discount will often be less, typically in the 6%-8% off range. Be proactive and ask when registering your kids.</p> <h2>5. Lessons and After-School Activities</h2> <p>Consider all of the activities your kids are involved in after the final school bell rings. A few extra-curriculars that jump to mind include music lessons, gymnastics, swimming lessons, and dance class. I recently cashed-in on a sibling discount when my two daughters started piano lessons with a private instructor. The piano teacher gave us the option of a 15% discount for separate lessons or a 40% discount on a group lesson. You'll typically need to inquire about these discounts, as they're usually not advertised.</p> <h2>6. Tutoring or Coaching</h2> <p>If you have kids involved in any type of tutoring or special coaching, you'll also want to investigate if sibling discounts are applicable. Whether it's academic tutoring or private athletic coaching, you can often get a percentage taken off when one or more of your kids are involved. Feel free to negotiate a better rate directly with the coach or tutor. Most will happily give you a discount if you have more than one child using their service. Start at 25% off and be prepared to meet in the middle.</p> <p><em>Have you ever cashed in on a sibling discount? If so, how much did you save?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-sibling-discounts-that-can-save-you-big">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big">7 Unexpected Ways Stay-at-Home Parents Save Big</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/15-money-saving-tips-every-parent-should-know">15 Money-Saving Tips Every Parent Should Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-financial-pitfalls-stay-at-home-parents-should-avoid">5 Financial Pitfalls Stay-at-Home Parents Should Avoid</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/always-buy-airfare-on-tuesdays-and-7-other-calendar-shopping-secrets">Always Buy Airfare on Tuesdays and 7 Other Calendar Shopping Secrets</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/frugal-ways-to-help-your-child-get-the-best-education">Frugal Ways to Help Your Child Get the Best Education</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family discounts kids saving money siblings Tue, 05 May 2015 17:00:24 +0000 Kyle James 1408972 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Financial Lessons We Learn From Our Grandparents http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-lessons-we-learn-from-our-grandparents <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-financial-lessons-we-learn-from-our-grandparents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_gardening_000036914124.jpg" alt="Child learning financial lesson from grandparent" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Depending on your age and circumstances, it's likely your grandparents' relationship with money was forged by some different (and probably tougher) financial times. My own grandparents have been gone for decades now, but their lifestyles were studies in frugality and sharp financial management that I remember to this day. In honor of all the grandmas and grandpas out there, here are ten financial lessons we've learned from our grandparents:</p> <h2>1. Pay Cash</h2> <p>My grandmother never owned a credit card. She paid cash for everything and tracked every nickel in little paper passbooks. We found dozens of them when she died. She was meticulous. She was frugal. And she was always in the black.</p> <h2>2. Take Care of Your Stuff</h2> <p>Today, we live in a throw-away culture where it's easy and relatively cheap to replace most things we own. Not so for our grandparents. Every item was considered an investment, and therefore, everything was diligently cleaned, waxed, oiled, painted, patched, and repaired. Their stuff lasted forever &mdash; and that saved money.</p> <h2>3. Have Practical Skills</h2> <p>Doesn't it seem like our grandparents' generation was filled with renaissance men and women? My grandfather farmed, raised livestock, built his own house, repaired machinery, and &mdash; I kid you not &mdash; divined for water using the twigs of a willow tree. With that level of skill, I wonder if he ever needed to hire anyone to do anything. Today, developing <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-great-frugal-skills-and-how-to-get-them">frugal skills</a> is still a great way to build self-reliance and save money.</p> <h2>4. Get Creative</h2> <p>Folks who grew up during the Great Depression had to channel their inner creativity to survive. Their ingenuity helped them feed their families, earn an income, keep their kids clothed, and maybe stash a few bucks on the side. It's the same today; discovering <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-boost-creativity">ways to boost creativity</a> can still positively impact our budgets and keep us engaged and inspired.</p> <h2>5. It's Better to Own</h2> <p>With few exceptions, it's better to own than rent, especially during tough economic times. Access to money-producing assets (land, a house, a paid-off car, and the like) helped many generations survive and build wealth.</p> <h2>6. Save for a Rainy Day</h2> <p>No offense Suze Orman, but our grandparents and great grandparents invented the emergency fund. The idea of saving up for a rainy day is just smart financial strategy. Because our grandparents lived through some very lean years, they never allowed themselves to be lulled into thinking that today's prosperity guarantees tomorrow's.</p> <h2>7. Get Dirty</h2> <p>Our grandparents taught us that, if we're lucky enough to have a little plot of land, we better put it to work by planting a garden. Gardens stretch our grocery budgets, promote healthier eating, and get us moving in the great out-of-doors. Few activities pack such a holistic health punch. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-4-things-a-vegetable-garden-needs?ref=seealso">4 Things a Vegetable Garden Needs</a>)</p> <h2>8. Live Together</h2> <p>No&hellip;not in that way. In earlier generations, it was more common for households to include mom and dad, their kids, and grandma and grandpa. More people living under one roof through these multi-generational arrangements meant more child care resources, more household help, and more sources of income.</p> <h2>9. Keep Your Wants Under Control</h2> <p>Slowly creeping wants can easily choke our budgets. Our grandparents were able afford what they needed by keeping their wants modest and entirely flexible.</p> <h2>10. Small Luxuries Are Still Luxuries</h2> <p>Even our grandparents' generation knew it: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-little-luxuries-that-go-a-long-way">little luxuries</a> now and then are good for the soul. But pampering doesn't have to cost a fortune. An afternoon off, a leisurely meal out, a mid-day nap all sound quaint by today's standards. But with the right frame of mind, they can still feel indulgent and be entirely therapeutic.</p> <p>The weird thing is, we are (or will soon be) the grandparents of tomorrow. The economic times we've recently weathered have already left their mark on how we spend, save, and invest.</p> <p><em>What money lessons will you pass along to your grandchildren? Which ones are all your own and which have been revived from your grandparents' generation?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-financial-lessons-we-learn-from-our-grandparents">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-more-is-less">When More is Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-smartphone-apps-to-help-you-save-big">6 Smartphone Apps to Help you Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-sibling-discounts-that-can-save-you-big">6 Sibling Discounts That Can Save You Big</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/miser-v-stunna-a-case-study">Miser v. Stunna: A Case Study</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/barter-explained-why-its-wise-to-barter">Barter Explained: Why It&#039;s Wise to Barter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living family grandparents lessons saving money Tue, 05 May 2015 11:00:29 +0000 Kentin Waits 1407934 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Things You Should Never Skimp on When Traveling http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-should-never-skimp-on-when-traveling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-things-you-should-never-skimp-on-when-traveling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_traveling_on_vacation_000043963176.jpg" alt="Couple not skimping on certain things while traveling" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Travel should be pleasurable &mdash; not stressful. While it's almost inevitable for something to go awry from time to time, you can avoid most issues with a little foresight and planning. Sometimes all it takes is investing a bit more upfront in order to ensure a better travel experience.</p> <p>Take a look at these nine things you should never skimp on when traveling.</p> <h2>1. Luggage</h2> <p>I'm not including accommodations or method of travel on this list because I think those two items are relative. Some people like five-star hotels and first-class seating, while others are perfectly fine in hostels and economy class. To each their own.</p> <p>What we can all agree on, though, is that decent luggage is an important trip component for several reasons, namely because it needs to hold up against all the wear and tear you'll put it through in your travels. I'm not saying that cheap luggage will fall apart and expensive luggage is bar none, but there is something to be said about brands with a reputation for quality &mdash; and that usually comes at a cost.</p> <p>Personally, I prefer Herschel Supply Co. for my luggage, while my husband likes Tumi. Those aren't endorsements (I don't have any affiliation with either of those companies), but rather suggestions to help inform your future purchase if you're in the market for sturdier luggage.</p> <h2>2. Comfortable Shoes</h2> <p>A lot of people vacation in warmer climates. And why not &mdash; there's an abundance of things to see and do when the weather outside is perfect. But before you head out to explore, make sure you're wearing comfortable shoes and socks that can handle a day of walking without killing your feet. These should be the real deal &mdash; and definitely not right out of the box. You also want to avoid going sockless. I've worn both canvas slip-ons without socks and flip-flops on heavy walking days, and both footwear choices resulted in bloody, painful feet.</p> <h2>3. Personal Safety</h2> <p>Because I live in New York City, I'm generally not afraid of new surroundings, seemingly seedy neighborhoods, or people who look like they might be up to no good. I stay vigilant, of course, but I don't want to let a black cloud of fear follow me wherever I go just because the area doesn't look like it's maintained by Ritz-Carlton. There was a time in the Bahamas, however, that this joie de vivre could've gotten my friends and me into a sticky situation while traveling down a lonely road from one club to another &mdash; a mistake I'll never make again. Now I loosen the purse strings and spring for a cab to avoid a potentially dangerous situation.</p> <p>Safety first, people.</p> <h2>4. An Unforgettable Experience</h2> <p>Finally, we've gotten to the fun part &mdash; activities! I'm an activities-oriented guy, and I like to be out and about experiencing everything I can in the short time I have in a location. The problem, however, is that an unforgettable experience can be costly. Still, it's not something on which you should skimp &mdash; your fond memories of your trip will last much longer than any tchotchke &mdash; and there are ways to make it affordable.</p> <p>Remember when I mentioned earlier that the preference for high-end flight and hotel accommodations are relative? They still are, and personally this is how I justify splurging a bit on a great experience &mdash; I choose to stay in modest digs and fly the cheapest way I can, so when I get to my destination I can have all the fun I want without feeling guilty for spending too much money.</p> <h2>5. Travel Insurance</h2> <p>I once went on what was meant to be an unforgettable European vacation that included London, Dublin, and finally, Paris for New Year's Eve. But thanks to Mother Nature and an incompetent, famously low-priced Irish airline that shall remain nameless, my hopes of ushering in a new year in the City of Lights were dashed. The worst part? I was young and dumb and I didn't have travel insurance. Hotel, train fares, and airfare all went out the window &mdash; along with my usually jovial attitude. Don't let this happen to you, especially if you're planning a special-occasion trip. Spend the extra money to protect your investment.</p> <h2>6. Vaccinations</h2> <p>I suspect that pre-travel vaccinations are not only overlooked a lot of the times, but probably actively avoided sometimes due to cost and inconvenience. In that case, let's play a game of &quot;Would You Rather?&quot;</p> <p>I'll go first.</p> <p>Would you rather pay for pricey vaccinations that will help you avoid common illnesses, or would you rather spend your trip becoming besties with a toilet and visiting the very questionable local hospital?</p> <p>I win.</p> <p>Get the proper vaccinations before you depart. If you can't afford it, don't go. In some cases, it really could be the difference between life and death.</p> <h2>7. Health Care</h2> <p>Speaking of questionable local hospitals, they're the very last place you ever want to visit while you're traveling &mdash; even worse than jail. If you're ill, spring for quality medical care.</p> <p>Blogger behind Broke Girl Gets Rich, Chelsea Baldwin, just wrapped up a few years in Asia, and soon she'll embark on an extended stay in South America. As someone who has caught her fair share of stomach bugs while traveling and was subsequently treated at public health facilities, she advises better-quality healthcare as well.</p> <p>&quot;If the public health care in the country you're visiting is known for its quality, that's fine, but otherwise it's always worth the extra cost to get more attention and better care from a private doctor,&quot; she says. &quot;Most American health insurance companies will cover you for emergency situations overseas, but if you think the cost of visiting a private doctor at your destination could get expensive, there are numerous travel insurance companies you can get plans from to help cover you.&quot;</p> <h2>8. Cell Phone Data</h2> <p>When I travel to destinations outside my wireless provider's coverage area, I try to stick with the hotel's free Wi-Fi. If you want to be fully connected &mdash; it's not a bad idea despite the faction of people begging us to unplug every once in a while &mdash; there's a solution that will cost you a few bucks. Still, it's much cheaper than the fees you may incur from your provider.</p> <p>&quot;Buying a SIM card upon arrival in a country will cost you little more than $10 to $15 and it's invaluable for all the times you get lost or you're unable to communicate with your cab driver,&quot; says Matthew Newton, CEO of Tourism Tiger. &quot;Many small emergencies are solved through the simple asset of a SIM card charged with one gigabyte of data.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Bottled Water</h2> <p>My Wise Bread colleagues and I generally try to steer you clear of buying bottled water, but Dr. Irene S. Levine (who moonlights as a freelance travel writer) makes a good case for bottled water when you're traveling.</p> <p>&quot;There is no reason to take a chance,&quot; she says. &quot;Even if tap water is safe to drink, it may have a different mineral composition that is upsetting to your stomach and can potentially ruin your trip. Additionally, don't try to save money by not drinking enough water. When you're traveling, it's easy to get dehydrated either on planes or in hot climates when you're more active than usual.&quot;</p> <p>As someone who prefers tap water, I agree that this is a good practice to adopt, especially when traveling outside the United States. To save money and waste, consider buying a few large jugs of distilled water with which you can fill your permanent water bottle, instead of buying many single bottles the whole trip.</p> <p><em>Are there other items on which we should never skimp when traveling? I'd love to hear some of your suggestions in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-should-never-skimp-on-when-traveling">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-resources">40 Most Useful Travel Websites That Can Save You a Fortune</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-affordable-amusement-parks-that-are-just-as-fun-as-disney">8 Affordable Amusement Parks That Are Just as Fun As Disney</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-dramatic-vacation-spots-for-tv-and-film-fanatics">5 Dramatic Vacation Spots for TV and Film Fanatics</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-worst-travel-values">The 7 Worst Travel Values</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-book-an-amazing-cheap-vacation-package">How to Book an Amazing Cheap Vacation Package</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel saving money spending vacations Mon, 04 May 2015 13:00:24 +0000 Mikey Rox 1406709 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Enjoy Retirement If You Haven't Saved Enough http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-enjoy-retirement-if-you-havent-saved-enough <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-enjoy-retirement-if-you-havent-saved-enough" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/retired_couple_vacation_000038250840.jpg" alt="Retired couple taking cheap vacation" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you ready to retire, but haven't managed to save enough yet?</p> <p>In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau of Labor Statistics says that although the average retirement age is 62, many seniors are retiring at age 65 or older, and a large percentage &mdash; roughly 80% &mdash; still will not have saved enough by then. Of them, about a third will depend entirely on Social Security benefits. If you're within five years of calling it quits but haven't saved enough to retire, here are a few steps that may bring retirement closer within reach.</p> <h2>1. Wait Until You're 65</h2> <p>Wait until you're age 65 or older before you start collecting Social Security benefits, as the longer you wait, the larger your benefit. Use Bankrate's Social Security <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/retirement/social-security-benefits-calculator.aspx">benefit calculator</a> to estimate your future payments.</p> <h2>2. Don't Wait to Downsize</h2> <p>Consider selling your home and investing the profits. Downsize to a lower-cost senior living community or condominium in an area where your property taxes will be affordable. You can also inquire about school parcel tax exemptions that allow seniors to apply for tax exemption from taxes imposed by local school districts.</p> <h2>3. Move to a No Tax State</h2> <p>Move to a state with no income tax on pension, Social Security, or dividend income. Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wyoming are among the states that do not tax that income.</p> <h2>4. Accept Government-Sponsored Medical Insurance</h2> <p>Medicare provides adequate health insurance coverage for doctor's visits, emergency care, assisted living, etc., but does not cover prescription drugs, dental, or vision care. For this, you will need add-on coverage like those offered by Medicare Advantage and Supplemental Insurance (Medigap). Consult with your insurance provider prior to retirement to ensure you can afford proper health insurance coverage. If you can't, inquire about government subsidies or senior plans offered by the likes of <a href="http://www.aarp.org/">AARP</a>.</p> <h2>5. Max-Out Retirement Accounts</h2> <p>By now you should be fully funding all of your retirement accounts and making any catch-up contributions. The 2015 catch-up contributions for IRAs total an additional $1,000 ($6,500) and $6,000 ($24,000) for your 401(k). As they are the most tax advantageous, make sure you are fully funding these accounts over the next few years preceding your retirement.</p> <h2>6. Diversify Using Bonds and ETFs</h2> <p>As you are nearing retirement age, you will want to gradually rebalance your portfolio so that it has less of volatile investments like stocks, and more of safer investments such as bonds and exchange-traded funds, or ETFs.</p> <h2>7. Join AARP</h2> <p>The benefits of joining AARP are endless. For those unfamiliar, AARP is the popular senior citizens advocacy group. The annual membership fee is only $16 and is discounted even further when years are bought in bulk. Members receive invaluable discounts on dining, travel, roadside assistance, auto insurance, health benefits, and more. This is a program that's definitely well worth signing up for.</p> <p><em>Are you prepared for retirement? What are you doing to get ready?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/qiana-chavaia">Qiana Chavaia</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-enjoy-retirement-if-you-havent-saved-enough">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/follow-these-5-steps-to-full-health-care-coverage-in-retirement">Follow These 5 Steps to Full Health Care Coverage in Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-things-millennials-should-do-today-to-prepare-for-retirement">4 Things Millennials Should Do Today to Prepare for Retirement</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/retirement-accounts-and-money-to-spend">Retirement accounts and money to spend</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/choosing-a-retirement-account-whats-available-and-what-s-best-for-you">Choosing a Retirement Account: What&#039;s Available, and What’s Best for 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/how-to-start-saving-for-retirement-at-40">How to Start Saving for Retirement at 40+</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement 401(k) aarp investments IRAs saving money social security Fri, 01 May 2015 15:00:25 +0000 Qiana Chavaia 1400950 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Price Match Policies You Should Be Wary Of http://www.wisebread.com/8-price-match-policies-you-should-be-wary-of <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-price-match-policies-you-should-be-wary-of" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_shopping_electronics_000022473557.jpg" alt="Couple shopping for electronics and comparing price match options" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Price match policies can vary wildly from retailer to retailer. While most of them are fairly straight forward, there are some whose fine print will leave you scratching your head in confusion. And in the world of bargain shopping, few things are more frustrating than finding a cheaper price from a competing store, only to be denied a price match because you failed to read the fine print.</p> <p>By knowing which price match policies have strange exclusions, or won't price match online pricing, you'll save yourself from some potential headaches and disappointments. Here are eight price match policies to watch out for.</p> <h2>1. Amazon</h2> <p>For a company that claims to strive for the lowest price, the Amazon price match policy leaves a lot to be desired. As a matter of fact, the only thing they'll actually price match are select TVs and cell phones. A few of the online retailers they <em>will</em> price match include Crutchfield.com, Costco.com, Walmart.com, and Dell.com. In order to get your price match, you need to login to your account and click on &quot;Order Details&quot; followed by &quot;Found a lower price?&quot; and follow the instructions.</p> <h2>2. Fry's Electronics</h2> <p>Fry's has a 110% price match policy guaranteeing they'll match the price of any local authorized retailer or authorized Internet competitor. Seems like a fairly straight-forward policy, right? But they've taken heat in recent years for making it very difficult to get an online price match when shopping in-store. Examples includes not price matching Amazon Prime prices or trying to tack on the shipping charges that online retailers would charge.</p> <h2>3. Home Depot</h2> <p>When shopping in-store, Home Depot will match the price of a local competitor plus beat their price by 10%. That sounds great, but the exclusions are pretty formidable and include special orders, volume discounts, open-box merchandise, and online purchases. This means that unfortunately they won't price match Amazon, Lowes.com, and the like.</p> <h2>4. JCPenney</h2> <p>The JCPenney price match policy has some fine print you'll want to be aware of. While they'll happily price match local competitors' current advertised price on identical items, they will <em>not</em> match any online prices. Also, they will not price match any competitor pricing that they consider clearance or sale prices, which is really unfortunate.</p> <h2>5. Kohl's</h2> <p>The Kohl's price match policy leaves a lot to be desired. First of all, they will not price match any online price. But more than that, they require you to bring in a copy of the competitor's ad with the current date printed on it. How many ads actually have the date stamped on them? Not too many. Also, what if you see a lower price in another physical store and not in an actual ad? Will they still match the price if you snap a picture of the item and show it to a Kohl's associate? Unfortunately, their policy does not stipulate, which makes things quite confusing.</p> <h2>6. NewEgg</h2> <p>NewEgg.com has a price match policy named the &quot;Iron Egg Price Guarantee&quot; that claims to match the price of any identical item sold by a major retailer. When shopping on their website, look for the Iron Egg badge next to all products that qualify for a price match, which according to NewEgg is close to 80% of their inventory. You file a price match claim, and if approved, get money back via a NewEgg gift card. Sounds okay, right? But then you look at the fine print of the offer and the things they won't price match. In particular, any &quot;competitor's item that is advertised below NewEgg's actual cost.&quot; But here's the rub; they don't tell you their actual costs! So you make a purchase from them, file a claim, and pray the deal isn't so good that it's below their costs. Because if it is, you'll be denied and stuck paying full price with no recourse.</p> <h2>7. Sears</h2> <p>Sears will happily price match local competitors; just bring in evidence of the lower price and an associate will help you out. So far, so good. Now let's look at their online price match policy as this is where things get really confusing. From their website, &quot;If you find a lower online price on an identical brand and model number currently available from a local competitor's retail store honoring its own online price and the item is currently available for sale and delivery in your area, Sears will match the price of the merchandise.&quot; Huh? So according to that rambling sentence, isn't this just a regular price match? Their policy is so darn confusing that it makes me want to take my business elsewhere.</p> <h2>8. Toys R' Us</h2> <p>Toys R' Us will price match local competitors as well as select online retailers. They'll also give you up to seven days after the date of your purchase to come back for your price match. But they make this list for a couple reasons. First, their policy is only good for in-store purchases. Secondly, from their website, &quot;Competitor shipping charges will be calculated and factored in the cost of online prices.&quot; So if you're trying to get a price match via a lower price on Amazon, Toys R' Us is going to tack on the shipping costs Amazon would charge. But what if you're an Amazon Prime member and don't pay for shipping? It doesn't matter. Toys R' Us is still going to include shipping costs into your &quot;price adjusted&quot; price. Price matcher beware.</p> <p><em>Any price match policies that seem okay (until you read the fine print) that I missed? Let me know!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-price-match-policies-you-should-be-wary-of">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-secrets-of-amazons-pricing-strategy-will-help-you-find-the-best-buys">These Secrets of Amazon&#039;s Pricing Strategy Will Help You Find the Best Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-to-get-a-sale-price-match-at-16-popular-stores">Here&#039;s How to Get a Sale Price-Match at 16 Popular Stores</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/more-sales-insanity-this-time-from-walmart">More Sales Insanity, This Time From Walmart</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-disappearance-of-real-america-my-guest-post-at-zen-habits">The disappearance of real America - my guest post at Zen Habits</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/dont-pay-more-guide-to-price-matching-and-cheat-sheet">Don&#039;t Pay More! Guide to Price Matching and Cheat Sheet</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping fine print online shopping price matching saving money Fri, 01 May 2015 13:00:27 +0000 Kyle James 1402491 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things You Must Do Before You Quit Your Job http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-must-do-before-you-quit-your-job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-you-must-do-before-you-quit-your-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_thinking_quitting_000056385736.jpg" alt="Woman getting prepared to quit her job" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Making the decision to quit your job is both scary and exhilarating. Many of us dream of quitting our jobs to have more freedom, greater earning potential, and fmore lexibility with our schedules. As you go from dream to reality, there are certain steps to take to make sure you're prepared before the big leap.</p> <p>Of course, money in the bank is vital to making a smooth transition, but there are several other critical financial concerns. Here are five important things to do before quitting.</p> <h2>1. Calculate Your Bare Essentials Budget</h2> <p>What is your total budget for all of your household expenses? What portion of this is made up of the essentials like housing, insurance, food, gas, and utilities? Calculate this &quot;bare essentials&quot; budget, omitting discretionary things like dining out, travel, or entertainment.</p> <p>Your bare essentials budget is important to calculate in the event you have low or no-income months. You'll be able to prioritize the important bills be paid first, leaving less essential expenses to be paid last. During months where you have more income than normal, you can use the extra funds to allocate to less important expenses.</p> <h2>2. Build Up a Savings Cushion</h2> <p>Based on the minimum amount of money you need to make each month to cover your bare essentials expenses, your next step is to stash away a cushion of savings. At the very least, you want to make sure you have enough saved up for six months worth of essential expenses.</p> <p>Anything you save up in excess of this amount is gravy, and can be used to help jumpstart your new career, or as a backup/emergency savings plan. When I quit my full-time accounting job to start a freelance business, I was only able to save up four months worth of expenses in a savings account. We had some unexpected medical emergencies, so I wasn't able to save up as much as I would have liked. But since I knew what my bare essentials budget figure was, I was able to make ends meet until my new business took off.</p> <h2>3. Create a Viable Income Plan</h2> <p>Now that you know how much you need to save, how are you going to bring in enough money to cover the bills and create a savings cushion? Before giving up a steady paycheck, you must first craft a plan for replacing this income.</p> <p>Do you have another job lined up? Are you planning to freelance and work with clients (or a combination of both)? What happens if this plan doesn't work? How will your budget survive during months when you don't have regular money coming in?</p> <p>These are all important questions that need answers before you can confidently quit your job. Create a &quot;quitting your job&quot; plan and prepare for additional variables in the event that you're forced to change plans.</p> <h2>4. Research Health Care Options</h2> <p>Since health insurance coverage is now mandated by federal law, you'll likely face a tax penalty if you let your current coverage lapse. Whether you become self-employed or find a part-time job, you'll need to research the best options available for health care.</p> <p>A good place to start is by chatting with your current health insurance company, or by comparing plans on the <a href="https://www.healthcare.gov/">federal marketplace</a> or a third-party site like <a href="https://www.ehealthinsurance.com/">eHealthInsurance</a>. Make sure to explain your new choice of employment, as this will have a big impact on what your monthly premium and health insurance coverage will be.</p> <h2>5. Rollover Your Retirement Account</h2> <p>If you've been contributing to a 401(k) plan through your current employer, you will no longer be able to do this when you quit. But this is money you earned throughout your career, so it's rightfully yours. Make sure you rollover your retirement accounts to a new individually-managed service.</p> <p>Seek out a financial advisor, or chat with your current HR department so you're educated on what options are available. Generally speaking, whatever type of employer-funded account you have will have to be rolled over into a different retirement account, unless you plan to move to another job that offers employer-funded retirement accounts.</p> <p>Once you've taken these simple steps to prepare for quitting, you'll be able to move forward with confidence, knowing that you have a solid plan in place.</p> <p><em>Are you in the process of quitting your job? What are some other concerns to prepare for?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-smith">Carrie Smith</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-must-do-before-you-quit-your-job">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-super-cool-ways-people-have-quit-their-jobs">6 Super-Cool Ways People Have Quit Their Jobs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-ways-to-leave-your-job">10 Fun Ways to Leave Your Job</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/a-society-of-fear">A Society of Fear</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/wanna-put-away-some-cash-take-a-vacation">Wanna Put Away Some Cash? Take A Vacation!</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/getting-by-without-a-job-part-1-losing-a-job">Getting by without a job, part 1--losing a job</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Career and Income budgeting employment leaving job quitting saving money Fri, 01 May 2015 11:00:22 +0000 Carrie Smith 1402480 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Times a Gym Membership Isn't Worth It http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-a-gym-membership-isnt-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-times-a-gym-membership-isnt-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_gym_000035868972.jpg" alt="Woman realizing her gym membership isn&#039;t worth the money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some people swear by their gym sessions and feel joining a fitness club is the best and only way to lose weight or get into shape. However, there are no hard-and-fast weight loss rules, and what works for one person may not work for another.</p> <p>And the truth is, you don't need a gym membership to be physically fit. In fact, depending on your circumstances, joining a gym might be a complete waste of money (just don't tell my personal trainer that). A membership can easily run as much as $120 a month (I live in NYC, so it's a bit pricier than other places)</p> <p>No one's telling you to quit your gym if it's working for you, but if you're on the fence, here are five times when a gym membership isn't worth it.</p> <h2>1. You're Not Fully Committed</h2> <p>You may say that you want to lose weight or improve your health, but if you're not fully committed to the challenge that lies ahead, don't spend money on a gym membership.</p> <p>Losing weight or getting into shape takes more than desire &mdash; it requires action. You'll need to be physically active on a regular basis and you'll need to modify your eating habits. It's pointless to spend an hour at the gym only to go home and fill up on high-calorie, high-fat foods and undo all your hard work.</p> <p>This doesn't mean you should give up on physical activity altogether, but it doesn't make sense to spend $300 to $500 a year and not achieve any of your fitness goals. You're better off canceling the membership until you're ready to commit.</p> <h2>2. It's Too Crowded</h2> <p>If you're pumped and ready to exercise, there's nothing more frustrating than walking into a crowded gym and not being able to find a single piece of available equipment. You might spend more time waiting for equipment to become available than actually working out.</p> <p>Some people hit the gym in the early morning hours or late at night when it's less crowded. But if this routine doesn't work with your schedule, you may not be getting the most out of your membership. The gym isn't the only way to achieve health and fitness goals. You can take what you normally spend on a yearly gym membership and invest in equipment to use around the house, such as a bike, an exercise ball, weights, DVD workouts, etc. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-at-home-exercises-will-give-you-a-gym-quality-workout-for-free?ref=seealso">At-Home Exercises That Give You a Gym-Quality Workout for Free</a>)</p> <h2>3. You're Too Busy</h2> <p>I believe it's important for everyone to make time for exercise, but if you have a hectic schedule due to juggling work, family, and other personal obligations, it might be cost-effective to cancel your membership and squeeze in a workout whenever you have a few extra minutes throughout the day. You can walk on your lunch break or watch a workout video in the mornings before you get the kids ready for school.</p> <h2>4. You Have Access to a Free Fitness Center</h2> <p>Fitness rooms at a recreation center or apartment complex might be small and have limited options, but the equipment available might be exactly what you need to reach your fitness or weight loss goals. It's also a cheaper alternative to a gym membership and you'll probably deal with fewer people. Some community recreation centers only charge $15 or $20 for an annual membership, which gives you unlimited access to fitness room. And if you live in an apartment complex &mdash; or have a friend who lives in an apartment &mdash; you might have access to a fitness center 24 hours a day.</p> <h2>5. You Need to Save Money</h2> <p>Even if you like the idea of working out at the gym, sometimes we have to face reality and cut costs when living above our means. If you're struggling to pay your bills every month, the money spent on a gym membership can go toward paying a more important household expense. You can still enjoy workouts, but you'll need to find them for free.</p> <p>Some people think they can't get results without their gym or trainer, but many workouts like walking, running, biking, and playing sports can transform your body. Personally I prefer physical activities in which I'm having fun and improving my fitness &mdash; like kickball and dodgeball. There are even plenty of exercises using your own bodyweight to tone and shape, such as push-ups, squats, and lunges, which also are better with a friend. You also can find a fitness-focused Meetup group to join for free, or round up your pals to plan a meeting schedule to work out and support one another.</p> <p><em>Do you know any other times when a gym membership isn't worth it? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-times-a-gym-membership-isnt-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/being-healthy-can-have-big-cash-rewards">Being Healthy Can Have Big Cash Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-a-good-workout-even-with-kids-around">10 Ways to Get a Good Workout... Even With Kids Around</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/getting-started-in-indoor-cycle-class">Getting Started in Indoor Cycle Class</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-wii-fit-a-cheap-workout">Is the Wii Fit a cheap workout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-help-protect-your-financial-future-from-unexpected-medical-expenses">7 Ways to Help Protect Your Financial Future From Unexpected Medical Expenses</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Health and Beauty busy schedule fitness gym saving money working out Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1396603 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries in a Pinch http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_holding_groceries_000026443745.jpg" alt="Crafty woman saving money on groceries in a pinch" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you need to cut your budget &mdash; and fast? Stuff like blown tires, broken furnaces, and other unexpected expenses have to come from somewhere, and so many of our regular monthly expenses are fixed bills we can't do much to budge.</p> <p>So here are some ways you can dramatically cut your grocery bill in a pinch to redirect some of your hard earned dollars elsewhere. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-well-on-just-20-a-week-with-meal-plans?ref=seealso">How to Eat Well on Just $20 a Week</a>)</p> <h2>1. Dig Deep</h2> <p>Before heading to the store, dig into all your cabinets and drawers to assess what you have in stock. Pasta and rice can be dressed up to make delicious meals with few ingredients added &mdash; here are some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-new-ways-to-spice-up-rice">recipes for inspiration</a>. A simple <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-use-canned-salmon">can of salmon</a> can be transformed into a salad, sandwich, or soup. You may even discover some foods hiding around that are nearing their expiration dates. If you're stuck, try tools like <a href="http://www.supercook.com/">Supercook</a>, which allow you to look up recipes by searching the ingredients you already have at home.</p> <h2>2. Go Vegetarian</h2> <p>Some of the most expensive items in your cart? Meat and seafood. If you're up for it, try eating a vegetable-based diet for a period of time. It's likely your cheapest meal alternative. You don't need to worry about protein since you'll find plenty in inexpensive sources like eggs, tofu, nuts, etc. And if you think you can cut dairy, that's more savings. There are millions of people thriving on vegan diets around the globe. Who knows! You might even lose a few pounds. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-slow-cooker-recipes-for-busy-or-lazy-vegetarians?ref=seealso">35 Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy Vegetarians</a>)</p> <h2>3. Plan Accordingly</h2> <p>It sounds counterintuitive, but meal planning might be costing you money. Variety can be tricky and require lots of expensive ingredients if you aren't careful. Though you want to keep a good balance of nutrients in your diet, try choosing a few cheap, satisfying meals that might sustain you all week long. We keep our breakfasts and lunches very simple: Usually oatmeal with banana and homemade hummus sandwiches with chopped raw veggies. For dinner, consider sticking to meals that use similar ingredients but have different flavors or textures. Pizza and pasta make a good duo, as do taco salad and quesadillas, for example. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy?ref=seealso">35 Grocery Items You Should Make at Home</a>)</p> <h2>4. Substitute Similar</h2> <p>Have your heart set on certain recipes? Try <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-recipe-substitutions-that-save-money-and-prevent-food-waste">substituting ingredients</a> that you might already have at home versus buying new. There are a number of foods that can easily swap in similar ratios to get tasty results. The best part is that you'll not just save money this way, you'll also eliminate food waste and learn some new culinary tricks.</p> <h2>5. Track and Plan Ahead</h2> <p>I often shop at Wegmans. Something that's really helped save me money is using the <a href="http://www.wegmans.com/mobile">Wegmans app</a> to plan my trip in advance. I make an organized list on my phone &mdash; including the prices at my store that get tallied up at the end. That way, if I stick to the list, I know exactly how much I'll be spending (provided I don't grab something random off the shelf). A growing number of stores offer similar apps &mdash; like <a href="http://www.safeway.com/ShopStores/Get-Connected-Mobile-Apps.page">Safeway</a>, <a href="http://www.kroger.com/topic/mobile-app">Kroger</a>, and <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/apps">Whole Foods</a> &mdash; giving you the power to write lists or even snag coupons.</p> <p><em>Have you had to cut food costs fast? Tell us how you did it in comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-best-frozen-food-values">The 12 Best Frozen Food Values</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/13-ways-you-can-cut-grocery-expenses-today">13 Ways You Can Cut Grocery Expenses Today</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/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars">20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/supermarket-savings">Supermarket Savings Guide</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping Cooking dinners groceries meal planning saving money Thu, 23 Apr 2015 11:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1393781 at http://www.wisebread.com Becoming a One-Car Family: 5 Points to Consider http://www.wisebread.com/becoming-a-one-car-family-5-points-to-consider <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/becoming-a-one-car-family-5-points-to-consider" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/one_family_car_000026960870.jpg" alt="Family deciding to become a one-car family after consideration" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're looking to simplify your life or just save money, leaning your family down to just one car can be a wise choice. My husband and I have been doing the one car thing for around a year, and it's working out quite well since our daughter is young and I work from home. We made the change after the repairs and gas costs started taking huge chunks out of our monthly budget, and it's proved to be a smart financial choice for us overall.</p> <p>While there are still times when owning two vehicles might be more convenient, with a little compromise and some planning, we're hoping to keep it simple for as long as possible. Here's how you can do the same.</p> <h2>1. Map It Out</h2> <p>Before anything else, click open a map to investigate the area around your home. When I checked our location, I discovered that our daughter's school, as well as a hospital, pharmacy, grocery store, and even a few restaurants and shops, were all within a mile of our front door. Since I work from home, knowing these amenities were in close distance helped us feel confident that we could access most of what we might need on foot in a pinch. You can also choose to switch banks, doctor's offices, pharmacies, and other spots to fit your new lifestyle.</p> <h2>2. Consider the Weather</h2> <p>That being said, we also live in an area where winter overtakes the region a good five months out of the year. If inclement weather is a factor that might make walking or other transportation difficult, weigh it in your decision accordingly. If you have kids, think down the line to when getting to school events or other activities might get tricky with just one vehicle.</p> <h2>3. Group Your Trips</h2> <p>A lot of the bumps in switching to just one car come from convenience and ease of transport. Sometimes you can't go where you want to go at the moment you want to go there. Start keeping lists of items (food, household, etc.) that you need and try to take shopping trips all at once. Group activities, like gym classes and other recreation, to get the most out of your trips. I find it particularly helpful to post a large calendar so my husband and I can see where the car is needed and when. Then practice before you drop that second car. Can you make it work?</p> <p>As a bonus, you may also find you save money by not running to the store every time you need something. Staying home more often has its benefits.</p> <h2>4. Consider Alternative Transportation</h2> <p>There's a lot on the spectrum between driving and walking. Check out the bike routes to work, for example. The average speed bike commuters travel is around 10 mph, and trips of three miles or fewer are actually faster by bike. Those of you who live in cities can check local bus and subway schedules to see if you can get where you need to go in good time. Buying frequent rider passes can be a great way to save on travel this way. Comb Craigslist and other classifieds for motorized scooters. Where there's a wheel, there's a way.</p> <h2>5. Dip in the Pool</h2> <p>Furthermore, if you live in a more spread out area, carpooling might be a good option &mdash; especially for your daily commute. Ask your coworkers or Human Resource office if any employees have organized groups. You may also find community programs by searching online. And there are lots of carshare and rideshare programs, like <a href="http://www.zipcar.com/webch&amp;gclid=COno04Os4sQCFdY8gQodw60Amw">Zipcar</a> and <a href="https://erideshare.com">eRideShare</a>, across the country that allow you to get from point A to point B without owning a car at all. Once you've surveyed all the options, make a plan that works for your family. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carpooling-pros-cons-and-how-to-stay-safe?ref=seealso">Carpooling: Pros, Cons, and How to Stay Safe</a>)</p> <p><em>We'd love to hear your tips on making just one car work for a family (or perhaps no car at all). Please leave your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/becoming-a-one-car-family-5-points-to-consider">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-ways-stay-at-home-parents-save-big">7 Unexpected Ways Stay-at-Home Parents Save Big</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/carpooling-pros-cons-and-how-to-stay-safe">Carpooling: Pros, Cons, and How to Stay Safe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-sibling-discounts-that-can-save-you-big">6 Sibling Discounts That Can Save You Big</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/save-more-gas-by-safely-following-trucks">Save More Gas by Safely Following Trucks</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/can-you-survive-with-one-car-in-suburbia">Can You Survive with One Car in Suburbia?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Family carpooling downsizing rideshare saving money simplifying life Wed, 15 Apr 2015 21:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1386019 at http://www.wisebread.com