Food http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/20/all en-US Why Saving Money Is Harder Today http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-money-is-harder-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-saving-money-is-harder-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sad_young_woman_counting_bills.jpg" alt="Sad young woman counting bills" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With a low overall inflation rate, and declining inflation-adjusted prices on goods such as technology and groceries, you might think that saving money today should be easier than ever. But sadly, that isn't the case. Prices of some of the biggest items in most household budgets have actually gone up faster than income has grown. Skyrocketing costs for key expenses, along with slow income growth, are making it much harder for people to save money now compared to past decades.</p> <p>According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U. S. Census Bureau, and the College Board, here are some of the biggest budget-wrecking expenses that are growing faster than your income.</p> <h2>Education</h2> <p>For many families, saving for college is a huge financial challenge &mdash; especially with the rapidly increasing price tag. Building a college savings fund to cover all of the costs is more and more difficult. As a result, more students and families are turning to student loans to make college possible. The average cost for tuition, fees, room, and board at a public four-year university grew 80 percent from 1997&ndash;2016, jumping from $11,390 to $20,500.</p> <h2>Health care</h2> <p>The cost of health care and health insurance has shot up in recent years. In some cases, a big medical expense can spell financial trouble: If an illness or injury keeps you out of work, the loss in income can make it even harder to bounce back from a large medical bill. Health care costs spiked 123 percent between 2000 and 2016, growing from an average $2,066 per year to $4,612.</p> <h2>Housing</h2> <p>Purchasing a place to live has gotten much more expensive, with median new home prices growing from $169,000 in 2000, to $307,800 in 2016 &mdash; an increase of 82 percent. Expensive housing can result in a budget crunch in several ways. It requires a bigger down payment, which takes a lot of money away from savings at the time of purchase. Monthly mortgage payments are higher, and higher home values also result in higher property tax and homeowners insurance premiums. Higher house prices may drive people to consider renting instead of buying, but the price of renting has also gone up rapidly.</p> <h2>Food</h2> <p>The inflation-adjusted price for food has stayed flat or even gone down over the past 16 years. On average, income growth has kept up with food costs. Yet, <em>spending</em> on food has gone up in many households in recent years. People may be electing for more convenient &mdash; and more expensive &mdash; food choices as a consequence of working more hours to boost their income. Average food expenditures grew around 40 percent from 2000 to 2016, rising from $5,158 per year to $7,203.</p> <h2>Child care</h2> <p>This cost varies significantly based on location and the type of care, but many families with young children are struggling to find affordable child care. According to a 2016 Care.com and New America report, the average cost of a full-time child care center for a child up to age four is $9,589 per year, which is more than the average cost of in-state college tuition ($9,410). Even in a dual-income household, child care can be an overwhelming expense.</p> <h2>Debt payments</h2> <p>As budgets continue to get squeezed by growing expenses, debt levels have also increased. This can set up a vicious cycle where you have even less money available, which leads to more borrowing to make ends meet.</p> <p>For example, car prices have been relatively stable when adjusted for inflation, but the amount consumers are borrowing to buy cars has gone up. According to Experian, the average car loan as of 2016 stood at $30,032 with an average monthly payment of $503. Credit card balances and student loan balances are also trending upward, which means bigger payments are due every month, resulting in less money that could go toward savings or other bills.</p> <p>The overall economic trend is that some of the biggest expenses in many household budgets are growing much faster than income is growing, creating a squeeze that is making it harder and harder to save money.</p> <h2>How to save money anyway</h2> <p>There are two basic approaches to dealing with the financial squeeze of higher expenses and limited income growth: reduce expenses or boost income (or both).</p> <p>Housing expenses can be reduced by choosing a smaller, less expensive home. Renting a place to live can also be a less expensive option to owning a house. If you are not looking to move, consider <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-believing-these-5-home-refinance-myths?ref=internal" target="_blank">refinancing your mortgage</a> to a lower interest rate to reduce your monthly payment. If you rent, you may be able to offer to do some maintenance and upkeep on the property in exchange for a rent reduction. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/watch-out-for-these-5-last-minute-home-buying-costs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Watch Out for These 5 Last Minute Home Buying Costs</a>)</p> <p>One way to reduce health care expenses is to stay as healthy as possible. But you can&rsquo;t avoid medical expenses forever, so consider using a high deductible health insurance policy with a tax-advantaged health savings account (HSA) to minimize your out-of-pocket health care costs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-an-hsa-is-actually-worth-having?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Reasons an HSA Is Actually Worth Having</a>)</p> <p>Meal prep at home is key to keeping your food expenses low. Plan out meals ahead of time so you'll have groceries on hand to cook dinner with instead of going out to eat or ordering takeout. Get in the habit of packing your own lunch instead of going out to eat during the workweek. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-foolproof-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill?ref=seealso" target="_blank">31 Foolproof Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill</a>)</p> <p>Minimize debt payments by using balance transfers or debt consolidation loans to reduce your interest payments, allowing more of your payment to be applied to the principal. This will allow you to pay off debts faster for less money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a>)</p> <p>Finally, cutting expenses may not be enough to tune up your budget to the point where you can save as much money as you would like. Consider boosting your income with a side hustle to bring in some extra money to help keep up with growing expenses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-best-side-jobs-for-fast-cash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">14 Best Side Jobs For Fast Cash</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhy-saving-money-is-harder-today&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhy%2520Saving%2520Money%2520Is%2520Harder%2520Today.jpg&amp;description=Why%20Saving%20Money%20Is%20Harder%20Today"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Why%20Saving%20Money%20Is%20Harder%20Today.jpg" alt="Why Saving Money Is Harder Today" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-saving-money-is-harder-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0">6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire</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-reasons-why-financial-planning-isnt-just-for-the-wealthy">6 Reasons Why Financial Planning Isn&#039;t Just for the Wealthy</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-signs-youre-financially-ready-to-start-a-family">7 Signs You&#039;re Financially Ready to Start a Family</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/15-unexpected-expenses-of-a-new-baby">15 Unexpected Expenses of a New Baby</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/4-new-reasons-you-need-an-emergency-fund">4 New Reasons You Need an Emergency Fund</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living child care costs debt education expenses Food health care housing income inflation saving money Thu, 28 Dec 2017 09:00:07 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2076921 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Unexpected Expenses of a New Baby http://www.wisebread.com/15-unexpected-expenses-of-a-new-baby <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-unexpected-expenses-of-a-new-baby" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/i_never_thought_i_could_love_one_being_so_much.jpg" alt="I never thought I could love one being so much" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Can you afford to have a baby?</p> <p>You may have calculated obvious costs such as diapers, clothing, food, and day care, but don't be too quick to assume that you've accounted for everything. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, middle income families spend an average $12,980 a year on each kid, and $233,610 in a lifetime, <em>not including college</em>.</p> <p>When I was expecting my first baby, I thought there was no way I could spend that much. I may have been more frugal than most, but I still ran into all kinds of expenditures &mdash; and decreases in income &mdash; that I hadn't anticipated.</p> <p>Watch out for these unanticipated ways a baby may impact your family budget. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/24-tips-for-having-a-baby-without-going-broke?ref=seealso" target="_blank">24 Tips for Having a Baby Without Going Broke</a>)</p> <h2>1. A birth that doesn't go as planned</h2> <p>If you have a high-deductible health plan or no health insurance at all, you may have carefully planned for a low-cost birth. That's smart. But one thing I learned from having three babies is that &quot;birth&quot; and &quot;plan&quot; can be oxymorons. So many factors are outside your control, such as when and where your labor begins, whether the baby has any trouble making their big entrance, and what kind of care you and the baby need after the birth.</p> <p>I know couples who planned a homebirth with a midwife, but ended up being transferred to the hospital in an ambulance for a C-section. If you are birthing at home or at a non-hospital birth center, both of which can be great choices, please have a financial plan for what happens if you get transferred. You will be under enough stress on the day of without adding financial unknowns to the mix. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-newborn-costs-that-took-me-by-surprise?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Newborn Costs That Took Me by Surprise</a>)</p> <h2>2. Higher utility bills</h2> <p>When my husband and I were childless, we lived in a San Francisco flat with no central heat and we typically ran our electric wall heaters an hour a day or less.</p> <p>Once we brought home our first child, our electricity bill jumped for two reasons: One, we felt that baby needed a warmer room to sleep in at night, not to mention the fact that I had to leave the cocoon of blankets multiple times a night to feed her. Two, since I took a six-month maternity leave, then left our child at home with a nanny, our apartment was suddenly occupied nearly 24/7 instead of only on evenings and weekends. We ran the heat much more, kept more lights on, and certainly ran more loads of laundry and dishes. If you decide to use cloth diapers, expect your laundry use to increase even more than average. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-cloth-diapers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Everything You Need to Know About Cloth Diapers</a>)</p> <h2>3. Convenience food</h2> <p>When I stopped working full-time to stay home with my new baby, I expected to make more home-cooked meals. In the long run that was true, but in the early months, I had trouble getting dinner on the table. Like many babies, my infant fussed most in the late afternoon, and often I couldn't put her down without her screaming. Many things can safely be done with a baby strapped to your body, but stirring a dish over a hot stove or putting a casserole in the oven aren't among them.</p> <p>For many households &mdash; especially if both parents work and have limited time between day care pickup and dinner &mdash; bringing home a baby is going to mean also bringing home more pizzas, ordering Chinese, and heating up Trader Joe's fake out. Don't guilt yourself about it; just budget for it.</p> <h2>4. Health care</h2> <p>Your health plan may not charge copays for the well baby visits scheduled frequently during the first year, which is great. But keep in mind that these may not be your only doctor visits. An ear infection may lead to two visits and a prescription. For one of my babies, a cold turned into a hospitalization for pneumonia. Another had frequent chest congestion that necessitated a breathing machine at home.</p> <p>If you have been on a health care plan that only covers major illnesses, you may need to look into a plan that covers more frequent visits before your baby is born.</p> <p>Then there are all the nonprescription supplies that you might buy for minor infant health concerns: baby Motrin, teething gel, a humidifier to ease congestion, medicated cream for eczema or rashes, a high-tech thermometer, so on and so forth. All these things add up, and quickly.</p> <p>Babies have to be taken to the doctor so often &mdash; weekly at first, then monthly, plus sick visits &mdash; that even transportation costs for getting to the doctor may have to be taken into account.</p> <h2>5. Loss of income</h2> <p>The last time I earned a full-time paycheck was 13 years ago. I may never earn one again.</p> <p>My family is an extreme example &mdash; many must and do have both parents return to working full-time within six weeks of birth. But I took six months away from my job after my first birth, some of that time unpaid, and then returned as a part-time worker. While pregnant with my second child, I quit my job altogether. I only began contributing freelance income to the family budget gradually as my kids got older.</p> <p>Even for families where both parents plan to keep working full-time, income may decline. Both parents may pass up opportunities for overtime. Time for side hustles evaporates. Parents may have to take unpaid days off if the baby is sick, or for those numerous well baby visits. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-side-jobs-for-stay-at-home-moms-and-dads?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Side Jobs for Stay-at-Home Moms and Dads</a>)</p> <h2>6. A bigger house</h2> <p>My husband and I brought our first baby home to a 750 square foot, one-bedroom apartment with no immediate plans to move. After all, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends sharing a room with your baby! We were sure we would be cozy.</p> <p>Unfortunately, we almost immediately felt crowded out by baby equipment, not to mention the fact that there was nowhere to escape to if the baby was crying and one parent was trying to sleep or work. Living in a building with shared walls also became a problem, especially when the baby learned to bang her toys on the floor.</p> <p>Housing accounts for around a third of the expense of raising a child, according to the USDA. If you think you won't move after you have a baby, go to some open houses and ask the sellers why they're moving. Lots of them will tell you it's because their family is growing. And if you don't move after the first baby, you will probably want a bigger place once the second is on the way.</p> <p>Our family moved out of that one-bedroom flat into a three-bedroom house around the time that our second baby was born. The mortgage is twice what we paid before having kids. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-make-room-for-baby?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Easy Ways to Make Room for Baby</a>)</p> <h2>7. A larger car</h2> <p>You do not need to rush out and buy a minivan the moment you see two pink lines on the pregnancy test. However, it can be shocking how much space today's infant seats take up in the back seat. If you've been driving a two-door compact car, you may find yourself wanting something larger after the baby comes. And if you have more than two children, good luck fitting their car seats in the back of any sedan. The first baby saw us upgrade from a two-door hatchback to a Subaru; the third child sent us from the Subaru to small sport utility vehicle.</p> <h2>8. Life insurance</h2> <p>Before having kids, my husband and I didn't worry about life insurance. If I died, my husband would have been able to handle the payments on our condo by himself, and vice versa.</p> <p>But once you have a child, you have to ask yourself what would happen if one parent suddenly died. Your child would likely receive Social Security payments, but would this be enough to keep living where you live, to pay for child care while the surviving parent works, and to save for college? And what if both parents died?</p> <p>Life insurance costs can vary widely depending on your overall health and lifestyle and the specifics of your plan. However, you need to seriously consider this expense once you become a parent. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/term-vs-whole-life-insurance-heres-how-to-choose?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Term vs Whole Life Insurance: Here's How to Choose</a>)</p> <h2>9. Child care</h2> <p>Of course, you knew before you had a baby that you weren't going to be able to leave it home alone while you worked. But you probably didn't realize just how much child care would cost. According to a recent NerdWallet study, half of expecting parents thought diapering would be the biggest expense of having a baby, not child care.</p> <p>According to that study, the cost of full-time child care ranges from $8,000 at a day care center to $27,000 or more for a nanny.</p> <p>Even if you had realized that child care would be expensive, you may find yourself paying even more than you'd imagined. For instance, when my first child was born, I hoped I wouldn't need child care because I planned to change my work shift to evenings. That plan collapsed when my boss turned down my request. My second thought was to use a day care center, but I quickly found out that all the centers in my urban neighborhood had years long waiting lists for infant care. Home-based day cares were more affordable and available, but each one I visited had a worrisome condition, such as kids sitting in front of the TV for hours or being left crying in their cribs well after naptime. I finally ended up sharing a nanny with another family, at a cost far higher than I had anticipated.</p> <h2>10. All the cute things</h2> <p>You might think that you won't waste money buying clothes and toys for your newborn. After all, you got all those clothes at your baby shower. Then you meet your baby and realize that she's the most beautiful creature on earth and that beautiful creatures need accessories. After my first child was born, I developed a habit of popping into the Gymboree near my work regularly to see if new styles were in and if anything had gone on sale. This routine did not help our family budget.</p> <h2>11. Feeding</h2> <p>If you're planning on breast-feeding your baby, you might expect that to be free, right? Not exactly.</p> <p>A surprising number of newborns have trouble getting the hang of breast-feeding. You might need to consult a lactation specialist just once to help your infant latch and learn to suck, or you may need multiple home visits. You may need to buy products, such as nipple shields, to help the latch happen. All this struggle may wreak havoc on the mother's body and soul, necessitating anything from nipple cream to doctor visits for mastitis to seeing a counselor.</p> <p>Whether your baby succeeds immediately at breast-feeding or not, you still probably need a breast pump. You'll also likely need a better, more expensive breast pump than you thought. I've tried a lot of them, and trust me, a cheap breast pump will not enhance postpartum life.</p> <p>Many parents end up bottle feeding instead of or in addition to breast-feeding, which brings the expense of formula and bottles. You might even buy a sanitizer for the bottles, an insulated carrying pack for either breastmilk or formula, or a mini fridge for the office or nursery.</p> <p>In the second half of the first year, your baby will start eating solids, an occasion you can mark by purchasing many kinds of organic foods for him to spit onto the kitchen walls, and new feeding gadgets such as suction cup bowls and spoons that hold puree in the handle. Expect to throw away most of the food you purchase, either directly from the container because it went bad before your baby finished it, or after scraping it off the floor, walls, cupboards, and your own clothing.</p> <h2>12. Specialists</h2> <p>Taking care of a baby might sound easy before you try it. After all, humans have been doing this since they lived in caves. If that were true, though, there wouldn't be so many specialists out there ready to help you figure it out for an hourly fee.</p> <p>You might realize after you come home from the hospital that you need a postpartum doula or baby nurse to help you get back up to speed and get a few hours of sleep at night. Many more families than you would imagine consult a sleep specialist to help them figure out how to get their infants to sleep.</p> <h2>13. Baby gear</h2> <p>Before my first was born, I read a book called <em>The Baby Book</em> by a certain Dr. Sears. This book, which embraces attachment parenting, convinced me that I wouldn't need anything but my own arms and maybe a sling to care for my baby. After all, I would never want to turn my baby over to a mechanical device like a swing when I could be cuddling her in my arms.</p> <p>Then I brought the baby home, and I realized that sometimes I needed to use the bathroom or shower or cook dinner. This wasn't really covered in the book. We purchased our first baby swing, a weak little portable model. By the time we had our third baby, I had the most powerful swing on the market downstairs, another swing for upstairs, plus a bouncy seat for the bathroom, two strollers, and countless other pieces of baby gear.</p> <p>Even if you think your baby shower will cover your gear needs, the fact is that you will end up spending money on baby equipment. Don't feel the need to buy every single product that's advertised for babies, but accept the fact that there will be gadgets, and some of them really help.</p> <h2>14. Replacing things that baby wrecks</h2> <p>That sweet thing can't even raise his head; how could he destroy your possessions?</p> <p><em>Just wait.</em></p> <p>My babies have slobbered and mouthed a cellphone into oblivion. They've grabbed fragile things that I thought were out of reach and flung them. They have vomited on strangers and caused me to have to pay for those strangers' meals. They have stretched out the necklines of my shirts while reaching for my breasts. One of them even wrecked an expensive ballpark beer before I got the chance to take a sip by throwing a cleaning wipe into the cup.</p> <p>And oh, the pacifiers. I have surely spent thousands of dollars replacing pacifiers that babies flung out of car windows, dropped in the park, and just disappeared into the baby ether.</p> <p>You really can't have nice things with a baby around. And even your mediocre things will need replacing or professional cleaning more often than you'd expected.</p> <h2>15. Entertainment and education</h2> <p>Before I became a mother, I laughed out loud at a colleague who told me he took his infant to a music class. But when I was on maternity leave with my daughter, the hours began to weigh on me. We needed somewhere to go, and you can only grocery shop so many times per day.</p> <p>We signed up for a baby sign language class and later &mdash; yes &mdash; a baby music class.</p> <p>For the parents, there are also continuing education classes to pay for, such as infant CPR. And if you stay home with your baby, there's the cost of being out and about instead of sitting in an office all day. I found myself spending on things like lattes and lunches with other moms, just because I was out pushing the stroller.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F15-unexpected-expenses-of-a-new-baby&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F15%2520Unexpected%2520Expenses%2520of%2520a%2520New%2520Baby.jpg&amp;description=15%20Unexpected%20Expenses%20of%20a%20New%20Baby"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/15%20Unexpected%20Expenses%20of%20a%20New%20Baby.jpg" alt="15 Unexpected Expenses of a New Baby" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-unexpected-expenses-of-a-new-baby">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/why-saving-money-is-harder-today">Why Saving Money Is Harder Today</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-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</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/stop-making-these-7-basic-budget-mistakes">Stop Making These 7 Basic Budget Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-manage-your-money-no-budgeting-required">How to Manage Your Money — No Budgeting Required</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-financial-reasons-paid-parental-leave-is-essential-for-moms-and-dads">5 Financial Reasons Paid Parental Leave Is Essential for Moms and Dads</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Family babies child care day care expenses Food Health hidden costs income infants newborns unexpected costs Tue, 24 Oct 2017 09:00:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2039971 at http://www.wisebread.com How Nutrition Labels Are About to Get Better http://www.wisebread.com/how-nutrition-labels-are-about-to-get-better <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-nutrition-labels-are-about-to-get-better" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/nutrition_facts_of_brown_rice_pasta.jpg" alt="Nutrition facts of Brown Rice Pasta" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We've all experienced it &mdash; we walk into the grocery store, intent on making the best health decisions during our shopping trip. Then we get completely confused by the nutrition labels on the food we want to buy.</p> <p>Consumer confusion surrounding these labels is totally understandable. The labels were created 25 years ago, and have remained largely unchanged since that time. Our food system, the way we eat, and our ever-growing knowledge of nutrition and health has vastly changed in the last two and a half decades.</p> <p>As a result of many years of consumer pressure, the FDA finally agreed to <a href="https://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm385663.htm#highlights" target="_blank">update the nutrition facts labels</a> on packaged food, and they are getting quite a makeover. The work is already in progress and manufacturers will have to be in compliance of the new label standards no later than July 26, 2018. Here are the biggest changes to look out for.</p> <h2>The size of the font and key info in bold</h2> <p>The font size of different sections of the nutrition facts will help make it easier to focus on the points that matter most. The number of servings per container, serving size, and calorie count per serving will be bolded and in a larger font than the rest of the nutrition information on the label. This change will also make the label easier to scan as a whole.</p> <h2>An emphasis on the daily value percentage</h2> <p>The layout of the label will also change with a greater emphasis on the daily value percentages. These are the percentages that tell you the amount of the daily recommended value of vitamins, minerals, and components such as fat, fiber, sugar, protein, and sodium that you will get from each serving in the package.</p> <h2>&quot;Added Sugars&quot; will be included</h2> <p>Added sugar is exactly what it sounds like: sugar that manufacturers add to a food item that doesn't come naturally from ingredients such as fruit. It's no secret that many manufacturers add sugar to foods to make them tastier for consumers. There is scientific research to suggest that the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5133084/" target="_blank">amount of added sugar we're consuming</a> is contributing to chronic diseases such as diabetes. Given the spike that we're seeing in chronic diseases in our society, it makes sense that the FDA is making this distinction between added sugars and other carbohydrates. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eat-less-sugar-with-these-10-simple-tricks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Eat Less Sugar With These 10 Simple Tricks</a>)</p> <h2>Serving sizes will be more realistic</h2> <p>It's endlessly frustrating when you see something small and unhealthy &mdash; a candy bar, for example &mdash; and the nutrition label has it listed as a three-serving snack. You know you're probably going to eat it in one sitting, as would most people. Luckily, nutrition labels will now reflect that reality.</p> <p>The FDA states that &quot;packages that are between one and two servings, such as a 20-ounce soda or a 15-ounce can of soup, the calories and other nutrients will be required to be labeled as one serving because people typically consume it in one sitting.&quot;</p> <p>Though we are the ones who remain in control of our health and food consumption, the FDA is putting forward a good deal of effort to make sure that food manufacturers are helping consumers achieve and maintain good health through balanced nutrition. While these new and improved nutrition facts labels won't be the silver bullet for better health, they are a big step in the right direction.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-nutrition-labels-are-about-to-get-better&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520Nutrition%2520Labels%2520Are%2520About%2520To%2520Get%2520Better.jpg&amp;description=How%20Nutrition%20Labels%20Are%20About%20to%20Get%20Better"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20Nutrition%20Labels%20Are%20About%20To%20Get%20Better.jpg" alt="How Nutrition Labels Are About to Get Better" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-nutrition-labels-are-about-to-get-better">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/10-healthy-ways-to-have-ice-cream-for-breakfast">10 Healthy Ways to Have Ice Cream for Breakfast</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/move-over-weight-watchers-the-new-pyramid-is-here">Move Over Weight Watchers, the New Pyramid is Here!</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-free-self-care-rituals-to-get-you-through-a-long-winter">6 Free Self-Care Rituals to Get You Through a Long Winter</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/4-vacation-destinations-where-eating-healthy-is-surprisingly-cheap">4 Vacation Destinations Where Eating Healthy Is Surprisingly Cheap</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/14-smartphone-apps-that-make-self-care-a-snap">14 Smartphone Apps That Make Self-Care a Snap</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty eat healthy Food food labels healthy eating nutrition labels sugar intake Thu, 07 Sep 2017 09:01:06 +0000 Christa Avampato 2016466 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Boomers and Millennials Are Creating Winners on the Stock Market http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-boomers-and-millennials-are-creating-winners-on-the-stock-market <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-boomers-and-millennials-are-creating-winners-on-the-stock-market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_with_adult_daughter_in_park_together.jpg" alt="Mother With Adult Daughter In Park Together" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It may not seem like millennials and baby boomers have a lot in common, aside from the fact that they make up a huge chunk of the U.S. population. But the two generations do share some similar traits when it comes to spending and investing. This is already having a significant impact on the economy and the stock market, and will continue to do so.</p> <p>Here are some key ways that baby boomers and millennials are impacting business and the markets.</p> <h2>Health care will be huge</h2> <p>There's a lot of noise related to the Affordable Care Act and a possible replacement. How things will shake out on Capitol Hill is anyone's guess, but there's no doubt that Americans will be spending more on health care. Baby boomers make up an increasing percentage of the U.S. population, and will require more medical attention as they age. This means big profits for pharmaceutical firms, but also biotech companies, hospitals, and manufacturers of medical equipment. The S&amp;P 500 Health Care Index has seen annualized returns of more than 16 percent over the last five years, and is up nearly 12 percent in 2017. Expect the upward trend to continue.</p> <h2>Health consciousness is also big</h2> <p>Millennials are aware of the obesity problem in America, and many of them are making lifestyle choices to counteract that. We've seen a push for more natural and organic food items, and a desire for less sugar and fat. This also means a continued expansion of fast-casual restaurants that offer healthier options, perhaps at the expense of traditional fast food chains. Baby boomers will help fuel this push to health as well simply by following doctor's orders to eat healthy as they age.</p> <h2>Investing costs will go down</h2> <p>Boomers have no interest in seeing their retirement savings cut down by high expense ratios and commissions, and millennials are becoming more savvy about the impact these costs have on their portfolios. These two demographics have led the charge against fees, and we've seen some brokerages respond. In February, Charles Schwab and Fidelity cut their online trade commissions to a mere $4.95, and many brokerage firms have expanded their offerings of commission-free exchange-traded funds (ETFs).</p> <p>Meanwhile, investing in low-cost index funds has ballooned; nearly half of all assets placed in mutual funds and ETFs are indexed rather than in actively-managed accounts, according to Morningstar.</p> <h2>Investing in individual stocks will decline</h2> <p>Aging baby boomers can be expected to withdraw their investments or at least shift their portfolios to more conservative investments like bonds and cash. Meanwhile, millennials are wary of the markets in general after living through the stock market declines of the early 2000s and 2008. Millennials have also learned that trying to beat the market by investing in individual stocks is generally a fool's game. This shying away from individual stocks could impact the overall returns in the stock market over time.</p> <h2>Popular brands aren't a sure thing</h2> <p>There has long been a common thought among investors that big, popular brands will always be surefire investments. Investors have long banked on the notion of brand loyalty as a driver of investment returns. But there have been several recent reports that millennials are not as brand-loyal as their predecessor generations. Millennials will go for value and quality, and aren't going to stick with a single brand out of stubbornness. This may have implications for stocks that have performed well over the years in part due to brand recognition.</p> <h2>Brick-and-mortar retail will go south</h2> <p>We're already seeing retail chains struggling, with H.G. Gregg, Gymboree, Rue 21, and several other brick-and-mortar outlets declaring bankruptcy in recent months. Meanwhile, online retailing giant Amazon just reported a 23 percent increase in sales, to $35.7 billion. Millennials don't mind shopping online, and baby boomers are less likely to go out on long shopping trips as they get older.</p> <h2>Experiences over objects</h2> <p>Millennials don't really care about owning things. Instead, they get satisfaction from experiences like fitness classes, travel, or eating well. To the extent that they need items such as music or movies, they prefer to obtain them through streaming services such as Netflix (one of the hottest tech stocks in America) or Spotify. Meanwhile, baby boomers are getting older and aren't in the habit of acquiring more &quot;stuff,&quot; either.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fheres-how-boomers-and-millennials-are-creating-winners-on-the-stock-market&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHeres%2520How%2520Boomers%2520and%2520Millennials%2520Are%2520Creating%2520Winners%2520on%2520the%2520Stock%2520Market.jpg&amp;description=Heres%20How%20Boomers%20and%20Millennials%20Are%20Creating%20Winners%20on%20the%20Stock%20Market"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Heres%20How%20Boomers%20and%20Millennials%20Are%20Creating%20Winners%20on%20the%20Stock%20Market.jpg" alt="Here's How Boomers and Millennials Are Creating Winners on the Stock Market" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-boomers-and-millennials-are-creating-winners-on-the-stock-market">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/7-reasons-millennials-should-stop-being-afraid-of-the-stock-market">7 Reasons Millennials Should Stop Being Afraid of the Stock Market</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/with-micro-investing-your-smartphone-pays-you">With Micro-Investing, Your Smartphone Pays YOU</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-making-the-biggest-investment-risk-of-all">Are You Making the Biggest Investment Risk of All?</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-things-everyone-should-know-about-the-commodities-markets">8 Things Everyone Should Know About the Commodities Markets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-millennials-can-do-right-now-for-an-early-retirement">8 Things Millennials Can Do Right Now for an Early Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment baby boomers brand loyalty eating well Food Health health care millennials retail stock market Mon, 24 Jul 2017 08:00:10 +0000 Tim Lemke 1986883 at http://www.wisebread.com Why Timing Is Everything When Saving Money on Travel http://www.wisebread.com/why-timing-is-everything-when-saving-money-on-travel <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-timing-is-everything-when-saving-money-on-travel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/lazy_summer_afternoon.jpg" alt="Lazy summer afternoon" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Nearly half of Americans say they won't be taking a vacation this summer, according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The top reason: cost, named by 49 percent of those who'll be staying home.</p> <p>Traveling in low season may just be the answer to this nation without vacation conundrum. By traveling outside of summer and public holidays, or by going abroad during the less popular times of year, you can save a considerable amount of money on your total travel bill. Here's how.</p> <h2>First of all, what is peak season?</h2> <p>Typically peak season refers to the time of year when the most tourists (foreign or local or both), descend upon a popular travel destination. In many countries, peak season falls around Christmas, New Year's, Easter, and over some summer holidays.</p> <p>The exact dates of peak season will depend on where you're traveling to, what festivals are on, and what the majority religion is in the country. For example, Easter is extremely busy in the Philippines, while there isn't much rise in tourism in Muslim countries during the Christian holiday.</p> <p>Similarly, Brazil is extremely busy during Carnival in February, but the date of Carnival is different in many South American countries and it's different on Caribbean islands as well. It's best to do a bit of research to find out exactly when &quot;offseason&quot; happens in your selected destination.</p> <h2>Pros and cons of offseason travel</h2> <p>Of course, there are a few cons to offseason travel or everyone would travel then, so it's important to cover those here. While many people might worry that they'd be constantly drenched if they travel during rainy season, that's often not the case. In many places, heavy rainfall does occur in the off-peak months, but typically it falls for an hour or so and then goes away.</p> <p>If you're really worried about weather, you may consider traveling in the &quot;shoulder season,&quot; which is a good middle ground between high season and low season. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-times-of-year-to-travel-anywhere?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Times of Year to Travel Anywhere</a>)</p> <p>Pros of low-season travel:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Cheaper prices.</p> </li> <li> <p>Fewer travelers.</p> </li> <li> <p>Some great local festivals happen in the offseason.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Cons:</p> <ul> <li> <p>May not be optimal weather.</p> </li> <li> <p>Some sights and hotels may be closed.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>How to save on accommodations</h2> <p>Hotels, hostels, B&amp;Bs, and vacation rental apartments all tend to jack up their prices during the most desirable travel periods. Take, for example, a three-bedroom home listed on Airbnb in Manzanillo, Mexico. If you book this particular apartment in July, when it's not peak season, it's only $166 a night, while the same apartment booked over Christmas this year will run you $330 a night!</p> <p>This isn't just on Airbnb, either. I've personally been traveling over the Christmas season for nearly eight years straight and I've always had a hard time finding accommodation deals for that time period. Typically I end up spending at least 50 percent more, simply because I'm getting close to Christmas. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-save-money-on-hotels?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Surprising Ways to Save Money on Hotels</a>)</p> <h2>How to save on flights</h2> <p>We all know that hotels aren't the only ones jacking up their prices during the holiday and peak seasons. Airlines have been doing this for years. According to a study by CheapAir.com:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">&quot;Over the course of the entire holiday booking period, travelers paid an average 50 percent more for a flight during the holidays than for the same flight during a non-holiday time. That means a $300 ticket during off-peak time cost $450 during the holidays.&quot;</p> <p>That's no joke! I've personally paid as much as 60 percent more on my airfare, simply because I was flying during a public holiday or during a festival. Traveling in the offseason could save you a lot of money on your airfare. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-flight-booking-hacks-to-save-you-hundreds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Flight Booking Hacks to Save You Hundreds</a>)</p> <h2>How to save on food</h2> <p>Believe it or not, even restaurants give discounts in the offseason. I have been in some towns where nearly every restaurant offers a &quot;local discount&quot; during the offseason because there are so few tourists that it is the only way they can make money during the slower months.</p> <p>During a trip to Thailand in 2014, I watched many restaurants on Railay Beach change their menus over to get ready for the peak season. All of the prices I had come to know (and love) suddenly went up by as much as 20 percent. As peak season starts, many restaurants will hike up their prices, so traveling off-peak can save you money on food as well! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-street-food-safely-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Eat Street Food Safely While Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>Offseason is a fine season for travel</h2> <p>When I first started traveling frequently back in 2008, I was always checking the weather to make sure that I was planning my trip for the perfect time of the year. The only problem with that theory was that everyone and their dog had the same idea and my trips cost me a lot more than they had to.</p> <p>Today I use the offseason or the shoulder season as much as I can and I'm able to travel for far less. So can you. Next time you plan a holiday, consider going when fewer others do. The amount you save could mean that you can go on a longer trip, or maybe budget in another holiday throughout the year.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhy-timing-is-everything-when-saving-money-on-travel&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhy%2520Timing%2520Is%2520Everything%2520When%2520Saving%2520Money%2520on%2520Travel.jpg&amp;description=Why%20Timing%20Is%20Everything%20When%20Saving%20Money%20on%20Travel"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Why%20Timing%20Is%20Everything%20When%20Saving%20Money%20on%20Travel.jpg" alt="Why Timing Is Everything When Saving Money on Travel" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-timing-is-everything-when-saving-money-on-travel">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/fly-out-of-these-airports-and-save-big-on-airfare">Fly Out of These Airports and Save Big on Airfare</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-students-can-travel-abroad-for-less">7 Ways Students Can Travel Abroad for Less</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/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</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/these-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable">These 6 Things Will Make Your Next Flight More Comfortable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel accommodations Airfare budget friendly climate flights Food off peak offseason price hikes tourists vacation weather Mon, 17 Jul 2017 08:30:15 +0000 Nick Wharton 1981841 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Countries Where You Can Travel on $30 a Day or Less http://www.wisebread.com/7-countries-where-you-can-travel-on-30-a-day-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-countries-where-you-can-travel-on-30-a-day-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tourists_posing_in_front_of_temple_in_koh_samui_thailand.jpg" alt="Tourists posing in front of temple in koh samui thailand" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Many people believe that traveling is extremely expensive, and while this may be true if you're expecting five-star hotels and luxury cruises, on the whole it's a misconception. There are countries all over the world where, thanks to the low cost of living and (in some cases) <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-places-to-travel-while-the-dollar-is-strong?ref=internal" target="_blank">strong U.S. dollar</a>, it's possible to get around on a very low budget.</p> <p>Traveling on the cheap is certainly not for everyone and it often means making a few sacrifices, but choosing the right place to visit is half the battle. Here are seven countries where you can travel on $30 a day or less. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-youre-paying-too-much-for-when-you-travel-and-how-to-pay-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Things You're Paying Too Much for When You Travel</a>)</p> <p>Unless otherwise stated, all figures quoted are referenced from <a href="https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/" target="_blank">numbeo.com</a>, the largest database of user contributed data about cities and countries worldwide.</p> <h2>1. Thailand</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/woman_sitting_on_long_tail_boat.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Nicknamed &quot;The Land of Smiles&quot; thanks to its welcoming and friendly reputation, Thailand is the original backpacker's paradise. Its mix of stunning tropical islands, bustling cities, mouthwatering food, and vibrant night life has seen its popularity explode in recent decades. Despite this huge growth in visitor numbers, Thailand's prices have remained extremely low and it's still one of the cheapest countries to visit in the whole of Southeast Asia.</p> <p>Hostel dorm beds are available for as little as $1.47 per night. While I was there in 2014 I found private double rooms for just $7 a night. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost $1.77, and a pint of domestic beer costs the same.</p> <p><strong>Top money saving tip:</strong> Take advantage of the amazing street food in Thailand. It's famous for being some of the best in the world and is also some of the cheapest, with some meals costing as little as $1. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-street-food-safely-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Eat Street Food Safely While Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>2. Bolivia</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/female_tourist_on_salar_de_uyuni_during_sunset_altiplano_bolivia.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Bolivia is often overlooked as a travel destination in favor of more illustrious South American countries such as Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Peru. That's a real shame, because this diverse country shares some of the most impressive landscapes on the continent with them, accessible at a far cheaper price. Sections of the Andes Mountains, the Amazon Rainforest, and Lake Titicaca all lie within its borders, as well as its crowning jewel, the Salar de Uyuni &mdash; the world's largest salt flat.</p> <p>Hostel rooms are available for as little as $6 per night. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost $3.50, and a pint of domestic beer can be as cheap as $2.10.</p> <p><strong>Top money saving tip:</strong> Eat lunch at local markets where two-course specials are available at rock-bottom prices. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-secrets-to-eating-great-food-for-cheap-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Secrets to Eating Great Food for Cheap While Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>3. China</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/tourists_in_beijing_riding_bikes.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>China is a country of massive contrasts. Ancient history meets cutting edge modernity, small cities house millions of inhabitants, and landscapes range from arid deserts to the freezing &quot;ice city&quot; of Harbin. With its vast size and population of over 1.3 billion people, it's a fascinating country with so much to explore that it can be overwhelming.</p> <p>But China is also very affordable for travelers from the U.S. and other nations with strong currencies.</p> <p>Hostel dorm rooms are available for as little as $2.93 per night. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost $2.95, and domestic beer can be as cheap as (0.5 liter draft) 89 cents.</p> <p>In my experience in small-town China, you can buy large beers at the grocery store for as little as 30 cents and bring them into almost any restaurant, no questions asked. Sometimes the staff will even keep them in their refrigerator and open them for you.</p> <p><strong>Top money saving tip:</strong> Spend less time in the big cities where costs, particularly for accommodation, are higher. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-travel-destinations-you-thought-were-unaffordable?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Amazing Travel Destinations You Thought Were Unaffordable</a>)</p> <h2>4. Mexico</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/view_of_el_castillo.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>For many, the mention of Mexico conjures up images of palm-fringed beaches and large seafront resorts catering to sun-seeking vacationers. While this is a side of Mexico that exists, there is so much more of interest in this country, from its rich history to its heavenly cuisine (the latter was listed by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity). There's also a surprising amount of wildlife that doesn't get the recognition it deserves, with black bears, flamingos, crocodiles, and a wide variety of marine life.</p> <p>Hostel rooms are available for as little as 50 cents per night. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost about $5, and domestic beer can be as cheap as $1.38.</p> <p><strong>Top money saving tip:</strong> Avoid the popular coastal areas, which are more pricey. Head inland instead to towns like <a href="https://www.goatsontheroad.com/10-awesome-things-guanajuato-mexico/" target="_blank">Guanajuato</a> and <a href="https://www.goatsontheroad.com/visiting-valladolid-colonial-city-crossroads-culture/" target="_blank">Valladolid</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-most-affordable-beach-towns-in-mexico?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Most Affordable Beach Towns in Mexico</a>)</p> <h2>5. Ukraine</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/person_is_standing_at_street_of_downtown_lviv_ukraine.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>As one of the least visited countries in Europe despite being the second largest, Ukraine can be a difficult place to travel in at times. English is not widely spoken, and the Cyrillic alphabet means it's not possible to glean any meaning from the written language.</p> <p>It's also important to be aware that Ukraine has a volatile recent history, and parts of it are still off-limits to visitors due to ongoing political disputes with neighboring Russia. However, with a little bit of effort you'll discover an enchanting country that's brimming with tradition and warmth.</p> <p>Hostel rooms are available for as little as $3.09 per night. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost <a href="https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?country=Ukraine&amp;displayCurrency=USD" target="_blank">$3.84</a>, and domestic beer can be as cheap as 58 cents.</p> <p><strong>Top money saving tip: </strong>Use overnight trains for long-distance travel. They're inexpensive and will save a night's accommodation as well. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-incredible-world-cities-you-can-afford?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Incredible World Cities You Can Afford</a>)</p> <h2>6. India</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/woman_in_taj_mahal.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Spirituality, wildlife, chaos, color, and excitement collide in this enormous and at times perplexing country. All of your senses will be engaged while you make your way through India, as you try to make sense of what is truly a country like no other. Though at times it can be overwhelming, the countryside is as calm and tranquil as the big cities are tumultuous.</p> <p>Hostel rooms are available for as little as $2.16 per night. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost $2.33, and you can get a pint of domestic beer for as little as $1.55.</p> <p><strong>Top money saving tip:</strong> Always haggle for everything. The original price you're quoted is likely to be highly inflated but shouldn't be the price you pay.</p> <h2>7. Egypt</h2> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5197/pyramids_bedouin.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p>Egypt is most celebrated for being the home of the great Pyramids of Giza, built to immortalize the Pharaohs who reigned these lands over 5,000 years ago. It's said to be the birthplace of western civilization, making it the perfect destination for history buffs and intrepid explorers. Being on the boundary between North Africa and the Middle East lends the country a unique and remarkable mix of two very diverse cultures.</p> <p>Hostel rooms are available for as little as $2.21 per night. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost $3.04, and domestic beer can be as cheap as $1.19. When I was there last, I was eating filling meals of falafel, bread, and chips for just 50 cents!</p> <p><strong>Top money saving tip:</strong> Shop around when booking activities, there are lots of companies offering very similar things at hugely varying prices.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-countries-where-you-can-travel-on-30-a-day-or-less&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Countries%2520Where%2520You%2520Can%2520Travel%2520on%252030%2520Dollars%2520a%2520Day%2520or%2520Less.jpg&amp;description=7%20Countries%20Where%20You%20Can%20Travel%20on%2030%20Dollars%20a%20Day%20or%20Less"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Countries%20Where%20You%20Can%20Travel%20on%2030%20Dollars%20a%20Day%20or%20Less.jpg" alt="7 Countries Where You Can Travel on $30 a Day or Less" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-countries-where-you-can-travel-on-30-a-day-or-less">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-countries-where-you-can-retire-for-1000-a-month">5 Countries Where You Can Retire for $1,000 a Month</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/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-international-destinations-you-can-visit-for-50-a-day">5 International Destinations You Can Visit for $50 a Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-about-a-terrible-airbnb-stay">What to Do About a Terrible Airbnb Stay</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-airline-miles-secrets-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Airline Miles Secrets Only Frequent Flyers Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel affordable bolivia China egypt Food hotels india international mexico thailand transportation ukraine vacation Wed, 12 Jul 2017 08:30:17 +0000 Nick Wharton 1979038 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Essentials You Need in Your Emergency Home Food Bank http://www.wisebread.com/8-essentials-you-need-in-your-emergency-home-food-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-essentials-you-need-in-your-emergency-home-food-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/getting_ready_to_cook_up_a_storm.jpg" alt="Getting ready to cook up a storm" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I was never good about keeping a pantry, but that all changed when we relocated and the first hurricane came through. Even once it had passed, stores remained closed and power was out. That's when I understood the need to have a well-stocked home food bank.</p> <p>A food bank also enables you to avoid the panic that sets in when something scary does happen. If you've ever been through a natural disaster, you know well how quickly water and other basic food necessities disappear. For those with electric stoves, consider getting a <a href="http://amzn.to/2tXbEiz" target="_blank">camp stove</a> to keep around in case you're without power and need to boil water or heat up other food. Here are eight items you should stock in your emergency home food bank.</p> <h2>1. Rice</h2> <p>White rice keeps for four to five years, assuming you have it stored well. Brown rice has a shorter shelf life of three to six months, so if that is your preference, you need to make sure you use it in time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-you-need-in-your-emergency-pantry?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Foods You Need in Your &quot;Emergency&quot; Pantry</a>)</p> <h2>2. Ice</h2> <p>We learned quickly, and the hard way, that ice is the first thing to go in an emergency. You'll need to keep your perishables cold. If you have room in your freezer, keep extra trays of ice. We also invested in an outdoor freezer where we keep an extra bag.</p> <h2>3. Canned soups</h2> <p>Canned soup is versatile, filling, and can come packed with nutrient-rich beans and veggies. Watch for soups to go on sale or buy by the case at a warehouse for the best price. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-a-ton-by-eating-soup-every-day-and-never-get-bored?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save a Ton by Eating Soup Every Day</a>)</p> <h2>4. Canned meat and tuna</h2> <p>Fresh meat and fish will go bad the fastest, but the canned versions are made to last, and can satisfy your body's need for protein in a pinch. Keep cans of tuna, chicken, corned beef, or Spam around, because they can easily be added to any meal.</p> <h2>5. Canned fruit and vegetables</h2> <p>Canned green beans, carrots, and canned potatoes can be used in an easy camping &quot;stew&quot; if you lose power. Canned fruits are delicious, and will certainly hold you over until the stores reopen and you can purchase healthier fresh fruit.</p> <h2>6. Bottled water</h2> <p>We keep five-gallon jugs at the ready. If there is a storm approaching, we fill those with water right away before the storm hits. Because if you lose your water source, you'll need clean water for absolutely everything: bathing, cooking, drinking, etc.</p> <h2>7. Instant coffee and tea</h2> <p>In a power outage, you can still get your daily caffeine fix from coffee or tea if you have a gas stove or camp stove.</p> <h2>8. Pasta</h2> <p>There are a lot of ways to get creative if you have some pasta around, or boxed macaroni and cheese. It's also a filling staple that can be combined with just about anything to create a complete meal. Stock up when prices are low and you won't regret it.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-essentials-you-need-in-your-emergency-home-food-bank&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Essentials%2520You%2520Need%2520in%2520Your%2520Emergency%2520Home%2520Food%2520Bank.jpg&amp;description=8%20Essentials%20You%20Need%20in%20Your%20Emergency%20Home%20Food%20Bank"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Essentials%20You%20Need%20in%20Your%20Emergency%20Home%20Food%20Bank.jpg" alt="8 Essentials You Need in Your Emergency Home Food Bank" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-essentials-you-need-in-your-emergency-home-food-bank">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/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way</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-foods-you-need-in-your-emergency-pantry">10 Foods You Need in Your &quot;Emergency&quot; Pantry</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/flashback-friday-wise-breads-88-best-food-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: Wise Bread&#039;s 88 Best Food Hacks Ever</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-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-15-foods-that-are-worth-buying-organic">The Only 15 Foods That Are Worth Buying Organic</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping canned goods Food food bank food shopping food storage pantry Tue, 27 Jun 2017 08:30:15 +0000 Marla Walters 1972610 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save Big on Everything for Your Wedding http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-big-on-everything-for-your-wedding <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-big-on-everything-for-your-wedding" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/newlyweds_with_guest_on_their_garden_party.jpg" alt="Newlyweds with guest on their garden party" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For most people, their wedding is one of the most important days of their lives. In many cases, it's also one of the most expensive. With a little planning, though, you can still have everything you want for your special day, affordably. Here are over 25 ways to save big for your big day.</p> <h2>The general stuff</h2> <p>Cutting costs starts with the basics.</p> <h3>1. Get the right credit card</h3> <p>One of the best tools to use for paying for and saving on your wedding is credit cards. No, not to borrow more than you can afford and end up paying thousands in interest charges. But to use them to save money and get rewards. There are three main strategies for using credit cards to pay for your wedding: Getting <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">big bonuses</a> and earning <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">rewards for cash</a> or travel, getting a zero interest loan in the form of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-0-apr-for-purchases?ref=internal" target="_blank">0% APR on purchases</a> for a limited time, and paying off purchases with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">0% interest balance transfer</a> card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Travel Rewards</a>)</p> <p>In order for any of these strategies to work, you must commit to paying off your balance each month (for the rewards to actually be worthwhile), or make a plan to pay off the balance within the intro period to save on interest. Otherwise, you'll end up paying much more for your wedding than you anticipated due to the high interest charges.</p> <h3>2. Be flexible on timing</h3> <p>September, October, and June are the most popular months to get married, according to The Knot, so avoid those months for better prices. You can cut your costs further by staying away from Saturday night dates and evening weddings in general.</p> <h3>3. Pare the guest list</h3> <p>The easiest way to shave expenses across the board is to invite fewer people to your party. A smaller guest list means you'll be able to book a smaller venue, buy less food and alcohol, and hire less help. Start by eliminating anyone you haven't spoken to in more than six months, and be firm about not inviting &quot;plus-ones&quot; that you don't know.</p> <h3>4. Eliminate the bridal party</h3> <p>One of the latest wedding trends, according to Pinterest's 2017 Wedding Report, is doing without wedding attendants. Getting rid of (or shrinking) your bridal party means the focus is solely on you and your beloved. What's more, you don't have to pay for flowers, gifts, or other expenses for them.</p> <h3>5. Tap your network</h3> <p>Have a friend that does calligraphy or an uncle who's an amateur photographer? Ask them whether they'd offer their services for your wedding at cost or in lieu of a gift.</p> <h2>The venue</h2> <p>You don't have to break the bank to find a nice place to say &quot;I do.&quot;</p> <h3>6. Consider nontraditional locations</h3> <p>Choosing a venue other than a banquet hall or hotel can add personality to your party, and cut costs at the same time. Research low-key outdoor locations such as a state or national park or renting out your favorite restaurant for the night.</p> <h3>7. Combine the wedding and reception</h3> <p>Having both the ceremony and the party at the same place will cut out one of your rental fees as well as the cost of transportation from one place to the next. Plus, it's easier and less stressful for everyone.</p> <h3>8. Compare apples to apples</h3> <p>When shopping around for a venue, be sure to ask exactly what's included in the rental fee, and if there are any extra costs, such as extra fees for cake-cutting or corkage if you're bringing your own wine. Knowing what's covered will help you make an informed decision about which venue offers the best value.</p> <h3>9. Consider a destination</h3> <p>While destination weddings typically cost more for guests to attend, they can be fairly cost-effective for the couple. Many all-inclusive resorts offer relatively low-cost wedding packages in which most of the planning is already done for you. Given the cost and commitment of attending the wedding, fewer guests will attend, keeping your costs down even further.</p> <h2>The music</h2> <p>It's not a wedding without awkward dancing.</p> <h3>10. Get a smaller band</h3> <p>The cost of a live band varies depending on the type of music and where you live, but no matter what, you'll pay more for a bigger band. Cutting down the size of your band from 10 pieces to six or eight will significantly reduce the price, and your guests probably won't notice the difference.</p> <h3>11. Opt for a DJ</h3> <p>A good DJ will be just as great at getting people onto the dance floor as a band, and you'll only have to pay one person. They'll also likely be able to play every song on your list and take requests, no matter how obscure.</p> <h3>12. Go the playlist route</h3> <p>Creating your own playlist for the wedding lets you eliminate the cost of a DJ entirely, and gives you total control over the music that's played. Ask a guest to handle the emcee duties, such as introducing you and announcing the cake-cutting. Ask someone else to hit &quot;play&quot; and &quot;pause&quot; at the appropriate times, and let the playlist handle the tunes. Just makes sure to scope out the sound system ahead of time to make sure you're able to hook into the available speakers.</p> <h2>Food and drink</h2> <p>Your guests will expect something to eat &mdash; but they won't expect it to be Michelin star.</p> <h3>13. Skip the sit-down dinner</h3> <p>Serving food buffet-style reduces the cost of the meal, since you need to hire fewer servers. Plus, buffets give guests more menu options, as well as a chance to mingle at the food stations with people who aren't sitting at their table.</p> <h3>14. Count the kids</h3> <p>If you're having children at your wedding, ask the caterer whether they offer a kids' meal. Most will provide something like chicken or pizza at a per-plate cost that's significantly lower than what they're charging for adult food.</p> <h3>15. Truck it in</h3> <p>Hiring a few local food trucks can be a fun and easy way to feed guests at a more casual, outdoor wedding. You'll want to bring in a few trucks in order to offer variety and ensure that guests aren't spending too much time standing in line.</p> <h3>16. Serve a sheet cake</h3> <p>Rather than splurging on a fancy tiered cake, purchase a small, decorated round cake for you and your spouse to use for the cake-cutting ceremony. Keep a cheaper supermarket sheet cake in the kitchen to serve to the guests. The quality and taste will be the same, and most will never know the difference.</p> <h2>Photography</h2> <p>Memorialize the occasion with affordable photos &mdash; not big credit card balances.</p> <h3>17. Set time limits</h3> <p>Cut the costs of your videographer and photographer by limiting the time that they're actually on-site and shooting. Skip the pre-wedding formal photos, and let the photographer or videographer finish up after the cake cutting. You'll have candid photos that capture the essence of the ceremony and reception.</p> <h3>18. Forget the photo booth</h3> <p>Eight in 10 couples who got married last year installed a photo booth for guests to take keepsake photos. Go old school instead and put a few disposable cameras on your tables for guests to use for snapping pictures.</p> <h2>Decor</h2> <p>Bright, cheery, and cheap should be your strategy with wedding decor.</p> <h3>19. Go with large, seasonal flowers and lots of greens</h3> <p>Local, seasonal flowers will cost less since there will be no shipping charge for your florist. Using large flowers (like hydrangeas or peonies) accented with greens allows you to get a bigger look while purchasing fewer blooms.</p> <h3>20. Dry it out</h3> <p>Dried flowers cost considerably less (and last considerably longer) than their fresh cousins. They make great bouquets or centerpieces for a wedding with a vintage feel.</p> <h3>21. DIY</h3> <p>Avoid the florist altogether and make your own centerpieces (get inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram). The dollar store is a great, low-cost resource to stock up on vases, votive candles, and other accessories for your tables.</p> <h2>Clothing and accessories</h2> <p>Why spend a ton on something you'll only wear once?</p> <h3>22. Rent your dress (or accessories)</h3> <p>Grooms have been renting their tuxes for years. Now, thanks to websites such as <a href="https://www.renttherunway.com/" target="_blank">RentTheRunway</a>, brides can also avoid forking over a fortune for an outfit they're only going to wear one time. Renting your dress allows you pay a fraction of the garment's cost while wearing real designer clothes on your wedding day.</p> <h3>23. Look for a non-bridal dress</h3> <p>Hit up your favorite dress store to see whether there are any off-the-rack white dresses that could serve as a wedding dress without the monster price tag. Or forget about white altogether and simply look for a dress you love that you might be able to wear again.</p> <h3>24. Something old, something new-to-you</h3> <p>Most people only wear their wedding dress once, so it's possible to find secondhand gowns that are in great condition. In addition to Craigslist and eBay, check out <a href="https://www.preownedweddingdresses.com/" target="_blank">PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com</a>, where you can find designer dresses for up to 75 percent off. (It's also a good site to keep in mind after your wedding, since you may be able to sell your gown for some extra cash.)</p> <h2>Invitations</h2> <p>You'll need to send more than a bunch of text messages to invite your guests &mdash; but not much more.</p> <h3>25. Skip save-the-date cards</h3> <p>Your biggest VIP guests probably already have your wedding date committed to memory. Use a site like Evite to send online save-the-date notifications to everyone else, or simply send out an email blast. You'll avoid the expense of printing and shopping for an additional set of cards on top of your invitations.</p> <h3>26. Think minimal</h3> <p>The bells and whistles of formal wedding invitations (letterpress printing, envelope lining, response cards, tissue paper) add up quickly. Skip the extras and select a simple design that can fit on a single card. If there's additional information you want to convey, direct guests to your website.</p> <h3>27. Design them online</h3> <p>Use a site like TinyPrints to select from dozens of templates, rather than paying someone to design the invitation for you. Then, you can order hard copies of the invitations and mail them out, or cut your costs even further by sending them digitally to your guests.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beth-braverman">Beth Braverman</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-big-on-everything-for-your-wedding">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/5-big-ticket-wedding-items-you-should-borrow-instead-of-buy">5 Big Ticket Wedding Items You Should Borrow Instead of Buy</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/five-more-tips-for-eating-in-restaurants-and-sticking-to-a-budget">Five More Tips For Eating In Restaurants And Sticking To A Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-financial-perks-of-being-in-your-20s">The Financial Perks of Being in Your 20s</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/why-saving-money-is-harder-today">Why Saving Money Is Harder 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/how-family-plans-can-save-you-tons">How Family Plans Can Save you TONS</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living caterers discounts DJ Food getting married music photography renting save the dates saving money venues weddings Tue, 06 Jun 2017 08:30:16 +0000 Beth Braverman 1959962 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save a Ton by Eating Soup Every Day (and Never Get Bored!) http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-a-ton-by-eating-soup-every-day-and-never-get-bored <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-a-ton-by-eating-soup-every-day-and-never-get-bored" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-537368113.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to save a ton by eating soup every day" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In January I found a sale on Progresso Soup for 99 cents per can, down from it's normal $3.29 price at my local grocery store. It was a huge savings on something we usually buy as a last-minute lunch backup. And since I love soup, this sale was extra exciting to me. It's a veritable soup coup!</p> <p>So, naturally I had to call my husband, Mr. Spendypants, about my glorious, souper duper find.</p> <p>Yes, this is what passes as exciting in our marriage. Don't judge us.</p> <h2>Taking full advantage of our soup savings</h2> <p>We fell into this yummy life hack by accident. My husband and I are currently working opposite schedules, so it's hard to make a more complicated meal that is hot and on the table when both of us are home and hungry. January was so overbooked with work that we agreed to simplify suppertime. Instead of our typical, fancy multicourse dinner, we'd just split a can of soup and eat some homemade bread. To round out the meal, the person who got home first would make a vegetable side from whatever we already had in the fridge.</p> <p>At the end of the week, we were shocked to find that we'd only spent $20 on food for two people.</p> <p>We decided to make our bread and soup dinner a nightly habit for the rest of 2017 as a part of our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-three-lessons-about-saving-one-husband-learned-in-a-year" target="_blank">ongoing budget challenge</a>. You don't have to go to that extreme to realize advantages from a scaled-back version of our plan. And you can improve the nutritional profile by sticking with low-salt, vegetable-laden, and no-cream varieties of canned soup, or making homemade soup. Beyond the price, there are a lot of benefits to our limited menu.</p> <h2>1. It's flexible</h2> <p>My husband and I are committed to bread and soup dinners for a year, but I know our meal plan sounds a little hard-core and weird to anyone who isn't a big soup aficionado already. However, canned soup has a long shelf life, so it's great to have on hand for those particularly busy weeks when every minute counts. Consider stocking your pantry with two weeks' worth of these timesaving dinners to get you through rough patches in your schedule.</p> <p>Also, if automating seven meals a week is going to cause whining at the dinner table, you could always start by automating just one meal a week, to give the family cook a break.</p> <h2>2. It's not boring</h2> <p>One of the reasons why this meal hack works so well for us is that it doesn't get boring. There are approximately a bazillion canned soup varieties to choose from, and even more recipes for homemade soup, so we don't get tired of eating the same thing.</p> <p>To keep dinner costs at a minimum, we have also been careful only to buy produce that is both on sale and in season. This shopping limit has had a secondary effect of keeping our side veggie plate interesting because we can't rely on eating the same fruits and vegetables year-round.</p> <h2>3. It's simple to make</h2> <p>Because we are using canned soup, this is such an easy meal that a 10-year-old could make this with very little supervision. It requires no special tools or cooking skills. Dinner can be ready and on the table within 10 minutes.</p> <p>Want to try homemade? Even if you are a novice cook, it's hard to ruin soup. Ease yourself into cooking from scratch by practicing with some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-soup-recipes" target="_blank">basic soup recipes</a>.</p> <h2>4. The numbers are easy to track</h2> <p>The automation aspect of this meal plan makes it easy to budget around. The soup costs about $7 a week. The bread ingredients cost less than 50 cents per loaf, or less than $2 per week. Since we have access to cheap or free produce in our area, we've managed to keep our side salad budget to around $5 per week. Our grocery spending is much more predictable now.</p> <p>Pro Tip: My mother eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with an apple every single day for lunch. She knows not only the cost of her lunch, but also the nutritional value and the calorie count. If you want to be super calibrated with your calorie counting and grocery budgeting, you can automate one meal each day to this basic level. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-ways-to-automate-your-everyday-life?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Easy Ways to Automate Your Everyday Life</a>)</p> <h2>5. It works with almost any budget</h2> <p>We've managed to keep our dinner budget to about $2 per day for two people, but you can make the meal even less expensive if you are in a budget pinch by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-delicious-soups-you-can-make-from-leftovers">making your own soup</a>. I saved even more money on our grocery budget this week when a friend gave me a turkey carcass to turn into turkey broth. Also, this month we've been using the weeds out of our backyard as salad ingredients.</p> <h2>6. Homemade soup can be made in bulk in advance</h2> <p>We are currently dining on a lot of canned soup in part because our tiny freezer is packed with food. As we eat through our freezer stash, we are making room for homemade soups. Obviously it takes longer to make soup from scratch than it does to open a can, but it's still very easy to make a huge amount of soup in advance and then freeze it in individual portions. And, because we own a slow cooker, soup is one of those dishes that we can actually make while we sleep!</p> <h2>7. It's easy to scale</h2> <p>Do you have company coming over? Thaw more soup.&nbsp;Are you eating alone? Open a can and put half in the fridge for later.</p> <h2>8. It works with most diets</h2> <p>Because this meal is basically soup and salad, you can tailor it to your own dietary needs or available pantry supplies.&nbsp;If you don't like bread, substitute potatoes, rice, or another inexpensive grain dish for the bread.</p> <h2>9. It increases vegetable intake</h2> <p>Since my husband and I are borderline vegetarians, our new canned soup habit has actually increased our meat consumption. That said, the average American does not eat enough vegetables, and soup is an easy way to up your vegetable servings. Obviously, vegetarian soups like gazpacho or Turkish lentil soup will increase your vegetable intake the most, but even canned chicken noodle soups provide between 10 percent and 50 percent of the daily value for vitamin A.</p> <h2>10. It reduces stress</h2> <p>There's no decision fatigue with this meal. The only thing we have to think about is finding another sale on soup before we run out. Luckily, soup goes on sale pretty regularly, so we've already re-upped our supply twice.</p> <p>Also, because our menu planning is simple and clear, shopping requires no forethought. Our shopping list consists of: milk, coffee, soup, tea, bread-making ingredients, and the least expensive vegetables in the store that week.</p> <h2>11. It saves on food waste</h2> <p>One side effect of our extremely tight dinner budget is that we are not tempted to buy more food than we can eat in a week.</p> <p>Also, soup is the perfect vehicle to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-night-soup-delicious-soup-from-leftovers" target="_blank">transform leftovers</a> into a delicious second meal. Even unattractive food like wilted lettuce, broccoli stems, and stale bread can all be converted to soup or added to pre-made canned soup to stretch it further.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-a-ton-by-eating-soup-every-day-and-never-get-bored">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/this-simple-shopping-list-strategy-from-5-meal-plan-will-save-you-big">This Simple Shopping List Strategy From $5 Meal Plan Will Save You 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/31-foolproof-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill">31 Foolproof Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill</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-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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way</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/flashback-friday-122-no-fuss-dinner-ideas-thatll-save-you-money">Flashback Friday: 122 No-Fuss Dinner Ideas That&#039;ll Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping budgeting dinner ideas Food groceries grocery shopping tricks meal planning saving money soup Fri, 19 May 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Max Wong 1950125 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Make the Most Out of These 6 Kitchen Gadgets http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-the-most-out-of-these-6-kitchen-gadgets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-make-the-most-out-of-these-6-kitchen-gadgets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-487542494.jpg" alt="Woman making the most out of her kitchen gadgets" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're running a more minimalist kitchen &mdash; or even if you aren't &mdash; you may be wondering which small appliances are worth keeping around. Or maybe you're planning your wedding registry and want to know what should you include on your list. You've seen everything from bread makers to ice cream machines to margarita blenders on the shelves at your local shop. Single-task appliances may not seem like a smart buy, but you need to consider that not all all of them perform only one task.</p> <p>Here's the lowdown on kitchen appliances that every kitchen should include, and how to make the most of each one.</p> <h2>1. Blender</h2> <p>We took the plunge last fall and bought a&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2nTpfEO" target="_blank">NutriBullet blender</a>. I sincerely believe that a blender is an appliance no kitchen should be without. Beyond smoothies, you can blend together soups, sauces, condiments, and even baby food. And you can also make milkshakes, banana ice cream, and even peanut butter.</p> <p>Yes! You can make peanut butter in a blender. It's best if you use a heavy duty blender that can grind up the peanuts. Simply pour in your desired amount of dry-roasted peanuts, salt, and sugar. Then blend on the highest setting until smooth. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender</a>)</p> <h2>2. Waffle maker</h2> <p>We use our&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2p7VZ0o" target="_blank">waffle maker</a> almost every single day. First, we like waffles. I even make my own mix so we can easily whisk it with water and get it cooking in just a few minutes flat. We also use our waffle maker as a panini press to make delicious sandwiches. I mean, this little appliance cost us just $17.00 and we use it often enough to keep it out on the counter.</p> <p>What else can you make with a waffle maker? Pizza, cake, brownies, quesadillas, and the list goes on. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-foods-to-try-in-your-waffle-maker?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Delicious Foods to Try in Your Waffle Maker</a>)</p> <h2>3. Slow cooker</h2> <p>I own a&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2nM3TZk" target="_blank">slow cooker</a> that also cooks rice and steams veggies. Still, I don't think I need to elaborate much on the merits of owning a crock pot. It can be your best friend in the kitchen. It can be your tool to making dinners a breeze. It may even be your key to keeping your grocery budget low.</p> <p>How? There are countless recipes online for vegetarians and carnivores alike. If you can dream it, you can likely make it in a slow cooker. Toss the ingredients in the pot, set the timer, and sit back. The rest of the work is done for you. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tricks-to-get-more-out-of-your-slow-cooker?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Tricks to Get More Out of Your Slow Cooker</a>)</p> <h2>4. Instant Pot</h2> <p>If you want to go an extra step, you can get an <a href="http://amzn.to/2oNjMz0" target="_blank">Instant Pot</a>. This multifunctional pressure cooker is extremely popular with my meat-eating friends. It can cook up a pot roast in as little as 20 minutes. Not only that, it also does the work of seven &mdash; yes seven &mdash; appliances. It functions as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, saute/browning device, yogurt maker, steamer, and a warmer.</p> <p>The Instant Pot basically cooks everything &mdash; and fast. Trying to decide between a slow cooker and this device? Consider what you'll be cooking. If you don't need the 7-in-1 functionality, you may be able to get away with a traditional crock pot. If you do a variety of cooking &mdash; especially things like meats, dry beans, and other tough stuff &mdash; the instant pot may be the kitchen tool of your dreams. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</a>)</p> <h2>5. Mixer</h2> <p>You don't need a large stand mixer, even if you bake a lot. I have one, but I don't use it much since I got a&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2p89JrJ" target="_blank">hand mixer</a> for a fraction of the price last year. You can do a lot with this handy appliance. My favorite is creaming together butter and sugar for cookie-baking marathons. You can also blend fluffy mashed potatoes, whip up salad dressings, and whisk together eggs for a quiche.</p> <p>If you want to get even more use out of a hand mixer, consider buying a&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2qb3zpo" target="_blank">dough hooks</a> attachment. They'll help knead together anything from dinner rolls to delicate pastas in a flash.</p> <h2>6. Bread machine</h2> <p>Did you know that bread machines make more than just loaves? You can mix and rise dough to bake pretzels, naan, pizza dough, and rolls. You just have to stop the machine before the bake cycle and continue the process in your standard oven. You can even make jam. No, really. This&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/simple-strawberry-jam-in-the-bread-machine/" target="_blank">Strawberry Jam</a> comes together in the bread machine. Simply combine chopped strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice, and hit that jam setting you probably hadn't noticed before. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-beginners-guide-to-homemade-bread?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A Beginners Guide to Homemade Bread</a>)</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/how-to-make-the-most-out-of-these-6-kitchen-gadgets">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-vacuum-sealers">The 5 Best Vacuum Sealers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-digital-food-scales">The 5 Best Digital Food Scales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-electric-griddles">The 5 Best Electric Griddles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-bagless-vacuums">The 5 Best Bagless Vacuums</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-air-fryers">The 5 Best Air Fryers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping Food home appliances how to kitchen appliances kitchen gadgets recipes Tue, 02 May 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1938295 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way http://www.wisebread.com/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_grocery_store_505801836_0.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to try hot new food trends the frugal way" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It seems there&rsquo;s always a new health food trend going on, and companies are quick to capitalize by conveniently packaging and offering them on store shelves for us to try. Unfortunately, trying what's new and different isn't always affordable. You're in luck, though. Here are the trends, and how you can enjoy them on the cheap.</p> <h2>1. Wellness beverages</h2> <p>The chilled beverage sections at your grocery store are probably teeming with new tonics and juices. Many of them include ingredients like turmeric, vinegar, and maca. There are even beverages that contain medicinal mushrooms! While this is all very interesting and even quite tasty, these drinks come at a premium &mdash; costing anywhere from $5&ndash;$14 per bottle.</p> <p>I make my own vinegar-infused beverage at home. It actually tastes a lot like kombucha, just at a fraction of the cost. First, I crack open a can of my favorite sparkling water from Aldi, usually lemon or lime. Then I pour it over a tablespoon of Aldi's organic apple cider vinegar. Mix and enjoy.</p> <h2>2. Oily byproducts</h2> <p>A company called Eco Olea has made a variety of house cleaners using the water that's left over after making olive oil. Another company is using the liquid from cooking chickpeas to make vegan mayonnaise. Incorporating byproducts into new products is definitely on the rise, and it's great to see that less is going to waste.</p> <p>How can you try this trend at home? Stop before you toss the liquid you drained from that can of chickpeas. That gooey stuff is called <em>aquafaba</em>, and there are many good things you can make with it. Try this vegan&nbsp;<a href="http://vanillacrunnch.com/aquafaba-chocolate-mousse-3-ingredients-vegan-and-glutenfree/" target="_blank">chocolate pudding</a> made from aquafaba. Sounds strange, but when you combine it with dark chocolate, maple syrup, and vanilla extract? Delicious.</p> <h2>3. All things coconut</h2> <p>You've probably tried coconut water and coconut oil to see what all the fuss is about. This year, the coconut is expanding its horizons. You can buy coconut flour, coconut chips for baking, and a whole host of other products. While <a href="http://amzn.to/2os53cS" target="_blank">coconut flour</a> costs about $3 a pound, prepackaged foods made with this ingredient are even steeper.</p> <p>Here's an easy recipe for homemade&nbsp;<a href="https://www.wholesomeyum.com/recipes/coconut-tortillas/" target="_blank">coconut flour tortillas</a>. You need just three ingredients: coconut flour, eggs, and nondairy milk. It only requires a half cup of flour. Whisk the ingredients together. Then heat a skillet and cook it like a very thin pancake, flip, and fill with your favorite hummus or whatever else you like wrapped up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a>)</p> <h2>4. Purple foods</h2> <p>You may have heard that you should eat the rainbow &mdash; vibrant, fresh veggies that come in all colors. In 2017, the color everyone seems to be focusing on is purple. You can find purple cauliflower, purple potato chips, purple corn, purple asparagus, and much more at your local grocery store.</p> <p>If you want to try this one at home, try making this gorgeous&nbsp;<a href="http://prettypies.com/recipe/purple-sweet-potato-pie/" target="_blank">purple sweet potato pie</a>. If you don&rsquo;t want to deal with the almonds and dates for the crust, you can always stick with a traditional pie crust out of flour and butter. It will still look gorgeous.</p> <h2>5. Healthier pastas</h2> <p>You can find pasta made from chickpeas, lentils, and quinoa on shelves at the store. If you take a walk around the produce section, you may even see some varieties of spiralized vegetable &quot;pastas&quot; that are healthy alternatives to the traditional noodles we all know and love. I'm especially flabbergasted by the price of the spiralized noodles because produce can be quite cheap when it's in season.</p> <p>The up-charge is all about the noodle-making process. And that's an easy at-home thing you can do yourself. Invest in a&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2oP1PSm" target="_blank">spiralizer</a>, and you'll be set with beet and zucchini noodles for life.</p> <h2>6. Unique condiments</h2> <p>My husband and I are addicted to interesting condiments. But I can't say it's good for our wallets. These days, you can find anything from ghee with pink Himalayan sea salt to pomegranate molasses to chipotle adobo sauce. One way I like to save on these splurges is to check out what our local Home Goods (a discount store) has on the shelves. I can often find condiments a few dollars cheaper than they might be at the grocery store.</p> <p>Making your own cool condiments is another option. Buying ghee at the store can cost around $1.20 an ounce. You can make it at home for around 67 cents an ounce. Just get eight ounces of a good-quality organic butter and heat it over low heat in a medium saucepan. Continue cooking until the milk solids turn brown and fall to the bottom of your pan, around 10 minutes. Then pour through cheesecloth into a glass jar for safekeeping. This makes five ounces of ghee.</p> <h2>7. Meal kits</h2> <p>Eating out can be expensive. But making everything from scratch can be time-consuming and messy. Many people are turning to meal kits you can easily toss in the oven. You can find some awesome vegetable mixes in the freezer section that won't break the bank. Others include pasta and even meat for a no-fuss meal. Just check your prices carefully and take advantage of coupons and store sales when you can.</p> <p>You may also want to try make your own meal kits. Sure, the process takes some effort &mdash; but it will save you time and money in the long run. I actually tried this method out last month when I made a bunch of &quot;dump meals&quot; to stash in my freezer. I'm hooked. It's seriously as easy and opening cans, chopping stuff, and tossing it in a bag to freeze for later cooking in the Crock-Pot.</p> <h2>8. Japanese food</h2> <p>Japanese foods are becoming more popular, as well. But move over sushi, the trend this year is going beyond the roll. Check out ingredients like miso, seaweed, and mirin. Have you ever heard of Japanese-style pickles? I hadn't either, and now I'm utterly intrigued.</p> <p>My own family regularly eats udon noodles with our stir-fries. This ends up being cheaper than buying Japanese takeout because we get a huge bag of stir-fry veggies in the freezer section and buy tofu in bulk. We also like incorporating miso into our meals &mdash; a little goes a long way. Try a miso-tahini dressing on anything from roasted sweet potatoes to salads. Combine a quarter cup tahini with just one tablespoon miso. Then add in lemon juice, warm water, and cracked pepper. You'll enjoy the flavor every day!</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/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">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/shop-the-salad-bar-and-other-ways-to-save-big-on-groceries">Shop the Salad Bar and Other Ways to Save Big on Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-having-your-groceries-delivered-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Having Your Groceries Delivered Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-a-ton-by-eating-soup-every-day-and-never-get-bored">How to Save a Ton by Eating Soup Every Day (and Never Get Bored!)</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-keep-food-waste-from-spoiling-your-budget">How to Keep Food Waste From Spoiling Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping Food food shopping food trends groceries grocery budget grocery shopping saving money Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1931161 at http://www.wisebread.com The Easy Way to Save Up a Big Travel Budget http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-516262792.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to save up a big travel budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Traveling is an undeniably amazing experience, but as with so many of the finer things in life, it does come with a price tag attached. Cost is unfortunately one of the biggest factors that prevents people from traveling.</p> <p>However, if getting to see the world is a serious goal of yours, this may be the perfect time to renew your focus on savings so that you can afford to pay for your wanderlust. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-ways-to-save-for-your-dream-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Ways to Save for Your Dream Vacation</a>)</p> <h2>Set a goal and deadline</h2> <p>To help you get motivated to save more, set a clear goal and a timeline. The more specific the goal, the better, since it will allow you to visualize your trip and get excited about it. For instance, if you've dreamed about taking a trip to Europe for years, decide on your top destinations and how long you want the trip to last. That will help set a ballpark budget figure to aim for.</p> <p>Next, attach a savings deadline &mdash; for example, decide that you will buy your plane tickets within the next six to 12 months. Don't give yourself much more time, or you'll lose the urgency to put money away <em>now</em>.</p> <p>Having this type of a clear savings goal will help you stay motivated and make your trip feel more like a reality and less like a distant dream. It will also give you a schedule for your savings, allowing you to calculate how much you need to set aside each month to be able to afford your upcoming trip.</p> <h2>Slash unnecessary spending</h2> <p>Your goal will help you find the motivation to make some of the sacrifices that come with putting more money toward savings. You will want to shift your mindset from the short-term gratification of an immediate purchase (whose charm almost always wears off quickly) to the long-term gratification that comes from an experience that will leave you with memories for a lifetime.</p> <p>You may be surprised to realize how much of your spending is discretionary. Think of anything you are spending money on that you could live without. For instance, you can save a lot of money by cooking for yourself, instead of going out to eat. Even less-than-fancy meals at restaurants like Panera or Chipotle can cost $7 and up. If you indulge in this convenience three times a week, you're spending $84 a month. Substitute each of those meals with frugal home cooked meals and save.</p> <p>A car can be a significant expense, so if you can do without it you are setting yourself up for big savings. According to AAA, it costs the average American car owner around $8,558 to own and maintain their vehicle each year (this includes $3,759 in depreciation but doesn't include car payments). Even if you factor out the depreciation, that still means Americans are averaging $4,799 a year just to run our cars.</p> <p>In contrast, Numbeo.com reports the average cost of a monthly transport pass in the United States is around $70, or $840 a year. If you live in an area with good public transportation, you could potentially pocket more than $3,900 a year by giving up your car.</p> <p>If you can't completely forego having a car, you could still reduce your transportation expenses by driving less often. Walk, bike, carpool, or take public transportation instead. You'll not only save on gas, but also parking.</p> <p>Need inspiration to cut costs? Consider this woman from the U.K. who essentially <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/buy-nothing-year-one-woman-saved-22000/" target="_blank">spent nothing for an entire year</a>. While that may sound drastic, her savings while living in notoriously expensive London added up to nearly $27,000. Even half that amount would make a significant travel budget.</p> <h2>Work more, spend less</h2> <p>During one six-month period of my life I saved $12,000, which then allowed me to travel comfortably for the next six months without any income. I was able to do this by ensuring that my costs were as low as possible</p> <p>I split a $500 studio apartment with a roommate, so my rent was only $250 a month. Living quarters were cramped, but I was hardly ever there. I worked three jobs so I could make more money (around $2,500 a month). My 50-60 hours-a-week work schedule also meant that I had less time to spend my earnings.</p> <p>I was able to keep grocery costs to $100 a month because I was working in the food industry at the time. My other main costs were gas ($50 a month), and the cheapest cellphone plan I could find ($30 a month).</p> <p>For fun, I mostly did free activities, taking advantage of the fact that I lived in the mountains in California. I could go hiking and biking for free and there were often free concerts in the evenings. When I needed new clothes for work, I would get them from the local thrift store for $10&ndash;$15.</p> <h2>Get rewarded for your purchases</h2> <p>There are many ways to use various types of credit cards so that you get rewarded for your necessary expenditures. Especially for major expenses such as gas, groceries, and plane tickets, selecting the appropriate credit card can help you save a significant amount of money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-an-extra-109486-a-year?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save an Extra $1,095 a Year</a>)</p> <h3>Grocery credit card</h3> <p>Groceries are a big expense for most people. Since you can't avoid spending at least something on groceries, you may as well get rewarded for your spending. Use a credit card that gives you extra rewards points for every dollar you spend at supermarkets. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a>)</p> <p>You may even be able to stack rewards by using a loyalty card from the supermarket chain where you do most of your shopping. Often these loyalty programs offer you cash discounts that can help cut your overall grocery bill.</p> <h3>Gas credit card</h3> <p>If you just can't live without a car, you can still save on the cost of gas by opening the right credit card. Cards that are co-branded with a particular gas station give you discounts at the pump, usually a few cents per gallon. These cards tend to have high interest rates, though, so if you tend to carry a balance, you'll usually be better off with a rewards credit card that gives you bonus points for purchases made at gas stations. If fuel is one of your bigger expenses, it's worth opening a gas rewards card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Best Gas Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h3>Travel credit card</h3> <p>Although you may not be traveling a lot while you save up for your big trip, it's worth getting a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards credit card</a> well in advance of your trip. By using your travel card for everyday purchases, you can rack up points toward free flights or hotel stays when it comes time to hit the road. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Steps to a Free Vacation in 9 Months or Less</a>)</p> <p>What's more, most travel cards offer significant <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal">points bonuses</a> when you spend a certain amount within the first few months after opening the account. These bonuses can be worth hundreds of dollars in travel, but you'll need time to meet the required spending amount and wait for the bonus points to be posted to your account.</p> <p>Finally, airline cards often come with free checked baggage and other perks such as free rental car insurance, lost baggage coverage, and trip interruption insurance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Types of Travel Insurance That Credit Cards Include</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%2520Easy%2520Way%2520to%2520Save%2520Up%2520a%2520Big%2520Travel%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=The%20Easy%20Way%20to%20Save%20Up%20a%20Big%20Travel%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Easy%20Way%20to%20Save%20Up%20a%20Big%20Travel%20Budget.jpg" alt="The Easy Way to Save Up a Big Travel Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-ways-to-get-richer-in-2018">4 Easy Ways to Get Richer In 2018</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/10-vacation-rental-alternatives-to-airbnb">10 Vacation Rental Alternatives to Airbnb</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-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</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-countries-where-you-can-retire-for-1000-a-month">5 Countries Where You Can Retire for $1,000 a Month</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel cash back cutting costs expenses Food groceries rewards saving money transportation trips vacations Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1927306 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Fun Tax Facts You Probably Never Knew http://www.wisebread.com/11-fun-tax-facts-you-probably-never-knew <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-fun-tax-facts-you-probably-never-knew" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-180714432.jpg" alt="soap was taxed in the middle ages" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Taxes: Love 'em or hate 'em, you still gotta pay 'em.</p> <p>In fact, taxes are a tale as old as time. Well, almost. The earliest tax, according to the book &quot;A World History of Tax Rebellions,&quot; was on the <em>corvee </em>(by definition, a day's unpaid labor owed by a vassal to his feudal lord) in 594 B.C. China. Peasants paid overlords for the land they farmed in labor if they couldn't pay the land tax in money.</p> <p>That's just one fun fact. Check out this list of tax trivia that's weird, wacky, and sometimes just plain wrong.</p> <h2>1. There was no re-using cooking oil in Ancient Egypt</h2> <p>Ancient Egypt's early taxation system isn't exactly known for being fair, and their cooking oil tax was a perfect example. Not only was cooking oil taxed, but citizens weren't allowed to reuse it. They had to continually buy new oil, thus constantly forking over the associated tax. This was no joke: Scribes (Ancient Egypt's version of tax collectors) would sweep homes in search of recycled cooking oil, forcing people to pony up and buy new.</p> <h2>2. People in the Middle Ages really stunk up the joint<strong> </strong></h2> <p>European governments taxed soap during the Middle Ages, which meant that you probably only bought a bar if you had some extra dough. As for the rest of the folks, well, they weren't making any new friends smelling like King John's sewage pot. The tax lasted for quite a while, too: Britain didn't repeal its soap tax until 1835.</p> <h2>3. Watching TV in the U.K. ain't cheap, you guys<strong> </strong></h2> <p>We all need a license to drive, but a license to watch television? That's the case in the United Kingdom, where each household is taxed on its TVs &mdash; &pound;145.50 a year &mdash; the funds from which primarily support the television, radio, and online services of the BBC. Total income from TV license fees in 2015&ndash;16 was &pound;3.74 billion.</p> <h2>4. The good deed that lingered too long<strong> </strong></h2> <p>To rebuild the town after a devastating flood in 1936, Johnstown, Pennsylvania slapped a tax on alcohol to raise money for the recovery efforts. The town met its fundraising goal in 1942, but the tax remained. Today it brings in around $200 million annually.</p> <h2>5. Eating a bagel in New York could cut you two ways</h2> <p>New York City has a special tax on food <em>and</em> prepared foods. If you have your bagel sliced in the store, you'll pay both taxes. Leave it uncut, you'll only pay the food tax since nobody is &quot;preparing&quot; it for you.</p> <h2>6. Pennsylvania has put a price on fun</h2> <p>Want to go to the movies? Or bowling? Or to a concert? Add 5 percent to your bill thanks to Pennsylvania's amusement tax, which applies to any kind of entertainment.</p> <h2>7. Certain pumpkins get a pass in Iowa, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Pumpkins are exempt from sales tax in these states if they'll be eaten and not carved. Carving pumpkins and cooking pumpkins are separated so customers aren't confused.</p> <h2>8. Leaving out this one ingredient drives candy prices way up in Chicago</h2> <p>It's simple. If the candy is made with flour &mdash; like licorice (who knew?) and KitKat bars &mdash; it receives a 1 percent tax. Leave the flour out for pure sugary goodness, and the tax climbs to 6.25 percent.</p> <h2>9. You have to lose both limbs to qualify for this tax credit in Oregon<strong> </strong></h2> <p>That's right: Double amputees receive a $50 tax credit in the Beaver State. You might think that single amputees would receive half that credit, but no such luck.</p> <h2>10. If you live to age 100, you're home free in New Mexico</h2> <p>They say the only two things that are certain in life are death and taxes. Except in New Mexico. If you can make it to age 100, you become tax-exempt (but only if you're no one's dependent).</p> <h2>11. You can count your pet as a moving expense<strong> </strong></h2> <p>You're allowed to write off moving expenses if you're relocating to begin a new job. You can also deduct the cost of taking your pet with you as the IRS treats your furbaby as personal property. How rude! But also, thank you.</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/11-fun-tax-facts-you-probably-never-knew">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/these-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable">These 6 Things Will Make Your Next Flight More Comfortable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-tax-day-is-april-15-and-other-weird-financial-deadlines">Why Tax Day Is April 15 and Other Weird Financial Deadlines</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/beat-the-heat-with-cool-summer-meals">Beat the heat with cool summer meals</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-most-common-tax-mistakes-made-by-college-grads">5 Most Common Tax Mistakes Made by College Grads</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/is-social-security-just-a-grand-ponzi-scheme">Is Social Security Just A Grand Ponzi Scheme?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes alcohol bizarre candy entertainment Food history moving expenses soap tax facts trivia Tue, 18 Apr 2017 08:00:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1926610 at http://www.wisebread.com Dried Fruit, Paint Brushes, and 8 Other Things You Should Keep in the Fridge http://www.wisebread.com/dried-fruit-paint-brushes-and-8-other-things-you-should-keep-in-the-fridge <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dried-fruit-paint-brushes-and-8-other-things-you-should-keep-in-the-fridge" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-487694409.jpg" alt="Woman learning things she should keep in the fridge" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Did you know your chill box is good for keeping a variety of things other than the standard perishables? Here are 10 things that will benefit from being added to your fridge.</p> <h2>1. Paint rollers or brushes</h2> <p>Not quite done painting? There's no need to clean everything just yet. Wrap up those rollers or paint brushes in aluminum foil or a wet towel and pop them into the refrigerator. The next day, take them out, and resume painting without missing a beat.</p> <h2>2. Medications</h2> <p>We keep our Pepto-Bismol in the refrigerator. Somehow, the chilled sensation makes it easier to get down. And there are several other medications that should kept be in the fridge, too, as the label should indicate.</p> <h2>3. Bulbs</h2> <p>Like the look of potted bulbs like daffodils, hyacinths, and crocus? A pot on your desk will remind you that spring is just around the corner. Hopefully. <a href="http://www.bhg.com/gardening/flowers/bulbs/forcing-spring-bulbs/" target="_blank">Chilling the bulbs</a> breaks their normal cycle, allowing the plant to bloom earlier.</p> <h2>4. Washcloths</h2> <p>If you've got a sick kid, or it's just a sticky, hot day, dampen a washcloth, pop it into a plastic bag, and tuck it into your refrigerator. It'll feel really wonderful when you take it out.</p> <h2>5. Dried fruit</h2> <p>Wait... it's dried, right? So shouldn't it last a while without being chilled? Yes. However, as it turns out, refrigerating it will make it last even <em>longer.</em> Just make sure it's in a sealed container. You might find out you like the flavors of some fruits even better when chilled.</p> <h2>6. Polymer clay</h2> <p>Polymer clay is fun for making all sorts of stuff (like this gorgeous faux <a href="http://www.craftberrybush.com/2015/06/how-to-make-faux-sea-glass-with-polymer-clay.html" target="_blank">sea glass</a>), but it should be stored in a cool place lest it decomposes. Heat is not its friend. Just make sure it's wrapped up well and marked.</p> <h2>7. Dishes for cold meals</h2> <p>Keeping some bowls in the fridge for ice cream, or small plates for salad and other cold meals, is ideal. The food will taste fresher, longer. (Beer mugs in the freezer will always serve you well, too.)</p> <h2>8. Fresh Flowers</h2> <p>Keep cut flowers in the fridge until you are ready to arrange them. Blooms will stay prettier and last longer.</p> <h2>9. Nuts</h2> <p>Ever pulled nuts out of your pantry and found that they taste awful? That flavor is called &quot;rancid,&quot; folks, and that's what happens when nuts go bad. Nuts contain oils, so they're best off kept tightly sealed in your refrigerator for up to six months, or in the freezer for up to a year.</p> <h2>10. Eye masks</h2> <p>Suppose you stayed home with a cold, and then you watched &quot;The Notebook.&quot;&nbsp;Now you have really puffy eyes. No problem, just pull your chilled <a href="http://amzn.to/2o91LiK" target="_blank">eye mask</a> out of the refrigerator and get the swelling down.</p> <h2>But make sure it's actually cold enough</h2> <p>How cold is your refrigerator? For food safety, it should be between 32 and 40 F. If you don't already have one, invest in a <a href="http://amzn.to/2o92XD6" target="_blank">refrigerator thermometer</a>.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dried-fruit-paint-brushes-and-8-other-things-you-should-keep-in-the-fridge">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/heres-how-you-maximize-fridge-and-freezer-space">Here&#039;s How You Maximize Fridge and Freezer Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-digital-food-scales">The 5 Best Digital Food Scales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-reusable-straws">The 5 Best Reusable Straws</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-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Home chilled Food food tricks fridge fridge hacks storage things to keep in the fridge Fri, 31 Mar 2017 08:30:24 +0000 Marla Walters 1918284 at http://www.wisebread.com These 6 Things Will Make Your Next Flight More Comfortable http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/these-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-537456529.jpg" alt="Woman making her next flight more comfortable" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Traveling by plane can be uncomfortable, with long waits in the airport followed by hours packed into ever-smaller airplane seats. Rushed and frustrated, you often end up paying way more than you should for small conveniences.</p> <p>After years of traveling and countless hours in transit, I've put together this practical guide to help you avoid the pitfalls of air travel and enjoy your trip. Here are some easy ways you can ensure you have a smooth, painless experience, both in the airport and once you board the plane. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tricks-to-make-flying-in-coach-feel-almost-luxurious?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Tricks to Make Flying in Coach Feel (Almost) Luxurious</a>)</p> <h2>1. Bring your own food and tea bags</h2> <p>Food at airports and onboard domestic flights is expensive &mdash; often double the cost you'd normally pay. And though meals are usually free on international flights, the quality is notoriously hit or miss. It's always best to err on the side of caution. Bring your own <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-to-pack-delicious-and-cheap-airline-snacks?ref=internal" target="_blank">healthy snacks</a>, like nuts, and dried and fresh fruit. Sandwiches made with bagels are also easily packable and won't squish easily in your bag.</p> <p>Consider, too, bringing some herbal tea bags. Most coffee shops and flight attendants will give you hot water for free if you ask. This can save you on pricey airport lattes and help you stay calmer than drinking caffeinated beverages. Herbal tea is an especially good choice if you want to snooze while you're on the plane.</p> <h2>2. Bring your own water bottle</h2> <p>Bring an empty water bottle to get through security, and then fill up at the water fountains around the airport. If you're in a country where drinking from the fountain isn't always safe, consider heading to a coffee shop or restaurant and asking them to fill up your bottle with water from the soda dispenser. You can often get ice this way, too!</p> <p>Having your own water bottle on the plane helps you stay hydrated without relying on sometimes slow service from the flight attendants, who dole out liquids in tiny plastic cups. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-airport-hacks-from-professional-travelers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Airport Hacks From Professional Travelers</a>)</p> <h2>3. Choose the right credit card</h2> <p>Booking your flight through an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">airline credit card</a> gives you extra perks while flying. You'll usually get priority boarding, allowing you to get on the plane before all of the overhead bins are filled up with carry-ons. You may also get discounts on in-flight purchases, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel protections</a> in case your flight is canceled or your baggage doesn't show up.</p> <p>Some premium cards even grant you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access?ref=internal" target="_blank">access to airport lounges</a>, which can make layovers infinitely more comfortable. You'll also get excellent service from staff in the lounges if your flight is canceled and you need to rebook. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Travel Perks You Didn't Know Your Credit Card Had</a>)</p> <h2>4. Pack for success</h2> <p>Think strategically <em>before</em> you leave home about how you will spend your time while in transit. If you're checking a bag, be sure to put the items you want to use during the flight in your carry-on. It's frustrating to have packed your earbuds in your checked bag when you need them on the plane!</p> <p>In-flight entertainment can be a good distraction from long hours of discomfort and boredom. But some airlines don't offer any entertainment, or at least not any that you're interested in. Bring your own to be sure you can stay occupied during the flight.</p> <p>If you start your trip equipped with the right reading material, some good music, and a few favorite TV shows or movies, you may be surprised how fast your airport and flying time goes by. Amazon Prime allows you to download free books, movies, and music to take with you, and other services such as Netflix and the premium version of Spotify have similar services. You can also save free podcasts to your phone, or pay for audiobooks. With <a href="http://amzn.to/2mQTcWF" target="_blank">Audible's audiobook</a> service, your first book is free.</p> <p>Make sure your electronics are charged and ready to go. Some flights offer outlets but you don't want to take the chance that your seat doesn't have it or is not working.</p> <p><strong>Bonus Trick:</strong> If you can do without the checked bag entirely, this is an easier and faster way to travel. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-carry-on-luggage-can-save-you-time-and-money?ref=internal" target="_blank">Traveling with just a carry-on</a> means you can say goodbye to expensive checked bag fees and worries about lost luggage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-packing-secrets-from-a-professional-traveler?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Packing Secrets From a Professional Traveler</a>)</p> <h2>5. Set yourself up for sleep</h2> <p>Sleeping on a plane is another way to make the time pass quickly, but it's admittedly tricky business.</p> <p>Bring along the items you need for slumber, including an eye mask, ear plugs, sleeping medications, and a neck pillow to get comfortable. A jacket can double as a pillow or blanket if need be. Try to get these items in advance. A neck pillow at the airport can cost twice as much as at a regular store.</p> <p>Keep everything in a clothing pocket or a bag under your seat so it's easy to access when you feel drowsy. Getting up to rummage through a bag in the overhead bin is a sure way to wake yourself back up.</p> <h2>6. Try to have a sense of humor</h2> <p>Airports can be great spots for people watching. You get to see humanity in action in its many colorful renditions. Of course, it's annoying to be restricted in your movements and trapped in stale air for a long time, but keep things in perspective.</p> <p>You're getting to experience one of the most freeing things of all, the ability to jet somewhere far away. Having a good attitude will only make the ride that much better.</p> <p>By preparing yourself to have a good trip, packing a few travel essentials, and keeping a positive attitude, you can make traveling by plane not just bearable, but even enjoyable. Happy flying! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-to-keep-you-sane-on-a-plane?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Things to Keep You Sane on a Plane</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthese-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThese%206%20Things%20Will%20Make%20Your%20Next%20Flight%20More%20Comfortable.jpg&amp;description=These%206%20Things%20Will%20Make%20Your%20Next%20Flight%20More%20Comfortable" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <div align="center">&nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/These%206%20Things%20Will%20Make%20Your%20Next%20Flight%20More%20Comfortable.jpg" alt="These 6 Things Will Make Your Next Flight More Comfortable" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-6-things-will-make-your-next-flight-more-comfortable">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/10-sneaky-vacation-costs-that-add-up-quickly">10 Sneaky Vacation Costs That Add Up Quickly</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/9-ways-to-avoid-or-mitigate-flight-delays">9 Ways to Avoid or Mitigate Flight Delays</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-secret-flight-search-site-savvy-travelers-use">The Secret Flight Search Site Savvy Travelers Use</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-travel-hacks-only-frequent-flyers-know">5 Smart Travel Hacks Only Frequent Flyers Know</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/fly-out-of-these-airports-and-save-big-on-airfare">Fly Out of These Airports and Save Big on Airfare</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel air travel airplanes comfortable travel entertainment flights flying Food movies music reading sleeping snacks Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:30:41 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1914539 at http://www.wisebread.com