Food http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/20/all en-US Flashback Friday: 122 Scrumptious Super Bowl Party Snack Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-122-scrumptious-super-bowl-party-snack-ideas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-122-scrumptious-super-bowl-party-snack-ideas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/super_bowl_food_000073928407.jpg" alt="Making scrumptious super bowl party food ideas" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you ready for some football? The majority of Americans certainly are, as the Super Bowl is probably the most celebrated non-national holiday of the year. Come Monday, you'll hear countless coworkers complaining about not getting the day off to recover from the gluttonous consumption of adult beverages and salty, cheese-covered snacks. Because like Thanksgiving, the Super Bowl is all about the food, and a little bit about football, of course.</p> <p>Here are over 100 delicious Super Bowl party food ideas to fill the bellies of you and your famished football-loving friends.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/food-154197215.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-delicious-healthier-appetizers">20 Delicious, Healthier Appetizers</a> &mdash; If we all counted our calories on Super Bowl Sunday, the number would instantly sober us up. But football foods don't need to filled with fat and salt. Here are 20 ways to make delectable, classic apps a little less unhealthy.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-super-bowl-party-ideas">Frugal Super Bowl Party Ideas</a> &mdash; Hosting a Super Bowl party can get expensive. So here are a few ideas on how to throw a killer football bash on a budget &mdash; including a grilled cheese station!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/chips-177377636.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dorito-bread-and-24-other-amazing-recipes-you-must-try">Dorito Bread and 24 Other Amazing Recipes You Must Try</a> &mdash; If you haven't tasted homemade Dorito bread, you truly haven't lived. So here's how to make that and other amazing snacks that you'll want to eat everyday forever &mdash; including cookie dough dip.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-slow-cooker-recipes-for-busy-or-lazy-vegetarians">35 Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy (or Lazy) Vegetarians</a> &mdash; Meat is not a must on Super Bowl Sunday. In fact, these slow cooker recipes will please your vegetarian guests, without having to put in much time or effort. Score!</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-cheap-spring-roll-wrappers-at-every-meal">20 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Cheap Spring Roll Wrappers at Every Meal</a> &mdash; Egg roll wrappers are yummy, low-budget wonders. You can put everything from bbq chicken to cheesecake inside and bake for about 20 minutes. The options are endless and the results are delish.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/food-491329701.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-exciting-new-potato-recipes-you-must-try">25 Exciting New Potato Recipes You Must Try</a> &mdash; Is there such a thing as too many potato dishes? Nope. Potatoes are essential for Super Bowl recipes, and here are 25 new ways to make your favorite starch.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-15-junk-food-favorites-healthier-and-cheaper-at-home">Make 15 Junk Food Favorites Healthier and Cheaper at Home</a> &mdash; If only you could make your own Chicken McNuggets and Slurpees that taste as good as the fast food originals&hellip; *Sigh* Oh wait, you can! Use these cooking hacks to make your fave fast food delicacies healthier and cheaper, at home.</p> <p><em>What will you be snacking on during the Super Bowl? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-122-scrumptious-super-bowl-party-snack-ideas">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/flashback-friday-119-amazing-meals-you-can-make-from-a-can">Flashback Friday: 119 Amazing Meals You Can Make From a Can</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-celebrate-national-slow-cooking-month-with-these-95-crock-pot-dishes">Flashback Friday: Celebrate National Slow Cooking Month With These 95 Crock Pot Dishes</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/peanut-butter-the-poor-man-s-protein">Peanut Butter: The Poor Man’s Protein</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/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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Entertainment Food and Drink fbf flashback friday Food frugal foods party food Super Bowl Super Bowl Party Fri, 05 Feb 2016 18:00:03 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1650902 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 119 Amazing Meals You Can Make From a Can http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-119-amazing-meals-you-can-make-from-a-can <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-119-amazing-meals-you-can-make-from-a-can" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_canned_food_000008636736.jpg" alt="Woman making amazing meals from a can" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Buying and consuming only fresh foods is a great concept, and certainly a lifestyle everyone is striving for this time of year, but it's not always realistic. Sometimes you need to rely on ingredients that come out of a can for a hearty meal. Canned goods might not be fresh, but they are easy to store, long-lasting, and extremely budget-friendly.</p> <p>Maybe surprisingly, canned foods offer an endless amount of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options that you will absolutely love! Here are 119 brilliant and yummy meals that you can make from a can.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/fresh_cranberries_000052987314.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-delicious-canned-cranberry-recipes">10 Easy, Delicious Canned Cranberry Recipes</a> &mdash; Did you think this was nothing more than a lowly side dish served on Thanksgiving? Think again. Canned cranberry sauce can up your bagel game, give your turkey sandwich a delectable makeover, and give your smoothies a sweet little zing. Stock up and enjoy.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-foods-that-cost-under-a-buck-a-pound-with-recipes">21 Foods That Cost Under a Buck a Pound &mdash; With Recipes!</a> &mdash; Canned goods are made for bulk-buying, and this frugal round-up will help you make spectacular use of your current pantry occupants.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_making_stew_000063377505.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-delicious-recipes-for-canned-clams">20 Delicious Recipes for Canned Clams</a> &mdash; This low-fat seafood delicacy might go from the sea into a can, but it takes center stage in many different meal options you can easily make at home.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-ways-to-use-canned-corn">15 Delicious Ways to Use Canned Corn</a> &mdash; Corn might be one of the most versatile canned foods there is, because you can heat it up or keep it cold, and add it to a variety of dishes. From casseroles, to salads, to soups, you just can't go wrong with a can of corn.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/salmon000006329016.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-use-canned-salmon">50 Ways to Use Canned Salmon</a> &mdash; Ever end up with a can of salmon and think, <em>What the heck am I supposed to do with this?</em> Well, put those thoughts to rest once and for all. This round-up of 50 canned salmon uses will keep you busy and your belly full for months.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-delicious-and-healthy-black-bean-recipes?ref=seealso">20 Cheap, Delicious, and Healthy Black Bean Recipes</a> &mdash; You don't need to live in the produce aisle in order to find healthy foods. Black beans are packed with fiber, potassium, and are prime heart health supporters. Bonus: they are extremely versatile in meals, and don't cost much at all.</p> <p><em>What other great foods come from a can? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-119-amazing-meals-you-can-make-from-a-can">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-celebrate-national-slow-cooking-month-with-these-95-crock-pot-dishes">Flashback Friday: Celebrate National Slow Cooking Month With These 95 Crock Pot Dishes</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/put-it-in-a-pie-for-fast-frugal-food">Put it in a Pie for Fast, Frugal Food</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-sleek-marketing-ploys-aimed-at-getting-more-of-your-grocery-money">5 Sleek Marketing Ploys Aimed at Getting More of Your Grocery Money</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/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Food and Drink canned food cheap dinners fbf flashback friday Food frugal foods Fri, 29 Jan 2016 18:00:02 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1647161 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: Wise Bread's 88 Best Food Hacks Ever http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-wise-breads-88-best-food-hacks-ever <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-wise-breads-88-best-food-hacks-ever" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/food_hacks_000044992940.jpg" alt="Revisiting Wise Bread&#039;s 88 best food hacks ever" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Food is something all humans need to survive. And since we've evolved into a stressed out, overworked race of eaters, we need our food prep to be as easy and painless as possible. That's why we're all so obsessed with food hacks. <em>Wait, I've been eating apples all wrong my entire life? Cupcakes can be made even better by turning them into cupcake sandwiches?</em> Mind = blown. This is what we live for, folks.</p> <p>So to honor the Internet's ongoing fascination with food hacks, let's go back in time to revisit some of Wise Bread's very best. Here they are.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/cooking-126457388.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-surprising-cooking-hacks-that-save-time">7 Surprising Cooking Hacks That Save Time</a> &mdash; Instead of spending hours in the kitchen preparing a hearty meal &mdash; because nobody likes a hangry cook &mdash; use these brilliant cooking hacks to cut down on prep time.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-pantry-tricks-that-save-you-big">9 Pantry Tricks That Save You Big</a> &mdash; Being able to stock up on food staples like a frugal boss requires the use of crafty storage tricks. Here's how to turn your pantry into an easily accessible food paradise.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/bowl_of_lemons_000019714803.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-use-your-food-that-dont-involve-eating">4 Ways to Use Your Food That Don't Involve Eating</a> &mdash; You don't need to consume food in order to fully enjoy it. Here are four genius food hacks to beautify your bod and keep your home squeaky clean using the items found in your fridge.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-cooking-tricks-for-single-people">5 Awesome Cooking Tricks for Single People</a> &mdash; Significant others are not required in order to eat like a king (or queen). These cooking tricks will help you make the right sized meals that you will thoroughly enjoy.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/000038978966_1.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-fridge-tricks-that-will-save-you-big">14 Fridge Tricks That Will Save You Big</a> &mdash; With just a little rearranging, your fridge will transform from a battle ground of expired food into a brightly colored haven of all things still edible. What are you waiting for?</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars">20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars</a> &mdash; So simple, yet so brilliant. If you can master these grocery shopping hacks, your life is sure to improve.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/happy-grocery-shopping-159289223-small.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-foods-that-cost-under-a-buck-a-pound-with-recipes">21 Foods That Cost Under a Buck a Pound &mdash; With Recipes!</a> &mdash; Your Depression era grandparents will applaud your impressive frugalness when you whip up any of these budget-friendly recipes.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-creative-ways-to-save-money-on-food">8 Creative Ways to Save Money on Food</a> &mdash; Throwing money away on overpriced snacks is sooo 2015, you guys. Use these creative money saving hacks to fill your fridge with all the foods you know you'll eat.</p> <p><em>What are some of your favorite food hacks? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-wise-breads-88-best-food-hacks-ever">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-119-amazing-meals-you-can-make-from-a-can">Flashback Friday: 119 Amazing Meals You Can Make From a Can</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-pantry-tricks-that-save-you-big">9 Pantry Tricks That Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-celebrate-national-slow-cooking-month-with-these-95-crock-pot-dishes">Flashback Friday: Celebrate National Slow Cooking Month With These 95 Crock Pot Dishes</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/emergency-food-supplies-for-the-lazy-skinflint">Emergency food supplies for the lazy skinflint</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/ugggh-hic-i-justss-gotta-eat-somehicthing-my-top-10-homemade-drunk-snacks">Ugggh, (hic) I justss gotta eat some(hic)thing; my top 10 homemade drunk snacks.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Food and Drink Organization fbf flashback friday Food food hacks food shopping food storage Fri, 15 Jan 2016 18:53:38 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1638733 at http://www.wisebread.com Stock These 20 Frugal Foods for Tough Financial Times http://www.wisebread.com/stock-these-20-frugal-foods-for-tough-financial-times <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/stock-these-20-frugal-foods-for-tough-financial-times" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_making_stew_000063377505.jpg" alt="Woman stocking frugal foods for tough financial times" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When my husband and I were newlyweds, we had to drastically cut our spending in order to come up with a down payment on a house. At the time, the goal was daunting, but we did it, largely by reining in our grocery budget. Unfortunately, I didn't know much about cooking at the time. This meant eating a lot of macaroni and cheese.</p> <p>So, if you find yourself in a similar position, needing to save, what do you do? I sincerely do not recommend eating box upon box of mac and cheese. Instead, here are some pantry and fridge essentials to rely upon when money is tight. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-weekly-grocery-budget">9 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Weekly Grocery Budget</a>)</p> <h2>1. Beans</h2> <p>If you have the time to soak and cook dried beans (about $1.49 for a pound), you'll save a little more, but canned are also a good deal (usually less than a dollar a can).</p> <h2>2. Rice</h2> <p>White rice is very inexpensive (around $6 for 10 pounds), but do yourself a favor and get brown, or at least &quot;half and half,&quot; which is not much more expensive but has greater nutritional value.</p> <h2>3. Bacon</h2> <p>Sorry, vegetarians, but adding even just a little bacon to so many foods elevates the meal. I buy it on sale (look for around $2.30 for a package) and freeze it. Add it to pasta, to an omelet, beans, the aforementioned rice, and things look more cheerful. <em>Yes, I'm staying in and watching a movie tonight, but I had bacon.</em></p> <h2>4. Frozen Petite Peas</h2> <p>There aren't a lot of frozen vegetables I really like, but when petite peas go on sale (around $2.38 for a pound), I load up my freezer. I prefer petite peas, which are sweeter and less chalky, to regular peas. What can you do with them? They can go with leftover rice in the morning for fried rice. They are an easy dinner side dish. Defrost slightly and toss into salads. I like to add a cup into my pasta water to to cook, and then add to my pasta dish. You can also defrost them, throw into your food processor, and make a pea hummus.</p> <h2>5. Panko Crumbs</h2> <p>I buy panko crumbs (Japanese bread crumbs) at Costco in the 2.2-pound resealable packages, because they're so much cheaper that way. I use them to bread pounded chicken, salmon croquettes, top macaroni and cheese (we now eat it again, occasionally), and fry vegetables. They can also be used to &quot;stretch&quot; meatballs and meatloaf. Heck, try breading Spam. It's pretty good.</p> <h2>6. Canned Salmon</h2> <p>Canned salmon works nicely in a creamy chowder with potatoes, or fried, with panko crumbs, as a croquette. Of course, it's also good for you, as it's full of Omega-3's. Look for it to go on sale for about $2.50 or less, per can.</p> <h2>7. Canned Tuna</h2> <p>A little food snobbery here: I don't like super-cheap tuna. I buy it at Costco, in eight-packs for $14.99, and I have also had Trader Joe's &mdash; both are a higher quality, so I don't feel like I'm eating something the cat should be having. It, of course, makes great sandwiches, but you can also make a quick Tuna Nicoise or tuck it into a classic tuna-noodle casserole.</p> <h2>8. Eggs</h2> <p>At only around $2 for a dozen, eggs are an excellent source of protein and can be made for any meal. Add chopped herbs or parmesan for an omelette; hard-boil for sandwiches; or make huevos with beans for dinner.</p> <h2>9. Lentils</h2> <p>My daughter had a college friend who made a pot of lentils every Sunday, and then ate them all week. He was really broke. I like lentils, but there is no way I could do that, even at a little over a buck a pound. Try them in stews, chilis, or even tacos and salads.</p> <h2>10. Peanut Butter</h2> <p>At around $2.50 per jar, we've all had our share of PB&amp;J's, right? Peanut butter has moved on, though, to fancier stuff. Try combining it with a little sesame oil and rice wine vinegar for an Asian-inspired coleslaw dressing. One of my breakfast favorites is to spread it on toast and slice bananas on top.</p> <h2>11. Bananas</h2> <p>For around a dollar or two a pound, this fruit is not only filling but also contain Vitamins B6 and C, manganese, and magnesium. If you overbuy, freeze some (defrost slightly, mash, and make banana ice cream), or make pancakes or banana bread.</p> <h2>12. Apples</h2> <p>At only about a dollar a pound, apples contain fiber and antioxidants. Add them to salads, slice onto peanut butter and toast, or pack a snack with sliced apples and a little cheese. You can bake them until tender and drizzle with honey.</p> <h2>13. Herbs</h2> <p>Even a teaspoon of fresh, chopped herbs adds a lot of flavor to eggs, rice, chicken, etc. You can also make pesto out of just about any nuts you have around and fresh herbs (try parsley and walnuts, or cilantro and macadamia nuts). Top potatoes with herbs, stir into pasta, or add to tuna or egg salad.</p> <h2>14. Garlic and Onions</h2> <p>Stay away from garlic in jars, which is expensive, and smash your own. Onions keep well, too, in a dark, cool, place. Both add incredible flavor to everything.</p> <h2>15. Cabbage</h2> <p>Crazy about coleslaw? With cabbage at only about .25 per serving, it makes sense to have it around. It also contains Vitamins C and K. It's also great cooked. After you cook 2-3 strips of bacon, drain off most of the fat, but not all; and saute three cups of shredded cabbage in the pan until it is limp. It tastes great with rice.</p> <h2>16. Pasta</h2> <p>A box of pasta is inexpensive ($2.50 will buy you two pounds of a good brand). Toss it with a little bacon and chopped herbs; or top with a fried egg! If you make too much pasta, you can eat it later in the week, or freeze (don't forget to label).</p> <h2>17. Oatmeal</h2> <p>Not only is oatmeal really good for you, fiber-wise, but it's extremely inexpensive and easy to make. I like mine with brown sugar, raisins, and bananas. If that doesn't hold you until lunchtime, nothing will! An 18-oz carton should run you less than $3.</p> <h2>18. Plain Yogurt</h2> <p>I prefer Greek-style, but it tends to be more expensive. Watch for weekly sales at grocery stores. Target is also a good place to watch. If you buy plain, you can jazz it up with honey, fruit, or even chocolate syrup. It will also stand in as sour cream and you can incorporate it into salad dressings and smoothies.</p> <h2>19. Milk</h2> <p>Now that I'm paying more attention to getting enough Vitamin D, I have started having an 8-ounce glass of milk with my lunch. I had forgotten how much it fills me up. A gallon of 2% will run about $5.</p> <h2>20. Whole Chickens</h2> <p>I lurk in the shadows of the meat department until whole chickens are $1.29 a pound, or less, and then buy a few. One night is a roast chicken, and the meat becomes sandwiches the next day. I like to make broth with the carcass, which gives me ammo for future soups.</p> <p><em>Did we miss any classic foods to nosh during tough times? Let us know in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stock-these-20-frugal-foods-for-tough-financial-times">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-weekly-grocery-budget">9 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Weekly Grocery 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/the-best-cooking-oils-for-your-heart-and-wallet">The Best Cooking Oils: For Your Heart and Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-grocery-store-secrets-only-the-pros-know">10 Grocery Store Secrets Only the Pros 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/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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Food and Drink comfort food Food frugal food grocery shopping healthy eating Wed, 06 Jan 2016 16:00:03 +0000 Marla Walters 1633483 at http://www.wisebread.com How Frugal Is Coconut Oil, Really? http://www.wisebread.com/how-frugal-is-coconut-oil-really <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-frugal-is-coconut-oil-really" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coconut_oil_000059983724.jpg" alt="Learning how frugal is coconut oil, really?" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Coconut oil is this year's kale. It is everywhere. If you pay attention to the opinions of daytime talk show hosts, then you already know that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-use-your-food-that-dont-involve-eating">coconut oil is the magical food</a> of unicorns that will give you the power of invisibility.</p> <p>Okay, I lied about the invisibility part.</p> <p>I have used a variety of coconut oil brands in the past with success, but I prefer Dr. Bronner's because they have a proven track record of fair trade business practices. I use <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0052AIF00/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B0052AIF00&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=JE4AZHBUCHGQ2KYU">Dr. Bronner's White Kernel Organic Virgin Coconut Oil</a> for cooking, and the slightly less expensive <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B3COTYM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00B3COTYM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LSCTD36INSMPOJPJ">Dr. Bronner's Whole Kernel Organic Virgin Coconut Oil</a> for everything else.</p> <p>Coconut oil, like apple cider vinegar and baking soda, is a staple product in my home. I use it for cooking, personal hygiene, and for general housekeeping projects. Here are some of its many uses.</p> <h2>In the Kitchen</h2> <p>There are so many ways to use coconut oil as an everyday ingredient in your favorite foods. Such as&hellip;.</p> <h3>1. Pop Delicious Popcorn</h3> <p>Because of its high smoke point (350 F for unrefined, 400 F for refined), coconut oil is ideal for frying and sauteing food, which is why it is still the go-to oil for movie theater popcorn (which contains more calories than a pepperoni pizza). Personally, <a href="http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/perfect_popcorn/">homemade popcorn</a> is one of my favorite uses for coconut oil, calories be damned. Then again, I'm the person who usually pops her popcorn in bacon grease, so&hellip;</p> <h3>2. Fry Coconut Donuts</h3> <p>I don't know why this recipe's author doesn't fry <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/coconut-doughnuts-51126410">coconut donuts</a> in coconut oil. But I do, and the results are delicious.</p> <h3>3. Sear Meat</h3> <p>My vintage kitchen doesn't include an oven fan. One of the reasons why I like cooking with coconut oil is that I can sear meat or fish without setting off the fire alarm in my house. I also like the twist the light coconut flavor imparts to classic dishes like <a href="http://freecoconutrecipes.com/coconut-oil-seared-lamb-chops-with-rosemary-and-garlic/">garlic and rosemary lamb chops</a>.</p> <h3>4. Season Cast Iron Pans (Vegan Friendly)</h3> <p>For Southerners who regularly cook with lard or bacon grease, maintaining a perfectly seasoned, non-stick cast iron pan is a no-brainer. However, for vegetarians and vegans who like the feel of cast iron and the additional nutritional value from cooking on iron, it's hard to keep a pan properly seasoned with vegetable oil. With its high smoke point and its saturated fat content, coconut oil is the perfect, animal-friendly solution.</p> <h3>5. Brew Bulletproof-Style Coffee</h3> <p>Fatty caffeine is not a new idea. The Tibetans have been doing it for centuries with yak butter tea. What <em>is</em> new is the trend of replacing breakfast with coffee that has been laced with butter and coconut oil. Aka, <a href="https://www.bulletproofexec.com/how-to-make-your-coffee-bulletproof-and-your-morning-too/">Bulletproof coffee</a>. It's super tasty, but I would personally suggest this beverage is best as an occasional treat.</p> <h3>6. Graze on Great Granola</h3> <p>Speaking of breakfast, coconut oil works well as part of a solid meal. For example, replacing the olive oil in a favorite <a href="http://pinchofyum.com/our-favorite-coconut-oil-granola">granola recipe</a> is all kinds of win.</p> <h3>7. Thicken Smoothies</h3> <p>It seems super weird to add oil to a smoothie, but beverage manufacturers do it all the time. Just look at the ingredients of non-dairy coffee creamer or soft-serve shakes. I like to add coconut oil to my smoothies because I don't like the texture of blended bananas.</p> <h3>8. Create Raw, Non-Dairy, Gluten-Free Sorbet</h3> <p>For everyone else on the planet who has no trouble with blended bananas, this recipe for <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/raw-banana-ice-cream">raw banana ice cream</a> with coconut oil is a great base for all sorts of non-dairy sorbets.</p> <h3>9. Indulge on Lactose-Free, Vegan-Friendly Chocolate Cake</h3> <p>One of the reasons for coconut oil's rise in popularity is that is an excellent vegan alternative to butter and lard in baking. Before substituting it for butter or shortening, novice bakers should try a few recipes that call specifically for coconut oil to get a handle on how it performs in baked goods. Butter contains a lot more water, so substitutions will definitely impact texture as well as flavor and cooking times. This <a href="http://grist.org/food/my-vegan-valentine/">chocolate cake recipe</a> is a great starting point for baking with coconut oil and includes a recipe for vegan chocolate fudge frosting.</p> <h3>10. Bake Gluten-Free Brownies</h3> <p>I originally tried this recipe to use up some sorghum flour I'd received as a gift. Now I find myself buying sorghum flour just to <a href="http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2006/01/dark-chocolate-brownies.html">make these brownies</a>, using coconut oil, of course.</p> <h3>11. And Coconut Rice Krispie Treats</h3> <p>The name says it all: <a href="http://www.cookingwithbooks.net/2014/10/coconut-oil-rice-krispies-treats.html">Coconut Rice Krispie Treats</a>. Add some shredded coconut for extra coco-nuttiness.</p> <h2>In the Bathroom</h2> <p>Although I love using coconut oil in the kitchen, I think I use equal amounts of the stuff in the bathroom. In a downsizing frenzy, I replaced my gigantic collection of lotion, moisturizers, foot creams, and other random lubricants with grape seed oil and coconut oil. My bathroom is much tidier and my wallet thanks me.</p> <h3>12. Use as Makeup Remover</h3> <p>Coconut oil is a great alternative to cold cream. It even removes waterproof mascara without tugging. I like the fact that it not only removes every speck of make-up, but it leaves my face moisturized.</p> <h3>13. Swap Out Your Night Cream</h3> <p>Coconut oil is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, so for me it works well as a facial moisturizer. (Fair warning: acne-prone adults report both great and terrible results with coconut oil). Since I can feel the weight of the oil on my face (a sensation that I don't find pleasant), I use coconut oil as a night cream.</p> <h3>14. Create a Dewy Glow</h3> <p>Coconut oil gives skin a dewy glow, without makeup. If overall shine isn't your thing, use a little coconut oil, and spread it as a highlighter just across the cheekbones.</p> <h3>15. Fade Age Spots</h3> <p>Tons of beauty blogs make this claim. However, as someone who uses coconut oil daily I can tell you that I am just as spotty as ever. I will say that coconut oil does reduce the appearance of small wrinkles around my eyes, which makes me look younger, spots and all.</p> <h3>16. Use as Tropical Lube</h3> <p>Long lasting, chemical-free, and it doesn't taste like poison. Improve sexy-times with coconut oil. It works well as massage oil and as personal lubricant. Just don't use coconut oil (or any oil) with latex condoms!</p> <h3>17. Use as Foot Balm</h3> <p>In addition to being a bang up massage oil, coconut oil softens dry, cracked feet. I apply coconut oil to my feet at bedtime (I wear socks to bed to keep my sheets clean) and wake up with the softest toes.</p> <h3>18. Body Lotion</h3> <p>Overshare: I rub myself down with coconut oil at night before bed, and marinate in it while I sleep. My husband tells me it's like sharing a bed with a lady pirate. Of course, now I want to know how many lady pirates he knows.</p> <h3>19. Shaving Cream</h3> <p>Speaking of my husband, I haven't asked him to test out coconut oil as a shaving cream for his face, but coconut oil gives me a close shave on my legs and doubles as body lotion.</p> <h3>20. Body Scrub</h3> <p>Why pay for expensive spa treatments when you can make your organic version at home for pennies? This three-ingredient <a href="http://wonkywonderful.com/easy-homemade-body-scrub-vanilla-coconut/">sugar scrub</a> would make a great gift!</p> <h3>21. Lip Balm</h3> <p>Since I am a beekeeper, I use my bees' own wax mixed with coconut oil to make my lip balm, but plain old coconut oil works well too.</p> <h3>22. Hair Conditioner</h3> <p>After applying coconut oil to my skin as a lotion, I rub the residue on my hands into the ends of my hair to prevent split ends. A little oil goes a long way.</p> <h3>23. Scalp Treatment</h3> <p>Coconut oil can sooth a flaky scalp. Coconut oil is anti-fungal, which means it can help kill off <a href="http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/dandruff-13/understanding-dandruff-basics">Malassezia</a>, a very common fungus that causes dandruff. Since I am one of those annoying dirty hair evangelists, I avoided using coconut oil as a scalp treatment since it would leave my hair looking greasy. But then I found this recipe for an <a href="http://thecrunchymoose.com/coconut-oil-hair-mask-get-hair/">egg rinse</a>, which sounds disgusting, but totally works as a post-hair mask degreaser.</p> <h3>24. Cure Cradle Cap</h3> <p>Coconut oil is also a <a href="http://www.bellybelly.com.au/baby/cradle-cap-baby-infant-remedies-for-cradle-cap/">safe treatment</a> for baby scalps.</p> <h3>25. Ease Eczema</h3> <p>My Ayurvedic doctor introduced me to coconut oil. She prescribed it as a topical treatment for my stubborn creeping crud skin condition. It works better than my $60 tube of prescription skin cream.</p> <h3>26. Breast Feeding First Aid</h3> <p>Is your baby literally chapping your hide? Soothe your sore nipples with a little coconut oil. It's cheaper than nipple cream, safe for babies, and an alternative for vegans and women with lanolin allergies.</p> <h3>27. Diaper Rash Help</h3> <p>Use plain coconut oil to sooth diaper rash and provide a barrier between the baby and the diaper or use it to mix up your own <a href="http://homeremediesforlife.com/coconut-oil-for-diaper-rash/">diaper cream</a>.</p> <h3>So, Is Coconut Oil Frugal?</h3> <p>Although it is becoming mainstream, coconut oil is still a specialty food that comes with a specialty food price. If you use coconut oil as a substitute for cheaper vegetable oils, then your grocery bill is going to take a hit. However, if you are like me, and substitute coconut oil for more expensive products in the kitchen and your beauty routine, then coconut oil can be very cost-effective.</p> <p><em>Are you a coconut oil lover or a coconut oil hater? Explain yourself in the comments section. </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-frugal-is-coconut-oil-really">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/avoid-big-dental-bills-with-safe-and-inexpensive-products">Avoid Big Dental Bills with Safe and Inexpensive Products</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/peanut-butter-the-poor-man-s-protein">Peanut Butter: The Poor Man’s Protein</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-sunscreens">The 5 Best Sunscreens</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-of-our-favorite-fitness-and-diet-smart-phone-apps-0">8 of our Favorite Fitness and Diet Smart Phone Apps</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-ultimate-green-workout">The Ultimate &quot;Green&quot; Workout</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Health and Beauty Lifestyle beauty products beauty trends coconut oil Food ingredients Wed, 09 Dec 2015 12:00:15 +0000 Max Wong 1619122 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Foods Science Says Are Healthier for Your Hair http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-science-says-are-healthier-for-your-hair <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-foods-science-says-are-healthier-for-your-hair" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000061294698_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Did you know that it's scientifically proven that eating a variety of specific foods can help improve the health and appearance of your hair, while making it grow faster and longer? And in most cases, you can expect to begin seeing results in as little as two weeks.</p> <p>Whether you're recovering from a bad haircut, want long mermaid locks for your wedding, or just want to improve the length or thickness of your hair, make sure to include more of the following foods in your diet.</p> <h2>1. Salmon</h2> <p>Fish and shellfish provide the omega-3 fatty acids, iron, selenium, and vitamins B and D that your hair needs to grow healthy, smooth, shiny, strong, hydrated, and thick. Salmon, sardines, and mackerel are the best sources of this healthy fat, but shrimp and other fish and shellfish are also great options. Omega-3 can support healthy hair growth, so if you aren't getting enough fish in your diet, consider taking an omega-3 supplement.</p> <h2>2. Red Meat</h2> <p>Red meat contains iron and zinc, both of which are essential for hair growth because they can <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20734150_2,00.html">help hair follicles to grow</a>. Red meat is also a great source of protein, which your hair also needs in order to grow. If you wanted an excuse to eat more steak and lean red meat, now you have it.</p> <h2>3. Lean Protein</h2> <p>Protein is the building block of life, and of your hair. Lean sources of protein, like chicken and turkey, will boost your hair strength, make your hair shinier, and promote cell growth and repair. Turkey is also a great source of iron, while chicken is packed with biotin.</p> <h2>4. Eggs</h2> <p>Eggs are packed with vitamins B and D, biotin, choline, iron, zinc, selenium, and protein, which your hair needs to grow healthy and strong. If you don't get enough eggs in your diet, you can always add them to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-luxury-hair-treatments-from-your-kitchen">DIY hair mask</a> for an alternative way to benefit from the egg whites and yolks.</p> <h2>5. Dark Leafy Greens</h2> <p>Eating more dark leafy greens, like spinach and kale, will pay off in unbeatable health benefits, weight loss, and hair growth. Spinach has vitamins A and C, iron, folate, beta-carotene, and other nutrients that can battle thin, brittle hair, leaving it soft, smooth, and shiny. It can also help produce sebum, which can prevent your hair from breaking off and leave you with healthier, more moisturized hair and scalp.</p> <h2>6. Greek Yogurt</h2> <p>Greek yogurt is packed with protein, biotin, and calcium. It also has vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), which can help with blood flow to the scalp. Eating more low-fat or nonfat yogurt or greek yogurt will help with hair growth and fight hair thinning and fallout.</p> <h2>7. Walnuts</h2> <p>Nuts like peanuts, pecans, almonds, and cashews will all benefit your health and hair, but walnuts are particularly effective with hair growth. They can strengthen the hair follicles, improve scalp health, and make your hair smoother and shinier. Nuts (and particularly walnuts) are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, biotin, zinc, copper, selenium, vitamin E, and magnesium.</p> <h2>8. Kidney Beans</h2> <p>Iron is essential for hair growth, according to author and nutritionist, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1623360323/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=1623360323&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=XD2SNBCVNQF7RYSZ">Rania Batayneh</a>, and beans are a great source of protein and iron, making them the perfect side item or vegetarian option. Kidney beans are particularly beneficial because they are also packed with zinc and biotin. Beans and soy can also help the body make keratin, which can help build hair.</p> <h2>9. Soybeans or Lentils</h2> <p>Soybeans, quinoa, chickpeas, and lentils are a great source of protein, zinc, biotin, and iron. They make the perfect side dishes or they can be a great meat substitute for vegetarians.</p> <h2>10. Water</h2> <p>Water is the single most important thing for a healthy body and healthy hair growth. It is essential in carrying nutrients and oxygen to the cells and is required if you want to grow healthy, shiny hair. Your hair is the last thing to receive nutrients from the body, so make sure to increase your water intake for maximum results.</p> <h2>Multivitamins and Supplements</h2> <p>Taking a daily multivitamin may help fill in whatever vitamins and nutrients your body may be lacking. Along with your daily multivitamin, you may also want to add the following supplements to your daily routine</p> <ul> <li>Vitamin B</li> <li>Vitamin C</li> <li>Vitamin D</li> <li>Niacin (vitamin B3)</li> <li>Biotin</li> <li>Iron</li> <li>Zinc</li> <li>Copper</li> <li>Folic Acid</li> <li>Saw Palmetto</li> <li>Omega-3</li> </ul> <p>Hair growth supplements are supplements designed to give your body what it needs to allow your hair to grow. These commonly have a combination of the supplements listed above and can be really effective when you want to grow your hair quickly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-hair-growth-supplements">The 5 Best Hair Growth Supplements</a>)</p> <p><em>Do you know of any other scientifically proven ingredients for hair growth? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-science-says-are-healthier-for-your-hair">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/healthy-frugal-eating">Healthy, frugal eating</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-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat">The new face of poverty is fat</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/so-you-think-youre-a-carnivore">So, You Think You&#039;re a Carnivore?</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/peanut-butter-the-poor-man-s-protein">Peanut Butter: The Poor Man’s Protein</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/waste-not-revisiting-the-5-second-rule-and-other-kitchen-classics">Waste Not! Revisiting the 5-Second Rule and other Kitchen Classics</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Health and Beauty Food hair growth Health health supplements healthy eating Thu, 15 Oct 2015 11:00:17 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1592502 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 DIY Beauty Masks Made From Food http://www.wisebread.com/9-diy-beauty-masks-made-from-food <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-diy-beauty-masks-made-from-food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_wearing_facemasks_000050640308.jpg" alt="Women wearing DIY masks made from kitchen ingredients" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Did you know that making DIY face masks at home will save you money, time, perfect your skin, and give you that spa experience at home? If you just don't feel like splurging on a facial, these masks can give you instant, noticeable results, without ever having to step foot outside of your home. And by using items you already have in your kitchen, you won't have to spend a dime either.</p> <p>Whenever possible, try using organic ingredients for the best results and to avoid the risk of negative side effects from pesticides or chemicals. Below are simple recipes for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">DIY</a> masks that can perfect your skin and help you clean out your fridge and pantry at the same time. Best of all, you won't have to spend any of your hard-earned money at the spa.</p> <h2>1. Lemon</h2> <p>Lemon can rejuvenate and balance the skin, leaving you with a natural glow. It also has antibacterial and antifungal properties and can brighten the skin with regular use. To take your lemon mask one step further, check out the recipes below.</p> <h3>Lemon and Baking Soda Mask</h3> <p>Baking soda can serve as a powerful microdermabrasion and leave you with healthy, radiant, glowing skin. This mask is also ideal for acne-prone skin and can fight breakouts, blackheads, and enlarged pores all at once.</p> <ul> <li>&frac12; lemon</li> <li>2 T baking soda</li> </ul> <p>Cut a lemon in half. Sprinkle baking soda over the sliced lemon half. Gently rub the lemon half over your face, in circular motions, avoiding your eyes. After about 10 minutes, wash your face thoroughly and pat dry with a clean towel. If you prefer, you can also mix the lemon juice and baking soda separately to form a paste, which you can then apply directly to your skin.</p> <h3>Lemon and Honey Mask</h3> <p>This mask is also ideal for acne-prone skin and can fight breakouts, blackheads, enlarged pores, and acne scarring, all at once.</p> <ul> <li>&frac12; lemon</li> <li>1 T honey</li> </ul> <p>Cut a lemon in half. Pour honey over the sliced lemon half. Gently rub the lemon half over your face, avoiding your eyes, in circular motions. After about 10 minutes, wash your face thoroughly and pat dry with a clean towel. If you prefer, you can also mix the lemon juice and honey separately, which you can then apply directly to your skin.</p> <h2>2. Eggs</h2> <p>Using eggs in a facial mask can be off-putting for some people, but egg whites can help tighten the skin and reduce pore size, so most people agree that the results are worth it. Some DIY recipes call for eggs, while others call for only egg whites, so whatever you have will work. To get more from your extra eggs, check out these recipes.</p> <h3>Egg Whites and Berries Mask</h3> <p>Berries can fight free radicals, so your skin will appear brighter, smoother, and more radiant after using this mask. This mask is also loaded with antioxidants and will leave your skin looking brighter and tighter.</p> <ul> <li>&frac14; cup frozen berries</li> <li>1 T egg whites</li> </ul> <p>Mash berries and egg whites together. Apply to entire face, avoiding the eyes. Leave on for about five minutes. Wash your face thoroughly and pat dry with a clean towel.</p> <h3>Eggs and Coffee Grounds Mask</h3> <p>Don't throw out your old coffee grounds. Instead, mix them with a whole egg to preserve and renew your skin with protein and nutrients. If you don't like the idea of using eggs, simply substitute a tablespoon of raw honey for the egg.</p> <ul> <li>1 whole egg</li> <li>1 T fine coffee grounds</li> </ul> <p>Combine the egg with the coffee grounds. Gently massage the mask onto your face, in circular motions, avoiding your eyes. This will gently exfoliate your skin and remove dead cells off the surface. Leave on for about five minutes. Wash your face thoroughly and pat dry with a clean towel. If you still have coffee grounds left over, use them to scrub your body in the shower. Studies have shown that the caffeine in coffee grounds can fight the appearance of cellulite, while the grounds themselves are an effective exfoliator.</p> <h2>3. Honey</h2> <p>Honey is incredibly nourishing for the skin. Raw honey can moisturize the skin, as well as fight acne, the signs of aging, and oily complexion. You can slather honey directly on your face and after five to 10 minutes, rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel to produce noticeable results. To take your honey mask one step further, check out the recipes below.</p> <h3>Honey and Oatmeal Mask</h3> <p>By adding oatmeal to your mask, you can soothe dry or irritated skin. Oatmeal can gently exfoliate the skin and has also been effective at healing acne, dealing with excess oil, and unclogging the pores.</p> <ul> <li>1 T powdered oats</li> <li>1 T raw honey</li> </ul> <p>Combine the powdered oats and raw honey. Apply to entire face, avoiding the eyes. After five to 10 minutes, rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel.</p> <h3>Honey and Avocado Mask</h3> <p>Avocado is incredibly moisturizing, so it is ideal for dry or irritated skin. If you do not have any honey on hand, simply smash up a ripe avocado and apply it directly to your skin.</p> <ul> <li>1 ripe avocado</li> <li>1 T raw honey</li> </ul> <p>Stir together until well combined and apply a thick layer to the entire face or any area prone to breakouts, avoiding the eyes. Let sit for 20 minutes and rinse with warm water.</p> <h2>4. Yogurt and Whole Milk</h2> <p>Yogurt is a great base for a number of DIY masks. The cool, creamy texture feels good on the skin and won't slip off while you're wearing the mask. It is also incredibly moisturizing, antibacterial, and contains helpful lactic acid.</p> <h3>Honey, Yogurt, and Banana Mask</h3> <p>This mask can fight acne, unclog the pores, and add moisture to the skin. Bananas can also assist in the anti-aging process, but if you don't have a banana, you can omit it from the recipe. Honey and yogurt work very well on their own to fight acne and perfect the texture and appearance of the skin.</p> <ul> <li>&frac14; cup plain Greek yogurt</li> <li>&frac12; T honey</li> <li>1 overripe banana</li> </ul> <p>Stir together until well combined and apply to entire face, avoiding the eyes. After about five to 10 minutes, rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel.</p> <h3>Whole Milk and Green Tea Mask</h3> <p>This mask can fight redness and leave your skin glowing. It is also packed with antioxidants and can improve both the health and appearance of your skin.</p> <ul> <li>1 T green tea</li> <li>1 T cold whole milk</li> </ul> <p>Combine and refrigerate to create a cool compress that you can apply to any facial redness using a cotton ball. To get even more from your mask, place the used tea bags on your eyes to reduce any eye redness and puffiness. After five minutes, remove the tea bags from your eyes, wash your face, and pat dry with a clean towel.</p> <h2>5. Hot Oils</h2> <p>Many different oils can work for a hot oil mask, but most people find that they get the best results from using either extra virgin olive oil or pure coconut oil.</p> <ul> <li>&frac14; cup oil</li> </ul> <p>Microwave oil for about 20&ndash;30 seconds until it is hot, but not scalding and apply for five minutes. Rinse your face thoroughly and pat dry with a clean towel.</p> <p>Enjoy your bright, beautiful, glowing skin, and feel good knowing that none of those extra ingredients in your kitchen went to waste!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-diy-beauty-masks-made-from-food">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/7-homemade-beauty-treatments-that-actually-work">7 Homemade Beauty Treatments That Actually Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-amazing-easy-diy-bath-and-body-products">50 Amazing, Easy DIY Bath and Body Products</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-awesomeness-of-sodium-bicarbonate-27-uses-for-baking-soda">The Awesomeness of Sodium Bicarbonate: 27 Uses for Baking Soda</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/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</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/10-foods-science-says-are-healthier-for-your-hair">10 Foods Science Says Are Healthier for Your Hair</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Health and Beauty cosmetic face masks Food skin spa Fri, 17 Jul 2015 11:00:09 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1486854 at http://www.wisebread.com Save $100s Next Month With These 10 Grocery Shopping Tips http://www.wisebread.com/save-100s-next-month-with-these-10-grocery-shopping-tips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-100s-next-month-with-these-10-grocery-shopping-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_saving_money_groceries_000057402780.jpg" alt="Woman taking thrifty grocery shopping challenge" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Thrifty shopping may seem like a pain at first, but the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-shopping-list-strategy-from-5-meal-plan-will-save-you-big">savings can really add up.</a> If you're used to a liberal spending plan, you might be able to save hundreds per month, just by eating at home more and shopping thrifty at the grocery store. Below, you'll find some realistic estimates of just you much you can save, and easy ways to do it.</p> <h2>1. Keep a Budget</h2> <p>According to the USDA, the average family of four can expect to spend around <a href="http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/CostofFoodApr2015.pdf">$606.20 per month</a> with a thrifty spending plan, $786.50 with a low-cost plan, $977.80 with a moderate-cost plan, and $1,197.75 with a liberal plan. While $606.20 per month may seem low, the average low-cost plan budgets a more reasonable $786.50 per month. According to USA Today, the average family of four spends closer to <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/01/grocery-costs-for-family/2104165/">$870 per month on groceries</a>.</p> <p>By just keeping a budget and maintaining a low-cost meal plan, your family can save up to $411.25 every month, compared to a family with a liberal spending plan. If you can stick to a budget of $786.50 per month for a family of four, then you're halfway to becoming a thrifty shopper.</p> <h2>2. Pack a Lunch</h2> <p>According to Forbes, when the average American eats out, they spend about <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/halahtouryalai/2013/09/25/lunchtime-americans-spend-nearly-1k-annually-eating-out-for-lunch/">$10 on lunch</a>. However, Visa found that the average man spends about $21 per lunch and the average woman spends about $14 per lunch. Alternatively, packing a lunch costs about $3 per meal. This means that you can save at least $7 per lunch, Monday-Friday, or $140 per month. Imagine how much more you could save by eating breakfast and dinner at home, as well. Make eating out a special occasion and you'll see the savings pile up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas?ref=seealso">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a>)</p> <h2>3. Stop Throwing Out Food</h2> <p>Any food that you throw out becomes the most expensive food in your kitchen. Unfortunately, Americans throw out more than 25% of the food and beverages they purchase, according to the EPA. Based on a study conducted by the University of Arizona, it was determined that the average American family of four throws out approximately $590 worth of food every year, which comes out to about $49.16 per month. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-wasting-13-of-the-food-you-buy-heres-how-to-stop?ref=seealso">You're Wasting ⅓ of the Food You Buy &mdash; Here's How to Stop</a>)</p> <p>Find interesting ways to use your leftovers (such as healthy soups and smoothies) and you're on your way to less food waste. You can also find ways to better freeze and preserve your food (such as canning and pickling) so that nothing goes to waste.</p> <h2>4. Take Advantage of Credit Card Rewards</h2> <p>Every credit card is different, so your rewards program will depend on which card you have. For instance, the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cashing-in-at-the-supermarket-blue-cash-preferred-card-from-american-express-review?ref=internal">American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card</a> offers 6% cash back on groceries. If your family is spending approximately $786.50 per month on groceries using a low-cost shopping plan, then you can earn $47.19 per month just by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=internal">using your credit card to purchase groceries</a>.</p> <h2>5. Stop Dining Out</h2> <p>Keep reminding yourself that every time you dine out, you are wasting money. For the simplest example, consider a pizza. At Pizza Hut, a large supreme stuffed-crust pizza costs $18.00, while the exact same pizza from DiGiorno costs $8.87. By making this swap just once per week, you'll save $36.52 per month. By cooking at home, you also won't need to worry about driving to get food or dealing with the crowds. Imagine the savings if you also took your lunch to work (rather than eating out) and swapped your morning coffee run with a cup brewed at home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-make-restaurant-quality-pizza-at-home?ref=seealso">This Is How You Make Restaurant-Quality Pizza at Home</a>)</p> <h2>6. Go Vegetarian Twice a Week</h2> <p>According to Eating Well, <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/budget_cooking/6_simple_changes_that_could_help_you_save_2997_a_year?page=2">one pound of sirloin</a> costs $5.99, while a 14-ounce block of tofu only costs $1.96. By swapping meat for tofu or veggies only twice weekly, you'll save $8.06 per week and at least $32.24 per month. You might also drop a few pounds and improve your health in the process. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-slow-cooker-recipes-for-busy-or-lazy-vegetarians?ref=seealso">35 Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy (or Lazy) Vegetarians</a>)</p> <h2>7. Choose Cheaper Cuts of Meat</h2> <p>Eating Well also found that one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts costs $4.99, while one pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs costs $3.49. By making simple swaps like this just once a week, you'll save at least $6 per month. By replacing one pound of fresh tuna (at $7.99) with one pound of canned tuna (at $3.68) just once a week, you'll save another $17.24 per month.</p> <p>You will realize even greater savings by swapping out other expensive cuts of meat for more affordable alternatives. Get out the slow cooker and find other ways to transform affordable cuts of meat into extraordinary meals to really benefit from the savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-secret-cheap-steak-cuts-you-should-be-asking-for?ref=seealso">7 Secret Cheap Steak Cuts You Should be Asking For</a>)</p> <h2>8. Prep Your Own Food</h2> <p>By just spending 10 extra minutes after returning from the store, you can prep your produce for the week and stack up the savings. For instance, on average, a pound of four apples costs $1.99, while sliced apples cost $4.99; a head of romaine or iceberg lettuce only costs $1.99, while one bag of lettuce costs $3.99 on average. By just prepping your own apples and one head of lettuce once per week, you'll save $5 per week, or $20 per month.</p> <h2>9. Take Advantage of Grocery Rewards</h2> <p>Every store offers their own unique rewards programs; some stores offer rewards points based on what you spend, some offer discounts at the pump, and others offer food discounts and unique perks. For instance, Save Mart, Lucky, S-Mart Foods, and FoodMaxx offer one point for every $1 spent and another 100 points just for enrolling. Then, you can use your points to earn rewards of your choice (like $1 off for every 100 points).</p> <p>By enrolling in this free program, you would earn 786 points per month based on your monthly spending of $786.50 per month. This would translate into $7.86 off your next transaction. More importantly, joining a reward program provides you with better deals at the store.</p> <p>There are other ways to earn points and find rewards that can save you even more in the end. For instance, stores like Giant Eagle and Safeway offer savings when you fill up at the pump, based on how much you spend in the store. Ask your local supermarket about what they offer and how you can join the program. While you're at it, find out if there is a rewards program at any restaurant or store that you frequent. You can save big money by joining the rewards programs for stores like Starbucks, Best Buy, and other large stores that you shop at frequently.</p> <h2>10. Plan Ahead</h2> <p>You can also save more money by cooking more items from scratch, choosing frozen and canned produce when possible, choosing generic over brand name, and planning your meals around sales and specials. Services like the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-shopping-list-strategy-from-5-meal-plan-will-save-you-big">$5 Meal Plan</a> can help.</p> <p>To keep your spending in check, the USDA recommends using the smart shopping strategies found on <a href="http://www.choosemyplate.gov/">ChooseMyPlate.gov</a>, which can help you find ways to eat healthy on a budget. Remember, saving money every month can be fun. Challenge yourself to see if you can save more every month or find a way to treat your family when you stay within budget.</p> <p><em>How do you control grocery costs?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-100s-next-month-with-these-10-grocery-shopping-tips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-places-to-get-coupons-online">The Best Places to Get Coupons Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-creative-ways-to-save-money-with-bulk-buying">6 Creative Ways to Save Money With Bulk Buying</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-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016">The 8 Shopping Apps That&#039;ll Actually Save You Money in 2016</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/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars">20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping coupons Food groceries rewards programs saving money Fri, 10 Jul 2015 15:00:17 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1478520 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Creative Ways to Save Money With Bulk Buying http://www.wisebread.com/6-creative-ways-to-save-money-with-bulk-buying <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-creative-ways-to-save-money-with-bulk-buying" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/farmers_market_000038571134.jpg" alt="Woman buying food in bulk at farmers market" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bulk-buying-basics-what-to-buy-how-to-store-and-money-saving-tips">buying in bulk</a>, warehouse clubs get all the publicity. But there's a lot of stuff they simply don't sell, or the amounts they do sell just aren't big enough. It's times like these when some out-of-the-box thinking on bulk buying comes in handy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-didnt-know-you-could-buy-in-bulk?ref=seealso">10 Things You Didn&rsquo;t Know You Could Buy in Bulk</a>)</p> <p>Below are some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-food-items-to-always-buy-in-bulk">bulk buying ideas</a> that you've probably never considered, but could end up saving you significant money.</p> <h2>1. Home Improvement Materials</h2> <p>If you're considering a significant home improvement project and want to tackle the work yourself, look into buying in bulk at the <a href="http://www.homedepot.com/c/Pro_VolumePricing"> Home Depot Pro Desk</a>. If you spend at least $2,500, you're eligible for exclusive savings and rewards when buying building supplies like lumber, masonry, nails, screws, and sheetrock.</p> <p>If you're doing landscape work at your house and the idea of hauling 25 bags of bark is overwhelming, consider buying landscaping materials in bulk from a local supplier. If you don't own a truck, borrow a friend's and haul things like bark, rock, and soil directly to your home and easily save 25% to 50%, depending on the material.</p> <h2>2. Online &quot;Subscribe &amp; Save&quot; Programs</h2> <p>It seems like every other person you see at Costco or Sam's Club pushes a cart around with a huge package of toilet paper or dog food hanging over the edge. While these are often good bulk buys, did you know that you can typically get the same products mailed directly to your home via online &quot;Subscribe &amp; Save&quot; programs? The two big players are <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/subscribe-and-save/details/?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=JBPXV7KSAISOFU6R"> Amazon</a> and<a href="http://goto.target.com/c/27771/81938/2092?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.target.com%2Fc%2Ftarget-subscriptions-ways-to-shop%2F-%2FN-55b84"> Target</a>, and their pricing is surprisingly competitive. They both offer free membership, free delivery, and Amazon even offers 15% off if you have at least three items mailed to your home on a regular schedule.</p> <p>If you are a busy parent, and love the idea of having certain items sent to your doorstep on a regular schedule, you should definitely look into it. Some of the popular items include diapers, toilet paper, laundry detergent, dog food, shampoo, soap, and paper towels. The best part of both programs is the flexibility. If, for example, you have enough toilet paper to last six months, you can easily postpone future deliveries with no penalty.</p> <h2>3. Meat</h2> <p>If you have the freezer space, consider teaming up with friends or family and buying half a hog or a quarter of a steer.</p> <p>First, consider purchasing a 4-H project animal from your local county fair. You'll pay more than market price in most cases, but you'll be supporting local 4-H kids and end up with very high quality, antibiotic-free meat.</p> <p>Second, check out your local butcher shop for bulk meat buys. For example, my local butcher shop has a &quot;beef deal&quot; for five pounds of each of the following: round steak, chuck steak, 7-bone chuck roast, short ribs, and ground beef. Total price = $89.99 or $3.60/pound. If you have the freezer space, it's a great way to stock up and save.</p> <h2>4. Gift Cards</h2> <p>I have two kids who play youth sports year-round, and we are constantly buying coach gifts. Gift cards make awesome presents, especially when you buy in bulk from Costco. I recently bought five $10 Jamba Juice gift cards for only $30. So the next time you are hard up for a gift for a coach, teacher, or friend, swing by Costco and stock up on the cheap. Another cool thing about buying gift cards from Costco is they often feature <em>local </em>restaurants and businesses in addition to the usual chains.</p> <h2>5. Gas</h2> <p>For a $30 annual membership fee, <a href="http://www.mygallons.com/">MyGallons</a> will allow you to buy a large portion of gas at the current price. The service basically protects against a gas price increase over the coming months or years. You fill up at the station of your choice, and get a credit to your checking account or MyGallons debit card whenever you buy gas for more than your &quot;buy-in&quot; price. If gas prices go down, you can hold your gallons indefinitely until prices go up again, which they undoubtedly will. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards">Best Gas Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>6. Fruit and Veggies</h2> <p>If your family devours fruits and veggies like they are going out of style, you know just how expensive it can be to keep the fridge stocked. The absolute best way to stock up and save is by purchasing straight from the grower. Summer and fall are terrific times to hit up local farms, roadside stands, and farmer markets. I buy apples, apricots, peaches, and nectarines by the bushel basket from a local farm and typically negotiate a price 25%-40% cheaper than the grocery store.</p> <p>Also, ask local farmers if they have any &quot;seconds&quot; available to score a great deal on fruit and veggies that may not be perfectly shaped or colored, but still taste amazing. We are talking 50% off compared to the price of &quot;perfect&quot; varieties. By building a rapport with the farmer, they'll let you in on some great bulk buys.</p> <p><em>What is the most out-of-the-box bulk purchase you have ever made and how much did it save you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-creative-ways-to-save-money-with-bulk-buying">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/save-100s-next-month-with-these-10-grocery-shopping-tips">Save $100s Next Month With These 10 Grocery Shopping Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/walmart-vs-sams-club-who-actually-has-the-better-deals">Walmart vs. Sam&#039;s Club: Who Actually Has the Better Deals?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars">20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-places-to-get-coupons-online">The Best Places to Get Coupons Online</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Shopping building materials bulk Food gas groceries subscriber programs warehouse stores Tue, 07 Apr 2015 13:00:08 +0000 Kyle James 1370265 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Have a Cheaper Easter http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-have-a-cheaper-easter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-have-a-cheaper-easter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/easter_eggs_000057340714.jpg" alt="mother and son having cheaper easter by painting eggs" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Easter has never been a break-the-bank holiday, but you can easily go overboard. Keep your bunny budget in check with these tips to cut costs during this time-honored spring celebration.</p> <h2>1. Shop For Easter Gifts on Presidents' Day or Post-Valentine's Day</h2> <p>Easter baskets are filled with more than sweets, like small trinkets, toys, and clothing. In fact, one of my favorite Easter gifts as a kid was a kite, and when I'm making an Easter basket for my husband, I like to include a swimsuit for summer. To save on this and other items I put in the basket, I shop ahead for holidays like Easter during big sale events throughout the year, like Presidents' Day and after Valentine's Day. The former is a great way to score big savings on clothing items, while the latter yields copious amounts of deeply discounted candy.</p> <h2>2. Make the Easter Egg Hunt a Neighborhood Affair</h2> <p>What's better than an Easter egg hunt with your family? An Easter egg hunt with multiple families! Not only is this a good chance to spend quality time with your neighbors and catch up after a long winter spent hibernating, but it also provides all the neighborhood kids with ample space and goodies to search and find.</p> <p>To coordinate the effort, send out a free sign-up form from <a href="http://signupgenius.com">SignUpGenius</a> asking participating families to contribute one dozen eggs for each child, which is made cheaper by buying plastic eggs in bulk. Users can leaves comments on the sign-up form to let everyone know what goodies they'll put in their eggs to ensure a wide variety of treats.</p> <h2>3. Use Multi-Purpose Containers as Easter &quot;Baskets&quot;</h2> <p>If you and your family have traditional Easter baskets that you use from year-to-year, that's awesome &mdash; and your kids will cherish it (or at least the memory of it) forever. If you don't, consider using multi-use containers that cost you no money out of pocket, or that you can repurpose after Easter. You can use something lying around the house &mdash; perhaps one of your kids' beach pails. Or, do like I did and buy a container that I already needed for the house; a nice basket I picked up for my dogs' toys, which I'll use as my husband's Easter basket this year.</p> <h2>4. Limit the Candy in Festive Packaging</h2> <p>Seasonal items are corralled into one section of the store because it makes all the holiday things easy to find. It also makes it more difficult for you to compare prices with the same items that come in everyday packaging &mdash; a stealthy marketing tactic that's silently robbing you blind.</p> <p>When I recently walked down the Easter aisle at Target, I found lots of fun, pastel-colored goodies. Some of the prices were reasonable, but others were above and beyond a rip-off. The candies in plastic eggs, especially, have a high markup because of the price it costs the manufacturer for such festive packaging. They try to fool you with the $1 price tag &mdash; you think you're getting a great deal at just a buck &mdash; but don't be a sucker. Some of those packages have a mere handful of tiny candies inside the eggs whereas if you buy the regular-size bag of the same candy, you can get up to five times as much for around $2.50.</p> <p>That's not to say you shouldn't buy any candy in festive packaging &mdash; what's Easter without a few bunnies and chicks in the basket? But limit yourself and fill the rest with treats from the everyday candy aisle. Your kids totally don't care what color the foil wrapping is on their favorite chocolate.</p> <h2>5. Ditch the Plastic &quot;Grass&quot; for Recycled Paper</h2> <p>What happens to all that non-biodegradable plastic &quot;grass&quot; that fills the bottom of Easter baskets to make them look prettier? It ends up in the trash, where it will eventually make its way to its forever home at a landfill (once your kids dig out all the loose jellybeans hidden underneath it). Save the planet and your money by reversing the process. Take colorful paper &mdash; like weekly circulars &mdash; out of the recycling bin, cut into thin shreds, and fill the baskets with this decorative &quot;grass&quot; instead.</p> <h2>6. Shop the Big-Box Craft Stores for Discounts</h2> <p>Most of you probably head to Walmart or Target for Easter items like plastic eggs and decorations (kudos if they're on sale), while savvier shoppers reduce costs by sticking to dollar stores. I take an altogether different approach and purchase these seasonal items at craft stores that consistently have 40% to 50% off sales and similar coupons on a daily to weekly basis. A.C. Moore and Michaels, in particular, are well known for their deep discounts that you can readily find with a few flicks of the finger. You can only use one coupon per one regular-price item, so you may have to spread out the purchases. My gym is right next to A.C. Moore, so I pop into the store several times a week to get everything I need at a serious savings.</p> <p>If stopping by these stores multiple times to stock up isn't convenient for you, consider holding out until the last minute to get what you need.</p> <p>&quot;Typically, Easter egg packages at Hobby Lobby are $.88 or $.97, but during the last week before Easter they're an extra 40% off,&quot; says Melea Johnson, founder of Freebie2Deals.com. &quot;Buy enough so it's only a one-time purchase that will last for years.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Search for Free Easter Activities in Your Area</h2> <p>If you don't live in a neighbor where an all-hands Easter egg hunt or Easter-themed activity is feasible, your family can still get in on holiday fun at other local events &mdash; for free.</p> <p>&quot;Don't pay to attend a huge Easter egg hunt in your city,&quot; Johnson advises. &quot;There are plenty of places in your area that offer free Easter egg hunts throughout the weekend.&quot;</p> <p>Search the Internet or browse your local calendars, like your Chamber of Commerce or nearby churches.</p> <h2>8. Pass on PAAS, Consider Kool-Aid Instead</h2> <p>Paas Easter egg kits are somewhat of an American tradition &mdash; at least they were when I was a kid &mdash; but with so many other options these days, it's probably not important to your kids with which brand their eggs are dyed. If that's the case, get creative to save cash by swapping out the prepackaged kit for a homemade version made from your kids' favorite flavored drink packets.</p> <p>&quot;Use Kool-Aid to dye your Easter eggs; it's so much cheaper than purchasing a dye kit &mdash; and it smells fruity, not like vinegar,&quot; Johnson suggests. &quot;PAAS egg coloring kits start at $1.50ish. And each Kool-Aid packet costs around $.20, and store brands cost around $.12. You can pick and choose which colors you want to do and purchase a handful.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Take Advantage of &quot;Free Dinner&quot; Deals at Your Supermarket</h2> <p>I'm not sure if this is common in your neck of the woods, but several of the supermarkets around me offer a free ham for Easter if you meet a certain purchase criteria within a specified window of time, which is usually something like X amount of dollars spent each week for X many weeks.</p> <p>Mike Collins, owner of the personal finance blog WealthyTurtle, loves to take advantage of this annual promotion.</p> <p>&quot;My number one tip to have a cheaper Easter is to get your main course for free,&quot; he says. &quot;As a family of five we never have any problem reaching the minimum spending requirement, so we always get the meat for free and just have to pay for the sides.&quot;</p> <h2>10. Host a Potluck Dinner</h2> <p>While Mike Collins is paying for the sides, you can absolve yourself from all that jazz by hosting an Easter potluck. Pop your free ham into the oven to heat up (it's likely already cooked), and let your friends and family brings all the trimmings.</p> <p>&quot;One of the best ways to save on Easter is to have a potluck with family and friends. That way, you're not stuck with all of the costs, and usually your guests won't mind contributing by bringing a side dish, appetizer, or paper goods like plates and napkins,&quot; says CouponPal's Erin Konrad. &quot;Not having to pay for all of the food and beverages also allows you to spend money on things like decorations, supplies for an Easter egg hunt, or party favors (if kids will be attending).&quot;</p> <p><em>Do you know more ways to have a cheaper Easter? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-have-a-cheaper-easter">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/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-all-30-somethings-should-have">10 Money Goals All 30-Somethings Should Have</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/stock-these-20-frugal-foods-for-tough-financial-times">Stock These 20 Frugal Foods for Tough Financial Times</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/10-foods-science-says-are-healthier-for-your-hair">10 Foods Science Says Are Healthier for Your Hair</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Budgeting baskets candy Easter Food Holidays Tue, 31 Mar 2015 17:00:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 1360788 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Cool Uses for a Blender http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother-daughter-blender-fruit-iStock_000038436464_Small.jpg" alt="mother and daughter using blender making smoothies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone buys a blender with the best of intentions. A homemade smoothie every morning for breakfast, and you'll be fit in no time &mdash; while saving money, too! A few months later, the blender lives in the back of a cabinet collecting dust, only to be dragged out for an occasional margarita. In fact, the blender can be used to make a surprising amount of things. So it's time to pull out this often forgotten piece of kitchen equipment and see what it can really do.</p> <h2>1. Flour</h2> <p>It might sound crazy, but you can have <a href="http://naturalthrifty.com/how-to-mill-flour.html">freshly milled flour</a> without any real effort or fancy equipment. Just put a couple cups of wheat berries in your blender and let it go. Sift and repeat, and you're done. This method also works great with oats. Instead of buying both rolled oats and oat flour, just keep the whole version around and grind some up when you need it.</p> <h2>2. Almond Milk</h2> <p>If you're an almond milk drinker, then making fresh, <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-almond-milk-at-home-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-189996">homemade almond milk</a> will blow you away. Soak almonds overnight in water and then blend well. Strain, and you have deliciously nutty milk. The fresh version will only last a few days in the fridge, so only make what you plan to use. Since the process is so easy, you're sure to be whipping some up on the regular anyway. Try <a href="http://www.alwaysorderdessert.com/2011/10/creamy-chocolate-hazelnut-milk-dairy.html">adding sweet flavors</a> like vanilla and using different kinds of nuts.</p> <h2>3. Compost</h2> <p>Composting is something many people want to do, but don't have the room or the patience to make it happen. If you have a patch of green at home but don't want to turn compost or keep a bin inside, you can <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5994471/blend-your-old-food-scraps-for-instant-compost">make instant &quot;compost&quot;</a> with your blender. Just take your soft food scraps and blend them up, making the leftovers very easy to break down. This is also a great method if you do have an indoor bin, since it will save space and convert to true compost much faster.</p> <h2>4. Juice</h2> <p>If space is at a premium in your kitchen, owning a big juicer might not be an option. Luckily, you can use your <a href="http://www.livestrong.com/article/504511-how-to-use-a-blender-as-a-juicer/">blender as a juicer</a>. Cut up fruit and vegetables, add to the blender with water, and blend well. Strain to your liking (you can leave some pulp this way), and enjoy. Be sure to use your leftover fruit pulp for composting!</p> <h2>5. Body Scrub</h2> <p>Not only can you make delicious things to eat with your blender, you can <a href="http://petitelefant.com/how-to-make-your-own-citrus-scrub/">make a body scrub</a> that will make you feel pretty delicious, too. Combine all-natural olive oil, sea salt, and citrus for a refreshing and moisturizing scrub that takes less than five minutes to make. The scrub makes a great gift, too!</p> <h2>6. Powdered Sugar</h2> <p>How many times have you started to make a sweet treat, only to discover you don't have any powdered sugar? Unless you are a master cake baker, it's unlikely that you always keep the super fine sweetener around. Next time you're in a pinch, instead of running to the store, whip out your blender. It will magically turn your plain old sugar into fluffy, <a href="http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/12/how-to-make-confectioners-sugar-at-home">homemade powdered sugar</a> in mere minutes.</p> <h2>7. Soup</h2> <p>You probably already know that you can make soups with your blender, but did you know that you can use it to heat up and even &quot;cook&quot; soups? This trick requires a powerhouse blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, both of which have high-speed blades that build up heat through friction. This way, you can <a href="http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2009/02/quick-and-easy-potato-soup.html">warm and blend soup</a> at the same time. If you've got a regular old blender, then you can still puree soups and make <a href="http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/how-to-make-yummy-raw-blender-soups-with-recipes/">raw soups</a> without dirtying a pot or using the stove.</p> <h2>8. Nut Butter</h2> <p>Making your own nut butter is not only easy, it opens up a world of possibilities. Honey-cashew butter? Pistachio-chocolate butter? Yes, please. <a href="https://www.vitamix.com/Find-Recipes/P/E/Peanut-Butter">Homemade nut butters</a> can easily be made in a food processor or a blender. When using a blender, be sure to scrape the sides often and don't overwork the motor. All you need are some nuts and, depending on your mood, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-delicious-and-cheap-nut-butter-recipes-to-make-at-home">some delicious flavorings</a>.</p> <h2>9. Salad Dressing</h2> <p>The key to a superior salad is a homemade dressing, and whipping one up is that much easier when you use a blender. Easily pulverize ingredients like herbs and fresh garlic, or emulsify your oil and vinegar into a smooth, cohesive vinaigrette. A blender is especially handy for creamy dressings like a <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/blender-caesar-salad-dressing-156595">homemade ceasar salad</a>.</p> <h2>10. Lotion</h2> <p>Treat yourself to some all-natural skincare using, you guessed it, your blender. Combining beeswax, essential oils, vitamin E, and almond or grapeseed oil, this <a href="http://www.diynatural.com/homemade-lotion/">homemade body cream</a> is luxurious and moisturizing. Using a blender, it takes only minutes to make and extra cream can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks.</p> <h2>11. Applesauce</h2> <p>If you or your kids love applesauce, you have to try making your own fresh sauce at home. Instead of cooking the apples on the stove and then pushing them through a food mill, just throw cut-up, fresh apples along with water and a little flavoring into your blender. You'll be rewarded with <a href="http://www.inhabitots.com/how-to-make-a-cup-of-simple-organic-applesauce-in-your-blender">fresh applesauce</a> that's healthy and so quick and easy to make.</p> <h2>12. Fresh Butter</h2> <p>Did you know that all you need to <a href="http://www.foodrenegade.com/how-to-make-butter/">make fresh butter</a> at home is a blender and some cream? Blend your cream for a few minutes until you can see the butter solids separating. Let it sit so the butter can float to the top, and then strain off the buttermilk (and save for later use). Blend once more with cold water to wash, strain, and add salt if desired. Add roasted garlic, herbs, or spices to make a flavorful spread.</p> <h2>13. Pancakes and Muffins</h2> <p>The next time you're making pancakes or muffins, consider mixing with a blender. The batter will come together easier and be very well mixed, plus you'll have a handy pitcher for pouring. This is especially useful when making pancakes. Some recipes even call for you to use a blender, like these <a href="http://www.runningwithspoons.com/2014/06/24/banana-oat-greek-yogurt-muffins/">oat muffins</a> or these <a href="http://savorysweetlife.com/2012/01/buttermilk-pancakes/">buttermilk pancakes</a>.</p> <h2>14. Lamp</h2> <p>Have you given up on putting your blender to good use in the kitchen? Why not turn it into <a href="http://vault.sierraclub.org/sierra/201103/repurpose/default.aspx?_ga=1.48703142.1626506539.1425337189">a blender lamp</a>? With some careful disassembly and a few extra parts, you can recycle your appliance into a unique light. It's a great way to use a broken blender, too.</p> <p><em>What do you use your blender for?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-cool-uses-for-a-blender">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender">15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-office-potluck-dishes-everyone-loves">20 Office Potluck Dishes Everyone Loves</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-guaranteed-easiest-way-to-make-your-own-pickles">The Guaranteed Easiest Way to Make Your Own Pickles</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/14-popular-snacks-you-can-make-at-home">14 Popular Snacks You Can Make at Home</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/tasty-treats-to-make-with-mulberries">Tasty Treats to Make With Mulberries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink General Tips blender Food Homemade recipes Thu, 19 Mar 2015 17:00:05 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1336751 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Unexpected Ways Cheaper Gas Is Boosting Your Pocketbook http://www.wisebread.com/8-unexpected-ways-cheaper-gas-is-boosting-your-pocketbook <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-unexpected-ways-cheaper-gas-is-boosting-your-pocketbook" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000033993308_Large.jpg" alt="woman gas station" title="woman gas station" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the greatest gifts of this holiday season has been the low price of gasoline. With prices well below $3 across much of the country, drivers haven't filled their tanks for so little in years.</p> <p>The basic benefit of lower gas prices is obvious: It's money that you can invest or spend elsewhere.</p> <p>But there are some surprising other financial benefits as well. Here are eight unexpected ways that cheap gas is helping your wallet or pocketbook.</p> <h2>1. Food Could Get Cheaper</h2> <p>Most grocery stores ship their items via truck. So if delivery companies are paying less for gas, those savings could be passed on to consumers. The Department of Labor reports that <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm">food prices have risen</a> a monthly average of .25% over the last 12 months. But food went up just 0.1% in October, perhaps as a result of cheaper transport costs.</p> <h2>2. Restaurant Stocks Are Rising in Value</h2> <p>People are spending less on gas, so they are likely to have more discretionary income. Thus, families are more likely to go out to eat. In fact, spending on restaurants and bars rose nearly 1% in October, according to the Department of Commerce. DineEquity, which owns IHOP and Applebee's, has been trading near its 52-week high. The same goes for Darden Restaurants, which owns Olive Garden, Longhorn, and other popular eateries. The Dow Jones U.S. Restaurant &amp; Bars Index rose more than 5% in November.</p> <h2>3. You're Spending More on Fun Instead of Just Necessities</h2> <p>With a little extra money in their pockets, Americans are spending more on things they enjoy doing. The U.S. Commerce Department said that in October, sales of sporting goods and items for hobbies rose 1.2% &mdash; higher than any other brick-and-mortar retail category.</p> <h2>4. You Can Get More Car for Your Money</h2> <p>If you've got a big family or a lot of stuff to haul, you may be in need of a bigger vehicle. With gas prices low, the operating cost of that bigger car may have fallen to reasonable levels. In fact, the Federal Reserve said that it has recently seen an <a href="http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/beigebook/beigebook201412.htm">increase in sales of SUVs</a> and light trucks in some parts of the country. (Be smart, however. Gas prices may not be this low forever, and it always makes sense to drive the most fuel-efficient vehicle you can.)</p> <h2>5. Getting Clean Is Less Expensive</h2> <p>If you like to take a hot shower every day &mdash; and let's hope you do &mdash; you may find it will cost less to heat your water. And if the price of oil stays low, don't be surprised to see lower prices for shampoo, which has petroleum-based ingredients. Same goes for the shaving cream, toothpaste, and deodorant, and lots of other products.</p> <h2>6. Home Improvements Could Cost Less</h2> <p>Think about all the things used to construct your home that are made with petroleum. Paint is a big one, along with nylon carpeting, upholstery, caulking, plastic piping, and parts of your dishwasher and refrigerator. Even the toolbox might cost less if it is made out of plastic.</p> <h2>7. Your Sport or Concert Tickets May Be More Valuable</h2> <p>Low gas prices could allow some sport or music fans to travel farther for their next event. Organizers of upcoming college bowl games, for instance, have indicated that fans will be more likely to go on road trips to attend. Higher attendance creates ticket scarcity, which is great for those who may have tickets they are looking to sell.</p> <h2>8. Job Opportunities Broaden</h2> <p>When gas prices are high, you may not be so eager to take that sales job with customers spanning a four-state area. Similarly, you might turn down that offer for the great job in a town 50 miles away. Lower gas prices expand the number of jobs you might be willing to consider, because the cost-benefit equation shifts in your favor.</p> <p><em>Have you noticed lower gas prices helping your budget? Tell us how in comments!</em></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/8-unexpected-ways-cheaper-gas-is-boosting-your-pocketbook">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tips-for-eating-out-cheaply">Tips For Eating Out Cheaply</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-your-boomer-parents-could-afford-that-you-cant">8 Things Your Boomer Parents Could Afford That You Can&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-financial-lessons-from-adele">8 Financial Lessons From Adele</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-10-things-everyone-should-be-saving-for">The 10 Things Everyone Should Be Saving For</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/21-things-that-young-adults-absolutely-need-to-know-about-money">21 Things That Young Adults Absolutely Need to Know About Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance as prices Food home improvements restaurants saving Fri, 02 Jan 2015 14:00:09 +0000 Tim Lemke 1275170 at http://www.wisebread.com People Who Love Christmas Do These 9 Things — Do You? http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-christmas-do-these-9-things-do-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/people-who-love-christmas-do-these-9-things-do-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-decorating-christmas-tree-509894933-small.jpg" alt="man decorating christmas tree" title="man decorating christmas tree" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Christmas is in the air. Can you smell it? I can! I openly and unabashedly love Christmas. There's something about the way everything comes together &mdash; the middle of winter, the lights, the music, the food. I just love it.</p> <p>And how do I know I love it? Well these 9 signs are a good start.</p> <h2>1. Listen to Christmas Music Early and Often</h2> <p>There is nothing better than Christmas music. Not one single thing. I try to wait until December to listen to it, but some of my Christmas-freak friends listen to it all year round. I will say that nothing gets me into the holiday spirit better, even when I'm stressed or tired, than hearing the music I've heard since childhood.</p> <p>If you're not sure where to start, there are <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/evan-bailyn/the-top-20-christmas-songs_b_4459862.html">Christmas playlists</a> all over the Internet. Or you can go through your own music collection and make a playlist for every Christmas mood.</p> <h2>2. Have a Favorite Christmas Movie (or Three!)</h2> <p>I know people who love <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002F6BRE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0002F6BRE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=D5J2O2ICVVD5EPRS">Elf</a>, people who watch <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HT3PPG/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000HT3PPG&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=W5TIR2AQ6NMCHFKO">Miracle on 34th Street</a> every year, and people who swear by <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HEWEJO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000HEWEJO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=YO4QHKB5LUP6SS4C">It's a Wonderful Life</a>. Very few people have the same favorite Christmas movie, but nearly everyone who loves the season has at least one flick they return to every year.</p> <h2>3. Decorate With Meaningful Things</h2> <p>It's easy to find cheap Christmas decorations at Target or Walmart, and everyone needs some of these to fill in the gaps. But people who love Christmas save the best spots for decorations that mean something to them. Whether you're hanging the stockings your mother made you or ornaments celebrating the birth of a child, meaningful decorations help you remember to focus on family and on caring for one another, rather than on aspects of the season that make it more stressful.</p> <h2>4. Have the Perfect White Elephant Gift</h2> <p>No matter who you are or what you do, there's almost always some sort of white elephant gift exchange to attend. These can be as fun or as boring as you make them, and people who love Christmas often spend quite a bit of time and energy searching for the perfect terrible gift to add hilarity to these events. There's something fun and oh-so-Christmassy about bringing the gift that everyone (or no one!) wants. I tend to keep my eyes open year round, but I also know people who haunt thrift stores in the weeks leading up to an exchange, just waiting for someone to donate the perfect gift.</p> <h2>5. Use an Advent Calendar to Count Down the Days</h2> <p>One of the best parts of Christmas is that we look forward to it for so long. We know it's coming, and we get the joy of anticipation as we wait for the big day. When people really love this aspect of Christmas, they often buy an Advent calendar to enhance their sense of waiting. And there are so many options for these! You can get one with a piece of chocolate for each day, or you can make one with an ornament you can add to your tree each day, or you can get one <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J4S6U1W/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00J4S6U1W&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=ZQHQOAIGBHZL476N">featuring Lego</a>. This year, I'm planning to wrap a Christmas book for my kids to open every day in December.</p> <h2>6. Buy Gifts With Meaning</h2> <p>Whether you like it or not, one of the important parts of Christmas, for most people, is giving and receiving gifts. While trying to get something for everyone and making sure you balance your spending can be hard, many people love Christmas because they get to buy meaningful gifts for everyone.</p> <h2>7. Bake a Favorite Christmas Treat</h2> <p>It's easy to get overwhelmed with cookies, cakes, appetizers, and everything else around the holidays. Many Christmas-lovers, though, have one or two favorite Christmas treats that they bake for themselves and their loved ones during the season. There's something about having that one cookie, the one your mom made for you when you were little, that can make or break the Christmas season.</p> <h2>8. Plan Some Down Time Around the Holiday</h2> <p>When people don't like Christmas, it's often because there's so much to do and so much stress around the holiday. You have to go to parties, get presents, put up decorations, navigate unhealthy food&hellip; It's no wonder people get tired out way before the big day even comes.</p> <p>For this reason, people who adore Christmas often plan down time into the season. Some families go away for a weekend. Others limit their activities to a certain number per week. Do whatever works for you, but you'll enjoy the season more if you're not running around like a crazy person the entire time.</p> <h2>9. Get in Touch With the People They Care About</h2> <p>If you don't want to call your family, for whatever reason, it's okay. You don't have to be with them, or even talk to them, on Christmas. But people who love Christmas do try to get in touch with someone they care about. This can be a friend or a neighbor &mdash; anybody, really, with whom you'd like to share a few moments of this special time of year.</p> <p><em>Do you love Christmas? What do you do to make it special?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/people-who-love-christmas-do-these-9-things-do-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do">7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do</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/12-ways-to-have-a-no-spend-holiday-season">12 Ways to Have a No-Spend Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-holiday-season-costs-everyone-always-forgets-about">13 Holiday-Season Costs Everyone Always Forgets About</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-bounce-back-from-your-holiday-splurge">How to Bounce Back From Your Holiday Splurge</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/avoid-these-5-common-holiday-budget-pitfalls">Avoid These 5 Common Holiday Budget Pitfalls</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Christmas entertaining Food gifts Holidays traditions Fri, 05 Dec 2014 16:00:09 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1264074 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/grocery-shopping-178703032-small.jpg" alt="grocery shopping" title="grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A job loss, a big audacious savings goal, or a shiny new set of braces. Whatever the cause, most of us have had to sit down and figure out how to feed our families for less money at one point or another. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-grocery-shop-for-five-on-100-a-week?ref=seealso">How to Grocery Shop for Five on $100 a Week</a>)</p> <p>Here are 20 strategies for stretching your grocery budget without skimping on nutrition or enjoyment</p> <h2>1. Eat Less</h2> <p>Sixty percent of Americans admit to <a href="http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/blogs/overeating-understanding-and-taking-back-control">eating more than is good for them</a>. When you're watching your pennies, one of the easiest ways to spend less on groceries is to buy less and eat less. Start by cutting way back on snacks, the culprit behind most overeating and among the most expensive grocery items.</p> <h2>2. Focus on Value Foods</h2> <p>It's fun to cook with a wide variety of ingredients, but sticking to the foods with the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-with-the-most-bang-for-your-buck">most nutrition per dollar</a> can get you through a lean patch. Need more options? These 50 healthy foods can be had for <a href="http://www.aarp.org/money/budgeting-saving/info-11-2009/foods_under_a_dollar_per_pound.2.html">under a buck a pound</a>.</p> <h2>3. Buy in Bulk</h2> <p>Whether it's dividing up large Costco meat packages or hauling 50-pound bags of grain from a feed store, there are lots of ways to save by bulk buying. The important thing is to safeguard against waste by making sure you have a safe place to store it and that you will use the entire purchase before it goes bad.</p> <h2>4. Do the Work</h2> <p>You can <a href="http://www.thefrugalgirl.com/2010/08/wednesday-baking-does-homemade-bread-save-money/">make your own bread</a> for half the price of a low-end store-bought loaf, and end up with a more delicious and nutritious product. Pre-chopped and washed veggies cost a premium and don't stay fresh as long. Roll up your sleeves and do your own prep work to save.</p> <h2>5. Substitute</h2> <p>The recipe may call for pine nuts, but pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are way cheaper. Learn about more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-recipe-substitutions-that-save-money-and-prevent-food-waste">low-cost ingredient substitution</a> ideas.</p> <h2>6. Stop Throwing Food Away</h2> <p>Since 40% of all food produced in the United States is <a href="http://foodshift.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/FoodWasteStatisticsandBibliography.pdf">thrown away</a>, eliminating waste is low-hanging fruit. At our house, we avoid waste by serving the kids small portions and seconds (or thirds) as needed, using tiny containers to save every last leftover, and incorporating those leftovers into other dishes. There are plenty <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-wasting-13-of-the-food-you-buy-heres-how-to-stop">more ways to cut food waste</a>.</p> <h2>7. Drink Water</h2> <p>You know by now that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-reasons-to-stop-drinking-soda">soda is bad for you</a>, but you don't need juice either. If you don't like plain water, flavor it with a splash of juice instead of pouring whole glasses of juice. Not only does this save money, but it cuts calories too.</p> <h2>8. Try Batch Cooking</h2> <p>Assembly line cooking, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-and-money-with-a-monthly-assembly-or-bulk-cooking-weekend">once-a-month cooking</a>, whatever you want to call it, prepping food ahead and freezing it saves money by accommodating bulk purchases and helping you avoid high-priced instant meals when you're short of time.</p> <h2>9. Rinse Out the Container &mdash; Into the Pot</h2> <p>Whenever I empty a jar of tomatoes or a Tupperware of soup into a cooking pot, I put a little water in the container, shake, and empty it into the cooking pot, to make sure I'm not throwing away even a gram of food. The extra water cooks off.</p> <h2>10. Learn to Make Cheap Meat Delicious</h2> <p>Meat lovers don't have to buy T-bones to enjoy a hearty meal. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-ways-to-make-cheap-cuts-of-meat-taste-expensive">Osso buco, carnitas and hanger steak</a> are all delicious when done right.</p> <h2>11. Dilute It</h2> <p>Adding beans or rice really does <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dilutions-of-grandeur-stretch-your-food-at-every-meal">make a stew go farther</a>.</p> <h2>12. Make Your Own</h2> <p>Prepared foods are among the highest-margin items in the supermarket. If you've never tried it, you might be surprised how easy it is to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-grocery-items-you-should-make-at-home-and-5-to-buy">make your own guacamole, hummus, or even peanut butter</a>.</p> <h2>13. Make Your Own Instant Mixes</h2> <p>Another high-cost item is &quot;instant&quot; anything. Make <a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/making-your-own-homemade-oatmeal-packets-a-visual-guide-and-cost-analysis/">single-serve oatmeal packets</a>, <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/instant-pancake-mix-recipe.html">pancake mix</a>, or practically anything you use a mix for, and save.</p> <h2>14. Consider Markdowns</h2> <p>I kind of wish Safeway would rename its &quot;Clearance&quot; meat section, because it feels as if I'm buying used pot roast. Still, taking home items that are about to expire can save you 50% or more if you are able to use or freeze them right away.</p> <h2>15. Grow a Garden</h2> <p>Even if you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/growing-my-own-food-in-my-apartment">only have a balcony</a>, you can grow enough food to reduce your spending. To realize savings, it's important to pay attention to <a href="http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/can_a_vegetable_garden_save_you_money">how much you spend on a garden</a>. Focus on <a href="http://ready4itall.org/top-3-plants-that-will-save-you-the-most-money-on-groceries-when-grown-at-home/">plants that produce expensive items</a> to save the most.</p> <h2>16. If You're Getting a Pet, Get a Small One</h2> <p>It may seem crass to put a pound limit on love, but the fact is that feeding pets can strain a tight grocery budget. According to the ASPCA, a <a href="https://www.aspca.org/adopt/pet-care-costs">large dog costs about $235 a year</a> to feed; a little yapper only about $55. Better yet, get a fish, which you can feed for $20 a year or less.</p> <h2>17. Use a Full Discount Arsenal</h2> <p>Coupons, online deals, in-store offers, rebates &mdash; these tactics really work and can easily cut your grocery spending by 20% or more.</p> <h2>18. Switch Stores</h2> <p>Where you shop can make a big difference in what you spend for the same groceries. Changing from <a href="http://www.checkbook.org/interactive/spmkt/other/price.cfm">Safeway to Walmart</a> could save a family more than $1,600 a year. Explore your neighborhood &mdash; you may have a fresh produce market or a weekly farmer's market with even better prices than big box stores.</p> <h2>19. Return It</h2> <p>Your berries got moldy the day after you bought them? You picked up the wrong item and paid full price instead of the sale item you thought you were getting? Don't be afraid to stop by customer service the next time you visit; managers at good stores are happy to process the occasional refund.</p> <h2>20. Eat Your Garbage</h2> <p>My grandmother, born during the Depression, has a great anecdote. One garbage day, her husband looked out the window and asked why the other houses all had two trash bags out front, but they only had one.</p> <p>Grandma's answer: &quot;We eat our garbage!&quot;</p> <p>Grandma was stretching her husband's Navy paycheck as far as it would go, and one way she did that was by never letting a leftover go to waste. Every Thursday night, she'd throw every bit of this and that from the fridge into the crockpot for a weekly &quot;garbage stew.&quot; It was usually delicious, but even if she wanted to, she could never duplicate it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-night-soup-delicious-soup-from-leftovers?ref=seealso">Thursday Night Soup: Delicious Soup From Leftovers</a>)</p> <p>Another way of eating your garbage: Learn to prepare the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/waste-not-want-not-stop-throwing-away-your-food">vegetable trimmings</a> you've been throwing away.</p> <p><em>Any other ideas for saving on groceries? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-big-at-these-4-discount-supermarkets">Save Big at These 4 Discount Supermarkets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-new-face-of-poverty-is-fat">The new face of poverty is fat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-grocery-store-secrets-only-the-pros-know">10 Grocery Store Secrets Only the Pros 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/5-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch">5 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries in a Pinch</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping Cooking Food food costs groceries Thu, 02 Oct 2014 15:00:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1226228 at http://www.wisebread.com A Supermarket Insider Reveals 5 Ways Your Grocer Is Trying to Upsell You http://www.wisebread.com/a-supermarket-insider-reveals-5-ways-your-grocer-is-trying-to-upsell-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/a-supermarket-insider-reveals-5-ways-your-grocer-is-trying-to-upsell-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopping-groceries-86527435-small.jpg" alt="grocery shopping" title="grocery shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your grocery store is not out to get you, explains Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert. &quot;Their mission is to make you very loyal as a shopper. They want to form a relationship,&quot; said Lempert, editor of insider grocery journal The Lempert Report and <a href="http://www.supermarketguru.com">SupermarketGuru.com</a>.</p> <p>That said, the grocery industry is a low-margin business, and the more stores can do to encourage customers to spend more, in the most profitable areas, the better. Brands, too, would like to influence your behavior. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-tool-that-assures-you-never-pay-too-much-for-groceries?ref=seealso">The One Tool That Ensures You Never Pay Too Much for Groceries</a>)</p> <p>So beware of these ways supermarkets and brands attempt to steer your cart &mdash; and your wallet.</p> <h2>1. The Fresh 'n' Fruity</h2> <p>&quot;One reason the produce department is in the front of the store is, it's like aromatherapy. Great colors and fragrances put you in a better mood, so when you're going through the store, you're moving more slowly; you might notice more products,&quot; Lempert said.</p> <h3>How to Evade It</h3> <p>Sticking to a list can help you avoid being influenced by attempted mood control. To avoid feeling deprived, Lempert advises drawing a limited number of blanks at the bottom of the page, so you can add two or three impulse buys &mdash; but no more than you can afford.</p> <h2>2. The Endcap Game</h2> <p>As you turn toward the next aisle, you see a towering display of identical cereal boxes. Beware! This may not be what you think it is. &quot;Most people think everything in that endcap is on sale. Only about half the time is it on sale,&quot; Lempert warns.</p> <h3>How to Evade It</h3> <p>&quot;Look carefully at the sign that's there,&quot; Lempert said. If it doesn't specifically show a discount, it's full price.</p> <h2>3. The Stock-Up Stickup</h2> <p>Buy one get one free, three for $5, or the per-ounce savings of the jumbo vat of ketchup &mdash; these can be traps if they lead you down the path of buying more than you can use before the expiration date.</p> <h3>How to Evade It</h3> <p>&quot;Make sure you buy something in an appropriate size to use,&quot; Lempert said. &quot;They might have 64 oz. tomato juice on sale. You have tomato juice occasionally. You might be better off buying the smaller cans, even though they're more expensive (per serving).&quot;</p> <p>On the other hand, if you are sure you'll use the larger volume in a timely manner, go ahead and grab the deal. BOGOs tend to be the largest discounts you'll see on most products. Lempert has one more caveat for stock-up-and-savers.</p> <p>&quot;Check the per-unit price. Just because it's in a bigger package doesn't mean it's cheaper. Because of operational efficiencies, you might find a 16 oz. can is cheaper on a per-unit basis than a 40 oz. can.&quot; If the factories are configured to pump out more 16 oz. cans, those may be the best deal after all.</p> <h2>4. The Scratch and Dent</h2> <p>&quot;A lot of stores have damaged packaged goods, usually by the meat department. Don't go for that,&quot; Lempert warned. &quot;When you have a dented can, you can easily grow bacteria in that can. If it's a damaged package, I don't care how cheap it is, from a food safety standpoint, I won't go near it.&quot;</p> <p>But feel free to pick up kitty litter from the scratch-and-dent bin. &quot;If it's a nonconsumable, sure,&quot; Lempert said.</p> <h2>5. Checkout Coupons</h2> <p>Those little coupons that print out next to the register? You may notice that they bear an uncanny resemblance to items you just bought. This is because brands want to target certain customers and encourage them to try their product next time.</p> <p>&quot;Let's say you're a Coca-Cola drinker. Pepsi wants to steal you, so they'll give you a high-value coupon to encourage you to switch to Pepsi. Or Coke doesn't want you to leave, so they'll give you a Coke coupon,&quot; Lempert said.</p> <p>These aren't necessarily insidious, and may even save you on things you want. But be aware, there's some psychological pressure being attempted here.</p> <h2>Saving Graces</h2> <p>Phil has a few more insider suggestions for saving at the super.</p> <h3>Try the House Specialty</h3> <p>One area where the store and shopper's interests align is the store brand. These products are often identical to name-brand products, sell for less money, and send more profit back to the store. So while the store may try to steer you to its house brand displays, it's not a trap.</p> <p>&quot;Remember that store brands always have a money back guarantee,&quot; Lempert said. &quot;Compare the ingredients and nutritional information on the store brand to the brand you normally buy. If they're identical, it's probably an identical product.&quot;</p> <h3>Join the Club</h3> <p>Lempert advises shoppers to tap every tool available to save: coupons, online programs, and store cards. Don't be paranoid about the fact that the cards and apps help the store compile data on your shopping habits.</p> <p>&quot;There are no secrets in today's world. Everybody knows everything about us,&quot; Lempert said.</p> <p>Well, at least now you also know a little bit more about the supermarket.</p> <p><em>Have you fallen for any of these upsell traps? Noticed any others? Please share in comments!</em></p> <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/a-supermarket-insider-reveals-5-ways-your-grocer-is-trying-to-upsell-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-save-a-bundle-on-your-groceries-consider-you-local-asian-market">Save a Bundle on Your Groceries: Consider Your Local Asian 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/unbearably-stupid-packaging">Dumbest packaging ever?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars">20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-100s-next-month-with-these-10-grocery-shopping-tips">Save $100s Next Month With These 10 Grocery Shopping Tips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Food groceries market shopping supermarket Mon, 22 Sep 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1216063 at http://www.wisebread.com