cheap http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/248/all en-US 5 Surprising Budget Habits of Wealthy Financial Gurus http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-budget-habits-of-wealthy-financial-gurus <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-surprising-budget-habits-of-wealthy-financial-gurus" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-482951141.jpg" alt="Learning budget habits of wealthy financial gurus" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;He who will not economize will have to agonize,&quot; warned Chinese philosopher Confucius as early as the 5th Century B.C. His advice has survived the test of time and has become the mantra of many individuals in their quest for financial success.</p> <p>However, you would think that once somebody &quot;makes it,&quot; it's time to sit back and &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-the-treat-yourself-mindset?ref=internal" target="_blank">treat yourself</a>.&quot; Not so fast! Let's review five wealthy financial gurus who continue to save money in the most surprising ways.</p> <h2>1. Warren Buffett eats McDonald's every day for breakfast</h2> <p>With an estimated net worth of over $78 billion, Warren Buffett can definitely afford to sip mimosas for breakfast without sweating the bill. Still, the Oracle of Omaha revealed in a recent 2017 documentary that he sticks to a daily breakfast budget of <a href="http://time.com/money/4656662/heres-what-warren-buffett-eats-for-breakfast-every-day/" target="_blank">no more than $3.17</a> at Mickey D's.</p> <p>Buffett usually picks up his breakfast from the drive-thru of a nearby McDonald's on his way to the office. &quot;When I'm not feeling quite so prosperous, I might go with the $2.61, which is two sausage patties, and then I put them together and pour myself a Coke,&quot; Buffett deadpans. Coke for breakfast, you ask? Buffett's investment company holds <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/berkshire-hathaway-portfolio/" target="_blank">over 9 percent</a> of shares from the drink company.</p> <h2>2. T. Boone Pickens owns a pair of shoes from 1957</h2> <p>Through his success in the oil and gas sector, T. Boone Pickens amassed a fortune over the years and ventured into the financing and investment sectors. In 2012, <a href="https://www.forbes.com/profile/t-boone-pickens/" target="_blank">Pickens ranked #913</a> on Forbes' list of billionaires. Nowadays, he doesn't rank in that list at all because he has given more than $1 billion away through his philanthropic efforts.</p> <p>Despite his financial success, the author of <a href="http://amzn.to/2mYvcn7" target="_blank">The First Billion Is the Hardest</a> uses what he buys until it falls apart, which can be several decades later. &quot;If I want something, I look at it, decide what it is, but it will usually be the best product. I've got a pair of loafers that I still wear that I got in 1957,&quot; he disclosed <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2011/06/q-a-with-t-boone-pickens-057296" target="_blank">during an interview</a> in 2011.</p> <p>And it's not just shoes, Pickens limits the size of the pieces on his closet in general. &quot;People are always surprised that I don't have a closet full of suits,&quot; Pickens told Kiplinger. &quot;I buy three suits every five or so years and only own 10 total. That's all I need.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Mitt Romney hunts for cheap flights</h2> <p>While you may know Mitt Romney mostly for being a former presidential candidate, he is also the co-founder of the private equity firm Bain Capital. Through his work as a management consultant and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-investments-that-arent-stocks-or-bonds?ref=internal" target="_blank">private equity</a> investor, he has a high net worth &mdash; estimated at <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/edwindurgy/2012/05/16/what-mitt-romney-is-really-worth/#783284812927" target="_blank">$230 million</a> by Forbes when he ran for office back in 2012.</p> <p>Not a stranger to the finer things in life, you would expect Romney to stick only with premium buys. While he has purchased six-figure Warmblood horses, he also loves finding bargains. According to The New York Times, he is obsessed with scoring cheap flights on JetBlue. A longtime adviser to Romney supported that claim by stating that, when asked to change a flight, Romney hesitated and responded, &quot;Well, it's a cheap flight. It's a middle seat, but I got a great JetBlue rate.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Jack Bogle eats PB&amp;J sandwiches for lunch</h2> <p>One of the few <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-investors-with-better-returns-than-warren-buffett" target="_blank">investors with better returns than Warren Buffett</a> is John &quot;Jack&quot; Bogle, founder and retired CEO of the Vanguard Group. If the Vanguard name sounds familiar, it's most likely because you own one of its low-cost <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-steps-to-getting-started-in-the-stock-market-with-index-funds?ref=internal" target="_blank">index funds</a> in your retirement or investment account. And you wouldn't be alone: Just the Vanguard 500 Index Investor Shares fund [Nasdaq: <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/VFINX?p=VFINX" target="_blank">VFINX</a>] has $292.36 billion in assets as of February 2017!</p> <p>As the pioneer of low-cost passively managed index funds, Bogle believes that the key to making it big in investments is to aggressively minimize fees. And he sticks by this belief in life as well. Many publications have recounted that his go-to lunch food is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He began bringing a PB&amp;J sandwich and an apple when he first started Vanguard because he refused to pay the prices charged in his own cafeteria. And when he does have to order there, he sticks with a simple grilled cheese sandwich.</p> <h2>5. David Cheriton cuts his own hair</h2> <p>A common daydream of individual investors is to uncover the next Microsoft, Facebook, or Apple, become the first one to invest in that moneymaker, and be set for life. Stanford professor David Cheriton happens to be one of those investors that hit the jackpot when in 1998, he wrote a check for $100,000 to Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Today, that investment makes up the bulk of his estimated $4.2 billion net worth.</p> <p>As of 2012, the &quot;Billionaire Professor&quot; had invested over $50 million across 17 startups and companies, and continues to invest. To this day, he continues to plunk down checks in several other companies, such as AISense and ThreatSTOP.</p> <p>With such an investing pedigree, you would think that he wouldn't mind splurging a bit on a nice haircut once a month. For over three decades, Cheriton prefers to cut his hair himself. &quot;It's not that I can't fathom a haircut,&quot; said Cheriton. &quot;It's just easy to do myself, and it takes less time,&quot; he confessed to Forbes. Since the professor is adept at making good calls, probably nobody would argue with him on this one.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-budget-habits-of-wealthy-financial-gurus">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/knowing-when-to-walk-away-financial-planning-for-an-unknown-ending">Knowing When to Walk Away: Financial Planning for an Unknown Ending</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-invest-like-warren-buffett">7 Reasons You Shouldn&#039;t Invest Like Warren Buffett</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-disappearance-of-real-america-my-guest-post-at-zen-habits">The disappearance of real America - my guest post at Zen Habits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-beloved-books-of-successful-millionaires">10 Beloved Books of Successful Millionaires</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-are-people-retiring-in-their-30s">How Are People Retiring in Their 30s?!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Lifestyle budget buys cheap finance gurus inspiration live within your means saving money vanguard Warren Buffett wealthy Fri, 24 Mar 2017 10:00:10 +0000 Damian Davila 1911600 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Signs You're Not Frugal — You're Cheap! http://www.wisebread.com/6-signs-youre-not-frugal-youre-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-signs-youre-not-frugal-youre-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-639054796.jpg" alt="Woman learning she&#039;s not frugal – she&#039;s cheap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We here at Wise Bread are big fans of the frugal life. When it comes to cooking our own food, getting the best mobile plan, or waiting for a sale to buy a big-ticket item, we're your people.</p> <p>But frugality can go too far. How far is that, exactly? Here are some ideas that you can use to measure whether your frugality has been taken to an extreme and you've turned into a total cheapskate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-ways-to-save-money-that-go-too-far?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Ways to Save Money That Go Too Far</a>)</p> <h2>1. You Are Miserable</h2> <p>Being frugal is about being wise, and it almost always comes with specific goals. Maybe you want to be frugal to save money, or to help the environment, or to live in a countercultural way. Whatever your reasons, they should be powerful enough for you that they make the effort you put into frugal living worthwhile. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-products-you-think-you-need-but-really-don-t?ref=seealso" target="_blank">25 Products You Think You Need But Really Don't</a>)</p> <p>But frugal living is not about feeling deprived and miserable. If you're feeling down about what you can and cannot spend money on, try to figure out what, exactly, is making you feel that way. If the item is something you can afford and it will truly add to your happiness, figure out how to add it into your budget.</p> <h2>2. Not Spending Is Making You Lonely</h2> <p>It can be healthy to give up social activities that cost a lot of money. Going out to happy hour several times a week, going on shopping sprees with your friends, or taking expensive vacations are all things that frugal people often cut out of their lives and their budgets when they want to stop spending. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-types-of-friends-who-are-costing-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Types of Friends Who Are Costing You Money</a>)</p> <p>The thing is, you have to replace those activities with something else social, or your frugality can cause you to end up feeling lonely and isolated. Sure, there are often less expensive ways to spend time with your friends but, very often, spending time with people means spending at least a little bit of money.</p> <p>If you're finding yourself lonely and you think frugality might be the culprit, try setting up an inexpensive coffee date with a friend, or suggest an afternoon at a local park instead of an afternoon at the mall. And if all else fails, just spend some money. It is better to be less frugal but also less lonely than it is to save all your money but only spend time with yourself.</p> <h2>3. You Are Unhealthy</h2> <p>You know you're taking your frugal habits too far when you engage in unhealthy practices just to save money. This can include everything from regularly eating food that is past its expiration date to skipping doctors appointments and checkups because you don't want to spend. When you're putting your health and your future at risk in the name of saving a buck, you need to loosen those purse strings.</p> <h2>4. Saving a Little Takes a Lot of Your Time</h2> <p>Sure, you might be able to save a bit more if you get a quote from another insurance agent or clip all those coupons, but all of that also takes time. Since you probably have more that you want to do than just live frugally, you have to take your time into consideration when you're deciding whether a frugal choice is right for you or if it just turns you into a cheapskate.</p> <p>Things like couponing can save you quite a bit of money, but organizing them and determining when to use them and how to combine them can also take a huge chunk of time. Unless you really like that work or you have some pressing need to save, your energy might be better spent elsewhere.</p> <p>If you're not sure, calculate the value of your time. For instance, if you spend eight hours clipping coupons and you save only $40, your time was worth $5 an hour. If that's not enough for you, spend your time doing something else, instead.</p> <h2>5. Your Home Is Filled With Clutter</h2> <p>Sometimes, frugality can lead to feeling a lot of guilt about getting rid of anything, even things that don't work or should just be tossed. It can also lead to buying a lot of items that are on sale. Sometimes, these things are reasonable. But if you find that you never throw things away or your old things are taking over your space, it's probably time to dial back those behaviors before you become a pack rat.</p> <h2>6. You Never Spend Your Fun Money</h2> <p>Most of us have what my husband and I call &quot;fun money.&quot; That's the money that we allocate each month toward our own personal spending. We do this so that we can buy the things that keep those feelings of deprivation far away. But if you're never spending your fun money, you might have taken frugality too far.</p> <p>We all need some fun in our lives and, in our culture, that often requires spending money. If you're not spending your fun money, examine how happy you are and how much fun you're having. Have you cut that out of your life simply because you don't want to spend? Remind yourself that being frugal doesn't mean you don't take care of yourself, and let yourself spend some of the money you've set aside for that purpose.</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/6-signs-youre-not-frugal-youre-cheap">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/wisdom-from-my-favorite-frugal-tv-character-julius-rock">Wisdom from My Favorite Frugal TV Character - Julius Rock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-i-still-dont-have-a-cellphone-plan-yet">6 Reasons I Still Don&#039;t Have a Cell Phone Plan (yet)</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/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-your-toiletries-for-cheap-or-even-free">6 Ways to Get your Toiletries for Cheap or Even Free!</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-many-reasons-to-make-do-with-less">The Many Reasons to Make Do with Less</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting budgeting habits cheap cheapskate frugal frugal habits frugality shopping habits Thu, 23 Feb 2017 10:30:32 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1897583 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Never Cheap Out on These Things http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-never-cheap-out-on-these-things <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-never-cheap-out-on-these-things" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_bed_sleep_46692028.jpg" alt="Woman not cheaping out on a mattress" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on things you should never cheap out on, ways to eliminate financial clutter, and how to protect yourself from unhealthy air.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Saving-Money/2016/0911/Three-things-you-should-never-cheap-out-on">Three things you should never cheap out on</a> &mdash; A cheap sofa will last you about five years, but a well-made sofa&nbsp; that costs $1,000 to $2,000 may last as long as 25 years.&nbsp; [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mydollarplan.com/22-ways-to-eliminate-financial-clutter/">22 Ways to Eliminate Financial Clutter</a> &mdash; Shred and toss duplicate copies of bills and statements. If you have an electronic copy, you don't need it on paper too. [My Dollar Plan]</p> <p><a href="http://www.airbetter.org/10-tips-will-help-protect-unhealthy-air/">10 Tips That Will Help Protect You From Unhealthy Air</a> &mdash; Pay attention to pollution levels in your area. Avoid exercising or playing outdoors when air quality is poor. [AirBetter.org]</p> <p><a href="http://www.experian.com/blogs/news/about/retail-therapy/">Emotional Spending: How to Deal (And Prevent) Retail Therapy</a> &mdash; Sometimes, we mistakenly believe that spending money will fulfill an emotional need. Join Experian's #CreditChat tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET for a discussion on the dangers of retail therapy and how to prevent it. [Experian]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/career/Interview-Mistakes-35619757">9 Costly Interview Mistakes That Can Lose You the Job Offer</a> &mdash; There is such a thing as being too perfect and polished at an interview. Don't be afraid to show your personality. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/personal-finance/real-estate/simplest-ways-stage-home-no-cost/71227">The Simplest Ways to Stage Your Home at No Cost</a> &mdash; Too much color can be overwhelming, especially on walls. Paint your walls a neutral color and use color in your pillows, throws, and décor. [SheBudgets]</p> <p><a href="https://timemanagementninja.com/2016/09/make-a-done-list-to-drive-your-productivity/">Make a Done List to Drive Your Productivity</a> &mdash; A &quot;done&quot; list tracks what you've accomplished and can motivate you to do more. [Time Management Ninja]</p> <p><a href="https://due.com/blog/15-business-lessons-didnt-learn-school-learn-now/">15 Business Lessons You Didn&rsquo;t Learn in School (But Should Learn Now!)</a> &mdash; You started the business, but it isn't all about you anymore. Remember that your decisions affect your team as well. [Due]</p> <p><a href="http://savvyscot.com/10-bad-money-habits-and-how-to-get-rid-of-them/">10 &ldquo;Bad&rdquo; Money Habits and How to Get Rid of Them</a> &mdash; It's easy to spend money mindlessly, but if you want to stay on top of your finances, you need to make a habit of tracking every expense. [The Savvy Scot]</p> <p><a href="https://www.mybanktracker.com/blog/find-my-answers/how-to-plan-finances-for-dream-career-260463">How to Plan Your Finances for Your Dream Career</a> &mdash; Life happens, and you may need to adjust your career and financial goals as your personal situation changes. The more you can save, the easier it'll be to accommodate any change in your plans. [My BankTracker]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-never-cheap-out-on-these-things">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-generic-home-goods-buys-better-than-the-expensive-originals">7 Generic Home Goods Buys Better Than the Expensive Originals</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-stuff-i-try-never-to-buy-new">The stuff I try never to buy new</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-things-you-should-never-try-to-save-on">5 Things You Should Never Try to Save On</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/confessions-of-an-ebay-shoe-addict">Confessions of an eBay Shoe Addict</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping best money tips cheap Tue, 27 Sep 2016 09:30:21 +0000 Amy Lu 1799080 at http://www.wisebread.com 60+ Halloween Costume Ideas That Can Save You Money and Time http://www.wisebread.com/60-halloween-costume-ideas-that-can-save-you-money-and-time <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/60-halloween-costume-ideas-that-can-save-you-money-and-time" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/000010314928.jpg" alt="Man making Halloween costume that saves him money and time" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's that spooky time of the year again! Halloween is just around the corner, and with it comes the inevitable and difficult decision of what costume you're going to wear for this year's party. But fear not! We have ideas for the perfect costume on any budget.&nbsp;</p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-simple-and-cheap-halloween-costumes-for-kids"><strong>20 Simple and Cheap Halloween Costumes for Kids</strong></a></p> <p>It's easy to get caught up in Halloween and become frustrated when a complicated costume goes wrong. Skip all that and go for simple and fun, instead.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-halloween-costumes-for-adults" target="_blank"><strong>20 Cheap and Easy Halloween Costumes for Adults</strong></a></p> <p>Halloween dress up is not just for kids. Preserve your dignity &mdash; and your budget &mdash; with these classic and frugal costume ideas.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-halloween-costumes-for-people-who-hate-dressing-up" target="_blank"><strong>15 Halloween Costumes for People Who Hate Dressing Up</strong></a></p> <p>If you think dressing up is a drag but still need a get up for a costume party, consider one of these low-effort, high-reward &quot;costumes.&quot;</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-8-trending-halloween-costumes-on-the-cheap" target="_blank"><strong>How to Make 8 Trending Halloween Costumes on the Cheap</strong></a></p> <p>Halloween is just a few weeks away! That's plenty of time to put together one or two of these clever, trendy costumes.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/william-tran">William Tran</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/60-halloween-costume-ideas-that-can-save-you-money-and-time">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-1-cent-cell-phone-protector-and-other-hacks">The 1-Cent Cell Phone Protector, and Other Hacks.</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-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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-magic-marker-money-safe">The Magic Marker Money Safe</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-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">8 Amazing Board Games You Can DIY</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-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Entertainment General Tips cheap Halloween costumes Homemade Mon, 05 Oct 2015 21:00:32 +0000 William Tran 1576255 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Cheap Fun Things to Do With Kids This Weekend http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-fun-things-to-do-with-kids-this-weekend <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-cheap-fun-things-to-do-with-kids-this-weekend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_summer_water_balloon_fight_000062702582.jpg" alt="Kids paticipating in cheap summer activities this weekend" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>School's out for summer for a few more weeks, which means <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-a-good-workout-even-with-kids-around">the kids</a> are about to tear your house apart in three&hellip; two&hellip; one. Unless, of course, you help them channel that boundless energy elsewhere with these cheap or free things to do with kids this weekend.</p> <h2>1. Investigate Summer Programs at Your Local Library</h2> <p>Believe it or not, your local library still exists &mdash; and it probably has a whole calendar of activities planned for the summer. Pop in on your ride home from work one day to pick up a schedule to see what programs your kid might like.</p> <h2>2. Take a Hike on Nearby Trails to Search for Wildlife</h2> <p>Even if you live in a big city like I do, you can find well-worn hiking trail that provides a bit of the great outdoors without going too far from civilization. On this hike, let the kids take a camera so they can capture the various wildlife and insects they might encounter along the way.</p> <h2>3. Set Off on a Playground Hopping Adventure</h2> <p>Take that bar-hopping concept you know so well, apply it to playgrounds, and you've got yourself a lively afternoon of exercise for the kids and a bit of bench relaxing for yourself.</p> <h2>4. Visit a Nearby Transportation Hub and Watch the Vehicles</h2> <p>When I was a kid, my grandparents would take me to all kinds of places to watch various kinds of transportation. We'd sit outside of airports to watch planes take off and land, hang out in Baltimore's Inner Harbor to watch the boats, or spend a couple hours at the B&amp;O Railroad Museum learning about old trains and even taking a quick ride on one. Even though those examples are specific to my childhood, you can likely find some version of these activities in your neck of the woods that'll create lifetime memories for your brood.</p> <h2>5. Splash Around in a Public Fountain on a Hot Day</h2> <p>This is equally as fun for the kids as it is for parents &mdash; if the fountain allows adults to participate. A few summers ago I spent a hot day in Boston and headed straight for the Copley Square Fountain. I had a blast, and it looked like all the ankle-biters did too. Do a quick search online to see what your area has to offer.</p> <h2>6. Head to Your Local Lanes for Free Bowling</h2> <p>For several years now,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kidsbowlfree.com/">KidsBowlFree</a> has offered free bowling for kids at participating centers during the summer. It's actually a fairly generous program, which allows two hours of bowling per day per child. That's not to suggest that you should shuffle your kids off to the local alley every day to get them out of your hair, but, you know, when you've had enough it's not a bad way to let them wear themselves out.</p> <h2>7. Pop Into Your Town Cineplex for Low or No-Cost Movies</h2> <p>Legit &mdash; I kind of want to have a child (or at least borrow one part time in the summer) so I can take advantage of the low and no-cost movies available to kids and their parents. Lots of theaters &mdash; most national chains, actually &mdash; participate in this <a href="http://freebies.about.com/od/familyactivities/tp/free-summer-movies.htm">freebie program</a>, and the screenings are titles in which your kids will definitely be interested. Find these cheap or free screenings at theater near you.</p> <h2>8. Beat the Heat at an Indoor Play Area at a Nearby Mall</h2> <p>Too hot outside? Let your kids burn off a few dozen summer junk food calories at the play area at the local mall. These areas are mostly for toddlers, so if you've got big kids give 'em a few bucks for a matinee or the food court so they can do their own thing.</p> <h2>9. Catch a Major or Minor League Baseball Game</h2> <p>One of my all-time favorite summer activities as a kid &mdash; and even now as an adult &mdash; is spending a few hours at the ballpark. Most MLB teams have inexpensive kids' tickets (or free tickets for kids younger than a certain age), and the price is even more affordable to watch MiLB in action. Wise Bread has more tips for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-complete-guide-to-saving-at-americas-baseball-stadiums">saving at America's baseball stadiums</a>.</p> <h2>10. Check the Air Show Schedule to Find One Near You</h2> <p>If you want more of a spectacle than watching airplanes take off and land at your nearby airport, find an air show in your area. These stunt flyers are sure to impress, and it's honest-to-goodness fun for the whole family. This&nbsp;<a href="http://www.airshows.aero/Page/ASCalendar">air-show calendar</a> will help you plan your trip.</p> <h2>11. Find a Fun Pool for Refreshing Playtime</h2> <p>Most neighborhoods have a public pool for the kids to cool off in during the summer months. If that's not an option, perhaps you have a friend or family member who's lucky enough to have a pool in their backyard and willing to let you use it.</p> <h2>12. Pack a Picnic and Enjoy it on the Beach</h2> <p>Beaches &mdash; both along the ocean or surrounding a lake &mdash; offer hours and hours of fun. Bring along all the sand essentials &mdash; shovels, pails, boogie boards, sunscreen &mdash; and let the kids run wild. Pack a picnic with their favorite lunch foods to keep them satiated and out of your hair.</p> <h2>13. Set Up Water Games in the Backyard</h2> <p>When splashing around in a pool isn't an option, get creative with backyard water fun. Turn on the sprinklers, set up a slip-and-slide apparatus, or have a water balloon battle. There are lots of great ways to get wet and have fun without ever leaving home.</p> <h2>14. Invite Your Kids' Friends Over for Crafts and Snacks</h2> <p>There's hot and then there's too hot, so it's not a bad idea to have a plan B if the temps outside are too much for your little ones to handle. On days like this, invite over your kids' friends, set up a couple craft projects, and serve a few snacks so everyone can stay occupied, creative, and cool.</p> <h2>15. Break Out the Board Games on a Rainy Day</h2> <p>You can almost bet that when the weather is unbearably hot, there's a storm a-brewin' to break the heat. When the skies open up, hunker down and introduce your kids to a few of your favorite childhood games that don't require batteries, plugs, or controllers.</p> <h2>16. Look Into What's Happening in Your Neighborhood Park</h2> <p>All the open space should be put to good use, and most areas take great advantage of its green space. Visit your town's website or stop by your local library or town hall to browse a calendar of what's coming up that your kids might like.</p> <h2>17. Visit Some of the Free Attractions Your Town Has to Offer</h2> <p>Do you know what's fun and free in your town? You may think that there's nothing to do that doesn't cost anything, but I can assure you there is. Dig into the Internet to find these special spots that'll entertain the kids while saving you dough.</p> <h2>18. Go on a Mini-Excursion to a Nearby Town You've Never Been</h2> <p>I love to explore, and sometimes I hop in the car with a friend and we visit a not-too-far-away town we've never been to check out the shops, have lunch, and just hang out. Kids can enjoy these mini-getaways too with advanced planning to find things to do that complement their interests.</p> <h2>19. Visit Your Local Retailers' Websites for Cheap Activities and Workshops</h2> <p>A few major retailers (and probably some of your mom-and-pop shops, too) understand that it's a full-time job trying to keep your kids occupied and out of trouble while school's out for summer. That's why they offer classes and workshops for kids to keep their little heads thinking and hands moving.&nbsp;<a href="http://workshops.homedepot.com/workshops/kids-workshops">Home Depot</a> and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.michaels.com/classes-and-events/classesandevents">Michaels craft stores</a> are chief among the retailers that host these type of events, but you can find a bevy of <a href="http://freebies.about.com/od/freestuffforkids/tp/classes-for-kids.htm">more free classes</a>.</p> <h2>20. Put Together a Backyard Campout</h2> <p>Save yourself all that hassle of packing and lugging your camping gear around this summer by setting up a campout in the backyard. The kids will have a blast because they can invite over a few of their friends to join in the fun, and you can rest a little easier since you'll have all the modern convenience of home to pull it off without a hitch. Ghost stories and s'mores will be required.</p> <p><em>Have any other cheap fun things for kids to do this summer? Let us know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-fun-things-to-do-with-kids-this-weekend">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/15-awesomely-fun-toys-you-can-diy">15 Awesomely Fun Toys You Can DIY</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-amazing-board-games-you-can-diy">8 Amazing Board Games You Can DIY</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-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-free-or-cheap-toys-that-will-make-your-kid-smarter">14 Free or Cheap Toys That Will Make Your Kid Smarter</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-ways-to-keep-your-kids-prom-from-ruining-your-budget">10 Ways to Keep Your Kid&#039;s Prom From Ruining Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Family cheap fun kids low-cost playing summer Fri, 17 Jul 2015 09:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 1486789 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Summer Party Ideas That Won't Break the Bank http://www.wisebread.com/6-summer-party-ideas-that-wont-break-the-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-summer-party-ideas-that-wont-break-the-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_summer_party_000045595674.jpg" alt="Friends at a summer party that won&#039;t break the bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Summer is the ideal time for get-togethers. On top of holidays like Memorial Day, 4th of July, or Labor Day, we also enjoy regular weekend grill-outs, birthdays, and pool parties. It's a whole lot of fun, and throwing your own shindig can be very rewarding. The only problem is the cost &mdash; feeding, watering, and entertaining a group of people can be expensive. If you're thinking about having a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-must-do-to-throw-a-frugal-fun-backyard-party">summer party</a> (or three), check out our ideas for wallet-friendly summer festivities. They're fun for the whole family, and you can enjoy yourself without worrying about the budget.</p> <h2>1. Hot Dog Buffet</h2> <p>It's hard to beat a grill-out in the summertime, but grilling lots of meat can get pricey. Thankfully, one of the cheapest options is hot dogs, a food young and old alike love. If you don't own the necessary equipment, head to a public park with free-to-use grills and bring along cleaning tools, charcoal, and a bag to throw out your waste. Grill up a pile of hot dogs (including some veggie dogs if you have vegetarian guests) and set-up a fun buffet of toppings. Provide the usual ketchup, mustard, and relish, and set out other options like sauerkraut, crushed potato chips, chili, cheese, guacamole, onions, and salsa. Have everyone bring a side, drink, or topping to share, and you'll be able to provide an impressive and fun spread without breaking the bank.</p> <h2>2. Ice Cream Social</h2> <p>Nothing tastes better than an ice cream cone on a summer afternoon. Gather your friends and family for an ice cream social, and you're sure to have a sweet time. If any of your friends own an ice cream maker, encourage them to make their own flavor and bring a pint. Everyone can sample all of the ice creams, and no one is stuck with too much of one flavor. For those of us that don't own a maker, host a potluck-style sundae party. Ask everyone to bring a tub of ice cream and you can provide all of the toppings, or reverse it &mdash; provide all of the ice cream, while the guests bring toppings. Include fun details like sugar cones, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, whipped cream, and caramel. Kids will love making their own sundaes with all the fixings.</p> <h2>3. Afternoon of Games</h2> <p>Enjoy the warm summer weather by inviting your friends over for an afternoon of games. Having an afternoon party alleviates the need to provide a whole meal, saving a lot of cash. Set-up gaming areas in your backyard, or invite everyone to a public park. Bring blankets and folding chairs for hanging out, and have your guests supply their favorite outdoor games. Many games require little more than a ball or frisbee, but are loads of fun with big or small groups. Provide light snacks and lemonade, and enjoy playing horseshoes, bocce, foursquare, and more.</p> <h2>4. Movie Night</h2> <p>Summer blockbusters can be really fun, but going to the movie with a group adds up. Instead of making a trip to the theater, invite friends over to watch a movie for a fun nighttime party. If you or a friend owns a projector, hang a white sheet outside and have a special outdoor screening. Guests can bring their own blanket and get comfortable on the lawn. If you're showing your movie inside, make it special with lots of pillows to sit on and snuggle with, dim lighting, and popcorn and drinks. Play some movie trivia to keep the party social, or have themed nights based on the movie you're playing.</p> <h2>5. Pool Party</h2> <p>If you own a pool, then let's just stop right here. Just invite everyone over to your pool and poof! You have a party. If you live in an apartment complex with a pool, invite a small group to join you one afternoon for lounging and splashing around. Provide plastic cups and a cold drink, and maybe a pool game or two. Just be sure to abide by any pool rules for your apartment building. If you don't have access to a pool at all, then find a great public pool nearby and set a time to meet there. Have fun hanging out in the water and poolside, and go for ice cream or happy hour afterwards. Some fancy hotels offer <a href="http://laist.com/2013/09/06/where_to_get_wet_pools_water_parks.php">access to their pools</a> for free or with a purchase, and can be a fun treat for a hot day.</p> <h2>6. BYOM Cookout</h2> <p>If you'd still like to go the cookout route but want to serve more than hot dogs, have a BYOM party. Ask your guests to bring their own meat to throw on the grill, and you'll shrink your cost while making sure everyone gets the main dish they really want. Have sides and fixings ready, like coleslaw, potato salad, chips, fruit, condiments, and cold drinks. People can share their offerings and mix and match to their heart's desire, and there's sure to be some extra meat left for the host.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite frugal summer party idea?</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/6-summer-party-ideas-that-wont-break-the-bank">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/7-surefire-ways-to-save-on-grilling">7 Surefire Ways to Save on Grilling</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/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-freebies-for-college-students">20+ Freebies for College Students</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/wisdom-from-my-favorite-frugal-tv-character-julius-rock">Wisdom from My Favorite Frugal TV Character - Julius Rock</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/6-signs-youre-not-frugal-youre-cheap">6 Signs You&#039;re Not Frugal — You&#039;re Cheap!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living barbecue budget cheap friends party summer Fri, 03 Jul 2015 13:00:17 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1470989 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Deliciously Affordable Meats You'll Love Grilling http://www.wisebread.com/7-deliciously-affordable-meats-youll-love-grilling <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-deliciously-affordable-meats-youll-love-grilling" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_eating_hotdogs_000046408406.jpg" alt="Friends eating deliciously affordable meats for grilling" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone loves a good cook-out in the summertime, but hosting a gathering that's centered around the consumption of lots of grilled meat can get expensive, and fast. Before you buy packs of steaks and resign yourself to peanut butter and jellies the rest of the week, consider the following affordable meats that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-grilled-veggie-dishes-that-hold-their-own-with-meat">taste so great grilled</a>, you won't miss those pricey steaks one bit.</p> <h2>1. Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks</h2> <p>It just so happens that one of the cheapest meats to grill is also one of the best. Chicken breasts tend to dry out before they're cooked through, and can be tough and flavorless. Considerably cheaper bone-in, skin-on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-chicken-leg-and-thigh-recipes-from-around-the-world">thighs and drumsticks</a> are better at retaining their moisture and cooking evenly on the grill. On sale, they can run for less than a dollar a pound at the supermarket, making them a real cost-saver. Chicken thighs can be flavored just about any way you can think of, and taste great with a <a href="http://www.primalpalate.com/paleo-recipe/aromatic-grilled-chicken-thighs/">simple spice rub</a>. Drumsticks are equally diverse, and a simple coating of <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-lemon-oregano-chicken-drumsticks-354311">fresh lemon and herbs</a> is all you need for a delicious main dish.</p> <h2>2. Ground Beef</h2> <p>If you're buying beef for your cook-out, then things don't get much cheaper than ground chuck. Luckily, that's the prime ingredient for burgers, and who (minus vegetarians) doesn't love burgers? Make your <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/the-perfect-burger-92021">perfect patties</a> by adding egg for moisture and cohesion, and season them well for great flavor. Get <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-and-easy-new-ways-to-top-your-burgers">creative with your toppings</a>, and take your burgers from plain to gourmet with very little extra cost.</p> <h2>3. Pork Shoulder/Boston Butt Pork Roast</h2> <p>This cut of meat might not sound like much, but it's what is commonly turned into pulled pork. The cut can cost under $2 a pound, and will feed a very happy crowd. You can make succulent <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/smoked-pork-shoulder-recipe.html">pulled pork</a> at home if you don't mind a little prep and some lazy, all-day cooking. Start your shoulder the night before with a rub, and cook it low and slow with some hickory chips. Serve it with buns and coleslaw, and you'll have your friends and family swooning.</p> <h2>4. Chicken Wings</h2> <p>The price of chicken wings often hovers at around $2 a pound, easily beating out any beef prices. Wings are also amazingly delicious grilled, and can be flavored in countless ways. Try them <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/emeril-lagasses-grilled-vietnamese-style-chicken-wings-recipe.html">Vietnamese-style</a> with ginger and fish sauce, or classic <a href="http://www.onceuponachef.com/2014/05/grilled-chicken-wings-with-seasoned-buffalo-sauce.html">buffalo wings</a>. No matter what flavor you choose, wings make a great summer appetizer or even main dish.</p> <h2>5. Whole Turkey</h2> <p>Turkey doesn't have to be relegated to Thanksgiving. Enjoy a juicy, smoky, and flavorful <a href="http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/grill-roasted-turkey">grilled turkey</a> at your next cookout, and easily feed big a group. Turkey is often under $1.50 a pound, and tends to be cheaper outside of the holiday season. It's surprisingly easy to cook, just needing a turn every hour and a rest under aluminum foil after cooking. Make sure you monitor the internal temperature with a thermometer &mdash; that way you won't end up with a health risk or a dry, sad bird.</p> <h2>6. Beef Back Ribs</h2> <p>Pork ribs aren't the cheapest cut of meat out there, but <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-beef-ribs-with-sweet-and-sticky-barbecue-sauce-103627">beef back ribs</a> are typically one of the cheapest pieces of beef you can buy. You may not get quite as much meat per pound as some other items on this list, seeing as each rack has a number of bones in it, but it's still a great deal for beef. Plus, everyone loves sharing ribs and getting sticky barbecue sauce all over the place. For tender meat, cook your ribs on the stove with aromatics before grilling them. Give them a generous slather of homemade sauce, and enjoy.</p> <h2>7. Hot Dogs</h2> <p>You can't deny that sometimes a smoky, charred hot dog on a soft bun tastes great. They're especially good summertime grilling food, since they're easy to serve and a real crowd-pleaser. They're also one of the cheaper meat options out there, starting at little more than $1 a pound. Even if you're grilling some gourmet dogs, they're still a great deal per pound, and are all meat &mdash; no paying for bone you won't eat. Hot dogs are one of the easiest and quickest items to grill, and since they're so affordable, you can get creative with your toppings. Classic sauerkraut is always a hit, or try <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/07/hot-slaw-dogs-recipe.html">creamy coleslaw</a> and mustard.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite cheap meat for the grill?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/laurel-randolph">Laurel Randolph</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-deliciously-affordable-meats-youll-love-grilling">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/15-grilled-veggie-dishes-that-hold-their-own-with-meat">15 Grilled Veggie Dishes That Hold Their Own With Meat</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-delicious-early-summer-recipes-to-try-on-your-grill">13 Delicious Early Summer Recipes to Try on Your Grill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-dissing-spam">Stop dissing Spam!</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/11-delicious-breakfast-dishes-for-your-grill">11 Delicious Breakfast Dishes for Your Grill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink cheap dinners Grilling meat recipes summer Wed, 01 Jul 2015 15:00:18 +0000 Laurel Randolph 1469492 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Secret Cheap Steak Cuts You Should Be Asking For http://www.wisebread.com/7-secret-cheap-steak-cuts-you-should-be-asking-for <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-secret-cheap-steak-cuts-you-should-be-asking-for" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/steak_000051038948.jpg" alt="Cheap steak cuts you should ask for" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Summertime is steak time. That is, unless you can&rsquo;t afford a steak.</p> <p>Fortunately, you don&rsquo;t have to spend a fortune to get some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-ways-to-make-cheap-cuts-of-meat-taste-expensive">good quality beef</a>. While not all of the cheaper cuts grill up well all by themselves, most of them do with a bit of extra preparation, and the others taste great as part of a kebab or in other favorite dishes.</p> <p>Bon appetit!</p> <h2>1. Flat Iron Steak</h2> <p>The flat iron steak, or the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/29/dining/29beef.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=0">chicken steak</a>, is seriously a hidden gem. It&rsquo;s got the tenderness of the much more expensive filet, but because no one has ever heard of it, it&rsquo;s a lot cheaper. Cook it exactly like you would cook your favorite tender cut of meat &mdash; usually on the grill or by pan frying it. (And if you&rsquo;ve never pan fried before, this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/perfect-flat-iron-steak/">steak recipe</a> would be a great place to start.)</p> <h2>2. Shoulder Steak</h2> <p>The shoulder steak, also called the <a href="http://www.esquire.com/food-drink/food/g604/cheap-steak-cuts/?slide=5">London Broil</a>, is what you need to get if you love it when the flavor of beef is almost overwhelming. Because this is a larger piece of meat, it can be roasted, though it is also tasty when you cook it on the grill. Then, slice it into thin pieces and you can feed the whole crowd. Or, you can <a href="http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/3090-shoulder-steak-with-herbs">pan fry it</a>, and even <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/barbecue-shoulder-steak-skillet-287868">add that barbeque flavor</a>.</p> <h2>3. Chuck Eye Steak</h2> <p>The chuck eye steak is kind of like a rib eye, for a good reason: It is the cut <a href="http://strongertogether.coop/food-lifestyle/cooking/meat-your-top-5-affordable-steak-cuts/">nearest the rib eye</a> on the animal. So while it costs significantly less, it retains many of the characteristics you love about the more expensive cut of meat. This is a very flexible hunk of meat: you can do anything from cooking it like a roast to grilling it. Just don&rsquo;t cook it all the way to well done! If you don&rsquo;t have access to a grill, <a href="http://www.sweettmakesthree.com/2013/10/chuck-eye-steak-recipe/">chuck eye can be pan fried</a>, too.</p> <h2>4. Flank Steak</h2> <p>Flank steak is tasty, but it&rsquo;s also tough. Luckily for us, there are ways to get around that. Braise it, grill it, or marinate it. Keep in mind, though, that marinating it won&rsquo;t make it tender. If you use a dry method of cooking, like grilling, be sure to use high heat, only keep it on the grill for a short time, and cut it against the grain. This looks like an <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/flank-steak-242598">amazing marinade</a> to use with that method!</p> <h2>5. Tip Sirloin</h2> <p>Tip sirloin (or sirloin tip) is another name for <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/05/the-best-inexpensive-steak-for-the-grill-part-4-flap-meat-sirloin-tip.html">flap meat</a> (which has got to be one of the most unfortunate names out there for a cut of steak!). If you cook it carefully, it has a fabulous steaky taste, is tender and juicy, and goes great with a bunch of different marinades. You can do pretty much anything you want with it: Make it into kebabs, braise it slowly, or <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/05/steakhouse-style-grilled-marinated-flank-stea.html">grill it</a> for that steakhouse taste.</p> <h2>6. Chuck Arm Steak</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re looking for cheaper beef, look no farther than something labeled &ldquo;chuck.&rdquo; This particular cut can come out tough and fatty, but it&rsquo;s wonderful when cooked in a way that will keep it moist. This usually means that you <a href="http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/cook-arm-steak-31922.html">braise it</a>. Afterwards, you can pull it apart, slice it and serve, or use it in a soup or stew.</p> <h2>7. Brisket</h2> <p>A brisket is an incredibly tough cut of meat, which means it doesn&rsquo;t usually work well on a grill. But that makes it perfect for cooking slowly, and especially for true BBQ. If you have access to a smoker, that&rsquo;s the best way to go when cooking brisket. But you can <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/texas-oven-roasted-beef-brisket-recipe.html">oven roast</a> or <a href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/braised-beef-brisket-355532">braise brisket</a> as well. As long as the meat has time to get tender and gain flavor, there&rsquo;s no reason to buy a more expensive cut.</p> <h2>A Note on Tenderizing</h2> <p>You might have noticed that many of the cheaper cuts of meat don&rsquo;t always reach the same levels of tenderness that most of us like our beef to have. There&rsquo;s a way around that, though: kosher salt. <a href="http://steamykitchen.com/163-how-to-turn-cheap-choice-steaks-into-gucci-prime-steaks.html">Salt the steak</a> and then, for every inch of steak, let it sit for an hour. After that, rinse off any excess salt and cook it however you want. Basically, the salt helps the steak hold onto moisture in such a way that it actually becomes more tender, which is good by me!</p> <p><em>What is your favorite cheap, fabulous cut of meat? And the recipe you use the most? </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/7-secret-cheap-steak-cuts-you-should-be-asking-for">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/how-to-stay-on-budget-while-eating-paleo">How to Stay on Budget While Eating Paleo</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-eat-paleo-for-super-cheap">20 Ways to Eat Paleo for Super Cheap</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/one-pot-roast-a-week-of-cheap-and-delicious-lunches">One Pot Roast, A Week of Cheap and Delicious Lunches</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-deliciously-affordable-meats-youll-love-grilling">7 Deliciously Affordable Meats You&#039;ll Love Grilling</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink beef cheap dinner groceries meat steak Wed, 24 Jun 2015 15:00:37 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1462786 at http://www.wisebread.com 13 Cheap Ways to Beat Stress http://www.wisebread.com/13-cheap-ways-to-beat-stress <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/13-cheap-ways-to-beat-stress" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_meditating_000025216479.jpg" alt="Woman using cheap ways to beat stress" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Whether you're dealing with work, school, or family drama, stress can drain your energy and kill your motivation. Everyone deals with stressful situations, and we all have our own way of getting through these hard times. Unsurprisingly, some people rely on retail therapy to calm their nerves and relieve stress. But while shopping might provide a temporary emotional high, spending money you don't have can add to your problem. Instead of pulling out your wallet and going on a shopping spree, here are 13 cheap <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-stress-free-ways-to-stay-productive-on-vacation">ways to beat stress</a>.</p> <h2>1. Go for a Walk</h2> <p>Any type of physical activity is a <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and-stress/art-20044469">stress reliever</a>. Exercise might be the last thing on your mind, but moving around releases endorphins that can boost your mood and improve your attitude. If you feel better, it'll be easier to cope with stressful situations.</p> <h2>2. Declutter Your House</h2> <p>Take your mind off the situation with a much-needed chore around the house. Immerse yourself in a project, such as decluttering your closet, a room, or the garage. Our brains can only focus on one thing at a time, and if you're heavily involved in a project, it might be enough to take your mind off a stressful situation.</p> <h2>3. Meditate</h2> <p>Meditation produces a state of deep relaxation, bringing inner peace and calmness. It doesn't take long and you can meditate anywhere &mdash; while sitting in a chair, lying in bed, or taking a walk. Imagine something that brings you peace and focus all your attention on this image. Some research suggests meditation makes us more resilient to stress.</p> <h2>4. Write in a Journal</h2> <p>Getting your thoughts out on paper is another cheap stress buster. Keeping your feelings bottled up inside can heighten your level of tension. But if you get everything off your chest and write it down, you can uncover the root of stressful situations. You can also record potential solutions to your problems. You might feel less stress once you have a plan of attack.</p> <h2>5. Listen to Music and Reminisce</h2> <p>Put on your earphones and listen to music. Preferably&nbsp;music that brings to mind happy memories, or slow classical music, which helps <a href="http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0070156">decrease stress hormones</a>.</p> <h2>6. Sit Outdoors</h2> <p>A change of scenery might do you good. If you're cooped up in the house and feeling stress, going outside and getting some vitamin D and fresh air can improve your mood and anxiety level. Sunlight can <a href="http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/benefits-sunlight">raise serotonin levels</a>, which helps regulate stress, anxiety, and depression.</p> <h2>7. Color or Paint</h2> <p>Exploring your creative side with art is not only fun but also therapeutic. You don't have to be a master artist or own a lot of art supplies to improve your stress level. A coloring book and some crayons are all you need. This activity takes your mind off your problems, plus coloring takes us back to childhood, a time when most of us were generally stress-free.</p> <h2>8. Let it Out</h2> <p>Whether you have to punch a pillow or scream at the top of your lungs, getting out your emotions and frustrations can provide stress relief. Your stress level can worsen if you keep intense feelings inside, but you might feel better or stronger once you vent your frustrations.</p> <h2>9. Take a Hot Bath</h2> <p>A warm, relaxing bath can calm your mind and relax tense muscles. Add some <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=lavender%20essential%20oil&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;sprefix=lavender%2Caps%2C625&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;linkId=FE6QYKWJMVD4LTED">lavender oil</a> to your bathwater, light a scented candle, and play relaxing music in the background.</p> <h2>10. Take a Nap</h2> <p>It's hard to cope with stress when you're physically and mentally exhausted. Go to bed early or take a nap, and then deal with a stressful situation when you're in a better frame of mind.</p> <h2>11. Watch a Funny Movie</h2> <p>Find the most hilarious movie on Netflix or Hulu and laugh away your stress. Laughing and smiling is more powerful than you think. Both activities can stimulate the production of feel-good brain hormones. And when you're feeling good, stress won't get the best of you.</p> <h2>12. Spend an Evening Alone</h2> <p>Maybe you're overwhelmed with everything on your plate at work and at home. If you're getting pulled in different directions and you need time to clear your head, send everyone away and spend a day at home by yourself. Use this time to focus on activities you enjoy. Watch movies all day in your bathrobe, exercise, sleep, or just sit in a quiet house with no interruptions.</p> <h2>13. Get a Massage</h2> <p>Even if it's only for 30 or 45 minutes, a massage session eases tension in your muscles and can release dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins &mdash; improving your state of mind and lowering your stress level.</p> <p><em>Do you have other cheap ways to beat stress that you'd like to share? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-cheap-ways-to-beat-stress">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-84-frugal-ways-to-eliminate-stress">Flashback Friday: 84 Frugal Ways to Eliminate Stress</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-38-ways-to-get-more-sleep-tonight">Flashback Friday: 38 Ways to Get More Sleep Tonight</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/trim-costs-with-cheaper-kids-haircuts">Trim Costs with Cheaper Kid&#039;s Haircuts</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-ways-to-keep-anxiety-from-ruining-your-budget">5 Ways to Keep Anxiety From Ruining Your Budget</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-free-or-really-cheap-ways-to-relieve-stress">20 Free (or Really Cheap) Ways to Relieve Stress</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty anxiety cheap relaxation soothing stress relief Tue, 23 Jun 2015 21:00:19 +0000 Mikey Rox 1460790 at http://www.wisebread.com Cheap Ways to Get These 8 Expensive Indulgences http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-get-these-8-expensive-indulgences <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cheap-ways-to-get-these-8-expensive-indulgences" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/drinking_wine_cheers_000018402946.jpg" alt="Friends finding cheaper ways to get indulgences" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As capitalism-loving Americans, we rather enjoy the finer things in life. Gourmet dining, fancy cars, high thread-count sheets that feel like Cumulus clouds&hellip; these are a few of our favorite things. The only problem, however, is that most of us can't afford those items &mdash; at least not on a regular basis. But where there's a will, there's a way. Check out these cheaper ways to score some of your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/4-indulgences-your-business-cant-afford">most coveted indulgences</a>.</p> <h2>1. Wine</h2> <p>Wine deal sites are aplenty, but if you want access to higher-quality wines at steeper discounts &mdash; upwards of 75% off even &mdash; follow these two tips from Mark Aseltine, owner of wine-gifting service Uncorked Ventures.</p> <h3>Shave 1/3 off the Retail Price With a Google Search</h3> <p>&quot;Most winemakers have multiple projects, and almost always there's a small label that they own themselves included in those,&quot; he says. &quot;That small label is often at least a third cheaper than their name projects &mdash; think a Napa Valley winery that you know well; any of them &mdash; but it'll take a few minutes of Google searching to find. Often these wines are made with equivalent grapes, in the exact same facility.&quot;</p> <h3>Join Your Favorite Wineries' Email Lists</h3> <p>&quot;At least once a year a list ends up with a significant offer from second-tier wineries &mdash; a winery that's in most wine stores in your state, but not at your local drugstore or grocery store,&quot; says Aseltine. &quot;Every so often, they'll offer huge discounts to move through some inventory, with about 75% off being fairly standard. Often it's what their middlemen are paying anyway.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Personal Fragrances</h2> <p>If your signature scent is &quot;heaping piles of cash&quot; while your budget is more like stacks of coins, there are ways to cut costs on personal fragrances. First, browse wholesale outlets that sometimes drastically reduce the retail price of a wide selection of perfumes and colognes. If you prefer to shop in store for scents &mdash; especially if you're searching for a new one &mdash; I recommend discount retailers like TJ Maxx and Marshalls, which typically have a decent selection of name-brand fragrances. If you want to go old school, visit your back-in-the-day department store, like Macy's or Sears, and ask for a particular sample at the fragrance counter; associates will likely have a small vial you can take with you. You also can visit daily deal sites and search for discounted fragrances.</p> <p>Yet, if you're not all that worried about the logo on the bottle but rather just smelling like a million bucks, ditch the bells and whistles in favor of &quot;designer imposters.&quot; Since you can't patent a fragrance, many scents are duplicated without a distinguishable note, so nobody will ever be the wiser.</p> <h2>3. Chocolate</h2> <p>Have a hankering for authentic and oh-so-creamy Belgian, Swiss, or maybe even Peruvian chocolate? Join the club &mdash; literally. With a subscription club, you can sign up to have some of the world's best chocolate shipped directly to your door. Tiered subscription levels will determine how much life-enhancing chocolate you'll receive, but you can be sure that it's sourced from only the best makers. Award-winning chocolate club <a href="http://cocoarunners.com/">Cocoa Runners</a>, for instance, partners with more than 45 global chocolatiers to bring its subscribers a new experience each month at a fraction of what it would cost if you cultivated the bars yourself.</p> <h2>4. Caviar</h2> <p>If there's one single dish that says &quot;I'm in the money,&quot; it's caviar. But these unfertilized fish eggs &mdash; most commonly harvested from sturgeon, salmon, and whitefish &mdash; will put a pounding on your pocket if you don't know where to look. Which, thankfully, is not very far.</p> <p>According to The Kitchn, there's plenty of <a href="http://www.thekitchn.com/choose-local-sustainable-cavia-71731">local, sustainable caviar</a> produced in the United States that is exponentially cheaper than what comes directly from elsewhere. And when you buy home-harvested caviar, you're not only cutting the cost of this commodity for yourself, but also reducing your carbon footprint since no roe (fancy term for fish eggs) will have to be flown halfway across the world to get to your table.</p> <h2>5. Coffee</h2> <p>As a cost-saving measure on your daily routine, my Wise Bread colleagues and I are often recommending that you reduce your trips to your local café for those cups of joe to go. But if you must get your fix, at least try to talk your way into free or discounted java drinks. Reddit offers several helpful tips for shaving <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/Frugal/comments/efxps/starbucks_hacks/">money off your Starbucks bill</a>, in particular.</p> <p>Real Simple also weighs in on how to buck the system with <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/money/saving/cheaper-coffee">tips from an anonymous barista</a> who's blowing the whistle on bloated café prices. &quot;You can assemble your own iced latte, at a huge discount, by ordering a shot or two of espresso poured over ice and topping it off with the free milk on the condiment bar,&quot; the source dishes. &quot;Or if you and a friend want an iced tea, place an order for a single cup straight-up. Many shops make their tea double strength and dilute it with water before serving. So you can just divide the tea between two glasses and add water and ice yourself. Voilà! Half-price drinks.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Cigars</h2> <p>Like wine, there's no shortage of online cigar shops and outlets offering discounted cigars. <a href="http://www.cigarsinternational.com/">Cigars International</a> is one of the most prominent cigar sellers on the Internet, and it offers reviews for many of its favorite budget cigars. Blind Man's Puff, a blog dedicated to cigars mentions that you can <a href="http://www.blindmanspuff.com/tips-tricks-best-budget-cigars/">score cigars even cheaper</a> than what discount sites are offering. For instance, Cigars International has a sister site called <a href="http://www.cigarbid.com/?">Cigar Bid</a> where individual sticks can be purchased for about $2 less.</p> <h2>7. Designer Clothing</h2> <p>When you want to strut runway looks but lack the cash to pull it off full-price, you'll have to be resourceful. Luckily, there are many ways to cop discounted designer duds these days, including shopping at flash-sale sites like <a href="http://www.gilt.com/">Gilt</a> or <a href="https://www.hautelook.com/">HauteLook</a>; haggling on off-season pieces in store; buying secondhand; swapping with friends; renting designer goods and clothing; and checking closeout websites, like <a href="http://www.nordstromrack.com">Nordstrom Rack</a> and <a href="http://www.6pm.com">6pm.com</a>.</p> <p>Personally, I love visiting warehouse sales &mdash; both generic and name brand &mdash; to stock up on statement-piece wardrobe items. I once scored a $10 admission ticket on Groupon to a warehouse sale in Brooklyn, N.Y., where you could fill up a brown paper bag to the brim. I'm no stranger to Barney's legendary warehouse sale, where I've snagged $250 pairs of jeans for about $25. My pro tip for the latter is to wait until the tail end of the sale. The pickings may be slim, but the discount will bottom out at around 80% to 90% off, whereas when the sale first starts you're only shaving off between 30% and 50%. Your choice on whether you want the pick of the litter or serious savings.</p> <h2>8. Luxury Cars</h2> <p>One of the major problems with luxury cars &mdash; and cars, in general &mdash; is that they immediately lose major value as soon as they exit the lot. Despite this well-known fact, however, plenty of us pine for luxury cars to serve as &mdash; let's be honest &mdash; nothing more than a status symbol.</p> <p>One huge way to save a bundle on a luxury car is to consider the spectrum of luxury cars. Prices vary, and you don't have to spend $75,000 on a Jaguar XJ if a Jaguar XF at $50,000 still suits your fancy. Keep in mind, too, that &quot;luxury&quot; doesn't have to mean typically high-end brands like Jaguar, Tesla, or Porsche. More affordable carmakers offer luxury options, including Hyundai, Lincoln, and Acura.</p> <p>Another means of adding a luxury car to your fleet (or just your single-car garage) is to shop for certified pre-owned vehicles &mdash; used cars &mdash; that will save you a bundle on overall cost. While you may be able to afford the luxury vehicle at the drastically reduced price, however, it's important to consider the cost of repairs to a luxury vehicle (they're not cheaper), and there's a higher probability that your used vehicle will experience at least a couple issue during its lifetime with you.</p> <p>Outside of buying a luxury vehicle to own, you can do a one-shot rental for an event to which you want to show up in style. Or, if you simply have the need for speed in a luxury car, you can schedule a driving experience with companies like <a href="http://cloud9exotics.com/">Cloud 9 Exotics</a>, which specialize in putting regular people behind the wheels of dream sports cars &mdash; I burned rubber in a Lamborghini recently &mdash; for a few laps around a track.</p> <p><em>Do you have cheaper ways to get some of your favorite indulgences? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-get-these-8-expensive-indulgences">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-having-your-groceries-delivered-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Having Your Groceries Delivered Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-122-no-fuss-dinner-ideas-thatll-save-you-money">Flashback Friday: 122 No-Fuss Dinner Ideas That&#039;ll Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-that-are-actually-cheaper-at-whole-foods">6 Foods That Are Actually Cheaper At Whole Foods</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/6-ways-to-convince-a-store-clerk-to-give-you-a-deal">6 Ways to Convince a Store Clerk to Give You a Deal</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping bargains cheap indulgences saving money treats Fri, 19 Jun 2015 15:00:17 +0000 Mikey Rox 1457046 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Generic Home Goods Buys Better Than the Expensive Originals http://www.wisebread.com/7-generic-home-goods-buys-better-than-the-expensive-originals <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-generic-home-goods-buys-better-than-the-expensive-originals" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_baby_bed_000037304158.jpg" alt="Mother and baby buying generic home goods" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Keeping your home tidy, beautiful, and healthy doesn't have to cost a fortune. Here are seven examples of cheap <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-home-buys-you-should-never-skimp-on">home goods</a> that are better than their original brand name competitors.</p> <h2>1. Cleaning Products</h2> <p>Check out the cleaning products aisle at your local store, and you'll find a long list of chemicals you can't pronounce. Many of them are harmful to you, your family, and your home. Luckily there's a better, healthier, and safer way to clean your home with items from your grocery store. There's not much that white vinegar, essential oils, and baking soda can't fix when it comes to cleaning your home. Clean your shower with a mix of one of cup water and &frac14; cup of white vinegar. Clean your carpets with one cup of club soda or seltzer mixed with &frac12; cup of table salt. Make your mirrors and windows sparkle with a combination of two cups of water, two tablespoons of white vinegar, two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol, and five drops of peppermint essential oil.</p> <h2>2. Bedding and Linens</h2> <p>I recently moved into a new apartment and needed to restock my linens and bedding. I was pleasantly surprised when I went to Target and discovered their Room Essentials line. Their linens are already heavily discounted and the same quality as pricier brands, and they are often discounted further during sales. They had a wide variety of colors and designs, so it was easy for me to mix and match to get the look I wanted.</p> <h2>3. Water Filter Pitchers</h2> <p>With spring, many cities do heavy treatments on their drinking water. As a result, it's a good idea to filter your water before drinking and cooking. While Brita is the original brand that made home filtered water a new trend, Target carries a line that is half the price and even better. I picked up a pitcher and set of filters recently that the chain store sells through its up &amp; up brand. up &amp; up also includes generic tin foil, plastic wrap, and plastic resealable bags that are exactly the same quality as the name brands.</p> <h2>4. Air Fresheners</h2> <p>This is an area of your store that you need to avoid. Those lovely smelling sprays are loaded with chemicals that may smell wonderful, but could actually make you and your pets sick. They're also expensive and don't last long. It's much better to sweeten the air in your home naturally. In a small, shallow dish that's out of the reach of pets and children, mix baking soda and any essential oil scent that you love. It's cheaper, healthier, and lasts longer.</p> <h2>5. Energy Efficient Light Bulbs</h2> <p>When it comes to light bulbs, you want to look for the average life of the bulbs that is listed on the box. The name brand doesn't matter. Match up the wattage and light quality you want and ignore the logo.</p> <h2>6. Manual Kitchen Gadgets</h2> <p>For items such a coffee and tea presses, garlic presses, teaspoons, mixing bowls, mixing spoons, spatulas, and measuring cups, don't spend a fortune. Plenty of stores have generic versions that are every bit as good, if not better, as the name brand options. If you're really tied to those name brands, check discounters such as HomeGoods, T.J. Maxx, and Marshalls that have name brands or close proximities that are often 50% off the regular retail prices.</p> <h2>7. Stuff on Overstock and Amazon</h2> <p>If you are in need of some new furnishings for the home, I highly recommend looking at sites such as Overstock and Amazon from the comfort of your couch rather than or before heading out to the stores. Having these heavy items delivered to your door at a fraction of the retail cost is well worth it. They're also great comparison shopping sites so that you know if a sale at a brick and mortar store is truly a bargain.</p> <p>Spring brings a desire to clean up and makeover your home with bright colors and fresh designs. With the tips above you can redecorate, restock, and clean your home at an affordable price without sacrificing quality.</p> <p><em>What are your goto generic or store brands for home goods?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-generic-home-goods-buys-better-than-the-expensive-originals">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-stuff-at-homegoods">How to Find the Best Stuff at HomeGoods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-cast-iron-skillets">The 5 Best Cast Iron Skillets</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-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-robotic-mops">The 5 Best Robotic Mops</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping cheap generic HomeGoods off brand Wed, 13 May 2015 11:00:09 +0000 Christa Avampato 1415529 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things You Should Never Try to Save On http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-try-to-save-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-you-should-never-try-to-save-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_shopping_000020157357.jpg" alt="Woman just finished shopping" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I consider myself a frugal person. I've gone without air conditioning, drive a 20-year-old car, and grow much of my own food on a four-acre homestead. After years of trial and error, however, I've come to learn that some things just aren't worth trying to save money on. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-case-for-expensive-shoes?ref=seealso">The Case for Expensive Shoes</a>)</p> <p>Here are five critical purchases I've made in the past that I regretted ever trying to squeeze a penny from.</p> <h2>1. Legal Services</h2> <p>While you can do some basic template-type tasks on your own, anything requiring a lengthy legal battle or a contested order should have at least the once-over of a good attorney. I admit to handling a divorce completely on my own, with the help of a divorce kit that was &mdash; at the time &mdash; housed completely on floppy disc. While the outcome wasn't horrible, I could have greatly benefited from even <em>one hour</em> of consulting time from a reputable attorney.</p> <p>Now that attorneys are more accessible than they were even 15 years ago, there's really no excuse to not at least consider one. In fact, many lawyers make it super easy to get their expertise with the same ease of a &quot;template&quot; service. Rachel Brenke's <a href="http://www.bloglegally.com/">Blog Legally</a>, for example, gives bloggers and other digital content creators advice, tools, and an avenue to ask questions of a seasoned law professional &mdash; without the headache of an in-person appointment. This may be the future of most civil and business-related legal proceedings &mdash; one which I will happily pay extra to be a part of.</p> <h2>2. Dental Care</h2> <p>Have you been tempted to skip your six-month cleaning or save a few bucks by forgoing that annual x-ray? Before you pocket the extra cash from skimping on a seemingly unimportant dental task, consider that many life-threatening diseases can be possibly be traced back to the effects of a poor oral hygiene routine. (The Mayo Clinic lists <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475?pg=2">heart disease and Alzheimer's</a> as just a couple of afflictions that can be made worse by tooth or mouth problems.)</p> <p>In addition to seemingly unrelated complications that can arise from cheaping out on your dental duties, most minor tooth issues can balloon into major dental disasters with a potential to cost you thousands. So, the next time you think that an extra $150 for a cleaning is something you shouldn't part with, consider the cost of waiting, and how it can affect your quality of life down the road.</p> <h2>3. Shoes</h2> <p>There are times when it's perfectly acceptable to pay $5 for a pair of cheap flip-flops (vacation, for example), but most of us rely too much on our feet to treat them badly with an ill-fitting or cheap pair of shoes. Not having the proper fit, dealing with poor support, or finding them to be slippery when wet are just a few problems I've had with cheap shoes.</p> <p>For most of my daily life, I rely on shoes to get me through some pretty adverse situations; I chase kids, work the garden, and run through airport terminals far too often to risk my safety on a pair of duds. Unless there is an adorable pair you'll wear just once for a special occasion, your money is better invested in a long-term relationship with kicks that can deliver on months &mdash; or even years &mdash; of comfy wear.</p> <h2>4. Safe Transportation</h2> <p>Traveling to a place you're not familiar with can seem daunting and feel expensive. In some cities, you are at the mercy of the public transportation system or a taxi driver to get you where you need to go &mdash; at a price you often have no control over. When it comes to cost-saving maneuvers on transportation, I've always chosen to risk less and spend more. As a small-statured woman who is often traveling with children, it just seems okay to pay a premium to know where I'm going, with who, and for what price, ahead of time.</p> <p>One way I've gotten around the feeling of being metered to death by cabs is to use the services of Lyft, which get me a clean and friendly ride experience within minutes of calling for a ride. The prices are transparent and I've never had a less-than-stellar experience. It's more money than, say, a bus, but still within reason for a budget-conscious traveler.</p> <h2>5. Furniture</h2> <p>This year marked the death of all of my cheap furniture. I'm not sure why it all decided to die on me at once, but it was another reminder that you really do get what you pay for. I've shared why I try to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-of-pretty-things-4-reasons-im-keeping-my-ugly-old-stuff">keep my old, ugly furniture</a> as long as I can, but even with all my good, old solid stuff, there's a need to buy new. A new recliner for our fifth baby lasted just under three years; it was a $250 buy from the discount furniture store. My cheapo corner desk, made from crumbly MDF and covered in something that looked like shelf liner, lasted a little over two years &mdash; if you don't count the permanent coffee rings and the drawer that had to be reattached on three separate occasions.</p> <p>The furniture that lasted the longest included a set of ChromCraft vintage kitchen chairs that we paid a pretty penny for, as well as a 90s country blue couch with a 100% steel frame. Yes, the couch was ugly &mdash; and expensive &mdash; but couch covers are cheap, and that piece lasted longer than most automobiles I've owned. Before you cringe at the thought of spending half a month's salary on that new sectional or dining set, consider how much wear and tear you'll give your new purchase. With six kids in the house, I now know that higher quality is worth the often exorbitant cost.</p> <p><em>What other expenses are well worth the cost? Let us know in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-try-to-save-on">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-that-seem-like-splurges-but-are-actually-savvy-buys">6 Things That Seem Like Splurges But Are Actually Savvy Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/quality-over-price-15-items-to-spend-more-on">Quality Over Price: 15 Items to Spend More On</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/15-things-you-should-never-skimp-on">15 Things You Should Never Skimp On</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/50-great-things-to-do-with-50">50 Great Things to Do With $50</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-cheaper-versions-of-your-favorite-products">7 Cheaper Versions of Your Favorite Products</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping cheap quality Splurge value Wed, 04 Mar 2015 18:00:07 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1316824 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: 10 Signs You've Gone From Frugal to Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-10-signs-youve-gone-from-frugal-to-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-10-signs-youve-gone-from-frugal-to-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-cheap-dinner-Dollarphotoclub_19273348.jpg" alt="couple cheap dinner" title="couple cheap dinner" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on the signs that you&rsquo;ve gone from frugal to cheap, how to spend less on groceries this year, and ten ways you&rsquo;re throwing money away.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/10-signs-youve-gone-from-frugal-cheap/">10 Signs You&rsquo;ve Gone From Frugal to Cheap</a> &mdash; You are not being frugal when you pressure people for freebies &mdash; you're being cheap. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/how-to-spend-less-on-groceries-in-2015">How to Spend Less on Groceries in 2015</a> &mdash; Plan your meals for each week, making sure to use up your groceries &mdash; especially the meat!&nbsp;[Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyning.com/frugality/10-ways-youre-throwing-away-money-and-how-to-stop/">10 Ways You&rsquo;re Throwing Money Away (and How to Stop)</a> &mdash; Alcohol can get expensive. If you aren't willing to give it up completely, then be smarter about what and when you drink. [MoneyNing]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/money-management-tips-change-life/">5 Money Management Tips That Could Change Your Life in 2015</a> &mdash; Review the financial products you use. Is your information up to date? Can you get better rates? More perks? [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyunder30.com/secrets-to-change-your-habits">Secrets to Help You Change Your Habits for Life</a> &mdash; Choose something easy and pleasurable to do every time you feel your bad habit calling you. Eventually, this competing response will become automatic, and it will replace the bad habit entirely. [Money Under 30]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2015/01/01/15-ways-to-live-a-year-with-no-regrets/">15 Ways to Live a Year With No Regrets</a> &mdash; Share your love openly and honestly with the important people in your life. [Marc and Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/2015-Resolutions-Made-100-Year-Olds-36364857">You're Going to Love These New Year's Resolutions Made by 100-Year-Olds</a> &mdash; Exercise more! Physical activity is an important part of health and happiness. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/article/insurance/T027-C000-S002-pay-cash-for-your-health-care.html">Pay Cash for Your Health Care</a> &mdash; In some situations, you may get better care and greater savings if you don't use your health insurance. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://couponpal.com/blog/7-ways-to-make-your-bathroom-more-ecofriendly-and-save-you-money">7 Ways to Make Your Bathroom More Eco-Friendly (and Save You Money)</a> &mdash; Switch to low-flow shower heads. They only use around 2.5 gallons of water per minute, while a traditional shower head uses 5-8 gallons per minute. [CouponPal]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.readyforzero.com/debt-repayment-tips-from-someone-whos-been-there/">7 Debt Repayment Tips From Someone Who&rsquo;s Been There</a> &mdash; Be realistic. Don't aim to pay off all your debt at a faster rate than is possible for your situation or you may get discouraged when you can't keep up with the pace. [ReadyForZero]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-10-signs-youve-gone-from-frugal-to-cheap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wisdom-from-my-favorite-frugal-tv-character-julius-rock">Wisdom from My Favorite Frugal TV Character - Julius Rock</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-signs-youre-not-frugal-youre-cheap">6 Signs You&#039;re Not Frugal — You&#039;re Cheap!</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/five-ways-vhs-tapes-still-rock">Five Ways VHS Tapes Still Rock</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/trim-costs-with-cheaper-kids-haircuts">Trim Costs with Cheaper Kid&#039;s Haircuts</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-things-to-do-for-under-5-in-the-omaha-metro-area">10 Things to Do for Under $5 in the Omaha Metro Area</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living best money tips cheap Tue, 06 Jan 2015 20:00:10 +0000 Amy Lu 1277381 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Ways to Tell the Difference Between Being Frugal and Being Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-tell-the-difference-between-being-frugal-and-being-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-ways-to-tell-the-difference-between-being-frugal-and-being-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/thrift-store-shopping-iStock_000034802126Small.jpg" alt="thrift shopping" title="thrift shopping" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a thin line between being frugal and being cheap, but how do we know when we're in danger of crossing it?</p> <p>Being frugal is being resourceful and savvy about how you spend your money, whereas being cheap is trying to cut corners to the detriment of yourself or others just so you don't have to spend money. Take a look at some of these frugal versus cheap examples, and let me know if you agree in the comments below.</p> <h2>1. Ordering Wisely at Restaurants vs. Eating Like a King and Skimping on the Tip</h2> <p>It's perfectly acceptable to be frugal at a restaurant by ordering less expensive dishes or appetizers to serve as your main meal. It's completely out of line, however, to order the most expensive dishes on the menu and then skimp on the tip; if you can afford a $26 steak and a glass of scotch, you can afford at least a 15% tip for decent service (more if the service was above and beyond). I've seen it many times over, and there's a special name for cheap people like that.</p> <p>Likewise, don't be the jerk that goes out to eat with friends and doesn't order anything but then picks off other people's plates. That's a good way to get your hand stabbed with a fork if you're dining with me.</p> <h2>2. New Underwear/Sneakers vs. Thrift Shop Underwear/Sneakers</h2> <p>Underwear and sneakers aren't exactly cheap these days, especially if you want halfway decent pairs. I try to shop for these items thoughtfully, keeping in mind that the quality, often more expensive items will probably last longer. I also try to find any deals and coupons that I can use before I can go shopping to offset the higher cost. Conversely, shopping at thrift shops for these particular items isn't just cheap, it's downright disgusting. It doesn't matter your financial state: you should buy new, clean underwear &mdash; always. And with shoes, you run the risk of having to replace them more often because they've already been through the ringer.</p> <h2>3. Turning One Two-Ply Toilet Paper Roll Into Two One-Ply Rolls</h2> <p>I really hate buying toilet paper because it's the epitome of flushing money down the drain &mdash; but it's one of those necessary evils that I just have to suck up and deal with. As much as I hate it though, I still buy fairly high-end TP because my bum deserves it. Because of my penchant for quilted softness then, I always buy in bulk with a coupon or discount from a savings app. That's the frugal way to do it. The cheap alternative &mdash; and, honestly, I don't know if it gets any cheaper than this &mdash; is to buy bottom-of-the-barrel two-ply paper so you can create two one-ply rolls. I feel like this practice is a recipe for a lifetime of bachelorhood &mdash; and deservedly so.</p> <h2>4. Buying Day-Old/Clearance Food vs. Freeganism</h2> <p>I've purchase clearance food items from the grocery store in the past, and I've recommended it in some of my articles. I've also visited secondhand food stores, like the Wonder Bread Bake Shop outlet and the Pepperidge Farm Outlet Center to score deals on perfectly edible food that just may not be as fresh-from-the-oven as I would prefer. Ya take the good, ya take the bad. But one thing I will never do &mdash; at least while I can afford to buy food &mdash; is adopt a life of freeganism, which is the practice of eating discarded food, ie. food from trash cans and dumpsters. The cheapness level here is Code Red, and its grossness is up there with the thrift shop underwear.</p> <h2>5. Making a Homemade Gift vs. Regifting an Arbitrary Gift</h2> <p>The holidays are a hard time financially for many people, and it's perfectly okay to be frugal when deciding on gifts. If you can't afford to buy presents, use your resources to make gifts that recipients' will appreciate because of the thought you put into it. Admittedly I like receiving &quot;things,&quot; but I've never received a handmade gift that I didn't love. Regifting is okay too&nbsp;<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; line-height: 22.1000003814697px;">&mdash;</span>&nbsp;if it's done properly.</p> <p>If you plan to regift, take a couple things into consideration:</p> <ul> <li>The regift should never go back to the person that gave it to you originally.</li> <li>The regift should be thoughtfully gifted.</li> </ul> <p>If you're regifting a gift just to give somebody something for the purpose of giving somebody something, that's not only cheap, but it's terribly rude. (And if you ever do it to me, I will totally judge for it forever.)</p> <h2>6. Watering Down Liquid Soaps and Shampoos to Make It Go Further</h2> <p>How much money are you saving by watering down your shampoos and liquid soaps? Like 30 cents? I'll give you 30 cents if I can just wash my hands at your house with full-strength soap that I know is cleaning me. To avoid being a cheapskate in this regard, buy in bulk, find coupons and discounts, and look for store brands instead of higher-priced name brands.</p> <h2>7. Buying Inexpensive Permanent Dishes vs. Rewashing Plasticware</h2> <p>I've purchased full sets of dishes on clearance at Target for $16 in the past, which have lasted me many years. Which is why I'm always surprised at people who strictly buy plastic plates, cups, and utensils (which are meant to be disposable), and wash and rewash them like they're acceptable adult dining ware. Eventually these plastic farces will melt, crack, and otherwise end up in the trash. So while you think you're saving money in the short-term (by being cheap), you're actually spending more in the long-run than you would if you just bought grown-up dishes.</p> <h2>8. Enjoying Free Refreshments vs. Stuffing Your Pockets With Them</h2> <p>If you're attending an event where free refreshments will be available, it's absolutely fine and frugal to decide to make your meal from whatever's available while you're there. If you're a human person with food in the fridge at home and you make a decent-enough living and you're stuffing your pockets with the free food that's offered so you can make three or four meals out of it, you're cheap and you're stealing and I will totally tell security on you.</p> <h2>9. Paying for a Trial Online Dating Subscription vs. Trying to Trick the System by Distorting Your Contact Information</h2> <p>Rochelle Peachey runs the transatlantic dating site<a href="http://www.iloveyouraccent.com"> I Love Your Accent</a>, and she sent me her take on the difference between being frugal and cheap. &quot;Joining a dating site for just one month is frugal,&quot; she wrote. &quot;Making a profile and writing your email address backwards or adding your Facebook details to avoid paying is cheap &mdash; especially if you are trying to meet someone across the pond.&quot;</p> <p>To clarify her point, many online dating services require a subscription for users to exchange personal contact information &mdash; that's how they make their money and build the community. Without a subscription, the service will block attempts to share phone numbers, email addresses, etc. Some people, however, try to trick the system and save on subscription fees by distorting their information (like spelling out their phone number in letters and characters) to avoid paying for a membership &mdash; which probably isn't the best first impression to make when you're looking for someone to go out with you.</p> <h2>10. Turning One Admission Stamp Into Two With the Lick of a Wrist</h2> <p>I heard a story once about a guy so cheap that when he went to the club with his buddy, he made his buddy lick his wrist after paying and receiving the admission stamp to transfer the admission stamp to him. They both got into the club, but only one of them paid. That's not only super cheap, but also disgusting. One of them should definitely reevaluate that friendship &mdash; and see a doctor.</p> <h2>11. Researching an Inexpensive Company vs. Accepting the Lowest Bid</h2> <p>As a homeowner, I sometimes have to hire contractors to do work around the house, and I like to consider all my options. I use sites like Angie's List and Home Advisor to find the right person for the job while also trying to mind my budget. I don't always get the lowest price I was hoping for, but being frugal means making the right decision after considering all factors &mdash; not just saving money.</p> <p>Being cheap in this situation and automatically choosing the lowest bid can go south very quickly, and more times than not it will result in a higher fee in the end because you've had to a hire a second contractor to fix the first contractor's cheap mistakes. Sometimes you have to suck it up and pay a little extra to have it done right the first time. Cheap is a huge headache in this case.</p> <h2>12. Pre-Gaming vs. Smuggling Alcohol Into the Venue</h2> <p>All you twenty-somethings out there can learn a thing or two about the difference between being frugal and being cheap from Alex Zaragoza, a spokesperson for the coupons and deals site <a href="http://www.clicksnm.com/">ClickSNM.com</a>. He brought up a good point about alcohol etiquette when going out. &quot;Having drinks at home before going out at night is frugal,&quot; he says. &quot;Smuggling your own alcohol to a bar is cheap.&quot; You've seen it, I've seen it, and it's embarrassing for all of us every time.</p> <p><em>What are some other instances that tell the difference between being frugal and being cheap? 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/12-ways-to-tell-the-difference-between-being-frugal-and-being-cheap">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/wisdom-from-my-favorite-frugal-tv-character-julius-rock">Wisdom from My Favorite Frugal TV Character - Julius Rock</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/cheap-and-romantic-ideas-for-valentines-day-and-any-other-day-of-the-year">Cheap and Romantic Ideas for Valentine&#039;s Day (And Any Other Day of the Year)</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/additional-smart-frugal-people">Additional smart, frugal people</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/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</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-surprising-budget-habits-of-wealthy-financial-gurus">5 Surprising Budget Habits of Wealthy Financial Gurus</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle cheap frugal too frugal Mon, 03 Nov 2014 17:00:05 +0000 Mikey Rox 1248516 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Wasteful Things That Frugal People Do http://www.wisebread.com/10-wasteful-things-that-frugal-people-do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-wasteful-things-that-frugal-people-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-eating-chinese-takeout-84522101-small.jpg" alt="man eating takeout" title="man eating takeout" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's easy to assume that the more frugal you are, the more money you will save. But it's also possible to get duped into believing you're saving when you are really not. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-red-herrings-money-savers-that-cost-you-in-other-ways?ref=seealso">Frugal Red Herrings: Money Savers That Cost You in Other Ways</a>)</p> <p>Despite the best of intentions, frugal people can sometimes make decisions that are less-than-ideal from a long-term financial perspective&hellip; like these 10 wasteful things that frugal people do.</p> <h2>1. Buy in Bulk Blindly</h2> <p>There is no doubt you can save money over time if you buy certain items in large quantities. Common products that you use on a regular basis, such as toilet paper or cooking oil, are great candidates for bulk buying. But you need to be very careful when buying perishable food items, because anything you don't consume quickly may end up in the trash &mdash; and that's a waste. Also, it's best to avoid buying anything in bulk unless you're sure you like the product. Buying 10 boxes of laundry detergent is fine, but what if you find after the first load that it doesn't clean your clothes very well?</p> <h2>2. Use Coupons Unwisely</h2> <p>If you're frugal, it's a rush to hold that little piece of paper that allows you to buy something for 20% off. Before you go shopping, however, it's best reflect on whether it's a product you planned to purchase anyway. Remember that coupons exist solely to entice consumers to buy certain products. If you're spending money that you wouldn't otherwise spend &mdash; even if it's on a deeply discounted product &mdash; you're not saving money. The only real way to save money is to not spend it.</p> <h2>3. Delay Repairs</h2> <p>Sometimes, spending a little bit of money now can save you from a major bill down the road. If you are super-frugal you may be tempted to ignore that missing shingle on your roof or that leaky faucet. You may delay oil changes and other scheduled maintenance on your car. Though you may save money in the short term, you may end up paying more in the end when you face a massive repair on your home or car.</p> <h2>4. Fail to Seek Quality</h2> <p>The frugal person inside you never wants to spend more than you have to, but that doesn't mean you should always go after the product with the lowest price. Often, the cheapest bicycle in the store is inexpensive because it's made with lower-quality materials, and that could mean it won't hold up on that week-long mountain biking trek you have planned. If you truly want to save money, search for products that offer the best combination of quality and price. You may be better off financially if you spend more money for a product with a long lifespan than a poorly made product that will leave you disappointed.</p> <h2>5. Eat Badly</h2> <p>Eating well can sometimes be a challenge from a financial standpoint. You may feel it's cheaper to buy a couple of McDonald's cheeseburgers than to make a fresh fruit smoothie and a salad. When you don't eat well, you're putting yourself at risk for conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. So in the long run, whatever money you save by eating junk simply goes to medical bills.</p> <p>The good news is that eating well can be inexpensive if you know how to go about it. Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Rely on low-cost fruits and veggies like bananas, tomatoes and cucumbers. For breakfast, enjoy a big bowl of oatmeal with raisins. You can eat healthy and save money, if you try.</p> <h2>6. Keep Too Much Cash in Savings</h2> <p>This seems counterintuitive, but ultra-frugal people can sometimes be ultra-conservative when it comes to investing, preferring to keep more money than they need in low-interest savings accounts. By doing this, they may have peace of mind, but actually are costing themselves thousands of dollars in possible financial gains.</p> <p>It's definitely essential to have an emergency fund, but few financial advisors would advise keeping anything more than a year's worth of living expenses in cash accounts. Be honest with yourself about how much liquid savings you really need, and invest any extra cash in index funds. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-steps-to-getting-started-in-the-stock-market-with-index-funds?ref=seealso">3 Steps to Getting Started Investing With Mutual Funds</a>)</p> <h2>7. Skimp on Insurance</h2> <p>You may be young and in shape, and don't feel the need to spend too much on health insurance. Or you may feel like it's not worth it to spend a lot of money on auto insurance because you never get into car accidents. It's okay to shop around for the best rates, but there is a danger in being under-insured. Even after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which caps the amount people must pay for treatments, patients can be on the hook for thousands of dollars. And if you spend too little on auto or homeowner's insurance, you may find that some things aren't covered under your policies. In the long run, too little insurance could result in higher costs for you.</p> <h2>8. Refuse to Take a Vacation</h2> <p>Many frugal people look at travel as an extravagance. There's no doubt that taking a trip can be expensive, but when you absolutely refuse to take time off of work, you're wasting vacation days. And there is a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/09/04/why-dont-americans-take-vacation-7">growing body of evidence</a> that suggests doing that is bad for you and for your employer.</p> <h2>9. Save Too Much Stuff</h2> <p>You save everything, because you can't bear the thought of throwing something away that still has value. Those old video games. Your record collection. All those crates of kids' clothes. You feel like you might need these things at some point, so you keep them around. But in the long run, are you really saving money? After all, all that stuff might require a bigger house, and maybe even a storage unit with a monthly payment. Real frugality should be about simplifying your life, not holding onto your old stuff.</p> <h2>10. Turn Your Home's Air Conditioning or Heat On and Off</h2> <p>It's logical to think that you should turn off the heat or air conditioning if you're not going to be home. But the reality is that turning your thermostat off and then turning it on when you get home actually uses up more energy. The best way to save money is to have a programmable thermostat that allows you to vary the temperature throughout the day without turning the heat or air conditioning off.</p> <p><em>What other wasteful mistakes do otherwise frugal people make? 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/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-wasteful-things-that-frugal-people-do">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/wisdom-from-my-favorite-frugal-tv-character-julius-rock">Wisdom from My Favorite Frugal TV Character - Julius Rock</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-signs-youre-not-frugal-youre-cheap">6 Signs You&#039;re Not Frugal — You&#039;re Cheap!</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/cheap-and-romantic-ideas-for-valentines-day-and-any-other-day-of-the-year">Cheap and Romantic Ideas for Valentine&#039;s Day (And Any Other Day of the Year)</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/one-pot-roast-a-week-of-cheap-and-delicious-lunches">One Pot Roast, A Week of Cheap and Delicious Lunches</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-that-make-you-look-cheap-without-actually-saving-much-money">7 Things That Make You Look Cheap Without Actually Saving Much Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living cheap frugal saving wasteful Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:00:04 +0000 Tim Lemke 1246794 at http://www.wisebread.com