save time http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/518/all en-US Best Money Tips: How to Add an Extra Hour to Your Day http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-add-an-extra-hour-to-your-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-add-an-extra-hour-to-your-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pocket-watch-time-Dollarphotoclub_64337811.jpg" alt="pocketwatch" title="pocketwatch" 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 how to add an extra hour to your day, how to make your own Shamrock Shake, and the best websites to learn new languages.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://ridiculouslyefficient.com/a-simple-way-to-add-an-extra-hour-to-your-day">A Simple Way to Add an Extra Hour to Your Day</a> &mdash; Use apps like Moment or Break Free to track and limit your smartphone usage. [Ridiculously Efficient]</p> <p><a href="http://momsneedtoknow.com/copycat-shamrock-shake-recipe">Copycat Shamrock Shake Recipe</a> &mdash; Fans of McDonald's Shamrock Shake can indulge in the minty treat all year long by following this easy recipe. [Moms Need to Know]</p> <p><a href="http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/15-outstanding-websites-learn-languages-online/">15 Outstanding Websites to Learn Languages Online</a> &mdash; Duolingo, Memrise, and BBC Languages (as well as many others) are great places to start if you want to learn a new language. [Pick The Brain]</p> <p><a href="http://fitzvillafuerte.com/the-power-of-creating-a-do-not-do-list.html">The Power of Creating a Do-Not-Do List</a> &mdash; A do-not-do list can help you avoid triggers of bad habits and become more productive. [Ready To Be Rich]</p> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Cheapest-Supermarket-Chains-35125732">Which Supermarket Truly Has the Best Deals?</a> &mdash; The total of a typical grocery list will be the lowest if you shop at Costco, but only if buying in bulk makes sense for your household. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/new-economy/2015/0212/Retail-sales-fall-again.-Why-aren-t-Americans-spending-money-video">Retail Sales Fall Again. Why Aren't Americans Spending Money?</a>&nbsp;&mdash; It seems the average consumer isn't quite ready to loosen their purse strings. Instead, Americans are rebuilding their savings and paying down debt. [The Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thepennyhoarder.com/cool-paper-projects-to-make-and-sell-online">Get Crafty: 8 Cool Paper Projects to Make and Sell Online</a> &mdash; You can learn to make bracelets, pendants, and necklaces from online videos. Some intricate paper jewelry can sell for $35 or more on Etsy! [The Penny Hoarder]</p> <p><a href="http://www.shebudgets.com/food-drink/food-recipes/10-fast-inexpensive-food-network-recipes/53541">10 Fast and Inexpensive Food Network Recipes</a> &mdash; Try Rachael Ray's take on the classic Chicken and Dumplings. It's fast, affordable, and delicious! [SheBudgets]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thesimpledollar.com/five-credit-card-reward-myths">Five Credit Card Reward Myths</a> &mdash; With credit card rewards, some parts of your travel will be free, but you still need to pay taxes and other fees. [The Simple Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/10-recipes-for-leftover-roast-chicken">10 Recipes for Leftover Roast Chicken</a> &mdash; You only need leftover roast chicken and five other ingredients to make Baked Cheesy Chicken Egg Rolls!&nbsp;[Parenting Squad]</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-how-to-add-an-extra-hour-to-your-day">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-time-with-batch-processing">10 Ways to Save Time With Batch Processing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills">10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills</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-ways-to-exercise-in-under-5-minutes">15 Ways to Exercise in Under 5 Minutes</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-apps-every-dad-needs">6 Apps Every Dad Needs</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/kill-boredom-with-these-34-fun-and-productive-projects">Kill Boredom With These 34 Fun and Productive Projects</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Productivity best money tips save time Mon, 23 Feb 2015 20:00:07 +0000 Amy Lu 1301694 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Ways to Have a Clean Place Without Cleaning http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-have-a-clean-place-without-cleaning <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-ways-to-have-a-clean-place-without-cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bigstock-Young-Woman-Cleaning-Kitchen-15067109.jpg" alt="Woman cleaning a kitchen" title="Woman cleaning a kitchen" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="173" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you don't enjoy cleaning, tidying up your place may feel like a time-consuming and mind-numbing task. However, there are little tricks you can do to lessen your load and expend less effort toward cleaning yet still have a sparkling clean residence. Here are some ways to have a clean place without cleaning.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Common-Places-People-Forget-Clean-22457639">RELATED:&nbsp;8&nbsp;Common&nbsp;Cleaning Spots People Most Often&nbsp;Miss</a></p> <h3>Everything Has Its Place</h3> <p>Remember that every item has its place in your home, and if it doesn't, find a spot for it. Organize your things and make sure that every time you take something from its rightful place, you're always returning it to where it belongs when you're done using it. You'll prevent clutter from building.</p> <h3>Reduce Your Stuff</h3> <p>If you have less possessions, you'll have less clutter to deal with. Check out our recommendations of <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Things-Throw-Away-21653157">things you should throw away</a> today. Be mindful when shopping and don't buy things you don't need, even if you're tempted to.</p> <h3>Take Off Your Shoes</h3> <p>Taking off your shoes before going into your home may feel strange, but it actually helps minimize cleaning time. You won't have to vacuum up and mop away all the dirt and grime that you've been stepping on all day. It goes without saying that you should also clean your pet's paws before letting them enter your home as well.</p> <h3>Have a Welcome Mat</h3> <p>Get a welcome mat so people can wipe their shoes on it before entering. Even if they are planning on taking off their shoes before coming in, you'll have less to clean if everyone is wiping their shoes off before placing them in your entryway.</p> <h3>Don't Leave Your Windows Open for Too Long</h3> <p>When airing your room, make sure that you're not leaving your windows open for too long or dust will start to collect.</p> <h3>Invest in a Hand Vacuum</h3> <p>This handy cleaning equipment will help cut down on cleaning time. Have a few stray hairs lying around or spilled some glitter from your <a href="http://www.casasugar.com/DIY" title="Latest photos and news for DIY">DIY</a> project? Just suck them up with a hand vacuum, and the mess will be clean in a few seconds. The hand vacuum is an investment that will pay itself off over time.</p> <h3>Cover Your Furniture</h3> <p>You can protect your furniture with some covers so that it'll be protected from any spills or dirt on your clothing. For example, find a nice waterproof tablecloth for your table or invest in a slipcover for your couch that will be easy to throw in the wash.</p> <h3>Buy Disinfectant Wipes</h3> <p>Buy some disinfectant wipes so you can quickly clean up spills or maintain the cleanliness of an area. Using these wipes won't feel like you're cleaning because it takes very minimal effort to do so.</p> <h3>Eat in the Rightful Place</h3> <p>Don't eat snacks all around the house, or you'll find yourself with crumbs and smears on your bed, sofa, or floor. Eat your meal properly while sitting at a table. Don't try to multitask when you're eating, or you'll end up spilling stuff on your clothes.</p> <h3>Carefully Consider Pets</h3> <p>Before you jump into a long-term commitment to a furry friend, make sure that you're accounting for all the messes you'll have to clean up. If you're not keen on continually vacuuming up fur, perhaps consider breeds that don't shed much or ones that are hairless. You could also opt for a lower-maintenance pet such as a fish.</p> <h3>Split Up Chores</h3> <p>Dislike cleaning? Try to trade or split up chores with your roommate or partner. Perhaps you can do the cooking instead of doing the dishes, or grocery shopping instead of vacuuming. Offer to take up other household duties in exchange for getting off scot-free when it comes to cleaning obligations.</p> <p>Do you have any other tricks that help you lessen your cleaning time? Share them in the comments!</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Hate cleaning? Don&#039;t do it! OK, you&#039;ll never be able to avoid cleaning entirely, but if you follow these tips, you can drastically reduce your scrubbing time. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Make-Household-Appliances-More-Efficient-22556863">6 Ways to Reduce Your Energy Bill While Cleaning</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Cleaning-Schedule-Apartments-22425976">Cleaning Schedule for Apartment Dwellers</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Clean-Closet-22346903">How to Clean Our Your Closet</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-have-a-clean-place-without-cleaning">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/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</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/dishwasher-smells-bad-heres-how-to-fix-it">Dishwasher Smells Bad? Here&#039;s How to Fix It</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/from-clammy-to-clean-9-ways-to-fight-mildew">From Clammy to Clean: 9 Ways to Fight Mildew</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/101-little-things-you-can-fix-right-now">101 Little Things You Can Fix Right Now!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips chores cleaning save time Mon, 16 Apr 2012 10:24:08 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 918818 at http://www.wisebread.com Why I Love Gift Cards: 5 Reasons Gift Cards Make Perfect Holiday Gifts http://www.wisebread.com/why-i-love-gift-cards-5-reasons-gift-cards-make-perfect-holiday-gifts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-i-love-gift-cards-5-reasons-gift-cards-make-perfect-holiday-gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/guy_with_gift_card2.jpg" alt="Man with gift card" title="Man with gift card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="168" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Gift cards tend to have a bad reputation, perhaps because the receiver thinks they are too impersonal. But I would much rather get a gift card (or cash) than something I can't use or clothing that doesn't fit. There's nothing worse than having to return a gift. Not only can it be a hassle, but it's also difficult to explain to your aunt why you aren't wearing that argyle sweater vest she gave you for Christmas.</p> <p>If you are looking for that perfect gift, here are a five reasons gift cards can make life easier for you and the person receiving. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-you-should-give-kids-cash-for-the-holidays">5 Reasons Why You Should Give Kids Cash for the Holidays</a>)</p> <h3>1. Gift Cards Guarantee Gifts People Will Love</h3> <p>Whether you are buying a gift card from someone's favorite clothing store or giving free downloads from iTunes to the music lover in your life, gift cards guarantee that people will love what you give them. They have the freedom to pick out whatever they want, and you are relieved of the stress of finding something perfect for everyone. Gift cards are also ideal if you are buying for in-laws you don't know that well. Amazon sells everything from books to kitchen sinks, so purchasing gift cards from a general retailer will also help guarantee that there's something for everyone, even the picky people in your life.</p> <h3>2. They Save Money and Time</h3> <p>If you are purchasing gifts for a lot of people &mdash; a dozen or more nieces and nephews for instance &mdash; you can budget a dollar amount for each card. This also prevents arguments over which cousin got the better gift, because everyone gets the same amount of money. And it saves you the time shopping for each person. Plus, even if you get a gift receipt, returning gifts can be a headache, especially right after the holidays when customer service lines are backed up to the entrance of the store.</p> <h3>3. You Can Buy Gifts Without Leaving Home</h3> <p>You don't even have to leave your house to do your holiday shopping thanks to the convenience of the Internet. Most stores offer online gift cards, and you can personalize them with graphics and personal messages. A lot of retailers even have an option to email an electronic gift card to someone, which is convenient for you, and it helps the receiver keep track of the card. If you are one of those last-minute shoppers, you can send an e-gift card at any time, even on holidays when most stores are closed.</p> <h3>4. They Make Giving and Receiving More Fun</h3> <p>Personally, I don't shop for myself that much because I don't put aside a lot of money in my budget for it. But if someone gave me a gift card to my favorite kitchen store, I can think of nothing I'd like to do more than wander around looking at iron woks and sharpening stones. If you know the person well, you will know exactly the stores where they would most like to shop. There's also the option of giving movie gift cards, or buying a card from someone's favorite restaurant. It's always nice to know that you are giving something loved ones will enjoy picking out for themselves, and treating someone to dinner and a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free">movie</a> is always appreciated.</p> <h3>5. Gift Cards Can Be Practical</h3> <p>For practical people who never spend money on themselves, give them a gift card from a place where they can purchase something they need, or may not have the money for. I would gladly accept a $50 gift card for groceries, for instance. Don't forget pet owners could always use more cat litter or dog food. And for that hard-to-buy-for person in your life, money is always an option.</p> <p>Don't spend all your time waiting in lines and being choosy over gifts this holiday season. Save yourself the trouble and just go for the gift card. It will make everyone happy, including your wallet.</p> <p><em>How do you feel about gift cards? Are there other reasons you like giving them? Discuss in the comments section below.<br /> </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-watson">Ashley Watson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-i-love-gift-cards-5-reasons-gift-cards-make-perfect-holiday-gifts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-gift-card-scam-of-2011-don-t-be-a-victim">The Gift Card Scam of 2011: Don’t Be a Victim</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/30-cash-back-sites-to-earn-you-thousands-per-year">30+ Cash Back Sites to Earn You Thousands Per 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/how-to-use-up-remaining-balances-on-prepaid-gift-cards">How to Use Up Remaining Balances on Prepaid Gift Cards</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-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</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/what-can-you-do-with-unwanted-gift-cards">What Can You Do With Unwanted Gift Cards?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping gift cards holiday gifts save time Wed, 14 Dec 2011 10:48:17 +0000 Ashley Watson 822782 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Frugal Compromises http://www.wisebread.com/12-frugal-compromises <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-frugal-compromises" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/subway_ride.jpg" alt="Woman waiting for subway" title="Woman waiting for subway" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="158" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When we talk about frugality, it can be easy to get into an &quot;all or nothing&quot; mentality. Our two options are to eat a big meal out or cook at home. To have a lot of stuff or pare down all of our possessions to the very basics. But the reality is that there are a lot of savings compromises that can be made &mdash; frugal things you can do that, while they may not save you as much money as other efforts, might also save you time, make you happier, or make your life easier. Here are 12 frugal compromises to consider. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-agree-without-compromise">How to Agree Without Compromise</a>)</p> <h3>1. Buy Part of Your Meal Already Prepared</h3> <p>If you're running short on time, buy part of your meal already prepared and cook the rest. Rotisserie chickens are especially popular for this, but also consider things like side salads, bread, dessert, or even a pizza that you could pair with a salad.</p> <h3>2. Hire Moving Helpers</h3> <p>One way that I've come to define adulthood is owning furniture that I cannot conceivably move on my own. But instead of booking movers for my most recent move, I simply rented a U-Haul and hired moving helpers for two hours to load and unload the items I could not carry myself. I saved at least $150 over hiring movers (maybe more &mdash; the estimates I received were in the very broad range of $350 to $900!), and I didn't have to worry about being unable to rally strong friends ot help with the heaviest items.</p> <h3>3. Meet Somewhere Cheap for Dinner</h3> <p>Going out to eat doesn't need to be a fancy affair. Meet at a diner, sandwich shop, or somewhere else that's not too expensive.</p> <h3>4. Buy New Accessories</h3> <p>Add pizazz to your wardrobe with tights, a brightly colored belt, chunky necklace, or other inexpensive statement accessories.</p> <h3>5. Drink Cheap Beer...or Just One Nice Beverage</h3> <p>Personally, I go back and forth on cheap beer &mdash; I'm not above (and, especially on hot days, legitimately enjoy) beers like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-we-are-sayingis-give-pabst-a-chance">PBR</a> and Corona. But I also appreciate a well-crafted cocktail. The trick when ordering a fancy drink is to keep it to just one.</p> <h3>6. Hire a Cleaner Once a Month</h3> <p>Save time on house cleaning by hiring a house cleaner to do a deep clean once a month. You'll only need to do the more surface-level, day-to-day cleaning.</p> <h3>7. Don't Take the Car...Sometimes</h3> <p>All of the &quot;take public transit&quot; yammering can get old if you need to have your car for work, family, or other reasons. But you don't have to take your car all the time. Save on gas, parking, and wear and tear by carpooling, taking public transit, walking, or biking.</p> <h3>8. Get Takeout Instead of Delivery</h3> <p>When you get food delivered, you should give the driver a full tip (seriously...please tip the driver). But if you pick up takeout yourself, all you need to pay for is the food, plus maybe a buck or two.</p> <h3>9. Rearrange the Furniture and Buy One New Thing</h3> <p>Give a room in your house new life by rearranging the furniture and buying one new thing &mdash; art, a rug, a lamp, a slipcover, or even a small piece of furniture &mdash; to tie the new scheme together.</p> <h3>10. Have a Coffee Treat Day</h3> <p>By now, most of us have heard about the &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-keeping-your-latte-factor-will-help-you-save-money">latte factor</a>&quot; &mdash; the idea that small savings, like making coffee at home, can really add up. But you don't need to do it every day. Choose a coffee treat day for yourself when you'll get a coffee from the coffee shop &mdash; whether it's to ease yourself into the workweek on Monday or treat yourself for making it through on Friday.</p> <h3>11. Trim Your Own Bangs</h3> <p>If you have the skills to fully cut your own hair, by all means do it. (I cut my own hair for several years, although it left me for a bit with a style that could only be worn one way and could occasionally be described as &quot;proto-mullet.&quot;) But even if you're a klutz with scissors, it's probably within your power to give your bangs a trim, extending the time between haircuts.</p> <h3>12. Use Disposables Alongside Reusables</h3> <p>Doing all of your cleaning with paper towels or all of your food storage in one-time-use bags is just wasteful. But sometimes those tools are helpful, which is why I fully believe that disposable zipper-lock bags can live in harmony with your use-again Tupperware, just as paper towels have their time and place in conjunction with rags.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite frugal compromises?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-frugal-compromises">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/flashback-friday-51-easy-ways-to-live-a-happier-life">Flashback Friday: 51 Easy Ways to Live a Happier Life</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/are-you-frugal-or-cheap">Are You Frugal or 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/a-prairie-farmer-s-meal-plan-eat-for-a-buck-or-two-a-day">A Prairie Farmer’s Meal Plan: Eat for a Buck or Two a Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-life-hacks-for-college-students-or-anyone-else-trying-to-save-money">15 Life Hacks for College Students (or Anyone Else Trying to Save Money)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pay-attention">Pay attention</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Cheap Food cheap treats compromise happiness save time Tue, 06 Sep 2011 10:24:19 +0000 Meg Favreau 691078 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Save Time With Batch Processing http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-time-with-batch-processing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-save-time-with-batch-processing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bills_with_cat3.jpg" alt="Cat with paperwork" title="Cat with paperwork" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="161" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The one thing virtually everyone can agree on is that there's not enough time in the day. By engaging in &quot;batch processing,&quot; or lining up repetitious tasks at certain times, you can get hours of your life back each month. Here are just a few examples of where batch processing helps me save time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-efficient-ways-to-boost-productivity">5 Efficient Ways to Boost Productivity</a>)</p> <h2>1. Bills</h2> <p>I really don't like paying bills. It doesn't add any value, it reminds me about money going OUT instead of in, and it's repetitious. For that reason, I've actually tried to time all my incoming bills and due dates so I can pay all my bills just once per month. You can actually ask your credit card companies and many other recurring billing outfits to shift your due date to a particular date. In doing so, if you have all your bills due on say, the 10th of the month, that will allow ample time for an end-of-month paycheck to come in, and you can then pay all your bills at once. The act of logging on to my online banking, getting out the checkbook and calculator, and doing the payments is much more efficient when done all at once rather than multiple times per month.</p> <h2>2. Snail Mail</h2> <p>The dreaded postal routine. There are few things I find to be more annoying than having to dig out an envelope and mail something. Inevitably though, I still have to do this a few times per month for anything from one-off medical bill payments to paying our kids' speech instructor. Each time we do this, it requires writing a check, finding an envelope, writing out the address, and so on. By leaving these types of bills in one spot and hitting them once per month (often the same night as my online bill payment ritual), it saves me time elsewhere in the month.</p> <h2>3. Blogging</h2> <p>I know I have room for improvement in the blogging efficiency category, but I have been able to achieve some improvements in my output through batch processing my tasks. I tend to write at least two posts instead of just one when I have a nice block of time to work. If I only have a few minutes here and there, I focus on administrative tasks like email, Twitter, and following up with advertisers. By splitting out my large blocks and small blocks and doing at least two articles a few nights a week, it ensures I can take a couple nights a week off and still hit all my freelance commitments while keeping my blogs current.</p> <h2>4. Homework</h2> <p>When I was in college and, more recently, pursuing my MBA, I would batch process my reading and homework assignments. I'd always try to identify large one-to-two hour blocks and crank out a lot of work for a particular subject, get that off the list, and then move on to something else. One of the biggest productivity killers is jumping from subject to subject, which is a subtle form of procrastination.</p> <h2>5. Investing</h2> <p>One of the biggest mistakes investors make is starting late. So, I started investing early, but I used to spend a lot of time researching and managing my investments. Now I've put virtually everything on autopilot, and I only set aside a little time each month to research new individual stocks and make a new trade. I do my net worth calculation just once per month, and in eliminating a lot of unnecessary distractions, research, and transactions, I'm getting the same performance with less time invested.</p> <h2>6. Housework</h2> <p>Admittedly, I'm not the biggest achiever in this department, but I do have some routine chores I help out with. And I pretty much own everything outside the house. So, I always try to lump all my outside activities together in the same day. If I'm going to have to dig out the old shoes, the headphones, and sunglasses to mow the lawn, I might as well hit the weeds, fertilize the lawn, power wash, or whatever else is on the list. I'd much rather get it all done in a large block on a Saturday than allow it to build up or have to spend a little time each weeknight gearing up and cleaning off.</p> <h2>7. Running Errands</h2> <p>I always try to limit trips out of the house. Not only does this <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-0-54-per-gallon-on-gas">save on gas</a>, but it saves me time. My wife tends to go out virtually daily, but I think this is more a function of being a stay-at-home mom and wanting to mix up the routine than anything else. I'll always try to gang an oil change with getting gas, hitting the bank, a rare shopping trip, or whatever else I have to get done. The mere act of going out to the car, leaving the neighborhood, and getting into town is a big time waster.</p> <h2>8. Reading Blogs </h2> <p>During a lunch break, at night, or whenever you spend some time on the web, it's much more efficient to check out a lot of stories at once via Twitter or RSS rather than &quot;grazing.&quot; You can even parse out the type of articles you're going to check out with different tabs in your RSS reader or with lists in Twitter. In doing so, you can get a lot of great content from your favorite outlets in a short period of time and then go about your day and be efficient elsewhere after a little downtime. Spending the day jumping from site to site and following bookmarks is no way to efficiently read the latest and greatest on the web.</p> <h2>9. Holiday Cards and Gifts</h2> <p>This might sound trivial, but think about it. In the month of May alone, we had our anniversary, Mother's Day, and my wife's birthday. You know when it's the day before your spouse's birthday, you have to run out of work a few minutes early to pick up a card, and then you realize you forgot to get one from the kids? Not only did this waste your time, but it probably cost you more money because you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-convenience-is-screwing-your-finances">paid for convenience</a> by going to the closest place. What I like to do is buy several months worth of cards for holidays and stash them in my glove compartment. I had each card ready for each occasion in May, signed and everything! Now that's efficiency!</p> <h2>10. Other Areas</h2> <p>Take inventory of all the activities that you spend at least 10 minutes on multiple times per month. Are there areas for consolidation? Just like paying all your bills at once or cutting down on the number of times you run your errands, surely there are other activities specific to your life that aren't captured here. If you need to, take a notepad around with you for a few weeks to identify new tasks to batch process.</p> <p><em>What are some activities you batch process?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/darwins-money">Darwins Money</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-time-with-batch-processing">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/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Easy Organizing Changes You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-checklists-will-make-your-life-better">These Checklists Will Make Your Life Better</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-10-best-productivity-apps-for-really-busy-people-like-you">The 10 Best Productivity Apps for Really Busy People Like You</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-time-management-skills-that-will-help-your-kid-win-at-school">10 Time-Management Skills That Will Help Your Kid Win at School</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-sluggish-workday-go-a-lot-faster">How to Make Your Sluggish Workday Go (a Lot) Faster</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization Productivity batch save time time management Wed, 01 Jun 2011 10:36:13 +0000 Darwins Money 558122 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways Money Can Buy Happiness http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-money-can-buy-happiness <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-money-can-buy-happiness" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy.jpg" alt="Happy" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="161" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I think we can agree that the pursuit of money won&rsquo;t make you happier. However, in my experience, if it&rsquo;s spent the right way, money <em>can</em> help you enhance the things in life that do make you happy. Here are five things I&rsquo;ve spent money on that could help raise your happiness index.</p> <h2>Saving Time</h2> <p>One of my favorite things about our modern economy is how specialization means you can find an expert to help you out with almost any problem you run into. As you can probably tell from my <a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/angies-list-review/">Angie's List review</a>, I&rsquo;m a big fan of the service and have used it to hire contractors for many big jobs around the house.</p> <p>If you can pay someone to do a job in a few hours that would have taken you most of the weekend, that&rsquo;s money well spent in my book. Of course, you have to balance the costs against the time saved and what you do with your re-claimed time.</p> <p>In my case, I&rsquo;m not particularly great with home improvement or maintenance work, so the time and money I save by <a href="../../../../../when-it-pays-to-call-in-the-experts">hiring an expert</a> more than pays for the expert's fee. I typically spend my re-claimed time hanging out with my kids, then working on my online business once they&rsquo;re in bed. To me, that&rsquo;s a better life investment.</p> <h2>Saving Money</h2> <p>If you can spend money in order to save money within a reasonable payback time, then you&rsquo;ll come out ahead.</p> <p>So how can saving money make you happier in life?&nbsp;One good example is <a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/mortgage-refinancing-mistakes/">refinancing your mortgage</a>. You&rsquo;ll have to pay hundreds or even thousands in fees and closing costs, but refinancing can free up tens of thousands of dollars that would have been spent in <a href="../../../../../diy-mortgage-acceleration">mortgage interest</a> over the next 15-30 years. The money you save in interest can be used to go on vacation, help send your kids to college, retire early, or spent on whatever you&rsquo;re passionate about in life.</p> <h2>Making Money</h2> <p>I&rsquo;ve spent a lot of money over the years learning how to improve my investments, career, and business.</p> <p>On the low end of the price spectrum, you can pick up a lot of great actionable information simply from reading books. If you&rsquo;re willing to spend a little more, you can buy courses or tools to help you learn or give you an edge. On the high end, you can get personalized assistance by hiring a coach or going back to school.</p> <p>If you can learn to <a href="../../../../../making-extra-cash">make money</a> more effectively and/or more efficiently, then you can reduce the number of total hours you spend focused on money and use that time doing other things you enjoy.</p> <h2>Providing Protection</h2> <p>I definitely don&rsquo;t enjoy paying for insurance, but having coverage to protect my family against the <a href="../../../../../universal-life-insurance-and-whole-life-insurance-a-comparison">financial challenges of catastrophic events</a> can certainly help me sleep better at night.&nbsp;I&rsquo;m not using that as a figure of speech either. I&rsquo;ve experienced first-hand how the strain of worrying can have an impact on your health, your relationships, and your ability to sleep.</p> <p>There are, unfortunately, plenty of opportunities to spend more than you really need to on insurance, so shop carefully. Having at least a minimal level of coverage to guard against the worst case can give you the security you need not to worry.</p> <p>Insurance is the most obvious example of providing protection, but it can also be something simpler like buying your teenager a cell phone so they can call you in an emergency.</p> <h2>Making Informed Decisions</h2> <p>Big decisions make us uncomfortable before we make them, when we make them, and after they're made. Not only do they stress us out while we're trying to decide what to do, but we also have to live with the results of our decisions.</p> <p>Some decisions have larger consequences than others (for example, remodeling your house versus <a href="../../../../../the-10-step-staircase-to-a-comfortable-retirement">planning your retirement</a>). But all big decisions have one thing in common: risk.</p> <p>The risk of picking the wrong paint and carpet when you remodel your house is that it could end up looking terrible. The risk of planning your retirement yourself is that you may put yourself in unnecessary financial risk, pay more taxes than necessary, or overlook opportunities.</p> <p>The scope of both risks is different, but they each have associated costs. The cost of bad decorating is you can either pay to have it redone, or decide to live with it and worry about it someday when you sell your house. The cost of poor retirement planning is that you have less money when you reach retirement age.</p> <p>My wife and I paid money to help reduce our risk when we made both of these decisions. The $50 we paid the interior decorator to give us feedback on our home remodeling was much cheaper than paying to have the paint/carpet redone, and the few hundred we paid a financial planner to review our retirement investments right after we got married was more than paid for by the long-term impact of the advice she gave us on tax issues and diversifying.</p> <p>How does this make us happy? In terms of remodeling, we're very pleased with the way it turned out. We didn't have to pay money to re-paint the house, and I don't have to console my wife about the ugly carpet for the next 10 years. And even though our nest egg takes a hit when the market stumbles, our diversification definitely helps to cushion the fall and makes us feel secure we&rsquo;ll have the money when we're ready to retire someday.</p> <h2>What's Your Take?<strong><br /> </strong></h2> <p>Can you think of any other ways that spending money can help make you happier? Or do you think you can't &quot;buy happiness&quot; and that the pursuit of money is the root of all evil?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ben-edwards">Ben Edwards</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-money-can-buy-happiness">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/11-ways-to-have-a-clean-place-without-cleaning">11 Ways to Have a Clean Place Without Cleaning</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-money-really-can-buy-happiness">6 Ways Money Really Can Buy Happiness</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-negotiating-skills-everyone-should-master">8 Negotiating Skills Everyone Should Master</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-times-you-should-never-feel-guilty-at-work">8 Times You Should Never Feel Guilty at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-your-hair-for-cash">How to Sell Your Hair for Cash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips buy happiness make decisions save time Sat, 30 Oct 2010 17:00:09 +0000 Ben Edwards 273705 at http://www.wisebread.com Save time, money, energy, and eat great http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-money-energy-and-eat-great <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-time-money-energy-and-eat-great" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pressure-cooker.jpg" alt="Pressure Cooker" title="Pressure Cooker" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="160" height="92" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Depending on how old you are, your mother or grandmother probably had one of these: a pressure cooker. (She probably also had a story of one exploding, which may be why they're not so common any more.) They're great tools, though, for quick home cooking. And they don't blow up any more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pressure-cookers">The 5 Best Pressure Cookers</a>)</p> <p>This summer I talked my wife into getting a pressure cooker. (She'd heard stories of them exploding from her grandmother as well, so it took a few years.) We ended up getting a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000H89P8I?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisbre08-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B000H89P8I">Kuhn Rikon Duromatic 3.7-Quart Pressure Cooker</a>, which seemed to have a couple of extra safety features, although I'm sure any modern one would be safe.</p> <p>I'd wanted one just because I'm a midwestern boy and like my green beans thoroughly cooked, which takes a long time in a pan but only about three minutes in a pressure cooker. Since it was hot this summer, my wife went ahead and used the pressure cooker for a few other dishes--it cooks so quickly, it doesn't heat the kitchen up as much--and we were surprised to find the food turned out better. That prompted me to do a bit of research on pressure cookers.</p> <h2>Quick Physics Lesson</h2> <p>Remember from science class when they mentioned that the boiling point of water was 212&deg;F at sea level? They had to mention the bit about sea level, because the boiling point of water depends on the air pressure. Inside a pressure cooker the pressure doubles, which raises the boiling point to 250&deg;F. Higher temperature equals faster cooking.</p> <h2>Not Just Faster Cooking</h2> <p>A pressure cooker cuts the cooking time by two-thirds to three-quarters, saving time, money, and energy. They also make cheaper food taste great--they even make it healthier.</p> <h3>Save money</h3> <p>Besides the energy savings, you can also save money on ingredients. The heat and pressure combine to soften the fibers in foods, so tough cuts of meat come out wonderfully tender.</p> <h3>Save energy</h3> <p>The energy savings isn't much on a per-meal basis--not enough to balance the energy cost of making a large metal pot--but the cooker is an <em>investment</em> in energy savings. Cook with it day after day, week after week, and the energy savings add up. And there's no reason a pressure cooker can't last a generation or two. This is the sort of thing I was talking about last month when I suggested that you <a href="/fix-energy-in-tangible-form">fix energy in tangible form</a>.</p> <p>As I mentioned, you also don't heat up the kitchen so much on hot days, which saves energy--and money--on air conditioning.</p> <h3>Great food</h3> <p>Ever noticed how some foods--stews, sauces, and the like--taste better as leftovers than when they were first served? The flavors just meld better after they're chilled and then reheated. Well, the pressure cooker gives you that flavor for the first serving. The pressure and the higher heat get the melding to happen faster.</p> <p>Food cooked in a pressure cooker is also more nutritious. It's cooked with less liquid, which helps. Also, sealed in the cooker, it's less exposed to oxygen, so less of the vitamins and healthful pigments are lost in cooking.</p> <h2>Safety</h2> <p>My mom and grandmother both had stories of pressure cookers blowing up. Their stories were of accidents of the messy rather than dangerous variety, but they still gave one pause. Happily, the safety of pressure cookers has been considerably improved. (You never hear of them blowing up any more, and it's not just because hardly anyone uses them any more.) They have better valves, backup valves, and the seals are designed to let excess pressure escape rather than hold it in until there's an explosion.</p> <p>There are plenty of good <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/search?ie=UTF8&amp;keywords=pressure%20cooker&amp;tag=wisbre08-20&amp;index=books&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325">books on cooking with pressure cookers</a> (and a new pressure cooker will come with a recipe book to get you started), but just a little experience using the pressure cooker will let you easily adapt your own favorite recipes for pressure cooking: Use a little less liquid, use cheaper cuts of meat, don't cook as long, and expect tender, flavorful food.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-money-energy-and-eat-great">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/the-best-cooking-oils-for-your-heart-and-wallet">The Best Cooking Oils: For Your Heart and Wallet</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/waste-not-want-not-stop-throwing-away-your-food">Waste Not, Want Not: Stop Throwing Away Your Food!</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/teach-yourself-to-cook">Teach yourself to cook</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-with-100-tomatoes">What to Do With 100 Tomatoes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies">Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Green Living Cooking frugal pressure cooker recipes save time time saving Wed, 12 Sep 2007 15:36:58 +0000 Philip Brewer 1154 at http://www.wisebread.com Tattoo removal on the cheap...just use a Black & Decker Sander. http://www.wisebread.com/tattoo-removal-on-the-cheap-just-use-a-black-decker-sander <p><font size="1"><a href="http://www.break.com/"></a></font><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/772718_tattoo.jpg" alt="tatt" title="tatt" width="262" height="300" /> <p>This one takes the cake. I&#39;ve heard of cheap, home solutions to possible expensive cosmetic procedures, but isn&#39;t this going a little too far? It&#39;s certainly not for the squeamish or people of a sensitive disposition.</p> <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://embed.break.com/MjkyNjUy" /><embed src="http://embed.break.com/MjkyNjUy" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="350"></embed></object><p><font size=1><a href="http://www.break.com/index/low-budget-tattoo-removal.html">Low Budget Tattoo Removal</a> - Watch more <a href="http://www.break.com/">free videos</a></font> <p><strong>Please note.</strong> I&#39;m not endorsing this, just as I wouldn&#39;t endorse using acid to remove a tattoo, or swallowing a tapeworm to achieve cheap and easy weight loss. As a frugal reporter on the front line of the money-saving war, some things just have to be reported.</p> <p>Nuff Said.</p> <p>Photo by <a href="http://www.sxc.hu/photo/772718">The Stock Exchange</a> . Video by some seriously screwed-up folks. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tattoo-removal-on-the-cheap-just-use-a-black-decker-sander">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/my-favorite-electronic-gadget-hacks">My favorite electronic gadget 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-magic-marker-money-safe">The Magic Marker Money Safe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty cheap DIY easy home remedy painful save money save time tattoo tattoo removal Sun, 13 May 2007 05:06:09 +0000 Paul Michael 639 at http://www.wisebread.com Finally - the time-saving, money-saving, sanity-saving 4 in 1 price checker toolbar. Phew. http://www.wisebread.com/finally-the-time-saving-money-saving-sanity-saving-4-in-1-price-checker-toolbar-phew <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/714021_find_money.jpg" alt="find money" title="find money" width="300" height="224" /></p> <p>There&#39;s one problem I have with being a thrifty shopper. Well, one big problem anyway. And it&#39;s that I always feel like there could be a better bargain somewhere else. I get buyer&#39;s guilt that I&#39;ve overpaid, even when I&#39;ve saved 90%. Because maybe, just maybe, I could have saved 95%. Or, 99% (the magic number...I have yet to see it).</p> <p>Anyway, recently my life was made an awful lot easier by those clever techno wizards at <a href="http://howtobewebsmart.com">howtobewebsmart.com</a> . They&#39;ve come up with a cool Firefox Toolbar gadget that allows you to search for prices on 4 well-known sites at the same time. That&#39;s right. One search does it all. </p> <p><strong>&quot;What are the four sites?&quot; </strong>I hear you ask. Well, they&#39;re small. Tiny. <strong>Ebay, Amazon, Shopping.com and Shopzilla.com</strong>. I&#39;m sure you may have at least heard of them, they&#39;ve been around a while. </p> <p>All you need to do his click on this <a href="http://howtobewebsmart.com/UltimatePricechecker.html">golden link right here</a> and you&#39;ll be taken directly to the web page with all the simple, easy instructions and the rest, as they say, is a piece of cake. Just download the plugin and get shopping. </p> <p>Another great feature of this tool, which I now use daily, is that the results from each store are brought up in a new tab on Firefox. So, you can continue to compare and contrast each deal with ease. Sweet. Right now, howtobewebsmart.com is also asking for additional ideas for sites that could be put into the price checker search engine (personally, I&#39;d recommend Froogle but it&#39;s disappeared...it&#39;s now know as Google Products).</p> <p>The 4in1 price checker is top stuff. It&#39;s a time-saver. It&#39;s a no-brainer. And it&#39;s simple. (I wish I&#39;d thought of it.) Many thanks to Kesav Mohan from howtobewebsmart.com for bringing this to our attention. Kesav, keep those frugal tools coming. We love &#39;em. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/finally-the-time-saving-money-saving-sanity-saving-4-in-1-price-checker-toolbar-phew">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/55-ways-i-saved-or-considered-saving-time-and-money-planning-my-wedding">55 Ways I Saved (or Considered Saving) Time and Money Planning my Wedding</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/cheapismcom-where-cheap-is-chic">Cheapism.com: Where Cheap is Chic</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/3-proven-ways-to-save-real-money-at-garage-sales">3 Proven Ways to Save Real Money at Garage Sales</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/get-a-deal-every-time-you-shop-with-these-tools">Get a Deal Every Time You Shop with These Tools</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/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily">Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Comparison shopping Firefox gadget howtobewebsmart.com mutli-tool save money save time Toolbar Thu, 26 Apr 2007 01:15:49 +0000 Paul Michael 563 at http://www.wisebread.com 55 Ways I Saved (or Considered Saving) Time and Money Planning my Wedding http://www.wisebread.com/55-ways-i-saved-or-considered-saving-time-and-money-planning-my-wedding <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/55-ways-i-saved-or-considered-saving-time-and-money-planning-my-wedding" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000042378378_Large_0.jpg" alt="couple wedding day" title="couple wedding day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>One gorgeous wedding, one &ldquo;flashed by so fast I can barely remember it&rdquo; reception, and one glorious, relaxing honeymoon later, I&rsquo;m back. It was fabulous. Truly fabulous. Sure, it had its glitches and panicked moments, but the memories I have in my mind are of being surrounded by people I love on one of the most important days of my life, and those I&rsquo;ll cherish forever.</p> <p>On a more practical note, I started totaling the receipts from the whole affair yesterday, and was pleasantly surprised by what the numbers appear to be saying. I can&rsquo;t tell for sure yet (since the bills haven&rsquo;t gone through for everything yet), but I think we did pretty well. How? Keep reading. Where we used a strategy, I tried to note it. Others were suggestions we pursued, and that would have saved us money, but that we rejected for one reason or another.</p> <h2>Before You Plan</h2> <h3>1. Decide Between Time and Money&nbsp;</h3> <p>This is what you're weighing when you're deciding whether to hire a professional wedding planner, or DIY the whole thing. You can save time and hire someone to do most of the legwork for you, or you can do it yourself and avoid paying a planner&rsquo;s fees. Your time, your money, your choice. I did it myself, and wouldn&rsquo;t have it any other way. Then again, I also like to be in control. Go figure.</p> <h3>2. Decide What&rsquo;s Important</h3> <p>Where do you want to spend your money? On what? What have you dreamed about having in your wedding for so long that to forego it would make the very event something other than a wedding? For me, these were my dress, my pictures, and my flowers.</p> <h3>3. Decide What&rsquo;s Not Important</h3> <p>There&rsquo;s a lot of hype surrounding weddings. One trip to a wedding convention, or even a perusal through a wedding magazine, will give you multiple introductions to the wedding industry, also known as those people who try to make you want stuff for your wedding so bad you&rsquo;ll pay outrageous prices for it. Beat them at their game by deciding what you won&rsquo;t spend money on. Mine? Cake, church decorations, and the reception.</p> <h3>4. Prioritize What&rsquo;s Important</h3> <p>Even among the important things (or if everything&rsquo;s important), impose some sort of hierarchy. What is necessary? What would be wonderful but isn&rsquo;t necessary? What can go, if push comes to shove? My list: dress, pictures, flowers, cake, reception, church decorations.</p> <h3>5. Purchase a &ldquo;Bargain&rdquo; Book (But Only One)</h3> <p>These really are helpful, particularly if you shop wisely and select one that has good information for your area and on the topics that are most important to you. I lost my planning book somewhere in the process (after its main period of usefulness and before I moved), so I can&rsquo;t tell you what it was. Do only buy one, though&hellip;they tend to be repetitive, and could create a substantial hole in your budget. Better yet, borrow one from a friend (or get her to give it to you &mdash; like she needs it anymore).</p> <h3>6. Find a Planner That Will Work for You</h3> <p>Depending on what you chose in number one, this either means a person or a book. Either way, choose someone/something you can work with, and whose interpersonal skills/interface works for you. I ended up making my own, out of a notebook and some plastic dividers, because I couldn&rsquo;t find one that didn&rsquo;t A.) Stress me out entirely, B.) Confuse the crap out of me, or C.) Make me want to puke with the number of pastel flowers on its cover. Sure, it&rsquo;s an initial expense, but most of them let you see how much you&rsquo;re spending in different areas and allow you to budget easier.</p> <h3>7. Decide on the &ldquo;Look&rdquo; and &ldquo;Feel&rdquo; of Your Wedding</h3> <p>This keeps you from buying things that later don&rsquo;t fit with what you want. Do you want something casual or formal? Classic or trendy? Carefree or chic? Mine was casual, laid-back, and carefree, while still being simple and elegant.</p> <h3>8. Determine How Much You Can Spend</h3> <p>This can be a little awkward and unwieldy, what with your money, your fiance&rsquo;s money, any money from parents or other relatives who want to contribute, and any investments you might be including. However, it&rsquo;s worthwhile to do early on so you don&rsquo;t get your heart set on something you just can&rsquo;t afford or find that you can&rsquo;t have ANY flowers because you already chose such an elaborate cake.</p> <h3>9. Make a Budget&hellip;But Make Your OWN Budget</h3> <p>Many bridal services will tell you that you should spend a certain percentage of your available wedding funds on X, another percentage on Y, and yet another on Z. I tried this, but it didn&rsquo;t work. I spent WAY more on my dress than I should have, given my budget, but WAY less than they recommended for my reception. But I spent based on my priorities, and I was happy with the results.</p> <h3>10. Find People to Whom You Can Delegate</h3> <p>If you find them at the beginning, you won&rsquo;t have to find them at the end. And they&rsquo;re essential. Give them a little something special for helping out.</p> <h3>11. Laugh a Little</h3> <p>Seriously, relax. I realized part of the way though my planning process that A) I was going to have a wedding and B) I was just going to have a wedding. It wasn&rsquo;t going to be the social event of the year, but it didn&rsquo;t have to be. Consequently, I laughed a lot more and did things the way I wanted them done, not the way I hoped others would like. My way was cheaper and more relaxed.</p> <h2>Clothes</h2> <h3>12. Research, Research, Research!</h3> <p>I got my dress for several hundred dollars less than retail, because I spent several hours (spread out) researching it and the places I could buy it. It was perfect, and I didn&rsquo;t have to spend a fortune.</p> <h3>13. Rent</h3> <p>This is especially great if you have children in your wedding party. Don't bother shelling out for their little tuxes and dressed &mdash; rent them. My ring bearer wore a rented tux, and was cute as anything.</p> <h3>14. Make Your Own</h3> <p>If you are a seamstress, or know someone who is, make your own clothes, particularly for the flower girls. There are a million cheap and easy patterns out there, and cute material goes on sale quite often. My mom made my flower girl dresses, and they were darling.</p> <h3>15. Shop Fabric/Craft Store Sales</h3> <p>At the end of a season, these stores sell all the fabric that&rsquo;s obviously from the previous season at truly amazing prices. My flower girl dresses are a linen-look fabric from this summer that I purchased at half-price in September. Because I live in LA, it was still appropriate for the wedding.</p> <h3>16. House of Brides</h3> <p>I purchased my wedding dress from <a href="https://www.houseofbrides.com/">House of Brides</a> and I couldn&rsquo;t rave more about the service they offer. It&rsquo;s a &ldquo;no frills&rdquo; sort of thing, and you have to give them enough time and trust that your dress will come. I found bad reviews on the &lsquo;net about them, but my experience was fabulous. If they carry your dress and you&rsquo;re ordering far enough in advance, they can save you a bundle.</p> <h3>17. Don&rsquo;t Buy Boutique&hellip;But Do Try It On</h3> <p>Boutique markups are ridiculous (or funny, if you&rsquo;re me and you already know you can find it cheaper somewhere else) and, honestly, they have to be for the places to make a profit. It&rsquo;s good business. It&rsquo;s also good business for you find one that carries your dress, try it on there, and get the size and any other information so you can order it online. It was a relief for me to know that the dress would fit when it came.</p> <h3>18. Look Into Dresses Made of Different Materials</h3> <p>Heavy satin is the most popular and, therefore, one of the most expensive materials right now. I ended up with a dress made out of taffeta, which was lighter (perfect for my more casual wedding) and cheaper, and made me feel like I belonged in a ballroom.</p> <h3>19. Find a Home-Based Seamstress</h3> <p>People who do this are often cheaper, and can work around any scheduling difficulties you may have. I asked for recommendations at work, and found a woman who did all my alterations for $100! (That&rsquo;s unheard of, in the wedding world.)</p> <h3>20. Don&rsquo;t Go to David&rsquo;s!</h3> <p>Seriously, it&rsquo;s tempting, but you can resist. Really. I have faith in you. And you can most likely find what you&rsquo;re looking for somewhere else. If you truly can&rsquo;t, buy your dress at David&rsquo;s, but watch out for any other &ldquo;special pricing&rdquo; they may offer you on other items. The fact that your bridesmaids get 10% off their dresses because you bought yours there sounds good, but they&rsquo;ll still most likely be paying too much for their dresses. And David&rsquo;s alterations? Don&rsquo;t even get me started!</p> <h3>21. Make Your Own Veil</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s easy. I promise. If you&rsquo;re worried, find a friend who can sew and get her to help. But really? It&rsquo;s cake. My best friend and I even did some hand-beading on mine, and that was easy, too.</p> <h3>22. Rent Tuxes as a Group &mdash; You&rsquo;ll Get One Free</h3> <p>If you don&rsquo;t, go to another tux shop. Men&rsquo;s Wearhouse is, by the way, a great, easy place to rent quality tuxes.</p> <h2>Cake</h2> <h3>23. Sam&rsquo;s Club, Anyone?</h3> <p>Sam&rsquo;s will do all sorts of decorating for you, and their cake doesn&rsquo;t taste bad (that, from the girl who doesn&rsquo;t like cake). They won&rsquo;t stack or do anything fancy, but what with the current penchant for individual cakes on individual stands, their 10&rdquo; rounds are perfect. I had three (with a dessert table) and they were great.</p> <h3>24. Decorate the Cake With Flowers</h3> <p>Why pay extra cash for frosting flowers on the cake when you could have real ones, often at a fraction of the price? If your florist wants to charge an arm and a leg for cake flowers, get them to drop off some extra petals and have an artistic friend arrange these on the cake. It&rsquo;s classy and tasteful, and you guests won&rsquo;t have to deal with mouthfuls of that awful frosting (unless, of course, you like frosting).</p> <h3>25. Have a Dessert Table</h3> <p>Originally, I wanted brownies alone. I ended up with brownies, mints, and cake, and it was perfect. And cheaper, because we bought the brownie mix at Costco and my mom made them. It wasn&rsquo;t too much work for her, and the overall effect at the wedding was more fun than that of cake alone.</p> <h3>26. Make Your Own Cake Stand</h3> <p>I used two hurricanes (of different sizes) and a small candle holder (upside down). Classy, cheap, and fun. Just like me.</p> <h3>27. Make All Your Cakes the Same Flavor</h3> <p>The more cake flavors you have, the more you&rsquo;ll pay. Instead, pick your favorite and serve that. Bonus? No siblings arguing over who gets the chocolate!</p> <h3>28. Pass on the Fondant</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s expensive AND it tastes nasty. It looks nice, but not as nice as you would expect it to, for the cost. Other frostings look almost as nice, taste hundreds of times better, and cost much, much less.</p> <h3>29. Cut the Round Cake, Serve the Sheet Cake</h3> <p>We didn&rsquo;t do this, because of the brownies, but it&rsquo;s a tried-and-true way to save money. Put a smallish, decorated round cake on the stand to cut. After you smear each other with frosting, have someone disappear with the cake, to &ldquo;cut&rdquo; it. A few minutes later, have them reappear with pieces of cake, and no one will ever know you swapped it out. Seriously.</p> <h2>Decorations</h2> <h3>30. Buy Flowers From Sam&rsquo;s, Costco, or Trader Joes</h3> <p>These stores sell bouquets with great colors, year round. Purchasing flowers for pew decorations, centerpieces, and buffet tables can save you a bundle.</p> <h3>31. See If Your Venue Has Any Decorations</h3> <p>Often, people leave their decorations behind and a church or hall will save them. You may not love them (ask me about the hideous lace bows&hellip;I dare you), but they just might do, either if you get in a pinch, you just don&rsquo;t care anymore, or you don&rsquo;t want to spend anything else.</p> <h3>32. Ask Your Friends (Tulle, Anyone?)</h3> <p>As my friends have gotten married, they&rsquo;ve passed around these two plastic garbage bags of tulle. We&rsquo;ve all used it at our weddings, and it still looks great. BTW, wrinkles easily steam out of tulle.</p> <h3>33. Shop Online</h3> <p>I &ldquo;designed&rdquo; my centerpieces in a Michael&rsquo;s, but I bought them online. Twenty each of table mirrors, hurricanes, blue glass pebbles, white candles, and five pounds of dried lavender, all for less than $30. You just can&rsquo;t beat that.</p> <h3>34. Buy in Bulk</h3> <p>Often, if you buy at least some minimum number, you get a discount. Hence, the above savings.</p> <h3>35. Give Your Centerpieces Away</h3> <p>An easy way to save on favors or prizes for reception games. Now, I wish I&rsquo;d thought of it before the wedding.</p> <h3>36. Ask If Your Venue Has a &quot;Prefered&quot; Local Florist</h3> <p>Often, players in the wedding industry hook up to create package deals, or one will give you a discount if they know you&rsquo;re using the other. It didn&rsquo;t work out for me, but it&rsquo;s worth the time it takes to ask the question.</p> <h3>37. Substitute Expensive Flowers for Cheaper Ones</h3> <p>My wedding was in California, within a week of the Rose Parade. Many of the flowers I&rsquo;d planned on having were sold out, because someone used them in a float. I was a little nervous about letting my florist make substitutions, but she did really well and the overall effect was still what I wanted. Also, it ended up being cheaper because she used some more obscure blooms.</p> <h3>38. Let Your Florist Make the Decisions</h3> <p>I told my florist the overall look I wanted, my colors, and the fact that I was trying to save money, and then I let her make the decisions. The flowers couldn&rsquo;t have been better if they&rsquo;d been all exotic blooms!</p> <h3>39. Simple Elegance Beats Frills</h3> <p>Enter Sarah&rsquo;s soapbox: Some florists want to add frills (extra bows, pearls, pieces of lace) at a substantial extra cost. Don&rsquo;t let them. Flowers should look like flowers, not frosted replicas of themselves. Besides, flowers are cheaper than bows, pearls, and lace.</p> <h3>40. Dried Flowers Are Perfect!</h3> <p>My favorite scent is lavender, so I used dried lavender as one of the unifying themes of the wedding. The flower girls threw it, the church and hall were decorated with it, and the guests threw it at us as we left. It was cheaper than using real flowers in all of those areas, and united the different parts of our wedding festivities in a way I wouldn&rsquo;t have thought possible.</p> <h3>41. Find Local People Who Grow the Flowers You Want in Their Yards</h3> <p>True story: my friend got married in Seattle, where purple hydrangeas grow well. Her florist wanted to charge a ton for them, so she and her sister went door to door where they saw them growing, asking if they could come back and cut two or three blossoms the day before the wedding. So many people agreed to it that she had more flowers than she needed, all for the expense of a little legwork!</p> <h3>42. Go for a &ldquo;Different&rdquo; Look</h3> <p>Because roses are commonly associated with weddings, they tend to run much more expensive than anything else (that&rsquo;s not exotic or imported). For my boutonnieres, I used baby gerbera daisies, because I like them. What I didn&rsquo;t know when I chose them was that they&rsquo;re also dirt cheap.</p> <h2>Invitations</h2> <h3>43. Costco</h3> <p>Dave and I more than paid for our entire year's worth of membership in the deal we got on our invitations. And we got it all, down to the envelope liners and the little pieces of tissue paper between the invitation and all of the goodies that come with it. I got so many compliments on them, and people were shocked to find out I'd purchased them at Costco!</p> <h3>44. Skip the Engraving</h3> <p>Unless your wedding is as formal as it possibly can be, engraving is an expense you can spare. There are several other (cheaper) kinds of lettering that look and feel like engraving, and create just as exquisite an effect.</p> <h3>45. Print Reception Cards Yourself</h3> <p>Because they involve a whole 'nother folded piece of paper, reception cards often add a lot to the price of the invitation. I printed ours on vellum I purchased at a local paper store, and they fit right in with the rest of the invitation without pushing the cost up too much.</p> <h2>Honeymoon</h2> <h3>46. Ask Your Friends &mdash; And Their Fiends</h3> <p>Dave and I went to Sayulita, Mexico, which is a small town about 30 miles north of Puerto Vallarta. We stayed in a small condo with a full kitchen. We never would have heard about the place if it weren&rsquo;t for a friend of my mom&rsquo;s, who vacationed there last year. She knew that the condos were nice, but cheap, and where to get the best food for the least dinero. So ask around&hellip;what you really want just might be available.</p> <h3>47. Decide What Kind of Honeymoon You Want</h3> <p>Dave and I knew we wanted something where we could choose to be alone or among people, and where activities were available but not necessary. We almost spent a bunch of money on a package deal, until we realized that the small-town atmosphere Sayulita offered was more &ldquo;us.&rdquo; No matter what you want, you&rsquo;ll be able to find the best deals if you know what you&rsquo;re looking for.</p> <h3>48. Look Into All-Inclusive Packages (Especially in Off-Season)</h3> <p>This is what we almost did, and we almost got a killer deal and a five-night stay on the Mayan Riviera.</p> <h3>49. Look for Privately-Owned Condos</h3> <p>Often, you can rent condos by the day or by the week, with the week&rsquo;s price being cheaper than seven days would be. Way to save yourself some serious money!</p> <h3>50. Plan the Honeymoon Way Ahead</h3> <p>Like with any travel, good deals are often available ahead of time. If you find one you like, snatch it up before it runs and gets away. We didn&rsquo;t have this option, as we were engaged for less than six months.</p> <h3>51. Plan the Honeymoon Last-Minute</h3> <p>A little contrary to the above, but also true. When things don&rsquo;t sell, they tend to go on sale. If you&rsquo;re adventurous and not picky about where you go or what you get, you very well might stumble upon something fabulous!</p> <h3>52. Cook Your Own Meals</h3> <p>Food is expensive. In some areas of the world, it&rsquo;s less so, but it still costs money. If you can cook for yourselves (and don&rsquo;t mind doing it), you may pay a little extra for the kitchen, but you&rsquo;ll save overall. We did this, and found that it came in very handy when I had food poisoning too badly to eat anything even vaguely Mexican.</p> <h3>53. Get off the Beaten Track</h3> <p>Why? Because you get to see more local color. And? It&rsquo;s cheaper. At Sayulita, we got all the beach, watersports, and surfer vibe we could handle, without Puerto Vallarta&rsquo;s prices. Yahoo!</p> <h3>54. Kayak</h3> <p>If you haven&rsquo;t used <a href="http://www.kayak.com">Kayak</a>, you should. For any plane tickets. I did some site comparisons when we were purchasing our tickets, and found that they matched or beat any deal I found anywhere else, including with the airline itself. Puerto Vallarta, anyone?</p> <h3>55. BookIt.com</h3> <p>If we had purchased the fabulous &ldquo;honeymoon in a package,&rdquo; we would have purchased it at <a href="http://www.bookit.com">BookIt.com</a>. Again, I did the price comparisons, and they&rsquo;re the best. And no, I don&rsquo;t have any idea why they aren&rsquo;t more popular.</p> <p>Yepa! That&rsquo;s a lot. Let me know if any of this helps you, or if I bored you out of your wits. How did you save big bucks while planning your wedding?<span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;"><br /> </span></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/55-ways-i-saved-or-considered-saving-time-and-money-planning-my-wedding">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-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/finally-the-time-saving-money-saving-sanity-saving-4-in-1-price-checker-toolbar-phew">Finally - the time-saving, money-saving, sanity-saving 4 in 1 price checker toolbar. Phew.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-save-on-a-wedding-dress">7 Smart Ways to Save on a Wedding Dress</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/9-smart-sources-for-wedding-essentials">9 Smart Sources for Wedding Essentials</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/3-proven-ways-to-save-real-money-at-garage-sales">3 Proven Ways to Save Real Money at Garage Sales</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping save money save time wedding wedding planning Mon, 22 Jan 2007 16:08:33 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 203 at http://www.wisebread.com