save money http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/519/all en-US Recession Survivor: Would You Eat Bugs and Roadkill to Cut the Grocery Bill? http://www.wisebread.com/recession-survivor-would-you-eat-bugs-and-roadkill-to-cut-the-grocery-bill <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/recession-survivor-would-you-eat-bugs-and-roadkill-to-cut-the-grocery-bill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2750185692_b813dc9956_b.jpg" alt="bug on nose" title="bug on nose" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I try to be flexible with my family menu in order to save on groceries, but recently I learned about a couple guys who are waaay more flexible than I am when it comes to ingredient choices. They eat bugs and roadkill. And they have recipes to share. (See also: <a title="25 Frugal Food Changes You Can Make Today" href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-food-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Frugal Food Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>Jonathan McGowan, of Dorset in England, says he has been <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2048527/Owl-curry-adder-butter-stir-fried-craneflies-Meet-man-survived-diet-roadkill-30-YEARS.html" title="eating roadkill">eating roadkill and other dead animals he finds</a> for the past 30 years. At first blush that sounds disgusting and possibly even deranged, but Jonathan makes a very good point when he compares eating a recently-killed woodland animal to eating a chicken from one factory farm he visited. McGowan told the Daily Mail:</p> <blockquote><p>There was a broiler production unit close to where I was living where there was always three layers of chickens &mdash; a dead, rotting layer at the bottom, a squashed layer in the middle and a layer at the top where they could barely move.</p> </blockquote> <p>If you think you'll join McGowan in his culinary adventures, however, keep in mind that he feels that only someone with years of experience with wildlife can do this safely:</p> <blockquote><p>It's not something everyone can do. I have grown up around nature and know just by looking how an animal has died and how long it has been there.</p> </blockquote> <p>I grew up in Wisconsin and have heard of plenty of people legally taking home deer that they struck with their own cars. So it didn't freak me out too much to hear that McGowan enjoys venison. However, some of his other favorites raised even my eyebrows. He calls both fox and rat &quot;most delicious,&quot; and has even eaten wildcats and birds of prey.</p> <p>I wonder if McGowan knows that you are supposed to report it to authorities &mdash; even in England &mdash; if you <a href="http://www.dardni.gov.uk/index/animal-health/animal-diseases/avian-influenza/avian-influenza-questions-and-answers/finding-a-dead-bird.htm" title="finding a dead bird">find certain kinds of birds dead</a>, so they can be checked for bird flu. He also mentions eating birds of prey, the majority of which are <a href="http://pbms.ceh.ac.uk/sendSamples.htm" title="endangered birds">considered endangered over there</a>. He doesn't kill these animals, mind you &mdash; just finds them, butchers, and cooks 'em up.</p> <p>McGowan will even throw some bugs into his stir fry, which brings to mind another fellow I read about recently.</p> <p><a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/14953261/the-man-who-wants-you-to-eat-insects" title="Matthew Krisiloff">University of Chicago undergrad Matthew Krisiloff</a> is not just eating insects but wants to put bug burgers in your grocer's freezer case. After all, he told Time Out Chicago, insects can provide protein just like chickens or cows, but without putting so much strain on the environment or costing so much. One really interesting thing about Krisiloff's company, Entom Foods, is that he wants insect protein to succeed first in the West, in order to set a good example for the rest of the globe, where people tend to copy our diets as they get wealthier.</p> <p>As Krisiloff told Time Out Chicago:</p> <blockquote><p>In about 80 percent of the countries in the world, there are communities that do eat insects in some fashion. But as countries Westernize, they kind of shun those diets.&hellip; They look at Western examples and think, Oh, [they] eat hamburger, [they] eat chicken, that's what [we] should be doing as well.</p> </blockquote> <p>Well, carnivores, what do you think? Would you buy bug burgers or rake in some road kill in order to cut your grocery bill? After all, meat is often the biggest expense at the supermarket. Or are these ideas enough to turn the most dedicated <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-plant-based-diet-tricks-for-carnivores" title="6 Plant-Based Diet Tricks for Carnivores">meat-eater into a vegan</a>?</p> <h3>Tips for Eating Roadkill and Bugs</h3> <p>If you really want to try it, here is McGowan's recipe for roadkill Badger, from the Daily Mail:</p> <blockquote><p>Serves: 4</p> <p>1. Skin one badger and cut into pieces before browning in a frying pan with butter until pieces are golden and stiff.</p> <p>2. Flambee with glass of Armagnac and pour over one bottle of dry, sparkling wine, then simmer gently for two hours.</p> <p>3. Mix cooked, chopped badger liver, a glass of pig's blood, two egg yolks and a pot of creme fraiche and serve immediately.</p> <p>Serve with mushrooms or chestnuts.</p> </blockquote> <p>A New York Times blog has <a href="http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/21/the-bugs-you-can-eat/">tips on cooking mealworms, moth larvae and crickets</a>.</p> <p>To learn more about harvesting and eating insects, check out the book <em><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_Eating_Bugs">Man Eating Bugs</a></em> by <a title="Peter Menzel" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Menzel">Peter Menzel</a> and Faith D'Alusio.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/recession-survivor-would-you-eat-bugs-and-roadkill-to-cut-the-grocery-bill" class="sharethis-link" title="Recession Survivor: Would You Eat Bugs and Roadkill to Cut the Grocery Bill?" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living eat bugs eat roadkill save money Fri, 04 Nov 2011 09:48:17 +0000 Carrie Kirby 755238 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Save Money While You Sleep http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-save-money-while-you-sleep <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-save-money-while-you-sleep" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4334569240_f4a9b79e47_z-1.jpg" alt="Save Money While You Sleep" title="Save Money While You Sleep" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></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 saving money while you sleep, strategies to pay for college, and how to afford gourmet food every day.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.pfadvice.com/2011/06/28/save-money-while-you-sleep/">Save Money While You Sleep</a> &mdash; Save money while you sleep by turning off electronics and unplugging everything before you go to bed. [Personal Finance Advice]</p> <p><a href="http://cashmoneylife.com/strategies-to-pay-for-college/">Strategies to Pay for College</a> &mdash; Pay for college by taking advantage of financial aid. [Cash Money Life]</p> <p><a href="http://getcurrency.com/dining-travel/how-to-afford-gourmet-every-day">How to Afford Gourmet Every Day</a> &mdash; You can afford gourmet food if you know how to shop the right foods. [Currency]</p> <p><a href="http://gradmoneymatters.com/money-making-ideas/ways-to-make-extra-money.html?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GradMoneyMatters+%28Grad+Money+Matters%29">10 Little Known Ways to Make Extra Money Offline</a> &mdash; Make money offline by helping people catch up to new technology. [Grad Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.mogomoney.com/how-to-save-money-by-using-your-smartphone/">How To Save Money By Using Your Smartphone</a> &mdash; Use your smartphone to save money by using apps to find cheap gas. [Mogo Savings Blog]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/dangers-of-alcohol-and-energy-drinks-impulsive-behavior-in-teens">Dangers Of Alcohol And Energy Drinks: Impulsive Behaviors In Teens</a> &mdash; Pre-made cocktails are major health hazards to teens. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2011/06/29/what-to-do-with-fresh-produce/">What to Do with Fresh Produce</a> &mdash; When you have fresh produce, be sure to preserve your harvest. [Get Rich Slowly]</p> <p><a href="http://moneysmartlife.com/prenups-6-tips-money-and-divorce/">Prenups &amp; Beyond: 6 Tips for Money and Divorce</a> &mdash; If you are getting married, be sure your will and your fiancee's will are up to date. [Money Smart Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thefinancialblogger.com/how-to-write-an-ebook/">How To Write an eBook in 9 Must Have Steps</a> &mdash; Are you thinking about writing an eBook? Then make sure you define the mission of your eBook. [The Financial Blogger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mattaboutmoney.com/2011/06/29/two-essential-steps-for-finding-a-new-job/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MattAboutMoney+%28Matt+About+Money%29">Two Essential Steps For Finding a New Job</a> &mdash; When looking for a new job, try to find an insider to help you with your search. [Matt About Money]</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-save-money-while-you-sleep" class="sharethis-link" title="Best Money Tips: Save Money While You Sleep" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living best money tips save save money sleep sleeping Thu, 30 Jun 2011 10:00:07 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 602524 at http://www.wisebread.com Get a Deal Every Time You Shop with These Tools http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-deal-every-time-you-shop-with-these-tools <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-a-deal-every-time-you-shop-with-these-tools" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2313757755_7541199205_z_0.jpg" alt="only bargains sign" title="only bargains sign" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have a few handy skills. Certainly not a plethora, but a handful that serve me well. And one of them is the ability to track down a bargain. Over the years I have become something of a go-to person amongst my friends and relatives. When they&rsquo;re looking to buy a product or service, they often call me first to see if I know of any deals or special offers. If they can&rsquo;t find an item, they ask me if I can. Even if something is sold out in 99% of the stores, I can usually track down that 1% that have it.</p> <p>Do I have secrets? Am I super-lucky? Not really. I have just amassed a set of tools, almost all of them online, that help me find the deals quickly and easily. And now, I&rsquo;m sharing them with you. They can be a real help when you&rsquo;re shopping for a last minute item, have a very tight budget, or just hate paying sticker price for anything. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/deep-discounts-on-schedule-the-best-days-to-shop" title=" Deep Discounts on Schedule: The Best Days to Shop">Deep Discounts on Schedule: The Best Days to Shop</a>)</p> <h3>1. Search every Craigslist at the same time</h3> <p>Craigslist revolutionized the way we all shop classified ads (as the newspaper industry quickly found out to its detriment). You post ads for free, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-25-best-things-to-buy-on-craigslist" title="The 25 Best Things to Buy on Craigslist">search ads for free</a>, contact the seller or buyer directly and do the deal without any hassle. But most people search their local Craigslist, which limits the bargains you can find and the net you can cast when trying to track something very particular down.</p> <p>A site called <a href="http://www.allofcraigs.com/">allofcraigs.com</a> does away with the local search and puts your query out there across every Craigslist site. I recently purchased something from someone in Los Angeles. No one in my state had what I was looking for. He shipped it quickly to me and was happy to do business out of state. Not everyone is, but most just want to make the sale. Check it out, bookmark it, and use it often.</p> <p><a href="http://www.allofcraigs.com/"><img width="400" height="133" src="http://imgur.com/RPwP4.png" alt="" /></a></p> <h3>2. Search every eBay site at the same time</h3> <p>Although <a href="http://www.ebay.com/">eBay</a> has a much broader reach than your local Craigslist site, it still confines searches to the eBay in your country. But why? I have bought many, many items from the UK eBay, especially music and movies, and who knows what else is lurking out there on other eBay sites. So, why not search them all? You may find a better deal, better prices or faster shipping options.</p> <p>To search every eBay, you first need to have an eBay account. When you are logged in, go to the <strong>Advanced Search</strong> page. Enter the usual search keywords and other requirements as you normally would in a regular eBay search. But, when you scroll down to the Location field, select &quot;Items available to&quot;, then choose &quot;All Countries/Regions&quot; from the drop-down list. When you do your search, you can see items matching your search from every eBay site out there. Nice.</p> <h3>3. Find products locally that are in stock</h3> <p>During peak shopping seasons, like Christmas or Halloween, stores will quickly sell out of the items you want to buy. This happens every year with the &ldquo;must have toys&rdquo; and gadgets that people have on their wish lists. I spent months tracking down a Wii for my wife a few years ago, and this tool would have come in handy. It&rsquo;s a site called <a href="http://milo.com/">Milo.com</a>. You may have heard of it in the news recently because eBay just purchased it for a cool $75 million. Hopefully, the service remains just as good under the new management. All you do is type in the name of the item you&rsquo;re looking for and you&rsquo;ll get a list of results showing stores in your area that have it in stock! Saves a lot of calling around and emailing.</p> <p><a href="http://milo.com/"><img width="400" height="242" src="http://imgur.com/HrMmF.png" alt="" /></a></p> <h3>4. Use an auction sniper service</h3> <p>There are quite a few of these around, including <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/snipe-an-ebay-auction-save-a-fortune">Bidnip.com</a>, <a href="http://www.auctionsniper.com/">Auctionsniper.com</a>, <a href="https://www.ezsniper.com/">EZsniper.com</a> and <a href="https://www.bidnapper.com/">Bidnapper.com</a>. They all work in basically the same way, and it can save you a ton of time and money. Simply input the item number of the auction you&rsquo;d like to win, the maximum amount you&rsquo;d like to pay and, the cool part, when you&rsquo;d like your bid to post. I usually go for 3 seconds. Instead of seeing a bidding war ensue, you can sit back and get on with your life, while the service puts in a last-minute bid for you.</p> <p>Of course, this is not a guaranteed win. Sometimes, there can be communication issues and the service cannot place the bid in time. Sometimes someone else is using an auction sniper as well. And it you absolutely have to have the item, no questions asked, then relying on an auction sniper is not your best bet. But if you want to grab an item without seeing the price skyrocket over the days (or weeks) then this is for you. It also helps to avoid fake bidding, when people will actually try and inflate the price of the product they&rsquo;re selling by bidding against you as someone else.</p> <h3>5. Always do an online price comparison</h3> <p>These were all the rage a few years ago, but with the popularity of the Google Shopping tab, and some of the sites mentioned above, people don&rsquo;t often use the price comparison shoppers any more. That&rsquo;s a big mistake in my book. Sites like <a href="http://www.bizrate.com/">bizrate.com</a>, <a href="http://www.mysimon.com/">mysimon.com</a>, <a href="http://www.nextag.com/">nextag.com</a>, and <a href="http://www.pricegrabber.com/">pricegrabber.com</a> have taken a lot of the hard work out of finding great deals. Just put the item in that you want and you&rsquo;ll see who&rsquo;s selling it for less. Remember though, always do a total price comparison, quite often shipping and handling can turn a good deal into a bad one, or an average deal into a great one.</p> <h3>6. If you have the technology, compare prices in store</h3> <p>How so? Well, if you have a smart phone you can use it to your advantage. Apps like <a href="http://redlaser.com/">Redlaser</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-cell-phone-app-thats-saving-me-a-smal-fortune">Shop Savvy</a> allow you to scan the barcodes of products using the built-in camera. They then search the web for that product and return the results, so that you can find the best deal. If that&rsquo;s not for you, you can always use the internet on your cell phone to do a quick product search on the sites mentioned in part 5. Several stores have computers inside the store that will enable you to search the web and compare prices. And if all else fails and you&rsquo;re still not sure, call someone who does have access to the web and won&rsquo;t mind helping you out. Remember, if in doubt, walk out.</p> <p><img width="400" height="382" src="http://imgur.com/PEmwG.png" alt="" /></p> <h3>7. If there&rsquo;s a coupon code box, there&rsquo;s usually a code out there</h3> <p>The coupon box is a double-edged sword to be honest. On the one hand, its presence means that the site accepts coupons. But that also means you an burn a lot of hours trying to find them, when there may not be any valid coupons available at the time. I usually try <a href="http://www.retailmenot.com">retailmenot.com</a> whenever I see a coupon box. There is usually a discount code on there for the site I&rsquo;m buying from. If not, I&rsquo;ll do a quick hunt online. But if I haven&rsquo;t found one after five minutes, I drop it and buy without using a coupon. I have learned the hard way, after obsessively searching for hours to find a coupon that gets me a 2% discount, that it&rsquo;s just not worth the effort if you don&rsquo;t find a coupon quite quickly. Also, remember to look for printable coupons to use when you shop in store.</p> <h3>8. Always check the daily deals sites</h3> <p>There are way too many to list here, but some of my personal favorites are <a href="http://slickdeals.net/">slickdeals</a>, <a href="http://www.buxr.com/">buxr</a>, <a href="http://www.dealhack.com/">dealhack</a>, <a href="http://dealnews.com/">dealnews</a>, <a href="http://www.freestufftimes.com/">freestufftimes</a>, and our very own <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bestdeals/today">Wise Bread deals</a> section. Some of the deals are awesome, but stay focused. Sometimes the deals are so tempting that you buy stuff you really weren&rsquo;t looking for, and that can get expensive. Keep your eyes on the prize.</p> <p>Those are my favorites, and they work wonders for me. Do you have any tips to add to the list? Let us know.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-a-deal-every-time-you-shop-with-these-tools" class="sharethis-link" title="Get a Deal Every Time You Shop with These Tools" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/frugal-living/shopping">Shopping articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping Technology bargain cheap coupons deal hunter online save money technology Thu, 16 Dec 2010 18:30:58 +0000 Paul Michael 395458 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Ways to Save Money on Entertainment http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-money-on-entertainment <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-save-money-on-entertainment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fun-4748342-small.jpg" alt="concert" title="concert" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="174" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sure, times are tough, but that doesn't mean you can't have a little fun. Here are eight ideas that will allow you to enjoy some entertainment and save money, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-cheap-fun-things-to-do-this-weekend" title="47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend">47 Cheap, Fun Things to Do This Weekend</a>)</p> <p>1. Discount days, or even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-watch-movies-in-the-theater-for-free" title="How to Watch Movies in the Theater for Free">free admission</a> days, are a great way to save money on entertainment at zoos, galleries, museums, and even some theaters. Check your local venues for specials.</p> <p>2. Are you a theater, concert, or sports lover, but can't afford the steep ticket prices? Consider a part-time job or volunteer position at the event. You may find yourself doing some menial work, but you'll also probably have the opportunity to catch most of the event -- and get paid for it!</p> <p>3. Our neighborhood Ultrastar theater has &quot;Cheapskate Tuesday.&quot; Most theaters also offer discounts for seniors and kids, but everyone can save money on certain days and certain times, usually in the afternoon on a weekday. If you go with a group of friends or co-workers, you can usually get a group discount, too.</p> <p>4. Speaking of movies, do you know if you have a Netflix subscription you can watch thousands of movies and TV episodes free on your computer, Blu-Ray DVD player, Wii, PS3, XBox, or the new Apple TV? Yup, they have a huge collection of movies that they stream over the Internet. You can watch anytime you want for no additional charge while you wait for the next Netflix DVD to come in the mail.</p> <p>5. You'll find movies at your local library, too, as well as music CDs, video games, and, by the way, books &mdash; all for free. They also offer lectures, music, and other library-sponsored events that are all free, too. While yore there, the Friends of the Library <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-to-get-the-most-out-of-a-library-sale" title="5 Tips to Get the Most Out of a Library Sale">bookstore</a> is a great place to buy books for pennies on a dollar.</p> <p>6. If you're going out, babysitting can cost as much or more than your tickets. See if friends, family, or neighbors will trade babysitting responsibilities &mdash; you watch theirs one night, then they watch yours another.</p> <p>7. And if you're out for an afternoon of fun, consider visiting that new restaurant you wanted to try. Lunch menus are priced lower than dinner menus. Look for coupons, too. Two-for-One deals are common.</p> <p>8. Finally, if you're a student, military service member, or a senior, be sure to ask for discounts. For that matter, don't forget to ask for AAA, AARP, or other membership discounts. Even some clothing retailers, for example, offer AAA discounts.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-save-money-on-entertainment" class="sharethis-link" title="8 Ways to Save Money on Entertainment" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-lister">Kate Lister</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/frugal-living/entertainment">Entertainment articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Entertainment discounts having fun save money Thu, 16 Sep 2010 13:00:17 +0000 Kate Lister 237862 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Proven Ways to Save Real Money at Garage Sales http://www.wisebread.com/3-proven-ways-to-save-real-money-at-garage-sales <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-proven-ways-to-save-real-money-at-garage-sales" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/98085341_a2a532e827_z.jpg" alt="garage sale sign" title="garage sale sign" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I just ended my whirlwind tour of a recent neighborhood garage sale event in a nearby community. Having been an annual tradition for as long as I could remember, I got up at 7 a.m., took breakfast on the road, and hit the sales with my mom in the driver's seat and my newborn son in the car seat. We hit sale after sale, armed with pockets of cash and an attitude of hopefulness.</p> <p>Overall, it was disappointing: This year marked the first year I can remember wondering, &quot;where is all the stuff?&quot; Even with the obvious lack of selection, however, I was able to score some great items. Here is how I managed to get those awesome deals!</p> <h3>1. Look for forgotten items</h3> <p>That box of miscellaneous junk under the table, a shelf of unmarked items, or a few odds and ends that seem like an after-thought are going to be some of the best bargains at a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-mistakes-that-can-ruin-your-yard-sale">yard sale</a>. Why? In the rush to get everything tagged, many sale holders just don't know what to do with certain items. Items with price tags are those that they are hoping will bring in a profit. Those that aren't &mdash; they are just kind of there with no realistic expectations.</p> <p>I recently snagged a set of Bushnell mini binoculars in excellent condition for a quarter because they were sitting on a shelf with no clear destiny. (I had just bought the same pair online for $20.) Those orphaned items are your best bet for coming in well under market price. Go ahead and offer a lowball price, or ask what they want. I guarantee you'll be surprised at the final price tag.</p> <h3>2. Scan all sales, then circle back for competitive pricing</h3> <p>A quick drive up and down a major garage sale route will tell you &mdash; in minutes &mdash; what the &quot;hot&quot; items are this year. During our recent sale experience we saw many of the same items at the end of every driveway: bunk beds, infant girl clothes, and high chairs. Seems like an odd trend, but one worth noting. I could drive around until I found the item most suited to my preferences and then strike up a deal.</p> <p>The conversation would go something like this: &quot;I see you have just the item I'm looking for. Since six other houses on in the neighborhood are offering a similar item, however, I'd love to just buy it here and save myself the trouble. Can I offer you $5 to take it right now?&quot; By giving the seller the impression that the item will have to be competitively priced to sell, they will most likely give you your asking price (provided it is, indeed, fair).</p> <h3>3. Ask for exactly what you're looking for (even if you don't see it)</h3> <p>I was desperate to find my son knee pads to use with his new scooter. I didn't want to pay retail. After visiting about six sales with no luck, I began asking each seller if they happened to have any for sale. One of three things will happen by coming out and asking directly:</p> <ul> <li>You will save time at each sale by not having to scour tables of junk for what you're looking for (and possibly can save money by not being tempted by unnecessary items).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You give the seller a chance to consider whether or not they might want to sell one that they own (but don't have out on the tables).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You give the seller a chance to let you know about a neighbor or friend that is selling one at their sale (which gives you a direct lead to what you want, without all of the window shopping hassle). When you arrive to the destination sale, be sure to let the seller know that you came in search of a great price on the item, and that their neighbor referred you. They will appreciate the business and might be willing to haggle on the price.</li> </ul> <p>In the case of our knee pads, one seller could tell us the exact address of a sale that she swore sold them. She ended up saving me much time in my search through over 50 sales!</p> <p>All in all, I found the yard sales to be a great reminder of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-laws-of-negotiation">how to negotiate</a> in the real world. If you're terrified to try <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/miss-the-big-sale-claim-your-savings-anyway">bargaining tactics</a> at your local mall, why not get some practice at the next city-wide garage sale?</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-proven-ways-to-save-real-money-at-garage-sales" class="sharethis-link" title="3 Proven Ways to Save Real Money at Garage Sales" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/frugal-living/shopping">Shopping articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping garage sale save money yard sale Thu, 26 Aug 2010 12:00:05 +0000 Linsey Knerl 217534 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save Money Buying a New Car and Be Happy http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-buying-a-new-car-and-be-happy <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-money-buying-a-new-car-and-be-happy" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2211628758_f3aa8c95a3_z.jpg" alt="new car" title="new car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Though a car could be one of the most enjoyable purchases, many of us are simply fed up with the whole shopping process. It's not that we don't like picking and choosing our favorite color and options, but those sales people...arrgggghhh. In the old days, I would deliberately let the salesperson make a little bit of money by not negotiating as hard as I could because that's the only way I could buy a car and keep my sanity. With the Internet though, things changed. You can actually get the best price available anywhere and still be happy. Talk about having the cake and eating it too. Here's how...</p> <p>(See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-game-of-haggling-how-to-get-a-great-deal-on-a-used-car">The game of Haggling: How to Get a Great Deal on a Used Car</a>.)</p> <h3>Forget Edmunds.com...</h3> <p>Edmunds.com is probably the leading website that people tend to reference in articles like these, but I'm telling you that you don't need to go there at all. Sure, the site's got a wealth of information about the car that you want to buy, invoice pricing as well as what others are paying in your area, but that's not nearly good enough. Think about it for a second. What others are paying is just the average of everyone who bought a car in your area. If the buying pool consisted of ten people with five paying invoice and five paying full sticker, the site would show a number between sticker and invoice. Now, did you get a good deal by going with that price? And don't believe that no one pays sticker either. There are tons of people who pay full retail (or close to it) on cars. Another problem with these websites is that they don't keep track of the miscellaneous fees that all car manufacturers tack on, which ultimately means that dealerships can mark them up and make money off you. Unless...</p> <h3>The Real Solution</h3> <p>Next time you buy a car and you want to get a VERY good price, all you have to do is visit the forums. Go to your favorite <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-this-the-best-search-engine-ever-for-new-used-cars">search engine</a> and type in your car and the word forum (or message board), and a bunch of sites where enthusiasts meet and chat will pop up in the results. Click through and start reading. You can find all the issues people are having, look at pictures of your favorite car with every option imaginable and also find out all the fees and ways dealers can rip you off. But that's not all. There's a 100% chance that you will not only find invoice pricing for your car and all the options available but the deals other people are getting as well. Quite often, you will even be able to locate a few dealers who can offer you a price that is better than 99% of the ones you can get anywhere else. Armed with this information, you basically have two options: go with the dealer if he's close enough, or print the email and just <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-your-new-car-send-mom-not-dad-to-the-dealer">go to a dealership</a> that you like and ask them to match the price. Since you already have a solid offer with the exact options you like, all the normal sales tactic like up selling shouldn't work anymore. Either they can match the price, or they cannot. Most of the time, they will go to the manager's office and just match the price you give them, and you are done.</p> <h3>This Takes Work</h3> <p>The process I just described is by no means instantaneous. After all, it takes time to read the message boards and to figure out all the fees and deals that people are getting. But I love it. I actually find that the more I read about people's passion for a car I plan to get, the more I know whether the car is right for me. The more I read, the more I actually understand the options for the car and what is best for my own circumstances, and the more I read, the more I know whether now is the right time to buy the car. No more regrets. No more &quot;Oh I wish I knew about that rim option&quot; and no more &quot;I didn't know you can get a great deal like that!&quot;</p> <h3>It REALLY Saves Me Money</h3> <p>This saves me money in three ways.</p> <ul> <li><strong>The negotiated price.</strong> If no one is getting invoice on that particular model, then there's no point to be upset about not being offered that price. While there's always someone who will get the best price, it won't be just ONE person.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>The fees.</strong> If you don't check, you will never know that the price of your car can contain system training fees, bank lease fees, and a money factor that the dealership can mark up. Since some are justified and some needs to be eliminated, how can you make an informed decision if you don't even hear about them until the very end?<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li><strong>Options.</strong> Like everything else, not buying it saves you the most money. Knowing other people's experiences can only help you decide whether, for example, that compass in the rear view mirror is that useful. For some, it might be a &quot;must have&quot;. For others, it might not be worth the $500 it may cost. You decide.</li> </ul> <h3>The Best Part...</h3> <p>Money aside, the best part about spending the time to research is that it builds anticipation so the car will be that much more enjoyable when you actually start being the owner of one. If you want to get the most value, a used car is still the way to go, but if you ever buy new, this is the best way.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-money-buying-a-new-car-and-be-happy" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Save Money Buying a New Car and Be Happy" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/david-ning">David Ning</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/personal-finance/cars-and-transportation">Cars and Transportation articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Cars and Transportation bargains car shopping frugal tips new car save money Wed, 07 Jul 2010 13:00:06 +0000 David Ning 166686 at http://www.wisebread.com The 1-Cent Cell Phone Protector, and Other Hacks. http://www.wisebread.com/the-1-cent-cell-phone-protector-and-other-hacks <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-1-cent-cell-phone-protector-and-other-hacks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/340x_kbp7k-rmh7u.jpg" alt="Protection" title="Protection" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you're forking out several hundred dollars for a cell phone, the thought of spending even more money to keep it scratch-free seems a no-brainer. But I'm cheap. And I don't like spending a few bucks on a piece of clear tape when, well, a free piece of clear tape will do. Or in this case, almost free.</p> <p>The DIY screen protector is great for so many frugal folks like myself. First, it's (almost) free. Most of us have a roll of clear packing tape lying around, and you usually get about 55 yards for around $5. And that equates to less than one cent for a piece of tape big enough to cover your average smart phone. But hold on, don't just go sticking it to your phone and calling it a day. There's a method to this, which you will see in the</p> <p><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbP7K-rMh7U">Howcast video below</a>.</p> <p><embed width="425" height="350" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/kbP7K-rMh7U&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;"></embed></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Great stuff, and way cheaper than those screen protectors you'll find in your local cell phone store. But why stop there? I did some hunting around for other great cell phone hacks, tips, and tricks to save you some money that you can put towards your enormous phone bill. In no particular order, here are five more excellent phone hacks worth checking out.</p> <h3><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3l0NralSb5M">1. The Duct Tape Cell Phone/iPod Case</a></h3> <p>It's a bit rough and ready, but hey, it's almost free as well. Maybe it will catch on and become cool to have, at which point you'll be able to buy a pre-made Duct Tape case at Target for $19.99.</p> <p><object width="425" height="350"> <param value="http://www.youtube.com/v/3l0NralSb5M&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;" name="movie" /> <param value="true" name="allowFullScreen" /> <param value="always" name="allowscriptaccess" /><embed width="425" height="350" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/3l0NralSb5M&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;"></embed></object></p> <h3><a href="http://www.clipsyndicate.com/video/play/1231397/how_to_make_an_outlet_mount_for_your_cell_phone">2. The Plastic Bottle Cell Phone Outlet Mount</a></h3> <p>If you're tired of having your cell phone just lying around taking up space on the counter, or worse, the floor, this is a handy little gadget made from an old shampoo bottle. Can you say free? Nice.</p> <p><object width="425" height="330" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" id="cs_player"> <param name="movie" value="http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/cs_api/get_swf/3/&amp;wpid=0&amp;page_count=5&amp;windows=1&amp;va_id=1231397&amp;show_title=0&amp;auto_start=0&amp;auto_next=0" /> <param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed width="425" height="330" src="http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/cs_api/get_swf/3/&amp;wpid=0&amp;page_count=5&amp;windows=1&amp;va_id=1231397&amp;show_title=0&amp;auto_start=0&amp;auto_next=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object></p> <h3><a href="http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to-car-cell-phone-holder-cd-162887/">3. Make A Car Cell Phone Holder From an Old CD</a></h3> <p>The video is without sound (it's not needed by the way) and it shows you in about 30 seconds how to turn an old CD into a nifty holder for your car. Another super cheap option.</p> <p><embed width="400" height="345" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" name="Metacafe_728109" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" wmode="transparent" src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/728109/car_mobile_holder.swf"></embed></p> <h3><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2iDN9bWpMs">4. USB Charger From an Old Cassette Tape Box</a></h3> <p>You'll need a $2 part from a local Radio Shack, and some soldering experience. But it does create a handy and portable charger for very little money.</p> <p><object width="425" height="350"> <param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/T2iDN9bWpMs&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;" /> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed width="425" height="350" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/T2iDN9bWpMs&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object></p> <h3><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAi6l0C0am0">5. Use Your Cell Phone as a Wireless Mouse!</a></h3> <p>No kidding. If you have a bluetooth-enabled cell phone, this is possible. But only useful if you've lost track of your mouse, or have a laptop and don't have your mouse with you.</p> <p><object width="425" height="350"> <param value="http://www.youtube.com/v/fAi6l0C0am0&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;" name="movie" /> <param value="true" name="allowFullScreen" /> <param value="always" name="allowscriptaccess" /><embed width="425" height="350" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/fAi6l0C0am0&amp;hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;"></embed></object></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-1-cent-cell-phone-protector-and-other-hacks" class="sharethis-link" title="The 1-Cent Cell Phone Protector, and Other Hacks." rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> DIY General Tips bargain cell phone cheap hacks save money Fri, 30 Apr 2010 13:00:03 +0000 Paul Michael 53133 at http://www.wisebread.com Save Money by Investing in Your Children http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-by-investing-in-your-children <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/save-money-by-investing-in-your-children" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/1193956_45515520.jpg" alt="mother and son" title="mother and son" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Finances are certainly not the most valuable thing gained from having a good relationship with your children, but it is definitely a benefit! While it is never too late to start laying the foundation for a relationship with your child, the earlier you begin the more money it could save you.</p> <p><strong>Peer pressure costs money!</strong></p> <p>I am sure this comes as no surprise to those of you who have experienced the effects peer pressure can have. Whether it is the latest clothing fad, the newest phone, or the coolest car, we can be talking big bucks. Not to mention the period of time during which your child, specifically teenagers, no longer thinks that you as the parent has a clue as to what is going on! As our children seek to keep up with and please their friends more than their own parents, tensions arise. How can this be avoided? How can you build a quality relationship? How can you protect your wallet?</p> <p>Starting as an infant, our children look to us as parents for the meeting of needs, security, attention, and acceptance. Moving into the &quot;<a href="http://dimes2vines.com/2009/12/10/must-the-terrible-twos-be-terrible/">terrible two's</a>,&quot; children begin expressing their newfound independence gained through increased motor skills. This often results in tantrums. Our understanding of their developmental stage can help lay the foundation for a deep, lifelong relationship as we dispel the myth that the &quot;terrible two's&quot; are normal. This period of growth must be handled with wisdom, love, and firmness if the parent is to gain the child's respect. Starting at this early stage, clear communication of boundaries and expectations is imperative.</p> <p>As our children grow, time must be taken to train and teach them the difference between right and wrong. This time spent is expressed in one-on-one with the child, family activities and finally, correction/discipline. The relationship should not be characterized by correction/discipline. In fact, time spent sincerely praising the good qualities of your child can actually decrease the amount of correction/discipline needed. This time together gives children the attention they crave. This is where, many times, our selfishness gets in the way. Selfishness is the opposite of selflessness or giving of ourselves. Often as parents, we must give of ourselves for the sake of our family. In this context, I am speaking of refraining from activities we may enjoy, so as to spend quality time with our children and family. Children mirror our example. If we place priority on family time, they will also.</p> <p>This is not to say that activities we enjoy are wrong and should never be indulged in. The question is, <i>where are our priorities?</i> To use our activities as a means of escape is not placing priority on family relationships.</p> <p>What difference does all this make? When we give children the praise they need and desire, they do not have to look elsewhere &mdash; to peers. When family values are instilled, children will begin to look at what is best for the family. Working together as a family for a common goal gives children a sense of belonging, a feeling of being needed and of valuable contribution. No longer will the latest fads, which are so important to their peers, mesmerize them. Now, they have a higher purpose. Family goals and parental approval become more important. Consideration will be given to the hours of work necessary to purchase items. Consideration will be given to the consequences of peer related activities. No longer will the defining influence in our children's lives be their peers, but rather, us, the parents.</p> <p>Children are notorious for meeting the expectations placed upon them. If you expect nothing from your child, you will probably receive just that. If you expect <a href="http://dimes2vines.com/2010/01/26/teen-rebellion-does-it-have-to-be">teen rebellion</a>, you will probably get it. It is time that we as parents stop accepting what our society calls &quot;normal.&quot; Be proactive; develop a relationship with your child, with your family. Yes, it takes time and self-sacrifice. Is it worth it? I ask you, which would you rather have?</p> <ul> <li>A child who looks to you with respect and admiration, who wants you the parent to be impressed and who values your opinion. Or...<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>A selfish child seeking acceptance anywhere it is offered and seeking to impress those around with the most popular (and usually most expensive) designer's attire, latest new electronic toy, etc.</li> </ul> <p>The relationship is, of course, the most valuable asset gained from time invested with your child, children and family, but, the financial savings are certainly a benefit. Take the time to invest. If you do not do it in relationships you will have to invest in other ways.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-by-investing-in-your-children" class="sharethis-link" title="Save Money by Investing in Your Children" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><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>This is a guest post by Dina-Marie, who can be found at <a href="http://dimes2vines.com/">Dimes2Vines.com</a> where she shares her family&rsquo;s adventure starting a vineyard in west Texas. With 8 children still at home, there is never a dull moment! Read more articles by Dina-Marie:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://dimes2vines.com/2010/02/23/creative-income/">Creative Income</a></li> <li><a href="http://dimes2vines.com/2010/02/04/teen-rebellion-part-2/">Teen Rebellion (Part 2)</a></li> <li><a href="http://dimes2vines.com/2010/01/15/date-your-man-part-2/">Date Your Man (Part 2)</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dina-marie">Dina Marie</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Family children save money Sun, 25 Apr 2010 10:58:12 +0000 Dina Marie 41443 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Make Use of Sub-Par Produce http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-use-of-sub-par-produce <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-make-use-of-sub-par-produce" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fruit%20melons.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="197" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My grocer has a little known secret: It sells damaged and past-date produce weekly. To find it, you have to go around the corner of the regular produce aisle, next to where the employees take their breaks, and right in front of where the forklifts go in and out. It&rsquo;s in a wire bin with no special markings or signage. It&rsquo;s our little piece of heaven.</p> <p>In addition to finding your typical antique bananas and bags of slightly bruised apples, there are other delicious treasures: plastic-wrapped packages of bell peppers, bags of pre-washed organic lettuce hearts, and sacks of hodge-podge items that combine avocados, artichokes, and lemons in the same space. While not everything here is worth buying, they charge 50-99 cents for each package &mdash; regardless of what&rsquo;s inside or what shape it&rsquo;s in.</p> <p>Because we are not food snobs, and we&rsquo;ve learn to adapt our diet to include the parts of produce that others throw away, we love stocking up as much as we can fit into our cart. Anything that gets home in too bad a shape for us to eat happily goes to our 40+ laying hens for some much needed dietary excitement. Here are the ways we use up the good stuff, and how we eat well for pennies per pound of produce.</p> <h3>Dehydrate (drying)</h3> <p><img width="454" height="500" alt="" src="http://wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u148/banans_in_trays.jpg" /></p> <p><img width="454" height="276" alt="" src="http://wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u148/bananas_dried_in_glass.jpg" /></p> <p>This is perhaps one of the easiest ways to use up food. Bananas are especially delicious when sliced thinly and placed on the drying racks of our $25 food dehydrator. Other foods we have had fun doing this with include whole chili peppers and apple rings.</p> <p><img width="500" height="375" alt="" src="http://wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u148/peppers_on_trays.jpg" /></p> <p><img width="500" height="359" alt="" src="http://wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u148/peppers_in_jars.jpg" /></p> <p>You&rsquo;ll want to consult the directions that come with your food dehydrator to see if you&rsquo;ll need to add citric acid to your produce, but as long as the portions you are drying are not too bruised and are mold-free, you&rsquo;ll have a way to keep food for many months or even decorate your kitchen! (Our dried chili peppers are beautiful on the counter.)</p> <h3>Breads</h3> <p><img width="500" height="318" alt="" src="http://wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u148/wrapped_bananas.jpg" /></p> <p>Sweet breads, muffins, and cakes are very forgiving to the quality of fruit and veggies you can use. The parts of the bananas that are too mushy or brown to be dried effectively end up in a plastic bag that gets mushed up and made into banana bread. As long as the fruit hasn&rsquo;t reached the stage of fermentation (smells like alcohol), you&rsquo;re usually safe to put past-date fruits of all kinds into your favorite baking recipes. Don&rsquo;t forget that you can do this with some veggies, too! My <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Carrot-Cake-III/Detail.aspx">favorite carrot cake recipe</a> uses a whopping 3 cups of grated carrots, and this <a href="http://www.cooks.com/rec/doc/0,164,145163-240196,00.html">vegetable garden bread</a> puts cabbage and celery to good use!</p> <h3>Soups</h3> <p>While salads are often more about presentation than flavor, soups are the exact opposite. Traditionally, soup pots have been a final destination for the parts of the veggie that most of us today just chuck into our compost pile. The skins and rinds of certain produce, however, can contain more than just hearty flavor; they also house some of the most nutritious portions of the vegetable. Potatoes, for example, are chock full of vitamins when the skin is left on (just avoid anything that has already begun to sprout or places where the skin is green &mdash; this signifies a high glycoalkaloid content, <a href="http://www.snopes.com/food/ingredient/potato.asp">which is toxic</a>!) By using up your slightly wilted celery, less-than-juicy onions, and blemished carrots, you can create delicious soup bases, stocks, and stews for mere pennies. Hungry for a skin-on potato soup? Check out this <a href="http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2008/01/12/hearty-baked-potato-soup-a-quick-and-frugal-recipe-for-january/">mouth-watering rendition</a> from J.D. Roth!</p> <p><em>Note: Please be careful to wash all produce carefully, and be aware that some items will be healthiest when purchased as an <a href="http://wisebread.com/deciding-which-produce-to-buy-organic-the-dirty-dozen">organic offering</a>.</em></p> <h3>Freezing</h3> <p>My favorite way to quickly store the oodles of green, red, and yellow bell peppers that my grocer likes to put on quick sale is to simply rinse each pepper, slice into fourths, remove the seeds, and toss into a freezer bag. This is a great way to have green peppers on hand for making fajitas, <a href="http://parentingsquad.com/meatloaves-with-style-5-ways-to-jazz-up-the-wednesday-night-special">meatloaves</a>, or any other dish that requires cooked bell peppers. You can also freeze most any fruit or veggie, but blanching and citric acid may be required to maintain quality. (Dicing up tiny pieces of peppers, celery, and berries and then <a href="http://wisebread.com/ice-cube-trays-your-passport-to-huge-savings">freezing them in ice cube trays</a> make preparing soups and smoothies a breeze!)</p> <h3>Jams and Jellies</h3> <p>Much more labor-intensive, but possibly the most long-term of all solutions, making up a batch of strawberry jam or jelly is a tasty way to use up that couple of pints that didn&rsquo;t look so appealing at the grocery store. While the process itself takes some mastering, you can enjoy the &ldquo;fruits&rdquo; of your labor for many months to come!</p> <p>(Editors Note: As a few readers have pointed out, some types of overripe fruit may not be suitable for typical jams and jellies, as they will not contain the pectin needed to set well.&nbsp; Some ideas for long-term storage of fruit concoctions include chutneys, some berry jams that are stored in the fridge, and using overripe fruit as an addition to a basic jelly/jam or in homemade applesauce.&nbsp; Thanks to our many jam and jelly experts for helping us finetune this article!)</p> <h3>Juice</h3> <p>Have one of those expensive juicers at home just taking up space? Maybe you don&rsquo;t use it more because you hate cleaning it after every use. Or you just figured out how darned expensive it is to feed your juicing habit. Enter the miracle that is discounted produce: Use those bruised apples, bumpy carrots, and overripe berries to fuel you up before you leave for work. Feel good and save money!</p> <h3><baby food=""></baby></h3> <p><img src="http://wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u148/baby_food.jpg" style="width: 324px; height: 243px;" alt="" /></p> <p>Yes! My absolutely most frugal tip of this article is for the tiniest of foodies. Avoid buying premade baby food if you can make it yourself &mdash; for far less with reduced price produce! Whether you enjoy making up tiny portions of applesauce (crockpots work nicely for this), or you want to give a steamed, mashed broccoli mix a try, any edible, thoroughly washed, and properly cooked fruit or veggie can be blended into a beautiful and affordable puree for baby. Freeze or refrigerate for weeks&rsquo; worth of snacks and meals!</p> <p>Before you turn up your nose at the &ldquo;Manager&rsquo;s Special&rdquo; offered in your grocer&rsquo;s produce aisle, consider how much money you could save by buying their unwanted fruits and vegetables. Then look at the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/18/weekinreview/18martin.html">typical amount of fresh food wasted by the average American family.</a> Buying slightly damaged produce isn&rsquo;t disgusting &mdash; throwing away your money on overpriced food that you&rsquo;ll eventually let rot in the bottom of your crisper drawer, in my opinion, most certainly is.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-make-use-of-sub-par-produce" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Ways to Make Use of Sub-Par Produce" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Green Living fruit produce save money veggies Tue, 23 Mar 2010 14:00:06 +0000 Linsey Knerl 5954 at http://www.wisebread.com 26 Green Websites that Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/green-websites-that-save-and-make-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/green-websites-that-save-and-make-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2438005410_6100c23246.jpg" alt="Green Websites" title="Save Money with Green Websites" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are countless green websites on the internet today, ranging from tips about green parenting to business ideas for eco entrepreneurship. Most of these sites mention saving money while being green, but they tend to be more green (eco-friendly) focused and less green (money) focused. Luckily there are some green websites that you can count to consistently save you money.</p> <h2>Save When Shopping</h2> <h3>Buy Green Items</h3> <p><a href="http://www.greenshopper.com/">Greenshopper</a> is essentially an Amazon store that gives 10% of profits to environmental groups.</p> <p><a href="http://www.ecobunga.com/">Ecobunga</a> tells you about green giveaways and special deals.</p> <h3>Buy Used or Get Free Stuff<a href="http://www.freecycle.org/"><br /> </a></h3> <p><a href="http://www.craigslist.org/">Craigslist</a> is a site that everyone knows.&nbsp; But it's still worth remembering that while most items in the for sale/wanted section of Craigslist cost money, they are discounted and usually used, thus reducing landfill waste.</p> <p><a href="http://www.freecycle.org/">Free Cycle</a> is a worldwide network that allows you to get and give free stuff -- thereby reducing the amount of money you spend and reducing the amount of stuff going to landfills.</p> <p><a href="http://freesharing.org">FreeSharing</a> lists over 700 of local (often city based)&nbsp;free recycling groups that are similar to Free Cycle.&nbsp;</p> <p>Here are more sites like Free Cycle and FreeSharing organized by US, Canada, and&nbsp;UK. (For other countries it's best to look at FreeCycle.)</p> <p><strong>US</strong></p> <p>SharingIsGiving: <a href="http://sharingisgiving.org/linksa_n.htm ">US Listing: States A-N</a> and <a href="http://sharingisgiving.org/linkso_z.htm">States O to Z </a></p> <p><a href="http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/FreeGiveAway/gr">Free Give Away</a></p> <p><a href="http://freeuse.org/ ">FreeUse</a></p> <p><strong>Canada</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.reuses.com/site/">Reuses</a></p> <p><strong>&nbsp;UK</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.2recycle.co.uk/">2recycle</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.efreeko.co.uk/">eFreeko</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.snaffleup.co.uk/">SnaffleUp</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.dontdumpthat.org.uk/">Don't Dump That</a></p> <h2>Save On Your House</h2> <h3>Reduce Consumption and Waste Production</h3> <p>The <a href="http://lowimpactliving.com/pages/impact-calculator/impact-calculator ">Low Impact Living calculator</a> shows you home improvements you can make that will save you money while lowering your environmental impact.&nbsp; The end report tells you approximately how much the project will cost to do as well as how much you'll save -- allowing you to make the most cost effective decisions.</p> <h3>Reduce Electricity</h3> <p><a href="http://www.energystar.gov/">Energy Star</a> has a great website that will help you find appliances that will save energy, both reducing your impact on the earth while reducing the burden on your wallet.</p> <p>The<a href="http://ftc.gov/appliancedata"> FTC </a>also has good data on appliances.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http:// http://hes.lbl.gov/">This U.S. Government run website</a> allows you to conduct your own home energy audit. &nbsp;</p> <h3>Repair Instead of Buying New</h3> <p>Fix it forums like the <a href="http://www.bobvila.com/wwwboard/wwwboard.html">Bob Vila Fixit Site </a>will show you how to do your own housing repairs.</p> <p><a href="http://ehow.com">eHow</a> has good general advice for fixing just about anything.&nbsp; Although for more specific advice you are better off visiting the links in the resources section at the bottom of the eHow articles.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Save on Transportation</h2> <h3>Driving</h3> <p><a href="http://www.leopardo.com/vec/">This vehicle eco calculator</a> calculates the yearly cash savings along side by side with the yearly carbon emissions savings.</p> <p><a href="http://ecomodder.com/">Ecomodder</a> is one of the top websites for fuel economy and hypermiling tips.</p> <h3>Carpooling</h3> <p><a href="http://www.erideshare.com/">eRideShare</a> has daily carpools as well as carpools for special events and cross country trips.</p> <p><a href="http://www.carpoolworld.com/">Carpool World</a> has a good list of local carpools groups.</p> <p><a href="http://www.rideshare-directory.com/">Rideshare Directory </a>lists a number of regional carpool websites.</p> <h2>Save on Travel</h2> <p><a href="http://gogreentravelgreen.com/searchgreentravel.html">Search Green Travel</a> allows you to search for travel using the Kayak search engine, receives a share of advertising revenue every time you search, then donates 50% of profits to environmental organizations.&nbsp; <em>(Full disclosure notice, this is a website I (the author of this post) co-founded.)</em></p> <p><a href="http://www.rezhub.com/">RezHub</a> is a travel agency that donates 20% of their profits to environmental or volunteer nonprofits.</p> <p><em>What other green websites do you use to save money?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/green-websites-that-save-and-make-you-money" class="sharethis-link" title="26 Green Websites that Save You Money" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/elizabeth-lang">Elizabeth Lang</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Green Living green websites save money Wed, 26 Aug 2009 19:00:01 +0000 Elizabeth Lang 3541 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Tricks to Save Money with Credit Cards http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-save-money-with-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-tricks-to-save-money-with-credit-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/save-money-credit-card.jpg" alt="save money with credit cards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The most credit savvy among us have been able to use <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-guide">credit cards</a> to their benefit in order to wisely and optimally save money even while charging on their cards. If you are careful about how you use your credit cards, you may actually come out ahead by using them, rather than if you just stuck to cash. I've written about the perks of using cards before and why <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-i-prefer-credit-cards-over-cash">I prefer credit cards over cash</a>, but this time, I'd like to share some actual strategies we can use to get the most out of our credit cards.</p> <h3>10 Tricks To Save Money Through Prudent Credit Card Use</h3> <p><strong>1. Consolidate your credit card debt with care.</strong><br /> Many consumers use a common strategy to trim what they owe on their cards: they use balance transfer credit cards, which offer 0% or low APR on the balance that is moved over, but for a limited introductory period. Make sure you perform a cost benefit analysis before executing this plan since most cards these days have a balance transfer fee (typically around 3% of your debt) that you'll need to pay when you do the switch. You should also assess if you'll be able to pay off your debt entirely before the promotional 0% rate period is up, in order to avoid any increases in the card rate. If you can't make this work, it may still be worth doing a balance transfer if the new card carries a much lower APR than your old one.</p> <p><strong>2. Use rewards cards only if you can pay your balance in full.</strong><br /> I'm a huge fan of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-rewards-programs">credit card rewards</a>. But to offset the rewards that they pay out, rewards cards tend to have higher interest rates than regular credit cards. For instance, it would only make sense to earn American Express rewards if you intend to pay your balance in full each month, no fail.&nbsp; If you can't commit to such a schedule, then it's better to apply for lower interest cards.&nbsp; </p> <p><strong>3. Be careful about participating in credit card arbitrage schemes.</strong><br /> Because of today's more restrictive credit environment, it's now tougher for shrewd cardmembers to execute any money making schemes using credit cards. In the past, it was fairly easy to make money with cards by taking borrowed funds and funneling them into a high interest savings account that sported an attractive yield. With savings accounts no longer yielding such great returns and balance transfer cards with awesome terms now dwindling in number, this strategy is no longer as lucrative as it once was. There are still people who play this game though, but it's a game that requires top notch organizational skills since any misstep (say a forgotten or late payment) can cost you much more than you'd earn in this plan.</p> <p><strong>4. Pay more than the minimum and pay on time!</strong><br /> By simply practicing good payment habits, you'll avoid exorbitant finance charges and penalties levied upon your account. It's best to pay off any monthly balance in full, but if you can't swing it, then paying more than the minimum will save you quite a bit in interest over the long term. There are also certain credit cards that will reward you for this type of good behavior (check out my Citi Forward credit card review for more details).</p> <p><strong>5. Do your research before applying for a card.</strong><br /> Compare credit card offers before signing up for anything. Have you read the terms carefully? Based on your shopping habits, you'll find that there are certain credit cards that will suit your spending patterns better than others.</p> <p><strong>6. Don't own too many cards.</strong><br /> I'd avoid collecting rewards cards simply because owning too many may prevent you from optimizing your rewards on any one card. Also, having too many cards may just encourage you to charge more than you should and to overuse your credit.</p> <p><strong>7. Avoid relying on credit cards to cover an emergency.</strong><br /> Some people I know don't have emergency funds and end up relying on their collection of credit cards to bail them out whenever the need arises. However, with no savings, you're likely going to keep a balance on your credit card as soon as you use it for any unexpected expenses -- and keeping a balance means paying extra in interest. So keep in mind that while depending on your cards as backup is quite tempting to do, it will certainly be expensive in the long run if you charge up a storm.&nbsp; </p> <p><strong>8. Carry a spare credit card.</strong><br /> Here's a great compromise: if you are interested in taking advantage of rewards, you can still own a rewards card but use it only for those items that you'll be able to pay off completely each month. You may want to consider applying for a second card which should be of the low interest kind; this is the card that you can afford to own with a balance given its lower rates.</p> <p><strong>9. Talk to your card issuer about lowering your rate.</strong><br /> If you've got a good history as a cardmember, you may have some leverage here. When you've been a customer for a while, give your card company a call to discuss the possibility of cutting you a break on the rates. They're more amenable to this type of request than you think since card companies would love to hold on to their good clients.<br /> <strong><br /> </strong><strong>10. Don't use your card for cash advances.</strong><br /> Avoid using any free checks that come your way that draw from your credit card account. And try not to use your card for any form of cash advance -- it's not worth what you'll pay for the convenience.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-save-money-with-credit-cards" class="sharethis-link" title="10 Tricks to Save Money with Credit Cards" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/silicon-valley-blogger">Silicon Valley Blogger</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Credit Cards Debt Management credit credit cards debt save money Mon, 24 Aug 2009 14:11:37 +0000 Silicon Valley Blogger 3526 at http://www.wisebread.com Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily http://www.wisebread.com/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/reduce%20bills.JPG" alt="cell phone" title="cell phone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Are your <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">credit card</a> interest rates getting to you? Are those monthly <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-ways-to-stay-in-touch-on-the-road">cell phone</a> bills a pain in the wallet? How about <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-monthly-expenses-we-dont-realize-we-dont-need">cable TV</a>? Internet? Even the power bill? Would you like to reduce these charges without the hassle of changing suppliers? Read on, my frugal friend.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">As <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-personal-finance-tips-you-dont-always-hear-about">Tisha recently pointed out</a>, most suppliers will not be forthcoming with you about less expensive suppliers in the marketplace or new options within the same company that could save you money and be a better fit for your needs. But this does not mean that you aren&rsquo;t entitled to save this money. You just have to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-in-style-for-free">ask for it</a>.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Once my contract was up with my cell phone provider, I did a little shopping around for new plans. I didn&rsquo;t actually <i>intend </i>to change carriers; I was just doing some research. As a matter of course, I was able to find another carrier that on the surface appeared to provide a better deal.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p>Armed with information, I toddled off to the telephone and called my cell phone supplier. In a friendly and conversational tone, I suggested that there were other providers that could match or beat my current plan. In the next breath I said that I would prefer to keep my business with this company, since I believe in loyalty and since they have given me no reason to leave. I finished off with the big question: <b>&ldquo;What Can You Do For Me?&rdquo;</b> And then I let them talk.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p>On that day, I received $150 towards a new phone, 100 free minutes per month, and a substantial reduction in my monthly charges. All simply by asking.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">After this experience, I thought &ldquo;this is too easy!&rdquo; and looked for other ways to save money.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p>I called my credit card company with a similar pitch and ended with &ldquo;What Can You Do For Me?&rdquo; I hung up the phone with my annual fee eliminated and my interest rate reduced by 6%. Again, simply by asking.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p></o:p>I repeated the same procedure with my cable tv company, and walked away with a cable and internet package that far surpassed what I was previously getting, saving me over $40/month between the two.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Reducing your bills and getting <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-discount-every-time">discounts</a> is really as simple as asking for it. When I had to get new tires for my car the other day, I was quoted a price and immediately asked if they could give me a discount for paying with cash. They reduced their rates by $10 and threw in free installation, rotation, and balancing.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>If you want to save money on your bills, here are a few pointers to get you started:</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><b>Do Your Research.</b></h3> <p>By understanding the going rates across the market, you are in a better position to evaluate both what you are currently paying, and what is being offered to you when you call. Knowledge equals negotiating power.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><b>Be Prepared to Walk</b>.</h3> <p class="MsoNormal">If you are calling with a &ldquo;holier than thou&rdquo; tone of voice, suggesting that another carrier will give you a better deal, then you need to be prepared to walk if you really believe the other supplier is better. Calling with a bluff is bad form. Besides which, if you aren&rsquo;t offered a deal and you say you are canceling your plan, a whole new wave of &ldquo;please stay, we need your business&rdquo; discounts sometimes become available as a result.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><b>Ask for the Manager.</b></h3> <p>Sometimes the customer service representative you are speaking to doesn&rsquo;t have the power to provide the discount you would like. Thank them for their help, tell them that you have no problems whatsoever with how they have dealt with you, but that you would like to speak to a manager to see if you can strike a better deal. They are usually cordially helpful in this manner, and the further up you travel on the company food chain, the deeper the discount possibilities are.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><b>Be Nice! </b></h3> <p class="MsoNormal">Even if you call to complain, be nice. You stand a much better chance of achieving what you want by treating the customer service representative like a human being. I once called to lodge a complaint about an online order mistake, and because I was nice about it, the representative (who had obviously endured a brow-beating day of nasty complaints) was so overtly surprised that our conversation was pleasant that she sent me $40 in coupons in addition to fixing the problem right away. <o:p></o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><b>Anything is Discountable.</b></h3> <p class="MsoNormal">Truly &ndash; you can negotiate just about anything. Just because a website advertises specific rate packages does not mean that you cannot bend the rules. I recently signed up for internet access with a new supplier; in so doing I researched the packages available online, and then called to ask if they had any promotions available. Between the two people I talked to, I saved over $400 in posted connection fees, received 50% off the posted monthly rates, and got a $10 monthly reduction in my telephone bill too. None of these discounts were posted online, and I don't believe they would have become available to me if I had not asked.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <h3><b>Target Suppliers you have been with for a While. </b></h3> <p class="MsoNormal">The longer you have been with a supplier, the better a case you have for getting a discount to stay with them. Don&rsquo;t be afraid to point out how long you have given the company business before asking what they can do for you.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I do believe that the &ldquo;squeaky wheel gets the grease&rdquo; as the adage goes. But I also don&rsquo;t believe that the squeaky wheel has to be a whining, moaning, bitching one. You can pipe up, ask for a discount, and get exactly what you want quite effectively using these tips above and by keeping a smile on your face. Try it &ndash; and reduce your credit card interest rate and phone bills in the meantime.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate-and-reduce-your-phone-bill-immediately-and-easily" class="sharethis-link" title="Lower Your Credit Card Interest Rate and Reduce Your Phone Bill, Immediately and Easily" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living Life Hacks Budgeting Consumer Affairs Credit Cards Lifestyle Shopping cable tv changing suppliers credit card interest rates discounts lower bills pay less phone bills reduce bills save money Mon, 02 Feb 2009 21:11:43 +0000 Nora Dunn 2805 at http://www.wisebread.com Biggest Money Saving Tip: Move Far Away from the Joneses http://www.wisebread.com/biggest-money-saving-tip-move-far-away-from-the-joneses <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/biggest-money-saving-tip-move-far-away-from-the-joneses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/google%20map.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="183" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">I have to admit that while many people in the U.S. talk about “Keeping up with the Joneses”, I spent the first 20 years of my life never knowing what that meant.<span> </span>My rural lifestyle kept me somewhat content with the things I had.<span> </span>I quickly learned, however, that being “well-off” has a lot to do with “location, location, location.”</p> <p class="MsoNormal">My first abrupt introduction into material desire came when I moved to the city.<span> </span>Living there the first 2 years, I never really felt I needed more.<span> </span>My friends and I all had clean apartments, enough food to eat, and extra cash for the occasional concert or party.<span> </span>I bought CD’s when I wanted to, kept a pager, and wouldn’t hesitate to buy a sweater on clearance at the outlet mall.<span> </span>I felt like I was really living the life, and my friends in the restaurant business felt the same. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">After landing a very nice job at an insurance-related company, I was slowly seeing the world in a new way.<span> </span>Sweaters became suits, my pager was traded-up for a cellphone, and $2 taco dinners at the dive down the street gave way to $9 wings at the upscale brewery.<span> </span>Even my car (which I adored) was feeling the pressure of this faster, more expensive social circle.<span> </span>(I remember telling my new co-workers about my Dodge Charger.<span> </span>They ran outside to see it, envisioning some souped-up <em>Dukes of Hazzard</em> look-alike to be waiting there.<span> </span>Their disappointed faces told me that 1982 was NOT the year for that particular model.<span> </span>We took my friend’s pre-owned, 2-year-old Lexus to lunch after that.) </p> <p class="MsoNormal">My new coworkers were not shallow.<span> </span>They just had grown up differently than I had.<span> </span>I grew up wearing the same pair of jeans for as many years as it took to wear out the knees.<span> </span>When they became too worn or outdated to wear in public, I threw them on to work in the garden or do farm chores (which consumed much of our time.)<span> </span>Nothing was done away with simply because there was a newer, slicker alternative on the market. <span> </span>My new coworkers, on the other hand, had always lived or worked in the city, came from homes with double incomes, and spent more time traveling than at home.<span> </span>While neither way was better, I was reeling from the new pressures. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">I managed to appear on the outside that I was keeping up.<span> </span>I parked my car far away from the office building, made friends with the mailroom employees (who were younger and more easy-going), and planned my road back to a simpler lifestyle.<span> </span>7 years after I moved away from my tiny rural town, I’m moved back again. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Right away, I noticed that nothing much had changed.<span> </span>I recognized my neighbors right away, because they were still driving the car they drove when I was in Junior High.<span> </span><em>If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?</em><span><em> </em> </span>Since it was largely still a farming community, no one gave me a second look when I popped into town with muddy tennis shoes and a tore-up baseball cap.<span> </span>I wondered what my old friends from work would have said. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">And while I still keep in touch with my dearest pals from the city, the gap gets wider every year.<span> </span>They talk Mommy-and-Me classes and shoes, while I talk 0-point turning mowers and how much my kids enjoy pulling weeds.<span> </span>Do I see farmers in my community go overboard, being consumed by materialism and competing with their neighbors for a faster boat, bigger truck, and greener yard?<span> </span>Sure.<span> </span>But it is far easier to avoid the rat race when there’s 8 acres between me and the next rat. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">For some, it may be easy to keep your focus on just what you need, and moving away from temptation and pressure could seem like a cop-out.<span> </span>For me, it just made sense.<span> </span>There’s a freedom in finding your geographical place in the world.<span> </span>Whether you’re a city mouse, a country mouse, or an everywhere mouse (like some of our own bloggers), finding a place to settle in and be content for the moment is still the very best way to save money.<span> </span></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/biggest-money-saving-tip-move-far-away-from-the-joneses" class="sharethis-link" title="Biggest Money Saving Tip: Move Far Away from the Joneses" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Personal Finance Frugal Living Lifestyle frugality lifestyle save money Sat, 05 Jul 2008 22:44:44 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2218 at http://www.wisebread.com How Wisebread helped me get 45mpg out of my 28mpg car. http://www.wisebread.com/how-wisebread-helped-me-get-45mpg-out-of-my-28mpg-car <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-wisebread-helped-me-get-45mpg-out-of-my-28mpg-car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2467025428_c6d66a3c02.jpg" alt="gas money" title="gas money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="375" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There have been several great articles written by my fellow Wisebread writers on <a href="/gas-efficient-driving">gas efficient driving</a> , <a href="/how-to-save-0-54-per-gallon-on-gas">slowing down </a> and <a href="/maximize-your-cars-efficiency-with-hypermiling">hypermiling</a> . I think the sign of a good blog is that we take our own advice, and in the case of gasoline, I’ll take all the help I can get. But even I was shocked at the amazing results I got.</p> <p>Before I took the advice, the best I got out of my 2006 VW Passat was 31.8 mpg. And I was happy with that. As you can see from the image below, the top mpg for my vehicle is 28mpg highway, and a paltry 19mpg city. So, I felt good about myself.</p> <p><img src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/Picture_1_6.png" alt="vw passat" title="vw passat" width="457" height="344" /></p> <p>But as it turned out, I had a lot of bad driving habits. For a start, I was guilty of a lead foot, slamming it down as soon as the lights turned green. I would drive at the speed limit or just above, which meant doing 70mph when I was allowed. And I would often drive a little too close to the car in front. Not dangerously so, but enough to make me have to stop more quickly at a red light.</p> <p>With all of this going on, I was still a pretty good driver. Getting my 31.8 mpg was nice to see (I have one of those mpg monitors in my display, which is very handy). But, I wanted to see if I could squeeze a little more out of my car using the tips from <a href="/how-to-save-0-54-per-gallon-on-gas">Lynn</a> and <a href="/maximize-your-cars-efficiency-with-hypermiling">David</a> .</p> <p><strong>Here’s what I did:</strong></p> <p>First, I slowed down. I found 55-60mph was all I needed to do. Sure, it sometimes added a little more time to my journey, but only a few minutes. On my morning commute, I set off a little earlier.</p> <p>I left much more space between my car and the car in front. This allowed my to coast more, and I did a lot less braking. Sometimes I would find myself never stopping, but merely slowing and speeding up. And remember, when you stop at a light you’re getting a big fat ZERO mpg.</p> <p>I stopped treating traffic lights like the beginning of a Nascar race. Instead, when the light turned green I pulled away slow and steady. Sometimes I’d hear honking horns but I just ignored them. So what? </p> <p>I used my cruise control. This is one of those hypermiling tips that is killer. Unlike the accelerator peddle, the cruise control + and – settings are much more accurate and controllable. I could accelerate by 1/2mph or 1mph, and slow down in the same way. This is very gas efficient. </p> <p>That was it. I started a few months ago, and this week I hit 45mpg on a trip that I used to get 29mpg on. The proof is below. It’s not the best quality, it was taken on my cell phone, but it’s not tampered with in any way. Scout’s honor. </p> <p><img src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/52008_082.jpg" alt="pauls car" title="pauls car" width="375" height="500" /></p> <p>What does that mean monetarily? Well, my car has an 18.5gallon tank. It costs around $65 to fill it up (and who knows how much more that will increase to…scary thought).</p> <p>Using my old method of driving, the most mileage I can get from that tank (if I’m only taking highway journeys) is 588 miles. That’s 31.8 x 18.5. Now, with my new method of driving I can get 832 miles from that one tank of gas. That’s 244 extra miles, or about 5 gallons of fuel. That’s a bunch! And I’m filling my car up every two weeks, which means Wisebread has saved me up to $40 each month. And by the way, I don&#39;t do a lot of city driving, but when I do I still get 34mpg. That&#39;s almost double the estimate for my vehicle.  </p> <p>It just goes to show…it pays to listen to your friends sometimes. Thanks Lynn and David. </p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-wisebread-helped-me-get-45mpg-out-of-my-28mpg-car" class="sharethis-link" title="How Wisebread helped me get 45mpg out of my 28mpg car." rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Frugal Living Life Hacks Cars and Transportation General Tips fuel economy gas mileage gas prices gasoline mpg save money Fri, 23 May 2008 17:25:47 +0000 Paul Michael 2121 at http://www.wisebread.com The one site you must visit before buying anything online. Period. http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-site-you-must-visit-before-buying-anything-online-period <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-one-site-you-must-visit-before-buying-anything-online-period" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2065891945_7bea6b10e0_o.jpg" alt="Buying online" title="Buying online" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Friends, deal hounds, bargain hunters, lend me your ears; if ye don't know about the best coupon site on the web, bar none, then this will indeed be a most glorious day for thee (sorry, I'm really not Shakespeare). But in all seriousness, there is one site I have bookmarked that I visit before I buy anything online, ever. And you should, too.</p> <p>The site in question is called <a href="http://www.retailmenot.com/">retailmenot.com.</a> It's brought to you by the same folks who invented <a href="http://www.bugmenot.com/">BugMeNot.com</a> (a great way to get logins for sites without having to register).</p> <p><img width="335" height="84" title="RMN" alt="RMN" src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/logo.png" /></p> <p>I have been using it with immense success for over a year and it's already saved me hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. I personally believe it's the ultimate coupon code site, which is saying a lot in a day and age when those sites are everywhere.</p> <p>Retailmenot.com is very user friendly, has a great user interface, complete with thumbnails of the sites you're looking for, and has more codes in one place than any other site I've used.</p> <p><img width="240" height="240" title="Screenshot" alt="Screenshot" src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/2150567542_410b86e37c_m.jpg" /></p> <p>Better still, people vote on the success of the codes submitted. Some get a 100% success rate, others 60% (when you get one of those lesser codes to work, a strange sense of Mr. Burns rubbing his hands with glee comes over you). I also have a Widget installed on my Mac desktop for even quicker access to the savings. When there are deals around, there's no time to lose. Expiration dates come around all to quickly.</p> <p><img width="350" height="238" title="Widget" alt="Widget" src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/Picture_2_3.png" /></p> <p>I would write more, but there's really no point. It's simple to use, it's essential for anyone shopping online and it's a site I visit and use daily. And before anyone asks, this is not a paid endorsement...unless you count the serious cash the site has already saved me.</p> <p>Onwards people...the coupons are waiting, you will save money.</p> <p>(<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVnEUy_YZXI&amp;eurl=http://www.retailmenot.com/tutorial.php">video below </a> courtesy of ABC 15)</p> <p><object width="425" height="355" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"> <param value="http://www.youtube.com/v/pVnEUy_YZXI" name="movie" /> <param value="high" name="quality" /> <param value="false" name="menu" /> <param value="" name="wmode" /><embed width="425" height="355" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" menu="false" quality="high" wmode="" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/pVnEUy_YZXI"></embed></object></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>NOTE: For those of you with Firefox, there is a retailmenot add-on that is invaluable. You can <a href="https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4980">download it here</a> , as always it's a free download. Gotta love Firefox.</p> <p><img width="500" height="147" title="toolbar" alt="toolbar" src="/files/fruganomics/u17/Picture_2_4.png" /></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-one-site-you-must-visit-before-buying-anything-online-period" class="sharethis-link" title="The one site you must visit before buying anything online. Period." rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping bargains codes coupons retailmenot save money Thu, 28 Feb 2008 17:35:19 +0000 Paul Michael 1860 at http://www.wisebread.com