groceries http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5817/all en-US How to Keep Food Waste From Spoiling Your Budget http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-food-waste-from-spoiling-your-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-keep-food-waste-from-spoiling-your-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-459410387.jpg" alt="save money by tracking food waste" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How much food do wealthy nations waste? More than <a href="http://www.fao.org/save-food/resources/keyfindings/en/" target="_blank">all of Sub-Saharan Africa produces</a>, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. In the United States alone, from the farm to your kitchen, half of all produce ends up in the trash, according to a report by The Guardian.</p> <p>What does that waste mean for your household budget? If you're like the average family of four, you're literally <a href="https://www.nrdc.org/resources/wasted-how-america-losing-40-percent-its-food-farm-fork-landfill" target="_blank">throwing away $1,800 a year</a>, the National Resources Defense Council estimates.</p> <p>So a melon is a terrible thing to waste. We've heard it before. But what can we really do about it? Here are six ideas for taking action by quantifying food waste. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-wasting-13-of-the-food-you-buy-heres-how-to-stop?ref=seealso" target="_blank">You're Wasting 1/3 of the Food You Buy &mdash; Here's How to Stop</a>)</p> <h2>Weigh your waste</h2> <p>The Environmental Protection Agency suggests that households spend two weeks separating &quot;preventable food waste&quot; garbage from inedible scraps as part of its <a href="https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-02/documents/get_smart_ftgtw_2_1_2016_pubnumberadded_508.pdf" target="_blank">Food: Too Good to Waste Challenge</a>.</p> <p>At the end of each week, weigh and record the food you could have eaten but tossed instead. Then, spend three weeks using the EPA's tips to improve your planning, shopping, and storage practices. Finally, measure what you waste during the sixth week, and share the impressive progress you've (ideally) made on social media. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/waste-not-want-not-stop-throwing-away-your-food?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Waste Not, Want Not: Stop Throwing Away Your Food!</a>)</p> <h2>Get the app</h2> <p>So often in busy households food goes to waste because you forget it's there. The iOS app <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nowaste-food-inventory-list/id926211004?mt=8" target="_blank">No Waste</a> allows you to scan the barcodes of stuff in your fridge, enter expiration dates, and track everything you've got. If you don't mark a food item as &quot;eaten&quot; before its expiration date, the app marks that food as wasted. It keeps track of the percent of your food that you waste, and shows you a cute little tree that loses its green if your waste increases. It also allows you to compare your waste percentage with other app users, and gives you an estimate of how much money you're saving by eating the food you paid for.</p> <h2>Create a food diary</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.squawkfox.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Food-Waste-Diary.pdf" target="_blank">printable food waste diary</a> prompts you to record not just the amount of food wasted at each meal, but also the reason and estimated value. This should be helpful to put a weekly dollar figure on your waste and motivate you to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-uses-for-food-thats-about-to-go-bad" target="_blank">consume foods that are about to go bad</a>.</p> <h2>Impose consequences</h2> <p>Whether you used a printable from, a smartphone app, or simply scrawled the amounts and values of your waste on a scrap of paper stuck to the fridge, what do you do with this data? Why not use it to (gently) punish yourself? Take the total value of this week's waste, and deduct it from next week's grocery budget. Chances are, the pain of passing up buying the steak you wanted might help you remember to use up that meatloaf next week.</p> <h2>Track it publicly</h2> <p>Recording your food waste alone in your kitchen is OK, but wouldn't it be more fun to inspire others by planning a <a href="https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/food-waste/research/assignments/mission-no-waste-meal1" target="_blank">Watch Your Waste Meal</a>? In the days leading up to your event, you're supposed to track your waste and share photos of your discards, which a celebrity chef might use as inspiration for a new dish.</p> <h2>Take a picture, it'll last longer</h2> <p>Are you more of a visual learner? Then follow The Frugal Girl's example and photograph <a href="http://www.thefrugalgirl.com/category/food-waste/food-waste-photos/" target="_blank">every bit of food you waste</a>. If you really want to push yourself to improve, share it online like she does! But even a private gallery of moldy horrors should be enough to encourage yourself to save the kale.</p> <h2>Beyond your kitchen</h2> <p>Once you've got a handle on what you throw away at home, turn your attention to the millions of pounds of food that gets thrown away by businesses before you even get a crack at it.</p> <h3>Buy ugly</h3> <p>In California and Portland, <a href="https://www.imperfectproduce.com/" target="_blank">Imperfect Produce</a> delivers weekly boxes of vegetables and fruits that are not cosmetically perfect enough to be sold in stores but still fresh and wholesome.</p> <h3>Take-out the trash</h3> <p>Still in beta, the app <a href="https://foodforall.us/" target="_blank">Food for All</a> will allow you to purchase unsold food from restaurants at the end of the day, at discounts as steep as 80 percent. Lucky Bostonians get to try this super frugal service first.</p> <h3>Save a mint</h3> <p>If you work in or own a restaurant, try the app <a href="https://www.mintscraps.com/" target="_blank">MintScraps</a> to track and reduce food waste.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-keep-food-waste-from-spoiling-your-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Keep%2520Food%2520Waste%2520From%2520Spoiling%2520Your%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Keep%20Food%20Waste%20From%20Spoiling%20Your%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Keep%20Food%20Waste%20From%20Spoiling%20Your%20Budget.jpg" alt="How to Keep Food Waste From Spoiling Your Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-food-waste-from-spoiling-your-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-smart-shoppers-will-save-at-amazons-whole-foods">How Smart Shoppers Will Save at Amazon&#039;s Whole Foods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shop-the-salad-bar-and-other-ways-to-save-big-on-groceries">Shop the Salad Bar and Other Ways to Save Big on Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-53-grocery-shopping-tricks-thatll-make-your-life-easier">Flashback Friday: 53 Grocery Shopping Tricks That&#039;ll Make Your Life Easier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-122-no-fuss-dinner-ideas-thatll-save-you-money">Flashback Friday: 122 No-Fuss Dinner Ideas That&#039;ll Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink food shopping food waste green living groceries grocery bill grocery budget saving money shopping tips Spending Money Fri, 22 Sep 2017 08:00:06 +0000 Carrie Kirby 2024819 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: 5 Ways to Waste Money at the Grocery Store http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-5-ways-to-waste-money-at-the-grocery-store <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-5-ways-to-waste-money-at-the-grocery-store" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_produce_groceries_577319084.jpg" alt="Woman wasting money at the grocery store" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found articles on ways you may be wasting money at the grocery store, smart ways to grow your savings, and the best deal sites for coupons and discounts on everything.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="https://fortunateinvestor.com/5-ways-waste-money-grocery-store/">5 Ways We Waste Money at the Grocery Store</a> &mdash; Not all organic produce is worth the extra cost. [The Fortunate Investor]</p> <p><a href="https://dyernews.com/3-smart-ways-to-start-growing-your-savings/">3 Smart Ways to Start Growing Your Savings</a> &mdash; Resist the temptation to withdraw from your savings by making it more difficult to access the funds. A CD &mdash; certificate of deposit &mdash; will do just that! [Dyer News]</p> <p><a href="http://moneypantry.com/deal-sites/">22 Best Deal Sites: Bargain Shopping Sites for Coupons &amp; Discounts (on Everything!)</a> &mdash; Find the best bargains on practically everything by checking these sites for coupons, discounts, and deals. [Money Pantry]</p> <p><a href="https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Car-Hacks-35664947">19 Insanely Cool Car Hacks You Should Try Out</a> &mdash; Hang a shoe organizer on the back of a seat to store knickknacks during road trips. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://www.frugalvillage.com/2017/09/18/inexpensive-improvements-for-your-backyard-experience/">Inexpensive Improvements for Your Backyard Experience</a> &mdash; Simple updates can make a big difference. Rent a pressure washer and clean your patio and walkways, or add some flowering plants to brighten up the space. [Frugal Village]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.marcandangel.com/2017/09/17/10-regrets-too-many-people-will-have-in-10-years/">10 Regrets Too Many People Will Have in 10 Years</a> &mdash; Too many people wait, overanalyze, and never take the necessary steps to realize their goals. [Marc &amp; Angel Hack Life]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneyjojo.com/making-money/ways-to-get-paid-to-travel-the-world/">16 Ways To Get Paid To Travel The World</a> &mdash; If you have experience in sales, you can take it abroad and help businesses break into new markets in various countries. [Moneyjojo]</p> <p><a href="http://productivitytheory.com/4-ways-increase-empathy/">4 Ways to Increase your Empathy</a> &mdash; Empathy is a skill you can cultivate like any other. Follow these steps to increase your empathy and enhance how you relate to and communicate with others. [Productivity Theory]</p> <p><a href="https://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2017/0915/Can-resilience-planning-be-disentangled-from-climate-politics">Can resilience planning be disentangled from climate politics?</a> &mdash; Climate change is a polarizing topic. In contrast, most people agree that resilience planning is crucial to help communities deal with disasters. [The Christian Science Monitor]</p> <p><a href="http://www.easyways.net/20-easy-ways-get-rid-cramps/">20 Easy Ways To Get Rid of Cramps</a> &mdash; Moderate exercise (like yoga, swimming, walking and jogging) can help relieve cramps, especially the kind caused by menstruation. [easyWays]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-5-ways-to-waste-money-at-the-grocery-store">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breaking-the-bread-code-how-to-get-the-freshest-loaf">Breaking the Bread Code: How to Get the Freshest Loaf</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-big-at-these-4-discount-supermarkets">Save Big at These 4 Discount Supermarkets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-ways-to-stretch-your-grocery-dollars">20 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Grocery Dollars</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping best money tips groceries Wed, 20 Sep 2017 08:30:17 +0000 Amy Lu 2023543 at http://www.wisebread.com Shop the Salad Bar and Other Ways to Save Big on Groceries http://www.wisebread.com/shop-the-salad-bar-and-other-ways-to-save-big-on-groceries <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/shop-the-salad-bar-and-other-ways-to-save-big-on-groceries" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/portrait_of_beautiful_young_woman_choosing_green_leafy_vegetables.jpg" alt="Portrait of beautiful young woman choosing green leafy vegetables" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Feeling the pinch at the grocery checkout line? You're not alone. Food prices have risen <a href="https://www.thebalance.com/why-are-food-prices-rising-causes-of-food-price-inflation-3306099" target="_blank">an average of 2.6 percent a year</a> over the past 20 years, according to The Balance. And though inflation has slowed recently, you can bet food prices will be back on the uptick when contributing factors change, like fluctuating oil prices, weather conditions, and good ol' supply and demand. In the meantime, give your budget a well-deserved break by adopting these supermarket-savvy practices to reduce your grocery overhead.</p> <h2>1. Shop the salad bar for almonds, bacon bits, and more</h2> <p>You might avoid the salad bar at your local supermarket because of its outrageous prices &mdash; my local Wegmans cold salad and fruit bar is a whopping $9.49 a pound &mdash; but there are deals hidden among all that overpriced produce.</p> <p>Six ounces of name brand Diamond of California slivered almonds retails for $4.99 at the store, or roughly $13.30 per pound, compared to the flat rate of under $10 at the salad bar. Bacon bits are another big win for your wallet. A three-ounce bottle of Hormel Real Bacon Bits come in at $2.49, making a pound's worth more than $13, but who needs that when you can cop a full pound of the really &quot;real&quot; stuff at around 59 cents per ounce?</p> <p>To do your own investigative work into how you can save at the salad bar, visit your local grocer's website and compare packaged products and fresh produce to what you might find in the salad bar. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-grocery-store-habits-that-are-making-you-broke?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Grocery Store Habits That Are Making You Broke</a>)</p> <h2>2. Break off just the right amount of bananas from the bunch</h2> <p>Did you know that you don't have to buy the whole bunch of bananas? Most stores price the fruit by the pound, but don't require that all the bananas in a bunch stay together. If the bunch is too big for what you think you'll eat, just break off the amount that suits you and be on your way.</p> <h2>3. Compare bone-in and boneless chicken pound-per-pound</h2> <p>Boneless chicken is most people's go-to protein these days, but we're paying quite a markup for the convenience of skin-and-bone removal.</p> <p>My store doesn't even carry nonorganic bone-in chicken breasts anymore, but nonorganic bone-in chicken thighs (store brand) are 99 cents per pound compared to their boneless counterparts at $1.99 per pound. More than double is quite a leap just to be bone-free.</p> <p>You also may be able to shave a few bucks off your bill by buying your fresh boneless chicken breasts with rib meat instead of the hand-trimmed cutlets. Those prices are $1.88 per pound and $2.79 per pound, respectively, at my store, which is enough of a difference for me to learn to love to the rib meat. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/great-summertime-grilling-for-any-budget?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Great Summertime Grilling for Any Budget</a>)</p> <h2>4. Ask for a rain check on out-of-stock sale items</h2> <p>If the shelf is empty on a sale product, you may be able to still get the deal with a rain check. You can usually obtain these at customer service, but be sure to have the sales circular or your mobile device showing the deal to expedite the process, just in case the cashier is unfamiliar with the promotion. (They shouldn't be, but it happens often when I'm shopping.) Your rain check will allow you to buy the product for the sale price even after the sale is over once the item is back in stock.</p> <h2>5. Stick with frozen seafood</h2> <p>&quot;A lot of time the seafood you find frozen in the store is the same as the thawed stuff on display, which can be marked up by as much as 40 percent,&quot; says nutritionist and health coach Jamie Logie, author of the blog and podcast Regained Wellness.</p> <p>Turns out, she's right. Farm-raised EZ-Peel Raw Shrimp at my Wegmans is $10.99 per pound, but the same exact shrimp frozen and bagged is only $8.49 per pound. Plus, with the frozen stuff there's no rush to eat it before it spoils; it's there whenever I want it.</p> <h2>6. Segment your shopping between grocery and drugstores</h2> <p>By and large, drugstores like CVS, Rite-Aid, and Walgreens have higher-priced items compared to the same products at the supermarket, but you can save in these stores on certain things. My local Rite-Aid offers coupons, sometimes up to 25 percent off, and it often has Buy-One-Get-One (BOGO) deals on the snacks we all love, like chips and ice cream. When I wrote this, Rite-Aid had Cheez-It crackers BOGO for $3.29, whereas two boxes of the same would cost $3.96 at Walmart.</p> <p>At CVS, I've personally saved $139.33 using coupons, which are plentiful if you're a member of the <a href="https://www.cvs.com/extracare/home" target="_blank">ExtraCare Rewards program</a>. I also took advantage of a one-time offer to try out its new curbside service to save $10 off a $15 purchase. These promos really add up if you use them the right way.</p> <h2>7. Make spices with your unused vegetables</h2> <p>Think twice about throwing away that half an onion you don't think you'll use before it rots. Yvonne Sanders, from healthy-eating and weight-loss program Slimming World, explains how to turn them into spices.</p> <p>&quot;Simply dehydrate onion or garlic, then crush it up to make garlic or onion powder seasoning,&quot; she says. Same goes for your herbs and hot peppers. Dehydrate them before they start to decay for more fresh and flavorful cooking.</p> <h2>8. Turn nearly expired milk into ice cubes for your morning coffee</h2> <p>If you know you're not going to drink all the milk before it expires or spoils, make milk ice cubes for your morning joe.</p> <p>&quot;If you're wont to drink coffee with some milk, this is a great way to preserve cartons of milk in your fridge,&quot; Sanders says. &quot;Just use an ice tray to freeze and drop into your next coffee or even smoothie.&quot;</p> <h2>9. Ditch the cart and pick up a basket</h2> <p>It's scientifically proven that shopping with a large cart compels you to buy more than you actually need. Marketing consultant Martin Lindstrom told USA Today, &quot;We did an experiment with that, and we actually doubled the size of the shopping cart,&quot; he said. &quot;And you buy 40 percent more.&quot;</p> <p>Don't let the psychology of shopping cost you. Opt for the smaller cart, or pick up a basket and head to the register once it's full.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fshop-the-salad-bar-and-other-ways-to-save-big-on-groceries&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FShop%2520the%2520Salad%2520Bar%2520and%2520Other%2520Ways%2520to%2520Save%2520Big%2520on%2520Groceries.jpg&amp;description=Shop%20the%20Salad%20Bar%20and%20Other%20Ways%20to%20Save%20Big%20on%20Groceries"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Shop%20the%20Salad%20Bar%20and%20Other%20Ways%20to%20Save%20Big%20on%20Groceries.jpg" alt="Shop the Salad Bar and Other Ways to Save Big on Groceries" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shop-the-salad-bar-and-other-ways-to-save-big-on-groceries">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-having-your-groceries-delivered-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Having Your Groceries Delivered Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-checkout-line-tricks-to-finish-shopping-faster">5 Checkout Line Tricks to Finish Shopping Faster</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shop-for-food-once-a-month-and-save-big">How to Shop for Food Once a Month and Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-smart-shoppers-will-save-at-amazons-whole-foods">How Smart Shoppers Will Save at Amazon&#039;s Whole Foods</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping food shopping groceries grocery shopping grocery tips salad bar saving money Wed, 12 Jul 2017 08:00:13 +0000 Mikey Rox 1982442 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Smart Money Challenges You Can Totally Do http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-money-challenges-you-can-totally-do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-smart-money-challenges-you-can-totally-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_pumping_fists_celebrates_success_under_money_rain.jpg" alt="7 Smart Money Challenges You Can Totally Do" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you up for a money challenge? How about several?</p> <p>Make no mistake, some of the savings challenges below are tough. Some may even drive you a little bonkers. But they are all achievable if you put your mind to it, and can leave you with more money for your financial goals &mdash; in some cases, considerably more. They may even leave you healthier and happier.</p> <p>So, if you think you have what it takes, here are seven money challenges. Which ones will you take on?</p> <h2>1. Use thrift stores whenever possible</h2> <p>Of course, there are necessities you can't get at a thrift store, like groceries. But for clothing, household items, electronics, and a whole host of other products, thrift stores are a gold mine.</p> <p>Thrift store clothing is usually in excellent condition, and sold for a fraction of the price you'd pay at a retail store. Simply pop the garment in the wash when you get home, or get it dry cleaned, and you're good to go. Thrift stores also have special offer days &mdash; Goodwill runs 99-cent tag days every week. You can actually pick up a winter coat, a great watch, or a coffee maker for less than a buck. Do this challenge for one year, and see how much you save.</p> <h2>2. Do the 52-week savings plan</h2> <p>Often known as the &quot;52-week money challenge&quot; or &quot;a dollar extra every week,&quot; the plan eases you into saving a substantial sum of money over the course of one year. It's simple enough, and very easy to stick to, at least at first.</p> <p>In January, at the end of week one, you'll put $1 into your savings account (or jar). At the end of week two, you pop in $2. Week three, $3. And so on for the whole year. By the time you reach the end of December, you'll have saved almost $1,400.</p> <p>The only drawback to this plan is that the amounts get larger and larger as the year goes on, and they're the most expensive during the December holidays. But stick with it, and you'll have a nice chunk of money to celebrate with. Even if you bail at the end of November, you'll have collected over $1,100. That could pay for a lot of those gifts and special events.</p> <h2>3. Cancel Amazon Prime</h2> <p>Look, we all know how good Amazon Prime is: free two-day shipping, a massive library of free movies and TV shows, and some great prices on thousands of items. <em>But</em>, and this is a big but, for some people it can become addictive. Having instant (or almost instant) gratification is incredibly satisfying. Admit it, how many times have you casually hit the &quot;Buy now with 1-Click&quot; button when you saw something you liked?</p> <p>The website and app are designed to make impulse buying easier. One woman recently documented how she spent over <a href="https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/spendingandborrowing/a-woman-who-spent-dollar41000-on-amazon-highlights-a-critical-money-lesson/ar-BBBzSX8" target="_blank">$41,000 on Amazon Prime</a> from 2008 to 2016. In 2015, she bought 427 items &mdash; more than there are days in a year. And not only did she find it very easy to do, she was at a loss as to what most of these items were.</p> <p>So if you feel like you are too often tempted by Amazon Prime, then try giving it a miss for a while. See how much you save. You may find it is a temptation that sucks money away from you.</p> <h2>4. Stop eating out, and no more fast food</h2> <p>According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015, the average American family spent over $3,000 on takeout and dining out. That's $250 every month!</p> <p>That same year, the average family spent just $4,015 on groceries. And the gap between those figures continues to narrow. As a nation, we're addicted to quick and easy meals and it's really hurting our wallets.</p> <p>So, make a pledge right now to give it up for a month or two. No more restaurants. No more quick stops at the drive-thru. For at least two months, give up the notion of getting food from anywhere but your own home. Bring lunches to work. Pack lunches for the kids. Plan meals for every night of the week, and get creative with leftovers. You will miss the quick fix and the ease of eating out, but you will save hundreds of dollars. Furthermore, you will not be eating all those preservatives, fats, and chemicals that come with fast food. You'll be healthier <em>and </em>richer.</p> <h2>5. Do your shopping on just one day of the week</h2> <p>When I was growing up, Friday was grocery shopping day. My parents would take us all to the local supermarket with a list of things to buy, and that's what we bought. That would have to last us for the week, and there were no exceptions. If we ran out of fruit or cereal, we'd find substitutions. If we wanted candy or soda, and we ate what we had by Tuesday, then we had to wait to get more.</p> <p>This taught my sister and I that we had to ration what we had, and that we could not simply rely on an endless supply of whatever we wanted. Plus, every time you pop into a grocery store, even if it's just for bread or milk, you inevitably get caught up in special offers and eye-catching deals, and come back with more than you need. So, set a day of the week to shop, even if it's done via a home delivery service, and stick with it. What's more, this challenge makes it much easier to budget for the month.</p> <h2>6. Spend one month haggling over as much as you can</h2> <p>This one is tough for people who don't like confrontations or talking to customer service. However, if you persevere, you will come out of it saving a whole lot of money.</p> <p>Spend the first week haggling with every service provider you have. Your cable, internet, and phone providers have something called a customer retention department. Their role is simply to keep you as a customer, and they have some significant discounts to offer just to keep you on board. All you have to do is call and say you want to cancel, and you will be offered rebates and lower rates almost immediately.</p> <p>Next, hit up your credit card and banking providers. Can they <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-lower-your-credit-card-interest-rate" target="_blank">lower your interest rates</a>?</p> <p>After that, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/negotiate-better-prices-on-these-6-grocery-store-buys" target="_blank">start haggling in stores</a>. If you go grocery shopping in the evening, you will be able to make the manager some offers on food that is about to expire. Sometimes, perfectly good food destined for the garbage can be acquired for pennies on the dollar.</p> <p>Be brave. Aim high, and if you get nothing, guess what? You've lost nothing. But chances are, you'll come out on top most of the time.</p> <h2>7. Clear out the pantry and fridge once a month</h2> <p>Take a look in your fridge, freezer, and pantry when you finish reading this article. You will probably be amazed at what you find in there. For a start, many of the items at the back of the pantry and fridge will be expired. That is cash in the trash. You will also find things you completely forgot you bought, and perhaps a few items that should never have been in there in the first place.</p> <p>Sort through everything and then stick to using up everything in the pantry and fridge for one week. Don't go to the store. Don't eat out. Get creative! You will come up with all sorts of weird food concoctions, but that's half the fun. You can also search recipe sites, input what ingredients you have available, and receive recipe suggestions that use those ingredients. Some people do this religiously, and it leaves them with a well-organized kitchen and very little food waste each month.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-smart-money-challenges-you-can-totally-do&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Smart%2520Money%2520Challenges%2520You%2520Can%2520Totally%2520Do.jpg&amp;description=7%20Smart%20Money%20Challenges%20You%20Can%20Totally%20Do"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Smart%20Money%20Challenges%20You%20Can%20Totally%20Do.jpg" alt="7 Smart Money Challenges You Can Totally Do" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-money-challenges-you-can-totally-do">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-you-should-set-for-the-holidays">10 Money Goals You Should Set for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-savings-with-this-easy-budgeting-system">Boost Your Savings With This Easy Budgeting System</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-everyday-money-tasks-youve-been-doing-wrong">12 Everyday Money Tasks You&#039;ve Been Doing Wrong</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-personal-finance-skills-everyone-should-master">12 Personal Finance Skills Everyone Should Master</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-49-smartest-amazon-hacks-that-will-save-you-big">Flashback Friday: 49 Smartest Amazon Hacks That Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance amazon prime food costs games groceries haggling money challenges negotiating saving money shopping thrift stores Mon, 03 Jul 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Paul Michael 1971280 at http://www.wisebread.com 31 Foolproof Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill http://www.wisebread.com/31-foolproof-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/31-foolproof-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_shopping_in_supermarket.jpg" alt="Couple shopping in supermarket" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Americans are spending more on food now than they have over the past decade, according to the Food Institute. That doesn't mean buying groceries has to break your budget. Here are over 30 ways to cut costs at the supermarket.</p> <h2>1. Use the best credit card</h2> <p>One often overlooked but simple way to cut costs is by using the right credit card for your groceries. Imagine getting 6 percent of your purchases back as cash back, without a single coupon. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Use These Credit Cards at the Supermarket</a>)</p> <h2>2. Set a budget</h2> <p>Take a look at all of your grocery expenses over the past few months &mdash; or even the past year, if you have the records &mdash; and figure out how those expenses mesh with your other financial goals. Could you cut back and make more room for other items in your budget, including savings? Come up with a target grocery budget and then track (and adjust) your spending to make sure that you stick to that budget each week.</p> <h2>3. Shop at home first</h2> <p>Purchasing items that you already have at home can be a waste of both time and money. Be sure to quickly inventory your pantry and refrigerator before you hit the supermarket so you haven't forgotten about purchases you've already made.</p> <h2>4. Plan your meals</h2> <p>Once you've taken stock of the ingredients you have at home, come up with a few meals that make use of them with the addition of as few ingredients as possible. Then you can pick up only the items that you need, and reduce weekday stress of figuring out what's for dinner.</p> <h2>5. Shop the circular</h2> <p>Look through the weekly deal list put out by most supermarkets (you can typically find them online) to see what's on sale and plan your meals around those items. Typically the items on the front page of the circular are &quot;loss leaders,&quot; or merchandise that's offered at an extra discount in order to lure customers into the store.</p> <h2>6. Make a list</h2> <p>Once you've got a meal plan, it's easy to make a list of exactly what you need for the week. Shopping from a list also reduces impulse purchases and insures that you won't forget items, which could require another trip to the store and present another opportunity to overspend.</p> <h2>7. Play the coupon game</h2> <p>Whether you're clipping them from newspapers or downloading them online, coupons are an easy way to find savings on items that you're purchasing anyway. Keep an eye on expiration dates, and look for stores that will double coupons for extra savings. But don't get tempted to buy things you don't need, just because you've got a coupon. It's not a bargain if it's unnecessary.</p> <h2>8. Switch up stores</h2> <p>Different grocery stores offer better discounts on different categories of purchases. Over time you may have come to know where to get the best deals on different items. But make sure you keep an eye on changing prices and sales. Once you've planned your list, look through the various circulars to figure out which store is offering the most compelling deals for you this week and shop there. Next week, you may find it worth trying your luck somewhere else. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-alternatives-to-the-grocery-store?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Affordable Alternatives to the Grocery Store</a>)</p> <h2>9. But show some loyalty to all of them</h2> <p>Join the loyalty programs of the various supermarkets where you shop to get additional discounts and coupons at the register. Follow them on social media, too, for notice of special sales or discounts.</p> <h2>10. Stock up on deals</h2> <p>Pay close attention to the prices of nonperishable items you purchase often. Then, when you see a good deal, purchase as many as you have room for.</p> <h2>11. Ask for a rain check</h2> <p>If you see a great deal advertised in the circular or the store but the item is sold out, you can still get that sale price. Most stores will give you a &quot;rain check,&quot; or a voucher to purchase the item at the sale price at a later date.</p> <h2>12. Cut back on meat</h2> <p>Meat is one of the most expensive items that you put in your grocery cart each week. If going completely vegetarian won't work for your family, consider adopting Meatless Mondays or making meat the side dish instead of the main course for some meals.</p> <h2>13. Stay in season</h2> <p>Fresh produce costs less when it's in season, so try to time your purchases accordingly. You'll get the best prices on berries, for example, in the summer, while oranges are cheapest in the winter months. Planning your meals around what's in season ensures you'll get the best flavors, too.</p> <h2>14. Put your freezer to work</h2> <p>If you have a hankering for off season fruits or vegetables, see whether they're available in the frozen aisle. Frozen produce is typically picked at its ripest and immediately frozen, locking in many of its nutrients. You can use your freezer to reduce other grocery costs as well, freezing meat purchased at a discount or extra portions of meals you've cooked before they go to waste.</p> <h2>15. Call in the subs</h2> <p>Swap out high-cost ingredients in recipes for lower-cost substitutes that can reduce the overall cost of the meal without sacrificing taste. Try turmeric rather than saffron, for example, or cream cheese in place of goat cheese.</p> <h2>16. Hit up a warehouse store</h2> <p>Warehouse stores often have lower per-unit prices than grocery stores on items like paper goods, cleaning products, and toiletries. They may also have good deals on food items, but make sure that you're not buying so much food that it could go bad before your family eats it all. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-to-use-at-costco?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards to Use at Costco</a>)</p> <h2>17. Bring your own bag</h2> <p>Some grocery stores offer a discount to shoppers who bring their own reusable shopping bags. Bonus: You'll be helping the environment while you shop.</p> <h2>18. DIY</h2> <p>Some of the most expensive items in grocery stores are prepared foods or those where some of the prep work has been done for you. If you can take the time to chop your own fruits and vegetables, grate your own cheese, marinate your own fish, or boil you own eggs, you can pay significantly less.</p> <h2>19. Don't go all in with organics</h2> <p>In general, produce that has a thicker skin (things like avocado, mangoes, and grapefruit) have lower levels of pesticides than those without (such as strawberries, spinach, nectarines, and apples). Consider spending extra only for those foods that have higher pesticide levels.</p> <h2>20. Drink (tap) water</h2> <p>In addition to being expensive, drinks like soda and juice are full of sugar, so eliminating them is better for both your budget and your body. Bottled water is healthier, but it's also an unnecessary expense when you can drink water from your faucets for free. If water quality is an issue, a low-cost filter can help. Cutting down on bottles reduces hassling with heavy items and reduces your environmental impact as well.</p> <h2>21. Don't wander</h2> <p>Rather than walking through every aisle in the grocery store, don't even turn down those without items on your list. That will save you time and prevent unnecessary impulse purchases.</p> <h2>22. Become a gardener</h2> <p>Vegetable seeds are relatively inexpensive, and just a few plants can yield dozens of fresh veggies that you won't have to purchase later at the supermarket. If you're not up for a full vegetable garden, consider starting with an herb garden. That will allow you to pick and use herbs as needed, rather than being forced to purchase more than you need for a particular recipe at the grocery store.</p> <h2>23. Take it back</h2> <p>Didn't notice the mold on those strawberries in the store? Rather than throwing the whole container away, return it to the store. Most grocery stores have relatively generous return policies and will be happy to exchange your item for a fresh one.</p> <h2>24. Divide and conquer snacks</h2> <p>Single-serve snack portions cost a lot more than those purchased in a single large box or bag. Instead, purchase the larger size, and divide it into smaller portions at home.</p> <h2>25. Crunch the numbers</h2> <p>Check the price tag to see if it includes unit pricing (price per ounce, for example). If not, use your cellphone calculator to figure out the unit price and then compare that to other sizes and other brands to make sure you're buying the one that offers the most value.</p> <h2>26. Use apps</h2> <p>Your calculator isn't the only feature on your smartphone that could save you money at the grocery story. Try <a href="https://ibotta.com/r/jcsgjbv">Ibotta</a>, which will give you cash back on featured products if you submit a photo of your receipt; and ShopKick, which sends you rewards and discounts when you walk into a store and buy certain items. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop?ref=seealso">8 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a>)</p> <h2>27. Try out the store brand</h2> <p>Many name-brand and generic products are literally the same thing with different packaging, and considerably different price tags. Compare ingredients lists to see if there are any noticeable differences. If not, go with the store brand.</p> <h2>28. Ignore checkout displays</h2> <p>Keep your eye on the register, your shopping partner, or your phone at checkout, rather than on the candy or other items on display. There's a reason the checkout line is filled with easy-to-grab items. A shopping list can help lower &quot;decision fatigue,&quot; but you'll still need to be on guard to get through that final gauntlet of temptations.</p> <h2>29. Eat (a healthy snack) before you shop</h2> <p>Shopping on an empty stomach can lower your resistance to impulse purchases and make you end up spending more. But it matters how you fill that empty stomach. Researchers at Cornell University have found that consuming a healthy snack before grocery shopping can increase the likelihood that you'll make healthy food choices while at the store.</p> <h2>30. Check sell-by dates</h2> <p>Look for items with the furthest-out sell-by date (often in the back of a display). That will give you more time to consume the product at home and reduce the chances that it will go to waste.</p> <h2>31. Consider subscription services</h2> <p>A local CSA may offer a monthly box of fruits and vegetables that cost less than it would at the supermarket. Other services like Amazon Fresh and <a href="http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1025473&amp;u=255320&amp;m=54592&amp;urllink=&amp;afftrack=" target="_blank">FreshDirect</a> may offer discounted items that save you money, even after their monthly fee. Check out the options in your area and you may be surprised to find that these services can save you both time and money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-having-your-groceries-delivered-can-save-you-money?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Having Your Groceries Delivered Can Save You Money</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beth-braverman">Beth Braverman</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-foolproof-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-shopping-mistakes-keeping-you-from-a-great-deal">The 6 Shopping Mistakes Keeping You From a Great Deal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-shopping-list-strategy-from-5-meal-plan-will-save-you-big">This Simple Shopping List Strategy From $5 Meal Plan Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-12-best-frozen-food-values">The 12 Best Frozen Food Values</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-a-ton-by-eating-soup-every-day-and-never-get-bored">How to Save a Ton by Eating Soup Every Day (and Never Get Bored!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-8-shopping-apps-thatll-actually-save-you-money-in-2016">The 8 Shopping Apps That&#039;ll Actually Save You Money in 2016</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping budgeting coupons deals frozen foods groceries grocery store meatless monday sales saving money supermarket Wed, 07 Jun 2017 08:31:05 +0000 Beth Braverman 1959963 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Save a Ton by Eating Soup Every Day (and Never Get Bored!) http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-a-ton-by-eating-soup-every-day-and-never-get-bored <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-save-a-ton-by-eating-soup-every-day-and-never-get-bored" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-537368113.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to save a ton by eating soup every day" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In January I found a sale on Progresso Soup for 99 cents per can, down from it's normal $3.29 price at my local grocery store. It was a huge savings on something we usually buy as a last-minute lunch backup. And since I love soup, this sale was extra exciting to me. It's a veritable soup coup!</p> <p>So, naturally I had to call my husband, Mr. Spendypants, about my glorious, souper duper find.</p> <p>Yes, this is what passes as exciting in our marriage. Don't judge us.</p> <h2>Taking full advantage of our soup savings</h2> <p>We fell into this yummy life hack by accident. My husband and I are currently working opposite schedules, so it's hard to make a more complicated meal that is hot and on the table when both of us are home and hungry. January was so overbooked with work that we agreed to simplify suppertime. Instead of our typical, fancy multicourse dinner, we'd just split a can of soup and eat some homemade bread. To round out the meal, the person who got home first would make a vegetable side from whatever we already had in the fridge.</p> <p>At the end of the week, we were shocked to find that we'd only spent $20 on food for two people.</p> <p>We decided to make our bread and soup dinner a nightly habit for the rest of 2017 as a part of our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-2016-budget-challenge-three-lessons-about-saving-one-husband-learned-in-a-year" target="_blank">ongoing budget challenge</a>. You don't have to go to that extreme to realize advantages from a scaled-back version of our plan. And you can improve the nutritional profile by sticking with low-salt, vegetable-laden, and no-cream varieties of canned soup, or making homemade soup. Beyond the price, there are a lot of benefits to our limited menu.</p> <h2>1. It's flexible</h2> <p>My husband and I are committed to bread and soup dinners for a year, but I know our meal plan sounds a little hard-core and weird to anyone who isn't a big soup aficionado already. However, canned soup has a long shelf life, so it's great to have on hand for those particularly busy weeks when every minute counts. Consider stocking your pantry with two weeks' worth of these timesaving dinners to get you through rough patches in your schedule.</p> <p>Also, if automating seven meals a week is going to cause whining at the dinner table, you could always start by automating just one meal a week, to give the family cook a break.</p> <h2>2. It's not boring</h2> <p>One of the reasons why this meal hack works so well for us is that it doesn't get boring. There are approximately a bazillion canned soup varieties to choose from, and even more recipes for homemade soup, so we don't get tired of eating the same thing.</p> <p>To keep dinner costs at a minimum, we have also been careful only to buy produce that is both on sale and in season. This shopping limit has had a secondary effect of keeping our side veggie plate interesting because we can't rely on eating the same fruits and vegetables year-round.</p> <h2>3. It's simple to make</h2> <p>Because we are using canned soup, this is such an easy meal that a 10-year-old could make this with very little supervision. It requires no special tools or cooking skills. Dinner can be ready and on the table within 10 minutes.</p> <p>Want to try homemade? Even if you are a novice cook, it's hard to ruin soup. Ease yourself into cooking from scratch by practicing with some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-soup-recipes" target="_blank">basic soup recipes</a>.</p> <h2>4. The numbers are easy to track</h2> <p>The automation aspect of this meal plan makes it easy to budget around. The soup costs about $7 a week. The bread ingredients cost less than 50 cents per loaf, or less than $2 per week. Since we have access to cheap or free produce in our area, we've managed to keep our side salad budget to around $5 per week. Our grocery spending is much more predictable now.</p> <p>Pro Tip: My mother eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with an apple every single day for lunch. She knows not only the cost of her lunch, but also the nutritional value and the calorie count. If you want to be super calibrated with your calorie counting and grocery budgeting, you can automate one meal each day to this basic level. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-ways-to-automate-your-everyday-life?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Easy Ways to Automate Your Everyday Life</a>)</p> <h2>5. It works with almost any budget</h2> <p>We've managed to keep our dinner budget to about $2 per day for two people, but you can make the meal even less expensive if you are in a budget pinch by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-delicious-soups-you-can-make-from-leftovers">making your own soup</a>. I saved even more money on our grocery budget this week when a friend gave me a turkey carcass to turn into turkey broth. Also, this month we've been using the weeds out of our backyard as salad ingredients.</p> <h2>6. Homemade soup can be made in bulk in advance</h2> <p>We are currently dining on a lot of canned soup in part because our tiny freezer is packed with food. As we eat through our freezer stash, we are making room for homemade soups. Obviously it takes longer to make soup from scratch than it does to open a can, but it's still very easy to make a huge amount of soup in advance and then freeze it in individual portions. And, because we own a slow cooker, soup is one of those dishes that we can actually make while we sleep!</p> <h2>7. It's easy to scale</h2> <p>Do you have company coming over? Thaw more soup.&nbsp;Are you eating alone? Open a can and put half in the fridge for later.</p> <h2>8. It works with most diets</h2> <p>Because this meal is basically soup and salad, you can tailor it to your own dietary needs or available pantry supplies.&nbsp;If you don't like bread, substitute potatoes, rice, or another inexpensive grain dish for the bread.</p> <h2>9. It increases vegetable intake</h2> <p>Since my husband and I are borderline vegetarians, our new canned soup habit has actually increased our meat consumption. That said, the average American does not eat enough vegetables, and soup is an easy way to up your vegetable servings. Obviously, vegetarian soups like gazpacho or Turkish lentil soup will increase your vegetable intake the most, but even canned chicken noodle soups provide between 10 percent and 50 percent of the daily value for vitamin A.</p> <h2>10. It reduces stress</h2> <p>There's no decision fatigue with this meal. The only thing we have to think about is finding another sale on soup before we run out. Luckily, soup goes on sale pretty regularly, so we've already re-upped our supply twice.</p> <p>Also, because our menu planning is simple and clear, shopping requires no forethought. Our shopping list consists of: milk, coffee, soup, tea, bread-making ingredients, and the least expensive vegetables in the store that week.</p> <h2>11. It saves on food waste</h2> <p>One side effect of our extremely tight dinner budget is that we are not tempted to buy more food than we can eat in a week.</p> <p>Also, soup is the perfect vehicle to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-night-soup-delicious-soup-from-leftovers" target="_blank">transform leftovers</a> into a delicious second meal. Even unattractive food like wilted lettuce, broccoli stems, and stale bread can all be converted to soup or added to pre-made canned soup to stretch it further.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-a-ton-by-eating-soup-every-day-and-never-get-bored">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-simple-shopping-list-strategy-from-5-meal-plan-will-save-you-big">This Simple Shopping List Strategy From $5 Meal Plan Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/31-foolproof-ways-to-lower-your-grocery-bill">31 Foolproof Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-122-no-fuss-dinner-ideas-thatll-save-you-money">Flashback Friday: 122 No-Fuss Dinner Ideas That&#039;ll Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch">5 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries in a Pinch</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping budgeting dinner ideas Food groceries grocery shopping tricks meal planning saving money soup Fri, 19 May 2017 08:00:08 +0000 Max Wong 1950125 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way http://www.wisebread.com/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_grocery_store_505801836_0.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to try hot new food trends the frugal way" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It seems there&rsquo;s always a new health food trend going on, and companies are quick to capitalize by conveniently packaging and offering them on store shelves for us to try. Unfortunately, trying what's new and different isn't always affordable. You're in luck, though. Here are the trends, and how you can enjoy them on the cheap.</p> <h2>1. Wellness beverages</h2> <p>The chilled beverage sections at your grocery store are probably teeming with new tonics and juices. Many of them include ingredients like turmeric, vinegar, and maca. There are even beverages that contain medicinal mushrooms! While this is all very interesting and even quite tasty, these drinks come at a premium &mdash; costing anywhere from $5&ndash;$14 per bottle.</p> <p>I make my own vinegar-infused beverage at home. It actually tastes a lot like kombucha, just at a fraction of the cost. First, I crack open a can of my favorite sparkling water from Aldi, usually lemon or lime. Then I pour it over a tablespoon of Aldi's organic apple cider vinegar. Mix and enjoy.</p> <h2>2. Oily byproducts</h2> <p>A company called Eco Olea has made a variety of house cleaners using the water that's left over after making olive oil. Another company is using the liquid from cooking chickpeas to make vegan mayonnaise. Incorporating byproducts into new products is definitely on the rise, and it's great to see that less is going to waste.</p> <p>How can you try this trend at home? Stop before you toss the liquid you drained from that can of chickpeas. That gooey stuff is called <em>aquafaba</em>, and there are many good things you can make with it. Try this vegan&nbsp;<a href="http://vanillacrunnch.com/aquafaba-chocolate-mousse-3-ingredients-vegan-and-glutenfree/" target="_blank">chocolate pudding</a> made from aquafaba. Sounds strange, but when you combine it with dark chocolate, maple syrup, and vanilla extract? Delicious.</p> <h2>3. All things coconut</h2> <p>You've probably tried coconut water and coconut oil to see what all the fuss is about. This year, the coconut is expanding its horizons. You can buy coconut flour, coconut chips for baking, and a whole host of other products. While <a href="http://amzn.to/2os53cS" target="_blank">coconut flour</a> costs about $3 a pound, prepackaged foods made with this ingredient are even steeper.</p> <p>Here's an easy recipe for homemade&nbsp;<a href="https://www.wholesomeyum.com/recipes/coconut-tortillas/" target="_blank">coconut flour tortillas</a>. You need just three ingredients: coconut flour, eggs, and nondairy milk. It only requires a half cup of flour. Whisk the ingredients together. Then heat a skillet and cook it like a very thin pancake, flip, and fill with your favorite hummus or whatever else you like wrapped up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a>)</p> <h2>4. Purple foods</h2> <p>You may have heard that you should eat the rainbow &mdash; vibrant, fresh veggies that come in all colors. In 2017, the color everyone seems to be focusing on is purple. You can find purple cauliflower, purple potato chips, purple corn, purple asparagus, and much more at your local grocery store.</p> <p>If you want to try this one at home, try making this gorgeous&nbsp;<a href="http://prettypies.com/recipe/purple-sweet-potato-pie/" target="_blank">purple sweet potato pie</a>. If you don&rsquo;t want to deal with the almonds and dates for the crust, you can always stick with a traditional pie crust out of flour and butter. It will still look gorgeous.</p> <h2>5. Healthier pastas</h2> <p>You can find pasta made from chickpeas, lentils, and quinoa on shelves at the store. If you take a walk around the produce section, you may even see some varieties of spiralized vegetable &quot;pastas&quot; that are healthy alternatives to the traditional noodles we all know and love. I'm especially flabbergasted by the price of the spiralized noodles because produce can be quite cheap when it's in season.</p> <p>The up-charge is all about the noodle-making process. And that's an easy at-home thing you can do yourself. Invest in a&nbsp;<a href="http://amzn.to/2oP1PSm" target="_blank">spiralizer</a>, and you'll be set with beet and zucchini noodles for life.</p> <h2>6. Unique condiments</h2> <p>My husband and I are addicted to interesting condiments. But I can't say it's good for our wallets. These days, you can find anything from ghee with pink Himalayan sea salt to pomegranate molasses to chipotle adobo sauce. One way I like to save on these splurges is to check out what our local Home Goods (a discount store) has on the shelves. I can often find condiments a few dollars cheaper than they might be at the grocery store.</p> <p>Making your own cool condiments is another option. Buying ghee at the store can cost around $1.20 an ounce. You can make it at home for around 67 cents an ounce. Just get eight ounces of a good-quality organic butter and heat it over low heat in a medium saucepan. Continue cooking until the milk solids turn brown and fall to the bottom of your pan, around 10 minutes. Then pour through cheesecloth into a glass jar for safekeeping. This makes five ounces of ghee.</p> <h2>7. Meal kits</h2> <p>Eating out can be expensive. But making everything from scratch can be time-consuming and messy. Many people are turning to meal kits you can easily toss in the oven. You can find some awesome vegetable mixes in the freezer section that won't break the bank. Others include pasta and even meat for a no-fuss meal. Just check your prices carefully and take advantage of coupons and store sales when you can.</p> <p>You may also want to try make your own meal kits. Sure, the process takes some effort &mdash; but it will save you time and money in the long run. I actually tried this method out last month when I made a bunch of &quot;dump meals&quot; to stash in my freezer. I'm hooked. It's seriously as easy and opening cans, chopping stuff, and tossing it in a bag to freeze for later cooking in the Crock-Pot.</p> <h2>8. Japanese food</h2> <p>Japanese foods are becoming more popular, as well. But move over sushi, the trend this year is going beyond the roll. Check out ingredients like miso, seaweed, and mirin. Have you ever heard of Japanese-style pickles? I hadn't either, and now I'm utterly intrigued.</p> <p>My own family regularly eats udon noodles with our stir-fries. This ends up being cheaper than buying Japanese takeout because we get a huge bag of stir-fry veggies in the freezer section and buy tofu in bulk. We also like incorporating miso into our meals &mdash; a little goes a long way. Try a miso-tahini dressing on anything from roasted sweet potatoes to salads. Combine a quarter cup tahini with just one tablespoon miso. Then add in lemon juice, warm water, and cracked pepper. You'll enjoy the flavor every day!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shop-the-salad-bar-and-other-ways-to-save-big-on-groceries">Shop the Salad Bar and Other Ways to Save Big on Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-having-your-groceries-delivered-can-save-you-money">6 Ways Having Your Groceries Delivered Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-shop-for-food-once-a-month-and-save-big">How to Shop for Food Once a Month and Save Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-food-waste-from-spoiling-your-budget">How to Keep Food Waste From Spoiling Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping Food food shopping food trends groceries grocery budget grocery shopping saving money Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1931161 at http://www.wisebread.com The Easy Way to Save Up a Big Travel Budget http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-516262792.jpg" alt="Woman learning how to save up a big travel budget" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Traveling is an undeniably amazing experience, but as with so many of the finer things in life, it does come with a price tag attached. Cost is unfortunately one of the biggest factors that prevents people from traveling.</p> <p>However, if getting to see the world is a serious goal of yours, this may be the perfect time to renew your focus on savings so that you can afford to pay for your wanderlust. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-easy-ways-to-save-for-your-dream-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Ways to Save for Your Dream Vacation</a>)</p> <h2>Set a goal and deadline</h2> <p>To help you get motivated to save more, set a clear goal and a timeline. The more specific the goal, the better, since it will allow you to visualize your trip and get excited about it. For instance, if you've dreamed about taking a trip to Europe for years, decide on your top destinations and how long you want the trip to last. That will help set a ballpark budget figure to aim for.</p> <p>Next, attach a savings deadline &mdash; for example, decide that you will buy your plane tickets within the next six to 12 months. Don't give yourself much more time, or you'll lose the urgency to put money away <em>now</em>.</p> <p>Having this type of a clear savings goal will help you stay motivated and make your trip feel more like a reality and less like a distant dream. It will also give you a schedule for your savings, allowing you to calculate how much you need to set aside each month to be able to afford your upcoming trip.</p> <h2>Slash unnecessary spending</h2> <p>Your goal will help you find the motivation to make some of the sacrifices that come with putting more money toward savings. You will want to shift your mindset from the short-term gratification of an immediate purchase (whose charm almost always wears off quickly) to the long-term gratification that comes from an experience that will leave you with memories for a lifetime.</p> <p>You may be surprised to realize how much of your spending is discretionary. Think of anything you are spending money on that you could live without. For instance, you can save a lot of money by cooking for yourself, instead of going out to eat. Even less-than-fancy meals at restaurants like Panera or Chipotle can cost $7 and up. If you indulge in this convenience three times a week, you're spending $84 a month. Substitute each of those meals with frugal home cooked meals and save.</p> <p>A car can be a significant expense, so if you can do without it you are setting yourself up for big savings. According to AAA, it costs the average American car owner around $8,558 to own and maintain their vehicle each year (this includes $3,759 in depreciation but doesn't include car payments). Even if you factor out the depreciation, that still means Americans are averaging $4,799 a year just to run our cars.</p> <p>In contrast, Numbeo.com reports the average cost of a monthly transport pass in the United States is around $70, or $840 a year. If you live in an area with good public transportation, you could potentially pocket more than $3,900 a year by giving up your car.</p> <p>If you can't completely forego having a car, you could still reduce your transportation expenses by driving less often. Walk, bike, carpool, or take public transportation instead. You'll not only save on gas, but also parking.</p> <p>Need inspiration to cut costs? Consider this woman from the U.K. who essentially <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/buy-nothing-year-one-woman-saved-22000/" target="_blank">spent nothing for an entire year</a>. While that may sound drastic, her savings while living in notoriously expensive London added up to nearly $27,000. Even half that amount would make a significant travel budget.</p> <h2>Work more, spend less</h2> <p>During one six-month period of my life I saved $12,000, which then allowed me to travel comfortably for the next six months without any income. I was able to do this by ensuring that my costs were as low as possible</p> <p>I split a $500 studio apartment with a roommate, so my rent was only $250 a month. Living quarters were cramped, but I was hardly ever there. I worked three jobs so I could make more money (around $2,500 a month). My 50-60 hours-a-week work schedule also meant that I had less time to spend my earnings.</p> <p>I was able to keep grocery costs to $100 a month because I was working in the food industry at the time. My other main costs were gas ($50 a month), and the cheapest cellphone plan I could find ($30 a month).</p> <p>For fun, I mostly did free activities, taking advantage of the fact that I lived in the mountains in California. I could go hiking and biking for free and there were often free concerts in the evenings. When I needed new clothes for work, I would get them from the local thrift store for $10&ndash;$15.</p> <h2>Get rewarded for your purchases</h2> <p>There are many ways to use various types of credit cards so that you get rewarded for your necessary expenditures. Especially for major expenses such as gas, groceries, and plane tickets, selecting the appropriate credit card can help you save a significant amount of money. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-an-extra-109486-a-year?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Save an Extra $1,095 a Year</a>)</p> <h3>Grocery credit card</h3> <p>Groceries are a big expense for most people. Since you can't avoid spending at least something on groceries, you may as well get rewarded for your spending. Use a credit card that gives you extra rewards points for every dollar you spend at supermarkets. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a>)</p> <p>You may even be able to stack rewards by using a loyalty card from the supermarket chain where you do most of your shopping. Often these loyalty programs offer you cash discounts that can help cut your overall grocery bill.</p> <h3>Gas credit card</h3> <p>If you just can't live without a car, you can still save on the cost of gas by opening the right credit card. Cards that are co-branded with a particular gas station give you discounts at the pump, usually a few cents per gallon. These cards tend to have high interest rates, though, so if you tend to carry a balance, you'll usually be better off with a rewards credit card that gives you bonus points for purchases made at gas stations. If fuel is one of your bigger expenses, it's worth opening a gas rewards card. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Best Gas Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h3>Travel credit card</h3> <p>Although you may not be traveling a lot while you save up for your big trip, it's worth getting a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">travel rewards credit card</a> well in advance of your trip. By using your travel card for everyday purchases, you can rack up points toward free flights or hotel stays when it comes time to hit the road. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Steps to a Free Vacation in 9 Months or Less</a>)</p> <p>What's more, most travel cards offer significant <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal">points bonuses</a> when you spend a certain amount within the first few months after opening the account. These bonuses can be worth hundreds of dollars in travel, but you'll need time to meet the required spending amount and wait for the bonus points to be posted to your account.</p> <p>Finally, airline cards often come with free checked baggage and other perks such as free rental car insurance, lost baggage coverage, and trip interruption insurance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Types of Travel Insurance That Credit Cards Include</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%2520Easy%2520Way%2520to%2520Save%2520Up%2520a%2520Big%2520Travel%2520Budget.jpg&amp;description=The%20Easy%20Way%20to%20Save%20Up%20a%20Big%20Travel%20Budget"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Easy%20Way%20to%20Save%20Up%20a%20Big%20Travel%20Budget.jpg" alt="The Easy Way to Save Up a Big Travel Budget" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-gokee">Amanda Gokee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-your-best-travel-budget">How to Build Your Best Travel Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-best-vacation-deal-websites">The 6 Best Vacation Deal Websites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-affordable-travel-items-that-you-shouldnt-leave-home-without">9 Affordable Travel Items That You Shouldn&#039;t Leave Home Without</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-should-never-skimp-on-when-traveling">9 Things You Should Never Skimp on When Traveling</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-for-college-students-to-save-loads-of-money">10 Ways for College Students to Save Loads of Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel cash back cutting costs expenses Food groceries rewards saving money transportation trips vacations Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Amanda Gokee 1927306 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 53 Grocery Shopping Tricks That'll Make Your Life Easier http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-53-grocery-shopping-tricks-thatll-make-your-life-easier <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-53-grocery-shopping-tricks-thatll-make-your-life-easier" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_grocery_bag_500927185.jpg" alt="Man using grocery shopping tricks that make his life easier" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You head to the grocery store, armed with a list and a plan to be as efficient as possible, and then somehow you become an aimless browser. You fall victim to impulse buys and overpriced salads from the deli. And when you get home, you spent more time and money than you should have, and you forgot one of the key items you need for upcoming meals. No more. Here are 53 grocery shopping tricks that'll make your life easier.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_grcoery_bag_000018272858_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-fresh-food-delivery-services-that-can-save-you-big?ref=fbf">21 Fresh Food Delivery Services That Can Save You Big</a> &mdash; Skip the trip to the store entirely and have all your food delivered! Sound like a dream come true? It is. Here are all the best services to try.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-checkout-line-tricks-to-finish-shopping-faster?ref=fbf">5 Checkout Line Tricks to Finish Shopping Faster</a> &mdash; When you just want to get in and out of the grocery store, follow these smart shopping tricks. Avoiding chatty cashiers and opting for the checkout lanes on the left could save you lots of precious time.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_fresh_strawberries_000067876803_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-off-season-foods-that-are-destroying-your-grocery-budget?ref=fbf">5 Offseason Foods That Are Destroying Your Grocery Budget</a> &mdash; A really easy fix to staying on-budget is to avoid the sections of the store with foods that are currently offseason. Stick to what's in-season and you'll save time and lots of money.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-having-your-groceries-delivered-can-save-you-money?ref=fbf">6 Ways Having Your Groceries Delivered Can Save You Money</a> &mdash; You might assume that getting your groceries delivered is a luxury only the rich can afford. Not true! If you shop smart, you can actually save money by having your food delivered to your door.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/man_confused_groceries_000061844584_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-you-are-sabotaging-your-weekly-grocery-budget?ref=fbf">9 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Weekly Grocery Budget</a> &mdash; The best way to improve any skill is to learn from your own mistakes, right? Take a look back at your previous grocery receipts, give meal planning a try, clip those coupons, and your grocery budget will remain intact.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping?ref=fbf">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a> &mdash; A big part of making grocery shopping easier is knowing when to shop in the first place. Because there are certain times &mdash; weekend afternoons, for example &mdash; when you shouldn't go at all.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-53-grocery-shopping-tricks-thatll-make-your-life-easier">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-smart-shoppers-will-save-at-amazons-whole-foods">How Smart Shoppers Will Save at Amazon&#039;s Whole Foods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shop-the-salad-bar-and-other-ways-to-save-big-on-groceries">Shop the Salad Bar and Other Ways to Save Big on Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-122-no-fuss-dinner-ideas-thatll-save-you-money">Flashback Friday: 122 No-Fuss Dinner Ideas That&#039;ll Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-only-15-foods-that-are-worth-buying-organic">The Only 15 Foods That Are Worth Buying Organic</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping buying food fbf flashback friday food shopping groceries grocery shopping shopping tips Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:30:40 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1915404 at http://www.wisebread.com Flashback Friday: 122 No-Fuss Dinner Ideas That'll Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-122-no-fuss-dinner-ideas-thatll-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/flashback-friday-122-no-fuss-dinner-ideas-thatll-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_cooking_dinner_524862737.jpg" alt="Couple making no-fuss dinner that save them money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your workday is coming to an end and your stomach is starting to grumble. You aren't motivated to cook a meal from scratch, and you also don't want to spend your hard-earned money on takeout. What to do? The solution is a delicious one-pot or one-pan meal that is both filling and budget-friendly. Here are a bunch of ideas you (and your tummy) will love.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/woman_cooking_000029847332_0.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-one-pot-meals-that-will-transform-dinner?ref=fbf">10 One Pot Meals That Will Transform Dinner</a> &mdash; There are few things as satisfying as throwing all of your dinner ingredients into the same pot and letting it cook. These one-pot meals are super convenient to make and absolutely delicious. You'll never need to make an excuse to order takeout again.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-delicious-and-easy-one-pot-meals?ref=fbf">25 Delicious and Easy One-Pot Meals</a> &mdash; One-pot meals don't always consist of pasta or stew. This flavorful list of meals includes stuffed peppers, breakfast options, and even sushi!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/iStock-518145080.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-instant-pot-recipes-that-will-save-you-money?ref=fbf">12 Instant Pot Recipes That Will Save You Money</a> &mdash; If you have an electric pressure cooker, dust it off and put it to work, because instant pot meals are the future of dinner. This dinner method helps you salvage soon-to-be expired ingredients, delectably resurrect leftovers, and cook healthy meals without the effort and hefty price tag.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-time-and-money-with-these-15-delicious-sheet-pan-meals?ref=fbf">Save Time and Money With These 15 Delicious Sheet Pan Meals</a> &mdash; Ever cooked a full meal on just one sheet pan? If not, now's the time to give it a try. Pizza, salmon, chicken parm, and stir fry can all be made in a single sheet pan, and there are so many more options!</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/food-2020009-small.jpg" width="605" height="340" alt="" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/35-slow-cooker-recipes-for-busy-or-lazy-vegetarians?ref=fbf">35 Slow Cooker Recipes for Busy (or Lazy) Vegetarians</a> &mdash; We're all busy, and sometimes we just want to be lazy, because we've earned it! But both situations make dinner preparation extremely difficult when you could easily order food to be delivered. These vegetarian slow cooker recipes are perfect for a busy lifestyle, and for those lazy weekend days.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes?ref=fbf">25 Great, Cheap, and Easy Crock Pot Recipes</a> &mdash; What's better than an easy, delicious dinner? A <em>cheap</em>, easy, and delicious dinner! It's hard to stay on budget with food, especially when you're trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but these crock pot recipes fit the bill, and you will love every single one of them.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chrissa-hardy">Chrissa Hardy</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-122-no-fuss-dinner-ideas-thatll-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-save-a-ton-by-eating-soup-every-day-and-never-get-bored">How to Save a Ton by Eating Soup Every Day (and Never Get Bored!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-128-creative-ways-to-upcycle-your-trash">Flashback Friday: 128 Creative Ways to Upcycle Your Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-53-grocery-shopping-tricks-thatll-make-your-life-easier">Flashback Friday: 53 Grocery Shopping Tricks That&#039;ll Make Your Life Easier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-63-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-leftovers">Flashback Friday: 63 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Leftovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-23-mental-tricks-thatll-help-you-save-money">Flashback Friday: 23 Mental Tricks That&#039;ll Help You Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Shopping dinner ideas dinner recipes fbf flashback friday groceries saving money Spending Money Fri, 10 Mar 2017 10:30:39 +0000 Chrissa Hardy 1906390 at http://www.wisebread.com Bought Milk? Today's the Deadline to Claim Your Settlement Money http://www.wisebread.com/bought-milk-todays-the-deadline-to-claim-your-settlement-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/bought-milk-todays-the-deadline-to-claim-your-settlement-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_buying_milk_157646104.jpg" alt="Man buying milk claiming settlement money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Modern Farmer reminds us that <a href="http://modernfarmer.com/2017/01/bought-milk-since-2003-today-last-day-collect-settlement-check/" target="_blank">today is the last day to claim your fair share</a> of the settlement of the Fresh Milk Products Antitrust Litigation. If you bought milk or other fresh dairy products &mdash; cream, half-and-half, cottage cheese, etc. &mdash; any time between 2003 and 2010, and lived in a handful of U.S. States, you're entitled to a $5 to $15 refund. All told, the settlement is worth $52 million.</p> <h2>How to Claim Your Money</h2> <p>First of all, you have to be a resident of a handful of U.S. states: Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia, or Wisconsin.</p> <p>Next, you have to have purchased milk or other fresh dairy products between 2003 and 2010. Don't worry, you don't need to provide receipts or box labels as proof of purchase. Just be honest about your dairy purchases seven or more years ago, and you're good to go.</p> <p>All the details are available at the settlement website: <a href="http://www.boughtmilk.com/" target="_blank">BoughtMilk.com</a>. Act fast, though! The deadline to claim your refund is midnight tonight, January 31.</p> <h2>What's the Settlement for, Anyway?</h2> <p>Back in September, 2016, the dairy lobbying group National Milk Producers Federation and a bunch of dairy cooperatives settled a lawsuit that claimed the Federation and the dairies oversaw a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/dairy-industry-cows-settlement_us_57d1a4ade4b03d2d459926e4" target="_blank">herd retirement program that sent hundreds of thousands of dairy cows</a> to early slaughter. (Usually, only &quot;spent&quot; dairy cows are sent to slaughter to be ground up into low cost ground beef.) The early retirement had the effect of reducing the supply of milk &mdash; and thus increasing prices on milk and fresh dairy products.</p> <p>The industry denies any wrongdoing, although the numbers <a href="http://www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/tl_files/CDE/PDF/06_09_CWT_Impact_ScottBrown.pdf" target="_blank">are pretty clear</a>: The program, whether intentional or not, boosted milk prices by about five cents a gallon.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lars-peterson">Lars Peterson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bought-milk-todays-the-deadline-to-claim-your-settlement-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, By the Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-skills-you-must-have-to-survive-autumn">9 Frugal Skills You Must Have to Survive Autumn</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-tidy-up-your-finances-before-the-holidays">10 Ways to Tidy Up Your Finances Before the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-stain-removers">The 5 Best Pet Stain Removers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living dairy groceries refund settlement shopping Tue, 31 Jan 2017 19:39:52 +0000 Lars Peterson 1884234 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Good Money Habits That Will Keep You Out of Debt http://www.wisebread.com/11-good-money-habits-that-will-keep-you-out-of-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-good-money-habits-that-will-keep-you-out-of-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_glasses_smile_518885222.jpg" alt="Woman with good money habits staying out of debt" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Staying on the straight and narrow, especially when it comes to your finances, can feel like a struggle. Recreational activities, impulse buys, monthly bills, and unexpected expenses lurk around every corner, and if you're not careful, you can slide into debt without really trying.</p> <p>If you practice good money habits as a general life philosophy, however, you're giving yourself the best chance of staying in the black consistently &mdash; and perhaps even making those coveted savings gains. Here's how.</p> <h2>1. Create a Budget Based on Life Goals &mdash; Not Numbers</h2> <p>Every article you read about how to improve your personal finances includes creating and maintaining a budget. That's because actively keeping track of what's coming and going helps you manage your money more responsibly than simply throwing caution (and cash) to the wind. But your budget is only serving a single purpose when it's strictly rooted in numbers opposed to relating to your personal activity and short- and long-term goals &mdash; like an upcoming vacation or contributions to your retirement fund, for instance.</p> <p>As such, instead of living your life around your budget, you'll find much more satisfaction in building your budget around your life. By planning ahead for expenses, even frivolous things, you can identify the areas where your budget is lacking and (hopefully) close those holes by either amending your plans to accommodate your cash flow or increasing your income to afford the things that make you happy.</p> <p>I recommend the latter, of course &mdash; because you only live once.</p> <h2>2. Charge Only What You Can Afford to Pay Off Every Month</h2> <p>Let's get something straight here: Credit is not as dastardly an institution as you've been led to believe. Yes, there are credit cards with astronomical APRs. And, yes, there are credit cards with ridiculous late fees. But at the end of the day, you're responsible for reading the fine print (you know it's there!), and nobody is forcing your hand in accepting an offer.</p> <p>Still, credit is attractive because it allows us the freedom to have more than we can afford. But whose problem is that when you can't pay the bill? All yours. Avoid this downward spiral by making your credit card payments top priority each cycle.</p> <p>&quot;Credit cards are not evil, but they can make a mess of your finances if used unwisely,&quot; says savings expert Kendal Perez. &quot;Ultimately, you should only charge what you can afford to pay off every month. Using your credit card to pay bills is a smart strategy since you have to pay these expenses anyway, and using credit means accruing points, rewards, or travel miles to offset future expenses.&quot;</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">12 Habits of Responsible Credit Card Users</a></p> <h2>3. Look for Savings on Everything You Buy</h2> <p>I personally save many thousands of dollars every year by being a smart shopper, because there are few things I buy for which I don't have a coupon or discount. From dining out to going to the movies to the clothes I wear to the gas I put in my vehicle &mdash; everything comes with savings.</p> <p>It's not hard to get into this habit, either. I save by using loyalty cards, clipping coupons, redeeming cash back deals, signing up for promotional emails, waiting for items I want to go on sale, shopping clearance sections, and buying secondhand, among a myriad of other strategies. It's like a game for me, and I hardly ever spend money on something for which there are no savings; I look for a cheaper alternative instead. It's a major reason why I always have enough money in the bank to cover my bills, plus add to savings while still doing the things I like to do every month.</p> <h2>4. Buy Groceries Based on What's on Sale and in Season</h2> <p>Groceries are one of the biggest spending categories for Americans, next to mortgages and insurance. Instead of buying what you're craving, buy groceries based on what's in season and what's on sale. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a>)</p> <p>&quot;This will require some meal planning, but you can craft similar meals based on what's on sale each week,&quot; explains Perez. &quot;Use a tool like Flipp.com to easily compare grocery sales and deals between stores in your area, and consider looking for grocery coupons for items on your list through CouponSherpa.com.&quot;</p> <p>Another trick I use to cut my grocery bill is to shop the clearance section. Most supermarkets have these sections with drastically reduced prices on damaged or about-to-expire food that's still perfectly good if you get to it in time. Ask your grocer where these items are located in your store.</p> <h2>5. Organize Your Bill Payments to Avoid Lateness</h2> <p>As soon as a bill arrives, I grab my checkbook (yep, I'm old school), write out the check, and prepare the envelope. On the back of the envelope I write the dollar amount that's inside as an at-a-glance reminder, and I organize the bill on my desk according to when it's due. Then I stagger the mailings &mdash; sending each payment out about five days before it's due &mdash; to ensure that I can reconcile all the bills with my bank account.</p> <p>Consumer finance expert Kevin Gallegos offers more tips on how to avoid late payments.</p> <p>&quot;Open all mail &mdash; including bills &mdash; upon receipt, deposit all checks and cash immediately, and set up a system for payment that works for you and that you'll use consistently,&quot; he says. &quot;This might be automatic online payments, a spreadsheet, a reminder on your cell phone, or a list on the refrigerator.&quot;</p> <h2>6. Map Out Your Long-Term Financial Goals</h2> <p>The only way you'll get ahead in your finances is if you know where you're going. Take a look at what's coming up in terms of required expenses and also think about some of the things you'd like to do with your money. Do you want to go back to school, on vacation, or purchase a new car or home? Set these milestones as goals and calculate what it'll take financially to reach them, then start saving in increments along an established timeline.</p> <h2>7. Review Your Finances on a Regular Basis</h2> <p>Reviewing your finances on a &quot;regular basis&quot; is a relative term, but I typically suggest once a month. There's value in doing it more often, however &mdash; like once to twice a week &mdash; according to personal finance expert Larry Jacobson.</p> <p>&quot;You need to set regular intervals to stay on the right path,&quot; he says. &quot;That way, you can course correct, if necessary, before it's too late.&quot;</p> <p>When reviewing your finances, be sure to cover all your bases. Browse your credit score for any errors, review bank and credit card statements for inconsistencies, and make sure all checks have posted. It's also a good idea to call your service providers once a year to inquire about better deals, like cheaper mobile phone or cable plans.</p> <h2>8. Treat Savings Like One of Your Monthly Bills</h2> <p>Instead of regarding contributions to your savings as a chore, start considering it a requirement, says Gallegos. Treat your savings deposits like a monthly bill; find that extra money somewhere in your budget (a reasonable amount that you can handle) and tuck it away as if you'll be penalized if you don't. You may have to make a sacrifice somewhere else, like in your &quot;fun&quot; fund, but, well, that's life.</p> <h2>9. Learn to Live Below Your Means</h2> <p>If you're one of those people who responds well to logic, here's a pro tip on staying debt free: Live below your means.</p> <p>&quot;Know exactly what you have to spend each month &mdash; and spend less,&quot; says Gallegos. &quot;Living beneath your means goes further than living within your means. It means taking responsibility and choosing where your money goes instead of being influenced by whims, advertising, habits, or peer pressure.&quot;</p> <p>If this is a tactic you'd like to try, you'll need to re-evaluate your budget entirely. Find items you can reduce or eliminate altogether to free up funds, like subscriptions and memberships that you aren't using to their full potential, cutting back on dining out, and reducing your monthly fuel bill by carpooling with a coworker or using public transportation more often.</p> <h2>10. Switch to a Cash-Only System</h2> <p>Here's another piece of practical advice that leads your wallet away from debt: Only pay for things in cash.</p> <p>&quot;You can't go into debt if you don't borrow,&quot; says Mike Sullivan, a personal finance consultant with Take Charge America, a nonprofit credit counseling and debt management agency.</p> <p>I recognize, of course, that that's easier said than done, so Sullivan offers a couple more strategies for holding yourself cash-accountable.</p> <p>&quot;Save with direct deposit at out of town banks,&quot; he says. &quot;You don't want your savings available on a whim; Internet banks are a good choice. And don't sign up for overdraft protection. That's agreeing in advance to spending more than you have and paying for the privilege.&quot;</p> <h2>11. Make More Money</h2> <p>One of my own personal money manifestos is to always have at least two sources of income. I'm self-employed, and I consider my media business my main source of income, but I supplement that with several side gigs, like renting out rooms in my homes on Airbnb, watching other people's pets through DogVacay, and driving for Lyft and Uber. That's three extra sources of income right there, but I'm always eager to find more ways to make money.</p> <p>I feel personally satisfied when all my bills are paid on time, money is consistently going to my savings account, and I'm cash-positive enough to enjoy life the way I want to. If you can't seem to get ahead, use your resources and carve out time to make more money. You'll achieve your financial goals and alleviate the burden of debt faster, and that can only lead to good things.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-good-money-habits-that-will-keep-you-out-of-debt">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-budgeting-for-first-time-singles">Easy Budgeting for First Time Singles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-handle-a-sudden-loss-of-income">How to Handle a Sudden Loss of Income</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-money-goals-you-should-set-for-the-holidays">10 Money Goals You Should Set for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-creative-ways-to-save-money-with-bulk-buying">6 Creative Ways to Save Money With Bulk Buying</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Budgeting bills cash extra income groceries live below your means money goals payments sales side jobs Tue, 24 Jan 2017 10:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1870058 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Smart Ways to Meet a Rewards Card Minimum Spending Requirement http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_credit_card_635966732.jpg" alt="Woman meeting her credit card&#039;s minimum spending requirement" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're new to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-use-travel-rewards-cards-to-get-free-trips?ref=internal" target="_blank">chasing credit card rewards</a>, it can feel like there's a lot to learn at once. One of the fastest ways to earn credit card rewards points is through a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards?ref=internal">sign-up bonus</a>. This is a big slew of points you'll get from a new card if you spend a certain amount on that card within a specified period of time &mdash; often the first three months. The spending requirement could be anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the card.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-redeemed-a-12000-family-vacation-with-credit-card-rewards-in-2-months?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">How I Redeemed a $12,000 Family Vacation With Credit Card Rewards in 2 Months</a></p> <p>Of course, the whole idea for earning points that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">translate into travel rewards</a> is to spend less. It's counterproductive to go into debt just to meet a minimum spending requirement. That's why the tips below relate to things you're likely <em>already </em>spending on, not additional expenses that will break your budget. You should never let a balance accrue on a credit card just to get rewards. You will never come out ahead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Steps to Getting a Free Vacation in 9 Months or Less With Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>1. Start With Everyday Expenses</h2> <p>Chances are you can get a significant fraction of the way to meeting your minimum requirement just by putting your regular expenses on your credit card whenever you can.</p> <p>If you're conditioned to paying for things in cash, it's time to break that habit since you're missing out on tons of potential points-earning opportunities. This means putting all your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=internal" target="_blank">grocery purchases on your card</a>. Same for when you pay for gas, dry cleaning, prescriptions, or any of your other regular expenses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-everyday-purchases?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards to Use for Everyday Expenses</a>)</p> <h2>2. Pay Your Bills With Your Card</h2> <p>The same is true for monthly bills like your Internet, Netflix, cellphone, cable, etc. If you have automated payments set up, update them with your new card. For any other bills, see if there's an option to pay with a credit card instead of a checking account. Watch out for any fees charged for credit card payments, though. It's usually not worth it.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></p> <h2>3. Let Little Things Add Up</h2> <p>If you use Uber or Lyft to get around, make sure you update your payment method so that it is linked to your new credit card. The same goes for other apps that you are using to make payments, as small as they may be. If you use Venmo to pay individuals or iTunes for the occasional song download, you'll want to link them to your new card, too, so you'll be earning points toward rewards even when you're not thinking about it.</p> <h2>4. Prepay Current Subscriptions</h2> <p>If you have the extra cash to pay for subscriptions up front, you'll not only help meet the spending requirement, but may score a discount in the process. Many services offer a discount for prepaying.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-free-or-almost-free-airline-tickets?ref=seealso2" target="_blank">10 Ways to Get Free or Almost Free Airline Tickets</a></p> <h2>5. Buy Gift Cards</h2> <p>Buying gift cards is a straightforward way to earn points toward reaching your minimum balance. You are spending money now by purchasing the card, which you can then use later. Due to fraud concerns, many brick-and-mortar retailers no longer take credit cards for gift card purchases, but many e-tailers, including Amazon, will.</p> <p>Again, the most important thing to remember is to only spend what you can pay off every month. Make your payments on time, so you don't accrue interest or late payment fees that will obliterate any rewards you get for your purchases. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-that-anyone-can-travel-for-free?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways Anyone Can Travel for Free</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-smart-ways-to-meet-a-rewards-card-minimum-spending-requirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-credit-card-should-you-use-to-get-free-hotel-stays">Which Credit Card Should You Use to Get Free Hotel Stays?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-apps-that-actually-pay-you-to-shop">7 Apps That Actually Pay You to Shop</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-families-can-earn-and-use-travel-rewards">How Families Can Earn and Use Travel Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-airline-rewards-programs-for-trips-to-europe">The Best Airline Rewards Programs for Trips to Europe</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/once-in-a-lifetime-experiences-ive-earned-with-credit-card-rewards">Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences I&#039;ve Earned With Credit Card Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards bills free travel gift cards groceries hacks minimum spending requirement points rewards sign up bonuses subscriptions Fri, 13 Jan 2017 10:00:13 +0000 Nick Wharton 1870054 at http://www.wisebread.com The 5 Best Paper Towels http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-paper-towels <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-5-best-paper-towels" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/puppy_paper_towel_153747766.jpg" alt="Puppy using the best paper towels" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There&rsquo;s nothing worse than trying to clean up a spill only to have the paper towel shred and disintegrate on the spot. That&rsquo;s why we&rsquo;ve found some of the best paper towels on the market, so you can count on it to clean up even your worst spills.</p> <h2>What Is a Paper Towel?</h2> <p>Paper towels are absorbent disposable towels that can be used to clean up everyday messes. They can also be used to dry your hands, dust, and wipe away streaks. Paper towels are loosely woven, so they can better absorb liquid.</p> <p>When shopping for paper towels, you want something that&rsquo;s absorbent, strong when wet, and gentle enough not to scratch surfaces. Some paper towels also have scrubbing abilities, which are perfect for jobs like cleaning your sinks.</p> <h2>Top 5 Paper Towels</h2> <h3>Bounty Select-a-Size Paper Towels</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2jwCfhg"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/bounty.jpg" width="220" height="220" align="right" alt="" /></a>An Amazon best-seller, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2jwCfhg">Bounty Select-a-Size Paper Towels</a> hold up well, so they won&rsquo;t shred when you use them. They absorb liquid quickly and won&rsquo;t fall apart. They are thick, strong when wet, and won&rsquo;t leave lint behind. They also have good scrubbing strength for your toughest jobs. The select-a-size sheets allow you to choose the perfect size for every mess, so you don&rsquo;t waste unused paper towel (and money).</p> <p>Each roll is equivalent to 2.5 regular rolls, so you&rsquo;ll get more for your money. Good Housekeeping said this is the strongest paper towel available. They are also recommended by Consumer Reports and The Sweethome, and have outstanding online reviews, including more than 2,100 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2jwCfhg"><em>Currently $28.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Brawny Pick-a-Size Paper Towels</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2iHsyfW"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/brawny.jpg" width="220" height="213" align="right" alt="" /></a>An Amazon best-seller, the <a href="http://amzn.to/2iHsyfW">Brawny Pick-a-Size Paper Towels</a> are absorbent, strong when wet, and can quickly pick up spills. The strong, absorbent, hefty sheets are very thick and leave very little lint behind. They have scrubbing power and can work on even your toughest jobs. The two-ply paper towels have 117 pick-a-size sheets per roll. The pick-a-size sheets allow you to choose the perfect size for every mess, so you don&rsquo;t waste unused paper towel (and money).</p> <p>These are an Amazon&rsquo;s Choice product and Good Housekeeping&rsquo;s favorite budget buy. They are also recommended by Consumer Reports and have outstanding online reviews, including more than 3,200 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2iHsyfW"><em>Currently $29.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>VIVA Choose-A-Sheet Paper Towels</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2ikXd4V"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/viva.jpg" width="220" height="220" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2ikXd4V">VIVA Choose-A-Sheet Paper Towels</a> are ultrasoft, smooth, and gentle, so they won&rsquo;t scratch delicate surfaces. They have cloth-like strength and durability, so they can clean like cloth. The sturdy paper towels absorb liquid quickly and hold it in. They are strong when dry and stay tough when wet, so they are durable enough to tackle tough messes. They are also very thick and strong, so they can resist ripping and tearing. The lint-free towels tend to stick together and stick to the roll, so when you tear one sheet off, the rest will stick together (and you won&rsquo;t leave a second trailing paper towel behind).</p> <p>The pick-a-size sheets allow you to choose the perfect size for every mess, so you don&rsquo;t waste unused paper towel (and money). Each paper towel roll has 88 individually perforated sheets, which is more sheets than the leading brands&rsquo; big rolls. These are Good Housekeeping&rsquo;s top pick and are recommended by Consumer Reports and The Sweethome. They have outstanding online reviews, including more than 800 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2ikXd4V"><em>Currently $25.98 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Sparkle Paper Towels</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2jwxnsf"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/sparkle.jpg" width="212" height="220" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2jwxnsf">Sparkle Paper Towels</a> are absorbent and durable enough for your everyday messes. The two-ply paper towels have thirst pockets to absorb messes. The pick-a-size sheets allow you to choose the perfect size for every mess, so you don&rsquo;t waste unused paper towel (and money). Each giant roll equals 1.5 regular rolls, with 107 sheets per roll, so you get more for your money. They have outstanding online reviews, including nearly 3,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2jwxnsf"><em>Currently $25.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <h3>Scott Towels Mega Roll Choose-a-Size</h3> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2jwqZRV"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5171/scott1.jpg" width="245" height="180" align="right" alt="" /></a>The <a href="http://amzn.to/2jwqZRV">Scott Towels Mega Roll Choose-a-Size</a> paper towels are ideal if you&rsquo;re looking for thinner paper towels. They are streak-free, super absorbent, and durable. The one-ply paper towels have unique ridges, which quickly absorb messes and spills. The perforated paper towels offer 102 choose-a-size sheets, which allow you to choose the perfect size for every mess, so you don&rsquo;t waste unused paper towel (and money). Each mega roll is equivalent to 1.5 regular rolls, so you get more for your money. They have outstanding reviews online and are a great bargain option.</p> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2jwqZRV"><em>Currently $30.99 on Amazon</em></a></p> <p>And those are our recommendations for the best paper towels. As always, be sure to check <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-calendar">Wise Bread's Buying Calendar</a> to learn when and how to buy just about anything!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-paper-towels">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-cast-iron-skillets">The 5 Best Cast Iron Skillets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-pet-flea-shampoos">The 5 Best Pet Flea Shampoos</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-thermoses">The 5 Best Thermoses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-robotic-mops">The 5 Best Robotic Mops</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-solar-powered-outdoor-security-lights">The 5 Best Solar-Powered Outdoor Security Lights</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping 5 best cleaning supplies groceries paper towels product reviews shopping Thu, 12 Jan 2017 10:00:18 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1872587 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Grocery Purchases That Will Be Cheaper in 2017 http://www.wisebread.com/6-grocery-purchases-that-will-be-cheaper-in-2017 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-grocery-purchases-that-will-be-cheaper-in-2017" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_grocery_store_477153876.jpg" alt="Woman buying groceries that will be cheaper in 2017" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="143" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In case you haven't noticed, 2017 is here and bringing a whole bunch of changes.</p> <p>With a new president in the White House, a second hike in interest rates by the Fed since 2006, a long list of U.S. cities with higher minimum wages, and a broad range of changes coming to the states, consumers are still trying to figure out how all of these changes are going to affect them.</p> <p>Cheer up, America! It looks like 2017 may also bring you some serious <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=internal">savings at the grocery store</a>. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service keeps track of the average prices paid by urban Americans for a series of key consumer goods and services. The latest data from the USDA's Food Price Outlook is showing that you'll save on your grocery runs throughout 2017. Let's break down the six buys that will give you the most bang for your buck this year.&nbsp;</p> <h2>1. Eggs</h2> <p>Continuing their downward trend in prices throughout 2016, eggs are leading the forecast savings with an estimated <a href="https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-price-outlook/summary-findings.aspx" target="_blank">drop of 3% to 4% in price</a> for 2017. This means that the sightings of a dozen of eggs going for under a buck should become more common in cities across the nation. Even when adjusted for inflation, 2017 is poised to set a record for lowest price of eggs since 2000. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-make-perfectly-cooked-eggs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways to Make Perfectly Cooked Eggs</a>)</p> <h2>2. Fats and Oils</h2> <p>Stay with me on this one; it's not as unhealthy as it sounds. In this category, the USDA goes beyond the usual suspects, such as butter and cooking oil, and includes several familiar food items, including peanut butter and salad dressing. A drop in the prices of fats and oils has a domino effect across prices in several grocery aisles.</p> <p>Back in November 2016, the USDA reported that the prices of fats and oils fell 2.9% from the previous month and were down 2.4% from the previous year. For 2017, the USDA is projecting an additional 3% to 4% drop in prices for fats and oils.</p> <h2>3. Beef and Veal</h2> <p>As forecast back in our guide to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-necessities-that-will-be-cheaper-in-2016?ref=internal" target="_blank">cheaper buys in 2016</a>, prices of pork products dropped 3.25% to 4.25% throughout the year, according to USDA data. In 2017, the USDA isn't expecting pork prices to drop much, if at all. However, prices of beef and veal are poised to continue to drop an extra 1% to 2% across the nation this year.</p> <p>Higher production outputs of carcasses, larger supplies of beef and veal held in cold storage, and lower prices of both feeder and fed cattle are all contributing to the lower prices of beef and veal. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-ways-to-make-cheap-cuts-of-meat-taste-expensive?ref=seealso" target="_blank">25 Easy Ways to Make Cheap Cuts of Meat Taste Expensive</a>)</p> <h2>4. Fresh Vegetables</h2> <p>With all these low prices, you may be having second thoughts about your New Year's resolution to lose weight. Fear not dear dieters, 2017 is also cutting down the prices of fresh veggies to keep you on track for success. While the previous year brought very little savings, the new one is expected to reduce the prices of fresh vegetables by 2% to 3%.</p> <p>When looking for fresh produce in 2017, keep in mind that the prices of fresh fruits are on the rise. The USDA is forecasting an increase of 1% to 2% in the prices of fresh fruits for 2017. Another reason to stick with fresh veggies is that the prices of processed fruits and vegetables are expected to rise up to 1% this year.</p> <h2>5. Avocados</h2> <p>Speaking of fresh fruits, the price of an avocado is one that might be an exception to the USDA forecast for 2017. If you were paying attention at the store, you may have noticed that the prices of avocados were much higher than usual. For example, some stores in California were commanding as much as $3 per avocado. The same thing was taking place across several grocers here in Hawaii.</p> <p>The culprit for these high prices was the interruption in harvesting caused by disputes between avocado growers and packers in Mexico. The disagreements resulted in a dramatic drop of exported Mexican avocados to the U.S. from a projected <a href="http://www.thepacker.com/news/mexico-avocados-resume-full-production" target="_blank">40 million pounds</a> to just 13.7 million in October 2016. Fortunately, an agreement was reached in November 2016 and Mexican harvesting of avocados is now back to normal. As more and more millions of Mexican avocados enter the market in the next couple of weeks, the prices of the green fruit are expected to drop.</p> <p>Given the expected lower prices of avocado for 2017, you could start taking better advantage of all of the different uses of this nutrient-rich fruit. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-unexpected-uses-for-avocados?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Unexpected Uses for Avocados</a>)</p> <h2>6. Whole Foods Products</h2> <p>Yes, there are actually <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-that-are-actually-cheaper-at-whole-foods?ref=internal" target="_blank">buys that are cheaper at Whole Foods</a> than most major food chains. And to continue to meet the high expectations of its shareholders, Whole Foods is rolling out two key initiatives in 2017 that will drive down the prices of many of its products.</p> <p>First, Whole Foods has been offering its 365 Everyday Value brand at its regular stores for quite some time. Given that many of the products under the 365 brand are cheaper than those at major grocers, Whole Foods decided to open 365 by Whole Foods Market stores that only sell those products. Currently, there are only three 365 stores (Los Angeles, California; Lake Oswego, Oregon; and Bellevue, Washington), but there are 16 more scheduled to open in 2017 and beyond.</p> <p>Second, Whole Foods has introduced a <a href="https://rewards.wholefoodsmarket.com" target="_blank">rewards program</a> across 24 regular stores across New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The rewards program offers a 10% discount on the first purchase and additional discounts as you continue to shop using the program. Also, all 365 by Whole Foods Market stores automatically participate in a separate rewards program that offers an instant 10% off on close to 120 items per week.</p> <h2>The Bottom Line: Eat at Home More Often in 2017</h2> <p>In 2017, it will be cheaper for you to eat in than to eat out. The USDA is expecting prices of food away from home to increase from 2% to 3%, while those of food at home to only increase from 0.5% to 1.5%. Shop smart and prep more home meals and you'll be able to pocket some extra cash this 2017.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-grocery-purchases-that-will-be-cheaper-in-2017">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stay-on-budget-while-eating-paleo">How to Stay on Budget While Eating Paleo</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-that-are-actually-cheaper-at-whole-foods">6 Foods That Are Actually Cheaper At Whole Foods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-off-season-foods-that-are-destroying-your-grocery-budget">5 Off-Season Foods That Are Destroying Your Grocery Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-ways-to-save-on-groceries-in-a-pinch">5 Easy Ways to Save on Groceries in a Pinch</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-hot-new-food-trends-the-frugal-way">8 Hot New Food Trends — The Frugal Way</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping 2017 eggs food costs forecast groceries meat price drops produce saving money USDA Whole Foods Tue, 10 Jan 2017 10:00:13 +0000 Damian Davila 1870051 at http://www.wisebread.com