Archive for the ‘Coupon, Grocery’ Category

Thanksgiving, Thankfully Budget Friendly

10 Festive ideas to celebrate Thanksgiving with great food, a beautiful table, warm home decor touches, and all within budget.

Enjoy the video clips, and enjoy your holiday!

Holiday Dinner – feed 30 People for under $60 –  Seems unbelievable, but Coupon Mom shows how easily it CAN be done!

Southern Style Thanksgiving Budget Feast -  ”Simple Fresh Southern” cookbook authors, The Lee Brothers, Matt and Ted Lee, show recipes for a three-course Thanksgiving dinner to feed 8 for under $70.

Little Pumpkin Pies – Author of the 99-Cent Only Store Cookbook, Christiane Jory gives simple seasonal recipe for instant delicious on a dime.

No-Bake Double-Layer Pumpkin Pie – a Kraft Foods amazingly quick and easy recipe for a pie that doesn’t require any baking.

Easy Fall Table Centerpieces –  Professional floral designer, Amy Child Marella, gives easy fall table decor ideas you can do in minutes.

Etched Pumpkins, Easy & Beautiful! - interior designer and crafter Evette Rios shows amazingly beautiful and easy way to use pumpkins for affordable seasonal holiday decor flare in decorating your home.

Fall Table Decorations From Your Grocery - Designer, Jennifer Adams, and lifestyle TV reporter, Brooke Carlson show budget-friendly ideas to decorate your fall holiday table with items from the grocery store.

For even more holiday on-a-budget party tips:

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The Special Deal Days of Holiday Shopping

 

The holiday shopping season continues to start earlier in the year, and that means a growing number of “special shopping days” with more deals and discounts from retailers and online outlets. This is a greater opportunity for you to save on those items on your gift list. But with more and more sale days, it may be quite a challenge to keep your spending in check during the holiday shopping season. The keys to staying in control are:

  • plan ahead
  • know the best days to shop
  • research and price compare ahead of time
  • use coupons and promo codes
  • stick to your budget

Here are the 12 traditional big sale and discount days for holiday shopping:

November 10 - Neighborhood Toy Store Day - This day of awareness was initiated to help shoppers find the best children’s toys on the market and encourage shopping in your  local community. Check out this website with resources: Neighborhood Toy Store Day. 

The Day after Thanksgiving – Black Friday - In the United States, Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving Day. On this day, most major retailers open extremely early, often even on Thanksgiving night, and offer promotional sales to kick off the shopping season, similar to Boxing Day sales in many Commonwealth Nations. Sales are announced weeks ahead of time, and doorbuster deals are offered in limited quantities, which means advanced planning is essential to get the most from these bargains. More to find big savings in our post: Black Friday, Cyber Monday Money Saving Tips

The Saturday following Thanksgiving - Small Business Saturday  - Small Business Saturday reminds us to shop at locally-owned neighborhood stores. Boutique independent shops can offer some unique choices, quality goods and caring service.

The Monday following Thanksgiving - Cyber Monday - This marks the start of Cyber Week, where online shopping deals are continuous right up until the very last holiday minute, especially if you know where and how to search for bargains. By shopping online you save on gas and parking fees. Watch for sales, and use promo codes for discounts and free shipping offers. 7 Cyber Monday Shopping and Safety Tips.

End of November or in December - Chanukah – The first day of the eight-day holiday of Chanukah changes from year to year, but check your calendar and watch for new offers, specials and promo codes before that first day and and throughout the eight days of Chanukah. More tips to enjoy your holiday celebration in our post:  8 Ideas for a Happy Hanukkah Party on a Budget.

Second Monday in DecemberGreen Monday - eBay coined the term “Green Monday,” which does not refer to anything ecological, but rather, refers to the busiest online sales day of the year and the busiest shipping day in the country, with sales reported to bring in over one-billion greenbacks. More savings tips in this video:  Green Monday

Mid-December – Free Shipping Day - The U.S. and Canada’s Postal Service’s Annual Free Shipping Day,  is a one-day, online-shopping event when literally thousands of merchants offer free shipping promising delivery by Christmas Eve, and many merchants offer additional special promotions and discounts. More on participating retailers, special offers in this post on Free Shipping Day .

Third Thursday in DecemberNational Regifting Day - Regifting can be a budget-friendly option for gift-giving and is a more environmentally friendly option. Additionally, National Regifting Day conveniently coincides with the time that many businesses are hosting holiday office parties. One word of caution: be sure you don’t regift the gift back to the person who gave it to you originally. More handy tips in this video on The Art of Regifting.

Saturday before Christmas Day – Super Saturday - This is the second biggest retail shopping day of the year. The Saturday before Christmas is called “super” because it’s the last weekend chance for shoppers, which makes it super for retailers. Along with extra incentives and doorbuster deals being offered through the weekend, shoppers may also find a wide range of retail prices with tons of impulse items priced on the higher side while items that haven’t moved previously may be priced to sell. More in this video: Super Saturday Holiday Shopping

Christmas Eve Eve and Christmas Eve - Two more intense days for sales at brick-and-mortar stores. This is the final opportunity for shoppers browse for gifts in order to give them in time for Christmas Day, and it’s the last chance to move inventory before final end of year markdowns. But though you may be facing a time crunch, it’s still possible to find deals. How-to tips in this video:  Last Minute Holiday Shopping Tips.

December 26Kwanzaa – This seven-day celebration starts the day following Christmas and ends on January 1. This week is loaded with post-Christmas and end-of-year discounts being offered, but pay special attention and you may find extra coupon codes and discounts added to address this specific holiday. Ideas, crafts, recipes and gift ideas in our post: 7 Kwanzaa Celebration Ideas.

Day After Christmas and Post Christmas Deals: The day after Christmas is now considered to be a close contender with Black Friday as one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Shoppers are in stores with gift exchanges and returns, and using gift cash and gift cards while taking advantage of end of season sales for items like winter gear, clothing and coats. It’s also a good time to find rock bottom prices on holiday items you might want to stock up on for next year’s holiday season like wrapping paper, holiday cards, and decorations. Discounts are usual offered through January 1 as retailers need to move last year’s inventory to make way for new spring stock. Make the most of your post-holiday shopping with the tips in this video on How to Snag After-Holiday Deals.

 More on how to get the most for your holiday shopping dollar:

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Top Ten Money Saving Videos of 2012 on SpendLessTV

 

The Top Ten Videos of 2012 on SpendLessTV.com

As we welcome the start of a new year, we reflect on the one just completed and realize how incredibly grateful we are to be able to feature helpful material from insightful money-savers, creative crafters, entrepreneurs and personal finance advisors from all over the world who are committed to helping you achieve your personal finance, money management and creative success.

With appreciation and thanks we acknowledge all of the creators of the amazing video content featured on the SpendLessTV.com site, but in particular, as the new year begins, we recognize the video contributors who made SpendLessTV.com’s  Top Ten List of Most Viewed Videos for 2012: Ramit SethiGarrett B. Gunderson,  Daniel Delaney, Julia Scott,  Rick Bayless, Brad Stroh, Suzanne RielleMarie Forleo, the Saturday Night Live team of  Steve Martin, Amy Poehler and Chris Parnell, and independent crafter Corinne Bradd.

Here is the SpendLessTV.com List of  The Top Ten Videos of 2012:

10. Busting Money Myths: Willpower - Ranking in the Top Ten List for the second year this video busts the money myth that growing wealth is all about needing more willpower. This is one of three videos in an Original series created for SpendLessTV from Ramit Sethi, personal finance blogger and author of  I Will Teach You To Be Rich.  Ramit is known for his straight forward, unconventional approach to helping people succeed with personal finance, money saving and business growth and entrepreneurship.

9. Your Credit Score: Stay on Top - This is Garrett B. Gunderson’s third appearance in the annual SpendLessTV.com Top Ten List, but the first for this particular video. Garrett created this video as an Original for SpendLessTV. He discloses a wealth of information about how your credit score influences everything from your insurance rates to your mortgage rates, car loans and more – and what you can do about it. Don’t miss the invaluable insight from the author of the New York Times bestseller, Killing Sacred Cows.

8. Street Food Smart - This Original video created for SpendLessTV.com from Vendor.tv creator, restaurateur and food culinary cart curbbside cuisine expert, Daniel Delaney  makes it’s second appearance in the yearly SpentLessTV Top Ten List. Daniel sheds light on the age-old question: to taste or not to taste? Catch Daniel’s wisdom on how to get the most quality and enjoyment for your vendor buck.

7. Coupon Stacking Explained - We all know how using coupons can save money, but in this clip Julia Scott, CEO of BargainBabe.com, shows exactly how easy it is to save big every time and  how one simple couponing tip can add up to considerable savings at the cash register.

6. Guacamole - Frontera Grill founder and TV personality, Chef Rick Bayless, gives his famous recipe for a slightly unconventional guacamole. We’re not surprised this rates in the top-viewed; it’s a free recipe for an inexpensive, yet rich and indulgent dish which is, of course, THE perfect food for just about any occasion and an easy side dish that enhances any meal!

5. 5 Simple Ways to Save Money - Saving money is always a good idea, but often we end up over-complicating the  how, when, where, and what regarding what really works. In this video the CEO of bills.com, Brad Stroh, takes the guess work out of the equation by providing 5 basic never-fail ways to grow your savings every day.

4. How to Spend Less on Kids Clothing -”Buy Right and Sell Right” is the secret many parents are using to dress kids in high style, quality clothing for less-than or equal-to superstore offerings. Suzanne Rielle, co-founder of the resale site, LoobaLee.com, explains how it works and why and how purchasing quality clothing can actually be a real money-saver.

3Maintain a Mindset of Abundance - Best-selling author, speaker and one of the most diversely successful entrepreneurs and business development coaches today, Marie Forleo, shares 3 easy things you can do to feel abundant, attract success, avoid money stress and feel great about your potential in this Original video created especially for SpendLessTV.com which deservedly has ranked in the yearly Top Ten for the past three years.

2. Don’t Buy Stuff You Can’t Afford! - Making the Top Ten List for the third year running, is this classic comedy sketch from Saturday Night Live which features Steve Martin and Amy Poehler, who play a couple needing personal finance budgeting help, which they find with Chris Parnell’s unique approach to debt & money-management. Timeless advice presented in a way that always brings a smile.

1.  DIY Paper Photo Wallet - Everything you need to know to create a paper crafted tri-fold wallet to display your favorite pictures, recipes, notes, clippings – you name it – in style. Crafter Corinne Bradd shows how to create a brag book using only paper & a few simple creases. This project requires no glue, no scissors, and no tape. It makes a fantastic craft project for the kids, is a great greeting card alternative and makes a super thank-you or hostess gift.  No wonder it topped the SpendLessTV.com List as the Number One Top-Viewed Video of 2012!

More you’ll like:

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9 Black Friday Shopping Apps

Smart phones and technology can help make your shopping easier, especially on Black Friday (doesn’t THAT sound nice?). Here are video reviews of Black Friday and other shopping apps that can help you save time and money:

Tech reviewer Matts MacIntosh shows two phone apps to find coupons and locations that accept them, find apps and track their price changes, scan bar codes and then located the best deals. He reviews Yoowza!, AppSniper and RedLaser:

AppVee.com reviews three and evaluates the performance of these three apps designed for shopping Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals . Find out if  the cost of these iPhone & iPad Touch mobile apps are worth their potential savings:

The Daily App Show reviews The Find, a mobile app that ties online and offline shopping together. You can price compare, scan bar codes, locate products and save information to save money. For iPhone and Android:

Crazy Mike from CrayMikesapps.com walks you through the features of THI Friday iPhone App, a free money-saving app:

Owen Robbins from KRRS Systems reviews the money-saving and coupon app called, The Coupons App for iPhones, iPad, Android devices. They also feature Black Friday deals:

More Black Friday Savings strategies in our posts:

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Black Friday Previews

Black Friday continues to arrive earlier and earlier each year, and this year is no exception. Not only do Black Friday “specials” come earlier, but the “previews” (aka “leaks”) of deals, doorbusters, and specials that stores will be offering on Black Friday come earlier and earlier too.

While I personally am not a Black Friday Shopping Fanatic, I know there are thousands of you who will brave the jammed parking lots, crowds, long lines, and limited stock on doorbuster deals to take advantage of bargains that can be found on that discount shopping day. And, being well prepared in advance is one of the best ways for you to get the most out of those deals.

So for those who are determined to take part in the Black Friday Shopping ritual, we bring you some of our favorite sites and articles for finding Black Friday deal previews, tips and tricks:

UPDATED 11/12/13:

Bargainbabe.com -

 SDBargainMama.com -

BFAds.net -

Delio -

Catch more holiday shopping tips –

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Ways to Cut Everyday Health Care Costs

I know I am not alone in feeling a little panic when facing the skyrocketing costs of health care in the U.S. on everything from an aspirin to surgery to insurance premiums. It seems everyone is looking for ways to combat the rising cost of medical care.

Here are a few pointers and resources with tips that may help reduce your everyday health care costs, without compromising quality:

Always ask. Ask your doctor, hospital, lab, pharmacy, etc. if there is anything they might suggest that would lower the cost of treatment. You’d be surprised at what they might be able to do for you.

  • Ask if discounts are offered to members of groups like AAA, AARP, veterans, government employees, professional or trade unions, or any any other organization or profession you can think of which may qualify you for an affiliated discount, don’t be afraid to ask!
    • Prescription Drug Discount with AAA - This short video explains the AAA prescription drug discount program. But additionally, AAA members also may receive 15 % discount on nutritional products at GNC stores, reduced membership fees at Gold’s Gym and 30% off on regularly priced items at Reebok Outlet Stores.
  • Ask your physician if generic medicines would work for you.
  • Many pharmacies have a list of flat rate $4 or $5 generic prescription medicines available. Ask at the pharmacy for a list of those medications and bring that list to your doctors. Ask your doctors if they might be able to prescribe medications for you from those on the list.
  • Ask your pharmacist if there might be other prescription options that would cost less, and if so, they can call your doctors for approval.

Your county may be providing free prescription Rx discounts cards.

Shop around. Pharmacies vary on the prices they charge for prescription medications just as they do for everything else on their shelves, so shop around to find the lowest prices. Don’t overlook ”big box” stores and membership discount stores like Costco and Sam’s Club for rock-bottom prices, on prescriptions and eye care. The price of membership may end up being worth the savings offered.

Keep a look out for free samples and ASK for free samples, from your physician and pharmacy, not only for prescriptions but on a variety of drug store items, too. In addition to asking, there are many websites like our partner,  ShopAtHome.com, that offer special promotions, discounts, giveaways, free shipping, and free samples – for in-store and online shopping.

Use coupons and loyalty programs, and combine the discounts you receive from those with store promotions or sales whenever possible.

  • Coupon Stacking Explained - How coupon stacking works, how easy it is, and a simple tip that adds up to big savings at the cash register from Julia Scott, CEO, BargainBabe.com

Amazon has a “subscribe and save” service that can help cut the cost of anything you buy on a regular interval and offers free shipping with sign up, which can often bring down the cost of regularly used items, like razor blades, toothpaste and tooth brushes, and shampoo at prices well below many big-box discount stores.

Opt for longer lasting items. When you shop for sundries, opt for the items that will last longer, like toothpaste from a tube instead of a pump, or bar soap instead of liquid.

Use less and use it all up. You may be using far more than you need to. Advertisements show us toothbrushes loaded with toothpaste, and luscious streaming waterfalls of shampoo, conditioners, and lotions, but in reality, most often all that is required is a tiny dab. Cut open the tubes when you think they are empty, you’ll be surprised at how much is actually left.

Consider a little do-it-yourself. Several renowned beauty experts have all relied on natural items that you probably already have on hand in your kitchen to achieve the same, if not better, beautiful results as expensive cosmetic treatments, lotions, scrubs, moisturizers, hair conditioners, teeth brighteners, and bath spas. And there are several at-home products that may be effective in treating minor itches and sunburns, too.

Eyeglasses: Register for email notifications from websites like Coastal.com, to receive notice of their deeply discounted sale promotions, as well as their free eyeglass events. An example of a recent sale: 11 eyeglass styles for $11 each. You can even “try on” eyeglass frames online!  I have personally ordered contact lenses from them and was very pleased with their service.

AAA members may receive 30% discounts on eyeglasses, and 10% discounts on contact lenses at Lenscrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical and Target Optical.

Consider Bartering –  Bartering is once again emerging as a popular viable option for receiving goods and services, and many medical practices are participating. There are several online bartering sites where you “bank” your skill and/or time for points, and then “swap” your points for medical services.

  • Time Swap – The New BarterConsumer advocate Stacy Johnson from MoneyTalksNews.com explains one online bartering site in this video.
  • Bartering for Health Care – The story of one medical center in Maine that is participating in a barter bank to help make health care more accessible.

Here, from one of our favorite resources, Bottom Line Personal newsletter, from their interview with Clark Howard, host of The Clark Howard Show on CNN’s HLN network.(Volume 32, Number 21, November, 1, 2011), are tips for those not covered by health insurance to receive lower prices on services, prescription medications and eyeglasses:

  • Get health-care providers and pharmacies to bid for your business online. If you requrie a medical, dental or vision procedure that is not covered by your insurance, enter it into the free website PriceDoc.com (registration required). Health-care professionals offer lower-than-normal prices through this site to bring in new clients.  This site tends to be most useful for finding low prices for dental and cosmetic procedures. It’s sometimes possible to obtain discounts of 25% to 30% or more.
  • For prescription medications, check out the free website BidRx.com (registration required). Enter your prescription medications into their site, and pharmacies will offer your their lowest prices. Only reputable U.S. pharmacies are allowed to participate.  If you cannot wait for a medication to arrive by mail, the site can restrict the search to local pharmacies.  Savings of as much as 50% are possible.
  • An online site for eyeglasses at very low prices is Zenni Optical. They offer prescription eyeglasses online for less than $20 — lenses, frames and shipping included. Eyeglasses with special features such as lenses can cost $50 or more. The lenses are ground in China and theframes are not brand names, but the product is good quality. You can upload a picture of yourself to the site and “try on” frames. One downside is there is no post-purchase care or adjustments. You’ll have to bring them to a local optician to adjust fitting issues.  To help ensure a proper fit, make sure your eye doctor checks and records on your prescription your pupillary distance (PD) — the distance between the centers of your pupils.

More from experts on health care savings:

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5 Tips to Avoid Holiday Shopping Hassle

Holiday shopping can really be a hassle. Not only are you dealing with all the rushing around, bargain hunting, last minute plans, crowds and traffic, but there’s also safety issues, budget concerns, and how to make sure you’re getting the most value for your money.

Here are 5 short videos that give strategies for shopping in stores and online that will work for you – not only during the holiday shopping season, but throughout the year – with tips on when, where, and how to shop to receive the most bang for your buck with the least amount of hassle.

Hassle-Free Holiday Shopping - Personal finance expert Carmen Wong Ulrich gives tips to stretch your holiday shopping dollars & get the most bang for your buck. Discounted gift cards, price matching, Black Friday, and online shopping tips.

Holiday Shopping Survival Tips - Between overcrowded malls and strict return policies, the shopping season can be stressful. Consumer Correspondent Susan Koeppen gives CBS’s Rebecca Jarvis her smart shopping survival tips for the holidays.

Pay with Paper or Plastic for Gifts? - It is better to pay with cash, credit card, open new accounts, lay-a-way? Wall Street Journal Columnist, Wendy Bounds gives tips on best ways to pay for holiday purchases from gift cards to electronics to apparel and pitfalls to watch out for.

Scouring for Holiday Sales -CBS business and economics correspondent, Rebecca Jarvis, gives her top Web sites & mobile apps to find the best bargain-basement holiday shopping deals.

Saving on Holiday Shopping - Holiday shopping? Some creative and easy tips to, stretch your dollar, stay in control of your spending & save money while enjoying holiday gift-giving from MoneyTalksNews.com’s Stacy Johnson.

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Does Buying a Bag of Cheese Puffs Really Matter?

We’re joining in on change.org’s Blog Action Day - drawing attention to FOOD.

One of the tenets of growing personal wealth or trying to hold onto savings, is to try to get the most out of everything. Value does not always mean more expensive, and unconscious wastefulness is equal to throwing money away.

There are two absolute necessities for life: food and water. And yet, when it comes to saving money, food is often one of the first places many people think of to try to cut back to find savings.  Why? Because it’s the one thing we absolutely must spend money on every day.

So, to save what can add up for some to be hundreds of dollars a month, we become aware of how much we are spending or over-spending on food and devise ways to receive the most we can from the fewest dollars spent. Some of the ways we can achieve this is by growing our own food or shopping local farmer’s markets. But we also spend hours researching sales and promotions, using coupons, stocking up and planning menus ahead based on what is going on sale at the grocery store, which can add up to some real savings.  But what foods, exactly, are we saving money on?

Does getting it for less mean we should be getting it at all? Does being able to get it for less mean we should be oblivious to how our food choices affect the world on a broader scale? What does it matter to us if buying a bag of empty calorie, chemical laden, processed cheese-like puffs and tossing the half-finished non-biodegradable bag into the trash may waste fuel, waste water, overtax landfills, promote pollution, affect the climate, impact the world’s food supply, contribute to the destruction of local farms and the undernourishment of neighbors right in our own towns?

It matters for many reasons, but these three simple reasons should be enough for anyone:

1) Saving money. Preparing your own meals, bringing your lunch to work or school, buying from local providers and farmers, and using fresh unprocessed food is cheaper and saves you money. As simple as that.

2) Getting nourishment from as close to the original source as possible (as opposed to a preservative & chemical drenched, nutrient-absent over-processed something-or-other out of a box shipped half-way across the world), is healthier, conserves natural resources, and causes less waste and pollution.

And, 3) Sometimes what is better for our local community may ultimately end up being better for everyone, which includes YOU and ME.

A simple example of how what’s good for a few can ultimately benefit the many is how organic foods and bulk-bin selections are now becoming widely available as a regular feature at conventional supermarkets all over the U.S. and at more affordable prices. This is largely due to shopper demand, stemming back from the little grass-roots 1960′s neighborhood co-op food movements. More vending machines and corner markets have fresh fruits and vegetables available now. More neighborhood farmer’s markets are re-emerging. The food choices you make do make a difference.

But what about the food we waste? What does that matter? Some have been around long enough to remember being a member of “The Clean Plate Club” and hearing parents and grandparents chant at every meal, “Are you a member of the Clean Plate Club? Eat everything on your plate, there are people starving in Europe.” This was not intended to get people to consume more, but rather to be more thoughtful about not wasting food and over-indulging between meals. That campaign was created 94 years ago to ensure that the limited amount of food America had as a result of World War I didn’t go to waste. It re-emerged in 1947 after the Great Depression and World War II, when food was again scarce and resources needed to be conserved as the country tried to help those struggling to recover from the war’s effects overseas. And of course, parents also conveniently gravitated to it as an easy way to  remind kids to be more appreciative of what they had.

In previous posts I’ve written about how eliminating one plastic zipper on rice packages saved thirty-thousand tons of landfill waste a month, and how eliminating or even cutting back on consuming bottled water can save an average family almost three-thousand dollars a year, not to mention reducing the stress on landfills and saving fuel. As I have mentioned several times in the past, I am not a frugal fanatic, but I also don’t like unconscious waste. I wondered, if those two little things could make such a huge positive impact, then what about that “Clean Plate Club – Don’t Waste Your Food” mentality? Does not wasting the food one has purchased really help the world and the food supply at large or not?

Luckily for me, Treehugger.com has already done the work, and they summarize just what a tremendous and far-reaching impact wasting food can have in their eye-opening articles: Discarding Food Wastes More Water than Showering, and  The Impact of Food Waste on Climate Change (and just about everything else), and Study Finds Half of All Food Produced Worldwide is Wasted. Here are just a couple of highlights:

  • 2 BILLION people could be fed for a year with the amount the U.S.A. alone throws away each year.
  • Food waste in the U.S.A. accounts for 1/4 of all freshwater consumption.
  • Decaying food in landfills produces polluting methane gas. If we simply stopped wasting food, it would be the equivalent of taking a quarter of all the cars in America off the road.

We know there are both “believers” and “non believers” on the climate and global warming issues – we won’t go round and round on that, but there’s no doubt that a waste-not-want-not attitude will never serve you wrong and won’t hurt your neighbors next door or around the world. That said, sadly, not everyone will be motivated to simply want to do a good thing by wasting less and being more conscious of food sources. The bottom line for many is this phrase used repeatedly by my 10th grade history teacher to describe the ultimate motivation behind just about every political and social decision, ”The power of the purse.” Being conscious of the quality of and process by which you receive your daily bread, and what you do with it when you are finished with it, is not only eco-friendly and world-friendly, but health-wise and ultimately wallet-wise as well.

Creative ways to  get the most from your food and budget in our posts:

Why Bank of America Employees are Bringing Their Lunches To Work

The Miracle Money Saving Healthy Grocery Shopping Tip

Vegetables Save You Money

8 Fresh Food Saving Ideas to Stretch Your Produce Dollars

Save More Money – Break the Bottled Water Habit

Use Earth Day Eco Saving Pointers Every Day, and You’ll Save Money

Beware of the Blueberry Scam

And for money-saving shopping, recipes, and serving ideas see our channels:

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Why Bank of America Employees are Bringing Their Lunches To Work

A recent headline on a PBS radio show caught my attention. It said:

Why Bank of America Employees are Bringing Their Lunches to Work.

They then went on to describe how, when employees got word that their employer, Bank of America, may be cutting 40,000 jobs, they immediately went into “austerity mode” and stopped buying lunch out, even hot dogs from the wagon on the sidewalk in front of the building, in order to start holding onto their savings because they may find themselves out of a job in the next few weeks.

Hmmm… am I understanding this correctly? Extravagance and unconscious spending don’t matter if you have an incoming salary? Isn’t saving “always” critical? Isn’t “pay yourself first” the general rule? Isn’t growing one’s emergency savings always a priority? It strikes me as ironic that perhaps the simplest bit of money-saving one can do on a daily basis is one that is ignored when everything “seems” to be okay, but is the first to go when saving “seems” critical. There are many big ways to cut expenses to free up some money to balance your budget or add to your savings like re-negotiating mortgages and insurance policies, but you can still receive notable savings benefits from changing some simple habits, like bringing lunch.

I’m not implying a mindset of deprivation. I’m not a frugality fanatic by any means, and I don’t come even remotely close to being an extreme coupon master, but I do try to be conscious of waste and wasteful spending, like buying lunch out everyday. Taking the easy and accessible alternative of bringing a delicious lunch most of the time is a simple way one can enjoy feeling abundant without unnecessary spending.

We did an earlier post on how much money breaking the bottled water habit would save, and discovered that a family of four could save as much as $2,878.57 per year with the use of a simple home water filter. What about bringing lunch vs buying out? Using Bankrate.com’s Lunch Savings Calculator, we found we could save close to $900 per year, per person, based on lunch purchased out at $6 a day vs BYO bagged at $3.  And what if you choose to go more eco-friendly? What about the added cost of purchasing reusable containers, reusable bags, and running extra dishwasher loads?  Trent Hamm from The Simple Dollar blog did the math and found that it only takes one or two lunches to recover the initial cost of the containers, and the cost to wash is just about 3 cents.

Not only does bringing your own lunch save you money (money that could go toward your retirement savings, emergency savings account, or for travel, or holiday fun) but it’s better for your health, too! So why wait?

Related Videos:

Bring Your Own Lunch: DIY vs Pre-made Products - It might be quicker, but does it cost less money? See exactly how much pre-made lunch products are costing you when Grocery School does the math.

Grocery Shopping: Cut Your Tab in Half - Save money, as much as $70 a week, on grocery shopping without sacrificing health or taste, and you can even do it without coupons! Tips from the Good Housekeeping Institute.

 

Healthy Foods on a Budget?You can afford to eat healthier foods – even on a tight budget.  Get tips from nutritionist Natalie that will help you make wise spending and shopping choices and healthier ones, too!

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How to Get Free Gasoline! Gas & Grocery Savings Perks

“You have 400 gasoline credits,” the Stop & Shop cashier told me as she handed me my receipt. I was surprised (and happy) to hear this! I recall hearing about these programs a while back, but thought they were no longer active and hadn’t even considered that my market might be participating! I know, it’s my “business” to know these things, and this one just slipped by until that moment.  But one of the things I love about the topic of money saving is:  there is always something new to discover that will make life a little easier and less costly. So after a little research, I am pleased to report that there are many gas perk/grocery loyalty partnering programs still in effect!

They are simple to use. You use a grocery store loyalty membership card to track and apply gas credits to use at a partnering fuel station. Every time you make a purchase at that grocery store you show that store loyalty card to the grocery cashier and not only might you receive discounts on some of the items you are purchasing, but you will accumulate points that will apply as a price discount on gas purchases you make at participating/partnering gasoline stations. At the gas station, you just show that same grocery loyalty card and the points will be applied to your fuel purchase. It’s that easy.

Some fuel discount programs also give perks when you shop from retailers like Home Depot, JC Penney, and The Gap.

We’ve listed here two popular fuel/grocery discount programs, but check with your own favorite markets and do a Google search to easily see what others also may work for you. With gas prices seeming to be permanently on the rise, it’s worth taking a moment or two to check with your favorite market and take advantage!

Fuel Perks!

You can earn fuel credits two ways with fuelperks! If the place you most frequently shop for groceries is a participating partner with fuelperks!, and you already have a grocery loyalty card, you go to fuelperks.com and register that card with fuelperks!  If you don’t have one, request one from a partnering supermarket. Now, every time that supermarket loyalty card is scanned, you earn fuelperks! points. Fuelperks! grocery retailer partners are: Bi-Lo, Giant Eagle, Martin’s, Roundy’s, and Winn-Dixie. You can also earn credits by shopping online at more than 700 merchants like The Gap, Best Buy, The Home Depot, and JC Penney.

Shell Gas Discount Programs

Shell has partnered up with several grocery stores to give discounts on gas for purchases you  make at participating supermarkets. Your accumulated points are tracked through your grocery loyalty card which the cashier scans each time you shop. If you don’t have one, you can request one from the market or online. You will need to bring that grocery loyalty card with you to the gas station to redeem your credits; when you are at the gas station, before you enter your credit card information at the pump, you have to insert that grocery loyalty card or enter that 13-digit loyalty card number, or show the card to the attendant. Customers can redeem their Gas Rewards points at approximately 600 participating Shell stations in addition to more than 70 existing Stop & Shop gas stations throughout the Northeast. Partnering groceries include: Kroger, Ralph’s, Wei’s Market, Trig’s, Giant Food, Stop & Shop.  Details here.

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