Food costs are on the rise, and nearly every working American is feeling the crunch with the increased payroll taxes that kicked in on January 1. Wasting food by letting it spoil seems less and less of an option. But there are ways to keep fresh food from spoiling so quickly.
Fresh food gone bad
According to Money Talk News, Americans throw out about 20 pounds of food each month due to spoilage. It estimates that is the equivalent of putting $516 a year into the trash can. But you can minimize the hit by prolonging the shelf-life of your groceries with [...]
Last year, the Better Business Bureau logged about 9,400 complaints against gyms, health clubs and fitness consultants. That is an increase of about 15 percent from the year before. Here are some things to look for to avoid getting soaked before you sweat.
Health clubs love the New Year
Losing weight, getting fit or joining a gym are some of the most commonly-sworn New Year’s resolutions each year. So is it any wonder that so many gyms and health clubs offer tantalizing specials to get new members in January?
However, New Year’s resolutions are also notoriously fickle promises we make to ourselves. And [...]
Wages in the U.S. have been stagnant for some time. But prices keep going up. That is especially true of food costs, the one thing we can’t go without. Crop shortages, global warming, political bickering and a weak dollar are all fighting against your flat-line paycheck. Nothing left to do but to economize. Chances are, you’ll be eating more healthily, too. These tips may help.
Cut food costs rule number one:
Cook and eat at home as often as possible. Period. Whatever you make will cost less than it would if you went out for it, and most likely it will be more [...]
With the world set to end this week, it may seem like finances don’t matter any more at all. But hold on. Before you heat your house by burning $100 bills, adopt a wait-and-see attitude. The fact is, people have been predicting the end of the world since the beginning of the world. And none of them have been right so far. Here is a survey of some relatively recent end-of-the-world predictions that fell short.
Millennium doomsday predictions that fizzled
The last large spate of doomsday theories was probably around the turn of the millennium, because big, round numbers are frightening to [...]
The holiday shopping season is when retailers get the most competitive, offering all sorts of incentives to lure customers away from competitors. One such strategy is price matching, in which a retailer will honor the advertised prices from other retailers. However, consumers need to be cautious and read the “fine print.”
Saving with price matching
Many retailers offer price matching all year long, such as Best Buy, Target, Sears and Walmart. The difference this years is that some, such as Best Buy and Target, are now also offering to match prices from online retailers. Online retailers routinely undersell brick-and-mortar stores.
Others are just [...]
In the past, the standard wisdom on the giving of gift cards has been, simply, don’t. Buying them is equivalent to trading cash for something of lesser value. However, their popularity as a gift choice doesn’t seem to be waning in the least, as Americans are expected to spend billions on them this year. So here are the pros and cons you should know about gift cards before putting money on the table.
Two types of gift cards
The Credit CARD Act of 2009 established fees, terms and conditions for card lenders. Many of those provisions also extended to gift cards, making [...]
Looking for a foreclosure property? You’ll want to know how to find a trustee sale (aka foreclosure auction), where the trustee of the mortgage is making the property available for sale. Here’s how to find foreclosure auctions in your area, as well as what to expect from such undertakings.
Foreclosure auction tip No. 1 – Finding the auction
To begin with, you have to know where to go to find foreclosure auctions. Online services like LPS Agency Sales and Posting tend to list many trustee sales based upon locality. Locally, city halls or similar official local government buildings will list foreclosure auctions.
They say the current election is all about the economy, so perhaps it is appropriate that some retailers should see election day as yet another marketing opportunity. Below you will find some election day freebies and bargains you may wish to take advantage of after doing your civic duty on Tuesday.
Election day freebies
Retailers that take advantage of the promotional possibilities on election day are walking a delicate line. The Federal Election Commission forbids compensation for voting. In Washington, DC, a bar offering free beer to voters was forced to rescind its offer.
However, many retailers are still trying to skirt around [...]
A new study found that the economic downturn and the proliferation of handheld devices have changed the attitudes of people regarding frugality, even when it comes to the pursuit of love. According to the study, more people now find it acceptable to use a coupon on a date — even on a first date.
Economy has destigmatized coupons
The Harris study, sponsored by the coupon site CouponCabin.com, found that more than a quarter — 26 percent — of people have used a coupon when paying on a first date. And 26 percent also said they would be okay with their date using [...]
A recent study found that high interest rates are not enough to get people to save more. What does work, however, is peer pressure: the social imperative to fit into a crowd.
Healthy peer pressure
Your mother used to warn you against submitting to peer pressure with quips like, “If your friends jumped off a cliff would you follow them?” However, that same urge to conform can be channeled in a healthy way — namely into motivating you to save more money.
That is the conclusion of a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research with the cumbersome title, “Under-Savers Anonymous: Evidence [...]
With temperatures predicted to cool down from last year’s record warm winter, consumers may be looking for ways to reduce expensive heating costs in the months to come. Here are some more tips for doing that without going broke trying.
Higher heating costs
According to the Energy Department‘s Energy Information Administration, heating costs this winter season will rise by 20 percent over last year if you heat with oil. If you heat with natural gas, that will be 15 percent. Propane-heated home can expect to pay 13 percent more, and 5 percent more for electrical heat.
Filling the gaps
In most homes, there are [...]
Last year’s winter was the warmest on record. However, experts say, global warming aside, that this year will be closer to the normal temperatures we are used to. That means your heating costs will likely be higher than last year. However, there are many low-cost steps you can take to minimize that hit before the weather really chills down.
Simple steps lower heating costs
Some of these fixes require at least a modest level of carpentry skills. Some require none. Many of them cost nothing. None of them will cost you more than $100. But by doing as many of these things [...]
If you have school age children and a job, you know that mornings can be a perfect storm. You want to send your kids off with healthy and appealing school lunches; but in all the chaos, its so much easier just to give them money or to toss chips and a Lunchables into a bag. But you know you can make a cheaper and more nutritious lunch for them with a little planning ahead and a little preparation.
The cost of school lunches
The price of a hot school lunch varies by region, but, from a brief search, most seem to be [...]
Back to school shopping season is here again. However, most American workers are earning about the same as they did last year. But prices keep going up. Here are some tips to equip your kids for the next school year without going broke in the process.
Back to school shopping dilemma
Back to school time is the second-largest shopping season of the year, and many stores are offering great bargains to lure you in. However, there is one problem.
Patricia Hasson, President and Executive Director of Clarifi, said:
“Wait for the list [of supplies required by the school]. It’s easy to be tempted right [...]