Shopping

11 Strategies to Minimize Shopping or Avoid It Altogether

I have found that, time and time again, the act of going shopping causes almost all of the money leaks in my life. It seems like it’s common sense, but it’s true – whenever I go to a store or visit an online store, I tend to spend money, and it’s often money spent on …

Categories: Shopping

How to Save Money on College Textbooks

Over the last few days, I’ve heard from a handful of college students that are facing the start of their fall semester in college and are looking for smart strategies for trimming their expenses when it comes to textbooks. Here’s an example message from Jen: I just priced out my books for fall semester and …

Anchor Prices and You

Lately, I’ve been thinking about sales and sale prices because of an epiphany I had in a store recently. Sarah and I were shopping for birthday gifts for our daughter. One item that she wanted was colorful earbuds, which seemed like a reasonable gift idea. While we were looking at the display, we noticed that …

Complete Guide to the Best Credit Card Signup Bonus Offers in 2015

Whether you’re pursuing airline miles, hotel loyalty points, flexible rewards, or simple-to-redeem cash back, the biggest bang for your buck is almost always found in a credit card’s signup bonus. These signup bonus offers, which are normally doled out after you meet a set of predefined requirements, are often worth $500 or more. Although signup …

How to Coupon at $50 an Hour

In the past, I’ve shared a ton of details on how we collect and use coupons. With that in mind, I thought it might be worthwhile to show off our entire coupon organization system so it’s clear how we do it. Because of this system, the only time we really invest in coupons is a …

Is Financing Furniture With a Store Credit Card Ever a Good Idea?

For many Americans, summertime means big transitions: new jobs, new cities, and often even new homes. And as just about any homebuyer can attest, a mortgage is often just the beginning in a series of sizeable new bills. You may need to make some immediate repairs, or you may need to buy new furniture or …

How to Avoid Getting Cut by the Cutting Edge

When I graduated from college in 2002, smartphones were just beginning to become popular. There were several different types floating around out there, most with LCD screens that enabled you to check your email and send text messages, both of which were beyond the capacity of the “dumb” phones at the time. I immediately got …

Why We’ve Given Up on Coupons

About a week ago, my parents came to visit us for a few days. During the visit, my mother gave Sarah and I an envelope full of coupons she had clipped for products she thought that we bought but that she herself didn’t use. As Sarah leafed through the coupons, I began to realize something …

Nine Fantastic and Inexpensive Summer Recipes Using Fresh Seasonal Foods

For me, the best part of summer is the seemingly endless variety of fresh produce. It’s everywhere, from gardens to CSA baskets, from farmers markets to family gardens, from roadside stands to your local grocery store. The variety of produce available this time of the year is out of this world – and the best …

Categories: Frugality, Meals, Shopping

Six Simple Changes to Your Grocery Routine That Can Save You a Lot of Money

As I’ve alluded to a few times recently, a Fareway just opened in the small town in which my family lives (for those unfamiliar, Fareway is a discount grocer). The new store is close enough that I can easily walk or bicycle there, as the round trip is just a little over a mile. Prior …

Paper or Plastic? Two Ways to Save Money on Groceries

The average American family of four with two kids under 11 spends somewhere between $647.80 and $1,290.60 per month on food, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s quite a spread, and further proof that you can almost spend as little or as much as you want at the grocery store. The thing is, …

10 Things You Should Never Buy Used

Whether you’re trying to save money or be less wasteful in general, shopping at secondhand stores, garage sales, and flea markets is a good strategy. Not only do you get to save an item from the landfill, but you can usually pay a fraction of the retail cost. Of course, some items work better than …

The Best Used Cars for Simply Getting Around

It’s expensive to buy and own a car — the American Automobile Association (AAA) pegs the cost of owning a vehicle at a whopping $8,698 a year. But most of us need one to get around; in much of America, it’s just a fact of life. Still, that doesn’t mean we need an expensive car. While AAA takes into account …

Rotating Rewards: Smart Summer Buys in Discover and Chase Freedom Categories

When it comes to maximizing credit card rewards, many people choose to never pay an annual fee. That way, they never have to worry about canceling the card if they stop using it enough, or the impact on their credit if they do. Two excellent rewards cards that can help you maximize rewards without ever …

12 Items That Pay for Themselves Tenfold or More

When you’re trying to live a frugal lifestyle and save money, it can seem counterintuitive to buy anything new. Yet, that’s exactly what many money-conscious people do. The difference is, those who have mastered the art of frugality don’t just buy things; they invest in them. And they don’t just invest in “stuff;” they invest …

Finding Happiness for Free

A few weeks ago, I listened to a podcast episode – I’m truly sorry, I don’t know which episode or even which podcast it was, as it was one of many I was sampling that day and I’m having difficulty tracking it down – where the podcast guest made a suggestion that stuck in the …

Money Management 101: Why You Should Track Your Spending

Do you ever wonder why you run out of money by the end of the month? Do you earn plenty but still live paycheck to paycheck? Do you ever look at your savings and think you could be doing better? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you’re not alone. In fact, a …

Our Favorite Best Buy Deals

Shopping for electronics and appliances is quite an undertaking. For starters, they can be incredibly expensive. And with so many competing companies and similar models, it’s hard to ever be sure that you’re making the right purchase. Best Buy, one of the leading consumer electronics companies in the United States, prides itself on being a …

Financial Advice That Needs to Die

Recently, one of my friends was curtain shopping when she received some pretty crazy advice from a friendly store employee. “You should expect to spend around 5% of your home’s value on curtains and draperies,” the saleswoman explained as she sauntered around the sales floor. Of course, my friend balked at the idea. Not only …

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