Shopping

Can You Save Money by Becoming Vegetarian?

Beef prices hit record highs last summer and prices for beef, pork, and eggs are expected to climb throughout 2015. Meanwhile, a growing body of research indicates that eating meat and animal products can contribute to a host of health issues, including diabetes and cancer. A recent study published in the journal Cell Metabolism revealed that middle-aged people who …

What Do New Parents Really Need?

If you ask baby boomers how parenting has changed over the years, many can name a host of once-safe practices that have since been outlawed. People from my mother’s generation talk about how, as babies, they rode in the front seat of their family car without a car seat. And my mother often jokes about shrouding us in …

Five Indispensable Apps to Save Money When You Shop

How many people still clip coupons from the newspaper? And if you do manage to find the time to sit down and review weekly coupon offerings, do you then remember to take them to the store when shopping? I’m not that organized. Clipping coupons has almost become an antiquated way of doing things amid the rise …

Are Credit Card Rewards Really Worth It?

A friend recently mentioned that she wished she had more time off work to travel – and more money to travel with. “I don’t see how you do it,” she said. “Airfare is crazy expensive. And then you have to pay for your hotel, rental car, and food!” She was right, but I quickly reminded …

Best Ways to Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

There is a reason why so many fans of credit card rewards go out of their way to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Aside from being versatile and easy to use, the points can be very lucrative — especially if you know how to use them. If you’ve never had a Chase credit card that earns Ultimate …

Six Strategies for Maximizing the Value of a Warehouse Club

Over the holidays, I had a great conversation with several relatives about the compared merits of Sam’s Club and Costco (our conclusion was that you should just use whichever is most convenient or closest for you), which eventually turned into a discussion of how to get the most value out of a warehouse club membership. …

Categories: Frugality, Shopping

Five Reasons Your Budget Isn’t Working

If you don’t use any kind of written budget, you have lots of company. According to a Gallup poll, only about a third of Americans prepared a detailed household budget in 2013. That’s not to say everyone succeeded. The fact is, using (and sticking to) a written budget can be a huge chore, especially at first. And …

Four Tips for Using FSA Money Before New Year’s

At the end of the year, we can all get a little scatterbrained. Between work deadlines, gift shopping, baking treats for the kids’ holiday parties, making travel arrangements, and stressing over what to write in the greeting card, there’s just not enough time to get everything done. So we forget stuff — important stuff like our flexible …

What a Deal: Groupon for Essentials

It’s easy to dismiss Groupon as a service aimed at getting you to waste your hard-earned cash on frivolous splurges and bargains of questionable value. After all, some of the most popular Groupon deals are for things like buy-one-get-one-free restaurant meals, spa treatments, and vacation bundles. In other words, stuff you don’t need. An article in The Atlantic echoed …

Seven Practical Gifts for College Students

The holiday season is well under way. If you’ve got someone on your list who’s headed to college next semester or already there, here are some practical suggestions to send them back to school with a smile: Gift cards. Funds are usually low in college, so a gift card is always welcome and generally a …

Categories: Education, Family, Shopping

Are You Spending Too Much on Groceries?

If there is such a thing as an average family of four, there’s nothing average about how much that family spends on groceries. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a family of four with two kids under age 11 spends anywhere from $654.20 to $1,302.20 per month on food. Why the huge disparity? First …

What Is a Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus?

Unless you’ve opted out of junk mail or targeted offers altogether, you’ve probably gotten at least a handful of credit card bonus offers in the mail. Most of them read something like this: “Spend $500 on your card within 90 days and earn $200 in cash back.” “Spend $3,000 on your credit card within three …

Cheers to the Holidays: Food, Beer, and Wine Gift Guide

We’re in prime gift-buying season. Your list of who to buy for probably includes a foodie, beer lover, and/or wine enthusiast. This is a fun group to buy for because you can really get creative with your gifts. Plus, you can find awesome presents regardless of what you’re looking to spend. Here are some gift ideas …

25 Gift Ideas Under $10 I’d Be Happy to Receive

Whenever I see a typical gift idea list, I have two immediate frustrations. One, the gifts on it are often expensive. If there’s someone out there I’m going to be spending $100 or more on for a gift, it’s very likely that I know that person well enough that I don’t have to be looking …

Categories: Frugality, Shopping

How to Maximize Your Meal Planning Dollars with Bulk Buying

Sammi writes in: I really loved your article about meal planning for busy families. My husband and I have adopted this strategy and have been using it for about two months and our food costs have gone down a lot! The only challenge we have is how to incorporate bulk buying into it. The closest …

Categories: Frugality, Meals, Shopping

10 Heartfelt Holiday Gifts for People Who Don’t Need More Stuff

We’re all guilty of it: You put off buying a present for a loved one, and suddenly it’s too late — so you just throw money at the problem and buy something for buying something’s sake. In the end, it’s a waste of money, and your friend or family member has another piece of junk they …

Seven Strategies I Use on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

I’ll be honest: since about 2009, I haven’t left the house on Black Friday. Instead, I usually sleep in after a long evening spent eating a big meal and having a few glasses of wine with family members. I do get up and check a few online sales, but I haven’t found anything in a …

Categories: Shopping

Best Black Friday Deals for 2014

Love it or hate it, Black Friday ain’t what it used to be. Time was, you’d gather with friends and family on Thanksgiving to over-indulge in food and football. The next day, off from work, you might go buy a Christmas tree and then head to the mall to start your holiday shopping. Pretty simple, really. Soon …

Cost-Cutting Tips for Thanksgiving Dinner

You may have recently mastered the art of budget-conscious grocery shopping, but preparing for Thanksgiving dinner is a whole other ballgame. Carving off some savings will take a lot more time and effort, since each dish typically requires its own set of ingredients, some which are a bit pricey. Before you check your bank account …

Become a subscriber of The Simple Dollar and get a free copy of Trent's e-book today plus exclusive updates.